The young and the old

A lot of things have changed since dawn first rose to greet humanity; once, we divided ourselves into tribes and settlements. Eventually, being creatures prone to the irresistible whims of pride and ambition, we pushed ourselves further and further until we built the world we live in today. Despite this timeline of constant change (fuelled by humanity’s general hunger for knowledge), there is one common thread that manages to establish the recurring nature of one, fundamental human conundrum – the eternal, undying struggle between the older generation’s need for tradition, familiarity and power and the younger generation’s craving for recognition, change and innovation.

For untold millennia, this conflict of interests has essentially been the compass which dictated the definitive direction of society’s evolutionary process. Without the fresh input of the young, society would decay and eventually crumble – similarly, without the guidance and experience of our elders, we would lack the stage upon which we would build our future. Therefore, this train of thought raises the question that has vexed countless minds of both the past and the present; who’s to blame for the inter-generational problems we just can’t seem to solve?

I will not be presumptuous enough to say that this is an answer to that question – I am merely just another human being, and this is only my opinion. From my perspective, the biggest problem we have is the way we have distorted our list of priorities. Money has become the absolute symbol of one’s importance, and a lack of it entails a very difficult life. As a result of this, both generations are wrapped up in an unending, king-of-the-hill style war whose casualties are our values, love, communication and understanding, and peace. Instead of focusing on our future as a singular, collective population of human beings, we have self-segregated in factions and groups, desperately trying to put as much distance as possible between ourselves and any possible competition for the spoils of our planet.

If you would like additional evidence that underlines what I’m saying here, simply look at the way we handle crises and any problems that concern our society’s wellbeing. Homelessness? Some cold, calculating bastard came up with the idea of anti-homeless spikes in public spaces. Several highly dubious terrorist acts, including 9/11 and anything that came after it? Let’s bomb the living daylights out of pre-selected, Middle Eastern countries and further fuel the cycle of devastation, anger, bigotry and hatred.

Our leaders and so-called “representatives” have convincingly pulled the wool in front of our eyes, and they are fully in control of what we see, what we read, what we learn, what we eat and anything else in between. We wordlessly and obediently regurgitate the opinions of “experts” and “delegates”, fully believing that what they decide and what they want aligns with what we need. Instead of answers and transparency, we get refusals for comment and shadiness. It is for this reason that I believe that myself and anyone else who was born in my generation needs to stand up for what is right, and not blindly follow in everyone else’s footsteps. Whoever is in power always wants it to stay that way, and therefore it’s up to us to divert our terrible, downward spiral into a luxurious paradise for the rich and a hell-hole for the poor.

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John McAfee – the man that could change the world

There are several words that can be associated with the dramatic persona that is John McAfee – eccentric, multi-billionaire, ex-fugitive and genius all spring to mind. Although most of the corporate media have largely sidelined his bid, he has officially launched his campaign for the United States presidential election of 2016. A true firebrand at heart, John McAfee is truly the only candidate running for this election that may reverse the damage that has been done by the power-mongering politicians of both the past and the present.

Don’t take my word for it – look at his views regarding some of America’s most sensitive issues for yourself. He believes America’s current foreign policy of proxy warfare, covert terrorism and the supreme reign of corporations over everything else needs to radically change – in his own words, “We are not a police agency for the world. Our foreign involvements must be reigned in, and attention should be placed on looking at our own issues.” He also understands the concept that law enforcement cannot defend people with a substance abuse problem from themselves, and believes that the war on drugs should end as quickly as possible.

If you’re still not convinced by what you’ve seen so far, you can view his official presidential announcement here. He clearly understands the concept that the Declaration of Independence, one of the most important documents in the history of America, is not something to be trampled on at will by those who simply crave power and money. He fully comprehends that the role of the government is not to be powerful, but to be of service to the people that have elected it.

It is for these reasons and many more that McAfee is the only candidate that could bring actual, tangible change not just to America but to the rest of the world. Forget Hilary Clinton or Bernie Sanders (I don’t really think I need to mention Donald Trump or why I think he’s a waste of space and air) – don’t be deceived by whatever words their PR teams put in their mouths to appease the general public. Lest we forget, Hilary Clinton’s campaign has been largely bankrolled by malicious super PACs such as JP Morgan Chase & Co (one of the enormous private banks that were responsible for the financial crisis of 2008 because of currency fraud and illegal market manipulation). We should also keep in mind that Bernie Sanders, despite his surface-level appearance of a reasonable politician, has also got a shady side to his agenda (you can read here about how he believes that America should keep on giving billions of dollars in military aid to two of the world’s most repressive countries, Israel and Saudi Arabia).

In short, if there are any Americans reading this article, I urge you – set your sights on the only man who actually believes in the power of people, the truest definition of liberty. To those outside the States such as myself, I would like to say that your greatest contribution to the movement this man has started would be to learn his name and discuss his campaign with people you know, for there will be nobody else in the mainstream media that will do the same thing. The lawmakers currently in office, along with the ones who are McAfee’s competition, are afraid of men like him – men who expose the cold, hard truths and face them head-on rather than see how they can turn a profit from them. We must rally behind men and women of his calibre, or be crushed under the military-industrial machine that has vowed to send the entire world to war with itself.

The Failure of the United Nations

In a society where political leaders and their lackeys are given every material possession a person could desire and corruption rears its ugly head in every government across the world, it is practically common knowledge that men of power and wealth are almost always embroiled in political scandals just waiting to be caught and plastered all over the news. If it is a serious government, the perpetrator in question is dismissed from office and forgotten – if not, the case is normally dragged on and on until the public forgets and things can be properly covered up by another distraction (whilst said perpetrator either acquires a different form of power or gets to walk away without facing any repercussions).

However, the more time passes the more institutionalised corruption gets. At this point, it has become a network of greased palms and synchronised deals, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand why and how it’s all being done. Specifically, today I would like to discuss the fact that Saudi Arabia’s ambassador at the UN in Geneva has been chosen to chair a panel of independent experts on the UN Human Rights Council (said Council will have the authority to ‘select applicants from around the world for scores of expert roles in countries where the UN has a mandate on Human Rights’).

Allow me to elaborate – the United Nations, whose main purpose is to promote human rights amongst other important pillars of society such as peace, security and social development, has appointed a country with one of the worst human rights records in the world as its centrepiece in the Human Rights Council. Saudi Arabia is ruled by an oppressive, iron-fisted monarchy that is notoriously well-known for its ruthless treatment of any who are deemed ‘dissidents’ of the Islamic faith. The list of rights violations committed by the kingdom is practically endless – torture, corporal and capital punishment, human trafficking, sexual segregation and gender apartheid (women aren’t even allowed to drive), sectarianism and active and unscrupulous censorship of anything that hasn’t been approved by the authorities are just a few of the worst parts of living in Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps one of the most terrifying examples of Saudi Arabia’s oppression of its people and its neighbouring countries is the imprisonment and torture sentence of 1,000 lashes given to pro-democracy blogger Raif Badawi after he wrote about the importance of free speech. Some of you might now be asking yourselves why the hell would anyone in their right mind even think of giving such a responsibility to a country that executes and beheads anyone that does not comply; the answer is simple. Saudi Arabia has the second-largest hydrocarbon reserves in the world, and is simultaneously the world’s largest oil producer and exporter. As a nation, Saudi Arabia has an estimated GDP of $1.668 trillion, and over the period of 2010 – 2014 was the world’s second largest arms importer.

It is this unholy trinity of oil reserves, military expenditure and totalitarianism that has allowed Saudi Arabia to corrupt and destroy the United Nations from within and desecrate everything the UN is supposed to stand for. In its demonic alliance with the United States, it has covertly funded and shaped terrorism as we know it in the Middle East today (think of Saudi Arabia in the so-called Arab world as you think of America on a global scale), and is also essentially the world’s biggest advocate for our dependency on oil. Most importantly, as the Maltese population, we should especially criticise the country for being one of the richest nations in the world whilst simultaneously being completely unreceptive to the pleas of its neighbouring, war-torn countries to take refugees. It is an absolute disgrace that a country as brutal and intolerant as Saudi Arabia is allowed to do as it pleases whilst innocent people are bombed and murdered every day. Oil should never trump human rights.

The 21st Century; The Era of False Flags, Shills and Public Misinformation

Today, I would like to speak about a serious issue which I have thought about over and over to the point that it’s stuck at the back of my mind like a splinter in a sore thumb. I am referring to the fact that as a society we have become anti-cultural, conformist and ignorant. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying it’s completely our fault (nor am I saying that we should be ashamed and repent, we just need to open our minds and think logically) – as citizens in a democracy we use our vote to empower authorities charged with safeguarding our interests. Our true failure lies in not realising that the game is rigged.

What I mean by this is this – think of society like a pyramid structure. If you were to put our nation’s most important at the top and the less important at the bottom, logic dictates that the authorities and the decision-makers would be at the apex level, right? Now, if the person in power is also a person who gets to live a privileged lifestyle, attend lavish parties and have VIP treatment in every single place they go, it’s safe to assume that they would want it to stay that way. After all, society tends to give the cold shoulder to those who are financially troubled (try asking someone for food or money when you don’t have any and see just how empty your stomach will remain). So, tell me dear loyal party supporters; why do you think that your leaders are above lying to you and screwing you over when in reality their stay in power is when they can cash out?

This is where the things I mentioned in the title of this article come in. Politicians weave a web of lies to deceive and subvert the public’s attention away from the real issues and problems; the job description entails diverting the blame away from them and onto a minority. There are several tactics which have been used to do so – false flag attacks, for example, is a commonly used fear-mongering tool in order to terrorise a nation into going to war. A false flag attack is one which is planned by a country on its own soil (under the pre-tense that the assailants belong to the “enemy” nation) in order to make it seem justified to go to war with another country – an example of this lies in 9/11. For the sake of the brevity of this article, I suggest looking at the damning evidence yourself, as it would take a whole other article to delve into that subject.

Another business which is booming is the shilling industry; how many times have you heard a government official say “a panel of experts has been lined up to back our statement?” In the case of a corrupt government whose interest solely lies in convincing us we should blindly trust it and not ask questions, shills are very useful people (the word ‘shill’ is slang for a person who publics or praises something / someone for reasons of self-interest or personal profit). For example, if your government wants to build a tasteless boutique hotel in a beautiful rural area of the country, they will probably hire a couple of experts to provide a ‘social impact assessment’ (or something on those lines, the important thing is that they come off looking professional and serious) in order to convince the public this is a good idea.

And how does this all slide without us noticing? That’s where deliberate public misinformation comes in. Every day, we are bombarded with non-stop advertisements, countless reality shows and droll television as well as propaganda from national radio and television shows. The point of all this is to never give you time to thoroughly think about what’s really going on and keep you occupied with mindless entertainment. If it’s not entertainment, it’s the general glorification of the lifestyle of the wealthy and the influential that keeps us tethered onto the bait just enough to believe that we can all live like that (leading to the never-ending pursuit for money). The delusion lies in making you think that it’s okay to have inequality and hate and disparity; if you believe that is okay, then you need to reconnect to what it really means to be a human being and start thinking more with your own brain instead of waiting to be told what to think.

Dealing with Rejection

Some of you may have been wondering why I haven’t written an article in a while; the truth is, I’ve been nursing a classic case of ‘writer’s block’. Writer’s block isn’t a physical inability to write – it’s basically being in a mental state where you just can’t be bothered with expressing yourself. This problem normally rears its ugly head when one’s mind is occupied with personal issues; in my case, it was having to deal with being rejected for a job which could have radically boosted my writing career.

The worst part was being called up for the first interview; I felt like I’d done really well, the interviewer liked my work and seemed satisfied with the way I answered most of his questions. It all looked promising, until in the end, due to my lack of a degree or some form of post-University certification, I was politely told that my chances of getting the job were very unlikely. ‘Nonetheless, should you be considered for a second interview, we’ll let you know’, he said. I have a lot to say on the subject of human value being calculated on the amount of certificates they hold and the courses they completed, but that’s not what I want to talk about today.

What I do want to talk about is dealing with rejection. One of the highest-earning authors of all time (a certain woman known as J.K. Rowling) had to go through 19 different publishers before someone even considered Harry Potter as something they would print and promote. If her story is anything to go by as a guide for aspiring writers such as myself, it’s this – if you have a dream and want to truly be successful in what you like doing the most, then don’t let other people tell you what your worth is. I’ve wanted to be a lot of things in my life – at first, I wanted to be a veterinary, and then a doctor, and then a politician. But, deep down, I’ve always wanted to be a thinker and a writer.

I’ve been told by countless people that finding a career as a writer is difficult, and that there are a lot of established people who overshadow competition with the simplest of works. But honestly, after being passed on by one of these ‘established people’ due to my lack of qualifications, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you want to do something no one’s going to help you get there (especially contention). If you can truly manage to hone your skills in your desired field to the point that you can produce quality product, then push yourself. Work on it until your arms fall off and your brain’s drained from all its ideas and eventually, at some point, people will sit up and take notice. Had J.K. Rowling given up on her material, she wouldn’t be one of the biggest household names in the literary world and have a net worth of $1 billion. Just think about that the next time you feel like giving up on what you really want to become.

A Letter to the Prime Minister

Today, a 45-year old man from Bormla by the name of Louis Lia was sentenced to rot in prison for 3 years along with a €3,000 fine for the cultivation of 8 plants of marijuana. Today is another day where the justice system of this country has put a man in jail for the cultivation and consumption of a plant. It is especially ridiculous when one considers that, in the US for example, states which have legalised marijuana (link to the original article here) have, amongst several other things, reported the following:

  • Reported reduced incarceration rates (and the benefit of saving millions of dollars in law enforcement expenses),
  • Conducted research which points out several beneficial effects of marijuana (shrinking aggressive brain tumours, epilepsy and other seizure disorders along with reduction of stress, anxiety and depression to name a few),
  • Created tens of thousands of new jobs thanks to the marijuana industry (Colorado created 10,000 new jobs on its own).

Upon reading the story of Mr Lia, I remembered that I had sent a message to the Prime Minister’s Facebook page about a year ago. At the time, I was a supporter of the Labour party, and I genuinely believed that at least a secretary or an office assistant might at least read the messages and take note of whatever people might have said on something as easily accessible as a Facebook page. I would like to ask those who are reading this article and share the same opinion to read it below, and pass it on to your friends on social media. Let this letter be our collective outcry for a serious discussion on the topic, and let us all voice our opinion on an issue which needs to be talked about.

“29/11/2014

 His Excellency Dr Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta,

before speaking about anything at all I would like to congratulate you on the fortitude you displayed when addressing the Opposition during your Budget speech, as you showed all the traits of a born economist and a good leader. I, for one, am glad you are the one who is steering our economy through times during which other countries are failing to keep themselves fiscally afloat.

Now, I would like to get to the point of this message as I am certain a man such as yourself has a lot of things to do and very little time to do them. I have been a follower of the argument about the controlled legalisation of drugs for quite a few years, and I believe that it is the way forward for a problem of this scale to be controlled. The figures below have been derived from official US government records available for everyone to see (if you know where to look), and I believe if anyone should see them, it would be you as Prime Minister of this country:

  1. i) $51 billion – the amount of money the United States government spends on the war on drugs annually.
  2. ii) 1.53 million – the number of people arrested annually on non-violent drug charges.

iii) 757,696 – the number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation annually, 87% of which were arrested for possession only.

  1. iv) 70,000 – the number of lives lost in the Mexican drug wars since 2006.
  2. v) 200,000 – the number of students studying in America who lost federal financial aid ability because of a drug conviction.
  3. vi) 31,758 – the number of people in the U.S. that die each year from an accidental/intentional drug overdose. The number of people who have lost their lives to a marijuana overdose in recorded history? 0.

vii) $46.7 billion – the dollar value of the tax revenue that drug legalisation would yield annually. Coupled with the cost of the war on drugs, legalisation would save the government nearly $100 billion.

I believe these numbers are too large to ignore, and I am certain that a leader with your capabilities understands this. Legalisation of cannabis would lead to a more prosperous economy (Colorado and Washington spring to mind as examples of this), less people serving jail time for doing something which is literally harming nobody and less people being exposed to organised crime in order to obtain cannabis (thus, this would be hitting two birds with one stone – eliminating a major source of revenue for organised crime and giving people safe access to something which they are going to buy anyway, regardless of whether it is legal or not).

Before I conclude my argument, I would like to state that I was elated to see that your Government is already leading the way forward with the White Paper regarding personal use, but I do think that this is only a small step in a very long journey. In my humble opinion, I believe this would be a bold political master stroke which would not only benefit the country as a whole, but would also make your present term in office a revolutionary one which would be remembered for a very long time.

Yours sincerely and with respect, Julian Delia”

The Bigger They Are, The More They Bleed – China’s Economic Meltdown

According to various reports by alternative, non-corporate owned media and leading senior economists across the globe, it is very possible that soon China’s economy “could be heading towards the biggest financial disaster since the 1929 Wall Street crash”. Shares on China’s stock markets plummeted by 30% in less than a month, and more than $3.2 trillion has been lost in around 3 weeks. If one were to illustrate just how bad this is, the amount of money lost in China’s stock markets is 10 times the size of the entire Greek economy.

According to Andrew Kenningham, a Senior Global Economist at Capital Economics (one of the leading, independent economy research companies in the world – based in London), this sudden financial meltdown was mostly caused by a huge bubble in the market in the middle of last year – in layman’s terms, the Chinese government was encouraging people to buy up (in this case, one too many) stocks in order to flex its economical and political muscle against competitor economies. To elaborate on this analogy, China ‘flexed its muscle’ too much and basically tore it and caused it to bleed internally.

Mr Kenningham also went further, stating that “every individual investor has to take responsibility for their own actions and a lot of people perhaps got their fingers burnt who would have otherwise been wiser to not get involved”. In the interest of credibility in this article, let us also mention that Al-Jazeera English (the station on which Mr Kenningham was speaking about China’s economy  – link here) is not the only news station to mention China’s weakening economy. According to Times of Malta, “China grew at its slowest pace in six years at the start of 2015 and weakness in key sectors suggested the world’s second-largest economy was still losing momentum, intensifying Beijing’s struggle to find the right policy mix to shore up activity.”

To the Maltese people reading this article and wondering why they should care about this, please – allow me to explain. Right now, our country is cutting all sorts of deals with the Chinese; MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) on intellectual property, a possible partnership between Air Malta and the Chinese government and not to mention the situation concerning Shanghai Electric and our terribly mismanaged energy sector. Most of us believe that the hundreds of millions of Euros that China is pumping into our country are all unquestionably brilliant investments brought to us by our infallible government, but in reality it’s closer to a naïve bunch of amateurs selling off bits and pieces of the country to the professionals in the hopes of joining “the big leagues” of the global economy.

By no means do I consider myself an expert on economics (at most I went to a couple of lectures at University when I felt like it but that’s about it), but it is quite clear that our government’s taking a very big risk by doing business with an unstable, emerging superpower with a household debt of $28 trillion (282% of China’s GDP). After all, China’s history of being against political freedom, censorship of information, harsh taxes on the poor as well as their atrocious human rights record (violations include detentions without trials, forced abortions and confessions and torture) do not bode well. If all that has been said in this article has not somehow set off a few alarm bells in your brain, I don’t know what will.