Friday, 29 June 2007

Cheek Of The Queen

Sometimes you read or hear a news report that just leaves your flabber so gasted you think you must of misheard it so i double checked and yep, i did hear it right. That noise was my jaw hitting the floor in shock/disgust.
The Queen, one of the richest people in the World, has come to us clutching her Ming dynasty begging bowl to ask for £1m of taxpayers money to fix up her Palace.
Obviously she is not able to get by on the £37.3m we hand over to her annually which includes £14m for the upkeep of her property combined with her private income of more than £15m earnt through commercial property rent and investments.
Royal officials are whining that the state of the stonework in the palace's inner courtyard,is so bad that pieces are dropping off. Aww, poor lamb.
On top of the Civil List payout, we also fork out just over £100m for her security so i say to Her Majesty, with respect, put your hand into your pocket and fix your own bloody walls.

Brown Makes A Smart Move

For anyone with a vicious sense of humour, our new Prime Minister is a rich source of humour with his one eye, rotund frame and acute Scottishness. Seems rather unfair to start bashing the guy after he has only been in office for 48 hours but he has made a great start of winning back Labour supporters with the appointment of David Miliband as Foreign Secretary.
This Government post was usurped by Blair during his term as he chose to ground successive Foreign Secretary's in favour of rushing around the World himself, especially since 2001 when he spent so much time in America poodling after Bush, that you had more chance of laughing at a Seinfeld joke than catching a glimpse of our elected representative in Downing Street.
In Miliband, Brown has cleverly placed an Iraq War sceptic at the heart of his cabinet therefore removing the stain of the Middle East adventure from the Minister who does not have to carry the baggage of his more compliant predecessors.
A rising star in the Labour Party, Miliband is regularly put forward as a future Prime Minister and is known to favour closer ties with Europe and will not shirk from his responsibilities if he disagrees with other countries policies.
With the call for more distance from the USA common place, we may just have the man to refuse to have his tummy tickled by Texans in white houses.

WWJD?

If i wrote a book about events 500 years ago and said that it was completely accurate but on reading it, you discovered more inconsistencies than you could shake a Holy Grail at, you would rightly have some suspicions about the authenticity.
Well i didn't write it but the Bible is continually the greatest selling tome although the anti-Bibles are closing the gap.
Secularism is cool again as high selling books such as 'Letter to a Christian Nation' by Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins 'The God Delusion' have shown. Our own Christopher Hitchens has added his voice to the debate with the imminent release of 'God Is Not Great: The Case Against Religion' which comes with the promises that Hitchens's book will 'document the ways in which religion is man-made, a cause of dangerous sexual repression and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos'.
After the recent onslaught of religious fundamentalism in the shape of Jihad, born again Christian leaders citing God as telling them to go to war and numerous acts of war crimes in the name of some deity or other, the anti-religion backlash is gaining momentum and setting about the task of debunking the claims of creationists.
The bible crowd have had a good run but the time is nigh to come back down off your cloud.
What Would Jesus do? Probably not ditch his bible and pop down to Ye Olde Jerusalem Bookshop to reserve a copy of Hitchens book.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Floods & Heatwaves

As North Europeans strike out for the highest ground, our southern cousins strike out for the nearest cool spot as the continent is split in half by an extremely bad tempered Mother Nature.
There are currently 21 severe flood warnings in the UK and rivers bursting their banks all over the country, claiming six lives as a sixth of the annual rainfall came down in 12 hours.
Whole villages in the North of England have been evacuated and the authorities are trying desperately to shore up the Ulley Dam which is in danger of being breached by the flood waters as the MET Office issue further severe weather warnings for the weekend.
A short plane flight away on the other side of the Alps, a heatwave is frying the southern continentals with temperatures reaching 46C (115F) in Greece.
The phenomenal heat has killed at least 42 people, as well as causing hundreds of power cuts and forest fires.
As well as all the droughts, floods and severe weather around the globe, experts at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center are projecting an above average Hurricane Season for the Pacific Coast of North America.
Seems we could well be reaping what we have been sowing for centuries and the frightening thing is that if the expected 2C rise in global temperatures comes about, things are going to get a whole lot worse.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Good Riddance

In his last act as an MP, Tony Bliar gave a lesson in humility when he announced he was stepping down for good to take up his new role as middleman for the Palestinian peace process.
"Right from the beginning I've been really great at this job," the self-effacing premier stated, "and you've all been jolly lucky to have me leading you plebs for the last decade, even if I led you into an iffy war with Iraq but even that is looking up because we predict that in twelve months there won't be anybody left, at which point we are confident the country's own police force will be able to take control of security."
Flashing his trademark idiotic grin, Bliar then answered a journalists question about his future role.
"My role, as George explained to me, will be to prepare the Palestinian Government to negotiate with Israel which will mean yet another election there until we get the Government we want and then forcing them to tackle their terrorist problem while not mentioning Israel's unwillingness to to accept UN resolutions, end the illegal occupation or bring down the apartheid wall."
With a cheery farewell, he then set off to hand back the keys to her her Majesty who is expected join the rest of the country celebrating Tony Bliar's resignation with a big tea party.

Bye Tone, i can't say it's fun because, to be honest, it hasn't been.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Earl Hickey & Tom Cruise Connection

Germans are renown for having their humour surgically removed at birth and they have found nothing funny at all about the famous barnpot Tom Cruise.
They have chosen to ban his latest movie from being filmed in Deutschland because Cruise is a Scientologist (Operating Thetan VII no less) and the movement is adjudged to be a cult there so is therefore banned.
As usually happens, when you dig a little deeper, other stories show their face and i found out something deeply unnerving about one of my favourite comedy shows.
My Name is Earl is slowly gaining popularity here and i have been singing the praises of the show to anyone silly enough to listen to me. Then came the bombshell that it could have a darker ulterior motive.
The show is about Earl Hickey and it follows his trials and tribulations as he attempts to reverse his bad karma and sets about righting his former wrongs. An excellent ideal even if it is the same concept behind the 'overt-motivator sequence' that Scientology advocates which means that when a person does something good or bad, something good or bad happens to them, the underlying theme of the shows karmic mantra.
The connection continues with Earl himself - actor Jason Lee is a Scientologist, as is show creator Greg Garcia and Ethan Suplee who plays Earl's dim witted brother Randy. Juliette Lewis who plays the sister-in-law is a practising Scientologist. Also down with the Church is Giovanni Ribisi, who plays Ralph Mariano.
Maybe I shouldn't be concerned about the links and just enjoy it as an excellent programme but i can't help feeling I've been promoting what could be perceived as a Scientology vehicle disguised as comedy.
Fishsticks as Spongebob would say.

Monday, 25 June 2007

A Disney Of A Blog


It appears that my blog is of the Disney variety so
you can bring your granny here safe in the knowledge that she will not be subjected to bad language, scenes of a sexual nature or racist content.
Makes me sound a bit boring actually so i really should start posting more about nymphomaniac tourettes sufferers.

The Catholic Calling

I would be the first to admit that I do not know much about religion. It seems a very strange practise to give yourself over completely to something you cannot see, hear or even have any firm evidence exists, but that's probably why i am an Atheist.
The only time i set foot in a church is to steal the candles but if someone wants to live their life that way then that is fine by me.
With that in mind the fact that Blair is converting to Catholicism means very little to me but the Catholic Canon who lives across the hall from me (hi Rev Hans) is of the mind that the Catholics should tell Mr B where to go.
His argument is that after Iraq and his not so peaceful stand in other areas, he should not be grasped to the collective Catholic bosom. My personal opinion is that if he wanted to choose any religion he should go Islamic to undo some of the damage he has caused but somehow i don't think they will want him either.
I will happily continue on my Atheist ways and if anyone wants to buy some candles, my garage is full of them and i know where i can get my hands on a font.

Another Blogger Gone

WOW, that weekend was a blast and Jermaine Stewart will be happy to know that nobody took their clothes off which made swimming in the pool a bit tricky.
A few days away from the Blogsphere (still hating that word) and the main news on my return is Paula has left the building.
So many good bloggers have gone and folded in their blogs this year for whatever reason and i find it quite sad as our little blogging group slowly shrinks.
The Brits and other Europeans continue to evade my grasp which is a shame because it would be great to get a real multi-national spin on things but those of us left will hopefully continue to plug on and draw in a few others with our wit, sophistication and righteous views.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Hold Your Horses Rushdie

As previously mentioned, I have never read anything Salman Rushdie has ever written and judging by the reactions of those that have, i haven't missed much.
With a knighthood stashed in his back pocket, Salman could arguably think that he is one of the greatest living authors but i say hold your horses mister, there is an author that knocks you into a cocked hat, scarf and gloves.
Those who think themselves of a more intellectual bent when it comes to novels, sneer at the man i think deserves the title of greatest living author, but i guarantee that if you haven't read one of his books, you have seen one of the films made from his books.
He may be gargoyle chewing a bee ugly but Stephen King has been responsible for some of the best books i have ever clapped eyes on.
It is hard to find anyone who hasn't enjoyed The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption or Stand by Me or been heebied jeebied by the likes of The Shining, Carrie or It.
He may be looked down upon by some, but you do not get that popular without having some story writing talent and i would be the first to agree that some of his works have become bloated and would benefit from slashing a few pages.
Not the most articulate writer ever to fire up the typewriter but probably the best storyteller if you like your tales with a bit of a dark edge.
And just think what he could of achieved if he hadn't spent all that time plotting to whack John Lennon.

CIA Comes Clean

Hands up who knows of a country where the President happens to be the son of the former leader and whose brother heads the state that had the deciding vote.
Put like that it may sound as dodgy as an online dating service, but some Government Agencies do sometimes do things that may not be above board. Agencies like the CIA in fact who are about to declassify hundreds of documents detailing some of the agency's worst illegal abuses from the 1950s to 1970s.
The papers, to be released next week, will detail assassination plots, domestic spying and wiretapping, kidnapping and human experiments.
CIA head Michael Hayden has described it as "unflattering but this is about telling the American people what we have done in their name,"
Interestingly, it only goes up to the 70s because the recent actions of the CIA would make for some very fine reading material.
Whether any light will be shone on the much rumoured 'Monarch Project' which the USA and Nazi scientists were supposed to have run in the 50s and 60s is doubtful.
Should still make some uncomfortable reading for some though.

Game, Set & Match

The gentle tinkling of ice cubes in a glass, the gentle shooshing of the sprinklers watering the parched lawns and the usual chorus of, "That's all the Brits out before the end of the first week". It must be Wimbledon time again.
With Tim Henman and the Canadian/Brit Greg Rusedski all but counted out before it even starts, our hope this year is that spotty faced whelk Andrew Murray, although the Scot has not endeared himself to us south of Hadrian's Wall.
His fall in our eyes came before he even climbed anywhere as during last years World Cup he mentioned during a press conference of all places, that he would be supporting any team that played against England.
Being Scottish and a wee bit stroppy, he always had an uphill struggle to get the English to cheer for him and he has a better chance of thrashing Federer 3-0 in the Center Court Final then securing the backing from the majority of English.
So its Federer to take the men's title, Venus for the Williams ladies and Murray to fall at the first hurdle against some 16 year old qualifier from Papua New Guinea.
Now, where did i put my glass of Pimms?

Thursday, 21 June 2007

You Are Joking Mr Blair

When i heard that Tony Blair was being touted as a Peace Envoy to the Middle East, i of course, laughed it off as a joke. The same kind of joke along the lines of an arsonist being put in charge of the matches or Marion Jones made chief of Olympic Drug testing.
When it turned out his old pal George Bush had put him up for it, it all made perfect sense. Only these two could be so far removed from reality to think that Blair, of all people, had any credibility in a Middle East that they jointly razed to the ground.
With the possible exception of Israel that Blair has slavishly followed America on, Blair is viewed as the minor partner in causing the devastation engulfing that part of the World.
During the Lebanon war last year, Blair stood alongside with the US and Israel in resisting a ceasefire while bombs rained down on Southern Lebanon. Lest we forget the debacle in Iraq, the baiting of Iran and Syria, the support for the repressive Saudi regime and failing to offer any succour to the Palestinian people forcibly held down by their more powerful neighbour.
Any chances Blair had of being taken seriously once he leaves power went up the chute the first time he rolled over to have his belly tickled by the most globally unpopular American President ever.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Flag Burning: A Business Opportunity

For any budding entrepreneur armed with miles of coloured material (particularly red, white & blue)and a sewing machine, there is a market in the Middle East and Indian sub continent just ripe for the plucking.
Whoever has the contract for making and distributing the UK flag in Asia must be making Rupee & Iranian Rial over fist because once again the Union Jack and a naked flame are coming together in an orgy of chanting.
The reason that our national flag is being consumed in fire this time is the knighthood of author and long time fatwa recipient, Salmon Rushdie.
His 1988 book, The Satanic Verses, saw the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini urge fellow
Muslims to kill the writer for insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad and send Rushdie scuttling away into hiding.
Having never read anything written by Rushdie, whether he deserves the Knighthood or not is not something i can comment on, but as i can lay my hands on miles of Union Jack bunting left over from the Queens Golden Jubilee, i am hoping to knock it out to Tehran for a small fortune next time the masses congregate to denounce us.

Who The Devil...?

Yes it is.
No it isn't.
Is It?
Nah, can't be.
It is.
Blimey, you're right, it is. And so goes the regular conversation when some long forgotten actor or actress pops up in a TV show years after the programme that made them famous has ended . These may be easy for some so no clues and I will make them harder next time.




Monday, 18 June 2007

Killing Of The Innocent Continues

It is always the innocent who invariably loses the most during War, and so we see again as seven children die after there school is hit by air strikes by US and Afghan troops.
The school was in a compound suspected by coalition forces to house Taliban insurgents and followed "intelligence" that militants had taken shelter at the complex.
Of course the militants are beneath contempt for endangering the lives of these children by using them as human shields but it is happening with unnerving regularity, as we see in Afghanistan, Iraq and last years Lebanon conflict.
The insurgents hide among civilians and the airborne missile take out everyone and everything around them and then it's a shoulder shrug and a brief explanation that it is there fault for hiding there.
Yes, in an ideal world the insurgents would stay well away from civilian buildings but they don't and planting a dozen missiles into the vicinity and hoping that you get the bad guys while knowing full well that you will kill civilians is horrific.
Send in the ground troops to flush them out or find another way with dealing with the scum but killing 7 kids to take out 2 militants as happened here, just makes your military look as if they have little or no regard for innocent lives, and is an excellent recruitment advert for Al Queada .

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Internet About To Collapse?

What i know about the inside workings of computers would have to be written in a very large font to even fit onto the head of an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200 Dual Core 2.6 GHz CPU.
So when the guy who spent most of Saturday faffing about behind my PC to upgrade my broadband connection mentioned the Internet was soon going to collapsing under its own weight, my first thought was that if he spent less time yakking and hinting for cups of coffee he would of finished hours ago.
My second thought was how to subtly mention he needed a belt so every time he bent over i wasn't greeted by what reminded me of two, very white space hoppers trying to escape his jeans.
Finally, my third thought was could the Internet actually collapse?
Apparently so says so my coffee slurping workman as he yoinked up his trousers yet again.
"Its the Youtube generation" he explained, "All those videos, pictures and MP3's whizzing backward and forwards causing the strain on the hardware."
After he left i sat pondering whether something that was actually designed to survive a nuclear holocaust could actually be bought tumbling down by kids searching for the latest clip of someone making a prat of themselves in front of their web cam.
I decided i would ponder on it some more after searching for Father Ted clips.

If I Can Be Serious For A Moment

The blogosphere has many good points and just as many bad points.
Some authors may edit comments or close down the comments sections when the debates are not going there way and that is individual choice.
Many reach for the option of banning people and again that is there prerogative. I am willing to accept any form of debate here and yes, tempers can get frayed because hopefully, we get onto topics that can be emotive and controversial but that does not mean we should shy away from them.
What i cannot abide is threats of violence in any form, that is just unacceptable and unjustifiable.
Such macho nonsense is not welcome here and neither is the people who would reach for this option.
The person who initiated the pathetic nonsense here lately has told me they will voluntarily stay away which is the best option.
Debate, argue, swear and disagree but threatening violence is against everything i believe in and is not welcome here, nor the bloggers who cannot debate issues without threats of violence.

Palestine Falling Apart

The news is depressing to read or watch at the best of times but the sight of the Palestinians tearing themselves apart is heartbreaking.
After decades of being kept down under the Israeli boot, the murderous Hamas Party has achieved what the likes of Ariel Sharon could not do, dragged Palestine to the brink of self destruction.
After years of being hectored to hold elections and adopt democratic norms, a year and a half ago Palestinians duly elected Hamas with 44 per cent of the vote, ahead of Fatah on 41 per cent.
Isolation and financial embargoes followed because the result did not satisfy the international community and a slow and painful throttling of the Palestinian people set in.
With the Gaza Strip under Hamas control and the West Bank being run by Fatah, a unified Palestine will have to be the first call before we can even get onto a Palestinian State.
Very sad and voting in Hamas to run the Government is a huge setback for the Palestinian cause.

The New 7 Wonders

A favourite of school teachers is to get students to name the 7 wonders of the World.
Without cheating i would get the Great Pyramid, Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Zeus Statue and then be forced to reach for Google.
Whether you can reel them off from memory or not is soon to become redundant because the search for the new 7 Wonders is reaching its conclusion.
We are down to the final 21 and scanning the list here proves to me that i can add not knowing some of the modern wonders to not knowing some of the ancient wonders.
Tough choice to get down to 7 but i plumped for:

Christ Redeemer (Brazil),
The Roman Colosseum (Italy),
Statues of Easter Island,
The Eiffel Tower (France),
The Great Wall of China (China)
The Statue of Liberty (U.S.A.),
The Taj Mahal (India)

Friday, 15 June 2007

Make Love & War At The Same Time

Pacifists, hippies and spotty faced, 14 year old boys have long made the call of more lovemaking and less war but in a bizarre twist the two came close to being twinned in an orgy of bombs, bums and KY Jelly.
Back in the mid 90's, the US defence department considered various non-lethal chemicals meant to disrupt enemy discipline and morale. One of the weapons investigated was a "gay bomb", which would make enemy soldiers "sexually irresistible" to each other.
The plan envisaged an aphrodisiac chemical that would provoke widespread homosexual behaviour among troops and presumably, as the enemy was too busy rogering each other, the US soldiers would nip in and do what they had to do undisturbed.
The Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate said that none of the systems described in that proposal have been developed.
I wonder what President was in office when the idea came about for a weapon that makes people want to stop whatever they are doing, wherever they are, and have perform sexual acts on each other.
Hmmm, you're not planning on smoking that cigar now are you Sir?

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Michael Moore: Guardian Angel

Michael Moore is not everybodies cup of tea but the man is one smooth operator as this nice post that couldn't even get the most rabid reactionary upset will explain.
Jim Kenefick runs one of the most popular anti-Moore websites, Moorewatch.com. Last year Mr Kenefick's wife was taken ill with a neurological disorder but with no medical insurance, he was struggling to pay for her health care.
In desperation, he posted a note on his site pleading for help and stating that he would "be in your debt for all of time" for any assistance in these troubled times.
Mr Kenefick received a cheque from an anonymous individual for a lump sum of $12,000, equivalent to a year's medical fees for his wife.
It was enough to ease the crisis and ensure the continuation of the website, so Mr Kenefick banked the cheque and put up a thank you note to the person he called his "guardian angel".
You can guess what's coming can't you.
After some digging to find out the identity of the altruistic donor it was revealed as the man he had dedicated years to bad mouthing. Confirmation came from Moore himself, who left a message on Mr Kenefick's answer machine confirming that he was the donor, adding: "I wish you my best."
Classy.

Even More Iraqi Madness

Since 2003, there have been some decisions concerning Iraq that really does make you wonder what goes on inside the heads of the people who ponder these things.
Just exactly what train of thought the decision to arm the Sunni insurgents followed can only be concluded that there was a copious amount of mind bending drugs involved.
The military has embarked on the mind numbingly daft strategy in the hope that they will tackle al-Qaeda in Iraq.
So will the Sunni's now rise up against al-Qaeda and its foreign fighters or will they run back to their hidey holes and turn the weapons on the crazy Americans who have just handed them the capability to blow a few more holes in US soldiers and the Shia's who they fighting a civil war with.
Oh ye of little faith.
That's where the master stoke comes in because in order to get hold of the weapons in the first place, the insurgents have to promise to turn on al-Qaeda and not attack US troops.
And it has to be a proper, no fingers crossed promise and they have to really, really mean it.
The lunatics really do run the asylum.

No Honour In This Killing

Of all the oxymoron's in the English language, 'honour killings' has to be the most despicable. To kill a family member (almost always female) for some religious or ethical transgression defies belief and the practise has been forced to the front of our consciousness with news that a young Kurdish girls father and uncle have been convicted of her murder.
Her crime was to walk out of her arranged marriage when her husband began to beat her.
Just as disturbing is the ineptitude of the police in the matter as it was discovered that the murder victim told police four times in the month before her death that her family were trying to kill her and each time her pleas were dismissed.
Her body was found 3 months later in a pit, the bootlace used to strangle her still around her neck.
This really is a chilling and heart breaking tale of a life being snuffed by the very people we should be able to trust in life and the people who are there to protect us.
May her father and uncle rot in jail and may the police hang their head in shame.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Bush Not Popular Shocker

With the exception of a certain Austrian with one testicle (if the song is to be believed), it is hard to think of any other leader of a country who has suffered such a bad reception across Europe.
Riots and protests have followed the man like a bad smell every time he sets foot this side of the Atlantic.
We are supposed to be his ally but Britain saw the largest mid-week protest when he dared to show his smug face here a few years back and now Germany and Italy have descended into chaos as anti-war protesters demonstrate against the man who famously dodged his own chance of military action in Vietnam by getting his contacts to pull strings.
Last summer the streets of Vienna were swamped with anti-Bush protesters when he arrived for an EU summit but it is not just confined to Europe because last November tens of thousands turned out to protest in Indonesia against his arrival in Asia and there was mass protests against him in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil on a recent tour of South America.
The citizens of India and Australia have made their feelings well known to the US leader so, given all the hatred towards him, is Bush perceived as the most evil figure in history?
As ever, we turn to Google as our representation of World-wide opinion.
Bush Evil = 13,200,000 hits, Bin Laden Evil = 1,430,000, Saddam Evil = 1,500,000,
Hitler Evil = 1,650,000 and Stalin Evil = 1,210,000
The man is obviously not popular but can anyone find anyone even close to Bush? The closest i could get was Devil Evil and that was 2,540,000 hits.

Friday, 8 June 2007

That 'N' Word

THE SETTING - White, middle class, 19 year old student Emily, Black contestant Charley & Asian Nicky dancing in the garden of the Big Brother house.

THE EVIDENCE -
Emily to Charley dancing - You pushing it out you nigger.
Nicky - I can't believe you said that.
Charley - You are in trouble.
Emily - Don't make a big thing out of it then. I was joking.
Charley - I know you were ... but that's some serious shit, sorry.
Emily - Why?
Nicky - Just don't talk about it anymore.
Emily - I was joking

THE DEFENCE -
Emily - I'm friendly with plenty of black people.
Nicky - And you call them niggers?
Emily - Yeah and they call me niggers. They call me wiggers as well.
Nicky - I'm quite shocked.
Charley - I'm fucking in shock.
Emily - It's not a big deal though is it?

Naive? Innocent comment? Racist? Ignorant? A product of street culture? Over-reaction? String her up? Acceptable today?

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Suspicions Cast On McCann's

When Madeline McCann went missing in Portugal 34 days ago, the media response was hugely supportive but there was always a faint undercurrent of apportioning blame to the parents.
The initial finger pointing quickly faded as the story rolled but as the four year old continues to be missing, the sympathy is very slowly morphing into something altogether more sinister.
For the first time, these suspicions have been aired when a reporter questioned them about whether they were involved in her disappearance.
"How do you feel about the fact that more and more people seem to be pointing the finger at you and implying that you might have something to do with it?" they were asked.
There does seem to be a feeling among a growing minority that something just does not seem to be sitting right with their stories.
Until the Portuguese turn up some evidence to the contrary, it seems bad taste to make any implications of the parents involvement in their child's disappearance but as time goes by, the whispers are certainly growing.

Tiananmen Square Horror

1989 was a time before we became desensitised to seeing death and brutality on our news programmes but the massacre in China's Tiananmen Square 18 years ago today was an event of horrific proportions.
The image of the man grasping a flag and standing defiantly in front of the Chinese tank stands as one of the most iconic images of our times.
I clearly remember watching in horror as the scene on the television unfolded with demonstrators falling over the bodies of the dead as they fled the slaughter of unarmed civilians shot dead by a brutal regime that sent its tanks rumbling through the capital's streets and the army moved into the square randomly firing on peaceful protesters.
The ferocity of the attack which killed thousands, rightly bought condemnation from around the world as the Chinese government carried out widespread arrests to suppress further protests and banned the foreign press from the country.
Deng Xiaoping may be dead and buried and China has undergone a Public Relations exercise of late but it still remains an authoritative and brutal regime.
The crying shame is that the Tiananmen Square massacre was not the last time that I have sat in silence as the camera showed images of innocent dead civilians created by other Governments around the World.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Our Olympic Logo



Here we have the result of £400,000 and a years consumer testing.
This is the 2012 London Olympics Logo. Great isn't it although the design has been a bit controversial since its launch yesterday.
Firstly, it was universally condemned as rubbish by all and sundry and likened to the scrawling of a young child armed with a red crayon and a can of Dr Pepper.
If that didn't send the logo designers diving for the nearest pub and a few pints of full strength cider, the site that housed its animated version caused some web viewers to suffer epileptic fits.
Jubilant organisers have hailed it as dynamic and vibrant, but to everyone else it is £400,000 down the gurgler and looks to me like one of those television graphics that has the pieces slowly come together to form a picture. Can't help thinking that if the image rolled on a few more seconds we would have a fully formed swastika.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Israeli Boycott Growing

The sidelocks are being tugged in anger in Haifa as yet another British Union join the series of boycotts aimed at Israel.
Condemned Israel for its "denial of educational rights" to Palestinians, The University & College Union today joined the largest public sector workers union, Unison,and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in boycotting Israel in protest at its treatment of Palestinians.
The claim was that while the Israeli university was functioning well, the Palestinian university had been closed for 51 consecutive weeks because of arrests and incursions by Israeli forces.
In retaliation, Israeli groups are now planning to launch a counter-boycott of British goods and services.
Regular as clockwork, the Israeli response was to call the boycott by millions of unionists as anti-semitic with minister for social affairs saying that there is "a long trail of anti-semitism in Europe." Wasn't expecting that.
Such a large number of protesters have made the politicians sit up and take notice with two high profile UK Jewish groups JIV and J-BIG, joining the fray against Israel's policy in the Occupied Territories.
Better stock up on your oranges, they could soon be in short supply.

Cold War: Take 2

Someone dig out the Nena song '99 Red Balloons' because if the experts are to be believed, the Cold War is back on.
America has plans to place missile interceptors in Poland and the Czech republic which has piqued the Russian Vladimir Putin who in response, has successfully test-fired a new intercontinental missile armed with multiple warheads.
The proud owner of 10,000 nuclear weapons, the vast majority of Russia's nuclear arsenal are now to be pointed at European Cities. This is in the hope that these countries will put pressure on the Polish and Czech Republic who are only too happy to whore themselves to America's foreign policy instead of telling them where to stick their missiles as anyone else with a half self respecting Government would do, except England of course who whored themselves decades ago.
So it's 'When the Wind Blows' and 'Two Tribes' all over again unless, in the interest of fairness, the US let Russia place missiles on their doorstep. Cuba would be a good spot.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Imagine That

It is the 40th anniversary of The Beatles Sgt Peppers Album and as i was sitting in traffic on the way home tonight listening to a discussion on the radio about John Lennon.
One of the guests mentioned a conspiracy theory that his killer was actually Stephen King and not Mark Chapman at all.
After laughing like a drain, i made a mental note of the website mentioned and have since been poking around this chaps theory.
Indeed, Steven Lightfoot has a dedicated site that sets out his theory that Mark Chapman was a patsy and the real murderer is the famous author.
His greatest evidence is the above picture where, according to Lightfoot, 'the man photographed getting Lennon’s autograph hours before he killed him is not Mark Chapman like we were all told. Chapman’s glasses are the wrong prescription, his features are more centrally boxed in the middle of his face and his hair is the wrong texture, as well as the fact that the killer has dimples that Chapman does not. Only Stephen King’s features exactly trace the proportions of the autograph hound.'
Not convinced? He has threatening letters from King and other evidence and implores us to get the truth out there.
I love a good conspiracy theory and the loopier the better but tell you what, as far as getting the truth out there is concerned, shall we not but say we did if he asks?

Bush The Eco-Warrior?

It isn't that i don't trust George Bush, although i don't. It isn't that i think he tells the sort of lies that would make Richard Nixon blush, although he does. It is not even the fact that anything that issues forth from his mouth should be taken with as much salt as the dead sea contains. Although it should be.
What made me a tad sceptical about the US president turning eco-warrior and promising to save the planet was that silly grin he always wears as he speaks which makes it look like his mouth is saying one thing and his mind is laughing "YEAH RIGHT, AS IF".
He has spent his whole administration denying global warming by continually opposing Kyoto and dismissing his own Administrations, Environmental Protection Agency and the combined opinion of the worlds leading environmental scientists IPCC report that blamed climate change on human activities.
So what did Bush, who runs the Worlds biggest polluter, actually say?
He has pledged that the US will hold a series of meetings of the world's highest polluting countries to discuss action on climate change.
That was basically it, that at some point he will sit down with the other biggest polluters and have a chat about reducing their pollution levels. No details, no plans, just the promise that the man whose environmentally friendly initiative named the 'Clear Skies Act', would have actually increased pollution, would take care of things.
Considering his track record and duplicity on most things, showing any trust in regarding anything Bush would be foolhardy, but leaving him to save the planet from Global Warming would be akin to assigning the Pope to a condom distribution clinic.