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APRIL 2004

Friday 30 April 2004 - when a retreat is not a retreat, but a humanitarian gesture

Bad news all the way for the US; news of the torture of Iraqi prisoners coming at the same time as they withdraw from Faluja because the resistance was just too fierce for the grunts to hack it [the Pentagon having been left behind on that one, and still denying it was happening]. They claim it's because they want to avoid civilian deaths, which is a sick joke considering they've been bombing and shelling the town for weeks, and that they could bomb it into submission. Well, they probably could. They could also nuke the whole of Iraq and then there would be no opposition [and there are doubtless some Americans who would applaud that tactic]. They could nuke the world come to that, then Americans could move in once the radiation had died down - few million years - and the world would be American. Much better for it. It's all these different cultures and religions which cause all the trouble in the world, much better to have a homogenised American culture-lite all over the planet. But in terms of public relations, the news just goes from bad to worse for the US, now the world knows they're torturers and murderers like some of us have known since [at least] Vietnam. The chimp just looks more and more confused these days, and his rare public pronouncements have an air of unreality about them.

Just heard Faluja has been 'liberated' from the Americans by a former Republican Guard general who's been met by cheering crowds. Entirelyto be expected, it was clear all along that the violence was created by the occupiers and would disappear once a need for resistance was removed. That leaves the rest of the country for them to leave, and Iraqis will start to get their country together again. The US will doubtless want to smash up some more, to save face and pretend it's done it's job and installed democracy. Would be more believable if they actually understood what democracy was.

The EU is about to expand hugely today, as the whole of eastern Europe together with Cyprus and Malta join. Blair has been forced into a corner and has agreed to a referendum on adopting a European constitution which he didn't want to do. A trading block is ok, even a shared legal system would be fine. But politicians can't stop, they have to keep pushing forward into a federal state which would end up much like the USofA [and look what a problem that is to the rest of the world] and eventually a United States of Europe. A joint constitution is the first step towards this goal and should be resisted for that reason. The British people are to have the chance to vote against it, and I expect the government to lose this one, if only because it's the first opportunity to give Blair a bloody nose. He doubtless dreams of being President of the U.S.E one day. The EC is already a monstrous bureaucracy draining money out of taxpayers and wasting it on grandiose buildings, free lunches, and enormous salaries. The instinct of politicians is always to increase their power and personal benefit at the expense of the poor bloody taxpayers.

Every year in the UK there are 61,000 accidents involving lawnmowers, mostly involving men. Should come with a government health warning.

Thursday 29 April 2004 - when man is gone, the wolves will still be here

The British state drops thousands of bombs and shells on cities in Iraq killing thousands of innocent people, many of them children, yet a nurse is currently on trial for hastening by a few days terminal cancer patients' suffering with diamorphine. This strikes me as hypocritical. If human life is so sacred that very old people who are going to die anyway [and who are in continuous pain], must not in any way be helped [either involuntarily or voluntarily] to die slightly earlier, how come it's perfectly ok to kill people of all ages who don't want to die?Because they're 'foreigners'? It's the same with other mammals, some are killed matter-of-factly for food or for sport [see below] and others are our best friends and it's a criminal offence to cause them harm. Can't get my head round that one. Yet we have the 'humanity' to prevent an animal's suffering if there is no hope of recovery by helping it die.

They're still killing wolves in Alaska. Wolf hunting is allowed in most parts of Alaska and nearly 7,500 wolves have been killed in the last five years. To date, 147 wolves have been killed by aerial [from helicopters] and land-and-shoot hunters this year.Please go to this link and sign the petition.

Tuesday 27 April 2004 - it doesn't rain but it pours

We've had the average month's rainfall. The problem is, it arrived in two hours. The local police station was flooded as was nearby Gloucester, which is still. I think a month's rain in two hours qualifies as an extreme weather event, but such is the regularity of them these days that it barely warrants a mention. It filled the water butt up a treat.

It's not difficult to see why there is rising opposition to migration to the UK when there are so many abuses going on with newly arrived immigrants [known as alylum seekers] given social housing [council houses] when people born in the country wait for years and many are still waiting. Abdul Hamsa, a rabble rousing 'muslim cleric' has two such houses for his several wives and children and receives social security benefit. He spends his time, not seeking work [not many jobs for a 'cleric' who blew off his hands making bombs] but railing against the UK and urging young muslim men to become suicide bombers, but that doesn't stop the politically correct supporting his fight to be extradited. He now has legal aid, again paid out of taxpayers' pockets. And so the BNP gains support as a result of people who would be aghast if this country turned fascist.

Monday 26 April 2004 - birdland blues and blues for blair

Yesterday the blackbird sang the first four notes of Nina Simone's 'Memphis in June',this has now joined his repertoire. I wonder if he'll come up with the next five notes, or perhaps I should teach him [either play the record loud enough or go whistle it [it'll mystify the neighbours if nothing else]. Each blackbird has his own complex song arrangement, like whales, which he adds to over time as new phrases occur to him, or he copies something he's heard. Mobile phone tones are popular and of course the 'neenah-neenah' of police cars sometimes gets included with town birds.

Fifty former British ambassadors have written an open letter criticising the UK government's actions in Iraq in ferocious terms. These are pillars of the establishment, so critiqueing the government isn't something they indulge in too often. The coming referendum on the European Constitution is likely to be the first opportunity the public have had to act against Blair, so I expect the no vote to win, just to cause the government the maximum embarrassment and difficulty. Whether one is in favour of the UK joining fully with Europe or not, this vote is an opportunity not to be missed to make Blair look even more isolated and at bay over his ill-judged siding with the chimp, who has his own problems. Only election fraud could keep either of them in power past their next elections.

The slow grind into police state intrusion continues with the decision to bring in UK identity cards. The only justification they can come up with is terrorism, despite Spain's identity card system not stopping the Madrid bombs, and the danger, unlike the ones that existed during WW2, is that with smart technology the cards can carry everything they want included and, once in use, the means to read them will become widespread and abuse easy. Forgery will be easy, what proof of identity that the card will replace will be acceptable? It is all forged now, and the granting of identity cards will legitimise fake identities based on fraud. Maybe even some future terrorists will get one. Blunkett really is a throwback, his instincts are always to err on the side of suspicion over evidence, he finds nothing wrong in people being locked up indefinitely at Belmarsh without trial or possibility of trial and with no legal representation. It's like Kafka, already one man has gone mad with the total hopelessness of it and had been released by a judge to house arrest with his wife and children. Blunkett thought that was 'crazy'.

Sunday 25 April 2004 - heroes and villains

Apparently 'most Israeli citizens' see Vanunu as a traitor. They probably see anyone who regards him as a hero as anti-semitic. What he did was tell the world about Israel's nuclear weapons, the only state in the region to have them, and with the present Israeli government of the mass murderer Sharon that's something the world needed to know about. Sharon clearly feels he can do anything including assasinating Palestinian politicians and threatening Arafat with the same, such is the support Bush has given him [along with the arms the US supplies him with], and it doesn't take much to understand why America is targeted by muslims. Everything Sharon does is calculated to enrage Palestinians into even more extreme acts of resistance, giving him the excuse for yet more nazi-like treatment of Palestinians under the guise of defending Israel, which has never attempted to get on with its neighbours but seems to live in a perpetual state of historical angst, incapable of behaving in any other way, and using the holocaust as justification of acts of barbarity. Bush is goaded not only by the thought of the American Jewish vote but also by the extreme right which is fundamentalist christian so sees the existance and expansion of the Jewish state as a prerequisite for their version of the end time, armageddon, when they will all ascend to god's right hand [who's on the left?]. So, despite all the 'progress' of the 19th and 20th centuries and the techno toys it's given us all, the situation is still dictated by the apocalyptic ravings of pre-history Judaism as interpreted by rabid christians. So much for progress. Is Sharon leading the region into a situation where he can 'justify' using his nukes? That question should interest us all and it's why Vanunu must be regarded as a very brave and principled man who threw away everything including his relations with his family, to tell the world what was going on. They still, eighteen years on, won't admit they have nuclear weapons! They do claim the right to retaliate if any other country in the region threatens them with nukes. This is right out of the insanity of the cold war, a policy of mutual destruction born of paranoia and racist hate.

I've been arguing with 'future holacaust denial' adherants, those who claim global warming isn't happening. These are people, usually scientists, who use statistics to 'prove' that the world isn't warming up, and that anyone who believes it is has been watching 'too many disaster movies'. Natural, historical peaks in temperatures are used along with variable carbon dioxide measurements fro various places to claim that a) there's no grrenhouse warming; b) if there is, it's naturally occuring; c) warming is good; d) carbon dioxide benefits plants [so bigger profits for farmers presumably]. I find this kind of compacency hard to swallow when in the UK spring has more or less disappeared and usually mild winters launch into ferocious summers with the space of a few weeks. Now, in mid April, everything is either flowery or rushing to get there. People walk around in shorts, a general gladness at summer pervades which fails to acknowledge it's much earlier now. April used to still be chilly with a few 'nice' days here and there, but a lot of rain. May was still mild, although the 'nice' days would be more plentiful leading into June which was the time for fetes and other outdoor Brit events, then July hotter and August hottest but with a ripeness that was the intro to autumn. Now, the increase in farm traffic laden with harvest happens in June, that's if it hasn't been wiped out with freak rainstorms at the wrong time. In the middle of winter a clear day lets the sun through and what used to be described as 'weak winter sun' now burns just like in summer, you can feel the heat on your skin. Only cloud transport across the UK keeps winter cool and occasionally deposits short-lasting snow or hail. None of this is scientific data, it's just what we all know if we don't pretend everything in the garden's lovely and have spent more than a few years alive. You can't blame young people for being unaware of the changes, older people must remember what it was like once.

Considering most spam comes from the US and 80% of that from Florida, you'd think the US government would want to control it, if for no other reason than because it tarnishes the country's imagee abroad. The world gets bombarded daily with offers for drugs of all descriptions, insurance, penile enlargement and stock offers, most if not all of which aren't even available outside the US so really this is all just carelessness, they don't care how many foreigners they piss off as long as every American gets their message. It's not just muslims who hate this attitude.

Friday 23 April 2004 - birdlife

The blackbird couple visited the lawn after I mowed it and while I was still standing there. Only a few feet away from me, they seemed unconcerned, probably a result of us putting food out for them every day. The sparrow chatter only inches away when the nut feeder is being filled.

Thursday 22 April 2004 - In profuse strains of unpremeditated art

The other day I heard a bird singing in the garden, I think it was a blackbird [not a skylark]. Nothing unusual in that, but this bird sang a beautiful musical phrase, complete and charming, it then sang a variation which subtly altered the notes and ended on an expected upturn as humans would expect from a human composer. It was in the western scale too. Now I'm only too aware that the majority of humans think their species special, in fact all religions are based on that assumption, and the higher brain faculties like music and language are believed to be the sole province of our kind, but this was proof that even birds have an integral musical knowledge and feeling more similar to than different from ours, and a syntax. Pity as much effort hasn't been spent communicating with other species as was in Close Encounters communicating with alians with music.

A dog we had until she died last year, Breca, a beautiful long-haired, black German Shepherd, was very musical and would sing along with some music. She had her tastes; gregorian chant, male voice opera, and some modern music [REM a favourite], and would hum quietly and in tune, in obvious enjoyment. She was special, not for her the howling some dogs do when stimulated with certain sounds, but then some humans have no ear for music and can't hold a note, so not so different. Anyone who knows or studies animals is aware that every species has language, although lacking our vocal chords and palate it takes many forms unconnected with 'speech'. I'm convinced from personal experience that dogs are telepaths, they don't need language, although they can become quite expert in ours. I can have a thought, and my dog responds as if I had spoken out loud. It has happened so many times that it must count as evidence of something else going on. What we do have that no other species have is the ability to hate, and the ability to kill without remorse and for no reason. The natural born predators kill only to survive. We who came to killing late in our evolution seem somehow to have become stuck on it. It's a power thing, which our oh-so-developed brains are prone to.

Let it bleed

I cut my finger today on a Sabatier knife in dirty washing-up water. While finishing the task with my right hand the finger bled onto the surface surprisingly energetically and in a couple of minutes there was a six inch diameter pool - quite pretty really, red is such a sensuous colour. Perhaps that's one of the attractions of war, all that bright red against the camouflage green. A few hours later, I removed the band-aid I had covered it with after stopping the bleeding with a tissue, (but without washing it under the tap as I normally would) and I couldn't find where the cut had been. It's a bit tender, but no cut. This got me thinking. The instinctive thing when the body outer is breached is to stop the blood flow as quickly as possible, trapping in any infection that might have got in via the original trauma. By letting a wound bleed for a few minutes, it's washed out of the body and the tissue is quicker to grow back together without infection.

Monday 19 April 2004 - even the flies want the Americans out

American troops are being bitten by a tiny sand fly with a fierce parasite stewing in its gut, an organism that causes stubborn and ugly sores that linger for months. Hundreds of soldiers are being flown back to the US for treatment. The sores or boils last for months and can lead to disfigurement. Scientists and doctors refer to the disease caused by the parasite as cutaneous leishmaniasis. But soldiers serving in sand-fly rich Iraq call it, with little affection, the "Baghdad boil."

For some delirious posters for the Bush re-election campaign, try:

I was walking the dogs earlier today before the dandylions had woken from their nighttime state, closed up tight and barely visible among the lengthening grass. Yesterday they were all awake to the sun, gleaming across the fields. Freya, my dalmatian/lurcher, ripped off one of her claws last week, and the visit to the vet was as usual a highly charged affair. She gets nervous at the slightest whif of chemicals or sick animals. To have the claw removed and the wound - the quick - cauterised, she had to have a general anaesthetic, which finally worked and the job was done. Antidote, and she started coming round a bit, I stood up and she was on her feet, walked straight to the door of the surgery but then went wobbly and had to lay down again. As dogs will, she keeps licking it, and has kept it clean but somewhat raw, so now has to wear a sock and plastic 'boot' made from a surgical drip bag which causes her to do a funny walk as if to flip it off. I know how she feels, after summers spent without shoes in the past, I well remember putting them on again is hard. Encasing the feet in shoes has a lot to do with the white man's attitudes. People who live in countries where shoes are unnecessary seem much more relaxed than the city-street scurrying natives of these colder climes or, as Bin Ladin recently referred to them, our neighbours north of the Mediterranean. Half the attraction of seaside holidays is the ritual taking off of the shoes and socks and walking in sand. The rest is just bonus. I think it has something to do with a connection to the Earth. Maybe it's why the white man has treated Earth so badly, because he's always separated from it by an inch of animal skin, he's walking on animal parts, not the Earth and has lost touch with the truth that the Earth is vital to our own survival and must be cared for.

Friday 16 April 2004 - bring on the emergency clowns

The morally bankrupt, dinosaur politicians posture and threaten, but seem unconnected to reality. Their world is one of plans being followed and people doing as they are told and expected to do. 'our aim' mouths Blair 'is to rebuild Iraq', yeah right, like you feel you owe it having smashed the place to bits in the first place. The real Labour Party is starting to reassert itself and effect a recovery from the dream that was Blair, a Thatcherite contract with the devil the price of gaining power. Now the remaining socialists in the party are fighting back, but it may be too late. The still honest party of John Smith [who died totally unexpectedly of a 'heart attack'] has changed radically and is now a devious, manipulative, dishonest bunch of power-mad inadequates bent on hanging on at any cost. Led by a transparently insane ex-public school, catholic fundamentalist. He has nothing in common with the traditions and bulk of the membership of the party who have been leaving in droves since his slide into global megalomania. I think the Tories' 'mad eyes' poster campaign of the previous election had it about right. A new picture should be used though, they're even more mad staring now. On top of everything else, I really object to his ludicrous public-school speech impediment where he can't pronounce an i ending to a word like 'realistic' but has to say 'realistuc', he does it all the time and it really pisses me off.

The clowns in Baghdad haven't been kidnapped, it would upset the population too much if they did, and the kids would be in revolt. What's needed is more funding for emergency clowns for Iraq, then real hearts and minds will be won and people will laugh a little and start on the road to recovery. If everyone ignored the death-invaders like they were invisible, played loud Iraqi folk music at them to disorientate and culture shock them, perhaps they would finally get the message they're not wanted and lose interest in patrolling with guns, and use them like in Vietnam to inhale through.

Broadband continuing to perform as hoped, fast and furious. Like hundreds of millions of hard discs attached to your computer, the only limitation is in knowing which one to access...

Thursday 15 April 2004 - culture clash

According to a young US soldier on Valium interviewed in a slumped position with gun dangling, 80% of the US forces are on marijuana, 20% on cocaine, and no mention of how many on heroin ... bodies in the hospital, children, women, civilians. Bodies in the military disco gyrating to 'Tragedy' by the BeeGees, none aware of the irony. Burger King have opened their Baghdad branch, but only for Americans who don't even get to taste the local cuisine, not a lot of hearts and minds. Three UK clowns [freaks] are there in the street making the kids laugh [it probably reminded them of the Stonehenge festival], no fear of being attacked, mothers smiling, 'you have big hearts' said one of them to a clown. The kids were laughing like only kids can. It's what kids should be doing, not being shot, or carting around kalashnikovs to defend their city as many ten-year-olds are now doing in Fallujah where already 600 civilians have been killed by the US 'assistance'. US snipers pick off anyone they see, child, mother, old person, paramedic helping the injured ... Comment on Americans by Iraqi in a cafe 'they are uneducated people'. Yep. But arrogant, just like Vietnam.

Now Bush does just the right thing to calm down the Islamic world, he overtly declares his support for Israeli settlements becoming permanent on the West Bank, Sharron smiles encouragingly, and waddles off with Bush, gripping his arm. The world gasps. How can the monkey be so unaware? Maybe he relishes another 9/11, which he did nothing to prevent, perhaps there is a bigger Israeli plan which must take precedence over the safety of Americans. Sharron seems to have been doing everything to rile up the Palestinians, then every time there's a suicide bomb his army 'takes revenge' and destroys more Palestinians and their infrastructure. Maybe he's mad enough to be angling for an excuse to unleash nuclear weapons this time when the arab world reacts and even Bush wants to pacifyt him. Probably just about the American Jewish vote, he'll be sounding off about Castro again next to lock in the Florida Cuban vote like last time ... politicians just can't see past the next election.

Monday 12 April 2004 - The evil empire against Islamic warriors

The US army has very few warriors, they have lots of overwhelming armaments, but not the will of the warrior who cares nothing for his or her own survival. They all want to go home. Having killed more than six hundred people in Fallujah, mostly by bombardment from a distance or by air, they resort to shooting donkeys when no resistance targets present themselves. The resistance has lots of warriors, unafraid to die, which is why the US even with its overwhelming firepower is having a difficult time and had to 'declare a ceasefire' or in other words, withdraw. They were even stopping people taking food and other supplies from Baghdad to Feluja which they had ringed and more or less cut off. The American's belief in themselves and their 'mission' is undiminished. Civilians have been warned to get out or be killed [just like Mai Lai?, oh no, they weren't warned before the slaughter]. A mass grave is under construction in the football stadium, this one is an American-created one, not Saddam's.

The Romans had the same problem with the Celts when they invaded the British Isles. Not only were all the men and women already warriors, children too joined them to fight the invader. Stripped naked and painted blue, they must have been as equally horrifying a sight to the Roman conscripts wishing they were at home with the family as the apparently fealess Islamic fighters are to the good ole boys doin their duty to the motherland.

Interviews in the street in the US: One woman, when asked if she thought Iraq was turning into another Vietnam, said Vietnam wasn't something to be ashamed of, they shouldn't have withdrawn from Vietnam, 'they' should have persevered. Her understanding seemed somewhat lacking the facts; America didn't 'withdraw' from Vietnam, it was beaten, [I watched the mad scramble for helicopter places when the Vietcong were entering Saigon]. Vietnam seems to have recovered remarkably well from America's interference in its affairs, Iraq will get there one day, but it won't start until the US leaves. Yet commentators still take it as read that if they leave prematurely, the violence will escalate, no recognition that most of it is because their country is occupied, in other words they think the Iraqis can't hack it without help. BBC 24 hr news was using a headline across the screen 'Iraq Violence' which has now changed to 'Iraq Unrest', what's wrong with Iraq War?

Why they Americans are still there is because they aren't confident that their hand-picked government has validity and will not be thrown out without the tanks backing it up. What will happen is down to Iraq, and delaying it doesn't make things better. They don't want American women in the street in a few years time saying they should have stayed and 'finished the job'. What if a future Iraq government decides it doesn't want to sell its oil to the US. It will all have been in vain and the gas guzzlers will get pissed off.

Friday 9 April 2004 - not a good friday

Not a good friday as I still haven't connected up the second PC which has now put its feet in the air, perhaps as a result of post traumatic stress disorder from being connected to an ethernet modem. The hard disk is developing bad sectors and refuses to boot until they're fixed. I fear the worst and may have to bring the spare system out of retirement and see if it's up to the task. I hope the mention of good friday doesn't hook another string of ads for the Gibson s&m flic, you never know, damned clever these bots, and set to get even cleverer if google are to be believed.

Well, the war which apprently ended a year ago seems to have warmed up again, and looks set to explode into complete chaos. On the bright side, the US has managed to unite Shia and Sunni muslims like never before happened, nothing like having a common enemy. They're even praying together, apparently unheard of since the schism. Even in the corridors of US power Vietnam is being mentioned. I did point this out to them when they were getting started, good enough reason to be reading the Fool, but I doubt the Pentagon has cottoned on yet.

And for a whole lot of free but entertaining games, go to where you can download as many as you wish. An excellent site with easy download, and is definitely worth a visit.

Thursday 8 April 2004 - a learning curve

Been doing some surfing, and it's just amazing how many hits there are on the word 'fool'. Found a few more Fool on the Hills which I'll be linking to, including a site with the words of the Beatle's song with the music playing in the background. They're all bookmarked so I just have to find them and ... once I've sorted out the broadband router so it supplies 2 PCs with the speed pill. At the moment only one has it, and the rest is proving difficult to get sorted. The router packaging says it will supply 253 PCs, but 2 is obviously too simple for it. I need a tame techie in the cupboard at times like these.

Wednesday 7 April 2004 - Starbucks' bullying

Wrecks Bell is a longtime Texas Musician. Running buddies with Townes Van Zant and Blaze Foley, he also played bass with Lightning Hopkins, and even performed with the great bluesman at Carnegie Hall! Wrecks Bell has retired to the Island of Galveston, Texas. He runs a little club called The Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe that is a favorite of many top Texas troubadours. In this tiny one room club, Wrecks has two beer taps. One of these taps dispenses Wrecks' own microbrew, which he calls Star Bock Beer. Wrecks even owns the name. Coffee giant Starbucks has now stepped into the picture, and is suing Wrecks. It seems that Starbucks, with their countless outlets and huge advertising budget, is concerned that one man with one tap in one room-on an island- is somehow going to hurt their business! Nevermind that Wrecks is dispensing beer, not coffee. Nevermind that he has no intention of selling his beverage outside of his one room. Nevermind that his logo for Star Bock Beer bears no resemblance to the logo of the coffee giant.

Friday March 26, The Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe will have a benefit show for Wrecks' legal defense fund. We'd like to get this story out there as much as possible in the hopes that any publicity brought to this may cause Starbucks to reconsider their stand. If you can help by posting something on your "News" board that would be great. For more information I'm sure Wrecks would be happy to answer any questions about this. If you'd like to conduct an interview with Wrecks his e-mail is We're trying to get as much publicity as we can with this in hope that Starbucks will drop this frivolous suit in light of bad publicity. Please help! Go to which is where I got that from [submitted by Sarah Hamilton Austin Texas (512) 326-2020]. An interesting site I have yet to explore fully. The advantage of Broadband is that I can post whenever the mood takes me to write ;-)

Wednesday 7 April 2004 - welcome to the machine

With a good deal of head scratching, staring at the screen for minutes on end and re-reading instructions, I've finally got ADSL enabled. The tech speak in the router instructions as usual assumed a complete knowledge of all the terms used, including the inevitable acronyms, with the result that everything read only serves to further confuse. Unless you work in the IT industry, rather than being a mere user, the hardware development and proliferation of terms is difficult to keep up with, and I wonder how many new users cope. Thus the help lines where, for a price, one can chat to a twelve-year-old super programmer who is already bored with the simplicity of the requests, and runs through a complex procedure as it it were instructions for tieing your shoes. So I try to avoid calling them, not wishing to be patronised by someone whose life experience doesn't include lighting a fire without matches or even washing their own clothes. Windows help is never any help, merely telling you what you already know, and its laughably named 'troubleshooting' help tool has never yielded anything of use, but provides further opportunity for time wasting which I occasionally find myself drawn into, ever the optimist. Having some experience, I wasn't expecting a miraculous change with broadband - having noted that one can pay more for faster connection times, the clues exist that this is not the final answer and some may find the need to go faster. But I'm just expecting a small improvement, and once I get used to not having to dial in and hang up, worrying all the time about exceeding time online limits, I should settle down to treating it like just another icon on the desktop. Now to suss out how to get mail when it arrives, with a ping or something more creative to alert me.

Something that constantly bugs me is the operating system's programmers [so I guess we're taling about Bill's team] failure to address the problems that have arisen from the increasing speed of computers. Back in the heady days of the old 386, when a whole business could be run on 32Mb of RAM and a 250Mb HD, the chip's speed meant that in a Window's application such as Pagemaker or CorelDraw, one could take the cursor off the page when drawing a line of marquee and it would scroll sedately along until you came to where you wanted to end it. Along came the 486 which was faster so it moved a bit quicker. The Pentium, 1 2 then 3 got progressively faster at an increasing rate and now, if you stray off the edge even inadvertently, the screen zooms off to somewhere several metres outside the window and you have to go back using the scroller as if you try with the aforesaid method, it merely jets off to the other side of the virtual universe. In other words, no control and much frustration trying to select groups of things which aren't within the screen area. Now why, I keep asking myself, haven't the programmers written in a slowing down mini-prog for Windows which returns cursor movement to it's sedate and usable speed of the 386? Or have I missed something and they have already done this but the default is off and I don't know where to change it? If anyone knows the answer I'd love to know. Save me writing to Gates whose email address is probably a closely guarded secret.

Got a leaflet in the post recently offering a huge discount on an electric 'mobility' scooter, the type old people wander round the streets on with their shopping on the back. If they were offering one with a speed more than the stated top speed of 6mph, I'd be tempted. With a decent sound system and good speakers, one could have a fine time charging down pavements, scattering teenagers to left and right, clearing a path where common politeness failes to. Sweet revenge, and eco-friendly too.

Thursday 1 April 2004 - this ain't no April Fool joke

Another thing the monkey has done is allow scum like the governor of Alaska to make laws legalising the slaughter of wolves from helicopters. Please add your voice to those raised against this barbaric 'sport' by clicking the link and signing the petition.

Bear are also being killed at increasing rates, and the justification for this is that both animals kill moose and caribou and Americans like to eat moose and caribou. I'd be all for a US campaign to have Governor Murkowski taken out, preferably from a helicopter. I'd donate to that.

Another retrograde step in Britain, the government has gone back on hard fought for and long established animal welfare legislation and allowed muslim and jewish killing methods, surely the most barbaric and deviant methods in the world; the animal has to be killed fully conscious with its throat slit, and then must be left to bleed slowly to death. The very minimum standard for killing animals should be that it is done as quickly as possible to minimise suffering, the shot to the head being the quickest available. Who can expect such people to have much regard for human life and rights if they treat animals this barbaric way? So, while denying that they are pandering to muslims who they don't want to upset in case they decide to plant bombs, the government incompetents do just that. There is no other reason for doing it, and saying that 'if we don't allow it, they'll import it' is to dodge the issue, imports can be banned and anyone who doesn't like it can go somewhere else where animals are not protected from the worst excesses of the naked ape. So are standards lost. What next, removal of the vote for muslim women? They've already chickened out of the headscarfe issue which France is tackling head on as it were, which would have helped in freeing muslim girls from the control of males, so why not?

As if prescient, my asking about Saddam recently [Thursday 25 March 2004] the media have renewed interest and are reporting he has a lawyer. Hundreds of men named Saddam Hussein in Iraq are queueing up to change their names, having been hassled by Americans bursting in in the middle of the night shouting 'Are you Saddam Hussein? Whoopee, I'm a rich man' they're understandably fed up with it, although it'll probably happen less now they got down the list to the real Saddam. Or did they? Could this bearded ruffian be one of the doubles, and if not, where the hell are they all hiding.





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