Archive for April, 2014

Politicician’s are like conjuror’s, when they hold one hand up, watch the other.

April 28, 2014

We think ourselves superior to animals, because the bull attacks the cape, instead of the matador, or big cats attack the chair, thinking it’s a part of the lion tamer.
However, we are constantly misled, in precisely the same way by politician’s, their spin doctor’s and by the one-horse-jockey pressure groups that they, or their financial backer’s, promote.

Scare stories, about how hospital’s, school’s and the police, are failing are the most obvious examples; distracting us from the fact that able nurses, teacher’s, police etc. are being replaced by people with lower grade minds and cheaper salaries. A big shake-up, to improve the situation/s is alleged, whilst regrading of staff allows  a degrading of the necessary qualification’s. What does it matter if the policeman is unable to disarm a dangerous  villain, as long as he knows that hate crimes are more important. What does it matter if a nurse can’t tell when a patient is dehydrated, as long as she fills in the form to say that she showed compassion by refilling the water jug at the appointed time. What does it matter if a teacher has a poor command of English, so long as he/she follows the prescribed lesson plan and is obsequious to parents.

But it’s not just politicians selling off State assets; it’s those with low self esteem, who seek approval by proclaiming their compassion:  People like Rev Lovejoy’s wife in The Simpson’s, with her catchphrase of  “what about the children?”.  Substitute for “the children”, with “the rain forest”, “the whales”, “Global Warming”, “The planet”, or whatever is the latest issue, which we are all concerned about but unable to take any effective action.
The most annoying one, at the moment, is “Global Warming”. Misdirection which has led to carbon trading scams, green taxes (spent on what?), wind power installations which have achieved little more than make certain people richer. If Global warming is raising sea-levels, then the logical action would be for Government to insist that new build should be on higher ground, not insisting that speed limits be cut on all roads. (speeds less than 50 mph actually add to global warming more than higher speeds do). Turning off street lights hasn’t altered the situation either, it’s just, we have, recently, been told, increased the number of accidents and deaths.

We’ve known for decades that advances in Information Technology would lead to higher unemployment, as jobs became redundant but we did nothing useful (sic!) to cope with the increased number of unproductive citizens.

All Politicians did was slacken the qualifications for invalidity benefits and reduce the standards needed to attain a degree. This placed large numbers on benefits, or in pointless educational paper-chasing.
Now we have politicians blaming these citizens for ending up in the Cul-de-sacs, which their policies created.
They still have not come up with a solution, whilst the future-caster’s are warning them about the next tranche of redundancies, which are looming, as robots and Artificial Intelligence become better able to handle tasks previously handled by humans.

If robots are taking our jobs, cutting off people’s sources of income, shouldn’t we bite the bullet and either introduce death camps for the surplus population, or tell the Rich to rein in their greed and give these citizen’s entitlement to an unearned basic standard of living and an opportunity to achieve another function, within Society.

@Daily_Express Has the campaign to privatise our roads begun?

April 28, 2014

John Ingham’s piece on motorists (Today he’s Transport Editor: a man with many hats) headlines that road rage drivers are scaredy cats. It’s on par with “all bully’s are really cowards”. It’s appealing but dangerous. Some bully’s are just psychopath’s with muscle.
The piece raises the question, not of whether it is even Newsworthy, but who prompted it. The very last paragraph seems to indicate its purpose and its source:”At least 3 in every 10 struggle to continue driving, because of the cost of motoring-which probably explains why at least 64% ‌ all groups oppose pay-as-you-go roads.”

Is this the beginning of a Ministry of propaganda campaign to slag off any motorists, who might campaign against the privatisation of our roads? We’ve already had the admission that Councils are complaining about insufficient funds to repair the growing menace of potholes. Presumably the next step is for a Junior Minister to go on BBC’s ” Question Time” and suggest that we need private money to be invested.

populism is a good thing, not an insult

April 25, 2014

This is a letter, which I sent to the Daily Express (24/4/2014), along with the published version.

Original version:

You report that Nick Clegg will charge UKIP with being populist and xenophobic.
If this is true, then Nick Clegg really isn’t in touch with the British people.
Clegg sees himself as a good European, who wants to progress the takeover of Britain by a Franco-German superstate.
Anyone who opposes this is, by his standards, a xenophobe (a racist?).
Few of this generation of voters will have been told who Quisling was but Clegg risks attracting a comparison.
Neither Churchill, nor Thatcher were loved by those on the Left, but the majority of voters still swung behind them in their xenophobic repulsion of foreign invasions.
The British electorate is xenophobic in the face of an aggressive influx of aliens but is accommodating of those fleeing persecution.
The Jews fleeing Hitler and the Asians fleeing Idi Amin were accepted, albeit with some whinging (like late arrivals in a theatre).
The present influx is not people fleeing persecution but an imposition, engineered by “Good Europeans”.
 
More damning, in electoral terms, is Clegg’s assertion that UKIP is populist.
It doesn’t damn UKIP, it damn’s Clegg.
Populism is only a dirty word in The Westminister village.
For the rest of the UK, it is synonym for something which we have long been denied i.e. political representation.
Like most of the political elite, he eschews democracy for their own peculiar concept of leadership.
They see themselves as shepherds, forcing the dumb sheep to better pasture, whereas, many of us see them as Judas goats, being lead by their own masters.
Labelling UKIP as xenophobic will do them no harm.
Labelling them as populist may actually attract support from those who have stopped bothering to vote.

Published version:

Nick Clegg insults prove how out  of touch he is
YOUR report that Nick Clegg believes Ukip is populist and xenophobic left me astounded (“Frantic Clegg fights to halt Ukip’s surge”, April 24).
If he truly thinks this way, then Mr Clegg really isn’t in touch with the British people.
Neither Churchill, nor Thatcher was loved by those on the Left but the majority of voters still swung behind them in their `xenophobic’ repulsion of foreign invasions.
The British electorate is xenophobic in the face of an aggressive influx of aliens but is accommodating of those fleeing persecution. The Jews fleeing Hitler and the Asians fleeing Idi Amin were accepted.
Populism is a dirty word only in the Westminister village. For the rest of the UK, it is a synonym for something that we have long been denied i.e. political representation.
Labelling Ukip as populist may actually attract support from those who have stopped bothering to vote.

It’s time we terraformed Mars and stopped poking it with a stick

April 20, 2014

I’ve just been watching “The Sky at Night” TV program.
People were very excited about their work investigating the nature of Mars and its History.
Problem is that Man’s interest in Mars and Marsology must be for the more pragmatic reason of being able to escape from Earth.
We need a lifeboat in case the Earth hits a metaphorical iceberg.
A single rock wiped out the dinosaurs, another one could do the same to us.
Setting up a bubble city on Mars will not be sufficient to preserve the species. We need to terraform Mars and populate it. We need a Mars capable of coming to our rescue and resuscitating our civilisation.
Our main opponents wiil be those Marsologists, who are presently exploring the planet.
The reason that they will oppose us, is that we will have to destroy the evidence of Mars’s past.
The explanation is simple: For Humans to live on Mars, it will need an atmosphere.
It’ll need an atmosphere to warm it up (Greenhouse effect) and to allow us and plants to breathe and walk about outdoors.
This is not presently possible, because Mars is too small. It is too small, because it’s gravity is too low to keep an atmosphere.   It has actually lost its atmosphere because its escape velocity is lower than the average speed of its “air” molecules. The only reason it still has any “air” is that it is too cold for the remaining molecules to escape the gravity field.
We need to increase its mass and warm it up.
Farther out from the Sun, there is the Asteroid belt. It is possible that we could push asteroids into a collision path with Mars.
As they smashed into Mars the energy released would melt and meld them into a new bigger planet. Mars would lose its identity and would be terraformed.
The process might take centuries but in the process, we would evolve into a space-going species, with new technologies such as the hypothised solar yachts.
We would have possibly extended exploration to terraforming some of Jupiter’s moons. Our understanding of nuclear fusion might evolve into a fusion rocket drive based on extracting fuel from the gas giants.
Long term, we need, as a species, to embrace such idea’s before we lose our chance.

The Caldera of yellowstone could destroy our civilisation next week. There could be big rock on its way, which doesn’t have an orbit in the Solar Ecliptic and so is effectively invisible. (we’re not looking in its direction and the Sun isn’t lighting it up).

There have be a number of mass extinctions on Earth, whose cause we have not identified. Life has persisted but it has had to re-evolve. It’s only this time around that we , as sentient beings, have evolved.
Stll I’ve only got another 15 years, or so, so it’s only an intellectual problem for me. It’s really a question for our descendants to ponder. Should they live for Today, or should they plan for Tomorrow and for their children.

why bother with searching for Earth like planets ?

April 18, 2014

Astronomers claim that they have found a planet, which could sustain life.

It’s slightly bigger than Earth but we could adapt, I suppose.

The only problem is it is too distant…….It’s 500 Light-years away.

Our moon rockets only travel at about 25,000 mph i.e. 11,200 m/s, or Earth escape velocity.
It would take such a rocket 1.3 million years to get there.

Such a rocket, if it achieved the journey would lose any atmosphere well before its arrival and assuming no major mishaps,  the spacedust, alone, would turn it into a shapeless sponge.

Within the realms of possibility/fantasy, we could achieve nuclear fusion, modify an asteroid, complete with biosphere, pick up some comets from the Oort cloud (ejectile matter and fuel) and accelerate/decelerate to maybe an average of 10% the speed of light. that’s still 5000 years, or 15,000 generations of in-breeding and social problems.

It’s not realistic to travel there, except as a Space-faring civilisation (sort of Space gypsy’s), who’d be unsuited to living on a planet. Such knowledge might then be useful to us in terms of raping the planet; as visualised in the film “Independence Day”

Suppose we had the UPSS Enterprise with forcefields, warp-drive and sub-space communications, if they existed!
At warp factor 10, it’d take 50 years to get there and 50 to get back. What would be the point? Any colonists would be stranded 50 years away from any help.

Why is this Newsworthy? Why are they searching for such planets?

If the planet had life and a sentient being had evolved and created a civilisation that had developed radio communications and was actively transmitting  messages, which we could receive, and was actively listening for replies and had receivers which could detect our transmissions, assuming they were strong enought to travel the distance without too much dispersion etc. etc.  Assuming all this what would they be likely to want to talk to us about?

Let’s see about trying to reach Mars and terraform that. That’ll keep us busy for a few centuries.

@FreeviewTV I like the new “movies for men” channel

April 18, 2014

I like the new movies for men channel.

The programs are mainly B and C rated films and some of them are almost amateurish but they are more watchable than much of what passes for entertainment on mainstream TV.

From 7:00 p.m. until 10 p.m. all we are fed is representations of what is claimed to be “Real Life”.

Soap opera’s full of screeching fish wives and wimpish, henpecked, idiot males. The cast all seemingly dressed as if on MP’s salaries (with fiddled expenses).

Reality shows, where C-list celebrities and/or chav’s are held up to ridicule as “good sports”.

Competitions, where more c-listers etc. are made to perform on successors to the Gong Show.

Quizzes where people on low wages are invited to show their ability to correctly guess at the answer’s to obscure area’s of knowledge and popular culture (see above TV progs) for ridiculously small amounts of cash. Sometimes the contestants are c-listers competing for charity (appearance fee’s not included), with suitably less arcane material.

After 10p.m., it’s News, program’s discussing the News and programs trying to find humour in the News, later, drifting into comedy, which relies mainly on exaggerated vocal tones to let the audience know that they are supposed to laugh.

Finally, it’s time for bed and last bit viewing, after a night out. Bits of rudery, mixed in with intellectual and other minority viewing. Sometimes a combination of all three.

The new channel is a welcome addition to my usual fare of football, Stargate, Startrek, Charmed, Big Bang Theory and other progs, which I’m catching sixth time around.

 

@Ed_Miliband: Could this be the future of our prison service (post-privatisation)?

April 16, 2014

I get regular e-mails from The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (aclu@aclu.org)

We seem to be modelling ourselves on America’s system of Government and the issues raised by the ACLU make depressing reading.

It seems that when American Politicians spout about Freedom, they don’t mean freedom from hunger, fear, persecution etc.

They mean freedom from Government interference  in those causing hunger, fear, persecution etc.

We’ve seen it with the destruction of the NHS and the trade agreement, with the EU, that will harmonise our privatised Health Service with that of Obamacare.

The email below gives an image of what a privatised Prison Service might look like:

Do you know the CCA?

No, not the dance from the 1980s by the group with the colorful outfits (that’s the YMCA)—I’m talking about the company formed in 1983 that now makes $1.7 billion in taxpayer money each year for imprisoning people. It’s the Corrections Corporation of America.

And because the United States puts more people in jail than any country on earth, business is booming.

Of course, it also helps their bottom line that many states have given the CCA sweetheart deals—such as contracts that force the government to pay extra money if prison beds are any less than 90% full. Even worse, many of the CCA’s filthy prisons are understaffed and plagued by horrific cases of prisoner abuse and neglect.

But right now, states from Texas to Kentucky are waking up to this injustice and canceling their contracts with these prison profiteers. So we’re going to turn up the heat and bring the fight to the state where the CCA makes its home: Tennessee.

Will you stand with thousands of ACLU activists and sign the petition calling on Tennessee Governor Haslam to cut ties with the CCA?

If we can chip away at the CCA’s public image and push Governor Haslam to end contracts with them in their home state, it will have a ripple effect across the country.

It won’t be an easy fight. The CCA spends millions each year in campaign contributions propping up politicians who support the for-profit prison industry. Many of these politicians have also supported legislation—such as “truth in sentencing” and “three strikes” laws—that helped fill private prisons with more bodies for longer sentences.

That’s our taxpayer money hard at work, ruining the lives of so many people, often for non-violent crimes.

But this Tax Day, we’re launching a major initiative to reveal the CCA for what it really is: a national disgrace. If thousands of ACLU supporters stand together right now, we have a real chance to deal a major blow to their dirty business

 

the present design for spectacles hampers breathing.

April 13, 2014

We(I) need a new design for spectacles.

I find that they pinch my nose and restrict my breathing.

Unfortunately I can’t envisage an alternative means of fixing them on.

I did toy with the notion of hanging them from piercings in my eyebrows but then they would swing away, as I looked down at something.

I tried pulling the nose rests off them and wrapping some wool around the bridge, so they rested on the central bone, but the wife complained that it looked stupid and wanted to leave the restaurant.
I actually use ready-spex but I use 3 different pairs.

I use a 1 dioptre for viewing TV, 2.5 for my computer monitor and 3.5/4 for reading, depending on light conditions and font size.

I’d go for contacts, except that they only fit one lens power.

In that respect I’d like to check out holographic contacts. It’d be great if you could combine holographs of multiple focal length lenses into one set of contacts. I don’t really get how they work but assume it’s something like fresnel lenses. The fact that no-one has produced them presumably means that they are impractical rather than no-one else has thought of them. Pity!

politics is about sociopaths in power

April 13, 2014

Forget about politics in terms of stated creeds. It’s really about pathology.
Ranged from, on the left, we have world views arising from those who care about others, to those, on the right, who don’t.

Broadly speaking we have on the political Left, the empaths, who, in extremis, would follow Jesus’s advice to the Levite, and give away all their possessions.
On the Right we have the Sociopaths, who would sell their own mother for an extra piece of toffee.

We have a spectrum of pathologies between these extremes but with an overlay of nurture on what is basic nature.
I.e. We’ll have empaths, born into the Right Wing culture and, because of their empathy with those nearest and dearest, will try to justify and rationalise Right-Wing mind-sets. Sometimes more vociferous than the natural sociopaths, who understand the value of appearing philanthropic.
We’ll have the naturally sociopathic, reared amongst, Socialist idealists, emulating their sentiments but unable to actually appreciate from whence those sentiments arise and, possibly, calling for a fatwah on anyone, who appears to concede any concession contrary to their adopted creed. Typically they will “hate” fascists, homophobes, or anyone else, who dares question established left-wing / kaffee-klatch targets.

In the middle, we have, by definition, the majority of people; The Demos.
People, who just want to get on with life, without too much strife; a few laughs, a few tears, a comfy bed, a full belly, etc. People who want to live “boring” lives.

The big problem is that it is the sociopaths, who rise to the top of the pile.
They are the people, who are prepared to hurt other’s to get the power and money, which will satisfy their selfishness.
These are the people, who will rig the deck to ensure that they stay at the top of the heap.
These are the people, who destroy any Democratic structure and create the void, which makes it easy for the killers to achieve power.
My favoured example of this comes from Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar, who allowed the Demos to live (relatively) comfortable lives, whilst laying the foundations for Caligula.

The American founding father’s attempted to prevent such slides into autocracy by formulating The American Constitution (The Magna Carta was meant to do this but was only intended to apply to the peerage).
It worked to an extent but didn’t allow for amendments being made by the people in power, when they should have made any amendments subject to a referendum and specific to a particular case.

This is the problem with all legislative acts, where case law supercedes and perverts the original intent.

Back in the 18th century, it was virtually impossible to seek the collective opinion and wisdom of the Demos and it was necessary to assign executive power to elected representatives. This is no longer true.
It is possible for specific issues to be raised, presented to the people and voted on, within a matter of months, sometimes weeks.

The only bar to setting up such a form of Government, is the present set of Sociopaths, in power.

So, we need a re-worked version of the American constitution, suited to the modern I.T. World, a revolution to oust the ruling class and an electronic voting system that can’t be hacked by criminals, the NSAA , or any other organisations of Sociopaths.

Political concept of charity is perverse.

April 10, 2014
I sent this to the Daily Express (3/4/14), after a piece on privatising the NHS. I didn’t really expect it to be published because many of our political commentatorswent to the same public schools and did the same PPE courses:
It puzzled me that the organisation calling for charges to be made for NHS services was stated to be a charity.
For the vast majority of people this does not sound either very charitable, or something that would issue from a charitable body of people.
The best accepted definition of charity is ” the provision of help or relief to the poor; almsgiving.”
It has the same root as the word “care” and in Christianity it is synomynous with Love of God.
But not, apparently for our politicians.
Government has its own definition of Charity, which is the basis on which the Charity Commision awards organisations with charitable status.
At a stroke sanctifying the organisation and, at the same time, exempting it from taxation (ironic in the case of an organisation demanding a new form of taxation).
Apparently their definition of charity is that of “providing a public benefit”.
Such a flexible phrase, open to whatever interpretation is politically desirable.
 
Millionaire’s are member’s of the public and a benefit is anything that does them good.
 
In theory anyone donating money to a political party could claim to be a charity.
Eton public school could claim to be a charity.
Anyone providing hospitality suites for public servants, at major sporting/cultural events, could claim charitable status.
Is there any hope that we may, one day, have a Government, who not only notice this anomaly but also realise that is the public that has the right definition and, then, re-organise the charter of the Charity Commission to use a definition more consonant with that accepted by the rest of The World.