Archive for March, 2012

After Toulouse It’s Time For More Direct Action Against Prospective Terrorists

Posted in Afghanistan, Al Quada, Children, Europe, Islamic Revolution, Muslim, Relationships, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism with tags , , , on 25/03/2012 by floroy1942

The disgraceful shootings that took place in Toulouse France should be a lesson to governments across the world, and in particular the west. It shows clearly that our current laws are not robust enough to prevent such outrages.

The Face of a Child Killer

When it is known a man or woman has visited terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the law is currently powerless to do anything about it and must wait until these people commit an act of terrorism before being able to move in. Such was the case with the Toulouse killer Mohamed Merah.

The French authorities had him under surveillance for some time and were well aware of his links with training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but in accordance with the rule of law they could do nothing. Now after the attacks, the Security Services are coming under a storm of criticism for not taking measures to prevent the massacre.

Similar occurrences have taken place in Britain and other western nations where the police were  unable to take action, the London attacks of 2007, the ‘Underwear’ bomber and the attempted blowing up of Glasgow Airport to name but a few in the UK.

A Man With the Right Answers

After the Toulouse attacks, President Sarkozy came on state television and said the Law will be given the power to detain all people who attended terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This at least is a step in the right direction, and in my view, all governments should follow his lead. It is not enough to wait on the sidelines until a terrorist act has taken place and innocent people die, action must be allowed that will prevent them happening in the first place.

Another important point is the question of retaliation against the rest of the Muslim population in not only Toulouse, but also the rest of France by the common people. Many Muslim citizens of Toulouse have stated their fear that they will be blamed by the French population. They should not be surprised!

I watched with interest an interview with the Vice-President of the Muslim Regional Council, Abdellatif Mellouki in Toulouse who feared the reaction of French people against Muslims in the city. He called for understanding and peace between the Muslim and French people after the atrocity, but as I expected, failed totally to clearly condemn the acts of Mohamed Merah.

Sorry, But It’s Not Enough!

He had this message to the people of Toulouse:  “First of all for the Muslim community, the message I want to get over is above all not to give in to panic, above all to continue to live normally, to be very very careful. And regarding other people whatever their religion or people who are atheists who do not adhere to any religion, that they are also understanding, that they are open towards others, that they try to understand, that they try to communicate with others. It’s not with ignorance that we can judge others, it’s above all by understanding and via an exchange and by meeting others.”

It would have been much better for him to say that he and the entire Muslim community totally condemn the actions of Mohamed Merah and all like him.

Among the Victims – Three Jewish Children

We see this everywhere each time a terror strike occurs, Muslim societies and councils never condemn publicly these atrocious acts by al Quada, the Taliban, or any other insurgent group. They never say a word against the Muslim hate preachers who radicalize the Muslim youth with their terrorist propaganda in the mosques. The normal thing to do would be, first, stand up and tell these people they are wrong, and second, ban them from all mosques. Failure to do this will only increase Islamophobia.

It is one thing to be against the devil, but you condone his actions by remaining silent, and this is something Muslim people do not seem to understand. If the vast majority of peace-loving Muslims remain silent it will never end, and eventually there will be ‘blood in the streets’ as prophesied by Enoch Powell so many decades ago. There will come a time when ordinary people have had enough, and will do something about it.

The Jewish Children Laid to Rest

So I have this message for the peaceful Muslim people of the world: The only people who can stop this reign of terror is you. You, your Imams, Mullahs and preachers must make your voices heard. All of you who love peace need to stand up and say loudly for the whole world to hear: “Not in my name!”

As a western citizen I need to hear your council leaders and preachers openly condemn terrorism in all its forms. I need to know that your clerics are preaching against this great sin at every prayer meeting, and doing everything they can against the radicalization of young innocent Muslim youth.

Only when these measures have been taken will I believe that Muslims are truly against this violence.

Roy.

Ridiculous Internet Company Technicians

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Insanity, Modern World, Spain, UK, USA with tags on 23/03/2012 by floroy1942

When you have internet problems it’s normal to give the company technical help a call right? Wrong! We are with Vodafone in Spain and while you often get a really helpful guy on the line, sometimes you get a real idiot.

Our ADSL line went dead earlier today so we did what we always do, rang the Technical Help line. We got a real dipstick on the line who after messing about for a few minutes came back to us and said: “Your phone lines are ‘dirty’!” and then hung up! We rang again and thankfully got one of the helpful guys on the line who eventually sorted out the problem.

I said to my wife, who made the call, “If they try that one again tell him they can’t be dirty because the last technician to come to the house took them all out and washed them!!!!”

However, the one burning question in my mind is; Where do they get these idiots? Did he think perhaps we were country yokels and he could baffle us with science in the hope we would go away and not bother him any more? I am sure many people with no understanding of such things would just thank him, ring off, and be stuck with the problem.

In my opinion such a diagnosis must rank among the most stupid ever uttered by someone in a technical position. It must also leave doubt about a company that hires idiots like him.

May your speed always be adequate.

Roy.

What Is al Quada Trying To Achieve In Iraq?

Posted in Afghanistan, Al Quada, America, Britain, Insurgents, Muslim, Religion, Taliban, USA with tags , , , , on 20/03/2012 by floroy1942

The latest in a long series of car bomb attacks in Iraq blamed on al Quada have left me with a burning question: What is al Quada trying to achieve? I thought long and hard about this and found it impossible to come to any definite conclusion. The only people who seem to be a target nowadays are the Iraqi people themselves, and apart from instilling continual fear in the population, I cannot see any major gains for the terrorist group.

A Double Car Bomb Explodes

That the bombings carry the hallmark of al Quada is clear, for it has been their method for years to set off one bomb, and wait until rescuers, ambulances, police and the general public gather at the scene before setting off the second device, thereby creating havoc with the maximum casualties.

If they were still attacking Coalition Forces I could understand it, but they gave that up a long time ago. This is probably due to the swift response of armed forces against them, and for sure the American’s and British have taken a heavy toll of their fighters after such an attack. Naturally, they can expect no reprisal actions from the civilian population who have no choice but to suffer, and then pick up the pieces after a bombing.

Immediate Aftermath

Maybe al Quada has decided that civilians are a ‘soft’ target and therefore the easiest, but what is their aim? In any normal society, a group that carries out random bombings on its own citizens would be hated and despised in short order, but that doesn’t seem to be happening in Iraq. Maybe the people are too afraid to turn against the militants for fear of reprisals, its all rather vague.

There is little doubt that al Quada has a political agenda, which could be to eventually acquire control over the country. I think it fair to assume they have sympathisers in positions of power in some countries, and Pakistan comes immediately to mind. The group has been active in many countries, the latest of which is Syria. The entire ‘Arab Spring’ event has given them an unrivelled opportunity to disrupt governments across the whole of the Middle East by inciting unrest, and they would not do this without some gain for themselves. Whichever way it goes, it seems the insurgents have changed tactics from their indiscriminate bombing of western targets, and are aiming for the easier option of control over many arab countries.

One of Today’s Car Bombs

It is claimed that today’s coordinated bomb attacks were aimed at derailing the Arab Summit to be held in Baghdad next week, but if that is the case, why not wait until next week when the delegates are present, and thus have more impact? To me it doesn’t add up, for this is just random mass murder of their own people, the only possible gain for which would be the moving of the Summit to some other country. To that any intelligent person would  have to say; so what? If the the summit was moved, what gain would there be for a terrorist group, other than perhaps to demonstrate their ‘power’. The final act of which would be that it makes not a jot of difference, for it would take place anyway.

The only clear fact that comes to light in this whole series of episodes is that the Iraq based al Quada are Sunni Muslims living in a Shia dominated country, and the conclusion drawn from this can only be that the aim of these people is to overcome this Shia domination. Iraq is not the only country to suffer unrest between these two religious groups in the Arab world. This on-off war between the two religions, festering for hundreds of years, goes alternately through periods  of peace and war. Ever since the Iraq war we have been in the latter. In countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and currently Syria, war has broken out in the form we see now i.e. terrorist groups bent on destruction of the other side. In other nations, like Bahrain, there has been major unrest in the streets.

Victims

It seems strange that the al Quada group seem to have shifted their action emphasis to the Arab inter-religious conflict and away from the West, and the conclusion from this could be that they are looking for a safe base of operations much the same as the Taliban had in Afghanistan. The Taliban were lucky in being able to take over a whole country, if only for a short while before the invasion by Coalition Forces. On the other hand, al Quada have little chance of becoming the dominant force in Iraq, but they have many other trouble spots in the Arab world to choose from.

Personally, I would like to ask directly of the al Quada leadership what it is they hope to achieve by causing so much suffering among their own people! I couldn’t even begin to guess what the answer would be! Can you?

Roy.

Air Pollution, Global Warming and Water Contamination Versus Survival

Posted in America, Environment, Europe, Health, Toxic Waste, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , on 20/03/2012 by floroy1942

For many years the dangers of global warming have been trumpeted by scientists as the major threat to the continued existence of the human species on Earth. Now however, we are facing much more than this single danger. A new OECD report has highlighted the perils of not only global warming, but now air pollution and water contamination also. New estimates of the discharge of harmful minute particles, called particulates, indicate there is a serious danger of mass deaths before 2050. This is due to their steady increase in the air we breathe.

Los Angeles Smog

Naturally, those living in major cities and towns across  the world are most at risk, but the pollution is moving outside these areas and will eventually effect whole swathes of countryside too.  The report estimates there could be as many as 3.6 million premature deaths due to air pollution in countries like India and China, due no doubt to their increase in wealth and becoming major emerging markets in the last twenty years. This tempo of change is sure to increase in future decades.

The West is also likely to see a large increase in premature death due to its large aging population, so it follows that we can see the average life expectancy age falling once again instead of rising further as was thought.

Helping to Slowly Kill Us All?

For the last twenty years or so, governments, particularly western governments, have known about the necessity of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the world, and some have set ambitious targets that will never be reached. For this reason it must come as a shock to find this is not the only problem. In the report they have been criticised for giving tax breaks on diesel fuel because it gives off less greenhouse gases, but the report highlights that the particulate emissions of diesel fuel is just as dangerous, though more to human health than the well-being of the planet. When this fuel is burnt in a vehicle engine minute particles of carbon, among other things, is ejected into the atmosphere and forms an invisible cloud that we breathe in constantly. In many scientists’ view this is far more damaging to human health than smoking, due purely to the amounts, and length of time, they are inhaled.

Air pollution comes from many sources and each one is having a deadly effect on us, and the planet we live on. Our enormous appetite for energy, coupled with our present methods of transportation, will eventually be our undoing in decades to come.  With the ever increasing demands for energy, and despite all measures taken by responsible governments world-wide, the levels of greenhouse gas emissions will increase by 50% by 2050. Our current pitiful efforts to curb these pollutants will be pointless.

New York Light Show

Walk the night-time streets of any city in the world and see how many skyscraper office blocks are fully lit at three o’clock in the morning. Look at how many shops leave all their lights on every night, and how many huge illuminated advertisements line the streets. It may look pretty, but its wasted energy on an inhuman scale the like of which the world has never seen.  And still we need more and more!!

London Light Show

The big problem is, we cannot afford this massive wastage of energy any more than we can afford the increases that are being demanded year on year. Somewhere, sometime, it has to stop or man will be no more than a fading memory on planet Earth in 100 years time. Remember all the sci-fi films showing the deserted rotting remains of our once great civilization?

And what about our polluting cars? Current estimates put the number of cars and light trucks on the planet’s roads at 806 million and this figure is set to double in the next thirty years! The United States alone has 254.4 million registered passenger cars on the road.

The Lungs Of A City Baby

Each one is contributing to not only greenhouse gases, but also pollutants like particulates. If the current trend continues we will not be able to breathe outside our own homes. I have seen sci-fi  movies where everyone walks outside with a mask in order to breathe. could this really become a reality? If current trends continue, it looks like it will!

Another point raised by the OECD report is water contamination, which naturally enough should be close to our hearts as we  all need it to survive. The contamination of our water supply is increasing at a steady rate and it seems we are unable, or unwilling to do anything about it. The biggest polluter is strangely enough not the oil companies as most people think, but the farmer.

Contaminated Water

Farmers cannot stay in business these days without using mountains of fertilizer on their ground. A hundred years ago the population levels were such that farmers sowed and harvested one crop a year in a field, now that has become two, and in many cases three. The ground that feeds us has lost so much of its natural nutrients that these have to be supplemented with growth chemicals, otherwise nothing grows there anymore. All these chemicals find their way into the ground water, and eventually the streams and rivers that feed off it. And then we drink it!!! It is a pattern that has developed across the whole of the 1st world and many 2nd world countries too.

Another point to make is that we already have large areas of the world suffering from severe drought conditions brought on by changes in the world’s weather patterns. These areas are set to increase as water becomes a more valuable commodity than gold. It is estimated that if we do not find a cleaner method of producing energy, global warming will increase the demand for water by more than half. In the meantime, we are slowly poisoning what we have. Doesn’t seem to make sense does it? 

Too Many Cars

In an effort to reduce harmful carbon emissions from vehicles, it has been suggested by many that the answer is biofuels. Sorry, but it ain’t so folks! According to the OECD report, divergence into biofuels will have a major negative effect on the world in general. Not only will it use up vast tracts of land required for food production, but will also increase to a great extent water usage and promote more water contamination.

The report states that governments should start taking measures to reduce energy consumption, air and water pollution with immediate effect. The report suggests removing state subsidies on such things as diesel, fossil fuels and water to deter wastage in these three areas. These may be a step in the right direction, but you can be sure that much tougher, and altogether unpopular measures will need to be taken if we are still to be around in 100 or 150 years. There is little doubt that this ‘Golden Age’ of man must come to an end – and soon.

Roy.

Why did the USA Send a Brain Damaged Soldier to Afghanistan?

Posted in Afghanistan, America, Justice, Muslim, Obama, President, Taliban, Terrorism, USA with tags , , , , on 13/03/2012 by floroy1942

I hate to say it, I really do, but the good old USA have made another major cock-up in Afghanistan right on the heels of the Koran fiasco. As just about everyone on the planet knows by now, a soldier on duty with the American Army is accused of going on a killing rampage and killing 16 innocent civilians in a village in Kandahar Province.

Anger and Indignation

Naturally it has caused an uproar in the country, and everyone from President Karzai down wants him to stand trial in Afghanistan. That of course will never happen, for the one thing the USA is good at is protecting its own, even criminals.

The 39-year-old Staff Sergeant is said to have left the military base and entered  randomly, two houses and shot all the inhabitants. He them walked calmly back to the base and handed himself in.

An Outraged President

The latest news is that he suffered ‘a traumatic brain injury ‘ while on a previous overseas tour in Iraq in 2010 according to an ‘official’. I can already see the ‘insane’ defence peeking around the corner already!

But if this is the result of a previous brain trauma, why was someone in such a mental state sent back into a war zone? Was there not a single Army Medical Doctor who could see that the soldier suffered from a significant mental breakdown? He is reported to have told his family that he did not wish to go to Afghanistan and was obviously in a depressed state at the prospect. I cannot believe that this Staff Sergeant was the only man who could do the job required and that no-one else could be sent in his place.

What happened is despicable, and is certainly on a par with the spate of mass killings that have taken place at various schools across the USA in recent years. It is yet another massive blemish on the record of the US Armed Forces in foreign fields.

Apologies Fall on Deaf Ears

Sure, everyone from President Obama down to the tea boy in the Pentagon has apologised, but that has flown away like a feather in a gale and impresses no-one, least of all the families of those who died. I doubt even a few thousand dollars of compensation will come even close to mending the last remaining crumbs of coöperation between the Afghan people and their ‘liberators’. This whole shocking affair is without doubt the biggest mistake in the history of US intervention in Afghanistan, especially considering the dust has not even begun to settle after the last major cock-up with the Koran burning. 

What is worse, is that it has handed to the Taliban a major propaganda coup and you can be sure they will make the most of it. If the latest rhetoric from this insurgent group is to be believed, the attacks will come fast and furious, and what is more, they will have the Afghan people on their side. It is hard to judge how many Afghans will now join the ranks of the Taliban as a result of this mess, but there will be many, you can count on that. It is also true that all the Coalition Forces are carrying the blame for this affair, and one has to ask, how many more lives will be lost as a result of this stupid act?

I am well aware the American people want to do good in the world, and they wish to help the oppressed gain their freedom. Everything is done with the very best of intentions, but I don’t know if it’s a failure of the US Administration, or just the old ‘gun law’ mentality raising its head every so often that causes all the problems. As a casual observer, it seems to me that perhaps the American people just cannot forget their wild west history, which like a shadow, lurks constantly in the dark reaches of the American psyche. 

Heston's Famous Speech

They are without equal the most gun-loving nation on the planet and as everyone knows, it is written into the Constitution that everyone has the right to own a gun. I remember distinctly the words of Charlton Heston as leader of the National Rifle Association a few years ago when Congress discussed the gun laws: “If they want my gun they will have to take it from my cold dead hand!” I think that says enough. Don’t you?

Roy.

Now The Government Denies The Right To Wear The Cross

Posted in Britain, Christianity, England, Government, Human Rights, Immigrants, Justice, Religion, UK with tags , , , , on 12/03/2012 by floroy1942

I find it truly amazing that the British Government is getting involved in the issue of Christians who wear a cross around their necks. Two women have taken their cases to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) because they were denied the right to wear a cross at work.

Nadia Eweida was suspended by British Airways for breaching the dress code by wearing a cross visible over her uniform in 2006, and nurse Shirley Chaplin was barred from working on the wards of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust because she refused to hide the cross she wore on a chain. The lawyers for the two women claim protection under Article Nine of The Human Rights Act, but now the government has stepped in and said the argument is invalid. Why the government is getting involved in such a case is strange.

Archbishop Dr John Sentamu

Archbishop Dr John Sentamu, Bishop of York has now stepped into the row saying, “If someone wanted to manifest their belief as a Christian that they wanted to wear a cross – after all at their baptism they are sealed with a cross of Christ – so if they decided to say ‘I know I am sealed with it, but I am going to wear it’, I think that is a matter really for people and that we should allow it. The government should not raise the bar so high that in the end they are now being unjust.”

Personally, I hoped that the persecution of Christians in a Christian country would have ended with the demise of the previous Labour government, but it seems the Human Rights Brigade still hold sway in many areas. This attitude of “not upsetting the Muslims” should have died with Labour rule, but it seems, sadly, that is not so.

People have been wearing crosses in this nation since biblical times, but suddenly we get a mass influx of Muslims and some people consider that an excuse to start marginalizing the Christian faith! It’s astounding!

Sometimes I would like to peek inside the mind of these perverted idiots just to see what makes them tick. What is it that turns an ordinary English man or woman into such a force of animosity against their own kind with their ‘holier than thou’ attitude?

Not Neccesarily a Show of Faith

They have been responsible in the past for the stupid outlawing of children’s nursery rhymes, the word ‘blackboard’ in schools among other things, and now they want to ban the cross in a Christian country? Its obscene! I would like to know by what right this small group of people are allowed to dictate so much about people’s lives. So far as I am concerned, if they don’t like the word ‘black’ let them live in Africa, and if they don’t want to upset the Muslims they should move to Iran.

It is without doubt time the government squashed these people like a bug instead of siding with them.

I have commented on Baroness Warsi in the past, but I have to hand it to her for what she said a few weeks ago; Christians – Stand up for your faith! As a Muslim Minister she recognised that Christians are being marginalized in Britain. She said it was not a requirement of the religious minorities for Christianity to be ‘erased’ for them to feel comfortable.

Baroness Warsi

In a speech at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome she said:  “People need to feel stronger in their religious identities, more confident in their beliefs. In practice this means individuals not diluting their faiths…..and nations not denying their religious  heritages. If you take this thought to its conclusion then the idea you’re left with is this: Europe needs to become more confident in its Christianity. Too often there is a suspicion of faith in our continent. It all hinges on a basic misconception: That to create equality and space for minorities we need to erase our religious heritage.”

I for one take my hat off to her, for what she said is right on the button. It is a problem in many European countries, but far worse in Britain because of the general apathy. It is long past time when the British people stand up and be counted, so, Christain or not, go out and buy a cheap cross and wear it in a show of defiance. We need to stand up to these people and reassert our rights to our religion and our way of life, and let everyone know THIS IS OUR COUNTRY!

Roy.

2+2+5-7+3+4-8= ?

Posted in Britain, Children, England, English Schools, Europe, Parliament, Primary Education, Teens, UK with tags , , , , on 10/03/2012 by floroy1942

To most people a simple sum, the answer to which would be quickly worked out in the head, but sad to say, that is not true of everyone. According to the charity, National Numeracy (NN), at least half of adult Britons cannot do simple maths.

I have written many times in the past about the failing standards in British education, and this latest piece of news just about  proves what I have been saying. The NN figure of 17 million working age adults with poor numeracy is to say the least a national scandal. 

Essentials In Today's World

A Skills for Life survey questioned 7,000 16 to 65-year-olds, which revealed that almost half of the working age population has numeracy skills roughly the same as those expected of primary school children, and the proportion has risen (from 47% to 49%) in the last eight years, and in my view, this figure will get much higher as we see more of the children currently in school reach adulthood.

Our Hi-Tech World

The research shows clearly that the majority of adults have problems interpreting their pay slips and working out their tax returns. Also, without the aid of cash tills that automatically tell the cashier how much change to give, they are completely lost. Anyone who has a job that requires them to interpret graphs, charts and tables is hopelessly out of their depth.

Very few people will admit to having poor literacy skills, about 86%, but fewer, 49% are loath to tell you they are poor at maths. Many people these days are offering excuses for their deficiency by saying for example; “It’s genetic”  while some wear their lack of numeracy skills like a ‘badge of honour’.

On A Calculator Its So Easy

We have become so dependent on the electronic calculator that even simple math like the title cannot be done by most people without one. This is a shocking state of affairs!

If This Was Written By A Teacher I'm Not Surprised

So far as education is concerned, unfortunately we have a knock-on effect, for as each generation becomes more illiterate and numeracy challenged (politically correct),  so the teaching standards decline further. Its a true case of the blind leading the blind.

To break the cycle, the education authorities desperately need to set a high minimum standard of education for teachers, and train them to a level where they can actually do some good. This could well mean a teacher going back to school in their chosen subject for a minimum of two years. Only in this way can they learn what they should have learned during their time in ordinary school and teacher training.

Back When Teachers Knew Their Stuff!

In my day, every teacher needed to know the subjects he/she taught inside out. When kids asked a question of him/her they had the answer in their heads and didn’t need to consult a textbook like the idiots we have teaching today.

One thing is certain, the country cannot go on in this fashion, because we are getting to the stage where British people will become unemployable in today’s work place.

Pretty Soon Dole Queue's Will Be A Mile Long

After we led the world in innovation, industry and science for so many generations, it is indeed sad to see the rotten decay in our education system that has turned us into a nation of dunces! As I have often said, Tony Blair and his gang have a lot to answer for. It truly upsets me having to write so many negative posts about Britain these days, but from  my viewpoint, the whole country is going down the tubes at an ever-increasing rate.

We desperately need a government with the balls to sort out this mess (among others) and get the country back on its feet and give the people something to be proud of again. The trouble is, like most politicians these days, they are more worried about ‘staying in power at the next election’ than they are of making unpopular choices for the good of the country.

Modern Brit Caveman - Anno 2020

Perhaps it is time for a totally new political party to come along and start the ball rolling, because for sure we cannot rely on the current lot to do what is right, and to vote in the previous shower of crooks (i.e. Labour) will only accelerate the fall into the abyss. Pretty soon the British people will degenerate to the level of cavemen with houses and cars.

The effects of this debacle in education will have far reaching results for the entire country, for pretty soon we will be a generation of idiots with absolutely no prospects for a job, little or no engineering or scientific skills and a floundering manufacturing industry. We will become as useless to the modern technical world as the natives living in the jungles of the Amazon (no offence intended).

Incidentally, for those who are scratching their heads trying to work out the simple math problem displayed in the title, the answer is 1.

Roy.

Don’t Fall for Holiday Company Tricks

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Spain, UK, USA with tags , , , , , on 08/03/2012 by floroy1942

Once again the holiday season is on the horizon and many of us will be looking to book a holiday in far-off places. Sadly though, many people will end up getting ripped off by companies trying to get their hands on their hard earned cash. For this reason you should watch out for their devious methods of making you pay more than you should.

Which? Magazine

The much respected Which? consumer magazine in Britain has come up with some of the methods used by travel companies.

This Can Be a Costly Key

In a survey they found that when booking via the internet, 20% were using the automatic opt-ins in which boxes for extras are checked, and you must uncheck them if you do not need the service. Most were using the expensive 0871 and 090 telephone numbers to take bookings by phone, and  with 44% of companies you are being charged extra when using your card for payment.

Apparently, some travel firms are even adding a £2 charity charge without giving the customer any option, but one of the most expensive is the ‘free’ hire car scam where you supposedly get one at your destination, but the insurance costs a whopping £126. It is without doubt much cheaper to book one at your destination.

Ryanair in the Dock Again

Ryanair naturally tops the list when it comes to booking by phone, charging £1 a minute, but many others are not far behind. When you consider that one of the Which? investigators was on the phone for more than an hour booking a holiday, this can get mighty expensive. Budget airlines are also raking in extra cash by charging exorbitant fees for things like extra leg-room, early boarding and lounge access.

Know Where You Are Going and the Fare

Sadly, once you get to your summer destination your problems are not over. It is also essential to watch out for the local scam artists like taxi drivers who take unsuspecting tourists ‘the long way round’ to their hotel or a restaurant. They will also try to persuade you to eat at a particular restaurant because they get cash from the owner for every customer they bring in. Always agree the price and destination before getting into a taxi, and that way you can avoid being scammed.

Black African Lookies Are Harmless in General.

Here in Spain we have the Black African ‘Looky-Lookies’ who will try to sell you fake designer handbags, watches and the like. I have to admit, here they are not so bad as in other countries, because if you tell them respectfully ‘No Thanks’ they will not bother you further. In some countries (and other nationality sellers in Spain) they can be a pain in the backside with their insistance. In cases such as this it is best to be very firm when replying ‘No’ without being rude, and walk away.

‘Over friendly’ strangers can be a problem for tourists, for the holiday mood brings out the ‘niceness’ in people, and its often that which causes some to trust strangers too easily if they offer a trip, a lift to a restaurant or some such thing. The best defence is to politely say ‘No Thanks’ and walk away.

Some Restaurants Will Try to Rip-off the Unwary Tourist

In some holiday places there is also the chance of being overcharged at a restaurant or other tourist spot. For this reason, a bit of internet research into local customs, prices etc, is a good idea. There are numerous sites that contain all the relevant information on tourism for most countries.

According to information available, in some countries there is the risk of fake ‘plain-clothes policemen’ who will ask to see your wallet and passport. If you are daft enough to hand them over you had better be a fast runner. That’s all I can say on that subject.

As more and more people find it impossible to find work, some are turning to petty crime to make ends meet. However, these people are not to be pitied, for there are other alternatives for them.

Typical Holiday Apartments

Consequently, it is always best to close and lock the balcony doors and/or shutters etc. before leaving your hotel room or apartment, for thieves are extremely adept at gaining access to one apartment, and then using adjoining terraces and balconies to gain entry to a whole row. Theft from holiday hotel rooms and apartments has far from diminished over the years, and is a constant threat. So be warned. 

Here’s hoping your holiday experience of 2012 is a happy one and you have a great time!

Roy.

Our Arctic Winter and the Arctic Ice

Posted in America, Britain, Conservative Party, Environment, Europe, Germany, Government, United Nations, USA with tags , , , on 01/03/2012 by floroy1942

Scientists have at last come up with a relationship between this years’ hard winter and the lack of Arctic summer sea ice. I must admit that to me it seems perfectly logical, and I wonder why they didn’t think of it before.

Glacier Melt

We have all seen the news footage of melting glaciers and retreating sea ice on the telly at some time or another, and it baffles me why people have taken so long to link these events with the increasingly harsh winters Europe and North America are facing. Of course, we all know its down to global warming, and one thing is for sure, there is worse to come. Much worse!

Athens Greece

It is abundantly clear, when you look at winter records for the past ten years, that they are becoming colder, and the amount of snowfall is rapidly increasing across Europe. This year even saw snow in southern Greece and Italy, something practically unheard of.

Sea Ice Loss - 1978 to 2007

It would appear from news reports that the Arctic sea ice is melting at an alarming rate during the summer and autumn periods, and is retreating further north every year. This in turn exposes large areas of open sea to the sun, and as we all know (or should do), ice reflects heat back into the atmosphere, where the sea doesn’t. Increased evaporation over the sea is therefore causing larger amounts of water droplets in the atmosphere. In turn, this is causing the increased amounts of snow covering the two northern continents.

Gulf Stream

There  should be little doubt in anyone’s mind that global warming is having a major effect on the Arctic, and scientists have for a long time been worried by the large amounts of fresh water ice melt from glaciers in these latitudes affecting the Gulf Stream, which is the flow of warm water from the Caribbean to the north of the British Isles. It is the Gulf Stream that is responsible for the mild climate experienced in northern Europe. What the scientists are afraid of, and we should join them in this, is that the influx of large amounts of fresh water from the Arctic ice melt will desalinate large areas of the North Atlantic, and thus cause the Gulf Stream to cease flowing, or be forced further south. Either way, if anything happens to this flow we in the northern hemisphere would be in for some really tough times.

Hey Honey. I Found It!

Snowfall across almost the whole of Europe has been setting new records this year and as many know, has caused travel chaos and many tens of thousands to be cut off from the outside world. Now that period seems to be over and temperatures are rising, if slowly in some countries. But the rising temperatures bring with them a new danger, mainly that of massive flooding as huge amounts of melting snow tries to find its way to rivers, and eventually, the sea.

What it all comes down to is that our current life-style is slowly but surely strangling us at an ever increasing rate, and it seems no-one except the scientists are worried by it. I don’t see anyone making simple changes to their lives that could help solve the problem.

A Proud Three Car Family

We still see many families with two, three, or even four cars, and people still take the car to the supermarket just 300 yards down the road! We still see Mothers taking their offspring to school in the car just down the road instead of having them walk! We are all so fixated on ‘self’, and the need to make lots of money ‘by hook or by crook’, that we don’t care a fig for the planet so long as it doesn’t affect profits, or our lifestyle. When asked, some even have the audacity to say; “Its not my problem” or “What do I care, I’ll be dead by then”! I guess that is as good an indication as any how far down the selfish road we have travelled.

It may seem like a silly thing to bring stuff like this up, but it is time we realised that we are all responsible for the current state of affairs, each in our own way.

Chicago Winter 2012

Whether our climate will eventually find a new equilibrium or not, and if we can continue to function in the new set of circumstances, remains to be seen. Whichever way it goes, I am sure we will not like it, and be forced to make some drastic changes to the way we live. In  usual human fashion we will wait until its almost too late before we make the necessary changes.

Continental equivalent of Sea Ice Loss

I can see the time coming when laws will need to be passed to drastically cut the number of vehicles on the roads, and it may well come to all families being restricted to one vehicle by law, and those vehicles to be used for journeys of more than a certain distance, like for example, five miles. Its pretty much the same as the draconian laws in place in China at the moment that restrict the population to one child per family in order to curb the population explosion.

Companies are Making Money But They Won't Save the Planet

All this business about electric cars, more fuel-efficient cars etc. is nothing more than window dressing, for in the long term they will not solve the massive problem that is coming our way.

Wind Farms - Wasted Effort

Governments currently seem either totally disinterested in the problem, or are incapable of taking the measures needed for salvation of the planet because they do not wish to upset the people who vote them in. I have news for them, the time is coming! Modern politicians are full of half-hearted measures that are of no practical use in the upcoming crisis, like the current British Coalition who want to increase the number of wind farms to replace nuclear power. Pie in the sky! Wind power will never produce enough energy to satisfy our daily needs, and its more expensive to run and less efficient.  

No-one can predict when the crunch will come, but one thing is certain, the situation will eventually be dire enough as to force all governments world-wide to take alarming measures such as I have suggested in an effort to save our species, and the planet.

Typhoon

In the meantime, I am sure we can look to ever increasing harsh winters in the northern hemisphere, America can expect an increase in hurricane and tornado activity, and other parts of the globe, like the Far East, will see more typhoons and major flooding. Its all going down the tubes folks, and there is little we can do to stop it until someone takes control and forces us to look long and hard at how the selfishness and greed in our daily lives is affecting our world.

Roy.

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