Opinion

The personal convictions of columnists, presented in persuasive form.

Money Talking and Walking

— Filed under: Opinion

So the trial of the media is all but over.  Rebekah Brooks seems to have skipped all responsibility.  Andy Coulson has been made scapegoat and yet that maybe brought into question due to the bumbling antics of sort of chosen leader David Cameron.   Rupert Murdoch has made a mint.

A full-page apology ad published in British ne...

A full-page apology ad published in British newspapers by News International.

Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How has justice been wronged so badly?

It all starts from power and money.  Rupert Murdoch has it.  Throughout the whole trial he has controlled everything he could control. Other players like Rebekah Brooks and her coven have been gift a hand from a man I am sure they worship more so than any deity they might have strayed upon during their scrap to what life they perceive was worthy.  Andy Coulson sued News Corp to cover his costs, and indeed News Corp are going to pay at figures around £60 million at current estimates for the trial itself, and we the tax payer could be paying around £40 million.  That sticks firmly in the craw.  Especially considering by all accounts it could turn out to be the biggest waste of tax payers money.  It may happen that Coulson and his retrial are already compromised by none other than David Cameron. 

In terms of what we managed to actually prosecute, we only have one ham-handed success as I see it.   Yet that success is meaningless in terms of goals I would have set for the whole investigation.  At the least I was hoping for punishment to be metered out with the intent to ensure that news companies are governed correctly and understand that the people they make their wages from are to be treated as such.  We did not reach deep enough into the underbelly of what really is going on behind the many powerful doors Rupert Murdoch and in fact he turned the whole darn affair to his advantage.  We have been handed a man to call bad, to be convicted and sent down.  One high ranking member of the chain.  Despite all indications that this who wrong doing ethos was rife and still is rife within the Murdoch empire.  Despite a deep look into the history of Brooks and Coulson which revealed they were the same in many ways.  The drive, the intelligence and the will to do whatever it took to achieve their aims.  

Some things to think about.  Firstly, the tactics of the defense played a large hand in how the evidence was delivered.  They played the system of evidence presentation to their advantage.  Evidence had to be submitted without any reference to why they were evidence in the trial.  Therefore the Crown (thats us!) were only allowed to make an opening statement.  This leads just two people attempting to present a story from masses amounts of evidence, with an army of defending lawyers pointing out the haphazard manner in which evidence was pieced together.  The evidence itself was selective to say the least.  A story of a safe being lost.  A safe.  Being lost.  I repeat for gravity.  How could the hierarchy not know about all that went on?  What exactly is that has all powerful men fawning over Rebekah Brooks?  What evidence was not presented, due to either off the record evidence or due to deletion and destruction? Given all the power in media how much can we trust them? How much wool has been pulled over our eyes?… Continues …

Riots, Wrongdoing and Aggravation

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, Opinion
Tottenham Riots

Image by Beacon Radio via Flickr

With more than one disaster competing for the top new headline position within the last few weeks, it does indeed feel as anything is possible at the moment.  Sitting from my safe haven of the North East currently, eyes glued to the unfolding dramas and pinching myself occasionally to ensure reality has not bolted out the door.  This country could quite easily be on the cusp of a civil war, revolution, be plunged into the sad reality of martial law(perhaps shipped in).  Whatever does eventuate, you can be guaranteed of two things.  Politicians who began the who fiasco, will be parading around  ensuring the required amount camera time and pithy sound bites are dished out, and it will damage our economy even further meaning more doom and gloom headlines for the foreseeable future.  Its grim up north some say, but at the moment at least we don't have to content with violious vagabonds tearing up our city centres.

The most beguiling of all recent stories is the eruption of wanton looting, burning and an array of different criminal acts being carried out by large gangs of young louts across the country. This feels like the culmination of blunder after blunder everyone currently in positions that have been gifted to the   The media come time and time again to the conclusion that Blackberry Instant Messager has had a large part to play, as have many internet social and communicative tools.  Bit of a shame for Blackberry really, getting caught in the crossfire between an large amounts of media companies attempting not to implode and venting their frustration at the recently departed bedfellows also known as current and previous members of the government, and a large percentage of disenfranchised, muppets with a thirst for Carling Special Brew, chucking things, especially if they can be ignited then thrown, and the odd 32 inch tv or 500.… Continues …

No News is Good News

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture, Opinion
 Brookgreen Gardens in P...

Image via Wikipedia

My wife gave birth to our first child a few weeks ago, and I'm writing this after a midnight run to the hospital laboratory with a stool sample, to check if our baby's diarrhea is anything to worry about.

It's not.  Which is good, but I'm wondering if I'm destined to spend the next 18 years on pins and needles, waiting anxiously for diagnoses, rifling through parenting books, and scouring the web for info.  I'm going to need some way to keep from stressing about every little hiccup and cough.

And then it struck me: the news media does this to us too.  It throws impending doom in our faces every day — as if we couldn't imagine it ourselves!  Catastrophe is literally around every corner.  Even innocuous events are spun to their full, ominous potential.  It is really and truly an anxiety-inducing parade of fear, and it's non-stop, 24 hours a day.

What kind of terrible events are on tap at the moment?  Here's a small sampling:… Continues …

Scratching My Head at Conspiracy Theories

— Filed under: Politics & Government, People & Culture, Opinion
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Image via Wikipedia

From the news of Bin Laden's death and subsequent burial at sea I was keenly aware that this would give huge rise to yet another conspiracy theory. These types of theories have been bandied about the Web and written up against all major events that have happened for the past 100 years plus, from the moon landing to Hitler setting the Reichstag fire, the deaths of Diana, JFK, Abraham Lincoln, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the motivations behind various wars, aliens, the using of different chemicals on the populace and of course 9/11.

I have read some of these theories and the "Collapse of Building 7" included as one of the main factors to the 911 theory did sound very plausible. I still wonder as to how it collapsed but I just have never been able to whip my head around the "whole" idea of mass government conspiracies.  I cannot see, personally, that governments would go to such lengths for certain alleged gains which rarely are achieved.

And then today I read about a book called Voodoo Histories which a research journalist has written to debunk and show up certain main conspiracy theorists' theories, expert witnesses and their allegations.… Continues …

2012 Roundup

— Filed under: Science & Technology, Opinion
Using infrared images from NASA's Spitzer Spac...

2012...

When I first stumbled across this date, the prophecies and significance that have been associated with 21/12/2012 (before the movie may I add), I was hugely drawn in by the vast number of different predictions on what would happen (if anything), and how the these foreseen events would occur... in approximately 21 months from now?

What does stand out to me is the amount, the different standpoints but yet similar views on this “End of Age”.

First off and probably the most hyped is the Mayan Calendar, which runs out on this exact date, (erm well by some people's calculations).

Popol Vuh is the Mayan Creation Myth, that the Earth, humanity, and life experience cycles of destruction and re-birth over long periods of time, every 26,000 years. This is called the Long Count.  Throughout the Mayan culture and to this day the stars have had a huge part to play in their outlook on the cycles of earth, harvest, socio-structures and of course the measurement of these, and more importantly the measurement of time.… Continues …

Is There Any Common Sense or Inspiration Left for This Generation?

— Filed under: People & Culture, Opinion
Statue of John Lennon in public park, Vedado, ...

Reading the newspaper today, I am struck dumb by the lack of common sense and righteousness of today’s society.

The Phone Hacking Scandals, the state of the British economy, the rights for terror suspects, Tunisia, Hezbollah being in power in Lebanon, unrest in Egypt and other Arab countries run by dictators which if ousted may then have a government run by other terror organizations and wave upon wave of environmental disasters.

If there was ever a time to think that the Apocalypse is coming you would not be alone in your thinking that we have never been closer to a cataclysmic catastrophe than at the present time.

Looking back over the years there has always been war, corruption, violence, environmental disasters and the rest but has there ever been a time when so much of the above is happening all at the same time?

In times gone by there have always been Inspiration People to show us the beauty, poetry and love that IS within the world, it eases the soul into believing in something better, takes your mind off the bad and helps keep faith that there is some sort of goodness, light, love and hope out there and that they're working towards making a difference.… Continues …

Gulags in the Land of the Free

— Filed under: Politics & Government, Opinion
The prisoner's dilemma is an example of game t...

Image via Wikipedia

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever" - from George Orwell's 1984

For millions of Americans this is their future. How else can you describe a person's future as a prisoner of the American Prison Industrial complex? Take a look at the facts and figures and what you will find is incredibly frightening and something needs to be done about it.

I'm not saying that people who commit horrible crimes shouldn't be locked up but when one in every 18 men are either behind bars or being monitored there is something wrong in society. As of June 2009[update], 2,297,400 were incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails  This means America, the land of the free, has the worlds largest prison population. The worst part is that although crime rates have declined by about 25 percent from 1988-2008 the Prison population has increased dramatically in same period. This cost the states $47 billion dollars in 2008.… Continues …

Afghanistan Is A Lost Cause

— Filed under: Politics & Government, Opinion
President Barack Obama with Afghanistan Presid...

Image via Wikipedia

Today in the News US President Obama said progress was sufficient to permit a "responsible reduction" of US forces to begin in July.

I'd like to ask what progress? Afghanistan still is by far the worlds largest producer of opium and has the 2nd most corrupt government in the world. Transparency International rates only one country, Somalia, as worse.

The cornerstone of the coalition strategy in Afghanistan calls for the Afghan government to eventually take over security and to provide stronger government institutions and services. How can this happen though in a country where the police set up checkpoints and stop cars demanding payment for permission to pass. In 2009, Afghan citizens had to pay approximately US$ 2.5 billion in bribes, which is equivalent to 23 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).… Continues …

The Wake of the Week - Everyday Stories

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture, Opinion

Do Good or Do Right?

— Filed under: People & Culture, Opinion

I hate “Do-gooders”. There we go. I’m setting my camp out early with that statement. More to the point, I hate “Evil-doers”. But I find it very hard to distinguish between the two as without one the other would not exist and before long and the closer you inspect you will find a point where the two merge.

Tell me you have not been in the following situation good reader; you have been invited to a social occasion, whether it be a party or a alcoholic gathering of sorts, or any given group activity/gathering for that matter and you are struck dumb by the arrogance and downright unashamed patronising gloat-fest spouting from the mouth of a herd member, going on and on about which charity they support, what “fun” activities they have taken part in to raise funds and or awareness and what “connection” they felt to the current chosen concern.… Continues …

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