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Mar 24th


Destruction of Business  


Another ambiguous title... If you're pushed for time, and might at least enjoy a brief out-take that will make you both laugh and cry (though maybe not literally), then click here (or scroll-down) and check out the pasted note in blue at the end of this article. But don't miss the 1-min teaser on STUFF - (full 20-min version) - because it could also make you laugh and cry simultaneously. (There's a rather pathetic capitalist critique which in its nit-picking attempt to discredit 'STUFF' I reckon serves only to emphasise the persistent, unscrupulous defiance of the destructive predatory part that business plays in the world and which lies at the heart of its raison d'être).

[See also two poignant paragraphs (emphasised) from Noam Chomsky's 26.3.10 article on 'Corporate Power' addended to my recent: 'Money, Bankers & the Ruling Elite' ]

For several decades I’ve criticised businesses and the concepts on which they’re based. During that time they've only become devastatingly more powerful and all-engulfing. Apart from a few rare exceptions, businesses - banks, supermarkets, oil outfits... et al - have shown themselves to be devious, corrupt, and operating essentially on a mandate of gaining maximum profit by any means - and with no regard for anything except avoiding litigation.

To expect any kind of ethical slant from business without the strict enforcement of legislation and regulation, would be naive; to expect government these days to establish such legislation and regulation would be like expecting the proverbial turkey to vote for Christmas... ie, bonkers. This is because government is the principal mechanism by which business controls everything and deceives through propaganda. While the world needs massively less consumption, the whole philosophy and direction of business (and hence government) is to massively increase consumption. This means that either business (government) as we know it, or the WORLD, will have to go under. Which will it be?

If a business provides an essential service like trains or water... speaking of which, see THIS 8-min video on water... if a business provides an essential service then it should not be a business, but the exclusive responsibility of a public body (which we used to think of as government) - instead of just another source of perpetual bonanza for rip-off City spivs. The NHS belongs here, so why not the same with much else that's considered essential these days: ie, basic food, housing, transport, utilities. Social housing and allotments were once popular and provided by government for a nominal fee; as ever, alas, these have now been all but completely crushed-out by business: building-companies-&-banks, supermarkets... etc.

The principal direction and function of all business should be public interest. So-called entrepreneurs who pay themselves inflated salaries, or charge some inflated fee for a product or service just because of weak competition or because the public can or will afford it should, like all business, be restrained by regulations that outlaw both unethical trading and operations, products or services that cause any kind of adverse effects.

Access to money or loans to a business should be either from government investment (share) or from a nationalised bank (and no other kind of bank should exist).

This is the briefest possible outline of how the West, at least, might begin to address the immense inconsistencies that have evolved over recent decades in its political base; because the capitalist system (of government as an instrument of business) is destroying by default not merely the fabric of society but now for the first time the very fabric of the planet on which we all depend for survival. None of these inconsistencies much mattered 50 or even 30 years ago - though a few astute observers saw their lethal potential. Now the inevitable collision between the survival of business and the survival of humanity looms like a time-bomb.

If business wins - as it might - then it will also lose, because there will be no humanity left to consume (let alone operate) its products or services. The fact is that human beings, so history tells us, are collectively inept to the point of paralysis. For thousands of years they've been dominated and subdued by a handful of psychotic (and often psychopathic) despots, ego-driven primitives who pass for humans but lack that almost uniquely human ability to see more than a few days ahead. This scenario is no longer feasible - unless our species is content to self-destruct.

If there's to be any kind of initiative here then business as we recognise it must either cease to exist or learn from the experience of the fishermen of Nova Scotia. In a bluster of blind greed - and rejecting clear evidence of the consequences of what they were doing - they demolished fish stocks to zero and put themselves and their communities out of work for several generations, perhaps for centuries... perhaps for ever.

For a start, there should be a block on the meat industry and airlines, and a drive to cut population growth everywhere. Above all, consumption (of 'STUFF') should be discouraged or, for environmentally harmful products, stopped altogether. The meat industry is unnecessary and should be shut-down immediately. As for airlines, I’ve flown the Atlantic and the Pacific, and I’ve flown to Denmark and Ireland too - and to one or two other places - and it was GREAT. But it just shouldn’t be allowed - not when there are alternatives and when it's causing huge irreversible damage to the biosphere. Imagine the frailty of that little film of atmosphere which extends essentially for less distance than the English Channel, Dover to Calais.

The two key issues are: alternatives, and the extent of damage.

Maybe we can compromise a little (I'd like to think so): ie, keep long-haul flights, and eat synthetic meat. And produce only a very limited range of 'STUFF' that's passed sustainability tests. Only more detailed climate-change study/research can reveal what's truly necessary.

But how about (like me) eating no meat at all?

I became a vegetarian 30-years ago after watching a TV documentary on the brutality of the meat industry. Guiltily, I still eat 'wild' fish and 'free-range' eggs - always wondering if one can trust business on these being ‘wild’ & ‘free-range’ as stated? But at least, inadvertently - and with no difficulty at all - I’ve avoided for 3-decades contributing to the bulk of the environmental damage associated with meat (and perhaps saved the NHS on medical costs into the bargain - by avoiding diseases related to the consumption of meat). And I must say, even at 61, I feel – physically, at any rate – 100%.

Either way, these question of curtailing airlines, meat-production, oil-burning and coal-burning industries etc, is increasingly pressing and the operations of these, and the bulk of waste associated with most business, will soon have to be massively reduced or stopped. Otherwise, enormously expensive unpleasant consequences are inevitable, ending in mayhem quite probably! Already (I hear today on the news) islands are going under in the Indian Ocean!

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The other day, on the 'commondreams' circular that lands in my email ‘in-tray’ most days, I found this 5-minute video-interview with Mike Moore:


[Published on Thursday, March 18, 2010 by The Dylan Ratigan Show

Dodd: 'The Point of this Bill Is Not To Punish the Financial Services Industry.' Moore: 'Are You Shitting Me?'

(Chris Dodd is chairman of the US Senate banking committee)

After watching the video I checked, as I sometimes do, a few of the comments left by readers. Some of these are articulate, some are decidedly not. Now, I could paste something similar to the extract below (in blue) from at least one article just about any day you care to choose over the past year (or even decade, probably, if I’d had the internet that long). It illustrates a typical and increasingly widely-shared perspective by an impressively articulate guy who goes by the name Barry Greene. (If only, I reflect, I could generate the same free spontaneous word-flow instead of my usual relatively stiff and 'precious' style). Anyhow, I just thought – like, for instance, with so many contributions on the brutality of Israel and its devastating impact on the world via a proxy Washington with 9/11, Iraq & Afghanistan etc, quite apart from Palestine and Lebanon – that Mr Greene’s little discourse was worthier than most of reaching a wider audience:


Yes Michael, he's shittin' you. And everyone else. Dodd is a lying fascist corporate whore. And the jig is indeed up. Obama is the living breathing proof of that. Charming, smart and family-lovin' man that he is, he's either the Manchurian Candidate and is literally walking around with his brain microchipped, or he's a lying two-faced son-of-a-bitch servant to the Illuminati New World Order and tarred with the same brush as the last Arsehole-In-Chief in the Oval Office, or he's really trying in his confused and not-very-courageous way to do the right thing by increments, or some such bullshit as that. Any way you look at it, he's Part Of The Problem, Not Part Of The Solution.

What's sad is that when someone like Michael Moore tells it like it is in real English, he's regarded by an awful lot of America as some kind of trucker-butt nutcase, or a traitor, because those who think so (in their millions, alas) are mind-controlled zombies who only exist (a)to put the 'electorate' facade on this vile shit they call 'democracy' in America; (b)to consume and line the pockets of the top 1%. When they've wised up to this reality, and have had enough of the biggest fuck-over in history next to organized religion, they'll have a citizens' uprising. And then they'll be met by the full militarized force of the hatred of the puppet-masters for the people.

But, like the guy who carved his way out of Alcatraz with a teaspoon, it is possible to fuck THEM over, and it has to start with NOT BUYING STUFF. P. Gabriel: 'You can blow out a candle, but you can't blow out a fire.'

Yes, conscience, corporatism is fascism, and the female gives life. Modern-day America is the best example of a patriarchic, male-supremacy-based system taking life and ordering society the way it's turned out in the United States, where the highest expression of the country and the people is its goddamn military.

Pathetic, isn't it?

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What more needs to be said?

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Mar 16 Quid pro quo + top


I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

W H Auden


When I was 8 or 9-years old I was wrongly accused of smashing the glass of a street-lamp. There were five of us throwing stones, and it had been at the end of a school day – the lamp being the closest to the school entrance. All our shots missed wildly, except one. A kid called Andy landed a bull’s-eye smashing a shape in the glass that resembled male genitals. This put us in very high spirits; but the shattering both thrilled and scared us, and we ran like mad from the scene.

The next morning at school, four of us were hauled out from a lesson by the headmistress. We’d been seen throwing stones at the lamp. After stern admonishments, she informed us that we would each have to fork-out 6-shillings to cover the damage.

This was in 1958-9 when 6-shillings would settle a week’s grocery bill. One of us mentioned that the stone which smashed the lamp had been thrown by a kid who wasn’t present. We all confirmed this. But when the name was finally wrested from us, it was dismissed out-of-hand. “Nonsense!" barked the old dragon, "Andy is well behaved and would never throw stones.”

And so we four who had failed to hit the lamp, had to cough-up – while the culprit went scot-free. A great lesson, I thought. So later, attempting retribution, I and a couple of the kids who were charged (and making certain that this time no-one saw us) demolished several street-lamp globes.

* * * * *

Five years on, and I'm 13. It's after one of those abysmal dreary everyday morning assemblies they sadistically subject kids to in secondary schools and which so aptly herald the standard tone for the school day to come. As we saunter out of the big hall, a scattering of hymn-book pages appear around us on the floor. A teacher who notices this, collars me and a friend, and accuses us of destroying school property.

Being atheists, neither of us had even bothered to pick-up a hymn-book in the first place. Our protestations, of course, are dismissed out-of-hand. We are marched to the headmaster’s office and, after the usual admonishments, ordered to each pay ~ £3.10/- by the end of the week. Like with the streetlamp, this sum was hugely disproportionate. (For perspective: my pay as a trainee electrician two-years later at 15 was £2.18/- a week).

So, once again, we who were innocent had to cough-up while the real culprit(s?) escaped scot-free. Again, I thought: a great lesson! In retribution, a few weeks later and over several days, we sneaked the newest hymn-books we could find, out of the assemblies, and later on the local common we joyfully tore them to shreds.

* * * * *

My first title to the above was: ‘Great Lessons & Sweet Retributions’ - then I realised it should read: ‘Sweet Retributions & Great Lessons’ in that order. The lessons being, clearly, not for us kids but for those monumentally naïve pricks in charge of us and whose monumentally inept actions had/have so much to answer for - even now in 2010...

Especially in 2010:

Palestine and Afghanistan, for instance, and STILL Iraq! All these suffer endless monumentally inept acts by ‘authoritarian’ invaders. So, whether it's through halfwit schoolteachers, dunderhead cops, aggressive military personnel or insanely ambitious politicians... not forgetting pea-brained greed-&-power-driven corporate bosses... between them these maniacal peddlers of hubris are destroying the world for the rest of us.

This week, instead of typical power-drunk airline mismanagers squabbling with unions over working conditions and pay, the lot should be instantly sacked and the entire outfit folded. Union members can be employed in some other industry, while vindictive mismanagers can go to the wall - and NEVER again be allowed in charge of ANYTHING or ANYONE ANYWHERE.

That’s my take. And if there are to be any concessions to airlines, they should depend on favourable comprehensive climate-change predictions and be limited to, at the very most, long-haul only. 

Beelzebub has spoken!        

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Mar 6th Writing Crazy? top


(Probably the most boring update so far)

I guess it's pretty obvious to anyone dipping around this site that I've never attended a writing course - nor joined a writers' group or been involved with any related event. There's a group in Hastings, I notice. It has a website too - last updated Sept 09 - obviously a pretty dynamic lot! They comprise, so it seems, a little band of pretentious snobs who justify themselves by claiming several published authors in their midst - as if to be published confers great status. And there was me thinking writers, like actors, were mostly (or frequently) out-of-work, on-the-breadline and 'enjoying' an essentially bohemian lifestyle - which for Hastings would be especially fitting. And have you noticed how such groups - from bowls clubs to flower-arranging circles - hold endless competitions and dish-out endless obscurely titled awards and prizes? I guess it's about motivation. As for writers' groups, they seem to be mostly female, over 50, take themselves infinitely seriously, are frustrated, unfulfilled, incapable of the vaguest objectivity... and I think: what kind of nut would you have to be to get involved with an outfit like that ?

All this is a bit harsh, I know, and is based on just one website and my own cynical assumptions - in the absence of a sample of their output. But I'd still challenge any independent researcher to prove me wrong. Perhaps, though (I reflect with a shudder), their efforts appear to me as do mine to other people? But then if I really thought that, I might shelve the old keypad for good!

I admit, though, to having flicked through several tomes on writing over the years. Not that they've been much use - interesting though they were - because learning to write, creatively or otherwise, is like learning to play a musical instrument. And as we well know: one learns only by doing.

For an idler this is bad news. And is why most of what I 'create' lacks the elusive professional touch. Quite apart from an absence of any grounding in the subject, I simply don't practice. Usually, as would any idler I suppose, I write only when I feel like it. Which means 'writing' must, at least sometimes, be an idle pursuit.

A couple of additional obstructive factors (for which I'm grateful) are that there's no-one pestering me into it, and I'm not close enough to the breadline to motivate any real effort. Not that anything I write would sell anyhow. Curiously though, what I judge to be my better stories were the easiest to write. Non-fiction the same. Yet everything I end-up with is, alas, amateurish and somehow shallow. I still reckon it's better than nowt though - both for me and for anyone who happens to eavesdrop. So I press on... now and then. It keeps me amused.

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Mar 5th 3 Quotes + a Video top


From informationclearinghouse:

"By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many lifeless bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.": Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Author

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die. And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

What our leaders and pundits never let slip is that the terrorists -- whatever else they might be -- might also be rational human beings ; which is to say that in their own minds they have a rational justification for their actions. Most terrorists are people deeply concerned by what they see as social, political, or religious injustice and hypocrisy, and the immediate grounds for their terrorism is often retaliation for an action of the United States . . .: William Blum


Plus a video-interview with the most famous whistle-blower of all time (3.3.10):

Daniel Ellsberg:

The Most Dangerous Man in America



Mar 3rd



As a slight departure from the usual diatribe, consider this: it must often happen that a kid takes up some celebrated tome, finds it to be blatant tripe or unreadable, tries another, finds likewise, and eventually decides to throw-in the whole crazy literature charade – apart from perhaps a few notable exceptions like the sensational ‘Lolita’ or some gem that instantly grips such as Capote’s ‘Other Voices, Other Rooms’, Bukowki’s ‘Tales of Ordinary Madness’… and a handful of others.

In my case, that handful is pretty big: I’ve liked quite a range of stuff. There was a time when I wasn’t so easy to please – and I’m still not when it comes to most literature. The so-called ‘classics’, for instance, and Shakespeare - in fact the bulk of contemporary fiction, when I’ve bothered to peer into it, is hard to get through a first page. For one thing there’s so much of it; the market is swamped; and the reviews flow en mass with a predominance of high praises (their principal function, after all, is the business of making dough... and loads of it). True, some books start badly, then a few pages in suddenly take-off and turn out to be brilliant. So before my usual giving-up in disgust, I do for my own benefit at least try to get gripped.



As I’ve stated before (and nothing’s changed): No-one ever responds to what I load onto this site so I have no way of knowing how many hits it gets, if  any. Nor, therefore, do I have any way of knowing whether the stuff I churn out is gripping, mediocre or just plain dull. All is mystery. But I judge that two or three of the stories are OK; and maybe one or two essays. I also recognise that the bulk of what’s here could justly be described as either bigoted dross or tediously convoluted nonsense. It’s like advertisers say: 80% of what we spend is wasted, the problem is knowing which 20% isn’t. And that’s precisely how I see this website. If I knew what was duff I could delete it, and then you’d have a GREAT site: every article and story gripping, or at worst interesting.

A quote from Virginia Woolf: A note: despair at the badness of the book: can’t think how I could ever write such stuff – and with such excitement: that’s yesterday: today I think it good again. A note, by the way of advising other Virginias with other books that this is the way of the thing: up down up down – and Lord knows the truth.
I’d have thought she, of all people – with her middle-class Bloomsbury Set friends an’ all – would have had loads of reliable, willing reviewers/advisors. Maybe she was shy of revealing her work prematurely to anyone?



I, on the other hand, can find no-one who’ll give this site so much as a look-over. To assess even fleetingly in passing, as it were, the comparatively minuscule efforts I 'so dutifully' load here from time to time, tends to strike people as worse than daunting. Not that I can blame anyone for that. Going by her expression if I ask that she review some item I’ve written, my sister sees merely the request as sheer agony, never mind the task. All this is enough to tell me that any hapless surfer who perchance lands here will swiftly flee – rendering the entire enterprise no more than one of supreme solipsistic self-indulgence. Good… at least there won’t be hoards of people out there thinking: What a prick! But the poor sod's past-it - and not even reached retirement age; early Alzheimer’s, no doubt. We should feel sorry for nuts like him… So it goes.

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