Books I have Read – Downsizing by Thomas Watson

I actually listened to this book, a audiobook on Audible. It makes a good listen and is narrated by the author himself. It tells of the author’s journey in being over 22 stone – 140 kilos to eventually losing 8 stone- 50 kilos and regaining his health and spark for life.

The author was at a party when a friend of his who happened to be a doctor pulled him aside and told him that he probably had diabetes, Tom was overweight, making frequent trips to the loo and had to dabble his forehead to wipe off sweat. A appointment was made with the doctor , which subsequently tested positive for diabetes . Tom had a unhealthy lifestyle , he ate rather a lot and did alot of snack eating in between meals. The author rarely cooked for himself and ate takeaways rather a lot. His lifestyle also included going to union meetings across the UK and dining on lavish meals provided and consuming lots of drink too. He wore a baggy suit for his obvious bulk and when he turned fifty vowed to makes changes to his life.

His major motivation that his health wasn’t good and he probably faced a premature death if he carried on the way he was. He adopted the “Keto” diet and made time for a routine exercise in his busy work schedule. A stop was made to all the takeaways and the snack eating he was doing. He reckons that he was the House of Commons canteen best customer and consumed lots of bacon buttes as well other items on the menu. He ditched all sugary foods, pies cakes, biscuits and ice cream and sought to consume more fruit and vegetables though being carbohydrate aware. He also consumed some “bullet” coffee, coffee with some yak’s butter added in to ease cravings . He walked to work, took the stairs rather than the elevator and had a regular “box exercise” with a private instructor most weekday mornings.

He made a point of getting out more, climbing Snowdonia and taking part in other outdoor pursuits such as cycling, kayaking and so on, The result of all this was that the weight pilled off Mr Watson though it was slow and steady progress. He lost some 8 stone – 50 kilos off his body and felt like a new man. He gained a love for the outdoors and physical activity. He resolved to fight big food companies in the way they push sugary food on people and especially children with tempting sweets and cartoon characters . The author makes the point that children don’t get enough outdoor activity and what they get is comparable to high security prisoners,

The author journey ends with him competing in a bicycle race cheered on by his son and daughter  from his first marriage. I am struck by the fact that it is largely will power which motivates him rather special diets and so on. He was able to see his weight reduction through and reap the benefits i.e no more diabetes medication,  There are many people who need such will power .

Election 2020 -No Change

This is a delayed comment on the election which was held on 8th February. The outcome was good for Sinn Fein but they  didn’t run enough candidates to gain a outright victory.

What has happened is that the establishment parties have merged, blocking Sinn Fein from forming a Government. This was bound to happen when both Fianna fail and Fine gael lost support. There was little between the establishment parties for a long time as both are a collection of gangsters i.e alot of taxpayers money ends up in a politician’s bank account ( a secret one at that).

A Sinn fein government wouldn’t be that much different from the establishment, maybe some people are naive to think that, but they would be some movement on the North at least.

Varadkar and Martin have stymied that with their coalition of the “unwanted”. People are bound to pay more taxes, get less services and have living standards squeezed. While all the time the rich pay less and take out more. You could talk about  government inefficiency/waste/ blatant corruption  till the cows come home but nothing will change in the immediate future. Irish politics is a puppet show at best.

Life under Lockdown.

 

www.who.int

Well we are at lockdown for the  last 6 weeks and it hasn’t been much fun. Nearly everywhere is shut and there is restrictions on how far you can travel, can’t go to Ballybunion on a sunny weekend and so on. Television is the usual crap when was it any good anyway. They could put on a few films won’t cost that much but not RTE apparently.

The Government has extended the lockdown/restrictions until May 18th and a gradual easing from then on. Schools are to remain shut till September, gyms, swimming pools remain closed until July i think. Builders can go back to work, so too can gardeners, garden centers and other people who work outdoors but have to keep the “social distancing” up or take other precautions.

Business’s have piled the pressure on the Government to reopen many Business and ease the restrictions. The economy has taken a major hit with the lockdown and the Government has a quiet a bill for paying for laid off employees and furlough workers. I think that most “shops” could reopen and take precautions like the supermarkets are doing, Perspex screens, staff to wear masks, hand washing and so on. Bars / nightclubs / cinemas could check the temperature of patrons before admission and so on. It is a bit over the top to keep them closed . I think now is a go0d time to get any DIY done. .

Medical bills are enormous too with privates hospitals being commandeered for the duration of the crisis. There is the possibility of reinfection during the summer or reemergence of the Corona virus in the autumn, they will have to assess the risks. Not all countries are doing lockdowns and may act as reservoirs of the disease. A effective vaccine is really the only solution. Talk is of a vaccine in late September/ October at the earliest more likely next year.

A word must be said to people who lost someone/ had their time cut short or who got sick, they have my sympathy for what it is worth.

https://www.who.int/

Corona Virus Pandemic .

Well you would want to be on another planet to miss all the commotion about the Corona virus that originated in China and has spread to the rest of the world.

It is seemingly a deadly disease that effects the airways and lungs of infected people. There is no vaccine for  it at present and no drugs to alleviate the symptoms. Measures taken to contain the virus rely on isolating people away from possible carriers of the disease and hoping that the virus dies out in the containment period. To this effect the government has ordered the closure of schools, pubs, gyms, restaurants, night clubs and so on. The airline industry is being mothballed with the lack of people travelling and lot of hotels have closed down. All in an effort to contain the virus.

Despite this the level of new cases is averaging over a hundred cases a day and it is not believed to have peaked. It is now  past the containment phase and onto the delay phase. Ireland (32 counties) is more or less in lock down along with a number of countries in Europe. The Government (along with a lot of medics ) has warned the population to follow the guidelines given out otherwise we will have a Italian situation on our hands in about two to three weeks. Government also promises to crackdown on pubs flouting the virus ban.

How long will the containment take ? Possibly longer than the 29th March and maybe beyond Easter through to May. Elderly people are especially vulnerable and so are people with underlying conditions or who suffer from other aliments but the Corona virus will infect both young and old.

Measures will have to taken to stop the eating/ slaughter of wild animals in places like China, Africa. As diseases are jumping the species barrier. The matter of why they failed to contain the virus will also need investigation.

No one knows what the death toll will be, Hopefully it will be small.

My sympathies to any one infected by the virus or who has lost someone to it.

Links of Interest

https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/

https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/ .

 

Of Interest.

Here are some interesting stories I got from the Victims of the state blog

Mi5 informants to legally commit crimes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_banning

here one that’s all bias from the Irish Independent

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/election-2020/millennial-voters-turned-their-backs-on-their-moral-values-and-ira-victims-to-elevate-sinn-fein-to-the-brink-of-power-38963588.html

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/columnists/fergus-finlay/fergus-finlay-voters-want-sinn-fein-to-govern-but-there-are-caveats-982242.html

 

On RTE bias…. More on the Leader’s debate RTE.

Eileen O@ Callaghan facebook.

 

There has been a lot of talk about a Paul Quinn (deceased) of South Armagh as Miriam O’ Callaghan asked Mary Lou McDonald in Tuesday night’s debate. It involved remarks being made by a Conor Murphy of Sinn fein some 12/13 years ago. He apparently made some comment that Mr Quinn (deceased) was involved in fuel smuggling and other racketeering. This hurt the Quinn family and they demanded a apology (and got) from Mr Murphy.

That doesn’t seem to be the end of it. I am not familiar with the circumstances of the killing of Mr Quinn(the provos denied killing him at the time) but it seems to construed to derail Sinn fein election hopes at the last hour. Mi5 must be working overtime to keep Sinn fein out and they are joined by Fianna fail who are desperate for power. London doesn’t countenance a United Ireland anything soon and it is always kept off the agenda in the so called “South”.

As to the unfair debate on RTE, when was it acceptable that a sister of a Fianna Fail candidate was doing the interviewing. This showed unbelievable  bias in the case of a election debate.  Miss O’ Callaghan didn’t ask Michael Martin about Terence Wheelock and his so called alleged suicide in Garda Custody. Other facts are that they are supposed sixty unexplained deaths in Garda custody though I can’t reference them at the moment . Miss O’Callaghan is sure to leave them out somehow.

Totally Biased media which is enough to make you puke.

Shows the shockingly state of journalism in the country.

Leader’s Debate II

Just a quick note on the Leader’s debate on RTE 1 last night, It wasn’t anything new, it was a rehash of previous stances on housing health and economy in general by the three leaders. Both LeoVaradkar   and Michael Martin tried to gang up on Mary Lou McDonald leader of Sinn fein but got no where with her.

Miriam O’Callaghan tried to trip up  Mary Lou McDonald on the killing of a Paul Quinn in South Armagh which they claimed to have no involvement but it bounced off Miss McDonald who was well able for the biased interviewer,

Nothing to get excited about there in the debate. Though its amazing to see how the establishment covers up for it self and drags up the past on someone else.

The Leader’s Debate (RTE)

Rte.ie

Just watched the leader’s debate on RTE tonight. It wasn’t surprising in any way, as no one got landed with a “killer blow”.

They talked about housing mainly and how they planned to build up to 100,000 new homes as social/ affordable homes for our young people who are trapped in their parents home as they cannot afford the crazy prices of houses particularly in Dublin. All the participants indicated that they would greatly increase the number of houses being built. Surprisingly no-one asked why this hadn’t being done already as both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael where effectively in government together for the last four years.

So one has to take all the promises being made with a pinch of salt. Both Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn fein) and Richard Boyd Barret ( People before Profit) put in good performances with Richard Boy Barret making the comment that selling up to €40 billion in Nama properties to developers and vulture funds wasn’t the way to solve a housing crisis.

Mary Lou McDonald mentioned  that Fianna Fail crashed the economy whilst in office and Fine Gael builds the most expensive Children hospital ( at estimated €2.4 billion it certainly is) in the world.  The National Broadband plan doesn’t get a mention at a staggering €3 billion-  3 times the price that Eir/Eircom said they would do it for .

The Greens want to cut the suckler herd by 50% so to cut emissions of methane though they would compensate farmers for the lost production. The other participants disagreed with the Greens on this. More Gardaí were promised to tackle crime, organisation of special units and so on.

Leo Varadkar stressed that you need a strong economy to fund all these commitments and that Fine Gael was the party to deliver this “strong economy” .

Michael Martin was busy attacking Sinn fein on the fact they had voted for the retirement age to be 66 in the North.

General view on the debate was that they were no outright winners or losers in it. Though Sinn fein’s Mary Lou McDonald came out the best.

More would want to be asked about Corporation tax and the fact the banks don’t pay any despite being bailed out by the taxpayer. Other companies like companies like Google don’t pay any tax while making immense profits, though I forget the company that was mentioned in the debate. More has to be done on fair taxation for all.

See the leader’s debate here

https://www.rte.ie/player/series/claire-byrne-live-leaders-debate/SI0000006738?epguid=IH000383124

National Debt Clock.

commodity.com

I came across this on the AN SIONNACH FIONN blog in the comments section, its from someone called “Get Real” debating what to do with all the civil servants in a 32 county situation.  The national debt is quite a sizeable sum of at least €228 billion and that doesn’t include Nama. Well over 50k for each of us -every citizen of the state that’s all thanks to Fianna fail profiteering from being in government. So can we afford a rerun of Fianna fail in government, I think not.

here’s the link

https://commodity.com/debt-clock/ireland