List of Previous Titles

Sunday, November 25, 2012

An offer of a lifetime?

Here it is! Come and get it!
I received a seven page letter which begins, even before it gets to the salutation by saying that : " We have just taken a closer look at your profile and it turns out that you are more special than any of us imagined!"

Does that mean that I am a special person in a good sense, or a really good possibility of someone to con?

 It goes on to say that I posses some very rare and hidden traits, and that I am indeed very blessed. O.K. I but that.

Then comes the Dear part, using my full name. That is followed by  the sentence: "This is a personal letter just to you." Throughout the seven pages, this form letter that is especially to me has my full name inserted several times to personalize the material.

The letter tells me that a society of very powerful individuals have studied my profile closely and that they have concluded that I have all the attributes to be invited into their association. Once I am on board I will know riches and happiness without boundaries. Then they say, I can almost hear you saying this is all a lot of hooey. Well, that's not the word I'm using.

Early in the letter they caution me that what they are saying is just for me, and that I should not share it with anybody. Heaven forbid I should share this with you, Dear reader, or with others, such as the police.

The writer wants me to know that this is not a solicitation for money, that in fact the invitation that this letter represents, and the things that the association will make happen for me will all be absolutely free. They state that no fewer than eleven times in the seven page document.

I will say this for the sender of the letter: It is very well written and the spelling is all correct. It is a flattering letter, although it doesn't actually give me any examples of how I might be unusual or special. If they actually did know me, or anything about me they might have been tempted to add detail to be convincing, but the fact remains that they have simply bought my name and address from a bulk supplier and they have fired off this form letter, just to me, full of vague flattery.

This is a very dangerous letter that will beguile and suck in a great number of people. I could have returned the Free-Invitation to say that I was interested, just to see what happened next, but I want nothing to do with these people as I deem them to be rather clever criminals from whom I must keep as much distance as possible.

I am also posting this as people need to be warned that this has all the signs of a trap, and perhaps you might not want to fall for it. For me, this is one of those things that sounds far too good to be true, therefore, that's exactly what it is.

In their defence I must say that they are right about one thing: they said that I posses a special trait, and I take it they are talking about my full possession of my common sense, and that is sense enough to say I'm not interested in this garbage.

If you have received such correspondence please comment and let me know how things turned out for you.

Copyright (c) 2012   Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Once again into the Breach

November 14th, 2012 was the day of general strikes across Europe. In short, it was a very sad day for the European community because strikes are about anger. This was against austerity measures being imposed by governments, and the loss of some very hard fought for gains that workers have come to regard as their rights.

If you are a member of a trade union, when your union requires that you vacate your post for the period, it is your obligation to obey, whether you agree with the issue being fought over, or not. However, if the business is not unionized, it is under no obligation to close down for the strike. On the day, many schools and businesses and other services continued, although perhaps with some limitations. However, for the strikers this is not acceptable, and every time such an event takes place we see strikers turn on non.strikers.

In the city of Valencia gangs of strikers were harassing shops, and restaurants and bars that were open. Two women were sitting at a curbside table having coffee when the mob assaulted them with verbal abuse for patronizing the bar, when one girl took up the customer's cup of coffee and poured it over the woman's head. How barbaric was that! They then smashed the other tables and chairs and moved on.

If the shop sold shoes a mob would go in and throw things around and terrify the sales staff; or if the store sold clothing they knock over the displays, and we can imagine some must use the opportunity to steal things. Its all about anger. How dare you take something away from me that I consider is mine by right? They demand that the government stop making cuts to its budget, but the irony is that those very same people are forced to cut their own budgets because of less money coming in.

The average citizen has more than enough reason to be angry with the government because of the failure of the government to properly manage the economy, and of course, the ever present existence of corruption. Until about 1998 the Spanish economy was in a period of decline, but then came the time when the euro would replace the peseta, which caused a problem for many Spanish residents who held a lot of peseta stashed away in secret places so that the tax man could not get at it. this meant that something had to be done with the money, so people began to spend it, some on luxury cars and yachts, etc, but the majority  during this period decided to invest it in buildings.

So there followed a building boom that was uncontrolled and that has led to an inventory of empty buildings that is sufficient for Spain's needs for the next twenty years. A lot of people became very rich during this period, and money flowed into government accounts like water, but the government turned it around and it flowed out again into projects that did, in some cases have some sense of logic, but in many others the projects have become white elephants. Now, government's coffers are bare; the citizens are suffering because of the irresponsibility of its leaders, and Spain is mired in one big mess.

There will be many more general strikes to come, and the level of violence will rise and the day will come when a general strike will result in a state of total closure.

This is not a happy eventuality to look forward to, but it is coming, so brace for it.

Copyright (c)  2012   Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Congratulations! Mr President.

Mr. President

For the first campaign the slogan was, "Yes, we can!" For the second term , hopefully the slogan will be, "Yes, We Did even Greater Things!"

The popular vote reflects America as a truly divided country, at 50-49%;  however, the electoral college showed that Romney never had a chance. He needed 270 delegate votes but only received 206, versus the President's 333. After all the shouting it was clear that this president is on the right track and has the potential to achieve great things for America, but he needs the time to make it happen. He also needs a cooperative Congress and Senate, so the choice is to work together to get things done, or just continue to say no and watch the country go down the drain. Yes, working together will make Barack Obama look good, but that will also put Americans back to work, and back in their own homes.

Republicans, you will get your turn again, because that is how the system is supposed to work, but while your team is doing the fielding you have to play by the rules in order to make the game go forward.

So, well done, Mr President. You deserved a second term and you have it. You have not only brought back respect for America around the world, but you have permanently elevated the entire race of black people to a level where there is no going back, and for that you will live on in the history books forever, along with all the other great soldiers in the fight for social justice. At your level , Nelson Mandela took the first step in turning around South Africa, but what you have achieved in America somehow has more gravitas. You have not only done a great thing for blacks around the world, you have changed America's view, that simply voting for the best person for the job is better than voting for a man who has to be white.

My hope is that America's next president will be a woman.

Thank you, and Good luck, Sir!

Copyright (c) 2012   Eugene Carmichael 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

America's Decision Time-The Cynic's View

Here we go again!

At the last presidential elections in the United States, the picture was not good. America was in a terrible crisis, possibly because the capitalist system was failing. That was happening on George W. Bush's watch, and it really did seem as though America was going down the drain. Enter Barack H. Obama, a black man who would be president, along with a white woman to fiercely contest him for the Democratic nomination.

It just seems to me that the white guys all eased off their efforts. Sure, they went through the motions, but if America was going to fall flat on its face, let it happen while a black man, or a white woman was in charge. Barack Obama got the nod and through skillful navigation, he, and his team have steered the Ship of State away from the rocks and now it is headed towards calmer waters and the sunshine of reform and recovery.

He deserves another four years to move his program forward, and barring anything disastrous from happening, he possibly could be mentioned in the same breath in the future along with those former presidents who are considered to have been the elite.

I am a black man, but I am not an American. However, observing these events from abroad I have been as involved just as much as though I were a homeboy. I was delighted when Obama was chosen to be the Democratic nominee. That meant that black people were being taken seriously, but I didn't want him to actually win the election because of the risk of failure under such trying circumstances. That would have condemned black people forever as incompetents.

He was elected, and throughout the past four years I have been holding my breath as he has moved from one crisis to another. He has always acquitted himself well, and in fact I can only think of one other black man in public life who would have been as suitable as America's first black president, and that is Colin Powell.

This election presents a very different set of circumstances. The economy is on the brink of a major comeback which promises to be greater than any other that I can think of. America is becoming fuel independent through the vast reserves under American soil, and the new technology of using algae to produce fuel supplies. There are a number of sea change discoveries in health care and various other industries that will drop the unemployment numbers to the point that if you want to work, there will be a job for you. All of that is happening under the watch of Barack Obama, so of course Mitt Romney is spending sleepless nights thinking of claiming all of that as the Romney Recovery.

Whatever the outcome of the election, America as a whole is a winner because they have learned to select the person who they think will actually do the best job. This cynic thinks that that was not the original idea, but it has worked out that way.

If Barack Obama is returned as President, we, as black people will enter another four years of risk, because if anything were to go terribly wrong the racists in America will say it was because he was black. However, placing our bets upon the shoulders of Barack Obama is a very reasonable thing to do.

Four more years, America, and then you can choose your first woman Democratic president. How exciting is that?

Copyright (c) 2012   Eugene Carmichael