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Murray/Knox

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Yet again I’ve turned on the news and found it plastered with live footage from the Dr. Murray trail. Having freeview i only get bbc news and sky news and its difficult to find something other then the trial on after about seven pm.
During the day you cant see the news without it showing footage from the night before.
On the other hand the Amanda Knox trail is barely covered at all even though it is telivised and is watched just as avidly in the USA, as the murray trial.
Watching the clips of the trial its so intreasting to see the difference between the way the two trails are conducted.
Within Dr Murray trail theres loads of pictures and flow charts to help people keep track of where they are in the proccedings.
The lawyers are quite polite and much more like how you see them in the movies and tv shows.
Where as in the knox trial the lawyers dont have as much visual stuff and are a hell of a lot less polite, throwing names like devil woman around when talking about Knox.
To be honest i dont really see how the juries in the trials are able to come to their conclusions in an unbaised way like they are supposed to. When every part of the trial is open for publis consumtion, leading the news shows and papers to comment on every part of the trial not just the bits they do over here.
I find it hard to understand how people can sit down and watch the trial for hours on end, when in reality the trial really doesnt have anything to do with them. And, in no way will effect their lives in any way other then knowing the out come of the trial.

Laurell K. Hamilton (review as work in progress)

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I love the worlds that Hamilton has created in her Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series.

For even hough they are set in a parrell world to ours there is soch included in her world that ties it to ours in such a way that you can believe with out too much prompting that they could exist.Within her stories she drawas a lot of infulance from myths and legends that we are all aware of in one form or other.

The Anita Blake series consentrates more on what i term the darker side of the myths. Blood thirsty vampires and zombies sest on revenge. Witches and were animals, be they wolves, leopards, rats, loins, tigers etc.

She takes the idea of vampire clans on step futhr and has them living in a deadlier from of poltical soicety then we currently do. But one that centuries ago people in power would have reconized without a missed beat. This is helped by the fact that alot of the vampires who hold the powerfl poistions within her books where around when court, and government life would have been like that.

The detail that she puts into making sure that the courts run by the vampires are as real as possible make other forms of “vampire lit” pale into folly in comparison.

The Merry Gentry books on the other hand are slightly ligther then the Blake books and deal with more of a bringin a land and people back to life.

Merry is a princess within the dark unseelie court and it is her job to get pregant before her evil cousion gets someone else pregant so she can carry on living. As the story progresses she gains new powers and helps others re-gain their lost powers through sexual acts.

As Merry is a fairy princess in a world that knows about the existance of fairies and is highly intreasted in everything they do. The fairies are like stars of hollywood and are followed everywhere by the press. which means that everyone wants to know about every aspect of their lifes and do the best they can to look and act like the fey.

Religion plays a small part within both series. Blake is an christian who had to find a new church after people like her (animators/necromancers) are decreed as evil by the Pope. Merry on the other hand is much more Wiccan in her beliefs often praying to the goddess and being used as a vessel for the goddess to do her good work within the world.

Anita mes and associates with a wider range of people and supernatural beings then Merry, but the fey that merry meets and makes pacts with more then make up for the lack of different species.

Both women are small and fiesty. Anita uses a gun and later in her books using vampire powers she’s gained through her bond with master vampire and lover Jean-Claude. Merry depneds a lot on guards shes gains early on in the series and magical powers she gains called the hand of fleash, and the hand of blood.

Merry has a hell of a lot more sex scenes then Anita, but she was brought up in a world wher sex is openly talked about and participated in. Where as Anita as a strong christian never really feels comfortable with the amount of sex she has to have with different people thanks to a different power she gained through her bond with Jean-Claude.

I think that if you haven’t read either of these series yet then you are missing out on a world that feels as real as book set in the here and now.

Dr Murray trial

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I dont seem able to put the news on of an evening at the moment without there being live footage of the trial, or clips that are mere minutes old.
Watching the trial footage it seems to me that teh lawyers and often the witnessess are playing up to the camera and dont often seem to be aware of what they saying, going off how often they have to be asked to clarify statements.
From what i understand court cases are shown on t.v. quite often in the USA. But here in England the only cases i have ever seen on the t.v. are the ones in fictional shows and clips from very high profile court cases from abroad.
I cant help but have the feeling that this a sham trial anyway as we all know Murray is more then likely going to be found guilty and spend the next ferw years of his life being the target of hate and violance.
No one would be intreasted in the trail if the person he is accused of killing was an everyday person, instead of a maga star.
yes it was horrible that Michael Jackson died and a great talent was lost with his death. but before he died a lot of people couldnt care less what happened to him after his own well publiside trrail for child abuse.
A lot of the people who are calling for blood at Dr Murrays trail are the same ones who called for blood at Jacksons trail and after he was found innocent said they stilll believed that jackson is guilty of child abuse.
I dont think that anyone has taken the time out to think about how having this trial played out on t.v. like some sort of drama is going to affect his children. We already know that teh grandparents couldnt really care less after teh way they treated their own kids. And, as the uncles and aunts where merely money making machines i worry that they also dont know how to think of others.Latoya Jackson has said she wants the kids to be witnesses at the trial. this are young children who are still hrting after losing a father they loved, being thurst into the public eye.
Untill Jacksons death no one outside of Jacksons circle knew what the kids looked like so they could lead a life not being hounded by the press. within two years we know cant go a week without seeing their pictures in a newspaper or gossip mag.
What sort of life is that for the kids? And how are they going to feel in a few years time when they have moved away from the pain of today, and re-read the paper articles and see clips of the trial and how they where lead into a postion that is scary for an fully grown adult never mind a lost child.
Dr Murray has a lot of things going against him in this trail and i feel he’ll never get a fair trail. televised or not.

Could the big society ever exist?

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I don’t believe that it can.

Walking around the town I grow up in, I see how things have changed for the worst.

when I was younger I saw people helping others and older people not being scared of younger people. Now I walk down the street and see older people trying to get as far away from younger people. No one helping any one out whether that’s helping them on or off a bus or carrying shopping bags.

Where I live we have a convent where older nuns go to live out their days. People used to respect the nuns and talk to them, when they where out and about. now I rarely see nuns walking around the town and when I do they are often given a wide berth and don’t stop and talk to people like they used to.

I was brought up in the Church of England and found it often informative to talk to the nuns about the difference between their beliefs and my own. now when I’m at bus stop with a nun they often don’t respond to my hello or comment on how no one outside of their church will stop to pass the time of day with them.

even within my generation I see people ignoring others who need help or just refusing to talk to anyone. you go into shops and the cashier often wont say hello never mind talk to you whilst they sort out your shopping. Maybe I’m just being a little nit pickie. but, I miss the days when I could go to the local shop and talk to the person serving. where they are friendly enough to ask where something is when you can’t find it. I find half the time now the staff are talking to each other and ignore your presence. in other cases they are on the phone or just simply ignore your request.

it’s not just in shops that I have noticed this, in children’s play areas where I take my son the other parents sit by themselves on the phone or just watching their kids play. when you try to talk to them they give you a dirty look and move away. Often the kids are left playing on their own because they don’t have a clue how to interact with others since their parents don’t seem to.

When parents aren’t interested in teaching their kids to interact with others then the kids don’t have a chance of being able to understand where anyone is coming from. A lot of whats wrong with society today is the lack of right parenting. when I say that I mean that often parents don’t know how to teach their kids to be a positive part of the community and when they live in areas like I did in Rochdale it’s often safer to make sure that kids aren’t too friendly with strangers and keeping them away from other people. which makes the symptoms of the down fall of society even worse.

It’s a mammoth task to try to turn around the decay within our society, and I just don’t think that are enough people out their who want to change things for the better. There are small groups of people out there who try to change things for the better. But, they are way to few and far between.

People often don’t feel comfortable to go to those groups and even if they do they often don’t feel motivated enough to continue going to the groups, or even help the groups reach out to other people.

I have seen a fall in the numbers of people who are willing to help kids through groups like guides, scouts etc. this is often because they are afraid of being arrested for child abuse when they were only trying to help the kids gain valuable life skills. With fewer people ready to run the risk of being given a criminal record for helping children learn life skills. Theres less chance for kids to learn the life skills they need to get along with people and be able to help rebuild the society we have lost over the past twenty or so years.

Racism: purely small mindedness?

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I will hold my hands up and say that that i am a little racist. Its not something i like about myself and before i lived in Rochdale i would never have believed it is something i would ever say.

Before i go further i would like to say that i have friends who are Muslim and have in the past and still do try to understand why people believe and act the way that they do.

During the last moth of my pregancy i moved to a muslim area of the town and thought nothing of it, untill i gave birth to my son. as my son was born with jaunice we had to stay in the hospital for a couple of nights and on the second night i had to call home to compalin about the muslim family in teh bed oppisite mine. the mother had only given birth that day and when she was moved to the ward after visting hours she brought with her five people, who shouted, woke my son up from his nap which in turn woke me up in a bit of a grump.

when i was moved to the ward my family werent allowed to come with me as it wasnt visting hours and i didnt mind that. Having spent the last forty hours surounded by people while my son took his sweet time entering the world.

When i mentioned to the ward sister about not being happy about the difference in treatment between my son and myself and the muslim family i was told that they let the womans family on to the ward for the best part of two hours late at night as they didnt feel able to tell them only the mother and child could go to the ward.

This was the start of a long slow slide into my views on racism changing. Why should they be treated any didferent then the rest of us whoi have just gone through the same thing. the woman already had five kids so surely she know what to do in those first few hours without family there to wake the dead with their shouting and screaming!

Thankflly after i and another new mother complained the family where resicted to visiting times just like our own. But it really shouldnt have come to that. therers signs up all over the place about how you should be quite when visiting and respect others who may be sleeping/seeing the doctor.

when i got out of the hospital i didnt think any more about it. i had a new son adn his feeding habits of once every hour and a half to deal with. it wasnt until nearly a year later when i started getting really peeved with the difference in treatment between muslim mothers and non muslims mother in that area, and found myslef thinking and acting more racist.

I took my son to the local sure start center and found that the muslim mothers no matter when they arrived for things like baby weigh ins etc where seen first no matter when they arrived, whislt white mothers where pushed to the back of the line.

When my son was active enough (about six months) to pay with the toys and other children at the play sessions the burka’d mothers whould take the toys and their kids away from him leaving him with nothing and no one to play with. When telling the leader of the sure start how unhappy i was with this they said their was nothing they could without being reported to their boss in the council for being racist. So in effect it was alright for the muslims to be racist but when a non muslim spoke out about it they were left feeling useless and wondering what sort of place they where allowing their son to be.

And going shopping was a nightmare. Half the time your stood in the line waiting to pay and an asain family will just walk to the front and get served as if they had waited like everyone else. The only time i have ever had anything taken from me after putting it in the trolley when shopping was when woolies closed down and a group of burkad wome kept taking things out of the trolley after i had put them in. One of the women tried to hit me when i told her where to go. I had picked up a large bag of bag of cheap baby clothes for my son and had put other things on top of it when she diecied she wanted it and rummaged through my trolley to get it whilst i was picking something else up.

Maybe thats how they do things where these women “come from” but thats not how we do things things here. I put come from in quotaion marks as i dont really have a clue if they come from else where or where born here as a lot of them refuse to speak english. even if there is some one with them who says they can.

With actions like that is it any wonder more and more people including myself are turning against muslims and wondering when the pandering to them is going to stop?

my ex land lord is muslim and he often has the same complaints that i do about the actions of a lot of muslims in rochdale. He told me that he and his wife sent their children to largely qhite schools as they didnt want them to held back by class mates who having been born here werent taught english in the home, and where having to learn it before any teaching could happen.

He shocked me by saying that he can understand why people think the EDL and BNP are forces for good, when people within his own community are acting in ways which just encourge people to hate instead of getting along with them. He also stated to me last week (he works in manchester so i tend to see him alot), that he doesnt think anyone else should be allowed into this country unless they have great enhlish skills and will use them. Even if they are coming here to be with family. This shocked me as i assummed that he wouldnt have the same probs with muslims that i and others i have spoken to do.

I would never a-line myself with people like the BNP and EDL, but atfer talking to him and my own experinces of living in an area where a minority of people can get away with in some cases crimenal acts because of their race and faith then i can see why grups like them are gaining support and seats in councils, etc.

I hope one day to be rid of negative feelings towards muslims, but whislt they are allowed to get away with the way they are acting i can only see more amd more people like myself finding themselves becoming racist through no fault of their own.

Hopfuly one day we can all live together and work through these issues there will be no more racism and people finding that they hold racist views.

Lord Adonis.

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Flicking through the news websites I noticed that Lord Adonis is quoted a complaining about the train companies, much as I was some three days ago.

Speaking at a meeting at the Labour party conference he is quoted as saying “Train companies must not be allowed to degrade services once they have taken on a franchise”. This will ring true for anyone who travels by a train a lot as they have noticed and complained about how the service they are provided with has gone down hill as the years have passed.

In 2009 national express lost the right to run trains on the East Coast Mainline. the service that they were providing was even worse than any you can find on a normal train journey, which is saying a lot. Even though the fares where some of the highest in the country they were losing money hand over fist. And, as a last-ditch move to keep their trains running they considered taking away all catering on their trains.

On most long journeys it is fair to expect that there will be a catering carriage on the train, where you can expect to pay over the odds for a cup of coffee or a packet of crisps. Having a catering carriage when something happens to the line so your sat in the middle of no where is great as they often offer free cold drinks or in the case of one trip i took things from the fridge as they had lost power and needed to clear the perishables quickly.

Rightly the labour government said that wasnt good enough and took over the running of the service.

Lord Adonis also states that “their is nothing in teh francise agreements signed by the train operaters about proveding catering services” condisering that it can often take three hours to get from city to another i would have thought something as simple as catering would be set out in the francise agreement.

He talks about how governmet should step to keep the companies inline as they are currently running in effect regional monopolies. Which is very true, unlike other consumer based services you cant change which train provider you use as your stck with the one you’ve got thanks to how the system is run.

One last quote which i think sums up how most people feel. “we need a much more active, mch more professional state acting on behalf of the consumer and profound public interest.”

Snowland

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in a snowy woodland a young cloaked girl wonders.
how long has been walking? minutes, hours, days, weeks, months? she doesn’t know. time doesn’t have any meaning here. she’s lost and lonely, only catching the barest glimpse of what her heart desires. the thing she is here to search for.
its something she can’t put a name to, or picture in her mind once the glimpse is over.
has she already found it, forgotten she’s found it, or is she still yet to find it.
how did she come to be here? she either doesn’t know or had forgotten in her passage through the woods.
a sharp crack draws her attention to the west of her, she hesitates then run towards the noise. its the first noise shes heard whilst here. as she moves she speeds up, scared to miss her chance of finding why she’s here.
the way slowly becomes more crowded with dead and dying trees, she pushes on ignoring the grasping hands of the trees and bushes.
suddenly she finds herself in a clearing, face to face with a young man. his face lights up when he sees her.
her heart skips a beat before she throws herself laughing into his arms.
“I thought i would never find you.” he says into her hair pulling her even tighter to him.
“thank god you did.” she says drawing slightly away from him to look into his ice blue eyes. “can we go home now?”
“you already are home. you just need to wake.”
“what do you mean?” she asks confused.
“these past four weeks you’ve been in a deep sleep with no sign of waking up. I had to consult the witch woman to give me a potion to enter your dream. please wake up soon. i cant be here much longer. already the potion is wearing off.”
“dont leave me,” she says as he starts to fade. “what am i to do?”
“find your way out of here. that’s all I know. goodbye my love untill we meet again.” with that he is gone, leaving the warmth of his arms around her and his scent in her nose.
she falls to the ground filled with grief. trying to hold on to the feeling of him.
how long she stays like that we’ll never know.
her young man waits by her side, willing her to wake. in turns praying and cursing the god that could leave her in this state.

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