Does Jeff Bezos need my US$100?

Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest man, so why does he need my $100?

My book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” has had about 50 downloads on Jeff’s Amazon KINDLE. That should have earned me between about US$120-150 crossing the threshold of US$100 when I am supposed to receive a cheque. But Jeff splits my account between US downloads, UK downloads, and a few German and Spanish downloads and I haven’t crossed the magic threshold in any single market – so I don’t get a cheque.

Of course my $100 is insignificant in Jeff’s 112 Billion dollar fortune – but he has 2.8 million authors on the US site, and 1.4 million on the UK site. Making the generous assumption that 50% of authors actually earn enough to get cheques, then Jeff is withholding around US$150,000,000 of author’s royalties – and realistically, probably a lot more.

So I am asking you to talk to your friends and get them to download about 10 copies of my book from amazon.com Kindle site so that I can cross the threshold at least in the US, and get a US$100 cheque.

To be honest US$100 I not really significant to me either, but why should Jeff have it? I promise you if I get the cheque it will go in full to charity. My reward will be knowing that a few more people will read my book which will give them authentic insights into the Mid-East between the 1960s and 2001 – and the events that led to 9/11.

And perhaps somebody should start a movement to clear a lot of other marginal authors from Kindle and send the money to charity, and deplete Jeff’s nice little cash cow.

To help you and others make the decision about my book here is the Foreword to THE GULF; “Reaping the Whirlwind.”

Foreword: Reaping the Whirlwind

Oil is the ultimate prize, equated with world mastery.
Winston Churchill

In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
George Orwell

Dazzled by the imperial splendours of exotic India—the Jewel in the Crown—and distracted by Byzantine political intrigues in Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad, the Arabian/Persian Gulf became a neglected backwater of the British Empire that allowed America to establish a dominant presence in Saudi Arabia and usurp British interests in Iran.

After WW2 America’s thirst for cheap oil developed the region rapidly from a collection of feudal Emirates into independent nation states of international significance ruled by ruthless despots. And when in 1972 they seized control of their crude oil supplies, and imposed a five-fold increase in price, it became a glittering modern arena of Western hedonism in conflict with austere Wahhabi and mystical Sufi Islam.

A world as it is, not as we wish it to be.

Reaping the Whirlwind spans 40 years and is journalistic: a collection of stories highlighting dramatic events featuring strong but damaged characters—expatriates washed up in The Gulf trying to survive in a rapidly changing world.

It is a classic hero’s journey.

The narrator is an idealistic young journalist sent from the UK to The Gulf in the early 60s by his Editor—his mentor. He encounters an atavistic society more corrupt than he had ever imagined. And he finds that the world of the foreign correspondent is more like show business than a serious profession trying to write as honestly as possible the first rough draft of history.

So he begins a lifelong private war.

He meets with Woman as Temptress—but fails to find love—and enters the Belly of the Whale, confronting corruption and hypocrisy no matter what the personal cost. He recalls the suffering and sacrifices of previous generations that built Western civilization—something that has been forgotten by adultlescent Baby Boomers living in their affluent bubble. He returns to the UK armed with a boon that will burst that bubble and change society for the better. But he is too late.

A Merry Christmas to my follower, and thanks for your support

Whatever happened to The Global Village

A few years ago it was the orthodoxy – the body of ideas that all right thinking people should adopt without question – to talk about the world as one big global village. Globalization a.k.a. Americanization would bring peace and prosperity, and universal Happyness.

Then came 9/11 – and then the GFC of 2008.

Nobody talks much about the Global Village any more, and DAVOS – the Olympus of the Gods of Globalization – was poorly attended this year.

When you reach your 80s, with a mind reasonably intact, then Karl Marx’s “History repeats itself, first time tragedy second time farce,” or the more elegant French saying, “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose,” resonate ever more strongly.

Do people remember these financial scandals of recent times?

– LOHNRO
– Investors Overseas Services
– Slater Walker
– BICC
– Icelandic Banks
– Societe General
– Barings Bank
– Northern Rock
– Lehman Brothers
– Bernie Madof
– Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac

And all the other nefarious dealings – and at times sheer incompetence – of the financial community? The unacceptable face of capitalism.

Or further back in time:

– The Great Depression of the 1930s

And even further back:

– The South Sea Bubble of 1720
– The Dutch Tulip Mania Bubble of 1636

And yet we continue to try and build a global society based on get-rich-quick speculative bubbles (a.k.a. financial derivatives and hedge funds) so that the filthy rich can get even filthier. There is currently about 8 times more out in paper than actual assets exist in the world. And if I have sparked your interest read Loretta Napoleoni’s excellent book ROGUE ECONOMICS for a more detailed and informed analysis.

Last year the wealth of the top 1% in the world increased by 18%, and the wealth of the bottom 50% decreased by 10%. I guess you could call that balance? Does anybody wonder why Trump, and BREXIT – and even ISIS (DAESH). These represent the backlash to the ruthless greed of the people who contribute nothing, merely seeking to make money from money, and ruin the lives of normal people. And of course they will fight endlessly to maintain their supremacy. Hence the howls of rage against Trump and Brexit.

My book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” concerns the flotsam and jetsam that washes up in The Arabian/Persian Gulf. Expatriate American and British workers who are victims of the West’s ruthless and heartless financial system. And my work in progress, GULF II “The Beginning of Sorrows” concerns one man ruined and brought to the end of his tether by the GFC, the Global Financial Crash of 2008.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:

amazon.com

Or on my publisher’s website:

feedaread.com

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

Australia’s bizarre decision to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and reserve East Jerusalem for the Palestinians, pleased no one, and succeeded in antagonising everyone.

The Israelis claim the whole of Jerusalem as their own, and of course the Palestinians oppose this. And thinking of William Blake’s anthem JERUSALEM, that holy city resonates just as strongly in the Christian ethos. Think The Crusades and Richard Coeur de Lion.

Who would have thought that a remote desert oasis, whose reason for existence was a freshwater spring that never dried up, would become the focus for so much intellectual debate about the meaning of life and death – and brutal physical strife and the hatred of religious intolerance.

The background to my current work in progress, THE GULF “The Beginning of Sorrows” concerns itself with the long history of the Middle East, the Fertile Crescent, the cradle of our civilization, the Sumerians invention of writing and establishment of written law. And later the Silk Roads that brought exotic goods and ideas from the Far East. My current book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” is set on Bahrain as it transformed from a sleepy backwater of the British Empire into an independent nation state that acts as an interface between The West, and insular Saudi Arabia.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:

amazon.com

Or on my publisher’s website:

http://www.feedaread.com

The Muppet Show – or Fiddling while Rome is Burning?

Right now the Australian government is in uproar and has yet again changed Prime Ministers. That’s 5 Prime Ministers (only two elected) in 8 years.

Is the reason for this?:

1) A Royal Commission has found evidence of widespread corruption and outright criminal activity in the banking and financial sector (what a surprise).
2) There is a huge and growing drug addiction crisis (The highest illegal drug usage per capita in the developed world). A 28% increase in consumption year on year 2016-17.
3) The state of NSW is in the throes of the worst drought in 100 years driving many farmers to the wall – and some to suicide.
The answer is none of the above.

The answer lies in the overriding concerns of politicians – their ego and their vanity. The ruling Liberal party was sinking rapidly in the polls because of their lack of action over the above problems – and a huge increases in the cost of living.

The patrician leader Malcolm Turnbull was replaced, and like Serena Williams, displayed a complete lack of class. He resigned from Parliament on the spot, handing a poisoned chalice to the incoming leader. He has to try and operate in Parliament without a majority.

And the man who first started the leadership challenge, Peter Dutton, is now being challenged and vindictively pursued because it is alleged that he, as Home Affairs Minister, let in a French and Italian Aupair in order to help his mates. All they did was babysit. Meanwhile there has been no satisfactory answer why the perpetrator of the Lindt Café Siege – an Iranian illegal immigrant with 36 counts of sexual assault, and one count of accessory to murder – was free to roam the streets on bail.

It is so bad, that one of the Opposition MPs has labelled parliament THE MUPPET SHOW, and wonders why he bothers to turn up such is the low level of debate.

Last year the main concerns of Parliament were Gay Marriage, with a very expensive and time consuming referendum, and the number of MPs who had dual nationality. They did absolutely no harm. There was no evidence that they were acting as agents for their Mother countries. But they were forced to resign on a technicality, causing a series of disruptive and expensive by-elections. It’s all part of the game. Huff and Puff and Ponce around to avoid the serious issues.

Fiddling while Rome is burning.
In the broader political context of the background to my new book GULF II “The Beginning of Sorrows” the starting point is a meeting of the “Great and The Good” that took place in Corfu. The occasion was the 40th birthday of Rupert Murdoch’s daughter, and her party attended by Lord Rothschild, David Cameron and George Osbourne, former UK Prime Minister and UK Chancellor, and Peter Mandelson, the right hand man of Tony Blair, the existing UK Prime Minister at that time.
One of the outcomes of that get together was Mandelson and Rothchild squabbling over a GBP 50K donation solicited from Oleg Deripasky the wealthiest Russian oligarch. He was also present on the island at that time.
And while squabbling over the petty cash none of these Masters of the Universe foresaw the GFC – the multi-billion dollar financial meltdown that would ruin the lives of millions of people – and expose the greed, the cynicism, the criminality and sheer incompetence of unbridled global laissez faire free market capitalists.
The overriding theme of my current book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”, is that Western politicians have persisted in trying to make the Middle East conform to their view of how they think it should be – democratic, free market, capitalistic – a system that isn’t even working in The West. The calibre of our leaders has never been lower. It is time for another Oliver Cromwell. Or maybe we have found one in Donald Trump?

To quote Rudyard Kipling: “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:

amazon.com

Or on my publisher’s website:

feedaread.com