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Friday, 31 May 2013

Garden Gnomes Of Britain Unite

Talking of a more popular comeback, and Gnomes, the garden Gnome is back!

Gnomes Spokesman Shows What He Thinks Of The RHS Ban
 
Apparently 'The Royal Horticultural Society' .. self-styled arbiters of garden fashion has temporarily lifted a 100 year old ban on garden gnomes at the show (for charity). This inoffensive (well mostly), little figure has a long and noble lineage right back to the classical era. The Romans of Britain put up stone replicas of 'Priapus', the ancient phallic god of fertility in many a Roman garden (which I guess could be considered offensive), and after all, what were all those Roman statues (so beloved of museums now), if not originally 'tasteful' garden ornaments?

During the Renaissance period, the gardens of wealthy villas across Europe displayed groups of stone "grotesques", which included 'Punch-styled' (as in Punch and Judy) figures, typically a metre tall and garishly painted. But it was in Germany that the belief in the little men, who 'helped around farms and mines' first became transmorphed into the stone figure gnomes we see today in Britain.  The oldest of these gnomes is reputed to be "Lampy", the last of a group of 1870's gnomes recorded in the garden of one Charles Isham, of Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire (he's insured for £1m when he goes to gnome moots around the world).

Of course it wouldn't be the modern world if there weren't woodland terrorist groups about, but apparently neither the Garden Gnome Liberation Front, nor the supposedly less militant Garden Gnome Emancipation Movement (which take gnomes from gardens to "free them" from "enslavement" in flower beds, lawns, gardens and centres), have commented on the R.H.S. reconciliation move.

Gnome With His Rod Out

Personally I have always liked seeing the little blighter's in peoples gardens, and think that the R.H.S is frankly being snobbish. I have fond memories of giggling smuttily as a child, especially at the little chap with his rod coming from betwixt his legs .... and I don't mean a Priapus type rod .... ooh err!
  

Feminist Fascists

Women's civil rights are under threat around the world, particularly where religious zealots holds sway. With calls for Sharia laws being advocated for 'Muslim' areas of Europe and the UK, and women's rights going backward across the Arab world as the Islamists sweep into power. This is particularly true in those formerly nominally secular areas such as Iraq and Syria. So as the UK government supports arming Islamists over secularists, guess what the 'Wimmin of the Left' in the UK are up in arms about?

'Mens' Magazines .... no, not those of the 'anatomical' variety, no they mean those with names such as 'Loaded', 'NUTS', 'Zoo', Maxim and 'FHM' etc .... publications that I for one considered rather tame, old fashioned and hardly worth anyone's attention.

Gloria Steinem was a 1960's feminist who attacked Playboy

Yes, what's sometimes described as 'Lads Mags', are the subject of a battle that was apparently fought and won with the demise of the 'Bunny Girl', but is being re-fought by 'wimmins' groups 'UK Feminista' and 'Object' who have joined forces with a task force 11 lawyers to launch the 'Lose the Lad Mags' campaign via an announcement in the Guardian Newspaper.

Their argument is that one of 'New Labour' laws (yes those set of laws that are so beloved by terrorists and human rights lawyers across the profession), the 'Equality Act 2010', possibly makes the displaying of those magazines, or the requirement of staff to handle them, could amount to sexual harassment or discrimination.

This is so pathetic a campaign, compared with the battles fought by the feminists of the 1960's, and such a cowardly response to the real issues that normal women have to fight (by 'normal' I mean the women who don't live in 'PC La La lands' paid for by public funds, or media jobs), as to almost make one want to laugh.

Women Look At Topless Centrefolds

I do hope that they are going to also attack those 'women's magazines' (bought by those normal women), that make sex objects of men such as David Beckham? I mean pictures of him lolling about topless in his underwear aren't aimed at heterosexual men, but rather are for women (and homosexuals) to look at, and fantasise about their partner being vaguely like that, if only they rushed out and bought them the same underwear.  I give as an example the 'Male Centrefold Alert' in this months ladies 'Cosmopolitan' magazine which is described as "Naked rugby player centrefold alert!" ... in fact it has a whole section described as 'Centrefolds' ..... surely this popular ladies magazine is peddling the same  content as the 'Lads Mags'.

Piers Hernu, a writer for many mens magazines said that no "right-minded individual" would consider the content of these magazines "pornographic", and further added that "What we have here is a very deeply sinister and disturbing attempt by a group of fundamentalist, fanatical feminists trying to rope in some lawyers in order to bully the supermarkets into removing lads mags' from the shelves by alerting both staff and customers that they may be able to win a court case".

Page 3 Girls Have Been A Long-Term Target

Of course if these femfascista's can win one of these cases, then of course logically all newspapers with a topless woman in them i.e. the UK 'Red Tops' with 'Page 3' topless models, would also fail the test, and would be illegal as well ...... and probably that's their target all along ..... it was always one of their long term aims since the 1960's.  

But what really gets to me, is the sheer arrogance that allows a group of no more that a few thousand women 'activists' to think that they can decide what 40 million men or women can look at, or do ...... that's called 'Communism', or rather in their particular commissar 'Newspeak' - 'Fascism'.

Gnomes of Zürich

What’s the world coming to when a chaps Swiss bank account isn't between him and the 12 digit code that he obtained anonymously? I mean where's one to stash his cash, if not in some quiet little spot where it can coyly hide from the rude attentions of tax men everywhere?

Yes, apparently the cold bright light of the economic crash is turning its glare towards the Swiss banks with firstly the US, the then EU authorities demanding that Swiss banks provide lists of their clients from those political blocks so that their tax declarations can be cross checked .... the EU drive is being pushed by the Greeks who are seemingly leaving no stone unturned.

Gnomes Of Zurich

Some Swiss have claimed that introduced in the 1930's, in order to stop the Nazis from tracking the money of German Jews, who were investing their assets in Swiss banks in order to stop the Nazis seizing them .... but in fact, the Swiss Banking Act of 1934 was introduced to protect client privacy in the future, following another French political scandal, in which a number of the French political and business elites were discovered to have hidden their money in Switzerland.

The Swiss, feeling themselves to be under pressure, are apparently considering negotiating that which was once non-negotiable and one of the Gnomes of Zurich was quoted as saying "We cannot be at war with our neighbours on these issues, that is very clear," ..... C'est La Guerre the French are so found of saying.

Lingua Franca

"Allo Allo" as the English like to say, the Academie Francaise (the official authority, originally set up in 1635 to defend the French language against Italian), is once again up in arms, or whatever the equivalent in French is (dans les bras?), over the ever increasing use of English as the 'Lingua Franca' in Europe, but especially in France.

So what's new about this? I almost hear you shrug in a Gallic way. Well, this time its the twin issues that are .....

Issue 1: A French government Education Minister recently suggested that unless French Universities started teaching many more courses in English, they would simply become irrelevant in this century.

Of course in reality the very elite French business schools and educational establishments have already been teaching some courses in English for over 15yrs, but kept it very quiet inside France for fear of provoking the same sort of outcry that is occurring now. The newspaper Liberation for example, lists over 790 higher education courses today, that are taught in English.

Issue 2: French youths adoption of 'Franglais', where they use a mixture of Anglo/French terms such as:

Made up words such as:
  • 'Fooding' (made out of "food" and "feeling"), meaning 'Love of food' .
  • 'Bug' - as in quit bugging me.
  • 'Le Weekend' - obvious.
  • 'Buzz' - vibe, hit etc
  • 'Fashion' - obvious
  • 'People' - strangely this is 'celebrities'
  • 'Standing ovation' etc
  • 'Je vais driver downtown'. – I'm going to drive downtown. (Je vais aller en voiture au centre-ville)
  • 'Je suis tired'. – I am tired. (Je suis fatigué)
  • 'Je ne care pas'. – I don't care.
  • 'No-'ow' [know-how] instead of "savoir faire".
  • 'Les baked beans'.
  • 'Faire du shopping'.
  • 'Le booze-cruising'.
  • 'Le hardware'.
  • 'Le software'.
  • 'Le spam'.
  • 'Le goal average'.

What could be more Franglais than "je vais faire du booze-cruising"?

And apparently the French for a walkie-talkie is... "talkie-walkie"! ... and there are allegedly another 10,000 English-derived words or phrases.

Franglais High Streets In France

One French Scholar has said that the increasing use of "Globish" .... ('Global English' in case, if like me, you started thinking 'Elfish'), by which he means the primitive English of non-English-speaking students, is not suitable for teaching in (and as a call centre user, and experiancer of "Dell Hell" 'Hinglish', I sympathise).

However, they are all swimming against the tide of history, as French as a spoken language of influence has declined markedly in the last 100 yrs. French now ranks as only the worlds eighth most-spoken language.

Some authorities list Mandarin Chinese with 1,026m speakers, as the worlds most spoken language, followed by English with 765m and Spanish with 466m. According to Francophonie.org, which has a rather high estimate, French has 220m speakers. However, numbers, like size, aren't everything, and in world influence (science, politics, etc) French is marginalised, A recent study (April 2013), by W3Techs.com, suggested that English was the most widely used language on the internet, accounting for 54.9% of web content, with Russian in second place with 6.1% and with French languishing in sixth spot on 4.3%.

Incidentally, the Academie Francaise has singularly failed to stem any linguistic tide (after all living languages should evolve - where's Latin now?). There are reportedly today as many Italian as there are English originated words in the French language, and now Italian Universities teach many classes in English themselves, and for much the same reasons as the French Universities will do so.

Lets Parler Franglais

Last word (as always), to a French man, the literary critic Bernard Pivot, who said "Why speak French well, when you can speak English badly?".

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Revenge Best Served Cold

They say that revenge is a dish best eaten cold ..... and maybe the Dutch Manchester United Centre Forward, Robin van Persie has been thinking this all season. He was of course, famously of the manor of Arsenal F.C. where he was the 'jewel' in the rather threadbare trophy-less cabinet.

Piers Morgan, is the former editor of the Daily Mirror Newspaper and now in the USA working host of 'Piers Morgan Live' on CNN TV.  He was famously a uber Arsenal fan, so when Mr van Persie left that club, for the brighter vistas of Old Trafford, Mr Morgan started mockingly referring to him on Twitter as 'Van Pursestrings', implying that he had joined the Premier League champions for money, rather than "Following his heart", and seeking a trophy in Manchester.

In his first season at Old Trafford, van Persie won the English Premier League title ...... his first trophy in English football.

In the US this week, Mr Morgan opened a package which contained a double-sided picture of the Dutch striker kissing the Premier League trophy with one side showing the message:

Robin van Persie 'revenge is a dish best eaten cold'

'Piersy my man, thanks for all the support! You made this day even more special! All the best, Van Pursestrings.' .... the other read: 'Great to be a champ.. so many #Tears4Piersy'

On his Twitter page Morgan said: 'After all the grief I've given Van Pursestrings, he's allowed a whack back. I'll just have to take it on the chins'.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Reel Tape Revival

Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the waves comes the bad news - "The Cassette Is Back".

Yes in a stunning piece of news, it appears that it never completely died, and is now performing a sort of audio nerd resurgence. This has come about because a Canadian company, Analogue Media Technologies (now known as 'Duplication.ca'), which started in 1989 to help bands market their music to record producers and local radio stations, has started producing the tapes for start-up bands again.

There Was A Time When Cassette Players Were New
 
The driver for this is cost and sound .... the cost of slick looking promo CD's or DVD's (they do the graphics as well) has risen, and so some bands turned back to cassettes ... to such a degree that it says that cassette recordings make up 25% of the business, a volume not seen for twenty years or more. It seems that the analogue sound from a cassette is also preferred by sound buffs.

Personally I remember the sound made by tapes appearing as so much mangled spaghetti out of my car stereo ....

Too Many Of My Tapes Ended Like This ...
 
I was glad when they died out, and hope that this 'fad' doesn't turn into a reel tape revival .....

Salmond Run In Scotland


Alex Salmond has pronounced that Scotland can "more than afford' to be a successful independent country. He said this, while waving a little blue book entitled 'Scotland's Economy: the case for independence', which lists the nation's key economic strengths.

Scotlands Economy the case for independence

He claimed that rising inequality under Westminster and consistent economic mismanagement by successive UK governments was costing Scottish jobs and depressing Scottish growth. He finished off with the battle cry that "Scotland has a strong onshore economy and vast offshore potential, as well as a highly educated workforce and world class technology and research. But despite all of these inherent economic strengths, Scotland's long-term economic growth has lagged behind that of comparable European nations, many of which do not have the natural advantages we do. The explanation for that rests in the fact that Scotland's economic strength is not yet in Scotland's hands".

The opposition have said that his paper was "long on grievances about the past, but it is very short on Scotland's future. What was billed as an economic framework for independence has turned out to be a list of objections with barely any mention about how leaving the UK would have any impact on them".

I would suggest that the truth is much more simple ...... Socialists (either Labour, New Labour or the Scottish Nationalist Party), have run Scotland since the 1959 General Election (The last Conservative 'win' in Scotland was the 1955 election). I would further suggest that in fact 58 yrs of unrelenting Socialism is what has held Scotland back for the last half a century, and that a further eternity of unrelenting Socialism will do the same for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

A Very British Heroine

Yesterdays killing was so depressing for the probable future of the UK, that this will be the last I post on it. But I have had time to note a few points that may be worth a public airing.

Cub Scout Leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett Challenges The Killers

Firstly: I had once posted a while ago that 'religious converts' are the most dangerous of people, so it was prescient that I should add that link to yesterdays posts, as its now appears that at least one, if not both of the butchers, was a convert from Christianity to Islam. Update: In France, a man named 'Alexandre' a convert to Islam, stabbed a French soldier in the neck with a "fairly clear intent to kill", near Paris on Saturday. 

Secondly: As at least one of the men was a 'convert', and was of Nigerian descent, was he converted by the cult of Boko Haram?  This cult is extremely violent and very anti western ..... its just a thought.

Thirdly: For anyone who is black to convert to Islam shows a remarkable lack of knowledge of Arabs  treatment of blacks .... slavery was practised by their prophet Mohammed, who owned many slaves including Africans. The major juristic schools of Islam have always historically accepted the institution of slavery, and in Saudi Arabia and Arab North Africa, black males are still held in servitude in conditions that to all intents and purposes are slavery.

And Finally, politicians are as I predicted yesterday, spouting nonsense about the peace loving nature of the culture in our midst, with the Prime Minister David Cameron saying that "There is Nothing in Islam that Justifies this Truly Dreadful Act”. Well he is either very badly mistaken in that statement ..... or being incredibly disingenuous with the public.

Whilst its true that the Qur'an (5:32) says "Whosoever killeth a human being, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind." .... it also has many other things to say.

Here's a few bits of Islam Cameron might need telling about:
  1. (Sura al-Tawba 9:123). "O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you, and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the god fearing
  2. (Sura al-Tawba 9:29). "Fight against those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger, have forbidden -- such men as practice not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book -- until they pay tribute out of hand and have been humbled
  3. (Sura Al Ma idah 5:33). "The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or cutting off of hands and feet from sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;"
The Quran also encourages Muslims to fight, even when they would rather seek peace with those who do not wish to adopt Islam. 
  1. Sura (2:16) "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."
    Or the ‘they are not to be befriended’ parts:
  2. Sura (5:51) - "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people." 
  3. Sura (5:80) Sura (3:28) Sura (3:118) Sura (9:23) Sura (53:29) Sura (3:85) Sura (1:5-7) are a few more he might be embarrassed about. 
There are allegedly 123 verses of the Quran that refer to killing non Muslims simply for being non Muslims .... even the bit about saving human life is interpreted by some as referring to Muslims only (not that the residents of Pakistan, Iraq or Afghanistan would notice it being applied much by their co religionists, even at that limited definition).
If you are going to talk about Islam and its message, at least get one of your researchers to check the facts ..... the same caution should in fact be applied to statements about all religions and creeds. There are violent parts in the Old Testament / Torah:

GE 34:13-29 The Israelites kill Hamor, his son, and all the men of their village, taking as plunder their wealth, cattle, wives and children.

- they just ran out of Philistines etc to smite.

Politicians should always remember that we can all read the news, or watch TV.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Terrorists Amongst Us

What can anyone say about the news tonight of the slaughter (it can hardly be classed as murder, the victim was unarmed, while his assailants were allegedly armed with knives and a gun), in London, of a man whose only crime was that he reportedly was wearing the T-shirt of the military charity 'Help for Heroes'. He is believed to have been a soldier from the nearby Woolwich barracks. The two black attackers then apparently ran about, waiving their gun, knives, and their blood soaked hands, shouting 'Allahu Akbar', (Arabic: الله أكبر, "Allah is Great"),  and trying to get people to photograph them. All the while encouraging members of the public to take videos of them.

ITV broadcast this video footage.

In video footage broadcast by ITV, one of the alleged attackers says: "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you ..... I apologise that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same ..... You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don't care about you".

ITV broadcast this video footage.

All this in a 'South London accent' ..... You would think that a lot of eyes would now be opened, but no doubt the PC driven politicians will make the usual 'Its only a minority', 'Islam is peaceful', 'Islam is good for our society and should be free to proselytise', and finally that 'People in every community will be equally shocked' .... which are all shorthand for lets pretend that this hasn't happened ...... until the next time .... and rest assured there will be a next time, and another, and another.

I am only mildly surprised that they didn't leave instructions for the welfare benefits their wives and children are to receive. After all they will survive this, be sent to prison for 30 yrs or so, their families will be able to visit them, and no doubt another set of Jihadist's will be brought up on the streets of our cities. In London, they will likely find a lot more support, as Muslims become the largest proportion of the population inside the probable lifetimes of these two Islamists.

ITV broadcast this video footage.

For what its worth, my thoughts aren't with the scum who did this, but firmly with the poor family and friends of the victim. His loss to the world is a thousand times more tragic, than anything his attackers offered it.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Geek v Geek

Now here's a real 'Clash of the Titans' ..... Star Wars and Doctor Who fans started fighting at a Sci-Fi convention. What makes it even better is that its old school. I mean really Dr Who and Star Wars!!

Apparently Norwich in the middle of nowhere, is a veritable hotbed of Sci-Fi fanaticism, and was holding its fourth Sci-Fi and Film Convention at the University of East Anglia, but importantly it was organised only by the Norwich Star Wars Club. They had also arranged for two Doctor Who actors to attend, but that was the cause of the later trouble, that apparently flared after members of the 'rival' Norwich Sci-Fi club arrived to get autographs from the two actors.

Norwich Sci-Fi Convention 2013

It appears that there was what's known colloquially as 'previous history' between the Norwich Star Wars Club and the members of the Norwich Sci-Fi club and this spilled over into a heated argument between two rival groups of fans. What made the scene all the more colourful was that most of the participants were 'in character' so to speak. The reports describe the visiting disputers as being dressed as 'the fifth Doctor', with two others outside the convention dressed as the '10th Doctor' and 'Judge Dredd'.


Dr Who and Star Wars Conventioneers

The Police were eventually called after reports of a man being assaulted at the convention, and they spoke to both groups of fans. However after reviewing the security camera footage they were able to confirm that "After a lengthy investigation, talking to witnesses and reviewing good CCTV footage, it was confirmed that there was no assault. The two rival groups were spoken to and advised to keep out of each other's way".

As one member of the Norwich Sci-Fi club said afterwards “This wasn't a fight between Star Wars fans and Doctor Who fans with light-sabers and sonic screwdrivers drawn

Star Wars and Dan Dare were Strange Bedfellows

While a member of the Norwich Star Wars Club said "It does sound comical. People that dress up in costume are labelled geeks and some people laugh at us, and this just makes it even more so".

Storm Trooper v Cybermen - Who Wins?

What the two Doctor Who actors thought of all this, is sadly, not recorded in the annals of Gallifrey.

The Riddle Of The Sphinx

I am following on to an earlier post, in which I bemoaned this strange idea in current western archaeology, that ancient monuments such as Stonehenge, or Hadrian's Wall, should be left in disrepair, to somehow make them 'Authentic'. In fact of course they are only 'authentic' when they are as the makers intended them to be seen.

Take, the Sphinx ....... probably built by Pharoah Khufu in his likeness.

The Sphinx as Archaeologists like to see it

It's age, weathering, and vandalism, have left it a pale shadow of its original self. But instead of the Chinese model of repairing heritage sites, all we do is say, "what the heck, the damage is 'historical' so we'll leave it", and then strangely, we proceed to spend millions to keep the sites in exactly the current stage of disrepair that we found them in. How weird is this?

So how would the sphinx look repaired? Well I had a go at 'repairing it' (apologies for the poorness of my Photo-shop skills) ..... maybe something like this?

A Repaired, Brick Faced Version Of The Sphinx

Assuming that after it was carved from the bed rock, it was faced with shaped stones or shaped bricks (like the Great Pyramid of Giza was), then it would have been something like the image above. Or maybe if they just carved the rocks and left it, maybe more like the image below.

A Repaired, Rock Version Of The Sphinx

In either event how much more wondrous to see it as it was intended to be seen?

Added after visitor suggestion a 'human scale' image .... incidently, notice that the Victorian photo (which was in B&W before I coloured it), show that some 'repair' was done by archaeologists before the current vogue of 'not repairing' items (see top image for current state of 'repair').

Human added to show scale

Some people suggest that it was actually more polished when originally completed .... something like this reconstruction I have created .....

How Great Sphinx May Have Looked ....

Princess Fiona Hulk

As any visitor to this site knows, I love Super Hero / Super Villain stories from around the world, and indeed posted one such story recently. So its not going to be a big surprise that when I came across another such tale, it quickly appears here.

Princess Fiona Hulk?


Apparently this err, lady, allegedly attacked a teenage girl outside a McDonald's restaurant in York at 3 am in the morning on Saturday the 4th of May, in what was described as an unprovoked attack. The victim was left with a black eye and bruising and police are looking for this raging hulk of a woman.

Just a pity that Super Heroes like Batman or Spiderman don't really patrol our streets ..... or do they?

Spidermans Car

Matt Denton is an inventor and specialises in small-scale animatronics for the film industry .... so he's used to making small models such as this Spider Robot .....

Matt Denton - Spider Robot


But, then he got an itch and started building one of his robots in a bigger version ........ and hundreds of thousands of pounds later, he had a  ..... "very expensive toy"

Giant Spider Robot

There is some hope for him getting his money back ..... apparently a mining company and a marine research organisation are now interested in his design.

But buyer beware .... the driver-operated robot can only travel at 1.5km/h (1mph) and manage a distance of 5km on a 20-litre (4.5-gallon) tank of diesel, Oh, and its legs are a bit dodgy, having been rebuilt at least one ...... "they are very inefficient - the wheel was invented for a reason".




Friday, 10 May 2013

There Can Be Only One "Red" Devil

The "Red" Devil has finished his last infernal work and stepped down, and the football world will never quite be the same again ..... The retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson is, for many Man United fans, the biggest event in their football lives. Whilst most realised it had to happen sometime or other, few actually expected to see it themselves. He was after all the 'eternal' Scot - a football immortal, and as we know about a 'Highlander', there can be only one.

In Britain the news has been greeted in the usual mixed manner, with residents of Liverpool sniping at his back, as its starts to disappear into the sunset, but even that is a form of praise, such was the damage he inflicted on the scousers image of themselves and their place in the football pecking order.

Just in case anyone has forgotten, when Sir Alex Ferguson arrived at Old Trafford in 1986 three of the bottom four places in the old First Division table were filled by Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea (how times are changed, they are now the top three clubs in the English Premiership). Manchester United had 7 titles (last won in 1966/67 season when they had been tied with Liverpool at 7 titles each), while Liverpool had 16 titles, and added a further two more to reach 18, before Ferguson's Manchester United finally won its first title under him, to reach 8 in total at the end of the 1992 / 93 season.

Liverpool Taunt 'Come Back When You've Won 18!'

Such was their confidence in their innate superiority, that after he won his second title with Manchester United in the 1993 / 94 season, the Liverpool fans put up a banner reading "Comeback when you reach 18" ..... my how they laughed. Well Ferguson took one look and said that her was going to 'Knock Liverpool off their perch' ....

MUFC Reply - 'We Are Sat On Your Perch'

The 2008/ 09 season saw Manchester United under Ferguson reach title number 18 (with Liverpool finishing second - their highest league finish in 17 years - and still on 18 titles), and the season 2010 - 11, saw them pass Liverpool with title number 19.

Sir Alex Ferguson's Club Records

Finally this season (2012 / 13) saw Manchester United win the title back again from Manchester City to reach a total of 20 titles ......... Retirement earned. Job well and truly done!

Darth Vader Strikes Back

Headline of the last few weeks was for me ......

"Darth Vader's 'first victim' dies"

What can you say to that ...... finally my hero and also 'Anti Hero', makes the news and I can post on him once again.

Actually, it relates to the demise of the 'Star Wars' actor Richard LeParmentier who as you may have easily guessed played one of, if not the first character killed by Darth Vader in the 1977 movie 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope'. He was of course the character Admiral Conan Antonio Motti, who extolled the virtues of the Empire's 'Death Star' space station, and who poured scorn on Vader's "sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion".

Admiral Conan Antonio Motti v Darth Vader - No Contest

Big mistake buddy, Vader found his vocal "lack of faith. Disturbing" and his diatribe brings a swift rebuke from the masked Vader, who uses "The Force" to place a choke hold on his throat, and leave him slumped on the table, ostensibly dead. .... mind you with the headline "'first victim' dies, only coming up 35 yrs after he, he may only have been very very poorly, for a very long long time .... ago.

Ah those were the days ........ you knew who was who, and what was what in a universe far far away. And the biggest WHO was Darth Vader ..... The Man!

Darth Vader - Warrior

One Day In Vienna

History loves coincidences and in one of these, there was one day in Vienna in 1913 when one mans diary could have been the most dramatic in history - what a great story it could have been. Imagine if you will, a man with money and time on his hands, who moved in the correct circles, and was a habitué of the Cafe's and Salons of the oldest imperial capital in Europe.

Old Vienna 1913 - Capital of the Hapsburg Empire

After getting up and bathing he leaves his town house and decides to walk into the city centre, and as it's fine day, a lunch in a street Café in the industrial sector, which is on his way in to the town. He chooses a simple hearty midday meal of Gulasch and Semmelknödel, followed by Liptauer, he chats with the the local foundry and sheet metal workers. One of whom, a young man, introduces himself as 'Josip Broz' (history later came to know him as the Yugoslavia dictator, Marshall Tito. He would later also come know Stalin well, but not yet).

Leaving the street Café, he drops in to a Beer Keller where he knows that Russian political radicals gather .... he enjoys listening to their wild ideas, especially one called 'Marxism', which is hotly debated, and he quickly falls into the discussions by the simple ruse of standing a round of beers (these Russian émigrés are always broke) .... he listens as the one known only by his code name of 'Stalin', and 'Nikolay Bukharin', discuss their treatise 'Marxism and the National Question'.

But getting bored by the endless political polemics, he moves on to a coffee house, bumping into another of these radicals, the far more intellectual 'Leon Trotsky', Marxist theorist, and editor of the 'Russian' newspaper 'Pravda'. All the while, unable to guess that 'Stalin' would later order the deaths of both of the other men.

Then boring of that particular paranoia , our imaginary diarist leaves the Coffee house and moves on to a regular 'artists salon', hosted by a rich Viennese Jewish matron, who is trying to break through into imperial social circles, and whom is surrounded by the up and coming, or struggling artists of the old quarter .... amongst these is a young man called 'Adolf Hitler', a landscape painter who has failed to get the commissions he feels he deserves. His bitter rants against those who fail to notice his manifest destiny, bore the diarist (he would also know about Stalin and Broz, but not until two wars later).

 ...... Finally moving on from the artists salon, he goes to a late night Café, where he meets up with a friend to  share a few glasses of schnapps. He discusses the meetings of the day with the friend, who is called  'Sigmund Freud', maybe they discuss the motivations of the men he had bumped into earlier that day ...

.... all the while never guessing that our diarist had just met men would shape the lives of hundreds of millions of people, and change the world forever ..... that he had spent the day with some of the movers and shakers of Europe for the next century.


A fantasy? Perhaps, but perfectly possible, as in 1913, all these men were in Vienna for at least one month. 


Modern Slave Trade

Some times a story kind of tells itself .... I stumbled across this image on the Internet.

Malayan Flyer Selling Maids

And this unlocked a whole new story, that was apparently little reported outside of the South East Asian area. It appears that Indonesia is the main source for cheap female domestic servants (or 'slave labour', depending upon your point of view) in the greater region (with Filipinos being the other source). Of course this leads to much abuse, including imprisonments, beatings, rapes and murder, and the stories of their mistreatment by the Arab employers of Saudi Arabia are legion.

Indonesian Maid In Saudi Employers Car

However, when it was reported in Jakarta that the door flyer above was circulating in Malaya, there was much outrage. Demands that the Malayan government do something (probably the standard request to 'kill the perpetrators'), were legion, but then it turned out that this kind of indignity was common regionally. Reports came in from all over that adverts selling Indonesians as servants were common. 

Indonesian Maids in Singapore

The trade is openly advertised in Singapore, and in fact any country around that region where the standard of living was higher than in Indonesia ...... it just goes to show that slavery has survived. It is still being practised in North Africa and Arabia (where there were over 300,000 slaves in 1960 when it was abolished - but carried on because the law was never enforced), with recent reports alleging that a castrated black African slave was sold on a Facebook style advert last year.

Alleged Slave Sold in Saudi Arabia (Facebook) 2012
  
So it is still practised in the Muslim world, but just not in the traditional form. Debt Bond slavery has now disguised the trade, and allows slaves to be owned, bought and sold and moved around the globe in much the same way as before the West tried to abolish it in the 19th and 20th centuries.    

Rat Holes

Apparently the image of an all inclusive 'Italian Mafia" under a super Don Corleone is a bit of a myth ... in Italy for example, there are the Camorra, the Santa Corona Unita, the 'Ndragheta and of course the Cosa Nostra. All a based in Southern Italy, but with tentacles throughout the land (especially in Rome).

Mafia Clans In Southern Italy

Over the last 25 -30 yrs they have been forced increasingly on to the defensive by police forces such as the 'Hunters' ('Cacciatori'), or even the Carabinieri (paramilitary policemen), who have increasingly got on top of the hunt for the leaders of these clans.

Corleone - Mafia Town

So much so that they have apparently taken to building underground bunkers of various designs - such as welding two cargo containers together, fitting it out like a doges palace, adding clandestine telephone lines, then burying it underground - in which to hide for weeks or even months at a time.

Mafia Bunkers

There are believed to be hundreds and possibly thousands of such bolt holes across southern Italy, but they all have one fatal flaw .... the Don's have to stay near to their power bases, for fear of losing control or being ratted out (there's no honour amongst the 'men of honour'). One bunker for example was built under the main road of a town which a crime lord ran, with no report by the council or "citizens" to the police, even though it must have been very disruptive when it was being set up, such is the fear and or loyalty they inspire, but it was still found.

So slowly but surely, the police are smoking the crime lords out of their warrens, and digging them out of their dens, and although there are many hundreds of Mafia who were convicted in absentia, and who are still on the run, they are slowly getting caught. So in their efforts to avoid punishment, they are even imprisoning themselves in underground tombs which are not all that different from the prison cells they are trying to avoid.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Ninja Turtles Are Here

Anyone who ever visits this thread will know that I am a sucker for the Super Heroes walk our streets stories and I have featured several Spidermen, Batman, Ninjas, and several self created Super Heroes, so it will come as no surprise that I was attracted to  one story this week.

Yes, Ninja Turtles are here!!

Imagine the surprise of the Mayor of Queensland, David Pahlke, when he turned on the cities brand spanking  new CCTV system, which he had just extolled to the local press as a major anti crime measure, and walking past the first camera to come on line was the Ninja Turtles.

Ninja Turtles on CCTV in Queensland in Australia

He admitted that he was 'gobsmacked'  ...... then the laughter started from the assembled community leaders .... it was all a set up.  Mayor Pahlke saw the funny side and laughed as well.

Ninja Turtles Queensland Australia

Jabba The Muslim

Every time I try to ignore religion, a new story comes to light which just forces itself into my consciousness .... take for example the Muslims of Austria’s Turkish community, who have claimed a great victory for Islam by succeeding in banning something else - well it was Buddha's, Barbie's and the Simpson's last month in Iran, so why not something else when in Europe?.

Yes, these Islamists have succeeded in making the Danish toy giant Lego agree to withdraw a Star Wars toy set featuring a mosque-like building inhabited by Jabba the Hutt the obese, hookah–smoking alien from the Star Wars movie 'Return of the Jedi', following complaints that it was 'anti-Muslim'.

Lego's Jabba's Palace - Anti Islamic

Yes one Muslim father was 'outraged' when his kid was given  the “Jabba’s Palace” play-set by another Muslim, but instead of putting it in the bin, he, instead complained to his mosque and launched a campaign to get it 'banned'. Their complaint was that his lair contained 'Asian and oriental figures' who were “deceitful and criminal” characters such as 'gun-runners, slave masters and terrorists' .... the fact that all the characters bar one in the set are all aliens with appendages and green skins who don't look like 'Asians' at all, apparently strikes no irony in the Muslim world, where the view is that if they smoke a hookah they must be 'Muslims' and therefore require special consideration.

This sort of thing does not belong in a child’s bedroom,” said Melissa Gunes, a spokeswoman for Austria’s Turkish Cultural Association. Other Muslim critics also claimed that the palace had an uncanny resemblance to Istanbul’s 'Hagia Sophia mosque' (Erm, actually 'Hagia Sophia' was the Christian Church stolen by the Turkish invaders of Constantinople) .....

Jabba The Muslim?

..... “The game is pedagogical dynamite. It depicts Muslims as terrorists,” the TCA complained, adding that 'Jabba' was shown to be a “terrorist who likes to smoke hookah and have his victims killed”..... which of course is what he was in the movie. Apparently all this was said with no irony (war-zones like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc or 9/11 and 7/7 etc don't ring any chords).

Amazingly, Lego caved in to this minority nonsense, and agreed to end its production from 2014 onwards ... even the though the model is like the film depiction, which brings me to the obvious question. Now I expect that George Lucas was barely aware of Islam in the 1970's, but that won't be the case now so will Disney/Lucas Films agree to withdraw the movie 'Return of the Jedi' and the character Jabba Hutt to satisfy these stupid zealots, or will Americans have a bit more backbone than Lego?

Jabba's Palace - Star Wars

You just can't make this nonsense up can you? One day we will have to make a stand for our cultural values, and expect tolerance from these immigrants, for our values, or we will have nothing left.

London Capital Of The World - But Not Britain

As a sign of the times, and perhaps signifying why London is like a foreign country to most of us: As of the 2011 Census, 36.7% of London's population was foreign born. This figure excludes the 'ethnic minority' populations who were born in UK but who live in London.

A Brixton Market

  • With 2,998,264 residents born abroad, London has the highest foreign-born population of any city in the world.

  • As of the 2011 Census, the total Asian population of London stood at 1,511,546. This is a rise of 60% from the 2001 Census, when the population stood at 947,425. Outer London has a greater Asian population than Inner London. 

  • London as a city is home to the single largest number of people of Bangladeshi origin outside of Bangladesh, with close to 200,000 individuals being of full Bangladeshi origin in 2007. Around 7% of London's population is of Indian origin

  • As of the 2011 Census, the total Black population of London stood at 1,088,640. This is a rise of 39% from the 2001 Census, when the population stood at 781,751. Peckham (also known as Little Lagos and Yoruba town) is home to one of the largest overseas Nigerian communities in the world; 40% of Peckham is Black African.

This has all happened in my lifetime, but not once have I been asked about it ...... and it has lead to White European Britons being invisible in many parts of London's inner city areas.

Spot The Connection

Spot the connections ..... the five most *peaceful areas of the UK (as determined by Institute for Economics and Peace) are:
  1. Broadland, in Norfolk
  2. Three Rivers, in Hertfordshire
  3. South Cambridgeshire
  4. East Dorset
  5. Maldon, in Essex

Broadland with a population of about 125,000 people, had just 8 violent crimes recorded for 2012, and the whole top five areas had recorded a combined total of just 24 homicides over the last decade. In the same report, the five worst areas under the same classification were (in no particular order):
  1. Lewisham, 
  2. Lambeth, 
  3. Hackney, 
  4. Newham, 
  5. Tower Hamlets

All these are boroughs in London (as are the next 5 boroughs on the list). Lewisham for example, had 11 murder, manslaughter and infanticides recorded in 2011 alone, and has a homicide rate of 2.5 per 100,000 (for 2012), which is two-and-a-half times the national average. The obvious factor is 'race' where the top 5 are 95% white areas, while the bottom 5 are less than 60% so.

Surprisingly, the slewing of London's position by its ethnic issues (only 49% of Londoners are White British anymore), its still doing better for homicide rates than in New York, Amsterdam, Brussels and Prague, who all have higher rates (although not necessarily in absolute numbers).

And even more surprisingly (or not, depending on your outlook) .... London is not the most violent 'Urban Area' in the UK either ... Glasgow, takes that honour with a murder rate of double the national average. Just for the record:
  1.  Cardiff,
  2. Sheffield, 
  3. Nottingham
  4. Leeds

Are listed as the most peaceful urban areas ....

Oh, and one other thing, while the homicide rate in the UK is now about on par with the current Western European averages ..... the fall in UK rates of violence has only taken it from being the most violent society in Western Europe, to, still being the most violent crime country in Europe, with violence rates significantly higher than the European average ..... no surprise there then.

And just to support my point .... the BBC were running this story when the peaceful areas was posted in the news.


Three convicted of Murder: Obi Nwokeh, 19, Christopher Omoregie, 18, and Samsom Odegbune, 18, and Five convicted of Manslaughter: Adonis Akra, 18, Samuel Roberts, 19, Femi Oderinwale, 18, Victoria Osoteku, 19, Junior Bayode, 19 ... yes that includes a girl.

The victim 15-year-old Sofyen Belamouadden was black, and all the 'gang killers' are from the same ethnic group ....... I don't think anyone except the PC blind, can't see what's happened to the country.

Samurai Tube Killers

*Peaceful is defined as the least risk of actual, or fear of actual violence per head of population.



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