Monthly Archives: November 2015

20151126 – Thanksgiving day and home

Thursday – warm and sunny

Yet again it’s Thanksgiving day here in the USA. Seems to be a bigger event than Christmas. A time when all families get together and eat turkey and a crazy president pardons a couple of turkeys, for what I don’t know.

Which president started the tradition of pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey?

Buckets of free flowing champagne.

Buckets of free flowing champagne.

The tradition of “pardoning” White House turkeys has been traced to President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 clemency to a turkey recorded in an 1865 dispatch by White House reporter Noah Brooks, who noted, “a live turkey had been brought home for the Christmas dinner, but [Lincoln’s son Tad] interceded in behalf of its life. . . . [Tad’s] plea was admitted and the turkey’s life spared.”

imageRecently White House mythmakers have claimed that President Harry S. Truman began this amusing holiday tradition. However, Truman, when he received the turkeys, and subsequent presidents did not “pardon” their birds. The formalities of pardoning a turkey gelled by 1989, when President George H.W. Bush remarked, “Reprieve,” “keep him going,” or “pardon”: it’s all the same for the turkey, as long as he doesn’t end up on the president’s holiday table.

Thanks giving day card:

This little piggy was very tasty.

This little piggy was very tasty.


My Sorry Sense Of Humour

The history of thanksgiving:


Religious Rant Of The Day

The true origins of the Quran:


Friday – warm and sunny

Scuba with Whale Sharks and Manta Rays has to be my highlight of the whole trip. The best dive ever.

Scuba with Whale Sharks and Manta Rays has to be my highlight of the whole trip. The best dive ever.

As there’s little opportunity for photos I’ll be posting a few of the best from our 3 month trip.

Drive up to Atlanta, 300 miles and should take 5 hours.

Savannah's famous fountain.

Savannah’s famous fountain.

Well whose idea was it to travel on the UK equivalent of a bank holiday. Called in for Wendy’s lunch at a Panera. Sadly it was on a giant Mall where the whole of Montgomery were out doing their Black Friday shopping for 64″ TVs. Not even room to park a push bike, and queuing just for parking spaces. One Panera bread sandwich and one Starbucks coffee only takes 50 minutes.

Back on the road to sit in a hours traffic jam on the interstate. Seven hours later we arrive at the hotel, somewhat frazzled. Joy the hotel has no fast food nearby so it means a drive. Real joy they have a restaurant on site.

My real joy goes down the plug hole when we get into the very nice restaurant.

Amazonian black women with a naked midriff, complete with giant diamond belly button piercing, sunk into a foot deep adipose tissue sinkhole, comes up to greet us. That diamond and the sinkhole are intimidating, it could consume you.

St Augustine.

St Augustine.

Waitress: “Sorry we’re our of wings, pizza. Oh and also lettuce. It’s all due to Thanksgiving.”. Oh this is a great start.
Me: “So we can kiss goodbye to any of the salads then. Have you run out of coffee too.”
W: “You have to go to the ground floor for coffee”. An American restaurant and no coffee. You couldn’t make it up.
M: “So is there anything on the menu? Why have you run out.”
W: “Thanksgiving shortages.”
M: “That’s the problem with these surprise holidays like Thanksgiving, no one ever knows when they’re going to drop them on you!”.

Wendy learns about longitude.

Wendy learns about longitude.

The smart move would have been to walk out at that point, but the prospect of getting behind that steering wheel and driving in the pitch black in search of junk food had no appeal, I’d rather sell Bibles on Blackburn market.

Quesadilla took 30 minutes to arrive and whilst I’ve never been allowed in a kitchen since I wrecked a microwave – seems unreasonable to me they can’t cope with some metal going in them – I’m convinced I could have done so much better.


My Sorry Sense Of Humour

George Carlin – who controls America:


Rant Of The Day

Antibiotic resistance awareness day:


Religious Rant Of The Day

Is Islam a peaceful religion? Bill Maher weighs in.‬


Saturday – warm and sunny

Lazy morning and a late, 13:00, checkout as our flights not until 18:00. Good opportunity to catch up on last blog of the trip.

A bit of a wait for the virgins to come and check us in, but apart from that and the usual TSA nonsense, it all went pretty smoothly. Mind you whoever said “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive” – Robert Louis Stevenson apparently – had never been through an airport.


My Sorry Sense Of Humour

Seems an appropriate subject, George Carlin on airlines and flying:


Rant Of The Day

Good news according to the Times “The fastest growing belief system in the world is non-belief”.

Is it any wonder. Even Muslims are turning away from religion, although Islamic countries are doing their utmost to stop the stampede. A few death penalties always helps focus the minds of the intelligent masses and keep every one in line. More people are turning humanist as they view religion as a never ending source of evil. Who knows perhaps one day it will all be cast into the realm of fairy tales. The sooner our country becomes secular and abolishes religious schools the better.


Religious Rant Of The Day

Islam the religion of pieces:


Sunday – cold, wet and a howling wind

Judging by the evil howling of the wind, a giant wheelie bin just scampering like a ghostly apparition across the garden, the rain and the cold I guess we’ve made it safely home. Always good to get such a pleasant welcome.

Who knows perhaps not long before we have this to look forward to?

Who knows perhaps not long before we have this to look forward to?


At least the house is warm and clean. By lunch time we’ve unpacked, decanted our holiday purchases and almost forgot we’d ever been away.

Well at least I’ve Welsh rarebit for tea to look forward to, the highlight of any homecoming. And who knows after 3 months of deprivation I may even get a macaroni pudding later this week.

Never mind only 2 months to a proper holiday in Park City when I’ll resume my daily rants and blog.

20151122 – Fairhope; Pensacola; Gulf Shores

Sunday – cool and sunny

Gulf shores beach walk.

Gulf shores beach walk.


Have a drive down to Gulf Shores. Quite a pleasant drive.

Ride em cowgirl at Gulf Shores beach.

Ride em cowgirl at Gulf Shores beach.

Lunch in the car overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Then take a walk along the beach to the pier. It’s clear blue skies but with the off shore breeze it’s quite cool. Turns out to be a 3 mile round trip.

Then have a drive around and onto Orange Beach. Mainly just more of the same giant beachfront condos overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and the typical grot shops, miniature golf and fast food. Both pretty tired after all that exercise.

Macaroni cheese for tea. I’ve been 3 months now without Macaroni pudding. Never mind when we’re home there’ll be that and day 1 will be Welsh rarebit with bacon and baked beans.

Catch up with Homeland in the evening, not a patch on previous seasons.

Lap Topless – Day 8

Finally cracked getting pictures onto my blog. Reviewed loads of apps to scale down images but none seem to do the trick. Simple solution seems to be create email; add pictures from photo; select size option; email; open email; add to photos. From photos can upload to blog. May seem a tad,long winded but in practice only a couple of steps more than solution on laptop. I can live with that.


My Sorry Sense Of Humour

Bob forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was mad. She told him tomorrow morning I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in six seconds and it had better be there. Next morning his wife looked out the window to find a box, giftwrapped in the middle of the driveway. She opened it and found a brand-new bathroom scale. Bob has been missing since Friday.


Rant Of The Day

Meanwhile, senior Whitehall sources said the government was “reviewing” the introduction of passenger profil­ing at airports. Those who may fit the profile of a terror­ist or act suspiciously would be subjected to extra questioning and searches.

The transport minister Lord Ahmad said profiling is “certainly something that has been reviewed.”


Religious Rant Of The Day

And for my last blog of this trip I’d like to attempt to dispel some of the myths about Islam:

Islam Means ‘Peace’

In truth, the Quran not only calls Muslims to submit to Allah, it also commands them to subdue people of other religions until they are in a full state of submission to Islamic rule.  This has inspired the aggressive history of Islam and its success in conquering other cultures.

Free food tasting at Publix - more like a full meal.

Free food tasting at Publix – more like a full meal.

Submission and peace can be very different concepts, even if a form of peace is often brought about through forcing others into submission.  As the modern-day Islamic scholar, Ibrahim Sulaiman, puts it, “Jihad is not inhumane, despite its necessary violence and bloodshed, its ultimate desire is peace which is protected and enhanced by the rule of law.”
 
Islam Respects Women as Equals

There is no ambiguity in the Quran, the life of Muhammad, or Islamic law as to the inferiority of women to men despite the efforts of modern-day apologists to salvage Western-style feminism from scraps and fragments of verses that have historically held no such progressive interpretation.
After military conquests, Muhammad would dole out captured women as war prizes to his men.  In at least one case, he advocated that they be raped in front of their husbands.  Captured women were made into sex slaves by the very men who killed their husbands and brothers.  There are four Quranic verses in which “Allah” makes clear that a Muslim master has full sexual access to his female slaves, yet there is not one that prohibits rape.
The Quran gives Muslim men permission to beat their wives for disobedience, but nowhere does it command love in marriage (although it is said to exist).  The verses plainly say that husbands are “a degree above” wives. 

Muslim women do not inherit property in equal portion to males.  This is somewhat ironic given that Islam owes its existence to the wealth of Muhammad’s first wife, which would not otherwise have been inherited by her given that she had two brothers and her first husband had three sons.
A woman’s testimony in court is considered to be worth only half that of a man’s, according to the Quran.  Unlike a man, she must also cover her head – and often her face.
If a woman wants to prove that she was raped, then there must be four male witnesses to corroborate her account (according to strict Sharia).  Otherwise she can be jailed or stoned to death for confessing to “adultery.”


Monday – cool and sunny

Cannon firing at the Marriott Grand hotel Fairhope.

Cannon firing at the Marriott Grand hotel Fairhope.

Feel a lazy day coming on.

Have a drive up to Daphne, but not a great deal there.

Daphne beach.

Daphne beach.

Then drive down to the Marriott Grand Hotel Faithope, and very grand it is too. Afternoon tea and coffee, complete with free refills, all for under $6. Cheaper than Starbucks and for that we get luxury surroundings on leather settees’ pleasant walk along the bay; free fishing rods for a spot of fishing; yet another demonstration cannon firing, under the auspices of the Stars and Stripes; followed by free afternoon tea, coffee and cookies. Not bad eh? And if you got the brass balls to get past gate security you don’t even have to buy anything – all free.

What a pleasant afternoon.


My Sorry Sense Of Humour


Rant Of The Day


Religious Rant Of The Day

Jihad Means ‘Inner Struggle’

Fishing at Marriott Grnd hotel Fairhope .

Fishing at Marriott Grnd hotel Fairhope .

In Arabic, “jihad” means struggle.  In Islam, it means holy war.
The Quran specifically exempts the disabled and elderly from Jihad (4:95), which would make no sense if the word is being used merely within the context of spiritual struggle.  It is also unclear why Muhammad and his Quran would use graphic language, such as smiting fingers and heads from the hands and necks of unbelievers if he were speaking merely of character development.
With this in mind, Muslim apologists generally admit that there are two meanings to the word, but insist that “inner struggle” is the “greater Jihad,” whereas “holy war” is the “lesser.”  
 
Islam is a Religion of Peace

Fishing at Marriott Grnd hotel Fairhope .

Fishing at Marriott Grnd hotel Fairhope .

There shouldn’t be any argument over who the “true Muslim” is because the Quran clearly distinguishes the true Muslim from the pretender in Sura 9 and elsewhere.  According to this – one of the last chapters of the Quran – the true believer “strives and fights with their wealth and persons” while the hypocrites are those who “sit at home,” refusing to join the jihad against unbelievers in foreign lands.
In truth, Muhammad organized 65 military campaigns in the last ten years of his life and personally led 27 of them.  The more power that he attained, the smaller the excuse needed to go to battle, until finally he began attacking tribes merely because they were not yet part of his growing empire.

There is not another religion in the world that consistently produces terrorism in the name of God as does Islam.  The most dangerous Muslims are nearly always those who interpret the Quran most transparently.  They are the fundamentalists or purists of the faith, and believe in Muhammad’s mandate to spread Islamic rule by the sword, putting to death those who will not submit.  In the absence of true infidels, they will even turn on each other.


Tuesday – warm and sunny

Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum.

Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum.

Drive along the coast to Pensacola. The more scenic route.

Lunch in the “historic village”. Oh, what a surprise they’ve run out of soup. Running out of …… seems to be a favourite national SNAFU.

Then do a tour of the historic village. Sadly the tour guide is about as entertaining and informative as a drunk Glaswegian.

Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum, Marine 1.

Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum, Marine 1.

Drive down to the naval base to visit the air museum there. Now it’s good to know that the US Navy’s on a high state of alert. They need photo Id before we’re allowed on. Out comes my 49 year old paper driving license along with a loose picture I’ve popped in with it for good measure. That’s just fine. You do wonder at times why they even get out of bed in the morning.

Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum, Blue Angel.

Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum, Blue Angel.

Anyway back to the Naval Air Museum. It’s housed in two massive hangers with loads of aircraft exhibits. Well worth the entrance fee – it’s free. Unbelievable. Unusual for me to say it, but if I’d have paid $20 each I would not hve been dissappointed. Spend an enjoyable couple of hours just browsing around. You could easily spend a whole day there. Awesome. Highly recommend it.

Drive back along I10 rather than the coastal road.


My Sorry Sense Of Humour


Rant Of The Day

I really do despair, what has happened to this country. Wherever you go Christmas has been replaced by holiday season.


Religious Rant Of The Day
 
Islam is Tolerant of Other Religions

Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum.

Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum.

Religious minorities have not “flourished” under Islam.  In fact, they have dwindled to mere shadows after centuries of persecution and discrimination.  Some were converted from their native religion by brute force, others under the agonizing strain of dhimmitude.
What Muslims call “tolerance,” others correctly identify as institutionalized discrimination.  The consignment of Jews and Christians to dhimmis under Islamic rule means that they are not allowed the same religious rights and freedoms as Muslims.  They cannot share their faith, for example, or build houses of worship without permission. (See this link for rules imposed by the Islamic State)
Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum.

Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum.

Historically, dhimmis have often had to wear distinguishing clothing or cut their hair in a particular manner that indicates their position of inferiority and humiliation.  They do not share the same legal rights as Muslims, and must even pay a poll tax (the jizya).  They are to be killed or have their children taken from them if they cannot satisfy the tax collector’s requirements.
The conquered populations face death if they do not establish regular prayer and charity in the Islamic tradition (ie. the pillars of Islam).

Islam is Opposed to Slavery

Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum. Perhaps Wendy overcomes her fear of aircraft after all

Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum. Perhaps Wendy overcomes her fear of aircraft after all

There is not the least bit of intolerance for slavery anywhere in the Quran.  In fact, the “holy” book of Islam explicitly gives slave-owners the freedom to sexually exploit their slaves – not just in one place, but in at least four separate Suras.  Islamic law is littered with rules concerning the treatment of slaves, some of which are relatively humane, but none that prohibit the actual practice by any stretch.
Pensacola historic village.

Pensacola historic village.

Muhammad captured slaves, sold slaves, bought slaves as gifts of pleasure, received slaves as gifts, and used slaves for work.  The Sira is exquisitely clear on the issue of slavery.
The Quran tells Muslims to emulate the example of Muhammad, who has the most “exalted character”.  As such, the deeply dehumanizing horror of slavery has been a ubiquitous tradition of Islam for 14 centuries, including the modern plight of non-Muslim slaves in the Sudan, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and other parts of the Muslim world.


Wednesday – warm and sunny

https://www.facebook.com/tony.w.edwards?pnref=story

Lazy morning followed by a lovely walk along Fairhope beach, watch some guys trying to catch mullet with a net, look for alligators, a browse around town and a relaxing coffee in the French quarter. Mind you yet again they’re out of coffee. This country seems to be becoming as enterprising as a French Zeplin maker. The place is teaming with tourists ready for Thanksgiving and the cafe decides to shut at 14:30 – their loss. The countries loosing the plot, whatever happened to the entrepreneurial spirit?


My Sorry Sense Of Humour


Rant Of The Day


Religious Rant Of The Day

Islam is Incompatible with Terrorism

Try telling this to the loved ones of the thousands who have died at the hands of Islamic jihadis.

Islam does prohibit killing innocent people.  Unfortunately, as infidels and people of the book, we don’t qualify.

Fairhope beach

Fairhope beach

In many places, the prophet of Islam says that Jihad is the ideal path for a Muslim, and that believers should “fight in the way of Allah.”  There are dozens of open-ended passages in the Quran that exhort killing and fighting – far more than there are of peace and tolerance.

Islam is not intended to co-exist as an equal with other religions.  It is to be the dominant religion with Sharia as the supreme law.  Islamic rule is to be extended to the ends of the earth and resistance is to be dealt with by any means necessary. 
Apologists in the West often shrug off the Quran’s many verses of violence by saying that they are relevant only in a “time of war.”

To this, Islamic terrorists would agree.  They are at war.
 
Islam is a Democracy

Fairhope beach.

Fairhope beach.

A democracy is a system in which all people are judged as equals before the law, regardless of race, religion or gender.  The vote of every individual counts as much as the vote of any other.  The collective will of the people then determines the rules of society.

Sharia is not democracy and Muslims want Sharia law.

Fairhope beach. Alligators and snakes but don't feed them.

Fairhope beach. Alligators and snakes but don’t feed them.

Under Islamic law, only Muslim males are entitled to full rights.  The standing of a woman is often half that of a man’s – sometimes even less.  Non-Muslims have no standing with a Muslim.  In fact, a Muslim can never be put to death for killing an unbeliever.

Islam does not facilitate democracy.

I’ll let Pat Condell have the final say on this with “it’s nothing to do with Islam”: