November 30, 2008
BBC - Don't Mention the Muslims
BBC - Search results for mumbai islamic
There are no recent News or Sport stories that match your query closely enough to appear in the date-sorted view.
H/t Rod Liddle of the Times (Print version only)
The science is settled
Mr Obama begins by saying that "the science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear". "Sea levels," he claims, "are rising, coastlines are shrinking, we've seen record drought, spreading famine and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season."
Far from the science being "beyond dispute", we can only deduce from this that Mr Obama has believed all he was told by Al Gore's wondrously batty film An Inconvenient Truth without bothering to check the facts. Each of these four statements is so wildly at odds with the truth that on this score alone we should be seriously worried.
I think we can safely surmise that Obama used the strongest "facts" he could find in his speech and this ties in with some research I have been doing. The CAGW case seems to rest on five pillars.
The recent rate and level of global warmth is unprecedented.
This correlates and is caused by the human caused rise in CO2.
The climate system is unstable and is close to a tipping point.
The effects of global warming are a clear and present danger, and are distinguishable from natural climatic variations.
The science is settled and only the wicked and corrupt would deny it.
Can anyone point me to a single bit of evidence to support any one of those propositions that can not easily be found to either be debunked or seriously put in question. It is a serious request, because I'm getting bored of the whole subject of CAGW, there doesn't seem to be any battles to be fought there anymore on the science. The battle has moved on to how to persuade people that they are being sold a lie, a dangerous costly lie at that.
Panic! 2.2ppm CO2 in Atmosphere!
During the 1970s, there were on average 1.3 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide -- the main greenhouse gas -- in the air. In the 1980s the figure was 1.6 ppm, and in the 1990s 1.5 ppm.
In the period 2000-2007, however, the concentration jumped to an average 2.0 ppm, with a high of 2.2 last year, according to the Global Carbon Project, based in Australia.
Eh? I thought along with everyone else that the accepted figure was 300ish. The journalist is so eager to tell us that Earth's climate appears to be changing more quickly and deeply than a benchmark UN report for policymakers predicted, top scientists said ahead of international climate talks starting Monday in Poland.... Ice levels,.... sea levels...devastating droughts, floods and huge increases in human misery by century's end... that maybe they didn't understand the science. "Global Carbon Project (2008) Carbon budget and trends 2007, [www.globalcarbonproject.org, 26 September 2008]" Those figures are the ones claimed for the annual increase in the concentration of CO2. But then You didn't really expect some who knows what they are talking about to be writing this stuff did you.
Obama's Suicide Note
Booker's magisterial fisk of Obama is a must read and ties in with Al Fin's view:
Obama hopes that his special charismatic style of denial will be enough to bring EU climate ministers back into unanimity, within the orthodoxer fold. But since climate extremism, such as Obama and Gore advocate, is deadly to economic prosperity, the EU would have to feel particularly suicidal to continue along its current path. A suicidal Europe would be nothing new, however.
Because of economic hard times, Obama himself may find it difficult to persuade many US legislators to pass suicidal climate regulations, despite his political party holding overwhelming control of Congress. If so, he will bypass Congress and use presidential powers via the executive branch to institute energy-starvation policies via the EPA. The more likely scenario is that enough members of Congress can be bought with pork, so as to provide Obama's anti-CO2 jihad with Congressional cover.
Many members of the "loyal opposition" say that Obama cannot possibly be as bad for the US as his record, his associations, his public statements, and his autobiographies say he will be. Whatever. Do what you want to do. The rest of us may choose to make alternate preparations, just in case.
I'm not sue what alternate preparations I can make...
November 28, 2008
Friday Night is Music Night (One of Kim's All Time American Favourites Edition)
Sheer Music of an American in England
Thanks Kim for everything.
The Three Leaked Stories
So what did Damian Green leak that has warranted his arrest? From what I can gather, here are the three of the stories in this case...
February 2008 – Illegal immigrant found cleaning the Commons with a fake identity pass
February 2008 – Details of a secret blacklist of Labour MPs suspected of plotting to defeat Gordon Brown’s flagship terror reforms which had been drawn up by the party’s whips
September 2008 A leaked memo from Jacqui Smith to the PM running through the consequences of the economic downturn on crime.
I don’t want to think I live in a country where anyone, far less opposition politicians, can get banged up for scrutinising the government in this way. And what will the public think tomorrow morning: “naughty Mr Green” or “what kind of police state is this?” No wonder No10 is stressing that Gordon Brown had “no prior knowledge” of what looks like calamitously heavy-handed policing. This could end up being a disaster for him.
At the moment these seem to be the stories that Mr Green was arrested over, though obviously there may be something else we don't know yet. So I'm happy to ensure they are brought again into public attention.
Gordon seems to be claiming he was running round the room with his fingers in his ears shouting "Na, na, na, I can't hear you" when the police consulted with their political masters prior to this arrest. It isn't as though he is a control freak who demands to be in charge of everything is it? I'm sure Cabinet members versed in the dark arts will be slitheringly whispering this morning that there is no smoke without fire, and it was noticeable that the Labourgraph was quick to say " the arrest of such a senior Conservative figure who hopes to become a Home Office minister will embarrass the opposition. He is now likely to face pressure to resign from the Tory front bench."
How the rest of Her Majesty's Press and the public react I don't know. But with Boris in the vanguard - A spokesman said the Mayor finds it hard to believe that on the day when terrorist have gone on the rampage in India that anti terror police in Britain have apparently targeted an elected representative of Parliament for no greater crime than allegedly receiving leaked documents. The Mayor told the new acting commissioner of the Met that he would need to see convincing evidence that this action was necessary and proportionate. - the Tories should stick by their man, the principles and their outrage and hammer those responsible, even if they claim they they were elsewhere like Macavity - The Mystery Cat
This poster illustrates the trial of the so-called Industrial Party in 1930, one of the first show trials of Stalin’s reign. Placed on trial were various members of the Soviet technical intelligentsia who were falsely accused of plotting a coup d’état with the help of foreign governments, including the British and French. The group was also charged with committing large-scale acts of economic sabotage. The charges were entirely baseless, yet the accused were coerced into confessing at their trials. These show trials served multiple purposes for Stalin. They created a sense that the nation was under perpetual siege from enemies both inside and outside the Soviet borders. This siege mentality was intended to intimidate dissenters, inspire self-sacrifice among the masses, and excuse the hardships and failings of Stalin’s industrialization policies.
Natural England, without consultation, decided that it no longer wants to issue orders compelling landowners to deal with rabbit infestations when neighbouring farmers are suffering financial consequences.
Natural England came in for criticism from a range of rural organizations, including The Countryside Allaince, but instead of reconsidering Chief Executive Helen Phillips came out with all guns blazing. It was "frankly nonsense" she said to claim that this was "a serious issue for farmers". What she has not grasped is that this story is not about rabbits - it is about the attitude of the Government and agencies like hers towards the countryside. What is a serious issue is a rural community which has lost faith in the people who are supposed to represent it.
'Rabbitgate' is significant in that it is further evidence to many of those who live and work in the countryside that the Government and it agencies are not interested in doing things for them, only in doing things to them.
November 27, 2008
Citigroup said the blast-off was likely to occur within two years, and possibly as soon as 2009. Gold was trading yesterday at $812 an ounce. It is well off its all-time peak of $1,030 in February but has held up much better than other commodities over the last few months – reverting to is historical role as a safe-haven store of value and a de facto currency.
Gold has tripled in value over the last seven years, vastly outperforming Wall Street and European bourses.
Mr Fitzpatrick said Britain had made a mistake selling off half its gold at the bottom of the market between 1999 to 2002...
When the Treasury sold half of Britain's reserves, it got an average price of just $275 an ounce. The price fell sharply the moment it pre-announced its intention to sell parcels of gold reserves in a series of auctions over three years.
With the proceeds of the sales, the Treasury bought euros, dollars and yen.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said: "There is no better example of Gordon Brown's economic incompetence.
It's Pronounced Beaver Castle
"Lords, Ladies and Gamekeepers 2009-2010" is a glossy set of pin-ups for the game-room wall that is designed to gently titillate all those who oil guns, tie flies and tug forelocks.
The patriarchal photographs include Her Grace the Duchess of Rutland in a thigh-high split skirt sharing a joke with Malcolm Partridge, her head keeper at Belvoir Castle.
Click here - to purchase the newly published LORD, LADIES & GAMEKEEPERS 2009/10 CALENDAR
Save The Pub
# To stop plans to increase beer tax by up to a third
# To enforce existing laws – not create new ones - to deal firmly with irresponsible drinkers and premises
# To end the irresponsible promotion of alcohol in supermarkets, pubs and elsewhere
# To trust responsible adults to make informed choices about what they drink, not punish them for the actions of an irresponsible minority
# To support the British pub as a vital part of social life in local communities.
I think we can all sign up to that.
Happy Thanksgiving to my colonial readers, at least you get to stuff and eat the turkeys, we just get to be ruled by them.
November 26, 2008
GM Foods - One to Watch
Jimmy Doherty, pig farmer, one-time scientist and poster-boy for sustainable food production is on a mission to find out if GM crops really can feed the world.
We need to double the amount of food we produce in the next fifty years to feed the world's growing population. Are GM crops the answer? Or are they a dangerous Frankenstein technology that could start an environmental catastrophe?
A very fair programme - he tried to present both sides fairly and had to bend over backwards to help Fatty Melchett and chums as they failed to produce any coherent argument. As he finished in Africa where the promise of GM to tackle hunger was explained the European prevention of them taking up such technology was obviously immoral.
(One minor gripe was his repeated statement that producing cheaper food only benefited the producers, he missed the point it actually helps consumers a lot more.)
Logging Global Warming
Adjusting Temperatures for the ENSO and the AMO ｫ Watts Up With That? is the blog post you must read today - a simple demolition of the CAGW theory - (CAGW - Catastrophic Anthropomorphic Global Warming) - Yes there is warming but it's not that much and won't be that much (and if we removed some of the errors in the record it would probably be even less)
Al Fin has produced an excellent summary, so go there first.
Many young people take "Mickey Mouse" degrees only to see little or no financial reward, it is claimed.
Britain currently produces fewer graduates in law, science, mathematics and health than most other developed nations, but more teenagers study humanities and the arts, said the report.
It comes despite the fact that British students taking these courses gain the least financial benefit. They add no more than £51,500 to a graduate's lifetime earnings, the study said, compared to £340,000 for those taking medicine.
Researchers blamed an over-bureaucratic education system - coupled with more "teaching to the test" at schools - which meant many teenagers were too reliant on tutors, teachers, careers advisors and Government recommendations to get along.
"Removing individual involvement and decisions from the process has the danger of undermining the values of successful education - personal discipline, curiosity, independence of thought and hard work," said the report.
The study called for a dismantling of the "education maze" which has seen post-18 policy dictated by 29 quangos and 101 different large-scale initiatives in recent years.
It said the £9.6 billion currently spent teaching 18 to 21-year-olds should be used to create so-called "individual education accounts" worth £13,000 for all young people.
More on the report produced by Reform should be here later today - if you can't find it then I have a copy I can send you.
November 25, 2008
Yet doe I feare thy Nature, It is too full o' th' Milke of humane kindnesse
NHS want to close smoking room for terminally ill patients in Birmingham - Sunday Mercury
POLITICALLY correct NHS bosses in Birmingham are battling to ban a smoking room for terminally ill patients – forcing them to be turfed out into the cold to enjoy their final cigarettes.
The Government’s Smoke Free legislation, which came into force last July, banning smokers from lighting up in restaurants, clubs and other workplaces, clearly states that care homes and hospices treating cancer victims in the final stages of the disease are exempt.
But when board members of South Birmingham Primary Care Trust, in charge of the unit, heard of plans to upgrade the smoking room with a new ventilation system, the whole scheme went up in smoke.
Bureaucrat Dr Chris Spencer-Jones, South Birmingham public health director, ranted against the renovation plans, saying he did not care if lifelong smokers were dying, he still didn’t want them smoking indoors.
“It doesn’t matter if patients might be terminally ill,” said Dr Spencer-Jones, who also heads the British Medical Association’s (BMA) national committee for public health.
I note the good Doctor's Areas of Special Interest are:
Asylum seeker/refugee health
Joint working (social services)
Medical workforce issues
End of life issues
His previous includes:
HEALTH MATTERS: Getting a move on over people's bad habits; Smoking, drinking, a poor diet and lack of exercise can all pose a serious threat to public health. Health Reporter Emma Brady spoke to Dr Chris Spencer-Jones about calling time on these bad habits ... and supermarkets selling alcohol.(News) - The Birmingham Post (England)
What a nice man he is.
H/T Leg Iron
The Complete Guide to Education
Mrs. du Toit - Educating Your Children
When Thomas Jefferson set about the goals for public education, he focused very closely on what we were trying to achieve for our children:
- To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business;
- To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express and preserve his ideas, his contracts and accounts, in writing;
- To improve, by reading, his morals and faculties;
- To understand his duties to his neighbors and country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either;
- To know his rights; to exercise with order and justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciary of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence, with candor, and judgment;
- And, in general, to observe with intelligence and faithfulness all the social relations under which he shall be placed.
--Thomas Jefferson: Report for University of Virginia, 1818
In a nutshell, we were interested in ensuring that our children were as BS-proof as possible, to be able to express themselves in discussion and in writing, and to have sufficient grounding in history and literature to understand the path of the Enlightenment, and why that was so important. Our children’s minds were not constrained,......
Go read and print it out.
Challenging the Settled Science
Eddington was Einstein's bulldog - championing the German's ideas in an England fiercely defensive of Newton. He had gone to Africa to observe an eclipse and conduct the first experimental test of relativity.
The world waited for the results: would Newton's ordered universe be replaced by - as the English saw it - an Einsteinian madness that would require an entirely new philosophy?
These events have now been dramatised in a BBC/HBO film, Einstein and Eddington....A few things in the film are altered for the sake of drama....But no matter; the story movingly invokes the passion of the two young scientists, reminds us how creative and exciting science can be, how it is rebellious, sometimes, and world-changing...
And how real scientists are prepared to be open and challenge the consensus. Gravity - the science was settled. Civilisation was literally built on the Newtonian theory. But it didn't quite fit at the edges so it was capable of being, if not overturned, then fundamentally revised. I wonder why it is that challenging the far flimsier foundations of the AGW theory is verboten.
Additional Problems For The Darling Plan
Spending in the shops, however, is on the slide. An upward spike in food costs has meant household food bills shot up in the second half of this year, leaving less to spend on non-food items any-way, even before recession-prompted thoughts of spending less kicked in.
Because of this, the VAT giveaway will probably be less than forecast.
Then there is the question of what consumers will do with what they have saved on their purchases which, according to government estimates, should be about £250 a household. The problem here is that households are labouring under an unprecedented burden of debt – currently about £10,000 of credit card and loan debt each. And since everyone knows a job-destroying recession has set in, any fuel efficiency or VAT savings made are much more likely to be spent on reducing debt rather than going out to spend.
But where the sums do not add up is in his belief that the recession will end by next summer and in autumn the UK economy will return to a growth track.
Economists call this a v-shaped downturn – a sharp fall in output followed by an equally sharp rise. But much more likely, given the probability that the £20 billion "stimulus" will not have the hoped-for effect, is a u-shape – a sharp fall, followed by a period of no growth and then eventually an upturn. In that case, the tax increases will not produce the predicted revenue and, even worse, they may kick in while the economy is still in recession.
Inflation, or rather the lack of it, also causes a problem for Mr Darling.
Governments often increase their tax revenues by doing nothing. If inflation is running at 3 per cent and pay awards are at the same level, governments can raise their revenue from income tax by keeping rates and allowances at the same cash levels.
Although inflation is now relatively high at 4.5 per cent, it is falling fast and some believe it may even hit zero or turn negative into a period of falling prices or deflation. And if that happens, Mr Darling's sums certainly won't add up.
Finally One Genuine Good Reason To Welcome ID Cards
Britain will suffer cultural and economic damage from the introduction of identity cards for foreigners, preventing stars such as Madonna staying in the UK....
November 24, 2008
Roll Up Roll Up To The Greatest Show On Earth!
FOR Alistair Darling, it is the challenge of a lifetime. Even his friends admit his downbeat style and monotone delivery are unlikely to make this afternoon's Pre-Budget Report in the Commons great political theatre.
Yet interest in the speech is feverish and all eyes will be on the Chancellor as he tries to pull off arguably the biggest financial conjuring-trick in British political history.
That's our future being pissed against the wall that is. At least he could put on the top hat and red coat and add a few performing seals as we watch the shambles
pl.n. (used with a sing. verb)
- A scene or condition of complete disorder or ruin: “The economy was in a shambles” (W. Bruce Lincoln).
- Great clutter or jumble; a total mess: made dinner and left the kitchen a shambles.
- A place or scene of bloodshed or carnage.
- A scene or condition of great devastation.
- A slaughterhouse.
- Archaic. A meat market or butcher shop.
[From Middle English shamel, shambil, place where meat is butchered and sold, from Old English sceamol, table, from Latin scabillum, scamillum, diminutive of scamnum, bench, stool.].
November 23, 2008
The Best of Blog Archiving
A very kind chap of the name John Murphy has a whizzy idea to offer the best of blogs as pdfs. He did a trial run on this blog - BestofAEC2008.pdf . A warning, whilst I would have thought the best of this blog would easily fit on a beer mat the file he produced is 7.5 MB. You will need to slaughter a small flock to produce the vellum you will want to print it out on.
One or two small issues with the format on his trial run but generally I think it is great. And as a sop to my vanity even better. If you have a similar yearning or idea then John can be contacted on johnpiersmurphy At google mail DOTCOM
Beck on Keeling's Curve
Ernst-Georg Beck - 50 Years of Continuous Measurement of CO2 on Mauna Loa - I haven't got the $18 to buy it, but deep in my waters I feel there is something about this record that we ought to know about.
For Sale - One Labour Party, Slightly Shop Soiled.
Lord Sainsbury in £2m gift to Labour - Times Online
The refinancing deal means the party will have to find £2m a year to service its debt.
Under the restructuring plan, masterminded by Ray Collins, the party’s new general secretary, the annual £2m debt bill will be paid for by “commercial activities” – mainly event sponsorship and conferences
Revealed: how minister cashed in on contacts - Times Online
The former transport minister Stephen Ladyman has been using his parliamentary office to lobby officials for contracts for a private company.
Documents obtained under freedom of information laws show that the Labour MP touted for the business on behalf of ITIS Holdings, a transport company that pays him £1,000 a month.
Looks like Ladyman is just ahead of the rest of the Labour Party by a few months....
TREASURY officials who oversaw the Northern Rock debacle and the onset of the credit crunch have been rewarded with record bonuses, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.
New figures show that civil servants at the UK Exchequer pocketed £1.2m on top of their basic pay last year...
And where are the sirens of left shreiking against the obscene bonus culture in the city when you need them.
No Shopping on Sunday
ALISTAIR Darling will tomorrow cut the level of VAT in time for Christmas as part of a multi-billion-pound bid to kick-start spending and revive the economy.
Give away? Slightly less take away would be more accurate. I suppose the tumble weed will be blowing through the shopping centres today as prices will be cut tomorrow...
Efforts to meet government targets for paper and board recycling have been "stopped in their tracks" by a fall in demand caused by the current economic situation, according to The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).
The CPI said that the UK relies on global export markets to take more than 50% of the recovered paper it collects, with Far East markets taking more than 75% of the export total, and the current economic situation has left the UK in an incredibly difficult and strained position.
Exports account for, on average, more than 400,000 tonnes of recovered paper from the UK per month and without these markets UK merchants are left with little option other than to store the material they have paid significant amounts for or sell at loss making prices.
The situation in the UK has also exacerbated price falls in Europe, as there is a glut of UK recovered paper on the European market as well as excess European domestic stocks from the lack of Far East buying....
Recycling efforts are facing a setback after Corus, the steel giant, has stopped paying for scrap metal delivered to CanRoute recycling centres due to a complete collapse in demand.
Corus had been paying £10/tonne for scrap steel, which is used in packaging, last week, a figure that was already hugely depressed after falling from £95/tonne at the start of October. In May, it was paying £235/tonne for the material.
However, as of this morning, that figure has been reduced to £0/tonne, indicating that there is simply no market for recycled steel at present.
Corus said that the price collapse had been caused by a massive decline for steel products in the construction and automotive industries, which are at a virtual standstill due to the credit crunch. Poor demand from China and India is also behind the low prices.
Waste management companies and local authorities are "hanging onto aluminium waiting for the price to come back".
The price of aluminium has halved in recent weeks from £900 to £450,.... And so it goes on with piles of stuff building up around the country.
But there is some good news...
The majority of plastic bottles collected between July and December 2007 were made from HDPE and PET, split 48% HDPE and 52% PET, but 23% could be classified as contamination because they included aluminium and steel cans, other plastics and "unusable waste" such as labels and caps.
I think I might fill the back of the SUV up and go and dump some more stuff on the council, I know they want it...
November 22, 2008
Something for the weekend Sir?
Happy hours, drinking games and all-you-can-drink deals in pubs and bars will be banned, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Every household in the country could soon be required to keep a separate bin for food scraps as a new scheme to reduce landfill is rolled out across the country.
Oh Happy Day!
November 21, 2008
Friday Night is Music Night (Average Night in the Bar Edition)
That dates me...
ID Cards - they are so good for you!
The UK Identity and Passport Service have published yet another launch document for the National Identity Scheme. The 20 page propaganda piece is entitled "Introducing the National Identity Scheme - How the Scheme will work and how it will benefit you" with illustrative examples to show what the government thinks an ID card could do for you. For instance a 19 year old goes up to a bar "digs in her bag and pulls out her identity card. She hands it over which confirms that she is in fact 19. As she puts the card back in her purse she is relieved that she no longer has to hand over documents with her address on them to prove her age". Or Dave who wants to get a mortgage and "is pleasantly surprised to be told that, as he has his identity card with him, they can verify his details now and start processing his application immediately". The document doesn't mention that once your details are in the database they are in there for life, that it is your responsibility to keep that data up to date and to not lose your card, that you can't check your record, that there are fines for any errors or if you fail to keep your data up to date, and that the National Identity Register Number will be used to track you for the rest of your life.
Thanks to regular reader DA for that.
Google Searchwiki Is Here
A new way to personalise Google internet searches has been launched by the company. SearchWiki allows users to delete search results they do not like, promote the ones they do like to the top of the listing and to comment on them.
The new feature, which is being rolled out in the next few hours..
That explains all those arrows and crosses on my search results - I thought my eyes were still bleary from last night....
So if I do a simple innocent trial search - kinky katie holmes - Google Search - Wow! Look! I can promote my site.
EU Chicken Feed
....in these hard times, I suspect that the gadget of the year is that fantastic, self-powering device that turns kitchen food waste into delicious, chef-ready protein in a handy capsule. It's the chicken. Less than £10 for a good layer, lives in the garden, great talking point.
Under the UK Animal By-Products Order 1999 (as amended) it is illegal to allow livestock or wild birds access to catering waste which contained meat or products of animal origin, or which came from a premises handling meat or products of animal origin.
Catering waste is defined in the EU Regulation as ‘all waste food including used cooking oil originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including central kitchens and household kitchens.’ This definition also includes catering waste from vegetarian restaurants and kitchens. The Regulation does not make a distinction for catering waste which is only vegetable matter...
...If you keep poultry, you may compost your kitchen scraps at home, but you must do so in an enclosed container.
Don't blame me that you can't feed you chickens scraps - it is an EU law and we all know that they don't do such things on the continent..
Never have so many owed so much to so few.
Independent specialists published forecasts showing that an extra 50,000 public officials will have been recruited in the six months to the end of the year.
The Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) forecast that over the same period 300,000 private sector workers will have lost their jobs.
Figures showed government borrowing still rising, with Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, expected to announce that it could reach £68 billion this year. The Treasury had to borrow money in October – usually a strong month for collecting taxes – for the first time since 1994.
Doug McWilliams, the CEBR chief executive, said: "There is an issue of how the pain should be shared out. What is clear is that the public sector is insulated from the pain and is getting special privileges.
Has anyone actually worked out how many people each wealth producer now has to support?
November 18, 2008
I'm off to London alone this morning for a couple of days. The car is prepared, tyres checked, fluid levels checked, in the boot some de-icer and a window scraper in case of ice and a decent length of rope, well just in case.....
Nasty Tories Attack
The traditionalist roar grows.. they want short-term populism rather than long-term strategy
I don't speak for anyone else, and not even for myself but her defence of the Dave and George show is bollocks. It is the short term populism of showering money on voters that Gordon is proposing, and Dave and George aren't opposing. Old fashioned Tories want long term financial responsibility to be at the heart of policy, even if that means a painful period now. And they actually want D&G (oh what trendy initials they are!) to actually get up and do some opposing.
Even Tories Are Telling Dave It's Time To Grow A Pair
Peter Mandelson and Gordon Brown have peddled some pretty good bilge in their time, but I don't think I have ever seen anything so bare-faced and intellectually putrid as their attempt to blame the Tories for the sorry state of the pound....
Of all the Government's pretences, perhaps the most sickening and self-serving is that none of this matters, that there is no use crying over spilt milk, and that the most patriotic thing we can do is keep silent while Gordon the great helmsman gets on with saving the country and the world.
That, again, is phooey. We need to have an urgent argument about this devaluation and its causes, not least since devaluation is not, in itself, an unmixed evil. ...
We all want tax cuts. Of course we do. We need to stimulate consumption and confidence as quickly as possible.
The danger is that Gordon may be tempted to do this in such a way as to make matters worse. George Osborne is paid to warn of such risks, and he is absolutely right to do so.
Even Iain Dale says "We need a bit more of this from the Shadow Cabinet. If they allow Brown to set the terms of the debate, the debate will be over before they know it. Passion. Anger. Attack. That's what we need more of."
The Tories are being pathetic, out spun, failing to set the agenda, failing to oppose; No wonder David Davis is itching to take over and start biting a few ankles.
November 17, 2008
Politicians and Trustworthyness
A study has revealed the facial characteristics that we associate with trustworthiness and applied them to leading politicians. Here is video footage of the politician's faces being treated to be more trustworthy and then less trustworthy.
Gordon Brown is perceived to have the least trustworthy face of the three due to his thick eyebrows, wide nose and size of his mouth. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was next on the list while Conservative leader David Cameron is judged to be the most trustworthy because of his fresh-faced smooth complexion, wider mouth and more rounded eye shape.
(credit the Alibi website)
I wouldn't trust any of them to be telling the truth unless I had the bamboo skewers and the pliers to hand...
Free Climate Change Video
Roger Helmer has just published a DVD entitled "Straight Talking on Climate Change". The DVD is available free of charge from his UK office at Boswell House, 9 Prospect Court, Courteenhall Road, Blisworth, Northamptonshire, NN7 3DG. Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amazing Economic Discovery
Patients are now able to choose where they are treated, with many snubbing the traditional visit to their local hospital and opting for units with the best treatment records, facilities and, crucially, cleanliness and infection control.
And the hospitals that are losing patients are losing funding so they are sharpening up their act to the patients benefit. You would have thought that someone would have noticed this phenomenon before and written a book on it, or something, so that we hadn't had to waste 60 years, billions of pounds and thousands of lives before Tony Blair discovered it. I don't suppose it work in schools as well would it? Just asking, as Gordon seems determined to shovel billions into building lots of new classrooms....
Spend and Splurge - The Plan To Correct The Overspending and Splurging
Whitehall officials told The Times yesterday that the spending of about £15 billion in NHS surpluses and other capital projects would be brought forward and the details disclosed in the Pre-Budget Report next week. This money is available because Whitehall departments have not proceeded with some building schemes as fast as the Treasury had intended.
Labour also believes that speeding up spending on schools and hospitals will help to sharpen the widening political divide with the Conservatives.
The Government is also preparing tax cuts for low-income families who would be more likely to spend, not save, the extra cash.
Schools and Hospitals, haven't we been here before. And of course low income families shouldn't be paying tax anyway but while they may splash the cash around they aren't the one who will build up the economy by building up businesses, that is being left to the over-taxed over-regulated off-overseas middle classes.
Tories To Be Educated - at last.
Conservative MPs are to get compulsory lessons in scientific literacy under a plan to strengthen evidence-based policy-making.
Classes explaining scientific method and basic concepts will be included in the induction programme for all Tory MPs after the next election, and sitting members and peers will also be offered the opportunity to attend, The Times has learnt. ...
Though scientific challenges such as global warming, stem-cell research, pandemic flu and GM crops are becoming increasingly important political issues, Parliament and the Civil Service have long been dominated by people with backgrounds in the humanities, law and business. Both the Cabinet and the Shadow Cabinet each have just one full member with a degree in science, medicine or engineering: John Denham, the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, who studied chemistry; and Liam Fox, the Shadow Defence Secretary, who is a medical doctor.
No wonder they are so in awe of charlatans who infest our daily briefings on the state of the world. Not being au fait and being rigorous in the use of the scientific method should rule you out from any job more responsible than cleaning chewing gum off the street.
November 16, 2008
Mr Nowhere Man
The New York Times carries a lengthy report of the meetings held between world leaders this weekend. Read it HERE. Rather illuminating that the only major world leader not to rate even a mention is our very own Prime Minister. And he wishes us to believe the agreement was all his doing. And our gullible political journalists fall for it. ..
He's a real nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
Doesn't have a point of view,
Knows not where he's going to,
Isn't he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere Man, please listen,
You don't know what you're missin',
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command.
He's as blind as he can be,
Just sees what he wants to see,
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?
Nowhere Man, don't worry,
Take your time, don't hurry,
Leave it all 'till somebody else
lends you a hand.
George Osborne - Enemy of The People
BBC NEWS | Politics | Osborne faces pressure over pound
Sterling has fallen sharply in recent weeks amid fears about a UK recession.
It has lost more than a quarter of its value against the dollar and hit a near-record low against the euro.
On Saturday, Mr Osborne said the more the prime minister borrowed, the less attractive the currency would become.
His comments attracted criticism from Labour politicians...Chancellor Alistair Darling questioned Mr Osborne's political judgement...Mr Brown, who is also in Washington, said he was disappointed by Mr Osborne's "partisan talk"....some MPs suggested that the shadow chancellor could find himself in serious trouble if the pound plunges when currency markets open again on Monday.
He is a State Traitor for pointing out the bleeding obvious which the Great Helmsman and his musteline sidekick have declared to be untruths. He must be hounded by the organs of the state and its loyal followers. He escaped once after our fearless Sleazebusters had him cornered, it can not be allowed to happen again. Comrades, do you duty.
November 15, 2008
Regulate the Internet - It's for the children
CONTROLS on alcohol advertising should be extended to the internet as part of the drive against under-age drinking, a conference in Edinburgh will be told next week....
The current code on drinks ads says they must not link alcohol with sex, social success or daring behaviour; show alcohol being handled irresponsibly; or depict people who appear to be under 25.
"Ultimately, this is where the regulatory battleground is happening."
November 14, 2008
The Cost of Food
Crop sprays a risk to health, rules High Court - Telegraph
And the Government has been ordered to "rethink" its policies on pesticides so that human health is given more priority.
The ruling by Mr Justice Collins is a landmark victory for Georgina Downs who launched a one-woman campaign after her own health was damaged by crop spraying. ...
I suppose The Telegraph can get away without inserting "she claimed" in the second sentence as she has persuaded Mr Justice Cocklecarrot that her symptoms were caused by evil industrial agrochemicals. Not a shred of scientific proof as far as I can see apart from anecdotes. Of course I feel sorry for her, she is sick, but not as sick as the kids who live far far away from her rural idyl who will be unable to afford food as the costs she is imposing on farming are translated in higher food prices.
Horsiocracy beg bogtrotters to expropriate England's green and pleasants for their use
The BHS is asking members to send postcards to MPs so that horse riders can gain the uncompensated right to trample on fields all round the coast of England. You might notice something about their tactics in the sample text they are sending out..
....Every MP will be able to vote on this matter. Whether you are an English, Northern Irish, Scottish or Welsh MP, your support is invaluable to us. Please will you press for the new access rights to the English coast to include equestrians?
Friday Night is Music Night (I dreamt I had a good job edition)
November 13, 2008
Today's Featured Article
Nazi Germany initiated a strong anti-tobacco movement and led the first public anti-smoking campaign in modern history. Anti-tobacco movements grew in many nations from the beginning of the 20th century, but these had little success except in Germany where the campaign was supported by the government after the Nazis came to power. It was the most powerful anti-smoking movement in the world during the 1930s and early 1940s. The Nazi leadership condemned smoking and several of them openly criticized tobacco consumption. Research on smoking and its effects on health thrived under Nazi rule and was the most important of its type at that time. Hitler's personal distaste for tobacco and the Nazi reproductive policies were among the motivating factors behind their campaign against smoking, and this campaign was associated with both antisemitism and racism.
The Nazi anti-tobacco campaign included banning smoking in trams, buses and city trains, promoting health education, limiting cigarette rations in the Wehrmacht, organizing medical lectures for soldiers and raising the tobacco tax. The Nazis also imposed restrictions on tobacco advertising, tobacco rationing for women, and smoking in public spaces, and they regulated restaurants and coffeehouses....
Thank goodness that that sort of Health Fascism was defeated even at the cost of millions of lives....
Never shall be slaves
Royal Navy in firefight with Somali pirates - Times Online
Pirates caught redhanded by one of Her Majesty’s warships after trying to hijack a cargo ship off Somalia made the grave mistake of opening fire on two Royal Navy assault craft packed with commandos armed with machineguns and SA80 rifles.
In the ensuing gunfight, two Somali pirates in a Yemeni-registered fishing dhow were killed, and a third pirate, believed to be a Yemeni, suffered injuries and subsequently died. It was the first time the Royal Navy had been engaged in a fatal shoot-out on the high seas in living memory.
By the time the Royal Marines boarded the pirates’ vessel, the enemy had lost the will to fight and surrendered quietly. The Royal Navy described the boarding as “compliant”.
The gun battle was in stark contrast to the Royal Navy’s last encounter with a boatful of armed men - when crew members of HMS Cornwall, also a Type 22 frigate, patrolling in the Gulf in rigid raiders, were surrounded by heavily armed Iranian Revolutionary Guards in March last year. Eight sailors, including a woman, Leading Seaman Faye Turney, and seven Marines were taken hostage without a shot being fired, and detained for 13 days. The Commons Defence Committee described the incident as “a national embarrassment”.
Yesterday’s battle signalled a new policy of maximum robustness for the Royal Navy on the high seas. Captain Mike Davis-Marks, a senior spokesman for the Navy, said: “This is bound to have an impact on pirates who for the last two years have been getting away with seizing vessels and receiving large ransoms. Now suddenly there’s the threat of death and this may force them to think again, but they are determined people, so we’ll have to see.”
That's more like it - I have hoisted the appropriate signal.
Oxford Innovation Pays Off
Bungee jumping is a global leisure phenomenon estimated to have generated more than NZ$1bn (£375m) in foreign earnings for New Zealand's economy alone.
The first bungee jump was performed in 1979 by the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club
I seem to remember from then, when I was up at Oxford, it was a club of silly young men from expensive private schools, I wonder if Dave and George ever took part. If they didn't I have a length of rope they can borrow...
Olympics - Jowell admits they are a mistake
Tessa Jowell, the minister for the Olympics, made the admission to leisure industry bosses at a dinner in London.
The Budget for the 2012 Games has almost tripled but organisers are now under mounting pressure to cut costs...
Well stop building then - tell the IOC that Sorry they will have to make do with whatever we already have or they can take them elsewhere. We have got plenty of Stadia and swimming pools already. If you go past house building sites you will see the gates are locked and the workers have been sent home, lets do the same for the Olympics.
November 12, 2008
Proper Kettles For Gentlemen
Have you got one? If not proceed immediately to this site and purchase one. If you are out and about in the wilds you need one, how else are you going to make a mug of tea unless you have real boiling water? If you plan never to leave home you need one because with the official energy policy of these isles being based on whirligigs the power is going to fail increasingly often, and you need to have a mug of tea as you contemplate the insanity around you.
(And the site is run by a sound fellow who has neither asked nor paid for this).
Climate Change - What to do
What to Do about Climate Change by Indur Goklany
A kind correspondent points me to this as an adjunct to the Lomborg article I highlighted. As he says:
The refreshingly clearheaded Indur Goklany makes similar arguments to Lomborg - that controlling emissions to offset things like malaria is extremely bad value compared with focused adaptation, both in terms of cost and outcome. But unlike our Danish friend sees no need to factor in a marginal 'social cost of carbon' or even funding for R&D.
If you are familiar with the core arguments he's made, there's nothing new here, otherwise I would strongly recommend it. Mr. Goklany should be as famous as Bjorn Lomborg but he does not try to provoke or go for sensation, not that that's a particular problem.
Stunning Cuts the both of them
David Cameron and Gordon Brown sought to outflank each other on the key battleground of tax yesterday
Unfunded this, handout that, stimulus the other, it was like two alcoholics trying to prove that they weren't really drinkers, look I can go to the off licence and not buy any sherry; But I can move the Crème de menthe from the under the sink cupboard to the shed with out opening it.... They are both drunk on taxpayers money, they are addicts, they need help.
How I like my carrots is none of your business
Knobbly fruit and amusingly shaped vegetables, the staple diet of local newspapers, caption competitions and That's Life!, are set to return to the shops in a reprieve from strict European Union laws.
The regulations covering the size and shape of 26 types of fruit and vegetable are expected to be abolished today by EU agriculture officials... but the vote will be a close call owing to opposition from France, Italy, Spain and Greece. It is expected to pass now that Germany has swung behind the move, which was supported strongly by Hilary Benn, the Rural Affairs Secretary.
“I think a large dose of common sense is required here,” Mr Benn told The Times. “Frankly, if shops want to sell, and consumers want to buy, funny-shaped carrots and turnips then I do not really see what the problem is.”
Benn speaking sense? I must be still suffering from that bonfire smoke....
November 11, 2008
What's Cooking Tonight?
An unfortunate juxtaposition from Telegraph Online
Dulce et decorum Est
Did you enjoy a halcyon October?
GISS Releases (Suspect) October 2008 Data « Watts Up With That?
GISS Releases (Suspect) October 2008 Data
October 2008 “warmest” October on record (according to GISS)
Climate Audit points out the huge warming in Russia might be because a large number of the weather stations there are reporting that October was exactly the same temperature as September... hmmm
And as for the balmy warmth in the British Isles I can only speak for England where I failed to notice the warmth as also did the the official Central England Temperature Record which records an average for October 1951-80 as 10.52 degrees and Oct 2008 as 9.7. Even the Met Office says that
October 2008 - Maximum, minimum and mean daily temperatures were all below average across the UK.
But look again at the map in detail...
But Jim Hansen reckons it was a lot warmer, and who are we to argue...
November 10, 2008
Taxman Admits Smoking Ban Devalues Pubs
Publicans who applied for a reduction in the rateable value of their premises after the ban was introduced in 2007 were turned down on the grounds there had been no material change in the way the pub was used.
But the Valuation Office Agency has received legal advice saying that decision was wrong.
"The Government's own tax inspectors have now admitted that pubs may be eligible for refunds on their business rates, but pub owners are being intentionally kept in the dark on this U-turn.
"Ministers are only interested in changing the local tax regime when it raises extra money for Gordon Brown's coffers. Yet again, Labour's taxmen have been caught red-handed fiddling the system to make families and firms pay more than they should. Thanks to Whitehall secrecy and this stealth pub tax, local firms are going to the wall and everyday pub-goers are being hit in the wallet."
Theirs not to reason why
GORDON Brown will today call for Britain to intervene more on the world stage as he seeks to ally himself with US president-elect Barack Obama.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, said it was "crucial" for the armed forces to experience a reduction in the tempo of operations, in order to recover from several years of overstretch. His comments come as Barack Obama, the US president-elect, prepares to order a significant increase in troop numbers in Afghanistan
I think we can see where this is going as Gordon tries to suck up to The Messiah in hope some of his charisma will rub off on him, all it will cost is a few more exhausted troops in the sandpit....
EU Accounts Ground Hog Day
Here we go again. Today, for the 14th year in a row, the European Court of Auditors will unveil their report, telling us that they refuse to clear the EU accounts. What's worse, no one will really seem to care. We are told that the accounts won't be cleared until 2020 - if then.
Having worked inside the Brussels nomenklatura and having being sacked for my insistence that financial controls have to be strengthened, I am not surprised to find that nothing has changed other than the arguments deployed to defend this state of affairs. What the auditors have been saying for years is that most of the payments made by the Commission from its ｣70 billion-a- year budget cannot be deemed legal or regular. That is, that they cannot confirm those payments have been made to the correct person for the correct purpose and for the correct amount. It stretches credulity to insist, as the Europhiles do, that this does not mean that there is fraud.
It's not just that too many have gone native, dreaming of their part in constructing that shimmering vision of “Europe”. It's that they've forgotten what a Parliament is for, which is not simply to pass legislation, but to hold those who implement it to account. Only a complete cynic would note that those who do complain, those who do insist that this situation must change, start to find their own activities, their own expense accounts, say, subjected to audits of much greater detailed scrutiny than are applied to the accounts as a whole.
Just an old fashioned Wino....
Wonko’s World » Blog Archive » WINO Award #2
One island of sanity in the ocean of climate change madness
November 9, 2008
Britishness - the bolt-on extra?
Cameron calls for honesty on state of union - Scotsman.com News
"I believe we should be honest about the problems our union faces. It's not just that the SNP are running Scotland; it goes deeper than that. There is no doubt that the number of people who see themselves as British – ahead of Scottish, Welsh or English – is in decline."
Cameron added: "It is in fact about identity. You see it all over Europe, all over the world. People are seeking a clear identity; often a more localised identity. Just look at the rise of Cornish nationalists. I think we shouldn't fight that; I think we should build on top of that to create an inclusive British identity."
Gordon Brown has sought to strengthen the idea of a British identity, suggesting there be a "British" bank holiday, for example.
Cameron said he opposed such "mechanical" moves to strengthen a British identity, arguing instead that unionist politicians needed to renew "a sense of belonging" among people.
A survey in January in the Births Social Attitudes Report asked people to choose one national identity for themselves.
In England, 39% said they were British, down 9% from the previous year. In Scotland, only 3% of people said they considered themselves "only" or "mainly" British, down from 9% three years earlier.
BBC Reporter wound up by the Queen Mother
Edward Stourton, one of the BBC's most respected broadcasters, has claimed that the Queen Mother was a "racist" and "ghastly old bigot" as he tries to flog his book; "It's A PC World".
"'It will never work, you know,' she declared, using the already long out-of-date term the EEC. 'It will never work with all those Huns, Wops and Dagos.' The words were delivered with the eyes on maximum, tiara-strength twinkle, but I am afraid I froze.
"The Nation's Favourite Grandmother was in fact a ghastly old bigot, a prey to precisely the kind of prejudice which had driven the conflicts the European project had been designed to prevent. What she had said was nasty and ugly. Politically correct is what I felt the Queen Mother most emphatically was not and I was shocked."
Hugo Vickers, a royal commentator and the author of Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, was dismayed by Stourton's revelations. "These things were said to him at a private lunch party and I think they would have been said for effect, possibly to amuse him or possibly to surprise him," he said. "The Queen Mother lived in another age and she did say these sorts of things. Trying to put her into a box of political correctness is as silly as trying to put the sea into the sky."
"I remember talking to her once and she referred to the 'beastly Germans'. She did not like Germans but that was because her brother was killed in the First World War and her other brothers returned from the conflict as broken men. The Queen Mother didn't like any foreigners, to be quite frank. She probably didn't even like the English that much."
Hats off to the Old Girl, how she must have enjoyed winding up a prissy politically correct BBC reporter, and what was it she said that was wrong......
Only the English may be called British - Official.
"Singing from the same hymn sheet" may upset atheists - Telegraph
Caerphilly council in Wales has asked staff to be careful about using the phrase British, because "it implies a false sense of unity" and is upsetting to many people in Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
The council's written guidance to staff states: "Many would argue that one way to denote ethnic minority people in this country would be to describe them as 'British Asians', 'Chinese British' etc.
One advantage is that by referring to two ethnicities it avoids any suggestion that a person has to choose between them for identity.
However, the idea of 'British' implies a false sense of unity – many Scots, Welsh and Irish resist being called British and the land denoted by the term contains a wide variety of cultures, languages and religions."
Oi Taffy, what about English people who resent being called British, especially by the Sweaties in charge? Don't us English have the right to be called by our own nationality as well?
Twice as much bang for your buck
Results show that for the women in the study, the average duration of foreplay was 15.4 minutes, and intercourse, 16.2 minutes.
The researchers point out that 16.2 minutes is considerably longer than reported in American studies, where intercourse was found to last on average seven minutes.
They added: "It could be that this reflects, a greater appreciation of intercourse and sensuality by Europeans than by Americans."
I couldn't possibly comment except to note that the researchers clam to show that all that faffing about before the main event has " little or no significance when it comes to the likelihood of having an orgasm". So it looks like American efficiency proves yet again to be just as effective but only takes half the time at much less effort.
November 8, 2008
Bjørn Lomborg Has Some Cool Headed Advice For Obama
The benefits of climate-change policies are limited and costly. Instead, the president-elect needs to coolly evaluate competing priorities.....Change is definitely needed. Focusing on investment in malnutrition and disease could do immense good at low cost, brandishing a world where healthier and stronger humans can take charge of their own lives and deal better with the many challenges of the future.
Global warming also needs strong leadership. Avoiding the lost decades and misused resources of a Kyoto approach would be paramount, and a focus on 0.05% of GDP R&D would fix long-term global warming at much lower cost and with much higher probability of success. This, truly, would be change we could believe in.
If only the Chosen One would listen to such sensible advice, but I fear he is beholden to the Climate Alarmists to too great an extent.
November 7, 2008
One in three teachers believe that creationism should be taught in school science lessons. Why? It's not becausethey've developed a sudden respect forfundamentalist Christian interpretations of the Bible. It's because devout Muslim pupils - and their parents - regard Darwin's teachings as blasphemous.
This is a battle that the educational establishment just isn't prepared for. Guardian readers associate creationism with US Republicans, not ethnic minorities. Now they face a painful dilemma: should they fight to exclude the creationist viewpoint from science lessons, risking accusations of Islamophobia from angry parents, or should they embrace pseudoscience in the name of cultural diversity? It's a tough one.
Not that tough a call for me....
A Cunning Plan
Geoff Baker asks; "Have you got an address for Gordon Brown? I want to drop him a note to explain how he can end the war, make enough money to pay off both the national debt and those hoarding cunts currently known as banks and also get loads of back-slaps worldwide for it....."
I commend his plan to the house.
Friday Night is Music Night (Gabba Gabba Hey Edition)
Blame my age...
The State of Fear
The time is ripe to change the climate of fear | Camilla Cavendish - Times Online
We can create green-collar jobs, cut fuel bills and boost small businesses if we reject science fiction and accept real science
The death of Michael Crichton deprives us of a hugely entertaining and elegant writer, who infuriated people who should have loved him by becoming a prominent nay-sayer of global warming. Crichton's 2004 bestselling novel, State of Fear, portrayed climate change as a hoax. ..It is a testament to the power of his plot - and his copious footnotes - that many people read this as science, not science fiction.
..the author appeared before a Senate committee to argue that global warming science was mixed at best. He also believed that second-hand cigarette smoke was not a health hazard and that DDT should not have been banned. He railed eloquently against environmentalism as a religion of choice for urban atheists, who cleansed their “energy sins” in organic communion with “pesticide-free wafers”. He was essentially a libertarian, a position to which I am always sympathetic and which proved popular with those who feared - not wholly without reason - that the Kyoto Protocol was cooked up by European socialists bent on bringing down capitalism.
What his passing makes me realise is what an extraordinary intellectual shift there has been since 2004. We feel that financial markets have moved at warp speed. But so has thinking on the climate. Partly owing to new scientific discoveries, and partly because of the emergence of more market-based solutions, almost no one now denies the problem. We are still doing nothing, but with a new justification: recession.
So we are still living in a State of Fear, though a different one, and it is still fiction. There is a huge financial upside to shifting away from fossil fuels, just as there was from abandoning the horse and carriage. If Barack Obama gets his way we could see the unleashing of a green revolution which will lift the economy.
Obama or Crichton? I know which one I trust more and which one peddles make-believe..
Hurt in the line of duty
MoD pays £4m to gays for breach of human rights - Times Online...the average payout was £61,500.
The MOD's lump sum payout for a level 5 injury in course of duty is £57,500 - (Table 10 to Annex A)
Level 5 Injuries include:
Burns, with deep second degree, third degree, or full thickness burns affecting 50 to 69 per cent of whole body surface area.
Complex injury covering all or most of the area from thigh to ankle or shoulder to wrist, with complications, causing permanent functional limitation and restriction.
Loss of both kidneys or chronic renal failure.
Spinal cord injury at vertebra T7 to T10.
Hemiplegia. (one-half of a patient's body is paralysed)
Even right-wing curmudgeons have to admit that the remarkable election of Barack Obama uplifted the spirit
Either I'm not right-wing, not a curmudgeon or I'm in denial because I had to turn to YouTube to find something that uplifted my spirit and hopes for America.
Scared Scotch Voters Run Back To The Apron Strings
Labour springs surprise in Glenrothes by-election - Telegraph
Lindsay Roy, held the seat with a 6,737 majority – a far larger margin than either side expected in what was thought to be a tight contest.
Whilst the Westminster village thought it would be a narrow squeak win for Labour, outsiders thought or hoped the SNP would get it. I admit to being in the latter camp even though a month ago I wrote about voters and the SNP:
Come home to Mummy, had a nice time playing at being a wild pirate in the playground? But the night is closing in, and a storm is brewing so back home to Mummy and the warmth of the family hearth.
November 6, 2008
Ms Smith said cards would be issued on a voluntary basis to young people from 2010 and for everyone else from 2012.
She added: "But I believe there is a demand, now, for cards - and as I go round the country I regularly have people coming up to me and saying they don't want to wait that long.
I'm not surprised she wants an ID card - she might be mistaken for a vegetable...
Your Visit Here Will Be Recorded
It is further evidence of the Government's desire to have the capability to vet every telephone call, email and internet visit made in the UK, which has already provoked an outcry.
Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, has described it as a "step too far".
Officials tried to reassure the industry by suggesting that many smaller ISPs would be unaffected by the "black boxes" as these would be installed upstream on the network and hinted that all costs would be met by the Government.
A spokesman for the Home Office said: "We are public about the Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP), the name given by the Home Office to the database proposal., but we are still working out the detail. There will a consultation on the Communications Data Bill early next year."
Consultation, that makes it alright then. Not that the Government takes any notice of consultations unless they support their view. I suppose Hazel doesn't want to hear my views on thois proposal, though they are very short and succinct, in fact I think two words should cover it.
Fuelling a culture of cynicism and despair
"Political blogs are written by people with disdain for the political system and politicians, who see their function as unearthing scandals, conspiracies and perceived hypocrisy," she said. Blears maintains that: "Until political blogging adds value to our political culture, by allowing new voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and despair."
Sorry - I plead guilty - though it is hard to think how to "add value" to a system that allows people like her to be taken seriously, am I allowed to say that or am I fuelling a culture of cynicism and despair? I hope so because I am feeling full of cynicism and despair looking across the cesspits of modern politics.
Cold Snap Teaches Union Members a Lesson
The National Union of Teachers - Britain's biggest classroom union - confirmed it would not be walking out following a ballot of members.
The benefits of a bit of cold weather, they don't fancy getting their fat arses out of the staffroom and out into the wind and rain. The NUT - working to keep the unemployable off the streets....
Recycling waste piles up as prices collapse - Times Online
Thousands of tonnes of rubbish collected from household recycling bins may have to be stored in warehouses and former military bases to save them from being dumped after a collapse in prices.
Collection companies and councils are running out of space to store paper, plastic bottles and steel cans because prices are so low that the materials cannot be shifted. Collections of mixed plastics, mixed paper and steel reached record levels in the summer but the “bottom fell out of the market” and they are now worthless. The plunge in prices was caused by a sudden fall in demand for recycled materials, especially from China, as manufacturers reduced their output in line with the global economc downturn.
Local authorities and collection companies are so concerned about the mountains of paper, plastic bottles and cans that they are having to store that they have called for storage regulations to be eased....and to allow it to be kept in secure warehouses or abandoned military bases and former airfields.
Um - it's worthless, why does it need to be stored in high security locations? I've got an idea, after we have dug out gravel etc. we are left with some large holes in the ground, why not put it in them and if the prices recover then dig it up again. Or am I missing something?
November 5, 2008
Remember, Remember The 5th November
Terrorism Act 2006 (c. 11)...offences include every statement which—
(a) glorifies the commission or preparation (whether in the past, in the future or generally) of such acts or offences; and
(b) is a statement from which those members of the public could reasonably be expected to infer that what is being glorified is being glorified as conduct that should be emulated by them in existing circumstances.
.... it is a defence for him to show-
(a) that the statement neither expressed his views nor had his endorsement...
Let me make clear that any blowing up of Parliament is very naughty and doesn't have my endorsement - that should keep me out of clink....
40 years of farming explained in one photo.
Forty years ago in 1968 this steel work was erected as part of the UK subsidised push for home food production. By the 1980s the barn was too small for industrialised agriculture and it fell into disuse. It was pulled down in the 1998 and the old granary turned into a Rockchick home. The steel work was left in a pile of nettles in case it came in useful. In 2008 it is being re-erected at a new site as a EU funded environmental measure to help prevent nitrates running into a river.
(In 2018 I expect it will have yet another use....)
Labour to lose the hidden by election?
BOOKMAKERS yesterday cut the odds of an SNP win in the Glenrothes by-election, as the Nationalists claimed swing voters were switching to them.
Losing Glenrothes, which neighbours the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency of Gordon Brown, would pile pressure on the Prime Minister, as Labour insiders admitted if they could not win in his home territory, they would struggle to win anywhere.
I have just moved some of my ill gotten Obama winnings across to bet that Labour will lose - I twill be interesting to see how the odds move today, especially as all the big betters are tucked up in bed now after being allowed to stay up all night.
Always Look on the Bright Side
CentreRight: why an Obama victory is good news for the Tories...tonight's result proves to me, at least, what I argued in an earlier post - that fundamentals always apply.
After eight years of one-party rule in the White House, people want change. Al Gore could not get elected even with a popular President and a booming economy. McCain faced eight years, a tanking economy and an unpopular leader.
Extrapolating, that tells me that no matter if ComRes says our lead is eight points or YouGov says it's ten, Labour will founder badly at the next election and David Cameron will be Prime Minister. I'm sure he will work very well with President Obama. But I'm really looking forward to Sarah Palin's run in 2012!
And whilst I lost on my McCain bets I ended up ahead over the night as I had backed Obama at 3/1 - You can get 11/2 on Pailn in 2012 this morning, not quite good enough to tempt me.
November 4, 2008
Duff Message on Europe
Speaking in the debate, Lib Dem leader Andrew Duff, the President of the Union of European Federalists said; ""We all remember the blue flag with the yellow stars in the enormous demonstrations which broke communism and set these countries on the road to EU membership. We all remember the playing of the anthem at the Brandenburg Gate after the fall of the Berlin Wall.. because the symbols inspired the hearts and emotions of ordinary European citizens."
Strangely I don't remember the EU flag being waved at the demonstrations, I have searched Google images and Youtube and can't find any demonstrations then which feature the flag - can you? He couldn't be mistaken could he?
"The Liberal message is that only a stronger and reformed EU can tackle the insecurity of the financial markets, the problem of climate change and the threat of a more assertive Russia. The true British interest lies in a strong Europe - and not in the whingeing and isolationism we get from the Tories."
At least that is clear, he couldn't be mistaken could he?
Two new toys arrived yesterday; a sparkly new Laptop and a new cutting torch for the Oxy-Acetylene. I didn't know which one to play with first....
Don't be stupid, of course I fired up the torch first...
Stop living in Wales
BBC NEWS | Wales unveils strategy on suicide
A plan to reduce the suicide rate across Wales.
I can reveal it exclusively here - one simple recommendation to help those feeling suicidally depressed living in Wales. Emigrate.
The Triumph of Statism
Revenge of the Left across the world - Telegraph
It is not just that the Democrats will win a crushing victory in both houses of Congress, perhaps reaching the 60-seat Senate threshold that lets them steam-roll legislation. It is also that the incoming class of 2008 is of a new creed. Many no longer believe – or actively reject – the free trade and free market catechisms....will they deliver an electoral drubbing so thorough that it signals the utter rejection of conservative ideology and kills the notion that America is a 'center-right' country?
No matter that statist policies were responsible for this global crisis in the first place....But at this point I have given up hoping that we will draw the right conclusions from this crisis. The universal verdict is that capitalism has run amok.
...To those who still think that business can go on as normal now that EU taxpayers have had to rescue the financial system, I can only say: what will happen to London if EU exchange controls are imposed, or if leverage is restricted by draconian laws – as demanded by the German, Dutch, and Nordic Left?
Does the UK still have a blocking minority under EU voting rules to stop a blitz of directives that could shut down half the activities of the City – or the 'Casino' as they say in Brussels? I doubt it.
Who thinks that the three key Commission posts – single market, competition, and trade – will still be held by free marketeers when the new team comes in next year?
In Germany, Oskar Lafontaine's Linke party now has 23pc support in Saarland on a Marxist pledge to nationalize banks and utilities.
"Laissez-faire, c'est fini," said President Nicolas Sarkozy. "We will intervene massively whenever a strategic enterprise needs our money."
Such language can now be heard daily across Europe...
And just when there was a glimmer of hope that the poisonous doctrine was on its last legs, it all looks very bleak, and it may take thirty years to be destroyed again and for us to be free to enjoy prosperity.
Respect for Life
A judge has ruled that an illegal immigrant who killed an Oxford University graduate by driving into her at 60mph should not be deported.
An immigration tribunal had previously decided that Sabri, who came to Britain in 1998 aged 18 on a student visa, should be sent home to Pakistan as he had overstayed his visa.
However, this decision has been overturned by the High Court after a judge ruled that deporting him would breach his right to "respect for family life".
I feel like coming over all Daily Mail crossed with Richard Littlejohn when you read stuff like that, "respect for family life"... No, 'll leave it for you to complete the rest...
The Three Monkeys Are In Charge
...The three men sat, in a row, looking like a trio of naughty, if rather aged, schoolboys. ..Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, and Whatshisname, the new guy at the Financial Services Authority. They did, actually, look furtive.
Beside Mr McFall was a stack of 5,000 e-mails with questions for the Guilty Three from the Great British Public. The trio gulped. Mr McFall read out the first question, from Ted W. “Where,” he demanded, “has all the money gone?”
Michael Fallon, a Tory, demanded to know who was really responsible. “We have this impression of See No Blame, Hear No Blame and Take No Blame,” he said....Mr Fallon fixed his gaze on Take No Blame (the Chancellor). Why didn't he say he was sorry. “I said to you,” said Take No Blame, “that I accept responsibility for everything that I am responsible for.” The other two looked impressed, for this was, as I'm sure you can see, a wonderfully blameless answer.
See No Blame looked almost transcendantal. “Sometimes the wisdom of crowds is deeply unwise,” he announced.
Now came a question for Hear No Blame (Mervyn King) about the £37 billion bank bailout. “Has the taxpayer been taken for a mug?” Hear No Blame wasn't having any of that. “No,” he insisted, “this is an investment which I believe will pay off.” And so the blame game went on, for, as you can see, it's nobody's fault.
I hope you are now reassured that they know what they are doing and will lead us out of this depression....
Fat Girls F*** - Shock Horror
American women aged 15 to 44. A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 was chosen as the cut-off point between being normal and overweight. 92 per cent of those who were overweight had slept with a man.
The figure was only 87 per cent among those of a "normal" size.
Dr Bliss Kaneshiro, who led the research, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynaecology, said: "These results were unexpected and we don't really know why this is the case.
Maybe they aren't so hung up on perfection and are more interested in enjoying life? But he continues...
"Our analysis demonstrated that overweight women do not differ significantly in some of the measures of sexual behaviour compared to women of normal weight.
"This study indicates that all women deserve diligence in counselling on unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, regardless of their weight."
In other words the conventional view is that fat women don't have sex, don't face the same risks (or pleasures) as thin women, this is because the conventional view is that being fat is so abnormal, so abhorrent, so unnatural that they should be ashamed and live a life of solitary penitence. It is so unfair that after all those years of not dieting the fat girls are still enjoying themselves.....
Real Journalism Rewarded
Times writer Camilla Cavendish grabs Paul Foot award for journalism | - Times Online
Ms Cavendish’s campaign, featured in The Times, called for a series of changes in the processes by which children are removed from their families. It called for less secrecy in family courts and greater accountability for the social workers who make those decisions.
Last night she said: “What is so overwhelming is the response to this campaign, people feel desperately alone because very quickly they are thrown into the world of the courts and they are not allowed to talk to anyone apart from their MP.”
In one of a series of articles in the newspaper earlier this year, she wrote: “We believe that the Children Act has unintentionally handed enormous power to local authorities and experts, which some are using arbitrarily. And that secrecy keeps injustices from public view.”
A worthy winner - the sheer horrifying injustice she uncovered and the bleating defences of it were shocking. Now let's hope the wrongs are righted as much as they can be.
Is it the Day of the Messiah?
Well God help us then, looking at the state of Great Britain you can't say you haven't been warned.
November 3, 2008
Clearing my desk
All to be unplugged and tidied up - I may be some time, excuse my silence.
(The hard drive is in a similar state and I'm busy tidying that at the same time - thank goodness external hard drives are cheap...)
November 2, 2008
Vescere bracis meis Mr Council!
Local authorities have ordered employees to stop using the words and phrases on documents and when communicating with members of the public and to rely on wordier alternatives instead.
The ban has infuriated classical scholars who say it is diluting the world's richest language and is the "linguistic equivalent of ethnic cleansing".
In instructions to staff, the council said: "Many readers do not have English as their first language so using Latin can be particularly difficult."
More dumbing down - it isn't as though the banned phrases are obscure legal phrases, they have been absorbed into our language and are part of our heritage.
Luckily I have discovered a NSFW source of suitable phrases to use when writing to the council...
God Squad Squabbles On Human Sacrifice to Gaia
The Right Reverend David Lunan, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said "Interestingly enough, the country that is doing the most for the planet is China. People talk about the smoke and pollution from China, but they have limited their population in a way that no other country has or will, and that in itself will have an effect on not using up the Earth's resources."
John Deighan, parliamentary officer for the Catholic Church in Scotland, said: "China's one-child policy is recognised by most people as reprehensible. Its policy of abortion and giving licences to women before they are allowed to have children is incompatible with human dignity and the respect that women and families are naturally entitled to."
"We do not sacrifice human lives for the environment."
How out of touch our left-footer friend is, in this modern world we are sacrificing millions of people to pander to our greenery...
Stamping on Dissent
Three former Hackney Council inspectors have told how they were instructed to single out Colin Hunt, 60 - one of the original metric martyrs - and his sister, Janet Devers, 64, for "enforcement action" because the pair had campaigned against the ban on imperial measurements.
One ex-inspector, who worked for Hackney for four years, said: "The manager told us that we had to teach Janet and Colin a lesson and focus our enforcement efforts on them rather than any other traders who used imperial measures or sold goods by the bowl. We knew it wasn't fair, but if we objected the managers just said we should do as we were told.
There are words to describe bullying local officials like that, but they are unsuitable for Sunday Morning...
A new EU naval task force will be unable to take tough action against Somali pirates because it must respect their human rights, its commander has admitted.
Modern European navies are now so mindful of the legal loopholes they face in tackling pirates that they often instruct commanders to simply let them go...the West fears that if the pirates were handed over to the Somali authorities they would be tortured or executed.
After deciding pirates would not be successfully prosecuted if brought back to Europe, the Danish navy set free a crew of ten in September, dropping them off on a Somali beach after holding them for six days. The Royal Navy admits, unofficially, that it is under similar instructions.
So far only the French have taken firm action, sending special forces troops to free their nationals and escape adding to the ransom payments worth $100 million (£62 million) a year to the heavily armed gangs.
Sometimes you have to admire the French...
November 1, 2008
Quentin Davis - A disgrace to his office and county.
Quentin Davies, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support said that he found it "impossible" to take the resignation of SAS commander Major Sebastian Morley seriously.
"I recently visited Afghanistan, and 100 per cent of those I asked said they were satisfied with their equipment," he said.
The smug fat turncoat, I suppose he should know about the impossibility of being taken seriously. If it wasn't so serious, if it wasn't about our men being killed and wounded it would be laughable. But it isn't; there is pile of old pallets and tyres out back that is just looking for a bucket of lard to be topped of with, please step forward Quenty you sorry excuse for a human being.
Meanwhile a world away ...
Proper Boots for Gentlemen
World War 1 Army Boots
Who needs fancy plastics and Gortex when proper bootmakers are still at their last?
It's that time of year again when Wiltshire Yeomen remember
The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry was mobilised in 1939. The next five years were to prove a time of unparalleled change, adventure, and above all – courage – for the Regiment. Beginning as horsed cavalry, the regiment was deployed to the Middle East, serving in Palestine, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Egypt. Wiltshire Yeomen found themselves tasked as both searchlight crews and lorried infantry, before converting in late 1941 to Tanks.
Special mention should be made of the part the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry played at the famous battle of El Alamein in October 1942. Under the command of the 9th Armoured Brigade, the regiment was equipped with a mixture of Sherman, Grant and Crusader tanks, and was tasked with supporting the 2nd New Zealand division in the initial assault on the German lines. Following heavy fighting, the regiment was reduced to just four serviceable tanks, and was withdrawn to reserve. Barely days later, with their tanks replaced or repaired, the Wiltshiremen were again in support of the New Zealanders as part of the final breakthrough, and during the bitter fighting that followed, the Regiment was again reduced to four serviceable tanks. In recognition of their gallant actions and the strong bonds that had been formed, the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry - along with the Warwickshire Yeomanry and 3rd Hussars – was awarded the fern leaf insignia by the New Zealanders. This insignia is still displayed on the Squadron’s uniforms and vehicles today.
The opening of the battle saw four divisions (9th Australian, 51st Highland, 2nd New Zealand and 1st South African) in the assault on the north of the Axis positions. RWY was in support of 5th New Zealand Brigade (Brigadier Howard Kippenberger) and the aim was for infantry to secure the Miteiriya Ridge during darkness, with the armour to pass beyond them at first light to establish a screen. By now the regiment was equipped with a mix of M4 Sherman, Crusader and Grant (M3 Lee) tanks. On the morning of 24 October 1942, A and C squadrons were ahead of the infantry on the western slopes of the ridge. B squadron had been delayed in the Devil's gardens minefields and had lost numerous tanks. Throughout that day, A and C squadrons engaged German panzers on the plain below, and were in turn hit by anti-tank fire. Initially, the heavier Sherman tanks were not vulnerable to this, but when the German 88mm anti-tank guns joined in they took severe casualties. By midday, the two squadrons were reduced to one Sherman and three Grants and the commanding officer had been badly wounded and evacuated. The 10th Armoured Division was at this stage supposed to pass through and onwards to start the breakout, but seemed to be reluctant to do so.
At 6:00 p.m. the regiment was ordered to withdraw. It had lost almost all of its tanks and taken 42 casualties killed or wounded. In reserve, the regiment was issued with new tanks, a hasty mix of Shermans, Grants, and Crusaders (types II and III), mostly salvaged from the battlefield and rapidly repaired
On the night of 1st/2nd November 1942, the 8th Army attacked again in the north, with 2nd New Zealand Division in the lead. General Freyberg placed 151 Brigade on the right and 152 Brigade on the left. The aim was to attack directly westwards across the Rahman track, with the infantry leading the night assault and 9th Armoured Brigade (now commanded by Brigadier John Currie) again passing through to break the enemy gun line and allow X Corps to break out. The assault went to plan except that opposition on the left was heavier than expected which slowed the advance. As a result the advancing tanks were highlighted against the dawn sky in the east and began to be picked off by Axis anti-tank fire. The Regiment was in the centre of 9th Armoured Brigade, and the CO lost touch with both his artillery support and close anti-tank support. In the growing light, the B squadron commander (Major M.StJ.V.Gibbs) realised that he was in a ring of enemy anti-tank guns, ahead and to both flanks. He gave the order to 'Charge' and B squadron over-ran the anti-tank positions, losing some vehicles but destroying the enemy gun line.
Meanwhile 21st Panzer Division was counter-attacking A and C squadrons and at 4pm the Regiment (now down to four tanks) was withdrawn.
After the 9th Armoured Brigade's action, Brigadier Gentry of the 6th New Zealand Brigade went ahead to survey the scene. On seeing Brigadier Currie asleep on a stretcher, he approached him saying, 'Sorry to wake you John, but I'd like to know where your tanks are?' Currie waved his hand at a group of tanks around him, replying 'There they are.' Gentry was puzzled. 'I don't mean your headquarters tanks, I mean your armoured regiments. Where are they?' Currie waved his arm and again replied, 'There are my armoured regiments, Bill.