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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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September 30 2008

American meltdown

Illustrating who really runs America, in the midst of the biggest crisis ever to hit American capitalism, all US financial institutions shut down for Jewish new year, where doubtless many prayers will be recited by the simple-minded to save their amassed fortunes, and the rest of the world waits. The armageddonistas will be expecting trumpets and heavenly host to descend to gather them all up to their daddy in the sky and those without money [the vast majority of humanity] will wonder what all the fuss is about.

And now this morning the internet has crashed and I can't even send an important work email, or open up the multiple browser tags I usually have open by now. Could it be deliberate to minimise speculation and panic? Or is it a result of the crisis? Will Google become shaky and get bought out by Microsoft, will the US government have to nationalise the net? Somehow I doubt it. But we do live in uncertain times, it seems the profligate spending spree of the last few decades has finally come to an end, and the silly idea that everyone could get rich, previously only held by netpreneurs of the MLM kind, had infected the housing markets in a surprising number of countries, banks across the developed world are crashing to the ground to be bought up by street sweepers and tramps [hobos] for the price of a bottle of wine, while the business suits flap about not knowing what to do, and adding to the sense of crisis with every word they utter. 'It's creeping financial socialism' one Republican no-brainer was heard to say, 'It's un-American'. There's a strange dichotomy here; the neo-cons say they believe in democracy, yet don't trust government to run things on behalf of the people and would prefer a Genghis Khan approach to social care, anything else they label socialist, on account that they can't even let the C word [communist] pass their lips in case their lord god strikes them dumb as he is, apparently, opposed to it. I reckon they're dumb enough already.

Something really beautiful for everyone to forget the world of humans for a while and enjoy the truthful, pure world of the wolf. This is the reason I hate that Palin creature so much. She murders these wonderful animals from a helicopter for sport.

This video is accompanied by Loreena McKennitt. You can hear more of Loreena here.

Here's something I just found 


September 28 2008

Never mind the quality feel the bandwidth

I've decided to remove all the comment email links which were only getting me spam anyway. I only started putting them in as most if not all other blogs seemed to have them - a few appearing to be more bulletin board than blog - so I thought maybe I should too. But I've been blogging for five years now and not felt the need up to now, which is why my blog, self created in Dreamweaver, isn't like the usual modern blogger blogs stuffed with stacks of icons for a load of things I have no knowledge of like diggit, floggit or buggerit. It seems that many see blogging as a kind of social networking, linking to other similar 'sites' being the most important aspect and comments posted along the lines of 'thanx for your link, I've added you to my favrits' kind of thing. Trivia gets passed around as if activity is an end in itself, no matter the content quality. I guess it's a question of age. They all seem to have the same lines of widgets like these...

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What do they do? Tower of Babel anyone?

The problem with the internet as I see it is its ability to cause you to spend hours in pointless wandering; reading a bit here, watching a video clip there, clicking links from links in links until, head reeling, you keep pressing the browser's back button until you recognise the place you started from, at which point you realise you just wasted three hours, remembering nothing. I keep asking myself 'what's it all for?' and I seldom can think of an answer. A huge amount of the activity I've witnessed has no real point at all; except as the expression of an individual's ego. There are, of course, many internets, they all interect and cross over, all running along the same telephone lines. There's the business internet where every business from a local shop to a multinational has to have their web presence; some as merely a shop window, others as a full-time online store. There's the academic net [the original one] dedicated to dissemination of information, scholarship and specialist news as well as easing communication between academics and institutions. There is also the porn net, probably the largest by all accounts, the teen chatroom net which also includes paedophiles and police hunting them, the political net, the techie net, the list goes on.

Some are just different ways of doing stuff that was once done elsewhere, others are the creation of the net itself; personal blogging is the major one. On one level it's fascinating to visit the world of a 'stay at home mom' in Arizona for whom Jesus is her best friend, a teenage Phillipino photographer and art student, a Chinese techie or a middle-class Afghan journalist, but I'm not sure what benefits really exist from this wholesale outpouring of personal worlds laid bare. If it were leading to a closer knit community of humans solving the problems that threaten our existance, it would clearly be a good thing, but I fear it's just a monumental tower of Babel and no real communication is happening, disharmony instead is the order of the day for homo sapiens. There's more than a touch of the 'Emperors new clothes' about the internet which was largely sold to everyone to boost sales of computers and software, and everyone now feels they have to have a blog, seeing as everyone they know has one... so now, rather than a diary/journal, a blog can be anything its owner thinks it is; a place to place endless long pages full of imported graphics of pink sparly fairies and other deplorable folk-art kitch, annimated banners galore, twinkling, sparkling, flashing, an endless parade of net-detritus created by armies of clicking teens blinking at screens when once they would have been outside, living a normal healthy life of physicality. How many now have online friends instead of real life friends?

On this day the American government in all its branches must decide on a deal to nationalize yet more banking institutions in order to stave off full blown recession. The delay has been because they must all say yeah to it so that none of them can point the finger when it comes unstuck and the voters get even more pissed off. Or just pissed as Americans say, which means drunk in Brit speak. They seem to be paralysed with fear as none of them really knows what to do, it could go either way, even the so called financial experts [who failed, however, to anticipate this] fail to agree what to do, so the world teeters on financial meltdown; the more money you have the more you have to lose and therefore worry about. 'When you got nuthin you got nuthin to lose' [Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone]. Enjoy. ;-)

It'll be hard for some, but not for all. There will certainly be a huge slowdown in international trade which will both put a lot of people out of work and benefit the environment. It will make it a lot easier to reach carbon reduction targets, especially with China being slowed down due to its world markets drying up. Isn't the Chinese sign for crisis the same as the one for opportunity? I seem to remember that from hippy daze. I wonder if there's going to be a Woody Guthrie appear for this great depression.

September 25 2008

Capitalism will eat itself

Having given their country's economy over to a bunch of crooks and gamblers, the US government seems willing to introduce socialism, baling out firms about to collapse with debt with taxpayers' money, estimated at in excess of $2,600 per woman, man and child in the country. And this from a Republican administration which sees any attempt to help individuals on hard times through no fault of their own as evil left wing interference. We are in panic times, no one knows if it will work to prevent the gathering storm of recession which threatens to engulf the world economy, or if it's just throwing taxpayers money into the pockets of the crooks that created the situation out of uncontrolled greed.

The American way of life [and those who wish to copy it] has been unsustainable for a long time, consuming everything including the planet, American capitalism is a voracious beast that had to keep on growing and abusing until the crunch came, there was no other way; the American way of death, but still they pretend it's a viable system - the only system according to most Americans - and ignore the fact that it's crumbling beneath them.

The rich are losing their paper fortunes daily, they are all panicked, which is no way to run an economy, but what else do you do when what your whole security is based on drains away and threatens your secure parasite status. One thing is certain, the environment is being damaged less; fuel prices force motorists to drive less, airlines to close and passenger numbers to drop, consumers to consume less resulting in less truck journeys to distribute the 'goods' that make them feel good. But what's really needed if the planet is to begin to recover from the terminal ecological spin it's in is for human numbers to reduce drastically, and signs are that the ecosystem is trying its hardest to bring that about; new mutated disease organisms threaten new pandemics and antibiotics become less and less effective due to overuse. The cull comes ever closer.

Meanwhile in the real world, a bumper harvest of wild food is there for the taking; nuts, fruit and mushrooms. I've already gathered a large pot of brambles [blackberries] and they're in the freezer for later in the winter when a taste of summer will be appreciated, but still the bushes are loaded and I'm tempted to collect more for a summer fruit pudding. I've picked some lovely shaggy parasol mushrooms, which few appear to recognise as one of our tastiest wild foods, they get kicked over if not picked as some people seem to think they are poisonous which just shows how far some have come from the natural world. Once people gathered nature's bounty but now a lot is left to rot, although the fruits and nuts still feed the wild birds and mammals who still know what food is.

shaggy parasol

September 16 2008

RSPCA acts for dogs! But what took so long?

The people who run the Kennel Club - who conduct the registration of all pedigree dogs in the UK as well as setting the standards for all breeds and running shows in which those standards are judged, the most famous being Crufts - appear to be a trifle arrogant at present, while coming under attack by the RSPCA who have withdrawn from Crufts for being complicit in a number of breeds having genetic problems which affect their health. That they are in charge of the standards is indisputable, that a number of breeds have serious health problems also, it seems to me, in indisputable, yet they are reporting the BBC to Ofcom for broadcasting a recent programme which by all accounts spelled out precisely that.

Their spokesperson is taking on all the media like a Rottweiller, but they could well be biting off more than they can chew; when presented with the evidence, Ofcom are unlikely to find in favour of the Kennel Club; German Shepherds were inbred so much for a long sloping back that they developed congenital spine problems and hip dysplasia; Bulldogs have breathing problems because the squashed nose and face have become excessive leading to blocking of nasal airways; a similar fate has befallen many Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. There are many more, not to mention the hairless dogs developed for some kind of pervert of wants something to cuddle that feels like a naked baby, work that one out. The Kennel Club say 'The primary objective of the Kennel Club is 'to promote in every way, the general improvement of dogs'. They don't go into exactly what they mean by 'improvement', or whether this is in any way for the dog's benefit.

It's only recently that mutilating dogs tails for fashion has come under attack and is to be banned; friendly Rottweillers and the other breeds which have had their tails amputated when puppies will be able once again to let other dogs know they are. Of course, they may lose their fierce reputation and become friendly dogs since they won't be met by dogs on alert because they haven't got the hallo I'm friendly message. What an abomination to deliberately cut off a dog's prime means of communication for no good medical reason. For that reason alone I have not watched the TV showing of Crufts [BBC] for many years. They may now be pulling it since the RSPCA have acted and they're being sued by the Kennel Club. Letters of support for abandoning the show to the BBC would seem to be in order.

There are so many dogs locked in rescue centres who desperately need homes, and buying a puppy specifically bred for profit seems to me to be wrong. It encourages uncontrolled breeding of dogs, many of whom end up in rescue centres or being euthanased. Whatever breed or type of dog you fancy having live with you, there are all of them at rescue centres, which span the country [and the world]. People must wake up to what the Kennel Club is all about, and that's not animal welfare. Most pedigree show dogs live totally unnatural lives, a lot of them in kennels until they are wanted for a show, when they are shampood and brushed and powdered and primped and preened for hours, then driven somewhere only to be brushed and fiddled with some more. Then they are paraded at a run round a ring, hung by the neck by a mincing handler who waants the dog to run on its toes, thus the half strangulation. For the dog it is an ordeal.

These weird people fund this activity and their lifestyle by selling puppies. A Crufts winner adds many pounds to the price, and impregnation of other females is the task of a male winner of top prize. Not only racehorses are 'put to stud'. This could be the only perk for the male.

The further dogs get from their genetic ancester the wolf, the more the chance of disease and deformity. The storngest, healthiest dogs are those whose body shape and weight are closest to the wolf or a wild dog, so those breeds between Huskies and German Shepherds and the hounds are generally healthy, they are also the working dogs and have been much less messed about with than the fashion accessory dogs favoured by the indolent metropolitan posers. If a wolf met a German Shepherd he would likely mate with it if it was the right gender, if he met a Chinese Crested or a Pomeranian, he'd probably eat it out of compassion.

Chinese Crested


September 12 2008

I've got the Energy

The energy companies have all had a good year. Despite all the publicity about the numbers of people in fuel poverty growing ever bigger, they have made record excessive profits and paid their shareholders [not people suffering fuel poverty or any kind of poverty] record dividends. This has incensed so many people that the government were pushed to make payments to help people pay fuel bills which have doubled in a year as all the fuel companies have increased their prices several times, and made a mockery of so-called choice whereby people can change their supplier, they just follow each other with price hikes.

Rather than impose a windfall tax on them, Gordon the Moron, ever conscious of who his friends are, has rejected that in favour of a scheme to help with the cost of loft insulation, ignoring [or ignorant of the fact] that the majority of houses have loft insulation already, there having been loads of schemes for decades whereby people over a certain age got it done for free as did anyone on a low income. So it's a con as usual from this government, spin spin spin and hope people are too stupid to notice. They aren't and they have. Brown's popularity is now slightly lower than toothache and the chance of him remaining in his job, or even as an MP, after the next election are slimmer than a gnat's urine stream.

Now today in the post we got a box of four energy-saving lightbulbs from British Gas, who supply us with gas but not electriciy. These will join the two that arrived a while ago from e-ON, another energy supplier [we aren't a customer of e-ON]. Our house has only had energy efficient bulbs for the last twenty years, and as these bulbs last for years, we have to wait for them to reach the end of their life before we can replace them, so I expect our stock of bulbs will grow as they are the easy option. This is all a scam to satisfy government targets on energy savings; easily done, doesn't cost them much and they can boast they are 'doing their bit for the environment', a trite phrase I have come to hate lately. Rather than invest in renewable energy, they would rather send a few, bulk-bought bulbs costing less than £2 each through the post. Which is why we don't buy our electricity from British Gas but from Good Energy who only supply renewable energy and don't indulge in gimmicks. Far from each of us 'doing our bit' for the environment, we should all be doing absolutely everything we possibly can to mitigate the effects our lifestyles have on the planet.

September 11 2008

The end of the world didn't happen - yet

So CERN is up and running with its particle accelerator, and despite the tabloids around the world forecasting a black hole would swallow up the Earth and all of us with it, it didn't yet. That didn't stop a teenager in India from committing suicide at the thought of being sucked into a black hole. For £5 billion all they got was a dot on a screen, much like the dot that used to appear on old black and white TVs when you switched them off. We have it on good authority though that this dot was caused by subatomic particle being speeded round an 18 mile long tube at almost the speed of light, but we have only their word for that. They haven't got as far as sending two beams in opposite directions yet, which may or may not result in a black hole in Switzerland when they get to that.

This is all so that theoretical physicists can attempt to create new particles which will shed some light on their fictional accounts of how stuff works. It's very doubtful it will solve anything. Trying to imagine how the universe works while we kill the planet we live on isn't exactly a good use of resources, and perhaps the funds could have been spent more productively investigating how to recapture all the carbon we've dumped in the environment. It's time theoretical physics was relegated to history along with all the other theories such as the sun revolves round the Earth [I know some Muslims still think this, but rational people know better]. It has no relevance or usefullness to homo sapiens as we near the end of our tenure as a species on this planet which we have systematically trashed in our quest for mastery, riches, fat bellies, and fast cars to play with.

We'll doubtless keep fighting right up to the end time, in fact it will probably increase as we compete over water, food and other essentials for life, the religious half brains will get more and more insane as it slowly dawns on them that the end time really is coming, but, rather than trumpets heralding their ascent to heaven with the heavenly host, it's more likely to be wet and muddy with starvation and random killing the order of the day.

And still, right up to the last gasp, some will still be denying that global warming exists or, if it does, that we had anything to do with it.

September 8 2008

How it is to be unpopular - the natural state of government?

I don't know what it is about politicians, but they seem singularly unaware of the normal everyday concerns of ordinary people. Perhaps it's a result of inhabiting the rarified atmosphere of Westminster which disconnects them, the longer they are there, the less they appear to be in touch. When they meet ordinary people, rather than listening to them, they prefer to lecture, and the closest they can manage is posing 'as if' listening, but failing to take anything in. Wallowing in a political correctness soup, where multiculturalism is still seen as desirable, once MPs have got into government, they are immune to learning anything, presumably as a result of the overwhelming arrogance that is the concomitant to power acquisition.

The problem for them when they get so out of touch is that everything they try makes them less popular with the electorate on which all their jobs depend, rather than more popular, and this is the current situation in the UK. When you thought Brown couldn't possibly become more unpopular, his rating sinks lower. And yet, the party seems incapable of acting, frozen in the headlights like a rabbit on the road, refusing to accept that they have to get rid of him quickly before the run up to the next election when it will be too late to act. Instead, he will lead them to a historic defeat leading to untold more years in the wilderness of opposition, and crucially, with many of them losing their well-paid and undemanding jobs.

If I were employed as an advisor, and given I wanted to help them remain in power, I would advise them to drop immigration as a means of keeping a so-called 'boyant economy' by importing cheap labour, and set out to remodel the UK for the future; rehousing people living in flood plains, seriously addressing the problem of illegal immigrants, and closing off all channels to immigrants from outside the EU, downsizing expectations and working to protect the infrastructure from what is to come. Regulation of energy companies' excess profits should be tackled with a windfall tax and limits to price rises, and a personal carbon allowance introduced for everyone, which would allow a trickle up of wealth from the worst polluters to the least as people who limit their driving sold carbon credits to excessive drivers who just won't cut down.

There have to be multiple ways of addressing climate change, no one method will achieve what is needed. As well as cutting energy use with insulation and efficiency measures, providing power increasingly from renewables and abandoning any idea that nuclear power can ever contribute to reducing carbon, a move to support and encourage the hemp industry could make a significant contribution as hemp, apart from being the fastest growing plant, produces fibres which can be processed into a wide range of uses, from clothes to furniture and even houses. The use of this fibre locks away carbon from the environment for decades if not hundreds of years, think how long canvas lasts, and a major program of hemp growing – encouraging farmers to switch from high-greenhouse-gas-production meat rearing to greenhouse gas removal, planting on marginal land unsuitable for most crops, putting money into stimulating hemp fibre processing – would make a substantial contribution to meeting our targets for carbon reduction. If they weren't so hung up on cannabis, they would act, but such is the ludicrous moral panic over cannabis that it's unlikely to happen any time soon and a golden opportunity will have been missed. That hemp also provides seed for oil production as well as fixing nitrogen in poor soil and improving soil quality, and provides long-lasting fibres which can be made into fabrics and clothes that last [the original jeans were made from hemp] and which would reduce reliance on and import of cotton, which uses massive amounts of pesticides and herbicides as well as fuel to transport it, surely makes the argument for its widespread growing unarguable.

If they at the same time legalised cannabis and stopped the disgraceful targetting of people who use it recreationally of their own, adult, choice, they would make a big difference to their popularity while upsetting only a tiny minority who have a vitriolic anti-cannabis agenda but with no proof of harm. In short, they all need to lighten up, stop thinking they are the people's nanny and/or leader, and start listening to ordinary people rather than the pressure groups who routinely have their ear. But Brown lighten up? Doesn't sound likely.

People can understand growing trees to remove carbon, but not hemp. But hemp is faster growing than even young pine trees and thus extracts more carbon from the atmosphere annually. So-called bio-fuel crops take carbon out only to return it almost immediately, and their only net gain is from the fossil fuel they save from being used. Hemp removes carbon which is then locked away rather than burnt.

September 3 2008

Be very scared

Just in case any Americans were thinking a warmongering, ex-Vietnam murderer was just the ticket for president, he chooses a gun-totin', creationist prairie bunny for VP, making McCain's the most dangerous bid for the top job since... well, Bush. But it's worse than that; not only is Palin a vociferous member of the hate-filled, right-wing gun lobby, she's also a climate change doubter and in her time as governer of Alaska has aided and abeted oil drilling in some of the most ecologically sensitive areas of that state, sacrificing polar bears, beluga whales, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the oil companies' profits, and has made it legal again to murder wolves from aircraft. This is one evil, toxic bitch. Anyone with slight worries about a president who may wake up from a Vietnam flashback and start a nuclear war, should be very scared that if he suddenly died [he's 72 and doesn't look well] this vicious, misogynistic fascist could become president. Then the world really would have cause for concern.

Watching with scary fascination the republicans making their rousing speeches, I was struck by how many really vicious, contorted, unpleasant faces there were; really screwed up people, even when among their own they look like they're about to bite someone in the neck, no wonder they cheered the toxic bitch with such enthusiasm, one of their own. This party of the wierd and deranged makes the Nazis look tame. It would be good if they were all to be euthanased; put them out of their obvious misery, and allow the rest of the world to relax and get on with facing the very real problems of our world.

Our blackbird has returned! Having been gone for over a month, he's suddenly there this morning, waiting in his patient way for me to put raisins and meal worms out. It was so nice to see him, and to see him unafraid as ever, so he hasn't forgotten me. This time of year is one of plenty in the countryside with fruit ripening on the trees and bushes and an overabundance of insect life, but Aderyn Dhu clearly values the worms and raisins, a bird with sophisticated taste!

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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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