Thursday, 20 September 2012

Racism sells, it always has.

Below is an article from Sky News on a series of adverts set to appear on billboards in New York's Subway. Words such as those to be used in this advert have been used throughout history to justify the slaughter and enslavement of innocent peoples for hundreds of years. 

Famously this occurred on the continent that is now called North America and saw the deaths of perhaps millions of indigenous people to the Americas. The civilised white man crossed great ocean spans and with it the supposed right to spread the way of 'civilisation' to people considered 'savages'. They did so by first the sword, then the gun and today, through debt slavery thanks to the World Bank and IMF.

Terms such as ‘savages’ have been used in more recent wars such as Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Words such as ‘gook’, ‘rag heads’ and ‘sand nigger’ are all commonly used by people inside and outside of the military to dehumanise and justify modern day holocausts. Where America and the UK have not actively taken part in modern day massacres they have played their part indirectly as part of a global, military industrial complex, which arms dictators, that our government have backed or put in place, who then use their weapons eventually on their own people, just as Saddam Hussein did in the 1980’s, right up until more recently in Bahrain as part of the Arab Spring. 

The military industrial complex is in full boom, war is good for business and it seems that the business currently is focused on suppressing your own people. Adam Thomas of UKTI DSO speaking at the Special Operations Forces Exhibition Conference (SOFEX) to Shane Smith of Vice News recently explained that the security industry is worth $180-190biliion and that their estimates for the next 4 years see this doubling to over $400billion dollars. By security they mean homeland security, border security, anti-immigration, anti-drugs, oil field security etc. This spending is estimated to be 2-3 times more than will be spent of defence tactical spending.

If they are spending it, it means they are using them and that is a terrifying prospect for us all.

"The right relationship is everything" JPMorgan Chase & Co

By Hannah Thomas-Peter, New York Correspondent

The head of a group that has won its fight to run controversial adverts in New York subway stations referring to some Muslims as "savage" has told Sky News that she will fight "to the death" for the right to offend people.
Pamela Geller runs the American Freedom Defence Initiative (AFDI), which has taken out ads that read: "In any war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."
The posters are due to appear in 10 New York City subway stations next week.
They were initially rejected by the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) because of the use of demeaning language.
But in July a Manhattan court judge ruled this was a violation of the first amendment rights of the AFDI and they should be allowed to run.
Ms Geller told Sky News that she was unconcerned the adverts might make the subway network a target for violence.
She said: "Were there similar ads on the London buses and trains on 7/7? You know there weren't.
"I will not abridge my freedoms so as not to offend savages.
"I won't take responsibility for other people being violent.
"I live in America and in America we have the first amendment."
Ms Geller, who is a prominent supporter of Israel, stressed that she was not referring to all Muslims as savages, only those who engaged in what she characterises as "Jihad".
She believes that America is under threat from some Muslims who wish to impose Sharia law on the country, and her group has launched similar campaigns before.
The release of the adverts coincides with widespread anger in parts of the Middle East over an anti-Muslim film made in the US and released on the Internet.
Next week heads of state from all over the world will be converging on the city amid heightened security for the UN General Assembly.
The Washington DC MTA has deferred the placement of the controversial ads "out of concern for public safety, given current world events".
But New York MTA Transportation spokesman Aaron Donovan said: "Our hands are tied."
There had been some suggestions that the city's transit body was trying to find a way to stop the adverts appearing.
However, another spokesperson for the MTA told Sky News it appeared the ads are definitely going ahead, although he was unable to say on which day, and at which subway stations.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations, told Sky News: "Our basic position is that the first amendment means that everyone is free to be a bigot or even an idiot like Pamela Geller.
"We wish she wasn't provoking and inciting hatred, but in America that's her right.
"We encourage Muslims to exercise the same right to publicly denounce such adverts.
"The real danger is the spread of hatred in our society, which can lead to attacks on innocent people."

The banker never goes broke

If someone were to grab you in the street at night and rob you, you would like to think that once the crime had been reported to the authorities that the perpetrator would be arrested, tried by a jury and found guilty of their crime. So what happened with the banks?

Since 2008 we have had 4 years of scandal which has cost you and I billions of pounds, in fact depending on where you get your figures from it could have cost us as much as £1trillion. When you start to get to figures of trillions you must in your heart start to know that things have gone out of hand. Professor Brian Cox comically stated that we have 'spent more on bailing out the banks than we have on science since Jesus'.

Polly Curtis from the Guardian asked in September 2011 the following:

How much did the banking crisis cost the UK taxpayer?

Last December (2010), the National Audit Office published a second report into the costs of the bail-out. That report concluded:

The scale of the support currently provided to UK banks has fallen from a peak of £955bn to £512bn, but the amount of cash currently borrowed by the government to support banks has risen by £7bn [to a total of £124bn] since December 2009.
• Since 2007 the UK has committed to spending £1.162 trillion at various points on bailing out the banks. This figure has however fluctuated wildly during the period and by March 2011 it was £456.33bn. That total outstanding support was equivalent to 31% of GDP in March (2011)

The banks, bankers and their friends have taken money, your money, gone to the casino and gambled it away. Then to top it off and kick you a little more whilst you are down, they have been saved by us, with our money, again.

I wonder if you went to the casino and gambled all your money away and went bust would the bank give you another £250,000 loan so you could keep your home, or would they evict you and your family and sell it on for a fraction of the price to one of the many vultures that would no doubt circle?

Yet despite this not one of these lying gamblers have been arrested and dragged down to the Old Bailey to face charges for enslaving future generations to debt slavery. However we look at it the debt that these criminals have thrust upon us today will eventually rest on the shoulders of tomorrows children.

A documentary on Channel 4 in 2010 called Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story estimated that our children, as it stands, will be in debt to the tune of £73,000 before they are even born, and you were going to worry about tuition fees?

They are stealing their future.

Worse than this, in some countries, the casino dwelling banking terrorists responsible for the global financial meltdown have actually been put in charge of pushing through austerity measures aimed at keeping their friends at the dinner table, eating heartily, whilst the rest of us scrimp and scrape to feed our young and put a roof over our heads. The Great Dictator, I mean actor, Barack Obama on the other hand has passed some of the most unnerving banking legislation, proving that he is a banking President and then rated himself 3rd or 4th best President of all time. Congratulations. You stole from your public to pay off the banks.

The greatest transfer of power and wealth from the poor to the rich has taken place on their watch, under our noses and yet still we take it.

This year also saw the Libor scandal hit the news. Fraud, whichever way you look at it, it is fraud. Bankers at Barclays colluded to fix the Libor rate how and when it suited them, noticeably around the period of the Lehman Brothers Collapse, following a chat with someone from our central bank, The Bank of England.

You couldn't make it up.

Yet still no one has been arrested and Bob Diamond, former Barclays Bank CEO who earned somewhere in the region of £100m in his time with Barclays between 2006 and this year, walked away with a £2million pay off, even though the Financial Service Authority had doubts about his appointment in 2010, to ensure his availability in the event that anything came up.

In the meantime these banking terrorists are in the middle of a printing frenzy of paper money, which only serves to increase the cost of living. Each round of Quantitative Easing devalues the pound already sat in your pocket.

"Give it up Ben (Bernanke) QE3 is a flop, you can buy up all of the agency mortgage backed securities in the world but as long as you are paying IOR at a rate that is way above market, all you are going to accomplish is to drive up commodity prices" Forbes 2012 ~ Louis Woodhill 

We face cuts to essential services, pay freezes and our pensions are being hijacked by governments we elect, to supposedly serve us, to pay for their mess. Whilst they are at it they pitch us against one another by playing public sector off against private sector. The reality is neither one of the people who work in either of these sectors caused this mess, yet we are being made to pay for it and we point the finger at each other whilst the people who are actually responsible sit on beaches in the Caribbean supping cocktails. Whilst we have had to learn to cope, make do & mend and get by, the number of millionaires in England has increased by 17% in the last 2 years.

It is high time we stopped believing the government and media lies, lies that it is our fault this depression is upon us. It is time that we pointed the finger, together, at the real people responsible; the banks, bankers, their government puppets and their special interest corporations. Which finger you point, I leave to you.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Was it something I said?

The summer holidays are over and with it the sound of screaming kids enjoying the last days of any real freedom they will ever know, until Halloween that is.

For the most part my summer was spent inside an office doing mundane tasks; Australian comedian Steve Hughes calls this 'working maximum hours for minimum wage'.  Never one to feel too hard done by I decided to take my nephews to an old haunt I frequented many a time as a youngling with my Grandfather, Hunstanton. It was relatively close by with the changeable weather in mind and good enough for their first visit to an English seaside.

An early rise was compounded by a bit of late night research and the sudden realisation I hadn't sorted out a lunch for my better half, who being a coeliac (allergy to wheat and gluten) makes it hard to find somewhere to eat out without having first checked out the eateries. The last time I checked it was fish and chips and not a lot more.

The journey was uneventful, I had the pleasure of my eldest nephews company, who requested the mandatory 'air in the night' by Phil Collins to kick start the journey. With a captive audience I decided to broaden his musical horizon and wean him off JLS and reacquaint him with Bob Marley, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin. He was not impressed. 

When we arrived it was clear to see not much had changed in the 14 or 15 years since I last visited the town. The old car park seemed to have the same old vans parked in it, with the same faces walking around the same market. We headed down to the sea straight off and I watched as the ever entertaining youngest of my nephews chased the waves for the first time.

The waves were not in the same league as those of Bells Beach but it was fun for the younglings.

The elder stateswoman of the group wanted to have breakfast before heading down to Old Hunstanton so we elected to find the old cafe we had always gone to for a cup of tea and some toast; I still have vivid memories of hearing the news there that Ayrton Senna had died at Imola in 1994, sat with my juice. Moving up the hill the old cafe was nowhere to be seen, it had gone, but another promising little family place was situated across the road so we gave it a chance and took a look at the menu.

As my family filed in through the door I noticed a young family already sat in the corner with their breakfast fresh on the table, a man with his girlfriend and 2 children. He was no older than me and his partner a few years younger perhaps, he had his top off and was covered head to toe in tattoos. Having had one or two myself in the past I am a fan of good art work on a human canvas, but this man was sporting St George's Cross, a British Bull dog and 'Made in England' on his leg.

My family deliberated at the till on what to eat and I turned to wait outside, the atmosphere seemed to get a little tense.

I do not think my family had particularly noticed but an uncomfortable feeling over came me and within a couple of minutes the young family were hurrying out of the cafe. Was it something I said? Was there a sign I had missed that said 'no blacks, no Irish?' No, but it is something I have experienced on more than one occasion in the past, I imagine they must have truly believed whatever they had read in the Daily Mail that week. As a child I remember occasions where people would stare at my mother for having a child considered 'half caste' and later of 'mixed race or heritage' but had never thought anything more about it since then until I saw the reaction to my nephews, their mother and I.

Why should I have, are we not all of mixed heritage? After all this is the 21st century...

What were our crimes I wondered? Other than my sister sporting the Hijab and myself a wild, Hendrix-Esq Afro? Nothing, other than not being white in a country that now, in some ways, views Muslims and Islam the way some people used to view Black people and Jews.

These are strained times for all of us regardless of our cultural upbringing, the only real difference between any one of us. The cold war has been replaced by the war on terror and putting with it a whole new section of the worlds population in the cross hairs of people that feed and are fed on fear. It is this very fear that will no doubt lead my nephews, and many other children of a similar age, into a new era of hate that no one will be truly able to explain the reason for why, other than 'they just do'.

I wish I had asked the gentleman why he felt the need to take his family out of the cafe but at the time I felt he was not the sort to debate and held the door for him as they shuffled past. I missed an opportunity to offer a positive experience to him and his family of people that are different in some ways, yet alike in so many ways more.

It left me wondering whether this is how it will always be, with my nephews blissfully unaware of the animosity and mistrust in the world around them until it hits them in the face, perhaps quite literally as it did with me, with this man, his children and others like them growing up to fear, needlessly, someone based purely on the fact that their bodies have a little more melanin than them or that their way of showing their faith to God differs?

We are shaped by our environments but I am an optimist, reformed and hope for a better world, one that will eventually learn to see through the propaganda and hype played out to us by the media and lead to us embracing each other as a common species, not as individual races.