Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Wednesday 17 July 2024

Donald Trump's ear bandage is oversized for political advantage

Trump uses his ear injury to political advantage by an oversized ear bandage by Michael Broad

I am guessing (hopefully intelligently) but it occurs to me that Donald Trump is making 'political capital' as it is called by ensuring that the bandage covering his right ear wound from the rifle bullet almost covers his entire ear and looks very visible when the injury (which is hard to see) appears to have been a small nick in the top of the ear. 

The nurse could have used a plaster over that area but that would have been almost invisible and I am arguing that Trump - ever the political mastermind - is milking the attempted assassination to the maximum. 

He is ensuring that his followers see that he was injured and is a miraculous survivor by the Grace of God. God saved him. It is a God-given opportunity to get the most out of this. To become the hero and saviour of America. To Make America Great Again. He is the chosen one.

And he has to make sure that the world and his followers see the bloody injury to get that message across. The oversized bandage achieves that purpose.

What do you think?


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Tuesday 16 July 2024

Commons Speaker wants many cats at the Palace of Westminster

The Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, is a known animal lover and loves cats. He currently has two cats, I believe, living in his home within the Palace of Westminster A.K.A. Houses Of Parliament. 

He lives just behind Big Ben in very beautiful accommodation; quite extensive and I believe that his Maine Coon cat 'Attlee' lives there with him. And he has adopted a black stray cat who wanted to be taken in and who he has named 'Clem'. Both of these names come from the former Prime Minister Clement Attlee.

Commons Speaker wants many cats at the Palace of Westminster
Attlee as an adult Maine Coon who lives with the Speaker in his house within the estate. Photo: Richard Wheeler PA.

He is a very popular Commons Speaker and was re-elected to the post after the general election. There appears to have been no issues about his re-election. And he says that there should be "cats across the House." The idea is to take care of the rodent population and provide therapy to stressed politicians! 💕

The Palace of Westminster is a very large estate adjacent to the Thames River and is in bad condition requiring constant repair and a major upgrade which would cost billions of pounds. The reason why I am saying that is because you can see that there is a great possibility of there being mice and rats on the estate which is the case.

And Attlee, his Maine Coon cat, is sometimes called upon to deal with mice. MPs come up to him and ask if they can borrow Attlee for a while to get rid of mice in their office. That kind of thing.

And Sir Lindsay Hoyle would also like to see a "Bring Your Pet Day" in Parliament. I think he would like to see members of Parliament bringing their pets to the establishment.

Sir Lindsay has a number of pets including a tortoise named Maggie and a parrot named Boris. These are named after Margaret Thatcher and Boris Johnson, two more former prime ministers.

There was a study about the possibility of employing cats to keep down the rodent population on the estate. The conclusion appears to be that the estate is too big and that there would have to be too many cats in order to make it work which would be unmanageable.

His brown tabby Maine Coon cat also helps to keep the peace and keep people calm. Cats can do that for you. He is a therapy cat as well as the chief mouser at Parliament. He goes out to visit people to make them smile and be happier.

He said that "We've had the odd MP ring up and say, including the Clerk of the House, 'there is a mouse in my office, can we borrow Attlee?'"

His cat loves Dreamies which is a dry cat food and a particularly tasty one. The reason why he wants cats across the house, as mentioned, is because "There's nothing better than seeing a cat. Anybody who likes cats are nice people."

He's right. A slight problem is that some people don't like cats or some are frightened of cats but I would thoroughly agree with him. I think more cats at Parliament would be beneficial. And a dog or two would help to of course but there would have to be some management because you don't want dogs chasing cats! The issue is about managing the cats. Feeding them and providing toilet facilities etc.

Commons Speaker wants many cats at the Palace of Westminster
Sir Lindsay Hoyle soon after adopting his new Maine Coon kitten Attlee. They touch noses in a friendly greeting

When he was interviewed for the article to which I'm referring and which is published on the Independent newspaper online he said that his tortoise, Maggie, was on the terrace. That is the area outside the Houses of Parliament in between the building and the Thames. It's a very pleasant area where they sometimes have marquees for social gatherings I believe.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Sunday 12 May 2024

Lord Blencathra would ban cat flaps to protect wildlife

Lord Blencathra sits in the House of Lords in Parliament. He is a peer of the realm and a life peer. He was a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Penrith and The Border from 1983 to 2010. He wants to protect wildlife and he has some ideas in that respect which he announced in the House of Lords which has been reported by The Telegraph.

Lord Blencathra would ban cat flaps to protect wildlife
The Rt Hon Lord Blencathra.

One of his silliest ideas (and I'll explain why I think it's silly) is that all cat flaps in the UK should be banned under the law. He doesn't believe that cats should be allowed to come and go as they please from indoors to outdoors (which is not an unreasonable thought of itself). 

And to justify that attitude he says that "All independent studies suggest that cats allowed the wonder will kill about 260 million mammals per annum in the UK and 60 million garden birds."

He doesn't say that these statistics are based on estimates from relatively small-scale studies. There is a lot of incidental information that one needs to bring into the equation when you talk about domestic cat predation on wildlife. But that is another story.

In addition to banning cat flaps and allowing cats out manually through the back door when the sun rises and after the sun has set, he suggests that all domestic cats allowed outside should wear bells on collars.

This last suggestion is fairly reasonable because although domestic cats learn to keep the bells as quiet as possible when stalking prey, bells on collars can help save the lives of some birds stalked by domestic cats. I can't see a problem with that suggestion in general terms but both his suggestions are unenforceable.


If a government makes a law in any field of human life, it has to be enforceable to be effective. That means that if somebody breaks the new law it must come to the notice of the authorities and law enforcement. The prosecution services should prosecute the individual and punish them under the law.

How is law enforcement going to find out if a homeowner has a cat flap in their back door or not? There are many millions of them across the UK. No one knows who's got one and no one knows who has not got one. No one in authority can check because they open to the backdoor in the backyard which is invisible from the street.

Neighbours will or might know but that means that neighbours have to spy on neighbours which is going to cause friction. If that goes on across the country it is going to create a problem in society. You cannot rely on neighbours to spy on other neighbours as happened in East Germany during the communist era.

So Lord Bethcathra's suggestion is foolish and entirely unworkable. It will never happen.

And therefore I don't see why he's bothering to suggest it in a debating chamber in the Houses of Parliament. He is wasting his time, the time of the other lords in the debating chamber and he is wasting taxpayers money who pays him to be there.

It's also unworkable to enforce a law which makes it mandatory for domestic cats to wear bells on collars. It's easier to enforce it than the cat flap proposed law but it is still unenforceable. It would rely upon neighbours spying on neighbours as well.

You've got to work backwards with the creation of laws. You've got to ask yourself if it's enforceable and how could it become enforceable. What kind of machinery do you need to make it enforceable? 

And if existing machinery i.e. law enforcement and prosecution services and the local authority can't make new laws enforceable they should not be enacted unless you think that the law is so popular and universally supported by the public that they will comply with the law voluntarily but this makes the law unnecessary. Government advice, under those circumstances, would probably suffice.

In the meantime, there is a need for a much more thorough evaluation of domestic cat predation on wildlife over a much larger area. You can't extrapolate data from a small study in one particular area and say that those figures apply to the rest of the UK. You might get a rough idea but you do not end up with really accurate data.

And we need to know how many feral cats there are in the country. We don't know (accurately) and if you don't know the number of feral cats in a country you can't decide how many birds and mammals they attack and eat


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Eurovision Song Contest is very political which is why it has descended into semi-chaos

Eurovision 2024 has descended into a form of political chaos. There are protests outside the Malmo stadium where the contest is being held in support of Palestinians being slaughtered in the Gaza Strip. The climate activist Greta Thunberg participated and we see photographs of her being hauled away by Swedish police.

The Swedish police removed Greta Thunberg from an unauthorised pro-Palestine protest outside the Malmo Arena, the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest which includes an entry from Israel. The Israeli singer, Eden Golan, is under protection in her hotel suite, as reported by The Sunday Times today.

And I can remember a person saying that protests shouldn't take place outside the Eurovision Song contest because it's a non-political contest but he's wrong. It is highly political. It has been a highly political contest for years. In fact I think it was created for political purposes! And the Eastern European block always work together and vote against nations they dislike such as the UK. It is simply hopeless as a music competition. A total waste of time.

Back in the day the best songs won the contest (sometimes). Nowadays nearly all the voting is based on political affiliations. It is highly distorted by political bias. Arguably, the UK is the best country in the world for the creation of new pop songs but Britain nearly always comes last nowadays because of political bias against the UK.

I'm not just moaning about the UK being unfairly treated. I've just decided years ago that the Eurovision Song Contest is a complete joke as a song contest. It is nothing about song. It's about politics and making a statement.

And nowadays it isn't about songs anyway. It's about dance routines and lighting and extreme visual images. It isn't about pure song or music. And that's probably because the songs are rubbish. They've had to jazz up the music to make it interesting and they've done that with dance routines and groups and jazzy lighting.

The Netherlands entry, Joost Klein has been disqualified perhaps unfairly. The reasons for that are listed below. And now we have more uncertainty with speculation about island's entry performing this evening. The group Bambi Thug took to social media to reveal that they missed the flag parade and dress rehearsals because of an issue which remains unresolved.

The Irish delegation believed that comments made on Israel's Eurovision broadcast, Kan, contravened the Eurovision Song rules stated in the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) about discussions regarding other contestants and their disparaging nature.

Once again this is a political element to what should be an entirely non-political event. But this is what happens when over years and years you gradually politicise what was a pure song contest in the good old days; in the innocent days when it first started.

When you gradually politicise something you end up with this form of fiction because people start using the event as a political platform. And politics is bound to create friction whereas song and music achieve the opposite. It achieves harmony, pleasantness, enjoyment and contentment or at least that's the objective.

But the Eurovision Song contest has been hijacked by political activists because it is a political platform.

It would appear that the choice of Malmo as the town where the Eurovision Song Contest was to be held is shrouded in controversy thanks to the participation of Israel. The city itself has been beset by bubbling ethnic tensions according to The Sunday Times. And, the Israeli contestant, Eden Golan, was under heavy protection last night before the show and Israel advised its citizens not to attend because of a "well-founded concern that terrorist elements will exploit the protests and anti-Israel mood to carry out attacks against Israelis."

In other areas, there have been bubbling tensions and political protests away from the site of the show. For example, student watch parties at the University of Warwick and the London School of Economics were cancelled at the last minute. And the University of East Anglia said that it would not air Israel's entry during the Eurovision party.

The Eurovision Party London was cancelled at the Rio cinema in East London in protest at Israel's participation. A screening at the Duke of York cinema In Brighton was also called off because of safety concerns.

Ollie Alexander was in trouble after he called for a ceasefire in Gaza. He resisted pressure to boycott the contest but broke down in tears in a recent interview because of the stress he was under.

Alexandra Mele pulled out of her role communicating Norway's points citing the inflamed situation in Malmo. And Finland's jury spokesman, the runner-up in last year's contest, announced he would not be fulfilling his role.

The Netherlands disqualification explained by Bing's Co-pilot and AI bot. It is polite.

The Netherlands’ disqualification from the Eurovision Song Contest was due to an incident involving Dutch artist Joost Klein. Here’s what happened:

  • Backstage Incident: During the Eurovision Song Contest, a female member of the production crew made an allegation of intimidation against Joost Klein. She reported this to the Swedish police.

  • Filming Dispute: The Dutch broadcaster Avrotros stated that Joost Klein was filmed without his consent when he had just come off stage and was rushing to the greenroom. Despite repeatedly indicating that he did not want to be filmed, his wishes were not respected. Joost did not physically touch the camerawoman, but there was a threatening movement towards her.

  • Disqualification Decision: The contest organizers decided to disqualify Joost Klein, stating that it would not be appropriate for him to participate while the legal process was ongoing. Dutch broadcaster Avrotros called the disqualification “disproportionate.”

  • Favourite to Win: Joost Klein had been among the favourites to win the contest with his song “Europapa,” a pro-European techno anthem dedicated to his late father.

  • Suspension: News of his suspension emerged during the first dress rehearsal for the televised grand final. His performance was skipped without explanation, and Israel’s entrant took his place.

  • Zero Tolerance: The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has a “zero tolerance” policy, leading to Joost Klein’s disqualification.

It’s unfortunate that Joost Klein’s Eurovision journey ended this way, especially considering his dedication to honouring his father’s memory through music. 

Sources: The Sunday Times, general internet searches and Bing's Copilot.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Kristi Noem said that President Biden should have shot his German shepherd 'Commander'

In so many words, Kristi Noem who is the Republican governor of South Dakota and a VP contender for Donald Trump if and when he becomes the next president, suggested that Biden, the current President, should have had his German Shepherd dog "Commander" shot rather than removed from the White House where records tell us that he bit Secret Service agents on at least 24 occasions and on one occasion the individual had to attend hospital as I recall.

Kristi Noem said that President Biden should have shot his German shepherd 'Commander'
Trump with Noem. This is a screenshot from a CBS video.

So how did Noem make this suggestion? Well, she does it in her book and in a statement she made on an interview on CBC. 

In her book, No Going Back, she writes: "What would I do on the first day in office in 2025? Thanks for asking. I happen to have a list. The first thing I'd do is make sure Joe Biden's dog was nowhere on the grounds ('Commander, say hello to Cricket for me')." This means Commander meeting Cricket over the Rainbow Bridge in dog heaven.

You may remember that Cricket was the young dog that Kristi Noem shot in a gravel pit because he annoyed her in attacking chickens belonging to a local person with whom she was talking and because he was a 'useless' hunting dog in her words. She adopted the dog for hunting purposes. She likes to hunt which, for me, is another black mark against her.

She apparently didn't consider rehoming Cricket or retraining him. She just decided that she had to take tough measures and euthanise him. Well, shooting a dog is not euthanasia. It's plain killing. And it's painful. It is inflicting of a lot of pain on a dog albeit hopefully temporarily. So her method of dealing with troublesome dogs that she owns is to shoot them. 

She also shot a goat who was troublesome to her and she had to do it twice because the first shot didn't kill the goat. And, further, she had to return to some stockpiled ammunition to reload her gun while the goat was in horrendous pain waiting for the coup de grace.

That's the kind of person she is. Secondly, she defended her comments in her book about Commander in an interview on CBS's Face the Nation programme yesterday. On that programme she said: "Joe Biden's dog has attacked 24 Secret Service people. So, how many people is enough people to be attacked and dangerously hurt before you make a decision on a dog and what to do with it?"

To that statement, the host of the show, Margaret Brennan, asked: "You're saying he should be shot?" In response Noem said: "That's what the President should be accountable to."

There you are. She didn't stated it in black-and-white on both occasions but on both occasions she strongly hinted that Biden should have shot his dog rather than do the more humane, more sensible and more decent thing which is to remove the dog from the White House where he was stressed because German shepherds are particularly defensive of their owner and Cricket was surrounded by a lot of people milling around the White House and so instinctively the dog protected the president by biting people invading on the president's territory. Entirely normal behaviour for which Kristi Noem would have shot the dog.

The chances of becoming vice president to trump are now pretty slim because of this story and because the world can see what kind of person she truly is. She is not a decent person that must be clear to everybody unless you think like her: that animals are second class citizens to be dealt with as possessions which is why she referred to the dog as "it".

One last point is worth making. Donald Trump questioned why Kristi Noem announced to the world that she had shot her dog Cricket. He thought that she should have kept quiet about it. But Kristi Noem wanted to announce it in her book in order to take pre-emptive measures vis-à-vis the public so that she couldn't be criticised for hiding the story from the public when it finally came out in the news media.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Female cat lover campaigns to be a lawmaker in Indonesia

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is a story from the other side of the world for me but any story which reports that a person wants to be a lawmaker in their country's parliament who is a cat lover and probably an animal lover as well, will interest me deeply. 

That's because there is a need worldwide to improve animal welfare especially in the Far East (in my opinion) and as you probably know Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of Indonesia.

The person in question is Indonesian Francine Widjojo. She has just hit the campaign trail carrying cat treats and cats I'm told by Reuters. She wants to raise awareness of animal cruelty during her campaigning.

Female cat lover campaigns to be a lawmaker in Indonesia
Francine on the campaign trail. Image: Reuters.

Indonesia will hold presidential and legislative elections on February 14 and campaigning is now in full swing.

During her campaigning, Francine is seen holding Yakult, a white cat who she rescued as a kitten and who is one of 27 living in her home! I hope that she has a big home and some help!

Francine is 44 years old. She told Reuters last month while her cat was being vaccinated that if she is successful in her campaigning and is elected she wants to improve the sterilisation and vaccination rate of cat companions in Jakarta. She added that, "One of the issues that I will be fighting for is for Jakarta to be a pet-friendly city."

Regrettably, I have to report that in some parts of Indonesia people consume cat and dog meat which is not untypical in south-east Asia as a whole. 

From a Westerner's point of view it is unacceptable. China kills and consumes the most cats and dogs of all the countries in the world. Vietnam follows but South Korea has recently introduced a law which will ban dog meat as I recall.

Interestingly, the Indonesian government's agricultural ministry classified dog meat as not for human consumption in 2018 but it didn't have any impact on the trade. Note: it is difficult to stop deep rooted commercial enterprises and habits which might go back hundreds or more years. It requires great enforcement. In this instance, no punishment was created for eating dog meat and therefore the recommendation was unenforceable.

Animal activists are campaigning for a national ban on dog and cat meat trades according to The Humane Society International.

Francine is running for election under the umbrella of the Indonesian Solidarity Party which is headed by the president's youngest son. She also plans to fight against corruption, religious and racial intolerance.

She mentioned that animal cruelty is not often addressed in Indonesia but she vows to fight the problem. I wish her the very best. I love to read about people campaigning for animal welfare many thousands of miles away and committing to the fight to eradicate animal abuse.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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