23 August 2008

Joseph Biden

So, Joe Diden, a Senator from Delaware will be Barack Obama's running mate.

I don't really know much about Biden, except that he plagiarised Neil Kinnock one time. I understand he's been in the Senate for 30 years and been Chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

I also understand he's gaffe-prone. Wonder if he'll make any gaffes. Probably.

While Biden may provide some foreign policy experience, it doesn't change the fundamental issue- Biden may have been in Congress for three decades, but Obama has only been there for three years. He remains inexperienced.

17 August 2008

The Olympic Games

I don't believe it. We're actually doing well at a sport event.

Congratulations to all our competitors.

16 August 2008


Following up to my post on Russia, this is one on Georgia.

Georgia has not had a nice history. Under Russian rule, St. Petersburg (Moscow wasn't the capital before 1917) tried to wipe out the Georgian language. Stalin, who was of course Georgian, wasn't much better.

The Rose Revolution in 2003 was one of the best things to happen to Georgia. However, Saakashvili's re-election appears to have been dodgy. He probably would have won a run-off, but we'll never know.

Georgia, while slightly dodgy, is far less dodgy than Russia.

The offensive in South Ossetia may well have been provoked by Russia, but I can't help thinking that Georgian intelligence clearly missed something. With reports that Saakashvili was warned not to launch the attack by Western allies, it may well have been a blunder.

I don't know about artillery uses. I suspect there have been Georgian atrocities, but not to the extent the Russians claim. Constantly stating you're stopping fighting then continuing seems a bit dodgy. Again, not fully clear on this.

I'd like to know whether opposition to this conflict has been expressed in Tbilisi by anyone. Of course, there was martial law.

09 August 2008


Reports from South Ossetia are still conflicting and clearly one or both sides is being more than economical with the truth as to what is going on, as well as how it started.

I'm going to use this particular post to discuss Russia. A later one will cover Georgia and I might do a third on South Ossetia.

The B
olshevik popular coup (it's not a revolution) of November 1917 was the worst thing to happen to Russia in its history. It has brought Russia little but misery. What benefits the Communist regime brought to the USSR could have occured without and are outweighed by the millions of death.

I don't hate Russia. I don't hate Russians. In fact, I have Russian friends and I have a keen interest in the country.
Korobeiniki (the theme tune to Tetris) is one of my favourite tunes. On AJJE Games, one of my characters is of Russian descent and I don't play her as a caricature.

I detest their government, that's all. The Prime Minister of the world's second most powerful country is- get this-a former KGB agent. Yes, I know he wasn't in it for long and just did a brief stint in East Germany before resigning. However, joining the KGB takes either gross stupidity or a gross lack of morality. The organisation is rightly notorious and its predecessors are even worse.

Medvedev complains about the "missile shield", which isn't even aimed at him (look at a globe and you'll see). Yet his country is placing multiple warheads on the Topol-M missiles, constructing more Tu-160 "Blackjack" intercontinental bombers and constructing new SSBNs to replace the Kal'mar/"Delta III" class submarines. Isn't that a tad hypocritical?

(US hypocrisy on other issues is not for this post, BTW)

Seriously, is there a Havel or Walesa in Russia? Because it sorely needs one. It deserves much better than what it has at the moment.

08 August 2008

South Ossetia

I was going to do a post today on China and the Olympic Games, but I feel this is more important.

If you're not already aware, Russian forces have entered the breakaway province of South Ossetia in Georgia.

What's going on precisely is unclear. It's a bunch of statements from both sides (the Georgian President is on TV at the moment on BBC News 24), with the usual claims, counter-claims and propaganda, at the moment. Independent journalist reports are few yet.

I have Georgian and Russian friends. I hope and pray for their safety.

07 August 2008

Censor, censor, censor...

The Dark Knight is setting box office records the world over- and newspaper columnists in the UK at edge.

The issue is the movie's rating from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)- 12A, which allows those under 12 to watch it with their parents present. The feeling among them is that this movie warrants a 15 rating (so no-one under 15 can be admitted or buy the DVD).

I agree- this should be a 15. There's a lot of violence in this movie and a certain character is truely disturbing. Not one I'd take any young kids of mine (if I had any) to see.

Cue the usual outcry at the BBFC for not protecting children from the "purveyors of filth", etc. I see mediawatch-UK (set up by the late Mary Whitehouse) have commented on it.

This won't be the first bad call the BBFC has made- or its last. I'd like to cite The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, which contains a background striptease in one scene that goes to pastie-breast level (with close-up), cleared as A (the PG-13 of that time), then recleared for PG when the ratings changed. John Trevelyan (head back when the C stood for Censors) was a rather subjective guy when it came to what got cut- apparently it involved the reaction in his groinal area.

You can get even more ridiculous- look up the Hays Code for examples.

All this said, I think there are a tad too many SCW (Scantily Clad Women) on TV these days. Does nearly every UK crime show have to feature topless strippers at some point?

Comments are welcome.

06 August 2008

This isn't X, this is pest control!

The papers today are running stories on the discovery that last year there were over 20,000 call outs for pest controllers in the NHS last year.

Apparently this is a sign that our hospitals are still dirty, Labour are rubbish etc, etc.

A typical silly season story that really needs some closer scrutiny:
  • How many cases were there last year?
  • Isn't this an indication that NHS staff are acting to get rid of infestations?
  • What are we counting? Wasps can easily get in through windows.
  • What was it like under the Tories, eh?