By a complete accident I kicked one of the dogs’ kennels yesterday evening and sustained an injury to the big toe on my right foot. This caused me to have a great deal of trouble getting to sleep last night. A very unusual occurrence for me. Thus, this morning I was not my usual bright-eyed and aware-of-my-surroundings self when I went to check on Simon’s pool and adjust the chemical levels. The pain had subsided somewhat and I hardly hobbled at all as I walked down there. Neglecting to push open the pool equipment room door and stand back as I usually do, I just blundered blindly in. I say blindly because the sun was up and I went from bright sunshine to an unlit windowless room. As I passed through the doorway I felt something drop onto my neck. It felt unusual. I’m used to spiders webs, spiders themselves and little ghekkos but this had an altogether different feel. I brushed it off and as it fell to the floor at my feet my slowly adjusting eyes made out the shape of a small, but venomous snake. A Viper to be exact. I took a couple of steps smartly to the rear (which made my toe hurt like hell again) and banged my head on the door frame (it isn’t high enough). Which is why I now have a headache and a very painful toe again. I’m not going to do anything else today. Bah!

Playing about with my camera the other day I decided to take some self portraits to make new avatars for the forums I belong to. This is the one I like best although I had to leave my glasses off so the flash wouldn’t reflect off them.


In a completely different vein…

I steer clear of posting about politics, for two reasons. I don’t know enough about it and what little I do know is enough to make me disgusted with the whole thing. I’ll stop there because I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck rising along with my blood pressure. However, I was reading, online, one of the Turkish newspapers (Hurriyet) and came across an article about the Expense Allowances of British politicians and their abuse of the system. Back in the eighties there was a TV show presented by Derek Jameson, a veteran Fleet Street journalist who used to talk about how the rest of the world sees us. It was quite eye opening to see how the British are seen in different parts of the world. This article put me in mind of that column I used to read…

A Bird’s Eye View: When is enough enough?

Human greed continues as we read about the scandal that broke out in the United Kingdom when members of parliament were accused of misusing taxpayers’ money.

According to the rules, members of parliament may recoup expenses that are made “wholly, exclusively and necessarily” in pursuit of their parliamentary duties. MP’s were found to have used taxpayer’s money to purchase toilet seats, clean swimming pools, moats and add fake Tudor beams to their houses. Other MP’s purchased dog food, toilet brushes. Another one claimed a mortage that he had already paid.

Leaders of the three main parties apologized for the abuse of the expenses system. However,what we cannot understand is the stupidity of the MP’s who cannot realize that by their actions they are undermining the last remnants of democracy in their country. Democracy has already been undermined in the U.K. by the Big Brother mentality prevailing in that country that has installed more cameras than there are humans to monitor their movements. But by misusing taxpayer money at a moment when the humans of the U.K. are asked to fasten their belts and are being laid off as a consequence of the global financial crisis, is like asking for voters not to vote for them. And if that happens and no one is voted into parliament then the U.K. will face a problem of democracy and democratic institutions. It also paves the way for the re-emergence of fascist parties that would like to see the imposition of a one-party state. The arguments for potential fascist movements have been given free of charge by the MP’s.

So it is not enough to apologize. It is not enough to return misused funds. It is not enough to fire ministers. Not even the resignation of all the MP’s in parliament would be enough. What is immediately needed is for the MP’s to change the legislation that they themselves created so that it would be impossible for them to misuse funds in the future. Only that measure may save what is left of democracy in the U.K.

And speaking about democracy, Greece, who invented it, is doing its utmost to protect it. Greece’s data protection agency has prohibited vehicles manned by Google’s Street View drivers from the country. The agency said the search engine would have to provide additional information and concrete guarantees that the service was not an invasion of personal privacy before expanding the program to Greece. “We are not going to allow our country to become a Big Brother Society,” said an agency official. Greece has draconian rules concerning protection of private data and CCTV cameras are quite rare in comparison with the U.K. and other EU countries. So bravo to the Greeks and may others follow their example.

Ponder our thoughts dear humans for your benefit.

It would be nice to think that a lot of MPs in Westminster are remorseful for their actions, sadly I think the only remorse likely to be felt will be for getting caught and losing their allowances and jobs.

Well done the whistleblowers!

Posted June 7, 2009 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized

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