Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Monday Roundup

So now there is peace in Gaza, and Ukraine and Russia are talking. Looking promising.

Both sides in the middle east conflict have agreed to a cease fire. This peace plan framework was the same the Hamas militants rejected a month ago. Why? Lets look at the evidence and see if we can read between the lines. Israel want peace, they have no plan to take over the world with their own ideology. Hamas has a jihad (holy war) against anyone who doesn't agree with their ideology. So reading between the lines, I would suggest that Hamas will use this time to re-arm, recruit some more soldiers, and probably digging some more tunnels. It would appear that the biggest problem, at the moment, to the middle east conflict is the militant jihad, and when you look at where Israel has been attacking in Gaza, it has been in the majority, Hamas connected buildings. I suspect that in about 3 weeks there'll be a rocket set off towards Israel, or a kidnapping/killing of an Israeli.

And so to Putin, saying that if Ukraine signs up with Europe, Russia looks to loose $3bn in trade, he will pout his bottom lip, and apply sanctions. Oh didums! This reminds me of the smart phone wars of litigation rather that innovation and competition. If Ukraine can get a better deal from Europe then so be it, that's the global market, global competition.

photo credit: <a href="">Stuck in Customs</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Is conflict a lifestyle?

   When is a war not a war? Its semantics and all in a word and its meaning. Or to put it another way - politics!    So Israel and Hamas are slugging it out and Israel is winning on the ground, but not doing too well in perception, although there are some out there who are putting things into perspective. The world see Israel hitting Palestinians while trying to get to Hamas, what the world doesn't see is the reason for Hamas doing the things they are doing. Hamas doesn't know peace! Hamas mandate is to bring Islam to the world, by force if necessary, and not just any Islam but their form of Islam. This reminds me of the conflict in Northern Ireland and the IRA. The question was, what would the IRA do when there was peace? Some of the IRA members had only known conflict and therefore they would be out of a job when there's peace, so they didn't want peace because otherwise they'd have nothing to fight for, nothing to do. And so to Hamas. When they've brought Islam to the world, what then, mission over, what do you do then? Sit do and have a chat over a coffee? What happens to all that built up anger? Does it just go away? I don't think so! Hamas has chosen a battle it knows it cannot win and therefore a fruitless persute! Why not do something you can continue to do even when the work is done. Its a lifestyle choice and Hamas doesn't have a longterm lifestyle!

In other conflicts like that in Syria are similar, in that they aren't fighting for freedom, but for their form of religious government. The reasons for the uprisings in the North Africa and Middle East came out of the "democratization" of Iraq. Democracy and Islam don't go hand in hand, but also when looking at South Africa, the voting isn't really done along party lines but tribal lines, so in the North African countries the system is being used for tribal means, not really for the good of the country. Its more to do really with aristocracy, similar to what is creeping into western democracy.

In tribal areas it is very difficult to bring democracy of the type used in the west because to be tribal chief you have to depose the incumbent. This was done in olden times by fighting to the death! Now, when you bring Islam into this culture, you have religious influence over the tribe and the fear of a "god" is greater than the fear of man. It is a recipe for conflict!    What is democracy? If you look back at where it came from, in simplistic form, its about the dissemination of power. Giving the locals the ability to rule themselves with a framework for reference. Democracy now seems to mean that you have a vote and that is all! (More on this in a later post).

Whats the solution to the conflict, simple really, a change in lifestyle! Far simpler said than done!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A New Senate

In July, the Australian government has a new senate, and it will be interesting as to how Tony Abbott's government will "do business", or horse trading as it's sometimes called. Already one deal has been done to allow the abolition of the Carbon Tax with Clive Palmer being the main winner. Clive Palmer holds the balance of power in the senate and no one really knows how he stands on many areas but as a coal miner he is learning politics quickly! He managed to have Al Gore with him on stage when announcing his position on the Carbon tax reform.
What did surprise me was all the so called confusion from the announcement. It appeared to me that some people had decided to hear only a bit of the announcement and not listened properly, which seems to be a prerequisite for being a politician, and in this instance Clive Palmer is a welcome change, where coming from business you need to listen properly so you can understand properly. To me, what Clive had announced made sense: repeal the carbon tax, have a ETS (emmission trading scheme) starting at $0 until Australia's trading partners (USA, NZ, China, etc) start one too and to keep the alternative power generation bodies to promote and fund the solar and wind power industries. The idea of the ETS only with trading partners is so Australia isn't disadvantaged.
The thing I like about Clive palmer is that it is the polices he doesn't like not the parties. Sometimes I get the impression that Australian politics is more like school kids having a strop in the playground. An example of this is the Victorian Premier (Liberal Party) saying that he will not use the water from the desalination plant because it was built under the watch of Mr Brumby (Labour). This attitude is not in the best interest of the people who pay their wages. It would be better for the country if the senate could remove party politics and just look at the policies, but I can't see this happening.
What is harming politics and the country is the professional politician. The problem with professional politicians is that they have no world experience, how to manage people, money, business, they just know how to speak and argue! With Mr Palmer coming in, it is a bit of a fresh breeze blowing through because he can see Australia as "Australia PLC", which needs to be done. He understands business and how the middle class keeps the ecomony going, not the rich. The rich don't spend or create jobs. I read recently that saying the rich create jobs is like saying a seed creates a tree. It doesn't! Put a seed into a desert and see what happens! A seed is needed but it is not the all, a seed also needs water, light, warmth, nutrients and tlc (weather). And so jobs need someone with vision (the why) and people to do (the how) and people to buy the goods. Kill wages and you'll kill spending, and the knock on from that is businesses closing and loss of jobs! All actions have consequences.
The political parties look to being "in power" instead of serving the people and at the moment they are behaving like they own the place (and the people), and they don't. If they keep behaving like the aristocrats of old, the people will do the same and revolt. Oh, "they won't revolt in Australia, we're too civilised here" I can hear people say - I say rubbish - look at England with the pole-tax riots. Don't under estimate the public, especially the quiet ones.