Is Free Speech For All?


So I’ve just seen a comment on an old post I did on the holocaust. It was posted by someone called Baxter Buber and he simply said:

Hi

Why do you post a photograph of typhus victims as evidence for the so-called Jewish holocaust?

So I asked him to explain himself. No reply. So I checked out his website. A supporter for holocaust deniers.

Normally, I wouldn’t give these type of people the satisfaction of mentioning them in my blog, however his website does bring up an interesting debate. In many countries around the world, holocaust denial is a crime. The countries are:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel,LiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, RomaniaSlovakia, and Switzerland (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Now I whole-heartedly believe that the holocaust existed and these atrocious things occurred (how anyone can deny it is truly beyond me), but do people have a right to believe otherwise? Surely we fought the Nazi’s so we could have the right to deny their actions if we wished without fear or persecution.

Of course, these types of subjects have resonating effects to the present. In today’s world, there is still huge amounts of anti-Semitism and racism in all forms and holocaust denial could be seen as fanning these flames. But I still can’t shake the feeling that these people have a right to believe this, just in the same way I have the right to believe in Allah if I wish even though I live in a country where Muslim extremists have blown up my countrymen and attacked my people (just an example, please don’t start calling me a Muslim hater, cause I’m not!).

I want to post the link to this guys website, but I think openly posting it would be giving too much advertisement to a cause I REALLY disagree with. If you want it, e-mail me and I’ll pass it on.

Please, let’s get this discussion going. It’s an important discuss about free-speech, so let’s express our right too it!

Illegal To Lie Down In London


Have the people in charge of our great nations capital gone insane?! According to this bylaw, it will now be illegal to lie down in public, give out refreshments for free (there go soup kitchens I guess) and god forbid you should EVER put down a pillow you’d just bought on the floor in public……..

CNN Removed This Comment


I’m a Redditor and recently found this picture posted up on there:

This raises some excellent points. I’m all up for helping other countries etc. but how do our governments decide which ones to help and which ones not to?

I heard on the radio earlier that a prominent member of the US government said US forces wouldn’t intervene in Lybia. So why Iraq? WMD’s weren’t the reason, we all know that. Why not help the people in Darfur etc?

I don’t know and I doubt we’ll ever really know. I just thought this post was an excellent piece, it needed sharing and this sort of subject has to continue being discussed so we can, in future, effect the outcome of these types of conflict for the right reasons.

Noah vs The Council


My step-uncle is not only an amazing author of 3 books, but a word-smith with an apparent knack of telling it how it is. He was recently “bored” and decided to re-write the Bible and bring it into the modern era:

In the year of Our lord 2011, Noah was living above a former boatyard
in Caterham Town, along with his sons Ham, Shem and the other one
nobody can ever remember, when the Lord came unto him. “Noah, good
servant of mine.
Once again the world has become wicked and over populated. Build
another Ark and save two of every creature. Then gather around a few
good humans and prepare for the deluge to be visited upon the Earth in
six months. Here are the blueprints for the Ark”
Six months later God returned to Caterham, but there was no sign of
the Ark, just Noah sitting on his arse looking rather dejected in his
boatyard. “NOAH! Where’s the Ark? I’m about to start the rains.”
“Forgive me Lord but I needed a building permit, and these premises
were no longer licensed for boat construction. That took weeks to sort
out. Then the Inspector of Boats insisted I installed a sprinkler
system.(EU Directive 97/EC/1492BC); then the neighbours complained I’d
violated local by-laws by exceeding permitted height limitations, that
took another three weeks to sort out; then I had to source Gopher Wood
from the sustainable Forest of Dean. Don’t even mention the nightmare
I had about getting the animals-the trouble I’ve had with the RSPCA.
Then the Environmental Agency turned up. They want an Environmental
impact study on your proposed flood.”….”As for the crew.” Noah
continued. “I had the Racial Equality lot here last week demanding we
follow correct interviewing procedures, with the composition of the
crew reflecting diversity among all religious, cultural and ethnic
groups. Its doing my ‘ead in Lord!”
Suddenly the clouds rolled away, the sun came out and a glorious
rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder scratching
his arse. “Lord does this mean you’re not going to destroy the world?”
“No I’m not.” said God. “The Government has already f**ked it for me.”

Certainly made me laugh!

Let me know what you think and please do check out his books. They are based on fact relating to Jews during World War II and the stories and details are brilliant. Amazing writing and truly moving. You can get the books here.

Britain’s Fattest Man


I was watching the tv last night and on channel 4 was a programme called “Britain’s Fattest Man“. The wife usually likes these sort of programmes, so I put it on and start watching. Here is the link for the trailer.

Now I’m sure you’re all thinking the same as I was at the beginning: No sympathy as you’ve gotten yourself in that state. And this is true, no one force-fed him food. We don’t have pity for drug addicts of alcoholics or smokers, so why should he be different? So with this in mind, I began to listen to his story:

He starts off by saying how depressed he gets etc. and hates himself. Well, no sympathy so far. Then you hear the narrator saying how he looked after his poorly mother and was her main carer. This gave him a great deal of stress and his only outlay was food. (ok, I’m feeling a little for him now then, reasons and all that). But he fell out with his sisters as, due to having no money, he persuade his ailing mother to re-mortgage her home to the sum of £10,000! Then they show his room, which has a brand new Windows 7 laptop and a load of other gadgets, which I’m sure cost a pretty penny. This totally removes the sympathy I had started building because there is no way in hell he could earn any money, therefore the tax payer is stumping up the cash for him.

And that was my feeling all the way through to be honest. Probably the accountant coming out in me, but I wondered how much money he has sucked out of the country purely cause he had 4 sausages, a pack of bacon, 4 eggs, hash browns and fried bread for breakfast for Christ knows how long! According to the programme (all endorsed by him, so pretty close to fact I’d say) he was averaging around 20,000 calories a day at the height of his eating:

“Fry up every morning, four sausages, a whole packet of bacon, four eggs, two pieces of fried bread, hash browns,” he said.

“At half ten I’d have sausage rolls, pastries. Lunch would be fish and chips, kebab, and then in the evening time it would be another takeaway.

“In a day I would eat 30-40 chocolate bars, three-four multipacks of 24 crisps.”

The surgeon who took the man’s case was Mr Somers (a consultant bariatric surgeon). In an interview for the BBC News Website, he supported the public funding of the operation, which would cost in the region of £20,000, by claiming the cost of letting him live in this state on government benefits would greatly outweigh the cost of the op. He has a point, but why should we be forced to pay for this man to live purely because he ate the amount he did?

In the programme, it showed Paul after the operation. He was on the phone to his social worked who informed him that his funding had been cut from £750 a week to a mere £300 a week! That’s more than I earn in a week and he broke down in tears saying he wished he’d died on the operating table. I started feeling sorry for him as he broke down in tears at this prospect, but again I couldn’t shake the fact that we’re going through a terrible economic situation in this country at the moment, where education funding is being slashed, public spending is being slashed and then this man is draining £300 a week (£750 prior to filming for god knows how long) from the public’s piggy bank, £20k for his 1 op and the £x.xx amount for his follow-up plastic surgery operations. My wife and I have worked all our lives, have a new child and we’re only just making ends meet.

The end of the programme showed him take ownership of his new, specially made motorized wheelchair. I’m pleased he can get about now, but again, how much did it cost and who paid? I work for a training provider who teaches and helps teenagers get apprenticeships and NVQ‘s and we’ve had our funding cut this year by our new coalition government. How many young people’s education was sacrificed for this selfish man’s new wheels?

Every drop of sympathy I had left me.  Harsh? Yes. Heartless? Possibly. Honest and real? DEFINITELY

In closing, I found these comments on the Channel 4 preview website:

Jax on 05 January 2011 at 20:27What you fail to realise this is a disease. Most people who get this way never feel full, the brain does not communicate properly to their bodies as it would to you or I ,so they have no control over the amount they eat. And you don’t need to be rich to buy food, its cheaper than booze and drugs. Sadly Obesity comes on faster than drug or booze addiction, and takes longer to lose weight then coming of drugs and booze. Even if you limit his diet he will indeed starve to death, as his body is used to certain number of calories, so his weight loss will need to be slowly monitored. Seems we are a nation of people who are far too materialistic, with low morals and little empathy towards our fellow-man,going by some of these comments.I feel good that some of my taxes goes to help people with genuine needs, rather than pay for an MP to have luxuries that most of the nation can’t afford. 

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trixie on 05 January 2011 at 20:16THIS IS A LETTER TO PAUL; Dear Paul, i hope your operation goes well! :)its 50% Hopefully all your family are supporting you every step of the way. May god look down on you and will hold your hand through bad times and good times, remember you can always count on him, what ever the time he’ll be their day and night, may he bless you always 🙂 Britian is behind you x 

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Terry on 05 January 2011 at 19:11I absolutely agree with Frank. This society is democratic for everyone except the tax payer! I’d like someone to ask me what I’d like to spend my hard earned tax money on for a change! As it is I have to cut down on my own food bill to manage my budget; Why? so that I can help this man eat more!!!!! A diabolical state of affairs indeed. 

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FRANK on 05 January 2011 at 18:13It’s disgraceful that the tax payer has to fund this. Where does he get his money from to eat that much anyway, who’s getting and preparing all the food for him. This is not the same as drug addiction or alcoholism, he will not suffer if he is prevented from eating too much, he just will not like it.Stop all his ‘help’ and get real.

I agree with all of this points if truth be known. Frank and Terry are echoing my own sentiments (apart from Frank’s impression that it would be easy and simple for him to lose weight by not eating, anyone who diets will tell you that just ain’t true) and I also agree with Jax on a few points. It is true that food and more importantly, junk food is so cheap and readily available compared to drugs or drink, that obesity is a very real threat. And if I had the choice, I’d rather my tax money go to people who have a problem and need help than a fat-cat politician for his duck house.

As I’m sure you can tell, I have conflicting feelings here. The accountant in me says people like him are leeches and sucking this country dry of valuable resources better spent elsewhere. Then the human being in me says that he has a problem and needs help. We all know the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, but is there really that much done to advertise the dangers and addictions of obesity? Perhaps this is a prime case where our public money would be better spent on prevention. It is better than cure, you know……..

Hòa thượng Thích Quảng Đức


Ok, so self-immolation has been going on for centuries, particularly in India. But for most of the western world, the first time we ever heard of this type of protest was when a buddhist monk in Vietnam sat down at a crossroads in Saigon on 11th June 1963, had 5 litres of gasolene poured over him and dropped a lit match into his lap. He did this in reaction to the Buddhist Crisis  and treatment by the ruling administration in South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem being the president at the time. It was caught on film for the world to see:

I’m not posting this for shock value or for any political reason. I simply think it needs sharing. I think the world needs to see what true devotion and true belief means. Granted, I can’t believe Thích Quảng Đức did such a thing or why ANYONE would do such a thing, but it is amazing what people will do and the lengths they’ll go to for a cause they truly believe in.

I think the other amazing thing about this particular case is Thích Quảng Đức didn’t move or make one sound while he burned. He fell over after his death, but the whole time he sat in the lotus position and never moved a muscle.

 

This also got me to thinking of the student protests going on in London of late over the increase to university fees. The students have resorted to violence to try to get their message across. This, historically, has never been a useful tool in protesting or getting what you want. Generally speaking, it has the adverse effect. I wonder what Thích Quảng Đức would have made of these protesters and their methods. Probably agree that it was pointless and will achieve nothing, but I’m not sure how many people would agree that his way was better (although it could be argued he helped the coup take place)

A Different Image of Russia


Russia come in out of the Communist Cold in 1991. Well, that’s how some see it.

After my school history lessons, I was always under the impression Russian‘s would have enjoyed turning their backs on communism and Imperial rule, but according to this BBC report, maybe that isn’t the case:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/9204815.stm

Of course, I don’t take this as the gospel for Russian society views or how 99% of their population feel, but it does make a lot of sense when you look at the state of their country. Or is this simply how the powers that be want us and their own people to view the situation while they sit there and cream off the cash?

I have to be honest, I’ve no idea to the answer. I’ve no comprehension of Russian politics or the views of the people, but it certainly raises interesting questions, when a country of this size and potential power is so unstable.

Then we come to the pole dancing part. Are women REALLY doing that in Russia? Are things that tight that women perfect their sex skills in order to land a wealthy man and essentially become a wag (something lots of Essex girls would be proud of!)? Or was this a freaky, one-off class for peculiar people? I’ve always heard the rumours that there are more women to men in Russia and the women are gorgeous and the men ugly, but is this proof? The comment I loved was along the lines of :

no real woman would believe in women’s rights

SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!

I think this video has caused me more questions than answers to a subject I had never really given much thought to, even though Russia has always fascinated me. This country is and always has been a sleeping giant, with its wealth of natural resources and HUGE numbers of man power, could potentially be the new China and influence international politics (even more so than they do already). But this could also be linked in with the way the country is run and the views of the people. More investigation is needed I think on my part.