Thursday, 24 July 2014
Let me say straight away that I'm no particular lover of Vladimir Putin and that I extend my sympathies to the families of the victims of flight MH17.
However, I have a certain degree of sympathy for Russia. The people in Crimea broke away from Ukraine and asked to be annexed to Russia. The Russians agreed. Fait accompli. Job done - so now a load of separatists in eastern Ukraine think they'd like to play the same game and a civil war results.
Then the Americans and their EU puppets start playing silly buggers. They think that they can pressure Putin into admitting that he started the whole thing in the first place. Personally I don't know whether he did or not, but I do know that whilst he might be many things, Putin is not an idiot. He knows that if he bows to US pressure and puts pressure on the separatists, then he is by implication admitting that he has control over them. He isn't going to do that.
Then an airliner gets shot down. The separatists blame the Ukrainians, the Ukranians blame the separatists The Americans blame Putin and urge sanctions against Russia. The Americans say that the Russians are culpable because they supplied the missiles, ignoring the fact that the separatists admit to having captured some of this kit during the war.
On that basis the Americans are responsible for the deaths in Gaza because they supplied the hardware to Israel. The Russians supplied both sides in Ukraine directly or indirectly. Britain is reported to have sold arms to Ukraine, so we're culpable as well.
Still the Americans persist is trying to goad Putin into interfering in Ukraine because they know that if he does, he is admitting he can and the US Dickhead of State, John Kerry, will immediately jump up and say "Ha! Told you it was his fault all along!!"
What I find most distasteful is that O'Bummer and his henchmen have a new football to kick around and the man who has the ball controls the game. That football is called MH17.
All credit to Putin for refusing to play.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
I've posted this in advance because this morning Mrs D is having an operation to remove the cataracts from her left eye. I'm told by people who have had it done that the operation is a doddle but I know if it were me I'd be bricking it so I don't envy her - especially as in a few weeks time she'll be going back to repeat the experience on the other eye...
I do, however, envy her one thing. She definitely won't be watching the opening of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Or anything else really, but that's not my point.
We've had a summer of sport. The World Cup, the Open, the British Grand Prix, Wimbledon, the Tour de Farce. We've been bombarded with the bloody stuff and frankly, I'll be glad when it's all over and we can have the telly back - apart from the Premier League, obviously. We're stuck with that shit. You can't have everything.
Somebody pointed out to me the other day that we're the only house in our street without at least one satellite dish and asked me why. "Well" I replied, "there's nothing on there that I'd want to watch." "But there's loads of sport on there!" he countered. "Precisely" I said.
I understand why sport exists. It's surrogate warfare - a chance for opposing tribes to kick the living shit out of each other by proxy thus avoiding the nasty business of being killed or maimed. Perhaps that's why I find it so uninteresting as I have no particular wish to beat the crap out of another human being - tempting as it might be sometimes with neighbours like mine - either personally or by proxy.
My nearest neighbour doesn't share my view. I live across the street from him and his TV is so big (67" I think), that I can watch from my window across the street and into his lounge window and watch the football on his. Except the screen is so big, I can't see all of it because his window is too small. I'm not joking. He had a 42" TV which now hangs on his kitchen wall so on a good day I can watch two channels at once over at his without leaving my house.
Trouble is, there is never anything on his TV except sport. But then he is a Londoner, so what do you expect?
Things could be worse, though. I could be forced to earn a living by prancing around in that poxy 'Clyde the Thistle' mascot suit.
I just don't get it.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Now I'm all in favour of a good looking garden and labour saving, but fake plastic plants just don't do it for me, mainly because they look fake.
And twee. Just take a look at the ones in the photo. You have to admit they do look neat, but look closer and you can tell they're not real. Nature is a miraculous thing, but even nature has failed over the millennia to produce five identical potted plants in a neat little row together with an identical big brother next in line.
No, plants fulfil a purpose. They photosynthesise the carbon dioxide that we breathe out and replace it with the oxygen that we breathe in. They're essential for human life and represent the lungs of the world. They're the most eco friendly thing on the planet. Even when they're dead we plough them back into the ground so they fertilise the soil.
Plastic plants do none of these things. They're made from hydrocarbons that we dig out of the ground and then when they're old and tatty we put them in land fill so they can take decades to decompose if not longer. The factories which make them pollute the atmosphere. They're really not very nice at all when you think about it.
And did I mention that they also look twee?
Monday, 21 July 2014
Seems to be a bit of an argument going on about statins with NICE saying we should be dolling out even more of them. One viewpoint I thought was rather telling was where one leading doctor being interviewed on the BBC said that the suggestion for widening their used was akin to just adding them to the water supply!
Anyway, for the record I thought I would recount my personal experience of the latest drug company cash cow / NHS sweeties :
Against my better judgement, I was reluctantly persuaded to go on simvastatin six months back. I should declare at this point that my father died of a heart attack and my mother of a stroke. This apparently put me in the 'at risk due to family history' group.
I had a blood test about ten days ago and am going back to the doctor at the end of the week to review the results. I'm armed with the appropriate information that will enable me to check the results. I want to know what the readings are and how they compare to 6 months back.
I'm on a low dose (20mg). They put Mrs D on 40mg a couple of years back as a precaution because she had suspected heart problems (turned out she didn't!) and the side effects were horrendous. She said she'd rather have the heart attack.
I'm not sure if they've effected me or not. I experience tenderness in the backs of my legs when I go to bed which makes lying flat rather uncomfortable. I also feel a bit scattier - difficulty recalling names for example as quickly as I used to and a lowered short attention span but what I've read says that's not statin related. Mind you, other things I've read say they do!
Undoubtedly, my leg muscles are weaker especially the knees and thighs. I suspect that's because statins also lower Co Q10 which is a muscle building enzyme. I could be because Mrs D has foot problems and we haven't bee walking regularly like we used to.
I'm resisting any attempt to increase the dose - which I suspect he'll want to do. I'm also going to ask him to prescribe a different statin. They use simvastatin because it's the cheapest, not because it's the best.
Apparently, I hit a trigger level - tho' he didn't tell me what it was. I want to know. He said there was a 20% chance of a heart attack or stroke within 10 years unless I lowered my cholesterol. I thought that an 80% chance of not having one was pretty good odds, but he didn't see it that way.
They hand this crap out like dolly mixtures and I'm convinced they get a bonus every time they find another victim. I might be wrong, but then again...
Sunday, 20 July 2014
Great debate in the CofE General Synod this week about whether women should be allowed to be Bishops. You'll remember they voted against this a couple of years back so the Church is applying the same rules as the Fourth Reich apply to referenda - if you don't get the result you want then wait a bit and ask again. Keep doing this until you get the irreversible result you want...
What's all the fuss about?
Conservative evangelicals interpret the Bible as saying that women should not hold authority over men in the Church and that "headship" is a male role. Meanwhile traditionalist Anglo-Catholics point to the fact that Jesus's disciples were all men and say that a 2,000-year line of male-only 'apostolic succession' would be broken by women bishops and scupper any hopes of eventual reunification with the Roman Catholic Church. Personally I think that any move which prevents the the CofE merging with the Catholics has to be a good thing, but that's just me!
I was amazed to hear a vicar pontificating about the issues on BBC Breakfast last Monday. He was quick to point out that God created man in his own image, that Adam was created before Eve, that all the disciples were men, and that the Bible says that women should be submissive, obedient and silent. He might like to debate that last one with Mrs D.
So the Synod suggested a fudge. We appoint women as bishops and if the clergy under them won't accept that, then we'll let them report to someone else instead. If this was the real world instead of the CofE, your employer would simply tell you that if you didn't want to work under the manager they appointed then you should fuck off and work somewhere else. But then this isn't the real world. It's the religious world.
This is a world in which deluded, superstitious people worship an invisible sky fairy and are arrogant enough to believe that the creator of all things made men in his own image. All I can say is that if humans are the superior or only intelligent life form in the universe, then it's time for another big bang.
And as regards female bishops, who really gives a toss?