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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May 31 2008

The stupids stumble again

Just when you thought the they couldn't get any worse, the stupids of newLabour are at it again. The NewLabour-NewHealthNazi faction, flushed with their success of driving all smokers out of pubs, clubs, bars, public buildings, even bus shelters on occasions, these power-crazed health obsessives are now pressing for a totally legal product which increases the government coffers like no other, to be both hidden from view and to have all logos and branding removed from the packs. Ignoring the illogicality of packs that are hidden from view having to be anonimously packaged, and the equally valid point that the shopkeeper wouldn't know which were which, nor the customer what to ask for, they are under the delusion that packets displayed on a shelf in some magical manner convince children they should take up smoking for a hobby. The compound word no-brainer comes to mind, but only in relation to the idiots who dreamed this one up.

Children copy slightly older children, who copy slightly older children. None of them have any idea what it is to be an adult, so they pose, trying out various ideas. With the cinema showing heroes and heroines smoking, usually in a smokey, sultry manner, the cinema-tobacco industry laid down a myth which still to this day, despite the thousands dieing annually from the side effects, persists residually, at least in the minds of children. Where to start is with kids, education the only way. If it's made harder to get them, they become more exciting, the effort to get hold of the forbidden object of desire, that much the more rewarding. Don't these people understand anything about humans?

There is already a huge black market in cigarettes, available to any age on every housing estate in the country and supplied by people popping over to France and returning with a car or van load. The ones sold in shops are legal ones [tax paid] sold to adults who choose to smoke.

Eventually, the health nazis, would like tobacco to be criminalised, at which point it would really take off, organised crime, already running vast blackmarket smuggling operations with tobacco as well as other drugs, will merely step into the gap and ensure supply.

But I've noticed recently that rather than announcing their intention, they announce their intention to have a public consultation, which enables them to avoid some of the more obvious pitfalls of their simplistic thinking. At least it shows they're getting the message that they're dim and not really up to it.


May 26 2008

The new and the old

Another royal ponce of the house of Windsor, Prince Andrew, is doing very nicely from his 'business interests' in Kazakhstan where he represents the UK as roving ambassador for British trade, having just sold the house his mum, the queen, gave him for a wedding present when he married his ex, Fergie [who's now an advisor to the poor on how to manage on very little]. The house, Sunninghill Park in Berkshire, was listed at £12 million and has been up for sale for five years, but Kazakh 'tycoon' Kenes Rakishev paid £3 million over the price and handed lucky Andrew £15 million. Rakishev is one of the new breed of overnight billionaires the breakup of the USSR has created, otherwise known as the oil mafia, or just the mafia. You can't fault this benefactor of the ancient British mafia when it comes to getting in bed with the new greed merchants and guaranteeing his already oppulent lifestyle for the foreseeable future. He never looks remotely happy however, and money certainly hasn't bought him love. A spokesman for the Prince, who said he was in Kazakhstan this weekend on a privately funded "holiday", said: 'The sale of Sunninghill Park was a straight commercial transaction. There were no side deals and absolutely no arrangement for the Duke of York to benefit otherwise or to commit to any other commercial arrangement. Any suggestion otherwise is completely false.' That's allright then.

The latest big idea from newLabour is stamping down on scammers who take advantage of the vulnerable, on the grounds that it might get them a few votes. As well as all the familiar scams; euro-lottery wins, big prizes and 'just send us the administration charge' fiddles, not to mention the drive tarmac scam that targets old people with a few marbles mislaid somewhere, the legislation also covers fortune tellers, mediums and spiritualists, who must now display a warning sign stating that everything they present, say, claim or publicise is for entertainment only. Strikes me it should therefore also apply to all religions as none have any more proof than spiritualism that their claims are justified.

There should be signs such as This religion's claims are intended only for entertainment or reassurance and do not bear up to scrutiny on factual grounds in every church, synagogue, mosque, and temple. Perhaps they should also carry government health warnings; Liable to seriously damage your sense of humour; risk of losing touch with reality; danger of self immolation for no apparent reason; we may regularly request donations with nothing in return except pious hope. That kind of thing. In fact, I think I may make a habit of reporting various religions under this legislation for failing to warn people of the unproven nature of their claims and the likelihood that vulnerable people might be fooled into thinking the claims made are substantiated. Islaam looks particularly targetable in this respect, with Catholicism not far behind.

Thank you newLabour, this could be just the thing needed to drive all the fantasy merchants into admitting they have no proof, and keep them from interfering in our secular society. I trust also that it applies to the education sector, so children, surely the most vulnerable due to lack of experience, will be protected from spurious claims made in RE class. This will particularly apply to the so-called 'faith schools' that seem to be proliferating to the detriment of common sense and rationality and indulging in what amounts to intellectual abuse of children.

NASA, ever in touch with reality, have launched - at great fossil fuel expense - a spacecraft to Mars, which has landed safely and is able to send back pictures, as below. An expensive way of getting some snaps of a very boring desert landscape without even a deckchair to relieve the boredom.

They are looking for signs of life, while, coincidentally, life on Earth is disappearing at an alarming rate, and if global warming isn't halted either by us changing our ways or by the planet getting rid of us, it could end up looking much like this, with runaway warming burning off all the water into space along with most of the atmosphere. Mars is a planet without biomass, the only thing which sustains us and all life. There should be a warning here for humanity, but the media are just excited about rockets and remote robot craft, comic-book boys' stuff.


May 25 2008

Everything is affected by climate

The weather's turned, as it always does, and I awoke this morning to the sound of rain on the window, always something that makes me want to curl up and hibernate as I'm sure with everyone. So, instead of getting up at 7am, it was 8.30 before I finally dragged myself out of the comfort duvet and rejoined the world of the living again. Taking the dogs out was fun, and drying them off afterwards left them damp and in need of a late breakfast, which we all had. They've been asleep since.

It's still beating down hours later, and all the birds are bedraggled coming to stock up, I hope they can feed quickly and get back under cover. I feel like going back to bed.

Impressed? In a pompous display of control designed to impress, the Canadian military recently sent an expedition to the Arctic. Billed as a 'sovereignty patrol', lines of snowmobiles flying Canadian flags in a display of control drove about on the ice. However, scientists travelling with the troops found major new fractures during an assessment of the state of giant ice shelves in Canada's far north.

The team found a network of cracks that stretched for more than 10 miles (16km) on Ward Hunt, the area's largest shelf. The fate of the vast ice blocks is seen as a key indicator of climate change. So there's going to be a diminishing ice territory for Canada to claim it 'owns', and less space to murder seal babies on as time passes. Of course, when it is all gone there will be no seals to murder or blame for diminishing fish stocks. More


May 23 2008

And now for something completely different

It feels like the same old political merry-go-round, only it's the tories who are merry this time with the slow and painful demise of the Labour Party. What's needed now is not just a challenge to the odious Brown, but a clear out, root and branch of all the brainless wonks who have proliferated over the last ten years [are they breeding?] and at the top of the list should be the challenged Ed Balls before he can do any more damage to the education system, followed closely by the famed chicken impersonater Hazel [blink blink] Blears whose vacuous face is matched by her fatuous statements. I have come to the conclusion that politics is now avoided by all but the most untalented no hopers as a place for untalented no hopers, and as a result, none of the political parties have what would pass as an intellectual at any of the more credible universities. Perhaps it's always been thus, politicians on a par with journalists in general odiousness,

It's good that vid eh? Dale Vince is an ex hippy traveller who decided to set up a renewable energy company, and it's grown massively in a few years so he is now, as solitary shareholder, very rich, and determined to make his mark in the world by providing the UK with wind turbines of suberp design and elegance, and doing a damn sight more than the whole of the cabinet to reduce our carbon footprint which has risen inexorably under newLabour-newReich. We buy our electricity from Ecotricity, so this blog and all my sites are carbon free, created and powered by the wind.

More later, but here's something, a wind turbine being built by Ecotricity, to keep you engaged while you wait for my next gem.


May 22 2008

That gender thing

A pair of young blackbirds - most likely last year's hatchlings of Ruthin and Deryn Dhu - came to the feeder close to the house today; hesitant, wary, taking their time, then the female moved in and stuffed her beak with raisins turned and flew off, the young male hesitated then flew after her sans raisins. Clearly with blackbirds as with humans, some males are total novices when it comes to young rearing and have to learn everything with difficulty, all females know it instinctively and get on with it. He probably got a scolding when he got back to the nest full of gaping yellow mouths with nothing, and deserved it; don't we all?

We have currently run out of dried meal worms, a much-liked source of protein which I fear our two 'resident' blackbirds rather depend on too much. They are expensive, £6 for a large drum, which doesn't last too long. Raisins are also much liked and much cheaper, but provide more sugars than protein. The birds choose which to have, some times only eating worms, other times raisins, yet other times bread. I'm told that they will eat tinned dog food, so have put some out, but it seems to sit there all day, and isn't there the next, so it could be a hedgehog has added us to her nightly walk. They are all welcome to as many slugs as they can eat, birds and hedgehogs.

The RSPB recently got the momentary attention of the media with a 'story' that 'you shouldn't feed bread to birds', and 'it could do them harm'. According to these bird 'experts' pasta was ok despite being made from ground up wheat just like bread, rice also was deemed acceptable but not, in my experience to birds who leave it to go mouldy. It was best, the RSPB claimed, to feed birds properly with a good balanced birdfood mixture. The RSPB sells a variety of bird food mixtures.


May 20 2008

The best things in life

The dinner cooking nicely on the stove, I stepped outside this evening and walked over to the ivy arch where we have trained a large honeysuckle. The smell only comes in the evening when the sun's near to going down and the damp rises from the ground. It's such a sweet and heavy perfume it is almost overpowering, and complemented by several blackbirds singing their evening territorial boasts, made more creative by having young in nests again.

Overhead, high up in the darkening sky, swifts soared picking up the first of the evening's supper insects; soon they will become enervated by their juicy diet and will take up aerial acrobatics, diving at the ground like kamikazis then swooping off at the last minute, using the momentum to carry them across the roofs and gardens without wing effort, feeding as they go like athletes taking sips of energy drinks.

It was a heady mix of sights, sounds and smells, yet, available to anyone; step outside the box with its wall-to-wall, mind-numbingly banal dross of entertainment where most families are at this time of the day, and the birds are singing and the flowers smelling. The evening air cools the lungs and mind.


The May blossom came in April and is still going strong among fields of buttercups


May 18 2008

The failure of politicians

The failure of the ruling junta in Burma to care for its population in a time of crisis was to be expected; jumped up generals in freshly ironed uniforms with self-awarded medals who set armed soldiers against Buddhist monks really can't be expected to do the right thing when a substantial part of their country is flooded. However, why would a country with the power of the US, and a record of making war against other countries for no reason proof, hesitate from taking on the generals, or better still just ignoring them and moving to help the people who have suffered so much already and who will be starving to death from now on or dieing from disease. US ships equipped to help in crises just like this are half an hour flying time from the Irrawaddy Delta; they have helicopters, inflateables, water, food and other necessary supplies, but won't move until the generals agree, which they clearly are not going to do.

The Burmese government has made no attempt to help these people, many of whom are children, and have no troops in the delta, so there's no risk of an armed confrontation anyway, and aid could be got to the people who need it before the generals could get their act together and send troops there. The rest of the world would support an American invasion this time, and tey would gain kudos and make some repair to their reputation lost by killing hundreds of thousands in Iraq, but still Bush won't act. Perhaps if WMDs were rumoured to be in Burma...

I expect a few thousand children will have to die as the world looks on and the politicians dither, the UN makes pronouncements, and the media gets excited over the piles of bodies before anyone will have the balls to send in the people who could sort it out. Yet again the UN shows itself incapable of acting, and the major players who could actually do something - US, China, EU - talk about national sovereignty and refuse to upset a bunch of unelected psychopaths. Who needs governments?


May 9 2008

Death wish

Gordon Brown and his mottly crew of incompetents must have a death wish in terms of their political lives. Not content with the lowest ratings since they got into power ten years ago, they seem intent on increasing the people who hate them to a point where the whole country is against them. Now, in a move to please a few rabid tabloid journalists, they plan to reverse one of the few good things they have achieved - the reclassification of cannabis to the lowest class in the drugs act, thus making it once again a class B, with higher penalties. Using the same old idiotic language about children being at risk of mental illness, and ignoring the advice of their expert panel on drugs policy which recommended no change of classification, the fat, inadequate home secretary Jacqui Smith, doubtless reading from Moron Gordon's hymn book, ranted on as if there was fresh evidence of harm, there isn't, appearing to believe that the link with schizophrenia is proven, it isn't. All that's actually known is that at the age when young people experiment with all kinds of things - sex, fast driving, drinking excessively, drugs, ludicrous fashion statements, loud music, sleep deprivation - a small percentage also develop psychosis, mostly schizophrenia. The anti-cannabis rabids seize on this and claim illogically that cannabis causes schizophrenia, whereas there is actually no causal link whatsoever. One could just as well argue that loud music causes mental illness, which as far as I know only a few bible-thumping American idiots have so far claimed.

This concentration on 'the young' while useful when trying to distort facts and inflame a moral panic, appears to blind the non-inhaling wonks to the fact that the vast majority of cannabis users are adults of all ages, most of whom hold down responsible jobs and vote. They naturally resent ignorant politicians who pamper to the inane headlines of tabloids which makes their lives more difficult, and are hardly likely to vote for anyone banging on about the war on drugs, as it is actually a war on a substantial proportion of the population, including many people who suffer medical conditions like MS and glaucoma who know cannabis is the only effective treatment.

Since the reclassification to class C, cannabis consumption has reduced, yet this hasn't persuaded these idiots to leave it as it is, presumably they would prefer it if cannabis use increased again. Railing on against skunk, which varies from twice to thirty times as powerful as 'ordinary' cannabis according to these deeply ignorant posers, they seem unaware that skunk only came about because of the illegality and involvement of criminals who naturally prefer a stronger product they can charge more for. But users will just use less of it, just as whisky drinkers don't drink pints of the stuff like beer. So the claim that it is more dangerous is ludicrous, as if people don't choose the level of intoxication but are victims of the weed in whatever strength organised crime chooses for them. If anyone is in need of mind expansion, it is these inadequates who select themselves to be our leaders.


May 8 2008

What are the military good for?

Been a bit tardy lately and haven't written a lot, but it's amazing how the time flits by and a month goes shooting off into the past. The planet continues to suffer from the overburden of humans, most of who care nothing about it and continue in their selfish ways as if nothing can ever affect them. Often, the sceptics are in rich, developed countries, the cause of the problem, and those who are suffering early effects are usually in poor, undeveloped countries like Burma. But the rich will get theirs eventually, and the fall, when it comes, will be much more devastating than Burma's, where the people can rebuild their simple lives relatively easily, whereas in rich, sophisticated countries like the US and Europe, when it breaks down it will be impossible to fix.

Already global food supplies are running short, and Burma's loss of its rice harvest can only exacerbate what was already threatening to send the price of basic foods rocketing. With the so-called bread-basket countries experiencing reduced yields due to the weather, it can't be long before global famine arrives to reduce the human toll on the ecosystem.

Spring having finally burst through in Britain, it's almost immediately summer, and as usual nature has to race to catch up. Our blackbird, Y Derryn Dhu [Welsh for black bird], is singing his heart out in the hot sunshine amongst the lilac blossoms, running through an expanding repertoire of phrases, which includes the opening bars of Memphis in June [Nina Simone]. I love his liquid, cocky outpourings - as if he knows he's a virtuoso and wants the world to acknowledge it. He comes so close to us when we put food out for him, just a fragment of caution remaining, but if there's a neighbour in the graden [or the dogs] he gives such a scolding that you'd think he was big enough to take them on. He clearly thinks of it as his patch, he's a lucky bird, along with his mate, Ruthin. Their descendants will be around after homo sapiens has left the stage and the garden has turned back to woodland.


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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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