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America

Slavery, The West’s Crime

August 29, 2017

Slavery reparations are due from the West to countries where it stole labor and the lives of many to extract progress for itself.

Nothing short of a massive transfer of wealth from the developed to the underdeveloped world, and to the descendants of slavery and colonialism in the west, can heal the deep wounds inflicted.

We now enjoy the fruits of our forefathers. Is it not entirely logical that these fruits falling from trees planted from the purloined heritage should now recognise the enforced investment by the ancestors of one group of people to another? Or should the boundaries of an undeclared war be respected?

This is a difficult and divisive question but the answer depends on what your situation is vis a vis “The West”.

Slavery is a crime. War is a way to bury crimes. When a war happens in society rather than the battlefield, it is hard to know from the result, who indeed is the winner? Was the Cold War “won” by the collapse of the Soviet Union? How is that winning when now American Government domination of its culture is in the hands of the most wealthy. Will Trump now start to lash out with budgets at disasters or war provocations from North Korea? Or will he act like a surgeon and excise with exact and incisive negotiation, the exact words required to permanently solve the most dangerous problems in the world? Not so far.

The “we have excellent weapons” arguments only go so far before they result in escalation. But it worked for the slave masters who were our great-great-great-great-grandparents, possibly. One of the reasons for the Second Amendment is that it makes slavery less likely. One of the reasons for the First Amendment is it makes despotism less likely. The UK’s role in gathering slaves was not taught in English History at school. Not that I recall.

The British were involved and derived much wealth from the Slave Trade until it was made illegal in 1833 with “apprenticeships” an interim arrangement in which slavers were “compensated” with “20 million paid to the planters”.

Not many Slaves, the people who were harmed by slavery, remain as victims of the West’s social cannibalism. The descendants of slavery are now citizens proper and whether their lives have suffered or gained due to the upheavals of slavery, it is debatable, but the singular fact must remain, they have lives and share in the spoils of progress.

So are they owed a financial reparation for the crimes of our great great great great grandparents? I am not sure if that would make sense or even do good. But sure, why not? They bail out the slavery based banks so why not?

Slavery can never be fixed. It should not have been but it was. I think cases of reparation that hark back to the disadvantages present in 1833 are interesting, but it is a stretch to consider that it could be heard. But if they should, then, of course, the Justice system must hear such cases.

The one thing that the West could do however, without cost or pain, is to treat all citizens with absolute equality, no matter where they or their grandparents came from. That is something that America needs to do better. It is the very least we can do to repair the damage of Slavery. Treat each other right.


Reboot time

November 13, 2016

In the early 2000s I felt I could see the future.  Not some psychic power, but something more logical.  I could see the rise of GW Bush – that America would end up with his presidency and his blind intention to invade Iraq.  It then proceeded.

Before Brexit that inner voice started to raise fears that Britain was about to make a terrible choice to abandon its responsibilities as a stable member of the EU.  And then it did.

And then the American election.  The same inner fears seemed to tell me that Hillary Clinton was not fighting the election in a way that would work.  Bernie Sanders was a better candidate as he had definite policies that his followers believed in.  She seemed to spend all her on-screen time talking about Trump.  If she was to beat Trump, it meant taking the rust-belt states.  The states that consider the middle-class as “elites”.

The effect of the 2008 crash seems to have worked its way out of the economy, at least out of the banking and asset trading economy.  There is a sector of the economy that has not seen recovery, and that is the part that was wiped out, lost their houses, their jobs, their health and most importantly, any rationale that any political force was going to help them.  Six years of Obama with the Republicans ruling both the House and Senate meant that their symbol of hope was unable to turn to help them out.

Like the dispossessed in Great Britain who blamed the “EU elites” for their trials, the American rust belt did not hear any answer from Hillary.  Instead they opted to go with what they perceived as a source of power.

That explains, to me at least, why we managed to get into this hyper Right-Wing cycle.  The “elites” are not the richest 1%.  They are now the middle classes and despised by the non-working working class who look at the ruling class as their “saviour”.  The elimination of the extremes of poverty in both cultures is more likely to erase the most poor from future history than it is to save them.  They are now, like Native Americans, an endangered species.

Long term politics are a form of evolution.  It means death to half of humanity.


Changes

November 11, 2016

Why did Trump win?  Why did the UK vote to leave the EU?  Is 2016 s year of change?  It is, and that is the reason, people are voting for change.  It is a stage of life – they need risk and danger.  They need exposure to the new.


Trump

August 2, 2016

Has Donald Trump gone too far, yet?

The attacks on the Democratic candidate smell strongly of trolling by the Republican camp. The invitation to Russia to hack Hilary Clinton’s emails reminds me of Watergate dirty tricks being hidden behind a veil of inviting Russians hackers.

The attacks on the Republican candidate seem to originate from most of planet Earth, except his own faithful, it seems.

Trump’s threat to Putin over Ukraine sound more like a rambling old alcoholic ready to take over the world than a statesman ready for international negotiation.

America lost its premier position in the world after GW Bush’s stupidity. Is it truly ready to be launched into dismal failure as this man takes over its military?

Imagine a standoff between Trump and Putin.  Waving little hands and “Nyet”.


President Obama Achievements

January 1, 2016

A list of over 300 major achievements mark this president’s New Year and the most successful period of fiscal growth of any, including Ronald Regan.


Guns and America

December 26, 2015

Contradictory values lead America into thinking they are safer with the proliferation of guns into the general population with Donald Trump infecting the conversation with suspicion of Muslims as the source of terrorism. Far more innocent people have been killed by American guns than by terrorism. President Obama calls for stricter gun control and the Republicans think this endangers Americans?

Since, and including the tragedy of 9/11, the comparison is stark:

3,380 dead from terrorism
406,496 killed by American guns

The US is insane to listen to the false ranting of a merchant of fear, Mr Donald Trump is the current leading source of terror in the minds of Americans. And the frightening thing is, they buy it. Lock stock and two smoking barrels. Violence is inflicted by American guns, not infiltration. Homeland Security should reassess its remit.


World at war?

May 14, 2014

John Pilger is both a respected journalist and a bit of an alarmist. And what is wrong with alarm in today’s world where American influence stamps all over alternative values. After the binary division of the world that was the Cold War, The New American Century’s New World Order briefly reigned. It seems that the American incursion into Ukraine politics is the latest in a long list of US military acts in the name of democracy overthrowing democratically elected governments that Pilger writes about, usually from a war zone.

His recent article article about Dr Strangelove raises the alarm to a new level. Are the American military a hungry lumbering beast machine that needs war to create demand for itself so it can run up more debt someone can call growth in the economy? Or is it the world’s freedom fighter, overturning injustice like some sort of Superman, knowing the results of its actions must be believed in, not only by the fundamentalists who seem to believe anything. But by the liberals as well.


Theft of a airliner a possibility

March 18, 2014

Updates

Article published 13 March 2014 1030GMT

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 that has disappeared, could be suspected causing engine status update blips for four hours after the flight cut all contact with the ground. Are we seeing, once again the signs of a 9/11 style event being prepared for by stealing airliners, probably murdering the passengers as human shields are no longer relevant and a big complex hostage drama is a distraction to the achievement of the end goal.

No, it is hard to admit but Osama bin Laden achieved more for Islam (most of it awful and terrible) than the Ayatollah Khomeni did in his long standoff drama with the USA and ensuing isolation. The 4 hour range of the flight takes it somewhere and the US must be concerned about. If anyone can find where its probably landed, the American security apparatus better be able to. Otherwise the world may be held to ransom. That arc of suspicion takes in Pakistan and the Arabian Sea.

The media have probably been fed red herrings when it comes to passenger information, the fake passports of two Iranian asylum seekers, or whatever they really were if they exist, as those kinds of details distract from the obvious. The search for where the plane exploded over the sea is prevents “panic”. But a jet liner being stolen in Pakistan may indeed have another purpose. If the Taleban has stolen it then it is possibly for an extraordinary ransom, to fund their war, or as an end game bargaining tool. Or indeed a weapon.

How can this kind of thing happen? The international air security apparatus is supposed to prevent this sort of incident. Of course this is purely conjecture, but it does make more sense than the plane vanishing. There has to be a logic to the explanation, and complete vanishment seems unlikely.

It would reassure the public who now possibly endangered by the stolen airliner. If it is a disparate group like the 9/11 crew rather than a political entity, for example, The Taleban, the aircraft may have a planned use. The clock is ticking.


Update Mar. 13th 1500GMT: apparently the signals from the engines did not get received, after all. Maybe officials at Mayasian Airlines have been told to deny this?


Update: Mar. 14th 0045GMT: And now The White House is exhausting all possibilities including searching over the Indian Ocean and Vietnam. Maybe my theory is correct. The simple theft of the asset means landing it and hiding it in plain sight.


Update 18 March Wired magazine publishes more sensible explanation written by a pilot. I think his explanation may likely be correct considering the non finding of evidence and silence of the passengers due to asphyxia of the entire plane who were probably never to wake up.



Fracking Earthquakes

March 8, 2014

A series of earthquakes measuring up to 5.7 on the Richter scale, across Okalahoma, USA were triggered by injection of waste-water from fracking.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) issued a press release yesterday indicating that the magnitude 5.7 earthquake that struck Prague, Oklahoma in 2011 was unintentionally human-induced.

The USGS claims that the magnitude 5.0 earthquake triggered by waste-water injection the previous day “trigger[ed] a cascade of earthquakes, including a larger one, [which] has important implications for reducing the seismic risk from waste-water injection.”

Read article.


Pause and win

August 31, 2013

How Obama could deal with Syria. Play the long game and make Assad do it. Invasion seems pointless. Everyone appears to be at war with everyone else – want to join in? Get the chemical weapons out of the equation

President Obama drew a red line in the sand and to maintain any dignity he has to make good his threat. That is yesterday’s thinking. The need to retaliate for the use of chemical weapons by someone in Syria points to one thing. Syria has illegal weapons and he needs to be made to get rid of them. Not by invasion, that is too expensive. Not by trying to blow Damascus into the ground – you would kill large numbers of civilians, too.

But by negotiation. Imagine this?

President O: President Assad, you are guilty of possessing chemical weapons and they are being used. We suggest that you have lost control of your weapons and are therefore now a danger to the world. You have to now stop your war and we have to destroy your weapons or the world will force my hand and we will have to hunt you down. Your crimes against humanity are well documented, both before and largely since the war.

President A: We will never hand over our weapons. If you attack us, we will defend ourselves.

President O: We have heard that one before, and look what our generals did to Saddam. Now we have nothing against the good people of Syria. We have a problem with you harbouring and allowing or using deadly gas against any people. We can destroy them safely and if you hand them over now, we will do it for no charge and help the new Government rebuild.

President A: I will never agree to this.

President O: Then I would not stand so close to the window, Bashar. [CLICK!]

Twenty years ago, that would be pure paranoid conspiracy. Today, that is probably how this will pan out. Bombing Damascus would simply be sad. It is not the fault of the inhabitants. Destroy Syrian air=power – now if that was achieved then more chemical weapon attacks would be a significant risk. The only strategy is to force the most influential actor in this, Assad, to rid Syria of Chemical Weapons so when he inevitably faces trial for his crimes against humanity, there would be something positive in the balance.


The NSA and the Economy

August 2, 2013

President Obama told key members of Congress on Thursday that he was “open to suggestions” for reforming the National Security Agency surveillance programs that have embroiled his administration in controversy. Guardian article

President Obama wants to pull back the NSA’s far too extensive phone tap of the world and internet.

It is uneconomic activity. American values are offended by this data collection. The rest of the world is now in fear of the totalitarian juggernaut overwhelming the world with its moral values. In the last seven years it has prevented one terrorist attack. Acts of love and kindness may have well prevented another, natural causes may have prevented another, and the predator assassinations of the Al Quaeda leadership may have prevented a larger number of terrorist attacks. But if you spent the billions this programme must be costing on education, health, foreign aid and development and energy you would save far more lives.

Yes aid has been argued against as the results of it may not always be progressive. The tax system has not always benefitted the individual or hospitals always saved lives, but water and food production internationally is about to become increasingly significant in the future wars which will not be about religion.

The NSA data collection of intimate details of our private lives is every bit as scary as terrorism. And this incredible investment could be driven into into energy renewables that could slow the fatal decline into the global weather catastrophe that will lead to mass starvation and sunken cities.


Espionage

August 1, 2013

If the USA is actually spying on all internet activity then they will know this probably before you read it. The difference here is that you do not work for the NSA or have to read thousands of pages or scan mountains of material before you can go home, mentally exhausted from exposure to so many secrets it would do your head in. Somehow when you wake up in the morning you are ready, on time every days for work. The spy sat system notices however that today you change your route and computations that the master programmer called threat assessment comes into sharp play. That such an international abrogation of privacy exists we can thank history.

Not the bit of oft quoted, most revered document in America, The Constitution. It allowed for constitutional amendments. But lets juts say that I am not much of an American expert, but this is not the profile of the American species. It is the isolation of “Americans” as different to others that is the symptom of colonial empire rule. A deeply personal inner belief keeps reassuring me that they all know what they are doing. But rationality tells me that is simply not the case. On one side there are sadistic warriors who are so extremely fascist in their reputation and actions. And on the other wide the technocratic military might Because of war there is much money to be made, witness the bulging opium trade out of Afghanistan. The huge amount spent on weapons world wide. And what does it achieve, Syria has devastated their cities for no reason other than the Government would not respond to a citizen protest.

This entire spying on the human race exercise is not a surprise. America has always stretched the boundaries of what is possible the most efficiently in the past. They may not be doing very well at the moment but how much is that due to the wars on its plate (mainly Afghanistan) which unlike Iraq, was justifiable. Yes those Predators are truly a breach of humanity if not other conventions, but less civilians have died as a result of their use than have from large scale warfare to eliminate the leaders of a terrorist outfit or by whatever name they decide is appropriate to their enemies.


Edward Snowden vs USA

July 13, 2013

In his statement, Edward Snowden points to the violations of international law that the government of the USA has taken to extradite him back as a traitor. Indeed, as a contractor in the security services he has more than crossed the line into criminal liability. Technically. He could be accused of this, most certainly. Accused, yes. And in the current paranoid political environment in the USA he would be imprisoned for life, probably without trial. Certainly without a public hearing. But if what he asserts is true he would never be found guilty in an international court of law. The balance of justice appears to be in his favour.

Does the public of the world want the USA spying on their private conversations? More important to the American mind is the violation of its Constitution. Is it justified? Is America still at war or has it consigned itself along a course that is totalitarian in nature if not in name?

You can read Edward Snowden’s statement in The Guardian.

Additional

It sure looks like the Obama administration took the Bush Doctrine and found a way to make it work, properly. The NSA and CIA have been spying on allies forever and it is probably quite shocking to the military industrial complex to be openly revealed as not really different to previous totalitarian regimes that America used to criticise. It is a fallible political system that resembles religious fanaticism in its fervour (who would have thought they could make Nixon turn in his grave?). Great Britain did the same in the 19th Century. Look what happened and is still happening to it’s empire.

The world wants Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning to have their voices heard by the executive, for them not to be punished as is not treason if the Government is not abiding by The Constitution.


Information Freedom

June 11, 2013

What is freedom if you only think you are free?

Politics is hard. If you veer too far from the peoples’ hopes that voted you in, especially if you are exploring fascist tendencies, you got a lot of explaining to do.

Of course this “war” against “terror” needs to be concluded and maybe the most exhaustive war would not resolve it. The tendency is to try and resolve the conflict during your history making turn in office. But maybe the problem is deeper and actually solving it does in the opinion of the intelligence community require a war. And if the eyes of the CIA are turned inward, they are not turned outward, doing their job. And the same kind of shift of focus into what are in essence “criminal acts” that are called “terror” as the person became a Muslim. Is that the test of whether it was an act of terror versus the act of a deranged person with automatic weapons at the opening of a Batman film? Does the definition of “terror” turn on motivation or how, we the supposedly terrified public, feel?

We will remember Boston, but the location of the Batman mass murderer has fallen from my lexicon of “terror”. “Terror” is in fact a language idea, if you call it that, then anything is justified. Just like the governments if 1984, behind steel walls, the Governments of today are now afraid of and watching their own people. The US Constitution is revealed as a set of ideals and we witness America at war with itself. Not a civil war in any conventional sense. But a war all the same. Not so much a war do to the actions of the “terrorists” (one can just imagine they finally get to meet each other on the other side as so far they are only brothers because they do the same thing due to the same sort of language indoctrination.

The war is defined by the actions of the Government. And just like medical actions that have a high risk of failure, special powers must be kept back until there is no option, i.e. a state of war.

If a government finds an existential crisis has beset it from within, if it is fighting an infection then it has to act in a way that has survival in its future. Due to the electoral cycle it wants a result within 5 years.

Yes. The NSA data gathering is extremely Orwellian and changes the perceived nature of Government now that we all know that fascist measures are in play to allow American control of “it’s interests” (interests that are, incidentally, shared with and competed for by every country in the world) may have taken a step too far.


Destroying the World

June 4, 2013

Noam Chomsky talks about how the West attempts to destroy the world – from the other guy’s point of view wars waged by America and its brinkmanship are dramatic.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/04/us-disaster-race-noam-chomsky

 

 


USA in undeclared war?

February 1, 2013

Ron Paul says that the US is in an undeclared war after the French incursion to rescue Mali from Islamic invasion, now being backed by the junior horse in the “Special Relationship” between the UK and USA may start to imply US involvement. Perhaps in an “Expendables” kind of way, a secret order of ageing knights gather in a glade on horseback are rearranging pieces in case USA involvement in a declared “war on terrorism” and invasion is one of those things that the West sees as troublesome and terrifying to swathes of civilisation.

Iran is angry that Israel conducts a military attack on a convoy of weapons headed toward Lebanon. Syria’s borders are not exactly secure with a vicious civil war that the West maybe can not justify an intervention as the rebellion does not appear to be one that will bring peace.


How Gun Control fails in America

December 28, 2012

Americans are faced with the law being tightened on gun control. The idea that the holy Second Amendment to the Constitution has exceeded its utility due to the invention of weapons that can kill hundreds of people in a single moment of mad anger and by simply pulling a lever was not an imaginable scenario when the Second Amendment was drafted. A lot of cattle rustling cowboy thieves threatened to rock the establishing economic might that the armies of the Founding Fathers cleared the way for by marching the British away after they had fought off the French and Native Americans.

So a new Republic was born and enshrined the law into the hands of the individual. Self preservation with a small militia to look after the unruly. Not entirely sure how it was supposed to evolve into a military industrial empire, but it did. And that produces weapons that can more properly be described as WMD than a means of self preservation. The Second Amendment needs amending. But suppression of an already well armed populace by introducing more weapons, by providing every school teacher with guns to reduce the degree which a lone gunman can run amok seems like throwing explosives into a fire. Yes it may prevent so many deaths in some instances, introducing more death dealing interlocutors. When a sad teacher runs amok, will the clamour turn to arm the children?


The US Election

November 6, 2012

The US Election has started.

It promises to be a close one, many pundits refer to the Bush-Gore clincher decided by the Supreme Court as a possible model for how this one should turn out. Let’s hope not.

A decisive election would have a more positive effect on America. If Obama wins, as the world hopes, the US should continue to expand its economy based on debt funding. If Romney wins, I expect the US will contract its economy as his weird economics take hold. Romney has promised growth and lower taxes in what sounds like a wish list of ideals for the wealthy. America is dominated by a middle class that I think will tend to believe Obama but are troubled by the actions of the Democrats when they controlled the House of Representatives in the first half of the Obama presidency – failing to take advantage of their power.

Regardless, Obama should win. His policies guarantee little, but Romney’s aggressive words against Russia could inspire fear.

We predict Obama will win.


Clinton and Bush

October 3, 2012

Bill Clinton and George Bush reveal their friendship when they appear together on TV. So it seems, at least. Perhaps they will cause world peace together but something is odd about this caucus of ex presidents. It is as though Clinton has embraced the devil vs the rehabilitation of Bush. The presidential campaign costs 3 billion dollars and yet this could swing voters, but which way is anyone’s guess. It is democracy in a bottle, diplomatic sages warning the next generation of bucks about to debate with each other.


Condi Rice

September 11, 2012


Impressions of the Presidency

September 8, 2012

Barack Obama spoke with more dignity than bluster with more to say that was positive but took a few digs at Mitt Romney and his running mate, what’s his name. Ryan.

Anyway the Republicans seem to be making toes curl with their stage mismanagement. And the percentage of outright lies. It prevalence of untruths is quite strong, so high that by the time you had sorted them from the truth the election would be already over. They hope to fire shots into the court of public opinion but that has many eyes.

The experience is that Conservatives believe in winging it. They almost believe in corruption as a form of growth. Of course the returns of running a business are greater than working for one. That is good logic – but is so progressive taxation so that those earning two million pounds a week are paying taxes. They could automate the whole thing and eliminate avoidance by merely taxing all transactions at a 10% levy additional to the price of anything that is automatically and instantly collected. The instant redistribution of wealth that occurs by working for someone or someone buying something does not involve banks.

The Royal family at the help of the Democrats were enjoined by Bill Clinton in a rousing political storming speech that endorsed Barack Obama ferociously. Michelle Obama shone with such presence that the impression left is that she will exact more shame upon the opponents with vitriol that will stick.

I am not that keen on the current crop of Republicans. What with their beliefs and prejudices against others.


Republican Lies

August 31, 2012

The Republicans are running with Romney and Ryan. After a lame introduction by Clint Eastwood – Romney gave a speech that has been noted for being fairly lacklustre. And what about the presumptive VP nominee Paul Ryan. He seems to be just there for the 1% and tells lies to the rest of us.

Read Prof Juan Cole’s analysis.


Politics

August 25, 2012

The need for people to assert their ideas and own the consequences is invested in monumental sculpture as the preservation of memory is the stamp on history. Deep in our inner-child the need to be ahead of others can assert itself, core beliefs lead to a sense of oneness with a tradition of thinking. There is no fundamental reason that today’s left-right paradigm will be remotely similar to that fifty years on.

There is no guarantee that any of the many parties of Western democracies will be the same as they are now. Politics is a system of pools of clout and passages through which diplomatic pressure may be asserted.

Our model is like that of the herd animal – we create a flow to go with and democratically decide to lurch one way or another. In the current UK lurch, we have a Conservative-Liberal coalition. And lets abbreviate their gormless flight into obscurity with the epithet ConDem. Mainly as DemCon sounds like some video game marketing label and that would amount to mis-representation.

See also – Politics – Disturbing Trends history


The US Presidential Election

August 22, 2012

Obama need do nothing. The Republicans may run out of feet to shoot themselves, but let’s hope it does not go downhill from there. It is painful to watch Romney having to discourage a Senator from standing due to the rather radically evil views he has expressed about women.

America remains the most significant economic and military giant there ever was and even though the juggernaut balances on a frozen lake it manages to eke out a little growth showing signs things are improving. It just costs a hell of a lot of cash. Cash that becomes less valuable by the second.

When the debt starts it seems like a good idea, we borrow. It is relatively easy. It is far harder to repay debt – especially if like the UK, you run huge deficits between what the tax man collects and what the Government is committed to spend. All expenses are too large for the tax take. So instead of casting the net over earnings a bit more fairly the Tories acts in Government have severely depressed the tax take. It is not just the austerity, it is the imbalance and relegation of many starting with the student fees and ending with the sale of the NHS to corporatisation.

If a business can borrow it can take on new risk, new staff and grow. If it can not take on risk, or the climate is too negative then it may simply act in the same way our Chancellor is, be boring and austere oneself away from doing anything about the crying baby of British economics.

But the US have a growing economy meaning that there is gradual improvement. After 9/11 the Dow Jones dropped for nearly the entire Bush era to below 10,000. Under the present administration it is far higher at 13,800. They gotta be doing something right.