Issue 2, 2016-02-13
So here is the second issue, the first Saturday one, so it a bit longer than I expect they will be in the future. I hope it will have something for everyone. Maybe you can find one or two lumps of coal that at least has the potential to become a diamond, even if it is a small one.
So in this editorial I will talk some about capitalism vs socialism, and yes I am a socialist and proud of it. Don’t let that scare you, I take every ideology with a big pinch of salt.
Why do I call myself a socialist you might ask. Well it is for the simple fact that I see a country, any country’s, first duty to protect the weak and it is the strong that should do it. In other words tax money should flow from the ones that have more to the ones that have less. It is really not more complicated then that. Sure I do see the need for capitalism, it is the fuel for greed and greed is the foundation for the development of new technologies, new medicines and so on. So until we have something better, it will have to do. Now if you let the beast of capitalism run free it will ruin all, except the 1 % that will laugh and say that everything is as it should be. So one have to, really have to, put a leash on it. Have rigid regulation to make sure it does not run wild. The problem we have right now is that the leash has been cut and it is running wild. A few percent or rather 1 percent have as much wealth as the rest of the worlds population. Oxfam have stated that the wealthiest 62 persons in the world have the same wealth as 50 % of the population. Now this can not go on, not if we want to pretend to be a somewhat evolving species.
So let me see more regulations, curb the wild running banks and tax evaders, so we can make this a planet to be proud of, instead of crying us to sleep over the whole mess every night.
The Paypal incident
Have you ever had a Paypal account. You know the time it seemed like a good idea to get one, attach your credit card and go shopping online in a safer way. Or maybe more likely you have a online store, you want to accept credit card payments but you don’t want to put out an astronomic amount of money up front. In comes Paypal, the solution to all your problems, and sometimes it can be just that, a great solution.
However sometimes it can be a nightmare, money dripping away to unknown sources. This is what happened to us not so long ago. So recent in fact that we are still waiting for our refund.
It started one day when we got a email that some money had been used to pay some company in Germany. As we had not used that account for some time, in fact more or less forgot about it, of course we got a bit concerned. Quick email to Paypal and we thought that might have been the end of it, but more small sums were taken from the account. You know those kind of small amounts you easily miss, if you don’t keep your eyes peeled open. So more emails to the Paypal support and for good measure we deleted the credit card from the account. Now that fixed the money vanishing problem, however we still needed to get our money back.
It did not take very long before we got an OK from Paypal, it was some sort of a scam. Problem now is that we have to wait up to 30 days to get the money back.
So what am I saying. Well maybe just this, that Paypal can be a very good solution, as long as you are aware of the risks you might be taking. You never get anything for free, something might seem to be for free, or very cheap, but then you are always giving something else up.
So this is, was, will be, the Paypal incident for some and others will not have any problem at all. So read up what the service can give you, what problems you might encounter, and as the proverb says “Plan the for the worst and hope for the best”, is always a good policy.
I sometimes do feel alone, I do
sitting on a shelf, being neglected
forgotten and put away, with only my thoughts
to keep me company.
But when the sun peeks through
the half drawn curtains
then I am the centre piece
the beauty conveyor, that is me.
I sit and glow in the compliments
all my dark thoughts vanished
washed away in the verbal affirmations
for me and my floral situation.
Alas those moments are fleeting
gone as soon as the arrive
and me I am back on my shelf
feeling lonely, forgotten, ignored
with only my thoughts to keep me company.
News from Sweden
Travelling from Sweden to fight for IS (the Islamic State)
The Swedish Security Police (SÄPO) states that they know about 299 persons that have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for IS. Of those, 40 persons have been killed and 133 have returned to Sweden. The real fiqure is probably a lot higher.
31th of January 2015, two Swedish citizens, aged 19 and 29, were arrested in Greece suspected of being terrorists about to travel to Syria, to fight for IS. At least one of the men has been convicted of similar crime before.
Last year two men were convicted in Sweden for committing terrorist crimes in Syria. They were largely convicted on a film they had kept in one of their mobile phone, showing them taking part in an execution in Syria. They were sentenced to life imprisonment.
There have been some discourse about returning IS fighters coming back to Sweden, that they are being treated to lenient.
(Life imprisonment in Sweden has no fixed number of years but in praxis it is 20-25 years in prison.)
Suggested longer imprisonment for hate crime on social media
Hate crimes, online, in Sweden has been covered extensively in the last couple of years. Increasing number of hate crimes on social media has occurred, attacking or threatening people among them politicians and journalists. Several TV shows and news articles have covered this topic during the last year. The previous minister for democracy have stated that the sentence for these kind of crimes, against opinion builders like journalist, should be increased. Gudrun Antemar who conducted a Government Inquiry into this issue, states that in reality it could be hard to draw the line, and anyway there are already in place increased prison time for threatening journalists or politicians.
- Eight boys, between 14 and 18, have been arrested for a group rape against child (children) in Gothenburg.
- 1/3 of Swedish students age 15 does not meet the basic requirements in a PISA survey says the OECD.
- Unemployment among young people are falling in Sweden.
- The Prime rate in Sweden is lowered to -0.50 %
Bridge of spies 2015, directed by Steven Spielberg
By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46893204
The story takes place at the hight of the cold war, end of the 1950s and early 1960s. The main character is the lawyer James B. Donovan (played by Tom Hanks), who gets the ungrateful task of defending a Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel, caught in the USA. He does his job better then expected and gets some flak for defending a spy in such a good way. At the same time USA are conducting spy flights over the Soviet union with the U2 plane. One is shot down and the pilot Gary Powers is captured alive.
The film is centred around James involvement in the defence of the spy, but also in the attempts to do a swap with the Russians, exchanging Gary for Abel.
I liked the film, and how could I not when it is directed by Speilberg, the manuscript is written in part by the Coen brothers (they wrote and directed The Big Lebowski) and starring Tom Hanks.
It does not have that much of a tempo, it is more of a slow building drama than anything else. The story, that is based on historical events, builds in a good a slow pace until the end. You will not see much of shootings and car chases, so if you are looking for that kind of film, this is not the one to watch.
If you want to watch a good and solid spy-drama, that is very good filmed, containing an interesting story, with some fine actors, then I suggest you give this film a try.
Not the greatest film I have seen but it is for sure above the average, so it will get 4 out of 5 swans.
In this section I will write some Serialized novels for you to enjoy. They will run over several weeks and be published in the Saturday issue. This first story is in the steampunk genre and it is called “The mechanical man”. It is based on three paintings I did in the same style. Now sit back, have your hot drink ready and enjoy.
The mechanical man
Copyright: Magnus Svanström, 2016
Charles Babbage managed in 1824 to build his difference engine, a early computer. It was hand cranked at first but soon got steam driven. It speeded up the whole industrial revolution, becoming a mechanical steam revolution, and miniaturized at that. This fuelled other fields like communication, air travel by hot air ships of the sky, zeppeliners, already in the 1850s. This story starts in 1853, the 4th of April, 8.43 in the morning to be exact.
Chapter 1 – the accident
I woke up in a bed, my head hurting, I am warm, blazing hot in fact. I try to focus my eyes but i can’t, everything is blurry. A vague shape comes into my peripheral vision, “Is she a nurse,” I think to myself, but it is hard to think with this splitting headache.
I try to whisper to the nurse that I need some water, she leans into me shaking her head.
“Mr Aldershoot, you can’t have water. Don’t try to speak, you need your rest.”
She stands up and says, “I think we need to refill the water tank, and for god sake add some more coal.”
I blink but my eyelids does not close, only a whirring sound increasing in volume and my eyesight goes even more out of focus, then I pass out again.
I wake up again, I don’t know for how long I have been out, but I do feel better. I am still burning hot, but I seem to stand it better now somehow. I again try to focus my eyes and this time it works, my vision goes from blurry to clear, but what is that sound of cog wheels turning I wonder.
The nurse comes back into the room, probably hearing my movement, she leans in over the bed again.
“So Mr Aldershoot, you are doing better today I see.” She says it with a smile as she checks something around my upper torso, and then button up my shirt.
“Yes,” I reply with a crocked voice.
“I need to go,” I look over at the chamberpot standing in a corner. She nods with a understanding smile and shouts for some help. Two other men come quickly and help to lift me up. I must be very heavy, or they must be very weak, as it takes the strength of all three to get me sitting up.
I thank them, and as I do I catch myself in the mirror that is fixed to the wall opposite me, and my mind freezes. The small smoke stacks, the monocular in place of my right eye, and the spinning wheel covering the hole that used to be my left eye. Ropes, chains and pulleys constantly in motion and attached to me. I stare at the person looking back at me from the mirror. Who is he, is he me, what has happened, “WHAT HAPPENED,” I shout at the top of my breaking voice.
….to be continued.