Impressions of the Presidency

Barack Obama spoke with more dignity than bluster with more to say that was positive but took a few digs at Mitt Romney and his running mate, what’s his name. Ryan.

Anyway the Republicans seem to be making toes curl with their stage mismanagement. And the percentage of outright lies. It prevalence of untruths is quite strong, so high that by the time you had sorted them from the truth the election would be already over. They hope to fire shots into the court of public opinion but that has many eyes.

The experience is that Conservatives believe in winging it. They almost believe in corruption as a form of growth. Of course the returns of running a business are greater than working for one. That is good logic – but is so progressive taxation so that those earning two million pounds a week are paying taxes. They could automate the whole thing and eliminate avoidance by merely taxing all transactions at a 10% levy additional to the price of anything that is automatically and instantly collected. The instant redistribution of wealth that occurs by working for someone or someone buying something does not involve banks.

The Royal family at the help of the Democrats were enjoined by Bill Clinton in a rousing political storming speech that endorsed Barack Obama ferociously. Michelle Obama shone with such presence that the impression left is that she will exact more shame upon the opponents with vitriol that will stick.

I am not that keen on the current crop of Republicans. What with their beliefs and prejudices against others.

Politics

The need for people to assert their ideas and own the consequences is invested in monumental sculpture as the preservation of memory is the stamp on history. Deep in our inner-child the need to be ahead of others can assert itself, core beliefs lead to a sense of oneness with a tradition of thinking. There is no fundamental reason that today’s left-right paradigm will be remotely similar to that fifty years on.

There is no guarantee that any of the many parties of Western democracies will be the same as they are now. Politics is a system of pools of clout and passages through which diplomatic pressure may be asserted.

Our model is like that of the herd animal – we create a flow to go with and democratically decide to lurch one way or another. In the current UK lurch, we have a Conservative-Liberal coalition. And lets abbreviate their gormless flight into obscurity with the epithet ConDem. Mainly as DemCon sounds like some video game marketing label and that would amount to mis-representation.

See also – Politics – Disturbing Trends history

The US Presidential Election

Obama need do nothing. The Republicans may run out of feet to shoot themselves, but let’s hope it does not go downhill from there. It is painful to watch Romney having to discourage a Senator from standing due to the rather radically evil views he has expressed about women.

America remains the most significant economic and military giant there ever was and even though the juggernaut balances on a frozen lake it manages to eke out a little growth showing signs things are improving. It just costs a hell of a lot of cash. Cash that becomes less valuable by the second.

When the debt starts it seems like a good idea, we borrow. It is relatively easy. It is far harder to repay debt – especially if like the UK, you run huge deficits between what the tax man collects and what the Government is committed to spend. All expenses are too large for the tax take. So instead of casting the net over earnings a bit more fairly the Tories acts in Government have severely depressed the tax take. It is not just the austerity, it is the imbalance and relegation of many starting with the student fees and ending with the sale of the NHS to corporatisation.

If a business can borrow it can take on new risk, new staff and grow. If it can not take on risk, or the climate is too negative then it may simply act in the same way our Chancellor is, be boring and austere oneself away from doing anything about the crying baby of British economics.

But the US have a growing economy meaning that there is gradual improvement. After 9/11 the Dow Jones dropped for nearly the entire Bush era to below 10,000. Under the present administration it is far higher at 13,800. They gotta be doing something right.

Evil Nonsense

Todd Aitken must go.

Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill, justified his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape with a claim that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses that prevent pregnancy.

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

If a bigot like this does stand then the Republicans will be represented by what comes out of such vile mouths.  Starting out with what sounds like hate speech directed at females in general and in particular rape victims, he mouths off about “medical research”, as though it were an observable fact.  Which it isn’t.  Rapists are not uniquely infertie.  And pregnant women may not know what to do regardless of rape victims.

Having government people with this sort of view is indeed a very specific and dangerous threat to the rights of women.

The evil nonsense that implies that a woman who has not miscarried post rape is somehow complicit must not be glossed over.  Such conservatives attempts to contrast Romney into a moderate become ever more bizarre.  But this candidate for Senate should stand down.

This race – the one with Obama and Romney appears to be one of those that you will look back on and say it was a foregone conclusion.  But you have to question strategies like this Todd Aitken – are idiots like him wheeled out solely to make Romney seem more acceptable and mainstream?

If the Republicans have him running for The Senate, it is quite a refection upon their values.   They had better replace him before Wednesday.

Full story: http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/08/19/712151/growing-number-of-conservative-call-on-akin-to-withdraw-after-legitimate-rape-comments/?mobile=nc

 


Followup

Update: 20 August 2012

I remember reading that the Romney campaign is in favour of allowing rape victims appropriate care including access to abortion and has rebuked Todd Aiken for his statement. It is also possible that Aiken deliberately set off alarms bells so that Romney could rebuke him.

The easily impressed will be briefly impressed but the lasting image, the taste in the mouth is left by Aitken and what his statement implied. Is that now the Tories think?

I fear that it really is. They believe in controlling a little too much and reducing human rights as a commercial enterprise.

 

Syria and Iraq

In the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/world/middleeast/chemical-weapons-wont-be-used-in-rebellion-syria-says.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120724 – it is evident that Syria has a large cachet of WMD.  Why?  Well Saddam’s stock must have gone somewhere when sabrés were rattled.

Syria is all that is left of the common Ba-athist political party that fell with Saddam in Iraq.  What is Ba’athism?  It is an Islamic form of Socialism.  Possibly a good thing for the Arab World to balance the many dynastic totalitarian ruled cultures that seem stuck in feudal existence.  That Syria has many weapons of mass destruction was predicted.  It was reported on the news that weapons were probably hidden in Syria, the storage place inheriting  Saddam’s WMD.  There may well have been much political cooperation between their governments both under the iron grip of a leader past his use by date, slaughtering dissidents.  His domination of a country by going to war with factions is in common.

And now the Assad regime is bombing Allepo. And denying that they would use chemical weapons on Syrians.  Foreign invaders would be a completely other matter.  Will Romney start to threaten to invade Syria?  Seems a natural.  Or he will he be beaten to it.  The temptation must be terrible on both candidates.  They see it in different terms.

All the more so as it is probably quite correct – that Syria indeed has WMD and that someone is going to do the equation that constructed history.  The problem is going to be  the brutal Assad regime.  It is going to be the WMD, and now it seems only natural that the UN will demand that Syria give them up.   Or face terrible consequences.

Who would America trust in such a scenario.  The guy who killed that terrorist guy.

 

 

 

Guns

Guns are a religion in America.  It is amazing how second amendment faith does not get shaken by these mass shootings.  They shake their heads reassuring themselves “It’s not the guns that kill, it’s people that kill people.”

If you allow broad proliferation of weapons, then people will die.  And, if you don’t the same thing may happen, anyway.  The act of one individual with a particular distorted view of the world developed by obsessive behaviour and at a particular revision or developmental stage can have an impact that is amplified and acted upon to an extent of terrible violence and unbelievable harm.  Or without the weapons would it just be a lunatic waving his arms around and disturbing cinema goers?

We have evolved fiction as a means to understand the more difficult parts of human nature. These thoughts exist already, the fiction does not inform, it may provide a storyline but so does Crime and Punishment, and The Bible, and we do not see these works as informing murderers to murder.  Our fiction is our strength.  It allows us to learn consequence without hurting ourselves.

It is not the gun that kills.  It is not the snake that bites.  It is not the disease I will catch.  The safety hymns of reassurance we need to remember to stay sane.  Of course over 99.99% of the people we know will probably survive the week and if we all behave, well and good.  Violence is visible in a moderate environment.  We believe outbreaks can be quickly contained, quelled and increasingly these days crave harsh decisive treatment by the police.

The London Olympics.  Isn’t it nice for the Tory government to be seen by the world for the next few weeks having the military providing a security presence.  It is seem almost logical to get them dressed in mufti.  No!  That would be even creepier.  The cameras of the world will record the UK in the guise of a military dictatorship.  And maybe that’s fair.  It has been hard to discern Osbornomics as much apart from a grand Malthusian erosion of the needs of the state by shipping the poor off to forgotten council estates to fend for their financial existence he is exerting a kind of social totalitarianism.  But now they exert a show of the military for the most watched World gathering of sports.  I think that it is a Government ploy, a kind of show-piece Falklands – a Thatcherite glow of austerity for people and freedom of the corporate monster to consume them.

Countries survived on bluster backed by destructive power and domination.  Bluster is only useful if it can be backed by military force.  Something Britain had talent for.  It is a dishonest assessment of our safety and economic state.

It guns become part of the culture, when citizens bear deadly force, you probably need a functioning social infrastructure without the usual feeders of crime.  It still does not stop those with emotional demons or subverted realities from acting out drama with a deadly set of consequences.

 

America

Why is America the greatest country in the world?

It is not countries.  It is ideals.  And something has crept into culture that redefines political entities.  America is a continent, a super country make up of smaller entities ruled in their own right.  It’s political system is so focused on itself, its steel backbone of  fundamentals that strengthen resolve but also provide for criminal elements and the enslavement of others which is why America is so good at screwing itself and the rest of humanity.

It is an easily hijacked one way or the other political system that favours elitism over the plight of the poor.  It reduces the role of Government to that of lawmakers who try to keep up with a changing world, finding that things like making health care possible for all is an act of humanity that transcends political views.  Providing for pensions and education.  Some things a Government simply has to support or there is no progress to greatness. Government has a purpose.

A leader has another.  He or she is there to guide and set the people with a philosophy and if America now questions itself accurately and honestly, it may well discover that it is precisely that thing.  The affecting of the action of the individual that America cares about, its cultural ideal no longer resonates with the febrile narcissism of a sports hero but now the hedonism of a self righteous coddled experience.  Indulgence should not be the strong point, however it is not the indulgence that harms.

What seems most harmful is the impoverishing and immobility of the base of the pyramid.   Its capitalism demands that half the country is less successful, that many are living more pointless lives and stuck in a relentless poverty that restricts many to provide for an elite who can indulge themselves like rock star chic out partying all night and being covered in the newspaper. A purile necessity perhaps, but one that is cast in the iron creuset of inescapable cultural cooking.  Those locked into inescapable necessity must have its little chuckles at the plight of the very rich.

Should America consider a course of fairness for all tempered by a vital entrepreneurial spirit instead of one driven by consumption?  A baseline of at least being alive and educated, to participate, to survive with bubbles of economic success

Economic destiny has become all consuming.  It is what we do as a world, as a society and as a local community that matter.  The actions of individual matter too.  We all do.  That is the very point.

 

Another Second Amendment Tragedy

After Columbine, after numerous shootings and violence in America and copy cat events in other countries, what is to blame?

The crowd in a comic book violence movie were shot at by a young man bearing arms, smoke bombs and a gas mask.  Fundamentalists will blame the movie.  Others will blame video games and our violent culture.  But the real issue here is the right to bear arms forming a basic part of the constitution.

“There is no link to terrorism” – rubbish.  It is terrorism, domestically sourced and just as deadly.  It is wrong to allow people to carry guns.  They kill people.

Guardian article

 

The above item was published 20 July 2012 12:27 BST

Update: editorial in The Guardian Friday 20 July 2012 20.20 BST