Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Money and Justice.

If you get the chance to see 'O Lucky Man' (1973), don't miss it but be warned - in parts it goes far beyond simply weird.

The UK news sites often link to stories from around the world, and this one illustrates the establishment obsession with money very nicely. The judge made the right call, I think, in jailing this 15-year-old in this case, even though he only stole seven cents.

No, I am not turning into a Victorian flog-them-and-hang-them type. Despite the bleating of his lawyer -

“For seven cents, now you’re making someone a felon for the rest of his life,” she said.

He was not jailed 'for seven cents'. He was jailed for beating up an elderly man, then forcing him at gunpoint (they say they were BB guns but in that situation, would you take a chance?) to hand over the contents of his pockets, then denying it even though both the victim and his accomplice identified him.

The contents of the victim's pockets are not relevant. If they had stolen no more than a piece of string, or taken a million dollars, they were not convicted by the amount. They were convicted for what they did. They assaulted an elderly man and robbed him at gunpoint. That is what they did, not 'stole seven cents'.

Trying to use the small amount stolen as a defence is pathetic, but it is typical of the attitude of so many these days. It is good to see a judge who takes the right approach, not so good to see a lawyer grade crimes by the amount stolen rather than by the severity of the attack.

Unfortunately there is a lot of this happening now. Keep in mind if you're ever in court, you are less important than money.

Except in Judge William Walsh's court. I hope his attitude catches on.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Facts and fiction.

Another washout summer is nearly over, and the economic woes have ousted anything paranormal from the news. There's been little to investigate and apart from a new experience of my own that's keeping just out of sight so far, nothing at all for me to do. So I've been writing some short stories and novels instead. Well, why let all that research go to waste? If I can't use it on facts I might as well use it on fiction.

For me, though, it is important to distinguish fact from fiction. An attitude that seems sadly lacking in many areas of alleged science lately. Often, the science is twisted to fit a political agenda and objectivity is abandoned in favour of preconceived conclusions supported by tortuously twisted figures.

So we hear that biscuits cause cancer and that fat people cause global warming, the reduction in smoking prevalence that matches with the exponential rise of asthma means that smoking causes asthma, the gradual decline in alcohol consumption is evidence of an outbreak of binge drinking and aliens are going to kill us all because they don't like us having power stations.

That last one is not something I made up. Neither are any of the others. They are all things that were made up by people employed as scientists. Paid, I might add, from tax revenues. I would prefer to have the likes of Clive Barker or Stephen King paid through taxes. At least they make it clear they are just making up stories.

Not all scientists are like this. There are still quite a few who believe in the actual principles of science and who seek the truth rather than the money. There are still some out there.

You won't hear about them very often and when you do, you will hear them decried as heretics. They are not following the plan.

I remember a head of department retiring in the days before I became self-employed. One line of his speech really stayed with me. He said "When I started in science, we were chasing knowledge. Now we're just chasing money."

Since he retired, things have become much worse.

The truth has a way of coming out no matter how hard the control freaks try to suppress it. They never learn.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Money and reality.

I'm often told, in my line of interest, that 'ghosts don't exist'. That I should concentrate on real life and the here and now and making money. So I can buy lots of things I don't want.

A long time ago I had a running argument on this blog with an Australian and missed a golden opportunity. When he gave me three options, one of which was true, I should have told him which was true without letting on how I did it. This was a case of transglobal cold reading. He had already told me the answer without realising. I could have pretended that the online 'readings' were all genuine and he would not have heard me scoff and snort as I typed it. I have demonstrably achieved cold reading from the other side of the planet and I was playing for free. Do you really imagine the phone lines and internet readers are about anything more than money?

The world is obsessed with money. Every lifestyle choice is derided as 'costing the health service money' even though we (in the UK) have no option but to pay into that health service whether we use it or not. I've made a little use of it but if I hadn't had to pay for it, I'd have gone private and had change to spare.

Problems in the world? Oh, we'll send money. No matter that sending money into a corrupt regime simply makes the corrupt richer and the poor notice no difference. We've sent money, the problem is solved. Oh, it isn't? Send some more.

There are those in the world who are religious. I'm not one. I've seen ghosts (spirits/demons if you prefer) and experienced things that convince me there is much more to life than we can normally see, but I have seen no evidence that anyone is in charge. I don't 'deny God', I just have no evidence. So I don't call myself atheist because that's becoming a religion too, and one of the nastier ones. I'm an apathist. There might be a God but as long as he leaves me alone I won't bother him.

The religious are also subject to this 'get into reality' mantra. Get a job, knuckle down, earn money. Money is the only thing that's real.

You know what? Money isn't real at all. Most of it simply does not exist. At all. If everyone wanted their money out of the bank in cash there is nowhere near enough cash to achieve this. Most money is numbers on a screen. It's not real. Look at your national debt. You do not owe all the money in the world. You owe more money than exists. Every country owes money. To whom? To banks.

You go into the bank for a loan, the bank says okay, and what happens? Do you walk out with a bag of cash? No, the numbers in your account go up - but there are no numbers going down anywhere else. That money has not been transferred, it has simply been created out of thin air. You have to pay back the non-existent money plus interest, and the interest is real money.

Okay, you can claim that you can spend the loan but how? With cheque, credit card, bank transfer, online account? Where's the cash? You go to the car dealer, show them the loan certificate, sign the form and you have a car. But where's the cash?

So you repay the loan plus interest, all from the products of your work. If you can't pay, the bank takes your car and then what? They write off the loan of money that didn't exist and they now own something that does exist - your car. Or your furniture, your new kitchen or even your house.

Modern money is no longer backed by gold or silver. It made the transition from there to paper and from paper to database digits. It is less real than telepathy, remote viewing, ghosts, religion or Bugs Bunny. You can at least see some evidence, whether you agree with it or not, for all those things. Money? No, you can't see it. You can see numbers that represent it but that's all. No, not even a cartoon rabbit. It never manifests into anything close to reality.

Why do governments insist we have to keep the economy going? Well, because if we stop using credit cards and other means of moving this ghostly currency around, it will stop moving. If it stops moving we might see what it actually is. Illusion. Fake. A charlatan's greatest confidence trick. We have swapped faith, life and independence for nothing at all. Some paper with famous people's pictures on them. We are trading bubblegum cards and calling it investment.

The modern obsession with money is a religion. A Puritan one but backed up with neither scripture nor science. We must stop people smoking/drinking/putting on weight/eating things we deem bad for them and it is not about health, although many have been fooled into believing this is the reason. No, plebian, nobody cares about you. They care about Money.

Look at any report on smoking, drinking, the overweight, anything. Look at the comments. Do you see 'Oh, these poor people, we must help them,' or do you see 'Kill them all in the most appalling way imaginable and do it now'?

About health? No. It's about money. 'Our tax dollars'. Have you ever paid tax? I haven't. I've signed cheques, I've authorised bank transfers to the taxman, I've worked where tax is deducted before you get paid but I have never handed over one single thing I actually cared about, and not one note of real cash. All I have ever done, where tax is concerned, is move numbers around. That is all it takes. That is all there is where modern money is concerned.

Money is everything and nothing. The appropriate demon here would be Mammon, I believe, although I have yet to look into that in detail.

It used to be said that 'the love of money is the root of all evil'. Often corrupted to 'Money is the root of all evil' but really, neither is exactly right.

The worship of money as if it were the Saviour of the World is the problem. Throwing money at drug barons to stop them dealing drugs cannot work, but we do it anyway. Throwing money into regimes where the problem is the creaming off of money by officials cannot work but we do it anyway. In the UK we had riots by Reebok-wearing and designer-hoodie clad thugs who believed they were entitled to more than they were ever interested in earning. The Great God Money must come into their wallets, not their hearts (I doubt they have any) and feed them plasma TV and laptops they have no clue how to use.

Yet when faced with real life's astounding events, pictured in the news, all Mammon's disciples can shout is 'Photoshop'. To them, nothing amazing can happen unless Money is involved. At the same time, they claim to despise religion while following one of the most fundamental religions in existence. Money. Is this not a religion? Tell me why.

Money was devised as a tool. Let's say I catch fish and need a table. The guy who makes tables doesn't like fish. So I sell my fish for cash and use that cash to buy a table, and the table maker uses the cash to buy chicken. That was how it was supposed to work.

It was not supposed to become a god variously described as 'our money, who art in tax heaven, wasteful be thy spending' or as 'economy'. It has. We can think of nothing else. We have become thirteenth century peasants spending every waking minute worrying about whether God (Economy) will permit our crops (Investments) to grow this year. Go on, explain why I'm wrong.

In olden days, some people became hermits and just said 'The hell with it' to society. The reasons might have changed a little but I think I can understand why they did.

When the reality you are ordered to embrace is less substantial than the one you are expected to leave, you have to wonder if there is really any other sensible way to respond.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The most pointless thing in the world.

There are many toys and models based on film characters and old comic book heroes and villians. I don't have any because I'm too old and too uninterested.

I have a friend's birthday approaching so I was looking for something inconsequential and generally just fun as a present, and happened across the most pointless item that has ever been on sale.

It's a little slab of black plastic. It's a 'model' of the black slab from '2001: A Space Idiocy' and it does... nothing at all. Not a thing. It's a slab. That's it. An extraordinarily expensive lump of plastic in a packet.

For the price, I'd at least expect to see stars inside it.

What would make an interesting study for me is this - is anyone really stupid enough to buy it?