Monthly Archives: August 2011
Obama will be presenting his much anticipated jobs plan in September – maybe. Jobs in America are becoming scarcer by the day, and the American people are crying out for some leadership on this issue – hence the reason that Obama has been forced to come up with a n actual plan to back his claims that he has a solution to get Americans back to work – or something. Amazingly he can wait until September to release something that affects millions of Americans, yet, before he flew off to Martha’s Vineyard to frollick in the sea and hit a golf ball, he found the time to sign an executive order requiring his government to increase diversity in the workplace! How’s that for priorities? I guess his only priority is to show the middle finger to Whites once again and to also try and win back his Black voters – some of whom may have realised by now that he really doesn’t know what he’s doing. In any case, the American government will be more ‘diversified’ (i.e Whites need not apply) in the near future. Aren’t you lucky!
President Obama on Thursday issued an executive order requiring government agencies to develop plans for improving federal workforce diversity
The administration has had diversity on its radar for a while and last year said it would take steps to build a more varied workforce. In fiscal 2009, according the federal government, white men held more than 61 percent of senior pay-level positions among workers. The long-awaited executive order marks the highest-profile response to what has been a perennial concern.
“The federal government has a special opportunity to lead by example,” John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, said in a conference call Thursday. “We will only succeed in our critical mission with a workforce that hails from, represents and is connected to the needs of every American community.”
The details of the initiative have yet to be worked out. Instead of creating a new administrative body, as did Obama’s 2009 executive order on veterans’ employment, the diversity initiative will lean on a council of deputy agency chiefs, along with the Office of Personnel Management, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
That group will be responsible for creating a government-wide plan within 90 days. According to the order, after the government-wide plan is released, each agency must present its own specific plan for diversity within 120 days. The plans must reflect initiatives on a number of issues, including recruitment, training and promotion.
Berry said the executive order elevates the issue to a level of attention that will prevent this initiative from falling by the wayside as have previous diversity efforts.
The money hasn’t even been handed over yet, but already the Swaziland people are fighting about who’s going to get it. The R2.4 BILLION loan that South Africa is giving Swaziland is being fought over like hyenas at a carcass. Let’s take a step back and ask why is Swaziland in so much financial strife. Could it be because all education – including university – is free? Could it be that Swaziland depends on free money annually from the Southern African Customs Union, so that when tiny stumbling blocks like the Global Financial Crisis happen and they don’t get all their free money, then suddenly the country goes bankrupt? Could it be that Swaziland lives above it’s means – a lifestyle afforded it by all the free money? Why, yes, yes, I think it’s all the above. When a country can’t even produce any kind of wealth, and relies on free money to live and pay its debts, then what do you expect? So, just how does the South African tax payer expect the loan to be repaid – ever? The Swazi’s are like a bunch of children who still believe in the tooth fairy and unicorns. Reality tends to hit hard though when the tooth fairy turns out to be Cinderella’s evil step-sister and the magic money-tree turns into the pumpkin. Yet South Africa bails them out? It must be wonderful spending other people’s money on your pet projects, without impunity. Another African success story.
Despite the R2.4bn (Swazi emalangeni is equal to the rand) loan from the South African government to its cash-strapped neighbour, Swaziland is sinking deeper into debt.
While the money is yet to be given to Swaziland (the first instalment will be paid at the end of August), various institutions and organisations disagree on what government should do with the money.
Most of the Swaziland government’s business creditors feel the money should be used to pay them, while others believe it should go towards the country’s education institutions.
The country’s only university and public schools have closed because of a lack of funds.
By the end of May government owed independent businesses R1.4 bn.
Businesses feel their debt should be paid first, once government receives the first instalment of about R800m. South African Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan said the loan will be released in three instalments, at the end of August, October and February 2012.
“A lot of companies are closing down because government has not paid them,” said Hezekiel Mabuza, vice-president of the Federation of the Swaziland Business Community (FESBC).
“We hope government will use the loan from South Africa to pay us, otherwise more businesses will close down.”
FESBC has a membership of 500 small and medium businesses, and so far over 50 have closed down because government has failed to pay them for supplied goods and services.
“What’s worse, we can’t get stock on credit from South African suppliers because we have outstanding debts,” said Mabuza.
The country’s cash flow problems started in 2010 when Swaziland received 60% less of what it used to get from the Southern African Customs Union.
The regional customs union used to contribute more than half of Swaziland’s national budget, but the revenue dropped after the global economic meltdown.
But the country’s education sector has also suffered a severe blow because of the lack of funds. The reopening of the University of Swaziland (Uniswa), the country’s only university, has been put on hold because government does not have adequate funds for scholarships, which are awarded to all students who get accepted to the university.
According to Uniswa registrar, Sipho Vilakati, the institution’s budget for this academic year is R241m.
Government has not paid a cent towards the institution so far and the university, which was supposed to reopen on August 8, after the holidays, is yet to begin lectures.
“The date for the start of lectures this academic year is yet to be decided by the university senate,” said Vilakati.
Staff salaries have not been paid in recent months because of the lack of adequate funds.
Public schools also had to close prematurely on August 5 because government has not paid fees for orphans and vulnerable children and for ordinary pupils under the Free Primary Education Programme (FPEP).
Out of the R148.5m owed for orphans and vulnerable children, government was only able to pay schools R37.7m.
For the FPEP, which caters for Grades 1 to 3 in all public schools, government owes schools an estimated R47.7m.
Government is also yet to pay the Examinations Council R3.7m for exam fees for orphans and vulnerable children.
“Unless we get the money to run schools, there is no way we’ll reopen for the third term,” said president of the Swaziland Principals’ Association, Charles Bennett.
Education is not the only sector affected by the economic crisis.
People living with HIV-Aids feel the money should be directed to the health sector, particularly to ensure the country has adequate supplies of ARVs and services of HIV-positive people, such as home-based care.
“Government has repeatedly said the health sector will be prioritised, yet we see it crumbling because there are no drugs in hospitals and boycotts by staff have become the order of the day,” said president of the Swaziland National Network of People Living with HIV-Aids, Vusi Nxumalo.
In July people living with HIV-Aids took to the streets after the country’s buffer stock of ARVs fell below the prescribed three-month supply.
Since the loan was announced on August 3, the Swazi government has remained silent on how the money will be used.
Instead, Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini commended King Mswati III for obtaining the loan, further fuelling fury among progressives who had called on South Africa to withhold the loan to force Swaziland to democratise.
The southern African country is ruled by the monarchy and political parties are not allowed to contest power.
“It goes to show how undemocratic some governments that appear to be democratic on the surface can be,” said Institute of Democracy in Africa programme manager Thembinkosi Dlamini, referring to South Africa.
Also furious about this loan is the Congress of South African Trade Unions whose spokesperson Patrick Craven said workers were disappointed at the vague conditions attached to the loan.
Annually, the Swazi government hosts the Smart Partnership Dialogue where the king and citizens from different sectors of society discuss development issues.
However, political parties are excluded from these discussions.
The conditions by the South African government included broadening the dialogue to include all stakeholders and citizens guided by the Joint Bilateral Commissions for Co-operation agreement, which promotes democracy and the respect of universal human rights.
“So long as there are no strict conditions to compel King Mswati’s regime to concede democratic reforms and to share the country’s wealth among the people, the loan will simply be used to maintain the status quo,” said Craven.
And without the conditions for regime change attached to any loan, Swaziland will continue asking South Africa for more money, said secretary-general of the Swaziland Federation of Labour, Vincent Ncongwane.
“Without fixing the loopholes, this loan is not going to help us,” said Ncongwane.
Swaziland approached South Africa for the loan after the African Development Bank refused to award Swaziland a R1.2bn loan because the country failed to meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommendations.
The IMF advised the Swazi government to reduce public servants’ salaries by 4.5% and politicians’ salaries by 10% to save government R240m. However, salaries remain untouched after trade unions opposed the move. The IMF will return to the country at a date yet to be confirmed to further assess the fiscal situation.
Good to see that the Obama’s continue living like average Joe – you know, flying around on tax payers money to places like Martha’s Vineyard. Not only do they fly on private planes, but for their latest vacation they took a plane each, hours apart, at enormous cost to the tax payer so that Mrs O could get a few extra hours of vacation time in. I wonder if they realise how the public perceives them? Either they’re aware and don’t care, or aren’t aware because they’re out of touch with reality. Or, maybe, they’ve realised that O is a one-term non-wonder and intends to milk the situation as much as possible before he’s booted out of the WH in 2013. One thing for sure is that Mrs O is going to have her nose out of joint when she’s no longer FLOTUS with perks, but Mooch from da Hood.
Michelle Obama and President Obama traveled to Martha’s Vineyard just hours apart, costing taxpayers thousands in additional expenses so she could have just a bit of extra vacation time.
Mrs. Obama and her daughters arrived just before 2 pm Thursday on a U.S. government jet, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Times, which got its information from the local airport. The first lady’s office has been silent on her travel. President Obama arrived in the evening along with the family dog Bo.
The extra costs related to Mrs. Obama’s solo trip mainly include the flight on a specially designed military aircraft she took instead of Air Force One, as well as any extra staff and Secret Service that had to be enlisted to go with her. She would also have had her own motorcade from the airport to her vacation residence.
Mrs. Obama’s separate jet travel sends the wrong message on a host of issues, from global warming to the budget deficit to the economy – in which currently so many people can’t afford to take a vacation at all.
This is not the first time Michelle has gone on vacation ahead of the president on the taxpayers’ tab. Last December, she racked up what was likely more than $100,000 in expenses leaving early for their Hawaii vacation.
Obama is on official business. That’s why the US tax payer has forked out $1million for his shiny new luxury bus – so that he can go on that official 3-day
campaign road tour, into the heart of White communities, trying to convince White people he’s got a plan to create jobs for them, or something like that… He doesn’t need to go into the Black communities, because no matter how awful he’s doing in the WH, he’s got their race vote locked down tight. But, back to the job creation circus he’s got going on. He’s only had the last 938 days to actually do something about jobs, but hey, nothing like leaving it to the last year of your 4-year term to try to deliver something. No, he’s had more important things to do than focusing on jobs – like Obamacare; stimulus spending; bowing down to the Muslims; engaging in another war in the Middle East; insulting Tea Party members; insulting Republicans and Congress; party, party, party; vacation, vacation, vacation; playing 72 rounds of golf; raising the debt ceiling…twice; and other important stuff. So you see, he really didn’t have a lot of time to concentrate on people’s jobs. But, now he’s all ready to climb in with that plan he’s been talking about for years now – which he’ll be releasing soonish…. maybe in September or so. And after all that hard work on the campaign job-creating trail, he’s just ready for his next vacation. So he’s off to Martha’s Vineyard for the next 9 days to relax in the sun, maybe play some golf, and to gloat about how well he did fooling the American people……again.
OK, let’s see if we can sort out this White House jobs package hocus-pocus because President Obama is counting on us not to. And no one wants to fail to not disappoint him:
Because the country hasn’t heard enough of Obama calling on Congress to do things and his job approval touched a new low of 39%, he laid on a three-day campaign swing through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois this week at taxpayer-expense because the White House declared it an official trip.
Oh, the poor dears. I demand you take down those prison fences immediately! What were you thinking? The poor terrorists can’t see the horizon through the cladding surrounding their play-pen, which has apparently damaged their eyesight. Well, you know, they don’t appear to be too clever, these terrorists, because if they would just tilt back their heads and look at the sky, they could see for miles and miles, uninterrupted. In fact, if they looked hard enough, they could probably see their hero in all his glory, waiting with their 72 virgins. Or, they could just give up fighting their deportation and return to their homelands, where they can see whatever they liked. But, hey, never ever say the UK are a bunch of push overs! No way. Their response to the terrorists demands sent out a clear, tough message….not. Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick agrees with the men and has criticised the cladding because it stops the men seeing into the distance. Ah FFS. It’s not enough that they get 60 hours a week to romp out of their prison cells. It’s not enough that they have their own gym, kitchen as well as prepared meals. It’s not enough that it’s cost tax payers £1.6million for just two of the men as they fight their deportation – for the last 11 years. No, now they bloody well want to see the rolling green hills as well. Britain has become the loony isle. No amount of harsh sentences for the looters and rioters is going to get the country back on track. When you have libtards running the joint, then what hope is there??
Suspected terrorists are complaining about a fence around the exercise yard in their high-security prison which restricts their view of the horizon.
The report added: ‘For most of the time, detainees were confined to the unit and largely deprived of contact with the range of people that was possible for convicted prisoners in the main prison.
Yesterday it was revealed that the UK population had soared by 409 000 people last year. As a result, the government will need to build 45 council homes per day for 25 years – or, 415 000 houses – just to cope with the ever-increasing population requiring ‘free’ housing. Immigrants account for most of the housing needs as all they have to do is rock up with a heart-breaking tale of woe and, ka-bam, they get a free house, paid by the tax payer. Somali’s are much more heavily dependent on the state to provide them with homes than people from any other minority group (see table below). Eight out of ten Somalis were found to live in homes provided by the taxpayer. So, that means that of the 150 000 odd Somalis in Britain, 120 000 are living in a free house. There must be a lot of sob-stories coming out of Somalia! Now, if Britain were clever, they would stop importing these Third-World people and let them sort out their own countries. How else is it going to happen? But, we already know that isn’t on the cards. British jobs are now being taken by immigrants at a faster rate than under the Labour Party. The number of British people of working age with jobs has plummeted by nearly 100,000 since David Cameron took office – but nearly 300,000 foreigners have found work. For a Conservative, he sure is acting the opposite. Could he be a wolf is sheeps clothing? Why, yes, I think he is. Anyone that speaks so posh is usually an empty suit.
FORTY-five council homes a DAY will have to be built to house the tidal wave of immigrants, a shock report reveals.
This means 415,000 extra homes will be needed over the next 25 years – at a cost to taxpayers of £1billion a year.
The findings in the report by pressure group Migration Watch UK are a startling illustration of the immigration timebomb.
The building rate will be the only way to keep families off the streets – unless the current influx of 200,000 a year is stemmed.
Waiting lists for social housing in England have mushroomed by 60 per cent over the past eight years, largely due to immigration.
The report claimed just 17 per cent of people born in the UK live in properties owned by local authorities or housing associations. That compares with 80 per cent of migrants from Somalia and 49 per cent of those from Turkey.
Migration Watch UK accused politicians of covering up the problem. Chairman Sir Andrew Green said: “Either the Government must cut immigration very substantially as they’ve promised or they must invest very large sums in the construction of extra social housing.”
The crisis has been worsened by the Labour government’s failure to replace council houses that have been sold off. That slashed the number of homes available to the needy by almost 500,000 between 1997 and 2007.
The two worst affected regions are both immigration hotspots.
In London, 12 per cent of all families were on housing waiting lists in 2010, and in Yorkshire and Humberside the figure was 11 per cent.
Chavez is continuing full steam ahead with his socialist state-control vision. His next take-over target is Venezuela’s gold industry. According to him he’s doing it as a question of prudence and protection, but it’s never that uncomplicated with communists. Next year is election year in Venezuela and chances are good that Chavez may be ousted out. And do you think he’s going to sit back and let that happen? I don’t think so. If he is voted out he will most likely resort to violence and to his army to stay in power – just like Mugabe. This will probably lead to the West imposing sanctions on the country and he therefore needs his gold reserves on hand and his communist allies – Brazil, China, South Africa, Russia, India – close to his side for support. Yes, Venezuelans are going to have this tyrant as their leader for a long time yet, or until his cancer kills him.
Venezuela will nationalise its gold industry and is moving its international reserves out of Western countries, President Hugo Chavez said on Wednesday in a combative step ahead of his re-election bid next year.
The moves will make the finances of South America’s biggest oil exporter even murkier as the 57-year-old socialist leader gears up for an election battle that was already looking close even before he was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Chavez has put large parts of Venezuela’s economy under state control and is now targeting the gold industry after his government quarreled with foreign companies who complained that limits on how much gold they could export hurt their efforts to secure financing and develop projects.
Chavez seems to have lost patience and decided to put the whole industry into state hands.
“We’re going to nationalise the gold and we’re going to convert it, among other things, into international reserves because gold continues to increase in value,” the authoritarian but charismatic president said in a phone call to state TV.
“I’m going to approve a law to begin taking the gold areas, and there I count on (the military) because there continues to be anarchy, mafias, smuggling.”
Toronto-listed Rusoro, owned by Russia’s Agapov family, is the only large gold miner operating in Venezuela. It produced about 100,000 ounces of gold in Venezuela last year.
The nationalisation of the gold industry fits with Chavez’s broader plan to repatriate his country’s bullion and shift most of its cash reserves out of Western nations to political allies including China, Russia and Brazil.
“It is a question of prudence and protection,” Finance Minister Jorge Giordani said on Wednesday.
A Venezuelan official at regional body Unasur said the group was considering a similar move to repatriate part of the estimated $500 billion its members have in reserves abroad.
“It’s a legitimate act, a sovereign act, unquestionable and indeed necessary,” Ali Rodriguez told Venezuelan state TV.
Chavez, who has undergone two sessions of chemotherapy in Cuba since he announced in June that he had cancer, often rails against the reliance on the US dollar as the global reserve currency of choice.
The move is in line with Chavez’s ideological world view: during his 12 years in power he has often bashed the United States and sought to align Venezuela with emerging powers and opponents of Washington such as Iran.
Giordani said the transfers were under way, and that mounting debt worries in Europe and the United States showed that Venezuela needed to diversify where it kept its reserves.
Transferring funds to China for safe-keeping would appeal particularly to Beijing, which has invested billions of dollars in Venezuela’s nationalised oil industry.
Some critics have suggested Chavez might be worried about the possibility of sanctions against his government if there is violence in next year’s election campaign, and so is trying to ensure state reserves are stored more safely.
The former soldier appeared to allude to the possibility of reserves being seized by foreign powers.
“Look what’s happening in the Arab world with the use of international reserves … (there is) practically a confiscation of those resources, which is something we have to prevent at any cost, linking our economies to the BRIC nations and South Africa,” Chavez said on Wednesday when he called into a news conference by his finance minister.
Venezuela has international reserves of $US29.1 billion. About 63 percent of that is in gold worth $US11 billion held overseas and $US7 billion at home, the government says.
One way it could boost its bullion reserves was to nationalise the gold industry, which had largely stagnated.
Production at the state-run gold miner plummeted last year and the company appealed for a $US70 million government bailout.
Venezuela has been relatively small in the gold world, with formal mining producing about 6 tonnes a year. But it boasts some of Latin America’s biggest gold deposits, buried below the jungles south of the Orinoco river.
Chavez agreed last year to let gold miners export up to 50 per cent of production, up from 30 per cent previously. The other 50 per cent must be sold to the central bank.
But that did not satisfy foreign companies like Rusoro, which said the limits made it much harder for them to get financing abroad, develop projects and create jobs.
One victim of the dispute has been a huge but long-troubled project called Las Cristinas. It has been in limbo since the government canceled a development license with another Canadian miner, Crystallex, in February.
Rusoro had expressed interest in Las Cristinas, which has not been developed since the 1980s but has reserves estimated at 17 million ounces. Locals once found a 1-kilo nugget there. But Rusoro’s chief executive told Reuters in June it could not take on the project unless the government scrapped its export rules.
At some point in the near future, Western governments are going to have to admit that they’ve been conned by the ‘Green job’ revolution. The latest to admit defeat is the German government, who are scaling back on their generous solar rooftop subsidy scheme – because they have no more money. It’s easy to tell the world that you’re all for Green energy, but a totally different story to live with the consequences down the line. Spain lost 2 private sector jobs for every “green” job they created – and now they have thousands of windmills and no jobs for their people. See, the energy produced is so heavily subsidised that when the government is in financial strife, it scales down their contribution. And whoops, up goes the energy prices and cost of living, and down go the job prospects. In Germany, the solar companies have realised that they can’t compete with China on price and are starting to post huge profit-loses. As a result, China will soon be accounting for 85 per cent of all solar-cell production. So when the next lunatic Greeny tells you that going green will create jobs, just refer them to this article. But here’s the kicker. Because of the RISE in energy costs in Germany, German companies are taking their business off-shore into Asia! So, how funny is that? Green energy is forcing companies into Asia, taking thousands of jobs with them. China and Asia are licking their lips, taking all our jobs and money because they don’t IMPLEMENT cheap fossil-fuel energy restrictions like the West is falling over themselves to do – just ask the Australian Gillard government as they still believe in the tooth fairy and Green nirvana and a carbon-dioxide tax-grab. China will one day be the biggest capitalist country on earth and the West will be communist! That’s what we’re heading for. And how ironic is that?
THE German green power revolution is facing hard times because of government cutbacks and stiff competition from Asia.
In addition, the decision to abandon nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan is not having the positive spin-off that German solar companies may have expected.
Some of Germany’s biggest and best-known industrial companies are questioning whether they can afford to continue to do business there. A string of recent profit slumps by German solar-cell companies underscores the depth of the crisis for solar business.
One-time industry leader Q-Cells has announced a second quarter loss of almost E355 million ($486.6m) and will shift production to Malaysia and close half its German manufacturing capacity.
Another solar company, Solon, has reported a first-half loss of E63m because of weak demand.
And Phoenix, a solar photovoltaic company, has reported a 60 per cent sales slump to E141m.
Not all of Germany’s solar companies are in the red but it has been a dramatic turnaround for a sector that has always had a special status in the country that has led the world in rooftop solar rollout.
But as demand increases, production of solar technology is increasingly moving to China which will soon account for 85 per cent of all solar-cell production.
Germany is still the world’s largest solar market, with about 54 per cent of all systems installed, but almost half of all new systems installed in Germany come from Asia.
German manufacturers cannot compete with China on price, but price is not the only problem they face.
The German government can no longer afford to continue its generous rooftop subsidy scheme in the face of falling prices.
The feed-in tariff has been cut from 33c to 28.74c per kilowatt hour, dampening demand.
Meanwhile, German chemical giant Bayer has warned that rising electricity prices may force it to relocate its manufacturing base to China.
Bayer employs 35,000 people in Germany, but chief executive Marijn Dekkers told the German weekly business magazine Wirtschaftswoche that energy prices posed a genuine threat to the company’s manufacturing operations in the country.
Mr Dekkers, a Dutchman, complained that Germany, which has the highest energy prices in Europe, was becoming less attractive to energy-intensive sectors such as the chemical industry.
German energy prices are expected to rise following the decision by German authorities to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, making the country the first major industrial power to take the step in the wake of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima plant.
Why am I not surprised by the news that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is on the brink of collapse? Let me see….Well, for one, there have been numerous ‘golden handshakes’ when ever the SABC employed an AA in a high managerial position. It was literally a revolving ‘golden handshake’ door – one in, one out etc. A get-rich quick AA dream job. Then, you have the issue of biased reporting and program selection, so naturally people with intelligence have deserted the SABC and switched to pay-TV. Then you have the inevitable corruption that seems to happen when you have AA candidates in power of the finances. Get the picture? Get the test-pattern? This is an organisation that is partly propped up by the government; receives TV license money (guess who pays their license fees and who doesn’t?) and also receives revenue from advertising – and they still can’t balance the budget! Even after 17 years under ANC power, it just has to be Apartheid’s fault somehow!
Hat tip: Julian B
Johannesburg – The loss-making South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is set to embark on a three-year downsizing process in a move to cut costs, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.