The madness never stops. Mud in the Blood has a collection of recent ones, which I've pinched.
English Heritage think they own the rights to any photo of Stonehenge no matter who took it or when. Even if it's taken from the air. Does that mean we can all claim the rights to every CCTV image taken of us, anywhere? This could start a very interesting precedent.
The RSPCA think they are a police force. The courts do too.
You think pubs smell better without tobacco smoke? I wouldn't know, I no longer visit. Hate the smell of smoke and think it's just and fair that it's banned? Well, how do you feel about the smell of frying bacon? That's now 'offensive' too. Best pour away all those perfumes and aftershaves before someone is offended. Oh, and only non-perfumed soap, and be sure to rinse it away completely after washing. Those antismokers whose sole justification for smoker persecution is the smell can pat themselves on the back for starting this lot.
There's much, much more over there.
Meanwhile, Fraser has found the perfect anthem for the New World.
It just never stops, does it? Complaints about cooking smells from cafes. What do people expect to smell from a cafe? The guy who complained had lived there for years and no, he wasn't a Muslim. He was concerned that 'Muslims might be offended'. Like those idiot councils who rename Christmas and the Halal meat that's everywhere in case Muslims are offended even though they don't know it's Halal either, Muslims didn't do it. They'll get the blame for it, and their lunatic fringe will see it as an excuse to demand more and shout louder and scream about making Sharia the law of the land, but most Muslims are just people who pray to Allah. The owner of the cafe? He's a Muslim. He sells bacon sandwiches. He cooks bacon. He smells it every day. It is not against his religion to do this. It's only against his religion for him to eat it. He can sell it to non-Muslims, no problem. There is no way he is selling Halal bacon.
Am I an apologist for Islam? No. I don't want Sharia law and I don't want to join up (the bacon is a real clincher there. Imagine smelling bacon cooking every day and not being allowed to eat any. That's what Satan will do to me if he gets hold of my soul. That, and a mountain of tobacco in the one room in Hell with no flames). No, I don't support Islam at all. Neither do I condemn it. It's a religion. It doesn't interest me.
There are those who use it as a shield to excuse violent and criminal behaviour but that applies to anything any group of people believe. Look at the UAF, the most violent antiviolence group ever. Look at 10:10 and their exploding children video. Animal rights activists have resorted to graverobbing, poisoning, bombs, threats, violence, not to save animals but to just be violent while hiding behind some puppies. The odious Westboro Baptist Church use Christianity as an excuse for extreme homophobia. Antismoking is a convenient excuse for those who just want someone to sneer at, to make themselves feel superior.
The RSPCA have pursued the relatives of those who have died and left them money through the courts for more money. They interview their targets in police stations and bring criminal charges even when the police have declared no crime has been committed. English Heritage have copyrighted light. People are still stopped by police for taking photos in the street despite at least two Home Office monsters publicly declaring this is not illegal. Pseudoplods fine people for feeding ducks. Traffic wardens jump out at drivers while they are buying a ticket to park. They are not all like this. We rarely hear about the ones who just do their job.
So... should we condemn all Muslims for the actions of a few, including the actions of some non-Muslims?
I am a smoker. I am constantly told that all smokers are cancerous and all will die of terrible things. I don't know any smokers who died of these terrible things and I don't have them either. Who tells me this? Invariably, someone who has seen one person die of a terrible thing and has extrapolated their experience to the entirety of humanity. Then there is the 'I am a healthcare professional and I have seen...' Well of course you have. People who aren't sick don't visit your place of work. Further, your place of work is where sick people from all over the place congregate. You are not seeing a cross-section, you are seeing one tail of a bell curve.
Yet these are extrapolated to cover all smokers. Every smoker smells, apparently. I shower every day, wear clean clothes every day and due to the nature of my work I wash very, very often. My clothes don't smell of tobacco because I take the radical step of washing them. Yet as soon as I say I am a smoker, the antis claim to smell me. They couldn't smell me before. Does every smoker smell? Is every non-smoker as fragrant as a fresh spring morn? I could name a couple of sweaty ones that I can't get too close to.
Every smoker is inconsiderate and selfish. If I visit a non-smoker's house, I won't smoke indoors. I will not ask. If they offer, and some do, then if it's not unpleasant outside I will decline anyway. If I know they really don't like smoke and are giving me the green light just to be polite, I won't smoke. I don't get edgy or temperamental without this alleged 'fix'. I am not climbing the walls without the 'drug'. To me, smoking is something to be enjoyed and if I know my hosts are tense, I'm not enjoying it. So I wait. Now, is every smoker inconsiderate and selfish?
As a smoker, I have seen first hand what happens when one experience with one person is extrapolated to cover all who can be lumped into a group. So I don't condemn Muslims because I haven't met them all. The ones I have met have been very nice people. One from Indonesia worked as a student on an eight-week project and produced a very good peer-reviewed paper on the work. Another worked with me on a short project on pigs (yes, pigs) and produced another paper. I still use a Zippo lighter, given to me by a Muslim student at the end of her course. It has a picture of a pig on it, unfortunately rather worn now. I have a hand-stitched tablecloth from a Syrian student's mother and was given the biggest cigar I have seen by her father. No, nothing like that. They were just generous people.
I have never met a Sharia-demanding radical loony, but then they're not likely to go to the same places as me. They are unlikely to be running businesses because they are unlikely to be working at all. Muslims running businesses have no time to play with placards and marches. They also don't want to alienate around 97% of potential customers (based on the Mad Mullahs who like to say there are two million Muslims here, but who never mention how many non-Muslims there are). I am sure there are radicals posing as students but they have never, and will never, work for me. I expect results and I expect them fast. Eight weeks is plenty of time to produce a first grade project and a peer-reviewed paper - I have, after all, devised the experiment in advance.
The RSPCA, no doubt, contains many who are in it for the animals. English Heritage, I am sure, is mainly staffed by people who genuinely want to conserve that heritage and make it available to all. Most non-smokers are not antismokers. Most Christians are not the Westboro Baptist Church. Most smokers are not filthy, inconsiderate scum. In every group there is a lunatic fringe. Our mistake has always been in voting for it.
Most Muslims are not Al-Qaeda. Most muslims are people who believe in Allah, and that's all. I am just someone who smokes. And drinks. Monkey Shoulder again tonight. I have to endure the 'You will get cancer and we'll catch it from you' and the 'Poo, you stink' and the 'You are selfish and evil' and the 'You are a binge drinker and you'll probably go out and pee on someone's cat later' (I would never, for the record, let any cat get within range of that part of my anatomy. They are equipped with many sharp things and they're faster than me). None of it is true. All of it is extrapolation.
I won't join in the extrapolation that says 'all Muslims are terrorists' any more than I followed the old 'all Irish are terrorists' mantra of the past. It is up to Islam to purge itself of those who use it as an excuse for violence. It's not my club, not my problem.
Of course, it would help if we could get rid of our non-Muslim Righteous who also use Islam as an excuse to impose insane controls on us all. They are making life worse for Muslim and non-Muslim alike. The result is no different to the feminists who declare that because a few men are rapists, all men are rapists. Just because the majority of men who have never raped anyone are never in the news (except when falsely accused, which is on the increase), they are deemed not to exist.
The guy who runs the local pizza/kebab/pakora/whateverthehellyouwant shop is a Muslim. You will not meet a calmer, more pleasant or more tolerant individual. It has nothing to do with his religion, it's just the way he is. You will never see him holding a placard saying 'behead the infidel'. He never goes on marches. He just wants to run his business and live his life. If he was threatened with a Muslim purge, I'd fight his corner. And not just for free pakora, either.
Two million Muslims. How many do you see on these marches? A hundred? Two hundred? Where are the rest? Sitting at home, watching it on TV and thinking 'What are these lunatics doing?' Then they go to bed because they have to be up at 5 am to start work.
Radical Islam is dangerous, there is no denying it. The IRA were dangerous, still are but not so much. Did that mean all Irish supported them, or all Catholics? Or did they mostly keep quiet because they had knees with caps on and liked them that way? Radical Islam is small in this country but it can't be discounted. Hitler's real Nazis were small in number too. Most were just carried along on the rhetoric. Like the antismokers.
There was a time when people thought for themselves. For thirteen years, they have been taught not to. Everything that happens is now someone's fault and there is always compensation involved. Now we have a population of unthinking drones who latch on to whatever the TV tells them and who are enraged on command. We have an animal charity that thinks it's the Law. We have a heritage charity that thinks it controls every camera in the land. They genuinely believe these things. Idiots like the anonymous commenter who has just posted here (I can multitask and I'm not even female) believe all the rubbish that ASH spout. You know what my grandparents called the galvanised rubbish bins we used to have? The ASH can. Prescient or what?
One dog attacks a child and all dogs are evil. One maniac lets loose with a gun and anyone with a gun is evil. One Gary Glitter, and anyone photographing any scene that might include a child is evil. One drunken band of louts means that anyone buying a bottle of sherry is suspect. That's extrapolation. It is never a good thing.
It's a pity people won't see that.