Militant Vegans – why?

Every week, we have friends to dinner.  And every week, we go to them for dinner.  So what? I hear you say.  Well, the friends in question are vegetarians.

It’s not easy, but every week I manage to come up with a meal that we can all eat.  Usually, this means doing two separate main items – one meat, one not.
Conversely, my friends will cook meat for us when we go there.

We work around each other, as any decent people would.

Which is why I’m so annoyed at the militant vegans.
They choose not to consume animal products.  Fine.   That’s their choice, and I will support it. (By consume, I mean eat, use, or wear.)
But they also insist that nobody else should consume them either.

Why?

You have made a choice – but why do you think you have the right to force that choice on others?

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What a load of *****!

In the news today is a story about Tesco being sued for pay disparity – or sexual discrimination.
Apparently, men working at the distribution warehouse are paid £11 an hour, while women on the shop floor (Supermarket shop floor, not factory) are only paid £8 an hour.  Shock, horror!

Only…

They are paid £8 an hour in the store, whether they work on the tills, in the petrol station, stack shelves, pick for home deliveries, or move cages in the ‘warehouse’ at the back of the store. Read more…

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Big bother

In the news today is a story about organ donation.  It seems that Wales now has a policy of assuming that everbody is happy to donate their organs unless they ‘opt out’.

For many years, the system has been that hospitals/doctors had to check for, and find, an organ-donor card before they could remove organs from a recently deceased person.  For many years, there have been arguments made that many valid organs were lost to the transplant pool because the card giving permission was not found.

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I can’t ignore it any longer

It’s less than a week away, and it’s taking over the TV, Radio, and print.  I’m talking about the election, of course, and I’m already sick of it.

I watched the ‘leaders’ debate, where the leaders of seven parties all talked over each other.  Why only seven parties?  Why were there no independents?  No Monster Raving Loony?  Why were we limited to those who ‘might’ win the election?

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Not the way forward

Today, I want to start my post with a small reminder: I am not, never have been, and never will be, a racist.  I have never disliked somebody simply because of their race, skin colour, religion…  If I dislike somebody, it’s personal.  They have said or done something to make me dislike them.

On the other hand, I have been forced to conclude that I am a nationalist to some extent.
I believe that our government is biased towards immigrants, which is wrong.  What do I mean by biased?  Well, for example, there is a service available for immigrants which will find somebody who speaks their language, and that person will tell the immigrant exactly what benefits they can claim.
If, however, you live here… there is no help, of any sort, with finding out which benefit you may be entitled to: all you can do is apply for them, and see if you succeed.

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Ban these killing machines

America is going through another spate of gun-hating.  And for the record, let me state now that I deplore every one of the too-frequent mass-killings.  Friends and family of those injured or killed at Sandy Hook school have my sympathy.

Since the event, however, all I’ve heard is how Americans are sick of these mass killings, and want a change in the law – making it illegal to own guns.

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Politically Incorrect

Both here in the UK and over the pond in America, the political machines are gearing up for the next elections.  Now, you must know by now that I view all politicians in the same cynical light, and that I have no party to support.  Indeed, I find it hard to tell them apart.  When I tried to find out the difference between Republicans and Democrats in the US, I discovered the ‘explanations’ were so confusing I knew less than before I started!

That was a long introduction.  All I’m trying to get across is the fact that any political posts I make will be based on common sense, and what people actually said, as opposed to whether it supports ‘my’ party.  I don’t have a party, so it can’t. So there!

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Censorship

I heard yesterday about a 12 year old boy who raped a 9 year old girl.  This was in Scotland, I believe, and the boy was – essentially – sent home by the judge after a stiff talking to.

The boys defense?  He saw it in some hard-core porn he saw on the internet, and wanted to feel ‘grown up,’  so he did what he saw.

What I heard, though, was not outrage at the what the boy had done, nor outrage at the lack of punishment – no, what I heard was a lot of people blaming the pornography, and demanding that it be banned or censored.

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News of the Screws

So the News of the Screws is closing down. So what?

This ‘shock’ revelation comes after years of phone-tapping scandal.  Every day, it seems, somebody else has come along to accuse them. 

The last development was a boycott of the newspaper by all the big advertisers – and without the adverts, the paper cannot survive.  So they’re closing the paper.

And I say ‘so what?’

I’ve not bought that paper for decades.  I cannot even remember the last time I saw one.  So the fact that it won’t be there any more will affect me not one iota.

And it won’t make any difference to you, either.

You see… the NotW is just one paper produced by the same company.  Effectively, closing one newspaper is equivalent to taking one Stobarts lorry off the road – the company will still be there, and Stobarts lorries will still be everywhere.  (OK, not a fantastic analogy, but you get the idea.)

The point is, the management team – the directors behind all the policy – are still there.  Does anybody really think that the NotW phone-tapping journalists were only passing on what they learnt to the NotW?  Of course not!  Every newspaper in the empire was privy to anything learnt – the only difference was in whether or how they used the knowledge.

Policy – what is allowed and what isn’t; what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’; what is approved of… – always comes down from the top.  If a raw recruit decided to start shooting at the natives, he would be quickly subdued, court-martialled, and imprisoned.  If, however, a general gave the order to open fire, it would be the general who took the blame.   If the Prime Minister gave the order, nothing would be said at all. 

If a salesman lies to the customer, it is up to his manager to choose whether to act.  If a manager has a team of liars working for him, his superior has to choose whether to praise or condemn him.  And so on, all the way up to the top man.

If the top man says ‘that is wrong, stop it’ – what do you think the staff will do?  Carry on, or stop?

It is, at heart, quick and easy to evaluate your boss.  It takes very little to find out their views on honesty versus making the sale.  In any business, you soon know what the company line is – and you either stick to it, or leave.

Very few of us leave.

Instead, we mope along hating our jobs and ourselves, rather than fighting against the corporate greed mentality.

Sorry, got away from the point again. 

The News of the Screws is dead – long live the News of the Screws.  Because, believe me, it will be back – in one form or another.  And it will be just as dirty, because the dirt starts at the top and trickles down.

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Perception

Have you ever considered that where you stand affects what you see?

If you stand in a room, well back from the window, your view is restricted by the walls around it.  Move forward, until your nose is touching the window, and your view is greatly enhanced.   (Of course, you can no longer see the room you stand in, but that’s a different matter.)

It’s the same with people and events.  The closer you are, the more you can see – and the more blinkered you are to anything outside your view.

More importantly, where you are in relation to an issue or person will alter what you see.

Want an example?  Country A is invaded by country B.  Country C supplies country B with weapons and training to aid them in their fight for independence.  This is an old story.  Country B uses the weapons to attack the infrastructure and ‘soft’ targets: railways; airfields; support services…  The ones doing the attacking are labelled ‘terrorists.’

Think you know who the three countries are?  Well, Country A is Germany, Country B is France, and Country C is Britain.  The period is World War 2.  The French resistance were not ‘terrorists’, they were freedom fighters! 

Now please explain to me the difference between that, and the scenario where Country A is Britain, Country B is Ireland, and Country C is America.  American Irish raised money to support the ‘fight’ in Ireland.  And the IRA were terrorists, not freedom fighters.

I can – in honesty – only see one real difference between the two.  I’m British, so in both cases I’m on the side of Britain.  And that is why one is ‘right’ and one is ‘wrong.’

All because of where I’m standing.

When I sat down to write this, it wasn’t supposed to be anything to do with Politics – it just got away from me.  It was supposed to be more personal than that…  Let’s try again.

I may have told this story before.   Fifteen or so years ago, I was driving taxis for a living.  One night, a youth ran out of his house, across the narrow pavement, and onto the hood of my taxi that was coming up the road.  When I stopped, the car was still in front of the door he came out of – that should tell you how fast I was travelling. (Or how slow.)

Within minutes, I was surrounded by his pals from the pub he was heading for – directly opposite his house, and the reason he didn’t bother to look.  Their viewpoint was that all taxi drivers drove too fast, and that it was entirely my fault that I’d hit him.   Facts, and evidence, meant nothing to them – that was just me trying to worm my way out of it.

I’m convinced that I would have been assaulted if the guy I hit had been unconcious – but he was awake, and he was okay.  And he told them it was his fault. 

He had to work at it, though.  They really didn’t want to give up on the idea that I’d been going too fast.

Recently, I realised something about myself.  My family sees me a miser.  I have no idea why.

I’m planning a party, for my Silver Wedding.  Talking about it to one family member, I was amazed to be told that ‘everybody will come, if only to see me put my hand in my pocket.’

Another family member made a joke about all of us paying a share of something, then misread my expression – believing it to be fright at the idea of paying for something.  It was shock, actually, at the idea that he might pay a share of something!

I really don’t know where this idea comes from.  My partner complains that I am too generous.  If you were to create a balance sheet, showing what I gave and what I recieved, it would show that I was owed a great deal.

But I’m not worried about it.  I don’t want it.  I give, happily.  It’s just upsetting, really.  Talking about it with my partner, we worked out that virtually every member of my family has had help from me that they would never return in kind. 

A relative who would never, ever let me touch his car has borrowed my car.  A relative who would always charge for professional services has never paid me for professional services.  A relative who would never go out of their way for anybody has had me travel great distances to help them.

Maybe my reputation comes from the fact that we don’t bother with Xmas or birthdays.  I’m tight-fisted because I told them not to spend money on me.  (Because I told the relative whose present to me was books that they needed for their studies – books I never saw again – not to buy me presents.)

Whatever. 

I know that I would give my last penny to help another.  I don’t have much, so I can’t give much, but I pay my way.  A recent family event proves that: I was the only one to pay my share.

How’s that for perception?

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