but I probably will! What brought on this melancholy I hear you ask? Well I just finished watching one of the most beautiful and poignant movies I’ve ever seen, and for about the tenth time! ‘Field of Dreams’, 1989, starred Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones and Burt Lancaster. For those of you who haven’t seen it, treat yourselves! It’s about a near bankrupt Iowa corn farmer (Costner), who, having had a troubled relationship with his late father, hears a voice who tells him, ‘If you build it, he will come!’ Costner’s character duly ploughs under some of his ready to harvest corn in order to build a baseball diamond, allowing all the late, great American baseball players to return from heaven to play again, including the seven players banned for life over the 1919 Black Sox Scandal. Near the end of the movie Kostner’s character gets to meets his father when the man is still in his prime, and the two men briefly bond over their love of the game.
I’ve neither played baseball, or followed the sport, however every time I watch the movie I cry over various scenes. You see I too am full of regret, and not just over my relationship with my late father, but over the numerous bad decisions I’ve made in my life. Oh wouldn’t it be wonderful, sweet, if those of us eaten up by regret could have been born with the accumulated wisdom gathered over a lifetime’s experiences, and thus avoid making those bad decisions that led to regret in the first place? Christ, the last thing I want to do is die with a tear in my eye, but with a smile on my face, but I guess this will not come to pass! They say we learn more from failure than from success, but surely it would be shrewder to learn from other people’s failures rather than from making ones of our own?
*During the 1919 World Series the Chicago White Sox lost the series to the Cincinnati Reds, and 8 White Sox players were later accused of intentionally losing games in exchange for money from gamblers. Although the 8 players were acquitted in court, they were all banned from baseball for life. It was widely believed New York racketeer Arnold Rothstein fixed the World Series, but nothing was ever proved.
*The only other great baseball movie I know of is ‘The Natural’, starring Robert Redford.
Over the last few years Russian nuclear bombers have encroached into British airspace a number of times, while Russian navy vessels have appeared in British waters. It is generally believed the Russian bear is testing UK armed forces response times at a time when budget restraints have forced the Ministry of Defence to ‘pear down’ our Army, Navy and Air Force. It could be argued Vladimir Putin is doing exactly what has been asked of him, by the British Government that communicated with him using those very useful political ‘back channels’. Deals are done that sometimes never get in the history books. Now that we have emerged from the worst of the austerity measures following the 2008 crash, and due to the ‘perceived’ Russian threat to our sovereignty, between now and the general election in four months time, the British Government may suddenly find the money to beef up our defences. Don’t be surprised to read of an MoD accountant who suddenly find funds that had previously languished in a forgotten about account. To truly understand the goings-on surrounding international diplomacy, sometimes it pays to think outside the box! My assessment of the above situation is probably way off, but it makes you think, doesn’t it?
Yes, that’s right, and according to ‘hands-on’ research done by the online journal Maternal & Child Nutrition, breastfeeding in public is still frowned upon. Mothers are made to feel ‘marginalised and ashamed’. Speaking as an adult male, watching a mother breastfeeding in public can be quite traumatizing! Why only the other day I happened upon a woman breastfeeding in a public park. It wouldn’t have been so bad had she been breastfeeding a baby, but a 14-year-old youth with a milky smile? It was a weekday and he should have been in school! I went straight home a dug out my baby pictures. Aw, I was so cute!
Over the last two nights, a total of 8 remotely operated drones (URVs) were seen flying illegally over Paris landmarks, including Place de la Concorde. Is it only a matter of time before terrorists utilise quadcopters to drop bombs on heavily populated areas and foreign embassies?
I’ve never quite understood the difference myself, that was until I did a little bit of research!
Tax evasion is illegal. This is where a corporation or individual purposely hides income so as not to pay tax. Defrauding the Inland revenue is a criminal act if caught, and will result in heavy fines and a possible prison sentence. On the other hand, tax avoidance is quite legal. This is a means of structuring your finances in order to take advantage of existing tax law, which leaves you paying little or no tax at all.
Clear? Well not to me! As the government closes legal loopholes to prevent the very rich and very famous avoid paying tax, the act becomes one of evasion. There is a vast grey area between the two types of non-payment of tax, which is often tested in the courts, when a judge makes a ruling, often turning avoidance into evasion! So what is legal on a Monday becomes illegal on a Wednesday!
Political parties rely on regular, large political donations from very rich tax evaders/avoiders…individuals, companies, accountancy firms and hedge fund managers…in order to balance Party books and fights elections. If you squeeze donors too hard by closing their off-shore money boxes, political donations will inevitably dry up! You might say, ‘so what?’ I’ll tell you ‘so what!’ The taxpayer…you and I…may one day be forced to fund political parties, and I don’t like the sound of that!
Ladies & gentlemen, do you want to smooth out your wrinkles and increase blood flow to your skin, then you might want to trying eating Esthechoc, the world’s first beauty chocolate, after all, a radiant complexion might save you going under the knife and still get you the man or woman of your dreams! Developed from original research by scientists at Cambridge University, the new wonder chocolate bar made by Lycotec promises visible improvements within 3-weeks, perhaps sooner if you were to melt it before rubbing it into your face or turkey neck rather than eating it? Each 7.5 gram bar contains 72% of cocoa, yet only has 32 calories. Compare this with one square of a 45 gram bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk which contains 240 calories. What is more interesting is the ‘fact’ each 7.5 gram bar of Esthechoc allegedly contains as much anti-inflammatory astaxanthin as a 300 gram serving of salmon. F**king nirvana!
Now look here, speaking as a lifelong chocoholic, I really do object to scientists hijacking, yes, hijacking my favourite ‘luxury’ food and repackaging it as a skin treatment that ‘supposedly’ banishes wrinkles. Some things are sacrosanct and should not be messed around with. Christ all f**king mighty, chocolate, in solid or liquid form should be taken purely for the purposes of pleasure and nothing else! Oh God, I do hope the health benefit rumours of eating Esthechoc aren’t spreading, otherwise I might be forced to take holy orders!
Possible 2016 American Presidential candidate Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida said at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs: ‘I love my father (George HW) and my brother (George W). I admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions they had to make. But I am my own man, and my views are shaped by my own thinking’. American foreign policy more than any other country’s foreign policy is determined by the interests of commercial forces…defence contractors, giant energy firms…the NSA, the CIA. It would be naïve to think any President is his own man. Sometimes the interests of the White House coincide with outside interests, sometimes they do not. In any event, many Western leaders are told what to think by unelected think tank consultants. Possible future US President Jeb Bush will be told what to think by political lobbyists working on behalf of Halliburton and ExxonMobil! Domestic policy? Well that’s always a crapshoot! The average voter probably has more control over what he or she thinks than any country’s leader!
Frankly it doesn’t matter that UKIP in Britain doesn’t have a recognisable ‘policy’, for if the party ever gets into power Nigel Farage will rely on outside ‘special consultants’ to form his party’s policy for him.
Two former, high-profile British Foreign Secretaries, Jack Straw (Labour MP) and Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Conservative MP) have been ‘temporarily’ suspended from their parties after being secretly filmed allegedly offering ‘cash for favours’ to a non-existent Hong Kong-based Chinese communications company PMR, whose representative wanted to ‘hire’ senior British politicians to join their company’s advisory board. In other words, Messrs Straw and Rifkind would allegedly use their positions and contacts to the benefit of PMR, thus acting as lobbyists, which is verboten for sitting MPs. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards will investigate. Mark my words, this is another storm in a teacup, and will soon blow over! Hey, at least former British Prime Minister Tony Blair waited until he stepped down as an MP before lobbying for the world and his granny!
With many of our laws now being made in Brussels, British MPs have a lot more time on their hands than they used to. Lobbying is a way to fill their down time and their pockets. One would have thought both Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind might have made sure PMR was a legit company and not a bogus one before walking into a sting. More fool them, and what a come down for two politicians who in their time held various high offices! (Jack Straw=Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Leader of the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Justice. Malcolm Rifkind=Secretary of State for Scotland, Secretary of State for Transport, Secretary of State for Defence, Foreign Secretary, and until this week, Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee).
The other story yet to break involves Liberal Democrat MP Harold Richard Valarian, who was similarly filmed covertly allegedly offering his lobbying services to SpermFirst, the world’s largest sperm bank. Due to the 2012 change in the sperm donor anonymity law, deposits are down! SpermFirst wanted Mr Valerian to lobby ‘the right people’ so as to reverse the change in the law, reintroducing the right to anonymity. Mr Valerian hoped to make a big splash in the corridors of sperm donor clinics, instead he is likely to be suspended too, but by what? Naturally this story is…bollocks!
**Oops, it appears the first story is not a storm in a teacup after all! Sir Malcolm Rifkind has stated he will step down as an MP at the next election. No fear of his Kensington & Chelsea seat falling into Labour hands! “Too much time on his hands?” Presumably Sir Malcolm had no need to attend weekly constituency surgeries, which he no doubt delegated to his agent, who found himself underemployed too. I don’t suppose there are many poor people with unresolved problems living in Kensington & Chelsea!
Future EU president and future Catholic Pope, Emperor Tony Blair, 61, now advises Serbian Prime Minister Aleksander Vucic on how to secure EU membership. I suppose the trick to conning the other EU member states to admit Serbia is to conceal any human rights violations. By-the-by, Mr Vucic once described former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as an ‘English gay fart’. Clearly Vucic has a nose for controversy! If indeed the man can identify an individual’s sexual preference by gauging the ferocity of a single fart and by its odour, well he’s a man I want to work for too!
Well folks, it’s official, sort of. According to researchers from the University of Lethbridge in Canada and the Benha University in Egypt, the Universe didn’t start with a big bang, or even a small bang, because the Universe has existed forever. Ah ha, so there was no beginning at all! It follows, with no ‘singularity’, Einstein’s theory has been debunked! Sorry folks, I don’t buy it! There must be a beginning to everything. ‘Forever’ presupposes there is no ‘time’, which we know there is, otherwise there would be no past, present or future!
Meanwhile, scientists are already predicting what might cause the end of us. Nuclear war, artificial intelligence, major asteroid impact, supervolcano, global pandemic, ecological catastrophe, nanotechnology (machines), extreme climate change, alien invasion, demonic interference or none of the above! Now might be the time to max your credit cards!
Remaining focused on extraterrestrials for a moment, outgoing President Obama aide John Podesta has said, his ‘big regret’ was not securing the disclosure of UFO files. Many people believe aliens have been here for a very long time indeed. It is even believed many of them have worked at one time or another in local jobcentres, where they took a particular delight in rejecting legitimate claims for financial support! Hey, isn’t it about time aliens came out of hiding? Hey, I could arrange a ‘meet & greet’ and perhaps a sleepover! I’ve always wanted to bed a bug-eyed, scaly monster with detritus!
After the recent fatal attacks on Jewish establishments/synagogues in Paris and Copenhagen and the general world-wide surge in anti-Semitism, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu has sent out a clarion call for world Jewry to emigrate to the State of Israel. French orthodox Jews have already landed at Ben Gurion Airport, and some British orthodox Jews may well desert Britain for Israel, but the vast majority of non-orthodox (270,000) British Jews have no intention of fleeing Britain. They would rather fight to protect their way of life than give it up, so woe betide the misguided, cowardly jihadist who get between a British Jew and his or her right to shop in a mall unmolested, visit a Michelin star restaurant, enjoy a theatrical experience or spend his undeclared income in a casino! In any event, Jewish women would find it hard to flee in in 6-inch Manolo Blahniks, but if some of them felt they had to leave Britain, rather than flee to Israel, they would high-tail it to planet Amazon Prime!
There is some good news! About 1,500 young Muslims who believe their holy book, the Koran preaches universal peace and tolerance, formed a symbolic ‘ring of peace’ around a synagogue in Oslo, Norway. How beautiful! Let’s hope this type of inspiring behaviour is infectious, because in almost every fatal anti-Semitic attack, Muslims and Christians have died too. Even in today’s fasted pace, internet led society, one man or woman can still make a difference!
Last night was a bust! I went to the pub with friends and had an awful time of it. I was suffering from alcohol-induced gout and was in severe discomfort. I knew gout affected the big toe, the midfoot, the ankles, the knees, the fingers, knees and elbow joints, but I has no idea gout could affect the reproduction organ. That was one joint I thought was safe from gout. Hey, at least the beast of Hertfordshire didn’t suffer from any undue swelling!
Anyway, the evening went from bad to worse! I bumped into Richard S, an old adversary. He said my blog site was crap, and even went as far as to call me a kiddy fiddler! I told him I was going to sue him for defecation of character! It wasn’t until I returned home that I discovered that defecation was the final act of digestion, by which organisms eliminate solid, semi-solid and /or liquid waste material from the digestive tract via the anus. I think the Defecation Act 2013 is the wrong statute. I’ll look for another one and let you all know the outcome!
My friend Joan is eight-months pregnant. I asked her if she intends opting for a natural birth or whether she’s going to have the baby delivered by…Amazon.com!
Along with sex education lessons to primary school children, condoms will be handed out free of charge on the NHS to thirteen-year-olds, presumably in an attempt to cut the numbers of unwanted pregnancies in the under 16 group. Will this not encourage young girls to have sex sooner than they might normally? Penetration and ejaculation are the final acts of making love. How many children, or adults for that matter know how to make love? The body is covered in millions of tiny nerve endings. How many are actually stimulated during intimacy?
Three weeks ago a court in north-eastern France ruled against parents naming their baby daughter Nutella, after the chocolate-hazelnut spread, made by Italian company, Ferrero, which holds the trademark to the name. Only last week, Italy’s richest man, Michele Ferrero died aged 89 in Monaco. I would not be at all surprised if we see a special edition box of Ferrero Rocher on supermarket shelves. A black stripe emblazoned across the praline treat gold wrapping paper would seem highly appropriate! As a lover of quality chocolate, I’m afraid I do not rate Ferrero Rocher. In fact it’s one of the few confectionary products I do turn my nose up at! This of course is a personal opinion, and I wouldn’t want it to influence your chocolate buying habits.