Yet More Elections, Yet More Democracy

Say whatever you like about democracy, but it’s still the best system that man, or woman has managed to think up of so far for delegating power and structuring his, or her society. Democracy is so great that this will be the third time in two years that the people of the U.K will have been asked to go to the polls and enjoy the thrill of democracy, proving that you can never have too much of a good thing

If last year’s E.U referendum is anything to go by then anything is possible in the forthcoming election. When Theresa May called for a snap election, ignoring the Fixed-term Parliaments Act that her own party brought into effect just 6 years prior, the polls gave her Conservative party a 22 point lead. Now that she’s been out meeting the public she’s been able to reduce that lead to single figures. YouGov’s latest poll has the Tory lead at just four points over Labour, as at 5 June. It’s been a somewhat fragmented election campaign owing to a handful of murderous bastards perpetrating acts of extreme violence in the name of a morally bankrupt ideology. If these maniacs hadn’t forced suspensions to the campaigning, it’s reasonable to assume that the more the public would have seen of  Theresa May the more appealing Jeremy Corbyn would have become and maybe the Labour party would even be ahead in the polls.

The parallels between Theresa May and Hilary Clinton are obvious. It’s like watching two people in quicksand, the more they struggle the more they get consumed. The more they talk the better their opponent seems to do. In the near future, if anyone has any sense, political candidates will just say nothing throughout their campaigns, a strategy adopted by Blackadder when he put forward Baldrick to run in a by-election:

So with Theresa May projecting all the charm of toxic waste seeping into an orphanage, this raises Jeremy Corbyn’s profile, without him actually having to do anything. When Corbyn does speak, he sounds like a 1970’s politics student who only got as far as reading Marx’s Das Kapital. I’ve got nothing wrong with Marxism per se, it’s just that I’m not sure how viable it is to the complex economies that we have today. Corbyn is also very open minded towards the ideology of terrorists, I have a hard time validating this stance towards terrorism in light of recent events. But whatever Corbyn might think or say is of little consequence, Corbyn’s most electable quality is that he’s not Theresa May.

Essentially, on Thursday the people of the United Kingdom have to chose between Jeremy Corbyn, a man who looks like he would be more comfortable pottering around an allotment, or Theresa May, a woman who we can’t trust to sit the right way round on a toilet.

A friend of mine made the following analogy of this Thursday’s election:

 … so we are faced with a choice that is similar to being asked to move a dog turd. You can either pick it up with your bare hands and take to the bin, or pick it up with your bare hands and put it in your pocket.

Crude as though the dog turd analogy might be, I consider it to be fairly accurate one. The British electorate is once again being asked to choose between the lesser of two evils: Image result for hunter thompson lesser of two evils

Image result for hunter thompson lesser of two evils

There can be little doubt that this general election pits two of the blandest party leaders against one another, offering the electorate a choice of either grey or beige. But, if our democracy can be so easily reduced to turd analogies and choosing between two evils, then I’m left to wonder if the terrorists haven’t already won.

 

While we should consider elections to be meaningful and terrorism to be a very real

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EPeter Sallis, star of Last of the Summer Wine and voice of Wallace from Nick Park’s Oscar winning Wallace and Gomit, died June 2, 2017.

 

threat, I was saddened to hear of the death of Peter Sallis. Sallis starred in the BBC’s Last of the Summer Wine for 37 years, and provided the voice of Wallace in the multi award winning Wallace and Gromit animations. As a child I spent many a Sunday having tea and sandwiches, whilst watching Last of the Summer Wine, which was essentially three old men wandering aimlessly around the verdant Yorkshire Dales accompanied by a hauntingly beautiful theme tune. Now that’s something a jihadist will never understand. In fact that’s what I recommend for radicalised extremists, they should be forced to watch all 37 years of Last of the Summer Wine, can there be a surer way of curing a person of homicidal ambitions?

 

 

 

Image result for theresa may jeremy corbyn star wars
Probably as good a reason as any that you’ll find for voting Labour.

 

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In the Grip of Madness or an Opportunity to do the Right Thing? The Migrant Crisis

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Maybe it’s time we thought about sharing the wealth, the privilege, and opportunities with all.

Not since the second world war have we witnessed the displacement of people on the level that we are seeing this year, and it’s a trend that looks likely to only worsen. The west has done so much to destabilize the middle east and north Africa, is now being invaded, all be it by a more harmless group of people than we often directly used, or funded to invade their countries with. We are now being asked to pay the price for our shameful foreign policies in these areas, and the question is quite simply whether we will be responsible for the mess that we have caused?

What we are witnessing is the collapse of the paradigms that have controlled people for the last three thousand years. People are more skeptical towards religion, peoples trust in economies and financial institutions has been lost, people have no faith in aspiring to the ideals of democracy, and finally we are seeing a complete disregard for national borders.

We have come to what might ultimately be a defining moment in ourselves as a species. We have arrived at a junction, a point in time when we must decide whether to go to the right (the far right) or to the left (the far left). There is no middle ground, there is no fence to sit on, burying our heads in the sand and waiting for the problem to go away is unlikely to work.

Ironically, Hungary a country whom prior to their acceptance into the E.U provided the E.U with large amounts of illegal immigrants, now has a nationalist leader advocating that a tougher stance be adopted to deal with the crisis. Even more ironically he does this in the name of protecting Christianity.

Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has claimed Europe is in the grip of madness over immigration and refugees, and argued that he was defending European Christianity against a Muslim influx.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/03/migration-crisis-hungary-pm-victor-orban-europe-response-madness

 

Three years old, Syrian boy Aylan lies dead on a Turkish beach. His five year old brother’s body was found a short time later further down the coast.

Three year old Aylan’s aspirations to bring down European Christianity were quickly thwarted.

To the Far Right is so Wrong

How the world really looks.

 

And the beautifully coloured, pretty, illusion of a world as created by man. What does it mean to be e member of a country? Is identifying with your country more important than identifying with your own species?

What rights do any of us have to prohibit an individual from seeking out a better life for themselves and their family. We all have but one life, isn’t it reasonable for all of us to live it in as much comfort as possible? Is it unreasonable that those in immediate life threatening situations seek safety? I am not empowered to prevent someone from improving their lot, neither would I ever want to be. In fact isn’t it mankind’s responsibility to improve the collective well being of the species, this sounds too cold, simply isn’t it our duty to help one another?

 

Sharing the Solution

It is pure ignorance to extend preferential treatment to people that were fortunate enough to have been born within an imaginary border. For your quality of life to depend upon which side of a non-existent line you fell out of your mother’s vagina. Western privilege and greed are at the heart of this issue. Of course the migrants wish to reach Germany is it offers the best opportunities, even the Hungarian prime minister conceded that none of the immigrants entering Hungary had any intention of staying there.

Treat the Cause Not the Symptom

By far the most credible and more sensible right wing criticism of the handling of the migrant crisis has been a call to address the cause of the diaspora itself. This would require Europe to meddle further in Middle Eastern conflicts, something that Europe already did and that contributed greatly to this very crisis.  Even so, this suggestion isn’t without its logic, one does not need a PhD in Neo-Malthusian Economics to understand that Europe only has finite resources at its disposal, already has high unemployment, and an ever worsening division of wealth.

The Grand Plan

Europe’s approach to handling the refugee crisis has been one of two things, either inept, or stage managed. Either are as likely as the other, but if this is by design what do those in charge hope to gain from this. The answer is imply control, a greater level control of the people. Only in January of this year Islamic extremists brought Paris to a stand still. The news has constantly carried stories of Europeans leaving their home countries to fight for Islamic State. Doesn’t it now seem a somewhat cavalier, verging on downright irresponsible to open Europe’s borders to people from nations notorious for harbouring Islamic fundamentalism? This policy goes against all the logic that has been reported to us through the news since ISIS came on the scene, and it would be illogical for a place to do such a thing if they wish to keep their people safe. But that’s the catch, the E.U is not trying to keep its people safe, in fact they fully intend to bring as much peril to the streets of Europe as they can. ISIS insurgents forming terror cells across Europe is the only way such an army can bring a war to its enemies. ISIS have no interest in continuing the conflict in Iraq and Syria, locations where air superiority can be used against them. True terror will reign when ISIS engages in urban guerrilla warfare in the major cities of Europe. Tactically for ISIS this make sense as hiding among the civilian takes away western air superiority, it also brings the battle into a terrain they are experienced in, and most importantly it will bring terror to Europe, that whilst it lasts will be on a par with World War 2. Europe’s conventional counter terrorism tactics are not designed to handle an attack on such a large potential scale.

Fighting an enemy within a civilian population would facilitate  the removal of most our civil liberties in the name of safety, but as Benjamin Franklin said:

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Russia Today has run a number of reports on a clandestine NATO operation known as Operation Gladio. An operation to support terrorism to destabilize countries

 

A BBC documentary suppors RT’s claims of Operation Gladio. Governments support a state sponsored terror network in Europe.

So what is the answer? Could this humanitarian crisis provide a way for terrorism as never seen before fought throughout Europe’s major capitals? We all know drowning toddlers, washed up on beaches is wrong, but such a significant movement of people tells us that there is great instability on Europe’s doorstep, should Europe just open the door and let it walk in? Unless this refugee crisis is dealt with compassionately and rigorously it could quite easily escalate into a whole new and more frightening situation

 

 

 

 

 

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Does the Freedom of Speech Empower us to be Needlessly Disrespectful?

je-ne-suis-pas-charlie

We were barely able to see in the new year before its first major event revealed itself, a little like dung negotiating its way out the anus of an elephant. I intentionally use a vile simile because let’s make one thing clear from the outset, the violence that we witnessed in Paris was barbaric and vile. There is, and never will be a way of justifying those actions

In the 10 days since the attacks I have been left feeling a little perplexed by the spin the media and government put on it. We were told incessantly that this was an attack on our freedom of expression. Unlike 9-11 which attacked buildings, the Paris attack was more symbolic, it was an attack on a fundamental ideology held by the countries of Europe and North America. For the past 10 days I have been left to wonder what the freedom of expression is, do we have it, do we use it as it is meant to be used, and what’s next?

The Role and Agenda of the Media

Please don’t get me wrong, masked gunmen firing Kalashnikov rifles in the middle of one of the worlds major capital cities should capture the interest of the major news networks, but what concerned me was the rhetoric they were quick to use.

The smoke was still drifting out the barrels of the terrorists rifles and the smell of cordite still hung heavily in the Paris air that morning, when the media declared that this was an attack against our inalienable  right to the freedom of expression. I was surprised with the celerity that the news networks were able to be so certain, to draw such a definitive conclusion. Now I confess that I am inclined to look at things a little differently, and whilst not condoning the actions of the gunmen, it was possible for me to see a causal relationship as to how and why this occurred. To say that Charlie Hebdo is a good advocate for the right to the freedom of expression is no different from saying the Kouchai brothers were good Muslims.

Lest we forget the circumstances upon which the Republic of France was founded. After succesfully storming the Bastille, the people went on to execute any aristocrat or reactionary they could place their hands on. Ironically this period is known as The Terror. A period from 1793-1794 when over 16,000 people were guilotined alone. One of the most iconic actions that set the United States on their way to becoming a republic was the Boston Tea Party, an event that if it were to happen today would be defined under American law as an act of terrorism. Both of these events are held up with a near sacred reverence, symbolic of their nations struggle for freedom. What today is seen as an act of violence, might be viewed diffrently by some people in 100 years time. Again this in no way placates the events in Paris, it is just interesting to acknowledge the violence from out of which both these republics arose. I could go onto mention scores of acts of violence and torture the republics have been involved with in more recent times, but that only opens a whole new can of works.

This attack struck at an ideology that we in the west unquestioningly consider to be an inalienable right that we all have. But do we?

Do we Have the Freedom of Expression?

Many of us in Europe particularly following the Charle Hebdo attacks assume that we have the freedom to say, print, or draw anything we please. There are certainly libel, and slander laws that prevent us from circulating information that is false and malicious, there is also the following legislation that the EU passed in 2007:

European Union Framework Decision for Combating Racism and Xenophobia (2007)

The text establishes that the following intentional conduct will be punishable in all EU Member States:

– Publicly inciting to violence or hatred , even by dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material, directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.
Publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising

crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8) directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin, and
crimes defined by the Tribunal of Nuremberg (Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, London Agreement of 1945) directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.

The reference to religion is intended to cover, at least, conduct which is a pretext for directing acts against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin.

Member States will ensure that these conducts are punishable by criminal penalties of a maximum of at least between 1 and 3 years of imprisonment.[

Member States may choose to punish only conduct which is either carried out in a manner likely to disturb public order or which is threatening, abusive or insulting.

This act gains its notoriety as being the one that prevents anyone from denying or trivializing the holocaust. In all honesty it would appear to me as being a pretty difficult subject to trivialize, but none the less our freedom of speech ends here. Interestingly one would think that those at Charlie Hebdo should have been held responsible under the passage:

Publicly inciting to violence or hatred , even by dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material, directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.

It is at this juncture that my anti-social level of cynicism comes into play. The staff at Charlie Hebdo were clearly acting in defiance of this act. As it turned out their actions not only got 8 of their employees killed but 12 others who had nothing to do with the magazine. Why wasn’t this law enforced. Had this law had been enforced would, the very reason for the law itself to prevent stirring racial hatred, then there is a good chance this event would never have happened. Since this law was passed the following people have been found guilty of holocaust denial, one of which received a 6 year jail sentence.

Feb. 15, 2007 Ernst Zündel Germany 5 years’ imprisonment
Nov. 8, 2007 Vincent Reynouard France 1 year imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 euros
Jan. 14, 2008 Wolfgang Fröhlich Austria 6 years’ imprisonment (third offence)
Jan. 15, 2008 Sylvia Stolz Germany 3½ years’ imprisonment
Mar. 11, 2009 Horst Mahler Germany 5 years’ imprisonment
Oct. 23, 2009 Dirk Zimmerman Germany 9 months’ imprisonment
Oct. 27, 2009 Richard Williamson Germany €12,000 fine [later overturned]
Jan. 31, 2013 Gyorgy Nagy Hungary 18-month suspended jail sentence 

Now these people are most likely extreme right-wing neo nazi morons, and west-double-standard-on-mocking-jews-muslimsprobably not someone you would ask to baby sit for you. None the less they demonstrate that this law is really only meant to protect a certain group within society. In Europe to date, nobody has been incarcerated or fined for inciting the hatred of Muslims.

 

The events in Paris were one great tragedy, but there is one case that should make people realise this was an attack by terrorists who happened to be Muslims. Members of the Ku Klux Klan were Christians but they did not behave in ways the christian doctrine endorses. je-ne-suis-pas-charlie-copy Ahmed was the Muslim policeman who was executed as he lay wounded on the pavement. Ahmed was a Muslim who chose a career that would help protect the people of Paris.

Wherever it is that we go from here I only hope there are enough of us with the courage to discuss and bring to light the agenda that is fanning the flames of this fire.

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Fear and Loathing and Getting Recruited for ISIS – A savage journey to the heart of Jihadist ideology

the few the proud the bearded

Out of a perverse sense of curiosity, out of loyalty to the absurd, in reverence of bad taste,  but mostly just as a result of old fashioned boredom, I have spent much of my weekend trying to apply for membership to Islamic State. I felt a need to put the endless news reports to the test, the media has repeatedly informed us that joining these maniacs should be a relatively straight forward task, and that it could be done online. It was Friday night, I had the time and a sick enough sense of humor to give this thing a shot, so I did.

Less than 5 minutes into my search for employment, I learned that Islamic State had recently produced an expensive and slick English language video designed at recruiting young British Muslims. The video entitled ‘Let’s go Jihad’, which at face value appears a somewhat whimsical title for what should ultimately represent quite a serious life decision. Although disappointed by the name of the video I decided that it would be only reasonable to watch it, after all I had come this far, and damn it I needed to learn more about my potential employer. How else could I be expected to feel comfortable making any long term commitments, because I had questions by jingo. Was there dental cover included in the health plan? What were the hours? Holidays? Pensions? Were they prepared to help with my relocation expenses? The practicalities of Jihad seemed endless, so putting my logistical concerns to one side I settled down and watched watched the following video:

http://jihadology.net/2014/06/15/new-video-nashid-from-al-%E1%B8%A5ayat-media-center-lets-go-for-jihad/

The video opens with what sounds like a deaf man blowing on a piece of tissue paper over a comb. Although these guys clearly demonstrated no appreciation for music, I decided that this was a luxury I could live without, afterall I gave up listening to music sometime back in the 1990’s, (a traumatic incident involving a dwarf, a rabbit and a head full of acid.) Not the most catchy of openings but I was willing to go further. Next I was requested to supplicate myself, while I admit that I haven’t been doing a lot of supplicating recently I didn’t consider it beyond my range. I felt that I was still in with a shot.

The third line, of what could never be described as a catchy tune, aroused my suspicions when it called for the ‘Nasheed to bomb the Kuffar for real’. Some rapid googling and I realized this wasn’t good. They appeared to be calling for any and every non-muslim to be bombed. While my knowledge of the Quran is limited, I find it hard to believe these could have been the words of Muhammad. For one I’m not sure bombing had been adopted as a military tactic back then. It was starting to look like ISIS were not an equal opportunity employer after all, and that this whole muslim, non-muslim thing might cause a problem. If this was the case I had no intention on letting these bastards off the hook that easily, I was still going to apply and then they could turn me down to my face. Anyway I still had to see if it was as easy as the media had said it was.

Now in my life I’ve been both lucky and unlucky enough to have been able to meet some of societies most psychologically unique people, but it was only now that I started to appreciate that ISIS recruits  a rare breed of maniac. People responding positively to ‘Let’s go Jihad’ are beyond my comprehension, most videos that promote things use enticement. I expected beaches, a bevy of beauties in burqas, minarets and mosques. Instead the video uses sheer, raw violence to make its appeal.  Machine gunning men bound in ditches would appear to even the least sane person to be profoundly inappropriate. With that said is it any more immoral than dropping a laser guided bomb on a family who’ve just sat down for dinner? It’s hard to find any morality or sense in the senselessness of war.The content of the video surpasses disturbing and it’s hard to imagine the mind that such a video could appeal to, but what is just as disturbing is the level of professionalism in its production, and the destructive power they appear to have at their disposal.

humvees
ISIS happily using the U.S made Humvee.
M198-Howitzer-ISIS-parade
ISIS are believed to have 52 American made M198 Howitzers capable of firing a shell 20 miles.
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ISIS have upto 30 Soviet built T55 tanks, although old they are still active in 50 armies around the world. They also have a smaller number of the newer T72.

I had initially understood ISIS to be a crackpot bunch of terrorist lunatics, with extremist religious views. A group that would die out once their own people had realised that they do not want to live under such a harsh regime. The truth is that ISIS have existed since 2000, they are well supported, well funded and well trained for such an outfit. They are extremely well armed having routed large sections of the Iraqi Army, they have seized great quantities of U.S made weaponry including heavy artillery, as well as Russian made tanks. They far exceed my understanding of a terrorist group. But perhaps their greatest weapon and threat is their appeal to young Muslims around the world. Muslims that have grown up watching western coalitions invade muslim countries, who have watched Israel use excessive force against the Palestinians. Children who have grown up with this as the status quo are perhaps easier to convince that somewhere there is a Jihad out there for them to fight.

Still I needed to put the media’s claims to the test and make contact with someone in charge of recruitment at ISIS, therefore I googled “ISIS Recruitment Form”, and surprisingly I was successful.

http://www.isisgroup.co.uk/recruitment/application.html

Rather cleverly their website poses as being for educational purposes and even supported by the British Council. As a further smoke screen to foil intelligence services you will notice a woman not wearing a burqa. I appreciated their savvy. Regretfully the link to their application form was broken, but they were forward thinking enough to provide the following contact details.

ISIS-Education-logo

We are always happy to discuss things with potential or returning employees. If you have any questions, please feel free to email our Recruitment team or give us a call.

Recruitment
ISIS Education and Travel
259 Greenwich High Road
London SE10 8NB

So the media were right after all, contacting the recruitment wing of ISIS was a doddle.

As I get older it appears to me that civilization (if that is even the right word to describe it any more) is caught up in a perpetual cycle of violence. Groups of people are forever provoking and responding to provocation, and unless a group of fanatics who uphold the values of common sense take the radical action of not reacting, then I’m afraid this suffering and senseless destruction will be the demise of us all.

FritzTreeArt
Continuing to do what we have been doing will have inevitable negative consequences. A new plan featuring common sense is called for.