Archive for December, 2011

An English Residents View of Spain’s Economic Woes

Posted in Britain, Budget Cuts, England, Europe, Government Spending, Spain, UK with tags , , , , on 31/12/2011 by floroy1942

Just about the whole world knows Spain has major economic problems at the moment, which makes it no different from the rest of Europe. Each country has its own reasons for the current state of its economy, Greece because it fiddled the books, Portugal and Italy because they  just spent too much etc etc. the list goes on. As someone who has lived in Spain for four years, I believe Spain’s problems are caused by something other than just spending too much.

Spain's GDP Takes a Nosedive

I freely admit I am no economy expert, but judge things more on what I see from day to day – the nitty-gritty analysis I leave up to the experts. As someone who has observed life in Spain from the sidelines as it were, in my opinion, most of the problems in this country are caused by three main things; 1. An ineffective government, 2. major corruption and 3. massive inefficiency.

Zapatero - What Could I Have Done Better? - Everything!

Under Zapatero’s government it seemed as though they were not interested in governing and solving the countries problems, just sitting in their ivory towers in Madrid and talking, which is something the Spanish are very good at. Ask someone on the street the time, and you end up in a half-hour one-sided conversation. They love the sound of their own voices!

Rajoy - A New Broom - Let's Hope So!

In just about all respects, the Zapatero government were a waste of space. Whether the new guy on the block Rajoy will be any better we must wait and see. But whoever is in charge, Spain needs a governing body that will be seen to actively tackle the root problems, and most important, keep the public informed on how and why!

Marbella Council Members In Court For Corruption

Spain’s second major problem has been around since the seventies, and that is corruption. Here in Marbella practically the entire local council was arrested a few years ago for massive corruption running into hundreds of millions of euro’s since 1991. This went all the way from the mayor down through city hall. Many of the corrupt officials are now in prison but the courts are still trying to track down the massive amounts of money that were siphoned off, and they are not getting very far.

Highly Dangerous A7 Between Marbella and Fuengirola

The results of the fraud can be seen everywhere in Marbella in rundown buildings, broken road surfaces and a generally poor infrastructure. The effects of this have been far reaching, for example, the street lights along a twenty kilometer stretch of the most dangerous motorway in southern Spain (A7 E340) have recently been switched off because two local councils don’t want to be the ones having to pay for the electricity.

The Shrinking Beaches

Every year beach sand is washed out into the Med but has for some time not been replaced because of cost. This means in effect that beaches along some stretches of coast between Marbella and Fuengirola are shrinking to the extent there is not much left when the tide is in. Eventually this will have a major impact on tourism, which lets face it, is Spain’s bread and butter for it doesn’t have any heavy industry apart from the building trade. Its only other real source of income is the agriculture sector.

An Unfinished Dream Home

The building trade, which has flourished ever since it began in the 1960’s suddenly died in 2008 due mainly to the banking crisis and the collapse of the mortgage market. This whole stretch of coast is marked by half-completed buildings that may never be finished.

 

Living on a Hillside

Realising back in the 60’s that tourism was a major winner, they have over the years built on almost every patch of open ground capable of taking a block of apartments or a villa (plus some that are not) and it has proven a major money winner for the country.

Demolishing Someone's 'Illegal' Dream Home

The Marbella council members made much of their illicit money in kickbacks for allowing builders to flout the existing building laws, and so currently, many people who bought their dream villa or apartment and moved lock, stock, and barrel to the Costa have had their home torn down because they were built illegally. This has happened to many over the past three years and even pensioners have been left on the pavement with their furniture. Now things are being handled in a more humane way and many such places will eventually be made legal. The builders guilty of the corrupt practices have of course pocketed the money and are long gone.

The sad thing is, the Spanish government did nothing to curb all these excesses, and the massive criminality associated with the building trade. Some people living in England put down vast sums of money to have a Spanish company build them a villa on the Costa, only to find all the ‘progress reports’ were lies when they come across to see their dream home and found it either as foundations only or perhaps a couple of walls. The builder of course was long gone with his ill-gotten gains. My own sister had a villa built and the local building company couldn’t even follow the plans for many rooms were the wrong size! This building fraud much like the Time Share fraud of old has been completely ignored by the government and the police, because let’s face it, it only happens to foreigners! 

Local Police - Car Bound

Another interesting factor is the police are only interested in ‘high profile’ crime. Spain’s traffic and local police are next to useless, preferring to sit on their fat asses in their patrol cars rather than fight  everyday crime like beggars and traffic violations which is one of the reasons Spain has the highest annual mortality rates for road accidents (35,000) in Europe. But gross inefficiency is not limited to  the police, its everywhere.

An Expensive Accident

My wife and I had occasion to go the the Marbella Justice building a couple of years ago, and when we entered the office there where about five people lounging at desks. One eventually came over and asked what we wanted. We gave them the paper we had received and the man tried to find the file relating to our business. Every table, cabinet and available floor space was covered with half-a-metre deep piles of files as if it was a repository for waste paper. After searching for about fifteen minutes the man came back and said the person dealing with our situation was on holiday and could we come back the following week because he could not find the file – no surprise there! The idea of a proper filing system seemed beyond the entire department. When dealing with the local council in some cases you get bounced from one department to another, and these are spread about in buildings all over town instead being together in just one. 

Latin American Call Centre - About as Far Removed From Reality as You Can Get

Dealing with Spanish companies like Vodafone or the electricity company is a nightmare due to inefficiency. You have to call a certain number to get someone to deal with your query or complaint and you end up talking to someone in South America who has no idea what you are talking about. If you start getting frustrated they turn abusive as has happened with my wife when calling Vodafone. When our internet dropped my wife was on the phone for almost two hours!!!

In all good faith, I cannot ‘paint everyone here with the same brush’ for there are many Spaniards who are kind, courteous, and do what they can to help within the rotten system, but generally speaking, Spain needs to inject a huge amount of efficiency into the day to day running of the country from top to bottom. The police need to get off their backsides and do the job they are paid to do by sorting out the corruption and fraud which is endemic here. The government needs to start governing properly and let the people know that it is doing so, otherwise little will change in the forseeable future.  

Happy New Year Everyone

I sincerely hope that the new government can come to grips with all the root problems here and get the economy back on track, for it is a pleasant place to live, and of course the weather is divine. This will be the last entry for 2011  and outside it’s 20*C with wall-to-wall sunshine. Just the way we like it!

Have a wonderful New Year and may your blog audience grow beyond your wildest dreams.

Roy.                           

 

2011 – A Good Year?

Posted in Britain, Environment, Spain, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 23/12/2011 by floroy1942

It’s Christmas again and you have to wonder where the year went. For many of us this last 12 months has been somewhat of a trial, what with the economic crisis in Europe and the introduction of austerity measures, the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ that has brought death and destruction to many families in many countries, and not forgetting the various disasters worldwide.  Soon another year will be starting and we can only hope it will  be better than 2011.

February 24 2011 - New Zealand

Everyone lives in hope that things will improve, and the world can settle down once more to a period of comparative peace. The last year has seen more than its share of death and heartache, but when all is said and done, we do this to ourselves. Without dictators there would be no need for  an ‘Arab Spring’, and without greedy bankers and corrupt politicians there would be no need for austerity measures, but we are after all human and no-one is perfect.

February 26 2011 - Libya

As we see in countries like Egypt, there is no point in overturning a dictator if he is to be replaced by a military that will not bow to the will of the people. It is after all, the people that make a country, not governments or its landscape. In other arab countries there has been continued unrest because the will of the people has not been heard. Libya is still engaged in sporadic fighting since the fall of Gaddafi, and of course in Syria the story is far from over. If you wish to count all the countries that are embroiled in unrest you would run out of fingers and toes. In Iraq, now the last troops have taken their leave, we have secular fighting that looks set to continue for a long time, until one or other comes out on top, but as usual its the common people who suffer.

If you look to countries that are not actually fighting among themselves, you will find a long list that has suffered riots and/or major demonstrations over the past year. Chief among them Greece, Italy, Spain, America and even Russia. Most of these events are due to people protesting about the austerity measures put in place by their governments in an effort to try and balance the books. That they should need to do this is only due to their incompetence over the last five years, for they failed to live up to the golden rule; i.e. “Never spend what you don’t have”!

October 19 2011 - Greece

All today’s monetary problems stem from the fact that once political parties get in power they want to stay there, and will promise anything to achieve that. They say “Power Corrupts” and that is never more true than today. The governments of countries like Greece and Italy have raised salaries and encouraged massive tax fraud etc. just to keep the populace happy and themselves in  power. As most European countries are now finding out, eventually you have to pay the piper! I was going to include Spain in that category, but in truth, here the problem is massive inefficiency everywhere, from government down to the local shop. How these people ever had the audacity to think they could invade England in 1588 defies logic! Better they had stayed in South America where they only had to fight the local indian tribes!

Friday March 11 2011 - Fukushima

This last year has also seen its share of natural disasters in the shape of earthquakes, tsunami’s, drought and major flooding. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives in these catastrophes, and in truth we have no-one to blame but ourselves. For as long as we continue to destroy our world piecemeal it will only get worse. As I have often said in the past, we are entering a new phase of mankind, and in the words of the ‘Bard’: “We ain’t seen nothing yet!”

Indonesia - Rain Forest Destruction 2011

However, the optimists among us will still hope that the next year in man’s evolution will see an improvement over the current troubles that beset our world. It can happen, if only people would think a little less of themselves and a little more of others. It is time to put away self! With more cooperation and an end to the constant power struggle that afflicts our leaders, the world could once again become a peaceful place where everyone can benefit. If we ourselves stop judging everything by ‘what is best for us’ we can go a long way to solving the major problems that beset society in most countries of the world. If nations like Brazil, China and many other Far Eastern countries can stop their constant attacks on our environment, and everyone can finally agree on measures to cut carbon emissions, maybe we can eventually slow the onset of global warming and reduce the natural disasters that plague our planet ever more frequently.

In the short and long term it is up to everyone, be we banker or beggar, to make the necessary changes in our lives that will bring about what we desire most, a happy and carefree life.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderfully happy Christmas, and of course, a fruitful and happy New Year.

Roy.

Another Shocking Prison Report

Posted in Britain, Conservative Party, England, Human Rights, Mobile Phone, Prison, UK with tags , , , on 22/12/2011 by floroy1942

Who is in charge of our prisons? It was revealed recently that bullying  and drugs are still rife in British prisons, which to be honest doesn’t say much for HM Prison Service. The report by the Prison Inspectorate named in particular HMP Erlestoke, near Devizes in which it said illegal drugs and bullying were ‘rife’ in the prison, a fact that shouldn’t surprise too many people.

Home From Home

It did concede that improvements had been made since the last inspection however, but it still makes me wonder why the prisoners run our prisons and not the wardens. I have many times said that in my opinion, the British penal system is far too soft, and rather than acting as a deterrent to crime it encourages it. Soft sentencing and prisons like five-star hotels is no way to turn criminals away from a life of crime.

We desperately need to get back to a system of justice that is to be feared by all who end up in its clutches, with no luxury accommodation, no sports and games gear, no TV and no perks like day release.

Life of Riley!!!

Insofar as prison drugs are concerned, any prisoner found to have taken drugs gets an automatic six-months added to their sentence, and anyone found to be carrying drugs into a prison gets to join the inmates for a minimum of six-months. It matters not if these are family members or prison staff, the rule is the same. Anyone guilty of bullying , or any other rule infraction gets an automatic three months jail time.

It is way past time the prison system was run in a proper way and the Prison Service stopped allowing the prisoners so much freedom and trying to be friends with prisoners just to keep them happy, and peaceful.

Prison Used to be a Deterrent

Each successive government has promised to be “Tough on Crime”. famous words uttered by Tony Blair when he aspired to be Prime Minster, but what did Labour do, they turned our prisons into a holiday camp, reduced sentences to a farce and started allowing prisoners out on ‘day release’ to help them “adjust to life outside”.

The Re-Offending Roundabout

Under the Conservative Ken Clark we have not seen any major improvements so far, in fact several times over the past year he has been completely on the wrong track. Shorter sentences, early release and ‘homely’ jails are not the way to cut re-offending rates.

Its one thing to accept European Directives on sentencing and prisons, which seem to work in most other European countries, but Britain has a unique situation where crime has long since spiralled out of control, and that requires harsher measures.

Fully Equipped Gym?

Ken Clark has been worried about the increasing cost of keeping criminals in prison, which with an 85,000 plus population is enormous, but there are better ways to save money, like getting rid of all the fancy frills enjoyed by prisoners, and make them work hard during their sentence. In the long term this is the best way of saving money, because if a prison sentence was feared by criminals they would have more incentive to ‘go straight’, and thereby the prison numbers would be significantly reduced within a few short years.

Current Prison Phones

News from a couple of weeks ago indicated there are plans to put phones in every prison cell in an effort to stop the smuggling of mobiles into prison. Now what sort of cock-eyed idea is that! At a time when money is tight some bright spark decided to lash out on phones in prisoners cells! To give all prisoners a phone just to stop the illegal use of mobiles is about as sane as giving thieves unlimited access to your property to prevent them stealing!!! Prisoners naturally prefer smuggled mobiles to the prison phone system because they cannot be monitored. Personally, I think a much cheaper and effective way of solving the mobile problem is for each prison to have its own jammer, and in that way no-one will be using a mobile while inside its walls.

While the Prison Service and the Ministry of Justice say that tight controls are necessary when allowing prisoners access to telephones, we all know that although intentions may be good, the system never works as it is supposed to and abuse and lax controls will eventually be the ‘norm’.

Prison Epidemic

Allowing criminals to have phones in prison is a dangerous game, because it means not only business as usual while ‘inside’, but also gives them the opportunity for stalking victims and threatening witnesses against them.

In my opinion, none of the measures I suggest are likely to be imposed because we have to deal with the Human Rights Lobby which is powerful in Britain, and these ‘holier than thou’ idiots will be up in arms at any such move. Well, that is until they themselves become a victim of crime and then they will change their tune. Perhaps a pompous HR follower would provide a burglar with tea and biscuits while he ransacked his/her home because the poor man is really deprived and misunderstood!!! Well, isn’t that the right approach for an HR dipstick???

Roy.

The Rich and Powerful Never Go To Jail!

Posted in Europe, Justice, President, Prison with tags , , , , , on 16/12/2011 by floroy1942

Jacques Chirac the former French President has finally been found guilty of corruption, but guess what, he won’t go to jail. Unlike you or I, rich and powerful men invariably do not spend time behind bars for their crimes but get a ‘suspended sentence’. Now aint’ that just dandy!

Guilty!

His supporters will firstly insist that he is innocent, but if they go so far as to accept the court ruling, they will say he cannot go to jail because of his health. Justice used to be blind and totally impartial, but that idea is obviously ‘old hat’.  These days it seems that if you are rich or powerful enough you can get away with murder in the democratic West.

In 2004 Alain Juppe was convicted in the same case and sentenced to a 14 month suspended sentence and banned from holding office for a year. He is now Foreign Minister and may even become Prime Minister if his Party regains power.

Chirac as Mayor of Paris

The whole thing dates back to the early 90’s when Chirac was Mayor of Paris. He is charged with various crimes of corruption. During the trial it came out that he had embezzled €1.4 million from the Paris Council to pay ‘salaries’ to friends who held a fictitious job within the council. He was given leave by the court not to attend during most of the trial for reasons of ill-health, namely dementia and failing memory. It is because of his ‘ill health’ that he will not be appealing the court decision.

During his time as French President (1995-2007) he had immunity from prosecution as head of state, but all that changed when Sarkozy became President. He now has the distinction of being the first French head of state to be tried since 1945 when France put the Nazi collaborator Marshall Petain on trial.

The outcome of this trial is really a farce, for it proves once again that if you are rich enough, or powerful enough, you will never go to jail in a democracy. Pity us poor minnows in the pond, for while the sharks play, the minnows pay!!!

Roy.

“Can We Have Our Drone Back Please?”

Posted in Iran, Israel, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , on 13/12/2011 by floroy1942

Apart from being a major embarrassment for the CIA, the loss of a spy drone by America has other implications too, which may be far reaching. As one would expect, there were first direct denials by the White House, followed later by a statement that the CIA was ‘having trouble’ with one of its UAV’s. It was not until pictures of the captured craft were shown to the world on Iranian TV that the whole truth came out. This time ‘deniability’ did not save the day! 

Iran Shows Off Captured UAV

An announcement by Iran today says they intend to reverse-engineer (copy) the drone and add it to their own military arsenal. There can be little doubt the Iranians will learn a great deal from the vehicle, and will make a quantum leap forward in military hardware giving them a major technological advantage over most countries in the world.

Naturally, this will take them a couple of years, but if they achieve a working model of their own they will put it to good use. Not only will it allow them to spy on their neighbours, especially Iraq, but also American bases in the Middle East. I doubt they will ever manage to fly one over continental America, for the USA has sufficient in its armoury to shoot down any unmanned drone flying over their territory, but having said that, it is a ‘stealth’ machine. Either way, it would still be disconcerting to say the least to know Iran could fly one over their overseas bases.

RQ-170 Sentinel UAV

Many will say it was just a matter of time before someone found a way to hi-jack control over a drone and I suppose it was. From the news bulletins, it would appear the Iranian military managed to hack into the drone’s control systems and simply fly it to one of their bases. I can just imagine the consternation at CIA headquarters when the pilot lost control and could only sit and watch as the craft was landed in ‘enemy’ territory by someone else.

The most threatening aspect of the whole affair is not just the ‘gift’ of the technology, but also the information that was on board. While much of it was probably focussed on Iran, what else was in the memory banks?

Developed by Lockheed Martin

It has also been revealed that Iran may allow Chinese and Russian experts access to the technology and data gleaned from the UAV. Considering the advanced nature of the electronics on board, and the unique ‘stealth’ characteristics of the craft, this would be a serious blow to the United States.

It is certain that America, and in particular the CIA, will be desperate to regain possession of the drone and its secrets, but its not worth going to war over. Perhaps we will see in the near future a covert operation by one or other SEAL team to destroy it before too many secrets are revealed, but that in my opinion is unlikely, for such an act will most certainly be seen as an ‘act of war’ by the touchy Iranians. Another possibility is a Tomahawk missile attack on the facility, but again this would be seen as an act of war.

There is a possibility the CIA has operatives within Iran who can get to it and destroy the drone before too many secrets are uncovered, but this is open to speculation.

UAV Pilot In Action

It is perhaps lucky for America that it was in fact pilot-less. Otherwise we may have seen a repeat of the 1960 event when a U2 spy plane was shot down over Russia during the Cold War, which resulted in a show trial of the pilot Gary Powers and caused major embarrassment for the USA. 

At the  moment it would seem that a stalemate exists, for Iran has made it clear they have no intention of returning the drone and options for the US government are severely limited considering the already frosty relationship between the two countries.

Israel - A Force to be Reckoned With

There is however one ‘fly in the ointment’ (isn’t there always), and this one goes by the name of Israel. It is certain Iran’s arch enemy will not want to see them with this technology, for it would be no surprise if in a couple of years the Iranian military started flying covert missions over Israel to spy on the military bases there. Considering the constant threat Israel poses to their nuclear weapon programme, it is logical they will wish to know as much as they can about what they are facing.

If Iran does not get ‘the bomb’, Israel has nothing to fear militarily but should this happen, the whole country would be under constant threat of a nuclear attack. Pilot-less drones could conceivably be used to deliver such a weapon, and this will not have been forgotten by the Israeli military.

Ahmadinejad At the UN

As to what happens now, well, that’s open to speculation. I do not see the USA being able to apply any direct pressure on Iran for its return, for the country is already under UN sanctions over its nuclear programme. As to military action, that would be a major risk for the United States, for not only would it find itself involved in yet another war against an Islamic State after Iraq and Afghanistan, but the repercussions world-wide would be tremendous. 

To me it seems all the USA can do in this case is try and limit the damage caused by this incident and make future drones more secure electronically.

Roy. 

The Hypocricy of American Politics

Posted in Equality, Gays, Homosexuals, Human Rights, Obama, Political Correctness, President, USA with tags , , , , on 10/12/2011 by floroy1942

The latest announcement by Hilary Clinton that the US will actively promote homosexual rights abroad shows how low American politicians will stoop to get re-elected.

Next year is presidential election year in the USA and its not just Obama’s job on the line, and so far as I can see, this declaration is nothing more than a ploy to gain the ‘gay’ vote.

A Once Proud Race

What it appears to mean, is that the American government will will look at ‘gay’ rights in a country when deciding how much, or even if, it will receive aid from the USA. Coming from one of the most racist nations on the planet, and one that was founded on the near total eradication of its native people, I find this an affront to my intelligence. But before my American readers get all ‘hot under the collar’, ask yourself this. In what other country do we describe our citizens by their race; i.e. white American, black American, Latino’s, Italian American etc? In the rest of the world this distinction is not made!

I care not what the politicians say, racism is still rife in America, though I do not blame any single segment of the population, for they are all as bad as one another. Answer this question honestly: – How long would a white man or woman last alone (especially at night) in a black or latin neighbourhood or vice versa? Think about it and you will see the obvious i.e. that he/she would be dead by dawn! Don’t forget that the opposite is also true!

An Affront to Our Morality

But all that aside, the ‘gay rights’ issue in America is something else. Like most other countries, up until a decade ago homosexuals were reviled by all levels of society, but suddenly, like the flick of a switch, some people (many of them high-profile figures) decided that to be a deviant was OK and we should all clap our hands and cheer as they all ‘came out’, which in proper english means they revealed what they are. Just because some actor or other decides to let the world know they are homosexual does not make it just, right, or acceptable! After that of course, it was essential for the political bandwagon to climb on board for fear of being frozen out at the polls.

For This You and I would Be Arrested

Like a virus, it spread across nations, fueled by the disgusting ‘Gay Parades’ where they flaunt themselves (in costumes you or I would be arrested for) in front of ‘amused’ crowds who are too stupid to realise what is going on. Naturally this, along with the ‘do-gooders’, i.e. people without a life of their own, have fuelled this idea until we have homosexuals marrying and even adopting children. I am convinced it will not end well! How long before we get a generation of misfits who have become so confused as to their own sexuality (because they have same-sex parents) and no longer know where they fit in in society?

Noooooooo!

What would Hilary Clinton or Barak Obama think in their heart of hearts if one of their own children let it be known they were homosexual? I do not think they would be amused.

Now the USA wants to force other countries to accept this depravity and take on board the decline in morality that goes with it! I am sorry America, but you do not have that right!!!!

Big and powerful you may be, but you have no right to insist that poor countries will be helped only if their government allows these deviants recognition and rights.

Ha Ha Ha! This is a Joke Right?

What will you say to Saudi Arabia for example? In that Muslim country, as in any other, homosexuality is against both the law and religion and these people are put to death when caught. Is the US government going to make an exception here because that country is their biggest friend in the Middle East? I bet they do, and that will reveal the complete hypocrisy of Hilary Clinton’s statement! Rest assured, this ruling will only apply to countries aided by the USA that have no financial or strategic importance to the United States like Zimbabwe, Ghana and Uganda in Africa. Just wait and see!!!

Do You Really Wish to See This on Beaches Near Your Children?

Do as you wish in your own backyard and allow others to do the same. This current attitude may well gain the present government the homosexual vote, but it will be seen for what it is and condemned in the eyes of all intelligent people, and will lead to international condemnation by many.

Muslim Cure

I agree also with Texas Governor Rick Perry who said that “promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interests and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money”. Perhaps Hilary should ask the American taxpayer if they want their tax dollars spent on promoting the rights of homosexuals in foreign countries! I can imagine what the answer will be!!

Roy.

The Hidden Truth Behind Muslim ‘Honour’ Killings

Posted in Afghanistan, Al Quada, Britain, England, Immigrants, Muslim, Sharia Law, UK, USA with tags , , on 07/12/2011 by floroy1942

Everyone has heard of the Muslim tradition of ‘honour’ killing after the events of the past decade, coupled with the increasing Islamization of western countries. It is a system of so-called justice within the Muslim faith so barbaric as to strike horror into the hearts of all decent, intelligent people.

Women’s View

It is a well known fact that these acts are predominantly meted out on women, and are a constant reminder of their subservient position in Muslim society, for to Muslim men they are nothing more than possessions.

The news that prompted this post is a report that ‘honour killings’ have dramatically increased in Britain over the past year. As everyone knows, our country has very large Muslim communities, many that refuse to accept British Law and revert to their own brutal Sharia Law.

A survey of almost every police force in the country by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (Ikwro) has shown a total of 2,823 killings in the last year alone. Almost all were of women who have in some way ‘supposedly’ stained the family or community ‘honour’ and have been either beaten, mutilated or even killed. This ‘stain’ on the family honour could be the refusal of a young girl to marry the man of her families choice, she may have been seen talking to boys without a chaperone, or even just adopting western style clothing.

I give you as an example the case of Banaz Mahmod, from Mitcham, south London, who in 2006 was strangled on the orders of her father and uncle because they thought her boyfriend was unsuitable. Of course when it comes to men its usually the homosexuals who are in the firing line.

Father of Banaz Mahmod

It is not enough for the Muslim male to completely dominate his partner and subject her to covering her entire body ‘lest she inflame the passions of another man’, but to put one foot wrong can mean she pays the ultimate sacrifice. A prime example is Mohammad Shafia, who is being tried along with his second wife and their 20-year-old son for the murder of his three daughters and his first wife. The Canadian police secretly recorded a conversation in which he boasted “he would kill them again if they came back a hundred times”. He called his daughters ‘whores’ just for having boyfriends. The really sad thing is, he saw nothing wrong with his actions because they had ‘stained the family honour’.

Even worse is the case of a Libyan man who slit the throats of three of his daughters, aged 15, 17, and 18 after they were raped by pro-Gadaffi forces, as if it was their fault! Two Muslim women in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh helped each other use ropes to choke the life from their daughters after the two young women returned home after marrying Hindu men. “We killed them because they brought shame to our community,” When questioned they said, “How could they elope with Hindus? They deserved to die. We have no remorse.”

In London a Danish man was forced to drink acid after being beaten, and lost his tongue. He was suspected of having an affair with a married woman from Pakistan. One of the attackers was the woman’s brother. It is certain the woman concerned is in great danger herself. In Pakistan, three teenage girls were buried alive in mid-July in a remote village because they planned to choose their own husbands. The girls, aged 14, 16 and 18 were abducted and tortured, then buried still breathing. Two older women who tried to help them were also buried alive.

From information readily available, Pakistan and India have the highest rates of honour killings in the world. In Pakistan alone it is estimated there are around 5,000 such killings a year.

Women Are Often Disfigured Before Being Killed

In Iraq men are seldom prosecuted by the law for honour killings as this is seen as a normal way of life.  An Iraqi father who suffocated and stabbed his 17-year-old daughter has only one regret over her honour killing: That he didn’t murder her “the instant her mother delivered her.” Her crime? Talking to a British soldier! The father was arrested, but released by the police without charge because according to the father, “The officers were by my side, congratulating me on what I had done.”

There are conflicting views that honour killings are allowed under Sharia Law, some scholars attest that it is allowed while others say it is not. In the book on Sharia Law, paragraph o1.2 has the following phrases; “The following are not subject to retaliation: (4) A father or mother (or their fathers and mothers) for killing their offspring or their offspring’s offspring”. This translation from the original Arabic was certified by Al Azhar of the Islamic Research Academy.

While others assert there is nothing in the Qur’an allowing this practice, it is for sure that the Islamic Holy Book is also being corrupted by individuals to satisfy their own ends, much like the insurgents who kill fellow Muslims, which is strictly against the Qur’an.

While many Muslims, including academics, will have us westerners believe the Islamic Faith is one of peace, the evidence is all around us that it is not so. The extremists in places like Iraq and Afghanistan are not directing the majority of their attacks against westerners, but against their own innocent people.

The Crusades

Christian followers have not been on such a rampage of death and destruction for the last six hundred years. Such a thing is not something one would expect in the 21st century of civilized man, and where it will all end is anyone’s guess. Muslims everywhere need to take a long hard look at themselves and their religion, and see the reality as it is and compare it with the real teachings of Allah.

As a peace loving man I can only hope this madness comes to an end very soon, for one thing is sure, there will be no winners!

Roy.

The High Cost of Teenage ‘Binge’ Drinking

Posted in Britain, Children, England, Teen alcohol abuse, Teen Violence, Teens, UK with tags , , , on 03/12/2011 by floroy1942

The Facts Speak For Themselves

A shocking report out yesterday from the health campaign group Balance has finally put into perspective the results of UK teenagers ‘binge’ drinking. The high consumption level of alcohol among today’s teenagers reached the point long ago where it became a national disgrace, but now, after research by this group, the the real dangers are becoming clear.

 

Cirrhosis Patient

The medical profession has become increasingly worried by a 400% increase in alcohol related liver disease over the last eight years. This figure compares with a 61% rise nationally, and is related to persons between 30 and 34. In  2002, 89 cases were reported in North-Eastern England alone, but this has now risen to 189 last year. Balance highlighted the fact that many cases are among young people in the age group 20 to 25, and some are as young as 11. Quite rightly, doctors describe the results as an epidemic.

Balance Director Colin Shevills said; “It is particularly concerning, as here in the North East we have the highest rate of 11-15-year-olds who drink in England and the highest rate of under 18s admitted to hospital because of alcohol.”

Life's Great! - To Hell With Tomorrow

I still remember what it is to be young and brash, and to feel that it will never happen to you, but the drinking habits of Britain’s’ teens has gone way beyond the reasonable. As a teenager you think only of the moment and don’t even worry about the hangover you will have in the morning, but many are now finding out there is a price to pay, and it will affect the rest of their lives. For a young life, with hopefully a long a fruitful future ahead, the news that you have an incurable liver disease will be devastating.

Typical Saturday Night

To try and reason with teenagers on such a subject is useless, for they naturally enough I suppose, feel as if they are invincible, something we have all felt I guess. Many 20 to 30 year-olds are now being diagnosed with terminal liver disease, and at such a young age that is tragic, but there always come a time when you must ‘pay the piper’.

Alcohol Related Deaths Rising

One particular case quoted in the report is of a 41 year-old ‘party animal’ who drank 3 bottles of wine plus lager a day, and now suffers from cirrhosis of the liver and will be taking close to 100 pills a week for as long as she lives.  The pills will not cure her sickness, but only keep it in check, hopefully. She also spent almost half of the last two years in hospital and her liver could fail at any time. Cirrhosis sufferers have a very poor quality of life, and never know when their liver will fail completely, which of course leads to death.

Three For the Price of Two?

According to many experts, the problem has developed because of the availability of cheap alcohol in supermarkets and other places, and of course non-adherence to the laws forbidding the sale of alcohol to persons under age. Part of it is also the lack of future prospects felt by much of today’s youth, trapped as they are, jobless because of poor education standards due to the failure of the education system in Great Britain. Parents must also share a major portion of the blame for not exercising proper parental control. Something that seems to be out of fashion these days.  

Top of the League

In many British towns and cities the Saturday night picture is always the same, teenagers vomiting and urinating in the street, and the park benches and pavements littered with comatose drunks. Of course there is also the question of young girls getting ‘wasted’ on a Saturday night and finding out shortly after that they are pregnant. Britain has the highest rate of unmarried teenage mothers in Europe. Let us also not forget the violence that often accompanies ‘binge’ drinking.

The Body Can Only Take So Much Abuse

It’s a sad snapshot of life in today’s Britain and the likelihood of the pattern changing in the near future is bleak. Only a tiny few will perhaps read the report in the newspapers, and those that do will ignore it as being something that will never affect them. Well, let’s face it, liver disease is something old people get. Right!

Roy.

Obesity – The British Champions

Posted in Britain, Diabetes, England, Europe, Health, Obesity, Teens, UK, USA with tags , on 01/12/2011 by floroy1942

Interesting to read this week that the UK now tops the European list for obesity among its women. No real surprise there, you only have to look around you while walking down the street of any town in Britain. The men should not laugh either for they are not far behind!

Statistics from 19 countries for the year 2008/2009 show a staggering 23.9% of all British women are obese, which is in stark contrast to Romania for example, that has only 8% obesity in the female population. I remember years ago in my youth that everyone used to laugh at the Germans, for they were by far the ‘largest’ people in Europe. Well, I guess its ‘swings and roundabouts’ time, for their national average is well below ours now.

A Feast For the Eyes of Any Young Man

As a teenager I used to enjoy watching all the pretty girls go by with their trim waists and slim hips, now we may as well strike the word ‘waistline’ from the dictionary, for no-one knows what it means anymore. Waistlines seem to have disappeared into history along with a slim pair of hips, for all you see now is bulging stomachs and tons of cellulite bursting out of a tiny hipster skirt or jeans. 

Years ago we didn’t have all the fancy anti-cellulite creams (that don’t work anyway), but girls controlled the deadly ‘C’ by getting plenty of exercise, something that is foreign to our youth today. Now they prefer to sit in front of the TV or chat on Facebook with friends, or even complete strangers.

Not a Pretty Sight

The youth today have become incredibly lazy and fill up on fast food, but still think they can beat this deadly combination and maintain a trim figure. Well! You can’t and that’s that! I am sure they must see themselves getting fat, but when they look around and see all their friends are the same, they just don’t care. It’s very sad.

One of the hardest things to do is change your life style, but sadly, many will have to do this if they wish to live long enough to draw their old age pension. Obesity is not only ugly to look at, but is a major health risk also. There is more than sufficient medical evidence to show that obesity leads to diabetes, hardening of the arteries and heat attacks. The human body is not designed to carry around masses of fat and continue functioning properly.

Disgraceful

The most difficult thing to see on the streets today are the huge numbers of grossly overweight teenagers and in particular, young children. As I have often said in posts on the subject, I care not what the parents do to their bodies, it is after all their choice, but it is a sin against humanity when they allow, or even actively encourage their offspring to follow in their footsteps.

A child of say ten, has his/her whole life before them, and to have it cut drastically short by as much as half because of poor parental guidance is criminal. People are most likely to blame the government for their condition. Isn’t the government to blame for everything that goes wrong in the world from ingrowing toenails to world wars? But the fact is, if you are obese you have no-one to blame but yourself. It’s not David Cameron’s fault, its not a virus, its not genetic, its not the fast food outlets, its not the supermarkets and its not the food manufacturers fault. You, and you alone must bear the blame for the state of your body!

Fantasy Material? - More Like a Nightmare!

So why do I write this post? Well, I just hope it will give at least a single overweight person the necessary motivation to look in the mirror, think about their future, and do something to lose the excess baggage. If that happens I may have saved a life.

Incidentally, I am well aware there are many young and even older women out there who do care for the way they look, and I applaud them. It must be tough going against the flow, but it’s just sad to see the numbers dwindling year by year.

One More Look At the Good TImes

I know you cannot turn the clock back, especially at my age, but it would be wonderful to once again watch the daily parade of fine looking young women stroll unconcernedly by as I sip my coffee at a pavement cafe. What a shame the past is the past, and shall forever remain so!

Roy.

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