Tag Archive: crisis

Robots and Fuel Strikes – What Are People Supposed to Do?

The Role of Work – What Is It?

  • Robot waiters in China

    Robot waiters in China

    The role of work is at the heart of many societal norms, take the so-called “protestant work ethic”.

  • The current strikes in France, inspired by the fuel tanker driver strike, will have many of a “work ethic” mindset secretly envious but openly tut-tutting.
    •  http://www.thelocal.fr/20160526/french-fuel-crisis-4600-petrol-stations-run-dry
  • China, despite its vast available workforce, is expanding the world of robotics at a rate of 40% annually.
    • https://www.therobotreport.com/news/40-annual-growth-forecast-for-chinese-robotics

But what’s it about?

France

At the heart of the French issue is the unilateral imposition, without a vote, by the apparently socialist (but in reality just as no-liberal as the rest of the West) French government.  This imposes a relaxing of the 35 hour weekly work-time rule.

This is said to be good for employers.

China

Foxconn, one of the world’s largest computer & electronic equipment makers is ditching 60, 000 people, for robots!

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36376966

This is said to be good for…. erm….

Not Only That, But Also

Well, Big Mcdonald’s in the USA may be ditching workers for robots

http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2016/05/24/fmr-mcdonalds-usa-ceo-35k-robots-cheaper-than-hiring-at-15-per-hour.html

Munch & Sleep

We all have to eat and in The West we use money to pay for it all.  We also pay for our dwellings and all the knick-knacks that make our lives what they are (studies thumb while blundering down high street with little box in hand).

The role of money in our lives and how we get it is paramount.

Now let’s consider those workers striking to keep their hours down, their money up and the role of robots in all of this, because it affects us all.

Sooner or later, most of us will have to consider our place in this robotic world.  Really.  What will you do?

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

French petrol staion queues, 2016

Workers Going Nowhere in France

  • Work is NOT the be-all and end-all of everything.
  • Happiness is the be-all and end-all of everything.  (n.b. not the pursuit of happiness, just your average, every day happiness.  Goddit?)

So if:

  • McDonald’s and other fast food outlets ditch real human workers for robots (maybe just a food window like on the Star Trek Enterprise?),
  • waiters are replaced by robots,
  • computer makers ditch real people for robots,
  • doctors and even surgeons are replaced by robots,
  • trains, planes, buses and cars are all driven by robots…

…then we will all have much more free time.

BUT, and it is a big but,

  • How will we pay for our free time?

And for all those tut-tutting about the French workers on strike and jealous of a fully paid 35-hour working week

  • Where will your job be?
  • Where will you get your money?
  • Where’s your protestant work ethic now?

How will universal happiness be attained?

Because:

  • Not everyone is blessed with the muses.
  • Not everyone can be a politician.
  • Not everyone can run quaint tea shops and sell tat to tourists.
  • Not everyone can be a plumber.

Don’t start the argument that people will be needed to fix the machines, the phones, the computers.  Electronic devices are consumables now and do not need fixing.  They just get replaced. The people that currently devise new machines have been redundant for many years.

In fact, most new computer circuitry is designed…by computer!

Terminated

…and with robots creating robots that do all the work, what place for people?  With decision-making robots, maybe the Terminator series are closer than we think?

Terminated

Terminated

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Assange Given Ecuadorian Asylum

Assange Given Ecuadorian Asylum – but what next?

Ecuador Assange Statement

Ecuador Assange Statement

This is the full text released by Ecuador for their reasons for Assange’s successful application.  See original text at the end.

But What is to Happen Now?

For now, Assange will have to stay in the Embassy.  Ecuador has asked for assurances about his safe passage, but as it stands, Hague and Cameron look the foolish chumps for what they are and won’t back down.

My guesses, are:

  1. That Assange will have a “mysterious” accident or similar and the nasty people in the world will breathe a sigh of relief – the embassy is no doubt bugged and all communications in and out religiously monitored.  His undetected escape looks unlikely.   Food, drink or water could be tampered with; holes could be drilled, hypodermics, germs or gas through the walls – who knows?   Like a Sherlock Holmes/locked room mystery,  try the poisoned ice dart through the keyhole?   See http://wramsite.com/forum/topics/breitbart-murder-by-heart-attack-the-cost-of-exposing-our-corrupt  and http://youtu.be/tzIw44w00ow CIA Whistleblower talks about Heart Attack gun
  2. Assange will have to wait for a change in UK government.  Even so,
    • should he get a plane to Ecuador it can be shot down (remember the start of the Rwandan genocide?).
    • Should he get a boat, it can “disappear” in a storm…
    • Should he arrive safely he can be either murdered in secret or by a public presidential decree – remember Trotsky in Mexico, Allende in Chile, Che Guevara in Bolivia, Bin Laden in Pakistan, Rudolf Diesel on the English Channel?
  3. At  low level of current probability, those in charge of the USA and UK must fundamentally change their attitude towards freedom of information and accountability in public office.
    • The emails etc. which are at the real centre of Assange’s troubles show elected and non-elected officials behaving with scant regard to either their own laws, international laws or natural law.
    • It is for them to recognise this which will allow Assange back into normal society and thus face the law courts in Sweden.
    • As I said, a very, very low probability in the current climate since those in power, those in the emails, those on the tapes, those on the videos (like the machine gunning of innocent civilians), all of those need to recognise their culpability at worse, or at least that they’ve been shown to have acted like idiots and now have egg on their face.

Reminder:  The Initial Swedish Set-up

Forgetting the secret US indictment from over a year ago revealed in the Stratfor secrecy emails,  Sweden issued an arrest warrant, then dropped it, then “sort-of” reopened the investigation before barring Assange from Sweden?  I know.  You work it out.  It’s all detailed succinctly in this Telegraph page from June 2012.

Bizarrely though, this Foxnews rant/explanation from Glenn Beck (both not noted for their liberal stance…!) is even better at describing the events for which Assange was arrest warranted with in Sweden.  Pay close attention and you’ll see how what we are now being fed by Hague and the Obama administration is seriously at odds with this very precise investigation and summary made soon after the events in question…  http://youtu.be/npBvNJl6X9w

Ecuador’s Key Points

An English translation of the eleven key points, derived from The Dissenter, is here:

  1. Julian Assange is an award-winning communications professional internationally for his struggle for freedom of expression, press freedom and human rights in general;
  2. That Mr. Assange shared with the global audience was privileged documentary information generated by various sources, and affected employees, countries and organizations;
  3. That there is strong evidence of retaliation by the country or countries that produced the information disclosed by Mr. Assange, retaliation that may endanger their safety, integrity, and even his life;
  4. That, despite diplomatic efforts by Ecuador, countries which have required adequate safeguards to protect the safety and life of Mr. Assange, have refused to facilitate them;
  5. That is certain Ecuadorian authorities that it is possible the extradition of Mr. Assange to a third country outside the European Union without proper guarantees for their safety and personal integrity;
  6. That legal evidence clearly shows that, given an extradition to the United States of America, Mr. Assange would not have a fair trial, could be tried by special courts or military, and it is unlikely that is applied to cruel and degrading , and was sentenced to life imprisonment or capital punishment, which would not respect their human rights;
  7. That while Mr. Assange must answer for the investigation in Sweden, Ecuador is aware that the Swedish prosecutor has had a contradictory attitude that prevented Mr. Assange the full exercise of the legitimate right of defence;
  8. Ecuador is convinced that they have undermined the procedural rights of Mr. Assange during the investigation;
  9. Ecuador has found that Mr. Assange is without protection and assistance to be received from the State which is a citizen;
  10. That, following several public statements and diplomatic communications by officials from Britain, Sweden and USA, it is inferred that these governments would not respect the conventions and treaties, and give priority to domestic law school hierarchy, in violation of rules express universal application and,
  11. That, if Mr. Assange is reduced to custody in Sweden (as is customary in this country), would start a chain of events that would prevent the further protective measures taken to avoid possible extradition to a third country.

What’s clear is that Ecuador is actually in a win-win situation here.

  • LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 22:  A protester wearin...

    LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 22: outside the Ecuadorian embassy.(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

    They recognised the sabre rattling of William Hague and David Cameron for what it is – that the UK cannot pick and choose which international treaties to abide by without acquiring the severest opprobrium of its own people and parliament.

    •  Of course, there’s the “sticks and stones” argument which the government may ignore by barging in, armed to the teeth, anyway, but also the long-lasting risks to the whole British diplomatic force who will be placed in the severest of danger.  This latter they cannot ignore.
    • The memory of the US embassy in Iran lies still, as does the death of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy.
    • How can the UK pontificate on others when behaving worse than a bull in a china shop?
  • Ecuador has its own internal problems and this crisis will strengthen the hand of its President Correa, but also its standing in the eyes of all the little countries of the world, especially those in South America, historically in the thrall of US might.
  • They point out that Assange is only wanted for questioning in Sweden and that Sweden has refused to question Assange on Ecuadorian “land”, the embassy.
  • They point out the red herring issue of Sweden in its entirety, in that several public and private threats have been made or allured to against Assange by the governments of Sweden, USA, UK and that his own country hasn’t offered any protection (of course, we all know that the Aussie government is following the UK & USA like sheep).
  • So Assange is in dire and immediate threat of kidnap, torture, summary trial by a military court, execution or imprisonment in inhumane conditions.  We all know the USA is guilty of this having been caught red handed several times as has the UK in its collusion.
  • So the UK & USA are not havens of justice, guardians of the rights of Man, protectors from dictatorships nor international peacemakers.
    • Their actions from Vietnam through to Chile, from Egypt through to Bahrain, from corrupt banking to multinational deforestation programs, from Stratfor and the secret surveillance society to drone bombings of civilians shows them to be pariah states on the same footing as Zimbabwe or North Korea, say.
    • Ecuador has rightly recognised all of this, and more.

As part of their statement, they stood on the following points  (derived from Google translate!):

a) The asylum, in all its forms, is a fundamental human right which creates obligations erga omnes, that is, “for all” states.

b) The diplomatic asylum, shelter (or territorial asylum), and the right not to be extradited, expelled, delivered or transferred, human rights are comparable, since they are based on the same principles of human protection: no return and no discrimination without any adverse distinction based on race, colour, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, or any other similar criteria.

c) All these forms of protection are governed by the principles pro person (i.e., more favourable to the individual), equality, universality, indivisibility, interrelatedness and interdependence.

d) The protection occurs when the state of asylum, refugee or required, or the protecting power, consider the risk or the fear that the protected person may be a victim of political persecution or political offences against him.

e) The State granting asylum seekers qualify causes, and in case of extradition, assess evidence.

f) No matter which of its forms or forms are present, the seeker is always the same cause and the same legal order, ie, political persecution, which causes it lawful, and safeguard the life, personal safety and freedom of protected person, which is the lawful purpose.

g) The right to asylum is a fundamental human right, therefore, belongs to jus cogens, ie the system of mandatory rules of law recognized by the international community as a whole, do not support a contrary agreement, being null treaties and provisions of international law they oppose.

h) In cases not covered by the law in force, the human person remains under the protection of the principles of humanity and the dictates of public conscience, or are under the protection and authority of the principles of international law derived from established custom, from the principles of humanity and from the dictates of public conscience.

i) Lack of international agreement or domestic legislation of States can not legitimately claim to limit, impair or deny the right to asylum.

j) The rules and principles governing the rights to asylum, extradition no, no delivery, no expulsion and transfer are not converging, as far as is necessary to improve the protection and provide it with maximum efficiency. In this sense they are complementary international law of human rights, the right to asylum and refugee law, and humanitarian law.

k) The rights of protection of the human person are based on ethical principles and values universally accepted and therefore have a humanistic, social, solidarity, welfare, peaceful and humanitarian.

l) All States have the duty to promote the progressive development of international law of human rights through effective national and international action.

  • Here they kick down the quasi-judicious use by the UK of the 1987 Act regarding Embassies and the like in the UK.
  • They state the various rights of Man as defined in the United Nations and elsewhere (in case the UK has forgotten them!!!)
  • They point out the various ethical issues.

Ecuador has produced a clear and unambiguous statement, totally unlike the shadowy cloak and daggers stuff from Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

United pops up a lot in the state’s names.  They’re united, but only united in shame and devilishness corruption.  This is the reason for their stance – it’s nothing to do with national security and everything to do with covering their own backs.

The truth is really out now.  Notably, bonkers Boris has been quiet on the issue so far – he never thought much of Cameron and I guess it’s even less now!

 


Ecuador Statement

Declaración del Gobierno de la República del Ecuador sobre la solicitud de asilo de Julian Assange

Read the rest of this entry >>

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Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made: Mercenary Guidelines for a Better World

Guidelines for a Better World

Sausages

Sausages

Laws are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made.  Perhaps I should re-phrase this as:

The Rules of Law and International Diplomacy are like sausages — it is best not to see them being made

It’s a strange world out there.  Two recent political events have brought two previously unlinked ideas to my mind.  The events are:

Wikileaks disclosures
Innocents Killed In Iraq

Innocents Killed In Iraq by US gunship

For the Wikileaks disclosures, I see them as a highly embarrassing thing for those involved, but an empowering thing for us mere mortals who are divorced from the diplomatic process.  Normally, all the guts of the process are hidden.

In the case of the cover-up of the turkey shoot of unarmed civilians by US helicopter crews, it is something of which we should all be aware, no matter how discomforting for us.

In truth, we need better leaders in the West, people of real morals and guts so that we do not have to see the guts of innocents sprayed on the streets ever again to realise how crap the current bunch are.

Mercenary Forces

Mercenary forces I see as a fact of current and historical life, the old colonial powers especially – indeed, the UK has its own dirty hand in this.  For nigh-on 200 years the UK has even had its own full-time mercenaries, the Gurkhas, typically used in near-suicidal conflict situations.  Also, currently, from the standpoint of an Afghan tribesman, the British Army in Afghanistan could be seen as little more than mercenaries in the employ of a puppet king, Hamid Karzai.  For the tribesman, little has changed – there’s money about but he sees none of it whosoever is in charge.

Diplomacy

Click to see Sausage Making process from the inside.

Sausage Making

In the meantime, we have diplomacy.  For the West, this is a world of essentially astute well educated  folk, usually adept in law not technology, that seek to make deals with not-so-nice folk for our own country’s benefit.

 

Because these deals are done at the guttural level, like sausage-making, it’s an unpleasant process to stumble upon – which is exactly what we’ve seen with the Wikileaks Diplomatic Cable exposures.  Naturally we are aghast that such things go on in our name.  For me, it seems to be a wholly unpleasant process in our current world and something I’d wish to eliminate.

Earth in an oil drop

Taking the current crisis in Libya;  for the previous three years the Blair/Brown Labour Government has made overtures with Libya, sold arms and even SAS training, but all with the aim of ensuring Libya kept it’s hands off the nuclear button.  Seems good-ish.  Laudable aims, jaw-jaw nor war-war and all that.

This process, now revealed, is ugly – but no more so than our current Prime Minister Cameron sucking up to some Gulf Arabs who, like Libya, run a similar kind of oligarchic, autocratic, nepotistic state, full of outlandish greed and luxury with no voice for the inhabitants!  Seems pretty bad.  ………   It is bad.  Really bad.  It’s the same process as before, and we only do it because we need their oil.   Forget about Grand Prix cars and World Cup Football – it’s all about the O. I. L.  – OIL.

So What to Do?

Use Oil?  Sell Bullets.

Most of the recent interventions of the West’s (let’s call them wars should we – after all, thousands have died?), have been into countries that maintain a nice, steady flow of oil to us rich, lazy, westerners.  We think nothing of flying the globe or motoring to the shop for a cheap item that has most probably already crossed the globe once on its way from China, so yes, it’s important we can do this, right?…

On the other hand, our presence in places like Sudan, Rwanda or Congo has been notable by our absence.  Millions have brutally died.  (a.k.a. we don’t care as you’ve no oil.)

Meanwhile our presence in places like Nigeria or Bhopal, India has been notable for our poisoning of the local inhabitants without a trace of remorse or compensation by those involved.

Not Use Oil?  Don’t Sell Bullets.

  • Self-sufficient city planned near Seoul

    A Planned Self Sufficient Korean City

    Consider our own little part of the world.  It’s a place that many people in the world aspire to live because we are essentially free and most material things in our lives can be satisfied.

  • Consider how bright and technologically advanced we consider ourselves to be.

Now consider a world where we eliminated our dependency on chicken dictatorships – a world where we used our technological prowess to eliminate the consumption of oil and our addiction to the making and selling of arms, mostly to these self-same oil rich oligarchies. It’d be a world where we, the citizenry,  didn’t have to look on aghast as all our tax money was spent on bribing simple crooks to talk to us nicely.

Surely, like Egypt & Tunisia, those sort of oligarchies would collapse if we stopped buying their oil and stopped selling them our finest weaponry?

And if they didn’t, so what? There’d be no need for us as a nation to be thrown into hypocritical situations and taking ghastly actions for which we’d later be thoroughly ashamed.  Those areas of the world could take their own destinies into their own hands.

Green Shoot Of Peace

Green Shoot Of Peace

And Diplomacy? For us, we should see more not less of the words and processes done in our name.  We are not children and sooner or later, if the diplomats have fucked it up, we’re going to find out anyway, much as we did after WW1, WW2 and anywhere else our sons and brothers get killed in someone else’s war.

  • We need a proper, ethical, foreign policy.
  • We need diplomats of guile and courage, just like now,  to promote it.
  • And really, we really, really, need to be self-sufficient for all our needs and not rely on corrupt tin-pot states that have not left the Middle Ages in outlook.  This single thing is the most important thing for us and the peaceful futures of our immediate descendants.
  • We need a bit of courage to do this – to wean ourselves off this drug-like dependency on crooks of no substance who happen to sit on stuff we just happen to need, now.  Lets use our technological nous and make the current now a thing of the past – like stone axes and bronze swords, historical curiosities.
  • Mercenaries have courage – after all, if caught they’re usually the first one’s strung up.  See Dead Mercenary Taken to Tripoli Morgue, Libia Protests 2011.   But if the mercenaries have a proper home – what then?  There’d just be the few psychos like there’s always been, because you know, most people, even young hotheads, don’t want to wind up in an early grave.

Remember;

Courage is Contagious.

Get the t-shirt!

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Trafigura, BBC and the Stink from Two Views on Damages.

Introduction

Back in 2009, Trafigura nearly put the blockers on free speech and the reporting of parliament.  Twitter claimed to be part of this unlocking process…  whatever.  It was all to block the publication of the Minton Report.  A long BBC Newsnight video report was also blocked with the article mysteriously vanishing from the BBC website.

But Now?

Now the BBC article is found here, along with the banned video!  The video is below in two parts.  It was uploaded after its removal from the BBC website.

In the second part video, Trafigura boss Erich de Turckheim fatuously states that nothing untoward happened with the poisoning vessel, the Probo Koala whereas last year the company was fined (only sadly…) €1m for the very same poisoning.

Trafigura also state that the emails are selective and biaised.  Well I’ve read them and they totally back up the BBC story.  Here they are.

Alastair Mullis – his view of damages.

In this video, Mullis, a professor of law, states that because the BBC paid damages to Trafigura over their story, this implied guilt.  It took WikileaksJulian Assange to point out thje fallacy in this argument. See video below:

Trafigura’s View of Damages

Back in 2009, the BBC here told the Trafigura story which also includes a link to a statement from Trafigura here.  This Trafigura statement shows their view on the money that they had already paid to the Ivory Coast, prior to their EU fine.  It’s point 13:

The settlement involved no admission of liability. Trafigura believed that the settlement was the best way for the people of Abidjan, the Ivorian government and Trafigura to move forward.

The People’s View on Trafigura and Damages

W.T.F.?

Well Mullis & Trafigura are seriously at odds on their view of damages, aren’t they?  One says if you pay up then you are obviously guilty – the other says the opposite.  (Remarkably, this is very consistent with the damages paid out by Jesse Willms in his dodgy dealings, but that’s another story.  Willms of course chooses his own philanthropic view of customer service which is at odds with the thousands of complainees…)

The thousands of people affected by this corporate profiteering nonsense are of course left with bog-all except sores, child defects and an everlasting hatred for all things western.

This site has an even more enlightened view from the west about Trafigura.  Quoting the final piece:

The Trafigura case, like the financial crisis, suggests that in business there are people ruthless enough to shut their eyes to almost anything if they think they can make money.

Business without regulation is scarcely distinguishable from organised crime.

Regulation without strict enforcement is an open invitation to mess with people’s lives.

Tedious directives, state power and bureaucratic snooping – the interference that everyone professes to hate – are all that stand between civilisation and corporate hell.

Well said.  Jesse Willms take note!

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Brave Italians versus Torture

CIA Guilty of Torture and Kidnap – Damages of 1.5 Million Euros

Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr was snatched from a street in Milan

Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr was snatched from a street in Milan

Amazing news today.  An Italian court has bravely taken on the leader of the Western World and convicted 22 CIA agents of kidnap and torture. (see CIA agents guilty of Italy kidnap).

The man on the left with the wacky beard and hat, was snatched from the street in Italy, flown to Egypt, and tortured.

America’s great liberal hope, President Obama, and his government, have expressed,

…”disappointment at the convictions”….

This is not surprising to me, given what I wrote here earlier in the year when I realised that after only 100 days in office, Obama thought torture was okay… (contrast this to the optimism shown here and here, for example.  Sometimes speaking well just isn’t good enough, especially if your actions are in complete disregard of your own constitution.)

Absent From Trial

The CIA people (including high ranking colonels etc) were all tried in their absence – you see, Italy doesn’t kidnap people! (Interestingly, the CIA, as judge, jury and executioner have just bombed 2 ‘insurgents’ in Pakistan with a drone plane again – “It is not clear if there was any high-value target, We also do not know the identity of the militants” the CIA said; but Insurgents …were pulling bodies out of the rubble… Obama condones all this as drone flights and civilian deaths have wildly escalated under his rule.)

So while Italy is usually thought of as the laughing stock of Europe because of the uncountable number of elections it has and the current buffoon of an incumbent that they keep electing – it’s actually been very brave and done the right thing.

Will America do the same?  Will it do the right thing?  Will Obama strive to regain the high moral ground that he stood on to be elected and which he espoused so eloquently on Inauguration Day?

No Confidence

I doubt it very much.  When 52% of USA citizens think torture is okay and Utah remains a cesspit of corruption and evil business practices, when most Americans don’t care a damn about rising sea levels – and the rest…  ..and the rest!!

I doubt it very much indeed.

UK Caught With Pants Down and Hands on the Trigger

Our UK government isn’t any better having colluded in the kidnaps (called extraordinary renditions as a smokescreen to reality) and torture.  Are they in Europe or out?  Do they agree with “The Hague” or not?  Have they signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or not?

Answers

Answers to these and other questions can be found in my earlier posts from this year.  What a year!

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