Expediting Dystopia

    Cold War II

I have a problem in that I recently purchased a tablet that is a small seven inch screen with a tiny querky keyboard and a mind of its own. It does not have the same functionality that the laptop had but the laptop is no longer alive and I was not in a financial position to purchase another laptop. And I am stuck for the time being with errors in my writing, typing and layout of work submitted to the WWW.

When I was a child of the 1960s I watched my parents set up our first black and white television set which was such a big event in the home. Letters were the other option if a telephone call was not an option due to expense or logistical issues. Telegrams were for immediate good or bad news, newspapers were used as fish and chip wrapper Kodak instamatic cameras were cool and there was a social revolution going on that had something to do with peace and love.

My personal story does not matter because this is not about my narrative. This is about a more important story of where we are at today as a species. Yes we have evolved from those days where our knuckles scrapped the ground and that we grunted asva way of communicating. We have evolved to the point where we sit in isolation in our bedroom or office and communicate with our colleagues or family members in the next room by email or SMS.

We have evolved from the dark ages and moved through the age of reason. We have catapulted our species into the twenty first century on a very steep trajectory, one where we hope science will save us and solve our problems. One Hundred Years Of War, or the twentieth century, did not inpart much wisdom into the way that we resolve conflict. If we are to aspire to reaching the apex of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid then at the present rate we may reach it by 3016.

To understand our present position one needs to look at social contract theory and to go back to Socrates and Plato two of the first to explore this idea of our relationship with society and the world. The next three are rather obvious choices and they are Hobbes,Locke and Rousseau. To balance out the ideas of these three men I would suggest reading the work of Carol Pateman. If we understand that the welfare of man us in a state of eternal conflict, then we are closer to comprehending where we are today.

The hegemonic power of America is declining with the transition from bipolar world to the multipolar world that exists in this first quarter of this century. Hegemonic powers rise and fall and this is evident from all of the previous powers commencing with the Achaemenid Empire. Human history and the history of the planet involves change. What we are witnessing today is the changing global order where America and the West are being challenged by the Rest.

There are only two sides to the human species, constructive and destructive and there are only two utopias. Yesterday is history and tomorrow is still a mystery and for some of the world today it is dystopia. The media runs on the idea of if it bleeds it leads and we have now constructed a world where we have connectivity to the Internet every single second of every day…commonly referred to by the funky term 24/7. The media is designed to carry information from source to consumer and for the consumer to be entertained.

Countries are currently reviewing their strategic defence capabilities and ramping up the deployment of the latest weapons and I ask why. Are countries such as America, Russia, China and a long list of other countries, replacing old technology and weapons with new just to stimulate the economy. Is the current level of rhetoric from global leaders merely sabre rattling and chest beating. Is our world in a period of stable peace preparing for a future war.

One way to make the transition from this quarter into the next quarter an easy on, is for America to get serious about this current election for a head of state. If America can reform and adopt a new way of thinking about itself and it’s position in the world then it can retain a position of influence and it’s Hegemon status. If America is not able or willing to undertake a transformative process then it is expediting our rapid descernt into a global dystopia. Take the dys out and put the fun back into functional. Continue reading

America from the Outside

                                       Eagles+Birds+Wallpapers_

This report was written ten years ago but may as well have been written today – a $750 million dollar embassy in Baghdad with intelligence officers, last year missed the rise of Islamic State – there is still a lack of co-operation between agencies and one questions if counter terrorism, intelligence gathering & or analysis would not be best partially or fully outsourced to the private sector. If not being outsourced then an independent audit and review carried out. http://www.foia.cia.gov/document/0001229684-0

The Congress as with the Westminster system of government is going to have the occasional polarization over certain issues. Congress has been on a trajectory of polarization which is not going to reverse anytime soon and impedes the legislative process and undermines confidence. Polarization has been the norm in Congress throughout most of America’s history but what about some form of reform. Maybe a forum…”If the dominant metaphors for politics in America are the market and the arena, both holding vigorous competition central to how we think politicians and citizens should behave, perhaps we should find room for an alternative venue: the forum.” http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/dking/Extreme_Politics.pdf

What implications are there for domestic and foreign policy with this current system. Health Care & Social Security are two major challenges that have been around for more than ten years and so has the fiscal cliff and yet we keep seeing the same old battered can being kicked down the road. Maybe the House of Representatives could reassert itself somehow and be a conduit for law making…I am not an expert on US legislative process and it is outside of my area of expertise. 2017 is critical mass for the Dept. Social Security where money out will be more than money in – http://www.socialsecurity.gov/oact/solvency/THarkin_20130318.pdf

Economic Flaws – Systemic risks within the economy are real and not perceived based on and not limited to – algorithms, derivatives, collateral debt obligations, lack of a truly free market and more. The 401K is directly linked to the stock market – other countries have a broad spread in the superannuation portfolio which minimizes the risk of devaluation as occurred in circa 2008. The Federal Reserve Bank needs some form of review of its mandate/s. The head of the Fed from Allan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen have all failed to address underlying problems in monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank is a private company and the owners and board are an interesting read. Fiscal flaws are the responsibility of the government.

The establishment of Fannie May & Freedie Mac by government and regulated by government for the mortgage market (they basically dictated the interest rate for mortgages with around 50% of the marketplace in which they operated) and even as of 2005 Greenspan was waxing eloquently about how wonderful they were –  “Critical to the success of this innovation has been the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in promoting mortgage securitization–the key to the development of secondary mortgage markets in the United States. Their efforts spawned the vast asset-backed securities market that, along with credit derivatives, has contributed to the transfer of credit risk from highly leveraged originators of credit–especially banks and thrifts–to less-leveraged insurance companies and pension and mutual funds, among other investors.http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/speeches/2005/20050519/default.htm

The speech found in the link above, is a wonderful read and full of praise for two G.S.E.s that directly contributed to the G.F.C.
How can the marketplace be free with this type of activity occurring and who was at fault, legislators or regulators or both ? Impunity seems to run hand in hand with government along the yellow brick road. Now going back to the Federal Reserve Bank and specifically the NY Fed, why were Maiden Lane LLC, Maiden Lane II LLC, Maiden Lane III LLC established – to take billions of dollars of toxic debt out of the marketplace – http://newyorkfed.org/markets/maidenlane.html#tabs-1

Look at the relationship with J.P. Morgan Chase and the loan where the NY Fed earns profits. Oh but this is all justifiable because it is a free and open market. Has anyone questioned greed, corruption and or dishonesty within the system and apology in advance for my skepticism here, but that would not be politically correct in our modern world and far to cynical. There is nothing wrong with democracy or a free marketplace capitalism…I believe that both of these have benefits and are better than the alternatives. The debt ceiling level and the process of dealing with it is flawed because the answer is not lifting it, time and time again and printing money…it does not address the structural reforms that are required to control it.

What is wrong with Operation Twist http://useconomy.about.com/od/Fed/g/Operation-Twist.htm
I refuse to be drawn into any Zionist debate or argument regarding the Federal Reserve Bank or any conspiracy theories about the same. Facts and figures can do the talking…but I personally believe that the underlying premise of a government monopoly on the money supply is detrimental to the economy and ultimately limits people’s freedom as it promotes the expansion and control of the state is wrong in that it is most flawed. I will cite Australia as an example with twenty two years of successive growth as a combination of the resources boom and well managed monetary and fiscal policy from the Australian Federal Reserve Bank & the government.

Foreign Policy Flaws – Lost opportunities to build and establish strong working relationships post Cold War. Underestimating or over estimating the capacity, strengths and weakness of either US capabilities or the country and culture of intervention/operation. Failure to meet objectives and counterproductive operations in various regional conflicts.  Nicaragua, Vietnam, Iraq Gulf War, Iraq War, Afghanistan, Libya and others. With Nicaragua –  The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America – the International Court of Justice ruled that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting the Contras.
http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?sum=367&p1=3&p2=3&case=70&p3=5
http://www.alternativeinsight.com/Foreign_Policy_Failures.html
The reader can search for other countries and current flaws in foreign policy.

Constitutional Flaws – the ten questions asked by Professor Sanford Levinson from The School of Law at The University of Texas at Austin are worthy of reading and the very least, serious consideration…the two links at the end of the page are also worthy of  perusal. http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2006/100906_che.html

The writer is not anti-American. What American men and women do every single minute of every single day in the pursuit of freedom and liberty I am most appreciative of and applaud their courage and commitment to upholding the idea of democracy and global stability. These people are from a range of government and non-government groups and place their lives on the line. If the United States of America can lead by example, then it would be think globally acting locally first.

To conclude, this is one view that does not matter if it is correct or incorrect and I hope it stimulates thought regarding any real or perceived flaws in North America, Europe or the world. Globally we are facing serious challenges that require effective solutions to be found as a united world.The hegemonic behemoth that is struggling to retain global stability has become a basket case in international politics. If America can not or will not perform triage on itself and undertake radical surgery, the multi-polar world will rapidly correct this and place it in a hospice.

John Coffey, retired Foreign Affairs Officer at the US State Department points out about Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power by Zbigniew Brzezinski:  Brzezinski highlights greater significance to the nation’s domestic problems such as a crushing national debt; a financial system driven by self-destructive greed; widening inequality; decaying infrastructure; a citizenry ignorant of the world; and a gridlocked political system.

May the captains of industry and global governors guide, protect and direct towards a sustainable future with…

  Truth, Trust & Transparency.