Doing The Right Thing.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

Barrack Obama during his first Presidential election campaign
Barrack Obama during his first Presidential election campaign

Seven years ago a young fellow called Barrack Obama was running for President. One of the cornerstones of his campaign was a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, which he called “a dumb war”.

In that much he was right. It was a dumb war, instigated by the dumb American and British politicians who preceded him and who had the deceit and arrogance to lie to their electorates in order to manufacture an excuse to invade that country.

It was always destined to be a disaster. Once Saddam had been eliminated there was no strong leader to hold Iraq together. He may have been a monster, no one is arguing he wasn’t, but without him, or someone like him, things have far from improved. That is just the harsh reality, like it or not.

Seven years ago Obama had no moral objection to the fact that a withdrawal of the occupying forces in Iraq might leave the way open to civil war and genocide. In fact to quote him from that period he said, “[If] that’s the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now — where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife — which we haven’t done.”

He could have said the same about many other countries in the world where civil strife raged.

So today the speeches laden with moral indignation, telling the world that he has ordered military action in Iraq “to prevent a potential act of genocide,” ring mightily hollow.

It would be much better if Obama came clean.

I know it’s a bit of a reach for a politician to start telling the truth, but it would help.

Obama needs to tell the world that he will clean up the mess he and his predecessors made. He needs to admit that the “sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq” that he said he had left behind, when U.S. troops pulled out, was a dream that has deteriorated into a nightmare. And he needs to remove the advisors who prompted him to compare ISIS to a junior varsity basketball team when he was interviewed on the subject in January this year. That was just another thing they got completely and tragically wrong.

Yes, I’m asking for a bit of honesty and humility, that’s all.

What I’m hearing instead, however, is more claptrap and confusion.

Vice President Joe Biden is telling everyone that the U.S. “will follow ISIS to the gates of hell”, while other senior Obama Administration officials are assuring us that America is, “not launching a sustained US campaign against ISIS…”

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Journalist James Foley minutes before he was beheaded by ISIS terrorists

Conflicting statements like those, in the face of the continuing barbaric beheadings of men, women and even children, and other heinous crimes committed by these despicable and godless terrorists, will hardly strike fear into them. Perhaps the strategy is to have them so helpless with laughter that they cannot continue fighting?

Winston Churchill once said, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

After all this time and after all these failed initiatives we must be getting closer to doing the right thing  –  surely???

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What Happened To This Thing Called ‘Democracy’ Anyhow?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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Some people have asked me why, when I am so scathing about politicians, I still have an interest in politics.

It is a good question because one thing is for sure, I do have little or no time for the politicians who in general I consider to be stupid, self-serving, untruthful, devious party-before-country hacks seldom, if ever, working for the best interests of the people they are suppose to represent. The exceptions to that statement are VERY rare!

But that’s my assessment of the politicians.

Politics as a subject is important because it sets the rules and standards that we all have to live by.

One of those standards that we have chosen to live by is the principle of ‘democracy’.

Democracy of the people by the people for the people

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I used to think that I knew what that meant.

I used to think that in a ‘democracy’ the adult population got a chance to vote for candidates and policies that, based on the arguments and evidence provided, they thought were most in line with their own thinking and therefore best for the country as a whole.

I used to think that when a candidate said something during an election campaign he or she would stick by those pledges once elected.

I even used to think that ‘democracy’ meant that the country would be governed by the policies that the majority of people voted for.

I don’t think like that any more. Indeed I haven’t thought that way for some considerable time.

And I don’t think that way any more because the ‘democracy’ that we once knew has long since disappeared.

Nowadays ‘democracy’ is no longer a matter of principle, but rather a matter of political expediency. Nowadays ‘democracy’ means pandering to the vested interests of those who can donate millions to the obscene amounts spent on political campaigns. Nowadays politicians will say whatever they have to say to get elected and forget every promise they have made the minute the polls close.

buyDemocracyStrip

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President Obama was elected by a ‘democratic’ vote.

President Obama is a member of the ‘Democratic’ Party.  

Yet President Obama is and will continue to try to ride roughshod over that ‘democracy’ by starting another war, or wars, that the vast majority of the American people do not want and did not vote for.

Wars that will eventually cost the lives of yet more young brave Americans in a foreign land – no matter how Obama and his minions like failed Presidential candidate Kerry try to spin it (i.e. lie about it).

kerry2

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It may even cost the lives of those within America itself should these foolhardy misadventures spawn retaliatory terrorist attacks on the homeland.

Sadly, people have short memories.

Politicians rely on that.

None more so at the moment than President Obama and his sidekick Joe Biden.

Hardly anyone remembers that during the presidential election last year Biden attacked Mitt Romney for being “ready to go to war” in Syria. (York, Pennsylvania, Sept. 2, 2012)

In the previous campaign Biden also said that the nation could only be taken to military action with the approval of Congress, except where it was necessary to stop an “imminent attack” on the United States itself.

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He was supported in this ‘principle’ by the then ‘Senator’ Obama, who said that the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

“The Constitution is clear”, Biden declared. “And so am I.”

I wonder where all that ‘clarity’ has gone today?

Maybe it’s in a White House cupboard somewhere, on a shelf along with ‘democracy’.

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Gas Bags And Gas Prices

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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Back at the end of July in a previous Sunday Sermon I wrote that:

“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-Peace-Prize

Of course it’s still being denied by Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama and his administration, but there is little doubt now that Syria is next on their war hit list and we are indeed about to be bogged down in another bloody mess.

Already naval and ground forces are being positioned, for example, the cruise missile laden USS Gravely, USS Ramage, USS Barry and USS Mahan are all in the eastern Mediterranean.

The only remaining part is to con-vince the American public, who do not want another Middle Eastern debacle, that they are wrong and that a strike on Syria is essential for their future well being.

chemical weapons

The pretext that is going to be used this time is ‘evidence’ of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against the rebels. And the people that are being relied on to provide that ‘evidence’ are the very same people who provided false ‘evidence’ that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

Everyone now knows and accepts that the WMD excuse for getting embroiled in Iraq was a deliberate deceit – otherwise known as a ‘lie’ – so the track record of the ‘evidence’ providers is neither good nor credible.

Already government apologists are making statements about how Syria had “used them [chemical weapons] before”, which is untrue. UN investigators charged the rebels, not Assad’s government’s forces, with use of chemical weapons in Syria earlier this year. Strangely (or perhaps not) Obama did not feel such a moral necessity to send a missile or two towards the rebels, instead he gave them more support. 

Now add to that another good pinch of hypocrisy.

In fact make that two good pinches.

The first, because the rebellion now taking place within Syria would not have happened without the financial and military assistance of the US, along with Israel and Saudi Arabia. The hypocritical part of it all is that these three nations are in fact supporting people who, if successful, will become even more bitter enemies than the Assad regime.

And the second, because in an alleged effort to encourage ‘democracy’ in Syria, ‘democracy’ in America and Europe is being ignored.

For example, 64 percent of the French people have said they don’t want to get involved, but as in America the ‘people’ don’t have a say on the final outcome.

In Britain the Conservative Party Prime Minister David Cameron got a very embarrassing slap in the face in Parliament when he tried to emulate the lies of previous Prime Minister Tony Blair but lost a vote on military intervention in Syria. His spin doctors will be working overtime to cook up a good story for the next debate.

British Prime Minister David Cameron

And it is plain that the majority of ordinary Americans do not want the President they elected on the promise of getting their troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, plunging them into another conflict which could prove to be as bloody if not bloodier. So plain in fact that until late Friday Obama had planned bypassing Congress obviously trying to avoid a similar embarrassment to that which was suffered by British PM Cameron.

Think this time it will only be a few missiles and drones and that troops won’t be involved? After all Obama has said “We’re not considering any boots on the ground approach”.

Then you need to think again.

Sure, at the outset Obama will try to fool the public by limiting attacks to missile strikes, but these alone won’t be enough. Even in today’s high-tech world you can’t wage wars without those boots on the ground. And in those boots are brave, but misled men and women, some of whom will lose their lives or be maimed as a result.

Boots On The Ground Fallen Soldier

The doomsday pundits are saying that all this posturing and war mongering by Obama could spiral into something worse. Possibly even be the start of WW3. Unfortunately grandiose claims like these only serve to lessen the credibility of those who are arguing against another foreign intervention.

Putin seems to have more sense than Obama. The Russians have already made their mistake in Afghanistan and are unlikely to do it again. Even less do they want to start or become involved in, a major conflict – not at the moment anyway.

China has little interest in getting involved in a conflict in the middle east either. They will take the long view, and, as they did with Iraq, they will let the US waste billions more dollars blowing things down and building them up again and then they will step in and secure more oil supplies for themselves.  

If it does get down to the nitty gritty one possibility that is more realistic is that the conflict could spread to other nations within the Middle East.

Iran for example has a mutual assistance pact with Syria. It also knows it is next on the US hit list so the longer the US is focused on Syria the longer it will postpone an attack on itself. It is not beyond imagination therefore that Iran could send arms and even troops to assist Assad.

Neither is it unreasonable to imagine that, if missile strikes on Syria result in retaliatory Syrian missile attacks on Israel, Israeli troops will also be sent into Syrian territory, with US forces backing them up shortly thereafter.

That is boots on the ground, no matter what denials you currently hear.

However it pans out, two things are certain. ‘Evidence’ or no ‘evidence’ Uncle Sam will stick his nose in once again. And if it all goes pear shaped, as it most likely will, then UP is the only way your gasoline and heating oil prices will be heading.   

Happy winter!

gas and oil prices

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Sunni or Shiite?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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You could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that the title indicated that today’s post is about the weather, but it isn’t. Instead I’m doing a Sunday Sermon (otherwise known as a rant) about things Middle Eastern.

It is a part of the world about which most of us know very little, but a place that has affected, and will affect, all our lives dramatically.

map-middle-east

If you listen to CNN or ABC or any of the other media outlets you would be left with the impression that what has been happening in the Middle East and the terrorist offshoots that it has spawned is solely a religious crusade by Muslims against all other religions, particularly the Christians and the Jews.

Granted that type of hatred does exist and is being fomented by demented Islamic clerics within the Muslim community both at home and abroad, but it is by no means the whole picture.

Just as there are many different sects within, for example, the Christian faith, there are different denominations within the Muslim faith also.

The latter consists of two main factions, the Sunnis and the Shiites, and a lot of what has been, and is happening in the Middle East has its roots in a sectarian conflict and power struggle between these two factions of Islam.

It’s always difficult, and a little bit dangerous, to try to sum up a long standing conflict in a couple of paragraphs, but basically what happened was that after the death of the Prophet Muhammad his followers split into two factions, those who accepted Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s father-in-law, as the rightful successor (the Sunnis) and those who believed that Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law, should be successor (the Shiites).

Rather than find common ground over the centuries the differences and bitterness remained and are still being played out throughout the Middle East today.

Syria, where the politicians seem hell bent on involving us next, is a prime example of this sectarian conflict. The Assads, who have been in power for over forty years, are Alawaites which is a branch of Shia Islam. Currently there is an attempt to overthrow the Assad regime by opposing forces that come from the Sunni faction.

The Sunnis comprise around three-quarters of the Syrian population, as opposed to about 12% to 15% for the Shias, and that will be used as justification for siding with the forces trying to overthrow Assad. The fact that Syria under Assad participated in the US-led Gulf War against Saddam Hussein in the 1990-91 Operation Desert Storm will be quietly forgotten, as will the fact that Hamas, regarded as a terrorist organization by most Western states including the US, Canada, and the EU, supports the Syrian Opposition.

However, the real reason that America and her allies will side with the Sunni faction has nothing to do with the lofty goal of establishing democracy in Syria. In fact it has very little to do with Syria at all, but everything to do with Saudi Arabia.

The ruling Sheiks and the vast majority of the population in Saudi Arabia are Sunni, but there is also a significant Shia population in the country and it contains Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities of Islam, which are a focal point for all Muslims.

Are you getting the picture?

saudi oil well

If by chance Assad’s regime were to survive and perhaps emerge stronger than ever, some Western nations are afraid that it would give encouragement to those Shia and fundamentalist factions within Saudi Arabia to also create unrest there too, which in turn would have a devastating effect on oil supplies and oil prices and further damage the already weak economies in the West. 

It won’t work out as planned though. These things never do. Eventually there will be some kind of disruption within Saudi Arabia and the economic consequences will be felt worldwide.

But in the meantime that’s what Syria is really all about, according to me anyway. And until someone can come up with a better explanation I for one will not believe the claptrap from the politicians and their tame media front men.

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The Herd Shall Not Be Heard!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s time for a Sunday Sermon!

cartoon-illustration-of-a-spy-wearing-a-hat-and-trenchcoat

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Whether we realize it or like it, the advent of the internet has changed all our lives. From power users like myself to just casual users, things are a lot different from how they used to be.

There are, of course, negatives like the increase of spam, fraud, pornography and so forth, but by and large the impact of the internet has been a positive one.

It has made finding information much quicker and easier.

It has given us better and cheaper communication possibilities such as Skype.

It has revolutionized shopping for millions of people.

And it has spawned new social interaction platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and not forgetting blogging sites such as WordPress, allowing people to find groups and individuals all over the world with similar interests to their own.

But perhaps the greatest thing that the internet has achieved is to give freedom for ordinary people to say what they want to say and have that reach a much bigger audience than would have hitherto been possible without having to spend vast sums of money trying to do it.

Unfortunately, however, that freedom is the one thing that governments cannot tolerate. Hell bent on control, they see the freedom that the internet provides as a threat to their power. And slowly but relentlessly they are chipping away at that freedom.

In China there is no pretense or deceit. The government there controls the internet and that’s just how it is.

However in the West, as they always do, governments create smokescreens to hide their real objectives. They read our private emails and listen to our private phone calls in secret, only reluctantly admitting to it when they are exposed by a whistleblower such as Edward Snowden, last seen leaving Hong Kong and heading for Moscow.

edward-snowden

And even when they are exposed they can’t tell the truth about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Invariably the excuse trotted out is “security issues”, in other words, they are doing what we don’t want them to do and invading our privacy, for our own good! 

If governments expect the people to have confidence in them, then they in turn should show confidence in the people. That means doing their job properly and targeting people and groups that are a possible threat without treating everyone as a potential terrorist.

And it means being honest with their people. 

Will that happen?

Not a chance!

As I said earlier the game isn’t about what is good for the people, the game is about control of the people. And a big part of that control is ensuring that the herd shall not be heard – if they have anything important to say that the government doesn’t want us to know!

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Gandolfo, And Step On It!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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No, this post has nothing to do with The Lord Of The Rings, this is about Papal rings and the fact that the general public are, yet again, being fed a string of lies and deceit by the powers that be.

Don’t you hate it when people lie to you, and you know they are lying to you, and they continue to lie anyway?

Pope Benedict has resigned right enough, that part seems to be true, but not because of ill health or because he is senile or any of the other excuses offered to the public.

In fact since the shock resignation announcement the truth has seldom if ever raise it’s little head.

Until now.

Now we are finding out that Benedict’s resignation really has to do with a frantic power struggle within the Vatican, and about scandals related to money-laundering via the Vatican’s IOR bank, and a gay sex ring among the Cardinals.

Can a younger man do what Benedict couldn’t and sort out the obvious mess that exists? Only time will tell. But it makes for an interesting election and tough time ahead for whoever gets the white smoke.

In the meantime the Holy See it seems is all at sea. 

Castel Gandolfo
Pope Benedict’s retreat, Castel Gandolfo, about 15 miles southest of Rome in the Alban Hills.

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Death Of A Senator

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I suppose this being an election year and all it would be remiss not to make some sort of comment on things political. I have to admit that I am not a great supporter of the democratic system as it currently exists.

I say this for a number of reasons. Here are four.

One, we never get to vote for the best candidate, only the candidates who can raise the most money, and who are selected by the party faithful.

Two, most people are so welded to the Republicans or Democrats that an independent candidate, even if he were by far the best of the bunch, has such an uphill struggle it is virtually impossible for him or her to get elected.

Three, our democracy does not require the voter (or the candidate I suppose) to be qualified in any way. The intellectual and the moron have an equal vote, even though the former has the ability to vote for the best qualified candidate with the most sensible policies, whilst the latter will vote for the one who wore the nicest tie in a TV debate.

And four, because whether we have Republicans or Democrats in power, or a white or colored President, they continue to allow the same sycophants and morons to populate all the important parts of government and crucial elements like the banking sector.  

“Yes we can?”

No we can’t.

Not with the present system. The current incumbent has proved that one beyond all reasonable doubt.

So what does all this mean? Well, it means probably that whoever gets elected, things will go on much the same.

But hopefully some people will actually think about who they are voting for and why. And try to cut through the electioneering promises and hype and think about what is practical and doable.

The following might help to clarify things a little.

Enjoy.

 

Death Of A Senator 

A powerful senator dies after a prolonged illness.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

“Welcome to Heaven,”
says St. Peter. “Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.”

“No problem, just let me in,” says the senator.

“Well, I’d like to but I have orders from higher up. What we’ll do is have you spend one day in Hell and one in Heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.”

“Really, I’ve made up my mind. I want to be in Heaven,” says the senator.

“I’m sorry but we have our rules.”

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to Hell.

The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a club and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him, everyone is very happy and in evening attire.

They run to greet him, hug him, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster and caviar.

Also present is the Devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes.

They are having such a good time that, before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a big hug and waves while the elevator rises.

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on Heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

“Now it’s time to visit Heaven.”

So 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing.

They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

“Well then, you’ve spent a day in Hell and another in Heaven. Now choose your eternity.”

He reflects for a minute, then the senator answers, “Well, I would never have said it, I mean Heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in Hell.”

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to Hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he is in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and all sorts of other disgusting things and putting them in black bags.

The Devil comes over to him and lays his arm on his neck.

“I…I…I… don’t understand,” stammers the senator. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a club house, and we ate lobster and caviar, and danced and had a great time. Now all there is, is a wasteland full of garbage and awful stuff and my friends all look miserable.”

The Devil looks at him, smiles and says,

“Yesterday we were campaigning…

Today you voted for us!”


PLEASE VOTE WISELY THIS COMING ELECTION!!