Brutus

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About Brutus

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  1. Yes or No

    You can believe what you like but if you use your beliefs to upset and insult people who are not breaking the law by their behaviour, then you have overstepped the mark of a tolerant society. I am allowed to upset and insult anybody I like in the privacy of my own home. If they don't like it, they are free to leave. Inviting someone into your home is different from running it as guest house as a business. Even letting a room to a lodger is fraught with potential problems. It shouldn't be "fraught with potential problems" in a free society. My home is my home - it doesn't cease to become my home just because I choose to let out a room, or because i am forced to let out a room by circumstances - like high rates! No part of my home is ever a public place - it is always 100% a private dwelling and that's what makes it different to, for example, a hotel - or even a shop, where part of the premises are public places and where I can reasonably expect some laws to regulate how I behave in those parts of the premises. Getting compensation for being "offended" as these two Charlies did is outrageous and stupid. They already know that many people sincerely believe that homosexual behaviour is morally wrong. They already know that, as two homosexuals wanting to share a room, some people would have a problem with that. The owners of the guest house should have made clear prior to booking that they only accept married couples into shared rooms, and the homosexuals should have explained their situation. Forcing the B&B owners to cough up the best part of £4,000 really is "an abomination". The law of England used to set the standard around the world. It is rapidly becoming a joke.
  2. Yes or No

    M&MBM yes we do accept homosexuality as normal in this society, by law. Our private beliefs are just that, private. So the law decides what is normal and what is not, and individuals who think differently must keep their mouths shut and conform. I though our forefathers fought the Nazis so that we would have the freedom to live and conduct our lives according to our beliefs, without the state dictating such things to us. By offering up their house as a B&B you could argue that they have yielded the right to say who stays under their roof in exchange for permission to run a business. Oh no you haven't. When you let a room in your home to someone else, its your home - people are coming to your home as your guests, whether they are paying for the privilege or not. You might have an argument if the premises were operated as a hotel, but there is a world of difference between premises which are a hotel and premises which are still essentially someone's home. Many people are forced by circumstances to let out rooms in their homes and, when they do so, that does not mean they are relinquishing all the right they enjoyed as home owners. My own view is that, as a general rule, people in business should be allowed to trade with and even employ anyone they like - and decline to trade with or employ anyone they don't like or want to deal with for whatever reason they like. Even if you don't accept that point of view, the fundamental right of any person to allow into their own homes only people they want in them is so basic and inalienable that any law which interferes with that is an ass. Brutus
  3. Yes or No

    M&MBM and we accept homosexuality as normal. Do we? And if the couple had been denied a bed just because they were black, we would have no qualms about which side to find favour with. Yup. I say the B&B owners were complete morons and I wouldn't EVER stay in their lousy establishment for their nasty, bigoted attitude towards people because of the colour of their skin. However, I would then side with them 100% when it came to their right to decide who sleeps under their roof. The law has gone far too far in interfering with private arrangements and business deals between consenting adults. Brutus
  4. Yes or No

    This case is another example of the law interfering with the most basic rights of individual people to 1. trade with whom they like and 2. the inalienable right to allow people you want to live under your own roof. Frankly, the court decision is disgusting. People who run B&Bs will just have to be a bit craftier in future. If someone or a couple turn up who they don't want, they can just tell them the previous occupants had scabies and they haven't had chance to fumigate the room, or conceal something that stinks foul in the room, or say the wiring in the room has been smoking and the electrician can't get out until next week etc etc. If I go to a commercial hotel, I am simply hiring a room in a commercial premises and what I do in that room is my business, so long as it doesn't affect anyone else. But a B&B is, first and foremost, the owners' own home, and guests really are just that - guests of the landlord - even if they are paying. Brutus
  5. Winter Snows Commeth

    Snow and ice can cause chaos even here in Sweden, but we do seem to be better able to cope with conditions better than the UK does. I live just 2 miles from the Malmö/Gothenburg/Oslo motorway and it never closes, no matter how bad the weather is. In heavy snow, they just get a set of slow ploughs to run continually up and down the motorway to keep all the lanes clear. I had my last campus class at 8.30am on Tuesday morning: there was a snow blizzard of the kind you expect to see in Antarctica, but they had clear and I managed to get into work, although it took me 45 minutes instead of the usual 30 minutes owing to a speed reduction on the motorway from 120kph to just 80kph. When I got into my class - 2nd year BA linguistics students - all 18 students had managed to get to class, and on time - no absentees and no excuses.
  6. Cash Crop

    I can only assume they are a lowland breed. You tell me. I had never heard of this breed (not that I could name many breeds of sheep!). I live just 4 miles from the coast and, while there is a ridge immediately behind me, everywhere else here is fairly flat and low-lying land, so I guess they are a lowland breed.
  7. Cash Crop

    I can see sheep when I'm in bed! My bedroom window looks out at the farm opposite and my neighbour Tommy, has about 20 what he calls "rya får" (?? pronounced "rww-ya - forr") sheep in the field abutting the main road. He takes them inside in December and we never see them again until March or April. They have lovely coats, but they can be noisy buggers! I assume he keeps them for their wool. Brutus
  8. Cash Crop

    Ashman “What is he (or any of us) going to do with it when we're gone?” That’s a good point. He has no children etc, so I guess he’ll either leave it to more distant relatives or to some charity or other. He’s only in his early 60s, so hopefully it will be a while yet before his demise. Pen You just want to buy more sheep, don’t you? Whisper "Maybe something is lost when it's typed, but is your friend ok? Could he be suffering from any depression/early onset dementia or the like?" No, he’s fine. He thinks we use spuds faster than we do – Swedes tend to eat potatoes five or six times a week, where we have them about once or twice a week (we have a lot of curries, pasta etc) so we don’t use the potatoes he gives us as quickly as he seems to think we do. He knows I am unwilling to relieve him of his cash and I think he mentioned it again to encourage me to realize he was serious about giving me some. It doesn’t matter how many times he asks – I wouldn’t dream of taking his money.
  9. Cash Crop

    I have a close friendship with a colleague called Björn, who is a professor of cultural anthropology. He is 62 and only works part-time these days and fills the rest of his time with tending his smallholding. He lives on his own and has done so for the past few years since his wife died. They had no children. His house is a farmhouse - small, but absolutely immaculate inside and out. Björn grows several crops, and potatoes in particular. Every time I see him, he tells me he has far more potatoes than he can ever use and asks if I want any. Björn used to own a dairy farm in the middle of Sweden and he paid a manager to run it for him, but he sold that last year for th equivalent of £2 million. A few months ago, he came into an inheritance of more than double that sum, so he's a wealthy guy by any standards. About three weeks ago, I visited his house to see him as he had been off work with a back injury. Before I left, he said to me: "Are you alright for potatoes? I have lots and they'll only go bad if they don't get used. You know where they are, help yourself!" I thanked him and said I would take a few, although I didn't know whether we had many left at home because that's the wife's department. He then said: "Do you need any money for anything?" I was taken aback by this, and said: "Er no, I'm OK for money, thanks." "OK. But if you need any money, just let me know. I've got lots of it in the bank just sitting there. I'll never spend it, so if you ever want any, just tell me and you can have as much as you like." smileys/smiley24.gif" align="middle" /> I thanked him and that was that. Of course, I wouldn't dream of taking his money. This morning, he called at my house to return a set of dictionaries I had loaned him. My wife made him some lunch and he played with my dog for a bit and then made a move to go home. He then said to my wife and I (in Swedish): "Are you OK for potatoes? I've got about 60 kilos in my cellar and if they don't get eaten they will only go bad." My wife: "No, thanks, Björn, we've still got most of the ones you gave us last time." Björn: "Oh, OK. Could you use any money for anything? I've got lots just sitting there in the bank and it's a shame that nobody is getting the benefit of it." Again, we told him he was an incredibly decent and generous friend, but we didn't need it either because we are more than comfortable. It struck me as rather odd the way he views money. Where some people can never have enough of the stuff, he finds he has too much and just wants to give it away to anyone who could find a use for it - just like his crop of potatoes. BrutusBrutus2010-11-14 17:53:20
  10. There is NOTHING good about living in a Big Brother state - any inhabitant of the former GDR will tell you that. Certainly, there is a place for CCTV where it can be shown to be necessary to cut crime or catch offenders or make people safe, but only where necessary. The present use of ANPR is appalling - the government keeping detailed records of every car (etc) journey being made is completely a unacceptable threat to privacy and would not be countenanced in any other European state. The government keeping log of what telephone numbers you dial, what emails you send and what web sites you visit is beyond the pail. Thankfully, the government has binned ID cards - they were an abomination, as was the Children's Database, but the threat to the privacy of the British people remains in spite of election pledges by both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems to dismantle the surveillance state. The crass "nothing to hide = nothing to fear" mantra of the terminally unthinking has largely gone out of fashion. The very notion of privacy means you DO have something to hide - we all do - not necessarily anything dodgy or illegal - just aspects of ourselves, our lives, our families etc which we regard as deeply confidential, but recent British governments have decided that this data is valuable to them and so they are prepared to rob us of it and use it for their own purposes. If you are not alarmed by the surveillance state, you damn well should be. Do you REALLY trust the government to know every last detail of your life and not to abuse it, or to sell it off to some third party? Brutus
  11. Unwilling Grandparenthood

    Pen what hope is there if the doctor calls herself a paedo? I suppose it's just the jargon they use. Gynecologists call themselves gynies, ophthalmic surgeons call themselves opthos, orthopaedic surgeons call themselves orthos and psychiatrists call themselves "psychs" and even "psychos"! Croby Hmmm....I suspect the babe will be a girl I'm a bit torn myself because half of me thinks it might be a girl, but the other half of me thinks it might be a boy, so I'm backing it both ways. Oddly, my wife and my daughter-in-law feel sure it's a boy - God knows why! I'll let you know when he/she/it pupates early next year. Brutus
  12. Unwilling Grandparenthood

    I think you meant she works as a paediatrician She refers to herself as a "paedo reg", meaning "paediatric registrar" and her boss is the "paedocon", meaning "consultant paediatrician". I did wonder what the paediatric department's filing clerk was called. Any ideas? Brutus
  13. Unwilling Grandparenthood

    Thanks for all the supportive comments. I was thinking about applying for a linguistics chair at the University of Bogota to get me even further away, but when I suggested Bogota, my missus told me to Bogota off. Unfortunately, the expected date isn't all that far off - my daughter-in-law had a scan today and they gave her a date of 28th January 2011. They said it was a big baby, but astonishingly she didn't even know she was pregnant until last week when she went to see her GP because of what she thought was just persistent indigestion. Turned out she was 5-months pregnant and she had no idea! The other bummer in all this is that just 8-months ago she had an implant and was assured there was a "virtually zero" chance of becoming pregnant. Now I know what "virtually" means - it means there IS a chance! She is contemplating suing the manufacturers. So am I!!! The weird thing is that my son and daughter-in-law came to stay with us about 4 weeks ago. She's a tall, slim girl, but my younger daughter remarked that she had put a bit of weight on lately. We took her to Copenhagen shopping and she mentioned she had gone from a size 10 to a size 12, and was planning to go on a diet when she got back to Blighty. Our eldest daughter, who works as a paedo, said she is astonished that such a slim girl could have been 5-months pregnant, and not have a clue! I suppose one small blessing is that we have a separate and fully equipped guest house in our garden, so they can stay in that and I won't be awoken at some un-Godly hour by a wailing infant, or have to tolerate the stink of mucky nappies etc. or have to worry about it what it's getting up to in my study or my lab once it starts toddling. Jeez, I wish they had just bought a pooch. Brutus
  14. My son cheerfully announced he is going to be a dad. Great news. NOT! Some years ago, my wife and I decided that were were not going to have any grandchildren. Well, OK, I decided. Don't get me wrong, I loved having my own kids - I think I was a pretty good dad because I was always there for them, I played with them, took them places, helped them with their homework, got them out of trouble where necessary and did all the usual dad stuff. But I have now put hat behind me and moved on - I really don't want any more sprogs pestering me. Before anyone suggests otherwise, it's nothing to do with it making me feel old. I really don't mind the fact that I'm an old git and, besides, new grandparents these days are actually younger than me. Grandparenthood starts in middle-age, and I've been there for quite a while now. And please don't congratulate me and tell me how much fun they are because you can hand them back; I don't want them handing to me in the first place. Fortunately, my son and his partner are in the UK and I live in another country, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem. I told my son that he would be welcome to come and stay, but he should leave the fruit of his loins back in Blighty - stick it in kennels or something. Unfortunately, my wife overheard and now I'm the one in the doghouse. Brutus
  15. Screaming whilst sleeping !!

    My wife has physically attacked me in her sleep. Quite a few years ago, while having a somewhat lucid dream, she jumped up and began to strangle me while screaming "Bruuuuutuuuuus! There is a strange man in my bed!" To which I croaked, "Gerroff you batty cow! It's me!" She also sings in her sleep - complete songs, too. At around 3am a few months ago I was serenaded with: "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest-- ...Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! Drink and the devil had done for the rest-- ...Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!" To which I responded, sympathetically: "For Christ's sake, shurrup, woman!" Brutus