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News in Brief


Jewish Group Accuses Israel of 'Genocide'

Holocaust survivors and their descendents have accused Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in Gaza.

Fidelity to allow bitcoins in IRAs

Savers can now include Bitcoins in their IRAs - this is a significant move for Bitcoin.

Police Chief to be paid in Bitcoins

Further confirmation of the growth and utility of crypto-currencies

Hypocritical mourning for Mandela

Ironic to see all the Thatcher and Reagan adoring politicians mourning the death of Mandela.

Red Cross provide emergency food aid for UK

For the first time since WWII the UK is so poor that it's people will get help from the Red Cross

Congress backs terrorists in Syria ...

... then says we need NSA spying because there are terrorists in Syria. Duh!!

Recession hit Britons withdraw £23bn from savings

Squeezed by a drop of 13% in household income and real inflation rates of around 8%, the British are forced to withdraw their long term savings.

US Corporations to be granted 'Religious Freedom'?

Now that US Corporations are legal entities with constitutional rights of free speech, the next target is to give them freedom of religion, so that they can dictate to human females how they should live their lives.

The Accelerating Demise of our Oceans

Foreign Affairs report into the accelerating death of our oceans from fertilizers, pesticides, waste, industrial heavy metals and over-fishing.

Hidden metaphors get under our skin

Scientific American is starting to catch up with some of George Lakoff's work on Metaphor.

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Sunlight Through Troubled Times          January 13, 2017          

"The Troubles" of Northern Ireland really came to a head in 1969, when, as a result of escalating sectarian conflict, British troops were deployed to Belfast and (London)Derry to act as a buffer between the 'Nationalists' (mostly Catholic) and the 'Loyalists' (mostly Protestant).

Initially the troops were welcomed by the nationalists but inevitably, as time passed, the troops found themselves attacked on both sides, loved by none. Although violence and the killings peaked in the seventies, the low-level war continued into the nineties.

At one point, during Operation Motorman (which the author witnessed first hand), there were nearly 25,000 troops deployed. By the time the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998, over three and a half thousand people had been killed, and many more wounded, as the violence spread from Northern Ireland to Eire, England and even mainland Europe.

How did this come about? There were long-term grievances held by a signifi.....

                               ... read more

Beyond Zealots and Cold-War Warriors          

World War III is on it's way - according to a recent poll of Western opinion. A cursory glance at recent headlines suggests it may be so. There are countless examples of hysterical outbursts against the evils of Russia or China or both. Old cold-war warriors are champing at the bit - nostrils flar..... ... read more
A Vandal at the Gates of Rome          

There is both a doubly delicious irony in the selection of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States and a certain historical resonance. Irony is to be found in Trump's appeal to the 'downtrodden masses' as their champion against the banks, billionaires and bailouts. A mob-connected ..... ... read more
Are you conscious?          

Stop for a moment and become aware of yourself. Feel your body, if you are sitting, feel your bottom on your seat, perhaps your legs are crossed and becoming uncomfortable? Is your back straight - perhaps it is straighter now you have noticed it? How about smells? What can you smell coming from th..... ... read more
Brave New World?          

I read the news today, oh boy! Microsoft plan to ‘solve’ cancer in the next ten years. Their biological computation unit thinks of treating cancer like a computer virus. Their aim is to make cells into ‘living computers’ which can then be reprogrammed if they get a disease. G..... ... read more
Stop, for a moment.          

A movement occurred. In nothing. The nothing that some would come to call the mind of God. What science would call a singularity, an un-manifest universe – without time or space. Before, it was a mind in meditation. Empty. Still. A unity. Pure consciousness, bliss, being. One without a secon..... ... read more
Rupert's Coup          

Well! That's that, then. All done and dusted. The Dirty Digger has got his way. Murdoch has never liked the European Union - he once said: "When I go to Downing Street, they do what I say. When I go to Brussels, they take no notice"! Having thrown his weight behind Brexit (see here and here) he ha..... ... read more
Between a Shill and a Hard Case          

The philosophy of the Nazi Party in Hitler's Germany was a combination of fascism and racism. Fascism has been defined as the merger of State and the Corporate sector. Fascism abhors democracy and requires a strong leader, whether he be a dictator or notionally elected (as Hitler was). For some ti..... ... read more
Swimming in a sea of sugar          

This image is taken from today's Independent, which reports that obese men have just a 1 in 210 chance of achieving a healthy body-weight. For severely obese men, prospects are even worse, down to 1 in 1,290. While significant numbers can achieve a 5% weight loss in a given year, they normally reg..... ... read more
Information Rich, Attention Poor          

Most days I spend some time visiting various on-line news sites (a selection of which are available on the Home page). Over recent years, I have become increasingly aware of mis-spelling and mis-prints, particularly in the more traditional journals, like The Independent or The Telegraph. I am at t..... ... read more
Nerds need to get out more ...          

Steve Wozniak, the technical founder of Apple, is reported to have resigned himself to life as the pet of a robot. Unlike the Terminator SkyNet view of the future, Wozniak believes that, as robots become more intelligent than us, they will also be benevolent, recognizing the value of earth's nat..... ... read more
There is a homunculus at the end of the garden path          

Have you ever found yourself indulgently smiling at the silly ideas humans used to have about how the earth was flat and you might sail off the edge, or how when we are sick it is because little demons have taken possession of us? Well, stand back and look around, because not too much has changed!..... ... read more
Welcome Home          

When we try to understand our history, we are usually presented with a narrative about a relatively small group of people: kings, emperors, churchmen, explorers, politicians etc. The impression is that they made our world as it is today. We should be grateful to them for organizing and directing ou..... ... read more