Friday, 21 February 2014

Cartel Kids

If ever there was confirmation needed that in Latin America (as well as elsewhere), the drug war has been lost (at least in its current format of making all drugs illegal), its the news from Mexico that the 'Cartel Kids'  - the children of the drug barons who have killed so many - are now 'graduating' from education, and making their own marks in South American life.

Obviously, with the fabulous wealth that an illegal drug empire affords their parents, these 'Cartlets'  are well set up to follow 'legitimate' careers in the world of Fashion, Media, Entertainment, Law, and other high end, high profile professions. But of course there is always the sticky question of where their wealth and privileges have come from.

However, unlike in Western countries, where the parental occupations of being high profile criminals maybe something of a handicap, in Latin America, having a drug cartel leader as parent has not necessarily been a career handicap up until now.

But then one little airhead went a step too far .... Melissa Plancarte, daughter of Enrique Plancarte, who is one of seven leaders of the 'Knights Templar' drug cartel, which is based around Michoacán in western Mexico (and has killed thousands), decided that she could boost her putative singing career (where she is professionally known as 'Melissa'), by posting a few pictures of herself on 'Instagram'.

Cartel Princess

Stupidly, she decided that one of the outfits she should depict herself in, was that of a dress covered in the insignia of her father's drug gang .... Oops, this was just too much in an area where vigilante groups are fighting part of a three way war between the 'Cartels', 'The Army/Police' and themselves, to try and rid areas of the country of the scourge that is the drug gangs. Her pictures provoked a storm of protest on social media, and have added to the vigilantes supporters ongoing social media campaign against the cartel leaders and their families.  

Now before I moralise on too much on the fact that a drug barons daughter can use that position to gain public prominence, I freely admit that I can't say for certain that having a Mafia parent has necessarily impaired the careers of too many US American 'Mafia children', and that for all I know, many of the top lawyers or media personalities in the USA, owe their careers, to their Mafia parents giving them the best start in life that drug money can buy in the way of education etc ... however, I suspect that wherever that's the case, the individuals concerned have kept this fact very low profile in their CV's ......

Unless of course they were following on in the same 'career' as their dynasty patrone .....

The Joker Gets A Job

In January 2014 a Swedish man was forced to sell his 1985 Subaru on-line, after moving to the town of Sundsvall last August and failing to find immediate employment - oddly in a country long cited as a welfare state model by the left in the UK, he wasn't actually able to live on benefits forever, and so he needed the car money to top up his savings.

He chose to advertise the car on the Swedish classified ads website 'Blocket' (Like Gumtree I assume), but realising that it was just an old banger .... 'old beater' in Swedish car parlance ... that had been in the family for two decades, and wanting £950 for it (10,000 kronor), which incidently he would be lucky to get in the UK for a 28 yr old car, he decided that humour might be his only ally. So out came his photo editor software, and with a scant disregard for copyright, that I for one much admire, he went to work on creating his advert.

In came a background of 'Mordor' and the character of 'Saruman the White' (From Lord Of The Rings) .... and then, 'The Hoff' because his "girlfriend has this weird sort of crush on him. That's why he's there. After I'd put in scenes from Mordor, I figured 'Why not add The Hoff?'"

1985 Subaru - One Careful Owner

The copy underneath, was equally as audacious, including that the car was like a "Japanese mountain goat" and featuring all "the power of 54 frighteningly well-hung horses", and just for good measure that it was "hand-forged in the darkest of Japanese industries" by "the Saruman of car makers". He then described the safety features as being that "The car has seat belts in all seats built with the 1984-patented I.D.N.R.I.S, which stands for Instant Death No Retardation Impact System. In other words, there is no risk of ending up in long-term care because you die immediately in any collision at speeds higher than 12 km/hour".

But crucially, and almost as an afterthought, he added that he was 'willing to trade the car for a job' - as his current prospects were poor "in a city where the prospects for the future are on a par with those of North Korea".

A day after posting the advert, and after it had gone viral (in an understated Swedish kinda way), he was approached with a number of job offers, but quickly chose to work at Auto, Motor & Sport magazine. "I've always dreamed of being an automotive journalist. I've probably watched too much Top Gear in my time, so I said yes right away" 

And the Subaru?

Well It was sold, but for only a few hundred kronor to a local auto repair shop, which plans to use it as a mobile, four-wheeled advertisement ...... looks like Jeremy Clarkson and the boys have been an inspiration once again.

Innocent Victim Of War

Wars often throw up many innocent victims, and when that war is with fanatics, then the number of innocent victims rises. So perhaps, given the mediaeval outlook of many of the protagonists, its not a surprise that the Islam wars of the last decade or so have probably produced the greatest proportion of civilian death, injury, and displacement than any wars since the middle ages.

But perhaps the saddest and most forlorn of these innocent victims is the US Army dog captured by the Afghan Taliban, who is being paraded for propaganda videos by a senior Taliban Warlord. Its obviously a very frightened animal, and given the fact that like so many things in that religion, dogs are considered 'unclean' (its amazing, considering the things that Islam apparently does condone, that some animals can be classed as 'unclean'), its future is at best uncertain and very probably a cruel end, it probably has good reason to be scared.

The dogs name is apparently 'colonel' and when captured it was wearing a GPS tracking device, a torch and small camera, and this suggests that it was a US Rangers dog - the fate of its handler is not known. Its own likely fate isn't helped by the fact that with the usual ignorance of the Middle East, there is a widespread belief that all allied dogs are spies, and also the widely held belief among Taliban fighters, that the dogs are trained to kill.

Colonel - Prisoner Of War
There has apparently been at least one other similar incident, when Afghan insurgents captured a US Army dog alive, and held it for several months .... the final fate of that dog was not reported. Incidentally what was also interesting in the news reports, was that with the US and UK forces leaving soon, the insurgents are now happy to be seen full faced by the cameras ... they probably have the well founded belief that they will soon be back in control of the country within a few years, and certainly will not be captured by Afghan government forces.

However, animal distress aside, one has to decide whether the Taliban are being incredibly stupid, or very clever with this capture and the subsequent propaganda video of a whipped dog .... on the one hand, animal lovers in the West will be very upset (possibly more so than when a child dies), but on the other hand, they may turn their hatred on the Taliban even more ... whose to say how these kind of stunts turn out .... But one things for sure, if the Taliban suddenly turned 'publicity cute' and let the animal free at a US base, they would get a lot of good publicity for free. 

Sadly though, one suspects that this will not cross their evil little minds .....

A Land Divided

When you see what’s going on in the Ukraine today, you have to despair for the human race ... this is a country, where the population share a common religion and is one colour, is comparatively well educated, nourished and mostly has jobs etc. So democracy should have worked well, but it hasn't, and the country teeters on the edge of civil war ... torn between two camps whose views are so diametrically opposed as to apparently make a peaceful resolution impossible.

The political issue is ostensibly whether the Ukraine moves towards joining the European Union, or Joins the new Russian / Asian trading block ...a simple enough choice one might think, but in fact its the striking block for much discord

However there are in fact a number of underlying issues, which have ensured that the Ukraine  acts like, and feels like two countries, not one:

Language: In fact the western part of Ukraine, speaks Ukrainian - a group, which is related, to Polish and Belarusian, which is why large parts of what’s now the western area of Ukraine and Belarus was part of Poland before WWII. While the eastern part of the country, speaks Russian, as for centuries it was part of the 'Motherland'. The current ethnicity is listed as:
  •     77.8% Ukrainians
  •     17.3% Russians
  •     4.9% others / unspecified

Language Groups Of Europe Today

History: There has never really in fact been a country in the Ukraine. The land it occupies has nearly always been split between the Russian Empire (and Soviet state) and the others (The Poles, or the Austro-Hungarian Empire) - the two parts therefore share no common thread to weave the parts together.
  •  Kievan Rus' and territory of Ukraine up until 1240
  •  The Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia (or Kingdom of Halych-Volynia) between 1245 and 1349.
  •  Lithuania, Rus' (Ukraine) and Samogitia until 1434.
  •  Polish–Lithuanian–Ruthenian Commonwealth or Commonwealth of Three Nations (1658).
  •  Ukrainian Cossack Hetmanate and territory of Zaporozhian Cossacks (under rule of Russian Empire) (1751).
Language Spread In Europe at 1918 - Reflected Empires - No Ukrainian

Politics: Again there is largely a east west split – the ruling ‘Party of the Regions’ is eastern supported and pro Russian. The opposition is split amongst a few parties, but all are pro EU integration, and are led by the pro-EU 'Udar' movement. The popular vote is nearly 50/50. There are also radical right-wing groups, like 'Right Sector' and 'Common Cause' who are stirring up trouble, but whose agenda is unclear as they wouldn’t be welcome inside the EU.

Power Blocs: Under President Putin, Russia has regretted the old USSR letting some regions leave (Belarus and the eastern Ukraine particularly gal for historical reasons as they were never really independent nations). Putin has tried therefore to stop the Ukraine slipping into the EU and Western camp. He has backed the ruling party by a mixture of carrot and stick.

The EU and US want the Ukraine to drift to the West, but won’t fight Russia over it, and therefore a low level proxy civil war (with the Russian backed side the likeliest winner in an armed conflict), is on the verge of breaking out.

Last minute patched up agreements are being stitched together, and just as quickly unravelling, before being cobbled back up again …. They look to be in the bar of the last chance saloon. It’s a sad world when even a nation that has so many pluses, can collapse, but it makes the collapse of so many construct nations in Africa and the Middle East, perhaps more understandable.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Anything Goes - Not

There appear to be two sets of Iranians, the sophisticated educated middle classes, and the corrupt mullahs and their followers, who may be educated (but usually aren't), but are surely backward.

Recently they attacked and vilified a Brazilian model on her social media accounts, for not covering up her chest enough to satisfy the Iranian censors ..... well it seems that the oh so PC Olympic committee, which has pandered to the sexism of Muslim nations for decades, had noted the row, and performed its own bend-over to Islamic nutters .... yes at the Winter Olympics, someone decided that a bit of censorship was required, to pander to the Iranian males regimes views on women's dress codes.

Israeli and Iranian Winter Olympics Teams Led Out.

Not noticed the difference? Well that's probably because your normal, and don't lust after women who show forbidden flesh .... here's the photo again, but with more emphasis on the forbidden fruits ....

Olympic Standards For Iranians

Now You See It - Or Rather Now You Don't ..... as that's the point of this exercise, as the Russian Snow Maiden suddenly develops a need to cover her previously exposed knees and legs..

To be fair, many Iranians, still smarting from the humiliation that their lessen enlightened compatriots put their nation through in the Football World Cup draw, mocked the Olympic Committee.

One Iranian man on facebook said that this 'was the "outcome of the brave Iranian people's heroic anti-arrogance battles against Fernanda Lima"' ... acknowledging that the Olympic committee had kowtowed to the extremists. Another poster stated that "They were worried the Iranian athletes would faint if they saw the escort's legs", while yet another added that "Watching the Winter Olympic opening ceremony, I found signs that our revolution has been exported. What an honour!"

Now as this was the Winter Olympics, it was the sophisticated educated middle classes commenting, while the mullahs and their backward followers weren't interested enough to comment ... probably as they had won the war, and could ignore the odd sniper. 

Kinda reminds one of the lyrics old Cole Porter song "Anything Goes" ... one of the lines of which sums up the attitudes ..... but almost in reverse and with a different deity.

♪♪ In olden days a glimpse of stocking 
Was looked on as something shocking, 
 But now, Allah knows, Nothing Goes. ♪♪

Disappearing Worlds

For people of a certain age like me, it isn't just the mass immigration in to the UK, that has caused Britain to feel like a foreign country ..... No, there is also the fact that when we cast our minds back, many of the sights and sounds of our childhoods are now long gone, and only live in ours, and our contemporaries, memories. Obviously, these memories are therefore doomed to disappear from any collective consciousness over the next few decades.

So just for the record, here's just a few of those sights and sounds, purely from my personal memory in the UK ..... and from record where the post refers to foreign lands. 

Rag and Bone Men:

These were still a common sight when I was a kid. And yes, they were still on horse and carts like 'Steptoe and Son'. I vividly recall going to look at the horses .... and my dad telling me to keep an eye on the back garden, as he had car parts lying around (this was the age when men still did their own car repairs), which he didn't want 'disappearing'. Nowadays, although there are still a few totters about, you mostly just see vans with tinkers roving around looking for anything that they can lift, including public statues.   

There Are Still A Few Horse Totters About

Knife Sharpeners:

These men came around once or twice a year, and had a big grindstone flywheel in the back of their vehicles (sometimes foot operated), from which they would sharpen kitchen knives or garden spades etc - this was a source of almost endless fascination to children, as the sparks flew everywhere.

Organ Grinders (aka Hurdy Gurdy Man):

With or without the monkey, they were still about, although admittedly a rare and dying breed even then .... I last recall seeing one in the UK when a circus turned up a few years ago, but I had seen them in the street when I was a nipper. Health and Safety for animals will have killed most of those with animals off, the others soon followed, all except the 'retro ones', you know the ones, the ones you see at 'school fayres', usually manned by the maths teacher .... which don't count in my world.

Onion Men:

These were a seasonal visitation of men on bikes, who were selling strings of onions door to door ... I believe that the vendors were usually Spanish, or occasionally French, and would even make it to small semi rural areas like ours. Of course not all of them went home .... My Grandmother took in lodgers, and 'Emanuel', one of her lodgers, had come over from the continent selling onions but decided to stay. He still wore a beret! I and my siblings were much impressed by this fact.   

Traditional Onion Men

Wednesday Half Day Closing:

Yep, never mind Sunday shop opening, back when I was a lad, it was a feature of street life that all the shops closed on a mid week afternoon .... even the Co-Op. I can recall on a Wednesday during the school holidays, having to run down to the shops to get bread for my mother before 12:00 midday. Now of course shops are seven days a week, and in some case 24hrs a day.   

Harvest Festival:

This was still celebrated at school when I was a kid .... with the added bonus that as I lived in an unbuilt up estate, with what was then farmland all around the estate, we had real farmers produce on the festival church altar. We walked from the school down to St Philips the Unitarian (or maybe C of E) church for the Harvest Festival carrying our offerings - usually in my case a can of peas (we didn't go to the Roman Catholic church - St Patrick's - as they had their own school attached).

Wakes Week:

They were common enough around Lancashire when I moved there as a school kid - they were  called the 'Wakes Week' holidays, which became a tradition in northern towns following the Industrial Revolution, so the cotton mills and the manufacturing factories could be closed for maintenance. So for example Oldham had one week closed down, and Salford had another .. in fact they could occur any time between June to September, with a different town on holiday each week — and although the workers were not paid for these breaks, there was invariably a trip to Blackpool or another seaside resort, and often had a 'religious walk' for the children. These children's 'walks' still happen up here in the North, but are not linked to 'Wakes Weeks' and are also largely gone, as less children are 'Christian'

The Pop Man:

A van would call around once a week, a bit like the ice-cream man and sell 'pop', which was carbonated drinks of different colours e.g. red was 'strawberry', they had no 'cola', but they had 'Dandelion and Burdock' which was a favourite, partly because it looked like Coke. You got a discount if you took the re-sealable bottles back.

Green Grocer Shop Vans:

These were common a few decades ago, although not quite so in urbanised areas. I guess the nearest equivalent we had at the time to 'on-line' shopping. A van with a shop in the back would appear, and offer discounted 'farmers' products, as well as a limited supply of canned items and bread. It was terribly exciting to shop this way, even though we had a Co-Op down the road. 

Cinema Clubs:

The Saturday Club - either in a real cinema or in my case, the local Church (St Phillips again), which had the kids cinema in the main church hall .... 'Flash Gordon' or 'Superman', a cartoon, and a Western (mostly with Audie Murphy), were the usual fare. When I later moved to a more urban area, there was still a Saturday Club at the local proper cinema - but with better movies. 

These changes are also happening Overseas as well ...

Organ Grinders in Mexico:

Apparently, what has happened in the UK, is now occurring in Mexico .... gentleman like Don Odilon Jardines, who is now 73 years old, is the oldest of the dying breed of Mexican organ grinders, a trade which he's practised on the streets of Mexico City for all his life, and which has paid him well enough for him to provide for his family, so that all his children went to university. His grandson is a doctor and his son is a government lawyer ... they even have an 'Organ Grinders union'. But now beggars playing CD's in empty fake organs, and people using the iPhone for their street music, has all but killed off the tradition. Like the UK, it will be left to a few amateur enthusiasts to keep it going.

Afilador's in Spain:

Afilador, translates into English as 'a sharpener' .... and is the knife grinder of Spain .... there are probably only five left in the whole of Madrid, and the situation is similar in the rest of Spain ..... like the knife sharpeners of the UK they will soon be gone.

Handmade Noodle Makers:

In Taiwan, these are now a dying breed - noodles or rather hand-pulled string noodles, called mian xian in Mandarin, have been made for around 2,000 years, but now for the most part are made by machines - Today only about 50 hand noodle makers are thought to remain in Taiwan.

Cigarette Lighter Repair Men:

These were very common in Turkey, even up until the 1990's, and could usually be found at markets or on busy streets of big cities and towns such as Constantinople (Istanbul) or Bursa - these men would repair broken cigarette lighters for a few pence (I had it done for a laugh for about 50 pence - which is what the lighter had cost me in the same market!) - but now the throwaway lighter has killed many of these 'semi-skilled' street artisans off.  

Indian Street Typists

In India, the illiterate or poor could get everything from a love letter to a legal document typed, usually on an old Remington, by a legion of 'trained' typists in the streets ... this was an essential service, as much of the legal work had to be done in English (or that approximation which anyone who works in IT will be familiar with, known as 'Hinglish'), but once, where there were thousands of such street typists in Calcutta alone, now the numbers have dwindled to just a few hundred. The laptop, tablet, and smart-phone email have killed this trade off, and its thought that there will be no more such vendors, even in the most backward of regions, by 2030.

Indian Street Typists

And finally, the Afghan box cameramen:

Afghani Cameramen

These street camera men use a simple wooden camera known in Dari (Afghan Persian) as the kamrae e-faoree - which are hand-made out of wood, the kamrae e-faoree is both a camera and darkroom. The camera is completely manual - it does not use electricity - the photographic process is analogue using chemicals and paper rather than film. It has been used in the region for years and generations of Afghans have had their portraits taken with it but the rise of smart-phones they are likely to have gone from the streets within a few years. Or of course the Taliban could be back, which will result in them being banned again.

Such is progress eh? .....Still it was ever thus, and now many of us feel like strangers in a strange (or at least culturally poorer and less interesting) land.

India's Salman Rushdie Moment

We often think of Hinduism (as opposed to Hindu Nationalists), as a peaceable religion, except where it clashes with Islam (a trait which it shares with every other religion which bumps up against Islam), so its with some surprise to find that a book written by an American scholar, Wendy Doniger, has elicited a response from Hindu's that reminds one very much of the treatment of Salman Rushdie for writing his book 'The Satanic Verses'.

Her book, 'The Hindus: An Alternative History', published by Penguin Books in India, has attracted much criticism, because according to the complainants, the book 'is insulting to Hindus', containing what they describe as "heresies".  Some of which meant that "She denounced the Hindu Gods and freedom fighters of India", as well as containing some factual errors.

The case went to court, under another of India's archaic laws, that makes it a 'criminal' rather than a 'civil offence', to publish a book that offends any Hindu .... much like the Muslim view that anything that offends them is to be condemned via a Fatwa (religious ban).

A Declaration Of 'No Free Speech'?
And guess what, the threat of a court case running over many years has allegedly (they haven't officially confirmed the climbdown), led to Penguin Books in India to agree with the complainants, and to recall and destroy all remaining copies of the book - an act of self censorship, which has profound implications for freedom of speech in India.

However, many Indians have been quick to realise this implication, and the decision of Penguin India to bow to religious groups pressure, and withdraw the book, has brought criticism .... Indian cabinet minister Jairam Ramesh told the Press Trust of India the decision was "atrocious", adding the book was "not blasphemous by any means". Well known Indian Historian Ramachandra Guha called the news "deeply disappointing. The answer to a book one doesn't like is another book, not a ban, or legal action, or physical intimidation," ... and that's the difference between India and its neighbour and enemy.

In India there is a fear and recognition that some religious groups are stifling free speech and artistic expression ..... nearly last word to Doniger herself  "The true villain of this piece  ... is a law that jeopardises the physical safety of any publisher, no matter how ludicrous the accusation brought against a book."

This story has escalated since I wrote this earlier in the month ..... so it may have legs.

Sea Of (Political) Troubles

Water water everywhere, and not a drop into the drain  .... like the ancient mariner, the British Government (a term we may only be able to use this year), has found itself drowned by the tidal forces of nature, as the flooding in some parts of the south of England cause it a sea of publicity sorrows.

Now if you read the BBC and Newspapers, all of which a London Centric, then the flooding of houses near the Somerset levels, or worse the breaching of the River Thames north of London, is a disaster of biblical proportions and all the Department of Environment, or cost cutting governments fault .... its not, and its not.

Fact: We are having the worse winter rains since no one knows when (when incidentally, last October it was predicted that we faced the coldest winter ever!!), and of course its what used to be described as "an act of God", but which probably is better described as "an act of Man", with some scientists saying that as four of the five wettest winters on record, have occurred since the year 2000, we are in fact now inside "Global Warming".

This has been combined with many many sea storms lashing the coasts, and tides backing the rivers up. So ground water levels are at record highs (many boreholes are under record pressure levels), so that rain water has nowhere to drain to, and is bursting some river banks. It's therefore no wonder that there has been some flooding.

I say 'some flooding', because out of an overpopulated nation of 68 million, with maybe 35 - 40 million dwelling places, until this week, whether its 100 or 1,000 homes that had actually been flooded in recent weeks (with admittedly more under threat as the wet weather continues), its still a tiny proportion of the UK housing stock.

This media sense of the apocalypse arriving was added to this week when the high winds disrupted the rail traffic for a couple of days response the government has kicked off the biggest emergency services response since WWII.

Dawlish Railway - Damaged Again By Storms

But despite the hardship all this brings locally (and I am not pretending that its not horrible for those affected - I spent 2.5 hours getting home on Wednesday night), it's still affected only a tiny proportion of the UK's population, with the rest suffering just some travel inconvenience and some fences broken. The reality is that if the government hadn't already spent hundreds of millions on flood defences in the UK since 2007, then at least 1.3 million other properties would have been flooded this winter ... now that would have been apocalyptic.

Dawlish Railway - Damaged In the Past By Storms!

By many countries standards (and I am thinking  of Italy for example, where earthquake victims are still waiting for action more than a decade after the events of 1997), this would be hailed as a fantastic result of forward planning and public defence .... so in fact, by many standards this actually a success story .... but you wouldn't know it. We have had much the same weather, but with much worse results in the past

As Harold Macmillan once said, what brings a Government down is 'events dear boy, events' and we have had a lot of those recently.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Art Imitates Life

Believe it or not, this is actually a statue, which was placed in the grounds of a Massachusetts college in order to promote "unexpected new ideas" in the viewers, prior to a display of the artists works.... I bet it did. In fact according to reports those new ideas included 'feelings of apprehension' and of 'fear' amongst some of the female student body.

Life Like Statue ...Too Life Like For Some

That aside, I am amazed at how lifelike it is - is it wax, or wood, or plastic, the reports that I saw didn't say, but if someone plonked that in my front garden I'd be calling the police.

Apparently many hundreds signed a petition asking for its removal .... I can understand why.
Its a strange old world. 

Moyes Hell Season

Sometimes there is a terrible attraction in watching a mans suffering - I guess many people at the Roman Coliseum must have been drawn partly by that same feeling - and so there is now a terrible new sport developing, in which the public failure and subsequent ordeal of Mr David Moyes, the man who took over managing Manchester United from the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, is subject to ever increasing ridicule.

In fact so much schadenfreude is being experienced by supporters of all the other Premier League football clubs, that there are now literally hundreds of websites, packed with jokes and images, all depicting the swift collapse of Manchester United, from Premier League Champions last year, to apparent mid table mediocrity this season. That collapse has been spearheaded by David Moyes, and so naturally he is now the subject of most of the jokes ..... So here, for your enjoyment is the story so far, as told in joke pictures taken entirely from from the web:

The story so far .....

There were some doubts when he took the job ...

Then the club records started to stack up ...

More and more doubts started to be voiced ....

But he still got support .... well kinda.

But the results continued to be very bad ...

And nothing seemed to stop the rot ...

Only weeks when there were no games offered any respite ....

Fans concerns over performances were largely dismissed ....

Fans started to really whisper that Moyes was out his depth ...

And that Sir Alex Ferguson was unhappy with performances ...

And even that SAF was reconsidering his successor recommendation ...

However Moyes said he continued to get full support from the club ....

... and that he had no regrets over leaving Everton .....
The next few months? ....

The Grim Reaper Starts Haunting

But suspicions were aroused when a carrier pigeon was 
 shot down over Salford carrying this message ....

His cover blown.... Moyes made his escape ....

He was last seen heading back to Liverpool and a heroes welcome ...

Of course this is fanciful jesting and a spoof, taken entirely by tying together the 'joke' pictures circulating the web  .... in reality of course; Mr Moyes is totally happy at the club, and all the Supporters, Directors, Players and Media are fully behind him, as he undertakes the onerous job of rebuilding a very poor side that only finished 12 points clear as English Premier League Champions last May.

They will no doubt easily canter in to 4th Champions League spot by the end of the season ...... or maybe not. Oh and before anyone asks, all at PC Towers are lifelong (but very disillusioned and realistic), Man United fans ... But we see the funny side of the situation - so don't shoot the messenger!!

What Wimmin Really Want

I have questioned before what feminists want in the UK ..... it seems to me that unlike their foreign counterparts such as the Femen group, their campaigns are largely over small puerile 'issues' that are of no interest to 90% of the women in the UK, and that they dodge the big issues that really affect women. For instance there have been feminist 'campaigns' against:

  • Page 3 models. They have been after these for 40 yrs .... the Sun and Star newspapers have resisted, mainly out of spite LOL.

Page 3 Forever?

  • The worlds oldest professional service (were lawyers the second oldest? .. You know ... Moses and the Laws?): As part of this futile campaign, Jaqui Smith, who may have been the worst 'Home Secretary' in British political history, sponsored a bill in Parliament to make it a criminal offence to 'knowingly' have sex with a woman who was trafficked into the UK to become a prostitute. Specifically they were open wording it, to include anyone, having sex with any woman who was "controlled for another person's gain" .... rather obviously users of prostitutes were never going to ask the prostitute ... in the end, the act never got anywhere in the dying days of the Brown regime.

The Worlds Oldest and Most Honest Profession?

  • And finally, against British banknotes not having a woman's face on any denomination when Florence Nightingale was rotated off. Yes apparently, this was the latest big issue for Wimmin in the UK  Or at least that's what  a feminist called Caroline Criado-Perez believes. It was she who according to the BBC, who apparently 'led' the campaign to ensure that a woman's face was still on one of the banknotes of the UK ... not counting the Queen apparently. She was roundly abused and threatened by a section of 'social media users' for this, and convictions have occurred already (The Raoul Moat and Dale Cregan Chav brigade out in force again) .... this was considered a major news story on the BBC. 

Jane Austen Banknote - Worth All The Fuss?

Although I had noted the argument about women faces of banknotes, I had considered it just another dead campaign by the PC wimmin of the left, and had never heard of this woman. However, if she is going to be trumpeted as the new Germaine Greer by the BBC and the wimmin of the left, then perhaps she will have the balls to take on the real issues of women in the UK.

And to show that I am not just some 'sexist' man, using the diversionary tactic of  trying to ask, why are feminist fighting over tits on newspapers, or faces on banknotes, when 'children are starving in Africa'? Both of these feminist campaigns are issues that I would guess that 99% of the women in UK couldn't give a toss about. I asked at work about the banknotes campaign, and out of approximately 15 educated women casually questioned, only two had heard of this 'banknote campaign', and none knew the name of its leader, or cared about the issue. 

Here's few issues that directly impact women in the UK and feminists should be fighting:

When UK feminists stand up to the men and groups that practise these activities, and actively campaign against them without fear of offending them on PC grounds .... then and only then, will I care about the little nonsense campaigns that they inflate into great victories for womankind against their male 'oppressors'.   

The Robber Barons Of Capitalism

Its being widely reported that the richest 85 people in the world, a group who could fit in one rail carriage (or to use another analogy, would comfortably fit onto a single London double-decker bus), have a total combined wealth of $1.65tn (£1tn), that is the equal of the entire combined wealth of the poorest half of world.

That is simply shocking when you think about it ..... I mean if they had said the richest 85,000 people in the world, it would have still been eyebrow raising, but its simply 85 individuals, who are equal in wealth to 3.5 billion people.

Here's the richest ten of those 85 individuals ..... noticeably the UK has none of them.

  •     France - Bernard Arnault - $29bn
  •     France - Liliane Bettencourt - $30bn
  •     Hong Kong - Li Ka-shing - $31bn
  •     USA Charles Koch And David Koch - £34bn
  •     USA - Larry Ellison - $43bn
  •     USA - Warren Buffett - $53.5bn
  •     Spain - Amancio Ortega - $57bn
  •     USA - Bill Gates - $67bn
  •     Mexico - Carlos Slim Helu and Family - $73bn

The study also found that the top one percent of the world's richest families are worth a total of $111.5tn (£67.3tn), amounting to 46 percent of the world's total wealth. We at PC towers have touched on this subject before and we believe that the period in the mid to late 1970's, when the wealthiest 1%, took about 6% of the national wealth was about the right proportion (give or take a percentage point), and that its the move away from those socially progressive economic policies that have led to the current situation.

Trickle Down Economics At Work

So maybe its no surprise that most people polled around the globe feel that legislation and economics are slewed in favour of the rich, who compound their wealth by often paying few or no taxes after taking 'legal' avoidance measures

We have said it once, and we will say it again ..... 'Trickle down Economics' is theft by the rich.


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