Alistair’s “Random Rambles” (29)


kathy-newBy Kathy Martin…

Last week Alistair ended saying that we enjoy a lifestyle in a comparatively crime-free environment, UNTIL NOW!

Written August 2014

Firstly, on 24th July 2014 a car, carrying 3,000,000 (three million) Turkish Lira between two bank branches was ambushed and the money stolen.

Bank robber!

Bank robber!

There has been a great deal of “harrumphing” about why this amount of money was being transported without any (or even adequate) security. To me the answer is obvious; the longer possibly cumbersome, but certainly expensive, security procedures are kept in place, without anything happening, the more needless will they seem to be! The result will be that the procedures are downsized until, eventually, they are abolished entirely!

Three people have been arrested for this crime, and some of the money has been recovered.

On 14th August 2014 a consignment of money, amounting to over 1,000,000 (one million) Turkish lira, was being loaded onto a vehicle in Lefkoşa when three men, one with a gun, attempted to steal the money. However, despite being “pepper-sprayed”, one of the bank employees refused to hand over the bag containing the money. It was then that the bank robbers (let’s call them Dumb, Dumber and Really Dumb) realised two things: they weren’t wearing masks and they had been seen (and therefore identifiable) by a large number of passers-by and spectators! At this stage they elected to make their getaway!

The police arrested two of the three within a matter of hours!

The local film industry now has the basic plots for two “gangster” films, one a drama and one a comedy!

It is, however, somewhat disturbing to us “locals” (both resident and citizens alike) to realise that “big-time” and potentially life-threatening violent crime is becoming prevalent in this country.

BMW - upmarket car

BMW – upmarket car

As usual at this time of the year we are experiencing a long, hot, (and currently) humid summer. In these weather conditions shops, banks, and cafes have air conditioning units on “full blast”, as do many upmarket cars. I don’t have a problem with any of this, but what really “gets my goat” are the number of drivers of air-conditioned vehicles who stop outside a shop, bank or office and disappear inside for five or ten minutes, leaving the engine running to power the air conditioning. Should the engine and air conditioning be switched off for those few minutes would the air temperature inside the vehicle really rise to uncomfortable or unacceptable heights?

My main complaint is not as to whether the driver is able to afford the waste of fuel (which is a finite substance) for his/her own comfort, but the outpouring of carcinogens into the atmosphere and lungs of people in the immediate neighbourhood!

Egyptian air conditioning with reeds

Egyptian air conditioning with water dripping down reeds

Incidentally, although air conditioning as we know it, has only been around for a hundred years, the principle and practice of air conditioning (rather than moving static air around with a fan) has been around for (literally) thousands of years! In ancient Egypt reeds were hung in windows and water trickled down them.  The incoming hot winds would be cooled down on contact with the water droplets and thus the room would be “air conditioned” and humidified – a benefit in the dry climate! The saying “there is nothing new under the sun” is so true!

We were idly listening to our favourite radio station, Radio Bayrak, the other day when, on “celebrity gossip” we heard that Justin Timberlake (who is, apparently, a celebrity) being taken to task for calling Madonna (who we do  recognise as a celebrity) a “ninja mother” as the word “ninja” is now regarded as being offensive! Our dictionary confirmed that “ninja” is a Japanese word, meaning a spy, so why (except in the world of James Bond pitting his wits against SPECTRE, or George Smiley pitting his against Karla) is “spy” an offensive word?

Apparently, and we did a double take, as well as a double-check, “ninja” sounds like the offensive “N” word, NIGGER!  Does this mean that people around the world will now have to say, at the breakfast table, “please pass the spicy preserve that I cannot name because ginger sounds like ninja, (which it does) which in turn sounds like nigger (which, although it is an anagram,  it doesn’t)”?

The mind boggles, it really does!

More thoughts, well, queries, who decides on what word is “in” or “out” and how does the rest of the world get to know?

Possibly the most pertinent questions are

(1) what hearing difficulty did the person have who first thought that ninja and nigger sounded alike?

 (2) Why wasn’t it pointed out, in sign language or block capitals in words of one syllable or less, if necessary, that one is a Japanese word, while the other is a derivative of the Spanish word for “black”?

My theory is that the modern, trendy “in-crowd” people are so desperate to be politically correct that they are too afraid to challenge popular opinion.

Iraq and Syria

Iraq and Syria

A couple of months ago I rambled about the (so far) reasonably successful attempts by insurgent jihadists to create a caliphate of Islamic States of Iraq and Syria, (ISIS) by military means. I say, reasonably successful, because they are taking control of large tracts of land and a number of cities and villages. The local population has either had to convert (if necessary) to the jihadist’s fundamental Islamic views or become refugees.

The refugees are living in appalling conditions, desperately short of food, water, medicines and other essentials. Apparently the United States and Britain are, at every opportunity, air-dropping supplies to the refugees and are also considering “military intervention” on “humanitarian grounds”, yet not deploying ground troops.

Let’s take a step back and look at this situation from a purely logical and clinical point of view. Yes, the refugees are (to put it mildly) extremely unfortunate, but throughout history and throughout the world, that condition (to varying degrees of severity) is the fate of all refugees. To my simple mind, the big question is: why are the (theoretically Christian) United States and Britain involved at all?

It can hardly have escaped anyone’s attention that, travelling clockwise around the Mediterranean, from the Greek/Turkish border, the only non-Muslim (Islamic) countries are Israel (Judaic) and South Cyprus (Greek Orthodox)!

As the ISIS conflict is a religious war between two interpretations of Islam, why aren’t the vast majority of Islamic countries in this area doing more to support “their” side, whether it is the modern, rather moderate version or the basic, fundamental one?

Henry the Eighth (1509-1547)

Henry the Eighth (1509-1547)

Until the reign of Henry the Eighth (1509-1547), England was a “Catholic” country.

However, when the Roman Catholic Pope refused to allow Henry to divorce his first wife he ex‑communicated (?) Catholicism and declared that he (Henry VIII and subsequent monarchs) would be the titular head of the Church of England!

Here is a hypothetical hypothesis Suppose that a heavily armed number of Catholics, in a sudden spate of religious fervour, go on the rampage and take over part of England, force the locals to either to convert or, become refugees! Would anyone expect an Islamic country such as Turkey, Egypt or Libya to intervene?

Peter Falk/shabby Los Angeles police Inspector Colombo

Peter Falk/shabby Los Angeles police Inspector Colombo

Oh, “one more thing” (as Peter Falk/shabby Los Angeles police Inspector Colombo was famously fond of saying), back in dear old Blighty, Sir Cliff Richard’s mansion in Berkshire was searched for five hours by police in connection with an investigation into the star’s alleged  paedophile activity with a boy at a rock concert in the 1980’s. This week, I am not going to mention the British Broadcasting Corporations apparently devious involvement in this event.

What I want to know is what concrete evidence the police had, some 30 years or so after the alleged offence, to conduct this “raid” that would justify a magistrate to issue a search warrant, which, as Sir Cliff was in Portugal, must surely have been needed?

Sir Cliff Richard

Sir Cliff Richard

Sir Cliff is 73 years old, an internationally known figure and extremely unlikely to “jump bail” had he been contacted about the proposed search!

Obviously I cannot say or, even speculate, if Sir Cliff is guilty or not, but isn’t it time that, until proof positive is found, both aged and current (or even dead!) celebrities and politicians are kept out of the press and media until actually taken to court or found guilty?

Next blog will continue with Alistair’s rambles

These rambles were written by Alistair initially for the “The KibKom Times” then “The KibKom Forum