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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

 

Now here's a thing.....

We’ve all heard about pseudoscientific pundits who rattle on about how things like reflex aromatherapy are the cure for all our ills then fail to turn up hard evidence. I came across this little gadget and thought I’d do a bit of chasing down, just to see if the claims had any vestige of veracity.

All I came up with was a series of brain achingly long reports that left me more confused than when I started. So I thought I’d pose a question in a simple form that even I can understand.

My understanding of the schoolboy physics of the situation are as follows; all visible and invisible wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, from low wavelength (Sound) via Radio & Microwaves through visible light to the High Gamma and X-ray frequencies, at various dosage levels can cause changes, which can be interpreted as harmful. At 7-13 cycles per second, past a certain amplitude, nausea and vomiting can be induced, which, if the amplitude is increased, can result in long-term tissue damage and eventually death. Beyond this frequency range, the effects appear not quite so acute. In the infrared and ultra violet ends of the visible spectrum, overdoses of electromagnetic radiation (Light) can, above a certain amplitude or dosage cause cellular damage such as sunburn, skin cancer etc. Gamma and X-Rays above a particular dosage are downright harmful to unprotected organic tissue.

We live in an age of ever increasing radio energy levels. WiFi, Mobile Signals, DECT bases, Tetra transmitters, Electromagnetic fields from power transmission cables. I wander around in my own personal radio energy hot spot of two mobile phones and a two-way radio. Working on the premise that everything has an ‘overdose’ level; at what energy amplitudes do radio frequencies become harmful, and to what degree?

Sensible links anyone?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

 

Nice Doily dear…

I’ve been trying to think of cheerful things to blog about today. Well it’s been very warm and sunny, I’ve been sweating me cobs orf. Oh yes, and between chasing ignorant bleeders off restrictions I’ve found time to watch the girls, or mobile scenery, as I like to think of them.

When I say girls, I mean those in the age range 17 to 27 who keep themselves in reasonable physical condition and don’t;

1. Have their underwear (Thongs) showing from under their jeans.
2. Have a rumple of excess flesh showing over low-slung waists


One thing I have noticed is the increasing amount of this age group wearing Mums old lace edged tablecloth as a wraparound skirt. Looks rather stylish and gives a wild Romany air to the wearer, not quite so much fun to look at as those white flouncy cheesecloth things which cover the legs and show everyone what size pants they are wearing though.

Lost two tickets today because I got distracted. Life is so unfair, not.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

 

Visitors from afar

I’ve just spent a highly interesting hour running through my ‘Net statistics. Isn’t the Internet such a wide-open and interesting place, populated by so many diverse and fascinating humans? Well I would say that about all my visitors wouldn’t I?

When I started this blog in January as a bit of a brain dump so I could get things off my proverbial chest after a working day on the streets, I didn’t realise people from as far afield as the other side of the damn planet (Big hi to whoever’s service provider is xtra.co.nz by the way.) or even the Russian Federation would be dropping by to read my fevered blatherings. Not to mention all you folks over in the good old US of A and Canada. Add to that France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and the Czech republic. Wow, I’m seriously impressed. That doesn’t even take into account all you English, Scots, Welsh and Irish who drop by from time to time.

A big and hearty ‘Walking the Streets’ welcome is extended to all of you. Fancy a one to one chat, or have a specific point to discuss? Click on the ‘Parking advice by e-mail’ link and delete the header on the address to get in touch.

Regards

Bill

Saturday, August 27, 2005

 

Updates

It’s been pretty busy recently, with more than the usual abuse and mockery coming from the general dyslexic. This has had the useful side effect of causing our Socialism spouting new boy to hand in his kit and leg it back to the jobcentre crying for his mummy. Maybe he took the job to prevent the Department of Social Insecurity cutting off his benefits, who knows? Well the academic year is about to start again so the git can go back to being a perpetual student.

On a more mentally stable note, have had a go at reorganising my sidebar into subject headings, so if you are looking for a particular type of blog to visit after being poisoned by my rabid ranting, you’ll have a vague idea of what sort of territory you’ll be visiting.

Caveat: Walking the Streets is not responsible for other peoples opinions / foibles / perversions on their own blogs, so when you leave the tranquil waters of these web pages for the uncharted ocean of the rest of the Internet – you’re on your own, sonny.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

 

Socialists, Communists & work; A Comment

It has always puzzled me why there is a political party called the Socialist Workers Party or an organisation called ‘Communist Workers’. Every single one I’ve ever met has been an idle sod who (More often than not) needs to be carried by the rest of the workforce, not a 'Worker' by any stretch of the imagination. Nor do these people have any real claim to represent the real working man / woman.

The only ‘work’ these characters appear to do is gossip, whinge, whine and bitch about everyone and anything. Like a mardy teenager, they bang on about how everything that doesn’t fit in with their very narrow world view as ‘unfair’. They’ll do anything apart from the job they’re hired to do and it all ends up being dumped on the rest of the workforce. Ergo, this is one wage slave who is unimpressed with both them and their philosophies.

Yes, I know, we’ve just had one of them start (Management must have been desperate to hire him.) on our shift rota, and he’s a right republican pain in the haemorrhoids. Probably end up as a Supervisor. Twat.

Socialism is a crap idea anyway. It does exactly what unfettered anything does, which is concentrate power in one place, making it hard for the rest of us to raise ourselves by our own efforts. Then socialist and / or communist bureaucracy tries to hammer square pegs into round holes, often ending in the destruction of the very people that they claim to support. The most damning critique I ever heard of it was put succinctly in a BBC (Of all places) Radio Comedy, ‘Old Harry’s Game’ written by Andy Hamilton.

Let me enlighten you; The whole comedy is set in Hell with three main characters. Satan, the Professor, and Thomas. In the episode I’m thinking about, the Professor is trying to use his time of eternal damnation writing the definitive History of Humanity. Satan keeps him supplied with characters from history to ‘assist’ (Sabotage) his efforts. The particular quote I was laughing at was when the Professor is interviewing Karl Marx, who is informed by Satan what happened in Soviet Russia where Socialist doctrine as expounded in ‘Das Kapital’ was applied.
SatanEveryone decided, after seventy years of grinding misery, that socialism was a crap idea so they dropped it.”
Karl MarxThey decided… it vas a crap idea?”
ProfessorKarl, are you all right Karl? Oh dear, I think he’s gone into shock.”

The resultant scene in which Karl Marx beats the bejasus out of Josef Stalin never fails to crease me up completely.

Andy also wrote a cracking episode where a suicide bomber ends up in Hell and is tormented by being informed that the ‘Great leader’ for whom he detonated a truck full of explosives, talked, in the dead suicide bombers own words “A load of bollocks”.

It’s just such a pity the whole series isn’t available on tape or CD. There are three tape sets available, but not the whole lot.

The reds of whatever shade just want to push the current establishment to the sidelines so they can get into power and do to Europe what the Bolsheviks did for Russia. A plain case of “Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.” QED.

Any old road up, here’s a few new links for the sidebar;

Brass Buttons
Blues & Two's
Bunny Suicides
Cerberus – US Cop
Demob Happy Teacher
Free Muslims Coalition
Nicotine deficient
Sharp as a Marble
Tilting at Windmills
Toffee Womble

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

 

Perception

I’m fed up of writing about the less than honest behaviour of the general dyslexic pertaining to parking, so I thought I’d pontificate on education for a change; since eldest stepdaughter has recently passed A levels and secured University place.

Was having a heart to heart with Mrs Sticker about what really pisses us off about our respective jobs and what problems could be fixed simply, but won’t be. After an hours discourse we were driven to the conclusion that everything problematic in our respective jobs boils down to a single word – Perception.

The generally accepted definition of this term is:-
per·cep·tion
1. The process, act, or faculty of perceiving.
2. The effect or product of perceiving.
3. Psychology a) Recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli based chiefly on memory. b). The neurological processes by which such recognition and interpretation are effected.
4. a) Insight, intuition, or knowledge gained by perceiving. B) The capacity for such insight.

per·ceive
per·ceived, per·ceiv·ing, per·ceives
1. To become aware of directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing.
2. To achieve understanding of; apprehend.

Pay attention to the above, this is very important, as I will attempt to demonstrate. I will try to be brief.

Our perception, which is one of the tools we use to build up our respective unique worldview, is imperfect. The axioms “One mans meat is another mans poison.”, “Chaqun a son gout.(Each to their own appetite)” and “They only see what they want to see”; should indicate the type of proofs commonly available for this line of reasoning.

In short, we only ‘know’ what we perceive. To be paranoid; we only ‘know’ what we are ‘told’. To be a properly informed member of the human race one has to choose one’s sources with care, opting for primary data where this is available, being aware that having the time and knowledge to source and interpret said sources is not something everyone is capable of. In addition, anyone interpreting said source data on your behalf has their interpretation skewed by their own perception which; in its turn, is influenced by their existing worldview. By this line of reasoning a ‘Christian’, ‘Islamic’, ‘Zionist’, ‘Socialist’ or ‘Neo-Conservative’ commentator will interpret the same source data in differing ways, emphasising particular facts to suit their own worldview / agenda. None are to be wholly trusted as they all wish to win you, the reader, around to their, the commentators, way of seeing things. If they can get their views published – then they are in the thinking ‘driving seat’, as I have observed that abstract, independent thought in most humans is difficult, uncomfortable and occasionally dangerous because it is based on very shaky premises. Ergo; most people will believe what the papers say, even if what is written ducks actuality by omitting salient details and often inventing spurious ‘facts’ to support their assertions. One only has to read the various newspapers to contrast and compare their stories to watch this process in action.

While I was on holiday, I took what I thought would be a little light reading in the form of ‘Science of Discworld' 1, 2, and 3 by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen. I would like to take the opportunity to make public the only reason I read the Discworld series of novels is that they royally take the rip out of the Fantasy genre, which often takes itself far too seriously for its own good (My perception). In the ‘Science of Discworld’ series the hard science sections cover a wide variety of subjects, from higher mathematics to evolution via space-time theory in a most informative way. Great holiday reading material which beat Harry Potter into the proverbial cocked hat (Again, my perception).

The above three books actually put a number of media hype stories (Lies-to-readers?) into perspective against the proven facts. Read the hard science bits of the books with rigour, the experience will be a rewarding one (But this is only my perception). They encourage critical, analytical thought (Dont' just take my word for it - read them & see).

Bearing this critical & analytical process in mind, the perception of myself and Mrs Sticker is, when the tabloids and broadsheets carry stories on the very morning the results of said examinations are published about high pass marks attained by A level students, about how these examinations are too easy and how a trained Goat with a bad migraine could get an A grade. I wonder how they know about the result details, as even the schools do not know until the same morning several hours after the newspapers have been ready for sale. Do I perceive untruths? I think I do. Failing that a working time machine or an inside track direct from the various examination boards. Tsk, tsk.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

 

Writers block

I’d like to post, but there’s been nothing I desperately want to post about. Well, apart from reading the words of George Orwell and Jonathan Swift while off duty. Could write a bit about overhang of vehicles where the axle line is clearly within the bay but the bodywork overhangs a restriction but I just can’t be arsed.

Suppose I could write about how my step kids are coping and what fun they’re having now old Mr Grumpy (Guess) is back at work. Then there’s the outrageous price of keeping my insane dog groomed properly. The stink of paint all through the house because Mrs Sticker has decided we need to redecorate in a new style so yours truly comes off duty to have a paint brush and tin of emulsion thrust at him.

Then I might record how Senior Manager threw a hissy fit in front of everyone over something petty, I mean it was so bloody inconsequential I can’t even remember what it was.

It just gets so that I just can’t be bothered.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

 

70 good reasons not to be a martyr

Was reading a piece written by George Orwell in 1943 ‘Why Socialists Don’t Believe In Fun’ this evening after work and was struck by his words about the various paradises promised by priests of various religions to the faithful. It raised a number of questions in my mind about the much-touted afterlife. Say for example that the Islamist creed of martyrdom is correct and Suicide (or Homicide) bombers do get access to the 77, 72, or 70 (or however many) maidens or Houri’s for giving up their life in the cause of their religion; what then? Did any of the priests who made this promise and other similar post-life promises know anything about living in a female dominated household? I think not.

For those of us who live in the real world, an all-female (Except one) household can be a very mixed blessing. Even if you are a top-alpha male at the apex of your masculine powers, I defy you to be wholly in charge. Women have us by the gonads every time. To be concise; the term ‘Maiden’ implies (To me at least) girls of a sexual age, say their late teens. As a stepfather, I have first hand experience of mid and late teenage females. Just pause and observe teenage females of whatever culture you happen to be a part of. Now let us think about what this really means for a minute; in your (Male) afterlife, your eternity (Which is an exceedingly long time) is to be spent surrounded by 70 plus females, never mind the promise of endless shagging, who will chatter about inconsequential details such as any general gossip, what shortcomings you might have as a male, DIY projects you haven’t yet completed, that firmament looks a bit tired, couldn’t you do something about it dearest? All that, forever. Don’t kid yourself otherwise, no one man, even part Angel could cope with that sort of background tumult without turning into some form of celestial basket case within the first hour. That’s just on a good day. Just think about the bad days; seventy plus cases of PMT hitting simultaneously, because all females in a household have a tendency towards synchronised menstrual cycles. Seventy plus irrational impulses, illogical bad moods, and worse coming at you simultaneously with nowhere to hide because; this is the paradise you signed up for pal.

Never mind that this affects only the male version of eternity. What if only two or three of the maidens turn out to have radical feminist views, or much worse, are fanatical vegetarians? Doesn’t bear thinking about really.

What about the female version of paradise? Does this consist of seventy plus inexperienced young men all vying for the woman’s attention? Seventy plus males all fighting over the remote control, forgetting your birthday or nailing wonky shelves to the firmament without first reading the instructions?

Christians etc don’t come off that much better. When you ask what their version of the post life paradise their religion offers, you’ll get all sorts of guff like harps, enlightenment, bliss, whatever. Sounds pretty dull to me. In fact, upon proper examination, all of these promises appear just so much tosh to bribe people into doing what they are told for promises of a reward in the next life, if it exists.

So, for being a ‘good’ person and doing what the priests of your religion tell you, like not parking on the metaphysical double yellows, you get just one thing, over and over, forever amen. I think I’d be bored witless. Perhaps the real sound of eternity might be the metaphysical sound of souls screaming things like “Not another peeled grape!” or “If you play that tune one more time I’ll stuff it right up your robes!” or “For the last time, all seventy mothers-in-law cannot come round for Sunday lunch!”.

So, suicide bombers go to ‘Heaven’ and get the same thing, day after day, after eternal day? Mm-hm. Hasn’t God got a strange sense of humour?

Doesn’t worry me, Traffic Wardens are all damned anyway. My local vicar told me so after I caught him without a pay and display ticket.

Friday, August 19, 2005

 

Interesting times

There is a saying, purportedly of Chinese origin, ‘May you live in interesting times’ although more accurately attributed to a 1950’s science fiction story ‘U-Turn’ by Duncan H Munro (A.K.A Eric Frank Russell).

For the past month my family have been living in said ‘Interesting times’. Eldest stepdaughter held up with a knife by a junkie (She seems to have coped with it well, but we’ll just have to be there to catch her when and if she falls.). Youngest stepdaughter gets lost in the big city, having failed to catch the last bus home (last bus never arrived because, as we found out later, drunks had assaulted the driver.), sending both Mrs Sticker and my good self on a rescue mission, dodging drunks and raucous revellers until the early hours of the morning to recover youngest and friends. Mrs Sticker’s car got vandalised the same night after we had parked in our usual place. Drunks again.

About the only good thing that happened was getting a few decent days fishing.
Now I’m no teetotaller, nor do I begrudge anyone a tipple or two to loosen the old social sinews and lubricate their meagre wits, but I’m starting to get the impression that there is a Hogarthian nightmare about to descend.

We get enough problems with ‘binge drinking’ in our area at the moment, where people are so disappointed with their lives that turning their brains to slush and livers to pate with over consumption of alcoholic beverages is the only alternative. Never have so many people needed to go out, grow up and get lives instead of dissolving theirs with alcopops (Well, at least since the era of the Gin shop and the odd victory celebration, or should that be decerebration.). The hope that by extending drinking hours we will start making the long transition towards a continental ‘Café culture’ is unlikely to happen. The only future I can see is the drunks coming at you at all times of the day and night.

Maybe we should let nature take it’s course and let the drunks edit themselves out of the human race by refusing hospital entry to anyone who is in a state of obvious intoxication. You get drunk; you smash yourself or anyone else up – no hospital treatment. Don’t put paramedics at risk by sending them to dodgy calls where the patient has a known drink problem. Call it harsh, call it inhuman if you like, but how about this; let the aggressive drunks wipe themselves out. Think of it as evolution in action.

Some of the men folk in our street are debating rough vigilante action and ‘instant justice’, which might seem the solution in the short term, but may prove counter productive. My argument is that the ‘Baseball bat’ solution may seem attractive, but there are more effective and longer-term solutions, which should be applied instead. Besides, why put yourself at risk by picking a fight with an aggressive bunch of Chavs who have no moral scruples? There are plenty of examples where ‘Have a go’ has turned into ‘Man murdered by gang of youths’. These guys don’t fight fair. You either have to hunt them down and take them out (Unlikely & illegal) or band together and help the law put the little sods in E Wing where they’ll soon learn not to be the one to pick the soap up.

Bearing all the aforementioned in mind, my neighbours and I mooted the following possible solutions:

First solution; late night neighbourly chats on doorsteps or ‘neighbourhood watch’.

Pro:
Deters malefactors by the sheer physical presence of people on the streets.
Provides first line alert for entire street.
Keeps neighbours talking and working out local differences face to face.

Con:
Difficult to maintain impetus what with holidays, kids etc.
Disparate nature of neighbourhood.
Things to keep talking about.
Having to stay up as late as the stupid drunken cretins.
Personal anxieties by neighbours worried about ‘intimidation’.
Rain & missing the footie on the box.
Heavy tea / cocoa consumption.
Too much like ‘curtain twitching’.

Second solution; Oppose extended and late licences for local pubs / clubs.

Pro:
Moves problem elsewhere & changes drunks ‘migration’ patterns, missing our street.
May make troublemakers use taxis & private hire vehicles to get home.
May make potential troublemakers stay at home with grog from the ‘offie’.

Con:
More temptation for mischief on longer route home.
Neighbours (And myself) like the odd late tipple.
Might bring more drunks down the street.
Get a reputation as a bunch of killjoys and become bigger targets than we are.
Not likely to succeed against vested interests.

Third solution; Webcams and dummy cams with signs.

Pro:
Webcams easy & cheap to set up and run.
Fake cameras & signs may act as visual deterrent.
Identifying malefactors & incidents is made easier, making successful prosecutions more likely.
DSL Networking between neighbours ‘always-on’ kit means administration can be split / shared.

Con:
Webcams etc. cannot prevent & can only record incidents in small area.
Obvious Webcams might prove a target for vandalism.
Fake cameras on lampposts might be a target for vandalism.
Fake CCTV in this area might annoy council (Or is this a pro?).
Heavier network demands on personal systems.

I am a strong proponent of the Webcam and fake camera solution, which might just improve matters. Have already discussed it with several of my Internet – savvy neighbours and we are checking out wireless and non-wireless solutions. Some good low light level kit out there too. At the very least, we could positively identify the little shits for a private prosecution if the Police / CPS won’t / can’t act.

Any of you Coppers out there care to comment?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

 

Scavengers

A new phenomenon walked into my life on my second day back on the streets. Scavenger hunts. This used to be a favourite past time when I was briefly in the Boy Scouts (Until the unfortunate incident with those two Girl Guides and half a bottle of shandy – let’s not go there. I’m a reformed character, honest yer worship.).

For those of you who are not familiar with this salubrious entertainment, it comprises of a list of tasks you have to complete, things you have to collect etcetera, etcetera. Recently, some quite mature individuals turned up upon a corporate version of one of these treasure hunts with the task of ‘Have your photograph taken with a traffic warden’. Guess who got caught today – that’s right, muggins – yours truly.

The bunch who accosted me asked for a signed (With my patrol number) Penalty Charge Notice envelope as proof, whilst their mates got a passer by to take their photo and a couple of them made silly gestures behind my back. Oh what the hell I confess, it was a sunny day and I was bored – okay?

Three of our shift got caught the same way in the town centre, one in the middle of booking a wrong ‘un. Big Harry was not best pleased because they got under his feet as he was trying to do his job. He lost the ticket too, so he returned from his beat with a face like thunder snarling dire deprecations at the scavenger hunters.

The rest of us took a bit more of a relaxed attitude towards them. It makes a change from getting negative stuff from the public all day long. You’ve got to make the job bearable somehow.

Monday, August 15, 2005

 

AWOL

Came back on duty today after my holiday to find two of the guys had quit. Not a word to anyone, they’d simply handed in their kit and disappeared from whence they had come.

Doesn’t surprise me that much, from all accounts the pressure has been increased to improve statistics by covering more streets and booking more contraventions. It has all the hallmarks of being condemned to the treadmill. At some point even the best of people have to choose whether or not to stay human or go over to the dark side and book everything that isn’t moving. For my own part, I’ve chosen to stay human and keep my statistics somewhere in the middle range. For the time being it should be just enough to keep myself free from criticism, but not enough to offend my own sense of natural justice.

For a few though, the constant pressure gets too much and they have to bow out or fold up. Been there, done that. Not a wise career path choice as I found out to my cost. Wish I’d had the sense when I was younger to keep my head down, shut my stupid mouth and hide in the crowd. On the other hand, as Mrs Sticker has astutely observed, if I’d done that, I wouldn’t be me.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

 

Joining the club

Stopped to pass the time of day with a colleague on the street today and catch up on work related gossip. Just a casual natter between workmates. I bid my mate good day and got greeted by a sour faced old Milch cow of a female (This is a highly coloured but relatively accurate description) who had a go at me for “Talking to those effing Nazi’s.”
“I talk to who I want.” I responded, rather nettled.
“They’re all effing fascists. You must have trouble sleeping at night.”
“Madam.” Yes I did call the sour faced old harridan thus. “I am one of those, as you so inaccurately put it, Nazi’s and I sleep very well indeed. Now get lost.” Thusly I turned on my heel and walked away. I think she shouted something about reporting me to the council, but I was just so bloody annoyed that I couldn’t care less.

I was still steaming five minutes later when I ran into Real Police foot patrol who recognised me and waved me down. “You look like you want to do someone a damage Bill.” One of them said.
“Some old hag just called me a Nazi.” I complained.
“Is that all?” Both of them burst out laughing. “Join the club.” That brought me down to earth with a thump. I’ve been on leave for over three weeks (I saved it all up – honest.) and my professional defences must have been temporarily shut down. Normally when someone calls me a name I don’t even blink. Half the time I don’t even notice, I’m so intent on doing my job.

Oh well, back on duty tomorrow. I wonder what joy and jollifications that has in store.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

 

Oh my GOD!

I had no idea things were that bad. According to Chocolate & Vodka, the British Terror Alert has been raised to a 'Nice hot strong cup of tea'. This is serious. Not since the dark days of 1940, with the imminent threat of invasion has the terror alert ever been so high. Even during the hottest phase of the cold war, with nuclear midnight less than a breath away, the general alert status for Britain was never raised above ‘Stiff upper lip’.

Perhaps there has been a re-grade of the alert classification system recently. To the best of my knowledge it went like this (in reverse order);

6 Full English please
No risk whatsoever
5 Large Bacon Sandwich
Minor risk
4 Stiff upper lip
Moderate risk
2 Nice hot cup of tea
Serious immediate risk
1 Pint of Best
Complete and utter Annihilation imminent
0 Last orders please
We really are all going to DIE!

In the words of a favourite Uncle of mine; If you can’t stand the heat, try a large Pimms with Lemonade.

What a good idea. TTFN.

Monday, August 08, 2005

 

Hiroshima denials

Catching up on my reading, I’ve seen a lot in the media and on the streets about the wickedness and evil of the Americans in dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 60 years ago, resulting in the surrender of the Japanese at the end of WWII. Lots of people have been shedding tears over the horrors inflicted by the Allies on the Japanese mainland.

One guy even had a go at me while I was on holiday because I wouldn’t sign his petition. I wouldn’t support his views because I’ve taken the time to do a little reading on the subject. There wasn’t any point arguing, his blinkers were set to maximum so he could only see his own point of view.

What you don’t hear a lot about is the probability of even higher military and civilian casualties if an invasion of the Japanese mainland had taken place. There is the view that those nice Japanese would have surrendered wouldn’t they? There is also a substantial body of evidence that would support a contrary argument. Read about the “Rape of Nanking” in 1937 for an insight into Imperial Japanese military thinking between 1930-46.

You might say “So what? That didn’t justify Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
I say the evidence of Japanese military hubris and atrocity is almost enough to justify saying; “Why invade? Any country that can do what they did to the Chinese almost deserved to be wiped out.” Any country whose junior officers engage in a ‘Beheading contest’ of prisoners has serious ethical problems to say the least. The photographs of the killers and others tell their own story more eloquently than a million words.

Only our ‘western’ values wouldn’t let us use more Atomic bombs (Yes, yes, the Japanese surrendered, the Allies only had two etc.). Good job too. Horrific though they were, the expediencies of the time dictated that by inflicting two massive atomic explosions with casualties of 200,000+, many times that figure (On both sides, Allied & Japanese, civilian and military) did not have to die in a pyrrhic invasion of the Japanese mainland.

On a more personal note; my father helped repatriate British and Empire POW’s from the Japanese camps. As a result of his experiences, he would never have anything of Japanese origin in our house. At the time he and I often argued vehemently about this. I was, like many of my generation, fervently anti nuclear weapons. He often said that he was glad the two Atomic bombs had been dropped on Japan. Having seen the evidence of what the Japanese were doing during those years for myself, nowadays I would agree with him.

Iris Chang’s book and other, similar sources are not something I would read with a full breakfast inside me. Read the evidence, pro and con, before commenting.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

 

Back from Jollydays

Have had an absolutely spiffing time on hols in Robbagrockle, Cornwall. On most days, I have been sea fishing in excellent company even if the weather got a bit iffy ten miles out. Mrs Sticker and Step kids have been amusing themselves otherwise at various shopping venues around the county, leaving me to sit back, stick me rod out over the gunwales, tip my straw hat over my eyes and snooze until something gave me bait a nibble. It’s perfectly legal, honest, yer honour.

There’s something particularly soothing I find about being at sea. The quiet, gentle rhythm of the waves and the knowledge that the only unwelcome intrusions into your peace and quiet are the odd Herring Gull and perchance one of HM Submarines surfacing having been repeatedly pinged by an overenthusiastic soul with their fish finder full on, possibly thinking they’d hit a really big fish. “Thar she blows! – Oh shit.” Kind of thing. Saw this actually happen five years back, some ten miles off Eddystone rock. One minute we were watching this guy excitedly circling his little twenty foot cabin cruiser about a quarter mile to port (That’s on the Left to all you landlubbers.), the next, up pops the black hulk of a bloody great Hunter Killer Submarine flooding the radio frequencies with imperious messages ‘to all small vessels’ demanding to know their ‘intentions’. Snigger. Serves ‘em right for scaring off the sharks with their sonar.

All in all, a thunderingly good time was had. No one asked me what I do for a living, I studiously ignored all the tourist parking contraventions and busied myself with sorting out me tackle, playing with me rod and getting lightly pickled. Have not read a newspaper or listened to anything more than the shipping forecast.

My idiot dog, much to everybody’s amusement, spent a lot of his time enthusiastically barking into the live bait bucket. Wonder what would have happened if I’d caught a squid and dropped it in there? Might have shut the silly animal up and given all on board a couple of guffaws. Animal cruelty can be fun Mrs Robinson.

At the present moment of writing have not long arrived home replete with Cornish Oggies and Cripplecock Cider. Am also sea (If not sun) bronzed, full of vim and vigour and my freezer is now full with (Any vegetarians or vegans should stop reading here.);

12 Decent sized fresh Mackerel
4 decent John Dory fillets
5kg of the finest skinned fillet of Conger Eel (The rest went as crab bait)
10kg of Ling fillet

All caught, killed and prepared with me own fair hands, moi ‘andsome. Good job we invested in a big freezer.

I was hoping for some Porbeagle shark, which is comparable to Swordfish if you prepare it correctly, but alas, no reasonable specimen was caught. The little ‘uns we tagged and threw back for next year.

Last night I made a successful attempt at impressing my family (In-laws and out-laws) with my Conger eel Normandy style (Medallions of conger fillet fried in garlic butter and flambéed in Calvados), with home made chips (A household favourite), and buttered peas accompanied by Tartare sauce and one of my special apple crumbles with custard to follow. Yum.

I feel full of beans (Figuratively speaking) and ready for (almost) anything. Even going back to work.

Ah, that’s where it all falls down unfortunately. Hi ho. It was a nice feeling while it lasted.

Incidentally, regarding recent comments; Russian Sub? Space shuttle? What planet are you guys on? I’m a very literal minded person. When I hang up a sign saying ‘Gone fishing’ you can bet your durn tooty that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. I may muck about with names, times, dates and places in this blog to ensure my anonymity, but fishing is sacrosanct.
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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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