Monthly Archives: October 2011

Ron Paul, what a guy!

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I like Ron Paul. He is a doctor and he represents Texas in the US Congress. Ron Paul is a Republican but one who breaks the mould. He is a libertarian. He is not so libertarian as to belong to the Libertarian Party. There are people with libertarian leanings in both major American parties. I am unsure as to why Dr Paul plumped for the Grand Old Party and not the jackasses.

Paul is pro-Choice not so much because he supports abortion but that he thinks that the government should stay out of private decisions. Paul opposed the US liberation of Iraq. He wants lower taxation and deregulation. He is seeking the Republican nomination for the presidency. The trouble is he is unlikely to get it. He does not play to the gallery over moral issues. The Republican base will not be enlivened by someone who does not pander to the Evangelical Christians.

I have seen Paul speaking on various issues and making great sense. He says that in education and healthcare that we have corporatism and not capitalism that he believes in. We are over regulated we have raised the cost and reduced the quality at the same time. He says that so much money is spent by doctors on insurance against malpractice suits. Ambulance chasing lawyers have made healthcare prohibitively expensive.

He says we need to privatise schools and let the best ones win rather than have charter schools and vouchers. He makes a lot of sense.

The cost of higher education in the US is frightening. The US has over regulated it and PC regulation has limtied academic freedom. Lecturers are no longer allowed to shag their undergratuettes. Undergraduettes are adults – let them boned by their dons if they wish.

I would like to see Ron Paul win though I disagree with him. I think the US should reduce its military commitments overseas and its defence spending. Paul would like to do this to. I hope at least that his influences grows.

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Henry VII, Lord of Ireland; King of England.

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Henry VII had spent some years abroad before returning to claim the Crown of England in 1485. Having won the Battle of Bosworth he proceeded with haste to London. He treated his defeated Yorkist opponents with a mixture of harshness and leniency. Did he get this mixture right? Was he harsh on those whom it was right to be harsh to and did he spare those whom it was fair and prudent to spare? He did a reasonable job of this. He faced some challenges from Yorkist claimants over the next few years but retained his throne uninterrupted throughout his reign. No monarch had done that since Henry V who died 64 years before Henry VII claimed the Crown. The four kings since had all been ousted.

Henry VII was crowned in London towards the end of 1485. He married Elizabeth of York – the sister of the princes in the Tower. Henry VII was then 28 years old and his bride was 18 years of age.

Henry VII soon faced a problem. In 1487 a challenger to the throne arose. Someone came along claiming to be Prince Richard – the younger brother of Edward V. This person who claimed to be Prince Richard was therefore saying that he was one of the princes in the Tower who had disappeared in 1483. This pretender went to Ireland and in Christchurch in Dublin he was crowned King of England and Lord of Ireland. He gathered troops and crossed the Irish Sea. He led his army through England. At the Battle of Stoke Field the pretender’s army was defeated by men sent by Henry VII. The pretender was taken prisoner. He was revealed to be Lambert Simnel. There is some dispute over his real name but everyone now accepts that he was not the Lancastrian prince. He was an English boy of lowly origin. He was set to work in the royal kitchen as a spit turner – the lowest status job. It was very unpleasant because it was so hot as evidenced in the Worst Jobs in History series presented by Tony Robinson. He lived out his days quietly.

Then another pretender came to the fore. A youth in Ireland had himself crowned King of England in Cork. He claimed to be one Perqin Warbeck. He too crossed over to England but his forces were bested by an army sent by Henry VII. Perqin Warbeck was arrested. He turned out to be from Flanders in what we now call Belgium. Warbeck was imprisoned in the Tower of London. He might have been dealt with leniently were he not caught conspiring to escape with a fellow prisoner. Warbeck had made an attempt on the throne. He had also caused the deaths of many persons in starting a fight. Henry VII decided that the kingdom could not risk the chance of Warbeck escaping and starting the fight anew. An example must be given to other wouldbe impostor claimants. Warbeck was hanged.

In the mid 17th century a staircase was removed in the Tower of London. The skeletons of two boys of about the right age were found. It is assumed that these are the mortal remains of the Princes in the Tower. Sir Thomas More conducted an investigations in the 1520s – about 30 years after the disappearance of these boys. He came to the conclusion that they were smothered to death on the orders of Richard III. Some witnesses testified before him who had been alive at the time of the deaths of these boys. It could of course be telling him what he wanted to hear. This could be Tudor black propaganda against Richard III.

Henry VII pursued a peace policy. He did fight one brief war against France but was not very committed to it.

Henry VII taxed effectively. The gentry disliked this but Henry VII was firmly in control so they did no more than grumble. Henry VII’s aviodance of war saved money. When he died he left much moneyt in the coffers.

Henry VII put a huge tax on private armies. This made having one unaffordable. Men were turned out of work for this reason. The end of private armies was good in that it made it very difficult for another baronial war to break out.

Henry VII stared the Court of the Star Chamber. Aristocratic offenders were brought before this to answer charges against them. Henry VII liked to fine them as a way of discipling them but also to add to his treasury. He levied huge fine which could be reduced if the noblemen in question was a good boy.

Brandon who was Henry VII’s standard bearer at the Battle of Bosworth was honoured posthumously. His son, Charles Brandon, was made the Duke of Sussex.

Diwali party

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A’Saturday night I went to a Diwali Party. A Borati driver took us the scenic route. We did a C shape route and I realised we had been diddled. I paid him what was on the meter but gave him a piece of my mind.

We went into the hotel that called it self a 5 starer. Upstairs to the large conference room. A few Indians were there. I coughed up. The place gradually filled. I paid the admission.

The start was a little ropey. In the corner a baldie had the microphone. An Indian diplomat was involved. There was a table at the front with the idols and the candles. They gave a desultory introduction. No Indian Tricolour was up and no Jana Mana Gana was sung.

I saw some young Indian clients of mine. Aloysius met a pupil of hers named Smirthi. She is a delightful child of 7 and has short hair. Later Aloysius stood with Smirthi in front of her. A had her hands on the little girl’s chest. Nothing the matter with that. However, I did say to A that in the Britannic Isles this would not be permissible.

I had assumed that the Indian embassy would not be involved. The Republic of India is a secular state and cannot endorse any faith. But no the Indian diplomat’s presence was announced.

All the proceedings were in English but for a brief oration in Hindi. There was a song in Punjabi. There was dancing by ladies one of whom was too hefty to keep pace. Little boys and girls danced separately. It was very good.

There were brain teasers questions. A man and his son are in a car. The car crashes and the father died. The son is rushed to hospital. The surgeon says I cannot operate on the boy he is my son. How is the possible? I stepped forward and answered because the surgeon is a woman. I got the prize. Mr Black asked me this questions when I was 8. It is about challenging the assumption that surgeons are male. They asked me to introduce myself. I said my name and all that and my nationality and told them I was here with some colleagues from the company. Applause broke out and that was enough.

The master of ceremonies had gone around with the microphone and got people to introduce themselves mostly Indians. He had Daniel and ALoysius introduce themselves.

There was no alcohol served it being a religious occasion. We got grub after 9.30,

There must have been 500 people there.

We left about 11 and went to a couple of bars. In the castle there staff were in hallowe’en outfits. Some barmaids were still nubile despiote uglifying themselves. Some drunk old Britons got into a fight and were not kicked out.

A dream of an overflowing lavatory.

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I had a dream a few nights ago. In my dream I had to go to the loo. I walked into a lavatory – a bathroom, there were no other lavatories around. I think I had to micturate. I do not think that I did my wee wee. But I saw the lavatory was cracked and stained. The loo was almost overflowing with faeces. I saw several other lavatories aligned with that one – they too were over full with keich. How horrid!

Her Excellency the President’s speech to Elizabeth II.

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Mary MacAleese has been a superb president. I have never heard anyone I know say a bad word about her. She once made a mistake by criticising the unionists of 1920-70 too harshly. She immediately apologised. After 14 years in Aras an Uachtrain this is a hard act to follow for Higgins. President MacAleese has been a uniter and not a divider. She is just what we needed. A steady hand on the tiller of the ship of state.

If I had to criticise her I would say she is dull. She is certainly dignified. Her appearance is always perfect. Higgins will be overly opinionated.

Pres MacAleese was born a subject of George VI in Belfast in 1951. Her family being Catholics from the Falls Road may not have accepted the privilege of being a subject of His Britannic Majesty with unmixed pleasure.

M MacAleese proved that it was possible to grow up Catholic in West Belfast and totally reject violence. She is outstanding. She is smart and a good public speaker. We are a nation of talkers and she does s proud.

I listened to her address to Her Britannic Majesty in May of this year. It was on the occasion of Elizabeth II’s state visit to the Republic of Ireland. People say a visit to Ireland but of course QE2 has visited Ireland many times but only Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein in their immature and spiteful petty way boycotted it. McGuinness is Depity First Minister of Northern Ireland. Most of the people there see the queen as their queen. McGuinness is a citizen of the Republic and his president invited the queen to Southern Ireland – so McGuinness should have gone.

McAleese’s speech was balanced, humourous and got the tone right. She talked of Britain rather than Great Britain. She said that Ireland had beaten Britain in rugby and cricket. Not so – we beat England in rugby. There is no team for Great Britain. We have beaten Wales and Scotland many times but beating England is rare. Likewise there is an England and Wales cricket team and then a separate one for Scotland.

Mac Aleese rightly said how people came back and forth across the Irish Sea many time.

She said that there were harsh realities and the colonisers and the colonised. Yes, she is right. We Irishmen have colonised Great Britain. What she said was meant to be an implicit criticism of Great Britain. This nod to nationalist sentiment was proportionate.

The Queen laid a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance. I did not like this gesture but in a spirit of reconciliation it was the right thing to do.

Clinics in Boratistan.

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To get my work permit for Boratistan I had to get health checks done. The visa fixer is a poison dwarf named Horrid. Horrid took the Manxman to the Ministry to get his work permit. Horrid was shocked to find that the Ministry had just changed its mind. Foreigners now need blood tests to work here. I got a health cert for 40 pounds here. The doctor did not even see me. He or she just signed it. Supposing I dropped dead from an easily diagnosable condition – would they be struck off? They could bribe their way out of it. It does not inspire confidence in their health system.

Anyhow, Beastie has told us we have to pay for these blood tests ourselves. That health cert I got is no longer good enough. The Council of Ministers says that foreigners have been bringing diseases in. We have to be tested for HIV, Hep B, Hep C, Yellow fever, plague etc… The psychology tests involves drawing pictures. If my picture is of flying a plane into a skyscraper then questions may be asked.

Anyhow, we drove off in taxis. I told horrid I would be be shelling out for this. Who told you you would pay for it? I said that we have to pay for the health tests!

Anyhow in the end I paid not a groat for the taxi. We drive through the muddy streets of Oiltown. They have all the money in the world to splash out on stadia but they do not pave roads. There are massive pot holes. Many streets have no street lamps. There are no pavements and gutters so when it rains one walkes in the water.

We got to the forst clinci. It was a state one. We had to show our passports to get in. The gaurd noted down all the particulars which took ages. Then we were pointed towards a grey and dingey single storey building. The places was run down and dusty. A cat was in a waiting room. I am not joking. The first law of hygiene is no animals!

We waited in a grim corridor. I saw some other foreigners and spoke to them.

A sexy young American came alomng with a Russian girl of about my age. The Rusky was not bad looking either.

Finally it came for my turn. I saw on chair and had them take blood from my left arm. I tried to think of pleasant things like my children, a beach or something. Not sex though! I looked at the green tiles on the wall – the only clean thing around. The tiles were so shiny I could see the reflection of the woman putting the needle in.

I felt faint when I got out. They had no put a bandage ion the wound. I felt a little dizzy – lacking oxugen. I find blood tests scray. I hate the sight of blood. I could never be a killer. I had to sit on a chair.

We went to a second hospital – the republic one. It was largey and stately. The inside was quite smart but very busy. Mnay oldish folks sat about. Did they all think they had HIV.? Maybe they were wsingers. I ahd my blood taken easily enough.

Later we drove through the broken streets to another clinic. It was in some little courtyard area – the buildings faced each other to form a hollow suare. Some gnalred trees were around. The building was especially grim and grey. In we went. The interiro belied the unpromising exterior. It was white and limpid.

We sat around the area exchanging ribald jokes. My South Efriakn colleagues impressed me with her filthy humour.

It came time to have my blood drawn. They took it from my right and I found it less traumatic. It was tiny amount through. Why not take a decent amount and do all the tests at once. Can they not tell it all from one drop.

I wenr to the loo. No paper in the pan – in a bin. I saw shit smeared paper in there. The place stank. No loos sleodm smell good but this was horrible. That is not what one expects in a hospital. Later I saw a cat in the corridor. So it was little better than the origianl one. That is this land – all for show. The things that matter are crap though.

These people are so dman stupid. What is their mentality? They do not solve problems? They cheat and bribe all the time. I like a bit of bribery. Cna they not see that corruption is a cancer? Eventually one has total idiots doing crucal jobs like ebign doctors? It is hard to pass the right way. If one does not bribe one will be failed. No one trusts their qualifications least of all Boratis. They know better than anyone what bullshit their qualifcations are.

A barmaid told me she registered her little children for school and the headmistress demanded 100 pounds for each child. Totally illegal 0 it was a state school. The woman earns 5 pounds a day. She will have to bribe all through their schooling.

It is all about moeny and connectios ehre. People claim that about the British Isles but here is different. In the British Isles qualifcations cannot be bought. Bribery in public office is all but unknown. Such money that was paid was paid to parties not individuals.

People are employed because of who their family is. That means one cannot sack a relative. So idleness, stupidity, failure, dishonesty and incivility are tolerated and even rewarded. If I had to invent a system to encouraged underachievement it would be this. They have a very extended notion of family – 2nd cousins and relatives through marriage. They do not employ on the basis of merit so much.

This is not a rechtstaat. Things are not done on a rational basis. They do not solve small problems – they let them deteriorate. ALl the money and effort is put into vanity projects. They do not get the basics right. It is overly centralised. Trivial decisions are referred up to the supreme authority. The supremo has too much on his desk and never gets around to the small stuff so minor issues are not cleared up and just fester.

Schools reports and marks seem to be honest – so far.

We will fight not to pay for our medical tests. Down woith the Dragon Lady! Our contract says all visa costs are born by the company.

Why the IRA 1916-23 were not entitled to Geneva Convention protection.

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The Geneva Convention was drawn up to provide humanitarian protection for wounded soldiers who fell into enemy captivity. It was written first in the late 19th century. It was expanded to cover the treatment of all Prisoners of War. It has been updated several times through the 20th century. It was intitially written in English and French with both translations being equally valid. I think that is unwise since a word in one language may have a nuance that has no equivalent in the other language. After the Second World War the Geneva Convention was in Russian too.

The Geneva Convention says it is to apply in times of war or warlike situations even if war has not been declared.

The IRA were not soldiers because they were not fighting on behalf of a state. On 20 April 1916 the Irish Volunteers began a rebellion against the United Kingdom. Ireland was then part of the United Kingdom. The Irish Volunteers soon became known as the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

The Geneva Convention says that the combatants who are to be protected by the provisions of the said convention must be part of a force with a proper chain of command. This is so actions are attributable – one can see who ordered an action if it turns out to be a crime against the convention. The fighters must wear a uniform and carry their weapons openly.

During the Easter Rising of 20-26 April the Irish Volunteers mostly did wear uniforms and carry their weapons. They mostly did have a chain of command.

No one doubted that under international law at the time that Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. Left wing activists talk a lot international law so they must respect this law too.

After 1916 the IRA are on weaker ground. The reignited the conflict on 22 January 1919 with the murder of two police officers at Soloheadbeg, Co Tipperary. Thereafter the IRA almost never wore a uniform and often did not carry their weapons for all to see. They often did not have a command structure. The Soloheadbeg slayings were not authorised by any high authority within the IRA. Tipperary IRA men set out to carry out these killing on their own initiative.

During the Irish Civil War the IRA fought against the elected and lawfully constituted government of the Irish Free State. The IRA sometimes wore uniform and and sometimes carried weapons openly.

Harsh action may rightfully be taken against those who did not wear a uniform. The IRA were not soldiers but they claimed to be. Even soldiers of a legal army do not have Geneva Convention protection if they fight out of uniform. German soldiers wore American uniforms in 1944 to infiltrate the US Army in France and caused great chaos. Those taken prisoner wearing US uniform were executed by firing squad. I have never heard anyone say they were hard done by.

I own that British soldiers occasionally did operate out of uniform. When they were taken by the IRA they were almost always shot dead as spies. However, the British Army at least observed the other rules such as having a chain of command and carrying weapons openly.

One must look at IRA actions which mark it out as a terrorist organisation. There are the sectarian murders at Altnaveigh and in West Cork. Admittedly the Ulster Protestant Association committed many hideous sectarian murders at this time. The ghastly crimes of the UPA are not trivialised by this article. However, these misdeeds do not excuse the IRA’s crimes. The IRA wilfully targeted civilians in terms of killing politicians such as unionists and even Home Rulers. The IRA burnt down the houses of unionists for being unionists. Yes, loyalists did this to Catholics on the assumption that the Catholics were nationalists. The loyalist crimes were horrendous and they are not defended here. This article is about the IRA and for the sake of balance I have gone out of my way to examine loyalist wrongdoing. The IRA nevertheless hurt civilians for their assumed political views and not for helping the Crown Forces. The political opinions of the victims of the IRA were assumed on the basis of denominational affiliation. That is sectarianism.

The Crown Forces burnt down the houses of those who hid IRA men or arms. There were crimes committed by the security forces such as burning the centre of Cork City. Again, this contextualises IRA actions.

A group of fighters is also only entitled to protection under the Geneva Convention inasmuch as they themselves hold to the provisions of the said convention. For instance in the Soviet-German conflict of 1941 the treatment of prisoners was horrendous because war was not declared and Germany did not accord the Red Army troops Geneva Convention rights. In return the USSR did not treat the Germans whom it captured with the Geneva Convention protections.

The IRA seldom took prisoners. In the 1919-21 conflict about 2/3rds of its victims were killed while unarmed. The prisoners it took were often murdered. They were given no fair trial. The mockery of a trial it sometimes but its victims through was without a defence counsel or right to appeal. Court martials by the British Army are fairer than this.