Tuesday, 30 April 2013

When I Become President

When i grow up i'm going to become the President of The United States of America and boy will there be some changes when i have my Barbie slippers under the Oval Office desk.
First up, the only thing the cold dead hands will be grasping would be thin air as guns would be licensed and the licence would have to be renewed annually and be set at an exorbitant price and so would the ammunition, i would tax it to high heaven so yes, you are welcome to own a gun but you will have to sell your first born to pay for it.
With that settled i would then ban that American tradition that drives me nuts of applauding after every sentence when someone is speaking. The amount of times i have given up listening to someone speak because the audience are so moved by the oration that they burst into applause whenever a full stop looms up in the conversation. Just let the man finish and then you can clap until your hands bleed for cripes sake.  
Then there is the 'have a nice day' thing which would be gone, gone, gone. While it is perfectly polite, it's just so fake. I imagine myself saying 'well i was going to have a crap day but you have gone and ruined that now, because of you i'm going to have to have a nice day, damn you shop assistant'. Anyone heard to utter the HAND farewell will be legally banned from dealing with customers for a month or until they learn that being so bloody cheerful first thing in the morning when all i am thinking about it how i can make sure my day is going to be crap is unacceptable.
With less Americans being shot, less clapping and no more nice days being said, it would be put to the vote that Hollywood can only make films with either George Clooney, Johnny Depp, David Boreanaz or Brad Pitt in them.
Possibly Kevin Bacon and Steve Martin but definitely not Jim Carey unless he promises not to pull silly faces in them. They also legally have to start remaking Buffy and Angel again with the original cast. I would also reduce the ridiculous amount of advertisement breaks in the TV shows, that must drive you guys crackers especially as i use the advert breaks to make a cuppa, i would wear my kettle out within a week after being there.
Finally, with my popularity blooming and the America voters hoping the law can be changed so i can serve a third term, i would hit them with the letter U being put back into words. Partly because it makes my spellchecker which keeps reverting to American English go into meltdown but mainly because IT'S A VOWEL.
Then, as i am in the death throws of my Presidency and before i leave to live out my time on a ranch in Montana, i would declare those idiotic people who turn up to Evangelist shows and wave their hands about and contribute to the speakers bulging bank balance mentally unsafe and unable to operate heavy machinery until they promise to stop being so silly.
That's my manifesto America, vote for me and never be told to have a nice day ever again. You know it makes sense.

Oh THAT Sweetheart Tax Deal

The then head of HM Revenue & Customs categorically denied that his department done sweetheart deals with big companies so they only paid a fraction of their actual tax bill. No way, nope, never.
Then it comes out that actually, they DID do sweetheart deals with big companies, agreeing to accept £4.5 billion in just four settlements.
A leaked document sent by Dave Hartnett, the former head of tax at HM Revenue and Customs, discloses the figure although how much tax was owed by each of the four companies, Vodaphone are believed to be one of these and Vodafone and paid a reported £1.25bn instead of the £6 billion owed, before the deals were struck remains unknown so we don't know how much was waived.
I don't know why HMRC had to reach any kind of deal with anyone, why not just demand the companies pay their proper share of tax and if they refused drag them off to courts as they do if anyone-else owes it.
Now that we know there is room for negotiation we can all contact HMRC to do a deal on the tax we owe which will reduce the public coffers i agree but we can always make up for what's owed with a few more austerity cuts.
Hopefully the 4 companies and all the others who have cheated us out of tax will be named and shamed in the coming days.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Asian Movie Blog

It was about the turn of the new year that my husband came to me with a suggestion for a blog on Asian Horror, the suggestion was i write the posts for it which of course received a suggestion of my own.
After some tough negotiations involving a regular supply of Ferrero Roche and some pathetic whining, a compromise was reached where he would create the blog and then write the posts and i would 'edit' them but as this quickly evolved into him tapping out 'good film' and asking me to improve on it, it all fell apart and the blog has sat gathering dust with just one visitor from the Asian Cinema Blog (thank you).
As i regularly watch and enjoy the Asian Horror DVD's that he plonks alongside my Frasier Box Set every couple of weeks, and as i considered it a good idea, i thought i would dispense with the helpful initial input and pick up where we left off only less of a movie review site as there are loads of them, but put my own spin on all things to do with Asian movies.
As the blog only had 127 visitors since the start of January and how if you write the name of the blog in Google it still doesn't appear within the first 10 pages, it seems there either isn't the market for Asian Movies and it will always be a lemon but i will give it a few months and see how it goes and if i can run two blogs alongside each other. 
The blog is called Ballad of a Shinigami which is the Asian equivalent of The Grim Reaper so if you stumble across it through this post, then see you there.

Friday, 26 April 2013

More Gun Madness In USA

Four people dead and more than 100 wounded at the hands of the Tsarnaev brothers and America goes into terrorism alert and lock down while after 20 children are shot dead in a primary school, the Government can't even bring in legislation to stop lunatics arming themselves with military grade weapons.
The result is American schools children are being covered in bulletproof uniforms, not stopping the madmen getting hold of the guns in the first place you note but armour plating the children instead. 
'It's a fully functional backpack!  It's the latest in ballistic protection for school children!  Ballistic protection level:  NIJ Level II' according to the website, and the Denver company that supplies the rucksack has sold over 300 in the last two months and received enquiries from some 2,000 families across the US and is in discussions with 12 schools to supply them with ballistic safety vests.
Where the Patriot act was the result of 3000 deaths from terrorism in 2001, a background check to prevent criminals or those with mental illness from purchasing guns was dismissed as an attack on civil liberties despite 30,000 Americans dying each year from gun violence, 360,000 since 9/11.
The same day of the marathon bombing in Boston, 11 Americans were murdered by guns but gun deaths seem to be an acceptable price to pay for the second amenders, much rather cover its children in armour plating, and turn its schools into fortresses than make sure fewer guns are in the hands of nutters.
It seems common sense to the rest of us that encouraging a gun culture and flooding the country with weapons is not the answer to violent gun crime and in any sane society the problem would be seen as the easy availability of guns and the solution as the need to regulate the industry.
If you don't see a problem when your children may have to wear bullet proof clothing, just so they can go to school, then your supposedly civilised country has gone too far and the lunatics really are running the asylum.
Madness. The gun manufacturers get to keep selling guns, the protection companies get to sell protection to parents and the gun owners get to keep buying weapons to keep them safe from the much fabled attack from gun wielding maniacs waiting for them to put down their weapons so they can rape and pillage the family home.
Everyone's a winner. Apart from the 30,000 who die each year of course but nobody seems to care much about them.

Like minds: Churchill & Assad

Someone at Sky news has a mischievous nature, putting the story of Britain condemning Syria for 'war crimes' in using chemical weapons alongside the story that Winston Churchill is to appear on our five pounds notes.
The wartime leader will feature on the new banknote when it is issued in 2016 stating that 'Our banknotes acknowledge the life and work of great Britons. Sir Winston Churchill was a truly great British leader, orator and writer'.
He was also a very keen advocate of using chemical weapons, urging a chemical strike on German cities using poison gas and anthrax in a memo to bomber command asking his military chiefs to 'think very seriously over this question of using poison gas'.
'I may certainly have to ask you to support me in using poison gas. We could drench the cities of the Ruhr and many other cities in Germany, and if we do it, let us do it one hundred per cent' he wrote and when it was rejected as it would 'seriously impair our relations with the civilian population when it became generally known that chemical warfare was first employed by us', Winnie responded: 'I am not at all convinced by this negative report. The matter should be kept under review'.
Along with his words during the 1919 Iraqi uprising where he argued that: 'I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes' it is nice that we can tie together two stories 70 years apart.
Two like minds but one hailed as a true great and gets his face on a British fiver, another demonised as a maniac who isn't fit to run a country.

Our Old Friend The Jet Stream

That's the British summer over then, enjoy it? The British weather is excelling itself this week, ice cream and sleeveless on Monday, mushroom soup and a big coat on Friday.
As usual, it is our old friend the jet stream that's to blame, the same thing that ushered in a severe drought which triggered stern drought warnings by the Environment Agency last year and then several months of torrential rain produced widespread flooding.
It all makes our weather very unpredictable which is making the weather forecasters job a bit of a nightmare as the huge fluctuations make a mockery of any long range forecast.
All Meteorologists agree that the Jet Streams behaviour has changed dramatically in the past few years and has produced these lengthy bouts of extreme weather but why has the jet stream changed its behaviour, meandering more frequently where before it stayed relatively stable and slowing down and speeding up, trapping regions of high or low pressure over the same part of the globe?
The MET Office say the most likely culprit is the warming Arctic where temperatures have increased at more than twice the global rate resulting in the disappearance of 1.3m square miles of sea ice.

Here's the science bit, the air in the tropics is warmer than the Arctic and it rises. As a result, the atmosphere there is higher than it is over the Arctic and gradient is created and air slides down this atmospheric hill towards the Arctic. This flow of air, high up in the atmosphere, from the tropics to the Arctic, creating the jet stream.
The world rotates from west to east, however, and that rotation whips up this northward flow of air that descends over higher latitudes and sends it flying east round the globe as the jet stream. Until recently, this mighty stream of air flew round the planet, in a slightly wavy path, between 30 and 60 degrees north. The trouble is that the gradient between the atmosphere in the lower latitudes and in the Arctic is being disrupted and as the Arctic heats up disproportionately, so does the atmosphere at the north pole and as it warms up, it rises. The effect lessens the gradient between the tropics and the Arctic so less air pours down towards the north pole and less air is whipped up by Earth's rotation to form the jet stream and the jet stream slows and meanders up and down.

Professor Piers Forster of Leeds University warns: 'I think it is too early to say that climate change is definitely involved. The evidence suggests it might well be but we need more studies to confirm the link'.
And here was me thinking that climate change was all about governments wanting to raise green taxes in an unholy alliance with climate scientists wanting to grab more research grant money. Kinda throws a spanner in the works of the climate change deniers conspiracy theory when the climate goes all wonky and the things environmentalists and scientists have been warning about for decades comes true.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Here We Go Again

Ever since it first flared up, America and the Nobel Peace Prize winning President has been itching to get involved in the Syrian uprising and Israel has been itching for America to get involved but what with the last few wars ending up as debacles, it hasn't been an easy sale to the American public.
The WMD excuse was used in Iraq, the humanitarian angle was used in Libya and fighting against terrorism was used in Afghanistan so a new excuse would need to be found but instead with a nod towards the Iraq adventure, it's WMD's again in Syria or rather the use if Chemical weapons. 
'The use of Chemical weapons are a red line the Syrian Government must not cross' said America and then Israel piped up that actually, they have evidence that the Syrian Government has been using Sarin giving the Obama Administration the perfect excuse to say 'Well, that's a red line crossed, all the options including military are now on the table'.
Not to condone the use of Chemical weapons or standing beside the Assad regime but i would trust Israeli intelligence about as far as i could throw a piano and considering the people the Assad Government are fighting are linked with Al-Qeada and would be termed terrorists if they were in any other country and have been car bombing and slashing as much as the Syrian forces, how do we know that any Sarin used was not delivered courtesy of them?
To remove Assad would weaken the Iranians who are allied to Syria and that is the aim and providing assistance to the rebels is obviously not working.
Like in Libya, the mission creep is now underway so Syria can look forward to exciting times ahead involving depleted uranium and phosphorous bombs because when we use Chemical weapons, it's a good thing and when we force out one Government and install another more Western friendly one, it's all under the name of Democracy and Freedom.
Has a Peace Prize ever been revoked? Get onto it Sweden because the 2008 winner seems about to embark on another round of killing lots and lots of people.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Irony Isn't Dead

Last week saw the official opening of the George W Bush Presidential Library.
Considering the problems he had reading this book, a library seems a strange choice but then again, if they have plenty of Where's Wally and colouring books, i'm sure he will feel at home.
Maybe include a French dictionary for the man who said 'The problem with the French, is they have no word for entrepreneur'.
A library of all things. And they said irony was dead.

Rise Of The Cyborgs

While reading a story about 16 year old Patrick Kane who has been fitted with a prosthetic 'i-limb', the boast of the scientists behind it, that the hand is 'even better than the real thing', set me wondering.
As technology in this field advances and we develop artificial limbs and body parts that are better than the ones nature has deemed to give us, will we see people swapping their body parts for better, fake ones?
Take a normal standard eye and consider it against an eye that could do all the things your standard eye could but was also able to zoom in or out or could see in night vision or even could generate an image in your field of vision, there would undoubtedly be takers willing to swap an eye for an upgraded eye.
It may be in the realms of Robocop or the Six Million Dollar Man but we are fast approaching having the technology to not only replicate human body parts but improve on them.
Glasses, hearing aids, dentures and walking sticks are all 'additions' for when the frail human body fails and humans have always strived to live longer. The human heart is designed to last around 70 years, what if an artificial one came with a guarantee to work for 100 years dependent on your other organs not giving up first, it would be a tempting offer.
Artificial body parts are here today, but they still have a way to go before they can rival our original equipment but when they can and when they surpass what we were born with, will there be an industry in swapping what we got for an upgraded artificial version? 
Sadly, i'm sure the military would be very interested in a platoon of bigger, better, stronger soldiers with telescopic vision because another human trait is to develop technology and then sadly use it as another, more efficient way to kill each other.

Being English

Hi, My name’s Lucy, and for the last 44 years I have been an Englishwoman.
The truth is, and on St George's Day of all days, being English doesn't really matter much to me, just a quirk of fate that this country was the place that i happened to be born in.
Could have been France, Mexico or Pakistan, i had no choice in it after all so i have never really bought into the jingoism and xenophobia that makes me tell everyone that England is the best country in the World, because it isn't. 
England ruled the world for a while but that’s nothing to be proud of, we hacked, murdered and stole our way to create an Empire that the sun never set on and engineered a huge part of the abhorrent slave trade and that’s something we should feel eternal shame about.
Looking back through the history of the English, there doesn't appear to be anything much to be particularly proud about but that isn't just an English thing, almost every nation could go through their history books, the Spanish, Italians, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, American, Australians, Russians and Japanese could all find a few shameful episodes to be brushed quickly over.
Not to say that us English have been all bad, plenty of English people have done great and inspirational things in areas such as art, literature, invention, exploration and music but they weren't great and inspirational because they were English, they just happened to be English and did great things.
I'm never going to be waving a little Union Flag while holding my hand over my heart and booming out the national anthem because being 'English' doesn't really matter to me, it seems to matter more to people like the BNP and the Little Englander's who bemoan the influence of multiculturalism on Britain's culture.
April 23rd is a day to celebrate being English and i will raise a cup of tea to my country but as for being proud of being English? Nah, i did nothing to deserve my nationality and there are plenty of other things to feel proud about which i did earn so wave your flag and sing patriotic songs about how great England is if you want but it's not for me, much better to be celebrate a special bond with the 7 billion in the human race than the 60m i just happen to share a strip of land with.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Stupid Idea Kerry

April 10 2013: The leader of the al-Nusra Front, part of the rebels fighting in Syria, have pledged allegiance to the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri as Al-Qaeda in Iraq announced a merger with al-Nusra.

April 20 2013: John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has said that the United States would double its non-lethal aid to opposition forces in Syria to $250m.

Supporting the same people that you have just spent 12 years fighting against? Nope, can't see how that could go wrong and i am sure they will be very compliant after Assad is gone.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Predicting Earthquakes

A strong earthquake measured at 7.1 that struck the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan this weekend killed over 200 people, and injured over 11,500 Chinese television is reporting.
While nobody has managed to come up with a fool-proof way of predicting when and where an earthquake will occur, there are signs as i found out when writing about the HAARP conspiracy theory the other week. 
When the huge earthquake struck in Japan in 2011, the ionosphere was warmed for 3 days prior to the quake due to radon and other gases escaping which has the effect of electrifying the atmosphere directly above the fault.
There was similar ionospheric warming 10 days before the 8.8 Chile earthquake in 2010 which killed 550.
According to the 2004 book, Ionospheric Precursors to Earthquakes, this is a well known effect so why are we not able to spot when the atmosphere is being heated and make the connection that a earthquake may be on the way, especially if the area being heated is above an earthquake hotspot?
The HAARP program in Alaska is an Ionosphere Research Instrument and observes the variations of Alaska's ionosphere and there are similar ionosphere measuring programs in Norway, Russia, Peru, Ukraine and Tadzhikistan so why, if the changing ionosphere is a well known precursor to earthquakes, are countries in earthquake zones not building their own programs? 
Not being a scientist, i am sure i am missing something because looking for any heating in the atmosphere above fault lines just sounds too simple to act as a predictive tool.

Right-Wing And Low Intelligence

Another study from the 'tell-us-something-we-didn't-know' category, people with right-wing views are less intelligent than those of us with left wing views. Duh, obviously.
The Right wing will be the ones responsible for the end of the world and the The British Cohort Study published in Psychological Science, found that right-wingers tend to be less intelligent, have lower reasoning ability and more racist and homophobic views than left-wingers and people with low childhood intelligence tend to grow up to hold right-wing views.
The paper analysed large UK studies which compared childhood intelligence with political views in adulthood across more than 15,000 people and the authors claim that people with low intelligence gravitate towards right-wing views because they make them feel safe.
'Cognitive abilities are critical in forming impressions of other people and in being open minded' say the researchers, 'Individuals with lower cognitive abilities may gravitate towards more socially conservative right-wing ideologies that maintain the status quo'.
There you have it, scientific proof that you would get as much sense out of two short planks of wood than you would a right winger but it is nice to have it clarified by science.
Just remember talk slow to them...they are not too bright.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

WTO Ending The Seal Trade

It was the collective outcry of tens of millions of Europeans that brought the cruel trade in commercial seal products in the European Union (EU) to a screeching stop in 2010.
Now Canada wants the seal fur ban overturned and are asking the World Trade Organisation who oversees and enforces international trade rules, to overrule the EU ban on all seal products in its member states.
Under the present EU regulations, the placing on the market of all products deriving or obtained from seals and since the ban came into effect, it is reported to have cost the Canadian seal trade an estimated CAD$10 million and the commercial seal hunt is nearly bankrupt.
Carino Inc, the sole remaining seal processor in Newfoundland required a CAD$3.6 million Government bailout last year to remain operational and are seeking a similar bailout again this year.
Thankfully, seal hunting is on its last legs and the WTO can drive the final nail into the coffin of this barbaric practise and bring about the end of something that should have disappeared decades ago.

Friday, 19 April 2013

America's Mad Gun Laws Protected

Innocent people being slain left, right and centre because of lack of gun control in America and when the politicians decide to do something about it, they failed miserably.
The bill to increase background checks for gun sales failed to pass the Senate, defeated 54-46 so the 46 must be feeling pretty pleased with themselves, congratulations guys, the cherished second amendment protected because protecting the second amendment is what it was all about for the 46.
You would think so wouldn't you but the Guardian newspaper and Sunlight Foundation have looked at the figures for those 46 and discovered that all but three of the 46 senators who voted against gun control measures in Congress this week have received money from firearms lobbyists such as The National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, The Gun Owners of America, National Association for Gun Rights and The Madison Project.
You might be forgiven for calling it corruption, bribery or just plain buying political influence but the donors with the fistful of dollars have triumphed.
The saddest thing is after 20 kids and 6 adults got gunned down in a school, nothing changed whatsoever and the mad gun laws America has just carry on uninterrupted so if nothing get changed after that, it never will.
Another gun massacre coming to a town near you soon, courtesy of corrupt politicians, gun manufacturers and the idiots who put the second amendment above the right to not be blown away at a cinema, college or primary school.
Nice one.

Cliff Is Dangerous To Plant Health

Prince Charles has often been lauded as a nutter for talking to his plants and the man is obviously a ruby short of a crown because rather than talking to them he should have sang some Black Sabbath as this latest test proves.
Chris Beardshaw, from Gardeners Question Time, claimed different genres of music would encourage plants to grow and to prove it he set up four greenhouses and blasted the seedlings with different types of music and the ones that grew up to have the best flowers and most resistance to pests was the blooms that had the heavy metal directed at them.
Hilariously, the greenhouse that had the soothing tones of Cliff Richards played to them all died, i'd like to think it was suicide.
I remember a Mythbusters episode that came up with a similar experiment and the same set of results with the heavy metal plants growing best of all so we have two useful pieces of evidence.
First we know that earth sprouting things grow better to heavy metal so we could use this information to grow bigger and better crops so we don't have to genetically modify our food.
Secondly, conclusive proof that Cliff Richards is crap and all we need to do to stop the flow of drugs from Afghanistan is send drones over the poppy fields blasting out 'Wired for Sound'.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Mars One

There are not many opportunities to be first anymore. What there has to be discovered or explored on our own planet has pretty much been discovered and explored and the names of the men who got there first are household names so all gone are the chances for generations of children to be taught about us.  
The only first left is to go to Mars and Mars One has opened applications for the first settlers on the Red Planet.
The drawback is that it's a one-way trip as after spending time living in the weaker gravitational Martian field, it would be almost impossible to re-adjust back to the Earth's much stronger gravity says the organisers.
Living in domes, energy will be generated from solar panels, water will be recycled and extracted from the soil and the astronauts will grow their own food and new explorers will join every two years. 
'There's no liquid water, the atmospheric pressure is practically a vacuum, radiation levels are higher and temperatures vary wildly' said a Mars One spokesman who was supposedly meant to be selling the trip  'Radiation exposure is a concern, especially during the trip. This can lead to increased cancer risk, a lowered immune system and possibly infertility'.
Apart from the obvious risks of being fried by radiation or finding out your capsule on Mars is next to the toilets, there is a selection process as we don't just want anyone colonising Mars. 
The successful applicants must have an indomitable spirit, open and tolerant of ideas, be over 18, free from any disease, non-drinker and non-smoker, perfect eyesight, free from any psychiatric disorders and be between 157cm and 190cm tall.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Taxpayers Subsidising The Private Sector

A few times on this blog i have advocated the idea of a flat wage so everyone is paid the same with the most obvious advantage that people would be attracted to the job rather than the salary so you would get workers who actually want to be in those positions rather than someone who couldn't care less but just want the money.
While i still think it is a great idea (many disagree though) there is large swathes of workers who do earn the same wage regardless of the job they do, those on the minimum wage.
Not one to give much credit to the Conservative Government, they should be clapped heartily on the back for today raising the minimum wage by 12p to £6.31 despite the usual protests from the business sector who try the same boring blackmail tricks of threatening redundancies and the non-hiring of further workforce.
The same wailings that were used for years before Tony Blair came along and forced it upon them anyway and after a bit of pouting and sticking out of their bottom lip, they reluctantly accepted it.
What the Government must also take credit for is fostering an air of anger against those who don't work, including the disabled, for what it costs us taxpayers to keep handing them £53 per week to live on but something never mentioned are the subsidies we pay so the same business people can get away with underpaying their employees without hurting their profits.
In the real world, a minimum wage earner working a full 40 hour week will earn around £200 per week once the Government take their slice of National Insurance and once the occupational pension contribution is removed there is very little left after after the bills are paid and the food is bought which is why the Government top up low wages with 'Tax Credits' to the tune of £35 billion.
That's £35 billion coming out of our taxes and being handed to the private sector because employers are not paying enough wages for their employees to live on.
The cost to the UK of paying disability benefit was an estimated £10 billion last year, a third of the cost of subsiding the private sector but it is the disabled that are vilified and painted as scroungers.
For some reason, this £35 billion is never mentioned when the austerity measure are wheeled out when all the Government has to do is raise the minimum wage by a few pound rather than a few pence and the Government coffers are billions of pounds heavier and we, the taxpayers, are not subsiding the companies who abuse their position while racking up billions of their own in profits knowing that the Government will not leave their employees to starve or freeze to death.

Empathy With Other Victims After Boston Bombing

Terrorism comes to Boston and when that particular horror comes to town, as we are finding out with sickening regularity around the World, anyone and everyone is a potential target.
The FBI have taken over the investigation and are calling it a terrorist attack but nobody seems to know which sick mind dreamed up this attack.
Although no-one had claimed responsibility, most people's first thoughts were Al-Queada and there are reports of a Saudi 'person of interest' being held by Federal authorities while the Pakistani Taliban have denied any role in the bombings but whoever it turns out to be, foreign or home grown, it is sickening to see yet another scene of carnage like this.
On Monday, before the Boston attacks took over the news agenda, talk was of the 18 bombings which killed 32 in Iraq, last week were pictures of the eight dead Afghani children killed in a drone attack and the results of violence in Syria has been running on our screens for the past twelve months.
Understandably in America there will be anger and rage at the cowardly attacks that killed three and injured over 150 of their citizens and it will be exactly the same anger and rage felt by the citizens of people across the world when their innocent civilians are killed.
How sick we feel watching the slow motion pictures of the bomb exploding behind the cheering crowd and how the news of the death of an eight year old child tugged on the heart is exactly the same level of sickness and heartache felt by the families of the innocent people whose lives are ended by Western and Israeli bombs in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya or wherever we decide to send our armies.
The American political reaction to the Boston bombing will probably be aggressive and the worry is that it turns out to be a Muslim group behind it because as we saw after the last terrorist attack in the US, the call will be for more foreign adventures, more patriot act legislation and an expanding of the inmates in Guantanamo Bay.  
What is unlikely amongst the thirst for revenge will be any empathy with the scores who die in similar circumstances around the Globe everyday.
Nobody will stop and think that the revulsion that they are feeling now is what every citizen must feel in Iraq, Afghanistan or any of those other countries we have attacked recently and identify with those war torn citizens who live in fear of bombs being set off in market places everyday.   
When the shock and horror has subsided and before the overreaction of the right wing commenters like this  idiot on Fox News tweeting how muslims are evil, let's kill them all stir the hatred up to another level, we can hope that the dreadful events in Boston stir some empathy for victims and outrage over the ending of innocent human life wherever it is.
When attacking Iran, increasing drone attacks in Afghanistan, backing Israeli aggression against Palestinians or arming Syrian rebels is mentioned, they remember how they feel now, how broken the family of that tragic 8-year-old must feel and decide if they want to inflict those dreadful feelings on other innocent human beings before joining in the cheerleading for even more killing.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Bye Hugo, Hello Nicolas

Despite his best efforts, it is taking longer than expected for Obama to turn America into a Socialist haven but Venezuela got there before them and even though Hugo Chavez may no longer be with us, his Socialist revolution rolls on in the shape of Nicolas Maduro.
The heir to Chavez has claimed victory in Venezuela's presidential election leaving rival Henrique Capriles to blubber about the unfairness of it all into his Property of the US Embassy bedsheets.
On news of his victory, Maduro proclaimed a new era in the Revolution began by his predecessor promising to deepen the Socialist model and to raise the minimum wage by 30-40% as continuing the close relationship with Cuba.
Well done Nicolas but if i can be cheeky enough to offer one tip that will stand you in good stead, ditch the awful tracksuit.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Unnecessary Manoeuvres Are Definitely Sacrilegious

As the English language is made up of a collection of other countries words, it's no wonder that getting the correct spelling can be difficult at times which is why there are rules made up to make it easier to remember but i can only recall a few spelling tips from my schooldays.
My English teacher, hello Mrs Jordon, drummed into her class after years of receiving homework with the word 'necessary' misspelt that 'it is necessary to wear a shirt to school and a shirt has 1 Collar and 2 Sleeves so to think of a shirt being neCeSSary'.  
The only other one is there is 'a rat' in sepARATe but there are many more which i have obviously forgotten.
One word i do struggle with is 'Manoeuvre', i don't think i have ever spelt it right without looking it up first (as i just did then).
It doesn't make things any easier to understand when the Americans, Gawd bless 'em, decided to mangle the English language and drop vowels (vowels for crying out loud) and stick the letter Z in words where the letter S was perfectly acceptable which is why us English bloggers and American bloggers get ignorant English and Americans trying to point out to each other how something is spelt (or spelled).
An ICM survey of over 2000 adults revealed that 76% thought themselves very or fairly good at spelling but 39% said that they rely on spell checkers all or most of the time.
The poll lists the top ten misspelt words as:

1.Definitely 2. Sacrilegious 3. Indict 4. Manoeuvre 5. Bureaucracy 6. Broccoli 7. Phlegm  8. Prejudice 9. Consensus 10.Unnecessary.

If you ever have cause to write a letter to confirm that the general consensus is that manoeuvring the broccoli is definitely unnecessary then i would suggest firing up the spellchecker first or just say don't move that green vegeratable.

Thatcher Jokes

The right wing press are using words like 'disgraceful' and 'disrespectful' to describe the celebrations that continue after Margaret Thatchers death and are asking why the Left have so much hatred but a close friend of Lady Thatcher said she would have considered the insults and the street parties as a 'remarkable tribute'.
As usual, texts, tweets and blog jokes have been doing the rounds and as Maggie would have loved the fun being made of her so much, here are a few i have received. Enjoy Mags.  

When I realised Margaret Thatcher was dead, I did a double fist pump and shouted, "F****** brilliant!" Everyone around me was disgusted, and looking back, I suppose it was out of order. Especially as I was the first paramedic at the scene.

The makers of the Margaret Thatcher life story film have said that they can now film the last few scenes as they were just waiting for her to die to ensure it had a happy ending.

Margaret Thatcher died in hospital today. Her condition is described as satisfactory

As the Margaret Thatcher funeral is being shown live on BBC, they have issued a warning that it may contain scenes of the dead body so it will be suitable for miners.

Just seen the plans for thatchers grave its ok but i thought the dancefloor would be bigger

She will have to be buried and not cremated. The Lady is not for burning.

I'm sick of these Margaret Thatcher jokes now...Let the Iron Lady rust in peace!!!

Tributes pour in from U.S. 'She will never walk on the face of this earth again' said Barack Obama before offering a drone strike just to be sure.

David Cameron once said as a young Conservative that he wishes he was more like Thatcher.. Right now Mr Cameron so do we.

So Margaret Thatcher has died. Police are treating the incident as hilarious.

I watched the online footage of Margaret Thatchers lifeless body being carried into an ambulance and it really made me think…is there nothing on the internet that I won’t masturbate to?

All great tributes to the woman but not as funny as the hashtag #nowthatchersdead which was read as Now That Chers Dead and Now T Hatchers Dead which resulted in fans of Cher and Terri Hatcher sending a wave of tributes for the veteran pop star and the Desperate Housewives actress who i am happy to say are both still alive and to my knowledge have never stole any children's milk or closed any coal mines.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Phew. That Was Close

Wow, this could have been embarrassing. A Japanese official mistakenly announced North Korean missiles had been launched instead of sending an alert about an earthquake.
The official was trying to send a message to check on possible damage immediately after the 6.3 magnitude earthquake in the southwestern part of the country but instead dispatched a pre-prepared alert ready to be sent in the event of a North Korean missile launch.
This proves 2 things to me.
Firstly, this is just the sort of silly mistake everyone dreads that could spark a major conflict by accident and secondly, the earthquake hit Japan and not North Korea so America has not quite got the calibration right on the HAARP earthquake maker. A couple of hundred miles to the left chaps.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Death Knell For Death Penalty

Apart from satisfying a need for revenge, it is not easy to see why some countries continue with the death penalty.
For the state to take a life as a punishment for taking a life doesn't seem a very civilised way of doing things but despite it being abolished in most continues, it still goes on and in 2012 there were 21 countries who dealt with their more unsavoury members of society by hanging, injecting or in some cases chopping their head of with a sword in the town centre. 
Amnesty International have gathered together the statistics and the top state executor is China who refused to hand over the data but Amnesty counted the executee's number is measured in the thousands.
The second highest state executor was Iran (314), then Iraq (129) and Saudi Arabia (79) with the US fifth in the list, executing 43 of their prisoners.  
The rest of the list is made up of Yemen (28), Sudan (19), Afghanistan (14), Gambia (9), Japan (7), Somalia (6), Taiwan (6), Palestinian Authority (6), North Korea (6), South Sudan (5), Belarus (3), Botswana (2), Pakistan (1), India (1), Bangladesh (1), UAE (1)
While 28 countries carried out executions in 2003, the Amnesty figure reflects a decline of use of the death penalty as punishment from a decade earlier, Latvia being the latest to abolish the use of the death penalty meaning that there are nearly five times as many countries not executing prisoners as those that still do. Looking at the names of the countries on the list, some you are not surprised to see there while some you hope would be embarrassed to find themselves included with such company.

So Many Better Anti-Thatcher Songs

On the back of Margaret Thatcher's death, the Wizard of Oz song 'Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead' is currently sitting at number five in the UK music charts which i think is outrageous.
Outrageous because there are so many other far better songs about Thatcher that could be used to act as a soundtrack to the death of the Iron Lady.

The most famous is Elvis Costello's 'Tramp the Dirt Down' where he hopes he lives long enough to stand on her grave and tramp the dirt down which of course, he has done unless he gets careless crossing the road before next Wednesday. Just hope he wipes his feet before he comes back home though.
Another well known one is 'Margaret on the Guillotine' which got the old misery Morrissey into a bit of trouble back in the day but saying 'you make me feel tired' and repeating the question 'when will you die?' and then changing it to 'please die' could be interpreted as a bit on the negative side.
Billy Bragg is always up for a spot of Thatcher bashing and his song 'Thatcherites' does just that even if all his songs sound the same. We could also have The Beat's 'Stand down maggie' or even one of the more angry, shouty songs like the Newtown Neurotics 'Kick out the Tories', a song as applicable today as it was in the 80s 'Lets kick out the Tories, the rulers of this land, for they are the enemies, of the Britishworking man'.
They don't write lyrics like that anymore, or rather nobody tries to rhyme Tories with Enemies anyway, they try and end a line with hunts like The Exploited did in the song 'Maggie' who found an interesting way to rhyme hunt with exactly what they thought Maggie was, and i don't mean they thought she was a runt.
There are 3 songs that i thought better summed up Mrs T, Ghost Town by the Specials who explained that the song was about all the shops, unemployment and industries they saw being closed down as they toured the nation courtesy of Maggie and her Government.
Another decent one is 'The day That Margaret Thatcher Died' by Pete Wylie which is set to the tune of Wild Thing but there is one song that trumps them all, The Larks, 'Maggie Maggie Maggie (Out Out Out)'.
With the riff from Led Zeppelins 'Rock N Roll', it's easily my favourite anti-Thatcher song and if the people had spent less time organising death parties and making the Witch is dead signs from bedsheets to hang from bridges, they could have got this song into the charts instead of the Wizard of Oz number.
Its too late now but i will be keeping an ear out Wednesday for someone along the funeral route with a large set of speakers.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

You've Got Another Thing Coming

While ripping the Judas Priest song 'You've got another thing coming' from a CD that i legally own, i realised that either i have been singing the wrong words all these years or Judas Priest have made an almighty mistake.
I always thought the saying was 'You've got another THINK coming' as in if you think that, then you've got another think coming, not 'another THING coming' which just doesn't make any sense.
As Judas Priest are from Birmingham, maybe its a regional dialect thing but the lyrics are:

If you think I'll sit around as the world goes by
You're thinkin' like a fool cause it's a case of do or die
Out there is a fortune waitin' to be had
You think I'll let it go you're mad
You've got another thing comin'
which means they used the word think all the way through the chorus and then changed it to 'thing' in the last line.
To further add to my theory that the singer misread the last line when he recorded it, if it is 'thing', then what is the other 'thing' that is coming?
Therefore, i propose to ignore Judas Priest and continue singing 'another THINK coming' and dismiss the official title as a legend of scruffy handwriting by the original songwriter and the lead singer being too drunk or possibly high to notice it doesn't make a lick of sense when he came to record it.

Où est Mon Camel?

To thank the French President for his help in crushing the rebels in Mali, he was presented with a camel by the Mali Government.
Unfortunately, the President was caught out by the generous offer and left the camel with a family while he went back to Paris to make arrangements of what he was going to do with the animal.
While he was away, the family he left it with ate the camel, making it into a Sahara stew.
The Mali Government have now promised to replace the eaten camel with another less tasty one. 
Even as a vegetarian, this is the funniest thing that i have heard this year and before anyone says it, i don't know if the President got the hump.
Someone did obviously, in a bowl of gravy.

Rules To Owning A Music CD

If, like me, you were under the illusion that if in a moment of recklessness you purchased a Best of Country and Western CD you were perfectly entitled to set it on fire then you better hide the matches because although you may have paid for it, you don't own it.
According to the copyright laws, when you buy a CD you are effectively leasing the content, not buying it.
This is because you are being sold a licence to use the songs on the CD, not the item itself so you are just giving the record company money to agree that you are legally able to hold onto it so forget the idea that it was your CD and you can do what you want with it because the licence you have bought comes with restrictions.
The Musicians' Union and British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has a list of do's and don'ts when it comes to digital music.

- rip CDs that you legitimately own to MP3 but you can only make one 'back-up' CD.
- transfer digital music files to your own personal MP3 player providing those files have been ripped directly from a CD that you legitimately own.
- copy music onto an analogue cassette

- borrow an original CD off someone
- download ripped CD tracks
- copy a CD that you do not own
- lend a CD to someone, even family and friends
- copy digital music files from someone else’s MP3 player or computer, even if they own the original CD.
- use an original CD for commercial purposes.
It is all wrapped up in the agreement 2.1 Rights Granted in your licence which states 'Upon payment for Music Content, we grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable right to use the Music Content only for your personal, non-commercial, entertainment use, subject to the Agreement.

So there you have it, you may think you are buying a CD of 'The Greatest Hits of Bavarian Ommpah Music' but the record company is only granting you a licence to listen to it, you don't actually own it although if you do have a copy of 'The Greatest Hits of Bavarian Ommpah Music' in your music collection, everyone else can legally have you committed as a danger to society and you can be banned from owning a CD player ever again.

The (Hospital) Breakfast Club

Cast your mind back to Christmas and consider that amongst the bedpans and trolleys in various hospitals around the globe lay five important and former important people.
Like a modern Western film, there was the good (Hugo Chavez, Nelson Mandela), the bad (Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton) and the ugly (George Bush snr) but of the five ringing in the new year with a nurse beside them, there are now two who have had their bed sponges retired.
In March Hugo Chavez went from being a red to a very pale white and this week Margaret Thatcher went from composing a Capitalist nightmare to just gently decomposing which leaves the two Americans and the South African of The Breakfast Club (Hospital Chapter) still going.
While nobody should want to see anyone die, it is interesting to see that while thousands of distraught citizens crowded onto the street to mourn Hugo, thousands crowded onto the street to sing, open champagne and hold parties when news broke of Maggie's demise.  
Nelson Mandela has been in and out of hospital recently and George Bush snr is looking very frail but Hillary seems to be back in the pink but all three should look at the events of the other two and wonder, what sort of send off will i get when i go?
Mandela can expect to be eulogised about and his praises sung to the heavens and a few kind words will probably be said about Bush, he was neither bad enough to be hated or good enough to be loved outside of America much the same as Clinton.
It goes without saying that we should hope that it is a long time yet until we find out but the hospital breakfast club membership has almost halved already.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

HAARP Conspiracy Theory

Thirty-two people have been killed after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck near Bushehr in Iran, the place well known for seismic activity which also happens to be where they decided to build a nuclear power plant.
Rather than mother nature doing what she has been doing for billions of years, the finger of blame is being pointed towards America and/or Israel who are usually behind people dying in that region but this time even they are innocent. Or are they?
There is a conspiracy theory that someone out there, usually the Americans, have a secret weapon that can cause earthquakes and the HAARP program is almost always mentioned.
The theorists wave data released by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre after the Japanese earthquake in 2011 which mention a rapid heating of the ionosphere directly above the epicentre just days before the massive earthquake and resulting tsunami, a sure sign that HAARP, a scientific endeavour aimed at studying the properties and behaviour of the ionosphere, is involved somewhere.  
So could a country actually disturb the ionosphere and cause all manner of natural disasters elsewhere?
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say in theory they could, they even have a name for it, Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling, which is a geek way of saying heating in the ionosphere above a fault line but who has something that can heat the ionosphere above a well known fault line? 
In 1997, then US Secretary of Defence William S. Cohen gave an address at the Conference on Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and US Strategy at the University of Georgia in Athens. When asked a question about terrorism, Cohen said: 'Others are engaging even in an eco-type terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves'.
So if the technology existed in 1997, you may wonder what advances have been made in the last 16 years, especially as after just 2 years, in 1999, the European Parliament were concerned enough to debate it and especially the HAARP which it called 'a weapons system which disrupts the climate using a ground based apparatus, to heat up portions of ionosphere with powerful radio beams' a debate that the US declined to be involved in when asked.
So the evidence is before us and in theory we could heat the ionosphere which could, again in theory, create earthquakes wherever a fault line lay and the Americans, in theory, have the equipment to do it.
Well i'm sold. And to think America had the nerve to have a go at North Korea for a nuclear test while they are directing deadly rays into the atmosphere to violently shake the Earth wherever they choose.
The only other alternative theory is that the Iranians were dumb enough to build a nuclear power station on a well known earthquake zone which frankly, is too absurd to even consider.

Margaret Thatcher's Legacy

What's to say about the recently departed Margaret Hilda Thatcher and what will she be remembered for?
Possibly the abolition of free milk for schoolchildren when she was Secretary of State for Education which earned her the nickname 'Maggie Thatcher the milk snatcher'.
It could be the 'Maggie's millions', the 3.3 million unemployed, the highest number of out of work Britain's since the 1930s as the country plunged into recession following her election and led to riots on Britain's streets.
As riots greeted the start of her tenure, the sounds of public protests and charging riot police also saw her out with the poll tax riots, quickly abolished by her successor John Major.
The miners strike was a big part of her legacy, closing or privatising 150 of the 174 coal mines resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and devastating entire communities.
We could say that the Falkland Island conflict was what she would be remembered most for, with a popularity rating in the low 20's, a recession in full swing and riots in the streets, the Falklands War was a god-send for her and her Government, the victory euphoria pushing her to an election win a year later, a result that looked almost impossible twelve months earlier.   
The case could be made for allowing the US to station nuclear missiles at Greenham Common, supporting apartheid in South Africa and the General Pinochet regime in Chile as well as Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge and the introduction of section 28 which banned promoting the acceptability of homosexual relationships, all which meant that for those who wanted to throw brickbats at the Prime Minister, they had no shortage of ammunition but for me, her must destructive policy was privatisation, the pain being felt decades even after she left power.  
She spread the myth that privatisation would provide a more efficient and cheaper way to provide services and set about selling off nationalised utilities such as gas, water, and electricity and allowed the private companies to snap up British Rail, British Telecom, British Aerospace, British Airways, British Steel as well as the coal mines, ports and British Petroleum.
The eye watering price of a rail ticket and the purse emptying utility bills dropping on our doormats, the 4.5 million households in fuel poverty while private companies rack up billions in profits, Thatchers legacy for me is the poisonous and destructive greed-is-good culture that she actively encouraged.
Rip off Britain is her legacy to this country and all but those with the thickest of rose tinted spectacles should be able to see that we will be living with the disastrous consequences of her policies for decades yet.
She may now be gone but the rising cost of the necessities will mean that she will never be forgotten or forgiven.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Shameful Justification Of Trident

When it suited Cameron to play up North Korea as a threat this week to bolster the case for Trident, he did so saying it would foolish to leave the UK defenceless at a time when the highly unpredictable and aggressive regime in North Korea was developing ballistic missiles that could eventually threaten Europe.
Now foreign secretary William Hague comes out with a message to the contrary, saying that intelligence suggested Pyongyang did not pose a major threat.
Judging by what we have been witnessing recently the highly unpredictable and aggressive regimes are in Washington, London and Tel Aviv, count the wars and deaths coming from the offices of those places since 2001 compared to the ones we like to describe as threats to World Peace such as Iran, North Korea and Syria.
It is outstanding logic that the UK needs its 160 nuclear missiles to deter North Korea who are threatening the United States who has 2150 so it can just be Cameron is trying to justify having a very expensive and dangerous toy.
It is hard to think of a reason why when they are slashing and cutting everything to save money, the Government keep on pumping billions into keeping our nuclear arsenal while the odds of us being attacked by one of the other six nuclear powers is so remote to be negligible.
The only possible justification anyone could making for remaining a nuclear power is the deterrent factor but that argument left the building a long time ago when the Soviet Union ceased to exist and terrorist cells, infuriatingly unbowed by our big, shiny nuclear missiles, became the focus.
The fact is we don't need Trident so it seems the height of indulgence to keep bankrolling it while everything else is spinning down the drain through lack of funding and to use North Korea as a justification is shameless, cynical, opportunist and quite ridiculous.

Friday, 5 April 2013

9:56pm & Red Balloons

A quick look at Wikipedia tells us that the first person to die from Carrion Disease was a man called Daniel Alcides Carrion and Stephen Christmas was the first to die from something called Christmas disease but i expect everyone has had a moment which you think is just too much of a coincidence.
More than once i have had a deja vue feeling or thought about someone i haven't thought about for years only to bump into them soon afterwards, i have had people say to me 'wow, i was only thinking about you the other day' which is usually followed by 'did you ever repay me that tenner?' 
Yesterday i wrote about the Cold War and mentioned the songs 99 Red Balloons and today on the radio station Wave 105, the Golden hour was 1984 and the song 99 Red Balloons was played but there has been an even bigger 'WTF' moment already this week.
My husband has a growing collection of Asian horror films, one of which is a film called APT about a lady who moves into a block of high-rise flats and notices that the lights in the windows of the buildings opposite all start to mysteriously flicker at exactly 9:56pm every night and a grisly murder by an angry spirit follows.
We watched this around Christmas time and i dismissed as just a funny coincidence when weeks later i got around to changing the battery in the clock and asked my husband what the time was and it was 9.56 although this was in the am, it was still a 'what about that' moment that made us smile.
Then last night the clock, which is quite flaky at the best of times, starting making a strange noise and then second hand was stuttering at the 11 o'clock position but not moving, the time was a shade after 9:55pm.
Either it is just all just a massive coincidence, i have woken up in the Twilight zone again or there is an angry spirit who has also seen APT and is messing with us.

We Know A Song About That Don't We

It isn't enough that he has cut their benefits, now George Osborne is taking their parking spaces also.

A spokesman for the nasty party said he had been to buy food from McDonald's and was not aware the Land Rover had been illegally parked and George does not condone this in any way.
As he was roundly booed when he turned up at the Paralympics to present a medal to the 400m winner, George is not popular among the disabled but maybe he is doing his bit by employing a partially sighted driver which may explain why they missed the MASSIVE YELLOW DISABLED SIGN THEY PARKED ON.  
Anyway, Dennis Leary wrote a song perfect for just such an occasion, and it goes a little something like this:

I'm an asshole (hes an asshole)
I'm an asshole (hes the worlds biggest asshole)
Sometimes I park in handicapped spaces
While handicapped people make handicapped faces
I'm an asshole (hes an asshole)
I'm an asshole (hes a real fucking asshole)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

MP3 Moral Dilemma

Probably the best piece of career advice i ever received when i started out in journalism was to keep a book and fill it with anything interesting that i heard, read or saw about anything and everything.  
As this was the days pre-internet, this proved invaluable and i kept it up collecting names, facts, figures, years, anniversaries, scandals and events and i had a good collection of books of scribblings and then around 1999 i had the great idea of putting it all on an access database so it was quickly retrievable.
I dutifully updated it with the facts gleaned that day and saved it to a floppy disk, then a CD and then a DVD as each computer died i transferred it onto the next one and then a month or so ago, the computer died and i lost it all, or rather, it is sat uselessly on the hard drive that is currently in a box in a draw in the desk until i find a way to retrieve it if i can.     
Where i could type 'David Mellor' in the query box and bring up a whole list of dates, names and events, now i have to go back to my books 13 years out of date and search Google and go to 7 different sites for the information that i could access in 30 seconds previously.
While that is the most annoying thing i lost, i am also having to turn all my CD's back into MP3s again so i can play them on my MP3 player and on the computer but it is not a quick process so i have a dilemma.
As i have already purchased the CD's once, would it morally right to download the MP3's from a Torrent site?
Alanis Morissette and her record company have already got my £15 for her 'Jagged Little Pill' CD, so i have paid for the songs on her album so all i am doing is getting the songs in another format, songs i have already paid for once, twice actually as i brought it on cassette first.   
It's hardly theft, i have the physical CD here beside me and I am turning them into MP3s anyway, isn't this just the same thing only quicker?
I would understand if i never had the CD and downloaded it so i was getting it without paying and depriving Alanis of her 75p or whatever percentage she gets from it but i'm not, she has already been paid for it, twice.
Not sure and the idea of what may be downloaded along with the songs scares me enough to keep firing up the CD Ripper and steer well away from the torrent sites but it still bothers me that if i never, would it be right or would an angry Alanis Morissette be scouring the streets looking for someone with headphones singing along to 'You Oughta Know' and leaping out demanding her 75p ?
As for the database, it is a very useful tool for anyone who writes and spends time looking up facts and figures and i give that advice here free unless you are Alanis Morissette, it will cost you 75p for my advice so we are now all square. Ironic ain't it.

Not Quite The Cold War

With all this talk about Communist nuclear bombs raining down on America, it takes me back to the 80's and the Cold War all over again.
I can still hear my school disco's playing songs like '99 Red Balloons', 'Dancing With Tears In My Eyes' and the ultimate Cold War song 'Two Tribes' which more than made up for the threat of global destruction and the hours of having to sit through 'When the Wind Blows' which was a cartoon about an elderly couple who turned their sofa upside down to survive the nuclear war.
Then there was MAD or Mutual Assured Destruction which meant that a nuclear war was unthinkable because the Soviets and Americans would destroy each other, and the rest of us, so neither side would dare use their weapons and so an uneasy stalemate would ensue. Then Ronald Reagan came along and you thought that bloke from the films with the monkey is just crazy enough...
Then there was the Cold War films and the Soviet 'bad guys' in characters like Ivan Drago in Rocky and the mumbling John Rambo fighting alongside Al Queada version 1 against the Soviets in Rambo and Red Dawn where the Soviet paratroopers are defeated by a bunch of American teenagers led by Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen in his pre-tiger blood days.
Then there was the propaganda and the threat of the Red Menace sweeping across the west and making us all Communists and the added spice at things like the Olympics and the gloriously over the top posters.
We are not getting any of this at the moment and it is unlikely that we will but while it we won't be seeing a mushroom cloud over Washington or Pyongyang anytime soon, it does seem like an eerie flashback to my younger days watching the news recently.
I would keep your sofa close by just in case though.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

IDS, What A Stunt

It's always the same when a rich person tells a poor one how they could live on their money. The poor person says 'go on then' and the rich one splutters a bit and then comes up with a list of reasons why they couldn't possibly which is exactly what Iain Duncan Smith, the man responsible for the benefit cuts introduced this week, has done.
A petition here titled £53 p/w? Prove it IDS has 320,711 signatories asking the Minister to put his money where his mouth is and prove he could live it but IDS has dismissed it as a 'complete stunt' and insisted that he knows what it is like to be on the breadline because he has twice been unemployed.
Although he probably regretted it as soon as he said it, what could be a better way to prove that we are indeed all in it together than for the man who is taking even more from the people with the least on the same day that the top rate of tax cuts come into effect therefore giving more to those with the most.    
What a great PR exercise for the Tories if he did go ahead with it, might take away the shame of his CV forging scandal a decade ago which claimed 'accidently' included a more exclusive University and a spell at the Dunchurch College of Management which turned out to refer to a weekend course.
When you include the dubious salary claims Duncan Smith made to his wife as part of the expenses expose, no wonder he was unemployed twice, it would seem only the Tories would take him on but what a great PR exercise it could be for the Tories if he did accept the challenge. 
As he was the one making the boast, he should do as the people demand or admit that he was wrong.
If he did go through with it, it would look great on his CV, he could put it underneath the masters degree in economics from Hogworts that has somehow appeared on it.
It does seem that there are many people backing IDS though. Just today i heard many people saying IDS, a complete stunt.
I think that's what people were saying but it was a bit noisy.