Tag Archives: Blogs

Administrative apology

Visitors to this site will notice that there is a ‘sponsored post’ advertising wordpress services clogging up your screen. Sorry chums, but I just can’t seem to get rid of the cussed thing. WordPress, in what passes for their form of wisdom, have blatted their garbage into this blog without my permission and outside of my control.

There’s nothing I can do about it as things stand. This blog is a hobby, nothing more, and I spend and earn no money whatsoever on or from it. All I can do is apologise to anyone who finds the advert intrusive and say “Nowt to do with me Guv’nor.”

Casualties

Just having a scroll down the Scriblerus blog list and note that a few went offline. James Higham, arguably the Godfather of the group has retreated to Blogspot, as has Orphans of Liberty. Scribblings from Seaham is completely AWOL. Demetrius at Cynical Tendency hasn’t posted in well over a year, likewise Tim Newman. Raedwald died. Our original number shrinks. Some lost interest, others simply drifted away like ghostly ships, vanishing over the horizon.

Links have been updated to new sites where available.

Thus it is that merciless time catches up with all of us. Orphans and Nourishing Obscurity disappeared because their web admin, Chuckles, died. Which is sad, but then all human life is finite. We all die. So that should be a spur to engage with life, before it inevitably ends. To do less is to have merely existed.

That said, a lot of the old long form bloggers have been carrying on the verbal fight for freedom of expression more intermittently, or on other platforms, so I’ve left their links untouched. The diehards amongst us will hopefully keep on posting because it’s become too much a component of our lives. Perhaps driven by bloody minded habit or the thought that if no-one speaks up against the darkness, the voiceless will be led mute down into eternal dystopias, stripped of hope and berated into subservience.

The mainstream press, with few salient exceptions, won’t help. They’re too much a part of the machine. Few modern politicians will for the self same reason, and if no-one speaks to oppose the erosion of basic human freedoms, that minority who might stand up, won’t. It’s also worth noting that great ideas like human liberty, cannot be killed, but they can die of neglect. So we must not be neglectful, no matter the temptation. We must light our own candles, no matter how small, or let the night take us all.

We’re not the only ones. Listen to this Talk Radio talk with Neil Oliver. This blog does not believe that there is ‘no point’. The only time that happens is when you give up on living, and that is a perniciously dangerous idea.

Thus dear reader, you can be assured that this blogs febrile and occasionally satirical ravings will continue, even if I’m just shouting into my own little bucket. Okay, which one of you smartarses shouted “Shame”? Go to the top of the class and then do us all a big favour by jumping off.

For the sake of a little humanity

I’d like to share a little online exchange with you via a YouTube comments section. From Anna Brees’ project, giving voice to those ordinary people who dissent from the lockdowns. Out in the mainstream media, the word is, apparently, that we who dissent are ‘Sociopaths’, ‘Psychopaths’ and worse. From an anti-lockdown perspective this is pure projection. We who dissent see the damage that is being done, we feel it in our very bones, at our core we know there is a great evil being done for no great reason.

No-one with any sense disputes that SARS/COV-2 was a nasty bug that swept through care homes and took a great tithe in those places. I say was, because the worst passed in March and April, effectively bottoming out in late May. The data tells us this. The NHS and other health services were ‘saved’. What for I cannot say, as the anecdotal stories coming out indicate that the overreaction to this bug is having a much greater effect than the virus itself. Our very humanity is under assault from politicians and media who will not see the great harms lockdowns do.

I would like my last remaining reader to lend an ear to this lady, who tells the tale of her recently deceased father, and see if it does not move you.

To which I commented| “Glad your Dad had you to hold him at the end. Too many have not. They died estranged and alone. Horrifying. As mandated by government. As you say this is not just a crime against humanity, but just for being human. That can’t be right.”

To which she replied: “It is so bad isn’t it? I am glad we got to Dad too, but as you say, many other families did not manage it”

My last response was: “And the pro lockdowners have the nerve to slander those who disagree by calling us socio and psychopaths. Perhaps they should take a good long look in the mirror sometimes. Not holding my breath.”

I think we’ve all seen the video of the funeral director stopping a service because people in a time of deep lament had the nerve to try and comfort each other. He was only ‘following the rules’. As were others who prevented those requiring treatment for other diseases just in case hospitals were ‘overwhelmed’. They too were ‘following the rules’. There are no figures for those very preventable deaths, but we know anecdotally that they have happened. No figures for the lives ruined by Government edict, the suicides, the societal damage to name but two. Yet these effects are all too real.

Does my sympathy for those so afflicted make me a sociopath. or worse, a psychopath? Does my anger at the overt injustice of these lockdowns make me so? I say not. And there are a growing number who see the massive collateral damage to lives and livelihoods these lockdowns create and want to say; “Enough now. Enough.”

For the sake of a little humanity.

Update: It seems that the WHO agrees. Are they ‘Sociopaths’? Asking for some friends.

Bugger

Never met the man, but he was part of the Scriblerus group, so a quick Atque in perpetuum, frāter, avē atque valē to Raedwald, a blogger I often read, but rarely commented at. I had no idea he was that ill.

Always well-informed and even erudite, Mike (His real name) leaves us the poorer for his passing. God speed.

Probability bingo

Got into a minor comments spat with a certain gentleman on Youtube recently over the Wu-flu pandemic lockdown that our spineless politicians don’t currently seem to have a plan for getting us out of. At least in Canada the lockdown rules are being applied very unevenly. Politicians may go to their Summer cottages or visit friends and family, but should your average John Q Public try it, the Cops are all over them like a cheap suit.

It’s a bugger if like me you need a decent haircut and you can’t get one because all the barbers are still closed ‘by order’. Although the politicians all look well groomed enough in their TV appearances. Doesn’t look like their significant others are doing their haircuts either. Boris Johnson excepted. We’re talking Canadian politicians here.

Anyway, I stated four known facts for which I had primary source information, a ‘thought crime’ for which this person labelled me and others ‘simple minded conspiracy theorists’. He may have been right about them, but I was not amused about being lumped in with the real tin foil hat wearers. He pointed anyone who was interested to a ‘debunking’ video by someone calling themself ‘potholer24’. I won’t link to it, but I found this specific ‘debunking’ video full of rather dubious rhetorical traps for the unwary.

In my quest for evidence this exchange gave me pause for thought and I thought I’d check my sources and run an additional evaluation of them. Were they primary as I thought, or simply part of anti-Chinese Communist Party propaganda from Australia, India, Taiwan and other English speaking Asian sources?

There’s a form of decision making I use that I call ‘probability bingo’, which loosely translates as “If the facts line up”, which is the process I use after a ‘reductio ad absurdum‘ exercise to cut through the media corn. This is the rational threshing floor upon which I try to winnow reliable facts from Fark. It’s not an exact process, but as a quick and dirty decision making tool, normally good enough.

My algorithm normally works like this; Someone has stated a ‘fact’ which to me sounds counter-intuitive, I ask myself – is this a real or a political fact? What is the supporting evidence? How accurate are the sources? Or are they simply trying to snow me with rhetorical tricks?

Say for example that someone makes the claim that the EU has kept the peace in Europe over the last seventy years. Do the facts support this? No. NATO has secured peace in the West in counterbalance with the USA forming the largest part of an occupation force along the eastern border of mainland Europe. The EU has no military component (yet), but it’s member nations, as a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, have done so. The claim that the EU has ‘kept the peace in Europe’ fails the probability bingo test because it only crosses off one number on the probability bingo card, whereas NATO, as a military organisation, under the leadership of the USA, has provided a bulwark against possible aggression from the East and Soviet Russia, thus making at least one line across and a couple of diagonals as well on my probability bingo card. Not quite a full house, but close enough.

As for the other claims that the EU is somehow a benign institution and not a club for bureaucrats who could not run a bath in real life, one need only read the content of the EU’s own web site. It’s all there. The plans for a common Police force, armed forces and intelligence service. Ever closer union. Well it was when I last looked. If they’re bragging about it on their own web site, the likelihood that “It’s just a conspiracy theory” can be safely pointed to as a form of conspiracy theory in it’s own right.

Similarly; the probability bingo for the origins of Covid-19 tend to line up. Chinese state media were, several years ago, lauding one of the lead researchers from the Wuhan lab for bravery shown during his collection of bat virus samples to find the cause of bronchial infections to miners in caves some 40-50km from Wuhan. So there is a high probability of virus samples being brought back to that lab for inspection as that was his base. The Wuhan lab in question has also had multiple reports of poor containment protocols from US Diplomatic sources as far back as 2016. CCP employed researchers have demonstrated a singularly cavalier attitude to biological samples, even to the point of being found with such samples in their carry on luggage passing through US customs. Then there was the well publicised arrest and deportation of three Chinese researchers from a Canadian lab for nicking biological samples and sending them to China. Pictures have surfaced of Wuhan lab workers injecting bats / taking biological samples from them at the Wuhan lab wearing street clothes. Hardly good practice. The bat species host to the original Covid-19 variant A, were not known to be sold in the notorious ‘wet’ market of Wuhan. Assertions to the contrary have no supporting evidence apart from a couple of doctored photographs. So, the probability bingo score for a lab release is not a full house at this juncture, but one line across and a diagonal are good enough for an educated value judgement. Representatives of the Chinese Communist Party can threaten and bluster all they like, but the basic facts line up against them.

Nothing matters but facts. All else is rhetoric.

Because these observable facts line up, there is a high probability, but not yet conclusive proof, which incidentally, we may never obtain because of the major arse-covering going on in CCP quarters, that the original virus was being worked on within the Wuhan lab. Whether the Covid-19 viruses release was accidental or deliberate one can judge from the immediate reaction of the local CCP chiefs, who first went into denial, then panicked with massive over-reactions. The probability bingo score, or burden of proof if you like, indicates that this release was a cock-up rather than conspiracy.

That evidence of ham-fisted local covering up of the virus release by local Chinese Authorities is known and documented. The release became a pandemic because the response was delayed for weeks, thus allowing regional, then national and international contamination. The current propaganda blitz of denial, like “Oh no, it ain’t so” or “You’re a waaaacist” can be dismissed as pure “Quia inquam sic” (Because I say so) rhetoric and thus not credible as there is no hard data to back it up. Likewise ‘debunkers’. You cannot argue from a vacuum.

So, does this make me a ‘simple minded conspiracy theorist’? I say not. I may occasionally toy with conspiracy theories because there is a possibility they may contain some small truths, but I do try to moderate my curiosity with a well honed scepticism. As for being ‘simple minded’, I leave that for my last remaining reader to judge.

Welcome to my nightmare

Well bless my raddled soul. Elder sibling has started his own blog, a chronicle, a mash up of personal experiences and events in the UK. In it he tells of the gripes and tribulations of living in his part of the UK, from supermarket beefs to the media stoked paranoia of certain people he encounters.

Here’s the type of thing he writes;

“I had to attend an outpatient clinic at our local hospital today. To my surprise, it was functioning as normal. No-one was wearing a mask and there were no signs of panic or hysteria.”

This seems to be a common thread. NHS Healthcare staff do not appear to be overstretched and can indulge in behaviours like doing dance routines on Tik tok, or conga lines to ‘celebrate’ an extubation. Look, if it were an all-hands-to-the-pumps situation, would primary healthcare staff have time to indulge themselves thus? Damn straight they wouldn’t.

Then he reports on the fake news items such as;

“Sarah Montague said that all pubs and leisure facilities in cities were closed “for good”.”

No doubt with a good deal of malicious relish on her part.

I have been requested to act as a consultant in this matter to let another frustrated voice into the wild and will be acting as his right hand man on how to handle all the wonders and witlessness of online life. Which could get interesting. At least we have ensured he has a confidential email and a few layers between him and the worst of the Internet. We shall see what we shall see.

No, I’m not going to link to his output, as elder sibling has not asked me to do so. If he does I’ll think about it. Better that he develops his own community.

Yes, he too detests what the BBC has become as I too loathe the fawning arse-licking the Canadian bought and paid for mass media goes in for when it comes to Canada’s glorious leader, that neo fascist Trudeau. Yes Trudeau is a neo-fascist, his government ticks all the boxes but the military one. He cloaks his disdain for all working class northern European descended males in talk of racism and sexism, but those two sins are something Trudeau indulges in all the time. Not sure why. Perhaps he feels threatened and like so many of the middle class, suffers from a deep self-loathing and sense of inadequacy.

Good news from the UK comes via political vlogger Mahyar Tousi. With added steak. Although I think Flat-Iron steaks are much nicer than Rib-Eye. Lovely buttery texture and more flavour.

So, all the accusations leveled against the Brexiteers have come to naught. For now.

Anyway. I’ve done the shopping, fed the hummingbirds and now it’s time to get back to the day job. Sometimes the fun never starts.

Londinium again

Touched down and still a little jet lagged but quite enjoying the environs of Kensington and Chelsea with an afternoon bloggers meetup with Tom Paine of The Last Ditch and Leggy from Underdogs bite upwards. Two gentlemen whose intellects left me a little giddy. Or was that just my jet lag? I don’t know. Very enjoyable afternoons talk.

Liked Tom’s idea about travel books. I reckon he should do a series of them. Such as “Tom Paine’s America” Subtitled; ‘one man and a Ferrari go in search of the real USA’. He could do the same for Europe and Russia, as he has travelled extensively in those regions.

Work however, has me starting with a new accounting package, which means I haven’t quite thrown my laptop across the room in frustration, but the temptation is there. Hell of a time to engage on a steep learning curve, but I hear that one of my organisations other divisions has already refused to use this package as structured, so they’ve given it to me to iron out the data entry bugs. Oh for heavens sake! I’m supposed to be on holiday! Grr.

My sense of frustration has been somewhat alleviated by the entertaining spectacle of several Extinction Rebellion idiots getting a righteous kicking from angry London tube commuters. Good, these XR people need a few hard lessons for giving everyone else a hard time. Especially when the real science is against them.

The problem is that the fashionable science regarding climate change XR derive their panic from is unproven and only derived from incomplete mathematical climate models. I’ve seen several credible sources analyse the IPCC report and associated outpourings and their conclusions are totally different from what the climate modellers and XR claim.

The more empirically correct version of climate science is undecided as to the cause, but does not agree that climatic variation is man made, or even anything to do with carbon dioxide. As I’ve said before, we’ve suffered from all of these prognostications of doom from the climate modellers for over fifty years and not a single one has come true. So I am refusing to curtail my travel simply because some eccentrics have got a bee in their bonnet over matters they palpably do not understand.

Saturday promises to be interesting because I will be around Wastemonster visiting various sights and will give any protesters who attempt to bar my path very short shrift. “Excuse me, thank you -byeee” kind of thing. I’m a tourist. A sights to see, places to go, not interested, TTFN attitude. Might even be fun. Might even see the outcome of the BREXIT vote in real time. Who knows?

Got to dash. Meetings with daughter and a decent curry await.

Reading skills

As I check through this web sites spam bin, I’m often amazed all the bone headed ignorance of some people. Particularly the semi literate lumpheads who keep sending me breathless garbage about ‘increasing’ traffic to this site. Come on you dickless dilettantes, where are your reading skills? It clearly states on the ‘contact’ page that I don’t want your services, no matter how much ‘good value’ you think they are. So Why bother? That’s like pushing a button marked ‘self destruct’ and not expecting things to go ‘foom’. Or more probably the silent fart of my sometimes too-efficient anti-spam at work.

Regarding messages and conversations. As I have stated before, I’m quite happy to communicate with people who contact me for a social chat or so I can give them a shout out or share information, I don’t much care about anything else. I’m a busy man and don’t care about useless bullshit companies that want to sell me something to ‘improve my web site’. I like this site the way it is. Those who come to read my scatological ravings may do so, or not. That is their choice. About fifty a day at present, which I’m quite content with. More than a hundred or so at once tend to stress this delicate ickle site to the point where I can’t upload. Which is annoying. To be honest if that’s happening I tend to back off with posting until the level of visitors drops and I get control back.

This site is a hobby, not a commercial venture. There is no monetisation, no paypal, patreon, subscribestar or other online begging bowl. It’s written under a pseudonym for good reason and I do not break cover lightly. As it states in the header picture, this is a toxic thought dump, one whose only cost is my time I give freely and expect little or nothing for. Mainly because I understand how ridiculous most of the world is and how foolish it is for me to try and change it. However, and this is the bit ‘H’, I reserve the right to be scathing, sarcastic, ironic and patronising towards those who would bumble around causing me additional issues to the one’s mere everyday life chucks under my wheels.

So I neither want nor need you, oh thou sellers of online promotional ‘services’. Indeed, I wish the useless mouths that work for SEO companies and their fake promotional crap would simply fuck off and die in some musty disconnected server at the back of an abandoned data centre, somewhere so offline that even the wayback machine has forgotten them. That would be nice.

/rantmode

Right. I have duties to perform. Ones that are mine and mine alone to deal with.

TTFN

Regards

Bill

A quick shout out

Anyone remember Cass Brown of Cancergiggles fame? The guy who wrote this? Oh, and an entertaining little tome entitled ‘Mountains are easy‘.

We Shouldn’t be here

According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s probably shouldn’t have survived.

Our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was promptly chewed and licked.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans.

When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just plimsolls and fluorescent ‘clackers’ on our wheels and hardly any brakes. We popped wheelies, fell off and lost skin in the process.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the front passenger seat was a treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle – tasted the same.

We ate dripping sandwiches, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us all day and no one minded.

We did not have Playstations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends – we went outside and found them.

We played football and cricket, and sometimes that ball could really hurt.

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits. They were accidents. We learned not to do the same thing again.

We had fights, punching each other hard, getting black and blue – we learned to get over it.

We walked miles to friend’s homes.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and although we were told it would happen, rarely were eyes poked out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever.

We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

Cass, who died just after Christmas 2006, was an inspiration to a lot of people. Especially some of us veterans. You might even call him a godfather of blogging. Anyone else remember the man? Blog-City, the platform he wrote on (So much for the Internet being ‘Forever’) is now defunct, but some of his wit and wisdom may be found using the Wayback machine or similar.

Site Admin

Work has scaled down to the point where I’ve signed off on all my allotted tasks, finished all the associated administrative duties and set up for the next round, which doesn’t really get going for a while. So I thought I’d spend a little time updating the blog and getting rid of stuff I don’t want. There was a currency widget that wasn’t working right, which I may replace, also the notes about Facebook and Twitter. Since I don’t use (and have great distaste for) either platform I removed both text and links at the bottom of each post.

A number of non-Scriblerus blogs which have not been active for a long time (over two years) or have gone completely dark have been removed from the right hand sidebar. I think I’ve updated the rest to keep up with their authors current activities. Any discrepancies, let me know.

Things to be aware of

Feeling partially human yesterday. Got out of the house from my self-imposed quarantine to pick up some necessary items for my kitchen. A replacement electric hand mixer for my last one that has just died and a new German bladed bread knife which should last a few years. Another worthwhile purchase was one of those magnetic knife holders, which works brilliantly, keeping all my best blades to hand and nicely sharp, instead of losing their edges from being banged around in a kitchen drawer. As well as reducing the risk of Russian Roulette with your fingers every time you go looking for a sharp edge. Or having to resharpen before every use. I also bought some Barkeepers Friend, which is the only stuff I’ve ever found which is really good for cleaning burned-on clag off stainless steel pots and pans or oven glass.

The other good news is that the pain from whatever infection I had has now gone, subsiding into a mild localised itch, which is easy to resist scratching after an application of good old Germolene. Up until relatively recently we couldn’t buy said ointment over here, and Savlon or any other available ointment simply can’t cut the mustard, so we used to have to get visiting friends and family to pick some up for us whenever they’re in the UK. It’s always the same conversation gambit on Skype when they run out of gossip; “Anything we can get for you while we’re in Blighty?” So until it became available via Amazon we used to ask for large tubes of the pink stuff. Then there’s another essential we can’t get here, an insect bite pain relief product from New Zealand called Stingose. So that comes to us from the Australian contingent of the family. Beats the hell out of anything we can get in Canada. We don’t need sting relief that often but when the local mossies are biting, it’s bloody good kit.

The only blot on the horizon is hearing of Longrider’s loss. He’s a good guy, and shit like that shouldn’t happen to good people but it does. I always feel that mere words can seem very cheap when someone loses their soul mate. Any phrases meant to comfort often end up sounding lame, cliched and insincere. However, I’ve used the following stanza in a couple of funeral speeches, wrote it myself some thirty years ago when I thought my days were seriously numbered. LR, hope this helps.

Well maybe I’m around no more,
But what was life to me,
I could laugh and leave it any time I chose,
Yet when night folds itself around you,
And the dark is all you see,
My heart’s still yours when no one wants to know.

Best regards,

Bill

A Marxist Joke

I’m very busy at present with a new job, some medical tests my doctor seems to think are essential, despite feeling quite well and full of beans. So not much time to blog. This post has been put together over a week or so concerning a matter than has made me crank the old lips up in an ironic half smile.

Here’s a question. When did the workers begin to seize the means of production? I ask my last remaining reader because it occurs to me that it wasn’t a Marxist at all who made it happen. Not Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Chavez, Maduro or Castro but ironically someone from the other end of the political spectrum.

I was over at Longrider’s blog last week I think, perusing the comments on one post and I suddenly had an epiphany. It’s a fairly simple exercise in applied logic with a large side serving of irony and I think anyone who doesn’t get the joke needs a quick jump start on the old frontal lobes with an ECT machine. I frequently see it said from left wing sources that ‘property is theft’ and that the workers should seize the means of production, but here’s a thing, what if the workers, of whom I count myself a part having spent much of my life as a working man, have already been taking a firm hold on the ‘means of production’ for several decades. At least in the UK. Certainly over here across North America where the practice is widespread.

No, I’m not talking about nationalisation, that’s just the bureaucratic state taking anything it can lay it’s greasy little mitts on. When it comes to actual ownership, the state and the individual are not the same thing, although the ‘State’ may be made up of a certain tranche of individuals it does not constitute an accountable entity. Indeed the ‘state’ is about as unaccountable as it gets with all the arse-covering that traditionally goes on in bureaucratic circles. I’ve seen state ownership first hand and it’s a process of managed decay, stillborn innovation, fear and inward bound loathing.

Now what I’m describing here is the quantum increase in small investors who are investing, crowdfunding, patreoning and supporting a wide variety of ventures all around the world. Literally enabling the means of production in a way that I think even old Karl would have gone “Yeah, Das Kapital, maybe needs a re-write.” Because the factory based society he designed his collectivist philosophy for died during the 1960’s and 70’s.

For my proof I’d first ask this question; where are the massive factories of yesteryear where thousands toiled? Where is the uniformity? In the much depleted corporate world? There are a few big employers, but nothing like the number of big industrial combines that once dotted the landscape. They’ve all been offshored, downsized, diversified and MBA’d. Where are the single workers collectives to ‘seize control’ of all the wealth generation?

The answer is very simple, via old fashioned much-disparaged capitalism. The kind of thing which allows people to put small pots of money in with larger pots to create investment. Pension funds, individual stocks and shares, government insecurities, gilts and all the rest. Through voting shares the individual investor is allowed a say in how a company is run and who runs it. In short, by purchasing shares they now have a small part ownership of the ‘means of production’. In the UK, this universal share ownership was most enthusiastically pushed by no less a person than, wait for it….

Margaret Thatcher.

Karl Marx wouldn’t have seen the joke, but I do.

The indefatigable Anna

While road trip planning this morning, a process punctuated by the sound of American Robins bouncing off our windows, I was utterly delighted to hear the news that the Scriblerus’ groups doyenne, the redoubtable and worthwhile Anna Raccoon is very much alive and poking nethers. The link to her updated blog is on the sidebar. It just goes to show, you can’t keep a good Raccoon down.

Now Anna and I have corresponded on occasion, and I’ve always found her a delight and a pleasure to deal with. Quite simply because people of her determination and integrity are admirable above all others. And her integrity, let me tell you, is constructed of Chobham armour plate with reactive munitions on the side. Even during the worst mudslinging of the Savile saga, she remained unflinching and resolute in her pursuit of factual accuracy. Standing aside from the media and compensation driven witch hunt asking simple questions that turned out to have far more interesting answers than the denunciations reprinted ad nauseum in the mainstream UK press.

Now Anna, our own Suzanne Cameron-Blackie is standing (or rather lying in bed) in the UK General Election June 8th as an independent candidate in the constituency of Islington North. If you are an Islingtonian who wants to really stick it to all sides of the political spectrum then I would recommend you vote for her. Because in the simplest terms she is a damned sight more worthy than Corbyn, or any of the other mainstream party candidates.

Now some would say “Hey, she’s terminally ill – what good can she do?” Suggesting that a vote for a dying woman is wasted.

My response would be that Suzanne has been told she was going to ‘die in six months’ before, a couple of years ago if memory serves. And another time before that. This alone would indicate an almost indomitable will and blast-your-eyes bloody mindedness powering her cancer ravaged frame. For which other mortal flesh can only stand in awe. Most other people faced with such pain and suffering would have turned their face to the wall by now and slid under quietly, but not her. This old girl is going down fighting all the way. The grim reaper is probably frightened of her anyway. So I have a feeling La Raccoon will be with us for a little while yet. I’ve even had an amusing vision of her delivering her maiden speech from a hospital bed wheeled into the House of Commons. Or even on a Skype screen installed for the occasion.

What a trooper. God bless her and all who sail with her.

A thought about the Savile saga

I was listening to Sargon of Akkad’s video the other day about the saga of debunked conspiracy theory ‘Pizzagate’, where wealthy people associated with Bill and Hilary Clinton are claimed to have satanically sexually abused hundreds, perhaps even thousands of children.

Now child abuse rings exist: that much is certain. Those who do get caught are usually those whose political connections fail when their activities are exposed or the evidence is so overwhelming that their activities cannot help but be prosecuted, or solitary ‘outliers’ like Marc Dutroux. The small fry. However, I’m also fairly certain that there are those who commit these atrocities, for there is no other word that fits, who have enough political clout do get away with it. Top figures in show business and politics are often accused, but only the retired or out of favour who have no more political influence seem to be punished for relatively minor offences.

Like with the UK prosecutions of Dave Lee Travis, Rolf Harris and Stuart Hall, the offences some were accused of were relatively minor, or in the case of the late Jimmy Savile, whose only verifiable accusation was of one star struck fifteen year old girl who offered him oral sex, only to be turned away when he found out she was underage. Which, forgive me if I’m sounding too forgiving here, doesn’t quite fit the profile of the ‘serial abuser’ we have been presented with in the mainstream. Despite the ‘thousands’ of accusations from Ambulance chasing law practices.

Now having been a long time reader of the one time Anna Raccoon site (All my best to you and Mr G. Suzanne, if you’re still breathing) I’ve read her first hand accounts of events at the Duncroft Girls Home which was at the centre of key accusations against Savile, and I tend to believe Anna’s version because she went back and checked her sources one by one. Anna talked to old contacts from those days when she was resident at Duncroft and pointed out many key disparities in the related accusations against. Anna cited times, dates, places and key details. She researched. She used primary sources. Which raised the following thought; if Anna is correct, and after careful consideration I think she is, then the whole Savile saga, associated accusations and prosecutions of retired show business figures from the notorious ‘operation Yewtree’, has been on the one level a cynical asset stripping exercise against their savings and charitable trusts, on the other a smokescreen. It’s interesting to note that the Metropolitan Police web page for Operation Yewtree now comes up with an ‘Error’ message.

Like with the old Russian folk tale of Troika riding passengers being thrown to the wolves one by one, I strongly suspect these retired showbiz types have been thrown to the ravening wolfpack of paedo-hysteria, allowing the really guilty to carry on their repugnant activities relatively unmolested. Mainly because certain abusers are wealthy or have political influence. And I can cite one confirmed real life example in the case of Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, whose notorious private Caribbean island (St James) is known to be a haven for under age sexual exploitation. He is only at liberty because he was able to buy off his accusers and make a plea deal with the Federal authorities (See previous link), serving jail time for only one offence. A purely anecdotal item of evidence being his private jet being referred to by locals as ‘the Lolita express’ for bringing in ‘fresh meat’. The Clintons, amongst a whole raft of other rich and powerful people, are known to have been regular visitors. Were they involved? No-one’s saying, and any evidence is purely circumstantial.

Similarly, Hollywood child actors have spoken out about their real life sexual abuse by Production people and hangers on, or ‘mentors’ (Los Angeles Times 2012 report here). If the article is to be fully believed, the casting couch is not only for screwing nineteen year old starlets desperate to get into the movie business, but also used as an opportunity to sexually violate child actors of all genders. Apparently this sort of thing has been going on for years.

Yet a huge media storm was whipped up against Savile and other contemporary celebrities, some of whom were totally innocent, some not quite so. Some of whom were judged by today’s standards for what was common at the time. For my examples I cite a little folklore; In the 50’s 60’s and 70’s giving an attractive woman a pat on the bottom was considered cheeky or presumptuous, but not abusive. Unwanted attention usually received a well-deserved roundhouse slap. These were the social norms at that time. That being said, I’ve formed the opinion that showbiz careers and charitable work, reputation and legacies were and are being ‘thrown to the wolves’ to divert public attention away from real scandals. Likewise the suspiciously highly publicised 2013 raid on one time pop icon Cliff Richard. Interesting that Member of Parliament Keith Vaz, then Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, was later disgraced by a allegations concerning male prostitutes and drug abuse, was involved. Did I mention anything about smokescreens? Hmm. No wonder there are parliamentary party officers known as ‘Whips’.

Which is one of the reasons why I think the whole Savile affair had that stench of political and media prestidigitation about it. We the audience might catch a whiff of smoke, see subliminal flashes from concealed mirrors out of the corner of our eyes. However, like with a large scale stage illusion, the truth eludes us because our attention is deliberately directed elsewhere. On the other hand perhaps it’s possibly what the larger public really wants. A show. At a subconscious level perhaps the real unpleasantness of child molestation, the mundane, ugly little truth that most sexual abuse is too often committed by members of the child’s own family and close social circle is too hard to contemplate, so the candidate for the two minutes hate is served up instead of the real culprits, simply because they do not fit the currently accepted ‘normal’. Both Jimmy Savile and Cliff Richard are lifelong bachelors, and therefore an easy target. Because staying single all their lives can’t be normal, innit?

Now I would like to offer something of a personal anecdote here; I’m married to a truly great woman. Well I think so and anyone badmouthing Mrs S in my presence can go to hell, my rapidly approaching knuckles that may also instantly accompany my disapproval may be thought of as a free of charge customer disincentive. Now I came relatively late to the joys of marriage, partly because I grew up fairly socially isolated and in my late teens and early twenties drifted into gang culture and went off the rails a bit. During that time I’d latched onto the idea that we were all going to be blown to hell anyway, so why bother with long term relationships? Hey, it was the time of the Cold War and Mutual Assured Destruction. Apathy was acceptable, okay? I also got rebuffed a few times in my teens and that also put me off relationships for a long while. If my wife hadn’t been so determined to bag me (Still don’t understand why), I would probably have remained, like Jimmy Savile and Cliff Richard, a lifelong bachelor. An object of suspicion and vile, small minded gossip despite being a rather averagely dull old frustrated heterosexual. Ibunt per gratiam Dei (There by the grace of God go I).

Another anecdote pops up from the deep storage of boy / young adulthood memory. Where I grew up there were a number of middle aged and elderly men and women who never married. All of them nominally heterosexual, just unable to form and maintain long term relationships for whatever reason. Nothing unusual. Quite average for a rural English village and environs. If memory serves correctly, I recall one fifty year old guy still bearing a torch for a childhood sweetheart who died in a car crash when he was twenty. Another sixtyish man who never got over his girlfriend going off with another guy. Another fiftysomething who was an estate worker who lived for and with his dogs and little else. Two brothers who lived out in the boonies with their parents and single older sister who never socialised. Several other fellow bar flies who liked their booze a little too much. A couple of ex-soldiers (One a full Colonel, the other a Sergeant) who never tied the knot but had long term girlfriends (The Colonel was actively shagging his ‘Housekeeper’ until six months before he died). A number of elderly women whose boyfriends had gone to war and never returned. Even one old lady who claimed to have been part of the SOE back in the 1940’s and lost her boyfriend during operations. Sad? Yes. Tragic even, but there are so many lives like this in the real world, and my own experience is that the majority of long-term unmarried people aren’t perverts, no matter what the perennially small minded might (and often do) think. I’d also like to point out that being in a long term formal relationship does not preclude all else. If it did there would be no divorces, no adultery. As for couples not being prone to perversion and murder; Fred and Rosemary West, anyone? Ian Brady and Myra Hindley? Bonnie and Clyde? The Starkweather homicides? Bernardo and Homulka? Fernandez and Beck? The Carsons? Coleman and Brown? Never mind all the accomplices who never killed or abused but were what might be called ‘enablers’. There’s a few others too. Just saying. There is no hard and fast rule that can be applied.

As an afterthought, the official UK statistics for child sex abuse can be found for up until 2010 on pages 43, 66 and 67 of this UK Home Office report. However, this report has been castigated for missing the many hidden victims of child sex abuse. The UK Children’s Commissioner has a number of reports indicating that the number of abused is much higher.

My one closing thought about the Savile saga is that there might indeed have been ‘no smoke without fire’ but were we ever sure where all the smoke was coming from?

Syria and Aleppo

Re: an exchange of comments over at White Sun of the Desert with the erudite Tim Newman. Tim wrote an excellent piece about Aleppo, Syria, with which I was broadly in agreement. Tim did take issue with my comment accusing ‘Western meddling’ of making things a whole lot worse, which I’m okay with. Because without reasoned disagreement all we’d have would be a pointless echo chamber. However, I’d like to lay out my reasons, in depth, for believing that Western interventions in the region are at least partly at fault, and that the mainstream press are only telling half the story, very badly. If not being highly economical with the truth. Watch this presentation to the UN from 9th December 2016 by independent Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett. Read her on the ground blog ‘In Gaza’ where she writes about her experiences in the Middle East here. Also the following Q & A session. Yes, the original is fifty two minutes long, but does make enlightening viewing. Food for thought.

Now I’d also like to post some other links to back up my assertions from the following links;

Proofs of ‘Western meddling’. Sorry they’re all secondary, but what isn’t on the Internet can’t be linked to.

Western Sanctions against Syria. From an independent perspective. And from the US Embassy in Damascus, with Canadian and European sources, just for balance (via the Intercept) the 2016 UN report ‘Humanitarian Impact of Syria-Related Unilateral Restrictive Measures‘. As the European link states, there are no UN sanctions against Syria.

Western involvement in the creation and sponsorship of Terrorist groups.  Not to mention the involvement of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and a whole host of others.  Our hands are not clean, but the good news (for a given value of ‘good’) neither are anybody else’s.

These sources tell a very different story from much of the mainstream. Particularly the BBC and Grauniad. The Independent not so much, but don’t ask me about the Tellytubbygraph or the Times.  The tabloids coverage (Including the Mail and Express) won’t help anyone get an unbiased picture either.  They sell drama, not news.

An additional note; I’m no defender of Assad. He kicked this whole sorry mess off by sending in the tanks. However, from the above links it can be demonstrated that well intentioned meddling by Western nations has been at the source of the current refugee crisis currently swamping Europe, and to a lesser extent, the USA. It’s also behind a good many of the terrorist outrages. Without Western intervention, both covert and otherwise, I would argue that the current Syrian refugee crisis would be much smaller, and subsequent terrorist atrocities would have less motivation. If anyone asks me, I’m also pretty well convinced that a non-interventionist ‘containment’ strategy on our part would have resulted in far fewer civilian casualties. But no, US and therefore NATO foreign policy has been to stick their greasy spoon in and stir, at least since the 1970’s. The Foreign policy of the Neocons and Neoliberals (In real terms there’s barely a cigarette paper difference between them) brought us here.

This view is not drawn from ‘fake’ or manufactured news sites.  This is real, visceral from the ground floor stuff, with attribution. So although I haven’t had time to read all the links from everything in depth, I’m fairly confident most of the quoted sources are kosher.

In my defence I’d say there is only so much that can be covered in the relative brevity of a blog post, but to document the whole story is a decade long project, and one I’m not well qualified to write.  Although someone like Ms Bartlett might be.

Not that present or future politicians would ever read any such book of course.  That would be too much to ask.