Tuesday, 29 November 2016

They Did It Again?

It has happened so many times now that when a member of the government walks along outside Downing Street with notes clearly on show to the array of cameramen waiting outside, you have to think that that it can't just be another accident.
When Parliamentary aide Julia Dockerill walked to number 10 this week with her handwritten notes on the government’s Brexit strategy on show, it seemed so obviously a set up.
Not only was the ring binder open on the page but it was on top of a pile of other correspondence and being carried so it faced the cameras.
It seems obvious that the Government is playing the media like a violin with this new method of leaking because nobody walks around with important papers like that and 'leaking' information which in this case is the Governments Brexit plans which follows weeks of accusations that the Government doesn't actually have one.
You would like to think that is was a set up because no one group of supposedly responsible people could be that stupid and incompetent over and over again with sensitive information.
If it is accidental then the Government need to invest in some briefcases, folders and large envelopes but as as we do seem to be being run by a complete of shower of idiots, it was more likely a deliberate ploy to undermine Brexit and also a very handy diversion for the snoopers charter that was slipped out today without much fanfare.

The ■■■■■■■ Law

Britain’s intelligence services have been given the most privacy-invading mass surveillance powers in the world after the Investigatory Powers Act became law today. 
The legislation, dubbed the ‘snooper’s charter,’ authorizes the ■■■■■■■ to hack into devices, networks computers and ■■■■■■■ which allows for large databases of personal information on UK citizens to be maintained and ■■■■■■■.
Internet, ■■■■■■■ and phone companies can be forced to allow authorities to access to our records on demand and ■■■■■■■ with ■■■■■■■ and ■■■■■■■.
That data could be anything from ■■■■■■■, internet search history, calls made and text messages sent, and will be available to a wide range of Government agencies such as ■■■■■■■, ■■■■■■■ and ■■■■■■■.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has hailed the legislation as 'world-leading' saying it provides ' substantial privacy protection'.
The Home Office says the new law allows the police, security and intelligence agencies to gather and access electronic communications.
Civil liberties group Liberty said '■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■ which will ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■'.
It is a sad day when ■■■■■■■ has control over ■■■■■■■ and can use it to ■■■■■■■ or even ■■■■■■■, the ■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■'s. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Man Of The People On His Gold Throne

President-elect Donald Trump has given his first televised interview since winning the electoral vote - sitting on a gold throne while continuing his man-of-the-people-standing-up-for-the-little-guy rhetoric.
Surrounded by his family, he continued with his 'i'm a family man' shtick which he certainly is as he has had three of them which is why he now has five children by three different women.
One of his children, Ivanka, continued the long held tradition of a Trump being made to look stupid on Twitter by posting a picture of her own child, Theodore, with the text 'Cannot believe that Theodore is eight months old today! Happy birthday little teddy bear!'
Americans, please meet the man and his family about to run your lives for the next four years which may not be a problem for some who have picked up the gauntlet thrown down by Trump in the election run up as there has been a wide-scale surge in police reports of racial slurs, hate speech, threats against minorities and attacks on African Americans, Muslims and gay people.
Good luck America, you are going to need it.

Mr Brexit?

During the Brexit debacle Nigel Farage was pushed out to the edge of things by his own side so far that if it wasn't for him posing infront of that Nazi style poster in the dog days of the campaign that you could be forgiven that he was even still around.
Despite that he was not slow in going over to America to shake Trump by his tiny little penis hand and take the accolades as 'Mr Brexit'.
If that isn't enough of a brass neck, he is now back over here telling us that he should be a special envoy to America as he 'knows Trump', that he has been apologising to his new American pals for how us Brits mocked the new President and how we should forgive him for the things he said during his Presidential campaign.
Laughably up his own backside, Farage has as no chance of becoming anything that represents Britain as he was dismissed as a racist and a fruitcake not so long ago by the UK Government which you may think will go down well with the racist fruitcake about to land in the White House but with Boris Johnson in the Foreign Office, we can't have two of them rattling around acting in our name.      
Then there is the apology on behalf of Great Britain because we made fun of the orange haired weirdo with the small penis hands and silly hair before the election. Maybe Nigel Farage has been in the US since so maybe he has not noticed that the mockery has continued long after the last voting machine was packed away.
What he should know, as he has had it through all his career, the British ability to furiously make fun of people is infinite and we will continue to mercilessly mock Trump before, during and long after his Presidency.
Finally, to overlook the boast about him sexually assaulting women and the racist and sexist language might be a bit of a stretch so if Nigel wants a job maybe he should be put in charge of changing Trumps Twitter password or just anything which will keep the idiot over there and away from the UK.
PS...and if you have an opening for Piers Morgan, you can have him back also.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Science Shows How To Argue With A Right Winger

Without science we would still think that the Earth was at the centre of the Solar System and the World was flat and now it has come up trumps again by showing us how to shut up a big mouth right winger in an argument.  
The secret, according to Robb Willer who is a professor of sociology and psychology at Stanford University, is to not bombard the opposition with facts and figures but to frame your argument in ways they understand which is to frame it in a way which resonates with their world view which means appealing to the firmly held right wing view of 'respect for authority'.
If you can somehow show that an ideal or person shows a lack of respect for authority then it will soften the right wingers view, not enough to get them to change their mind but enough to at least let you put your side for the argument across.
A current example is Donald Trump who appears to be much loved by the right, hated by the left, but if the argument is prefaced by the idea that he repeatedly behaved disloyally towards America to serve his own interests by dodging the Vietnam draft to follow his father into the development business, then you will receive a more sympathetic hearing from your opponent as you are directly playing into their 'disloyal to me and my country' alarm zone which will temper any following good things they feel about him.
This can be doubled up by making the right winger believe that they have reached the conclusion by themselves, then they will be putty in your hands.
An example is while debating with a racist, sexist or homophobe and nudging them into thinking they reached a conclusion themselves, so when the racists says something along the lines of 'all blacks are evil' ask the racist to recall a time when they were on the end of discrimination at school or at work because they were different and how you are fighting to change attitudes to end discrimination at work or school so they others would not have to ever feel like they did again.  
Somewhere inside that right wing head something should chime while thinking about their own experience and how others wrongly pre-judged or discriminated against them should lessen their own prejudices against others they consider different.
The professor also explains how to frame an argument to appeal to a left winger and sway or at least temper their argument but as a left winger myself we don't need to go there as we are never wrong anyway so i never read that bit.

Fidel Castro: Hero of Villain

Nobody seemed to split opinion quite like Fidel Castro who survived a reported 600 plus attempts on his life only to die of old age in his own bed. 
Nobody would disagree that the Batista Government that Castro and his cohorts removed was a brutally oppressive dictatorship, even John F Kennedy said that he approved of Castro's call for justice to rid Cuba of Batista and was 'in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries'.
Some of the first laws Castro introduced was to provide equality for black Cubans and greater rights for women but the problem seems to be what he did next.
Castro resented the backing that the US Government gave to the Batista Government and when he nationalised all U.S. property in Cuba, the Americans responded by freezing all Cuban assets on American soil, severed diplomatic ties and launched its long running sanctions on Cuba and backed an armed counter-revolutionary assault with the aim of ousting Castro.
All this forced Castro into the arms of the Soviet Union and cemented him and his regime as America's enemy on its doorstep. 
Castro undoubtedly raised living standards, reduced infant mortality and massively improved education, literacy and health care for all while the Cuban economy tanked but while raising living standards, in other ways he failed the very people he was freeing from tyranny with increasingly repressive tactics to enforce his grip on the country.  
His regime locked up thousands of homosexuals and dissenters in camps so it is hard to argue that what he replaced Batista with was much better.
What historians can and will argue about is how much he was to blame for the economic struggles that saw crime and prostitution rocket and force many thousands of others to flee and die via the perilous sea crossing to Florida.
The argument is that he was forced to become more hard line by the numerous failed CIA operations to topple him and America's economic and political sanctions to isolate Cuba.
Impossible to argue that American led sanctions didn't contribute to the country's economic failure but the argument is also being made that the blame falls squarely on Castro's shoulders for mismanaging the economy and he was far from a revolutionist who was always going to use the repressive policies to keep his iron grip on the country.
That is for Historians to argue over but the bottom line is at the end of his time did he improve things for his countrymen and in some ways he very much did but in some other ways he toppled a nasty, repressive regime only to replace it with another nasty, repressive regime.
To many on the left he is a hero purely because he continually foiled and thumbed his nose at the overbearing Americans but that is to overlook his many failings but to many of the right he was an evil villain but that overlooks the many successes and improvements he bought to his countrymen.

Avoiding Brexit (While Pretending Not To)

The most asked question i have heard over the past week from Europeans is why did Britain vote for Brexit?
The simple answer is because 52% of us are idiots but the more truthful one would be that a fair portion of that 52% were mis-informed, ignorant of what they were voting for or just swallowed the 'taking back control' lies.
The call for another referendum is growing louder and i support that especially now that the consequences are being spelt out and it isn't looking good for Britain so i'm hoping Theresa May kicks all this Article 50 nonsense into the long grass for it to be forgotten about.
It won't because we keep hearing about the 'will of the people' and how the 'people have spoken' but that isn't really true as it's the will of 17,410,742 or 51.89% of the country, the other 48.11% or 16,141,241 of us said we wanted to remain.
So while i would be quite happy for the Government to say that leaving the EU would be detrimental to the British interests so they won't do it, i wouldn't like to see another referendum as that smells of just keep going until we get the result we want.
My preferred tactic would be what the last Labour Government did regarding throwing in our lot with the European currency and leaving sterling for the Euro which was to have a set of secret 'tests' which were reviewed every once in a while and would only be enacted once the time was right.
As the time was never right we stayed with our pounds and pence so i say to Theresa May promise to ditch the EU at some point in the future but only when the time is right to prevent fatally damaging the British economy and force it back into another damaging recession.   
The 48% would be happy because we won't be going anywhere, the 52% will be happy because they will still seem to be getting their own way and because of that simple answer at the start of that second sentence at the top of the post.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Meaning Of Thanksgiving

Isn't American Thanksgiving just essentially giving thanks for invasion, biological warfare and the deaths of millions of Native Americans who tried to help the first Americans who arrived on their shores woefully uninvited and unprepared?

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The West Moves Right

It seems a strange one that as the World becomes a harsher, more selfish place that it's population seems to be turning to the right, the very place where the owners of the most selfish genes reside.
First the UK votes to leave the EU, ignoring the financial consequences which are starting to trickle out as the realisation settles in that we will lose so much more than we gain from the deal and then America votes in Donald Trump, a four times bankrupt and man who wasn't trusted to run his own Twitter account but has been given the nod to run his country.  
In Germany, the left-wing Social Democratic party has fallen in the national polls, Fran├žois Hollande’s ratings in France hover at around 15%, while the Spanish Socialist Workers’ party has seen its support almost halve in less than a decade and the Greek social democratic party has fallen off a cliff edge. Even in Scandinavia, once-invincible parties of social democracy have been hit by increasingly disaffected voters.
In a time when Capitalism has failed so spectacularly and when we are still feeling the consequences of the 2008 meltdown, why are people turning to the right which is an advocate of all the failed practises that put us in the hole in the first place?
The Trump victory and failures of the European left has been put down to people wanting to try something different from career politicians and the only option they are presented with comes in the shape of the deeply flawed right, or extreme right in the case of Donald Trump.
In the UK, the right claimed victory following the Brexit vote as the left failed to answer the call that the EU was to blame for all our ills. People swallowed that lie and voted accordingly, dismissing the warnings of what will follow as scaremongering.
Globalisation is making the world a smaller place and it seems that individuals are pulling up the drawbridge to try and protect themselves and their families, trying to shield what they have and hoping things will go back to how they were in the previous halcyon days of a previous age.  
It won't happen because the World has changed and the foundations which the 20th Century were built upon are crumbling and the more radical we become, the quicker they will fall away and the greater the inequality will become.
It may take a while but the left need to be ready to step in because we are leaping into a souped up version of what we have had since 2008 where the rich got richer, the poor got poorer  and our political leaders try to tell us that a decade of austerity measure are for our own good. 
The more fairer and equal left is where we should be, the far harsher and inequal right is where we are finding ourselves but it won't last because at some point the people will wake up to the fact that the right is not there for the benefit of them but for their own benefit, as it always was but which seems to have been forgotten.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

White Poppies

November brings the annual poppy row but i say when it comes to sending out my thoughts, the military are down towards the bottom of my list which is why i opt for a white one which remembers the victims of war rather than the red one which remembers the combatants who died.
I do see more and more of the white poppies pinned to lapels each year and this November they sold in record numbers, exceeding all previous sales with over 110,000 white poppies sold in the UK.
As the poppy campaign becomes more militarised as it has been hijacked by the media, the white poppy is an attempt to stop the glorification or justification of our military which nowadays seems to exist to attack other people's countries.
Wearing a poppy used to be about WW1 & WW2. Now it seems to commemorate every war including the illegal ones in Iraq and Afghanistan and who can say that any war Britain has fought since 1945 has been justifiable?

Monday, 14 November 2016

Gotta Get A Hatchimal

It must be getting close to Christmas because the first news has broken that stocks of the must have toy has run low and parents are being urged to snap them up when the get the chance.
This particular toy is a vamped up Tamagochi, called a Hatchimal which is a an interactive bird that hatches itself out of an egg after must cuddling and tapping of the egg and once hatched, the Hatchimal will learn to walk, talk and play games as long as it is showered with love and affection.
National chains Toys “R” Us, Smyths and The Entertainer are expecting new arrivals of stock before Christmas, but say purchases are likely to be rationed to one per customer and all retailers are no longer accepting pre-orders.
It's 1980 and the Rubik Cube all over again!

2016 Warmer Than 2015

2016 looks poised to be the warmest year on record globally, taking the record from 2015
which in turn snatched the previous record from 2014.
With data from just the first nine months, WMO scientists are almost certain that 2016 with temperatures 1.2C above pre-industrial levels and should remain high enough for the rest of the year to break last years record.
'Another year. Another record. The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016' said WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas.
The report also highlights that the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere continued on its upward march in 2016, Arctic sea ice continued to melt in significant amounts, while the Greenland ice sheet displayed very early melting this year.
'Once in a generation heatwaves and flooding are becoming more regular. Sea level rise has increased exposure to storm surges associated with tropical cyclones' explained the WHO with a nod towards the next President of the US who is a self-confessed climate change sceptic and bizarrely calls it a Chinese conspiracy.
According to the WMO analysis, 16 of the 17 warmest years have been recorded this century.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Europe Dealing With President Trump

Great fun watching the Europeans wring their hands over what to do about the man who will become President on 20th January 2017.
Overwhelmingly dismissed as a crank, they now face the prospect of having to work with him which should be a bit awkward seeing as they spent the last 12 months mocking him for everything from his stupid comb-over hair to his tiny 'hands' and racist views.
Like the audience at a Seinfeld gig, nobody is laughing now though because they cant just ignore him as they also can't insult him anymore so what to do.
One view is that he is American living in America and about to relax the already mind boggingly irresponsible gun laws so someone will get around to shooting him at some point but if he isn't one of the 30,000 killed each year by guns then the orange faced gimboid will still be knocking around grabbing women by the pussy.
Another train of thought is that he will get himself impeached and there is already some mentioning it only being a matter of time before he uses those tiny little bitty fingers to tweet something even more inappropriate then he has already which will see him before the Chief Justice of the United States.
Another theory is that Vladimir Putin will wrestle him into a coma or Islamic State will do the business but Putin won't want to remove him in case the replacement is a bit more savvy and Islamic State want the major recruitment Sergeant in situ when he starts the next war in the Middle East.
The CIA has a shady history so they may decide that the man with the nuclear codes is the last man they want with the nuclear codes and arrange an 'accident'.
The probable outcome is that they will treat him the same as the last American President who they gave a wide berth to, George W Bush, and just have minimum contact and tick the days off the calendar to 2021 when they hope the Earth is still functioning enough to repair whatever damage the right wing xenophobe wreaks.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

What They Said About Trump Pre-Election

With the unexpected presidency of Donald Trump announced today, there would have been a small part of Texas where a cheer could be heard emanating from the house of George W Bush who probably can't believe his luck that America has voted someone who will ensure that he won't go down as the dumbest President of the 21st Century.
I'm sure we will spend between now and January when he gets his small hands on the White House keys picking over exactly how a self confessed sex pest got to be the face of America on the global stage but i am loving the back peddling the World leaders are now doing faced with the fact that they have to deal with him.

From a laughing stock to the man debating on the other side of the table, the British Government refused a request from the Trump campaign to visit Downing Street to bolster his image with a sniffy 'whatever day he wants to visit, the Prime Minister won't be available'. 
David Cameron at the time Prime Minister said that he was 'divisive, stupid and wrong' and if he ever came to the UK 'he’d unite us all against him'.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Trump’s views were 'ill-informed' and 'utter nonsense, and the only reason he wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is 'the risk of meeting Donald Trump'.
The Saudi's tweeted that he was 'a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America' while the Mexicans, a regular recipient of Trump hostility called him a 'not very well informed man'.
The French said that Trump was ' dangerous' and 'stoking hatred' while the Danish Foreign Minister said that Trump 'changes opinions like the rest of us change underwear'.
The Ecuadorian President call him 'dumb' and 'basic', the Chinese chose to label him 'irrational' and the Australians called him 'a real problem for the United States'. 
Sweden said him becoming a world leader 'was not a very good idea' while the Irish went with 'unacceptable' and the Spanish said that a Trump Presidency would be 'damaging for the world in general', the Italians just went with calling him an 'extremist'.
The South Koreans believe that it will 'give rise to anti-American sentiment worldwide' and the
EU said that a President Trump was not 'in the interest of the west' but the Brazilians summed up most peoples views that 'the election of Trump would be a disaster'.
Thing is, we DO have President Trump for the next four years which should make for some very interesting meetings when he travels outside of America's borders although he will be assured of a warm welcome in Moscow if nowhere else.
It's just about to get very bumpy for the World but mostly for America and you do wonder if they actually realise what they have just done.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Google Predicts The 2016 USA Election

Right up until the British General Election last year, Google Trends had an excellent record in predicting the winner of the major International 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.
The eve of the American General Election is a good time to see if Google Trends has rediscovered it's mojo in an election which many are saying is too close to call between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
It isn't really that close with Google Trends saying it will be the Clinton derriere in the Oval Office's big chair and disappointment for all American bricklayers in the vicinity of the USA/Mexico border.
The irony is with the two most unpopular candidates ever, if any other Republican was up against Hillary Clinton they would be measuring for curtains and ordering a removal van right about now and the same with any other Democrat up against Donald Trump.
In their wisdom they went with Don and Hill's so a third party candidate could benefit with voters refusing to hold their nose and vote for the least worst and instead risking a protest vote for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson who is on the ballot in 50 states or Jill Stein of the Greens in 45 states. 
Throwing that all into Google, out of the other side comes Hillary Clinton on 51, Donald Trump 42, Gary Johnson 4 and Jill Stein 2 so breathe easy, Trump with not have his little fingers anywhere near the red nuclear button but then take another sharp intake of breath because that means Hillary will.
Just a word of warning before anyone remortgages their house and throws it all at a bookie on the strength of Google.
Here in the UK we should be walking on golden pavements and erecting statues of Ed Miliband under a Labour Government as Google predicted but instead we are breaking up what's left of our furniture for the fire under a Conservative Government so be careful, it has got it very wrong before.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

No Brexit Anytime Soon

The Brexiters are not quite so cock-a-hoop now that the Courts have decided that the Prime Minister can't just go blundering into Brexit without okaying it with the other Members of Parliament first, and considering most of them were remainers, seems the long grass is looking a little bit longer today.
As it stood, Theresa May wanted to spark Article 50 and kick the clock on the two year countdown but now she has to decide what we want and how we want it, ask the rest of the House of Commons if they also want it and get the nod from them before doing anything.
As a firm remainer who finds it hard to see how anyone would consider Britain removing itself from the largest single market on the planet can possibly be a good thing, i'm very relaxed with anything that keeps us with our European buddies even longer and if it gets kicked up the road for another day, then i'm very relaxed with that also.
I am sure that the Brexiters thought that we would be handing in our Euro card the morning after the referendum but the reality is that the two year space to untangle everything is optimistic and if we go too soon we will be coming out before anything else is put in place.       
In my mind we cannot afford to come out of the EU, the pound is already sinking and the talk is of another recession and that's with us just discussing Brexit, when (or if) we do come out of it properly we will be sharing space with the likes of Spain and Greece in the Economic league.
With another election on the cards to make sure that the Conservatives get the required amount of MP's who will side with the Government and be able to vote through whatever Theresa May decides she wants from Brexit, the storm the 51.8% of Brits who voted Leave started is set to continue blowing for some time yet but any delay to cutting off our nose to spite our face is only a good thing.

Officially Great

Donald Trump cap may say he wants to make his country 'Great Again' and we may have the word Great in our name but the UK or USA neither are considered 'the greatest country in the World' according to a poll from US News & World Report in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and BAV Consulting. 
Canada is officially the second greatest with the UK third and the USA fourth but top banana is Germany in the poll which assessed countries according to quality of life, entrepreneurship, cultural influence, economic and developmental indicators.
So if Germany and Canada are at the top, where is whatever the opposite word for greatest is?
Step up Algeria followed by Ukraine, Iran, Nigeria and Pakistan who make up the bottom places and are officially not great and are in dire need of someone wearing a 'Make Great Again' baseball cap.

WARNING: This Post Contains Naughty Words (To Brits)

British English has some great insults but you won't hear anyone calling someone a twonk or a knobhead outside of our isles because apparently British insults haven't made that leap outside of our borders yet.
The UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, took a poll of the most offensive swearwords in the British language and a bunch of foreigners have made a list of the ones that most other people don't understand.
Yes, the following will contain lots of swearing.
On the plus side you could get away with calling someone from elsewhere a twat, tosspot or a bellend and not offend them or at least they wouldn't realise that you are insulting them.    
The top 10 insults you can safely direct at non-Brits are:

1  Twat
2  Bellend
3  Plonker
4  Knobhead
5  Muppet
6  Couldn't organize a piss up in a brewery
7  Tosspot
8  Wank stain
9  Cockwomble
10 Silly sausage
12 Face like a slapped arse
13 All fur coat and no trousers
14 Mug
15 Twonk

So if you ever come across a Twonk Cockwomble who couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery and had a face liked a slapped arse, feel free to let them know if they are not a Brit. 

Old Glory Everywhere

Anyone who has been paying attention to the American election cannot fail to notice that those Americans do like a flag.
The star spangled banner is everywhere you look whether it is draped around audience members shoulders or behind Donald Trump as he parades his five children from three different wives on a stage to show what a family man he is.
I don't think i have ever known a nation so obsessed with their flag, even their national anthem is a song about it and they get very upset if one gets a match set to in a Middle Eastern marketplace.
So obsessed with the blue and red striped emblem that they even have a law which states Americans must turn towards the flag and remove their hats if someone starts warbling the National Anthem.
It is a very nice flag, colourful and cheerful and you can see many miniature versions of them being waved by enthusiastic supporters as they cheer on the candidates and it has been at the centre of many American iconic moments such as the moon landings but we see far less of the other symbols of America such as the bald eagle and Statue of Liberty.
The flag is a bastardised version of the Union Flag which used to fly proudly in the corner of the original version before they started putting stars there instead and throwing tea chests into their waterways.
It does seem strange for us less Flag fixated nations to see such admiration for the national ensign but then we can't understand how in a country of 350 million people, the lying Hillary Clinton and sexual deviant Donald Trump have ended up being the only two possibilities for the job of President.