Friday, 30 November 2018

No Santa At Scottsdale Gun Club

I have to admit to being a little bit let down by the Scottsdale Gun Club because they seemed to have stopped holding their annual Christmas photo shoot of Santa and high powered guns.
Disappointingly, it seems the gun shop have decided that peace and goodwill to all men means not selling photo's of members and their families holding powerful weaponry while Santa looks on.
Santa didn't put in an appearance last year either but it shouldn't stop Americans from showing someone how much they love them by buying them a high-powered weapon of death that can blow a big hole in another person or themselves if they not careful.
Maybe in light of all the regular mass shootings in America, the Scottsdale Gun Club have decided it may not be in the best of taste to have jolly old Santa holding onto weapons which was used to murder tens of thousands of Americans this year so this Christmas how about instead of a semi-automatic weapon, as used by Americas most devastating mass killers, buy your relatives a pair of slippers or a pair of pyjamas.
This Christmas the Gun Club is holding a free 'Family Firearms Safety Course' which is designed for the family with children that are thinking about introducing firearms in the home.
It is a very quick course and consists of you being handed a slip of paper with the words 'INTRODUCING FIREARMS INTO YOUR HOME!!! ARE YOU FECKING MAD!!!'

This post is sponsored by the Loopy Gun Nuts of America Association - We put the fun into fundamentalist

Born Again Virginity For Sexual Sinners

Considering that he got the 14 year old girlfriend of another man pregnant, God is very much a do as i say and not as i do type of Deity when it comes to sexual relations which is why he, or rather his representatives, are lending a helping hand to reclaim Purity even if the virgin boat sailed long ago.
The people at Lifeway have a project called True Love Waits which is aimed at anyone whose cherry hasn't remained unpopped and feel a bit sinful about it but born again virginity awaits them through a ceremony whereby repentant sinners can reclaim their purity simply through declaring their love for God...and paying $169.89 for a book.
The Lifeway website states that over the years they have helped hundreds of thousands of people commit their sexual purity to God, while at the same time offering the promise of hope and restoration in Christ for all who have sinned sexually.
Apparently the movement is orchestrated by God to further spread the biblical message of sex and purity but the $169.89 is orchestrated by the owners of the Lifeway website to further spread the money of the chumps and gullible to their own bank accounts.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

No Returnsies

At some time around the mid 19th Century, British explorers discovered the Easter Islands and being mightily impressed by the big headed statues standing on the Island, decided to load a few of them onto their ship and bring them back to Blightly hoping nobody would see the massive head shaped holes on the Island.
Seems the Governor there has now noticed and is asking for them back but the British Museum has said they can 'loan' them but we want them back again because the people who stole them gave them to Queen Victoria so they are actually hers now but us British are not very good at giving back things which we have taken without the owners permission.
In recent years we have received requests to return the Rosetta Stone to Egypt, the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, Benin bronze sculptures to Nigeria and the Koh-i-noor diamond to India and told them all to go do one, no returnsies.
The argument is that if we start returning artifacts looted during the colonial era, we will open the door for all sorts of claim making and that could prove very uncomfortable as us Brits do hang on to a lot of things we forcibly removed from other lands and cultures and in some cases we left it there and just took the land.
Another argument those against repatriation frequently use is that indigenous people offered the cultural objects to the invading Brits although the fact that it was probably in exchange for not having a bayonet rammed through their skulls seems to be overlooked.
After 200 years of massacring, pillaging and plundering the World, handing back the things we 'acquired' should be the very least we can do to say sorry.

A Socialist Government For Christmas

My ultra-Left Wing friend has a sticker in the window of his van that reads 'If you are not a Socialist by the time you are 25 you have no brain, if you are not a Socialist by the time you are 40 you have no heart' and if things go to plan we may all be Socialists by Christmas because Comrade Corbyn is riding to the rescue and he is carrying a copy of Das Kapital.
In a country of huge inequality with haves and have nots, a massive dollop of Socialism should rebalance things to haves and haves as Jeremy Corbyn redresses the awful policies of the Conservatives but first he has to get his hands to Number 10 and that could be before Santa drops down his chimney.
The Conservatives EU war has broken it and if the cards fall right, we could be singing the Red Flag and clinking our Che Guevara mugs together with glee due to the Fixed Term Parliaments Act of 2011 which the Conservatives introduced.
Thanks to the act, if a government loses a vote of confidence, that administration does indeed fall but then there is a two week grace period where another government can be formed before there's an early election.
So if as expected Theresa May loses her Brexit vote on the 11th December and as also expected, Labour then table a motion of no confidence, the Conservatives have first crack at trying to form a new government with a new leader but they have to be sharp about it as Jeremy Corbyn will have a strong claim to be summoned by the Queen to try and form an administration until the next election.
Won't happen you say? Already did in 1974 when the Queen had to call for Labour's Harold Wilson after the Conservative's Ted Heath failed to form a government after a no confidence vote.
Socialism could be back and very, very soon so as the song goes 'The people's flag is deepest red, It shrouded oft our martyred dead' and as it is sung to the tune of O' Christmas Tree, very timely indeed.

Traditonal Christmas Dinner Changing

The good old Christmas Dinner traditionally includes Turkey with all the trimmings, Christmas Pudding, Mince Pies and enough alcohol to float a small ship but things are changing because the traditional Christmas meal is going out of fashion according to Tesco in their Christmas report.
The report says 5% of 18 to 34-year-old's will go vegan this Christmas and there will be fewer birds on the plate this Christmas with sales of large birds falling by 7%.
The one time must have on the Christmas plate was Pigs in Blankets but now the Sausages wrapped in Bacon are third (64%) behind carrots (71%) and the much maligned Brussels Sprout (66%).
One in five of Brits will choose 'no and low alcohol drinks' on Christmas Day and one in six (14%) drinking no alcohol at all rising to 18% among 18 to 34-year-old's, and falling to 11% amongst people aged over 55.
Finally, beside the plate will be the traditional cracker or rather 60% of plates because 40% don't bother with them anymore.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Donald Trump And High Intelligence

The golden rule is if someone has to keep telling you how intelligent they are, then the odds are very good that they are not that intelligent at all so despite all the evidence showing he is as smart as a house brick, Donald Trump once again reminded us that he is 'highly intelligent'. Stop laughing at the back.
To be fair to the man with the birds nest hair, he has never taken an IQ test which is the standard way to estimate the level of someone's intelligence but the test is just one method for measuring intelligence, the standard and most widely accepted method is by looking at various types of abilities such as mathematical, verbal, logic and memory.

Maths: Radio host Howard Stern gave Donald Trump, his daughter Ivanka and his son Donald Jr. a little on-the-air math test, asking: 'What's 17 times 6? Trump's son struggled for an answer, as did Ivanka before Donald had a pop at 1,112, missing the correct answer, 102, by 1,010 so fair to say in maths, he isn't a genius .

Verbal: An analysis of the President's words uttered during interviews, speeches and press conferences found Mr Trump has the vocabulary of an eight to twelve year old and often repeats himself showing a particularly poor command of his first language.

Logic: A common fallacy from Trump is over-simplification: proposing overly simplistic solutions to wickedly complex problems, examples being how Mexico will pay for his wall and arguing that cold weather disproves global warming. He is also big on conspiracy theories using this logic to justify why the media speaks poorly about him (fake news) and the Obama Birther movement.

Memory: Whether it is remembering talking to other leaders about subjects which the other leaders say were not talked about or getting the name of towns wrong, Trump's memory is probably not 'One of the great memories of all-time' as he once boasted before forgetting he said it at all.

The final say on just how intelligent the President is should be left to the people who know him best and have to work alongside him, people like National security adviser H.R. McMaster who called Trump an 'idiot with the intelligence of a kindergartener' and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who said he was 'a fucking moron'.

As he also claims he is a great and successful businessman despite the five bankruptcies against him, maybe we should take whatever he says in that eight year olds vocabulary with a barrel of salt.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

UN Name The Climate Change Bad Boys

The UN Climate Conference starts in Poland 2 December and the IPCC have put out a report advising that efforts to tackle climate change are off track and we have seen the first rise in CO2 emissions in four years.
Rather than keeping global temperatures below 1.5C as agreed in Paris, we are heading towards a temperature rise of 3.2C which isn't good unless you plan to live in the sea. 
'There is still a tremendous gap between words and deeds, between the targets agreed by governments worldwide to stabilise our climate and the measures to achieve these goals' said Dr Gunnar Luderer, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and one of the authors of the study and in a unexpected move, the UN named the nations who are not not pulling their weight.
The study says that countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, the EU (including the UK), South Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the US are all falling short of achieving their nationally determined contributions for 2030.
In a equal world those named nations would be hammered by the warming environment even more than they already are but Mother Nature  is anything but fair and she shares out her floods, storms and droughts to whoever is in the way regardless of how environmentally friendly they are.

My Anti-Ageing Cream Smells Funny

Move over Estee Lauders Revitalising Cream because there is a new anti-ageing cream in town and this one leaves your face as smooth as a baby's, well, foreskin because the next big thing is a serum derived from South Korean babies’ circumcised penises.
Nothing weird with that at all, it's perfectly normal to want to have the liquidised foreskins of multiple babies rubbed all over your face and if it's good enough for the shiny faced Kate Beckinsale and Sandra Bullock, then it's good enough for the rest of us.
Apparently it helps to generate collagen and elastin, which can help to boost the radiance of your face but before you go knocking on the door of the nice South Korean couple up the road with the young son, the treatment involves microneedling which is a beautician repeatedly stabbing you in the face thousands of times to help the baby foreskins sink into your skin in return for £500.
Short of grabbing a handful needles and harvesting baby foreskins from the South Korean Community to wipe across you face in an attempt to look younger, we will just have to wait until Boots make a knock off version or if you really can't wait, dig out the liquidiser and have a word with the local Rabbi at the Synagogue, they should have some laying around, oy vey.

Numbers Against Theresa May

With the House of Commons Brexit vote on December 11th, by the 12th we will have either a deal, no-deal, general election, second referendum or a new Prime Minister but for the next two weeks Theresa May is going to have to do some heavy lifting to get her way with her Brexit deal because very few people seem to like it.   
With an already wafer thin majority and Arlene Foster's Northern Irish DUP already saying it won't be supporting the deal, she gazing around forlornly for the 318 votes she needs to get her deal through. 
Of her 317 Conservatives Members of Parliament, 57 have already said they will not support the current deal and a further eight have backed the People's Vote campaign calling for a second referendum so with the 10 DUP members she is 75 down straight away.
She could gaze lovingly at the Labour Party in her hunt for votes but they are hoping she fails so they can force a General Election so she may pick up some from Labour Hard Line Brexiters otherwise there isn't much point looking there.
The SNP and the Liberal Democrats are very pro-EU so she probably won't be picking up much support there nor will there be a helping hand from the six MPs from Plaid Cymru and the Greens, who will not support the deal.
If my maths is anywhere close (probably not but let's go with it anyway), the Prime Minister can depend on approximately 250-ish Yes's so she will have to persuade around 70-ish MP's to back her which is unlikely so things could get very interesting especially for the removal men who should keep 12th December free.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Let's Call The US UK Trade Deal Off

The last time someone came back from a meeting in Europe and announced a great deal we were at war with them within a year but Theresa May may not have been waving a bit of paper but she did say she had got us a great deal although on the other side of the Atlantic President Trump put down his cheeseburger long enough to say that the as it stands, the deal means the UK wouldn't be able to trade with the USA. 
Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, described Mr Trump's remarks as a "major blow" for the prime minister, saying '"Even Donald Trump, not the sharpest tool in the box, knows this deal is a bad deal' but i wouldn't be so quick Tulip as no deal with the USA means we won't have to take their dodgy food.
What has been a long standing disagreement, the standards of food in the USA is lower than in Europe which is why the majority of their meat has been banned in the EU since 1996 but any agreement would mean the UK accepting the imports of products such as hormone-treated US beef, chlorine-washed chickens and genetically modified cereals.
Last year, Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, insisted the UK would have to accept American food standards if it was to secure a trade deal but a poll by the consumer association Which, three quarters of the British population is opposed to it.
Recently published analysis by the British food and farming pressure group Sustain, found that the incidence of food poisoning in the US could be 10 times higher than in the UK. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 15% of the US population suffers from a foodborne illness every year with 3,000 deaths, compared to 1.5% in the UK and 500 deaths.
Of the annual average 3,000 American deaths, 380 are attributed to salmonella poisoning, but in England and Wales, no deaths were recorded from salmonella between 2005 and 2015.
Campylobacter, a pathogen found mainly in chicken, has an infection rate of 6,289 per 100k of population in the US, with the frequency while in England and Wales, the rate was 96.22 per 100k population.
An average of 1,591 cases of listeriosis, caught from eating soft cheeses, unpasteurised milk and chilled ready-to-eat foods are reported in the US every year. In England and Wales, the average is just 177.
So as things stand we won't have a deal which has us accepting American food products but if this changes it sounds like the NHS will need every penny of the tens of millions promised by Boris' Bus to cope with the increased incidence of food poisoning which clearly isn't finger lickin' good.

Earth Calling Mars

I can't even begin to think just what sort of maths was involved in steering a space probe 300 million miles at 13,000 mph before dropping it through an atmosphere a fraction of the Earths and then bring it to a soft landing on the ground but i guess my GCSE 4 in Maths wouldn't cut it.
Whoever worked it all out deserves a pat on the back because Mars now has an extra lump of metal on it courtesy of us Earthlings as the latest Nasa robot survived the seven-minute plunge to the surface of the Red Planet as is now sniffing around and measuring Marsquakes.
Using a combination of parachutes and reverse rockets, the probe put down on a vast plain called Elysium Planitia, close to the Red Planet's equator and officially, it is going to be drilling deep into the Martian crust to provide us with important scientific data but it will also be nosing around what is claimed by conspiracy theorists to be a walled city well as what they claim is a crashed UFO.
Exciting stuff, especially as the last few attempts ended with our probes smashing into the Martian ground at high speed as things failed to fire properly but as we are excited about not making a new crater with our space hardware, landing a human safely on the planet may be a bit further away then the Elon Musk's of the world have us think.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The Hypocrisy Of Hillary Clinton

Politics can be very messy but lucky for us we have Hillary Clinton over here telling us how things should be run which has been received as you would expect by someone who failed to beat a self confessed sex offending racist but as us Europeans are polite, we can pretend to listen to what she has to say before we roll our eyes, sigh and leave the room.
Speaking to the Guardian about the rise of right-wing populism, Clinton mused that 'Europe needs to get a handle on migration because the influx of refugees from the Middle East and Africa in recent years is what lit the flame of support for anti-immigration political figures'.
That would be Hillary Clinton telling Europeans to curb immigration from North Africa and Middle East.
North African immigrants primarily being Libya and Middle Eastern immigrants being from Iraq and Syria which by a magnificent coincidence just happens to be the countries which the United States has relentless bombed and destabilised with failed military interventions which Clinton herself was instrumental in.
Clinton even exclaimed cheerfully upon hearing the news of Colonel Gaddafi’s brutal death 'We came, we saw, he died!' but that was before the country turned into a hotbed of terrorism, slavery and despotism for which millions of Libyans are risking their own lives to escape.
I say thank you Mrs Clinton but as your views proved to be more unpopular than the xenophobic, orange blob who has the IQ of a house brick i think we will just nod politely and usher you away from the microphone and back onto your America bound plane where you can't see the continents eyes rolling.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Celebrating Men On International Men's Day

Today is International Men's Day, a time to stop, pause and reflect on just what the men contribute to the lives of us women.
First up is that oh so cute way they ignore manufacturers instructions and just soldier on swearing, hitting things with a hammer and blaming the packers for giving them the wrong bits. So what if there are bits left over, who doesn't like a lopsided bookcase that looks as though it will collapse if a book got anywhere near it. 
Then there is the frustrating habit women have of slowly flicking through the television to see if there is anything worth watching so thank the lord we have men to dive-bomb through all 150 channels in two minutes and settling for golf or snooker and then falling asleep within ten minutes leaving us women to plod through the channels ourselves yet again.
While ancient men went hunting sabre tooth tigers and other dangerous animals to impress their women, modern man's version is  throwing things in the air and catching them in their mouths. Doesn't matter if it's sweets, nuts, cigarettes, grapes, it can't go the short distance between hand and mouth without first being launched up to the ceiling and caught in their mouth in a impressive display
sure to make us women go weak at the knees, risking eyes and teeth if our hero's coordination goes awry with that last walnut.
Not being blessed with a penis i can only guess at just how difficult it is to aim the short distance between your midriff and a toilet bowl with a drop distance of less than 2ft. As all men seem to have problems with it i can only assume it is very difficult indeed so don't worry you poor darlings, Bathrooms have lino flooring for a reason. 
Finally men's bodies are very different to women's bodies which is why when we get a cold we can carry on shopping, doing housework and doing the cooking but when a man gets a cold his only option is to lay on the sofa moaning and writing his last will and testament, the precious lambs.
So let's celebrate men and thank our lucky stars that if we want a bottle opened or to park the car that we have left in the road because the parking space was too small, they are always there for us, God bless 'em.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Letter In The Post To Obama

The rule was that Burma was the name of Burma and not Myanmar as this was the name the military junta changed the name to so as not to appear to support them and their violent uprising, we would continue to refer to it under the original name of Burma.
Somewhere along the line the memo got lost and it seems to be referred to as Myanmar by everyone now including Amnesty International who have announced that due to her being as awful as the regime she replaced, Aung San Suu Kyi will no longer have a peace prize on her mantelpiece as they are snatching it back saying that it was 'profoundly dismayed' with her.
Fair enough you may say but if Amnesty are going through their record to see who they can scratch out of their list of award recipients then they should now being sending a letter to the Nobel Award Office to advise of another recipient who should be sent a big box with a return address on it, Mr Barack Obama.
The former US President Barack Obama, was presented with his Nobel Peace Prize a mere nine months into his first term as President on the basis that his predecessor, George W Bush, was a warmongering whore and Mr Obama would not be as evil as him although as it turned out Obama went on to bomb seven different countries over the course of his two terms and extend the wars of the nutcase that was Bush.
Even further back, in 1973, Henry Kissinger managed to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to negotiate a ceasefire during the Vietnam War, while at the same time he was orchestrating the carpet-bombing of Cambodia.
So if Aung San Suu Kyi has to quite rightly return her award then Obama should get some bubble wrap ready because he must surely also be getting a letter which will result in a Nobel Prize Award shaped hole on his own mantelpiece soon.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Not Learning From Right Wing History

If history has taught us anything it is that as Winston Churchill said in a rare moment of sobriety that 'Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it'.
This quote is particularly true as we remember just why the Conservative Party are called the Nasty Party, because it appears that we are only now just saying, 'oh yeah, i forgot about that bit'.  
Rather than looking back at the Right wing political parties of history and keeping them far away from power, we voted them in and now watch horrified as they dismantle everything with ideological zeal as the UN’s rapporteur said that the Conservatives have inflicted 'great misery on its people with punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity'.
Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, ended a two-week fact-finding mission to the UK with a stinging declaration that levels of child poverty were 'a disgrace' and 'a social calamity and an economic disaster', with approximately 14 million people living in poverty and 1.5 million unable to afford basic essentials which he described as 'patently unjust' adding that compassion had been abandoned during almost a decade of austerity which was a 'political choice'.
His report pointed at the decade of austerity cuts to state benefits and public services which have had a disproportionate effect on the poor, the disabled and women as well as the soaring use of food banks, increasingly homelessness and cuts to school budgets and the dismissive attitude of the Conservative Party.
While it should shame May's heartless government that the UN sent Mr Alston here to investigate them at all but after a decade of callous cuts and economic idealistic right wing vandalism where the government refuses to even question why food banks have become a feature across most of the country and more and more are being pushed into poverty and homelessness thanks to their political decisions, this will be shrugged off and things will continue on until they get removed from power.
The right wing should be kept out of power, nothing good ever comes from right wing policies but it seems we are very good at failing to learn this lesson.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

More Earth Junk Landing On Mars

While man will not be going to live on Planet Mars anytime soon, it won't stop us cluttering up the planet with our space junk and NASA is preparing to land another hunk of Earth metal on the Red Planet soon but this one is a little different as it is plonking itself down tomorrow on a plain of Mars where extraterrestrial hunters claim to have seen an alien city and a crashed UFO.
Officially, it is going to be drilling deep into the Martian crust to measure 'Mars-quakes' which will provide us with important scientific data but more interestingly it will be nosing around what is claimed to be a walled city on the Elysium Planitia Plain as well as what's left of a crashed UFO.
The spoilsport European Space Agency has said that the 'walls' are merely ash covered blocks of ice and the crashed UFO is a meteor impact site but we will soon find out especially if it is met by little green men with signs telling us to stop polluting their planet.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Stronger Storms Coming Soon

What climate change deniers don't seem to be able to grasp is that a warming atmosphere doesn't make weather events, it just takes what is already there and ramps it up so rainfall is heavier, winds are stronger and heatwaves are hotter.
Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have studied climate models over the past 15 years and found found that warming in the ocean and atmosphere increased rainfall by as much as 10% and using future anticipated warming found that rainfall could increase by a third, while wind speeds would be boosted by as much as 25 knots.
The findings suggest that enormously destructive storms have already been boosted by climate change and similar events in the future are on course to be cataclysmic.
Jennifer Francis, a hurricane expert at Rutgers University, said: 'This study adds exclamation points to the already clear message that we must slow global warming while preparing for more extreme weather to come'.
It really shouldn't be that hard to understand but even the sight of floods, forest fires, devastating droughts and cities flattened by hurricanes isn't making it sink into the most densest of heads just yet.

This Deal, No Deal, No Brexit At All

Having only seen the abridged version of the Brexit deal the Prime Minister has signed us up to, seems the past two years negotiations have ended us up exactly where we were previously, only we have now removed ourselves from the decision making process, making us even more 'ruled over by Europe'.
With 11 of the 29 cabinet members speaking out against Theresa May's deal, the resignations may still be coming especially as the Prime Minister didn’t allow a vote within Cabinet so essentially she spent five hours hearing objections to her deal around the table but then summed it up to the waiting media as the Cabinet all agreeing with her. 
With many Conservative Brexiteers, Labour Party, SNP and DUP lining up against her it is seemingly impossible to get her deal through the House of Commons but maybe that has been her plan all along because those of us who listened carefully heard her say that there are three options: 'this deal, no deal, or no Brexit at all'.
As the best deal possible is what we already have, no Brexit at all is far and away the best outcome and so a chink of light appears in an otherwise black Brexit cloud.
The options are therefore take this deal which is a poorer version of what we have, opt for no deal and all the dire financial implications that will bring down onto our heads or just call the whole thing off and stay with what we have.
Possibly Theresa May has played a stunner and outwitted and outfoxed the Boris Johnson's and Jacob Rees-Mogg's of this whole stinking charade and come March 29 we won't be leaving anything after all.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Brexit Agreed

The BBC are reporting that Theresa May and the EU have reached an agreement on the UK Exit from the EU and the Prime Minister has summoned her Cabinet members into Number 10 one by one where they will be presented with the text and asked to sign off the deal with Brussels.
Agreeing on the 400 page document is only the first step in the long process of ratifying the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and now the fun begins.
The reason why the Cabinet is being shown the document one by one is to gauge reaction to exactly what Theresa May has agreed to and especially the Northern Irish question.
The current Cabinet will be given three choices, agree, resign, or be fired so tonight and tomorrow morning many well be the British version of the Night of the Long Knives.
It is almost guaranteed that the Cabinet as it currently stands tonight won't be the same Cabinet that turns up for work tomorrow so grab some popcorn and turn to the BBC News channel because tonight is going to be bumpy for Theresa May and that's even before she puts it to the House to vote on which is almost certainly going to be far from smooth with the DUP and Arlene Foster going to be especially keen to see what the Prime Minister has come up with.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembering Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig

Today is Remembrance Sunday when reflect upon the madness and futility of war and remember the dead but there is one man inparticular who should never be forgotten, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig who did so much to provide us with the dead for us to remember.
Haig was the man who from the comfort of his London Office, came up with the idea of sending 100,000 British soldiers 'over the top' to attack well-fortified German trenches, manned by soldiers, armed with a large number of machine guns. 
As the British soldiers advanced, told to walk the distance between their own trenches and the Germans 'better to maintain control', they were mown down by machine gun and rifle fire, 20,000 were killed and 40,000 were injured in the first charge alone.
In a stunning bit of insensitive and cruel disregard for his own men and despite his staff imploring him to change his tactics, Haig stated that 'the enemy has undoubtedly been shaken' and decided to continue with his plan of sending his men walking towards certain death for another four months, until winter weather forced an end to his plan which by then, the British military had suffered more
than 420,000 casualties and advanced just 3 miles.
Haig’s chief of staff was driven to the front and, as he viewed scene, broke down in tears and said, 'Good God, did we really send our men into that?'
The image of young men going over the top to walk towards the German machine guns is probably the strongest when we bow our heads at 11am today but Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig should also be remembered as the man who so callously and knowingly threw away so many of those young lives we remember this morning.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Shoebox Fillers Beware

I'm all for keeping religion out of Christmas, much better to make it about Santa and snowmen then the nativity story stolen from older religions around at the time but not everyone feels the same way including the people running Operation Christmas Child who ask you to pack a shoebox with gifts for children in Africa.
What a nice idea, and as the website says, 'A small shoebox can have a big impact. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal' but then hang on, what's that next bit 'Be a part of changing children’s lives all over the world in Jesus’ name through the power of a simple gift with Operation Christmas Child'. Christmas of all times...sneaky buggers because while you think you are sending gifts and toys the Operation Christmas Child owners, Samaritan's Purse International, stick a Bible in there and post it off to African children or to be more precise African Muslim Children.
They even have a story about how Angella in Malawi received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox filled with presents last year and has since led her Muslim family to Christ.
Humanists UK are urging potential shoebox-fillers to consider other options such as Hope or Aquabox who won’t place any religious literature in the boxes.
Richy Thompson, Humanists UK’s director of public affairs and policy, says: 'Those who donate to the scheme are well-intentioned and want to make an altruistic contribution, but donors in the UK should be aware of the nature of Operation Christmas Child’s activities and instead find a reputable and inclusive charity that has no ulterior motives and only has children’s best interests at heart'.
As religion is the cause of far too many wars and conflicts around the World, the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal is far from a benign initiative to give gifts to needy children at Christmas time which is all we want to do, not force religion down their throats in exchange for a few toys.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

More Thoughts And Prayers

After each mass killing in America there must be a conversation in the Government that goes something along the lines of: 'What can we do to stop our citizens getting big holes blown in them by maniac gun owners?

Amend our crazy gun laws? Nah
Gun control? Nah
Make guns harder to buy? Nah
Stop selling guns in supermarkets? Nah
Have a discussion about the amount of guns in the country? Nah
Not allow people with mental problems to own a gun? Nah
Ban high power weapons? Nah

Well i'm all out then so shall we just do nothing and offer our prayers and thoughts? Yeah, that should be okay.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

No Aliens, Just A Comet

Oumuamua, the 400m cigar-shaped object that flew past the sun recently at 59,030 mph probably isn't an alien spacecraft as the Harvard researchers alluded to but it is only a matter of time before an interstellar relation turns up to say hello.
The object's unusual trajectory and high speed sets it aside from other space objects such as asteroids and comets and researchers from Harvard suggested 'it may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilisation' which is true, it could be, but the more boring answer is it is probably just a comet.
'It has already been shown that its observed characteristics are consistent with a comet-like body ejected from another star system' explained someone from the ESA poo-pooing the alien theory.
Such is the immense size of the Universe and the billions of billions of star systems in it that to think that there isn't life somewhere out there is incomprehensible but we may have to wait a while yet until we meet them.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

American Midterms

As expected, Donald Trump has been a car crash of a President but as it isn't my country he is dragging into the sewer, i can afford to be a bit more relaxed about what happens in the midterms tomorrow. 
On the one hand his awfulness is terrible for many but on the other hand his awfulness is brilliant so the best solution would be for the Democrats to win enough seats that he can't actually do anything which leaves him in power, suitably impotent, but still able to make his ridiculous, toe curlingly appalling statements.
This will have the effect of further dragging an isolated America down into a farce while the rest of the World gets on without it or until a grown up is voted into Office in a few years time.
As he was voted into Office as a known vile racist, lying, low IQ, sex offending misogynist he hasn't disappointed on any of those fronts and even being literally laughed at by the rest of the World at the United Nations hasn't slowed him down so i say keep him there because the man is a journalists and comedians dream but remove any power from him so he can't do anymore harm outside of his own borders and we will see what is left of America and it's International reputation in 2020.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Afghan War Ending In Same Position That It Started

October 2001 and the Bush and Blair Governments give the Taliban an ultimatum, 'Surrender the terrorists or surrender power. That is your choice' meaning either they handed over Bin Laden who they were sheltering, or they would be removed from power.
Also means if they did hand him over, the Taliban would be left alone to remain in power and although they refused to hand him to America, they did make an offer to 'hand him over to a third country' but the Blair/Bush Governments rejected it and the bombs started falling.
Fast forward 17 years and hundreds of thousands of deaths, the newly appointed American General in charge of US operations, Gen. Austin Scott Miller, has conceded that the Taliban cannot be beaten militarily and a political resolution is needed.
The US State Department said in August that the US was doing everything it could to facilitate peace talks with the Taliban so finally it has sunk in that a military solution is not viable and never was.
So now how to explain that to the families of the dead Afghans and the families of the dead British and American soldiers sent to fight in an unwinnable war which will end in exactly the same position that it started and could have been avoided if the rush to have a war with someone in revenge for 9/11 hadn't been quite so keen.

Forget Education, Look At The Pothole Free Roads

Budgets always take a few days for the boffins to work out exactly what the Chancellor has done but it didn't go unnoticed that he handed out £450 million for fixing potholes but only £400 million for schools to buy 'little extras such as a whiteboard or a couple of computers'.
As important as fixing potholes is, there is not much gratitude from the education sector which has been cut by £2bn a year under this Government and seen teachers pay frozen, class sizes grow and schools unable to meet the requirements of young peoples special educational needs.
'This does not even scratch the surface to meet the current funding pressures that schools are experiencing' said one headteacher in the Chancellors own constituency, 'We need to close the funding gap left by the 8% real-terms cuts over the last five years that schools around the country are unable to meet'.
Secondary schools in England have lost 15,000 teachers and teaching assistants in the last two years, schools are having to reduce the number of subjects they offer and their extracurricular activities and in many schools, parents are being asked to make regular voluntary contributions.
Sixth richest country in the world, ladies and gentlemen, our kids may not be able to read or write thanks to Theresa May and her Conservative Party but look at our lovely smooth roads.

Science McScienceface

After the Boaty McBoatface thing it is very brave of the Bank of England to ask the British public to choose the new face of their updated banknote but as it's a £50 note and Brexit is about to happen, i guess they are thinking not many people will get to see one anyway.
The Bank have put a few conditions who can be picked though after the initial process resulted in England football defender Harry Maguire riding an inflatable unicorn winning the vote (bloody British sense of humour), stipulating that it must be a British scientist and they must be dead and the early front runners are computer programmer Ada Lovelace, code cracking Alan Turing, cosmologist Stephen Hawking and Chemist Dorothy Hodgkin.
My vote would be for Alan Turing who basically did so much to win WW2 for the allies and then was treated outrageously by the establishment because he was gay so if nothing else a long overdue recognition and apology.
Failing that i'm backing Professor Yaffle from Bagpuss.

Heart Failure Days And Heart Attack Nights

All but the most gullible realise that the planet is warming which isn't beneficial to the seven billion of us on sharing this ball of rock so the MET Office putting out the results of a study stating the same is nothing we don't already know but by declaring we are set for 'hot days and tropical nights' does make it sound like the sort of thing the ignorant will say 'wahey, bring it on' to.
Comparing UK weather data from the period 1961-1990 with the 10 years between 2008 and 2017, the hottest days have become 1C hotter, warm spells have increased, while the coldest days are not as cold and the number of nights when temperatures stay above 20C is increasing.
Rather than make it sound like a romantic holiday in the Mediterranean, the MET should be highlighting that in the past, hot summer the increased temperature claimed almost 1,000 lives due to the heatwaves increasing the risk of heart failure, heart attacks and stroke.
As the temperature is only going to increase due to the amount of CO2 we are carelessly pumping into the atmosphere, a season of heart attacks in the day and strokes at night doesn't sound quite so appealing, even to those hard of thinking types who consider a warming climate to be a good thing.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

There Should Be More White Poppies

Poppy Day shouldn't be controversial but it seems every year now there is always someone trying to make an argument out of it, usually it's poppy fascists who demand you wear one but this year it's also the White Poppy that is being politicised.  
The white poppy is a symbol of pacifism, worn as an alternative to the red remembrance poppy and remembers all victims of war, not just those on our own side.
It is claimed that the white poppy is disrespectful to those who served and died for their country but a survey by researchers Consumer Intelligence, the top reasons given by the 20% who refuse to wear a Poppy at all is because they felt bullied into supporting the Poppy Appeal, it glorifies war and seems to show unconditional support for the military.
I can relate to that and refuse to wear one myself, mainly because i believe that rather than send young men and women off to fight wars and then stand around looking solemn wearing a red flower once a year, just don't send them to fight wars in the first place and it is impossible for anyone to justify any war the British have been involved in since 1945.
I often hear the argument that people gave their lives for our freedom and it is obscene that some of us refuse to honour that debt by not wearing a poppy but i say that the freedoms they fought for includes being free to not be ordered on how to honour the war dead by a poppy fundamentalists and if more people thought like me and the 20% who flatly refuse to approve of what our military does, then there wouldn't be the widespread death and destruction that is currently going on around the World.
Remembrance Day should be for the victims of war, all victims, including the all the ones killed by 'our side' and not hijacked by vocal people insisting that it is a patriotic display of support for 'our heroes' so maybe there should be more white poppies being worn as a reminder that it doesn't make a bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead.