Archive for February, 2009

The Insanity of Self-Indulgence

Posted in Britain, Elections, Equality, Health, Human Rights, Insanity, UK with tags , , , on 28/02/2009 by floroy1942

I have just seen an item on the BBC news page that begs comment

While I do not neccessarily agree with colonization of one country by another, it cannot be denied that in countries like Zimbabwe, the effects were almost all positive. There was work and food for everyone, and the population lived to a standard unimaginable in todays Zimbabwe, in fact in the rest of Africa.

What a shame it was all destroyed by one man, with a thirst for power equalled only by his grim determination to hang on to it at whatever cost to his country or its people.

After he came to power, Mugabi orchestrated the seizure of farms still owned by white farmers and distributed the land to his followers. The land became infertile and useless within a few short months. This is when the economic woes first started. With the decline of food production in the country things started going from bad to worse.

Today we have starvation, cholera, and inflation so high it is almost impossible to calculate. Cholera has killed an estimated 3,894 people since August last year, with more than 84,000 cases registered. More than half the population cannot survive without food aid, and only 10% of the population have a job.

As if this is not enough, to add insult to injury, Mugabi has just spent $250,000 on his 85th birthday celebrations. His birthday cake weighed in at a staggering 85 kilos, and during his speech he made it quite clear that farms taken from white farmers in the latest round of seizures would not be returned under any circumstances. He also stated that further seizures would take place with the same result.

This last statement was in direct retaliation to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), who had decreed the seizures were in violation of the law after being approached by some of the displaced farmers.

His political opponent Norman Tsvangeria was not present at the celebrations because I am sure he was not in a celebratory mood at such excesses. He has already stated that it would take around $5billion to fix the Zimbabwe enconomy, and just days before Mugabi’s excessive display of wealth and power, his country had asked other African nations for $2billion to start getting the economy sorted out.

What a sad state of affairs in today’s world when one man can drive an entire country, and its people, into the ground. Excuses can be made for the Zimbabwean people themselves, because part of Mugabi’s tactic is to rule by fear. Anyone caught dissenting against the President could find themselves, or members of their families, suddenly missing a limb or worse, after being attacked by one of the Zanu-PF parties thugs who roam the streets with machetes.

There is no doubt, Mugabi has the country sewn up, and it will take concerted international effort to get him out before the country can be rebuilt.

Who will make the first move?????

 

Keep hoping for a better world – it will come someday!

Roy.

Ode to Fatness

Posted in Britain, Children, Diabetes, England, Europe, Germany, Health, Insanity, Modern World, Obesity, Overweight, Parenting, UK, USA with tags , , on 24/02/2009 by floroy1942

For years the streets of America have been thronged with overweight people who are classed as obese, and now the problem has reached epidemic proportions in Britain. “Aaaaaargh! Excuse me! Would you mind moving your belly, it’s on my foot!”

It was reported by the UK Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health yesterday, that between 1997 and 2003 a 74% rise in diabetes was recorded. By 2005, more than 4% of the population were classed as having diabetes – nearly double the rate of 10 years earlier. Most are the Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent) which usually happens to people over 40 years of age, however in recent times, children as young as seven are being diagnosed with the condition.

Current research indicates there are now 2.5 million Brits with diabetes, and another 500,000 who don’t even know they have it! Boy! have they got a surprise coming. The cause of this diabetes increase – obesity – or, super-huge fatness!

It was estimated that 8% of women, and 6% of men in England were obese in 1980, but by 1998 the numbers had shot up to 21% of women and 17% of men ( the ladies are still winning!). Almost a 300% increase! Current estimates now put 58% of the British population as either overweight or obese. Some people think you should not make fun of the obese, and I agree , but when I hear the excuses they trot out, blaming everything and everyone but themselves for their condition I cringe: “It’s genetic – Pass the mayonnaise dear!” or “It’s my hormones – Can I have some more french fries?” “Its in my genes, can’t do a thing about it – Pass the cake please”.

There are also a few crackpots around. One Doctor, I can’t remember his name, reported the results of his research last year which suggested that obesity was caused by a virus!!!!!! Bull Doc!!!!(… and I kept that clean) I have heard some lame excuses for obesity, but that one deserves an Oscar!

Why are people obese? The two main reasons, according to doctors who really know their stuff, are:- over-indulgence and lack of exercise – so there!

To some, the body is a temple, but that is going a bit too far for me. However, anyone who abuses their body to the extent where they need two aeroplane seats just to sit down should be chained in the stocks at least.

I am a smoker, I have been for more than 50 years, and I make no apology for that. When I started, we had no idea of the harm that can be done to the lungs when smoking. The past few years have seen a witch hunt levelled at smokers with a ferociousness unequaled in modern history. Smoking is no longer allowed in public places in many countries, and everywhere you turn there is someone trying to make you stop.

I can understand the non-smoking fraternity not wanting to smell ashtrays or sit in a smoke-filled room, and I accept that with good grace, but when Doctors blame any illness you have (even the common cold) on smoking, then I say Bah! Humbug!

At the time, much was said about the increased cost to the UK National Health Service (NHS) in treating smoking related illness, and this was used as a lever to get legislation through Parliament.

Which brings me full circle back to obesity. The NHS is currently spending £1m every hour, 10% of its total budget, treating people with diabetes and its complications, and this is set to rise enormously in the next few years. On top of that, all the obese people are going to completely overload the heart clinics and hospital cardiac wards when the old ticker starts to give under the strain. Then we will see a real crisis in the NHS. Probably mass suicide by NHS managerial staff led by the Health Minister!

So should we now have a witch hunt against fat people??? “No fat people in public places please!” – “I’m sorry, you can’t be fat in here, you’ll have to be fat outside!” – “No fat people on the buses (now there’s a thought)!” – “no fat people in cinema’s!!!” Need I go on?

If an adult wishes to abuse her/his (ladies first) body to the extent where they shorten their life span by tens of years it is up to them, but what really upsets me is when their children are also grossly overweight. For this there is no excuse. If, as an adult you wish to eat crap and lounge on the sofa all day that is your prerogative, but if you have children it should be against the law.

You cannot always lead your children by example, but you should try. You should at least care enough about them to make sure they do not follow your self-destructive ways, and if you can’t you do not deserve them. Period!.

It is no great feat to feed your children good healthy meals and teach them to get plenty of exercise. Who knows, some of it may even rub off on you, but if you are too overweight to chase them around the garden yourself, buy a big dog and train it to chase them for you! You see, for every problem a solution!

I despair when I see parents coming out of supermarkets with trolleys loaded to the brim with these huge bags of potato chips and bags of french fries. Invariably, the accompanying children already have their snouts in a bag of potato chips on the way out!! Unbelievable!

Whereas the Americans like their hamburgers, the British have become addicted to the french fry. It is unfortunate but true, that the English diet now consists of french fries with everything! How sad!

If the current trends continue in the West, I can see humans becoming more like those depicted in the film Wall-E; fat bloated bodies with tiny fat legs and arms, laying on anti-gravity couches and being moved around automatically. Somebody tell me this is not the future!

May fatness be your guide (to good eating). Bon Appetite!

Roy.

No Hable Espanol!

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Free Speech, Germany, Human Rights, Immigration, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , , on 21/02/2009 by floroy1942

Now that I live in Spain, one of my top priorities is to learn the Spanish language. I had intended to start at a state run academy this month, but as I have to go back to my old stamping ground for an operation, it has been put on hold.

This makes it all the more annoying when I get redirected to the Spanish version of a web site while surfing the net. I try where possible to put my location as the UK, because then at least I get the pages in English. But sometimes that doesn’t work and I still get directed to the .es site automatically. This is very frustrating!

Admittedly, some web pages think of people like me, and put a language selection menu on the page which is handy. What a pity all do not have this foresight.

One of the worst problems is buying stuff on-line. I have for example, I-Tunes on my computer, but when I go to the Shop, I must go to the German page because I have a German credit card. I even had to give my old employers address in Germany just so I could buy music or whatever from Apple. You can’t live in one country and have a credit card or bank account from another? Isn’t it ridiculous?

We have now a global economy, with people moving from one country to another to find work, or some other reason, but this doesn’t seem to get through to the web. How many Poles are living in Western Europe? How many Turks live in Europe? How many Middle East people have moved into Europe? The list is endless, and yet the Internet does not support this migration to the extent it should. It is time company’s ensure their websites reflect the needs of people who no longer live in their countries of origin.

I am sure a Polish person living and working in France would love to view pages of interest to him in his own language, no matter how good he speaks french. To do this he must go to a Polish site, only to find himself redirected to the french site because that is where his computer is!!!

The only web company that has done something useful in this area is Google with its translation tool featured on their pages. A very handy tool that I have made use of frequently.

Web Page designers must be made aware of this shortfall in their product, and the best way to do that is for everybody to send e-mails to the Help Section of the page being viewed. Maybe then they will listen. Miracles do happen!

May tomorrow be better for you than today

Roy.

The Wages of Sin.

Posted in Al Quada, Arab, Britain, England, Europe, Extradition, Government, Human Rights, Immigrants, Immigration, Insanity, Insurgents, Islamic Revolution, Justice, Muslim, Parliament, Terrorism, UK with tags , , , on 19/02/2009 by floroy1942

If you want to make money today become a terrorist! Not the most profitable occupation agreed, but it does pay well. I refer of course to the ludicrous compensation payment of £2500 awarded to Abu Qutada and other terrorists by the European Court for ‘wrongful’ detention by the British Government, even though,like the others he was given the opportunity of release if he agreed to leave the country. He refused.

The payment was paltry, but on top of that, they were awarded around £60,000 in legal costs, all to be paid by the British tax payer. Qutada has already cost these tax payers around £1.5m in legal fees, imprisonment, and benefit payments. It is scandalous that such a man should get benefit payments, but he has, even while his wife and children live in an £800,000 West London house! Incredible!

While he is laughing all the way to the bank, it is extremely painful to know that world-wide people are dying of hunger and disease, yet vermin such as this get compensation payments and handouts while they are in prison for terrorism. Whatever happened to our priorities? Justice? I think it died and went to heaven a long time ago!

Don’t give up. A better day is coming!

Roy.

Terrorism and Human Rights

Posted in Al Quada, Arab, Britain, England, Europe, Extradition, Free Speech, Government, Human Rights, Immigrants, Immigration, Insanity, Insurgents, Islamic Revolution, Muslim, Prison, Religion, Sharia Law, Terrorism, Terrorists, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , on 18/02/2009 by floroy1942

Whoopeee! I read with interest today that Abu Qatada, Europe’s most influential extremist, can finally be deported to Jordan. The UK House of Lords, the highest Appeal Court in the land, has agreed that he is a dangerous extremist and should no longer be given leave to reside in Britain. And about time too. Enough of this pussyfooting around, and to hell with these ‘Goody-Goody’ pressure groups.

What a complete and utter farce the Law is these days! This animal is a convicted terrorist not only in the UK and Jordan, but is wanted on terrorist charges in six other countries, so that should not leave any doubt as to his guilt. The Law however is obliged to listen to his sob story about him not getting a fair trial in Jordan, because testimony against him there is obtained by torture!

The Home Office has pointed out that Britain has a diplomatic agreement with Jordan, among others, that extradited felons will not be tortured.

I would have thought Qatada would welcome giving his all for the cause, then he would get his place in Paradise and his 100 Virgins. Right?

This man is a real piece of work. He was kicked out of Kuwait for opposing the liberation, went to Jordan, and from there entered the UK in 1993 on a forged passport. He claimed asylum on the grounds of religious persecution (Brazen!), which was granted in 1994 because the British are such a soft touch.

He immediately set about preaching his brand of hatred in Mosques up and down the country, finally being arrested on terrorism charges in 2005 shortly after the 7/7 bombings.

In 2008, an Appeal Judge overturned a 2007 court ruling that he may be deported to Jordan, and even released him on bail. Thankfully better heads ruled the day, and he was re-arrested due to Intelligence received that he was going to skip the country. I am almost lost for words (well, not quite)!

This new episode is a heaven sent opportunity for people like Amnesty International,those champions of terrorists and criminals everywhere, to step into the picture claiming his human rights are being violated by his proposed deportation!

To me it seems that no-one who works for that organization has ever lost a relative or loved one to terrorism or crime, if any of them had, maybe they would join the rest of us in the real world. To the people who lost relatives, loved ones, or friends in 9/11, Madrid and London 7/7, this group is an insult.

Before you castigate me, let me add that Amnesty does do some good work, but in my opinion, it should not use its considerable resources to help convicted terrorists and criminals.

My take on people like that is that they give up all their rights when they incite the weak-minded to kill innocents in a random fashion just to further their own dark agenda. Amnesty on the other hand, thinks these parasites still have the same human rights as you or I, despite being involved in such terrible acts as 9/11.

Amnesty was said to be “gravely concerned” at the implications of this ruling.

Spokeswoman Nicola Duckworth said; “No-one should be deported to face a risk of torture, whatever they might be alleged or suspected to have done…..States simply cannot pick and choose which people have human rights…..if these individuals in question are reasonably suspected of having committed a criminal offence relating to terrorism, it is always open to the UK authorities to charge them and give them a fair trial.” What planet does she live on? Hello, Earth calling!

There is no doubt whatsoever, that so long as this animal is kept in a British prison he will continue to spout his vitriolic hatred as he has done in the past. Jailing these people does nothing to stop their influence, it enhances it!

It seems to me these days, that all the emphasis is now on protecting the rights of criminals and terrorists rather than protecting the people from them. This I find very sad.

I am a firm believer in the right of everyone to a fair and open trial, but once convicted, people like Qatada should be taken from the court to a plane and deported immediately.

Occasionally, there may be doubt about the final destination of some of these people, if so, the full Appeal Process may be allowed. This time consuming process should not however be applied in the case of dangerous extremists who continue to preach hatred of our society even in prison.

Even though the battle is won against this man, the war is not. He now has the right to appeal to The European Court of Human Rights which can take another two or three years. Yada! Yada! Yada! Hopefully, the Home Office will get him out before his lawyers can submit their appeal.

Another course of action is open to the British Government; hand him over to Algeria, The United States, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium or Italy. They all want a crack at him too.

In conclusion, this man is a symbol of all that is wrong with the Muslim faith, and there are many like him, breathing violence and hatred of everything non-Muslim. In my opinion, it is only the moderates who can rid their religion of this cancer. Most Muslims are devout people who live in peace and harmony and do not deserve to have their religion tainted by such as he.

May he soon see his 100 virgins!

Roy.

Quick Update:

It seems our man’s lawyers were quick off the mark. Today an appeal has been sent to the European Court of Human Rights which will take, as I predicted, two years. So once again Qatada gets off the hook. Now all the other ‘Do-Gooders’ namely, Human Rights Watch and Justice are jumping on the bandwagon and throwing in their ten cents worth.

The man is a convicted terrorist, wanted in another seven countries for inciting, and financing death and destruction on a scale unprecedented in human history for crying out loud. Have these people no shame???

What’s in the Package?

Posted in Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Health, Illegal Dumping, Insanity, Modern World, Plastic, Plastic Rubbish, Toxic Waste, UK, USA with tags , , , , , on 17/02/2009 by floroy1942

Supermarket PackagingThe big ‘Tizzwozz’ in the U.K. news today concerns the supermarket packaging of our daily groceries, and what a ‘kerfuffle’ it caused!

Local Councils are complaining they are running out of space to dump all the non-biodegradable packaging that is flowing out of the supermarkets, and the percentage of it that IS recyclable is far too small. Wow! Welcome to the real world guys, you must have been asleep for a long time.

The Plastic Menace

The Plastic Menace

Ever since the good old fully recyclable paper bag disappeared in the fifties, we have been inundated with plastic in various forms when we shop. If you put together all the global plastic rubbish from the last fifty years and placed it all in Africa, the entire continent would probably be buried to a depth of five miles (just a guess) or, adversely, we could fill in the Atlantic and drive to the States!

It does not matter what you buy, most of it is wrapped in plastic or cardboard, but does it need to be? Much of what is sold these days is not just wrapped, it is double wrapped. In the shops we see loose fruit and vegetables sitting next to pre-packed items that are identical. Why!

Acceptable Cardboard

Acceptable Cardboard

A frozen TV dinner is another fine example. It comes often in a sealed tray, which is then inside a cardboard sleeve. If the tray is sealed with a cardboard lid, then what purpose does the extra sleeve serve; good looks? The company logo??

The greatest environmental curse has to be the plastic shopping bag, which has taken over the lives of shoppers everywhere. I would not care to guess what the world-wide consumption in a single day is, I am sure however it would be staggering. If you filled each one to the brim you could probably empty the Mediterranean! As I live in Marbella, I’m glad that’s not likely to happen.

Garbage Backup In Naples Italy

Garbage Backup In Naples Italy

When I shop here at a particular superstore, the till girls have a set of hooks beside the till with plastic bags on it. They open a bag and drop your items in as they come off the bar-code reader and so on. I have often been amazed at how many bags I accumulate for a small number of items. Sometimes I get a bag with only one item in it and they are already getting the next one ready! The mind boggles!

The makers of women’s’ products i.e. perfumes creams etc. ( the kind of thing no decent woman can live without – Oops! Sorry Ladies) are the champions of wasted packaging.

How often have you opened a large beauty product box e.g. perfume, and found a small bottle in the bottom of the box? Whenever I go shopping with my wife for such things, I am amazed at the audacity of these companies, it’s as if they are trying to fool you about how much you are getting for your money. A word to the wise, when shopping for such things, it is advisable to peek inside the box to see just how much you are getting for your hard-earned cash.

Burying It Is Not The Best Solution

Burying It Is Not The Best Solution

Anyway, to sum up; is it time supermarkets and stores cut down on the amount of packaging they foist off on us – Yes! Is it time we started thinking about the number of plastic bags we use – Yes! Is it time we started turning to more biodegradable packaging – Yes! Is there anything we can do about it – not much!

It is possible for shoppers to start re-using plastic bags when they are out and about, and I guess if we all started to remove all the unnecessary packaging at the till and left it there, supermarkets would take notice, but short of that I don’t see much change. Do you?

Keep your chin up – the level of waste is rising!

Roy.

Life in the Universe

Posted in Britain, Europe, Life in the Universe, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , on 16/02/2009 by floroy1942

It has been speculated for time immemorial whether or not life exists on other planets in the universe, and I read with interest the item by Dr. Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institute of Science in America at the US Conference recently. He states that there could be a “hundred billion planets” like our earth out there in our galaxy. And why not I say!

Dr. Boss also stated that if there are planets like ours, the life forms inhabiting them would most likely be microbes or bacteriological.

For sure, that is the only form of life that could survive on some planets due their position in relation to their sun, but such a blanket statement is not worthy of a scientist today.

It has been a considerable source of amusement to me in the past, to hear people who are “in the know”, spout their theories that Man is the only intelligent life form in the universe, and that no other intelligent life forms could possibly exist in the universe. Poppycock! Their sheer arrogance is unbelievable!

If there are trillions of suns like ours in the Universe, does it not beggar belief that there are not hundreds of billions of planets like ours not only in our galaxy, but also in the Universe? And is it not then certain, that somewhere ‘Out There’, a race of beings exists that are not only as intelligent as we ‘Earthlings’, but even more so? Lets face it, it wouldn’t take much! How many other races are there that are hell-bent on destroying their own planet!

It has often been intimated that Earth was visited by alien creatures at some time in its murky past, and some people think they have “evidence” to support this. Lets face it, it is possible. But what would they have thought when they saw us?

Captain Kirk

I think their attitude would have been, in the immortal words of Captain Kirk: 

May your sun always shine!

Roy.

Random Thoughts: Hamas – Banks – Wilders/Fitna

Posted in Afghanistan, Britain, England, Europe, Gaza and Hamas, Immigrants, Immigration, Islamic Revolution, Muslim, Religion, Sharia Law, Terrorism, UK, USA with tags , , , on 12/02/2009 by floroy1942

As I haven’t written for a couple of days, I thought perhaps I should fill in the blank space.

The first thing that comes to mind, is the report a couple of days ago of Hamas members being caught at the Egyptian border, trying to smuggle $9m plus €2m into Gaza. Some time ago, the Hamas Prime Minister of Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh was caught at the same border with $35m, again trying to smuggle the money into Gaza. The Egyptian Authorities, after consultation, ordered the money be placed in an Egyptian bank account. Damn!

Now, one could be forgiven for assuming that this desperately needed money was intended to feed, cloth, and house the poor people of Gaza. If that is your assumption, you are more gullible than a person who thinks Madonna is a virgin (not THE Madonna, just in case I get hate mail from religious groups!).

According to most reports, the people of Gaza will not see a single cent of the money. It will be used by Hamas for their own nefarious purposes. Disgusting isn’t it, and this is the group who have been on the receiving end of masses of sympathy from mislead idealists.

This week has seen the grilling of Britain’s top Bank EX-Executives by a Parliamentary Committee, and what a show it was. All were profuse in their apologies for the upset caused by their mistakes (read stupidity), but according to them, it wasn’t all their fault!!! They didn’t quite claim they had nothing to do with it, but it was close. Reporters later criticised the executives for their very shallow apologies, and quite rightly demanded to know “if it wasn’t their fault, then whose was it?” Guess the same thought is in the minds of the public too.

Today, Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician, was refused entry into the UK by the Home Office because it is thought he is a risk to security. Why? Because after the murder of Dutch film director Theo Van Gogh on the streets of Amsterdam, he made a film called ‘Fitna’ which links the Koran to terrorism, and has pointed out that our way of life is under threat. In his opinion, Holland is slowly being taken over by the Muslims. He, and another outspoken Dutch Politician Hirsi Ali, have both been threatened with death by the Muslim world. In one of the biggest travesties of justice in our times, he is even to be prosecuted by the Dutch Courts for inciting hatred. Typical of the weak-willed and cowardly government of Balkenende (Dutch First Minister) in an effort to appease the Dutch Muslims.

I have seen the film twice, and believe me, it is frightening. Not just in the pictures and videos that are shown, but in the message it sends.

There is a parallel video that has been produced in answer to it by some Muslim Group, which claims the quotes from the Koran used in Fitna were either incorrectly translated, or were taken out of context. I am inclined to think this is possible in part, but it in no way detracts from the many live pictures of Muslim Clerics inciting their followers to kill non-Muslims, Muslim Groups beheading hostages, with Muslim Clerics and a Middle East Head of State stating that the whole world will eventually be Muslim! Of course ,on top of this you have the inevitable pictures from 9/11, the Madrid train bombings and the London 7/7 incident.

I think there is no doubt that our western way of life is under threat from these people, especially when you consider the enormous influx of Muslim immigrants into Europe in the last ten years.

It is chilling to think the Muslim population of Holland almost doubled in the fourteen years to 2007 to 944,000. Holland is a small country. In the same year, the number of Muslim immigrants in Europe stood at 54m.

When I worked for NATO, an American colleague said to me one day “You realise that in maybe 20 or 25 years time Britain will be a Muslim state!”. “What!” I replied, “no way”. Then he pointed out that Britain had a huge population of Muslim immigrants, and they were “breeding like rabbits” as he put it, while the English birthrate had dropped alarmingly. I thought about all the Muslims in Parliament, The House of Lords and Local Councils, the ‘Muslim Only’ schools that were popping up everywhere, and a shiver ran down my spine. Not such a dumb statement after all!

If you have not seen the movie, go to the link below. The second link is to the Muslim answer. Be warned, the Fitna movie is very graphic and not for the squeamish.

Original Fitna Video: http://youtu.be/y7otYxGXu9g

Muslim Answer To Fitna:  http://youtu.be/tjjSFy736UU

Keep the faith, and may God help us all.

Roy.

Who Started the Fires of Hell?

Posted in Europe, Forests, Insanity, Spain, UK, USA with tags , , , on 09/02/2009 by floroy1942

It is totally inconceivable that anyone in their right minds could unleash a thing like the Australian bushfires on anyone. But, according to the news reports it has happened!

Many of the fires that have swept across the south-eastern part of Australia, are now under criminal investigation because authorities are convinced that some have been started deliberately.

Prime Minister Rudd has already called it mass murder, and it is certain that the public backlash to this will be fierce once the fires have been put out, and rightly so.

Twisted people start forest fires for a variety of reasons, some because they are sick, i.e. pyromaniacs, and some for profit. The latter are by far the worst because they do it for financial gain.

This type of crime is not restricted to Australia. Last year dozens of fires swept across parts of Spain, Portugal, Greece, and California in the United Sates. Many, according to the authorities, were started deliberately, probably by unscrupulous people who’s sole interest was to obtain land for building, and others who thought it was fun.

In Spain in particular, the law does not allow building on forested land that is protected, but if the forest disappears??? Good enough reason for unscrupulous building companies to start fires so there will no longer be a forest, and then a few backhanders to corrupt officials and the deed is done. It would not surprise me at all if the same practices were not carried out in other forest fire prone countries.

I am not sure how many people lost their lives in the European and Californian fires last year, but many lost their homes. What makes this Australian event so despicable is the huge loss of life, and entire towns that have gone up in flames.

One thing is certain, the public outrage at these acts will force the government to bring all their resources to bear on the criminals who have perpertrated this act of wilfull destruction and murder. I have no doubt that if they are caught, their sentences will be severe, as they should be. I am sure many of those who have lost loved ones, and/or all their possesions, would willingly douse these people in petrol and set them alight, but thank goodness we have the law to deal with them. Many would say however that prison is too good for them.

Smile at someone today. You may get one back.

Roy.

Save the Rain Forests – Save the Planet

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Forests, Government, Health, Insanity, Modern World, Oceans, UK, USA with tags , , , on 08/02/2009 by floroy1942

Last year, and again currently, Australia is suffering the worst forest fires in its history and, last year we saw similar events in Spain, Greece and California among others. The Southern United States experienced it’s worst hurricanes a year ago, and Africa has for decades endured prolonged droughts.

This years record temperatures and long drought have been blamed for the fires in Australia, and indeed in other countries, and even now, Northern Europe is in the grip of its worst winter in a long time. Britain in particular has been hard hit by unusually heavy snowfalls across the whole country, and other parts have record low temperatures. Northern European summers are a joke these days. Most years we don’t get one, hence my move to Spain!

I am old enough to remember the wonderful warm summers in England during the fifties, followed by a real winter, with in between a proper Spring and Autumn. Remember March winds and April showers and those balmy September days. Now all that has changed, and not for the better.

But what is the real reason for all this global climatic change? The scientists have their theories, few of which seem to coincide. Some say it is Global Warming which is either a cyclic thing or the result of too many emissions. But as a layman, I blame one thing: The huge reduction in the world’s rain forests.

Weather satellite images show clearly that the weather patterns for the Eastern United States and Europe, in particular the west and north, are generated by the rain forests in South America. This extremely humid mass of vegetation, covering thousands of square miles, is responsible for the moisture-laden tropical depressions that shoot out into the Atlantic and eventually meet the hot dry air coming out of Africa.

It is easy to follow the track of these weather systems on weather satellite images, and see how they form hurricanes during the season when conditions are right for the generation of these destructive storms. It is also possible to see how weather systems track north into, and across the Atlantic to Northern Europe.

We should not forget the Gulf Stream, that current of warm water that moves across the ocean to the northern tip of Scotland which is the reason for the temperate climate generally experienced in the United Kingdom.

So why is everything turning upside down? It cannot be a mere coincidence that the changes in weather patterns experienced by many countries surrounding the Atlantic started to happen a few short years after the rain forests of South America were put to the chainsaw!

In 1995 and 2004, a total of 11,220 and 10,590 square miles of rain forest respectively, were destroyed in a single year. Since 1988 a total of 137,169 square miles (conservative estimate) have been destroyed by clearing for cattle pasture, colonization or the subsistence culture, road building and logging.

The ever-increasing export of Brazilian beef products to Europe, 40% of production in 1990 rising to 80% in 2003, has driven the increase in forest destruction for cattle farming purposes.

The Brazilian Government is deeply involved in giving forest land to poor people who clear it with slash-and-burn methods to plant crops. This is the governments way of getting rid of the poor people out of the cities.

The government is also responsible for the huge tracts of forest that have been cut down to make roads. They had a plan to build a 2,000 mile motorway right through the heart of the Amazon to open up the interior to loggers, farmers and cattle ranchers. Thankfully the scheme failed.

Agriculture, in the form of soya bean farms, is expanding to such an extent that the slash-and-burn farmers are being pushed further into the forests. Last of all, are the loggers who enter an area and leave a wasteland behind them; all for profit.

Perhaps the worst crime is the poor farmers. They are given an area to settle by the Government and clear the ground with a slash and burn technique that involves setting fire to the undergrowth, and after that has burnt out they clear away what is left. After about six months work they have an area of land cleared where they can plant crops, but the sad thing is, the ground will only support crops for one year before it becomes useless. This means the poor farmers must then move on to another piece of forest and do it all again, and so on and so on Ad Infinitum. What is left behind is dead ground where practically nothing grows, or will grow. In 25 or 50 years time, I wonder what they will call the great South American desert???? This state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue, for the sake of the planet.

Back to the main point, and the Amazon’s effect on the weather. We have already seen major changes in weather patterns since 1988 when large scale clearance began but what of the future? What will the effect be on global weather when these rain forests have all but disappeared?

Don’t forget, we are not only talking about the loss of the Amazon, because exactly the same thing is happening to the rain forests in the Far East, and their weather is changing too.

One other important factor for the survival of mankind is the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. Among other things trees provide us with the oxygen we breath, and the rain forests, outside of the oceans (plankton etc), are the biggest providers of oxygen on the planet.

So, what do we do? First of all, international pressure must be brought to bear on the governments of Brazil, Thailand, Malaysia, The Congo and all other keepers of the world’s rain forests to stop the destruction of one of the earths most valuable resources that are vital to mankind’s survival on this planet. Secondly, and this goes for most countries, plant trees, trees, and more trees. We in Europe and North America are just as guilty, although on a smaller scale, because we have systematically removed forest and woodland for the sake of agriculture so we could produce more food than we can eat or export. How stupid is that? Long gone are the days when fields were separated by hedgerows filled with birds and insects that ate all the pests that attacked our crops. Now we rely on pesticides! But that is another story!

The people need to come together in concerted action to stop this rape of our natural resources, and get the Planet and Mother Nature back into equilibrium. It is not enough to give a few pence to organizations like Greenpeace and leave it up to them. If action is not taken on a global scale, the weather phenomenons we are experiencing today will become the norm, so get used to it.

Hug a tree today, or better still: Plant One!

Roy.

The Banking Saga – Part Two

Posted in Britain, England, Government, Modern World, MP's, Parliament, UK with tags , , , , on 08/02/2009 by floroy1942

This morning on The Andrew Marr Politics Show (BBC), Alistair Darling the Labour Chancellor has stated that “the holiday for the banks is over”. Now that is welcome news.

Apparently, The UK Treasury is about to launch an investigation into the bonus practices of the UK banking sector, and hopefully, put the brakes on.

RBS Bank has now made it known that they will probably be paying out approximately 1billion pounds in bonuses to their Traders and Executives, while they have just received tens of billions of tax payers money from the government to keep them afloat. The mind boggles!!!

If you care to read my blog from 31/01/09 you will see a lot of similarities between the arguments I put forward, and the current reactions by the politicians.

Darling stated that bank employees have indeed reached a stage where bonuses are no longer given to reward good work, but think it is their right whether they do a good job or not! Thankfully he is of the same opinion I am, that this practice has to stop. We will see!

For now, keep your money under the mattress.

Smile, its never as bad as it could be!

Roy

Is Free Speech Dying?

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Free Speech, Human Rights, Insanity, Justice, Modern World, UK with tags , , , , , on 06/02/2009 by floroy1942

In today’s news we hear all about the ‘Gaff’ made by Jeremy Clarkson during an interview in Australia when he called Gordon Brown “A one-eyed Scottish idiot”!

Together with co-hosts James May and the delightful Richard Hammond, Jeremy has made Top Gear the number one automobile programme in the world which has its off spins in many countries. If you have ever watched Jeremy’s programme, you will know he is one of the most irreverent presenters on TV. No-one is immune from his remarks, not his guests, his audience, or his co-presenters. His ready wit has endeared him to millions of faithful followers world-wide – and dropped him in more hot water than a teabag.

Today, oh how quick were the maggots crawling out of the woodwork to denounce him. Anyone who had a hankering to be on the news came out and roundly castigated him for his off-the-cuff remark! An English Labour MP, and a Scottish Labour MP who hardly anyone has ever heard of outside of Scotland, and believe it or not, The Royal National Institute for Blind People.

Some MP’s just love an excuse to get themselves in the news, but the RNIBP? Come on people, Jeremy never said a word about blind people, his remark was aimed at the P.M. and no-one else! How do you justify saying that all blind people have been insulted by the remark? It’s too ridiculous for words!

Most remarkable was the statement issued by the P.M’s Office at No. 10 who said, and I quote: Clarkson “is entitled to his own interpretation of the economic circumstances”. For this one-liner I take my hat off to Gordon Brown and his people. They at least have a grown-up attitude. I doubt Gordon Brown will be losing any sleep over the remark, which after all was aimed at him personally. I am sure most people who heard it probably had a good laugh and then promptly forgot about it. Thankfully, the BBC also has common sense, as they will not be taking any further action after the apology made by Clarkson.

You can bet yesterday’s underwear that many people will start watching the show now just to find something to complain about. Shame on You!

But is all this really necessary? Whatever happened to Free Speech, that cherished ideal of enlightened nations who are so quick to condemn other nations for its lack? Have we become so narrow-minded and bitter as a society, that all we can do is search for something to complain about.

Comparisons have been made with the Jonathon Ross affair a short time ago, but to my mind, that was different because it was a deliberate attack over a period of several minutes, which caused mental stress in the receiver by making lewd comments about that person’s daughter. If anyone said such things about my daughter I’d give them a knuckle sandwich. So there! Ross, to my mind, got off too lightly. Comparing that to Jeremy’s off-the-cuff remark, which was in no way premeditated, is outrageous.

Yes, there is a limit to what you can say in public and in the written word, but the basic ideal of free speech means you can give your opinion on any subject, with the proviso, that you cause no physical or mental harm to a person. This is where Ross overstepped the mark, but calling someone an idiot does not, even a one-eyed one!

It’s all a storm in a teacup anyway, but it’s starting to happen more often that totally unrelated people get in a huff about something that doesn’t concern them. Mostly to blame are the Bleeding Heart Pressure Groups that are crawling out of the woodwork and want to be heard. They complain about everything – even golliwogs on jam pots and nursery rhymes.

Bit by bit, they are eroding the civil liberties we all take for granted, and for whom millions have died in past conflicts. If the dead of two World Wars could see what we have become, they would ask: ‘What did we give our lives for?’

God help us all!

Roy

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