Friday, January 30, 2009

President Obama, Davos, here is an economy stimulus.

I have been thinking over this one economic stimulant package that just might prove right for turning around the economy.
Mr President, delegates at Davos, please read the following:

Here is a bailout plan for job losses that reinstates jobs in existing companies, not the new jobs the US President wants to create with new sources of energy, more infrastructure, etc:

The government should list those existing companies critical to the economy and which have cut jobs in the past one year.

Get information from these companies on the number of job cuts in the past one year,
and the related costs saved in salaries, and direct/indirect costs related to manufacturing, overheads, other costs that the company would have incurred at levels before the job cuts.
Figures of sales, profits before tax and profits after tax could be useful.

Here is a sample:
Company : Giant Steels

Job cuts in the past year: 10,000
Critical jobs necessary
to reach previous years' levels of manufacturing, sales, marketing : 8500 jobs.

Current salary bill of 8500 jobs if
reinstated : US $ 170,000,000 (8500 jobs by $20,000 average pay per person)
Total of other expenses to run company
at previous year levels: US $ 425,000,000(at salary bill of $170 million-being 40% of total exps.)
margin for contingencies US$ 25,000,000
Total bail out funds needed US$620,000,000
for this one company.

The government or it's accredited bank or financial agent should advance $ 620,000,000 to
Giant Steels on the provision that all 8500 employees are taken back.

The sum advanced is on a low interest of say 3.50% after an interest free period of 6 months.

Repayment of loans can start after a 24 months free no repayments period.
The company must ensure it reaches optimum levels of production within 3 months of the advance made.

If this is practical, the employees should give an assurance their income would be spent on all necessities and critical products, and no expenditures that could be considered excessive-extravagant-profligate-lavish...........say a two year moratorium on travel costs in excess of 10% of salary. Perhaps some tax benefits can be claimed as incentive, for spending within specified guidelines/perimeters, for one year.

Tax cuts for purchases of critical items, cars, TV sets, refrigerator, house, and other products selected by the government, the cuts, one time tax cut again for a one year period.

Let's assume this would reinstate 2 million jobs, this works to 2 million jobs with an average annual salaries bill of: 2,000,000 jobs by $ 25,000= $ 50,000,000,000 ($50 billion) available in the economy for people to spend, (wisely!) and a good sum it is.

2 million jobs at the rate of an average of 20000 jobs per company means the government is covering some 100 critically important companies in a bailout package, for reviving the economy.

If these 100 companies need an average of 20,000 employees per company, i.e. 2 million employees@ $25000 =
$ 50,000,000,000 as the total salary bill
+ total costs of $ 1,70,000,000,000 over 100 companies =$1, 70,000,000,000
($50 billion as 30% of total costs, the total costs work to $1,70,000,000,000-$1.70 trillion.)
Total bailout package over 100 existing cos./businesses: $1.70 trillion.

Two million employees reinstated have $25,000 each in their hands, the domino effect is irreversible!

Where should the $1.70 trillion come from?
40% from borrowings.........................................$ 68 billion
30% for company taxes .....................................$ 51 billion
30% from individual personal taxes .................$ 51 billion

With 2 million people back to their jobs, and $ 50 billion in their hands, this purchasing power would be felt within 12 months, buying necessities, consumables, paying their fuel and electric bills, and some spare money left for replacing cars with new fuel efficient ones, a new set of white goods, this generating demand and reviving more companies and businesses. And the chain-reaction/multiple effect can be 10 times, which works to generating $ 5 trillion on a guess.

Who will listen?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

President Barack Obama- you are doing great!

An open letter to the 44Th President of these United States of America, Mr Barack Obama.

Dear Sir,

My congratulations for assuming the Office of President. Sir, you make us very proud.

You have shown America and the entire world that attaining this great office signals change of so many things; it demonstrates how no disabilities of race, colour, background, can stand in the way of achieving a goal that seemed so insurmountable. It proves America was ready for change.

You are the horse that came from behind and won the race!

And from day one of your presidency, you are meaning to do business of state, no waste of time, no mincing words, no groping for words..............and a brave frank admission that things take time, with wrong starts, and decisions that are realised, late in the day, as the wrong ones, and these would be dropped without fuss, and other paths would be explored!

I think you are a very brave man; wish more leaders like you would lead other countries. Whatever happens, please discard all trappings and baggage politicians carry. You will make many enemies, but history will judge you for your changes and the foresight and courage it takes to make changes.

I like your decision to move away from dependency on oil from other countries; this single decision will be watched and reacted upon by vested interests.........please be very careful. It has been proved time and again that vested interests can manipulate things and cause harm with placing obstructions in the path of good plans and actions.

And, replacing oil with alternate energies will go many miles in reduction of pollution and climate change, hopefully your example will be followed by other leaders, and other countries.
The time is now when the possibilities of an end to human civilization is very much a reality, and we have to act fast and try and convince the world to follow.
Nothing threatens us humans as much as this peril to our planet, not wars, not economic recession, not terrorism, but a rapid climate change that may cause the whole planet to be unlivable.

We are not infatuated college boys, condemning feeble and disliked kids to one corner, big bullies who threaten the rest if they fraternise with the unlucky ones. You have to keep all your lines of communication open, ask your friends to talk to those nations who might be looking for a chance to normalise things with America.

And there is this possibility, humans hate violence, it disrupts a day spent well; so it's possible people will turn on their compatriots and tell them enough is enough, stop this violence, you are not just killing your targets, you are killing our fathers and husbands, our brothers and friends.

Please do your best to get change in the attitude the West has developed, of us and them, seeing things as black and white; all Middle-Easterners are clubbed into one basket, all are assumed to belong to one set of ideas..........nothing is further from the truth........ (I am, for example, from another region of the world, an Indian, a non-Muslim, but look a little a Middle-Easterner, and the grim looks and stares I get, from some people, make me sick!!!)

Equally, a platform of dialogue should be put into action that tells certain peoples that their ideas don't fit into a fast changing modern world, in their pursuance of certain ideas they are being left behind. Their stubbornness has caused ignorance, poverty and deprivation in their midst.

Sir, please make sure at the end of your two terms-I am sure you are sure to get re-elected- you leave changes that are difficult to discard, impossible to revert back to old ways!

God bless you, God bless America and God bless all of us who travel on this beautiful planet!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Barack H. Obama, 44th President of the United States of America!

Pictures: the most beautiful couple in love in the world; scenes from the parade.

The great day, Tuesday 20th Jan. has come, and gone !-its now 5.45 p. m. here, in NZ, and I watched live coverage of the events from 5.30 a. m. to around 3.00 p. m., again NZ time. Whew....... magnificent, awesome, moving-and tiring ! An historic day for all the world, not just for America.

At 5.30 a. m. , the first glimmer of dawn here, I got myself out of bed, a quick cold cocoa, and went switched on CNN to see the first images of President-Elect Obama and President Bush enter the Capitol building along with a host of dignitaries, Nancy Pelosi, senators, military officers in their resplendent uniforms; rather surprised to see Vice President Dick Cheney wheeled in, we were told later he suffered from a severe back problem. Senator Edward Kennedy, that bravest of the brave, dignified and stately, walked across the domed Central Hall, a dark blue soft felt hat thrust down closely to his ears; he looked great, which he is!

When TV cameras panned across the huge lawns, and beyond, the huge crowd of two million is the most staggering sight; I watched the coverage alternately on CNN, Fox News and BBC.

As he walked behind a group of Senators led by Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama appeared subdued, a tight smile and somehow tense look, his eyes focused in front, a slight nod, sometimes, to people he passed.

I am stunned, the set of images will never leave was all at once like a full coloured kaleidoscope with images within images..............I just don't know what to continue writing, so much impressed me, so much was huge, awesome, stunning.............I think, I figure I will continue writing on the basis of those images that float across my Bush returning Obama's greeting and hug, after the inaugural speech, with a sincere closer hug, his right arm over Obama's left shoulder!

Or the quiet hush that fell over the huge crowd when the Rev Rick Warren, a portly bearded pastor, rose to say "let us pray..........." and one could not help notice the non-believers continued looking up whilst the believers, Obama, Bush, Michelle, Biden and most others bowed their heads, eyes closed in concentration, some evangelical pious holding up their arms, palms turned to heaven in supplication!

Or the quiet hush again when Isaac Perlman and Yo Yo Ma along with that mellow flautist, Anthony Mcgill, and pianist, Gabriel Montero played a composition by Williams especially composed for the occasion and of course the sonoric and timbered voice of Aretha Franklin.

It now seems the Chief Justice mucked up on the oath, its sequence that is, and Obama took the oath of office again today, Wednesday, taking no chances on a sensitive issue with no precedence, except two earlier Presidents retaking the oath for the same reasons. The Los Angeles Times points out "The Constitution stipulates the new chief executive takes office at noon on Jan. 20. And, in fact, as we pointed out yesterday, Obama actually became the 44th president while he was sitting down listening to classical music."..............that for a good laugh!

And Obama proved once again he is a skillful orator....and he says things shooting them straight
from his shoulders.................he has put his hand out in friendship to all peoples and nations who want to live and coexist in peace, even those nations who would unclench their fists and change their world view (he did not say this, but it amounts to the same-change their world view.)
And he did not play on words but very clearly told those who espouse violence and the senseless use of slaughter, that America will defeat them. He warned nations who suppress dissenters that history will judge them......."you are on the wrong side of history."

China blanked the above remark, about dissent, and also on bringing down of communism and fascism, interrupting the live coverage with images of a news anchor making some out of context remarks.

And Obama reminded the whole world, "of the man refused entry into a restaurant, whose son stands before you to take the highest oath in the land."

His first day in office, shows this is a man of his word, a man of action- salary freeze for his staff; no lobbying in his office-no swing door for lobbyists; an independent body to decide what should be withheld from the public; close Gautanamo Bay in a year; bring back troops from Iraq in 16 months............and phone calls to Eygptian President Hosni, Israel's PM Olmert, Palestine Pres. Mahmoud Abbas, Jordanian king Abdalla.

Finding time in all this to greet the first public visitors to the White House and a warm "go on, explore for yourself.........." The White House is the People's House!

The British do things right when it comes to ceremonial parades and all things related to their royalty, I think the Americans do it right as well, except things are bigger, more informal, more smiles and waving of the hands, more walking across to shake hands, bonhomie......................................
(God! Its just not possible to write this blog right now; on a hunch I switched on CNN and Fox, and look at this, Obama already taking some crucial decisions on the first day in office. He makes several telephone calls, to the Eygptian President, to Ehud Olmert, to the Jordanian king, to Mahmoud Abbas........this man is going to be everywhere.

Obama's first day: salary freeze of his WH staff.
no lobbyists can have a swingdoor entry to the White House! Super!
get out of Iraq in 16 months!
an independent authority will decide what documents/disclosures can
be withheld from the public!
etc etc.
Michelle and Barack's close loving relationship and body language already found refreshing and new...........very inspiring!
China's instant black out of Obama inaugural speech references to communism and dissent!
Sarkozy of France raring to go along with Obama. Both men of action!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama's big day tomorrow!

Its Obama's big day tomorrow, not just his, not just for Americans, its a big day for all the world! And not because he is the first African American President, lets all put that behind us, but its a new beginning, time for a new person at the job, to make things better, at least try and make things work better. There are too many problems, wars and disease, poverty and deprivation, unchecked environmental damages, radical terrorism, injustices and disregard for others sovereign rights, social problems, recessions and slowdowns etc.

For the past hundred years now, what happens in the United States has some bearing, some effect, on the rest of the world, and the American President is the man in charge, at least seen to be in charge, to a watching world. (seen to be in charge ? yes and no, there is behind, or around, each President, that supportive group of politicians and bureaucrats, other powerful men, military chiefs, economists and intellectuals, fund raisers and campaigners, who advise him, influence him, place facts-and 'non-facts'- before him, caution and forewarn....."Mr President do this this way.")

America began to matter to the whole world when its economic growth, its military power, cultural influences, its centers of learning, its scientific breakthroughs, and more, became known, in one way or another, accross the world.

America has been called a melting pot; more correctly, to millions of people accross the world, America became the hope for a better life, especially to people who had a bad deal in their countries, or people who felt their talents would be put to better use in a better environment.

Thanks to an oppressive Nazi Germany, for example, that the best scientists from there migrated to America; thanks to an oppressive ghetto confinement, in Europe, on Jews and other peoples, that the very talented from them chose to go to America........................ironically, it were religious differences that brought minorities from across the world, starting with the Pilgrim Fathers..............more ironically, it was the need/or excuse for cheap labour that brought millions of Africans (mostly against their wishes) to the new continent; their descendants have enriched America and the world with their music, their talent, their humour and bonhomie.

Unfortunately, prejudices of all kinds also came across from the Old World, but those Americans who have used these to their advantage, have had to contend with outstanding individuals who opposed them, the founding fathers of America (who defied the most powerful empire on Earth at that time,) and framers of the Constitution, (this is the single most valuable landmark promise the Americans made to themselves,) brave Presidents with a great vision like Abraham Lincoln, and men determined to give justice to people, like Martin Luther King, and people who joined him.

America has been a bastion of freedom, with its brave troops that brought the defeat of Nazism, and with big men like Ronald Reagan who brought down the Russian Communist Empire, and the determined front now put up against radical terrorism.

But America has also a flawed foreign policy that has sent thousands of their brave young men to their deaths, that has alienated many peoples across the world by their short-sighted policies in certain regions of the world. America has its fair share of small men, who for short term advantages, for oil or for petro-dollars, or for some one-sided old ideals, has supported some some of the wrong people.

With the same short-sightedness, American leaders of Industry, for a quick buck, have "transferred" their businesses to other lands, lent money with prudence thrown out the window, ponzi deals with others' money..................ordinary (and not so ordinary) people have lost all theirs all by overspending, greed, little knowledge of the markets, and lack of ordinary common sense caution.

Barack Obama inherits all that tomorrow; its the only day he can afford to enjoy, literary, with those historical landmark speeches, parades, concerts and balls; the business of state and the many many headaches begin immediately. Americans and people from every part of the world will participate in all that happens tomorrow; then watch, most with hope, some with good wishes, others with some caution, still others with some degree of prejudice, even some with hate, what President Obama achieves.

He sure can envy the proverbial man with no shirt on his back!

Its not fair on him, to expect miracles, to expect-quick-immediate-or good results for most things...........he has begun to caution people. So much will depend on the complex set of circumstances, the complex set of economic and political parameters, how things work out, not just in America, but in countries across the world.

Good luck Mr Obama, God bless you, and the world, and all of us!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bush, Osama bin Laden, Israel and Palestine, 16/01/2009.

If CNN did show the full farewell speech by Pres. Bush, I did not find the time to watch that; I did watch snippets shown on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, and what impressed me, Bush making one of his "this makes sense" statement, that said "if I had the chance to do some things again, I would do these differently." Coming from Bush (!!) that sounded pretty modest, maybe his speech writer's farewell statement.

Bush appeared a little down, spoke in a somewhat subdued voice, and for a change, looked people-his listeners- in the eye, not with that "I told you so" look, he usually shows, but an effort to look at them with a somehow relective mood; he seems to comprehend he is now President for a few days. CNN too noted that relective mood.

Come on, lets give George Bush some credit due..........not every person down the road becomes the President of the United States, this is by any yardstick, any benchmark, an achievement of the highest highest level, just 43 have achieved, and Obama will be the 44th!

Power to the people, yes, but power in good limited measure............we common common folk have got far more of our share of media attention, and have made full use, rather misuse of this..........writing off Bush as "no one will miss him." Look folks, its not plain simple walking down the street, telling our mates at the bar, "support our town football team at the games tomorrow." It takes some things far more to win presidential elections and be a President(!).............and if I recollect correctly, during the final days of the primaries for Bush's second term election, the media called it the most exciting election in US history.

And a President, or any world leader, in most cases, is as good as the team around him. Most of the "behind the doors" decisions are a team effort, or joint failure, but the President has to put up a public image that holds him responsible for all failures, and, "he was a good President" polls showings, if his team did more good.

Obama will be as good as the collective actions of his team...........more good chaps with more good things done, and Obama will ride the wave!

That is exactly why Obama is putting brakes on what people should expect of him, like he now warns the economic turnaround will not be an easy thing and it will take time!
And Obama will most probably come out the winner...........he says he wants to reach accross, he wants bipolar politics, will take Republicans along, and "if you have a better idea how things should be done, I will go along with that" a remark he made a few days back.
His choice of Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and some others, makes for more sense than McCain's choice of Sarah Palin! And Obama's "Change" call something new.

And there is Osama bin Laden, with his latest video, or audio?, no "Change" there, his call for Jihad reminds us we are never going to make it fully to a peaceful modern world...............just look at the multiple checks we all have to go through at the airports, good for us, but a constriction of our free movement..........look at the cameras that look down at us in every street in London, and that computerised memory check of our faces............and how we tend to lump/view all "muslim faces", whether actually Muslim or not, with caution and suspicion!

I cant understand why the Americans support the Saudis, where the Wahhabi movement, a very orthodox Islamic movement brought the Saudis to power in the first place. The most striking statement in the wikipedia link is the remark on Jihad, that the Wahhabi intepretation of Jihad precluded that the decision to wage Jihad lies with the ruler, not the individual believer. A very thin line here, Osama Laden declares Jihad as an individual believer!

And talking of Jihad, Israel claims it is at war with Hamas, but it now seems the world must sit up and realise it's as important to see where the war, any war, is this case the whole of Gaza is under fire, the whole of Gaza! How can that be called a war on Hamas?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bush's last press meet ?

Why the question mark. Just in case this isn't the last press meet. I caught a few snippets on my NZ TV One evening news bulletin-the 6 p. m. news on Tuesday, 13Th Jan. 2009

Good enough reason for me to blog my thoughts on the Bush presidency. The common common man's attempt to summarise at random.

Is Bush the only, son of the father, also a President ? I don't know, but if this is the only father and son to have achieved this, the most powerful office in the world, then its time the US lawmakers pass a bill in 2009 that legislates, no two members of the same family can qualify to be nominated for running for this office. It will discourage, sorry disallow, whole families, in the future, running for presidency............we don't want present ladder climbers like m/s Hillary and not so distant ones like some junior Kennedy, or a junior Nixon, from running for the Pres' office!! Its undemocratic (!) because it reduces the chances of a common common person like Joe from trying his luck!

When Bush won the second time, the world was told it's the middle evangelical America that gave him the winning vote. Where are they this time?

I recollect there was some serious recounting done in Florida, vote cards were held up to more light for scrutiny of the punch marks, and with some luck Bush got past his rival to get elected the second time.

Historians will muse this single event as the turning point for the US, not as bad as the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, but certainly not far behind.

(this 9/11 is a benchmark a little off the right mark ..........should be 9/11/2001. By the tenth generation, kids are going to ask their father which year 9/11 took place in, and it will look pretty bad if they draw a blank as far as the year it happened in............"son, I think it happened in 2001, maybe 2002..........I'll check my Google Search, just give me a minute......."

I don't want to go along, all the way, with the poor rating Bush is getting..........the latest poll result shows 80% of people are not going to miss him.

Rather, lets concede Bush inherited some problems and more, some ways of looking at the world, not just from his predecessors, but from American foreign policy benchmarks. "If Saddam Hussien is a bad guy, and he was a bad guy no doubt, then he is bound to have a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Lets find them!"

How naive Americans are can be gauged from this, the stockpile of weapons. Now that none were found, American Intelligence Services are held responsible and Bush ruefully admits his fault..............look my dear Americans in general and Mr Bush , what is the guarantee the whole, or part of some of this, is not buried in the vast expanse of dessert that stretches for endless mile after mile in the Middle East; and desserts don't allow border posts in most of the very inhospitable sections, so it would be easy to bury the whole mess in some stretch of dessert that is part of Syria or Kurdistan sector of Iraq or even the Iranian side of the border, (God forbid), and buried not with any aim to dig it out for use in the future, but buried to get rid of all evidence and make the Americans look foolish and make Bush run for cover............besides, the intention was to lose this stockpile forever because, nothing buried in the dessert can ever be recovered, what with the massive shifts of sand that go on in any sand dessert! Never underestimate the ancient and wily

No Bin Laden, for the same reasons........the Middle East and Central Asia are huge huge expanse of dessert, inhospitable country, rugged mountains, paths and routes that are only known to the locals, like the Bushmen of the Kahalari desserts. What is the guarantee he is not in the vast desserts and steppes of Central Asia?

And, in that part of the world, very ancient, very much a world of hospitality to their own, and others, I wont be surprised if Bin Laden, recognised or not, is, firstly, a welcome guest in the "tent" he seeks hospitality in, an old tradition in the Middle East.

And, how should Bush have predicted that getting rid of Saddam, giving Iraqis their freedom, would unleash this terrible war of terrorism where the poor Iraqis face daily acts of terror. Good ole Bush calculated the war would end with entering on earth can he or anybody else have predicted this very complicated turn of events.

Actually, I will always find it hard to figure out Bush's real intentions to topple Saddam, but a good thing nevertheless, the worst of his kind, the Americans have done the Middle East a good turn getting rid of this ruthless inhuman and diabolical dictator.

So why is Bush so unpopular............lets first put this away, that people, with far more media focus than ever before, are, at the end of the day, people.........with the "lets do what the rest of us are doing"- impulsive, and handicapped with the lack of full information on any event taking place in the world.........blame the media for this.

I feel Bush leaves more unpopular, not because of his handling of the Iraq war or Katrina, or the economy, he has to take his share of blame for these, but MORE BECAUSE HE HAD THIS HABIT OF TALKING AT PEOPLE, NOT TALKING TO THEM, never seen to use sincere body language that might have shown him as a person trying to cope with a hard job, rather always cocky, self opinionated, over confident and at more times "I am right, i can't be wrong."

I hope Obama does not fall in this .....this(?).....this cesspool........."power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Israel and Palestine, and the world today.

These links with a respected website "If Americans knew" is a must read not just for Americans but all the world ..........the website belongs to a research and information dissemination Institute with US tax exemption under US tax laws -section 501(3) C............

statistics in above link

history in the above link

The UN Security Council meeting yesterday, 9Th January, 2009, live on CNN and major TV channels accross the world, with representatives from member countries, seen chatting, before a resolution on the Gaza crisis was put to the vote, in small groups like in an evening party at the Hilton (except for the absence of drinks and food trays), most definitely relaxed friendly and informal. CNN panned their cameras more on Ban ki Moon, the UN boss, the Arab League Sec.-Gen Amr Moussa, then the Arab delegate from the Libyan Jhamariya, and the small but agile and alert lady Ambassador from Israel.

What always strikes me as the obvious is the body language these suited and savvy delegates seem to convey...........we are all pals, with the handshaking or a pat on the shoulder, or whispering close into a delegate's ear, smiles and friendly waves (hand waves), the problems the world faces are far from here...........let's finish the business on hand, then go to the "Hilton" next door for a............... .

I missed the voting, but watched the US Secretary-of-State Rice explaining the US stand, abstaining from the vote. As always, she makes that very effective use of her eyes, darting them from one side of the round table to the other, her fingers crossed and elbows resting on the table.
And the usual sight of some delegates clutching their translation-hearing device intently taking in the translation.

But it all amounts to nothing! Israel continues its 24 hour bombing of targets in Gaza and Hamas continues to fire rockets into southern Israel, that's today the 10Th January (Pacific time) with little over ten days to the Obama inaugural!!! CNN

Five small bombs go off in Lahore, Pakistan................and this piece of news is just short of being hilarious...........Joe Biden, the Vice President elect, is in Pakistan, shown being decorated by a honours medal from the Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.............the hilarious part, the CNN anchor hints, Hillary Clinton gritting her teeth..........because foreign affairs is her job!!! "Is someone stepping on someones toes?"

Job losses in the USA are now a staggering 6,300,000 the highest since the last six decades(!) and Barack Obama, in a press meet to introduce his new Intelligence team, has to talk on the urgency to change the situation with the usual rhetoric "there is no time to waste................."

The inauguration on the 20Th of January, starting at 12 noon Washington time, looks to be a real treat............the great cellist Yo Yo Ma is shown (on TV) practising on his cello, the great violinist Isaac Pearlman on his Strad(?), and some parts of the wooden fencing opposite the Capitol building coming up................don't look different from the previous wooden fencing for previous Inaugurations!!!

And Nancy Pelosi, the US Capitol Hill boss, with her usual wide plastered smile tells CNN's Situation Room anchor, Wolf Blitzer, the US House, though hugely Democrat, is not going to be Obama's rubber stamp!
And the outgoing US Vice Prez, Dick Cheney, tells Wolf, he is a confirmed Republican voter, (as if that's new), voted for McCain, but remarks he is as awed as any one else at the "remarkable achievement" Barack Obama's election as the first African Americam president!

And somebody pays a million dollars to the Somali pirates for the release of a Saudi Arabian super tanker...............good fodder for more pirating!!

And some good solid stodgy banks in Europe, including Paribas, have lost millions invested with Madoff schemes..........where are all the professionals, Harvard graduates, Sorbonne and Paris passed out.............all fakes???

And London takes the credit of the first baby born fully protected, genetically, from cancer................more debates, more noise, yes and No's.

And a huge anti Israel protest rally in Eygpt, with women screaming through their covered faces, and anti riot police, in helmets shields and black uniforms, struggling to keep the protesters, children included, from getting more "turbulent!!!"

Thick black smoke still rises from Gaza city, both sides, Hamas and Israel, have rejected the cease fire call from the Security Council............over 800 dead in Gaza, and Hamas fires more than 30 rockets into southern Israel- no dead there, at least, thank God.

Three generations of a Palestine refugee family, grandfather, father and son, are shown watching TV-the Gaza bombings, in their home in Baghdad, the old man opens his palm with a handful of earth from his homeland, he treasures this and the son predicts they will surely return to Palestine some day!

There has been a nasty earthquake in Costa Rica, God help them!

And Obama is the new Spiderman!

And some of Europe, with one of the worst cold spell in a 100 years, -30 in Budapest, shivering for the lack of gas from Russia.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Israel and Hamas. Israel's ground offensive in Gaza.

Israel has extended its actions in Gaza by sending in ground troops; this is getting very complicated, more catastrophic, more deaths and injured, civilians, women and children.
(see this link !!!)
This, to all of us outside of the region, this (what we all write/ or say) are just words, the TV images, more graphic, but still images, the real real awful tragedy is on the ground; only the suffering know what its like; but, but, when you try and comprehend suffering, the loss of those you love, than clearly civilian Israelis, target of Hamas rockets, suffer equally, ............the death of a child, in Gaza, or in a remote town in Israel, is cause of immeasurable grief, an irreplaceable loss, to the shocked and bereaved parents. The loss of use of your hands or legs, getting blinded, the pain and suffering, to individuals, cannot be this is a tragedy for all who suffer, where ever.

There is this one difference. An injured Israeli gets the best medical attention; Israelis live in an environment, though not normal, certainly not lacking for food water electricity medical facilities etc; the Gaza residents have none of this.

Clearly, the Israeli reaction, of Hamas shooting rockets into civilian Israeli targets is sadly out of all proportion, more deaths and casualties; but the horror of this all, the pain and helpless tragic "face it, no other choice/God, why us..........." feelings have no borders.

Israel is clever, very clever; its stand "we are trying our best to target only Hamas, we have nothing against the Palestinians; our aim is to inflict losses on Hamas and are doing our best to avoid civilian targets, we have nothing against Palestinians" is no solution, we are going to have a some awesome repercussions.

Clearly, the Israelis are clever; Hamas, who go on shooting rockets on Israel are, by contrast, ironically, as clever..........they don't need to give an explanation because the world is on their side!!!

Israel is no fool, its stand "we will stop our offensive when Hamas stops firing rockets into Israel" is, they must know, a lot of nonsense...........Israel knows this is a short term excuse for hitting back, they know Hamas/Al Qaeda/Fatah/Iranian radicals will get back at them, and moderate Muslims across the world will get more bitter and more disillusioned, and the otherwise non-radical Muslim youth and others, will join the ranks of radical Muslims.

And we all know this is not a problem that might remain confined to that region............"justice," or more appropriately, the radical Muslim view of jihad, the righteous' call from God to destroy all evil, will have repercussions ac cross the world.

So what is the solution? Israel must hasten the process of giving full genuine sovereignty to Palestine; stop this war, everybody who think Gaza deserved this will definitely agree its enough. On the part of the Palestinians in particular, and the Muslim countries of the region in general, accept Israel is a reality, its not going to go away; work to normalize relations, no violence, no hostility, with Israel reciprocating in full measure.

Both sides must understand the immeasurable advantages of peace between fooling one another, only a genuine push to achieve peace and normality; both sides must select good leaders with clear sensible perceptions, and tell the war mongers who are now their leaders to go fish.

Good leadership all ac cross the Sarkozy, the French president, he seems to go anywhere, without waste of words and waste of time, where he thinks he can change a situation.

The world must give up absurd and outdated notions of "clash of civilizations" and "western world" and "radical peoples" .................we live on a planet that is very sick and have nowhere to's time to do things that bring us together.

As hard as this seems to many of us, we must try and understand the Muslim world view............even the most moderate Muslim views the world as a place that is moving away from God........we, on our part, must strive very hard to make him understand we respect his views and his world............and urge him to look in his word of God, the Koran, messages that ask him to live in acknowledge that any means that use force on others, are outdated and have no relevance in a modern world.

On our part we must guarantee him his world.

We must urge Muslims to come out and make it known they consider violent means unacceptable and are ashamed these means are used by some of their compatriots. Equally, the world must recognise their right to live dignified lives free of any form of interference, their rights to decide their own course their sovereign and democratic privilege.

Israel must treat Palestine as an equal sovereign partner in the region, support the Palestinian economy to grow, give Palestinians more opportunities to work accross borders, stop land encroachments, and no blockades. Palestinians must show themselves as cooperating partners in the region, and stop any incursions in Israel for any form of violence or terrorism acts.