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Friday, 31 July 2009

Sir Bobby Robson - "Football Legend"

Sadly, yesterday, we lost another great man, after Sir Bobby Robson, a true legend of football, lost his long and valiant battle, against his fifth bout of cancer.

Tributes have been pouring in from across the football world, for a man who was 'loved' (and that's not too strong a word in this case), by all who knew him.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

The Road to Hell is Pathed with Good Intentions

Irregular readers may think that I am solely down on Islam, but regulars to this blog will know that I am less than impressed with all religions generally, and have discussed the ludicrous aspects of all the main religions, from Judaism, to Christian Creationists, as well as any of Islams nastier practises that come to my attention.

But one Christian organisation in particular, always attracts my interest, and that's the homocentric, decrepit and moribund Church of England. Just recently they have been out of the news and my interest had waned somewhat, but now they have a "cunning plan" to get more people into Churches ...... under this new plan, unmarried couples with children will now be able to baptise their children and get married at the same time. Wow, lets throw that Bible out again!

The Church says it is responding to a real demand, and denies that the change will undermine its teaching on the sinfulness of sex outside of marriage..... but then why worry about that, when 'Gay' Bishops abound within the church?

Yes the homosexual clerics row still rumbles on, with the lifting of a temporary ban on appointing gay bishops in the US, causing more cracks to appear in the plaster that the C of E tried to put over the issue. This could lead to an increase in support for a motion at the Church of England's General Synod, to declare fellowship with the breakaway Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). The ACNA is a union of traditionalist groups which split from the Episcopal Church.

What a shambles ...... it’s because the C of E can't stick to even the Bible as 'The Word' of its God, that its such an irrelevance to so many in the UK. The Catholics and Muslims have no problem with keeping the basic message the same (whether you agree with it or not) but the C of E is heading inexorably in to becoming a PC parody of a religious organisation, headed by a vociferous sexual minority & with no sense of moral purpose anymore.

Religions aren't meant to follow the latest Western social trends.

More Depressing Statistics

In a projection based upon current trends, and starting from the year 2006, a new report suggests that some 33,000 Brazilian teenagers will die as a result of violence by the year 2012, with the the majority of victims likely to be poor, uneducated black males.

This is not dissimilar to South Africa, the inner cities of the US, and parts of the UK such as London (Peckham)or Manchester (Cheetham Hill) where Black on Black killing rates are far higher than the murder rates amongst other ethnic groups in the larger country.

There has to be answers to the almost inevitable collapse of black societies, into corruption, crime and violence, which seems to be near universal where ever you look, but while we are obsessed by PC driven approaches we are not likely to find them.

I blogged on this subject in 2007, and depressingly most indicators suggest that things have got worse, not better, since then. President Obama may prove to be the exception that proves the rule, but lets hope that maybe the the 21st century plague of predominantly black-on-black crime is just a blip, because otherwise we are condemned to a slow collapse of all our societies as they succumb to the problems coming out of the ghettos.

Its "Official" Mrs Clinton is "Not Intelligent"

As has been discussed, the North Koreans, are nothing if not consistent in their insults of foreign leaders...... in the line this week was Hilary Clinton who was described as "not intelligent", which was pretty mild for them, for saying that North Korea no longer had any supporters for their nuclear stance.

But they warmed to the theme and later a spokesman in Pyongyang described Mrs Clinton as a "funny lady" in response to Mrs Clinton's comments that North Korea's behaviour was like that of an unruly child.

He then went on to say "Her words suggest that she is by no means intelligent," the spokesman said, quoted by state news agency KCNA. Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping. Anyone making misstatements has to pay for them."

Right from Wrong

This story hardly needs comment, but following the news that a quarter of all native South African males are admitted rapists, then maybe its no surprise to find that some Liberian immigrants to the US can act as badly, even though they are only aged nine to fourteen, and that four boys have been charged with the gang rape of an eight-year-old Liberian girl.

The girls parents have "disowned" her, for "shaming them" ........... they should be sent back to Liberia (although they probably wouldn't want them).

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Do The Funky Gibbon

When The Goodies had their hit The Funky Gibbon, little could they know that in fact the Gibbons have the ability to learn and use tools to create noises such as a door slamming.

Just a few seconds before she started her great call the female gibbon retreated into her sleeping box, singing as she went. She then half shut the sliding door to the wooden box. At the climax to her call, she would then slam the sliding door shut, and after it bounced back open again, she would jump out of the box, thrashing her arms and legs in a display. "I realised what I had seen was tool use." said the scientist

Similarly at least two Orangutans have learnt to whistle in different zoos, Ujan in Germany and Bonnie in Washington, and yet more evidence of tool use from Chimps, as well as evidence of forward planning (with a painful ending!).

We aint as superior as we like to think ..... just a few percentage of genes.

Malaya's Interfaith Intolerance

Tony Blair once described Malaya as an example of a moderate "Muslim" state with “having [set] a very good example of interfaith cooperation” ...... only goes to show what a gullible fool he is.

Malaya actually has a poor tolerance of anyone not a Muslim, and an in built bias against non Muslims. They knock down Hindu temples and Christian Churches with no Mosques ever knocked down.

In the latest example of the Islamification of Malaya, nine Christians mistakenly accused of trying to convert Muslim university students to Christianity are to be released from detention. Trying to convert Muslims to another religion is forbidden in Malaysia, though Muslims may proselytise against other faiths. As usual one set of laws for Muslims, another for the lesser religions.

Malaysia, has a 60% Muslim population, with Christians, Buddhists and Hindus making up most of the rest of the population, but the laws are still skewed in favour of Muslims, so much so that when two journalists wrote about hiding their Muslim identity in order to receive Communion at a Roman Catholic church, and checking for Muslim apostates who may be attending prayers or Communion at the church (they found no evidence of this), then nothing was done. Imagine if a Catholic had tried to do the same thing at a Mosque .....

As usual in the Muslim world apostates i.e. those who convert from Islam face prison, and or death, even in this 'moderate' Muslim state.

Death By A Thousand Defence Cuts

The row about the resourcing and direction of the War in Afghanistan rumbles on, with allegations that defence ministers have been briefing against the head of the Army, and counter claims that the PM Gordon Brown has withheld both equipment (mainly Helicopters and Armoured Personnel Carriers) and troops (specifically 6,500 extra infantry).

Of course there is certain amount of politics involved in all of this, and it should be said that the Prime Minister has denied all the allegations. But it's a fact if we were asked to fight a war with Social workers, National Health Service middle managers, or any others of the public servants that the New Labour Government has added to the public payroll, then we could provide legions to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the UK, approx 5.8 million work in the public sector, and the civil service has about 10% of that total at 525,000 workers. This graph illustrates the attempts by Conservative governments to decrease the numbers that the previous Labour governments had taken it to, with a peak of 750,00 in the mid 1970's, and a low of 455,000 in 1996 and the start of the rise again in 1997 back up to 525,000.


In all Gordon Brown has overseen an increase of around 75,000 in civil servants numbers ..... whereas the UK Regular Army Infantry strength is only 24,080, and has dropped since 2001 (25,690).
It's fairly obvious where Mr Browns priorities have been for the last decade, and the fact that he has not increased the Army strength, particularly in infantry over the past decade that he has been sending boys to war, is something he has to live with on his conscience.

Superstition and Religion

Is it me, or is the world going backward, with the progress of the enlightenment being put into reverse with superstition (inspired by fundamentalist religions), on the rise world wide.

I have recently blogged on African and Arab superstition turning into the murder of people accused of "Witchcraft"...... and here is a tale of a group of Freemasons have had to spend a night in jail in Fiji, after local villagers complained they were practising witchcraft.

I am really beginning to think that we have let the dark ages back in to the world, by tolerating the rise of fundamentalist religions of all types.

Translating the Sublime and the Ridiculous

Still on a North Korean theme, there is now much study in South Korea of the 'insult' rate of the North Koreans towards the Southern President.

The count is recently claimed by a government official to be more than 1,700 times this year alone. That is an average of 10 insults a day.

These threats and insults range from the simply ridiculous "stooge" or "lackey" to the more terrifying. Last year, for example, it threatened to reduce South Korea "to ashes" and, more recently, warned of a "fire shower" of nuclear retaliation.

However, as this article points out, all may not be as it seems, and a North Korean defector said that "It is a unique aspect of socialist societies in general. People learn to use this kind of strong language, even in everyday life. It is instilled into society. People are too used to it. They learn to read between the lines for the real meaning, and the often repeated words like 'war' don't even register."

That's a relief then ...

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Henry Allingham - Worlds Oldest Man Dies

Sadly, Henry Allingham who was all to briefly the worlds oldest man has passed away at his Brighton care home.
A life well lived, and remarkable in the events it witnessed.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Turkish Genocide Hypocrisy

Recep Tayyip Erdogan the Turkish Prime Minister and the head of a genocide denying state, has accused China of committing "a kind of genocide. There is no other way of commenting on this event," he said.

"There are atrocities there, hundreds of people have been killed and 1,000 hurt. We have difficulty understanding how China's leadership can remain a spectator in the face of these events." The Turkish premier also urged Beijing to "address the question of human rights and do what is necessary to prosecute the guilty".

As usual, the millions of Armenians murdered by the Turks in the first world war, or even the organised attempt to eradicate the Greeks in the are just ignored, but should anyone attack Muslim's, then its 'genocide'. The fact that the genocide of the Armenians is generally recognised by the rest of the world, (needless to say, the spineless UK government is not one of them) just makes their claims all the more hollow.

Turkeys treatment of the Kurds (its last minority group left after its eradicated all the others), is actually worse than the Chinese treatment of the Uigur turks, but then again Turkish arrogance wouldn't recognise that either.

It's this constant Muslim claim to special treatment from non Muslims whilst they mete out such horrors to us, that makes it such unattractive creed, but from the Turks its all the more galling, because they claim to be adhering to European values, but are so obviously not.

The day we allow them into the EU is the end of the idea of 'western culture' for us all.

The Worlds Lonliest Pig

Finally this week, two stories from the lands of education and enlightenment.

In Saudi Arabia, a family is taking a "genie" to court, accusing it of theft and harassment, reports say. A local court says it is trying to verify the truthfulness of the claims "despite the difficulty" of doing so.

And in another bastion of the rational, Afghanistan had been quarantining its one and only pig (given as a gift by China) but now, apparently, its been released from quarantine. According to the director of the Zoo, Aziz Gul Saqib, "Our people did not understand that the disease only passes from person to person and felt that the swine influenza might even be spread from the zoo because we have a pig here."

Still the worlds loneliest pig is not completely in the clear, visitors at the zoo indicate its likely fate if the Taliban ever get near it.

"It's a pig, it's the dirtiest thing, it might give me a disease," said one visitor, 17-year-old-Razaa, who covered his nose and mouth with his t-shirt as the animal trotted past. "It is very haram (forbidden) and should not even been looked at. I don't think it should even be in the zoo," said another visitor named Nassim.

The last lot of animals in Kabul Zoo were eradicated by the Taliban, partly for food, and partly for enjoyment (such as killing the only elephant).

Still In The North

A while ago, I blogged on the two women 'journalists' with US passports who were tried for espionage in North Korea. Well despite the almost near collapse of US - Korean relations, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she hopes North Korea will free two jailed American reporters .....

Optimism in the extreme and coming after a signal from North Korea that it would release the two journalists if the US made a formal apology.... these are the games the North Koreans play so well. North Korea has allegedly delayed sending the two journalists to a prison labour camp and is keeping them in a guest house. in order to stretch the whole incident out as much as possible.

It would be sad if because of two irresponsible women who hold US passports, the US is made to eat humble pie when it should be standing strong.

North Korea Pushes All The (non nuclear) Buttons

Sometime ago, another blog site requested that I submit an article on any subject I wished, for consideration of publication by them - the only condition was that I didn't publish it myself.

I duly sent them a topical and some what prescient article on the North Korean situation, but it appears not to have been deemed acceptable, and I can find no evidence of it being used. The weeks have gone by and the North Korean situation has if anything worsened so I feel free to use my article in an updated format.

North Korea Pushes All The (non nuclear) Buttons

The "Dear Leader" Kim Jong il (Not to be confused with the "Great leader" Kim Il Sung) has recently been rattling its sabres again. These displays of brinkmanship with the South Koreans, Japan and the United States of America have been a feature of his leadership ever since the ‘end of the cold war’ in the 1990’s.

Indeed the rhetoric has often been quite threatening, but most analysts have assumed that its been under control at the highest level and finely judged to achieve the maximum amount of political leverage (invariably accompanied by demands for money, food and fuel aid), often to surprisingly great effect, given the poverty of the regime, but an actual breakout of ‘war’ seemed unlikely.

Now however, the rattles have gotten increasingly louder, and the North Koreans are using the sort of language, and excuses, that in other eras have often preceded attacks on other countries.

The latest of these provocative actions was to accuse the South Koreans of moving a border marker, although how this was done, in the most intensely scrutinised and heavily armed border in the world, they have not explained.

They have also informed the South Koreans that should they join in an initiative to stop deadly weapons being transported at sea, then this, would be considered an act of war.

Now when I was young man, this was considered “fighting talk”, and indeed I remember being taught at school, that when Hitler invaded Poland, he invented an alleged ‘border incident’, to give himself a fig leaf of cover, for the invasion. Had he have gone on to win the resultant world war, then no doubt this ‘deception’ would have become ‘official’ history, and the Poles would have stood accused of the initiation of the Second World War.

It seems to me that, following the recent launch of long range missiles over Japanese airspace, the probable fact that North Korea has some sort of nuclear weapon, and the increasing desperation that the regime has fallen into economically (it's rumored that there have been at least two large scale famines in the last decade or so), that we may be reaching the tipping point.

That in fact a small miscalculation can easily be made, that will start the weapons firing, with the almost inevitable involvement of US troops, and that could easily precipitate a full blown war in the region by dragging in China, Russia and Japan. Even now, it seems more likely than not, that the North Koreans will be reined in by China and Russia, but what if events take control of themselves, and political considerations lose ground to be replaced with “national honour’, or ‘saving face’?

In Europe, in the lead up to the first world war, a series of misunderstandings and tragic ‘facts’, forced a continent that was largely not expecting or wanting it, into a tragic war. The British thought the Germans would want to talk first and so the cabinet went on holiday in August, the French thought that a show of strength via a 'call up of troops' would show the Germans that they would fight in the last resort, the Belgians and Dutch thought it was nothing to do with them, and the Germans had the ‘fact’ of a railway timetable and a ‘plan’, that meant once troops started moving they couldn’t be stopped.

Could we be on the verge of a series of ‘tragic facts’ that make war inevitable in the Korean peninsular?

North Korea is almost certainly suffering badly from the impact of the world recession, but can’t admit to its people that the last 50 yrs have been a lie. Its only strength is its armed forces, which suck up most of the states resources, and the regime needs to keep the armed forces self-esteem bolstered to ensure its support for the latest heredity succession.

The South Koreans are increasingly sick of being bullied and insulted by the North, and can’t or won’t, continue to bail out its wild sibling. Japan is furious at being threatened by North Korea without being able to fight back. China is unwilling to topple the regime of its only ‘client state’, for fear of millions of starving refugees pouring across a large border, and Russia is being very bullish in relations to the US and the West …… a tinderbox waiting for the gunpowder to fall under its sparks.

It would be somewhat ironic, if one of the last state run economies (Cuba being the other); run by the last ‘nearlycommunist state, in a period when the ‘Cold War’ is supposed to have ended, was able to start the very nuclear conflagration that we thought we had all avoided after communism collapsed in Russia.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Old Africa, Same Old Politics

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is not getting with the program.

This week he insulted Johnnie Carson, US assistant secretary of state for African affairs with the terms "an idiot".

Mr Mugabe told the state-owned Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe that his first meeting with a US government official for many years had angered him. "You would not speak to an idiot of that nature," he said. "I was very angry with him, and he thinks he could dictate to us what to do and what not to do."

"We have the whole of SADC working with us, and you have the likes of little fellows like Carson, you see, wanting to say: 'You do this, you do that. Who is he? I hope he was not speaking for Obama. I told him he was a shame, a great shame, being an African American."

Mr Mugabe apparently also took exception to Mr Carson's predecessor, Jendayi Frazer. In May last year he described her as "a little American girl trotting around the globe like a prostitute" after she suggested that the then-opposition Movement for Democratic Change had won the disputed presidential election.

President Obama has got his work cut out in Africa ..... colour only goes so far with the African "Big Man".

Black Nationalism in the US

I was watching a TV program presented by Louis Theroux about Black Nationalism in the USA ..... he started with the Reverend Al Sharpton, moved on to the Nation of Islam, then to a splinter from the Nation of Islam, led then by Dr Khalid Muhammad, and then ever further into the murky world of the Israeli School of Universal Practical Knowledge, who believe that blacks are the true Israelites, and that all English monarchs until early modern times were black (as well as Beethoven, Mozart, William Shakespeare, and Tom Jones)

It was striking, how some of the people interviewed appeared just ill informed, but some were to say the least, ill advised. Rev Sharpton, came over as bright enough, but very politically motivated and therefore willing to embrace any 'black issue' regardless of merit. However one of his aides, Ed, obviously hit it off with Theroux, and seemed genuinely to believe in the cause.

The Nation of Islam on the other hand, basically refused to talk about their theology, but Dr Muhammed was mainly interested in achieving a separate black state in the US, centred around Georgia, Carolina and Alabama, using armed force if necessary to achieve it.

Dr. Khalid Muhummad - Armed Struggle

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Wimbledon and Equality

Once again the men's final in a grand slam (and Wimbledon 2009 in particular) has produced a classic match, with over four hours of tennis, ending at 16 - 14 in Roger Federer's favour, in the best of five sets final.

The women's game, which has demanded and got equal money for winning titles, produced a final between the Williams sisters (again) of just two sets, and one hour 27 minutes length.

How exactly is this the worth the same as the men's game in value, or spectacle? I cite as an example the fact that one of the Williams sister wiped the "worlds number 1" (some Russian who has won nothing) in 19 minutes 6 -1, 6 - 0 in the semi finals.

In what other sport could a worlds number one be obliterated, in less time than the men take to warm up?

I think its time to make the women's games best of five sets, and give us all a larf, watching the fat and lazy women players huffing, puffing, and collapsing under the strain of trying to actually justify the ridiculous money they hardly earn at present.

Labour Still Isnt Working

Having had a recent brush with redundancy (only to get offered another role in the same company .... phew!), my mind had been occupied with the prospect of unemployment in a recession for the last few weeks.

Now that my destiny is back in my own hands, my thoughts turned to the famous advertising campaign that removed the last Labour Government after a deep recession, soaring unemployment and industrial disputes, and public finance problems (sound familiar?).

The much copied and admired poster, which was on billboards and hoarding across the land was by Saatchi and Saatchi ....


Its sentiment and style is much reproduced such as in this cartoon by Schrank from The Independent on Sunday

Which shows bankers and fat cats lining up for cash from Gordon Brown.

In fact so succesful was the poster, that with unemployment due to rise for at least another few quarters, there is speculation that it will reappear in the next election if this is a major issue.

We appear to be coming to the end of a political cycle and even full circle, with events uncannily playing out like they did in 1979. Except that I am thirty years older!

NB: I took the images from the net, where they are freely produced but if any copyright accidently infringed, just email me and I will remove immediately.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Pakistans Problems In A Nutshell.

Pakistan is fighting a war to the death with those of its own citizenry, who believe that "Islamic" government is the only way the world should conduct its affairs, and yet its still seems to be unable to draw the conclusions as to how it got into this mess.

  • Half the country of 165 million is illiterate.
  • Roughly the same number of people live on $2 a day (there is a connection).
  • Pakistani democracy is forever diluted by the perils of Feudalism and dynasty. President Zardari is the widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Their son, still a student at Oxford, is being groomed to take over one day. Mrs Bhutto's father, the other Prime Minister Bhutto, was executed by General Zia, who was himself killed by an assassin's bomb hidden on his plane.
  • Violent death is one of the hazards of the job of running Pakistan.
  • The country's middle class has either moved abroad or is cowering behind ever higher walls as the Taliban and their allies plot the next suicide bomb.
  • The only institution that really functions well in Pakistan is the army - and that is not a healthy situation.

And this all boils down to two things:

  1. A complete disregard for the state education system and
  2. The founding of the state as an Islamic one.

Pakistan spends only 2.5% (or maybe less) of its gross domestic product on education (The US spends 7%, UK 5.3% and India 4.1%), and despite alleged 'crackdowns', including by the army, there are in existence thousands of "ghost schools". Corrupt officials pocket the salaries paid by the government to non-existent teachers and for maintenance etc, so the boys who have no chance of a state education end up in Islamic Madrassas, the girls get nothing.

Pakistan's government can barely count the Islamic Madrassas, much less control them. The last official figure dates from 2006, when the tally was 13,000. But there may be double that number, according to another estimate.

The obvious solution would be to bend every development effort (including foreign Aid) into state, secular, education, whilst closing down virtually every maddrasa .... this would;

a) Remove the recruiting ground for the Taliban.

b) Give boys and girls an education that would benefit them and the country.

c) Tackle the crippling corruption which hinders Pakistan's development.

d) Help fight the poverty bomb which is destroying the country just as much as the Taliban.

However despite the fact that the country is considered a failed state, it refuses to accept the obvious solutions, and continues to spiral back to Army control and eventually disaster.

Pakistan's real enemy these days does not sit on the other side of the country's Eastern border in India, rather its the homegrown cancer of Islamic extremism, festering in the cities and fanned in the tribal areas by constant poverty and war, which is the real enemy.

Yet most of the Pakistani army is still deployed on the Eastern front - only two reserve divisions have been deployed on the Western border with Afghanistan, where the real battle is taking place. "India is still our mortal enemy," a general said "They are using this as a diversion. It's a trap!" ...... madness and paranoia.

Without India as its 'mortal enemy', Pakistan, a forced grouping of diverse peoples, languages and geography, who are barely on speaking terms except about cricket - would have to go back to the drawing board and redefine why it actually exists as a state.

Pakistan's first president, Mohammed Ali Jinnah said. "In a few years we have made the Muslims of India, who were only a crowd, into a nation. We now have one flag, one platform and one voice."

Well that voice is legion now, and the platforms many, only the flag remains, and how long before its a white flag.

A couple of strays

First a couple of follow ups .......

The Gadfather is in top form at the moment, and has continued cutting a swathe across the international scene. In this case, he sent every one in the African Union scurrying to his 'hometown' of Sirte. A town of such insignificance that even Wikipedia struggles to say anything good about about it.

Just to give you an idea of how poor is the Libyan infrastructure these days, according to the report there is such a shortage of hotel accommodation, that journalists and diplomats are sleeping on an ageing Greek-owned cruise liner moored in the harbour. Even in the AU press room, there is no phone signal and the journalists and dignitaries have almost come to blows as they grapple for Internet lines, also in chronically short supply.

What can you say about this continent?

Back in Europe, I have been much taken by Portugal's 'drug liberalisation' experiment, since experiencing it at first hand. This BBC report has followed up the consequences and possible lessons to be learnt from this social shift.

I suspect that this story will continue to be of great interest to governments around the world, desperate to find a solution to the most pernicious social problem facing the world.

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