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

What was the use of Magna Carta?

And what was the use of The Peasants’ Revolt, or the Russian Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, or indeed the iconic French Revolution with its motto ‘Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité’? All of these were brutal reactions to oppression by entitled elites who refused to relax their grasp on their privileged lives.

What we are seeing now, with a wave of populism so sneered at by the privileged elite, is a (so far) less bloody reaction to the oppression of laissez-faire globalized capitalism that has served only to enrich the rich and beggar the poor.

Here in Australia the government propped up the banks during the GFC with A$700 Billion (of tax payers money) in loan guarantees. 9 years on the banking sector is still behaving in the same reckless manner, pumping up the property market with shaky loans, and issuing worthless paper.

House prices are now 10 times the average wage, and household debt is at 189% of disposable income – twice what it was 10 years ago. There are in circulation complex derivatives to a paper value of 12 times the actual value of the total GDP. And the experts, the pundits, wonder why the rise of populism. The lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

And what are our leaders doing about it? Nothing – because almost without exception they have their hands in the till, or their noses in the trough. They are prospering on the back of this bubble. Mike Baird, the former NSW Prime Minister, resigned and within 5 weeks walked into a banking job at a salary in excess of A$2 million, and negotiated a mortgage in excess of A$1 million to buy a house in a swanky suburb. The feeling is that he negotiated this golden parachute before he quit.

The property boom is being driven by speculators using negative gearing to lower their tax burden – and by black money coming in from China and the obscene profits from the ‘Ice’ epidemic that is sweeping Australia.

Donald Trump was right in saying “It’s time to drain the swamp.” No wonder he was elected instead of the criminal Clintons.

And Britain is right to exit the European Union – another club designed to benefit the few at the expense of the many. With the most recent terrorist attack in Paris it is looking likely that Marine Le Pen will become French President and take France out of the EU.

I am no supporter of right wing governments, or fascism – but I understand from history all to well how it comes about. It is the fault of the decadent and narcissistic fools who think they are entitled to rule without reference to the wishes of the common man. Google NARCISSIM and see what I mean.

My 12 odd years of economic imposed exile in the lonely oil camps of the Middle East gave me time think, read many good books, and observe Western so-called civilization from afar with detachment. And the company of the expatriate flotsam and jetsam that washed up in THE GULF for whatever reasons (financial ruin at the hands of banks, unfaithful wives, out of control drugged out teenage children, a weariness of fighting in politicians wars – Vietnam, Buraimi, Dhofar, The Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq – or just a general sick-to-the-stomach reaction to the consumerist ‘greed-is-good’ and ‘obesity-is-the-norm’ lifestyle in The West) – and exposure to austere Islam – gave me a wealth of material to write my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”.

Although it is a work of fiction, it is journalistic because the stories start from real events I witnessed – or were reported to me by reliable sources during my 40 years in and out of The Gulf. It is written from the points of view of those expatriates washed up in the the Arabian/Persian Gulf.

You can preview my book on AMAZON’s Kindle Websites:

www.amazon.com www.amazon.co.uk

and read the comprehensive 5 Star reviews it has received, and download it if you have a Kindle.

If you prefer a real book in your hands, you can preview my book, and order the paperback from my publisher:

www.feedaread.com

When did the Circus leave town?

When I was  child I loved it when the circus came to town. I loved the skills of the tumblers and acrobats, the skill and daring of the pretty girls bareback riding—and of course the heart- stopping daring and courage of the lion tamers who went alone into a cage full of wild beasts of the jungle. But the slapstick of clowns frightened me, it seemed cruel and heartless, and I hated the freak shows that clustered around the circus.

And if the world of Politics can be seen as a circus, then the skilful tumblers and acrobats, the pretty and skilful bare-back riders, and the brave and fearless lion tamers have gone, leaving behind the clowns and the freaks—vain, incompetent, corrupt, egotistical and damaged personalities jostling for their place in the limelight, and more than their share of the action, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake.

I cannot even bring myself to write about the freaks, although most literature and drama these days seems to concentrate on dysfunctional and bizarre people as though in some way this illuminates human nature. I prefer to write about normal people in abnormal situations that force them to act “out of character”—or perhaps enables them to reveal their true nature?   

But you can read about a 20th Century clown, Captain Bob, in my  story FALSE ECONOMY that is part of a collection of stories in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” set in The Arabian/Persian Gulf from the 1960s until the events of 9/11 changed everything.

You can preview my book at:

http://amazon.com/author/mikerichards

and download it if you have a KINDLE. If you do not, or you prefer a real book, you can order from:

http://thebookdepositry.co.uk

They offer free delivery worldwide