Ol’ Blind Joe
Gross National Happiness
By Stirling Hamilton
MY WIFE Truth and I went to the ‘Global Conference on Media Freedom’ in London.
Marise Payne, the Oz Foreign Minister, got let in before us even though she’s aligned with those obsessively opposing any investigation of their motives or activities by the press.
Letting Julian Assange rot in the dungeon and recent raids on the ABC and a News Corp journalist have highlighted Australia’s clamp down on media freedoms.
Next in line at the conference, RT (Russian TV) and Sputnik got refused entry and the bouncer took one look at my wife and told us to piss off.
We walked and talked down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams and made our way to the pot plant drenched premises of the ‘Bhutan boutique beers’ bar where I had rooms upstairs and we went up to the veranda.
Bhutan is notable for pioneering the concept of Gross National Happiness instead of Gross Domestic Product.Read more
In South Asia, it ranks first in economic freedom, ease of doing business, and peace; and is the least corrupt country as of 2016.
In 2015, they set a Guinness World Record by planting 50,000 trees in just one hour.
Ethiopia just planted 350 million trees in one day, but isn’t it odd that the poorest countries manage to do such noble works while the richest ones sit nonchalantly idle admiring themselves while they choke the life out of Mother Earth.
Oz maintains a ‘top-10 spot’ in tree clearing records worldwide while living in the driest joint on earth.
Good on ya Queensland, you managed to set a world record for self destruction and even got the quinella for voting the coalition back in too.
In Buddhism, a tree is the provider and nourishes all life forms; it symbolises longevity, health, beauty and even compassion.
The Bhutanese constitution stipulates that at least 60 per cent of land remains forested at all times.
While the entire country collectively produces 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, the immense forest covering 72 per cent of the country acts as a carbon sink, absorbing more than four million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
Uncle Sam’s mountain
SADLY, blocking the glorious horizon across the road looms the menacing summit of Uncle Sam’s mountain upon whose blood- soaked slopes lay untold innocents, native and foreign.
The White House is perched vaingloriously swollen with pride atop it with the Pentagon astride her, dominating all the lands with the Skull and Crossbones blowing in the wind.
The US has four per cent of the world’s population with 40 per cent of the globe’s guns and missiles.
Kept close under one wing is an eaglet with five eyes. Canada, Australia, the US, UK and NZ who are watching everything anybody does anywhere.
Under its other wing are the chosen ones, Israel and Saudi Arabia who Uncle Sam arms to the teeth and feeds.
American diplomacy in support of Saudi Arabia and Israel has created a foreign legion of armed Wahabi Islamic fundamentalists from Afghanistan to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya.
Having stripped the robes off the ‘Statue of Liberty’, shaming her and themselves, US lust for power is undiminished, laying waste to sovereign dominions everywhere to steal treasure and plunder resources.
Claiming to promote ‘democracy’, US diplomacy has redefined the word to mean pro-American, and opposing land reform, national ownership of raw materials and public subsidy of foreign agriculture or industry as an ‘undemocratic’ attack on ‘free markets’, meaning markets controlled by US financial interests and absentee owners of land, natural resources and banks.
Countries that do not give the United States control of their oil and financial sectors or privatise their key sectors are isolated by imposing trade sanctions and unilateral tariffs giving special advantages to US producers.
US officials justify tariffs and import quotas illegal under World Trade Organisation rules on ‘national security’ grounds, claiming that the United States can do whatever it wants as the world’s ‘exceptional’ nation.
They explain that this means that their nation is not obliged to adhere to international agreements or honour its own treaties and promises.
The American promise is that the victory of neo-Liberalism is the End of History, offering prosperity to the entire world.
But beneath the rhetoric of free choice and free markets is the reality of corruption, subversion, coercion, debt peonage and neo-Feudalism.
‘Privilege and power’ or ‘justice and truth’ is the essential question we need to address.
Every mouthpiece on radio, TV or digital has just accepted as ‘gospel’, that Putin is a master of deception and harbours evil intent.
The US increase in the military budget under Trump – just the increase – is greater than the entire Russian military budget.
I’ve been following this election interference narrative for years and it’s all bullshit.
Zero evidence Your Honour, ‘appears to be’ or ‘seems likely to be’ does not cut the mustard.
Neither can the problem just be that Russia is a foreign country, or that its elected president is a dictator.
Last year, 400 people were prosecuted in Russia for things they said on social media, while in the UK, 3300 were.
All is but a canard; a fabricated report based on a groundless rumour or belief.
English novelist George Orwell wrote that the further a country drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.