Friday, 28 March 2014

Duck Ass Dynasty

When I was a lad, the local barbers used to have posters up advertising the cuts available .... these included an old Brylcreem poster with an ex footballer / cricketer (who I didn't know) called Denis Compton ... you could point at him and get the same hair cut (and presumably use the same Brylcreem), there was also the cut known as the 'DA' (Ducks Ass), which I had no chance to ask for without a clipped ear instead of clipped hair, or, you could look at more fashionable images to choose from.

One of these was Tony Curtis, whose hair cut was very popular - I knew of him as the film "The Vikings" which came out in 1958 had been on TV in the 1960's.

Sadly my mother wouldn't let me point at that poster and I usually ended up with a 'basin cut'. At the time I considered that an insult, but when you read that in North Korea, all the males are now expected to sport the Kim Jong-un cut, then I now consider my mothers choice to have been wise.

After A Popular Vote - 'The Scouser' Proved The Most Popular Cut!

To be fair, in North Korea there are only 3 hair cuts available to choose from, the 'Jong-un', 'Jong-il' and the ever popular 'Il-sung' .... talk about a Duck Dynasty!

What Passes For European Values

You can often go a whole ten minutes without a story from the Islamic world that pulls you up short ... this time, its that 'European minded, Freedom of Speech loving, Demagogue', Prime Minister of Turkey - Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His vitriolic and rabble rousing manner of language in speeches, now ever increasingly reminding one of the rhetoric of Bin laden, or President Assad, or even Ex President Gaddafi.

So its perhaps not too unexpected in that part of the world, that he's now enmeshed in a web of financial corruption stories, that are not only dragging in his cabinet and political allies, but also his immediate family .... so what does this paragon of financial and political probity do? Why he opts to gag the messenger ....

Now remember that this man believes that his regime is fit to join the European Union, and that Turkey shares the same values as the other states who are there .... but he apparently thinks that these European values obviously include setting thugs, the police, and the army on demonstrators last year, or now saying that his government could ban, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, as they carry the allegations of corruption against Mr Erdogan and his cabal. These allegations (and we have to use the term allegation because it will never get too trial), have included a recorded phone conversation in which he and his son, were caught discussing how to hide huge sums of money .... Mr Erdogan later called it 'a montage' ... whatever that may mean in that context. As the mainstream Turkish press hardly cover the allegations, because of fear of a government ban, they are being aired on social media.

Of course, once started, the claims and the rhetoric from Mr Erdogan got ever more wild, with threats, soon followed by further threats ... the Turkish broadcaster ATV aired an interview with him, which included such statements as "We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook. We will take the necessary steps in the strongest way." and when asked if that could include barring the social media sites, he said: "Included." ... he then added that the two sites were being used for "all kinds of immorality, all kinds of espionage". Of course this all follows hot on the heels of the government party dominated Turkish parliament passing a new law which allowing Turkey's telecommunications authority to block websites without a court ruling. It sparked violent protests in Istanbul which were suppressed in the usual Turkish manner .....

In Turkey, The Internet Is Not Always Uncensored ...

Later the Turkish President Abdullah Gul later said that such a ban was "out of the question" ... and the courts have rescinded the ban on Twitter as 'unconstitutional', but the government is now looking to block 'You Tube' .... few really believe that Mr Erdogan won't use whatever methods he can to muzzle his opponents. Its rather telling, that the most popular opposition to Mr Erdogan is Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who runs an influential Islamist network from safely within the US.

The government is also contemplating heavy fines for people who promote alcohol and drinking on social media, with fines ranging between 5,000 and 200,000 Turkish Lira (£1,355-£54,223), this following a law passed last year, which banned brewers and distillers from traditional advertising and sponsorship of cultural events. The bill also restricted the sale of alcohol. So the future of Turkey is likely to be an even more Islamic state.

Remember, this is the country and regime that is being backed by all the UK's political parties, as a future member of the EU ..... Thank God the French have a bit more backbone, and seem likely to veto Turkeys membership, because it seems there are 'double standards' not 'European standards' being applied here.

Justice Is Not Blind

I have noted before that there is a bias against being a right winger in the UK, that is not evident in being a left winger  ... this is more evident in the UK, than in Europe or the USA. In the UK there are around nine right-wing parties outside of the Conservative or UKIP parties, while there are around twenty nine left wing political parties outside of the Labour, Liberals and SNP. On both the far right and far left are supporters of extreme views .... that's a fact that by their nature they can't avoid.

However supporters of Stalinist or the Maoist creeds in the UK are not vilified to the point that they are banned or physically attacked when standing for office .... When Stalin killed millions upon millions in Russia in the 1930's, and again in the 1950's, we didn't purge the Communist party of Great Britain or vilify the supporters of this creed, in fact they actually thrived in our seats of learning and academia to the point that in the UK at least, the best spies the Soviets had, were recruited at Oxford or Cambridge universities by Communist lecturers ... to whit, Philby, Burgess, Blunt, and Maclean and others.

Now why am I rehashing this part of an earlier posting?

Well most of us can recall the case of Gary McKinnon, the UFO Pentagon hacker with Asperger's Syndrome, who when threatened with extradition to the US to stand trial for his crimes, was suddenly defended by every Left-wing lawyer, and millionaire socialist in the country - ranging from 'Sting' to 'Stephen Fry', and eventually the UK refused to extradite him. We also backed this up by saying that he wouldn't be prosecuted in the UK, for what the US had described the "biggest military computer hack of all time".

Only there is another 'Asperger Syndrome' criminal, I doubt you will have heard of him, his name is Michael Piggin, and he was arrested for allegedly planning to attack his old school in a Columbine style attack, as well as a Mosque and oddly, a cinema. He also has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, and so one would expect that this diagnosis would be treated in the same way, and that the UK Crown Prosecution Service and Home Secretary would treat him in a similar manner to Gary McKinnon. But no, he is on trial, his mental condition not withstanding ....

So to recap, we have two men, both with the same mental condition, one, who has hacked the US military, but is deemed to be unable to be extradited, or stand trial for his alleged crimes due to the mental condition. The other man is on trial as I write this piece, despite his mental condition, and can expect a lengthy prison sentence if he (and his two co-defendents), are found guilty in the next few weeks.

Justice Not As Unbiased As We Thought?

It appears that his politics are a major factor, he is a supporter of far right politics and holds extreme views (with Swastikas adorning his bedroom), and he also supports the English Defence League .... now you might think that this would be taken as additional proof that his mental illness had affected his judgement, but that is seemingly not the case for Mr Piggin, who has no 'human rights' lawyers, nor any celebrity supporters batting on his behalf ..... not even any mental health campaigners.

Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that Mr Piggin not be tried, but rather so should Mr McKinnon, or it seems as though justice is not politically blind in the UK.

UPDATE 30/05/2014: Well I have to hold my hands up .... the Jury, who it seems, at least a third of  whom, may well have been thinking like me, that there was something wrong with this case coming to trial, failed to reach a verdict on the terrorism charges, although he was found guilty of possessing a knife (I assume that we can all get arrested for that .... just look in any kitchen), and perhaps more damningly, having parts for an improvised explosive device, for which he will be sentenced.

I repeat that personally, I think that Mr McKinnon should have been tried as well.

Two Sided Arguments

Self-determination seems to be a funny old thing .... in the Falklands and Gibraltar, Britain respects it .... while Argentina and Spain don't. However, in Georgia and Ukraine, some Russians have wanted 'mistakes of history' corrected and have returned to mother Russia (without a vote in one case, but with an overwhelming one in another) and the GB government doesn't respect the changes.

It’s this lack of coherent and logical policy thinking which has allowed the USA (with the GB government in tow), to invade and ignore the boundaries and integrity of a number of sovereign nations, while at the same time screaming 'foul' when the Russians or others (remember Iraq's invasion of Kuwait? ... seems so long ago), do exactly the same thing.

At least the Chinese foreign policy of 'not interfering in the internal affairs of others', no matter what the regimes internal politics are like (especially those who have natural resources), has some consistency ..... except of course, that they have interfered in Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well a war with Vietnam, and defended North Korea. Oh, and you also have to ignore those territorial claims on an entire sea, that they have lodged. So in a fact, they are all as hypocritical as each other and none have any fig leaves to hide their shames behind.

In the meant time, the 'self-determination' as the driver of boundary change, has spread far and wide, to such an extent, that an environmentally challenged old mining town in the Russian part of the Ukraine, the city of Donetsk, has launched a spoof campaign on the 'Novosti Donbassa' web site, to re-join the UK 'Cups of tea and God Save the Queen' and all that.

Donetsk Wants To Be British Like Its Founder.

The claim is based upon the fact, that its a dirt poor town, which is not able to re-join 'Mother Russia' but which crucially, and its this that they claim is the driving force of their claim to be part of blighty, the town was founded by a Welshman. Apparently, the 'Hughes the Town Founder' in this case was, John Hughes, a native of Wales whom the locals called 'John Yuz' (phonetic, gettit!), so the town was initially named 'Yuzovka' ... he was the founder of foundry.

John James Hughes (Yuz) - Founder Of Donetsk

But before the GB government decides to back this 'self-determination' as way of getting a foot hold inside Russia ... they may wish to consider that:
  • Although Donetsk is the Ukraine's fifth-largest city, it is also a hotbed of pro-Moscow sentiment inside the Ukraine and the home of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.
  • It has also seen violent clashes over Ukraine's loosening of the ties with Russia, in which at least one person has died.
  • The new Government in Kiev claims that the pro-Moscow rallies in eastern Ukraine involve "provocateurs" from Russia, and even members of Russian secret services.

So maybe not an ideal candidate for our 'new garden city in the East' ......

Friday, 21 March 2014

The Future Here Today

Like most people, when I think of mechanical exoskeletons (which I admit isn't all that often), I picture 'Ripley' fighting the Alien Queen (aka 'C'mon Bitch'), in the film 'Aliens' ...

Ripley - Sexy and Fighting Fit - C'mon Bitch

..... a thrilling mix of robot and android machine, but still human inside .... and I might add, something to fire up the imagination of the most jaded of Sci-Fi loving cinema goers.

But in fact they are not just for Sci-Fi movies only, and are already amongst us, with the latest such machine, called the "Body Extender", being publicised as 'the most complex wearable robot which has been ever built', and being able to lift 50kg (7st 12lb) in each extended hand, it can also exert 10 times the force the user applies to an object .... Ripley material if ever there was one. 

The Body Extender Exoskeleton

In fact there are a lot of these machines now out there, from the weight carriers, to soldiers exo-stamina frames used in combat.

Soldier use Endurance Exoskeletons

They are soon going to be common sights on our streets and factories as the cost drops, and are probably the first step towards the acceptance of robots (the technology for this is already only 10 - 15 yrs away from non gimmick robots like Asimo).

The world of Isaac Asimov may be just around the corner .... well for robots at least.

Polished Liberalism

There are odd little stories on the web, that don't always get quite the publicity that they deserve .... take this tale from Poland for example. A country that suffered more than most under the Nazi invasion of 1939, and then under the subsequent conquest by the Communists for another 45 years ...... so its the last place on earth that you would expect Adolf Hitler to be honoured.

However the town of Szczesin (formerly Stettin when it was a Swedish town, and German after 1720), Polish from 1945 when it was handed to Poland as part compensation for the Soviet land grab of Polish lands following WWII, has resisted all efforts to perform any historical revisionism, and alter its past. 

To the complete surprise of all the PC western revisionists, the town, which is now a wholly Polish populated city (the Germans of the previous 250 years having been expelled by Stalin's troops), has refused to withdraw the honorary citizenships, that the town councils over the last 400 years have granted to the luminaries of the time. They voted on a proposal to do so, but rejected it in a free vote.

Those luminaries honoured included former German Chancellor Adolf Hitler in the 1930's, and former Soviet Premier, Nikita Krushchev in the 1950's .... both of whom races oppressed Poles. When asked about this rejection, the 'Liberal' (in the way that term used to mean in the UK, before the UK Liberal Party MP's became more left, and less liberal), Council Leader Bazyli Baran said, "They are all dead now, so let's forget about them"

Bazyli Baran - A Very Liberal Politician

In this attitude I commend him, as airbrushing the past is something that the Nazi's and Communists did .... and is now being busily performed by the politically correct and multi-culturalists amongst the western 'intelligentsia'. Given the culture we have in the UK now ... can you imagine any of our councils ever taking such a liberal view?

Cultural Defence

I have often remarked before that its a strange world .... one of the strangest aspects of the modern world is the phenomena that holds white people to differing standards to the rest of the world, particularly in the difficult world of the 'ism's' e,g, 'racism'.
  • For example, if a white politician says that its wrong for a Christian to marry a Muslim or a Jew as it lessens the numbers of Christians, that’s racism.
  • If a white politician says its wrong to marry a person of colour as it diminishes the white stock, that’s racism.
  • If a white politician said its OK for a Christian man to marry a non Christian woman (as long as all the children are brought up as Christians, or the woman converts to Christianity), that’s racism.
  • If a white politician said its not OK for a Christian woman to marry a non Christian man, that’s racism.
  • If a Muslim man says that its wrong for a Muslim to marry a Christian or a Jew as it lessens the numbers of Muslims, that’s cultural.
  • If a Muslim politician said its OK for a Muslim man to marry a non Muslim woman (as long as all children brought up as Muslims, or the woman converts to Muslim), that’s cultural.
  • If a Muslim politician said its not OK for a Muslim woman to marry a non Muslim man, that's cultural.

And now apparently, the Jews are also joining in the 'cultural' fun .... with many saying that any intermarriage - when Jews wed non-Jews - is a threat to the future survival of the Jewish nation. Jewish identity is matriarchal so if a Jewish man marries a non-Jewish woman, their children would not be considered Jews. 

The Feared Future Of World Jewry - If Jews Are 'Assimilated'.

There is even a Israeli organisation 'Lehava', which works to prevent any assimilation, and which targets Jews who are marrying non Jews, by posting social media messages to them stating that their "grandparents are turning over in their graves they did not dream that their grandchildren would not be Jews". They even have a name for non Jewish women who marry Jews  - 'a shikse', a very derogatory term for a non-Jewish woman, who are considered "worse than Hitler", as a threat to the Jewish survival. Apparently though, however racist this may seem to you and I, rest assured in the western PC world, this is all deemed as cultural.

So seemingly, despite all the 'globalisation' and 'multiculturalism' that we are told by Western PC politicians is the new world order (and the reason apparently why we can't close our borders), all the non western nations don't believe in anything of the sort, and actually feel free to practise any form of 'racism', which somehow isn’t 'racism' at all, but actually 'Cultural’ in a PC kinda way .... It really is a strange world.   

Rocky Road To Riyadh

There are those people out there who would shoot their mothers, if it made them look good to the PC  'Multi-cultural' Brigade .... they often end up working in the NHS, Education Establishment or Local Government .....

They seemingly have no shame in aiding the forces of backwardness and social regression, even though perversely, those same forces would see them locked up, if they ever held power. The latest example of this reckless stampede in to Dhimmitude, is the local education authority, governors, and head teacher at Brinsworth Manor primary school in Rotherham Yorkshire.

It was reported that just 20 per cent of the school's 600 pupils are Muslim, but the authorities not only said that much of the meat served in the canteen was to be 'halal' (despite a campaign by the UK Chief vet to have all animals stunned as he says that its a cruel way of killing animals .... cutting throats while the animal is concious - sound familiar?), but also that all pork products are now banned .... apparently this will make the school more 'inclusive'. Needless to say the 'inclusive idea' didn't actually include consulting any parents (well not from the majority), and many are upset that once again the majority population of this country have to bow their heads to satisfy the needs of a vocal minority group. 

Ban Halal Meat Campaign Poster

Oddly this campaign to be more inclusive, is never reciprocated by the groups they are trying to pleases own 'religious schools', which do just the opposite ..... until they get closed by Ofsted. Strangely this decision comes at a time when an alleged plot to islamicise the UK's schools, apparently called 'Operation Trojan', is being investigated by many local authorities and the police.

No one can say that the attack on our culture is either subtle or hidden, or that the Muslim radicals need to do anything much ... their fellow travellers and collaborators in the town halls will do it for them.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Leopard On The Loose

There is, or more probably was (by the time I post this), a leopard on the loose in a city in India ... the animal wandered into the Indian town of Meerut, where in response, all the local schools were shut, because it hasn't been killed or captured so far. The creature was probably driven to an urban lifestyle by lack of habitat, as the Indian population continues to grow in a frighteningly fast manner.

Attempts to capture it are at best amateurish, with the closest being when it was locked in a hospital room for a few hours before it escaped by clawing its way out. The whole process hampered by 'gawpers' who proved once again, if more proof was needed when you see the deaths at every Indian 'political protest' march, that in some cultures, 'life is held cheaply', and a few bystanders have been mauled .... none killed so far.

Leopard On The Loose - Gawpers Beware!!

There is no report on where the authorises were when it was locked in the room, but they obviously were not rushing. Population estimates for leopards in India, suggest that their number may be down to about 10,000 (from figures around 10 times that fifty years ago), so sadly this not a problem that we will see in a few decades ....

Yakety Yak - Don't Talk Back

There are lots of theories about how humans started talking - 'hunters need to communicate during the chase and in laying ambushes', or food gatherers needed to 'pass on information about rich food sources such as trees being in fruit' ... others suggest that our early human ancestors started talking as soon as their brains became large and sophisticated enough, while yet others think that language evolved slowly, from the gestures and sounds used by our earlier ape-like ancestors ..... and that all human languages arose from a common language, spoken by our ancestors in Africa.

I have my own favourite  theory, formulated over many journeys on my daily commute .... Gossip. Women can't stop themselves. Its 06:45am on a wet Winters morning, men are sullen and quiet, but as soon as two women who know each other sit down .... "Yakety Yakety Yak ... and she said and I said .... and did you know that ... of course she's always like that .... Yakety Yak" non stop for 50 - 60 minutes.

Women's Gossip - Driver For Human Language

..... It's like they have a mission to fill silence with anything that comes into their heads, and that can be transferred in to their mouths .... just so long as there is no silence .... or so it seems.

Half joking aside, in fact there is a serious point here. There were so many theories on the subject of the development of human speech, that at one point in 1866, the 'Linguistic Society of Paris' went so far as to ban debates on the subject, a prohibition on debating the subject, which remained influential across much of the Western world until late in the twentieth century.

Of course there is a scientific version of this which is that 'gossip' is form of social 'grooming', which has replaced the physical grooming that our ancestors and apes performed to hold the group together,  because the task of manually grooming all one's friends and acquaintances, became so time-consuming as to be economically unaffordable. However this theory has its critics - mainly that as it was so easy to 'vocally groom', its value would have been quickly lost.

But I have noticed that on wildlife programmes for example, its often the female primates (monkeys/apes), that do most of the vocalising (outside of male fights), and therefore its the basis of my belief that it was they who developed language skills in the human race, driven by their overwhelming urge to tittle tattle (Gossip) on their peers. There is also the research which suggests that women prefer men who talk less ....

I suspect that this is partly the reason, why they are few months ahead of boys in language learning in childhood ... cos it just ain't natural for boys to talk or need to talk!!

Dhimmitude For Christians In Syria

Here we go ... coming soon to a country or neighbourhood near you real soon ... 'Dhimmitude for Christians', paid for and backed by the UK government, who 'support' the “Syrian rebels”. The terrorist group known as the 'Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant' (ISIS), who captured the regional capital of Rabba in Syria, have now issued a proclamation demanding that the Christians of that area pay a ‘Dhimmi levy' in gold, and accept severe curbs on the practise of their faith, or face death by the ISIS butchers.

After the cannibalism of some of the rebel savages, this latest outrage has just been coming, it was just a matter of time … the payment of the tax, is by the submission of around half an ounce (14g) of pure gold, in exchange for their *'safety'. This is what the Christians under the Ottoman Turks, and earlier Arab conquerors, had to pay, in order to only be beaten up occasionally by their Muslim overlords. It is defended as just by some, as Muslims are meant to pay a tax called the Zakat, however the passage used by Malik Muwatta (Book 17, Number 17.24.46) to explain this fact, also states that  the 'Zakat is imposed on the Muslims to purify them (redistribute to the poor), and to be given back to their poor, whereas Jizya is imposed on the people of the Book to humble them' .... which kind of contradicts the idea that the Jizya is a fair tax for protection.

*Under the Ottomans and Arabs some Christians were smacked in the face once a year, to remind them that they were owned by the Muslims. Page 206 of 'The Medieval Islamic Civilization Encyclopedia' states that Muslim 'jurists' believed that “certain repressive and humiliating aspects of paying the dhimma as de rigueur. Dhimmis were required to pay the 'jizya' as it was called in Egypt publicly, in broad daylight, with hands turned palm upward, and to receive a smart smack on the forehead or the nape of the neck from the collection officer." - they further specified a number of additional or alternative humiliating rituals at the time of 'jizya' payment, including slapping, choking, and pulling the beard of the paying dhimmi as humiliation.

Medieval Islamic Civilisation - Not Changed Since

This latest proclamation states that:
  • Christians must not make renovations to churches, display crosses or other religious symbols outside churches, ring church bells or pray in public.
  •  Christians must not carry arms, and must follow other rules imposed by ISIS (also known as ISIL) on their daily lives.

The statement said the group had met Christian representatives and offered them three choices:
  1. They could convert to Islam, 
  2. Accept ISIS' conditions, or 
  3. Reject their control and face being killed. …. 
 "If they reject, they are subject to being legitimate targets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword".

Apparently, around 20 Christian’s leaders had chosen to accept the new set of rules, which is hardly surprising given the choices. There were probably about 3,000 Christians living there before the ISIS took over, but its likely to be only a few hundred now, as many fled after the ISIS started attacking and burning churches.

The Pact of Umar - A One Way Obligation?

The politicians of the West are so ignorant of the past, that they fail to understand exactly what rules Islam imposes when it gains the upper hand over non-believers. They opened the Gates of Vienna two decades ago, not understanding exactly why our forbearer’s had resisted the enemy at those same gates so bravely for hundreds of years.

Now the genie is out the bottle, and the clock of social progress is being turned back towards a darker time, when the ignorant held sway over many eastern lands, and expected to hold sway over all. I expect that as usual we will do nothing, and simply turn a blind eye once again to the persecution and genocide of Christians across the Middle East and Asia, by a triumphalist group of jihadists, many of whom now come from the Islamic ghettos of our own cities.

I will repeat again that we are the architects of our own demise, and will have no cause to act surprised when the green flag and crescent flutters over the spires of Oxford.

Leftwing Loses Icons

Its by a strange coincidence, that this week the Left-wing lost another of its 'icons' after the unexpected death of Bob Crow the trades union leader, when today Tony Benn died. He was a politician who while feted over by many socialists and others on the Left, was equally despised and detested by many others both in his own party (mainly for giving far left infiltrators free rein when he was on the party executive), and those not in his party, including by me.

But Mr Crow's death will be largely overshadowed by the coverage of Benn's death, whose passing will no doubt evoke 'fulsome praise' among the chattering lefty classes, including the BBC, who even led the 'tributes' by saying that "Cameron praises 'magnificent' Benn" ... actually Cameron said "Tony Benn was a magnificent writer, speaker and campaigner. There was never a dull moment listening to him, even if you disagreed with him." .. which is not actually the same thing, but as he was one of their own (he worked briefly as a BBC Radio producer), that spin is perhaps not surprising.

Personally, I will not remember him as anything but a man who was on the wrong side of the argument of almost every issue. His anti-nuclear bomb stance, was never going to endear him to many, especially as it was at the height of the cold war, and at a time when many felt that the British socialist movement was drifting into a Pro-Soviet position. We even had rumours of a military coup if a far left Labour party had won the 1970 elections ... but they didn't, and Benn never got in a position to push his personal agenda on to the national or International stage. But it was a close thing, as he and like minded others almost took over the Labour party in the early 1970's.

Now for all those who point out that in 1963, he became first Peer to renounce his title (2nd Viscount Stansgate), so that he could re-stand as an MP, I'll merely point out that he didn't renounce the title for his family and children .... With his death the title passed on to the next in line, his elder son Stephen Benn. Tony Benn's sons are in remainder to the Benn 'Baronetcy of The Old Knoll', which if it becomes vested on that cadet branch of the family, would, as with its present holder, entitle its most senior male to the use of the formal style "Sir". So the family will continue to reap whatever benefits there are in both having members in the Houses of parliament and also in the aristocracy. One of his sons, Hilary is an MP for Leeds at the moment ... which is spookily an almost hereditary anointment (in a Kim Il Sun kinda way), which socialism seems to find attractive.

His personal agenda included for example, his proposal of issuing stamps without the Sovereign's head ... the development of Concorde (a technological dead end if ever there was one), at the expense of Blue Streak Rocket. He also publicly supported Sinn Féin, and the unification of Ireland, and after Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in April 1982, he argued that the dispute should be settled by the United Nations and that the British Government should not send a task force to recapture the islands. In effect that might was right, and that Argentina could therefore keep the islands.

The years didn't mellow his tendency to pick bad causes, and if anything, he became more extreme ... for instance in June 1992, he proposed the 'Commonwealth of Britain' Bill, which involved abolishing the monarchy in favour of the United Kingdom becoming a "democratic, federal and secular commonwealth", and a Republic with a written constitution.

In 2008, at the 'Stop the War Conference 2009', he described the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as "Imperialist wars", and said that the killing of American and allied troops by Iraqi or foreign insurgents (including presumably 'British' jihadist tourist terrorists), might in fact be described as the actions of freedom fighters, and comparing the insurgents to a British 'Dad's Army' against the Nazi's.

But by then he was old, and having never had the power to wreck the country as he undoubtedly would have done in my opinion, he suddenly became 'Good old Tony' and was treated like the doyen of elder statesmen - which really he never was. He was in fact an old far left socialist (what's the difference between that and communist?) ... who was on the wrong side of history from the start.

Ultimately he was an ineffectual politician in many ways, having never held a higher office than Post Master General, a post long since scrapped (like much else of what he promoted), and consigned to the dustbin of history, with little left of a political legacy. Except perhaps his a forerunner to the devolution bill the 'Commonwealth of Britain', which could end up being the ghostly blue print of what Britain will become if the SNP don't get full independence, but get offered 'Devo Max' (or a 'Britain of equal partners' as Gordon Brown described it this week), to bribe them.

They Say You Are Measured By The Company You Keep

But I have absolutely no doubt that this won't stop him being lauded as a 'political giant' by all the left and their media allies ... and I suspect that this praise will be more fulsomely delivered, than the mealy mouthed praise those same organisations gave to Mrs Thatcher, who love her or loathe her, really was a 'political giant'.

However he does have one thing in common with Mrs Thatcher, and that is that they both stood for something. You might not agree with that something, but it was something ..... and that's more than most of today's spineless tranche can claim.     

Friday, 7 March 2014

All Fur Coats and No Knickers

This really is a case of all fur coats and no knickers, because at this time of year, both Russians and Kazaks wear their warmest clothes, which are often real fur (No PC qualms about fur here) .... but with the Kazakh ban on lace, its now 'sans culottes en dentelle' for the ladies, as the production, import, and sale of lace underwear will be stopped in July 2014 in Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus, under a Moscow-led Customs Union. The regulation was originally approved way back in 2011, but has not been enforced until now.

However the proud ladies of the land of ice are very upset over this, and despite the low temperatures in places such as Astana, Kazakhstan (-5c on the 20th February), the ladies have protested, often waving their 'lacies' over their heads (which beats burning their bras in those temperatures).... but sadly, and rather predictably in this part of the world, some of the ladies have been arrested in Kazakhstan, and no doubt a few will have been hurt.

Kazak  ladies sing this song,
Doo-da, Doo-da!

Officials say the reason for this 'lace' ban is that 'lace does not absorb enough moisture', and its therefore a health concern, but the suggestion is that its really to back up local producers of cotton undergarments ..... but the ladies may be made of sterner stuff than the officials, so watch the fur fly as the ban date nears.

Geodesy - The Circumference Of The Earth

I came across a new term the other day "Geodesy" .... which is the history of the measurement and representation of the Earth throughout history. Now given that the scientifically measured circumference of the world is 24,901 miles (40,075 km), I find it amazing how close our ancestors actually got to getting this right .... this obviously excludes those who believed the Earth was flat, or rectangular (yes, at least one ancient Greek philosopher, Anaximenes, believed strongly that the Earth was rectangular in shape!).

So just to give you an idea of what I mean by 'close', here's a brief history of the history of studying the circumference of the Earth:

  • Plato guessed the circumference of the Earth to be 400,000 stadia (between 39,250 miles and 46,250 miles) 
  • Archimedes estimated 300,000 stadia ( 34,687 miles ), using the Hellenic stadion (which scholars generally take to be 185 meters or 1/10 of a geographical mile). 

After that they actually tried to calculate it 'scientifically:

  • Greek scholar and philosopher, Eratosthenes (276 BC– 195 BC), used maths to determine a figure of 250,000 stadia (25,000 geographical miles). The missing 99 geographical miles can be attributed to the fact that his belief that the town of Syene was actually on the 'Tropic of Cancer' was wrong, (it was actually 22 geographical miles to the north), and that accounts to most of the error in his resulting circumference of the Earth.

Eratosthenes Calculations of The Earth's Circumference.

Unfortunately for history, the other Greeks didn't stick to this calculation, but kept trying other methods, such as by timing ocean sunsets from different heights, which produces a size of the earth too low by a factor of 5/6, due to horizontal atmospheric refraction. So that they actually got less accurate results than Eratosthenes.

  • The Indian mathematician Aryabhata (AD 476 - 550), got the figure to within an accuracy of 1%, at 24,835 miles ....
  • Around AD 830, the Arabs calculated that the Earth's circumference was 24,000 miles.
  • Later, the medieval Persian Abu Rayhan Biruni (973-1048) estimated the Earth radius at 6,339.9 km, which was only 16.8km less than the modern value of 6,356.7km. With this radius figure you could get a circumference of 23,915.5303 miles

Meanwhile back in Europe, there were two schools of thought on the subject which competed for centuries .... by the way, the idea that the Church and leadership of Europe thought the Earth was flat is a complete fallacy, largely propagated by the author Washington Irving, in his popular 1828 biography of Christopher Columbus. In fact all educated people in Europe knew the Earth was round, a fact reflected by many writers, including 'The Venerable Bede' in his book 'Reckoning of Time', written around 723 AD. The modern historian Jeffrey Burton Russell states that the flat-earth error flourished most between 1870 and 1920, and that "with few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat."
The myth that there was ever a strong belief in a flat earth, in fact has more to do with the ideological setting created by the struggles over Darwinism, and the theory of evolution in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The real issue in educated Europe in the Middle Ages was over the exact circumference, not on sphericity: For example, in 1492 Columbus held to the Ptolemy calculations, which were either 252,000 stadia in the Almagest, and 180,000 stadia in the later Geographical Directory - so that's why he thought he had landed in China when he reached the Americas. However some cartographers recognised the maths of Eratosthenes, so for example chapter 20 of Mandeville's Travels (c. 1357) gives the Earth's circumferences and distances based on those calculations.

  • In 1699–70 the first modern meridian arc measurement was carried out by Jean-Félix Picard a French astronomer and priest and found that the Earth was oblate (egg shaped) and this changed the debate for scientists (who turned the debate into one of the study of the "undulation of the geoid") ..... and thus ended the normal debate. 

So now, for practical purposes, we use a circumference figure of 24,901 miles (40,075 km) as though the Earth is a perfect spherical object, but in fact the answer now depends upon where you take the measurement .....

Payday Loan Britain

There is a an alarming film on this link on the moneyweek website, that suggests that the true state of Britain's indebtedness is far far worse than British politicians have publicly admitted, with debts currently at 508% of  the value of our economy - a level that puts us in a far worse position than France, Germany, Italy or even Greece (we are twice as badly off as them, whose debt is only at 276% of their economy) .... in fact the only countries worse than us in the report, are allegedly Japan and Ireland.

Our Debts Are Amongst The Worlds Worse

Essentially the report is stating that the cuts and austerity regime were far too soft, because the British public are too wedded to a NHS and welfare system, that is not in force in the rest of Europe - they point out that when the welfare state started in the UK, the funding required was tiny, as the pensions went only to men aged over 70 years (when the average male life expectancy was just 48), which meant that it was the equivalent of offering a pension to man aged 115 now!

But that since 1945, the welfare state has grown exponentially, and now no one knows how to stop the gravy train ... any attempts to stop its growth are attacked by economic illiterates, who claim its morally wrong, and that Government borrowing has to carry on increasing to fund it, or we cut elsewhere to fund more welfare spending ....  in short, according to the report we are headed to national bankruptcy, sooner rather later. 

We Are Going Broke

If this is true then we face an IMF enforced set of arbitrary cuts, which will not protect the 'sacred cows' of either the left or right, and Britain will emerge as a much smaller player in the world - the armed forces will be a 'self defence force' (something that's happening already), and the welfare state, both NHS and Benefit payments, will have been massively cut or wiped out, while general taxes will have risen .... all of course being the exact opposite of what 'New Labour' wanted, when the socio-economic wrecking balls of Blair and Brown embarked upon their 'New Labour project' in the 1990's.

So when did this debt cycle really start to bite Britain? Well according to this report - Blair came in to power with national debt at £150bn .... a decade later he handed over to Brown, with the figure at £250bn .... and then it was let it rip time, as possibly the worse PM in two hundred years, went on a spend spend spend bender .... all funded by cheap borrowing which can no longer be sustained.

Cheap Borrowing Sustained The Big Spend

So when the coalition took over, the national debt was up to £700bn, and spiralling out of control. When taken with all our governments 'unfunded' obligations (Public sector pensions etc), then the debts total up as 900% of our economies value. If these figures are true, then this is the biggest act of economic vandalism in our history, made only worse by the introduced spectre of a possible Scottish independence, which will dissolve the United Kingdom ... two events which if placed together, could break Britain forever.

We are now according to this report, therefore facing a runaway train crash for our economy, and no one has the honesty to admit the position, for fear of spooking the markets ..... the best the politicians can hope for is a bumpy but softish landing, but the reality is that we will probably hit the buffers full on, with a run on the pound triggering the collapse.

Of course, with hindsight, if the Coalition had been open about the true position when they got into power then (as well as pinning the tail on the blame donkey), they may have been able to sell the 'Big Freeze' approach to public borrowing (like the Irish followed) - this is the idea that a few years of real misery with no more borrowing and real cuts, could be followed by a better long term position. At least then we could have chosen as a nation where we wanted the pain to fall, but now its likely that the agony when it comes, will be inflicted at the whim of international bankers - just like Greece.

Of course the facts in the film could be wrong, but the makers challenge anyone to prove that they are factually wrong on any of the the content (which means that its only on the interpretation of those figures that’s open to debate). However if they are wrong in their conclusions, then we will probably muddle through in the British way, with just about manageable debt and staving off the breakup of the political union.

However if they are right, then we may be back to the shames of the 1970's, when we went cap in hand to the IMF ..... myself, I think it would be better if we squared up, and redrew our socio-economic model to face the realities ... we can't live beyond our means, and we can't offer a cradle to grave welfare system anymore. The denizens of 'Benefits Street' (James Turner Street, in working class Birmingham), on TV, 98% of whom don't work and have never done so, are almost being lauded in some quarters ... but I suggest that any country that finds 'heroes' amongst the work shy, is one that has a deep moral malaise. Unsurprisingly there is no reality TV show for places like 'Frimley Gardens' in the traditional working class area of Wythenshawe, Manchester, where 98% of the residents do work.  

The Welfare State Sustains Many In Britain.

There are some times when I wish I could have seen the future decades ago, and I would have strained every sinew to have emigrated to Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the US .... the future is there, if its anywhere. But 20/20 hindsight is something we all have ..... so all we can do is watch this space.

Reaping What We Sow

History has a way of unravelling mistakes once the dead hand of authority is taken away, and as we have seen in the Balkans and in Africa, artificial unions of borders and peoples, are often fated to unravel unless a greater force intervenes. Who can deny that if not for the UN and Western troops, Nigeria, Rwanda and a myriad other ex-colonial states would have broken up by now? Or that maybe one day the UK's and Western European flirtation with unpopular mass immigrations, via the 'greater authority' invested to the left by 'Political Correctness and Multiculturalism', or the EU's Rules, may well end in violent expulsions of those ethnic minorities who have failed to assimilate if the EU fails? 

So when for example in the Balkans, Serbia was forced by the overwhelming might of NATO and the US in the 1990's, to hand over its historical lands to the Albanians of Kosovo, because the West had made no attempt to understand the root causes of the conflict - 400 years of Muslim dominance over the Slav lands, coming finally to an end when Communism (which had kept the nations together by force), collapsed - there was much anger in Eastern Europe over these US actions. This use of indiscriminate force to ensure that Russia’s allies in Serbia lost out to the 'Turk', was thought by many to be a mistake at the time (especially as for example there are pockets of 'Turks' in Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria etc), and many more predicted we would pay for that mistake later, when the balance of forces was more even.

Those nations in favour of 'self determination' in some selected instances, or of respecting 'territorial integrity' in others, seem to have a collective schizophrenia about whose self determination they will act to enforce, and whose territorial integrity they will act to respect. So for example they will invade Iraq or Afghanistan, but demand that Ukrainian territory be respected by Russia, while ignoring the self determination wish of the Crimean's to be reunited to Russia again. After all, in February 1954 the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), gave away the Crimea, as a 'gift' to the Ukraine from the Russians, even though only 22 percent of the Crimean population were ethnic Ukrainian.

Domino Effect Crisis After Crisis

Therefore this crisis is just another result of the last collapse of the age of empire in Europe …. When NATO and the US forced Serbia to hand over lands to the Albanians of Kosovo, Russia was unable to enforce its objections, as it was weak. Putin noted that fact as a humiliation, and now he will not allow Russia's interests to be broken by the EU, NATO and the US. Putin also took note of the climb down over his actions over South Ossetia and in Georgia, and even over his blocking of Western intervention in Syria. This despite the wish to do so by President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, the British Parliamentary opposition and others. He is also aware that the balance of power was much altered with China now a global power.

Ironically, President Obama, is now using the same phrases that the Russians used to try and stop the US and West in earlier crises in Europe and the Muslim world .... heres a few that make you think.

“The United States calls on Russia to .....  allow the Ukrainian people the opportunity to pursue their own government, create their own destiny and to do so freely without intimidation or fear."

"We are well beyond the days where borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders." 

and that the Russian invasion of Crimea was a

"violation of international law."  

.... he even added that a Crimean vote to secede to the Russian Federation  

"would violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law."

You reap what you sow in politics and especially 'real-politiks', and an ill thought out policy in the 1990's has resulted in a bigger crisis now ….

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Chinas Imperial Cats

Elsewhere, on the cat front, the Chinese, not a noted race of animal lovers, except as diners, have kept a pack of 200 cats at the Imperial Palace Complex, aka The Forbidden City, to keep rats and vermin away from the cultural relics. Vaccinated, neutered and fed vitamins, the only other cosseting is that they are allowed to sleep indoors in the winter. They do the job though, and officials reported that as well as no rodents, they have not found a single piece of cultural relics damaged by cat claws, although its acknowledged that their excrement is definitely an eyesore.

Imperial Cats Wear Royal Hats

Of course, given the Chinese habit of popping anything animal into the cooking pots, one has too suspect that the estimated 200,000 stray cats of Beijing are a cunning breed. However what makes them particularly interesting, is that the Royal complex is very likely their 'real' home, as its suspected that many of them may well be descendants of royal pets from the previous dynasties.

Starting Your Own Country

It used to be the that first things that an emergent nation did were:

  • Get rid of its Democratically Elected Government in a military coup - usually by a sergeant or corporal (or occasionally a lieutenant).
  • Get an airline - mostly run-down Aeroflot planes from the Soviet Union.
  • Get its own currency.

These acts were a sign that you were there - free from 'colonial oppression' (which had in the main provided a fair legal system, non corrupt governance and no 'cronyism') - and now able to run your country in an 'African' or 'Asian' style, with no one to stop the "Big Man" and his crony's from ransacking the country, before retiring to a comfortable exile in the South of France or occasionally Saudi Arabia,  with millions (or occasionally billions) in the bank.

However over recent decades there have been signs that the third world has become too mismanaged and incompetent, to keep supporting all these trappings of independence. In reverse order on the list of to-do's here's some of he failures:

Its perhaps most surprising to find that many countries no longer have a national currency - and perhaps the most surprising of all is that the leading example of this is Robert Mugabes 'Zimbabwe' - that flagship carrier of 'Revolutionary Independence' politics in Southern Africa, has been turned from the strongest economy after South Africa, into such a basket case, that it ceased to print money at all ... the 50 billion Zimbabwe dollar may have been its finest moment in 2009. Currently it accepts the US Dollar, UK Pound, South African Rand, the Pula from Botswana and now its added more currencies, accepting even the Chinese Yuan, Australian dollars, Indian rupees and Japanese yen as legal currencies.

50 Billion Zimbabwe Dollars - bought nothing as it was withdrawn.

There are actually quite a few 'countries' in a similar position, but nearly all are actually small former dependencies or countries that have never had a currency, rather than legitimate countries that had a currency .

Then there are the 'national airlines' - again many independence airlines have simply disappeared - something that happens to first world nations as well, the difference is that they have many private carriers to replace the Presidential vanity airlines that were run at a loss, and with many safety issues, almost from the start. Take Air Zimbabwe for example .... opening and closing at presidential whim, whenever it can get some foreign currency.

Here's a few more of the many:
  • Air Guinee Express | Country: Guinea | Only airline in Guinea was liquidated in 2008
  • Air Ivoire | Country: Cote d'Ivoire | Former national airline of Ivory Coast liquidated in 2011
  • Air Mauritanie | Country: Mauritania | Former national airline of Mauritania was liquidated in October 2007
  • Air Nepal International | Country: Nepal | Airline ceased operations in March 2006
  • Air Senegal International | Country: Senegal | Former flag carrier of Senegal suspended operations in April 2009

and the list is long ....

Then there are the 'Democratically Elected Government's' - for a brief period in the 1990's it looked as though many former dictatorships in Africa (and around the globe) were succumbing to 'people power' or economic necessity, and reverting to fully elected governments ... but the arrival of the Chinese and their 'no questions asked' aid money in Africa, and the collapse of the Arab Springs into Islamist terror, have seen the trend reversed (Egypt and Syria for example).

Still, if ever there was a sadder indication of the results of the post colonial experience in many countries, and proof of it being a disaster for the local populations of many countries (while 'happy days' for the venal military and politicos who have run the regimes), then its these three things.         

Airlines Crashing

Once you look into it, its surprising how many airlines close down each year, and even more scarily, how many are closed for safety reasons. There have been almost as many Western Airlines collapsed as in the Third World, but usually they were no loss to these countries, as they have other airlines based in the countries.

Here's a few of the more notable Western casualties:

1) PAN AMERICAN WORLD AIRWAYS | US | Founded 1927 Closed 1991 Fleet size 226 - a Palestinian Arab terrorist attack in 1988 destroyed confidence in the passenger safety and it never recovered by the time that fuel prices rose in 1991

Pan Am - The Future Once Looked Bright

2) SABENA | Belgium | Founded 1923 Closed 2001 Fleet size 87 - closed following the Saudi funded 9/11 attacks on transatlantic airlines business.

3) BALKAN AIRLINES | Bulgaria | Founded 1947 Closed 2002 Fleet size 150 - a player in the the 1970's but the company did not survive the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. In 1999, it was acquired by Israel's 'Zeevi Group' and 'Arkia airlines'. The Israel connection insured that Balkan lost its lucrative Arab routes and the airlines finally became defunct.

4) TWA | United States | Founded 1925 Closed 2001 Fleet size 190 - TWA was another major American carrier which neglected the deregulation of the domestic market and had to file for bankruptcy and was subsequently merged with American Airlines.

5) ALITALIA-LINEE AEREE ITALIANE | Italy | Founded 1946 Closed 2009 Fleet size 172 - The Italian national carrier went in to bankruptcy. It was overstaffed and under performing for decades and the Italian government tried to bailout the company by investing nearly 5 billion Euro's from 1998. EU rules restricted further state investment in the sinking airline.

6) MALEV | Hungary | Founded 1946 Closed 2012 Fleet size 22  - The Hungarian national Airline went bankrupt

Actually once they were listed, I noticed that it was either Arab related terrorism or financial mismanagement that saw off the Western airlines .... But there are many many other failed airlines around the world (including the UK) .... many because of airworthiness concerns, quite worrying really, in a 'how come so many are flybynights' kinda way .... LOL

Rotten Boroughs In UK

The Labour Party (I think we quietly dropped the 'New' moniker sometime ago), recently won a by-election in the Wythenshawe and Sale East constituency (districts of Manchester, England).  The votes and details were as follows:
  • Labour 13,261 votes,
  • UKIP 4,301,
  • Conservatives (or 'the Tories' as the BBC prefer to call them) 3,479 votes, and
  • The Liberals 1,176.
  • The voter turnout was 28.2% compared with 54.3% in the 2010 General Election.

Nothing unusual about this result in the North of England, except that the Conservatives were beaten by UKIP (perhaps a foretaste of the fact that UKIP take more Conservative party votes than Labour or Liberal ones) .... and that's my point. 'Nothing unusual'.

We have vast numbers of these seats where 'choice' no longer, or never has been an option ... For example Labour have held this particular seat since time immemorial, and if you put a Labour Party rosette on a brick, the good citizens of Wythenshawe and Sale East would have voted it in with a thumping majority. There are Conservative seats that also exhibit a similar voting pattern .....

Rotten Boroughs - Still Around In Another Form.

My concern is that these tribal 'safe seats' breed real voter apathy, with the refrain 'it makes no difference if I vote' being true in far too many cases. Now you could blame this on poor education, or class divides or some such rot, but in truth, these seats were rather comfortably created by both the major parties via little boundary tweaks here and there, made in a manner that allowed both the Labour and Conservatives a reasonable shot at power, as long as they got about 39% of the popular vote. I might at this point, mention that for a long time it was the Liberals who got the 'labourers vote', so it was still a two party carve up, even before the 1945 election.

Reform is necessary if we are to breathe life into a democratic system that is dead in many areas of the country. I am not advocating 'proportional votes', a system which in England at least, would lead to the Liberal Party being the 'King Maker', after most elections. No I would like to retain the first past the post system (which I believe helps keeps UK politics largely clean of the outright corruption, that permanent government for some politicians seems to create in both countries with proportional representation, and our local councils)

Private Eye Rotten Boroughs Awards Hackney 2010
.... but I do want electoral seat boundaries redrawn to try and more accurately reflect the general 40/40/20 Conservative, Labour, Liberal percentages posted in the popular general election votes. They could use the council electoral ward voting results to try and achieve this ..... Of course there are obvious pitfalls e.g. If it won't work in too many inner city seats, where blind voting is endemic, then it would only open up 'safe' Conservative and Liberal seats, while leaving Labour heredity seats untouched, so it may need some imaginative boundary redrawing.

For example why do seats have to all be geographically one location? Why not join a rural 'Tory' area with an inner city ward? .... Anyway, I do think it would be healthier if parliamentary seats are more reflective of any trends nationally at general elections.


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