The Patch

August 28, 2007

Things that make me laugh…

Filed under: Celebrity/TV,International News,Miscellany,Music & Film — denesha @ 2:49 pm

Natalie Imbruglia at the Secret Policeman’s Ball.

Stick with it. It is mildly amusing.

His Girl Friday

If your area is anything like mine, your local Blockbusters is now a cheap mall called ‘Kwality Goods.’ Presumably, they don’t sell a spell checker in the mall. As a result, I have to find movies that I want to watch online. I figured that if they are not pirated new movies, I’m in the clear. Also, Cary Grant is lovely and everyone should have access to him, regardless of what their Blockbusters was replaced with.  

Alberto Gonzales resigns and hopefully recalls this memory on Monday morning.

Yay.

August 1, 2007

Wednesday 1st August- Some things change, others stay the same.

Filed under: Celebrity/TV,International News,Politics,UK News — denesha @ 1:58 pm

On the 1st August 2007, Gordon Brown obtained a moral and foreign policy victory during his visit to the States, by securing enough votes to send a 26000 strong UN peacekeeping force to Sudan. Of course, there needs to be a political solution to the problem to ensure a lasting peace and hopes run high for a meeting between the warring factions on Friday and the deployment of these troops was indeed watered down to suit the Chinese government’s interests in Sudan. However, it is undeniable that the deployment of these troops is the most progress the international community has made in stopping what key political figures have been referring to as genocide for the past two years. The ethnic cleansing of Sudan by the Janjaweed rebel forces has been going on for four years now and the 7000 strong African Union troops have been struggling to restore peace. The deployment of these troops marks a clear victory for Brown as the series of groundwork laid by foreign office staff in the run up to his visit to the UN and the personal intervention of Brown in persuading China to agree to the resolution, resulted in the most positive steps the UN has taken in alleviating the violence that has claimed at least 200 000 lives. Nevertheless, the success was limited as the force does not have the power to disarm militias or track suspected war criminals, and Brown’s threat of implementing UN sanctions if the Sudanese government failed to comply was omitted from the resolution. The UN troops will be the largest peacekeeping force in the world and will be mainly drawn from African nations, thus removing a key factor behind the Sudanese government’s initial opposition to the force. The meeting on Friday will hopefully result in a peace deal that will end the violence and allow the displaced refugees in the Darfur camps to return home in safety.

On the 1st August 2007, Perez Hilton wrote a blog post about a picture of Matthew Perry on which the celebrity blogger wrote ‘baked.’ This man (Perez Hilton, not Perry who is now my second favourite character on Studio 60) is the dregs of society yet is given money and attention from celebrities like Victoria Beckham to write his disgusting and sometimes, near illiterate, blog posts. His idea of news is scribbling on pictures of celebrities. Even my 6 year old niece has better writing skills than Hilton, and she spells my name as “Dhsd”. I refuse to link to his site as it offends me deeply and the man will not get any traffic from the Patch. It just makes me sad that on a day when a remarkable achievement has been made in ensuring peace in Sudan, there is someone out there who will never know because Perez Hilton chose to write about how ‘baked’ Matthew Perry looks. Cunt.

July 22, 2007

Sunday 21st July- Jetlagged musings on travelling.

Filed under: International News,Miscellany,Uncategorized — denesha @ 8:00 pm

I would like to start this short and somewhat rushed post with an apology. I am sorry for skipping the last two weeks. I did plan a replacement but he seems to have disappeared. I was actually in sunny Canada for the past two and a half weeks. Whilst England was waiting for summer to start, a glorious heat wave hit the BC area. I was in heaven. I probably owe you all another apology for rubbing my wonderful good fortune in your faces. It was truly a good holiday despite spending way too much time on Facebook when I was struck by BC boredom. It really is the worst kind of boredom. (more…)

July 1, 2007

Sunday 1st July- Students of the world, REVOLT!

Filed under: International News,Miscellany,UK News — denesha @ 12:34 pm

I return to the Patch after being forced to divulge everything I know on History, English Literature and Chemistry in an exam hall on a booklet of paper under timed conditions. For you see, my little Patchers, I just completed my A levels. These little tests that most 18 year olds across the country sit, are designed to gauge how clever we are in certain subjects, after studying the subject intensively for two years. On the days leading up to the 16th August, these 18 year olds will read about how ‘easy’ A Levels are and pundits lamenting about how ‘back in the day’ (which day are these journalists referring to? Maybe it’s 23rd June 1980? Is that the day?!), they had it much harder. These pundits should be shot. Presumably, ‘back in the day’ (23rd June 1980), they didn’t have to pay top up frees, be thrown into a job market that believes it is saturated with graduates or live in an economy that makes first time buying near impossible. (more…)

May 29, 2007

Tuesday 29th May 2007.

Filed under: Celebrity/TV,International News — Claire @ 3:50 pm

So, this week sees the return of Big Brother, and as acting Entertainment correspondant and a scarily huge fan of the show I will report on that tomorrow for you.

However, Big Brother isn’t the only reality TV show hitting headlines this week. No, some of you may have seen that a new Dutch show is causing a bit of a fuss, too.
(more…)

April 22, 2007

Sunday 22nd April- International News Round Up

Filed under: International News — denesha @ 10:21 am

This week, I figured that I would do something different. The celebrity news front has been slow this week, unless you feel like being told off by Alec Baldwin.

I will hopefully be undertaking an International Relations degree in September, so it makes sense for me to pick out some international news stories this week, instead of celebrity gossip. Alas, a degree in Lindsay Lohan’s hair colour is not offered…yet.

I hope Phil doesn’t mind- I promise to go back to celebrity news once something interesting happens. (more…)

January 25, 2007

Thursday 25th January 2007 – Preach on with the message of “Go fuck thy neighbour.”

Filed under: International News — Phil @ 11:59 pm

Two days ago, President George W. Bush delivered his penultimate State of the Union address before Congress.

I hope I’m not stepping on Alan’s toes here, and I hope this column isn’t becoming too Americo-centric, but it’s hard to do a column on international news without mentioning the most powerful nation in the world a little bit.

He started off with some very professionally given but ultimately quite unconvincing congratulations to the democrats and I think that was pretty much the high point.
(more…)

January 18, 2007

Thursday 18th January 2007 – Hating and Hanging

Filed under: International News — Phil @ 10:25 pm

There are 2 things I want to talk about today, I’m going to start with the less serious of the two.

Firstly, I’m quite amused at the fact Big Brother has managed to cause an international incident, embroiling the Chancellor of the Exchequer and has been discussed in the commons. I’m amused, yet ever so slightly disgusted.

Such things should not be the concern of governments. It’s a bunch of reprehensible fools sharing their reprehensible opinions (I mean celebrity Big Brother, not the government, although…). It shouldn’t be the concern of this column either, but if the Indian government insists on bring it within my remit, who am I to disappoint them.

More important, though, is the hangings of Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamad al-Bandar. I’m actually not sure where to start.

For me, the death penalty is always, under any circumstances, morally reprehensible. Murder has no statutory definition under English law, but essentially, it’s when you kill someone with an intention to kill or cause grievous bodily (often phrased as “malice aforethought”). By this definition, every execution is necessarily murder, every executioner a murderer and every state which allows the death penalty is guilty of conspiracy to murder.

Awad Hamad al-Bandar was the head of the Iraqi Revolutionary Court, and, in 1994 sentenced the villagers of Dujail to death because an assassination attempt against Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi special tribunal said that the sentence was an order of murder (which it was), and therefore responded with an, uhm, well, it was an order of murder wasn’t it.

Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti was the head of the Iraqi Secret Service, executed for his role in the Dujail massacre, but guilty of countless instances of murder and torture.

Both these men, and Hussein, will forever be legally innocent of all the other crimes they committed. More than that, the presiding judge of their trail resigned, claiming the government was interefering in the trial. Two of Saddam’s lawyers – one of whom was a former US attorney-general, claimed the United States was ensuring an unfair trial. None of the defendants were allowed to appeal.

Furthermore, they could never have been given a fair trail in the current environment. It should never have happened. By failing to ensure a fair trial, the American government has gone a substantial way to proving that not only was the war not a defense of America or it’s allies (which we knew), nor was it an illegal but possibly defensible regime change (which we suspected), but was an invasion, nothing less. Economic colonialism of the oil world.

Not content with just murdering these men, it was done in a disgusting and depraved way. Saddam Hussein went to his death being taunted, and had his death broadcast to millions, if not billions of people. al-Tikriti’s head was ripped off his body. He then had his his death made into a spectacle for reporters.

Personally, I believe any living being, human or not, deserves better treatment than this, what ever they may have done. But even if you don’t, treating people like this brings the captors to same, depraved level. Iraq as a democracy is more bloodthirsty than Iraq under Hussein. Post-war Iraq is more dangerous to most Iraqis than Iraq under Saddam. I’m not saying Saddam Hussein was a good person. I’m not even saying it was wrong to depose Hussein, but the way it was gone about was demonstrably wrong.

I couldn’t even start to suggest how this wrong could be righted, I’m not sure that leaving Iraq now is a viable option, but I’m also not sure we’re not making it worse. All I know is that every action in Iraq now has to be made with an aim to ultimately remove our troops. But I’m also reasonably confident that the puppet government would collapse with it’s American support.

January 11, 2007

Thursday 11th January 2007

Filed under: International News — Phil @ 11:38 pm

It is with this post I show you all I am the least reliable member of The Patch so far, I shall make my day yet!

I have racked my brain today to try and work out what to write about it. then I was perusing BBC News and was reminded of the lifting of the Russia-Belarus Oil blockade. Intrest piqued, I started to write my article, but I ran out of things to say quite quickly, but it’s a good little leader into a far more important issue – fossil fuel usage.

There’s a number of issues regarding fossil fuels. the one which seems to have died off in recent years is quite how finite these resources are. According to the Oil and Gas journal, using the most optimistic reserve estimate, we have 32 years of oil left. So what happens when we run out?

Firstly, consider the economic impact. It’s one of the biggest commodities traded on the international markets today. In 2003, nearly 81 million barrels of oil were used every day. At the current price of $53 a barrel (which is the lowest it’s been in a while), that over USD 4 billion a day. Over a trillion dollars every year.

Then there’s transport. At present, there’s no reliable replacement for crude-oil derived products, such as petrol and diesel. And we’re not just talking about needing to cycle to work – our entire infrastructure is based on oil. There’d be no food, no clean water.

Then there’s power – we still rely on fossil fuels for power as well. Oil is a tiny contributor, but gas and coal make up 73% of the UK’s energy production, and whilst we won’t run out as fast, we’re still going to run out. Our options for replacing it are, at present, limited. The only current technology which could feasibly start to replace fossil fuels is nuclear, which has huge problems of it’s own – but that’s a whole new article.

Finally, and we’re still going off the top of my head, we have plastics. Look around you, count the things which contain plastics. I can see 15 separate and different things made of plastic without moving my head. That’s not including the plastics in clothes, the plastic which coats the cover of the book, the plastic in the sweets wrappers – none of which I thought when I was counting.

What I’m trying to say, is that our use of fossil fuels, crude oil in particular, is HUGE. And none of the above really contributes to my main point except as background reading.

And then there’s carbon emissions. If terrorism is the bogie monster, then climate change is the psychopath that’s actually hiding in your closet. I’m not going to patronise you and explain the issues, I’m sure you’re all aware. It’s naive to think there’s any genuine debate on this subject. Between 1998 and 2005, Exxon-Mobil alone spent USD 16 million on funding anti-global warming groups. Much like with smoking, the industry is the sole propagator of these arguments, and eventually the truth will come out. Unfortunately, the vital difference is that we can’t afford to wait this time. It will be too late.

Things need to change – we need to accept fossil fuels are running out, and we need to accept they’re ruining our world. What’s more, we need to accept it quickly. America needs to accept it has more control than any one else over this issue, they’re the single biggest user of oil in the world, one of the biggest polluters, and yet they refuse to do anything about it. Nobody can make them, they are the world’s policeman. The ordinary American needs to realise these issues aren’t that long term. This is about the world their children will live and die in. Whilst the people they elect are directly funded by fossil fuel industries, things wont change. Whilst they’re willing to allow the recent CEO of Halliburton and the former CEO of countless oil companies to be the men who have to make decisions on these matters, I’m terrified.

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