Life’s Choices and decisions

Choices1#choices, #decisions, #life


Petition Update – Ricky Reel Police Spying

This petition deserves some mention / support.

I think it is incredibly sad that in the 21st Century, some authorities cross the boundary between decency and impropriety, and end up doing what is clearly illegal. How can society be rid of its ills if the authorities, especially the police who are supposed to be protecting people, behave like this? This is real life, not some video game or James bond movie. The Police should uphold a higher moral standard…. It’s unjustifiable and disgusting. In my view ,those responsible should be fired, and fined for their abhorrent behaviour.

What is it, too much equipment (i.e. we have the capability os let’s use it)? Or just plain idiocy? Whatever it is, my instinct tells me part of the problem is that some of these people in positions of authorities do not value life. They do not believe in a higher power ( which is okay, whatever works for you). Except they also do not see other human beings in the same light that they see themselves. They don’t think other people are valuable, worthwhile human being with feelings and emotions and deserving respect and dignity just like themselves. To them, since  they do not believe in a higher power, then they think that humans are animals who should ascribe to the law of the jungle (somehow this should happen within societal laws ???). Guess what, they end up doing illegal things like spying on innocent and broken people.


Close Everest. Close all the damn mountains. [And STOP the idiotic bucket challenge.]


Read it in April, in The Times of 26th April. I have to admit that it is one of the best articles I’ve read.

It’s written by a guy named Giles Coren (@GILESCOREN) and you can read it here, for a pound (not that I agree with big media profiteering out of great writing – no i don’t. Although, I’d happily pay a pound if it were Giles who got the proceeds).

A few extracts from the article are most useful:

…the 330-odd foreign climbers currently waiting to haul their fat, pampered arses up the once-revered peak for the sake of a stupid selfie and a handful of dull stories with which to bore the ears off their children and grandchildren until they are shut up in a retirement home for old bores with no toes.

The Nepalese government trousers millions every year from the fees of roughly £30,000 paid by each bumbling white dork who joins the queue for the meritless upwards shlep, and then it offers families who have lost their paterfamilias in the name of the country’s single notable industry roughly what the witless western wazzocks pay for their socks

It is about the money. That is what climbing Everest has become, along with rowing across the Atlantic, trekking through some jungle, horse riding across some desert, all that stupid exploration and adventure that is glorified on the television and indulged in by celebrities on a thousand shows and sponsored stupid bloody swims up the effing Amazon.

Priceless. I wouldn’t have put it any better.

To the second matter in the heading. Obviously Ice bucket challenge. What’s going on there? What’s with all the wastage? Are all these people really that dumb? When we know the facts, that 780 million people across the world have no access to clean drinking water. When yearly 3.4 million people die as a result of a water related disease.

So then, while there is nothing wrong with giving to charity or a cause (indeed supporting causes such as the ALS should be encouraged), but how come it is the case that in the developed world, a place full of educated people, technology, thought leaders, people who should know better, there’s a herd of imbeciles?? A phenomenon whereby throwing buckets of water and ice over oneself has triumphed over common sense??? What’s that all about? Have we really sunk that low? Are we that gullible?And thoughtless? Or is something else going on?

I just don’t get exactly where common sense got lost here…

To put it a different way, how can George W. Bush expect Robert flipping Mugabe to be an exemplary leader, to open up Zimbabwe to true democracy, when dubya was so quick to pour cold icy water on himself ? Didn’t he know about the above water facts. Shouldnt he have known? He is not in office any longer, but what does his behaviour say about America in general? What does it say about the West’s attitudes to some of the third world’s biggest problems?

I’ve got friends who have done the Ice bucket challenge, and to be honest while I cheered on one person, soon after I was quite embarrassed to even do so… my wits got the better of me, and I quickly realised that momentarily, I’d become a fool.

I’d like to know how much water (in millions of litres) has been wasted by the whole drama?? I’d like to know how many children in the developing world would have been saved had they received those millions of litres in water aid?? I’d like to know whether giving to ALS charities couldn’t have happened without such unnecessary wastage?

Why not make the challenge to be something less wasteful? Such as downing a pint of water in a go, and seeing who downs the water fastest. Isn’t that better than throwing clean icy water away? At least downing a pint will not waste a valuable resource. Instead it will do your body some good – especially to those of us who like our alcoholic drinks.

BTW, in case you wondered, I’ve grouped the two seemingly different topics together because they both contain behaviour which is idiotic in them ;-0

Why Russell Brand is right

I should work for the guy, seriously, I really should. I think he talks plenty of sense, and I can learn something from him.

In his article, titled  ‘Why I oppose Anti-Semitism’  which he wrote after he was accused of anti-Semitism for supporting a boycott of European businesses profiting from the Gaza conflict, which is on , actor and comedian Russell Brand had some undeniable truths to say, which if you think about it, are quite obvious. For example, he states that:

It is worth considering though that the sanding down of inconvenient facets of an argument allows a prejudicial version of reality to dominate. In its most extreme form this mechanic facilitates tyranny, more extreme in nature.

Removing the nuance of the civil rights struggle, slavery, the shooting of Trayvon Martin and failure to convict his killer, the social unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of teenager Michael Brown can be condemned as unacceptable violence. With those details brought rightly to the fore the unrest is totally reasonable.

Media is of course where this form of tyranny is most obvious. When the Daily Mail present a story on benefit fraud or the consequences of “spiraling” immigration no nuance that interrupts the tide of their righteous rage is allowed to survive, no mitigation, or broader context, all that remains is a salient nub, pulsating with poisonous data.

I don’t see Israeli military action in Gaza as a religious issue. For me it seems to be the action of an extreme right wing government that has strong economic ties to right wing organisations in the US. These affiliations are economic, not theological and are defined here with typical expertise by Noam Chomsky.

It is the exclusion of the sane majority that allows extremists to prosper. The insanity across the Middle East is so deeply terrifying and giddyingly futile that most people, despondent and bilious want to look away. We know the US can’t be trusted. We know the UN are inactive. We know something has to be done to stop the violence in Gaza and the new medieval horror of ISIS but who can we trust? Our own governments, about who we know nothing for certain except they lie and pursue their own ends, sexing up and dumbing down, arming then attacking, fair-weather friends but perennial weapons suppliers?

Surely, even Brand’s accusers must agree with him here??

Tell me whether it isn’t the case that most if not all of the troubles of the last several hundred years around the world have been as a result of a prejudicial version of reality dominating. A result of poisonous ideas which were perpetrated, and which gained traction simply because those who were asking the moral questions, who dared to challenge the absurd, hegemonic, discriminatory and religious taradiddle, were pushed to the side. In most cases until when it was too late.

So to Brand’s list of Civil rights struggle, Slavery and Trayvon Martin etc., I can add the Chartists, the Suffragettes, I can add the Anti-imperialists and freedom fighters. The likes of William Wallace, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Che Guevara. I can even add Yasser Arafat, the Arab Spring leaders in Tunisia and Algeria, and dare I say Julian Assange.

It’s unfortunate that politicians have created a ‘dictatorship’ on ideas. A system whereby the truth is heavily compartmentalized depending on who is speaking, where they are speaking from, on whose side they lay, etc. The big media houses are accomplices in this deception, and  have been infected with this cancer that you don’t report the truth if it puts your interests in a negative light, if it compromises a country, some ally, some powerful (often horrible) people or if it reveals some uncomfortable facts about the owner of the media group. Before you start, your mission is defeated, unless if your original intention, in reporting  whatever it is you end up reporting was  to mislead, twist or muddle the facts.

Its bullshit because then what you remain with are labels on people by virtue of their background, status, education, skin-colour, etc, and not because of the content of their character or even substance of their argument.

Which results in media not reporting the truth, but the prejudicial version of reality dominating. So, some people who have quite a lot of sense to contribute to matters that affect the world are wrongly perceived as the other, trouble makers tinkering with the status quo, fiddlers out to accrue power, with little of real value to contribute to societal discourse. And when that happens, the insults and false accusations begin.

No wonder some of us turn to the Guardian, or the likes of Vice or Slate when seeking unsanitised, unbiased news, and not to CNN, BBC, FOX or Al Jazeera.

Another reason why there’s a property bubble

hausI maintain my stand. That the world (or at least this part of the world) will be a much better place after most of the older generation have retired, or better, after most of certain obstructive and backward-thinking bureaucrats have kicked the bucket. It’s a theory, but one I’m happy to stand by this very minute. Lets give it 20 – 30 years shall we.

Look at these headlines:

– > Eco-friendly ‘Hobbit house’ must be DEMOLISHED as council rules it illegal

-> Council rejects permission for ‘Hobbit house’ despite international appeal

-> Hobbit house to be demolished because of impact on countryside

At its bare bones, isn’t this nothing but pure idiocy?

I mean, think about it, in a country where property is ridiculously expensive, where cost of living is ever-increasing, where energy bills are sky-high, and energy companies generate huge profits, a country where food banks in some places have seen increased demand, this is a country where there’s been a lot of talk of  lowering greenhouse emissions, including not too long ago ministers making a case for a low-carbon economy at the European Green Growth Summit in Brussels. So then, why come down heavy on one tiny green initiative, which blinkers a lighht ( no matter how small that light) towards the kind of green/ecofriendly goals you government is trying to achieve? I think its mad.

Despite the few successes of ecofriendly hobbit-like buildings that have been built successfully, when a young couple (and here another older couple) decides to do something practical about it, on private land, something that will enable them to live a cleaner, ecofriendlier life, one that doesn’t depend too much on the power grid, it is insane that the bureaucratic machinery should smack them in the face with a big NO. Its just stupid.

Why can’t these bureaucrats just hand them a small fine for not seeking the planning permission they were supposed to seek, and allow the building to stand? What really is their problem?

Is there an element of ignorance here? Or is it more a coveting/jealousy thing? Or is there a conspiracy?

And whats this bullshit about impact to the countryside?

Is fracking (which quite a few councils seem to be entertaining) less likely to impact the countryside adversely than a hobbit home? I think not.

It’s such a shame that there are people with such closed minds in this country. Visionless glorified adminstrators who are absolutely incapable of even the most basic foresight; they are unable to see how these kinds of self-help initiatives, if they became a trend, could power up a whole new industry, and transform the property market into a reasonable, less insane industry.

Further, isn’t building one’s own home yet another facet of the big society?. i.e. A society with more recylcing, less wastage, more community involvement, where DIY is widespread, where we have small government, less-official-tinkering, less interference, where Laissez Faire but responsible capitalism is the norm not the exception?

Goldman to face Libya’s sovereign wealth fund in court over trades


#Goldman to face #Libya’s sovereign wealth fund in court over trades via Reuters

Goldman did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson previously described the claims as without merit and said the bank would defend them vigorously.” … “The LIA estimates that Goldman made substantial profit of around $350 million on the trades, while it was left with “colossal” losses.

My poem titled the Company of the Oxbridgenites which I published in Mad World has a line in it that hints of the priviledged position which Goldman Sachs occupies in political circles.

And as many other commentators have said over the years (including one former Vice President of Goldman) it seems that the ‘toxic culture’ in Goldman is alive and well.

And its not hard to see why that may be true, not least by their actions here in the UK. Or indeed everywhere.

Those of you with a good memory will remember that in 2010, this happened, with the US Securities and Exchange Commission warning that “half truths and deception” would not be tolerated. Of course the bank denied the allegations. Unfortunately, there have been many acts of half-truths and deception over the years that its hard to believe them any more. Even in the UK, not too long ago, The FSA fined them £17.5 million for, well, for lying.  And there are many of such incidents involving a brush with the law. Indeed few listed companies have courted controversy of any significant scale as Goldman Sachs has.

In my view, what is different between most white-collar swindlers and Goldman Sachs, is that Goldman is unbelievably influential. So influential it appears to always get away with it. So much so that, even after US Senator Carl Levin called its actions ‘ …deceptive and immoral’ , None of its directors were convicted. And critically, the company continues to be awarded huge public contracts, across the world! List me another public company that can boast of such slipperliness. This is a company which was misleading investors by selling them securities Goldman itself was betting against. White collar dishonesty doesn’t get any shadier. But as its been said in the past, it seems the attitude to Goldman from those with the power to prosecute them is  too big to fail means too big to prosecute.

Otherwise why are they still prancing around from one controversy to another??

Its a bit like asking why Nicole Ritchie never goes to prison, when the felonies she commits lands ordinary people behind bars??

So while the case brough by Libya’s Sovereign Wealth Fund is but another chapter in the story of the vampire squid, a day comes when this slipperliness will catch up with them. You cannot rely on shady conduct and dishonesty forever…can you?

I can only hope I’ll be alive that day to see the drama that will unfold.


I’ll let the images tell the story via Occupy Wall St. #occupywallst #YoungProgressiveVoices #Ferguson

NYC Race workingPoor

When I look at these kinds of images, I get the feeling the world will probably be a more peaceful place when some of the older people who are currently in charge are no longer in charge.