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Fool on the Hill


August 30 2005

A dog's life

Our dog Kees, a rescued Groenendahl ]Belgian Shepherd], is a bit of a Harpo [Marx] with a well developed sense of humour. When we encountered a jogger while on a walk recently, he ran a wide circle round the back of him and then came up behind and got into step, running behind the jogger and grinning at me some yards away. The jogger was unaware he had a Harpo behind him and continued on his way, Kees eventually peeled away and rejoined me. A happy dog and, since we rescued him and he realised this wasn't just another short spell away from the kennels in which he'd spent so much of his short life up to then, he's been grinning ever since.

Quite a few walkers I meet have rescued dogs, good that there are those who will make the effort involved to undo in a small way the trauma these dogs have inevitably experienced at the hands of humans. The result is often a very happy, and fiercely loyal, dog. Getting a Harpo is an unexpected bonus, lots of laughs.

Katrina lived up to expectations and is the most expensive storm ever to hit the US. New Orleans casinos are losing millions a day and will doubtless be offering floating roulette for the occasional scuba divers who venture to the downtown district. The sight of thousands of cars streaming away from a city about to be flooded was a nice juxtaposition; the cause of it all fleeing the result. The citizens seem unable to cope with the sudden transformation from rich, pampered and protected, to vulnerable, lost and no place called home. But as catastrophe and hardship always brings out the best in people, there is much learning and lifestyle change potential in such situations.

It all comes down to dollars in the end, and all Americans will pay for it in the long run. With several oil and gas rigs adrift and the others closed down and evacuated, it'll be a while before gulf production is back to its normal production. Even more reason not to upset President Chavez of Venezuela which supplies 25% of US oil consumption, or petrol will have to be rationed as well as becoming very much more expensive than Americans have been used to up to now. Way to go before they catch up with the UK where £4 a gallon is the norm now. The higher the price, the less people will drive, except for the rich who are a problem all their own.

August 24 2005

Animal abusers give up

The Hall family at Darley Oaks Farm in Staffordshire, said in a statement yesterday that they would stop breeding Guinea Pigs for research establishments and return to traditional farming, which is still pretty abusive of animals, but at least they are sent off to be slaughtered, rather than sold to be put in cages and fed drugs dreamed up by the pharmaceutical industry to treat humans. Countless failures of this inane system of testing the plethora of chemical poisons intended to combat human disease don't deter the defenders of vivisection from continuing with their indefensible abuse of creatures which have no choice or power to resist. Alternatives are available, yet they insist that animal abuse saves human lives, and then use abuse of argument to claim human progress would be stunted if they couldn't continue, and claim animal rights protesters don't care about human disease. The idea that any disease can be banished from human lives is the big lie that many have subscribed to, no expense is too much if it leads to 'cures', even when the price is born by thousands of other mammals whose lives are made miserable and painful. This may not be a victory for compassion, no minds have been changed, but it is a victory nonetheless for the countless animals who would have suffered, and the fact that it had to be brought about by a campaign to make it financially non viable, merely illustrates that these abusers were not open to moral arguments, but the financial one always wins. They were given plenty of time to change, they were asked at first, then peaceful protests were mounted. They took no notice, David Hall, the farmer at the heart of it was only seeing the money he was getting from the torture labs, and in true farmer fashion was unconcerned at the fate of the animals he kept in appalling conditions until old enough to sell on, defending it aggresively and vowing to continue. The fact that Guinea Pigs are one of the most popular children's pets seemed not to enter into the argument.

The proposed primate research facility at Cambridge still sits half built since firms connected with its building and supply have similarly been persuaded that what they were doing was immoral and would lead to their financial ruin. Only when shareholders started being told what their money was financing did they take note. Money doesn't talk, it swears.

August 23 2005

GateGourmet and labour relations from Amerika

GateGourmet is an American-owned company which thinks sacking workers by megaphone with a security guard escort off the premises without prior warning is the way to treat people who help you make money. As the majority of the workers thus sacked are immigrants, and female, it also smacks of racism and a blatant disregard for human rights. Just like the Met, they thought that 'ethnics' would be a pushover, but how wrong they were. A large picket of Asian ladies at the gate is proving too much for increasing numbers of workers and drivers who have continued to serve, and many have reported sick. As BA cooked up this scam to bring in agency staff for whom employment legislation doesn't apply in order to cut the costs of meals on their flights which are in competition with budget airlines desperate quest to make air travel available to anyone with a fiver in their pocket, they are now desperate to find a solution before they lose more customers who want more than a packed lunch on a flight of more than two hours. And making BA management's corporate neck sweat is the threat of the rest of the union members coming out in support and closing down all operations. It's gratifying to see people grabbing power back after the anti-worker legislation this NewLabour government has introduced on the back of Thatcherism's attempt to turn back the clock of workers rights which took a century of struggle to achieve. And that it's immigrant women workers is gratifying to say the least. Something the natives might pay attention to, having grown softand apolitical under the new century spin.

Bush is out of control. For the details go here and be afraid, especially if you're Iranian [I doubt very much if I have any Iranian readers, but it's a funny old world so I can't rule it out]. 'George W. Bush’s mood swings have become so drastic that White House emails often contain “weather reports” to warn of the President’s demeanor. “Calm seas” means Bush is calm while “tornado alert” is a warning that he is pissed at the world.' Dr. Justin Frank in his book Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President. Dr. Frank diagnosed the President as a “paranoid meglomaniac” and “untreated alcoholic” whose “lifelong streak of sadism, ranging from childhood pranks (using firecrackers to explode frogs) to insulting journalists, gloating over state executions and pumping his hand gleefully before the bombing of Baghdad” showcase Bush’s instabilities.

August 21 2005

Professional suicide policeman

Like all serial liars, Ian Blair, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, is digging himself in deeper with every utterance he makes. I spotted him for a liar from the start, when he stated in a press conference that the man his officers had shot on his 'shoot to kill' policy was 'linked to the suicide bombers' and with the implication he might even be the fifth man, I was already thinking of how the reported description of his jacket being bulky, and of him leaping the barrier at the station, I was already assessing how these could be perfectly congruent with him being innocent. But now Blair, attempting to cover his statements then and on subsequent days, says he was not aware for twenty four hours that the man shot was not one of the suicide bombers, in that case how did I and doubtless many oithers know? The police would have known immediately that he wasn't one of the suspects as they had photographs of all four. They also knew immediately that he was wearing a denim jacket, which could not be described as 'bulky', in fact it was even described by one witness as a shirt. By not denying this immediately, but allowing it to remain in the public consciousness with the media repeating it, he was complicit in the deception right from the start. Leaping the barrier also is now revealed to be a fabrication, where did it come from if not the police?

I look forward to the next dumbarse lies he comes out with as he squirms. He seems almost as if bent on self destruction, a professional suicide policeman, having written an article for the News of the World today - appealing to the dumbarses who buy it - with a 'Houston we have a problem' quip, entirely inappropriate and flippant. On top of which his treatement of Jean Charles deMenezes family, offering £15,000 'as compensation' along with a legalistic letter which, according to one TV interviewer, 'read less sympathetically than a fixed penalty notice'. In other words, as the family have pointed out, the Met treated them like stupid and poor [and Brazilians, the Met is still deeply racis], who would shut up when they got such a huge [to them] sum of money. They may be poor relative to London standards, but they sure ain't stupid. In fact the cousins seem more intelligent than Blair with his crafty tooth baring when telling a lie and his clumsy attempts to delay the independent IPCC enquiry for several days, presumably while he and the gang of killers cooked up a story before he sent them off on holiday and out of the reach of the questioning media. Now it seems a row is going on between the surveillance team who knew he wasn't a bomber, and the armed team [SO19] who didn't give a fuck if he was or wasn't, but were told by their command not to shoot him minutes before they did just that.

I predict Blairmet will go. Although he'll doubtless be allowed to resign on full pay and pension, when he should really be sacked ignominiously without severance pay and loss of pension, with possibly criminal charges pending. Clarke, who is at present supporting his Met chief will soon ditch him when it sinks in that it's not going to go away but get worse, and it will be too late for him. Tony Blair, when he returns from holiday, tanned and grinning inappropriately at the mess he's managed to avoid up to now, will attempt to support all of them with anodyne excuses which won't wash. When his advisors realise this, he will accept Charles Clarke's resignation.

It would be brilliant if Brian Paddick got the job of Commissioner, then the Met really would begin to change.

John two-jags, ten-rings Prescott has also weighed in [in the heavyweight class] supporting Blairmet, but dodged all other questions with 'we'll have to wait for the enquiry, an independent inquiry, I might add, which we set up'. His other recent contribution to political thought has been [one for the ladies!] his suggestion that motorway service station's install hair dryers in their women's toilets. Like there must be so many women who think 'I could do with a shampoo and quick dry', while travelling up the M1 for a business trip. Another from this overweight ex-ship's steward is; phone boxes should have chargers for mobile phones installed in them. Phone boxes being tied up for hours [given anyone will stand in one for hours while their mobile recharges] hasn't occurred to pugilistic Johnblob.

But the one that caps it all and is both surreal and incredibly stupid on so many levels, is his suggestion that hedges and hedgerows across the country should have their bottom three feet removed so that no person up to no good and skulking, could do it behind a hedge and remain hidden. Women would feel so much safer if they could see the hedge they were walking past harboured no rapist. How the top part of the hedge would remain in the air without its bottom was not explained by Ms Prescott who was probably distractedd by thoughts of dinner. Escaping limbo dancing sheep could also pose a serious problem to traffic, and fill freezers across the country. As hedges continue to grow, a government-funded hedge squad would have to be formed with a right to cut policy, eqipped with low-level slicing machines and set the task of keeping Britain's hedgerows unfit for rapists. A bit like the Firth bridge, they'd never stop, working their way round the country.

August 18 2005

Life or death

It's inconvenient for the Met that their victim had family in Bazil and friends in Brazil and London, they are demanding a public enquiry. Unfortunately, a public enquiry is likely to take as long as the IPCC to reach any conclusions, certainly months, possibly years. The police dodge all questions by saying they can't comment while the IPCC is investigating, convenient. Calls for Ian Blair, the Met's commissioner, to resign will fall on deaf ears, and the only ones willing to give opinions are those eager to defend the government and police no matter what, claiming the police were 'stretched', 'tired' and 'in fear of their lives'. But yet another leak claims the police were given the command not to kill him only minutes before he was executed. If nothing else, this clearly shows that SO19 officers are not fit to carry guns or to make life or death decisions.

Israeli squatters in Gaza are behaving like the unbalanced religious loonies they are, screaming, crying, attacking the police and soldiers who have so far been more than restrained. Joined by more rabids from the US which seems to breed them, these people aren't in the 21st century, preferring to live in their first millenium bubble where they are the special, chosen people of god, which justifies anything they do. While the majority of Israelis support handing Gaza back to the Palestinians and must be embarrassed by these deranged phychos who think nothing of using their brainwashed children to make a point. Vicious, hate-filled racists who justify theft of land as ordained by god, they are the very heart of the sickness that is the cause of so much bloodshed around the world, the site of the infection which daily adds to the Jihadis ranks. And so many young people there, all with that vacantly stupid look like all happy clappies, except these were unhappy clappies. Perhaps there's a gene for this kind of deluded thinking, the god wants me for a sunbeam gene. The 21st century and these idiots are stuck in history. They are not popular in Israel where most people are sick and tired of their self-regarding much holier than anyone mentality, and most probably wished, as I did, that the troops would get stuck in and give them a hiding. But no, despite pouring hate and even at one point acid, onto the soldiers, they were still handled gently like no other demonstartors I have ever seen. All Jews together, mustn't treat them harshly. Palestinians got their houses demolished while still in them, but these clowns are allowed to behave like crazies and are tolerated. They'll all be off with their $250,000 'compensation' to squat on the West Bank now, where they are equally unwanted.

August 16 2005

It was murder after all

Leaked documents about the innocent Brazilian man shot seven times in the head by armed police on the tube reveal: that he wasn't wearing a heavy jacket but a denim one; that he was not running but strolling, even stopping to pick up a newspaper; that he was not challenged by the police who had already been given permission to shoot him dead despite their surveillance man outside the block of flats having a piss at the time he came out and thus being unable to see him or video him. When the train came in he ran to catch it, was overpowered in the carriage and deliberately shot. IF they geniunely thought he was one of the suspected bombers, it is still the case that he couldn't have been armed with explosives, and it was therefore a deliberate act of premeditated murder by the state, which has sought to defend its shoot to kill policy and still maintains it is sticking to it.

Was this a signal to be sent out to any potential bombers 'once you come to our notice, we'll do this to you', and they thought they were doing it to an actual bomber and could get away with it in the current climate of fear and panic? Or maybe they didn't care if he was the right man, anyone foreign looking would do as a message. One of the pigs described him as having 'Mongolian eyes'. He actually has European eyes, seeing his ancestry is clearly European, so not even South Amerindian looking. As at least half London's population isn't caucasian, that leaves a lot of people at risk from these death squads, who get to go on holiday when they kill someone in cold blood in front of witnesses.

August 15 2005

Of whales and men

Not only did Blair stay holidaying instead of returning to Robin Cook's funeral, a minor matter of spite and respect, but the home secretary, the odious,, fat jug-eared Clarke bully, went off on holiday in the middle of the worst terrorist situation the UK has ever experienced, leaving Blind Dave Blunkett in charge; 'keep an eye on things, Dave', he said as he left for some skin cancer haven replete with grateful natives.

A baby humpback whale who beached itself down under in the land of Oz, was helped by hundreds of people who coaxed it back out to sea to be reunited with its mother. Sometimes it's good to remember that our species is capable of great kindness and true humanity towards other species, even if our behaviour towards our own kind a lot of the time falls short of a bare minimum requirement to qualify for basic uncivilised.

Just when thousands of nouveau riche Brits had bought property in Spain and Portugal, forest fires threaten to hasten the desertification which is the area's inevitable lot. Northern Europe is likely to become more crowded as the population moves north to escape the heat. A place in the sun won't have quite the same ring when this eventually dawns on the retiring escapees from Britania.

August 10 2005

And now for something completely different, or is it?

From faltering steps into Earth orbit, to something else, amazing screensavers which take you out of this world. Forget lava lamps, forget sixties light shows, forget rave visuals, these screensavers are utterly captivating and are capable of suspending all productive work. All are shareware with a limit on the settings you can alter, but to be honest, that would come a lot later when and if you tired of whichever one takes your fancy. The one I downloaded and installed is called MBSS Gravity Wells 2.1, it uses maths, as do the others, MBSS Light 3.1, MBSS Fireworks 2.1, and MBSS Starfields 2.1, you can even download all of them at once and choose at leisure. Having sampled and discarded many screensavers, this one is likely to stay. I might even pay the modest registration key to unlock its hidden potential. Enjoy.

It always pays to visit the end of the page, some things get pushed out of sight. There's only so much can be got across a screen. Rather than have multiple similar pages covering different subjects, I'd rather have as much as possible here only a click away. A few of the links are to other pages, but the majority are to other sites [use the back button!] or to instant downloads of free ebooks. This is not just a rant, I like to give visitors presents to go away with, spread goodies, links to more free stuff; a window on some of the esoteric wonders out there on the web.

Our dogs can eat from forks. It took a little practise to not grip the fork with their teeth, but now they are experts, better than some humans I've observed who sometimes seem not to know where their mouth is. The dogs are dainty when presented with a tasty morsal. Similarly, they can also pick their own wild fruits like blackberries, once shown where they come from and with a couple of demonstration pickings which they eagerly took. The fork expertise doubtless helps. Many people assume that dogs diets should consist of meat, and nothing much else, despite being renouned for clearing up just about any food dropped or leftover. They are true omnivores, they love fruit and vegetables as much as meat, spices, while not necessarily being good for their digestion, are eaten with obvious lip-smacking pleasure. Cake, peelings, nuts, ice cream, the perfect survivor will eat it. They will even eat the odd fly or mosquito which happens by, and spiders are a delicacy. They might occasionally eat cow shit as well, but as this is nothing but chopped up, mildly fermented grass, it doesn't appear to do them any harm, despite giving them bad breath. It suggests to me that canines will survive, no matter what happens to the human society which their domesticated members appear to depend on so heavily. Perhaps one day they will inherit the Earth.

August 9 2005

Still coming home

Watching the shuttle landing on BBC 24 hours newscast, as it happens. The people in the command centre seem almost to be frozen in their positions at computer screens, looks like a still, until someone makes a movement. Must be nerve wracking for them, waiting for a readout to indicate 'Huston, we have a problem'. Already gone to second landing slot in California because it was raining a bit in Florida. Raining a bit? Is this the space race or the egg and spoon race? The shuttlee is still orbiting and has to go through the 'banking' to hit the atmosphere and start slowing down after the initial 2+minutes of engine burn to slow it and drop down into the atmosphere. The stress factor for those in the air and on the ground must be tremendous. No room for a let up until on terra firma again. And they're down! Anti-climax after all that.

August 8 2005

Coming home

Well, a bit of low cloud would never have stopped Buck Rogers or Dan Dare, but it's keeping the shuttle up there for another 24 hours. How anyone can believe in this charade still stretches credulity. Aircraft can land in cloud, and even fog, that's what the 'instruments' are for, did they forget to put any in this 100 ton glider? Even if it lands safely, and I hope it does for no other reason than people shouldn't be condemned to death in a fireball for having dreams however impractical they are, there's no future in it or in the grandiose ideas of colonising other planets.

The more sensible Israeli settlers in Gaza are packing and moving out before the deadline, leaving the rabids to cause a fuss and fight the army. Is there any other people in the world who, in similar circumstances, would remove doors and windows, fitments of all kinds including the kitchen sink rather than leave them for the next occupants? I'm surprised they aren't scraping the paint from the walls or separating the bricks aqnd mortar to cart away. What mean spirited bigots these people are. Of course, as usual, it starts with their religion; thinking yourself 'chosen by god' means everyone else is so much rubbish, which is why they thought it ok to steal Palestinian's land in the first place, they didn't count as people, despite being fellow semites, so could be robbed of their land, their farms and even their lives with Jewish equanimity. Both sides breeding like rabbits doesn't help the situation, too little land and most of it useless. Hopefully this move will lessen tensions and won't be answered by Hamas with further pointless violence. Have none of these people heard of Gandhi?

August 6 2005

Still with us

Still the lie continues that the US had to drop the atomic bom on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to shorten the war and save lives. The media, unable or unwilling to find out the truth, or even to take in what a TV drama recently spelled out - that the Japanese were already unnofficially sueing for peace, were losing the war and it was only a question of time before they capitulated - and continue with the tired old excuse for American beastiality. The US had their shiny new nuclear weapon and testing it in the desert was no way to find out its true destructive power. So they tested it on two Japanese cities, and declared it very effective., killing 140,000 civilians in Hiroshima in a split second, mostly women, children and old people. Not content with that war crime, they did it again, just to be sure and to let the Russians know that they'd better watch out in the future because, Yalta notwithstanding, their next enemy was the USSR. America has to have an enemy. Without one, they would never sustain their population's support for the biggest and most fascistic militarised state since the Romans. Now the USSR has been defeated commercially and broken up, they had to find another enemy, and the radical Wahabi Muslims did just that. The US arms industry loves war, without it there would be no vast profits. And monkey god Bush prats on about this evil ideology as if Islamofascists could compete with the sheer magnitude of America's crimes.

Chumps in space

The shuttle is ready to go, having pulled out bits of material [in one report described as cloth] from between the tiles, kind of soft grouting, and the guys safely on Earth deciding the thermal blanket wrapped round the nose didn't have to be repaired [a pity 'cos with a woman on board there was the chance of getting out the knitting needles], they are now preparing to come back, with no one knowing if it's to be a triumphal return or another Nasa firework display. Forty years after supposedly landing on the moon they seem hopelessly stuck at first base, but using 25 year old craft. A 25 year old car might be safe to travel in on the motorways, but if it breaks down you just end up by the side of the road waiting for the breakdown truck, these naively trusting astronauts have a long way to go before safety on terra firma. Nasa spokesmen seem like complacent lardarses, occupants of a gravy train who seem just a bit slow. It's not rocket science, people say about most skills, as if rocket science was so advanced that nothing compared. This mission has somewhat deflated that belief, which has always seemed lame to me as rocket science has been around since the ancient Chinese dynasties and consists of packing an explosive into a tube and lighting the end. One thing's for sure, it ain't Star Trek.

August 2 2005

By the seat of the pants

The spectacle Nasa is putting on is pretty extraordinary, not so much Flash Gordon as Heath Robinson. They've had years to figure out the problem which blew the last shuttle apart, so the first thing that happens with the latest brave attempt to go where not many men have gone before is a bit falls off on take off. Apparently several bits. Now the purpose of the mission becomes to train to patch up the craft in order to land safely, at least it has a reason now rather than a desperate attempt to be taken seriously and justify the further funding they are hoping for to keep them in the manner they've become accustomed. By the look of the head of Nasa, he's been living far too well and is now a qualified lardarse, his brain slowed down to slow walking pace.

I've always felt tiles on a spacecraft were a strange idea, not even interlocked like parquet flooring, and a sprayed on coating would have been much less liable to breaking off with a bit of air pressure. If they get back alive, it will be largely from their own efforts, those on the ground seemed remarkably complacent even after seeing the video of the breakaway, if their arses had been in the shuttle seats rather than in their comfy chairs in the command centre they might have been a little moreso.

Since the middle of the sixties Nasa have achieved very little, and are mostly repeating close Earth orbits and landing again, something that is unlikely to inspire much interest let alone excitement. The only useful thing which has come out of forty years of 'space' exploration, is communications satellites, sent up by unmanned rockets. The only interest in manned flight is in the millionnaire sector offering holidays for those who wish to remain above the herd. With our vulnerable skin encapsulated egos we aren't fitted for space travel, and neither is anything else which evolved on a planet. Add to the sheer inhospitability of a cold vacuum the vast distances involved, it is clear that our future does not lie in outer [or inner] space. We are creatures of Earth and are confined here. 18 months is the total our bodies can withstand the radiation of normal space in one lifetime, anywhere near the Van Allen belt, and it's measured in minutes. It's time we put sci-fi back on the fiction shelves and faced the reality of life on Earth.




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