I've just discovered a major new musical talent, a singer/songwriter with a depth of emotional range that brings to mind Tim Buckley, and I'm bowled over. The name is Reuben McKenna, make a note, you'll be hearing a lot more of him in the future. So far he hasn't got a recording contract, which can only be a huge oversight on behalf of the music industry. You can hear some tracks on Reuben's myspace at http://www.myspace.com/reubenmckenna and buy his first CD which is bound to be a collector's item one day and is absolutely superb. He's a multi intrumentalist as well as a fine songwriter, and has an impressive, emotionally strong voice. There aren't too many singers who make my scalp tingle on first hearing, Reuben is certainly one of them.
Play a track .
Now for something completely different. Inspiration of a kind rarely found on the internet, a beautiful experience like no other. I was just given this link and simply had to pass it on. If you can, pass it on to all your friends, eventually, everyone will then see this and be inspired and perhaps then humans will begin to understand what life is all about and their place in it. Go to www.ashesandsnow.org have your speakers on, and be prepared to be inspired. Explore gently with your mouse.
The controversy rages on over the place [and behaviour] of Muslims in a secular western democracy, and is unlikely to resolve in the near future. Having got us into this mess, the creed of multiculturalism is yet to be abandoned by all, and there are still too many clinging to it, unwilling to admit they have been wrong for decades. It's most vociferous defenders are Muslims, it fitted in well with their attitude of arrogance and religious superiority, and they are still trying to bully the rest of society into accepting everything they demand. The current focus of attention is a shrill, masked, 22 year old teaching assistant, a position lower than dinner lady in the educational pecking order, who seems to think it is us who have to integrate with her misogynist view of the world, rather than she with liberal democracy. Teaching assistants are unskilled, unqualified helpers, there to take the menial workload from teachers so they can get on and teach. They are not teachers, have had no teacher training and have nothing to contribute to teaching practice or classroom behaviour. They are dispensable. This young woman, hiding behind her mask of anonymity, having grabbed the limelight, is unwilling to let go, and is now contemplating an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, where I think she'll get short shrift as Europe is at last waking up to the threat Muslims pose to our long fought for freedoms. She needs slapping down, sacking from her unskilled job and firmly put in her place. The joke is that she wouldn't have even had a job if the Muslim kids in the school had been taught already to speak English, she was employed to translate for them.
The overall view of the public, of all races not just whites, is extreme irritation with the attitude of many Muslims, and if this irritation is not to turn to anger and then rage, it needs to be sorted soon and without the hesitant attitude too many politicians still have to 'upsetting Muslims'. This only encourages them to think they are special and deserve special treatment. Having suffered religious wars a long time ago, our society would be stupid in the extreme to allow religion to become anything but a private affair ever again. A secular society is the only way, as many Muslim countries have also decided [Turkey, Algeria to name but two] and if anyone is unhappy with that, they can be encouraged to move to Saudi Arabia where I'm sure they will be much happier among the limb amputees and religious police.
The latest news from NASA isn't good. For the first time NASA scientists have analyzed data from direct, detailed satellite measurements to show that ice losses now far surpass ice gains in the shrinking Greenland ice sheet. Using a novel technique that reveals regional changes in the weight of the massive ice sheet across the entire continent, scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., report that Greenland's low coastal regions lost 155 gigatons (41 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2003 and 2005 from excess melting and icebergs, while the high-elevation interior gained 54 gigatons (14 cubic miles) annually from excess snowfall. More
That means 27 cubic miles of ice are disappearing every year, and we've only just started on the global warming curve so far.
For sure the water isn't going to Australia, where one Australian farmer commits suicide every four days, defeated by the country's worst drought in 100 years which has left them with dust-bowl paddocks and a mountain of debt. The drought, now in its sixth year, shows no sign of ending with 92 percent of economically dominant New South Wales state in drought. More
Meanwhile, some people seem hell bent on adding to the destruction of the Earth's ecosystem, the haze caused by forest fires that have raged for weeks in Indonesia, spreading smoke across much of Southeast Asia continues to add to the carbon in the atmosphere as well as removing trees, one of our hopes of reversing climate change. Indonesia's neighbours have grown increasingly frustrated over the fires, most of which are deliberately lit by farmers as well as by timber and palm oil plantation owners. More
And the Canadian government, which dislikes the Kyoto protocol on climate change, unveiled legislation on Thursday to cap greenhouse gas emissions by major polluters, but not until sometime between 2020 and 2025 at the earliest, by which time we'll be well past the point of no return and even Canada could be experiencing unwelcome climate disruption. Too slow, the giant Titanic supertanker of fossil fuel consumption shows no sign of even slowing down yet, as the iceberg of catastrophe looms ever nearer.
I know people pay for their children to go to Eton, but in the long run it pays dividends [as virtually everything the rich do] for their offspring, talented or not. Huge Fernleaf Whitteringstalk was a non academic young sprog who clearly liked the tuckshop more than anything else, so thought he would become a famous cook and spend his life eating. Arriving on tele with a fully fledged series out of nowhere, he proceded to show the oiks how to cook every small animal one could find in the British countryside, while pretending to be living in a little rundown cottage miles from anywhere on his own except for a TV outside broadcast unit. He regaled anyone who would remain tuned in that it was fun to trap small furry things and bake them in clay with a drizzle of olive oil and some port, and built a reputation of sorts as 'the man who would eat anything'. No one outside of the inner sanctums of the TV world knows how he pulled off this coup, it took Jamie Oliver years to get himself noticed and he had to cultivate a right cockney accent to pull it off, but with Huge it was easy. He grew pudgier and pudgier, until at last the series came to a natural end, after he'd completely renovated the cottage, which was probably on daddy's estate anyway. This was all supposed to be DIY.
Now the jammy bugger has been appointed as the Guardian's food writer, a coveted post where for a few throw away recipes for scorching bits of flesh a week he is paid a salary which would make highly skilled engineers weep. That his doodlings probably instantly end up in the majority of Guardian readers' recycling bins has no bearing on this lucky lad's rise to pampered parasitism. He was a year ahead [or was it behind?] at Eton to the present leader of the Tory party, the Boy David Cameroon. Of course the classless Guardian employed him on merit.
Unborn babies will be relieved to hear that if they were to die before a catholic priest gets his sweaty hands on them and pours water over their heads they won't be consigned to Limbo any more. Ratzinger, who was in charge of moving paedophile priest around the world to escape prosecution and generally covering up before he rose to CEO of the Rome mafia, is about to issue a statement that Limbo has been officially abolished. This doesn't mean the catholic church and all previous popes were wrong mind you [they are all infallible even when supporting the Nazis], it just means the church has moved into the eighteenth century, unlike Islam which is still stuck in the eighth.
Funny how Muslims always protest they are peaceful and nothing to do with fundamentalist terrorists, yet something mildly critical like this is vociferously defended as a Muslim woman's right to choose to look like a postbox. Actually it's more a Muslim man's right to force his woman to cover up so no other man can see her and if it was anything to do with Islam the men also would be wearing traditional tribal dress, whereas they most often seem to be wearing jeans and Nike trainers. The reason why people in Britain resent this enslavement of women so much is because women fought long and hard for emancipation, some of them even dying on hunger strike in prison, and they'd turn in their graves at this if that were remotely possible.
I sense a turning point in the acceptance of the deranged creed of multiculturalism. Jack Straw, a government minister and hardly someone to shoot his mouth off without careful thought, has let fly at the habit of wearing a face mask that some Muslim women are forced by their husbands to wear, and opened up a hornets nest of discussion in the country as a result. As usual, Muslims are protesting loudly and vehemently, as can be expected, their tactics are always to shout down reasonable voices and if that fails to start issuing threats.
The British public, as with the populations of other European states that have had to endure Muslim immigration recently, often from extremely backward cultures, has had enough and Straw's remarks are but a sign he has seen the writing on the wall. Muslims bleat on about their human rights [they learned that from us, what are the human rights of an amputee or someone stoned to death?], while ignoring the idea of women's human rights. The all over mask is the preserve of a very few Muslims, yet if it is criticised they unite with one voice to condemn out of hand the critics as Islamophobes.
But there is a rising tide of Islamophobia, I wonder why. We have had successive waves of immigrants to this country and all, despite in the early days experiencing a degree of racism from the ignorant, have integrated into our society. Not so Muslims. They of all immigrants wish to remain separate from the rest of us, benefit from living here, yet ignoring our laws and customs, which they miss no opportunity to criticise and denigrate as if they are superior. They call our women whores and our men drunks and homosexuals [they are especially homophobic], and openly state that they plan an Islamic republic for the UK. That this is a ludicrous idea just doesn't occur to them. They have never been put in their place, they come with arrogance and it has been encouraged by the PC luvvies who have for too long dictated the multicultural agenda which was for too long beyond criticism, to do so was labeled racist. A basic confusion between race and culture. We are supposed to put up with the attitude of Muslims, give in to their bullying and hectoring, and allow them to do what they like, including marrying off their young daughters to foreign cousins to bring yet more ignorant, superstitious peasants into the country to further swell their numbers. If criticised for being violent, they threaten violence. On the same day as the Straw story broke, a Bangladeshi teenager was convicted of setting fire to a house where a 6 year old girl died. This they call honour.
People have had enough. There is a backlash starting which, if politicians don't satisfy and defuse, could result in a bloodbath the likes of which no one has seen in the UK, but which is all too common in the countries many of them come from. But they are in a minority here, a tiny minority, and many good Muslims will suffer along with the fanatics. For too long we have tolerated the likes of Abu Hamsa and his ilk, living here on benefits and lecturing hate for the British. We have seen the results in the London bombings already. Either Muslims become a part of Britain, become British, or there will be trouble.
Europe is already moving in the right direction, but the UK has been a bit slow in catching on to the necessity of reigning in the fanatics and telling them in no uncertain terms, become British or get out. By the second generation, most immigrants are integrated. But with Muslims, the third generation become suicide bombers. Unless we act now there will be more such outrages, and more resentment and Islamophobia. And all because of a deranged idea that there's a personal god and he [always a he] is revealed to this or that 'faith'. Throughout history wars have been fought between religions, in Bertrand Russels words, 'to die for one's faith is to put a high price on conjecture'. He had a way with words did Bertrand.
PARIS - A satellite has detected record losses of ozone over Antarctica this year, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Monday, further damaging the shield that protects the Earth from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays.
In the past decade, the level of ozone in the Earth's atmosphere has fallen by about 0.3 percent, increasing the risk of skin cancer, cataracts and harm to marine life. More So anyone thinking the ozone holes had gone away are mistaken. Yet another feed into the global warming equation; more UV getting through the ozone layer, more energy hitting the oceans, more heat. As scientists investigating climate change are constantly revising their estimates upwards, it's leaving politicians who thought they were ahead of the game increasingly trying to catch up. As most politicians have no idea how to act proactively, this doesn't hold much hope that anything will be done soon enough to effect changes necessary to prevent the world sliding into oblivion. The more foreward thinking politicos are only just starting to take it seriously [viz David Cameron, Al Gore et al] and have barely grasped the enormity of what is going down yet. And they are our best hope so far! Some people think I'm a pessimist.
Having dropped my wife off at the bus station in Hereford, I stopped off with the dogs at Queenswood Country Park, a delightful wooded area straddling several hills only a couple of miles from Leominster where I live. As well as being a beautiful natural oak forest, it's an arboretum with many fine trees from around the world. As we walked the sound of rustling and plopping signalled tree seeds falling [lots of acorns and conkers lying shiny and inviting on the ground reminding me of their allure when I was a child], a sure sign autumn is at last on the way, being late this year for some reason. Only a few trees are starting to turn yet, but I shall visit frequently and catch the glorious autumnal rush of reds and golds with my camera; I never go anywhere without it. At present, there's still more green in the wood.
But some, like this young Japanese Maple, have turned already.
David Cameron, shiny new Tory leader, has joined the blogoshere with a shiny new blog here and even has a button other bloggers can use to direct people to his blog:
It's early days for the boy David's blog, in beta as they say, in fact they say Please be aware that this site is a beta version: this means we are doing some testing & fixing, and some features aren't yet live ...
in fact, a lot of features aren't yet live, but I shall report on it as it grows in strength, and David grows in confidence. I do hope he does more than just record short video snippets though, some serious comment, aka writing, wouldn't go amiss.
I heard politicians referred to as opinion leaders the other day, made me laugh. What they generally do is follow opinion of course, and David, bless him, is only a few years behind with blogging, having learned that bloggers are the new opinion leaders, or at least reflect what opinion is out there in non-political-land, the place where ordinary people with jobs live and work. In common with prostitutes, politicians are desperately eager to please their clients, largely because their income depends on it. Where else would anyone make that sort of money merely by expressing an opinion? Certainly not in blogging.
David's blog is so far more a video blog, or webcam-eron than a 'proper' blog. His first attempt was amusing and human, mostly because of the interruptions from one of his children, kids are no respectors of time and place or politics, and it did come across as pretty normal, although how much washing up David has actually done seems doubted by many of the cynical posters. But his inclusion of John McCain is a downer, seeing as how McCain was fooled by Bush into supporting the illegal war against Iraq [oh, just like the Tory party], and is a stalwart of the US military system and somehow sees no conflict with it and global warming, of which he has become a latter-day champion.
Fool on the Hill
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