Friday, 21 December 2012

The United States of Alienation

John S Wilkins in Oz talking about his son who has an Aspergers diagnosis:

"[H]e has been bullied persistently by students and teachers and gangs because of this difference. Once, because he had seen it on TV that you had a right to defend yourself, he showed a pocket knife, sheathed, to some bullies physically attacking him at school, for which he was suspended and the bullies merely chastised. Actual violence was condoned by that school, while an attempt to stop it, however misguided, was punished. This is the lot of the Aspie."

So the debate is why did Adam Lanza, a young man who may have had Aspergers, and who lived in the USA with a mother who, like many Americans, was so alienated, paranoid and screwed up with fear of other people and about what they might do to her, that she felt it necessary to surround herself with a massive arsenal of weapons, why would the poor lad up and kill her and a bunch of other people?

This latest case in a long, nauseating catalogue reminds me of Ed Gein and his mother Augusta, where he has gone down in history for his bizarre and ghoulish crimes. According to Wikipedia:

"Augusta despised her husband, but the marriage persisted because of the family's religious belief against divorce. Augusta Gein operated a small grocery store and eventually purchased a farm on the outskirts of the small town of Plainfield, Wisconsin ..."

"Augusta Gein moved to this location to prevent outsiders from influencing her sons. Edward Gein left the premises only to go to school. Besides school, he spent most of his time doing chores on the farm. Augusta Gein, a fervent Lutheran, preached to her boys the innate immorality of the world, the evil of drinking, and the belief that all women (herself excluded) were prostitutes and instruments of the devil. She reserved time every afternoon to read to them from the Bible, usually selecting graphic verses from the Old Testament dealing with death, murder, and divine retribution."

"A shy, effeminate boy, the younger Gein became a target for bullies. Classmates and teachers recalled off-putting mannerisms, such as seemingly random laughter, as if he were laughing at his own personal jokes. To make matters worse, his mother punished him whenever he tried to make friends ..."

"Gein tried to make his mother happy, but she was rarely pleased with her boys; she often abused them, believing that they were destined to become failures like their father. During their teens and throughout their early adulthood, the boys remained detached from people outside of their farmstead, and so had only each other for company."

With an upbringing like this why would anyone be surprised at what some brainwashed and tortured individuals may turn to?

As for Lanza, my feeling, as someone who lives in the UK where pretty much the only guns around are those in the hands of criminals, and who is familiar with Aspergers, is that the Lanza case appears very much a mental health issue.

First of all the mother seems to have fallen under the grip of a cult; namely the Preppers, who are preaching Doomsday millennialism and fear on a grand scale. Secondly, the son seems very much the victim of his mother’s delusional state, one which, if he was an Aspie he would be especially vulnerable to.

I really like John's OP though, especially as he is one of the few to correct this false impression about Aspies somehow having no empathy.

If anything, it is the USA’s love affair with the gun which is a symptom of their widespread mental ill health. In mainland Europe there are many countries where guns are widely held by the public, but they do not constantly misuse them in the way USAmericans do.

As for tkieler’s idea about bundling up all the non-neurotypical youngsters together and putting them under surveillance what a shameful notion. It reminds me of the Apartheid era pencil test where if your hair was a bit too curly you were suddenly classified as “coloured” and exiled from your family.

If the USA doesn’t wise up and learn some compassion - and deal with their religious nutters - they will keep on tearing themselves apart.

Video - why the deranged US population are unlikely to accept having their toys taken away from them.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Little Boxes & Big Fat Wallets

A plea from Stravaiger John:

"There are hundreds of thousands of properties, residential, commercial etc. standing empty across Britain.

Would it not make more sense to take over and renovate these before building anything else?

People in real need of a home could be given a government loan if they were prepared to take over a property and do it up themselves, as could community groups and social housing associations.

This would surely be a better solution than having speculative developers wrecking the countryside."

No John, that would be too much like common sense, which as we all know is something only common people have.

Respectable HNWIs (High Net Worth Individuals, to those who matter) don't use common sense, common decency, or anything else common to think with, they use their wallets because that's all that matters, going forward.

A commenter responds, "Yes ... As the law stands an owner can leave their property empty for ever as long as they maintain it! I know cos we have one around here that has been empty for 15 years and I wrote to the council and they said there was nothing they could do unless it was derelict!"

But is this true? I don't reckon it is.

So, sorry to say I think the council may be lying ... haha ... surely not?!?

I heard functionaries discussing this at a "Neighbourhood Partnership" meeting once, talking about all the slippery tricks that property owners use to avoid facing up to their responsibilities. Presumably the legislation - like a lot these days - was inadequately drafted, either by accident, or call me pessimistic, borne out of long experience, by design.

This is what one useful website has to say on the matter:

"Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) were introduced by the Housing Act 2004 and the powers subsequently made available to local authorities two years later.

A substantial body of technical information exists on how they are supposed to work, but to date very little practical help based on the experience of those who have actually used EDMOs has been available. We hope this guidance goes some way to filling that gap.

Drawing on the practical experience of empty property officers across the country, we have attempted to distil the most useful and important advice available. The guide includes a flow chart, a step-by-step guide to the process, top tips, pitfalls to avoid, detailed advice notes on each stage, and a set of model documents to use and adapt to your own circumstances."

I agree with both Stravaiger John and his commenter, there are hundreds of thousands of buildings out there that could be brought into use, or better used, given the political will, but I fear that that is what is lacking. With the plutocratic, kleptokratic crony government that we are groaning under now it makes far more profit for them just to hand their mates among the big feudal landowners (yes, they're still alive and kicking - especially in Devon) and the big housebuilding consortia some nice fat contracts.

There's also the issue of VAT which, despite long complaint by us "little people", is still extorted on refurbishment materials and work, but not payable on new build.

Monday, 26 November 2012

And, for My Next Prediction …

To be honest, I don't think you needed to be a genius to work out that the ludicrously unsustainable debt bubble built up during the Noughties would lead to major, major problems, but for those who did foresee the brown stuff hitting the fan Ann Pettifor must surely be a bit of a heroine; an economist bravely swimming against the tide and getting the truth spoken on public platforms inaccessible to the rest of us. Despite the (inevitable) dismissals and ridicule visited on those with unwelcome news she insisted on administering the warning - many times in fact. Here for example:
Wednesday 17 May 2006

“There are many among the world's financial elites aware of the danger of housing and stockmarket "bubbles" financed by borrowing; of debt "imbalances"; of the potential of a crash and prolonged crisis … This is a terrifying lose-lose game. We are in it, because of the reckless abuse by the private finance sector of the powers granted them through deregulation and liberalisation.”

Sunday 28 January 2007

"Tottering on the brink: The inherent instability of the giant Ponzi schemes underwriting the world economy means financial meltdown is a huge threat."

And how right she was then.

Now with the appointment of former Goldman Sachs banker Mark Carney to govern the Bank of England she's at it again with the dire predictions:

Monday 26 November 2012

“So be very afraid. Business-as-usual will prevail. And nothing will be done to constrain the City, and therefore to prevent the next collapse of the financial system.” Check out what she has to say at The Guardian, or her blog here.

Back in November 2010 I observed that Wikipedia was calling it "The Financial Crisis of 2007 to present", but they have now separated the crisis into two discrete pages called "Financial Crisis of 2007 - 2008" and "2007 - 2012 global economic crisis". But soon we'll be into 2013, then 2014 and so on.

What will it morph into next?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Evangelical Black Ops

Don’t tell me this drivel cost $5 million. Every single thing about this piece of crap - and its originator - is dodgy, and it has resulted in the deaths of several people already, with no doubt more to follow, including in Benghazi, the first serving US Ambassador to die in office since Arnold Raphel, in Pakistan, 1988. Curiously enough, Raphel was “killed along with Pakistani President Zia ul-Haq and Brigadier General Herbert M. Wassom when their plane mysteriously crashed shortly after takeoff from Bahawalpur.”

So in Libya the inevitable bloody chickens are coming home to roost on yet another episode of insane US ideological adventurism stirring trouble in Arab countries and attempting to enforce their political system on others. Will it make them think again on their involvement in helping Islamists (once again, their purported enemies) in Syria? I doubt it, the Yanks really are that dumb!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Nice Guns, Nice Blood

Even the Daily Mail can’t resist taking the piss out of SOFEX 2012, comparing the beards, dark glasses and oversized military peaks on prominent display to Sacha Baron Cohen’s Dictator film. I still feel let down though, as these guys just aren’t putting up enough bling. More gold braid and tinsel please gents, you look like de-feathered cockerels compared to the glorious Ruritanians of past ages.

And, as a nice counterpoint, Femail continues its breathless reportage on the spectacular air balloon rise of the Middleton family now that Sis is assimilated into The Firm. Let all that be some consolation even if, as a mere brood mare, Kate will forever have to face being relegated to an inferior position at events, behind the likes of Beatrice & Eugenie, who as ‘blood princesses’ - ie real princesses, not yer poncy middle class nouveaux - must, naturally, be shewn all reverence due to their royal blood as it trickles down from Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne. Yes folks, this really does matter!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Quiet Sell-out to Islamists by USA en Route to Christian Theocracy

Proxy War

Far from the West standing back, the likelihood is that the Western interests are in fact behind the whole so called "Arab Spring" flummery in the first place.

Think about it. Is it just sheer coincidence that, having already got rid of Iraq's secular Baath Party the West has thrown in vast sums of money to help Islamists in Libya to overthrow the secular government of Qadafi as well as cheerleading the overthrow of Egypt's secular President Mubarak, in favour of, it now turns out, a new Islamist leader. All the while ignoring vicious crackdowns against protesters when perpetrated by Sunni autocrats and allies of the West.

Across the Middle East the West very much appears, on the quiet, to be foolishly taking sides; backing Bush's old Sunni cronies in Saudi Arabia against Iran, the Shia and Secular forces. The Middle East will easily see through this for the cowardly and underhand manoevring that it is, and, far from appeasing our enemies as our silver-spoon-fed leaders no doubt fondly believe, Islamists will also have no difficulty in smelling the stench of weakness from a wounded animal, such as our senile democracies have become.

On this analysis the future looks very bleak for anyone who doesn't like the idea of being ruled by Theocrats ... whether Islamic ... or Christian ...

Saudis to pay Syrian Guerrilla Forces

'The eastern Libyan rebellion began with a “Day of Rage” on February 17. The “Day of Rage” was called by an organization named the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO). The choice of the date was not arbitrary. According to the English edition of the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, the date was chosen to commemorate “the 17 February 2006 uprisings in the city of Benghazi where protests against the Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad were transformed into mass demonstrations against Gaddafi and his regime, resulting in the death of dozens of protestors and the injury of many more.” '  PJM


Global Muslim Brotherhood Report

But all studiously ignored on the likes of Wikipedia, here.

Theocrats Hand in Hand

Reminiscent of the 19th century Scramble for Africa - what a lovely carve-up our Betters seem to think they can pull off now. Is that the deal? "We'll help you Islamists gain control over the Middle East if you'll pretty pretty please just leave us in peace to establish good Christian rule over America and Europe ... oh, and pleeeease don't cut off our oil ..." I can just imagine Western plutocrats snivelling as they bow and scrape for all they're worth in Riyadh. 

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Are You an Amalekite?

Unbelievers better watch out, the Child Evangelism Fellowship (strapline: "Reaching Children Worldwide") is thinking of you!

Remember now children, when GOD gives instructions to slaughter a whole bunch of people, well, He really means it ...

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Re: the new Blogger

Er, just one thing to say about the new blogger:


Monday, 19 March 2012

When is a War Criminal not a War Criminal?

Or in other words, when does bringing a war criminal to justice seem somehow less important than trying to dismiss an online campaign to bring a war criminal to justice?

… When you and your army find it too embarrassing …

… When you’re a Rightie and you think the campaigners are too Liberal

… When you’re a Leftie and you think the campaigners are too Capitalist

… When you think it’s all about One World Government and the Illuminati …

… When it doesn’t suit Western 'clientele diplomacy' ...

… When the issues are ‘problematic’ …

… When the whole thing is just too bloody complicated

At the time when Karadzic and Mladic were still at large in Europe, the pressure on the relevant authorities to capture these men to bring them to justice for their past crimes was ever stronger - and caught they were! In principle, is Kony, somewhere in Africa  any different?

Ever more analysis here, here, here, here, here, here, and just about everywhere else you look.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

EU Carries On Up the Khyber

Horror, confusion, embarassment and hilarity broke out in abundant measure yesterday amongst EU functionaries, Kremlinologists and, well, basically anyone who saw it, when a new video promoting EU er 'Enlargement' (cough cough) inserted itself into the public discharge discourse, only to promptly uninsert itself as soon as the full extent of the gaffe became apparent.

The video, entitled "Growing Together" has fortunately been saved for posterity to laugh at (here).

The only types who did find the video's semiotics right up their alley were those who inhabit certain online bulletin boards for white nationalist activists. They, of course, gave it their enthusiastic seal of approval as an accurate portrayal of the position of poor harassed Europa today, beset as she is on all sides by alien hordes and assailants.

The Guardian has lots of brilliant comments on the debacle below the line, here.

The Third Foot and Mouth would be proud!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Reply Girls v Reply Boyz

The Sex War is a continually breaking thing. Here's one latest manifestation of the ancient struggle, on Youtube. Caught in mid-flow, it embodies some of the differences all too clearly, stm:

First up MeganSpeaks.

Now hear the oppo.

The 'Boyz' here win on rhetoric and humour - by a long way, no surprise - but it doesn't take a Professor of Feminist Theory to see that there's a deep vein of misogyny running beneath all this.

The Berakhah for Bacon

You might say that being as how I use GoggleCorp and associates as some kind of a kostenlos general purpose augur cum cipher for every kind of information under the sun, that it's only fair for me to allow said corporation free and easy access to all my data, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

Well ...

Do I have a choice?

It appears not.

So analyze that!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Killing Me Loudly

'There was a dramatic reduction in ship traffic that day. It was like being on the primal ocean.'

Rosalind Rolland of the New England Aquarium "was at sea in the Bay of Fundy on 11 September 2001 ... [when] ...  noise levels from shipping fell by half, as transport was shut down in response the terror attacks" reports Environmental Research Web.

"Whales use sound as their primary sense, just as humans use sight, and their singing enables them to find food, mates and to navigate. They are believed to be able to communicate over hundreds of kilometres. But the frequencies they use largely overlap with the frequencies generated by human activities in the oceans, which have increased tenfold in volume since the 1960s, disrupting their ability to communicate" and inflicting chronic long-term stress due to the man-made noise pollution which endangers their health and life.

Cetaceans are not the only wild creatures who benefit from a drastic reduction in human activity. In that same year, 2001, Foot and Mouth Disease shut down human access to the Cornish coastline, at which point a couple of wild Choughs (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) chose to alight in the newly peaceful habitat. As Peter Marren was amused to recount in British Wildlife (14:2 pp 77-8):

"The release of captive-bred Choughs ... would, it was hoped, result in the establishment of a resident population ... However, foot-and-mouth restrictions placed the project on hold, and in the meantime some wild Choughs turned up out of the blue on the Lizard. [They] ... promptly nested and raised four chicks."

Maybe the best single thing that we humans, as a mass, could do for wildlife is to learn to sit down and shut up for a change.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Biocultural Diversity: Mums Really Do Know Best

Love that science speak: "... spatially explicit Bayesian clustering methods showed that geographical discontinuities of manioc genetic diversity mirror major ethnolinguistic boundaries, with a southern matrilineal domain characterized by high levels of varietal diversity and a northern patrilineal domain characterized by low varietal diversity ..." AoB blog.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Bible Based Bull

For all the disingenous mouthing and manufactured outrage about Britain being a "Christian country" have you ever noticed how when you talk to the few people who actually identify themselves as Christians, that they often seem to know less about the Bible than you do?

Well, that's no accident!

Betty Bowers explains, here.

Meanwhile in North Devon, the Power, backed by the mighty mass of Pickles, is upping the ante and ramping the aggressive rhetoric, as the Secular Society reports; 'Ahead of last Thursday's meeting, Bideford mayor Trevor Johns said: "If the mayor wishes to have prayers, as is tradition, then the meeting should proceed with prayers. Anyone who does not want to enter the council chamber until the prayers are over is being disrespectful to the mayor." '

This may be especially worrying for residents, given that "disrespecting the Mayor" is to this day a serious crime in North Devon and punishable by a period in the stocks, said period to be determinable by His Excellency; the Mayor.

This over-zealous desire to subject every person who attends local council meetings to the dictates of the ruling clique's interpretation of Christian theology is going to have a very high cost ...

And, in an update, it seems that Minister Pickles is entering a growing religious ecstasy leading to ever more divinely inspired pronouncements. See this Bristol Traffic blogpost for Rev Pickles' latest homily for your guidance.

Axiom of Choice

“The art of remembering is the art of thinking; … when we wish to fix a new thing in either our own mind or a pupil’s, our conscious effort should not be so much to impress and retain it as to connect it with something already there. The connecting is the thinking; and, if we attend clearly to the connection, the connected thing will certainly be likely to remain within recall.”

William James, quoted by Memrise

Thursday, 16 February 2012

In the Midst of Death we are in Love

In this new year we (me and partner) began watching the whole box set DVD of that ridiculously sublime and satirical mythopoeiaLexx. By early February we'd drunk in every bit. Now we've started from the very beginning again. So much has happened in between that it's kind of inspiring brain re-wirement.

Then discovering that one of the genii of Lexx lost his life on Christmas Eve 2011, aged 49 was brutal.

Martin Hellmich has created a beautiful video memorial tribute to Lex Gigeroff, here.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Dark Forces at Work in the Little White Town

Fear and dismay is tonight gripping North Devon’s famous ‘Little White Town’ as news arrives from London that the Satanic Forces of Atheism and Modernism are truly on the march across the Nation.

Any of the Godless who, by some freak, manage to insinuate themselves onto the Town Council will henceforth no longer have to bow the head to religious observance at Council meetings, but will be allowed to continue wallowing in the Slough of Ignorance, untouched by The Word of The Lord. So now, rather than being made to know their lowly status, Unbelievers will thus be given free rein to arrogantly display their pride, like the Heathen of Old.

Shame! Shame! Shame!

The hideous cackling of Lucifer’s minions must be reverberating throughout Devon and the whole of Great Britain on this Evil Day.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Common Good Land

Andy Wightman reports today on what will hopefully be a game-changer in the saga of Aberdeen's Union Terrace Gardens, where the city council is trying its hardest to turn a venerable green space; the city's green heart and lungs, into another dull modernist blank - or as they are so pleased to call it, a "granite web" - against the stated wishes of a majority of Aberdonians.

The Friends of Union Terrace Gardens explains that: "Aberdeen City Council and an un-elected quango, ACSEF, want to pass ownership of the gardens to a private company and replace them with a large concrete structure. "

"ACSEF alone has cost over half a million pounds of public money so far, despite claiming to be funded by both the public and private sector."

But these expensively mis-laid plans may now crumble as they run smack bang into a legal obstacle which they cannot trample rough-shod. As the report (PDF) makes clear:

"If any part of Union Terrace Gardens ceases to be a recreational park dedicated to public use and/or it is disposed of by way of a lease or sale to a third party, then, as part of the City’s common good, Aberdeen City Council will require the consent of the courts. This will involve the Council raising a petition in either the Sheriff Court or the Court of Session. In the paper presented to the Council in October 2010, a timetable is presented for the development of the City Garden Project. Nowhere in this timetable is there provision for presentation of a petition to the courts for approval to dispose of common good land. This may be because the Council do not consider this necessary or because they are, as yet, unaware of the necessity of doing so ..."


NB., as clarified to the Scottish Parliament on 17 November 2006, "The Common Good originated as revenues from properties belonging to the early Burghs of Scotland. The Common Good, as these revenues were then termed, is of great antiquity and there is no equivalent in English local government although the term remains current in Scotland. Essentially, the Common Good denoted all property of a Burgh not acquired under statutory powers or held under special trusts."

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Backchatting the Gnu Atheists

Listen to my mum and you might think that religion is to blame for everything from world wars to cold calling. She's a paid up member of the Dawkins Tendancy, the affectionately-titled Gnu Atheists. But every now and then some fellow unbeliever finds the guts to say "but hang on ... you're scientists ... er ... where's your evidence ...?"

Prof Jim Woodward is one of those brave souls, and here he is (from John Wilkins' Evolving Thoughts blog). Good on ya Prof.

Seeing this reminded me of the brilliant Dick to the Dawk video, seen here from back in 2008, and which had a better reception, by and large, probably because it was ambiguous and demanded no answers - unlike this young lady, who really ruffled scientific male feathers.

And it has a tiny sequel, here.

Friday, 13 January 2012


The libratory Fidesz party has stirred ConHome readers - usually so Atlantic Bridgable - to a fervour of second campism; seeing the machinations of the EU, and for some, the EU's hidden puppet-masters in the US (wrong hymn-sheet shurely?) behind recent attacks on Orban's new constitution.

D.Singh comments: "So all the shouting in the international media boils down to this. The banking powers that collaborate with the World Bank and the IMF are worried about Hungarian Premier Orbán's refusal to bow to them and his aim to strengthen his country's economy, give people work, build up their shattered self-confidence and finally bring some modicum of justice to a people murdered, tortured and crushed under Communism ..."

Scenario familiar at all, you know, in recent European history? A humiliated population, economic chaos, secretive banking powers, high unemployment, fear of Communism ...

"The demonstrators you see on the news are former communists who fear prosecution for torturing and murdering people"

To which Fourth Republic replies:  "Really? Unlike you, I was present at the demonstration the day Orban celebrated his new constitution. I, like many there, wasn't even born in 1989. It is therefore highly unlikely that I am a "former communist", much less someone fearing "prosecution for torturing and murdering people'."

"I guess many of you reading this are anti-EU, fair enough. But our situation is different to yours. Imagine a Labour regime pledging to greatly restrict your media freedom, your economic freedom (I notice the writer of this piece omitted Orban's nationalisation of the private pension system) and finally judicial independence (the constitutional court is now full of his placemen)."

"You'd stand by and let it happen?"

Near on half of Hungary's working age population has no work. "By the time the financial crisis began, two-thirds of mortgage loans in Hungary were denominated in Swiss francs" (of all things!) and now the whole economy is cracking up.

But what are Fidesz' priorities?

Getting control over as many areas of how people live their lives as possible, including forcing women to have babies they can't look after, and cutting down on freedom of belief. The Wild Hunt has more information on that, see here. BTL Eric Scott portrays a dire view:

"The damning thing about all this is that their new constitution, if I understand it rightly, requires essentially every vote in the future to pass with a super-majority, from ratifying a new constitution to appointing a judge. Even if the populace puts the Socialists back into power next time, unless they also give them a super-majority - unlikely, to say the least - it will be impossible for the Socialists to do anything to fix the problems Fidesz has created. The bureaucracy will remain staffed by Fidesz operatives, which means that even if the Socialists are "in power," on the day to day level, Fidesz will still be running the country."

"And Fidesz didn't campaign on any of this, of course. They were elected over the Socialists because of the bad state of the economy. [And this despite the fact that Fidesz were in power during some of the time that the ground was laid for the current mess.] The idea of radically overturning the entire social order of the state was never mentioned... Until they had their supermajority, and could safely ignore the people who had elected them..."

Same old same old.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

2012 Memento Mori

As the drip drip drip of gooey but insincere hagiography and self-congratulation bursts into the deluge of Olympic Jubilee year 2012, who will hear the whisper of the slave?

For one thing, this year is celebrated the bicentenary of Charles Dickens, a national character who is sufficiently symbolic to have been portrayed on the £10 bank note. Yet look a little more closely into the man and the symbol starts to look all too reflective of what is a truly nasty, concealed reality.

The Amazon blurb for Claire Tomalin's new biography cheerfully admits that "the brilliance concealed a divided character: a republican, he disliked America; sentimental about the family in his writings, he took up passionately with a young actress; usually generous, he cut off his impecunious children."

But those are just minor blemishes. Looming behind these infidelities and hypocrisies is a far more hideous aspect to the great Victorian era:

"Despite his vivid evocations of cruelty and harshness in Victorian London, Charles Dickens was a defender of the infamous Jamaican Governor Eyre who had violently suppressed a revolt by freed slaves in Morant Bay. In 1865 a group of farmers from Morant Bay, Jamaica rebelled against the harsh colonial conditions on the island. Governor Eyre responded with a campaign of ruthless violence that lasted 30 days. Troops killed over 400 people, including children and pregnant women, at least 600 people were flogged [often with piano wire] and over 1000 homes were burned. The event divided British politics and marked a pivotal moment in the violent racism that continued in the post-abolition period. John Stuart Mill led the Jamaica Committee that, supported by Charles Darwin among others, demanded Eyre's trial for murder. Dickens, along with Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin, supported the Eyre Defence Committee that aimed to raise £10,000 for the Governor's legal expenses. They were successful and Eyre was acquitted, because, it was said, his crime involved 'only negro blood'." National Portrait Gallery website.

These beliefs lurk under Dickens' world like Smeagol's cave. Take Mrs Jellaby, for example. You may well agree that her "telescopic philanthropy"; caring more for those far away while neglecting her own family is wrong, yet to uncover the original motivation behind Dickens' portrayal of Mrs Jellaby is deeply disturbing in that it puts a whole different perspective on it.

In his book 'How the Dismal Science Got Its Name: Classical Economics and the Ur-Text of Racial Politics',  David M Levy investigates the British Imperial race supremacist discourse in great depth, and amongst other details, tells us that "Carlyle found some surprising allies in his attack on those who invoked brotherhood to attack slavery. These included Charles Dickens. In a chapter of Bleak House titled "Telescopic Philanthropy" Dickens ridicules a Mrs. Jellaby who neglects her family for the good of Africans in "Borrio-boola-Gha." On the cover of the serial version of Bleak House, we see Mrs. Jellaby holding two black children. And beside her is a sign reading 'Exeter Hall' ... moral centre of the British anti-slave movement ..."

Whatever celebrations may come and go, let us humbly remind ourselves that civilisations are born and grow, yet however mighty they become, and by whatever means, they gradually senesce and eventually die.

But as for authors, however noble a man John Stuart Mill may have been, yet to my mind never so engaging a creator as his adversary.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The War on Reason

The world is not worthy of words
they have been suffocated from the inside
as they suffocated you, as they tore apart your lungs...

Javier Sicilia

High Concept - Warfare Against the World - Based on Lies

Before the War on Terror we were shown a few pilots. Sure enough, the “War on Drugs” is still running 40 years on;  making fantastic profits for a few, but destroying the lives of millions of others and ransacking whole countries.  

In NAFTA member Mexico "The five-year conflict has not had a significant impact on the quantity of drugs sold by the cartels. This fiscal year, the amount of drugs coming from Mexico seized by US border agents increased by 48 percent. But the war has come at a terrible price to Mexicans, killing more than 45,000, displacing 230,000 and exposing the state's corruption and inability to protect its citizens."

6630507 - the Number of the Fleeced

US patent no. 6630507 "states unequivocally that cannabinoids are useful in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases including auto-immune disorders, stroke, trauma, Parkinson's, Alzeheimer's and HIV dementia. The patent, awarded in 2003, is based on research done by the National Institute of Health, and is assigned to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services."

"So, why is this important? Here is a legal document, in the public domain, which flies in the face of the US Government's stated position with regard to the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance having no "currently accepted medical use" ..."

Oh what a lot of cleaning up!