The Manicured Sophistry of Israel

I am getting tired and depressed listening to representatives of the Israeli government explain, with their manicured sophistry, just how essential it is to protect Israel that Israel should bomb women and children while they sleep in a United Nations shelter in Gaza, and how it is proportionate that the body count of Palestinians exceeds that of Israelis by a factor of twenty and how to describe such body count as disproportionate is “emotive”. Continue reading

The Balance Sheet of Death

Traditionally dictators and tyrants keep good order over the nations they rule, because to do otherwise would put their rule in peril. Once the tyrant is deposed new potential tyrants emerge and the nation suffers civil war and destruction until one tyrant manages to seize power. Continue reading

The Banker’s Exemption From the Criminal Law

It is better to use short words instead of long phrases. We should not call spades agricultural implements and we should not call fraud  serious misconduct. However, if you a fraudster operating in the banking system, organising large scale deceptions your chances of being prosecuted are so low that I do not think I can compute them.

There are so many examples of this, that I stand in pause to know where I should first begin, but I shall simply mention the sale by all the major UK banks of interest rate hedging products to small and medium sized businesses. Continue reading

The Military Objective of a War is to Win the Peace that Follows

Wars are complex difficult events but when you simplify the act of fighting a war to its bare essentials the way to victory is to kill more of the enemy than the enemy can kill of your side. Ultimately, if you can kill all of the enemy you will likely succeed in the political aims of the war. These days no one can kill all of their enemies; international law requires warring parties to leave plenty of enemies alive, and in those you leave alive you leave a breeding ground for generations of enemies that will plague you with endless war.  Continue reading

GM Crops

Manufacturers of genetically modified crops make great claims about them especially when lobbying government, but they do not explain the disadvantages about their products. Continue reading

Dust Rising

When I was very young I lived in Drury Lane London WC1, where the Muffin Man once lived. Drury Lane is a very narrow street, then filled with tenements and my family (all five of us) live at number 163 in one room , with a kitchen. We shared a bathroom with others in the building. Our room was on the first floor, with two sash windows overlooking the narrow busy road, which then had cafes and cheap restaurants for those visiting the theatres or the Law Courts and cheaper places to eat for those who lived there. The nearest park was Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where my mother would perambulate us. Continue reading

Counting

I count the steps as I walk, the seconds as I do a task which is necessary but uninteresting. It relieves the tedium, but I forget the numbers when my counting stops. The pavements are hard and unforgiving, but each flagstone has its own character and its own personality. I waste time thus in dreary frenzy. I wash down the drugs with preparations hoping extend my life, bloated by my belly bare, hoping to count to the number that will do what I cannot.

Wood Burning Power Station: the stupidity of Government

I have on many times pointed out that wood burning power stations will cause environmental damage. If you use the search engine that WordPress have provided for these essay you can get some idea of what I wrote and the time when I wrote it, before any wood burning power stations were built. I have railed against the subsidies paid out of our taxes for wood burning power and heat, all to no avail. I have explained the difference between a clean renewable energy policy and a dirty renewable energy policy, but no one in authority bothered to listen to my unimportant voice. Continue reading

Fifty Years On

One day is much like the next day; the weather may be different and a person may be different things in different places, but within your body one day feels  much like the day before. Small differences happen to the place which the mind inhabits, and slowly these differences become significant, so that how a person looks, feels and thinks at fifteen is very different fifty years on.

But for all those changes there is an essential essence, which is not definable which remains constant. The youngster walking to school to sit examinations in the summer of 1964 has the same essence fifteen years on when he draws his old age pension.

Perhaps this essence is that part of the soul that protrudes into the conscious mind and directs it, when the conscious mind allows. It is beyond physical direction but can be subdued or restrained by thought. Let it roam free.

It was an odd decision

The passengers of flight MH17 thought that they would be safe in the air. They knew that the authorities go to extraordinary lengths to ensure their safety, especially from terrorism. No doubt every passenger went through the security at the airport, pulling out their laptops, tablets and smart phones, carefully placing their liquids in an appropriate sized clear plastic bag, and walking without shoes and boots through the scanners at the airport. Some were frisked, carefully. perhaps some had a small pair of nail scissors or tweezers confiscated and their hold luggage was screened with modern technology; some of it may have been opened for random inspection or to check something that may have looked wrong on the computer screen as it went through.

So with all this security I wonder why the airline chose to fly of a part of the world where people were fighting with modern weapons. Continue reading