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Just blow into the mouthpiece, Sir.

By Mike Cunningham On August 10th, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Apart from, and after one fantastically stupid and, after the fact, totally terrifying action, I have never driven a car with more than one small glass of wine in my body over the previous twenty-four hours. I shall not go into all the lurid details, but suffice to say, after driving at somewhere around 90 m.p.h. at two in the morning; on theWRONG side of a dual carriageway highway, with my car crammed with giggling drunks, just as bad or worse than I was, for a distance of some fifteen miles: when I woke in the morning, and remembered what I had done, I literally broke out in a cold sweat. I honestly believed, during that mad episode, that I was invincible, that my reactions and driving were actually enhanced: I had no inhibitions at all! I delivered all my drunken mates to their homes, then parked my own car neatly in the driveway, and went to sleep in my bed.
Which is why I feel strongly that the blood-alcohol limit for British air-line and commercial pilots, test to be taken the morning of their scheduled flight, should in fact be as near to zero as possible. Any alcohol inhibits and slows your reactions, and, whilst the test limit for British drivers is 80mg/100mL I have long maintained that this is still far too high, but while the average driver is maybe responsible for three or four lives other than his, the average airline pilot takes off with maybe two hundred lives on board: and I wish to be reassured that the bloke is stone-cold sober before he takes the controls of a jet with me on board.

This is just me talking out loud, but I have lost good friends through booze mixed with speed, and also lost relatives through constant use of heavy booze, so I am maybe a little biased; but, if I can do without drinking and driving voluntarily, why can’t everyone else, accepting that everyone reacts differently; but based purely upon the statistical, as well as the medical evidence?

Not a step: but instead a Leap!

By Mike Cunningham On July 21st, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Death. Its a topic which no-one wishes to touch, with or without a  bargepole, either from a viewpoint of the natural progression of the human condition, or of the nature and bent of certain people who take it upon themselves to state that the Law, as it stands, and has stood for many years, is inadequate to the needs of the ‘needy’. I ought to mention, at this point, a belief which has stood me in good stead for many years, and it is the plain and simple belief that ‘It takes an awful lot  to undo the ‘good’ which do-gooders do’!

The simple truth that is evident to most, which is that we are all going to die; and there is no escape from that simple and yet brutal fact, seems to be beyond the grasp of those who would meddle in the affairs of others. I have lost a great many members of my wider family to the Grim Reaper, but it is not something which I fear. Death comes to us all, but many of those near to the dying one seem to be taken by surprise. We read of the so-called tragedy of a pain-filled death, but we always read at second-hand, as it were. We read of the attempts to change or alter the Law in Britain when a man such as Tony Nicklinson tried, and after he failed; he took the road less travelled, refused food in order to legally starve himself to death, and died from pneumonia. The road to Dignitas is not too busy these days, but there is a steady trickle of people who wish to avail themselves of the deadly drug cocktail which is ‘dispensed’ by the ghouls in that Swiss clinic.

The latest push is from a Private Member’s Bill which has had its First Reading in the Commons, and it is labelled  Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill 2015-16; but do not be deceived by the snuggly title; because behind the words is a vicious determination to allow people to be ‘helped’ to kill themseves. Just consider those few words in my previous sentence. There are those who would put themselves up to be arbiters of life, or death; but not for themselves; oh no: they are all for taking or allowing others to do their dirty work for them, in their belief that they KNOW BEST, and they claim that they should be allowed to move their plans onward, until we see the same ghoulish glory as I wrote of some time back, when the ‘Public Ambulance Service Ltd’ (Gemeinnützige Krankentransport GmbH) officers and doctors were told that they had to kill the feeble-minded because Befehl ist Befehl (Orders are Orders). It is not, as some may write, a slippery slope, but a straight-forward leap towards a ‘Eugenics-based Society’ where the strong survive, and the weak go to the wall, or to the ‘clinic’. It is but a matter of semantics to step from a Law which allows a person who is mentally competent to be ‘helped’ to commit suicide; to the darkest hours of civilisation as we know it, in that terrible phrase; The Final Solution.

That simple proposed Act of Parliament, just as the one which fell in the House of Lords as it ran out of time, should be a warning to us all, that there are those amongst our Rulers who simply ‘know’ that they must ease the path towards death for all who desire it, and thus erase the final barrier to a system which, once adopted, will be yet another surrender to those who would Rule us from cradle to Grave! The backers of the Bill are a bunch know as Dignity in Dying, but their progenitor comes with a much nastier name; viz. Voluntary Euthanasia!

 

For those in peril………

By Mike Cunningham On April 21st, 2015 at 10:35 am

We should stand for a minute, in memory of the day when an era of short-cuts, penny-pinching, fraud and greed was to cost eleven lives

I am not, as many will recall, overfond of mass memorials. Yes, the Two-minute Silence in Great Britain at 11 a.m. on 11th day of the 11th month to remember those who gave their lives so that we might live without tyranny is, to my mind, one of the very few exceptions to my own rule. Anything proposed or formulated by the European Union is definitely beyond the pale as far as I am concerned.

But there are times when I believe we should pause, and remember those, who by a combination of arrogance, stupidity, greed, simple corruption and fraud have lost their lives while simply doing their jobs.

A minute, if you will, for the Dead of Deepwater Horizon!

 

 

Update:-

The arrogance, stupidity, greed, simple corruption and fraud are all charged against the employers, the rig owners, the well developers and the people who exposed the workers to those terrible risks! I apologise if my words were misstaken in any manner whatsoever!

 

and luck had nothing to do with it.

By Mike Cunningham On November 10th, 2014 at 10:11 am

Yesterday was Sunday, a day like many others. I brought breakfast to my wife, bedroom-bound as she is, then made my own breakfast, and after ensuring my wife was  comfortable, walked down the road for a newspaper. About fifty yards in front of me was a small family, Mummy, Dad and one small boy, who was pushing himself along on a scooter. The little boy, who was just enjoying himself by bowling along on the scooter ahead of his Daddy and Mom, veered sharply across the pavement and out into the road. He must have hit an paving edge which turned the front wheel sharply; but he was in immediate danger, because coming up behind the family was a car.

Tragedy did not strike, because the driver reacted, slammed on his brakes, and the car, which was travelling within the limit, and not going too fast, stopped about three feet away from the small boy, who had of course fallen off the scooter. Apart from a badly-skinned knee, the little boy was unhurt. The driver, whose reactions were so good, was literally shaking with shock. The parents, frozen at first, were just cuddling and reassuring their son. Some five minutes later, the family had resumed their journey, the driver had recovered, and moved off; and I walked by still on my way to the newsagents.

Through excellent engineering, with driving and safety lessons well-absorbed; a small family remains untouched by tragedy, and the scooter-riding will be alongside Daddy. Fate has been mollified; And all will be well!

to some I’m sure I’m mad

By Patrick Van Roy On October 25th, 2014 at 3:44 am

I have spent the last few months thinking I was dying, yes we are all dying a little everyday. Over the last 4 months I’ve lost 36 pounds, and no I have not been on the grapefruit diet, or taking speed.

I didn’t know what was wrong. I have had no more pain than usual, no unexplained bleeding, no symptom that stood out. It started when I stopped drinking soda. I do this occasionally and it’s good for dropping 10-15lbs. However I kept losing weight.  Both my father and grandfather died of colon cancer, my father was 47. Needless to say I go for the fun tests every two years.  Even though I did these tests last year I immediately had them all run again.  No cancer was found in every test, and I had a lot of tests.

What is happening is I am starving to death. It seems I have Achalasia.

Achalasia is a rare disorder that makes it difficult for food and liquid to pass into your stomach. Achalasia occurs when the food tube (esophagus) loses the ability to squeeze food down, and the muscular valve between the esophagus and stomach doesn’t fully relax. The reason for these problems is damage to the nerves in the esophagus. There’s no cure, but achalasia symptoms can usually be managed with minimally invasive (endoscopic) therapy or surgery.

Well I have had the surgery, we shall see what happens.

During the last few months, besides arguing with you, I have been arguing with both Angels and Demons.  Unlike some of you I believe in god. If you believe in god consequently you must also believe in angels and demons. The existence of such creatures is alien to most, even believers.  I happen to believe in both because I have encountered both, now scoff if you must. I have no problem as you all know at being scoffed at. It happens here daily.

My duty to my fellow man requires me to do service, it is also part of my faith.  I have given that service in the form of time. Time spent working with those that suffer from addiction.  If you spend enough time with addicts (30 years) you will acquire a belief of both demons and angels.  You will bear witness to the influence of both.  You can see the damage and healing that these creatures can do.  Here is how I heard the battle framed, God and Satan made a bet for the Earth, whoever gets the most souls wins. No direct contact with humans only influence, they call it balance. Demons stay in Hell and Angels stay in Heaven. The Great Detente of the Original Superpowers. Mankind are the players in their Sport. Both sides can coach, they just can’t play themselves.  Those lines are from a movie one that has nothing to do with any of this they do however fit, these influences are played out on every level of humanity. They are just easier to see taking place with addicts. They can happen right before your eyes.

If you witness the way addicts either live or die depending on their reactions to who is whispering to them, you quickly learn to accept the existence of these influences. You will see damnation and salvation and all doubt is removed.  That is why my belief is unshakable. The problem is you take someone that believes on a level that I do, you present them with the possibility that their time is up. Imagine the things that would go through your head.

Needless to say I have spent the last I’d say 2 months arguing with both demon and angel the value of my life.  It is a rhetorical battle, the decision of where your soul goes has been made by the choices you have made throughout your life. The argument is to find peace with that final judgement. Arguing with demons and angels never gets you anywhere you never win with either side. The argument is with yourself they are just your audience. The last thing you do is barter with them, no matter which side you barter with you get screwed.

It has been an interesting argument for me, I have found myself wanting in more areas than not. It’s hard to judge yourself, I don’t think anyone can judge themselves worthy. If they do they are either not being honest, or critical enough. I am glad I am not my own final judge.  Now the format of my trying to accept my mortality is mine, not yours.  Someday we all face our own mortality,  how will you review your own life? How or will you make peace with yourself.  Viewing the victories and failures of your own life honestly with yourself is not as easy as you think. It is something you can ask no other mortal to do with you. You can consult your Priest or your best friend, but only with yourself can you reach satisfaction or not.

It has been a hard couple of months, hopefully it will be a hard many more years.  Maybe I can tip the scales a little more in my favor.

My Friday night music pick not the best version, but the version by the writer.

Arbeit not only Macht Frei!

By Mike Cunningham On February 7th, 2014 at 8:20 pm

A few months ago, some English bloke who had been hit with some mortal illness or debilitating disease or other decided that he wanted to die, but wanted legal cover for his wife to assist him in dying. He went to the High Court and duly lost his case, or Review, or whatever it was. He celebrated by refusing all food, and speedily died of, I think, pneumonia. His attempt at changing the law was quickly followed by another; and while personally not knowing or caring too much about either, I formed the opinion that they were both probably partly one slice short of a loaf, but eager for the publicity. The point is, that at least in Great Britain, whilst suicide is now not illegal, to procure someone to help you dying is still something just short of murder, or manslaughter, or both; and long may it continue.

Just imagine, if the Law was changed, the queues of eager relatives reaching for the pills, or the gas, or the powders, to ‘ease’ their elderly and troublesome, and sometimes wealthy relatives onto the easy, painless road towards the morgue and the crematorium!

We still have some standards left, even if they are under constant threat. As long as we don’t approach things like they are doing in Belgium, which is, incidentally, going in for a name-change  along the lines of Auschwitz-lite. It is completely understandable of course, because if you are going to act like a Nazi towards tiny children, you may as well be known as one as well!

 

 

In life, as in death, we are as one.

By Mike Cunningham On November 18th, 2013 at 7:44 pm

When speaking or writing of death, or a death, I tend to lean on things which I have written before to give some balance to my words. I read, many years ago, of the ‘Elysian fields’ of Greek mythology, and remember them partly because of the illustration given them by one of the teachers from my schooldays. He stands out in my memory partly for his teaching, for his manner of passing information almost imperceptibly, and partly because he was just about the only teacher who didn’t use some variation of a fist when ‘correcting’ us.

He told us that the Greeks believed that the Elysian Fields, populated by those who had died, gave them all a means of an everlasting ‘achievement’ in their chosen area of expertise. If you had been a warrior, you were matched against an opponent who was your equal in every way, and you fought and struggled, until nearly beaten, but then you were given a final burst or infusion of guile, and defeated him at the last gasp. You then celebrated, slept; and the next day did it all over again. It probably seems a little simplistic, but hey: it beats 72 virgins!

I was reminded of this just today, when reading of a Warrior who realised that he was judged worthy of a true salute by fellow Sailors. Does me good just to read it.

 

 

Abide with… who?

By Mike Cunningham On October 20th, 2013 at 11:07 am

You are a lead musician on board the world’s most famous liner. You, along with all the other crew members and the thousands of passengers, have all been told, time and again, that this ship is ‘unsinkable’. So perhaps you are a mite puzzled to find that, after heading at full speed into known iceberg territory in the freezing North Atlantic, your ‘unsinkable’ ship is less than two hours away from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean after ramming the outcrop side of a huge iceberg, slicing open the hull past five ‘watertight bulkheads’; and dooming the gigantic liner to sink, also dooming most of her passengers.

You stick to your duty and your job, which is that of lead violinist, and play whilst some 700 are lucky enough to gain the outnumbered lifeboats, most sticking to the ‘code’ of ‘women and children first’; and you join the 2200-odd souls who died, most in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic; with your violin in a case strapped to your body. No-one can imagine the terror of that cold, cold, lonely death in the water, surrounded by so many others who suffer the same fate as yourself.

So, as you gaze down from the Valhalla reserved for the souls of the drowned and forlorn, I bet you are so pleased that some very rich ghoul has just bought your violin for £900,000.00!

 

 

Good news day!

By Mike Cunningham On September 21st, 2013 at 12:04 am

 

In amongst all the negative news, of murder, and torture, and slow, systematic abuse unto death, there comes along at least one good news story: so we can all celebrate, but just for a small time, and in a quiet way, and in the memory of a very small boy!

 

 

..and they passed by on the other side of the road.

By Mike Cunningham On July 16th, 2013 at 9:38 am

 

I read an account of the tragic death of two Territorial Army soldiers who were ordered on a march in the Brecon Beacons area of South Wales; and then I read it again, or at least part of it. The part I read again with growing incredulity was:-

‘One of the soldiers made a compassionate plea for some drinking water for his colleague,’ he said. ‘I don’t think it occurred to us that fatalities were going to result.

‘But it certainly was slightly odd that the two soldiers in particular had bunched together and were clearly in distress. That caused a little bit of alarm among us.

‘But it was a military exercise and you do expect, I suppose, that they are under duress and discomfort.’

Mr Capstick said one soldier was ‘upset’ and asked for water for his colleague rather than himself.

When the hikers told them their own supplies were limited, the soldiers said they would look for water in a stream marked on their map. ‘It must have taken quite a lot for the soldier to ask some civilian hikers for help,’ added Mr Capstick.

Now the question is; Should the ‘walkers’ be classified as ‘Priests’, or ‘Levites’?