September 4, 2011
Politics needs evolution too.
The US were way ahead of the game before GW Bush made the biblical error of declaring war on Iraq despite the evidence and spent the American economy into extraordinary debt compounded by fraud and banking fantasy-land mathematics. It was a stampede into insolvency that left the economy etherised on the table hooked up to the life support of QE.
Did we evolve better politics? It seems to be a long-term-only option. After Bush, the Democrats fielded two viable candidates but then the elected House of Representatives failed to pass laws when it could and then handed Congress back to the Republicans.
Political evolution seems to be the underlying problem in Western economies. Why do our democracies become increasingly more corrupt? As the pie gets bigger the shared slices get smaller.
Politics is not evolving, it is collecting a cloud of believers and faith healers.
August 10, 2011
Our political language fails us. We hold “leaders” accountable. We expect them to act like Moses and stop the riots with a wave of the hand. And as hundreds of millions go up in smoke we face a crumbling infrastructure. The politics of mutual blame and the polarisation of society are the fundamental problem. We are not going to get better until we take responsibility and stop blaming the “other”.
Communities can be coherent and powerful. Leaders gather the will of the people but the perception of Cameron’s world is that he is at war with the ghost of the previous government whom he routinely blames for the misfortune that is profoundly embedded into our world by mutually destructive greed.
Cameron is now being schoolmasterly, threatening rubber bullets and water canons. His contention that it is a failure of individual responsibility after years of the state providing privileges without responsibility. The claims by the government that they will be able to arrest everyone who broke the law is a necessary understanding to restore a sense of boundary.
Any attempt by thinking people to see a cause in social deprivation is met with disgust and derision from reactionaries, are we to accept that some humans are beyond hope and should be shot? That is the same broken social contract as the looters. Balance means doing two things, one to stem the tide, and another to distract and educate kids. Closing libraries was unnecessary. It is a cause of this.
Clamping down on the thugs who burn buildings, and destroy businesses is an acute treatment. But the problem is chronic and the remedy is to never create an underclass. This is something that can provide meaningful employment. Trapping people in poverty is a precondition of this violence. It is not the cause. Recent events such as the exposure of police corruption being amplified by the undefendable shooting on Saturday that sparked this off.
But the denial of exclusion from necessary services when they have all been cut mercilessly and arbitrarily has left nothing to interest the dispossessed who want their MTV. The excluded say they deserve opportunity. With thousands of criminal records established, they are reducing their chance for opportunity.
Is saving a few millions worth this? Cuts may be a normal part of going into debt however an intelligent chancellor would be concerned about the ballooning costs of riots and disaffection.
July 31, 2011
With the American Left and Right essentially at war on the role of Government, we question if flip flopping between two opposing systems is not economically wasteful. The point of the Left and the point of the Right can both find adherents therefore must have benefits for those parts of a society. The absence of responsibility taking the form of corruption or criminality serves to erode the social value that may be gained by egalitarianism. Conversely the sins of greed and avarice are seen as essential to a flourishing Capitalist democracy. Political democracy attempts to provide a useful feedback mechanism, correcting extremes.
Is it a realistic goal? Is it not extremely wasteful to erect huge government led structures and then abandon them at least twice in each generation?
July 11, 2011
Rebbekah Brooks or Wade offered the police to be a witness in the crimes of News of The World. Witness? She was the Editor at the time of some of them. She claims the hacking was news to her, and then she warned more and worse was to come. Her instincts seem to be borne out by treasonable behaviour of News of the World – bugging senior Government ministers, in this case, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Who do they expect will take responsibility for this? Rebekkah Brooks or Rebekkah Wade should start admitting to something as it becomes increasingly obvious to everyone in the world that she is still responsible for an important role in the news media and has voiced previously how she would take down politicians. Murdoch should be charged with criminal negligence. I am not sure how Rebekkah Wade or Brooks will defend her reputation. Interference with bank records and medical records of a sitting PM. Someone appears to believe they are beyond the law.
News International share holders are getting uneasy with the Murdoch way.
July 10, 2011
With the wilful demise of The News of the World, we have witnessed the worst catastrophe in journalism’s history. With it comes the mass rejection of malign journalism. That is the line we must draw.
The Murdoch brand may be damaged beyond comprehension. Any Government that is cavalier enough to approve BSkyB will be remembered by history alongside King John.
Our country does not benefit by any corporate criminal activity. The media affects how we perceive things. Therefore political alliances with the media is corruption.
July 8, 2011
The newspapers are fruit dying in the tree, falling off trunks already crumbling with rot, branches sweep low, drop into the swamp.
The television channels blurt out judgements by the hour as politicians entertain their captains who seem to believe they are creating reality and have therefore some right to listen in to their creations so employ people to collect information turning a blind eye to the methods, legal or illegal, that may have to be employed to arrive at the articles they have published. The failure to question this and for management to be subject to a level of discipline that befits the crime the board would have to have examined this, so instead of putting it right, a news institution is hijacked for dark purposes and then to essentially commit crimes of some magnitude, from which it published salacious details that seemed extraordinarily personal and indeed were the result of wire taps into the private lives of people, thereby subjecting them to criminal intrusion and electing to play puppet master and implicate themselves into police investigation.
The application of the law by police who have accepted bribes to not investigate serious breaches of personal integrity and basic law by a commercial organisation that intends to control a much larger slice of things than anyone should, thus weakening democratic intelligent examination of truth by certifying salacious lies and exposures of illegally obtained information they had no legal right to obtain let alone promulgate and which they did with no regard to the actual harm they may have caused to potential legal positions.
And the discussion is not of what to do about things but how to appear to the voters.
January 8, 2010
When a flaw in the protective shield that makes airflight possible (without holding your breath) exposed American flights a new kind of designer suicide bomber with a chemistry set to be set off by an “emergency injection”, the media in the UK highlighted how detailed scanners would fail to show such a kit but would expose people’s nakedness to the security police, as if that exposure was indeed sinful. Making people the “apparent victims” of the potential they they exist as a parade of pornographic images is what the purient are most concerned about? Is that their response?
November 24, 2009
When the head of the IMF speaks, the bankers sit up and listen. But is his advice going to be any more accurate than anyone else’s?
It is hard to continue to mount up the debts investing in stability when jobs replacing all those that have vanished from the economy seem to fail to appear again anywhere else.
Governments may not recognise it is not just stability of the institutions that exchange and invest funds but the intergenerational pause that may work out far more costly.
There is a tendency to inherit old political stances and watch polls, instead of knowing what you are doing and hanging on for dear life as your popularity finally rises toward the end of your term.
April 6, 2008
“The man, Assad Sarwar, was said to be in contact with terrorist leaders overseas and visited Pakistan a month before his arrest as preparations for the airline attacks were being finalised.”
– quote from The Times article
Disturbing Trends Analysis
UK based terror operations busted by the state now in trial. Our assessments about Pakistan seem to unfortunately be bearing out. Although it is a vast society and may take years to change in any direction, politically, it had the expedient of military rule that eventually just succumbed to civilian rule, reluctantly. Or he should, if I understand this right, from Khaleej Times. It is PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif.
“Gen. (Retd) Pervez Musharraf will have to accept the verdict of the people given in the election and step down,” Sharif said in an interview with Indian TV channel Aaj Tak to be telecast today, according to a PML-N Press release here.
“We intend to bring the legislation in parliament for President’s removal,” he said, adding “Musharraf is isolated and will have to go.”
There is a terrifying sense of political entropy in Pakistan and Zimbabwe. The idea that the leader must change seemed not believed by the autocratic aspirations of leaders who deserve no recognition for their decisions.
Intransigent leaders who will not let go of power are subject to law to allow other minds time to make a difference. The result of no change of leadership is social sickness and intergenerational domination leading to decay. We must hope that the disease does not spread.
October 3, 2007
another 9/10 lefty, still doesn’t understand is that those barriers weren’t meant to keep the good people out – they’re there to keep people who aim to do us harm from getting in
Sister – someone is going to say you are feeling paranoid about your safety inside the barricades of protected USA soil. Protected by international loans financing a huge internal monitoring machine of people employed to detect a flicker of an eyelid out of place on the concourse, or the wrong person at the wrong place at the wrong time – whatever that may mean. The true cost of terrorism is the reaction of grief and anger. The USA is well known for its most excessive citizens – it is just that they have rather a lot of them can afford plastic surgery to cure their minds of eternal boredom. The super-super wealthy worry about the dynamic placement of the decimal point at the end of a day or week more than the hunger of the children of their lowliest employee. It is unfortunate that the values that were borne of the New Deal (post Depression egalitarian recovery) did not survive the years of excess, nor was that generation exposed to building leaping poverty in quite the same way. The last fifty years or so have been a success story in so far as wealth creation in the USA is concerned. Unquestionably. But how much of that wealth is being corroded by military adventures such as Iraq and Vietnam, that America would have been better off to avoid, perhaps. What is being protected is the sense of success and empowerment over the rest of the world. Is that a good thing? Probably not. The USA needs to come out of this adolescent need for self adoration and obsession with appearances. Real wealth is not dependent upon attacking the rest of the world. It is reliant on the good faith of your friends and neighbours.
Also, as a comment on the Sistertoldjah.com site: I think Friedman has a point – there is little point in America spending hundreds of billions of dollars on paranoid security if it stops investment that would a) stop bin Laden and b) encourage democracy and free trade everywhere. The mistake is to think that war will achieve either goal. The left and right are both guilty of attacking each other for being what they are. Both sides of a political view are right and wrong. The war on terror has not achieved its basic objectives and seems to be feeding terror rather than destroying it. The US Government has no result for this war and that is why Friedman does have a point. “Let’s fight terrorism until we win, we will prevail!” is not reasonable strategic planning. Neither is sudden withdrawal, neither is continuing to fight. Americans need to stop criticizing each other and think more carefully about their country’s strategy and direction.
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.
July 22, 2007
While George Bush is under general anesthetic – if Cheney had a medical emergency with one of his quadruple bypasses or Lipitor scheduling error, and Bush did not wake up for a while, we would have an America firmly out of the control of Republicans. Would that mean that any change of direction may occur – perhaps a rush to file papers for impeachment could be a good idea, and get in before the anesthetic wears off. It is what they would do.
Seriously, long shots like medical error on the President while Cheney is cleaning his rifle may change the nature of this crop of Democrats but if an election were to be held today how could a Republican win? The advance media for Hilary is replacing good press day for the President. She is seen as articulate where Bush is heard bumbling. Obama is seen as relevant, alive – where Cheney is only kept alive by modern medical miracles.
Bush is faced with the cost of his primary error. Invading Iraq when he did not absolutely have to, he lost the extraordinary morale high ground granted by the obscenity on the American psyche; and yet as Osama bin Laden is walking free, even if only in their thoughts, the bulk of their military muscle is being exposed to a civil war it started by undoing the chain letter of death threats that was Saddam’s rule.
What it such a good idea? Right-minded Americans find rationales to believe it is of course a good thing – but will American democracy sustain the attack long enough to do any good? These are just excuses to keep the war going indefinitely and are no longer ringing true to the electorate.
Bush will run out of time before ending this war. He will leave it to the next President to sort out, because his domestic agenda will take over. He will suddenly be having to make making handsome gestures to maintain his office.
There is no end game in the foreseeable future unless Mr Bush just cuts and runs from Iraq.
February 18, 2007
A good telling off should put Mr Bush back into line with the rest of the world. He has had too much nodding and the deadly smiles of the likes of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney’s rippling grimness. His cabal of approval has been broken. How he has to contend with a Democrat Congress.
Mr Bush has to listen to the people’s elected representatives who are now telling him to pull his horns in. His view is becoming the isolated minority but can the Democrats produce a cohesive plan or do they want the voters to decide what that will be. Here is a range of candidates defined by their Iraq strategy.
This way of ranking candidates is not valid. Remember there is no valid logic behind the war and if one could consider that Bush may have run again anyway in 2004, if Al Gore had served a first term elected President in 2000 – as he was voted to do by a slim margin according to the news media reports of discounted votes and interference with Florida voters. If Bush was a first term president he would only now be considering his Iraqi invasion options. In other words, increasingly, this is Bush’s war and nobody else will want to fight it.
About bloody time someone got Bush to defend his rationale before accepting that this man who has got nearly everything else wrong should be now getting anything right.
February 5, 2007
The Politico – we are not the only publication that sees Al Gore rise above the crowd – but whether he runs or not may not depend upon the politics of destiny, the choice is his alone to make.
The signs are that he is well placed to do it. Being away from politics means that he did not vote for the Iraq invasion. If he wins an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth it will only encourage voters to see him as a leader. The one they should have got in the first place. Of course the danger is the reintroduction of old thinking but Al Gore was VP when American was suffering from one huge surplus after another. The main problem was the stupid Republican attack dogs savaging Monica and Bill. That was an extraordinary time designed to convince America to lurge toward the right far enough to let a fundamentalist Christian into the White House to delivery on the Book of Revelation. So far, Bush has brought the Doomsday Clock back to single figures – if he had finished Afghanistan before lunging into Iraq, it would be a sunny afternoon, but instead American needs the second coming of Al Gore to save it from its reaction to the terrorism medicine.
It is no longer a question of the Democrats fielding a believable warrior or war hero, it is the intelligence and focus, it is the solution to the problem of the multi-headed wars on terrorism. Many are also terrified of what climate change is doing to the world.
Al Gore – America needs someone with out fear and with conviction to change the way it is to the way it will be. The future with an Al Gore presidency is a clear choice. The future with any of the other potential Democrat candidates does not have that advantage.
Democrats should run with their best choice and not consider what the republicans will do all that much. John McCain is more credible than Guilliani. Who is the in the lead there may determine the VP choice – but if Al Gore steps forward we are looking forward to his term as President – and we also predict that this is a likely outcome and that the Iraq / Iran / Israel situation stands to have some progress in the next twenty years.