Archive for the ‘insanity’ Category

Conspiracy

February 19, 2007

Hi Grit

Sometimes I have this theory that the whole world is built on conspiracy because it seems that throughout the ages almost any major event, particularly a disaster or catastrophe, generates a plethora of conspiracy theories aimed at questioning the official versions of events.

Last night (18th February), I watched a programme on the BBC, which was about the conspiracy theories surrounding the events of 9/11. Whilst there might appear to be justification for some of the theories outlined, others to me were so bizarre as to be incomprehensible. To suggest that the twin towers fell as a result of demolition when there is clear visual evidence of planes flying into them, is sheer idiocy. Then, they add to this the (so-called) fact that the government destroyed a nearby building because it contained a CIA office which held evidence of this tragedy being a US government plot. Others were theorising that the passengers of flight 93 were abducted by government agents and that the plane did not crash. Yet more tried to suggest that the plot was known six months earlier, because a film was produced which had a similar story-line, only as is the case with films, that had a happier ending. I am actually surprised that no-one bought Tom Clancy into one of these mad theories, because in one of his books a passenger plane is flown into the White House, killing the President.

Of course, the US is not alone in this pursuit of conspiracy theories. Here in the UK, despite it being ten years ago, the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of the late Princess Diana still continue to flourish. These range from those who suggest that it was a government backed plot to kill the princess in order to avoid her marriage to a Middle-East family, which they felt might tarnish the Royal lineage, to those who believe that the Royal Family themselves were behind the accident.

Of course, conspiracies are not solely restricted to tragedies. One only has to look at the pro-global warming proponents conspiracy theories about denialists, or the “alien” theories surrounding crop circles, to see that whenever there is a major phenomena, the word “conspiracy” is one of the first to follow official explanations.

One has to wonder about the reasons and conditions that lead peoples minds to turn so readily towards conspiracy as an explanation. Whilst it is true that, particularly in politics on both sides of the Atlantic, there have been many political cover-ups and total lies, which make believing anything that comes out of a politician’s mouth difficult to believe, the vast majority of these are proven to be lies within months, if not sooner.

Perhaps it is the enormity and shock of these events that lead people to automatically question their occurance. In the two cases mentioned above, the events themselves were beyond the perception and belief of the ordinary member of the public. Such is the depth of the disbelief that it defies all reason and logic. Similarly, there is a lack of belief in a system or society structure that allows such events to occur and it affects the trust we have in that society. Thus, in order to fill the void of understanding and comprehension, perhaps we all look to ourselves to provide an explanation that is equally enormous and outrageous in its foundation.

Personally, I have my own conspiracy theory. I believe that there is a conspiracy between the conspiracy theorists to stop both lies and truth being believed.

the Brit

MP travel expenses

February 14, 2007

Hi Grit

All of the debate about travel costs, its effects on Global Warming and the need to conserve energy is generated by politicians. However, today figures have been published that show just how two-faced these people can be, especially in the UK. You need to bear in mind that there are around 634 MP’s and that the travel expenses are in addition to their salary and other expenses.

The current report reveals that the cost of MP’s travel for 2005-06 was a staggering £4.5 million ($9 Million). Of this £2 million was spent on car travel, £1.5 million on trains and £1 million on Flights. This equates to over £7,000 per MP, or £136 per week, and these figures are rising. However, as can be seen from the report, some MP’s are claiming as much as £44,000 per year, an incredible £850 per week!

There are a number of issues here. Firstly, these same MP’s are telling us to cut down on our road travelling, whilst at the same time failing to take their own advice. On the one hand the government is saying that the congestion on the roads is reaching a gridlock position, yet at the same time over 44% of their own travel is adding to the problem. The difference is that we, as lowly citizens, will not be able to reclaim any “rush hour” mileage cost imposed upon us, whilst the MP will be reimbursed. Every £1 an employee spends on mileage costs them £1.30 of gross income.

Secondly, they keep saying that we need to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce energy consumption, at the same time as they are increasing their own (or perhaps we should all walk so that they can travel in luxury!). Our tax authorities penalise us for the type of vehicle that we drive. For example, the tax levels on a 4×4 (SUV) are far more stingent than a small saloon. For an MP this is not a problem as they reclaim all of their expenses direct from the government.

Thirdly, there are no budget constraints on MP spending. They do not have to answer to anyone regarding the level of their expenditure. Any family is aware that they have to budget their expenditure to match their disposable income, or they will suffer the problems of escalating debt. Similarly, every employee knows that their expenses will not be sanctioned by their employer if it is considered to be unreasonable, and that continual extravagance will be rewarded with unemployment. A corporation is aware that cost control is vital to attracting business growth. An Mp’s attitude is directly opposite to all of these, safe in the knowledge that Joe public will be made to pay for their representative’s extravagance through the tax system, either directly or by stealth.

Standing alone, the MP’s travel expenses are bad enough, but when you add to this their other annual expenses, which on average work out at £110,000 ($220,000) each, and their salary of between £57,000 and £150,000 depending upon their position, it all adds up to an enormous public cost. What is worrying is that this represents just a small fraction of the cost of our government and civil service. In my view the time for “accountability of government” is NOW!

the Brit 

   

Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson

February 9, 2007

Hi Grit

Well the British have a view on just about anything. Recently, one of our tabloid newspapers asked their readers which celebrities they considered would make the wierdest couple. Bearing in mind all of the weird UK celebrities that we have, you would have thought that two of these would have topped the list. However, this was not the case.

The popular opinion, based mainly on their plastic looks, was that Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson would be the most unusual coupling between celebrities. Methinks it did not take a high level of intelligence to work that out!

the Brit

Drink and sex abuse in UK politics

February 9, 2007

Hi Grit

Want to know why are politics in the UK are in such a shambles? The following story that I found gives some insight into this situation. It involves the case of Fiona Jones, once heralded as one of “Blairs Babes”, a term that was given to the 100 women MP’s that came into parliament with him in 1997.

Twelve days Fiona was found dead by her 17 year old son. She was surrounded by empty Vodka bottles. It is obvious from this scenario that she was an alcholic, but how did she get into this position. “Parliament taught her to drink,” accuses her husband. It transpires that the Houses of Parliament offers cut-price drink to all members and that heavy drinking sessions are not uncommon. With it being a very close environment there is a culture of “you have to do this to become one of us.” 

The other contributory factor to Fiona’s demise was sexual harassment. From the reports it seems that the lady was continuously subjected to bullying sexual attacks and innuendo by her chauvenistic colleagues.

Surprisingly, only one MP (an ex-MP at that) mentioned Fiona’s death. The article itself seems to brush away the importance of the issues of drink and sex, blaming Fiona’s demise on other issues.

This story is not only tragic, for which our sympathies are extended to Fiona’s family, the root causes of it are indefensible.

Tony Blair and his government publicly depore the menace of drink, often quoting how much work time is lost as a result, and the health and safety issues surrounding it. The same government has introduced laws and cracks down hard on sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace. Why have these issues not been addressed in their own (private) club?

If we were found drunk in the workplace, the minimum expected of us would be to seek treatment. At worse we would be sacked for being unsafe to perform our task. If we were found guilty of sexual harassment in the workplace we would be fined, sacked or even imprisoned and our employers would be accountable as well. Why are the same rules not applied here.

Our government is responsible for making decisions that affect the health and safety of its citizens and, in many cases those of other nations. They are supposed to make sensible, sober decisions regarding matters of local, national and international importance. How can they be trusted to do that if these sorts of incidences are occuring?

No doubt this is the tip of a dangerous ice-berg. The government’s treatment of this lady is deplorable. The governments failure to maintain the same rules and regulations that they apply to its citizens and their employees is unforgivable and, in my view, a criminal dereliction of its duties.

the Brit

Freedom of blog speech under threat

February 6, 2007

Hi Grit

I don’t know if you have read the news relating to attacks by some governments on Freedom of speech on the Internet. More and more countries throughout the world are beginning to interfere with the freedom of bloggers being able to write what they like. Amnesty international cites the case of an Iranian blogger who was arrested for speaking about a political argument in his country.

They are asking for all free fighting bloggers to voice their support for the right to free Internet speecb wherever someone is from.

They have my vote.

the Brit

The scariest words you can hear…

February 4, 2007

Hi Brit,

I was just listening to a cable news channel (Fox, of course) and the scariest words you can hear came out of the speakers.  Yes, I’m going to make you play the guessing game.  I’ll get you started; it wasn’t:

You’re drafted.

Your money or your life.

Your services are no longer necessary.

You are being audited.

Let me read you your rights.

None of that, sorry.  The words were, “In the name of <insert the name of any appropriate God or Gods here.>  In the particular context of the news report, the speaker was some stupid Muslim’s last video record before they went and blew them self up in an effort to kill some Jews, because God told them to do it.  However, from what I recall of my history classes, those same words have prefaced a plethora of religious inspired violence down through the centuries.  These include, to name a few off the top of my head, the Crusades, the Islamic invasions of Europe, the Spanish Inquisition, Nazi Germany, the destruction of countless native cultures and artifacts at the hands of Catholic Missionaries, England’s lengthy list of conquests during the height of Her power, the current insanity in the Middle East, Spain’s rape of South America, the continuing low level war between India and Pakistan, and, if we consider Communism to be a religion (which it is if you look closely,) Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, the USSR under Stalin, plus too many supporting cast roles to be mentioned here.

As a global community we have many problems, many threats facing us.  These include the politicization of Global Warming, over population, lack of education, HIV/AIDS, other health threats like the Bird Flu, clashes of culture, too many languages, dictators, lack of education, and far too many others to list.  However, to me, the worst, the very worst problem we face are those words, “In the name of…”

the Grit

At least I am saner than this!

February 3, 2007

Hi Brit,

At times, I and, I hope, everyone else, have questions as to our own sanity.  In an effort to reassure myself, and others, as to our fundamental grip on reality and rationality, I offer this:

47 Tombstones Found in Dead Man’s Locker

OK, I know that this gives a new meaning to “grave robbing,” but it also give comfort to the rest of us that we aren’t, I hope, this short of a full deck.

the Grit