Friday, 31 October 2014

Dickie By Name Dickie By Nature

In a bit a news that will make all Scotsmen swell with pride, it appears that scientists have confirmed that the first shaggers were in Scotland!

The international team of researchers have reported in the journal 'Nature' that a fish that glories in the name of Microbrachius dicki, is apparently the first-known animal to stop reproducing by spawning, and instead mate by copulation via sexual organs.

They practised this new found fun about 385 million years ago in the waters of some ancient lakes, in land that are now Scotland .... although these fishes were missionaries for the new methods they didn't follow that style as "The very first act of copulation was done sideways, square-dance style." said Professor  Long the lead scientist involved in the discovery .... "They couldn't have done it in a 'missionary position'."

Sex Ancient Scots Style ... Still Looks The Same In Glasgow.

These fish, at only about 8cm long, were small pioneers but they were prophets without followers, because as fish evolved, they reverted back to spawning for reproduction, and it was few million years for copulation to make a come-back, reappearing in ancestors of sharks and rays.

But before all the Scots get too big headed .... if you use a sort of pig latin/english  translation Microbrachius dicki, could be translated as 'little dick arm'     

Hope I Die Before I Get Old

The BBC had a dress malfunction on its website the other day, and put up its emergency 'Simplified' web-page.

Simplified BBC Homepage

What caught my attention was that the only two faces displayed were two distinctly old, 1960's icons Tony Blackburn (aged 71) and Terry Wogan (aged 76), advertising a current music event .... laughable really.

It is quite stunning that the BBC can't actually replace these ancient performers, and indeed still relies on both them, and the even more venerable Bruce Forsyth (aged 86), to try and keep its ratings up. Whatever happened to the ethos of 'Hope I die before I get old - My generation baby' ... a song that was a hit when these three gentlemen were all entering, or already in their middle-ages.     

Now ironically this web page malfunction came in the same week as the BBC Trust's review of BBC One, Two, Three and Four, concluded that the BBC should become more distinctive, and take more creative risks, as the trust believed that viewers feel that the BBC tends to "play it safe", and rely too much on trusted staples, and that the BBC must try and reverse its fall in the young viewing audiences.

For example the average age of BBC1 viewers has grown to 59 years, from age 56 in the period  2010/11 (so its probably worse than that now), while the average age of people watching BBC2 had also grown, from 58 to 60 years in the same period.

Oddly, BBC3, the BBC's only youth orientated 'risk' TV channel (and incidentally the only BBC channel I regularly watch), is to be removed from terrestrial TV, and placed solely on the Web, via the BBC iPlayer.

I don't think its hard to see where the BBC's problems may stem from .... if Arthur Askey or Harry Secombe were still alive, they would probably still be presenting on the BBC.

But suffice it to say that both these comedians, now long dead, had worked with Bruce Forsyth. In 1964 Forsyth presented the Baird Festival of Television show at the Royal Albert Hall, featuring the likes of Kathy Kirby, Arthur Askey and Gracie Fields. In February 1965, at the same venue, he presented ‘Welcome to the Golden Ball‘, starring Harry Secombe and Sandie Shaw.

Bruce Forsyth, Harry Secombe and Gracie Fields

It kind of puts the BBC's 'Star' policy into a time perspective, when you consider that you have have been born in the late 1950's or earlier to be able to recall TV shows from the mid 1960's, and yet Bruce Forsyth was the mature compare and host on shows at that time .... but he and others of similar vintage are still BBC mainstays.

The BBC policy on selecting 'the talent', is nearly as sclerotic as its stars ....     

Who Wants To Live Forever

It appears that the alleged vampiric activities of Countess Bathory were on the right tracks, if a little crude in their application .... scientists have found that injecting the blood of young mice into older rodents boosted their brainpower, thus reversing some of the processes of ageing. There has also been a related discovery of the effect of the growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11), which is a protein that has been identified to promote rejuvenating effects in heart, brain and muscles, and that occurs in greater concentration in young than on old, and which was reported in the journal Science.

Countess Bathory - Early Gene Replacement Therapy

However I am sorry to say that in my view, unless the quality of life is maintained, then a long life per se is actually more like a curse ... you can become a prisoner in your own body. I once, in what now seems like another lifetime, used to go and visit people approaching their personal century, to ascertain if they or their families wanted to receive the congratulatory 'telegram' (although it was not actually a telegram message) from the Queen. This was to try and prevent Her Majesty being embarrassed by someone rejecting her congratulations, an event I had never witnessed, but apparently quite common with old revolutionaries and communists in some industrial areas such as the Clyde etc.

Anyway, on one of these visits I met a 99 year old man, who was particularly alert, and we talked for about an hour - unusually he was on his own sat in a chair when I visited, normally a relative and or a nursing home owner would be with them, but this was a home visit. However all was explained as we talked, apparently his home help had left after just 30 minutes, and he would be on his own until an evening visit to get him to bed. It then came out that he had not only out lived his own three children, but two of his grandchildren, and he didn't actually know his great grandchildren as people. All his contemporaries were dead, and even his near contemporaries, and to top it all, despite his great lucidity, he was effectively housebound due to frailty, and that as far he was concerned, he was now a 'prisoner in a time not my own, as well as my body' .... he said that he wished he hadn't lived to the great age of 100.

Needless to say I was very much affected by this opinion, coming as it did from the horses mouth, and came to the firm opinion that the age range of 70 to 75, in good mental and physical health was by far a better option to hope for.       

So, sorry to say this again, but this obsession with eternal youth seems to me to get in the way of living what we've got well, in a few decades time people will be able to sit and watch drivel on their TV, while eating fatty burgers and processed food, and grunting their limited vocabulary for even longer .... the prophetic film 'Idiocracy' nicely fits the bill

Konspiracy Korner: There are some strange theories doing the rounds about all these medical advances. For instance apparently in 2013, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the USA, managed to place false memories into a mouse, and have now been able to alter existing mouse memories ..... and this, in conjunction with these abilities to reverse aging have fueled conspiracy theories that all these medical developments are a part of some US military project .... a bit like that one about all the fluoride which is accumulating in our brains, like lime scale inside taps (to be fair, recent long term studies appear to show that the claimed water fluoridation benefits, may not be that great, and even be harmful) ... although a conspiracy to achieve what, apart from brain altered old people, its hard to determine.

Oh well, if I keep having these sudden urges for cheese sandwiches, and to squeak, I'll know the treatments working .....

Being A Forgotten First

There has to always be a first at anything, from first fish to breathe air on land, to first 'black' (well half white and half black ... so in the strange way these things work, not 'mixed race' but, 'black') President of the United States, we count these firsts and give them a significance that they don't always merit. However, normally they are immortalised, in a temporary kinda way .... So in this manner we kinda have it in our minds that the 'first' black Olympic gold medal winner was Jesse Owens - haven't we? Or so we may think we have.

In fact, despite all the fame and significance given to Mr Owen for his four Olympic Golds ... it was in fact a Mr John Baxter Taylor (1882 - 1908), who was the first US Black (and probably first Black any nation), gold medal winner in 1908

In 1904 he visited England and France, competing as a runner, and winning most of his races, whilst studying at the University of Pennsylvania.  So after he graduated in 1908, when the Olympics were held in London, Mr Taylor had two opportunities for a medal as a member of the US Olympic team. His first opportunity came when he participated in the mens 400 meter race, he apparently was doing well even though he was ill at the time. The race result was disputed because of a claimed foul, and a row between the Americans and British, resulted in the Americans boycotting the rerunning of this race. This created another first (and only), when Mr Wyndham Halswelle representing GB became the only athlete to win an Olympic title by a walkover.

Wyndham Halswelle - First Walkover Olympic Gold
However in his 2nd event, Mr Taylor collected an Olympic gold as a member of  the USA's winning 1600 meter (one mile) relay team. The team; fellow Penn graduate Nathaniel J. Cartmell,  Melvin Sheppard and William F. Hamilton setting a then world record in this race.

US 1600 Meter Gold Medal Relay Team- 1908 London Olympic Games

In point of fact, there were two African Americans who earned athletic Olympic medals at the earlier 1904 Olympic games in St. Louis. Joe Stadler had won a silver medal in the standing high jump, and George Poage (from the University of Wisconsin), had won two bronze medals for the 200-meter and 400-meter hurdles. However, its to Taylor, in 1908, that we have to look for the first African American to win Olympic gold.

On a similar theme, who until her death in July 2014, could name Alice Coachman as the first Black US woman Olympic gold winner, in the high jump at the 1948 London Olympics?

Alice Coachman - Gold Medal London 1948

We view history these days through the eyes of pressure groups, who often have agendas, so it suits many for instance to sort of propagate the idea that it was Jesse Owens who stood up to Adolph Hitler in 1936, by winning the first ever black gold medal, in the Berlin Olympics .... but in fact the US has a far longer history of inter-racial tolerance than these 1960's 'civil rights' groups like to admit to, as it undercuts both their narrative and often their access to state funds as an 'oppressed' group.

It appears, that much like the Victorian/Edwardian Brits, the upper-classes in the USA, were more colour blind, than they are generally given credit for nowadays.

Friday, 24 October 2014

A Heart In The Darkness

'A Kiss is but a Kiss' so the song says ... well outside of the heart of darkness, where its apparently a sackable offense.

We have recently posted about cultural imperialism on this blog, where different examples, from the holiday Brits in the Mediterranean to the sexual holidays of some groups of western men, and this prompted comment that when discussing these issues in a comparative manner, we should be promoting promoting human values, and condemning those laws which discriminates against people for the way that they were born.e.g. anti-homosexuality laws.

Now I don't know about you, but I hadn't really thought about the African country of Tanzania much ... well not at all actually ... but certainly if I had thought of it, I wouldn't have  thought of it as one of the heart of darkness states, and certainly not in the same category as some states such as the 'Democratic Republic of Congo' ...

But in fact they exhibit many of  the problems that plague the rest of the continent, and recently they even had a spate of 'witch killings', with 23 people arrested and charged with murder, after seven villagers were burned alive on the suspicion of practicing witchcraft. This kinda propels them into the same league as the other socially and educationally backward states of the region - and into a special group, including Brazil and Saudi Arabia, where people still believe that witches are more than just old women with no family protection.

So the idea that they actually had a police code of conduct (apart from making bribe taking compulsory), seemed incongruous - certainly one that would cause the dismissals of three police officers for a harmless act, was a novel thought.

But recently three officers (two men and a woman), lost their jobs because a couple in uniform kissed in public (whether off duty or not, it seems was irrelevant), and another officer secretly photographed them, and then posted it on-line. Apparently both the kissing in uniform, and the posting it on-line, broken the Tanzanian police code of conduct.

A Kiss Is But A Kiss ..... Normally

So what are we to make of this .... most Tanzanians apparently would agree that on the one hand, rules are rules, while saying on the other, that it seems a draconian punishment, especially in view of the fact that the police in Tanzania have a massive public creditability problem, as they are notorious both for taking bribes and not catching criminals. So although technically its a series of sackable offenses, if there had been conduct warnings issued, most people would have thought that was enough punishment.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Zimbabweans have also joined in the fun and games, as the University of Zimbabwe has also imposed a student kissing ban .... to a predictable storm of condemnation on social media.

However the interesting thing for me from this story, was that like most of Africa, the population has simply bypassed the old telephone land line system (which had never been rolled out in Africa), and skipped straight to mobile phones. This is possibly unique in our history, because in one bound, the Africans, whose communication infrastructure was still in the colonial era, jumped into the 21st century.

They already have 80% market penetration of mobile phones and this is expected to grow again ..... They are even driving the very low costs down further. So the fact that in the middle of nowhere, two police officers kissing could end up on the Internet and become a story in the world news, is solely down to the fact that African mobile phone usage has become a modern technology phenomena ....

... One which might finally drive the superstition that supports 'witch killing', into the darkness of history where it belongs.

Red Haired Prejudices

I have always been partial to redheads, so have never understood why apparently some of them are subject to what could be called  'gingerism'. Being called 'carrot top' or 'ginger', 'copper-top', 'ginger-nut', 'ginger minger', etc doesn't seem too bad but is obviously distressing to the victims .... although being called 'a ginger tw*t' is possibly a different matter. But so ingrained is this casual abuse of redheaded people that a New Labour 'right on pc message' politician, Harriet Harman, felt it was OK to use such a term about another politico (she called him a a "Ginger Rodent " ....), and got only some minor rebukes.

However that led me to wonder about how long 'ginger abuse' has been around ... but it appears that the answer to this is related to which culture you look at ... certainly there have been many famous redheads: 

Queen Boudicca Was A Formidable Redhead ... and Not A Whinger.

  • Lilith, Adam's lover in the Bible was a redhead. 
  • King David of the Israelite's
  • Queen Boudicca of the Iceni tribe
  • Pharaoh Ramses II of Egypt
  • Henry VIII of England
  • Elizabeth I of England
  • Sir Winston Churchill, WWII leader

.... and I doubt anyone dared call them 'Ginger Whingers' ... well at least not more than once.

Now I am not really able to reference proper classical sources for this, but allegedly redheads were sacrificed in ancient Egypt, and were reputed to bleed more, and be more resistant to pain (possibly because of all those sacrifices!), as well as of course having fiery tempers. In the Bronze Age, red headed girls were believed to have the 'power' to intervene with the goddesses, and wall-paintings on the Greek island of Thera (modern-day Santorini), depict a number of young women, but the only one allowed to approach the goddess in the temple, is the girl with a mane of deep red hair. There is also a fragment of a poem by the poet Xenophanes in which he describes the 'Thracians' as blue-eyed and red-haired. Herodotus described the 'Budini' tribe as being predominantly red-haired. The Roman historian Tacitus commented on the "red hair and large limbs of the inhabitants of Caledonia", which he connected with some red-haired Gaulish tribes of Germanic and Belgic areas.

There are other  references and associations in early medieval times, which sometimes associated red hair with witches and vampires.  However all of this may actually go back to the dawn of Europe under homo-sapiens, as some academics have suggested that the redhead gene comes from the Neanderthals . ..  Red hair is caused by a mutated MC1R gene, which is most prevalent in far northern and western Europe, and may have survived due to increased vitamin D production in pale-skinned people.

A DNA study has concluded that some Neanderthals had red hair, although as the mutation responsible for this colour, apparently differs from that which causes red hair in modern humans, it doesn't preclude some sort of interbreeding introducing the original variant. Now if this was homo-sapiens first interbreeding, then it may well have also spawned it's first interracial prejudices .... so being marked with red hair could have prompted comments from then until now ... We have simply lost the ribald context for the jibes, and of course, there are the redhead jokes ...

Here's a few of the jokes:
  • "What's the difference between a terrorist and a redhead?"... "You can negotiate with a terrorist." 
  • "Whats the difference between a ginger and a brick?"  .... "At least a brick gets laid."
  • "What do you call a ginger at a party?" .... "Unwelcome."
  • "What do extinct dinosaurs and Gingers have in common?" ... "Not enough"
  • "What do you call a redhead with an attitude?" .... "Normal."

Well you get the picture .... none of them really moving from the theme of unattractive or bad tempered or both ..... and yet I have never found that either of these is true. Indeed to get back to the culture issue .... There is nothing like this level of abuse in the US where having red hair is not a precursor to having someone abuse you. Red hair is considered glamorous ....

Ginger Rogers anyone?

Stonehenge Revisited

I know from the number of hits these posts receive, that people are interested in how things looked in the past ..... although at least one commenter on an earlier post believed that contrary to all the evidence and skills of archaeology etc "the idea of "repairing" ancient structures like this is hilariously dumb, for the simple reason that we have no idea what they would have looked like originally and any attempt to rebuild them will only ever end up imposing the style and taste of the current era on it." ..... of course the idea that we don't know what ancient monuments looked like in their pomp is plain ignorant, but then the commenter was obviously none too hot on archaeology .... or much else really.

So purely for those of you who are more aware of the advances of archaeology, and theoretical structural archaeology, over the last fifty years .... the BBC ran a two part documentary called 'Operation Stonehenge' which detailed all the findings after the biggest survey of the site ever seen, which used ground radar, digs, aerial studies .... in fact the works. I would link to it but as its on BBC iPlayer it will be taken down sometime soon.

Here's a few stills to give you an idea of what it looked liked. 

Evidence Of the Missing Stones Being In Place Once Was Found

How Stonehenge Looked In Its Pomp

Close Up Of How Stonehenge Looked In Its Pomp

The study was fantastic in its depth, and included the fact that contrary to the belief that the site was never completed, it had been, but that some of the stones had later been taken away in antiquity. Of course they also gave CGI illustrations to show how the site looked and tied in with the other sites in the area (some of which were found for the first time in centuries or millennia). It was interesting to note that the stones had originally been white .... they have greyed through the millennium.

Stonehenge Aerial Shot

Stonehenge In Its Original Environment

If you get the chance to watch the two parter (its bound to be repeated), it was very interesting, and if you don't like the fact that people speculate about restorations, because we have 'no idea what they would have looked like originally' .... then write to the BBC, and all the archaeologists involved in the study from around the world, because they are obviously all frauds.

Working Benefits

Despite our similarities with Australia etc, we live in a very different culture. I remark on this because of the different treatment of prostitutes around the Anglo-Saxon world ..... supposedly the second oldest profession in the world, but in many places not accepted as being part of society even now.

For instance, despite its historical connections with the free love movement via the the early socialist groups such as the 'Fellowship of the New Life', and its more socialist offshoot, The Fabian Society, many of whose members were followers of the free love movement, the UK Labour Party has never embraced the idea of 'working girls', preferring to think of them as exploited women instead. The other political parties have to some degree or other taken a similar stance, with a set of polices to limit prostitution by making soliciting in a public place, kerb crawling, owning or managing a brothel, pimping and pandering, crimes. But left the act itself legal .....

The Worlds Oldest and Most Honest Profession?

However in Australia, they have taken a different view and prostitution is legal in the most populated states in the country ....

Australian Prostitution

But what brought the difference in treatment of prostitutes to my mind, was the news reports coming out of Australia this year that hookers who lose their jobs ~ by which I have to assume those in organised brothels, and not the 'freelancer', although reports didn't specify ~ can now claim unemployment welfare benefits if their sex work dries up, welfare officials have decided.

Now. liberal though this may seem, for the life of me I don't see how the ladies concerned are going to prove that their sex work has dried up? I speak with some authority on this, as a long time ago, and in a different career, I worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Social Security (DHSS), and many of the ladies I visited turned a trick or two when they needed shoes for their kids etc. I couldn't prove anything, even if neighbours complained (anonymously), and simply advised the girls in question to either ply their trade away from home, or be discrete and not do many clients or I would be forced to cancel their benefits. Which of course would have simply forced the girls back into the sex trade full time, and put them at risk of harm.

The Australian welfare officers will face the same problem ..... proving a girls work is 'drying up' can be a very tricky business.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Creations That Will Never Make It To Primark

When fashion students put on their Graduate Fashion Week, they are usually a bit odd, but sometimes they are also striking images. So its possibly no surprise that when Sho Takemura from Nottingham Trent University, presented her graduation show at Graduate Fashion Week in London, it attracted much press coverage ....

These Creations May Not Make It To Primark
The Japanese Crisp (Chips to Americans) Packet Seems To Have A Navigation Flaw

.... I know that the aim isn't to necessarily produce practical clothing, more to produce ideas that can be toned down for high street clothing. However, I have to question how a packet of crisps over your head will ever be practical .... or even the other 'Gimp' masks.

If it ever made it to Primark's, then it would make my complaints about Burkha's seem a bit daft ....


Who would have thought that the Taliban were avid shoppers of male grooming items?

Apparently, in the areas that they control in Pakistan (North Waziristan etc), the biggest customers for male grooming products are, or rather were, the younger male Taliban members, so as the Pakistani army conducted its bi-annual 'terrorist clean up' in the tribal areas, by bombing innocent locals and claiming they were 'insurgents' (while the Taliban sits in Afghanistan awaiting the Pakistani armies departure), the younger male Taliban members went shopping.

Strangely, they wouldn't buy locally manufactured products, and so local shop keepers had to import foreign or branded perfumes, and imported body sprays. They apparently preferred the ones with a strong scent - presumably because power showers are not freely available in the tribal areas.

Whites Are Popular With Some Taliban

The list of Taliban shoppers preferences included:

  • Dove soap - that's the moisturised one I understand.
  • Head & Shoulders shampoo - many an itchy scalp under those head clothes.
  • White underwear - no flies on these boys
  • Perfumes: the most popular perfumes (which we assume are for the 'jihadi brides' ... but who knows, maybe for Chai boys), were 'Secret Love' and 'Blue Lady' by Rasasi

So deep is the love of preening amongst the Jihadi boys, .... that some of them, such as Abu Fulan al-Muhajir, a 'British' Jihadist, has been posting requests for 'hair care .... beard products', while he is supposedly fighting, murdering, and beheading people in Syria in a holy war.

He actually tweeted to the world, his current concerns, which don't include jihad, but rather the carnage in his follicles ... "My beards's got split ends. What to do?!?!?!"

Abu Fulan al-Muhajir - Beard Tosser!

Of course, amongst the legends of terrorism, where beard care was paramount, there was little reluctance in promoting the finer styling products. 

Western Style Products Are Most Popular

Indeed, so large is this demand for 'luxury Western' products in Taliban controlled areas, that one local shop keeper in North Waziristan claimed to have earned between 100,000 and 115,000 rupees a day (£680 or $1,163 per day), from this source alone. This represents a fortune in Pakistan, but wouldn't be sniffed at in the UK either.

"They would drive to my shop in big white cars with black-tinted windows and had no qualms about doling out wads of cash. The kind of things they would buy, well people like me can't even conceive of buying them." .... the shop keeper reported.

He, like the Taliban, left the area well before the highly advertised army offensive, and as the Taliban had been tipped off, many had started selling off their electronic equipment at dirt-cheap rates. No real problem for them, as they will simply appropriate the banks money when they return later in the year, and then buy all new, top of the range phones and cameras.

Of course this tipping off of the terrorists, which was aimed at ensuring that the Pakistani army doesn't have to actually fight very hard, and also leaves the militants intact (which is the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence aim), has left only the largely innocent tribal locals, to be bombed and killed by the might of the armed forces .... so yet another glorious victory on home soil for both the ISI, and the nations finest.

Last Man Standing

This year saw the 25th anniversary of the Tienanmen Square protests that led to the biggest crackdown by the Communists in the decades since the Cultural Revolution in the 1960's. An anniversary that was commemorated by the house arrest of every human rights supporter in Beijing to stop protests, even though most Chinese people never got told what happened in 1989. Thousands were killed, and many more were arrested and sent to re-education and labour camps .... but even in protest, the rich or connected have it better in a corrupt Communist society. Only Hong Kong in China still remembers (and recent events show that they know they have to resist now) ......

Hong Kong Still Remembers The 'Tienanmen Square Massacres'.

Its alleged that the only Tienanmen protester who is still in custody is a Mr Miao Deshun .... who was a lowly factory worker from Beijing, and whose only charged crime was throwing a bakery bread basket at an already burning tank in Tienanmen Square. For this he was sentenced to death, later commuted to a life sentence of labour and re-education .... kind of a 'Education through Work' punishment (where have I heard that kinda thing before?), but many others got the same sentence.

Now you might expect that in a society in which everyone is equal, that in fact all the protesters would get the much the same sentences, but apparently those with 'connections', such as Wang Dan, one of the protest organisers, were given a mere four years in prison ....while Miao Deshun, whose part in the protest was minimal is still imprisoned, and believed to be the last man still imprisoned.

He is possibly never going to be released, even after his 25th year in incarceration this year, in fact its not even clear that he still lives, because he has apparently shown tremendous courage and refused to apologise for exercising what was nominally his constitutional rights. He has apparently gone even further, and in the face of what we can only imagine included much physical maltreatment, he:

  • Refuse to admit any guilt, or sign a 'confession'.
  • Refuses to carry out any assigned prison work, he just sits in his cell.

He is now in a psychiatric prison in the middle of nowhere, where he refused visits from his family, and so hasn't been seen for years ..... in this treatment he reminds me a little bit of the Israeli prisoner of conscience Mordechai Vanunu, who served 18 yrs in an Israeli prison (mostly in solitary confinement), for telling the world that Israel had a not so secret nuclear program and had made bombs.

In Defence Of The Trojan Horse

After the 'Trojan horse' scandal in some schools in the UK', where some secular state schools were found to have been subverted into following Islamic practices, I expected that, knowing how the BBC can't stand it if Islam gets 'attacked' , they were bound to have a twist on the events .... So I was waiting for the 'empire' to fight back and the only issue was what form would it take?

Well they took me by surprise by casting around for some 'other' (meaning 'white') group, who have somehow committed the same 'sin' as the Muslims (meaning 'victimised' non whites, preferably of south Asian heritage, by forcing them to practise Christianity) .... it took a week or so, and they couldn't actually find any minorities being persecuted by Christian fundamentalists, but then they hit a sort of pay-dirt. So without even pretending that this story is anything but a biased retaliation they launched off with ..

"The Trojan Horse investigation has focused on an alleged plot to take over some Birmingham schools and run them according to Islamic principles. But while the role of Islam in education has come in for scrutiny, across the UK many students also follow a strict "fundamentalist" Christian curriculum."

.... and with those words they opened into an attack on 'Christian fundamentalist schools' .... completely missing the point entirely, about why the issue of the 'Islamification' of secular state schools was a problem.

Welcome To England - English Language Optional ....
While both religions (Christianity in only in the most extreme of form - see Church of England for 'normal' Christianity), are supposedly 'anti-homosexual', and both are theoretically 'pro-creationist', that's about the only common ground between them exists:

  • These 'Christian' schools are in fact 'Independent' and fee paying - therefore the parents know exactly what they are sending their children to.
  • The 'Islamic' schools were not in fact Islamic, but were secular state schools, where non Muslim children happened to be in 'minority', and whose parents had no choice but to send them to the schools which were the subject of the 'Islamification' attempts.
  • The 'Christian' schools do not segregate boys and girls as standard practices.
  • The 'Islamified' state schools tried to enforce gender segregation at assemblies and in the classrooms, and other activities.
  • The 'Christian' schools do not impose 'religious' dress codes on girls or female members of staff.
  • The 'Islamified' schools tried to enforce Islamic religious dress codes on non Muslim girls and female members of staff, by exerting pressure and veiled warnings.
  • A Christian school, is forced by law to accept at least 50% non christian children and teach them all faiths, even when it opposes the schools ethos.
  • But at a non faith secular 'Islamified' school, in a predominantly Muslim area, all the children are expected to adhere to Islamic principles and other religions were not taught or denigrated.
  • The 'Christian' schools do not turn out terrorists ..... especially not to operate in the Islamic world.
  • The 'Islamified' schools do turn out terrorists ... well who knows how many of their alumni will turn up on the battlefields of the Middle East, or in the Old Bailey? .... We just don't know what damage they have done in the 5 years that they have been radicalising.

These are differences that the BBC failed to highlight in its 'comparison', and which are crucial as to the damage they cause us. But still the BBC feels that it should highlight these 'Christian' schools, and treat former pupils as though they were victims of cult programming.

Interestingly they haven't tried to find former pupils of the 'Islamified' schools, who can then be interviewed, as though they were victims who had been brain washed like a cult .... maybe that would be too close to the truth?     

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Road To Kazakhstan

We at PC Towers are no friends of potholes, having highlighted the terrible state of Britain's roads, and locally complained to get my own road resurfaced.

So we can only applaud the efforts of the 'Guerrilla' creative house group of artists in Kazakhstan .... who like the Iranian 'Black Hand collective' or the UK's 'Banksy' create street art to publicise or entertain or protest ....

They have opted to tackle the potholes of Kazakhstan in an eye catching and point making manner ...

Kazakh Potholes Are Dangerous
.... placing fake papier-mache legs sticking out of 10 holes around the city.  

"We approached the issue with irony. Rather than make the usual hue and cry about holes in the roads being bad, we simply highlighted the problem and showed it needs sorting".

An earlier campaign, had some success when they drew 'bulls eyes' around street litter bins, which encouraged the public to dispose of rubbish accurately, so apparently they are hopeful this campaign will do the trick ... eventually.

"People are paying attention, and writing in social media to thank us. This should solve the problem after a while" .... well lets hope so, I have seen uncovered drains like this before, and they are no joke on badly lit streets after a few drinks.

Accidents Do Happen

Filed under the "Strange But True" drawer was a story from Tokyo, Japan. An unnamed woman but apparently aged in her 30's, somehow fell down a 8 inch (20 cm) gap between a train and the platform, and was trapped at JR Minami-Urawa rail station, just north of Tokyo in July 2013.  A public announcement that a passenger was trapped was relayed across the station

This prompted about 40 people to join with train officials, to attempt to push the 32-ton train carriage to one side, and free the woman.

Passenger Squeeze Measures Reached New Heights In Tokyo

Amazingly, they succeeded because, being Japan, the train was modern and had a suspension system that allowed it to lean to either side while taking bends ..... good luck trying to do this on a UK train. The unnamed woman was then pulled out uninjured, to the applause of the onlookers and seemingly didn't go to hospital.

But, in the part of the story that totally amazed me as a regular train traveller in the UK, and who can attest to how easily UK train services collapse at the slightest incident, because after just an eight-minute delay, the train went on its way.  Presumably with the woman on board.

And in one of those even stranger but still true follow ups .... in August 2014 in Perth Australia, a man slipped between a train and the platform ..... so his fellow passengers, along with transport staff, then tilt the train so he can pull himself free. They were co-ordinated by someone who shouted '1, 2, 3, push' so that the train didn't rock back and crush the trapped mans legs. He was freed and after some minor treatment for bruising and gashes, he later took the train home.

Train Tilting In Perth

In the UK, the H&S brigade would have been all over the incident and closed the line for at least 24 hours, and probably a few days ... we no longer accept that no fault accidents do happen, and that people can fix them without 'experts'.

Which Yardsticks

I was listening to a radio programme the other day in which a man was reading the book "A Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari .... and something the reader said made me think. He mentioned something about the fact that since 1945, while the USA has moved on, and is still the leading nation on Earth, the book reading suggested that Europe's decline over the same period had been marked.

I stopped listening to the radio and started thinking about this ..... firstly was it correct? After some thought I concluded that the answer to this lies in the measuring criteria. Certainly compared by the economic standards, the USA still displays much of the technological prowess that took it to number one spot in the last century, while Europe, which was initially the leaders in this area with Britain, Germany and France the driving forces, has certainly fallen behind in many of these fields. However compared with South America, the Middle East and Africa, Europe in the form of the European Union (EU), is still driving forward. Only the Oriental far east of Japan, China and South Korea have seriously challenged this second spot.

In fact as a unit, the EU is still the biggest or second biggest economic block in the world ... it depends on whose figures you use. The International Monetary Fund has the US first in 2013 with (GDP measured in Billions of US$) $16,799.7 with the EU at  $16,260.6 and China $13,395.4 (India and Japan are $5,069.2 and $4,698.8 respectively), while the World Bank has the order reversed with the EU at $17,402, and the US at $16,800 and China on $16,158  .... the clincher for the US is the CIA World Fact book, which puts the US top again .... but as this may not be an entirely unbiased opinion, lets leave it as an open question.

China will undoubtedly become the biggest economy (if only for a while), and in fact if you include Hong Kong and Macao, they may well be nearly second now, but of course, economically, the question of population is a significant one .... wealth measured as GDP per capita  makes a massive difference. China for example divides its wealth by a population of 1,366,690,000 heads or 19% of the world population. India divides its wealth by 1,249,160,000 heads or 17.4% of the world population, while the USA does so by 318,725,000 heads or a mere 4.43% of the world population.  The EU has approx 500 million inhabitants, or 7.3% of the world population .... so its firmly in second place when you combine economic might, with per capita wealth.  China has about a third of the per capita wealth of the EU (and less if only northern and western Europe counted), while India has only about an eighth the EU  average. So by the criteria of wealth, the US is hardly powering ahead and leaving Europe behind, but I guess they are Number One.

But what if you look at another criteria ...... Health care maybe?  According to some figures around 84.7% of Americans have some form of health insurance, which means 15% have no health care provision. However even that 'fact' hides the real facts ..... 

US Health Insurance Coverage 2009

As you can see, areas where there are high Black or Hispanic populations show a marked lack of health insurance, with over 25% of the population having no health coverage outside of the legal provision for accident care, and whatever basic provision the Federal government or State government may offer. In total there were reportedly 48.0 million people in the US (15.4% of the population) who were without any health insurance. However these basic provisions which have been improved (after the map above was compiled in 2009) as Medicaid eligibility which has been expanded, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known "Obamacare" became law in 2014, so the figures should have dropped and this will reflect in the next census.

In Europe and the EU in particular, health care is provided through taxation and is under what is known as Universal Health Care (UHC) .... this can mean differences in what's provided e.g. The UK's National Health Service is amongst the most generous in what's provided, but requires 96.9% public funding, while others provide basic care, but patients have to pay for more via insurance schemes. The French scheme is rated the best in Europe by the World Health Organisation, but is only 76.9% publicly funded, with the rest via private insurance schemes. Ironically despite its objections to universal care as being 'socialist' in some way, the US spends a fortune on health per capita, for its non universal care compared with the UHC countries  ......So in this area, the US lags behind the EU and even its neighbour Canada. 

Universal Health Coverage Europe and Health Expenditure Per Capita

So getting back to the original question posed by the statement in the book reading  ... has Europe's (in the form of the EU), decline been that marked over the last 70 years or so? 

I don't think so .... I admit we are not the powerhouse of ideas and technology we were 140 years ago, but we have hung on to our wealth and social progress remarkably well over this period, and in some regards such as social support we are still the benchmark. Whilst China is growing economically, its light years behind the West on levels of public corruption, health care provision, state respect for human rights and the law (including International law), private ownership or political freedoms .... but while the US is still in the vanguard for some of these ideals, its not for all. 

Europe (I am still referring to the EU here), has nothing to be too ashamed for. Its ideas such as universal suffrage, free speech and press, respect for the law and an independent judiciary, universal health care, universal schooling, etc are still the benchmarks for human progress, even if we don't always live up to them ourselves.

Update 17/12/2014:

The IMF have announced today that for the first time since 1872, when it overtook the UK, the US has been knocked off the top spot as worlds largest economy, at a worth of $17.6tn, slightly higher than the $17.4tn the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates for the US. It has used purchasing power parity (PPP) which enables you to compare how much you can buy for your money in different countries to calculate this. As money goes further in China than in the US, the figure for China is adjusted upwards.

However without the PPP adjustment, the IMF estimates that China's economy is worth far less - $10.3tn which is tiny compared to the US but the IMF predicts that by the end of this decade the Chinese economy will be worth $26.98tn - 20% bigger than the US at $22.3tn.

But while the US held the top spot for 142 years, China may not be able to match that record - as the long term financial forecasts from the IMF and others indicate that by 2100 India could overtake them both.

But finally, if you use per capita spending power - the value of all goods and services produced within a nation in a given year, divided by the average population for the same year - then, even adjusted for PPP, China ($11,868) is still lagging a long way behind not only the United States ($53,001) but also the likes of Turkmenistan ($12,863) and Suriname ($16,080).

So that's as clear as mud then ......

Western Cultural Imperialism

Sometimes the arrogance of Westerners is astounding.

Recently a 69 year old homosexual man from the UK went to a country, where homosexual acts are legally forbidden. He knew this to be the case, and the Foreign Office guidelines state that 'homosexuality is a crime in Morocco', but apparently he wanted to 'holiday' with a Moroccan man in his twenties, 'Jamal Jam Wald Nass', a 'friend' who he had met on Facebook, and who he had visited in Morocco once before .... he also allegedly had a phone, with images relating to homosexual sex acts with him when he went there.

The two men were arrested at a bus station (under what exact circumstances they attracted the police attention are not made clear, although an old Westerner and young Moroccan are likely to stand out), and the UK man spent 20 days in jail in Marrakech, housed in a part of the prison that was reserved for older prisoners. However instead of admitting that it was a stupid and crass thing of him to do, risking the safety of the young man, as well as his own freedom, he instead complained that the attitudes to homosexuality in Morocco "are about 100 years out of date". i.e. that Islamic countries should change their laws to accommodate his sexuality, as he wasn't a "sex tourist" i.e. picking up young Moroccan boys .... although how exactly he describes a 69 yr old homosexual man visiting a 20 year old Moroccan friend, who he met on Facebook, is not entirely clear.

His local Conservative MP also added his two-pennyworth by saying telling the 'Pink News' that "I have been doing all I can to help free Mr Cole from these appalling charges. I urge people not to visit Morocco. If you go there you are at serious risk of facing trumped up charges for medieval crimes. The message is clear: Morocco is not safe for British tourists."

Apparently the 20 yr old is still in prison in Morocco, and no doubt facing the daily and nightly pleasures of a Moroccan prison, where rape is common, and all because a 69 yr old Western homosexual was too arrogant to take advice on where to take his new friend on holidays.

I don't care if someone is homosexual or not ... but they seem, like many others from the West, to assume that the fact that we rather stupidly change our laws, or turn a blind eye, to accommodate the backward 7th Century attitudes held by some immigrants to our lands, means that they should do the same to to accommodate our tourists 'modern' attitudes.

The message is clear enough to me, if not to the Pink News, a Tory MP and the elderly tourist ... don't expect foreign countries to change their laws to accommodate Western values, and we shouldn't be changing our laws to accommodate their 'medieval' values when they come here.

Imperialism - Not Just Empires

They don't, and they won't ... and nor should we expect them to .... 'Imperialism' comes in many guises, including 'cultural', and sexual.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Where Killer Tortoises Are King

African Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, Crocodiles and Hippos. .... there are plenty of large animals to worry about in Africa, and thats not counting poisonous snakes and insects etc. However try as I might, I can't bring myself to think of 'Killer Tortoises', but apparently at least one policeman in the Nebbi district of Uganda thinks they are on that long list of things to watch out for.

According to reports, a police officer named Charles Onegiu has reportedly shot a tortoise dead after being attacked by the "aggressive" creature. This attack wasn't at night in the bush but in his own house as he drank a cup of tea.  The tortoise must have rushed him, or took him by surprise, very, very, slowly, so he had time to draw his weapon, clean it, reassemble it, load it and shoot the killer dead ... just joking.

Actually, in his own words, "I tried to scare it but the tortoise became very aggressive. I took a stick to chase it but it instead became more violent". After attempting to fend off the tortoise with a plastic chair, he said he "instinctively" drew his firearm and shot it dead. A local Christian group later prayed for Onegiu, "before burning the dead reptile to ashes."

Maybe The Police Officer Thought The Tortoise Was Like This

The Nebbi district police commander said that his officer's extreme reaction to the attack may have been down to local superstitions "where people think 'somebody is after me'" .... but even so, a tortoise?

You have to wonder in the 21st century, with TV, the Internet, Newspapers, and education generally available to most, how a police officer can shoot a tortoise to death, as a dangerous animal. But then again after what we have seen in Brazil and other places, we have to assume that ignorance and superstition is the normal lot for most of the human race ....

Armed And Doddery

Sometimes our ambitions outstrip our abilities .... take for example Mr Russell Cooper, armed robber. He held up a bank in Boynton Beach, Florida. 

Russell Cooper Aged 77 - Armed And Doddery

Firstly, his robbery method lacked a bit of thinking through ..... he pulled a pocket knife, which he then waived at the cashier after first threatening the assistant branch manager. This was because apparently the bank had told him that his account had been closed because of a consistent lack of funds in the account. Cooper then pulled his pocket knife, and the manager fearing he would be stabbed told the cashier to give Cooper $130.

Then there was his age .... at 77 he was not the man he had once been.

Then there was the fact that he had no mask and the whole episode was filmed.

And finally there was his escape method .... he hadn't brought a car or hot rod ......  no he had his Zimmer Frame, and had to go to the toilet before leaving .....

Of course, it wasn't quite as funny as it looks. According to police, Mr Cooper had told the manager that he was going to be his hostage, or he would "slit his throat". So it was probably good that he didn't get far after his robbery, but give him some credit for bravery, or probably in his case stupidity, because when the police turned up and attempted to arrest him while he was still in the bank, he resisted, the 'hostage' got away, and Mr Cooper threatened a police officer, and had to be tazered.

Given his age and condition, it seems likely that he's not likely to need a bank account again, as he faces a lengthy prison sentence for armed robbery.  

Political or Religious Differences

What a strange and deeply disturbing justice system Britain has developed ...

Pakistani men can form gangs, rape, drug beat up and threaten thousands of white girls in just one town ~ with grave suspicions that this is just the tip of the iceberg, if other convictions for similar crimes are a hint of what's been happening. Media stories suggest around 200 Muslim child rapists are due to be arrested in Manchester alone, but they get sentences as low as 4 years for crimes, for which a white or black male would get life for, partly because the Crown Prosecution Service refuse to charge them with racial and religiously motivated crimes, despite the overwhelming evidence that this was a huge factor.

Rapist Animals - But not racists according to crown prosecution service.

For instance in the only people prosecuted for child rape in Rotherham, Zafran Ramzan, 21, was jailed for just nine years after being found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl in her own home and two counts of sexual activity with a child. The other four men were convicted of sexual activity with a child. Razwan Razaq, 30, was jailed for a total of 11 years. Umar Razaq, 24, for four and a half years. Both Adil Hussain, 20, and Mohsin Khan, 21, were sentenced to just four years in prison.

However matters are different in the main community. For instance, Neil Masterson, an apparently Catholic man (as he describes himself on his Facebook page), attacked the MP George Galloway, whose religious affiliations are not entirely clear. But who was brought up in a Catholic area of Dundee (which is known as 'Tipperary'), and is from an Irish background, which suggests that he was at least nominally of that faith. NB: Mr Galloway has denied that he ever converted to Islam (despite other claims that he did so... this tactic of neither denying or confirming if he is Muslim seems calculated to have some impact, but I couldn't speculate on whom).    

Political or Religious Differences?

The assault left Mr Galloway with a possible broken jaw, and broken ribs and bruises to his head .... and perhaps unsurprisingly this didn't garner much sympathy in the press, but was apparently because Mr Masterson disliked Mr Galloway's anti-Israeli stance, and his opinions on the holocaust ... referring to Galloway as "a Hitler." However what made me pause, and showed how twisted our justice system is, was that the 'common assault charge' was also accompanied by one of 'religiously aggravated assault'.

So a white male assaults another white male, and both are possibly of the same religious background, and with no reports stating that the attacker made any reference to Galloway's religion, the attacker is  charged with 'religiously aggravated assault'.

So in summary. Organised racially and religiously targeted child rape gangs do not warrant any 'religiously or racially aggravated' charges, while an assault between an aggressor and victim from the same race and religious background, and apparently prompted by differences of political opinions attracts a 'religiously aggravated assault' charge??  

This reminds me of when Sacha Baron Cohen put a woolly hat on and called himself Ali G and middle-class white males treated him as being 'black', despite the fact that he was not blacked up in anyway .... here Galloway talks up Islam without ever saying that he is a Muslim, and somehow the CPS decide that an attack on him by another man who is not a Muslim, and who makes no reference to Galloway's religion, is somehow a religiously aggravated assault.

If ever there was a sign of how Political Correctness actually blinds its adherents, this must be it .... so by CPS logic, if Galloway had been attacked by a Muslim, I assume that this would not have been a religiously aggravated assault, even though Galloway may not be a Muslim.

Like I said ... the worlds turned upside down ....

Correction 09/11/14:

Mr Masterson is now being described as 'Jewish' in the press:

A Jewish man who is a full-time carer for a middle aged woman denied repeatedly punching George Galloway in the face because he "was an enemy to Judaism."

Neil Masterson who was "employed at manager level at the BBC between 2004 and 2007" is alleged to have shouted about the holocaust. Mr Galloway was interviewed by police under caution in August after he said Bradford had been "declared an Israel-free zone."

Masterson told the police: "I didn't want him to think I'm scared, Galloway is Anti-semitic and I am Jewish."

This confusion as to his faith and motives is still being displayed (he apparently converted to Judaism ~ an event which isn't always recognised in some instances), which may reflect the state of mind of Mr Masterson. Strangely, now that he is in fact described as being of another faith (Mr Galloway may be coy about his religious affiliations, but we can be sure that he is not 'Jewish'), the charges of  religiously aggravated assault against him was dropped.

So apparently, when it was being reported that Mr Masterson was Catholic, he faced charges of  religiously aggravated assault against another man of the same faith, but when Jewish, he doesn't face that charge ... which supports the thesis of the post.

Oh and by the way, Masterson has now pleaded guilty to causing the Respect MP actual bodily harm .... which also backs my theory that 'Converts are the most dangerous of people' 

Odd Man Out

Odd how attempts to address historical wrongs can result in the opposite occurring .... Eric Holder was the first black Attorney General in US history. He was put in place by the first black President in US history. Hand in hand they were going to right the lingering wrongs of US racial history, and lead the US into Martin Luther King's 'dreamland', where black and white could be brothers, and the colour of the mans skin had no bearing on a mans progress in life.

Obama And Holder Had An Agenda - Some Whites Believed It Was Not Racially Even Handed.
Very laudable, but of course full of pitfalls .... not least that reverse racism is as bad as the original sin.

However, their intentions weren't matched by their performances ... the presidency of President Obama has in many respects failed ~ certainly he didn't manage to extricate the US cleanly from the Middle East, and it could be easily argued has actually left the area in the control of savages. Similarly Mr Holder has turned out in many peoples eyes, to be nothing more or less than a bigot himself. Fighting 'the man', from the 1960's civil rights movement, when in fact 'the man' was long gone. Even worse he and the President are in fact now 'the man' themselves. Oddly neither of them noted that the issue of their skin colour had not stopped them both rising to the very top, and that it relied on whites to help them .... that in fact the battles of the 1960's were long over in many respects ~ their own rise showed this.

Mr Holder has now announced that he intends to stand down from office, and despite some liberal cries that he never stood a chance, there are many more voices claiming out that he had done great damage to the constitution and the office he had held.

  • Indicted for contempt of Congress for refusing to produce documents, and the first Attorney General to ever have that happen.
  • Picking certain minority causes such as in the town of Ferguson (where a black man with a criminal record was shot and killed while unarmed by white police), but ignoring similar incidents where it hadn't got the same minority issues i.e. a white man was similarly shot by a black police officer in Salt Lake City but Mr Holder expressed no interest. He also failed to remark on the fact that black gangs rioted and looted in Ferguson, whereas white protests were peaceful in Salt Lake City.
  • A perceived failure to enforce Immigration, Welfare and Healthcare laws.
  • That in 2009, he said the US was "a nation of cowards" on racial issues (Americans hate being called cowards, so that was never going to go down well).
  •  His challenging of voter identification laws as being 'racist' when you need ID in the US to get on planes, buy beers, or even into courtrooms, seemed incongruous at the very least especially when he also failed to prosecute voter fraud and intimidation, in areas such as Ohio and Philadelphia, where the the New Black Panther's had already been found to have a case to answer.    

For the liberals, Mr Holder actions aren't faults, they are his major achievement, as they believe that he has seriously addressed 'institutionalised racism' (yes that same PC garbage, which excuses black failures as 'white racism'), in US society, and within the justice system specifically. 

But in general he is not being much mourned outside a band of Democratic Party loyalists ~ the few that are going to go down with the ship when this Presidency ends .... Whether we will see another black President for a while is a moot point, but in theory another black Attorney General would not have been any issue in the future, but for Eric Holder's ability to wind up so many in Congress, The Senate and so many ordinary citizens alike.

The Black Camelot expected by many under President Obama, has just not materialised ... the hopes invested by many on the left, have not really been realised and there are many (especially outside the US, in those hotspots the US was 'policing' when he took office), who may rue the name of President Obama for decades, while almost as many inside the US will rue the name Eric Holder for the perceived damage to the position he has done.

A man whose whose name its fair to say is not well known outside of the US, but whose impact may trickle down into a fractured society for some years to come.


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