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Fool on the Hill is a ranting anarchist blog which attacks lies and dissembling of all kinds and exposes the environmental destruction that threatens life on Earth

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July 24 2008

I trust the dog

So the Portuguese police have given up and released the McCanns from arguido status, case close unless something comes up. The McCanns still keep up the charade that they are looking for their daughter, Madeleine, still, while managing to appear even more guilty than previously; Gerry McCann looked positively nervous in the press conference, uncharacteristically leaving the talking to his wife, and clearly wanting to leave as soon as he could, which they did after just a few words for the media.

I remain unconvinced by their denials; the cadaver dog definitely found something both in the holiday apartment, in the hire car and on Kate McCann's clothing. These are highly trained dogs, with a sense of smell capable of finding bodies that have been in the ground for years, they don't make mistakes, their sense of smell is phenomenal as is every dog's. It was at that point that they made the McCanns arguido, and rightly so.

The publicity machine they have assembled around them, funded by all the well-wishers who have sent money to the 'Find Madeleine' campaign, has already sued Portuguese newspapers and is now talking about suing the police; in other words, they are remaining on the offensive with a team of publicists, web designers and other media savvy people. They have throughout, right from the first, manipulated the media, arranging press conferences frequently which they dictated the terms for, and throughout both parents have appeared slightly odd, not the usual grieving, distraught parents of a missing small child. He has always appeared iritated, angry even, at having to go through it all, impatient, and with a sneer of anger marking his face. She has seemed worried, not the worry of a mother for a lost child, butthe worry of someone with something to hide. I remain to be convinced they had nothing to do with their daughter's disappearance. They certainly have a money machine operating; still donations come in, and Kate McCann has given up work to 'look after the other two children', so perhaps responding to the criticism of them as parents and talk that the children could be taken from them for neglect. Local social services appear to have decided not to act though.


July 23 2008

Is there a point?

It's been a while, not because I've been away, but because I'm losing the will to blog. At first it was something that few people had heard about, now you can't live in the world without hearing about blogs and bloggers every day. The media talk incessantly about blogs, dedicated bread heads blog about making money, firms in every walk of life have been convinced they need a blog to get traffic to their site, teenagers blog to each other, and think it means leaving monosyllabic messages on each other's 'blogs' like they were an extension of their mobiles - they probably are - and blog is the new buzz word; even politicians have them. There's a danger that the original meaning of a blog, a web log or diary to record thoughts, is being lost under a deluge of commercialism, a lack of any deep thought, and dedication to trivia. Bob Dylan might now sing 'Everybody must get blogged'.

People start blogs to which they don't even contribute! Instead, they rely on others coming along, leaving a comment or responding to someone else's comment, and the dividing line between blog and forum becomes yet more blurred. The PM 'blog' is just that; kept going by listeners to the PM programme on BBC's Radio 4, it rarely gets an entry by the presenter, Eddie Mair, or even any of his team, people just comment on the programme. Some seem to think that this is all a blog is.

Of course, there are some fine blogs around; and a lot of information is available on a very wide range of subjects, but the vast majority are a total waste of space and pixels, feeding off each other, and linked to RSS feeds, myspace, youtube, frogger, flickr,, Digg, Newsvine, Reddit and a host of other links and 'services' I have no interest in finding anything about, they feed trivia back and forth, each with their own little logo; a badge that says 'I'm at the cutting edge of technology, I'm connected, I matter'. But they don't. It's all froth on the murky sea of life and about as useful. Few even bother to express their spurious, ill-considered opinions, which has to be positive.

Perhaps I'm jaded at the end of a long year of work, and with a holiday about to kick off. Perhaps my existential angst will evaporate in the sea air and sun of Ceredigion Bay on the Welsh coast, and ten days of doing nothing except playing with the dogs, walking and dozing in the sun [I have faith there will be sun] will recharge my batteries and I shall return with new found enthusiasm...


July 11 2008

The idiots line up

It's doubly disappointing that the idiots who represent all the rich countries are such inadequates they can't get their heads round the urgency of our problems, when their countries are causing the catastrophe that's approaching ever more rapidly, and, according to a British scientist studying climate change in Tasmania, we have two years before meltdown begins.

These clowns below think it's all a joke, especially the challenged monkey on the right. They planted some trees in Japan in a staged photo opportunity after dining extensively, and then dashed the hopes of the world with a statement on climate change that beggers belief. If there are any survivors from what is approaching now at speed, they will know it was especially a failure of the politicians, who, instead of leading on this issue vital to humanity's survival, instead joked and stuffed themselves like the rich filth they are, and offered empty rhetoric as a solution to the rest of the world, the poor are already suffering the effects.

brown, merkel and bush pose grinning like monkeys at a tree planting ceremony in Japan.

Brown: Oh, is that a tree? It's very little isn't it? Do they stick lots of them together to make tables and chairs? Merkel: Snurf snurf! Bush: Can I smoke it?

When, or if, it finally dawns on the majority of people that it's hopeless and that we should have done something years ago, that there's no future for them or their children, that it's politicians' fault that they are all going to die, perhaps they'll get angry and go looking for them. But for now these total inadequates posture and pose about the world stage with armies of press swarming like cockroaches round them, it's all a bit of a giggle innit George? Not to those suffering drought or floods it isn't. Not to those who will watch their children starve, not to all the other species we'll take with us.


July 10 2008

They eat, speak and leave

So the leaders, elected and unelected, of the rich countries get together for some slap-up, multi-course dinners to discuss the poor and the rising price of food, and the word hypocrisy sticks in the throat. They then come out with an anodyne statement on climate; vague, incoherent and promising nothing, while pretending to be dealing with the most serious threat homo sapiens has ever faced. Among the crowd of misfits, one stood out; Berlusconi, who is a total idiot. He was waving at some schoolgirls watching from a window as if he was a sixteen year old who fancied his chances, and not the head of the Italian government. What a total waste of space, the man is a joke, but then so is Italy which re-elected him.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the recession [which everyone is avoiding calling by the R word out of a superstitious belief that saying it will bring it on] is gathering pace, and while the media keep asking 'is it a recession?' the ruminants appear to know it is and are curtailing their grazing round the malls, which are having to lay off staff and tighten belts as a result of plummeting sales. There's talk of not wasting food, but the move away from wasting it will only come when it becomes too expensive to waste. The same goes for fuel; until it's too expensive for people to sit with the engine running while they wait for someone, or to sit in a traffic jam with the engine running for however long it takes to clear, they won't do anything.

Recessions are good for the planet. Less consuming, more economising, eating less means less lard mountains and less truck journeys to deliver it. Buying less non-essential goods also means less truck journeys. The idea that we can shop ourselves out of recession is so absurd that only a severely challenged capitalist believer could come up with it. Most won't curtail their consumption voluntarily, so the recession is the best hope, apart from the planetary ecosystem curtailing humans.

There's been a lot of talk about downsizing lately, but precious little action. Someone in ancient Rome [I think it was Marcus Aurelius, a senator and general who became Emperor in 161] once commented that the army think that talk is the same as action, so nothing new there. He also said: 'poverty is the mother of crime', something today's politicians seem unable to grasp.


July 4 2008

They listened!

Every now and then they really do listen and do the right thing. Government, that is. Defra [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] have announced they won't be opting for a national badger cull to combat bovine TB, despite being badgered [!] by farmers for years to allow them to wipe out an innocent, wild species who they blame for their own lack of care and professionalism. I've already emailed Hilary Benn, the minister, and congratulated him on a wise and correct decision. You have to congratulate when they get things right, rare as that is.

Back in the seventies, bovine TB was thought to be a disease of the past, but in recent years it has made a resurgence, and livestock farmers, never willing to accept criticism, have been virulent in their campaign to have a mass murder of badgers take place. This despite a large-scale cull in Ireland showing that it did nothing to reduce incidence of the disease. They're slow to learn, and once they've decided they know what's what, it's difficult to change them, however wrong headed and unscientific it is.

Of course badgers get bovine TB and can therefore spread it. But most of the spread is caused by farmers taking cattle to market constantly, where they are put in pens which have minimal cleanliness standards and where they are breathing close to other cattle, who may be infected. This is a habit of livestock farmers; a social gathering where they sell a few animals, gossip with fellow meat raisers, swap news and have a day out. If animals were kept in clean, dry conditions, and only allowed to go from the farm where they were raised and spent their entire lives to a slaughterhouse close by, there would be no TB. Badgers are the unwitting victims of farming, many of them die painfully from TB.

Yet a Cotswold livestock farmer with a brain has sussed out that cattle get diseases if not fed the correct nutrients which include trace minerals. So he's feeding mineral cake to the badgers on his farm [four large sets in the middle] who are all healthy as are his cattle, while they are surrounded by farms with TB. The healthy badgers don't get it and therefore can't spread it. But it goes against the grain for many rurals who just want to go out with a shotgun and kill anything that has the temerity to live on 'their' land. At last the government has stood up to them and their bullying ways [while all living very well on handouts from the taxpayer] and said no. Good for them.



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Time to move to higher ground

the Fool as a young boy

The time to move to higher ground link [above] will change from time to time, illustrating how this phrase has become more and more common of late; from New Orleans, to Fiji to East Anglia to Holland.
I moved to higher ground in 2000 when it was clear that flooding was becoming the norm and climate change was happening now.
On the journey west, we passed flooded fields right across the midlands, it felt almost apocalyptic.
Since then, floods have become common in the UK and many other countries.

Fadhel Al-Sa'd: The sun circles the Earth because it is smaller than the Earth, as is evident in Koranic verses... No verse in the Koran indicates that the Earth is round or that it rotates. Anything that has no indication in the Koran is false.


The scenes from this war will create thousands maybe even millions of militants intent on inflicting damage on the only superpower. The war will be waged across America and in any American outpost and embassy. It will be brutal and messy and will continue for decades. Bush doesn't know what he has unleashed.
Fool on the hill March 2003


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