No ads? Contribute with BitCoins: 16hQid2ddoCwHDWN9NdSnARAfdXc2Shnoa
Aug 132017
 

It wouldn’t surprise me if I have ranted about this before, but I just don’t understand how people decide how some animals are food, and others are “cute” and shouldn’t be harmed. In the later case, there are all sorts of stories on Facebook (and presumably similar places elsewhere) about some sort of animal cruelty to “cute” animals.

Yet most of us ignore the cruelty to food animals, and indeed wild animals. Admittedly most of that cruelty happens behind closed doors with only the occasional peek behind the curtain.

But what really determines whether one species is looked upon as food and another is looked upon as a pet? It cannot be as simple as being cute is the deciding factor, or those of us seen as ugly would also be considered to be a food source.

You could argue that pet animals were formerly work animals of one kind or another, and that certainly applies to dogs and horses, but there are plenty of pet animals it doesn’t apply to – cats (admittedly cats were sometimes tolerated as pest control animals), hamsters, birds, tortoises, reptiles, etc. So that isn’t a good argument.

It is possible to argue that some animals – in particular dogs and horses – have a special place because our partnership with the animal is inherently linked to our survival. But even that doesn’t work – both horses and dogs are eaten all over the world (including Europe).

I have hunted the Internet for possible reasons why we should not eat pets, and whilst there are plenty of pages out there trying to rationalise why we should not, there is nothing that really makes sense. So it might as well be that pets are cute and food animals are not.

Essentially we have a non-rational position on eating pets which is fine. But the rational position is to eat any animal you like the taste of, or to eat none.

Aug 092017
 

It is a bit of an exaggeration to proclaim the death of Youtube, but given the recent changes in how advertising revenue is shared out amongst content creators it is entirely possible. At least in the long term.

For those who have not been made aware, Google has changed how advertising revenue is shared out to content creators, which has resulted in many creators losing incoming; sometimes significant amounts. The intention appears to be to pay advertising revenue to those content creators that advertisers like, which sounds fair enough. But the unintended consequences :-

  1. New content creators will be discouraged because their advertising revenue is likely to be so low as to make it seem impossible to make money with youtube.
  2. Existing content creators who are not ridiculously popular will also be discouraged, and are likely to look for alternatives to youtube that will maintain their income.
  3. Content creators will be encouraged to make middle-of-the-road content that nobody finds offensive, advertisers like, and is popular with the overwhelming majority; in other words just like ordinary TV. Essentially this discourages the kind of content that makes youtube interesting (or at least not as boring as broadcast TV).

Now would be a great time for a competitor to jump in, and encourage content creators to jump ship with a revenue payout mechanism to encourage creative content producers – the small ones and the innovative ones – yes this will mean the larger content creators will lose out, but perhaps they can afford to.

Jul 292017
 

There has been a lot of talk about how the USA pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord is stupid in various forms. Stupid enough that many US cities and states are trying to meet their climate accord obligations independently.

But one thing doesn’t appear to have been mentioned: That the USA made a firm commitment to follow the Paris accords, and then broke that agreement. Which makes the US government oath-breakers – an untrustworthy party when it comes to international agreements.

You can make all sorts of excuses for repudiating the Paris Accord – perhaps it wasn’t in the best interests of the US to take part, or that it was unfair to the US in some way.

But fundamentally, the USA made an agreement and then repudiated it. It is now less trustworthy than it was before.

Jul 132017
 

The BBC is celebrating the decriminalisation of “homosexuality” 50 years after the relevant law was repealed with a series of programmes entitled “Gay Britannia” which is fair enough. It’s certainly worth celebrating.

But there is one strange fact that you will not often hear mentioned: The trailers for Gay Britannia don’t mention it, and you have to look hard at Wikipedia articles to find it. And that is the fact that same-sex relationships between women have never been illegal in the UK.

This is of course a good thing. And neither is it any kind of accusation that lesbian couples had it easy – there would have been plenty of persecutions both large and small.

But it is also worth remembering that it was homosexual men who were executed, imprisoned, and chemically castrated.

In addition there is an interesting point made during the trial of James Pratt and John Smith (the last two men executed for being gay) – that the poor suffered disproportionately because the rich could afford privacy. We don’t tend to think of it today, but in the past it was only the rich who could afford privacy.

Jun 172017
 

So there has been a disaster at Grenfell Tower; who is responsible?

Ultimately the government :-

  • England requires that all new tower blocks higher than 30m must have sprinkler systems fitted (in Scotland the height limit is 18m). So for some reason new towers are unsafe without sprinkler systems and old towers are safe?
  • Allowing a tower block to be clad in a flammable material which has been linked to previous serious fires and is banned in the US. It’s use in a residential tower block is at best foolish. A government report as far back as 2000 suggested that “We do not believe that it should take a serious fire in which many people are killed before all reasonable steps are taken towards minimising the risks”.
  • The appearance of council tower blocks is more important (after all they’re next door to rich neighbourhoods) than the safety of residents.
  • The government believes that regulation and red tape are an unnecessary burden on business; to put it another way, the government would rather let rich people get richer than stop poor people being incinerated in their own homes.

There will be an enquiry into the fire, and undoubtedly the government will find someone other than themselves to blame.

But don’t forget that the ultimate responsibility for warehousing poor people in fire traps lies with the government.

Jun 172017
 

The election result is in, and the Tories have failed; specifically they failed to increase their majority and indeed no longer constitute a majority. Yet the alternatives have failed too.

The likelihood is that the Tories will form the next government propped up by the reactionary Unionists from Northern Ireland. We can crow over May not getting her increased majority, but she is still in number 10. Which means more years of Tory misrule.

So what went wrong?

Well we could argue that factors such as different attitudes to Brexit, doubt over the Labour leader’s leadership, etc. But there are two big factors.

Firstly the media lies by the Tory press (which seems to be pretty much most of them). Whilst the press is owned by a clique of super-rich Tory supporters, the good news is that the newsprint industry is slowly fading into irrelevance – no doubt helped by their ridiculous bias. And tasteless journalism – the sort of which led to the Sun being boycotted in Liverpool.

Secondly, and perhaps the biggest aspect is that a large segment of the working class has bought into the big Tory lie – that they support the ordinary working family and small businesses. In reality Tories support the super rich with their tax cuts, and don’t give a damn about the working class. The real working class.

Which is not what most people think of when they hear that phrase; it is not just the horned handed agricultural labourer and the worn out factory worker, but it also includes office workers, lawyers, “knowledge workers”, etc. It is everyone who works for a living, Somehow workers in the Tory heartlands are fooled into thinking that the Tories are on their side.

What the Tory alternatives need to do is to persuade these deluded workers that voting Tory helps only the super-rich, and not by painting themselves a fetching shade of blue (as New Labour did).

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close