Labor Party wins Australian election

Labor Party wins Australian election – Times Online

Australia lurches left

Mr Howard’s End

Rudd does it

These are the predictable headlines of the day. And so the democratic process sweeps Mr Howard into the history box and confines his future to be one of talk show fodder – or ambassadorial appointment – how about ambassador in the USA. It would not be unusual for the man who was able to pull resounding defeat out of the bag. One does wonder, if the chalice full of poison he now hands to his successor was not his final act. Denying Peter Costello the magic carpet on loan to Gordon Brown, hands over a party whisked away from office – it may be sheer bullying? It does give Mr Costello a chance to earn his leadership, unearned leadership is hard to reclaim as Mr Brown has found. It appears that you can take the reigns of power, but when you shake them too hard, the horses will turn on you. So political kamikaze by Mr Howard gives the most dramatic of recoveries available for Mr Costello when they hit the hustings. It gives Kevin Rudd a brief opportunity to impress but restricted by the fact that he has inherited the top of a wave of prosperity partly built on supplying uranium to China does not seem sustainable as a strategy. Or maybe it will not matter. Uranium has to come from somewhere and the USA can’t afford to spend more on it.

And thus in defeat, Mr Howard forwards the democratic progress of his successor. It is a brilliant political death worthy of some deathly tome.

It is the end of an era for President Bush. His last cheerleader just retired. This could make the next year even more unpredictable.

It is almost a relief to see a woman voted into power in Australia, the new Deputy Prime Minister is Julia Gillard, a former lawyer.

Bob Hawke – Australia’s last long serving Labor PM said that Mr Howard’s attempt to reduce workers rights is repeating history in a “delicious irony”.

Baghdad Security Improves

Baghdad Starts to Exhale as Security Improves – New York Times

“20,000 Iraqis have gone back to their Baghdad homes, a fraction of the more than 4 million who fled nationwide, and the 1.4 million people in Baghdad who are still internally displaced,”

Eventually, you should run out of people to kill and that induces a state of normality. If a smaller number of killings is any measure of a “normality” when we are talking of 4 million displaced residents of Iraq. That is quite a feat in human transportation just to kill a few thousand “terrorist” fighters who appear to be fighting the Americans mainly to keep them there rather than to cause them to leave.

But the human face of the fragmentation of Iraq will go on and on. We hope all the executioners are removed before more people move back with confidence. What a horror. If you are going to fight a war – finish it properly.

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com

Nice to see the mainstream media starting to recognize what we have been saying for years. President George W. Bush and his administration have run the USA economy into extraordinary debt in an effort to maintain a status quo. If this was a business the opportunity to print more money and lend it to anyone has created the sub-prime mortgage crash disaster. International finances mean that a mistake in the policy of the USA government has indirectly resulted in failures of a large number of banks and financial institutions in other countries.

George W. Bush has over-spent and fought wars he could have avoided but did not. It now appears that our early conjecture was correct, George W. Bush was always going to invade Iraq. Even before 9/11 such plans appear to exist.

The policy of exerting military control over the Middle East is an old story. Britain had control of the area called Iraq until 1920. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire meant new political entities had to establish and the design of Iraq was loaded with conflicts, both between Sunni and Shiite – and of course between the Kurds and Turkey.

And now Pakistan is becoming less stable – with 77% Sunni population and being the home in exile of the Taleban make Pakistan and Iran into potential enemies. If the USA mishandle the Iran issue – or the Pakistan issue – my prediction is a war between Iran and Pakistan.

Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal’s incisive essay of 27 October 2002 reads like it was only written yesterday and sometimes with the hindsight of events that are still unfolding.

“astonished military experts, cannot fathom why the government’s automatic `standard order of procedure in the event of a hijacking’ was not followed. Once a plane has deviated from its flight-plan, fighter planes are sent up to find out why. That is law and does not require presidential approval, which only needs to be given if there is a decision to shoot down a plane. Goff spells it out: `The planes are all hijacked between 7:45 and 8:10am. . . . Who is notified? This is an event already that is unprecedented. But the President is not notified and going to a Florida elementary school to hear children read.'”

This was the first and most obvious question – how did the US military manage to not respond to a threat? And the primary illogic that supports the hypothesis the USA went to war over oil long before 9/11 – the New American Century people were inventing ways to politically support the abuse of the US economy and military to ensure oil could be pumped across Asia as some grand military chess game and post modern colonial land grab without precedent? And does that somehow include the Democrat Congress now in its thrall – polluted by war spending and appointing to Attorney General an open supporter of water-boarding – an illegal method of interrogation that sounds like torture to me – sort of a being seen to go against your principles. Or will the American people wake up to the simple that they bought into it in the first place by allowing a highjacked Republican party to rule them despite the warnings by writers like Gore Vidal; makes me wonder what the heck I am doing writing about it year after year. Not as if anyone listens.

Wake up – the USA is over investing in ensuring the future does not adopt new values that are less harmful to the environment and the vast population of the Earth. The idea of a super cabal who want to see a world with a population of less than 1 billion who achieve this by one world government and enforcement is becoming mainstream. Conspiracy theory may be a normal reaction to bad government and there is little doubt in the eyes of many that the Bush administration is not performing the actions of a good government.

Police have duty to protect public

“The real problem is not that the police acted, it was the premature and unnecessary invocation of the Terrorism law to deliberately make it fail.”

The police raided and arrested a number of people and brought charges under gun control laws for illegal weapons and they also tried to lay terrorism charges. That failed. There is a lot of public support for the actions of the police but some of that is based on the generated fear aroused by the T word.

Charges are being brought and if these people are proven guilty of possessing automatic weapons and planning to hurt people – well I guess that is not going to be a walk in the park – but serious charges require a serious case that successfully passes the tests of justice including proper evidence, etc.

We want the law applied properly.

Barak Obama

This man has a mind to change America. His run for the Presidency is backed with a powerful charisma and ability to infuse a crowd. He sounds like a 180 degree turn around from the ailing wind of the Bush administration. Or will he never catch Hilary? Where the “need” for “equality of gender” is going to make it seem female leadership is required it still makes sense to choose the best leader.

A lot of Americans will be asking similar questions when it comes down to the decision.

And what Republican is an Obama run for presidency likely to have to face? Probably the more popular Mick Romney than the popularist Bushite Rudy G.

Slowdown Fears Rife

Markets and Dollar Sink as Slowdown Fear Increases – New York Times

As predicted when Mr Bush lowered tax rates for the very rich – the US economy devalued itself giving it the impression of a lot of spare cash. But he had gone to war with an already crippled Iraq and has spent hundreds of billions getting American troops in Iraq killed for very little resulting improvement in world safety from terrorism.

When an economy becomes too sanguine (too much blood in it) for too long – idiots start throwing billions about. Weird ideas spring forth like crazed cults and adherents may be expected to invest in companies and ideas that have no real product or effect no real change. (I am not talking about Google – here we have an economy developing its own force from the work of a simple workable idea. Text advertising on the internet is not a new idea that Google suddenly came up with, there was text advertising already. What they did was leverage it against relevance. Effective useful advertising has value. Google did what others were stabbing in the dark trying to make work. They provided motivations for each part of their business to work with other parts of their business).

Instant public perception reveals the turkey – but sometimes not before thousands have thrown millions at it. Too much property investment capital inevitably results in sales that get reversed. Too many mortgagee sales depresses prices. Declining prices could become deflation. That would cause massive problems.

What flooding the market with low value dollars has done is cheapen the US economy. Hence the foolhardy effort to get everyone on the mortgage train we now insidiously refer to as sub-Prime. No-one is talking about how many citizens are losing their homes in the USA as a result of Bush indifference to the needs of real people. It has provided the grass roots market players with a sense of uselessness – or irrelevance.

What we hear about is how investors are losing their punts in these non-productive organs of real estate wheel greasing. How many cents in the dollar they can expect. It is a damning and sad story but not half as hard as the young couple expecting who suddenly lose their house and entire life structure. Not to mention to effect on the overall health of the USA economy. How are they going to make productive lives for themselves now?

Some one please tell me how this is a good result of the Bush tax massacre?

Go on – go to the Discussion site and lecture me on the merits of running huge deficits to fight a war that has little economic benefit but heavy costs. Where is the beef?

Never forget

Americans need never forget this expense could have been restricted to a perhaps necessary and by now concluded war in Afghanistan.

The necessity of the war in Iraq is not borne out by the effects of the invasion. Is there some secret logic to causing the forces that offend each other to interact as this invasion seems to have done? There seems not to be. It is merely an overhang of the colonial era when imperial authority controlled peoples who were considered inferior. The world may have changed, perhaps the politics of war will follow.