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Sunday 31 October 2004 - food for free

Surprising how many people are so totally divorced from the environment that mushrooms growing in a field are ignored, preferring the tasteless button mushrooms of the supermarket, which are the only 'real' or 'safe' mushrooms. Edible mushrooms outnumber poisonous by ten to one, although many that are edible are not especially desirable for one reason or another. I have recently picked my two favourite British mushrooms - shaggy parasol and puffball - yet no one else seems to have the slightest interest. There are probably around a dozen or so species growing in the river meadows, many too small to bother with eating, and some are an unexpected splash of colour when all the flowers have gone. Bright orangy-yellow rings of aptly-named 'yellow cow pat' [Bolbitius vitellinus]alternate with bright orangy-brown patches of another I don't know. Trees sprout amazing woody 'beefsteak' mushrooms and rotting logs are decorated with other examples of nature's recyclers. I guess it's not surprising in a culture where kids grow up not knowing what a potato looks like or how it's grown, nor that their chips and crisps are made from it.

Kerry will win. But. He won't be a lot better. Looking more reassuring that he hasn't lost his marbles from cocaine abuse, he will nevertheless not be a whole lot better for the environment, he won't sign Kyoto. I doubt if he'll realise that the 'international terrorist conspiracy' is a creation of the hard right conspiracy, or if he does whether he'll care. He won't pull out of Iraq. So it will be business as usual and whatever America does next will be whatever America does next. The purpose of this circus is to put on a show, both for American 'citizens' and the rest of the world. Simplistically it's to show that America isn't a dictatorship because 'the people' elect their 'leader', however imperfect the method. A lot of people get very excited by the spectacle of it, the circus comes to town, but afterwards when all the litter has been swept away, life will go on much as before. Hopefully Kerry won't get carried away to the extent of Bush and believe his decisions are always right because he is ordained by god to be the leader and therefore cannot make a bad decision. Considering that Bush's close aides testify to this, we may have had a close escape from a brush with armageddon. So enjoy the relief, but don't expect too much.

Monday 25 October 2004 - good job this isn't the US

I have my computer back again after failing to pick it up in time on Saturday due to a impressive rainstorm that flooded the road so that, as I approached the crossing with three bags in each hand, I was drenched by a massive arc of water thrown over me by the bipeds driving past far too fast and without a thought in their brains for anything but themselves, and unaware apparently that they were driving in water. If this had been the US I'd have shot their rear tyres out at the very least. After drying myself and putting on clean clothes I managed to get to the shop after it closed and was faced with a weekend without a computer! Pretty scary for an Intel junkie I can tell you. So I decided to rebuild an obsolete system I had stashed under a bed and spent the time happily fitting discs and trying to install Windows, which, thanks to Microsoft, wasn't the seamless process it ought to be by now, so I was kept busy but netless.

The river is now a brown, angry muscle or power sweeping all before it. After the recent heavy rain it's now up to the banks and the highest I've seen it, and is starting to dislodge trees growing close to the edge. A large willow is down and lying across the river, which now looks far too dangerous for the dogs to risk a dip. Since then it's rained heavily again and this will be apparent in a day or two as the run-off continues. If, as I expect, this is going to be a wet autumn and winter, we could be seeing more widespread flooding with large parts of the countryside under water. Perhaps farmers should be looking up the word hydroponics. I'm looking for a nice boat.

Bliar claims opening up the UK to US casinos is 'regulating the gambling laws'. So, black is the new white. Orwell got it so so right. Bliar is also trying to justify changing the law to allow the revelation of defendants previous convictions, thus making it really easy for the police to fit up anyone they decide is guilty no matter what evidence they can find or manufacture. The principal of past convictions having no relevance is thus thrown out the window, and very soon he will be deciding which cases don't warrant a jury trial but which would be better decided by three judges. More miscarriages of justice will follow and probably take as long as previous ones to be corrected - upwards of thirty years. Read an article maintaining Bliar is a neo-con at the weekend, the evidence points that way. His thinking processes seem to be as deranged and simplistic.

Seems the whole world is waiting in fear for Bush to be ditched, there will probably be a worldwide party when he is, although I'm not totally convinced that the neo-con conspiracy can be defeated by such a small thing as an election. Seems a lot of the computers are already malfunctioning [I know the feeling] and it might be that the result will be down to programmers this time. Seems voters can vote any time from now, but if the media get wind of developing trends that could influence later voters, so I wonder how they'll play it.

Wednesday 20 October 2004 - buying Britain by the yard

Plans by American organised crime [also known as US government] to turn the UK into an offshore tax haven/money laundering operation are well in hand and Bliar, clearly bought off in a big way, is now opening up the country to mega casinos in all major cities with newly relaxed gaming laws. Punters might just as well place their money in suitcases ready for despatch back to Las Vegas. Gambling addiction will rise and lives will be ruined, but that's a small price to pay for support of the US defiicit now running, thanks to Bush, at several billions. Interesting that plans for these casinos are already in the advanced stage despite the law change only just being announced. The justification is job creation, our future being that of r&r base in an unfriendly world where Americans can feel at home. We already have Macdonalds and Starbucks on every high street, so casinos was the obvious next step. They shouldn't rely on the friendliness of the natives however, there's been a distinct rise in anti-American sentiment, and things can only get worse. They'll make great targets for terrorist attack, but the money will be untouched in bomb-proof safes.

Despite the fact that Australia, since 'liberalising' it's gaming laws, has the highest number of problem gamblers in the world, government geeks still maintain it is a necessary modernisation to 'bring the UK into the 21st century'. Considering the amount of flooding we can expect for the 21st century, they'd better site them on high ground.

Our 'helping out' the US by lending them some real soldiers is still being maintained as a military or 'operational' move and nothing at all to do with the coming presidential election. The commons is demanding a vote and the government is refusing. Even those who supported the invasion are largely against it, and Vietnam is heard in comparison time and again. Those [including the Fool] who compared Iraq to Vietnam when it started were derided, presumably because there were no jungles in Iraq] but the similarities are becoming more obvious. I wonder how many more years of this non-war will continue. It's a wonder Bliar still wants to continue in office, still having to make decisions as his policies fall apart around him. Better surely to hand the mess over to someone else and retire to enjoy his wealth. Power has a strange attraction beyond reason.

Sunday 17 October 2004 - step this way folks, ignore the bodies

I hear coach parties of American geriatrics are touring Afghanistan ['this is one we trashed earlier], taking snaps of the burned out ruins and shell holes, and with the added whiff of adrenalin causing their hearts to beat a little faster and making them feel more alive. I remember a spoof TV ad from the eightees offering 'war-tours to conflict ravaged countries' for rich westerners. They were being ironic.

The US request for British troops to fill in so some of theirs can 'go trash Faluja and teach these upstart arabs a lesson once and for all' is clearly to prevent peace breaking out as soon as they have withdrawn, too clear a signal to the world that the very presence of the invaders is causing the violence. If those areas without troops started getting back to normal and rebuilding their community, the signal would be far too stark. So the forces have to be spread a little more thinly to keep up the pressure and further delay the pull out until it's all been set up properly as a US puppet regime with all angles covered. Perhaps they could use cardboard GI cut-outs stationed at strategic intervals to keep up the numbers at which locals could take pot shots.

I still have my suspicions about the whole rise of Islamic fundamentalism which is a phenomenon of recent years, in fact since the cold war subsided. Brings to mind 'Report from Iron Mountain' which purported to be an account of a secret US conference on the possible outcome of world disarmament and peace on the US economy. Its conclusion was that it would be disastrous and that the US needed an outside enemy to justify a massive arms business. Whether spoof or genuine is immaterial because the analysis was correct. The question now is, did the US decide on who its enemy would be back when it was supporting Afghan terrorism to weaken the Russians, and supporting Sadam to weaken Iran? Could the whole Osama deal have been developed and nurtured over the years to keep the people scared and willing to allow 'leaders' like Bush to indulge in war. Seeing that terrorism is a vague term which can be applied to diverse scenarios, but never to the thugs the US supports, or to Israel's car bombings, it can never be defeated and is thus the perfect candidate for 'enemy without' to justify ever more fascistic state powers.

Wednesday 13 October 2004 - survival of the fittest

The overprivileged, parasitic descendants of the medieval nasty-bastard class, the Lords, have been discussing things of radical importance recently [as usual]. The other night I heard them arguing for £10 million of taxpayers money to be spent 'conserving' the prefab huts of Shackleton and Scott in the Antarctic which are apparently still standing. They all thought it worthwhile spending the money of those who work for a living on such a monstrously idiotic idea because 'they were outstanding Englishmen who should be commemorated'. No matter that the likely visitors to these conserved relics would be minimal, so it would be conserving for another 100 years of battering by freezing winds and snow. If the idea was to bring them to a museum for a heritage display I would have thought it would cost somewhat less, although the bits of wood might disintegate when warmed up much in the manner of snow mummies. Then they moved on to fox hunting which they mostly support, of course, because they're on the whole rural inbreeds. They would probably rather hunt peasants or 'ethnics' if the truth were told.The reassuring thing is that when the meltdown comes, they'll have more to lose and it will be that much more traumatic - 'when you got nuthin, you got nuthin to lose' - and are totally incapable of survival without the wealth and power it gives them. Most couldn't even feed themselves once the pheasants were wiped out.

Have been looking at sites offering 'business opportunities' of one kind and another recently, many sites in English seem to have been written by non-English speakers, although they could be Americans, I suspect many are Chinese., the vast market already bursting onto the world stage. Forget bamboo. Multi Layer Marketing [MLM] seems to dominate, and it's so incestuous, A recommends B who recommends A's book which recommends V's course. All promising riches to the desperate. So many millionaires willing to share their secrets! I'm getting a feel for the genre; very long web page with variable type and colour, boxes and exclamation marks gallore, give some 'info babble' to keep 'em reading to the end, offer an amazing freebie to get an email address, and vague about what exactly is being offered, but lots of anecdotes along the lines of 'people say I'm crazy for giving all my secrets away' and 'I made 32,000 in my first week with this new system'. You'd have to resurrect your great grandparents to begin to make an impression. You start to get dizzy, it could be a form of American brainwashing. Sometimes it feels that all that's really on offer on the web is the idea of getting rich, and some are actually managing it by getting others to send them little bits of money eventually after 'subscribing' and getting freebies, in a global pyramid scheme. They all seem to believe in 'clicks' not just as a method of currency but as a holy grail everyone must aspire to. Obviously the desire to make thousands a week with a couple of hours work at the PC appeals to lots of people, or should I say punters. Simple fact is, the web can be a great place to extend your business, but the only business for someone without anything, is the 'info-product' business and that's mostly pyramids and much emailing people who have 'opted in' by giving out their email address in the hunt for some information about what it is they're selling. They even refer to it as viral marketing.

Monday 11 October 2004 - honest politicians, now there's a thought

Poor Ken didn't make it in the end. It looked like a possible with the Irish issue, but when it came down to it Bliar refused to do anything and the Americans did all they could to piss the kidnappers off, and possibly getting too close for comfort, so it all went pear-shaped. From the sound of the UK media [who had grown strangely silent on something that had been obsessing them daily, once his Irish ancestry was put forward as a possible salvation] you'd think the guy was a saint who had dedicated his life to helping the unfortunate in war zones, rather than someone making £1,000 a day for as long as it lasted [when Iraqis would have been glad of £10 a day]. I expect the pope to beatify him any day now, he's looking for new saints to fill up his book before tripping off to join his god, and it won't be long after that before he too is beatified. Catholics love their saints, and this pope has been going great guns to increase the massed ranks of halo-people, when all he really wants to do is sit in an armchair in an old folks home and shout at the TV from time to time.

The shots of Bush looking petulent while Kerry rubbished him are priceless. He can't control his facial expression any more than he can control his desire to send others to their deaths. As Kerry would be marginally preferable than a paper bag, I don't see there's a contest. Here, we have a slightly different problem, Bliar, despite all the lies, still looks preferably to a lot of people to Howard, who's attempts to rebrand himself a caring, honest Tory are bound to fail due to him being Thatchers Rottweiller back when the poll tax brought the revolting peasants onto the streets in large numbers. So his best bet is to appeal to the twenty somethings who binge drink and have no memory.

Bumper harvest of beech seeds [and many other trees] this year, and I've gathered a lot already, with more trips to the woods planned. I have a long way to go to catch up with Wangari Maathai, the 64-year-old Kenyan environmentalist who won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recently. She rose to international fame for campaigns against government-backed forest clearances in Kenya in the late 1980s and 1990s and is the first woman from Africa to be honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the founder of the Green Belt Movement, mainly with women members, which has planted some 30 million trees around Africa in a campaign to slow deforestation and erosion. She has been teargassed, threatened with death by anonymous callers, and once thrown into jail overnight for leading protests. Daniel arap Moi lost power in the 2002 elections when Maathai won a parliamentary seat for the opposition. Made assistant environment minister, but says forest clearances continue and has threatened to quit the government. 'It's a matter of life and death for this country,' Maathai once said of clearances. 'The Kenyan forests are facing extinction and it is a man-made problem.' So it'll be a while before I get a Nobel prize.

The second-hand submarine sold to the Canadian navy is back in port again, having failed even to make it home before breaking out in fire. Sounds like the exploits of a dodgy second-hand car salesman, although even then one expects to get the heap home before things begin to fall off. If they have any more to sell, I suggest they flog them off cheap to Al Qaida in a deal I'm sure Mark Thatcher could help with, disabling the radio first - 'lovely runner sir, one careful owner, full MoD, goes like a bomb if you'll pardon my French. Take her for a spin sir, go on'.

Thursday 7 October 2004 - open source or mega greed

For anyone who's had difficulty finding the Fool for a few days, apologies. The intro page lost its link to this page so anyone going via that route couldn't get here. My bookmark takes me right here, so I hadn't noticed until told [thanks Kas]. Having at long last downloaded and installed Mozilla, I'm impressed more than I expected, and recommend it both for web browser [Firefox] and email client [Thunderbird]. They are both free, very fast, have ample features I have yet to explore fully [but almost certainly more than the Microsoft alternatives], and while installing gathered all existing net data from my previous installations of Internet Explorer, Opera and Eudora including all mail and address books and made it available. The logo link on the left takes you to the Firefox part of the website, or go here where the Mozilla Open Source Project is fully explained with links to all component parts. Download of the install files is quick and install is painless. Open Source is the alternative to the Microsoft empire we should all be supporting and getting involved in.

China continues to piss me off and worry me in equal measure. I hate their attitude to animals, basically, if it wriggles, walks, swims, flies or runs, put it in the pot. They have already eaten several species to near extinction and are now importing from other Asian countries, putting their wildlife at risk. Their filthy practises where animals and humans mix, isn't free range as we know it, but it has certainly played a part in the development of the SARS virus which is now capable of human to human transmission and about to turn into an epidemic. If it were just the population of China at risk I would have no concerns, karma for eating dogs who live with the family until they decide to kill them, an act of such betrayal it makes my blood run cold to think about it. But with the amount of inter-continental travel these days, their epidemic becomes our pandemic. The latest 'normal' mutated flu vaccine has been hit this year and there's a question whether there'll be enough for the US, which gets its supplies from the UK where one of the production factories has been suspended for problems with the sterile environment. If this is how they cope with normal annual flu outbreaks, how they gonna hack it when SARS finally breaks out of Asia and sweeps round the world courtesy of subsidised, cut-price air travel?

Bliar has now fastened on Africa to change the subject, which of course will be a failure as no one is inclined to let him forget Iraq any more than Bushmonkey who has a limited time left. I believe Michael Moore, he's gonna get whipped, just as long as every American who gives a damn goes out and votes against him. In this instance I think even committed anarchists could be forgiven for changing habits of a lifetime. If only the UK could have an election to get rid of Bliar and then elect a labour government who'd have to get on with [perhaps] a Green prime minister. Now that would be an interesting situation. So, if he isn't chucked, it's the American people who are to blame, unless there's problems with the voting machines, all made [if my memory serves] by company close to members of the administration ... Ken Bigley is being sent his Irish passport, and should soon be on his way with a bit of luck. UK media barely mentioning it, like a group decision was made to lose interest once the Irish issue popped up. Bit sensitive that one.

Saturday 2 October 2004 - luck of the Irish

It seems hostage Ken Bigley could be spared once his Irish ancestry is clarified. It's reported that 'Bigley is in good shape and is being treated well by his captors' and is currently being held in a Baghdad suburb. 'The captors have asked for clarification of his Irish heritage…the captors clearly stated ... that they have no fight with the Irish people, but were unsure if he was an Irishman or English and are seeking clarification. 'The Irish have fought like us to wipe the stain of English Imperialism, murder and rape from their lands'.

Jerrry Adams has made an appeal for his release, unlike Bliar [which is probably helpful as any appeal from the oleaginous creep would probably be the kiss of death] and Sinn Fean have been in touch with Yasser Arafat who has also made an appeal for his release. No wonder the US has been doing all it could to prompt the execution of Bigley by bombing Faluja, targeting members of the group holding him but killing lots of children. They must hate the fact that the two Americans have been separated in the world's mind from the UK hostage, and executed without most of the world including the US being aware of it. The kidnappers have been playing the world media brilliantly, leaving politicians unable to compete and never knowing what they'll do next. Now the Irish aspect is being exploited, and the world knows full well how the Irish have suffered at the hands of the English state for centuries. Even part Irishness is enough to make a difference, but the message for any English is 'don't come here'. Both UK and US governments are resistant to leaving Iraq, citing the ongoing violence as a reason to stay, as if the withdrawel of foreign invaders wouldn't diminish the violence to a level that the Iraqi police could probably deal with. After all, with the invaders gone, few Iraqis would feel sympathy with foreign terrorists killing Iraqis, the stage would be open for Iraqis to sort out the mess themselves, with help from the international community when requested. The attitude that holds 'we have to stay there until we've defeated the terrorists [insurgents]' is racist and patronising as well as denying the role foreign troops play in instigating resistance.

Friday 1 October 2004 - dual of the nano brains

Couldn't bear an hour of Bushmonkey's uncomprehending, quizzical expression so didn't watch the dual between him and Kerry. Seems opinion puts Kerry on top [a paper bag could have achieved that], as if a TV debate is an adequate measure of ability to run a country the size of the US. There's little to choose between them, both have tight, priviledged mouths, used to getting their own way, family wealth beyond most people's comprehension and gained by highly dubious means as ever. The Bush family made theirs arming Hitler apparently, no wonder the US took so much time to step in on our side when most of Europe had been devastated and Britain was on its knees. And we're supposed to be eternally grateful for the loans of food and money which we had to pay back afterwards, unlike the vanquished, Germany, which got masses of US aid in return for its Nazi scientists and siting of military bases for future world domination. Some of us have been criticised in the past for being anti US, as if the only nation to drop atomic bombs on cities was being unfairly criticised. I have always taken it as a measure of a person's humanity that they are anti-American.

Today, a surgeon in London is in the enviable position of sticking a length of wire into Bliar's heart, going up from his thigh. What an opportunity, go on man, sneeze! No one would blame him. Most are dismayed at his assertion that he intends to do a third term no matter what, despite the Labour Party having lost tens of thousands of members over Iraq, leaving the conscienceless toadies who allowed him to survive the conference without a worry. They'll soon have less members than the LibDems who are showing promisingly in the polls and the recent bye election caused by the odious tart Mandy Mandelson skipping off to the EU for a swim in gravy.




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