Archive for October, 2013

Gambling dens

October 31, 2013
Poker machines are the leading cause of gambling addiction in Victoria, Australia, in 2012, $2.49bn was spent on the state's poker machines

Poker machines are the leading cause of gambling addiction in Victoria, Australia, in 2012, $2.49bn was spent on the state’s poker machines

Fixed-odds betting terminals at a bookmaker: the machines have been called the crack cocaine of gambling

Fixed-odds betting terminals at a bookmaker: the machines are the crack cocaine of gambling

Gambling is not something exotic as depicted in a James Bond movie, it is an addiction like heroin, and like heroin, destroys the lives of not only the addict, but also their families.

Gambling is not the glamour of Las Vegas or Monte Carlo, or the casinos, it is the betting shops and so-called adult amusement arcades.

Go into Aldershot, walk past the betting shops and adult entertainment arcades, note the Nepalese, staring like zombies into the screens. These are not people having fun, these are desperate junkies out for the next fix. They fit the image Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described of the Chinese opium dens frequented by Chinese and Sherlock Holmes, or Jo Nesbo in his Harry Hole crime novels.

In these gambling dens are high value slot machines with high value stakes. On casino machines, addicts can stake £100 every 20 seconds.

What has to be seen as insanity but all too indicative of the evil nature of the CondDem government, gambling dens are to be allowed to increase the size of payouts which increases the addiction (like a drug addict getting a bigger hit) to stimulate the market and boost profits.

Mark Henson, lost his job, his home, and came close to ending up in jail in order to feed his habit.

I tell people sometimes I slept with the devil. I did things I never thought I would stoop down to do. In the end, I just had to gamble to get the money to do it. I was no different from a heroine user or alcoholic.

I would lie and manipulate and even fool myself. I was in that much denial. If I earned $A500 a week, I gambled $A1500.

After 12 years of what he calls “reckless gambling,” and four years of recovery, Mark now helps others try to kick their gambling addiction.

A planning application has been lodged for what is jokingly called an adult amusement arcade in Farnborough town centre, Victoria Road, the former Real China, eat-all-you can Chinese buffet.

planning ref: 13/00759/COU

It is a sick joke to claim this will ‘preserve the vitality and vibrancy of the town centre’. Firstly the town centre has neither, it is a failing town centre due to a decade or more of crass planning decisions by a council hell bent on trashing the town centre, the latest of which was to approve the demolition of c1720s Tumbledown Dick, which gave the green light for unwanted developments as this application for a so-called adult entertainment centre. This would be symptomatic of a failing town centre. Diversity is to be encouraged, but not where it detracts from the viability and attractiveness of the town centre. A gambling den would do nothing to enhance the reputation of the town centre, though may well be commensurate with the reputation the town centre now has as the place locally to avoid.

Addition of yet another gambling den will will not increase diversity, not when there are already two betting shops, one within a few paces of walking, the other in the centre of town.

Gambling dens have a tendency to cluster in areas of deprivation. By draining the lifeblood out of a locality, they increase the deprivation.

It is Council policy to reduce deprivation, to date the actions of the Council have been to worsen deprivation, with attraction of low-paid, part time, zero-hours McJobs and the draining of money out of the local economy.

It can hardly be claimed, a gambling den will meet the community’s needs and services. Or if it does, then why not open up shop to supply the local junkies and crack heads, with a back of shop lab manufacturing crystal meths and crack cocaine?

40-50 gaming machines.

How does addiction benefit the community? But will increase crime to fuel the addiction. Social costs of family breakdowns. It will lead to debt, lost jobs, lost homes, homelessness.

There will be a cost to the local economy, as the addict lays his or her hands on whatever money he or she can to pour into the machines.

It is nonsense to claim will have no different impact on the area to when a restaurant. Visit the gambling dens in Aldershot and see the low life hanging around outside.

But as already noted, these arcades are not fun places to be, be they Farnborough, Aldershot or Las Vegas.

Las Vegas at 6-30am, a few hard core gamblers, still putting money into the slots, eyes staring blankly at the rotating numbers, still hoping for that payout that never comes.

…slumped over the slots like a tattered rebel flag after a battle. All their dreams of winning, and money and pride gone…only a crumpled body remained.

Contrary to misinformation being posted by local trolls, there was not two failed restuarants on the site. Real China was a very popular restaurant. It was then sold to Mimosa. They then relocated to Westgate (or Wastegate as retailers call it), in Aldershot.

One of life’s many ironies, the floor above the proposed gambling den, houses, or did when the ground floor was Real China, the local Probation Service, accessed down a narrow alley.

To object, please e-mail:

–> plan@rushmoor.gov.uk and keith.holland@rushmoor.gov.uk

If you are a member of a local church or mosque, please alert to this application, and ask that everyone object both as individuals and as the place of worship.

Gambling dens, junk food joints, pound shops, tattoo parlours, pay-day loan sharks, cheap hotels, each reinforces the other, the low pay, mind-rotting employment, alienation, desperation, welcome to Farnborough.

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An act of kindness

October 31, 2013
an act of kindness

an act of kindness

The woman on the left is a mother from Miami who was so desperate to feed her hungry family that she was trying to steal a lot of food.

The woman on the right is Miami-Dade County Police Officer Vicki Thomas. Officer Thomas was about to arrest Jessica Robles but changed her mind at the last minute.

Instead of arresting her, she bought Robles $100 worth of groceries: “I made the decision to buy her some groceries because arresting her wasn’t going to solve the problem with her children being hungry.”

And there’s no denying they were hungry. Robles’ 12 year old daughter started crying when she told local TV station WSVN about how dire their situation was:

“[It’s] not fun to see my brother in the dirt hungry, asking for food, and we have to tell him, ‘There is nothing here.'”

Officer Thomas says she has no question that what she did was right: “To see them go through the bags when we brought them in, it was like Christmas. That $100 to me was worth it.”

But Officer Thomas did have one request: “The only thing I asked of her is, when she gets on her feet, that she help someone else out. And she said she would.”

And guess what? The story gets even better.

After word got out about what happened people donated another $700 for Jessica Robles to spend at the grocery store.

And then best of all a local business owner invited her in for an interview and ended up hiring her on the spot as a customer service rep.

She started crying: “There’s no words how grateful I am that you took your time and helped somebody out. Especially somebody like me.”

And to think it all started with one veteran police officer trusting her “instinct” instead of going “by the book”.

No 1 Top Story WordPress Insider (Thursday 31 October 2013).

Russell Brand on the need for revolution

October 30, 2013

Russell Brand, who are you to edit a political magazine? – Jeremy Paxman

From what we now see, nothing of reform in the political world ought to be held improbable. It is an age of revolutions, in which everything may be looked for. — Thomas Paine

It is possible to govern and to govern ourselves without the parasite that calls itself government. — Zapatista communiqué

I have to admit I was no great fan of Russell Brand, not after the incident with that pathetic idiot Jonathan Ross, but, with this encounter with Jeremy Paxman, I have to admit, he has gone up in my estimation.

The opening question by Jeremy Paxman, has a very condescending sneer on the ‘who are you’, and as to you do not vote, the implication being you are lower than someone who writes for the Sun.

Jeremy Paxman just does not get it. Politics is a lot more than corrupt politicians with their snouts in the trough in the Palace of Westminster. There is a real world out there. The electorate are more than election fodder, to put a cross in a box for Tweedledum or Tweedledee, to then be ignored until the next election.

The problems is we have a political elite, who talk amongst themselves. This includes the BBC journalists. They all went to the same schools, same university.

Why should people vote for a person who does not represent them, who never has any intention of representing them? Who then tries to claim they represent the people. If few people vote, it makes it increasingly difficult to maintain the lie, they are representing the people, when we all know, they are out for themselves, and beyond that, Big Business.

That is not to say all politicians should be tarred with the same brush. Caroline Lucas works tirelessly, not only on behalf of the people of Brighton, but on issues beyond Brighton, on climate change, on poverty, on the environment, on human rights. Greg Mulholland has campaigned tirelessly on a better deal for local pubs and pub landlords and had been prepared to take on and expose the malpractices of the pubcos.

At the other end we have politicians like Gerald Howarth, who acts for arms dealers, pay-day loan companies, McDonald’s, even going behind the backs of the local community, to stitch up a dirty little back room behind closed doors deal with the Fat Clown to demolish c1720s Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s. Or minister Brandon Lewis, whose portfolio ironically includes High Streets, who wishes to see our High Streets full of tacky junk food outlets, and to be concerned about health, is to be a Nanny State. But to be fair to Brandon Lewis, he has been prepared to listen and engage, therefore maybe if done with an open mind, he will be pushing for diversity on the High Street (the opposite is failing High Streets).

If the scum on offer are not worth voting for, then do not vote. We know they are a bunch of liars, so why believe their lies and give them a second chance?

Thomas Paine (1737–1809) put forward in his Rights of Man, the revolutionary idea that people should be free to govern themselves. So revolutionary were his ideas, he was forced to flee England. He was instrumental in both the America and French Revolution.

Thomas Paine, thought, that if we draw from all walks of life, all parts of the country, we would have a Parliament representative of the country. But this is not what we have, we have an elite, already in power, or wanting their turn, who choose who to vote for. And those who are elected vote on issues how they are told by the Party Machine.

The political system has failed. We know it has failed when we see vast accumulations of wealth, concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. We know it has failed when we see our planet raped and pillaged. We know it has failed when we see millions in dire poverty. We know it has failed when we see the rich and global corporations dodging tax, meanwhile welfare benefits and public services are cut due to declining government revenue. We know it has failed when we see government filing legal action to protect bonuses for greedy bankers. We know it has failed when we see political parties accepting money from the very same companies that are dodging taxes, profiteering, pillaging the planet, and basically screwing the rest of us.

Who is best placed to decide if Farnborough should agree to the demolition of c 1720s Tumbledown Dick, local people who know what is best for Farnborough or clueless thick as two short planks whose only reason they are councillors is because they stood on a party ticket or corrupt planners who for years have been in the pockets of developers?

The present political and economic system is broke beyond repair. It has to be replaced by a new system.

If we look at one aspect, Climate Chaos, to avoid any chance of thermal runway, we have to reduce global temperature rise to no more than  2°C , and even then it is not guaranteed. This translates to a reduction in CO2 carbon emissions equivalent into the atmosphere. The carbon levels is accumulative. Had we started at the Rio earth Summit in 1992, we could have had a reasonable reduction year on year. But no, instead we continued to belch carbon into the atmosphere. Now, to stand a chance of meeting the  2°C rise, we need a crash 10% year-on-year into the foreseeable future. This is unprecedented in modern times, and would cause a collapse of the present economic, greed driven system. It did not happen when the Soviet Union collapsed, we have to go right back to the Great Crash of the 1920s.

Naomi Klein:

Even after the Soviet Union collapsed, reductions of this duration and depth did not happen (the former Soviet countries experienced average annual reductions of roughly 5 per cent over a period of ten years). They did not happen after Wall Street crashed in 2008 (wealthy countries experienced about a 7 per cent drop between 2008 and 2009, but their CO2 emissions rebounded with gusto in 2010 and emissions in China and India had continued to rise). Only in the immediate aftermath of the great market crash of 1929 did the United States, for instance, see emissions drop for several consecutive years by more than 10 per cent annually, according to historical data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre. But that was the worst economic crisis of modern times.

Brad Werner, using complex models of geophysical processes, in paper presented at  Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco (December 2012), entitled Is Earth F**ked? Or to give it its full title, Is Earth F**ked? Dynamical Futility of Global Environmental Management and Possibilities for Sustainability via Direct Action Activism, has shown, the only hope we have, is through mass direct action, as that introduces friction into the system. The problem we face is huge corporate greed, raping and pillaging the planet.

Look at tax dodging. It is not politicians who raised it. It has risen to the top of the G8 Agenda, through UK Uncut occupying tax-dodgers.

In the US, the one percent v ninety-nine percent, has come from Occupy, raising the awareness that one percent has the wealth of the other ninety-nine percent, that 300 wealthiest Americans have as much wealth as the 85 million poorest.

To be fair to Jeremy Paxman, year in, year out, he interviews the same bunch of liars, Tweedledee or Tweedledum, they all merge into one. Towards the end of the interview, the scales do appear to drop from his eyes

This video has gone viral. When I looked Sunday night, 6.9 million, when I looked Tuesday night, 8.2 million.

I was alerted to this video by my friends Pandora and Bianca Jagger, saw it mentioned by New Economics Foundation, but what really told me I had to watch it, was when I saw it mentioned by John Seed, a deep ecologist and philosopher, who is located the other side of the world in Australia.

Close all the pubs down now!

October 30, 2013

Brandon Lewis, the government minister for McDonald’s, thinks we should fill our High Streets with tacky fast food outlets like McDonald’s

Close all Pubs!

Close all Pubs!

Health, obesity? Bah, humbug, that is just some socialist namby-pamby Nanny State.

If the poor are too poor to eat bread, let them eat burger. That horsemeat shit is cheap enough. What do they expect at 25p for an industrial burger, prime rump steak?

Did me no good, and look at me, I’m as fat as a pig. Soon I will be a fat slob like my boss Eric Pickles.

A pickle, did you say? Yes, I will have one of those too, well ok maybe two or three.

It did not do Tweedledee and Tweedledum any harm being fat. Reminds me of the plebs casting their vote, a choice between Tweedledee or Tweedledum. Oops, not supposed to say that, but I cannot tell the two apart. Or as it plebs I am not supposed to say. It is so hard being a minister, knowing what one can and can not say. I am a new boy, did I tell you that?

Pass me the ketchup old boy. What’s this, what do you mean McDonald’s no longer do Heinz, something about a spat between them and Warren Buffett, Buffet appointed to head Heinz a crony from Burger King.

Did I tell you my mate Dave likes a burger? Or at least he was photographed holding one near his mouth. Looks good for the plebs. They did not tell you, did they, he threw up afterwards? Or was it Ed? I can never tell one from the other, they both spout the same bollocks. It must be something to do with going to the same school. Or was it Ed and Boris went to the same school, or was it Boris and Dave went to the same university? See what I mean, so much to get your head around, and always some pesky scribbler or journo trying to catch you out.

Oops, I was not meant to tell you any of that either.

Oh, it is so hard being a government minister, with no one telling you what to do or say, especially when you are the new boy. It is a bit like being School Prefect.

When I was little it was easy, we had Nanny telling us what to do. Then at school, it was Sir telling us what to do. I was not sure about the bit, taking down my trousers in his study. Oops, he told me not to talk to me about that.

I have got an outing to look forward too. It is not all boring stuff being a minister. I am going to a place called Farnburger. They used to have a stupid name like Farnborough, but they saw the new name had much greater appeal.

Farnburger twinned with McDonald's

Farnburger twinned with McDonald’s

Farnburger is my type of place. They are going to knock a dirty old pub down for a nice shiny new McDonald’s. Who wants these old buildings cluttering up the place, they look so untidy, no uniformity? And it was a pub. Who needs pubs when you can go to Tesco? They are about to open a 99P Store and soon an Adult Amusement Arcade (a gambling den between you and I).

I can see I am going to have so much fun as minister for High Streets and Pubs.

— Brandon Lewis

Bride Hall show scant disregard for public safety

October 28, 2013
Bride Hall's dangerous fencing unlawfully blocking public right of way

Bride Hall’s dangerous fencing unlawfully blocking public right of way

During the summer, greedy developer Bride Hall erected a fence around Firgrove Green, a crude attempt to stop the local community from using what until then had been public open space.

They also in doing so, unlawfully blocked for several days a local much used footpath, a public right of way. People were forced to walk around the green, on a crowded footpath, with constant danger of being pushed into the traffic on a busy road junction.

Bride Hall have now applied for permanent closure of this footpath. Something to which people must object to force a Public Inquiry.

The erection of the fencing was a shoddy affair, clearly not safe. Such was the concern of a local scaffolder, that he contacted the Health and Safety Executive to voice his concerns.

In the lead up to St Jude, the storm that hit southern England in the early hours of Monday morning, warnings were issued to secure everything that needed to be secure.

What did cowboys Bride Hall do? Er, nothing.

With the net result, the fencing has come down and is now unlawfully blocking the public right of way. Had this corrugated sheeting come down on a small child walking along the footpath, they would have been seriously injured, if not killed.

It is for Hampshire, as the Highways Authority, to take immediate action to ensure this unlawful blockage is cleared. Though it is accepted they may for a few days have their hands tied dealing with fallen trees.

It is for HSE to prosecute Bride Hall. But for the grace of God, no one, as far as we know, was injured or killed.

Has Bride Hall referred themselves to HSE, as required to by law?

Has Bride Hall cleared the unlawfully blocked highway, rendered the area safe? As of nightfall, no, even though they have been made fully aware of the dangers by both the Council and the local community.

These dangerous incidents involving developers are nothing new in Farnborough, where the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor turns a convenient blind eye.

A decade ago, when the old Post Office in Queensmead was demolished, the site was left for years enclosed by a rickety fence of corrugated sheet metal panels. These regularly used to blow across Queensmead and smash into the plate glass windows of Boots Optician.  It is a wonder no one was killed or seriously injured.

When Princess Mead was demolished, a fence shoulder height, was the only protection to passers by. People were hit on the head with flying debris, had dust in their eyes.

When the northern half of Queensmead was demolished, two people came close to be killed. One narrowly missed being impaled in the head by red hot, with razor sharp ends, length of concrete steel reinforcing rod. Another person was lucky not to be killed when a multi-story wall, the back end of a building, was toppled at her feet. No attempt had been made to cordon off the back service road along which she was walking. She was found standing paralysed, screaming hysterically, they tried to kill me, the tried to kill me. For weeks she had nightmares.

The site was surrounded by a rickety shoulder-high fence, in parts held up by being tied to saplings with electric cables.

No attempt was made to remove asbestos before the work began. The town centre was coated with asbestos dust.

The site should have had scaffolding, with netting erected, the buildings demolished by hand. A rickety fence, the buildings demolished by large diggers, as though on a remote factory site, not a town centre.

When the garages were demolished at Firgrove Court, the asbestos roofs were broken up, and dumped in a skip, no attempt at hazardous material removal. Asbestos dust and fragments of asbestos sheeting was blowing everywhere.

It is amazing no one one killed. Two people came very close to being killed. It is a moot point how many will die lingering painful deaths as a result of the asbestos contamination. And probably not even realise why.

HSE was aware of what was going on. They did nothing. The female in her twenties, who was nearly killed, they could not even be bothered to interview her and take a statement.

The site should have been closed down, St Modwen front-company Kuwaiti-financed KPI prosecuted.

Note: Photo courtesy Lu Pud.

Government minister says junk food outlets vital for High Streets

October 28, 2013

In an article in today’s Telegraph, ironically part of a series on revitalising the High Street, newly appointed government minister Brandon Lewis claims junk food outlets are vital for the the High Street. Note not even good for the High Street, but vital.

In what way they are vital, he does not say, other than they create jobs, but then so does every small retailer on the High Street create jobs, the big difference between the two is that small retailers create real jobs, more jobs, not low-paid, de-skilled, part-time, zero-hours McJobs.

Maybe as he is new into his job, and maybe he missed it, maybe Brandon Lewis should look at government statistics published only last week by the Office of National Statistics on revitalising High Streets and well-being. Or maybe look at the work by Mary Portas. Or maybe look at work by New Economics Foundation.

Junk food outlets in the High Street are a sign of deprivation, sign of a failing town centre.

Maybe he should visit Aldershot, a classic example of a failing town centre, and note the large number of junk food outlets.

Or maybe visit nearby Farnborough, a classic example of a failing town centre, where a c1720s former coaching inn and popular live music venue The Tumbledown Dick is earmarked for demolition for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s, where a 98p Store has opened, adding to the existing Poundland, where planning has been applied for an Adult Amusement Arcade. All that is now needed is a few pay-day loan sharks.

Walking through both towns, other than for the purpose of how not to do it, he may then wish to ask himself the question: Are these towns he would wish to visit for pleasure?

He may also wish to inquire about the health statistics for these two towns, as recently published by Public Health England, far worse than the national average, and the national average is not good.

– 2,600 children in the Borough live in Poverty
– In Year 6 children, 18.5% are classified as obese which is significantly above the – national average
– GCSE attainment is significantly below the national average
– Violent crime is significantly above the national average
– Obese adults are above the national average

He may then wish to ask the question: Why was the planning committee that voted to destroy The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s, told (incorrectly) to ignore health as a material planning matter?

National chains, especially chains like KFC and McDonald’s, blight town centres, destroy the sense of place, of community, of well-being.

Junk food chains drain money out of the local economy, they externalise costs of anti-social behaviour, litter, health. The health costs alone are now running at £2 billion a year.

Brandon Lewis comes out with the patronising ‘blame the parents’. Yes, the parents are to blame, but he is ignoring the massive advertising aimed at ill-educated parents.

No child grows up wanting to be fat, a social outcast.

Unbelievable nonsense from a government minister responsible for High Streets.

What next, an environment minister calling for killing of badgers, an environment minster calling activists ‘evil’ for opposing genetically modified crops. A Sec of State for Health fighting in the Courts to force closure of Lewisham A&E. A Secretary of State for (Un)Employment cutting benefits because it is good for the poor, imposing a Bedroom Tax because he is concerned about the homeless. Oops, yes, we have already had that.

Paulo Coelho in Duomo di Milano

October 27, 2013

Talk given by Paulo Coelho in Duomo di Milano, 23 October 2013.

Paulo Coelho onorato presso il Duomo di Milano, pieno di appassionati, per raggiungere 10 milioni di libri venduti in Italia.

On Sunday, ie today, The Alchemist marked 275 weeks in the New York Times Best Seller list, not bad for a slim volume first published 25 years ago.

Energy companies eurobond tax-dodge scam

October 27, 2013
energy companies price hikes

energy companies price hikes

Over the last couple of weeks, we have had the Big 6 energy companies raise their prices by and in some cases more than 10%, just in time for winter.

So much for the advice from David Cameron, given when SSE was the first to up their prices, to switch suppliers. Had they done so, they would have found themselves out of the frying pan and into the fire as when British Gas increased prices a few days later, by a bigger hike.

The advice worth following, was that given by Paul Lewis on Money Saver, to switch to fixed price for the next few years, but those deals have probably already gone.

The regulator is at fault. We should have a single fixed tariff of x per kW-hour, no standing charges, anyone can then easily make a comparison, as they do buying petrol or diesel at the pump. The energy companies can bleat all they like at the need to pay for infrastructure. You do not pay an additional infrastructure charge when buying groceries at the supermarket, nor when buying petrol or diesel, therefore no reason at all to pay a standing charge for gas or electricity.

There are two ways to pay less, find a cheaper tariff, use less.

For many, the choice is between eating and heating.

To justify their latest hike, they always have an excuses other than greed and fat cat bonuses. In the past it has been wholesale prices, now it is green taxes and social taxes, often lumped together.

David Cameron, in a knee-jerk reaction, has offered to do away with green taxes.

We must not do away with green taxes. Green taxes are to pay for the future, for renewables, for insulation.

Social taxes provide a payment to those struggling to pay their fuel bills.

Former Prime Minister John Major has suggested a windfall tax.

Ed Miliband has suggested a price freeze.

When the energy companies bleat about green taxes, they do not mention their eurobond tax-dodging scam.

The eurobond scam, is exactly the same tax dodge being used by High Street retailers and big food companies.

The energy companies are foreign owned. They are lent money at very high interest through the Channel Islands. Paying the interest reduces profits in the UK, relocates those profits offshore, where no tax is paid.

Maybe we should be plugging the eurobond tax scam.

And while we are at it, let’s re-nationalise the energy industry.

We are likely to see rolling black outs over the next few winters. Why? Because of the failure of the industry to invest. We need plant on standby, redundancy but that costs money.

Please sign the petition to re-nationalise gas and electricity.

The REAL ‘Lone Ranger’ Was An African American Lawman Who Lived With Native American Indians

October 27, 2013
Bass Reeves

Bass Reeves

The real “Lone Ranger,” it turns out, was an African American man named Bass Reeves, who the legend was based upon. Perhaps not surprisingly, many aspects of his life were written out of the story, including his ethnicity. The basics remained the same: a lawman hunting bad guys, accompanied by a Native American, riding on a white horse, and with a silver trademark.

Historians of the American West have also, until recently, ignored the fact that this man was African American, a free black man who headed West to find himself less subject to the racist structure of the established Eastern and Southern states.

Bass Reeves

Bass Reeves

While historians have largely overlooked Reeves, there have been a few notable works on him. Vaunda Michaux Nelson’s book, Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, won the 2010 Coretta Scott King Award for best author. Arthur Burton released an overview of the man’s life a few years ago. Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves recounts that Reeves was born into a life of slavery in 1838. His slave-keeper brought him along as another personal servant when he went off to fight with the Confederate Army, during the Civil War.

Reeves took the chaos that ensued during the war to escape for freedom, after beating his “master” within an inch of his life, or according to some sources, to death. Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this escape was that Reeves only beat his enslaver after the latter lost sorely at a game of cards with Reeves and attacked him.

After successfully defending himself from this attack, he knew that there was no way he would be allowed to live if he stuck around.

Reeves fled to the then Indian Territory of today’s Oklahoma and lived harmoniously among the Seminole and Creek Nations of Native American Indians.

US law enforcers

US law enforcers

After the Civil War finally concluded, he married and eventually fathered ten children, making his living as a Deputy U.S. Marshall in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. If this surprises you, it should, as Reeves was the first African American to ever hold such a position.

Burton explains that it was at this point that the Lone Ranger story comes in to play. Reeves was described as a “master of disguises”. He used these disguises to track down wanted criminals, even adopting similar ways of dressing and mannerisms to meet and fit in with the fugitives, in order to identify them.

Reeves kept and gave out silver coins as a personal trademark of sorts, just like the Lone Ranger’s silver bullets. Of course, the recent Disney adaptation of the Lone Ranger devised a clever and meaningful explanation for the silver bullets in the classic tales. For the new Lone Ranger, the purposes was to not wantonly expend ammunition and in so doing devalue human life. But in the original series, there was never an explanation given, as this was simply something originally adapted from Reeves’ personal life and trademarking of himself. For Reeves, it had a very different meaning, he would give out the valuable coins to ingratiate himself to the people wherever he found himself working, collecting bounties. In this way, a visit from the real “Lone Ranger” meant only good fortune for the town: a criminal off the street and perhaps a lucky silver coin.

Like the Lone Ranger, Reeves was also expert crack shot with a gun. According to legend, shooting competitions had an informal ban on allowing him to enter. Like the Lone Ranger, Reeves rode a white horse almost throughout almost all of his career, at one point riding a light grey one as well.

Like the famed Lone Ranger legend Reeves had his own close friend like Tonto. Reeves’ companion was a Native American posse man and tracker who he often rode with, when he was out capturing bad guys. In all, there were close to 3000 of such criminals they apprehended, making them a legendary duo in many regions.

The final proof that this legend of Bass Reeves directly inspired into the story of the Lone Ranger can be found in the fact that a large number of those criminals were sent to federal prison in Detroit. The Lone Ranger radio show originated and was broadcast to the public in 1933 on WXYZ in Detroit where the legend of Reeves was famous only two years earlier.

WXYZ

WXYZ

Of course, WXYZ and the later TV and movie adaptions weren’t about to make the Lone Ranger an African American who began his career by beating a slave-keeper to death. But now you know. Spread the word and let people know the real legend of the Lone Ranger.

Published by Political Blind Spot.

Rotten Borough of Rushmoor running scared

October 27, 2013

Within their own meetings, controlled space, the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor is free to tell what lies they like, knowing the useless councillors will behave like mindless sheep who do as they are told and the last thing they will do is challenge or scrutinise what is put before them.

The only counter, is the occasional shout of ‘liar’ ‘rubbish’, from the public gallery.

The compliant local press can be relied upon to regurgitate what they are told, without any critical analysis.

Following the rubber-stamping of the destruction of Firgrove Parade for a Premier Inn hotel, and even more so, the demolition of The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s, the public has been hammering the facebook page of the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor.

The response of the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor was to post a pack of lies on the facebook page. A foolish thing to do, as they were subject to public humiliation, as their facebook page was again hammered, and they were exposed as a bunch of liars.

Criticism, even less public criticism, is something the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor is not used to, even less, knows how to handle. They are not used to their decisions being challenged, their blatant lies being so publicly exposed.

They are now behaving like a Totalitarian state, critics are barred, their posts, all their posts, are deleted. On the other hand, it is ok for trolls to continue posting their garbage, for at least one councillor to regularly abuse and insult members of the local community (but then he is one of them).

They forget, they are there to serve the public, not get into bed with greedy developers.