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Welcome to my random mostly topical blog.
I hope you enjoy it it whatever capacity you feel necessary!

Monday, 12 December 2011

It's Time - A great video online about marriage equality

I was browsing an Internet forum earlier that I frequent on and I came across this video that someone had posted:




I honestly don't think much else needs to be said.

Source:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TBd-UCwVAY&feature=player_embedded

Farewell Colonel Potter!

Last week the death of the actor Harry Morgan was announced. He had starred in many films and TV programmes during the span of his long career, however many would fondly remember him for his role as Colonel Sherman T. Potter in the TV series "M*A*S*H." It's certainly where I remember him best.
 
"The actor Harry Morgan, who has died aged 96, was best known as Colonel Sherman T Potter, commander of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in M*A*S*H, the wonderfully witty and sharp television series set in an army camp during the Korean war. He played Potter, an expert surgeon and a father figure in the camp, from 1978 until 1983."
 His character had been involved in both world wars and the Korean war. He played his character with humility, grace, and a presence that was kindly but authoritative. I don't think that is necessarily an easy character to play, so I think it's a testament to Harry Morgan that he pulled it off so well and that so many people recognise him and admire him for that.

   From the same article:

"Exuding an air of respectability, Morgan played the tough but reasonable judge in the famous "monkey trial" of 1925, in which a schoolteacher was tried for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution, in Stanley Kramer's Inherit the Wind (1960), and was General Ulysses S Grant in How the West Was Won (1962). Later he played sheriffs in a number of westerns, notably in The Shootist (1976), John Wayne's final film. When Morgan hears that Wayne's ex-gunfighter has cancer, he starts to whoop and laugh. "The day they lay you away, what I do on your grave won't pass for flowers!" he yells.
    
   Throughout the next two decades, Morgan was active in films and on television, including the TV movies The Incident (1990), Against Her Will: An Incident in Baltimore (1992) and Incident in a Small Town (1994), in all three of which Walter Matthau, as a small-town lawyer, and Morgan, as a judge, sparred amiably. But it was his Colonel Potter in M*A*S*H that gave him his widest claim to fame, and won him an Emmy in 1980 as outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series. He also appeared as Potter in the spinoff AfterMASH (1983-85), set in a veterans' hospital in the fictional town of River Bend, Missouri"
Rest in peace Harry Morgan. A great actor, a true gentlemen.



Source:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/dec/08/harry-morgan?newsfeed=true

Monday, 5 December 2011

Rioters Blame Police for August Riots

A study involving interviews of various rioters at the time of the August riots indicate that they blame the police for the events that took place. A collective study of interviews made at the time indicated the following:

"Analysts, who studied 270 interviews with people who took part in the disturbances, said distrust and antipathy towards officers was a key driving force behind why thousands took to the streets.
A complex mix of other political, social and economic grievances also contributed to the unprecedented trouble, according to the research conducted by the London School of Economics (LSE) and The Guardian.
Out of those questioned, 85% said policing was an "important" or "very important" factor in why the riots happened. It was second only to poverty, which saw 86% of rioters class it as one of the main causes of the four consecutive nights of unrest during the summer"
 And then a little further down:
 "Other major factors included media coverage, greed, inequality, boredom, criminality, moral decline and racial tensions, the study found. Poor parenting and gangs were also said to be an important cause of the trouble, which led to the deaths of five people and saw more than 4,000 arrested."
 This is interesting, but ultimately I don't buy it. Of course the people who were interviewed were biased. They would think that it was the police's fault, with their stop and search methods and the way that the police that area and others like it.
   Now I'm not saying that the police and their methods are perfect, far from it. I understand that the police might need to review and change some of their policies and methods and that they also need to be careful when dealing with certain communities, however it is also a double edged sword. The police wouldn't have to act that way if they weren't faced with so many obstacles, many of which are put up there by the very community they are trying to police, help, and improve. You can't really blame the police for doing their job, what they are paid to do.
   Frankly I would say that poverty, media coverage, greed, boredom, criminality, moral decline and racial tensions are probably more likely reasons than just the police on their own. Not least of all because all those things are more evident in other such area's around London and the United Kingdom.
   
 I honestly don't think the police can be blamed majorly for something which came about because of a number of different factors. Not just the shooting of Mark Duggan and not only because of how the police operate, but because of social aspects.After all, I don't think the shooting of Mark Duggan and the operational procedures of the police alone could lead to behaviour like this:

















Sources:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hjZguGlguhwjnT5Hp8WfPBCEX_bQ?docId=B33803981323058941A00003

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/883848-rioters-blamed-sense-of-injustice-and-anger-at-police-for-summer-riots

Thursday, 1 December 2011

New sunset pictures

Here are some new sunset pictures, taken on the 24th of November:














































There is a third picture but I can't seem to get it to work. It's not really that great though so it's no real bother. Of the ones above, the first one is my personal favourite. But what do you think?

Get out the pitchforks and torches!!!

It's that time again! A celebrity has made a boo boo and has said something not especially PC or appropriate and so of course there is the usual volley of people whose comments range from the sort you make whilst rolling your eyes to full on rage.
  The celebrity in question is Jeremy Clarkson. No surprise there I suppose since he has said made many a controversial statements, whether it's been joking about the car makers Hyundai "eating dogs" or joking about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes.
  What he said was quite silly and he did act like a bit of a buffoon, however as usual I see a volley of dismissals, condemnation and calls for harsh action.

  First off, here's what he said (just in case you live on the moon or in a cave and haven't seen it)



Not very tactful, that is unless he was being sarcastic or joking.
   Of course there was the usual condemnation not just from average Joe's but from celebrities too.

Sally Bercow, wife of John Bercow, Speaker of the House said:
"Seems that some people have only *just* noticed that Jeremy Clarkson is a steaming bellend.."
 So a resounding criticisms there, although to be honest I rather prefer Jeremy Clarkson any day (even with his foot in his mouth) over an attention seeking harpie who constantly embarrasses her husband.

Now UNISON, the UK’s largest union, is calling on the BBC to sack Clarkson and it is also looking into legal avenues to take against him. What ever happened to freedom of speech?

 "Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:

“Clarkson’s comments on the One Show were totally outrageous, and they cannot be tolerated. We are seeking urgent legal advice about what further action we can take against him and the BBC, and whether or not his comments should be referred to the police.

“Public sector workers and their families are utterly shocked by Jeremy Clarkson’s revolting comments. We know that many other licence fee payers share our concerns about his outrageous views. The One Show is broadcast at a time when children are watching – they could have been scared and upset by his aggressive statements. An apology is not enough - we are calling on the BBC to sack Jeremy Clarkson immediately. Such disgusting statements have no place on our TV screens."

Perhaps it wasn't exactly the most appropriate thing to have him (Clarkson) on live television at that time of day knowing what he is like, however we do have freedom of speech in this country and the presenters of "The One Show" asked Clarkson his opinion and he gave it. To seek legal options because of this is absurd.

   I think Mr Prentis, UNISON, and anyone who thinks further action should be taken against Clarkson should just, well, get a grip. Have a bitch and a moan about him and then move on. Because to take it any further is a waste of time, and quite frankly it's pathetic.


 Links:




http://ht.ly/7KWGD

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEKVUIeAsbA&feature=player_embedded

Monday, 24 October 2011

An interesting video

I came across this video and I thought it was worth sharing.
    The background speech is obviously from the Charlie Chaplin film "The Great Dictator." Then whoever made it added various videos and pictures.



It's pretty interesting.

Blind Great Dane looking for home (oh and it's guide dog!)

In the news is the story of a Great Dane which is currently looking for a new home. This one is special though, because she's blind. Not only is he blind, but she has her very own guide dog. Yes you heard me, a dog has a guide dog.

"Lilly, six, was barely a puppy when she was struck down by a condition that caused her eyelashes to grow into her eyeballs, damaging them beyond repair."

Apparently the pair have become inseparable over the last few years. Sadly their owner could no longer look after them.



"It was after this traumatic event that her relationship with seven-year-old Maddison developed as she took her under her wing.
The best buddies lived together until their owners decided they couldn't look after them any more.
Miss Campbell said:

'With her lack of sight, Lily's other senses have heightened so although we don't split them up often she can tell if Maddison is nearby. 'They curl up together to go to sleep and they are very vocal with each other. 'We haven't analysed their different barks but if Lily wants to go forward and Maddison is in her way, the bark will have a different pitch.
'They are very close to one another and enjoy each other's company'."

Here are some pictures of the two dogs:







I have to say it is a lovely story of friendship.

If you want to read the full story then go to this link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2051780/Blind-Great-Dane-Lily-needs-home-space-HER-guide-dog-Maddison.html


It's worth looking at and passing on!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A Small Corner of The World

Earlier this year I was invited to a music festival by a friend who had won a few tickets. The festival was "Wakefest", a mixture of live music and wakeboarding which I hadn't watched before, nor heard of.

The site was an hours drive from Bangor in Wales, deep in North Wales. The nearest town was (and is) a small picturesque town called Abersoch.

On the second day my friend and I were at the festival We took a bus to Abersoch. It was sunny and warm and the views I saw were extraordinarily beautiful. So I took some pictures and I thought I'd share them with you.

Enjoy!

Friday, 21 October 2011

We all did it for oil you know......

This is a tweet made by American billionaire Donald Trump not one hour ago:

"Why did we spend billions of our money on Libya if we are not going to get any of the country's oil? What do we get out of this?"
So did the USA seek to help the Libyan rebels for the sole purpose of strengthening ties to secure oil deals? Or maybe was it to actually help the Libyans. Even if the USA did involve itself in the Libya conflict purely to strengthen oil deals, that would not send out the best impression. It would portray said country as selfish amongst other things.
  Likewise, by asking such questions it shows a certain selfish desire to put fuel and subsequent profit over the stability and future of a country.

Right now, in the aftermath of the death of Muammar Gaddafi, neither the UK nor the USA should be asking "how much oil can we get out of this?"  We should be asking, "What is the next step for Libya and it's people?"

Another Classy Front Page from "The Sun."

      Most media outlets whether it's television, radio or newspapers probably have a degree of tact and professionalism when it comes to reporting the death of Muammar Gaddafi and the facts surrounding it. You'd think there would be controlled stories where underneath the excitable headlines lay professional, well worded reporting that didn't make it blatantly obvious that his death is a good thing and a long time coming.

Enter the tabloid newspaper "The Sun." Well it's no surprise really I mean the good folks at "The Sun" are about as tactful as a kick in the testicles with a boot that has a metal toe cap. They have shown their laughable reporting abilities with headlines such as "Gotcha" when the Argentine ship "General Belgrano" was sunk during the Falklands War and their disgusting behaviour when they accused Liverpool FC fans of stealing from the dead in the aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster.

 So once again they show their usual over excitable lack of tact where normal decent reporting and a whole lot of common sense goes right out the window.

Ready for it?
























There's so much wrong with this I'm not even sure where to begin.
   The capture and killing of Gaddafi had nothing to do with any of those events. It wasn't done purely because of those events nor in the name of those events, not even in revenge of those events. Those three events were directly involving Brits, but no Brit had anything to do with the capture and killing of Gaddafi.
  This is the typical sort of shoddy journalism people have come to expect from "The Sun." It's the equivalent of hysterical shrieking. Rather than simply reporting his death in a timely fashion they just had to report it in their usual over the top fashion.
   I realise that this is common with this particular newspaper however once in a while they exceed themselves and I just can't help passing comment. Especially when it's as absurd as this.



Sources:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/oct/21/muammar-gaddafi-national-newspapers?newsfeed=true#

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3884974/Thats-for-Lockerbie-Gaddafi.html

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Morning Sunrise

As I was on my way to work this morning I saw in the distance an incredible sunrise. One upside to the mornings in winter (to counter the fact that it's dark when you get out of bed) is that you sometimes see the most incredible sunrises, and of coures sunsets too.
I have posted them on twitter (SoulStealer2011, follow me if you like) however I am, of course posting them here too because they are worth sharing. So here goes:











So there you go. I hope you enjoy them!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Eamonn Holmes apologises after he uses the "R word."

 Eamonn Holmes has apologised after he used the word "retard" to describe or just directly at a guest presenter.
  I find it baffling sometimes that a person who is intelligent or claims to be intelligent chooses to use that word to describe someone who they think is either stupid or being stupid or daft.
   The word "retard" is now defined as:

"A mentally handicapped person (often used as a general term of abuse)."
Actually what it should only be is a description for a mentally handicapped person, however the use of it has become so common that it is now deemed acceptable as a term of abuse. The English language is vast, there are so many words that could be used but instead Mr Holmes, like many others have chosen to use "the R word."

  I would say that to use such a word in such a context is inappropriate to say the least, and that an apology is necessary in cases like this. Furthermore I think it's absurd that people think it is acceptable to use such a word in such a way. It shouldn't be deemed acceptable socially.
  A great campaigner on this issue is the actor John C. McGinley, star of the show "Scrubs." His son has down syndrome and because of the frequent misuse of the word "retard" he has become an avid campaigner to stop the word being used in such a way.
  
   

  He said it a lot better than I ever could. Here is another one:



 If someone wants to avoid controversy and if they generally want to avoid coming across as an insensitive tool that is unable to be use words that aren't insulting and disrespectful, they should probably try to avoid using words like "retard" or "retarded" when describing something they think is stupid.
   
   Don't you think?

Sources:

http://www.metro.co.uk/tv/877980-eamonn-holmes-apologises-after-calling-jonathan-wilkes-retarded

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2046718/Eamonn-Holmes-apologises-calling-Jonathan-Wilkes-retarded-This-Morning.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Woman charged with murder for cutting fetus out of woman's body

A chilling story from the United States of America. A woman for whom the term "disturbed" isn't nearly enough is unable to have children.
   A quote from the news article:

"Morales-Rodriguez told detectives her boyfriend wanted a baby boy but she was unable to get pregnant, then feigned a pregnancy and panicked when it was time to have the baby, authorities said.
She drove around her neighborhood, locating the victim outside a public agency frequented by pregnant women, and offered her a ride to a local drug store, according to the complaint.
Morales-Rodriguez then told the pregnant woman she needed to stop at home to change her shoes. While the victim was inside using the bathroom, Morales-Rodriguez struck her in the head several times with a baseball bat, the complaint said.
Court documents said she then strangled her and taped her mouth, hands and feet with duct tape before trying to cut out the fetus.
"She cut at the bikini line attempting to duplicate the process she had seen on the Discovery Channel, depicting a caesarean section birth," the district attorney wrote in the complaint.
Morales-Rodriguez then called the paramedics to report that she had just given stillbirth to a child in the shower, the complaint said.
"She said that she had just given birth and the baby was not breathing," Police Chief Ed Flynn said during a news conference over the weekend.
The baby was pronounced dead at the scene and Morales-Rodriguez was taken to the hospital by paramedics.
Police later learned that the woman was not the mother of the child. Investigators returned to Morales-Rodriguez' home where they discovered the mother's body in the basement by the hot water heater."
Chilling, disturbed, disgusting, none of these do the story justice. To take not just one life but two and in such a gruesome and inhumane act is beyond belief.
  This goes beyond simply wanting a child, it's a psycotic unbalanced determination that is dangerous. There is of course a chance that she will simply plead insanity and be shipped off to a place that has padded cells. If so then it would be unlikely she will ever truly face consequences for those gruesome actions.

  I personally hope she is made to answer for the horrific crime. It would be somewhat of an injustice if she isn't.



Source:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/11/us-crime-wisconsin-fetus-idUSTRE79A0CR20111011

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Idiots of the week

Sometimes there are few things sweeter than the mixture of idiocy and irony.
   The Westboro Baptist Church, those fine upstanding community who picket the funerals of soldiers and who look like they have been inbreeding for three generations, have decided that they wish to picket the funeral of Steve Jobs.
  The best thing about this is the way they announced it. They announced it via Twitter using an application....on an iphone. There is a thin line between ignorance and stupidity (although they do sometimes overlap) and to say that the people of the Westboro Baptist Church are flirting with it would be a great understatement.

But then I'm not really surprised considering how inbred they look.

Source:

 http://www.examiner.com/top-news-in-san-francisco/westboro-baptist-to-picket-steve-jobs-funeral-says-via-iphone-photos-video

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs

Whatever you may think of Steve Jobs there is no denying the impact he has had on the world. His company has taken leaps and bounds in technology over the last three decades no less. The innovative devices developed and released by his company from the computers released in the late 70's to the Ipad in 2010 have changed the way people use technology and the way people connect with each other online.
   He was in many ways a humble man, rarely speaking about the illness which eventually made him step down from his position and which eventually claimed his life.
  I have never really owned many Apple products, in fact the only product I have owned and do own is an iphone 3GS.
  Say what you will, but I personally believe that Steve Jobs and his company has contributed a great deal over the last three decades, so I think it goes without saying that Steve Jobs will be greatly missed. That much is obvious by the tributes of him that are coming from all around the world.

May he rest in peace.

Monday, 3 October 2011

I have, for a good while, been skeptical of modern art. I honestly don't see it as creative and imaginative. People seem to look into inanimate objects and see things that aren't there. Much of modern art is created from strange objects to create "art" which doesn't look anything special and often doesn't seem to represent a great deal.
  It is a far cry from the great painters of a century or more ago, and the great sculptors.

So when a piece of art by Bob Law was revealed and when it was revealed that it was going to auction I was quite astonished. I was astonished because it is a white piece of canvas with a black border drawn around it.
   The piece is titled "Nothing To Be Afraid Of", and here it is:



Yes, that's really it. Honest! It is blank canvas with nothing on it except a border and a date. Now I'm no artist, in fact I cannot draw or paint or do anything artistic to save my life but if I knew a blank canvass with a border was all it took I would become a professional artist.
   David Law, who died in April 2004, has been referred to as a "minimalist artist" and quite frankly I can see why. The most absurd part of this whole story is that this is being auctioned for £60,000.

Astounding.



Sources:

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/877093-blank-banksy-canvas-set-to-fetch-60-000-at-auction

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2043217/Bob-Laws-minimalist-painting-containing-just-artists-signature-worth-60k.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Dinosaur Egg Goes on Auction

Last week it was revealed a dinosaur egg that is 75 million years old will be going on auction.
  From the news article:


"The 75million-year-old Jurassic egg is to be auctioned at Hasons Auctioneers by its anonymous 80-year-old owner, who bought the historic artifact while visiting Asia in the 1950s.
The egg was discovered by an archaeologist and historic artifact collector who identified it as belonging to the Therizinosaur reptile, a land dinosaur that stood upright and had an extended neck.
With a weight comparable to a bag of sugar, there has been much care taken to preserve the egg's condition. Auctioneers only handle the egg with special gloves on.
The dinosaur egg will be bid for alongside the owner's other pieces of history from his timeless collection."

I find this fascinating. If I had the money spare I would be very tempted to buy this after which I would donate it to the Natural History Museum in London. An item like this does not belong in a persons personal collection where it could easily be stolen, damaged or God forbid broken.  Nor could archaeologists pour over it to study it.
   Whatever happens, I hope it eventually makes it way to a museum of some sort, and in one piece.






Source:

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/876998-75million-year-old-dinosaur-egg-makes-it-to-the-auction-house-for-200

The Death of a Legend

Last week it was with great sadness I heard David Croft had died. Croft was a script writer who was jointly behind such fantastic shows as "Dad's Army", "Allo Allo" and "Hi-De-Hi."
   I myself am a big fan of "Dad's Army." I enjoyed watching it when I was a child and now the older I have gotten the more I have come to appreciate it. The humour, the stories, and the way it was written. Those style of comedies are long gone now, replaced by slightly more obtuse and obvious humour that doesn't require as much thinking or sophistication.
    Here are some classic scenes from two of my favourite creations of his, "Dad's Army" and "Allo Allo."







It's humour like that which still makes me laugh. I am very glad they still show episodes of "Dad's Army" on Saturday nights here in the UK.
    One last video, and it's of the late David Croft himself talking about my favourite episode, his favourite episode, and Arthur Lowe's favourite episode of "Dad's Army."



Truly a great comedy legend has passed away, may he rest in peace.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

European Womens Lobby tackle prostitution

The European Women's Lobby (EWL) have begun a campaign to eradicate prostitution from Europe.They seem to think they have the moral right to judge people who work in the worlds oldest profession, and they seem to think they know best.

Their webpage, which is http://www.womenlobby.org/spip.php?rubrique187&lang=en,    has two videos in which they put across their argument.

Here is their first video:


This video is full of gross exaggerations and false portrayals. At the end of the video the voice says "Prostitution is a form of violence and oppression." This is a blanket generalisation, the sort you might hear from a person who is entirely uninformed and who is full of bias and prejudice, and who probably believes such things because of a lack of education and understanding. Perhaps also because of religious indoctrination.
   Women who choose to do that job, willingly. Who set out their own rules and who manage to cope, and those who also enjoy it are not oppressed. Of course there is a risk of violence in that job but there are indeed many who have been fortunate enough to not experience such a thing. To label this as "violence and oppression" and to simplify it as they have done in that video shows ignorance.
  
This is the second video:



This video isn't quite as bad, however what it does do is portray all prostitutes as "a piece of meat in the window" and it does portray many of them being reliant on drugs when that is not especially true or accurate.
      Of course they have  to have someone from the flip side of the coin, and indeed they do. At the .34 second mark in the video above they have have a man identified simply as "sex entrepreneur in the Netherlands." The clip of him is short and is simply of him saying how he hopes to expand to five hundred clubs and brothels. Of course there is no guarantee that he provided an explanation as to why he is in that business and why he thinks it is OK, but I think it's safe to assume that even if he had they would not have included it.  I think it's safe to assume that they edited that clip in especially to show him and people like him as callous and uncaring with a lack of morals. In a negative light.
  
 At the 1:14 mark the words "It's so glamorous" appear followed by a clip of a specially arranged parking lot for prostitutes to service their clients. Each parking space is separated by walls of corrugated iron. Of course this must be the only way prostitutes service their clients right? Right?

   I think it's quite clear what the objectives of this campaign are. It is first and foremost a campaign to tackle prostitution in Europe but it is also, it seems, a campaign to tar all those who work in that industry and who hire people from that industry, and they have done so in a cavalier way.

   Quite distasteful I believe.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Trial or Error?

    Whilst watching the YouTube channel "The Young Turks" whose segments I often watch, I came across a video of theirs in which they discuss a conversation between Michael Moore and Elisabeth Hasselbank on a show called "The View."
   Now most of you might know who Michael Moore is but you might not know who Elisabeth Hasslebank is or what "The View" is.
  Elisabeth Hasslebank is a TV personality over in the US and general television presenter. She more often than not represents Conservative views and has been outspoken more often than not.
  "The View" is the USA's version of "Loose Women" except in the former they have proper debates and conversations with some fairly serious people as opposed to "Loose Women" which is mostly celebrities and celebrity chatter with a bit of debate on the side.

   Now that's out of the way, to the video itself.
The video is a debate on the TV show on which Michael Moore was a guest. They were discussing the death of Osama Bin Laden. As you are about to see, Michael Moore believes he should have been taken back to the USA and put on trial:

video


Now in this Moore compares such a trial to that of the Nazi's indicating it would have been the right and moral thing to do. He also claims that "we are no longer at war" (and by "we" he means the USA). This is obviously not true.

 The reason the comparison to the Nazi's and the Nuremberg trials doesn't fit is because that was the aftermath of a world war. The Germans had accepted defeat and the general consensus was that it was right and proper to try those who were responsible for war crimes. There was no real division over the decision to send those people to the Hague to face trial, and there certainly wasn't any objections least of all for religious reasons.

Had Osama Bin Laden gone to trial in New York it might well have caused a certain amount of religious tension and division and could have caused civil unrest in certain parts of the world. Furthermore, had he been captured alive and sent to New York to face trial it could have triggered a spree of kidnappings or murders of Americans in retaliations or in an effort by the supporters of Bin Laden to free him. Any dignitary or person in a position of power both in the USA and abroad (especially in countries where the population is considerably or mostly Muslim) could have been in danger of being taken and held to ransom.
   
   Another person on the panel makes a the valid point that Bin Laden was killed instead of captured alive because the USA did not want to make Bin Laden a Martyr to which Moore replied that putting the Nazi's on trial didn't make them martyrs. However the Nazi's weren't religious fanatics. They were fanatics but not driven by an insane religious brainwashing.

In conclusion, if a democracy puts a person like Bin Laden on trial nine times out of ten, just because they didn't do it once out of those ten times that doesn't make that country any less democratic. Furthermore, I think said countries are allowed to make exceptions, especially in a case like Bin Laden, because Bin Laden and all that surrounded him and 9/11 is no ordinary case.

I believe it was right to kill him, so that all nations effected by 9/11 and the familes can perhaps move on, if indeed that is possible.

The Value of Friendship

I was browsing the Internet recently and I came across a video of habitual idiot Glenn Beck before he left fix...sorry....faux..nope..Fox News.

Watch the video here:

http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201105190035



Now the title of the video is:

Beck on Obama's Israel Speech: The President has "Betrayed our last strong ally."


So from that title I was expecting...no...hoping for at least some substantial argument from Beck. A detailed argument of why Israel is a stronger ally than the others, and why it is more valuable than the other allies. Then why Israel is the USA's last strong ally.

But then I watched the video and I was disappointed for all of ten seconds, whereupon I remembered it's Glenn Beck one of the Faux News morons and a logical argument is difficult for them even on a good day.

In the video Beck breaks down the list of allies of the USA. They are (according to him:)

Japan,
Great Britain,
France,
Germany,
Australia,
and Canada.

So his reasoning is;

Japan - Beck says they have been devastated by earthquakes and tsunami’s and perhaps they have. And he says the USA is helping them. Well that might also be true, however Japan is still very involved with the USA in terms of massive trade and no doubt the economy.

France - "Well, where they ever our allies?" Glenn Beck asks. Well loosely I guess, however one of the reasons he gives were the civil unrest incidents. Not really substantial. Sure Sarkozy might not be on best terms with Obama and the USA and neither might his opponents, however I wouldn't call that a substantial argument.

Great Britain - (My favourite one.) He says Britain has been "ravaged by socialism and political correctness" and "is on fire."
I wonder what his reasoning is to think we are being "ravaged by socialism?" And as for the political correctness, well anyone who knows about the media we have here knows that many or most of the stories about political correctness are completely exaggerated and come from the tabloids, many of which are right wing and biased.
The political correctness side is seriously exaggerated and anyone who knows anything knows that it is definitely not a reason to dismiss a nation which frankly has probably given the most as an Ally of the USA.
After all we have, as a nation, fought alongside the USA in two world wars, Korea, two Gulf wars and one in Afghanistan, not to mention many other conflicts around the world.
What do we have to do to be recognised as an equal? Or maybe we should just stop trying. Because frankly, if all that we have done is not enough then nothing ever will be. Especially in the eyes of the Americans, or maybe at least in the eyes of plebs like Glenn Beck.

“God Bless Great Britain but are we really an ally?” Beck asks. Umm, yeah we are. We are involved financially with the USA, with the markets, we have soldiers fighting in Afghanistan fighting alongside the Americans and did so in Iraq before then, and then in the Balkans before that, then Iraq again before that, and Korea before that. Really, does none that mean anything to him?

So at the end of the video he says that Australia and Canada are the only two allies that the USA has left.

Frankly if this is the attitude of Beck and people like him, and those who listen to him (whomever those poor unfortunate misguided people are) then I think it’s time we, as a country re-evaluated our “special relationship” with the USA.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Playing politics with sexuality and morality (still) in the 21st century

When you have a politician who is in a respectable position there should be without a doubt a line. A line which draws out where personal issues and beliefs stop and professionalism starts. That same line should also indicate the beliefs of others when concerning the life style of said politician.

The finance minister for Australia, Penny Wong is a lesbian, and she is in a relationship with Sophie Allouache who, it has just been announced, is pregnant. She had gotten pregnant through IVF. I personally wish them both the very best, however such an occasion has raised the ugly head of ignorance and intolerance.

Although Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister of Australia, has wished them well it seems she still remains resolute on her opposition against gay marriage.

"Clearly there are strong views about same-sex marriage in the community, There are strong views in the political party I lead, and we'll have a debate at national conference about those strongly held views. I've made my views clear."
Her view by the way is that marriage should be reserved only for a man and a woman.
For a country so advanced I would have thought there would be a lot more tolerance. Wait a minute.....actually there is.
From that same article:

"Various polls in Australia have put support for gay marriage as high as 70 per cent."
That is a huge percentage considering the size of the country and it's demographics.

And of course the right wingers who are morally outraged (there is always some) came out to make their voice heard on this.
Fred Nile, an MP from New South Wales and leader of the Christian Democrat Party said:

"She needn't have made it public, It just promotes their lesbian lifestyle and trying to make it natural where it's unnatural."
How lovely of him. Firstly on the subject of making it public, if a straight politician of such a high stature and position was expecting a child they would no doubt announce it in much the same way, It is no different in that aspect at all. Of course the difference is that she is a lesbian so all of a sudden such a thing matters.
Then onto the second part of his statement where he says she is trying to make something seem natural when it is unnatural, well that's just his opinion. That is obviously just his small minded bigoted opinion based on his religious beliefs. And for that we should pity him, because he obviously lacks the capacity or just the intelligence to be tolerant.

I hope in all honesty that soon whatever opposition of gay marriage remains in Australia will be overturned, or most of it at least so that gay marriage may be legalised. After all, it is the right and moral thing to do. It is also the sort of thing a modern society with modern ethics would do.

Here's hoping.

Source:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/lesbian-ministers-pregnancy-fails-to-sway-australia-pm-on-gay-marriage-2335023.html


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Daily Star Columnist shows class (or lack thereof)

A columnist with the daily star has caused controversy by not only making light of Ricky Gervais and his weight loss, but by his remarks which stink of homophobia and a distinct lack of tact.
See below for said picture:


















I don't think I need to tell you that such a comment is wholly unncessary and careless.
I would write more but it's been done quite well elsewehere.

For example "The New Statesman:"

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/04/-3

And "Pink News:"

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/04/12/daily-star-columnist-if-ricky-gervais-was-gay-youd-think-he-had-aids/


For a larger picture on this Joe Mott idiot read Charlie Brookers excellent blog post on him:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/feb/26/pressandpublishing.digitalmedia


That's all for now folks!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Cleggs war or Nepotism

Nick Clegg the deputy Prime Minister has dropped the ball, again.
He has said recently that internships given to people by family members are "unfair" and that he seeks to level the playing field. The word for this is "nepotism" which means:

"Favoritism shown or patronage granted to relatives, as in business."
or:

"Favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs)"
I actually don't see a problem with nepotism but I'll come to that in the moment.
The major way in which Nick Clegg has has put his foot in it is by bringing this up and more or less declared war on nepotism. Except he was given an internship at the "United Trust Bank" whilst on a gap year because his father worked for that company, and because his father "had a word" with a friend who worked at a Finnish bank. Oops.

Now onto the concept of nepotism. Why do I think it is acceptable? Well I certainly don't think it is morally wrong. I have been helped by nepotism, because of nepotism I am in my current job. You could say my father also "had a word", from which a work experience position was created for me. Two a bit years on I am now a contracted worker. Does this make me biased? Well maybe but it doesn't cloud my judgement.
I think nepotism is good because if a person is struggling to find work no matter what background they come from, if you help a person out that you are related to or you know then you are first and foremost putting a person in employment. You are giving them a leg up.
I was in part time employment, had I not been giving the opportunity to work where I work now who knows where I would be. I might be working in part time retail or I might be unemployed.
I want to be clear that no-one lost out because of the opportunity I got. I did not get the job over someone else just because of nepotism, although a position it seems was created for me and for that I am forever grateful.

If you look at nepotism and it's definition it doesn't have to apply to just office jobs and high paid employment. Technically you could say if a builder gives his son work then that is nepotism. It works on many levels.
However it is obvious at which level Nick Clegg is aiming at here. He is obviously looking at the higher end of the scale where he seeks to drive such a practice out despite the fact that he got work experience because of it. He wants to increase the chances of the less fortunate getting employed that is fine. I agree with that, but doing so by waging war on those fortunate to know someone? That's just wrong
Just for the record I am only in favour of nepotism if it is harmless. I don't agree with it if someone who is more qualified loses out and doesn't get a job.

So in conclusion, nepotism isn't always bad and shouldn't be condemned across the board just for the sake of it, and Nick Clegg is a hypocrite and should think more carefully about his dreams of solving unemployment.


Links:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/clegg-labelled-a-hypocrite-after-nepotism-revelation-1.1094760

http://www.answers.com/topic/nepotism

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&safe=off&defl=en&q=define:nepotism&sa=X&ei=GoWcTYGJA9SZhQf_tZzOBg&ved=0CBYQkAE

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Lehmann Sue's over Jibe

I may not be correct, but I am under the distinct impression that professional football players (or soccer players to our American cousins) are a bit soft. They dive at the first sign of contact and writhe on the floor looking for pity and attention until they get it and a free kick too.
Despite this I have been under the impression that goalkeepers are better. Not much just slightly, however I'd be wrong!
Jens Lehmann, the reserve goalkeeper who has only recently returned to the North London club is threatening to sue Werder Bremen keeper Tim Wiese because Wiese said Lehmann should go on the Muppet show. He said:


"He should go on the Muppet Show, That man should be on a couch. Maybe someone would be able to help him there. Commit him - best to an asylum."

Why did Wiese say that? Because Lehmann had criticized him heavily during a game between Wiese's team Werder Bremen, which is a German side, against Tottenham Hotspur, another London club.
Apparently Lehmann didn't like this retort and is now suing for £17,500 because he felt his "personal rights were violated."

Oh dear poor Jens Lehmann, were your feelings hurt? Is your ego bruised? Bless.
What's that famous phrase? Something about people in glass houses, throwing stones? Oh nevermind.

Source:

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/05042011/58/bundesliga-lehmann-suing-muppet-jibe.html