A Shining French Knight versus The Duke Of Plaza-Toro

by R J Adams     November 16, 2015 at 11:14pm


Any regular reader of Sparrow Chat will be well aware of the contempt in which I hold most politicians. Corrupt, self-obsessed, wealth and power-grabbing, utterly unconcerned with the welfare of those who elected them to office, the average politician today is unworthy of his/her position; sad imitations of those few great men of history worthy to bear the title, “statesman”.

And yet, this afternoon, I sat spellbound as the words of a great statesman resounded around the Palace of Versailles, resulting in an enthusiastic standing ovation from both Houses of the French Parliament.

François Hollande, President of France, did not mince words. Neither platitude nor poll-tested pabulum passed his lips as he laid out for the world how France would deal with the evil monster, ISIS, responsible for those heinous crimes against humanity that were perpetrated in Paris last Friday evening.

I would encourage everyone to take time to listen to his words. Words that, even when spoken through a translator, stirred the soul and made one realise that, perhaps, it was time another country became, “Leader of the Free World”, rather than the insipid, spineless, shadow of itself, that is the USA today.

Indeed, by comparison, Obama’s concluding speech at the G20 in Turkey left one painfully reminiscent of that comic Gilbert and Sullivan character from, “The Gondoliers”, the Duke of Plaza-Toro.

As Obama concluded by stating, somewhat anaemically, that the world, “led by America” (of course), would eventually defeat ISIS, W.S.Gilbert’s colourful description of the Duke came flooding back:

In enterprise of martial kind,
When there was any fighting,
He led his regiment from behind —
He found it less exciting.
But when away his regiment ran,
His place was at the fore, O —
That celebrated,
The Duke of Plaza-Toro!”

Move over Obama; move over Cameron, your platitudes are history. There’s a new kid on the block and no-one’s going to push his country around and get away with it.


He may be balding; he may only be 5′ 7″ – but so was Napoleon.

Vive La France!

R J Adams     November 16, 2015 at 11:14pm     No Comments

Much Head-Scratching But Where’s The Action?

by R J Adams     November 15, 2015 at 12:14pm

Yesterday’s post, regarding ISIS and the Paris atrocities, noted that the American President Barack Obama had emphasized, in an interview on ABC, the ‘containment’ of ISIS, viz:

“I don’t think they’re gaining strength,” Obama responded. “What is true is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them…”

Last night three Democrat candidates debated the situation on live US television. One of them, Hilary Clinton, was also emphatic. According to the BBC:

IS[Islamic State] cannot be contained, it must be defeated, Mrs Clinton said, adding that while American leadership was essential, “we will support those who take the fight to Isis.”[1]

These are our top world politicians. Our fate is in their hands. If they can’t agree on such vital issues what hope is there for any of us?

There are three major issues threatening the safety of our species right now, though many others are knocking at the door: 1. Climate change; 2. ISIS and Islamic extremism, and 3. The refugee crisis in Europe.

It would seem our leaders haven’t the faintest idea how to effectively handle any of them.

[1] “Democrats argue over Islamic State fight after Paris attacks” BBC, November 15th 2015

R J Adams     November 15, 2015 at 12:14pm     1 Comment

Today Paris, Tomorrow…?

by R J Adams     November 14, 2015 at 11:17am

The images of Paris displayed throughout the world in the last twelve hours have been horrific and disturbing. Let’s take a moment to remember how Paris is, and always will be, despite the crazed antics of certain of our fellow human beings…


Despite assurances from our political leaders that all is being done to keep us safe from Islamic extremists hellbent on creating mayhem and terror, in some vain attempt to achieve god knows what, attacks of the sort witnessed in Paris last night are becoming an inevitable part of daily life.

President Hollande declared it an ‘..Act of War…’. The American President, Barack Obama wore his gloomy look and read the same old tired speech he seemingly uses for every violent act, whether home-grown or otherwise, while carefully avoiding any reference to his earlier announcement on ABC last Friday, when George Stephanopoulos asked him if ISIS was gaining in strength:

“I don’t think they’re gaining strength,” Obama responded. “What is true is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them…[1]

Really? Contained, Mister Obama? Two hundred dead Parisians might disagree.

Meanwhile, the public schoolboy in charge at No 10 Downing Street reacts similarly with his well-rehearsed, ‘…hearts and prayers go out to..’ platitudes, presumably because he assumes it will make us all feel better.

Only twenty-four hours prior to the Paris atrocities the United States had been preening itself in front of the world, declaring it had (or, possibly had) slaughtered the British extremist delightfully nicknamed by the media, ‘Jihadi John’. The British Prime Minister profusely thanked America for, ‘…getting him for us…’, like a small boy grateful to an older brother for taking care of a bully.

CNN, announcing the news:

In a speech in 1942, Winston Churchill said that a recent British victory against the Nazis in North Africa was “not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Might the coalition arrayed against ISIS also be at the end of the beginning of the campaign that eventually will destroy the organization?”

Both the American media and its politicians have a love affair with Winston Churchill and quote him at every opportunity. In this case, though, somewhat inopportunely. Churchill was referring to the decisive defeat of Rommel’s forces at El Alamein in North Africa by Alexander and Montgomery, not the remote-controlled (possible) killing of one individual by a drone strike.

The obvious fact is that our leaders, confined by corporate control and political factions in the Middle East who would use the situation there to advantage, failed to deal with the murderous thugs of ISIS at their outset, preferring to refer to the downward spiral of Iraq and Syria as ‘…not our fight…’, even though America, in particular, was the creator of ISIS through its abortive actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The United States of America, with a little help from its ‘friends’, created the monster that has named itself ISIS. Perhaps it’s time that nation and its ‘friends’ shouldered their responsibilities and did something about it, other than targeting lowly individuals of no real consequence.

After all, one doesn’t kill a rampaging monster by simply paring its toenails.

[1] “OBAMA: ISIS IS NOT GETTING ‘STRONGER,’ WE HAVE ‘CONTAINED’ THEM” Breitbart.com, November 13th 2015

R J Adams     November 14, 2015 at 11:17am     3 Comments

Why I So Miss The United States

by R J Adams     September 30, 2015 at 4:04pm

Ah, la belle France! We’ve been in Europe for almost a month now and, yes, I can say with all honesty, I have missed the United States.

Guns are non-existent here. The news is full of stories that actually matter. I can drive for miles without grotesque yellow arches rearing up on every street corner. Pharmacies are little shops with real people who truly care about your particular ailment, not some conglomerate drug superstore disgorging, “Have a nice day!” every twenty seconds while a robotic server chants, “Welcome to Walgreens,” every time the automatic doors slide open, whether anyone is entering, or not.

In France the supermarkets don’t sell OTC medicines, and the pharmacies haven’t got racks of alcohol, food, and cigarettes available for the casual consumer. And they all close on a Sunday. Yes, that’s right, Sunday is still a day of rest for the working populace – though that’ll change if the multinationals have their way. Already some of the bigger supermarkets open Sunday morning till midday. Damn those corporations. Come the revolution, brothers!

France is, of course, the home of revolution and that spirit hasn’t gone away. It doesn’t take much for the people to shoulder their (metaphorical) arms and march on the seat of government. Whether it’s taxi drivers rebelling over Uber cabs stealing their livelihoods, or French farmers dumping a thousand tons of animal dung outside the Palais Bourbon in protest at European farm policies, the French people know how to control their government, and aren’t afraid to do so.

This is in total contrast to their transatlantic (and cross-channel) cousins who’ve now become so bloated and brainwashed by a combination of poisonous fast food and corporate media output, that any action requiring a movement of the buttocks from the couch for purposes removed from fetching another beer or reaching for the TV remote, is quite beyond them. The very notion of going out to protest is no longer in their mindset. Revolution is fine, but only during the adverts while Green Bay play the Chicago Bears, or Liverpool hammer Arsenal in the FA Cup.

Is anyone in America aware of the migrant crisis presently ripping through Europe, I wonder? Prior to leaving the States, I noted it warranted barely a mention from the evening news media. It came as something of a shock to be informed by European news agencies that the situation was dire. Half a million Syrians, Afghans, and Iraqis, fleeing the barbarism of ISIS have, to date, crossed the Mediterranean and landed on European soil. Germany, alone, has pledged to take 800,000 immediately. The United States – a measly 10,000.

But why should the US shoulder the burden of European migrants? That’s a question quick to be asked, slow to be answered.

In 2003 the United States invaded Iraq. Tens of thousands of Iraqis were rounded up and, without trial, incarcerated in Camp Bucca, a rough compound of tents and cinder block huts. Many ‘detainees’ were held there in appalling conditions for years. Camp Bucca was the incubator for ISIS. At its height it held 30,000 detainees, among them Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, now known as “Caliph Ibrahim”, the leader of ISIS. While in Camp Bucca he had no trouble recruiting fellow Sunni Muslims, promising retaliation against America for the inhumane treatment meted out by the US Navy’s Naval Provisional Detainee Battalion in charge of the camp.

Isis was spawned in Camp Bucca. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 directly resulted in the violent upheavals and bloody mayhem that is the Middle East today. That same bloody mayhem is driving in excess of half a million refugees from their homelands, and into Europe.

I ask again: why should the US shoulder the burden of European migrants?

The answer: because the reckless and lawless actions of the United States have directly resulted in the bloodbath that is the Middle East today. Will the United States take any responsibility for its actions? Certainly not so far.

“It’s not our fight.”

That response echoes shamelessly around the political chat shows and halls of Congress. Strange, isn’t it, that the US can militarily stamp its jackboot on the throat of the Middle East for over a decade, walk away when they realise they can’t win, then calmly announce, “It’s not our fight,” as the region collapses into mayhem?

Yes, I have missed the United States. I missed John Boehner’s fall from grace, only hearing of it a week following the event. I miss hearing of the gun crime, that useless waste of life at the hands of criminals and law enforcement alike. I miss the Republican comic-opera that passes for producing a presidential candidate. I miss not having to shop in a concrete alleyway bearing the exotic, though delusionary, title of shopping mall.[1]

I miss all these things, and I’m so glad I do. Life is infinitely better without them.

[1] France has only forty-two shopping malls throughout the whole country and twenty-six of those are in the Ile-de-France, around Paris. Happily, there are none in Brittany.

R J Adams     September 30, 2015 at 4:04pm     4 Comments

Not In A Hundred Years….

by R J Adams     August 26, 2015 at 10:30pm

How many more innocents are going to be gunned down by maniacs and lunatics before the people of this country realize common sense and end their ridiculous obsession with firearms?


The answer to the above question is – probably not in the next hundred years.

It’s a frightening fact that having spent many years in this country it’s become obvious to me that it’s not just the nutters and testosterone-fueled delinquents who consider it their “right” to carry around firearms. No, sadly, the vast majority of Americans I’ve known and been involved with over my thirteen years in this land – otherwise normal, intelligent, often well-educated people – cannot visualize a society without the right to ‘bear arms’.

Even those who find the idea of automatic weapons repugnant still deem it their right to carry a handgun while in a town or city. Only this week one man said to me, “You never know when someone might pull a gun on you. You need to carry a weapon to protect yourself.”

When I pointed out to him that, if no-one had a gun, there’d be no need for him to carry one, his eyes glazed over with that ‘this does not compute’ look, then muttered quietly that, “…it will never happen.”

The Second Amendment of the Constitution has much to answer for – including many wasted lives. This country’s founders no more desired to see their citizens crazily slaughtering each other, than they wished to see their fledgling nation turned into a plutocracy, or theocracy. The document is quite clear in interpretation and cannot sanely be considered at all relevant in today’s modern American society.

Sadly, for Americans and America, senseless slaughter such as occurred on live TV in Virginia this week, is destined to continue indefinitely.

President Obama’s pleas to Congress to enact gun control will, as always, fall on deaf ears.

R J Adams     August 26, 2015 at 10:30pm     No Comments