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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Israel’s Folly

Peter Oborne in “The Independent” – right on the nail as usual

Absolutely right. Israel is special for all of us, but it has completely abused our support. Whichever way you look at it, they have been occupying land gained by conquest for decades now. NO, they didn’t START the war that allowed them to occupy the West Bank, but on that basis Britain should now be ruling Germany and Japan be a state of the USA.

They have DONE ALMOST NOTHING to bring peace; no concessions or compromise on settlements, the exiles, Jerusalem. The Palestinians are the most educated, moderate and democratic people in the Middle East  and pose no danger to Israel, and yet Israel continues to steal their land andbuild settlements on it and maintain road blocks, apparently content to keep the people in poverty.

Nutandyahboo even CANCELLED the freeze on settlement-building IN THE MIDDLE OF PEACE TALKS. It is almost as if they are determined to provoke the next generation of Palestinian youth to rebel and join Hamas. The mainline Palestine faction has eschewed violence, but what have they been offered in return? Almost NOTHING.

The extent of the domination of Israel’s political agenda by right-wing religious nutters is astonishing. What do they EXPECT from the future? That they can go on for EVER like this? They simply give ammunition to Hamas but even worse to Hezbollah and Iran.

Obama is a disaster. When Nutandyahboo announced the end of the freeze on settlements, he merely said he was “disappointed”. The man is totally out of his depth, which is not surprising in one with so little experience and whose only competence is to make a good speech full of superficial froth but no substance – which the Americans in their desperation for a fresh start fell for hook, line and sinker. And not only the Americans of course – the surreally-stupid award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama showing the extent of the self-delusion.

What he SHOULD have done was get on the phone secretly (Wikileaks permitting of course) and told Nutandyahboo that if he didn’t compromise and therefore make real concessions then the USA would not only cancel all aid to Israel but start financing Palestine. An ultimatum to withdraw from the West Bank or face military action would not have gone amiss either.

As it is, the Israeli right-wing (Is it time to start calling them fascists? We would do if it were ANY OTHER PEOPLE) are leading the west by the nose into disaster. After 9/11 sorting out the Palestine Problem was supposed to be a top-priority.

It could and should have been so different. Israel and Palestine clearly need each other for trade, peace, as an example to the rest of the Middle East and the world.  At the moment, however, it is all a shameful disaster.

What can WE do? Well, nothing else has worked, so perhaps it is time for sanctions. We did it to get rid of apartheid; what is so different about Israel?

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Posted by on December 31, 2010 in Core Thought, Middle East, Morality

 

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Lifetime Award ….


Question: What have David Beckham and
Julie Andrews got in common?

Answer: They have both just won “Lifetime Awards”.

Well, we’re used to dumbing down in all areas; the pinnacle of which was possibly the award of Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama. To this day it escapes me what his contribution to World Peace had been before his election, and I can’t see how much this has changed AFTER the election either. His performance on Palestine has been breathtakingly-soggy. When the Israelis announced an end to the building freeze in the settlements while IN THE MIDDLE OF “Peace Talks” he merely said he was “disappointed.” I wonder what he’d have said to Hitler’s invasion of Poland? That it was ” a pity”? No, last year’s NPP award was as surreally-idiotic as THIS year’s  was sublime and deserved, going to a man who has put his own life and well-being on the line again and again in the interests of freedom and peace despite facing an overwhelming enemy.

David Beckham? Well, our David is a generally nice bloke and not bad at football, which has made him very rich indeed. He hasn’t a bad word to say about anyone, has an engaging smile and is fairly jolly to have around ambassadoring in one way or another. But “lifetime achievement”? Without wishing to be negative, I am puzzled. Where  IS this “achievement”? He has played for England of course – not very successfully one must say. Then he “helped motivate” the English team at the LAST World Cup by being “a presence in the changing-room”, and we saw what happened there. He was prominent during the sickening sucking up to the nauseating FIFA regime in Zurich – not much achieved there either (but not of course his fault) …. he went off to play in America for £50,000 a week. He is a big “Celeb” with a posh wife, a modern “superstar” indeed. Well done, David, but “achievement”? What does it take to get a “lifetime achievement”, just be very rich, open and “nice”?

AND HE IS ONLY 35 years OLD. Isn’t this a bit silly for a “lifetime” achievement? Supposing he single-handedly saves the world in the next 40 years, won’t they be a bit stuck as to which award to give him? He’s already got a “lifetime achievement”, after all.

This is not to criticize Beckham – he didn’t ask for the award, and accepted it with grace as usual. No, the fault – if there is one – is with the idiots at the BBC or whoever it was that awarded him this “achievement” award. Does it matter? Well, on the one hand, NO, of COURSE not; far more silly things happen all the time, including Gordon Brown saying : “I do know how to run an economy.” but there are those of us who do not LIKE this continual dumbing-down of values and awards or for that matter the misuse of English, analogous to “lifetime imprisonment” which usually means “8 years out in 4 for good behaviour“. A “lifetime achievement” should really MEAN something, shouldn’t it? Here are some previous BBC “lifetime achievers”:

Seve Ballesteros (2009); Sir Bobby Charlton (2008); Sir Bobby Robson (2007); Bjorn Borg (2006); Pele (2005); Sir Ian Botham (2004); Martina Navratilova (2003); George Best (2002); and Sir Alex Ferguson (2001).

There is no way our David measures up to any of that lot, but he is probably a bigger celeb of course …. it only remains for him to appear on “Strictly-come-Dancing” to eclipse them all.

And our Julie? Well at 75, she is a real super-trouper – no comparison with David. Besides, 75 IS A LIFETIME, isn’t it?

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Core Thought, Human Interest

 

BOOKS

Government U-turn over book cuts

“Sir Andrew described scrapping the grant as an “act of gross cultural vandalism” while Mr Pullman – the author of the His Dark Materials trilogy – accused the Government of “wanton destruction”.

“Sheer stupid vandalism, like smashing Champagne bottles as a drunken undergraduate,” Mr Pullman told The Observer. “If you miss the first years of a child’s development, nothing can clear it up. It’s gone. It won’t happen. A whole generation will lose out.”

Blog Comment: If people can’t afford to buy books for their children, that means that they’re in really serious financial trouble and shouldn’t have children. Second hand books are widely available from 5p from charity shops, church stalls etc, but they’re available free in public libraries. In this country it’s never ever the case that they don’t have the money, they just prefer to spend what they have on Sky rather than books. That’s their choice, but they have the right to make that choice, and taxpayers don’t have a role in taking over their parenting duties.

RIPOSTE

VERY GOOD – This is the sort of commonsense that so many people seem incapable of understanding. If there is a problem with kids’ reading today IT IS THE PARENTS’ FAULT. It is EASY to get hold of books; libraries, second hand books from charity shops are practically given away. And so on. The problem is not the availability of books but the fact that certain parents aren’t INTERESTED in books and DO NOT READ TO THEIR KIDS AT NIGHT, EVERY NIGHT. They DO NOT INSTILL IN THEM A LOVE OF READING.

Can’t afford it? ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. They can afford fags, booze, colour tellies, DVDs and all the rest, can’t they? And of course processed foods, pizzas, burgers, oven chips and all the rest which make their kids fat and are MORE EXPENSIVE than fresh fruit and veg.

Yet we get writers whingeing on as if the Tory government was evil. IT IS ALL UTTER RUBBISH. Some of the comments int “The Telegraph” article are truly moronic. But in general people are of course pathetic. EVERYBODY knows (or should do) that we HAVE to CUT BACK. The Labour Party whinge on about evil cuts yet THEY had proposed the SAME POLICY before the election, recognizing the catastrophe that Brown’s insanity has brought. Yet EVERY SINGLE GROUP that looks like losing out from the state trough WHINGES and MOANS. NOBODY says: “OK, not what I’d prefer, but the country is in crisis and everyone has to take some pain.”

This book thing is a prime example. As if maintenance of the current expenditure (= free state handout) is going to produce a country of avidly-reading kids but the nasty Tories are going to produce illiterates. SURREAL. We ALREADY have the illiterates and it is NOT BECAUSE THEY COULDN’T GET HOLD OF BOOKS.

Yes, I know the nasty, idle rich and bankers have to take a bigger hit, but that is ANOTHER question. It doesn’t change the FACTS re books.

Blair prattled on about “education, education, education”, but he failed to educate either the kids or more importantly their parents. Until the blame is put fair and square where it belongs then people will continue to blame the Tories, society or whatever, ANYTHING but themselves.

For CHRIST’S SAKE. My parents fought in the war. After we had NOTHING – hardly ever saw a BANANA, no pizzas, burgers, tellies, videos, computers …. CHRIST, were we deprived!!!!!!. YET WE MANAGED TO GET OUR HANDS ON BOOKS AND WE LEARNED TO READ AND SPELL.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Britain, Core Thought, Education

 

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Tories Funk Repeal of Fox-hunting Ban

Tories renege on fox-hunting ban repeal …..

So, yet another promise ditched. I’m not personally in favour of fox-hunting, but it does seem surreal to allow the very “un-British” obscenity of HALAL meat (including that sold to non-Muslims WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE) but to ban the centuries-old British tradition of fox-hunting.

No doubt the most vociferous anti-hunt townies are only too eager to tuck into their burgers and chicken legs. So much for “caring for animals” then …. OK as long as we kill them humanely? (GOTO sentence 2, clause 2).

Supposing humans were only species n°2 on the planet, and the n° 1 species fed on US? Would that be OK as long as they killed us humanely? More PC of course to slit our throats first and let the blood drip out …

I’m beginning to wonder if these lunatics walking about with sandwich-boards proclaiming “The end of the world is nigh” are on to something after all ….

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2010 in Britain, Religion

 

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Multifaith Preachers in the HOC …..

Multi-faith chaplains to make House of Commons more inclusive

They are completely mad. Who is PAYING for this? The taxpayer? Oh, it is said “They won’t receive a salary.” Are they doing it out of charity then? Will they get expenses? These of course can be a nice little earner; MEPs having just got NINETY-ONE THOUSAND POUNDS WORTH without any need for receipts.

Why have we gone insane? Is it a sign of the beginning of the end of the world? Where is it safe to get away from this?

I thought the Coalition was supposed to be bringing sanity to British life after the last 13 years? Is this a JOKE? I thought that was April 1st?

Of course, the shambles the country is in there is dire need of every bit of help we can get, and if prayer is the answer …. But can’t one just pray on one’s own? It works for me … I prayed for the departure of Brown and it eventually worked …. mind you, I pray for the liberation of Cuba, but that’s a tougher nut, even apparently for God. I mean, Brown we could eventually vote out, but they don’t vote in Cuba – you’re stuck with the Castros . Funny how these dictatorships go with the family ….

But surely, if the HOC can have a multitude of mediums why not the whole country? Are we going to have legislation to put a couple of hundred imams, bishops, shamans, rabbis and so on in EVERY company in the country? And of course, there are the local COUNCILS  – can’t leave THEM out …

And if the Moonies and Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t on the list I shall be applying to the European Court of Human Rights for a start. The HOC is the LAST place where we should permit discrimination. Perhaps all the unemployed can become priests with all this demand?

 

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God “surprises” us

Dawkins is right. The Pope’s message is – perhaps sadly – nonsense, bereft of any grounding in rational thought.

He said that: “God always keeps his promises, but he may do so in a way that surprises us.”

Well, he certainly promised us World War II, because there have been wars since time immemorial, presumably with his agreement, since he is all-powerful.

However, what surprised us was that 6 million Jews would be murdered by the evilly unhinged. Certainly, that was a novelty. Well done, God.

Or does “Original Sin” mean it was our fault? None of us are innocent, even children? It is all NONSENSE.

Mind you, they are all at it. The Archie of Canterbury has just said:

Archbishop of Canterbury: Royal wedding is symbol of hope in harsh times

What does he MEAN? These are two young people getting married. In what way is that a “symbol of hope”. I’d have cited the fact that African leaders have told Gbagbo that if  he doesn’t step down they will attack him with a joint African and UN force to restore democracy. THAT IS WHAT I CALL HOPE.

Some more “hopes”:

  • that North Korea collapses under the weight of its own insanity before it kills millions of people with nuclear weapons
  • that the people of China will enjoy political freedom
  • ditto Belorus and various other “stans” of Central Aisa, and Zimbwabwe, Cuba and other dictatorships come to that
  • that the majority of sane Muslims will at last realise that their lunatic brethren are their enemies as much as ours and start doing something about it – can’t AQ and the Taleban be “excommunicated” or something?
  • that greed will be controlled and the insane rich-poor gap in the US and elsewhere will be dealt with before these societies collapse in revolution and disaster, as has ALWAYS happened with societies that get so far out of kilter
  • that malaria will finally be cured, as has – just about – smallpox
  • that the UK will get out of the corrupt EU and stop wasting FORTY-FIVE MILLION GBP per day to pay for the gravy-train.
  • etc etc

These are REAL HOPES. Please, Archie, don’t bore us with the royal marriage as “a symbol of hope”. Good luck to them, but “symbol of hope” as a headline is just silly.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2010 in Religion

 

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The Banks – the modern “Untouchables”

Wasn’t it Brown’s idea to bail out the banks? That is how he “saved the world”, isn’t it? Of course, he was a moron, but the EU are now at it too, and illegally according to the Lisbon Treaty, which we couldn’t vote on and is going to be changed without our consent.

The banks should all have been allowed to FAIL; they CLEARLY were GAMBLING with their clients’ money (particularly in Spain, with the insane and unsecured investment in construction (which the EU – in other words, US – will soon have to bail out even without being asked about it). The principles of “just-in-time” and “just-enough-to manage-on-a-daily-basis” are one thing in industry, but not in banking. The govt should have let them go bust, all their shareholders losing THE LOT (next time be more less greedy and more bloody careful) but guaranteed the depositors’ payments, taken the banks over and nurtured them slowly back to viability so that they could again make a profit and do a proper job FOR THE PEOPLE.

Banks are in general a licence to print money – unless of course they get GREEDY, which they did, THEN they should go bankrupt as described above.

To crudely sum up ths astounding sequence of events:

  • the banks essentially went bankrupt but were saved with public money
  • this pseudo-bankruptcy was caused by their collective greed and stupidity aided by a good dose of government irresponsibility from Gordon Brown and his total lack of regulation of the financial services, so keen was he to fuel a lending boom to give the illusion that the economy was “booming” (he having forgotten about the “busting” bit that usually follows, probably because he had announced (therefore it must happen) that he had ABOLISHED “boom and bust”.)
  • the taxpayer took them over, preserved most of the directors’ jobs and allowed them to revcover
  • as soon as the money started to come in again (EVEN IN A MAJOR RECESSION – see “licence to print money” above) the same directors and other staff started paying themselves vast bonuses once again, UTTERLY REMOVED from what REAL WORKERS earn doing the REAL JOBS society needs.
  • NO GOVERNMENT HAS THE GUTS TO END THIS COMPLETE INJUSTICE. Brown saved the banks and most of the directors’ jobs and the Coalition is allowing them to get their bonuses. SO WHAT if they sod off to some tax-haven? LET THEM. We can then nationalize the banks and get people in with some sort of commitment to SOCIETY. I’d like to see all the banks survive if they all bugger off to Leichtenstein or the Bahamas.

A reality check is SORELY needed here. Is money even TOO IMPORTANT (its misuse being able to bring down entire economies) to be left to private individuals driven by personal greed?

However, let’s not beat about the bush; in Britain at least the GOVERNMENT IS SOVEREIGN. ERGO, the banks’ massive failure was in large part THE GOVERNMENT’S FAULT.

Footnote: Gordon Brown recently earned £56,000 in India for 50 minutes lecturing the Delhi Chamber of Commerce on how to avoid another financial crisis. Yes, you guessed it; the world is mad.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2010 in Britain, Business & the Economy

 

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