Friday, January 24, 2014

Where to find Nourishing Obscurity

1.  This was the site from 2006 until 2009:

2.  From 2009 until 2013,the site was at:

3.  In 2013/14, the site was briefly at:

4.  Since January, 2014, the site is back to:

... but in a different format and with a new host.

There are no plans to change this in the foreseeable.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

EU - it's the lies more than the issue itself

As Nigel Farage says in the clip in the sidebar, regarding Heseltine, he was one of those 40 years ago who lied to the British public.

The lie at that time was that we were only joining the EEC as a trade organization.  As the other major European nations were going to be doing this, The UK felt it should get in and become part of and maybe even defend or dominate - whatever.

That's how it was presented to the public and a referendum was put in which people affirmed they wanted to be part of that.

Maastricht and sundry other events such as Lisbon showed clearly though there had been no intention ever at leaving it at that.  The Club of Rome was behind the whole push and that contained many of the worst elements of the German old family elite, the same ones who had enabled Hitler.

The Germans' purpose became clear - to dominate Europe and assist in the dismantling of the UK, in particular dismantling England as a unit and turning it into 9 regions of the EU, along with Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

They tried it on with Regional Assemblies through the Labour government, they've tried it on with funding of the English regions, e.g. Yorkshire Forward and the SWRDA.  It's exactly the same thing as the EBRD in Russia and the club of Paris money there.

There is lying being done at every level and what is abundantly obvious to observers is that up to 80% of legislation now is emanating from the unelected EU and a small band of unelected officials.   The British public have had no say in this at all post-referendum.

Now that withdrawal is a very real possibility, the lies are coming thick and fast from those wishing to remain in this body which is costing the British taxpayer billions.

1.  That we can't trade with anyone from outside the union.

What utter bollox.  Are Mercedes going to cease trading with us, are the countries we're in a trade surplus situation with going to stop trading?   Of course they're not.  That's at least something the socialists concede - that trade has no conscience.   It will happen regardless of who's in which union, just as it does happen worldwide in all those countries not within the EU.

2.  It will cost billions to withdraw.

Again, utter bollox.  It will initially cost for the legalities to be concluded but what it saves in billions in perpetuity is beyond reckoning.   While the UK is being ravaged by its own government at the behest of the EU, it is still one of the strongest nations in the world for GDP - it's not quite third world yet.

3.  It would hurt business.

Only the largest corporations are saying this, themselves global and therefore not ploughing back into the country, themselves avoiding tax.  For medium to small business, the raft of regulations governing them, along with local government greed, is crippling growth and you can see it in every boarded up shop window on the high street.

Leaving the EU is the first step to freeing up those businesses.

4.  There is no mechanism, it's too complex to do.

Rubbish.  It will be done through Article 50 of the EU scripture and is quite straightforward, backed by legal precedent within the country stemming from 1689 and beyond.   The number of pundits who are imagining all sorts of complications are missing the point - this is the EU rhetoric they are quoting, EU law, not British law.  Under our laws, it is quite possible and can be done at any time, unilaterally.

5.  We will become deeply unpopular in Europe.

And are we popular now?   Why make empty noises about leaving and indulge in chest thumping, which does make us unpopular, when we should simply either leave or not.  One or the other.  And that can be best determined by an in-out referendum on it.  Why are they refusing, prevaricating, kicking and screaming about this?

6.  The EU is Europe

No it's not.  As those countries which voted No said, the EU was simply an imposition forced on the various nations who happened, geographically, to be in Europe.   Europe is Europe and each nation in it has a long history of relations with us.

The EU is a parasitic body imposed by the Club of Rome upon an unsuspecting mass of people of the various nations.  Europe is not synonymous with EU.

This is one of the worst lies.  Anyone opposing the EU is met with the rejoinder: "Why do you hate Europe?"   The two are separate things, separate issues.  One can easily love Europe and despise the EU and its undemocratic bunch of crims at the top.

There are two fundamental issues underlying all this.   One is that our nation has the right of self-determination, not dictated to by other nations.   The other is that the EU is a lie, put to the people fraudulently and many of those criminals are still in Westminster, still doing their worst.

Site down again

This is May 22nd and the main site has gone again.  Usual thing I suppose.  Let's call it a hiatus until later today.  There'll be a post at OoL at 10 a.m.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Main site is down again in an annoying way.  Friends report that it's coming up on their screens but it won't load at all here on any browser and that goes for the host's sites too.  There are some posts scheduled today and they'll no doubt go up but once they've been up and no more appear, you'll know why.

If it's still like that later today, I'll post here for the nonce.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When people are not allowed to run their own lives - a cautionary tale

Health warning: this post defends Christianity in places but contains no nuts, gluten or proselytizing. If allergic, just move on to the next post.


 Haiku sent a Smithsonian story on the discovery, in the wilds of Russia, of the Lykov family.


 The family had been isolated behind snow walls and so on in Siberia for hundreds of years until "discovered" by a team of geologists:
Thus it was in the remote south of the forest in the summer of 1978. A helicopter sent to find a safe spot to land a party of geologists was skimming the treeline a hundred or so miles from the Mongolian border when it dropped into the thickly wooded valley of an unnamed tributary of the Abakan, a seething ribbon of water rushing through dangerous terrain.
It goes into the family members and how far each was amenable to new ideas, i.e. old ideas were seen as bad by the geologists and amenability to new ideas, any new ideas, unfiltered, untested, was seen as reactionary and therefore bad. You'd expect such a biased narrative from the High Rationalist [Pseudo-Science is God] Smithsonian in their description of the first meeting:
The daughters spoke a language distorted by a lifetime of isolation. "When the sisters talked to each other, it sounded like a slow, blurred cooing."
No, you idiots, not "distorted" but "original". It was their original dialect but you have to badmouth it because it's not yours - typical PCist reaction. Now we get to the power of the word to distort and falsely convey, in a paragraph summarizing a lifetime of experiences by the various family members:
Slowly, over several visits, the full story of the family emerged. The old man's name was Karp Lykov, and he was an Old Believer—a member of a fundamentalist Russian Orthodox sect, worshiping in a style unchanged since the 17th century. Old Believers had been persecuted since the days of Peter the Great, and Lykov talked about it as though it had happened only yesterday; for him, Peter was a personal enemy and "the anti-Christ in human form"—a point he insisted had been amply proved by Tsar's campaign to modernize Russia by forcibly "chopping off the beards of Christians."
And of course, grievances become "hatreds" in the Smithsonian authors' eyes and naturally, these "hatreds" are laid at the door of Christianity:
But these centuries-old hatreds were conflated with more recent grievances; Karp was prone to complain in the same breath about a merchant who had refused to make a gift of 26 poods [940 pounds] of potatoes to the Old Believers sometime around 1900.
The reference to 1900 has a clear intention in the passage and those reading the Smithsonian account already have an a priori bias and will hardly question the tone of the narrative.

 What I was flabbergasted by was the way any sort of adherence to "Old Ways" is cast as evil and any sort of amenability to "New" ideas like global warming, cramming people into housing blocks, food devastation orchestrated by Monsanto et all, is seen as good.

 Some years back, in Russia, I was speaking with a group of people who heavily defended the soviet days and through the filter of my own prejudice against communism and its evils, I couldn't accept anything they said. However, it became apparent that they weren't viewing it in political terms at all - they were referring to the delicate fabric of family life in a harsh climate, which followed a social code the Soviets had tried to break down but the old family system vehemently held onto, if only for reasons of survival.

 The one with the best English told me it was the recent flood of the worst from the West which was destroying things. Not the scientific discoveries, not the necessary advances but the hooking up of the youth of Russia [the most vulnerable to outside filth] which was getting a steady diet of the worst the West had to offer and with it, the corrosive and destabilizing effect the new godless values had on society over time. In other words, this was cultural assassination and it was clear who was pushing it.

 Ten years later, the effect was complete and Russians, having been decimated during Stalin's era and starved to death during the Cold War were now getting the full-on Western sleaze. It had become a standing joke that "white goods" families were those who'd rejected communist privation for a New God - not the Old God revisited but the New God of white goods and other appliances.

 And with undoubted technical advances in the home, had also come the disintegration of the society. Now why? Why should technical advances be accompanied by the "decadence"? That's a post in itself and has to do with the source of funding, i.e. Them. The destruction of the Kyrov family was even commented on, with bewilderment, by the geologists:
Perhaps the saddest aspect of the Lykovs' strange story was the rapidity with which the family went into decline after they re-established contact with the outside world. In the fall of 1981, three of the four children followed their mother to the grave within a few days of one another. 
According to Peskov, their deaths were not, as might have been expected, the result of exposure to diseases to which they had no immunity. Both Savin and Natalia suffered from kidney failure, most likely a result of their harsh diet. But Dmitry died of pneumonia, which might have begun as an infection he acquired from his new friends.
In that one quote lies the overweening arrogance of the West and its Themist perspective, without the slightest sense of guilt about collateral damage and side-effects or of having brought their own diseased minds into a functioning community and destroying that community.

 The narrative says two died as a result of their harsh diet. BS. They'd managed for years on that harsh diet but suddenly, after meeting outsiders, they did die? Cue one wildly prejudiced Rationalist commenter below the article:
Once again religion shows it's ability to completely overpower rational thought and make a total mess of peoples lives. A truly sad story. Posted by raymond on January 29,2013
Naturally, I felt moved to respond at the Smithsonian:
What a very silly comment by Raymond, what a false conclusion based on the given evidence. "Perhaps the saddest aspect of the Lykovs' strange story was the rapidity with which the family went into decline after they re-established contact with the outside world." The critical word here is "after", i.e. when exposed to the likes of Raymond and Co. It was their religiously defined code which had sustained them and kept them functioning as a family. Now it was destroyed and as night follows day, so was the family.

 So how should the geologists have acted? Well, for a start, with respect for that which had sustained that family for so long on so little. If they had been a team of anthropologists and biologists, rather than geologists, the write-up at least, if not the fate of the family, might have been different.

 The anthropologists and biologists would have noted the way faith can sustain, how people committed to something and it doesn't have to be a religion - it can be a cause or field of activity - can have some of the best health in the world and live a long time.

There is most certainly an element in the human brain which defied science - call it the metaphysical, call it the spiritual element but it does have an effect on human sustainability and scientists are therefore duty-bound to explore its whys and wherefores, rather than poo-pooing it from a priori first premises. Just how many documented cases do you need?

 And how should the family have reacted to new technology? Well, as they'd begun to - by degrees, a little bit here, a little bit there. And what of their reactionary Old Faith? None of the damn business of any of those geologists or the Smithsonian or anyone else. "Leave them alone," is what I want to say to those outsiders.

Let them find their own way in a world they've discovered exists. Going back to the man in that group of Russians I was speaking with - he said that what the others were saying is that they were happier in those days. The local community was more closeknit, with the events in Moscow some foreign thing a thousand miles away. The kids would gather in the yards and play guitar, they'd all go for walks and collect mushrooms in October and so on - they'd bottle food for winter and so they did not in the least starve and in the words of my friend - there were always potatoes and cabbages - those things never disappeared off the shelves.

 It's the arrogance of us in the West that our way was better in ALL respects which is the most galling. Sure, embrace new technology but there's a saying, is there not, about not throwing out the baby with the bathwater?


  Read more: Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter


  This post will run at NO, OoL and Old NO. I'll do this only rarely from now on and if it's something appropriate for those sites.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fire, water, earth and air

Given that yours truly was never a hippy, is now socially conservative and believes that politically and culturally, the Frankfurt School influenced the 50s to 70s for the worse, then Jane would hardly be a band you'd find played on this blog in the vidbox [right].

And yet they were a great little group, tight in the way Nazareth were and having a very loyal following.  There are some really ugly names thrown around these days - progheads, krautrock - why, when the music is melodic if hard-edged?

Jane deserve better than that.

One of the bands with dominant keyboards - Werner Nadolny was best, the joke was that he had two speeds - stop and go.  Despite many lineup changes, the sound survived until a couple of albums after Fire, Water, Earth and Air, held by some as their zenith as a band.

Below are two nice tracks from Here We Are but if you can spare the time, the entire album F, W, E & A can be heard in the vidbox.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Main site down again

The main site:

... appears to be down again, as was mooted some days ago and so the site is currently:

... for the foreseeable or until the main site is back up.

Original Nourishing Obscurity will remain an archive for now.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Think I'm being hacked

We all have our online problems and mine fall into two categories:

1. Those affecting me alone, e.g. being shut out of my dashboard and

2. Those affecting friends and/or readers.

 I just received an email from a friend declining my invitation to join me on Twitter. I never sent such an invitation, nor would I, via social media. It simply wasn't me.

Therefore, someone has hacked my Twitter account and that follows on from Linked-In and Facebook or else these organizations have taken it upon themselves to do it - I don't know.

I am not in Linked-In - I was about four years ago but discontinued three years ago so anything from that source is also not me. Facebook I only use for the posts from NO and I don't do any of the inanities such as asking someone to like me or poking or whatever it is they do. I sent out some presents to a few Facebook users on my blogrolls about two years ago.

I am registered with TJMK, EU Referendum and some other sites on the blogrolls because they require that but these are private sites. I'm in no forums.

About a year and a half ago, apparently someone using my name went round to blogs from my blogrolls and pretended to get into discussions, then trashed someone in the comments thread. 

Again, that was not me.

My comments are pretty well known and often involve me copying and pasting a fragment of the post and then commenting on that. Most of my comments are one or two lines - occasionally more but you'd recognize my prose when I start ranting - it's often acerbic but no more than that.

Never are my comments ad hominem, never.   If that is done under my name, someone is using my name. Please check with me if anything of this nature occurs, before being offended.

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

About this site

By "this site" is meant two sites which form a continuum:

1.  The original blog which ran from 2006 to 2009;
2.  The current blog which has run from 2009 until now.

Both are active - the original blog still gets quite a deal of traffic but posts are generally on the current one.

It began as a political outlet concerned with a third force in politics - the oligarchical "them", which in 2006 most people hadn't researched and didn't fully understand the extent of.  Quickly the blog became a sort of magazine because there were just too many other interesting things to write about as well in many fields, from technology to cuisine.

The name came from an article on China, written in 2006, which refers to Deng Ziaoping:
According to Deng Xiaoping, in order to eventually overcome, China should adopt the ancient maxim of "hiding brightness and nourishing obscurity," and Beijing adds: "to bide our time and build up our capabilities" and again: "to yield on small issues with the long term in mind."
I quite liked the idea of obscurity and thought that if people knew everything there was to know about me, nothing concealed, whilst at the same time not knowing who I was - that might be the way to go.  Anyway, that's how it began.

There've been quite a few guestposters over the years and thanks go to those kind souls but now it's become a more co-authored site - you can find details in the current site's sidebar about the authors - not all share my own political stance although we're all fairly old school in terms of how we see society.  We're all pretty much down on PCism and inanity and don't feel the PTB are our friends.

The sites had and still have a large number of posts a day, occasionally up to ten, which has been criticized by some who say they can't keep up ... but understood by others such as Tom Paine who wrote:
James’ posts are so frequent, his interests so varied and his contacts so extensive that his blog is rather like the Scottish weather. If you don’t like it now, just wait a few minutes.
I'd suggest it might be better taking it in RSS and deciding those you'd prefer to read.  The new site contracts posts to excerpt size to more easily navigate.

Future?  No intentions of stopping although we might be at the sharp end of the agenda by "them" and who knows how long we'll all be blogging for?

Friday, April 06, 2012

Main site down again on Good Friday 2012

Whenever posts on certain subjects go up, the site goes down. An interesting phenomenon and a completely coincidental one of course.

Site's currently down and shall report when I know any more about it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What sort of mind does these things?

AK Haart wrote, on the topic of electric cars:
We run into difficulties when people say things of such mind-boggling stupidity that we almost wonder at their sanity. Why does he/she say such things? It's nonsense.  I’m not speaking of specific slogans here, but conceptual frameworks which may just about make sense internally, but which are obviously in wild conflict with other, more rational frameworks. Examples are not difficult to find.
Let's open with this one from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, via This is True, via email:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just a thought

While the new site is now the main one, this ongoing post will continue to have youtubes added from time to time or other matters of current interest. These below are from December 2011:

Monday, September 28, 2009

[think big] but don't hold your breath

A man who doesn't do things by halves:

Dalton Chiscolm is unhappy about Bank of America's customer service - really, really unhappy. Chiscolm in August sued the largest US bank and its board, demanding that "1,784 billion, trillion dollars" be deposited into his account the next day. He also demanded an additional $US200,164,000, court papers show.

Attempts to reach Chiscolm were unsuccessful. A Bank of America spokesman declined to comment.

"Incomprehensible," US District Judge Denny Chin said in a brief order released in Manhattan federal court. "He seems to be complaining that he placed a series of calls to the bank in New York and received inconsistent information from a 'Spanish woman,'" the judge wrote. "He apparently alleges that checks have been rejected because of incomplete routing numbers."

Would you be able to write that amount in numeral form?

[late evening listening] dearieme presents tiny and truck parham

[devices] with one function only

Mark Fu has an amusing post. Do you know what those devices are in the photo above? They are sleeves for the bar to hold the weights in and I'd guess 'd one kilo each. They used to in Russia. Mark asks:

Some things have just one function that justifies their existence; an umbrella for instance. Scuba gear is another that comes to mind. Since most of us are weight lifters in one manner or another, we have all run into barbell collars.

They have no other apparent use. Sure, you could use the ones pictured above at the dinner table to hold nice linen napkins, but I doubt any of us would actually do that.

So are we in agreement that barbell collars have only one function?

He then points us to an article here. Now my two observations are:

1. Was the guy so small that he could do that?

2. Did the guy have a brain in the first place?

All lifters have run into the newbie who wanders around like a lost sheep or the guy who spends half his time in front of the mirror, seeing if his biceps have grown any since he did a set of exercises. I've never run into anyone like this though. :)

[shapes] and their logic

Which of the shapes below completes the lower line?

triangle: pentagon square
square: hexagon hexagon square
pentagon: hexagon hexagon hexagon square triangle
hexagon: octagon octagon octagon octagon ______ ?

The choice of the shape which goes before the question mark depends on the value each shape caries and how it relates to the others in a mathematical relationship.

The will be up late this evening.

[airbus] here we go yet again

This blog has many articles on Airbus safety - that it is inherently and for quite valid reasons, unsafe. The last post is here and if you enter "Airbus" in the Blogger site search, you can see the other posts too.

Anonymous [appropriate, yes, for one throwing in the ad hominem] commented on the last post, on 25 September 2009:

Following your childish trend:

Maybe, the US corp. Goodrich has yet to learn how to make proper pitot tubes? "The European Aviation Safety Agency has issued a safety warning for air speed sensors that are made by Goodrich Corp. and fitted on many Airbus jets — just two weeks after advising airlines to use them instead of instruments made by Thales SA".

The problems of the Airbus had already been mentioned:

... and also here.

So just how childish have I been on Airbus? My reply is in this report today:

A Singapore Airlines A380 was forced to turn round mid-flight and head back to Paris on Sunday after one of its four engines failed, the head of the airline's French operations said.

Quite childish, yes.

[the quality of intellectual debate] emotions v facts

The quality of debate, of research and analysis drives one to despair. Sonus [or was it Anon?] made the point that he was frantic that no one seemed to be listening. Simon & Garfunkel said it, years ago:

People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening

Now, from Charles Crawford:

Are we replacing the intellect with 'emotions'? Thus:

... we are essentially being invited to empathise, not intellectualise, and that is something I find astonishing. Not only does this kind of emotional discourse have an infantilising effect on the public - the assumption being that we are incapable of grasping complex strategic arguments - the failure to develop the argument beyond these basic moral categories is hopelessly counterproductive.

This blog is forever banging on about it.

[samantha geimer] why is no one listening to her

To blog on the Polanski thing is fraught because the vultures are waiting to construe any sort of interest in it in a certain way. Nevertheless, strategically, it is of real interest and it seems to be for others too who've been looking at what the tactics were in his move:

But it could also elevate his case into an international ordeal -- involving the governments of Switzerland, France, Poland and the United States -- and potentially complicate his possible extradition.

"The big issue is whether it would have been better for him to negotiate a surrender when he had the chance," Loyola University law professor Laurie Levenson said. "Now it has become an international incident and the district attorney may be under pressure not to negotiate a sweetheart deal. They've gone to all this trouble of getting Switzerland involved. It could make it harder on him."

Nevertheless, some believe the arrest of the 76-year-old Academy Award winner could lead to a resolution that will allow him to once again travel freely.

There seem, to me, two things involved here. One is the feeling that the man is a sleaze who needs to be brought to justice, no matter what it takes and whatever laws are bent to achieve it. France doesn't have an extradition treaty and the Americans were frustrated but even so, the tone the woman official adopts leaves one a bit suspicious and concerned about the motives for pursuing Polanski. This smacks awfully of another feminist vendetta:

Previous attempts to nab Polanski when he left France were thwarted because authorities didn't learn of his travel soon enough -- or Polanski didn't make the trip, said William Sorukas, chief of the U.S. Marshals Service's domestic investigations branch.

"This is not the first time we have done this over the years," said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. She said warrants had been sent out whenever rumors circulated that he would be traveling to a country outside France.

In this case, the honor for Polanski's work proved to be his downfall, Gibbons said. "It was publicized on the Internet that he was going to be at the Zurich Film Festival," Gibbons said. "They were selling tickets online."

"This is not the first time we have done this over the years ..." No doubt, no doubt. You see, there are other issues involved, even the gender issue, very keenly felt by many males and obviously by females. One of the women bloggers in the Britblog Roundup even states on her site that she wants no anti-feminists there and "any anti-feminist thoughts will be deleted".

WTF? Does she want any discussion at all or just to push her agenda? If she wishes to push her agenda, who's going to read it? Other feminists? How is she going to convince the men to relinquish their oppressive power and make them feel more kindly towards her, with statements like that on her blog?

You see the problem here with this Polanski thing?

The second issue is the resentment among European nations of the Americans trying to push their agendas onto the rest of the world and this is a very great resentment, sorry to my American friends. There is a tendency for European nations to try to bloc anything the American's want, irrespective of how worthy it is and the very fact that this matter might become international shows the depth of the political feeling:

Meanwhile, Polanski’s arrest looked set to spark a diplomatic row. Frederic Mitterand, the French culture minister, said he was “deeply shocked” by the sudden arrest and had already discussed the matter with President Sarkozy.

The snubbing of Gordon Brown by Obama is a case in point. If you read my blog and any other centrist Britblog on the net, all are scathing of Brown and some want to see him hung at Tyburn Hill but ... but ... but ... there is also the contrary tendency to support Brown in this matter against the Americans.

This is why America is finding it so difficult abroad, why they can't understand why no one gets behind the Yoo Ess of Ay and backs them. Look, there's a lot of jealousy, a lot of protecting one's own patch, a lot of equal ego. Britain is a once mighty nation which is struggling to come to terms with its place and its place is not, in most Brits' minds, kowtowing to Obama.

Myself, I don't feel this. This blog is read half by Brits, half by Americans by and large and sometimes I feel quite American in my mindset. American, yes but not American government, a point made by people like Xlbrl. In this Polanski matter, there's a can of worms to be opened, far more extensive than just the incident itself, which is severely weakened by Samantha Geimer's own exhortations to leave him alone.

Sleazes shouldn't get away with it. Full stop. Period. Sleazes with moneyed connections should especially not get away with it. However, this issue has other overtones and all players in it need to recognize that.

Now, finally, let's get down to the other issue which heads up this blog. Why is no one listening to Samantha Geimer? Feminists make a big noise about the woman being heard, being listened to, her opinions being considered. OK, I'm considering Samantha Geimer's opinion, the so-called victim. I say "so-called" because she clearly doesn't see herself this way.

Geimer's opinion:

1. In a 2003 interview, Samantha Geimer said, "Straight up, what he did to me was wrong. But I wish he would return to America so the whole ordeal can be put to rest for both of us." Furthermore, "I'm sure if he could go back, he wouldn't do it again. He made a terrible mistake but he's paid for it".

2. In 2008, Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven, "I think he's sorry, I think he knows it was wrong. I don't think he's a danger to society. I don't think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever - besides me - and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now. It's an unpleasant memory ... (but) I can live with it."

3. That same month, [January, 2009], Samantha Geimer filed to have the charges against Polanski dismissed from court, saying that decades of publicity as well as the prosecutor's focus on lurid details continues to traumatize her and her family."

Now, the U.S. authorities, the feminists, Polansky's side and just about everyone else I've read, don't give a toss about that. They have their agenda, their slant on how things should be, that is that and to hell with any trauma for the victim, the very thing they're trying to avenge.

My stance is that a woman of 45 is competent to decide for herself and my resentment is that others seem to want to impose their own will on her.

In my opinion, the victim's wishes are paramount.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

[weight training] government even interferes with that

Back to the day on, day off

Talk about opportunistic. We bloggers would sell our soul for a post sometimes.

I went for a wander this afternoon to a gym down by the canal.

Now I'm signed up to start Tuesday and today we went over the equipment and as we spoke about the different exercises, I realized I didn't know the names for them in English. Is that ridiculous or what? I could tell him in Russian.

One utterly bloody ridiculous thing was the situation over the weights. I asked why he only had up to 17kg when I'd need 25kg to start with for the side/back muscles [one knee on the bench.] He told me it was UK Law - that Health and Safety decreed that only weights of a certain ... er ... weight were allowed.

What the !!$%^&*(&^%£!!?

It's a bloody gym, for crying out loud. There is this strange tendency, in a gym, for people to push weights. For that, if they incrementally improve, they need larger weights.

Nope, says the government. When you reach 17kg, you have to go to machines. But that's useless - the machine covers a different set of muscles. Tough, says the government. In our knowledge of all things involved in body building, this is what we say you can do.

I was flabbergasted just how far the Law has entered our personal lives, even to the point of making them more dangerous. I mean, does a grown adult, with trainer help, need nannying about what weights he can be allowed to lift?

I asked about free weights and the barbell. 40kg tops. That's girls' stuff. I'd have to use the Smith machine. But the machine doesn't train all the muscles. Tough. The government has said ......

Yeah, yeah, don't tell me any more. So, not only will I be overcoming my near death condition and trying to avoid heart attacks, I have to overcome the government as well.

"I'll help you," said the trainer.


Anyway, I'm going to have to start eating properly and bulking up again and that's not cheap. So which is it to be: 80kg of lard, living cheaply ... or 80kg of muscle, living on the breadline? Have to reflect on this one.

One interesting thing I learnt is why I can do more on my tris [narrow grip] than I can on my chest - incorrect technique. This should be interesting. I'll report back if I'm still alive.

Update: Harry Hook has the solution right here.

Incline press - can't do flat and ignore this

[famous structures] answer if you can

Name the:

Top left: Gorge;
Top right: Neighbourhood [not the city name];
Lower right: Park at the southern end [this side of English Bay];
Lower left: Now diverted river.


Avon Gorge, Foggy Bottom, Stanley Park, River Turia

Bristol was the place, the Watergate building, Vancouver and Valencia.

[late evening listening] dearieme and the crooners


My two:

One more:

Britblog Roundup N241 - Best of Britain

It seemed better to include a bit of text with each link in this week's Britblog Roundup but of course, this lengthened the whole thing. Never mind - think of it as an afternoon's read. :)

Let's cut straight to the chase:

Political issues
of the week

Andrew Allison has had a shock - a council which actually did the right thing, which is a sad statement in itself:

In my work for the Taxpayers' Alliance, I am regularly quoted criticising councils and councillors. Some would say I never have a good word to say about any of them, although I hope the councillors I do work with think differently. Today though I am writing this post to commend Hull City Council. Yesterday all our recycling bins were emptied and taken away.

Speaking of bureaucrats and jobsworths, Tim Worstall, quite unusually, addresses something else Polly has now said – that we're a social democratic nation. He gives three reasons to disagree:

The second is that we’re actually appallingly bad at running the encoutrements of a socially democratic state. The jobsworth, the form filling, clipboard wielding bureaucrat is a national figure of fun and has been for generations. In a way that a bureaucrat in Sweden say, or Germany, simply is not.

Mick Fealty, in the Telegraph, returns to the MPs expenses issue, noting:

...if we accepted the pay-it-back-without-further-punishment priniciple we might solve the prison overcrowding problem...

Mark Thompson revisits the spending cuts horror facing us all after the election and points out that swageing cuts of staff and services aren't going to help anyone:

Making people redundant is expensive and time-consuming. Companies that go down this path may live to regret it in a year or two when they suddenly find they have a shortage of staff and then have to start recruiting again (also not cheap) when they have only recently made staff redundant.

Mark Wadsworth says, "And another thing about Land Value Tax":

In other words, the NIMBY & Greenie Lobbies will prevent you from doing the obvious thing and building a nice little wind-surfing resort or nature retreat or whatever it is that people are prepared to pay for, instead, the owner has to tippy-toe gently through his own forest doing somebody else's bidding (at unknown cost).

... which led to this reply from The Economic Voice:

So I say, let's just wind the clock back at least fifty years and do what we used to do.

... followed by his own proposals.

The inscrutable North Northwester tackles the Home Office crime stats:

Now if anyone; anyone at all, wants to explain why police recorded crime figures are held to be less reliable than those produced by the noble Home Office statisticians, then feel free to use this blog’s comments facility.

We're told by new blog Nothing British:

Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking, take note! A great scientific mind has emerged from the depths of the BNP.

It's put me in a difficult position that I'm supporting Nigel in Buckingham, because the Witanagemot mainstay, Little Man in a Toque, reports on the Bercow move, which might help England, if Bercow can be believed:

John Bercow has indicated that he would be prepared to preside over a debate on an English Parliament. Mr Bercow also indicated he would be prepared to preside over a debate on the establishment of an English Parliament, but added it was not the Speaker’s role to call for such a discussion.

That could set the cat among the pigeons.

Mr Eugenides considers the efficacy of a university debating background in leading to a later parliamentary career:

More to the point, perhaps, we played the game in the right spirit, dammit. Not for us the rituals of debating geeks up and down the land, burying their heads in back issues of the Economist and memorising statistics about world trade.

No, GUU men (and girls) stood up and took the fight to the opposition with rhetoric, confidence and (on a good day) razor-sharp wit; bristling with aggression, chutzpah and balls (particularly the girls), we were the first into the bar at the end of the day and the last out every night, without fail.

Trixy [voted Witanagemot's Most Shaggable Blogger 2008] enlists Flanders and Swann to answer the organized Irish who gave the No vote UKIP spokespeople a hard time and whilst she does that, offends just about everyone else who's not English:

[I]t's a sad state of affairs when these useless little jobsworths with no chance of getting even an internship in a private company have to drag everything back to William the Third, as the song goes. Or even Henry VIII.

The Devil's Kitchen comments on Charlotte Gore who wrote a rather good post on why statism is like having to make tea for the entire office:

"Yes, yes," I hear you cry. "But haven't you done that subject to death?"

Well, I have made my feelings fairly clear on a number of occasions, yes.

Last but not least, Janine, the Stroppybird is annoyed:

Firstly, the repeated mantra that "Everyone now accepts that there must be cuts in public spending." Secondly, the constant reference to "Britain's nuclear deterrent" in reports about Gordon Brown announcing a reduction in nuclear-armed submarines from four to three.

Old politics, same issues today

Still political but hardly current, The Croydonian has been trawling old Hansard and came up with the question of the dilapidated condition of the resting places of National Heroes, to which the reply was given:

The UNDER-SECRETARY for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Masterman) The Secretary of State finds on inquiry that the vault which contains General Wolfe's remains is not in a dilapidated condition, but in common with all the vaults under the church it was closed and bricked up many years ago ...

Political doublespeak has never altered, it seems and nor has the economic situation, which Tiberius Gracchus traces to its roots, historian that he is:

The first thing that strikes me as an amateur in medieval history is that by the twelfth century, the review and hence the study probably suggest that monasteries evolved a more specialised structure in the period.

Monks specialised in hospitality for guests- abbots moved out of the general refectory, out of the general monastery into their own quarters. The structure of the society is both specialising and complicating.

By the way, Gracchi is the only blogger in the Britsphere who is actually two people.

The conferences

The estimable Tom Paine opines on the state of play as we go into the conferences:

No-one can guarantee us the government we hope for, but our expectations set a cap on the quality of our governance. As those expectations spiral downward, so do our chances of ever being well-governed.

Ross Fountain live blogs from the Lib Dem Conference and as it's a very long post, you'll need to go there to read the eulogy.

Nich Starling [indirectly] hits back:

The truth is this country needs more than a rearranging of the deckchairs. We do need policy that will dramatically alter the directing we take if not we risk returning back to where we are now in 10 years time because nobody genuinely believes the Tories will properly regulate the City (after all, their fundraising efforts are co-ordinated by hedge fund managers) whilst genuine policy breakthroughs like those outlined by IDS the other day on welfare do not seem to have been welcomed with open arms.

Jonathan Calder bemoans the changes at the Lib Dem conferences:

Whatever the truth of that, viewing this week’s Liberal Democrat from Market Harborough rather than Bournemouth has shown me how much things have changed since those days. And not only because it is now the Lib Dem leaders who provide the outlandish policies.

… while Max Atkinson notes:

So it was bad luck for Nick Clegg that he was wrapping up the LibDem conference at the same time as President Obama was speaking to the United Nations in New York, one result of which was that Sky News opted for live coverage from across the Atlantic rather than from Bournemouth.

Don't forget to head over to Helen Duffett’s Liberal Democrat Voice for the winners of the Blogger of the Year Awards – I won’t spoil it now by giving the game away ...

... and there is frightful news in the Lib Dem camp - Costigan Quist, at Himmelgarten CafĂ©, having swept all the awards but not wishing to get tied up in any shenanigans, has decided there’s no point going on. He’s called it a day and wishes the Lib Dems well.

Bill Quango, after commenting on the "church fete atmosphere" of the Lib Dem conference, looks towards the Labour Conference:

"Where are your troubles now.
Forgotten!....... I told you so.
We have no troubles here.
Here life is beautiful - the girls are beautiful - even the orchestra is beautiful.
Leave your troubles outside! Life is disappointing? Forget it!

... which requires Dave Cole to come in to defend Labour, particularly against that malcontent, Charles Clark:

Brown is going to be the Prime Minister into the next election. By continually pushing this point, Clarke is becoming more of a single-personality politician and all he is doing is damaging the party.

Mac the Knife weighs in [invective #*&^$% removed] on Cameron:

According to The Times, no fewer than 28 of his PPCs are either lobbyists or PR weasels.

Well, of course they are. That's exactly what parliament needs. Who's going to notice a few more whoring scumbags at the trough? Who
in their right #*&^$%ing mind would consider selecting individuals of proven worth and achievement?

God forbid!

Religion corner

The sort of social madness besetting our land today, this time bureaucratic PC madness, leads The Quiet Man to say, about the latest attempts at Christian-bashing:

[N]ormally I avoid health and safety gone mad issues (it's for the good of my health) but this crossed my path and I wondered if this was a deliberate attempt to alienate the population of England or merely another case of officious bureaucracy having a go at a weak seeming target (Christians).

In other religious news, Andrew Ian Dodge looks at Israel, nuclear weapons and Craig Murray:

Craig Murray is the same guy who once raised a quite commendable hell about a fat Uzbek oligarch Alisher (Jabba) Usmanov.

... and the Britblogosphere's own Archbish, Cranmer, writes, in answer to Dr. Suhaib Hassan, one of the UK's Sharia judges, concerning women under Sharia:

Quite so, Dr Hasan. But what of Muslim women who are not content with your ability to ‘enforce’ rulings in which women are manifestly not treated as equal to me? A very brave Muslim woman, Kavita Ramdya, has written in response.

Feminism corner

Jess McCabe says women are still under-represented in climate talks [we men are such beasts]:

Out of 146 national delegations at the UN climate talks on Tuesday, only seven were headed by women. Oxfam says this is an example of how women’s voices are still absent from the debate on climate change and what to do about it, even though - particularly the poorest, most marginalised - women will be worst affected, IPS reports.

The Daily [Maybe] takes the MSM to task for eulogizing Bardot:

The most outrageous element of the piece though is just that Bardot is held up to be some sort of feminist. AC Grayling that well known feminist philosopher (ummm) says, "I think Bardot represents one trend of feminism," Oh, do tell us which trend AC! "

She represents the power of women. What's iconic about her is her shape, the way she occupies space." What? She's a feminist because she's got T and A? This would be new feminism would it?

Laura Woodhouse's feminist hackles are raised by the University of Buckingham prof:

Female students do not attend lessons so pervy lecturers can take mental images of our curves and project them onto their no doubt long-suffering wives to improve their sex lives. Liberal Conspiracy's Laurie Penny reports the same story.

Cath Elliott, as she states in her "About", is an "unapologetic feminist". Interesting then then that I, a mere male, can agree with her on this completely:

We understand that prostitution is a form of violence against women. International and national studies show that for the vast majority of prostituted women, men and children the experience is one that involves physical, mental and sexual violence which traumatises and de-humanises.

Philobiblon says we can learn from a feminist utopia:

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland, published in 1915, created a new sub-genre, the feminist utopia.

There’s something delightfully ironic about the creation, for there’s no doubt her world, an all-female one getting along very nicely thank you, would have horrified the original creator of the form, Sir Thomas More.

Jackart, on the other hand, defends the equality of the sexes in their traditional mode:

I don't know why women get offended by people choosing to watch pretty tennis players. The motivation for women to watch rugby always seems to involve the word "thighs". Do I feel objectified?

I like pretty tennis players because I am biologically programmed to seek out healthy, youthful-looking women as mates. Girls like muscular Rugby players because they are programmed to seek out dominant, physically fit men to give their offspring the best genetic inheritance.

... and Feminazery quotes the Mail article on feminism, in an attempt to put it all in perspective:

“Thirty years later, when feminism exploded onto the scene, I was often mistaken for a supporter of the movement. But I have never been a feminist, because, having experienced my mother's violence, I always knew that women can be as vicious and irresponsible as men.”

Other UK social issues

Andrew Scott touches on the difficult one of someone suiciding and the inevitable recriminations:

"Mary's just done it for real. The hill... Eh? Hawkins... Mary Hawkins. She's just gone over the edge. Nuts eh? Bloody nuts."

An hour or so later Dr. Ben sat down beside Matt in the day room at the hospital and asked "Why didn't you try to stop her?"

Deogowulf takes a well known Britblogger to task on the mystery of life:

“The aim of life is to pass on one’s genes”, says Mr Worstall, adding that “we are told by the scientists” that it is so."

Well, randy scientists might tell him such things, but science — as knowledge only of the empirical-mechanical aspects of the world — does not.

Tim had put this point:

"Would I be being exploited if someone was crazed enough to want to carry and raise a child from my sperm? Absolutely not: I would think that I was exploiting them and rightly so."

A controversial nomination and inclusion this week is a non-blogging reader whom the Britsphere know very well from his meanderings and pithy observations and it's on account of his relevance and ubiquitousness that he's hereby included. Dearieme castigates your humble Britblog guest-host for this week on his defence of windfarms:

Your picture should be captioned "Two Sources of Shite". Wind farms are just subsidy farms - they are an utterly dud idea; you should be ashamed of yourself for entertaining the preposterous notion that they have any merit at all.

Jonathan Calder quotes Jenni Russell in the Guardian, to his surprise, on the adult/child issue:

This removal of general authority from adults, and its gradual replacement by state-sanctioned interventions, is utterly corrosive. It infantilises grown-ups, who lose one of the roles that societies have always expected them to fulfil.

Julia M also has something on Jenni Russell's article on the matter:

Stealthily, and without open political debate, we have moved from the assumption that all adults have a role in socialising children, towards a new and uncertain world in which contact with children is increasingly regulated by officials and the state. It is a kind of collective madness, in which the boundaries of what we are allowed to do shift too fast and too secretly for us to keep up.

Letters from a Tory comments:

Vetting scheme for adults gets even worse! Geeesh. And I thought the adults-giving-lifts-to-children vetting scheme was bad.

On the issue of child "counselling", following the horrendous accident in Suffolk, Pavlov's Cat says, in a post entitled "Vultures" [invective #*&^$% removed]:

For #*&^$%'s sake, were they on speed dial? Although I bet they were already on their touchy-feely way, once they'd pulled on their Orkney sweaters and Batik skirts and donned their Crocs. Did anybody ask the parents if they wanted their children 'counselled'* or would refusal be seen as akin to child abuse these days.

Reynolds brings us another human crisis involving a child:

My crewmate got the child out to the ambulance (where most of our equipment is) while I listened to the GP as he gave me a history of the child. Small for her age she had been vomiting for a few days, now she was severely dehydrated.

This is why she looked like one of the babies they show on the news when there is a drought or famine in another part of the world.

William Gruff has strong opinions on murder and decries the state of society today in England:

There are murderous scum walking our streets who should have been broken and disposed of long ago and a fear of condemning the innocent should not prevent us from dealing effectively with the guilty, no matter how 'redeemed' they may say they are.

Barkingside 21 blog has a problem with aircraft noise:

Last week I was waiting at the bus stop in Clayhall Avenue when a medium sized jet propelled aircraft of the type used at London City banked overhead and disappeared off towards the north. It was very noisy.

So, I was thinking about that during my bus journey. Part of the reason for the increased noise pollution is that the flight paths have been lowered by NATS. Why?

The Daily [Maybe] comes out strongly for the Tongan [which many might actually agree with]:

We push people to the margins of society, forbid them from working then harangue them for claiming benefits. We force people to live like animals then despise them for the conditions we have put them in. It's inhuman.

Concluding this section, Lord T, he who pulls no punches,wades straight in on the appalling state of our education system and what it's going to take to try to mend it:

Now to be honest it has been apparent this has been going on for several decades but has been accelerated and hidden well under a mountain of paperwork and statistics.

There have been a few holdouts, schools which are not controlled by the government, home schooling etc., but these areas are all now under attack, even when it is recognised that the general education system is not fit for purpose.

The socialist mantra seems to be we cannot have some people being better than others and so we need to make sure everyone is at the same level. Barely literate.

It is time we brought this under control and returned UK education back to being one of the best in the world.

The nature of being British - English, Scots, Irish or Welsh too

The Britblog Roundup need not be all about politics. Well yes, it needs to, to an extent but many other aspects of Brit life need to come in for comment as well:

Jams O'Donnell brings cheerier news, reporting on the increasing numbers of Sea Eagles in Scotland, a welcome sign:

“This is the result of a huge effort by many people over the past 30 years, he said. It shows what can be done to reinstate a key part of our natural heritage.

It remains important however for the population, especially the newly released birds in the east of the country, to be allowed to fully settle in and establish territories.”

Angus Dei, in his Saturday Snippets for example, writes of the matchstick Dalek being created by Brian Croucher:

This full scale matchstick model of one of television's scariest aliens is the work of Brian Croucher, 66, who spent more than two years on the task in the sitting room of his end of terrace house in Bognor Regis, West Sussex.

I'm not sure if the cultured Chameleon, whom you'll find at performances like Berg's Wojzek at the Flemish opera, is linking Glasgow and juvenile behaviour but she waxes lyrical here, tongue in cheek [if such a thing is possible]:

Not that we really bear any deeply ingrained grudge against the inhabitants of our largest city, some of my best friends come from Glasgow.

The inevitable pang of guilt that accompanies such recklessly juvenile behaviour (in my case at least) assuaged by the fact that the replies bawled in unison are normally so garbled that the likelihood of them deciphering our abuse is negligible.

Susanne Lamido has had an achievement in being elected a Chair. Now I'd love to be a chair too, so well done to her:

Being the Chair for two years is a real commitment but everybody including officialdom seems to feel I'm up to the task.

Cherry Pie takes a sympathetic look at the Black Country:

In addition to the old industries and working life displayed at the Black Country Museum there is also a traditional funfair. The swingboats brought back fond memories of Sunday afternoon walks up the Wrekin.

Phillip Wilkinson, author of The English Buildings Book does the sort of post many out there in the Britsphere appreciate – politics-lite, heritage-rich:

Round the back of the refurbished and extended St Pancras station lies a secluded garden made up of the Old St Giles' burial ground and the churchyard of St Pancras, a quiet spot shaded by plane trees.

Apart from two men sweeping leaves I had the place to myself, and I was certainly the only person there interested in making a pilgrimage to this small but oddly influential English building, the mausoleum of the great architect Sir John Soane and his family.

In a similar vein, Diamond Geezer thought he’d visit Haringey:

Just for a change, I thought I'd spend my Open House weekend scouring two individual London boroughs. And the (unlikely) borough I picked for Saturday was Haringey (think Highgate, Tottenham, and all points inbetween).

Haringey merits but a single page in the Open House guide, and few of its attractions will ever draw large crowds from further away.

… and muses about a Green Olympics.

Speaking of Green, Philobiblon brings us the essential guide to Green Thought, with snippets like this for your delectation:

Bruno Latour’s theory of “hybridity” – spreading the capacity to “speak” across the human and non-human realms. Sounds odd – but then his claim that some parts of nature “speak” very loudly – charismatic megafauna such as polar bears and orangutans (through influential organizations) – much louder than of what many humans are capable.

Rivetting, eh?

Peter McGrath, at Swordplay, couldn't get more British than this:

"She sat up, broke wind and died." Ena Sharples in the first edition of Coronation Street, replayed on BBC Radio 4's always excellent Pick of the week.

Still on the topic of age, Missy Martin addresses the vicissitudes of getting old in Britain and she decries granny taxes:

I also seem to be going to a lot of funerals recently for another thing. An old family friend I’ve known since we were both kids said to me at one recently, “Weddings and funerals, that’s it for us now, Misssy. Weddings and funerals. Next time I see you will be when someone’s died.”

Taxes aside, Sackerson compares life in China and the UK:

In Britain, the 27.5% of the "people of working age" that might be employed but are not, number approximately 10.96 million. In China, estimates Eric Janszen of iTulip, there are 20 million officially unemployed and the real tally should be 40 - 50 million.

The technological Brit is a phenomenon of these isles and Neil Craig's A Place to Stand, following comments last Britblogroundup [240], publishes a submission on taking the money currently put into ESA & intead using it for space X-prizes. He quotes an expert that 2 years of our funding would be enough to give Britain a commercial orbital shuttle.

The Jailhouse Lawyer shows that Britblogging need not always be about politics.

Britbloggers casting eyes elsewhere

Harry Hook, always ascerbic and right on the money, turns his attention to this appalling situation in the U.S., which is becoming more and more militarized as that unhappy nation goes on:

Pittsburgh University students get a taste of the New World Order.

... rivetting, horrifying and also commented on by Trooper Thompson.

Charles Crawford runs a piece on the Russian mindset, something I know of quite well, having lived there for 12 years until last year, when I returned to Blighty:

Russians of course are entitled to be proud and tough people. They have good reason to fear that their unfeasibly large country has to go through further spasms of de-imperialisation, and must eventually disintegrate into many smaller units. Russia does not have the people to deal with the Chinese/Asian 'colonisation' of its eastern reaches which is slowly happening.

For a good take on foreign affairs from a Brit perspective, Alex Goodall and Scott Green are your boys.


Britblog stalwart Matt Wardman has himself run his mini-roundup and there are some fine sites to visit at the end of Matt's link.

A further reminder, readers, that Cabalamat will be hosting the Britblog Roundup next week, so get all your nominations in to:

... and while you're there, you might like to check out the other Britblog Roundups listed in the sidebar. For those who visit my blog, please now change your urls to .

Apologies to those who put their entries in after this went up, expecting that they were early enough for a Monday roundup. Mea culpa. I forgot to mention that I tend to be early, the type who arrives at his funeral the day before he dies.

Not to worry - those nominations will be picked up by Cabalamat, for N242.

[Late note - not strictly eligible but interesting nonetheless.]

[wind farms] what's all the fuss

Unlike in posts involving such issues as Common Purpose and Them, which I'll vehemently debate with anyone, your humble blogger comes to this issue as a WindFarm virgin.

We're told that they are awful for the environment, that they are an eyesore, that they do not produce anywhere near the power that is claimed for them. I really can't say. They're certainly not beautiful, spread out like Brown's cows over the countryside but if they're contained within a narrow area, in rows, then why not?

There was a bank of these on the road from Catania to Modica, in Sicily, high on the hill in the distance and they didn't seem too bad. The blades were all turning in unison, in some sort of futuristic ballet in plasticized nature .

When one considers the alternatives - the Tar Sands of Alberta or the nuclear waste dumping off the Ivory Coast, then windfarms seem, to me, to be the least worst alternative, apart from solar panels, of course. Solar panels are great for countries such as Australia and there are many on roofs, especially the further north you go.

For Britain, with its scant sunlight and for the Netherlands, open to the elements, windfarms would seem a sensible idea. Perhaps you can correct me on this.