Monday, December 31, 2012

Lets combine gullible with inexperience

You can imagine how it all happened - in the months following September 11 2001.

Some smart entrepreneur entrenched in the US military-industrial complex cooked up a bit of a story along the lines of - "Either you stand with us against the terrorist threat - or you will stand alone".

And that was enough to terrify the gullible and inexperienced and headpat-happy leaders in the UK and AU into signing up for the manufactured "war on terror".

A simple marketing message - that has been used by successive US Administrations to intimidate the rest of us and which is continually used to impose new and harsh rules around how we operate as a nation.

The current nonsense in AU around surveillance and data retention is just the latest in what has become regular violations of our rights and restrictions on our freedoms.  And we now have many thousands more people employed in our *national security* industry.

Does any of that make you feel safe Virginia?

Never mind all that they say - we are protecting you from the "terror threat".  All in the name of "freedom" and "democracy" they say.  BS I say.  What do you reckon Eric Arthur Blair would say?

In 2012 the key features were - torture, unwarranted surveillance and drone strikes.  All illegal and all deadly with the details mostly secret.

In 2013 it will be more of the same plus whatever new and nasty crap they think they can get away with.

And here in AU our next generation of headpat-happy politicians are just as gullible and inexperienced as ever.  The only difference is that thanks to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks a few more Australians are now awake to the deadly game.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Politics, Power and History

It's just incredible how the US has gone from respected leader of the free world to pariah - all in the space of two or maybe three Presidential terms.

Many citizens in the west once felt safe under the wing of uncle Sam - now those same people are desperate to escape his deadly embrace.

The whole thing reminds me of the collapse of the Soviet Union.  As their leadership came under pressure they became even more scatty and unpredictable.  It seems that politicians under pressure always try to consolidate their power - rather than protect their people.

Are there no students of history amongst our politicians?

The takeover of the US and it's client's by the *batshit crazies* and the *far right* is now almost complete.

Despite Obama's historic second term the US Congress and Administration are still operating as though the weirdo's are in charge.  Cameron and Co. in the UK have pretty much turned that place into an economic wasteland.  And in AU the government and opposition have switched roles - with Gillard and friends now madly pursuing conservative policies.  Austerity is the new black ;-)

And the most dependent US client - Israel seems the most pressured of all with a very itchy trigger finger.  The world seems to have become a very unsafe place all of a sudden.

Apparently the new *normal* is - more wars, more drones and drone killings, more torture of foreigners and nationals alike, more persecution of whistle-blowers, more unwarranted surveillance and much more fascist and dictatorial behaviour.  All by those who we elected to look out for us.

And to think that it was all started by a ideologically driven Saudi living in exile in the mountains of Afghanistan.  Who would have thought that one person of such limited means could cause such widespread economic, social and moral chaos?

What fascinates me the most is that this one person seems to have had a stronger appreciation of politics, power and history than anyone in the west.

What does that tell you about the quality of our leaders and our political institutions?

Monday, December 17, 2012

The dole payment

Apparently the reason why our Government won't consider raising the dole is because it uses the low level of dole payment to put pressure on recently unemployed people to accept low paying and menial jobs.

Their plan is to ensure the dole is not attractive - by comparison with the minimum wage.

So if you have lost a real job that was paying a real salary then our Government want you to take a minimum wage job - rather than accept the dole and wait for another real job to come along.

I suspect this is because they know that real jobs are now few and far between.

So all you science graduates can now look forward to driving a taxi - or serving people in order to feed and house your families.  Good luck with that then.

The net effect is that pretty soon we will become a nation of minimum wage workers.  But even that is too much for big business.

For your reference the Australian minimum wage is $15.96 /hour.  The US minimum wage is $7.25 /hour.  That comparison tells you a little about the agenda of our Government.

They are furiously trying to reduce Australian labour costs - because their puppet masters in Washington won't tolerate Australian workers being paid so much ;-)

These techniques were first used by the Howard Government to demonstrate its *superior* economic manangement.  And we all know what that resulted in.

Now Gillard and Co. - an actual Labor Government - has adopted a similar plan.  Clearly they have given up looking out for Australian workers.

Oh and this scam also serves to artificially reduce the *official* unemployment rate.  Isn't that convenient?

I am just so over these turkeys.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Politics App

The one important thing that is missing from our lives is a *Politics App*.  It will need to run across all the current platforms and especially the new generation of smart phones.

So what would this app do?

Well for starters it would give you a "candidate rating" of all the politicians who are in your face and contesting the electorate that you specify. This rating would be built from the political history and public noise and words that spew forth from said politician.  In the event that they become unnaturally timid then it would use a generic "rating" that is developed for their party - or one that is based on their leader.

That feature alone should cause most of them to become extra vocal and wordy ;-)

So the first thing it would do is "rate" the quality of your local candidates - and "rank" them - top to bottom.  All based on their history and documented views and those of their party.  And it will provide a benchmark of best practice against which it will compare your candidates.

Hopefully, this will kill the current *batshit crazy* approach to politics.

The second thing it would do is allow you to ask "what-if" questions  - and compare candidates accordingly.  So what do your local candidates think about "US Military bases", "Gay marriage",  "Palestine", "Nuclear power", "Asylum seekers"  or "Increasing the dole" for example.  Many of them will be silent on these topics - in which case they will inherit their party platform.

And importantly - have they been *bought and paid for* by vested interests representing any particular cause?  This might create a little angst until they can work out how to get around it.

The third thing it would do is provide a finely tuned "Bullshit" detector.  This feature will analyse the noise or words produced by a selected candidate - and give you a bullshit rating between "none" and "total".

One of the unintended features of this app is that you can use it to analyse the words and speech of anyone - so point it at the local newspaper, the TV news or the church pulpit on Sunday to see who else is feeding you crap.

Now this app is not a simple little thing.  It uses lots of data and pushes the maths envelope - but it seems to be about the only way we citizens can get our polity back.

Anyone want to request a feature?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Unfit for office

We have a bit of a problem in Australia.  Our polity is broken and we have no way of fixing it.  And nobody who votes seems to have noticed.

One political party - "Currently in Opposition" - has been captured by the far right wing and their fellow travellers - the *batshit crazies*.  Its leader is rampaging about doing his best to destroy our actual government.  All with a little help from Uncle Rupert and his editors and the rest of the media circus.

And the opposition party MP's keep their heads down and their mouths shut because they are too scared to voice their disapproval - knowing that they would get the "Peter Slipper" treatment if they said anything.

These folks used to be your opposition MP's - but now they know that if voting changed anything they would be out of a job.

The other political party - "Currently in Government" - is doing its best to mimic an actual opposition.  Its leader has stolen the worst elements of the real opposition's *policies* and is doing her best to screw the nation and the people over.  Just because she doesn't know any better.

This mob have a full program of stupid underway - including handing out keys for new US military bases, damaging the nation with a confected and unnecessary surplus, engaging in harsh, cruel and *illegal* treatment of asylum seekers and shafting the unemployed.

And their MP's also keep their heads down and their mouths shut because they are too scared to voice their disapproval - knowing that they would get the "Kevin Rudd" treatment if they said boo to a goose.

These folks used to be your government MP's - but now they are just sheep meandering about in the shearing shed - waiting to be shorn.

Next year both parties will be asking us to select their candidates at the 2013 election.  Won't that be a laugh?

Friends, I wouldn't touch any of them - because IMHO both parties and their *offerings* are unfit for office.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Short Leash

I am pretty much in agreement with Mark Latham about the joke that's journalism.

It seems to me that most of us will be pushing up daisies if we were to wait for our various governments to take action to clean up our dysfunctional media.

In the UK Leveson looks to be dead in the water, in AU Finklestein has already been buried and in the US they won't even bother with an enquiry.

Because government has long since lost any desire to act in the interests of their citizens.  These days politicians - even so-called progressive ones - are all about encouraging monopoly, shafting people and sucking up to warmongers.

And that's when they are working to a plan - most of the time they just meander about in a policy daze - trying to second guess an equally thick opposition.

And the truly scary thing is that most of us haven't even noticed yet.  We will soon enough.

We need to rebuild our democracy and introduce some strong, interactive and two-way engagement between the people and their politicians.

Citizen initiated referenda and recall elections are good places to start.  Just so we can keep them on a very short leash.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Strategic colony of the United States

I find it fascinating that our Labor government and its key ministers seem happy to crawl up the United States' back passage.

It's like they know that they are going to get trounced at the next election - and so they act as though they want to piss off as many people as possible between now and then - just to show us all who's boss in the here and now.

That's a very clever strategy - one that will hopefully keep Labor in opposition for decades to come ;-)

The Assange and Wikileaks nastiness is all about sucking up to their US masters - who are trying to destroy Julian because he has exposed illegal, corrupt and arrogant US behaviour.  Now this is not news but our dickhead government thinks it is cool to pick on whistleblowers and abandon an Australian citizen - when given instructions from Washington.

I hope that Gillard, Carr and Roxon never find themselves on the receiving end of similar treatment ;-)

They want to destroy Assange and Wikileaks and send a strong message to anyone else who might attempt something similar.  It might once have worked when people were fully employed and had bought into the "debt until death" syndrome promoted by the "politico - media - housing" complex.

But most young thinkers have seen through that BS game and have other priorities now.  Give us another decade of political mismanagement - like the last one and it will likely be the politicians who are languishing in exile - or behind bars.

And - In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with WL Central, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has accused the current Gillard government of acting as though Julian Assange "doesn't exist, that he's not an Australian citizen." Mr Fraser slams the existing relationship between Australia and the United States as "far, far too close" and claims Australia is "a strategic colony of the United States, under current circumstances."

And yet aside from Fraser, the few senior thinkers who do occasionally have something to say about our polity are silent on this subject.  They like to talk tough when there is no personal risk - but they avoid comment when there is.

Phooey to you lot then.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Some serious sh*t is about to happen

I have spent the past few days exploring a little seaside village.  Or more correctly - a collection of villages - that are within an easy 2-3 hour drive of an Australian capital city.

And I think that "some serious sh*t is about to happen" there.

Because what has evolved over the past 30 years or so is that *shark* developers have locked up the coastal land and created many thousands of new residential blocks - upon which they and their mates have built many thousands of McMansions.

Which they have since on-sold to middle aged bogans contemplating an idyllic seaside retirement.

These developments are located near or in golf courses or adjacent to marina developments and their developers have spent large percentages of their funds on *marketing* them to gullible city-based bogans.

You know the ones - they used to work in manufacturing and live in suburbia - but they have lost their "job for life" and the wife wanted to retire to the seaside.

So far - so good.  Just a couple of minor problems.

Firstly, these thousands of McMansions aren't near any important community facilities.  The developers failed to provide any commercial space to accommodate supermarkets, post offices, medical centres, Centrelink offices or anything else that said bogans need access to on a daily basis.

Because as we know with our *free enterprise* system - that is always someone-else's problem.

And that is possibly OK when you are semi retired and still have a car and a driver’s license.  But what happens when you lose your mobility as you age?  How do you then get to the supermarket and medical centre that is 10km away?

And the second problem is related.  What about when the entire complement of McMansion owners have lost their mobility - and they all decide to move nearer to important facilities or to the retirement village?

What happens when they all try to sell their thousands of McMansions into a market that doesn't want them?