Archive for July, 2011

The Curse Of The Plastic Bag Returns

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Government, Illegal Dumping, Insanity, Modern World, Oceans, Pacific, Parliament, Plastic, Plastic Rubbish, Toxic Waste, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , on 29/07/2011 by floroy1942

Despite government campaigns, environmental group actions, and other publicity on the dangers of supermarket plastic bags over the past five years, their use is once again on the rise.

People are turning back to the ‘one-use’ bag instead of the multi-use ones now available. The consumption of these items has risen from 6.1 billion in 2009 to 6.4 billion last year. Not a significant rise you might think, and certainly better than the 10.7 billion bags used in 2006.

The Infamous Plastic Bag

Why shoppers are going back to their old ways and ignoring the danger to the environment is to date a mystery. It would seem people no longer believe in doing what they can to save the planet from pollution, despite the discovery of the Plastic Islands in our oceans. Recycling Minister Lord Henley has suggested that if the current situation continues there may be need for legislation. Personally, I would think the sooner the better!

Although this would not solve the problem completely, for we still use plastic rubbish bin liners for example, it would go a long way to cutting down on the mountains of plastic that are currently polluting our world.

Plastic Bin Liners In Use

This information shows clearly that people are not willing to change their ways, and the supermarkets and retailers too are not interested, despite earlier promises. Therefore I would say legislation is imperative. Laws must be passed to outlaw plastic bags once and for all time from the High Street, and replace them with the old-time paper or cloth bag.

Environmentally Harmless And Recyclable

Paper bags were good enough for generations following Francis Wolle’s invention of the first paper bag making machine in 1852, and everyone used them prior to the introduction of plastic bags by Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin in the early 1960’s. Since that day the number of plastic bags in circulation has soured and billions are used every day throughout the world.

The largest users by far are the Chinese, but they at least are taking positive steps to cut their usage. Laws introduced in 2008 banned single-use bags and has received a positive response from shoppers.

One side effect of getting rid of billions of plastic bags will be the huge saving made in oil from which they are made. It is estimated the measures taken by China have reduced its oil consumption by around 3 million tonnes of oil per annum. That’s an awful lot of oil! So, what if the ban was total and  world-wide?

Animal Life And Plastic

In order to cut down the massive pollution caused by these items, it is clear that plastic shopping bags should be consigned to history as one of man’s greatest environmental mistakes. Their use, reusable or not, can no longer be justified in today’s world. We have enough pollution problems, and let’s face it, would we really bemoan the loss of the plastic bag when we have so many environmentally friendly alternatives? I think not!

My wife and I keep several cloth shopping bags in the boot of the car and never accept the plastic alternative from the supermarket. It is such a small step, but if more people did that we would not need the plastic bag any more. Obviously, many are either too lazy to take such steps, or just don’t care, which is a shame. It is for this reason I believe legislation in this area is desperately needed.

Headed For The Plastic Island

Shoppers, like most other people, always look to the easiest option and don’t care what happens so long as it doesn’t intrude into own little ‘world’. Perhaps though we should all stop to think about what we are doing to our planet for the sake of our children.

What we do today will have a great impact on their lives!

Food for thought perhaps?

Associated Posts:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/welcome-to-plastic-island/

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/the-plastic-island-part-2/

Roy.

The Disability Benefit Scam – What To Do!

Posted in Benefits, Britain, Budget Cuts, Conservative Party, David Cameron, England, Europe, Government, Government Spending, Health, Insanity, Justice, Theft, UK with tags , on 28/07/2011 by floroy1942

It is indeed sad when a welfare state cannot trust those it is supposed to be supporting. For many years, working people in Britain have been forced to support an ever-increasing number of slackers who think the state should support their laziness.

Simon Daymond Harris – £30.000

For decades the benefits burden has increased because of parasites who fake injuries that supposedly stop them from working. It is not only the fault of these lazy people, for I think many doctors are complicit in the scam by not being thorough enough. Much of the blame can also be laid at the feet of government departments for their lax attitude in checking up on these individuals.

Amran Abu – £8,000

Judges must also share a large load of the blame for the super soft way they handle these cases, it’s like they didn’t commit a crime at all. Suspended or Community sentences, 87 years to pay back the money, 85p a day for 125 years to pay back what they swindled out of the tax payer. It’s too ludicrous for words!

Cheats Unmasked Video:

Brian Payne/Carol Cripwell – £50,000

Time and again we hear of benefit cheats who are eventually caught out by undercover observers, but it’s far too few. David Cameron and his coalition government seem to be trying to do something about it, but to be honest, the practice is so widespread that it would take an army to find them all.

Carrie-Ann Knight – £10,000

So what happened to the work ethic and honesty that was prevalent in my day? Back then everyone was willing to do an honest day’s work for an honest wage, but the sixties changed all that. The introduction of Disability Benefit, Job Seekers Allowance etc made many dishonest people realise they could get paid for doing nothing.

Lady Oriol Bowden – £90,000

I personally never had a single day out of work throughout my entire working life. It was not because I was lucky or mentally gifted, it was just that I knew I was supposed to work for a living and I did just that. If I left a job I made sure I had another that I could start the next day, and not have a ‘holiday’ by joining the dole queue for a few months. You find this attitude often among old retirees from my era.

Brian Burnett/Paulette Morris – £60,000

It is extremely sad that those who genuinely deserve our sympathy and help are having their benefits cut because of all the slackers ‘jumping on the bandwagon’. There are many claimants who can do some form of work, perhaps with assistance, but are still receiving full benefits and spending their time in the local pub. If you are someone who does an honest days work and pays their taxes, would you really want to support such a person? Not me!

Diane Geary – £53,000

This is a time of international crisis with many economies in dire straits, and chief among them is the UK. So why do we allow these people to continue what they are doing? Why do we continue to support them? True, much of the answer lies with government departments who are shoddy in the way they track down these criminals, but we the people can help too! I know for a fact that if I was living near someone who was cheating the system in this way I would take some action.

Barry Marsh – £31,000

For example, if your next door neighbour is on benefits because he is, say, wheelchair bound and you see him out in the street washing his car without it, what is wrong with taking a photo and sending it to the benefits office, anonymously if necessary! If they receive such a photo I am sure they would take action and send round an investigator. It is no excuse to say “I fear reprisals” for you have to be clever. You take the photo from further down the street from your house and the parasite would be none-the-wiser.

Sam and Pete Smith – £100,000

Of course many will balk at the idea of ‘snitching’ on a friend, but are these people really friends? They are living off the backs of your labour, and you are paying for everything they own and do. Considering you are supporting them, would you take them in to live in your house? No of course you wouldn’t. While you are thinking it over, remember just these ten people alone (photo’s) have robbed £466,000 from the Benefits coffer, and you are paying for it!

David Ray – £34,000

The point to remember is these people are not only living off your back, they are taking much needed money that could be given to the genuinely incapacitated, and old age pensioners who must choose between eating or staying warm in the winter. No, I’m sorry, but there is no excuse for letting people you know get away with this scam.

If the country could rid itself of all of these miscreants it would probably solve the national debt crisis overnight. This could lead to massive taxcuts and everyone could enjoy a better standard of living. Think about it!

Roy.

Christmas Shopping In July?

Posted in Britain, Children, Christianity, England, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 26/07/2011 by floroy1942

It must seem totally nuts to many people that some High Street shops are now offering Christmas goods in the middle of the summer holiday season.

In July?

Year on year Christmas items have made their first appearance in the shops ever earlier, when traditionally it was always in the lead-up to this festive season i.e late November and December. Now it seems the drive for profit is advancing the date every year.

A Christian Christmas Starts In Church

There is no doubt that Christmas is now more about making money than the religious celebration it once was, after all, there are probably more atheists than Christians  around these days.

A Time For Children

Apart from the few good Christians left in our society, usually among the elderly, Christmas has become a time for the children, who greedily wait to see what they will receive this year. Meanwhile, the adults concentrate on the food, drink and office party aspect.

A Family At Christmas

The one thing that has remained constant is Christmas being a time when families come together, and that cannot be bad at all. Once a year, relatives appear from all corners of the land, often at Mother’s house, to chat about their lives and how they are doing. The usual promises are made to ‘keep in touch’, but are mostly forgotten by January 2nd.

But really, do we need to ‘Christmas shop’ in July? I can’t help but think this sort of practice will eventually destroy once and for all the true meaning of Christmas, not that there is much of that left these days.

Harrod's At Christmas

It would seem that the shops concerned, like Harrod’s and Selfridge’s who are the first, are apparently out to capture tourist trade ‘bucks’, for they believe tourists will want to shop for Christmas goods while on holiday in London. It is true I suppose that some chinese tourists for example, may be attracted by the Christmas baubles that hang in the windows. It is almost certain that other shops will now want to get in on the act, but I can’t imagine business being brisk. But there again, you never know – It is after all a crazy world!

Roy.

Going Green – The Way Back

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Illegal Dumping, Insanity, Modern World, Oceans, Old Age Pensioner, Pacific, Plastic, Plastic Rubbish, Senior Citizen, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 25/07/2011 by floroy1942

 It is a fact that many people think the older generations did nothing to look after the planet on which we live because we were not ‘eco’ friendly. I am here to tell those people how wrong they are. I received a very interesting e-mail from my brother over the weekend all about being ‘green’.

It is a fact that we seniors did not have separate waste bins for plastic, glass etc and we did not run our cars on biofuels, but did that make us less ‘eco’ friendly? I think not as the following will amply demonstrate.

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. 

The Weekly Shopping

The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”
The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today.  Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

The Glass Milk Bottle-Reusable

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.  So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Stairs - Remember Them?

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind.  We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.  Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Just One Per Home

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. 

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. 

Why Not Old Newspaper?

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. 
Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.  We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Free Water For Anyone Thirsty And No Plastic

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. 
We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. 

The Modern Mixer - Is It Really Essential?

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then? ”

(My sincere thanks to the anonymous writer of this piece)

So you see, things were in many ways much better then than they are now. Consequently, I don’t think members of today’s generation have the right to say us old folks are to blame for today’s eco-problems, because actually, they have done it to themselves.

Admittedly, it was not because we thought about the environment as such, but more the fact that we just did not have all the things people have today. Technology has taken huge strides since the 40’s and 50’s, and we have to look there, and at ourselves, for the problems with our environment today. Many of the technological advances that have been made serve only to make us more lazy and increase the level of unemployment, so is that a good thing, do we really need these things?

Our Planets Floating Garbage Islands

There are many we could well do without, like escalators and powered grass mowers just to use two examples from the above piece. We could perhaps reduce the amount of plastic each of us uses in our daily lives, like supermarket carrier bags, plastic cups and bottles. After all, what is wrong with paper bags and glass bottles  that can be reused?

So you see, the current generation is more to blame for the state of our world than the old folks. Next time you buy an electric apparatus take a moment to think; Do I really need this?

It would seem the only way forward for us to be totally in tune with our world, is to take a few steps back and live like we used to.

Roy.

More “Asperger’s Syndrome” Sufferers Arrested

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Extradition, Hacker, Hackers, Insanity, Justice, Modern World, Police, Prison, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 20/07/2011 by floroy1942

Nice to hear that more than twenty hackers have been caught. The arrests took place in the USA, Great Britain and the Netherlands in a joint operation by police.

All are said to be members of two troublesome hacking groups, Lulzsec and Anonymous, who have been terrorizing the internet for some time.  

Of the sixteen arrested across America, fourteen are said to be from the group Anonymous that tried to shutdown PayPal after it closed down all links with Wikileaks.

The group has of course been guilty of intrusions into other computer networks like the Church of Scientology. They also created havoc with MasterCard and Visa, which let’s face it, impacted millions of people across the globe.

Cleary - Ducking Justice

One arrest was made in the UK, but to be honest, I can never see him facing trial, for he is sure to be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome like the other two hackers awaiting justice, Gary McKinnon and Ryan Cleary.

McKinnon - May Never Come To Trial?

McKinnon has managed to evade extradition to the USA for nine years because of his ‘sickness’, while Cleary, arrested last week, claims the same defence.

Dutch police have arrested a further four who have been linked to either Anonymous or Lulzsec. There can be little doubt that the suspects arrested in America and the Netherlands will have little opportunity to use Asperger’s Syndrome as a defence – Thank Goodness.

Their justice systems are not as lame as ours! So go ahead boys, lock ’em up and throw away the key!!!

Roy.

Illiteracy And The Internet

Posted in Benefits, Britain, Children, England, English Schools, Government, Immigration, Insanity, MP's, Primary Education, Primary Schools, Teens, UK with tags , , , , , , , , on 14/07/2011 by floroy1942

For many years companies have complained about the poor levels of reading, writing, and numeracy among our young people seeking work. Most are nowadays considered totally unemployable for all but the most mundane of tasks.

Charles Duncombe

Now a major ‘online’ entrepreneur has added his ten cents worth, and I believe it hammers home the message. Mr. Charles Duncombe, who is director of Just Say Please Group, has come forward to say that the low levels of literacy in the UK are now hitting the web-based sales market to the tune of millions of pounds a year.

He said:”I know that industry bemoaning the education system is nothing new, but it is becoming more and more of a problem with more companies going online. This is because when you sell or communicate on the internet 99% of the time it is done by the written word.”

At Least Dorothy Perkins Hires Semi-Literates

According to him, the problem is bad spelling on websites that put off potential customers who may think the site is bogus or untrustworthy. When recruiting staff for his company he was “shocked at the poor quality of written english“.

Giving an example of the impact on internet sales, he had measured sales per visitor on his ‘tightsplease.co.uk’ site and found sales jumped significantly after a spelling mistake had been corrected. He said: “If you project this across the whole of internet retail then millions of pounds worth of business is probably being lost each week due to simple spelling mistakes,”

If You Don’t Know, There’s No Point In Telling You. Duh!

Mr. Duncombe was astounded at the poor levels of spelling and grammar from both school and university graduates. When writing a curriculum some even used ‘text speak’ (i.e. replacing the word ‘for’ with 4 for example). He went on to say that given a simple spelling test, most were hopelessly inadequate without access to a computer spellchecker.

Even our last Prime Minister was afflicted. Gordon Brown was a notoriously poor writer, due supposedly to his bad eyesight. In a letter to the family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan he made several mistakes which led to arguments over who should check his correspondence before it was sent.

The CBI’s head of education and skills, James Fothergill,  echoed Charles Duncombe’s statement by saying, ‘he was shocked at the number of companies who feel it necessary to give extra literacy classes to potential recruits just to get them up to the required level of competence. He said:  “Our recent research shows that 42% of employers are not satisfied with the basic reading and writing skills of school and college leavers and almost half have had to invest in remedial training to get their staff’s skills up-to-scratch”.

It looks very much like this will be the pattern in the future for UK companies, and it will not end until the education system is sorted out. It is not necessarily the fault of the youth themselves, for they have been let down badly by the education system as a whole, which has steadily declined in excellence since the 1950’s. Now, even the teachers could not pass an old-style exam for literacy and numeracy. It’s the blind leading the blind!

Says It All Really!

When you consider that over a hundred years ago this country began the Industrial Revolution, and fifty years ago we had the best scientists in the world, today’s picture is more than grim. Both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have much to answer for, for there is little doubt they have destroyed the very foundations of our country (i.e our education system) by turning the majority of people into semi-literates with no prospect of decent employment.

The Dole Queue-The Future For Britain’s Dumb Youth

This is already starting to impact our Benefits System with an ever-increasing number of young people on the dole, and it will get worse until it becomes unsustainable.

From now on it looks like the United Kingdom will have to rely on immigrants for brains!

Roy.

The UK’s Two-Faced Stance On Cybercrime

Posted in Britain, England, Extradition, Government, Hacker, Hackers, Health, Insanity, MP's, Police, Prison, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 12/07/2011 by floroy1942

I couldn’t help but laugh when I read an article about the Home Office stance on cyber-crime last week, when Crime and Security Minister James Brokenshire said at the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance launch that “there should be no safe havens for cyber-criminals”! He called for  ‘international treaties, bilateral treaties, and common agreements between nations to make sure miscreants active outside their home country can be prosecuted when scams and hacks take place’.

Can’t Touch Me-I’ve Got Asperger’s!

I definitely agree with the statement, but I couldn’t help feeling it was two-faced considering the case of Gary McKinnon, who was arrested in Britain in 2002 for hacking into Pentagon and NASA computer systems. He caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage and is still wriggling his way out of deportation to the States for trial after nine years. The US government has been trying to have him extradited since 2002 when the FBI and British police tracked him down. Initially, his defence stated he was looking for evidence of UFO’s, but when that didn’t seem to work they suddenly found out he was suffering from Aspeger’s Syndrome. How convenient!

Related Post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/a-sorry-excuse-to-evade-justice/

The sad thing is, as the case drags on people are now feeling sorry for him and want him released. It’s ridiculous! They seem to have totally forgotten that he is a criminal and deserves punishment. It’s people like him that cause misery, expense, and often despair among computer users across the globe.

It is worthy to note that Asperger’s Syndrome did not appear to have any impact McKinnon’s ability to answer questions or explain himself during this interview. In fact, he came across as a perfectly normal person and much more intelligent than the two fawning interviewers who did nothing to hide their sympathy and support for him. To me, this man’s ‘defence’ is the weakest I have ever heard!

Ryan Cleary-That’s Funny So Have I!

Ryan Cleary, who is alleged to be a member of the now defunct Lulzec Group was caught a couple of weeks ago. Cleary, who is said to be highly intelligent, is going down the same road as McKinnon by claiming he too suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, and if these two stick to their stories they may never face trial.

Report on arrest of Ryan Cleary:

Related Post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/yet-another-debacle-with-english-law/

“Asperger’s Syndrome is distinguished by a pattern of symptoms rather than a single symptom. It is characterized by qualitative impairment in social interaction, by stereotyped and restricted patterns of behavior, activities and interests, and by no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or general delay in language. Intense preoccupation with a narrow subject, one-sided verbosity, restricted prosody, and physical clumsiness are typical of the condition, but are not required for diagnosis.” Quote from Wikipedia.

What this says in a nutshell is that a sufferer does not mix with others well, and suffers excessive concentration and attention on a single subject. It however goes on to say there is no significant impairment of cognitive development (i.e. relating to the process of acquiring knowledge by the use of reasoning, intuition, or perception) or general delay in language (i.e. no speech or understanding impairment).

Now to me, this does not mean these two have any excuse for ducking the legal process, or for that matter, deportation when required by another government. They may not be functioning the full 100%, but close enough to it to face their comeuppance.

So this whole scenario makes the statement by Brokenshire somewhat of a barefaced lie. You cannot go around asking other countries to stop being a haven for cyber-criminals when we ourselves do just that. Every hacker, spammer, and cyber-criminal who gets caught can just claim to have Aspergers Syndrome and walk free!

Do As You Would Be Done By?

But there again, why not? Stranger things have happened within the British justice system! It seems the Home Office have forgotten the old saying: “If you wish to lead, lead by example!”

Roy.

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