Monthly archives: July 2011

Daily Blog 07/27/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tomatoes on Tib Street

Tomatoes on Tib Street, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

Not strictly Tib Street, but in the shadow of Affleck’s nonetheless. Someone has made good use of one of the big planters which has lost its tree. As well as the large tomato plant there are also some lettuce, parsley and mint. Very pretty and I hope they get a good harvest out of it.

The other extremists 14

I subscribe to the RSS feeds of a few reactionary bigots. They’re good to quote when I want to show how stupid some people’s arguments are and their reality-free beliefs can be amusing.

Admittedly, calls for Gordon Brown to be tried as a traitor because he made a bad financial decision (particularly after fantasising about stringing up “traitors”) don’t seem so funny after Friday’s events in Norway. I don’t think that Stewart Cowan- the quoted blogger, who wants treason redefined around his evidence free conspiracy theories- is going to take up arms against a sea of secular humanists any time soon, but there exist in this country those who might.

Let’s not forget that the UK’s biggest cache of weapons and chemicals hoarded for terror purposes was held by a bunch of white racists, that before 7/7 probably the worst bombing campaign on the mainland was carried out by a racist homophobic idiot (and before that it was the Irish) and that just last year a white racist was jailed for trying to mix up Ricin for his own terror campaign (his son was jailed for having copies of books you can get from Amazon, but that’s a different matter).

It would be nice to think that these events, and before that the decades long IRA campaign, would give we Brits a longer view on terrorism. It would be nice if everybody didn’t cry “Al Quaeda” before the evidence was in. But that’s not how it works. And that’s dangerous, as all the history we so quickly forget shows.

So my mockery of dumb, faith based* prejudices doesn’t seem as much fun now. Which means it’s even more important to continue. Luckily for me, God’s self appointed representative in Salford is back blogging after a hiatus. On Friday he decided to tell us what is wrong with modern Policing. Can you guess what the problem is? (Yes, you’re right, it’s homosexuals- or “homopervuals” as Carvath likes to say- with a side order women. It’s always homosexuals with Richard Carvath, he’s obsessed, and no amount of fantasising about having to save WPCs when “serious and organised” criminals come and kick in his door is going to make any of us think he’s not in denial.) At least some of the reactionaries are still good for a laugh.

A couple of more serious posts on this subject, by people who have stronger stomachs and have looked deeper into the abyss that is the reactionary belief system-

Where Worlds Collide: The Al-Queda of the West?

Little Green Footballs: The Oslo Terrorist’s ‘Counter-Jihad’ Ideology

*I don’t mean religion here, these guys cling to their beliefs in overarching conspiracies and impossibly complex plans with ill defined aims ever tighter when presented with evidence of how ludicrous they are. That sounds like blind faith to me.

Daily Blog 07/25/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 07/24/2011

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Daily Blog 07/23/2011

  • The whiff of aerosol paint lacquer and stale urine hangs over the entrance to Leake Street, a murky tunnel below the platforms of London’s Waterloo station. “THE TUNNEL. Authorised graffiti area,” proclaims a billboard spelling out the rules of painting etiquette, including one barely legible beneath multicoloured layers of name-tagging: “You don’t have to be a gangster to paint here, so please don’t behave like one.”

    tags: graffiti

  • Householders across the UK are being offered grants of up to £1,250 towards the cost of installing renewable heating systems such as biomass boilers, air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels.

    This week the government unveiled a £15m Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme – which will open for applications on 1 August and run until March next year. The aim is to support up to 25,000 installations, with the money doled out on a first-come basis.

    tags: money ecobuilding renewables

  • On the 70th anniversary of the launch of Winston Churchill’s WWII “V for Victory” campaign (July 19, 1941) presents color photos taken in London during the war, in tribute to the spirit of Britons who would not be cowed. The air raids by German Luftwaffe planes on English cities and towns in 1940 and 1941 — attacks known collectively and famously as The Blitz — were terrifying, but they failed in their key aims: namely, to demoralize the British people, and to destroy the UK’s war economy. London, not surprisingly, suffered the brunt of the Blitz: More than a million London houses were ruined or badly damaged, and more than 20,000 civilians were killed in the city alone. (Roughly 40,000 civilians were killed in the whole of England.)

    tags: london ww2

  • It has taken me more than 30 years as a journalist to ask myself this question, but this week I find that I must: is the Left right after all? You see, one of the great arguments of the Left is that what the Right calls “the free market” is actually a set-up.

    tags: politics Economics

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 07/18/2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Blog 07/16/2011

  • In 1944, Bill Kenz mocked up two flatheads between a set of ’31 Ford rails. The thinking was simple – double the displacement, double the power. Logic in hand, he pressed on…

    tags: hotrod

  • Just your average train geek, on a quest to visit the UK’s obscure, underused or prettily-named stations.

    tags: railways trains

    • ust your average train geek, on a quest to visit the UK’s obscure, underused or prettily-named stations
  • A newly published study has been interpreted by some as a sign that search engines are damaging people’s memory skills. In fact, it seems more of an indication that the brain makes a smart use of its resources.

    tags: memory

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Conspiracy theorists don’t like real conspiracies 4

I keep meaning to write some more about the ongoing News of the World/News International implosion (Update Here’s my previous comment on it- Private grief is not public interest.). But every time I think I’m ready to start some more news breaks and I decide to leave it for a while longer to see what happens next. Thus have I tricked myself into waiting for this whole affair to be over before I say anything.

Going off at a tangent to the potential demise of Rupert Murdoch’s empire I did notice something interesting earlier this week. I follow the RSS of blogs by a couple of self righteous fundamentalists. It’s my way of keeping track of what I call the “reactionary bigotsphere”. One of these fundies is, conveniently, a believer of just about every conspiracy theory going, which helps me keep up to date with another set of fringe beliefs.

Now the whole Murdoch affair should appeal to a xenophobic conspiracy fan. It’s got an unsavoury foreigner acting against British interests and values, corrupting the Police and those in power, working to keep the public misinformed and stoke up fear and hatred, behaving in ways which are morally repugnant and illegal and co-opting his powerful friends to cover it all up. All with the aim of garnering more power and money for himself and his planned dynasty, no matter how far it drags the rest of us down.

A conspiracy theorist should be all over this, jumping up and down with glee and shouting “See! I told you so! The foreigners are out to get us!”. But my favourite conspiracy bigot has said nothing at all about the News of the World, he’s more interested in imagined crimes committed by, or on behalf of, the European Union.

Okay, maybe my mate Stewart’s a bit busy, maybe he hasn’t got round to covering Murdoch-gate yet. Maybe he hasn’t realised just how deep and how high the corruption that could come to light goes. He should check it out, then maybe he could stop relying on made up “facts” and actually get angry about stuff that really happened. But maybe some of his “they’re all out to get us” friends are ahead of him.

Stewie seems to have a high opinion of someone who blogs under the name of Leg Iron. Perhaps he has something pertinent to say about News International.

Cards on the table.

I don’t care.

Or perhaps not. After this busted flush Leggy then goes on to say nothing in particular about Rupert’s motivations in about half a dozen different ways.

To be fair, some of the people in Leg Iron’s blogroll do have things to say about News International. For instance- The Mirror uses private investigators more often than the NotW, therefore it’s all a Left wing plot (carefully forgetting that it was The Guardian that broke the story, and the Right wing press has piled on the story just as much as anyone else). Or “let’s face it, no one at the NotW actually murdered Milly Dowler” (has someone accused the NotW staff of committing murder? Is someone deliberately missing the point and making themselves sound like a tosser?). And similar stuff on and on and on…..

It seems that, when confronted with evidence that they’ve been lied to and manipulated, the sort of person who likes shouting loudly about how everyone else is being lied to and manipulated shuts up. I can’t help thinking that the reason this particular bunch aren’t interested in the crimes of News International (and the rest of the right wing press) is that those papers are the source of the lies and misinformation they use to fuel and justify their bigotry. Or perhaps they’re too scared to complain about genuine bad behaviour, because the next step is to take action against it, and they would rather carry on fighting non-existent enemies.

I’ll get back to the bad behaviour of Britain’s press eventually, and I’ll try to do something to make a difference. Which is for the best, because the conspiracy theorists are all looking the wrong way when it comes to what’s wrong with the world.

Daily Blog 07/12/2011

  • The Austin 7 has been the basis for many cars and many specials, but right now I’d like to look at some of the rodding people have done with it.

    tags: austin hotrod

  • Fox News, the editorial pages of his Wall Street Journal and other Murdoch outlets often rail against taxes. Their attacks on government benefits for the elderly, the sick, the jobless and children focus attention on the uses of tax dollars and away from his aggressive efforts to enjoy the benefits of civilization without paying for them.

    tags: murdoch US tax

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Didsbury Car Show 2011 1

Didsbury Car Show 2011

Many more pictures here.

In keeping with the show I cycled down to Didsbury park on an old Puch 3 speed ladies bike, to shake it down and see what needed fixing before selling it. There were a couple of bikes used as props to go with vehicles, so my little red sit-up-and-beg wasn’t out of place.

I’m not interested in recent Porsches or Ferraris, so there are no photos of the ones that turned up, though I did take pictures of the Speedster and seventies 911. TONKA, a battered Toyota pickup which was only a few spikes away from a roll in the next Mad Max, appealed to the country boy in me. My favourite cars of the show, however, were two very different Morris Minors. One was an ex GPO van which was only recently rescued from use as a hen shed whilst the other was a shiney red soft top with a Fiat twin-cam engine fitted. Wierdly, I have no pictures of the exterior of the latter, only a lot of studies of the engine bay and interior.

We would have stayed longer, but yet another of the heavy showers that are becoming this Summer’s motif hit. After half an hour under a tree, out of the worst of the weather, we accepted the coming soaking and headed home. If we’d hung around only a little longer I could have got some nice shots of the cars glistening with rain drops as the skies cleared up again, albeit briefly.