Archive for June 2006
Rarely do I read any sporting stories or sports-related news items, as I have long held a distaste for most organised sporting activities, and an even wider distaste for the clowns who inhabit the various sport arenas, so it came as a double shock to find myself reading a football- and footballer-related story, and both enjoying it and commending the paper for actually printing it! Let me be honest, I reckon that most people who profess to enjoy football, and hence also support a particular team, are suffering either from an unknown and un-diagnosed genetic malfunction, or are just plain crackers!
However, I digress from the purpose of this post: I read of this Ecuadorian footballer, Ulises de la Cruz, who plays for Arsenal and who is at present a mainstay of the Ecuadorian national team. Not for him the 'bling' of the glitzy night-life so adored of many of the British-bred gifted morons who inhabit our own National Team! No, his home is an ordinary semi- in Sutton Coldfield, Not for his wife the glamour of the night-life of Baden-Baden! Instead she spends her days looking after their daughter in the Ecuador team's modest hotel! But the real reason for my close attention to this particular story was the Ecuadorian footballer's activities in the vilagge where he grew up. This talented man has, by virtue of his Western-honed skills and earning-potential, installed running water and electricity supplies to the village of his birth, as well as endowing a hospital and a school for the inhabitants! Ulises was quoted as saying, "In Piquicho, everyone knows each other from birth, so I never forget what my origins are!Because I was good at football, I was given the opportuity to succeed, and that has brought me to England."
Now I ask you, can any one even imagine most of the extremely highly-paid pirates, with only one or two exceptions, who inhabit the stratosphere of the Premiership League emulating this humble and plain good man! If they are filmed attending a charitable function, good money would be bet on a substantial 'appearance' fee having been negotiated before they place a boot on to a blade of grass! Many things they may be, but Samaritans mostly they are not!
Only in America do they chain 50-cent pens to the counter, but leave their $50,000 cars out in the street.
The above is a joke copied from the Adam Smith Institute’s website, and while it isn’t really amusing to me, it struck a chord in my memory! I read a piece in a newspaper which was written about life in Suburban America, where the barbecues are lit, and smoke gently curls around the branches which surround many gardens. The article was written by a British writer, married to an American, who was telling the story of their move from an apartment in the city to a house complete with a two-car garage, large garden and pool!She tells of the last-minute arrangement to meet the departing previous owners as they set off for their own new property, and the list of items given the new owners about the best neighbourhood shops, services such as plumbers, electricians and garages, the addresses of all the churches in the neighbourhood, together with the names of their nearest neighbours.
The new owners, pleased to be given a head start on all the things which would take some finding out, waved farewell to the previous house-owners as their big station wagon rolled back down the drive and then started in on the unpacking and positioning of all their own possessions in the new house! It wasn’t until they were sitting back, exhausted at the end of a busy day that the writer’s husband suddenly realised that the one thing which hadn’t been handed over were the house keys! It was true, the new owners were resident in a house with three entrances, plus a double garage and a pool house, none of which could be secured against intruders or theft.
For the next three years, the entire family’s property, inclusive of two late-model cars, sat on this ordinary street without a single lock between the whole outfit. At times, the cars sat out without even being locked! The British writer did express some reservations about this total lack of security provisions, but soon she realised that the threat was virtually zero! Now many if not most British readers would allege that I am making this up, as no-one can imagine a similar situation existing in Britain, as the property would be ransacked, despoiled and vandalised within about five hours, never mind five days!
The big difference between the homes in Britain and that described in America, is simple, and once I reveal the difference between the two areas all will be clear; the home in America also is furnished with weaponry. There were two handguns, a rifle, a shotgun and a semi-automatic rifle, all complete with ammunition! There is virtually no crime in the dormitory suburbs of America, because the thieves, drug addicts and all the low life scum who depend on crime for the money for their next fix or meal wouldn’t dream of attempting to disturb the serenity of urban America, because they know that the use of ‘deadly force’ is both accepted and encouraged by all, with local law enforcement giving classes on the safe use and handling of weapons, and the very Constitution giving the citizens ‘the right to bear arms’!
When the twin gun disasters of Dunblane and Hungerford hit the United Kingdom, emergency legislation was rushed through Parliament so that all legally-held firearms had to be handed in at Police stations, and many antique firearm collections had to be either broken up or mauled in an attempt to render them useless: and what do we see in the headlines in return; why we read of killings almost every week using gun crime, murder, robbery and drug running gun use. Why, because the criminals know that the law enforcement agencies have been virtually emasculated by politically-correct legislation which gives the criminal the benefit of the doubt every time, and gives further force to the well-known slogan "When owning a gun becomes a criminal offense, only criminals will own guns."
Just browsing through the old files, blogs, newspapers and items lodged in my sub-conscious, and suddenly realised that what we have in this country of mine is nothing short of the Middle-East mind-process in action. I would like to describe two different families, two very different sets of circumstances, and two very different endings!
Two brothers, born in India, succeed in making, at roughly the same time, a very great deal of money and a whole slew of political and commercial enemies. They face, if arrested in their homeland, a long spell in prison before they are even charged, because of the huge backlog in the Indian judicial and legal systems, which of course would suit their commercial and political rivals. They search for a "Fairy" godmother, and succeed in finding one who fits the descriptions perfectly, in that he’s both bent as a fishhook and very well placed politically within the incorruptible Labour Government! So, without any further ado, or investigation, or proof that this benighted country of ours would actually benefit, they are both handed the magic passports which ensure their "Get out of jail free" cards with respect to their little legal difficulties in India. I would just repeat that there was absolutely no urgent reason why these passports should have been dispensed, other than that of very highly-placed influence! The politician is very briefly reprimanded after his actions are illuminated, spends a six month period in the political equivalent of the ‘doghouse’ and then commences rising rapidly up the ladder of success to where he is now; yes, it’s the slippery arse-hole bandit himself, Peter Mandelson, EU Trade Commissioner! He now spends his days, when away from screwing his long-time boyfriend by screwing with our trading relations with the rest of the world!
Another family, comes to Britain under the guise of immigrants, but when the man decides to ditch his family and go back whence he came, the wife decides that she is gonna’ apply for asylum for herself and her four children, and goes the whole hog inclusive of expensive legal appeals through the courts! Not that she’s worried about the cost, because she’s not paying; the British taxpayer is picking up the tab! After a five year legal process, the Home Office finally gets to put them on a flight out to Malawi, and theoretically washes it’s hands!
Now I happen to agree with the Home Office in this case, and firmly wish the family well back in Africa, but there’s just this niggling voice somewhere just above my left earhole which keeps repeating a little Haiku; which isn’t a very good example of that Japanese art thingy, which goes like this:-
All must realise there are no
shortcuts to paradise:
That’ll do nicely!
Wondered why we saw the story about the black teenager who was killed in Brixton disappear so quickly off our screens and pages! Now we begin to understand exactly who this ‘boy’ was. He was not a ‘good boy’! “His grieving father Kamondo Mulumbu visited the murder scene on Friday. He said: “Alex was a good boy, he had nothing at all to do with knives.” Just goes to show, families are usually the last to know when their scumbag sons are out of control, or are they!
As the photo shows, this young black junior-grade wanna-be gangster and killer just got a taste of what he was preaching and practicing for when he and his fellow gang members took on an opposing gang! The knife and gun culture which is rampant amongst the black and asian inhabitants of our once quiet suburbs is attractive to those who wish ‘Respect’, but, as the story also told, it also shows what happens when the violence is taken to its’ logical conclusion!
So the news machines which were just starting to rev up and shout about yet another racist killing were forced to back off and slow down when the story they were busy trying to hype was exposed as just another sordid black-on-black gang culture killing; over territory, or drugs, or prostitution!
Simple really, just a bunch of kaffirs doing what they’re really good at!
Had a wander around my bookshelves, and came across a couple of books by Alistair McLean. As I might have mentioned in previous jottings, I have completed about five books, all available care of my own website, and at present am working on a sixth, which is centred around British politics, all of which are so far unpublished, unloved and unknown; which is where McLean started off, but his first novel, “H.M.S. Ulysses” was to catapult him into the supertax bracket in the space of six months, and after that he unfortunately never looked back. I say unfortunately because his best work was completed within the span of his next four books, and after that, as far as this reader is concerned, he was writing and selling on his name, and producing a yearly pile of indigestible rubbish which sold because it was ’the yearly McLean’ and for no other reason.
His first novel,’H.M.S. Ulysses’ written on the experiences which he had lived through while serving on a cruiser, hit the bookshelves and was immediately recognised as a true best-seller, something which is foreign these days when the book dustjacket already proclaims the improbable facts of ‘best-seller’ status before the event. His narrative of a doomed warship, with a semi-mutinous crew, leading a convoy towards the harbour of Murmansk in Northern Russia, battling not only the Nazi enemy but also the ferocious onslaught of the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean in mid-winter, rang so true that when the paragraphs spoke of the waves crashing over the bow, you instinctively flinched before the spray and spume. He wove a narrative which rang true, far deeper than fiction, and told the story of the men fought and died to guard the convoys, the convoys which so far have never been honoured for their service and their sacrifice, except, strangely enough, by the Russians, who issued their Soviet Arctic Region Service medals, offered by the Russians to the veterans’ organisations, but permission to wear these decorations was refused by the British Government. This mean-minded and twisted logic, typical of the Blair regime, comes strangely from a Government and a Prime Minister who is normally only too keen to be photographed close to active-duty servicemen! McLean’s book, ’H.M.S. Ulysses’ still available in print, is worth a search, as it will grip the reader new to his work, and give an insight of brave men, long dead, who died so the others might live in freedom!
I honestly and openly admit that I am an avid reader of sea and naval stories, of sail, steam and turbine, because as another author writes, “the only true enemy is the sea”, and any writing which can give the reader an insight into the ways which a naval man thinks is to be devoured. The writing must be good, but if the author knows his craft and his audience, he’s already got a sale as far as this reader is concerned.
Watched a documentary on Channel Five a few months back, the title of the series was ‘SuperShips’, and it described in amazing detail the construction and running techniques of this giant container ship, ‘Shanghai Express’, which runs at a speed of 23.5 knots, equivalent to twenty-seven miles an hour. Now most of us, looking at this speed will say, ‘that’s not very fast’ but think again, that is very fast in terms of something which is carrying one hundred thousand and six metric tonnes, and travels at the same speed all twenty four hours of the day! The engineering spaces are akin to something out of ‘Star Trek’, the views of this monster pushing through an flat ocean with a ‘bone in her teeth’ (generating a huge bow wave, for the uninitiated) gave an impact of a superb ship doing the job it was created to do.
But let’s go a little further into the woodpile, and examine what exactly this ship is doing. She is carrying, as part of a fleet of four, one hundred thousand tonnes of goods every three weeks. Do the maths, and that works out to 6.92 million tonnes of manufactured goods imported from the Peoples Republic of China into the European Union every year. Now that is a lot of plastic toys, DVD players, rubbish bins, textiles and electronic bits and bobs! Some of it is crap, because the quality control methods in China are not the greatest, but a lot of it isn’t crap, it’s well-made, and equally well-designed, and worthy of your purchase; or is it?
Consider where this huge amount of cargo was made before the great industrial charge now present in China came on stream! This cargo, carried in the ‘Shanghai Express’ and her sister ships, managed by Hapag Lloyd, a German multi-national, is mirrored in the vessels of many other container ship companies running into the major container ports of Western Europe and America, so you now begin to get the picture of the huge inroads the Chinese have made in our marketplace. Now the marketplace for this huge amount of ‘everything’ existed before, because the Chinese haven’t invented new ‘everything’, no way! The old ‘everything’ used to be made by Thailand, and Japan, Korea and Brazil, and we made quite a bit of ‘everything’ in Europe, and more specifically in Britain. But over a period of about five to ten years ago, the Chinese got real clever, and allowed their workforce to initiate new ideas, expand their factories and modernise existing lines, build new cities and motorways to help carry and move the workforce and products which they are so good at selling to the West! All good and proper, opening up a country to modern manufacturing methods will surely enhance the Chinese, and make everyone richer? So the factories and offices in downtown Sao Paulo, or Bangkok, or Seoul, or Bolton were were forced to close because their markets had been grabbed by a cheaper, better organised manufacturing country! Well, not really, because this is still the same China which operates slave labour in the factories owned and operated by the PLA, (which, again for the uninitiated is short for The Peoples Liberation Army.) So now you begin to understand where the profits from your purchase of that really cheap refrigerator, or that shiny new DVD player from Curry’s or Dixon’s actually goes to! You are helping to fund a dictatorship, a Totalitarian Government ruling by decree, the same Government who sent the tanks and armoured carriers rolling into Tiananmen Square in 1989, and killing over five thousand, while injuring seven to ten thousand more!
In retrospect, Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, was a disaster on wheels for America, his foreign policy strategies, among which was the removal of support for the Shah of Iran, thus helping place Khomeini and the mullahs in charge, and the signing away of the Panama Canal to a bunch of low-level criminals and drug-runners. But the one shining item in his portfolio was his acclaim of ‘Human Rights’, not the wishy-washy union- and liberal-friendly crap which is so loved by the European Union, but the real package, the freedom to worship, even if it’s a mish-mash of ideas like Falun Gong; the freedom to congregate, even in a place like Tiananmen Square and talk about honest reform of government; the freedom to say “get stuffed” to a uniformed bully; the freedoms laid down by the United Nations in 1948, but have long since been either forgotten or misplaced. He said in 1997, during a Foreign Policy speech, “The great democracies are not free because we are strong and prosperous. I believe we are strong and influential and prosperous because we are free. Throughout the world today, in free nations and in totalitarian countries as well, there is a preoccupation with the subject of human freedom, human rights. And I believe it is incumbent on us in this country to keep that discussion, that debate, that contention alive. No other country is as well-qualified as we to set an example. We have our own shortcomings and faults, and we should strive constantly and with courage to make sure that we are legitimately proud of what we have.”
Think hard on who you want to give your hard earned money to in the months and years ahead, when your neighbour’s son comes home with the news that his clothing factory is closing because the management are relocating to Chengdu or Wuhu; when you see an item on the television news that a factory is closing it’s production line because it cannot compete with the Chinese opposition, don’t remember the cheap coat which you bought without examining the label which said, proudly, ‘Made in China’
Listening to all the bullshit spewed onto the airwaves during the so-called remembrance day for the Soweto Uprising. heard all about how it was just a peaceful protest by some angry black schoolkids against the imposition of the Afrikaans language within their schoolrooms! We heard how the students were protesting quietly, and the South African Police simply attacked them, and how awful they were, and how all the ensuing violence was justified!
What a load of old bullshit! We don’t hear about the long nights of planning of the A.N.C. youth wing, headed by the motherly tones of Winnie Mandela,ex-wife of the “saintly Nelson” (himself a convicted terrorist) famous for her sweet remarks about “freedom, deadly necklaces of burning tyres, etc.”. we don’t hear that the first person to die in the riots was a Jewish schoolteacher who drove into the path of the rioters, and perished by being beaten to death at the hands of a bloodthirsty mob of hundreds of fanatical blacks! We don’t hear about the dozens of white people who were attacked as they attempted to help the so-called suffering blacks! We don’t read that the famous photo of some black clown carrying another black boy was carefully staged, and that image alone went around the world! We don’t read about the hundreds of innocents who died at the hands of their fellow black brothers, dying for the clear crime of opposing the actions which lead to the riots in the first place!
It is true that history is written by the victors, and, just like the many other episodes which have been carefully tailored for consumption by a gullible public, the true story of Soweto will probably never be written, mainly because there aren’t many who would believe it; or indeed would want to believe it!
Some may ask how I can be so positive? Simple, I lived through those days while my home was on the western side of Johannesburg, with my place of work inside the South-Western-Townships!!!
As readers may have seen in my previous blog postings on a prior site, I have long retained an interest in and a questioning attitude towards the Communist People’s Republic of China. From a viewpoint of trade, here we see an immense country attempting, and in certain areas succeeding, to join and lead the race towards the development of a vibrant economy. The huge developments in all areas of manufacturing have not, in my own view, been shadowed by similar rises in both freedom and choice!
In the U.K., for example, we have large enterprises almost totally dependant on supplies of cheap manufactured goods from China for their own continued dominance within their selected market-places. We see, for example, the shelves of the giant D.I.Y. chain B&Q are heavy with items from China, thus allowing the home-refurbishing masses of the United Kingdom to continue on their lasting quest for brighter kitchens, wallpaper replacement and new shower cabinets. We have forgotten perhaps that all these items, from kitchen cupboard door-handles to light fittings used to be sourced from areas much closer to home! They were built in Bradford, in Baden-Baden, in Bordeaux, in Brussels and in Budapest. The corporate decisions to relocate either manufacture or supply of the items which used to be built in Europe overto the cities and provinces of China are excused and justified by reasons of corporate profit, shareholder value and all the other tired excuses used to disguise a move to a cheaper, but not necessarily better manufacturing venue!
As was exampled by Apple, the U.S. giant of home electronics, their move to a Taiwanese manufacturer for their Ipods, promptly sub-contracted out to Mainland Chinese companies for the reputed saving of a few cents per unit cost, was spoken of as a corporate decision for corporate gain, but the loss of jobs in the workplaces of the United States and other Western countries who have advanced past the slave-labour ethic towards a dream of worker empowerment was devastating to say the least! The ethic behind investment should not, in my opinion, be always aimed at the largest possible return for the least possible outlay, because that way lies an over-heavy investment in what is possibly still the least free society in the world today! The replies by Apple that they were ensuring compliance with it’s’ ‘Code of Ethics’ is as shallow as the sheet of paper upon which the ‘Code’ is written! What guarantees that the Chinese company is holding to that ‘Code’? Not a great deal. When the Government snoops upon it’s citizens as to their Internet use, and bars them from even reaching any site which dares to criticise the Communist regime, the companies are only too willing to follow suit!
Suit us better that we do as I did when buying winter gloves last December. I was faced with gloves manufactured in China costing £19.50, or a similar specification glove made in Aberdeen, but costing £30.00. I paid £30.00, because I believe in supporting home-made and sourced equipment, and I do not believe in giving support to a Communist Regime where slavery is rampant, forced abortion is commonplace and the very concept of Freedom is a foreign idea!
Got to thinking about advances, or at least so-called advances in technology, and the reason why I was pulled towards this line of thought was the fact that we don’t have wheel-tappers any more, and I think we should all be told the reason why not!
All over the world, there were hundreds, if not thousands of squads of highly-trained men, all crouching down at the side of railway tracks, holding bloody great big hammers; and you can’t tell me that they didn’t because I saw one team at Manchester, when I was about seven years old; so there; you can’t fool me! They existed! There they were, crouching down as the train slowly chuffed past them, and every wheel was tapped; well, not exactly tapped, the wheel sort of hit the hammer head and it sounded “Clunk” and the one fella that was nearest the track would solemnly nod his head with every “Clunk”, and you could tell that it meant something; you really could!
Now with my advanced years, I now know that the sound that the ‘tapping’ crew were listening for wasn’t the regular “Clunk” but instead the “Click” which told our highly-trained and expert crew of ‘tappers’ that there was a wheel rim which had developed a fault or a crack, and the sooner that something was done the better! That was ‘Engineering’ in the raw, as it were! Cause and effect! The different sounds of a whole piece of steel wheel as opposed to a flawed and faulty one, and ‘bingo’ there it was!
And now there aren’t any more ‘tappers’ at all; they suddenly disappeared, and no-one knows where they went, or what happened to them, and most importantly, no one told us why they aren’t tapping any more! Don’t they bloody care any more? Here the trains are shovelling along the tracks at high velocity, all over the bleeding shop and no-one’s looking at the wheels! I think it’s disgusting!
Trawling through the on-line newspapers, and came across this little gem regarding the supposed fears of the mythical “Asian Community” in London.
Now if it actually came true, and some of our local rag-heads decided to depart our shores, what a relief that would be, as if they cannot accept our laws and traditions, perhaps they’d indeed be better off elsewhere!
Had a chance, over the past few days, to watch a broad slice of American Television and, after confirming the widely-held opinion that the programming in the States is twice as bad as anything inflicted on British audiences, decided to watch a reference selection of the advertisements!
Apart from the vast divide between our feeble efforts in the United Kingdom, and the slick presentation afforded the truly gullible in America, I am forced to wonder at the mindsets behind just about all Commercial Television advertising both over the Pond and in Britain.
We see adverts clearly aimed at the lowest possible common denominator; both in content and in message. In Britain, there are a preponderance of adverts aimed at the truly credulous market which comprises women of a certain age who are convinced that with only another preparation smeared all over their silly, stupid, cretinous faces, they will once more attain the clear, trim, glowing features which they believe they possessed a long time ago! Despite the clear scientific advice which states that they may as well smear vegetable oil or salad cream all over the afore-mentioned facial features, they continue to pour vast quantities of cash into the pockets of the industrial conglomerates who masquerade as cosmetic vendors!
In America, the tendency is towards a mixture of gadgets, depilatory creams, internet connections, cars and mortgage companies, but the hammering message, unrelenting in its’ ferocity, is even worse than that in Britain. The timescale for adverts on Commercial Channels in Britain are bad, allowing for up to eleven minutes and more in any one hour, but at least we do have a Regulatory framework to help govern and control the thieves and vagabonds who continually bombard our senses and families with glossy pictures of what life would be like if only we purchase their products. In America, there is no such animal, as the Federal Trade Commission, which claims to oversee at both Federal and State levels, is nothing more than a toothless tiger! If an advert is deemed too near the knuckle, from either a taste or sensibility standpoint, a defence of the ‘First Amendment’ is sufficient to see off any crusaders, so the vast television audience in the States gets all the worst, unfiltered even by standards of decency or good taste!
As Advertising in America is so big, taking approximately two percent of G.D.P. in the U.S.A., it is a huge and formidable industry, aimed solely and totally at influencing consumer tastes, habits and purchasing might!
The message is clear, be careful what you watch, you may end up spending more money than you have on something you don’t really need!
I see that John Prescott has agreed to give up his country mini-palace at “Dorneywood” as he feels that the house is distracting his work as Deputy Prime Minister! Now if he would only go a little further and accept that as he, being exposed as a liar, a cheat and a drag on the Labour Party, is still giving lots of ammo’ to Cameron’s Conservatives, who are only too pleased to have him remain in his Office, thus giving them a target to be fired at over open sights, his best option is to resign, thus opening the way for a nice bloodless contest (only sarcastic when needed) for his Labour and Cabinet posts!