Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Tories And The NHS

Donald Trump, when asked whether the NHS would be discussed between US and UK officials for a future trade deal after Brexit, said: "No, not at all. I have nothing to do with it. Never even thought about it, honestly. I don't even know where that rumour started'.
I think i can help out there, the rumours began when he was asked in June if a NHS trade deal should be on the table in any trade negotiations, replied: 'I think everything with a trade deal should be on the table. The NHS or anything else, absolutley'.
The row has exploded following 451 pages of notes on secret trade deal talks with the US which states the NHS is up for grabs and today UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, trying to put out the flames argued that it was a ludicrous assertion and he had: 'never advocated for the privatisation of the NHS' which sounded good until unfortunately the BBC Presenter he was being interviews by
produced a copy of Raab's book, 'After the Coalition' co-authored with fellow Tories Kwasi Kwarteng, Chris Skidmore, Priti Patel, and Liz Truss where he advocated for the privatisation of the NHS in the context of post-Brexit trade negotiations with the US.
A rattled Raab then blustered that he and his Conservative colleagues were actually referring to services such as coffee shops and florists that operate within the UK health care system despite Nick Robinson actually reading back to him parts where it clearly said hospitals being run by private companies with no mention of coffee shops.
Former Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, along with fellow Conservatives Douglas Carswell, Michael Gove, Daniel Hannan, Greg Clark, David Gauke, and Kwasi Kwarteng also wrote a book called 'Direct Democracy: An Agenda For A New Model Party' where they advocated for the privatisation of the NHS so it is not hard to see why the suspicion is there that the Tories are looking to sell it off.
That they have the sex fiend Donald Trump on their side is bad enough but to be this bad at lying is scandalous.

What Am I Missing?

When it comes to voting, my father has always said that his golden rule is to think, 'Are we better off now then when this Government took over' and by any stretch of the imagination, we are not.
Look in any high street and you will see the homeless sheltering in doorways, look at any Food Bank and you will see queues including people who are in work but are unable to buy the food they need and look at a hospital and see the queues waiting to get seen and it is hard to say yes, we are better off than we were 10 years ago.  
To my mind, the Conservatives have been awful, as bad as i can remember any Government being and that was with them hamstrung with a coalition for the first five years and the lack of a meaningful majority in the second five with Brexit sucking the life out of their time in power so seeing what they have done while shackled, to unshackle them and let them really go to town with their right wing
agenda is a scary thought.
For ten years they told us at every opportunity that it was essential they cut benefits while at the same time cutting taxes for the richest and every politician spins, that has unfortunately become the norm, but now we have outright lies.  
The 40 New Hospitals they promised to build only a fortnight ago turns out to be now be 6, the 50,000 more nurses is a sleight of hand and somehow counts nurses already currently working in the NHS and the 20,000 new police officers is still less than the amount they cut under their austerity measures.
The Conservatives have announced a new house-building scheme and a tax hike on foreign home owners which is exactly what they promised in their 2015 manifesto and so far they’ve managed to build zero and Theresa May proposed exactly the same levy on overseas home buyers, before it was watered down and then disappeared altogether.
As Boris Johnson is a proven liar, and was even found to be lying to the Queen only just before the election was called, it is amazing that people are looking at the state of the country, the austerity, the lying and the broken promises and are thinking they deserve five more years and that includes letting them deal with Brexit which economists have said will make us poorer whichever flavour we
end up with.
The polls are showing a Conservative lead and i find myself asking what can all these potential Tory voters see which i can't?

Monday, 2 December 2019

Benjamin Franklin...Just Saying

The house at 36 Craven Street, Charing Cross in London has one of those little blue plaques which shows that a famous person once lived there, in this case Benjamin Franklin who lived at the address from 1757 to 1762 and then once again between 1764 and 1775.
As one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, the House has been opened to the public as the Benjamin Franklin House but in 1998, workmen restoring the building dug up the remains of six children and four adults hidden below the home. The Times reported on February 11, 1998:
'Initial estimates are that the bones are about 200 years old and were buried at the time Franklin was living in the house. Most of the bones show signs of having been dissected, sawn or cut. One skull has been drilled with several holes.'
The organisation responsible for the restoration, Friends of Benjamin Franklin House, explained that the bones were likely placed there by William Hewson, who lived in the house for two years between Franklins stays.
Alarmingly they then note that while Franklin likely knew what Hewson was doing, he probably did not participate in any dissections because he was much more of a physicist than a medical man. Probably didn't participate!!
Not saying he murdered people and stuck them under the patio but he did have a history of killing animals to show the effects of electricity and was a pioneer of electroconvulsive shock therapy, so just saying, after all he probably didn't even participate.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Speak Up Trump

Blow up the big baby balloon and dig out the Impeach the Orange signs because Donald Trump is coming back to the UK on Monday.
In a sign of exasperation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has begged him not to make any comments regarding the forthcoming UK elections, mostly because Trump is about as popular as a foreskin in a synagogue with us Brits and any backing he gives for The Conservatives will not reflect well that he is on their side.   
Trump arrives in London for a two-day Nato summit which will see him greeted on Tuesday evening by doctors, nurses and other NHS workers leading a protest of tens of thousands outside Buckingham Palace after he said on his previous trip that the NHS would be part of any trade negotiations although the Conservatives had been unsuccessfully trying to deny this ever since.
Labour, mindful of the fact Trump can be relied upon to say and do stupid things, have released a document that shows that the NHS has already been part of talks and will be desperately trying to goad the President to living up to his reputation and sticking his big fat foot into his gob and saying something which will only hurt the Conservatives campaign.
Trump has already said that Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, would be 'so bad for Britain' and that Johnson should do a pact with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage which led to some awkward questions being asked for Boris and his band of right wingers and he was also critical of Theresa May's Brexit policy when she hosted him in the summer.
If i was a Conservative Party member i would be hoping that his plane breaks down because it is highly unlikely that the walking loose cannon will be able to resist saying something and the Labour and Liberal Democrat Parties will be really hoping that he does. 

America Not The Good Guy?

NBC Reporters probably don’t get out of the USA much because it seems that one has only just found out that not everyone shares his view that America is the good guy.
'The more I talk to sources, the more i’m hearing America has become the bad guys' he wrote, adding that hearing it was a gut punch.
He also lamented the days before Donald Trump, when American foreign policy decisions were apparently always carried out with noble intentions and without ulterior motives, oh dear, i wonder which cave Mr Engel has been in that he missed the pre-Trump years of wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Korea, Yugoslavia, Guantanamo Bay and the 70 year embargo on Cuba, the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and support for Israel amongst many other things.
Trump has been awful but the awfulness started a long time before he plonked his massively rotund backside in the Oval Office so it is even more shocking that a foreign correspondent was unaware that American foreign policy wasn't as popular elsewhere outside of the American borders.
That it was greeted with a Duh!! You think!!' by everyone else shows that being a foreign correspondent for NBC doesn't necessarily mean being aware of US foreign policy.
Despite not knowing that America is not as well thought of as America thinks it is globally, the next question posed is just when does Mr Engel consider America was the good guy carrying out their policy with noble intentions and without ulterior motives?
Even Britain in it's Empire building, mass murdering pomp never had the brass neck to try and pull that one.

How To Win The Lottery

A family from my current neck of the woods won £105 million on the lottery and immediately said he would carry on working and said his daughters first question when he told her was could she have an iphone.
The National Lottery has made over 2,400 draws since it was launched in 1994 and despite odds of 45 million to 1, it has created over 5,000 millionaires who have won more than £8.5bn in total, at an average of £2.8m each so the odds might be very much against you but there are millionaires created most weeks so what is the secret?
Over the 2,400 draws the most common numbers have been 40, 23, 28, 11, 30 and 35 and of the lottery winners, only 7% use birthday dates, a meagre 4% use ages so avoid those.
20% of winners are a syndicate of friends, family or work colleagues and the most winning tickets of over £50,000 were purchased in the Scottish Borders in Galashiels, then Romford, Cleveland, Warrington and Sunderland.
As well as travelling to buy your ticket, you may want to stop off at the Deed Poll Office and change your name to Derek, David or Dave which are the luckiest names.
The luckiest job is driving as drivers have won the most jackpots, followed by builders so if you avoid birthday numbers, travel up to the Scottish borders, change your name to Derek and change jobs to become a delivery driver for Tesco then all you need to do is wait for your bank balanced to turn into a telephone number and then you got the problem of how to spend it.
33% of lottery millionaires bought a new home, 23% a new car, 6% a horse but 97% shared their fortune with their family, 91% made a substantial donation to charity.
Finally you can forget the warning that money can't buy happiness as 99% of lottery millionaires winners disagreed and said that their win massively improved their happiness.
Even if you do all of the above and still don't win, you can have the warm inner glow in the knowledge that The UK Lottery has contributed over £37 billion to good causes so you may not be moving or driving around in a BMW but someone, somewhere benefited from your £2.

Special Guest Blogger: Sitting Bull

When i was a kid the only white thing all over our lands was snow but then along came the Europeans and screwed up everything.
I was named Jumping Badger at birth but that isn't a name to strike fear into my enemies so changed it to Sitting Bull which on reflection isn't much scarier, Leaping Wolf or Bounding Rattlesnake would have been better.
Within a few generations of the Europeans arrival, those of us who had not been wiped out were rounded up into reservations, and to think Americans complain today about people turning up from other countries and refuse to assimilate to their culture and threaten their way of life!! Man, that must really suck, oh wait..it does. 
If only we had thought of building a thumping great wall to keep them out.
As if that isn't bad enough the Americans then named their helicopters Apache after the native indigenous Indian tribes and armed them with Tomahawk Missiles although i bet General Custer wished he had one of those at the Battle of Little Bighorn, his Last Stand didn't see him do much standing, more him laying down and bleeding.  
Although we don't celebrate Columbus Day, we do have Indigenous Peoples' Day that celebrates and honours the Native Americans, to celebrate Columbus would be like the Poland celebrating Hitler's arrival in Warsaw although arguably he did use the Americans idea of rounding up and killing the natives or sticking them in camps.
They called it the New World but it wasn't new to us although to see what they have done to it, we certainly don't recognise it now.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Human DNA Shared With Other Things

Most of us have come a long way since the dark days when it was taught that God created all living things and made humans by piling up some dirt and blowing into it's nostril although there are some who will still argue that Adam and Eve was where it all began.
As unlikely as it seems, those people share 99.9% of the DNA with the rest of us which is only 3.9% more than we share with a Chimpanzee although their IQ's are much closer than that. 
We have known for a long time that we’re closely related to chimpanzees and other primates, but the National Human Genome Research Institute have a growing list of just how much genetic material we share with other things.
Gene sequencing reveals that although we are most closely related to primates, we are 95% identical to pigs, 90% to cats, 84% to dogs, 80% to cows, 75% identical to mice, 70% identical to worms, 69% to a platypus and 60% identical to a Chicken, Banana and a Fruit Fly which may make you think differently about that Ham sandwich you had for lunch.
Bees share 44% of human DNA and even a potato has 20% human in it which is almost half as much as a cabbage which shares 45% although the DNA of humans and lettuce is 16% identical.
It might be worth remembering the next time someone tries to question evolution or explain the fairness of our Capitalist system that of the 99.9% you are looking at, they are 46% cabbage and sometimes the percentages are higher, very much higher in the cases of Estate Agents, Insurance Salesmen and right wing politicians.

Tell Us About Your Ignorant, Illegitimate Kids Boris

Answering listeners’ questions on LBC, Johnson was brilliantly challenged by a caller about a Spectator article he wrote in which he blamed single mothers for producing 'a generation of ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate children'.
As the father of 5, 6 or 7 children, four children with his estranged wife and it is believed he has one or possibly more offspring from affairs, Johnson refused to give an answer, preferring to try and deflect the awkward question onto it being a Labour Party tactic to distract from the fundamental issue at the heart of this election but undeterred, the caller insisted that as a single mother herself,
she didn’t appreciate what he said about single mothers and 'Why are you happy to criticise people like me, when you refuse to discuss your family'?
His blustering, faltering answer was that 'you will find that the actual piece is saying the opposite of what is claimed' which is the same defence he made when he described Muslim women who wear a burqa look like a 'letterbox', called Black people 'pickaninnies with watermelon smiles' and referred to gay people as 'tank-topped bum boys'. 
It is hard to see how saying single mothers raise ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate children could mean anything other than he considers single mothers raise ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate children.
I can only assume that sometimes, married mothers raise ignorant and awful children also as Mrs Johnson seems to have done just that.

Thanks Emery, Now Go Get Pochettino

It can't come as a surprise to any Arsenal fan that Unai Emery has been handed his P45 following a run of seven games without a win and last nights awful 2-1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League.
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is the early favourite to replace the 48-year-old Spaniard and other names being mentioned include former Arsenal players Patrick Viera and Mikel Arteta and the former Juventus manager Max Allegri and but i have my hopes for Mauricio Pochettino even though he was the Tottenham manager until last week.
Pochettino was great at Southampton and turned Tottenham into a halfway decent side and his style of play would be the perfect fit for Arsenal and he has a proven record in the Premier League unlike Viera, Arteta and Allegri.
Nuno has done excellent at Wolves, getting them into the Europa League, but Arsenal are a step up from Wolves where Europa League qualification is below expectations.
Whoever comes in will need to look at Arsenal's defence, a failing for both Wenger and Emery, and with the next three games looking on paper to be 'winnable', Norwich, Brighton and West Ham, this would be a good time to allow a gentle introduction to the Premier League for any new manager, or as gentle as it will get.
Whether Pochettino will even want to come to Arsenal considering the rivalry with Spurs is something to consider but it would be a missed opportunity if we didn't try and get him, a manager who seems a perfect fit for the Gunners and is available.

A Long Goodbye

Sometimes an opportunity comes along which would just be too good to turn down and i have been made an offer which is just that so i will be packing up my keyboard and taking on a new venture which unfortunately means that after 11 years it is doubtful that I will be able to continue this blog from the end of January 2020.
The good news (or bad depending on your view) is that i have lots of already written blog posts to upload and as many half written blog posts which i will endeavour to finish before then as well as blogging the usual stuff that happens in the news such as the UK Election before then as well.
I also have the nub of a surprisingly large number of Special Guest Blogger posts so even if i will not be around, i will still have enough posts to continue updating the blog for months to come after the end of January.
Then i will see where i am and make a decision about whether i am able to pick it up again or to allow Falling On A Bruise to fall into the void for posterity for future bloggers to discover and wonder who the left wing, tree hugging hippy was and whatever happened to her. 

Special Guest Blogger: John Wayne

I was known as a super-patriot because i loved everything about America or rather everything apart from the American women which is why my wives were Spanish and Hispanic.
Despite being blessed with a christian name of Marion, i played the rough, tough guy in almost all of my 170 movies and in real life i was one of the few acting right wing Republican supporters who fought against Communism, a view which reportedly annoyed Joseph Stalin so much he contemplated having me assassinated, the damn pinko had obviously never seen me in True Grit, i was great.
As a right winger in the 1970's, i had strong views on social and race issues and supported white supremacy and was no fan of the Native American Indians, telling them that them wanting to keep their land to themselves was selfish.
I also had no time for fags because being a fag isn't what rough, tough Americans are all about.
America is about cowboy hats and apple pie and baseball and shooting guns at each other and not having whiny pinko commies and blacks and fags cluttering up the place.
As Americans we can go into countries and tell them what to do because we got the bomb and now we have a leader who is crazy enough to use it.
God bless America and everything about it, even the women although i wouldn't marry one myself obviously.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Be Cynical Of Politicians Claims

With just a fortnight to go until we stand in a voting booth with a pencil and a slip of paper, the big three have published their manifesto's and we can now see how the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dem's will be spending our tax.
The Conservatives will increase spending by a modest £2.9bn although they had done a bit of a sleight of hand and only counted 'new' proposals and not included the £53.8 of spending pledges which they pushed through before the end of Parliament so their boast of being fiscally responsible by only increasing spending by £2.9bn a year and that being fully costed rings rather hollow. 
Labour have said they would increase spending by £98bn a year and the Lib Dem's will add an additional £37bn annually with the bulk of the spending coming from tax increases aimed at corporations and the raising the income tax threshold for the wealthiest while the Conservatives will raise National Insurance contributions for high-earners and increase property taxes for foreign buyers.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has cast doubts on the Labour and the Conservatives plans, saying both will fail to deliver the much-needed revenue to the Treasury to achieve the spending promises and only the only party which would 'put debt on a decisively downward path' is the Liberal Democrats.
As the Conservatives have already been caught out promising to build 40 new hospitals when it is actually 6, will employ 50,000 new nurses but the figure is actually 31,500 as they included 18,500 already working in the NHS and taking on 20,000 new police officers which is less than the 21,000 they cut and the Lib Dem's using false information on their leaflets, you really do need to look at the
promises made by all of the political parties with a cynical eye. 

Not Profiting From Black Friday Sales

When i was a kid the High Street had New Years Sales in January and then these became Boxing Day Sales in December but now the shops have the Black Friday sales in November which may be good for shoppers picking up cheaper Christmas Presents, but i do wonder just how the shops benefit.
By having the sales after the busy present buying Christmas period, shoppers have to pay full price for items earning the shops the best mark up but now they sell their wares cheaper meaning less mark up and hitting their profits.
The reasoning i heard is that it gets people into the stores and they make more purchases but that is the same if they held their sales after Christmas, the shops would still be packed if it's November or January only the stores still would have had that pre-Christmas kerching.
I have noticed in town this afternoon that not all shops are even partaking on Black Friday, mostly the big names are the ones with the signs in the windows and Moody’s Investors Service has warned that 'although the sale brings forward purchases from closer to Christmas, it is at lower margins, and is therefore credit negative for the retail sector overall and rarely positive for companies' and suggests that for many retailers 'their overall profitability and brand values are better served by avoiding involvement altogether'.
So a boost in November is followed by a dent in December spending so i fail to see the lure except for the competition that if a rival is discounting, then they will have to discount also or risk losing out altogether but that hardly seems a healthy position especially as so many well known High Street names are closing their doors permanently anyway due to lack of a profit.

Special Guest Blogger: Charles Darwin

When i was at school, we were taught that us humans and all the animals arrived here unrelated, made by God who made everything all perfectly created but one day while looking at a picture of a monkey i thought, hang on, that monkey looks just like my Uncle Herbert and so began my first steps into the theory of evolution.
I joined HSM Beagle and watched the wildlife as we sailed around the World for five years eating armadillo and rats when the food ran short and noticed while gnawing on an armadillo thigh that the finch in Australia looked very similar to the ones in Brazil and the foxes in South Africa were remarkably like the ones i saw in Chile and i thought...hmmm.
I came up with the idea that each of these animals were the same but in order to survive, they had evolved to blend with their surroundings so the finches in different places with different foods to eat, over time, developed different beaks and the foxes in Chile had developed a white coat to blend with the snow capped mountains while the successful South African ones had grown red coats to blend with the sandy environment.
The ones who failed to adapt, or evolve, survived and i found evidence of more and more of it as we sailed around.
The Giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands were identical to the ones we had back home in England but the shells were a different pattern and i wrote about it in my journals which was going great until the Church of England heard about them and were outraged that i was proposing that we came from apes and that one species does change into another, as it meant that God did not create us at all.
I published my Origin of Species setting out detailed observations and making the case for common descent, including evidence between humans and apes.
The Church dismissed it at first, sticking to their original God-did-it theory as mine made people think and that was the last thing the Church wanted.
There are some who still go with the God theory which only goes to prove my theory that some humans are still a lot closer to having the brains of a monkey than the rest of us but give them a few more thousands years and they will  probably figure it out.
My life's work showed that after 4 billion years of success, with each generation learning from the one before, some humans sure don't act like it.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Horatio Nelson

For a great Naval Officer i spent a lot of time leaning over the side of the ship taking another look at my lunch so for someone who suffered with such terrible sea-sickness, a life at sea may not have been the smartest career move but a large column in Trafalgar Square says i must have done something right.
The Navy life separates the men from the boys and normally, in the Navy, that takes a bucket of very cold water but i joined the navy as a nipper so i learnt very quick you lay on your back in bed or else someone else will.
I lost my eye aged 36 when a shot hit a sandbag on the side of the ship and a piece of grit flew up and hit me in the eye and then four years later, whilst stepping ashore i was hit in the right arm by a musketball, which fractured my arm bone in multiple places.
I was killed aged 47 when a Spanish marksman shot a bullet through my left shoulder and shattered my spine which has led to many historians asking why i insisted on wearing a bright red tunic in battle as it made me an easy target for marksmen.
To answer that, it was bright red as should a bullet enter my body the red will cover the sight of any blood, it is the same reason that my trousers were brown.
As is fitting for one of Britain's greatest Admirals, to transport me back to Old Blighty i was stuffed into a casket of Brandy and then transferred into a coffin filled with wine but something i must clear up are my famous last words which were not Kismet Hardy but Kiss Me Hardy, he was a good looking guy and in that uniform, well, we were at sea a long time.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Special Guest Blogger: William the Conqueror

History is written by the people who killed all the other people who may have written it down and they tend to come out of it looking pretty good and considering what i did all those years ago, history doesn't make me look too bad.
The English never got the hang of giving themselves good nicknames so Ethelred the Unready was replaced by Edward the Confessor who had no children and promised the throne of the cold and rainy island in the North Sea which is dark by teatime for six months each year to both his brother in law, Harold Godwinson, and me and when he died i was in France hacking up peasants so Harold got his big grabby hands on it first. 
Before becoming known as The Conqueror, my nickname was William The Bastard and i lived up to that nickname by being a complete Bastard and turning up on the English South Coast at Hastings.
I tried to be reasonable about it and patiently explained to the Anglo-Saxons that i was just trying to get what was promised to me as i burnt, looted and murdered them for 3 days on the way to meeting with Harold's Army at Hastings.
I was desperate to get one in the eye for Harold which i did as you can see in the Bayeux Tapestry but the English can be a bit uppity about being invaded so i had 500 castles built around the country as i united the counties to make England and to repel any rebellions while i burnt even more stuff  down.
I did hear that my funeral went with a bang, literally, as my body was so fat and bloated and my sarcophagus so small that when they tried to push me into it, my belly exploded.
My legacy is that i changed the English monarchy forever and that although i was French, i am known for being the first English King.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Johnny Ramone

Mention the names Thomas, Jeffrey, Dougie and John and you will be met with blank stares but say Tommy, Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny and everybody will know it's The Ramones although we were not really appreciated at the time.
The band was mine, Tommy's and Dee Dee's and Joey came along later which worked out well for me because i got off with his girlfriend which didn't go down well with our lead singer who hardly spoke to me afterwards which didn't really bother me, the guy was a complete tree hugging lefty so he wouldn't have had much good to say anyway.
I was famous for only playing downstrokes but i almost gave it all up after all my guitars were stolen from my lock-up and Robin Zander of Cheap Trick suspiciously began playing an identical model shortly afterwards and i threatened to knock him into the middle of next week but before i got the chance, Seth Macklin of the band Sub Zero Construction knocked me into the middle of last week when i said some unfriendly things to the woman he was with who i had once dated and his boots did some unfriendly things to my skull, fracturing it and it was only emergency brain surgery that saved the Ramones from becoming a trio.
Apart from being a pinko, another reason for disliking Joey was that he always made us late, or rather his OCD did.
Whenever he walked down some stairs he had to step onto the ground off the last step onto his left foot and if he never, he would return to the top of the stairs and start again, and he lived in a 5th floor apartment. Nightmare.
For a bunch of disfunctional kids from New York who were all destined to an early death from a drug overdose we did okay, especially as we pretty much played the same song over and over for 22 years.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Kaiser Wilhelm

It is hard to believe that the First World War was fought between cousins, with England's George, Russia's Nicholas and i all being grandsons of Queen Victoria.
Nicholas and George would make fun of me as we grew up as they both had full ginger beards and would mock me for my funny little moustache and my withered left arm, especially as i was Granny's favourite. 
She even knighted me and i was at all the big events until our Governments fell out and we sent we sent telegrams, hoping to stop a war but when i called the English Mad March hares, that didn't help.
Ginger George, with his German blood, changed his name from Saxe-Coburg which sounded much too German to Windsor like the Castle and Nicholas and George ganged up on me with the French, who they hated, calling them those snail sucking, frog cooking garlic stinkpots but the Russian Revolution and that lovely Mr Stalin and his moustache sorted out Nicholas but George the carrot top refused to back down and kept fighting so when the war turned against my mighty German army, i ran away to the Netherlands.
I had dreams of being Wilhelm the Great but ended up more like like Billy no mates, Granny must have been spinning in her grave.
Seems the British, Russian and French had no problems when i was taking parts of Africa and Asia but pick a fight with tiny, inconsequential Serbia and all hell breaks loose.
All World War One did was set up World War Two and Germany lost that one as well but as they say you can't win them all but one would have been nice though.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Special Guest Blogger: John F Kennedy

Bill Clinton was always compared to me but where he famously said that he did not have sex with that woman, i was having sex with as many women as i could get my grubby little hands on.
The owner of probably the three most famous initials in the World, i was not only the youngest person ever elected to the Presidency but also one of the sickest, i was always ill although that didn't stop me apart from when i was head down in the toilet.
The attempt to overthrow the big beardy Fidel Castro in the Bay of Pigs Invasion didn't quite go to plan but Cuba played a role in one of the events which made me the big name i would later become.
Khrushchev and I agreed to dismantle missile sites and a crisis which had brought the world closer to nuclear war than at any point before or after was averted and then there was the drive past that book suppository in Texas which proved to be a real headache, literally.
Something that has kept me entertained since that last trip to Texas though are all the conspiracy theories over who killed me, with foreign powers, the mafia and even the CIA all being floated as the possible executors but i really don't know, my mind was all over the place at the time.
Being considered as one of Americas greatest Presidents, i am always asked what i would suggest the  current unpopular President do to make himself more popular, a drive in an open topped car in Dallas would help his popularity i'm sure.
When i was President i asked not what your country can do for you but the current guy seems to be asking what his country can do for him, his family, his businesses and Russia and what's with this having sex with Porn stars, damned amateur, I had the worlds most beautiful woman but the only Monroe he will ever get into is the one in Maryland.
My legacy would be that even after my death, my family carried on where i left off, especially Bobby with Marilyn, the son of a...!!

Friday, 22 November 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Confucius

My golden rule was 'Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself' which may sound familiar to some of the Church going visitors to this blog, those who follow a certain religion which was dreamt up over 500 years after me hmmm...i wonder why that is.
Anyway, the blatant plagiarism i can overlook as Confucism is not a religion, it is a simple moral code which has five very basic virtues to follow which are be generous, sincere and kind to each other and be diligent and serious about it, that is it, no weird stories about an invisible man in the clouds judging you or talking snakes tempting people to eat apples, just don't be a dick to people if you don't want them to be a dick back to you.
I also said that you should only do the right thing for the right reason and avoid conflict and look after nature but not being a religion you get no reward after you die, you just get people being nicer to you when you are living here on Earth.
Following my simple golden rule won't see you living in eternal peace in Heaven surrounded by angels with harps riding fluffy white clouds in a warm glow of celestial light but what you will get is less people being idiots and looking down at what has happened in recent years, boy do you need less idiots knocking about down there.
It really isn't that hard a concept to understand although some people do seem to struggle with it.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Ariel Sharon

Billy Joel told us that only the good die young and to prove his point i died aged 85 which isn't bad for a man named after a washing powder and a fruit who waddled around weighing 27 stone (378lbs).
To be fair as the President of Israel i did have a lot on my plate, mostly chocolate cake and dessert, but i had to show that i had the stomach for the fight and the appetite for taking what we could from the Palestinians, i was
always hungry for more land and those Muslims won't just blow themselves up, well actually...some do but you know what i mean.
As someone who always had the stomach for a fight, i showed a woeful lack of self-control in the face of war but it was also the same lack of self-control in the face of Danish Pastries and Cheesecakes that got me in the end.
At my funeral the US envoy to the Middle East said that Israel has 'lost one of it's giants' which was true although a bit insensitive to make fun of my girth at a time like that and to be fair, i wasn't going to get any bigger, very much thinner if anything.
As for my legacy, the Palestinians are still forcibly suppressed, Israel continues to steal their land and there is as much chance of my nation agreeing to a peace deal as there was of anyone finding salad in my massive fridge so i can rest in peace with peace being my code name for fresh cream donuts, and i was all about the peace.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Dick Turpin

I started out as a butcher down in Essex but i knew all the local bad guys and would fence the deer that they poached but we quickly moved into burglary and rampaged around Essex, burgularising the local Farms but when the law came for us, i managed to escape and my gang were all executed or sent to the thirteen colonies in the New World.
People think we only sent our criminals to Australia but we also sent them to the wasteland that is our thirteen colonies in America, i wonder how sending tens of thousands of murders and hardened criminals en mass to start another country worked out.
After out burglary was disrupted, i donned a handkerchief and became a highwayman and robbed and stole from the stagecoaches travelling around London and Essex but the fuzz were on my back all the time so i changed my name to John Palmer and ran away to Yorkshire.
My downfall began when i was put in prison for shooting another mans chicken during an argument and was fined which i refused to pay so was put in prison.
From my cell, i wrote to my brother-in-law but the tightwad refused to pay the delivery charge as he said that he didn't know anybody in Yorkshire and the letter sat at the local Post Office where it was seen by the local postman, who by a twist of fate, was the man who had taught me to write and on recognising the handwriting, alerted the local lawmakers that John Palmer was actually Dick Turpin and claimed the £200 reward.
I was a vicious highway man and inspired the Adam Ant look but my crimes brought me fame but i was stitched up by a postie which is not such a glamorous end.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Lemmy

It takes some doing to get fired from a heavy metal band for abusing drugs but that is exactly what happened to me when Hawkwind told me to go do one when i got busted in Canada for possession so i formed my own band and called it 'Bastard' but was advised that we would never get on Top of the Pops with a name like that and because i was so looking forward to meeting Bruno Brooks and Simon Bates, changed it to 'Motörhead' instead.
I always said that i wanted to live fast but die old and somehow, despite puffing 60 cigarettes a day and downing a bottle of Jack Daniels before lunchtime, i made it to 70.
I was a proper hard living rock star, the music stars today are more likely to fluff the cushions and run a hoover around a hotel room than wreck it and while i was sucking down LSD and amphetamines by the bucketful, the likes of Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake would be reading the side effects on a Lemsip sachet before taking it. 
I always said if you're going to be a rock star go be one. People don't want to see the guy next door on stage, they want to see somebody they would never meet in ordinary life and there was not many, if any, of the likes of me.
I was not much cop as a musician but i played so damned loud that nobody seemed to notice, if you didn't leave one of my concerts with blood leaking from your ears as your eardrums stretched to the point of disintegration, then i would have failed.
My legacy was that i played loud, lived fast and died old but f*** knows how!

Monday, 18 November 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Scott of the Antarctic

My mission was to be the first to reach the South Pole and to secure for the British Empire the honour of the magnificent achievement, basically to stick it to Johnny Foreigner and prove why Britain is the only country with Great in it's name although with hindsight, it was all a bit of a balls up.
Beginning 200 miles away from the Pole wasn't the best start and the thin woollen jumpers were a mistake and as the Norwegians took dogs and were big girls blouses, i decided we would use horses instead and the big, heavy wooden sleds which stuck to the ice were not my brightest idea and the food supplies were insufficient for the long trek but by George we stuck out
the British stiff upper lip gave it a good go, even though the stiff upper lip got frostbitten and fell off along with various other body parts.
As we were preparing i said to the gang that with all this top notch British equipment it was almost making the venture too easy and i would take a massive punt that we would easily beat Amundsen and his gang. 
Captain Oates and the rest of them called me something very similar to a massive punt when we arrived at the Pole and saw a bloody great Norwegian flag poking out the snow, the other group having got there five weeks before us, boy i took some flak for that i tell you.
On the way back Captain Oates said that he was just going outside and may be some time, if i had known he wasn't coming back at all then we could have eaten his share of canned fish and maybe we wouldn't have all starved to death.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Special Guest Blogger: James Dean

If there is one thing that really grinds my gears it's actors who are selfishly still alive and grabbing all the best roles so thankfully Hollywood has come around to the idea of casting long dead actors in their movies.
Not having a pulse and being dead is no longer the drawback it used to be for an actor as 50 years after wrapping my Porche Spyder at high speed around an oncoming truck, i'm back for movie number four.
Last seen moodily smoking in the 1956 film 'Giant', my next project is 'Finding Jack', a heartwarming tale of rescuing military animals abandoned at the end of the Vietnam war whilst smoking moodily because of all the actors alive today, none can smoke and look moody as well as i could.
Of course actors with a beating heart will probably be offended that the directors brainstormed the long list of available members of the Screen Actors Guild and plumped for someone who they have to resurrect from the grave rather than go for one who is currently alive but i am a fan of keeping long dead actors in business. 
Living celebrities have a habit of messing up by talking about politics, being too demanding, wanting to be paid, acting surly in interviews and being exposed in newspaper stings with prostitutes but you know who won't let you down and can be depended on not to draw negative headlines? Someone whose career came to sudden halt due to a lack of working body parts 64 years ago.
Bringing back dead actors is the future for movies, i hear Alan Rickman, Patrick Swayze, Audrey Hepburn and John Candy are already pitching for the next Fantastic Four movie.  

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Diabetes Coming Soon

As there is a history of Type 2 Diabetes in my family, my HbA1c blood glucose level is annually tested and i have been told that there is a very good chance it will be coming my way with each passing birthday especially as my mother has been diabetic since her 50's and my brother has been on the drug Metformin for the past few years.   
Knowing what could be in my very near future i have been reading the International Diabetes Federations (IDF) report and it is quite stunning that an estimated 415 million people are living with diabetes in the world, which is estimated to be 1 in 11 of the world’s adult population and expected to continue rising dramatically.
In America alone, more people die from diabetes every year than from AIDS and breast cancer combined and in the UK since 1996, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has risen from 1.4 million to 3.5 million rising to over 4 million when you count the many people likely to be living with undiagnosed diabetes which is 6% of the UK population or 1 in every 16 people having diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes.
The IDF currently states that the top countries with the highest amount of people with diabetes are China with 109 million, India who have 69 million diabetics, USA 29 million, Brazil 14 million and Russia 12 million and that diabetes is currently the fifth most common reason for death in the world.
In the UK it is currently estimated that around 10% of the NHS yearly budget is contributed to the treatment of diabetes which equates to £9 billion a year or £173 million a week.
As the secret to keeping diabetes at bay as long as possible is a low carb diet and as my HbA1C is alarmingly creeping a little higher each year as i age and is now at the stage where the doctor did the sucking his teeth thing and said i need to be checked more regularly, it is a pretty strong incentive to give my increasingly dicky liver, and the over-stretched NHS, a helping hand and cut back on a few things.

America's Criminal Founding Fathers

We often have a little joke with our Australian pals that their country was founded by a bunch of criminals, Britain sending over 165,000 of our worst to the land down under between 1788 and 1868 but it wasn't only Australia who were the recipient of our murders, America took shiploads also.
Over 55,000 British prisoners were shipped off to colonial America between 1718 and 1775, before we started sending them to Australia when the yanks got up-tight about Britain ruling over them.
Where Australians have reluctantly accepted their original less than law abiding population, most American have no idea that their country’s founding included a massive prison population which would eventually become known as the United States.
Thomas Jefferson tried to downplay the history of penal transportation to America, writing in 1786,
that even if British criminals had been sent, they 'were not sufficient in number' and were 'principally men eaten up with disease, they married seldom and propagated little'.
Some colonies tried to pass laws that would prohibit the practice with Virginia and Pennsylvania so fed up with the practice of Britain dumping tens of thousands of it's undesirables on it that they both passed laws prohibiting it which the British Government ignored and continued to send over anyway.
Americans have a rather romantic ideas about how their country was founded, the Pilgrim Fathers and all that but along with the religious folk who left England due to it not being holy enough for them, its origins also has a good dash of the deplorables we didn't want here so if you live in Virginia or Pennsylvania, you may want to go check your family tree circa mid 18th Century.
Explains Wall Street though i guess.

The Prince Andrew Interview

Sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut and just let people think you are are a sleazy, slimeball rather than open your mouth and confirm it but obviously whoever is advising Prince Andrew didn't think so which is why he has given an interview discussing his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
In the BBC interview, he has given his explanation of his continued friendship with a convicted sex offender even after he was released from prison for sexual offences with a minor and it has already been described as a 'catastrophic error'.
Virginia Roberts alleges when she was 17, she was 'coerced into having sex with the Prince' but he shrugs and states that he 'had no recollection of meeting her' despite the now famous photograph of him standing in a hotel room with his arm around her.
When asked why he decided to stay at the house of a convicted sex offender, Prince Andrew said that: 'It was a convenient place to stay' and he continued the friendship as it felt 'the honourable and right thing to do'. 
Roberts has said that while the prince denies the claims, 'he knows the truth and I know the truth' and obviously the Royals were hoping that by giving a full interview regarding the situation he finds himself in it would draw a line under the scandal, but it is having the opposite effect and just leading to more uncomfortable questions for the Prince.

Another Reason Not To Vote Conservative

Hitler, Mussolini, George W Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Donald Trump, we all know where right wing Governments lead us and it isn't pretty and this current manifestation of the Conservative Party have been the most right wing in my lifetime so it isn't surprising that extreme right wingers such as Nigel Farage and now Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Tommy Robinson are throwing their support behind Boris Johnson.
In any age, getting the thumbs up from the likes of UKIP and now the Brexit Party Farage and English Defence League founder Yaxley-Lennon should be an alarm bell that you have gone catastrophically wrong somewhere but even after swathes of more moderate Conservatives left the party citing the rise of the more extreme factions in their numbers, the Conservatives seem unconcerned.
His colleagues are calling on Boris Johnson to reject the endorsement of both the far-right activists but the Prime Minister has refused to comment so if anyone is still wondering whether to vote Tory, here is everything you need to know about the modern Conservative party and the nasty, racist, fascists that their views are closely aligned with.

Friday, 15 November 2019

America's Billionaires Getting Worried

Somehow getting myself on Bernie Sanders email list, i have been privy to what is going on over there in the United States in the build up to the Election in 2020 and what is going on is that the billionaires and super-rich are panicking that he and his left wing ilk are gunning for their bank accounts.
Citi, an Investment Banking Company, have issued a letter to their more wealthy customers warning that there may be a 'a war on wealth' coming and the rich are being seen as 'a cash cow for re-distributional policies' after the idea of a wealth tax was floated by Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to pay for a much-needed reinforcement of the country’s social safety net.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, so explains Sanders, is so opposed to the idea of wealth taxes and increased regulation that he jumped into the presidential race last month and there was a video of a hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman sniffling at the 'the vilification of billionaires which makes no sense to me' and explaining that 'billionaires have made the world a better place'.
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein suggested taking aim at billionaires was 'discrimination' and several big Democrat donors are threatening to remove their support if Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren gain the nomination.
Warren said recently that she didn't think that she didn't think billionaires should exist but as they do it shows that the trickle down and the overwhelming debts of the common people is actually more proof of a trickle up.
America's billionaires then are not feeling the love of the people and that is only a good thing because they shouldn't.

Vaping Differences In Europe And US

Interesting developments i the World of Vaping with America taking a very different view to that of the Europeans.
While America announced a nationwide ban on flavoured vaping products which has led to its largest manufacturer, Juul Laboratories, laying off 650 workers, European public health bodies have continued with it's existing view that despite 39 deaths in the USA from vaping, it is a safer alternative to smoking tobacco.
The US ruling came after the government's health protection agency suggested there the deaths were due to lung injury among people who have vaped although almost all of the vapers used an oil called Vitamin E acetate which contains THC.
Public Health England have reissued guidance that states using e-cigarettes is at least 95% safer than smoking traditional tobacco products and point to the tighter regulation of vaping equipment in Europe than in the US including the ban on the use of THC and Vitamin E acetate oil in e-cigarettes which it argues, means that e-cigarettes in Europe are probably safer than their American counterparts.
What the ban does mean is that fewer Americans will switch from tobacco which will lead to more smoking and many thousands more cigarette related deaths which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently stands at 480,000 per year and 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure.
Ironic then that the ban which is aimed to protect after 39 deaths, could lead to a massive increase in deaths overall and that 39 deaths led quickly to a ban of flavoured nicotine but tens of thousands of gun deaths each year for decades... and nothing.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Not Liking The Party Arrangements

The Lib Dems, Greens and few of the other minor parties supporting Remain have come to an arrangement to step down and not put forward candidates in some cities to prevent the remain vote being split.
The Brexit Party and Conservatives have come to the same arrangement to prevent the Leave Vote being split and although the verdict is split on just how effective these plans will be, i don't like them at all.
In my mind, all parties should put forward a candidate and the public pick the one they think will be most effective, to try and 'force' people into voting for someone they wouldn't have done otherwise stinks to me.
As a remainer i would love to see the Lib Dems triumph and bring a screeching halt to the Brexit debacle but if they do it will be a hollow victory as they would have won by gaining the votes that would have rightly gone to other parties.
Brexit is also only one part of a myriad of considerations, the next Government will be there for five years so if the Conservatives win, they will force through Brexit but then they will also continue the mind-numbingly awful right-wing policies which have so blighted the nation for the past decade, the austerity, the cuts, the privatisation, the running down of the NHS and the poisonous immigration policies.
The public have to be a bit more cleverer than just voting on one policy, whichever way you lean, but by restricting the parties we can vote for to push us towards one in particular is not very democratic and very narrow minded.

What Is Remembrance Sunday For?

My grandad and his friends never spoke about their time in World War 2 but him and many others did return converted pacifists and they refused to attend the remembrance days, saying why would they want to remember such horror.
I do understand Remembrance Sunday, i always saw it as a chilling reminder of what cruelty man is capable of and a powerful reminder of later generations of what they went through and for it to never happen again.
I refuse to watch War Films or do anything to support the military and even actively try to turn young men and women against enlisting, a counterweight against the people using war as a patriotic rallying cry to sacrifice for crown and country, to wear a poppy and even romanticise war in the many war films and TV series.
Whereas Remembrance Day was primarily to remember the veterens of the first and second World Wars, it has also become a remembrance of the awful recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the wars which were started for reasons other than those stated against the will of the United Nations and the vast majority of the World.
As the last of the veterans from the two great wars leave us, maybe it is time to stop the remembering because it no longer seems to be about the muck and bullets, the families torn apart and the broken young minds and bodies of our grandfathers, forever haunted by what they saw and more about wallowing in old triumphs.
The warnings have not been heeded, wars continue apace and the awful death tolls go on increasing and if the people involved refused to remember it, what exactly is the point?

War...What Is It Good For?

'Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children'  - Dwight D. Eisenhower

I don't know who wrote the definition of what exactly a war is but apparently it is an active conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives.
In the Book 'What Every Person Should Know About War', the author Chris Hedges has come up with some amazing statistics  which should shame us all, such as of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or 8% of recorded human history.  
At least 108 million people were killed in wars in the twentieth century and estimates for the total number killed in wars throughout all of human history range from half a million to 1 billion.
The combined armed forces of the world includes 21.3 million people with China the largest with 2.4 million, the America with 1.4 million, India 1.3 million, North Korea 1 million, and Russia 900,000.
Of the 21.3 million military personnel, 97% are male.
The Worldwide military spending is estimated to have reached $1.7 trillion in 2017, the top five biggest spenders were the United States $610 billion, China $228 billion, Russia $69.4 billion, Saudi Arabia $67.6 billion and India $66.3 billion, which accounted for 60% of global military spending.
Since the second World War, America has spent $16.23 trillion on the military and its supporting manufacturing base employs 3.5% of the U.S. labour force. In the same period America has spent $1.70 trillion on it's nations health care.
Between 1900 and 1990, 43 million soldiers died in wars but during the same period, 62 million civilians were killed and in the wars of the 1990s, civilian deaths constituted between 75% and 90% of all war deaths with more than 2 million children killed.

The Moronic 2%

It may seem strange that 98% of the World Climate scientists insist that Climate Change is a growing and present danger but equal weight is given to the 2% who disagree, mostly by the people who have an interest in the denial of Climate Change and those useful idiots without the relevant amount of braincells to see what their own eyes are telling them. 
Since i first heard about the oncoming disaster back in the 80s, the science has become vastly clearer and the warnings more stark as this decade is the first where we truly have seen the effects, scarily just the introduction with far worse still to come which out children and their children can thank us for later.
Climate change is a slow process, day after day, the ice melts a fraction more, the sea inches closer to shore and the carbon count slowly ticks upward but the story always remains much the same.
Facts and evidence based arguments have never been the strong point of deniers and it wasn't until the mid-2000's that the United Nations started to come together top demand action with only a few dissenters. 
Climate protest is now a mass movement, with hundreds of thousands of people out on the streets demanding action and schoolchildren shaming their elders by going on strike.
The IPCC have given us just 12 years to reverse direction from a looming catastrophe but the climate deniers have taken a sudden lurch from denying it was ever happening to now saying it is too late do anything about it so why bother.
As i said, not the sharpest knives in the drawer as the forests burn, cities flood and draughts kill but finally people power is taking control and forcing Governments to take action.
It may be too late, all the signs are that we will miss that 12 year deadline and be looking at a devastating 3C or even cataclysmic 4c rise and future generations will ask why we never did anything when we had the chance and the fingers will be pointed at the morons in my generation and the tiny 2% of scientists who denied it was even happening.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Interviewing Politicians

Andrew Marr had a great analogy this morning for the Conservative Election pledge to hiring extra police, nurses and public servants.
'It's like you took away my rain coat ten years ago and after a decade of being cold and wet you give me back my coat and you expect me to be thankful?' he said to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Savid Javid, who then went off on a tangent about Labour spending even though they haven't said what it would be yet.
Journalists get a bad press ironically, but the press and broadcast media are especially important at this time when an election campaign is ongoing and the pledges are made thick and fast. 
All parties do it, promise something which turns out to be not quite as promised once it is dissected and tested and the public have to look at someone to fact check and do the investigating, and that is where the media comes in.
Another politician trick is to answer the question that they want to be asked rather than the one which they were actually asked and filibuster knowing that the interviewer only has a certain amount of time available, a sort of the more they talk the less time to be questioned on things they don't want to be questioned on tactic.
It is the job of the journalist, the good ones anyway, to ask the questions the politicians find uncomfortable and Andrew Marr is excellent at this as is Andrew Neil, John Snow, Robert Peston and Laura Kuenssberg and up until he retired, Jeremy Paxman was formidable at questioning, and making uncomfortable, politicians.  
As for the press, the tabloids should not be taken too seriously as they have their colours fixed firmly to their masts and you won't find many newspapers that will take a balanced view means if you do read a newspaper during the election then the UK Newspaper line is Right Wing and Conservative leaning are The Sun, The Times, The Express, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail while in the Left's Corner is The Mirror with The Guardian and i more central-left and tend to be Liberal Democrats.
My suggestion for a balanced view is to get your political fill from the Broadcast media as they are regulated by OFCOM and have to show no bias and have to be balanced or risk huge fines and being taken off the air as happened with Fox News and RT when they were removed from British TV Platforms a few years ago.
As with most things, the golden rule is if what a politician is saying sounds too good to be true, it invariably is and trust a journalist to let you know if you look in the right places.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

It's Christmas!!

The first mince pie of the season, eaten around the middle of November from a box of six that you bought the box for guests, yet you crack it open alone, with an afternoon cuppa. Sweet, satisfying and an old friend back for another year, yep, Christmas season is here again.
I heard my first Christmas Song in a shop today, Beach Boys 'Little Saint Nick' while i was in Wilko's trying to decide if what our living room was crying out for was a 3ft wooden German soldier nutcracker. It did. 
The Christmas video channel started a few days ago and workmen had spent this weekend setting up the massive Christmas Tree in the town center hoping to avoid the debacle of last year when it slipped to a 45 degree angle and the Council looked at it and thought it looked jaunty so left it.
So the Christmas countdown has begun, only 46 days so my phone app tells me, and we have an Election to contemplate first which means we could be getting a Boris Johnson for Christmas so i hope someone has kept the receipt.
I am away in the land of My Fathers for a few weeks at the end of November, not my Fathers unless my Mother is not telling me and my brother and sister something, but i have once again lined up 14 great Celebrity bloggers to stand in for me including Kings, World Leaders, Musicians and Actors who are all dead and i have instructed to write of their achievements and how they view them now and to keep their grubby hands off the mince pies.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

OK Boomer

Snowflakes and Gammons are so last year with the latest insult being 'Ok Boomer' and is for anyone who is not Generation Z, or born before 1995.
The Boomer jibe is aimed at anyone considered out of touch or close minded opinions associated with the baby boomer generation and basically anyone older than 24 generally.
It is true that the younger generation have got it much harder than older generations and older people also tend to be right wing, vote for people like Nigel Farage and Donald Trump, support Brexit because of all the foreigners coming over and some seem to question climate change so they are undoubtably idiots but it seems harsh for the Generation Z'ers to lump all of us with the Baby Boomers who is currently anyone aged between 55 and 75.
With Generation Z being identified as anyone under 24, a Millennial is a person aged between 25 and 39 and a Generation X'er  is currently 40 and 54 so we are thankfully nothing like the baby Boomers who were born pre-1964.
Every generation has it's dolts and thicko's and admittedly the older generation has more than it's fair share but you only have to see a Donald Trump or Brexit Party rally to see that there are plenty of morons in all the age groups.
I expect OK Boomer will eventually end up sounding as antiquated as Talk To The Hand does today but i am all for youngsters having a snippy way to reply to older generations saying some dumb nonsense or other especially if they start a sentence with the dreaded words 'Back in my day'...OK Boomer.

We Got Five More Weeks Of This

The first day of the election campaign didn't run as smoothly for the Conservative Party as they hoped with a cabinet resignation as Alun Cairns quitting as Welsh Secretary after being accused of 'brazenly lying' about what he knew regarding the collapse of a rape trial and another cabinet minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg, facing calls to resign after he suggested Grenfell Tower victims should have 'used their common sense and ignored official advice to stay put' during the fire which killed 72 people.
In typical fashion, just as the Tories were floundering and polls were showing the Conservative lead being cut to 11 points, Labour shot themselves in the foot by Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, announcing he was quitting for personal reasons.
The Liberal Democrats have been told to pull their election leaflets die to including 'misleading and irresponsible' information by misquoting journalists.
In every election since 1964, the party ahead at the beginning of the campaign remained ahead at the end and the current poll of polls show Conservatives leading on 36%, then Labour on 25%, Liberal Democrats 17%, Brexit Party 11% and Green 5% although with 5 weeks remaining, anything can happen, especially as at the last election Theresa May was further ahead in the polls with 5 weeks to go and barely scraped home.
With Boris Johnson taking the lead and the Labour Party barely on speaking terms with each other, it would be a brave person to predict who will emerge victorious on December 13th. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Republican Loss Shocker

Before the result of the Kentucky vote was known, CNN was saying that if Trump was to be on course to win himself a second term in November 2020, then his party really ought to be holding places such as Kentucky, especially after Trump turned up personally the day before to plead for their votes.
It is hard to spin that the Republican Party then went and lost the vote and turn it into anything positive for Donald Trump and i expect him to be Tweeting from his toilet soon blaming everyone else but himself. 
I guess if you ignore his bragging, his aggressive and child-like nature, the sexism, racism, the fragile thin skinned ego, the administration sackings, the scandals, the spats with foreign leaders, the Russian thing, the Ukraine impeachment crisis, refusing to believe in Climate Change and being an international laughing stock, if you ignore all that, then it is anybodies guess what the Kentuckians were thinking by not voting for the party who continue to think he is the best they have to offer.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

All Female Lists And Gender Equality

The House of Commons is home to 650 Members of Parliament of which 191 or 29.5%    are female which breaks down in the main parties as Liberal Democrats 10 women from 20 MP's (50%), Labour 99 from 232 (42.7%), Scottish National Party 20 from 56 (35.5%) and Conservative 65 out of their 330 MP's (20.7). 
The Labour Party make much of their percentage of female MP's and how they are the party for gender equality in Parliament but they are also the party for all women shortlists which to the surprise of many, is not something which i support.
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission ruled recently that using all-women shortlists to increase the number of women in a particular employment constitutes sex discrimination although it is permitted for political parties, as this falls outside of the employment and occupation laws.
The Labour Parties 42.7% figure should then come with an asterisk beside it that shows that the percentage is derived from the pool of their available MP's being manipulated.
It is not just in politics, but should apply in any occupation, that the best person for the job should be hired whether they are male or female, and to choose from a one sex only shortlist means that the person employed was not done so purely on merit, and by not treating the candidates the same, is actually the very opposite of gender equality.
If i was hired based on my gender then it could legitimately argued that i was not talented enough to succeed against a man and that i had to receive an advantage to win.
I don't doubt that picking from a female only list is done so in good faith but it reinforces the notion that men and women are not considered equals at all, that men have to be locked out in order for a women to be given the opportunity.
These women may well be the ideal candidates for the job, without the interference of an all-female shortlist, but this is something that the women will never have the privilege of proving.
If any group which is fighting for equality is given an advantage the question would be asked if they really were the best person for that job or only there due to 'tokenism'.
We need more women in politics, the boardrooms and in the decision making positions but they should be there due to merit, experience and suitability and not as a sop to equality and levelling things up which should be done naturally because otherwise it holds back the gains we have made towards true gender equality.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Animism A Step Too Far

Although i don't agree with it, i think you could make a decent argument for granting Apes human rights as they use tools, have rudimentary language and star in TV commercials moving pianos and drinking cups of tea but ultimately they are not humans despite sharing 98%-99% of our DNA so they fall short on that vital, but all important, aspect.
A river, lake and mountain then will have no chance but that hasn't stopped supporters of a new movement called 'Animism' from drawing up a document arguing that such natural phenomena should be granted legal personhood, and accorded the consequent rights in law – including the right to 'exist, flourish, and naturally evolve'.
The claim is that forests, rivers and such are not a bundle of ecosystem services but a living thing and therefore could bring legal action against anyone polluting it although on the other side of the coin, the river would be liable if it flooded homes.
The bill requires the parts of nature to become 'legal persons' which means that it can then have representation to sue a factory for polluting it which in some ways makes sense but in others seems non-sensical.
I do understand and have some sympathy for the view but ultimatley what is required is tougher laws and tougher implementation of them against what us humans are doing to nature, granting them a legal footing with humans is just a step too far.

Fracking Ban Not As It Seems

Seems that while he is still looking for a suitable ditch to die in after missing the much promised 31 October Brexit deadline, Boris Johnson has announced that all fracking must cease immediately after a scientific report linking earthquakes and the inability to predict them or their strength, to the method of extracting shale gas from the ground.
As this is the Boris Johnson government though and completely untrustworthy, the u-turn is not as much of a u-turn as it is being presented and rather than fracking being banned as is being suggested, it is being called a 'moratorium', or temporary halt, 'until the science changes'.
This prompted a great line from the the Green Party that a fracking ban is for life, not just for Christmas as it was quickly suggested that the suspension is with an eye on the 12 December election and a stunt to try and win a few votes.
Boris Johnson once hailed fracking as 'glorious news for humanity' and argued that energy companies 'should leave no stone unturned, or unfracked' and dismissed opponents views as 'ludicrous and mad denunciations' which makes the decision to immediately comply with such a view even more puzzling.
Boris has also previously suggested that air pollution laws should be relaxed and the Conservatives have cut subsidies to renewable energy such as wind, solar and tidal in favour of building more nuclear power station so their green credentials are hardly shining.
Being as Johnson and his cabinet appear to be such bare-faced liars, any person with an ounce of common sense should be concerned that he'll green-light fracking once again should he wake up as Prime Minister still on 13 December and the science report he finds so concerning today, will be filed in the bin.

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.