Friday, 19 June 2009

Back to the BoomBox days

Back in the day when it was not some sign of race to heave a massive box on the shoulder and hip wave along. Volume, of course, had to be deafening. Or maybe just sit around a musical packing case with a few cold sherbets and maybe a herbal cigarette or two. Hit Playlist and retreat!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

More credibility issues

There cannot be anyone left who has any faith in the integrity of our elected representatives. Just when they should all be concentrating on getting back to people we can trust, they introduce procedures expressly designed to withhold essential information from us. We are no longer entitled to know the disposal of serious and dangerous criminals within the legal system.
I can see the touchy-feely agenda that this comes from. I might even understand how these faulty-gened individuals are processed. We have had numerous examples where dodgy characters have been let go and slip back into the abusive or threatening conduct that got them locked away in the first place. Even tagging is no guarantee. I do not regard imprisonment as being an opportunity to teach the offender how to behave or learn how to exist in a civilised community. No - all I want is him kept away from me. So long as that is achieved, they may do as they wish with crims. Hulks on the Thames worked in Dickens' times. Hard labour is what I expect not soft treatment and slip-shod assessments as to the risk to the public.

Posted via email from John's posterous

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

No confidence

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Eastys as opposed to Westys

A couple of years back, courtesy of #1 son, I visited Berlin. I had never had a great desire to you there whilst I was serving as a soldier in Germany - the formalities of getting in and out put me off.
We went into what had been East Berlin and also into the former East Germany. I was entranced. The place seemed to have been in a time warp and the brash face of West Berlin seemed a million miles away. It was a bit like The Third Man come alive. I found myself wondering if we might find a night club a la Cabaret with off key oompa pa pa band and fat hostesses.
This note was inspired by an album of photographs which well show the state of the place that is now in my memory.

Posted via email from John's posterous

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


There had been a lot of debate in British BloggerLand following police authorities stance that officers should not blog. So far as I am aware, all of the posters used a pseudo-name anyway and took steps to ensure that they could not be identified by what they wrote about. Two or three decided as soon as the banning order came out that the cake was not worth the candle and closed shop. Others took more effort at scrambling their stories. some resented the order and became quite defiant. Others just carried on as if there had been no force instruction.

A recent court case seems to have laid down a precedent when the blogger's right to anonymity was challenged by a newspaper. The High Court has refused to preserve the anonymity of an award-winning policeman who has blogged about the force and government ministers.Mr Justice Eady refused an injunction to prevent the Times identifying serving officer "Night Jack". The judge said said blogging was "essentially a public rather than a private activity". Night Jack's lawyer said preserving his anonymity was in the public interest. Hugh Tomlinson QC said the thousands who communicated via the internet under a cloak of anonymity would be "horrified" to think the law would do nothing to protect their identities if someone carried out the necessary detective work to unmask them.

Richard Horton, a detective constable with Lancashire Constabulary, is named as the author of NightJack. Horton tried to obtain a High Court injunction to prevent the Times from revealing that he was the author of the blog, which the paper claims reveals confidential information about criminal cases that can be identified. In April NightJack was awarded an Orwell Prize for political writing. Today, the blog appears to have been deleted by the author. Quite what the Times thinks it has achieved from all this is beyond my comprehension. The blog has gone and with it an insight into how his force operates - that material alone was worth praise. The media are very firm in their stance that they will not reveal their sources of information so we seem to have double standards here. A sad day methinks.

Posted via email from John's posterous

Monday, 15 June 2009

Outfaced and twittered am I

Seduced by a twit

I used to have a blog to which I contributed on a irregular basis. It ran for almost ten years. Sometimes it attracted comments or complaints but never so often that it became a chore. Occasionally, during days when I was fighting The Black Dog, it came out somewhat acerbic or failed to show up at all. On balance, I enjoyed it but it was never ever near to becoming a major part of my life.

What I did get serious about in the blogging context was reading the work of others. After a while, I had so many listed as Favourites that I decided to get a blog gatherer and that led me to Bloglines. I got to know about RSS feeds and every day I would have some 50 or so blogs which generally ran into 250 or so threads. The wide range of topics on which one could find a blog amazed me. I started dreaming up really obscure interests and never failed to find that someone somewhere was providing a blogged opinion.

Then someone got me onto Facebook. I did not think that it and I would get on but I stuck with the messaging. I see it as a form of email but without spam. I've only a small circle of virtual friends; mostly family but with a couple of others picked up along the way. From one of these, I was shown Twitter. Again, initially I did not see what we might have in common but I lurked on the edges and eased my way in.

Now, it seems that most of my free time - of which I have plenty as befits a 76 year old coffin dodger - is spent catching up on my electronic world. If I had half the short term memory that I used to have, I'd be unbeatable in a general knowledge quiz.

I think I have adjusted well to the IT age.

Posted via email from John's posterous