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!

Saturday 26 February 2011

Libya III

Watching the BBC this evening I saw a recording of a statement given by Gadaffi's No 1 son, Saif al-Islam Gadaffi assuring the world that everything is fine except that the régime has to deal with "some terrorists" in a couple of towns west of Tripoli and implying that the reports of thousands of casualties are "a joke"

Well well. Talk about deja vu!

Reminded me of the following "information minister":

Until the next time

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Libya II

With Gadaffi seemingly increasingly cornered like the rat he is, various observers have suggested that the situation can get only worse.

Gadaffi has money and he has mercenaries and since it will be obvious to anyone who has seen his recent public appearances that the man is a raving lunatic, he is quite likely to wreak even more havoc on the long-suffering Libyan people.

I have been following when I can, the BBC coverage and things have reached the point when protesters are begging other countries even the USA (despite years of anti-American propaganda) to intervene - militarily.

I agree with the protesters on this: I feel that the time has come not for sanctions, which would be most unlikely to influence Gadaffi, but armed intervention. How this would work of course is another matter. The U.N. is the traditional route, but I suppose that the Chinese and perhaps the Russians, would probably veto any Security Council resolution. If anything of this type is to be done I suppose it will be once again the "dreadful" Americans who will have to come to the rescue.

The Daily Telegraph has an interesting piece though on this subject:

"There have also been calls for the Americans to enforce a no-fly zone to prevent warplanes being used to quash the revolt – but why should these matters be left to the Americans, or to Nato forces? Are other Arab leaders so intent on saving their own necks, or so wary of fomenting insurrection elsewhere, that they will do nothing beyond denouncing Gaddafi?"

Meanwhile, the British have sent a Frigate, HMS Cumberland to provide, possibly, assistance in evacuation. The Telegraph wryly points out that the Cumberland has just one helicopter - and is in fact due to be axed soon.

Not a good time for defence cuts, I feel; it's a dangerous world.

Until the next time.

Monday 21 February 2011

Catalogue of Scum

The Telegraph today provides a list of possible successors to arsehole-in-chief "Dr" Robert Mugabe.

As the title reads: A catalogue of scum, with the exception perhaps of Mrs Mujuru, who appears to be the wife of a major arsehole.

How sorry I am for the people of Zimbabwe.

Until the next time.


I have to write a line or two on the subject of Libya.

I have long been content to brand Gaddafi as a madman, now only the compound noun "mass-murderer" will suffice; this noun of course is also applicable to his dubious son and to the rest of his nasty henchmen.

As I did with the people of Eygpt, I applaud the courage and bravery of the protesters and would also applaud the principles of the two Libyan Air Force fighter pilots, who defected to Malta rather than bomb their fellow citizens as they were ordered to do, and also those ministers and diplomats who have resigned in protest, together of course with elements of the Libyan military.

Until the next time

Sunday 20 February 2011

More Anti-Smoker/Smoking Balls

First I begin with a site from Canada, called Citizens Against Government Encroachment.

I reproduce the latest article in full, since I consider it vitally important:


When it comes to the smoking issue (and to a lesser extent the obesity issue), many people have expressed to us how amazed, baffled and even disgusted they are at how some of our fellow citizens have turned into arrogant, obnoxious, hateful individuals almost overnight.
Indeed, as we read open letters to the various media, listen to open lines on the radio or television, follow newspaper and other forums on the internet, we can not help but notice how ugly some individuals become when they hide behind the veil of relative anonymity. When opponents of banning smoking scenes in movies attempted to have a civil debate in a CBC forum, one poster using the alias of Dennis Brady had this to say :

“Smoking is hated - as is any foul smelling addiction. We would have no less disgust for people whose habit was sh*ting on public beaches or on park benches. We would be as disgusted by people who refused to bath or use deodorant.

We DO want smokers segregated - removed from all contact with non-smokers.

Do you understand? Need I repeat it”

In a Globe & Mail forum about beach bans, one poster using the alias “doggiez” suggested this final solution to the “problem”:

“Put even MORE cancer-causing chemicals -- tar, formaldehyde and the other 700 -- into cigarettes to hasten their deaths.”

When challenged with logical arguments and unable to offer any reasonable responses, many such commentators accuse their opponents of being in the pay of what they refer to as “Big Tobacco”. Here is a response from the so-called “Dennis Brady” that is typical of many smoker de-normalization proponents with very little substance to defend their point of view:

''The people have learned to never trust anything coming from the tobacco industry or its shills and apologists.''

You may want to read or reread how C.A.G.E. was also a victim of the same tactic: ''THE RIGHT THING TO DO'' NSRA STYLE
We strongly suspected that this hostile attitude demonstrated toward individuals or associations with differing opinions were not the doings of ordinary citizens, however one must always give the benefit of doubt: perhaps public opinion had changed overnight when public smoking bans were adopted? Well, you can relax folks. All this time, it was not your next door neighbor, co-worker, friend or relative who was turning into an aggressive “Mr. Hyde” when protected by the cover of anonymity. We now have tangible proof that most of the people who are posting obnoxious and hateful material are simply following orders from the anti-tobacco industry:

We have obtained the manual on how to effectively implement outdoor bans published in September 2010 by Physicians For A Smoke-Free Canada (PSFC) : SMOKEFREE OUTDOOR PUBLIC SPACES: A COMMUNITY ADVOCACY TOOLKIT.

We share with you here below a few of the more disappointing passages that we have uncovered.

For proof that they have tobacco control advocates planted in the various internet forums look at the footnotes on the page that gives advice on how to refute arguments from the tobacco industry or their ‘’front groups’’ (page 22):

‘’ Comments from tobacco control advocates also appear refuting “Vince’s” comments. Accessed August 6, 2010 at http://openfile.ca/node/908/.’’

Note that we at C.A.G.E. know ‘’Vince’’ and we can assure you that he is an authentic grassroots poster from Manitoba who has absolutely nothing to do with the tobacco industry.
Also appalling and very hypocritical is the manner in which they recommend infiltrating their opponents whom they conveniently label as “the tobacco industry and their front groups” :

“Whether they are funded by the industry or not, to stay on top of any organized opposition sign up for their mailing lists, preferably using an alias. You can also search online for organizations that oppose your campaign and sign up to receive email alerts, preferably at a home email address or some other location that doesn't link you to your position in the coalition. Be sure to share these communications with your key coalition members so that everyone is in the loop and you can collectively decide how to counter the industry most effectively.”

The entire 101 page manual is a most interesting document that exposes the tactics of the anti-tobacco industry and we suspect that after they see us bringing this document to the attention of the public, it will quickly be altered or totally vanish. Not to worry we have made back- up copies in anticipation. The following are some of their other tactics and while they did not shock us as much because we had noticed them practicing these strategies since a long time, we are, nonetheless, surprised that they would be so arrogant and self-confident as to make their tactics public.

.....write (or sign ghost written) letters to the editor, etc. (pages 31 & 33)

.....submit at least two letters to the editor each month during the campaign, under the names of different authors”. (page 33)

.......Nothing can ruin a campaign faster than public disclosure of financial wrongdoing (intentional or unintentional) ? something your opponents would love to expose if given the opportunity. (page 34)

Interestingly, in the following paragraph they acknowledge that there are in fact authentic citizens (labeled as angry smokers) expressing themselves and that it is not the tobacco industry and their ‘’front groups’’ who are doing the complaining. Furthermore, they are acknowledging that most non-smokers don’t complain leaving us to conclude that indeed most of what we read in the various media must therefore be plants of the tobacco control industry.

....... A key aspect of any smoke-free campaign is to mobilize the silent majority. Most non-smokers do not speak out against smoking, but you have to tap into their power to win your case. Angry smokers who feel they are losing what they feel is their right to smoke will likely speak out in a variety of ways
--- letters to the editor, comments sections of online articles, radio call-in shows, etc. Their voices can seem very loud, even though they represent a significant minority of the population. (page 36)

........ For the next few months, strive to ensure there are positive media stories, letters to the editor, etc., that tout how well the bylaw changes are working. There will no doubt be a backlash from smokers in the beginning until they get used to the changes. In the meantime, you have to counter their negative comments in the media, in comment sections of online news pieces and blogs, on radio call-in shows, etc. Your job is to make politicians continue to believe that they did the right thing. It is not unheard of for councillors to backtrack on their decision and water down legislation. (page 48)

........ Plant stories in the media about non-smokers politely asking smokers to move to a designated smoking area or outside the smoke-free area and smokers complying. Create the impression that the bylaw is working and it will! (page 48)

There are many other examples, far too many to list here, but we invite you to peruse the whole document yourself and get an eye-opening education about how anti-tobacco operates. The late Gian Turci often said that this was a war. Sometimes we thought he exaggerated. To our dear freedom and justice-loving friends, we must now admit that Gian was right and that this is in fact a real war. But rest assured that we will continue to use the truth as our only weapon because when this war will be over, we do not only want to stand victorious but we also want to stand proud for not having stooped to such depths of deceit.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

It's Kim Jong-Il's Birthday - Hurrah - Or Perhaps Not

Yes, the absurd North Korean dictator celebrates today his 69th birthday, according to North Korean records, or his 70th if you prefer the Russian version...

Thanks to Wired.com's excellent "Danger Room" feature, I found the following amusing video which sets out to take the piss out of the ridiculous and incredibly anachronistic Stalinist régime that the ailing dictator heads.

I have written "amusing" and so it is, though not of course to the millions of starving, brainwashed North Koreans who are not part of the elite.

"Shapeless tragedies in taupe" was one fashion critic's comment on the dictator's clothing - this a response to a statement from North Korea claiming that it was becoming a world fashion leader...


Until the next time.

Friday 11 February 2011

Egypt (Call me a cynic)

I have just been listening to President Obama celebrating the astonishing achievement of the Egyptian people in ridding themselves of their president. As is typical of American politicians, he has praised "democracy", "freedom", etc., etc.

So, if my experience of the myth of "democracy" is anything to go by, there should soon be a smoking ban in Egypt; and if the Islamists take over, there will be nothing that could be called "life" at all.

Thinking of Sherlock Holmes, I have always had a secret longing to visit "Ionides of Alexandria" to purchase a thousand of those "excellent cigarettes"; I suppose that even were I to find the money my wish, like so many in my life, would be bound to remain unfulfilled.

Until the next time.

Thursday 10 February 2011

A Good Fit

Today it has been announced that China, interested in Zimbabwe's platinum, is planning a substantial investment in the country (or perhaps into the pockets of Mugabe and his fellow thugs).

Meanwhile we have a report about how the Chinese handle criticism.

Overall, there appears to be plenty of common ground for the burgeoning relationship.


Until the next time

Saturday 5 February 2011

"There's Many a Slip"

Probably like many people, I have been following the BBC's live feeds about the on-going protests in Cairo with great interest.

Now as is well-known, the BBC tends to side with the anti-tobacco lobby just as it does with the "warmists"

And today the BBC made a little slip:-

· 0922: Despite its gas reserves, Egypt is not a rich country - the protests have paralysed the economy. Tourists, a major source of income, have been frightened away, the financial system is shut and prices of basics like cigarettes and bread have been soaring. The BBC's Kevin Connolly in Cairo says many Egyptians are beginning to wonder aloud how quickly daily life will return to normal regardless of the outcome of the struggle for power.

Nice to see that the BBC has finally been able to admit that cigarettes are "basics" eh?

Until the next time.


Those who were pleased that the police had apparently vanished from Tahrir Square, the centre of the protests in Egypt, must think again.

In view of the distressing content of this article from the New York Times, I am fully convinced that the Egyptian State in its present form is rotten and deserves to fall; and no, I am not convinced by the lies I have been hearing from the leader of the ruling party and from the newly appointed vice-president General Suleiman.

I wish the protesters well in their brave efforts, but equally hope that they are not unwittingly building another Iran. The Iranians are no strangers to repression and cruelty; unlike the Egyptians, they practise these things though in the name of their "god" and their interpretation of their holy book...

Until the next time

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Eygpt & The Middle East

As we all know, the spark was struck in Tunisia.

Now after eight days it seems that the protests in Eygpt show no sign of abating, the protestors apparently unimpressed by President Mubarak's statement yesterday that he would not stand again for election; they want him to go now.

Meanwhile there has been a series of prophylactic actions in other middle-eastern states, with even the President of Yemen indicating after 33 years in power, that he will not stand again and neither will there be a "dynasty"...

Now whilst a number of Presidents appear to have been rattled rather by recent events, things have taken a rather more sinister turn today in Cairo, where out of the woodwork, has appeared a large number of pro-Mubarak supporters These people have not adopted the peaceful approach of the anti-government protestors: they have behaved like thugs and many have suggested that they have in fact the backing - if not the direct involvement - of the government which, it is suggested, hopes to benefit from the chaos these people are causing i.e. instability - the word "stability" being a central part of last night' presidential speech.

I am disappointed by the Eygptian Army's performance today, in contrast to its demeanour during the protests up to now. I expected it to keep order, which it has patently failed to do; this could be viewed as the Army's having decided to side with the régime.

No doubt we shall have to wait for further developments

In the meantime, I should add that I have always had a soft spot for President Mubarak - but only for one reason: many years ago he was quoted as describing Ayatollah Khomeini as "a pig" an observation I have always felt was fully justified.

Let us hope that Cairo does not become another Tehran.

Until the next time.