Sunday, July 20, 2014

Russian complicity and American weakness



I write this having just read more words from the Dutch Prime Minister and the British Prime Minister and other members of the Euro elite.  The words from all of them are designed to sound tough but in fact portray spineless weakness.  

These leaders  bleat on (again) about a ‘last chance’ for Vladimir Putin and Russia but if I have figured it out, you can bet that Putin has.  These ‘threats’ are hollow.  The EU will do nothing to punish Russia.  Be clear, Russia is to blame (though the hands of the EU are not clean, either – see below).  Russia might try to push a technical line and say that it was ‘separatist’ rebels that fired the BUK missile but we can be sure that this was an act committed by Russia for Russian aims.  These ‘separatists’ want to have part of the Ukraine secede and become part of Russia.  Everything they do is in furtherance of this aim.  Everything that they do is supported, both materially and verbally and diplomatically, by Russia.  

The ‘separatists’ and Russia, have become emboldened by the supine reaction to the annexation of Crimea, by Russia.  Indeed Russia has known, since its 2008 invasion of Georgia,  that it can get away with invasion because the West will do nothing.  To be fair, the West does impose sanctions and this does cramp the style of Russian oligarchs and leaders who want to visit the West  but I think we can all agree that this isn’t really having any impact other than letting the leaders of the West have a moment of strength and solidarity photo-op on TV.

While not excusing the barbaric atrocity committed by Russia, it is not alone in deserving of blame.  
The European Union has fomented (along with Russia) the crisis in Ukraine.  They have led pro-Western Ukrainians to believe that the EU will stand behind Ukraine and will assist the country, economically.  Then, at the first sign of Russia flexing its energy muscles, the German-led EU backs-off.  Germany is heavily dependent upon Russian gas supplies.  Now more so than ever because they shut down all of their nuclear plants, after the Fukushima tsunami and because, in thrall to the lunatic Greens, they oppose exploitation of shale resources and are said to be pushing the Poles to do likewise.  So Russia gets the Crimea with just the tiniest slap on the wrist.

Now we have this atrocity and again all there are, are a few words of condemnation.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating that the EU and America and other similarly minded nations, declare war on Russia.  At least , not a military war.  I am though saying that those nations should conduct an economic war against Putin and his country.  Cease all economic activity with Russia, immediately.  Freeze all Russian bank accounts in the West.  All of them.   Ban all travel to and from Russia. 

In short, isolate them.

Of course not all countries will join such a blockade but the major players are the EU and the US and Canada.  Together these countries should be able to have some influence on other countries but even if they don’t,  other than China, does anyone think that these non-boycotters have the wherewithal to replace the West as suppliers to Russia.

Now to the ‘elephant in the room’.  The USA.  

I have tried to think of a word other than ineffectual, to describe the response of the Obama administration.  Shameful and shaming come to mind but they have been used so many times relating to Benghazi and the VA scandals that they don’t seem to demonstrate the depths to which America has sunk.   Incompetent?  That well describes the Administration’s response to the flood of illegal immigrants (Incidentally, since America doesn’t seem to have a Southern border, at the moment, what is the proper term for these people?) and the Fast and Furious scandals but again doesn’t quite show the shambles that is America’s foreign policy.

So ineffectual it has to be.  President Obama’s initial response was bordering on flippant.  His action in then continuing on to a fundraiser were un-statesmanlike and unworthy of the office he holds.  Biden did seem to recognise that this was a serious issue but then his intellect or courage ran out and he clammed-up.  John Kerry went into his default ‘speak slowly in a deep voice but actually say nothing’ default mode.  And that’s it. 
 
The so-called greatest nation on Earth has nothing to say or do against the unlawful killing of so many innocents.  Just a few words of condemnation and then let’s move on to the next fund-raiser or golf game.

I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised.  The Russians have been jerking Obama’s chain over Iran and Syria for so long that they can now get away with just about anything and America will do nothing.  Obama and his acolytes are so fixated on destroying America that they have no time to concern themselves with the destruction of the lives of so many allies.  The Chinese are doing the same in Asia and the world is fast coming to the conclusion that being an ally of the USA  doesn’t mean what it used to, under both Republican and Democrat Presidents.  

I know that there is a convention that former Presidents, do not comment on current events but surely, given the seriousness, Bush Snr and Jnr, Clinton and Carter have a duty to speak-out about the outrage that is being perpetrated by the Obama Administration. 
 
Don’t be surprised if Russia (or China, for that matter) gets bolder.  Don’t be surprised if the illegals flooding into the southern states include some Muslim radicals and terrorists, hell bent on killing more innocents (American, this time)


Who would have thought that having won the Cold War, the Americans would, inside a generation, give back the gains to its arch-enemy, Russia?  

America’s ultra-weak leadership is imperiling the world.

Winston Churchill used to have a note put on documents, during the 2nd World War – ‘Action Today!’  Obama and the American administration have reconstructed the letters to  ‘I no  act, today’

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The V word in politics

David Cameron reshuffled his cabinet this week.  He didn't actually use the V word but his spokespeople made it clear that the key criteria for demotion was having a pair of gonads, while having a vagina, was a ticket to cabinet.

In an effort to try and 'con' women voters, Cameron and his key strategist, Lynton Crosby, decided to show their gender sensitivity by increasing the number of female members (no pun intended) of the cabinet.

This is gesture politics of the worst kind.  Right up there with Labour's all women candidate lists and other Harriet Harman (or is it Harperson?) inspired feminazi lunacy.

Michael Gove was an excellent Secretary for Education.  You don't believe me?  Consider the bile and vitriol heaped upon him by the socialists in the teaching unions.  Evidence that he is doing something right, surely?  Bear in mind, the unions aren't arguing about pay or pensions, per se, they are reacting to Gove's plans to dramatically reduce the power of the leftist education establishment.  That, and his plans to focus on having British children leave school, at least with the ability to read and write and understand basic maths. Come to think of it, maybe Cameron was right, what kind of an evil bastard is Gove?  Who does he think he is, raising standards and making teachers accountable? 

I do wonder though, what goes through the minds of politicians and political strategists when they propose such gestures.

Do they sit around running flags up flagpoles to see who, in a blue sky scenario, salutes?  How do we appeal to women voters, is the question?  I know let's appoint more women to the cabinet says the 'wet behind the ears' intern.  We can show the softer side of conservatism, he continues, spilling his soya, demi frappe latte, in the process.  He goes on, 'we can even get some pretty ones in and then some of the chaps will be happy at the sight, as well'.

The wizened old Central Office apparatchik asks whether the Conservatives just might attract more women if they had policies that appealed more directly to women?   Policies that left women (and men) with more of the money that they earned.  Policies that rewarded those women that worked for a living more than those that chose to live off of welfare.  Policies that put a value on married women that choose to raise a family or be a carer to family members and were appropriately recognised through the tax system.   ' I just wonder', she mused, 'if women might just see through the gesture and be angered by the attempt to so blatantly try to con them?  That women might say, " must be an election soon, the men are throwing some of the sisters a few scraps".

Crosby and his acolytes would listen to such and then politely (mustn't upset the women, you know) move on and push the fatuous politics that we have seen in the reshuffle.

I am a man but dare to posit how a woman would see this.  I suggest that women want to be considered on merit.  They don't need quotas or to make-up some 'reasonable' percentage of a cabinet or political party hierarchy.  They know that since this is still a 'mans world', they have to work that much harder to be considered as an equal (and they still better look presentable as well!!).  They also know that sometimes the effort isn't worth the reward (as do some house-husband men) and the alternative is more appealing.  They know that there remain an older generation of men and modern day neanderthals that haven't quite got 'it' yet but that doesn't bother them over-much.  Time is on their side.    They don't want preferential treatment just equality.  

I think they would tell Cameron and Miliband (Clegg and the Lib Dems are finished!) that rather than gesture politics where your genitalia matters more than your mind, they want policies that address issues that concern them.  

Not surprisingly those policies are also appealing to male voters. 
  • Voters worry about taxes, which are too high - both relatively and proportionately.  
  • They worry about debt, their own and the government's.  
  • They are concerned about the future and what it holds for them and their children (back to national debt again).  
  • They are concerned about immigration at the national level - fear of being 'swamped', if I can use that phrase - and at the local level, in some cases - no jobs available for their children.  
  • I don't think people are overly concerned about Britain's position on the world stage - we've done our bit and look where it has got us - wounded veterans, increased debt and people that now target us on our on streets! 
  • Talking of our streets, crime is always a concern.  Crime isn't about statistics it's about feeling safe and knowing that those that do wrong are punished.  And that especially includes those in high places who commit two crimes - the actual offence and then the abuse of public trust.
  • I do though think that people are concerned about the EU and the erosion of British democracy - the sense that Britain and its people are getting lost inside the EU and that we, as individuals, don't count anymore - sort of 'what's the point of worrying about all these other things if I personally, can do absolutely nothing as an individual or as a mass collection of individuals (call it a national majority) about what is being done to me and the ones I love and care for?' 
  • Education is a big issue but it isn't about the sex of the Secretary of State.  It is about educating children.
  • The NHS is a huge issue.  This is a failing organisation.  We can see it isn't about money so politicians need to stop promising more and start thinking the unthinkable.

 I could go on but I think you get the gist. 

I prefer to use the word people rather than men or women as it is the lives of people, both men and women, that are affected by politics.  People don't need gestures.  They need government to shrink in size and let more things be decided by people.  They need taxes to be reduced and the money that is earned by the people to stay with the people.  They need debt to be reduced (smaller government) so as to reduce the burden on future generations.  And so on.

What people need is for the elite to understand that in the new iDemocracy people, or women and men, if you prefer, see through gestures, very quickly.





Friday, July 18, 2014

Biden better?

Firstly, if you've been reading recent blogs you might think I don't like America or Americans.  You would be very mistaken.  I do like them both and especially the spirit that they have shown and love of life and freedom that has epitomised the 'American way' for so long.

However that doesn't mean I can't be critical.  The criticism comes from a good place though maybe a little bit of a selfish place.  Selfish because right thinking people look to America for leadership and, I suppose, robust leadership, at that.  As in, until recently, America and Americans could be relied upon to do the right thing and support the right thing, up to and including physical material support..  Now though we see different.

We see an America that is too weak to confront Russia over the Ukraine.

We see an America that, in spite of Obama's much vaunted 'pivot toward Asia', allows China to flex its very large military muscles against its neighbors, unchallenged.  Maybe though, that is the price America must pay for being so much in China's debt?

We see America failing to wholeheartedly support Israel against the Hamas terrorist group.  Israel's PrimeMinister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is bang on the money when he says that no nation can stand by and let rockets rain down on its people, day after day, without defending itself.   Let's be clear, these rockets are not like the fireworks that are set-off on 4th of July or New Year.  These pack a warhead of around 20 Kg of explosive material.  That they have not killed thousands of Israeli civilians - Jews and Arabs - is down to the early warning systems, air raid shelters and the so called Iron Dome anti-missile defence system.

Incidentally one positive outcome of the recent campaign by Hamas, is that the main stream media seems to now be spending time and reporting on the effect of those rocket attacks on Israel and reporting on Hamas' use of civilian shields and civilian targets as launch sites!  Previously, the MSM were solidly in the terrorists camp.

But I digress.

We see an America not even able to secure its own border.  Don't worry, there isn't a flood of Canadians swooping down on the Northern states with all of their guns,better hockey players and maple leaf decals.  No, it is the Southern border that is being flooded with illegal immigrants from Central America.  By many accounts, these visitors are bringing serious communicable diseases with them alongside Latino gang members and drug syndicate criminals and, who knows, maybe the odd terrorist or twenty!

It doesn't take too many clicks, on a Twitter feed to find oneself in conspiracy lalaland but.....  There are stories circulating that the Obama administration anticipated this 'invasion' as far back as January 2014 and certainly the availability of all of those Homeland Security buses, which are being used to transport the illegals around the country, suggests a prescience not usually apparent in the administration!

We see an America that allows a decorated US Marine (Andrew Tahmooressi) that made a mistake while driving (took the wrong road and couldn't U turn) and now languishes in a Mexican jail, to remain so, while swapping five very dangerous Taliban terrorists for a certainly damaged and likely a deserting US soldier (Bowe Bergdahl).

At the same time, on this military theme, the scandal at the Veterans Administration, continues.  Indeed, President Obama wants Congress to approve $3.7Bn for aid for the illegal immigrants but isn't asking for an extra cent to provide decent care to those veterans who have loyally served the US.

Do you start to see what I am getting at?  America has lost its way! 

And that is before we look at the Administration's inability to manage its data!  It must be incredibly worrying for Americans to know that the NSA and who knows how many other organisations are snooping upon them and to also know that agencies like the IRS are so incompetent that they can operate computers without damaging hard drives and losing e-mails etc.

Of course there are other scandals that are plaguing the USA, today.  Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Bureau of Land Management, Common Core and ObamaCare, to name just a few.

I keep expecting the US Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives to stand, almost as one (Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and some of the other drinkers from Obama's Kool Aid stand excepted) and start impeachment proceedings against Obama but it isn't happening.  I can only come to one conclusion.

The Congress is scared.

They are scared that there would be such a groundswell of opinion (not that they pay too much attention to that) and Obama would be removed from office.  Their fear?  When Obama goes, he is replaced by Joe Biden!  On the 'right' the fear is that if Biden was also impeached, then the succession would fall to John Boehner, who many see as a 'RINO'.

Surely though, Biden has to be better than Obama?  Biden would have to see Obama's impeachment as a chastening experience and a sign that the leftward lurch of America and its abandonment of its superpower role and responsibilities needs to stop.  Don't you think?  I just think that America has to take a chance on Biden.  I am apprehensive but look at it this way.   Biden is a Beltway politician.  he understands that he needs to work both sides of the aisle to accomplish anything.  He knows that America has been pulled in an un-natural direction by Obama, Jarret and the Alinsky followers that populate the White House.  Joe also knows that politics isn't just about getting elected because of your skin colour, playing golf and taking vacations.  He understands what America needs far better than Obama ever could.  Can you imagine Biden going to a fund raiser, when a passenger plane containing US citizens is shot down over Eastern Ukraine?

 Go on America, be bold (can't believe I am saying this!) - impeach Obama and get Biden - it has to be better than continuing downwards.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Public Sector strikes

If you are of a socialist persuasion, please look away now.  This will likely seem hurtful.

In fact if you are of a Conservative ministerial persuasion, also look away, as you probably won't like this, either!

I have posted here before about public sector strikes  http://bit.ly/1jj5yCz and here about the tube strikes http://bit.ly/1oMwA4o but essentially the problem comes down to two things.

Firstly, 'pilgrims'.  I have written before, here http://bit.ly/XHPGin  and here http://bit.ly/1qQ7e7y about these.  For those that don't know, a 'pilgrim' is a union official that essentially works full time on union business while employed (and paid)  by a public sector organisation.  This costs the taxpayer, twice.  First to pay for the union organiser and second to pay someone else to do the job that he/she was actually hired to do!  The cost to the taxpayer is estimated to run into the 100's of £millions level.  That is money that could be used to reduce taxes for working people - people like those that struggled to get to work yesterday, because of the public sector strikes.  Money that could repair potholes, or provide adequate care for the UK's elderly - but please, after Mid Staffs, not in the caring or their version of the word, NHS - or money that could reduce the debt burden that the country has.

Just as importantly, if action is taken on pilgrims, then the public sector workplace might actually become a place of work!  Somewhere where the class warriors of the union movement have to actually do some work rather than sit around agitating for change and salary increases.

So, Angus Maude, George Osborne and David Cameron - Action Please!  This shouldn't require an act of parliament - there was none passed to get these parasites into place.  What is needed is clear guidelines sent to all ministers and Permanent Secretaries that this practise must cease forthwith and, no later than August 31, all such posts to have been abolished.

Yes the unions will howl.  So will their paid lobbyists - Labour MPs - but here's something for Angus, George and David to consider, my money is on you never being able to get their votes, anyway!  So be like Nike.  Just do it!

Re-reading the above, I realise I have just wasted 15 minutes of my life!  Maybe I have the makings of a pilgrim or union official myself!  Why wasted?  Because Conservative politicians simply won't tackle this issue.  Just like they won't tackle the high salaries paid in the public sector nor the cosseted pension schemes that public sector workers enjoy.   

Face it, we have Conservative politicians - certainly the leadership - that do not follow Conservative policies or pay only the flimsiest of lip-service to same.  In the USA, people have a term for those Republicans that act in a similar fashion.  They call them RINOs - Republicans in Name Only.  What can we call such British Conservatives?  Polite answers only, please!

Opinion polls regularly show that the people of Britain 'get it'!  They understand that, as a country, we have been living beyond our means, for years.  They know that change will be painful.  They know too, that taxing the 'rich', ever higher amounts won't be sufficient, in the long run.  The cause of the government debt problem isn't on the revenue side.  It is on the spending side.  Deep cuts need to be made in welfare, health and local government spending.  Let me repeat that - deep cuts.  And these cuts MUST be on personnel levels.  These cuts need to be made to the bureaucracy not to the front line - so in health, tear out layers (plural) of management not nurses or doctors, -  in education, remove all of those local officials, yes all, provide direct funding to the school governing body at an agreed figure - let's call it £5,000 per pupil per year and then let the headmasters/mistresses and the school governors decide how to utilise those funds - in local government abolish planning departments, abolish community outreach departments in fact abolish and abolish.  Just leave local government with a few basic tasks - repairing local roads, administering social housing (until this can all be sold-off), collecting household waste and, no that's it.  Just those basic tasks.  These wouldn't require a bloated and over-paid bureaucracy.

This isn't about bashing the unions.  Seeing them with a significant reduction in membership (they mostly represent public sector employee) would be a happy by-product.  Seeing them having to use their own funds to pay for these pilgrims is a scandal that must be righted, immediately.

This though, is about having the courage to do what Britain so desperately needs - a strong government doing what is right for today's and tomorrow's Britons.  Not sure that the Conservatives have the stomach for it so it will probably need to wait for the inevitable financial crunch to happen.  Then we can blame outside forces and the 'gnomes of Zurich' and the Euro and all the rest - anyone but our spineless politicians and the rest of the elite, not forgetting of course, the biggest culprits - ourselves for letting this happen!.


 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

FIFA World Cup

Straight off the bat, this doesn't come from bitterness or sour grapes at the poor performance of the England team, at the 2014 World Cup!  I really didn't expect much and for once, they didn't disappoint!

This rant comes from somewhere else.

Are you not sick and tired of hearing of the corruption that is eating at the heart of world football?  The cancer that is killing the game. 

It starts at the top with Sepp Blatter and the rest of the Executive Committee and permeats the whole body.   Money is the cancer that is ruining 'the beautiful game'. 

We football fans need to strike back.  We need to do two things.

Firstly we need to lobby and push our national and local football organisations to resign from FIFA.  If you are German or English or Dutch or Spanish or Brazilian or French (you get the picture!), do you think the World Cup would exist without our respective countries participating?  Football is about people - players and fans - not about guys in suits with suitcases of cash!  The World Cup is about playing football during the Northern Hemisphere Summer, not changing European schedules to accommodate a flawed bid.  Qatar didn't suddenly get warmer, after it was awarded the World Cup host status!

The English Football Association website is www.thefa.com .  The people that run the game in England, in this day and age, do not seem to have publicly available twitter accounts, so you will have to petition them through other means.  For example, type Football Association into twitter search and masses of useful addresses pop-up.  Including @FA for the English Football Association, @FAIreland, @FAWales etc.

Any nation that cares for the future of football should leave FIFA and join other leavers in forming a new governing body.  Blatter and his cronies at FIFA cannot be reformed.  They are unable to even 'independently' investigate themselves.  The best you can say about them, is that they are incompetent, the truth though would seem to be a whole lot worse. 

So first step, petition your national FA (and lower FA levels) to leave FIFA.

Second thing is to get footballers to re-connect with their communities - the people that pay their wages. Leaving aside the earnings that footballers make from endorsements and other off-field activities, the salaries that footballers receive from their clubs are outrageously high.  So this message is for footballers (please pass it on).

Join the 1' in 12 club'.  Donate 1 pay packet in 12 to a local charitable organisation, in the area where you play your football, or in your home town.  When you do so, you can smile - if you have a decent contract with your agent, he or she will be donating as a consequence.  Also, if you pay tax in the UK, the government will contribute a chunk if you use the gift aid scheme.  I am not talking about Wayne Rooney or Jack Wilshire donating money to Sport Aid or Save the Children fund,  - unless it will be spent locally - to alleviate hunger in Sudan or somewhere else.  I am talking about spending money in the UK, about doing your bit for the people who support you both financially and fanatically!

Oh, and any team managers or coaches that want to join and contribute, you are welcome to do so!

Folks, don't just ignore this, football needs to re-connect and clean-up its act.

Friday, July 4, 2014

What's wrong with America Part 3

Today is July 4th - America's Independence Day.   Happy 4th of July to you all!

Okay, niceties out of the way, now down to business.

What is up with you guys?  While you sit out with your families and have your picnics and BBQs, today, you will probably agree that President Obama is a failure or be more truthful and call him a disaster but then you will kick back and say 'hey, he will be gone in 2016'.  Are you sure?  Frankly speaking this is an American President that has little regard for the US Constitution, especially when it doesn't fit his agenda.

You all (I am English and we don't say y'all!) need to get focused.  America is in trouble and getting in deeper. 

America's southern border states are being flooded with illegal immigrants but instead of strengthening the border, the DHS chief is suggesting that this is a consequence of not offering an amnesty to illegal immigrants!  Don't look for logic in that argument - he is a government employee!

The IRS scandal continues.  We are now supposed to believe that Lois Lerner's e-mails have become lost!  Right!  What kind of system does the IRS employ?   When conducting investigations, the Department of Justice requires private companies to have e-mails from the neolithic period available for review!  Also, isn't it kind of worrying that data, say personal tax returns, can just disappear, just like that?  Who is the IRS' Chief Information Officer - Kriss Angel?

The Veterans Administration debacle continues.  It was never about just changing the man at the top (though that was a start).  The VA needs root and branch reform and a sharp injection of transparency (that's the buzzword for what used to be called openness and honesty!).  Mostly what it needs though is for America's veterans to receive the care to which they are entitled.  Somehow I don't think that is high or even on the agenda.

The Benghazi hearings, chaired by Trey Gowdy, may uncover more shenanigans and  double dealing but, by itself will unlikely unseat Obama.

The attack on Second Amendment rights will continue.  Here the fightback is in the hands of ordinary Americans - simply boycott those organisations that support taking away your rights.  There are lists a plenty of who these are.  Remember the power that consumers have - think Duck Dynasty!  People power got a wrong, righted!

Ignoring the law, the Obama administration freed 5 Taliban terrorists in exchange for someone who it is widely claimed was a deserter.  That was against US law and could easily be considered as treasonous since it directly aids America's avowed enemies.  

 And so it goes on and on.  See here  http://bit.ly/1ksmipu  and here http://bit.ly/1oidzHz

Today though, when you sit with family and friends, resolve to join the movement to impeach President Obama.    Write and call your elected representatives, congressmen and women and Senators and Governors.  The message is simple, Impeach Obama, he must go - Signed John Doe!  Don't depend on others to do it, ACT! 

Today, America starts another year of independence - make a new year's resolution to do all you can to impeach President Obama and then go after Attorney General Eric Holder and the rest of the people that have dragged America down.  2016 is too far away to wait.  The American democracy and Constitution includes suitable provisions to defend it against enemies both foreign and domestic - use them, while you still can.  2016 might be too late!

You may think it presumptuous, on the day that you celebrate your independence from Great Britain, that a Brit is giving you such advice but I do so out of a very strong belief that the world needs a strong USA and right now, because we don't have such, there is much greater peril for us all. 

Burnham's Challenge

Here is a challenge for Andy Burnham, the shadow minister for health.

Resign your current parliamentary seat and, at the next election, stand as the Labour party candidate in a constituency within the Mid Staffs Health Authority catchment area.

Don't bother with all the twaddle about representing 'your' people from Liverpool.  Have the courage to face the families of those 1,300 people that died, many in great and unnecessary distress, while you presided over the 'blessed' NHS.

You have prattled on about Hillsborough, where 97 Liverpool football fans died and yet are silent about Mid Staffs where so many more died.  Maybe if they had been your constituents you might have cared more.  You certainly emote about the 97, how about the 1,300?

Reader - please pass this on to Andy Burnham and your local MP and push this challenge forward.