ARCHIVES 1997-2007  --- ARCHIVES 2007 +
MAY 2013


The recent ABC report of cruelty in Egypt to cattle in slaughterhouses, following a similar story about Indonesia last year raises the question.  Are the actions of our government indicative of a cultural disability in Muslim nations, or are they indicative of cultural hegemony on our part?

First consider the question.  If US or UK abattoirs engaged in mistreatment of animals with similar practices, would our government stop exports until those practices stopped, or would we rely on the people of that country to put a stop to such mistreatment?  (either by government regulation or boycotting the product).

That answer is easy.  The animal rights group "Compassion Over Killing" filmed atrocities in California committed from 22nd June through to 2nd July of 2012,  The Australian government did nothing, but instead relied on the US to rectify the situation.  On August 19 the US government stopped operation of the offending plant.

This is either evidence that our government is guilty of Cultural Hegemony, or that our government is convinced that Muslim governments suffer from Cultural Disability, or are just plain culturally primitive.

I would like to immediately state that I greatly admire the Muslim religion, and were I not a Christian, and so dedicated to the belief that Jesus is the Son of God, I would study the Koran with the intent of converting.  However I will continue to urge my Christian colleagues to adopt many of the religious beliefs of the Muslim religion, in particular those relating to the proper place in society of women.

Evidence of the inability of most women to act in the men's world of politics is evidenced by the cohort of females in our current government.  Senator Rhiannon is foremost in actions that clearly display the hegemonic belief (outlined above) that Moslem's suffer from a cultural disability.

Of course not all women are incapable of serving with distinction in high public office.  Margaret Thatcher is a prime example that proves that women can perform outstandingly in public office.  And without acting in an unfeminine manner.


The ALP should be finished, except the idiot coalition premiers are turning out to be so hopeless that Labour will probably turn defeat into victory in a couple of election cycles.  Barry O'Farrell in NSW wants to amalgamate local government councils, and the mutterings against the Liberals from across our southern border (Victoria) are getting louder.  Tony Abbott is turning out to be a wussy pussy.  Look, Tony.  There are some people you will never convert.  Stand up for work choices and small business.  And make sure you keep Rupert onside.  I don't know how he does it, and I don't know why he turned against John, but maybe you do.

For non-OZ (Australian) readers, Sydney is like NY and LA rolled into one.  Good climate like LA, centre of business and art like Hollywood & Wall St & Broadway.   Melbourne is sorta like Chicago - the politicians from there are Democrat and corrupt respond reliably to large campaign donations.  The police are more obviously crooked protective of their own than anywhere else.  Brisbane is our tamed version of Dallas-FW and Houston.  WA is probably most like Utah and Darwin is most like Alaska.


As for the economy.  Quantitative Easing is a Friedman solution.  And most everyone agrees that it's a fix for deflation.  At least in the short term.

But there is a danger in QE.  Engineers know about something they call "negative feedback" and it's opposite, "Positive Feedback".  Negative feedback is stable, positive feedback leads to instability.  Economists call negative feedback mechanisms "Automatic Stabilizers".  They don't seem to have an example or name for positive feedback mechanisms.  I would like to make a suggestion.  How about Quantitative Easement?  Too much and you get inflation.  Not enough and you get deflation.   And there is a delay time factor to take into account.  Looks to me like an unstable oscillation could be set up if the timing (or "period" in Engineering terms) is wrong.  And of course, the more that QE is applied, the shorter becomes the period.

Europe is stuffed.  The south is sinking into deflation with growing unemployment.  The UK might hold out, (by devaluation) and so might Germany.  The adventure into Syria is fraught.  We really don't need a nuclear confrontation, although I am sure that diverting attention away from the economy is a temptation.

China and Japan are maneuvering about territory.  (to divert attention from the economy maybe?)   I should warn the Chinese that the Japanese are a proud race, and may well Kamikaze if you push them too far.  On the other hand, I would warn the Japanese that the Chinese are past masters in politics, and it is better to allow them to save face, even if it involves minor losses or trade-offs of territory that might be compensated for in other ways.  It's all about narrative.  And each side can provide a local narrative.

OTOH the USA is resurgent.  It's advantage is a social system that allows entrepreneurs to rise above inherited wealth and power (Think Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google).  This means the USA has superior innovation.  That innovation ability has uncovered and is exploiting a new energy resource.  QE has maintained stability through the bad stretch.  Hopefully soon it can be abandoned, and negative feedback will again be the rule.

In China and Europe and Australia people with power can (and do) capture and attempt to profit from the creations and innovations of others.  (In Oz think Fletcher & Coles.  In China remember the takeover of the HK airline just after reunion).  The new management fail to innovate further.  Those truly creative innovators are quite rare, and although an apparatchik can seize one idea, it ends there.  The current boom in the USA is from cheap energy.  And that cheap energy alone will keep the USA resurgent for the next two decades.


The instabilities of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon & Turkey (and others in the region) all have one thing in common.  That thing is two (or more) groups within the country, one (or more) of which chooses to consider itself downtrodden, and that status breeds inconsolable resentment.

Such alienated groups and resentments occur in other parts of the world, but in Arab nations that resentment seems to be more likely to find an outlet in violence.

Which brings us to explore the reason.  Bill Clinton tried to solve the Palestinian-Israel issue in talks with Yasser Arafat and the Israelis.  As I recall, the final sticking point boiled down to the "right of return".  Not an issue of territory.  Not ownership of Jerusalem.  Two states could have existed.  But Arafat insisted that the Palestinians in refugee camps should return as citizens to Israel.  The Israelis pointed out that if the Palestinians returned, they would then outnumber the Israelis at the polls.

OK.  Imagine that you are (say) a Kurd, or a Syrian or Iraqi Sunni, or even an Egyptian Christian.  Your national leadership is standing up for the right of Palestinians to have their own state.  Since that logic is presented as righteous, you might reason "what about my rights?  The police always seem to persecute those of my minority/majority.  Oh yes, those poor Palestinians need a nation.  But in the meantime, what about me and my people?"

Perhaps those
instabilities and revolutions have a direct relationship with national leadership's condemnation of Israel?