Lacessitor

Somewhere for a general periegesis of my collected political and ideological musings. The perspective is mainly a British one, but a discussion on political ideology should have a more global reach. This is yet another free-market, economic and social libertarian blog. Sorry.....

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Paedophilia, abeyance, and everything

Gosh, it's been such a long time, and so much has happened.

I haven't posted for so long, partly because I've been busy, and partly because this is supposed to be a London blog, and I'm rarely in the UK any more; and although I do follow the UK news, I'm getting rather bored of the whole place: "to hell in a hand-cart" and all that.

Oh, and for those of you who know what I mean, it was I who sent that e-mail to TFT

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Operation Ore

On the subject of child porn, I recently came across a website which exposes (or so it claims) the real truth behind the operation, and the original Landslide investigation in the US.

Apparently, Landslide was a legitimate business concern, which hosted adult porn: the closest they seem to have got to child pornography is with "teens" sites; pornographic images of under-eighteens have been illegal in the US for many years (until the Sex Offences Act 2003, child pornography under British law was pornographic images of girls under 16).

Lanslide Inc appears always to have contacted the FBI if it came across child porn.

If the information contained on this site is true, then the British police are more wicked and corrupt than I could ever have imagined.

"Child Porn Shock!!!!"

Rather warm here at the moment: it's supposed to be 31 in Central London, but feels even warmer than that. London's parks are full of sunbathers, and people were even bathing in the Serpentine. It isn't the Thames, to be sure, but rather them than me, nonetheless.

While on the tube today, I happened to notice an article in the Sun which was being read by my neighbour (yes, I am aware that it is terribly rude to read over someone else's shoulder). This story has already been covered in the Telegraph as a little non-story, and the placid tone of the reporting, coupled with the frankly only vaguely surprising content of the article caused me to deem it unworthy of comment. But I am not unfamiliar with the differences between tabloid and broadsheet coverage of a topic: I wrote a piece of A-level English coursework on it.

The Sun's article, which can be found here, simply foams at the mouth; its enthusiasm is pretty contagious - almost feel like starting a riot myself.
"Abusive images of children" possible, but more likely to be pictures of children without clothes on; which frankly isn't the most disgusting or outrageous thing in the world.
" These are penetrative and abusive images of children from babies to pre-pubescent youngsters." Again, unlikely. "Child porn" refers to a wide range of images, from mere erotica (not even necessarily naked) to abusive images. For obvious reasons, the latter is much more unusual. Furthermore, "child porn" does not necessarily refer to "children" - it can be any such image of anyone under the age of eighteen. Eighteen. So all of those "teen" sites you've been looking at could get you put in prison.
"
pictures of men having sex with babies." Again, don't be stupid. Very unlikely, since there are rather extreme compatibility issues. Few men could be so callous: if it were a girl, she would probably be rendered unable ever to have children of her own.
"
He said: “We must do what we can. Any image of an abused child is a real child and if we don’t deal with it they will just continue to be abused." Not true. I'm currently reading Child Pornography: An Internet Crime by Max Taylor and Ethel Quaile. According to them, (and they are more expert than this joker) a great proportion of the child pornography available on the Internet is over 30 years old. So no child is still being abused. And no child needs to be abused anyway to create a simple Playboy-style picture.
"
Protect yourself by reporting it and you’ll also be protecting any children that person has access to." Hmmm. Have you ever looked at porn? You have? Then every woman with whom you ever come into contact must be in grave danger of being attracked by you!!

Most companies probably just don't need the hassle of having their servers and PCs being taken away for forensic analysis, for which there is currently a backlog of nearly a year. Businesses cannot afford to risk their productivity like that. And it doesn't matter much anyway.


Oh well, we all break the law in some way (and if you don't, you really need to get out more). Top Gear are asking for favourite driving songs; I voted for Their Law by the Prodigy. Kind of sums up my attitude to law enforcement on the roads (and more generally): "What we're dealing with here is a total lack of respect for the law............. Fuck them and their law!"

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Clarke's Contempt for Democracy

Charles Clarke wants to ban people from protesting within 1,000 yards of Westminster (as an aside, note that while it is couched in imperial terms, this is clearly a metric figure: 1,000 yards is roughly 1km. How long before inches, feet, yards and miles are banned, just as pounds and ounces are?) without police permission; and if anyone does get permission, they can be curtailed to as little as 30 minutes.

What happened to democracy?

These measures were introduced ostensibly to get rid of Brian Haw, that shambling figure in Parliament square, with his badges and cardboard placards; it just goes to show how easy it is for a government to increase its power by artifice and dissimulation. It proves the adage, "give them an inch.....". This is why we should never give governments any more power than they absolutely need (or better, never have governments at all).
Anyway, I have affection for these crazies who manage to spend an enormous amount of time devoted to their cause: the other one who springs to mind is the one who alternates between St. Stephen's entrance and White's club, with his placard reading: "WANTED: LORD PETER BROOKES" or something like that. Never actually heard of a Lord Peter Brookes otherwise, and I don't know why he wants him, but I suppose that's just one of life's little mysteries.

Anyway, if this thing gets passed, the entire country ought to go to protest outside the Palace of Westminster. If you could get a good six-figure turn-out, I'd like to see the police try to arrest them all.
But of course they won't, because they will be slumped in front of Celebrity Love Island: in the news today is the fact that Britons watch more television than the rest of Europe. To be perfectly honest, I was shocked merely at the fact that the average viewing figure is just 18 hours per week, and that the average person actually manages to spend 5.3 hours per week reading. I suppose it depends on who you ask - the twenty per cent of eleven-year-olds leaving primary school illiterate certainly aren't spending 5.3 hours per week reading.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The 9/11 Thing

I meant to write about this a while ago, but never got round to it. Last Month, AL Kennedy wrote a piece in the Guardian in which she mentions, in brief, some of the problems she has with the official account of 9/11. Her article was brought to my attention by Laban Tall's blog, which ridiculed her as usual.
But actually, you know, she has a point. When I read that article, I had just spent quite a bit of the time I was supposed to be revising, reading the varied conspiracy theories of 9/11.


The 9/11 conspiracy theories are, of all the conspiracy theories that do the rounds, perhaps the most credible. The moon landings, for instance, may seem to be deeply problematic to a novice, with anecdotal evidence of some sort of cover-up, but there is tremendous solidarity of scientists and engineers saying that it was certainly possible - and most importantly, the Russians would surely have proved them wrong if they had any semblance of doubt.


But this is different. Conspiracy theorists seem unable to decide on the exact conspiracy - some claim that the government created original conspiracy theories to hide the real conspiracy, which seems far-fetched.


But in this case, structural engineers and architects have said that the Twin Towers simply should not have been brought down by those planes hitting them. The towers were designed to withstand the impact of a 707 (the largest plane at the time, and similar in size, weight and speed to a 767). The central core, which held the buildings, and which was capable of carrying double the weight, should largely have been unaffected by the impact, especially to the south tower, which was the tower which came down first.
The sprinklers had also just been overhauled. Jet fuel burns at 850 degrees C. Steel melts at 2800 degrees C. Office fires generally reach about 800-900 degrees C. The second tallest building in Caracas caught fire a few years ago. It was built using a similar, though less robust design, to the Twin towers. The sprinklers were not working, but the building, burning for some 18 hours, came not down. The Winchester building in Madrid, also built with a similar structure, also burned for about 18 hours. This was an old building, and much worse built than the Twin towers. Some of the top floors collapsed (the outside walls were gone; but they have no structural importance).

There are many, many questions about this. If the US government were to give a plausible answer to them, then it may be possible for minds to be put at rest. Here are some of the questions which came to me when replying (via e-mail) to Laban Tall's blog:


1, Why were planes, despatched to the World Trade Centre before the second hit, to the South Tower, allegedly "flying like scolded monkeys", flying at 550mph, when their cruising speed is 570mph and max speed is Mach 2?

2. Can the WTC towers have collapsed in so short a time from such a minor
impact, when they were designed to withstand an impact by a plane (707, the biggest plane at the time, which was similar in size and speed to a 767)?

3. Why did WTC 7 collapse?


4. How did people know that the towers were going to collapse, when such a
thing has never happened before?

5. Why were enormous numbers of staff in the WTC told not to come to work
that morning?

6. Why did the South tower collapse first, when it was least seriously damaged, and hit second?

7. What was going on in the air above the Pentagon, and why did the
military do nothing, with an hour's warning that Flight 77 was off course?

8. Why were planes not despatched from Andrews Airbase?


9. Where is the wreckage of AA Flight 77 into the Pentagon?


10, Was it really just good fortune that the plane manoeuvred somewhat
illogically and not without difficulty, apparently that it might hit the precise part of the Pentagon which was under refurbishment (thus with few staff), and which had recently been strengthened?

11. Why will the FBI not release security tape footage of the plane, to put
minds at rest?

12. Can a 757 flying at 500mph, fly 2 feet above the ground, and destroy six
concrete reinforced walls of the Pentagon?

13. Could those incompetent pilots have flown in such a manner as they are
alleged to have done?

14. Why does Flight 93 appear to have been shot down?


These questions may have logical and rational answers. They may, in
time, be answered. However, it is certainly not illogical or irrational to ask them at the moment. Some of the conspiracy theories are likely to be wrong, some are clearly loopy. But the general, overriding theme of the official accounts of that day, is that something doesn't quite add up, and that there's something we're not being told.

Believe what you will, but do have a look at the other side of the argument. Have a glance at these websites:

http://www.oilempire.us/911.html

http://www.freedomunderground.org/memoryhole/pentagon.php

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/

http://www.the7thfire.com/Politics%20and%20History/Missile-Not-Flight-77.html

DWP Porn shock

Yeah, I know I'm, like, way out of date on this one. But the always interesting (if occasionally socialist, and small-minded in their tolerance and open-mindedness) Friday Thing brought this story to my attention last week. It seems that many of the newspapers missed it; I found it only in the Mirror and the Times, so you may have missed it too: in 2004, the Audit commission found that over the previous 8 months, civil servants in the Separtment for Work and Pensions alone (140,000) had visited 2.3 million pages of porn, 18,000 of which were of children. Well, at least we know why they need so many extra staff.

Times version

Mirror Version (much more salacious)

News Roundup

So much seems to happen these days which is worthy of comment: people doing stupid things, and the government wasting more of our money.

A man took his clothes off to interview a woman, inviting her to do likewise; naturally enough, she fled and called the police. He lost his job, his girlfriend and his friends. In the words of Harry Hutton, "Having testicles is like being chained to the village idiot; sad, but there it is."

Villagers in a remote hamlet have clubbed together to pay for a private police force. Which is precisely as everyone should do. I'm told that the posher parts of K & C have a similar scheme, as do various other wealthy towns. This system makes sense. Just like private healthcare and private education, we can get precisely what we want, tailored to our needs and ability to pay. If only we weren't forced to subsidise the wasteful, inefficient and inept government imitation of the real thing, more people would be able to afford to give themselves real protection, real healthcare and real education.

Tony Blair is remaining surprisingly firm on the EU rebate. Some people have claimed that if he were to lose the rebate, it would be domestic political suicide. This is of course nonsense. Most people, as usual, have their heads far too full of "Celebrity Love Island" and "Big Brother", Jordan and Kylie, to worry about the vagaries of our funding to the EU. We have our lower classes trained like the best sort of show-dogs: if the press doesn't get excited about a topic, the masses sure as hell won't.
Tony Blair may well make a show of fighting for our rebate, before capitulating far too easily. Darling Peter has said that it's naughty to support the rebate; Gerhard and Jacques too, as well as a host of other little men. It's good as gone.
Their arguments are of course rubbish. Nobody is having to pay for Britain's rebate but Britain. We put in £12,000 million. We take £3,000 million back because we get very little else from the EU. The EU still has an awful lot of our money to play with: not only the next £9,000 million, but much more besides.

Finally, National Lottery funds will be used to prop up the public services. I may be missing something here, but so what? It always has been a tax on the stupid and desperate. No, you're going to lose more than you win. I can guarantee it. That's why the National Lottery makes such enormous profits. You have more chance of being struck by lightning three times than winning the lottery. Gambling only works when you know something which no one else does.
Anyway, be that as it may, Gordon Brown has vastly increased public spending and public sector jobs over the last 8 years, but because of Tony's commitmentent not to raise income tax, he has to find other ways of stealing from us. That's why the average person now pays 42% of their income in tax, and the poorest are hardest hit.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

More Michael Jackson

Apparently Michael Jackson has now promised not to sleep with boys any more; that seems something of a shame. He should be allowed to do as he pleases, so long as no one gets hurt. As the old saying goes, "A woman for duty, a boy for pleasure (and a girl for ecstasy)".
A good article can be found here: http://barometer.orst.edu/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/05/18/428b7393db1c5


In other, vaguely related news, George Best is accused of "indecently assaulting" a girl "under the age of 13". Doesn't sound particularly like Best's MO to me. He usually goes for attractive women rather than little girls; though I guess he could have groped her in a moment of stupidity if he was drunk (which he always is). Indeed, a study by Kent State University in 1995 found that 95% of participants (all male) showed noticeable arousal to pictures of naked prepubescent girls. Such attraction appears to be in most men, somewhere, given the opportunity (which is presumably why it is such an emotive subject - you hate most what you fear most).

Michael Jackson

Yes, the story the world is talking about; I haven't yet seen anyone who's unhappy with the result. Interestingly, throughout the trial, I have noticed that it seems to be women who are his greatest advocates and supporters, where usually in such circumstances, women are the most vicious and bilious opponents of the accused, seeming to tend to take the view of there being no smoke without fire.

Personally, I always suspected that he would not end up in prison; or at least, I hoped that way. I wouldn't be in the least surprised if he did get up to some naughtiness with young boys. But that's up to them. If anything happened, I'm certain that it was consentual.
Extreme wealth (or maybe not, with reported debts of $300m) and fame, of course, always help with getting consent for sex - but that's life, whether it be with boys, girls, men or women. It doesn't make it rape or molestation.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

More Driving

Today's Telegraph also has two interesting articles on driving.

In the first, a police driving instructor was stopped doing 112mph on the M1 at 11.38 on a Friday night. He is going to lose his license, and consequently, probably his job. Now a police driving instructor knows what is safe and what isn't. I trust his judgement; and if he was happy to travel at that speed, then he should be allowed to. Similarly, if I am happy to drive at that speed (as I always am when on a motorway, and no one's in front of me), then my judgement ought to be trusted, and I should be allowed to.
It just isn't particularly dangerous to drive very quickly on the motorway. The article I linked to also mentions a police driver who crashed at 90 in a 30 limit. That is unbelievably dangerous; if a road has a 30 limit, then is clearly dangerous to be doing triple the limit - while the limits are frequently out of touch with reality, they aren't that out of touch. I've never done more than double the speed limit, never mind triple. When judging the safety of a speed, one must also take into account the expectations of any pedestrians: they will not be expecting a car to go so fast.
We do not have this problem on a motorway, where everyone is travelling at the same speed and there are no pedestrians crossing (unless they're pretty stupid). There is no logical limit to the speed at which one should travel on a motorway.

The second story tells of a young driver who crashed; the judge recommends that people should not be allowed to drive until they are 24, in case they have a crash.
That's just fucking stupid. Has no one over 24 ever had a crash?

Crashing is mostly to do with inexperience and exuberance. It will always happen with new drivers. Indeed, the longer it is before one is allowed to drive, the more one will "go wild" when one finally gets one's license. That is probably part of the problem with the current system. I wanted to drive from about the time I could say "car". Apart from a couple of goes in the family car as I was growing up, I didn't really get the chance until I was 17. At this point, one is far more clumsy and far less cautious than one is at 9. Children are by nature far more cautious and far less irresponsible than teenagers. If we abolish the age of driving and simply make the tests harder, then we will have a much fairer system.
Incidentally, Jeremy Clarkson wrote recently (in the Sunday Times I think) that he thinks it important that everyone has a crash soon after they learn to drive, as it has made him and many others he knows a much better driver. I concur. I had a pretty horrific crash at seventeen; and I've never (fingers crossed) crashed since. It was entirely my own fault, and no one else was involved. But it taught me an awful lot, and it is a mistake I do not intend to repeat.

Children are being abused by the laws

Roy Case, the chairman of the English Golf Union's boys' selection committee has described how government guidelines on coaching children are reducing children's chances of success. The coaches are not supposed to show any affection to the children, or ever to be alone with them. Such a fearful atmosphere naturally makes such relationships more difficult, and discourages people from coaching.

It strikes me that sexual relationships between coaches and pupils are rare, and that the benefits of these guidelines are far outweighed by their negative effects. Yes, we want to avoid children being sexually abused. But I'm afraid that we will just have to trust each other - though that is something the nanny state does not like to do.

We must focus on better sexual education for young children, and hope that if they feel uncomfortable in such a relationship, that they will make their feelings known.
The Telegraph's editorial on the issue has a wonderful quote on this issue, "They seem to reflect an unhealthy national obsession with paedophilia, which bears no relation to the scale of the danger."

Sunday, June 05, 2005

News....

I have half a mind to stop reading the news; it's all just so depressing. Need I mention the family of teenage mothers given £31,000 each year in benefits? Or the ignorant "celebrities" and "pop-stars" who are supporting this nonsensical and horrendous "Make Poverty History" campaign. Yes, we all want to make poverty history, and we all want to help Africans to eat. But more aid, more bureaucracy and more protectionism isn't going to do a damn in the long term.

Today's news includes Gordon Brown asking OPEC countries to join him in giving aid, so that aid can reach the magical $100 billion figure. I see. So once we reach $100,000,000,000 of taxpayers money wasted on the sclerotic, inept and corrupt African dictatorships then poverty will be ended? What reasoning is there behind this figure? Spend any amount you like, spend the combined wealth of every 1st world country, and I can guarantee that there will still be poverty in Africa. What will it take to make them see sense, that free trade is the only way to help these people?

The most distressing news is of course the increased strife in Zimbabwe. If there was any justice in life, then Mugabe would die a horrible death, very soon. Those poor people, who have almost nothing, have their few possessions destroyed by this wicked dictatorship.
My immediate reaction to this is "what can we do?". In truth, it depends on what lengths we are prepared to take. Those who feel that regime change in Iraq was necessary should surely feel that it is necessary in Zimbabwe. But while I think that regime change is necessary, I do not believe that the rest of the world should have a hand in it. However wicked a government is, we cannot just topple it; a worse one will almost always take its place, and many lives will be lost in the process.
But we must not ignore Zimbabwe just because we think it wrong to topple Mugabe (though I cannot see that this can logically be the view of US/UK foreign policy given their previous interventions). We ought at least to offer refuge to its people, and actively to help them to escape their country.

Minnette Marrin has written a very well thought out article about the education of black boys and teaching them to read (how anyone can think that anything other than by first learning the alphabet is best, I cannot comprehend).

Driving charges

What caused me to start writing this blog again was this article in today's Times. Not only that, but such a worthy beast as the ASI blog recently supported it (Replacing the tax disc, here).

Currently, we have an excellent system of road charging: it's called fuel duty! Not only does it take into account the distance driven, but also the size of the car and engine, and the level of emissions. It works perfectly! If I want to go from London to Edinburgh in a Mercedes AMG S65 (twin-turbo 6 litre V12, 19mpg, 5m long), then it will cost me much more than if I do it in a Smart City Coupe (0.7 litre 3, 60 mpg, 2.5m long). Fuel duty is much better that capacity-based pricing. Are parents expected to drop their children off at school at 4am because it's cheaper? Or are we supposed to go to work in the middle of the night? Don't be stupid. We don't choose to go out in the rush hour, to contend with the traffic. We do it because we have to, exactly the same as everyone else - which is why we have the bloody queues. We all drive into the city centres because that's where the jobs are, genius! And we drive because that is still the quickest, most comfortable and most convenient way of getting there.

Finally, if traffic does eventually reach "complete gridlock", then that very fact itself will encourage people to look to other means of transport to get around. Why do we need enormous buses with only two people on? They contribute hugely to congestion, and we, the taxpayer, subsidise public transport.

Welcome Back

Sorry I have been away so long: with a dissertation to write, and finals to revise for, I simply haven't had the time......... not that anyone noticed, I'm sure.

Well, the Conservatives didn't get in, thank God.
The economy will soon go tits up (by which time I hope to have moved abroad, and so will not have, as a taxpayer, to pick up the pieces of the economic disaster which Gordon Brown has caused as chancellor) and so we must hope that Labour are still in power, and thus it will be they who suffer the fall-out - and let us hope at the same time that the Conservatives have had the balls to institute a genuinely liberal economic policy, which will institute a flat rate of tax and increase the tax threshold to at least double its present rate.
Furthermore, the Tories not getting in this time hits home to them that they cannot hope simply to present themselves as a slightly more right-wing version of the Labour party. They need a vision, and they need to reflect on what they are really about. They need to stand up for what is just and right. We will avoid the disastrous immigration policy proposed by Michael Howard, and we can hope that the social liberals manage more coherently and more strongly to press their points.

David Davis is looking very strong as a contender. For my part, I would most like Alan Duncan to be leader; but I cannot realistically expect him to win a leadership contest. I don't mind Davis; and although he is said to be an authoritarian, he has come out against ID cards, and he is a strong economic liberal. The media seem to like him, which is unfortunately perhaps the most important requirement for a political leader today. He is relatively good looking compared to his rivals (not hard, I'll admit), and he comes across as being somewhat charming, even though he is said to be unpleasantly ambitious. If he keeps his economic policies (or ideally become more liberal), and adopts a more liberal social policy, then I will happily support him.

Ken Clarke is a europhile, and he has had his day. I don't dislike the man, but I could not support a pro-European party.
Malcolm Rifkind is decent enough and opposed the Iraq war, and he would keep the party together, but I don't feel that he is what the party needs right now; he would be seen as "Michael Howard but different" - just another "blast from the past".
Andrew Lansley is a social liberal, but lacks the stature needed for leadership. I suspect also that he would be too "nice" to be PM.
David Cameron is much talked about as a possible contender, but doesn't have a hope. He's too inexperienced to stand this year. Maybe if Howard had stayed for a couple of years then he could let the succession go to Cameron, but it's too soon. We just haven't seen enough of him properly to judge his ability at leadership and presentation.
David Willetts is a very thoughtful, humane and intelligent man, who is devising some very strong policies. But he just isn't leadership material. One former MP was telling me the other day that he's just too clever for his own good - and that Tories are scared of intelligence.

It is of course too soon really to tell what sort of campaigns each of these (and possibly others) will come up with. But on current form, I would say that this election is Davis' to lose; but then, the 2001 election was Portillo's to lose, and he managed it in spectacular style.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The fear of Immigration

There seem to be conflicting articles in today's Times: one talks of the fact that of 133,000 Eastern Europeans in Britain, just 21 claim the dole. Whereas Minette Marin talks of immigration being "out of control".

But it strikes me that someone who has chosen to remove themselves from their homes and families to travel a long and difficult journey (especially illegal immigrants and asylum seekers, travelling in or underneath lorries), is someone with a great deal of drive and determination, and someone who is prepared to work very hard. They don't put themselves through all of that difficulty just so that they can live in a crappy council flat, and sit on their arse all day, claiming benefits. People whose only desire is to do that wouldn't bother to come to Britain.

Immigrant workers are precisely the sort of people you want working for you. They are prepared to work hard, and to do a good job; they are ambitious and driven; and they do all of the jobs you won't. I know a lot of immigrant workers - including my favourite barmen. All of those I know are unfailingly positive and helpful (and the Eastern European girls are often very pretty). You rarely find them treating customers with the arrogance and unpleasantness of British staff.

I really do believe that many, nay, most, asylum seekers come here for money. If these people have made it here, we ought not to turn them away; neither do we need to give them permanent residency. A working visa will do fine.


What does worry me, though, is the report concerning the state of immigration in Holland. Why do terrorists live in a country they hate? Why do they hate these countries?
Having seen little evidence of terrorist plots in Britain by radical Moslems, and not having seen hatred towards Britain by Moslems in general, I have always somewhat assumed that the threat of terrorism, and the rise in radical Islam in Britain, has been something of an exaggeration by the government and tabloid press, for their own ends. Holland is a lot further along the road in terms of immigration. But it is both worrying and sickening that this segment of immigrants choose to hate the countries which have let them live there.
I know the argument that if we go to a Moslem state, our women are required to cover their heads...... "When in Rome, do as the Romans". But I think we here are a little more civilised than that. We should let these people continue their own customs, and respect them. But they must respect ours too.

If immigrants of the first or second generation are convicted of an imprisonable offence, I suggest that it might also be helpful if we were to deport them.

There are many benefits to multi-culturalism and immigration. But if these immigrants fail to respect our customs and laws, then we ought to rid ourselves of them.

Animal Feelings Shock

Apparently animals feel pain, anxiety and fear. Er..... and this is news? I could have told the researchers not to bother. Of course animals have feelings. Still taste good though.

Irons Demands Sense

Jeremy Irons has spoken out against the hysteria towards paedophilia in society; he is one of the very first to make this point, but will certainly not be the last.

“It’s very difficult because children under 16 are immensely attractive, any father will tell you”. Well, incestuous feelings aside, I think that we are all able to see that children are often very attractive - which is exactly why parents are so obsessed and hysterical with paedophilia, which in turn makes paedophilia attractive.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Health Food

On the note of food, did you know how much the British government spends on school lunches per child? Thirty-seven pence.

That's just disgusting. If it were rice with a home-made sauce and some Tesco Value "meat", then fair enough, you might think: not ideal, but adequate sustenance. However, the schools are catered for by catering companies such as Sodexho (who, I think, has all of the contracts for state schools); the catering company provides crap which just needs re-heating. I remember the good old days of dinner ladies who actually cooked stuff. It generally tasted pretty crap, but at least you knew you were getting proper nourishment. Then the school changed to Sodexho (they were cheaper than dinner staff). I took packed lunches from then on.

This trend for ready meals is very worrying though. If food just has to be reheated in order to be eaten, then it must have been cooked already. But if you cook something yourself, it is dangerous to eat it after it has been reheated. Which means that these ready meals are full of preservatives. And they taste of very little indeed. I had one about a month ago, a chicken something-or-other; but the "chicken" had the taste and texture of nothing I have ever known; except perhaps cardboard. The portions are abysmal as well. One of those things could work as a starter, but not a full meal (but then when I'm cooking, I cook a meal for myself based on a recipie for two).

Don't even think that you can get away from ready meals if you eat out. Ever wondered why you can go to a chain "restaurant" and the menu and food will be exactly the same as every other one? Yup. The "chef" at such places as Bella Pasta knows very little about a kitchen except how to work a microwave. And you pay nearly a tenner for the privilege.

Finally, there has been a hoo-ha this week because Premier Foods used in its products chilli powders treated with a known carcinogen called Sudan I; a product usually found in boot polish and petroleum products. So far, 359 products have been recalled from supermarkets. Almost all of the products are ready-meals (since they use not chillis but chilli powder, which is long-lasting). Because of this, I've never had a single one.

Try cooking for yourself. You can have as much as you want, and whatever you want in it. It also tastes better, and you know precisely what's in it. What's more (and most importantly), you can make the same meal, nearly double the size, for about half the price.

"The Kiddie Killing Fields"

India Knight's article in today's Sunday Times claims the "obviousness" of children playing violent games and watching violent films as making them violent when they are older. But boys, and to a lesser extent girls, have always played violent games. Even fairly young children understand the difference between real and pretend.

I frequently played violent video games when I was younger. I introduced my brother to horrifically violent films and video games from about the age of five, and he still plays them; and he's one of the most gentle, loving people I know. Maybe he'll turn into a violent psychopath later on. I doubt it, however.

I suspect that the outcome of such things is dependent on a large number of factors: if these games and films are used as a substitute for child-care, and so that the parent does not have to bother with the child, then it is quite understandable that in such a loveless environment the child will grow up themselves to become loveless.

Video games are not the cause of violence in society; violence replicating them is merely the symptom of a deeper problem. In the same way, it is ridiculous to go to McDonalds every day, and order a SuperSize because you're too lazy to make your own food, and then to blame McDonalds because you got fat.
Another example of the "blame culture", trying to pass the buck for society's problems onto everyone else. People create products. If you buy them, it isn't their fault. You control your own destiny, and help to guide that of those around you.

Teenage Abortion

Figures have been released showing that 3,500 girls under the age of sixteen have abortions each year, 1,075 of those under 14.

There is very little chance that these abortions are necessary; a young girl who is pregnant will almost always be healthy enough to carry a baby to full term. There are very few health risks associated with childbirth; it's sort of supposed to happen. It also makes little difference how old the girl is, since if they are capable of becoming pregnant, they are capable of childbirth. Indeed, the youngest girl ever sucessfully to have brought a pregnancy to full term was five (Warning: link contains nude picture of the pregnant girl); and she was given a caesarian section not out of necessesity, but due to the doctors' fear that it may have been too painful for her.

Simply, these abortions are given for convenience. The unborn child is disposed of, forgotten about, and the major health implications of having a termination (much greater than those associated with childbirth) are ignored. The psychological implications on the girl of murdering her unborn child for her own convenience are also ignored.
I do wonder whether the people who advise them to abort even bother to discuss the possible negative consequences of abortion, or just persuade them on the basis of the negative consequences of letting nature take its course.

Ultimately, though, it furthers the apparent aim of the ruling classes to remove personal responsibility for actions from the populace. The girl, in almost every instance, will have chosen to have unprotected sex. That is her call. But it is also therefore her choice to become pregnant. There are many possibilities to solve this problem. Abortion is the worst option in many circumstances, for all involved.