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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July 27, 2011
Legislation of a debt ceiling does not absolve the US from its obligations.
UPDATE: The 14th Amendment of the Constitution clearly states that Congress must not default on its obligations.
While the USA frantically tried to save the world with a nuclear arsenal they could never use and military overspending on wars that did no good, we see the East’s rise to financial domination by engaging huge numbers of lowly paid workers to export in a way that nobody was able to compete with. If you want something manufactured, get it done in China has been the wisdom of the past 60 years. Market forces!
The agenda of the lever pullers seems to be to froce the USA to default and evade repayment. By making it effectively illegal for the USA to meet its obligations, the USA will have to default. The net effect of the USA not borrowing any more is being described in philosophic terms – what would the result be?
I think the answer to that not yet knowable. But certainly creditor nations will invest elsewhere and perhaps it will be the final straw that breaks US economic hegemony. Time for a new deal?
If Obama was to be effective, he needed the Democratic support in his first two years. Sad that they fiddled while the midterm elections were lost. Back to American isolations, anyone?
July 25, 2011
The Republican “end game” would be everything owned by big corporations not necessarily aligned with nations as entities but freely enriching shareholders from anywhere avoiding tax as their earnings are processed where there are no taxes.
If these mega corporations are able to employ everyone for a pittance then we are buying into a return to slavery.
Is this essentially the same model that makes China appear successful? Enslavement of the majority for the benefit of the few. The problem with the Republican End Game is the loss of what America is – the most rewarding economy for invention. As these corporations become less answerable to Government, they become more able to break the covenant of fairness. The Murdoch empire is a case in point. A corporation which supported a culture of law breaking that believed it could do this with impunity, which it did for twenty years before a single case sharpened public revulsion with the practice. That is what democracy does, it pitches the majority against the business interest and belief of an individual who learns that the end justifies the means time and again.
Democracy allows for peaceful revolution. An absence of democratic principles as in the case of Libya demands more severe responses. The essential problem here is a duality where both sides are destructive to each other. A unified system that causes progress according to long term principles appears have delivered stable growth in China for the last 3 decades by enforcing cheap exports to the world while the West has been experimenting with Freedman’s economics, gambling as though it were an addict. When cronyism and corruption abide, and capital exists only for its own maintenance, there are economic distortions that will result in disasters.
The West can rescue itself by very progressive and specific Government spending on the correct programmes. Education for all, being the most important. Obama decided to invest in rescuing mortgages and jobs but with poor returns. The Republicans want to reduce taxes and spending and leave America a first world city state in a third world country.
See also: Huffington Post
October 9, 2009
President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” the committee said.
“His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”
July 31, 2009
Signs of an economic recovery are starting to appear. After recapitalising the financial system, President Obama kept the US economy liquid. This is may have averted more depressing news but as the bankers start to return funds they were lent by the tax payer the question arises, where to now for the US economy?
February 27, 2009
All this focus on the economy may mean we take our attention off the real issue. All the focus on sectional interests and pressure groups that drive the climate change agenda, instead of actual planning to change things that must change is distracting humanity from its mission, its meaning and its life.
Real progress follows talking about it, only if plans are made real without all the political watering down of meaning that occurs.
February 25, 2009
It just shows that trust in the power of the inheritance as a way to provide tribal continuity is a mirage. The way to provide for all people is to enable everyone to be able to pick themselves up regardless from what station they started…
Latest article on the inside Disturbing Trends – Predicting Future politics
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.
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.
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.
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.