Tag Archive: society

Why Throw Away History?

The Web, History, Link-rot & Crawling Chaos

A Hockey Stick

A Hockey Stick, nothing to do with Climate Change

Again, while checking for link-rot, I came across a broken link on the Crawling Chaos website.  Specifically, it’s when I deal with our introduction to Factory Records and that I played with a hockey team called Northumbria alongside the Tyne Tees Television (TTTV) newsreader called Rod Griffith.

I included a referral link to their old website, http://www.warrm.demon.co.uk/history.htm.  This is now dead so I’ve used the Wayback Machine’s link from 2001 on the page instead.  Using a well known search engine (he he), I now find they are called Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Hockey Club with this website.

1902

It is definitely the same club as there’s another link to this website, a place-marker in a compendium of clubs that has a single piece of history on it – it says “founded 1902”!!

Disappointing

It’s actually more than disappointing, it’s very sad.  There’s a fair bit of history to the club and all they can publicly pronounce is “founded 1902″…   It should be more than this.  The Toon has a history page, only from WW2 mind, but it’s more than nothing.  Spurs like-wise, and it goes back to the 19th century!

It all adds to the guts of what makes a club.

It’s not hard to compile a history for the web.  Once someone has typed it out, it’s not going to change much is it?  It’s history!  The typed words can be copied anywhere.  Any, where.  Even here, say….

A Short History of Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Hockey Club (founded 1902)

From an article dated June 16, 2004 here.

Tynemouth Hockey Club has recently celebrated its centenary year. The club began life playing under the name of North Durham in 1902. At that time most of the players were clergymen who travelled to away games in a horse drawn carriage. Later in the century the club changed its name to Northumbria and played its home games at the Miners’ Welfare ground in the village of Backworth. The club made another move to North Shields where they became known as Tynemouth Hockey Club and played on the ground used by Tynemouth Cricket Club. In 1989 an astro pitch was laid at Wallsend Sports Centre so the club transferred itself to another new location but retained the name of Tynemouth Hockey Club.

In November 1997 Tynemouth Hockey Club moved from Wallsend Sports Centre to two new astro pitches at The Parks, North Shields.

Conclusion

Thanks to The Parks and Ali Gordon for corresponding with a gentleman from Inverness who has sent this photograph to the club. As far as we know it is the oldest surviving photograph that we possess. Durham North as the men’s team was originally called, began life in 1902. The first match was played on 18th October 1902 against Novocastrians. We lost 4-1!

Thanks to The Parks and Ali Gordon for corresponding with a
gentleman from Inverness who has sent this photograph to the club.
As far as we know it is the oldest surviving photograph that we
possess. Durham North as the men’s team was originally called, began
life in 1902. The first match was played on 18th October 1902 against
Novocastrians. We lost 4-1!

This is a very short history, but it’s better than the nothing that is currently shown.  I played for Northumbria (as it then was) at Backworth & Tynemouth from 1972 to around 1980, not too regularly, but enough to feel part of it.

There are some documents that are downloadable, but nothing that exposes the past to a wider audience.  They are nearly all either Word or PDF files!  Totally un-crawlable with the web search spiders.  For instance, in the newsletter for October 2015 here, we find this wonderful photo.

Because it’s wrapped inside a PDF file, no-one would ever know.

I’ve copied it, and the text, as a caption (I’ll pull it, if asked, but one has to consider if my reasons are valid first).  Now, I know my website will be crawled within a few minutes of me posting – this means that all the text will be available for all, the small amount of history from the original website too.

And the Novocastrians as mentioned in the photo?  Yep.  I played against them too.  It’s all fun and it’s a part of many folks’ lives especially in an age of increasing information and decreasing paper records.

This stuff needs to be public and kept else what is a society?  Sometimes looking and talking about history is very comforting.  It’s what some people do when they stop playing, since sport is for younger folks.

Now, because of my SEO skills and experience I can guarantee that if someone searches for Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Hockey Club, Backworth hockey, Tynemouth hockey, Rod Griffith or Novocastrians (say), this page will be there for all to find.

Recent Activity

Recent Activity

On top of that:

  • There seems to be no effort on the part of Pitchero who host the website or whoever else may maintain the website to keep links alive.  The site is riddled with 404s and inconsistencies.
  • Some document files are PDF, some are DOC, some are XLS files.  Some are links to a Pitchero login so are unavailable, except if you login with Facebook ffs!
  • A major part of a sports club is the fixture list.  Some links don’t point to where they should or else the template hasn’t been updated from the 2012-3 season.  Some are XLS files with the same info appearing on other webpages.

It is all a mess, primarily supporting the sponsors’ huge logos and it’s all very sad.  Maybe there’s some information overload for the webmaster, maybe it’s internal politics, maybe too many people have their fingers in the web pie?

It could be so much better, cleaner, consistent and useful to a club member.  I see Steve Troup just joined as a webmaster, hopefully he can tidy things up and get some club history sorted out!

Rant over.

 

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Assange Given Ecuadorian Asylum

Assange Given Ecuadorian Asylum – but what next?

Ecuador Assange Statement

Ecuador Assange Statement

This is the full text released by Ecuador for their reasons for Assange’s successful application.  See original text at the end.

But What is to Happen Now?

For now, Assange will have to stay in the Embassy.  Ecuador has asked for assurances about his safe passage, but as it stands, Hague and Cameron look the foolish chumps for what they are and won’t back down.

My guesses, are:

  1. That Assange will have a “mysterious” accident or similar and the nasty people in the world will breathe a sigh of relief – the embassy is no doubt bugged and all communications in and out religiously monitored.  His undetected escape looks unlikely.   Food, drink or water could be tampered with; holes could be drilled, hypodermics, germs or gas through the walls – who knows?   Like a Sherlock Holmes/locked room mystery,  try the poisoned ice dart through the keyhole?   See http://wramsite.com/forum/topics/breitbart-murder-by-heart-attack-the-cost-of-exposing-our-corrupt  and http://youtu.be/tzIw44w00ow CIA Whistleblower talks about Heart Attack gun
  2. Assange will have to wait for a change in UK government.  Even so,
    • should he get a plane to Ecuador it can be shot down (remember the start of the Rwandan genocide?).
    • Should he get a boat, it can “disappear” in a storm…
    • Should he arrive safely he can be either murdered in secret or by a public presidential decree – remember Trotsky in Mexico, Allende in Chile, Che Guevara in Bolivia, Bin Laden in Pakistan, Rudolf Diesel on the English Channel?
  3. At  low level of current probability, those in charge of the USA and UK must fundamentally change their attitude towards freedom of information and accountability in public office.
    • The emails etc. which are at the real centre of Assange’s troubles show elected and non-elected officials behaving with scant regard to either their own laws, international laws or natural law.
    • It is for them to recognise this which will allow Assange back into normal society and thus face the law courts in Sweden.
    • As I said, a very, very low probability in the current climate since those in power, those in the emails, those on the tapes, those on the videos (like the machine gunning of innocent civilians), all of those need to recognise their culpability at worse, or at least that they’ve been shown to have acted like idiots and now have egg on their face.

Reminder:  The Initial Swedish Set-up

Forgetting the secret US indictment from over a year ago revealed in the Stratfor secrecy emails,  Sweden issued an arrest warrant, then dropped it, then “sort-of” reopened the investigation before barring Assange from Sweden?  I know.  You work it out.  It’s all detailed succinctly in this Telegraph page from June 2012.

Bizarrely though, this Foxnews rant/explanation from Glenn Beck (both not noted for their liberal stance…!) is even better at describing the events for which Assange was arrest warranted with in Sweden.  Pay close attention and you’ll see how what we are now being fed by Hague and the Obama administration is seriously at odds with this very precise investigation and summary made soon after the events in question…  http://youtu.be/npBvNJl6X9w

Ecuador’s Key Points

An English translation of the eleven key points, derived from The Dissenter, is here:

  1. Julian Assange is an award-winning communications professional internationally for his struggle for freedom of expression, press freedom and human rights in general;
  2. That Mr. Assange shared with the global audience was privileged documentary information generated by various sources, and affected employees, countries and organizations;
  3. That there is strong evidence of retaliation by the country or countries that produced the information disclosed by Mr. Assange, retaliation that may endanger their safety, integrity, and even his life;
  4. That, despite diplomatic efforts by Ecuador, countries which have required adequate safeguards to protect the safety and life of Mr. Assange, have refused to facilitate them;
  5. That is certain Ecuadorian authorities that it is possible the extradition of Mr. Assange to a third country outside the European Union without proper guarantees for their safety and personal integrity;
  6. That legal evidence clearly shows that, given an extradition to the United States of America, Mr. Assange would not have a fair trial, could be tried by special courts or military, and it is unlikely that is applied to cruel and degrading , and was sentenced to life imprisonment or capital punishment, which would not respect their human rights;
  7. That while Mr. Assange must answer for the investigation in Sweden, Ecuador is aware that the Swedish prosecutor has had a contradictory attitude that prevented Mr. Assange the full exercise of the legitimate right of defence;
  8. Ecuador is convinced that they have undermined the procedural rights of Mr. Assange during the investigation;
  9. Ecuador has found that Mr. Assange is without protection and assistance to be received from the State which is a citizen;
  10. That, following several public statements and diplomatic communications by officials from Britain, Sweden and USA, it is inferred that these governments would not respect the conventions and treaties, and give priority to domestic law school hierarchy, in violation of rules express universal application and,
  11. That, if Mr. Assange is reduced to custody in Sweden (as is customary in this country), would start a chain of events that would prevent the further protective measures taken to avoid possible extradition to a third country.

What’s clear is that Ecuador is actually in a win-win situation here.

  • LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 22:  A protester wearin...

    LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 22: outside the Ecuadorian embassy.(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

    They recognised the sabre rattling of William Hague and David Cameron for what it is – that the UK cannot pick and choose which international treaties to abide by without acquiring the severest opprobrium of its own people and parliament.

    •  Of course, there’s the “sticks and stones” argument which the government may ignore by barging in, armed to the teeth, anyway, but also the long-lasting risks to the whole British diplomatic force who will be placed in the severest of danger.  This latter they cannot ignore.
    • The memory of the US embassy in Iran lies still, as does the death of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy.
    • How can the UK pontificate on others when behaving worse than a bull in a china shop?
  • Ecuador has its own internal problems and this crisis will strengthen the hand of its President Correa, but also its standing in the eyes of all the little countries of the world, especially those in South America, historically in the thrall of US might.
  • They point out that Assange is only wanted for questioning in Sweden and that Sweden has refused to question Assange on Ecuadorian “land”, the embassy.
  • They point out the red herring issue of Sweden in its entirety, in that several public and private threats have been made or allured to against Assange by the governments of Sweden, USA, UK and that his own country hasn’t offered any protection (of course, we all know that the Aussie government is following the UK & USA like sheep).
  • So Assange is in dire and immediate threat of kidnap, torture, summary trial by a military court, execution or imprisonment in inhumane conditions.  We all know the USA is guilty of this having been caught red handed several times as has the UK in its collusion.
  • So the UK & USA are not havens of justice, guardians of the rights of Man, protectors from dictatorships nor international peacemakers.
    • Their actions from Vietnam through to Chile, from Egypt through to Bahrain, from corrupt banking to multinational deforestation programs, from Stratfor and the secret surveillance society to drone bombings of civilians shows them to be pariah states on the same footing as Zimbabwe or North Korea, say.
    • Ecuador has rightly recognised all of this, and more.

As part of their statement, they stood on the following points  (derived from Google translate!):

a) The asylum, in all its forms, is a fundamental human right which creates obligations erga omnes, that is, “for all” states.

b) The diplomatic asylum, shelter (or territorial asylum), and the right not to be extradited, expelled, delivered or transferred, human rights are comparable, since they are based on the same principles of human protection: no return and no discrimination without any adverse distinction based on race, colour, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, or any other similar criteria.

c) All these forms of protection are governed by the principles pro person (i.e., more favourable to the individual), equality, universality, indivisibility, interrelatedness and interdependence.

d) The protection occurs when the state of asylum, refugee or required, or the protecting power, consider the risk or the fear that the protected person may be a victim of political persecution or political offences against him.

e) The State granting asylum seekers qualify causes, and in case of extradition, assess evidence.

f) No matter which of its forms or forms are present, the seeker is always the same cause and the same legal order, ie, political persecution, which causes it lawful, and safeguard the life, personal safety and freedom of protected person, which is the lawful purpose.

g) The right to asylum is a fundamental human right, therefore, belongs to jus cogens, ie the system of mandatory rules of law recognized by the international community as a whole, do not support a contrary agreement, being null treaties and provisions of international law they oppose.

h) In cases not covered by the law in force, the human person remains under the protection of the principles of humanity and the dictates of public conscience, or are under the protection and authority of the principles of international law derived from established custom, from the principles of humanity and from the dictates of public conscience.

i) Lack of international agreement or domestic legislation of States can not legitimately claim to limit, impair or deny the right to asylum.

j) The rules and principles governing the rights to asylum, extradition no, no delivery, no expulsion and transfer are not converging, as far as is necessary to improve the protection and provide it with maximum efficiency. In this sense they are complementary international law of human rights, the right to asylum and refugee law, and humanitarian law.

k) The rights of protection of the human person are based on ethical principles and values universally accepted and therefore have a humanistic, social, solidarity, welfare, peaceful and humanitarian.

l) All States have the duty to promote the progressive development of international law of human rights through effective national and international action.

  • Here they kick down the quasi-judicious use by the UK of the 1987 Act regarding Embassies and the like in the UK.
  • They state the various rights of Man as defined in the United Nations and elsewhere (in case the UK has forgotten them!!!)
  • They point out the various ethical issues.

Ecuador has produced a clear and unambiguous statement, totally unlike the shadowy cloak and daggers stuff from Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

United pops up a lot in the state’s names.  They’re united, but only united in shame and devilishness corruption.  This is the reason for their stance – it’s nothing to do with national security and everything to do with covering their own backs.

The truth is really out now.  Notably, bonkers Boris has been quiet on the issue so far – he never thought much of Cameron and I guess it’s even less now!

 


Ecuador Statement

Declaración del Gobierno de la República del Ecuador sobre la solicitud de asilo de Julian Assange

Read the rest of this entry >>

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Tories Reveal Authoritarian Roots While Liberals Check Their Shoelaces

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Yet again I’m forced to side with the grinning David Davis.  This doesn’t happen often and is embarrassing to admit!.

ConDem Coalition Pledges Broken!

ConDem Coalition Pledges Broken!

It’s all about the government plans to allow full-scale unauthorised real-time monitoring of every person in the UK’s internet activity!  It’s so 1984.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen” – (George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four
.

Orwell must be turning in his grave in despair that what he predicted as a warning about what not to do, now looks like coming to fruition.

Remarkably, since wangling themselves into government, the conservative-libdem coalition government is now actually dropping a key part of their manifesto which they laboriously agreed two years ago.  This can still be found on the government website, page 11 to be exact (pdf) .  Here’s what they said:

  • The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian…. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power – FAIL
  • …reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion – FAIL
  • … introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation – FAIL
  • …end the storage of internet and email records without good reason – FAIL
  • …a British Bill of Rights that … protects and extends British liberties – FAIL

(Actually, the whole Con-Dem pledge list makes good reading to see just how far removed from it our evil diktat of quangos has become.)

So what to do – use TOR.

ID Cards

Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Photo credit: andreasmarx)

Not so long ago I was haranguing the former Labour government about their plans for ID Cards, their laws over CCTV and photographing in public places, the reduction  in privacy for individuals and the removal of our civil rights over detention without trial, due cause and 3rd party notification for first 90 days and them 42 days.

I left the Labour Party because of it and have not rejoined.

Huge Vocal Resentment Against UK Government Secret Citizen Monitoring Plans.

try the Tor browser bundle

The new news (I thought it was an April Fool joke initially!) is that Email and web use is ‘to be monitored’ under new laws proposed by this nasty, nasty government.  Happily, there is now a huge and vociferous resentment against this from the general public who can see this evil act for what it is.  Top among them is David Davis!  See this link and the thousands of comments for instance; Backlash over email and web monitoring plan.

Clueless

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14

Now, the tories and their liberal stooges have been shown to be both serially evil in their pronouncements and plans, and also serially incompetent of managing almost anything.

Their pathetic management of a minor industrial dispute (the fuel shortage) which did nothing except invoke almost universal resentment of the coalition and reawaken a general awareness of their ineffectiveness comes on top of stripping the very foundations away from one of UK society’s greatest inventions of the Industrial Age, our National Health Service (NHS).

United Kingdom

Top this behavioural abomination with that of the revolving door policy between banking and politics which they continue to promote with zero penalties for failure while the population-at-large have to prop up the whole system with their taxes means only two things to me.

  1. The government must do something desperate to have any hope of re-election in 3 years – this means either war (patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel) or economic boom-and-bust gambling.
  2. They will do something desperate to have any hope of re-election in 3 years – this means either war (patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel) or economic boom-and-bust gambling.

Astute folk will see this as my prediction for government actions over the next 3 years.

Tories: Keep Friends Happy

Meanwhile, hundreds of extra Tory donors will soon be available to bankroll the “all is good” story.  They will arrive as beneficiaries of the windfall provided as the “former NHS” contracts are handed out to friends, much like Michael Ashcroft benefited from the first round of NHS privatisation during the Thatcher era.  This article on Powerbase and this one (sourced from a now defunct article in The Scotsman) show quite clearly that 1/3 of cleaning contracts went to Ashcroft’s businesses during this time, saying;

MICHAEL Ashcroft, (…) bankrolled an “independent” publicity campaign that allowed his multi-million-pound contract cleaning empire to prosper and led to a change in the law. The campaign was run from the London office of the former Conservative Scottish secretary, Michael Forsyth. A spokesman for Mr Ashcroft confirmed last night that he had contributed to the Public and Local Service Efficiency Campaign (PULSE), which was set up in 1985 to persuade the public sector to contract out services such as cleaning and catering. The campaign had been disbanded by the end of the 1980s after the Conservative government passed the 1988 Local Government Act .  Mr Ashcroft’s Hawley Services Group, a contract cleaning firm later known as ADT, flourished under the new regime, with ADT, winning a third of NHS contracts between 1983 and 1988.

For further information into the depths that the Tories will go to enable all public money to be fed straight to their business friends, see this article which pulls apart the dealings of Ashcroft, discredited Dame Shirley Porter, NIMBY Nicholas Ridley, Chris Chope (the dog turd of Christchurch) and current (dodgy expenses, remember) minister Eric Pickles.

THE PICKLES PAPERS

By Tony Grogan
First published by 1 IN 12 PUBLICATIONS 1989
21 – 23 Albion St. Bradford 1.
Copyright 1 IN 12 Publications 1989
ISBN 0 948994 04 5

Once read, apply the same logic to our dear NHS, and weep again.  The same modus operandi is being used;

  1. discredit the current, imply alternatives are better;
  2. farm out internal monies to external Tory benefactors.

It’s just more sleaze just like under Thatcher before, backed up with warlike rhetoric.  Remember, only 10 days ago we had the news of billionaire Tory donors at Cameron’s dinner table, and Cameron trying to defend the cash-for-access news that made Labour’s cash-for-questions scandal appear like a sweetshop-ish wheeze in comparison.  See 

Tory Party chairman Lord Feldman was one of the key figures in the ‘cash for access’ scandal which erupted after Tory party treasurer Peter Cruddas was caught offering a private dinner with David Cameron to undercover reporters who posed as wealthy party donors.  Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2123692/Tory-cash-access-row-David-Cameron-crony-pal-cash-questions.html

as well.

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A police state for benefit claimants? « Ron’s Rants…

It Was labour What Done This…

ESA Notes Sheet ESA 40 04/09

ESA Notes Sheet ESA 40 04/09

That it was.  I first threatened and then did leave the Labour Party over it.  Right at the time they were trying to bring in Identity Cards and lock uncharged people away for 90 days, reduced to 42 days (yes really, they were – It’s like a bad dream) they also added some “rules” for state benefit claimants.  These are well explained at the top of Ron’s blog entry:

A police state for benefit claimants? « Ron’s Rants….

Ron writes;

It’s been brought to my attention that page 16 of the ESA Notes Sheet ESA40 04/09 contains this gem:- You must also tell us if you or your partner (among much else):- My parentheses and italics. go away from home, even if it is for a day

Ron

Ron (for it is he!)

And indeed it is so!  The document can be downloaded in full here on the DirectGov website.  A screenshot I’ve taken, highlighted the important bits and shown it here.  n.b. Ron is disabled, in several ways, not least by having the fat burned from the soles of his feet with a lightning strike!

Why Is This Important?

English: Human Rights logo: "FREE AS A MA...

A.    Well actually, it contravenes everything that Britain and other freedom-loving peoples have fought for regarding the right not just to life, but to a decent life, free of oppression, free to move and enjoy living just for its own sake, the UK having signed up for all of this in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It’s part of the United Nations Charter, adopted in 1948 and part of International Law since 1976.

English: Former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosev...

Image via Wikipedia

Here are the bits in which the highlighted line in the screenshot above breaks the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

  • Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status – BROKEN.  Ron’s status is different from others in that he is disabled.  And, by limiting his freedom of movement as described, this breaks
  • Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. BROKEN.  Ron’s freedom of movement is not the same as those not on benefit.
  • Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  BROKEN.  It is degrading to have to inform faceless bureaucrats of one’s location on a daily basis.
  • Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. BROKEN AGAIN.  It is degrading to have to inform faceless bureaucrats of one’s location on a daily basis.
  • Article 27: Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.  BROKEN:  Ron cannot participate freely.  Neither can his partner (if he has one).  He must inform the government of his movements which then prevents his free enjoyment that life in a free society provides.
  • Article 30: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.  BROKEN.  The UK state has removed Ron’s rights as defined and make law in the articles above.

What Else is Bonkers About This?

You may have noticed I highlighted another line.  For the lazy, this is how it reads, and when you’ve read it, then realise how bad these draconian rules really are:

You must also tell us if you or your partner, DIE!!!

Laughable bureaucracy, eh?

Finale

Of course, I can see why the state may want to do all of this – the powers-that-be have been making a big play in rustling up public opinion against “scroungers”.  But what Labour started, the Tories, as I predicted, have taken all of this up with a vengeance.  True, it’s fine to have paid work and/or a vocation that enervates oneself.  It’s part of the human condition to feel wanted and valued among one’s fellows.  But it’s all wrong to penalise the weakest in society and those that need the most support, by infringing and removing their basic human right of free movement to enjoy the society we’ve created.

Q. How to solve the conundrum?

A.  I don’t know and I don’t care actually, because I’m not in government and don’t have the power to change.

Those that are, you know, the elected or non-elected ones who decide that they’re better than us, they’re the ones who must, should and can change the rules, because they’re the ones that set them up in the first place!

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Whales and Space Demonstrate Contrasts In Humanity

Introduction

Two items on today’s news demonstrated the vast contrasts in our humanity. Stardust probe finds ‘subdued’ comet crater & Japan halts whale hunt after chase by protesters.

Our Absolute Ingenuity and Progress

Four views of comet Tempel 1 as the Stardust spacecraft swept past.

Four views of comet Tempel 1 as the Stardust spacecraft swept past.

The absolute ingenuity of us humans and how far we have come since our cave-dwelling days is supremely demonstrated by the return of pictures by the spacecraft, Stardust.

In this case, 12 years ago, Stardust was launched to look at an asteroid then collect samples from the dust of a comet, Wild 2It did all of this wonderfully.

Then, in the meantime, another spacecraft, Deep Impact, had been launched which crashed a small craft into another comet, Tempel, back in 2005, creating a crater.

The fantastic demonstration of our technical expertise is that almost on a whim, it was decided to get the first craft, Stardust, to have a look at this crater and beam the picture back to us – and it did all of this automatically, 336 million km from Earth, which a radio signal takes 18 minutes to travel!

Evidence of the crater: Left shows a Deep Impact photo from 2005; Right shows Stardust's image with a small extra crater.

Evidence of the crater: Left shows a Deep Impact photo from 2005; Right shows Stardust’s image with a small extra crater.

Our Reluctance to Depart from our Hunter-gatherer Past

Dead Minke Whales On the Nisshin Maru research factory ship

Dead Minke On the Nisshin Maru “research factory ship”

Some people still hunt for sport.  Some nations dress hunting up with weasel words and hide their blood-lust behind the veil of science.  Such a nation is Japan which kills whales for “scientific research” (900-odd this year) yet openly reveals this research as a fraud with with the real goals of short-term monetary gain and blood lust .

Whale for Sale: Sales of whalemeat have fallen, despite promotion

Whale for Sale: Sales of whalemeat have fallen, despite promotion

Here we see an advert for the “research” results.

mmm yummy.

It’s a desperate thing to see this because the Japanese claim that there lots of whales to eat – which was exactly what was said about the blue whale, right whale etc, all of which are now rarities of the ocean when once, they were plentiful.

It’s now being revealed by real research, that the more diverse an ecosystem is (and we live in one, you know), the more chance we will have of surviving all manner of disasters – disease, drought, climate change etc.

Thank Goodness For Bravery

Whalers clash with Conservationists

Whalers clash with Conservationists

So we should all thank the people from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who have peacefully risked their lives “for the bigger picture”.

It’s another aspect of humanity revealed to me today, in the news.

Bravery & Courage.

Ady Gil and Shonan Maru 2 confrontation

Ady Gil and Shonan Maru 2 confrontation

The whalers say constant harassment has forced them to suspend operations – well dah!

That’s the definition of bravery, as seen in these dramatic shots.

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