Upside to Islam.

The ICU (Islamic Courts Union) took over in Somalia and imposed sharia law with punishments which include amputations and/or executions for piracy. For the last fifteen years, when the last effective government collapsed, there has been a lot of pirate activity. Sea captains were advised not to come within a hundred miles of the Somalia coast for fear of pirates since the American liner Seabourn Spirit was attacked less than a year ago. Between March and July this year forty attacks were reported. There have been none since.
Where does this leave the argument that capital punishment is no deterent?

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Published in: on October 24, 2006 at 6:41 pm  Comments (2)  

Homophobia.

Back in the days of the Hollywood film star homosexuals stayed firmly in the closet. Louis B. Mayer, the boss of MGM, had a cunning plan to discover who among his stars was queer. Near to the studio he opened a brothel and made no secret of the fact that if any of the batchelor staff did not make regular visits they would be sacked.
Things have changed in the USA since those days and even the Republicans have back-pedalled on this. Maybe it is because a senior Republican congressman was caught attempting to seduce under-aged young men and vice president Dick Chesney has a lesbian daughter.

Published in: on October 24, 2006 at 6:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Old Folk and the N.H.S.

 

The government has a tricky job in trying to sort out priorities in the way the Health Service spends its cash allocation.It seems to think it is the right action to take to spend £1.5 thousand million on management consultants.  Maybe they are worth their pay.  The Government says that this is cost effective but paying £2.50 per day on a drug to slow down the effects of Alzheimer’s is not.  There has been an increase in the prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs with serious side effects to troublesome elderly patients suffering from dementia.  This sedates the patients which covers up the shortage of properly trained staff to care for them.  Our politicians should think ahead on this problem which is quite common in many geriatric wards and private care homes.  One day they may need the services offered by these establishments.  They should do something about it now.  Nobody will take any notice of them when they are inmates. 

Published in: on October 23, 2006 at 5:46 pm  Comments (1)  

Olympics (2012)

As a Londoner I am expected to pay extra Council Tax for the privilege of having the games hosted in London.  As a pensioner I think this is unfair.  Many pensioners won’t be around when the games are played.  Will the organizers have a two minutes’ silence to remember all the folks who died after paying for this spectacle?

What is the point of the Olympic Games?  They are not sports in the true sense of the word.  The athletes are professionals.  They compete in these events for money. Some of them cheat and whine when they are caught and banned for taking drugs. Their training is subsidized by the tax payers.  Even with some of the best facilities in the world the British athletes are not very good and yet they want celebrity status.  This is encouraged by the manufacturers of sportswear.  The British team receives fewer medals than many poorer nations.

If the games were amateur then maybe the general public would not mind donating something towards them.  As professionals they should be self supporting.  Gate money to watch is fair enough; the rest should come through TV coverage and sponsorship as is done for football and other “professional sports”.

Professional athletes are spoilt.  The winning man and woman of the London Marathon receive $55,000 each when most of the true sports people run for charity and so pay for running.  There is something wrong here.

On the lighter side it is funny when you see all our obese citizens wearing track-suits and trainer shoes with the prominently shown sporting logos.

Published in: on October 20, 2006 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rubbish.

The nation is up in arms because local councils are expected to make collections of rubbish fortnightly starting during the autumn or winter months. The councils’ hope that we will be used to these collection times by the time the weather warms up and the rubbish begins to stink.  A lot of waste is due to the large amounts of packaging used by supermarkets that transport the goods enormous distances and need extra packaging to stop them from being damaged. If these supermarkets were penalized for using so much packaging this would help reduce the problem. Perhaps if they sold more local produce the necessity for all of the extra packaging would be removed.  In
Ireland they have helped solve this problem by putting a tax on plastic bags; this has stopped 90% of their use and so has reduced the amount off rubbish placed in Irish waste bins.  Surely
England could do the same.

Published in: on October 19, 2006 at 5:50 pm  Comments (2)  

Flat Daddies

The American army is issuing life size cardboard cut-outs of the soldiers to their families.  These can be placed in various places such as at the dining table at meal times which is said to boost the moral of the children.  Some states are also giving away flat mommies.  Sounds a bit spookey to me.  Please don’t let this idea catch on in England.

Published in: on October 16, 2006 at 5:46 pm  Comments (2)  

Tories.

10:26 16/10/2006                 David Cameron’s standing ovation at the recent Tory Conference really surprised me.  In fact the whole thing left me with a strange feeling that I haven’t experienced since listening to fairy tales whilst sitting on my grandmother’s knee. 
I had always thought of Conservatives as believing in:- low taxes, not spending too much on the National Health Service, hetrosexual marriage and that our present Labour Prime Minister is a disaster.
It appears that I was wrong.  Young Dave told his followers that: we should not insist on tax cuts, the NHS is a “symbol of social solidarity”, gay marriage is a good thing and Tony Blair deserves credit. This gave him the standing ovation!
Glancing around the audience, as shown on TV, I hardly recognised the Tory faithful;  most were under 50, there appeared to be more women than men and there was a good mixture of ethnic (ie brown/black) faces.  This scene, it seemed to me was designed by advertising executives.  When the cameras moved around to the more usual conservative figures, I thought, they looked very ill at ease.
To get elected they must banish Redwood , Tebitt and their ilk from public view.  They must not emphasize tax cuts, getting out of the EU, clamping down on immegration and so on.
They say that the NHS is top priority but if you believe that it will not be among the first things they cut back on, I think time will prove you wrong.

Published in: on October 16, 2006 at 5:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cool Earth.

Johan Eliasch, a buisnessman, has purchased 400,000 acres of Brazilian Rain Forest for £8 million in order to preserve it.  Frank Field, a Labour MP got in touch with Mr Eliasch and now they have set up a scheme called “Cool Earth”.  This allows members of the public to buy small plots of rain forest and ban loggers from cutting down the trees.

The scheme will be launched over the next three months.  I am pleased to think that there are people about who care enough to implement such a scheme and have the  foresight to help save the planet. 

Published in: on October 15, 2006 at 11:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Bad Laws.

Somebody steals £50 from me and is tracked down by the police and taken to court and fined £50.  The thief can pay the fine with my £50 so he is no worse off.  I am fifty quid down and the court is fifty quid up.  Is that what we call justice!   There must be something wrong here.

Published in: on October 14, 2006 at 10:53 pm  Comments (2)  

Equality.

I don’t know what to make of the new legislation on “Employment Equality (age) Regulations”.  These rules make it illegal to discriminate against people because of their age.  Quite right and about time too.  It is forty years since we had the same thing for race equality.  So it is right that the old folk who have done so much for the old “Green and Pleasant” should have equal rights with all our other citizens.

However, do we really want to work over the age of sixty five?  I’m afraid that the older workers will be made to feel guilty if they want to pack up and take their pensions.  We oldies worked hard to get better working conditions and shorter working weeks.  The youngsters have given all this away and seem quite happy to work Sundays, Bank Holidays and so on.

I expect this law will provide lots of lucrative work for the lawyers.  The employers will try very hard in future to keep the senior staff working as many young people are unemployable.  A third of large companies in England have to send new staff to special training classes in order to get their basic reading, writing and arithmetic up to an acceptable level.  So it seems that old people will have an obligation to work until they drop.  Do they really want equal rights?  I doubt it.  I think that like most minority groups they do not want equality, they want privelege;  but unlike most minority groups they have earned the right to privilege.

Published in: on October 12, 2006 at 10:10 pm  Comments (2)