Thursday, 31 October 2019

Considerations Before Summoning Demon's Tonight

Tonight, of all nights, is the time when you will want to be doing a bit of demon summoning but the problem seems to be that everyone goes straight for the top guy, Satan himself, and as good as the Lord of Hell is, even he can't be in several places at the same time so you end up frustrated that your summoning spell didn't work and you give up and go sulk in your room listening to death metal music instead.
The thing with demons and creatures from hell in general is that even if you don't get The Devil himself, whoever you summon will still be evil and at the end of the day, that's all you can ask for.
So try aiming lower, Wikipedia has a handy list of demons  so you have your list and your summoning equipment and possibly even a virgin tied up in the garage but something else that
needs consideration is that the demon you summon will not do your bidding for nothing, there will be a contract involved.
Contracts can range from a packet of Maryland Cookies to the souls of your first born and you have to remember that the person you are negotiating with is evil, so expect a few dick-moves and read any small print because thinking you have negotiated all the riches you will ever desire for the cost of a cheese sandwich and then finding out you actually signed up to being tortured in a pit of fire for eternity because that can really ruin your weekend.  
Finally, one more consideration before lighting the black candles and calling something from hell is the location because Hell and its inhabitants smell of sulphur and sulphur smells of rotten eggs and do you really want something that smelly to be putting in an appearance in your bedroom, you've got to sleep in there later remember, so take it outside or at least into your little sisters room.
Happy summoning.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

December UK Election Game On

A December General Election is now almost guaranteed after it passed its final major hurdle and now requires just the date to be fixed with the options being Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11th being preferred by the main parties as it would mean the almost immediate closure of Parliament for the required 25 working days before polling and doesn't allow the Conservatives to pull any fast ones with the Brexit bill while the Conservatives prefer Thursday 12th December. 
The Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party are the most keenest for an election as they both stand to gain substantially while for the Conservatives and Labour Parties, it is a huge gamble.
The Conservatives will try to keep the voters eyes on Brexit but they will be shedding voters heavily to the Brexit Party while Labour will try to keep all eyes on the Conservatives record in Government which has been shamefully bad but risk losing traditional voters to the hard and fast remainers of the Lib Dems and the leave at any cost Brexit Party.
What we will have to avoid is making it a referendum on Brexit with the Conservatives backing leave, Labour backing a second referendum and the Lib Dems wanting to remain because that means we are not looking at the Conservatives record in power, the disgraceful decade of austerity and the terrible cuts to services.
I am still undecided to go with my Labour heart or my Liberal Democrat head but unless i have an accident which removes enough of my brain cells before early December, i would never vote for a right wing Conservative Party.
The latest poll of polls shows Conservatives on 36%, 12 points ahead of the Labour Party on 24%, Lib Dems 18%, Brexit Party 11% and Greens 4% but with so much option for parties to nick voters from each other depending on what subject prevails, it could all be up for grabs still.

A Boring Sunday In April 1954

Newspapers are all reporting the events of the day and therefore rely upon things happening the day before which must have made the papers particularly thin on 12 April 1954 because literally almost nothing happened on 11 April 1954.
A Computer program, True Knowledge, searched through 300 million million facts and figures regarding people, places, business and world events that made the news and found that no significant newsworthy events, births, or deaths are known to have happened on this day.
On that particular Sunday a general election was held in Belgium and an Oldham Athletic footballer called Jack Shufflebotham died but apart from that nothing much happened and has been labelled the most boring day in history.
The irony now though is that the day is interesting for being so exceptionally boring which would have helped the newspaper editors in April 1954 had they known while they scratched around for content to fill their pages with.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Be Thankful For The 8% Peacetime

I fell across an alarming fact today which i dismissed at first as so obviously wrong it must have come from Fox News or the mouth of Boris Johnson but a search on Google showed it was amazingly true that since it was founded in 1776, America has been at war 222 of it's 243 years with just 21 years when they were only preparing to do it rather than actually doing it. 
The longest time America has gone without a war was five years between 1935 and 1940 which helps bring the percentage down to only being at war just under 92% of the time.
With a description of a major war being one that has killed at least 1,000 people, the 18th Century saw 2 years of no American wars, 8 years in the 19th Century and 10 years in the 20th Century so they are getting better although of the present 19 years of the 21st Century, they have been at war for 18 of them, taking a break from warring in the year 2000 but more than making up for it ever since.
I am sure that Israel could challenge the USA as the globes most war-mongering nation and England has an awful record over our 1092 history including a war with the French for 116 years which we called the hundred years war because that doesn't sound quite so bad.
If the yanks are the most war-whoring then the award for least war mongering goes to Andorra who has not ever been at war with anyone since its founding in 988.
With Donald Trump in charge, we can expect America to declare war on Andorra any day.

Militant Vegans

I have been a proper vegetarian since i was 16 which means i don't eat meat but i still have dairy but there is a newer, more militant type of non-meater which is veganism which forego all dairy products as well as meat.
Good luck to them i say although as i have had to take extra vitamins for my life to make up for the vitamins lacking in my diet, heaven only knows what these guys have to take which is why i asked the group in the town center this weekend who were handing out leaflets and holding a sign which said 'Ask me about veganism', which i did.
For some reason they didn't want to answer that, they did though want to explain to me all about animal cruelty, climate change, how meat eating causes health problems and how man has destroyed the planet which i said was them preaching to the converted which is why i had been a vegetarian for the past 30 odd years although that never seemed to stop their pre-rehearsed patter.
I love their enthusiasm and the fact that they are prepared to go further than i am for their cause but vegans have the same problem as the religionists who were handing out leaflets and badgering people a few meters away.
Not everyone appreciates having somebody else's outlook shoved down their throat and trying to change their views, it just get's their backs up and forces them to dig their heels in so whether it's someone trying to tell you why you should not eat meat or somebody telling you why you should pray, that doesn't work.     
The vegans can hand out all the leaflets they like but they won't be converting anybody all the time they are trying to force it onto people, give them the facts but let them decide for themselves because switching to a non-meat or dairy diet is a massive step.
My advice would be to go flexitarian and then move up the scale to vegetarianism and then veganism if you can handle it but make sure you get a loyalty card from Holland and Barrett because the vegans and vegetarians may not tell you but you will need them extra vitamins.

Saturday, 26 October 2019

England In The Rugby Final

My Canadian colleague text me this morning to say that after England knocked New Zealand out of the Rugby World Cup, the English will be insufferable which isn't very fair, us English don't need a sporting victory to be intolerable.
So in the time honoured tradition of whenever England beat another nation at sport, Sir Edmund Hillary, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Lorde, Russell Crowe, Lucy Lawless, Crowded House..erm Moana, your boys took one hell of a beating!!
To be fair to New Zealand, i have no idea what was going on but our men with funny shaped balls beat your men with funny shaped balls and it is IN-GER-LAND who progress to the final of the World Cup to meet either the Welsh or the South Africans, hopefully the Welsh. 
What is a bit painful is that i had drawn New Zealand in the office sweepstake and for once thought i had a decent chance of running through the Town Centre spending £40 in a whirlwind of shopping but that dream was squashed almost immediately after England scored a try after just 90 seconds.
Still, come on your Welsh, smash the Boks and let's make a small part of Japan British next weekend and show the World just how insufferable we can really be.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Ruling The World In 2050

PriceWaterhouseCooper (PWC) are one of the big four financial auditors and they have been looking into their crystal ball to see who will be the economies that matter in the year 2050.
ALl the usual suspects are there but the G20 summits may have to swap around some of the little nation flags they put out at the lunch tables because according tp PWC, there are going to be some changes over the next 30 years.
Of the current G20, they can keep most of the flags but being ripped up and turned into dusters are the flags of Australia, Spain, Canada and Italy and in their place being hoisted up the flagpole are the bits of cloth showing the colours of Egypt, Philippines, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Gaining an invite to a G20 summit means you are one of the biggest and best in the World but when you get an invite for the G7, then you know you have really made it and as one of the most advanced economies, you get to make the economic decisions that effect the rest of the World and currently the Group of Seven consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States but some of the leaders better make the most of the Foie Gras on offer as not all of those nations will still be tasting goose liver in 2050.
Of the current G7 countries, Russia (if still not banned) will be there as will the USA and China but France will be replaced by Mexico, Germany booted out for Brazil, Canada hooked in favour of Indonesia and Italian meatballs will be off the menu and Indian Curry put on it.
The auditors include a disclaimer that this is based on current projections and things could change between now and 2050 but they have the UK economy slipping down to 10th and China being the largest with the USA 3rd and India 2nd with the biggest movers upwards being Pakistan and Nigeria and biggest drop coming with the Japanese and South Korean economies.

Trust Boris To 'Get Things Done ®'

If there is one thing the UK needs it's a chance to turn up at a voting booth on a cold, dark rainy day in mid-winter and luckily that is exactly what we are being offered as Boris Johnson is demanding a December 12th election so he can 'Get Brexit Done ®' because apparently we are all fed up with not shrinking our economy by as much as £49bn a year.
Johnson is so keen on an election because he thinks that not only can he win it, but win it by enough of a majority to push through the Brexit deal which he has negotiated.
That it is essentially the same deal that Theresa May negotiated, the deal that fellow Brexit die hard Jacob Rees-Mogg said would make us a 'vassal state, like Britain under the Roman occupation' and other Boris Brexit chums said was like 'literally selling all of us off to an Albanian trafficking gang' should not be a concern.
Boris, unlike most politicians, will 'Get Things Done ®' because he is not held up by the codes of morals or ethics like most politicians, such as that which says if you print something as a fact in huge letters on the side of a bus, it ought to be correct. 
Nor is he concerned with sneakily arranging for contracts worth tens of thousands be awarded to his friends, he just hands taxpayers money to people with no particular business receiving it showing that for too long we’ve put up with politicians trying desperately to cover up their lies, and at last we’ve got one who lies openly but doesn’t even bother trying to cover it up.
That letter he sent applying for an extension that he said he would he would never sign and would rather 'die in a ditch' than send, well put away the ditch digging shovel because that's in Michel Barnier's top pocket now and that flat out refusal to sign up to a border in the Irish Sea, he has now negotiated a border in the Irish Sea.
Voting for Boris will 'Get Things Done ®' although some things may have to take a backseat such as making the wealthiest pay to look after the poorest, not selling arms to nations using them to kill civilians in a neighbouring country or taking the trouble not to flood us all, Brexit and making sure that 'Getting It Done ®' is the most pressing matter.
Some people may object and you may wish to listen to analysts, economists and business with years of experience to fall back on who say Brexit will be a disaster but who says they know more than the guy who sales insurance for a living who calls anyone who worries about the effect on the NHS or the poor a Communist and a traitor whose grandad fought in a world war to keep England free from the lying Europeans.
In all, Boris has a deal and it could have 'Got Things Done ®' on 31 October if Corbyn and his gang of left wing fascists hadn't scuppered things by wanting time to read the details in it because they don't trust Boris Johnson, and if you can’t trust our Prime Minister and his Brexit gang, frankly who can you trust?

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Best And Worst Jobs

At some point we have all considered packing in our jobs and trying our luck elsewhere but there are some career choices which seem to consider it more than others with a study pinpointing the ten most miserable, and ten most satisfying, employments. 
Most miserable is the lot of a Roofer then Waiters, Labourers, Bartenders, Packagers, Stock Handlers, Clothes Sales People, Cashiers, Food preparers and Suppliers.
I can understand the misery of most of them, i would not be able to put up with moaning eaters in a restaurant and how much fun can it be serving drinks to people on a night out when you have to stay sober enough to diddle them out of their correct change.  
If you have spent the day on the roof or listening to somebody moan that their soup wasn't of the required temperature, then you could always have a bash at one of the jobs which come top in the satisfaction tables.
You try your hand at joining the Clergy, become a Physical Therapist, Firefighter, Education Administrator, Painter/Artist, Teacher, Author, Psychologists, Special Education Teacher or Operating Engineer.
Until the vacancy as Ben & Jerry's taste tester comes up, i think i will stay where i am.

Cheering The Demise Of QuickQuid

Too much month and not enough pay is a common refrain and you always had the option of taking a payday loan and paying the extortionate interest rates the lenders offered although the rates flash across the bottom of the screen so and in such a small font that unless you spent some of that loan on a decent pair of spectacles you would miss it.
The good news is that Britain's biggest-remaining payday lender, QuickQuick is on the verge of collapse and could be placed into administration within days.
The move comes a year after Wonga, the previous biggest lender, skipped into insolvency after new affordability checks made it harder for them to target its main demographic, the people who could barely afford the repayments and therefore racked up huge bills.
Taking a loan from QuickQuid came with an eye watering 2278% APR and a £10-£14 admin fee per every £50 borrowed and as the QuickQuid's website refers to 'over 1.4 million customers', that's a decent chunk of money taken from some of the poorest in British society.
The cracks in the payday lending sector began following the introduction of tougher affordability checks and a cap on the cost of short-term credit for consumers.
While loan companies like QuickQuid made it amazingly easy to get the money, when they were made to stop exploiting the low paid and jobless, the profits began to dry up which showed who their business was aimed at all along so we should celebrate the demise of another yet deceitful, shameless business.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Trudeau Loses But Not By Enough

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can count himself very lucky today especially after the terrible black face video which should have seen him turfed out of power although he did lose 30 seats and his majority.
I don't know much about Canadian politics but the view seems to be that Trudeau's appeal had 'lost its luster' but the only other options included the austerity measures of the right wing Conservatives.
Being the lesser of two evils is not the best headline to being elected and Trudeau can't even claim to have won the backing of his people as his Liberal party didn't even get the most votes, winning 33% of votes and he Conservatives gaining 34.5%.
He lost by just enough to keep his job and it seems was helped by his opposition being awful.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Why We Are Not Proof Of God

The argument for God has taken many twists and turns and usually put forward by theists is us and the Earth we live on are all the proof we need that we were 'created'.
It could be considered true that we live in a particularly privileged place, the right size to hold onto our atmosphere and distance from the Sun with the perfect mix of chemicals in our atmosphere and the right temperature to allow for liquid water which are both essential for life.
The Moon is in the exact right distance to correct the Earth wobbling and giving us wider temperature swings and we even have a couple of massive guardian planets in Jupiter and Saturn which shielded the Earth from all the debris being flung around the early Solar System.
After the formation of the Earth we were 'allowed' the required billions of years of settled conditions and constant temperatures, we then made the the right evolutionary steps from the original single cell organisms to complex celled organisms like humans so taken as a whole, the odds of all these factors coming together can appear infinitesimally small.
The argument is then that things are so finely balanced they must point towards a creator that brought forth all of this into existence and from what we know of our space exploration, no other world can match our exact conditions.
It s easy to understand why, if your mind is taught to be bent that way, you could believe that the Universe and everything in it was made by a God for us but that is to oversimplify things.
We know there are planets, many, many planets in the tiny parts of Space where we have looked, which are Earth sized rocky planets in the 'Goldilocks' position orbiting around a Sun and holding liquid water so the Earth is far from unique in that respect.
Most planets have an atmosphere, all made up of the 92 chemical elements in various concentrations so again, the Earth is not alone in that sense and as life is also made up of the same 92 chemicals, and both the Atmosphere and humans come from a small number of these available chemicals elements, the odds are that eventually the right mix would combine.
What we don't know is how many times life almost started over the billions of years until the correct mix happened and the simple, single celled organism came into being, an organism which was perfect for breathing the atmosphere which had developed around the Earth. Rather than the atmosphere being perfect for us, the life which began under the oceans evolved to breath it and flourish, those that couldn't, just never made it past the initial stages.   
The truth is that taken altogether, the Earth is not in such a privileged position after all, the conditions for life are available on every planet, of which there are billions of billions, and if you start reducing it to those who are in the Goldilocks zone and are Earth sized, then you still have hundreds of billions, all of which have the same 92 chemicals as us in the mix.
Where the Earth may be unique is that the life forms here have found the right mix of elements to breathe and thrive under whatever concentration of chemicals went into making up our atmosphere.      
So the worlds are there, around stars, in the right places and with the required ingredients to bring about complex life and suddenly the Universe being made by a Creator just for us inhabiting a planet in a far flung arm of a distant Galaxy is both arrogant and highly dubious.

A Good Day For Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland may share the same time as the rest of the United Kingdom but their calendar seems decades behind ours but they finally moved a bit closer to the rest of the civilised world by law changes to allow abortion and same sex marriage.
It has been the ultra religious DUP who had tried to hold up matters and failed in a last ditch attempt to block the legislation but it serves as a constant reminder that religion has held sway over Northern Ireland for far too long and bought nothing but misery with it.
Over 3500 women each year made the trip from Ireland to England to undergo an abortion but the UK government have confirmed a framework for legal abortion services in Northern Ireland will be in place by 31 March 2020.
Same-sex marriage regulations will be made no later than 13 January 2020 but it is a great day for the people of Northern Ireland and yet another chink has been removed from the religious ruling peoples lives.

Mad As Hell And Not Gonna Take It

It probably hasn't skipped your attention that this weekend there were same very ticked off people around as protests and demonstrations against Governments rocked every corner of the globe.
In Lebanon, protesters set Beirut ablaze over price increases, Chileans set metro stations on fire following increases in public transport fares, and the streets of Ecuador saw flying rocks after the Government removed fuel subsidies.
There were also protests against the Liberian Government and in Guinea while Mexicans came out in force against corruption and drug violence, in England a million marched against the Government Brexit plans and masked rioters in Hong Kong ran riot for a twentieth consecutive weekend and following the jailing of Catalonian leaders, mass marches wound there way around Barcelona.
Dutch farmers shut down the country’s motorways after the government introduced new emissions regulations and in France thousands of firefighters joined the yellow vests to march for more funding and better working conditions.
The protesters have forced a Government back down in Lebanon, Chile, Ecuador and Hong Kong where the the measures that angered the public in the first place have been withdrawn but why does it seem that all the unrest has come at the same time?
It could be seeing protests on the television has sparked off others as the people rise up against policies they don't agree with or the citizens see corruption and inequality and decided they have had enough but whatever reason, we seem to be in peak protest season.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

The Democrat And The Missing Recycling Bin

Last time i checked Bernie Sanders still hadn't sorted out my missing recycling bin or broken garage light but considering he recently had a heart attack i am willing to give him a bit more time to get it sorted although the darker nights are coming and the walk from parking my car to the front door is not getting any easier. 
Despite his health scare, it hasn't stopped his campaign team from filling my inbox with repeated requests for a $2.67 donation and details of what the Vermont Senator is going to do for America which doesn't mean a jot to me as i'm on the South Coast of England and he can do what he likes over there.
Yesterday's email contained news that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the black females told to go back home by the Racist in Chief currently parking his rotund backside in the Oval Office, has endorsed him which his campaign team seemed pretty excited about but as it doesn't result in me gaining a light bulb or a recycling bin, is filed under 'i don't care'.
I will start to pay attention to either Trump's replacement in 2020 later, (or whoever steps in for him when he is impeached if he doesn't make it that far), but apart from Bernie the other serious contenders seem to be Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren with Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer making up the numbers and soon to be known as former contenders.
I don't know anything about any of them but as Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War and later said that he would vote that way again today, voted against same sex marriage, holds fundraisers hosted by fossil fuel companies and has called for cuts to social security benefits, i don't see him as fit for office.
That said, neither was George W Bush and Donald Trump but they got voted in so being a complete jerk might be seen as a distinct advantage with American voters.
Anyway Bernie, the clocks go back on Sunday, 27 October this year and then it will be proper dark when i get home so if you can find your way to sorting something out regarding the garage light with the Council by then it would be appreciated.

Royal's Eating All The Cake They Want

Anyone who has ever been to the Palace of Versailles in Paris cannot help have their flabber be gasted at the sheer opulence of the place where the French Royals lived while their countrymen died in squalor, disease and poverty.
You can also understand how the French Queens reply of 'then let them eat cake' when told that the peasants were starving to death and had no bread to eat led to a revolution and her head ending up in the guillotine's basket but the all over Royal families have been living the high life in palaces while their subjects suffer.
During the ongoing austerity measures forced upon the nation since 2010, our own Royal Family, headed by Elizabeth II, received no cut in their Government handout and actually saw it increase to £85 million which considering the British Royals have a personal fortune of £900 million, seems a bit wrong.
Even with almost a billion pounds sat in their piggy bank, the British Royals are still not in the top 10 of the Worlds richest Royal's according to a list by the Financial Times with number 10 being Bahrain's Royals with £4 billion.
The richest Royal Family in Europe with a fortune of £12 billion resides in Liechtenstein but they are only the 9th in the World, beaten by Dubai's royal family worth £19 billion, Morocco £20 billion, Brunei £30 billion, Thailand £60 billion, United Arab Emirates £150 billion, Qatar $335 billion and Kuwait £360 billion.
The place to send any begging letters to is Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Al-Yamama Palace, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia because when the Saudi Arabian royal family check their bank account, it says they have £1.7 trillion sat in it.
It seems that being a Royal almost anywhere means eating a lot of cake which might be worth remembering the next time your stomach is grumbling and all you have is a limp crust of Hovis with green bits on the edge in the bread bin.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Manoeuvring To Become Next Global Power

Great debate on the radio today with a bunch of analysts all agreeing that under Donald Trump, rather than making America Great Again, he is finishing what the first George Bush started and has taken it far enough backwards on the global stage that it is giving way to a successor shaped by the emerging global powers.
With the recent Syria retreat being used as a watershed moment, the analysts gave three possible contenders for America’s crown as number one global superpower, the European Union, Russia and China.
If Trump was to win another term, they reasoned, then his hostility to International Organisations such as NATO and the United Nations along with his America First isolation and general unlikeability, will bring about the succession even quicker although Trump being replaced in 2020 by a more multilateral President who will not cede global leadership to others so easily could restore America’s reputation and delay the inevitable runner up role in the 21st century World.
Of the three competing wannabe's named, the problem i see with the European Union taking the top spot is that it is not integrated enough, old rivalries continue between the individual nations and rather than speaking as one voice as it does on issues such as Climate Change, it is divided on other issues with 28 leaders with different views, some left wing, some right wing, which leads for disagreements and arguments such as we see with the plan for an EU Army and sanctions on certain other countries.
If it can become a United States of Europe, rather than 28 nations trying to reach an agreement then it's chances would improve but closer integration is not likely anytime soon.
Russia is far too corrupt and authoritarian although under Putin it has moved into a position where it is in all the right places globally and mixing it with all the dominant powers but for its sheer size and power, it is too much of a loose cannon to command the respect of the other powers.
China is where i see the next seat of global power, it has been quietly expanding into other nations building infrastructure and pushing their own national interests and it is now confident, and economically strong enough, to assert itself against the other World powers.
The view that China is an authoritarian, undemocratic regime could prove a hindrance although that is softened by it's refusal to join in the West's devastating wars despite increasing its own military strength which so far has stayed in it's bases, relying on soft power instead to push its agenda along with a different type of working Governance.
The age of America may have began properly in 1989 with the demise of Communism but too many illegal wars and belligerent leaders along with an arrogance that the World is there for it to demand of what it will, has proved it's downfall and the manoeuvring for it's replacement has already begun with earnest.

UK Politicians Saving UK From Becoming Like America

If i had my way over the whole Brexit debacle i would cancel the whole thing and carry on as we are which has taken another step closer today as the politicians voted to delay Brexit until it has been agreed to stop Boris Johnson and his cohorts from crashing the UK out of the EU without a deal which is dangerous nonsense and does make me wonder exactly why they are quite so keen to do just that.
In an ideal world when the deal is attempted to be passed again, it gets turned down, we have a second referendum which reverses the decision and leaving is put down to a brief moment of madness and we stay in the European Union and it's all rainbows and lollipops forever.
Something which did crop up during the five hours of debates before the Commons decided that to leave the decision which will have profound effects for generations to Boris Johnson was like trusting him with your girlfriend, was how the Johnson deal would shift us disastrously towards America, particularly the American Health Care system, workers rights and food standards.
The American Health Care system we know all about, it's awful unless you are rich enough and we have had some knowledge of the food standards and how currently it is not up to the minimum standards for the EU and Britain would have to lower its standards to accept American chlorinated chicken, hormone fed beef, genetically modified fruit and vegetables and probably the most horrifying, the allowed 30 insect fragments per 100g of food products against the current zero EU regulation which make you wonder how more Americans are not dying of food poisoning.
The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) estimates that each year 3,000 Americans die from food poisoning against the 225 deaths in the EU reported by The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) so actually, they are dying more from it unsurprisingly.
The workers rights i was not aware of but the Foothold America website explains that American employers don't pay workers for their lunch break so an eight hour day would become an eight and a half hour day if you take a 30m lunch, while we have 20 total working days of annual leave and eight public/bank holidays, there is no minimum paid vacation or paid public holidays for American workers with paid leave being at the discretion of the employers but the average number is 10 days after 1 year of service, 14 days after 5 years, 17 days after 10 years, and 20 days after 20 years.
While in the USA there are 12 weeks of maternity pay, there is no paternity leave which is set against 52 weeks for mothers over here and 2 weeks paid paternity pay for fathers.
Minimum wage in USA is £5.58 ($7.25) while in the UK it is £8.21 ($10.66) but the biggest difference between US employment law and UK employment law is that the US has something called 'at will employment' which means employers can terminate an employment relationship without notice, for any reason, so long as doing so is not a violation of a protected class such as on grounds of pregnancy, race, religion, sex or age.
Taken altogether, you can see why we have a lot to thank our politicians for today if the American health, food and especially employment laws is where this Conservative Government want to take us.

Friday, 18 October 2019

No Rush To Get Brexit Done

All the talk from the Pro-Brexit section of Society is to get Brexit Done, to just get it through so we can concentrate on other things.
The truth is that before Brexit sucked all the oxygen out of everything, the Conservative Government were awful under David Cameron and Theresa May and Boris Johnson is further right than either of those two so it will be the same old same old with brass knobs on if he is left to make the decisions.
Austerity was the gift the Conservatives gave us, starting in 2010 and still with us in 2019, along with cutting 6,000 NHS nurses, 8,000 hospital beds, a third of ambulance stations, 6,000 firefighters, 20,000 police officers, 350 youth centres, 2,000 youth workers, 200,000 civil servants, 4 prisons, 57 hospitals, 66 Accident & Emergency wards, 100 swimming pools and 5,000 teachers.
The Conservatives increased VAT to 20%, stopped child benefit for higher earners, cut £90m from children’s centres, ceased Education Maintenance Allowance for students and cut disability allowance and closed over 500 libraries.
Half a million more children are in poverty year on year, a decade of pay freezes for civil and public servants, the largest fall in wages in the EU since the 2008 recession, 2 million on zero hours contracts, six million families in fuel poverty, 400,000 more working people claiming housing benefit every year, the lowest health care spending of the G7 nations and record breaking number of food banks and food bank customers.
If more of that is what they mean by concentrating on other things, then let's hope the Tories continue to get bogged down in Brexit for a long time yet.

Butterfly Effect

In 1933, a Texas Councilman named Charles Hazard was preparing for re-election but was getting distracted by his neighbor’s dog keep peeing on his flowers so he killed the dog by mixing glass into the dog’s food bowl.
That dog belonged to 13-year-old Charlie Wilson who vowed revenge on his neighbour which he took by going around his neighbourhood during the election campaign, telling everyone what the Councilman had done which resulted in Hazard losing his seat.
Inspired by his result, Wilson went into politics and became a Congressional Representative and when the Soviet-Afghan War broke out, campaigned to get America arming and funding the Afghans Mujaheddin who went on to win the war.
After the war the Mujaheddin changed their name to The Taliban and teamed up with Osama Bin Laden's Al-Queada who then went on to launch a terror attack in New York which killed 3,000 Americans who launched the Afghan and Iraq Wars in retaliation.
These wars led to Al-Queada becoming Islamic State who in turn invaded Syria which bought the Kurd's and America into alliance much to the annoyance of Turkey who recently invaded the Kurdish held area's of Syria with Americas tacit approval.
So much death and destruction and all because one cranky councilman was distracted by a dog peeing on his plants.

Listen To The 80s Children

When i was a teenager in the 80s Climate Change was very much the second fear behind nuclear war so talking about the catastrophe happening in 40 or 50 years into the future was not at the forefront of peoples minds when the Soviet Union and the USA could wipe us all out within 4 minutes.
The nuclear annihilation is still there but Climate Change is now the clearest and present danger especially as the dangers of rising sea levels, desertification and killer heatwaves are with us as per previously advertised by a bunch of spotty 14 year old's with Duran Duran and WHAM! stickers on their book covers.
Extinction Rebellion may be, to some, annoying as they lay in the roads and sit on top of trains and make people late for meetings but they are do it on our behalf and as everybody is talking about them, they are doing it right and most importantly not letting the looming global catastrophe slip back down the agenda.
My personal terror over nuclear war dissipated as i grew older and reasoned that MAD, or Mutually Assured Destruction, would keep the nukes in their silo's but there is no reasoning with Climate Change and the destruction that will bring and which is already having an effect.
The idea we were pushing back in the days between Michael Jackson's Thriller and the first Back to the Future Film is here today and Mother Nature is not as reasonable when it comes to wiping us all out as Leonid Brezhnev and Ronald Reagan.
It is the greatest threat to mankind and moaning about being a little bit late because some Extinction Rebellion protester glued his hand to a train sounds kinda pathetic when you think that they did that to draw attention to the fact that without immediate action, being a bit late for something will be the least of your concerns as the sea laps around your ankles and you bake in your own sweat.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

HG Wells: War Of The Worlds

There are some books which are just so famous that you just accept that they are classics and HG Wells 'War of The Worlds' is one of them.
With a background of invading Martians killing the puny humans with heat rays, it ticks all the boxes and it kicks off right from the first page with the invading aliens landing in a field.
The book can be broken up into three parts with the first part, the initial invasion, then a middle section where the narrator who is never actually named runs around hiding from them and then the final chapters where the Martians succumb to the Earthly viruses, bacteria and microscopic organisms that humans have grown immune to.
Parts 1 and 3 with the aliens generally stomping around and destroying everything are great, the middle section not quite so much and though it may seem out of place say such a thing about a classic book, the middle section is quite boring and adds nothing to the story as the unnamed narrator moves around from house to house hiding.
As happens over time, i read this book in my teenage years and forgot the forgettable middle 100 pages or so and you could literally skip over the middle pages and not lose anything from the story as the most memorable bits are at the start and the end.
Quite rightly a classic and written in the very late 19th Century before human Space Exploration so you can see why Victorians would believe that there were aliens up there looking to take over our lush, blue planet and i would say read it just because it is that famous but if you 'accidentally' skip the middle 100 pages, nobody would notice.

Counting The Cost Of Retirement

The Pension and Lifetime Savings Association have created a guide of what kind of lifetsyle people can expect on different levels of income and have pegged a 'comfortable' retirement at an income of £33,000.
The £33,000 would allow £56 per week for shopping, allow a 3 week annual holiday in Europe and you could be the best dressed pensioner at the Post Office with an annual clothing allowance of £1,250.
A moderate income is £20,200 which would allow for a £46 per week food budget, a 2 week holiday in Europe and £750 clothes budget to spend on your favourite slippers, cardigans and hats.
The full state pension is £8,767 which means that you will need to find another £1,433 to reach the minimum level of £10,200 which will allow for a £38 per week food shop, 1 week holiday somewhere in the UK and £460 to spend on clothes.
If the Government has it's way and increases the pension age to 75 then having enough to retire on won't be a problem for many as they would have been worked to death by then saving the Government tens of billions but we can always live in hope that a heady mix of Brexit and a right wing government will make sure we are all okay, i'm sure i saw that on a bus somewhere.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

America Confusing For Brits

In the previous post the American Hayley Bloomingdale gave her tips on things in Britain which confused her, in the comments section the Brits hit back with things they find weird about America.

Apparently a Beefburger is called a Hamburger despite Ham and Beef coming from two totally different animals.

What they call Football is a game where you use your hands.

Electric sockets can't be switched off.

They look at the month first, as in mm/dd/yy instead of dd/mm/yy.

Baseball teams play in a World Series which only American teams play in.

42% of Americans still believe in creationism.

They chose a bald animal as their national animal.
The don't know how to queue properly.

American cheese, chocolate, cakes and alcohol tastes awful.

They have no grasp of sarcasm, irony or self-deprecating humour.

They will boast and brag about themselves at the very earliest opportunity after meeting them.

The American accent, especially the further south you go in the country.

You are expected to tip everybody for everything.

The price on the shelf is not the price you pay at the till as the shelf price doesn't include sales tax.

American note money is all the same colour and same size

The really large gap beneath doors and walls in public toilet stalls.

Personally i would add they decided 5 vowels is one too many and dropped the letter 'U' from most of their words and they drink cold tea.

Britain Confusing For Americans

American heiress, Hayley Bloomingdale, move to the United Kingdom to work on Vogue magazine and in her short time she has created a guide of the weird things she has noticed about Britain and the British for anyone visiting the UK from her home country although i am not sure she has been paying quite close enough attention to us.

She states that British people do not use umbrellas which is weird because unless umbrella means something different in America, it is hard to avoid having your eye poked out by all the umbrellas bobbing about in the street when it rains. 

She is correct in saying that everyone says sorry for everything, we do do that but not so much about a lack of bins in Britain, we have bins every few hundred yards which makes you wonder where she has been putting her rubbish.

She is obviously confused by our calendars and the way we say the day, then the month and then the year and asks how British women blow dry their hair as there are no plugs in the bathroom which is simple to answer, we go into the bedroom away from the water which will kill you if you drop the hairdryer in it. Is this really not a thing in America??

She doesn't like our use of the 24 hour clock because: 'if someone says 18:30, you will have to get out your calculator to deduce that they mean 6:30 p.m.' although the easy solution is to ignore the first digit, then knock 2 off the second number and that's the time.

Confusingly, us British people do not say 'cheers' and tap glasses when drinking but we do however, say 'cheers' meaning 'thank you' and something else confusing her is that we keep our eggs in the cupboard and not in the fridge.

She is right about British people talking constantly about the weather, that is not a stereotype, we really do talk about it all the time but quite a recent change is how you are not automatically given a bag for your shopping and she has had to juggle armfuls of stuff to her car because she didn't ask for one.

Something else she struggled with is our tall building flooring system with first floor not meaning the ground floor at all like it does in the United States and Bank Holidays happen several times a year, but no one actually knows what the holiday is in celebration of, to be fair i don't but it means a day off work we so don't care really.

I'm sure she will get the hang on it, as long as you hand her some eggs to put away in the second floor kitchen before 13:00 she will be fine, cheers.

Sacoolas Sorry But Staying Put

Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US diplomat, wants to meet Harry Dunn's parents to offer an apology although it isn't clear if it is for killing their son or running away to try and avoid British justice after killing him by driving on the wrong side of the road.
Harry's parents are flying to the United States after the Foreign Office said that Anne Sacoolas no longer has diplomatic immunity because she has returned home.
Ahead of a potential meeting, where Mrs Sacoolas is said to be 'devastated by this tragic accident', she has said that she wants to 'express her deepest sympathies and apologies' but the grieving parents have quite rightly said: 'that's not really quite enough' and are pushing for Mrs Sacoolas, who has a previous conviction for driving without due care and attention, to be extradited back to the UK to face justice.
The Foreign Office has had no success in its efforts to persuade the White House to send her back to the UK, and it is doubtful that Sacoolas will come back voluntarily but the UK could trial her in absence and if found guilty, apply for her extradition which would go to a US court to decide, although again, that is unlikely to be granted.
The more likely option, and already under consideration, is for the US family to file civil proceedings in the US but what certainly won't help the family is the woman who killed their son by driving dangerously and then fled the country to escape prosecution saying sorry and then hiding away on the other side of the Atlantic, protected by her Government, hiding away from British police.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Parent's Just Don't Understand

As i get older i do find myself saying the things which my parents said like 'she should put on some more clothes' when a young girl walks by in a skimpy dress on a cold night and don't even get me started on today's music.
The truth is that today's youth has got it much harder than we ever did with, if we had social media back when i was a teenager then one look at my Facebook page back then would have seen me shunned by polite society and banished to the unemployment queue until i reached retirement age.
Luckily it wasn't and my teenage indiscretions are lost in the mists of time and my bare-faced lying so we never had the pressures teenagers have today with their mood swings, obsessive crushes and social anxiety played out in front of the whole World on social media.
Where the only place we wrote that we loved Roger Taylor from Duran Duran for example was the margin of our Maths exercise book, now it is on the internet and that crap never goes away, ten years time when you are sitting in an interview you know that the prospective employer has looked up your Facebook profile and knows, and you know he knows that not only did you had a thing for 80s drummers but he has read your poems about loneliness and how you hoped a bus runs over Jason Clark because he said he couldn't go see Footloose with you as he was going to see his Grandma that evening but was actually seen in the Wimpy with Karen Fisher that night. The Bastard.
Anyway, according to a report, a staggering 49.5% of today's kids aged 13-17 meet the diagnostic criteria for mental health disorders, with 31.9% of them experiencing anxiety disorders, 22% of the kids in that study classified as exhibiting severe impairment or distress, and 42% met the criteria for a second disorder.
That's a lot of teenagers but the usual response by cranky old farts of my generation is to 'get over it' and to promise that 'If you think it's tough now, wait until you get older' which is nonsense.
If you think it gets tough as you turn into adulthood then you are not doing adulthood right as the National Institute of Mental Health reports that 25.8% of people aged 18-25 suffer from mental illness, and that number plummets as people get older, with those over age 50 reporting a much reduced 13.8%.
As you get older you develop your own coping strategies so somebody having their 200th panic attack at age 40 knows how to cope with it better than a 14-year-old having their first or second one.
As bad as things seem now, they will get better or at the very least you will be better equipped to handle them and you will look back at the crush on new wave band members with a smile and feel quite glad that the number X400 didn't roll over Jason Clark, mostly because you saw him recently and he is now fat, practically bald and was wearing a purple shell suit and nothing cheers you up more than seeing the boy who spurned you 35 years ago and the film Footloose is bloated, hairless and clad from head to toe in cheap, nylon sportswear.

Data In, Cake Out

Algorithms are everywhere and they are talked about a lot when it comes to computing and robotics and Artificial intelligence but i have no idea what one is so what is an algorithm?
Using Google, it explains that an algorithm is a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations, especially in a computer which doesn't really explain much so i asked the guys in the IT section at work who stopped playing Fortnite long enough to explain that an algorithm is just a set of instructions which a computer follows so for example in a search engine, you write in your query, the algorithm follows the instructions that has been written for it and displays the results.
So in short data goes in (your Google query), the algorithm goes through it's list of instructions (searches for the best match) and the result comes out (your hits).
While my head nodded and my mouth said i understood, obviously that wasn't fooling anyone so it was explained in different terms which was baking a cake.
An algorithm is like a recipe for a cake, a list of instructions of the ingredients, how to mix them, what number on the oven to cook it on and for how long so it became the data (your ingredients), the algorithm (how to mix them and cook them) and the result (the cake).
Simples really, an algorithm is basically how to make a coffee and walnut cake and now all i have to work out is the PEBCAK which the tech guys says all my computer problems are due to, not sure what it is but it sounds serious.

A Return To The Bad Old Day's Of Coffee

Back in the 80s coffee was a thick, bitter, brown liquid which came in granules or a syrup like substance which you stirred into hot water and would leave a thick ring around the top of the mug which you would have to scrub with a brillo pad to remove.
Before it became known as a Cafe au Lait or a Latte, my coffee of choice was a coffee made with milk and as we moved through the millennium years, drinking coffee became more fashionable and especially drinking coffee outside as pavement cafes became a thing as the likes of Starbucks and Costa took coffee drinking to a new level and away from chipped mugs and a choice between Nescafe or something the owner found in the back of the shelf and smelt vaguely like coffee.
Over two billion cups of coffee are drunk every day and science has found it has some beneficial qualities such as a Latte providing 40% of the calcium recommended each day so two of those a day with a yoghurt and you are sorted but the even better news is that a latte also provides 25% daily value of protein and 35% daily value of vitamin D.
Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia are the three biggest producers of the Arabica coffee bean and employ 120 million people but the shrub takes 2 and a half years to grow and are a notoriously difficult crop to grow and climate change is making it even more difficult, Brazil is projected to lose 25% of its suitable land for cultivating the Coffee shrub by 2050 and the quality of the bean is poorer.
There are many species of coffee plant, besides Arabica which is the coffee bean of choice, such as Coffea Robusta which is used for instant blends although it is considered too bitter for most coffee drinkers but is much hardier and can be grown in more places less susceptible to the changing climate.
For us Latte slurping pavement warriors then the choice is more expensive coffee as the preferred Arabica bean becomes more scarce or coffee which is much more reminiscent of the stuff we had back in the 80s.
More expensive coffee then is something else then that we can hang around the neck of the weird Climate Change deniers but also coffee, as it become more popular, has been too successful and those two billion cups drank each day has used up the available resources so if you are new to the coffee drinking regime, please go back to tea or hot chocolate and leave the few beans remaining to us original coffee drinkers who had to wade through years of drinking something called Camp Coffee until the good stuff came along.

Brexit Edging Closer

I was always hopeful that the British Brexit plans would fall flat on their face and the whole thing would be forgotten and for a time it looked like it would go that way but things are looking ominously optimistic as the UK and Ireland seemed to have reached a compromise.
It was always going to be the Irish border that held things up and even if the UK and Ireland agree things, it still has to be agreed by the EU and the UK Parliament so there is still scope for it all to come crashing down yet but for those Brexiters who have no concern for the consequences, things are suddenly looking brighter. 
The details of the deal the British Prime Minister has agreed with the Irish President are sketchy but seem to include Northern Ireland maintaining EU rules but being able to offer rebates on goods sold if the UK tariff is lower than the EU one which is actually quite a decent compromise and satisfies the problem of Northern Ireland being treated differently to the rest of the UK which was the sticking point.
The remainder of the deal is as Theresa May put forward but as Boris Johnson does have not a majority in the House of Commons, and actually has fewer MP's than the last time the vote was put forward after he sacked 21 of them and a number have left to join other Parties, it could be his own country that blocks it.
The battle is not over yet, i still have a flame burning that the whole thing will be called off as unworkable and detrimental to the United Kingdom but the flame is not burning quite so brightly today but we are certainly closer to waking up on November 1st 2019 and being outside of the largest single market in the World and realising what a monumental mistake we have just made.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Syria, Kurds And Turkey Explained

Listening to the talking heads discussing the Syrian invasion by Turkey, you would be forgiven for thinking that the whole thing is complex but it isn't really, you just have to see through the spin and know a bit of the history behind it.
As part of the War on Terror following the 9/11 attacks in New York, George W Bush and Tony Blair launched wars to oust Saddam Hussein of Iraq and the Afghanistan Taliban but by removing them it allowed Bin Laden's terror group, Al Queada, to flourish and file into Iraq and Afghanistan bringing bombs, death and mayhem.
In the following years Al Queada grew, renamed itself Islamic State (IS) and crossed the border into Syria and brutally took over it's towns and cities.
The Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, battled them but he wasn't popular with the West so they didn't want to arm his military directly so sought to find elements on the ground who could mount a serious challenge to the battle hardened fighters of IS.
Several aborted attempts ended up in the US giving weapons and training to groups affiliated to Islamic State and Al Queada so the weapons were simply handed over to the enemy to use against Western troops.
The Kurds proved to be the West's closest and most effective partner and they were given the arms and backing to take on IS which they did effectively and forced them out of Syria.
Syria's neighbour, Turkey, has been fighting a long battle against the Kurds which it deems terrorists and in removing IS, the Kurd's ended up controlling large sections of Northern Syria, right along Turkeys border.
America, deeming job done and now having no further use for the Kurds, have retreated and given tacit approval for Turkey to mount this operation and Turkish forces have entered Kurdish-held areas with the plan to forcibly remove them and settle the millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey back in their own country.
The Kurds have justifiably said that they have been stabbed in the back by America for who they did most of the fighting for and the threat of IS regrouping grows and so the cycle of war, death and killing goes on.
What happened after 9/11 must have eclipsed even Bin Laden's wildest dreams and it hasn't finished yet. 

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Don't Plug It In Just Yet

We have always had World leaders who are, to put it bluntly, complete morons but we seem to have more than our fair share of the corrupt sleazeballs at the moment so could it be time to put the humans aside and let the machines have a go.  
Scientists estimate it will only be a few decades until Artificial Intelligence surpasses human intelligence although judging by some of the madness going on that happened years ago, i've had washing machines with more intelligence than some of them but on the face of it letting AI make the decisions doesn't sound a bad idea.
Computers won't be concerned by sex scandals and would be immune to bias, corruption and bribery and won't have any vested interests nor would it bothered about coming up with decisions for short term political gain or popularity.
All it's decisions would be based on impartial and cold hard facts, data and logic based on the best possible outcomes which all sounds great but don't call the removal vans and plug it in just yet.
Machines, being lumps of metal and wires would have no emotions or concept of right and wrong, it could decide the problem of Climate Change is too many humans, which is obviously part of the problem, and if it is in charge of automated or even nuclear weapons...oopsy. 
A human would have to write the program and that would inevitably include bias into the algorithm and while we can hold politicians accountable for any mistakes, it would be impossible to hold a machine accountable for any decisions it makes, such as withholding life saving medicine to patients over a certain age due or attacking a country that it deems a threat.
We may have some of the worst politicians in living memory presently but the good news is that this really has to be as bad as it gets and the perverts, dirtbags and deviants we currently have will be replaced in time and humans intelligence would have evolved not to vote for them in the first place.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Diplomat's Wife Named As Anne Sacoolas

The US Government may have declined to name the US Diplomats wife who struck and killed Harry Dunn while driving her car on the wrong side of the road citing security and privacy considerations, but the British media had no such qualms and the name Anne Sacoolas, wife of Jonathan Sacoolas, is now on every news website.
What we know is that after the 19 year old Harry was killed while riding his motorbike in Croughton,Northamptonshire, 42 year old Anne Sacoolas was taken into police custody and admitted liability and assured UK Police that she would not leave the country before being contacted by a member of the US Embassy and advised to leave the UK sharpish, which she did and then claimed Diplomatic Immunity.
Psychology graduate Sacoolas, had only been in the U.K. for three weeks and has two children, one of which was in the front seat of the car at the time and lives in Virginia and has previous for driving without due care and attention, receiving a fine in 2007.
British Police and Government officials including the Prime Minister have called on the immunity to be waived and for Sacoolas to return to the country to face questioning and face possible charges of causing death by dangerous driving for the crash but the U.S. State Department said in a statement: 'Any questions regarding a waiver of immunity with regard to our diplomats and their family members overseas in a case like this receive intense attention at senior levels and are considered carefully given the global impact such decisions carry; immunity is rarely waived'.
Boris Johnson has said that if Anne Sacoolas continues to evade justice then he will take the case up with President Donald Trump but the US Embassy tactic of not naming her didn't go so well.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Get Well Soon Bernie

Somehow, i don't know how, but i have gotten myself on the Bernie Sanders email list and i have recently been receiving emails from his campaign team asking for a donation of $2 and a list of the changes he is going to make in America and today i received a request to complete a survey asking me what issues are the most important to me.
I did reply that my recycling bin still hasn't been replaced after it was stolen weeks ago and the light outside my garage has been broken since June but i'm not sure what a Vermont Congressman will be able to do about it but he asked so i told him. 
I read in the newspapers yesterday that the 78 year old suffered a heart attack and i thought he would probably drop out of the race now but this morning an email showed up in my inbox thanking me for my best wishes and a clever email using his health scare as a call for restructuring of the 'dreadful health care in America'.
I didn't have the heart to say that i didn't actually send any good wishes, although obviously i do, and that the walk from my garage to the front door as the dark nights start to draw in is much more of an immediate concern than the state of the American Health care System but i do appreciate for Americans the lack of affordable Health care is more pressing than my defunct street light.
In his email, Bernie says that he is feeling good and was fortunate to have good health care but millions of Americans are not as lucky as he was and people are dying because they can't afford to get to a doctor or buy the medicine they need.
It goes on to say that it is unacceptable that more than half a million Americans declare bankruptcy each year because they cannot pay off the outrageous cost of a medical emergency or a hospital stay and it is long past time that we end the international embarrassment of the United States being the only major country on Earth that does not guarantee health care to all its citizens.
It ends with a message that 8,000 people a day make a contribution to his campaign just above a big 'Donate' button and i say well done for turning a negative into a positive and using the heart attack as a way to bring attention to the wonky American Health Care system.
If he can sort out my recycling bin and get my light fixed then i would be happy to donate $2 (or £1.62) to his campaign which he can use to pay for a campaign advert or put towards his heart medication because it isn't cheap, well not in America anyway.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Trump Defends His Innocence By Admitting His Guilt

For someone who is a regular target for fun due to the smallness of hands, Donald Trump sure does wave them around a lot when he speaks but it was not just his teeny tiny hands on show but also his tiny brain as he went on live TV to defend himself against accusations that he solicited assistance from a foreign country in the 2020 election by admitting that he did exactly that.
That's some defence and whoever advised him that the best way to prove his innocence is to hold your tiny hands up to it may want to rethink the strategy and to then go on and do it again makes you wonder what is in the White House water.
To prove just how innocent he is, he then urged the country with which he is currently fighting a trade war with and been publicly insulting to investigate his main Democrat rival. Hmm...i wonder how that will work out. 
Trump should be impeached as he's growing more and more irrational and he should thank his lucky stars that he has got as far into the Presidency as he has but it seems as though the preferred Democrat option is removing him through the ballot box but 12 months is a long time and God knows what desperate acts he might try as he sees the writing on the wall.
Everyday Trump just makes himself look like a bigger tool than he did the day before and while he isn't starting any wars, and he is only damaging himself and his own country, i hope he hangs around for a while yet, ranting and raving and waving his teeny hands about as everyone laughs at the idiot who 62,984,828 Americans thought was the best choice to be their President.

P45 For Doctor Mackereth

A doctor at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has lost his case against unfair dismissal at a tribunal which ruled that he was rightfully terminated for allowing his Christian values to stop him doing his job correctly.
Dr. David Mackereth was fired from his job after telling his manager that due top his Christian values: 'he would never call any 6-foot tall bearded man madam' to which the judge replied in that case the government department had every right to sack him and that the doctor’s biblical beliefs and objection to transgenderism had no place in British society.
The Doctor counsel quoted Genesis 1:27, 'So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them' and belief in this verse, he argued, leads to the understanding that 'every person is created by God as either male or female. A person cannot change their sex/gender at will and any attempt at, or pretense of, doing so, is self-destructive, and sinful'.
After the ruling the Doctor said that: 'The ruling will have profound ramifications' and he is right, it will by making sure that dinosaurs with outdated ideas like his are marginalised and eventually erased from society.

Planning Ahead For The Global Emergency

We may all hope it doesn’t come to it, but let’s face it, their are some proper crackpots in power at the moment so it’s better to be prepared and scientists have named the top places if a human extinction-level emergency breaks out.
Ruling out small islands and meeting the criteria of being far enough away from other land masses, no natural hazards and available resources, Australia was found to be the best location for riding out the global pandemic but if the thought of being surrounded by Australians is too scary, the next most viable places are New Zealand, Iceland, Malta and Japan.
'It’s important to think ahead just in case' said the scientists who think the global emergency is most likely to come from deadly genetically-engineered organisms being accidentally or intentionally released.
Iceland or Japan would be my bolt-holes of choice so if there is a real life Andromeda Strain outbreak, Zombie Apocalypse or Plague resurrection, then i will be found in Japan's Tokyo district or Iceland's Svalbar├░sstrandarhreppur but probably Tokyo because i can spell that on the postcards.

The Body Beautiful

While waiting for the anaesthetic to take effect, my dentist was talking to me about how the amount of youngsters visiting her surgery has increased and when I asked why, after wiping the dribble from my cheek, she put it down to selfies.
It seems that the proliferation of teenagers taking pictures of themselves and posting them online has led to a surge in them overly worrying about their appearance.
Having the pearly whites buffed and polished is not the only symptom either, all sorts of cosmetic surgery from nose jobs, jaw shavings and boob jobs have increased and its men as well as women although women 'getting work done' vastly outnumbers the men.
Young women have always looked to squeeze every inch out of what nature gave us with make-up, push up bras, false eyelashes, perfume and stiletto shoes but the young generation seems to have taken it one step further and now actually get their bodies surgically and chemically sculpted.
Skin whitening is now a thing and i don't even want to think what anal bleaching entails but i have seen if offered as part of a package for a 'beautiful body' which in some cases begins even before the foetus is formed.
Science is closing in on cell manipulation before implantation and gene modifications in bio-engineering but all this comes at a price with anorexia, emotional instability, insecurity, self-mutilation,  and eczema all on the rise in the search for the perfect body like those advertised in the magazines and on television.
The NHS does not offer cosmetic surgery and going private is beyond the purse of most youngsters, £5,000 for breast enhancement, £4,500 for liposuction and £4,500 for nose surgery and these come with a disclaimer that results are not guaranteed.
I get that young people, women especially, want to look their best but where in my day it was hair dye, a whole case of foundation, a little red dress and padded bras, today it is a whole other thing altogether.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are

Anybody watching events on our Planet in recent times would quite rightly stay the hell away from us and a SETI researcher, James Benford, thinks that is exactly what is going on with Aliens watching us from a safe distance.
The scientist thinks that if there are outsiders from another solar system eavesdropping on us humans then they could be hiding behind asteroids, biding their time while our civilisation develops and reporting back on to their home planet.
Benford thinks we should send up some probes to check out the asteroids and flush them out if necessary because if nobody from another Galaxy had discovered us it would be 'stunning'.
Other astrobiologists are joining in the call for someone to go check out the closest asteroids in a search for intelligent life but if any aliens have been watching us, and they have eavesdropped our plans to go greet them, they would have been halfway back to Alpha Centuri by now because when it comes to meeting new civilisations, we do not have a great track record.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Adults Should Be Thanking Greta

A year ago, a young girl walked out of school on her own and warned her parents and teachers she would not go back into lessons until adults began working to end the climate crisis.
Last week, Greta Thunberg spoke at the United Nations and inspired tens of millions of people to join her in her crusade to save the planet, a planet which the generations before her had done so much to wreck. 
For her success of inspiring her generation to fight climate change, she has drawn much criticism and abuse from adults ranging from frightening children who fear the end of the world to attacking her Asperger’s diagnosis to imply that she is deeply disturbed and mentally unwell.
It is quite simple why some adults, almost entirely men, feel threatened by her, this is a teenage girl telling them not only what they don't want to hear but she makes them uncomfortable for being the model of leadership they would like to be.
World leaders dance around the subject, they hold meetings and promise to do something, the more ignorant leaders refuse to even accept it as their land is struck by extreme weather but Greta cuts through because she doesn't use diplomatic language or dress up the imminent threat, she just speaks from the heart.
Summing it up in 22 perfectly chosen words which should shame the World's Governments, Greta said: ‘This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean'.
Very true and it has humiliatingly for our leaders, taken a 15 year old autistic Swedish girl to show more sense and dedication to our fragile Planet than they have ever done and Adults everywhere should be thanking her for caring enough to want to do something about it.

Media Tightrope For Harry & Meghan

While i am no fan of the Royals, i do have some sympathy with Prince Harry and his wife regarding the press and the Daily Mail in particular.
The Daily Mail has always seemed to have it in for Meghan Markle which plays very well with the Daily Mail right wing audience, her being non-British, outspoken and not as white as the usual stock of British Royals which ticks all the boxes for hate figure for the readership.
Over the past few months we have been treated to the Mail's headlines concerning multiple embarrassing stories involving the duchess’s father, their use of private jets, the refusal to allow media coverage of the christening of their son and the cost of renovations at their home but the straw that seems to have broken the camels back is the publication of a personal letter Meghan sent to her father.
With Harry tying the treatment of his wife to that of his mother is where my sympathy starts to wane because Princess Diana, whilst complaining about press intrusion, would go out of her way to make sure that journalists just happened to be present when she 'secretly' visited a hospital or, as in that famous photo of her checking to make sure the press was outside, before making her exit from a gym.  
Harry's slandering of 'parts of the media' is squarely aimed at the Tabloid Press as he took his complaint initially to the Associated Press which rules over acceptable practise for newspapers but as it is self-regulating, unlike the Broadcast media, found the Mail's actions acceptable.
I am right behind Harry and Meghan's court action against The Mail newspaper over the publishing of the handwritten letter she had sent to her father, the tabloid press is a stain on journalism and needs to be bought to heel and regulated, but it is a very taut tightrope they are treading because the media is a very sharp double edged sword and if they want the good publicity, they had better not throw too much mud too widely because when it comes to the publicity they crave, they need the media including the 'gutter press' like the Mail.  

Hide The Wag The Dog DVD

At the time starting this post, Donald Trump is still the American President but with the way the impeachment evidence is piling up against him he may not be by the time i get to the end.
The point of this post is that in 1993 the was a film called Wag The Dog where a war is fabricated to distract voters from a Presidential sex scandal.
A few months later, while the Monika Lewsiky scandal was raging, Bill Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack on a Sudanese factory accused of manufacturing and supplying Osama Bin Laden with chemical weapons.
Obvious comparisons were drawn to the actions and the film that Clinton ordered the attacks as a diversion, especially as it was later revealed that the factory was not only not manufacturing chemical weapons but was actually making medicine and had no connections whatsoever to Bin Laden.
That the factory was targeted only hours before and that the majority of Clinton's advisors opposed attacking the plant only made it more obvious that the whole thing was a charade to try and make people look away from what Clinton had been up to in the Oval Office with his cigar collection.
Now that Trump is wading through the latest of a long line of scandals, and one that has momentum to actually remove his rather large body from the White House, my mind switches back to the 90's De Nero film.
With Iran and Venezuela firmly in his sights, could we be seeing a re-run of the mocked up charges in order to distract the world from his soliciting help from Ukraine to discredit a political rival and the following cover-up from being made public.    
With the infirm Trump nothing should surprise us, but if i was one of his advisors i would certainly make sure that film is blocked on the White House movie channels subscription.