Original YT playout date: 15 June 2008
OK, this video is weird. On the one hand I have subscribers asking the perfectly reasonable question of how can they hear the full version of the song at the beginning of the Russian lessons (reminder to those who haven’t been hanging on every word in the comments to those – I don’t even know the artist here. You are welcome to add to comments if you know, and I’ll annotate and edit). On the other hand, I have a perfectly good bit of by-product video I made for the picture-in-picture effect on “”Huliganov’s Starry Night”” showcasing a bunch of lovely paintings from the Van Gogh museum which you don’t really see in all their fullness, only hints of them, in the above video.
On the third hand, for those of you with three hands, the Van Gogh was quite a bit longer than the Balalayka song, so I added Dmitry Hvorostovsky singing “”Nochenka”” which keeps a bit more to the starry night theme and maybe the mood of the paintings more than Balalayka.
The other day I attended a training session with other licensed auditors in Poland all about the published statements that Public Interest Entities or “PIEs” have to issue to report on their Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development, etc.
Someone raised the very valid point based on one example that had been offered by the seminar leader for discussion, that it is all very well a cigarette company telling us about their diversity and equal opportunities for employment, when they are giving kids cancer. The few social initiatives that they give back barely pays for all the suffering and ruination that cigarettes cause, yet they make a big play on it. This participant was searching for a metaphor, and I supplied “like the icing on a poisoned cake”. The icing might be fine but you don’t get it without the cake, which kills you.
Afterwards, I remembered that Jesus Christ said it best, as usual, when he called the Pharisees “whited sepulchres” tombs with decaying bodies on the inside, but made to look all white and clean on the outside. That was the state of those religiously proud hypocrites that ran the Synagogue in Jesus’ day, who pretended to be honourable people yet they “devoured widows’ houses” in secret. It is the same to be said of many heads of the Church and of course many people in Show Business who set themselves up as these great role models and then it is discovered that they are rapists, perverts and predators. I don’t necessarily refer to the person who is at allegation stage this week, since we know from the UK purges that not all the allegations made stand up in court, but the USA and Hollywood in particular are well past due date for their Yewtree, although in their case it is likely to be a Californian Redwood, one you can make a tunnel in and drive a truck through. So let the games commence and let them all go through due process.
Going back to the tobacco companies, maybe the only thing we should like to read from them is a bit of honesty in their CSR statement, something like this:
“Sure, we gave a tenth of our profits to giving some inputs to useful projects that served society and paid back a little bit.
But this is but a fart in the wind compared to the way our products are enslaving people, including your kids and grandkids, nephews and nieces, shortening their lives, making them pay us large sums they can ill afford to feed their nicotine addictions and giving them lung cancer, as well as those around who have to breathe their filthy stench.
All we can say is, if we didn’t do it, someone else would, and we don’t know any better way of getting rich than at these people’s expense. It’s up to them to sort themselves out and stop smoking, it’s up to you to help persuade them to stop. You all know how governments have made us put health warnings on every pack, but we will go one stage further here, and tell you not only does smoking kill you and harm you, but it also makes you look stupid and look and smell unattractive.
Smoking cigarettes? It is for morons, and we are in the business of farming morons, and your lovely governments are using the excises taxes on cigarettes to co-farm morons with us. So, if you don’t have to be a moron, don’t be one.”
Yesterday, I was informed by a colleague from my previous company that a complimentary copy of Harvard Business Review had arrived for me. I said, that’s ok, I didn’t order it, it’s just a sales attempt, you can throw it away. I had no time to go there just to collect a magazine that has mainly very tedious content.
While throwing it away, though, she noticed what was on the reverse side, and called me back.
“There’s also a certificate with your name on it showing that you have been awarded some qualification”.
I thought, “that can’t be, but maybe she means that I received something from someone else in the same pack” and so I made my way over to the old firm from where I was, in a taxi at some expense as I was short on time, only to discover that the back page of these special selling editions of the Harvard Business Review contain phoney certificates looking like you have been awarded something until you see the word “specimen” in feint print diagonally across it. In other words, using false pretenses, they cause me damages to my wallet and my time. The rest of the day was out of kilter, and the total value of their unethical attack was at least 100 dollars of damage to me in various ways. And this they probably do to thousands and thousands of other business professionals.
They don’t care, they know it’s not their damage, anything to sell a course that isn’t even an accredited MBA and is highly likely to pay back the time put into it. They know full well that they can get away from it and do it. What a terrible shame to do these things while bearing the illustrious name of Harvard. I’m only glad it’s not my university, although “Cambridge” has more than its fair share of parasites also.
Quite frankly I would like to send them back a certificate calling them certified fraudsters and put the word “specimen” on it in a similar way. The best revenge though is for bloggers to keep writing. For people interested in sharing thoughts freely to keep building, which is what we do here, people on WordPress and other blog portals. We get you to think and show you the world and share ideas. In the case of this place, the biggest free idea is of course the Goldlist Method, but we don’t send out pretend qualifications certifying that you have finished some course with me placing my name and self-styled title in some “Institute” I’ve dreamed up.
You have to raise an eyebrow at the ethics of someone who puts his signature on the bottom of something that certifies that you have received this or that qualification whn you haven’t really, and then backs out using the word “wzor” painted over it feintly. It is the behaviour of the con-artist and phoney. And I am truly sorry to see that the methods of Harvard Business Review are so poor and pathetic. They should not be teaching this at Harvard.
Please state in the comments if you think, given the way I was inconenienced by this and no doubt others also, if HBR are using ethical or unethical sales techniques here and what it says about what they have to teach us in their courses.
The worst mass shooting in US history has just taken place in Las Vegas. Discussion of this has not, despite the saying, stayed in Vegas but has encircled the globe, with people of all types and stripes offering their views before we know what is really behind it, with the delegalisation of guns lobby taking this as ammunition despite the fact that automatic weapons are already not legal, yet this guy had them.
The fact remains that we don’t know yet why Stephen Paddock did this. The media went round to confront his brother Eric and Eric gave them interviews stating that he was dumbfounded and bewildered, but with body language going on that you don’t need to be Cal Lightman to have some pretty serious misgivings about:
We hear that he was an accountant, but somehow also a multi-millionaire. I would like to know how you become even moderately well-off in accounting these days. Apparently this money came form outsmarting mathematical algorithms at Vegas, but gambling is well-known to be a main vector for the laundering of illegitimate money. He also was somehow able to amass a huge arsenal of weapons including, as said ones which are not normally legal, especially not for the families of bank robberies with psychopathic diagnoses, as we know applied to hisfather Benjamin.
Benjamin Paddock, bank robber and deranged psychopath, was on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list for many yeats in the 60s and 70s. I hope the police will strongly investigate the possibility that he received stolen money from his father’s robberies and also weapons from him. I hope that Eric will also be carefully investigated, I think there is a likelihood he is innocent, but we still have to protect the public.
ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming that he became a Muslim, and in a sense I wish it were true as it would put all of the problems of this type at one door, but in all honesty that is probably not the case.
However, it is one door, only a door further down the road than either psychopathy or Islam. It is the door through which all evil comes into the world. The roaring lion. It is a lion that roared from the mouth of his father, and now the sins of the father have expressed themselves in the actions of the son.
Please consider assisting financially the victims, including the family of Jonathan Smith, who is likely to survive his shot in the neck but will have bills to cover, because he saved a large number of people at personal risk before he got taken out of action.