Sunday, 31 July 2016

UK Police Fire Seven Bullets In Year

Fatal shootings of unarmed black men by American police officers has made regular lead international news headlines recently but so far 613 people had been killed to date by US police in 2016.
While American police are armed, the UK police are not but there are over 5,000 specially trained firearm units who show up brandishing weapons and Home Office statistics show that in England and Wales in the 12 months to March 2016, British police discharged seven bullets.
The Home Office notes that the statistics do not include animal destruction, accidental discharge of guns or the shooting out of car tyres in police chases.
Apart from the difference with US police being not routinely armed, the decision on whether to shoot is mostly made through the chain of command, meaning even when police with guns arrive, they have to receive clearance before they shoot in most circumstances.
The United States of course has a bigger population than the UK but on a per-capita basis, Britain’s rate of police gun use would translate into US police shooting 35 bullets in an entire year and as we hear far to often, that is generally a day's toll for American police.  
Does make you wonder if either America is just more violent, the police are far too trigger happy or because of the madcap gun laws, the Police there are more likely to come up against an armed target and are therefore more likely to shoot first in fear of being shot themselves.

Australia On The Move North

Australia doesn't seem to particularly like being where the tectonic plates put it, it plays International football in the Asian league, participates in the Eurovison Song Contest and at the first opportunity they all come over to the UK to serve us warm, weak lager.
Luckily for them, Australia is drifting North at a rate of 7cm a year and in time will scoop up Papau New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines and amidst much of that famous Aussie whinging, will crash headlong into China. 
Australia is moving North due to tectonic plate movements and it is playing havoc with Aussie Sat Navs which are currently out by 1.5 meters resulting in Australian drivers ending up in creeks and billabongs. Probably. 
The Geocentric Datum of Australia, the country's local co-ordinate system, was last updated in 1994 and will compensate by shifting the countries longitude and latitude upwards by 1.8 meters so by 2020 they should all be fair dinkum.
The time it takes for Australia to drift the 4600 miles to land at Asia's doorstep should also give China enough time to come up with a strategy to deflect the continent away because to be fair, 23 million Aussies turning up and asking directions to the nearest watering hole is a bit much for any country.

Google Saying Arise President Clinton

My neighbour tells me she is psychic and she has an eerily solid record of telling me the things she had predicted after they have happened while her record of telling me things before they happen is not quite so hot which is probably why she hasn't lumped her life savings on a sure thing and is presently living on a tropical island being fed peeled grapes by hunky natives dressed only in pants made of palm leaves.
If she can't do it and has over 20 years experience of telling people she can, how can we?
Think of me as that shady shady character sidling up alongside you and whispering 'ere, wanna know who is gonna win the 2016 election in America'?
Quite rightly you would tap your watch and quickly walk away but you would be a fool because i have something that has correctly predicted almost every every major election since 2004 and has a 100% record with American elections.
Begin looking up hunky grape peelers in the telephone directory because although no system is 100% accurate, it has an unerringly accurate record in predicting who was going to win in almost every country that holds an election from America to Australia and from Venezuela to France via Serbia, Egypt and Mexico.
So what is this money making miracle? It's Google.
Right up until last year, Google Trends had an unblemished record in predicting the winner of major elections but then it went and gave a thumping win to Ed Miliband and the Labour Party only to see it decimated and the Conservative Party romp to victory.
With that awful result acting as a warning, at the moment Google Trends is showing a stonking win for Donald Trump (55) over Hillary Clinton (43) but if the parameters are changed to just the surnames Trump and Clinton as per usual, Clinton strides home with room to spare 58 to 43. 
As it stands Hillary is flipping Trump the bird and saying cram it with walnuts fatty but these things change and we will revisit it closer to the time but at the moment it is arise Madam Clinton or whatever they say over there.

Friday, 29 July 2016

The Turkish Coup Plotters Had A Point

Since the attempted military coup to overthrow Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, three weeks ago, the reinstated leader has shut down 16 TV channels, 23 radio stations, three news agencies and 60 newspapers and magazines which he claims did not give him their full backing and therefore were sympathetic to the coup leader, Fethullah Gülen.
42 Journalists have been arrested along with 6000 military personnel while also newly unemployed are 21,000 teachers, 15,000 education ministry employees, 1577 university deans, 9000 police officers, 2745 judges, 1500 finance ministry workers, 100 from the National Intelligence Agency, 492 from the religious affairs ministry and 399 from the social affairs ministry.
'We will dig them up by their roots so that no clandestine terrorist organisation will have the nerve to betray our blessed people again' explained Erdogan Officials signalling that the country was to undergo even further major changes in the coming days.
The coup organizers said that they were taking action because Edrogan had become to authoritarian and undemocratic and judging by his actions since regaining power, they may well have had a point.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Things To Do By 11 3/4

To quote Alice Cooper, School's out for Summer and from what i have seen most children have been running around holding their mobile phones and looking for Pokemon.
The National Trust has issued a list of 50 things you should do before you are 11 3/4 and there is no mention of capturing a Bulbasaur or training a Golbat but it does take me back to my carefree younger days when the only Drowzee we knew was Grandad and a Jigglypuff was the fat wheezy kid from down the road.
I' m 47 1/2 and i am proud to say that i can tick off 49 of the 50, the 'Catch a fish with a net' continues to elude me but although i may not have done them by 11 3/4, I have done the following:          
   
Climb a tree
Roll down a really big hill
Camp outside
Build a den
Skim a stone
Run around in the rain
Fly a kite
Eat an apple straight from a tree
Play conkers
Go on a really long bike ride
Dam a stream
Make a daisy chain
Play pooh sticks
Jump over waves
Pick blackberries growing in the wild
Make a grass trumpet
Go star gazing
Climb a huge hill
Catch a falling leaf
Go swimming in the sea
Build a raft
Go bird watching
Cook on a campfire

The full list is at the National Trust page.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Left Need To Wise Up

I don't know why the left are so bad at elections but it seems Bernie Sanders supporters in the USA have been affected by the same syndrome as Jeremy Corbyn supporters here and that involves letting into power the very people or party that you want to keep out.
Sanders supporters are booing and refusing to vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton which means less votes against the Republican Nominee Donald Trump and in turn could see him sneak into power.
Over here, Jeremy Corbyn cannot win the next election but the Labour Party members are refusing to overthrow him for someone who can and the anti-Corbynites are refusing to vote and so the Conservative Party slip in for another five years.   
Supporters of Sanders and Corbyn seem unwilling to face the reality that their guys cannot win power and so seem willing to let the 'enemy' win rather than contemplate voting for someone else of the same side.
Cutting off your nose to spite your face is never a good tactic, and especially not with as something as important as who runs your country, but they need to make the shift from who they want to win to making sure they stop who they don't want to win.
You may need to hold your nose as you vote for Hillary or whoever finally replaces Jeremy but it is always better to have someone from your side of the fence in power who shares some of your beliefs and values rather than someone from the other side who is your polar opposite.
Hopefully Sanders and Corbyn supporters will wise up to this fact because five years is a long time to spend moaning about the 'enemy' getting in and a long time to wait until you get the chance to kick them out again.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Physical Books Resurgent

The death of the physical book have been greatly exaggerated as book sales have rocketed by four million this year, the first rise in sales since 2007, while digital book sales dropped for the first time since 2011.
I own a kindle and use it often but have always preferred to have the physical version which i can hold in my hand and place on the bookshelf and it seems that enjoyment is returning for many others also.
It helps that bookshops have moved with the times and most now incorporate a coffee shop and seated area so you can peruse the books on offer and sip at a latte but i would take a stab that the main reason is due to the Government closing so many libraries in it's fit of austerity that readers are finding it harder to loan books now so are buying them instead. 
So far this year 85 million printed books have been purchased and if i ever get around to writing up some of the novel outlines i have in the 'Books' folder on my desktop, i hope to join in the surge for book lovers.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Tennis Balls And Semi-Automatics

The more we hear about the Republican Party in the United States the more it sounds like a nuthouse and the reputation of it being the equivalent of the Monster raving Loony Party was underlined when Ann Coulter, a politcal commentator and Donald Trump supporter explained with a straight face that the reason tennis balls, light bulbs and oranges were banned from the Donald Trump Convention but guns were allowed was because: 'Tennis balls and oranges are more dangerous because expensive firearms are less likely to be thrown, just fired'.
Coulter was being interviewed by Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain and with a wry smile he replied that it was 'slightly odd that firing a rapid fire, semi-automatic effective machine gun might just possibly be slightly more dangerous than hurling a light bulb at somebody.”
Coulter replied: “No but the point that it is easier to hurl a light bulb or a tennis ball or an orange, which can do damage, is that it makes it much more likely to happen'.
Not sure if that is Ann Coulter logic, right wing logic, Republican logic or window shakingly stupid gun nut logic but when you are stopped from carrying a tennis ball but are able to carry a semi-automatic weapon around, then the lunatics really have taken over the asylum, and if Piers Morgan is laughing at you for your stupidness you really do need to have a good look at yourself.

Fiscal Reset Ahoy

Most things come with a reset button now, it's for when things have gone so wrong that you need to start again which is fine on your phone or your router but i'm not sure what it means when the Chancellor says it about the economy. 
After just over a week in the job, Philip Hammond has looked at the books and announced that he is considering 'a reset of fiscal policy' although he wouldn't expand any further on exactly what that meant, saying that he would 'have to put something else in place'.
While Theresa May is trying her hardest to sound and look like the last female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, her team have been scurrying around not doing very much but you know as Tories, they will soon be doing far too much and it usually involves taking from those who can least afford it.
They also have a ready made excuse with the recent Brexit vote and news that in the wake of a massive fall of the pound and the announcement that the UK economy is tanking that they have to slash away at whatever is left after the last Chancellor hacked and smashed his way through everything in an ideological fuelled frenzy. 
He may surprise us and put the top rate of tax back up or increase corporation tax and chase those not paying it (Hello Amazon, Google, Starbucks) but more than likely reset will mean further reducing benefits, pensions and selling off  what little family silver we have left.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Not All Right Now

If he hasn't annoyed most sectors of society already, Donald Trump is now getting it in the neck from musicians as his choice of Free's 'All Right Now' at his convention has resulted in the songs writer calling in the lawyers.
Paul Rodgers co-wrote the song with another member of Free, Andy Fraser, in 1970 and on hearing that his bands most famous song was being used and abused by Trump said 'Permission to use "All Right Now" was never sought for or granted by me. My lawyer is dealing with this matter'.
Other artists have also objected to Trumpton using their music, Queen said that his use of 'We Are The Champions' was  'An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes' and the estate of Beatle George Harrison, said the use of 'Here Comes The Sun' was 'offensive & against the wishes of his estate'.
Adele's hits 'Rolling In The Deep' and 'Skyfall' were played at Trump political rallies earlier this year and she told him to stop it as 'permission had not been granted'.
Neil Young and Steven Tyler from Aerosmith have also objected with Tyler's lawyers issuing a cease and desist letter, saying that Trump 'did not have our client's permission to use any of Tyler's songs because it gives the false impression that he is connected with, or endorses, Mr Trump's presidential bid'.
The best prize for best objection though has to go to REM's Michael Stipe who responded to Trump using 'It's The End Of  The World As We Know It' by saying: 'Go f*** yourselves, the lot of you - you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign'.
It doesn't have the lyrical fluency or flow of 'Losing My Religion' i agree but what a brilliant reply.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

How Not To Get Eaten On Holiday

All around the country passports are being searched for, flip flops are being packed and the sun-cream is being checked for the use by date as the UK is due to put up the 'On Holiday' sign as we all fly off to far flung places for a few weeks.
Britain's most dangerous animal is a badger so we can get a bit blase about the dangers in the wild but the rest of the World is not so lucky so we should be boning up what we do if a dangerous animal attacks while we are abroad.
Luckily the internet tells us what to do so depending on what it is attacking you, we should be ready to make sure that we haven't flown halfway across the globe to become a bears breakfast.       

Large Cats: Yell, shout and make as loud a noise as possible, don't run but stand your ground and hold out clothing like wings to make yourself look bigger. Throw rocks at it.

Bears: Yell, shout and make as loud a noise as possible but don't run. Back away slowly or cover your head with your arms and hands and play dead if the bear still approaches. If the bear attacks claw the eyes and nose with as much violence as you can muster.

Wolves and Wild Dogs: Avoid eye contact with the wolves, as eye contact is a sign of aggression and walk away slowly while yelling and shouting and slumping your lower body and head in a submissive gesture.

Snakes: Back away while watching the snake for signs of coiling as it is a prelude to a strike. Fend off the snake with a stick if it continues to moves towards you.
 
Alligators and Crocodiles: Should you see a crocodile on land, run away in a straight line. If attacked in water, gouge the crocodile’s eyes. If you are unable to attack their eyes, go for their nostrils or ears instead. Hit the animal on the nose if it grabs a limb. Avoid being shaken or pulled into the water.

Sharks: Move slowly towards shore and keep your head above water. Excessive splashing or activity attracts sharks. Remain still if you feel the shark brush against you. Fight back if the shark bites you by punching and scratch at the eyes and gills.

Rhinocerous:  Try not to run but slowly walk away from it without making eye contact. If it is charging at you, try to get out if its way. If there is a tree near you, climb it or get behind it.
  
Moose: Back away and change the direction of your travel. Run and try to climb or get behind a tree or other obstacle.     
        
Deer: Face the animal, raise your arms and your jacket, to make yourself appear larger. Swing the jacket around to make yourself appear formidable. Run and try and climb a tree. 

Bees: Run as quickly as possible and cover your head and face. Get into a closed building or vehicle as soon as possible.
        
It's a Jungle out there so stay safe and make sure you come back in one piece and sat at your desk by September, those spreadsheets won't update themselves you know!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

It's Trump!!

The inevitable has finally been confirmed. After months of campaigning, racist rhetoric and plagiarized speeches, Donald J Trump has been officially named as the Republican candidate for president.
Although nobody expected him to get this far, the smart money is on Hillary Clinton dragging hubby Bill and her secret e-mail server into the White House in November and the Trumpster going back to spending his fathers inheritance money on Scottish golf courses.
The irony is that if the Republicans had elected almost anyone else, they would have a shot at beating Hillary who is the second least popular candidate ever, only beaten by Donald himself.
While Trump has been going on about Mexicans being rapists and banning Muslims from the States, Hillary has been outed as such a spinner of yarns that even Hans Christian Anderson would be impressed.
What it all means is that whoever America chooses, they are getting a wrong'un as they say over here and the handcart directed towards Hell that we are currently all in will be going just that bit quicker.

Doing Something Better Than Doing Nothing

When some people learn what i do to pay my bar bill they make a remark about not watching the news anymore as it's too depressing or moan about journalists only concentrating on bad news.  
Hard to disagree with the first point, the news can be depressing but i can shake my head at the second point, the news reflects what is happening in society and if bad things happen, then these bad things have to be reported.
Recently, it appears that the bad news has been coming thick and fast with Brexit, Orlando, Nice, Donald Trump, Shootings, Celebrity deaths, Climate Change, racism, Turkish coup, Austerity, Syria and Iraq so the feeling that things are spinning too fast for some is understandable.
The answer for some is to withdraw and stop reading newspapers and make use of the remote control when the introductory music for the news starts up.
As tempting that option may be, we can't stop the world and let anyone off as the World isn't stopping and we are stuck here turning with it.
The answer is to do the opposite of burying your head in the sand and engage with the things that we can do something about and just reluctantly accept that there are some events that we can't.
If America votes in the tangerine coloured lunatic then nothing we can do about it, same as if a nations military decided to have a go at overthrowing the Government or a religious zealot decides to please their God by killing as many people as possible.
There are some things we can try and influence by demonstrating, voting, petitioning or educating so while doing nothing and avoiding hearing or reading about awful things is always an option, doing something to try and not make them happen in the first place is a much better one.

It's Too Hot

I know summer is meant to be all about long, lazy days and sultry, sexy nights but let’s be honest, it’s actually about wasps, sunburn, and the smell of sweaty armpits in the lift but as we can't stop the Earth orbiting the Sun we are stuck with Summer each year and this one has been a doozy which is great if you are a mosquito but not so good for pasty skinned humans. 
So as Billy Idol noticed, as well as it being scorchio during the day, it gets hot in the city, tonight also so with nighttime temperatures remaining in the low 20s, it hasn't been easy getting a decent nights sleep but luckily there is the internet and a plethora of people in hot countries willing to pass on advice on how they cope with these hot summer nights.
A fan can be used if you can handle the constant drone of the fan motor or you could throw open the windows but expect to wake up with an insect party going on around your head in the morning.
Something i was told a long time ago was to put your pillow in the fridge an hour before you go to bed (or just the pillowcase if the fridge isn't big enough) and other helpful tips is to not strip off but wear loose-fitting cotton or silk nightclothes as natural fibres wick away moisture from your skin.
Leaving blinds down or curtains closed during the day will keep the sun out and not heat up the bedroom and running your wrists and hands or feet under the cold tap for a few minutes will bring down the bodies temperature as will hugging a hot water bottle filled with cold water.
In Japan they put the mattress on the floor as that is where the coolest air is as the warm air is lighter and will rise leaving all the cold stuff lower down.
Another tip is to wring out a flannel with cold water and sleep with it on exposed skin and going to bed with damp socks on.
Finally sleeping on your side exposes more body surface and gives off more heat so there are lot's of good tips which are more helpful then my usual method which is laying there with my hair stuck to the pillow and whining 'IT'S TOO HOT' every couple of minutes.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Pokemon Go Everywhere Except Windows Phones

Last Friday i was sat on a train and could hear two young voices in the seats behind me talking about a game called Pokemon Go, a phone app that allows the user to wander around capturing Pokemon in the real World.
From first hearing it and in the space of a week it has gone crazy and you can't move for youngsters waving around their mobiles looking for a Jigglypuff or a Pikachu.
Sat outside our cafe this morning, a large group of youths stopped to capture one that was close-by and walking through the town centre afterwards it was dodging people suddenly stopping infront of you because they have caught sight of a Weezing, Gengar or Drowzee.
As a Windows Phone user i couldn't download it even if i wanted to but i think it's great as it gets children (and adults) outside and not stuck inside on their consoles or phones.
Of course there are dangers and Pokemon hunters have been warned not to play the game while driving after several drivers reportedly crashed while trying to catch Pokémon.
'Please remember that your safety comes before catching that Drowzee or Squirtle!' a statement from the police said so be more Metagross and less Zubat and stay safe but as the gimmick is pretty simple and pretty brilliant, I expect to see a plethora of like games hitting the app stores this summer, only not on Windows Phones obviously.

Israel Even More Unloved Than It Thought

The Israeli Government are in a sulk once again as a 33% of Americans and 40% of those in the UK support boycotting Israel according to a recent poll. The survey has rattled the Israelis who says those favouring the boycott were spreading 'an ideology of hate'.
The research was commissioned by the World Jewish Congress and conducted by Ipsos, to find out just how much support the growing movement of boycotting Israeli goods and services over its behaviour towards it Palestinians neighbours had.
Turns out amongst it's strongest allies, the USA and UK, it's continued punitive actions against the Palestinians is losing it support.
The boycott has already had an impact on the Israeli economy, with a reported 5% being shaved off its annual export income. 
I have long returned anything to the shelf which had 'Produce of Israel' and will continue to do so until Israel stops its actions but that won't happen until America stops bankrolling one of the greatest atrocities and human right abuses since the 2nd World War and it is heartening that a third of Americans now also feel the same way.

Call Buffy!!

Donald Trump has named his running partner and it is Mike Pence who looks a very nice chap, don't know much about him but i am sure if he turns out to be as racist or dumb as his boss then we will soon know.
Look, here he is having a nice dinner with his wife Karen and daughter Charlotte in a lovely family photograph in a restaurant.
You an tell he is not yet very well known because in the mirror you can see other families just going about their meals and leaving the wannabe vice president, his wife and...hang on, where's his daughters reflection?
Pence and his wife’s reflections can both be seen, but Charlotte’s is non-existent which means one of two things, either there's another very similar looking family at the table next to them or Charlotte is a vampire.
Engaging the principle of Occam's Razor that the simplest answer is usually the correct one, it is obvious that Rebecca is a reanimated corpse that feeds on the blood of sleeping persons at night.  
I also notice that she doesn't seem to be having anything to eat in front of her so i have seen enough episodes of Buffy, True Blood and and Scooby Doo to know that in the midst of America is a truly evil and dangerous individual capable of malevolent and harmful actions but we already knew that about Donald anyway but if Rebecca turns out to be a vampire, then might be best she isn't trusted either.

Everyone Together

Maybe it was the sunshine that bought them out but there were so many demonstrations in London today that they ended up being all merged into one.
The causes people decided to make banners and create chants against were Brexit, austerity, racism, Black Lives Matter, those demanding that the new PM hold an Election and the usual mix of people who just turn up to wave around a homemade cardboard sign with a witty slogan scrawled on it for the hell of it.
There was another group of some 70 demonstrators but the far right lunatic fringe that is the English Defence League were made to walk on their own in another part of town, far away from the people who were trying to make everyone's lives just that little bit better.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Go Set A Watchman Not Great

I don't know if it was a case of my expectations being too high due to the first book being so good but i have just finished Harper Lee's 'Go Set A Watchman' and to be polite to the late author, it's not great. 
The first half of the book is so ponderous that it was only the thought that it had to get better that i stayed with it, unfortunately it continued to plod along without particularly going anywhere until an overlong, cliche ridden final dialogue between Scout and her Uncle Jack with regards to why her father, along with her home-town, had become a hotbed of racism, put it out of it's misery. 
I know there was some controversy over whether Harper Lee was cajoled into releasing the book in the first place and after reading it, i agree with those who say that it probably should not have been released.
Although it is slow paced, laborious and the dialogue clunky, 'Go Set A Watchman' is not a terrible book but it is not a very good one either and my acid book test is would i add it to my list of books to read again, and that answer is firmly no.
If you are a fan of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' then skirting this novel wouldn't necessarily be a bad move as i assume literary history will quickly forget it also, or rather i hope so for Harper Lee's sake.  

Another Scary Clown

Rather excitingly they are remaking the 'IT' film, a Stephen King tale that did much to make clowns scary but Britain also has it's own version of a terrifying clown and he has been made Foreign Secretary.  
To a chorus 'WHAT ARE YOU THINKING' Theresa May could scarcely have made a worse choice of foreign secretary than Boris Johnson short of appointing Jeremy Clarkson or the Duke of Edinburgh.
While the new Prime Minister has actually taken away most of the power from the position, we will still have the mop haired nutter representing us to foreign nationals and already the International reaction has been a mix of wonder and amusement.
The Americans State Department spokesman struggled to keep a straight face and said the US was looking forward to working with Johnson who he likened Hillary Clinton to 'a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital' and Obama disliked the British due to being 'part-Kenyan'.  
The Germans said it was like 'trusting the cat to keep the cream' and the French Foreign Secretary dismissed Johnson as 'a liar' with a nod to his whoppers during the Brexit campaign.
The Chinese were scratching their heads and exclaimed surprise at the new PM's choice and Palestinians showed their horror at such a pro-Isreali diplomat in charge of foreign policy who said the boycott of Israel was being conducted by 'corduroy-jacketed lefty academics'.
Iran raised it's eyebrows and said the appointment 'would not benefit Tehran' and repeated his words that his preference to Iran developing Nuclear capability would be for the Israelis to bomb it. 
The Spanish state broadcaster, TVE, said they 'can’t get their heads around the fact that Boris Johnson is foreign secretary' while in Turkey, reaction was that it: 'raises questions about the future of Britain’s international relations', they were obviously not happy about his poetic effort which he called President Erdoğan 'a wankerer'.
In Africa, the South Africans of all people called him a racist and the African Union, obviously recalling the comment about Africans being 'flag-waving piccaninnies' with 'watermelon smiles', said Johnson: 'may be uniquely unfit for diplomatic dealings in Africa'.
In the end of IT, the clown turns into a giant spider but it seems our own clown has already turned into another animal, an almighty ass.

Turn That Noise Down US Navy!

The US Navy has been ordered by the Ninth US Circuit Court in San Francisco on Friday to protect whales by lowering sonar levels which the Navy uses to detect enemy submarines.
The Navy argued that the Low Frequency Active Sonar was the only type that could fulfill it's needs but the judges ruled that at current levels the sound volume violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act which would result in an: 'adverse impact on marine mammals'.
In a case bought by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), the Environmental Group argued that up to 10 million sea animals would suffer hearing loss or have their normal routines and behaviors disrupted and the judges agreed so the US Navy will have to tone it down.
All very good, we do share the planet with the other animals after all, but how about we now look at protecting humans from the adverse impact of the US military? 

Friday, 15 July 2016

Turkish Military Coup

Seems you can't take your eyes off the news channels at the moment as tonight the Turkish military have seized control of the country in a coup.
Tanks and soldiers are on the streets and media outlets have been closed, social media restricted and the whereabouts of President Tayyip Erdogan is unknown although he has given an interview over his mobile phone from an undisclosed destination urging people to go out on the street to respond to the military uprising.  
A statement released from the military announced that they have acted: 'to reinstate constitutional
order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and general security that was damaged'.
Erdogan has been slowly dragging Turkey towards an Islamic state and chipping away at secular and human rights including imprisoning journalists on trumped up charges so he isn't expected to gain much sympathy from the media.  
As well as not being that popular at home, there won't be much sympathy coming from the international community either although they will have to make the right noises about being concerned about events, they won't be that upset if Erdogan does end up being removed from power.
With all coups the success depends on who the military line up behind and as yet it is unknown if this is a coup by the full military or just part of the armed forces in which case we could find ourselves in a Syria situation with part of the military supporting the President facing off against those trying to depose him and reports of military jets overhead and explosions and gunfire being heard doesn't bode well.

Helping To Increase The Trump IQ

As marketing stunts go, Indian tea firm, Te-A-Me Tea company, has come up with a stonker.
The companies Green Tea is said to increase your intelligence so they have sent a four year supply to the most unintelligent person they could think of, Donald Trump.
'Dear Mr Trump, namaste from India, we are sending you lots and lots of natural green tea' TE-A-ME said in an online video, 'It fights against harmful free radicals. It helps purify mind and body and regain a healthy balance. It has also proven to make people smarter. Please Mr Trump drink the tea. For your sake, for America’s sake, for the world’s sake'. 
The 6.000 tea bags is enough to let Trump drink three cups a day for four years and the company has said that if Trump runs out of tea, it is more than happy to supply more.
Hopefully the Trumpster will take them up on their offer to increase his brain power but i fear that all the green tea in India won't shift the Republican nominations IQ score above that of the box the tea bags came in but it was a nice try.

France Bears Terrorist Brunt Again

Horrific scenes from France yet again as 31 year old Tunisian-French terrorist Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, murders a large number of innocent members of the public going about their everyday lives.
Islamic State and Al Quaeda may be losing its territory in Syria and Iraq but the group's European supporters are frighteningly effective as the death toll climbs to 84 with over two hundred injured, 54 of those critically.
The obvious question is that although many countries in Europe have suffered terrorist attacks, why is France the gruesome recipient of the brunt of them.
One reason put forward is that France has a larger amount of radicalised Muslims, over 600 French citizens or residents are known to be in Iraq or Syria, who either have returned from the Middle East or have come under the influence of other radicalised Muslims and who then have the motivation, however wrongheaded, to attack the country where they live.
The concern is now that a determined and deluded individual will follow the 31 year old Tunisian-French terrorist's example and no longer have to worry themselves with bringing bomb equipment or powerful guns into the country when he has shown that they can kill such a large number with something as everyday as a lorry hired locally.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

England Down To 13th In FIFA Ranking

The new FIFA World rankings are out and England slide down to 13th and Wales leapfrog us into 11th place but no surprises that Argentina are the best team in the World.
As England set about inviting another manager to make his butt groove in the chair vacated by Roy Hodgson, the FA will be looking for friendly matches for either the main candidates Jurgen Klinnsman to introduce his intricate style of passing football or Sam Allardyce to get his team to smash the ball around the pitch aimlessly for 90 minutes.   
Obviously, with the humiliation of being on the receiving end of an Icelandic shellacking fresh in the memory, the FA will avoid playing anyone any good so the slider at the side of the browser at the FIFA website will be rolled down to the bottom of the page to see who occupies the last few places.
In joint 205th place and officially the worst teams in World Football are Anguilla, Bahamas, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somali and Tonga so let's get Nukuʻalofa on the blower and show them Tongan's just why England have a single gold star above our badge earned 50 years ago with home advantage and a dodgy Russian linesman.
Don't mess with us Tonga and what are you looking at Anguilla, you want a piece of us too??

Female Yes But Still A Tory

I'm as much a feminist as the next womb carrying human but i refuse to join in the 'Theresa May will be great because she is a woman' movement that seems to have gripped many formerly sane ladies.
What many seem to overlook is that she may have a couple of matching chromosomes but she is still a Tory and is an advocate of all the nasty things Tories stand for such as austerity, privatising anything that isn't nailed down and generally kicking anyone who isn't a rich white person.
Margaret Thatcher's loathsome reputation was well deserved and the current crop of Conservatives that she has drafted into the Cabinet are even further to the right then she was and now have the cover of Brexit to impose even more severe austerity and cutbacks.
I hope she does turn out to be brilliant and she does stick with her promise to: 'share economic opportunity beyond the privileged few' which is as close to a denouncement of David Cameron's awful efforts as you can get without actually saying it but looking at what she has done so far, and the people she is surrounding herself with, i'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Great Start Theresa

Start as you mean to go on...Great Britain's New Prime Minister Theresa May has made tax avoidance one of her key aims and days ago named Starbucks and Amazon as just two of the tax dodging companies her government will crack down on.
I'm sure her husband may not be so keen, especially as he is a senior executive at investment fund, Capital Group, which manages tens of billion of pounds worth of shares for guess where...Amazon and Starbucks.
'It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re Amazon, Google or Starbucks, you have a duty to put something back, you have a debt to fellow citizens and you have a responsibility to pay your taxes' said Mrs May on Monday which must have caused Mr May a few awkward moments at work the next day.
Great start Theresa, your husband exposed as one of the people helping the firms that you are promising to crack down on. Awkward.

Cameron's Legacy

So off David Cameron trots to see the Queen and tell her that he is jacking it all in and passing him in the Buckingham Palace hallway is Theresa May who is skipping and jumping to tell the same monarch that if Dave don't want it, she'll have it.
The removal van is packed, the best china wrapped in brown paper and David Cameron drives off into the sunset with the newly earned tag of former-Prime Minister and the warm words of his Conservative Party colleagues ringing in his ears and his final words ringing in ours.
'As I leave today' reflected Dave, 'I hope that people will see a stronger country' which was received with wild applause from the Tory benches and shouts of 'Let me at him' from the rest of the country, those not queuing at Food Banks anyway, they didn't want to lose their place in the ever growing line.  
So Cameron's legacy will probably be the six years of austerity he foisted upon us or how he took the UK out of Europe and into economic decline but there are two stories which for me shine far brighter than anything else. 
The first is how he took his daughter to the pub, then forgot her when he went home and secondly, his sexual harassment of a pig.
Ladies and Gentleman, let's hear it for Mr David Cameron, he f***d the economy, f****d the environment, f****d the United Kingdom, f****d Libya, f****d over the disabled, f*****d the poor and f****d a pig.
Dave Cameron, everyone can truthfully say he was a real f**ker.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Jesus On My Mobile? Yes Please!

It has always been my opinion that if there is a God, what with all the natural disasters in the World, he sure did a crap job of things and my view is only strengthened by the lack of decent wifi hotspots. He must have cut enough corners to have had some time left over to make sure i had a decent signal on my mobile phone but instead he used that time to make wasps and mosquitoes instead, the divine idiot.
Still, there are those who overlook the cowboy job he did and spend each morning refreshing themselves on who begat who by poring over the Bible but that's so last Century because now there is an app that sends you texts straight from Jesus.  
Acts 17:11 says 'Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so' but now even Thessalonican Jews can examine the scriptures daily because for a fee you can get an inspirational quite from Jesus sent to you every day.
Quotes such as: 'Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'.
Okay, so maybe that isn't the best example but as he is the son of a man who got angry and killed everybody on Earth except Noah and his family, what do you expect? 
Now all religious folk can get Jesus into their lives and onto their mobile phone and let 21st Century technology keep up their 15th Century viewpoints (if they have decent phone reception).

There's Another Club Britain Can Leave

Some of the top arguments for coming out of the EU was due to the amount it costs us each year and how we are told what to do by unelected officials.
The £12 billion a year figure we hand to the EU for membership was quickly dismissed as the figure was closer to £5 billion once the amount we receive back in rebates is included and the 73 MEP's we elected to the EU (you do remember voting for them, don't you?) waved their arms about shouting 'What are we, chopped liver?' whenever the unelected officials bit cropped up. 
So we are out of the EU but we are still a member of an even larger group which certainly does cost us a fortune each year and really is run by unelected officials, NATO.
Members of the NATO club are obliged to spend 2% of their GDP on defence which means it costs Britain £36 billion each year or approximately £692 million a week and we don't get any rebates on that amount, it goes into NATO coffers to buy tanks and bullets. 
Then there are the military, political, economic, and legal requirements each candidate state must meet that have been set by NATO for continued membership.
Each member must have a stable democratic systems, pursue the peaceful settlement of territorial and ethnic disputes, have good relations with their neighbours, show commitment to the rule of law and human rights, establish democratic and civilian control of their armed forces, and have a market economy.
Countries have to ensure the security of sensitive information according to NATO standards but the most important factor is if any of the 28 NATO members are attacked, we are obliged to go to war as was tripped after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States and used to attack Afghanistan.  
So unlike the EU, NATO doesn't create any jobs, costs us 6 times more than we paid to the EU, has no benefits to our economy and is run by unelected officials who dictate legal, economic and military requirements to us, so when's the referendum?

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Ladies On Top

Politics has long been seen as a boy's only club but something has changed recently and women are hoovering up the top seats at political tables all over.
Britain is set to get its second woman prime minister, while the SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Arlene Foster is the First Minister in Northern Ireland, Wales Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood and Green Party leader Natalie Bennett are all calling the shots with their parties.
On the global stage, America could be about to get its first female president, in Hillary Clinton, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues to dominate European politics and
The opposition Labour Party have now joined in the fun and could have their first female leader for the first time in its history, if Angela Eagle replaces Jeremy Corbyn.
UKIP are rudderless and Diane James or Suzanne Evans are being considered to replace Nigel Farage so finally it has been decided that the men have made a hash of things and it is the turn of the ladies to sort out the mess the men have got us into, but then, what's new about that?

Blair And Iraq In A Nutshell

As the Iraq War took place in 2003, many teenagers today were paying more attention to Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick than the news at the time so today they are asking, so what was it all about?
In a nutshell, Tony Blair told us we had to remove Saddam Hussein because he had Weapons of Mass Destruction including Nuclear, Chemical and Biological and was a danger to us all.   
The assertion that he was trying to acquire Nuclear weapons fell down very quickly but Tony Blair kept his foot down on the threat of Chemical and Biological weapons.
Saddam said he had destroyed all his WMD's and UN Weapons Inspectors cris-crossed Iraq looking in places the USA and UK sent them to check and each time they came up empty handed.
Blair kept up the pressure in the Commons, but the rhetoric had now changed from actual weapons to weapons programmes but still nothing was found.  
Finally, after failing to gain a vote at the United Nations to invade Iraq, the US and UK pulled out the Weapons Inspectors and invaded anyway and after another 12 months of fruitless searching, Blair admitted: 'We haven't found them (WMD) and we may never find them, We don't know what has happened to them and 'It seems increasingly clear that at the time of invasion, Saddam did not have stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons ready to deploy'.
That, in a nutshell is why Tony Blair is hounded such as he is today and the Chilcot report has just confirmed that the reason Tony Blair gave for going to war, Saddam's WMD's, turned out to be wrong and that he had twisted the intelligence about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein to justify the war and keep his word to the American President that he would 'Be with him, whatever' and to 'Act now, explain later' while telling us the opposite and that he was doing all he could to avoid war.

Next!!

I have always thought that the reason Governments don't hold more referendums and to give us a say on some policies is because they know they wouldn't like the answer, hence the one time they did ask us what we think we committed economic suicide by jumping out of the EU.
The next vote on the agenda comes on the 18th of this month and is on whether to renew our nuclear arsenal but this time the MP's aren't asking us, they are keeping that decision amongst themselves and it is highly unlikely that we will be waving goodbye to our expensive nuclear toy like we did the single market.
It is hard to think in a time of austerity, 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 make 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.
While it is true that we don't know what the future brings, it is also true that while we are making people redundant and closing public services, it seems folly to pay out the £133 billion required for something just because of some event that is unlikely to happen at some unspecified time in the future.
By scrapping Trident, we could free up enough to make things very much more comfortable because i don't know how much a comfort it is that we have nuclear missiles when you are clearing out your desk as your firm has gone bust but i wouldn't have thought it crossed the minds of many people while they are signing on.
I would like to think if David Cameron asked us if we would prefer he spend £133bn on a patently useless weapon or spend the £133bn building hospitals or schools he would be concreting over the silos by the weekend.
And that's why we won't get a choice of whether to keep or scrap it.

US Racism Today v Crow Era

Two unarmed black men were killed by police in the US this week, sparking further outcry over racism in American law enforcement.
Online magazine Quartz analysed data on lynchings from the last century and found, incredibly, that more black men were shot dead by police in 2015 than were lynched in the worst year of the Jim Crow era when laws mandated the segregation of public schools, public places, public transportation, restrooms, restaurants and drinking fountains for whites and blacks.
Using material kept by Tuskagee University, Alabama, they looked at the number of black people who were lynched during the Jim Crow era of 1890 - 1965 and discovered 2,911 people were lynched in the 75 year period, on average 39 per year.
The worst year was 1892, when 161 black people were lynched.
In 2015, the number of black people shot by police was 258 but this twisted record is in danger of falling as the number of black people whom have been shot dead by police in 2016 is already at 123.
America, it seems, is more likely to find a dead black man today then it was in even its most depressingly racist era.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Best Time To Bury Bad News

The best time to bury bad news is always when everyone is looking the other way so with the Brexit vote followed by the Chilcot reporting dominating the news over the past few weeks, what stories have been slipped out under the radar?

The United Nations announced that the Conservatives austerity policies breach international human rights obligations and have had 'a disproportionate adverse impact on the most marginalised and disadvantaged: children, disabled people, and low-income families' resulting in 'exceptionally high levels of homelessness, food banks, and persistent inequality'.
Phew, lucky for the Government nobody noticed that one.  

The number of children living in poverty has jumped by 200,000 in a year, according to the latest official data, with the rise meaning 3.9 million children are now living below the breadline in the UK.
Nobody looking, quick, Boris has announced he isn't running for Tory leader.

An estimated half a million women will have their state pension delayed as part of the austerity drive to save £30 billion.
Hmmm, this one is sure to be controversial if only...England just lost to Iceland, Go Go Go. 

Due to the £85 million austerity cuts to the NHS which has forced the closure of child and adolescent mental health clinics, four in five children with mental health problems are being denied access to the treatment they urgently need according to new NHS figures. Cases of children self-harming, become suicidal or dropping out of school has risen asa consequence.
What time is the Chilcot report released? Give it ten minutes after that.

Ok guys, i think we got away with it, just smile and change the subject if anybody asks any awkward questions about the growing food bank lines, starving and suicidal children or female pensioners asking where their state pension is.

Pass The Cake

On the same day that we are told 80,000 finance jobs will be making the short hop across the channel to the Eu zone, we are told that items such as computers, coffee and chocolate will be going up.
What? Prices going up? This can't be! We were told we are a great trading nation looking outwards after freeing ourselves from the decaying eurozone and saving £350 million for the NHS.
Why isn't everything getting better?
After the 'it's all those foreign types coming over here and claiming benefits' argument, many of the 52% of Brexiter's said they voted for change because it can't get any worse.
Seems they are going to soon start discovering that things certainly can and will.
'Let them eat cake' is the phrase attributed to Marie Antoinette when France went down the pan so we may have to dig deep and break out the Victoria Sandwich (just not the chocolate type obviously).

Britain's Next PM May Be Female But Still A Tory

The votes have been counted and verified and Britain's next Prime Minister will be...female.
The final two left standing are Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom and as one will take over from David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party, by default they also become leader of Great Britain also.
Theresa May is the overwhelming favourite but they still have to go through the process over the next
few weeks of choosing a winner so we also have to pretend it's a competition and may the best women win etc etc.
So in the one corner Theresa May, the current Home Secretary, owner of a Geography degree and a career as a financial consultant behind her.
In the other corner Andrea Leadsom, the current Energy and climate change minister, has a Political Science degree hanging on her wall and came into politics with a background in Banking.
Both are saying the right things but it is worth remembering that whether it's May or Leadsom, they will still be heading up the Nasty Party and will still be following the same horrific right wing ideology that includes yet more austerity so whether it's a man or a woman, the politics won't change and the poorest in society will continue to be trod all over, it will just be done by someone with a slightly higher voice.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Not A Good Day For Blair

Chilcot has ruled that the decision to invade Iraq was taken 'before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted', that military action was 'not a last resort' and Saddam posed no 'imminent threat'.
The Iraq decision was based on 'flawed intelligence', Blair and his  colleagues 'should have challenged what they were told but did not' and the planning for post-invasion Iraq was 'wholly inadequate and the consequences 'underestimated'.
Blair had been warned that invasion would set off 'internal strife', the legality of the war was 'far from satisfactory' and Blair told Bush 'I will be with you, whatever' showing that he had decided to go to war long before the official decision, despite telling the public that no such decision had been made.
Chilcot has taken almost every line of attack that has been lodged against Blair and endorsed it, giving the rubber stamp of vindication to almost everything the critics had said about the war from the beginning.
Now it is over to the people who can, and should, drag Blair into a court for prosecution.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Chilcot, Blair and the ICC

With the publication of the Chilcot Report into the Iraq war tomorrow, the International Criminal Court has shrugged it's shoulders and announced that while it will would comb through the report for evidence of war crimes committed by British troops, Blair's decision to go to war was outside of it's remit so therefore will not be able to prosecute Tony Blair for any war crimes.
Already the family of dead soldiers and those who opposed the war have spoken out to condemn the ICC decision, stating that Blair will once again escape retribution for his decisions but as shameful as that is, i don't expect to hear much from Chilcot that we don't already know.
I am sure that we will hear about 'lessons being learned' and 'mistakes being made' but it is hard to believe that we have learnt anything as since Iraq we have gone blundering into Libya and to a lesser extent Syria.
We know all that already, we put the blame firmly on George W Bush and Tony Blair for what happened, and what is continuing to happen in Iraq and Syria, the massive car bomb in Baghdad at the weekend that killed 150 is a direct result of the decisions they made back in 2003.  
The political impact of the Iraq war in Britain was serious, it not only cost Tony Blair his Prime Minister position but blasted his once promising reputation and cost Labour tens of thousands of supporters who could not bring themselves to vote for a party that would act so heinously, myself included.
So if those of us baying for Blair's blood won't get our way, and all we will hear is confirmation of common knowledge that that Blair misused and span the available intelligence, what can we take from Chilcots words? 
I will be listening with interest to hear not how we ended up in a war whose repercussions are still echoing today but why the British and American governments in their desperation to attack Saddam, went to such lengths to deceive, cheat and lie to the public to take us into the war as that question has never been fully answered.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Nervous Wait For Juno

After traveling for 5 years and 400 million miles the million pound Juno spacecraft is almost in position to be placed in orbit around Jupiter.
NASA scientists will attempt to fire rocket engines to put the brakes on the probe and then maneuver it into orbit around the giant gas planet while also turning it back so the solar panels face the sun.
The risky 35-minute operation to move Juno into position is a one shot chance, get it wrong and burn the engines for anything other than the precise 1.2 seconds required and Juno will be sent pinging off into space or sent plunging into the gas clouds and an inevitable crushing
Get it right though and the information we garner from Juno will be invaluable and will help settle the question whether Jupiter has a solid core beneath all those toxic clouds of gas and gain insights on the famous Great Red Spot. 
As the distance from Jupiter to the control center is so vast, there is a 48 minute lapse which means that there will be some very nervous technicians and scientists waiting to hear if their 1.2 second calculations were correct or if they have just sent a million pound lump of metal flying towards Alpha Centuri.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Merkel, May And Clinton

If things play out the way they look like they will, Angela Merkel could very well soon be joined in the queue for the Ladies toilet at the UN by a couple of more female World Leaders in the shape of Hillary Clinton and Theresa May.
Unless the FBI bring a screeching halt to her bandwagon, Mrs Clinton should be soon measuring up the Oval Office for curtains and Mrs May is the hot favourite to be changing the wallpaper in 10 Downing Street to match her sofa.
At this point i should be making quips about what a bloody mess men have made of things and they should now step aside and let us women have a go but while Merkel may not be a warmongering lunatic, May and Clinton certainly are.
Clinton is a hawkish woman who has supported armed conflict at every single opportunity and is in favour of undertaking another Rambo exercise in Syria while May was a cheerleader for the Afghan and Iraq conflicts and has voted for the use of UK military forces whenever it has turned up, which shamefully has been quite a lot this century.
She also wants to replace Trident with a shiny new nuclear weapons system so it seems that being the owner of a bra and owning a womb are not prerequisites for being a different sort of more caring and sharing politician, it just means you are a warmonger who has boobs and can bear children.
If Angela Merkel wants to do us all a favour and promote World Peace, she should lock them both in the United Nations Lavatory at the first opportunity.

Conflating Corbyn's Anti-Semitism Speech

The knives are out for Jeremy Corbyn and they have been plunged in once again over his comment regarding anti-semitism in the Labour Party.
The shadow leader said that attacking all Jews for what Israel did was wrong as was targeting all Muslims for what Islamic State does.
I can't see anything wrong with that, i have said exactly the same here many times when Synagogues where being vandalised and Jews attacked in the street while Israeli attacks on Palestine were ongoing.
The anti-Corbyn media immediately piled on saying that he was drawing a parallel between Israel and the Islamic State. The Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev apparently had no problem with what Jeremy Corbyn said and i fail to see why he should, Corbyn didn't draw any parallels between the two except to say that to target members of a religion because of the actions of others who they have no influence or control over is wrong.
The less intelligent among us will continue to take it upon themselves to act their shoe size and attack Jews in retaliation for Israels actions as they will carry on attacking Muslims for Islamic State's actions and both is appalling but then so is the right wing media outlets with a grudge against the Labour leader conflating his words into something it obviously wasn't.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Teflon Tony Due A Fall

When he was in power Tony Blair was known as Teflon Tony because no matter what mess was going on aropund him, he came out of it clean but that all changed with the Iraq War where he went from being one of our best liked Prime Ministers to receiving more hatred than even Margaret Thatcher had thrown at her.
Next Wednesday is the culmination of the Chilcot Report into the Iraq war and it has been heavily hinted at that Tony Blair is set to savaged.
A number of MPs have already looked into impeaching the former prime minister using an ancient Parliamentary law which will be set in motion if the report states that Blair misled Parliament over the Iraq War.
The MPs believe he should be prosecuted for breaching his constitutional duties and taking the country into a conflict that resulted in the deaths of over a million Iraqi's and 179 British troops.
If the impeachment attempt is approved by MPs, the Blair is put on trial and could face a prison sentence.
The key point which could launch the procedure is if Chilcot shows that Blair committed to the invasion of Iraq in private with President George Bush before 2003.
'If, as I believe Chilcot finds that there was a prior commitment from Blair to Bush at Crawford ranch in 2002, that would provide the reason for pursuing the matter further' said one MP.
Wednesday could turn out to be a very bad day for Tony Blair but a great day for those of us who want to see him punished for his appalling and abhorrent actions for which he has never been properly held to account.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Healing Ozone Layer

Researchers say they have found the first clear evidence that the thinning in the ozone layer above Antarctica is beginning to heal as the the hole was around 4 million sq km smaller than it was in the year 2000.
Credit must go to the greens in the mid-80s who campaigned to ban ozone-destroying chemicals CFC's found in everything from hairsprays and refrigerators to air conditioning units.
Since the global ban on the use of CFCs in 1987, the situation in Antarctica has been slowly improving and are now showing first signs that the ozone protective layer is actively growing again.
Even though we phased out the production of CFCs in all countries, there's still a lot of the chemicals left in the atmosphere and as it has a lifetime of 50 to 100 years it will be a slow process and to a complete recovery but it should provide an inspiration that we may have royally messed up the atmosphere but with international co-operation governments, science, industry and us everyday folks can work together to protect our natural world and come up with solutions to tackle our spiraling global environmental problems if we have the will.

Taiwan Navy Idiots

If ever you needed evidence that the World is run by idiots, Taiwan has accidentally mistakenly fired a supersonic anti-ship missile in the direction of China, the Taiwanese navy have said.
The patrol boat was undergoing an inspection inside a military base when the missile was fired by accident and landed in the sea between Taiwan and China although luckily there were no injuries.
A preliminary investigation showed that its operators may have failed to follow proper procedures.
Lets hope china does not 'accidentally' fire a missile back at them.