R-E-S-P-E-C-T – in memory of Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin – Respect Song written by Otis Redding

Album: I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You [1967]


Aretha Franklin died a few days ago – as no doubt you will have heard, because nearly every newspaper and media all around the world will have been playing this song and talking about her long career.

So you might have heard R-E-S-P-E-C-T many times, but if you want to hear it again you can also listen here – its worth it!

There is no need for me to say more – everyone else has already said it!

see also

“Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin Dies at 76

Fake News – Our World is Changing!

I was just watching “Hard Talk” – A BBC News Specialty Programme that airs on their international News Channel, and which I tend to watch in the early hours of the morning!

This morning there was a 20 minute interview with the Russian Foreign Minister, which covered the recent events in Syria, and the recent abhorrent attempt to kill an ex-Russian spy and his daughter with a nerve agent in the Cathedral Town of Salisbury.


Sergei Lavrov – The Russian Foreign Minister on Hard Talk

The awful thing about hearing what the ‘other side’ say, is that some of it makes sense!  The Russian Foreign Minister is an intelligent man, who for his own reasons is as worried about what is happening to our world as we are.

He bemoans the fact that we are not talking to Russia, and that there are links that had been established for many years, that have now been severed.  How did this situation get so far out of control that we can no longer talk to each other?  (Jaw, Jaw, not War, War – as the old ‘hippie’ mantra used to say!)

I am not even going to try and write a well researched document about all the issues here, I just want to give an overall impression of what I glean from the recent events – none of which is particularly edifying!

Something ‘evil’ is stirring in our world – it’s not all that long ago that Russia came out of her isolation,  and we were all amazed to find out that – really – the people of Russia were oddly – quite a lot like us.  And lots of contact with them allowed us all to learn more about the country.

Yet, at the same time, some of the richest members of Russian society came to spend their vast fortunes in the UK – to such an extent that a they own quite a lot of London!  Some would say, they are using us to launder their ill gotten gains.

Nevertheless – ‘Peace has Reigned’ for several decades.  And all of a sudden, we are in the middle of a real war – the sad and totally confusing one in Syria – and the one of FAKE NEWS.  It’s amazing for us, in the UK, to hear on “our news’, that the State Controlled Press in Russia is running stories like “British Intelligence were behind the attempted murders in Salisbury”, and even Sergei Lavrov seems to give that idea some credence!

And that the very people that are in Syria to help the ordinary people who are being bombed and killed by chlorine gas, were the ones who made up the story, and planted ‘false evidence’!

220px-Vladimir_Putin_(2017-07-08)_(cropped)Dictators are suddenly the people in power – not only Vladimir Putin – but in his own way, Donald Trump is acting, where he can, like a dictator, and has by-passed his government by “tweeting” his messages personally to everyone around the world.

More leaders in South America,  Africa, Turkey, and countries all over the world, are asking and getting the legal agreement of their country to stay in power for as long as they like – China being the most worrying, however ‘good’ these leaders might be.

The longer they are allowed to hold on to power, the less objective they become – that’s why wiser people than me, introduced the idea of democratic government with a definitive period for leaders to remain in power before they have to go to their country and review their plans, by the simple (and exceeding complicated) method of regular elections – FAIR ELECTIONS – not some of the jokes we have seen lately – where all the people who might have had the courage to stand against them have been killed or put in prison on ‘trumped up charges’.

Whilst Britain remains a democratic country, even Teresa May, our Conservative Prime Minister, didn’t wait for Parliament to re-convene after the Easter Holidays, to allow the elected representatives of the people a debate on the idea of joining the USA & France in the bombing of the Syrian sites ‘known’ to manufacturer nerve agents.  And Jeremy Corbyn, the Opposition Labour Leader, who was insisting that the decision should be made by the Parliament, and not just by the leader – and that we should make sure that all the facts were known before we made any decisions, was made fun of in our own liberal press!

What next people – where an earth are we going?  Nowhere good is my answer!

If you would like to try and watch the interview that started me off on this subject – this is the link to the BBC iPlayer – however, there is a note on the site that it is only available in the UK.  If you are reading this from as many places around the world that I note in the stats, read my blogs – you may be able to find a station in your own country that takes the BBC International News.  The HardTalk Programmes are always thought provoking, and cover many current affair topics, and they normally broadcast each interview several times during the day.


julzcraftstore.com my new retail website, is now active!


I’ve written a blog about some of the problems I’ve had along the way,  which you can see


but the most important thing I wanted to tell you is that all readers and their friends are welcome to use the coupon below for 5% off your first order on



Just to let you know, if you are on the newz from julz mailing list, I am sending you a coupon for a 10% off your first order – it may not work if you have used the 5% one already!

I look forward to hearing from you!

website black-julzlogo


Now that China is ‘allowing’ families to have a second child, Debbie tells the sad story of those unrecognised 2nd children that already exist.

spaceship china


You are given a name, after you are born. It’s better than being called Third Sister. You have a name, but no number, no 身份怎 shenfenzhen, Household Registration, an Identity Card.

You have a name and you grow up happy, playing with your older sister, even without a number, without a registration card. You don’t know about those things, you are three, and your sister goes to school. She is five.

Once you are five, you want to go to school too, but you can’t. You want to play with other children in your village, but they don’t want to play with you, their parents shoo them away from you, as if you have the plague.

Your parents don’t take you out, like they do with Older Sister. When visitors come you are hidden, you mustn’t speak. No-one must know. You don’t exist, outside your immediate family.

When your…

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The Effects of the Financial Mess In China – for the rest of the world…..

What’s happening in China – Who Knows?

map showing the size of China and its 'position' in the world (http://www.worldatlas.com)

map showing the size of China and its ‘position’ in the world (http://www.worldatlas.com)

Just a thought –

many years ago – well it was about 25 years ago I think – when I was selling gift items at Trade Shows, I first heard from manufacturers that they were starting to buy parts or stock from China.

It was a very adventurous and difficult process at the time, but boy was it cheaper to buy the items from China, even taking into account the cost of shipping!

As I was listening to them boasting about the margins and how they were going to make more profit ……. a little thought crept into my head – I even expressed it to some of them and they ridiculed me for the fantasy!

The fantasy was that China was going to take over the world…..

They were progressively stealing patents at the time, and copying processes without bothering to put in all the effort that companies in the USA and elsewhere had spent doing the research and testing.

Of course they were going to be cheaper!  They were also being subsidised by their Government, who were still a thoroughly communist regime, but were experimenting with a bit of capitalism!

So follow this trend – and if it continued – (it has) – there would be very little incentive to “Buy British”, and basic manufacturing, say iron & steel mills, would struggle and die, and soon the world would be dependent on China supplying them cheaply with all the things that cost so much more in this country, and others.

The South Wales Iron & Steel Industry was bought & “saved” by an Indian Company some years ago – but they have just moth-balled the production again!

These were all the problematic industries that had active unions to protect their members in an industry where “HEALTH & SAFETY” actually matter and are not the joke that they have become – and of course demanded high wages.  How much easier politically for Maggie to let these industries die, as she decimated the Unions. (See previous post)

Health and Safety in China?  Well we only need to look at the recent disastrous fire at a factory there, which spread to the surrounding newly built high rise flats, and killed hundreds of innocent people!  Apparently their Fire Service didn’t even know how to treat combustible material! (I know, I’m being very simplistic here, but I’m just making a point about the differences in the costs of manufacturing that we incur and they don’t!)

poundland shopfrontFast Forward to August 2015 – most of the day to day items we buy are actually produced in China – how do you think the £1 shops are able to give us such cheap prices?

And we have become almost totally reliant on them for many of the items we use everyday.  Who else is going to bother to make these items when they can’t compete on prices – and even many of the high end manufactured items are now made in China.

I sell craft supplies on both ebay & etsy (see my other blog julzcrafts.com), and have noticed that many of the jewellery findings (like connecting rings etc), as well as a lot of other items, are sold direct from China, for amazingly silly prices.  I’ve even bought some of them.  I couldn’t understand how they could charge 99p including postage!

It turns out that even small businesses are subsidised by the Chinese Government – they allow them to post overseas items free!

I have to check out the competition to make sure that the items I sell aren’t undercut by the many Chinese families who are giving the idea of selling abroad a try!  I sell a lot of silk yarns & fibres – some of these must have been sourced in bulk from China – but oddly – I haven’t yet found a direct supplier of Chinese Silk!

Back to my main theme – so China HAS taken over the world.

We are now reliant on their cheap products.

The second part of my fantasy, all those years ago, was that – once China has decimated our manufacturing ability – they will raise their prices.

So I’m asking this question – especially of all those “talking heads” appearing on the media just now – saying that the Chinese Government has lost their grasp of their Finances, and have let the Chinese Stock Market fall catastrophically – affecting not only their own stockholders – many of whom are the newly entrepreneurial middle class – but causing slides of nearly the whole world’s Stock Markets ……..

What if this was part of the original master plan?  Implemented a bit messily, yes, but …. We now know who the masters are ….. a hiccup in China can affect the whole world.


When the Blues has the Blues

re-blogged from the best blog I have found on all kinds of music – here we have a muse about the blues – Ray Charles, Robert Cray, Stevie Ray Vaughan and B B King (RIP) – hope you enjoy this as much as I have!

Good Music Speaks

Ray Charles Ray Charles

If I think back, I believe the first music I heard that could be classified as Blues would have been an old cassette tape of Ray Charles.  He was a giant in the world of music, with a musical voice all his own and became a foundational influence in the genres of Blues, R&B, and early Rock and Roll.  That old cassette had to be some sort of greatest hits compilation I’m sure, including such favorites as “Georgia On My Mind” and “What I’d Say”.  The one I remember as a straight up blues was a tune named “A Fool For You”.

Ray Charles, “ A Fool For You”

Robert Cray Robert Cray

I was coming of age in that transition period between vinyl records and the first compact discs.  Most new releases were available on record, cassette and CD all at the same time.  Stores were selling records for…

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