Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Sunday, 28 June 2009


Yesterday I spoke with my mother on the telephone. She told me that she had removed the first four pages of her newspaper since she is not remotely interested in all the hullabaloo about the death of Michael Jackson. I agreed 100%.

The last occasion I can recall that raised all this absurd and exaggerated public grief was the death of the Princess of Wales.

The problem with this self-feeding "grief frenzy" is that it gives an opportunity to many public figures to spout rubbish. After Princess Diana died we had the smarmy performance of prime minister Tony Blair; this time the one that (unfortunately) caught my ear was Jackson chum and black activist Al Sharpton. Mr Sharpton observed in his wisdom that Jackson had, long before Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama brought black people to the fore (he used the ludicrous phrase "person of colour").

Mr Sharpton should read a book or two.

Admittedly, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong were not renowned for their dancing but I think that I would be correct in saying that they were moderately successful (world stars in fact) and they were around long before any of the Jacksons were a twinkle in the eye of their allegedly rather unpleasant father.

Finally I should add that I consider that Michael Jackson was very talented and an excellent entertainer although he did nothing for me - not my sort of thing. There was however one song which I always enjoyed - largely I have to say because of the contributions of Steve Lukather and Eddie van Halen. Sorry, embedding is forbidden:


A death is indeed a death, but right now I would prefer to think about Neda.

Until the next time.
* Thanks to Private Eye

Thursday, 25 June 2009

North Korea Again

For those who like me are fascinated by this bizarre state, there is a most interesting website: North Korean Economy Watch.

Reading through some of the articles was a most enlightening experience. For example there was a long article about the state of computing there; apparently the North Koreans are especially expert in computing, which given the sanctions imposed on the régime is remarkable and really rather sad - of course I feel sorry for the individuals whilst deploring the absurd, and as revealed by a subsequent piece about reinsurance, corrupt régime.

There is also a fascinating piece about North Korean art.

Well worth a look, but as a reality check there is also North Korea Uncovered about which I wrote recently.

Until the next time

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


The Iranian Theocracy has ordered that there should be "no prayers" for Neda, the 27-year-old woman murdered by the revolution's thugs.

Words fail me.

Until the next time

1 GHz

Toshiba has announced the world's first "smartphone" that runs at 1GHz.

Another reminder for me about the rapid passage of time - but it's only nine years since the first 1GHz PC was announced.

This one used a 700MHz AMD processor over-clocked to 1GHz. This was possible because the computer, built by Kryotech had a built-in refrigerator!

Here's a review from January 2000

Image source: here

Until the next time

Thursday, 18 June 2009

More on Iran

The Guardian is providing comprehensive coverage of the uprising; plenty of excellent links in this item

Until the next time

Wednesday, 17 June 2009


You are all probably aware of the upheaval in the Islamic Republic of Iran, caused by blatant election fraud and vote-rigging by the friends of "I'm a dinner-jacket."

I am merely posting this to express my support for the very many brave protesters there. Bloggers and journalists have been captured or have gone into hiding whilst the government there attempts to shut down means of communication - portable phones, Internet etc.

The Iranian communications ministry still seems to have a problem with Twitter; it seems that this is the means whereby thousands are able to remain in touch and meet today for example for another enormous demonstration in the face of atrocious behaviour by the likes of the Revolutionary Guard and the unpleasant volunteer vigilantes whose speciality is simply beating up demonstrators. This group, or more correctly, bunch of cunts, is known as The Basij. The following comes from a Daily Telegraph article covering the day of mourning (Thursday) for the protesters murdered by the Holy Islamic Régime of Iran...

Meanwhile the authorities are making careful preparation for Tehran University's weekly prayers tomorrow. A state news agency declared that Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will lead the Friday prayers flanked by the Basij volunteer Islamic militia.

"Alert Basijis... with their epic presence, will take part in Friday's prayers to be led by Ayatollah Khamenei," the agency quoted a statement issued by the militia.

The Basij, which was established to defend the Islamic Revolution and has been at the forefront of the crackdown on protesters, warned the defeated presidential candidates that they must "explicitly dissociate themselves from the rioters".

Prayers!! What a fucking joke.

Here's a link to a Twitter post - note the messages of support. It is fascinating to see how technology is changing the way of the world - perhaps... The link came from an article on Wired.com.

For this writer, the situation confirms my view that revolutions are seldom a very good thing. Yes the Shah and his secret police SAVAC were pretty ruthless - rather like the secret police of the Czar of Russia, but what came afterwards was/is definitely worse.

Finally I note with interest that like the totalitarian régime in North Korea the Revolutionary Government of Iran has a penchant for crappy posters! First, North Korea:

Image source: Guardian
And now, Iran:

Image source: Wired.com

Such absured publicity should be graced with titles I think. How about "Forward to 1937" for the North Korean one? Easy to come up with a title for the Iranian poster of course: how about "Looking forward to the fifteenth century (Allah permitting)"? Another possibility of course, is "Beards R Us"

Until the next time

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Bullets & Zimbabwe

Once again more depressing news from Zimbabwe which appears more or less to be in its death throes. The "power-sharing" agreement appears to have done nothing to change the plight of the people there.

We are informed that this year, the nations of the world have spent about $1.7 trillion on armaments. The lion's share of this vast amount belongs of course to the USA ($604bn) unsurprising considering that rightly or wrongly, the USA wishes to do its best in trying to address international problems a policy I find infinitely preferable to that say of Russia that appears only to wish to defend its paranoia, both externally and internally.

Included in the enormous total mentioned above are the UK and France ( around $60bn each), Russia ($55bn), Italy ($40bn) and so on.

A common item in defence purchasing is the 7.65mm rifle round. A quick search found this site which is offering 7.65mm ammunition in boxes of 20 rounds - with "full metal jacket" at $60, $3 per round.

Can no one find $3.00 to extinguish the disgusting and excessively long life of "Dr" Robert Mugabe?

Until the next time