It’s a topsy-turvy world we live in

Do not for one moment think that the Establishment exists for your benefit or that the government or the opposition or doctors or bankers are right.

 

Check the facts – make your  own mind up.

 

With that as a theme I reviewed some articles I had saved and these are a few quotes that I found thought provoking from an article called Intolerant Liberals by Tucker Fitzgerald 

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”Isaac Asimov

Do not accept everything you are told by the Man:

There is no such thing as an outright political lie. Instead there’s distortion, exaggeration, misrepresentation,deception, half-truth and overstatement. The assumption is that the risk is worth it.

Because democracy isn’t the only value we hold. We don’t accept the 51% enslaving the 49% by popular vote. Because Hitler was brought to power by a democratically elected government. Because American slavery was legal.

lenin deception

The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”

Gary Kasparoff

Now  – getting closer to the point I want to make:

More people are recognizing that the economic paradigm that guides our global system today is deeply misaligned with a thriving future.

The Neoliberal economic system is a cultural construct. It has a particular history and espouses a cogent set of core beliefs, social values, and organizational practices. There is a narrative coherence to notions of “freeing” markets from regulation, letting wealth “trickle down” from the coffers of the rich, and a “rugged individualism” that pays too little attention to the social factors that shape economic outcomes.

Joe Brewer

Soreefersmetime last week Queensland news was filled with the successful busts by police of numerous marijuana growers who had rented suburban houses and converted them to grass growing hothouses. A number of serious statements were made about these heavy criminals.

 

There have been over twelve million cannabis arrests in the United States from 1996 until 2013.

35.6 percent of 12th graders in US and 67% of medical students had used marijuana during the year prior to a recent survey

Also last week, I received an article from an investment advisor heavily tipping investment in marijuana projects listed on stock exchanges.bank of ganja

The United States Marijuana Index (a stock exchange index) has jumped from a level of 48.39 a year ago to the current level of 70.83, an increase of 46%

Enjoying a growth rate of 77% over the last few years and an estimated 700% growth rate by 2018, it’s bigger than corn, bigger than cotton, and bigger than wheat.

In fact, according to UN data, it’s valued at about $142 billion. To put that in perspective, the global coffee market is valued at about $80 billion per year.

Possession and cultivation are Federal offences but lawful in over half the states in US. It will be totally decriminalised in Canada next year. Possession is lawful in South Africa and Netherlands. Medical marijuana can be lawfully prescribed in Australia.

Now how about that for a disconnect in values?

I am not a recreational user (yet), but I may well become an investor.

How does one reconcile that with being a law abiding citizen?

 

And just to see if you are awake and did read this to the end, I have included a quotation which should make most of my African readers grin.

This is a gentleman’s affectionate description of his donkey:

“most fokkin fency-schmency blerrie fokkin perd on the whole of the Cape-Flats, eating epples from fokkin Woolwurths.”

donkey grin

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Random Views

 

“Democracy is popular because of the illusion of choice and participation it provides, but when you live in a society in which most people’s knowledge of the world extends as far as sports, sitcoms, reality shows, and celebrity gossip, democracy becomes a very dangerous idea.

democracy

Until people are properly educated and informed, instead of indoctrinated to be ignorant mindless consumers, democracy is nothing more than a clever tool used by the ruling class to subjugate the rest of of us.”

– Gavin Nascimento on Collective Evolution

desperate pol

 

Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favour of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be.

Marshall McLuhan

Now this is an attractive thought!

A representative who is a server (pun intended) that:

  • will be fully informed on all relevant information, legislation and current affairs
  • cannot deviate from principle, without electorate approval
  • can consider rationally every submission made by electors, evidence in committee and Parliamentary utterances and vote in accordance with his electors’ wishes
  • can attend multiple meetings in hologram simultaneously
  • is not subject to suspicions about national loyalties
  • is not distracted by things politicians should not be distracted by
  • is not corruptible
  • does not need expenses

We need to find better ways to rule ourselves – people are just too human and unreliable!

well thought out pol

You’re the nigger, baby

(Watch the video)

James Baldwin puts the finger on racial epithets. So sad that the lesson hasn’t been accepted in the US yet, let alone the rest of the world.

all same

In the meantime, we hope that somehow or other, control over the big, nasty toys is removed from the nasty little boys.

us korea

 

 

 

 

Honour the Warrior

iwo-jima glory

“One hour of life crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honour or observation.”

Sir Walter Scott as quoted by Peter FitzSimons when writing about the recent Lions vs All Blacks third test.

It caught my heart as had a clip on Facebook showing the last parade of the Rhodesian Light Infantry in 1980.

It got me thinking about passion and the drive to pursue adventure into the face of danger, and courage and why so many seek to confront death.

morituri te saluant

The warrior heart, the need to prove courage, dominate and defeat opponents?

It has been so forever: Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant!

 

I believe it is not just the pursuit of glory. It is justification of our primordial need to defend and protect our community and values.

I hope that the story of the Spartans’ defence at Thermopylae is still told in schools and will always be told and the  Victoria Cross, Croix deGuerre, Medal of Honour and Iron Cross continue to inspire and motivate new generations.

It is all very well to debate and decry the horrors of war and predict that modern society will have no place for warriors but pay heed to the words of PF Sloan written in 1964 (over 50 years ago) when he was just 19:

The eastern world, it is explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

I remember it made my Mum cry, because there is always somewhere on the eve of destruction. She knew all our ancestors had carried weapons and served in armies and that it was likely her sons and their sons would too – and so it was.

We need warriors and defenders of our communities and they need supporters.

Hmmm! That’s as rough as guts…! Enough!

It’s Friday, so here’s something that might make you feel a bit better:

cold-beer “Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.” –  Henry Lawson

That is philosophy and by the time you get your head around it, you will be ready for another one.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose

So sang Kristofferson and Joplin after Bobby McGee left them heartbroken and bereft.

That may be true in the sense that relationships and possessions carry obligations which are fetters on your freedom.

Throughout Africa, freedom from colonial rule has led to continued corruption and tyranny, the destruction of agriculture and plunder of natural resources without regard for posterity and a disregard for welfare of the people, which will soon leave nothing left to lose.

In the supposedly more civilised ‘western world’, increased freedoms have led to the inability of governments to curtail or restrict the increasingly conflicted demands on the fiscus and the disempowerment of Police, Border Control and Armed Forces. Soon they too may have nothing left to lose, because everything is free.

But I digress.

I have recently done a course on What Works in Development Aid strategies

corruption funnel

The course started off by saying that not many aid strategies worked because of the rip-offs by the empowered elites in recipient countries.

Somalis, Sudanese and Ethiopians are still starving after how many years and dollars of aid . In addition, because the development aid in health has been so successful, there are many more people doomed to hunger!

We are talking big money: $135 billion in 2014 spent by OECD countries alone!

The United Nations sustainable development goal number 1 is: to leave no-one behind by 2030. Cute, hey?

trickle down effectPerhaps consideration should be given to the existence of the development aid industry as a whole: from UN agencies, to government ministries, to universities to aid workers and supply chain operators – is it worth the significant expenditure of taxpayers dollars?

Should foreigners be intervening in sovereign states to prolong life expectancy in a world where natural resources are being depleted and destroyed by too many people?

Or is the development aid industry too entrenched to re-consider its roots. The disguise or suspicion of imperialism and market growth will remain.

Should we continue to shore up tyranny by removing the desperation of their populace, who eventually must be the authors of their own liberation? The alternative is the one that communism and agencies like the CIA instigated: arming people to enable them to confront abuses. Is the morality not the same?

The survival of our world is threatened by the wholesale destruction of our environment by unrestrained economies with burgeoning populations. The survival imperative is to safeguard resources. Economic and political interventions are apparently tenuous and entail the appeasement of tyrants for success, which is morally unpalatable.

Military intervention to impose and sustain appropriate institutions and practices is an alternative, but failed in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somaliland, Syria and is much more expensive and politically sensitive!

However, my putative rant hit a brick wall.

A little more research and thinking about the topic suggests that it is in fact very necessary expenditure:

  • On average, the richer states spend only about 0.7% of their gross national incomes on aid (relatively insignificant)
  • it curbs global spread of diseases
  • it buys friends, allies and access to resources
  • it provides markets…
  • the aid industry employs many people at home and abroad; e.g.: in the US all aid supplies must be made in the US.

In 1990, 1.9billion (36%) of the the world population of 5.3 billion, lived in extreme poverty. In 2010, only 1.2 billion (18%) of the increased population of 6.8 billion, lived in extreme poverty. Aid is believed to have significantly contributed to this reduction in poverty and increased life expectancy and the eradication of a number of diseases.

It also definitely contributed to the 28% increase in population.

 

There are other secondary (or maybe primary objectives), like the renewed

scramble for Africa, illustrated by the numerous and significant projects

china aid.gif

funded and manned by China.

 

 

It is ironic that China was one of the main supporters of the spread of communism in Africa, until its loss of credibility.

 

 

 

However, over 150 countries (of the 196 in the world) have committed

themselves to the United Nations Development Programme’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

 

This is where our hopes lie, as signatories can be held accountable to their commitments.

Here’s hoping!

global goals

 

 

A new campaign

Our current campaign is a global war against that yoke of uniformity, the nenoose tieck tie.

There can be no logical explanation why people continue to tie strips of cloth tightly around their throats and then dangle them on their chests. 

This was blogged on 16 October 2005, but the real campaign against the necktie started in practice in the 90’s with the wearing of silly socks on Fridays. The more radical followers of the movement also began wearing outrageous and unseemly ties to draw attention to the folly of the fashion convention.

The recent neck-naked appearances of those prisoners of convention and foremost icons of the stiff upper lip Society, HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, KG, KT, PC, ADC(P), HRH Prince Henry of Wales, KCVO and the Obamas indicates their clear support for the campaign and clearly demonstrates that the campaign is all but won. (The speculation that they read this blog can not be confirmed.)

no necktie nobles.jpg
Long live the revolution!

We will not be distracted by celebrations of victory but rather dedicate our considerable efforts to a new campaign.

Ban the Bag 

plastic jelly fish

The New York City Sanitation Department collects more than 1,700 tons of single

turtlefood
Turtle Food

use carry-out bags every week and has to spend $12.5 million a year to dispose of them.

Clean up Australia informs us that plastic bags have been around for 30 years now. It is estimated worldwide that 1 trillion bags are used and discarded every year.

 

plastic picnic spot
Protected picnic place

Australians use 3.92 billion plastic bags a year, that’s over 10 million new bags being used every day. An estimated 3.76 billion bags or 20,700 tonnes of plastic are disposed of in landfill sites throughout Australia every year. Australians dump 7,150 recyclable plastic bags into landfills every minute or 429,000 bags every hour.

We know that we can do without them; they are a recent invention – we used baskets or boxes before, we can use them again. Aldi has none and we flock there!

ACT, Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania have banned single-use plastic shopping bags. Why do Queensland, NSW, Western Australia, Europe and the World not follow?

This is one way we can contribute to saving our world – work on it, work on your politicians, teachers and children: you can do it!

Start by taking your own carry bags to the supermarket and greengrocer – don’t use their bags. Not that easy – you have to put on your Crusader’s armour everytime you shop!

biobag-I personally will have to work out a solution to picking up dog poo, but I will try too.

I wonder if the Princes are good to go on this? (Not the dog poo bit, but lending their weight to a plastic bag ban…)

Our destiny is in our own hands! Seize the opportunity and strike a blow for everyone of us!

whats your vote

What’s okay?

blank okMost of my readers know me for a delicate, sensitive, if not always sensible sort. I must confess though, that I am given to slightly warm feelings when irked in particular, by banal, inappropriate or feeble utterances.

seeing red

So when I heard a television talking head describing some deed, word, action or inaction which I do not recall, as “not okay”, my hackles rose a tad.

However, being a man of experience and some sagacity, I approached the matter with my usual caution; something whispered in my mind: Beware! Here be dragons!

What did it, was the not okay bit. Not okay was not okay with me: it is banal, bland, fence-sitting, wishy-washy, bunny hugger drivel. It is the other end of the spectrum of revolting language usage from awesome!

Before I slip into full rant mode and start frothing at the keyboard, let me say that I did some research into okay. The word apparently originated in the US (where else?). It was the initials of a facetious folk phonetic spelling abbreviation for ‘orl korrekt’ representing ‘all correct’. It was absorbed into the common usage as a verb, adverb, noun, and interjection and spread worldwide.

It has morphed (not sure about that word either) into one of the English words most utilized in all languages.

I was flabbergasted to discover that 14 September is R U OK? Day.

That nearly set my fuse off too! Just invent a cause and appropriate a day! You can start a website, market merchandise and away you go! Hmpfff!

Just in case you missed it, today is National Chipotle Day – May 5th is dedicated to the chipotle, a smoked, dried jalapeno pepper. I kid you not!

Anyway, back to okay/not okay. R U OK? Day was started by the relatives of people who had committed suicide. Its purpose is to encourage people to check on their loved ones by asking them that simple question. In this context not okay is a sad, terriblok oke and terrifying condition in which to be. I strongly endorse the practice of checking your loved ones’ mental strength. Asking shows you care and provides an opportunity for a release or a cry for help.

What I object to is that the expression not okay has been incorporated to signify anything that may not meet the rapidly replicating rules which require society to behave in such a way as not to miff anyone who might be sensitive about something.   Like, it’s not okay to call some behaviour gay (or a person gay unless he/she is…).

Ever since I saw West Side Story in the 60’s, the word ‘gay’ has been one of my favourite words. ‘Gay’ used to mean cheerful, cheery, merry, jolly, light-hearted, mirthful, jovial, glad, happy, bright, in high spirits, joyful, elated, exuberant, animated, lively, vivacious, buoyant, bouncy, bubbly, perky, effervescent, playful and frolicsome. Now tell me that is not a delightful word!

If you check the lyrics online now, you will find that the word ‘gay’ has been scrubbed from the song and replaced with ‘bright’. Is that okay?

Do the gentle, inoffensive, protectors of those that they think may be easily bruised, have the right to change the language icons of our past, because gay now refers to things homosexual. Why has that lovely word been appropriated for the exclusive use of such an historically fraught set of people?

Granted, buggers was not a nice label, nor was queers or poofs.

Dearie me, I do get easily distracted.

What I want to say is that not okay should not be used when there are many, far more appropriate words such as indelicate, offensive, awful, inappropriate, unacceptable, extraordinary, extreme, bad, abnormal, impolite, unreasonable, bloody rude …oops!

Here is a little guide – hope it helps.

Different-forms-of-saying-Okay

ok in bath

The abuse of privilege

I have once again been irked by an arrogant journalist, bemoaning the fact that the media has been denied access to a coronial report, until such time as the coroner has made findings. “After all it’s our right” he expostulated to smarmy nods from news anchors.

These are the vultures who pitch up on the doorsteps of grieving families for a tragic The press as vultures.news bite and travel to other States when there’s no house fire, road accident or crime of sufficient horror to merit news in their own state.

They apparently have the right to pronounce on evidence before judicial officers and the right to demand statements from accused criminals, family members and supporters.

media changes

The Police do little to prevent these leeches from swarming around these stressed people, seeking some blood or tears. It was likely this ilk of journalistic parasite that hounded Princess Diana into her tragic fatal flight. They are the ones that intrude and pursue public personalities exaggerating their lifestyles and often their own opinions of themselves.

Editorial discretion and journalistic integrity have been lost in the fight for ratings and first headlines. Now anything people will pay for is media fodder: “if it bleeds it leads”! first bad newsThen there are the reality shows … scripted productions where people mimic courtship and marriage to the detriment of those once hallowed and personal treasures.

Not to mention the ‘fake news’ phenomenon which has cast doubts on the veracity and reliability of every media publication, because some spray extreme and sensationalist stories without rigourous research and scrutiny to verify them or consider the impact on society at large. Thus the total output has become contaminated and should be treated with great scepticism, which most fail to do, so they become affected by the ‘fake news’ disease.

Television especially has an exceptionally privileged position in society: they have access to nearly every household. Their output is available to all at the click of a button. this is the newsIt is reasonable to expect some awareness of and responsibility for the material they broadcast.

They have the opportunity to build the appropriate culture and values which show people how to behave. Instead, they promote false and distasteful realities which many unsuspecting viewers are unable or unwilling to discern and base their dream worlds and behaviour upon.

It and the internet have replaced the traditionally revered positions in our society that judges, priests, doctors and bank managers held. These figures and their images have been lampooned and trivialised by media series.

Where are the heroes and models of good behaviour.  real idolGovernment regulations require us to barricade swimming pools to prevent danger to children, but they don’t require barriers to television or internet to prevent access by children.

The ordinary voter is not inclined to the exercise of judicious or temperate thoughts and deeds. Just like the political and economic systems, the freedom of the press needs curtailing and review, because democracy has failed.

media control