Please drink, gamble and fornicate responsibly

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Russell Brand's Silly Ideas: Affordable Housing

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/new-era-estate-victory-residents-with-russell-brands-help-stop-takeover-of-their-estate-9937074.html

http://www.citylab.com/housing/2014/12/paris-wants-to-keep-central-neighborhoods-from-becoming-ghettos-for-the-rich/383936/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/social-cleansing-londons-council-estates-4076556

... Remember Shirley Porter and the Homes For Votes scandal? Now criticise Russell Brand, again... What a silly old Hector he is!

(source)



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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Defending the bully-d*ckhead Russell Brand

A clever piece by "Squander Two", apparently going viral, about a confrontation with the poseur and unfocused protorevolutionary Russell Brand (htp: Anna Raccoon). And yet...

I've commented:

Brand is a blast from the past - about 1968 - 72-ish. And doubtless quite easy to rile, just like the American reporter who questioned Lennon in the 1969 bed-in and got a snarly Liverpudlian response.
 
On the other hand, your piece I find has a whiff of the disingenuous; artful stuff, all those references to food. Hungry bankers at Christmas... Skilfully done, some good points, and of course RB is not really much good at argumentation, which is why he uses so many words. Expect you'd beat him in a debate. Maybe that's why the BBC gives him airtime, to strike a faux balance between protest and the Establishment and weaken the former's credibility. That and his priapic reputation.

Shame so few people talk about the way the banking industry, encouraged by politicians, has messed up the economy with excessive debt and resource misallocation since at least the 70s, but that's a subject RB isn't up to analysing in his Michael Moore-ish way.

By the way, I'm given to understand it's noradrenaline, not adrenaline, that powers the fight or flight reaction. Either way, I don't blame you a bit for curdling at his invasion of your personal space.

If only there was a less vain and more penetrating advocate than the slightly addled Brand. The PPI and FX rows are tiny thunderrumbles compared to the gathering Force 5 financial hurricane caused by decades of monetary warming. Or maybe I'm wrong and it'll all turn out for the best in the end. Let's leave it to the experts as the economy "recovers", hey?


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All original material is copyright of its author. Fair use permitted. Contact via comment. Unless indicated otherwise, all internet links accessed at time of writing. Nothing here should be taken as personal advice, financial or otherwise. No liability is accepted for third-party content, whether incorporated in or linked to this blog; or for unintentional error and inaccuracy. The blog author may have, or intend to change, a personal position in any stock or other kind of investment mentioned.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bread and circuses

source unknown

Imagine you are a fly on the wall listening to an informal chat among a few UN and EU bureaucrats. Over a quiet cup of coffee their conversation turns to education and what the world must do for its citizens.

“Obviously we need billions of highly educated people to solve numerous problems for humanity at large –“

“No we don’t.”

“Pardon.”

“We need peasants with only a basic education and without the wit to make trouble.”

“Too cynical - surely.”

“No - it's how things are. We have enough tech and we have enough science so we don’t need billions of educated people. A few million at most – say one percent of the global population. The rest are destined to be peasants so we may as well train them accordingly.”

“Well for one thing they won’t accept it.”

“They have no choice. We must educate the masses to be bystanders, which is what they are anyway. Bread and circuses – tried and tested and the only way it can be done. Should take a couple of generations max.”

“Too cynical.”

“Not really. What the hell will they do when the robots come, these billions of educated people? Watch movies all day? Do you paint your neighbour's house while he paints yours?”

“All the same –“

“We are not all the same though are we - you and I? We are not numbered among those billions. In reality the buck stops here so we have to do what is best for everyone, like it or not. I can’t say I like it particularly but I’m not prepared to duck my responsibilities.”

“I still say it won’t work.”

“Yes it will. There are only two basic policies any government can follow – war or bread and circuses. All governments must pursue one or the other so naturally enough a global government is stuck with bread and circuses. It’s our only option.”

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The real leviathan

source

This is a graph of global consumer spending produced in 2012 by ATKearney. As you see, the figure for 2010 was $28 trillion which is projected to rise to $40 trillion by 2020.

I’ve no idea if these figures are realistic or not, but what impresses me about them is the gargantuan size of global consumer spending. Not so long ago, the danger of rampant consumerism was a significant topic among the chattering classes. Now it seems to have died down a little, or maybe it has been replaced by other worries.

Yet a moment of reflection is all we require to see what a monster consumerism is. How is anyone supposed to resist or control it? Perhaps we don’t need to resist or control it, which if true is just as well because it looks far too big to my eyes. The hunter gatherer is now merely a gatherer and destined to remain so until something gives.

The yen for a consumer lifestyle is at least partly responsible for sucking women out the home, sweeping kids off the open fields and onto the TV couch, filling their bedrooms with unused toys, jamming our roads with cars, pouring wine down our gullets, sucking us into restaurants, fast food outlets, cruise ships, airliners, holiday destinations, clothes we don’t need and every time-destroying wheeze we can be suckered into buying.

Well it’s better than war of course, but what about that leviathan, that multi-trillion dollar consumption monster? Are we ever likely to oppose its apparently insatiable demands. Maybe there is a clue in that word insatiable. Perhaps we are becoming satiated.

Nope.

All the ghastly tawdriness of Christmas has trundled round again and my cynical old eyes see no sign of any change - just the opposite if anything. Strewth it's horrible - at least Tesco was today.

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All original material is copyright of its author. Fair use permitted. Contact via comment. Unless indicated otherwise, all internet links accessed at time of writing. Nothing here should be taken as personal advice, financial or otherwise. No liability is accepted for third-party content, whether incorporated in or linked to this blog; or for unintentional error and inaccuracy. The blog author may have, or intend to change, a personal position in any stock or other kind of investment mentioned.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Jamie Dimon, the man who put the turd in your turducken

"Wall Street’s biggest banks squeezed out a victory this week when the House narrowly approved a spending bill with provisions that would weaken a section of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations," says The Washington Post.

Then it tries to sweeten the bitter pill by saying, "But the win came at a high cost for the banks -- in spending down their political capital and inflaming public opinion."

As though the demigods playing carelessly with your money give a damn what you think. What bothers them is the possibility of having their train set taken away by the impact of falling oil prices on the unbelievably inflated derivatives market, as Ellen Brown explains.

Derivatives are the fourth horseman in Michael Panzner's apocalyptic vision of a destroyed world economy. Sat behind him, like the lethally oversized crowd in "Widecombe Fair", are the financial establishment and all those they have bought and bullied, and by George they want cushions and helmets for everybody who matters.

Democracy is a sick joke. On both sides of the Atlantic, a professional class of political gamesters have worked out how to get what they want for themselves while appearing to be answerable to you. In the case of last week's "CRomnibus", it was the blackmail of not approving the US Government's budget bill unless it had a deadly rider strapped into the saddle: banks that gamble with your deposits insisted on having the latter insured so that the bets could be bigger and more reckless. My bet wins, I win; my bet loses, you pay.

Matt Taibbi is close to despair at the complicity of the Democrats: "... they're not a real party. They're a marketing phenomenon, a big chunk of oligarchical Blob cleverly sold to voters as the more reasonable and less nakedly corrupt wing of a two-headed political establishment."

Are they wrong, these cynical psychopaths who are masters of our universe; or are we wrong, for expecting any other result?

There is an episode in Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" where a foreign student in Paris is directed to the toilet but in his ignorance uses the bidet instead. Miller extrapolates this (p.158) into a vision of a heavenly feast in which you are brought a silver platter, which has on it only two stinking "number twos".

Do you imagine that the silver platter-owners can't guess your opinion? It's part of the treat for them.


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Friday, December 12, 2014

2015

source


For the sake of something which no one loves, strife never arises, there is no pain if it perishes, no envy if it is possessed by someone else, nor fear, nor hatred, and, to put it all briefly, no commotions of the mind at all.

Baruch Spinoza Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione (1677)

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All original material is copyright of its author. Fair use permitted. Contact via comment. Unless indicated otherwise, all internet links accessed at time of writing. Nothing here should be taken as personal advice, financial or otherwise. No liability is accepted for third-party content, whether incorporated in or linked to this blog; or for unintentional error and inaccuracy. The blog author may have, or intend to change, a personal position in any stock or other kind of investment mentioned.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Smelting

source

Is there a connection between Tony Blair's climate change charity, the world's largest aluminium smelter and a Russian oligarch?

Give up?

Try Paul Homewood's post

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All original material is copyright of its author. Fair use permitted. Contact via comment. Unless indicated otherwise, all internet links accessed at time of writing. Nothing here should be taken as personal advice, financial or otherwise. No liability is accepted for third-party content, whether incorporated in or linked to this blog; or for unintentional error and inaccuracy. The blog author may have, or intend to change, a personal position in any stock or other kind of investment mentioned.