Archive for the ‘comments’ Category

Loved this from @Quora website

June 20, 2017

From the Quora website
Q. Is it a crime to burn the Union Flag in the UK? How would British people generally feel about such act of desecration done in front of them?

A. Tim Woodhead
Tim Woodhead, lance corporal at British Army Reserve (1987-present)

I stood in a line of soldiers with riot shields while Iraqis burned a Union Flag in front of us. Our overwhelming views were:

  • Someone tell them,  “We are not Americans. It really doesn’t upset us. You bought the flag, feel free to burn it!”.
  • It was a windy day, the Iraqis were wearing traditional Arab robes, and they had just poured petrol everywhere . We were worried they were going to set fire to themselves.
  • Should we pretend to be upset as it is a bit rude for someone to go through all that trouble to burn a flag and not get any reaction?

So we looked angry and banged our shields with our batons, which seemed to please the flag burner. The demo ended, they got back on the coaches, we got out of our riot gear and went back to doing whatever we did normally.

Meanwhile, several years ago in Bosnia, a Royal Marine in a drunken prank burned our regimental flag. Colonel had to beg regiment not murder anyone and said Marine was sent back to the UK in disgrace and Marines made an apology. Veterans are still more upset about that than anything the locals did to them.

Scientists and Epidemiologists use statistics but that doesn’t mean Epidemiologists are Scientists

June 11, 2017

“Scientists prove Left-handers can predict the future”

10 left-handers and 10 right-handers play “heads or tails”.
Left-handers win 60% of games.
Players say Left-handers have been lucky.
Scientists say there is no proven link.
Statisticians say there is a 0.2 correlation between being left-handed and the ability to foresee the toss of a coin.
Epidemiologists will publish paper claiming that evidence indicates that Left-handers may have degree of prescience.
Newspapers will report the paper with the headline “Scientists prove Left-handers can predict the future”.
On the basis of the report the Epidemiologists are appointed by Minister of Education to design courses to promote Left-handedness amongst school-children.

Various blogs 9 (3/6/2017)

June 3, 2017

9/5

The fatcat boss of British Gas is a blowhard.
The National Grid controls the distribution of Gas.

All his company, British Gas, does is sign up customers to give them their money.
It’s like Ticketmaster; it just handles the Admin, adding handling fees.
Anyone could set up a similar business

E.g. Nottingham council’s https://robinhoodenergy.co.uk, which is non-profit.
If Labour wants to control fuel prices, it could confer preferred status on them.

I.e. transfer all Government purchases to Nottingham’s Company with direct access to a relevant Minister.
After leaving the EU, Labour could even subsidise that company.

10/5

So the Tory MP’s won’t be prosecuted and the Tories will get away with breaking electoral rules!

Not because they were innocent of doing so but because it couldn’t be proven that they intended to make fraudulent expenses claims.
That just leaves incompetence by their electoral team and/or ignorance of Electoral Law.
You’d think, though, that the people who run the country and who made the Electoral Law, would be aware that its intention is to prevent politicians buying elections, as they tried to do.
Whatever the truth, they were in charge of the country for 2 years and could become the next Government.
Inspiring thought.

20/5

The Tories have just escaped prosecution for electoral fraud, by claiming that they hadn’t realised that their use of battle-buses was against electoral rules. Now I read that they have a new understanding of them, claiming, according to your report, that they can’t release key NHS figures, which are now due.

Presumably they are so bad, they could affect how people vote.
I wonder if they have correctly interpreted electoral rules this time, though.

Has anyone checked?

20/5

The Mayor of London is quite right to berate First Group over the driver falling asleep on a tram.

This is especially so after the November crash of a tram run by this private company.

Maybe taking the trams into public ownership won’t solve the problem but this case could justify a prodder to ensure the driver stays awake, or help in the event of an accident, or other difficulty.

The prodders would serve a similar function to Guards on trains.

20/5

Fiona Phillips asked whatever happened to The Postman Always Rings Twice.
Of course the answer is he was privatised.
Watch a postman at work Today. No more jauntily strolling along, whistling a merry tune. They don’t have the time; they’re scurrying from house to house at a pace described by 1940’s Time and Motion Management as a “brisk pace”.
A similar effect of privatisation is apparent with refuse collection. Previously bins were collected from and returned to a homeowners premises (by Law).
Now the bin is collected from and returned to a place within 5 yards of the refuse collector’s route.
It’s Time and Motion.
It’s about profits and costs, not about efficiency, or service.

Published version

#|n her column, Fiona Phillips asked whatever happened to The Postman Always Rings Twice when it comes to the delivery of our online orders (May 20)? Of course the answer is, he was privatised.

Watch postmen at work today — no morejauntily strolling along, whistling a merry tune. They don’t have the time, they’re scurrying from house to house in a rush.

Similarly, with refuse and recycling collections, once upon a time bins were collected from and returned to the house — now they are left out on the street. It’s all about costs and profit — not about efficiency or providing a service.

24/5

One of the biggest concerns, seen on Twitter, in the aftermath of the Manchester bomb, was by people needing News of Loved ones.

The G.M.Police did eventually put out a phone number on twitter but in these cases even a few minutes, of uncertainty, is an eternity.
There must be procedures for co-ordinating the rescue services, it wouldn’t take too much effort to set up a prepared website, to which The Media and Public can turn.

Any advice phone numbers could be added, as they are set up., and there could be a page where parents could post a named picture of their child etc.

This could be consulted by police and medical staff, who need to be able to quickly identify the injured.

A related call-out , on Twitter, was for blood group “O” donors and another for food packs.

The Army has, presumably, field medical supplies, including artificial blood and ration packs, yet there was no mention of such items being deployed.

What does Cobra do?

26/5

As a civilised country, our Government bombs terrorists, who are hiding behind innocent foreigners in foreign countries and it feels totally justified in its actions.
The same politicians express shock and horror at anyone voicing the barbaric notion of executing those same terrorists here at home.
Indeed, the killers of Drummer Rigby will be accommodated, fed and watered, at public expense, for the rest of their days.
This is a deep-boned, racist hypocrisy.

We are at war with ISIS and whilst most of the fighting is taking place in the Middle East, they have their agents embedded in our homeland.
During WWII, when we were fighting in the same deserts, German agents and fifth columnists, caught here, were tried and executed, before they could do us harm.
With ISIS agents, we wait.
We wait and watch.
We watch them preaching sedition, passing out propaganda, stirring up hatred against others. Others, who may have fled here to escape their persecution.
We wring our hands and wait for them to kill.
We wait until they kill, because we are civilised and must obey the rule of Law.
Time to challenge this racism and change Our Laws, so that we apply the same moral code here and abroad.

27/5

The thing that worries me about the latest opinion poll figures is not that so many voters appear to still support the Tories but that, if these figures were turned into seats, Lib Dems would again hold the balance of power.
The even more worrying aspect would be if Labour were to form a coalition with them.

The best outcome would be if Labour continued to gain ground and Jeremy Corbyn became P.M., in time to save the NHS.
The least, worst outcom, for me, would be a Tory minority Government forced to think about every word they utter and every piece of legislation that they try to push through the House.
It would be the exact nightmare that Theresa May has tried to avoid by calling this GE.

27/5

After the court victory of the candy stripe house, it’s disappointing to read of the Hycinth Buckets giving Holly Willoughby grief, just for flying the Union Jack on her own house

2/6

The East Lancs Road (A580) connects the two newly created mayoralties of Liverpool and Manchester.
Midway, the old mining sites, near Haydock Racecourse, are being redeveloped as transport depots and such.
Eventually this road and others will have to be widened but, in the meantime, why not create a new adminstration centre in the area, providing hospital, police, fire and emergency Service facilities for both cities and capable of coping with the populations of the two cities and of Wigan, Leigh, Warrington and Bolton. The distances involved are comparable to those covered by the Greater London Rail Network.

Such a scheme could be implemented now, in time for the anticipated population increase of the next century.

2/6

When May suffers her night of the long Knives, who will fill her kitten shoes?

All of the Tory Cabinet are damaged goods and only a potential suicide would want to pick up the whip and try to unite them.

List them and see if you can pick out a capable leader.

Labour may be divided and pull in different directions but they have a leader, who will go where the Party wants to go.

@TheGreenParty recycling dry cell batteries

May 12, 2017

Most people buy dry cell batteries for a specific device and then chuck them when they begin to fail.

I’d like to suggest a little experimentation, using a multimeter.

These devices are quite cheap nowadays and my digital version was about £6.

The graph shows how the voltage of these batteries drops with use.  Basically the central carbon electrode gets blocked off by gases and effectively insulated.

If this problem didn’t exist then the batteries would work at maximum voltage until all the Zinc casing was eaten away but it doesn’t. This is why they’re recyclable.

This graph shows a typical voltage characteristic for a battery, although most can be 1.6 volts when new and some can last longer than the average. In my opinion the cost of the better ones is usually too high and it’s more efficient to buy two average ones.

What I noticed was that my wifi mouse ate up batteries but the batteries still registered about 1.45 Volts on my multimeter. Placed in my wifi headphones they began to give problems whilst reading about 1.35 Volts. Transferred to my wife’s “candles” they worked well until about 1.2 Volts, when only the red LED was giving light. These would still work the remote controls for some considerable time until the Volts dropped to about 1.1 volts.

These figures aren’t rigorously proven but merely serve to give an idea of how to minimise cost and waste.

It’s worth checking out your own needs, if you’re as penny-pinching as me.

@TheGreenParty time to stop persecuting us for Global Warming and help us survive it

May 10, 2017

It’s now an established political truth that the World is getting hotter and it is caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
This is also persistently proclaimed, by climatologists, as a Scientifically proven truth.
So far, the consequences have all been political I.e. conferences, debates and treaties.
Industry has complied by switching from burning fossil fuels to building wind turbines and solar panels. All very laudable but to what purpose?
The population of the planet is increasing geometrically and so is the amount of Carbon dioxide that we are producing, just by breathing.
Assuming we can keep feeding everyone and there are no natural disasters, global warming will continue regardless.
Is it not time that the politicians and climatologists turned their efforts to gaining some benefit from all the money spent on these conferences and accords?
Instead of writing further learned treatises showing incontrovertible proof that Polar bears will become extinct, the ice caps will melt, sea levels rise and many major cities drowned.
Instead of this, perhaps the experts could turn their attention to coping with their doom-saying.
Perhaps, moving new building to higher ground, instead of constructing expensive stop-gaps like the Thames barrier. The alternative may lie in learning to live in our own sewage like Venice.
Perhaps investigating how agriculture should adapt to new crops and fisheries to new food species.
Perhaps we should stop crying over the polar bear. We won’t save it by signing bits of paper.
If we must conserve the polar bear, it’ll have to be in zoo’s and cryonic chambers.
Climatologists have made the sale: Instead of badgering us into feeling guilty they should begin to earn their research grants and show us ways to adapt to what they can’t truly prevent

VARIOUS BLOGS 8 (3/5/17)

May 3, 2017

letters to Daily Mirror. only one printed.
7/2/17
I find it hard to believe that Tiverton Town Council lost two full years of Council Documents.
The first thing that should be taught on computer security course is the grandfather, father storage system for files.
Even a basic Windows domestic PC platform will recommend a monthly backup of your files.
Computer memory is extremely cheap and fast nowadays; it should be a routine to save working files and archive others.
To lose two years worth can only be construed as mismanagement, or an administrative convenience.

10/2/17
What is the point of asking anyone on BBC’s Question Time, how they’d feel, if an elderly relative had had to wait 8 hours on a trolley in A&E?
This is root cause of the disaffection between voters and politicians.
We know that their elderly relatives would be snug and secure in a hospital bed, whilst most of ours were waiting for an ambulance.
The same applies with many of the public services, which the majority rely on, such as education, social care, pensions, public transport and so on.
Small wonder that panellists rarely answer questions directly, when they can not speak from a common experience

10/2/17
Why has the BBC started asking “when” we should be charged to see a GP?
The question should be what is the point of a GP, if you are going to charge to see them?
It’s the GP who does the initial diagnosis and then re-directs to a specialist, as needed.
It’s the GP, who judges, whether you should be allowed prescription medication.
It shouldn’t an overworked random intern in A&E.
In a civilised Society it shouldn’t be a return of Blackadder’s “wise woman”, or ancient folk remedies for the masses and a privatised NHS for our “betters”

22/2/17 (printed)
Sound recordist Simon Clark is reported as putting the blame for poor sound quality on flat screen TV’s.
I don’t believe this is the case.
As someone with poor hearing, I use radio headphones to listen to TV.
More often the problem is “atmosphere”.
Trying to distinguish what is being said in noisy offices, restaurants, dance halls is too realistic.
It doesn’t happen in old Hollywood films, where the “atmosphere” is set as the stars walk into a noisy room, then once the dialogue starts, the “atmosphere” is tuned out.
The same complaint applies to football matches, where the commentators might as well give up and go for a pie.

22/2/17
With what’s happening to our NHS, it’s unbelievable, for me, that we are helpless to prevent it.
There was no mention of this destruction in any pre-election speeches.
In fact we were assured that the NHS was “safe” in Tory hands.
In normal circumstances, one can understand the need for Governments to have the stability of a five year term of office but the Sovereignty of Parliament becomes a farce, when the wishes of the Population are ignored as an irrelevance, even in times of War.
There needs to be a means for the population to demand a General Election, or, at least, a referendum on issues, which directly affect the whole population.

Printed version:

#|t’s unbelievable what’s happening to our NHS and it has left me feeling helpless. There was no mention of plans to shut hospitals in any pre-election speeches. In fact, we were assured that the NHS was safe in Tory hands. There must be a means for people to demand a referendum on huge issues.

24/2/17
Remind me why our Gas and Electricity were privatised.
To turn us into a shareholder nation? But if working people had enough spare cash to keep shares, Wonga and Visa would be out of business.
They were going to build new power stations etc., which is why some are still running decades after they were supposed to be closed down. It’s why the Government has agreed to pay an extortionate price for the French and Chinese to build a new nuclear power station.
Prices would come down through greater efficiency.
It’s all a nonsense, really. Instead of one overpaid CEO (like British Gas boss, Iain Conn), we have a dozen, each with a duplication of Accounts, Computer, Admin, PR, Sales and Advertising departments.
We have a whole industry badgering us to Switch suppliers, wasting a few more hours of our lives. Who pays for them?
I remember the bad old days, when the Nationalised Industries weren’t pre-occupied with maximising shareholder profits but with keeping the Nation supplied and minimising customer
complaints, delivered through badgered MP’s and Ministers. I even remember complaining about having to wait in for the gasman to bother to show up. Still some things never change.

25/2/17
Why are some Labour MP’s joining the Tory chorus of attacking Jeremy Corbyn?
It can’t just be the loss of Copeland, where the Labour vote has been dropping by thousands ever since the initial success of Blair’s Gov’t in ousting the “Sleaze” ridden Tory Gov’t.
Blair was encouraged to quit in favour of Brown, because of his unpopularity.
Brown lost the following election mainly because of his beggaring the Nation to bail out the banker’s but partly because of his “bigot” attack on a Labour supporter.
I think the latter carried more impact for the ordinary voter.
Miliband lost the next election and gave fuel to UKIP by further deriding Labour supporters and denying them the right to a referendum on the EU and by not challenging the Tory claim that Labour were not responsible with money.
Two elections lost but Corbyn has yet to lose an election.
Nevertheless, he has been subjected to so much abuse by MP’s of his own party, that Labour voters at the far Left and far Centrist have been given cause to withhold their vote.
Whether, or not, Corbyn is replaced, Labour looks set to lose the next election, unless the whole of the Parliamentary Labour Party starts singing from the same song sheet and a tune that all sections of the Labour vote can endorse.
Judging by recent comments, still being made by some MP’s, this will never happen.
No doubt there will be plenty of suggestions as to who can replace Jeremy Corbyn but they will all be tainted by either Blairite or Corbynista attacks and will lose votes from one of those sections of voters.
I fear we are about to lose our NHS and enter a period of far Right control, which will take us back to the 1930’s

26/2/17
Reading the article on the Sunday Mirror Poll, it says nearly two-thirds of Labour voters are satisfied with Corbyn staying as leader.
We need to grow on that and find out why the remaining voters aren’t happy.
It also says that over 5 in 6 think Labour has the right policies.
Presumably the remainder have some concern over particular issues.
We obviously need to consider what these may be, bearing in mind that you can’t please all the people all the time.
Perhaps further polls are needed but ones which seek to find what aspects of Tory policy concern their voters.
I can’t believe that all of their voters are happy with their policies on the NHS, prisons, police, HS2, trains and schools.

1/3/17
I was told that in order to sell their cars in the EU, Nissan had to agree to incorporate poorer but more expensive French components such as the nylon reeled electronic window winder (5 million imported parts per day).
If Nissan remains in the UK and has surcharges imposed by the Single Market, then Nissan would presumably be able to manufacture their own, better quality, components here.
They would be producing a superior product, more cheaply.
It would be worth the Government’s while to try to keep Nissan here, if they cared about the Economy and UK jobs.

3/3/17
Although I can’t endorse The Lords interference in the brexit process, their amendment has pointed up the lack of support for Theresa May’s intent to use the future of EU residents as a negotiation tactic.
This total lack of support must surely have lost her any hoped for leverage in her negotiations.
Her EU opponents will be confident that she can’t play this “chip”
Consequently she might as well go for the humane option of assuring all law-abiding EU citizens resident here that they will be allowed to stay, if a reciprocal arrangement is agreed
I would think that those, who do consider themselves as British, would formalise that status and apply for citizenship to avoid future problems.

5/3/17
I understand the logic of the Law against “stealing by finding” but I have strong sympathy for the woman prosecuted for pocketing a stray £20 note.
I have known a case where someone found a £20 note being blown along a beach.
Someone, who found one folded up on the floor of a packed New Year’s Eve pub.
Whom do you tell?
To whom would you pass it?
Legally, you take it to the police, you get a chitty and in 6 month’s time, if no-one has reported it lost, you are invited to claim it.
Would you be able to take it into a cop shop and explain what you were doing?
Would you be able to tell anyone that you had done this?
What if it was a 10p coin?
If you lost a £20 note would you report it to the Police, hoping to recover it?
There’s legality and morality and there’s a fear of ridicule.

13/3/17
I like the idea of futsal mentioned in the piece on Daniel Sturridge.
It made me wonder if its use of a smaller ball explained the dominance of South Americans.
The smaller size of the ball must mean a greater concentration on the ball, rather than the opponent.

13/3/17
Paul Maguire’s assessment, of Scotland’s income, suggests that an independent Scotland would need to go asking for financial support.
However, the example offered by brexit is that a political partition is like a divorce and it’s therefore likely that Sturgeon would probably be coming to Westminster seeking a financial settlement with alimony

13/3/17
Seeing all those Tory grandee’s, who’d held Cabinet posts during the Tory Sleaze years, sitting in the House of Lords, for the Brexit debate, made it clear that the second Chamber needed an overhaul.
My problem is that the House of Commons isn’t really that much better, with its own drones and money grabbing opportunists.
Do we need a second chamber, if it’s only going to be a copy of the first?
Either it will rubber stamp every bill, or worse, block every bill, regardless of its content.
If we do have a second talking shop, then it has to be elected and it has to be devoid of party political alliance.
Nobody, who has ever subscribed to, or donated to a political party should be eligible to hold office.
This would probably exclude most of the older generation and create a Junior house, more representative of the Nation, from which politicians, who’d proved their worth, might be promoted to the House of Commons.

23/3/17
When will terrorists realise that their actions achieve nothing positive.
Hitler was reported to have acknowledged that the terror bombing of places like Bath and Coventry did nothing towards winning the war.
The IRA bomb campaign did not achieve a United Ireland.
Daesh murders will not bring about a Caliphate.
Ordinary citizens can not affect any such changes.
Their deaths and maimings, whilst being condemned by national leaders, will not affect the actions of Governments, any more than accidents such as floods or train crashes.
The terrorists will not achieve fame, or admiration, or gratitude, from anyone, least of all those whom they believe they represent.
Individually, they will be unmourned and forgotten by any but their own families.
So, why try?

24/3/17
This is allegedly the most heavily observe country in The World, with innumerable CCTV camera’s spying on us.
The number of Police monitoring them is limited by the persistent repeated cuts to funding of all public services.
On the other hand, we have many isolated, often elderly, citizens with time on their hands.
It would seem that this army of potential watchers could be useful in some way.
For instance: in the case of low priority terrorist suspects, watchers could be assigned to simply take screen shots of visitors/contacts, with time stamps.
A police officer could take a daily dip into the relevant files (perhaps with several watchers having contributed).
Instead of having to observe suspects on a 24 hour basis, one officer could scan a hundred sites and then call up recorded video of particularly interesting clips.

29/3/17
I was concerned by your graphic showing “little or low clinical value medicines”
Those mentioned on the TV News were the low cost, possibly cosmetic and others, which most wouldn’t bother their GP over.
Top of the list for savings is a medication for an underactive thyroid.
This is a significant medication.
I remember watching my Mum shambling down the street, pop-eyed, swollen-necked and looking twice her age.
After diagnosis and treatment, she swiftly returned to a younger active working woman.
This medication can’t be cheap for the individual if it costs £31 million, for the whole NHS.
It certainly can’t be described as unnecessary
Such a policy is worthy of the USA’s “couldn’t care less” attitude to the health of their poor and shows the direction that the Tories and privatised Health Care is headed

9/4/17
John Prescot usually presents a sound point of view on most issues but his comparison of the Iraq war with the Falklands shows a disconnect with how most voters viewed both.
The Falklands War was about an invasion of British Territory and an attack on Brits.
The Falklands might be separated from us by a couple of thousand miles of ocean but that’s an irrelevance. To most of us, it could just as easily been the Outer Hebrides, which it resembles.
Maggie’s success, in protecting “us”, gave her an otherwise undeserved success in the following General Election.
Iraq was seen as a murderous intervention in another nation’s affairs, at the bidding of the US President. The suspicion that it was about oil wealth didn’t help.
In the context of Gibraltar, Howard’s main fault, apart from being Gung-Ho, was in thinking that Spain might do any more than wave a red flag at us.

11/4/17
George Osborne, editor of the Evening Standard, formerly Chancellor of the Exchequer, presumably okayed the sale of some more Lloyds’ shares at £40 million less than we paid for them.
We’re told that some were bought by Black Rock, who coincidentally hired him for his expert advice and contacts.

Now it’s reported that the “entirely independent” head of the NHS is to ask the Treasury if he can borrow £10 Billion from Hedge Funds, presumably at a generous rate of interest.
If the Treasury agrees, will it be the hedge fund that Mrs May’s Hubby works for?

I’d be surprised, if not, but it’s no surprise that voters have contempt for politicians, who create the relevant laws and promulgate practices, which enable them to legitimately raid the National coffers, whilst protesting that their dealings are perfectly legal and above board.

Mr. Cameron’s involvement in tax havens, his father-in-law’s wind farm subsidy, The Lords attendance fees, MP’s OTT expense claims, Jeremy Hunt’s £12million windfall, all the other perfectly legitimate tax-payer funded activities, such as privatising rail, education and NHS contracts can all be explained away and protests brushed off, as lacking merit.

But the stench of corruption lingers outside Westminster, where they are so accustomed to the smell that they no longer notice it.

Reports on A&E queues, on people dying because of ambulance delays, on shabby, privatised care homes, on homeless people escaping reality by using Spice, on schools asking parents for funds, on tent cities forming and all the other reports on the by-products of this corruption are becoming very noticeable to voters

19/4/17
Why do sites like Ticketmaster have to be so scammy?
I had to book two ticket to Queen for my wife and daughter @ £69 each but by the time I had jumped through all the hoops and accepted all the add-ons, the final price was about £87 each.
They know that customers of such events will accept the add-ons, so why not be up front and just charge a flat £90.
They know it will be paid and instead of irritating fans, they could hand out free souvenirs to earn bouquets, instead of brickbats.

The final £50 voucher for Hotels.com is just snide.

25/4/17
I was pleased with the verdict in the candy-striped house case; more so with the the decision by the judge that the Council had misused their powers under the Town and country planning Act 1990.

My understanding was that this sort of legislation was originally brought in to stop the creation of slums and shanty towns, ensuring that all housing was safe and fit to live in.

Legislation then let it creep to protecting “Our great houses”
It has, since, been extended to the protection of the character of “charming villages” and “industrial heritage” sites and now to any ordinary house with neighbours, who have friends on the Council.

A cottage in Kennford, Devon was apparently the wrong shade of pink, another in Inverclyde was the wrong shade of cream. In both cases, Councils used their muscle to intimidate the owners.

I’ve no doubt there have been numerous other similar cases of bullying.

The candy stripe house was an extreme example of not “fitting in” but its owner was just awkward enough to fight the bureaucracy, which no longer works to serve the public but sees itself as having manorial rights.

Unfortunately, the move towards mayoralties will probably negate this ruling as each local fiefdom begins to create its own Laws to suit the whim of whomsoever has been ceded power.

30/4/17
John Prescott is right on many issues but is wrong on GE1997
Labour didn’t win that election, so much as the Tories were thrown out of office by a disgusted electorate.
Yes, Labour did a lot of good but it also did a lot that was disliked by the voters (mainly via Blunkett) and this showed in the vote share in successive GE’s.
It wasn’t just Iraq that allowed the Tories back in. It was a generation who’d forgotten what happened under the Tories.
Those people need to be made to look at what they’ve done this time in terms of food banks, homelessness, prisons, police, fire services, post office, banks, NHS and other aspects of Austerity.

@physorg_com This is my Janet and John idea of dark matter. Please point out errors

March 23, 2017

Maybe Dark Matter doesn’t form atoms.

 The big bang theory says from nothing we got matter and anti-matter but there’s no evidence of large quantities of anti-matter, in the Universe today

OK, so all the anti-matter met matter and was annihilated leaving a bit of this real matter which we see as stars etc.

I don’t like the idea and it takes  some weird maths., which I can’t follow, to support it.

My Maths just isn’t good enough to get it, so I can’t contradict it, nor can I accept it.

Much later Cosmologists decided that they needed dark matter because?

From http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/blogs/blogs-the-copernican/article5309773.ece

I’ve copied out these:

 Phenomenon #1

When the universe was created in a Big Bang, matter was released into it and sound waves propagated through it as ripples. The early universe was very, very hot, and electrons hadn’t yet condensed and become bound with the matter. They freely scattered radiation, whose intensity was also affected by the sound waves around it.

 About 380,000 years after the Bang, the universe cooled and electrons became bound to matter. After this event, some radiation pervading throughout the universe was left behind like residue, observable to this day. When scientists used their knowledge of these events and their properties to work backwards to the time of the Bang, they found that the amount of matter that should’ve carried all that sound didn’t match up with what we could account for today.

 They attributed the rest to what they called dark matter.

 Phenomenon #2

 Another way this mass deficiency manifests is in the observation of gravitational lensing. When light from a distant object passes near a massive object, such as a galaxy or a cluster of galaxies, their gravitational pull bends the light around them. When this bent beam reaches an observer on Earth, the image it carries will appear larger because it will have undergone angular magnification. If these clusters didn’t contain dark matter, physicists would observer much weaker lensing than they actually do.

 Phenomenon #3

 That’s not all. The stars in a galaxy rotate around the galactic centre, where most of its mass is located. According to theory, the velocity of the stars in a galaxy should drop off the farther they get from the centre. However, observations have revealed that, instead of dropping off, the velocity is actually almost constant even as one gets farther from the centre. This leaves the outermost stars rotating about the galactic centre at velocities that should ‘fling’ them away from the galaxy. Evidently that isn’t the case. So, something is also pulling the outermost stars inward, holding them together and keeping them from flying outward and away. The incredible prowess of this inward force astrophysicists think could be due to the gravitational force of dark matter.

There’s no mention of dark matter in my simple version of the Big bang theory but why is it needed? Anti-matter would answer those three phenomena.

It doesn’t need to have mutually annihilated with matter, which it repels according to the inverse square law.

The only anti-matter, of which we are aware, exists as individual particles,  which we detect from high speed impacts with ordinary matter particles (high speed to overcome the repulsion).

We only detect them from the gamma photons created by their annihilation.

We see matter because it forms atoms, where electrons moving between different excitation levels absorb and emit visible light.

Suppose anti-matter doesn’t form atoms. (why should it?)

It would be dark matter. Individual particles would want to clump but wouldn’t have a mechanism to coalesce into stable forms.

Such clumps would be dispersed on the approach of condensed matter.(Like waving your hand through a swarm of midges.)

The idea seems coherent to me. I don’t know why dark matter theorists require 5x more matter than dark matter but maybe they assume it would be as clumpy as real matter, whereas, if it’s easily dispersed by matter, then it would more likely appear, as stable clumps, in the voids in Space.

The only way that we might get evidence might be by firing a Maser into such a void and hoping to see a few gamma photons.

 What about dark energy?

Well apparently that’s needed, because the expansion of the Universe is accelerating.

How?

It isn’t matter pushing itself apart but Space expanding, as though matter is simply flotsam

Now it gets iffy, for me.

What is Space and how does energy come into it?

Energy is just work done by forces acting on matter, so are we to understand that Space is providing

the force, doing the work, creating the energy. Before we can posit Dark energy providing the acceleration of this expansion, I need to get my head around how and why Space is providing this energy. What is Space?

What I’ve read seems to contradict the concept of matter riding like flotsam on a sea of expanding Space.

The concept that appears to be used in the Janet and John versions, which I’ve read, is one of matter pushing itself apart and taking Space with it.

Then again,  matter doesn’t push.  At least it doesn’t push matter but it does push anti-matter and anti-matter pushes back at it.

  1. so my version of dark matter provides a push but as the Universe expands and this lot moves apart, the push decreases (inverse square law, again), so the expansion should be decelerating. Somehow the force should be increasing to give an accelerating expansion and this is where my brain gets tied in a knot, because the next bit sounds like sophistry, to me.

The accelerating expansion is being seen at the edge of the observable Universe, which is really what the Universe was like eons back in time, nearer to the Big Bang, when there would have been more matter and anti-matter, which had not yet been annihilated. The force would have been bigger so the rate of expansion would have been greater.

Does my head in but that seems sort of logical. As more chance annihilations take place, the rate of expansion of my immediate Universe will decrease, meaning that the edge of the Universe, will, by comparison, appear to be accelerating.

I know that the experts are much better Mathematicians than me, so where am I going wrong?

@guardian time to create a defence to cyber warfare

January 25, 2017

There appears to be a lot of concern about cyber warfare but no plan of action.

May I suggest a line of attack?

It requires our politicians to forego the desire to foster the interests of businesses and help them in their quest to find new ways of extracting profit from the masses.

I mean that The State should protect the domestic computer market and its customers.

I’m not referring to legislation against malware but in removing our vulnerability to it.

There are freeware programs (spybot, ccleaner, malware malbytes, AVG antivirus etc.), which do a good job of reducing viruses on business websites by helping to reduce the wild populations.

How much better would it be, if we had a cyber version of the NHS?

A State run (MI5 in alliance with some of the freeware companies ) UK computer Health Service (UKCHS), where professional teams monitored the latest hacks, viruses, trojans etc. and created counter-measures.

There must be many small business’s, which do not have the expertise, or finance, to defend themselves from ransomware etc.

One of the bugbears, of even large organisations, is the use of DOS attacks. These rely on a myriad of domestic PC’s infected with Bots.

The UKCHS would, potentially, be able to inoculate and clean out this source of pestilence. This, last, assumes a globally accessible service, which, in turn, means it’d be able to monitor the earliest manifestations of any malware and variants.

The icing on the cake would be, if the UKCHS could create a rival platform to Microsoft Windows.

We have supported Microsoft Windows by relying on it in our schools and by its pre-installed presence on domestic PC’s.

God knows how much cash flees these shores to fund The USA Treasury (America first?) and Bill Gates’s  lifestyle.

The problem with Microsoft Windows has always been its design flaws, aimed at controlling consumer access to software and in mining our data.  (I read that It enabled the USA to have access to high level USSR secrets).

Every new generation has gone out with backdoors and other exploitable faults, which has fostered a subculture of hackers (antagonistic to Microsoft charges) intent on discovering them.

Add in unintentional flaws, such as the millennium bug, which was present in several generations of windows and which caused a global panic.

How many hours are spent, by all users, installing updates to patch up a designed-in vulnerability, which has then needed further patches?

A platform, free from intentional vulnerabilities, would be a lot easier to defend from cyber attack and it would pay for itself in reduced downtime.

 

musings on salary cap

January 14, 2017

I had already considered the need for a salary cap, as mentioned in some older blogs. The fact that Corbyn and his team have hit on this, as a solution to inequity, has caused me to commit sume of my own musings to blogdom.

It’s not intended as a fully thought-out plan. Just a contribution.

In an era when we have marriages and partnership’s, no longer conforming to the classical concept of a family unit, it is time to re-evaluate income tax structure.
We no longer have the male breadwinner and the stay at home housewife, so it’s time to treat all citizens as stand-alone taxpayers.
The family allowance was to encourage the creation of a stronger nation, at a time when workers and soldiers were of importance.
This no longer applies, as technology is increasingly replacing muscle power.
In fact, the problem of a geometrically increasing overpopulation demands that we should take measures to gently resist it.
Everybody is entitled to receive consideration from the whole of Society and to return it in equal measure.
In terms of taxation, this means everyone legally defined as an adult (of sufficiently sound mind and body to make a useful contribution to Society *), should be remunerated in proportion to their contribution to Society. This can not be decided by committee and must relate to market forces. The only problem with market forces is that they are corrupted by monopolies and cartels.
The only way to defeat the conniving of bureaucratic committee’s and avaricious cartels etc. is to limit the range of remuneration (a cap on income).
The bottom of the range must be a citizen’s pension, for those unable to contribute to any useful extent. This should cover the cost of basic needs, which humanity insists should include a modicum of joie de vivre. (Gandhi is supposed to have said that you can judge how a nation treats its people by how it treats its animals.. joie de vivre).
The next rung must be to reward those in employment that can, or would be done, by anyone. I would say that this would include employment such as shop assistant, call centre operative, porter etc. but Society should decide.
Society would also have to decide how many tiers of employment there should be and the appropriate pay increments.
First Society needs to decide on the top of the range of pay and this will be the real problem.
For me, any person’s income must relate to how much greater his, or her, contribution to Society is, than someone on the lowest rung.
Consider a few of the, at present, highest paid.
{Don’t quibble about the exact values being quoted, they are extremely rough guestimates but carry the essence of the position being presented}
A premier league footballer, for instance: In my lifetime, such a salary has gone from 5x basic wage, to 500 x  basic wage. This is a reflection of the joie de vivre that they contribute, to a much larger number of people, but also to their political muscle, or market forces.
How about an M.P.? Their basic pay is only about 4x basic wage. Add in allowances, golden pensions etc. and it’s probably nearer 10 x basic wage.
A banker? their pay is just obscene, so skip it for a minute.
A C.E.O. of a multi-national? Paid millions with some paid hundreds of millions. Again, skip for a minute.
A pop-star? Internationally known pop-stars rake in more than banker’s, although they do add joie de vivre to millions. Only problem is they decide how much each person pays for it, so effectively in a monopoly position.

How do you decide their worth?
Few have the skills of Wayne Rooney but he does give pleasure to many, for a few hours, each week, of the football season.
On the other hand, how does he compare to a G.P.? A person with skills, years of training, making a huge difference to the lives of several thousand, as and when needed.
I think most would say that a G.P. earns his salary and possibly more.
This pay is about 5x basic wage.
So does Wayne Rooney contribute 100 x more to Society than a G.P.?
It seems to depend on replaceability and the amount of positive interaction with other people.
It’s all very subjective and would need to be put to a public vote.
Simplest would be rate to these jobs in terms of swapsies.
How many G.P.’s for one teacher, road sweeper, nurse, surgeon, M.P., banker, CEO, farmer, shepherd, coalminer, etc.?
At the end of the exercise, we take the figure, which is the largest multiple of the basic wage.
Let’s say it’s 100 x basic wage.
We set a tax system which starts with zero tax for those on 2 x basic wage and goes up to 100% at 101 x basic wage (a cap). That’s not a mistake. If you are being paid 101 x basic wage, you can reduce your tax rate to say 50% (whatever the top rate is), by a simple tax donation of the excess. It would be up to the individual to ensure that they don’t get caught cheating, e.g. by taking payment in kind.
The last would require an end to all bonuses and allowances for business expenses. No farmer’s Range Rovers, no business man’s entertainment in strip club’s, no private jets etc. for PM’s and CEO’s.
Some leeway might be excused for accidental oversight’s but only upto 1 x basic wage.

This is just a skeleton view, which those capable of deeper thought could flesh out and those on obscene pay would want thrown out.

Some attention has to be paid to those unable to make a significant contribution. Ignoring young entrepreneur’s and the likes of Bruce Forsyth, most non-adults, disabled and elderly would qualify for the basic wage.
Now, another problem arises. Ever since “Cathy come home”, popular support has been in favour of supporting the unmarried Mother, or “single parent”. Previously, “having a bastard” was almost a sin and so Cathy had been cast out by Society. In order to take the moral sting out of the situation, the “bastard” became “the innocent child, who didn’t ask to be born”. Abortion was still illegal and back street abortions (the film “Alfie”) were morally repugnant.
It became social mores that all children should be supported by the State, if the errant father couldn’t be hunted down etc.
The CSA apparently does a wonderful job of persecuting and prosecuting those fathers, who are happy and willing to support their progeny but offer little service in terms of the feckless and prolific, who service equally feckless young women who see State support for single parents as a means of avoiding responsibility for their own lives.
If each child received the minimum wage, there would appear to be a problem but only if their single parent had control of it. Instead, each parent could be given control of one child’s wage, whilst the wages of any further children would go to the local Council’s care fund, giving them a co-parental duty of care, when needed..
A single parent could have more than one child but would have to treat the Council care officer as a partner, supporting when needed, or stepping in, if the parent was unable to cope.
Families, who were able to fund their progeny, from their own income, would merely need to show it through regular school attendance etc. (i.e. by not becoming a cause of concern to local authorities).
Errant father’s could still be pursued by the CSA but, on the assumption that they were on min wage, could be conscripted into some form of Community support…. depends on what could be made to work!

Businesses would also need to be capped in some form, perhaps in terms of the number of subsidiaries, or divisions, or partnerships. No one person can usefully be said to control hundred’s of diverse businesses, in diverse locations operating in various fields of commerce.
In any work group, you have one leader, an aide and four or five co-workers. Any bigger group has non-contributing members, or a clique working in opposition to the leader. The leader of a group can only really oversee about 30 people. This is, co-incidentally, a typical teacher’s class size. Taking this further, in school terms, each faculty has upto 9 teachers, with some heads of Department, under the head of Faculty. The headteacher may have a group of Assisstant Headteacher, Deputy Head teacher and Senior teacher’s, each overseeing a few faculties, pastoral heads (one for each year group, with 6/7 form teachers). Essentially groups of six.
Any boardroom, committee, cabinet etc., with more than six people, effectively has a load of makeweights (and they know it).
Continuing with the Secondary school model, any business with more than about 1200 (a cap) shop floor employee’s, is too large and should be split up, under a new tier of management. However, no new tier should coninequity trol businesses with no direct link.
No single person, or group of persons, should own so many businesses that the hierarchical salary structure takes their pay above the income cap for individuals.
Obviously businesses can hire very clever people, who can invent ways and arguments to try and circumvent such control but the spirit of the cap

Various blogs 6

January 11, 2017

11/1/17
Why do the rail operators want to get rid of guards?
The likeliest answer is to save money for improved share dividends.
The unlikeliest answer is that savings will go to improved facilities, or fare cuts.

The service to the public is reduced and made yet more impersonal.
The Public also loses, because of reduced tax revenue and an increase in benefits payments to the now unemployed guards.

It is in the interests of the Government to increase employment, so why are they not supporting the strikers against the money-grubbing of the operators?

As always, Tories are pennywise and pound foolish, blinded by the dogma of keeping the peasants in line and toadying to the money men.

Giving Billions to those behind HS2, whilst saving a few million by severely cutting hospital beds

5/1/17
Has Defence Minister Harriet Baldwin latched onto a new form of Laser?
Back when President Reagan hit on his own Star Wars defence systems, they quickly realised that shiny metal missiles reflect light.
They also move incredibly fast, making them hard to target.
I’m sure the Pentagon spent a lot more than £30 million trying to overcome these problems but they had to concede defeat, as did the Russians, who invested in a ground based Maser.
Swapping one Americanism for another, I expect that Harriet Baldwin will find herself not ahead of the curve but behind the eight ball.
30/12/16
Whilst focus is rightly on “Anna” in the Secret Slave case, it disturbing that the story of the other women in the house is being ignored.
The original report says that these other women colluded in keeping “Anna” enslaved, because they were also subject to intimidation and beatings.
Why are they not also being defended?
Why is there not talk of taking action to prevent their abuse?
Socialism is about treating everyone equally.
This has led to the creed of respecting cultural diversity but in doing so, we have committed ourselves to protecting behaviours, which have legitimised the actions of “Malik” and other’s like him.
Such men could never be described as Socialist, Christian, or, I presume, Islamic.

28/12/16
The Tory plan to demand photo ID is annoying in a number of ways.
Initially, because it’s smacks of an attempt to, once more, enforce the national ID card.
It is also resonant of the way that many poorer voters (mostly black) in the Southern States of America have been denied a vote, because of the cost and the bureaucratic hurdles put in place.
Then there’s the core issue of the validity of photo ID as a means of security.
The two photo’s of the Tunisian assassin, recently shown throughout the Media, are so different that I wonder if they are the same man.
Such photo’s are, often, so unlike the person presenting them that few photo ID’s are given more than a passing glance.
Apparently, the Tunisian assassin found it easy to procure three legitimate (?) passports in different names.
They are neither secure, nor feasible, when dealing with even local elections, which often rely on volunteers working in adverse, makeshift conditions.

17/12/16
A 101 yr old paedophile, sent to prison, was reported to show no remorse.
It strikes me that he may have shown gratitude.
What other person of that age can be guaranteed immediate access to medical aid, should he need it.
Free heating, regular hot meals and constant care.
Outside prison, he would have to fend for himself, risk losing his home and while away many hours in solitude.
It’s another Wonderful Life story for Brian Reade

14/12/16

This was from Twitter. Nothing on TV.
It’s the sort of thing that is more relevant (to those affected) than who’s won Strictly, or X-factor.
http://www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information/traffic-information-services/highways-england-post-incident-bulletin/january-2016-post-incident-bulletins/december-2016-post-incident-bulletins/m6-closure-northbound-lancashire-monday-12-tuesday-13-december-2016/

14/12/16

The report on the lives of the children in North Korea is so depressing and so hard to deal with.
As individuals we can do nothing and we look to politicians to act on our behalf.
The UN seems totally incapable of anything other than passing votes condemning such regimes. Although in this case a demand of all nations to totally ostracise North Korea and expulsion of its representatives might have an effect.
There will be calls for further action but what?
For instance, Paddy Ashdown has called for action on Aleppo but I fail to see how a few more bombs in that region of The World helps.
Nothing will change in these places, in India’s sweatshops, Brazil’s favela’s, China’s industrialised regions, Africa’s desert regions etc. until politicians slough off their reliance on the rich and end exploitation of the vulnerable.
We won’t see it in our lifetimes and we won’t even see it in our own country whilst we have a political system that can cut taxes on the rich and care services to the poor.
Happy Xmas, to all
11/12/16
Sunday morning BBC1; I’m watching Fern Briton telling Michael Gove that homework is counterproductive and I’m loving it.
As a teacher, I was compelled to set homework, whether, or not, it was helpful.
I was compelled to mark, grade and record it in a particular way and then punish pupils for not completing it, regardless of their ability, home circumstances, or any other consideration.
Consequent discipline problems, alienation and disaffection made attempts to interest pupils in my subject grow less possible, even amongst pupils with an aptitude for it.
Before Blunkett set down rules on homework, I could set homework when and where it would help.
Some homeworks would merely need a tick of approval, some would need chasing, some would need detailed examination but it was as I judged suitable for each pupil.
It would be nice if politicians could lose interest in Education and left school’s, teacher’s, parent’s and those with an investment in it, to get on with it.