Friday, July 22, 2016

Donald J Trump accepts the Republican Party Nomination for President of the USA:

Video:



Transcript.

I think we should all pause to ponder our current geostrategic challenges:


 Likewise, we may ponder the seven mountains issues:


As well as this info graphic on the challenge of change in light of warning-signs and the need for critical mass:



. . . backed up by a warning on how the "window" of what is acceptable can be moved --



And, last but not least, I strongly suggest that we read this earlier KF blog post on the Acts 27 challenge to democratic government. END

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The UK Pound bounces back over the US$ 1.30 threshold on announcement of PM Theresa May

It seems that he mere announcement of a new Prime Minister of the UK on Wednesday next, has given the Pound a shot in the arm:



In short, we can here see the impact of uncertainty and the further impact of restored confidence; even, in a small measure.

Food for thought. END

Monday, July 11, 2016

Police Chief Brown of Dallas speaks

Video:



Sobering, sound and refuses to be drawn into agendas. Note discussion here. Food for thought. END

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Dallas, TX Police massacre

It seems unusually difficult to get a factual summary of developing incidents these days, so let us start with Wikipedia's summary -- sketchy though that is:
A Black Lives Matter protest[6][7][8][9] was organized in Dallas by the Next Generation Action Network in response to the killings of two men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively, days before.[10] The Dallas protest was one of several held across the United States on the night of July 7.[11] Around 800 protesters were involved, and around 100 police officers were assigned to protect the event and the surrounding area.[12] Before the shooting occurred, no other incidents were reported, and the event was peaceful.[13]

The gunfire began in downtown Dallas at 8:58 p.m.[14] A bystander reported hearing 50 to 75 shots.[13] Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown said that some of the officers were shot in the back, and that the shooter had some knowledge of the protest route.[14][15] Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said that the shooter fired from different floors of a nearby building.[16] At least twelve officers fired back.[17]

Another bystander, who recorded cell phone video of the event from his hotel balcony, reported observing the shooter, clad in tactical clothing and armed with a rifle, at street level. The bystander stated that the shooter loaded his rifle and began firing indiscriminately to draw officers near his position. When one officer approached a corner, the shooter engaged him in a gunfight, forcing the officer to take cover behind a concrete pillar. The shooter fired at one side of the pillar, then ran over to the other side, ambushed the officer, and shot him multiple times from behind at point-blank range, killing him. After firing additional gunshots into the officer's body, the gunman fled upon being shot at by additional officers.[18][19]

Following the shooting, the gunman engaged officers in a standoff at a nearby parking garage, firing intermittently at them. One officer was injured in the shootout. A suspicious package was discovered near the garage and was secured by a bomb squad.[12][20][21] Chief Brown later stated that the gunman had declared that the end was near, his intentions were to kill more law enforcement personnel, and that he had placed explosives all over the garage and downtown Dallas.[14][22]

During negotiations, Johnson said that he acted alone and was not part of any group. The standoff ended at about 2:30 a.m. the next day,[23] after the shooter was killed by a C-4 bomb deployed and set off by a robot.[24][25][26][27] A sweep of downtown Dallas found no presence of explosives.[10]
I frankly suspect that there may well have been more than one shooter, as earlier reports indicate. And yes, this uncomfortably echoes a certain School Book Depository incident in Dallas in November 1963.

The targetting of police has spread across the USA, with several other incidents. 

Underlying, is a wave of hostility, cast in terms of repeated media reports of police targetting blacks and murdering them. This needs to be addressed, first that there is a problem of policing, second that too many of the bloody shirt incidents are not as clearly racist murder of blacks by gangsters in blue as media and street reports too often have made out. And, given that there is a firm belief that blacks are uniquely victimised by US police, it is important to note the following Washington Post tabulation of Police shootings in the USA for 2015 (which, per reports, is not atypical):



The numbers are troubling, but show a very broad societal problem in the USA that will not be simplistically solved. There are problems of policing, of criminality, of societal instability [esp. in cities], of race, of media manipulation, of unscrupulous politicians with agendas, and much more.

I am quite concerned that many here in the Caribbean are being swept up in an atmosphere of polarised hysteria, and that we need to become far more cautious about what we believe, why.

Further to such, the following Tweets are troubling and tellingly revealing, given the importance of peace officers in the community, including the Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean community:




And, if you think I am concerned that hostility to US police can easily transfer to hostility to the police here in the Caribbean, you had better believe that I am

Likewise, I am concerned that ruthless agit prop agitators and strategists may easily manipulate polarised people, groups and movements into fronts for terrorism and chaos, triggering the rise of a police state tyranny to restore "order" and "safety." 

Where, our boys and girls can all too readily be turned into cannon fodder for such vicious agendas. Leaving us to mourn even as liberty burns up in the bonfires set by devilish tactics and behaviour.

I do that, because I saw that happen already in Jamaica in the 1970's and 80's. I saw agitators blurt out the agenda of getting the bloody shirt to stir revolution, on Mona Campus UWI in 1986. I saw the leading campus communist who dragged the student who blurted that out in a meeting, out of the meeting . . . literally, by his ear.

What will we say to those mourning those murdered in the streets by terrorists or rioters or used by ruthless agitators as cannon fodder for their revolution when the police feel forced to resort to deadly force? 

If you want a deeper reference, kindly study the history of post WW I Germany as chaos and street violence opened the way for Hitler.

We need a far more balanced, mature approach. END

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Clinton vs FBI Director Comey re emails

Video:




 (NB:  Trump's statement. BREAKING: Guccifer, Romanian hacker who reportedly broke into the Clinton email server, is said to have been found dead of apparent suicide [cf. Vince Foster etc . . . ] in his gaol cell. The report says, he had been extradited to the USA. [Looks like a prank/ hoax site, sorry.])

Why has Mrs Clinton not been prosecuted for sustained, reckless violations that a responsible person must know exposed not only methods and extent of knowledge but also lives?

Let me cite US Code, 18, Section 793 on responsibility through negligence:
(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense,
(1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or
(2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(g) If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy . . .
 Now, we can note the FBI Director's careful resort to "carelessness" rather than "negligence" in his statements. This already pointed to intent not to act under this code. Meanwhile, others up to Gen Petraeus, have been prosecuted for what seems to be far less extensive violations of duty.

That, we must ponder. END

PS: Drudge's links list:
 FBI DIRECTOR: CLINTON AND AIDES 'EXTREMELY CARELESS'...

CAMPAIGN BULLIED MEDIA WITH LIES...

COMEY TRANSCRIPT...

TRUMP UNLOADS...

PAPER: FIX WAS IN...

Obama DOJ Prosecuted More Gov. Officials For Leaking Classified Info Than Past Admins -- Combined...

2015: Charged Naval Reservist For Mishandling...

Friday, July 01, 2016

The Somme, day 1 + 100 years

. . . today, 60,000 casualties almost 20,000 dead as the interlaced machine guns mowed down Kitchener's new army.

Video:



Analysis video:



Let us remember their sacrifice, and let us learn from it. END

PS: WW I timeline.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

BREXIT: Will Scotland leave the UK? (After 300 years of the union . . .)

The Guardian reports:
Scotland is on the brink of staging a fresh referendum on independence after Nicola Sturgeon requested talks with the EU on separate membership after the UK’s vote to leave.

The first minister said she believed a second referendum on independence was highly likely after Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain within the EU [--> 62%], but was unable to prevent the leave campaign winning by 52% to 48% across the UK as a whole.
Sturgeon said that was a “democratic outrage” and constituted the clear, material change in Scotland’s circumstances referred to in the Scottish National party’s carefully worded manifesto commitment in May to hold a second independence vote if needed.

“It is a significant material change in circumstances. It’s a statement of the obvious that the option of a second independence referendum must be on the table, and it is on the table,” she said.

Sturgeon announced that she was instructing Scottish government officials to draft fresh referendum legislation for Holyrood, only two years after her party lost the first independence vote in 2014, to ensure it could be held quickly if enough Scottish voters backed it. 

UK government sources said David Cameron, who quit as prime minister after the referendum defeat, was anxious that his successor make sure the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland government were closely involved in the UK’s Brexit negotiations to avoid increasing Scottish grievances and fuelling the case for independence.
Fundamentally, the concern of the brexiters has been subjugation to a democratically unaccountable, unresponsive bureaucracy of the forty thousand in Brussels. 

This reflects in concerns over immigration and more, which is compounded by issues of race and  the immigration of IslamIST radicals leading to onward civil strife. 

For Scotland, the EU likely seems a counter-weight to The City of London proper and its toffs, the power-centre square mile elite who dominate the UK. (The City's power elites and institutions plainly seem largely unaccountable to the Scots; who are a minority -- an "island" of 5.35 millions in a "sea" of 65.1 million in the overall UK. Hence, the compromise strategy of devolution; i.e. federal elements in a unitary state. Yea, can Iron and Miry Clay mix and cleave together?)

Now that this issue has been put back on the table, the period of uncertainty and turmoil are now extended, with sobering implications for global financial markets. 

However, those who would go independent would need to ask, if the UK's City is unaccountable, what about the EU elite?

What would back a Scottish currency, if the Euro is unacceptable?

What of the implications of North Sea oil running down and the price of oil having come down sharply?

And, more.

I guess, to speak to this, it is not enough to say one is a stakeholder in another UK territory. So, I put the slice of me that is Scottish by descent on the table. (Yes, there is something undefinable but clearly there, a spiritual tie that connects one ancestrally; just as affairs in Africa call out to all of us in the Caribbean also. [What, you imagine that after a few generations you have not a touch of the "tar" in your blood? Get real! We are a mongrel region, and we are the better for it.])

I dare to suggest to Scotland that history counts, it speaks to ties that cannot be cut.

It is no accident that the mother of our beloved Queen, Elizabeth II, was a Scotswoman. Yes, Queen Mum of fond memory, the lady who defied Hitler's Blitz in London and earned her place in our hearts the hard way.

 (And yes, much of the rest of Her Majesty's roots are recently German. That is where the Angles, Saxons and Jutes came from, with the Danes as close kin -- what, 1500 years past. And yes, genetic studies show that the Celtic root-stocks of England and Wales are effectively indistinguishable from those of Belgium. We must never forget, the only British King to have the well-earned title, The Great, was a Saxon; Alfred. Where of course, thanks to some wealthy West Indian planters, the Royal Family is not without a touch of the tar or two. Reality: we are mongrels all, or better, cousins. Ask old Grampa Noah about it.)

On balance, reasonable devolution and responsible contribution in Britain are far more likely to be beneficial in the long term, now that the toffs have been served a helping of crow bigger than any they have had since July 4th 1776.

And, I dare say, that a rump Britain and a tiny Scotland in a time of grave turmoil would be utter geostrategic folly.

Let us never lose sight of what now confronts the world:



Even Vanity Fair senses it -- not to mention a very worried Germany:
In the first hours of the strange new world, Prime Minister David Cameron, a broken man, announced that he would be stepping down, implicitly acknowledging that referendum was entirely of his making, and that he was responsible for losing it. Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party, announced that the country, which had voted overwhelmingly to remain, would likely be seeking a new independence referendum in order to join the E.U. as an independent nation. In Northern Ireland, where a majority had also voted to remain, Martin McGuinness, the deputy first minister and member of nationalist Sinn Fein, called for a poll on a united Ireland. Nearly a century after the Irish Civil War, and only decades removed form incomprehensible atrocities of the Troubles, it is indeed conceivable that the border between Ulster and the Republic could be vanquished.

If these things happen, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t, the United Kingdom, once a great power and still the world’s fifth-largest economy, will be reduced to a rump state of England and Wales. It would have a vastly diminished presence on the international stage—the victim, as Der Spiegel noted, of “an act of deliberate self mutilation” that bears the “emblem of a country in retreat.”
The world has changed this past week, with all sorts of consequences. It is time to act with sober prudence. END

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pound pounded

Yahoo news 5-day trend:



Food for thought. END

BREXIT! Where are we now? (In a lot of trouble, but not without hope.)

. . . including, regarding major trends of our civilisation vis a vis the IslamISTS, also as a civilisation, we face "seven mountains of influence" issues.

I add, the initial cliff-edge fall-off in the Pound [US$ 1.50 --> 1.44] as Sunderland gave the first indication Brexit would likely win:




Sky News, live:



Guardian graphic breakdown of the vote:



Key initial impacts:
  • UK Prime Minister, David Cameron has resigned, staying on as a three-month caretaker
  • Former Mayor of London Boris Johnson (leader of the Brexit campaign) is tipped a likely successor
  • A 2 - 4 year estimated Lisbon Article 50 leave process is likely to begin under Cameron's successor.
  • The Governor of the Bank of England has promised liquidity in Pounds and key foreign currencies to ease pressure on UK markets and the currency.
  • Key stocks, starting with leading banks are off by up to 1/5.
  • FTSE initially has dived 6.95% though as of this writing it has clawed its way back above the 6,000 threshold,
  • the GBP dived 5.77% against the Euro (which is itself falling), and up to 8.46% against the US$, hitting as low as $1.36 down from $1.50 on the eve of the vote. The Yen is rising.
  • Gold is surging, oil is falling.
  • The Scots have long since warned that a Brexit would re-open the independence question, which would have major consequences for the UK's geostrategic stance in the world, and knock-on effects for the global economy and stability.
  • And much more . . .
Geostrategic issues are of sobering concern when we consider the global geostrategic situation:



We must also ponder civilisation level trends, for which the (generic) seven mountains of influence approach may be helpful:



One obvious implication is this is a sign of rising nationalism in the midst of an unsettling and utterly atypical US Election year that just saw an assassination attempt -- directly parallel to the murder of a UK Member of Parliament. (If anything, that would tend to favour Mr Trump; providing, he does in fact become the Republican nominee.)

As touching origins debates and linked concerns relevant to Intelligent Design and to the historic Judaeo-Christian heritage of our civilisation, the key issue will be the power moves made during a time of uncertainties and instabilities. 

For, we deal with those of the Marxian type view that a "crisis" must not go to "waste."

Here in Montserrat and in the wider Caribbean, we just took a direct, hard hit as both the UK and the European Union are key development partners. 


A Turtle, head and limbs in the shell . . .
An article at The Montserrat Reporter explores such impacts, for Montserrat. Regional leaders and the public should ponder the thoughts and concerns raised. Above all, we must not panic or go into a head-in-the-shell mode.

Vigilance, is eternally the price of liberty. END