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Joe Chi Minh

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: London
Home country: UK
Current location: Edinburgh
Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 15,229

Journal Archives

Sure. A fool most of the world would have as their leader

in less than a heart-beat. Apart from Mexico and South America : 'Poor Mexico... so far from God, so close to the United States', in the words of its one-time (seven times) president, Porfirio Diaz, and a dictum said to be familiar to every Mexican, including the poor souls reduced to trying to find work and safety in the US.


It seems fairly obvious that the only just taxation system should be confined to tax on income (inc. corporation tax), i.e. according to their means. As far as we can tell, despite the laughably mendacious propaganda of the far-right, neoliberal headbangers, a system fully endorsed by Adam Smith, a firm believer in taxation according to ability to pay. He actually considered the merchant class as virtual criminals, always ready to conspire against the common, good via raising prices, cartels, etc., and needing to be kept under close control.

The spiel about Smith and free trade seems so much tosh. He evidently believed in normal trading, surely including a measure of common-sense protectionism ; while the royals, aristos et al would have envied the merchants' 'gift' for making lots and lots of money, while they affected to disdain trade, and had to rely on uncertain plunder from costly wars. No doubt, the merchants nevertheless hid most of their income from the tax authorities, and the former, aware of it, would have been driven to paroxysm of fury and envy. Their 'love' of protectionism would scarcely have derived from 'the milk of human kindness' towards their people. Hence Smith's stance against mercantilism of that 'dog in a manger' nature. But smith semed to hav far to muchs ense and decency to countenance 'dog-eat-dog' neoliberal economics.

What Smith did seem to suggest was that, pursuant to Augustine's precept that grace builds upon nature, 'the baby should not be thrown out with the bath-water' : 'the pathologically-antisocial cupidity of the merchants, generically, anyway, should instead be harnessed for the common good, no matter what poor opinion of them so many of them were engendering, or the no doubt self-serving grievances of the royals and upper class. Nevertheless, the notion that Smith rejected managed government out-of-hand seems nonsensical, particualrly in view of his belief concerning justly proprtionate levels of income tax .

Posted by Joe Chi Minh | Sun Jul 8, 2018, 09:32 AM (0 replies)

Just wondering if anyone can beat this for craziness...

At 78, I'm pushing 80, and I've just had to sell my 15 yr old Citroen CV3 (which was in permanent limp mode), and keen to get a replacement asap, managed to buy what I thought was a Honda saloon, but has turned out to be a Honda Prelude sports coupe ! I declined the offer to sit in it and test drive it, and was actually thrilled to bits with it, as, though 20 years old, it had been superbly looked after, and looked quite a new model to me.

Only when I got into it the next day, having completed the paper work - road tax, insurance, parking permit, etc - I tried to sit in it. Well, I used to stagger about a bit, after managing to emerge from my seat in the CV3, but the floor of this thing must be only a few inches from the road surface, and I have to do a kind of Fosbury Flop to get into it, never mind get out of it ! Trying to get out of it, it's as much as I can do not to land on my knees and roll over on the tarmac a couple of times. When I start off, my body is thrust heavily into the back rest as if I'm a damn hot-rodder ! There are lots of silver cars, many Mercedes, and yesterday I kept trying to get into other peoples cars, mostly Mercs. I expect over there, in the US, I'd have been tazed in rag-time ! 'But officer.... 'Never mind giving me that bullshit !'

I also heard a click as I was about to leave it it, the night before last, before I'd got my parking permit. Did't think much about it, till I tried to get out of the car. I can only imagine it was my friends in the intelligence services playing games with me again. I don't often panic, but I was close to it, struggling to find the means to lock the doors. It seemed a long, long time before I found it, basically, I think, because you tend to think you have exhausted he options. Then, when I pulled into a garage today to get petrol, it took me 5 minutes or more to find the button to open the petrol-cap cover. Very embarrassing, I can tell you. Same quasi-panic that all possibiliti4es had been exhausted.

The car itself is like a great tank, gigantic compared to the CV3, and with the tiny steering wheel, more like one of those Formula 'broken wheel' type of handle-bars, so parking is a bigger problem than ever ! Well, the older I've got, the more space I need to park in, as I have difficulty looking over my shoulders. If I'm lucky and the space is big enough, though not big enough to reverse into, I can go forward well onto the pavement, and then reverse close to the kerb.

I've tried to show you a photo of it, but no luck so far.

And Jesus said unto Paul of Ryan ...

'A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years came up behind Jesus and touched his clothes in hope of a cure. Jesus turned to her and said: “Fear not. Because of your faith, you are now healed.”

Then spoke Pious Paul of Ryan: “But teacher, is that wise? When you cure her, she learns dependency. Then the poor won’t take care of themselves, knowing that you’ll always bail them out! You must teach them personal responsibility!”

They were interrupted by 10 lepers who stood at a distance and shouted, “Jesus, have pity on us.”

“NO!” shouted Pious Paul. “Jesus! You don’t have time. We have a cocktail party fund-raiser in the temple. And don’t worry about them — they’ve already got health care access.”

Jesus turned to Pious Paul, puzzled.

“Why, they can pray for a cure,” Pious Paul explained. “I call that universal health care access.”

Jesus turned to the 10 lepers. “Rise and go,” he told them. “Your faith has made you well.” Then he turned back to Pious Paul, saying, “Let me tell you the story of the good Samaritan.

(Full article in New York Times, at link below)


I remember when Benedict was arriving at the airport in New York,

a taxi driver and his passenger who were approaching the airport, were caught in a long tailback. He turned to his passenger and said, 'This guy must have connections...' Only in 180 plus countries and a hot-line of hot-lines to God, the angels, saints and Holy Souls!

There'll be some Catholics, particularly in the US, who'll have a fit with their

leg up, when they see a clip of the Mass he'll be celebrating under a giant portrait of El Che!

I love the increasing amount of really droll irony on here. It used to be more

in line with the customary perception of Americans, that they didn't 'do' or understand irony, but now it's got to the stage where I associate it with Americans!

They must make great educators. Some kid brought in a butterfly. Heck! Stop him!

He' trying to start a tornado in China! The sky's falling! The sky's falling! (Actually it is, but I digress.)

Absolutely right, the last part, but from the figures, it looks like Germany now

has a real problem. They are still role models for the rest of the Western world, perhaps the entire globe. But they need to crack down on these scum real hard.

Simultaneously, it would be good if Germany could lead the way in prioritizing employment, as Pope Francis is urging, in furtherance of the Catholic Church's best-kept secret': its social policy - making capital serve man, instead of man serving and eventually becoming enslaved to capital.

Our leaders in the UK have always been far too comfortable with the parasitism inherited from the days of empire, (now, perforce, more exclusively focused on the country's own 'lower' classes), so that Britain has actually been in decline industrially, since the mid-nineteenth century; while, with the exception of the terrible lacuna of the first half of the twentieth century, Germany has been a manufacturing power-house. Maybe, fairly soon, manufacture itself will cease to be the priority it has been, but in the meantime, top marks to the Germans.

It seems noteworthy that, instead of gilded youths from Eton, paragons of the stock-holding sector, running the country, the Germans have a nuclear physicist, who very expeditiously shut down all the nuclear plants, after a certain accident in the Far East. And guess what? Most of it has been replaced by renewable energy sources. Nor have they stopped building on that by any means.

J Edwards Demming who converted the Japanese from a people who believed they could only copy Western products into top-flight industrial manufacturers, supplying better products than the UK or US. But guess what (again)? Demming said the idea of workers cooperating instead of competing wouldn't be acceptable in the US. Well, I think things may have changed in that regard.

But part of the reason they were able to do so well, is that MacArthur ruled that the CEO of any company could only earn a multiple of, I think, 12 times the income of the entry-level worker. Imagine how much money could be reinvested n the company and paid in corporation tax! Of course, with the noxious tentacles of western capitalism subverting their model set-up, that multiple rocketed long ago.
Posted by Joe Chi Minh | Wed Sep 2, 2015, 08:16 AM (1 replies)

Renaming American, public facilities after Reagan is like naming

Dresden, Harristown, or renaming Coventry after Goering or the Luftwaffe. Or the good Baroness Cardboard, if it comes to that. Little Ronnie's partner in terminal, global larceny. Apparently, they used to call him Little Ronnie in Hollywood.

A wonderful, moving story of the powerful witness to Christianity afforded by a pivotal encounter

with an elderly African American woman, for a young Mormon missionary. I think he tells the story rather beautifully. Here is the operative excerpt and the link to the full article:

'It's impossible to communicate all the mounting evidence and experiences that led me to abandon the faith of my fathers, but let me relate a few examples: One day, while knocking on doors in a very poor area of Alabama, my companion and I came upon a sagging shack badly in need of repairs. We knocked on the door and were greeted by the bright eyes of an older African-American woman in her 70s or 80s. We told her we had a message about Jesus that we would like to share with her. As someone who loved Christ, she welcomed us into her humble home. As was our practice, we asked if she would like us to begin with prayer or if she may like to pray. As you can imagine, 99% of the time, people would agree to let us offer that prayer. This time it was different. She quietly bowed her head and began to pray.

I remember distinctly, as I heard her praying to God, thinking that if I looked up I would see Him sitting next to her on her worn couch. This was not just her God, but her best friend, her dearest companion who had seen her through a lifetime of suffering and prejudice. As her intimate conversation continued, I grew afraid, because I knew when she finished, I was expected to share with her a message about Jesus, but I knew that she really "knew" him, while I maybe only knew about him. I wanted that kind of intimacy she shared with her Creator, but for me God was distant and demanding.'


I wonder how many old African American women there have been like that old lady. Not to speak of the old men, who I believe tend not to be as spiritual, as women, like the angels for better or worse, in the sense of being psychically tuned into the supernatural. I remember reading an excerpt on here from a book by an AA lady who told of the veneration and awe in which subsequent generations held their parents grandparents, great grandparents, who had been slaves. Also, that those older generations of AA's would talk constantly with the ghosts of their own family and ancestors evidently visiting them, whom they could see, though I believe perhaps not anyone else.
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