Friday, 5 February 2016

Assange Arbitrarily Detained

British arrogance is renown but as the saying goes if you lay with dogs then you get fleas and Sweden seems to have caught something nasty from the Brits because the usually laid back Scandinavians are embroiled in the nasty smell over Julian Assange.
The United Nation have found that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is being 'arbitrarily detained' in the Ecuadorian embassy for the past 3 and a half years but the British and Swede's shake their heads and call the United Nations 'ridiculous' and say 'no he hasn't'.
To make it worse the Brits and Swedes are acting on behalf of the United States as Assange had shown the World the awful things the American military were doing in Iraq and Afghanistan and rather than go after the people doing the murdering, they went after the messenger and Britain as always was happy to be the lapdog and drag Sweden into out murky World.
The findings that state Assange’s 'deprivation of liberty' must end should mean it's time for him to walk free and to be compensated for the lengthy period he has been holed up in the Embassy but tonight he remains in his embassy room and Britain and Sweden remaining adamant that the report changes nothing. 
The CIA's 'Rendition Airlines' and that cell beside Bradley/Chelsea Manning will just have to wait and Sweden should choose it's friends more carefully.

I Wanna Be Elected

The best thing about other countries elections are that they won't effect us so we can be as blasé as we like about them so it is fun watching the Americans tie themselves up in knots about who will take the keys to the White House front door.
Will it be the racist with the mad hair or the wife of the man who famously managed to soil the interns blue dress while not having sexual relations with that woman.
It could yet be the Socialist who wants to turn America into Europe or even the Canadian who end up with their feet under the Oval Room table.
One person who seems to be shamefully overlooked is the brother of the man who is widely regarded as the dumbest US President since that one who kept falling over steps and was described as being: 'so dumb he can't fart and chew gum at the same time'.    
George W Bush's little brother, Jeb, has hardly registered on the radar and apparently so low key has been his campaign that he had to remind his supporters to clap after a particularly dull speech on National Security. 
We could yet see someone break out of the pack who isn't any of the above but it doesn't look as though the next Middle Eastern country to have American bombs dropped on it will have the pleasure of it being done by a Bush, that particular hat-trick seems very distant at this moment.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Our Pet Asteroid

Look up to the sky in March and you may just see another flaming ball of matter as well as the Sun because an asteroid is scheduled to fly by but NASA can’t quite tell how far away it will be with estimates ranging from 9 million miles to 11,000 miles, approximately 95% closer than the moon.
Astronomers have only just been able to track its path and they will narrow down the trajectory the closer it gets.
The asteroid, called 2013 TX68, is 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter but astronomers studying the space rock are almost certain that it is not on a collision course with our ball of rock so i am hoping that it is closer to the 11,000 miles than the 9 million.
In 2020 the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) plans to grab an asteroid, tow it along and place it in orbit about the moon so shame we did not have the technology already in place because we could have a asteroid literally fall into our lap save us having to go find one.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Show Us The Biblical Evidence

Christina Wilkinson, head at St Andrew's CE Primary School in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, took to social media to air her views about the earth's beginning and posted that 'evolution is not a fact' and that that is 'more evidence that the Bible is true'.
As expected she was then mercilessly mocked and has since taken down the post and replaced it with a less contentious one that explains that the school teach the full national curriculum in school and that 'our pupils receive a fully rounded education'.
Not if she is teaching them you may say but i would be interested to hear what evidence she has that the Bible is true.
Has she finally found the elusive talking snake or even the unicorn the Bible talks about or maybe the ark that was large enough to accommodate either two or seven of every animal in the World?
Possibly we can finally explain how God created light on the first day but didn't magic up the Sun until Day 4 or exactly how the stars will 'fall from the sky' when Jesus returns or that the Earth is at the centre of everything and the Sun has been actually going around the Earth all this time.    
Considering that the Bible is full of stories stolen from other earlier religions surely if there is any evidence then it rather disproves Christianity in favour of the religions that it replaced.
Maybe Mrs Wilkinson should stick to showing her primary school kids how to stay inside the lines when colouring in and leave the big stuff to the other teachers.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Yee Haw'ing For Donald Trump

Adele has joined fellow musicians Neil Young, REM and Aerosmith who have asked presidential hopeful Donald Trump to stop using their songs in his bid for the White House.
The strange haired racist one has been using Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep' and 'Skyfall' in his campaign but the British singer has told him that he does not have permission for her music to be used.
Steven Tyler has already told Trump to leave his tunes out of the CD Player as it: 'gives the false impression that he is connected with, or endorses, Mr Trump’s presidential bid' which of course nobody in the public eye would, or so you would think.
Hulk Hogan and Lou “The Incredible Hulk” Ferrigno have nailed their colours to the Trump mast as have a couple of little known country music singers who probably mean more to an American audience who for some reason like all that 'my dog died and my pick up truck has a flat tyre' kinda thing. Kid Rock has also announced himself as a Trumpton.
Everyone's favourite Socialist Bernie Sanders has Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Vampire Weekend in his corner along with what looks like a 90s reunion tour with Dinosaur Jr, The Dead Kennedys, Belinda Carlisle, Faith No More, the Foo Fighters, Babes in Toyland and Sonic Youth.
Simon and Garfunkel have also given permission for their song 'America' to be used on the Sanders campaign ad.
In the Hillary Clinton corner is Kanye West, Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, Katie Perry, Christina Aguilera, Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, Jon Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Cher, Kelly Clarkson, Ellie Goulding, Ice-T, Ja Rule, Quincy Jones, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Janelle Monae, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Usher, will.i.am and Stevie Wonder which ought to do it when it comes to choice of Hillary's campaign song.
The right wing has always been short on musical talent, the left, like the devil, always had the best tunes so it shouldn't be any surprise that the Trump campaign is only attracting singers who are  wearing boots and a cowboy hat and but as Kid Rocks biography shows he once had a song titled 'Cold and Empty', the Trump campaign may have found a song that sums him up perfectly.
That is of course unless they find a Country and Western singer who has a song called 'Hitler Loving Racist' they could use instead.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Building Statues

When you get off the ferry at Le Harve in France, as you walk towards the town centre you are greeted by a huge statue of Napoleon on his horse.
It is not just Le Harve but all cities in France seem to have a statue dedicated to a megalomaniac who invaded and slaughtered his way across Europe and in whose footsteps Hitler trod a century later only with mechanised infantry rather than on horseback.
While Hitler is rightly reviled as evil, the equally vicious and repugnant Napoleon seems to have a
romanticised image and so statues of him are not treated the same as if statues of Adolf adorned the streets of Berlin. 
That is the problem with statues, someone somewhere will be repulsed by them especially as in the UK we seem to have a penchant for erecting statues to military personnel, men such as the Dambusters of Bomber Command who have a memorial in London's Green Park.
The Dam's they busted resulted in almost 2000 civilian deaths so should we be building monuments to people like this which is behind the furore over the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oxford University, a white supremist who wreaked havoc in Africa and represented Britain at it empirical worst.
In his time, when Britannia Ruled The Waves, anyone stomping around the globe and putting the natives down while they raped and pillaged the land for Blighty was a hero, in the cold light of the 21st Century we seem them for the hideous creatures that they were.
I imagine Napoleon was viewed the same way in France, today we may see a precursor of the great dictators of the 20th Century but in 19th Century France he was thought to be doing his part to turn France into a major European power.
What is wrong is when we can see how misguided our ancestors were but still keep the sculptures built in their honour and that is why i believe the Oxford University is wrong in their decision to not remove the Rhodes statue from the University.
What i would certainly avoid is building further remembrances to any more political or military personnel because who may seem perfectly worth celebrating today, may be seen in a very different light by future generations.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Is Trump A Fascist?

Fascism is defined as an extreme right-wing, authoritarian or intolerant views or practises and Hitler and Mussolini were the most famous advocates but there is a new fascist in town and he brings a haircut even Hitler would describe as bizarre.
US presidential hopeful Donald Trump incites racism like fascist dictator Adolf Hitler according to Anne Frank’s stepsister and Auschwitz death camp survivor Eva Schloss.
Schloss warns that she sees similarities between the Nazi leader and the Republican who has been 'acting like another Hitler by inciting racism', referring to his comments regarding Mexicans as drug dealers, criminals and rapists and wanting to bar all Muslims from entering the United States.
As his former wife revealed during the divorce proceedings, the most thumbed book in the Trump library was the book of Hitler quotes, 'My New Order', and there was that infamous quote 'this guy Hitler had some good ideas' which doesn't do anything to dispel the myth that Trump is a wannabe fascist. 
Holding extreme right wing views and blaming a specific group of immigrants for all the countries problems does not a fascist make but it is a great start.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Cameron's Dead Cat Manoeuvre

Not a good week so far for David Cameron and his Government and today he heaped even more brickbats to fall down on his head by dismissing refugees living in desperate conditions in French camps as a 'bunch of migrants'.
Not for the first time that the Prime Minister has used inflammatory language so you would have thought he would have learned by now but maybe he has which is exactly why he made such a comment.
While we are concentrating on that we are not discussing the uncomfortable things such as the Conservative Party flagship policy of the Bedroom Tax being declared 'discriminatory and unlawful' by the Court of Appeal or the the Google tax deal which saw the search engine pay a tenth of the amount tax it owed and the Chancellor describing it as a good thing.
Nor are we looking at how the Transparency International condemned the UK as 'extraordinarily inept' at tackling corruption and 'cosying up' unconditionally to states with appalling human rights records like Saudi Arabia and China.
The bunch of migrants speech also covers up the UN report that we have been implicit in Saudi Arabia targeting and killing civilians in Yemen and also selling spying equipment to repressive states such as Egypt.
Nor are we hearing much about how the government tried to redefine child poverty by changing how it is measured by measuring worklessness and children's performance at school rather than household income.
To use an Australian expression, Cameron is using the dead cat manoeuvre which involves throwing a defunct moggy into the room and everyone will shout about the dead cat you lobbed into the room but not about the issues that would otherwise cause him so much grief.
Sadly, it works every time.

UK Role In Yemen

Britain’s role in exporting arms and providing military advisers for the Saudi Arabian-led bombing campaign in Yemen is under pressure today following a United Nations report which revealed widespread attacks on civilian targets, including refugee camps, civilian weddings, vehicles, medical facilities and schools in breach of International Law.
The UK sold over £1 billion worth of missiles, rockets and bombs to Saudi Arabia since last summer in a glorious bit of war profiteering as the Saudi military lurch into Yemen.
David Cameron has defended the arms sales to Saudi Arabia insisting the UK has the 'strictest arms controls of any country in the world' and that the UK 'carefully monitors how Saudis use British-made weapons in relation to Yemen'.
That's all okay then, none of that taking the matter to the UN Security Council on account of all the dead civilians at the hand of the Saudi military and call for sanctions or drumming up support to remove a a murderous regime.
Easier to just deny everything, carry on selling the weapons and counting just how much each dead Yemeni civilian is worth to the UK economy.

Zika Virus

There hasn't been a health scare story for a while in the newspapers so we were overdue one and on cue Zika Virus turns up to scare us all.
One person has tested positive in Denmark for the mosquito-borne virus along with Italy, Spain, UK and Switzerland registering several people infected with the disease.
U.S. public health officials have announced that the United States must prepare for the inevitable arrival of Zika virus that has spread to 21 countries in the Americas with 4,120 documented cases in Brazil alone.
In an effort to dampen any panic, the World Health Organisation have released a press release that advises the Zika virus is contracted through mosquito bites but cannot be spread by human contact.
Italy has reported several cases of the virus, saying that all the people infected had recently returned from Latin America and the Caribbean and the Danish tourist in today's case had recently visited South and Central America and suffered a high fever, headache and muscle pain.
Pregnant women are most at risk, as the virus has been linked to serious birth defects but i am sure that the press won't let a good health scare go to waste.