Archive for June, 2009

Its Not Mi Falt I Carnt Spel!

Posted in English Schools, Primary Education, Primary Schools with tags , , , , , , on 20/06/2009 by floroy1942

Sum Englysh peeple tooday just carnt spel if there lives dipended on it! And gess wot, exkuses are beeing mayd for them by the peeple whu do the teeching. A lekturer from one of Britans universatys has gon so far as to say wee shud even akcept sum wurds that ar speled badli as an alturnativ speling.

I’m sorry I just can’t keep this up, it goes against every fibre of my body to write so badly. I often read the comments people send in on news stories when browsing the Internet news pages, and I am appalled and shocked when I see the level of illiteracy exhibited by so many writers, and I am not talking about children, but adults.

What is more, it distresses me no end to see the steady decline in written English standards over the decades. It has come to a point now where the majority of people who speak and write good English are foreigners who have English as a second language.

There is currently an article in the Times Educational Supplement written by a Ken Smith, a criminology lecturer at Buckinghamshire New University where he states that commonly misspelled words should be accepted as they are, such as ‘judgment’ for judgement, or ‘truely’ for truly.

In his view, Universities should accept the misspelled words as a viable alternative to the correct one, including all the exceptions to the ‘i’ before ‘e’ rule. My advice chum, stick to criminology!

This basic rule has been around for aeons in the English education system and has withstood the test of time. It is well known there are exceptions to this rule, and for this reason the government of all people is urging schools not to teach it any more.

Bethen Marshall, a senior English lecturer at King’s College London has said; “if you change it and say we won’t have this rule, then we won’t have any rules at all, then spelling, which is already terribly confusing, becomes even more so”. The government document, called Advice for Spelling’ (or should that be ‘Advise for Speling?) has been issued for ‘under-11’s as part of the National Primary Strategy.

This document advises other methods of teaching children spelling, like, would you believe, studying TV listings for compound words!?!?! If the government cannot get its act together, how on earth can they expect the teaching profession, which has been failing students for decades, to pull its collective socks up!

Westminster Endowed Church of England Primary School in Stroud has now gone so far as to stop giving its pupils spelling lesson homework because “the children find it so distressing”. Gloucestershire County Council, responsible for the school, said; “it was entirely up to the school to decide if they wish to use spelling lists”. Its statement went on to add; “It is important to recognise the strengths a variety of approaches can bring”. ‘Atchooo!’ Sorry I just sneezed, I’m allergic to bullshit!

I know personally many Germans, Danish, Romanians, Spanish, Dutch and Italians (Well-a maybe-a not-a the-a Italians-a) who speak, read, write, and spell, better than the average English person! Hell! Even some Americans speak better English than the English! Sorry guys and gals, just kidding!

The decline in standards has gone down to the extent that a government report last year stated, 4 out of every 5 children leaving school could not read and write properly.

We are talking about the English language here, the most widely spoken international language on the planet, and England, its birthplace.

The question is, can this problem be fixed? I am afraid the answer appears to be, no definitely not! Part of what is happening is due to the increasing influence allowed, and in some cases encouraged by the government and schools, of the immigrant population.

Some schools reported recently requests to go over to teaching in a foreign language such as Turkish or Hindu, because of the high number of Turkish or inversely, Indian or Pakistani pupils. Why in the name of Heaven should an English school, in England, teach the National Curriculum in a foreign language? It is just too bizaar to believe.

The losers in all this have to be the native English children who are being marginalised in favour of the immigrant population. This is one of the great tragedies of Britain today, but no-one seems to have the eyes to see it.

I firmly believe, and have often stated, that all immigrant children who come to Britain, must learn the language of their adopted home. Britain is the only country in the world that is turning its entire culture and beliefs over to new arrivals. Yes, there is justification for the immigrant population to retain their own culture and languages, but only so long as it does not affect or influence British culture.

Another reason why I think the decline cannot be reversed is simply there are few teachers capable of instructing the pupils in the correct use of the language, and the national curriculum doesn’t provide for better teaching methods. Standards have degraded to such a low level over such a long period of time that many of the educators are lost. The only way forward is to bring back the National Curriculum of 50 years ago, and perhaps, bring all the teachers of that era out of retirement. The only other alternative is to ship all our school age children to Germany, Holland or Denmark to learn the language! It’s all so very sad!


“‘Scuse me Miss, how do you spell supercalifr…..that word?”

“I have no idea John now sit down.”


Roy.


Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Moon Colonisation-No Way Jose!

Posted in Britain, Environment, Life in the Universe, Modern World, Nuclear Weapons, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , on 19/06/2009 by floroy1942

NASA has today revealed that its Lunar Programme is in jeopardy due to a lack of funds. It seems the United Sates Government wishes to save billions of dollars by slashing the budget.

Ever since the Russian Sputnik was launched in 1957 there has been a race to get into space by the major powers. So far as the moon is concerned, both Russia and the USA spent trillions of dollars in moon exploration culminating in the first moon landing in 1969. Since then of course moon exploration has continued with a myriad of unmanned satellites being launched at it with a view to finding out more about our nearest neighbour.

Speculation has been rife about the possibility of moon colonisation, and various attempts have been made to see if there is water there, a prerequisite of any eventual habitation by humans.

This week NASA launched a new satellite to study the craters and do a reconnaissance which will enable a manned return there at sometime in the future.

However, I have to ask why we continue to imagine people living on the moon? It may be well and good for scientists and perhaps astronomers, but outside of the scientific community I can’t see anyone mad enough to want to go and live there! I certainly wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even be able to watch the F1 Grand Prix season each year, and as for an occasional fish and chips or pizza, forget it!

Can you, even for a moment, envisage people living in a dust-bowl with no trees or plants, birds, insects or animals, in fact not a bit of green or life anywhere?

And apart from that obvious hardship, there would be no cinemas, no cars as such, and probably no jobs. So how would you live. How do you build a house when all the bricks keep disappearing into the ‘sky’ because there is only 1/6th gravity on the moon.

The thought of having to wear such a huge bulky space-suit every time you want to go out for a meal or a drink is unthinkable, that’s presuming there will even be bars and restaurants! There will be no romance in the moonlight either. Shucks!

There could be advantages to living there however; no police, no pollution, no terrorists, some will say no TV, no parking fines and no traffic lights, no jails, no mosquito’s, and no politicians. However, on second thoughts it would not be long before they gained a foothold!

Can you imagine the constant complaints from the wife at all the dust that continually gets brought into the house? What would she do without her makeup, without a washing machine and hairdryer! How on earth (sorry about the pun) do you wash a space-suit? What would her reaction be when she cannot run down to the shops to buy herself a new pair of jeans or knickers? What would she do about her hair; Oh my goodness! Life would become unbearable in minutes!

Of course, the only good thing about moon colonisation would be getting away from any future nuclear holocaust here on Earth if it should happen.

But to me the downside is a lot bigger than the upside and I for one will be staying right here.


The only ‘Moon-walk’ I want to see is from Michael Jackson!


Roy.

Some People Are UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!

Posted in Obama with tags , , , on 18/06/2009 by floroy1942

I cannot help myself! I have to write about the reaction of some insane people to an incident that occurred a couple of days ago with President Obama.

Many will have seen the articles, or perhaps Facebook video clips, of the President killing a fly during the taping of a CNBC interview that was aired last Wednesday. It was quite funny and he does have good hand/eye coordination as reported.

Today, a report has come in that an obscure animal rights group in the USA has criticised his action as “an execution”.

They call themselves ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’, the PETA, and they are asking Obama to show a little compassion to even the “the least sympathetic animals”!

Can you believe this! It was a fly for crying out loud! It’s a pest! It spreads disease! It tramps around on your dog’s droppings and then on your food for heavens sake! I am aware there are ‘nutters’ (a good English word) around, but these idiots should be locked away as a danger to public health.

I suppose that if any of them ever got lice in their hair they would have someone gently remove them so they can be released outside!!! I can imagine they never wash because then they would be killing millions of mites that live on our skin constantly. Ugh!

When asked for their official response, their blog site gave the following answer; “In a nutshell, our position is this: He isn’t the Buddha, he is a human being, and human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act.” Eh! Pardon? I have heard some ‘Codswollop’ (another good old English word) in my many years, but this really does take first prize!

What gets my goat about all these animal rights half-wits is that most have no objection to animals being slaughtered so they can eat them, but The President cannot kill a fly.

Apparently, they have even gone so far as to send Obama some sort of fly trap that captures flies so they may be released outside. Flies being what they are, they just do a 180* and fly straight back in again, but I guess they haven’t worked out a contingency plan for that scenario yet. Keep at it people!


Do they make people sized fly swats?


Roy.

The Mushroom Cometh!

Posted in Iran, North Korea, Nuclear Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons with tags , , , , , , , on 17/06/2009 by floroy1942

Some will say we are heading full speed into disaster, and you know something, they could be right! There are two global situations, which if allowed to develop any further, will certainly bring us all to the brink, and neither are palatable. I write of course about the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran.

North Korea is ahead in the game because they have already tested two bombs, and have declared their intention to make fissionable material for more.

As for Iran, their President denies Iran’s nuclear ambitions as being anything more than the peaceful generation of electricity. No-one in their right mind is willing to believe this statement, but it does what the Iranians want it to do; it buys them time.

Today, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei has stated publicly he is convinced Iran wishes to have nuclear weapons technology to increase its standing in the Middle East and the World. He went on to say he believed they are not directly after ‘a bomb’, but at a minimum, the technology necessary to make one if they so desire.

He is quoted as saying; “It wants to send a message to its neighbours, it wants to send a message to the rest of the world: Yes, don’t mess with us, we can have nuclear weapons if we want it”.

So right now we have essentially two rogue states, one with, and one striving to get, nuclear weapon technology. It is abundantly clear that the whole world is extremely unhappy at the prospect of these two becoming nuclear powers, especially the Middle East Arab States, Japan, South Korea, the USA, and Europe.

While President Obama is clearly at a loss at what to do next, and who can blame him, both countries are getting steadily closer to their goal.

Naturally, The USA does not wish to be seen as the aggressor in either case, but I believe Obama knows he cannot wait until they have achieved their aim and developed not only the bomb, but the means to deliver it.

The threats delivered almost daily by Pyongyang indicate their willingness to go to war, or so it seems, but at the same time, Obama cannot be seen to be the architect of a new Korean Peninsular war. Most countries would agree with a ‘final solution’ to the North Korean bomb threat, but as hypocritical as they are, they would roundly condemn both Obama and the USA for any unilateral action it took to ensure North Korea’s bomb ambitions were stopped cold.

With Iran the situation is somewhat more complex, mainly because Israel is in the mix! There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Israel will not stand idly by while Iran builds a nuclear bomb. President Obama has made it very clear to the Israeli’s however that unilateral action against Iran’s bomb making capabilities is, in his view, a non-starter.

However, it is easy to understand why nerves are somewhat frayed in Tel Aviv. Iran already has sufficient missile technology to plant a nuclear bomb on Israel, all they need is the payload. If they get that I am sure there will be no stopping them, such is the feeling of hatred towards Israel in Iranian government circles. Indeed, Ahmadinejad has already stated publicly that he wishes to see “Israel wiped off the map”.

I think Mr. ElBaradei is somewhat naive if he thinks Iran will stop at having the necessary technology for a nuclear weapon and not actually produce one. Of course they will! If I give a child an ice cream and tell him/her to hold it and not taste it, would they?

Both North Korea and Iran were declared ‘State sponsors of terrorism’ by Bush and he may well have been right, so this opens up another avenue of worry for the international community. If both these States get the technology they are seeking, how do we know they will not sell that knowledge to other countries?

It was a milestone in human history when we seemed to go back from the brink of nuclear annihilation with the famous S.T.A.R.T Agreement between Russia and the USA, and the signing of the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Pact by the UN members. Now that North Korea has backed out of the latter treaty, and Iran denies its ambitions, the prospect of a nuclear holocaust may seem just that little bit closer again.

There are without doubt, many uncertainties in what the future holds for mankind, but one thing is certain, North Korea and Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

At some time in the reasonably near future, action will have to be taken to ensure that the dreams of domination by these two States is not allowed a fruitful outcome. At some time, before they get the technology they seek, someone is going to have to blow the hell out of the nuclear reactors and plants used in the bomb making process.

Already North Korea is starting to produce more weapons grade material from their stock of spent reactor fuel rods. Does the world have to wait until they have successfully produced another six or seven bombs before we take action? If we do, the likelihood of a nuclear response from North Korea will magnify a hundred fold.

Time is rapidly running out for any restraining action by the World, and it is clear that all the signatories of the UN Charter must come together and authorise whatever action is necessary, including force, to bring North Korea in line. An end must come to the prevarication of countries like Russia and China who seem to enjoy opposing UN Resolutions of this nature.

It is possible that if all the countries take a strong enough line with North Korea, Iran will see its position as hopeless and come into line too. Whichever way it goes, I believe we are heading for a crisis of huge proportions which only a united effort can stop. Heaven help us all.


May all your mushrooms be the eating kind.


Roy.

Contemplating One’s Navel.

Posted in Obesity, Overweight, Teen alcohol abuse with tags , , , , , on 16/06/2009 by floroy1942

When contemplating one’s navel, the big question today is whether those doing the contemplating can actually see their navel without looking in the mirror.

In order to get the necessary exercise, I often take a stroll along a beach close to where I live, and now the summer season has started they are beginning to fill up with sun worshippers from far and wide.

It really is an amazing sight to see so many bloated bodies turning bright red in the sun. It brought to mind the sight of elephant seals basking in the sun on some Antarctic shoreline, and made me wonder why people don’t look after their bodies the way they used to.

As a young man I delighted in seeing teenage girls with waspish waistlines and slim hips bouncing down the street. It was an everyday occurrence, and when the miniskirt came into fashion, WOW! What a sight that was for a young man’s eyes. In those days everyone talked about the ‘English Rose’. You may have seen jokes about someone walking into a lamp-post while distracted, well, back then the distraction was well worth the bump, and embarrassment.

I think it must have been around the late seventies, when a noticeable change started to come over young women. Maybe it was the introduction to Europe of that well known American Embassy MacDonald’s that started the rot. Either way fast food, and MacDonald’s, has a lot to answer for, and not only in Europe, but also the USA where the problem of overweight first became apparent.

For a few years I saw women slowly grow in size until we got to the late eighties/early nineties, when all of a sudden there were obese people everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Huge lumps of fat wobbling down the street left and right, and it was around this time the men started to get it too. But for them, in many cases it was a beer belly. The eighties and nineties were a time of plenty and good for everybody.

Fish and chips (french-fries for our North American readers) are, well used to be, the national dish of Britain. Now of course its more likely to be curry! I always enjoyed some fish and chips, especially in the old days when they were served in newspaper instead of these plasticy things they have now. Way back when, if the Chip Shop was a good one you always got plenty of chips for your money. Now the amount you get is determined by the silly little plastic tray they are served in, and you pay the earth for them.

Sadly, the fish and chip shops have now all been replaced by Indian and Chinese take-aways (so much for progress), but the zest for ‘chips’ has remained. Walking along the sea-front here watching the English eating during the day, you can see its ‘chips with everything’, one of the most fattening foods around when eaten regularly. A whole generation has been raised on chips and potato crisps, another fattening delicacy, and now we have long started on the next.

What saddens me the most is to see obese children. Its as if the parents just do not care what their offspring eat these days, just so long as they are quiet. I also have a few theories about this phenomenon but I doubt they would be popular.

Firstly, since the woman of the house now also goes to work, nobody gets to eat properly because she does not have the time, and besides, feeding the younger family members is often left up to the eldest. “Here you are love, here’s £5. Get some fish and chips for everyone. Mummy will be back at 6 o’clock.” Secondly, there is little time to prepare and cook fresh vegetables and meat, so once again its from the ‘Chippy’ or a pre-cooked meal from the supermarket.

For the last decade, since ‘hipsters’ became the fashion, everywhere you see females with their jeans, trousers or skirts just above their fanny with great rolls of fat hanging over the top, and ‘love handles’ the size of truck tyres. What an attractive picture to turn boy’s heads. Well, to be honest it doesn’t seem to matter these days because there is nothing else on the menu. I suppose the one good point about all this is, with so little to turn your head at least the lamp-posts are getting a rest.

I do not wish to be cruel, and I certainly do not wish to forget the young men, for in many cases they are just as bad. Look around you, and see how many times you see some young lad of twenty-something with a ‘beer belly’, and the same can said for most middle-aged.

In current times the English youth seem to be totally occupied with only one form of entertainment, getting drunk. Its like a badge of courage to be worn like a medal.” Cor, I had a skin-full last night!”, but the sad thing is, the girls are just as bad, and in some cases worse.

Unfortunately, today one sees their parents basking on a sun bed with their bellies sticking up like Everest oblivious to what they are doing to themselves and their children. I despair at many women, who still think they can cavort around in skimpy bikini’s with their layers of fat hanging all over the place. I cannot but wonder what they think of themselves when they look in a mirror. “Hmm! Not too bad, I am twenty-eight.”

It is difficult to decide where all this will end, but I am sure of one thing. The current higher than average death rate among smokers, quoted so glibly by physicians, will be but a puff of smoke compared to the death rate from heart attacks and the like in twenty to thirty years time.

One has to wonder at what stage the ‘wake-up’ call will come to the masses in Europe and North America. Personally, I think it will have to come through a new generation, and then by means of education. It is already starting in many schools in Britain, but if the lesson is not continued in the home the message will be lost.

In the meantime some of us have to look down at the sand when walking on the beach for fear of being given the ‘come-on’ by some huge beached whale who likes your slim tidy looks. Last week I saw a woman of middle-age come out of the water after a swim, and I swear the tide line retreated a whole metre! Honest! Sadly, they all seem to think it’s not their fault.

Thankfully there are still some slim people about, and not all are old or middle-aged. To the young girls, and boys, who have decided to look after themselves I say good luck to you, and don’t give in. Life will be more pleasant and you’ll live a lot longer.


Hopefully tomorrow’s growth industry will not be crane construction!


Roy.

A Missed Opportunity.

Posted in Israel, Netanyahu, Obama, Palestine with tags , , , , , on 15/06/2009 by floroy1942

With his speech yesterday, Binjamin Netanyahu the Israeli Premier, stood on the dockside and watched the ‘Peace Boat’ sail without him. Most people were not expecting any earth-moving changes to the Israeli stance on a Palestinian State, and they were not disappointed.

Apart from a reference to the existence of a Palestinian State, which clearly had to be dragged out of him, he didn’t make a single move that could be called constructive when it came to ending the dispute. Both the USA and European governments voiced muted acceptance of the speech, stating that at least the recognition for a Palestinian State was “a step in the right direction”.

Netanyahu called for a de-militarised State for Palestinians with no control over its airspace, and recognition by the Palestinians of a ‘Jewish State’. This latter statement alone was not acceptable to any of the Arab countries listening. It would mean that refugees from the 1948 founding of Israel would have no right of return to their ancestral home, or as many fear, be second class citizens in a state for Jews.

The speech made no reference to the removal of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, much of it stolen, and all declared illegal by the United Nations, the EU and USA. It is clear this speech was an attempt to defuse the tension between President Obama and the Israeli’s on the settlement situation. In that I am sure it failed miserably.

President Obama, quite rightly in my view, has insisted that all settlement enlargement on Palestinian land be halted immediately. If you read my post of June 3rd you will see a UN map of the restrictions placed on Palestinians in the West Bank. Not only have the Israeli’s taken over huge tracts of land for the settlements, but severely restricted Palestinian access and travel to more than half of the West Bank (see map-Orange area).

It would be like England taking over half of Ireland, or the USA taking half of Mexico, and saying the local people can neither live nor travel in these areas because of ‘our’ security.

Firstly, I believe Israel does have a right to exist right where it is, but the Israeli hard-line Right attitude of, “It all belonged to us two thousand years ago” will not hold water. Netanyahu’s problem is that this grouping in The Knesset is very strong, and if he wishes his government to remain in power he cannot be seen to make concessions on the settlements. This puts him on a direct collision course with not only the Arab World and The Palestinians, but with the Obama camp. Obama can also not be seen to give in on his demand for all settlement activity to stop, because he made a promise to the Muslim world in his Cairo speech, and let’s face it, why should he, they are all illegal under International Law.

This in effect brings us back to the age-old impasse that has been going on for more than half a century. While I have a certain sympathy with the Israeli cause for a homeland, I cannot approve of the way they have being doing things for the last thirty years at least. I have often come out on the side of Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks by the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, and I still believe that to be true. Israel has had to fight for its very existence on several occasions and I agree with that, but the current atmosphere is of Israeli making because of their intransigence with regard to the settlements which they believe is their right because of history.

I have to say that were it my choice, all the settlements would be turned over to the Palestinians lock, stock, and barrel! The Israeli’s have no right to be there, and for them to continue in existence would be pure land theft on a grand scale.

I can imagine the outcry if American citizens started building townships on Mexican or Canadian soil along the border and banned the locals from entering this territory. Imagine if you will that all nations acted in this way, WW3 here we come. But the Israeli’s have gotten away with it for the past forty years! Incredible!!

Before any progress can be made towards a lasting settlement of the Israeli/Palestinian question the problem of the settlements has to be addressed by the Knesset.

Last but not least, Netanyahu did not give any ground on the question of Jerusalem. He told his audience, and the world, that the city would remain in Jewish Hands. The Palestinians of course want their Capitol to be in Jerusalem as do the Jews. So once again we have an impasse.

According to the original boundary’s laid down for the State of Israel by the United Nations in 1947, the border runs through the city with Jews and Palestinians sharing. If Jesus were to return today and see the turmoil surrounding this Holy City he would be livid!

I fear this is a problem that will go on and on. I wish President Obama luck in his attempt and I hope he succeeds. I believe the answer lies with the US President and Government, for only they have the power to make the Israeli’s come to the negotiating table with real gifts of compromise. Without the backing of America Israel will become a smoking hole, especially if the Iranians get nuclear weapons, although the Israeli Government may not let it get that far. If they do attack Iran and knock out their nuclear capability, they will bring upon themselves the wrath of the entire Arab and Muslim world, although I think in private many will be relieved.

I do not wish to reiterate my suggested solution to the problems here, for that you would need to read my earlier posts, but suffice it to say, at the moment the whole argument is going nowhere, and things will not improve until Israel starts facing up to reality instead of the past.

Abraham, your people need you – again!

Roy.

A Sorry Excuse to Evade Justice

Posted in Extradition, Hacker, Hackers with tags , , , on 09/06/2009 by floroy1942

I have heard some sorry excuses put forward by defence lawyers in my time, but today is one for the record books. I refer to the case of a UK hacker called Gary Mckinnon who’s extradition has been requested by the US Government.

It is alleged that in 2000/2002 he hacked into 97 government computers, including The US Navy and NASA. This was just after 9/11, and needless to say caused a furore in government circles. It is said he caused $800,000 worth of damage to computer systems in the affected departments.

In 2002 he was arrested by British Police and has been awaiting extradition to the US, where if found guilty, he faces a prison term of 70 years.

Since his arrest he has tried every means at his disposal to quash the extradition. He has appealed to the House of Lords in Westminster and the European Court of Human Rights in The Hague, and has been turned down by every one. It seems no-one has sympathy for a hacker.

His stated reason for doing it in the first place was he was looking for evidence of UFOs. Well, I believe him, but thousands wouldn’t!

After failing to get out of extradition by all legal means, his lawyers have now turned to the next best thing, the psychological approach.

They are now saying he should be tried in the UK instead of the US because his mental state is extremely fragile. Ah! Didums! If they manage to pull that one off you can bet he would be back out of jail in a few short years.

His lawyers say; ‘there is “clear, un-contradicted expert evidence” that the stress of extradition could result in psychosis and suicide’. Two High Court Judges will be asked to rule that his psychological state makes it impossible to extradite him.

Mr. Edward Fitzgerald QC, Mckinnon’s lawyer told the judges that his clients mental state had been underestimated by the Home Secretary when she ordered him to be extradited. He went on to say that Mckinnon was “an eccentric person who has passionate views on UFOs” – not a malicious hacker – and extradition was “unnecessary, avoidable and disproportionate”. If you wish to evade a 70 year jail sentence I am sure it would be considered all of those things and more. I must say though, if I ever get another traffic ticket I might think of hiring this guy. I could always plead insanity!

It is claimed that Mckinnon suffers from Asperger Syndrome, which can mean he develops a single-minded obsession for something without thought of its affects on others. According to his solicitor he needs ‘the support of family and friends close around him all the time’.

This entire process has now been going on for 7 years since his arrest and it’s about time someone had the balls to put him on a plane and ship him out. It comes down to the same old saying: If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

It was not as if he broke into the government computers once by accident, he did it 97 times and that to me rules out any plea bargains or excuses by his lawyers.

As an everyday computer owner, I am sick and tired of the attacks perpetrated by hackers. I am tired of viruses and Trojans that infect computers world wide and cause untold misery to millions of computer owners. I am fed up with having to reload Windows because some hacker has infected my computer, and what about all the poor souls world-wide who have been fleeced out of large and small amounts of money by malicious hackers. I am sure if they had a say they would drive him to the airport!

Send Mckinnon to the States and let him rot for what he has done, and I hope every other hacker is quick to join him.

Its about time the punishment fitted the crime, rather than the hacker being employed by some security company for a grossly exaggerated salary that leaves them laughing all the way to the bank. This is one crime that does pay, and handsomely!


May all hackers burn in hell!


Roy.

Political Pawns

Posted in North Korea, North Korea Labour Camps with tags , , , , , on 08/06/2009 by floroy1942

After the horror of the Nazi concentration camps during WW2 no-one in their right minds could imagine something like that ever happening again, but how wrong we all are.

The Two Luckless Reporters

The arrest, and now conviction of two female US journalists to twelve years hard labour in North Korea has turned attention to the plight of all political prisoners in North Korea. The two were arrested after supposedly crossing the River Tumen, which is the border between North Korea and China, although some say they were snatched from the Chinese side. Whatever the truth is, this event has focused attention on North Korea’s prisons and labour camps

The West has for decades known about the forced labour prisons, or ‘Gulags’ as they are usually referred to, but little attention has been paid to them by anyone, despite the stories of inhumane treatment, murder and torture from escapees who have made it to freedom.

No-one really knows how many of these gulags exist, but it is estimated there are about a dozen political prisons, and some thirty forced labour camps spread throughout the desolate mountainous valleys of North Korea.

Huaenyong Prison Camp

Many have now been found and photographed from space, and some are the size of small countries. Two in particular, Haengyong and Huaong are larger than the County of Columbia in Washington State (874sq.mls-2262sq.kms). Haengyong is said to be three times the size of this state, and is surrounded by ten foot high barbed wire fences plus mines and mantraps. It even has a battery of anti-aircraft weapons to prevent the camp being liberated from the air.

The labour camps house anyone who disagrees with the regime, or has voiced even a small criticism. The previous ‘Dear Leader’ Kim il-Sung, Kim Jong-il’s father decreed that three generations of all families denounced for dissension would be sent to the camps. With the words; “Factionalists or enemies of class, whoever they are, their seed must be eliminated through three generations” he made it clear it was considered prudent to ‘purge’ the bad blood from society.

Anything can be classed as ‘dissension’. One former female detainee was arrested and sent to the gulags for singing a popular South Korean pop song in her home, which ‘disturbed the socialist order’.

Typical is the arrest in the middle of the night carrying nothing but the clothes on your back. There is no trial or hearing, you are shipped to an ‘interrogation’ facility where you are tortured until you confess, once that is obtained you are transferred to the political penal colony where you are issued with a pick and shovel, crude cooking utensils and an old army blanket.

Korean Work Camp Inmates

Kang Chol-Hwan, who was an inmate for ten years before being released and escaping to the South where now works for a South Korean newspaper, has related how he grew up in prison because his grandfather had once ‘made complimentary comments about Japanese capitalism’. When he arrived in the camp he was nine years old.

He tells the story of children set to digging clay and constructing a building. While they were digging it collapsed and they died. The bodies were secretly buried and the parents were not even told, even when they came looking for them. He is also quoted as saying that he saw some elderly white caucasian males who he thought could be prisoners from the 1950-1953 Korean War.

He saw people being worked to death, prisoners beaten to death, rapes, executions, and babies kicked to death. Forced abortions among the women are commonplace, where the pregnant woman’s womb is forcibly injected with salt water to kill the baby, regardless of how long the woman has been pregnant. Even at nine months! Any woman who manages to give birth to a live baby watches while the guards kick and beat the baby to death. The death of all infants is said to ‘eradicate a new generation of dissidents’.

The Dear Leader

It is compulsory for mothers to watch as their sons and daughters are executed. Many families are forced to denounce their children in public before an execution. One escapee related how a mother was coerced to say; ‘Though you are my son, you are a traitor and a puppet of the imperialist. You deserve to die.’

In March 2005 a secret video of a public execution was smuggled out of North Korea. According to witnesses, a pole was erected for the execution even before the ‘Judge’ had reached a verdict. The prisoner was carried out, both arms and legs had been broken during his interrogation, and pebbles were placed in his mouth to stop him shouting insults about the Republic before he died.

The catalogue of cruelty in North Korean labour camps is unending. People, men women and children, have been kicked so hard by guards that their bones have been exposed amid the torn flesh, at which point the guards deliberately put salt into the wounds to compound the agony and torture.

Any guard who killed an ‘escapee’ was rewarded with an opportunity to study at a college. This caused the death of numerous innocents.

Many people have reported scores of inmates being used for biological and chemical testing. One witness, a prisoner from 1987 to 1993, states she saw fifty inmates marched into an auditorium and fed a piece of boiled cabbage. Within thirty minutes they had all vomited blood and died. She said the biological warfare researchers were excited about the event and were rejoicing at the effects, which were better than they had anticipated.

Border Fence - To Keep People IN.

No-one knows how many camps or political prisoners there are, but the nearest guess estimates around 200,000 at just six that are known, and analysts have concluded from escapees stories that between 20 and 25% of prisoners die annually from the harshness of the work in the mines, factories, farms and logging sites. This is not surprising when you realise they are deliberately kept in a weak state of semi-starvation, just like the victims of the Nazi’s and Stalin.

Many of them are young children, forced to work alongside grown-ups from 06.00hrs every morning until late evening. If you do not fulfil your work quota for the day you get less food. The work was so harsh and the rations so meagre that children never grew to normal height. Malnutrition caused seventeen-year-old boys to be no more than 150 centimetres (5 feet) tall weighing forty kilos (88 pounds), sometimes less.

The high profile arrest and sentencing of the two journalists, now means the world’s attention is finally being turned to the despicable events that are an every day occurrence in these places. This is what the two young ladies have ahead of them if a deal is not agreed between the government of North Korea and the United States.

Border Guard On Patrol

Once inside the wire rape is guaranteed, as is malnutrition and beatings if things follow the normal pattern. We will have to see if that is the case for such high profile prisoners. I hope for their sake Kim Jung-il will be cautious in his dealings with them. For should they come out alive after being tortured, beaten and starved, and tell what has happened to them, the wrath of the United States will be a monumental thing.

Let us all hope intervention is swift, and forget not the unfortunates already suffering there.

Roy.

Obama’s Message

Posted in Obama with tags , , , , on 05/06/2009 by floroy1942

Without being overly dramatic, I think yesterday we heard what may turn out to be the most important political speech for decades. I refer of course to President Obama’s speech to Muslims world-wide, made from the University of Cairo, Egypt.

All reviewers have remarked how eloquent his speech was, and in general, it has been greeted with praise and enthusiasm. There are those of course who have criticised it as meaningless propaganda, but you know what they say about ‘Pleasing all of the people’…

The most heartening part of all is that with perhaps the exception of Iran, Hamas, and Hezbolla of Lebanon, who remain sceptical of Obama’s intentions, most Muslims seem ready to give him the benefit of the doubt, and are pleased that at last we have an American President who is ready, and it seems willing, to mend fences with the Muslim world.

He is without doubt as good an orator as Bush was bad, and one gets the feeling that he means what he says. He really is trying to gain a better relationship between America and the Muslims, which after all the sabre-rattling of the previous administration is a refreshing change.

His speech touched on just about all the main issues that are on the minds of Muslims, from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions, to women’s rights and religious freedom.

It was a long speech, 55 minutes, and although it could not possibly have been unscripted, Obama was never once seen referring to notes and there was no evidence of tele-prompters around considering his eyes were constantly on the move. It was indeed a remarkable performance, and should he be given the chance to realise even some of the things he is trying to do, I think the speech could well go down as one of the great defining moments of history.

He is after all, only trying to achieve a world we all want for our children, a world at peace, with all peoples living in harmony. It is a pipe-dream, but you cannot fault him for trying to achieve it.

It saddens me to know there are some individuals who have ridiculed his speech as worthless and without substance. The biggest cry heard has been ‘actions speak louder than words’ and so they do. They want to hear the speech and ten minutes later see the fruits of it. The only being I know who can deliver that is God.

For once, lets put aside our back-stabbing, mistrust, and petty behaviour, and give the man a chance to achieve his dream, for all mankind will be better off if he succeeds.


I for one wish President Obama success in his endeavors, I hope you do to.


Roy.


Israel – Obama’s Dilemma

Posted in Israel, Obama, Palestine, Six Day War with tags , , , , on 03/06/2009 by floroy1942

No-one in their right mind would think President Obama is looking forward to a direct confrontation with Israel, but things seem to be headed in that direction.

After recent discussions between the President and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, in which Obama made it plain that all West Bank settlement construction must cease, it would appear the Israeli Government is not prepared to play ball.

Since his return to Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu has made it clear they will stick to an agreement made with George W. Bush, i.e. that construction would be restricted to ‘natural growth’ in established settlements. This can be interpreted to mean; We will continue to build and expand all existing settlements, but we promise not to start any more!

Both sides of the argument are easy to understand. On the one hand, President Obama cannot be seen by the Arab World to be favouring the Israeli’s, while on the other, any attempt by the Israel government to halt construction would mean their downfall, with perhaps even more serious repercussions.

You have to look a long way back in history to find the Israeli justification for the settlements. They say the West Bank and Gaza was their land two thousand years ago, which gives them the right to build. The fact that the land has belonged to the Palestinians since then is, in their eyes, irrelevant.

There is a comparison to Argentina claiming the Falkland Isles and Spain claiming Gibraltar from Britain, both of which were taken by the British three hundred years ago by conflict. In today’s world you cannot claim something because it used to be yours centuries ago. I do not think the case for the Israeli settlers under those rules is acceptable.

The settlements first began some time after the 1967 Six-Day War with Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. For a time the Israeli Government would not allow settlements to be built, but this rule was relaxed and eventually it actively participated in the plan. With regard to the West Bank, religious Zionists claimed the lands of ‘Judea and Samaria’ (ancient Jewish lands) had finally been liberated, while the Government thought building the settlements would give them an extra bargaining chip at any future negotiations. For the Military, it was an opportunity to have a buffer zone between Israel and its Arab neighbours, Jordan and Syria.

On the accompanying UN map, the orange areas mark places in the West Bank that are restricted or forbidden for Palestinians. Many of the roads that service the Jewish communities have military roadblocks and are forbidden to local Palestinian people. Most of the world population is not aware of these measures taken by the Israeli’s. You must also bear in mind that all the settlements, and the travel restrictions placed on the Palestinians, have been pronounced illegal by the United Nations and the International Courts of Justice under International Law.

President Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia today on an official visit, prior to giving what will probably be his most important speech so far. He will leave Saudi for Egypt where he will address the Arab World, and possibly the subject of Israel will come up. This speech is eagerly awaited by the whole Arab and Muslim World, and I am sure they will judge him, and his intentions, on it. Successive US presidents have tried to settle the thorny issue of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, but none have yet come up with the magic formula.

Whatever happens, the settlements will remain at the heart of the solution. One only has to look at a map of the West Bank showing their locations to realise that Israeli settlers have colonised much of the West Bank as far as the Jordanian border, and as some Jewish web sites record, a proportion of them are on land stolen from the Palestinians. There is no way you can justify this!

Ideally, all these towns and villages built by Israeli’s in the West Bank must be torn down and their residents rehoused inside the 1967 borders of Israel. When you consider that in excess of half-a-million people now live in the occupied areas, it must seem impossible.

President Abbas of the West Bank Palestinians stated during his visit to Washington that he is no longer prepared to talk of peace until the building programme on the West Bank is halted. This seems a reasonable request considering how vast the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is and it’s illegal status. Unfortunately for Obama, he must walk a tightrope between the two.

While he is reaching out to the Muslim world in a way no previous president ever has, he must be mindful he doesn’t alienate the Jewish State, especially with Iran’s nuclear ambitions in the mix, and the threat of an Israeli ‘solution’ to the problem.

So what is the answer to this half-century old problem? Could there in fact ever be a Palestinian State in co-existence with an Israeli State recognised by the Arab World? Personally, I think yes, but it will take many years and a lot of soul-searching and tough action by the Israeli Government.

In 2005 the Israeli Government removed all the settlements in the Gaza Strip by force and rehoused its citizens within it’s borders. The same is possible logistically for the West Bank, but it would be a huge undertaking. Any who refused to be removed could have the right to become citizens of Palestine. One measure that could force many to leave would be the withdrawal of protection by the Israeli Armed Forces.

Of course there is also the option of the land of Israelistine being run by a joint Jewish/Palestinian government with Arabs and Jews living side by side in harmony. Now wouldn’t that be a miracle!

Whatever happens, eventually common sense must prevail, and both sides will realise they cannot go through the rest of eternity at each others throats. Either that or the Iranians will solve the problem for them.

I wish President Obama success in his mission.

Roy.

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