Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Nationalism Continues It's Surge

After the First World War the simmering European nationalist movements, some of whom were part of the causes of that catastrophic conflict, finally began to break up the mammoth continental empires. The shock of the Second World War and the interests of both sides during the Cold War ensured nationalism was made subservient to the interests of the superpowers. But after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the joining of the two Germany's, nationalism has begun to spread once more throughout Europe and touching places it had long been dormant. Belgium has been in the grip of one such surge of nationalism and the subsequent bitterness for many months. Just read this article for a profile on the Flanders region to see what I mean.

The same bitter recriminations reverberate around our great country right now as the English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and every other "nation" who calls our islands home begin a slow descent towards separation.

In some of their eagerness to spread their negative politics some of nationalism's favourite politicians are starting to make some decisions which go against the best interests of those they claim to represent.

Alex Salmond has, for the last two years, been building ties to some rather dodgy Islamic groups and starting the introduction of state funded religious schools up there in Britain's northern reaches. Read this rather excellent blog post for more. Needless to say this is a bad idea both for Muslims in general, who should not be expected to simply support the organisations Alex Salmond deems to represent them, and for the need to try to avoid creating ever more sectarian divides by labeling everyone by the religion of their parents.

When will people wake up that nationalism is the politics of the past, a symptom of the dark side of the human mind which likes to judge people not for their own individual qualities but simply for the place of their birth or even who they were born to.

This country needs a unifying leader, someone who can offer hope and show the benefits of our Union. We need some one with vision, who can bring about real advancements in our society rather than just keeping the status quo ticking over.

Fingers crossed we last until such a leader appears.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Tory Warning On Multiculturalism

"Blah blah blah hidden racist wording blah blah blah Christianity is GREAT blah blah blah"

At least that's what I read.

The problem in this country is not multiculturalism. It's not Muslim extremists. What, 50 people killed in the last ten years by Muslim extremists in this country? Big deal when compared to the amount of people killed by yobs, racists and the stupid.

The problem in this country is petty crime, it's about people being selfish and not caring about others around them. It's about the lack of community caused by the selfish middle class values brought in by Margaret Thatcher and the like. It's about greed.

Let's stop pretending multiculturalism is the problem and start saying that it's BAD PEOPLE who are the problem.

The Tories never seem to do what I'd love them to do; stop picking up on IDEAS they don't like and start picking up on the problem people in this society that are causing the problems be they Muslim or Christian or atheist or Pastafarians. They care all about the abstract, about "marriage being the bedrock of society" and about "values". But they never seem to realise it's not abstract ideas or social engineering that will change this country. It's the punishment, removal and rehabilitation of the scum who are making life a misery. The petty lawbreakers, the people who think that getting away with a speeding ticket is something to be proud of. These people are the antithesis of Britishness and need to be stopped. Their attitude feeds down into a general fuck you attitude towards good manners and respect for Government.

We need to stop putting up with the idiots in this country.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Man Attempts To Cross English Channel With Super Cool Jetpack!

Looking somewhat like Buzz Lightyear, Yves Rossy is going to attempt to cross the English Channel using a jet pack.

How cool is that, check out the video... brilliant!

People have swam across the channel, flown across it using only human power and even "driven" across it in an amphibious vechile (Richard Branson was faster but the Top Gear team were coolest... see video here) But none have been quite as cool as this guy. Check out other Channel crossings here

EDIT: I watched this live, it was absolutely fantastic, video and more news can be found here on the BBC

Yuhangyuan In First Spacewalk

China's third manned space flight has blasted off with three crewmembers. 42-year-old fighter pilot Zhai Zhigang is to make Chinese history and perform the country's first spacewalk.

With interest in space waning in the USA and Russia, perhaps China is our best hope for bringing space exploration back to the forefront of popular science.

I used own books from the sixties with pictures of the moon bases we were going to have by 2000. I have been greatly disappointed. Hopefully China will correct this terrible loss of momentum and bring space travel into the 21st Century.

See, I can be positive about China when I want to be... ;)

The Krypton Factor Returns!!

Yes, Dear Constant Reader, you heard me correctly! ITV are bringing back the best game show in the history of game shows; the Krypton Factor.

Are we to be happy about this development? YES!!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Greenwich Park Olympic Controversy

My readers not in the south east London area may not have heard of the ongoing controversy over use of Greenwich Park for equestrian events at the 2012 Olympics so I though I'd link to an article about it. Please note linking to this article does not mean I no longer find Andrew Gilligan or the Evening Standard offensive. I do. I really do.

Link through the Greenwich Phantom, who is nowadays considered around these parts just as sacred and much loved as the park itself. The funny thing with that blog is that even people who don't have computers who I meet down the pub seem to have an opinion on it!

Ron Paul Endorses Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin

This decision by Ron Paul makes a mockery of his claims to be a libertarian, small Government candidate.

He pretends to want to keep the Government's noses out of people's business but really with Ron Paul it's financial liberty only. The Constitution Party is a states rights party, and a very conservative one at that. That's not supporting true freedom, it's just an irrational hatred of the federal Government as opposed to sensible support of small Government across the board be it local, state or federal.

Ron Paul's dislike of personal freedom will fit well with his new Constitution Party buddies.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A Silver Lining

I can trace the beginnings of my strong dislike for the Blair Government back to the date that Ruth Kelly was appointed Secretary of State for Education and Skills. I@ve never liked her, and was gobsmacked when this devout Catholic was then put in charge of Equality!!

Thank God she has made the decision to step down. Perhaps now Gordon Brown might ensure a few less fundies in his Cabinet at the next reshuffle.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

EU Cuts Roaming Mobile Charges

Well basically they have, they've decided made a decision to cut charges for those traveling across borders and using their mobiles but this still has a few more legal hoops to go through. It's not something I'm too comfortable with but cross-border mobile competition is not strong so it's doubtful the market would have corrected this issue on it's own without a little push.

But my reason for bringing this up is because whilst watching Working Lunch (not something I make a habit of, but it's party conference season and I'm waiting for Gordon Brown's speech) and they had a guy from the GSM Association (a mobile phone lobbying group) on who basically said that one of the reasons behind this was simply that the EU parliamentarians were often traveling across borders so they had an interest in lowering costs for mobile calls and this is why they put it through!!!

You know they haven't really got a good argument, or even a leg to stand on, when they start bringing out arguments like that.

Now I've just heard Alastair Campbell will be on the BBC conference coverage in a minute so I need to go grab a bucket, so I'll leave it there.

Don't Have Sex On A Railway!!

I know, that's the shocking new advice I'm giving out to all after the recent tragedy in South Africa, where two people were hit by a train after having sex on the railway AND being warned to move. Who would of thought it'd be dangerous to copulate there? These two were obviously highly intelligent and in no way would they be in the running for a Darwin Award.

Next week they will be telling us that having sex whilst driving is dangerous...

Monday, 22 September 2008

The End Result

I am endlessly fascinated (I think that's my phrase of the month) by the politics (and history) of the United States of America. The BBC has a great article on what would happen in a hung election. We all remember the 2000 election debacle, I pray, whichever way the election falls we get a more clear cut result this time.

On a similar note the Obama-Biden ticket is now the one I'm rooting for. I was sort of okay with McCain but Sarah Palin seems to be an unreformed cavewoman harking back to the Reagan Republicans and now, despite my own misgivings with Obama, I've got my fingers crossed for a Democratic victory.

Obama is not a new type of politician. He engaged in the usual political machinations. There's nothing exactly wrong with that but I think he's being built up to be something greater than he is. I found this BBC Documentary very enlightening and fair, showing that he's certainly ruffled some feathers in his time. Again I'm not saying that's a bad thing, some of his Democratic critics sound like they are just a little bit bitter and jealous of his success and are thus more than happy to throw some dirt at him.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Does Boris Know About The Isle Of Sheppey??

London Mayor Boris Johnson suggests putting an airport on an artificial island just off the Isle of Sheppey to take some of the traffic from Heathrow.

I hope he plans to build connections to it that don't cross the Isle of Sheppey as that is not a place you want visitors to our country to ever see. There are people on that island who have never left it!!! NEVER. *shudder*

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Political Views All In The Mind - BBC

So says a new study which suggests those more sensitive to fear are more likely to be right wing and vice versa.

What about us moderates and libertarians, that's what I want to know! But I like the idea that secretly Hitler was a big old scaredy cat :D

Grumpy Of Greenwich

In case you hadn't noticed, Dear Constant Reader, I am currently between jobs. Some might say I'm an unemployed bum but hey I don't claim unemployment benefits so you can't really complain! :p

So what, I hear you cry, have I been doing with my time? Oh... well beyond starting up a whole new blog, I've also been feverishly answering questions over at Yahoo Answers under my new guise of "Moonlight" (from my new blog).

And why should I bring this up here on my commentary blog? Because the level of stupidity is rather high over there at Yahoo Answers and I may have to stop reading some of the questions and answers to avoid my head exploding.

Just check out a recent question I answered. I hate it when people talk about Her Majesty but don't seem to have a clue about 1) how much she actually costs compared to the possible costs of a President, 2) what she actually does and 3) what benefits she brings.

Don't get me wrong, I know the republican movement in this country is a little more intelligent than that and I don't have a problem with intelligent criticism of the Queen.

I just wish these stupid people would stop moaning about our country and our Queen. First they moan about how Muslim's are the ones who need to be more patriotic (when really I think the "English" need a lesson or two in being British) and then they don't even know who Gordon Brown is

Britain is great, it's just a shame about the people who live here...

Friday, 19 September 2008

I Just Got Told Off For Laughing Too Much

It's not my fault! spEak You're bRanes latest post is just too funny for words.

Mainstream Media Falling Behind New Media Again!

The BBC today can reveal the full details about how Sarah Palin's Yahoo email was hacked. That's a whole two days after Evolved and Rational put up the full version of events as stated on /b/. Surely any reporter working on an Anonymous hack would have checked out /b/ straight away??? Jesus, these guys are seriously losing it.

I was shocked that Evolved and Rational came out with this story before the BBC even mentioned the hack. I was doubly surprised when the first BBC stories did finally come out they had no mention of what actually happened straight away... that information was freely available and they kept stum. I hope this was an editorial decision to check sources rather than a complete oversight. But having read Flat Earth News I suspect that it is totally an oversight.

The BBC may have embraced the net, but I feel it's not quite embraced it firmly enough.

Thursday, 18 September 2008


I've been totally geeking out in researching some articles for one of my other blogs and find myself getting excited at the mere mention of London Transport. I apologise, Dear Constant Reader, I shall attempt to get over this extremely geeky move.

In the meantime:

London Reconnections - A must for all Londoners who use public transport, you'll hear all the latest proposals first here.

London Underground History - Ever wondered what happened to all those disused stations? Wonder no longer!

Every has read Going Underground (if you haven't shame on you! It's brilliant!)... but have you read the Going Underground blog?

Always Touch Out - All your geeky new London transport projects can be found here.

OK guys, I'm taking off my anorak as we speak... I promise to attend some form of rehab and return only when I am fully recovered. ;)

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

"England" Most Densely Populated "Country" In Europe

See here

Well firstly we live on an island so it's hardly surprising!!

Secondly England is not a country. It is, at best, a nation. A country must have complete sovereignty over it's territory. England's territory is under the power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and thus England is not a sovereign state, or country (and may I just say... thank the Lord, imagine the stupid things we'd get up to without the other nations keeping us in line).

If we are to have these silly little lists of "Most Populated Countries" can we ensure all participants are countries or we may as well call it "Most Populated Regions" in which case I bet England will not take the top spot as to be honest we have several distinct English regions. I'm pretty sure there will be some obscure part of Europe teeming with people knocking us off the top as well even if we went all in as one big nation.

Tomorrow's top news story "Banana is strangest shaped apple in world".

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Crazy For Jesus?

I love the bit where he dismisses, sarcastically, the proposal that the LHC will create a blackhole then goes on to suggest it'll actually open up a Stargate for Satan.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Bi Montlhy Silly 999 Calls Story

I do so love the regular stories on stupid calls made to the 999 emergency number. Personally I think the operators should take down the names and addresses and then when these stories get publish, publish those details too so we can all have a good laugh mocking the stupidity of these idiots.

Let us see a few examples.

First up... an "amusing" lady informs the 999 operator that there's a squirrel WITHOUT A HAZELNUT TREE!!!

Then a hungry man in the West Country:

The truth is out there (click the link to hear it)

The Control Room conversation, which took place in May, was recorded - and below is a transcript:

Control Room: "South Wales Police, what's your emergency?"

Caller: "It's not really. I just need to inform you that across the mountain there's a bright stationary object."

Control room: "Right."

Caller: "If you've got a couple of minutes perhaps you could find out what it is? It's been there at least half an hour and it's still there."

Control: "It's been there for half an hour. Right. Is it actually on the mountain or in the sky?"

Caller: "It's in the air."

Control: "I will send someone up there now to check it out."

Caller: "OK."

The mystery was soon solved, as the exchange between control and an officer at the scene, makes clear.

Control: "Alpha Zulu 20, this object in the sky, did anyone have a look at it?"

Officer: "Yes, it's the moon. Over."

Thank stupid people of Britain, you remind me that I am not the dumbest person around.

Battle Of Britain Day

The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day…

Today is the official day marking the Battle of Britain.

You can listen to or read Winston Churchill's speech "The Few" here, it's a tribute to the bravery of those who held back the Nazi war machine. Today is the day to remember all those who fought for the survival of our country, our Empire and the free people of Europe. The Brits, the Canadians, the Australians, the Kiwis, the Africans, the Czechslovaks, the Poles and all the rest.

Whether or not the Germans would ever have succeeded with Operation Sealion (our Navy would have probably pulverised their transports even if they had air superiority), the bravery, and sacrifice, of the pilots and their support crews over that summer of 1940 meant our relatives never had to face the grim prospect of Nazi troops landing en masse on the shores of the south and allowed us to fight another day.

My Nan was only very young at the time but my Great Aunt remembers the battle quite clearly. Being in Kent she was on the front line watching the Spitfires soar overhead ready to face the Luftwaffe. We were sitting in my parents garden together in June and a Spitfire flew low overhead, she very visibly reacted at that and for a second she seemed transported to another time and place. Her only comment was a quick "Oh, now that brings back memories."

Thankfully the bombs and the dogfights were the only bad memories she had, thanks to those who fought and died so that we can still be free.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Ann Widdecombe Meet The Tory Party!

So Tories have been handed a pack containing vouchers for a lap dancing club (the Rocket Club in Birmingham) near their conference venue. To be honest this sounds like a very Tory thing: supporting a local business, with beautiful women. Sex and business are Tory MPs main concerns last I checked (I mean we all remember Baroness Young, she was always thinking about sex although that was more man on man action than "up to 50 of the most beautiful girls from around the world").

But nobody told Ann Widdecombe this:

Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, a former shadow home secretary, told the Sunday Express: "I can hardly believe this is true.

"I know the Conservative Party is supposed to be modernising but do we have to throw every value out of the window?

"Can you imagine what our old ladies are going to make of it if they turn up there by mistake?"

Two things:

1) Male Members of Parliament, especially Tory, are world reknowned for their love of gorgeous women. This is not modernising. It's keeping the status quo. Modernising would be not having these leaflets in there!
2) I love the idea of "innocent" old Conservative women turning up at a lap dancing club and encourage the distribution of such leaflets to them under the proviso cameras are set up there to capture their reactions for the world to see.

Honestly Ann, what party did you think you had been in all these years?? Your own backbenchers shouted "melons" when female MPs got up to speak!!

Labour's Barbara Follett - one of the 1997 intake and one of "Blair's Babes" - says it is not just verbal abuse the female MPs have had to deal with.

"Sometimes when women got up to speak, some of the men - not thankfully on our side of the House - would put their hands on their chests, wiggle them around and go 'melons'. It was like a school boy type of humour," she said.

Sharia Courts In Britain Operating Under The Arbitration Act 1996

There are many things I consider important in life. The ability to live and let live is one. If it doesn't negatively affect anyone else you should be free to live your life as you see fit. I also believe in the rule of law and that enforcement of the law should be done on equal and fair basis.

As a libertarian I believe it is also right that should you wish to resolve a civil dispute you should be able to do so through means other than a court of law. However I do not then believe you should be able to enforce any subsequent agreements through the court of law which you didn't go to originally.

And finally I believe you are free to believe in whatever you wish, but that the Government should be free of religious influence and the rule of law should be secular and if not blind to religion then at least neutral. Of course we are a long way off from that in this country (established religion et al) but we should not move further away from that principle.

The Arbitration Act has allowed Sharia courts to be set up in this country
working as an alternative to the civil courts. I'm ok with that. What I am not happy with is that rulings made at those courts can be enforced by the civil courts! The courts work in the name of the people and should not be used to enforce religious rulings. I understand that other such courts (such as a Jewish version) operate here. I am completely opposed to all such courts, and I'm not picking on Islam.

We must operate under a one law for all system if the rule of law is to have any meaning whatsoever, otherwise what is to stop me from picking and choosing which court system I choose based on what I think would get me the best outcome? And what is to stop others from applying pressure on the vulnerable party in a dispute to force them to choose the system which will most benefit the opposing side???

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Noel Edmonds Boycotts The TV Licence

Noel Edmonds, known for his presenting roles on Deal or No Deal and Are You Smarter Than A Ten Year Old?, is boycotting the TV licence. But it's not for the reason you might think.

In the UK television owners must pay a yearly fee which goes towards funding the BBC. The BBC offers us the chance to enjoy high quality radio, television and news without advertising and without commercial influence. Stephen Fry has a wonderful speech which says what I'd want to say on why the BBC, and thus the licence fee, is important but says it with more style, wit and intelligence than I ever could.

However many in this country sadly don't agree with such an enforced fee and often refuse to pay. This has lead to some rather dark and menacing adverts from the BBC threatening non payees.

Mr Edmonds has taken offense not with the fee itself, which he thinks is actually brilliant value, but with the tactics employed to enforce payments and the lack of positive encouragement such as highlighting the benefits of maintaining the BBC.

I do agree with him. It's time organisations in this country stopped stooping to the same level as the nasty people who exist all around us and instead inspired people to do the right thing. However the licensing authority has begun a consultation on collection and hopefully people will make it clear they expect a more positive approach in the future.

I suspect Noel Edmonds made this announcement only to get more publicity for his new television show, and refusing to pay the licence is hardly a positive move. Perhaps he might instead do what he preaches and rather than run a negative campaign against the licence fee collectors, he should run a positive campaign encouraging engagement with the consultation. Just a thought.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Foxes: Friend or Foe?

I'd like to comment on a post over at the London Word titled Seeing Red on London's Foxes.

I don't know about you but around where I live there are lots of foxes. Most times Jim and I return from a late session down the local a fox will run across our path and it's not unusual to hear a vixen screaming at odd hours of the morning. My downstairs neighbours often see them in the middle of night prowling through our garden and when the new rubbish collection system was introduced we worried that having foods in one bin would only cause the foxes to become overly enthusiastic about pushing the bins over (a worry we needn't have had!). So needless to say they make up a small part of our life here in the city.

Now Jo Lamiri brings up a good question: are we, as city folk, prepared to put up with the slight inconveniences (ensuring rubbish is thrown away securely and doors and windows are closed where necessary) foxes impose upon us? Should "nature" and "human civilisation" be mutually exclusive?

She suggests a cull might be in order to bring down fox numbers in the city. Personally I think that would not only be a telling testament against our own humanity but we would lose some of the precious few joys of life here in the city.

I've lived out in the countryside and I can tell you foxes are extremely shy. The only times I got to see them was either from a train (they just love the human free and rabbit rich zones around those train tracks!) or a chance encounter in my youth whilst out fishing or poaching. So I can not tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to live so close to them here in London.

And it's not like foxes in the city are a new thing, it's just until recently the cities were so awfully disgusting that nature had decided to give us a wide berth. Now that things are becoming greener nature is increasingly returning and urban fox numbers are increasing.

The Greenwich Phantom has a lovely section on Greenwich Wildlife. What are pests and what are wonderful additions to our environment? Who decides? Should we make allowances for those creatures who add colour to our city and put up with the inconvenience? We're not talking about diseased rats here, I can see a practical reason to control their number. And we're not talking bears. We're talking about creatures who are not putting human life at risk and are at worst making some streets a little messy because somebody didn't secure their rubbish!

I would love more nature in the city. More places other creatures can live and thrive. The concrete, the tarmac, the endless pavements... wouldn't it be nice to have even more green oases to admire and enjoy? Sometimes in our eagerness to have a simple, convenient, sanitised life we can throw out the beautiful, the romantic and the interesting. Surely being human is the very antithesis of simplicity or convenience. After all this writing I think two quotes will sum up what I'm trying to say far more clearly than my poor writing skills could.

What humbugs we are, who pretend to live for Beauty, and never see the Dawn! ~Logan Pearsall Smith

Man's heart away from nature becomes hard. ~Standing Bear

Leave the foxes be, killing them just to have an easier life would be criminal.

Can You Explain This Palinism To Me?

So Sarah Palin has had her first VP candidate television interview... and one thing has left me slightly confused. Confused as to how any interviewer could let her get away with the following:

"Mrs Palin was also quizzed on previous comments she made describing the war in Iraq as being a "task from God".

She said she was quoting the words of Abraham Lincoln: "I would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words.

"But what Abraham Lincoln had said... was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side."

It seems obvious to me that saying something is a "task from God" is a lot different from hoping you're doing the right thing which I think is what President Lincoln was getting at. It also seems obvious to me that her staff realised this would be a problem and thought they'd find the most famous American war leader quoting something about God and war and hope that'd pass muster with the interviewer. Sadly they were correct.

America deserves better than Sarah Palin. I thought Hillary Clinton would have made an awesome President (I'm not really an Obama fan, he's too religious for my liking but way better than McCain) but I cannot for the life of me think why Clinton supporters would suddenly fall for Palin other than to think they are sexists who want a woman in office even if she is a fundamentalist, big Government Republican. I would have thought we'd be above voting for people based only on how they look and what sex they are. I hope that America proves me right.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Actress "Would Have Joined The IRA"

Rose McGowan managed to insult both the Irish Republican cause and the victims of the IRA in one interview. What a disgusting thing to say.

Give it ten years and you'll have her going "I would have joined Al Qaeda". Terrorism against civilians is always WRONG no matter the cause. Freedom should never be bought using the blood of the innocent. TO belittle those who have fought peacefully for a united Ireland and the victims of the IRA is indecent.

As a human being it made me sick to read that news story.

The Anniversary

Today is the 7th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. My experiences on the day are recorded here. I wouldn't mention it except I know there will be a lot of crazy conspiracy theories out there and I feel it's my duty to ensure there is a more rational perspective given on the matter.

I've written about my feelings on conspiracy theories here but I'll quote the important bits here:

I don’t think that conspiracy theorists make up the theories because they are liars or nuts (ok… some are nuts). I think they just labour under two particular major misunderstandings:

1) they are unable to accept the fact that small groups of people and individuals can have such a massive, malign influence on so many lives. People would find it easier to understand a grand conspiracy lead by George W. Bush to destroy the Twin Towers in order to start a new war, using all the technology and power at his disposal, than believe that 19 guys armed with small sharp objects and some luck on their side could cause such havoc. It’s sort of comforting isn’t it, to believe that there is some major Government involvement with a purpose, rather than think that your lives are so susceptible to other’s whims. It’s a very scary fact but one we, and the Government, needs to come to terms with.

2) They have too much faith in the power of their Governments. The image of a Government firmly in control, able to manipulate events with ease and secretly planning a New World Order is one used often in the media. But this ignores the fact that the Government is a group of human beings. Humans make many mistakes. There is no way, I repeat, NO WAY that secrets as large as a Government conspiracy on the scale something like September the 11th would require could be kept a secret for long. The amount of people required to perpetrate some of the theories espoused would be astronomical. And we are meant to believe these people are going to just keep quiet??? Never. Secrets only work in small groups and/or where the reasons behind the secret are inherently just.

To be honest I feel as if those who support the 9/11 Truth Movement and other conspiracies are scared of facing reality. A reality where the Government cannot protect us, no matter how hard it tries, and where we are left personally responsible for our own lives and the lives of those we are directly involved with. These conspiracy theories allow them a comfort blanket, and if the consequences of the theories wasn’t so horrid then I’d say “let them have it, whatever gets them through the day”.

Alas these theories are, I’m sure, a terrible thing for the families. Some might embrace the warmth and safety of them; but others will be only further harmed by the continued espousal of these ideas. Imagine having a family member who died in a terrorist attack and then being told “Oh no, those planes were empty/didn’t exist.” Or being Jewish and losing a friend and being told this was a Zionist plot to bring about war in the Middle East. No one should need to go through that after all they have suffered already.

I believe that questioning the truth of everything you are told is healthy (if done politely and intelligently) but disregarding facts in pursuit of your own selfish need for reassurance in the face of other’s personal tragedy is almost criminal.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Those Who Stare

I am constantly amazed at people who stare at others, for whatever reason. I'm 6'8" and I get people who stare at me or make comments about me, thinking maybe I might also be deaf. Well I assume they think that otherwise they are even more dumb than I already think they are. Or there are those who stare at blind people, at those with dwarfism, and at those with some form of disfigurement.

It's disgusting. Some claim it's human nature but it isn't. Take this story on the BBC at the moment. This lady has a facial disfigurement. I can only imagine how her life is made miserable by the unusually curious and the downright rude. So this is my little note to others:

There are millions of "unusual" people in this world. Those with disabilities, with little quirks and with something interesting about them. As such it's not so unusual. So really there is no excuse for staring. If, by the age of 20, you still find this sort of thing unusual you have lead a very sheltered life. Do not stare, get over your own malign curiousity and get on with your life.

P.S. My favourite thing to do when someone stares at me is to stare right back at them, perhaps at some part of their face and the game is to see how long it is before they stop staring and starting trying to find out what I'm staring at. Sure it's mean to play with the mentally challenged but it sure is funny to see them rubbing furiously at their cheek as if it's suddenly had something grow on it.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Oh I Do Love To See Charlatans Revealed!

This video made me smile so much! Lying for Jesus is surely worse than plain old lying?

Music Industry Needs To Change

I am well aware of the importance of copyright laws. Without them it would be very hard for anybody in the arts or entertainment to make some money and maintain personal control over their works. Nothing upsets me more than when I see one of my blog posts copied onto some spammers blog.

But really the music industry needs to start thinking about how it makes money. Pursuing a mother for a short video of her baby dancing to poor quality (sound not substance!) Prince music is not a sensible marketing strategy nor sound business sense.

Despite the success of iTunes the music industry still operates as if the internet never happened. Burying their head in the sand is not going to make the fact that it is now stupidly simple to share music illegally go away. Nor is it going to change the new social media websites that have sprung up allowing video and music to be used for all sorts of purposes.

The music industry has to adapt rather than fight. It needs to be intelligent about how it makes money and come up with new ideas. I know that the music industry is trying to make more money out of live events, which is a good step in the right direction. But they need to do more.

But alas I suspect they shall continue to persecute the innocent, the stupid and the lazy rather than get off their arses and evolve.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Man Sacked From Subway Because Of Porn Past

I don't know whether to be shocked at such a stupid action or to be amused at the situation.

Kurt Wild was working in Subway but has been fired because a customer complained that he'd seen the man in a gay porn movie.

So let me get this right. Someone who watches gay porn complained because they did not want to be served a sandwich by someone who has worked in gay porn in the past??? Is this not ironic to anyone else? Seems the franchise owner is upset at the prospect of losing a gay porn watching customer more than he is upset about unfairly firing someone who had previously worked in gay porn. What's worse? Taking money out of the industry or funding it? I suspect the franchise owner might just have been a bit of a homophobe and the customer a bit of a "man who has sex with men". If you know what I mean...

I so want to see an interview with the complainer, just to see what on Earth their problem was. Were they worried they might get a little extra with their sandwich??? Come on guys, it's the 21st Century. We should not be getting upset about people being naked and having sex. It's a pretty sad indictment of the current state of "freedom" in America. Trust me if he was worried about being served by a gay porn star he should stop being a consumer... because I bet a hell of a lot of staff in all sorts of industries have done far worse things with their significant others in their own bedroom. Think about that next time you're checking out at a store... or buying a sandwich at Subway.

P.S. I found this rather amusing complaint about Subway. This man thinks they cheat each customer out of 2 inchs of bread... I can imagine the CEO of Subway sitting on a throne above a pile of leftover bread laughing crazily. This is why I don't work in customer service any more... customers are so dumb.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Caroline Lucas First Leader Of Green Party

The Lib Dems need to look out, the Green Party has finally decided they need a leader and have selected the most competent candidate, Dr. Caroline Lucas, to lead them into the next General Election.

She has spoken of the need for the Green Party to show that they are more than just environmentalists and are the choice for progressive thinking people.

I've seen Lucas speak at public events and she is certainly an inspiring and interesting speaker. In fact so much so that at the last European election I voted for the Green Party (for whom she was top of the list of candidates) instead of the Lib Dems.

Although as a Unionist and a libertarian there is no way I'd vote for the Greens in a Westminster election it'll be interesting to see how well they perform this time around.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Scientology Tries To Silence Dissent

It should be the right of all free people to be able to peacefully protest in a public space. Homophobes protests at gay pride. Anti abortionists protest at abortion clinics. But when people try to protest publicly against the Church Con of Scientology, Scientologists go out of their way to try and make those peoples lives a misery.

Their current target is a man named Gregg who agreed to be the signee on the permits allowing the peaceful protest to go ahead in Boston. As Scientology have his details they have began making allegations against him and have him tied up in legal wrangling, as is their usual tactic to shut up those they don't like.

If anyone out there labours under the delusion that Scientology isn't all that bad pick up Piece of Blue Sky (UK) (Piece of Blue Sky (US))and you'll soon realise just how horrible an organisation it is.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Hotel Refuses Man "Because He's A Soldier"

Oh I can see that a receptionist and manager at the Metro Hotel in Woking are going to be getting an earful today. It seems whoever was manning the reception that evening when Corporal Tomos Stringer arrived to check in, refused him entry because he showed them his military ID as proof of identity. They said it was not the hotels policy to accept members of the military to stay. OUCH!

From a public relations point of view that policy has got to be one of the singularly most ill conceived in the history of hotels, up there with "This hotel doesn't have fire escapes". What were they thinking when they came up with that one?

Personally, back when I worked in a hotel as front of house manager, I dreamed of the days a soldier might arrive. And the Corporal wasn't even wearing a uniform, so I really don't know what they issue could be (even if I can't think what the issue might be if he was wearing a uniform).

Stupid, stupid idiots who shall be condemned by most people in this country for a long time to come.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Homosexuality does not work that way!

Peter Tatchell has attacked singer Katy Perry because he finds her latest song to be demeaning to gay people. I feel that whilst he's right to attack her, it's a free world and she can be as homophobic as she likes. Sadly I don't think she realises that she is being homophobic. I don't mind if you know, but when you're too stupid to realise, it's a bit much.

"We live in a very metrosexual world," she said.

"You know, a girl might walk into a bar, meet a boy, and discover he's more manicured than she is. And they can't figure it out. Is he wearing foundation and a bit of bronzer? But he's buying me drinks at the same time!

"I'm not saying you're so gay, you're so lame. I'm saying, you're so gay, but I don't understand it because you don't like boys!"

When will people understand... you cannot be homosexual without fancying the same sex. Being manicured or effete is not a sign of homosexuality. It is a sign of vanity and self obsession. It's quite a different thing. I know that's hard to conceive if your brain is very tiny, but all those prissy men you see walking around preening themselves are vain, some might be gay as well but that's beside the point.

I think it's most amusing that some people don't realise just how many gay men there are out there... because most gay men are not a stereotype and act just like most other men (i.e. completely unpredictably and doing all sorts of random things, almost as if they were real individuals... shocking). Some people will just never get over the fact that being gay does not make you fashion conscious nor vain. These two things may sometimes collide just in the same way you might get a gay man who is also obsessed with football. Or, as so often happens these days sadly, you get some gorgeous straight guy who is just boringly obsessed with how he looks. Which is not a sign of homosexuality see?

My opinion guys... the less well kept an appearance the better in bed. ;) Nothing better than a guy who looks gorgeous and doesn't even know it or care. Yum yum.

The English Olympic Games?

Did you see Thomas and Rita Glenister out on the streets protesting against the Olympics coming to London any time before the decision was made? Because I bet you didn't... I bet they didn't bother. Oh but now that London (for it is the city that applies not the nation!) has won the right to hold the Olympics in 2012 they are suddenly all shocked that it's going to have to be paid for by us Londoners!

Worse, they think that "England" should pay for it. Do they even know what country they live in? This is the United Kingdom. Idiots.

I hate people like this. They don't protest in advance but only complain after the tax has gone through.

Mrs Glenister, 74, said: "It isn't the money - we can pay - but I finally thought that it is time to stick my short little legs down and say 'up with this I will not put'.

"If everyone in England pays it then I will, but the fact that it is just Londoners paying it seems very unfair. I'm not going to run round the track, I'm not going to benefit from this 'legacy'.

"I'm not a killjoy - I think the Games are great - but I don't see why we should pay for it."

Erm... if you don't see why you should pay for it, how on Earth are you going to persuade anyone else to pay for it who benefits even less than you?? Grr...

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Misleading Headlines

I hate simplistic headlines. I know, they are there because they work. But this story, which does attempt to clarify itself, is titled "Commitment phobes can blame genes". Well it goes without saying that genes do not create behaviours, that might make it more likely you'll behave a certain way but behaviour is a learned part of our make up. It's more likely that these guys had commitment-phobic Dads and learnt from them hence the high correlation between the gene and the behaviour. Gene makes it more likely a man will be commitment-phobic and his commitment-phobic Dad helps ensure this is exactly what happens. Whereas a guy with this gene whose father was brought up properly and brings his son up to be a well rounded individual, might turn out to be one of those godawful, commitment obsessed guys.

Moan over.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Muslims Call Homosexuals Silly Names Shocker!

It's hardly news worthy stuff really is it? Channel 4 claim that preachers in Mosques are homophobes! Wow! Also people in gyms like to work out and people in McDonalds often eat burgers! Hold the front page!

It is time we stopped playing the "Islam is soooo awful" card. Islam is no worse than Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. All say stupid things, most call for the "execution" (read murder) of homosexuals. Either start showing shows about the evil of all skygod fantasy religions or shut up and leave them alone. Stop attempting to pander yet again to racists and morons who think that Christianity has some sort of moral highground over Islam.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting all religious folks are evil (or even that they are not nice). Sure I don't agree with their beliefs but that doesn't mean I don't find religion absolutely fascinating and love to talk to people about their beliefs. I used to work with a Latter Day Saint and my discussions with her about God, evolution and life were sometimes the only sane conversations I had all day.

So let's either accept others right to be hateful, stupid bastards (a right we all have) or start shutting down all places of worship; and let's not pretend that Islam has a uniquely prejudiced outlook. Just look at our friend Stephen Green, the most hateful man in all of Britain and he preaches about the love of Christ. The irony appears to be lost on him.

Land Of Protests

Thailand is suffering through another wave of protests just as it did in 2006 before the military coup that toppled Prime Minisiter Thaksin. Let's not pretend that these protests are anything more than a planned attempt to force a democratically elected Government, this time under Samak Sundaravej, to resign. And it's almost certainly those crafty military folks who are doing the planning.

As someone who loves Thailand, I'm sorry to see this chain of events unfold so predictably. Those Thais I've spoke to about it seem very much against the resignation of Samak; I admit that might just be the type of people I talk with! Hopefully someday soon Thais will be able to cast off the fear of military coup forever as we have managed to do in the West and live their lives without worry for their safety.

Just because the last military coup "wasn't that bad" does not mean another would be the same, and in fact given the failures of the last military coup to turn back the democratic support for Thaksin and his protege Samak, it is likely to mean if another coup were to occur it would a lot more... forceful.

Let's hope democracy, or at least the Thai version thereof!, wins through this time.