Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

Palestine III

I fear the only way out now is to change the players, getting rid of this generation, starting with new minds possessing an overview.

Yes, I do believe both sides do want peace, peace to their own ends that is.

The problem with Israel is its political system, coughing up unsavoury leaders like Netanyahu. A lot of us knew the isolation Israel was in for, when they foolishly re-elected him, given his record a decade ago. The second one that even a reactionary like him with a vision of what he wants, having absolutely none about how to get it or as close to it as the world permits, and also unable to control his religious zealots, even narrower of mind and violence inclined. All of which foreboded all this counter-productive intransigence.

Ironically the ones on the Jewish side who did eventually see the light both were military men, Sharon and Barak, realists if anything, not quasi messianic opportunists. Their problem not lack of understanding, but having to deal with primitive Palestinian stupidity. Of the old Arab propensity for cruel, corrupt authoritarianism, bordering on unenlightened tyranny, as practiced in all Arab nations until recently. The one practiced by Fatah to the point that Hamas could take over, replicating that way of governing as quickly as their calculated soup kitchens, doctrinaire schools and clinics had finished seducing the unsophisticated masses, taking over Gaza, and just as soon again launching naked aggression towards those who had freed them at last, calling theirs a  ‘victory’, and aching to bomb on in order to gain more. Poor Sharon, poor Barak, Olmert and all  those having risked their all.

This was bad luck, for what a world would we all live in today if those Muslim master-strategians instead had stored their nasty complexes and long-term ambitions and taken the immediate peaceful steps to make Gaza a trading, touristic show piece, a Palestinian gem on the Levant, cruise ships coming in, the desert irrigated, producing melons instead of rockets and tunnels and death. Perhaps, yes, even with a little help from Israel.

For despite Israel’s lousy current leadership if Gaza is anything to go by, what would those lovely Hamas thinkers do if Israel returned large parts of the West Bank!? Practically handing over the keys to Tel Aviv?

So this is the other generational problem: Palestinians also have a vision, but again none about gaining it, except by ways of bombs. And Abbas another leader who is not in control of his nasties, until they go. He seems to agree to Israel’s existential legitimacy, but what of those behind him, where does his authority stand?

So that you can’t blame Israel insisting no deal is possible until its security is guaranteed, except that the way it presently goes about this business, needlessly alienating Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, puts in danger even the security it thinks it now has.

Abbas has pleaded for the beginning of a real Palestinian State, which is reasonable, but his problem is not so much Israel as Hamas, and an internal nightmare making ordinary Palestinians needlessly suffer decade after decade… at their own hands. Of course there will be a Palestinian State, as soon as it teaches its young wisdom, pragmatism, respect and vision, seduce instead of destroying everything, including the little bit they have. And Israel  its powerful minorities less parchment, and more… generosity!

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The Lavatory of Democracy

The Right in the US clamours for tax breaks, so it can continue to invest in US companies making enormous profits by not passing back on to the consumer cost reductions in manufacture by closing towns wholesale, throwing millions of Americans out of work, while transferring operations to Asia.

Warren Buffet, a great closer of towns in his early years, invested 5 Billion dollars in Bank of America, recently and taking a seat on its board. Within 1 month Bank of America announced it is eliminating 30.000 jobs.

Coincidence?

Why is nobody picking up on this?

I published this 2 years ago: nothing much has changed!

Dividends of Shame

        Posted March 5, 2009
Filed under: Commerce, Economy, Ethics, finance Edit

My wife looked at a $300 pair of shoes by a Famous Brand manufacturer that she couldn’t afford anyway, but curiosity got the better of her. The shoes were made in China, nice try! Ever wonder why blue jeans, produced in the US, which used to cost $60 and are now produced in Cathay because of ridiculously low local wages, exchange rates, transport costs and import tariffs but of inferior quality and therefore to be sold for no more than $30, instead get marketed for up to $200 without anyone blushing?

The same phenomenon applying to toys, shirts, bikes and thousands of other consumer products, fierce competition having forced companies to match the overseas outsource maneuver? Excuse me, fierce competition? Doesn’t fierce competition drive prices down? Or is there something else going on, Brand name pimping, colluding in the leisurely sport of price gouging?

Fact: Majority shareholders approve and appoint and reward corporate officers able to drive the price of shares up, by posting huge profits

Fact: You post huge profits by cutting costs, but not reducing price

Fact: And you reduce cost by slashing wages and benefits through outsourcing your labour

Fact: One way of doing this by closing down and re-opening divisions in low cost countries with an unprotected local work-force, plus a low currency rate, without passing on any of these benefits to the consumer.

Fact: The aim of your enterprise is no longer to serve a community and its own family of collaborators and supporters, in the process making a reasonable profit ensuring continuation, but to create a vehicle providing exorbitant incomes to the privileged few ‘rewarded’ for their stewardship having forged a parasitical symbiosis for themselves.

Fact: This is hijacking. This is not natural, organic globalization and market balance; assets getting over-valued artificially and unnaturally for the temporary benefit of rapacious solipsists.

Fact: ‘Strip-mining’ corporate officers’ share of the scam leads to personal benefits hundreds of times those of remaining senior workers, when the healthier ratio shouldn’t be more than 1: 20. Of course, Fund Managers also deal themselves in richly for the paper gains of assets they help ‘direct’.

Fact: The losers: Everyone else: Public overcharged, Employees robbed and dismissed, Suppliers and their employees constantly facing extinction, Overseas workers exploited.

Fact: The irony is that the nominally benefitting Funds are mainly Pension funds, dabbing in hedge funds, but the bottom line, for remaining smaller stockholders as well, that the themselves small-time employees from other sectors contributing to and ‘buying’ into these Funds have no clue what’s going on and will not benefit greatly from their investment by the time they become entitled to their supposedly ‘indexed’ ‘savings’: These will have been skimmed off by CEO’s awarding themselves 50 million dollars a year in personal management fees, stock options, bonuses, outrageous salaries and more, as ‘approved’ by their pals, the back-scratching Managers of the mostly institutional Investor, in order to ‘prevent’ the former from taking off and, God forbid, ‘cook’ magnificent results elswhere.

Fact: The solution is to regulate usurious reward and abuse of globalization that has become no more than a sophisticated form of corporate theft by collusion, benefiting the third world only slightly and mainly in its upper spheres, the same situation repeated by Corporate subcontractors on the other side, hiring goons to keep working slobs in line i.e. organizing themselves in order to get a more equitable portion of the pie, but apt to get beat up instead….. (This in  mostly Socialist countries, believe it or not, but that’s is a whole different subject.)

Fact: Charlie Rose, embarrassingly in awe of the CEO of General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt having ‘turned GE around’, breathlessly asking him on PBS if he ever considered a political career, the man looking into the camera, probably thinking “Are you nuts?’, giving this reply in a mode dripping with phoney sincerity: Charlie, the only ambition in life I have is… protecting my shareholders!!!”. 

Ah, right! I bet! But what about your people, Jeff? Sleeping with the enemy’s what it used to be called. Or is it crying all the way to the bank, big guy? (Fall 2007)

On the Menu

I was invited to dinner by a tribe of cannibals. They were offering Shepherd’s Pie.

Poor bastard!

 

Holy Canine!

Pope Benedictus XVI is a German Shepherd!

Horrorists!

You have it all wrong!

Only those merely playing with our fears, including certain film directors, are the real terrorists.

For when watching a horror movie, nothing happens to us, and terror is the creation of extreme fear, but not the resulting outcome, if any, which is horror.

Therefore it should be terror movies, with those who actually maim, murder and destroy, creating the real horror, to be called horrorists.

So kindly alter your lexicon.

Clarity is everything, my friends!

Growing Up ?

There is the so-called banality of evil when an entire society embraces extermination, as normal.

On a completely different level there is such a thing as the matter-of-fact believer, someone who treats his religion like a bike, parked against the tool shed, right behind the vegetable patch. To get on and taking him were he wants to go. Never in doubt, never tired, always at his service, as long as he reminds himself to keep it well serviced and protected somewhat.

And life itself, much like a dinner party. Man, it’s so simple, they say: Hey, we must come from somewhere, and we must go somewhere after it’s over, and then
‘ Do you really think we’re all insane?’

Well, since you asked, yes, you’re mildly insane, though this is a strong word. One wouldn’t call a fantasizing child ‘insane’, but that’s what you are: a child. At one level operating like a rational adult, but on this score a
practical but stubborn child. A bit like my son when he was very young, insisting a pig was a sheep, and never giving in, thinking how stupid I was.

But he eventually snapped out if it….

Rants & Cream

Sept 7/2011

Khadaffi: We will retake Libya, free all Libyans, kill all the rats who stood up against us, we will kill them house by house, door by door, we will defeat NATO….

Pimply Youth: Ah, Sir! Would you please pay your ice cream now! There are people waiting in line, behind you…!

 

(Note: There are only 800 Km but 8 Centuries between the coast of North Africa and Italy, in governance terms.)

Cages

If you’re terrified what will happen to you if you don’t enthusiastically clap and cheer, you’re living in a political hell.

Matters Of Opinion

When I told friends in Jerusalem that I was disappointed with the Mount of Olives, expecting beautiful gardens, they told me mine was an anti-scenic remark

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