What's occupying the News Media just now?
2016 June 18: Peake returns to Earth: 'Best ride I've been on ever'
It ought to be at that price!
2016 June 15: Sir Phil Green and all that!
The Moneymakers—the Course of the Billionaire.
We are the moneymakers.
the workers answer to a prayer,
we feed them with work.
they feed us with cash,
the more cash we make,
the higher the prestige—
a knighthood for joining the ranks
of the filthy rich!
The Capitalist Culture or Call it What You Will
Little boys with their model boats,
to grown-up fatties with their £million yachts,
that's the formula for success;
squeeze the workforce to its limits
so that you may cream off the profits,
then when the company goes down the plughole,
bright boy, Grabs, may walk away
with a grin on his arse.
2016 January 12: If Bowie was a genius what does that make J S Bach?
2015 October 19: Prime Minister David Cameron, quote: "We need to confront all extremism"
Some might view threatening the world with nuclear extinction as a little extreme.
September 30 2015:
What is TRIDENT?
Trident is a nuclear weapons system comprising four nuclear submarines each carrying up to eight missiles with each missile equipped to a threshold of five warheads. Each warhead has approximately eight times the destructive stored energy of the Hiroshima “atom bomb” that demolished the Japanese city in 1945.
So, what of this claim for deterrence?
The premise for invading Iraq in 2001 was because the then UK Government under Blair pedalled the notion that Iraq actually possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs)! That notion did not deter us from going to war with Iraq with all that entailed in triggering a nuclear exchange that could have proved disastrous for the entire world
Moreover, the deterrence argument rests on all possessors of nuclear weapons as having the same fear of their use. But it is clear that there are those (the "Kamikaze") who have no fear of personal destruction. If such people see that their purpose is met in the destruction of the planet, then the possession of nuclear weapons by those they wish to destroy will not deter or prevent them from using nuclear weapons—on the contrary.
Supporters of Trident vary from trade unions who fear the loss of jobs were the project to be scrapped to those with ideological arguments amounting to no more than “if we can’t have it our way then let them have it!” And to hell with the rest of us . . . Moreover, those who espouse the so-called deterrence principle involving nuclear weapons must understand that in the final analysis they would be prepared to unleash these weapons with dire consequences for the planet overall.
The world is awash with these weapons. The notion that they have to date prevented a “third world war” (whatever that might mean) may be illusory; there has been more conflict worldwide since 1945 than ever before. Sooner rather than later, I fear, whether by accident or design, we shall realise the knowledge nuclear processes have earned for our species with disastrous consequences.
Extracted from The War Delusion JCV 2015.
September 14 2015: What is an App? Something that rhymes with Crap!
August 23/24 2015.
The general public’s fascination with “air shows” is understandable; anything that smacks of sensationalism (compare Formula ONE) appears to tickle our fancy! As a young schoolboy (aged 15) I was disappointed when, as punishment for misbehaviour, I was threatened to be excluded from the senior school’s annual visit to the Farnborough Air Show.
A few years later I became thoroughly disillusioned with aircraft and with military hardware in particular.
Those killed and injured in the recent Shoreham military airplane crash taking part in that town’s annual event, may or may not have had an interest in air shows. What is clear, and as Mr John Humphries of BBC’s “Today Programme” attempted to put across this morning (24 August), is that aircraft stunts over populated ground have the potential to cause the sort of havoc we are witnessing at Shoreham.
Perhaps this should remind us all that military aircraft, and the personnel that fly them, are designed for the very purpose of causing destruction in war situations, of which there are plenty currently active across the planet!
Grand Slam—Wimbledon 2015.
Two giants in men’s tennis slug it out on Centre Court,
Finely dressed spectators lap it all up with obvious delight,
Ball boys dutifully scamper hither and thither—
The summer sport of kings and queens is under way.
Dawn, another day
for the golden hemisphere
where individuals hold power
over the minions;
Budget Day, a slogan
from recent antiquity,
in reality another display of
fiscal fantasy in which
the truly poor get dumped,
as the privileged, over-rich minority
rise ever closer towards paradise.
(July 8 2015)
A panel of “experts” recommend the expansion of Heathrow Airport. (July 01 2015.)
So, on the one hand “we” acknowledge the reality of climate change and its disastrous consequences for the planet, and all that dwell therein, yet continue to behave in a way as to exacerbate the problem.
Aviation expansion is unstoppable because the reasoning behind it all looks only at the shallow end of business and commerce: a select minority get rich carting goods and people across the globe in aeroplanes. It is all part of the so-called growth culture which ignores the fact that we live on a planet of finite size and dwindling resources.
What alternatives are there to our frenzied lifestyles? Many, but I doubt they would appeal to most folk. In any case, it is too late to save the planet and so make the most of the time you have left.
John C Vetterlein
2015 July 01
Kingdom Come or Come What May (U.K. General Election 2040): subject "DETERRENCE".
In the year of our Lord, 2035, Publo Penpusher (one and only son from a dustcart marriage) devised a means of halting planet Earth’s axial rotation.
He went on to sell his “secret” (codenamed “dipstick”) to the U.M. (Useless Military) for an undisclosed sum, but which was more than adequate to provide him with a life-long holiday on Plonkit, an artificial planet in solar orbit offering all the benefits that were once enjoyed upon planet Earth prior to the atomic era.
Other nation sates (and lesser bodies of the species) soon cottoned on to the idea so that it was not long before dipstick became accessible to those in power within such body politic (or are we in need of another word here?).
The U.K. (United Kingdom), having retained its global status as an imperial no-man’s land, continued to run elections for parliament via the antiquated voting system popularly known as the General Election. All political parties bar one (and there were dozens of them by 2035), the Head in the Sand Party, included in their manifesto full support for dipstick. As one voter so skilfully put it “If we don’t all have it then we’ll all have had it—get it?!”
March 08 2015. Will Self (author and one time visitor to the Island of Rousay) has joined the fray by suggesting time is illusory. Of course it is – everything is! Self and many others would do well to acquire “What Universe?” by the 79 year-old practicing astronomer John C Vetterlein and to study its forty-two pages with great care and attention.
February 23 2015. Rifkind & Straw. Nice work boys. £5000 to £8000 for half a day’s work. More than an old-age pensioner gets in a year. So, you have broken no rules but just a little bit greedy, perhaps? Pahtetic!!
Flying the 'Nintendo' fighter jet7: from BBC News Novemebr 24, 20145
When the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet comes into service, it'll be among the most advanced in the world.
Combining sophisticated weaponry with stealth, the F-35 is going to be used by the US, UK and a host of other countries.
But what will it be like to fly? BBC Click's Dave Lee was granted exclusive access to the BAE Systems' simulator being used to train pilots and iron out any complications before the jet comes into full service.
Comment: Isn’t it time we grew up and realised that all this high-tech stuff is an expensive irrelevance?
The silence of absence
There is nothing so powerful as the silence of absence.
At Christmas - absent friends - a traditional “Western Christmas”,
scenes of snow’s gentle peacefulness, the season of “good will”,
a father “on leave from active service” - expected home,
and then, the interjection - something else intervening:
“Whilst on exercise in ______”, Christmases henceforth - empty;
a Christmas tree decked out and ever waiting:
“To Father, with love ______”, the present without a presence.
There is nothing so powerful as the silence of absence.
Rich-boy, Dick’s, Shattered Dream? No Way!
Not a word of censure,
as rich-boy Dick’s rocket chunks
fall from the sky—on the contrary,
they cry, commercial space holidays
must come about, come what may,
no matter the world is in disarray
riven by conflict, disease and famine.
Ebola calling, Ebola calling . . . !
Wake up you lumbering species,
at war with yourself,
trampling upon all in your path;
I recognise no boundaries,
no race, religion or creed—
I represent only nature's arbitrariness.
In that sense, I have no purpose,
my only course is to obey the "laws" of nature,
and in that role, homo sapiens,
you are no more nor no less
than the substrate for the exercise of my duty.
The latest beheadings in the Middle East by a group variously known as IS, ISIL etc., has prompted Western leaders to authorize military operations in the area using the latest in modern aerial warfare—surveillance aircraft, drones and fast fighter bombers. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said something on the lines that “we shall use all our assets in order to hunt these killers down and kill them or bring them to justice”, or words to that effect.
There has been no mention in all this of one particular “asset” the nuclear so-called deterrent. Let us look briefly at this “asset”.
One such version is literally encapsulated within the Trident Missile System, a fleet of eighteen nuclear powered submarines each carrying a number of targetable nuclear warheads, the precise details of which may be found from the Internet.
These submarines are supposedly patrolling the seas of the world in readiness against an attack on the countries of origin. Herein lies the problem, or at least an open question, namely from where is this hypothetical attack likely to originate?
Now, supposing these high-tech submarines detect, via their sophisticated warning systems, what might be an impending attack? Well, once certified by the controlling officer (whomsoever that might be) the weapons will be launched and will explode on the ground (presumably), somewhere; the result being physical destruction on a vast scale.
Subsequent events (retaliation from this pseudo-enemy?) could then lead to wholesale destruction across the planet.
The point to grasp is that these weapons are there to be used as a last resort and unless they ARE to be fired off, then the deterrence principle falls apart.
Has all this anything to do with the real threats now facing people across the globe? Yes, of course it has, the deterrent itself is one of the greatest threats of all and those who hold such weapons in readiness are themselves guilty of crimes against humanity. Bombs and nuclear explosions make no distinction between the good and the bad, the young and the old, the healthy and the infirm; they neither selectively decapitate nor dismember, rather they blast all to smithereens, animals and plants alike.
John C Vetterlein
Tea & Telly
Flesh, bone and water,
upon a mission abroad—
“step this way, Prime Minister,
we’ll have you there in a trice”;
up and away, engines screeching,
metal-bound into the waiting stratosphere—
Afghanistan here we come,
our highest representative there
to inspect the troops, and
by the by, two more fighter bombers
to bomb the hell out of ice-cream soda,
or is it candyfloss?—whatever—
all in a day’s work, try not
to look over your shoulder, darling,
I’ll be back in time for tea and telly.
Bomb, bomb and bomb again,
our numbskull approach to conflict—
the more bombs we detonate
the more we’ll need
for future bombing escapades,
thus feeding the makers of bombs:
bombs for breakfast, bombs for lunch,
tea and supper—“bombs away” they cry,
raining down terror from the sky—
bomb, bomb and bomb again,
the only refrain we have to offer!
Air strikes - the cowardly way
to become “involved”, dropping
explosives from the sky producing
destruction and carnage on the ground
killing from a distance without blood on your tunic
the high-tech journey for a hiding to nowhere.
A musician speaks up for humanity.
Daniel Barenboim: 'No one winning Middle East conflict'. 20 August 2014.
Daniel Barenboim, one of the world's leading conductors, founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in 1999 - a youth orchestra made up of musicians from countries across the Middle East, which aims to promote understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.
Mr Barenboim spoke to BBC Newsnight's Kirsty Wark about how the situation in Gaza has affected his orchestra.
He told the programme: "The world looks terrible now... on the brink of a third world war, but we don't have the luxury to bathe in pessimism.
"We have to continue, and when we don't believe, we have to make believe, and eventually take the 'make' away."
2014 August 23