The solution to the refugee crisis that is rocking the world is perhaps, glaringly simple. If people can have a safe and reasonable life in their homelands they are not going to risk the lives of their families in leaking boats in search of a future. They are not going to line up in thousands at the Mexico/USA border either.
It would be wise for the EU to make sure that Libya has a proper government, with or without any permission. Military force would be an option. Syria is a much more difficult problem because of the involvement of Putin and the Russians. Military action there is simply not a realistic possibility.
The thousands of refugees at the Mexican/USA border are predominantly from small central American countries where drug gangs simply run amok. It would be cheaper in the long run and more reasonable for the US to use force to clean up these small countries, with or without their cooperation, than to pursue the Trump Administration’s crazy anti-immigrant policies.
The only long term solution to the refugee crisis is to clean up and rebuild the countries from where the refugees are fleeing!
The Evil Triangle of World Power
Donald Trump Vladimir Putin Xi JingpIng
Donald Trump, to put it nicely, appears to be erratic, unable to formulate any reasonable and consistent policy and seems to lack the moral compass and integrity required for a U.S. president. His election campaign was centred round the phrase, “Make America great again.” It is more than unlikely that he will even vaguely succeed in this quest. Most of the good news about the U.S. economy is a result of the efforts of his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has the aim of basically restoring the Soviet Union to its former powerful position and is prepared to invade countries (the Ukraine and Crimea) and overlook or contribute to the murder of innocents, including children (his support of Assad’s regime in Syria) in pursuit of this goal. He is pursuing any means available, including cyber warfare, in pursuit of his aim. He even had the temerity to tell Russians to prepare for possible nuclear attack. His mojo might as well be called, “Make Russia great again” and he is effectively conducting a semi-clandestine war against the West.
Xi Jinping, China’s president for life, wants to make the “reunification” of China his legacy. (One must remember that the original inhabitants of Taiwan were not Chinese, and that it is only in the last three centuries that large numbers of Chinese people inhabited that island. Taiwan is not, and was not, an integral part of China.) He has said that China is prepared to use force to take Taiwan.
He also desires to extend Chinese power as far into the Pacific as he possibly can. You might as well say that he wishes to make China great, or greater again and probably aims to make it the world’s number one super power. Again, questions of morality or legality are not even considered. Here we have another dangerous maniac in full flight.
These three presidents, Trump, Putin and Xi, are much more likely to cause a catastrophic nuclear war than achieve their aims. None of them knows how to be sensible, reasonable and back down when necessary. We have every reason to be scared, and much more so than in 1962.
Working Poor ruined by world financial system
Every day we are bombarded with assertions from many of the world’s governments that taxes for multinational corporations and very rich people should be lowered. “It’s good for the economy,” they say “and everybody will benefit.” When the costs of lowering such taxes are pointed out, the argument runs that since other countries are doing it we must also do it to remain competitive. Donald Trump grants huge tax concessions to the wealthy and so the other countries must follow suit.
In the somewhat optimistic decades of the 60’s and 70’s the vast majority of people wanted to raise the wages and living standards of those in third world and other poor countries. Mind you, they also believed that technology would allow shorter working hours and higher wages! Neither of those things happened. In both the third world and in the OECD countries working hours either stayed the same or increased and wages gradually declined against the relevant cost of living. The top 2% or so of the world, in terms of wealth, massively increased their standing while everybody else went backwards.
Without a voluntary surrendering of excess wealth nothing would ever improve. The exception proves the rule. Philanthropists like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet make a very small proportion of the mega wealthy. It is likely that the rich getting richer and the poor becoming poorer will continue until the world’s entire financial system collapses.
Such economic collapse would surely be accompanied by social collapse. We haven’t yet even mentioned global warming, overpopulation and the aging of the population. Scary isn’t it?
George Washington Andrew Jackson
When the founding fathers of the U.S. constitution framed the second amendment they certainly couldn’t possibly have even imagined the massacres of innocent people and children by lunatics with high powered, rapid fire weapons. Obviously they didn’t foresee heavily armed people massacring innocents, including children in their schools. So what could they have been thinking in instituting the second amendment, the right to bear arms.
In an age of flintlock muskets and pistols and with the Revolutionary war against the British fresh in their minds, the founding fathers wanted to be easily able to establish militia groups. That was most likely their immediate objective. Perhaps a longer term objective was to enable an armed citizenry to resist any attempts at the establishment of a dictatorship.
We currently see quite a few dictatorships in the world, and many quasi dictatorships such as those of the Russian Federation, Turkey and the People’s Republic of China. However, given the overarching power of most modern nations and their highly armed military forces the chances of an armed citizenry successfully resisting rotten governments are virtually zero. Military coups are quite a different matter.
It is more than obvious that the U.S.A. needs to either abolish the second amendment or drastically modify it. No amount of AR-15s and other assault rifles in the hands of civilians will be able to resist the US military. As we have seen, their only function is to enable ghastly massacre after ghastly massacre. Perhaps the National Rifle Association romantically envisages armed citizens defending the freedoms of the U.S.A. The grubby reality however is the needless and tragic number of deaths attributed to gun violence.
A person may wonder why the Russian Federation under Putin’s leadership would not only support but actively assist Assad’s murderous Syrian regime in its disgustingly vile and brutal attacks on children and other civilians under the guise of attacking rebels/terrorists. It is becoming increasingly obvious to anyone with a modicum of intelligence that Mr. Putin will stop at nothing in his cherished attempt to recreate a Russian (Soviet style) empire in Europe. Evidence for this includes the annexation of the Crimea and support for rebels attacking the forces of the Ukraine.
His, all but absolutely proven, interference in the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum are additional evidence that he desires nothing short of a massive weakening of Europe, starting with the EU, and of the United States. Who can tell what his ambitions will result in after a sufficient weakening of the West? It is almost certain that he will position Russia as close as possible to China (remember, the Chinese president has much closer to dictatorial powers than any of his predecessors) and do all he can to promote subtle forms of conflict between the USA and Chinese. This would be largely economic (both Russia and China are hoarding gold and trying to reduce any dependence on the US dollar) but may well include promoting some degree of military confrontation. I am not suggesting, however, that Putin wants to start any kind of nuclear war.
Returning to the horrors occurring in Syria and the myriad images of severely injured children on our TVs we again ask ourselves why does Putin support this horror? Only a day or so ago the Russian ambassador to the UN vetoed a proposal to establish a ceasefire in that heavily bombarded rebel enclave near Damascus. The answer, although horrifying, is relatively simple. The lives of all those children and others mean nothing to Putin compared with his aim of massively weakening the West.
Without Russia’s intervention in Syria it is probable that the civil war in Syria would be largely over by now. Putin wants to keep it going so that the flow of refugees to the West is ever increasing. This flood of refugees certainly weakens the strength and economies of Western Europe (regardless of cultural questions such as the possible Islamisation of those countries). When you think about it, without the flood of refugees into Europe the British Brexit referendum is likely to have gone the other way. The “Leave” campaign dishonestly distributed leaflets showing unnamed maps of Syria and Iraq. This fear of a refugee horde undoubtedly influenced many British voters to support the Brexit idea. It is becoming increasingly clear how much of a disaster, both for the UK and the EU, Brexit will be. Only today the President of the EU made a public statement that Theresa May is living in a fantasy land as regards her wish list for Brexit.
One thing is certain. Vladimir Putin will be smiling. Many historians argue that both Stalin and Mao were even worse than Hitler as regards crimes against humanity and the number of deaths of innocents that they caused. Perhaps in the future Vladimir Putin will be added to that vile list.
Humanity’s progress through the ages could be described as a very powerful automobile with very poor steering. Technologically, humankind has become somewhat advanced. Science and medicine are progressing at a pace. Yet with each technological advance Man has employed it to produce more sophisticated capacity for killing, albeit at a huge economic cost.
Likewise, although we are grateful for advances in medicine there has been insufficient consideration given to the problems of ever increasing overpopulation and an ever increasing proportion of elderly people in those populations as life expectancy increases.
Following the dollar trail gives a great insight into what our species as a whole considers really important. Financial investment and incentives are thrown at science and technology while almost no resources are directed towards philosophy and the humanities. Philosophy can be considered as the steering of our metaphorical vehicle whereas science and technology equate to the power of the engine.
What is the value or point of ever increasing speed and power without adequate thought being given to the direction of travel? The questions of the environment, society and ultimately even the economy have been subjugated to the pursuit of power. While science and technology certainly increase the scope and depth of our knowledge, without accompanying philosophical considerations they do little to add to our wisdom.