Who Won the Week (16 January 2022)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Who Won The Week prompt

I base these posts on Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, and I use the opportunity just to look at my own newsfeeds.

I wanted to highlight this week the story of Graham Reagan. Mr Reagan is from Malton, in North Yorkshire, and had been feeling rough for a few days with what he thought was indigestion. On this night in particular, Mr Reagan had felt ill enough to go to bed early, but unfortunately it got so bad that by the small hours, he dialled the emergency services.

Mr Reagan was advised to get himself to hospital. But… could he take a taxi, or get a lift?

Because that would be quicker than waiting for an ambulance!

Bearing in mind that it was about 2 AM, Mr Reagan fortunately roused his son to drive him the 20 miles to York Hospital, where he was diagnosed as having a heart attack.

I’ve included a link to my story below. The actual story is the ambulance service apologising after the case was made public.

But I have the deepest of sympathy for them (the ambulance service). I don’t think they have anything to apologise for. The operator simply reported to Mr Reagan that there was a large delay in responding. If there’s a large delay, there’s a large delay – the operator cannot magic ambulances out of thin air and I’m sure the crews are working as quickly as possible to get to people.

If you’re a UK taxpayer, however, or more importantly a voter, it might be worth asking yourself whether the service you think you’ll receive when you pay your taxes is accurate.

It wasn’t for Mr Reagan.

And… I don’t particularly want to make this post personal but when I presented with my stroke, the hospital… sent me home! It wasn’t until two days later, when I re-presented with symptoms that much worse, that they accepted that I was not a malingerer. By then the damage had been done.

But just think, all of you. Will you actually receive the level of care you’d want to receive? It might well be, you vote for tax cuts, and the service you one day need is no longer there.


Reblog: Maya Angelou becomes first black woman to appear on US coin

Had to share this:

Afrique Beat News

African-American poet, author, actress and activist Maya Angelou is the first Black woman to appear on the American quarter, in a new version of the coin unveiled by the US Mint yesterday, the 10th of January 2022.

Angelou was born on the 4th of April in 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. She had a very tough childhood. Her parents divorced when she was very young, became a mother at 16, yet she went on to become an icon.

Maya Angelou

Angelou performed at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, becoming the first black woman to write and perform a poem at a presidential inauguration

Maya, author of the acclaimed 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Singswill also be the first figure commemorated through the American Women Quarters Program, which was signed into law in January 2021.

She received several honorary degrees and wrote over 30 bestselling works. In…

View original post 191 more words

Who Won the Week (9 January 2022)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Who Won The Week prompt

I base these posts on Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, and I use the opportunity just to look at my own newsfeeds.

This one is more relevant to UK readers, but it might be of interest to all of you. Do you remember during all the Black Lives Matter protests? There were protests here, too, and some statues were toppled.

My longtime readers might remember this because I posted at the time. My view was (and still is) that the statues should be left in place, as a reminder. Much as our generation might like to sweep all of humankind’s nastiness under the carpet, pretend it never happened, I don’t think we have the right to erase history.

One such statue was in Bristol. A guy called Colston. He was a major benefactor to the city, which erected a statue in his honour. The problem is that Colston was a slave trader, which offends our 21st century morals. (His time was around 1700, when slavery was condoned.)

So during a Black Lives Matter demo in June 2020, this bronze statue was torn down and dumped in Bristol Harbour.

That was not the end of the matter, though. The UK (the state) identified four of the people involved in the incident, and brought charges of criminal damage against them. That in itself raises question marks. Maybe that should have been the topic of my post? That however “right” these people might have been in the public’s eye, the state still sought to convict them of a crime?

Anyway, the reason this story is in the news again is that their trial concluded last week. In response to a charge of criminal damage, the four argued that the presence of the statue was, in itself, a hate crime, and that as such, they had every right to tear it down.

And, they convinced the jury. That their actions had been justified. So, they walked away, free.

This, for me, is where it gets interesting. About nine months ago, there was also a case where Extinction Rebellion protesters damaged Shell’s head office in the UK, and successfully argued that the damage had been justified. I posted on that here.

Same thing in both cases. The defendants didn’t deny causing the damage – they admitted it but argued that it was justified. And got acquitted as a result.

So it’s interesting that there is a trend seemingly starting to form here, where people can argue “justification” in response to charges of criminal damage. I mean, I guess you’d need a pretty strong argument, but nevertheless, if it is strong enough, a jury will acquit.

This whole legal area of harming something because we believe that it is harming us is fascinating, don’t you think?

Who (Also) Won the Week (2 January 2022)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Who Won The Week prompt

I base these posts on Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, and I use the opportunity just to look at my own newsfeeds.

There was a tiny follow-on to the news yesterday. This New Year was the warmest here since records began. Parts of the UK hit 16C. Don’t worry, I’ll do the sum for you. That’s 61F.

“Records began” here in the 1880s, a hundred fifty years ago. Ish.

Does anybody else get nervous about this? There are 150 other years to choose from, so it is statistically very unlikely that this year should be anything –est. Would you back a horse at 150:1?

Who Won the Week (2 January 2022)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Who Won The Week prompt

I base these posts on Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, and I use the opportunity just to look at my own newsfeeds.

Okay, Christmas is done, the New Year has arrived, let’s get down to business.

I just had a question this week, really. I’m wondering where this Jeffrey Epstein story will go this year.

Epstein, recall, was a convicted sex offender. We might reasonably conclude that he had acted alone, were it not for the conviction, just before Christmas, of Ghislaine Maxwell, for trafficking girls on his behalf.

The story has particular interest in the UK, not only because this crowd were international jetsetters, but also because our very own Prince Andrew has been thrown into the mix.

In the UK, it’s fair to say that the story has been reported with indignation. He couldn’t possibly have done anything. And, how dare someone suggest that he did!

I know from my blogs stats that most of the readers of this post will be American, and Americans might truly (and correctly) see him as just a guy, like anyone else. Who might commit a felony, like anyone else. But the UK is fed a line that our royal family is infallible, that they can do no wrong. Even otherwise objective news channels adopt an air of deference.

And there’s obviously something in what these women are saying, generally, because first Epstein, and now Maxwell, have been convicted.

So I’m just wondering where this story will go with regard to Andrew.

The convictions already secured seem to make the women’s testimonies more, not less, credible. And Virginia Giuffre has accused Andrew of sexual assault So, it could well be that a senior member of the royal family turns out to be a rapist. It’s in the public’s interest to know whether the allegations are true, I think. We fund his lifestyle, after all.

Think about it. All the spin, all the machinery… They’d have you believe that it just isn’t possible. But, isn’t it? Right now, who knows?

If he were found guilty, it would say every bit as much about the “establishment” as it would about Andrew. That the first instinct is to protect its own, rather than to want to get to the bottom of such a serious accusation.

Most of you who know me know that I am a staunch republican, but I don’t think this is a republic/monarchy issue. It goes simply to right and wrong. Of his behaviour as an individual.

If anything, I feel sympathy for our queen because of the undoubted distraction that the story has caused. And, just in general, it must be difficult for a woman when her son is accused of sexual abuse. What if it is true? What would that say about how she’d brought him up? But fundamentally, one person can’t be responsible for somebody else’s conduct.

But I think *his* actions should be investigated, just like mine were when I was accused. And, fortunately, things seem to be moving slowly in that direction.

Who Won the Week (26 December 2021)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Who Won The Week prompt

I base these posts on Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, and I use the opportunity just to look at my own newsfeeds.

I generally like to talk about positives on my blog. Nobody really wants to hear me rant or whine about things, so anything bad, anything sad, anything that makes me mad, I try to keep it to myself.

For similar reasons of positivity, over on Songshine, I commemorate singers’ births, but not their deaths.

But I must admit that yesterday, I shed a little tear for George Michael, who we lost five years ago.

I was tempted to include a small piece of his music here but I think the link below better illustrates why I miss him.

A kind man. There is no finer quality.

Please, if you’re gonna make any resolution next weekend, make it to do something kind.

Who Won the Week (19 December 2021)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Who Won The Week prompt

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.

A nice, benign story for the week before Christmas.

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990 and for the last thirty years has been delivering images such as the Lagoon Nebula

(click through for the full res image – I promise it is worth it).

Well. just a note that Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Telescope, is due to be launched on Christmas Eve.

Everything about Webb is bigger and better. While Hubble’s mirror was “only” 2½ m (8′) in diameter, Webb’s optics include a 6½ m mirror – that’s over 20′!

At a cost of $10 bn, and at half the weight of Hubble, Webb also comes with an impressive array of infra-red sensors to look even deeper into the universe. It will be able not just to find planets outside of our solar system, but to analyse their composition. Not to mention just the thirty-year jump in technology which has seen us become a race reliant on microprocessors for every facet of our lives.

This all fascinates me, because it’s the area in which I studied, in which I started my career.

Never heard of James Webb? He was the chief of NASA during those key Apollo years (1961-8). I tend to see the science of a telescope as discrete from the engineering of a space rocket, but I guess NASA see a link, and this period was certainly its heyday.

Who Won the Week (12 December 2021)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Who Won The Week prompt

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.

I just wanted to share this story with you this week. It’s referring to Austria, so it’s probably not an in-your-face story anywhere (except maybe Austria!), but certainly is available to follow in the rest of Europe.

Once again it is about our old friend COVID. Worried once more about the numbers, the Austrian government announced more lockdown measures, plus mandatory vaccinations. Read that bit again. Mandatory vaccinations.

I’m not going to comment on whether this is good or bad, I’ll let you guys be the judges. I just had the following observations.

  • fundamentally, that Austria has a government which feels it can make such an edict. It must feel that people will either comply, or that it has the means to enforce this. It couldn’t happen in the UK, where there is no real ability to enforce, more of a hope that people will “do the right thing”. (Vaccination rates here are 80-90% so there is, indeed, widespread voluntary compliance.) And I don’t think even the remotest possibility in the US.
  • If you read the story, that vaccinated people came out of lockdown (today), whereas for unvaccinated people, restrictions still apply. So this is an example of discriminatory laws being applied to the population as a whole.

Again, I don’t think this is something that could happen in the UK/US. Sure, people can say “you must be vaccinated, if you wish to work here”, but this stops short of an all-out “you must be vaccinated, or else…”

Think about this for a minute. Vaccinated/unvaccinated. How do they know? It’s one thing, wearing a mask or not – something that’s visible and obvious, but a vaccination?

Spooky, huh?

  • Lastly, the guts of the story. People are out on the streets, protesting, and have been for several weeks. These people are civilised Europeans and seem only to protest at weekends, but the estimate was around 50,000, so a large demonstration, but not large in terms of the population as a whole (9M). We’ve seen in the UK how small groups of people can make a terrific amount of noise, but actually have little support at the ballot box.

Anyway, I just thought you might be interested what’s happening on mainland Europe. The Germans have introduced vaccinated/unvaccinated restrictions, too.

%d bloggers like this: