Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Think positive Scotland

With 24 hours before polling stations open to accommodate voters in Thursday's referendum it will be a relief when the result is known, whichever way it goes. After much deliberation I came to the conclusion that Scotland and England could benefit from Scottish independence. Some of my thoughts are given here.

Whatever the outcome I wish Scotland well. In England we have three parties that can hardly be separated in policy. They all support a No result and have united to offer Scotland new measures of  independence should voters put their faith in Westminster to serve its interests. This is something it has singularly failed to do since 1707. But now it looks serious. Scotland, like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, India and South Africa could find itself in self-governance on Friday, though the transition will take some months.

If the Yes vote is carried it sets the bar for England. Scotland does not have to respond in sending young men to die in NATO wars. On education and health it is already streets ahead. Think positive Scotland.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Birmingham birds

About a month ago I bought a camera which allows me to take photographs of some of the local birdlife. The very small ones are really difficult to capture and ideally I need a more powerful telephoto lens. This morning a young robin remained close enough for me to take a few snaps. A beautiful songster (member of the thrush family) it is the most common English bird.

Yesterday I got quite close to a carrion crow with white primary and secondary wing feathers. What creates this pigmentation change is a gene mutation called leucism. One of the reasons I saved up for the camera was to try and get some pictures of a white magpie of which I had taken photos with my phone but no close-ups. Alas I have not seen this bird for three or four months, and it looks like it may no longer be around.

My first capture, of which I am quite proud, was of a buzzard. Buzzards are commonplace in Wales. Unusually they appear to be moving inland and my information is that there are six known breeding pairs in Birmingham.

Mute swans are easy to capture on camera. Graceful and slow-moving they are also very powerful birds.

But it is the offspring, the cygnet or 'ugly duckling' as Hans Christian Andersen called it, that has caused most comment. The photo below picks out the veins in its webbed foot as the sunlight shines through.

From another angle a circular nodule can be seen at the base of its foot. It made me question whether that is where the term signet ring is derived. After all it appears to be wearing it at the base of its middle claw and it is chunky too! Or is this just a coincidence.

Finally here is a heron. It can regularly be found at the same spot at the same time of day. It is encouraging to know that our rivers are recovering as the heron and kingfisher populations increase in Birmingham.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Great Escape - Füssen railway station needs it now

Some old railway stations should have a preservation order and one of these is the Station at Füssen in the Allgäu region of Bavaria. This was the station depicted in the classic film The Great Escape. Today it is under threat from a developer with the full complicity of Füssen's own town council. Preserved railway stations, as well as saving for posterity a piece of local and national heritage, have a commercial value as museums and sets for period films and TV dramas and documentaries. The old station at Loughborough still operates commercially and old steam trains run from there to a fixed timetable. The station at Füssen predates the one at Loughborough.

Call it nostalgia but the repeat viewings of Captain Virgil Hilts (Steve McQueen) pounding a ball into his baseball glove was one iconic memory from what can only be described as an enduringly good film. The Great Escape, (1963) although it was fiction based on fact, showed that under duress prisoners could work together to the greater good, and even escape in numbers. In reality prisoners did escape from penal institutions in the forties but it would be impossible today in modern prisons of which there seem to be a growing number. In these people are held in solitary confinement, often without any hope, other than by confessing, whether guilty or innocent. Sometimes they are incarcerated because they know too much.

Old Father Time catches up with everybody, prisoners and non-prisoners alike, and has now caught up with most of the stars from The Great Escape although David McCallum still walks this mortal coil. Sadly James Garner died in July this year, and Richard Attenborough in August. So, for sentimental reasons alone, it would be sad to see the old railway station go too. Last year marked the fiftieth anniversary of the film and an exhibition was staged at the station to celebrate its longevity. The station was bought by a company "Hubert Schmid Bauunternehmen GmbH" for something in the region of 300,000 Euros. The company's plan now, having waited until after the anniversary, is to demolish the old station and build a modern convenience centre.

Unless a company or consortium can come up with an alternative plan that is what will happen. It needs someone with vision and money to find a way of preserving this old and unique example of Bavarian history or it will be reduced to rubble. Suggestions are welcome. What those without money can do is to like the Facebook page about this railway station. Wouldn't it be good to see a centenary celebration in another fifty years. I know I'd like to see it.

Here is a petition you can sign.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The racist, Andrew Moskowitz, should be sacked and prosecuted

Can you pronounce the name Moskowitz? It is most likely of Polish (or Yugoslavian) descent and would have been spelt Moskowicz originally but changed because the 'cz' ending would be pronounced 'tz' in Polish. However, if you are unfamiliar with Polish you are likely to pronounce the 'w' as we do in English, but in Polish it would be pronounced as a 'v', and the correct pronunciation of his surname would therefore be Moskovitz.

While this would not be of any real significance in the great scale of things Andrew Moskowitz thinks that employers should be spared the difficulty of grappling with what he considers to be unpronouncable names. So he does not give people with African-sounding names like Tamisha, for example, a job. His employer at the time he divulged this information was apparently The Cotton Warehouse which may well still be his employer, though no self-respecting company would employ a white supremacist, well not outside of Georgia anyway. Mr Moskowitz posted this racist comment on his Facebook page but he has since removed it.

He is a thorough out and out racist. His hatred extends to Muslims too as can be witnessed from his current Facebook page which contains the following comment regarding the alleged killing of Osama Bin Laden it is presumed.

After sympathising with the victims of 9/11 he wrote "Justice is done.  But remember, there is much work to be done still.  While we rejoice, they are plotting and planning.  We MUST remain vigilant and ready to defend and protect.  This is no time for complacency.  Stand fast in our resolve to defeat our enemy."

It is a clear demonstration of how western media have created an enemy in people's minds that did not previously exist. It is easy to spread this kind of bigotry in the southern states where slavery and black exploitation went on for centuries. This part of the USA is still a hotbed for Ku Klux Klan clandestine activity and has a communal mentality of institutionalised racism that is proving hard to eradicate. What a sad world we live in thanks to people like Andrew Moskowitz!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Search engines are useless today - fighter jet brought down MH17

This, as well as being my late father's birthday, is the 100th anniversary of the First World War. Although there is nobody around who can remember this it has been the big story of all the major western news channels. It is a glorification to prepare young men (and women) to die for politicians and Bilderbergers in the forthcoming war.

I've tried Google, Yahoo, Dogpile and DuckDuckGo without any luck trying to locate the report that it was most likely a Ukrainian fighter jet that deliberately it would seem brought down MH17. If I had not known about this article being a Global Research article I would not have been able to find it. You see, it does not fit in with US/NATO narratives which aim to take us into another world war from which it is unlikely many will survive. Search engines, which used to be so reliable, are pretty well useless sources of truth today.

The US and UK news channels push one line, that it was shot down by a BUK missile. The Ukrainian government has refused to release air-traffic data of that fatal day. Instead it has pumped misinformation into the public domain at an alarming rate with the complicity of the US and its brothel of media whores all aimed at discrediting Russia and President Putin. It has further used this false information to bring punitive measures against the Russian economy and its people.

That report by Global Research was not the first. An air-traffic controller in Ukraine mentioned about, not one but two fighter jets accompanying the ill-fated passenger plane. Bloggers were also distributing pictures of tthe wreckage and arguing that it had been brought down by a fighter jet.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

There was gold in Ukraine

A very short piece to share my latest article with you. It concerns Ukrainian gold pounced on by the USA and a treasure chest in Amsterdam.

My computer went down shortly after I sent the above to News Junkie Post. So I am writing this from the library.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why has Yatsenyuk really resigned?

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Ukrainian prime minister, who was leading the fascists, Pravy Sector and Svoboda party coalition, that ousted Yanukovich in a coup d'etat, resigned yesterday, Thursday. His ostensible reason for resigning was, he said, due to the breakup of the coalition and the non-adoption of certain bills he had backed. Yes, well, you have to say something when you go. So what is the real reason behind his resignation?

While at this stage nobody properly knows it has been a week of intense activity in Ukraine, not least due to the shooting down of the MH17 Malaysian passenger plane which killed all the passengers on board. This has overshadowed most other news worldwide. It is an odd time to resign, when an investigation into who brought down the plane is ongoing. The time to resign would have been before the plane was downed.

Reading between the lines does Yatsenyuk know something the rest of us do not? Radar tracking images presented by Russia indicate a military jet was accompanying the passenger plane until shortly before MH17 was attacked. Satellite images raise many questions too. Is Yatsenyuk's real reason for resigning because he is a lawyer and knows that those responsible for this deliberate act of criminality are quite likely to face justice and the full measure of international law when the truth emerges?