Thursday, September 04, 2014

It's good to have a plan


The following copied from the Yahoo News page:

As the Isis (now known as Islamic State) terror group continues to consolidate its self-declared "caliphate" in territory seized in its march across north-eastern Syria and northern Iraq, a map has been released that details the "ten-state solution" it hopes to achieve over the next decade.
Walid Shoebat, a former Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) terrorist turned Islamic scholar, has translated the Arabic map of the expansionist caliphate to show the Balkans, Spain and Portugal are long-term targets for the militants. 
The group, which stemmed from al-Qaeda and the Salafist ideology, rejects the notion of nationalism, aiming to remove secular governments and replace them with a pan-Islamic caliphate.
Worringly, the Balkan states would fall under "Orobpa" and Portugal and Spain would fall under "Andalus", according to this expansionist vision.
In the ten-state solution, Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria (Sham) would be the primary fixtures of the caliphate, with Lebanon included in Sham. 
Further secular states that would fall under IS's control include Turkey (Anatolia) as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States (Gogaz), which include Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
"Khorasan" would include Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and potentially Indonesia, while Hijaz would include the Gulf States and Yemen would stand on its own.
"Qinana" would see Egypt, Sudan and Somalia in the caliphate, while the other states of North Africa - Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania - would fall under "Maghreb".
There are worries IS will continue to grow as Islamic militants from Afghanistan and Pakistan, linked to the Taliban, consider joining forces with the group. 
An Afghan militant commander, named as "Mirwais", said if IS proved to be a true caliphate, his forces would pledge allegiance to the group. 
"We know Daish [Arabic term for Isis] and we have links with some Daish members. We are waiting to see if they meet the requirements for an Islamic caliphate," he said.
"If we find they do, we are sure that our leadership will announce their allegiance to them. They are great mujahideen. We pray for them and if we don't see a problem in the way they operate, we will join them."
As the Isis (now known as Islamic State) terror group continues to consolidate its self-declared "caliphate" in territory seized in its march across north-eastern Syria and northern Iraq, a map has been released that details the "ten-state solution" it hopes to achieve over the next decade.
Walid Shoebat, a former Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) terrorist turned Islamic scholar, has translated the Arabic map of the expansionist caliphate to show the Balkans, Spain and Portugal are long-term targets for the militants. 
The group, which stemmed from al-Qaeda and the Salafist ideology, rejects the notion of nationalism, aiming to remove secular governments and replace them with a pan-Islamic caliphate.
Worringly, the Balkan states would fall under "Orobpa" and Portugal and Spain would fall under "Andalus", according to this expansionist vision.
In the ten-state solution, Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria (Sham) would be the primary fixtures of the caliphate, with Lebanon included in Sham. 
Further secular states that would fall under IS's control include Turkey (Anatolia) as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States (Gogaz), which include Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
"Khorasan" would include Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and potentially Indonesia, while Hijaz would include the Gulf States and Yemen would stand on its own.
"Qinana" would see Egypt, Sudan and Somalia in the caliphate, while the other states of North Africa - Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania - would fall under "Maghreb".
There are worries IS will continue to grow as Islamic militants from Afghanistan and Pakistan, linked to the Taliban, consider joining forces with the group. 
An Afghan militant commander, named as "Mirwais", said if IS proved to be a true caliphate, his forces would pledge allegiance to the group. 
"We know Daish [Arabic term for Isis] and we have links with some Daish members. We are waiting to see if they meet the requirements for an Islamic caliphate," he said.
"If we find they do, we are sure that our leadership will announce their allegiance to them. They are great mujahideen. We pray for them and if we don't see a problem in the way they operate, we will join them."

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Pipile pipile


This is the Piping Guan of Trinidad, a seriously endangered endemic. It has some wonderful vernacular names:

English: Blue-throated Piping Guan, Common Piping Guan, Trinidad piping guan, Trinidad Piping-Guan

Spanish: Pava de Trinidad

Estonian: paruk-pugalhoko

French: Pénélope à gorge bleue, Pénélope siffleuse, Pénélope siffleuse de la Trinité

Italian: Guan fischiatore di Trinidad

Japanese: torinidaadonakishakukei

Polish: Grdacz trinidadzki

Russian: Белошапочный гуан, Синегорлая абурри


A bird like this is worth saving!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

God bless Queen Alex!


So, it looks as if Her Majesty Queen Alex Salmond is going to win the battle for an independent Scotland. How do you feel if you are English? I can only speak for myself and the irrational feeling I have that if the Scots don't love me any more, why should I love them? Then, warming to my theme of alienation, I comfort myself that I don't like their cuisine, I don't like their accent, I don't like their weather, I don't like their music, I don't like bloody Hogmanay - in fact, I am feeling really good now about the impending divorce. Who needs friends whose idea of good food is haggis or neaps and tatties, whose idea of music is the strangulation of a bladder with a pipe attached, whose idea of manly dress is a pleated skirt and no knickers?
Goodness, I feel so much better now. Queen Alex, you can kiss my a...e, it's good riddance to the lot of you.
But if, against the odds, the Scottish people vote NO to independence, I want you to know that I love the Highlands, I love malt whisky, I love the romanticism of the Isles, I love the poetry of Robert Burns, I love Scottish wildlife, and I once kissed a very pretty girl from Edinburgh. Welcome back, even if you never left.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Plod plays it safe


The following is based on a recent item in Yahoo News.
QUOTE
 An investigation has found that at least 1,400 children were exploited in the UK town of Rotherham*** between 1997 and 2013 and that there was a “collective failure” by authorities to stop the abuse. The Rotherham Borough Council published a report today which said that it is “hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered”.
“They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.”
The inquiry was launched last September to look at how Rotherham Council’s children’s services department dealt with cases involving child exploitation.  The report gives examples of children who had been doused in petrol, threatened with guns and made to watch brutally violent rapes. The victims were told they “would be next if they told anyone”.
Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators, the majority of whom were of Pakistani heritage.
The independent investigation concluded that this abuse is “not confined to the past but continues to this day”. The report says that over the first 12 years covered by the Inquiry, there were “blatant collective failures” of the political and officer leadership. The author, Professor Alexis Jay, also said the council underplayed the scale of the problem and that South Yorkshire Police failed to prioritise the issue.
This is the fourth report into the situation in Rotherham. 
UNQUOTE
Why, do you think, were the local authorities and the police so reluctant to investigate this situation? Careful with your answer or you might be accused of being racist.
If this is the FOURTH report, the chances are that still nothing will be done. In the meantime, let's all have fun following the prurient accounts of the Yewtree pursuit of Cliff Richard, Freddy Starr and other geriatric celebrities, against most of whom no evidence has been produced.

***Sadly this kind of abuse is happening in several other UK cities. More here.

Threatened species!


House Sparrow is on the Red List of serious conservation concern. My garden is full of them: at least forty feeding on ground-strewn seed at any time.
Starling is on the Red List of serious conservation concern. My garden is full of them: anything up to forty feeding wherever there is something to eat.
In fact, I realise that the only truly endangered species on my property is me. I am male, I am white, I am heterosexual, I am old, I am mildly conservative, I am a carnivore and I am a Catholic. How many of those do you know still walking around unthreatened?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Life is getting interesting again


A bruising performance last night from His Majesty Queen Alec Salmond, which is causing the chattering pundits to predict a YES vote in the Scottish Independence referendum next month.

There are always two equal and opposite forces at work in geopolitics. On the one hand, the centripetal force towards greater integration of elements: the USSR, the USA, the European Union, for example. And on the other the centrifugal force towards greater fragmentation of elements:
the balkanisation of the former Yugoslavia, Catalan, Galician and Basque separatism, a Kurdish state, for example. And, of course, an independent Scotland.

It is tempting to indulge in a reductio ad absurdum argument here. If Scotland becomes independent, then so should Wales. Then England will be an independent country too. But wait. Yorkshire folk have always seen themselves as different, separate. So why not an independent Yorkshire? But wait. In that case, why not an independent Cornwall, historically part of the Celtic fringe?

We are going Appalachian here. Queen Alec's wish to be independent is partly because he loves Scotland, but it's partly because he dislikes England. Only a matter of time before the Highlands demand to be separated from the Lowlands, which really do feel like two different countries. Soon, every valley will have its clan that wishes to be independent from all the other valley clans, and if there's any argument, they will fight to defend their freedom. Clan feuds r Us.

In fact, if the village of Haddenham where I live makes a UDI, I personally will ask for my particular road to become independent of the rest of the village, because some very weird folk live up there.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

France today, where tomorrow?

A Russian video about France which cannot be shown in France. It beggars belief.

Vidéo interdite en France... Mais pas en Russie ! Soon in Canada

 http://www.google.fr/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CDcQtwIwAQ&url=http://fr.gloria.tv/?media%3D527837&ei=e1L6Upm_Kcajhgeh9YDQDA&usg=AFQjCNH5JR7_oNPuXzos8YZVJODUgGNRIQ&sig2=xZ5g04yzF-QmaefmVbj9GQ&bvm=bv.61190604%2cd.d2k