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Avarice

Vultures

Yesterday I was at the Gauntlet Bird of Prey Centre in Cheshire.

I learned a lot. I learned how to handle a Harris Hawk called Pablo. I also learned that vultures are critically endangered. For a large animal they have had a decrease in numbers unparalleled in recorded history over the last few years.

Now this is a problem. Obviously it is a problem for the vultures but it is wider. As the primary garbolists of the Animal Kingdom they are a vital link in the ecosystem. They can eat almost anything. But in South Asia a generally banned (but of course freely available on the iffy market – consider the prohibition of heroin for example) cattle drug kills ‘em. They eat a bit of dead cow and they die. Now lots of people don’t like vultures but things that clear the land of dead things help prevent disease in other animals including humans.

Now that is bad in Asia but the situation in Africa is appalling. This is how it goes. Our fun-loving criminal mates, the Russian Mafia, have taken a strong interest in rhino and elephant poaching. Now obviously they take the horns and tusks and leave the rest. Alas, due to the size of the game reserves of Africa, the only way the rangers patrolling them are likely to get a chance of catching the poachers is by spotting the vultures hovering over the remains. Now, if you are the sort of scumbag who will unload a clip of 7.62mm into a rhino to flog the horn to the Chinese (it is apparently worth four times it’s mass in Au) you are pretty ruthless and obviously you don’t want to get caught. Note that the park rangers pack some heat. You have to against Russian Mafia sponsored types with AK-47s.

So, to reduce the chance of being caught the Russian Mafia has been systematically eradicating not just their prey animals but the vultures. They have been doing this by lacing the corpses of the dead rhinos and elephants with cyanide.

Vultures have essentially no sense of smell or taste. This enables them to eat things that would make you and me reflexively vomit profusely. It is their strength in the whole chain of life and also their weakness when it comes to Indians drugging cattle (apparently this is a Hindu thing – the beef is not good for people to eat but the milk is OK and of course Hindus don’t tend to eat beef) or the Russian Mafia deliberately poisoning vultures.

The truly shocking thing. Well, there are a number. Deliberately killing a truly useful animal (with all the knock-on effects) is dreadful. And they are of course magnificent and very friendly birds. And as you can imagine (if you are regular you will know) that as a fanatic about fighter ‘planes I have a soft spot for our pre-Wright Bros. winged warriors. But it ain’t just my soft spot that is agitated here. The ecosytematic damage is extreme and via disease it also kills people. Imagine how healthy you would be if no-one picked up the bins? You’d be pegging it from dysentery and cholera. And vultures do this service for free in some of the poorest parts of the World.

But they are deliberately being killed by the Russian Mafia to sell the Chinese stuff that should be banned. Well it is banned but has that ever helped anything? I mean US prohibition only boosted the Canadian whiskey industry. How were the Feds to patrol a 3,000 mile border? How does a Kenyan park ranger patrol an enormous game reserve without spotting the circling vulures?

I am not saying theses vile trades ought to be legalized but very clearly the illegality has not helped.

I do not know what the solution is. How could I? But shooting some of the buggers might help. I mean they won’t do it again will they?

I’m only saying this because I suspect many readers will not know about it. Because vultures have an undeserved bad-rep, because I just love everything that flies because I just do and always have and perhaps when it is properly explained you begin to understand how complex ecosystems are not just to the critters but to us. I don’t want to see a rhino being shot and a vulture being poisoned so some Mafia oligarch can flog the horn to a Chinese plutocrat. I really don’t want to see this so completely innocent Africans die from diseases that nobody in Europe ever gets.

I’m quite serious here. If you support one animal charity this year – make it the vulture.

Apparently, and the guy who showed of his vultures had done a lot of work in Africa, at least one Russian Mafia boss has a plan. He wishes to stockpile as much rhino horn and elephant tusk as possible before eradicating both species entirely so he gets to corner the entire market. The destruction of the vultures is merely part of this insane (but lucrative) scheme.

That is what it is about. Extinction for temporary profit done by very evil people.

Boko Haram.

Well Nigeria is a right mess is it not? Now I’m not going to retread all the usual arguments as to the whys and the wherefores and such. I will just point out one thing. When I temped I had a Nigerian colleague. He was a decent enough lad which is why he lived in the NE of England and not Nigeria. He had just become pig-sick of the epic incompetence and corruption. He told me quite a lot about it. It sounded ghastly. Now what has this to do with the kidnap of over 200 kids to be enslaved? Actually quite a lot. I would like to think this wouldn’t happen in Britain and that is because we are not hopelessly corrupt.

The Chinese have a saying (don’t they always) that a fish rots from the head down. Now bad things, sometimes very bad things happen everywhere but to kidnap an entire school is something else and as far as I can tell it indicates something deeply rotten in the body-politic of Nigeria. OK, it is perhaps a leap from a bit of brown envelopes full of notes changing hands under the table to outright slave-raiding but is it really? Now I’m not generally convinced of “slippery slope” arguments but… If a polity has no essential moral core or the rule of law then… maybe such depravity can get going.

Note my colleague and his brother felt the need to move continents to get away from the drip, drip, drip of continual petty criminality, bribery and epic corruption. It sort of erodes your moral. I suspect this is why the Nigerian government has done nothing and why that Boko Haram bloke can look so chipper. He knows the Nigerian government is powerless to prevent his depravities and in a sense that is part of the same spectrum which means you can’t get a phone installed without a back-hander.

What’s the German for Schadenfreude?

You’d need a heart of stone not to laugh at the demise of Max Clifford. The git is goin’ dahn for 8 counts of sexual assault.

Millionaire publicist manipulated women and girls into performing sex acts with promises he would introduce them to showbiz stars.

Clifford, 71, was convicted following a six-week trial that exposed the “terrible, festering secret” that he was a paedophile who bullied and manipulated teenage girls into performing sex acts.

Apparently he accused his accusers of being “fantasists only in it for the money”. That’s rich coming from you Max! His defence basically consisted of his QC claiming things like, “It was a different age…” and accused the police of a witch hunt* and of people taking a “prurient interest in his sex-life”. Oh, the irony! The number of careers and lives he has wrecked over decades by doing just that…

The publicist left the courtroom without speaking to the press, hurrying into a private room with his legal team as his supporters – including several employees – waited outside, some in tears.

Once outside, Clifford refused to make a statement. “I’ve been told by my lawyers to say nothing at all.

Well, that’ll be a first! Max Clifford lost for words. Perhaps almost as much as the chokey he receives that is almost as devastating to this vile and utterly egotistical man. And it will (I sincerely hope) be a long-time in chokey. All the girls and women were young and vulnerable and one was 15. They are considering a case where the jury was hung and that involved a 14 year old girl. There is also an accusation of of abusing a 14 year old but the jury was hung on that and they are considering what to do about that. And also the accusation that he abused a 12 year old in a Jacuzzi in Spain but for that he couldn’t be prosecuted.

Clifford destroyed lives and careers at whim. He is utterly vile. One only need to look at the Stuart Lubbock case or David Mellor to see his amorality and hypocrisy. And it is good he finally got his comeuppance.

Let Clifford rot in Hell.

Sometimes people do get their righteous comeuppance.

*There may be an element of truth in that as Operation Yewtree had yet to secure a conviction.

When Law Becomes Subjective then the Rule of law is totally Fucked.

When I was an executive in the Crown Court, I had an oppo on my section, a CO name of Sam. He was a big strapping lad of Afro/ Caribbean extraction. He loved sports of all kinds, and was good at them. He beat me easily in the Crown Court Table tennis championship final, for instance. Christ you should have seen his forearm smash… which was the point, because mostly I didn’t.

Anyway, we were having an pint and reading the paper in the pub over the road one lunchtime. and he comes across an article about how racist Robinson’s jam was for putting Gollywogs on their labels. He was outraged. Not because he agreed that they were being racist, but because he thought it utter fuckin nonsense, and was all a white leftie slur.

He told me that he had collected the tokens as a kid and had sent off for all the enamel badges. He had the complete set. In fact he was very proud of them. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s you see, you didn’t see many Black Tennis or Golf players, you had to wait a few years till Arthur Ash and Tiger Woods turned up for that, yet there they were represented by his Golly badges that he displayed with pride on his school uniform jacket, a spur to his aspirations.  He thought that calling them racist was nonsense on stilts.

Ah but that was then, we live in much more enlightened times now don’t we boys and girls?

When the Law descends to the point where the only criteria that can be taken into account in a case is the supposed offence caused to a supposed victim, rather than objective evidence that no offence was intended or even contemplated, then you know that English Common Law is well and truly fucked.

This case should never have even got to the Queezy  legal Tribunal stage without being thrown out. The fact that it is now being considered at the Court Of Appeal at great cost to us poor bleedin taxpayers, tells you all you need to know about the fuckin mess we’re in today.

So come on Denise Lindsay, do you feel lucky Punk? Fancy another easy payday do ya? You are a lying freeloading chancer, who deserves suing yourself. I’ll be hearing from your ambulance chasing lawyers soon will I ?

Aussie Girls Know all the Words to Songs By Chaka Khan.

It would be very easy to see this as a “funny” and dismiss it. It is not. It is deathly serious.

I sound like Professor Snape.

Anyhows this is the story…

An Australian civil servant has lost a bid for compensation for an injury incurred while she was having sex during a work trip.

The woman was injured when a light fitting fell on her and a colleague while they were having sex in a motel.

The claimant initially won compensation from government insurer Comcare.

But the High Court overruled that judgement, saying the woman’s employer had not encouraged her to engage in the activity that led to the injury.

Final ruling

The woman says she suffered damage to her nose, mouth and a tooth and psychological trauma after the light fitting was pulled from its mount.

But after a lengthy legal battle, four of the High Court judges ruled against the woman, with one judge dissenting.

“When the circumstances of an injury involve the employee engaging in an activity at the time of the injury, the relevant question is: did the employer induce or encourage the employee to engage in that activity?” the court said.

“On the facts of the respondent’s case, the majority held that the answer to that question was ‘no’.”

The woman, who has not been named, has no further right to appeal.

And neither should she. That this got to the High Court rather than was laughed out of it is astounding. I have worked for gubbermunt at times and had sex and like whatever! What I do on my own dial is my job. What I do on the government is there’s. I once had rampant sex in a motel in the Florida pan-handle whilst watching “Grease 2″ If the candelabra had collapsed during the proceedings then…

OK, the BBC story carries two incompatible facts (and this is important which is why I bolded them). Either the light fitting fell out during this sexual escapade and then it perhaps ought to be the motel on the hook for the compensation or it was “pulled out” which means the motel ought to be be claiming from these two sorts for wrecking the room by swinging (literally) or something. What it has to do with the government is beyond me. And that one judge ruled the other way makes me despair.

Seriously this is a civil case involving either injury due to a poorly maintained motel or sexual antics that damaged that motel. God alone knows what it has to do with the gubbermunt!

And it is Gorton Girls who know all the words to songs by Chaka Khan. The graffiti is all over SE Manchester. Ever been to Gorton?

Don’t.

Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?

Given that the wit and wisdom of Mandy Rice Davies is becoming all the rage with the upcoming Andrew Lloyd Gargoyle’s production of Stephen Ward… The Musical (yes I’m trying and failing to get my head round that one frankly). John Selwyn Gummer (fangs are a memory) as was, Lord Deben, as now is…and Chairman of the Uk’s “Independent” Committee on Climate Change, has smugly waded into the Global warming debate condemning the Media for even bothering trying to find a balance in the conflicting views of a very complex subject. According to Gummy…

Evidence in favour of climate change is so strong, he said, that it could be compared to evidence linking smoking to cancer or evidence that the Moon Landing was not staged.

Not the best analogies I have ever come across your Lordliness. Gummy has a degree in History and probably hasn’t enough science to wire a plug properly, but he is so certain that man made Global warming is a fact that he wants all dissenting voices silenced. Yep that’s Democracy in action alright !

But I wonder why he is so certain given his complete lack of scientific knowledge? Could it be that he is a smug, self satisfied, venal troughing  bastard (just LOOK at that pic), filling his boots at the expense of the rest of us, just like Tim Yeo, Ed Davey, and that still on Licence old lag, Chris Huhne? Why yes it could!

Whatever the fuck happened to declaring a conflict of interest?

Lying in the Age of Obama

Victor Davis Hanson, for those who have the misfortune to be located in the Provinces *g*, is a military and classical historian who is a highly-regarded columnist on current affairs here in the States.

Below are the major headings from his piece on the current vogue for and acceptability of lying as a way of life, with a sentence or two from the start of each. There are many more links throughout the piece, at the source:

http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/lying-in-the-age-of-obama/?singlepage=true

Victor Davis Hanson:

Lying in the Age of Obama

July 23rd, 2013 – 12:02 am

A Nation of Liars

The attorney general of the United States lied recently to Congress. He said he knew of no citizen’s communications that his department had monitored. Lie!

But why pick on the president?

The media routinely peddles “noble” untruths. ABC manipulated a video to show George Zimmerman without much injury to his head.

It’s Not Really the Cover-up

Our current scandals are predicated on lies. No one believed the official White House version that the IRS miscreants were rogue agents from a Cincinnati field office.

Is There Anyone Left Who Doesn’t Lie?

Why do they lie? Because they can. Or to paraphrase Dirty Harry, they like it.

The Cover-up Pays

We repeat the nauseous canard that “it is not the crime, but the cover-up” that gets you in trouble in Washington. But that too is often a lie….

Why Do Our Best and Brightest Lie?

There are both age-old and more recent catalysts for lying.

One, lying and plagiarism are forms of narcissism.

So Why Not Lie?

I end with three reasons to tell the truth.

“We always lose,” says Chris at the end of the The Magnificent Seven after he did the right thing. Or to paraphrase the cinematic T.E. Lawrence about Auda Abu Tayi, we will not lie, as do our elites, because it is simply “our pleasure” not to.

An Offer they Couldn’t Refuse…

Well you can’t blame the Mafia for following the money can you? After all that other Europe-wide criminal Organisation is the one mainly promulgating the proliferation of these useless and costly wind-farms, and they haven’t had their books audited in 19 years. What the hell, it’s only someone else’s money! Roll up roll up and get a grant or five. Er.. that’s yours and mine by the way. If the EU was a private company it would be in receivership by now.

Now then ladies and gents- would you like to invest in the Rabatron Perpetual Motion Machine company? Or the Rabbini North Sea Olive Groves Corporation? Bargain prices for early takers… Winking smile

Good News Story of the Week.

Oh dear, how sad, heh heh, never mind.

Another one bites the dust, rather than bats and birdies. Those ones in the Irish boglands are looking like a sound investment aren’t they?

Hands off the Bard, you EU Statist Bastards!

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

Why did I quote all that? Well the EU is being encouraged to make Shakespeare…our English Shakespeare, their Euro Laureate!

The cocky little swine have already had it away with Ode To Joy for an Anthem, even when the words and music were written before Germany was even a Nation, let alone a member of the EU. Want an Anthem? write a bloody new one you lazy rent seeking gits! Something by Kraftwerk will probably do.

They’ve been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize (Which the world is still chuckling in disbelief about) and now they want Willy the Shake too!

No way Jose, Barroso and Rumpy Pumpy; You can have Shakespeare as a European Icon when you prise the Sonnets from my cold dead hand!

Who do you think he was celebrating smacking up side the head in Henry V?

The World is Mad!

I just heard Cherie Blair is to be made a CBE for “Services to Charity” and “Women’s Issues”. Now to be fair to Ms Booth she has advanced the position dramatically of at least one woman. Or perhaps she ought to have got it for “Services to Drama” for she (a) owns the world’s largest dressing-up box and (b) she is the real Lady Macbeth.

On the other hand I was vaguely amused that, as the BBC put it, Sarah Storey (our local heroine*) has been “Made a Dame” which makes her sound like some sort of transgendered gangster. Her hubby, the similarly gold-winning, Barney got nowt which is fair enough because he almost totaled me on his bike recently.

*I posted all my Crimble cards into her golden slot.

Christmas Surprise

I got me a Chrissy pressie.

I put up a post a short time back, telling you all of my love for Thomas Grays Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes.

Well, that posting led me back to this one, from some years earlier, and in turn I read this comment from Permanentexpat, who, incidentally, I haven’t seen around these parts for some time.

Anyway, To His Coy Mistress. I hadn’t read that for simply ages darling, so I did a quick Google, and came up with the Wikipedia page. It looked worth spending some time on, with a whole load of good stuff about the poem, but I was a bit busy at the time so I stuck the link into my Must Read Later list and got on with my life.

So, later finally arrived yesterday and I had a read.

Now, bear with me, this is going somewhere. Causality can be a long chain and a wonderful thing.

(more…)

Pic of the Week… Dame Edna and Sir Les…

In the money: Cherie and Tony Blair

And the story to go with it…

Socialism, thy name now is theft and greed. My old friend Viscount Tonypandy  is currently powering most of the North of Cardiff by spinning in his grave.

Notice that it is Dress Down Friday at the Olympic Stadium, and the place is completely empty. Wouldn’t want our Royal couple lynched… er  mobbed no would we?

I’m ready for my close up now, Mr De Mille…

Oh for fuck’s sake! how delusional can you get?

“I AM big, it’s politics that got small!” Bless his venal vacuous little heart, if he thinks he can get away with this then he is more out to a £5000 a plate lunch, than I already knew he was.

And so the madness starts…

More astute readers may have noticed I have been away for a week. Some may even have cared [/sob].

Anyway, I have been Elsewhere. Specifically the Lake District. Upon the return journey this afternoon (which was thankfully clear) overhead info boards down the M6 and M61 was displaying “helpful advice” for those planning on journeying to see the Sports Day at Boris Johnson Academy (Formerly Ken’s Comprehensive). They advised planning the journey and to leave in good time etc. How thoughtful of the Highways (Robbery) Agency! Indeed I’m sure Londoners who read this have already well laid plans to make an exodus up North or over to the West Country or to Timbuktu or the Faroe Islands or Alpha Centauri via any means possible: trains, planes and automobiles, buses, jet-packs, mini-submarines, pogo-sticks, roller-blades, dog-sleds, gypsy caravans, hot-air balloons, Segways, shanks ponies… I suspect someone will half-inch a Hansom Cab from the London Transport Museum and in true Sherlockian fashion promise the driver a shiny sovereign if he makes Welwyn Garden City by nightfall… It’ll be like the Wacky Races on the M1 and probably more fun than the 10,000m (an event nobody apart from Brendan-frigging-Foster can get excited over).

For myself I shall be watching one event. The men’s 100m final. And that only to see if Usain Bolt manages to violate The Special Theory of Relativity. Well, at GBP 20,000,000 / 62m and considering it’ll all be over within 10s I reckon that my edification from the whole shooting match will work out as only cost about GBP 32/s which I think we can all agree is excellent value for money. Except of course that doesn’t include the opportunity cost of the BBC (what we all pay for) showing this drivel for fifteen hours a day straight for the duration – i.e. anything else they might show.

Bizarrely, we have had a singularly exciting Premiership footie season (that’s the English Premiership – I pity the Scottish football fan*) and there is still life in the season yet!. And no, that isn’t just because I’m a Magpie. Now that all costs us… Well, whatever you want to pay for it! And, anyway it’s cheaper. Ah, Nick but it’s so nastily commercial. I say it’s so wonderfully commercial. I have Sky TV but not Sky Sports. Both my choice. And perhaps more to the point if “amateur” sport is really amateur why is every second TV advert showing very conceivable product as the official whatever of London 2012? And Gideon “The Artless Dodger” Dodger picking all our pockets to pay for the “Greatest Show on EarthTM“? Shouldn’t they pay if they’re getting something out of it? I mean PT Barnum not only didn’t require subsidy but became a very rich man on that schtick.

I really am getting angrier as this gets closer. And I’m not even going to comment on the uneasiness I feel about connecting national pride to individual sporting achievements supported beyond handsomely by a state desperate for national prestige…

*From The Onion a while back- “Police are investigating whether a pound coin thrown onto the pitch during a game at Ibrox was an act of hooliganism or a potential take-over bid”.

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