News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds

America

Is Obama being too gracious?

February 7, 2009

The cliché “gracious in defeat” does not apply. The man took the US elections by storm, has entered office on a cloud of public approval and reached out over the divide. The sharp discord struck by Republican refusal to back the Obama stimulus plan has seen a return to campaigning for public endorsement. President Obama does not need any more public support for his bail out. It seems that the failure of the Democrats to demonize the Bush administration may have certain blow-back effects on progress. One of these is the simple idea – do not trust your enemy with your valuables. Another – judge the Republican Party based on its more recent values and performance than on its history.

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Bailout is just the start

February 3, 2009

President Obama’s effort to raise funds to inject into the system will have a number of effects. One of them is not “problem solved”. Pretending that providing more capital to the people will somehow reactivate the flattened markets may have been generated by media expectations but it simply is not real.

It is aimed at saving a number of American families from going to the wall while the bankers sort out the stale paperwork. It also addresses the generalized shortage that prevents the middle class from spending, but the over charging by credit card companies combined with hyper aggressive status marketing has led the average consumer into a very expensive position.

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Letter to Obama

January 16, 2009

Letters from school children to Mr Obama published in the NY Times included this:

Dear President Obama,

I am small, quiet, smart. I love to swim and play basketball. My mom and dad are from the Dominican Republic. I am going to the Dominican Republic next year. I think you should try to change the world by building shelters for the people who live in the streets. It’s the beginning of January, and it’s cold. Good luck being the president.
— Pamela Mejia, age 11, Boston

Something tells me President Obama will read this letter. Something tells me it is a very good idea. People keep saying “clean up the streets”. This 11 year old smart girl is pointing out that the homeless are people.

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The Past and the President

January 12, 2009

Barack Obama hints that he does not really care to upearth the Bush presidency. He is justified, his entire stance is that of a break with “The Past”.

There is nothing to learn from the Bush era.

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How to solve the financial crisis

December 22, 2008

Economic Regression

The path that GW Bush has set the United States upon is inverse socialism. It is regression. It has produced an incipient depression in the world economy by creating a inverse bubble. A huge cash vacuum has removed 2 trillion from the American federal reserve.

To reduce the treasury into a funding agency for the seriously wealthy, bankers and those who take a cut from everyone, is grand scale theft.

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Georgia

August 10, 2008

The history lessons that the leader of Georgia attended may have given him a distorted concept of valour. Giving the Russian army an excuse to invade seems rash at best. Risking all for territorial integrity, why?

Russia used to control all sorts of countries that became independent of the USSR last century. Of course there are going to be territorial disputes. There is an obvious need therefore to monitor the collapse of large empires, and follow it up with border certification, acceptance by both sides that the border will be honoured. By enjoining a Russian enclave, Georgia actually had the opportunity to make peace with its giant adversary. All the other satellites are anxious that Russia not be allowed to overrun recognised borders militarily. There is merit in that concept, certainly.

Is the Bush reponse to Russia the right one? Somehow, it seems irrational to involve America so rapidly. It is not like Georgia had joined NATO just yet. So why is GW Bush basically rattling sabres? It seems political in the extreme. But is it correct?

It does seem that it is true that Georgia sent its troups in first, apparently the Georgians started to excercise military force in Ossetia before Russia crushed their army in no uncertain terms. One has to wonder, if an invader of similar scale attempted a landing in Florida, what would the USA do in response?

The “new world order” achieved by Bush’s daddy has recklessly and systematically been destroyed by the actions of the second Bush administration. The American right has a chance to reconcile with that legacy before they start launching holus bolus into Obama. But then is the shooting of the Arkansas Democratic Chairman by a disgruntled sacked employee of Target the actual cost of the Second Amendment? That we are all essential free to be equal if anyone can have a loaded gun, anywhere?

The American state is allowed to enact laws decided by its own democracy. But Disturbing Trends has questioned if the USA is in fact a democratic country? Are the people allowed to make any kind of rational decision as to what happens next or are they a victim to their own hysteria and need to be controlled? Is the predictions of 1984 by George Orwell not already evident and accepted in the same way that the citizens of Germany were taken in by the rise of Nazism?

If America destroys the hope in the Obama campaign and do not enter into a fresh New Deal phase, then, under McCain – we see America entering a more severely military face off with Russia. The current opportunity Russia took to punish Georgia is limited by the simple fact that if they do not now respond honourably, then paranoia will be rife.

The fact that Bush/McCain wanted to have nuclear weapons in Georgia is why Russia has invaded Georgia. Given a good excuse, they are likely to get away with it if they are honourable.

If they are not, like in the 1968 that Condi Rice alluded to, then they will set the world on edge, and Obama will get drowned by the paranoia – such is the hopes of the Bush reaction. It is political, afterall.


Death by a thousand Debts

July 20, 2008

The United States of America is being swallowed by its own shallowness and greed. There is a wonderfully revealing article in the NY Times today with a revealing interactive graph of events during each decade. It is most remarkable that the savings rate which deteriorated badly in the Great Depression mirrors what is happening now, the collapse of savings. The difference is the debt levels then were conservative – the debt levels of the extreme 90s overboiled in the 2000s.

The Bush era has left a legacy that is far more damaging to the USA economy than it seems, all that debt has to be matched with savings, or you get a deficit, which is funds that the average US citizen owes to the oil producing OPEC countries. How exactly is the Government going to bail out the average citizen drowning in excess credit and crippling interest? By preventing millions of bankruptcies and foreclosures? Preventing banks from reselling properties at a huge discount? The bailouts of major mortage lenders proves this to be true. Bush has run the most socialist economy possible by making the middle class the needy class.

Where is the debt going to be absorbed? Deterioration in the value of the capital reserve? Does that means the grandchildren of the Bush years will be far less wealthy than those who benefitted from ridiculously biased tax breaks that has worsened the position of the average person to such a degree that they are now prisoners of credit card companies – owned by the intensely rich?

Seems like the most devastating blow delivered to everyday Americans is the mass transfer of effective wealth and ownership from American hands, from the Ma and Pa businessscape into the hands of corporatisation, increasingly foreign owned banks and retirement funds that seem more vulnerable by the minute.

Who’s fault? It seems that a country that eats its way to doom has a lack of direction in its culture as a major malady. Hip-hop had it’s social revolution, now with “Pimps and Bitches” being part of the mainstream conversation and “bling” having lost any bad ass connotation – that it was stolen – now it’s seen as a badge of billionary success – any excuse for radically masculine boys to wear diamonds.

Cultural decay – a kind of illiteracy – seems successful. All these make over reality wife swaps and inverted entertainments (Supernanny goes to visit you with her camera crew) are not really engaging people. They are just really cheap fomulae to execute, and like most cheap fodder, it bloats the mind with plenty of useless nonsense. That is cultural decay as it is consumable by anybody, and most do not want their entertinment to challenge them.

But challenging the mind is the entire point of entertainment. That is why the new generation of video games that are immersive, require you to think on your feet and enact a strategy. After fighting for months in some kind of imaginary desert scenario against “bad guys” – the futility and sheer quantity of death necessary – it becomes evident that war is an activity civilization should find absolutely abborhent; but, yet – at the onset of either Gulf war there was a palpable sense of “get on with it!”, and a sense of relief that the bombs had finally started to drop.

While America gets sucked into fruitless wars, Bush seems to have opened the floodgates for the Saudi establishment to buy more American capital with their oil wealth before the Green lobby replace a need for oil with a need for solar energy capture and wind farms rendering the end to this new age of slavery.

The American economy is huge and can still easily absorb this level of indebtedness – it’s the poverty created now that seems the real problem for far too many.

When did this start. Click on the heading of this article to view the NY Times interactive display (requires Adobe Flash Player). Hover over 1984. Observe the trend in savings. 1984 is the top of the mountain that has collapsed ever since. Savings is the degree of participation in ownership possible – the spoils of war. The USA may be able to walk in militarily but it may not be able to afford to “stay the course”, if it carries on with this trend. Even in the past four years savings as a fraction of debt is the worst its ever been, apart from the early 1930s when there were no savings, so America rebuilt by borrowing leading to gradual increase in capital, until 1984. What happened then? Oh yes, let’s see. Regan was elected.


Senator Jesse Helms

July 4, 2008

Former Sen. Jesse Helms, who built a career along the fault lines of racial politics and battled liberals, Communists and the occasional fellow Republican during 30 conservative years in Congress, died on the Fourth of July.

He was 86.

Helms died at 1:15 a.m., said the Jesse Helms Center at Wingate University in North Carolina. The center’s president, John Dodd, said in a statement that funeral arrangements were pending.


The end of war

June 9, 2008

The End of War is a notion, certainly, but it is also a statement of intent. Many do not understand war as anything other than a force that some evil leads our side into, until our side bluffs its way into warfare and we then question if our leadership really does know what it is doing, what right it has to life and death and what the limits on use of armies as police are, and why.

Leadership has to be more than bravery and, let’s face it, being suckered up to by the manufacturers of weapons that require Governments to consume their armanents to stay in business is a source of election funding.

Americans may blame Jimmy Carter for things that were economic consequences of the massive cost of Vietnam. When shall we learn the Republican adventure is actually a larger and more expansionalist form of Government?


On the brink

June 2, 2008

As the days tick by, the world seems to be waiting for the relief of the commencement of battle between Barack Obama and John McCain. The disquieting suspense of the inevitable is becoming unbearable, but if Hillary Clinton now wins, well…

It does seem to me that she is more likely to take the Presidential election without effort from John McCain. Which one would you buy an insurance policy from? Politically, that is exposure to a weakness.

In contrast, Barack Obama will have to fight and decimate McCain on the pulpit of leadership. There is a chance, from that, will emerge a leadership that can take the fight to and defeat a far larger dragon.

It seems to me that Barack Obama has it over the other two in terms of command presence. John McCain is too likely to have ideas based on the history of the Middle East and Europe and so antagonise a war between East and West – whereas Barack Obama is the only leader who sees his country’s many problems as a non-unique status in the world.

He appears to be the one leader who can reconcile the American dream so that it does not appear like a nightmare to the rest of the human race.


Red Alert

May 29, 2008

Ever wonder how the ingenious Dept of Homeland Security Alert System of colour coded warnings was derived?

Take a look at the linked movie. Click the title. It explains the design team’s philosophy and perhaps explains why the Dept of HS is so effective at stopping terrorists (except white ones) from being able to harm Americans. Damn! It is so effective that even GW got it almost immediately!

Here is the link again:


Barack Obama – Background

March 23, 2008

Good back-ground article on Barack Obama.


The Politic of it all

March 2, 2008

The language dictating insticts of voters is distinct. At least those who admit they would be guided by sounds of his name are aware of the insidious effect of a cultural apathy towards obvious things that “could be better”.

Intelligent deconstruction, recognition of what content versus delivery consists of, or reveals of each American candidate.

Looking past skin colour, religious history, gender, marital trust issues, the sounds of names or dollars invested in advertising – there still has to be a “politic” to win the final battle.

Mr Obama wins as he has richer friends behind his message?

Or will the money be made truly irrelevent as McCain sails past soul searching Democrats. Damning themselves for “not going with the woman”.


Barak Obama and War

January 4, 2008

Barrack Obama has the largest turnout and number of votes. In this speech to the Democratic Party – he shows why he is generating an emotional response from his electorate.

Does he represent what Americans want, or is he so bound to his convictions he will fail to see the “bigger picture”? One senses a sort of obsessive left wing response to the failed Bush years that made America the terrible, invading Iraq for the sake of it rather than to win a war against the Taleban – the bastard children of yesterday’s war, rape and pillage. War without end is a terrible drain on the future. The effect on the American health system of a few thousand badly disfigured and derranged vets is minor compared to the effect of war on the young of Afghanistan. Thank Bush for the next wave of convicted Jihadi warriors born in Iraq during the violence of the past 10 years. Yes we know Saddam was evil. Bush has unleashed a more evil evil by committing American forces to war crimes.

The challenge the next president faces include the containment of a nuclear Pakistan, Iran and Israel. Disturbing Trends predicts you can add Turkey and Saudi Arabia to that list. Turkey may wage war against an emerging Kurdish state.

It is not the use of nuclear weapons guiding circumstance, it is the threat of them being controlled by a fundamentalist Islamic logic. That has already occurred by proxy. How much pressure can exist inside Pakistan and Afghanistan before Iran does not feel it needs better defenses? Is that not the real issue Iran is going to be facing over the next ten years?

The USA and the USSR were not able to negotiate without one bankrupting the other. US Government has flirted with nuclear superiority as a right. It then postulated M.A.D. – a state of neither side wanting to murder its voters. It nurtured a military class in Afghanistan and supported a military dictatorship in Pakistan then invaded Iraq. Like Iran-Contra, these strategies have landed the US in danger.

Rename the war on terror the war on the Taleban and win it.

The USA will withdraw from Iraq gradually over the next few months. Then it may invade Pakistan unless a democratic process is able to produce a constructive government.

A Barak Obama led White House says it would withdraw the troops from Iraq. But is Pakistan going to let him withdraw troops from Iraq? What about Saudi Arabia? Maybe after a CIA briefing or two, it will be harder to predict what Obama will do.


Barak Obama

November 9, 2007

This man has a mind to change America. His run for the Presidency is backed with a powerful charisma and ability to infuse a crowd. He sounds like a 180 degree turn around from the ailing wind of the Bush administration. Or will he never catch Hilary? Where the “need” for “equality of gender” is going to make it seem female leadership is required it still makes sense to choose the best leader.

A lot of Americans will be asking similar questions when it comes down to the decision.

And what Republican is an Obama run for presidency likely to have to face? Probably the more popular Mick Romney than the popularist Bushite Rudy G.


Slowdown Fears Rife

November 8, 2007

Markets and Dollar Sink as Slowdown Fear Increases – New York Times

As predicted when Mr Bush lowered tax rates for the very rich – the US economy devalued itself giving it the impression of a lot of spare cash. But he had gone to war with an already crippled Iraq and has spent hundreds of billions getting American troops in Iraq killed for very little resulting improvement in world safety from terrorism.

When an economy becomes too sanguine (too much blood in it) for too long – idiots start throwing billions about. Weird ideas spring forth like crazed cults and adherents may be expected to invest in companies and ideas that have no real product or effect no real change. (I am not talking about Google – here we have an economy developing its own force from the work of a simple workable idea. Text advertising on the internet is not a new idea that Google suddenly came up with, there was text advertising already. What they did was leverage it against relevance. Effective useful advertising has value. Google did what others were stabbing in the dark trying to make work. They provided motivations for each part of their business to work with other parts of their business).

Instant public perception reveals the turkey – but sometimes not before thousands have thrown millions at it. Too much property investment capital inevitably results in sales that get reversed. Too many mortgagee sales depresses prices. Declining prices could become deflation. That would cause massive problems.

What flooding the market with low value dollars has done is cheapen the US economy. Hence the foolhardy effort to get everyone on the mortgage train we now insidiously refer to as sub-Prime. No-one is talking about how many citizens are losing their homes in the USA as a result of Bush indifference to the needs of real people. It has provided the grass roots market players with a sense of uselessness – or irrelevance.

What we hear about is how investors are losing their punts in these non-productive organs of real estate wheel greasing. How many cents in the dollar they can expect. It is a damning and sad story but not half as hard as the young couple expecting who suddenly lose their house and entire life structure. Not to mention to effect on the overall health of the USA economy. How are they going to make productive lives for themselves now?

Some one please tell me how this is a good result of the Bush tax massacre?

Go on – go to the Discussion site and lecture me on the merits of running huge deficits to fight a war that has little economic benefit but heavy costs. Where is the beef?


The Agenda Setting Edge

September 25, 2007

On a MB (Message Board) on The Agonist – one of the best blogs in the business:

“I meant Trade Center Bombing 1993, first year of Clinton in office same as 2001 for Bush. I think Al Qaeda likes first term Presidents, a point of weakness before they get their bearings.”

Perhaps that is the pattern and why the USA developed a pattern of inevitability on election day every two cycles – GW Bush should not have won the last two elections on merit alone. Greeting a President with a potentially life changing act of terror gives Al Qaeda an agenda setting edge. How can the incumbent ignore the taint? It is this understanding of the political behaviour of their enemy – that is a concern as it has created a sense of preordained destiny in the political narrative of “America” (I think George Bush calls the U.S.A. “America” over and over and it leaks into the media, but Bush is the President of the U.S.A. – and referring to it as “America” is just winding Hugo Chavas up).

It is too late to save the Bush Administration from itself. “America” will suffer terribly as a result, and economically, if you read between the lines.


Bill Clinton on the Daily Show

September 23, 2007

Clinton’s main point toward the end of this friendly interview is how pork barrel politics – election fundraising activity is depriving the future leaders of sleep – and makes a case for public funding of campaigns.

It would make sense – where the Republicans have huge contributions from Halliburton and Diebold to their election efforts – the Democrats have moveon.org and Michael Moore (not as rich or influential to the final vote count).


Homegrown Terrorists in Germany

September 6, 2007

Muslim converts target Germany – Times Online – Home grown dissent exists in every country – but for dissenters to execute terror campaigns against their neighbors for the sole purpose of killing them – only encourages militant leaders to emerge. (For example: will Islam force another Bush upon the world by scaring the votors)?

Western Governments are becoming increasingly sensitive to the issue as perhaps ideological in nature. Nazi-ism was also idealogical in nature and witness the support its heartless faith acquired as its iron glove crushed freedom. But it was the reaction, by the allies – that burnt European cities. It is the reaction of Governments that raises the ante for the forces that reproduce terrorists. Breeding terror is the real cause for alarm.

When words like “surgical” are applied to acts of war, you can be fairly sure that civilians are still dying – why? Because they have.

Wars are not won or lost. People are lost. War becomes its own inevitability and should always be avoided unless the cancer is worse. Rebirth from utter destruction is expensive. There is no human condition, however desperate that requires annihilation. Even from despair, we find a way to reform ourselves, hence the wounds of war never heal, they are inherited.

this one has shocked Germans more than any other: it has exposed the existence of a home-grown terrorist potential.

Home grown Islamic and other forms of terrorism existed before 9/11. Why it still shocks us is the same reason Bush gave for invading Iraq. Acts of war based on what ifs and profound logic have proven to breed terrorism, as totalitarianism will, also. It is up to people to turn the tide away from American interference, away from nuclear weapons, away from environmental damage, away from terror threat and back to putting our spare resources into understanding each other.

Rapid fundamentalism is the result of no education.


Impeachment

September 4, 2007

This comment shows why America needs to impeach its President and Vice-President. Aside from the issue of poor war planning, and huge waste of strategic advantage that the Iraq war has been – the wire tapping issue – the hiding behind legislation brought specifically to hide the actions of the Bush Presidency from International law courts – war crimes committed with weapons of inhumane dimensions and extraordinary tactics – are enough to try, without getting into conspiracy theories however plausible.


Clinton’s actions against Osama bin Laden.

August 24, 2007

Clinton’s measured act of war against Osama bin Laden was documented in news media all over the world at the time as an attempt to get Osama bin Laden and a distraction from his legal problems.

One can not believe much of the ridiculously partisan and utter non-objective “Fox News” broadcasts as anything less than partisan propaganda.

The interview on Fox by Chris Wallace with Clinton was remarkable in that it shows how Fox operates. Not only do they attempt to trick and deceive an ex President into a false premise for interview but they drive Right Wing thinking. Fox appears to spread delusion. Now they are trying to curry up favor for a more insane war against Iran.

Perhaps the CIA report is also politicized. President HW Bush and President Regan also set the CIA on corrupt tasks like the Iran Contra debacle not to mention arming Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. But it is history, like the Cold War, like the Vietnam war – we can learn from it, but can do nothing much about it. But if we tell each other lies about it, and base our democratic choices based on emotions spirited up by Fox propaganda, then our future is defined.

We are fooling ourselves. Blaming Bill Clinton is just plain silly.


To Withdraw or not?

Reading the full Bush commentary rather than just sound bites – makes one appreciate how good his speech writers are to be able to frame American war involvement only against the “end game” risk factors.

It is revealing that the Bush logic is based on a novel. America walked into Iraq and created havoc. Why? The Democrats can not answer for that, but they do expect to be able to take over the end game. How?

The Republicans will blame them for folding early. But the Bush policy to wipe out the insurgency requires killing every insurgent or removing their motivation.

Withdrawal is not the best solution. The current strategy is even worse. Polling public opinion does not inform, but restricts.


State of the Empire

August 15, 2007


Corpse Bridges

August 4, 2007

The war on terror and the 77,000 unrepaired bridges across the USA are coming from the same basic problem. Infrastructure maintenance in the case of the bridges, and attention to detail with diplomacy both require strategic forward planning that was immature but advancing in the Clinton years and stopped without reason during the early Bush years.

In this article, Bush vetoes Democrat efforts to spend an additional $US631 million on road maintenance due to several hundred billion being spent on an expensive wasteful war in Iraq. It seems evident that maintenance has been inadequate and not budgetting for the maintenance of infrastructure could only be explained by considering this man genuinely belives the end is neigh – at least it appears to underlie and drive the blind directionless war logic. I think I compared Bush to Nero some years back. Bush is burning Iraq while fiddling the budget? I see a book called American Nero – the name is copyrighted right here.

It is not a good situation (unless you are a bridge builder or consultant engineer).


Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, said that domestic programmes, such as replacing ageing infrastructure, had been short-changed because of the billions being spent on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Since 9/11 we have taken our eye off the ball,” he said.

The Democrats had proposed spending $631m (£309m) more on federal highway safety than Mr Bush budgeted for but he had threatened to veto the proposal.

William Wilkins, of Trip, a transport thinktank, estimated that $65bn would be needed to replace the ageing bridges.