Friday 24th of October 2014

Recent Comments

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-10-24 08:52

David Stockman was Ronald Reagan's budget director in the 1980s. He was the architect of the president's "trickle down theory," but now believes that US fiscal policy has gone off the rails. “The Republican concept of starving the beast is the worst thing in terms of fiscal rectitude that you can imagine,” Stockman says today. “It’s even worse than the Keynesian models of the Democrats.”

READ MORE: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/photo-gallery-the-deline-of-capitalism-fotostrecke-120316-5.html

by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2014-10-24 08:45

...

 

Today, no one talks anymore about the beneficial effects of unimpeded capital movement. Today's issue is "secular stagnation," as former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers puts it. The American economy isn't growing even half as quickly as did in the 1990s. Japan has become the sick man of Asia. And Europe is sinking into a recession that has begun to slow down the German export machine and threaten prosperity.

Capitalism in the 21st century is a capitalism of uncertainty, as became evident once again last week. All it took were a few disappointing US trade figures and suddenly markets plunged worldwide, from the American bond market to crude oil trading. It seemed only fitting that the turbulence also affected the bonds of the country that has long been seen as an indicator of jitters: Greece. The financial papers called it a "flash crash."


Running Out of Ammunition


Politicians and business leaders everywhere are now calling for new growth initiatives, but the governments' arsenals are empty. The billions spent on economic stimulus packages following the financial crisis have created mountains of debt in most industrialized countries and they now lack funds for new spending programs.

Central banks are also running out of ammunition. They have pushed interest rates close to zero and have spent hundreds of billions to buy government bonds. Yet the vast amounts of money they are pumping into the financial sector isn't making its way into the economy.

Be it in Japan, Europe or the United States, companies are hardly investing in new machinery or factories anymore. Instead, prices are exploding on the global stock, real estate and bond markets, a dangerous boom driven by cheap money, not by sustainable growth. Experts with the Bank for International Settlements have already identified "worrisome signs" of an impending crash in many areas. In addition to creating new risks, the West's crisis policy is also exacerbating conflicts in the industrialized nations themselves. While workers' wages are stagnating and traditional savings accounts are yielding almost nothing, the wealthier classes -- those that derive most of their income by allowing their money to work for them -- are profiting handsomely.

According to the latest Global Wealth Report by the Boston Consulting Group, worldwide private wealth grew by about 15 percent last year, almost twice as fast as in the 12 months previous.

The data expose a dangerous malfunction in capitalism's engine room. Banks, mutual funds and investment firms used to ensure that citizens' savings were transformed into technical advances, growth and new jobs. Today they organize the redistribution of social wealth from the bottom to the top. The middle class has also been negatively affected: For years, many average earners have seen their prosperity shrinking instead of growing.

Harvard economist Larry Katz rails that US society has come to resemble a deformed and unstable apartment building: The penthouse at the top is getting bigger and bigger, the lower levels are overcrowded, the middle levels are full of empty apartments and the elevator has stopped working.

READ MORE: http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/capitalism-in-crisis-amid-slow-growth-and-growing-inequality-a-998598.html

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-10-23 15:55

Human rights campaigner and refugee advocate Victoria Martin-Iverson has very publicly challenged Crown Casinos boss James Packer about his decision to go into business with the brutal and murderous Rajapaksa regime.

IT IS ALWAYS A CHALLENGE for those of us concerned with human rights to get some issues onto the mainstream agenda — such as businesses dealing with the worst human rights abusing nations. 

Standard protests are not even on their radar, however there are the occasional opportunities to challenge business leaders and corporations, which we usually try to grasp with both hands.

Last week, I took advantage of just such an opportunity.  I attended the AGM of Crown Resorts Limited — the gambling fun palace consortium owned by thePacker family plus thousands of Mum and Dad investors.

I was there ostensibly to vote as a proxy for a chap who couldn’t attend, who had asked me to vote in his place.  Company head James Packer chaired the proceedings.

There I sat in a room full of shareholders and a few business journalists, watching flashy commercial videos of happy beautiful people having “fun” at the various resorts and  listened and took notes while Mr Packer presented the books and  romanced “the brand” and talked about expansion, corporate governance and being a

“… model corporate citizen.”


read more: http://www.independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/james-packer-and-sri-lanka-no-country-for-a-new-casino,7026

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2014-10-23 15:53

It's the book that President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his corrupt and nepotistic cronies didn't want published.

When you read it, you will know why.

SRI LANKA’S SECRETS is a troubling dossier of the horrors and massacres perpetrated upon its own peoples by an absolute Government that masquerades as a democracy — a lie that is shamefully affirmed as truth by many expedient foreign governments, including Australia.

In his foreword, the fearless human rights advocate Geoffrey Robertson QC, writes:

When the Rajapaksa government forces moved in for the 'final solution' to the Tamil Tiger problem, they first banned all foreign journalists, human rights monitors and UN observers.

Thinking themselves safe from outside scrutiny, they mass murdered tens of thousands of innocent civilians through bombardment from land and sea ... But truth will out ...

And so it has. SRI LANKA’S SECRETS is a courageous book and Trevor Granta courageous journalist and refugee advocate.

read more: http://www.independentaustralia.net/art/art-display/sri-lankas-secrets-new-book-exposes-murderous-rajapaksa-regime,7025

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2014-10-22 06:45

 

Siding Spring, Australia’s premier observatory, could be forced to shut down due to light pollution from a series of planned coal seam gas developments in the area, astronomers have warned.

The site of the Australian National University’s observatory, near Coonabarabran in New South Wales, currently benefits from clear, dark skies above it.

This environment allowed the observatory’s powerful SkyMapper telescope to discover the oldest known star, at 13.6bm years old, earlier this year. Siding Spring also gave its name to a comet that had a close shave with Mars on Monday.

But three proposed gasfields around 50km away could render the observatory useless, due to the amount of light the developments will cast into the night’s sky. Astronomers need dark skies in order to pick out stars and other celestial objects in space.

Mining firm Santos plans to tap the area, known as the Gunnedah Basin, for gas. This area includes the Pilliga forest, which has seen exploration met with fierce protests. Test drilling has already taken place in Narrabri.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/oct/21/siding-spring-observatory-threat-coal-seam-gas-light-pollution

Not only the Abbott regime hates sciences, it will help the further destruction of what we had... :

The Siding Spring survey, named after the observatory, was the only program in the southern hemisphere actively searching for potentially hazardous comets, asteroids and meteors before its funding was cut last year.

 

Abbott is an ignoramus Idiot...

 

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2014-10-21 12:51

 

Tony Abbott received no official briefing from his department or special envoy suggesting they were confident early acoustic noises detected in the search for the missing flight MH370 were from the flight’s black box.

In a Senate hearing on Monday night the Greens leader, Christine Milne, asked how the Australian prime minister came to make a statement suggesting the search had been substantially narrowed and questioned whether he had acted recklessly.

read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/21/tony-abbott-not-advised-mh370-search-had-found-black-box-senators-told

---------------------------------

Tony Abbott lies... He invent anything, not even plausible, to augment the size of his budgies... Everywhere you turn, Abbott lies. He lies. Unfortunately, this ability has spread to most of the other idiots on his cabinet since they support him. Not only they lie as well, they are also arrogant and destructive, while playing a mugs' game... Cormann being a case in point of arrogance plus, as well as being a liar about the effects of "his" silly budget talk since Joe has been more or less sidelined by his silly comments as well. Bunch of idiots.

 

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2014-10-20 10:34

 

From The American Conservative

...

If Iran could be the big geopolitical winner in this multi-state conflict, then the U.S. will be the big loser. President Obama (or his successor) will, in the end, undoubtedly have to choose between war to the horizon and committing U.S. ground forces to the conflict. Neither approach is likely to bring the results desired, but those “boots on the ground” will scale up the nature of the ensuing tragedy.

Washington’s post-9/11 fantasy has always been that military power—whether at the level of full-scale invasions or “surgical” drone strikes—can change the geopolitical landscape in predictable ways. In fact, the only certainty is more death. Everything else, as the last 13 years have made clear, is up for grabs, and in ways Washington is guaranteed not to expect.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/seven-worst-case-scenarios-for-iraq/

-------------------------------------

One aspect that this article forgot to mention is of course the role played by Saudi Arabia to nurture and promote the strict religious Wahhabism that has been used by ISIL to infest Iraq. As well, a similar role by Qatar and the UAE is not to be discounted... A double-game is being played. Our idiots in charge, Turdy Tony and La Stare Bishop can't see beyond sending boom-booms to play marbles in a game they don't understand. 

It ain't going to be a picnic. There won't be any glory...

--------------------------------

"Ms Bishop said the special forces mission would be to "advise and assist the Iraqi government in building up the capacity of the Iraqi security forces". 

As we know the Yanks spent between $26 billion and $40 billion to "train" the Iraqi army... What La Stare Bishop is planning to do ain't going to do it.. Ridiculous self-importance beyond the joke.

read also: US failure: training platoons of poltroons for billions in cash

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2014-10-20 06:58

Australia has reached a deal with Baghdad for the deployment of about 200 of its special forces to assist Iraqi troops in their fight against Islamic State (IS) militants.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters in Baghdad she had met top officials to hammer out a deal allowing Australian commandos who have been waiting in the United Arab Emirates to deploy to Iraq.

"I have finalised an agreement for a legal framework to enable our special forces to be deployed here," Ms Bishop said as she wrapped up a two-day visit.

"It will be a matter for our military to determine when our special forces will be deployed, so it will be an operational matter from now on."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-20/iraq/5825438

------------------------------------

Talk about double-speak, deceit and reversed shit-promises... Meanwhile the Turks will do nothing to protect the Kurds in Kobane and the Sunnis won't help either... The air is full of double-crosses everywhere... And La Bishop is like a perfume counter attendant selling her SAS scent bottles with the belief they will solve the bad smell under the desert sun... The illusion of doing something is more pernicious than not doing anything. I suppose the Baghdad government decided to give in to La Bishop so she would leave them alone...

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-10-19 17:59

Mr Pyne told Sky News that Senator Cormann was simply making a point about Labor's spending record.

"I think Mathias Cormann used a colourful phrase," he said.

"I have to say it's unusual for Mathias to use a colourful phrase but it's obviously captured the attention of some people."

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said Senator Cormann's comments detracted from issues surrounding the budget.

"I think it is extraordinary that we have a PM who talks about shirtfronting the leader of [another] nation and we now have a Finance Minister who thinks he is Arnold Schwarzenegger," Ms Plibersek said.

"What Mathias Cormann is missing is that this budget hurts vulnerable Australians."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-19/cormann-defends-calling-shorten-an-economic-girlie-man/5825110

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-10-19 17:48

 

Iraq’s Sunnis won’t fight ISIS for the U.S., says NIQASH, a non-profit media organization operating out of Berlin. Without Sunni support, Obama’s war in Iraq cannot succeed. Here’s why.


Negotiations Fail

According to NIQASH, a source at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad said there have been secret negotiations between various Sunni Muslim armed factions, via Arab and Iraqi Kurdish intermediaries, for the past three months. At the request of U.S. diplomats and military personnel, Shia officials from the Iraqi government have also met with these groups in Erbil, Kurdistan and Amman, Jordan.

At the same time Gen. John Allen, Obama’s appointed coordinator of U.S. efforts in Iraq, has been trying to contact the Sunni tribal leaders he worked with in Anbar during the previous war’s “Awakening.” “But it was surprising,” a NIQASH source reported, “Most of General Allen’s former allies refused to cooperate with us. And some of them are actually now living outside of Iraq because of the Iraqi government’s policies.”

With some irony, America’s failure to secure the 2006 Awakening caused those Sunnis sympathetic to America’s aims to flee Shia persecution. Those “good guys” are thus not available in 2014 to help out America in the current war.

ISIS and the Sunnis

When ISIS first took control of Sunni areas in western Iraq, anger towards the Shia government in Baghdad caused many to see them as liberators. The Iraqi army, along with paramilitary police from the Interior Ministry, had engaged in a multi-year campaign of beating, imprisoning, and arresting Sunnis, to the point where many felt that Baghdad was occupying, not governing. For the Sunnis and ISIS, the Baghdad government was a common enemy, and a marriage of necessity formed.

Events in Baghdad do little to assuage Sunni fears. A recent report suggests the new Iraqi Prime Minister, almost certainly against America’s wishes, will nominate a Shia Badr Militia leader as Interior Minister. Since the Shias took control of Iraq following the American invasion of 2003, the Interior Ministry, which controls the police and the prisons, has been a prime tool of repression and punishment.

read more: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-sunnis-wont-fight-isis/