Guns and America

Contradictory values lead America into thinking they are safer with the proliferation of guns into the general population with Donald Trump infecting the conversation with suspicion of Muslims as the source of terrorism. Far more innocent people have been killed by American guns than by terrorism. President Obama calls for stricter gun control and the Republicans think this endangers Americans?

Since, and including the tragedy of 9/11, the comparison is stark:

3,380 dead from terrorism
406,496 killed by American guns

The US is insane to listen to the false ranting of a merchant of fear, Mr Donald Trump is the current leading source of terror in the minds of Americans. And the frightening thing is, they buy it. Lock stock and two smoking barrels. Violence is inflicted by American guns, not infiltration. Homeland Security should reassess its remit.

Pause and win

How Obama could deal with Syria. Play the long game and make Assad do it. Invasion seems pointless. Everyone appears to be at war with everyone else – want to join in? Get the chemical weapons out of the equation

President Obama drew a red line in the sand and to maintain any dignity he has to make good his threat. That is yesterday’s thinking. The need to retaliate for the use of chemical weapons by someone in Syria points to one thing. Syria has illegal weapons and he needs to be made to get rid of them. Not by invasion, that is too expensive. Not by trying to blow Damascus into the ground – you would kill large numbers of civilians, too.

But by negotiation. Imagine this?

President O: President Assad, you are guilty of possessing chemical weapons and they are being used. We suggest that you have lost control of your weapons and are therefore now a danger to the world. You have to now stop your war and we have to destroy your weapons or the world will force my hand and we will have to hunt you down. Your crimes against humanity are well documented, both before and largely since the war.

President A: We will never hand over our weapons. If you attack us, we will defend ourselves.

President O: We have heard that one before, and look what our generals did to Saddam. Now we have nothing against the good people of Syria. We have a problem with you harbouring and allowing or using deadly gas against any people. We can destroy them safely and if you hand them over now, we will do it for no charge and help the new Government rebuild.

President A: I will never agree to this.

President O: Then I would not stand so close to the window, Bashar. [CLICK!]

Twenty years ago, that would be pure paranoid conspiracy. Today, that is probably how this will pan out. Bombing Damascus would simply be sad. It is not the fault of the inhabitants. Destroy Syrian air=power – now if that was achieved then more chemical weapon attacks would be a significant risk. The only strategy is to force the most influential actor in this, Assad, to rid Syria of Chemical Weapons so when he inevitably faces trial for his crimes against humanity, there would be something positive in the balance.

The NSA and the Economy

President Obama told key members of Congress on Thursday that he was “open to suggestions” for reforming the National Security Agency surveillance programs that have embroiled his administration in controversy. Guardian article

President Obama wants to pull back the NSA’s far too extensive phone tap of the world and internet.

It is uneconomic activity. American values are offended by this data collection. The rest of the world is now in fear of the totalitarian juggernaut overwhelming the world with its moral values. In the last seven years it has prevented one terrorist attack. Acts of love and kindness may have well prevented another, natural causes may have prevented another, and the predator assassinations of the Al Quaeda leadership may have prevented a larger number of terrorist attacks. But if you spent the billions this programme must be costing on education, health, foreign aid and development and energy you would save far more lives.

Yes aid has been argued against as the results of it may not always be progressive. The tax system has not always benefitted the individual or hospitals always saved lives, but water and food production internationally is about to become increasingly significant in the future wars which will not be about religion.

The NSA data collection of intimate details of our private lives is every bit as scary as terrorism. And this incredible investment could be driven into into energy renewables that could slow the fatal decline into the global weather catastrophe that will lead to mass starvation and sunken cities.

The US Election

The US Election has started.

It promises to be a close one, many pundits refer to the Bush-Gore clincher decided by the Supreme Court as a possible model for how this one should turn out. Let’s hope not.

A decisive election would have a more positive effect on America. If Obama wins, as the world hopes, the US should continue to expand its economy based on debt funding. If Romney wins, I expect the US will contract its economy as his weird economics take hold. Romney has promised growth and lower taxes in what sounds like a wish list of ideals for the wealthy. America is dominated by a middle class that I think will tend to believe Obama but are troubled by the actions of the Democrats when they controlled the House of Representatives in the first half of the Obama presidency – failing to take advantage of their power.

Regardless, Obama should win. His policies guarantee little, but Romney’s aggressive words against Russia could inspire fear.

We predict Obama will win.

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.

On the brink

As the days tick by, the world seems to be waiting for the relief of the commencement of battle between Barack Obama and John McCain. The disquieting suspense of the inevitable is becoming unbearable, but if Hillary Clinton now wins, well…

It does seem to me that she is more likely to take the Presidential election without effort from John McCain. Which one would you buy an insurance policy from? Politically, that is exposure to a weakness.

In contrast, Barack Obama will have to fight and decimate McCain on the pulpit of leadership. There is a chance, from that, will emerge a leadership that can take the fight to and defeat a far larger dragon.

It seems to me that Barack Obama has it over the other two in terms of command presence. John McCain is too likely to have ideas based on the history of the Middle East and Europe and so antagonise a war between East and West – whereas Barack Obama is the only leader who sees his country’s many problems as a non-unique status in the world.

He appears to be the one leader who can reconcile the American dream so that it does not appear like a nightmare to the rest of the human race.