Book Review: Stephen Leather Cold Kill

Cold Kill is the third Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd novel where he imperceptibly shades from being an undercover police officer into an assassin. His journey begins when he goes undercover to penetrate a people smuggling group who turn out to be also importing counterfeit euros (from north Korea of all places). The owners of a bureau de change launder counterfeit euros and have suborned a Passport official to issue legitimate, but false, passports. Here is the connexion with the war-on-terror and the USA. Leather’s novel employs brutal and graphic sadism to illustrate the importance of the ‘means justifying the ends’ done by the USA but with the compliance of MI6.

Why you should read this novel: It’s a fast page turning novel with genuine thrills and plausible sub-plots.

Why you shouldn’t read this novel: It relishes sadism and shoot to kill with enthusiasm.

Buy it at


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Some Say

If only, I could win some money
What would be enough?
Two hundred thousand pounds
Or perhaps a couple of million might be better?

How much is enough?
She of the ‘dark side’ said
“There is no magic money tree”
But, how much would suit me?

More money than I could count
More than I could shake a stick at!
Where would satisfaction be?
Is one billion trillion enough!

With that much wealth
I need not strive
A mansion in the country
A Bentley, in the drive.

I’d need an army
Just to clean the pool
Eighty feet long, sixty feet wide
Then eighty feet deep
With fish and plants, where I might hide
To think what more, to buy.

Howard Hughes’ had money
But not a life worthwhile
Happiness can’t be commanded
Especially, by mere money demanded.

Are we poor, right now?
No, we’re quite comfortable, some might say
Nice home, nice kids, nice car
We don’t fret over money each day.

I think, a million trillion
Would give more problems, than I want
To lose, love and respect we earned
Doesn’t value as countless zillions.

Pipe dreams are all very well
Unlimited wealth, might –
Lead to a problematic –
If not, difficult hell.


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Drunk Driving: Australian style

A police patrol car parked outside a pub late in the evening. The officer noticed a man leave the pub so intoxicated that he could scarcely walk.

The man stumbled as he went to his car. Five cars left the pub as the officer watched the man enter his car. He started the car, switched on the wipers, sounded the horn & switched on his lights.

He moved forward and back and then remained stationary, meanwhile a few more vehicles left the pub. Finally he moved off and came onto the road.

The police stopped the man and carried out a breathalyser test, which to their astonishment came out neutral.

The policeman declared that the equipment must be faulty and demanded that the driver go the police station for a blood test.

“I don’t think that’ll do you any good as I’m the designated decoy for tonight.”


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Fidel Castro, Regime Change and American Imperialism 1956-61

Castro: Cuban Revolutionary

Eisenhower: American Imperialist








Fidel Castro successfully deposed the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. It quickly became apparent to the Americans that Castro wouldn’t be another patsy like Batista. Batista fulfilled the model of Latin American dictators insofar as he promoted American big business and crushed any opposition. Batista went further. He also actively cooperated with the Mafia, facilitating the development of gambling and prostitution in Cuba. Castro was actively opposed to both American big business and the Mafia. As a result, successive American governments made numerous attempts at assassinating him in order to install a more agreeable regime.

American imperialists subverted governments with a toxic mix of bribery, soft power, economic pressure and threats. Latin American dictators and presidents knew that the bottom line of American hegemony was a coup d’etat if they stepped out of line. American foreign policy itself is perverted by the iron grip that big business has on domestic politics. Dollar Diplomacy,* the brainchild of William Howard Taft (1909-13), is an unusally frank assertion of this fact in American foreign policy. Taft’s foreign policy ensured the continued pre-eminence of the United Fruit Company in Honduras. American commercial interests actively dictated foreign policy throughout the 20th century and probably continues into the 21st century.

The Eisenhower Administration’s foreign policy reflected both the views of the demagogue senator Joseph McCarthy and big business. Eisenhower believed that the United Fruit Company in Guatemala was threatened by a supposedly pro-communist Guatemala government. President Guzman was deposed in a coup d’etat led and financed by the CIA because he wished to use unused agricultural land to the benefit of landless workers (1954**.

In 1956 Castro began his revolutionary opposition to Batista in Cuba. Batista sold vast amounts of agricultural land to the disadvantage of local farmers. Batista combined the sale of agricultural land with ferocious legislation crushing any opposition. He legalised moral corruption through his support of the Mafia, turning Cuba into a moral cesspit. Eisenhower opposed Castro notwithstanding his knowledge of Batista’s pathological corruption. He did so because he was:

“Suspicious of what [he] believed to be Castro’s leftist ideology and fearful that his ultimate goals might include attacks on U.S. investments and properties in Cuba, American officials were nearly unanimous in opposing [Castro’s] revolutionary movement.***”

Three years of revolution brought Castro to power. Ironically Castro personified revolutionary chic and he was feted by the public during his visit to New York (1959). Eisenhower immediately began plotting regime change. Regime change was embraced by John F Kennedy as he sought to promote American big businesses interests. Attempted regime change included 638 assassination attempts on Fidel Castro in the period from Eisenhower to Clinton****. Some of these attempts were outsourced by the CIA to the Mafia, a criminal organisation lest we forget. These assassination attempts reveal American subservience to big business. The most famous assassination and coup d’etat attempt is, of course, the Bay of Pigs fiasco (1961)*****. This was a crude, criminal attack sponsored by the Kennedy Administration.

The symbiotic relationship between American big business and American foreign policy shouldn’t be under-estimated. From its crude beginning with Taft in America’s ‘backyard’, it has polluted their foreign policy until the present day. Regime change is a major strand in the promotion of American ‘interests’. The attempts on Castro’s life are a vivid example of a major theme in American foreign policy.

* Their model could have been the British East India Company which in essence was the government of the hundreds of Indian states in the 18th and 19th centuries. Their rule ended with the so-called Indian Mutiny 1857.

**** Also in this period are the incidents in Chile with a CIA sponsored coup on president Allende (1973) and the financing of anti-government rebels in Nicaragua in the infamous Iran-Contra affair (1986).

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Paul Simon, the singer, on Nelson Mandela

Yeah, yeah. And he says, “What are you doing defending this guy Mandela? He’s obviously a communist. My friend Henry Kissinger told me about where all of the money’s coming from,” and all of this. I was, like, all due respect, Paul…


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Adolf Hitler’s pitiless indifference to the suffering of the Wehrmacht 7th November 1942

The table was elegantly set with silver cutlery, cut glass, good china and flower arrangements. As we began our ample meal, none of us at first saw that a freight train was stopped on the adjacent track. From the cattle wagon, bedraggled, starved, and in some cases wounded German soldiers, just returning from the east, stared at the diners. With a start, Hitler noticed the sombre scene two metres from the window. Without as much as a gesture of greeting in their direction, he peremptorily ordered his servant to draw the blinds. This, then, in the second half of the war, was how Hitler handled a meeting with ordinary soldiers such as he himself had once been.

Albert Speer Inside the Third Reich p341

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Organic Food Eaters

Most people don’t realize this, but you can eat organic, all natural, gluten-free food without telling everyone around you.”

Chris Rock

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