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Saturday, 26 July 2008

Brown continues to plumb the depths

As part of my reporting on the decline and fall of the Brownie Empire, I have to report that this week the good folk of Glasgow East (A labour strong hold of over 60 yrs .... the sort of constituency where they would vote for a Brick as the labour candidate) decided to vote for the Scottish National Party.

This has precipitated a round of calls from with in the Labour Party ranks, for Brown to reconsider his position, but typically, Brown has said he will listen to the voters, and that he is determined to take the "right decisions" for the country..... obviously resigning isn't one of them?

"That's my first and major interest, in getting on with the job." .... he sounds more and more like the rain man every day .... no matter what people say or do, he just carries on as though it never happened. I think that if he is sacked, he would still go to the office, unable to actually comprehend that he just isn't wanted anymore, and the new PM will have to steer him away with sad shakes of the head.

In Zoolander, Derek of that name, collects another persons prize because he's convinced that he can't have lost .... that he is still loved and wanted ... ring any bells?

Obama and the European PC Liberals

Barack Obama is on a 'Presidential' tour of the world from Europe to Iraq via Afghanistan, followed by a press corp, both foreign and US that could invade a small country.

He of course says he is just a private citizen, but the fawning and adulation of the left wing in Europe, makes it quite clear that they expect and want him as the next US President. They can barely contain their glee but forget a few salient points which of course I am happy to remind them of:

  1. If he's half black, then he's half white as well .... so why does that make him a black man?
  2. It's the US voters, not a bunch of left wing, liberal bleeding heart halfwits in Germany, France and the UK, who will decide who is the next US President. They may yet decide that John McCain should be the US President..... the secrecy of the ballot box allows for many a private opinion to be exercised.
  3. He's an American Presidential Candidate, not a European PM .... he defends US business, US jobs, US interests and US power .... not some "Black" ideal foisted upon him by non US politico's.
  4. Finally, he like all US politicians is to the right of European politicians, and certainly doesn't represent any views that the left wing in Europe would necessarily standby.

To prove my point, I am considered fairly right wing but when I took a "Test your polices" check on the web against US presidential politics I barely made Mrs Clinton! .... I mean that I was at best a very weak democrat, so if I had been a Euro leftie I wouldn't have even managed to register as a democrat, because their policies are too right wing!

Unfortunately the website is now removed (It was one of the lesser Democrats) but it was very good and illustrated very starkly the huge difference between US and European politics, even for a 'righty' like me.

A gulf that the left wing just never seem to notice until after the 'liberal' takes office.

Keeping a little wild spot in the garden

Just a brief note on wild spots in the garden.

I only have a small garden, and although I am not exactly a Percy Thrower I do look after it a little, but I have one 'wild spot' where I let nature alone rule, and this has now become the home of a wild bee colony. As well as serving my gardens flowers (or weeds, I am never sure) ... its allowed these endangered insects a safe haven.


The mystery of the world decline of bee's to a an illness, is one that should be of great concern because mass starvation could result if its not reversed as they are the primary pollinators for most world crops, but as usual its gets almost comic coverage in the press.




To show you how small the space can be, here's a picture of the tree area the bee's have resided in for the last three years ... four foot by four foot with garden waste (undisturbed) and a tree / bush for cover.





So if you have a place where you can leave logs and twigs with grass coverings i.e. a wild spot, then I urge you to give the wild bees a chance, and let that small area get on without interference.

ZoneAlarm, AOL, Microsoft, and me

Ironically because I was off line I wasn't aware that Microsoft had disabled Internet access for all Zone Alarm users ..... this may well have been the main or partial cause of my Internet loss .... however as I also had issues installing AOL9.0VR in January before giving up and re-installing an older version, I am not convinced that I would ultimately have managed to stay with them.

Anyway the dirty deed of leaving AOL is done now, and I am not likely to go back now, if only because it proved to be such a ball ache cleaning up afterwards and I couldn't face all that again in the future. Therefore I am kind of glad and feel 'clean now' (Like when I had reached my first anniversary of giving up cigarettes ... LOL)

So although you didn't mean to be helpful Microsoft, I guess I owe you thanks for forcing me to save money and speed up my Internet experience.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Escaping AOL

I have been off line for well over a week, since when out of the blue, my dial up AOL service ceased to work. Repeated attempts over several days to restore it via the 'migration CD' that had been issued about a month earlier, only resulted in a partial recovery on my old Toshiba (XP home) laptop, but nothing at all on my Dell XP pro machine.

I had to make a very hard call as to whether to carry on trying to upgrade to AOL broadband or go elsewhere. I decided that, as I felt that the AOL migration and poor software (AOL9.0VR was being bundled as a part of the migration exercise), had been responsible for this disaster, I wasn't going to carry on trying to resurrect the dead horse of AOL dial up. So as punishment for AOL for a very sloppy service, there was no way I was going to 'upgrade' to AOL Broadband.

I suspect that they could have just changed the contact number, to have migrated everyone without making them use the massive AOL 9.0VR, and this would have allowed everyone on all the old, but stable AOL versions, to stay with them. Instead they effectively tried to force everyone onto AOL Broadband and Vista, because the migration software was such a disaster for everyone not on the latest laptops or PC's i.e. Vista and Broadband enabled.

I no longer trust their software development anymore, because AOL 9.0 VR has been crap since last January when I tried and failed to get it to install, and it has obviously not been patched to suit non Vista, dial up clients, even though the issues were all well publicised. So after a bit of searching, and using the advice contained on the marvellous Martins Money Page I opted for O2 (they connected and provided the router for free ... only a 12 month tie in). Oddly I was able to register etc on my old Toshiba via AOL which then ceased to work the next day, so there was a grim irony in its last actions being the choosing of its successor ISP.

However here's where I hit a problem .... removing AOL (even when they have an uninstaller, it leaves a mass of AOL registry entries, removal of which start to imperil the running of the machine). At first I tried to clean the registry, but AOL was so pernicious that I was still getting AOL icons or warnings etc a week later, and didn't feel able to install Broadband until this was resolved.

Eventually I chose to back up files, folders, installations etc and then restore both laptops to their factory condition to clear the registry etc .... it speeds old machines up to do this, by making the registry clean after years of abuse. Of course the downside is that you have to add XP SP2, and SP3 and all the security patches as well as all the software of years ..... thankfully I keep install files for most downloads, but even so its a real ball ache.

Anyway I got it up to a reasonable condition and loaded the broadband. So far OK (much faster of course), but I still have to make it wireless. I have load the SSID and WEP codes manually ... any help appreciated ... and I have had IE close once unexpectedly ... so now I am loading all patches etc.

The reason for the blog on this is to explain the gap in the blog posts, and that it reminds me of my first blog DELL HELL .... sort of a full circle from Dial up to Broadband via AOL HELL.

Coincidences abound in life and this sort of felt like another one ...

Sunday, 6 July 2008

US Crimes Racially Imbalanced but Unremarked

The decision of the US supreme court to disallow some gun control measures in the Washington DC area is covered in other memo's on this blog site.

As a consequence of this decision its likely that there will be some increase in the already staggeringly high murder rates in the Washington area, but according to popular expectations, this will be largely in the form of Black on Black crimes in selected areas of the city.

However, it got me thinking about an article I read years ago on the net by an Australian author, which said that most violent US crime wasn't black on black, or white on black but preponderantly Black on White. The author claimed that the US was in a state of low level domestic race war, with Black males killing Whites at a rate of 20 to 1 each year (or something like that) and totalling some 25 million white victims since the end of the second world war.

Its hard to credit figures as large as that going unreported, even in a PC media such as that US, and even a tenth of that would be very large.

To be honest these kinds of stories often are slanted, and when all factors in crime are taken into account, these apparent glaring anomalies are often explained away, but even so, I remember being struck by the story as it had a sort of 'kernal of truth' to it, even with figures that were hard to attribute, and its possible that its because it plays on fears that gives it the feel of credibility.

The article was allegedly written by Paul Sheehan, and is said to have appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, on May 20, 1995, as one of a small series of articles that he alleged the US Media were too frightened to print whilst he was in the US.

I have dug around and found that story referred to or reprinted on several sites, ranging from 'white supremacist defence' sites, to those who are refuting it. I can't remember where I actually saw the story, it certainly wasn't in any of the links below, but its been around a while (over a decade) so it could well have been on a main stream site.

In the interests of balance, I have linked to a few sites that reflect the story as it appears on the web ...... The First site link is to a page which appears to mainly reprint the article with no comment, but is probably linked to a supremacist site so if you are sensitive to this be careful.

And the Second site link has what it says is the full article, plus back up statistical evidence to support its premise, and is obviously in the "Storm trooper" kinda ballpark, so be warned if its not your cup of tea. The Third site link is a critique of the whole story.

The truth, as usual, is likely to lie somewhere between the two, but I doubt that it will ever come out in the main media, being as it is mired in the treacherous waters of race, PC politics, and factual denial by the great and the good, who are terrified of any fact that disputes the "Mass Immigration, multiculturalism is good for the West" version of post war history, that they all peddle.

Still, there will be a lot of interest on the first Washington crime figures published after the gun control has been lifted, to see where, and upon whom, any increase in violent crime (if there is one) falls.

Washington Gun Control Decision

In March I mentioned that there was an important decision in the US on a gun control scheme in Washington DC due in the US. Well the courts have now ruled and declared this limited control as 'unconstitutional'. In a 5-4 decision, the justices upheld a lower court ruling striking down the ban. They said individuals had a right to keep handguns for lawful purposes.

Maybe not a surprise given the the strength of feeling in the US over the right to own a firearm, but nevertheless this maybe disappointing for those who would want to see some reduction in gun related deaths in the US.

Now given that I have already covered this subject in the blog linked above, and that a welcome contributor Burnt Toast gave us a view from the US, I don't intend to comment further directly on this subject. However it will be interesting to note if the number of gun related deaths, rises in the Washington DC area after this court decision is implemented.

One thing is for sure, the figures won't drop.

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A middle aged orange male ... So 'un' PC it's not true....