Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Virgin may change it's name..

Seems like they are being screwed by Sky.

Watching Stargate SG1 and BattleStar Galactica last night. If you remember two of the three shows I watch a week. During the adverts which I don't really pay attention to I noticed that Sky were sending out messages saying that Virgin have put up their prices and yet were considering a move that would stop the showing of Sky One. Sky One, of course, being the channel that covers my three shows. So we were being told to register with Virgin to put them under pressure or alternatively move to Sky. Seems like Sky must be renegotiating their prices and Virgin are baulking. Must be a doozy. Of course it if Virgin gave in it would mean going around everyone and changing their prices again or absorbing the extra cost themselves and impacting profit.

Who will blink first? Both will lose out from this I would have thought but Sky must have an advantage because Sky One is such a popular programme.

Mmmm. On the plus side this could mean that I may end up on BT broadband after all and get a fixed IP which NTL have always refused to do. Although I have not checked with Virgin yet. I think I'll wait and see what happens with the Sky channels.

Jumping on the bandwagon.

It seems that several councils are looking at implementing the Green parking permit scheme which was introduced in Richmond recently. Read here.

One comment of interest was that one council is considering providing free parking for electric cars whilst another is going to allow electric cars to be charged free at points throughout the borough.

Wow! That must be an excellent incentive to have a electric car as a second car. Only thing is that the council must be picking up the bill for this. So that means if you have a SUV or something not only are you paying double what you were before but you will also be paying people fuel costs for travelling.

Only in a socialist paradise can this sort of situation occur. To be honest I'd be out there with an electric car if they were doing that here. Could always dump the electrickery to cells at home and live off it. Would cut my CO2 bills as well as my road travel bills. Can't wait.

Of course if too many people do that then it will be stopped and then charges will be applied for charging and parking for all the electric cars. So you need to be first to get maximum benefits.

Some of these places will be raking it in. First there is a CO2 tax for flights which will be increasing all the time. Then there will be charges for parking in the holiday towns of the UK. People will be going to them to save the planet because they can't afford to fly but then they will get hit for driving across the UK.

It also says 'Red Ken' is going to up the tariff for his beloved congestion zone so that 'gas guzzlers' will be £25 per day.

Love it. Even us Brits are not that stupid that we will put up with all this forever. The revolution must be close now. Several years ago we had Citizen Smith calling for a revolution but it was clearly not the time. Wonder how many are prepping up now? Our government is clearly preparing with disarming the public, arming the police and putting in place it's surveillance society and supporting legislation. Must be getting close.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I have a headache.

I've just spent an hour talking to someone about the welfare state. This person is on benefits, has three kids and no job. She drinks a lot and smokes. She used to do drugs and says she does not now but I'm not convinced. She is having problems with her middle child who has been arrested for criminal damage although he is not going to be prosecuted by the sound of things. Lack of evidence, a technicality, being the issue.

Apparently it is my fault, well, maybe not mine alone, it's because we are not giving them enough to live. She can't apparently get a job because she needs to look after child number three. But before child number three she was unemployed as well. It seems no-one knocked on the door and offered her a £12K p.a. job working 10:00 till 14:00 with an hour for lunch. Seems that is roughly what she picks up with all the benefits she gets which includes rent, council tax etc.

So we sat and the best I got was that she was comparing herself to immigrants who come in with big families with the sole intent of living off the state. She, who admittedly worked for her early life, says that the money she paid in during that time entitled her to claim now. What an investment policy. Paying in £3K p.a. for ten years entitles you to £12K p.a. for twenty.

Admittedly she is one of those that would work if she could. It's just she can't because there are no reasonably paying jobs for someone who has no skills besides her sexual techniques, the ability to type two words a minute and answer the phone. Oh, and can only work 10:00 till 14:00 and even then only if it is local. I was going to suggest prostitution but after my discovery during a previously heated discussion that certain parts of my anatomy can be tied in knots and generate a lot of pain I reconsidered.

She just cannot earn what she gets for free from the State. She cannot live on what is being given by the social either so we need to pay her more. It causing issues with the kids who cannot afford some of the extras in life like branded trainers. And she should have this because it is her money she is getting back. Not like some of these scroungers who are ripping off the state.

It's given me a headache. I'm off to watch Stargate now followed by BattleStar Galactica.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Only another 200 to go.

When I read that 1,600 troops were coming back from Iraq we wondered when they were going to announce a new batch to Afghanistan. We did not have long to wait. However, it was only 1,000. Now it has gone up to 1,400. Only another couple of days and it will be at 1,600.

Wonder if they will get a stop off at home first? On second thoughts let's think of the CO2 and the fuel we could save by not having a stop over.

How many more taxes are possible?

It seems that there is going to be a new land tax on the Olympic area because of the benefits of regeneration. Read here.

Of course business's will just factor this in for a cost analysis and decide if they want to invest on their estimated ROI. Although once the Olympics are gone will it be viable? Need to make your profit in the build up and over the Olympic games. Place will die after. Makes me wonder now about the old Manchester site which seems to be decaying. I wonder if they have a similar tax which could have led to the downfall or it's just basically too expensive by default.

What exactly is the benefit of regeneration that makes a general renovation different from the Olympics? Probably nothing bar looks. So we can expect a new tax whenever the council revamps an area. Win-win for them. They spend some money. Claw it back in additional taxation to do the same at another site. Soon the whole area is renewed and their tax base is up. Ingenious really.

Anyway there can't be that much more that can be included in taxation. We are already talking about enhanced window taxes with a view being taxable, our rubbish is going to be taxed, all our car travel is going to be taxed, several times and our income is also taxed. The kids are fearful for their pocket money. That only really leaves breathing, our toilet and nookie. All of which will be taxable once we are under total surveillance. Can't wait. I'll get a refund on the nookie component.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Nothing to do with our interfering government then?

Reading this article where it talks about a poll that shows parents are out of touch with what their teenagers get up to.

Interestingly the article doesn't come out and put the blame anywhere it but from the comments from our politicians over the last few years they put the blame fairly and squarely on the parent/child relationship where it looks like kids go off and do all these things and the parents can't be bothered to find out or control their kids.

As a parent myself I have been trough the trauma of kids going off and doing their own thing. Mine are not nearly as bad as others but I still get the 'It's my life' and 'You can't do this to me'.

Personally I put the blame at the feet of the PC world and the politicians who implement their recommendations. They stop teachers and parent punishing the kids and let's face it some of them need a really good slapping. If they receive punishment at a younger age then they recognise the concept of crime and punishment. Now we have an entire generation that has no moral compass and it is creating havoc.

I remember a friend of mine who had a rebellious daughter who kept on threatening to phone Childline, if I remember Esther Rantzens interfering child abuse line. She made so many accusations that everybody was scared of being on the receiving end of a visit from our very own Nazi organisation the SS, or Social Services. I seem to remember that the mother gave in and was effectively reduced to a subservient role until the girl was sixteen when she then left her mothers house because there was so many rules.

It's a result of the social engineering that has been going on for a while now. It has all worked against the common family and when you can't even smack your child because some social worker doesn't think we need to we end up with children that can't be punished and they know it. They then do not fear any authority at all. Even if caught clearly doing bad by stealing etc. when they go to court nothing happens to them there either.

Finally, they hit 18, or whatever the age is, and wham. Their protection is removed and now it is too late to change they now get punished for what they have learnt over the years.

Now if you can't punish your kids and you can't force them to do things how are you expected to keep track of them. When I was young I was was smacked a couple of times while I was at school and a few times at home but when I went into my teens I knew who was the boss and I knew if I was bad I would be kept in or lose out on privileges. Nowadays it's child abuse to unplug the PS2 and you can't touch them if they just walk out.

I have heard there is a call to allow teachers to use corporal punishment again. Great idea. I only hope it gets rolled out to parents as well. Then we might see less children on drugs and being arrested. Arresting won't be the only port open then and will therefore only be used as a last resort. Let them learn.

Now the only problem will be all the young parents coming along who are already on the path of trouble and strife. How do we get them and their kids sorted out? In some cases it is probably too late. I know I'm supposed to think that there is hope for all but realistically some will never be brought back on the straight and narrow and prison is their ultimate destination.

It's all a big mess government policies of financing single parent families, discouraging marriage, taking parental control from the parents and reducing sentencing for crimes have lead to this situation. Now they blame single parents as if it's all their fault.

Yet the government doesn't even recognise it's role in this at all. What a bunch.

Snap previews.

Via Longrider who gives a link to how to switch them off. Go here.

Thank you. I am eternally1 grateful.

1. Or 100 days till I forget whichever is longer.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Serves you right.

That will teach them that acting tough on TV is not the +ve statement that actually does you or your friends any good. Read this article about the teenager who made a gun symbol behind Dave Cameron then talked about his criminal life on TV.

Pity that all the other criminals won't be chased up. I suppose we should be grateful this PR exercise caught at least one anyway.

Friday, February 23, 2007

That grey area again.

This time it's with Lloyds introducing a charge of £35 for card holders who don't use their cards or use them sparingly. Read here.

All this has come about over the last year or so because the OFT has said they can't charge exorbitant fees for going over the limit or notification letters where the banks targeted bad users who ended up paying the bulk of the charges. This means to make up for the millions lost from the balance sheet the banks have to charge elsewhere where they were not charging before so now they are target ting the ones who don't use the cards and just keep them for emergencies. Next will probably be the reduction of the free period and a fee for those that clear off their bills in full. Because they all start doing it then there is no real competition and in reality nowhere to go to.

Of course the upside is that the more this drives people away from cards to more they move to cash and the less the banks can track your expenditure. I only use mine for what I need and use cash for what I can. Sadly, because I'm a lazy git I still spend 90% via plastic. Perhaps in their greed they will send me a £35 notice in which case I shall cancel my card. I could really benefit from this as a kick to sort out my cards. I have about seven or eight where I can hardly remember the PINs which I store in my PDA and use rarely. I could live on one card.

Now consider that banks are just a middle man because we decided to standardise on a medium that made it easier for us to trade with. Now they are raking in the money. Complain and you get kicked out. Someone looks at their scandalous charges for a letter and they get you another way. Think it will be any different when we are forced to start using carbon credits. It'll be another cartel and this time you will be forced to pay the £35 and nobody will protect you from £25 letters either.

Let's not confuse the issue with facts.

It seems that the US intelligence *cough* information about Iran is wrong. Read here. There is even a hint that data that is there is planted.

Can hardly even be bothered to think 'What a surprise!'

Won't stop the build up in the US not the escalation in the UN but I think our lot might have a bit of an issue joining in this time. This reports won't be the cause of that it's just that the May elections are coming up and this means our politicians are finally getting a bit of spine. A bit like a trapped rat rather than someone who stands up for something like Abdel Kareem Soliman though.

The perils of Blogging.

I must admit I'm a bit paranoid about getting involved in political issues. My job involves work for the Government and one of the most frustrating aspects is my decision not to talk about or mention anything I have picked up in my travels through work. It's been particularly frustrating when fellow bloggers who I respect have gone off at a tangent with something and I have a piece of the puzzle and maybe the answer to their questions.

Even so I don't think I've ever had a concern about going to prison even if I did talk about these things. Not like some people who actually do risk imprisonment and not in a nice cushy UK cell either. Read about Abdel Kareem Soliman's trial here.

Go visit this site about Abdel Kareem Soliman, blogging as Kareem Amer, who has just been sentenced to four years in an Egyptian prison for insulting Islam and their president.

In the meantime let's hope that Blair doesn't think it is a good plan to imprison us for what we do. Retrospectively of course to catch us all.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Some more positive discrimination.

Maybe it's me but it seems that yet again the women have won some more discrimination against men.

It seem that women are getting paid the same as the men in professional tennis. Read here.

All well and good you may think but wait. Their hourly rate is more because they only have to play three sets against the men's five. That can't be fair and as it is based on the sex of the person then it's sexual discrimination. Bet that doesn't make it to court.

If they really want equality then the very least they could do is go for the five sets. I could life with men and women's competitions but if things were truly to be equal we would get rid of these lines and just have one big competition. Wonder why that won't happen.

So yet again it's not really about fairness and equality it getting one upon the usual straight white male. I also notice it's the same PC countries in the world that are doing this. The US, Oz and here. How long before our EU bosses make it mandatory? I wonder if they can?

Maybe it's about time the men said they were only going to play three sets. If after the third set they just knocked the ball over so it finished quickly then that would bring it out in the open. Something needs to be done. Come on men stand up for yourself.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Loans enquiry. Why is it taking so long?

Ruth Turner has had another chat with the police. Read here.

Now, I'm all for making sure we get all the facts and build a solid case around the guilty but why is this taking so long? If it's taking so long to piece together the evidence then it will most likely be a while for the defence to build their cases and then they will show evidence will be open to interpretation and should not hold up. It clearly can't just be an open and shut case which make me worry.

I can only think of a couple of reasons why Blair and co ain't wearing shiny new bracelets.

1) There is no real evidence and they are continuing in the hope that a 'smoking gun' is found. (This contradicts what we have been fed by the media)
2) They are being obstructed politically every step of the way. (We can see this but why pussyfoot around?)
3) They have sufficient evidence to charge some but not the top boys and are continuing to the end. (A firewall between the minions and the bosses)
4) They have sufficient evidence to charge everyone but can't while they are in office. (this will be a big let down)
5) They have sufficient evidence to charge everyone but it also extends back decades and to currently difficult people. (But they why no other high profile interrogations?)
6) It is pure PR and there is no case that can be proven. (Either by Labour who will get a poll boost when it goes or the Tories who thought they would get one by the arrests)

I'm hoping for 4.

I also wonder how much this has cost? Considering it £1.5K for the 10month investigation about his Welsh comment I would imagine it must be about £2K by now. Mmmmm.

Hurry up Mr Yates but make sure it doesn't get kicked out on a technicality.

True evil.

I didn't comment on this when it happened as having a, almost, two year old in the house it was a bit close to home. This guy, the baby's uncle, is accused or raping and killing a two year old baby. Read here. He will go to court and be tried for the offence. Regardless of if this guy is guilty or innocent the child is dead and she was undoubtedly raped.

It makes you actually wonder if true evil is not growing rapidly in the world. From suicide bombers taking children with them as cover, parents killing their kids and these sort of guys the world does seem to be getting sicker. People you would think of as good people torturing and killing, enabling death and destruction without a care.

True evil seems to come down to be a lack of morals. We don't seem to care about anything or anyone in general now. The moral codes we have lived with for many generations seem to be breaking down. I suspect this is because as a society we are thinking less and less for ourselves and are being influenced by a hive mentality which just wants more and more without having to do anything to get it. With no morals of our own that we can follow where there is a gap that weak willed people fall through and commit these atrocities. It starts with prisoner abuse, leads to torture and then on to the murder of innocents. Most will be happy abusing prisoners, less torturing them and even less murdering them but there will still be quite a few.

Although I don't believe in religion I think that the 10 commandments, generally, are a good moral code to follow. It keeps us on the straight and narrow and when we are on a slope they also give us guidance. Yet society bends them all the time and weakens them so they become less effective. They just need updating. No laws need be made. In fact we will need to repeal laws if we want to have a valid moral code.

Perhaps we simply need to actively reintroduce morals to our society. It needs to start at the top. Thou shalt not kill means we need to shy away from invading other countries and killing people we don't like. Thou shalt not steal means corrupt politicians get their noses pushed away from the trough. When society sees it happening there and them getting away with it they want a slice and, as they have to reject their morals to do so they do. Of course everybody draws the line in a different place so some morals are kept although they tend to be corrupted. But if we enforce it with what the public see and ensure that schoolkids understand right and wrong then we can turn it around. Sadly it may mean that little Johnny has to be told off every now and again. His right to pull his pals hair may be removed by being told off. These morals kept us from ripping everybodys throats out and helping the less well off for hundreds of years. So they work.

We need to get away from this mentality that we are all created equal. We are not. Good does not always prevail. You don't always get what you deserve. Life is not fair.

Even my morals are being eroded. Where I don't believe in capital punishment I make an exception for Tony for what he has done to this country.

But bottom line. I don't believe true evil is growing rapidly in the world. I believe that in the world our morals have degraded. Leading the whole world to slide towards evil. Those on the edge do become really evil but let's face it they always were outside society. We need to fix this while we can. I don't think it will be too difficult for society as most are good hearted. It's the young ones where we have the problems. They know little difference. I also think it will be difficult for our politicians who seem to think we are all the same. Who force us to be what they want us to be thinking that the top and the bottom will meet in the middle when all it does is drag everyone down to the bottom.

We are a good people. Most have morals but all are easily led. If we make an effort to get back to being good we will do so. If not it will be down the path to anarchy. The only +ve point of that will be the politicians hanging from the lampposts.

Hope this makes sense as I started about one thing and ended on another.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

50% of Indian children are abused.

After reading a title like that you must think that it is a total disgrace. Half of the children in India are abused. So off you go to read the article at Wanabehuman.

After reading the article it made me actually consider that it is surprising that the title did not read 100% of Indian children are abused.

'Emotional abuse, for example, a girl is constantly ill-treated for not being born a male, or any child pulled up for low performance at school. ' There must be very few that have performed at their parents expected performance whilst at school and never had a telling off from their parents.

'Physical abuse, for example, is force used against a child by teachers, parents and others.' Force as in you will do this or else..... such as go to school, go to your room, do the dishes.

'Economic abuse, for example, encompasses forced labour in both hazardous and non-hazardous places of work.' Such as it's your turn for the dishes.

So far I suspect that these three must already cover most of the population of the planet never mind India.

Then we have the real issue.
'Sexual abuse, for example, extends from fondling to rape.' Fair enough. At 30% that is shocking but it seems to be overshadowed by the other types of abuse in the report. Makes me actually wonder if the figures holdup or if they are not also based on the same sort of questions as the others. If not how does this compare to the UK? Is it cultural? Do Indians see children the same way we do? I remember instances where children were mutilated in some of the poorer areas to make them more efficient beggars.

Maybe sexual child abuse is worse than I thought but somehow without any evidence whatsoever I don't think so. Sure there are people around who get their jollies from kids but most people do not. Most people are like you and me and see this as abhorrent. Hell, I think I'm a pervert for looking at 20 year olds on the TV like Charlotte Church. Yummy.

Anyway. The article got me thinking.

I suspect sexual child abuse is much less than we think from the media. But as with all things making it illegal and with such heavy penalties attracts criminals able to make an easy profit. So much so that we are probably causing child abuse by creating an underground market for it. In addition how many nicked for child porn are actually involved in the creation of it or would in fact ever consider abusing a child. In the past many people seemed to download it as a search for younger and younger looking legal models and get caught in the sweeps because the child porn is stored there as well. It's probably now that only the hard core is left, plus of course our police who seem to find it on lots of computers they take away. Funny that.

So it seems that in reality we have no idea if sexual child abuse is the scourge on society that we are told it is. I suspect most surveys and reports are based on leading questions and hearsay. I also suspect that by making it sound popular and forbidden that many nut cases are drawn to it out of interest. In reality we could be creating these child porn collectors or whatever and creating a market for the real criminals who can make child porn cheaply and with a very high profit margin.

On the other hand we could all be perverts and maybe we should just legalise it. Being as it seems to be supported by many more people than support our current government.

I just don't know what to think but one thing is certain I'm not getting the full story to make a reasoned judgement.

Government arithmetic.

Chancellor Gordon Brown has a very clever way of dealing with the budget deficit. It requires complex arithmetic, including addition and distraction...

Stolen completely from the Adam Smith Institute Blog who had it down as Joke of the day.

Sadly I think it is government policy and the joke is on us.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hasta la Vista.

Well that about sums it up for MS Vista for me.

I've played about with it for a while now and to be perfectly honest I've not really seen any significant difference between it and XP. OK, it looks better but for my day to day usage it's pretty much the same functionality and I don't see any real benefit to upgrade. Fine, if you get a new system move to Vista but don't bother upgrading just to get it.

The only real winners will be MS themselves. Just in case you are unaware there are five versions. For the home, Vista Home Premium and Vista Home Basic. For business, Vista Business, Vista Ultimate and Vista Enterprise. I have Vista Business on my system. Each one will cost you a small fortune ranging from about £70 to £300+. The 'extras' in the higher versions are what you want but don't want to actually pay for. They could have saved a fortune on version development costs by coming out with a Vista package with tailorable installs and charged less than £100. As it is there will be a lot of people on Home Basic which is likely to be the preinstalled version yet when they decide the want a better games version or photo or video version they won't want to upgrade. Roll on the hacks.

In the meantime I'm going to try out a couple of versions of Linux again. We must be getting closer to versions that could be useful for my day to day usage. God knows how many backdoors and spyware type facilities are installed in Vista. It needs to connect up to MS every couple of months to revalidate as a starter.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A broken agreement.

Although our government won't see it that way. The Last Ditch has an interesting proposal.

How Open Minded are you?

You Are 80% Open Minded

You are so open minded that your brain may have fallen out!
Well, not really. But you may be confused on where you stand.
You don't have a judgemental bone in your body, and you're very accepting.
You enjoy the best of every life philosophy, even if you sometimes contradict yourself.
How Open Minded Are You?

What's your Political Persuasion?

You Are a "Don't Tread On Me" Libertarian

You distrust the government, are fiercely independent, and don't belong in either party.
Religion and politics should never mix, in your opinion... and you feel opressed by both.
You don't want the government to cramp your self made style. Or anyone else's for that matter.
You're proud to say that you're pro-choice on absolutely everything!
What's Your Political Persuasion?

The problems with legal limbo.

Spain and the US seem to have had a bigger falling out over the Iraqi War than I thought. It seems that their main ringleader in the plot which is in trial at the moment is held by the US and they are refusing access. Read here.

One of the downsides, for all but the US, with this suspension of even the pretence of justice and fair play is that these people don't get to have their day in court. They are held at the beck and call of the US and have no recourse to any legitimate legal system.

Now it appears that there is an additional impact. As a trial is taking place and this guy has not been interrogated by the Spanish at all. His testimony could make a significant difference to the Spanish case and for all we know the guys in court could be innocent and this guy clearly has information.

In addition it could be that this guy may have only committed real crimes in Spain. Yet he will be tried in the US with their punishment system and with limited legal representation and negligible defence capabilities.

What a farce. Although I can see this working to our advantage. Spain should take this to the EU courts. The EU should make an edict that any EU member cannot extradite anyone to the US and cancel our one way agreement.

An interesting comment by a reader was that Spain has reduce the Basque terrorists sentences to mere trifles and that there was no guarantee that they wouldn't do the same in this case. So, think about that, what they are saying is that a crime committed in Spain needs to be punished the same as the US would do or they won't allow access. So they will keep him in limbo until they are ready to make a case or not rather than pass him to Spain for punishment for a crime he has committed.

There is something far wrong here and yet the UK seems to think this is OK. Makes no sense to me whatsoever and stinks of bully boy tactics with no link to justice at all. Sadly, and I hate to say this, it seems that the democrats may be the ones who have to sort this out.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Travel woes.

You may be aware that I spend most of my time working from home. However my firm has sites all over the UK. For most of this past week I've been taking the trek from home to Chorley and what a trek it was too.

Three complete trips and in each one I was stuck in queues well outside 'rush hour' so much so that the times I left early to get there early I may as well not have bothered. I contemplated turning round at one point because, after spending forty five minutes in a barely moving queue for a trip of forty five minutes, I knew at that point I would miss my meeting. I was thirty minutes late. Total trip length 1Hr 40mins when it should have been 45 mins.

Friday was the longest wait and while I was waiting I was thinking about my usual subjects. I have five things that I rant about regularly. So I have some material for my local rag articles. If I remember them that is. In addition I thought of road charging. There I was stuck in slowly moving traffic pumping CO2 into the atmosphere and it wouldn't have triggered any additional costs because it wasn't rush hour (Unless of course rush hour is 04:00 to 22:30 which would not surprise me.) yet I was burning fuel very inefficiently. Unfortunately I can't claim any more expenses than the simple mileage so I lose out on company expenses when I am stuck in traffic like this. Oh well, swings and roundabouts.

Sadly, or not, on Friday the delay was due to a multiple vehicle pile up where a lorry, damage to front, a van, damage to front, a Jag, damage to front and rear, a Peugeot 207 (I think), damage to rear and a, Emm, I think it was a fiat 127 or similar. The reason for the confusion is although it had the same crush zones as the Jag and Peugeot as it is much smaller the car was about half what it should have been. Ambulances were on the scene and I have no doubt they were needed.

Remind me again why we should all move to these mickey mouse vehicles. Wait, death before CO2. I think I remember it now. It's the greens way of getting all humans to die so that polar bears can live on.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Err. Have they not heard of this Internet thingy?

It seems that the cockpit video showing the death of Lance Corporal of Horse Matty Hull which i think anybody with the slightest interest has seen by now is not being shown at the inquest at the request of the US government. Read here.

This sounds like the sort of thing that the Chinese government would do but for the US and UK with our technology it does seem a bit strange. What is the real point of it?

Europe turning into a new Russia.

It seems that the EU is going to gain access to our big brother DNA database. Read here. Of course they will roll out our rules to the rest and make the biggest surveillance society we have ever thought of.

This coupled with all the other things that are happening like our pressure on Switzerland, read here, makes me think the EU has clear aims to make one big superstate like the Soviets had in the 1960s. They are clearly looking at eating up any loose states and assimilating them and will use economic rules to do so. How long will any country last if it's close neighbours are forbidden to do business with it?

Unfortunately for the Soviets they did not have the technology we have now and their control was not complete. Dissidents and outsiders continually weaken the hold on power and increased the citizens power until they collapsed. Advances in Technology will allow the EU to exercise more control than the Russians ever had with a surveillance society second to none. Dissidents will be detained without charge and outsiders will be monitored like never before.

This could mean the world is going to be split into three main areas. North America, Europe and China. Who allies with who will split the world along political lines.

Under Bush America has lost a lot of supporters and China and Russia have gained some. I suspect Russia will end up in Europe but not as a leader, we already have the French and Germans. The middle east will end up with China and become a much bigger threat.

What a future we have to look forward too. Our socialist leaders are leading us into a superstate which is bent on world domination. It can only end badly.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Skewed morals.

It seems that the US Air Force has demoted a pretty Air Force sergeant for posing nude in Playboy. Read here.

The statement that her actions did not "meet the high standards we expect of our airmen" makes me happy as I would hate to see an airman in such a position.

But to demote and remove her from active duty is a bit much. Seems it is OK for her to maim and kill people but to show a bit of flesh is out of bounds. It's not like Playboy is even pornographic. How about that for skewed morals. Makes no sense to me whatsoever as I would have though than anything that humanises the US military would be a PR boon.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The EU starts as it means to go on.

Looks like the EU is flexing it's muscles again. Read here.

After pushing Switzerland into giving money to the EU and getting little in return it is now looking at imposing it's rules on Switzerland regardless on whether they are in the EU or not.

The bully of Europe shows it's true colours.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

We need to build a lot more jail space.

This guy seems to be charged with the crime of wanting to shoot Blair and he has recipes for bombs and some chemicals that 'could' make explosives. Read here.

Now correct me if I'm wrong but if it's only 'could' then how are these people explosives experts. Let's face it most homes probably contain enough ingredients to make crude explosives plus there are probably many chemical combinations that can make explosives. I suspect that they could make explosives but not of any real power or stability.

It's all lots of little bits of information that together the prosecution hope to make enough doubt so that the jury convicts. Personally, I would be looking for a few more things that 'could' and some Internet recipes and basic chemicals that would more likely injure the nutter who tried to make them than make a useful weapon. Of course it helps keep the fear factor up and aids in the destruction of more freedoms.

It makes a point that he is an ex-BNP member but I suspect that there are many existing Labour supporters, for example, that feel the same way about shooting Blair.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Iran helping in Iraq?

Personally I have no doubt that Iran is involved in Iraq despite what the Iranian president says. Read here.

They, like everyone else, are making sure that their own interests are looked after as Iraq spirals down into chaos. Just like the UK and the US they will be setting up deals and supplying arms to the factions that they think will provide the best for their respective countries when this is over. The part I find difficult to believe is the claims that Iran is providing tactical support as in bomb making expertise making bombs for the Iraqis. That I find hard to believe as the risk is too much for one to get caught.

After all according to our leaders the Iraqi's had the skills to make nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes and build effective delivery systems which were a threat to the West but they can't download simple instructions from the Internet and build pipe bombs and crude roadside bombs which schoolkids in the UK and US can do without any hassle or access to explosives.

Which modern US president are you?

I don't know if this is good news or bad news. I'm only pleased I'm not like Bush or Clinton.

You Are Most Like John F. Kennedy

You live a fairy tale life that most people envy.

And while you may have a few dark secrets, few people know them.

Modern US President Are You Most Like?

How's Your Vocabulary?

Did better than I expected. There were so many big words.

Your Vocabulary Score: A-

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.
How's Your Vocabulary?

It's the grey areas where we get tested.

Reading this article about banks closing accounts for customers that reclaim incorrect bank charges made me thing that it should be illegal. Read here. Of course that goes against all my principles. My view is that as a private company they can do what they want and the market can decide.

Unfortunately this is one of those cases where it is not as easy as that. If I was to lose my bank account and couldn't get another one for some reason how would I get my wages? As far as I know the company I work for doesn't deal in cash and I would have a hell of a job paying all my bills by queuing at the post office, while there are still some anyway. It is still possible but it's not easy. The bulk of us have bank accounts and direct debits set up and companies can penalise those that want to deal with cash or cheques by charging them more for that privilege or refusing to do business. Effectively making it difficult for anyone not rich to own a house or live in one as you can't get loans, some suppliers won't deal with you without meters or prepayment cards. Their arguments, and they make sense, is that it is cheaper managing the accounts with direct debit and they get paid when the want. Of course any errors, that you detect, get paid back but they have the benefit of peoples cash for a few days. I suspect that is a better reason for them.

So banks can make enough to post massive profits and rip people off on the understanding that we need their services and we have no real alternative so isn't not worth complaining. There are not too many banks and they all seem to have the same basic rules and regulations. A cartel by any other name. It seems that no sooner does one set up some charges than they all start. Something wrong there.

So what do we do? Make rules to protect people and force banks to keep people on as customers or let them charge what they want on the assumption that in a free society they will all work out at about the same levels that we can live with or something in between. And it's more than banks as well. Look at the hoops you have to jump through to get a doctor, a phone and if you can find one a dentist just for starters.

Life is not black and white. There are many shades of grey and it's these grey areas where we really get tested. As it seems that we have resolved most of the real black and white issues now and our legislators seem to be working solely in the grey areas. Interesting times are afoot and our government is not known for it's light touch unless it's compared to Stalin. I know that our government would like more of this as it forces people on to databases and keeps them traceable and gets them used to intrusive forms.

I believe in minimum legislation on these things and I think that something needs to be done but what can be done and still allow companies to run their own businesses? When I take over the universe I'm going to be looking for different viewpoints on these issues.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Working without reward?

Seems our government seems to think that people will work better if they don't get paid. Read here.

He is suggesting that instead of paying bonuses firms should give the money to Charity.

The part I like is the usual government stance. Why don't we be reasonable? If you don't do what we tell you we are considering bringing out laws that will make you. So, it's entirely voluntary then.

I have a 40% house. Why instead of the workers giving up the money they have worked for can't the government give up the Tax it collected on it. It can give the Tax they steal from us to charity. Surely, That will make them feel better.

It must be great living in the fantasy land that our government lives in. I think I'll go into politics. May as well start lying now and build up some experience in my new career.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

He doesn't even look old enough to drive.

Just reading this about the latest soldier to die in Iraq. He was driving when the bomb went off.

He doesn't even look old enough to drive. He was 21 but looks about 16. What a waste.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Iraqi's finally learn about Western ways.

Yep. Seems that Iraqi soldiers have had a bout of friendly fire from our US chums. Read here.

They must be out and about on their own now then. That's progress for you. Now they have to learn about this addition risk they pick up being on their own.

Hundreds of nutters need to replan.

I was reading this article on School veils 'could allow a new Dunblane'.

Mmm. There must be hundred of people like Hamilton all ready to hide behind full-face veils to kill loads of children and them kill themselves. So this new rule will stop them dead. (So to speak)

Even somebody who is mad enough to go out and kill innocent children and then kill themselves would ever stoop so low as to wear a veil.

Nice to see so much common sense is being taught in schools.

David Cameron reminds me of someone.

I didn't recognise it before but I seen this picture on MyPetGoat.

Doesn't he remind you of the simpleton in the Max Mad movie Beyond Thunderdome when he was the muscle for someone with brains. OK he doesn't have muscle so it not an exact fit but the similarity is striking.

Anna Nicole Smith is dead.

Seems that all that fighting over the money was a waste of time as Anna Nicole Smith has died. Read here.

She was an interesting character changing from one of Hugh's Playmate to another rich guys plaything to a, rather large, money grabbing foul mouthed object.

Sadly, she wasted it all.

Tony Blair still better than Cameron.

Looking at the political awards for Channel 4 which Brian Haw won. He received 54% of the vote. Hope that sends a message. Read here. Interestingly the results are not yet on the Ch4 website for some reason.

Interestingly enough. Tony Blair got 8% with David Cameron on 6%. Tony still has the snake oil but Cameron after a year in opposition seems to have done very little. Tony is still better than Cameron and boy, does it hurt to say that.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

What is this report trying to say?

'Children of parents who have never worked or have been unemployed for a long time had 13 times the risk of dying from an accident and were 37 times more likely to die as a result of exposure to smoke, fire or flames than children of parents who worked in managerial or professional jobs.' Read the full story here.

We will never be able to monitor all the kids in time to help them or do enough to prevent them falling victim. An department set up to monitor these people will never manage to get a handle on this. Unless...... If the article is true then we can fix this by taking all unemployed people and giving them managerial or professional jobs. That will fix it. We can make them all Child Care Managers. Problem solved.

Or it it just that the accident rates are reduced by the fact that they actually spend less time with their kids. It's the parents that is doing in the kids. Less time equals less injuries. We need to take the kids away from the parents and give them child care for the unemployed.

What are they are trying to say? The conclusion I pick up is that those working can buy safety devices that the others can't afford. Does that mean we need to provide unemployed parents with more funds to stop this while government policy seems to be heading the other way?

I'm all for looking after kids but I'm fed up paying for everybody else to have as many as they want when they can't afford to feed or look after them and expect us to.

The UK is not a Police state for Muslims or a third world banana republic.

Tony Blair has hit back at people saying that Britain is a Police State for Muslims. Read here.

To me this is just as bad those that claim that the UK is a third world banana republic.

You see it's simple. We are turning into a Police State for everyone. Not just Muslims.

In addition we don't sell bananas nor are we from the third world. Either of those alone alone means we can't be a third world banana republic. We have a steady political structure as you can't get any steadier than the three major players with the same policies. We are clearly a first world dictatorship.

Glad to help sort that out.

I feel a bit peckish.

Reading the list on what is on offer here for a meal costing £15K.

As an added bonus the trip to Thailand for a meal and the sheer amount of bad things in the meal must raise our government ministers blood pressure. That can only be a good thing.

I wonder if even now they are running around trying to find out the UK citizens on the guest list and checking what they can do to stop them. Crimes against humanity or something.

Drug delivery.

Via the Adam Smith Institute Blog I came across this article on cancer drugs. I love this sort of thing where people are working on things that help people through disease or poverty.

As an aside I was wondering why we don't read more about this type of biodegradable delivery system. I must be a boon for treating people with minimal involvement. After all it can be injected and left with little maintenance until the course has been completed. No more would people stop taking the course of medicine and potentially creating superbugs. It would also be easier for first aiders etc. to deliver the correct dose if it came in dose sized packages. Finally when delivered to the patient they would be unable to sell it to a third party if it was in their bodies. Could it also be used by diabetics to ensure a steady stream of their drugs without injections. The possibilities must be endless.

Isn't science wonderful.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Getting rid of an obstacle.

It seems that the Lords are the only ones standing up for us against what this bunch in power are doing. Read here for an example. They are speaking out and voting against many policies.

It couldn't be anything about getting rid of that obstacle could it? No, it couldn't be. Our government in too honourable for that.

10 years ago the Lords was just another drain on our finances but what has happened over the last few years whilst they have been the only ones in the way has changed my opinion.

Compulsory church maintenance via Taxes.

Found this article on the Labour Humanist blog which talks about the Church wanting taxpayers to pay for the upkeep of it's buildings via even more taxes. Clearly they have been looking at the Tony Blair book on home purchase and maintenance and have a few ideas.

Seems worse than the political parties wanting funding. At least we all have a vote for the political parties no matter how ineffective it seems. Will the churches then open their doors to Lesbian and Homosexual groups? Thought not.

One petition I won't be signing.

You reap what you sow.

I was just thinking of writing an article called 'Are we losing it?' which was about the attack on DVLA in which I was thinking looks like someone has had enough. Read here. To my shock I found I was thinking 'Good'. Now I'm thinking 'Am I losing it?'

I couldn't believe it. What was up with me? The people being attacked are not really involved in the nitty gritty of the persecution of the motorists. Why was I so unfeeling?

Then it occurred to me that they are on the side of the bad guys. That's how I am feeling. Someone had to work in personnel at the KGB and were supporting them. Someone works in Al Queda making sure these people are fed and watered. Someone working in Nazi Germany buying the gas and paying wages. Of course I'm exaggerating to make a point for those that don't know I like to do that. So it makes me indifferent to this attack. I wouldn't do it myself but would I tell someone if I knew who it was? Probably not.

If I'm feeling this then there are others. Some have already crossed a line I can't see myself doing and others must be approaching this line. Personally I think I could put up with lots of tickets for speeding but I'm not so sure how I would react if someone I loved dies because they couldn't get treatment on the NHS or are shot by accident by the Police because they were wearing a bulky coat.

When ordinary people, which I consider I am, are thinking like this then maybe the revolution is closer than we think.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Making the roads much safer.

How can you justify fining someone £1000 for simple speeding? Read here. Does fining him £1000 make the area much safer than fining your average speeder £100? Let's face it it's still a fraction of what he earns a week so it's not really a major impact. And they say it's not for the money.

With the judge saying "In Mr Ronaldo's case there can be no credit at all for a guilty plea. The system has been manipulated in this case up until the last minute." What does that mean? He plead guilty. Manipulated the system sounds very much like followed the rules but I didn't like it. How generous that she admitted it doesn't reach the criteria involved in a ban. It sounded like she would have loved that. Clearly here was someone who deserved a lot more than he got.

The foot soldiers get let down again.

This article give a word by word account of the 'friendly fire' incident in which a British soldier was killed.

If what it says is true then the poor pilots in those planes have done little wrong. They identified friendly markings called them in and were told that there were no friendlies in the area. So they attacked our troops thinking they were enemies. Doesn't sound like it is their fault to me. Another management cockup and yet everybody talks about these guys are 'rogue' or 'independents' when it sounds they were just doing their jobs.

Is this another example of the foot soldiers being poorly managed and then picking up the blame for failures of others.

Personally, I think the US is too trigger happy at the best of times and this type of war is not one of the best times. They don't take the proper consideration of their allies and I would be leery of working in joint operations. However, in this case it looks like a clear communication problem between two forces. The same sort of problems identified after the last Iraqi war if I remember. Either we didn't pass the message on to the right people or it was not listened too. This needs to be resolved but you can bet the person who didn't do their bit right won't go to jail.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Massive shock. A real Tory policy.

Seems that the Tories have written to the Cabinet secretary to make sure there are cancellation clauses in the ID contracts and written to potential ID card contractors. Read here.

Finally, a policy from them that takes them away from labour and towards their old stomping grounds.

Some changes for UKIP.

Well, well. it seems that the UKIP is changing it's name to the Independence Party. Read here.

DK has even set up a site for it here.

I must admit I was expected something different but I suppose that it still identifies their roots and with the expanded remit of independence from Whitehall it fits with that as well.

I wish them luck with the marketing for what is one of the few parties with a different agenda to the rest of the bunch. Not long till they get their first real test against Cameron.

Please put on the steel toe caps for that one. We don't want him to get away lightly.

Death from incompetence but it's OK.

It seems that someone who was forcibly returned to their home country by our immigration people has been executed. Read here.

He wasn't the first and he won't be the last. Isn't it great how our lords and master can just sign someones death warrant with no repercussions whatsoever. With absolutely no risk to themselves they take chances with other peoples lives.

As I've said before, we need a feedback mechanism. If someones signs these forms while playing politics with words like 'Afghanistan is safe now' when we all know it is not then there needs to be repercussions. I'm all for kicking people out but while we import criminals from the EU the real people that need asylum get the dirty end of the stick.

Politicians. Maybe we should send them to these safe places for six months just to test the waters of course.

There ought to be a law about it.

It seems alcohol killed former Labour MP Jones. Read here.

Now, maybe it is just me but does that not imply that she had anything to do with it. It clearly points to the fact it was alcohol that did it. Maybe they should be bringing a law out about it and ban the booze. The News of the World article, here, linked to from the Labour Watch blog is a bit more honest. It says she drank herself to death.

Better get my booze making books and kit bought for the next campaign. From what I remember from my wine making days, I was 15, you don't need much to get into a catatonic state. Enough that can take me from the physical plane where nanny holds sway to the alcohol induced stupor where I can be as free as a bird.

Although that could be a blind and liver damaged bird. On second thoughts I'll stock up on booze itself from our local off license. How long does booze last again?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Jesters, spinners, flattery, feuds and favouritism. Blair's time in office.

'When critics charge British government with being presidential they misunderstand the word. Presidencies have checks and balances. Britain under Blair has been not presidential but courtly, a place of jesters, spinners, flattery, feuds and favouritism. Above all it has revolved round patronage, whose abuse may be its downfall.'

That was the best bit. Read the whole thing here.

The adaptable public.

Seems that the Welsh politicians are pushing for business to start the ball rolling and roll out the ban early. Read here. Of course the business, who actually have to make a living, are a bit concerned. Some don't want to lose business because the customers can't smoke while others who have already banned smoking are saying their business has benefited. It will be good for some and not others so they need to be careful.

My view is that the public is adaptable. There are undoubtedly people who will not go into places where there is smoking and this ban will bring them out whilst there are also people who won't go where they can't smoke so they will stop going. Up to now the smokers have been the sociable animals and have been the lifeblood of the pubs and clubs. The question is can the non smokers replace them? Personally I don't think so. Restaurants and food places have been where non smokers go. Pubs and clubs are for smokers.

Therefore the industry will have to adapt to cater for the changes enforced by our politicians. Pubs and clubs will expand on their entertainment or go out of business.

It is the same when any law is passed. People tend to obey the laws no matter what they think of them. They follow the rules set down if not the intent. When handguns were banned many people had to find new ways to keep the money coming in. If the Fox Hunting ban had been efficient then many would have had to find new employment. The Polish potato suppliers had to change their market. The list goes on, and under this government, on and on and on..... This ban is no different.

Things change. People adapt and businesses adapt to meet these changing needs. Those that don't go under. In ten years time everything will be back to normal. It is unlikely that the smoking ban will be overturned but people will be spending their money on entertaining themselves and businesses will be making money from doing that.

What we eat is clearly next, McDonalds and it's like had better start diversifying in other foods, Cars are clearly on the list as well. Won't be long before there is only two or three models, none above 1000cc approved for the roads and even then needs special license and a bus stop every twenty yards. Dangerous sports, such as horse riding, will be gone and we will have compulsory exercise with usage logged to a central computer.

It's all for our own good.

'Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may 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.

Syria accusation. Could this help or confuse our leaders?

It seems that Syria is being accused over Iraqi attacks. Read here.

Now is this going to add a new country into the mix when the TLAMs start flying or will this be used as an argument that it seems to be everybody else's fault? How much longer will it be before we read about North Korea's involvement in Iraq?

Now because the spin could be a +ve or -ve sign for the planners. Which way will it go?

With Bush seeing to position himself for an attack on Iran pretty soon I would envisage it would be put in the pile marked 'For later attention' and when Iran is started it will be the next on the list, still miles ahead of NK. Bush must have a think tank working on the NK issue. Makes you wonder why NK seem to have disappeared from the agenda?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

UKIP are you listening?

I've said before that the general public see the UKIP as a single policy party.

Today I was out while a neighbour was moving some stuff to the dump. I said that I thought the trailer they had acquired was too big for the new rules and they said that her father had that problem a couple of months ago so they were aware and had acquired a permit.

That got the four of them started on our council. After a boring discussion, we were all saying and agreeing the same things, the conclusion was that there was no party to vote for besides the BNP as they all had the same policies and there was no real differences between them. All four wanted to vote BNP but they don't even stand in our area.

I enquired what they thought of the UKIP. The answer was that they were only interested in getting out of the EU. They wanted someone who would do something on the NHS, Immigration, Defence, Crime and sort out our taxes and economy. They didn't know that the UKIP had any policies on any of these issues. Not one person had heard of any UKIP policy beyond getting out of the EU.

UKIP. Are you listening to this? Not everyone reads blogs and most of the UK seem to be unaware of your other policies. You need to fix it soon if you want to make a difference.

Friday, February 02, 2007

My Personality Cluster

Your Personality Cluster is Introverted Feeling

You are:
Tolerant, flexible, and open to new ideas.
A stickler for integrity and authenticity.
Passionate about causes, beliefs, or politics.
Likely to have many "best friends" from many walks of life

What's Your Personality Cluster?

Via Longrider the same place everybody else is getting it from. Do we all go to the same sites in one big alphabetically ordered circle?

Who makes up these numbers?

Seems we are, yet again, going for 90 days detention for our suspects.

At the same time we read of record number of prisoners and so where are we going to put the suspects whilst we crack their computers or rip their lives to shreds? In the end it probably won't get anywhere but with this bunch in power you never know.

But it made me start thinking about the numbers they use. 45 minutes to launch. 24Hrs to fix the NHS. 100 days to fix the Home Office. 14, 28, 60, 90day detention. One thing I did notice is they don't use the same number twice. What is with that? Do they copyright it or something?

Anyway I came to the conclusion that they are saying something it is just that we are not listening, it's clearly our fault as they are perfect, but what is it? Then it hit me. They are telling the truth after all it is just that we understood what they were saying.

You see there was just 24 hours to save the NHS. What they meant was that it would take then 24 hours to work out a way to do it but of course we have not done that we have just played with the edges. Now it will take longer to sort out. 124Hrs. The first 100 hours can be spend discussing how we are going to reverse the changes this useless bunch have put in.

Then there was 100 days for the Home Office. But according to what I was reading he isn't fixing it he is redecorating. They were on about wallpaper last week and they haven't even finished stripping the walls or something. But no real changes there. The civil service have not done anything yet so it's still 100 days worth of work. probably 24 hours there are well but 2376 hours for them to get ready for that critical 24 hours.

The real puzzler was the 45 minutes to launch chemical or biological weapons. Not really having any was a bit of a show stopper. On closer examination the actual comment was 'the Iraqi regime could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order were given' Order was given. Mmmmm. Is that a supply chain phrase? Maybe they meant that after the order was given to the supplier of the biological or chemical weapons it would take the suppliers 45 minutes to deliver it. Makes sense as the US and UK were already based in the Middle East and I'm told it would take 45 minutes to fly to Iraq from the bases there. So the Iraqis could prep their little rocket whilst they waited. The US/UK would deliver the chemical and biological weapons, as we did in the past,and it would be ready to go in 45 minutes.

Now where does the 90 days, in reality a six month sentence, come from? That one has me stumped. Not quite three figures so should be less threatening but most politicians have difficulty counting beyond 21 so it would concern them that it is so high.

I'm stumped. I'm clearly no mathematician.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Blogger has gone all funny.

For some reason I have been unable to look at my own blog today. Blogger seems to have a fault on some blogs and mine is one of them. As I use my blog to jump to the blogs I browse I'm a bit stuck. Strangely though I can still add articles and edit my template.

I wish I had more time to look at moving to my own domain on Wordpress.

Where crowds go wrong.

Well I've finished the book 'The Wisdom of Crowds' and what an interesting read it was too.

It explained a little bit about why I am seen as a big mouth and trouble maker and why I always get the crap jobs because I get the job done but can't handle the surrounding bureaucracy.

As for my voting question it does actually touch on the subject in it's explanation of too much information. It seems that we can get things right better in a crowd but what happens then is we start to discuss it and we end up confusing the issues by listening to people we respect and defer too. We instinctively know what is right and just but our convictions are not strong enough when someone we respect starts talking about alternatives and we follow their advice. It's particularly strong in families where people look to their fathers for a lead. It's a PR job and as Blair is excellent at selling dodgy policies and talking his way out of things it explains how he did so well over the last ten years.

It actually gives a good reason for why real democracy is so good for us at the moment. It's because as people we tend to have a strong sense of society and high morals. It also touches on taxation indirectly with our view on fairness. It seem we don't mind paying tax when it is clear we are all doing the same and for a good reason but when it appears others are failing to keep their part of the bargain we don't like it. Similarly with crime. There has to be a visible punishment or we all think we may as well join in. Not good news for the current state of affairs and explains why Blair isn't doing so well now.

One bit I'm still trying to make sense about is when they said that Red Ken's congestion charge was the right thing to do. I'm not convinced by the argument because it made certain assumptions I don't agree with. However, I'm could if that is just my bias but I'm leaning towards the writers bias.

It has a small comment on anchoring but doesn't really go into detail which would have been interesting with an comment on inertia. Basically where we get fed false views and how we tend to put things off because it's easier to do nothing. And I thought it was just me. How choices can be made on our behalf that give us a sense of control so we are happy and go along with it.

One eye opener is that it has a chapter on how traffic jams occur on motorways. A few Reginald Molehusbands screw it up for the rest of us. It of course didn't put it so clearly. There was another on how riots start and mob mentality.

All in all an interesting real bit to verbose for the messages it passes on but that is the way I talk and write so it was ideal for me. Now on to a book on knife sharpening and this one has some pictures and not too many long words so my head won't hurt as much.