The Lava Trolley: August 2005

The Lava Trolley

Or is it the lavatory???

...Either case, this little nook on blogasphere is the natural dumping ground for the sort of crap that erupts
when you find a wee Chink in the Britworks...

But hey, I promise you this is steamingly hot shit...which is probably why it's all looking a bit brown!

 

31 August 2005

Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum!

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"If you wish peace, prepare for war."

That was allegedly the motto (albeit paradoxical) when the US and UK went blazing into Iraq two years ago. And I question whether this 'destroy them before they destroy us' philosophy was the true motivation behind the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I was brought up to believe that WWII would not have ended had the atomic bombs not been dropped, and that such destruction on a massive scale was indeed necessary to prevent even more loss of lives (presumably on the side of the Allies).

But then again, there is also the argument that the war would have ended a hell of a lot sooner (and possibly without use of the atomic bombs) if the Americans had put in a little more effort in the first place.

Of course, there is no way we would now know, and any theory critics would come up with can only be conjecture. However, despite all the atrocities the Japanese had committed (especially against those of my racial heritage, though compensation for war crimes, particularly to comfort women, is another debate), there is something about the whole event that doesn't sit right in my gut.

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It would appear from various sources, that the Allied Forces insisted on unconditional surrender, a similar white flag which had already been raised by Germany, whilst the Japanese were adamant that their emperor be allowed to remain where he was - on the throne.

Unfortunately, negotiations broke down...partly because the terms stipulated on both sides were hazy...and the rest, as they say, is history.

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But could more have been done? Could both sides not have worked a little harder at peace?

Documents reveal that Japan was perfectly happy to discuss options over the table, and that it was only a small fraction of the government which was in opposition...namely Minister Anami and cohorts. However, Truman was pressured into making a move to pacify his people over the Pearl Harbour attacks. There was just that small matter of dishing out some revenge with a good helping of stars and stripes...American pride was at stake, and it's payback time!

Hmmm...Now, where have we heard all that before?

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"How could a president, or the others charged with responsibility for the decision, answer to the American people if... after the bloodbath of an invasion of Japan, it became known that a weapon sufficient to end the war had been available by midsummer and was not used?"

And then, there was Stalin, and the threat of Russian Occupation...Basically, the Japs were down to making a decision between two evils...Not much of a choice really.

"This was in fact a race with the Russians. The bomb was to announce to the world American superiority. It would also stop any Russian advance against Japan and create a situation, as happened, in which the US would dominate the occupation of Japan."

According to popular opinion, Japan would have fought to the bitter end, even if it meant sacrificing everyone, right down to the last man, woman and child...Anything but surrender...I don't doubt the depth of Japanese patriotism, but had that been true, even the bombs would not have stopped them.

And indeed, that was very nearly true...until Emperor Hirohito intervened. Would he have stepped in if negotiations had lasted just a little while longer?

"It is fantasy, not history, to believe that the end of the war was at hand before the use of the atomic bomb."

Maybe not, but it could still have ended differently.

Japan had already lost its greatest ally, was attempting peace talks, and that they would eventually have capitulated was only a matter of time.

Furthermore, the bombs were dropped with absolutely no warning...I begin to wonder if Japan would have been brought to heel much quicker had they known the US were seriously intending to use the bomb if that (and a big IF at that) was what it would take to end the war.

Personally, I see more similarities between the bombings of Hiroshima/Nagasaki and 9/11, than I do between the terrorist attacks and Pearl Harbour (which was more of a military base). I'm sure even Muslim fanatics are under the impression that they have no other option apart from terrorist tactics.

We're talking about about the total obliteration of cities...Faster than you can say 'ker-boom', hundreds of thousands of civilian lives, and that of innocent children were extinguished...And of those who survived, many are still suffering from radiation effects today.

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The Allies had managed to gain the upper hand. Dropping the bombs was too much like kicking a man who's already down.

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There is no honour in that.

But hey, who's talking about honour...It's war....And all's fair in love and war, right? Casualties are to be expected...So long as those casualties belong to the side of the enemy, because our lives are worth more than theirs.

Is there any culture which isn't guilty of this attitude?

There is no denying that the consequences of WWII are far-reaching (and the victims are to be sympathised)...but that war belonged to the last millennium with most of its perpetrators either dead or about to die, and yet, here we are, still unable to let go...

The anniversary marking the end of the war was a good example of this fixation with the past, bringing about more controversy over whether Japan has suffered enough, demands for 'proper atonement' (Methinks what will that achieve?), blood, blood, and more blood...so the cycle continues...

And we wonder why human beings can't live together without trying to annihilate one another...

Relevant Articles:
Hiroshima Arguments Rage 60 Years On

Korean WWII Sex Slaves Fight On
Japan's Problem Over the Past
Was Hiroshima Necessary?
War Crimes - Have We Learnt Anything?

Recommended Readings:
Japan War Crimes
Doug Long's Guides

Forum:
Should America Have Dropped the A-Bombs?

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26 August 2005

Isn't it MOO-vellous???

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Believe it or not, this is actually someone's computer...or rather, his CPU...It was built from scratch by the owner using one of those large milk urns.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com MAXIMUM RESPECT!!!

We're hoping to modify my PC too, so that it'll look like a retro hi-hi...Here's the 'blueprint':

(Yes, we designed this ourselves.)

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ICHIBAN!!! Image hosted by Photobucket.com

It will have amber/white LEDs, and amber light glowing through the mesh at the sides. Trickiest bit to fit would most likely be the indicators/barometers/equalizers/whatever-they're-called...Not to worry, we have a cunning plan...

But first, we need to get the dosh to finance this project...any kind volunteers feeling particularly wealthy today? Image hosted by Photobucket.com


For more info about modz, check out Bit-Tech.

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16 August 2005

UK Police in Firing Line

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...Damme...what a shit time for this to happen!

Security has already been compromised because of the terrorist attacks in London, and now we have a huge question mark hanging over our law enforcers because of the Menezes shooting. Survivors, such as Davinia Turrell (an ex-classmate of my cousin, whom I've heard is now doing ok) and the loved ones of the bomb victims have barely recovered, and already we have another crisis at hand, on top of other threats from Al Qaeda. Can no one get anything right these days???!

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Ok...perhaps that was a bit harsh...I'll take it back...

...After all, emergency services did a brilliant job during the rescue mission...No easy task, given the horrors that had taken place...And kudos to everyone else who put on a brave face, especially Londoners and tourists. We were understandably wary, but determined to carry on with our lives, refusing to be intimidated...My dad and I went shopping right in the heart of London (via tube) a couple of days after the attacks, and the capital was teeming as usual...The terrorists have done nothing but achieve the opposite of what they have intended - The British are not cowering in terror.

Most commendable of all were the British Muslims who condemned the fanatics, and even the government deserves some credit for immediately pointing out that the bombings were not a true reflection of Islam (that was perhaps lacking in 9/11 when 'Jihad' seemed to be the buzzword of that time), and anyone who takes this out on the Muslim community would be relegated to the same ranks as the terrorists themselves.

My friends and family were very lucky to have been largely unaffected by the attacks. I have two cousins living in London, and one of them would normally take the tube on the Aldgate line to work...It so happened that he left home early that morning to attend a meeting at work. We didn't know that, and panicked a little when he didn't return our calls. But he let us know he was ok as soon as the meeting was over, so everyone could breathe a sigh of relief. Phew!!!

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The news that day came as a bit of a bombshell (I'd only just got out of the shower, and was planning a nice shopping trip down in...guess where?!!!), though I have to admit no one was entirely surprised...As Sir John Stevens, Head of Metropolitan Police has said about terrorism in Britain, "it's not a matter of if but when"...

...But what I was completely unprepared for was the shooting of an innocent man by, of all people, the police.

"Leaked documents appear to contradict the official account of how police mistook a Brazilian man for a suicide bomber and shot him."

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...This puts a completely different spin on things.

Don't get me wrong. I was all for the 'shoot to kill' policy when I'd first heard of Menezes death, and I still am. However, 'shoot to kill' (why else would anyone be waving loaded firearms about???) is very different from 'shoot first, ask questions later'.

According to news from the last couple of days, the police have lied to us.

I saw a recently released picture of Menezes' body on the floor of the train carriage, and it was blatantly obvious he did not have on a thick padded jacket which could have concealed a bomb. So the police are definitely short of one excuse. And if the reports leaked to the press are true, they have even less reason than that to open fire on the poor man.

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Behold the discrepancies.

Their case is looking decidedly shaky, isn't it?

"Scotland Yard 'initially resisted' the investigation into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has said."

I can appreciate the reason behind a cover-up, since the last thing we need right now is lack of confidence in police integrity. Think of all the damage that could do to National Security...However, the attempt to hide their blunders from us only makes the very system we're supposed to trust seem all the more sinister. Perhaps less damage would have been done if they'd simply admitted the blunders from the outset and tried to make amends. This whole issue would probably not be dragging on for as long as it has been. Why make things worse?

I believe the fault lies mainly with the police, and the public deserves an explanation. However, I also have to point out that these allegations are just that - allegations. Since the inquiry is still going on, nothing has been confirmed...yet.

Should it come to light that the police were telling the truth, then I am with them every step of the way.


"'This is causing shock and dismay in the Muslim community,' said Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain...'We believe it is absolutely vital that the utmost care is taken to ensure that innocent people are not killed due to over-zealousness.'"
Innocent?

Let's put it this way...If armed policemen were pointing their weapons at me, and asking me to stay put, I don't know about you but I jolly well would!!!


Come on, London has just been attacked by suicide bombers, tons of people have been killed and injured, more attacks are on the cards, and a shifty-looking suspect starts running away when approached by ARMED police, what do you think they were to make of it? Of course they'd expect the worst.

It's not like police go out and about with guns blazing ALL the time? I think you'll agree that this sort of situation calls for a temporary change of protocol.

Under the circumstances, I think our police had no choice but to open fire. Anti-war protesters can chant all they like, but the fact remains that there was no other alternative. Had Menezes been a REAL suicide bomber, there would be nothing quicker and more effective in preventing him from setting off bombs than a bullet through the head. If he didn't want to get killed, he shouldn't have tried to run away...What did he think those guns were? Super Soakers???!

Sure, maybe the police could have stopped him while he was on the bus...But has no one thought that perhaps the officers trailing him were trying to work out what he was going to do next? If police accounts are right, then they DID try to stop him without resorting to violence, but he ran from them, even went so far as to vault a ticket barrier...What if he HAD a bomb on him, and no one tried to put him down?

I leave that bit to your imagination.

No one who is entirely innocent of crime would have tried to run, which leads me to believe that someone doing this has something to hide.

But...all this is now academic, since doubt has recently been cast on evidence provided by police, and with good reason. As I have already said, the 'shoot to kill' policy can only be justified if the ones in charge of protecting the public were given no alternative, and that all events pointed to possible guilt.

Unfortunately, it appears that there is every likelihood we should begin to fear the very authority that's meant to be keeping us safe...

...and the big blast that's about to shake up police ranks looks set to cause far more damage than 7/7.

Related Articles:
London Bombings
Indepth - London Attacks
Police Admit Tragic Error
UK Muslims Alarmed
Major Defends Police in Shooting
Leak Disputes Menezes Death Story
Met 'Resisted Tuve Death Probe'

Sign the 7/7 Book of Condolence.

Post-A-Prayer

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09 August 2005

It's a bloomin' circus...

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Now, I can understand why putting animals behind bars is cruel, but should we view working animals as an atrocity?

It's only a thought...I haven't really got a stand on this as I'm still brooding over it...Must have been the dead squirrel I saw this morning that set it off...The poor thing had been hit by a car, but somehow managed to crawl onto the pavement before popping its furry clogs.

The way I see it is - So long as the animals are well looked after, and are given as much freedom as possible in a natural (albeit pseudo) habitat (say a small nature reserve etc, as opposed to a cage!), and not tortured with chains and whips, I can see no harm in them engaging in relevant employment.

The argument against this is that it's all rather unnatural, and that these creatures never asked to be domesticated thus...

Well, neither did us humans...

Had we clung to our primitive instincts and not evolved up to the top of the food chain, we'd most likely still be scratching a living in a cave (That'll keep the tree-huggers happy!)...As it is, most of us work day-in and day-out, just so we can afford to have a roof over our heads, and our bank account in credit...And yet, by the time it comes for us to rest, we're too tired to enjoy our hard-earned bounty, let alone merit a round of applause!!!

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And in addition, we are responsible for our personal hygiene, cleaning our homes, feeding ourselves etc etc etc. Still, we survive, and carry on without complaints (most of the time...well, not like we have a choice!). Some of us are even lucky enough to have a job that satisfies us...much in the same way a canine might enjoy sniffing things out or chasing after things, I suppose...Loads of lovely tidbits at the end of it, with plenty of praise and cuddles to boot, and they've got a reason to keep their tails wagging.

Give me a dog's life anytime!

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PS - Forgot to add...Happy National Day to all my friends from Singapore!

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08 August 2005

The future's sooo bright...


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...I'm actually squinting!!!

Or is it just the glaring sunlight???

Anyhow, I've finally graduated, and am a Bachelor of Arts holder at long last Image hosted by Photobucket.com ...and as already mentioned in a previous post, I've found meself a new job...and one that allows me to continue with my other freelance work as well!!! Image hosted by Photobucket.com

And before you ask, yes...I've got loads of new images...I just haven't uploaded any yet...Got some new of pics my little one as well, but again, not had time to put them up, so you'll just have to be content with this one for now...hehe...I'll see if I can get the photos placed at my site by the end of this week...

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06 August 2005

Dumbstruck!!!

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*Note: Do not continue if you have yet to read the latest instalment of Harry Potter as this entry contains spoilers.

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NOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!!!!!!

I can't believe Dumbledore's dead!!! *GASP* Shock...Horror!!! Image hosted by Photobucket.com

First Sirius, now Dumby...Who next? All the good guys are dropping like flies!!!

As you can tell, The Half-Blood Prince is no less gripping than its predecessors. I had originally planned to wait for the paperback version to come out, but alas, have sucuumbed to temptation and got myself the hardback from Tesco's, which I promptly finished reading within 24 hours...

Everyone's now speculating what the outcome will be...Is Harry the 6th Horcrux? Hmm...maybe, though it's not like Rowling to make things so easy for readers to suss out...Furthermore, no matter how unintentional its making had been, I'm sure Voldemort would be aware of where bits of his soul reside, making the notion of Harry as a Horcrux highly unlikely, given the fact that he-who-must-not-be-named keeps trying to do 'the-chosen-one' in!

Is Snape only pretending to be Voldemort's underling? (Highly possible...He does have some redeeming qualities, after all...well, not a lot, but...Hmmm...maybe Dumbledore planned his 'murder' so that Snape's role as the dark lord's follower would seem more convincing? Nope...maybe not...too obvious...) I have to admit I have a strange feeling it's not the last we'll hear of Dumbledore, or of Sirius either...How they will be resurrected remains to be seen though...Rowling's going to have to work some of her mojo to keep the end from being predictable, without upsetting us potty muggle fans by killing off more heroes/heroines!

Mind you, Rowling's overlooked certain 'loopholes' in the plot of her most recent offering...I'm not entirely convinced that Dumbledore's death couldn't have been prevented...I mean, it's all a wee bit 'Hollywood' if you ask me!

With that huge vat of Luck Virus...er...opps, sorry...Luck Potion (was thinking of Red Dwarf there!) still left in the Slughorn's classroom, I find it difficult to believe no one thought of using it when Harry and Hogwart's Headmaster went hunting for that Horcrux (and yet Potter was happily dealing out his personal stash to his mates before he left)...Also, why didn't Dumbledore release Harry from the spell once it was clear none of the Death Eaters on the tower knew he was lurking there in his invisible cloak???

Plus, the bites Bill got from that werewolf fellow...Could Falkes not heal them?

"This potion cannot be parted by hand, Vanished, parted, scooped up
or siphoned away, nor can it be Transfigured, Charmed or otherwise made to
change its nature."

Yeeaaaah...okaaaay...so how would you explain the crystal goblet you miraculously appropriated to 'scoop' up the contents of that basin? Ah, but I forget...it's magic...Hmmm...flakey...very flakey...Somehow, that explanation is just a little too pat for my liking!

Still, it's got to be better than watching the films!!!

Buy:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Harry Potter Boxed Set


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More about Harry Potter.

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05 August 2005

Stop bugging me!!!

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Yes, I do realise I've promised everyone loads of things, but I'm not a miracle-worker!!!

I'll update my site once I get the time (in fact, Mystery Place has just been updated!), and will deal with all other requests in time...Just be patient...Hassling me ain't gonna make things happen any quicker!!! Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I've got a lot on my plate right now...I've got a part-time position at a New Media company SEG Digital (Look! I updated the news in the right-hand panels! I'm well-chuffed to have got this job as it also means I'll quite possibly have a future in Graphic Design! Image hosted by Photobucket.com ) in Poulton, and am currently working with a few photographers on a freelance basis to build up my styling portfolio whilst teaching myself Flash...so please bear with me...I always get there eventually.

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