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Robin's "Grumpy Book"

Updated 1030 Z/UT/GMT (1130 BST) Thursday 15th June 2017 UK time

Robin is a Grumpy Old Man ! :-)

This "Grumpy Book" is now aimed at the Press, in the hope that it might provide some raw material to experienced journalists. Maybe the right publicity might "do some good" in the World. Near the end the idea is raised of exploiting "Grumpy Power" spread the right information to the right people. I started these "grumpy" pages in 2014, to share a few thoughts, sometimes discussed in the pub with my "last of the summer wine" friends. The first was that "Mysterious Deaths" story. Some are simply interesting and educational. e.g. that American school children gave the nazi salute each morning, until 1942. e.g. that the Dutch were the last to overthrow the British: not the French. I'm now a "Grumpy Old Man" born in 1947, who thinks he knows it all, but searching the Net, I learn more.

Dr Strangelove Cockleshell Heroes I entered Defence Industry as an apprentice in the mid 1960s. Ferranti sent me to University for a B.Sc in Electrical & Electronic Engineering. That's where I saw Dr Strangelove. I became a Systems Engineer, and work included Royal Navy ship software. I worked for SHAPE as a NATO scientist through the 1970s, when GPS and the Internet were secret. Our young family returned to the UK in 1981 and I worked for EASAMS until starting our small GPS Software business in 1994 - now a hobby. In publicity about Snoopy's Robot Boat, the Press called me a "Retired NATO Scientist". Perhaps that should have been "Mad Retired NATO Scientist" :-)

As said earlier, we started our GPS Software business, based here in Sunninghill in 1994. A large number of people visited GPSS.co.uk each day, looking for GPS Software, from 150 countries where the software is used. The difference now is that they use it for free, and I've been retired for years - too busy for paid work ! :-) My time is spent on hobbies, or charitable activity, exploiting my web sites and contacts.

girl fleeing from napalm attack Akalu and family on our office wall. Certificate is 1995. Many of the stories below are extremely serious, and there are no easy solutions. However, a good starting point is to know the basic facts. The information below, is relevant to problem areas like Ukraine, Syria, and tensions between Russia and NATO - risking us "sleep walking" into anarchy or nuclear war; Refugees and migrants; Muslim Public Relations. Global Warming; NHS issues, including mental health stigma, and using UK Law to make the NHS pay all costs of the care home. Mass killings, due to IS inspired threats, or simply "gun culture". Many of these pieces appeared here, on my "Grumpy" page, before they hit TV screens or Newspapers. Where I have an opinion - some will agree, and others not. At the very end, you will see a light hearted story: I simply want to satisfy my curiosity on who rescued Snoopy's robot boat in March 2015. Repeating the radio publicty I had in 1998 might be usefull: See the "Into Tommorow" broadcasts, linked from our AsOnTV page: Live across the USA on 75 radio networks, then Worlwide on AFN, the American Armed Forces Network. The risk is that it may cost me lots of crates of beer :-)

Maybe some of my linked pages, such as "Bluebell", can be used as "raw material" by skilled journalists to "do some good". If journalists inform the public, the polititians and World Leaders follow. But Polititions have "the ear of the Press", so often "start the ball rolling". The right information, needs to be given at the right time, to the right people. They need not be right wing :-)

I may have little to say on most of these topics, other than what is already said publicly here. I rarely discuss anything in depth before someone who contacts me has visited my relevant page, or web site. Most of the serious topics below require face-to-face conversation. Please Contact me by email, and we can start by my pointing you to the relevant pages, and put you in contact with the right people, according to who you are, and what you are interests are.

white strip BBC TV World News at 0700 22 February: Ethiopian Famine, and Africa. Perhaps Pensioners can help bring a little Peace and Understanding in the World ?

white strip Click here for GPS Software on Pocket PC Akalu Alemu in Addis Ababa Ethiopia Click here for GPS Software on Pocket PC Click here for more information Click here for more information Click here for more information Samantha in Central Park just after 911 white strip

TV Screen

Mysterious Deaths of Marconi Engineers

Some of my old workmates at EASAMS, may be interested in what new information you dig out, when Government papers are released, on the "Mysterious Deaths" story. e.g. did the UK Government put "Gagging Orders" on the Press about this, about thirty years ago, to "protect national security" ? I believe it was on a Monday morning, in 1987, that I received an internal 'phone call from our personal manager, where I worked as a Senior Manager at EASAMS, and she told me that she had some bad news: a close colleage has been killed. If I received any 'phone calls from the Press, I was to say nothing. The details of this story are here.

Did you know the Americans used the Nazi salute until 1942 ?

Nazi salute in an American school, in the 1930s ?

I have had many American friends over the years, and I wonder how many of them - or anyone - knows this ? I stumbled on this Wiki article, about the "Bellamy Salute" in 2014, and it was "really interesting". The Wiki article is here. The photo is of American school children, using the salute in their morning assembly. This continued until 1942, when the USA entered the war, and this nazi salute was replaced by the now familiar, "hand on heart".
July 2015 footnote: It is clear that most UK journalists are unaware of the above, after the "fuss" created by the front page Sun article showing our Queen, aged 6, giving this salute in 1933. These were innocent times, before the holocaust, and this salute became a symbol of evil.
December 2015: Ted, an American friend, tells me that they were told about this in Junior school - good to hear, and I hope they still are.

How long has Crimea and Ukraine been part of Russia ?

Crimea

Search on "history of ukraine" and see how long Russia has ruled Crimea, and Ukraine. Since Catherine the Great ? When Crimea was put under local government under Kiev, it was all part of the Soviet Union anyway. Our Press and western Governments don't seem to mention this. Putin and his spokesmen, don't seem to do a very competent job of mentioning this clearly to the World Press. Not difficult to do - the Press usually repeat what they are told :-) As you can imagine, from the earlier story, I'm no fan of Putin and his workmates, before he came to power, but let's see "the big picture". Do we want Russia to help, even if only as a "go-between" in the middle east ? Do we really want to start World War III ? Sadly, I'm not joking here - no smiley ! On the subject of "sleep-walking into nuclear war" checkout the wiki article for Able Archer 83 dramatised in the German TV drama Deutschland 83 .

Did you know how popular the swastika once was, including in America ?

swastika on US Army 'plane swastika on coke This follows on from the "Nazi Salute" story above, and there are also links to the "Ukraine" story. It was a suprise to me, after my wife stumbled on the BBC News story below. Words and symbols change their meaning over the years.

The pictures show a US Army aircraft and an advert for Coca Cola. I guess these were changed at about the same time as the Americans "ditched" the Bellamy Salute ? But read the article - we were all doing it, up until that nasty Mr Hitler made it so popular for the wrong reasons.

Check out BBC News article: How the world loved the swastika - until Hitler stole it

Did you know the first good British Hang Glider flight was 1000 years ago ? ....

Elmer of Malmesbury, the Flying Monk I say "good", but poor Elmer, the crazy flying monk, broke both his legs after the short 200 metre flight from the top of Malmesbury Abbey - but he did live to tell the tale ! Here is a quote from the old records... " He had by some means, I scarcely know what, fastened wings to his hands and feet so that, mistaking fable for truth, he might fly like Daedalus, and, collecting the breeze upon the summit of a tower, flew for more than a furlong [201 metres]. But agitated by the violence of the wind and the swirling of air, as well as by the awareness of his rash attempt, he fell, broke both his legs and was lame ever after. He used to relate as the cause of his failure, his forgetting to provide himself a tail ". Read the Wiki article, Elmer of Malmesbury to get the details. I'm sure there is truth in the ancient greek legend about Daedalus and Icarus - those ancient Greeks were smart cookies. How about that ancient bronze clockwork computer, attributed to Archimedes - the Sicilean of Siracusa ? Checkout Robin and June's 2015 Sicilean para gliding exploits on our Holiday page, or play the Video of "Sicily in 2015" :-)

"Social Networking" sites, like Facebook, FriendsReunited, Linkedin, etc ....

Robin on Facebook I hate the way Facebook automatically sends "friend request" emails, pretending to be the person making the request. e.g. "Fred Bloggs wants to be friends on Facebook". It would be less misleading to say "Facebook thinks Fred Bloggs might want to be friends" - but I guess fewer people would "confirm". I only joined Facebook because a (real) friend wanted to show me family pictures, years ago. I much prefer direct email, and avoid Facebook most of the time.

Over the 20 years I've been using the Net, I've found it invaluable to make new business contacts and friends, and share information with them, including pictures and videos. This was always easy, with one's own web site, and emails can be sent to just those who might have an interest in the particular subject. A link to the web site, or another such as youtube, means the reader can get a picture or video - rather than a thousand words ! Forums have always been useful, although I've always had a dislike for the fashion of users being anonomous, which can encourage "bad behavior".

Robin on LinkedIn Most of the "Social Network" sites I've joined, were the result of a friend asking me to see information about themselves, or something of shared interest. e.g. FriendsReunited - for an old school reunion, Facebook - to see family pictures, and more recently, LinkeIn - a friend asked me to view his profile.

When I added my profile to FriendsReunited, years ago, I was horrified to see that their web site automatically removed any direct contact information, such as 'phone numbers, email address, or web site. This seemed very cynical to me at the time: users might rely on the site for communication with long-lost friends, and then have to pay money in the future ! My solution was to spell this info phonetically. e.g. "oh, one, two ..." etc. But in later years, I'm glad to see they stopped this practise of "filtering" the profile.

The most recent bad experience was with LinkedIn: I joined it, simply to see the profile from an overseas friend, who asked me to see it. Then I started to receive floods of "contact requests" which were clearly being automatically generated by LinkedIn. I deleted my account - but the spam continued. So I've just put myself back onto LinkedIn, under the same "Robin Lovelock", but with less information. At least anyone viewing my profile will know it is not me sending them spam :-)

Did you know that, in the UK, the Law says the NHS must pay all Care Home Costs ?

Mum & Dad I've maintained the following website for years, as a charitable activity: www.NHSCare.info. I'm regulary thanked by people who, after seeing it, won their family's right to free, long term care. This could be the result of a stroke, Alzheimers, a road accident, or anything which would have resulted in the patient going into hospital. In recent years, UK Governments of all parties, have evaded paying care home fees. The Press repeat their words, that we cannot afford to pay these costs for an aging population. But look at the figures: if the Government obeyed the law, and paid these costs, it would be in the ballpark of 2% of the total NHS budget, or about 0.2% of the national budget. But the few MPs who know this, could justifiably fear what would happen if the majority of the public knew this: that's a huge backlog of claims going back over ten years, and a massive crisis if everyone suddenly refused to pay the care home fees. In Scotland it is little different, since the same law applied, even though there is a small part of the care home fees paid for by the state. e.g. "nursing" rather than everything else. See the web site above, for more information, such as from the Law Society, and for advice. Sadly, very few people in the UK know about this.

NHS used "Nil by Mouth" to kill patients and counter "Bed Blocking" ?

The following has been on my mother's case page of www.NHSCare.info since 2004, and is an extract from letters exchanged with the NHS Ombudsman and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN): "... the manslaughter term above applies to a practice that I understand may have been widespread within NHS hospitals and may even still happen today: the decision, without consultation of the patient or their family, to put up a "Nil by Mouth" sign above their bed, when they have no other source of food or water such as a drip. The result, of course, is that the patient dies within a few days, thus freeing the hospital bed for others. I understand that the Royal College of Nursing arranged that the rules permitting this practice were changed, since it was a source of conflict between junior nurses, responding to a patient's request for water, and the senior staff who had decided to put up the 'Nil by Mouth' sign. " My complete letter, and the reply from the RCN, is here. Some of you may uncover the original local newspaper story, dating from before my letter in 2003. In recent years, few things surprise me, but I must confess that I "raised an eyebrow" when I heard about this. Let us hope that this criminal procedure has been ended.

NHS "Patient Choice" of hospital - determined by your choice of GP ?

NHS Choice Many of us who have lived in the Ascot area, will know of the massive differences between, Frimley Park Hospital, near Camberley, and Wexham Park Hospital, north of Slough. Frimley Park must be one of the best NHS Hospitals in the country, and Wexham Park, the worst. I've known of this difference for what must be twenty years, even if it is only in recent years that it became widely known, and Wexham Park was put under "Special Needs". Our problem has been that our local hospital, Heatherwood, in Ascot, was under the umbrella of Wexham Park. In 2013, I become aware - through discussions with NHS, and correspondence with my local GP's surgury, that it may not be straight-forward to choose where your GP refers you. e.g. for a check-up by a specialist. There are reasons why the GP may be reluctant to refer you to the local hospital of your choice. These reasons include the obvious ones, such as the GP being familiar with the individual consultant concerned, and the fact that the costs may vary. Remember that GPs are not employed by the NHS - they run a business that has a contract with the NHS. On 1st October 2014, Frimley Park took control of Heatherwood and Wexham Park hospitals, after negotiating things such as the writing off of debts, and future funding. I am sure that, over many years, we will see some improvement in Wexham Park, but let us hope that it is not at the expense of Frimley Park. It will be interesting to see if the individual hospitals are still compared, by monitoring organisations such as the CQC, and that this "merger" is not simply a "ploy" by higher DoH/NHS management, to counter embarassing comparisons between hospitals. Some of you may wish to "dig deeper", including how "Patient Choice" may be influenced by the contracts between NHS and GPs. Some may categorise this under "back door privatisation of the NHS". Meanwhile, the rest of us can consider changing our GP, in the light of which hospital he tends to refer his patients to.

NHS Mental Health - Robin's stay in Bluebell Ward

NHS funny Farm In April 2015, I spent over two weeks inside Bluebell Ward, part of an NHS "funny farm" in Reading. This was after a few days of over-work, with little sleep. It was the first such "rest-break" in my life, and I doubt that it will happen again. More information may appear here , or in the media, in due course. A letter to the NHS, requesting all medical records related to the stay, included these words of thanks... "Strange as it may seem, I enjoyed my time in Bluebell Ward, particularly chatting to particular patients, and to staff from overseas, including from places I had spent time in my long defence career. I found observing staff at work interesting, and they often matched my expectations from conversations with friends who worked in the NHS Mental Health field. I know that some doctors and staff in this field have their own problems, and the work can sometimes be stressfull - although not as much as experienced by an army paramedic in a war zone. My time in Bluebell Ward means that I may extend the scope of my NHSCare.info activity, to the benifit of patients and NHS staff working in the mental health field". It was many years ago that I saw an excellent professional from Fairmile at work, applying a simple test for Alzheimers on my late mother, and followed up with Aricept. Years later, I saw tests to investigate the after effects of stroke, on a friend. It would be good to see the same high standards of diagnosis and treatment throughout the NHS mental health system. The above words were published in June 2015, and in late October a "Bluebell" page, started on 1st October, was reviewed by a wide network of friends, before publication. It is written to be amusing, and is a Mini-Autobiography, covering my life, as seen be a Shrink. Visit www.NHSCare.info and look for "Interested in Mental Health ?". Why did I over-work myself in April 2015 ? See the top of my AsOnTV page. You can decide if the two men in the cartoon are patients or staff :-)

What idiot decided to allow Scotland to break from the UK ?

Scottish Vote

written on 17th September 2014, the day before Scotland voted ...

I guess this really is the start of the break-up of the UK, and I will have to start thinking more about myself being "English", rather than "British" - although sometimes I'd rather be thought of as just "human".

After the Scots have made their decision, on Thursday 18th September 2014, and if it is a "Yes", I guess it will become ratified, and Scotland will then become an independant nation. Then I guess, some may call for a similar referendom to decide if England should remain within the UK. Why not ? That is just as valid is it not ? After that, how about similar referenda for Northern Ireland, Wales ? Then Cornwall ? Greater London ? Why only hold a referendum now, and not in one or two generations time ?

It's easy to forget the bloodshed and suffering that usually preceeds the forging of a nation, particularly after a generation or two have passed since the last major war. In these (brief?) periods of peace, and relative prosperity, it is easy to think of short term things, like the cost-of-living, rather than more important things like peace. When there are problems within a country, governments often seem to create problems on their borders, sometimes leading to war. It's a good thing we did not knock down Hadrian's Wall - we may need it ! :-)

I did a quick "wiki" on this Scottish Referendum, and it seems it is only in the last couple of years that our UK Governemt decided to ratify it, if there was a "Yes" decision. I thought the decision may have been influenced by reducing the number of labour MPs in the (smaller) UK Parliement, if Scotland broke away, but I suspect it was simply stupidity and/or ignorance - not thinking things through. Most "conspiracys" are probably really "cockups" :-)

I'd prefer that Scotland remain within the UK, but whatever, the decision, even if a "No", the damage has been done: it establishes the principle that our United Kingdom can be broken up, following a referendum. We will see what the future holds, whatever the Scottish people decide, "Yes" or "No".

19th September: I'm glad the Scots decided "No", but what now ? The English get to decide if to leave the UK ? The Scots get another choice in 20 or 30 years ? Who was the "idiot" ? Just our UK Government, or MPs and Peers ? I'm sure Wiki will answer some of that :-)

When was England last conquered, and by whom ? which William ? ....

William of Orange For many years, I remember being taught in School, that it was the French, under William the Conquerer, who last invaded England, and changed our Government. 1066, Battle of Hastings, a bloke getting an arrow in his eye, and all that. But then we read a page in a little book, "Historical Walks" (Hysterical Walks ?) describing the history of where we were taking a weekend walk in the English countryside. I soon followed up, on the Net, and was amazed - especially since we had lived nearly 10 years in Holland, and the Dutch seemed such nice people !

It seems, after the English had been weakened by their civil war, in the 1660s (?), William of Orange had landed troops in the West Country, and gathering an even bigger army of English (or was it Cornish?) supporters, had marched eastward towards London, to overthrow the King and his army. Before that, the Dutch had sailed up the Thames, and burnt our whole fleet of Royal Navy ships. To humiliate us even more, they had decided to keep our flagship, and tow it back to Holland !

But William of Orange was obviously a "shrewd cookie" : he came to a halt near Hungerford(?), confronted by what army the British had, and said that he wanted to "Parly". He offered a "deal", where his proposal would be offered to the British Parliement, for their decision. He knew they would agree, since no love was lost with Parliament and the King - they were worried that the Crown might become Catholic again, and under the influence of Rome. What could be worse than being under the power of those Italians again ? :-)

I understand that William's deal was accepted, as he expected, and in due course, he shared the Crown with Mary. I think that our old King, James(?), got "paid off", and spent his retirement years in Holland. I believe that he may have taken up mountaineering there, but you can check the facts yourself.

TV sound editing and control - all over the place ?

My wife June says I should wear my hearing aid - but it's clearly sloppy editing and control of the sound level (volume) on TV networks. One would expect the adverts to have their sound turned up, for the obvious commercial reasons - but why so sloppy within a programme ? One moment the sound is "just right", and then barely audible. Maybe the sound engineers fighting back, behind the scenes, after they are reduced in number, and told they are not really needed for outside broadcasts ? :-)

TV News: Journalism or Entertainment ?

TV News TV News broadcasts seem to lack any real thought on what to broadcast, and what questions to ask. I guess the news editors have to think about audience ratings, and worry about their audience flipping channel, or - horror of horrors - turning to the Net for their news. e.g. the online versions of the national nespapers, like the Telegraph and the Mail. Maybe the fault is not with the "jounalists" (or "showmen"?) but with the management and news editorial process.

Would it not be good for those responsible, hearing of a new story (probably by watching the Net), spent a minute or two thinking of relevant questions, then another few minutes research on Wiki ? e.g. my "Crimea and Ukraine" piece above. It seems what drives selection are things like dramatic video, an ill tempered argument, or - at the top of the list - someone breaking down and crying, on camera.

It seems to me perfectly understandable and reasonable, after a particularly "heavy" session of depressing news, such as the suffering of people in war zones, to lighten it up at the very end. But that stuff at the front should try and inform, rather than "entertain" as if one were watching a horror movie. My wife tends to operate the TV remote in our house, making the small decisions on what TV programme is seen next. I make the big decisions, like changes of Government, and often pop out of the room for a couple of minutes, after a news piece, to see what Wiki says. Over the years we've tended to watch BBC News, but I suspect most UK News channels, including ITN, suffer from the same things.

I saw how to handle the Press, back in 1981 and my defence-career days, when the GEC Press Officer called a news conference, related to what I'd been doing. They were wined and dined, but their job made easier with "Press Packs" that held material that could easily be "cut and pasted", including text and photographs. In 1994, when I started my own GPS Software business, I found the same approach worked well - see that AsOnTV page above. Then 10 years later, my charitable work related to long term care benifited - when I made the effort, in the early years. I tried to present the story simply, provide useful pictures and videos, and links into other sites, so the journalist could check the facts. e.g. links from my NHSCare.info site, into those of the Law Society, or the Royal College of Nursing.

In more recent years, I don't bother to contact the Press, but I make it easy for them to see that "a story is brewing" and "when it will happen". If they contact me, then I obviously help if I can, but this is now usually just "a bit of fun", such as that "Snoopy robot boat" story below :-)

"Retired NATO Scientist" is the label that seems to have stuck, after that first Daily Telegraph national newspaper article in 2012, and it seems as good a label as any. Any other job title from earlier or later jobs would probably say much less about my background and approach to most questions that arise. Enjoy the piece below: there is enough to entertain, or even inform, most of you :-)

Coincidences do happen ....

Some of my friends think I am too inclined to believe conspiracy theories, rather than accepting something was just a coincidence. e.g. the "mysterious deaths" story at the start of this page: I'd guess there was a 50% chance of there being some truth in this, and try to keep an open mind on it. The same applies to what happened to our robot boat in 2012, which you will find in our "Snoopy Story" below. One thing is for sure: for every true conspiracy, there are a hundred "cock-ups" :-) But here is an amazing coincidence that happened to my wife June and I, back in the early 1970s ....

old telescope in Wokingham I lived with my parents, in Luckley Road, Wokingham, for most of my childhood, from when I was six, until not long before June and I got married, and went to work and live in Holland, in 1971. It must have been in the early 1970s, before the first of our children arrived, that we took a package holiday to Benedorm in Spain, flying from Holland. Practically all the others in the hotel were from Holland or Germany, and the Spanish waiter struck up a conversation, at our breakfast table, when he knew we were English ....
I know eengland: where in eengland you come from ? I replied: "Oh, you would not know it: Wokingham, about 30 miles west of London."
I know Wokingham: where in Wokingham ? "Really ? Luckley Road, about one mile south of the town"
I know Luckley Road: where in road did you leeev ? "at number 45, next but one to the railway bridge."
I know where: I worked in the kitchen at the school behind you in Luckley Road !

He was right: there was, and still is, Luckley Girls School there. At that time, before houses were built in the woods, my schoolboy friends and I would explore the woods. My late mother even worked a short time in the school kitchen, but I never thought to ask here if she knew a guy from Spain. I can't remember his name, but maybe it was Manuel, and he came from Barcelona ? :-)

The picture was taken in the 1960s, and is from my Telescope Page , showing my old telescope at Luckley Road, before the trees were replaced by houses.

Cartoons about Jews, Christ, The Prophet, and God ... seen by few before "Je Suis Charlie" ?

Snoopy's friend, the French Frog Cartoon Cartoon Cartoon Cartoon Until the "Charlie Hebdot" incident, I'd never paid attention, let alone looked, at any cartoons of The Prophet - even after the fuss several years ago, when some were published in Denmark. However, here are several, of the thousands you will find, if you google on "cartoons of jews, christ, the Prophet or god". I've always been bemused by how much hatred there has been, between at least the minority of followers of the Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, and Protestant Faiths, especially since they all worship the same God, originating from Israel. We cannot blame the religion for our violence: the ancient Greeks were quite capable of it, and it was the Romans who invented crucifiction, before Christ. There will always be "nutters" amongst us, happy to kill and cause hurt, especially when there is sometimes a valid grievance. These acts are probably the result of hatred, and religion is just their "excuse", rather than a "reason". Sometimes it is simply a "gun culture" that allows the tragic killings, without any good excuse at all. 90 Americans kill each other with guns, each day. It seems that if a friend of the Pope insults the Pope's mother, the Pope will give him a punch on the nose. God knows what this Pope will do, if a stranger insults Jesus. What if they insult Mother Mary, or God Himself ?

The Life of the Prophet Muhammad Many non-Muslims may be surprised by what follows here... Our good Muslim friends include Shams and his family, who we've known for years, long before they came to the UK in 2002. Shams has seen this cartoon and this text. I discussed it briefly with him, back in April, on the Friday after Good Friday, two days before the "Bluebell" incident above, which was related to this cartoon. Shams visited with his two boys after prayers, for them to see Snoopy, and for us to catch up - particularly what the boys were now doing at secondary school, and their hopes for the future. We agreed it would not be a bad idea for him to chat with their Iman, towards something desirable for British Society. More recently, when reviewing the draft "Bluebell" document, he suggested that we use the cartoon in publicity, to correct the impression the majority of UK public may have about the views of Muslims regarding any cartoons that depict the Prophet. Shams is happy with the text here. I may include his actual words here, with the agreement of him and his family, in due course.

Here is a link Shams sent me, which he suggested that I use: The Life of the Prophet Muhammad - a lovely, 90 page, copyright-free, online book - clearly intended to promote understanding and peace. It's now on my list of things to read in depth :-)

I did a "Poll" of non-Muslim's attitude to my putting this cartoon back up on this "Grumpy" page. Only one, a neighbour, reacted in horror, placing her hands over her face, and saying "I don't want the place attacked". all the rest, including my family, gave answers like: "I'm not sure what Muslims think, but it looks harmless enough to me, and I'm completely relaxed about you making it public". Good if anything like this is from a respected Muslim web site, able to respond authoritively to the Press. Muslims DO have a sense of humour ! :-)

Refugees, economic migrants, wars, anarchy, and Global Warming ....

refugee boy on a beach girl fleeing from napalm attack

Few will not be moved by the sad images of the little Syrian boy refugee, found drowned on a beach, and the interviews with his father. Maybe there will be consequences, as there was for the Vietnam War, after that image of children fleeing a napalm attack . When refugees reach safety, such as into Turkey from Syria, they will obviously think where they should go to build a better life for themselves and their family. This will be influenced by what languages they speak and the percieved prosperity of the country. e.g. Germany or UK. I was an "economic migrant" in the 1970s, when we moved to Holland to earn more money than in UK. In recent years "Business" interests have encouraged UK Government to bring in "cheap labour" from eastern europe and overseas. The UK population has increased massively, by more than 20%, but Governments have not increased spending on services like the NHS. Most economic migrants do not start as refugees. There are no easy solutions to help refugees, but let us hope that our political leaders think clearly, before doing what they think will be "popular". Some may say that the problems in Syria and Iraaq were created by western leaders being too quick to go to war or encourage armed rebellion, to overthrow a dictator, such as Saddam or Assad. I hope we can help those, like refugees, who suffer. If we cannot cope with the results of war or anarchy, what hope is there for coping with the massively larger numbers of refugees from Global Warming ?

Global Warming, The Revenge of Gaia, throwing mankind back 10,000 years, and James Lovelock ....

The Revenge of Gaia "We can't stop Global Warming. but we may delay it by a few decades, to give us time to prepare for it's effects: vast areas of the World, including as close as continental Europe, becoming arid desert; shrinking of habitable areas of the planet to much smaller parts of the planet, closer to the Poles. The Earth will then only be able to support a small fraction of it's present population, and there will be the need for massive migration. Places like the UK will remain temporate a little longer, so will be an attractive destination. We need all World Governments to cooperate, to prepare for this inevitability; also to agree things like reduced use of fossile fuels, to give us a few more decades to prepare."

James Lovelock The above is not a quote, but how I remember what James Lovelock said in his book "The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is Fighting Back and How We Can Still Save Humanity", published in February 2007. I read the book years ago, and have watched how World Governments have failed to grasp his main message. I will probably update this section soon, after checking things like if I remembered correctly what he wrote in the book. Also, what he and others have said since. Also, my opinion on what is likely to happen, if his prediction is true: the end of this civilisation, throwing mankind back 10,000 years. This would probably after Worldwide anarchy, and at least one nuclear war. I hope he and many others are wrong, but I fear that they may be right. However, I don't think most grasp the main issue that James Lovelock wrote, years ago. Click on James to read the Guardian article from September 2016.

When I said "Poles" above, I meant "Polar Regions" rather than "Poland". Sorry my many Polish friends, in UK and overseas, but Poland is part of Continental Europe. Let's hope it does not happen, but if it does, there are already a few nice Polish shops over here :-)

Religion, Israel, Palestine, and a "peace message" to all ....

Angel Gabriel Man evolved to be the most violent creature on Earth. Religion attempted to curb this violence, but has often been used as an excuse for it. Vengence fuels killing, be it those of a different family, tribe, race, nationality, or religion. Muslims, Catholics, Protestents, and Jews, all worship the same Johovah, God, or Allah. Ancient Egyptians persecuted the Jews, causing them to flee across the Nile, to what became Palestine/Israel. The Romans were not much better, nailing that Jew to a cross, seeding Christianity, and the Roman Catholic Church. Then came the Crusades, with our Richard the Lionheart, in Robin Hood times, when the Muslims became the innocent victims, slaughtered by the Crusaders, backed by the Catholic Church. The Christian church split into Catholic and Protestant, another excuse for slaughter, witnessed by English history. Similarly, Islam split into Shia and Sunny faiths. We British, after the World War 1, seeded the State of Israel, with the Balfour Declaration. It suggested that the wandering Jews be given their own homeland, perhaps within Palestine. Why kick the Palestinians, out of their land ? Why not give the Jews the home counties, of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire in England ? Hitler had his reasons to hate Jews. The result was the Holocaust, and the greatest slaughter mankind had known. After WWII, the Jews were given the state of Israel. This was despite the British, as occupiers of Palestine, regarding what became Israel's Government as terrorists. The Americans recognised the self-declared state of Israel, due to the Jewish lobby, and memory of the Holocaust. I've been an agnostic all my adult life, not an atheist. On occasion, I have felt someone is smiling down on us. President Obama's historic meeting with Castro was a hopeful sign. It would be nice to think that the right information is brought to the attention of everyone, including our leaders. Let us at least pause for thought, before doing harm to others. Better still if we can do good, not harm. Let our conscience be our guide.

Bad things happen in all wars, and are seldom known by but very few ...

BBC Panorama Special on 15th March 2017 Marine A Robin From Robin on Saturday 18th March 2017: The whole 40 minutes of this BBC Panorama Special, broadcast on the night of 15th March 2017, on UK BBC TV Channel 1, at 2245Z UK time, is now on BBC I-Player. Ideally, the video will become available with subtitles, capable of translation into any language, including Russian, Chinese, and Arabic. e.g. on Youtube. I stayed up to watch it, and afterwards told June, my wife since 1971, that she should watch all of it on BBC I-Player, since it would tell her much about myself that she did not know. If you click on the left picture, it took you to the BBC article and the short video trailer . It now takes you to the full 40 minutes*. The trailer was from the perspective of a UK audience, and the subject of this particular case - hopefully leading to a suspended sentence. However, to me, the programme has a much wider relevance than this case, or the Afghanistan War. The most significant statement being a firm "No", in the closing minutes. I am often reminded of my time drinking, and swapping yarns, in the 1970s, with guys who served in Korea, or USAF officers, returning through Europe from Vietnam. In later years it included the guys in that EASAMS "Barossa Operation", swapping yarns in the Cambridge Pub in Camberley, about British Army Operations in Ireland and elsewhere. My wife may even remember that evening in the Windmill Pub, when Ian spoke of his time in Belfast and Yemen. More recently, that "Quiet American", ex US Marine, then a "Contractor", spending a memorable day, for me, as "Team-Sapper", doing some Geocaching, and being shown a few local landmarks like the Kennedy Memorial. Most of this is tucked away on my pages, and will not mean a thing to the vast majority of my friends. * 23 March 2017: that full Youtube video is now here and linked from the image above. 29th March: Sgt Al Blackman will be released soon. 4th April: That Youtube account closed, but on BBC I-Player here.

RM LCU on horizon.

The Royal Marines and Snoopy's robot boat ....

To finish on a happy note, check out my page: Snoopy's robot boat to cross the Atlantic, from UK to USA. Was that a sea rescue in March 2015, or just a happy coincidence ? :-)

BBC TV South broadcast of launch, reported by Ben Moore, BBC Reporter

Snoopy's landing at Brighton on 30th March 2015 white

Pensioner Power ....

BBC TV World News at 0700 22 February: Ethiopian Famine, and Africa. Perhaps Pensioners can help bring a little Peace and Understanding in the World ? white strip Click here for GPS Software on Pocket PC Akalu Alemu in Addis Ababa Ethiopia Click here for GPS Software on Pocket PC Click here for more information The Life of the Prophet Muhammad Samantha in Central Park just after 911 John Mannielo in USAF Grumpy Pensioners white strip See "HolidayX" off Holiday page, for details how a combination of Technology, Translation, and Tourism, might be a force for good to be done: probably by Grumpy Old Men :-) white strip

Robin

Pensioners on the march

It only occured to me in December 2015, sat in the coffee shop in Tescos, at Martin't Heron, Bracknell, what huge friendliness and comradery there was between us old folk. This must be the most powerful network for change: no need to march to get attention: just spread the right information around to everybody.

Wouldn't it be nice if these pages went viral ? I'm sure the Media, including the TV and Radio Networks, Newspapers, and web sites, would soon be making sure everyone knew the simple facts. e.g. that 3 minute video from the amazing Pam Coughlan.

If the Media do take an interest, I have expert story-boarder friends, to suggest the content of a particular programme. It's my hope that the "Bluebell" story is preceded by one of the others, such as "NHSCare.info" or "Snoopy".

Put It To The Test Any of these broadcasts could include a few minutes of "Bluebell" material. I'm sure our local police will cooperate, in recreating those events, captured in my covert videos. They did a brilliant job for Nick Knowles, all those years ago in 1997. See my AsOnTV page. Visit our 2015 Lovelock Christmas Newsletter for late news copied or moved from these "Grumpy" pages. They include material on topics as diverse as the Shenzhen Landslide Disaster, my dear French friend George, and the importance of parrots in my life :-) white strip

Love and Strength to All.

© Robin Lovelock.

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