China has been accused of being responsible for the outbreak of Covid-19. I thought for a long time that the proximity of biological research laboratories to Wuhan was no coincidence. This article offers a very different theory, and is worth reading.
An interesting article from Roland, comparing an ancient empire with America in the 21st century.
The news is reporting another random mass shooting in the USA, this time in El Paso, Texas. Twenty or more injured, and ‘multiple fatalities’.
This made the headlines on the BBC News, as the first story to be featured. To us, it is unthinkable.
As of the 31st of July, 2019, no less than 249 shootings of this nature have been reported, in just seven months. This recent even takes that number to 250.
Today is only the 215th day of the year. So that means shootings have exceeded one per day, by a fair margin.
America is not listening. Americans wants their guns. America is never going to implement gun control.
The 251st shooting is probably only a few days away.
Nobody in America really cares. Or at least not enough. It is always someone else’s gun, never mine. I need my gun.
Because if they genuinely did care, they could stop it.
The world is crying out to Americans, but they refuse to listen.
I make no apology for being interested in the whole idea of conspiracy theories. I am yet to be convinced that anyone ever walked on The Moon, and I do not believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was a ‘lone wolf’ shooter in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. So, that’s my stall set out.
For most of my life, I have watched the western powers fawn over Saudi Arabia. They act like vassals of old, paying homage to the kingdom that has the modern holy grail, oil. Despite the harsh regime, the imposition of archaic and cruel punishments, and the total disregard for the rights of women and many ordinary citizens, the west stays quiet. They are happy to condemn the Taliban, ISIS, and countries like Iran for restrictive practices, isolationism, and fundamentalist Islamic principles, yet at the same time, Saudi Arabia gets a ‘free pass’ to do whatever it wants, wherever it chooses to do it.
Recent examples include the relentless and pointless war in Yemen, and the heartless killing of helpless civilians, including many children. Then there is the murder of a dissident journalist in their consulate in Turkey. Western countries blow off a lot of hot air, but do nothing concrete in reprisal. They carry on supporting the war in Yemen, by selling arms to the unspeakably rich Saudis. Contrast this with their treatment of Russia, the Syrian leader Assad, or their past dealings with Saddam Hussein and Muammar al-Gaddafi.
Most sensible people are asking one question, “Why?” Why do the western countries tolerate this barbaric state in that region, continue to pay homage to its dictatorial royal family, and make up excuses for its appalling behaviour?
Well, I have a theory as to ‘why?’. There is a dark secret owned by Saudi Arabia, and kept in a metaphorical locked box in Riyadh. A secret that would possibly destabilise the western countries that it involves, and change the entire concept of both truth, and history. The 9/11 attacks in America.
The people who carried out those attacks, crashing planes into iconic structures in the US, were predominantly Saudi nationals. They were educated, had learned how to fly the aircraft for as long as necessary, and were well-organised too. Yet following these attacks, blame was immediately placed on Iraq and Afghanistan, despite full knowledge that the perpetrators were Saudis. This allowed the ‘allies’ to destroy Iraq, and invade Afghanistan again. It also gave rise to restrictive laws, Homeland Security, and drone attacks on anyone disliked by the west. It marked out Muslims as the enemies of civilisation, and started a war that will never end. But the Saudis got that free pass. Why?
My suggestion, and my own belief as to why, is simplicity itself. It is staring us all in the face, and you just have to be able to believe what seems to be unbelievable. The US and the Saudis colluded to orchestrate the 9/11 attacks. This gave them the justification for all that followed, and ensured that Saudi Arabia, as co-keepers of the ‘big secret’, could do whatever they liked, forever.
Before you write me off as a crazy conspiracy nut, think about it.
Over the past weeks, anyone watching the TV news, or reading a newspaper, will have noticed two main stories. First and foremost, the fiasco in America concerning the appointment of a Supreme Court Judge, and the allegations of historical sexual assault that followed his nomination. This may well be very significant to people in America, and the story naturally picked up on the #metoo movement that began with the Harvey Weinstein case. I can see that it has a broader appeal, given that it allows abused women to finally speak up, and hopefully stop such things happening in the future.
But it was also the main feature on the BBC News here, every day for weeks. Not only that, but they relayed the entire hearings live, for hours on end during the afternoon. It got so that a newshound like me was wondering if anything else was happening, anywhere on Earth.
The second story that was pumped out by the media in the UK was the constant division in our political parties, caused by the Brexit arguments, alleged anti-semitism, and the circus that is the politics of Northern Ireland. Of course, we are interested in what happens with Brexit. We might also be interested in whether or not we can expect the awful Boris Johnson to become our next Prime Minister. But in the middle of Brexit squabbles, and the unforgivable actions of an unrepentant Judge in America, it seemed that little else was happening.
But it was.
The war continued in Syria. Soldiers and civilians were still dying there, and in Afghanistan. American interventions in Niger, Chad, Mali, and Somalia were all going unreported, and the Saudi/US war against rebels and civilians in Yemen continued to supply potentially horrific headlines. Things were getting no better for the Muslim minorities in Myanmar, and the flood of economic migrants to southern Europe continued unabated.
Supreme Court appointments and Brexit arguments may be worthy of the news, I don’t doubt that. But they should follow more serious world events, not lead them. If this doesn’t change, we will not only be in danger of being misinformed, as is often claimed, but uninformed, which I think is even worse.
As I have previously mentioned, I hold no brief for any American president, and have not liked a single one I have seen during my lifetime. Kennedy was an unfaithful womaniser, and a liar. Johnson was also a liar, and Nixon topped them both by taking blatant lying to a new level. Ford was unimpressive, Reagan seemed mad, (and lied) both of the Bush family are best forgotten, and Bill Clinton was a womaniser and a liar. (That again) Obama knew how to play the game, but kept few promises, and didn’t achieve much for people of colour, the poor, or women, all of which was expected from him.
So, that covers my life from the age of 9, until the year 2016. But one thing about all those former presidents is worth mentioning. They all knew how to behave in public. They understood the ‘game’, and how to play it on the international stage. Some may have been caught out with their sexual indiscretions, or behind the scenes deals and interference in other countries. But they spoke well, and (most of the time) appeared to be dignified, and statesman-like. They represented their country as we had come to expect them to, with concern for their allies, and suitable expression of the power behind their office, at least on the surface.
The along comes Donald Trump. He throws away the rule book. He has no class or style, treating his job as if he is the CEO of The World. He is a womaniser, and he lies, so no change there, but he doesn’t really hide either fact, preferring to boast about his conquests and bad behaviour like men drinking in a bar. He doesn’t know how to speak in public, let alone how to behave. By appealing to the lowest common denominator, he attracts a lot of support in his own country, whilst alienating almost every other country on Earth. Using his daughter as The First Lady is just too creepy for words. She always looks under control, never happy to be doing what she is doing. He goes to NATO and talks to other leaders as if they work for him, and are not being productive enough. Then he comes to Britain and upsets just about everyone you can think of, even those who want to be his friend.
In 2016, I thought he might learn. He was inexperienced as a politician, but obviously no fool, nor the buffoon he was painted in the press. He made clever use of social media, and could have used his business skills to learn from those around him, perhaps really making ‘America Great Again’. But he got rid of everyone who knew what they were doing, and replaced them with a succession of yes men and women who follow his lead. I have rarely seen such displays of arrogance from the leader of a powerful western nation, at least not since newsreels of Mussolini, or the overwhelming self-confidence and condescension displayed by Margaret Thatcher, when she was Prime Minister in the UK. He lives in a world he reinvents day by day, in his own head.
A note to America. You really should try to stop him leaving your country on these visits.
Ever since I can remember, the world has lived in fear of one side or another using nuclear weapons. At school in the 1950s, we had air-raid drills; hiding under desks, facing away from the windows. As if that would have made any difference, if a nuclear bomb had actually struck central London, some two miles from where I was concealed under my old desk, in a school built during the Victorian era. We had seen the result of the American attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and these new bombs were many times more powerful.
At the time, there were few countries capable of using such weapons. The Soviet Union was the presumed enemy during the Cold War, and Britain had been given the means to retaliate too, by America. The French had also tested atomic bombs in the Pacific, so it was safe to assume that only four countries had these bombs in their possession. We are now in 2018, and that list of countries has not grown significantly. As well as Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and Israel are all known to have the potential to launch nuclear weapons. And if you believe the propaganda by both sides, (I don’t) North Korea may well have a viable delivery system too.
Then there is the issue of ‘sharing’. That sounds very cosy, given what is being shared. The USA has ‘shared’ the option to launch nuclear weapons with Turkey, Belgium, Holland, Italy, and Germany. This basically consists of the USA siting weapons in those countries, then deciding whether or not to fire them. There are also countries that once had nuclear weapons, but apparently no longer have any; South Africa, Canada, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. One thing we can be sure of, there are a lot of nuclear bombs and missiles out there.
By using published figures, there are 14,900 nuclear missiles and bombs stored around the world. That’s more than enough to wipe out the human race, many times over. Probably enough to not only eradicate all life on Earth, but also to destroy the very fabric of the planet. When we read about the nuclear threat, it is generally in terms of a supposedly limited conflict. The US has hinted that it will use them against the DPRK, should their leader fire rockets at US bases, South Korea, or Japan. But the DPRK has a border with China, so involving the Chinese could not be avoided. India and Pakistan square up against each other all the time, and have been in conflict since 1947. But both sides know that using nuclear weapons would also be self-destructive, so have never launched any. For Israel to use them against their near-neighbours would also result in disaster for their own country, so they are almost certainly not going to launch any.
For almost sixty years, I have lived in the shadow of this Nuclear Threat. The Cold War, The Cuban Missile Crisis, and many other supposed ‘near misses’ over the decades. I have finally decided that nobody will use them. It doesn’t make economic sense, and money rules the world. I stopped living in fear of the Nuclear Threat, and concluded that it is just that. A threat.
You would have to be in a coma not to have heard that Prince Harry has become engaged to an American model/actress/presenter or whatever she is. Anyone who knows me will know that I couldn’t care less what any of our so-called Royal Family get up to, let alone what dress hangers they marry and where they come from. I did have a good laugh at the news that the Queen was paying the cost of the wedding from her ‘own funds’. Presumably the same ‘funds’ that her ancestors stole from the ordinary people centuries ago.
It is ironic that other countries love our Royal Family so much. Tourists come from all over the world to bask in the pageantry and history surrounding our aristocracy. Most of them from Republican countries that fought wars or revolutions to rid themselves of identical monarchies in the first place.
This forthcoming wedding will serve more than just the union of a man and woman though. The timing is near-perfect, to coincide with the formalisation of the Brexit process. It is also around the time of the birth of yet another royal baby, all guaranteeing a feast of what we do best in this country, avoiding the real issue. TV News channels and daily newspapers will be able to fill their schedules and pages with countless video clips and photographs of the charming new royal couple. They can talk about her clothes, the fact that she is being baptised and becoming a British citizen, and how well-suited and in love they are. Shortly after, in case interest is waning, they can do the same again with the new royal baby, the child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Luckily for the young lady in question, her new husband is unlikely to ever have a chance of becoming King, however long he lives. With his father next in line, his brother after that, and then three of his brother’s children to follow, it would take an unimaginable catastrophe to leave him close to the throne. Had he been next in line, we all know the real truth. He would never have been allowed to marry her. So, they begin their lives as an engaged couple in the full glare of the public eye. The first official duties follow soon, charting the build up to the grand wedding in Windsor that will presumably stop anyone wondering what a mess the government has made of Brexit.
As an added plus, the union will also cement our cosy relations with the USA, at a time when we will no doubt need the trade deals and friendship more than ever. Like the royal marriages of medieval times, it is designed to bring together countries, as well as husband and wife.
Let the celebrations begin! Hurrah!
Brexit? What was that?
Whatever you might think about North Koreans, they are nothing if not resilient.
Faced with the threat of American action against them, their response has been bullish, to say the least. Their Foreign Minister has declared that his country will launch a ‘preemptive nuclear strike against the USA’, if they detect any possibility of an attack against them from America.
Those are serious words indeed, even if they are unlikely to be backed up by the action mentioned in them. I am reminded of a professional poker game; bluffers taking on the bluffers. Both sides know that the other is bluffing, but who is actually prepared to take that chance, when push comes to shove?
This small country, with a population of 29 million, its people generally impoverished, and having one thing to show to the world, Pyongyang, has taken a firm stand indeed. On one hand, it could signal their total destruction. On the other, it could guarantee them a place on the world stage.
So. Who blinks first? Fascinating.
By now, you will have been aware of the mass shooting in a club in Florida, USA. Not for the first time on this blog, I find myself writing about the crazy gun laws in America. Despite being on a government watch list, the murderer was able to legally acquire handguns and assault rifles. And this in a country that is no stranger to mass killings with similar weapons.
Because of his ethnic background, there was initially some speculation that religion might have been a motive. However, his family are sure that it was simply that he was homophobic, and disturbed by open displays of affection by gay men. Everyone seems to be asking the wrong question. It is immaterial what his motives were, what matters is how he was able to obtain the weapons used to carry out the killing.
Americans hold dear to their right to bear arms. They quote their constitution, and in some states, accumulate hundreds of weapons in otherwise perfectly ordinary households. They teach tiny children to shoot, and often carry weapons openly; worn in their belts, or attached to racks in pick-up trucks. They have a gun culture, deep within the soul of their nation. And they pay the price for it. Not only numerous mass killings, but armed gangsters, an inordinate amount of police officers shot dead in the line of duty, as well as countless bystanders caught in the regular crossfire.
Many US citizens claim their right to own firearms as a ‘freedom’.
What about the freedom of all those killed? That doesn’t matter, it seems.