Sunday, 11 November 2012

Interpreting Free

I've come to believe that much of the policy that’s influenced our lives in recent decades is more about strategy than ideology. More...

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Bernie Sanders.  "The American people should not be fooled by the misinformation that will be spread at these “grassroots” gatherings backed by some of the most powerful Wall Street, insurance, and corporate CEOs in the country."

EU, IMF demand lower wages, longer hours in Greece

EU, IMF demand lower wages, longer hours in Greece

Monday, 11 June 2012

Borrowing Money That Doesn't Exist

It seems an odd sort of world where we have to rely on a twelve-year-old Canadian girl, Victoria Grant, to explain the nonsense and the criminal-mindedness of debt-based, fractional reserve banking, before any reasonable number of us takes enough notice of the situation for such important info to go viral on the internet.  Here's the Blog.


Thursday, 31 May 2012

Christine Lagarde and Her Little Kids in Niger

I've been noticing an interesting resurgence of Victorian-style philanthropy in recent years.  The Samuel Johnston quote, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”, springs to mind, albeit in a sort of inverted form.  I get a sneaky feeling reading between the lines that our modern day scoundrels are planning to take refuge (and vast profit) from internationalism.  Mind you, I’m not suggesting there’s anything new about that. 

The first hint of the slant came from a hedge fund manager.  He went through what seemed a well-rehearsed mantra of self-justification, in response to a BBC interviewer's suggestion that what we require now is a “just form of capitalism”.  Essentially his response was that 1.3 million Chinese sweatshop grafters were as entitled to no less a quality of life than we, undeserving slackers in the West.  It seems then, that if the Chinese people, who don't have democracy, are not to expect justness, neither should we.  Maybe not, but was he forgetting, who funded his free education sometime in the middle of last century, which just happened to make it possible for him to become what he is today?  (Don't ask me to describe what that is; I try to moderate my language on these blogs.) 

Anyway, that gave me my first whiff of suspicion about what might be the topic of debate, in the tax havens of late. The most striking thing however, is that it belies any illusions we might have about national loyalty. To quote George Carlin, “They don’t care about you, at all, at all, at all.” Why should they? Maybe they shouldn’t. But when the excrement hits the fan, we still have to bail them out - because now, "we’re all in this together".

Then a while later I heard a well-known software magnate along with a big-pharmaceutical boss and an African ex health minister (no names, no pack drill - links herewith) on Newsnight, (BBC again), set-faced and implacable, swatting off, like pesky flies, the concerns of all the little people from the NGOs etc.   No ifs or buts, thank you very much.  They intend to surcharge the hoi polloi in the West for their medicines so to supply the developing countries at knocked down prices.  Fair enough, but notice the way it’s the hoi polloi that has to take up the slack.  Prices, terms and conditions remain at the discretion of the profiteers - of course.   

Then, very recently, I saw Christine Lagarde of the IMF quoted in the Guardian Newspaper (UK) saying, "I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time. Because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens." 

In all of the above cases however, it seems to me that the glaringly obvious missing element is democratic accountability.  Another glaringly obvious thing is the part that private ownership plays.  My concern is that, privatisation, compounded with 'small government', debt based banking, and a few other tricks of the cheap labour trade, aren't conducive with democracy of any real substance - and neither, I suspect, are they meant to be. 

For my liking, the world's elite are far too eager to take the initiative in the sphere of world development, because it means they’ll get to do things their way.  ‘We, the people’ need to ask ourselves if that's what we want:  Can we do more of these things together, democratically - or, should we just accept the diktat of the oligarchs?

Well, whatever - if we can't get a better grip of our democratic responsibilities the little kids in Niger will just have to rely on Lagard-style neo-Dickensian philanthropy - and so be it.  It’s better than neglecting them, but it’s not the option I’d choose.  However, Dickensian philanthropy is one thing; the Dickensian workhouse is another.  And that, I suspect, is our future, if we can’t manage to use our democracy more effectively.

Anyway, three cheers for the search button.  Maybe I'm just an old cynic – although I hasten to add that I wasn't born this way – but I found myself wondering what it is that so endears Madam Lagarde and the unelected cabal who actually pull the strings at the IMF to those little children of the developing nations - and particularly Niger. 

“Stop it!"  I scolded myself.  "Stop looking for ulterior motives in everything that shower does.  After all, who could argue against bettering the lives of these little children in Niger?  They don’t have a pot-to-p*ss in between them. 

I do.  In fact, I’ve several pots in which to do the aforementioned.  Furthermore, there’s no shortage of crap around this house - all manufactured in Far Eastern sweatshops.  (At least the cat’s happy; there’s no room to swing her.) 

But I couldn’t help myself; I just had to google up, 'Niger IMF' - and voila!  The answer materialised, before my eyes.  Apparently, by sheer coincidence, the place is awash with oil and uranium – unlike Greece, of course.  Greece is awash with olive oil and I heard recently that that’s why the price of olive oil is plummeting.  It must be the only thing reducing in price these days.  (Maybe I could get my car converted for bio fuel.) 
 
“Niger’s GDP growth is forecast to soar to 14.1 percent in 2012 from a projected 3.8 percent in 2011."  I read on the IMF website.

I bet it will!  It's too bad that ordinary people of Niger, including the little children that Madam Lagarde is so concerned about will see scant benefit.  Meanwhile, there’ll be no shortage of sweatshop labour in the guise of ‘growth’ to keep them busy. 

Growth, growth, austerity, growth...  You could do a waltz to it!  Or maybe we could do a great big worldwide conga, round and round in ever-decreasing circles until we all vanish up our own chuffs - not unlike the way the banking system goes every so often.  

But, as I'm sure the Greek people are aware, moneylenders are not philanthropists; there's always the payback after the party.  Just like every other pie that the IMF sticks its finger into, the lion's share of the ‘growth’ will disappear, spiralling up through the ozone layer.  Up, up and away it’ll whiz, with the elite of this world, riding shotgun.  Off they’ll soar in their recently privatised space-quest to privatise the stars, now that ownership of terrestrial life is no longer in doubt.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Austerity Is Not About Money

Who'll take advantage of the opportunities thrown up by this time of austerity?  Will 'the people' see the light and opt for greater democracy or remain oppressed by plutocratic diktat? The Blog's here

How to Make Green Vegetables Sprouted Seeds and Beans Taste Good

This blogs about preparing green vegetables and sprouted beans lentils and seeds in a way that makes them appetising and to do it in the most convenient way possible for busy people, who want to give their healthy diet the best possible chance of success. The blog's here

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Man Who Saw it With His Own Eyes

 I heard someone on the BBC News this morning, saying. "I saw it with my own eyes."

Don't you think that's a daft thing to say? It seems a bit redundant to me. Who else's eyes did he think he should use? Here's the blog

Thursday, 10 May 2012

As We Fart Our Way to Extinction

Imagine farting your species into extinction.  That's what the boffins are accusing the dinosaurs of doing.  It's a bit cowardly.  The poor dumb creatures, being extinct, can't even defend their reputation. Here's the Blog

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Fear the Challenge or Challenge the Fear

Is it to be a future of rapacity or reciprocity, competitiveness or cooperation, conflict or negotiation, unsustainable growth or ecological stability?  These things will determine the quality of life for the majority of humans.  see the rest of this blog at Hubpages

The Best Possible Way to Store Fresh Broccoli


 I wash my vegetables every day for two main reasons:

Firstly, to remove toxins, bacteria and pesticides.

Secondly, the vegetables really come to life.  They're vibrant, colourful and firm to the touch. Vegetables I bring home from the supermarket looking limp, and sorry for themselves seem to perk up in no time. I can keep my vegetables for months this way.  more info at Hubpages

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Outsourcing and the Relative Differences in the Cost of Living

One of the aspects that I seldom hear mentioned with respect to the outsourcing of "the means of production" is the cost of living relative to the competing economies.

Click here for the blog I did on Hubpages today.  There's a George Carlin YouTube video, and one of a hedge fund manager trying to justify his behaviour. 

http://amillar.hubpages.com/hub/Outsourcing-and-the-Relative-Differences-in-the-Cost-of-Living

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Worst Thing You Could Do

If they get away with this scam in Greece, they'll have their tails up.  They'll move on to Portugal after that.  We're in the firing line sometime after that - and, as George Carlin once said, "Nobody seems to notice; nobody seems to care.”  If he felt like that and he was talking to an audience of hundreds and they all just laughed at him, no wonder you get frustrated with only yourself to talk to."  I said to myself. Click here.

http://amillar.hubpages.com/hub/The-Worst-Thing-You-Could-Do

Monday, 19 March 2012

My Mum's Secret For Looking Younger

 "Look!  No wrinkles!"  She'd say, to the mirror on the wall, which, on reflection, showed no sign of incredulity.  "And no grey hair!"  She'd add, as if an encore was in order.

"That's amazing Mum."  I'd reply, as tactfully as possible.  "Now put your specs on - and try that again". 

Click here for the blog

http://amillar.hubpages.com/hub/My-Mums-Secret-For-Looking-Younger

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Means of Production and the Means of Reproduction

 It seems these big corporations owned, no doubt, by the infamous 1%, not only want to control the 'means of production', but now also want to control the means of reproduction.

Click below for the article
http://amillar.hubpages.com/hub/The-Means-of-Production-and-the-Means-of-Reproduction

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

It’s Only Me - I’ll Catch Ya’ Later

 Why is it that the one numptie that I least want to see, has to come out with irritating sayings like, "It's only me"?  "Only!" he says, as if that should ease my mind - when I'm really thinking, "Trust him to turn up now - like a vicious bout of diarrhoea whilst scaling the Ben Nevis.  Click here for more

http://amillar.hubpages.com/hub/Its-Only-Me-Ill-Catch-Ya-Later

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Will Kindness Come Back Into Fashion?

I expect we’ll see a decline for a while, in the sort of ideology that has dominated society in recent decades, and some progress in the perspective that material wealth is not the entire measure of our worth. Maybe we’re due for a cultural shift, from one of taking, to one of sharing, from divisiveness to inclusiveness - from one of preying upon one another, to one of working for one another. More

Will Kindness Come Back Into Fashion?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Bain Capital debate

I don't know why the hoi polloi put up with this kind of racket. Too busy watching 'reality TV' to pay attention to what's really happening, I suppose.

The Bain Capital debate

Sunday, 15 January 2012

PIP Breast Implants - Privatised Profit and Socialised Loss

So what's new? We privatise the profit and we nationalise the debt. We know that; that’s not new. However, now we privatise breast implants made from bedding material and nationalise the proper medically approved ones.

Get the rest of the blog here.

PIP Breast Implants - Privatised Profit and Socialised Loss

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Selling - How to Recognise Buying Signals

Selling - How to Recognise Buying Signals

 Knowing how to spot customers’ buying signals, is a great asset to sales staff, and it’s simply a case of tuning into your customers’ emotions.  More info.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Haddock and Broccoli Pie with Healthy Cheeseless Cheese Sauce and Quinoa Topping

Frozen haddock fillet
This recipe uses my Healthy Cheeseless Cheese Sauce.  I did a blog at Hubpages about this.  You'll get it here.  It's a variation of the Tuna and Broccoli Pie with Healthy Cheeseless Cheese Sauce and Quinoa Topping blog.

'Variety is the spice of life' - they say.
 
Ingredients:

100g of Broccoli florets chopped into 1" pieces.
1fillet of haddock
Uncooked broccoli with haddock fillet lurking below
Cheeseless cheese sauce as per recipe here.
Cooked and seasoned quinoa as per recipe here.

Method:

Put the raw, defrosted haddock fillet, into a microwavable dish, with the raw broccoli on top.  Microwave it for about 5 minutes.  Until the fish is cooked (it breaks apart to the touch).

Then smother the broccoli and fish with the Cheeseless Cheese Sauce.  Get the recipe here. 

Cover this with a cooked spicy quinoa topping.  Get the recipe below - or here.

Spicey Quinoa Topping

Cooked quinoa
Ingredients:

½ a cup of dry quinoa
1½ cups of water

Method

Put these two ingredients into a saucepan and bring it to the boil, and then immediately turn the heat down as low as possible to simmer for 10-15 minutes.  The quinoa absorbs all the water.  Take it off the heat.

Add to the cooked quinoa:

½ teaspoon of Fajita seasoning or Cajun mix
¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric (for colour)
1 tablespoon of olive oil or rapeseed oil

Coat the quinoa in the seasoning and oil and sprinkle it over the Cheeseless Cheese Sauce. 

You can give the dish a whirl in the microwave and lightly brown the topping under the grill to make it crunchy if you like things piping hot.  But remember that the more you heat this healthy food, the less healthy it becomes.  You can protect the essential oils in the rapeseed oil (omegas 3 + 6) by simply adding it last - i.e. after the cooking process.

Spicey Quinoa Topping

Broccoli and Basil in sunlight
Spicy Quinoa Topping

I use this recipe as a garnish or a topping for a variety of dishes like:

Tuna and Broccoli Pie Cheeseless Cheese Sauce and Quinoa Topping







Ingredients:

½ a cup of dry quinoa
1½ cups of water

Method

Put these two ingredients into a saucepan and bring it to the boil, and then immediately turn the heat down as low as possible to simmer for 10-15 minutes.  The quinoa absorbs all the water.  Take it off the heat.

Add to the cooked quinoa:

½ teaspoon of Fajita seasoning or Cajun mix
¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric (for colour)
1 tablespoon of olive oil or rapeseed oil

Coat the quinoa in the seasoning and oil and sprinkle it over the dish. 

You can give the dish a whirl in the microwave and lightly brown the topping under the grill to make it crunchy if you like things piping hot.  But remember that the more you heat this healthy food, the less healthy it becomes.  You can protect the essential oils in the rapeseed oil (omegas 3 + 6) by simply adding it last - i.e. after the cooking process.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Healthy Cheeseless Cheesy Broccoli




Add 1 cup (6 fluid oz) of water to these dry ingredients and give it a whirl in the microwave for 3-5 minutes.
Here's another way I use my Healthy Cheeseless Cheese Sauce.  You'll get the recipe here.

I've chopped up about 150g of broccoli and chucked it in along with the quinoa flakes, mustard powder, ground turmeric and seasoning. 

Add the yoghurt,lemon juice and canola/rapeseed oil to this









I've given it a 3 minute whirl in the microwave at the porridge stage.  3 minutes won't destroy too much of the vitamins in the broccoli but if you want to keep the broccoli raw, just add it along with the 'uncooked ingredients'.  You'll get that sort of info at my Hubpages blog here. 

Cheeseless Broccoli Cheese in minutes
I'd leave my broccoli uncooked if it were fresh out of the garden, but this is supermarket stuff, so I cook it lightly just in case there's dodgy bacteria present.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Tuna and Broccoli Pie with Healthy Cheeseless Cheese Sauce and Quinoa Topping

 This recipe uses my Healthy Cheesless Cheese Sauce.  I did a blog at Hubpages about this.  You'll get it here.

Ingredients:

100g of Broccoli florets chopped into 1" pieces.
100g of tinned tuna fish with the brine drained off
Cheeseless cheese sauce as per recipe here
Spicy quinoa topping as per recipe below

Method:

Put the broccoli and desert-spoon of water into a microwavable dish.  Microwave it for 2-3 minutes.  Then spread the tuna chunks on top of it.

Smother the broccoli and fish with the Cheeseless Cheese Sauce.  Get the recipe here. 

Cover this with piping hot cooked spicy  quinoa topping.  The recipe follows:


Spicy Quinoa Topping

Ingredients:

½ a cup of dry quinoa
1½ cups of water

Method:

Put these two ingredients into a saucepan and bring it to the boil, and then immediately turn the heat down as low as possible to simmer for 10-15 minutes.  The quinoa absorbs all the water.  Take it off the heat.

Add to the cooked quinoa:

½ teaspoon of Cajun Spice
¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric (for colour)
1 dessert-spoon of olive oil

Coat the quinoa in the seasoning and oil and sprinkle it over the Cheeseless Cheese Sauce

You can give the dish a whirl in the microwave if you like things piping hot.  And you can lightly brown the topping under the grill to make it crunchy, but remember that the more you heat this healthy food, the less healthy it becomes.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

One Deranged Person and One Gun Is All It Takes

A man in County Durham, England has shot and killed three women and then committed suicide. It's a terrible tragedy, and the debate about gun-ownership has sparked off again. I'm suspicious of anyone who wants to own a lethal weapon of any kind, and especially if they're the kind who also harbour political ambitions. Read more.
One Deranged Person and One Gun Is All It Takes