The Ministry of Truth (Minitrue)

Resplendent in Newspeak and Doublethink.

A good reason why I have faith in people rather than religion.

What a sad and yet wonderful story of good people doing great things for one another. Amongst daily stories of war, murder, abuse and animal cruelty, events which degrade our existence on this earth; sometimes the goodness and decency of people can shine through. This is just such time.


‘Prepare for a roller coaster of emotion. Sad: A nine-year-old boy from Kingston, Ontario, Blake McGinness, planned to hold a yard sale to sell off his toys to raise funds in order to buy his dead father buried in an unmarked grave a headstone that his family couldn’t afford. Relieving: Local Kingston residents and the internet stepped in and took care of the issue. Heartwarming: Blake McGinness went through with the yard sale anyway and plans to donate the revenue to charity.

Blake’s father, Rick Lees, died of an unexpected stomach aneurysm in March 2009 and when the estates were settled, the family didn’t have enough money to cover the headstone, having to bury Lees in an unmarked grave. Blake regularly visits his dad’s plot, leaving his own toys and mementos at the grave.

The story first made rounds on Toronto talk radio station CFRB on Monday morning, reaching clothier Tom Mihalic and he generously offered to pay for the headstone even though he never met the family. The president of a Toronto-based monument company, Michael Levitt, called the radio station and got into contact with Mihalic and Blake’s mother, Linda, offering to build the monument.

As the story bounced around Canadian media outlets and the internet, nine companies offered to supply the headstone free of charge. As the story made its rounds, people were offering so many donations that Linda actually went to a bank and set up an education trust for her son that he can’t touch until he’s 18. Wife of Tom Cochrane, frontman for the Canadian rock bandRed Rider, as well as various sports stars who wished to remain anonymous, got in touch with the family wanting to donate memorabilia for Blake’s yard sale.

Stuffed animal collectors saw the picture of Blake holding the doll from Ice Age and offered to pay much more than the doll was worth in order to boost Blake’s yard sale funds. Even more endearing, Linda’s cellphone wouldn’t stop ringing with people calling to offer help and pledge donations, as the family doesn’t have a computer because, in display of struggling single parenthood, “Buying food and clothes comes before a computer.”

The internet being notorious for grief and trolling, it’s really great to see its denizens mobilize for a good cause.’


September 22, 2010 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Got this in the post today….

From Douglas Carswell, Conservative MP for Clacton (and trouble-making back bencher), I received this letter this morning in response to my email to him regarding my objections to the State visit of the Pope. It’s not much, and honestly I doubt he really did raise anything. At least he responded.

I voted Liberal Democrat.

September 22, 2010 Posted by | General Musings, Life | Leave a comment

‘Relief-O-Matic’, Bloomsbury Theatre

What a great show it was. The last night of the Proms for atheists. Three hours of excellent comedy and poignant speeches, and all for £15 (of which all proceeds were going to AIDS charities in Africa). Compered by Robin Ince and Nick Doody, it was stimulating mix of comedy relevant to the Pope’s upcoming visit to the UK, in juxtaposition with thoughtful, strong and incontrovertible evidence of the cataclysmic cover-up in the Catholic Church of child abuse cases, the indignant refusal to accept that the use of condoms prevents the spread of AIDS & HIV, the rampant homophobic and mysogonistic attitudes of the clergy, from Pope Benedict downwards and so on.

To be more specific, these are THE CHARGES:

  • Opposing the distribution of condoms and so increasing large families in poor countries and the spread of AIDS
  • Promoting segregated education
  • Denying abortion to even the most vulnerable women
  • Opposing equal rights for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people
  • Failing to address the many cases of abuse of children within its own organisation.
  • Rehabilitating the holocaust denier bishop Richard Williamson and the appeaser of Hitler, the war-time Pope, Pius XII.
  • As for the guests, we were in for a treat. Aside from Ince and Doody, the comedy came from Tim Minchin (the ‘surprise’ guest!), Ed Byrne, Natalie Haynes, Tony Hawkes, Horse & Louis, Richard Herring, Andy Zaltzman and the BHA Choir, who gave a rousing rendition of ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred’. Peppered between these acts were passionate, stirring and emotional speeches from Johan Hari, Ben Goldacre and Peter Tatchell, who is spearheading the ‘Protest The Pope‘ campaign and march on Saturday. Whilst it could be argued that last night was somewhat an attempt to preach to the choir, it was an opportunity for those of us against the Papal visit to get together and be in unison, even more so on Saturday where I believe there will be more people in London than those who have bought tickets to see the Ol’Ratzy the Nazi.

    Here are some important links:

    September 14, 2010 Posted by | General Musings, Life | Leave a comment

    I’m not so sparkling after all….

    Let’s cut to the chase. I’ve been diagnosed with NAFLD. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

    Now, the thing is I’m not really that scared. Trust me, if I had been told I had this, say, three years ago, I’d have had a monumental shit-fit. Back then, you could have removed the “Non” from that title. Now my, shall we say, habits, are vastly different. Returning to the chase, I don’t drink anywhere near as much as I used to. That’s a VERY good thing. I’ve gone from being utterly reckless for about five years to semi-teetotal (like the Veggies, I still “eat fish”). Can’t say I miss the concept of a hangover much these days.

    Anyhoo, having had Dr Crippin give me the 3rd degree over my mighty frame, I’m told to rapidly loose some weight and head for an Ultrasound (I may look like seven months gone) ASAP to confirm the state of my Liver. I’m also looking a diabetes in later life, but seeing as most of my family have/had it, I resigned myself to this conclusion some time ago. Along with rapid hair loss. Thanks Gramps.

    I did some research last night about NAFLD and, having sorted said wheat from the substantial chaff, I discover that to rapidly loose the weight would be a CATASTROPHIC thing to do, more likely to make it worse, not better (hence why he’s know to me as Dr Crippin. A justified non-de-plume I think you’ll agree). Instead, gradual weight loss is strongly advised, along with some studies into the use of Vitamin E as an antioxidant to help break down some of the polysaturated fats currently taking shelter in my liver like pikey’s who’ve pitched up in some buggers front garden.

    Strangly, this all came about from some blood tests I had about two weeks ago when I saw the quack over some rather uncomfortable thumps around my heart. About one pint and one ECG later, the ticker’s tickety-boo and my cholesterol’s 4.4 (this almost gave Shipman a cardiac arrest upon reading this out to me. Hah!)

    So, finally my Duodenal Ulcer has a playmate to give me shit every now and then. Chuffin’ marvellous.

    July 9, 2010 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

    Facebook’s gone for a burton………

    I did it. I’m not exactly euphoric, but I am relieved. It was a ambitious leap, jumping from such a colossal bandwagon, but I landed safely.

    This sheep had departed the flock.

    I deactivated my Facebook account this evening.


    I dread to think just how many days, nay, weeks…..christ, months worth of time I’ve wasted reading pathetically irrelevant updates, egotistical opinions, ‘Like’-ing posts and ‘ignoring’ Farmville and CafeWorld requests.

    I guess it came down to a number of things including, but not exclusively, the recent privacy issues surrounding FB. Truthfully, I had over time, allowed a considerable set of wankers and egocentrics full access to my profile. The never-ending problem of adding people you hated at school etc etc.

    So now, it’s the fourteen day countdown. Can’t come quick enough.

    May 14, 2010 Posted by | General Musings, Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment