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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June 30 2008

The rich at play

Having wasted a few days posing withtheir bitches at Ascot, the rich scum are now indulging in the Round Britain Powerboat Race presenting the usual danger to marine life from their rich boys toys. Whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and breeding sea birds off the Welsh coast, and presumably other parts of the UK coast, are threatened by the self-obsessed obscenely-rich at play.

The fuel wasted in craft that do two miles to the gallon is massive. That's 1600 miles [length of race] divided by 2 = 800, multiplied by 48 [number of powerboats] which comes to a staggering 38,400 gallons of fuel burned up so the rich can get a thrill by going fast, Then there's the BBC and other media vans, cars, boats and helicopters following it, none of them fuel efficient, that will add to this fossil-fueled binge. While motorists trying to get to work to earn a living are advised to car share to save fuel, or get the bus, the rich can just waste it to go faster and with the promise of a tacky, tastelessly flashy goblet to spur them on. I wonder at what point in the oil running out this excess and others like it will be banned. As always, the rich are the biggest part of the problem.


June 25 2008

Dictator of the year award

I don't see why the international community is so powerless in the case of Mugabe, the most current of a long line of despots and one with a tastefree clothes sense. If you saw someone in the High Street dressed like this below, you'd assume it was another 'care in the community' lost soul.

Mugabe the Butcher

He's a stain on Africa, and you'd think other African leaders would have been quick to sort him out. But no, not even South Africa, led by the ineffectual Thabo Mbeki, which could close down Zimbabwe today just by switching off the power, does nothing. A liberation warrior turns, over time, into a homegrown tyrant, who has stated no on will remove him from office except god. As god doesn't exist, this means he isn't going anywhere fast of his own volition. Yet it seems that however many he kills, African leaders have several blind eyes to turn. Perhaps they fear a precedent if they interfere in another country's affairs, making it possible they might suffer the same fate. But the people of Zimbabwe are asking them to intervene, so desperate are they for help to get rid of this mad old man who has ruined what was once Africa's bread basket, and which is now a demoralised country on the brink of total ruin.

Of course Mugabe is clinging to power because all the while he is in command, he can't be brought before the criminal court in The Hague for crimes against humanity [like Milosevic], so this is his only option to stay out of prison. And so the violence continues and will get worse until something is done. It's like Ruanda, a spiral of violence, out of control, with all the lowlife running riot and killing and beating arbitrarily, picking on rival politicians and their families.

The rightful president of Zimbabwe is Morgan Tsvangerai, whose name is apparently impossible for media persons here to pronounce correctly. If it had been pronounced Changerai, it would have been spelled Changerai, but they insist on pronouncing it Changerai, as if Tsvang is far too difficult a sound to make. Yet we have ts, as with rats, and adding a van to that isn't difficult. The British are often like this with foreign names, it seems that the first stab at any unfamiliar word sets it in concrete and all after that must compound the offence. Foreigners often end up mispronouncing their own language because the Brits fail to recognise anything but their pronunciation! Think of Paris which is actually said Paree by the French, but which they happily say as ParIS just to humour us.


June 22 2008

A solar century?

You'd think someone like me, always banging on about renewable energy and how it's the only energy I use and how we have to switch to it if we are to survive, would be ecstatic over the recently announced UK government's plans for a massive expansion of renewables. But, while welcoming anything that is a step away from the attitudes of the past as a step in the right direction, I'n not about to go ecstatic quite yet.

Government is strong on papers, especially those that set out 'intentions' or 'consultations', in fact, the largest creative output from government is words, lots of them, so many that one finds oneself wading through page after page of bureaucrat-speak trying to find something that actually means something concrete. So far in all the words I've read both by commentators about it and in government statements, there's been barely a mention of photovoltaic [pv] which is what is usually meant by the term solar. But in the Guardian's article, written by their 'environment correspondent', there isn't a mention of pv, just solar heating as if this is the only way to capture energy from the sun. In government documents there is not even this.

We are told that what is planned is one in four houses in the UK having 'solar roofs' which is further elaborated to 'solar heating' in the Guardian piece, and their 'environment correspondent' doesn't even see fit to question this appalling lack; do they really mean black painted radiators providing a shower now and then? If 25% of UK houses were to be equipped with photovoltaic solar panels, this would indeed be a major step, and would make a significant contribution to reducing our greenhouse gases, the purpose of the whole exercise.

Photovoltaic has been around for decades, I was using some second hand solar panels from Loughborough University over ten years ago. Italy has a well-established [pv] solar roofs project as have other European nations including Germany, and California has many solar farms where vast numbers of pv collectors harness power in the desert. Cuba also is well advanced in solar energy. Add to this the fact that pv panels are now cheaper and more efficient and can harness useful amounts of energy even on overcast days, and one has to wonder why it gets not a mention. Yet George Monbiot seems to agree that pv is unsuitable for the UK; his response to my point was 'v poor value this far north', which strikes me as somewhat dated thinking.

And yet: a year ago the Guardian ran this. And this is the website of the firm talked about. Planetsolar seem to be busy, so I'm not sure what it is about photovoltaic for the UK they don't like. Rejecting solar electricity generation in the UK seems on a par with rejecting wind power because it's intermittent. Rather than reasons to give up, they are merely design briefs that have to be satisfied. Perhaps it's because pv is seen as a disseminated technology which would involve millions of people contributing a little each, rather than a big macho mega-solution like the Severn barrage or nuclear power stations. Yet we have many millions of roofs soaking up the sun, the heat of which we have to insulate against or loft living is unbearable in summer. This includes houses, schools, hospitals and factories. A start could be made by changing building regulations so that all new build has solar roofs, but that won't happen because of the lobbying strength of the building trade, ever reluctant to change. However, subsidies to house owners to retrofit solar roofs could result very quickly in a major contribution of energy. Wind farms may represent far more bang for your buck, but it gets up people's noses, and in a country the size of the UK is generally unfeasible.


June 17 2008

It only hurts when I laugh

There's a problem in Afghanistan, there's no morphine or codeine for pain relief, so anyone injured or sick has to suffer. This is the Afghanis of course; the occupying forces have plenty in their state-of-the-art military hospitals, nothing's too good for our boys, but for the native population there is nothing, no pain relief, no cancer drugs, just rudimentary bandaging for wounds that then become infected. This despite the fact that Afghanistan is the single largest producer of opium, from which both morphine and codeine are derived.

The poppy crop is being destroyed by troops whenever they find it in the mistaken belief that this somehow addresses the problem of addiction in the West and furthers the 'war on drugs', yet the whole crop could be purchased legitimately and used to manufacture morphine and codeine for hospitals everywhere, including those in Afghanistan where people are dying in agony. The farmers would make a living as well, with no need to find substitute crops which aren't suitable for the growing conditions that poppy thrives in. There is a global shortage of morphine for health services, yet huge amounts of poppy and opium are destroyed annually. It beggers belief what the thinking behind this bizarre attitude is.


June 15 2008

A politician with principles, how refreshing

It's an interesting phenomenon, a politician putting his very well paid job on the line on a principle. You don't see a lot of it these days, so deep are the snouts buried in the trough that politics has become, and the little piggies barely look up when David Davis announces his decision to stand in a byelection on the platform of opposition to the decision of parliament, bought with bribes to Ulster MPs, to raise the time a suspect can be held without charge from 28 days, already a long time to incarcerate someone, to 42 days, the equivalent of a three month prison sentence with full remission. One of the few things Brown appears to care about is locking people up without evidence, and despite claims that the majority of the public are in favour also, I think Davis's action and the resulting byelection will gain a lot of support. Already two Labour MPs have declared their support, and are going to campaign for him, an unprecedented move. Support across the country is huge, many people have never known the novelty of a politician with principles, and are saying so quite clearly. All the third rate seedy little creeps sucking up to Brown had better know their days are numbered, their shelf life is well and truly expired.

I'm all for locking terrorists up for life, but only if there's evidence. You can't throw out our rule of law and long-standing judicial system just because a few half-baked islamist nutters want to kill innocent people. It was a mistake to allow muslims into the country in the first place, a mistake that all European countries have cause to regret and which Brown and his cronies are all in favour of. Most other migrants are only too eager to integrate and assimilate, become British, not so muslims, they intend to take over every country they have settled, and are vociferous and belligerant about their so-called rights from the start, while willing to deny human rights to others as soon as they have power.

But to behave like them is to devalue what we have; a modern, secular society based on law, and not some ignorant fifth-century sharia law. We should have stood up to them when they first started demanding the right to kill animals by slitting their throats and draining them of blood, which goes against all animal welfare legislation in the UK, but instead they were made an exception, and as a result many thousands of animals suffer needlessly because of these backward peasants and their sick, deviant habits and beliefs. And don't they feel precious and special because of it! No wonder they think they can do what they like and then claim discrimination if someone objects.


June 13 2008

Oh dear, how inconvenient

That's the trouble with electors, you just can't trust them to make the 'right' decision. Ireland, the only country in the EU which thought it necessary to consult its electorate over the newly rejigged and renamed European Constitution - a constitution by any other name would smell as sweet - has had its referendum and the decision was a resounding no. Thank you Ireland for voting for all of us, all those whose governments thought it unnecessary to have referendums as they, being professional politicians, knew best.

Some nascent fascist speaking on behalf of the EU actually said today on the radio 'we have to find a way round this inefficient decision making', which is worthy of Goebbels. Now they'll have to go away and find another name for it, as if changing the name is likely to fool people into thinking it's something new. The best thing would be to have a Europe-wide referendum on whether the EU should remain an economic union or should pursue the route to a superstate by accepting a constitution which removes decision making power from national, elected governments and places it within a vast bureacracy in Brussels, with career euro-mats, their snouts in the euro-trough, stuffing themselves while making laws taking away our liberties. No wonder they're pissed off, the Irish have done us all a favour with this no vote, saved on the brink of disaster, which is what another superpower on the world stage would bring.

The 'harmonisation' of Europe has already meant that hundreds of thousands of immigrants from impoverished, inefficient, chaotic east European states have the right to travel to the UK to live. Once within the outer borders of greater Europe, migrants from across the world have the right also. The population of the UK, once reducing, is now swelling, both from annual immigrant arrivals and the out of control birthrate of immigrants, principally muslims who intend to outbreed the British and take over the country [and every other they have settled]. This isn't fantasy, I only wish it were, it's the stated objective of muslims, and it's already happening. Whereas the average number of children born to indiginous couples in the UK is 1-2, that of muslims is 8-12 [and they love the child benefit that brings in from the taxpayer]. Already most of the midlands has an immigrant majority, already muslims are 12% of the population, and the political class, both politicians and media - the chatterati - are unaware of the threat to everything we stand for, in fact they are making criticising muslims illegal along with any other religious fantasists, despite the fact that none of them can produce any proof for their deranged beliefs, we are supposed to treat them with respect.

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of teenage girls are going missing from school every year, usually because they have been taken out of the country to be married off to cousins who they can then bring in as relatives, and yes, this is Asians, principally muslims. The authorities have barely noticed the disappearances, despite jailing white British parents when their children persistently truant, they don't wish to upset muslims in case they are accused of racism, so they ignore the plight of these girls, which strikes me as the height of racism.

Multiculturalism again hinders what should be a normal reaction to a child suddenly not appearing at school. They are complicit in the abuse of these girls, a crime in the UK which is going unpunished. If the girls object or refuse, they are often murdered by their thick, pig-ignorant peasant fathers who think their so-called 'honour' is threatened by a woman not doing as she is told, so backward and undeveloped are they. Very soon now the backlash against Islam will begin, it may already have begun. There will be trouble ahead.


June 10 2008

Of Quarks and computers

It's been a while since I posted anything here as I've been busy with a new client and that set in train a series of events; the client has a magazine which I am now production editor of. It is created in Quark, and my version of Quark turned out to be one before the version that the job had been done in, so I had to upgrade. It's never as simple as that with computers. I tried to install the latest version only to be told it didn't work with Windows 2000. Ah. So I had to upgrade the system to XP. Easier said than accomplished, and according to my local computer man, not easy and fraught with difficulties upgrading versions of Windows, loads of peoblems would ensue including misplaced drivers and library files making it a nightmare - and I had a 44 page magazine to produce! No time to spend faffing about trying to get things working.

I had the opportunity to buy a much superior system for a fraction of the price it should have been and with a dual core processor, 300Gb HDD and 2Gb of RAM, along with a boosted graphics card and stuff I have yet to discover. So a new system, the job of installing all the software I need to work along with all the client files, and learning my way round XP, which, in line with everything Microsoft, had to do things differently from the previous version, and does a whole lot of things I'm qite capable of doing myself, but it seems these days software firms aren't making things for people who want to work, but for non-computer users who want to play. As a result of all this, and a job to get out to deadline, I've been otherwise engaged and quite incapable of writing the fool.

The job went well and I have four a year to produce, which may not sound like a lot, but it's three weeks of intensive work which pays extremely well, so four a year will do very nicely. The computer is splendid; furiously fast, and will do me for some time, although developments in software and hardware will conspire to make it seem like an old, slow, useless system before too long.


June 4 2008

Told you so

Boring as it is to hear that phrase, I did say quite some time ago that Obama would be the candidate and next president. Well, he's the candidate. Anyone wanna bet me he doesn't win against the ageing, raddled, puffy-faced, platitudinous, half-baked hard man with just a few years to live who wants to have his own war? I can't see it's a contest. I happen to also believe Obama would be the best thing for America and the world, better than half dead McCain or the whiney-smiley bitch Clinton has become since embarking on the grand ego trip. Her demeanour has illustrated her unsuitability for the job; the clapalong thing she does especially, like an uncoordinated kindergarten helper - 'let's all clap to the music kiddies, that's right, we can all clap' - is so patronising as is the sudden pointing into the crowd as if she just spotted a long-lost friend, sheesh, what a phoney. Obama looked the cool statesman throughout, a professional inspirer and confident and safe pair of hands, 'nuff said. Clinton's unwillingness to admit defeat was yet further evidence of her unsuitability for the responsibility - desperately immature.

I saw a starling the other day, approaching the house and the food, and it was hopping which drew my attentio as they have a very characteristic walk - all cockney barra-boy swagger - full of both confidence and extreme nervousness, a complex bird all in all. But this one was hopping. Then I saw, one of its feet was missing, and it was balancing on one foot, the other held down but unused and unusable. My heart went out to the poor thing, probably the victim of one of the millions of cats people allow to wander in gardens killing everything within reach. Not unusual for a cat to bike off both legs and then, not knowing what to do, let the poor maimed creature fly off.

This one was coping well it seemed, and has no difficulty perching and standing to eat. I saw him again today on the fence, and he lifted his stump up and scratched behind his ear, so still has a use then.


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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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