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

Politics

Union of Europe – prediction

December 10, 2011

On October 26 Disturbing Trends predicted Europe is to become more of a financial union – except for the UK – the only state to opt out of this mutual arrangement.

On one hand we have 27 countries agreeing that there is a solution in unity, and on the other protecting London’s financial influence and therefore effectiveness – a crumbling cornerstone – a shambles of belief in a system that has massively artificially inflated the economy without deflating the currency because electronics and computer muscle provide a sea changing wealth of opportunities to create capital, that is financial obligations committed with regard to imbalances in the ratio of risk vs return when things went wrong.

A Unification of the rights and obligations of all European citizens is commended by all but the British. Mutualising the benefits of “state capital” to the benefit of Europe would require considerable contribution of raw capital power that London City is and unlike other major sponsor economies in the EU – Great Britain is reluctant to play ball. Being singled out as the new Switzerland is one thing.

Europe becoming what it will become is probably a better destiny for the entire zone with the UK integrated into it, but is what Cameron has done a bad thing for Great Britain? In the final analysis that is not what matters.

References:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/09/cameron-no-bad-britain-europe
http://disturbingtrends.org/union-of-europe/


New Zealand Election

November 28, 2011

The makeup of the new New Zealand Government indicates a continued trust of the ring wing values of Prime Minister John Key (National) but a distrust of the extreme right wing ACT party that was subject to a take over by (National ex-PM) Don Brash (he ousted the former leader, Bill English, now Finance Minister and deputy PM (to be confirmed in the potential new cabinet lineup).

The irrationality of re-election of many seats for New Zealand First reflects gentrification of the mid-right-wing protectionists voicing their protest against the more solidly conservative National party. The left wing has fragmented as Labour had a weak but very smart leader and the Green party now has a major voice in parliament most likely in opposition.

New Zealand appears to have chosen asset sales over education, steady as she goes values over progress and their system of Proportional representation MMP has delivered the Government that people voted for – sort of – it really could lead to a failed parliament if John Key does not attract the Maori party into coalition or make fresh overtures to the Greens – which would require some fairly major policy shifts. But it would be the wisest option, a stable government with Green progress as its priority – it is what the electorate has said.


The Euro crisis

November 12, 2011

There are many ways to “solve” the crisis.

You do not win a game of chess by barking at the pieces on the board, but sacrifice can have huge dividends. Part of the crisis is one of leadership.

Our leaders keep talking but not facing the fact that the economic system is riddled with corrupt practices, magical mathematical models that distort value and they appear to be relying on these mechanisms “to induce real growth” while starving the participants in favour of those for whom tax avoidance is a religion and make fortunes by gambling on leveraged valuations for things that do not exist.

Posted as a comment in The Guardian, article.


Economics and Politics

October 11, 2011

So many convoluted answers and the likelihood is that those we elect into power will have none of it.

The real answer is simple enough. The tax payer bailed out the banks, and now there is not enough cash in the system to stimulate demand. When we have demand we buy the stuff that is offered, investments that do not benefit the client as much as the provider because those providers are endlessly trying to dig themselves out of the hole they dug with securitisation assets that require an economy 100 times larger to support. It is not demand that is lacking, it is the ability to demand.

Cameron can achieve his blundering objective, make credit card interest illegal or fix it at 3%. Make all private mortgages fixed at 2% and regulate the hell out of bank ponzi schemes. Get back to a fair economic playground where the citizen is more important than the corporation and the dollar. Get back to a political environment where politicians serve the electorate, not the ruling elites. And do not bail out failing gambling banks. Put the bailout cash in the hands of the citizens to buy what they need and restart the engines. Make business that produce exports our priority. Reduce our reliance on gambling to get by.

We get two things remarkably wrong, both are our own purely human inventions: politics and economics. We just need to wake up one fine day and realise that all our assumptions about both are out of date and work out a way to do things that will work. We have the computers and can do the modelling. We need a financial revolution and to realise that capitalism and socialism, neither one, will solve it.

A comment added to this article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/10/stop-another-great-depression-debt?commentpage=last#end-of-comments


Political Evolution

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.

posted as a comment on a Paul Krugman article in The Guardian


Exclusion

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.


A new politics

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?


Hacking the PM

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.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/11/phone-hacking-news-international-gordon-brown

News International share holders are getting uneasy with the Murdoch way.

 


Politics and the Media

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.

 


British Media

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.


Competalism

July 7, 2011

Communism is dead! Capitalism is killing itself, rapidly. We need a better system: maybe Competalism*?

The Agora of the Competalists is documented from 250BC:

The Competialists were freedmen and slaves of Italian descent who took their name from the annual Roman festival of the Lares Compitales, the gods of the crossroads. The agora that bears their name was built in the 2nd century BC, and the offertory box decorated with snakes dates to c. 150 BC. The Stoa of Philip was dedicated to Apollo by Philip V of Macedon c. 210 BC.

Citation/References: Bruneau, P. and Ducat, J. Guide de Delos (Paris: Ecole Francais d’Athenes, 1965).

Manifesto

  1. The Competalist believes that all economic actions benefit by competing with others, without the destruction of ideas but the fostering of ideas in discussion and examinations of truth or utility.
  2. It is true that competence is derived from training and education.  When two similar forces compete, there is clearly going to be a winner and a loser – the loser being the one that wins less or does not survive the battle of wits.
  3. Competition is the crossroads of success and competence building.
  4. A failure of competence is not a sign of weakness, indeed the preservation of truth does not imply that other less successful truths may have value in a complex world or at a future date.  It means that another force, has been able to adapt to the present circumstances and those that trained them in this competence should now be able to train the loser.
  5. Weakness is giving up, not contributing, doing less to survive than is done for you.  Those who made this their practise shall be considered to be criminal or negligent or both.  They shall bear greater pressure on taxation.
  6. The state is the collective might of captial.  Those with more must invest it to make those in whom they rely upon for competence more able to pay their own way.
  7. Slavery is a crime.
*Competalism was first identified on Twitter from http://twitter.com/#!/nicotatz

Obama’s Response

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?

More (full article)


Head of IMF says keep stimulus

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.

More… Change is necessary


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?


UK Terror plot facing court

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.


Left vs Right

October 3, 2007

Sister Toldjah » Tom Friedman: We need a 9/10 president in a post-9/11 world

Sister Toldjah won’t take no nonsense from this lefty diatribe emiting – lefty…

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.


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.


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.


The End Game

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.  


House rebukes the president on 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.


More Al Gore

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.