Sunday, 28 August 2011

China: Cold War Hots Up

Increasingly the US and China are acting as though the 'Cold War' that had existed between the US and USSR in earlier decades has never ended. I say that because its increasingly obvious that the Chinese have two expansionist foreign policy objectives (as well as their interests in Africa), that are going to require the deployment (or the credible threat) of armed force.

 The two main objectives are:
  1. "Reunion" with Taiwan, by whatever means, and 
  2. The Chinese quite ridiculously claim all the islands in the South China seas, including the Spratly Isles (which as you can see from this map, actually run up to within 30 miles of the Philippines), that are well over a 1000 miles from the Chinese mainland at their furthest point.  

The Taiwan issue is complicated by the fact that its a longstanding ally of the United States, and the Chinese Military need to be able to stop the US Military from supporting Taiwan, if Chinese forces ever blockaded, or even invaded Taiwan.    

And the Spratly Islands issue, is aggravated by the fact that China's ambitions appear to be nothing more than a naked land resources grab, with little or no historical / geographical precedent. This has led to counter claims that all of the Spratly Islands are Vietnamese territory, Various other parts of the local islands are claimed by Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines; and Brunei implicitly lays claim to Louisa Reef, by including it within the natural prolongation of its continental shelf, in another dispute with Vietnam, over a seabed median demarcation. Again if the Chinese ever choose to enforce their claims, then they need to be able to stop the US from backing any other claimants (including another longterm ally in the Phillipines).

So The Chinese have been increasingly challenging US power in the region by a series of actions guaranteed to raise tensions between the two super powers.
  • China conducted the first test-flights of its new J20 stealth aircraft, and
  • Sea trials of its new aircraft carrier (an old Soviet carrier) are underway now and its expected to begin construction on a home-grown carrier this year.
  • Development of carrier buster missiles (Anti Ship Ballistic Missiles (ASBMs) launched from submarines) which are the real threat to the US carrier groups.
  • The Peoples Liberation Army is working hard to develop its asymmetric warfare techniques against US command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance infrastructure, known as "C4ISR" in military parlance.
  • In 2010 and continuing into 2011, numerous US government computer systems were the target of intrusions "focused on exfiltrating information" that appeared to all have originated from within China.
  • The PLA has successfully tested advanced anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons systems, and it can now destroy US satellites in space. 
An Expansionist China Has Modern Armed Forces
Tensions between China and all its neighbours are rising, especially as US influence declines in the region and as mentioned here before, China is not some 'cuddly Panda regime'.... its a one party, Maoist Communist dictatorship, with a history of occupation (Tibet). The Dragon is Red in Tooth And Claw, and we should always be aware of this fact.

Hurricanes And Women

Hurricanes and Typhoons were always seemingly named after women. Apparently in 1953, the US National Weather Service picked up on the habit of their Naval meteorologists, in naming the storms after women. The logic apparently being that as ships were always referred to as female (and were often given women's names), and with the storms' temperament often shifting directions at a whim or on a moment's notice, well .....  and this naming convention was continued by the World Meteorological Organization when they took over the naming lists.

Anyway this leads to jokes like the one below:

Q: What do women and hurricanes have in common?
A: When they come, they're wet and wild, and when they leave, they take your house and car!

In fact despite the fact that Hurricane Katrina and now Irene are women's names, the fact is that from 1979, male names have been inserted into the lists (to alternate with the female names), to satisfy the PC 'Wimmins' issues brigade, who with all the women's problems in the third world, apparently spent their energies agitating for this naming convention to be changed ....

The next one on the 2011 list (after Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, and Irene) will be 'Jose' and then 'Katia' and 'Lee' .... so why is it that I can remember 'Katrina' or 'Cindy' but not 'Don'?

Hurricane Irene Hits The Colonies

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Simpsons Guests Flop

The News that Lady Gaga is going to guest on 'The Simpsons' made me curl up a little inside ....

I have watched the majority of Simpson shows over the years, and its been noticeable that when "Stars" play as characters in the show and not themselves e.g. Michelle Pfeiffer as 'Mindy Simmons', then they are often funny and fit into to the spirit of the shows. But when they are "Guest stars" i.e. themselves, then they are often plain not funny (or even embarrassing), the only ones who were OK in my opinion was Tom Jones and possibly Leonard Nimoy .... I don't know why.

Michelle Pfeiffer as 'Mindy Simmons'
Character Stars:
  • Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob
  • Danny DeVito as Herbert Powell
  • Tracey Ullman as Emily Winthropp
  • Dustin Hoffman as Mr. Bergstrom
  • Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony
All funny and part of the show .....

Kelsey Grammer as 'Sideshow Bob'
Actually, there was one particular guest who made many of us in the UK cringe, and that was the Ricky Gervais episodes. He is not half as funny or popular as he likes to think he is ..... it would have been far funnier if they had asked Bill Bailey to write and star in some episodes. He is genuinely funny, and strangely of the same world view as the Simpsons .....

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Naked As A Jaybird

There is a man in the UK who has been behaving in an ever more bizarre manner, but whom the courts and society seem unable to control. He is known by the press as "The Naked Rambler" (ex soldier, Stephen Gough), and as his moniker suggests, he parades around like 'the emperor in his new suit' i.e Stark Naked!

If truth be known I had forgotten about him, but that's because it turns out that he has been locked up in prison after a series of clashes with the courts of Scotland, where he refuses to wear clothes, even when in court ..... they put brown paper down on all the seats for 'hygiene purposes' .... he has just finished a sentence, been re-arrested  and after refusing to robe himself was sentenced to a further 657 days in prison.

I dread to think what walking around naked in a prison does for you ......

Union Jack Added!
As usual, the "Human Rights Act" is waved around by all and sundry, although I am sure that even the New Labour gurus who promoted this ridiculous act, didn't intend it to include public decency being destroyed ... still you never know.

Gough has said that "What I am doing is based on my belief about what I am and what I am is not indecent. Ordinary people have prejudices and intolerance's" .... most people think he is a bit of a nutter, and in earlier, less enlightened times he would have been locked away in a secure place for treatment or his own protection, instead, in these more civilised times, he is ... err, locked away in prison as a punishment .... "C'est la vie"

Update: He was released from his latest stay in a Scottish Prison today, but for how long is anyone's guess .... "I am not going to give up. Stay naked is the word" .... was his latest comment.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Goodbye And Good Riddance

This Blog has spent much time following the insane antics of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, often under the title of the 'Gadfather' (of Africa), but we never lost sight of the fact that he was a dictator, cast in the same mould as Saddam Hussein and others in the region.

Gaddafi Never Lacked For Megalomania
When the "Arab Spring" series of revolutions swept across part of the region, Gaddafi appeared to be the dictators bulwark by resisting the changes, and sweeping apparently inexorably towards Benghazi (the focus point of the revolt) .... but then NATO stepped in, and the possibility of a massacre was averted. However a stalemate ensued, and it looked as though he would retain at least control of half of the country, until the events of the last couple of weeks, when the rebels, aided by NATO warplanes, started moving slowly forward again.

Gaddafi Has Ordered Scuds To Be Fired 
Then yesterday there was a sudden change in events, resistance crumbled, and the rebels swept into Tripoli and have now entered Gaddafi's compound .... they are now hunting for the dictator and his family, especially his sons.

Statues Toppled
The similarities with the end of Saddam are quite striking, as statues are toppled, and vows of resistance to the death have proved to be just words .... he is now believed to be either skulking around in the city somewhere, or to have fled to his hometown of Sirte, which has been a stronghold of regime loyalism to him over the years.

Traditional Disrespect Of Sole Of Shoe
Whether he is caught hiding in a hole, with his sons killed or surrenders to the tender mercies of the rebels remains to be seem, but it seems unlikely that he will die resisting.

Spasmodic Resistance Is Met By Firepower  
He may of course try to flee the country along with his extended family ..... Although where he might go seems to be a problem. 

Gaddafi's Main Son And Designated 'Successor' Saif al-Islam  
However they may prefer a trial in the International Tribunal in the Hague (and probably a rather cushy 'life' imprisonment), rather than a trial and probable execution in Libya. Only time will tell, but it seems his reign is over ... we will have to wait and see what comes next.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Edinburgh During The Festival

I have uploaded a few photos taken during the The Edinburgh Festival .... they are in no particular order of precedence, being merely a flavour of the event .....

A Giant Amongst Men ... well tourists
Edinburgh Castle From Grass Market

Edinburgh High St During Fringe

Edinburgh during the Fringe

Edinburgh High St During The Fringe
The Wee Windaes
High St Edinburgh
High St Statue King
High St View from Princes St Edinburgh
Pan The Scottish Piper
Smithies Ale House Eyre Place Edinburgh
St Giles Close
The Sun Shines On The Righteous

Vikings and Japanese

Summer Comes To The Fringe
You Get All Sorts At 'Smithies Ale House'

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Yes, its that time again, when all at PC Towers head north of Hadrian's Wall to attend the "Edinburgh Fringe Festival". Regular followers of this thread will be aware that this annual visit to the City of Edinburgh, always results in one blog on the acts seen, and the general feel of the event.

So without further ado, here are the acts seen by us, listed under our stars of recommendation:

  • Edinburgh Bloody Edinburgh - Davytheghost (comedian, storyteller, historian and published author): Suffered from having only four people in the crowd on the night. Only 35 mins material and a guided walk which wasn't an attractive option on a rainy night.   

  • The Axis of Awesome -  Australia's kings of comedy rock: Very professional, but act too similar to a few years ago, and they could do with a re-invention of jokes and material to go back to five stars.  
  • Matt Forde: Dishonourable Member - ex New Labour political intern, does comedy: Funny and not too PC Labourish (he even "hugged his inner Tory" after the riots), but may be a one trick pony.
  • Mythbunking - Dr Glen Eusebius and Professor John Porcupig, from the ancient society known as The MythMasons: Good act, but like Matt Forde may be an act that stays the same each year. 
  • Tom Bell Begins - A spoof Hollywood-style life story: Very good, got a lot of laughs, and looks to have a real chance to become a star of the festivals, although we assume he wants TV to take a look.  
  • Olver: Portrait of a Serial Killer - Mark Olver kills clowns "Actual violence guaranteed": Old style comic pro, who gives off an aura of jaded been there, seen it, done it .... 16+ show which some numpty took his three children to! Was warned what was to come, refused to take the hint and then sat there grim faced at adult content. Olver added a fake telephone call from social services to the end of the show, in which he said he had no idea why someone would take their young children to an adult themed show ... cue cheers from crowd. 
  • Frisky and Mannish - Pop Centre Plus - Wanna be a pop star? Think you got what it takes? Let our pop picker impresarios show you just how easy (or hard) it is - Audience participation included.   

Worst show (in our opinion):

 "Steve Pretty's Perfect Mixtape" - possibly about twenty minutes worth of humorous material, forcibly stretched to last one hour - could do with watching 'Tom Bell Begins' to see how to create a comic narrative thread.  

Best Show (in our opinion):

"Frisky and Mannish" - Pop Centre Plus: Superb comedy musical duo: Very polished act who got a standing ovation from the crowd. 

You can see video performances of what makes the Fringe Buzz on their website here:

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Falsa Romani

After spending a week watching Britannia dragged through the gutter by the new Barbarians, it was ironic that the other story that caught my eye was one of false Romans. I love these tales of role players getting carried away. 

A Familiar Sight Outside of The Coliseum
This latest tale features twenty gladiator impersonators being arrested by Italian police in Rome. All the arrested men came from just seven 'families', and were working with five of the tourist agencies that control the 'guides' at the Colosseum.
The 'Families' In Action.
The families had divided up tourist sites such as the Colosseum, the Piazza Venezia, and St Peter's Basilica, between themselves, and then were defending their 'territory' from any other non family operators by using 'violence'. The rival gladiators who had been chased away from popular tourist attractions, reported the attacks to the police, as they could no longer make a living dressed as gladiators and centurions at the city's historic sites.(They also get kickbacks from tour organisers for persuading tourists to go on guided trips).

Some Groups Are Better Organised Than Others 
All the suspects are accused of intimidating and attacking their competitors, in order to win a larger share in the lucrative tourist photograph business. In a manner familiar to every tourist the world over, these men dress as Roman Emperors (Caesar), or as Gladiators, and then charge up to 10 euros (£8.70) for having their photographs taken with the tourists. I can testify that this a scene almost entirely confined to the City of Rome (in Pisa for example, outside the leaning Tower, you can't move for African trinket salesmen).

The Arrests Prompted Some Resistance
The police officers had to dress up as gladiators themselves to infiltrate the gangs, while other officers, disguised themselves as dustbin operators or tourists in order to take part in the raid, and had to come to the rescue of their colleagues, who were attacked by the angry gladiators when the arrests were made.

You can't make these stories up ....

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Cameron: "Fightback!"

After losing the streets to what the BBC still insists are "youths" (the first man convicted, was a 31 yr old primary school mentor, followed by a postman, a lifeguard, and a charity worker), the Prime Minister, in his latest 'Finest Hour' moment said that: "We needed a fight back and a fight back is underway. We have seen the worst of Britain, but I also believe we’ve seen some of the best of Britain: the million people who’ve signed up on Facebook to support the police, communities coming together in the cleanup operations."

Churchill would have been proud!
He apparently sees no irony in announcing a "fightback" against many of his own so called fellow 'citizens' of this dis - United Kingdom .... effectively treating this as yet another 'War'. Churchill said, in another conflict, " We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender" .... bit more of a ring to it one feels.

Is this really the same politician who once said that we should "Hug A Hoodie"?  .... so now, as well as being under pressure to stop  further police funding cuts,  he will also probably be under pressure to stop reducing the size of the Army, after all, you need an Army to 'fightback' in a war ....

Another politician was once asked what made or broke Prime Ministerships, he said 'Events, my dear boy, events' .... this will be the making or breaking of Cameron as a P.M. ... fortunately 'Sergeant Showers' turned up yesterday, and the rioters stayed at home rather than get wet, so no riots last night  .... Victory!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Law And Order: Losing The Streets

The Police have lost the streets in the black areas of London (Peckham, Lewisham, East Ham, Hackney etc etc), and there are also reports that there are 'disturbances' in Afro-Caribbean areas of other cities in the rest of the UK e.g. Birmingham and Leeds. No doubt the copycat 'lowlifes' will try it on in St Paul's in Bristol, and other towns such as Manchester. Lets hope someone decides to police this with real firmness in one of these cities, before anyone is murdered .... its an indication of what passes for 'law and order' in the dis-United Kingdom these days, that the authorities can't deal with a bunch of looters and arsonists.

In the US, they would have simply declared martial law, and brought in the national guard with orders to shoot the looters and arsonist .... but in PC Britain, the police will probably be sued by the rioters for breach of their New Labour given 'Human Rights" if they arrest them .... the courts will issue £50 fines (that are never paid), and that will be as far as the punishment will go. The local Labour MP's (they are invariably Labour strongholds), will all claim that the police have to earn the trust of their rioters, sorry 'constituents' in a laughable reversal of the reality of the situation. 'Alice through the Looking Glass', has nothing on the normal world view of the left wing politicians of the UK, but I suspect that even some of these will have been given serious pause for thought, by the events that are going on.

Three ladies "Out Shopping" and assorted cultural events

These pictures go around the world .... the government twiddles its thumbs, and back in 'La La Land', the BBC are up to their normal PC nonsense .... they have now taken the line that this crime spree is all following a 'peaceful protest'. That this is in fact really a 'cry of rage' by disadvantaged and victimised people, railing legitimately against a [white] authority .... it's so far from the reality of all the eyewitness reports of the organised gangs orchestrating the crime as to be laughable. The BBC has lost credibility with its insistence on describing the rioters as 'groups of youths', painfully avoiding the obvious nature of the crime and the criminals in the pictures we can all see.

This is PC 'Colour Blindness' taken to a new level .... what ever happened to their charter requirement to 'represent the UK, its nations, regions and communities' and report to news as it is, and not following a political correct line, which appears to have more in common with the politics of the Labour Party and the Left, than the nations, and regions?

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The Ethnic Gangs Of London Town

Tottenham in London is what politicians quaintly describe as a 'vibrant multicultural' area ... Wiki describes it a 'multicultural hotspot', meaning its has a large Afro-Caribbean community, and consequently very high crime rates, loads of gun crimes, a large lawless 'Gangsta' community, hoodies, drug wars, and the highest unemployment rate in London .... it was also the scene of the 1985 Broadwater Farm riot.

Last night they had what passes for a peaceful protest in a 'multicultural hotspot', over a shooting. Not because of the shooting per se, no, they have shootings in Tottenham regularly, drive by gang shootings are common in the area. No, what kicked off the 'peaceful protest' was that the police shot a man who was allegedly carrying and used an illegal weapon in the back of a mini cab .... obviously he was immediately classed as a pillar of the local community, and the killing as a 'police assassination' by locals.

The man was named as Mark Duggan (aka Starrish Mark) and the killing was being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, although the evidence on the BBC website suggests that there was no illegal activity by the police. It gives a description by local resident David Akinsanya, who was at the scene of the fatal shooting soon after the incident, who said that an eye witness had told him that a police officer had shouted to the man to stop "a couple of times", but the man had not heeded the warning.

Still, we have the right to 'peaceful protest' in the UK, although they may not have considered what this might mean in a 'multicultural hotspot' when that right was given  .... but Quelle surprise! within 5 minutes of the crowd gathering, the first bricks were volleyed at the local police station, followed by petrol bombs, and then the 'peaceful protesters' decided that a local 'carpet shop' needed to be taught a lesson as well, and it was torched. This was then followed by the looting and torching of the local supermarkets, a local bank cash machine, PC world, local shops, and in fact, anything that could conceivably have any value was looted, before the properties were torched.

Wecome to Tottenham
Above all these buildings were occupied residential properties and flats, the residents of these buildings had to run for their lives as these 'protesters' wilfully burnt every building. Even this morning the police don't know if any residents were killed in the fires .... no doubt the apologists for this sort of 'cultural' activity will be out in force today ... suddenly the theft, arson and possible attempted murder (eight police officers in hospital, and a search underway for any bodies in the burnt out shells of the flats), will all be condoned by local 'spokespersons'.

As for the police, well whether their hands were tied or they were being led by some officer who believes all the PC crap about 'sensitive policing', will no doubt come out in the endless enquiries that will be instigated to 'explain why this happened' (its a 'multicultural hotspot', that's why it happened .... they don't like being policed, end of story), but last night, all reports suggest that they were impotent and allowed the looting to go unchecked, and this was followed by the arson.

No doubt yet more public funds will be wasted trying to get businesses to rebuild again in the area, but considering the propensity of the local community to looting them, I suspect that they will all think long and hard about this  .... I was in Manchester during the Moss-Side riots, when princess road was burnt to the ground ... it took over a decade for the road to recover its shops.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Who Needs The Tooth Fairy?

Finally, continuing with the idiots theme .... most of us use a dentist to remove a bad tooth, but in these cash straightened times (unless you are a banker), some people are tempted into novel money saving ideas to remover troublesome molars ....

An idiots dentistry tip...

So take one motorbike, one piece of string, one gap toothed brother, and a bit of imagination ...... apparently its dad who is behind the camera ..... so that's alright then!

One Step Forward And Two Steps Backward

In a move that seems to set women's sports back at least 100 yrs, the sport with the fastest growing following in the US state of California is "Lingerie Basketball" which has fans from across the state flocking to courts to see the girls play. Its not as though these are 'bimbo's' either, many of the players are former star college athletes.

Sport, but not as we know it Captain ....

Its due to be broadcast on cable TV soon alongside its popular stablemate, the Lingerie Football League (where the girls add just a set of shoulder pads and a helmet before running out to play full-contact American gridiron), which has a huge following. Since its creation in 2009 the LFL has gone on to expand into a 12-team semi-professional competition and is almost 'semi-professional' with potential investors even able to have the chance buy a team franchise.

Sepp Blatter is a Prophet

And coming soon a Lingerie Bowls Franchise .... needless to say, all these 'sports' attract more sponsorship money, and bigger crowds than the established women's associations could ever hope for.

Now, some of us remember the abuse that FIFA supremo Sepp Blatter got when he suggested that women's soccer should promote itself more, by having the female players wearing tighter shorts to promote "a more female aesthetic" .... it appears that his suggestion didn't fall on as barren a ground as we all assumed.

Tantastic Hoax

A website that was offering visitors the chance to get a tan from their computer screens, by downloading software which would enable screens to convert the light system in monitors to produce UV rays was in fact a hoax.

What a surprise eh?

Well apparently it was to the 200,000 people who tried to sign up to get the software .... they were treated to a series of pictures and facts and figures about the dangers of skin cancer by the charity who were running the site.

"There's one born every minute" is never truer than today .....

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Before They Ask

No doubt the message boards in forums all across the 'West' and the 'Arab world', will be full of comments suggesting that the West should now tackle the violence in Syria, like they have done in Libya ..... they will no doubt point out that Libya (like Iraq) has oil, while Syria doesn't.

I will simply point out that once again that Russia and China have so far opposed a draft resolution condemning Damascus .... and that once again the Arab League has fallen silent while the tanks move in to cities across Syria.  We have a saying that "God helps those who help themselves"

Tanks in the streets
While the arabs and their regimes remain silent, and their 'friends' in Russia and China oppose any efforts to stop the violence of the regime crackdown, then it ill behoves those commentators who want the West to sort out the worlds bad regimes via force of arms, to say one word against us. Remember one persons support of liberation revolts, is another viewers 'Western Imperialism'  ....
Shell Smoke over Hama
We can't do right for doing wrong in these matters .... 'imperialism and interference' when we do something, but 'inaction and double standards' when we don't do something they want.  


Its now February 2012, and the 'one party' Chinese and 'one president' Russians are still blocking any 'interference' by the West. Laughably, the arabs are still moaning that its the West that are keeping Assad in power. Russia and China have blood on their hands but then thats nothing new is it?


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