CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Now they tell us ...

"There are fewer than 20,000 British expatriates on the electoral register, a tiny fraction of the estimated six million Britons living abroad. Part of the problem is that many overseas voters simply don’t know that they are eligible to vote," say The Electoral Commission.

Actually, I knew that I could vote: here in Spain I can vote for local councillors, whilst I could vote in general / European elections in the UK. That I haven't done the latter is because it's been too much trouble.

What I didn't know, however, is that there's a time limit: "British citizens living abroad who have been registered to vote in the UK at any time within the past 15 years can register as an overseas voter."

And, guess who has already been away more than 15 years this year?

Humph, it suits them, obviously, to have a time limit on this - and up to a point, I can understand that someone who has been away that long could be so far out of touch with their country of origin that their vote was of debatable value there - yet, the British Govt. does not see fit to having a time limit on imposing some of it's taxes? Funny that, isn't it?

You can download an overseas registration form and find out about registering here, if you're eligible and feel so inclined, but I wouldn't mind betting that the seriously low registration level is as much to do with folk not wanting to tie their old location to their new for various reasons we can only speculate about.

The campaign does seem a jolly good way for the UK Government to track where their citizens have gone. Something else which strikes me is the high opinion the UK has of itself. Well, it always did have delusions of grandeur, but it really must be time for it to finally accept that it now has neither "colonies" nor Empire! :) Mind you the colonies United States are just as bad, because this is equal to the Green Card ads that I am fed a constant diet of online.

Presumably, because I live in "another country", they think that I must be "desperate" to go to the US. (I would have to be 'effin desperate.)

The register to vote campaign starts with the assumption that "There are some things you miss while living abroad." This really depends on attitude and I would counter that once Brits stop expecting "Britain with sun" wherever they go in the world, then they don't miss a darn thing. Those of us - probably a very large part of the 6 million - who left Ripoff Britain because we thought it sucked, certainly won't see it that way. It also seems to me to be entirely out of touch.

Whilst I am sure there are many "Little Britain" enclaves dotted around the world, with "old hands" sipping tea on (irrigated) lawns, as if the days of the Raj had never ended, I wouldn't mind betting these are restricted to the armed forces and a few isolated spots. The majority have most likely gone abroad permanently and because they want to, not because they have some "overseas posting" they must "grin and bear". Those of us who actually thought about this and where they wanted to live instead have almost certainly found a culture, politics, climate, cuisine, etc., that suits them better. Via: the Telegraph

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Listen very carefully ...

For some odd reason, Michelle of the Resistance' line, "Listen very carefully, I will say this only once," from 'Allo 'Allo!, wandered into my mind and, then it wondered if there might be a snippet online: Allo Allo 2007.

Didn't expect to find it that funny after all these years, but it still managed to make me laugh until my sides ached, especially learning that Officer Crabtree has become a permanent expat, yet still doesn't "spook the longwadge".

That would never apply to a Brit abroad in reality, now would it? Sarcastic

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Your Body Was Not Made To Eat Meat

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Man belongs to the primate family, all members of which are complete vegetarians. By and large primates were not created or suited to digest the dead flesh of another creature. Indeed it is a rare but not unknown occurrence to see a gorilla or baboon in the wild dining off an animal carcass.

Much of mankind and many great civilizations have remained vegetarian and indeed are often healthier than their meat eating counterparts.

For example the Buddhist people of the Far East and indeed 90 % of the population in India have been vegetarian for millennia. The Hunza people of South America, also vegetarians are renowned for their remarkable health and longevity, it is known that the vegetarian inhabitants of the Vilcababamba valley in Ecuador frequently live more than 100 years old and one inhabitant was recorded to be 142 years of age.

Again and again it is noted that the major degenerative diseases of Western society including cancer, heart disease and diabetes hardly if at all affect vegetarian populations. Indeed in vegetarian cultures these diseases, which are the mainstay of band aid treatment after the fact, are practically unknown and are very uncommon in these vegetarian cultures.

Compare the anatomy and physiology of man with that of a typical herbivore (for example an ape) with that of a typical carnivore (for example a lion) and you will notice that first of all that herbivores have jaws that move laterally and vertically, and teeth suited for grinding. Carnivore's jaws move only vertically, and their teeth are only suited for ripping.

Secondly carnivores have 15 times more hydrochloric acid in their stomachs than herbivores such as apes.

Lastly carnivores such as lions have an average only three feet of intestine.

This is so that flesh can be expelled before the body before it has time to putrefy and go rotten. Whereas herbivores have over 22 feet of intestines. Mankind's intestines generally range from 18 to 24 feet in that range of 22 feet.

Meat is not part of mankind's natural diet. Mankind was not created to be a meat eater. It does not take much common sense or knowledge to see to whom we have more in common : it is apparent that mankind by virtue of his or her anatomy and physiology was never created for or intended to eat meat.

It was noted by the renowned anthropologist Desmond Morris in his classic study – the book "Manwatching", that "In origin, man is a fruit picking primate turned hunter". Mankind was created by nature to be a vegetation herbivore rather than a meat eating creature, for the sake of your health and longevity this should be considered in your choice of diet. It is now increasingly easy and indeed fashionable to have a vegetarian lifestyle.

This even includes many restaurants and fast food chains and not only niche restaurants such as Indian restaurants. Consider mankind's evolutionary physiology, diet and history when considering your diet. Consider your health and longevity. You were not "made to eat meat". About The Author: Margaret S. Mathews http://www.mmedsolution.com Photo: © Jenny Rollo

Monday, 8 October 2007

Vegetarian Biryani: Tastes like chicken?

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Well, it wouldn't have tasted like chicken, because there wasn't any in there, but the feline was removed before he could taste test it or add any animal products to the dish. Honestly, turn my back for one second ...

You'd think my animals were hungry, but they eat better than I do!

Anyway, this Vegetarian Biryani - for humans - was based on this recipe. Based, because half the ingredients are not available where I live and I forgot the peas, but as the cat's smell test suggests, it was still perfectly OK.

It passed my taste test anyway, as well as my freeze and reheat test.

Having purchased a whole cauliflower, rather than have to eat it for days on end or think up "101 Things to do with a Cauliflower", I made a large pot, then froze portions that I later defrosted and reheated in the microwave.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

UK Green Party Sending Spam

I'm all for recycling a few electrons instead of chopping down trees to send communications, but only when I give my explicit permission.

And, as interested as I am in environmental issues, I don't want them in my inbox, when I didn't ask for them and I certainly did not ask for communications from the Green Party in the UK. There's no point: I haven't lived in the UK for over 15 years, so I won't be voting for them, nor for anyone else there.

The first of these emails appeared to be from their Birmingham list, where I was born. Coincidence? Could they have taken old electoral lists and had email addresses recently appended? That isn't even legal, but does seem to "add up" technically with the email address of mine being used and it might explain why I would get selected as a candidate for such a list.

In actual fact, I haven't even been to Birmingham since 1993 and, before you ask, no I do not still have any friends or relatives there, so this is not someone I know hoping to do me (and the planet) a "kindness".

But in order for anyone to be able to add my email address to a list without my explicit permission - however it occurred; deliberately, mistakenly, mischievously - the list(s) they operate must therefore be single opt-in - i.e. allows additions without confirmation from the email address owner.

That is absolutely inexcusable, as it means they are following practices that go against the relevant EU directive and breaks current UK spam law.

The Information Commissioner's Office is the UK's independent authority set up to promote access to official information and to protect personal information. The ICO has produced a PDF document, entitled Promotion of a Political Party, which clearly states, "Briefly, you cannot send promotional emails to an individual subscriber without their prior consent."

OK, I can buy the fact that the Green Party are a political party, not "internet experts", but this is so clear, it does not require any kind of expert; they, more than most, need to be aware of how this stuff works and use it properly; their domain name was first registered in 1997, so they've had a decade to learn technical stuff; the email rules date back to 2003.

And, if I can easily find this information, so can the Green Party.

Even giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming that they did not deliberately add my address to their list themselves, not realizing that single opt-in leaves them open to abuse from other parties who may wish to add addresses by mistake or for mischief, is not an acceptable defence.

The rules also say that they need to provide a valid opt-out address. Well, worse yet, last time I received an unwanted email from them, I attempted to remove my email address using the unsubscribe address provided.

As I said, previous emails came from the Birmingham list. Today's appears to be from "internalcommunications" or "members" lists, which I don't remember seeing before. This means either, responding to (unsubscribing from) the Birmingham list worked, but I was already on one or more other of their lists, also without my consent, or that this action removed me from one list and added me to another. Neither option is legal or savoury.

The lists do appear to be the ones being operated by the Green Party (corresponds with the help address on their contact page), so I do not believe that this is a spoof or someone else sending these messages.

Currently, whether deliberately, negligently or by "ignorant accident", right now what I am receiving is spam and the issue needs addressing.

Lets state the obvious here: if some commercial entity sends me spam, I can decide to ignore it. Even if I am stupid enough to buy, probably the worst that can happen is that I will get ripped off. That would be my problem.

But the Green Party want people to vote for them so they can run a country and be responsible for very important things like national security and your life.

Well, I'm sorry that requires knowledge of rules and laws and an attention to detail WAY above that currently being demonstrated.

Apart from not being able to ignore the implications here, why I'm particularly annoyed (read: livid) today, however, is that they seem to be aware.

In the message, appear these words (complete with typos / misspellings):

"Our apologies if you did not wish to receive thsi commmunication."

No, I didn't wish to receive it, but an apology is not enough.

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