Saturday, 29 June 2013

Just too many people and far too many of the wrong type of personal transport!

"the Toll Road has totally failed to divert traffic".  This is untrue.  The large bulk of the 34,000 vehicles using it each day would otherwise be on the M6.  From my calculation, at 7 miles traveled for a litre of fuel (or, 4 litres used to motor along the M6 Toll), the toll charge is similar to what most motorists are paying in fuel for the 27 miles and the £11 charge for HGVs must be much less than their fuel used in the 27 miles.  Therefore, the charge is well worth paying for the fast diversion of the congested and often stop/start M6.

On the other hand, much of the road that runs parallel to the M6 Toll is restricted to 50 mph.  For cars, 55 mph in top gear is the optimum speed for maximum fuel saving and lowest carbon emissions.  But, stop start congestion on the M6 is not!

If a car's running costs are 44p per mile, the £5.50 toll is 48% of the running costs for the 27 miles.

34,000 motorists, I think, are very sensible in paying it.  I am one motorist who would not want to discourage them from doing so!  The M6 Toll is a great success for the 34,000 using it every day and they can easily afford to pay the toll when you take into account all the other costs in buying and using a car that are many times greater.  We all, somehow, manage to find the money to swan around in our cars but cannot, so easily, find the money for parking fees and tolls!

MEL, the owners are heavily in debt from the construction of the road.  They are also committed to paying £100m towards the construction of the link road to the M54.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Make love not war, you war mongering Brits!

"I love you", he said.

"I'm sorry", she replied before he went back down to his prison cell for five years.

A young, "exemplary Maths teacher" fell in love with a pupil who fully returned that love.  Everything was consensual, including the few months of under-age sex and the running away to France for seven days.  Yet, he was branded a paedophile, as having groomed the young 15 year old woman and, as having abducted her for his own evil ends.  He got a sentence of 5.5 years in prison (actually, for telling the truth over the five times they had sex) and can never again work with children, even in a voluntary capacity.  He was labelled a sex offender for the rest of his life.  All this, when the pair are likely to stay in touch while he is in prison.  What a waste of an excellent and promising young teacher who loved and loved deeply for a young woman, now 16, who seems to have felt exactly the same for him.

From a similar case with one of my daughter's teachers who was also respected and well liked by staff and pupils, Jeremy Forrest will end up marrying the woman when he comes out of prison.  Has society really acted responsibly and proportionally and sensibly?

In shocking contrast, all the main political parties, on both sides of the Atlantic, have waged what will be a 13 year war of terrorism, invasion and occupation of two defenceless Muslim nations in the Middle East.  This war crime has gone unpunished and has been widely accepted as being a necessary evil to bring democracy and freedom to all in Iraq and Afghanistan and, education for girls.  With over a decade of aggression and killings by the rich and powerful West to, supposedly, prevent terrorism in the US and the UK , there has been no widespread protest by Christians who vote, en masse for the war parties.  What truly warped thinking.  What truly immoral and illegal behaviour for two supposedly advanced and civilised nations.   And, nations founded on the Bible, too.  Perhaps, that explains it (from the violent history of Israel in the Old Testament)!

In my daughter's class, I thought the young teacher was an excellent prospect for my own daughter!  There was nothing wrong with the young man but he was sentenced to twelve months in prison as a lesson to others, the judge said.  It was such an effective lesson that Jeremy Forrest had never heard of what happened to my daughter's teacher.  Forrest had no idea that society took that kind of thing more seriously than our society's invasion, occupation and slaughter in defenceless Muslim lands for twelve years and rising.

What a truly punitive, condemnatory, revengeful and sick society I  live in.  "Make love not war"  John Lennon.

Armed Forces Day to show reverent respect

How would you like it if the armed forces of another country occupied Halesowen for twelve years to change the way we do things, really quite radically?  One radical change was to bring in voting that, surprise, surprise brought in a compliant government wholly in agreement with the armed forces coercing or forcing the changes the foreign government wanted to see in Halesowen?

In other words, bringing democracy down the barrel of a gun, exactly what we didn't like, one little bit when another world leader (China in the 1950s, 60s, 70s) wanted his way of doing things forced down the throats of the people, via the barrel of a gun.

Remember, democracy only means voting every five years to bring in a very similar government (but with a different name, admittedly) to the previous one.

In addition, our so sincere and well-meaning armed forces have so stirred things up in these foreign lands that many tens of thousands of their men, women and children have been killed in the War of Terrorism.  WE, in the West, are directly and indirectly responsible for these crimes against humanity.  But, we certainly don't think so.  Rather than feeling some discomfort at cutting the lives of foreigners short, we rejoice at what our armed forces have done - calling them heroes and having a special day of commemoration and celebration for the fine things they have done on our behalf.

We cannot even have the honesty to graciously admit that we have lost this fourth Anglo-Afghan war and lost it years before we finally pull out in 2014.  The Vietnam War all over again.  When will we ever learn?

By the way, this makes for four losses in a row, our armed forces are so incompetent.  Every war was fully supported by the main democratic political parties of their time, too.  What a disgrace!  Therefore, is it really worth imposing democracy down the barrel of a gun in foreign lands far from our shores that we never go on holiday to, anyway because of the mess we have left them in?

What a truly sick society we live in.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

My serene, royal-like escort of the Swiss bound Triumvirate - was not!

Jon asked me if I would like to escort Mike, Joe and him on the safer/best cycle route to New Street Sta for the 8.5 miles from Halesowen to the city centre.  I jumped at the chance, without even modifying the invitation by saying that it all depended on it being dry - it was not!

The showers were the least of our troubles.  Things went awry from the outset.  We left at 1230 instead of 1200 for the 1350 train to Euston.  Next, my bypassing of a huge deep puddle on my cycle/footway route, unexpectedly for me, led us to a kerb that was not dropped to a smooth ramp back to the road.  Mike said, "Roads, for my bike, Tim."

I managed to lose my party going down a hill, signalling left but none of the three saw it.  As I hastily cycled back up the slope, I saw them flash past me.  I caught them and we quickly had to cycle the wrong way down a one way residential road to get back on route.

Again in Harborne, we were delayed by Mike's chain coming off the big front wheel and jamming between the very bottom of the frame and the chainwheel.  Joseph then Mike managed to free it without the much needed screwdriver.  At that stop we noticed that Mike's rear tyre was soft.  Joe quickly pumped it up.  We had more stops for the re-inflation and my losing the others again until, just under a mile from the station further pumping was pointless.  Jon quickly cycled ahead to get the tickets while I walked with Mike and Joe to the station - in the nick of time.  Jon texted from the train that due to them loading the bikes on, it delayed the departure by one minute.  In London they soon found a Halfords that fixed the problem.  He texted, "This is turning into quite a challenge just getting through the UK!"

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Terrorists = Enemies

Isn't it funny how we use words to downplay our feelings of guilt; to put ourselves in the best possible light?  Hence, if foreign troops were in our country thinking that they can put us right and much improve the way we do things, we would call our men of violence fighting the enemy, resistance fighters.  We call the equivalent men of violence fighting our best intentioned armed forces in Afghanistan, the resurgence.

The West now calls its enemies 'terrorists' to help justify the West's war crimes of aggression.  For me, NATO's armed forces are also the men of violence, killing and maiming (but not in my name) to stupidly think they can defeat terrorism and bring voting to all (democracy) down the barrel of a gun!  How immoral.

Bishop Tutu called 9/11 an act of terrorism, not an act of war.  The surviving perpetrators needed to be brought to justice in a court of law.  Instead, the West had hundreds of thousands more innocents slaughtered since their commencement of their War of Terrorism on 10/7 (7 October 2001).  Except, they were foreigners in far off lands, so that was OK.  How despicable!

All the main Western political parties think they can get rid of terrorism by doing it better; defeating evil by doing evil in a bigger and grander and more successful way in the war of terrorism!  How foolish!