Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
A Puzzle.An article on the free fruit at school fails to improve children's diets. After all fresh fruit is expensive compared to a tin of cheap beans and doesn't store as well. So parents will tend to rely on what is provided free to minimise their costs and waste. A small example of the welfare state in a nutshell. So no real surprises there when you think about it.
The puzzler was though, How come that kids don't listen to the five a day, stick in and learn, be good but they listen to the climate change scaremongering. Is it because that's all they really emphasise in school. blah, blah, blah, five a day is good for you, blah, blah, when you leave school your results will count so stick in, blah, blah, Your parents are destroying the planet, you will all be dead because of your parents selfish actions, you need to go back and make sure your parents recycle, don't use the car too much, use less electrickery, gas, conserve water. Could it be that the five a day requires parents to do things that kids have, little, control over. After all who does the shopping and how many kids want to go on a weekly shopping trip to the local store? But how many are there when the bins are being filled.
Some kids in our street, there are six aged 12 to 15 I spoke to, know that the planet is doomed unless something is done, all are aware about saving water but only a couple about five a day, none know any first aid, anything about thinking on their own and so they don't seem to ask questions about the way things are when it does not simply impact them but take them as gospel. Say to one. Pick up the rubbish and they argue till they are blue in the face but tell them all to tidy up before they can play and it gets tidied. When I was at school a teacher told me to question everything and if it can't be explained with verifiable facts then it is suspect and should be considered as such. Maybe that is why I have grown up to be the pain that I have. I look at things and tend to think, that doesn't sound right. Logic tells you one thing, emotion another and lethargy nothing.
So why is it our kids can be indoctrinated by certain things and yet not others. Both put forward by the same group. Could it actually be that our schools are full of hand wringing do gooders who can't do maths or any of the real subjects but are full of religious zeal for certain topics.
Every thing I think of I think of a reason why it's can't be true. But there is clearly something going on in our schools and it isn't good education. It's a puzzler all right.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Chancellor role obsolete.Seems that there has been a breakthrough in the US. It's brilliant what they can do with computers nowadays. Read here.
After what this one has done it's bound to be an improvement.
Apparently they are looking at improving it as well so it'll be more than just a Labour chancellor it will be able to emulate.
What an admission.After 10 years of doing what I wanted to do I realise I was stupid and I screwed everything up by not checking what the outcome was with what I thought it should have been as it was going along. Not quite what Blair said but pretty close. Read here. Basic stuff really. And we are basically stuffed because of it.
Unbelievable. Talk about demob happy. Maybe he wants to stay on so he can fix it and have a legacy.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Will he or won't he?There seems to be some speculation that Blair could resign early next week just prior to the local elections. A claim denied by Downing St. Read here.
I would envisage that on their travels a few local candidates have had some feedback from the people regarding our beloved leader. I wonder what was said.
I've never heard of so many people being -ve about our current government. Of course, the Internet must be part of that reason but whatever it is our locals around here, except for the few die hards, only have bad things to say. But even so, considering that our government is the most unpopular ever, Cameron still can't get a clear feeling of superiority. His comments last week on being involved in society were one of the few things that he has said that actually sounds +ve. must be an election coming.
So will Blair go or not. I don't think so. the reason being is that he doesn't think he has done any wrong nor does he really care about the local politics as they have been effectively neutralised by central government rules and funding so that no matter who gets in it won't make much difference. It may be better for the Labour party but that's not high on Blair's agenda.
So if Labour gets hammered then he will go to save the Labour party's future hoping that it will make a difference for the real elections, not that he will care. If he doesn't go he will surely get knifed in the back. (Note to self : control my imagination). However, if they win, or even draw even with no outright winner. He will see that as a mandate to stay a little longer. It's the will of the people you know. Of course in that eventuality Cameron will be the one going. Oh, so many things hinge on next week. I just don't know what to do.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
This will be interesting to Police.It seems that the government of Camaroon is banning the drinking of urine. Read here.
It will be interesting to see what steps they take to control this. Our government will watch with interest as they may pick up some tips.
I've always been under the impression that to consume too much of your waste can damage the kidneys. Of course some nutter will decide that that is all they will ever drink and snuff it after a couple of weeks or so. So won't belong before there are news items with bereaved parents calling for a total ban on urine.
What next? No scratching because it can open wounds that can get infected. No playing with yourself because it grows hair on the palms of your hands1.
1) I must have a natural immunity or something.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Spot the difference.Two leaks. One pushed by the government to court. Read here. The other doesn't need an enquiry. Read here. Both, apparently, put lives at risk. The one without the enquiry may well have. The one with the enquiry has not. Political lives maybe but not those that count.
I wonder who spilt the beans in the second one?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
What a surprise. Self preservation gets even politicians moving.Well what a surprise. It seems we have some very quick action in Westminster.
It seems that Spy Blog has raised the issue that the private members bill that was scuppered last week has by a miracle been quickly turned round and up for review again.
Seems that the normal slow, and I mean slow, movement of politicians can be increased when there is something in it for them. namely hiding evidence.
Superman better watch out.Seems that scientists have discovered something that is close to the Kryptonite defined in the Superman movies. Read here.
Sadly, it looks nothing like the Kryptonite in the movies. It's not green and doesn't even glow. A sad day for all those budding Lex Luthors who were boy scouts in their youth.
A peaceful conclusion.Reading about this nutter who cut off his own penis. Read here.
After the usual squeamish thoughts I thought about this a bit sensibly. We should encourage this. For one thing this nutter didn't harm anyone else. He is unlikely, although it's not impossible, to be unable to father any children. He is clearly loopy and can be helped. Although with the state of the NHS he probably is already on their system and waiting for a date for when he will be put on the waiting list for the waiting list for the waiting list for an appointment.
Can you imagine the scene at the restaurant. 'Waiter, Is it too late for me to cancel my Coq au Vin and have a steak instead?'.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Happy St. George's Day.Seems to be getting celebrated a bit more this year than it has for a while Five years ago you didn't see any real mention of it. Now there are flags flying and more people showing their patriotism.
Another unexpected consequence of our government.
An Englishmans Castle?I was going to write about the statement that the state has 266 ways to legally enter your home but found this instead at A Very British Dude. No point in reinventing the wheel.
Death by a million cuts.
A caring society. Don't make me laugh.Well it seems that a complete family have received a suspended sentence for goading two children into fighting. Read here.
After reading the text and comments on this subject on The Magistrates Blog I was a bit surprised to read that most people thought this was reasonable. Now I know Bystander has a different attitude to sentencing and it shows. Many time I have read about things that I think make sense, not all the time though as I don't think this one does.
It seems that a poor family is invariably less harmful than a good institution. I think that is probably true. In this case is this a poor family? If a good institution is worse than these then why do we have institutions? We should change them immediately. From what I can see social services seem to invade much better homes and remove kids from loving families with much flimsier evidence and yet that seems to be a good thing?
I know that legislating for extreme cases makes bad law. Is this an extreme case though? This sort of thing seems to escape justice because we don't believe we should interfere in family life. There must have been someone there who could look after the kids while the others go to jail for a few months.
We legislate all the time for every little thing and, yet again, only the good law abiding people follow the law. The ones that actually do want to do well with the kids and don't need to be legislated for. The others know that the same kids they are abusing will protect them from the law. So what is the point of all this interfering? Things have got a lot worse since our parental responsibilities have been usurped by the government.
I don't normally like change in the government. It costs money and yet never leads to anything +ve. This is one of the few areas where I thing we should be more authoritative. Reid would say it's not fit for purpose and he would be right. Although to be honest no matter where he went he could say the same and be right. We should take kids away from these people. Jail them and kick them out of their council homes. They won't need them when they get out. We need to completely overhaul the care system and get rid of all the namby pamby bean counters running it and put in people who really do care about the kids. Put in protection to ensure they are not abused or forgotten about. Revamp the adoption process so anyone who meets the criteria can get a kid without going through so many hoops. Revamp social services so that they are not a law unto themselves and have to justify their decisions to investigate, remove kids or not, prosecute or not to a third party.
This sort of thing gets me wound up. The kids who need protecting don't get it and the people who do the crime don't get punished. It's all screwed up.
Yet we call ourselves a caring society. It's for the children you know.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Even the simplest check would do.Reading this article about a women who died after taking ecstasy. Read here.
The bit I found funny was where at the start of the article it says 'Dawn Rennie, 37, of Woodlands Way, Bursledon, died at Southampton General Hospital on Saturday'
After some info on the tablet it then said 'The woman, who has not been identified.....'
Huh? I think this was changed after the name was discovered and they just added in a sentence. Pretty mickey mouse though for the BBC.
Giving feedback.Our firm has regular performance reviews. Usually yearly but it can be more often. When we get bad reviews that we don't agree with we have an appeal process. Seems that NASA must be lacking one. This guy was shot for giving a bad performance review. Read here.
Now I've given bad reviews before. One guy nagged me for weeks after to change it before he decided to appeal. I felt like shooting him. I even had one myself after a clash with my direct line manager. But, I've never met anyone that thought it literally meant the end of the world for them.
Worryingly, I have a performance review this week with someone who enjoys shooting. I'll try and be extra nice this year.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Where is our line in the sand?Over the last few months there have been various sign ups with the statement of 'I pledge I will break the law and do this if ten other people sign up to pledge to do the same'. I like reading the numbers that sign up to these as I wonder how many of them will actually do it.
You see the problem is they won't get ten thousand of us in a room. They will just call one of us to court and make an example of them. Most of us have families, homes and careers to lose. We won't do it as history shows that the initial sacrifices remain dead even when the war is won. The people with nothing to lose don't really care about the things that we see as an issue at the moment. So I would guess that most of those that sign up would back down fairly rapidly when push comes to shove and they get a court summons or a visit from the local plod in combat gear. Especially when it works out it's done region by region or by requirements. You want your dole get a ID card. You want to drive on motorways get a tracker fitted. Until it is all done. It's one of the few areas where we won't have a big bang. A few diehards in the nick and the rest subjugated except for the real criminals who won't do anything they can get away with. Us, the amateur criminals, will be the ones that end up in court.
It is interesting how so many people have signed up with the intention to become a criminal with all that entails. Now my question is that if we are prepared to commit to this, why not a step further? Why not pledge 'I pledge I will kick the crap out of anyone who prosecutes anyone who breaks the law if ten other people sign up to pledge to do the same'. OK with that? How about the next step? 'I pledge I will pay £50 to a legal fund and/or the estate for whoever tops Tony Blair if ten other people sign up to pledge to do the same'. I bet not many who signed up before will sign up. Why not? Because it's illegal? immoral? You have already decided you will be a criminal it's just crossing another line.
And while we are not prepared to do anything really illegal our government illegally interns people, breaks into homes at 6:00 in the morning to arrest people. Kills people by ruining our health service and destroying lives by screwing up our Justice system. While they remove Rights fought and paid for with blood decades or centuries ago.
The Poll Tax protesters won by showing force. The US gained Independence by showing they were not putting up with more and showing force. We whine a lot and wonder why it doesn't work too well.
In the older days when men were men, women were women and little..... sorry, when us Brit's drew a line in the sand it was crossed at great peril. Now those hero's are emasculated or replaced by people who get a bit frightened when mummy is not about. We draw lines in the sand all the time and when they are crossed we talk about it a bit and then draw another one because that one wasn't clear enough or it didn't allow for cultural sensitivities or it was unfair or we are frightened of being told off by the EU or UN. There is always some excuse. No one has any balls any more.
The balance of power has clearly moved from the strong to the weak. The weak rely on the strong being moral and following the rules they have set down as law. They then define laws that allow them to do what they want freely with no repercussions. Every reasonable little excuse has been used to clamp down on us. Thus almost everything is now balanced against the very people that made this world what it is. The human race was striving forwards, developing new technology and exploring and experimenting. Now it's getting to the point where breathing will require a license and only companies are allowed to tinker and play with things. What chance our future inventors, scientists and explorers? There are still real Hero's in the UK. We read about them all the time but their sacrifice is lost amid the last row in Big Brother or what is going on with the cricket. The strong are all criminals because that's the only place for them now.
All is not lost. It seems there are a few countries on this planet that are led by real decision makers. People that make a decision and go for it. One is the US, however that could soon change. They are not too different from us and someone else may end up taking it down the same path as the rest of the West and lose all the credibility built up over the last few years. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't like Bush, but at least he has the balls necessary to draw lines in the sand and be believed. It's getting diluted now after the last elections but he pulled many weaker leaders into his schemes and used them. He uses the might of the US to keep the US in it's place on the world's stage. Can we say the same with a straight face?
So, what is it going to take to turn our country round? Certainly not the current or even future, foreseeable anyway, politicians. We need a leader. Someone who is willing to take a stand and do something. It looks like the last one we had with balls was Maggie. She succumbed, like Caesar, to foul play. Our politicians don't even have the balls to do that nowadays.
Where exactly is the line in the sand that will cause us all to rise up and rebel? We are disarmed, scared to take any risks and looking to hold everyone else's hand. I don't know when it will be only thing I do know is when it comes there will be bloodshed. There has to be.
One thing is certain. I won't be starting anything, I'm just a wimp with too much to lose.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Have I missed something?Seems that there has been all this noise raised about this EU speech law. DK seems to be at the front as usual and has even got his name in the papers. Read here. Well done DK.
Now I can't work out why I missed this bandwagon. I think I'm the only one that didn't blog about it this time. Strange really as I'm usually quite good at getting free lunches.
Well done Mr. Baker MP.Don't often get the chance to say that about our current crop of MPs. Could be our Mr Baker is the exception. He has successfully led a revolt to scupper the bill that would allow MPs to hide from the FOI Act. Read here. The same Act that has rapidly been an own goal for our government.
Now I don't know what the rest of his policies are like and he is a Lib Dem. Although his record on 'They work for You' looks OK. Read here.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Smart DustJust reading this article on Smart Dust. The article was mainly talking about using the particle, each the size of a grain of sand, to explore alien environments. There was a bit of talk about the difficulty of fitting sensors but the particles could be made bigger or even provided with some propulsion. The theory is there and in the unforgiving environment that space is it has it's advantages.
I must confess when I was reading it I was wondering of the more at home advantages in this sort of tool. Sure enough at the end they mentioned it could be used on a battlefield or as an analytical tool for buildings or bridges. Sadly I was imaging other more sinister uses.
Imagine someone walking in your house and releasing some Smart Dust to monitor what was going on in your house. Sensors could monitor for drug use, cigarette smoke, even your private conversations. We would never know. They could even build them into all new houses. Add them to wallpaper and clothes. I would imagine that already the military are looking at it's uses.
After all if you have nothing to hide then you don't have anything to fear and the war needs to be taken to the homes of the terrorists.
Science is a double edged sword.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
House visit from a candidate.Round at my parents doing some drilling for my old man. Guess who came to visit?
That's right. One of the local politicians looking for some support. My dad, a life long Labour supporter that has become disillusioned with the party of the people. He has a few socialist ideas such as he does not believe people should have obscene amounts of money. Because he would stop acquiring money once he had enough he thinks that it should be compulsory. Oh well. Nobody is perfect. He is a great dad.
I never even got the chance to say anything. My dad was making quite a statement. He asked her about ID cards, the budget deficit, cameras, council tax, the list went on. Poor thing was stuck there for 20 minutes.
In the end he concluded by saying that Labour would never get his vote again. As she left she said that quite a few people have said the same thing.
Sounds promising. Not long until we find out.
In the meantime I've just discovered that one of my neighbours is up for election. Not sure what party he is yet.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Budget 2007 Leaflet.Just got a nicely printed leaflet through the door from HM Treasury regarding budget 2007.
Read all the usually babble about costs and future plans etc. Costs which have been extrapolated to 2011 and show a 15% increase on overall expenditure then. It's only 4 years and I don't see our salaries going up anywhere near that much.
The interesting bit was on the back page. Income from Taxes, etc. £553B. Total expenditure £587B. Oops £34B adrift. I remember the old adage In greater than Out happiness, In less than Out sadness. Now most people fail to balance the books because something changes and their income or expenditure changes and causes a problem. Usually when it works out it doesn't balance at the start of the cycle you look at making it so. Not our lot.
The best bit was the title of the leaflet 'Building Britain's long-term future'
Still room in prison for the dangerous criminals.Seems like there is still room in women's prisons for an 81 year old Granny. Read here.
Now, I'm not belittling how much hassle an old battleaxe can give out. I had one living by me for decades and she hated kids. She made every ones life a misery.
But I must admit after reading her list of crimes it seems that what triggered jail was for her to break the terms of her ASBO. Her other crimes were not sufficient for jail. Proving the theory that ASBOs can put you in jail for things that are not jailable.
In the meantime burglars and shoplifters etc. get away with fines. Our society is indeed screwed up.
Russia making floating Nuclear Power Plant.My mind was going overtime when I read this. First of all I had visions of a big smokey oil platform type ship which would make Chernobyl look like a school experiment gone wrong. A meltdown in the ocean could be disastrous.
Thinking about it though. We have many sea going vehicles which are powered by nuclear reactors. Many have also been lost. The Soviets, who were not known for their safety record have changed significantly since the Cold War. Seems that most people do not want to waste their lives because the State wants to save a few roubles.
Although, a ship? How does that work? It sounds like they are going to make it almost a permanent site. So I can only guess that it must be cheaper to build a casing around the reactor similar to a Typhoon than a hardened facility like Chernobyl. Also disposal should be easier as they can simply move it to some obscure dumping ground and ground it for decommissioning like they have done with their old nuclear boats.
Can it really be made as secure though? In today's world of terrorists can these things be really safe?
Another unexpected consequence of government policy.When all the parties are now lining up to be Green and selling green policies can it be surprising that more and more people are actually seriously considering the party that had this policy originally and was ridiculed by the mainstream. Now they have been *cough* proven right they look like they are going to profit from that. Read here.
Personally I would rather vote BNP, Tory or even Labour than these people. Jeez, they actually have a chance of getting enough seats to make a difference. Think what they could do with five years. It doesn't bear thinking about.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Five weeks deliberating a verdict?When I seen the title on this article I thought 'Hold on a minute'. Here is this case, a terrorist one, which has taken a whole year to present in court. It doesn't seem that long but that is life. So what do we have?
It seems we have a case where we were told a large quantity of fertiliser was found. 600Kg. Doesn't seem like much to me but I'm not an expert. There was a couple of other things found with that so putting it all together we have a case they wanted to present in court. So off we went on our year long journey.
Originally I though present evidence, a couple of days, say a week. Defence then presents it's side, basically a logical reason for the evidence, another few days and then the jury go out and come back within a few hours. Boy was I wrong.
Why is it taking so long to present the little evidence they seem to have and why is it taking so long to come to a decision? After reading about a year long trial and a five week deliberation I am totally confused. Sadly with both of these facts I've fallen for the answer that this first is because the are baffling the jury with probabilities, theories and character assassination. The second is that it can't be anything that is clear cut. So some people are hang them all and others are hold on there is no real evidence. Others are then discussing the options and it could swap either way.
Makes you think. Sadly, for my paranoia, if just confirms my original thought that there is no real case no matter what the outcome and that can't be good considering I should believe that the result is Justice.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
My bit towards saving the world.Been busy the last few weeks with work and watching the entire 8 series of Charmed on DVD. Finished them last night, or early this morning to be more exact.
So today been out in the garden starting my yearly scourging where I *cough* invest hundreds of hours to get enough fruit that I could buy with one hours worth of real work. It must be a spiritual thing.
Well, anyway I was blowing up my granddaughters paddling pool. After exhaling for the millionth time it suddenly hit me. I was removing all this CO2 from the atmosphere and capturing it in a container. OK the container was not really intended for that purpose but that was one of the beautys of the plan. An added bonus using existing equipment.
OK. it doesn't store all that much but if we all work together and use the existing padding pools we have to store carbon in this way it will come to millions of cubic feet. Remember, every bit counts and we should be able to claim this on our carbon credits. All together we could make a difference.
However, we will need to set up a taskforce to train people. Remember you can't just take a breath and then blow you need to ensure that it is part of the exhalation process so the maximum CO2 gets stored. So it's not as easy as you would think.
Am I a genius or what? An entire industry could be set up to train, monitor and verify CO2 contents. Maybe some sort or reward would be in order. A knighthood perhaps. An MBE Member of British Environmentalists or if it went worldwide some sort of UN order or something, what do they have?
Saturday, April 14, 2007
One mistake in Space and it's all over.Space travel has always been on interest to me. I've never been one for looking through a telescope and looking for things or at the moon and so on. But I'm quite happy to lie down gazing at the stars at night. (Not the show, if it's still on)
So I read lots of things about our Space exploration and get pleased when the US mars mission lasted for many times longer than it should and disappointed when we have a failure like the Beagle or this.
Seem that one of our successful missions became uncontrollable when control made a mistake. The story here is a bit contradictory. It says changes to the computer memory made five months ago and then says that a change to the solar panels position inadvertently subjected a battery to direct sunlight. I suspect that it is an error by the code writer and the code that should have detected the danger was faulty, not the memory, and the change therefore went ahead and the heat damaged the battery.
Makes you wonder if we are ready to send men to Mars but there will still be more volunteers than could possibly go. Mistakes are made but as we progress we get better. the list of successful missions grows. Only a paltry £77M was lost anyway and it wasn't a total right off we did get data while it was working OK and to put it in perspective we waste more than that our our MPs junkets to oppressive regimes to pick up tips.
Friday, April 13, 2007
How easy it is to be a criminal now.Article here at Samizdata.
Just shows how easy it is to become a criminal and once you start flouting the small laws the slightly bigger ones are so much easier to flout as well. The unintended consequence of our current spurt of legislation is we are all criminals. And we just treat the law with contempt. I know I do now.
This must have been some party. Brings back memories.This party took £20K to fix. That must have been some party. The power of the Internet in action. Read here.
Brought back memories of my youth when my, at the time, girlfriends older sister threw a party while their parents were away. Advertised mainly by telling everyone she met she was having a party. No Internet, SMS, mobiles in those days. It was a great party and loads of people, generally older than me, came with enough booze and, err, other items to float a battleship and see Keith Richards off.
Anyway the next day there was quite a bit of repair work to be done and much concern about how they were going to explain the things the couldn't fix to their parents on their return. I've never forgotten the aftermath.
Dads prized Marine Fish Tank. About 200 gallons worth of marine fish and invertebrates dead. Seems someone though the fish needed a drink. And this was when these were very rare and correspondingly expensive. Someone had nicked some of Mummys, and the daughters jewellery and, for some reason I still can't work out, the kettle. Maybe they wanted a drink of something different on the way home. Burns in the carpets, on the furniture, a small fire on Mummy's bed, put out with some beer, Didn't know if that was good or bad. Food trodden into most of the carpets and Dad's prized collection of malts and cigars downed and smoked. Floors awash and there was rubbish everywhere. Garden Furniture thrown in the pond and someone had done a number two in there as well.
We did what we could but there were some things that just were beyond us.
As you can imagine Mum and Dad were not happy when they returned. One thing I do remember was how calmly Dad took it. Mum went hysterical and I was, politely, asked to leave. After an initial, err, discussion with the daughters I didn't see anyone for two weeks as I wasn't allowed near the house. They spoke to the Police then but when they passed on that most of the party goers were unknown to the girls nothing happened. Dad never got his fish tank back to what it was before I split up with his daughter. In the end though the eldest sister missed out on a car she was looking forward to but what else could they really do? They were their daughters. Not a lot of options. I learnt a valuable lesson there.
It was a great party though. Until this episode one I thought wouldn't be repeated in this modern namby pamby society. I'd hate to be a teenager nowadays. Although maybe a more secure parent. That's progress for you.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
When are these people going to get their comeuppance?Here is a high achiever in school which has enacted a policy that pupils will have mandatory extra lessons after school hours. This grade A student is not going and as punishment the school have banned her from the Netball team and going to the school prom. Read here.
What a bunch of idiots. It seems they think it is OK to force pupils attend extra lessons because they want them to. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. It's these sort of peoples idea of voluntary.
Although looking at the schools performance it seems to be doing better than average. Sadly, there are two similar sounding schools and that one is also doing OK so makes you wonder if it is the area or the processes.
What would happen if she attended up to the prom but then just didn't turn up after? After all the surely don't have a legal leg to stand on.
Personally, if it was my kid I would we investigating if I could sue them. May as well use the tools provided. Maybe Cherie can take this up under a Human Rights banner. She's been out of the papers for a while. I hope it's nothing too serious. Only joking.
So much for the safe zone.After all these years it now seems that it's not even safe in the, infamous Green Zone the supposedly safe zone. Read here.
Sadly it seems that over there there is no safe zone. Well for Iraqi's anyway.
Of course it's all down to a 'surge' by the bad guys emboldened by the US political scene.
Hypocrisy in action. Labour sticks it's oar in again.Scenario 1 : BP boss gets a large, very large, payout for leading a company to bumper profits as part of a package. Labour MP says 'We need to end the situation where City bosses set each other's rewards' Read here.
Scenario 2 : MPs vote themselves yet another wodge of dosh for leading our country into hell. Nobody really says anything.
What a bunch of hypocrites.
I have no doubt that the BP boss will have his payment amended. He may even lose out. Yet nothing is going to happen to the other parasites for a while. Until they get a 9mm injection.
When I said at the title. Labour sticks it's oar in again. I hope I didn't confuse anyone by implying there was progress. It's just slashing it on the surface.A lot of noise but no movement.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Megan's Law not coming to UK.It seems that the UK is not going to have a version of the US Megan's Law. Read here.
Seems people were pushing for more information, and who could blame them, than how many live in the area. It just causes concern and what real benefit can it being knowing there are 30 nonces in your town?
Makes sense. One thing I've asked it's supporters is 'Where are these people going to go?' If the offence is not bad enough for a prison sentence, and from what I can see, most of them are not, then what happens to them?
It's all well and good taking about killing them and cutting bits off their anatomy but what about the Granny who photographed her grandchild in the bath, like she did with her own kids eons ago, and made the mistake in this modern age of sending the snaps in to be processed. What about the guy who went on a Big Boobs web site nowhere near kiddie porn and used a credit card when the same provider uses the site to hide his stack of kiddie porn? It's not black and white in this area and tantamount to abuse of Justice.
Although, interestingly enough we will allow CRB checks of people who are going to be looking after the kids of single parents. Paedophiles apparently target these people. I'm sure we will manage to cock this up very easily. If a single parent is concerned that someone is a paedophile they can get a CRB on them.
Of course the CRB comes back as a Yes/No. I'm sure that nice old Mr Smith down the road will love offering to babysit to help the poor girl on her own and if the CRB cock it up being executed when that nice girls tells everyone the CRB says he is a nonce.
Of course, assuming it is actually allowed, you are no better off if you refuse to allow a CRB. What are you hiding? You know that weirdo Smith down the road he refused to have a CRB done so he is obviously hiding something.
Couple this with knowing how many paedophiles live in an area and a lot of guessing and analysis will go on. Of course if someone goes missing or is attacked that information will be analysed and conclusions drawn. Probably the wrong ones but 'If it saves one child' who cares?
Won't be long before all the doors in this country all locked tight and nobody knows who their next door neighbour is. Kids will be unable to relate with anyone outside the immediate family and will be crying for mummy on their first day working when they are 21. It'll take that long to get them to learn sums and proper english like wot I does.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Another MS product that is really annoying.Been spending all morning tidying up some MS Word documents.
These are legal documents that we have been working on for weeks over SLAs. We have just agreed them and they are ready for publication. On my system they show as Final documents but on one of the clients they still show the edits. Even worse the creators have cut and pasted from the contracts, which use different fonts and formatting so when you start trying to just change to fonts on some of them it screws up the whole document.
So I have to edit each one. Even if it looks OK I have to accept all the changes and then change it to final. This is what happens when you have to justify upgrades when the basic V1 version did everything you wanted but they still need to sell more to keep the money coming in. The more complicated they make it the easier it is to screw up.
I wish that billionaire who was involved in Word suddenly discovered he couldn't get down from the ISS until he has edited the entire landing instructions using a line editor. That would teach him.
Monday, April 09, 2007
I'm one of those in the wrong job.I want a job like this. Read here about my perfect job. How do people get these?
What is it with Politicians?Totally untrustworthy in all aspects of life. Read here. Sleazebuster is unfaithful. Another one who says do as I say not as I do.
But looking at these two surely even the pope would be tempted.
I'll have a go myself but I'm not a politicians so being old and cuddly is not quite the same. I'd tune up my pacemaker for the night and hope I make it though.
Although one of them said they were too drunk. Surely even our sleazy politicians would not take advantage of young girls whilst they were drunk. It's almost as if this was in revenge for the loans enquiry. But surely our elected politicians would not stoop to that.
Politics in a nutshell.
Now the truth comes out.Finally we understand why the Iranians returned our Navy people.
Seems that the stripped Faye Turney to her knickers — with the rest of her clothes taken away. Read here.
Now imagine her naked. No wonder they tried to dress her in Iranian gear. They were left with little option but to return the lot.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Stating the obvious.Seems this copper is speaking out about the new laws being proposed by our masters. Read here.
He seems to think they will not work as some people had a "scant regard" for human life which would not be combated by legislation.
It goes against almost 100 years of UK law where more and more legislation has been put in place to stop the law abiding being able to combat crime themselves.
Do you think he is saying we have been wasting our time?
In the same article one of our generally useless members of society Norman Brennan, of the Victims of Crime Trust, said: "The government must ensure that border controls are tightened up to stop the guns coming in, and we need to do targeted and random stop and search of those who carry guns and knives on the streets of Britain unopposed.
Err. We would do more than that we would arrest them and charge them. Sadly we don't know who they are so we can't target them and so using this philosophy we have to stop and search members of the public who don't like being treated as criminals. So it doesn't work. But don't worry that has not stopped our useless government before so you will get your wish until everyone in the UK hates the police and it all falls apart.
Some people never learn.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
A low-carbohydrate diet that changes your life.Last week this pilot was arrested after failing a breath test. Now it appears that he was not drunk and had the blood alcohol level of a non drinker. It appears that dieting caused his breath to smell of drink. Read here.
All well and good. "He has been cleared and is over the moon. He is now free to resume his flying career," a Virgin Atlantic spokesman said. "It has been a tough week for him but he is now delighted."
All well and good but now he has his DNA and fingerprints on file and as we know having a record has implications. I wonder if that means he won't be able to fly to the US any more? If so, and that seems to be his job he may have to fly other routes. How many routes does Virgin Atlantic fly? Worst comes to the worst he could end up losing his job over this.
I know diets can have side effects but this must be one of the most extreme.
Friday, April 06, 2007
It could have been worse.It seems our navy people were ill treated by the Iranians. Read here.
After reading about their ordeal I thought to myself that the it could have been worse. A lot worse. They could have treated the prisoners the same we we would have treated the guys we captured. They could have had everything that happened to them plus the infamous water treatment, been beaten and made to stand in these muscle straining positions.
All perfectly legal and conforms to the Geneva Conventions. According to what I have heard anyway.
Was Justice served here?This guy, aged 20, slept with a 10 year old girl. Read here. Yet clearly it appears that the guy genuinely thought she was of legal age, even the judges and by the looks of it the police and prosecution thought it was a legitimate case of mistaken age. Of course I think it sounds strange but we dont see what she looks like.
So she went out with the deliberate aim of having sex. She led the guy astray and he is the one with a criminal record and on the sex offenders register although it looks like no other punishment was made. Only that made compulsory by law was enacted. The judge did what he could.
But even so is it really Justice? We live in a country when the innocent get punished and the innocent go free and think we are civilised.
More technology checking up on people.It seems that there is a new tool in the armoury for benefit staff. Read here. They are looking at using lie detectors.
Or to be more accurate voice stress analysers. It takes your voice and analyses it for indicators of stress and from that it calculates the risk of you lying.
For a while now I have been considering the benefits of using this sort of tool in helping sort out the liars from the truth tellers in these complex rape cases. Something has to be done to sort this out.
Anyway from my understanding it seems that this tool is not really all that good. Sure it can point out when someone is under stress. It then makes the assumption that that stress is caused by lying. It can be caused by many things. Including the fact that a test is being performed can influence the result. Delays while you recall information are seen as areas of concern and Errs, Mmms etc. are to be avoided. The interpretation of the results is a highly skilled job. Skills our benefit staff will not have. Insurance companies who use this then pass the case on to an investigator. He then closely examines the case and digs as deep as he wants. But our benefits staff will simply fail the applicant when it flashes up an increased stress level. No benefits. Of course when she dumps her kids down the local benefits office on a Friday afternoon they won't analyse her then. Or if she decides that the hassle of claiming is too much and walks away then they will decide it was a job well done.
For the true professional of course the machine can be fooled. You can be trained to pass the test. So the real targets for this will simply adapt and slip under the radar or be replaced by new people who can meet the new requirement. The massive frauds will still go on and the only losers will be the poor women who are intimidated by the system. Even now many people won't claim valid benefits because the process is too intrusive and demeaning. This will only add to that.
Of course on the -ve side we will find that the benefits staff will rely on the analyser to save them having to use their own suspicions so all the con men, Tony included, will again get away with an increase in their activities while the poor general public get a kicking.
Seems to me like another gimmick that sounds good, everybody has a high opinion on what technology can do, yet will not really achieve the end result. Our government gives money away for nothing. People are taking it. The money will still be given, different people will take it, those that adapt to the new situation.
My question is; If these things are so good when will we see them in use on the floor in the House of Commons?
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Raising the school leaving age is a distraction.Seems there is a campaign doing the round that he raising of the school leaving age is similar to the introduction of conscription. Forced learning for an additional two years.
Another site equates this with Slavery. I posted a comment on that site with the question of what about the child slaves then? The ones up to 16. Just to get the ball rolling.
It does seem like a way for the state to continue its indoctrination and massage the employment figures but it will be almost impossible to implement. Sure, a lot will just carry on for another few years. They will leave with worthless certificates and they will know it. Others will go on and do a degree, providing their parents don't have one of course. Must not be greedy. The louts will go to school but all they will do is take up resources and still leave unable to read, write and do sums. The state will have massaged the figure but it will cost. Another two years will require secondary schools to extend by 40% if they all stayed on. Currently where I live they are looking at closing one of the three schools and converting the remaining two to super schools. Whatever that means. There is no way that they can increase the loading to 140% of three schools with two, no matter how super they are. So they are all pulling in opposite directions and don't have a clear way forward. What else is new?
But I wonder if this policy will actually get enacted. Any employer taking on a 16 to 18 year old will need to ensure he spends 280 hours a year being trained. Other than apprenticeships that means one day a week for two years in training. Only the really big companies will do either of these things. So the bulk of this will fall on schools in general. That will require funding and there does not seem to be much funding available.
I just don't see them being able to afford it unless they think that removing the NEETs from the welfare will make up the difference especially now that all the other 16 to 18s who would be working and paying tax now won't be and therefore the number needing paid for will increase.
So, the whole thing is a distraction.
There are other thing that demand money be spent. Prisons, our new Anti-Terror task forces, the NHS, ID cards, the list goes on. I just don't see this one happening. I suspect it's just a politician getting his name in the paper with a policy that will see him moved up while the policy is quietly discarded.
Although one thing does nag at me. Why two years? Surely one additional year would have been a better target. Increased education, less cost, less turmoil. All the pluses and all the negatives reduced. Two years doubles the lot.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Illegal elections but it's OK.Seems like a law is in place that bans '"lunatics, idiots, deaf and dumb" people from standing for election' Read here.
Now two things immediately pop to mind. If this is law then how the hell did half our MPs get in?
The next is that this council are deliberately ignoring the law because of their own prejudices. They know this law is there and are amending their literature to remove the limitation. That can't be right. In this country you are supposed to follow the law and if it is wrong it is changed by democratic means.
One law for those in charge and another for us again.
What a nutter.Seems this guy built himself a Freddy Krueger glove. Read here.
Not a big deal I've seen a few of them since it first came out and remember making some Kung Fu stars in school when they were all the rage. Like everything else in life it's what happens afterwards that makes the difference.
Seems this nutter decided to test it out on his mate. Although he must have been pretty useless as he took a 10 inch knife as well and only managed to inflict four cuts to his face, cuts to his hand and a 1in stab wound to his chest. While the guy was asleep. Jeez, I've had more damage inflicted on me by my granddaughter playing with her toys.
Det Sgt Gary Rogers from Leicestershire Police said the glove was one of the most frightening weapons he had ever seen. "A lot of skill has gone into creating that glove. I have seen some horrific weapons in my life and that is probably the most horrific I have seen." . It may have looked frightening but it isn't a massive job and it clearly wasn't that sharp.
So after all this the guy gets a life sentence. Yet someone who actually does have an idea what to do to kill someone gets hardly anything because the guy fought back and used a standard knife or something.
There must be something else there. Surely this can't be the whole story.
Whatever does it mean?Reading this article about kids using 'whatev-ah' in school. Read here.
Apparently our modern teachers can't seem to understand that although it is annoying to us it is used by the kids as a catch all for 'Who cares?' There is talk about a zero tolerance policy. What does that mean? Are they going to expel kids who say it. Should help with the crowding then as from what I've seen most of the kids in school use it.
The main reason seems to be it's not a swear word so besides the fact you just want to punch them there is not a lot you can do. Banning even badly articulated words seems a bit daft to me. They will just move on to 'Asyewish' or 'Idontwanatalk' or something. What will we do then? Ban all words not in the dictionary?
The issue comes back to two things.
1) Kids don't want to do what we tell them to do. And for the same reasons we didn't when we were kids. In those days we just screamed 'No' and so on and then went out a huff. Today's kids are no different. They just use different ways of expressing it.
2) Lack of parental control. When you want to punish them for being cheeky and unruly the law is on their side. So they know they can get away with it. This is the issue we should be looking at.
I'm concerned about number 2 but I don't see 'whatev-ah' as something to start putting people on the wrong track for.
The next generation of mindless drones being developed for our lords and masters are clearly not quite ready yet.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Our society worries about the wrong things.It seems that this guy set up a car crash and dangled a baby in the flames to cover up the fact he had inflicted it's injuries himself. Read here.
Now for someone to do that is beyond belief and it was good to see he actually got a prison sentence although maybe it was for deliberately crashing the car. Hey! Nowadays you never know.
Now I was amazed that someone with an IQ of 75 was able to come up with a plan like this. I thought a fairly intelligent rock had a higher IQ. But after looking around the web it seems that it is not the case. 75 may be on the low end of the scale but it seems anything below that need constant care and can't be left on their own.
So my real question is that why does someone with an IQ like this get left alone with a child while the rest of the world worry about social services taking their kids because they are allowed to have crisps? Decent people can't foster because they are decent and that doesn't fit our social services agenda. What is going on with our society?
Interesting educational choice here.Reading about this Thai woman who has been crowned world light flyweight boxing champion. Read here.
Good for her although she looks just like a young guy. Then I read the story and it seems she was taught her skills in prison. WTF! Why are they teaching people fighting in prison don't they have any courses in sewing or brain surgery or something. Not everyone is going to come out as a world champion and perhaps make a living that way. More are going to come out being better at knocking seven shades out of you. Oh! and we, as in the Thai public, are paying for these criminals to be taught to beat us all up.
Is it just me that wonders what the hell is going on here?
New techniques for a new type of War.Well it seems our commanders are getting into the swing of things for thinking about new ways to deal with a new enemy. Sadly, it seems that instead of using our superior intellect and firepower in thinking strategically we are just going to throw our few highly trained troops into a suicidal attack against numerically superior nutters. Read here.
Now I accept that these people see that they may die in combat and have resigned themselves to this fact. If the situation calls for it many people would take out the enemy at the cost of their own lives to save others.
I remember reading a book a few years ago called 'Fall Back' where someone in a secret US government department was asked if they would give their lives up for a cause. Little did they know they were volunteering. Their thoughts were that there was always a way out. Not this time though. It was a story with a bit of sci fi in it. It made me think and at that point I was clear what I would be doing. Back to the present day and I'm still of the opinion I would give my life for others but it would be weighed with family followed by friends etc.
But to ask people to consider having a Taleban or al-Qaeda commander in their sights and out of ammunition or suffered a weapons failure. What would they do? Well, I'd look down and say 'Lucky him' before flying home. Now if it was a Soviet Nuclear Bomber flying to the UK in a time of War I'm sure that would have a different answer.
One pilot said he did not want to die crashing his plane into a Taleban commander only to find he had killed a plumber taking his children to school. A valid concern but what I liked about that was Faith in action. Didn't want to die and then discover..... Talk about Faith. How was that going to work. Waiting in a queue waiting to be judged and talking to the guy next to him with the kids. I just took out a Taliban commander to help free you. Well, I was just walking the kids to school to make sure they had a future when a nutcase crashed his plane on us.
I have no doubt that this was mentioned just to get them thinking but can't help but wonder how it will be perceived by the men in the armed forces. It already looks like they are being sent into battle with little support. I would be getting really concerned now. Maybe it's another of these exploratory comments.
But if this is the way to go. If you can't beat them join them then training in the RAF is about to get much simpler. Full throttle till your flying then left and right followed by down. Let's save on the helmets. Troop training would be just as easy and we could concentrate on running and button pressing. Although I think we would have to introduce forced conscription. Just a feeling. Don't know what made me think that.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Google show the way forward.Found this on Mr Eugenides site and I thought this isn't a mistake this is an advance system showing what we would have to do when our carbon credits had run out.
Trip from Chester to New York for shopping. Current cost £500ish both ways. Fit it in a weekend.
See the low cost carbon route here. You can even see the carbon savings at step 36. Not a weekends worth though nor can you bring much back but it will certainly save the planet.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
An apology worth making.Here we are making an announcement that we regret the dead in the Falklands war. Read here.
Yet again, we have politicians expressing regret for events they did not do. Slavery, Falklands and there will be more to come. Humans have been around for a while and I'm sure the Great fire of London was someones fault.
Why don't this bunch cough up for what they have done. Demolished our freedoms, demolished the pensions, demolished our right to protest. Stolen billions from us to throw away in their socialist spending orgies. Destroying our democracy and screwing up out entire country for decades to come.
Now that would be an apology worth something.