Warmer, or Cooler?

The favourite subject of died-in-the-wool liberal thought, of socialists who know that they alone are right, of politicians who are really capable of spending, or usually taking and spending, taxpayers cash; is of course the wonderful world which is known as Climate Change, or Global Warming, (although that phrase is going out of favour as they cannot state how there hasn’t been any real ‘Warming’ for almost two decades). The old adage, known to all scientists and researchers, which is ‘Follow the Money’ is the rule in all areas of the ‘Climate’ scam, and if anyone doesn’t follow the unwritten rule of ‘don’t rock the ‘Warming’ boat’ they are automatically excluded from the big cash which floats around, courtesy of the unwilling and, usually, unknowing, taxpayers who are funding the thousands of research, position and explanatory papers. Take the example of Bjorn Lomborg. Here is a man, an extremely well-qualified scientist, who agrees with the IPCC on just about all its findings, but disagrees with the social and economic outcomes of that Committee’s statements. The result, he is blasted from here to kingdom come, the agreed Lomborg Consensus Centre is barred from its rightful University place by ‘indignant students’, and the Australian Government agrees with the ‘students’. Note that, a single voice which dares to diverge from the planned pattern, and he is silenced from even access to a platform at a University.

So what, I wonder, will the massed ‘Carbon Climate’ choirs do now that a respected FRENCH Mathematical Society has published a damning critique of the methodologies used by all the IPCC Warming adherents when they produce their myriad research papers, on the terrible effects of Carbon Dioxide, a gas which is essential to life as we know it, upon the World and the people who live in it? The magic word, readers will appreciate, in that last sentence, is the word ‘FRENCH’. From the cradle of all who worship before the altars of ‘Carbon’ and ‘Warming’; comes a clear voice which is stating, calmly and carefully, to the IPCC and the World; ‘Friends, you have been had for a bunch of Suckers!’; with its heading statement: The battle against global warming: an absurd, costly and pointless crusade.

…when y’ gonna learn?

I like and admire America, I also admire and know Americans with whom I have worked with over many years. I honestly feel that the greatest mistake in our history we, as a Nation, ever made was to ignore the limited requests of the Colonial leaders. The blind stupidity of the British in their implementation of various punitive Acts, all of which were designed to favour the British and punish the American colonists, finally caused the spark which lit the fires of Independence, which culminated in the bruising War of Independence, the rise of a free United States, and the loss of all that lovely tax revenue heading back towards Westminster.

There is, however, one strand of American society which, thankfully, has not yet wholly reached these Island shores; and that, of course, is the ability of Americans to blindly embark on the craziest of ideas, and believe they will be unscathed at the end. I even believe that there is a group name for the indulgent loons who grab any excuse to make themselves either in urgent need of medical or financial assistance; namely ‘The Massed Battalions of Murphy’. We see a small instance of these clowns in the advance of people climbing into ‘tanning booths’ all over the British countryside; presumably in the belief that they know better than the massed opinions of doctors, scientists and medical professionals. I mean, the idea of showing or believing that you have a bronzed, tanned or burned and shrivelled skin as a virtue, leaves me somewhat puzzled; as the incidence of skin cancer statistics, along with the all too-accessible tales of a sudden and pretty agonising death caused by these lethal unshielded U/V tubes is readily available to those who can read. But the proles continue to pay their cash down, strip off and lie in close proximity to deadly ultraviolet rays. We should be able to state that they were at least warned; but since a fair proportion cannot even read, who can say who, if anyone, is responsible?

But there is hope for us here in these damp islands on the edge of Europe; at least there has not been a great take-up of ‘Cryotherapy Salons’ such as exist and spreading across America. The idea that the the human body can be rejuvenated, can burn calories, reduce pain, strengthen immune systems and halt aging by embedding them in freezing tanks for a few minutes at a time; is, to any thinking person, just plain insane. But still they go, spending huge amounts of cash in the hope and belief that they will be feeling better. Well folks, I presume  Ms. Ake-Salvacion, the manager of a Rejuvenice Spa in Henderson, Nevada, reckoned that she could do with a few minutes cooling after work: cooling, I might add, at -240 degrees Fahrenheit! She is a little cooler now, in fact she is stone cold dead, having been found frozen solid the morning after her shift ended. I hate to state or say anything derogatory of a dead person, but, it has to be said, ‘If you believe that crap, you deserve everything which comes your way!’

Its not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me,

I visited museums when I was a schoolboy, but apart from digital visits courtesy of T’Internet, none since; but a review of an intriguingly-titled ‘On Their Own’, at the comparatively   unknown V&A’s Museum of Childhood made me pause. I have written in cold and blistering anger more than once about the modern-day slavers, hiding behind the names of Councils, care homes, Religions and of nationally-known charities such as Barnado’s, who fed the insatiable appetite of the Empire with young British children, amounting to some 150-200,000 youngsters; over a period of some sixty-odd years up to 1967. They were lied to, their parents were lied to, they were literally shovelled aboard ships by the hundred without any idea of where they were headed, all because a clutch of well-connected do-gooders, civil servants, so-called charity founders: believed that any child who was either in a Council’s care, in a charity, religious or foundling’s home, sent or taken away from their parents for a myriad reasons, was in need of a ‘good upbringing in a British Empire or Commonwealth country’ where they would learn a trade and become useful members of that society.

So, the NEW transportations began, to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the old Rhodesia, and the colonies welcomed the brand new influx of children from ‘the Old Country’, and everything in that far-off garden was just too f@+_**!ng wonderful for words. The children were literally spirited away, their parents were told they had died; THEY were told their parents had either died, or had signed them away: IT WAS ALL SIMPLE, UNDISGUISED BULLSHIT! They were a forgotten generation; the parents remembered them, but those memories grew thinner every year, the educational achievements of those parents did not include fighting bureaucracy; the kids were usually too young to have any fixed idea of where they were born, or of whose face was attached to the magic name of ‘Daddy’ or ‘Mum’; and so the years progressed.

Unfortunately, the years progressed a little too slowly for those unfortunates who were taken on to the books of the likes of the Christian Brothers at the infamous Bindoon home, or the equally notorious Fairbridge Farm School at Pinjarra; where the kids were raped, brutalised, or used as slave labour; especially at Bindoon.

The stories began to emerge after Margaret Humphreys, a Nottingham social worker, received a was working in the field of post-adoption support. She received a letter from a woman in Australia who said that at a very young age she had been sent to Australia with no birth certificate and she was looking for family in Britain. This led Humphreys to eventually uncover a vast network of “Home Children” who through various “schemes” or plans initiatives by patronizing people in the UK and their counterparts in countries in the British Empire, to eventually send 150,000 children away from their homeland in the UK. About 70,000 children were sent to Australia. These schemes stopped in 1967.

A Royal Commission sat, and everyone was terribly sorry, and crocodile tears flowed by the f**”#’’ing gallon, and a scheme was put in place to allow these ‘deported people’ to return to the land of their birth. Out of approximately 150,000 kids sent away, some 700 have been given financial support to return and find their families.

Yep, Seven Hundred down, only One Hundred and Forty-Nine Thousand, Three Hundred to go.

F”’*+@ing Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They were the very models of a modern Major-General

Just, 161 years ago, 156 cavalrymen, officers, serjeants and other ranks died, with a further 122 wounded; through a combination of arrogance, mistaken orders, a long feud between brothers-in-law who happened to be very senior British Army commanders, and the foolish behaviour of Captain Edward Nolan. Nolan could never be questioned about the tragic outcome of the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava; as he was killed by an enemy artillery shell in the first minutes of the abortive charge. The order, from Lord Lucan, stated that Lord Cardigan, the overall cavalry Commander, to use his cavalry to prevent captured naval guns being carried away; saying  “Lord Raglan wishes the cavalry to advance rapidly to the front, follow the enemy, and try to prevent the enemy carrying away the guns. Troop horse artillery may accompany. French cavalry is on your left. Immediate.” Unfortunately, Raglan omitted to state which guns were being threatened; Nolan delivered the message without explanation, and only tried to countermand the suicidal charge straight down the valley under the promised point-blank ranged Russian guns set on the valley sides. Nolan rode in front of Cardigan, presumably trying to get his arrogant leader to turn, but a blinkered, arrogant, ruthless Earl Cardigan took no notice of an upstart Captain trying to tell him how to fight a battle, and committed the Light Brigade to disaster, and into history!

Move your mind from Balaclava in the Crimea; transfer your attention to Helmand Province in Afghanistan, adjust the number of now British dead to 453, along with countless more lives destroyed through blast injury, amputation and psychiatric illness; bring into sharper focus the decisions to ‘build a democracy’ in a Country which does not even understand what Democracy means! The sheer lunacy of ignoring the recent history of the Russian bloody invasion and equally bloody retreat, never mind the memories of the ruinous British involvement and meddling within the past two centuries tells me just one thing; and one thing only:-

We just never, ever, learn to mind our own bloody business!

….truly is within the eye of the beholder!

I have written many times of my love of classical music, of opera, and of ballet. The impact of the music upon my senses cannot be totally described, as it also might be impossible to place in words the first view of a majestic mountain, a thunderous waterfall, a baby’s smile. Most of my readers will probably feel the same, as our thoughts do not run as those of a poet, or a gifted artist: but I always try. But occasionally I see a scene, or a landscape or indeed a video, which really warrants the descriptive talents of a Shakespeare in order to fully describe the impact upon the viewer. As some may already have noticed, I was trained in Engineering, I have spent my entire life either building, commissioning, fixing or maintaining machinery, so it could quite properly asked ‘what has beauty to do with building things?
Well, how about this as a demonstration of the whole process? If you can, go wide-screen to fully capture this amazing process, where industrial might, and disciplined endeavour, becomes as one in the assembly of this monster of the deep.

Once viewed, a few questions may well commence nagging at the base of your mind. Questions such as:-

  • How come we, the very inventors of many of the processes seen in this vast yard in South Korea, no longer have the capacity, the investment, the dedication and the will-power to do exactly the same as this shipyard possesses in abundance?
  • How is it that we, once the virtual rulers of the industrial waves, are forced to view such evidence of our own industrial decline from the Asian Tigers who have slipped into the true title of ‘Engineers to the World’?
  • Why do we obey the rules, when every other bugger within the European Union seemingly gets away with financial murder?
  • Was it only the impact of the Communist-dominated Trade Unions which wrecked our shipbuilding industry, or did the poisoned chalice of political choice have the bigger element of treachery in the decline and fall of a once massive industry?

The smile behind the Tiger

Please note that the ONLY person from the Communist Dictatorship who really deserves the Red Carpet, the Carriage Drive and the State Banquet is the man whose name dare not be spoken. His country has been invaded, his very culture has been despoiled and belittled; his picture has been banned from all of Communist China: but still they fear him so very very much.

Why? Because of the MORAL authority he bears, because behind that unassuming demeanour and that wonderful smile, he has a stainless steel backbone; and the knowledge that he is RIGHT!

Readers; I give you:-

His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.

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For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly

More dearly than the spoken word can tell,

She was built for one thing, and one thing only, to deliver a massive retribution on the atomic scale against a Soviet Empire which, at one time, threatened all of Western civilisation. Her engines were never fired up or used in that promised carnage; but they came in rather handy in a conflict twelve thousand miles south, when Vulcan 607 managed to drop one bomb out of a stick of eight slap-bang in the middle of the Port Stanley runway; thus ending the Argentinean plan to base fast jets on the Falklands. With typical British lack of any kind of pre-planning, 607 was rescued from a planned scrappage schedule, sent down to Ascension Island, and in the single longest flight in Royal Air Force History, along with no less than fourteen Victor tankers on a re-fueliing saga which enabled the ever-thirsty bomber to fly an astounding 8,000 miles round trip.

She was a symphony of  steel, aluminium and passion; her sound was so distinctive it became known as the Vulcan Howl; there will never be another, and I hate to see her go!

A cloud in version in Swaledale / Wensleydale as seen from the Buttertubs in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire. Swaledale Canvas. Swaledale Canvases. Swaledale Prints. Swaledale Landscapes.

A cloud in version in Swaledale / Wensleydale as seen from the Buttertubs in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire. Swaledale Canvas. Swaledale Canvases. Swaledale Prints. Swaledale Landscapes.

Lay a whisper on my pillow

I have often wondered at the sheer naivete of the wider public; not only in Britain, but also certainly in the United States. A couple of examples springs to mind.

I quote the case of a seemingly switched-on woman who met this bloke on an internet dating site, ‘believed’ his story about his being a semi-retired but extremely wealthy businessman, and ended up handing all her savings over to his allegedly tender but capable care. I would only repeat the sage advice given by, amongst many others, Mark Carney, Bank of England governor who said, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is’. If successful financial investment companies, hedge fund managers and the like seem content with small rates of increase in the funds under their control, why on earth would this man be so much more successful than them? Perhaps she saw a way in which she could increase her savings? We will never know for certain, but, for many gullible people, the fantasy reward seems to blank out their critical faculties. Possibly the only sensible thing this woman did was to go to the police, but it was far too late to get her cash back.

acosbyThe second episode for discussion comes to us from the Land of the Free, in the guise of the ‘outing’ of Bill Cosby as a serial sexual criminal and rapist, accused of using drugs to ensure compliance from his female victims, and silence by threats of ‘who would America believe?’. Now as to Cosby’s guilt or innocence, I, along with just about everyone else, just do not know. He has not been arrested, he has been tried and found guilty only at the bar of public perception, in newspapers, television and on the internet. The problem, both for Black America, and for America as an entity, is the simple fact that Bill Cosby, in his role as ‘Dr. Cliff Huxtable’ on the ‘Bill Cosby Show, had created a whole alternate reality as the perfect, human, fallible, but funny and totally believable Black American family. Sadly, the fiction became blurred with reality, and the whole idea of a stable, realistic family who also happened to be Black was spread across America as being true, instead of being the creation of a gang of scriptwriters working on vignettes from Bill Cosby’s stand-up comedy routines. Personally, I reckon Cosby to be a very funny guy, with a particular gift for making fun of real-life situations; but, and of course it is a big ‘but’, the commentariat are attempting to bring him down without the benefit of a trial. His silence condemns him, and, to watch a comedy icon brought low by the combination of that silence allied to the torrent of comment, accusations of rape and battery which cannot be considered in a court, as too much time has passed; is but another example of people believing the fiction, and then getting really p***ed off when confronted by reality!

3-score-&-ten; or 350?

I am now well past the old biblical longevity target of 3-score-years-and-ten, but hopefully remarking that most of my faculties are intact, if not all firing at 100%, such as my hearing. I state this because many striplings of forty or fifty years old consider a mop of silver hair to be one of the final signs of decay. My memory is sometimes faulty, but I get by. As you will possibly note from my writing, my critical faculties are still acute, and I am determined to keep speaking out for, hopefully, a long time yet.

So, accepting all that I have written today as credible, is it any way surprising that, after being asked, I state that I will not sign a petition asking the Saudi authorities for clemency on behalf of Karl Andree, a 74-year-old British subject who has lived in Saudi for over twenty-four years?

As an Englishman, and a British subject of Her Majesty, I obey the Law; all of the Law, not just the ones of which I approve. I do not drive laden with heavy booze, nor do I break the speed limit when driving; mainly because I would possibly lose my licence, and that, to me, would be a disaster. Similarly with a host of other Laws, Acts and myriad Regulations. Maybe I do not like them, possibly I am annoyed with my compliance with those Laws, but, because they are the Laws of my Country, I hold and obey them. I detest, beyond all measure, the abhorrent Same-Sex Marriage Act, and will always argue against it, but I have, unwillingly, to accept that a simpering clutch of homosexuals have been given civil approval for their ‘marriages’; because; unfortunately, that is now the Law!

So, when that 74 year-old Englishman is found to have broken Saudi’s strict laws against alcohol, he, along with the rest of us, must accept that he must face not only the already-completed years imprisonment, he must also face the possibility of the 350 lashes which accompanied the original sentence. Because that is the Law in Saudi Arabia!

George Formby he was not!

Our British Police Services Forces are, despite ferocious attempts to neuter them, still a fairly representative force for good. I accept that a great deal of politically correct damage has been, and is being, done to our Police, but there are still instances which mean that the basics and ethos of their service remains undimmed and unchanged. The pages of the Police Bravery Award are but a small sample of the actions of a Police Force where courage is demonstrated on a daily basis. I have not always been kind to our Police, but that acid has been pointed directly at the senior hierarchy, but very few times, and only justifiably so, at the lower ranks themselves.

So, I wish to salute a Police force whose members comport themselves with valour, a Sergeant who instinctively knows when a scrote should be chased and stopped, and a special mention for PC Daniel Ruffle, who actually ran the little clown over as he lay in the road, the thief having fallen out of the overturned Fiesta because he obviously was not wearing his seat belt. The special mention should, in my own view, be made for ensuring that the DNA of this  alleged ‘cheeky chappie’ did not further pollute the British genetic pool.

I’m with Katie!

Coming rather late to this one, as I have been rather busy.  We have all probably read by now of the death of Police Constable David Phillips, at the hands and wheels of a car-thief, now charged with murder; who preferred to swerve on to the traffic island where the policeman stood rather than drive over a ‘stinger strip’ laid on that road. Now there are two issues which spring to mind when discussing the wider story: one of the publicity-grabbing family’s reactions to the death of a husband and a father: the other concerning the reasons why it was an obvious choice of the killer to drive and aim his vehicle at the policeman, rather than to surrender or have his tyres shredded by the spiked strip.

First the family reaction, or as Miss Hopkins put it ‘The X-Factor video tape’ of the wider family, filmed and photographed when they had placed their very public acclaim, grief and sorrow to the watching world. I watched approximately fifteen seconds of this ‘tribute’ before turning to a channel which featured paint drying, as this was infinitely more acceptable than the outpouring of a ‘fantasy grief’ which, if anything, diminished both the man, and his service to his family, job and wider community. Yes, we accept that he was a family man; yes, he was taken in the most sudden and cruel fashion possible from their lives: but did the family have to accept the presence of fourteen microphones and innumerable cameras, to pass this message to a presumably avid world outside what should have been a very private moment of family grief? What was with the eleven family and friends gathered in front of the coffee table? It reminded me of a press conference about the illusions of climate change, and the terrors thereon; or some bunch of loons wailing about how the Palestinians were being hard done by, after due retribution had been ladled out by Israeli jets following yet another batch of Hamas-launched rockets falling on to Israeli territory. Following the press show, we were given a second episode as we were supposed to gain solace by seeing the grief-stricken widow carry her daughter to lay flowers at the scene of the policeman’s death. Why that, on top of everything else? Over the Top; it was worse than that, it was private family grief exported for public consumption, and that, folks, is just plain wrong!

The second part of my small and slowly-crafted diatribe concerns the 18-year-old killer, his actions, his motives, and what he will expect to receive from our so-called Justice system. His legal team, by their statements, are already laying the grounds for a choice of either ‘straight manslaughter’, or ‘manslaughter because of diminished responsibility’; and he will probably get away with that, because the Crown Prosecution Service is usually too keen to accept a lower plea because, if they press for ‘murder’ they will have to prove that this vicious scrote meant to kill the policeman! He will probably get a ten year sentence, meaning that he will be out in five years, with that same cocky grin plastered all over his face. In my day, He would have been faced with a slow walk to a painted grating, then a noose would be solemnly wrapped around his neck, and, ten seconds later and six feet longer; his neck humanely broken; we would have been rid of this specimen, unworthy of the title ‘human being’ as he had discarded any claim to that high status when he slammed his foot down on the accelerator before plowing into the body of P.C. David Phillips.

And, purely as an afterthought, but one I have examined before, what’s with all the flowers, bouquets, teddy bears and assorted toys left at the site of this killing? Sadness, sorrow; or just a desire to get your picture in the news cycle whilst proving that ‘you care? Balderdash!

where angels fear to tread

So she is a volunteer in an Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone. She is, by definition, a ‘do-gooder’. She feels ‘fulfilled’ by working in amongst the deadliest disease known to mankind. Then, by not obeying the rules, and by wearing a visor instead of a full set of goggles, presumably either for cosmetic or ‘feel-good’ motives; she receives a spray from the body fluids of an Ebola patient in her face, nose or eyes. Three days later, despite feeling ‘unwell’, she flew with thirty others to Heathrow via Casablanca, and onwards to Glasgow on an ordinary commercial flight. No quarantine precautions were either in place or contemplated for any Ebola team members!

So, this foolish woman, who knew that she was ill, goes out to restaurants, shops and life in general, before finally admitting she is ill, and is admitted to hospital; from whence she is flown down to a specialist hospital in London. She is gravely, life-threateningly ill, but, more through good luck than medical knowledge, recovers. But instead of living quietly, and rejoicing in her own good fortune, she visits a primary school, and shows kids how to try on an ebola suit, presumably to spread the word about how brave and ‘committed’ she is, or was, or could be. She also visits London to be given a ‘Pride of Britain’ award. Now I ask you; what the devil is anyone doing stating that she is brave, or proud, or anything else than a self-serving, self-promoting chancer? The people who should have been awarded the bloody Pride prize are the unsung people who nursed this stupid woman back to life in the first place!

And now she is back where she was before, in an Isolation Ward at the Royal Free, because a few strands of Ebola seems to have escaped the disinfection process, and she is liable to die, after all, despite being ‘brave’ and ‘committed’ and all the other feel-good phrases. Add to this the medical view of Dr Neuman who stated the chances of it being passed on to others were slim, but added: It has never happened, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Eventually, ideally, you would want to see anybody coming into contact with an ebola survivor, like pupils at Mossneuk School, being vaccinated for ebola. It is not the kind of virus you mess around with.’

…but I was just so very certain…..

A long time back in my life, I served as an Engineering Officer in the British Merchant Navy. That of course, was in a time when we had ships aplenty which were flagged British, flew the ‘Red Duster’, and in whose ships the Law was routinely observed. We had weekly Emergency drills, safety checks on all life-saving equipment and alarms, but the best safety of all was the fact that the Captain, along with all the senior Deck Officers, had literally been through the mill, earned and learned their way towards a safe departure coupled with a safe arrival. They studied the weather reports of expected storm, cyclone or hurricane, even in the days before true satellite surveillance gave such an advantage in weather forecasting: because what has happened before, will usually happen again.

I have been on the edge of Hurricane-force winds, with waves so high that you stand on the bridge of a tanker, and you look UP at the wave-crest as it moves towards the ship, then your view is totally obscured by the driving spray, as your 100,000-ton tanker is effortlessly carried up and over the crest, and then DOWN the other side, whilst preparing to meet yet another wave as it remorselessly gathers strength before your eyes. I have also sailed through the aftermath of a Far-East cyclone, when we were heading up from Kaoshiung harbour in Taiwan towards Japan, on the eastern side of the island. The cyclone had passed over Taiwan two days previously, and the swells were still mountainous, with over a quarter-mile between wave-crests. We were forced to turn back after the seas commenced breaking ‘green’ over the ship’s bow; and you just do not argue with the forces of nature such as this. We had to wait two more days, idling along, going nowhere; until the captain decided that we were safe to proceed.

So, you are the Captain of a general container-cargo ship named the El Faro, you are presumably under pressure from your owners to get your cargo from Jacksonville in Florida south-eastwards towards Puerto Rico. Your ship is stacked with containers four-high on the forrard-deck, which gives a slab-side which will act as a big sail in the event of high winds; but you ignore that fact; you have a ‘sailing plan’  to avoid a ‘Tropical Storm’ which had been battering The Bahamas: and that is your big mistake. This is Hurricane Season in the Carribbean, so that Storm turns into Hurricane Joaquin; and if you hear of a storm anywhere, you want to be somewhere else in a hurry. If you are in port, you double-up on the mooring lines; you definitely do not believe you are in control; if you do believe that; Mister, you are a fool and a danger to yourself and your crew; and despite the valediction from Obama, if your engine fails; you have just killed your crew, and committed suicide yourself!

The death of Privacy.

I have no presence on ‘Facebook’, no thoughts of mine appear in instantaneous ‘Tweets’, no ‘Snapchat’ or ‘Instagram’ photos of my existence, the only intimations of my existence appear on this blog, and on others which I write for, or comment upon; because that is my choice. I am told that some young people leave a digital trail every day they go to school, or shopping, or any one of the myriad ways in which they seek enjoyment. Some of my blogging colleagues use Twitter as an instant political commentary, but I leave that particular sphere alone, mainly because you have to allow the main engine access to everything you have stored, and as we well know, nothing stored on a computer is completely safe from prying eyes.

So when I read this small human story, I was reassured that others think as I do. The things I do for my wife are mine alone to know, and, apart from stating that I do these things because I love my wife of some forty-eight years, it really does not concern anyone else at all. Does the wider world really need to know what anyone else does, or which shops they enter, or what their views on clothes, or make-up is used? The gossip columns and photographs of people who are famous for being famous, as featured in the Mail, are but typical of the strange desire to know what people are doing, the pix of someone going shopping, or emerging from the gym, or with their always-adorable offspring. The ever present pix of the vapid features of some illegitimate Armenians spread their pixels across both news and tv; and we are all supposed to marvel at the sayings, or rather carefully-scripted sayings, of one confused cross-dressing member of that family.
I don’t really envy Mark Zuckerman on account of his billions, apart that is for the freedom which that wealth endows. But I do so wish he hadn’t unlocked the Pandora’s Box which now is know as ‘Social Media’, because when over one billion people are signed up, the next thing we shall see is some form of compulsory membership of an allied engine, because of the hoary old line about ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’!

look upon my walls, ye mighty, and despair

As I wrote my previous post about overseas holidays, tourism etc. it crossed my mind’s eye to write a piece about one of the lesser known; or rather less-well-publicised, areas of the British Isles, especially from a tourist perspective. I refer of course to the delightful City of Belfast, Capital of the fabled land across the water; otherwise titled the Province of Northern Ireland.

As we sit in our homes; in the villages, towns and cities of Wales and England, planning our lives in serenity, peace and comfort; not many people realise that certain differences exist in the planning regulations for people whose homes are on even two sides of the same back garden lane in that strange twisted City, filled with strange, mentally twisted people, in that strange, weirdly beautiful but sadly scarred Province called Northern Ireland.

For example, did you know that allowances must be made, when alterations or extensions to a house are planned, for the extra reinforced fencing which must be in place when the building work is completed; mainly because, if the fencing and added protection is missing, the house might well well be the target of a firebomb, pipe bomb or a rocket? Why the possible attacks? “Sure,” the owner might reply, “because my home abuts a ‘Peace Wall’, and there ain’t much ‘Peace’ around if it is not backed up with a thirty-foot high reinforced fence.”

This is the British City where, just fourteen years ago, parents and children had to literally run a gauntlet of spitting, jeering Loyalist gangs in order to gain access to their Primary School. Imagine, little girls sworn at, bullied and spat at, with rocks bouncing off the police vans brought hastily in to protect the little Catholic girls and their terrified parents as they ventured to walk in an area which was long termed ‘Ours’ by the Loyalist scum surrounding them: because they simply wanted to go to school!

The politicians from both sides of the Northern Irish divide might preen and smirk in front of the cameras, and the prancing from the murderous godfathers who sit for SinnFeinIRA is met by the equally lunatic dancing from the Unionist DUP and UUP politicians, spokespeople for the UVF and UDA gangsters, and you don’t hear too much condemnation of the ‘Walls’ from either side, mainly because the realists know that, ungainly the solution might be, at least it works, with the morons from either side prevented from easy access to the other, and are thus prevented from charging off the reservation, and causing mayhem amongst their enemies; who live just across the street.

So take the tour, ‘click’ on the thumbnails, and gaze in silent horror at the ‘Walls’, and then decide for yourself if you reckon the ‘Peace Process’ is spelled correctly, or is it just another political fudge with an uncertain sell-by date!

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A man walks his dog on the Loyalist side of one of west Belfast's peace walls in this October 5, 1994 file photo. REUTERS/Crispin Rodwell

A man walks his dog on the Loyalist side of one of west Belfast’s peace walls in this October 5, 1994 file photo. REUTERS/Crispin Rodwell

and did you pack your AK-47 yourself, Sir?

I have often wondered why the time to either accomplish or publish certain ‘surveys’ is taken; as the results are so blindingly obvious. Most of the ‘commercial’ surveys are just self-congratulatory rubbish disguised as advert statistics viz. the efficacy of cosmetics, or personal health products; but occasionally we come across a ‘survey’ which defies the very definition of reality.

We are told that Travelzoo asked some 2000 British people who were considering holiday trips if they chose their holiday destination based on not only the possibility of sun, sand and booze, but also whether they might face death from a machine-gun attack (Islamic Tunisia); a night in the cells (Islamic Dubai in the event of drunkenly and/or openly screwing a female companion who was definitely not your wife); or swift deportation for taking your clothes off on a mountain top just to see if you can withstand the cold (Islamic Malaysia). Allied to the last charge for the naked morons was the belief that they had caused an earthquake by being uncaring of local tradition. Hell’s gates, what is the point of climbing a bloody mountain if you cannot strip down to your tighty-whities when you reach the summit?

Was the whole idea of this alleged ‘survey’ to expose the ludicrous stupidity of the average British tourist? When the very Internet is literally buzzing with Muslim killers in Paris, in America, in Egypt and in a dozen other spots where guaranteed sun is accompanied by the morning wailing from the muezzins leaning over their minarets; they had to actually ask if people had actively considered a risk? When will people just accept that the Muslim populations welcome Westerners for one thing, and one thing only: their cash. They respect dollars, pounds sterling, euros, roubles: they do not welcome, respect or indulge the bearers of that money. The lunacy of families traipsing thousands of miles to some ‘getaway place’ where they proceed to bake themselves to either red raw, or deep brown during the day, then eat and drink themselves stupidly insensible on an evening seems to be ingrained into the national psyche. and Travelzoo seriously expects these cousins to the average imbecile to have made their choices based upon an intelligent study of the local traditions?

There was a opinion piece published after the latest murders/killings/jihad attacks had occurred in Egypt, and this ‘travel-wise’ writer was pouring out his worries about how the locals ‘depended’ so much on the Western tourist footfall, and how devastating it would be if they never returned in large numbers.

For me, the very idea of a trip to Spain’s Benidorm or the Balearic hedonist-party is something just short of a swift visit to the Second, Third, Fourth and Seventh Circles of Dante’s Inferno on a Thompson’s 767; but that’s just me speaking. But the true peace of mind achieved by the innumerable visitors to the fleshpots of the Spanish beach resorts is from the other truth that there aren’t, as yet, a multitude of Muslims actually living there. I sometimes smile at the lunacies of a huge number of people all getting baked (in both senses of the word) in these places, but they are, to not coin a phrase, just like us. The visitors to the beaches of Magaluf, despite such dampeners on the lifestyle as the noted frozen cocktail bar below shuts reasonably early and there is minimal noise from the bar across the street.” don’t need to worry if the next footfall on the beach path belongs to some raving religious jihadi nut-case with a bad attitude and a loaded AK-47; the Guardia Civil has an impressive record with keeping the peace.

So, TravelZoo’s survey query to the would-be holidaymakers; was it helpful, demonstrative, or just plain daft? My own reply would simply be, the simple truth that most British holiday travel is booked on the basis of ‘cheap flights, lots of sun, cheap booze; but not many questions about what that amplified bloody singing in some foreign language is all about, especially as it wakes them up after they’ve just got to bed after a first-class piss-up!

and let them eat Cake!

Standing, as you do, on the Turkish shoreline beach, awaiting your family’s turn to embark on an expensive, dangerous, and truly futile voyage towards ‘Yurrup” otherwise known as the land of milk, honey and everlasting benefits; with the only bombing being those detonated by your Muslim compatriots perhaps unhappy with the present lack of deference towards the paeadophilic prophet!.

So, you reach the outer edges of Europe, you navigate the borders, the checkpoints, the panic-stricken Countries all too eager to get rid of you, and you end up in Austria, or even better, in Germany. but, fear not, the residents of Tunbridge Wells have taken up a collection for you, and you can choose between a china tea set, a ball-gown, or best and perhaps most appropriate of all: a Cake Stand.

and what Culture is that; exactly?

The total cost in lives, of the futile and senseless attack and occupation of Afghanistan, of American and British service personnel, is, in monetary terms, approaching $360 billions; and in terms of service personnel, over 2700 American and British have made the ultimate sacrifice, with thousands more wounded, physically and psychologically. We went in to remove the Taliban from power, as they gave succour, space and training facilities to the terrorists teams of Al Quaeda and of Usama bin Laden before, during and after 9/11. We won; but instead of establishing a ‘Islamic Democratic Republic’ which  is probably the first time such a lunatic title has actually been written down in earnest we should have simply said to the Afghans ‘Sort Yourselves Out’.

But, ignoring the history of Afghanistan, from the first invasion in 1839, through the retreat and massacre of Elphinstone’s Army in 1841, onwards through the Second (1879) and Third Afghan (1919) wars; and even after the Russian invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in 1979, we in the West thought that we understood the Afghans; we thought that a mob of truly-corrupt religious nut-cases could be converted to a stable democracy, we thought they could be persuaded to accept Western ideals and moral standards. So we stayed, and fought, and bled: and eventually, we crept out.

But the standards we have set ourselves, of ordinary Western moral behaviour, are just foreign to the Afghan, corrupt and viciously immoral as they are. When a Staff Sergeant beat a corrupt Afghan Police captain for kidnapping and raping a young Afghani boy, the Staff Sergeant is listed for early removal from the Forces because he, and all Americans in country, were ordered to ‘look the other way’ because ‘it is part of their Culture’.

forty-five seconds of silence

I do not, often, praise or salute politicians; foreign or domestic for what they say. Usually, they say one thing, then do something completely different. In my lifetime I can count on the fingers of one hand the total number of political leaders and who have stuck to their political principles throughout their lives. I mention this number for the simple reason that those who are thus saluted  are so few. Margaret Thatcher; naturally. The name of Enoch Powell springs to my mind; a decent, honourable man whose political life was destroyed and denigrated because he spoke the plain, unvarnished truth. I do regret that I have to name the Labour Leader as one such individual, as Jeremy Corbyn ticks all the boxes. But I have to state that I do not praise or write about that strange, convoluted and unpackaged man, as many others more qualified than I are building their own opinions of the life-long Marxist; now Labour Leader: a Leader who has elevated to be his Shadow Chancellor a man who has stated that the likes of the terrorist Bobby Sands’ miserable life and death should be marked and acclaimed in Great Britain.

Instead, I write about a principled man, whose country, whose religion, whose very existence which, severally, individually and collectively, has been ignored, vilified, reviled, condemned and persecuted almost unto extinction. I refer to the Jews of Israel, and of their present political leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. You will, no doubt, have either read, watched or been made aware of the many political leaders who, in the past week, have pranced, strode or crawled up to the United Nations Assembly podium, to push ever more fanciful scare stories about the oncoming terror of Climate Change, or of how killing large numbers of one group of fanatics in Syria is a good thing, whilst the next speaker wishes to kill another group of madmen, both groups being opposed to the very existence of Syria’s Assad. The same United Nations which proved beyond all doubt that satire is dead by its election of Saudi Arabia to head the UN Human Rights council panel. Some, but not many newspapers or tv channels carried the words of Benjamin Netanyahu to their viewers or readers, not too many commentators even mentioned them, because that silence, that total lack of comment or even condemnation, speaks more volumes than the silence which was heard throughout the once-venerable pillars and walls of the United Nations during the Israeli’s speech.

Some might comment that you cannot hear a silence, but, folks, watch that YouTube clip, and you can hear, in those forty-five seconds where no-one spoke, no-one heckled, no-one seemed to wish to meet the accusatory stares of that single Jewish statesman and politician, except the grinning young woman who sat adjacent to the Afghanistan place-name on the Assembly floor; or hear, in that strange silence; the echoes of the screams or moans of those 6,000,000 Jews who perished in the multiple Camp gas chambers and the bullet-strewn pits such as Babi Yar, along with the roar of the Hamas rockets pounding the desert sands as they inch ever closer to Israel’s towns and cities.

The Israeli Prime Minister was talking about the ‘Deal of the Century’, where billions of sanction-held dollars will be released to a bunch of Iranian religious terror-supporting and -generating fundamentalists, because a Treaty was signed whereby Iran promises to be ‘a good guy’, and promises not to make any more fissionable uranium, and promises to make available for inspection which the UN atomic guys wish to see; (but none of this instant access routines, but access only after about a month’s delay) and please, pretty please; can we have our money now please?

Benjamin has a problem. Should he ask the Saudi’s for their help in refuelling the Israeli F-16 fighter-bombers as they make the 4,000 mile-long  return trek from Israel to Bushehr, Qom, Tehran and the other nuclear production and assembly sites, together with the supposedly nuclear-proofed uranium centrifuge sites buried in the mountains? Should he use two thirds of all Israel’s nuclear weaponry in a first strike? Or should he wait until the peace-loving Iranians are ready to throw their own home-made nukes at an Israel which has been left semi-defenceless by a Muslim-loving US President?