Monday, January 28, 2008

Japanese Micro Bikini Swimsuits .

Women spend so much money on clothes they are always looking for something new. As the days are getting longer many women are dreaming of the summer when they can dress in swimsuits and play in and around pools. Some swimsuits are boring but these Japanese Micro Bikini Swimsuits are refreshingly different. The view of the back is the ultimate of cool.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Giuliano's of Barry.

I had a dinner with friends last night at Giuliano's whose address is 1, The Parade, Barry, South Glamorgan CF62 6SD and they have a telephone number of 01446 733340 - I have not seen any mention of them on the internet.

This is an Italian restaurant which is opposite the Green King pub called The Ship. Green King offer value meals and Giuliano's is in a different league.

I had Bruschetta for a starter and Veal with Parma Ham and Mozzarella cheese for my main course. The Bruschetta was nice and the Veal with ham and cheese was to die for, it was gorgeous. All main courses come with saute potatoes and vegetables which on the day were carrots and cauliflower cheese. The quality was spot on, I cannot fault the food here. It is a lot more than we usually pay but you can taste the difference and you get what you pay for.

The beer on offer was different, it was draft Poretti and I enjoyed it big time.

All in all, you pay a bit more but it is worth it. A definite buy for that special birthday meal.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fire brigade 'discriminating against white men .

A fire brigade has been accused of pursuing a policy of discrimination after it excluded white men from part of a recruitment drive. Only women and people from ethnic minorities are allowed to attend four of the five open days being held by Avon Fire Service to attract new recruits. The fire brigade said it was targeting specific groups because currently 97 per cent of its 921 employees are white men.

...This is stupid and Avon Fire Service are wrong. Recruitment and jobs should be open to all. It makes no difference the gender or ethnic origin of job applicants. I cannot stand this obsession of some managers' to have a workforce that they can claim is representative of the community they serve. We want fire fighters and do not care what gender or ethic origin they have. The same applies to health service workers and every other job available in this great multicultural country of ours. We want workers to do jobs not fulfil some representative demographic quotas.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

Oh dear, somebody left behind a box of 12 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts on my coach last night. Trouble is doughnuts are perishable and cannot be handed into lost property. So I took them home with me and boy, they are gorgeous. I have no idea how much the passenger had paid for them but they are lovely. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts have been made since 1937 and are available across the south east of England. There are 15 varieties to choose from and my passenger had chosen well. They are not available here in Cardiff so I think they were intended as a special take home treat.

They are a lovely treat and I can recommend them. They are very nice, I had 3 before going to bed and 1 for breakfast this morning.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The colour of crime .

A vicar has labelled police procedures as "bureaucratic nonsense" after an operator demanded to know his ethnic background before she would send an officer to investigate a burglary at his church. The Rev Simon Lane, 60, said that the woman also asked for his date of birth, claiming that the details were necessary if she was to give him a crime reference number.

Thames Valley Police said the information was needed to comply with the Race Relations Act, and to monitor which types of people were most often the victim of particular crimes. But the Home Office said there is no such requirement.

The vicar of St Andrew's Church in Wraysbury and St Michael's Church, in Horton, both Berkshire, said he called the force's non-emergency number last week after a break-in at St Michael's caused £700 worth of damage to a window.

"I find it rather offensive," he said. "I'm a vicar of a parish church - what does it matter whether I'm black, white or blue with green spots?"

...This is stupid and is all to do with managers' obsession with league tables. It also annoys me when people lie to get want they want, this case has nothing to do with the Race Relations Act. No wonder peoples' faith and respect for the Police is at an all time low. The job of the Police is to deter and solve crime rather than collate meaningless statistics to please politicians. It makes no difference to a crime the ethnicity or age of the person reporting it. These things happen and colour has nothing to do with it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Girl on a leash.

A Goth who walks his girlfriend on a leash has complained that he was discriminated against by a bus driver who refused to allow him to board. Tasha Maltby, 19, and her fiance, Dani Graves, 25, were not allowed to get on a bus in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and claim the driver told them: : "We don't let freaks and dogs like you on." Bus company Arriva Yorkshire admits the couple were barred from the bus but said it was because of passenger safety. Paul Adcock, operations director, said: "Arriva takes any allegation of discrimination very seriously and have interviewed the driver regarding Mr Graves' claims.

"Our primary concern is passenger safety and while the couple are very welcome to travel on our buses, we are asking that Miss Maltby remove her dog lead before boarding the bus.

"It could be dangerous for the couple and other passengers if a driver had to brake sharply while Miss Maltby was wearing the lead. We are writing to Mr Graves to apologise for any distress caused by the way this matter was handled."

...What a load of rubbish. This Arriva driver was just feeling his feet. This is not a health and safety issue but the driver being awkward. Imagine if this passenger had been using a mobility aid, walking stick, walking frame or a wheelchair. The driver would have been sacked and the press would have had a field day. The driver should have turned a blind eye. It is far better to have a well trained woman on a bus than feral school children. This driver must be sent away for diversity training before he does more damage within our multicultural society.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Deception Point by Dan Brown .

I have just finished reading Deception Point by Dan Brown. I found the book an entertaining, easy read. It is full of escapism featuring top successful glamourous people who are doing very well and nothing gets in their way. This is not a tale of ordinary life but one of heroic people who move from glory to glory. The story has the pace and style of a Hollywood blockbuster film.

Dan Brown's writing is very good and he has taught English and creative writing at Phillips Exeter Academy. His writing ticks all the right boxes making this a well told tale.

At the end of this book you do not feel moved, inspired or awakened. You feel entertained in the same way as if you had watched a good movie. This book should be viewed as entertainment and does not broaden the mind like other more inspirational novels can do.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Roadblocks ahead from a Police force near you.

Motorists face being subjected to random breath-testing as part of the biggest shake-up of drink-drive laws since the introduction of the breathalyser 40 years ago. Ministers are convinced that tougher enforcement is the key to cutting the number of alcohol-related road deaths. Their plans for random testing will be unveiled within weeks. The proposed changes would allow breath tests to be carried out at any time, with roadside checkpoints being set up at points where police were confident they could catch lawbreakers.

However, the latest drink drive figures show that number of breath tests rose from 145,867 during the 2006 Christmas period to 155,216 last year. But while tests went up, there was a dramatic fall in positive breath tests - which went down from 9,658 in 2006 to 7,774 last year.

...So, let's get this right. Drink driving is down so the Police want to introduce random breath testing and treat everyone like disobedient children. People will be stopped and their journeys delayed because Ministers and the Police think that drunk drivers are getting away without detection. The Police really know how to piss the public off and they whinge about not getting public support. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? The trust has gone, gone forever and with it any goodwill. Random breath testing at work and now random breath testing along the road. Welcome to the Police state brought to you by Taliban Light.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Club rules .

Here in the UK many clubs and businesses have their own rules. These organisations choose their own rules and that is simply their business. These are commonly called club rules or company policy whether it is a sports club or a franchise business.

Of course some club rules can court a lot of publicity and engender a lot of public debate. Muslims have their own club rules and they are called Sharia Law. Click the link above and you can read a 3 page newspaper story about the effects Sharia Law is having here in the UK.

I cannot get excited about this story but I am sure a lot of Daily Mail readers will. Muslims are a self selected group and if they want their own internal club rules then that is their business and nobody else's. Many clubs and businesses have an influence on main stream society but I do not think their influence should be overstated. I think this story has been talked up to have popular appeal. These Imams might have their fantasy law sessions in private but their thoughts of bringing Sharia Law into the British justice system is a harmless pipe dream. All club members can get very excited about their club making it big and becoming top of their league. Muslims are no different in their aspirations. OK, so some of them get very excited indeed and think other religious clubs should rot in hell but that is the nature of the beast. Fantasy rules for a fantasy religion, they go hand in hand really.

Friday, January 18, 2008

An arresting email

Lionheart a British blogger by the name of Paul Ray has received an email from Hate Crime officer Ian Holden of Bedfordshire Police, it read: 'The offence that I need to arrest you for is 'Stir up Racial Hatred by displaying written material' contrary to sections 18(1) and 27(3) of the Public Order Act 1986.

'You will be arrested on SUSPICION of the offence. You would only be charged following a full investigation based on all the relevant facts and CPS consent.

'Paul I will see you on the 19/02/08 when I will tell you everything that you need to know.

'Due to being out of the office for six weeks I will not have access to my email as of tomorrow 04/01/08.'

...OK, so read his blog . Is it very different from Jihad Watch or Mosque Watch ? Oh, it is written by a British blogger not an American. The Americans have the rights to freedom of expression and speech. Here in the UK the Police are touchy about what bloggers write on their blogs and will use various legislation to make things difficult.

The problem I have is this, the Police are talking about racial hatred. I have strong views on racism yet Paul is blogging about Islam which is a religion not a race. Muslims belong to many different races and Paul's criticism is of their religion not their ethnic background. It is healthy to have discussion about religion in the UK and to explore the reality of living in our multicultural society. People can feel as though they feel like an alien in their home town . This is not racism but how people identify with their neighbours.

People can build feelings up to more than they are worth. They can make judgements on people they do not know. They can judge other people by their dress, religion or skin colour. That is ignorance and by allowing freedom of expression with free speech this ignorance can be driven away. To arrest someone for being critical of Islam is not helping the situation and by calling his writing racist is wrong.

I think it is best for Paul to stay away but it is bad that he has been driven away by his neighbours and his local Police force, whose wages are paid by local council tax payers.

Hate crimes are evil but not being allowed to write freely is oppression in what could very quickly become a Police state. What is worse, a Police state or an Islamist state? Both, there is very little difference between a powerful constabulary and a Taliban ruling under Sharia law.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's dirty book time at M&S .

Oh, the embarrassment of it all. A grand parent tries to purchase a dirty book in Marks and Spencer but is told to put the offending book into a shopping bag themselves. The customer said the woman behind the till refused to touch the book once she realised what it was, and made a reference to a fellow worker about being “unclean”. The store is investigating the incident.

When I stopped laughing about this story I feel that the cashier was totally wrong in her attitude. She took the job on, her employer is not asking her to buy and read this dirty book. This book is not going to bite her or bring her out in spots if she touches it. It is OK for workers to moan about customers in private but it is unprofessional and bad form to insult them face to face. This cashier should be given some diversity training very quickly indeed. I love books and no matter how challenging I may find the material, I would have no problem processing the sale. It is after all the customer's money, not mine and their custom keeps me in a job even if they are buying a dirty book or a book of fairy tales.

And the title of this offending, dirty and unclean book is...

First Bible Stories.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Courting death.

Here in the UK we can have meetings, the occasional demonstration and these are very often met with a strong Police presence. We put up with restrictions from our Police forces as they stand there blocking our paths, often dressed in riot gear. Afterwards we have a good moan on the internet about Britain becoming a Police state.

In Lahore, Pakistan - they also have meetings and demonstrations which are met with Police in riot gear. A suicide bomber killed at least 24 people and injured 70 others in the first major attack since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto two weeks ago.

This attack, which claimed the lives of 15 policemen, took place outside the High Court in Lahore minutes before a weekly anti-government demonstration led by lawyers was set to pass by. Witnesses said the bomber, aged about 25, walked from a motorbike towards the policemen and blew himself up.

"There were about 60 to 70 police on duty when a man rammed into our ranks and there was a huge explosion," said Syed Imtiaz Hussain, a police officer, who suffered leg injuries. "I saw the bodies of other policemen burning. It was like hell."

Large numbers of policemen had been deployed ahead of the planned demonstration against President Pervez Musharraf's sacking of independent-minded judges during the imposition of a state of emergency two months ago. At the time of the attack, more than 200 lawyers and activists were a hundred yards away, listening to speeches.

"I have not heard such a big explosion in my life. We felt as if our eardrums were about to burst," Abdul Hameed, a lawyer's assistant told the Associated Press.

Another witness, Salman Raja, a constitutional lawyer, said: "I was about to enter the high court gate... just 25 yards from the site of the blast. I saw policemen fall down immediately, there was a huge blast. We were about to move and enter the gate. The policemen fell down and collapsed on the road, then the cars jammed up, people were getting out and running away in fear of a second blast. There was no way to move from there safely, after all, a second blast could have happened anywhere."

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack but suspicions are likely to fall on Islamist militants linked to Taliban and al-Qa'ida elements based in the lawless tribal belt along the Afghan border.

The bomber’s severed head was found some 30 metres away from the site of the bombing, in an alley separating the High Court buildings from the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry, a security official told Dawn.

“One side of the head of the bomber, who had shoulder-length hair, was damaged.”

Bodies and limbs of the victims were scattered all around the place and even adjacent buildings were affected.

Doctors said that condition of most of the injured was serious.

Badly damaged cars, vans, trucks, motorcycles and rickshaws lay on the busy Allah Bux Road, which leads to the Auditor General’s office from the Mall.

“The sound of the blast shattered the front screen of my van before I could pull it over,” said Mohammad Fayyaz, the injured driver of a passenger van.

It took police two hours to cordon off the entire area. The suicide bombing coincided with the start of a lawyers’ rally. The lawyers had just come out of the Aiwan-i-Adl, on the Lower Mall, to join their peers at the High Court and were only metres away from the scene of the crime when the explosion happened.

Malik Iqbal, a deputy inspector general of police, told reporters that the bomber, who had a few days’ stubble, was wearing a track suit.

He said plastic surgeons at the King Edward Medical University had reconstructed the head of the bomber partially and were still working on it.

A constable admitted to the Services Hospital said the blast occurred when a police official was trying to remove a white Suzuki car parked near the place where police had been deployed.

“We don’t let anyone park a vehicle near us. As soon as the official tried to open the door, the blast occurred,” the constable said.

“We all fell on the road. I could not move my limbs. When I turned my head, I saw one of my colleagues badly burnt.”

Aftab Cheema, SSP Operations, said the bomber had a 14-kg explosive device, with three kilograms of ball bearings, strapped to his body. He said the size of the ball bearings was larger than the ones used in earlier blasts.

’’A man rammed into our ranks and soon after there was a huge explosion,” said policeman Syed Imtiaz Hussain, who suffered wounds in his legs and groin.

“I saw the bodies of other policemen burning. It was like hell.’’

“It was a very loud blast. I was one of the first who rushed out of the court and saw a man bleeding from his nose and mouth. He died minutes later,” said lawyer Khurram Latif Khosa.

“I saw about 50 to 60 injured policemen, bleeding, scattered everywhere. They were asking for water.”

After visiting the blast site, the Inspector-General of Punjab Police, Nasim Ahmed, said the target was the police force.

“Today’s bombing was to demoralise the Punjab police, but it will not. They have given their lives while performing duty.”

“There was a huge bang,” recalled Munrian Bibi, 60, a school cleaner who was injured as she headed home from work. “I saw people falling on the ground crying for help. I don’t know what saved my life from that hell,” she said in hospital where she was being treated for leg injuries.

Police constable Jameel Ahmed said the attacker was a man aged about 25 who had arrived outside the court on a motorbike.

...This whole tale makes shocking reading. It always impressed me when I saw on television these lawyers demonstrating. They were always smartly dressed in suits and ties. Their demonstration was always respectable and well behaved. They were a credit to their profession and their country. Most demonstrations in other countries are a rally with a crowd of badly dressed scruffy merchants. The Pakistani demonstrators were a class apart but this week their demonstration became a bloody mess. The boldness of the suicide attacker getting off a motorcycle and walking into a troop of riot Police before releasing his arsenal really shocked me. Riot Police can be very intimidating to the public who pay their wages but in Lahore this week the tables were clearly turned.
Update: Identity theft is easier than many people think .

Further to my post on Tuesday 8th January 2008 about this issue, what do I read today ...

Identity fraudster steals £10,000 from Barclays boss
By Cahal Milmo
Published: 11 January 2008

When Marcus Agius was appointed as the £800,000-a-year chairman of Barclays Bank, he was lauded for his ability to pull off financial coups. It is unlikely that falling foul of a conman who persuaded Britain's third biggest bank to issue a credit card in his name and then stole £10,000 is the sort of spectacular deal that Mr Agius had in mind.

The bank, which last year announced losses of £1.3bn from the sub-prime mortgages crisis in America, was forced to admit yesterday that its high-profile chairman had been scammed by a fraudster who succeeded in impersonating Mr Agius to a call-centre employee to the extent that a Barclaycard was sent out for his use.

The conman, who used personal information gleaned from the internet such as Mr Agius's date of birth and his address to dupe staff into believing he was the executive, then took the card to a high street branch of Barclays and withdrew £10,000.

A spokesman for the bank said: "It was down to human error, procedures were not followed fully and we have learnt from it."

...Well, what can I say? You tell people what they want to hear and along comes a credit card. You tick all the right boxes and you get the prize. Identities can easily be cloned and expensive, compulsory identity cards will not stop this problem. Business will be defrauded and legitimate consumers will have to pay for it at the end of the day. The cost of credit will rise to meet the cost of this fraud and the banks will increase their charges to recover the losses suffered by retailers.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Small but tough.

Motor cars have got better over the years. They are a lot stronger than they used to be, the days of the Dagenham dustbin have gone. German cars have a reputation for strength and Volkswagen have traded on this reputation for years. Remember their old adverts that featured the Volkswagen Golf being dropped from a height by an amazed Japanese man? Well times have moved on, now look at the toughness of the current Volkswagen Polo. It's small but tough! Watch the video below...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Identity theft is easier than many people think.

Motoring television presenter Jeremy Clarkson has been forced to eat some uncharacteristic humble pie after playing down the severity of Labour's lost data scandal. The Top Gear host was so sure that the furore over the lost CDs of data was nothing but "a storm in a teacup" he printed his own bank details in a newspaper, convinced his money would be safe. He also included instructions on how to find his address on the electoral roll and gave details about the car he drives, claiming he had "nothing to fear" from identity fraud.

But the exercise left the newspaper columnist with egg on his face when he had to admit that he had been the target of an internet scam. An unidentified reader copied his details and set up a £500 direct debit from his account payable to the British Diabetic Association.

...So this sad tale demonstrates just how easy identity theft is to commit. The banks will never reveal just how much they are having to write off due to identity theft when they reimburse account holders. However, at the end of the day it is the customer who pays for this fraud. We all get robbed in the end and it is sad how many people are happy to give their information away.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The kids are not alright!

Hurrah to JD Wetherspoon because parents who visit one of Britain's biggest pub chains with their children are being told they can have only two alcoholic drinks. Eddie Gershon, its spokesman, said staff could refuse to serve more than the limit to any adult with a child, even if others in the party were drinking non-alcoholic drinks or they were having a meal. "We are not in any way a children's pub with an activity centre. It is not a wonderful day out for children spending hours in the pub," Mr Gershon said. "Once parents have finished the meal with the child, we would expect them to leave soon after."

He added that although the chain was "comfortable" with children going to its pubs, it was hoping to avoid situations where they were present for two or three hours while their parents drank. "We would let an adult order an alcoholic drink with a meal and another drink after that but we don't want children there bored while adults drink," he explained.

On the J D Wetherspoon website the company declares in a statement...

For those of you that have seen the news regarding a visit to our Wallasey pub in Merseyside and our policy for families purchasing food and alcoholic drinks, it would seem that there is some confusion as to the J D Wetherspoon company guidelines in this area.

Basically, if parents are accompanied by their children when they visit our pubs we have a responsibility as a pub company to ensure that this is handled in a professional manner and in a way that is in keeping with our duty of care to our customers.

Below are the guidelines by which our pubs address the issue of children in our pubs:

• Adults that are accompanied with children wishing to purchase an alcoholic drink should purchase a meal
• Once the meal has been finished and tables cleared it is our recommendation that only one more alcoholic drink should be purchased for each adult

If parents and their children are visiting our pubs and purchasing non-alcoholic drinks, then there is no limit to the number of drinks that can be purchased or the length of stay at the pub.

In all situations it is important that our Pub Managers assesses the behaviour and attitude of the parents as well as the interests of other customers to ensure the situation is handled in a suitable manner.
As a company we do not want to restrict families visiting our pubs, if fact, we actively encourage families and have recently won an award for our children's menu.

...Well done I say to Wetherspoon's. Children are a damned nuisance in pubs running around, screaming and throwing food making a sticky mess everywhere. If their parents are having a party by drinking alcohol then the little blighters can become more indisciplined than normal and the pub becomes a riot.

There are places for children, they are called public parks where their parents can take their little darlings for a picnic. The kids are not alright and J D Wetherspoon has pitched it's policy just about right in my opinion. Of course, other spineless pub chains may think differently but that is their problem and they can clear up the mess are the little blighters have left and calm is restored.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Bags may be searched.

On Monday, New Years Eve, in my day job, I had to go to Edinburgh. Because of the Hogmanay celebrations there were various road closures in the City Centre. I had to take a different route and I came out at where I wanted to go. When I crossed the river and turned east at the far end of Princes Street I looked to my left where the road was closed to all vehicles and saw a large dot matrix sign. This was a large portable sign on a trailer of the type used along motorways. The message displayed filled me with shock.

"Bags may be searched".

Ah, I thought, you would never get me in there. Look at them, marching in like lambs to the slaughter. What if a suicide bomber was mingling amongst the crowds? What an awful way to end the year. There is a chance that a New Year celebration event in a British city would become a target for a suicide bomber to mark the end of the year. I sent a text message to a friend who may have thought I was scaremongering, warning everyone to stay indoors at home.

But what do I now read on the internet? There was a terrorist threat to the New Year celebrations, in Holland ...

Rotterdam terror attack foiled: Telegraaf

Thursday 03 January 2008

Three men arrested in Rotterdam on New Year’s eve following a tip off by the security services were planning a terrorist attack on the city’s Erasmus bridge where 15,000 people were due to celebrate the New Year, according to Thursday’s Telegraaf.

The paper says its information comes from ‘well informed sources’ involved in the investigation.

Three men in their 30s, two with dual Dutch and Moroccan nationality and one alleged to be an illegal immigrant from Sudan, are currently in police custody.

Although there has been widespread speculation over whether the suspects were planning a terrorist attack, the security service and public prosecution office have said only that the men were suspected of planning an attack in the near future.

A spokeswoman for the prosecution department declined to comment on the possible target of such an attack or its motive, reports news service ANP.

...So my fears were realistic, I was not scaremongering. Maybe our British Intelligence Services knew something and the would be suicide bombers looked for an easier target. In 4 years time we will be holding the 2012 Olympics which will be an enormous security headache. Happy New Year everyone. Remember, the Islamists have many ways to recruit new members to their faith. It is not always the obvious ways that they employ to recruit new members, sometimes they use a Trojan Horse and other faith groups are blind and ignorant to the true nature of their purpose within our society.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Shalimar the Clown

I have just finished reading Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie . Full marks to Salman Rushdie for this, his latest novel, which was published in 2005. I throughly enjoyed reading this book which went very deep and showed very clearly the quality of Salman's writing. He is an excellent author and this multicultural story is a lovely adventure for the reader to enjoy. When you go away on holiday you hope for a memorable experience and a taste of something new. With this book it is like you went away on holiday with a good friend and guide to Kashmir in India. As the story develops your mind also visits London, France and America. You develop a sympathy for all the characters as they go about their lives making many mistakes along the way. At the end of the book you feel like a wise old man who has a wealth of experience and knowledge.

This novel was an excellent read and on the strength of this book I will have no hesitation in buying his next novel which is called The Enchantress of Florence and will be published in paperback on 4th April 2008.

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