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Saturday, 22 October 2016

Alan Turing

As a nation the British were lucky in the second world war to have Alan Turing
His genius directly shortened the war by two possibly three years, and saved millions.
As the Nazis were working on their own atomic bomb development program and had they the time and the resources to spare may well have completed it before the USA, Alan Turning shortening the war may well have saved many British / American cities  from the fate of Hiroshima, perhaps the whole world from a premature nuclear holocaust.
As a nation we were unlucky in that homosexuality laws caused us to lose one of our finest minds, for had he lived silicon valley may have rested along the Thames.
Alan Turing was unlucky to be born in a nation which prosecuted one of its finest minds for the 'crime' of loving another man.
When you read this on your mobile phone, think for a moment, you can only do that because of Alan Turing . not because his genius led us to the point where you can hold in your had a device that can access the sum total of all human knowledge (which you use to look at pictures of cats)
Because had it not been for Alan Turing the city you were born in may have been nothing more than a pile of irradiated rubble  with a misused ancient hindu symbol of peace on a black and red background flying over it  and had you been born at all it would have been in a world under the black jackboot of fascism.

Alan Turing, Finest mind of his generation

Tonight a Tory government minister talked away a bill named in Alan Turing's honour. A bill which would have pardoned those gay and homosexual men whose sexual orientation was criminalised in the 1950's under the act that led one of our finest minds, one of the finest minds the human race has ever produced, to commit suicide after been chemically castrated by order of the British government.

I have never been much enamoured of the tory party, and the government it forms, but under David Cameron they legalised Gay marriage. A great step forward in equality and humanity. So I would point this out to those who roundly castigated the government,
"Yes, they are not what I would wish as a government of these blessed isles but at least they are heading int the right direction on this subject. there is hope..."  
Tonight they have proved otherwise....

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Polarising America

The polarisation of American society over this Presidential Election is the worst I have ever witnessed.
The partisan hatred between Republican and Democratic camps has grown in vitriol and anger with each passing week. Each side seems entirely blind to anything the others says. To a point where it has become astounding. The level of debate has become not about ideas or policy but which of the candidates is the worst person. Indeed rather than question their own candidate over anything both sides opt for the path of least resistance. Instead of trying to justify the actions and words of their chosen they attack the other candidate.
This is, to be fair to both sides, not a new tactic. I am sure if we could look back at the senates of old Rome we would hear Pro-console Trump denigrating Pro console Clinton, rather than explain the plan they didn't actually have to get the rats out of the sewers beneath the coliseum. A major campaign promise of course...

The problem, however, is the sheer vitriol that is expressed in these attacks. If any other candidate had said or done half as much as Trump they would never have made it to the candidacy. yet rather than turning against his increasingly controversial statements, or even questioning them, his supporters rally to point out the flaws in his opposite number Hillary. Mrs Clinton herself is far from saintly, though the list of political 'crimes' she has committed is increasingly hysterical in nature, and I do not use the word in the sense of comedy here.
Yet this is not actually all Trump's fault, indeed Trump is a symtom, not the disease, the disease is the right wing media, the republican parties lurch to the right in recent years.
Back when Obama ran against McCane, the republican candidate was the first to espouse rhetoric that became the birther movement. He refused to stand and watch while others tried to claim Obama was a Muslim, or a foreign national by birth. He was also the last republican candidate to make a stand against the ridiculousness of that protracted lie. While Romney 4 years ago did not make direct reference to it, he also did not try to expunge it from the campaign. For the 8 years of the Obama presidency, the vitriol of the republican press, the Fox network and the blocking tactics in the senate have widened the gap between reality and republicanism. the rhetoric is no longer the ever hopeful, positive, optimistic 'shining city on the hill' of Reagan. Hatred, anger and blame have become the watch words. The darker extremes of the republican movement have moved to the floor.
It's not just Trump, look at the state of Maine's republican governor Paul LaPage, a man who spouts racism, anti-immigration, sexism, and obscene remarks so often that it has ceased to be news-worthy anymore. Yet he remains in office. A man who describes himself as a Trump supporter before Trump even ran for office. Indeed, if anything Trump for all his outrageous statements is a mild manor political animal compared to LaPage. (for more on Lapage read the NY Times item linked below)
None of this is to blame the republican party supporters alone, the vitriol runs from both sides of the debate.

Image result for clinton
stalking ...

In the latest debate a presidential candidate talked about haveing the other arrested and imprisoned if they won ( and forcing the AG to do so.) the kind of statement you would expect in some 3rd world directorship , (BTW the last American president who tried to force an AG to prosecute someone was Nixon , the AG resigned as it was unconstitutional , and is beyond the powers of the presidency,, but then that candidate seems to have no idea about now the political structures of the USA work so somehow it's unsurprising. Yet even this has led to further bunkering down of the respective sides. It no longer matters what you say, it only matters that you can point to the other side and say they are worse.
"Lying Hilary....." as has become Trumps rallying cry. This from a man whose capacity for mistruth seems  even greater than his ego. Yet even when Trump is caught out with lies, they are brushed aside by his supporters.

"I never said that..." a response to the claim that China made up global warming to disadvantage American business. Yet he most certainly did, and on twitter. yet his supporters response is to point out the 'lies' of the other side. Its a case of 'forget my wrongs look at her wrongs', and again the Clinton campaign is not blameless here.  

My fear goes deeper than this however, it is that after November the 8th what will be left behind no matter who wins (and I hope it's not the bewigged one ) is a divided nation, scarred across political lines at war with itself. because currently all I can see is people talking about how much they hate the other team, and utterly ignoring anything about their preferred candidate...

Luckily for me I don't live in the US , my opinion is of no weight, and perhaps that very separation gives me the ability to see context more. But what I see is a divided nation, and I can not see that whoever wins in November will change that. Some divisions run deep, and America looks more and more like two desperate sides facing off at each other.
Well, at least, that's never caused a problem before .....

Image result for american civil war
The south shall rise again...

Sunday, 9 October 2016


I don't do many interviews. There is a reason for this. I don't get asked to do interviews very often ... In fact as far as I remember the only actual interview I have done previously was for the publisher's book club when they gave me an award, and that site closed down shortly afterwards.
Not due to my interview, but due to illness I hasten to add.

Luckily Jianne who ran that site is on the road to recovery now, though it's a long hard road , but I digress and only mention this because I have talked about Jianne's problems and the ridiculousness of the American health care situation before on here.

Anyway that aside I still have never done many interviews, because I don't ask people to do them. Publicity is all well and good but I prefer to grow organically, and some 'interview' sites are scams that ask for money for the interview etc. Paid publicity is a choice, but know what you paying for is always my opinion and I do not trust the scam blogs that I have seen out there. However, on occasion people just ask if you want to do an interview. As Mercedes Fox did for her blog, and I had loads of fun answering her questions.

So if you have a moment swing by her site (link) , enjoy and take a while to read some of the other stuff she has there.

In other news more Passing Place and Cider Lane teasers to enjoy :)

Monday, 3 October 2016


the gunslingers tale ...

The forest in the cellar...

The girl in the nighttime