It is not enough to succeed; others must fail.

Arthur Schopenhauer argues that to feel envy is human, but to enjoy other people’s misfortune is diabolical. For Schopenhauer, pleasure-in-others’-misfortune is the worst trait in human nature since it is closely related to cruelty.

we wish

It is not enough to succeed; others must fail. (Gore Vidal)

Malice is like a game of poker or tennis; you don’t play it with anyone who is manifestly inferior to you. (Hilde Spiel)

Arthur Schopenhauer argues that to feel envy is human, but to enjoy other people’s misfortune is diabolical. For Schopenhauer, pleasure-in-others’-misfortune is the worst trait in human nature since it is closely related to cruelty.

In describing pleasure-in-others’-misfortune, two features are not disputable: our pleasure and the other’s misfortune. These features describe a significant conflict between our positive evaluation of the situation and the negative evaluation of the other person. This conflict indicates the presence of a comparative, and sometimes even, a competitive, concern. A major reason for being pleased with the misfortune of another person is that this person’s misfortune may somehow benefit us; it may, for example, emphasise our superiority.

Source:https//www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/200901/why-are-we-pleased-others-misfortun

What’s happening to our world?

I spy
with my political eye
presidential candidates
who would not dare even try
to represent the entire pie
unless there was enough payola to buy
their allegiance and influence on our side.
Yet, we continue to tolerate their promises and lies?
Do we allow them to deepen our country’s divides?
The planet watches and waits, and laughs at these guys!
All jokes aside, have we lost our minds?

Is our world going crazy? Going through my Facebook wall last night gave me a glimpse beyond my suburban predictable life.

In the USA, I watched an African American teenager slap a middle-aged lady so hard that she passed-out.

In India, I watched how a community stood by as they watch a man stretched out while he was being beaten with sticks.

In Africa, a lady was stripped naked for cheating on her husband and forced to walk through the crowded market place for all to see her humiliated.

In Saudi Arabia, a woman received the primitive punishment of flogging with her skin ruptured open.

I won’t get started with the atrocities of the Middle East and the ever increasing feud of the Palestinians and the Jews.

Just so much of violence, so much of anger and yet more celebrity political candidates arrive on the scene with promises of a brighter future and a cozier life for us in the West.

Hero’s seem to rarely come these days, the likes of Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi or mother Teresa are all in short supply.

What we do have are the Donald Trumps, the Prime Minister with weird fancies and the people hungrier for more entertainment.

Our social life is based upon sharing pictures, videos and stories but sadly not our privacy. In an age where nothing is private we have a private person publicly advertised, surrounded by noises yet hidden from the crowd.ff

There are apps which are trying to make people come out of their shell with the likes of apps which record your sexual activity or upload links to hopefully go viral for sharing your secrets to the world yet hide them from your family…

So this begs the question… has our world gone crazy and have I joined the madness? How would I know? As I too am waiting for you to like this article? What have we become?

Poem by http://allpoetry.com/poem/12237867-Have-We-Lost-Our-Minds–by-Leo-Thomas

South Africa’s Universities Shaken

President Jacob Zuma says while he sympathises with protesting university students, their concerns should be brought to management’s attention through the correct means without the use of violence. “(lol)” emphasis mine

Protests over fee increases have forced the suspension of teaching at three of South Africa’s top universities.

Protests have spread from Johannesburg’s Wits University, closed last week after thousands demonstrated on campus, to the universities of Rhodes and Cape Town (UCT).

Wits University agreed to suspend a 10.5% tuition fee increase on Friday, pending negotiations with students.

Protesters argue that poorer, mainly black students would be worst affected.

President Jacob Zuma says while he sympathises with protesting university students, their concerns should be brought to management’s attention through the correct means without the use of violence.

He says the ANC’s long-term objective is free education for all but the issues over fees require both government and the universities input. “It’s a question of all stakeholder coming together to discuss these issues.”

amandla awethu!!!

Source: http://ewn.co.za/2015/10/19/Fee-protests-shuts-down-3-of-SAs-biggest-universities http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-34571427

 

BEWARE of Cowboy Builders!!! “Jack of all trades and master of none”

Tradesmen are all not the same but trust me if they see blood they are coming for the kill. Here are some practical solutions to avoid heartaches:
…. Make sure you don’t settle your final price on an estimate, as they will be sure to increase it…..Together we all can narrow this open market of “cowboys” so that they are no business for monkey business!

cb1I moved away from my usual genre of posts to highlight my experiences with the “Cowboy Builder” generation. These are a special breed of individuals who have possibly had varying backgrounds from telemarketers to recovering substance abusers. You cannot really paint a broad brush by determining where these individuals were discharged from, all we do know is that they wreak havoc on our properties.

However if I were to guess, my take on the matter will go something like this – drop-out, frustrated employee or maybe the recovering vice user decides that they are going to get their life in order! So as they clear their bank account in order to purchase the infamous “white” van and off they go to the print shop for their business cards and flyers.

Once given their first job they self-educate courtesy of YOUTUBE on the “do it yourself” tutorials. It gets a bit tricky when there are two jobs required on the same day for these humble souls become “specialist” in the field of “BS”.

Such excuses you may have already heard:
1. I’m sorry but the part/material is not available at the builders merchant so there is nothing I can do but wait for it to arrive?
2. Oh dear, the work is more than we expected but because I like you, I’m not going charge you for the extra days.

You get the picture…!

jdSo there begins their circus acts in juggling the two or more jobs whilst your life is placed on hold as suspense and mystery of what they will do next… Should your turn arrives they are now looking eager and ready to work – requesting for the materials etc. and making you feel as if you have been the hindrance to their efficiency. They begin to work hard and then boredom settles in and like Houdini they are gone again! No note, no call or a good bye kiss they leave you like a “one night stand” with no means of contact as they grow cold and never answer your calls.

If you have at this moment – paid them half the “estimated” quote or purchased the materials… then you just got hoodwinked. Your deposit was most probably been used to buy the boys a pint of Guinness at the Pub and nominating you into their Guinness Book of Fools for believing them.

Just so we all are singing from the same hymn sheet – the work is not completed, they got half of your money and you spent loads on materials to which is either left outside for the elements to waste away or gone missing (possibly to be used at their other current job). Nonetheless, if I were you, and trust me I was one(!), stop the job right here and lick your wounds for it is better than slow bleeding you to death.vb

Enough said, tradesmen are all not the same but trust me if they see blood they are coming for the kill. Here are some practical solutions to avoid heartaches:

  • Make sure you don’t settle your final price on an estimate, as they will be sure to increase it.
  • Ensure that you make it clear that you have depended upon their professional experience to fully quote on the job and that if they should hit an unforeseen circumstance – it will not be out of your pocket, they should do their own due diligence prior to quoting and taking on the job.
  • Don’t depart with your cash – pay in arrears and pay where proof is produced and where they are obliged to declare tax.
  • Don’t believe them to be a friend or of the same religious background as you… These are the worst in my experience as they will affect your social network, making you to be the culprit.
  • Say something and speak your mind… If the job and workmanship is rubbish, tell them and be straight (you are paying them – remember?).
  • Write a contract with penalty clauses no matter how small the job is! Make sure that if you went to court – you made it clear and no amount of crafty swindling could misinterpret the agreement.

Well, I’ve genuinely been and still learning how to deal with tradesmen (those without scruples). Together we all can narrow this open market of “cowboys” so that they are no business for monkey business!

World War 3: Imminent? What do you think?

I’m told that we are living in a time which is liken to the events leading to the World Wars I and II. However claiming that World War III is just over the horizon is as far fetched as water on Mars, but the state of the world is showing some eerie similarities to the global picture of pre–World War II and if Santayana is correct then history is indeed a creature of habit.

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” is a quote by George Santayana, and in its original form it reads, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

2_nuclear_bomb_on_cityI’m told that we are living in a time which is liken to the events leading to the World Wars I and II. However claiming that World War III is just over the horizon is as far fetched as water on Mars, but the state of the world is showing some eerie similarities to the global picture of pre–World War II and if Santayana is correct then history is indeed a creature of habit.

We all have read of revolutions that give an individual absolute power inevitably end up as brutal dictatorships. Even individuals are subject to this advice. Couples who do not learn from their fights break up. People who don’t learn from their mistakes don’t mature.

Then what constitutes a ‘world war’? How many countries need to be involved?  And who decides at which point a number of regional battles can be grouped together and called a World War?  At the time, who called the official start of World War I and World War II? And have you noticed that although the term ‘World War Three’ is freely used in the alternative press and on the Internet, all the major news networks have stoically avoided using any phrase reminiscent of World War.

Since it’s difficult to find a definition for an event which has only happened twice in modern history, here’s an attempt at an answer to the question ‘what constitutes a world war?’.

A World War is a military conflict spanning more than two continents, in which at least twenty major countries participate in an attack against a common enemy, and which has the attention of the man-in-the-street due to the significant loss of life.

dWith that definition, we can agree that WW I and WW II were in fact World Wars (both wars involved some degree of participation from most of the world’s then existing countries: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the Soviet Union).  We can also agree that we are very close to achieving World War III.  The only requirement left to fulfil the start of WWIII is that of a military conflict spanning more than two continents.

Consider what Mark Twain famously said on the matter: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Sources
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2605578/Edward-Lucas-I-hope-Im-wrong-historians-look-say-start-World-War-III.
htmlhttp://bigthink.com/the-proverbial-skeptic/those-who-do-not-learn-history-doomed-to-repeat-it-really
http://listverse.com/2014/03/06/10-signs-we-are-headed-into-world-war-iii/

The more things money can buy, the harder it is to be poor…

“Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today — perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system — in prison, on probation, or on parole — than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America — more than six million — than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.”

prison-620x412America now has the biggest prison population in the world. The majority of those behind bars are non-violent offenders, two thirds are African American or Latino. It is a failing system. The UK should pay attention, because it’s the only country in the western world that’s imitating American correctional practices.

In an age when freedom is fast becoming the exception rather than the rule, imprisoning Americans in private prisons run by mega-corporations has turned into a cash cow for big business. At one time, the American penal system operated under the idea that dangerous criminals needed to be put under lock and key in order to protect society. Today, as states attempt to save money by outsourcing prisons to private corporations, the flawed yet retributive American “system of justice” is being replaced by an even more flawed and insidious form of mass punishment based upon profit and expediency.

Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.prisons2_gra203

There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.”

The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.

Meanwhile Britain plans to spend £25 million on a new prison in Jamaica so hundreds of foreign criminals can be sent home to the Caribbean rather than serve their sentences in the UK. The foreign aid-funded project has been agreed to break the deadlock in lengthy negotiations over a compulsory prisoner transfer deal between the two countries.

massincarcMore than 600 Jamaican nationals are behind bars in Britain – the third most from any country – but cannot be repatriated because of fears that poor jail conditions on the island would allow a successful challenge under human rights law. David Cameron announced the deal – which officials say could save taxpayers £10 million a year when transfers begin in 2020 – as he arrived in the Commonwealth country for a short visit.

The Prime Minister had been at the United Nations in New York, where he joined allies for talks on how to step up the fight against the Islamic State group (IS). More than 300 existing offenders are expected to be sent back under the Jamaica prison scheme, which covers those sentenced to at least four years who have 18 months or more left to serve in custody.

The UK’s contribution represents around 40 per cent of the cost of the planned 1,500-capacity jail. As long as their have been human societies, there have been criminals. Despite the best efforts of lawmakers and religions, humans can’t be trusted to do the right thing, even when we’re aware of the consequences. The prison system used to be a last resort, a place you sent people when other forms of punishment were ineffective. Now it’s grown into something much darker, and even less rehabilitative.

Unbeknownst to many, the prison system has become a for-Profit for business in which inmates are the product–a system that has shocking similarities to another human-based business from America’s past: slavery.

Source:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/21694-shocking-facts-about-americas-for-profit-prison-industry

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-prison-industry-in-the-united-states-big-business-or-a-new-form-of-slavery/8289

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/23/6_shocking_revelations_about_how_private_prisons_make_money_partner/

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/21694-shocking-facts-about-americas-for-profit-prison-industry

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/uk-to-build-prison-in-jamaica-for-foreign-criminals-a6672981.html