Saturday, 23 July 2005

No comment required

Lighten up

I do not subscribe to the 'Bush is a dimwit' school of thought but some of the jokes are quite good.
Worth sharing - I think - is about the woman who was heard to say 'if he were my Bush, I'd shave him off'.

Manna from heaven for some

Met have just announced that shooting guy dead yesterday was a mistook. Enquiry. Police Complaints. Blah. Blah. Whilst one has sympathy for the family and friends of dead bloke, my main thoughts are for the guy who did the shooting. We certainly need a more agressive police service and the new initiative regarding suicide bombers was one I saw as progress. Now what was so simple; suicide bomber = dead man, will be hedged in with more and more conditions such that any officer looking for a long career will hesitate before he gets something like this on his sheet. This delay in turn could lead to deaths if a bomber has enough time to press the tit.
Regardless of the outcome of any enquiry, the radical Islamic groups will seize upon it as another injustice, the people from Islington will say it is all wrong that the police are armed anyway and the human rights and liberty extremists will go on about the suggestion that the bloke never stood a chance because he was Asian.
Mind you - might all turn out far less dramatically if it turns out it wasn't the police after all but guys from Hereford just having an Away Day.

What now and how?

Given the volume of debate as to where the origins of recent events may lie, I had a wander round the ether to see if I could find anyone else’s ideas on the matter. In general, I stayed away from those which had any Muslim-bent as there is no shortage as to what our Islamic neighbours want. It is all defined in their Koran anyway – world domination. As an aside, I’m old enough to remember the last little Shitler who sought that jewel. Maybe I was attracted by the URL of this guy but here is his take on the subject.

Much has been written in the last few days about the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in Britain and how radical jihadis are operating with impunity in British society. In fact, London has come to be known as “Londonistan” for the wave of Muslim immigration that is changing the politics of not only England but nations on the continent as well:
Radical Muslims soon learned to ask for asylum for political persecution, to guarantee a long, taxpayer-supported vacation in Britain. London became “Londonistan,” the biggest European haven for Islamist indoctrination and recruitment. The terrorist enablers are the hard Left and its propaganda organs, notably the hallowed British Broadcasting Corporation. British ratepayers recently paid for the BBC to produce a “documentary” to peddle the bug-eyed notion that the terrorist threat was just a right-wing plot to scare people. That was pure disinformation, just one piece of a daily BBC propaganda stream that nurtures, protects, and rationalizes yesterday’s murders.
The question is what, if anything can be done about it. The howls of rage that would result in a crackdown on either immigration or radical Islamists from both Muslim “civil rights” groups and their left wing enablers in the media would seem to make any solution to the problem of inviting terrorists to take up residence in Britain – or the US for that matter – problematic. Richard Fernandez points out the dangers of doing nothing:
A politically correct policy that requires Europe not to know who is in the 5th column will inevitably force it to assume guilt in those of a certain persuasion in a moment of mortal danger. Internment and mass deportation is what governments resort to when they don’t know who the real spies are. Political correctness is the practice of requiring ignorance indefinitely against the calculation that the moment of moral danger will never come because nobody knows what the hell they are going to do then. It’s at that moment, as Steyn observes, that farce, farce and farce becomes tragedy.
As western Muslims continue their campaign to portray our War on Terror as a war against Islam, it will become more and more difficult to crack down on the radical Imams who are not only actively recruiting for al Qaeda but also poisoning the minds of other Muslims to America and the west. And until the MSM wakes up to the danger and begins to broadcast the truth about these terror apologists and fellow travelers, we’ll continue to experience more numerical nightmares like 9/11, 3/11/ and 7/7.
Well, he got the last bit right as we now know after 21/7.
Next, I think I will see what is out there as to how we can correct he situation the multi-culturists have got us into; maybe I can drag some blame to the multi-ethnic as well. There are two problems here as I see it – we have to stop any more flooding in (swamping as Blinkett said) and what to do with those already here who will not see the light.

Friday, 22 July 2005

Bred to be versatile

The Germans bred short-haired pointers to be versatile at everything needed in a hunting dog. They achieved it in my example. Anything from great big birds to this ........

Well done that dog!

Thanks but no thanks

Just got an e-mail in my spam catcher. Subject is "Viagra. $1.67 for a dose"
Tempted to reply that I'm in need of the Viagra but do not want a dose.

That's the way

Seems the events of yesterday have stirred up a real hornets nest in the police gardens. Too soon to be sure if the guy they killed was not just a non-ticket passenger but it certainly showed that the new rules of engagement in respect of suspected suicide-bombers are effective.
I suppose yesterday's events confirm my (bigoted - yes, I suppose so) ideas as to the nature of those who attack us. They are incompetant in making a proper bomb and then abandon their desire for martyrdom very quickly.
From a source likely to know but who must remain 'hush', I hear that the final stages of the shooting on the train were recorded by one of the officers on his mobile phone. Truly a 'happy slapping'. Nice to see the force using all available resources. Five rounds - must have had a stoppage?

Not quite like that Mr Editor

This is from today's Daily Telegraph. Long and rather narrow in appeal but it gained second editorial in a responsible newspaper and got my liver moving towards a dangerous episode. As I said elsewhere, 'if you prick me, do I not bleed'

Who protects soldiers?(Filed: 22/07/2005)
The Special Investigation Branch (SIB) of the Royal Military Police is feared throughout the Army. No harm in that. Recently, however, it is becoming hated - and that is highly undesirable. The hatred stems from its use by the civil legal authorities to prosecute cases against soldiers serving in the field. That is not what soldiers believe to be the SIB's proper role.
Historically, the SIB concerned itself with misappropriation of public funds, theft of valuable stores, sexual predation by seniors against juniors - what the Army recognises as "crime". In recent years, however, "crime" has come to include offences against human rights legislation, as defined by the International Convention on War Crime. At present, the SIB is proceeding against several soldiers of the Irish Guards and the Parachute Regiment, and is mounting a major case against the commanding officer and several soldiers of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment for offences allegedly committed against civilians in Iraq.
Six former chiefs of the defence staff spoke in the House of Lords last week to denounce this development. As Admiral Lord Boyce put it, expressing a collective view, the motivation for the latter case appears to be subservience to political correctness. No one is suggesting that soldiers who mistreat prisoners or civilians should escape legal penalty. Equally, however, no one should suffer legal penalty because the Government seeks to demonstrate to its international partners, particularly to the legal panjandrums of the European Court, that it is marching in step with current legal fashion.
Soldiers are aggrieved by the SIB's detachment from any sense of soldierly fellowship. No one wants military law to be tempered by cronyism. What the accused are encountering, however, is a chilling loneliness. The SIB is dilatory in bringing charges and in pressing investigation, it is suddenly reviving cases that appeared to be settled, it is unfrank in its methods and secretive in its use of evidence.
Soldiers who find themselves in the toils of the SIB discover that they have no friends in high places on their side.
It is entirely characteristic of the current highly undesirable situation that it was left to retired officers to speak up. Senior serving officers have demonstrated that they think discretion the better part of valour when it comes to defending their own men. They should currently be examining their consciences. It will add to the disgrace of the spectacle of British soldiers cowering before the threat of legal penalty for bearing arms in an unpopular war if those to whom they look for protection are currently more concerned with protecting their retirement privileges than their own soldiers.

Let me declare an interest. I was a member of the SIB from 1953 until retiring as a WOI (RSM) in 1974. During that time I served in most of the places where the British army was engaged in anti-terrorist-type operations. From mid-1970 until the end of 1971 I was in charge of the unit deployed to Northern Ireland. The relationship between the SIB and the Army was often difficult. Soldiers did not want to see a career ruined by a criminal record and commanding officers were not keen in having the problems of their unit published far and wide. These attitudes were acknowledged and, in the main, SIB was able to function to meet the responsibilities allocated to them. One thing should be made clear – the Branch does not charge soldiers and does not even decide what offences may have been disclosed. Reports go to a legal authority who frame charges to be brought by the offender’s Commanding Officer. Where the editorial claims “In recent years, however, "crime" has come to include offences against human rights legislation, as defined by the International Convention on War Crime” is a touch creative. What has really happened is that someone has been unlawfully killed, injured to some physical degree or forced to undergo some humiliation. These are criminal offences well covered by the laws of the country. They may, in certain circumstances, fall within what are described as crimes against human rights because an international organisation has lumped them together in such a manner. The actual SIB investigations go to prove or disprove whether a homicide has taken place, someone has been injured or humiliated. These are perfectly normal enquiries albeit they took place within the fog of war or warlike situations.
I am quite certain that no one would be satisfied if the investigations were undertaken in anything less than a rigorous and professional manner. Think here of the criticism that police services have come under in cases such as Lawrence and the Yorkshire Ripper. There is often someone who will suggest that freemasonry has involved itself in police discipline matters. Investigators from SIB have excellent training and resources. The army has very few serious criminals within its ranks as such individuals are ejected without sympathy or the resources devoted to civilian offenders. They are fully aware of the boundary between what is self-protection and what is criminal behaviour in battle-field type circumstances. Talk of the heat of the battle is rarely appropriate when one thinks back to the circumstances surrounding those offences we know of such as Camp Breadbasket where civilians were given a taste of service discipline. Offenders have to be recognised and dealt with. To delegate such matters to some other police service would remove, even further, the investigator from any experience of military life and attitudes. Given the length of time the Iraq confrontation has been running and the large numbers of troops deployed, the few soldiers mentioned in the editorial does not suggest a major discipline problem. If the vast majority can carry out their duties in a proper manner, why should the name of the British army be desecrated by a few irresponsible soldiers?
More attention should have been given to explaining to commanders and soldiers why SIB have to do what they do and why the Whitehall warriors – who, believe me, certainly exist – engage in second-thinking and persist in flogging a near dead horse. Someone said recently that the crimes of the war in Iraq reach right up to 10 Downing Street – but that is politics and there I do not really know what I am talking about. By all means, see the SIB as the jolly Laughing Policeman or a Run Them In musical comedy parody but they never have been Svengali-like self-righteous bigots seeking or deserving hatred.

Thursday, 21 July 2005

What more is there to say?

After hearing that the state of South Australia changed its opinion
and let a Muslim woman have her picture on her driver's license with her
face covered prompted this editorial written by an Australian citizen,
published in an Australian newspaper.

He did quite a job; didn't he? Read on, please... you decide if you

I am tired of this nation
worrying about whether we are offending some
individual or their culture.
Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have
experienced a surge in
patriotism by the majority of Australians.

However, the dust from the
attacks had barely settled when the
'politically correct' crowd began
complaining about the possibility
that our patriotism was offending others.
I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is
seeking a better life by coming to

However, there are a
few things that those who have recently come to
our country, and apparently
some born here, need to understand. This idea
of Australia being a
multicultural community has served only to dilute
our sovereignty and our
national identity. As Australians, we have our
own culture, our own society,
our own language and our own lifestyle.

This culture has been developed
over two centuries of struggles,
trials and victories by millions of men and
women who have sought freedom We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic,
Chinese, Japanese, Russian, American or any other language. Therefore, if you
wish to become part of our society, learn the language!

'In God We
Trust' is our National Motto. This is not some Christian,
right wing,
political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men
and women, on
Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is
clearly documented.
It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of
our schools.

If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the
world as your new home, because God is part of our culture. If the Southern
Cross offends you, or you don't like (A Fair Go), then you should
consider a move to another part of this planet We are happy
with our culture
and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where
you came from.

This is OUR COUNTRY, Our Land, and Our Lifestyle, and we
will allow
you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done
complaining, whining, and griping about our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National
Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other
great Australian freedom, THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.

I figure if we all keep
passing this to our friends (and enemies) it will
also, sooner or later get
back to the complainers, let's all try, please.

Steady, steady now

Some confusion on the early reports that I have seen but it looks as if the Islamic Idiot Army have had another go at terrorising us. There seem to be reports of a guy with a knapsack running away from an explosion but the questionis whether they intended a punishment raid like last time or just publicity and to warn us they are still about. "Oh look, those nice terrorists haven't blown anyone up. Give them what they want"
Whatever it is, and whoever they are and whatever they want - they can get stuffed.

Wednesday, 20 July 2005

Hant ponders.....

Got a bit carried away with my bullfight blogs but I had wanted to mention this guy. He has a recent column dated 10 July that got me where my funny bone lives. I spent some times in Kentucky amongst the dips and hollers - bit like the very best parts of Devon. My host was a very long term resident and he knew the moonshiners so we had to go see. The story Fred writes reminds me of those times and I commend it to you - you need to look in the listing at the extreme left for 'Hant ponders....'

A los Toros

My photo-blog of yesterday sent me back in time to 1952'ish. I was stationed in Gibraltar. The town just across the Spanish border was La Linea which offered everything a young male might desire. Also on offer - desired or not - was bullfighting where the season ran from Easter to early September. There was then no resistance to the idea of what amounted to torturing dumb animals. I had no great desire to see a bull fight as such but it was obviously something that drew huge crowds and I wanted to see why.
The fights are held on Sunday afternoons. The large circular bull ring dominates the town and on fight days there is a great excitement as the spectators stream in. Most are dressed en-fete; all go - grandma, grandad, little kids - everyone. As La Linea was at the extreme south end of Spain there were not many tourists. As one nears the stadium the sound of a rackety old brass band is heard playing what one imagines as typical Spanish music. The sound of this band is heard all afternoon as it is used to signal the changes in the various parts of the fight.

The photo above illustrates another aspect. One buys entry to three areas; sol (sunny), sombre (shady) or sol e sombre (yes, that's right, sun and shade because the sun moves during the afternoon) The lady supporters spread their lace shawls over the barrier in front of them and get ready to applaud their favourites. There will be three fighters and each will kill three bulls if all goes well. The music changes and the grand parade opens. All of the bullfight personnel passage from one side of the ring to the other starting with the most-basic job guys and ending with the major performers. As the front of the review gets to the far side of the ring, they break formation and just wander around. The matadors will search the shawl of their favourites and stroll over to them. I say 'stroll' but that is the wrong word - these guys are proud as pish personified and have all the swagger one can imagine. Their costumes - their 'suit of lights' are splendid with vivid colours, sparkly bits and cords all skin tight on good male figures - doubtless with the addition of a pair of spare socks down the front of the tight tights.

Another change of music and the ring clears. Lesser decorated figures come in and the first bull is released. It comes out of a dark tunnel into the bright light and it's manner of entry signifies what sort of bull it will be in the contest ahead. Some run out at high speed and attack everything in sight. Others walk slowly into the ring - heads high and smelling the new atmosphere. They will not have had this experience before. Their pedigree will have been tested from their mothers who will have shown what they can do in a ring on the breeders' farm. The peons have large capes and attract the attention of the bull. This is to allow us and the matador to see what the bull will do. Does he hook to the left, to the right or upwards? Does he stand and then bolt forward or run from a way back?

Another change of music in response to the signals from the President for the day - a local worthy. Now enter the picadors. They have long lances and are mounted on horses which have considerable padding on one side and under their belly. They get the bull to charge them and place their lances into the upper neck muscle of the bull. This is to weaken it and lower the head. There will be three lancings before another change in the music.
Now come the bandilleros. They have short canes with a barbed point. They challenge the bull and run directly at it - placing their spears into the neck muscle. Again, three darts are planted. The idea is that the darts will swing and stir the bull into charging the next human that he sees in front of him.
The music that is played this time is traditional and always the same with off-key trumpets in the main part. Now enters the star of the show - the matador. He has a smaller cape and uses this to attract the attention of the bull. As the bull goes past like an express train, he demonstrates various classical movements. The objective is closeness of the bull and the fluency from one move into another. This gradually leads to his dominating the bull.

On my first visit, it was about this time that I was getting ready to depart after the bull was killed. The spectacle was worth seeing but I did not see it really as any sort of fight. I knew there was one more music change - again traditionally the signal for the bull to be killed. Here the matador takes a much smaller cape and executes smaller and tighter turns and passes until he decides the animal is ready for a full frontal approach where the human will force a sword into the neck and down into the heart of the animal.
This stage came. The very first cape movement went somehow wrong. The bull caught the man full on the crown between his horns and sent him six or seven feet into the air. It stopped and looked up like a footballer getting ready to volley the ball into the net. As the man came down, the bull caught him in the chest with one horn and then shook him off like a loose sock. The guy was dead as he hit the ground.

There was all sorts of kerfuffle then. The band played on. Peons distracted the bull. The body was removed. Another bull-fighter was called to the ring and, after a few passes, despatched the animal cleanly and efficiently. This is what has to happen. The bull cannot live to fight another day. He knows what humans do and would be too dangerous. A team of oxen come and drag the dead bull out, blood-stains are sawdusted over and the music starts all over again. By this time, I was as hooked as the dead man had been. The idea that it was a foregone conclusion was obviously wrong. The posing and prancing of everyone seemed more daring when one saw what the bull could do if things went wrong. A whole new dimension came into play. I think that, had I not seen the death in this very first visit, I would not have gone again.

As it was, I went every time possible and even went to the stadium a little way inland at San Roque where the ring was the smallest in Spain and even more heart-in-the-mouth inducing. I had a young lady who did my washing sort of thing and we had glorious afternoons with wine and doorstep sandwiches whilst watching Hemingway's Death in The Afternoon brought to life. I saw quite a few serious injuries but not another human death - the threat was always there though.

After I left, things went downhill. The bulls were smaller, the horns were shaved to make them sensitive, the animals were kept without water - what we would today consider as nobbled. I was recently e-talking with an old friend who lives in La Linea. The bullfights continue but mainly for tourists. The Spanish now look to football for excitement. I don't think I'd go back. Maybe I'm frightened I'd see a very old laundry woman sitting in the sol e sombre somewhere.

Tuesday, 19 July 2005

Shebrain vs. Hebrain

There was a question in a comment a while back asking if I had seen a TV programme regarding differences between male and female brains. I did answer this by, more or less, saying that I did not need a TV programme to convince me of this fact.
Now we have this report circulating

Women's Brains Really Are Blown By Orgasms
An orgasm is literally a mind-blowing experience for a woman, scientists have revealed.Much of her brain shuts down when she reaches a sexual climax.The discovery was made during experiments in the Netherlands when couples' brains were scanned during lovemaking.
Neuroscientist Dr Gert Holstege, from the University of Groningen said it appeared that shutting down the brain during orgasm ensured that obstacles such as fear and stress did not get in the way.
"When you are fearful or have a very high level of anxiety, then it's hard to have sex because during sex you really have to give yourself and let go."
Men were studied in the same way but because the male orgasm typically takes such a short time it
was difficult to obtain meaningful brain scan data.
A total of 13 women and 11 men, ranging in age from 19 to 49, took part in the experiments at Dr Holstege's laboratory.
Since it was vital to remain completely still in the
scanner, volunteers had to have their heads restrained while being stimulated.
The rest of the body was free to move.
Participants lay naked on a table with their head inside the scanner - but had to wear socks to avoid cold feet.
And there could be a connection with the aphrodisiac effect of alcohol.
"Alcohol brings down the fear level," said Dr Holstege. "Everyone knows if you give alcohol to a woman it makes things easier"

This possibly explains one reason for the difference


The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his life in his own hands! This is a handy guide that should be as common as a driver's licence in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, or significant other

DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?SAFER: Wow, you look good in brown.SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?SAFER: Could we be overreacting?SAFEST: Here's my paycheck.ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?SAFER: I hope you didn't over-do it today.SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!ULTRASAFE: Have some more chocolate.

Self-inflicted injuries.

This is extracted from an article in today's Daily Telegraph. I like it because it supports what I have been saying for some while (irony) but I still think it is worth some thought. The full article is here.

A victory for multiculti over common sense
By Mark Steyn
(Filed: 19/07/2005)

The London bombers were, to the naked eye, assimilated - they ate fish 'n' chips, played cricket, sported appalling leisurewear. They'd adopted so many trees we couldn't see they lacked the big overarching forest - the essence of identity, of allegiance. As I've said before, you can't assimilate with a nullity - which is what multiculturalism is.

So, if Islamist extremism is the genie you're trying to put back in the bottle, it doesn't help to have smashed the bottle. The 7/7 murderers are described as "Yorkshiremen", but, of course, there is no Yorkshire: Ted (Heath) abolished that, too.

Consider the Bishop of Lichfield, who at Evensong, on the night of the bombings, was at pains to assure his congregants: "Just as the IRA has nothing to do with Christianity, so this kind of terror has nothing to do with any of the world faiths." It's not so much the explicit fatuousness of the assertion so much as the broader message it conveys: we're the defeatist wimps; bomb us and we'll apologise to you. That's why in Britain the Anglican Church is in a death-spiral and Islam is the fastest-growing religion. There's no market for a faith that has no faith in itself. And as the Church goes so goes the state: why introduce identity cards for a nation with no identity?

It was the Prime Minister's wife, you'll recall, who last year won a famous court victory for Shabina Begum, as a result of which schools across the land must now permit students to wear the full "jilbab" - ie, Muslim garb that covers the entire body except the eyes and hands. Ms Booth hailed this as "a victory for all Muslims who wish to preserve their identity and values despite prejudice and bigotry". It seems almost too banal to observe that such an extreme preservation of Miss Begum's Muslim identity must perforce be at the expense of any British identity. Nor, incidentally, is Miss Begum "preserving" any identity: she's of Bangladeshi origin, and her adolescent adoption of the jilbab is a symbol of the Arabisation of South Asian (and African and European) Islam that's at the root of so many problems. It's no more part of her inherited identity than my five-year- old dressing up in his head-to-toe Darth Vader costume, to which at a casual glance it's not dissimilar.

Is it "bigoted" to argue that the jilbab is a barrier to acquiring the common culture necessary to any functioning society? Is it "prejudiced" to suggest that in Britain a Muslim woman ought to reach the same sartorial compromise as, say, a female doctor in Bahrain? Apparently so, according to Cherie Booth.

One of the striking features of the post-9/11 world is the minimal degree of separation between the so-called "extremists" and the establishment: Princess Haifa, wife of the Saudi ambassador to Washington, gives $130,000 to accomplices of the 9/11 terrorists; the head of the group that certifies Muslim chaplains for the US military turns out to be a bagman for terrorists; one of the London bombers gets given a tour of the House of Commons by a Labour MP. The Guardian hires as a "trainee journalist" a member of Hizb ut Tahir, "Britain's most radical Islamic group" (as his own newspaper described them) and in his first column post-7/7 he mocks the idea that anyone could be "shocked" at a group of Yorkshiremen blowing up London: "Second- and third-generation Muslims are without the don't-rock-the-boat attitude that restricted our forefathers. We're much sassier with our opinions, not caring if the boat rocks" - or the bus blows, or the Tube vaporises. Fellow Guardian employee David Foulkes, who was killed in the Edgware Road blast, would no doubt be heartened to know he'd died for the cause of Muslim "sassiness".

Oh, well. Back to business as usual. In yesterday's Independent, Dave Brown had a cartoon showing Bush and Blair as terrorists boarding the Tube to Baghdad. Ha-ha. The other day in Thailand, where 800 folks have been killed by Islamists since the start of the year, two Laotian farm workers were beheaded. I suppose that's Bush and Blair's fault, too.

But in the end Cherie Booth and Dave Brown and the Bishop of Lichfield will get you killed. Best of British, old thing.

Why bombs when chopsticks will do?

Well, big surprise today. Not. The Chinese with whom Rover was in 'last minute talks' when it was put into receivership have now submitted plans to resurrect some production in the UK. Lot less employees. They had previously got hold of some essential bits. So, set a company up for a fall, push it into the abyss and then get it for peanuts - or noodles. If it is this easy to knock over our industry, why bother with all that illegal stuff with explosives and knapsacks then? When you see how Chinese live in conditions where we would not be allowed to walk pigs, you can see just why the economists are forecasting big things from Asia. Plus they will be competing for the diminishing oil which will have to come from where we currently get ours.
I thought pokeynose had learnt a bit of a lesson the other day. However, whilst we were at the beach today, she started stalking a great big gull and manouvered it into a corner ready for a kill - which I stopped. She did the same to a crow the other day - about the size of a small chicken. As it took wing, she jumped up and caught it in her mouth. It lodged with its head and shoulders down her throat. Normally, the first bite down kills whatever she has hold of but I think she was surprised by the size of this bird. She had the front end in her chops but the wings were flapping ninety to the dozen and the legs were scrabbling like a gurkha going uphill. I could do little for laughing but she released it, held it down with a paw for a better grip and that was the end of the escape bid. My fear today was that Jonah gull would swallow her from the inside.

Follow-up to my cat post

What do you mean by I'd make a nice doorstop?

Support we could well do without.

I think this is the kind of support we can well do without. Although, given what the Chatham House survey claims, this might be spin from someone at No 10?
Monday, July 18, 2005
51% of Americans want the attack with military force: Republicans, favor attacks by a 7-to-1 margin
"51% Want Military Response to London Bombing Survey of 1,500 Adults July 15-17, 2005 July 18, 2005--In response to the terrorist bombings in London, 51% of Americans want the U.S. and its allies to attack with military force. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 25% believe the appropriate response is to withdraw US and British troops from Iraq.Just 7% believe the allies should negotiate with terrorists.As with most issues relating to the War on Terror, Republicans are largely united, while Democrats are divided.Republicans, by a 7-to-1 margin, say that military attacks are the appropriate response. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats share that view while 39% favor withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Nine percent (9%) of Democrats favor negotiations.
There is a Pravda connection so this also could just be sweetbreads but it sounds convincing to me. Only thing not identified seems to be where this attack should be aimed. Cuba - ostensibly for high price of cigars. Argentina - finalising the Falklands thing. Possibilities - with this sort of mindset - seem limitless. Just so long as it does not have oil; I'm fed up with that conspiracy theory thread.
Don't like this?
Well, you will love this then
From The American Conservative, 1 August 2005, p.27Philip Giraldi writes:In Washington it is hardly a secret that the same people in and around the administration who brought you Iraq are preparing to do the same for Iran. The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office,
has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on
Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing—that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack—but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections. Philip Giraldi, a former CIA Officer, is a partner in Cannistraro Associates

Monday, 18 July 2005

Normal service will be resumed ...........

I have given in to the music trend. Next thing is need is a chav's Burberry hat to go with my nice new 20GB iPod. What I have to do now is load my CDs into this machine and then move them across to the little white box. I have a fairly good collection of disks but do not listen to them as often as I would possibly like 'cos it means sorting them, loading them into the player, getting settled and then pressing play. I've already got a set of ear-phones that fasten onto ears like oysters; I found you need teenagers ears to use the supplied ones. I can go back to the days when we used to tune in, turn on and drop out but not with exotic substances this time. What I reckon is that even when I've loaded all my music it will not be 20GB and I can sell the CDs to Barter Books and most likely get back the money I paid for the iPod. Another benefit is that I can cover my decreasing hearing syndrome with pretence that I'm chillin' with Willie or perving with Parton.
So, normal service will be resumed when all is loaded. Go - maestro.

Sunday, 17 July 2005

Degrees of darkness

This Mark Urban guy is supposed to be a pretty smart cookie. However, someone dug up this comment from him:'Of course, many people are saying they made the mistakes they did because they were relatively inexperienced suicide bombers’ I suppose he can now add a Degree for stating the bleeding obvious to his CV.

This is a real cat

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I may have given the impression here that I am exclusively a dog man. This is no more true than the suggestion that I am a (belly dancer's) belly man. It is just that I find cats incommunicative other than when scrounging. However, this is a cat that did get through to me. It was a feral cat in Bahrain. I imagine that being a free-spirit cat is hard at the best of times but in Bahrain it must be something like Superman. The heat is terrible and the locals are handy with heaving bricks at things.

This based itself near our office bungalow. In time, it got used to most of us but no one could get within ten feet of it. We used to throw food to her but she would refuse it all the while we remained in sight. Once we retreated, she would dash in and devour whatever we left - even quite fierce chicken curry. In appearance, she was exactly like the sort of cats one sees in ancient Egyptian manuscripts. A long neck with small head carried high.

She was obviously not totally feral as we saw her shape change and realised she was pregnant. We threw out odds and ends of woolen items and uprated the food. She had the one kitten - wth her above. She did not mature with any maternal instinct but the kitten did not have any inborn fear of humans. It would happily come into the office and the greatest game was to attack the keys of the typewriter when one was trying to write reports. She also enjoyed ataking the paper screwed up into a ball when she  distrated the typist. Mum would come just to outside the door and just put her head round the corner with loud moaning. I don't know what hapened to her as she was still there when I left but I often think back to her spirit of independence in making her own way.

Rolling in the blogs

Since 7/7 (why did we have to adopt the American system of marking disasters with a date?), I’ve started to get an insight into just how effective blogging can be. Hundreds of sans-pied journalists have contributed to just about every aspect of the events of that day. Some of those injured have set out their stories and I can imagine that that has helped with some of the obvious PTSD. We have had Islamic apologists, condemners of Muslims, pro- and anti-Iraq war warriors, conspiracy theorists. Hordes of people are expressing themselves without going through the filter of professional journalism. Given that the main media is subject to the slant of Murdoch, Ted Turner or whoever owns a network and to the curse of political correctness (BBC bombers not terrorists), this can only be a good thing. Some of those blogging may well move into the reporting profession and, hopefully, will take their freshness with them. I think I can say that I have spent more time reading blogs than I have reading the two newspapers we get everyday.
Looking back over that last paragraph, I’ve roused something that does grip my goat with some bloggers. They are the sort who cannot be bothered to do anything other than Here’s a good story (link), what do you think of this (link) so that one is constantly switching hither and yin. If it’s good, stick it on the side as a blogroll. Then there are those who write ‘Me and Janey hooked up late last night and after a boozy reunion we ……… (read more). Another irritant are those who somehow restrict the number of topics one can get to at one time so that it needs constant dragging back from archives. I’ve seen one or two where the daily etc. entries scroll down as they would in a paper diary rather than trying to catch-up on a story by having to go back up when one wants the next instalment.
Another thing that I find amazing is the spread of subjects on which people blog. I’ve spent a lot of time using Google to input all sorts of random word followed by blog. I’ve not yet had a negative report. Even using the rude words seems to work. Already there are loads of blogs on what I suppose one might call the sleazy side of life. I read a while back the supposed story of the high rate hooker who went by the fromage-name of Belle de Jour. This struck me as identical to the porno books published in Paris at the start and mid-50s – Story of ‘O’ and that sort of thing. She has many imitators who – I use the word purposely – exhibit a better knowledge of the velvet brothel than Belle. I spoke about the release that bomb victims might get and I suppose the same applies to these writers who seem to be, in the main, female Some have no qualms about identifying themselves. A lady who lectures on the finer parts of fellatio advertises her book on the same subject – on special at Amazon no less. I go back to a time when women were referred to as lay-dees and I am still surprised when I find a woman/lay-dee expressing her desires and most intimate moments in basic terms on paper or – even more so – on the Internet. Back in a past life (now, sadly, no more), I occasionally had to read peoples’ diaries and personal letters and came across much free expression. But, to find this sort of self-revelation on the web is rather like being told that Maggie Thatcher practised frottage. Not that such things took place but – really – involving her!

John Wayne is not dead

I think this young man owes someone a few hours on his knees in the praying and giving thanks position.

Tanks but No Tanks

I have been thinking more about my fish tank project. It seems rather daunting; there is talk of nitrogen cycles and much other stuff not seen by me since upper Sixth days. Even filling the tank with water has its own mysteries. The water has to be changed by a seriously complicated procedure.
My experience as a kid with fish was dead simple. We had three big fat goldfish – Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. They lived in a galvanised water storage tank in the garden. No air pumping, no plants, no feeding. Nothing at all in the way of care. They occasionally froze when the temperature went down but resumed their full aquatic life when things got warmer. Nice, simple and uncomplicated.
As I read the care and attention required to keep a few slices of carrot alive, I realised that all I wanted was the end experience of seeing neon-glowing objects moving about in abstract patterns. It is not that I could not soon get up to speed on the requirements; I’m just not interested in that part of the project.
So, the fish thing is dead in the water.
I now have to think of something else, or, horror of horrors, decline any sort of birthday present. Maybe if anyone knows of a shiny pole and a lady dancer?

Letter from America

Recent events have caused many to reflect on what makes Muslims tick. What makes a suicide bomber? How do the really see us?
I may have found something that goes toward getting an insight - certainly how one Iraqi woman feels after a fairly prolonged stay in America. Of all the Islamic 'experts', this woman strikes the best chord with me.