Friday, March 28, 2014

Putin and Obama--good---it's about time you talked--face to face!

The USA and Russia (formerly the USSR) started to talk re the Crimea/Ukraine crisis. We have seen enough of the games, both sides have played; Ukraine is just the pawn in a picture that is really just big power rivalry. The bottom line?---The USA needs to stop seeing itself as the 'policeman  of the world,' which lets face it, is nothing more than a self-appointed position; one based on a desire to keep American business influences in a paramount position. Sometimes this thinly disguised 'act' is nothing short of a cynical power play, designed to keep the rest of the world misinformed about the USA's military/industrial complex as the head of the pack. Of course, a resurgent China and other powers will eventually challenge that hegemony.
Russia in turn needs to get over its age-old insecurity re its border regions. There is no threat, only an historical perceived one; albeit quite tenable in times gone past. No one wants to invade Russia but Putin is taping into a nationalistic Russian psyche, one based on its history and the tendency for Russia to have 'strong' anti-democratic leaders, who at best play lip service to any real sense of freedom for most Russians.
The two powers are not all that different. Both wish to maintain control in their respective spheres and the latest crisis is sadly, a return to the 'Cold War.' That they have common ground should be abundantly clear; the threat terrorism (even China is no longer immune from that now) being a unifying issue. It is only a matter of time before one of the former 'Republics' of the USSR or Pakistan somehow manage to lose or have stolen one or more nuclear devices, which are then turned on targets in either the USA or Russia. Russia and the USA, along with other power groupings should be working together to examine the causes of terrorism, but I doubt that they would be comfortable with the answers.
Cooperation between the USA and Russia is an underplayed fact. Just take the International Space programme and it is easy to find a successful model for the future. Take away the personalities of politics and perhaps the world could achieve be a better future for the sake of us all, but I must cynically observe and suggest that Putin and Obama, do not see the bigger picture, preferring to stoke the fires that are perhaps now out of control. The rest of us hope with fervour that this is not so!

Colin Craig pours $500,000 into his 'party.'

Is this the New Zealand way? The fact that one man can pour half a million dollars into getting himself elected (The leader of the Conservative Part, Colin Craig) is deeply disturbing. This action makes KDC look like an 'also ran,' and the other main parties like poor relations at the wedding, only the marriage is seriously flawed; something from an other time of privilege and gerrymandering.
For the last 80 or so years, New Zealand has had something that resembles a more equal playing field when it comes to election time, although there would be some who would claim that National has always had a head start when it came to resourcing its candidates, but the fledgling Conservative Party has surpassed anything we have seen in the past. If this 'one-band-man' can buy his way to Wellington, then we are in for an even more torrid time in NZ, simply because that age old concept of a land of equal opportunity will be seen for what it has been for along in many peoples' view---a land where the gap between the rich and poor is forever with us, but now---it will widen vastly. When that happens, people give up and other forces take hold. Is that the future for NZ when wealth really does ride roughshod over the majority, who turn on themselves as they see the future taken beyond their influence. If we do not have hope, we have nothing.