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Friday lay day – Give them a job and a surfboard

The weeks go by quickly when you have fun and its my Friday lay day blog again, which brings some relief because I don’t feel quite as squeezed for time. Denmark seems to know a thing or two that other governments do not. They clearly stood their ground after the population failed to ratify the Maastricht Treaty and forced the European Council to create a special appendix exempting the nation from having to adopt the euro as their currency. Staying out of the Eurozone was very wise. This week, we learned that unlike other governments such as the Australian government, which is legislating to jail any citizen who goes to fight for various Muslim fighting units in and around Syria, Denmark’s approach is to offer them a job to restore their sense of hope in the Danish society and avoid a sense of alienation and social exclusion.

The Fairfax report (October 22, 2014) – Give them a job: how Denmark deals with returned Islamist fighters – tells us that:

… in Denmark, a country that has spawned more foreign fighters per capita than almost anywhere else, the port city of Aarhus is taking a novel approach by rolling out a welcome mat … In Denmark, not one returned fighter has been locked up. Instead, taking the view that discrimination at homeis as criminal as Islamic State recruiting, officials here are providing free psychological counselling while finding returnees jobs and spots in schools and universities. Officials credit a new effort to reach out to a radical mosque with staunching the flow of recruits.

Sounds like a model for others to follow. But a basic level of understanding of human psychology is required which seems to be lacking in other advanced nations.

You cannot blow up or lock up an idea. But you can create new ideas with hope.
The US – precision airdrops

Some predictions come true. A short time ago, anybody who knew anything about anything predicted that the US air drops of weapons and supplies aimed at the Kurdish fighters would end up, at least partly, in the hands of the IS fighters.

As night follows day, it was reported earlier this week by RT that IS fighters now have some nice new weapons courtesy of the US – Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)

The First Dog on the Moon, which appears in the Australian edition of the Guardian newspaper covered the announcement.

First Dog on the Moon 22.10.14

You can also Sign Up to receive an E-mail whenever First Dog cartoons are published.

You might wonder what this display of surfboards is about


It was taken this week at my local surf spot in Newcastle – Nobbys Beach – and displays the outcomes of Operation Drop.

The Newcastle local branch of the national broadcaster, the ABC launched Operation Drop “to help a fledgling surfing movement in PNG” by:

… collecting everything surf-related, packing a freight container to the brim and shipping it to PNG, where the Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea (SAPNG) will distribute your donations to communities in need.

The ABC report – Operation Drop In attracts an avalanche of surfboards – said that:

… hundreds of surfboards that local surfers have donated … [and] … dozens of other items, including boardshorts and swimming costumes, wetsuits, leg ropes, boogie boards, surfskis and even board wax … [further] … The PNG Surfing Association is determined to empower women in its communities, and for that reason 50% of all of the donated boards have their noses painted a fluorescent pink to be set aside for female surfers.

The work of the PNG Surfing Association – is worth supporting.

Related coverage with some great photos are available as follows:

Better than blowing each other up

This is what I have been listening to this morning as I work in my office.

The video of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song comes off the CD released by Playing For Change, which “is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music”.

Better than blowing each other up and forcing millions into despair with jobs.

I have been ‘jamming’ (that is what we jokingly refer to it as) lately with a close friend who has decided to take up ukulele. I play the guitar providing a wall of strumming and notes to accompany the one-person ukechestra on classics such as Ring of Fire and Three little birds. Perhaps we should port it into the Playing for Change orchestra!

Saturday Quiz

The Saturday Quiz will be back again tomorrow. It will be of an appropriate order of difficulty (-:

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2014 Bill Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. The physical problem with getting everybody to work is that the cost of depreciation of the goods increases over time.
    Eventually these costs get higher then the basic costs of living.
    So eventually people start working for the machines rather then the machines working for you.
    The machines get in the way of living.

    Desmond Fennel wrote about Swedish (then new socialist) society in the early 60s under the essay “Goodbye to Summer”
    (Please remember for good or ill Fennels irish society of the early 60s was not a full wage employment society.)
    Fennel argues that Swedens material achievements were due in part to a newly secular society organized around a infantilizing socialist economic system.
    He strongly suggests that the prices Swedes paid for this Pyrrhic victory was a deep seated toxic unhappiness.
    This odious sort of life leads to only one conclusion – “the fascination for death as the biggest event is met by a longing for death as a release from the pain of living”

    I strongly recommend watching a joint Swedish / Danish series entitled “The Bridge”
    This series orbits the Øresund Bridge (a symbol of modernistic achievement) and the bland so called energy efficient town of Malmo with the strange Malmo tower overlooking this conurbation of greyness.

    The society is depicted as almost lifeless.
    Perhaps these men are fighting something else within their hearts ?
    Something deeper then a pointless make work job ?

  2. Dork,

    As Neil Wilson so succinctly puts it, right now at this point in the human experiment, the masses are not simply going to let the bulk of the population do nothing and still receive a living wage – not while a significant portion of the population still need to work (though what this portion is remains to be seen as we automate away most of the productive work in the economy) – the logical first step is the JG program as Bill/Randy/Warren (and maybe Mike Norman and Michael Hudson as well) posit. The next logical step is to culturally redefine work as the ratios creep towards a tipping point.

    This could mean that

    * perpetual study and research is seen as deserving of some income
    * parenting young children under the school age is seen as deserving of some income
    * voluntary or altruistic or charitable deeds are seen as deserving of some income.

    or even take it further, perhaps even eventually

    * doing 30 minutes of exercise per day
    * learning a language
    * mastering a musical instrument
    * caring for the elderly
    * caring for orphaned pets or injured wildlife
    * recycling (this sort of happens in some states anyway)

    might even be activities that attract some level of income, based on society’s acceptance that this type of activity improves quality of life, not just for individuals, but also other individuals around them, and the ultimately the whole species.

    It doesn’t have to be make-work. And if industrial workplaces cut back hours and increased pay-rates for workers concurrent to a JG type program, there would be less resistance from almost all sectors of the population (except for some of the more sociopathic owners of capital).

  3. @jeff
    “parenting young children under the school age is seen as deserving of some income
    * voluntary or altruistic or charitable deeds are seen as deserving of some income”

    You should sit back and listen to yourself for a second.
    You want to monetize the family home.

    Perhaps the last bastion against socialism in some countries (but not Scandanavia)

    Previously this stuff was done without money but it was done regardless as it came naturally.
    The breakdown in family life is as a result of the extraction of purchasing power.
    People must now pair down their lives , become atomic units of consumption – causing family unit breakup.
    These roboten must therefore disengage if they have a hope of having enough tokens.

    Fennell oberved one Swedish bloke (perhaps no longer Christian) that began to worship the sun in Sweden of all places.
    So he only lives for perhaps 3 months ~ in the year !!!!!!!!!!!

    A social creditor does not want a top down system of management or morals.
    You are provided enough tokens to engage in village or market town life , then you get on with it.
    No need for Scottish like hoarding and then blowing the surplus.

    As for these Muslim human bombs growing up in post Christian Europe.
    They are in fact the new crusaders wether they know it or not.
    In my view the Crusades was not directly related to Romes ambitions. (although Roman greed was part of it)
    No – the Venetians needed control of the Silk Road.

    History is repeating itself – these guys think they are fighting for something spiritual when infact it is a very material war of conquest.
    We can see this reality when the various ancient cultures of Syria are being broken up and feed into the western scarcity maw piece by piece.

  4. Dork,
    As someone who has visited Malmø many times, bland isn’t how I’d describe it. Sure it has it’s share of social problems along with so many post-industrial conurbations in the world but there’s also a certain vibrancy, honesty, unpretentiousness and grittiness to the place that’s sorely lacking in Stockholm.

    In any case, the essay sounds like a worthwhile read.

  5. @Supermundane
    Ok – perhaps I am superimposing Hibernian problems onto others

    PS check out Gillian Tetts latest piece about the irish petri.
    “The jingle that sounds the road to economic recovery”

    Her repuation as a bankers cipher is secured with this devilish piece.
    The sizure of assets in a time of deflation protrayed as a act of kindness……(deflation in a debt money system is outright theft)

    A wonderful piece of courtly journalism if I may so.

    Also the political ramifications of this line (below) is no surprise to people who never believed in Democracy British style but is quite something to digest regardless.

    “Is this a good idea? Some say No. Letting the irresponsible escape looks distasteful to responsible borrowers. And when Mr Honohan raised the issue at the IMF meeting, the European bankers in the room were unimpressed.”

    Honohan at least did us Irish a favour in 2010 when he destroyed the illusion of a Parliamentry democracy that morning back in 2010 when he overruled the government & PM on live state radio and brought it down pronto.

    I thank him for that at least.

  6. Thanks, Bill, for sharing. I get a bit tired of reggae done modern but this old school done new is sweet.

  7. Rome and the crusades? Maybe Holy Roman Empire with popes in Avignon and points north. ie Germany but my grasp of history begins to become inadequate.
    Ah yes the Venetians and their obeisance to business and banking. Didn’t they already have control of the silk road or was that later.
    My favorite is Eleanor of Aquitaine, Duchess of Brittany and most of western France who was married to Henry 2 king of France and accompanied him on the second crusade and cuckolded him with her uncle in Acre . She was sent home, somewhat under a cloud and was captured by pirates on the way home. Just another day in the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

  8. Dork,

    In a world where everything including the most basic human rights have ALREADY been monetized, what other options are there other than to monetize the family home? I am no right winger, but I do recognize that when universal healthcare exists and we all pay for each others unwise health choices as well as their misfortunes, that incentivizing preventative physical (exercise) and mental (parenting) health responsibility may be a politically easy compromise that doesn’t need a massive cultural shift before we begin to see economic and social benefits.

    Its not about imposing morals, its about imposing ecknomic responsibility in a way that is rewarding instead of punitive.

  9. @Jeff
    There is much that is correct in Goldsteins book ,economic observations of reality etc etc.

    When Winston asks O’Brien if “the book” is true, he replies: “As description, yes. The programme it sets forth … is nonsense”.

    Distribution of resources from the bottom up is the only answer.

    I guess there is a old tradition of Whiteboyism in Munster – which is sceptical of both Rome and The Masons efforts to concentrate power.

    It may even probably go back to Laudabiliter.
    (The elimination of the Irish church which was ironically later cemented by the penal laws which drove Catholics into the cold dead hands of Rome.)

    We are probably seeing a continuation of Laudabilter under the EUs current standardization scheme.
    Although the religion of choice today is consumer capitalism.
    The EUs reason for being today is certainly a doctrine of sameness which helps concentration of power no end and so resembles Laudabilter in that respect.
    It most certainly represents a true projection of evil.

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