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The year of standoffs – 2016

2015 paved the way for a year of standoffs in 2016. There just might be a showdown in the patent wars between Apple and Samsung and Microsoft and Kyocera. The EU might draw the final line in the privacy battle with Google and Facebook.

Countries are fighting Big Pharma while the pharmaceutical companies are, at the same time, battling each other over patents.

Elon Musk will have his hands full this year as patent-ignorant countries such as China and India eye the potential market for electric cars. Indeed, when it comes to anything automotive, the entire industry seem to be gearing up for patent wars.

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X electric car. 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds. 250 km/h (155 mph) top speed

Wherever patents are concerned, just about everyone is suing someone to claim the rights on colours, numbers, plants, animals and, yes, your genes, as filmmaker Hannah Leonie Prinzler pointed out in The Patent Wars.

Without a doubt, major monster corp Montsanto will be trying to put out fires. (Montsanto is busy dying tweet-by-tweet.)

Oil and minerals

Oil war? What oil war? There’s too much of the stuff floating around. And while it is speculated that the price per barrel might increase somewhat this year, the biggest battle won’t be about “They have oil; let’s invade them.” The biggest battle will be Opec countries fighting for survival as their bank balances dwindle – which, of course, will put a whole lot of pressure on the terrorist organizations they have been supporting. Oh, and for the F1 races they’ve been sponsoring as well.

Minerals? Countries will continue to follow China for mineral rights grabs in Africa where, as always, the rulers of the day sell their own mothers for a dollar or a fen, whichever comes first, stashing their quick-scheme wealth in offshore accounts.

Congo conflict mine

Mining in the DRC, which ranked 186 out of 187 countries in the UN Human Development Report

More war… anyone?

At just about any time in recent history there has been at least 25 armed conflicts taking place at the same time. But the world population has doubled during the past 50 years and so has the armed conflicts. Most of them are – yes, you guessed it – in and around countries where most corruption occurs. Happened even before the Roman empire and will continue to happen as long as there is a bank that will accept dirty money. It’s such a darn shame!

Ongoing conflicts

Ongoing conflicts around the world. Via Wikipedia.

Syria? No winners there. Not this year and if Assad is brought back to power by his buddies, not for another decade or two. Another darn shame.

The final standoff

After Daesh (so-called Islamic State or ISIS) agents – some from Belgium – killed 130 citizens in Paris, France in November 2015 the French responded with candlelight vigils. Belgians responded by tweeting cat pictures. The United States president called for patience and understanding of the Islamic religion. The Turks rushed more support to Daesh. The Russians bombed the shit out Daesh and continue to do so (although they support Assad).

After Daesh-inspired terrorists killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015, the reaction was as above.

Now Daesh is, apparently, planning a massive final attack in 2016 to force a “huge final battle” with the West. Don’t these guys ever learn? They kill a few and get killed by the thousands. One saying comes to mind: “There we were, two against two thousand but, boy, did we f*ck those two up.”

Daesh is on its knees, facing beheading. In part, thanks to groups like the Female Protection Forces of the Land Between the Two Rivers, a group of Syrian Christian female fighters. Yes, no French or American men on the ground to battle the terrorist organization, just Russians and Kurds and Christian women.

How God rewards a female suicide bomber

Noticed how many female suicide bombers there have been lately? The male jihadis are supposed to get 72 virgins (or 70 virgins and 2 human wives) for their pleasure when they get to their version of heaven. [There is a debate on whether these virgins have anuses because there is no need for it in the afterlife.]

How many virgin men would a female jihadi get? None, it appears. She will be the head of the 72 (or 70) virgins. A bit complicated if she’s not a virgin herself or perhaps she’ll be one of the 2 wives or perhaps… as said, it gets a bit complicated. You can read the story on Slate’s article How God rewards a female suicide bomber.

EU migrant crisis

The war in Syria and surrounding area (mainly Iraq) is said to have caused the mass influx of Muslim refugees to Europe. Economic migrants and undercover terrorists from other countries quickly capitalized on the (mass) confusion created by the uncontrolled mass immigration.

European countries are totally overwhelmed. It’s a mess. Who are migrants and who are refugees? It is much debated. It has become the driving force for political change in Europe.

EU migrants southern Italy June 2015

Rescued migrants are brought to southern Italian ports, 28 June 2015. Image Wikipedia.

Whatever the actual causes for the mass migration, one female German anti-immigrant protester gave food for thought: “When young healthy men leave a war zone to move to another country, you call them deserters, not refugees.”


Well now, what will the results be of elections all over the world? Blame quantitative easing and the Islamic threat to the West that the centre (centre-left and centre-right) are dispersing. The standoff is between the left and the right. By the end of the year the global political landscape might just be very different from what it has been for the past few decades.

At least, this is the year in which we once again will be entertained by the biggest political spectacle of them all, the United States presidential election. Not that it matters much; US presidents have little influence on actual politics. (And a US vice-president even less, having only two official duties.) Even so, it’s fun to watch and, importantly, it does reflect the mood of the nation.

WMSR – Weapon of Mass Social Response

The winner of 2016 will undoubtedly be the weapon of mass social response, the mobile phone.

Facebook likeGone are the days where sponsored articles in the mainline press sway views. Today, we check the facts with our friends and concerned professionals on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter. Together, we combat crime in our neighbourhoods, fight against slavery and bad corporations. Together, we influence product sales, environmental and animal rights issues, and anything else that is close to the heart. Together, we make a difference.

Leap Year

There’s good news too! Lots of it. Including the launch of the new Honda Africa Twin and Ducati Multristrada 1200 Enduro. Soundgarden will be releasing a new album. Adam Conover will continue to keep us in check with Adam Ruins Everything.

And… 2016 is a leap year. Make the best of the extra day!

Here’s wishing you a fabulous year!

05/01/2016. Category: Raves & Rants. Topic: , , , , .

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