Vlad The Bad?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

The Sunday Sermon

.

“It was the Russians, they’re the ones to blame.”

“It was Putin. He’s the baddie. We can’t let him get way with it!”

 malaysia-airlines-flight-mh17

So go the cries in the US in the aftermath of the shooting down of Air Malaysia Flight MH17 over the Ukraine.

And that was long before any of the facts had been collected and it was known who shot down a plane on a different continent, or why. 

Russia wants (virtual) control of the Ukraine. There isn’t really any doubt about that. For them it is a strategic imperative. Russia’s history has taught it that it needs to be able to control a vast amount of territory, if only to use as a buffer zone against invasion.

The situation is not helped by various US Presidents and Secretaries of State giving Russia assurances that they would not attempt to involve the peripheral former Soviet states in things like NATO – and then trying to do the exact opposite.

It is now widely accepted that the underlying reason for the unrest in the Ukraine and Russia’s reaction is because of US interference in that country, which included helping to overthrow its democratically elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, and replace him with someone who was a virtual puppet of the West.

That was just asking for trouble. And they should have known it.

And they will get trouble, probably much more than they bargained for.

Unfortunately that will impact on ordinary people, like us.

 Major_NATO_affiliations_in_Europe

Just as the US has its beady eyes on bringing the Ukraine and other former Soviet states into pro-Western organizations like NATO, it is equally certain that Putin will have his beady eyes on not only bringing the former Soviet states back firmly under Russian control, but in perhaps expanding his relationships with other parts of Europe.

Putin has the energy reserves to do it. Whilst there is very little in the way of direct trade between the US and Russia, particularly in regard to energy supplies, (Russia is just the United States’ 20th largest trading partner), Europe is largely dependent on Russian gas to keep it going. Over 30 percent of the European Union’s energy supplies come from Russia and the EU is Russia’s largest trading partner.

Russia’s counter strategy, therefore, will obviously be to use its considerable economic influence as leverage to try to break up the NATO alliance and to separate the European power house, Germany, from its Anglo-American alliance.

Putin is being helped by the arrogance of America’s government spooks who thought they could spy on their friends and allies, even going so far as tapping the phone of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, without there being consequences.  

consequences

Prompted by leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the fallout from America’s spying debacle continues, people have been arrested, and the German government has even ordered the local CIA station chief to pack his bags and leave the country.

Germany may still place some value on its relationship with the US, but not nearly so much as previously, thanks solely to America’s lack of respect for them.

Putin and his advisors know this, even if Obama and Kerry don’t. They see Germany as ready for change. And they may well be right. The German people are angry at the contempt America has shown for them  – just as Americans would rightly have been if the Germans had done the same to them and their President  –  and they are increasingly frustrated at the burden the European Union has become economically.

If the US doesn’t catch itself on and behave differently and with respect towards its foreign friends, it may find that there will be changes it did not expect and certainly did not want.

Kerry Putin Obama

.

=====================================================

.

So Come On America, Do Something Smart This Time.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

I hate to have to say “I told you so” (actually I love it), but in last week’s Sunday Sermon I was on a well worn theme of mine, the blundering stupidity of American foreign policy – if you can even call it a policy. Particularly the current American lust for getting involved in the turmoil in the Ukraine. (If you want to recap, click here…)

Russia Ukraine map

I offered the theory that it was not unreasonable for a Russian leader like Putin not to want a fully nuclear armed Ukraine as anything other than an ally on his doorstep. And to try to clarify the position from his point of view I used the example of how America reacted (rightly) when the Russian leader of the 1960s, Khrushchev, tried to do the same thing in Cuba – right on America’s doorstep.

Well, I can’t take a great deal of credit for what happened next. It was an obvious consequence of American interference in Ukraine. Obvious to everyone that is except the morons in Washington.

Yes, Valdimir Putin paid a visit to Cuba this week.

Putin Castro

His message could not be clearer, again to everyone except the Congress, Senate, White House, State Department, and the rest. For their benefit rather than the readers’, Putin’s message is simple  –  if you want to **** in my back yard, then I can **** in yours too.

The Cuban economy is in dire straits. The Russians have already forgiven the substantial multi-$billion debt owed to them and will no doubt follow that up with a new infusion of money to help the country out.

The smart move for America would be to immediately end the now pointless economic embargo of Cuba (the desk drawers of the hypocrites in Washington are full of boxes Cuban cigars anyway!) and open up new friendlier relations. I think America would be surprised just how amenable the Cubans would be to better relations with them.

Box of Cuban Cigars

But they’d better act fast.

If they adopt their usual short-sighted warmongering posture, then Russia’s influence will only get stronger and its presence ever closer to American shores. I don’t think anybody wants that outcome.

So come on America, do something smart this time.

The world is watching!

.

======================================

.

Obama Says Iraq’s Government Needs Help!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Now there’s a headline. Let’s repeat it…

Obama says Iraq’s government needs help!

Long live hypocrisy!

.

Time for a Sunday Sermon I think!

.

Iraqi flag

.

I say hypocrisy for one simple reason, Obama  –  remember him, the man who was getting all the troops OUT of Iraq  –  wants to send them back in again because of the almighty mess that America, Britain and other western nations made blundering about in a country they didn’t understand.

It’s worse than that, of course, because Obama wants to send the troops back into Iraq to help stave off attacks by radical Islamists who have been making inroads in various parts of Iraq and are now threatening to close in on Baghdad itself.

This what he said, “I don’t rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria.”

But hang on a minute.

There’s that stench of hypocrisy again.

Are these not the very same terrorists who Obama is supporting financially and with arms shipments in Syria?

They may have different names in different countries but these terrorists collectively want to establish an Islamic state in the region that surpasses national boundaries and governments. And from there, who knows?

It really is that simple. But it seems American foreign policy is in its usual state – completely confused, completely devoid of logic and good sense.

The mess that has been left behind in Iraq is catastrophic.

The country has more or less disintegrated politically and militarily, with Islamic militants capturing the country’s second-largest city this week after soldiers scattered, leaving their uniforms and weapons behind. So much for the $15 billion Washington (i.e., the American taxpayer) has already provided in training, weapons and equipment to the Iraqi government!

The result of this capitulation is that at least half a million ordinary citizens are understandably fleeing as the terrorists gain ground.

America’s ‘re-intervention’ will start with air strikes, possible using drones. But the chances of that doing anything more than temporarily halting the terrorists are slight. Next will come increased supplies of arms and equipment for the ‘official’ Iraqi forces. And then ‘advisors’ will be sent in  –  they’re probably already there, their presence will just be officially acknowledged.

There was a strong indication of what will come after that, when White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “We are not contemplating ground troops, I want to be clear about that.”

I have seldom seen a clearer admission that the White House is actively considering sending ground troops back into Iraq!

SoS Kerry has been wheeled out again to tell the world that the situation presently is not just a threat to Iraq, but to the United States and the rest of the world. We all know that John. What we also know  –  and what you don’t  –  is that more blundering about in a situation you do not understand, more young American live sacrificed for nothing, and more brave souls maimed for life to satisfy political whims won’t make things any better.

Will common sense ever prevail? Sadly I very much doubt it. The lack of understanding exhibited by the politicians seems to span all parties.

The lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

So there’s more stupidity on the way!

.

Ethno-religious map of Iraq
Ethno-religious map of Iraq, courtesy of the Washington Post

.

=================================================

.

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

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

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….

.

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.

.

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.

.

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;

.

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.

.

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

.

The man knew what he was talking about.

.

——————————

.

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 )

.

======================================================

.

 

Pandering To Minorities.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

The Sunday Sermon

You know there is something very wrong with your society when it allows vociferous minorities to dictate how the majority of people are allowed to live their lives.

They still call it democracy, but it is not.

And it is happening more and more in Western nations, particularly America and Europe, and affecting more and more areas of our lives.

The reason it happens is not because loud mouth minority interests demand this or that or the other, but because the majority have lost any backbone they ever had and capitulate in the face of almost every demand, no matter how nonsensical.

It never works the other way because when Westernere go to other countries we abide by the rules of that nation. We do not try to impose our beliefs on them, not nowadays anyhow.

For example, if I end up in a Muslim country where alcohol is not permitted, I respect their laws and don’t drink alcohol. Similarly, if I want to visit Israel, I’ll eat kosher. Or if I go to India I won’t demand that they slaughter a sacred cow just so as I can have a juicy steak!

We’re on the subject of food and drink because the latest to buckle under is the fast food chain ‘Subway’ in the United Kingdom and Ireland. (Watch out, you’re next America!)

Because of the demands of a few within the Muslim community, Subway has chosen to ignore the wishes of the great majority of its customers and has removed ham and bacon from nearly 200 of its stores.

The meats that they still serve are also to be Islamic hal-al only.

Subway hal-al

.

In case you don’t know, hal-al is not the Israeli national airline (that’s El Al), but is a specific way of slaughtering animals for human consumption.

Traditionally in halal abattoirs the throats of the animals are cut while they are fully conscious – an act many campaigners say is inhumane and needlessly cruel – whereas in non-halal abattoirs, livestock are stunned before killing to prevent any unnecessary suffering.

So if you are in the UK or Ireland and looking for any of the following “Subs” you are in for a disappointment.

Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt  –  BANNED!
Steak and Cheese  –  BANNED!
Meatball Marinara  –  BANNED!
Subway Melt – ham, bacon, turkey breast and cheese  –  BANNED!
Italian B.M.T. – pepperoni, salami and ham  –  BANNED!
Spicy Italian – pepperoni and salami  –  BANNED!
Chicken Avocado  –  BANNED!
Mega Melt – bacon, sausage, egg and cheese  –  BANNED!
Sausage, Bacon, Egg and Cheese  –  BANNED!
Sausage, Egg and Cheese  –  BANNED!

As regards me personally, it’s Subway that is in for the disappointment, because I’ll be deliberately missing them the next time I get hungry enough for some fast food.

I fail to see why I should support a company like Subway for whom my tastes, as part of the majority of its customers, means nothing.

So well done Subway, you’re stock value should be heading the sub way too if you continue to show contempt for your core customers who made your company what it is  –  er, make that, what it was.

Now where did I put that Burger King menu???

Burger King logo

.

======================================

 

.

What Happened To This Thing Called ‘Democracy’ Anyhow?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

The Sunday Sermon

.

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

.

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

.

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

.

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.

ap_joe_biden_debate_raising_arms_thg_121012_wg

.

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’.

.

===============================

.