January 2009


FURRY

No need to guess very hard which furry is going to be here this week. Unfortunately I only have photos I had to scan and they are not brilliant. My favourite furry, sadly no longer with us but the best dog I ever had. May I present the charming Miss Cleo, otherwise known as my avatar.

The avatar photo is cropped from this one which is cropped from another larger photo taken with my daughter on her wedding day, twelve years ago.

I bought her when she was 5 months old, from someone who had come down with a serious illness and could not look after her. She was a gawky adolescent, not yet grown into her ears and not housetrained, would you believe?

When my granddaughter visited and was still in a high chair for meals, Cleo sat underneath waiting for the manna to fall from heaven. Of course she was often rewarded for her patience.

Cleo, sadly, no longer with us, for three or four years. Gone but never forgotten.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE
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FURRY

No need to guess very hard which furry is going to be here this week. Unfortunately I only have photos I had to scan and they are not brilliant. My favourite furry, sadly no longer with us but the best dog I ever had. May I present the charming Miss Cleo, otherwise known as my avatar.

The avatar photo is cropped from this one which is cropped from another larger photo taken with my daughter on her wedding day, twelve years ago.

I bought her when she was 5 months old, from someone who had come down with a serious illness and could not look after her. She was a gawky adolescent, not yet grown into her ears and not housetrained, would you believe?

When my granddaughter visited and was still in a high chair for meals, Cleo sat underneath waiting for the manna to fall from heaven. Of course she was often rewarded for her patience.

Cleo, sadly, no longer with us, for three or four years. Gone but never forgotten.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE
OK. This is one of my “Hard Hat” posts. I am really mad about this. It is just so wrong.

It looks to me like the government of Pakistan is not capable of administering the part of Pakistan in the north west, that boarders Afghanistan. The Swat region. I guess the locals must feel that way.

All those Taliban (That apparently means student. Ha! Their little joke maybe?) that used to run Afghanistan are now flitting between Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Pakistani government does not seem to be able to prevent them, or really want to.

I heard on the news the Taliban have got some “moral” objection to Girls being educated. They have been blowing up schools that teach girls. They shoot and behead those who oppose them in the community.

These… creatures… are utterly misogynistic. I guess they must use the word “moral” to mean something utterly different from what I understand by the word. It is horrifying that they are so inadequate and threatened by the mere thought of an educated, intelligent, woman they do this.

I truly think I would be willing to take up arms against their like, if anyone were to try to impose it on me.

This is not something the locals seemed to want, they were sending their daughters to school. They are having this imposed on them. So surely it can’t be genuine Islamic teaching, can it?

It would be interesting to get an Islamic take on this. I really can’t believe anyone would condone it.

Whatever though, this is a bunch of misogynistic… A# holes! who have decided to impose what they claim is God’s will on these people. Not any god a normal person would recognise. More like the opposing team if you ask me.

Jesus said: (Matthew 7)

15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

He went on:

19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

It is difficult to put it better, and it is true if you are religious or not, Christian or not.

The fruit of these.. creatures, is ignorance, want, oppression, destruction, evil.

These girls are foreign and far away, but they still deserve better than this. Far away but I should be concerned because if I stay silent when it is done to them and theirs who can I expect to speak up if someone like that wants to do it to me and mine, who would be left to?

I figure this thing does not restrict itself to lines drawn on maps. Afghanistan has got to be better off without such people being in charge of it, I guess the continuing troubles it still has have got to be down to them too. I figure the allies should not leave till they are no longer able to do that sort of thing, it would be moral cowardice. Maybe Pakistan should take responsibility to do the same. Anyone who provides them with any support should be persuaded not to.

If anyone treated any ethnic group like the Taliban treat women, no one would be making any ‘cultural’ excuses for them. No right thinking person can condone, or excuse it. It needs to be eradicated. There is no excuse or justification.

It is just not acceptable, in any context, anywhere, ever.

Editorial comment from JMB: Shocked? This is not the usual type of post which appears on this blog. Just because I do not write about such things here does not mean that I am not in agreement with what Moggs is saying. In fact, if you knew me in real life, you would know that one of the things which incenses me more than anything else is the treatment of Muslim women.

Yes the degree of suppression of their basic human rights varies greatly. This I know full well, both from my reading and from the many Muslim friends I have. But the fact that a basic fundamental right such as education is denied to anyone on the basis of their gender is anathema to me. Knowledge is power, and as such must be denied to women in Afghanistan, to keep them in their rightful “place”, according to the Taliban.

For some reason I seem compelled to read many books which highlight the reality of Muslim women, one of which was the Bookseller of Kabul, which I reviewed in the link. This book had me ranting for months and made me quite depressed. Will this treatment ever change, will the rights of all Muslim women ever evolve into basic human rights?

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights lawyer, says over and over again in her book, Iran Awakening, that so many of these rights are denied women, not based on the Koran or even Sharia Law, but merely on the interpretation of certain individuals, unfortunately often those in power. But that gives me a slight glimmer of hope. Things can be changed. But how long will it take? Sadly not likely in my lifetime.

OK. This is one of my “Hard Hat” posts. I am really mad about this. It is just so wrong.

It looks to me like the government of Pakistan is not capable of administering the part of Pakistan in the north west, that boarders Afghanistan. The Swat region. I guess the locals must feel that way.

All those Taliban (That apparently means student. Ha! Their little joke maybe?) that used to run Afghanistan are now flitting between Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Pakistani government does not seem to be able to prevent them, or really want to.

I heard on the news the Taliban have got some “moral” objection to Girls being educated. They have been blowing up schools that teach girls. They shoot and behead those who oppose them in the community.

These… creatures… are utterly misogynistic. I guess they must use the word “moral” to mean something utterly different from what I understand by the word. It is horrifying that they are so inadequate and threatened by the mere thought of an educated, intelligent, woman they do this.

I truly think I would be willing to take up arms against their like, if anyone were to try to impose it on me.

This is not something the locals seemed to want, they were sending their daughters to school. They are having this imposed on them. So surely it can’t be genuine Islamic teaching, can it?

It would be interesting to get an Islamic take on this. I really can’t believe anyone would condone it.

Whatever though, this is a bunch of misogynistic… A# holes! who have decided to impose what they claim is God’s will on these people. Not any god a normal person would recognise. More like the opposing team if you ask me.

Jesus said: (Matthew 7)

15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

He went on:

19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

It is difficult to put it better, and it is true if you are religious or not, Christian or not.

The fruit of these.. creatures, is ignorance, want, oppression, destruction, evil.

These girls are foreign and far away, but they still deserve better than this. Far away but I should be concerned because if I stay silent when it is done to them and theirs who can I expect to speak up if someone like that wants to do it to me and mine, who would be left to?

I figure this thing does not restrict itself to lines drawn on maps. Afghanistan has got to be better off without such people being in charge of it, I guess the continuing troubles it still has have got to be down to them too. I figure the allies should not leave till they are no longer able to do that sort of thing, it would be moral cowardice. Maybe Pakistan should take responsibility to do the same. Anyone who provides them with any support should be persuaded not to.

If anyone treated any ethnic group like the Taliban treat women, no one would be making any ‘cultural’ excuses for them. No right thinking person can condone, or excuse it. It needs to be eradicated. There is no excuse or justification.

It is just not acceptable, in any context, anywhere, ever.

Editorial comment from JMB: Shocked? This is not the usual type of post which appears on this blog. Just because I do not write about such things here does not mean that I am not in agreement with what Moggs is saying. In fact, if you knew me in real life, you would know that one of the things which incenses me more than anything else is the treatment of Muslim women.

Yes the degree of suppression of their basic human rights varies greatly. This I know full well, both from my reading and from the many Muslim friends I have. But the fact that a basic fundamental right such as education is denied to anyone on the basis of their gender is anathema to me. Knowledge is power, and as such must be denied to women in Afghanistan, to keep them in their rightful “place”, according to the Taliban.

For some reason I seem compelled to read many books which highlight the reality of Muslim women, one of which was the Bookseller of Kabul, which I reviewed in the link. This book had me ranting for months and made me quite depressed. Will this treatment ever change, will the rights of all Muslim women ever evolve into basic human rights?

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights lawyer, says over and over again in her book, Iran Awakening, that so many of these rights are denied women, not based on the Koran or even Sharia Law, but merely on the interpretation of certain individuals, unfortunately often those in power. But that gives me a slight glimmer of hope. Things can be changed. But how long will it take? Sadly not likely in my lifetime.

For those of you who don’t know it, in the UK, London has a Metro/Subway system called the Underground. Remember the movie “Sliding doors”? That was a lovely movie.

The Underground is ancient. The oldest in the world. All others are (often improved in different ways) more modern copies. I would bet it is the most complicated too. There is something.. Magnificent about it for all its faults.

One thing the Underground used to do is make the odd announcement over the pa systems.

You always listened up to these because they mostly told you something useful, important. Like the line you hoped to switch to at the next station was suspended, or there was a fire alert or something. You knew it would be important and therefore worth listening to.

Not now though, and it is my personal suspicion that this has led to the rise of the iPod. Sounds like something from a bad “B” movie. THE RISE OF THE IPOD!!! Doesn’t it? Yes, mea culpa, I have one now, sobs, breaks down confessing… “I have joined the pod people!”

Well anyway, that was then and this is now. Now the poor users of the Underground system are constantly pestered, bombarded, by pointless recorded, or computerised, messages that the important stuff gets lost in. Messages telling you not to smoke, or to stand behind the yellow line, or not to abandon your luggage, or really annoyingly (and this is my personal favourite grr) that there is a good service, especially when you have just had a diabolical journey, being turned off trains, delayed and the like.

They have an opposite one also, when they tell you about delays on the line… and the service seems perfectly normal too. I guess you just can’t trust them…

So now instead of listening I figure we all just mentally tune them out, or go mad, or block them out with an iPod and those noise suppressing in ear buds you get for plane journeys.

I wonder if anyone else gets this? I don’t remember it being that bad on any other Subway systems, and I have used a few.

One thing they do get right on the Underground though, there are usually lots of staff about, at least in central London. That makes you feel nice and safe.

They are not so obvious in some of the lonely outer stations later on at night though. Maybe they could fix that?

So Metro Gnomes, if you are listening… Way less announcements please. None about so-called good service, they just make you look like you are trying to con us. And more visible staff late at night in small stations pleeease.

For some weird reason I quite like the odd random “Mind the gap” announcement, they somehow seem friendly.

Am I being cranky with this post, or do I have a point?

For those of you who don’t know it, in the UK, London has a Metro/Subway system called the Underground. Remember the movie “Sliding doors”? That was a lovely movie.

The Underground is ancient. The oldest in the world. All others are (often improved in different ways) more modern copies. I would bet it is the most complicated too. There is something.. Magnificent about it for all its faults.

One thing the Underground used to do is make the odd announcement over the pa systems.

You always listened up to these because they mostly told you something useful, important. Like the line you hoped to switch to at the next station was suspended, or there was a fire alert or something. You knew it would be important and therefore worth listening to.

Not now though, and it is my personal suspicion that this has led to the rise of the iPod. Sounds like something from a bad “B” movie. THE RISE OF THE IPOD!!! Doesn’t it? Yes, mea culpa, I have one now, sobs, breaks down confessing… “I have joined the pod people!”

Well anyway, that was then and this is now. Now the poor users of the Underground system are constantly pestered, bombarded, by pointless recorded, or computerised, messages that the important stuff gets lost in. Messages telling you not to smoke, or to stand behind the yellow line, or not to abandon your luggage, or really annoyingly (and this is my personal favourite grr) that there is a good service, especially when you have just had a diabolical journey, being turned off trains, delayed and the like.

They have an opposite one also, when they tell you about delays on the line… and the service seems perfectly normal too. I guess you just can’t trust them…

So now instead of listening I figure we all just mentally tune them out, or go mad, or block them out with an iPod and those noise suppressing in ear buds you get for plane journeys.

I wonder if anyone else gets this? I don’t remember it being that bad on any other Subway systems, and I have used a few.

One thing they do get right on the Underground though, there are usually lots of staff about, at least in central London. That makes you feel nice and safe.

They are not so obvious in some of the lonely outer stations later on at night though. Maybe they could fix that?

So Metro Gnomes, if you are listening… Way less announcements please. None about so-called good service, they just make you look like you are trying to con us. And more visible staff late at night in small stations pleeease.

For some weird reason I quite like the odd random “Mind the gap” announcement, they somehow seem friendly.

Am I being cranky with this post, or do I have a point?

CHIPPED

I’m not a coffee drinker any more. Some years ago I turned again to tea and finally to rooibos, the leaf of the “red bush” or Aspalathus linearis, grown only in South Africa, and which has no caffeine and is full of antioxidants or so they say.

Of course I have my favourite mugs for this: Denby Craftsman style stoneware mugs. Well as you can see I have more than one. In fact I have eight of these in different colours, one of which is chipped. But totally usable so I don’t discard it. Now since I have the choice of eight when I go to the cupboard you would think I have a one in eight chance of selecting it, but it always seems to be up front and centre. So I pick it up saying, oh well, I’ll just use it this time. Maybe I should just toss it. Although they now retail for $31.57 each, so maybe not.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE

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