Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

War & Peace

An Al Arabiya commentator I spotted on the BBC had a curious take on the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, slated for later this week in Washington, under US auspices.

He was somber about the enterprise, saying neither parties have credible leaders and/or desire te make peace. And that as far as he was concerned the US always calls for a peace conference before it strikes. That he didn’t know whether it was Gaza (again) or Iran that was on the menu, but that every war in the region and in the past had been preceeded buy a peace conference.

Heady stuff, and I haven’t the means to check out the voracity of his theory.

Is he a cynic, paranoid, a genius, or all of these?

In human terms it is not unheard of to appear to seek a compromise with an adversary, making sure it fails, accusing the other party of bad faith, then pound the crap out of him, which is what was the intent all along, but now provides a ‘moral’ justification.

It also is a fact that when leaders are dead-set against an issue, they clamor loudly that they’re for it, but that the way it is sent up for approval is not good enough. Never good enough. Stonewalling it, so that it never gets accepted, and what they really wanted all along.

So what is it this time? Posturing nada más? Or a prelude to worse things to come?

It seems that Iran is the missing piece in regional order and the key to security in Irak, Afghanistan, Palestine and Lebanon, and sometimes one has to go in deeper before one can get out.

But can the US afford another adventure? And will Israel ever come up with a Government that really knows how to deal with its existence by investing billions in its neighbours, instead of nurturing the crazies blosseming under its intransigence, spending the billions it gets, on its God-given… self.

One thing is for sure, on all sides nothing here has ever been ‘good enough’, agreements made to fail, providing mileage for self-reward and bad governments the means to hold on to power.

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Pearl’s Lost Horror

If nine years ex post facto the Hawaiian Japanese community would have insisted on building a huge Shinto shrine at or near Pearl Harbor, on the flimsy argument that some of them also got struck when the Kamikazes hit, President Truman would have undoubtedly argued that as US born citizens and in line with local building regulations they might have this right, but that it would have been the height of insensitivity.

Religious freedom is one thing, callous railroading another.

Legalities aside, where is the compassion and the common sense of the Muslim world community?

And not just in Manhattan.

For try constructing a small Cathedral in Saudi Arabia or Iran, and see how far you get.

My suggestion simply this: DON’T CODDLE THE INTOLERANT! It never has and never will lead anywhere, because it gives them a sense of victory, fuelling badgering the rest of us for centuries.

Grand Theft & Other Lovely Strategies

Ok! Here we go! Business, trade, commerce, finance, the economy, however you wish to describe it is by definition a circular acivity. Break the circular exchange, and somebody gets hurt.

I have pointed out in previous postings that trading in cooked-up invisible products, totally disconnected from tangible reality is a fiction and a deceit that in the end will kill. And did.

But also, taking off with indecent profits, fouling up the chain, is usury.

And both are going on. And on.

Corporations outsourcing to poorer, cheaper nations is spreading wealth globally and Capitalism at its best. But NOT passing the outrageous savings back on to the originating consumer, is theft, is creating a new and permanent underclass. For the manufacture of a name brand produced at home and sold with a sustaining profit at $ 100.00 from an all-in cost of $ 70.00, is reasonable. Closing a plant and suddenly producing them at $ 20.00 elsewhere, but selling them at $ 150.00 all the same is theft. Executives making a deal with shareholders to pocket a $ 30 million bonus if the share price gets doubled on this basis, with the investing Fund Managers also pocketing millions in rewards, is theft. Shareholders doubling their money, Fund Managers and CEO’s filling their pockets to the tune of 300 to 1 over ordinary workers, is sharking. Towns destroyed, pensions raided, additional millions of folks becoming unemployed is immoral, not ‘good business’, but criminal larceny. Corporations being the soul of a community and a father to their workers, has fast become a fantasy. The middle class is clearly shrinking and the USA well on its way to plutonomies like the Philippines, Brazil and Mexico. The people stupidly admired, looking straight into a camera, saying ‘Charlie, My sole responsibility is to my Shareholders’, smartly depraved. And all because first and foremost they’re breaking the circle, the chain of shared wealth, and haven’t understood they’re breaking society.

There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing manufacture, but channel back the savings. Bring down those blue jeans to now suddenly $ 40.00, those shoes too, reducing the cost of living, indirectly augmenting personal income, enabling the paying off of mortgages, education, stimulating the home economy, leading to the creation of new products and services, to new employment, keeping in tact the circle, stopping the gushing leaks, the theft, the quasi embezzling, the irresponsible corporate policies, the hurt, the losses, the destruction.

I think there are too many visionless Harvard smart-pants out there, who haven’t understood the premordial truth. You can’t break the circle, make it as large as you want, go overseas, do whatever, but don’t decimate the umbilical chain that one day will strangle… even you. And don’t thrash Capitalism, just make it responsible, punishing the type of ignorance still running amok.

Thou shalt not have a $ 200 billion quarterly net profit, based on zero capital investment and the firing of half the work force

I mean, loan-sharking is illegal, bank usury is, pyramid sales are, profiteering is, so why not put a 6 months waiting period in split-second share transactions making them real investments instead of quick abstract gambles, and tax or otherwise regulate abusive pricing?

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