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Grumpy Owl

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Posts posted by Grumpy Owl

  1. I went for a walk today while on holiday in Wales and while venturing outside the village where I'm currently staying, I saw for myself the absurdity of this new 20mph zone scheme for built-up/residential areas.


    Can you see what's wrong in these photos?



    (View heading out of the village)



    (View heading into the village)


    I'd love to know how much the Welsh government spent on having NEW signs installed, rather than just replacing the existing ones. (nice easy work if you can get it)


    I didn't measure the distance between these but can't be more than 15-25 metres between the 'old' boundary of 30mph and national speed limit, and the 'new' boundary of 20mph and 30mph.


    What's the point? Why not just replace the existing 30 sign on approaching the village with a 20?


    This appears to me to be another exercise where a government/local authority issues a 'tender' for work, which is then awarded to some company/companies who then carry out the (unnecessary) work at the lowest possible cost in order to profit from public money.


    Snouts in the trough and all that.

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  2. This is surely all part of the plan?


    Wales exodus caused by lack of housing and careers - inquiry


    A lack of housing and career options are among the main reasons for an exodus of young people from rural Wales, a Commons inquiry has found.

    Seven of Wales' 22 local authority areas saw falls in population in 2021 compared with 2011, census data showed.

    A café owner said he set up in Manchester because of a lack of industry at home and a doctor said finding local jobs was difficult.

    The Welsh government said it was doing all it could to support young people.

    A Welsh Affairs Committee inquiry into the issue found a lack of housing, work opportunities and unreliable public transport were pushing people out of rural areas.

    from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-66881978


    Population change by local authority



    Rural depopulation is most prominent in some of the Welsh speaking heartlands in Ceredigion, Gwynedd, Conwy and Anglesey.

    The Welsh government said it was doing everything it could to "help young people plan for their futures in Wales".

    "We are tackling the issue of second homes, which can affect communities and their sustainability," a spokesperson said, adding how it aims to deliver 20,000 additional homes for rent in the social sector by the end of the current Welsh parliament.

    What is not mentioned is where these 'additional homes for rent in the social sector' are. Cardiff and Swansea perhaps?


    It is sad that young people in Wales think they have no future there, and have to move to the 'big city' in England.


    The Welsh government would prefer that they moved to a 'big city' in Wales instead.


    While the issue of second homes is a concern in some parts of Wales, this 'depopulation' should not be seen as an 'excuse' to encourage more wider migration into those parts of Wales, like where I am staying currently.


    But I'm pretty sure that's all part of the agenda.


    To be honest, I feel more at home here in this rural coastal village with its "lack of diversity" than I do back in my home 'wonderfully diverse' city of Birmingham.

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  3. 3 hours ago, Sit down, Waldo said:

    Microsoft news tab had a red thermometer next to the weather map this week, telling me it was approaching a record temperature in my area...it was 19°C.


    Maybe near a record temperature for this time of year, but it is interesting how they 'spin' high temps now.



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  4. 19 hours ago, Observations said:

    On the news a community group in Birmingham where retired men get together to for DIY projects and so on; now they hope it will be funded by a corporation. 


    As usual I'm thinking of "I owe my soul to the company store?" 


    There are a number of good well-meaning community projects out there.


    Unfortunately it seems it has become far too easy to set up some kind of 'project' and then receive funding from the council.


    The above community group, is that not something they could fund themselves? I don't really see what benefit to the wider community or the city that brings?


    When councils complain about being 'underfunded' and demand more money so such projects can receive taxpayers money, that's when you realise its all a great gravy-train that individuals can leech off.

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  5. 21 hours ago, Grumpy Grapes said:

    I wonder if this complements the devolution of power to regional authorities, e.g. the Mayor of the West Midlands. 


    Maybe, I don't know for sure. I know that Mr Street has stated that 'certain major projects' being undertaken by BCC will end up being supported/funded by the WMCA (West Midlands Combined Authority), which is just another unelected agenda-promoting bureaucratic quango.


    18 hours ago, factJack said:

    aLSO iVE heard that some finanacial institutions have moved their head office to birmingham in the past year such as goldman sacs and HSBC

    When you add the HS2 project to the mix (london to birmingham in 30mins) it seems the domino's have started to fall on a new order.


    Yes, I found that curious, but now we can see the 'corporate takeover' of Birmingham is nearing completion.


    The buildings and offices that BCC have helped pay towards being developed and built, can now be sold off 'on the cheap'.


    18 hours ago, Anti Facts Sir said:

    Weren't the Commonwealth Games last summer held on Brum? There was a lot of agenda-setting and blatant propaganda involved in the banners and promo surrounding the whole thing. Probably part of the plan.


    Correct. BCC spent enormous amounts of money for 'the Games', with the expectation that it would see further huge amounts of investment in the city.


    But it's all private investment, and taxpayers don't get any benefits and neither did the Council in the end.

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  6. I previously posted about a 'coup' earlier this year where the Labour party 'sacked' their council leader and replaced them with an 'appointed' chosen one.



    I also wrote about this on my own website:



    Following the news a couple of weeks ago that the city council was "effectively bankrupt", it was announced today that a team of 'independent' commissioners have been handed powers by Michael Gove to effectively control the city council for the next five years.


    Commissioners handed power over Birmingham City Council for five years


     Commissioners are being sent in to take over Birmingham City Council 'for up to five years'. In a decisive intervention today (September 19) Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove announced he was sending in outside experts to take over 'nearly all functions' of the beleagured council. They will report back to him.

    It's a dramatic moment after a chaotic fortnight since the council confirmed it was unable to manage its own finances. In a damning statement to the House of Commons, the minister warned: “Birmingham council’s record is of ineffective, inefficient and unaccountable government. It is failing in its basic duties. Where local leaders fail, it is residents who are let down. This cannot go on."

    He has written to the council to set out proposals "to intervene and appoint commissioners" - who will be independent - with a local inquiry to be held to probe the failures leading to 'bankruptcy'. “I do not take these decisions lightly, but we must protect the interests of residents and taxpayers of Birmingham and provide assurance to the sector," he told MPs.

    In the letter, addressed to chief executive Deborah Cadman, the council is told that "serious" finance and governance concerns have triggered action. "Given the scale of the issues, the Secretary of State proposes that directions to the authority should be in place for five years, noting that the authority’s situation is severe, and the improvement and recovery journey is likely to take a number of years.

    "If the Secretary of State considers at any time that it would be appropriate to change directions or withdraw them, then he will do so. His concern will be to ensure that the directions operate for as long, but only as long, and only in the form, as he considers it should operate."

    from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/commissioners-handed-power-over-birmingham-27746072


    My emphasis in bold.


    It's not obvious to many, but what is clearly happening here is a fore taster of what is to come for other local authorities across the country.


    These 'outside experts' are hand picked cronies. Appointed, not elected. Just more Common Purpose stooges, vultures circling around a dying corpse, waiting to pick off the 'best bits'.


    The council owns a huge number of valuable assets. These commissioners will help to facilitate selling off of assets in order to help 'balance the books'. 


    And no doubt sold off 'below market value', so that greedy developers and investors can either add to their own extensive portfolios of assets (or 'wealth'), or 'flip' them to return a huge profit.


    The city council may own these assets on paper, but in reality they belong to the citizens and residents of this city.


    Just so the council can pay off some of its enormous debts, racked up by reckless spending on endless vanity projects that only seem to benefit a minority of residents, or the private companies contracted to carry out the works.


    Birmingham City Council has been Labour controlled since 2012. Many people have been quick to 'blame the Tories' for failing to properly fund local authorities. While others have gleefully blamed Labour for their track record of being incapable of utilising budgets correctly, preferring to just 'spend spend spend' like there's no tomorrow.


    Labour and Tories are just as bad as each other. Arguing between the two is a fruitless exercise and a massive distraction from the deeper issues at play.



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  7. 21 hours ago, k_j_evans said:

    I thought Iceland was big on guts and offal, so that's quite surprising. I used to work with a guy from Iceland who moved to Glasgow.


    11 hours ago, Campion said:

    I don't trust minced up stuff like burgers and sausages because they can hide any old offal in there.


    Since I was a kid, I've always been partial to beef burgers. To be fair, to this day I still swear that Iceland's own brand beef quarter pounders are far superior to the likes of Birds Eyes, which are overpriced and just shrivel up to nothing.


    They may not be as cheap as they used to be, but Iceland's burgers piss all over McDonalds and Burger King any day.

  8. Watching a rerun of a celebrity edition of the BBC "Pointless" game show this afternoon, I was a bit taken aback when David Icke came up as an answer...


    It was an old one, I think it was from around 2011.


    Anyway the subject of this round was "Davids", the contestants were shown 6 'facts' about people called David.


    For anyone unfamiliar with the concept of 'Pointless', 100 people are asked the same questions, and contestants have to work out which was the least popular answer.


    The fact for which 'David Icke' was the answer was "Claimed to be the son of god in a TV interview".


    Quite amazingly out of the 100 people surveyed, only 22 knew it was David Icke.


    To be honest, I have no idea who actually ever gets surveyed by the researchers of this programme, only 85 people knew that David Cameron was the British Prime Minister (obviously at the time of recording) 😅


    Is it the case that over the years, David Icke has really 'dwindled' from public perception that much?

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  9. 8 hours ago, Macnamara said:


    there was a scandal a while back in the uk where they found that a lot of the meat in the supermarkets that was being marketted as beef was in fact horse meat that had been imported from romania. I believe it coincided with a new law in romania that made it harder to own horses...


    I remember that story, Iceland's quarter pounders haven't tasted as good since then... 😅


    Joking aside, I think it was the case that the beef burgers were still mostly beef, but horse meat was being used to 'fill them out', presumably as it was much cheaper.


    For as long as I have been buying them, Iceland have always promoted their beef burgers as being made with 100% British beef, so it was never clear how this had been allowed to happen.

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  10. 8 hours ago, Macnamara said:

    If we consider that some people want aggressive dogs as a form of protection, couldn't we then ask why so many people feel unsafe now?


    could it be that boosting the population up to ever higher numbers through mass immigration is creating a more densely populated, divided and paranoid society?


    It is my opinion that the people who have aggressive dogs for 'protection' are usually up to no good themselves.


    Just an example:


    Life in Quinton block where resident fears: 'Will I get shot or stabbed?'


    A Quinton resident says he now fears for his life inside a block of flats where gun threats were issued, a cannabis farm was found and armed police opened fire - all in one dramatic incident. The 27-year-old said he was desperate to move from Ridgmont Croft amid concerns of "danger" in the area.

    The shop worker, who lives alone, said every time he returns to the block: "I'm just thinking 'something might happen to me', I'm thinking 'am I going to get stabbed or shot?'" He expressed his worries after firearms police swooped on the flats, located in a small cul-de-sac, in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon (Sept 9).


    The resident, who has lived there for five years but has "never seen this sort of stuff," said he was out at the time of the incident, but understands the dog was shot in the garden of the property. There are said to be four flats within the block, which is private accommodation.


    The full statement from police read: "We were called to Ridgmont Croft in Birmingham at around 3.35pm on (9 Sept) to reports people had been threatened with a firearm.

    "When officers arrived, a dog was out of control and presenting a risk to members of the public and officers. Because of this risk, officers shot at the dog to prevent it causing serious harm.


    "The dog sustained a minor injury and retreated back into the address and was eventually secured. Following a search of the address a firearm and cannabis plants were recovered. A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of firearm and drug offences and later bailed."

    A boy aged 17, who was also arrested, was later released and will face no further action. The dog was seized by the Dangerous Dog Unit and taken to secure kennels to undergo a "further assessment", the force had said.

    from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/life-quinton-block-resident-fears-27721979


    A dog trained to be aggressive in this case is there to protect the property and prevent other lowlifes getting the cannabis plants. And it's not hard to work out what the gun was for.

  11. It would be interesting to know how much this hydrogen combustion engine costs, and how much it costs to install. Compared to the cost of a brand new zero-emission van obviously.


    I see many companies, especially delivery companies like Royal Mail, DPD, and DHL, racing to replace their van fleet with brand new electric vans.


    Which must be costing a pretty packet, as well as resulting in an excess amount of decent condition diesel vans flooding the second hand market.


    Nobody thinks about the 'waste'. Hopefully it is more cost-effective to 'retrofit' a 3-4 year old diesel van with a hydrogen engine.

  12. 4 minutes ago, whatastrangegame said:

    It's not the breed that is dangerous, it's the owners. The only reason the so called fighting dogs are high up in the statistics is because they are popular by the idiots that wants an aggressive dog. If you ban those breeds they will just destroy some other dogs. The owner should be 100% responsible for everything their dog does, and if they can't control them they shouldn't be allowed to have a dog.


    I'm pretty sure you could train a Jack Russell or a Chihuaha to be aggressive and attack people if you really wanted.


    In my opinion, dogs are only as bad as their owners.


    Let us not forget that the vast majority of dogs in Britain are trained and reared to be harmless.


    Maybe the onus should be placed more on the dog owner.


    If you own a dog, you should be held responsible for its actions. If your dog attacks and kills someone, then you should be held responsible.

    Charge dog owners for manslaughter.


    It's the same logic that should be applied for people with feral kids. You raised them that way, take some responsibility.


    Amazingly, we're all so open to having dangerous dogs 'put down' if they're a danger and menace to others, strange how we treat animal life so differently.

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  13. 58 minutes ago, rebornsteve said:


    35 minutes ago, Malbec said:

    Pretty comprehensive isn't it, I wonder if any of them will go to the police or if that's just not the point of the whole thing? 


    It certainly makes for some very grim reading.


    If the allegations are true, which I don't deny that they would be, then again my question is why this clearly co-ordinated media hit piece on Brand has been timed to happen exactly today?


    These people have had years to make their complaints or to go to the police to press charges.


    I did find this bit 'curious':


    In May 2007, Brand called Jimmy Savile, who suggested the pair could meet if Brand brought along a sister. Brand doesn’t have a sister, so instead offered to bring a female employee — agreeing, on Savile’s request, that she should be naked.
    “I’ve got a personal assistant,” he said. “And part of her job description is that anyone I demand she greet, meet, massages, she has to do it. She’s very attractive, Jimmy.” This was four years before Savile’s death and five years before details of the Jim’ll Fix It presenter’s crimes were exposed.


    It would be interesting to learn if Brand has ever spoken out against Jimmy Savile.


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  14. 15 minutes ago, Mono Inc said:

    I'm living in the UK.


    OK thanks for clarifying.


    7 minutes ago, Mono Inc said:

    A ground source heat pump needs more space than an air source heat pump. A typical horizontal system requires around 700 square metres. A vertical system needs enough space for the drilling rig to access the site, but boreholes are only around 20 centimetres wide. If multiple boreholes are needed, these are placed 5-6 metres apart.


    My understanding is that the UK government and energy providers are promoting 'air source' heat pumps in lieu of 'ground source'.


    Ground source sounds in theory 'better' than air source, but I remain sceptical.


    If your property sits on a large amount of land then ground source might be feasible, but for many people living in large cities/towns then it isn't going to be.


    I wrote about a Taxpayer Alliance report on my website last year:




    Air source heat pumps work much like a fridge operating in reverse. They utilise outside air blown through a network of tubes – via a compressor using refrigerant – to heat air or water which is then circulated around the home.

    Heat pumps work best when there is less of a difference between inside and outside temperatures, in much the same way that a fridge has to work harder in hot weather. Air source heat pumps also have a lower output than a gas or oil-fired boiler. This means they can’t deliver heat as quickly. Instead they are best used to heat the home up slowly over a longer period.

    As these require electricity to operate, I can't see these being particularly effective at heating a home when it is really cold outside.

  15. On 9/12/2023 at 2:23 AM, Anti Facts Sir said:

    Slough went bust last year too. Lemme guess....Labour-run, diversity-bonkers types.


    It's not just Labour controlled councils.


    But its the Labour councils, such as Birmingham, that are quick to blame the Conservatives for 'underfunding' them.


    It just becomes more political mudslinging, where one party blames the other for their failings.


    It doesn't matter which party has 'political control' of the council - the councillors and their leader are not really in control of things. They may make proposals for policy changes, and cast votes to make decisions.


    But they are ultimately beholden to the 'paid' unelected civil service that sits behind the scenes, the people supposedly responsible for carrying out the wishes of the council, but are ultimately just pushing and promoting other peoples' agendas.


    While the councillors and cabinet members bear a level of responsibility for what has happened in Birmingham, the political wrangling just becomes a distraction for what has really gone wrong. The blame must be directed towards the paid unelected chief executive and the other highly-paid unelected managers and directors.


    Common Purpose stooges.


    Local government is a great way to siphon off public taxpayers money into the hands of private companies/individuals.


    (Even better if you can convince that authority to shell out £19m on an Oracle IT accounting database that doesn't work - and then needs a further £100m to 'fix' it!)


    Award contract tenders to your best mates, even if they are not 'best value for money'. Set up bogus/dubious charities/organisations and apply for funding for projects that do nothing or very little. (Apart from promote "the message").



    The biggest irony for this Labour-controlled council in Birmingham is that their main financial downfall is the result of actions taken by Tony Blair's Labour government, and the unions taking full advantage.



    One positive to takeaway from this is that with a halt on any new spending, while the council is effectively bankrupt, the below is unlikely to happen any time soon.

    Brummies urged to cut out meat to tackle climate emergency


    Council bosses have agreed to meet with two doctors to discuss promoting plant-based food in Birmingham in a bid to 'tackle climate emergency'. Gastroenterologist Dr Sukhdev Singh, and retired GP Dr Sarah Benn, believe a move towards plant-based diets is a 'logical step' in the journey to net zero.

    The campaigners plan to hold talks with Birmingham City Council over ways the authority can encourage Brummies to eat less meat. They will also urge the authority to 'lead by example' and ensure catering is plant-based at future council events.

    The UK needs to reduce its emissions by 68 per cent by 2030 under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. This is seen as a key step to hitting a net zero target by 2050.

    Dr Benn said she has "huge concern" over the climate emergency and the "implications for health and how food systems contribute". She added: "We’ve seen devastating wildfires, extreme heat and mass migrations across the world driven by global heating.

    "Per calorie and gram of protein produced, meat and dairy produce many times more emissions than plant foods." Speaking at Birmingham's full council meeting on Tuesday, September 12, Dr Singh said: "The independent Climate Change Committee has urged reduction in meat and dairy consumption to meet net zero targets, and called for public sector leadership in this sphere.

    from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/brummies-urged-cut-out-meat-27708376


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  16. 21 minutes ago, dirtydog said:

    More details now. 





    So they've waited between 10 and 17 years to come forward 🤔  Now he'll have to prove his innocence or he's in trouble. That's how the legal system works nowadays with this sort of accusation. Probably he had relations with these people and won't deny that, but the rest will be his word against theirs. 



    It's always interesting when the mainstream media 'drip feed' stories out like this. And then suddenly its all across EVERY news site at almost exactly the same time.


    Almost like it's all pre-planned or 'scheduled'.



    By 9pm, there'll probably be no need to actually watch the programme if this stream of articles continues.


    I agree with @legion, it's certainly just theatre, and very reminiscent of #metoo.


    Why wait until now to make accusations against Brand if the events happened years ago?


    This documentary has been specially scheduled for today, there's got to be something significant about the timing of this.

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  17. 42 minutes ago, dirtydog said:

    He might not have been informed of the specific allegations and is waiting to see the programme. And/or he's wisely watching what he says in case of legal action where his words could be twisted and used against him. 


    Whether he's the 'real deal' or not, even if he isn't, this could still be a stitch-up. Any man who has had sexual relations with women in the past, especially multiple casual encounters, is at risk nowadays of being accused of assault or rape, and with no real way to prove your innocence.


    Another article states "Brand said he had been approached by letter and email by a tv show and newspaper both putting allegations, which he did not detail, to him."


    So he's aware of what the allegations are. But true, he may not have wanted to say anything about them at this time.


    It does smack of a 'stitch-up', the timing of this is curious though.



  18. Russell Brand removed from agency websites after facing 'serious' allegations


     Under fire comedian Russell Brand has been removed from his agency websites after denying 'serious' allegations put to him, the Mirror Online writes. Brand has been vigorously denying allegations on his YouTube channel ahead of tonight's mystery Channel 4 Dispatches show.

    He said his 'transparency regarding his promiscuity' has been 'metastasized into something criminal' – but didn't go into detail about the allegations he faces. Russell's PR firm MBC PR and talent agent Tavistock Wood no longer advertise Russell as a client on their websites. However, it's understood MBC PR still represent him.

    from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/russell-brand-removed-agency-websites-27727692


    I've made it clear here before that I'm no fan of Russell Brand, and I do find him quite suspicious, probably some 'controlled-opposition' or pied piper.


    I suppose us 'plebs' will have to wait until this 'special' Dispatches documentary airs to find out what these supposed 'serious allegations' are.


    But clearly others are 'in the know', and it speaks volumes that these PR/talent agencies have already 'cancelled' him before this documentary is shown to the public.


    In my opinion, if Brand is a 'real deal', instead of just refuting the 'allegations', why not pre-empt the media and explain what the allegations are?

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  19. Interesting read from the BBC:


    Chinese electric cars will reduce UK emissions but what about rivals here?


    The UK is facing a dilemma: should it fight the rising imports of Chinese electric cars with big new tariffs, in the same way the EU has threatened to do this week? Or should it allow them to continue? Keeping open to the imports in would make it easier for the UK to hit its goal of no new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and it would make electric cars cheaper. But the UK car industry could be damaged.

    from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-66820791


    The key telling point is kept right until the end:



    The strategic question is how China cleaned up with two decades of long-term planning on electric cars and their batteries, on a clear and predictable consequence of a net zero agenda pushed by the G7 western nations.

    While Faisal Islam doesn't answer this question, we all know here that everything that is happening is planned years in advance, and that China is just as on board with "the agenda" as the western nations are.

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  20. 5 hours ago, Bombadil said:

    I agree with you on all this. It training and owners and treatment that make dogs dangerous.



    My thoughts exactly. The dogs aren't the problem, its the way they're reared and treated which makes them act like this.


    When I was a little boy, my mum used to take me with her to go see a friend, who had a huge Alsatian / German Shepherd.


    Absolutely soft as shit, wouldn't hurt anyone. The dog would let me sit with her in her kennel. Loved kids. If she saw children walking past the front fence, she'd go bouncing down to the gate - well the kids would run off terrified but the dog only wanted to play with them!


    It is my opinion that many people have these 'bullys' or other kinds of similar dogs not as 'loveable family pets', but as guard dogs, or some kind of 'status symbol', trained to behave the way they do in order to 'intimidate' people.


    Cowardly 'hardmen' who hide behind a 'nasty' dog.



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  21. On 9/10/2023 at 2:52 AM, Trakmaster said:

    Hi folks, I'm a noob here. Just wanted to ask about the alien revelations. There was all of this media circus for a few weeks during the summer about aliens existing etc, but then it all suddenly stopped. Did anyone else notice that? Also, is there a lot of apathy about aliens anyway, it seems people just do not care.


    It was just a 'temporary distraction' trick, just some 'filler' until the 'next big story' came along.



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