Tag Archives: Japan

As an election looms

Finally, we get some words on the Labour manifesto, the Guardian has been on top of it and whilst they are presenting a good part, I have a few issues as they went a little light on labour as I personally see it. Again, it is a personal side and as a conservative you should take into consideration that the flaw is on my side, and I would accept it, but let me give you the goods.

The entire review is at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/16/labour-manifesto-analysis-key-points-pledges, so you have the option to completely disagree and seek your own version of their vision. The first part “a short note on a new £250bn “national transformation fund” implies that these costs will be funded through capital borrowing” shows their intent on rail, which is a quarter of a trillion through borrowing. So off the bat we are considering electing someone who wants to add a quarter of a trillion to a debt that went off the handles due to the Labour party in two previous administrations. How is that ever a good idea? a chunk of all the other parts is supposedly coming by adding a new tax group of 50% for those earning above £123K. A marginal addition for the ‘fat cat’ group. So those making more than that will be charged for the amount above and I have a hard time accepting and believing that this will get them the ‘speculated‘ £6.4 billion. It reads more like wishful thinking in an age where rationalism will not ever get you that amount. Consider, as mentioned before, something that any excel user can check with the numbers the UK tax office (HMRC) offers, the super wealthy, those making well over a million is limited to less than 5000 people. So how is this billion pound extra achieved? Let’s not forget they only get the 5% extra over the amount over £123K, as such the income will not get close, yet after the election they will come with excuses, whilst we already knew that this was never realistic. In addition, how many are close to the threshold? In this those making £123K – £199K, they might feel safer setting apart certain investment reserves into retirement, if they get that done, the £6.4B will drop fast by a lot. In addition, the Guardian gives us: “But recent evidence from the imposition of a 50p rate in 2010 shows that the measure could spark mass avoidance by the individuals affected and raise no extra funds for the exchequer“, so there is that part too! Remember Jeremy Corbyn and his nurses? The 10,000 nurses pledge? When we consider the already announced part “Health and social care reform at a cost of £7.7bn, as part of a package that includes a guarantee of A&E treatment within four hours and the end of the NHS pay cap“, and the “Free lunches for pupils as part of £6.3bn school package“, that’s another 14 billion, where is that coming from? Remember the tax increase part? When we tally, we see that the NHS part is already leaving the tax increase at minus a billion, all the other multi billion pound parts are not even close to being addressed. This is simple tally stuff that many in their final year in primary school can achieve from their calculus lessons and Jeremy Corbyn and his ‘raunchettes’ cannot deliver, a mere exercise in lewd offensive spending. Choices without proper merit and ignoring the consequences of the deep debt they got the UK in in the first place. I am all for some level of social levy, yet any social act requires to consider the impact, something that UK Labour is clearly not doing. It is even more upsetting that simple calculus gets us to a place where this would never have been a reality to begin with. Are you seriously considering voting for such a failed attempt?

When we consider the added Cyber security, and the promise to the security agencies, we see items that are promised without any claim to the cost. Now we might accept that part, yet their own £11.2 NHS IT fiasco should clearly show that they haven’t got a clue on how to tackle it because the limitations they imposed through failed IT is part of the reason that NHS IT is not up to date in the most meagre of ways which is also exactly part of the reason that the NHS hacks were successful in the first place. In addition the entire pension part is flawed, that is a given not because of what it states, but when you compare it against the Australian need to already up the retirement point to 67, with a population of 20 million, that is a retirement change already needed now, the fact that the age wave will hit with almost 4 times the intensity in the UK and the retirement age will not significantly up for another 6 years is delusional and as I see it set so that the current Labour electorate can ignore the issue until the next election, at that point it will be way too late and they will offer some diluted solutions using capital borrowing adding another . I see it as we now need an estimated £75bn a year, it is anticipated a near doubling before 2025. You see, some of the statistics have been placing comparison of life expectancy and percentage of retirement, yet as I see it, the quality of life for those born in the 30’s and those born in the 60’s is vastly different. the difference of those two groups is that maximum life is more likely to be in excess of 20 years, so those born in the 60’s and onward have a much higher chance of requiring a pension for close to 20 years longer, on a population of millions, that would equate to an additional pile of billions that would be required. In this the setbacks that the financial meltdowns gave all the people and government institutions, it shows that the shortage will increase and the pension deficit will increase annually by a lot over the next 5 years alone, so not seeing any repair actions is just weird. So as labour proclaims to be ‘social‘ their social unawareness and unpreparedness is just a little too upsetting. Now, the Tories are not innocent either. There is a given shortage and getting rid of the debt is a first step in solving it, so as we see that Labour is now willing to add close to half a trillion to the total shortage and that is just the added shortage of what they want to do to look cool. The added deficit will go straight through the roof adding overall a lot more debt than anyone is willing to consider.

And it is Labour of all others who have no welfare support. they promise a future policy paper, but the overall issue is not that paper (it will be though), it is “There are no spare funds in Labour’s calculations for extra welfare spending. To counteract the effects of planned cuts, under Labour’s current plans it would need to increase borrowing“, so that implies even more borrowing, whilst they amount needed is already through the roof. I did voice a change, I offered a view where there might be some additional ‘fat cat’ costs, even though that is not what I call it, it was a need to increase the second tax tier by 2% and the third one by 1%, whilst increasing the 0% tax group. so basically the lowest people get £100 a month more and the highest (45% tier) loses about £150 a month (as they also have the higher 0% part, they lose a little in the end), around £100 for tier 2 and £50 on the tier 3 part which I saw as a very social thing to do. And all that without burdening towards extra debt. I am not stating that the lowest group did not deserve more, I was working from a 0 balance difference for taxation, so that the coffer would not be denied more coins to address the massive debts it has now. It was a simple exercise in Excel and perhaps my method is flawed, my intention was pure, that is a lot more than I can state for the McDonnell-Corbyn group who will happily max out the UK credit card and leave others to solve the matter after they leave office, just like the two previous labour governments did.

Yet in all this it is not just the Labour party that needs a look, the Lib Dems are also due a little concern. In that I actually like the entire ‘rent to buy‘ pledge. I cannot say if it would work because the ground materials are not a given at present. What homes would be offered? Consider what the foundation is. New houses, would b great, but when we see where, there will be an optional issue. It is of course a way to get the younger generation out of London and perhaps towards other places where a younger population would be a good thing. However, would they embrace life in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire or Kent? What happens when that is not an option, what if the social houses in London does not get resolved? Those elements make the Lib Dems an issue that might not come to pass, yet for every person accepting a place outside of the greater London area, the pressure will go down a little, enough little’s will make for a moment of relief, yet will it work, time will tell. In all this I personally found the second ‘referendum’ offensive. So, because people did not like the outcome, because some didn’t bother voting, the people in the UK get to vote again? I wonder how the Lib Dems will be seen when the EU gets the bill of what Wall Street does, when the UK gets the pounding because the US could not get their house in order, I wonder how those second referendum people will be seen. Even as the US is ‘suddenly’ doing great again, whilst their debt is increasing by trillions of dollars a year, as well as their inability of dealing with their deficit, how will that push others? The US now with almost 20 trillion in national debt, they stated the 1st half of 2016 a collected taxation of 1.48 trillion. now, if we do something not entirely valid, but what if we double it? (the second half is never as much as the first half, yet for argument sake), this now implies that the US would collect a maximum of $3 trillion for 2016, that whilst at present, federal spending is at almost $4 trillion and the deficit is now approaching $600 billion for this year. The deficit, no matter what they report is not getting properly addressed and has not been or over a decade. What do you think will happen when that well ends? Do you think that export to the US will continue? At that point, who would be the trade partner that remains? I do not proclaim to have then answer, yet when we see that at present US total Interest paid is set at $2.5 trillion, where do you think that goes? Who is paid interest on debts that seem to be mainly virtual? Do not think it is a simple picture, because this part is as complex as anything could ever get. Machiavelli could not design something this complex. Yet at the end of the day, the taxpayer is left with the invoice. As such lowering debt is the only safety net that would allow the people in general to have any life. I have always stated and truly believed that once it collapses, it will hit whomever is in debt. I still believe that Japan is the first domino to fall, yet that also means that the US dollar gets a hit that will be a terminal one and Wall Street will falter almost immediately after that, after which the Euro will go straight out of the window, its value less than the German Deutschmark in 1923. Japan has a debt that is close to 240% of GDP, a group of nations that includes the US, Japan, the UK and several other European nations have a budget deficit that is surpassing $9 trillion, how is that allowed to continue? This is not me, this comes from Martin Weiss, PhD. Although his PhD is in cultural anthropology from Columbia University, not in economics. Yet we can agree that at least he has a few degrees which includes degrees from Columbia and NYU, so he is not the most uneducated tool we know, unlike some in politics nowadays. The problem is not the total deficit or the total debt. It is the fact that some players like the Rothschild’s, Wall Street and even the IMF are wanting this game to continue. A push it forward game that benefits the political and financial engine operators and 0.1% of the population. Would it be fair to call this a legalised form of slavery? Is the one option allowed to have the same as a freedom of choice? That is what is more and more at stake. When the people in the UK were allowed this freedom, they chose Brexit, now we see all these players trying to undo that one part, because it is the fear of the players with too much to lose. We get more and more weighted information from the press and that engine is less and less reliable. So what remains? Well, the people in the UK are about to make their selection, whilst we see certain manifesto’s that are debatable to say the least. Some parts are just not realistic at all, yet the people must elect someone. I will not tell you who to vote for, I am merely wondering if the people will ever be properly informed.

This is mainly because there is an election looming and those not governing will make whatever promise they can just to get into office. So what will happen after that? Remember Emmanuel Macron? Making all those statements on how Europe must reform, or else there would be a referendum? Well, merely an hour ago we see: “Both pro-Europe leaders were keen to show solidarity concerning the Eurozone and have broken with previous statements by discussing potential changes to EU treaties. The move is seen by both nations as a way of healing ongoing EU upheaval, combating the rise of the far right and showing a united front in the wake of Brexit negotiations” healing whom? the ECB spending spree recipients? When we see “Visiting Berlin on Monday, Macron ‘did not push for major, ambitious reforms (of the EU) because he knows the chancellor cannot deliver until the elections in September’“, I merely see the fact that the French people have been lied to again, and those people voting have elected a new Wall Street tool (as I personally see it), and the fact that he was a former investment banker was pretty much a clear giveaway. I expect to see some kind of ‘compromise’ that gets no one anywhere any time soon around the end of August or early September, implying that the European gravy train will move along with full speed ahead for another 4-5 years. When you realise this, do you still think my Brexit support was weird? If someone had effectively muzzled Mario Draghi, that might have been a first piece of evidence that reform of the Eurozone would have been a far fetched optional reality, yet so far, that has not and is unlikely to happen.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Politics

Age of darkness coming

An interesting article came to light today. Actually, it might not be that interesting. It is merely the consequence of a series of bad decisions by several people. The interesting part is that it was not a local thing. This is possibly one of the few times where several decisions on a global scale escalated one another into the move away from what at times now is laughingly referred to as ‘journalism’. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/apr/15/journalism-faces-a-crisis-worldwide-we-might-be-entering-a-new-dark-age) gives us “Australia’s two largest legacy media organisations recently announced big cuts to their journalistic staff“, up to 120 editorial positions are being wiped from the list of employment options. Apparently there was also the mention “Both announcements were accompanied by corporate spin voicing a continuing commitment to quality journalism. Nobody in the know believes it“. It is followed by the mention that this is partly thanks to Donald Trump. The truth is nowhere near Trump, the entire Trump bashing is merely putting in the spotlight what had been known for some time. There is however a side that is very much true and it is escalating into a movement that will change even further over the next 20 months. The quote “technology has torn apart the two businesses – advertising and news – that used to be bound together by the physical artefact of the newspaper. Once, those who wanted to find a house, a job or a car had to buy a newspaper to read the classifieds. Now, it is cheaper and more efficient to advertise and search online“, it will change even further and the bulk of the audience is not up to speed yet, but within a year they will be.

For me the messed up situation was visible for a long time. No matter what excuse the people of News give, whatever Fairfax claims, it does not matter. Consider the following: ‘Will you pay $2.4 for filtered news?‘ This question is a lot harder than you realise, because the definition of ‘filter’ is not a given, but it is at the heart of the matter. Let’s take a few parts to give you a little perspective.

2010, 2011, we are given all kinds of news regarding Grexit, a weird dirty dance where some players are ‘threatening’ to expel Greece from the Euro. We see the news for weeks, yet no one seems to know what they are doing and the papers are absent in mentioning a legal work that was published in December 2009 by Phoebus Athanassiou that basically inform us that expulsion is not an option, you can only voluntarily leave the EEC and the Euro. The paper (at https://lawlordtobe.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/ecblwp10.pdf) is a paper that comes from the European Central Bank, so why were the newspapers in the dark? Why were the readers not properly informed on this? All the value of a newspaper thrown into the circular filing system, value lost forever.

2011 Operation Weeting. This would be the beginning of a decline that escalated on a global scale. Most people took notice to some degree regarding the News of the World, the phone hacking scandal and the celebrities involved, yet when the world learned of the hacked phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, relatives of deceased British soldiers and victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings the world did not react in kindness, those involved had crossed a line that a very large group found too unacceptable. Many went from ‘Ah well, celebrities!‘ towards ‘WTF!‘ and ‘Could this happen here?‘ two very different trains of thought, the Leveson inquiry that followed was followed by many and a lot of them not in the UK, when the conclusions were revealed we saw a group of editors shouting murder, fascism and on how the freedom of the press was in danger whilst none of them showed any level of accountability, this was one of the clearest coffin nails. There is more and part is not their fault. In this the politicians also have a blame in the matter. As the actual press (the Guardian, the Times, the Independent) were trying to continue to be the responsible ones (to the larger degree), they were placed next to tabloids, magazines proclaiming to be newspapers whilst limiting themselves to ‘Kardashian puts ample bust on display’ (Daily Mail). A lot could have been prevented by making these tabloids VAT (read GST) enabled. Giving the tabloids no longer a 0% VAT options would have levelled the bar a little (read: truly, just a little) against the actual newspapers in the UK. It could have spurred a larger European change. It would not have ended better for the newspapers, yet some of them would have had more time to change their product and business approach.

2012 Sony, this is the one that really got me mad. Two weeks before the PS4 was launched, Sony pulled a fast one. I discussed this (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/08/12/no-press-no-facebook/), in my article ‘No Press, No Facebook!‘, in this case the Guardian was pretty much the only newspaper that gave it any decent attention. A change that would affect 30 million gamers and the news remained absent. So where is the value of my newspaper now? It was “7.1. You must not resell either Disc-based Software or Software Downloads, unless expressly authorised by us and, if the publisher is another company, additionally by the publisher“, it was followed by a weak statement by a board member of Sony, but the papers and other media were quick to ignore it and none had the critical statement: ‘A terms of service is a legal document, a statement by a board member of Sony can be countermanded with a mere memo‘, the press remained absent! It all sizzled down the track as the TPP never came into effect, but the damage was done and now it was damage that hits the press as well as they were too busy with circulation numbers and facilitating to your advertisers, because Sony PS4 advertisement money is what all newspapers desperately needed, so compromising 30 million gamers (that’s Europe, with 5 million in the UK) was likely not a big deal to them.

These are a few of a growing list of issues where the newspapers are in a bad place, but to some extent they got themselves there. Margaret Simons gives us “Today, just about anyone with an internet connection and a social media account has the capacity to publish news and views to the world. This is new in human history” near the end. She is correct here, but she also forgets to mention that reach and quality is still and issue. I have, with my blog, a mere reach of 5-6 thousand readers, which is next to nothing. I believe that I offer a quality view, but that is in the eyes of the beholder. However, I am only a blogger. When she mentions ‘the capacity to publish news‘ is not entirely correct. Some are falling in front of the news because of location, yet these people are for the most not journalists and that is the kicker. Pieces that are truly journalistic remains pieces of value, the people are just having too many question marks. In addition, the people have lost a massive amount of quality of life, and the price of a newspaper subscription whilst news online tends to be free and the cost of living is going up is also a factor we cannot deny. Yet in equal measure I have worked in firms where they all had 2-5 newspapers on a daily base, most (read: nearly all of them) have stopped doing that, cutting costs did that to some degree.

So as we see the announced age of darkness coming into the newspaper business, we cannot fault their hardship, even though they themselves are partially to blame, yet in equal measure, it seems to me that quality journalism is becoming a nuisance in several European nations. They can hide some of the bad news in sponsored morning shows, there they can spin to some degree, but in a newspaper, and it is all about the relevant information, a side too many players are currently too uncomfortable with. Its fair enough that some journalists are trying to get around that part, but as too much actual news is given to us freely at a moment’s notice, many agree that there is too much speculation in some news, like ‘North Korea may be capable of firing a missile loaded with sarin nerve gas toward Japan‘ (source: CBC), yet in equal measure the newspapers have not been the utterly reliable source of news either and on both sides of the publications, there seems to be a growing issue with ethics to consider and that is even before we add tabloids like Daily Mail, Mail Online, and whatever Murdoch gets to publish. The newspapers became a multidimensional mess. I personally think it is because they waited too long to embrace the online community and that is before the new changes hits them over the next two years. By proclaiming themselves as non-accountable and considering themselves as too important, they marketed themselves straight into the insolvency mode. Yet, that is merely my view on all this.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics

Life in USA less healthy now

You might not have thought it, but did you realise that your life, if you are in the USA is as per direct a lot less healthy? Did you know you are now intentionally endangering your health? You did not, then read on and learn how you have thrown your healthy life away. In the LA Times (at http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-broadband-privacy-senate-20170323-story.html), we see ‘Senate votes to kill privacy rules meant to protect people’s sensitive data from their Internet providers‘, you might wonder how this is a danger to your life, but it is, and it will hurt your pocket too no less. The first part is “overturn tough new privacy rules for Internet service providers, employing a rarely used procedure to invalidate restrictions that cable and wireless companies strongly opposed“, now this is not the FBI or the CIA spying on you, this is the option for internet providers to sell your actions and your privacy driven information to whomever wants to buy it.

One quote from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) was “The FCC privacy rules are just another example of burdensome rules that hurt more than they help”. Now, this is not just something that started now, to his credit, he has ALWAYS been on the commercial bandwagon, some of that goes back years where he questioned the White House on the way the FCC’s set-top box proposal came down and what role the White House had in that, and other, FCC decisions. He is clearly a man of less governmental oversight and that is his right. The issue becomes when TV and internet usage is sold to health care providers and on the consequence of what those people call the ‘weighted classification of couch potato‘, in that with the rise of health care premiums. This actually goes further than merely health care. The fact that app use and geographic data becomes available is equally a concern. There is a secondary situation, Companies can now go via consultancy firms and avoid issues with that pesky Employment discrimination law. You see, “the elimination of artificial, arbitrary, and unnecessary barriers to employment” can now be circumvented. People who are too often on Boston South Side, East LA, or the SF Mission district, the use of Geo data would allow for a percentage analyses of this GeoData, giving some people who had hit on hard times even less able to fight for a decent future. And let me be clear, any ISP denying that will be lying to you. The data will be part of something else, like where were you when a certain app was used, which might seem nice, but if they check all apps than that picture gets to be pretty complete.

The reality goes further than this. Even as you read this, MIT is making great strides (at http://bpp.mit.edu/offline-data-collection/). Yet when you read: “Daily price indices, monthly, and annual inflation rates for Argentina and the US. Monthly data with annual inflation rates for Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, South Africa, UK, US, 3 US sectors, and global aggregates (including Eurozone). Daily PPP series for Argentina and Australia. The data were used in the paper titled “The Billion Prices Project: Using Online Data for Measurement and Research” – Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(1) (Spring 2016)“, a serious question comes to mind. You see, once you have this data, you can go into collaboration phases, after which you could raise minimum prices on hundreds of articles. It might be cents, but that raises your monthly costs in dollars, whilst the maker now gets millions in addition. So, yes everybody loves big data, yet will it love you? You get the impression from “Daily prices for all goods sold by 7 large retailers in Latin America and the US: 2 in Argentina, 1 in Brazil, 1 in Chile, 1 in Colombia, 1 in Venezuela, and 4 in the US. Used in the paper titled “Scraped Data and Sticky Prices”“, you just wonder if it is such a weird concept. Now, from an academic point of view, it is an amazingly interesting project. So was Dynamite, which Alfred Nobel learned the hard way, had a few optional uses which he never considered. Data is in that regard a whole lot more dangerous.

The biggest joke in all this is not President Trump, it is actually the FCC puppet Ajit Pai, who was appointed by President Obama in May 2012, he stated that the rules threatened to confuse consumers as they were different to those imposed on web firms such as Google and Facebook. You see, as I see it Ajit Varadaraj Pai is stupid, but he is not stupid, you hearing me? Let me explain this. When a person looks at an advertisement, or seeks something like ‘Gaming Chairs’ at PC Case Gear. That person looks and decided not to buy, the person is just browsing. Now, as this person looks for other things or browses the internet and visits websites. This person gets to a site that uses advertisement spaces. Now for example, Google AdWords will show things that interest you, or things from places you visited. So, even as this person is just going to any place that has advertisement spaces, Google AdWords would possibly show that person ‘Gaming Chairs’ that PC Case Gear had on sale, and Facebook will do exactly the same. In all this, that persons actions and seeks would have remained private, the advertiser does not have my details. They will get general aggregated data, like the gender and the age of the visitor (age is set in an age range). At no time does the advertiser have my complete details. This is why it actually works, now that the ISP can sell my specific data, the issue changes. My details will now get out to third parties and their lack of any ethics (not that the ISP has any mind you) will now endanger us. Ajit Pai knows all this! And he is very happy to facilitate the need for greed, even if it endangers lives, because at some point in the near future it actually will. The health care data need will take care of that, meaning that when your child could not get healthcare, because his browser data indicated an unhealthy life, when he needs that Bypass and the healthcare provider got a little too needy, just remember the name Ajit Pai for the tombstone of your child. Let me explain this a little more clearly. The NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures) gives us “Yet for those buying insurance on an exchange or private market plan for 2017, the average increase before subsidies was a shocking 25 percent” When we consider that the annual premium for an average family was up to $18,142 (I know, what a weird number), 25% is $4535.50, That is $378 a month, when was the last time you got a raise that allowed for such payments?, let me be frank, with 3 university degrees, I have NEVER received an annual increase that much, so as such, you lose either your healthcare or you lose your quality of life. What will you choose? So as junior is data mined as a little larger risk, your premium takes a hit and as you had to let go of healthcare, your child dies, with the compliments of Ajit Varadaraj Pai, so please send him a ‘thank you’ note, the FCC can be found in Washington DC.

You think I am exaggerating? This is the path the US was always on, exploitation to the max before the collapse. USA Today gives us “Sears and Kmart might not have enough money to stock their shelves” merely 3 days ago, it can no longer fuel its existence, that whilst its CEO grew his fortune by $1 billion last year alone. Forbes voiced it as: ‘Sears Suffers — Eddie Lampert Wins‘, now this is related, as places like Sears and Kmart will be vying for YOUR details, your browser history and your privacy and once they have your data, they will merge it and sell it via for example an Australian subsidiary to whomever will buy it, China for example. That is how your data will bounce around the planet, decreasing you and the value you have with every transfer deal made.

As I stated often in the past, I love big data, yet I know that there is an increased need for ethics on how it is collected, applied and moulded into a new base of information. The USA has shown that it is not able to keep any level of ethics in play, which sucks for Americans and it in equal measure sucks for anyone considering trusting an American company, that is, until the Europeans and others get on board on cashing in on data for sale. Consider one last thing, now, this is pure speculation and there is no evidence that this would happen, yet what happens when ISIS figures out what the parameters of a desperate person are? What happens when they mine this data to see who to approach for extremist actions? There is no way this could happen, could it?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Media, Politics, Science

Pussies, Cowards or Other? (updated)

On the 23rd of December a resolution passed against Israel. It is Resolution 2334, which is attached at the end of the story. 14 votes for, one abstained (USA), we need to ask question on why the 14 nations voted in favour. China, France, Russia, UK, Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela. The paper is of course legally speaking an excellent piece of work. Yet let’s take a look at several parts: “Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice“, in that same stride ‘Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War‘, in answer to Palestine, in support and active assistance of terrorist forces, namely Hamas, who has fired well over 8000 rockets into Israel in the last decade alone, with a clear indication that they were send towards civilian targets, as such these hits require compensation in the form of land and as such a case could be found in support of settlement building.

In addition, there have been issues with article 19 of the Palestinian charter for the longest of times. The fact that the latest news regarding of the ethnic cleansing of Jews on the west bank, this was September 9th 2016 (at http://www.timesofisrael.com/pm-world-silent-as-palestinians-seek-ethnic-cleansing-of-jews-in-west-bank/). In all this other media remained silent. There were strong rebukes from the US State Department. So, should we accept that the comments of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is incorrect? The literal quote that SBS Australia gave was “US State Department spokeswoman, Elizabeth Trudeau, has described Mr Netanyahu’s language as “inappropriate and unhelpful”, saying settlement activity continues to hamper the peace process“, ‘inappropriate and unhelpful‘ is not stating that it was incorrect, so here the question becomes was it correct? The Washington Post analysed the video (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/09/09/watch-netanyahu-says-palestinians-want-to-ethnically-cleanse-jews-from-west-bank/), we see the quote ‘The Israeli media mostly ignored the Netanyahu video‘, yet the news made it to Haaretz and the Times of Israel, in addition, there is no evidence given that it was not happening, which is interesting to say the least, in opposition in the same WP article we see: “the Palestinians today cannot “ethnically cleanse” any Jews. The Israeli settlements are all in the 60 percent of the West Bank called Area C, which is under the complete control of the Israeli army“, which carries its own brand of validity.

So, as the world news seems to genuinely ignore events on the West Bank, as the call of Hamas in its charter gives “On the Destruction of Israel: ‘Israel will exist and  will  continue  to  exist  until  Islam  will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’” Hamas, a clear terrorist organisation, as seen supported by Palestinian officials, give rise to the dangers that Israel has faced and opposed since 1987. It still is not recognising the state of Israel, which the then Hamas Leader Khaled Mashal stated as “the Charter is ‘a piece of history and no longer relevant, but cannot be changed for internal reasons’“, which we see as part of the problem, an unadjusted charter is either irrelevant, or illegal. In that same light we see Prof. Robert Pastor from Columbia University state “Pastor surmised that those who quote the charter rather than more recent Hamas statements use it as an excuse to ignore Hamas“. Something he said in 2010, a statement that is proven to be false when we consider the well over 6000 missiles fired by Hamas on Israel since his speech.

If we want to be fair and balanced, we need to look at both sides, and in that case we must admit that wrongdoings from both sides have been done. Yet, that does not excuse either side. If the state of Israel had been accepted this situation would not have existed, in addition, after the Jewish population had been near decimated during Adolf Hitler’s European Tour, the Jewish population had a primary duty to protect itself from extinction, no one can deny that need. We can accept Reuters when we read “Hamas has observed a de facto ceasefire with Israel since 2014, when 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis were killed in a war over the territory. But small jihadist cells in the Gaza Strip occasionally fire rockets across the border“, that innocuous statement ignores a basic part. Someone supplies these cells with rockets and I feel personally certain that these cells are still proclaiming to be ‘real Palestinian Hamas members‘. In that light, the support that the UK is giving this resolution is becoming a bit of an issue. Did it not learn from its earlier mistakes? In addition, as the UK now sees British soldiers being charged in regards to the death of an IRA leader in 1972, whilst the members of the IRA cannot be prosecuted due to earlier agreements. I reckon the UK has its share of issues, giving rise to the support of an Egyptian bill in regard to areas Egypt pretty much abandoned half a century ago. I admit that the last statement is rather dramatic in flavour, yet not incorrect.

So let’s get back to the resolution. When we see “Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines“. How is ‘viability‘ an acceptable word as we have seen acts of terrorism in name and in implied concession of the Palestine ruling administration for decades, with thousands of rockets fired towards civilian targets. That verse gets even more visibility when we see “Recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001“, where the same defense can be given that resolution 1515 is no longer in play as the rockets kept flying for well over a decade. It is a personal view, yet the fact that the lands could be seen as possibly to be annexed by the state of Israel is not that far-fetched. It is unlikely to happen, yet the fact that the Palestine leadership has never truly acted against the terrorist organisation Hamas is more than questionable regarding the validity of any Palestine solution.

In regards to France we can speculate that they agreed as they have their own share of issues, the idea that Hamas turns its attention to France must be unsettling to both DGSE (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure) and ANSSI (Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information), it is one headache the French at present do not need, although, I reckon they could have merely abstained their vote.

The resolution takes a swing when we see “Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution” and “Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism“, this gives way that the taste of war is changing. It gives way that the Palestinian leaders are in serious trouble. Not only do they have to deal with the danger of Islamic State, as ISIS has been reported a week ago to be ‘choking Hamas’ we now see the resolution in a different light. As ISIS is implied to be soon unopposed in Gaza and Sinai, Egypt is about to get a situation a lot less appealing. Especially if the thousands of Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers see an option to find a common goal with ISIS. This last part is my speculation, even as they have opposed each other, their common hatred of Israel is one part they both ‘agree’ on. As the Palestine elders of Gaza panic, trying to find any solution as their funds run dry (apparently the lack of rockets this year was mainly due to sponsors placing their funds somewhere else) and the reality that the middle east economy is in the biggest dip of their existence, not in the least due to the pressures that the Syrian war has placed on all the neighbouring countries is a clear sign that there are issues all over the place.

I think that this resolution is one of desperation, when the economy gets its second earthquake in the form of an economic crash (expected Q2-Q3 2017), places like Palestine will see the deterioration of all support as those who were willing to fund will see a desperate need for funds at the home front, this includes the Muslim Middle Eastern Nations. Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE and Egypt will be in a long time crunch, not only today, yet as the Euro destabilises due to the Euro issues and exit referendums, both America and Japan will see their economies under severe pressures. The statement by President elect Donald Trump (read: ‘so, I’ll bankrupt America’) didn’t help either. With the economic pressures we see that Japan is also eager to get something moving here. Out of the 14 nations, we could only argue that New Zealand has the cleanest reasons (neither anti-Israel nor selfish reasons), that is unless they got a call from London to vote in a certain way.

In all this Israel is not in a good place and one could argue that Israel is starting to get anger management issues (considering the actions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is contemplating. Or as the Times of Israel article stated “still more devastating, potential diplomatic defeat at the hands of the outgoing Obama administration via a mixture of pleas, threats and boycotts“, (at http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-goes-to-war-with-the-world/). With political pressures rising, not in the least due to cancelled visits, we see the summoning of Israeli ambassadors. Currently only the Ukrainian one, but that is unlikely to remain the only one. In a time when the Ukraine needs positive visibility, the cancelled meeting to Israel might be seen as a body blow to the Ukrainian administration. Yet, in all, this will be regarded as a failure on the side of Prime Minister Netanyahu, an act from emotion which now prevents a show of information that could have seen other resolutions, especially against Palestine regarding the actions of Hamas, that opportunity will now no longer be an option. Again, it is just speculation from my side, yet the emotional reactions by Benjamin Netanyahu could bring delays to whatever data Mossad is trying to collect. Svoboda has its anti-Semitic elements, which could fuel growing of extremisms. Ukraine is too far from Israel to be a direct threat, yet the chaos in Turkey implies that any journey via Cyprus makes these extremists a larger threat than previous considered. However, this is not about that.

The resolution shows that the document as one sided as it is opening really dangerous doorways in whatever future we would like to see, in addition, ignoring certain elements from the past by the 14 vote casters will have longer consequences. We all accept that the Middle Eastern issue is not easily answered, there might not be an answer at all. Yet the reality is that Resolution 2334 should not have been given the light of day, especially when we consider the acts of Hamas and their decades of acts of terror. The fact that the Palestinian councils have never truly acted against Hamas making this resolution an issue. All peace options offered in the past were disrupted by more attacks, in the past Hamas has only ever offered a seize fire when they ran out of rockets and ammunition. Now that they realise that this is not a dry spell, their support is waning in a faltering economy, now we see their need to get the best deal possible starting with Resolution 2334. Which is as I personally see it, the worst action possible.

If this continues, it will be a signal for extremists all over the place that their method works, which under this economy isn’t the worst strategic assumption to make.

No matter how this wind blows over, the fact that Palestine is now in a state to get whatever it can get, also shows that the breech of confidence with Hamas is a lot more brittle than many are assuming, whether this means that ISIS is in charge cannot be made without more data, what has been confirmed are the execution of Hamas officials as well as the drained budget of Hamas shows that the dynamics have changed to such an extent that Egypt is now moving to get whatever solution possible in place, because it is seeing the impact that the ISIS attacks have had over the last two months alone. It cannot be denied that Resolution 2334 is a method to stop the changing dynamic and see if this change can alter the path of ISIS, again, this is a speculation from my side. Without more data there is no viable credibility to these acts. Yet the issues are clearly connected, the voiced acts by ISIS shows increased pressure on both Egypt and the West-Bank, to see them as unrelated whilst they are pretty much next to one another is equally nuts. with ISIS proclaiming a mere 5 days ago that it is closing in on Israel’s borders give way that the pressures in this region are about to rise a fair amount (Source: Jerusalem Online). Abu Hajar also called for new recruits to join the ISIS branch in Sinai, this whilst he states that the Israeli air force is ineffective. The latter is not a given, but the fact of small cells constantly in motion will delay Israeli actions a fair bit. The fact that Abu Hajar is addressing Hamas members is a larger issue, not just for Hamas. From my point of view, the issue is not Israeli Intelligence, it is the timeline of processing. In the hour that intelligence is disseminated, the mobile units could have gone 30-50 miles, making a valid target much harder if not impossible to set. It is in this active environment that Resolution had been voted on, the fact that 14 voted in favour implies that it was a one sided political view, not set on the premise of any solution, it is not a crucible, it is merely a loom holding a one-sided weave, in the days to come some of the voters in that resolution will be scrutinised and several not in a good way.

united_nations_security_council_resolution_2334

Update!

So, as we now get to the ‘Other’ part, we get to a different part then I had originally imagined. You see, after this blog went live, a development was given by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/27/obama-and-allies-seek-to-isolate-netanyahu-before-trump-takes-office). Not only is this current US Democratic party a collection of losers, they have gone to such desperate acts in the 11th hour to prevent the media to state that they have become the worst administration in American history. They have decided that 5 days before the end of the administration, they will push through a 2 state ‘solution’. The subtitle gives us ‘John Kerry to propose principles for two-state solution in Middle East at conference next month in wake of UN resolution’, so even as such principles take months and months to design, requiring legal expertise to mull over such papers, we now see their act of ‘abstain’ was nothing less than the cowardly act of a traitor selling Israel down the drain by literally setting an agenda with a terrorist organisation (Hamas) and letting Egypt blow the clarion, making them an American vassal, which should go over really well with both the ISIS elements next to Egypt as well as the Muslim brotherhood. This level of orchestration is the most dangerous and as I see it, the most stupid of all. So, if, I say again IF other buildings start falling down like the song ‘London bridge…..’ implies, the American Democratic Party will only have themselves to blame and they will be utterly alone should that happen. To push a two state principle down the throats of a global community so that some individual can state ‘we brought peace to the middle east’ like it is a cheap infomercial just before they get kicked out of their office. This is really bad and the fact that other papers are not full of the political analyses of the dangers that the American Democratic Party created, after they got their nation bankrupt is just beyond words. The initial quote I saw yesterday and initially ignored was from the Israeli Prime Minister: “Netanyahu claims there is ‘ironclad evidence’ Obama administration plotted to promote the UN resolution”. The info seen was the Egypt came with it (no way that America was not involved), yet the statement seemed a little too ‘conspiracy theory’ to me. Now it seems that the reality of it all is actually a lot worse.

Now consider the following: “The UN resolution and Kerry’s speech represent an attempt by the outgoing Obama administration and the rest of the UN security council to box in and isolate the Israeli government before Trump, a fervent supporter of the Israeli right, enters the White House”. If so, there is now a possible case that Barack Obama President of the United States and John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State could find themselves prosecuted for Malfeasance in office. This is seen when we take a look at the case Daugherty v. Ellis, 142 W. Va. 340, 357-8, 97 S.E.2d 33, 42-3 (W. Va. 1956) where we see the following quote: “Malfeasance has been defined by appellate courts in other jurisdictions as a wrongful act which the actor has no legal right to do;
as any wrongful conduct which affects, interrupts or interferes with the performance of official duty; as an act for which there is no authority or warrant of law;
as an act which a person ought not to do;
as an act which is wholly wrongful and unlawful;
as that which an officer has no authority to do and is positively wrong or unlawful;
and as the unjust performance of some act which the party performing it has no right, or has contracted not, to do”. So now the part that matter, how come that this is in play, how could they be regarded as prosecutable before the law? Well, that is seen when we consider that any deal of this magnitude will take months, sometimes years to properly set. The fact that a departing administration does this in their final week, means that they are taking away the freedom of action by the legitimate elected office. They are already being replaced by another party and as implied, the fact that they know that their path would not be followed, forcing their path on others could be seen as both Malfeasance as well as Misfeasance in nature. It can be seen as intentional harm from an act improperly performed, that part is pretty adamant when we see that this is forced down the throats of several people in the last 5 days of office, an act that will very likely have years of consequences as such an intentional act to prevent the next in line from properly conducting the state of the American union. I will not go as far as to see this as an act of treason by public officials, yet I feel certain that many, especially the republican side will call this act a lot harsher than I just did.

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Military, Politics

How misinformed are the French?

This is what today’s article in Reuters brings to mind. The article (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-election-frexit-idUSKBN1420HF) gives the following information: “But unlike Britain, France has a written constitution, which states that “the Republic is part of the European Union”. So a “Frexit” would require a constitutional change which experts say is difficult, but not impossible“.

You see, we are being bombarded by the media regarding the European Union, yet what about the European Economic Community, which was later renamed into the European Community?

More important, the fact that we see this: “France has a written constitution, which states that ‘the Republic is part of the European Union’“, this might not be in question, yet when a system is intentionally made complicated, is that a valid system? (We see that happening right now in the UK), in addition, when we consider the utter lack of accountability that the EC has shown in the last two years alone, gives rise to the imbalance and the unjust path the EC has been on. There is also the part where we see that Mario Draghi and his ECB are now feeling more and more the loud voices of political opposition. Which is likely the reason why we see (at http://www.europeanceo.com/finance/ecb-opts-for-longer-but-leaner-quantitative-easing/), that the title now reads ‘ECB opts for longer but leaner quantitative easing‘, yet the fact that this might lower the quantitative easing by €20 billion a month, yet the extension until December 2017 now implies that the French and the United Kingdom end up getting a massive part of an additional €830 billion in debt, that is almost a trillion more. Bloomberg had already given its view that the expected results were never met, more important, some critical voices give rise to a failing QE program as the debt increases, yet no economy was actually kick-started, there was a lack of results. By the way, when we add the €700bn of QE reported in April 2016, the debt goes well over the additional trillion, giving multiple headaches to France, the UK and Germany. In addition, it will with certainty drive the Frexit group stronger. Even as we saw in the Reuters article “A poll published by Ifop in July found that 67 percent of French voters who expressed a view would vote to stay in the EU. Only 33 percent were against“, which is the opposite from what was seen in February 2016, we need to realise that the upcoming message that France will inherit their share of a 1.3 trillion Euro additional debt through quantitative easing, that will fuel a possible drive of those 67% Fremainers into the Frexiteers Garrison that Marine Le Pen desires at the drop of a hat (any hat). The fact that a failed plan that keeps on getting prolonged reduces Mario Draghi to a one trick pony, or a one trick Wall Street Mule as some economists rumoured regard him to be after the October 8th IMFC meeting. This might have been in regards to the statement “until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation towards levels below, but close to, 2% over the medium term“. By the way, that paper reads like it requires the United Kingdom not to succeed its exiting path, which might just have been my interpretation of it. In addition, the quote mentioned earlier is also stated in regarding the TLTRO-II actions. So, lets realise that I am no economist, yet in the lighter side of all of it, consider that a bank owes amount x. Now we add the TLTRO-II and suddenly the banks debt becomes x+(x*0.3), so we get a 30% increase in debt, this would be a consideration when it wasn’t part of the quantitative easing already happening. In addition, we get “if a bank sufficiently improves its lending to the real economy, instead of having to pay interest, it can receive interest by ‘paying’ a negative rate. This rate can be as low as the deposit facility rate, currently at -0.4%“, so how much fraud (read: apologies I meant accidentally misreported numbers) will we face now? ‘Lending to the real economy‘ is like finding a virgin with nymphomania and 12 service of years in a brothel (read: Really?). In addition to this, the banks get extra money. So When we go to any bank stating we want to add to the economy, so we all borrow 50 million, because we add to the economy we receive $200K a year. Which we spend on food, bills and other things, so we get money and spend that on a real economy (butcher, baker and pastry maker) whilst getting money for spending it. How weird is that? Of course what they see as ‘real’ economy and my view of that are widely apart I reckon.

Yet in all this, we see another game being played, one that I speculatively ‘accused’ the ECB to play almost a year ago. The fact that they are raising the debt to such an extent that it becomes impossible to leave the EC, the UK is getting dangerously close to that point (France might have surpassed that point already, mainly because their economy has been flat for a lot longer). And in all this we see news cast after newscast on how things are slow, too hard and impossible. This almost makes me wish for the age of Alexander the great, where he dealt with the Gordian knot. In today’s version we are almost at the point where the UK only needs to cut off the heads of Jean-Claude Juncker and Mario Draghi and that problem is solved too. #SubtletyRulezOK

In addition, the document seems to set up hidden traps, traps that if adjusted will hurt many in the long run. The quote “prioritising public investment and reducing the tax burden on labour“, so this is not a reduction on taxation for the workers, it is a reduction on taxation on the cost of labour, meaning that corporation taxation will go down even more, yet the ignored definitions that governments face are the results of those reduced forms of taxation, because that money goes to the boardrooms and if the feelings of reduced enthusiasm for Apple, Google and Amazon were low earlier, wait till you see the feelings in several nations when the American policies are stronger enforced towards the US and where the golden rules for the auditors become that corporate contribution (revenue minus cost) will shift and the money trails push all that contribution towards the US. This is a reality I saw in the late 90’s with American companies. As well as a push that senior positions were to be held (for the majority) by Americans. Now, a company must do what it think it needs to do, yet with lower corporate taxation, unbalanced taxation where the bulk of revenue is not taxed and tax laws are still lacking in efficiency as well as holding corporations accountable for certain tax values, we will see a growing imbalance of cost of living and what I would call the implosion of governing budgets because the money isn’t coming in from several sides as all sides are etched to the needs and desires of corporations. And people are still debating that Brexit is a bad deal and that a one market world is a good thing. Now take the 30 largest corporations add what they paid in taxation and add what their revenues were. After which you go to the tax office and demand a similar deal. How hard will these tax employees laugh in your face?

You still think a one market deal is anything but an engine to enable the non-taxability of global corporations?

It gets to be an even stronger issue when we consider the Guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/29/new-cars-imported-from-eu-may-cost-10-more-if-uk-leaves-single-market), which is two weeks old. You see, why would we care? Why get a foreign car? In Australia, the makers didn’t like the deal they had, they wanted more and more tax breaks making the car industry pretty much the first one with legalised slave labour. Why would we want to support this? Why would the UK support this? Consider the UK with 68 million people, now if only 50% had a car, than that would still be a massive amount of consumer goods. If the UK stops importing cars, those in charge behind the screens will then suddenly look for a solution whether a car could be made in the UK. They currently have 4 cars made in the UK, but those are high end cars and too expensive for those usually needing one. This is how VW started its empire, in 1932 it started the people’s car project. A car for every person, Volkswagen, which pretty much translates the German brand. The Australians are not in such a good spot in that regard, but it is still a 20 million citizen market, with plenty of 4 wheel needs. Those car exploiters forgot about the consequence when a market on a national level states, we no longer need you. That is why the single market is so important to them (mostly those in the boardrooms). And as Toyota reported a drop of 40% compared to last year, the consequence of nations no longer needing their brand must be a massive nightmare for those getting a bonus based on sales results. In that regard they will feel the pinch and they will feel it a lot harder than ever before. They are however feeling good because ‘Toyota’s earnings performance is improving, mainly because the yen is now weakening‘, which sounds nice on an Abacus, but the massive debt that the Japanese people face ($9 trillion at present), how long until the Japanese stop to consider how much interest that actually is; considering that Japan only has 123 million people. At 0.1% interest, if it even could be that low, implies an interest of 9 billion a year, this sets the interest to $73K per person per year. So how is that going for the Japanese budget, especially when you consider that the average man in the land of the rising sun makes up to $20K a year? So how is that formula working and how much worse is Mario Draghi making it for Europe? You see, it is my personal speculation in this that the US and Japan are pushing parties in equilibrium, when the debts equalise there will be no way back for Europe. Europe will be at the mercy of the incompetence of America and Japan. At that point, as a member of UKIP would state it: ‘I don’t want some bloody yank telling us how to keep our debt, I don’t want any debt‘, but at that point it will be too late and we will be left without options on a global scale. Did any of us sign up for that? In addition, do the French realise that my speculation is not that far off?

This is a path that I have stated before and in earlier blogs I have clearly stated that we are in for a bumpy ride, I actually expect a new crash late 2017, early 2018 at the latest, so when we see that this article by Pension and Investments (at http://www.pionline.com/article/20161213/ONLINE/161219969/natixis-survey-investors-turning-to-active-management-amid-expected-2017-volatility) gives us the title ‘Natixis survey: Investors turning to active management amid expected 2017 volatility‘, by the way, that is a group of people where the lowest income would be close to 30-50 times my income, so these people have serious cash to play with. So the quote “As a result, asset owners plan to reset their portfolios, relying on active management and alternative assets as they seek to manage risk and boost returns” seems a little bit of an issue when we realise that Mario Draghi and his quote “as part of our expanded asset purchase programme (APP)” gives a whole new light in all this. It almost amounts to a speculated shift in ownership of assets, where governments are buying assets via the ECB (intentional or not) and in addition, these portfolios get to reset themselves and get rid of what would soon be new bad debt. Whilst the Guardian reported in November 2015 that the European banks were sitting on €1 trillion of bad debts and the quote “The increase in lending has been accompanied by a very gradual improvement of asset quality, although levels of non-performing exposures in EU banks remain a concern and a potential impediment to lending growth and profitability” now reflects on Mario Draghi as he basically has been adding more than €1 trillion more (making it a total of €2.3 trillion) by the time we get to December 2017. When the upcoming volatility shit hits the fan, all our financial futures will go straight into the sewer.

So, when the French realise that, do you really thing that there will be any non-illegals left in that country considering to remain in the European Community?

More important, when some of these factors start hitting the UK, its population could end up demanding a sledgehammer hard Brexit almost overnight. Yet, again, that is pure speculation from my side. In the meantime, I should apply for a job at Natixis, facilitate for people who will actually end up having some money left from January 2018 onwards. I have to eat too and I would love some French grub, even if I have to Join Legion Etrangere for that part (do not worry readers, I no longer meet their standards).

So as you now wonder how informed the French are, I need to wonder in equal measure if they are the only ones not getting the full picture (read: awareness), the fact the Dutch move out of the EEC is now getting a lot more realistic, even more realistic than I ever thought it would be, gives additional light to the title and topic in this blog. Yet so far there is a decent indication that Frexit will drive the decision of plenty and Frexit will come to a referendum before the Dutch get that chance, meaning that the French vote will clearly influence the Dutch one, yet to what extent cannot be said or stated. In addition, the Rhine and the Rotterdam harbours would not get the economic punch as hard because of German needs, meaning that these ties will remain strong for the need of both, but that is no guarantee that the Dutch will not feel the initial hardship of change, to what extent cannot be stated with any degree of reliability.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics

The cost of free trade

There is a side in me that is a little beyond angry. When I see these politicians whine like little bitches on how good ‘Free Trade‘ is, on how it is so good for all. I wonder if they remember the days when slavery was an actual solution for commerce. How these people look and praise Chiwetel Ejiofor (aka Baron Mordo) for playing a slave in ‘12 years a slave’. When we see “Mexico, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore aim to continue with TPP with or without the United States, Mexico’s economy minister, Ildefonso Guajardo, said on Friday” (Source: SBS), we need to wonder on how the TPP is seen as anything but evil, a mere apparatus of convenience for large corporations to keep a stranglehold on those around them and to minimise the number of opportunities for smaller businesses.

The Evidence?

The Economic Policy Institute gives us: “This paper does not include an exhaustive review but cites as an example Capaldo, Izurieta, and Sundaram (2016), who noted that studies claiming that the TPP would have a positive impact on the U.S. and global economy are based on unrealistic assumptions, including no change in the U.S. trade balance with the TPP countries and full employment“, which is only the top of the iceberg. You see, in addition we have “Currency manipulation is the most important cause of the large and growing U.S. goods trade deficit with the group of countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Coupled with the fact that the United States is the largest and most reliable trading partner for many of the TPP countries, this is a recipe for U.S. pain at others’ gain“. This is not the USA, it would also hit Australia in other ways, not the people who secretly arranged all that they get top dollar in a few other ways. Yet, before we move on, let’s take one more part, because that will have connecting issues. The quote “Many members of the proposed TPP, including Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan, are known currency manipulators. Others, namely Vietnam, appear to be following the lead of currency manipulators by, for example, acquiring excess foreign exchange reserves to depress the value of their currency. Currency manipulation explains a substantial share of the large, persistent U.S. trade deficit with the 11 other TPP countries that has not only cost millions of U.S. jobs but also increased income inequality and put downward pressure on American wages“, and although this paper focuses on US consequences, it will in addition have a speculative negative impact on Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The Dutch Financial Times (at https://fd.nl/economie-politiek/1176922/tpp-opzegging-holt-voorbeeldfunctievs-uit) gives us: “Donald Trump heeft de wereld deze week een belangrijke boodschap gegeven. Door te stellen dat hij de Verenigde Staten op de eerste dag van zijn presidentschap terug zal trekken uit het Pacifische vrijhandelsverdrag TPP, geeft hij het signaal af dat hij de relaties met andere landen puur vanuit de blik van een zakenman zal zien. Hij wil bilateraal met landen gaan onderhandelen ‘over eerlijke handelsafspraken die ertoe leiden dat banen en industrieën terugkeren naar Amerika’. Internationale relaties moeten voordelig zijn; anders hoeft het niet“, which paraphrased gives us: “Donald Trump will be withdrawing from the TPP on day one of his presidency. He will be looking at relationships with other countries from a business point of view, international relations need to be advantageous, or need not be“. Is that a bad thing? You see for exploiters it is, which gives us the Malayan Times (at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/tpp-aint-over-till-its-over-firdaos-rosli). Last week they had the headline ‘TPP ain’t over till it’s over‘, the article is a decent legal view of getting the TPP ratified, which only gives additional cause for concern in a few ways, yet that is not the issue for now. The one quote at the end that matters is “The government must proceed with its top-down reforms agenda and these are direly required to make Malaysia great again” This is fair enough on one side, Malayans are there to make Malaysia strong, there is no cause more just, yet in what ways are they doing this?

This is where the other side gets to show us the dangers. You see the headline ‘Malaysia workers speak of their despair: ‘Samsung only knows how to take’‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/nov/21/malaysia-workers-speak-of-their-despair-samsung-only-knows-how-to-take), shows that large corporations are at the heart of the problem. Tax shelters, exploitation and what cannot be seen as anything else than intentional slavery are at the heart of the matter. The Samsung Port Klang factory as mentioned shows how Samsung is growing its business by massively reducing costs whilst maximising customer exploitation at almost the same time.

When we see “In total, Bhandari says he paid £750 to secure his job in Malaysia – more than the average annual salary in his home district” as well as “There are an estimated 2.1 million documented migrant workers like Bhandari in Malaysia, many of them hired through third-party labour supply companies who recruit foreign workers from Nepal, Indonesia, India and Bangladesh to drive Malaysia’s industrial boom“. Implying that Samsung has no HR to speak of, it is arranged through third party affairs that are buttering their bread on both sides of the isle with a labour population in slavery. So when we rethink the Malayan Times with ‘TPP ain’t over till it’s over‘, we get that they (those making the profits) need the TPP, because slaves tend to be free (read: really cheap) and too many people seem to be filling their pockets in a few ways. So when you see “Now he’s in Malaysia, Bhandari’s recruitment debt – and the 60% interest loan he took to pay it – has a stranglehold on the teenager“, you know that this is how slavery is created and how it is maintained. Not through shackles that bind you, but debts that stop you from moving and breathing. I reckon that the old southern ‘solution’ was a lot more humane. At least you knew that there was slavery, now the boat load of governments remain in denial and the large corporations can claim to remain negligently unaware. Which of the two is the larger hypocrite remains to be seen. The fact that Australia signed this, whilst they had to be aware that this was happening to some degree is an issue on many fronts, not just the slavery part, but the fact that the TPP has the largest option of being a negative influence. You see, those who had walked away wanted to do so via the TPP, there is absolutely no guarantee that whilst in the TPP jobs are not lost to areas where labour laws are a lot more flexible.

Consider the quote “Many of the group now want to leave, if only they could. They say their passports were all confiscated on arrival in the country, an illegal but pervasive practice, and they have been told they will have to pay £740 if they want to go – the equivalent of four months’ basic salary“, which translates to a little over 4 weeks of Australian welfare. Which in light of “A Samsung statement said: “As a committed member of the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), we comply fully with the EICC’s Code of Conduct and have found no evidence of violations in the hiring process of migrant workers hired directly by our manufacturing facility in Malaysia. Once there is any complaint, we take swift actions to investigate” as well as “When asked whether Samsung had repaid any worker debts at the factory, one man employed directly by Samsung instead of through a labour supply company says he hasn’t received any compensation. “Samsung doesn’t know how to give,” he says. “It only knows how to take.”” which to some degree shows that not only is Samsung not doing too much about it, it is also intent towards reaping the benefit of these trade deals for as long as they can. More important, even though Samsung is the visible one, the fact that from several sources we see “Malaysia’s trade volume is booming“, implies that there are other brands exploiting this way of cutting costs. So from that part, the evidence that Slave labour is again a ‘valid’ form of cost cutting towards commerce is given.

Should any government object that I reckon it is time that clear labour requirements are added to the TPP, I wonder how many would suddenly oppose such actions, because as I see it it is clear that Japan and USA, the two direct requirements for the TPP would not oppose it, unless Sony decides that their margins would dwindle, but that is just pure speculation from my side.

What to do?

Well, I do not think it is too far-fetched that those linked to these unacceptable labour practices are required to have a specific import license for their good, which is at a price, FTA or not! I wonder what will happen when Samsung gets a 23% surcharge on slave labour goods import. Will that suddenly make them see the light? I do not mind if they decide to make them in Malaysia, but I reckon we all agree that these workers are due decent pay and no slave labour conditions. At that point, when the margins are hit, how good was the TPP and how beneficial were factories in Asia? I do not proclaim to have the answer, I am merely asking the question. When slavery is dealt with, we will suddenly see that there is no benefit in some of these places and that other places like Argentina, Texas, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the UK and Belgium are decent places where goods can be produced whilst the company still has a margin. And perhaps there is no need for a $229 Samsung Microwave when a $129 Sharp version would suffice. So, a $100 more expensive whilst ‘depending’ on slave labour (to at least some degree), seems odd doesn’t it?

Consider: “it promised only £268 a month, including overtime“, whilst “a payslip seen by the Guardian shows Bhandari worked 29 out of 30 days in September, including 65 hours of overtime“, so we get 65 hours a slave every month and an income of £9.20 a day, which amounts to 25% of what you get in Australian Centrelink and the cost of living in Sydney is actually high. So the next time you see those Samsung advertisements, consider that they can afford these billboards thanks to slave labour. Look at your Samsung phone and admire how you got that great deal, if you are lucky only one person literally worked himself/herself to death to make you one. Feel better now?

It is also important to realise that Samsung is not alone here, one firm does not make for “Malaysia’s trade volume is booming“, it takes a lot more than one firm and if only Samsung was involved, those people would apply for every other place on day two of their arrival. This makes the issue a lot larger and this also makes the unbalanced use of what we now laughingly call ‘Free Trade Agreements‘. So when we get another load of Bill Shorten and how the TPP isn’t costing jobs, we see a clear case that the man needed to be tarred, feathered and walked through George Street whilst a person behind him clanks the bell shouting ‘Shame!‘ It might be a little too much Game of Thrones, yet in that place they are only now abolishing slavery on the East side of that place (read: Essos), in addition, Malcom Turnbull is not free of any moral harm either. The fact that the TPP was supposed to implement stronger protections and the fact that Malaysia is still very much on the TPP ball, whilst as the Guardian shows, that what amounts to Slave labour is still going strong to me implies that those involved have either loop holes in place or that there are alternative options for those enjoying the fruits of their exploitation.

You see, the TPP Labour summary gives us: “In addition to commitments by Parties to eliminate forced labor in their own countries, the Labor chapter includes commitments to discourage importation of goods that are produced by forced labor or that contain inputs produced by forced labor, regardless of whether the source country is a TPP country“, this implies that those involved at Samsung have either a Chinese wall in place or a system of deniability. The fact that The Guardian received evidence (payslips) and had testimonials of multiple workers should suffice as evidence.

The fact that Huawei has the option to expose issues with Samsung, whilst not seeming to act, gives also pause for concern. China is not part of the TPP, it is trying to seal its own trade agreement. Even though we have no evidence on how China works in certain matters, the existence of China’s State Owned Enterprise’s (SOE) is another circle of issues and it will be so for both Australia and New Zealand, yet to what extent cannot be stated by me (read: ignorant of such levels of government rules). In that regard Huawei might have an unfair advantage (read: when compared to Samsung) and of course, Huawei could impact the booming Mobile business Australia has (read: Exchange rate of sarcasm towards giggles). As many see that China has been non-enthusiastic when it comes to dealing with corruption, the shown evidence gives us that several other nations aren’t that much better and corporate greed tends to trump government requirements. So there!

No matter how we slice it, the trade agreements only truly benefit large corporations and no one else, which is an issue on a few fronts and in that President Elect Donald Trump might be the clearest American patriot when he states “international relations need to be advantageous, or need not be“, for the simple truth is that for the most and agreement signed that was not advantageous was an agreement best not signed at all.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics

The UK NHS is fine

This is the view that some seem to impair on the Britons. When we look at the article (at http://www.bbc.com/news/health-37331350), “Seven-day NHS ‘impossible under current funding levels’“, we see that there is an initial massive problem. I have no reason to doubt any of this, yet consider the issues in play. The Guardian gave us “Jeremy Corbyn has urged his supporters to campaign for jobs and the NHS once the current leadership battle is over. A year and a day after he was first elected as leader, Labour’s leader told a rally in Brighton that whatever the result, he hoped that they would join with him to convince the rest of Britain to join in a quest for a fairer society“, this is just a from one article. Yet, when we look a little further we get the Canary, which gives us “All the time I’ve been in parliament, I’ve been opposed to privatisation of the NHS and I voted against it with colleagues in the Parliamentary Labour Party over many years because we wanted to see a fully-funded, public, National Health Service. The Tories have sought to privatise it. A Labour government will have to take the whole NHS into public ownership and make sure it remains there. The next Labour government will go further than reversing Tory cuts. We intend to deliver a modern health and social care policy, fully publicly provided, and fully publicly funded, by integrating health and social care into a single system, so that everyone gets the care they need when they need it.” (at http://www.thecanary.co/2016/09/05/jeremy-corbyn-lays-out-his-plan-for-the-nhs-in-under-a-minute/). You see, we all want that, the Conservatives are not against it, the government just cannot afford it such a solution. When you take the government Credit Card and spend over a trillion pounds. Under Labour the debt went from less than 400 million to well over a trillion. Even though 2004 did not hit the UK as hard as other places, Labour should have changed their approach to budgets by a lot, then in 2008 there would have been no option but to radically implement austerity measures. This was never done the way it required to be. The people were told these overly optimistic views, mainly, as I personally see it to let money roll. In December 2007, the 2008 forecast was between 1% and 1.3%, The European Commission in 2008 was “In summary, growth in the UK economy is expected to slow to around 1¾% in 2008. In 2009, with no large carryover effect from 2008, the gradual recovery in domestic demand through the year will bring annual growth to just over 1½%“. Yet, when we see the BBC report (not forecasting) at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8479639.stm, we see that 2008 went per quarter from +0.6% to -1.7% in 2009 it grew from -2.5% to 0.1%. So at no point was any forecast ever met. This is something that has been going on for over a decade. Not just the UK mind you, the EU as a whole is playing that same managed bad news cycle that starts with overinflated positivity whilst those behind this game are delusional beyond belief. Until a massive change is made in the approach business and politicians are taking to blow up the governmental credit card. This relates to Jeremy Corbyn because unless the man was lobotomised in 2001, he should know better. Under Labour governance, the debt went up by a little over 600 billion pounds. Did they not consider the consequences? Overspending year after year, followed by managed bad news is not a solution. It never was and any politicians voicing that it could should be barred from public office for life! (Again, this applies to both sides of the political isle). That simple realisation is all UKIP needed and the mistakes made today and the symbiotic relationship of required spending between business and government needs to come to an end. In this coming decade we need actual solutions, an actual path to restore the pushed imbalance of Wall Street status quo pushed us all towards. So until we all realise that, the NHS is fine, because soon many people will have too many additional problems and the NHS will not show up on their radar. That is my prediction if the current wave of weighted misinformation continues.

So the NHS is fine according to those who needs funds to the directions they desire. You see, here we get confronted with the reality that the Conservatives are dealing with. Do you actually think that the quote “Prime minister declines to guarantee points-based system and extra £100m a week for health service“, the reality of a budget is that money runs out. It did 2 years ago and solutions need to be found. I personally, as a conservative would have preferred that the NHS was higher on the list. Yet, reality got in the way here too. The UK got into Brexit and we all knew that there would be consequences even though realistically the extent would never be a given. In that regard, the issues that Japanese PM Shinzo Abe raised might be regarded as a joke. My reasoning here is that the quote “Countries such as Japan have already warned the UK that a lack of clarity about Brexit and loss of the benefits that access to the single market brings could lead” brought. So this PM is crying on the UK doorstep whilst he should have asked President of the European Union Donald Tusk. No, he wants to know this from the UK, which in my view makes him sound more like a servant of the Washington Oval Office than the PM of Japan he is supposed to be. In addition, is it not interesting that an organisation like the EU has nothing in place regarding the notion a leaving nation will have as an impact of its structure? All this reflects back to the NHS, because as we see more and more political bashing from the people who are now finally realising that their Gravy Train is about to stop and that their cushy incomes based upon virtual works and situations will not continue, now they all come up into the light to push people into continuing disaster that could soon be the former EU.

This all relates to the NHS, because it will impact the NHS. I am not pushing for the entire Junior Doctor Contracts. Whatever the stance is there, the truth is that a pilot strike for better conditions would be the same, the airline would be put under pressure, but the airline would continue. With the NHS it is not that simple and the impact could be harder, yet the people have a right to stand up what they consider to be their right. Yet in all this people are very easy to ignore that the government has been giving into pharmaceutical companies not just the TTIP and in that regard they did not take a tougher stance on those pharmaceutical parts, opening stronger ties with India and the essential need for Generic medical solutions (where applicable), because that also impacts the NHS, lower costs for medications means more for staff, equipment and location. We all accept that the NHS needs solutions and so far there is a lack of actual actions that are leading to longer term solutions.

Yet we need to see that Labour isn’t the only lose screw on the political bench, Tim Farron from the Liberal Democrats are on the same foot. I gave my answer earlier. Unless the UK can get the budgets truly under control and until massive changes are implemented that will allow for better budgeting, the NHS would stop because business people want profit through privatisation and too many people are wasting the true future options of Britons through misrepresentation of forecasts. If you think that this is off? That forecasting is too complex, which can be concurred by many including me to some extent, it is not the case to the extent that we saw for too long a time. I discussed part of this in ‘A noun of non-profit‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/05/15/a-noun-of-non-profit/), in addition there is ‘Cooking the books?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/01/22/cooking-the-books/) where I proved some of these points and showed the danger. So basically, the predictions I made in January 2014 are now showing to be correct. So as people are looking at a way for the government to spend more money and show cooked forecasts, consider the next time this is done and the austerities that will then follow., We can no longer continue this irresponsible push for unrealistic solutions that do not lead anywhere and takes us to look away from the solutions that actually need solving. The NHS needs solving and it needs it now.

There is no debate about the NHS and privatisation. Everyone would happily get rid of the idea if there was money to do that. I am not mentioning the aging population, because that has been known for a very long time and we can only partially blame the economic crash, because that hit everyone square in the face. So when I read the LibDems demanding the end of playing politics, whilst they are sitting next to Labour doing just that, we have to wonder where they got their view from. The independent reported only 3 days ago. The article (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/lib-dems-demand-end-to-playing-politics-with-the-nhs-a7315236.html) gives a few quotes on that matter. “Mr Lamb has also launched a consultation on the introduction of a NHS specific income tax, which would ring fence a possible one pence per pound earned for the NHS budget, and appear on people’s payslips as such“, that is an optional solution. You see, this was introduced within the Netherlands decades ago and it solved plenty of issues. It is hard to talk about taxing this, but consider that the NHS will be short by 6 billion in the near future is at the heart of the issue. Consider that from your pay check, the government takes an additional £2 a week. Now consider the working population of 31 million people meaning that we have an optional 62 million pounds at our disposal, money that is destined exclusively for the NHS. Now, do not think for a moment that this will be temporary. There is the realistic consideration that this will be for all time, giving us two groups of people, those entitled to full health care and those with the minimum package. Now, retired people would get full health care on principle that they paid their dues a long time ago. There is every chance that people will not feel happy regarding this solution, but what options are left. The irresponsible ones seem to think that it will fit in the budget, especially those who haven’t been able to keep one since 1997. In this solution I feel decently comfortable with the solution that is consulted on by Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Norman Lamb. For one, I have seen this work in the Netherlands. In addition his version of “introduction of a NHS specific income tax, which would ring fence a possible one pence per pound earned for the NHS budget” sounds better than my £2 a week on small incomes. On the other hand, if we consider the minimum income of £286.54 per week, my amount sounded a little better, but we cannot deny the minimum £2.86 a week could solve nearly all options over time. It gets even better when we see that the average is £403.36 per week, so we are looking at a possible £120 million per week. I do believe that there should be an upper limit, yet where that ends is something that cannot be answered at this time. What is important is to seriously start taking up the ideas out there and see which one could lead to pressure release on the NHS, because at this point, every day not acted is another nail in the coffin that will be used soon enough to bury a past NHS era.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Media, Politics