Friday, 24 February 2012

The hypocrisy behind the myth...

...that is religion.

I have just finished reading John Grisham's The Confession and am now - if that's possible - even more against Capital Punishment than I was before.

The Confession is a fiction novel based on true cases as experienced by ex-lawyer John Grisham . It is a must- read to all those who still support state-sponsored killing.

Almost all of the so called civilised world has given up on Capital Punishment - some in recent years and Portugal (one of the first) 110 years ago.

The two main reasons to stop such an evil and archaic form of punishment are obvious -  revenge should have no place in justice and it is wrong to kill.

The most worrying aspect of Capital Punishment in some states in the USA for instance, are its supporters. An army made up mostly of Bible-bashers who constantly ask God for forgiveness but are themselves incapable of forgiving. The supporters range from  ordinary folk to pastors, vicars and other so-called men-of-God and most worryingly, vote-hungry politicians.

Hypocrisy of the highest form when you consider Jesus' teachings about "turning the other cheek" and "let he who is free of sin, cast the first stone".

Thou Shalt Not Kill! 

The Bible doesn't say "thou shalt not kill unless you are the State condemning to death a criminal who has been convicted of murder in the court of man - often wrongly - but never mind if the odd innocent is put to death by mistake"   Does it? 

No it doesn't.

I would challenge any "real" Christian who supports Capital Punishment to write a comment explaining their position. In fact I would challenge anyone, regardless of their beliefs, to justify Capital Punishment.

The simple truth is that there is no justification.

It is not a deterrent (check stats of murder rates in the states with CP against those without)

It is inhuman.

It is pure revenge

I have written a couple of posts in the past about this most unpleasant subject, with more details and  statistics.  For those of you who may want to read more, here are the links.

Rant over, I feel better now.


Monday, 20 February 2012

Déjà vu

I read about the Senegalese singer Youssou N'dour's intentions to be a presidential candidate and it reminded me of a previous post.

Pele look-alike Youssou thinks it's all a game

Another deluded character who thinks the only qualifications required to run Senegal, a third world country full of crime debt and civil unrest , are the abilities to dance and write a song or two. Wonderful.

I decided to re-post the item below for the benefit of new readers.



I'm a celebrity, get me a presidency (or a brain).


A fine blog I follow from across the pond,, by a talented and witty writer Charles Emerson III, mentioned today the absurdity of 'old rapper' Wyclef Jean's intention of running for the presidency of Haiti.

Well, I just had to confirm the story, and now, can't resist having a dig myself! I'm not stealing your thunder, Charles (couldn't if I tried anyway) but I must vent my anger.

So, the pompous bling-laden singer thinks he is qualified for the job. 
Is it because he is a B class celebrity?  Well, I know he is a crap accountant (see below) 
Haiti - one of the world's poorest nations - needs a statesman of stature, comparable to the likes of Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi, to free itself from it's present predicament, not some dubious rapper from Newark, New Jersey with a dodgy tax record.

He set up the Yele Haiti Foundation in 2005 to help poor children in Haiti with scholarships, but (this is where it gets good) all the money raised ended up with good ol' Wyclef and his partner Jerry Duplessis! This case is still being investigated by the US Authorities. And how about Yele Haiti's predecessor, the Wyclef Foundation? Well that's even worse.

The Wyclef Jean Foundation has been involuntarily dissolved several times by the Florida Division of Corporations for failing to provide all necessary tax details to the authorities.

And he wants to become president of the world's poorest nation. With his accounting skills.

Ronald Reagan? 

Saturday, 18 February 2012

100 Words: Music in minor chords

Carnival is underway in Funchal. Started yesterday, Friday, with the transvestite parade. Tonight is the main parade: music floats - each with a different theme - and all with beautiful girls, made up to the hilt, dressed in glitter and flowers: and it will end on Tuesday with the Tramp Parade.

My cousin Lisandra at last years parade 

The music tends to follow the Brazilian carnival model - which the Portuguese took to Rio - Samba, Pimba, etc. Cheerful music: the Latin rhythms ensure everyone present dances or at least taps their feet.

Presently, for some reason, I hear only music in minor chords...


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

When a dream turns into reality

Thursday , Feb 9, 2012

The 20 minute bus ride from Monte to Funchal steadily moved along with the evening rush hour traffic. A comfortable ride considering it was an old Volvo bus, so old I could swear it had liver spots. I was day dreaming when a sound emanating from a bag the old lady sitting next to me clutched to her lap, jolted me back to reality. The sound reminded me of a wasp in a bottle.

The old lady with the leathery face and gentle smile was dressed in black from head to toe, apart from the white Nike trainers on her feet. She shuffled through her bag and found her Blackberry - scrutinised the screen and asked me if I could read her text message as she had forgotten her glasses. I obliged with a sleepy smile.I thought it strange, comical even, that such an old lady would wear trainers and own a Blackberry.

The bus screeched to a halt and  I joined the crowd meandering towards the city centre. The subject of my day dreaming flashed its way back into my mind, like a bolt of lightening.

I needed to stop at the supermarket and buy a forgotten item for the dish I planned  to cook later that evening. The fifteen minute walk took me past several  supermarkets, but I had long decided to visit the last one of the journey - the one I had just visited in my day dream.

During the bus trip I dreamed of her in the supermarket, buying toiletries - wearing her beige coat, light blue jeggings and ballet shoes. Strange, as I hadn't seen her in two months and women change clothing styles as often as finances allow. And her finances do allow.

As I arrived at the Mall - some 45 minutes after her usual finishing time - it dawned on me the chance of her being at the supermarket was minimal. After all, I didn't even know if she had gone to work that day or what shift she was working. Nonetheless I continued, trance-like, towards the entrance of the supermarket, as if seeing her was inevitable.

The wide glass facade allowed some ten or so aisles to be viewed from outside. My head immediately turned towards the toiletries section - and there she was!

Standing with her hands close to her face, smelling and choosing her products the way she always did - wearing her beige coat, light blue jeggings and ballet shoes.  Her 'friend' stood beside her, waiting patiently as she moved from one product to another, expertly analysing the different aromas.

My instant reaction was to walk towards her and greet her the way I always did. With a big hug and kiss. My common sense told me it was not a good idea. After all, I am trying to get over her. I'm trying to move on, so to speak. And besides, her 'friend' may not have approved of my intended display of affection.

I furtively turned into the groceries section, away from her line of sight and picked up the missing ingredient I required.

I then waited behind a stack of Valentine's Day merchandise - some of which I may have been buying under different circumstances - until I saw her approaching the check out. Moments later, she melted into the crowd, away from sight and oblivious to my presence and discomfort.

I payed and made my way to the escalators. I thought about the meal I would be preparing later and  wondered if it would taste as good as if it was prepared for two?

As I approached the exit an old Bob Seger song reverberated through the Mall - it's melody filling my head and it's lyrics draining the blood out of my heart. 

Bob was singing "...if you can't love the one you love, love the one you're with..."


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Naked Ape? Yeah, right...

Last week I decided  to give myself an all-over trim after my morning shower. All you folks who were around for the first moon landing will know what I mean. I'm at an age now when sheep and I have something in common - we must be sheared regularly.
After what seemed a couple of hours and feeling a stone lighter, I emerged from the bathroom with an added spring to my step. I felt lean and mean and ready to don my speedos at the beach. No, seriously, that's a lie - I would rather go naked than wear speedos.

(For the benefit of the uninitiated, speedos are skimpy brief-like swim wear worn by old men who are past caring and pre-pubescent boys with as little to hide as said old men).

But it's not all bad news! I'm into recycling and am proud to announce my surplus shavings were sufficient to stuff two pillows and a king-size quilt. Woohoo!

This post takes me back to a previous one ,18 months ago, when I complained about the same thing.


Naked Ape? Not me!

Why are we humans known as the 'Naked Apes'? Who ever came out with that saying should seek medical help. We humans are generally always covered up (excluding porn stars and fading celebs) and apes are not.

I am at a stage in life where I can't get naked, even if I want to! The problem is I've started sprouting hair from places that didn't have any before; that shouldn't have any as far as I am concerned. Why the hell is hair growing out of my nostrils, ears, back and butt cheeks (see my photo below)? All this new growth is weakening the thatch on top of my head !

 DON'T LAUGH ! You are all heading the same way.


Friday, 3 February 2012

My digits are my daily bread!

As you know I've been building a garden wall and am almost done. The wall is built, now comes the smooth coating and then the paint.

Not bad I hear you say. I'm now building a barbecue. More blocks and cement.

I am paying a heavy price for my endeavours though. Last week I managed to hit my left thumb with a hammer - big bruise- luckily didn't affect my guitar playing as it is the thumb that rests behind the neck of the guitar. I was very happy with that - of all my fingers and thumbs the least important one got whacked. But two days ago the situation changed for the worse when, again with the dreaded hammer, I managed to smash my left index finger.

Now that is some serious shit. That is an important finger and I'm supposed to be playing tonight. I can't even bend the thing. It's stiff, swollen and sore as hell. What am I to do? I don't get sick pay. No play no dough.

I do a one man acoustic show - no backing tracks - and I doubt it very much if said finger is going to surprise me and heal by tonight. I'm taking loads of Ibuprofen and keeping my good fingers crossed.

I've decided to change plans for future building projects. I shall number each finger with a yellow felt-tip, in order of importance. It will be the order of damage with number one being the least important, number ten the most and so on. I think it's a good idea! It will be a constant reminder.

As you can see it started well with number one being the first victim but then it all went wrong - straight to number ten. How unlucky is that? If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all!

Now I understand what it must be like for a prostitute with a sore muff!

PS. By the way, number three finger suffered only a scrape, in case you're wondering.