Sunday, April 30, 2006

To do something besides rant.

Mmmm. Tom Paine is his blog The Last Ditch, on the sidebar as Death of Liberty in the UK, has issued a challenge that instead of whining and complaining we all come up with a single practical step that will make a difference. Rather than policy decisions or a strategy for a way forward for Britain. He then posts an example of raising money for a private prosecution of the PM.

Well, I must confess I had never thought about doing anything like this. To be honest it's a lot easier looking at the overall picture and pointing a way forward without having to do anything about it. There are always those grey areas that screw us all. I'm much better at planning and implementing a theory than actually coming up with a theory to begin with.

So, I'm going to have a think about this over the next few days and see if I can come up with a single action that could make a difference without getting me arrested or lose my job. It won't be easy. For one thing my thought processes don't work like that. EMail me if you have any suggestions.

Islamic Terrorists. Even the experts don't understand them.

For a while now I've struggled to understand the thought processes behind these terrorists. Quite often you can come up with a profile of why. The social injustice, the persecution, etc. but after all that I was stumped by Mohammed Siddique Khan. He had a wife and kids and was brought up in the UK. He was not living a millionaire lifestyle but neither was he is squalor like many are abroad. It made me consider that I really didn't understand them and without that understanding it was going to be difficult to deal with them.

It seems that even our terrorist experts are having difficulty with the concept. Read more here. It bodes poorly that we went out and opened this particular can of worms when we were simply relying on our superior technology to force them into submission. With no thoughts on how it would really be. Many sites had comments by non government sources stating their beliefs in what would happen. Most were correct. Now we are still talking about attacking Iran. Of course we won't invade. That was one lesson learnt but they do not consider that it will bring out many Iranian Mohammed Siddique Khan's on to the aggressors. In addition it must still seem to the Muslim world that we are going to do them all one at a time. Political pressure to conform to the US ideology will be replaced by force if they don't comply. Not all of them are stupid and must be planting the seeds already.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A little snippet buried away.

When all this broke about Charles Clarke and the release of the 1000+ prisoners it was mentioned that if any of them committed other crimes then there would be hell to pay.

That is why when I read this article on John Prescott. I was surprised to read at the bottom 'At least five of the foreign prisoners freed without being deported have gone on to commit more serious crimes'. What! Why is this not a new article? What were the more serious crimes considering that they were all in jail for serious crimes?

Mmmm. Why was this hidden in an article about John Prescott. I now see what they mean by a good time to bury bad news. Buried in the same article was not what I thought they meant.

Update : Seems this is all over the blogs. Maybe it's just the BBC keeping it quiet. I didn't have time this morning to do a lot of browsing.

Will there be photos?

I was wondering how this guy was going on with his bet. Read the previous post here he was at 400K+ at the time of that post.

Seems he is doing very well. He has won his bet. From his original target of 2M hits. Yesterday at about 17:00 he was at 5M+ and now he is at 10M+. See what he is now here.

Nice to see the web being used for peaceful purposes. Make love not war.

I'm intrigued.

It seems that some drugs have been found at the home of the Defence Secretary John Reid. Read more here. The drugs were thought to have been in the house before Mr Reid moved in. No further police action is expected.

Now this raised some questions in my mind. How long has the guy been there? If a while would not the police have really had to sweep the house before he moved in. Anything lying behind a pipe or something would have been found then. That should have found everything.

So we are led to understand a standard security sweep is more extensive than a extensive initial sweep. I doubt it. The police would not be happy with being accused of failing the initial sweep.

Then we are told he knows nothing about it. That's all right then. So it must be someone else. The previous owner because nobody here now would do this. We should then see him in court then. Somehow I doubt it. I would love to hear that prosecution. The defence would talk about security sweeps not finding anything and what evidence there was. Any other people raided would also be claiming the same thing. From now on unless it is in their pockets they will all say it must have been left here by the previous owner.

I sense a cover up. I would have thought on top of all the other scandals going on this one would be the easiest to cover up. And surprise, surprise there it is.

I'm sure there will be more details on this one soon. Another nail for the Labour party. Excellent.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Falling on your sword.

Business leaders do it. Even when there appears to be little reason for it.

Political leaders don't. Even when there appears to be a good reason for doing so.

Read more here about accountability.

Such is the accountability in our leaders worlds. Jobs for life.

Another warning on Pensions. Time for a change?

Seems that the Pension watchdog is warning that 300 schemes are in danger of collapse. Read more here. I'm now wondering if I really should be contributing to any pension scheme at all now it appears that there as so many with problems.

I know that the tax raid by our beloved leaders did not help and I know that it has been a particularly lean few years, amazingly enough, due to the current economy run by the same beloved leaders. I think I see a pattern. It has become apparent that they can't run their party finances, they can't manage their personal finances and yet we expect them to run a country. With a bit of luck the Labour party will have no funds to put forward the faithful when it comes up to the elections. Would that not be funny? Unfortunately, knowing how above board they are they would then likely dip, legally or illegally, into state funding to pay for it. But I digress.

Anyway, it does concern me that there are so many schemes under threat. No wonder they are looking at easing the potential burden on the Pension Protection Fund. It looks like company schemes are not the safe havens that they need to be. They may have been in the past but not now. What can we do? I for one don't want to keep putting money away and yet be no better off when I retire than someone who does not. On the other hand, if I don't then I can expect to have a poorly funded retirement.

I think we should expect our government to keep their fingers out of the pensions pot. Plus they should put back what they have stolen and put legislation in place to ensure that they are managed and monitored to ensure minimal fraud and that they are managed correctly. In addition there should be guarantees on what comes out of these funds depending on what you put in. Then make them transportable so that if your company scheme isn't going so well you can move the capital to somewhere else but still keep the company component going in.

I'm seriously considering stopping paying into my pension scheme and buying property. Something I can sell when I retire and get a lump sum. May be a one off payment but with my existing pension as regular, albeit small, payments it should keep me going. In reality that's probably a crap idea but I'm looking at it now as well as other options. There are a few interesting sites out there with lots of advice. I particularly like The Motley Fool for financial information and advice.

The way this is going I'll have to move abroad to make my pension worthwhile. Cambodia or somewhere where we can live on £10 a week.

And do you blame them?

Well, it seems that hundreds of schools are with head teachers. A survey shows 257 schools without heads and extrapolated across the country it could mean over a thousand schools are without head teachers. Read more here.

Seems that people don't want to put their hands up and take the extra responsibility now that it is a political role with them taking responsibility for their actions, unlike our leaders they can, and do, get removed for the mistakes within their realms no matter how actually responsible they are.

Once we changed the roles so that your ability to run a small business became important to teachers we effectively made head teachers business managers and not teachers yet we still need to knowledge that comes from being a real teacher. A gap in the training marketplace. Business management for teachers or teaching for business managers.

The business side should be run from a central location and let the school staff get on with schooling.

A massive change, new unrelated challenges and a lot of risk with little job satisfaction. Sounds like an ideal job move for teachers. No wonder so many don't want to step up to the role.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Got to do my bit.

From Mr FM's site. Help this guy spice up his relationship. Read more here.

Is it possible that nurses may actually take action?

One of the problems with nurses over the last few decades is that none of them would do anything that could put a patient at risk. They wouldn't consider striking and took a regular kicking because they were seen as an easy target by the managers and politicians. They were popular with the people but missed out every time due to their stoic nature.

Now we have Patricia Hewitt's speech at the nurses congress where she was heckled and jeered. Read more here. I wonder how she feels now about mild mannered nurses. OK, people that go to these places tend to be more active anyway but the NHS has been in trouble for years and this has not been heard before.

It's clearly a big jump between heckling and jeering and going on strike but nurses feelings seem to be running high. When people get into such a state then they do things out of character.

If nurses are thinking along these lines then what are our more militant people thinking? Could it be that people are waiting for the nurses to jump and then come out in support. People will support the nurses and thus militants will gain from that.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

There is hope for me yet. Or is there?

With the news that Two Jags has had an affair it must seem that there is still hope in the world for ugly old farts. Oh wait a minute, the power thing. I'm still a lost case.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This covers everything Blair's cabinet does but cannot be true.

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence
- Napoleon Bonaparte

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
- C. S. Lewis God in the Dock

Now I've been thinking about this for a while. There are many things been done by our current government under the guise of looking after us and for our own good. I have heard the first quote used as a possible explanation for the actions of our wonderful leaders and although I believe that quote is probably more suited to the actions of their minions working in the great government machine that provides us with services such as tax, pensions, security etc. The second quote is, again, used to explain away the actions of our beloved leaders but again I am forced to believe that quote is more suited to the loud mouthed few do gooders that our government seems surrounded by and it feeds them the scraps of our liberal justice system and our welfare system to keep them in line and supporting the eroding of our rights.

In the last few weeks it just seems as if Blair and his minions are pushing faster and faster down a path that is so divorced from the culture we have grown up in that it is inconceivable how it can be explained away by incompetence or for our own good even by the most generous of people. Additionally it seems that now many of those followers are also questioning these policies.

I went down to see one of my old pals at Aldermaston today. We had a bit of a chat and my pal admits he is one of the least political guys going. He barely knows what is going on outside his little area yet he knew of some of the things going on in the real world which he was unhappy about and when I was talking about some of the things I was aware of from my travels around the blogs he was incredulous. He just did not believe what was going on as it was a lot worse than he thought and he was not pleased as it was. Even he had noticed the changes and thought it was concerning never mind Mr Average who actually pays attention.

This change in the wind should make Blair and his minions concerned. Yet, he seems unfazed while his puppets are starting to get concerned in the run up to the May elections. I can only assume that he is unconcerned and is still pushing for changes as he knows he will have sufficient time to implement his central government changes before he has to face 2009. He knows that the local councils are powerless and thus couldn't care less what happens next month. His local councilors being of little interest to him. It only makes you wonder what he will do before 2009 that leaves him in a position to ignore the populace and his own party members. Will we even be able to hold elections in 2009 or will our conversion to tyranny be complete?

It is going to take force to remove this guy and his cabal of henchmen like Clarke, Blunkett etc. I think I'll write to the President of the US and ask for his help in removing a Tyrant. One with nuclear capability but uninterested in the freedoms that is every humans right. Mmmm. Sounds like a plan to me. I've had my capability of doing anything else removed.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Some people shouldn't come out of the closet.

Um. I think that if I was inclined to do the dirty with a very expensive doll I would just keep her in the cupboard and not keep her out for a quiet night in. Never mind giving an interview where you admit that in your imagination 'she' is a 14 year old school kid you feel affection beyond sexual desire. I'm not sure but that sounds kind of kinky to me and probably illegal nowadays.

The suppliers web site is Real and some of them look very realistic on the photographs. There is also male dolls but I don't know if they are gay ones or not. Maybe women buy these for 'affection' too.

It seems over half of the customers for these dolls work in IT or engineering. Typical geeks. Unfortunately, I'm in IT so could this be my future. I don't think I will be getting one as I don't want the kids thinking they should be watching their dolls when I am around. LOL. I think I'll wait for the more advanced models which must be round the corner who can go and get you a beer then give you a blowie while you watch the football and has no voice functions beyond answering direct questions.

Seriously though, having a doll so can have someone around to love and trust. Well, I suppose she won't seduce your best mate but will she fight him off if he fancies a bit?

Unbelievable. Read more here.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Makes you wonder what is going on in research.

We have all these super new products coming out which look like they will be able to help in the health area like these printable tissues. Read more here.

In the meantime all we seem to hear and talk about is all the bad things going on. I'm as guilty as anyone else but sometimes these things are so unreal that when I see them I have to mention them.

Makes you wonder what sort of things are they still developing in the labs which won't be heard of for a decade or so. Not critical research like boys get distracted by girls of course. I mean real research that will make a difference one day and actually does not simply state the obvious. Knowing the UK we probably only have 15% of our researchers actually doing something useful.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Every little bit helps.

I thought I would put some feelers out for a new job. So I thought I would get one of these racecards that seems to be a help in the job market for so many.

Seems that if you look hard enough you can get one. See here.

Don't think I qualify though.

Friday, April 21, 2006


I've wanted to comment on this new proposal for compensation of those wrongly convicted of a crime a couple of days ago but not had the time. I still don't but even if I could I would rather link to these who have commented very effectively. Much more than I could.

Chicken Yoghurt
Infinitives Unsplit
Tim Worstall

This on top of already charging them for their accommodation is really showing what compassion our leaders have. Of course if they are freed and can't claim any compensation will our beloved leaders forgo hitting them for accommodation charges. If it wasn't so pathetic it could be a joke. Unfortunately, it is not.

What a day.

I'm glad it is the weekend. I'm just finishing at work now and ready to collapse in a chair.

Thought I would have a nice relaxing day and leave early but the best laid plans and all that. Not that this plan was ever well laid.

It all started with a simple EMail from our security people discussing access to a system and then moved on to a flame war between one of my guys and the security lead which took most of the day to calm down. Jeez, thankfully it wasn't something important we were discussing. I think swords at dawn would have been the result there.

So work done all day was zero. Brows wiped was three and I had twelve separate discussions two of them for over a hour each. Just calmed everyone down and hopefully won't re-ignite now I'm packing in for the day.

What a day.....

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Are those in power keeping something from us?

I was just reading this article on the condemnation of the death penalty and how it is reducing in popularity around the world.

It discusses the many -ve aspects until it concludes with the statement 'It can be an irreversible error when there is miscarriage of justice'

Can be? How does that work then? Is there circumstances where it can be reversed? I'm sure a lot of people are interesting in the possibility of this option.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hamas is playing the politics game well at the moment.

Well it appears that Hamas is doing so well in their new position of Power. All supported by the Palestinian people, read here, and keeping up relations with surrounding countries, read here, so much so that the lack of funding from the EU, US and Israel is being compensated for by their pals, read here.

Now I don't know about you but they do seem to be changing their ways now they are a government. They will not attack themselves but Hamas sees other militant organisations as being entitled to launch attacks if they choose. What that means is that they won't attack because, as mentioned previously, then Israel could claim UN support for an attack on a hostile nation. Therefore they are being sneaky. No, we won't attack and want a diplomatic extermination of all the Jews in Israel. If others want to attack Israel then it is up to them. Politicians, the same the world over.

Why don't we then back off from Israel and if any of their splinter groups want to attack then that is up to them. As long as it is not Israel itself what is the problem? Israel could then claim it was not retaliating while even more of the Palestinians get blown to bits. Israel could also sell them kit like mortars, rocket launchers and sniper rifles and get some extra cash. There is always nutters in every country who would step up to kill people.

Sounds to me like a win win situation.

Breaking news. Men get distracted with sexy women.

Seems that there has been yet another study of the obvious. This one has concluded that men get easily distracted after seeing sexy images. Read more here.

Now, call me stupid but I'm sure this has been the whole idea in having women draped over expensive cars and yachts. Just a thought here but the PR guys have picked this up quite a while ago. It explains why we are skint all the time and buying the latest toys. Plus our obsession with pretty ladies, or pretty lady converters. In case you are wondering that is alcohol. Ugly lady + Alcohol = Rachel Stevens look alike. Keeps us sane.

There are three key things which men seem to look for. In priority order. Sexy lookers, intelligent women and women with money/power.

It also explains why women are not as distracted by visual cues. They have the same cues but in reverse. Men with money/power, intelligent men and lookers. They may like handsome men but the power and money are their main turn ons. Maybe they could test them after showing faces with bank account details. We of course spend all our pennies on proving we have money so in the end we don't have any at all. Plus their converters convert men with no money/power or intelligence to handsome chaps. Keeps them sane.

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. How true.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

We just see it as more stealth tax.

This article says that road charging won't deter drivers. They are more likely to change where and when they drive. Read more here.

My view is slightly different. Initially it will change the where and when they drive as they try and minimise costs but after a short while they will just slip back into the most convenient road as before. It will simply be seen as another tax and one that will drive many off the road and into unemployment. Due to travel costs making it not worth their while working. Remember the 'on your bike' get back to work adverts quite a few years ago. People did and I would think that a lot of people travel significantly to get to work. Travel which they can't claim for and have to pay out of their own pockets.

In addition people don't chose to use the roads then, as discussed previously, they have to be in work at particular times to suit their employers. Thus they cannot go in at 02:00 and finish work at 12:00 to minimise travel costs. They have to be in to suit other people. Then they make rush 'hour' bandings between 07:00 and 11:00 and 15:00 to 19:00 so it catches everybody and then off peak of 21:00 to 05:00 and standard the remainder. They imply that the rates for off peak make it worth your while to travel early. Cool, you get to pay an extra £5 a day or spend three hours in the company car park or working for free. Whoopie do da. Options available, we are a caring government, and none of them any use, you ungrateful b4$^4&ds. If they were used they would then increase peak hours or standard hours to compensate for the changes in traffic and the loss of revenue.

Luckily for me I can work from home and when I do have to travel my costs can be reclaimed. In addition as I spend most of my time working on government projects I get to claim back my own money which is kind of strange really.

Anyway, bottom line, another stealth tax and life will go on. Slowly chipping away at Joe Public. Surely someone will snap soon. Come on. Immigration to the US is looking better and better.

Is there a link do you think?

It seems that Nottingham is the UKs burglary capital. Read more here.

Now I seem to remember that Nottingham is also the gun capital of the UK. Read more here.

It also seems to be the culinary capital of the UK. Read more here.

Sounds like Nottingham is the place to avoid in the UK. I wonder what other links can be made to Nottingham. Ethnic mix, unemployment, etc. It must be worth a study surely.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A sensible statement on gun control. Won't be considered here in the UK.

A sensible statement from the US on gun control. I've copied it from here at the Seattle Times.

Seattle has been buzzing with talk about the gruesome murders on Capitol Hill perpetrated by Kyle Huff. Commentary from law-enforcement officials and opinion writers attacks Washington state's liberal firearms laws.

"Not adequately restricting people from acquiring guns," the argument goes, "causes incidents like this one." To the casual observer, this appears true and is adequate reason to ban firearms.

But beyond casual observation, things are not so simple. In order to consider this issue, we have to accept a couple of facts:

• First, guns are not going anywhere. A dedicated person with the right know-how can build a gun in an afternoon. Also, since the demand for guns isn't going away, there will always be suppliers in the market, no matter how regulated. A good example of this phenomenon is illegal drugs: The demand is high enough that suppliers are willing to risk exposure and prosecution to meet it. It is not possible to stop the exchange of a desired commodity by regulation; the most secure and regulated society on Earth is prison, and even there these demands are met.

• Second, no law will prevent people from breaking the law. Kyle Huff legally purchased an arsenal, and then illegally killed six innocents. Considering the magnitude of this crime, it is ludicrous to propose that breaking a gun-ownership law would have given him any pause. To put it differently, if I have already mentally consented to robbing a bank, will it matter that I jaywalk while crossing the street to get there?

• Third, crimes occur regardless of means. Even if we ignore the fact that there is no getting rid of firearms and establish some Pollyanna reality wherein we can cram all guns — and the know-how for creating them — back into Pandora's box, the fact is that people don't need guns to commit extremely violent acts. You need no history degree to know that we were remarkably successful at brutality with bows and arrows, spears, swords and clubs.

I know that the opiners are well-meaning, believing that they can better the world by limiting access to firearms. Given the tools available, however, it is not possible to limit access to firearms for anyone who is already willing to break the law. If I am willing to break the law by using a firearm in a crime, then I would be willing to break the law to acquire it in the first place.

Consider England's firearm ban. Department of Justice statistics on violent crime in England versus in the U.S. show that not only has England's gun ban not slowed violent crime, it seems to have increased it, the country's more recent crime rates surpassing our own.

Though counterintuitive, this really isn't difficult to understand. Complex, robust networks already exist to support the illegal commodity exchange of regulated goods. Anyone accessing those networks is already a criminal by definition. Banning guns adds them to the strictly criminal commodity exchange, having two undesirable outcomes. First, reducing the number of legal firearms reduces the amount of resistance that criminals encounter when committing crimes. Second, criminal access to anything increases by making it contraband, because demand forces contraband distribution channels into the hands of criminals. So, putting legal restrictions on guns actually increases their availability to those whom you least want to have them.

Another common complaint is that some guns, such as Kyle Huff's shotgun, are designed for use on people, not for valid or legal purposes. A reasoning person would define a firearm as illegal or invalid based upon its lethality, but gun-control activists do so based upon how threatened they feel looking at it.

A sawed-off, pistol-grip shotgun is less accurate and less damaging than its full-barrel companions, and significantly less damaging than a rifle/pistol. People prefer shotguns specifically because shot won't penetrate the target, wall, neighbor's house, and neighbor's sleeping child before stopping. It is safer than a pistol.

Kyle Huff owned an arsenal, and there is no shortage of people who would like to illegalize the guns that he used. Just know that he would have had those guns in the most restrictive society; nothing could possibly have changed that.

I feel terrible for his victims — but they were the victims of his decisions, not of our lack of regulations, and it is ignorant to believe otherwise.

Jacob Greenleaf of Seattle manages technology for a financial institution. He is not a gun owner.

I found it on my travels today catching up with the blogs I've missed over the weekend while I've been doing lots of boring household things. I forgot where I originally found it.

I've always said that in an ideal world we don't really need guns but we are a long way from an ideal world. If we ever get there and this sensible statement says it all.

It's about time we ignored the hysterical screams from a few high profile political groups and actually reviewed the facts. Including a good look at the US and other countries.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

My stake in the ground on tactical voting.

On the one hand we have Margaret Hodge, MP, claiming that the BNP will make headway in her constituency due to government policy, or lack of, on immigration. On the other hand we have people saying to corrupt their votes by putting none of the above in which case the BNP won't win and Margaret has nothing to be scared of.

I'm afraid I'm one of those in line with upsetting the apple cart and not wasting a vote for no reason. My view is that there is always a hard core of people to vote for Labour, LibDems and the Tories. They will always still vote and void votes just ensure they get in again. Much, much better to vote for someone to upset the status quo. (Not the group) That way the government will be fragmented and incapable of forcing through policies like Blair has the last decade. Four or so years on a BNP led government couldn't do any worse than this lot and it would give the main parties time to sort out their politics, maybe not the Tories though although that will make 18 years in total so there is a, slight, chance. With little chance of a real majority in the house the 'winner' would be forced to temper their policies and that would undoubtedly be for the better.

It would be much better if that for each constituency there was some sort of candidate recommended who we could all vote for rather than waste our votes. Recommended as some one non threatening or just interested in local matters. Someone green in one and BNP in another and save the whales in another. Not enough for any party to have a majority in the house. There must be a limited amount of constituencies where it would not be worth targeting either because it is only the big three up for election, in which case none of the above seems a good statement to make, or there is too much of a majority for one party. Or maybe the public have changed enough that no majority can be secure. I don't know but it won't matter if we waste our votes. Looks like we need a website to target all constituencies and identify potential candidates. or something. With a recommendation on who has the best chance of winning with all our disenchantment votes. I've heard it said that Blogs are taking over from the media. This could be our real chance to make a difference in the UK. Bring it back from the brink of dictatorship and turn it into a real people led democracy.

Remember how much has been screwed up with only 35% voting for our current government. Any win for them is still a win, support for current policies and a mandate to go on. Even if it is only 5% of voters vote for the winner, 4% for the next and so on with 90% wasted. They will say we must do something about the voter lethargy in the UK but in the meantime in comes compulsory tattooing of ID numbers on your forearm as the next stage of our terrorism prevention package by our democratically elected government.

Don't waste your vote. Vote tactically. Chose wisely young padwan.

UK in second place for something.

Of course it is not for anything good. It seems we are second place after the US for "ecological debt". This is where a country runs out of it's own natural resources and has to import them. It seem today, April 16th, is the day for the UK. That means for the rest of the year we are importing and not living off the land. This, of course, is bad.

This sounds a lot worse than it is. When you read the text they give examples, from 2004, of this debt. I copy these from the article.
1) The UK exported 1,500 tonnes of fresh potatoes to Germany, and imported 1,500 tonnes of the same product from the same country
2) Imported 465 tonnes of gingerbread, but exported 460 tonnes of the same produce
3) Sent 10,200 tonnes of milk and cream to France, yet imported 9,900 tonnes of the dairy goods from France

Now I don't know about you but when I want examples I want to see some humdingers. The worst of the worst. The real cases that highlight the situation. Saddam is not on trial for fiddling his taxes for example.

When I look at these. I think they are all caused by the EU and it's policies. We don't grow food because we don't want to add to some EU mountain and in fact get paid to not grow things. The debt would not be significant if it wasn't for our policies. From their examples, Item 1, does not exist. Of course we are converting King Edwards to King Wilhelms or whatever in this case. Item 2 imports would start on December the 28th if we kept our own1 and, item 3, if we didn't burn all our cows within 2 parsecs of where one tripping on something we would be self sufficient there as well but even the example has us starting imports on December the 20th. So all in all a totally meaningless report. Just proving how you can say anything with statistics.

Read more here about how this meaningless measure is intended to be a yardstick for world health. More money for the boys and, only slightly, more useful than an analysis on why toast falls butter side down.

One thing that it doesn't say is that all this wasteful moving about of everyday foodstuffs means that the cost of gingerbread goes up because of a government policy. 1 tonne of gingerbread moving from the UK to France and 1 tonne of gingerbread moving from Germany to the UK means no difference to the gingerbread but now we have to pay fuel costs, other transport costs and import duties. So the only ones who benefit from all this are the government. Why am I not surprised to see this?

1) Based the the total imports if we didn't export. Total use divided by 365 to give how many per day. Then how many days imports. Thus gingerbread. Imported 465. Export 460. Total imported = 5. Total use per day = 465/365 = 1.2. Thus 5 tonnes at 1.2 pd = 4 days. That makes it December 28th we would have to start importing. It's only ballpark figures though.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

It must be worse than I thought in Liverpool.

It seems that Condoleezza Rice's visit to Liverpool certainly lifted someone's spirits and was "a source of light in a dark world". Read more here.

Liverpool is clearly worse than I though. It seems that a simple religious ceremony absolves all sins. And they say the Muslims are fanatics.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Time for a relax. Or maybe not.

It's Easter weekend. Time for me to relax and potter around the house.

Unfortunately, two rooms need decorating so that my granddaughter can have her own room now she is growing up. Nine months now. Plus, I need to demolish a shed to build a workshop and the garden needs looked at. Boy, that's my spare time gone for a while.

I wish I was back at work. At least I know what I'm doing there and I actually enjoy it.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

There are some idiots about.

I think it's time we clamped down on the sale of superglue. This case goes to prove how dangerous it can be. Read more here.

Or maybe not. But it does go to show how some people get their kicks. What a bunch of idiots.

I thought this case was interesting in a way.

In a way this court case for the RAF guy refusing to go to Iraq was quite interesting. The court martial panel agreed with prosecution lawyers that the doctor could not "pick and choose" orders he obeyed. Read the full story here.

An interesting point. But didn't Nuremberg prosecute and execute people who simply obeyed orders. The environment was different as well. Refusal could have meant summary execution. So people got on with it and paid the price later. A no win or a no win later situation.

How exactly are we to draw this line then in this modern age? Clearly the lessons we learnt are worthless. Unless of course the lesson is don't leave any witnesses.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

These pesky judges will be next.

With these two cases going against the Home Office and the new policies they have tried to put in on the back of the terror threat they must be really miffed. Read the cases here and here.

After Tony has dealt with the House of Lords surely these must be his next target.

Keep up the good work Milud.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How are these things discovered?

I know that there are many things we see around and about and there is always someone to say 'Mmmm, wonder what that tastes like. The birds seem to like it.' But, this sort of thing really makes me question some peoples taste. The Philippines produces one of the world's most expensive and coveted kinds of coffee. It is literally made from crap. It comes from the droppings of a cat-like animal called the palm civet. Read more here.

Unbelievable. I'm happy I'm a tea drinker.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Maybe I just don't understand politics.

One thing I am sure about though is you don't walk up to the looney in the street and threaten him. He might walk away but you would most likely be visiting hospital for rabies jabs.

It's what seems to be happening to Iran. Innuendoes, undoubtedly sanctioned leaks and disinformation, are being fed to the world. Read more here.

The Iranians must be moving stuff all over the place and preparing to retaliate. I know I would be if I was in their position. However, diplomacy doesn't seem to be one of their strong points. Hope they don't decide that a US strike is inevitable and decide they will go first. You never know what they have available and they all seem willing to use it and die in the attempt.

Alternatively, once it's all in the place they may decide that they may as well use it anyway. Israel is likely to be a good target for them for that. While we bomb the hell out of Iran in retaliation and they encourage an uprising in the whole Muslim world and set the world alight for Allah.

I'm sure our politicians have it all worked out. *cough*

Let's make sure it is done right. Keep the UK out of it.

It seems Gordon brown has decided how to spend our money on his quest to make a name for himself. £15B over 10 years on education. An excellent goal. I'm sure it would have been better spent here though as I've commented before.

Perhaps he should consider getting some decent teachers in as part of the deal and not the third rate ones we have here. Wouldn't it be funny if at the end of the first few years these people were able to do sums, read and write and better than our people can in the UK. Maybe not funny but certainly ironic. I suppose the only way to do that is to give the money and not stick his oar in. That way they will have half a chance.

In the meantime, if the rest of the world does not stump up as it looks like none have so far, read here, do we get to retract this.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

How the RSPCA spend charity money.

Well I for one thought they spent it on animal welfare. Their staff raised and cruelty and neglect complaints for our legal system to sort out.

Now it appears that they spent £50K of our money. £12K from their own funds, which was given by us and the rest, £38K, from public funds somehow, maybe legal aid, persecuting a policemen for his actions in a difficult situation. Read more here.

I don't think it should have gone to court in the first case but it did. Now, if they had left it after that case. Then they would have done what they thought was right and pointed it out. But they didn't they wanted to take it further. What was the point in that?

Now what I am curious about was what the RSPCA would have suggested that PC Bell should have done. Remember, no lethal injection on him. No gun, possibly no knife. Cat lying in agony with it's lower half squashed to an inch thick or is that thin. He even asked for advice and the RSPCA was unavailable. Maybe they didn't have funding to stay open at night. I wonder why.

I seem to remember a similar case in the US where a copper shot an animal involved in a car crash and a complaint was made. This one didn't see the inside of a court room. I also seem to remember that animal welfare was not available there either.

So, remember when you pay your £3pm that it's going to aid the persecution of people doing the right thing in difficult circumstances not for looking after cuddly cats. btw. Is there any way they can pay the rest of the £50K as well?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

I wonder how many other like this guy are around?

The headmaster of a Welsh school is up on firearms charges. Read more here.

On the one hand it is interesting seeing the Welsh police force prosecute something more than a few bikers or cars speeding down windy welsh roads.

On the other hand this reminds me of something I read about a year ago with the Government being concerned about the number of firearms being held by reputable members of society. By reputable they mean shady businessmen and officials not riff raff like you or I.

I never heard any more about that and my searches have failed to turn up anything because my search terms were too vague. I was wondering what has gone on with all these reputable people and their charges. Anybody know?

I love this excuse for inaction.

It seems we have yet another case of 'Not enough evidence' from the CPS. Yet again we have clear documentary evidence of a case and yet there is not enough evidence. To be honest, in this case I believe a genuine mistake was made. It looks like it was found and corrected before any harm was done and personally I would not be averse to him receiving a verbal reprimand and having to apologise to the parents and/or the girl.

However, in this day and age how many of us, unwashed scum would have got away with a insufficient evidence plea. Not the poor 10 year old dragged into court by the very same CPS.

That's what makes people call for misjudgments and mistakes from people like this copper being made into big issues. One law for us and another for them.

And they wonder why respect is going down the pan.

We need more of this not less.

If going to jail actually was a punishment and not a holiday camp them we should see less people in there. At least this way they are seeing some punishment and, unfortunately, it does impact on others, particularly children, but so does having a relation dead or injured or your prized property destroyed or stolen. In those cases however it was not self inflicted.

Read more here about prisoners bemoaning the fact they are losing touch with their families and before you feel too sorry for them think of their victims and also the fact that most sentences don't actually fit the crime.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Another terrorist plot foiled. Or maybe not.

If what they are saying about DVD piracy being linked to terrorism, illegal arms and child prostitution is correct then we should see a wholesale drop in all of them now that the efforts of our police force have resulted in the apprehension of what is thought to be the largest DVD piracy factory discovered in the UK. Read more here.

Or maybe not. I'll just be the movie industry cheering. Although I bet we don't see an increase in the cost of pirate DVDs due to this. What does that tell you?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Judge says what we are all thinking.

Judge Jonathan Finestein presiding over a racist case in Youth Court called the case political correctness gone mad. He adjourned the case asking the prosecutors to reconsider whether the case was in the public interest.

Common sense in a world gone mad. Read more here.

I get the feeling that, besides the government itself, more and more people are starting to look at these situations, take an interest and take action now.

There is hope for us yet.

I find this a tad hypocritical.

As part of our campaign against Saddam he is now being tried for crimes which took place while he was ruler of Iraq. While he set the laws and the justice system answered to him. While he controlled the melting pot on Iraq and kept it all under a short leash and in control. Now we of course a changing all this and he has to answer to actions he took against his own people. Read more here.

Would be interesting if we did the same thing when our leaders were deposed. If the UK looked at our police force executing innocent Brazilians. If the US looked at executing the mentally challenged whilst drugging them to make them lucid while their life was extinguished. That would make an interesting discussion in court.

What a bunch of hypocrites.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

And this is one of the leaders.

Oh dear. Showering stops you getting HIV? This new technique was performed by South African ex-Deputy President Jacob Zuma. Read more here.

A common mistake in South Africa you might think but this guy is bound to be aware of this disease and should have known better. Reminds me of the time that politician fed his kid some beef when everyone was concerned about CJD. Maybe politicians have the same IQ worldwide.

Just shows you don't have to know anything to be a politician. Makes you wonder how they ever intended to make rational decisions.

British Justice in the 22nd Century.

To be honest I have no idea if these guys are guilty or not. I've mentioned it before and I just find it amazing what passes as evidence in the UK lately. Now the latest report seems to indicate this guy has not even given his evidence under oath. He is clearly after a deal, although I fail to see what benefit it would give, and we have found killers guilty on less evidence than we have on him making it up.

In the current climate they will undoubtedly be found guilty. Maybe rightly so but how many miscarriages of justice are we going to get using evidence and techniques like this. I despair, I really do.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's World Politicians Day today.

Sorry my bad. I was reading that it is in fact World Rat Day today and made an, entirely understandable, leap.

It appears that even rats have special days. I must confess I didn't know that there were 2.5M households in the UK with rats as pets. How things have changed. My brother had a rat about ten years ago as a pet and it was a talking point as it was so unusual. Rats are apparently intelligent, read cunning, and can be taught tricks1. They even have their own beauty pageant similar to a dog show. Read more here.

The only thing I can think of is we are becoming used to the rats in our midst, their sneaky ways, their animal cunning so their stigma is now diluted. Oops, I'm now full circle and back to politicians again.

1) in which case I owe the Rattus species an apology for linking them with politicians.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Here we go again.

This article talks about the number of teenagers killed being on the increase despite the number of teenagers with licenses going down. Going down? Wonder why? I thought our young people were all out and about and mobile. Looks like they are giving up on the type of stuff we used to like and turning to booze and drugs as a form of recreation instead of driving and screwing.

In the meantime, in a effort to reduce the number of teenagers killed we head into an area where we know exactly what to do. We are going to ban them. We will set up curfews and restricted licenses. Yay! The very reason they get these licenses and we want to stop them using them. And, like guns, only the criminals, those with no license, insurance and tax will go out at night. Will they really say 'I was going out with no insurance, tax, and license in a death trap aiming to head down main street at midnight at 100mph but I can't because, at 14, I'm not allowed to drive after dark'.

Interestingly enough. The two 'young ones' in the article who triggered this response are aged 22 and 24. So in a totally expected waste of time we stop 16 to 19 year old going out at night or carrying passengers.

Are any laws we make actually useful against criminals and not just effect the law abiding?

At least they are consistent. That is the only thing you can say though.

Sound familiar. Even in Italian 'Useless b4$^4&ds' sounds the same.

Looks like our European cousins are disillusioned with their politicians as well. Read more here.

They seem to be having lots of problems in Italy with unemployment and sleaze. Our unemployment seems better but instead of paying them to do nothing on the dole we employ them in Government to do nothing useful as employees. Our sleaze is probably comparable with theirs.

So all in all they are probably in the same situation as us. Fed up with the useless bunch in power. No real choices on who to vote for and feeling like there is little that can be done to fix it.

The revolution is coming. Maybe it will be European wide.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I feel a change in the air. Hope it is not wasted.

Over the last week I have noticed a change in some of the discussions I have been having at work and in the general public. More and more people seem to be getting involved in politics and I, with my usual abandon, have been talking about things I have picked up on the blogs and given out some URLs. Even some die hard Labour supporters, friends of my parents, are questioning the policies of our leader.

My favourite statement, and one everyone nods to is, 'When Labour said about Tory sleaze that they were going to be better. We all thought they meant sleaze free not better.' For some reason they all smile ruefully at that.

The only problem is that the Tories seem to have become caught up in the turmoil. The Labour spin machine has very effectively brought them in to the dock with them. The Tories seem to be totally ineffective as a political force on this issue. So much for our method of Democracy. If only we had an effective opposition. Why can't the Tories get organised and mount an effective campaign.

Maybe it's time to get rid of them all and introduce a new party. Of course the die hard Labour, Tory and LibDems will still continue to vote for their party, even if it is only their party in name. Where is Guy Fawkes when you need him? Maybe V for Vendetta will cause a few, more violent, groups to get active. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My son the chef.

Just been working on sorting out some kit in the garage so I can make space for the shed contents so I can demolish it and put up a newer, larger version as a workshop.

Son comes in with his new girlfriend and asks 'What is there to eat?'. 'Sorry son, you will have to sort yourself out'. I hear him saying to his girlfriend 'I fancy making something from this.' I had visions of him looking in the fridge and about to cut vegetables, beat eggs and general cookery things.

Thirty seconds later I hear the hum of two microwaves on full power. He has clearly 'made' her something too.

April Fools.

Woke up with the baby really early today and spent a bit of time watching the news channels. Nearly choked on my cornflakes when one guy was talking about the Labour and Tory party being funded with £2B each from the public coffers before I remembered it was April the 1st. Managed to cancel the ambulance before it got here. Besides that there were few items of note. Maybe everybody thinks with the policies coming out now every day is April Fools Day.