Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Farnborough Airc Show 2014 logo

In the summer in Farnborough in Hampshire, England one of the biggest events in the aviation industry takes place. It’s call the Farnborough Air Show.

I remember when I used to work in that industry helping to prepare invitations, information packs, and all the usual PR stuff. Farnborough is THE place to meet and greet both those who buy aircraft and those firms like Boeing and AIrbus who build them and provide tens of thousands of jobs for smaller companies.

So it is an important event.

At this year’s show they named the world’s best airline, in fact they named the top ten best airlines.

And despite the United States building some of the best airplanes in the world, and despite the United States having some of the world’s largest and busiest airlines, do you know how many United States airlines made it into the top ten?

The title of this post probably gave it away. The answer is….

None. That’s ninguno, aucun, keiner, zero!

Even the regional category for North America was won by Air Canada.

cartoon intrusive airport searches

Apparently, not only are air travelers in America to be treated as potential terrorists, herded and prodded and scanned and humiliated when they are trying to get on to an airplane. But when they do, the comfort and service they can expect will be second rate.

I think that’s a disgrace. America should be leading the world in the standard of their airlines. They should be at least one, if not more, of the top ten list every year offering a consistently high standard that their customers (that’s you and me) deserve.

And this award is decided by the votes of millions of travelers, so customers’ opinions do count.

So time for United States airlines to ditch those bureaucratic bean counters who decide that they can squeeze just another row of seats into an airplane so that everyone is uncomfortable. In the long term this kind of thinking doesn’t save you money, it loses you money. And when your customers vote for the best airline, they don’t vote for you!

For those of you who are interested, this year’s best airline was the Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific. They were voted best performer across all types of travel, economy, and luxury.

Cathay Pacific World's Best Airline 2014

Cathay Pacific World’s Best Airline 2014

Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines placed second and third respectively in the global category, with last year’s winner, Emirates, slipping to fourth. Fifth to tenth places went to Turkish Airlines, ANA All Nippon Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Asiana Airlines, Etihad Airways and Lufthansa respectively.

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Pierre-Joseph Proudhon – What It Means To Be Governed.

Posted: May 25, 2014 in Current Events, Inspirational, Politics, Rants
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I had intended to indulge myself today with a bit of a Sunday Sermon about the increasing intrusiveness of government.

But then I found a quote from a Frenchman named Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and I decided to let him use my pulpit on this occasion.

He didn’t know about the “En ess a” snoopers who have been listening to our phone calls, reading our emails, and spying on the leaders of nations that are supposed to be friends and allies of the United States, because he was speaking about what it means to be governed more than two hundred years ago.

Nevertheless, his words ring eerily true.

Nothing, it seems, has changed.

In fact today’s technology has made things far worse.

This is what he had to say all those years ago….

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To be governed is to be

watched over,

inspected,

spied on,

directed,

legislated at,

regulated,

docketed,

indoctrinated,

preached at,

controlled,

assessed,

weighed,

censored,

(and) ordered about,

by men who have neither the right, nor the knowledge, nor the virtue.

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To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction,

noted,

registered,

enrolled,

taxed,

stamped,

measured,

numbered,

assessed,

licensed,

authorized,

admonished,

forbidden,

reformed,

corrected,

(and) punished.

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It is, under the pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be

placed under contribution,

trained,

ransomed,

exploited,

monopolized,

extorted,

squeezed,

mystified,

(and) robbed;

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Then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be

repressed,

fined,

despised,

harassed,

tracked,

abused,

clubbed,

disarmed,

choked,

imprisoned,

judged,

condemned,

shot,

deported,

sacrificed,

sold,

betrayed;

and, to crown all,

mocked,

ridiculed,

outraged,

(and) dishonoured.

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That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

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The man knew what he was talking about.

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Portrait_of_Pierre_Joseph_Proudhon_1865

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, (1809 – 1865) was a French politician, the founder of Mutualist philosophy, an economist and a libertarian socialist. He was the first person to declare himself an anarchist and is among its most influential theorists. He is considered by many to be the “father of anarchism”. He became a member of the French Parliament after the revolution of 1848, whereupon and thereafter he referred to himself as a federalist.

(Bio source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Joseph_Proudhon )

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Many Happy Returns Webby!

Posted: May 10, 2014 in bankers, Business, Computers, Current Events
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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World-Wide-Web

The World Wide Web, created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, turned 25 years old this year, 2014.

There has never been anything like it before, certainly not as regards the impact it has made on society and the way we live our lives. Many of those changes are good, many are not so good and a few are downright annoying.

Here’s my take on some of them.

To concentrate on the good parts first, the one thing the www has done, for those who can use it effectively, is to give access to information that was previously only available to the elite few who managed to claw their way into the lofty heights of academia, or who worked in places where information was readily available. Now the same information is accessible at the touch of a button to anyone and everyone with a smart phone, tablet or computer.

Another benefit, in my view anyway, is that is has sent a massive wake-up call to telephone providers world wide, many of whom were fast asleep, content to rake in healthy profits from antiquated systems. No longer do we have to settle for slow and temperamental data transfer lines. Nowadays, particularly in the last few years, people are demanding systems that can cope with download streams in the gigabyte range. If you are old enough to remember the first modems you will know you wasted too much of your life trying to download at 12Kb/sec., sometimes less.

Freedom is also a welcome by-product of the World Wide Web.

The freedom to work in any country in the world, from virtually any country in the world is one big plus – it is for me anyhow. Another one I particularly like is the freedom to watch TV programs that I like, when I like, no longer tied to the schedules of some brainless bean-counter working for a broadcasting company. And the freedom to have your say on things as and when the mood takes you – they call that blogging don’t you know! – is also a great advantage to the ordinary person.

www words

As is the freedom to disseminate information across the globe instantly, as Mr Snowden ably demonstrated, although I would hazard a guess that the powers that be would not agree with me on that one.

Indeed, this is the one aspect of the www that really bothers big brother.

China for example is one country where access is controlled by the state. Coincidentally this year also marks the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, you’ll find articles about that if you do a search, but probably not in China. They get away with it because they are not a democracy and do not pretend to be one.

In other countries, like the good old Land Of The (Not So) Free (Anymore)), the powers still like to con their people into believing that they are living in a democratic nation and that the people have the power to vote for this or that. But think for a moment, when was the last time you got to vote on whether to start a war, or whether to give $billions of your money to the greedy banksters to pay themselves huge bonuses and gamble away the rest?

It is because they need to keep the pretence of democracy going, that they do not yet have the confidence to start overtly censoring the internet. But they do all they can to snoop on what people are reading, or writing, or looking at.

This is where the freedom the www and associated technology provides can also be a negative, when it is used by governments to surveil us and record every piece of data they can. If they were doing this selectively and targeting terrorists and criminals no one would be too worried. But they are doing it to all of us, guilty and innocent alike.

big brother is watching

They are also doing everything they can think of to impose taxes on internet commerce – of course they have to coz they’re stoney broke.

The www has revolutionized business practices and created all sorts of new commerce opportunities, Amazon perhaps being the best example of a company that has gone from nothing to a multi-billion dollar business in just a few years.

Communication and social interaction are also areas where the www has liberated the ordinary person – first with email and more recently with social media. In the near future expect to see social media expanding to become much more than individual platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. We are already seeing many new applications that are allowing people to communicate more widely, more easily and more often.

social media

Another negative is that the World Wide Web has unwittingly facilitated the proliferation of pornography and violence, and is teaching a generation of morons all the wrong things. Things that will ensure they become a burden on society, not an asset.

And it has also opened a whole new environment in which criminals can operate. Millions of dollars are being stolen every day through scams, confidence tricks and outright theft.

You could say (and I frequently do) that people dumb enough to fall for these scams deserve all they get, or all they lose, is perhaps a better way of putting it. You know, the idiots who believe they really have won a lottery they didn’t buy a ticket for, or who think that Dr Umbungo Watanga from Nigeria is being truthful when he tells them that someone they never heard of has left them $25 million and all they need to do is send all their personal details and a few thousand dollars to unlock the fortune that awaits them. There really is one born every minute it seems!

All that said, and twenty-five years on, the www is still in its infancy. We have come a long way in the past 25 years, but we have really only scratched the surface as regards what the web has the potential to do to further improve our daily lives.

Where the vision to develop the www will come from in anyone’s guess. The only thing we know for sure is that the initiative won’t come from governments or their bureaucratic servants, simply because the people we elect to those positions do not have the required intelligence.

So its up to you. If you have any great ideas you want to share, send me an email.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Don’t worry folks, I haven’t started a new award or competition on the fasab blog.

But if I did, and we had to choose a ‘Twat Of The Year’, way up front in the running would have to be US Secretary of State John Kerry.

 

US Secretary of State John Kerry

Although he looks as if his feet are a decent size, he can still manage to get them both in his mouth at the same time, as he frequently demonstrates.

And he’s just done it again.

The latest Kerry blooper came amidst a glad-handing and candle lighting visit to the Ukraine.

Frustrated in their attempts to get bogged down in Syria, Obama and his front-man Kerry are intent on interfering somewhere in the world.

The Ukraine, in particular the Crimea region, just happens to be the most convenient at the moment.

As with other parts of the world, they have no business being there or interfering. And they know it.

But Obama’s ego took a battering from the positive impact Russian leader Putin made over Syria, so now he thinks this is his opportunity to get his own back.

That’s not a good reason to interfere. And they know that too.

The whole thing is made even worse when you listen to the justifications coming from John Kerry.

Apparently the very best that Obama’s regiment of political analysts and script writers seem to be able to come up with is that Russia’s recent actions in the Crimea were taken on a completely “trumped up” pretext. 

Whooaaah!

Say that again.

In an interview trying to justify his alleged outrage at what Russia was doing, Kerry said,

“you just don’t, in the 21st century, behave in a 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.”

It was toe-curlingly awful.

Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t that EXACTLY what President Bush and his accomplice Britain’s Tony (Liar) Blair did when they invaded Iraq on the totally untrue  – that is, “trumped-up”, reason that Saddam Hussein had Weapons Of Mass Destruction? WMDs that were never found and in fact never existed.

Apparently Mr. Kerry wasn’t paying attention during the preamble to the Iraq invasion that turned into an unmitigated disaster for all concerned.

Yes John, you’ve got yourself a good lead in the ‘Twat Of The Year Award’ contest.

You’re going to be hard to beat this year!

Iraq Libya Syria Ukraine

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

sermon

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Taxation is a perfect example of how the politicians and the bureaucrats have made things go haywire.

Such a monstrous collection of tax regulations has been accumulated over the years that even qualified accountants cannot properly decipher them.

There are allowances for this…. but not that…. except you can have it for that too…. but only if you do this first……

There are ‘eliminated items’ which may not be the same as ‘excluded items’, which is different from ‘excluded income’, not to be confused with ‘exempt income’, all of which you can have as deductions as long as everything has been ‘apportioned’ and/or ‘allocated’ according to the precise rules………  and on and on and on and on it goes.  

US Tax Code size

Just to give you an idea of the scale of the problem and to prove that I am not exaggerating in the slightest, the current US Tax Code is now well over 70,000 pages long. That’s about 185 times longer than it was in 1913, when the code was 400 pages and still far too long and complicated at that!

If you are an Apple or a Google or an Exxon and have a multi-billion dollar war chest you can buy the best professional experts and end up paying little or no tax at all. On the other hand if you are Joe Average you’ve got no chance!

irs-taxes-cartoon

Is there a better way?

I think so. For sure there isn’t a worse way!

It’s not a new idea, but as the system gets more and more complicated, it makes more and more sense to change it.

So why don’t we have a certain tax free allowance of $30,000 or $50,000 or whatever for annual exempt income, and pay 10 cents on every dollar we earn above that (or 10p a pound or 10 cents per euro) and leave it at that?

If that was the rule, and the only rule, everyone could do their tax returns easily, everything would be transparent, there wouldn’t be any complicated loopholes and no one would feel aggrieved because we are all being treated equally. And I think the governments would actually net a lot more revenue at a much reduced collection cost.

Too easy? Can’t be done like that?

That’s what the bureaucrats say, but as usual they are lying. They just don’t want their little empires reduced.

Of course it can be done the simple way. If fact although we don’t notice it, we see it done every day like that with sales tax. You buy something for a dollar and you pay your percentage of sales tax. (VAT they call it in Europe).

Easy. Simple. Everyone knows what they have to pay and why they have to pay it.

Sales-tax-calculator

It will never happen of course. Not while the bureaucrats remain in charge and the politicians are bought and paid for.

Not until the revolution – if there ever is another one.

American Revolution

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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This Sunday Sermon was inspired by a recent post on things I love recently. Thanks for the idea Alex.

al_gore_invent_global_warming

Cast your mind back to 2006, when failed presidential candidate and former Vice President Al Gore was searching for a new ’cause’.

He chose Global Warming and for a while he fooled a lot of people.

gore oscar arrest

He won an Oscar for a largely unproven ‘scientifically based’ documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” that made wildly exaggerated claims about man-made climate change. With hindsight perhaps “A Convenient Lie” would have been a better title. Then he was awarded the much discredited Nobel Peace Prize  –  although just what climate has to do with peace was never properly explained, after all people do fight wars in the rain!

He went on to found an ‘activist group’ and to create a new nonpartisan global movement around climate change that he misleadingly called the ‘Climate Reality Project’ -  misleading because it had very little to do with reality.

Yes, Gore was in the ascendency and was now the world’s leading advocate of Global Warming….brrrrrr …ooops… make that Climate Change would you.

Global-Change

As lately as last January Gore took his old college roomy Tommy Lee Jones and a contingent of other gullible celebrities, donors and scientists on a cruise to Antarctica. Ostensibly they were there to see for themselves the effects of Global Warming, but the real purpose was probably to try to attract more publicity for Gore’s Climate Change crusade. When I say he ‘took them’ of course I meant the multi millionaire Gore was kind enough to let them pay for their trip themselves!

al_gore_only_cares_about_money

But last gasp publicity stunts or not, things haven’t been going so well recently for the Gore crusade. In fact if you look at the numbers, which I always like to do, you will see that the downward spiral has been a steep one.

For example, at its zenith just a few years ago Gore’s organization could spend the best part of $30 million on PR, advertising and political lobbying. It had offices in over half the US States, sometimes more than one office per state, and employed over 300 people. 

al-gore-global-warming-inconvenienttruth

Today those 300 employees have become just 30 or so, and all its state offices have been shut. There are no more hefty advertising campaigns and no more highly paid lobbyists in Washington. Not surprisingly financial donations have also dropped, by around 80 percent. And so cold a political potato is Climate Change nowadays that in the 2012 Presidential election campaign question sessions it wasn’t even mentioned!

Now Gore is going to call it the “Alliance for Climate Protection”, probably a recognition that all the claptrap he was formerly spouting has been largely discredited  -  a bit like himself.

Al Gore Alliance for Climate Protection

The climate does change, Al, there’s no doubt about that. But the only climate man changes is the political climate where you can go from hero to zero when enough people catch on to the fact that you really don’t know what you are talking about!

Cheers Al

Or should that be Cheerio???

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

Generic Political Directional Signs

Don’t worry the title of this post doesn’t mean that you’re back at school again. This ‘term talk’ in the title refers to politics and politicians.

President Obama takes a lot of stick because of his headstrong insistence in implementing his Obamacare legislation. As I’ve said before, it’s a laudable goal, but the country can’t afford it. But on he goes anyway.

Love him or hate him, or neither, he’s limited to two terms of four years in office, then he has to go and make way for the next person who wants the job.

To begin with that’s a stupid system because the main thrust of the first Presidency about half way or so in office isn’t governing the country but instead trying to ensure election for a second term and wasting billions of dollars doing it.

4-four-more-years-button

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the present system sucks. Nor do you have to be a professor of politics to suggest an alternative  –  for example a single term of five or six years, which still leaves plenty of time to settle into the job and implement whatever policies you have promised the electorate.

So that’s the first problem solved.

However, there is another term problem that infests American politics (and many other countries too).

What about the rest of the elected politicians?

Well, why not introduce the same system for them? Elected for a five or six year term after which they have to start to earn a living again?

Sounds good to me.

According to Wikipedia John Dingell has managed 58 years in the House and still going. John Conyers has been there for 49 years. Coincidentally both these politicians are Democrats and both represent Michigan, so another problem that these ‘lifers’ cause is that there is no incentive for new blood to enter politics when they have little or no chance of being selected for election.

john_dingell

Congressman John Dingell

I’m not picking on these guys in particular. They just happen to be the two longest serving examples. There were others of similar longevity but they had the good grace to eventually retire, or die after half a century or so. Amazingly more than one hundred members of Congress have been allowed to serve for at least 36 years.

When I say “serve” I am just using the normal expression for these jobs. Whether they realize it or not, career politicians are nothing more than parasites living a cozy life off the money provided by the rest of us through our taxes. When an elected representative is entrenched in his or her position for a very long period of time they are not serving their people, they are simply relying on their people to provide them with a good living, premier health care and generous pension benefits (assuming they retire eventually!).

“Ah,” I hear someone say. “But what about the ‘experience’ that these long serving members bring?”

“Oh,” I reply. “What about it? Have we not seen in recent years and months that whatever experience they bring is not worth a hell of a lot. Just look at the mess the country is in and tell me if fresh faces could do any worse.”

So the solution to the two worst political problems that face America are easily solved.

The next question is will they be solved?

And the answer to that is probably ‘NO’. And it is probably ‘NO’ because the people who have the power to change the law are the very people that that law would affect.

turkeys voting for Christmas

They say turkeys wouldn’t vote for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Asses and elephants probably wouldn’t vote for this idea either.

What a pity.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for a mid-week rant I think.

danger bureaucrats at work

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You may have noticed from the tag line of this blog that its major theme is to expose stupidity and bureaucracy and hopefully to encourage people to fight against it, rather than meekly fall in line with every idiotic rule and regulation that the bureaucratic morons introduce to make our lives a misery.

It is one of those curious contradictions in life that the stupider people are, the more they complicate things and the more they try to regulate things that require no regulation.

They just don’t understand that simplicity can sometimes be the most effective solution to problems – if indeed the problems they perceive even exist in the first place.

On the other hand, things that do need regulating, like the banksters for example, are left largely without interference.

how many bureaucrats does it take to screw in light bulb

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The big question is, why do these idiot bureaucrats needlessly complicate our lives? 

Many years ago I figured it out.

They do it to try to enhance their own importance. It’s as easy as that.

Let’s face it, most bureaucratic jobs don’t take a rocket scientist’s brain to cope with them. They are easy and repetitive but if done correctly can be completed quickly and without upsetting anyone.

But the bureaucrats won’t have it that way. Complicate the task is their solution. If they do that they need more staff to help them. If they have more staff they get to be in charge of more people, which makes them more important. If they complicate it even more they might need a whole department. And on and on it goes.

In the business world there are empire builders in all large companies. People of mediocre ability, but with enough survival instinct to create a belief that what they do is useful to the company. 

As time goes on they are able to hide within their little empires inside a company and no one questions if what they are doing is really needed and certainly few realize how dumb they are. It is only once they leave this safe environment that the truth becomes clearer.

I have encountered several of these beasts out in the open and it is not a pretty sight. They are so dumb that they have forgotten how dumb they really are. Inflated with their artificially induced and undeserved stature within their former companies they imagine that out in the real world they are, not just ‘as good’ as everyone else, but ‘better’ than everyone else! Invariably they make a mess of things, but unfortunately they cause a lot of damage, sometimes irreparable, before they are caught on and fired. 

Obviously the same type of people are in public life too. In fact this is where they excel, because here it is much harder to pin down their accountability and fire them. In many cases the people who have the power to fire them are exactly the same types and the last thing they want to do is diminish the size of their own empires.

baseball cap bureaucrats suck

Have you ever noticed that an average town or city can function quite well and efficiently with a mayor and a handful of administrators.

Yet if you take the same town or city ten years later, while it probably hasn’t changed much as regards size, (only in exceptional circumstances would it have doubled or trebled its population or area), it’s local bureaucracy has more than doubled and trebled in size, probably a lot more. It probably also has an increasing number of by-laws and regulations and to pay for it all more and more property and other taxes are being demanded from the community. Clearly all this additional bureaucracy is not needed. But it is there and will continue to grow.

Why do we allow this? Why do we keep electing people whose only idea seems to be the provision of the same basic services at an ever increasing cost?

Big government, federal government, is even worse.

The European Parliament, for example, churns out regulation after regulation after regulation, about ridiculous things like how straight a cucumber should be or how bent a banana can be and still be called a banana! 

Washington has adopted the same strategy, sticking its nose in things that are none of its business and that only serve to hinder rather than help the people who elected them.

banana wars

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It’s about time we tried to stop this spiral into disaster.

It’s time big brother and all his little administrators had their noses put out of joint. 

Remember, “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”,  wherever and whenever you can!

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The Uninformed Elect The Uninformed

Posted: July 14, 2013 in Current Events, Humour, Politics, Rants
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another rant cunningly disguised as a Sunday Sermon.

Some people say we should be grateful we get told anything at all nowadays. We certainly can’t rely on our governments being honest with their people. In fact, as we have discovered recently, they would rather spy on us and gather secret dossiers on our activities. Much more reminiscent of Stalinist Russia than the Land Of The Free.

government hypocrisy and lies

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A big part of the problem is that in what passes for ‘democracy’ in Western nations, the people are told they have the power to elect whoever they think will be the best rulers, but they are not allowed the tools to do so effectively.

People are encouraged to vote party lines, rather than think about which candidate has the greatest ability.

ACME political poll - choose a party

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The Western media compounds the problem by drip feeding information to us on a “what THEY think WE need to know basis”. In doing so they censor and simplify, and more often than not sensationalize that information to the point of it being almost useless.

choice of candidates

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Naturally the politicians love it that way. An uninformed population makes uninformed decisions at election times, casting their votes for the candidate who has the nicest shirt or some other reason unrelated to political policy and philosophy.

That’s one of the reasons you got the government that is in power – so if you voted them in you did so without knowing all the facts – or maybe any of them! 

obama-agenda-in-one-cartoon1

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Not that there was much of an alternative. And it doesn’t matter what country you happen to live in either. Politicians worldwide, like bureaucrats, seem to be cut from the same cloth.

But that’s only part of the problem.

Bad enough that uninformed people make uninformed decisions and elect the wrong people. But worse is the fact that the people they elect are equally badly informed, their lack of knowledge becoming very clear quite quickly after they are elected.

Take America for example. Not the only culprit by any means, but the biggest one because of its size and the power and influence it wields throughout the world.

We all know that the economy is in a horrendous mess, with the administration seemingly clueless as to how to get us out of it. We’ve talked about that before and no doubt will do so again.

Obama economic advisors

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But if we were giving out grade marks for America, the ‘F’ minus with at least two exclamation marks would have to go to its understanding of foreign affairs. It’s not a case of ‘could do much better’ but more of a case of ‘couldn’t do much worse’.

Recent history is littered with foreign debacles. Vietnam, Somalia, Lebanon, Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now North Korea, Syria, and Iran are just some of the places where America, and sometimes its allies such as Britain, have tried to interfere only to make things far worse.

To the insult of causing the needless deaths and horrific injuries to the brave souls who put themselves in harm’s way because of these political idiots, they add the bigger insult of trying to excuse their foreign ‘crusades’ by lying to their own people.

Saddam Hussein used to be a ‘friend’, even being granted the Keys to the City of Detroit because of his charitable gifts. Then a few months later they made up blatant lies about his having developed weapons of mass destruction and he became the arch demon of the Middle East. Saddam was no saint that’s for sure, he was an evil man, but he had no weapons of mass destruction and he had nothing to do with Al Quaeda or the  9/11 attack, yet the US Administration went gung-ho to invade Iraq and take him out. Result – a bigger potential threat for the future.

cartoon-Iraq_10th_Anniversary

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All the years Col. Gadaffi was supporting terrorist attacks in Israel and Britain and Ireland he wasn’t touched, apart from the odd cruise missile sent his way more for publicity than any lasting affect it had on him or his country. Then when he became an ‘ally’ in the war against terror he was killed, leaving behind a country in a complete mess and opening the way for radical groups to take over. Result – a bigger potential threat for the future.

obamas-libya-mess

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You could say exactly the same thing for Egypt or Syria or almost anywhere else where noses have been stuck in where they aren’t wanted.

Far from winning friends and influencing people, it’s almost as if America’s leaders want to create enemies and store up trouble for the future. Either this is a deliberate covert policy or it is the result of chronic stupidity.

Whatever the reason, it is costing the country far too much, both in terms of lives and money. Our politicians need to be told to get a grip on things in their own country before interfering in foreign lands where they clearly do not understand the damaging consequences of their ill-advised actions.  

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Can’t let the month end without another Sunday Sermon.

This time a little bit of an update on the political and financial scene as I see it.

So far the Obama administration is doing great! (That was a little sarcasm in case anyone didn’t get it.)

Troops are being sent to Syria and soon we’ll get bogged down in another mess that’s none of our business and will probably take many years and many lives to get us disentangled from – leaving behind chaos and confusion and a worse situation than the one we tried to fix.

obama-milking-us-economy-dry_cow_

Meanwhile the economic crisis continues. Not that you’d notice. The sham recovery has meant that stocks have been on an upward trend, bonds have been doing well, and confidence is high.

And all because….

….well all because the Fed continues to print money and pour it into these markets.

bernanke printing money cartoon

Or at least it has been.

Then Bernanke made a statement a few days ago to “clarify” the government’s position.

Oh dear me!

He said that the government would… he thought… he hoped anyway…. assuming nothing unforeseen happened…. at least nothing major that they didn’t see coming… that they would ease off their money printing and bond buying… or at least they might… soon or maybe later… but sometime at least… well, it was being discussed…

Needless to say with that dithering statement confidence immediately melted away from the market and the DOW headed down by more than 500 points. In fact investors and brokers seemed to be selling everything, not just stocks and bonds but gold and other commodities too. Not quite panic but definite unease was clear to be seen.

The only reason it didn’t all collapse is that while the underlying message is clear, the Fed’s delay in implementing their tap turn off gives investors a little more time to make a little more money  -  they hope.

The problem with that is knowing when to sell. And that is the trick that has eluded investors from individuals to hedge fund managers since the markets began.

What Obama and Bernanke want is crystal clear. They see the folly in printing money and buying bonds at near $100 billion a month and they know they have to stop it eventually otherwise an even bigger financial catastrophe will result.

Their problem is they want to stop it without causing a massive market correction.

bernanke economic growth

And that, as Samuel Goldwin used to say, can be summed up in two words – im possible!

It will be interesting and perhaps a bit painful to watch what happens next.

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