Sunday, 30 March 2008

The Truth In Rev Wright's Remarks

I missed the start of the whole Rev Wright debate last week but according to a US/UK radio phone in i listened to last night, the furore is not dying down.
The potentially blasphemous "God Damn America" quote seems to be upsetting the religious portion of those outraged but everyone else is buffeting him for being 'Un-American' for his quote concerning Sept 11th and chickens coming home to roost.
"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost" he said.
This was a view i heard over and over again following that day in 2001, even while it was still going and we stood watching the terrible events unfurl on the TV screen, the feeling was that it was horrific but not unexpected.
No country is faultless, my own country has an abhorrent history dripping in other peoples blood and we should be able to stand up and say when we think our country is wrong without being labelled unpatriotic.
So was Rev Wright right?
The vast majority of citizens will bristle indignantly when confronted with a brutal, honest, historically accurate truth, which contradicts the cosy view they have of their country.
It is undeniable that the US has not always been on the side of right, and has committed some horrific acts against humanity.
The best answer would be to look at why America was attacked on 9/11, and to avoid making those same mistakes again so there has to be a change from the politics and policies of the past.
So yes it was chickens coming home to roost after decades of mistreating others and concocting tales to start another war immediately afterwards which has resulted in a million plus deaths and setting the majority of the rest of the world against you is not going to see Americas image improve anytime soon and why the 2008 election is so important for America.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Leona Lewis

Truth be told, Britain is not especially famed for its talented female singing voices. With Whitney off her face on god knows what, there is a gap in the market for a female with that special voice and just maybe us Brits have the next big thing in Leona Lewis.
Usually the winners of TV talent contests have their 15 mins of fame and then thankfully fall off the planet but when Leona won X Factor two years ago you would have to have had ears made of lettuce not to have noticed that she was head and shoulders above what normally turns up to be sneered at by Simon Cowell.
Now the former receptionist is sitting pretty at the top of the US billboard chart after staying at number one for seven weeks here and it really could not of happened to a nicer girl.
She has been signed in the US to Clive Davis's label, the man who discovered a young Whitney Houston and turned her into probably the finest female singer of our generation so she really could not be under the wing of a better person.
She is a rare and exceptional talent and if she gets the right songs and avoids the Mariah Carey wobbly voice style that irritates no end, she could be huge.
Everytime i have seen her on TV she has been courteous, polite and humble with no signs of the pretentious behaviour that seems to go hand in hand with most female singers.
I just hope that with her success she can keep that attitude, don't believe the hype that is going to surround her and stay the genuinely nice person she presently is because the tide can turn extremely quickly. Take a lesson from the fate of Victoria Beckham and Catherine Zeta Jones who both went from national treasure to a vicious media kicking as quick as it took for any pretentious behaviour to rear its head.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

You Silly Girl Hillary

Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. What were you thinking?
It was obvious some TV producer was going to rummage around in the video library and find footage of you landing in Bosnia and not having relations with those snipers.
I can understand why she felt she had to sex it up a little but she has fallen into the trap that so many women vying for a position of power fall into, trying to compete with the men in the macho stakes.
Her strength should have been that she was removed from the testosterone fueled antics of her male counterparts. We should be seen as the healers, listeners and conflict resolvers with the maternal instinct to care for others.
That is where Hillary should be building her reputation, as the polar opposite of who currently resides in the White House, not trying to show how tough she is or trying to show her 'manly' credentials.
The is a great bit of advice from former White House Press Secretary Sharon Krum who said that 'Women will never be as good at being men as men are."
What damage this has done to her reputation we shall find out in due course but if this does turn out to be the final nail in her political aspirations, hopefully future female hopefuls can learn from her experience and avoid the pitfalls she has placed her stilettoes in.
After eight years of aggressive and explosive rhetoric, the World needs a calming influence at the head of the table, not someone keen to impress that they can be as recklessly macho as the last guy.
That is not where our strengths lay.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Stopping The Barbaric Seal Cull

What sort of human being would not be appalled at the sight of animals having their skulls crushed, their bodies hooked with a metal spike and dragged away leaving a bloody trail on the ice?
The annual seal cull is gearing up with this years quota set at 250,000 harp seals in the sights of the hunters and this time they are not even trying to hide behind the excuse of the seals eating all the fish. The Canadian departmental official speaking on Sky TV today came out and said what we all knew, it's about the fur.
Animal welfare groups have been pushing for a ban on seal imports for years in order to stop the slaughter and finally the European Union is on the verge of an EU wide import ban that could help end the seal hunt.
Experts say this would stop Canada shipping seal pelts through European ports to major markets in China and Russia and fatally wound the barbaric practise.
Seal fur is used in the fashion industry, with each pelt fetching around £25 to £40, and hunters can expect to make a killing in both ways in a few days.
An often used argument by the hunters is that it is their living but as sealers are fishermen by trade, they are just making an additional income for a few weeks a year from killing seals so nobody is going to starve. This is just a sideline or maybe there are more sinister reasons behind the hakapik wielding seal killers.
Here is a Canadian sealer speaking to the Toronto Star: “We all go out for the love of it rather than the money, which isn't there anymore."
So don't insult our intelligence by dressing it up as an economical necessity and don't try and justify the unjustifiable because it is just a barbaric, needless slaughter of defenceless animals for the sake of lining the pockets of the fisherman and providing fur coats to morally bankrupt buyers.

Monday, 24 March 2008

4000 Up

When the White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was asked for a reaction to the death toll for U.S. troops in Iraq reaching 2,500, he responded: “It’s just a number.”
I wonder if he will be quite so keen to shrug it off now that now it has reached 'just' 4,000? So what have those 4000 dead Americans actually died for?

Did you find any Weapons of Mass Destruction? No.
Did you find Osama bin Laden? No.
Did you stop Terrorism around the World? No
Did the invasion make the world any safer? No.
Is America safer? No.
Is the Middle East a safer place? No.
Are the Iraqi people still dying in their droves? Yes.
Have you made a bad situation even worse? Yes.
Has Americas international standing improved? No.
Is it going be over soon? No.
Was it used as a recruitment campaign by Al-Qaeda? Yes.

Lucky it is just 4000 dead because otherwise it might be thought of as a bit of a catastrophe all around don't you think Mr Snow?.

Smoking Beneath The Counter

An article I read some time ago stated that in Victorian times, piano legs were covered by a cloth to prevent a 'stirring in the loins' of a gentleman. I don't know if the gentlemen in Queen Victoria's era were so sex depraved that they made a bee-line for the nearest musical instrument that looked up for it, but to them the only way to keep the Steinway's keys from getting all sticky was to cover its legs in an out of sight, out of mind approach.
The Government seem to be taking the same approach to cigarettes with it's latest idea of banning shops from displaying cigarettes and moving them literally beneath the counter in an attempt to reduce smoking.
I was one of those rare breed of smokers that supported the smoking in pubs and public places ban introduced last year and i don't have a real problem with this idea although with the millions smokers rake in for the Government, i do wonder if the they actually want people to give up en mass.
If the Govt is that concerned about really doing something, then just ban it outright but there is a greater danger lurking in our newsagents and supermarkets.
With the new laws, smoking has become a much more self damaging habit with little impact on others and i have yet to hear of smoking causing any anti-social behaviour while you only have to look at any city centre or emergency ward on a weekend to see the effects alcohol has on the body so we should be getting alcohol underneath the counter as well.
Smoking is bad i agree and anything that makes it easier to stop or not start in the first place should be encouraged but i would rather be in the vicinity of someone who had just bought 20 cigarettes than someone who has just paid for 20 cans of Special Brew.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Surname Experiment

I do enjoy reading up on psychological experiments and they do throw up some very interesting and controversial results so i am greatly looking forward to The Edinburgh International Science Festival and mainly the results of the
question "Do people who have a surname that began with a letter nearer the start of the alphabet more successful in life than those with names towards the end?
Splitting the alphabet in half to A-M and N-Z, removing the multiple entries and finger counting from some lists of high achievers surnames makes some interesting reading.

UK Prime Ministers........32.......16
US Presidents..............36.......12
Present UK Cabinet.......24........5

England Football Squad...21.......9
100m Olympic Champs....17.......7

Female Oscar Winners ...42.....23
Male Oscar Winners.......55.....21

Music top 10
Best selling Female.......5/10... 5/10
Best selling male.........7/10.....3/10

Hmmmmm. I will have to sit and ponder exactly why but it seems true that those that have a surname beginning with a letter closer to the start of the alphabet ARE more successful.
I knew i would one day regret that proposal from David Aaronovitch.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Easter Hypocrite?

As crazy as it might sound, Easter has some kind of religious thread running through it. Those hot cross buns and Easter eggs all have some relevance to biblical stories but as only 2% of Brits actually go to church regularly, the question could be asked should it still be classed as a religious holiday?
I'm an atheist but i have no qualms about giving and receiving Easter eggs as i don't give it a second thought when i wrap up Christmas presents but i am aware that i am wide open to the shouts of hypocrite. That's fair enough although i could argue that i am keeping with tradition and not 'celebrating' anything. I could even claim to be a pagan which seemed to have had its celebrations hijacked by Christians but that's another story.
So should people who spout off about not believing in God or Jesus for the other 363 days be able to join in the Christmas and Easter thing just because we get a bit of chocolate and a present out of it?
Maybe one way to get around it would be to go along the route of Christmas where in some cases it has been de-religionised and is just plain 'Winter Holidays' or 'Festive Season' but i do have some reservations about that.
My solution is to pretty much ignore all the religious aspects and just enjoy the 4-day weekend and the chocolate that sits in my refrigerator.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Cowell Isn't Such A Bad Guy

He has been called rude, annoying, vain, smug and his fluorescent white teeth and high waist bands have been ridiculed mercilessly so there are no shortage of things you could knock Simon Cowell for. Foisting the Spice Girls onto us should be enough to see him lynched but the former EMI errand boy with the acid tongue has managed to not only clog up the charts with his bands singles but dominate the television schedules also and earn himself £22m annually doing it.
Yep, he is the guy that seemed to revel in his image of being the bad guy who pulls his trousers up too high but his reputation has taken a bit of a battering today with a heart touching act of kindness.
Appearing on Oprah Winfrey's show to promote X Factor winner Leona Lewis in the US, he saw a video of a family struggling to support themselves while travelling 100 miles everyday for their 3 year old daughters cancer treatment.
After seeing a video of the family, 'Mr Nasty', said: "I didn't know what to do in this situation, other than to do something which I hope will help your situation."
He then wrote out a cheque for £80,000 and handed to them saying "I know that you're having problems with your mortgage. As of this afternoon your mortgage has been paid off."
Rude, vain, smug and annoying he may be but underneath that television persona is actually a decent guy after all.
Well done Simon.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Dangerous Beatle Alert

Authorities have warned the public to be on the lookout for a strange individual as they go about there business this evening.
Police have contacted all the media outlets to ask for co-operation in the hunt for a miserable looking pensioner who has been terrorising the music charts since the 1970's and was last seen muttering complaints in scouse about "one legged trollops" while perusing the hair dye section of a local Supermarket.
Police warn that he is believed to be deeply unstable, and may be sporting a dazed expression.
Members of the public are advised to keep their distance, and not under any circumstances approach the man with a pen and paper and say: "Mr McCartney, could I have your autograph please?"
Chief Inspector Frank Drebbin of Scotland Yard explained in a hastily convened press conference that: "This man is clearly extremely angry, and should not be approached until something happens to cheer him up. Anyone who sees him is advised to smile politely and back away slowly. If he starts singing, wave your hands in the air and make yourself look big. Failing that, kick him in the nuts."
"Our biggest fear" said a record executive "is that now he will now concentrate on creating more music and nobody with a working set of ears wants that."
Police have already conducted searches in the usual places that washed up singers hang out but raids at the Gallagher brothers house didn't turn up any leads.
"Consider him armed and dangerous" warned the Chief Inspector, "he was carrying a copy of single "The Girl Is Mine" when last spotted."
Hey, let's be careful out there.

Recession Bargains

Stocks and shares across the world have nosedived again after problems at US bank Bear Stearns and the doom and gloom merchants are predicting everything to come crashing down around our ears once again.
Of course a full blown recession means misery for some but for others who don't mind taking advantage of anothers misfortune, it could be a great time.
Looking back at the last recession in the early 90s, we can see just how to make money from a recession if you can handle the face looking back at you in the mirror the next day.
Recession is good for property auctioneers with many of the properties sold at auctions having been repossessed from the financially-stretched by their mortgage company. Good news for first time buyers with house prices slashed and sold for considerably less than the unfortunate previous owner paid.
Second hand car dealers and car auctioneers are the next in the gleefully rubbing their hands club with many people watching their autos being carted away on the back of a repossession lorry and ending up at a car auction and sold on for a fraction of the price.
Shares may go up as well as down so warn the adverts but a well placed bank employee tells me that there are some sure fire winners to snap up during a recession. Apparently shares in utilities companies, food retailers, chemists and tobacco companies always rise when the going gets tough. Obviously the company price of repossession firms will rise briskly with the all added business as well.

Morally it may be very iffy but a recession is not all bad as long as you find yourself on the right side of it and you can block out the lamenting of the newly homeless couple smoking themselves dizzy outside your front door.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Watching China

As China showed with brutal ferocity in 1989, it does not take demonstrations lightly. So when it gives a deadline to the protesters in Tibet and promises 'harsh punishment' for anyone not turning themselves in at a police station, you know they will act and act with terrifying violence.
Knowing that the eyes of the World are upon them, the Government are quick to insist they have not used lethal force to quell the protests although there are claims of over 80 deaths so far.
China has been on a bit of a Public Relations blitz since Deng Xiaoping sent his troops into Tienanmen Square to massacre hundreds of demonstrating students and as its global power grew, it has been feted by various Governments around the World who have diplomatically not mentioned the firing of missiles over Taiwan, the continued military occupation of Tibet or the Amnesty reports of Human Rights violations.
China has managed to keep its more authoritarian side buried from the rest of us but anyone who scratched the surface was able to see just what lay festering beneath.
China may be the planets super power in waiting and an economic powerhouse but the rest of us need to put pressure on the Chinese Government to not do what it is threatening and as this is China's Olympic Year and the spotlight was already shining brightly on this part of Asia, there is its Achilles heel.
As we have seen far too many times with Israel in Palestine, Russia in Chechnya and the Sudanese forces in Darfur, doing nothing just emboldens the aggressors to greater and bigger massacres.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Looking At The Stars

When i read about the European Union investigating 'Invasive Alien Species' i admit i was more than intrigued because i have an interest in all things outer space. Turns out the Aliens there were talking about were less Extra Terrestrial and more Extra Tentacle as it was concerned with information gathering on species in the EU that shouldn't be here. I logged on and suggested Madonna but i don't expect a call to Brussels anytime soon.
Maybe i have been watching too many X Files or old episodes of Star Treks but i have long been a believer that to quote Shakespeare and bring a smidgen of class to the blog, that "There are more things in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Scientists put the Big Bang at 15b years ago and the earth forming 4.6b years ago with the first life appearing 2.8b years ago and the first human 2m years ago.
Now think how much we have advanced in just 2 million years, going from creating fire and calling everything 'UG' to writing the Human Genome and investigating other planets in our solar system.
An often cited example of the sheer size of what is above us is that there are "more stars in the heavens than all the grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth." That's a lot of stars and the thought that our Sun is the equivalent of one grain of sand on the Worlds beaches really does strike home just how small and insignificant us earthlings are.
Our Sun has 8 Planets orbiting it so with that colossal number of Suns moving about above us, it is quite arrogant to believe that the Earth was the only one to contain the right ingredients for life to form.
So my mind wonders, what if on one of those other countless planets circling countless Stars, life formed and evolved before the 2 million years ago that we climbed down from the trees?
Imagine life on that Planet had a couple of million years advantage on us, what sort of technology would those boys be wielding?
2 million years of evolution has seen us send manned expeditions to the moon, send back pictures of other galaxies and set up space stations. Imagine what we will be doing in another 2 million years, where our technology will take us and is it so absurd to think that somewhere out there, in the depths of space so massive that our minds cannot grasp its size and containing so many stars that we do not have a number big enough to count them, there is intelligent life with the technological capability to pay us a visit?

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Working For Charidee

Last nights Sports relief charity event raised almost £20m for the less fortunate in the UK. That is great but i do find these events quite hard to watch.
A glance at the line up reveals all sorts of stars from actors to musicians to sportsmen pleading with us to put our hands in our purses and donate and we do in our droves.
All night long we hear how pensioners are sending in a weeks pension money or kids are emptying their piggy banks to send in pocket money or even how someone dressed as a chicken for a week or something ridiculous to raise a few hundred pounds. All very commendable but it is the celebrities taking us on the guilt trip that i am uncomfortable with.
Maybe i shouldn't be seeing a footballer or singer who makes more in a week than the majority earn in a year, telling us to hand over our cash but instead see a charitable young man or woman willing to take the time to make a plea on behalf of our nations underprivileged.
It is said that the celebrities donate by giving up their time to appear on such events but the hoard of rich and famous could do more good by not turning up and giving over their appearance fee in cash.
For all i know some of these celebs did hand over some wads of notes but don't like to mention it but i think that if they are prepared to go onto the TV and make us feel bad enough to donate, they had better be practising what they preach because if anyone can afford it, they can.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Socialist Party USA

What with Obama, Hillary and the old bloke with the comb-over taking centre stage in the US election, it is possible to overlook some of the other candidates still in the race.
The Democrats are widely regarded as the left wing's choice but looking through the list of potential presidents i spied a party that would have Joseph McCarthy spinning in his grave.
The Socialist Party USA is led by Brian Moore and the mission statement begins "People across the world need to cast off the systems which oppress them, and build a new world fit for all humanity". Very worthy.
So what does the American Socialist believe in?
- Abolition of the Patriot Act
- Against the U.S. Government eavesdropping on Americans
- Opposes domestic spying of American citizens
- Opposes waterboarding and any form of prisoner abuse and torture
- Is against Guantanemo and special rendition
- Opposes the threat to free speech and lawful dissent in America

According to their (rather naff) website, The Socialist Party want to Stop the Iraq War, implement a national health care system for all, guarantee an income of $35,000 pa for all working families, wide programme of Nationalisation, phase out nuclear power plants, end the Cuban embargo, end US aid to Israel, support the Kyoto Protocol, end capital punishment and stop restrictions on access to abortion.

Now that's my kind of political party. Unless i stumble across someone better between now and November, the Socialist Party USA get my pretend vote.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Making Britain Proud

Our Prime Minister Gordon Brown does seem to have a bee in his bonnet recently about defining what it means to be British. After bandying ideas around about a new flag, national anthem and a new Britain Day holiday, his latest
wheeze is to get us Britishers to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen, or maybe the flag or failing that, just plain swear an oath to Britain as long as something oathful is sworn at.
Maybe Gordon is looking at this the wrong way and rather than getting peoples backs up by asking us to swear loyalty to the Germans in Buckingham Palace, we should be directing it at things that we can relate to.
To this end i hereby present an oath that sets out to reflect those fine British politicians that rule over us.

I swear by almighty God/Allah/Buddha/L Ron Hubbard that I will follow the example of those that rule over us. I will inflict authoritarian laws under the guise of anti-terrorism while ignoring whatever laws I choose, avoid paying
taxes whenever possible and seek to grab as much expense money for myself and my family as possible.
I promise to screw over anyone who earns less than myself and toady up to anyone who earns a salary with 6 figures or owns a right wing newspaper.
I will join neo-con American Presidents declaring war against whoever we don't like and lie to justify it just as i will lie when caught with my hands in the till or on a prostitue.
If anyone votes for me based on the policies I set before them prior to an election, i will ignore all ones that prove inconvenient afterwards.
I will not sell weapons to any regime i think will use them irresponsibly unless they buy them in bulk or Saudi Arabia tells me to.
By the power vested in me, i know pronounce myself British.

You can borrow this Gordon but if you want to use it you will have to pay me an extortionate amount of money. I have a petrol tank that needs filling.

Monday, 10 March 2008

The NEW & IMPROVED Seven Sins

I would be the first to admit that I don't know my Asiah from my El-Beth when it comes to the Bible but everyone knows the story of the seven deadly sins.
Thoughtfully, those good sports at the Vatican have updated the list of cardinal sins for the 21st Century so out go Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride and in come some shiny new things that threaten us with eternal damnation.
On closer inspection of the regulations governing our descent into hell if we commit any of the following, our trip into the fiery depths can be avoided by simply confessing it so if you plan to do any of these following sins, just make an appointment with your local priest for the following day and you are covered. So what have the Vatican made a sin now?

First up is: "thou shalt not pollute the earth." Good start and the executives of Shell, BP and Exxon had better find a priest pretty sharpish.
Next is: "thou shalt not perform genetic manipulation." We are looking at you those farmers who continue to trial genetically modified food in your fields.
Third of the seven is "thou shalt not accumulate excessive wealth." Lets peek at the Vatican's bank balance so we can get an idea of what it thinks is an excessive amount of wealth to have. The Vatican has assets of £2b you say. I think most of us may just scrape in under that.
Fourth new sin is: "thou shalt not inflict poverty." Catholics priests are that-a-way executives of Nike, Gap & Levi.
Coming in at number five is: "Thou shalt not traffic drugs." Makes sense.
At six is "thou shalt not perform morally debatable experiments." Like experimenting with covering the tracks of priestly paedophiles and then slandering the victims?
Finally we have "thou shalt not violate the fundamental rights of human nature". Pay attention Tony and George, the Pope is pointing you towards the down escalator. Say hi to Beelzebub for us.

So there you go, follow those seven and you will be peachy although i would like to see Brad Pitt make a movie with this line up.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Is That Back To Front?

Here i present a picture of USA General David Petraeus handing over a well deserved bronze swimming certificate to some army chappy who looks very pleased with himself. Ma, Pa, throw away those water wings.
Now i guess it is fair to say that America has been involved in a few wars and conflicts down the ages. Therefore, it is also fair to say that whatever company is hired to make the army uniforms has a pretty sweet plum and have had since Thomas Jefferson left off impregnating the slave girls long enough to help pen the declaration of Independence.
With all that experience of sewing buttons and badges onto millions of uniforms, i think someone should point out to the General that his particular uniform contains a flaw.
Noticed it? Look on the Generals sleeve. Yep, the flag is back to front.
Maybe there is a reason for this that some military expert can explain but i cannot think what possible operational purpose having the flag around the wrong way on your uniform can have unless it is a sneaky ploy to get the enemy to stop shooting at him while they try and work out why he has his countries flag sewn on the wrong way on his uniform.
Anyway, i am putting it down to a deliberate error and in some sweatshop there are a group of workers gurgling like drains everytime the General comes on TV with his back to front sleeve flag.
And well done to that certificate owner and i hope that you succeed in your attempt at the Silver 50m award.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Plenty Of Others To Abuse

That some of our military are being told not to wear their uniforms when they are out of barracks because of suffering abuse from members of the public is outrageous. Especially as there are perfectly good lawyers and Inland Revenue staff milling about who should be first in line for the suffering abuse in the street stakes.
Not that i have ever swore or spat on anybody whilst going about my business but my saliva glands certainly start twitching when confronted by some of the professional members of our society.
The aforementioned lawyers and Revenue staff head my list of people to 'accidentally' aim my car at but plumbers and the Charity collectors who come up to you all bouncy and smiley and physically try and stop you walking past them should also be classed as fair game for a mouthful of verbals.
Grumpy shop staff, businessmen who talk loudly about their latest deal into their mobile phones and garage mechanics who make that sucking sound through their teeth while shaking their head could also warrant a short burst of vitriol every now and then.
And let's not forget about traffic wardens, humourless policemen and...Oh sod it, all that thinking of people that tick me off has made me too angry to continue now.
Where's that phone number for my lawyer, i got some spleen that needs venting.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

God Save The Queen

Like many organisations, the British Royal Family has its flaws. It's bloated, unwanted and largely clueless but that's enough about Prince Andrew, its his mum that this post is concerned with and how she has today become the third longest-serving monarch in our history.
Her reign today exceeds that of Henry III, who ruled for 56 years but in front of her is crazy old King George III's 59 years and Queen Victoria's 63 years.
Prince Charles may be excused for swearing under his breath at his mothers longevity because the poor guy has been hanging around like a big eared waste of space waiting for his chance to sit in the big chair but this line of the British Royal Family are a hardy bunch. They sure do make them tough where they're from. Germany.
Queen Lizzie is also the second longest-serving head of state in the world, after King Bhumibol of Thailand and she has seen off 11 prime ministers, starting with the cigar munching Winston Churchill.
As as her song goes "Long to reign over us" and looking at who is next on throne, we can only hope the Queen hangs around for a few years yet.

Pointing & Laughing

Are you male, own a BMW and a rifle? Well it is an undeniable, categorical and scientifically proven fact that the big cars and guns are a sure sign of a man with a tiny pecker. Talking loudly was also considered a sign of 'packing a peanut' but it turned out that these people were just annoying gits.
Anyway. So there you are with your large motor, shotgun and tiny penis mulling over things to do to fill your day. Probably the last thing you would be to be photographed naked in a national promotional poster for a West End production.
Unless you are an Argentinian called Juan Pablo di that is who is accusing the Royal Opera House of shrinking his penis in posters plastered across shops and buses all around the country. Yeah, the Opera House shrank it, that's the best you could come up with?
"If it was causing Mr Juan Pablo distress then we won't use it again," a suit from the Royal Opera House guffawed while wiggling his little finger in the air.
Personally i think that if Mr Pace had just kept quiet nobody would of thought much about it but now he had drawn attention to it he will always be that guy with the little one in the latest production from the Opera House.
Then again he has only got a small part...and his role in the production isn't that big either.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Howdy Mr Medvedev

A theory is an explanation, or a testable model, capable of predicting occurrences and can be tested or otherwise falsified through observation.
There are some things in this world that are classed as a theory. Evolution is not a proven fact and is therefore classed as theory, as is the Big Bang, gravity and whatever Einstein was talking about with his E=MC2 thing.
Also just a theory is the idea that the citizens of Russia are today going to vote for a new President as Vldaimir Putin steps down to cool his heels as Prime Minister.
What we all know is that there is only one ticket in town and he goes by the name of Putins bestest buddy, Dmitry Medvedev.
The 42-year-old Prime Minister is up against the leader of the Communist party, Gennady Zyuganov, and the leader of Liberal Democrats, Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Making up the ballot paper is ultra nationalist, Vladimir Zhirinovsky who recently suggested that Condoleezza Rice should be taken to an army barracks and given a "good pleasuring". Each has as much chance of succeeding as i have of looking out my window and seeing a flying pig silhouetted against a blue moon.
So what can we expect from the new Russian leader as he slips behind the desk marked 'President' in the Kremlin?
Not much change from what Putin got up to actually judging by the Election posters that have portrayed the pair side-by-side with the slogan "Together we will win".
With Putin the 2nd most powerful official in Russia, we can expect Medvedev to be having his strings pulled with all the frequency of a second hand thunderbird puppet.
The UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown who was handpicked by his successor and rose to take power without an election, will be keeping his head down on this one then.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Israel Palestine Pot Bubbling

The Israel/Palestine conflict has hardly been simmering but whatever lid was on the pot is about to be blown off completely.
At least 52 Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers have been killed today in fighting in Gaza with Palestinian doctors stating that at least eight were children and only 16 were militants. Hamas have been responsible for firing over 20 rockets a day into Israel.
The raid follows comments from Israel's Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai that Palestine was facing a 'holocaust'.
The Israeli raids began after a rocket fired by Hamas militants killed an Israeli student in Sderot on Wednesday and was replied with by raids that have killed over 80 Palestinians since. With reports of Israel troops gathering on the Gaza border, the threat of full-scale attack on Gaza is a likely scenario.
Israel's leaders have been under pressure from some quarters to launch a ground invasion while a recent opinion poll has indicated a majority of Israelis (63%) favour a truce with the Islamist movement Hamas who were elected into power in 2006. The elections result made a mockery of the US talk of "spreading democracy” who immediately showed that they had no intention of honoring the will of the Palestinian people.
Two years on and with Palestinian leaders calling for international protection and Mahmoud Abbas demanding an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, there really is something stirring in the Middle East air and our minds return to Jenin in 2002 when Israeli troops stormed a West Bank town to stop rockets being fired into its cities.
The Jenin Inquiry, a group of 12 internationals from the US, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and Norway conducted detailed, in-depth investigation into what happened for 15 horrific days in April 2002 while The Israeli military tried to restrict the ability of the media and international organizations to establish the detail of just what went on in the refugee camp.
Then full horror of Israeli atrocities is available here
Almost two thirds of Israelis want their leaders to just talk and Hamas have made numerous offers to the Israeli leadership for peace talks in June 2006
Sept 2007 and March 2008.
We have been here so many times before. The invasion will go ahead and the news of innocent Palestinian deaths will filter out followed by calls from the rest of the World (except USA & UK) to stop the carnage and Israel will pull out with condemnation ringing in its ears.
I have very little love for Hamas, an organisation as vile and as murderous as can be imagined, but find it impossible to feel anything but disgust and anger at an Israel that acts with such disregard for human life while blatantly defying every UN security council ruling against them, continues an illegal occupation of another people and hands out collective punishment while playing the part of the victims.
Are we really just going to look away while Israel fulfills its promise of a holocaust in Palestine?