Thursday, 30 October 2014

Fiona Woolf Faces Fresh Scrutiny Over Re-Written LetterFormer home secretary Lord Brittan denies failing to act on a dossier of paedophilia allegations he received while in office in the 1980s."   That is flat not true. He has said, and the record shows, that he did act: passing the dossier to the appropriate authorities. It is only a self-publicising politician who made the false suggestion that he failed to act, and the media have picked this charge up because conflict sells advertising - and they do not care if something is true or not, as long as it sells advertising.

Severe Punishments Don't Stop Drug Use, Home Office Report SaysTough sentencing does not deter crime - we have known that for years. This is not the first home office study that shows this clearly - nor the third. Nor, if we include academcic research and research from other countries, the 10th or 20th
     However, tough sentencing wins votes, because it appeals to our desire for revenge. Facts or votes, which do you think will win?
     Being "soft on crime" loses votes - so what do you think are our chances of politicians implementing the change to a system that works better and is cheaper, but is not so harsh?

Ukip Voters Are 'Darkly Pessimistic' About Their Lives
And it is not just UKIP. The media have told us that life in Britain is bad and that around rest of the world it is even worse. With a 90/10 bais towards conflict and negative stories, media outlets (including Huffpo) should not be surprised if they have made people darkly pessimistic.

FOX News To Reveal SEAL Team Six Member Who Shot Bin Laden Well, anything to aid our enemies - as long as it gets FOX some notoriety.

Washington Post Masthead Will Soon Be All-Male
Gosh. If they appointed their masthead staff on merit, we need to change this immediately and pick them on racist and sexist grounds, so the masthead looks diverse. What will that do for quality and profitability - proabably nothing either way, but who cares? Our agenda is not to succeed as a newspaper; our agenda is to be seen as PC.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Fraud crackdown could wipe millions from the electoral roll
Oh no, not another policy that asks citizens to shoulder their responsibilities! Don't they understand that it is someone else's job to see that I am registered to vote?   Especially if I am poor: poor people should have no responsibilities, only rights.

Humanity's 'inexorable' population growth is so rapid, even global catastrophe wouldn't stop it
"Our great-great-great-great-grandchildren might ultimately benefit from such planning, but people alive today will not,” Professor Brook said.
         That explains why nothing will be done about this. Our politicians can't even do anything about debt and deficit that will cripple our children or climate change that will choke our grandchildren. Great grandchildren? Let 'em eat cake!
         Or we could take the Kyoto approach: everyone signs up to targets that they have no intention of even trying to meet and do not meet, but they can feel morally superior to those who didn't sign up, even if some non-signatories do better at meeting the targets.

We Should Help 'Frightened, Disillusioned' Jihadis Come Home From Syria
True, we should be gentle on these thugs, rapists and murderers because they are young and did not realise that murder, rape and slave-trading are wrong. Neither their parents nor their religious leaders taught them that ISIS are mohareb enemies of Allah, so it is not their fault (i.e. they were too stupid to have an opinion of their own).

David Cameron Refuses To Wear Elle Magazine's Feminist T-Shirt... Five Times
What? How dare our prime minister not have his clothing dictated to him by a for-profit magazine exploiting the feminist movement to make more money?

University lecturers plan marking strike over pension changes that 'could cost thousands'
Universities UK.... said the pension scheme was £8bn short of meeting its financial requirements and a recovery plan was “unavoidable”.

Translation: "We stole £8bn of the lecturers money and we have NO intention of giving it back. Now that our word has been shown to be worthless, they should negotiate with us in good faith to get a new promise.  Although we break our promises with impunity, it would be cynical of them to break their promise to mark exams and papers. Just because we are liars is no reason for them to be liars.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Trolls To Get Up To Two Years In Prison Under New Laws
"No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media...."
Sorry, did I miss something? 
If said in person, this would draw a 2-year prison sentence?
Under what law please?   Why can this law not be used against internet trolls?

David Cameron's EU Immigration Cap Proposal Shot Down Pretty Quickly
A recent poll showed that 58% of Brits think that we should have the right to live and work freely anywhere in the EU. Only 39% said that EU citizens should have the right to live and work freely in the UK. 
    Basically, the Tories get traction on EU "renegotiation" because we want to have our cake and eat it too.

Tories also want a referendum on leaving, a repeat of the one just held in Scotland. 
      If Great Britain votes to leave, it will be the fault of media bias: constantly harping on the negatives about the union, whilst rarely (if ever) reporting the positives. Referenda are not won or lost on fact, but on emotion: how people feel about an issue. People feel negatively towards the EU because that is nearly all they have ever been told about it.

Zac Goldsmith Blasts Bill To Recall MPs (as too weak)
"...voters should be able to call a petition under any circumstances."
Careful what you wish for Zac: you may see elections every year, at taxpayer expense.  As the recent Scottish referendum on leaving the UK and EU showed, the side that loses an election today always contains a faction that thinks any vote they lose must be rigged. They will want to keep repeating elections until they get the result they want. 

That is, the "circumstances" leading to the recall petition will be "having won the election."

Prince Charles Orders Grey Squirrel Cull On His Duchy Of Cornwall Estate
No, outrageous! The grey squirrel MUST be allowed to drive the red squirrel into extinction.  Then we can all whine that human beings made the red squirrel extinct. Which, of course, will be true: it was humans who imported the grey squirrel.

Ed Miliband's Cancer Test NHS Pledge Blasted By Leukaemia Patient Stephen Pollard
So Milliband's idea is impossible and shows a complete ignorance of the facts. 
How is that dfifferent from most political promises?
      Mr Pollard suggests that the ignorance might be deliberate: that Milliband may know his idea is impossible. 
      Again, how is that different from most political promises?

Ched Evans Insists He Is Innocent Of Rape After Being Released From Prison
It is an intereasting legal principle: people who are drunk are not responsible for their actions in law. 
Does that mean drunk drivers are not capable of consenting to drive?

Why Did The Washington Post Name The Volunteer Accused In Prostitution Scandal?Why did they reveal his name? Because it helps them sell advertising, It might ruin his life, even though he probably did nothing wrong? Who cares? We are talking about selling advertising here!

Louise Mensch 'Pins Tory Election Hopes' On Ebola OutbreakWhy does Huffpo give this self-serving publicist exposure after she reneged on her promise to her constituents. I understand that, being human, she may have ethical limitations, but why does a journllistic enterprise cater to them?
      Question for the investigative journalist: does Huffpo get some benefit from airing her views?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pens Scathing Dissent On Texas Voter ID LawThe lead-in headline says "Poll Tax on 600,000"
    The Texas government website says "If you do not have any of the following acceptable forms of ID, beginning June 26, 2013, you may apply for an Election Identification Certificate (EIC) at no charge."

So a Poll Tax of $0 per person?

PS: I also note that the Texas government website says: "If you are voting by mail, you do not have to submit a photo ID." This includes any Texan living otuside the USA, including those residing in Mexico.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Islamic State Sex Slave Market Staged In London By Kurdish Activists
Whoa! Bad headlines! The Kurds who staged this protest theatre are Islamic. 
The ISIS people who inspired this protest are NOT Islamic, nor are their auctions.
They are perverters of the faith and mohareb enemies of Allah

Thousands of patients at risk from NHS outsourcing
Of course medical error has never, ever happened in a government-run NHS hospital. Looking at the headlines, this is not a news story, it is an ideological editorial rant.

Anthropocene: We might be about to move from the Holocene to a new epoch
Interesting idea, fueled by a very recent scientific fad. I would wait for the jury to come in: If we want to be truly scientific, in the geological sense, we should make this decision in, say, 1000 years (if we are still around). 500 years is NOT enough to define a geological epoch.

Putin Threatens To Reduce European Gas SupplyHas he been studying Dale Carnegie again?

Louise Mensch 'Pins Tory Election Hopes' On Ebola Outbreak
Why does Huffpo give this self-serving publicist exposure after she reneged on her promise to her constituents. I understand that, being human, she may have ethical limitations, but why does a journllistic enterprise cater to them?
      Question for the investigative journalist: does Huffpo get some benefit from airing her views?

Senate’s inquiry into CIA torture sidesteps blaming Bush'Gosh! You mean they didn't extend their remit to include a conclusion that we (or at least the authors of this article) wanted to see, whether it was relevant or not? How dare they?

Lockheed Martin Unveils Compact Fusion Reactor Which 'Could change everything'
Gosh. I t could even change politicians self-serving posturings. No? Oh well, not everything then - but it would still be a positive development.

DJ Stephanie Hirst Told To Come Off Air During 'Unsuitable' Gender Reassignment
Oh dear. A self-centered person was not given tax-payer supported airtime to indulge his/her ego. How tragic.!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Does America Have a Foreign Policy?Actually we do:
   Keep your head down, 
   Try not to get involved in things you don't understand, 
   Tremble in a politically correct manner when anyone mentions religion, 
   Hope someone else will handle things, 
   Only act when the call is overwhelming and 
   Never provide sufficient resources if you decide to get involved militarily. 
(The last one is the only hang-over from the Bush era.)

Apple Charged With The Death Of An Entire Country's Economy
Yep. It is always someone else's fault, Mr Stubb, innit?

Mitch McConnell: I Didn't Earn My Millions, I Inherited Them!It's why our inheritance laws need changing - so the money earned by the bright and diligent does not simply pass to the dull and idle because they happen to be children of the rich. Allow every person to leave a house, a car and $1 million to anyone they chose, whether related or not. The dull and idle willl have enough to live out their days, the bright and dilligent will use it to build another fortune. 
PS: Personal bequests in excess of these limits should be taxed at 75%

Wendy Davis Campaign Defends Controversial Attack Ad
Welcome to modern American politics: never mind what I stand for, look how evil and vile my opponent is. If I can smear the person I am running against enough, you will overlook my own failings. 
        After all, everyone knows that candidates from the other party are trying to ruin their own country (state, county, city) and make it a worse place to live: it is the only reason they run.

Tony Blair 'emulated Hitler's oration techniques', Boris Johnson saysEver the clown, Boris, but turning nasty in your old age? Now tell us whose techniques Hitler used - and name some great orators who did not use these techniques.

Most People Caught Crossing Southwest Border Last Fiscal Year Weren't From MexicoIt's the Monty Python school of citizenship: rather than stay and fix your own country, run away. 
I can undertand that: today, fixing your country is now considered someone else's job. 
What I don't understand is why, once they get here, do they think we owe them sometihing
Islamic State Have A Magazine Out, And It Justifies Sex SlaveryActually, there is nothing Islamic about the so-called Islamic States, which is run and staffed by mohareb enemies of Allah.
ISIS is actually short for Inhuman Savages In Syria

Friday, 10 October 2014

Amazon's Monopoly Must Be Broken Up: A Radical Plan For The Tech Giant
The scariest thing about focusing on price and squeezing suppliers (including the suppliers of labour) is that government handouts become an important part of the business model in the entire supply chain. If we can get the government to pick up chunks of employees' medical, housing and food bills, we can make the price tags seem smaller. 
       Of course there is some benefit to that, in that product prices are not progressive - people pay the same price in a store whether they are rich or poor, so the poor get a relatively larger benefit from low prices (in percent of disposable income terms). Plus, the rich pay the overwhelming largest share of the tax that supports the government handouts, so the poor benefit again.
       What is scary is the culture of dependency and concomittent low self-esteem that we build.

PS: A pity this article sspends so much time on the problem and none on the solution:
How would Amazon be broken up? What would be the effect on suppliers?  On consumers?

Federal Court Blocks Texas Voter ID Law, Calling It A 'Poll Tax'"She concluded that the sponsors of the measure “were motivated, at the very least in part, because of and not merely in spite of the voter ID law’s detrimental effects on the African-American and Hispanic electorate.”
      Well whoopdee-doo for her. Given her irrelevant second-guessing of the motives of others based on hearsay evidence, I am not surprissed the state said it would appeal immediately. I'd say they have a good chance of this decision being sent back for a re-hearing.
     I would have been much happier had she simply struck this down based on our constitution and the discriminatory effect of the law itself.

Supreme Court Blocks Wisconsin Voter ID LawWell, actually NOT "smacked," as the lead-in headline suggested - merely still open for debate.

Republicans Hint At Another Government Shutdown Over ObamacareWell, it will damage the American economy and hurt our own constitutents but who cares? It's an election year and we are talking about my paycheck here.

Top Gear Falklands Row Takes New Twist As Police Find 'B***end' Number PlatesThis is what Huffpo calls news? Jeez, people, get a life.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Lottery is 'fairer' way of deciding who gets top school placesLottery would also be a fairer way to pick parliamentarians, but we won't do that either.  But, if we do one, we should certainly do the other.

Amelia: IPsoft's New Artificial Intelligence Can Think Like A Human, And Wants Your Job
"...with Amelia you can upload the entire text of a complex technical manual - in this demo it was an instructional text which had something to do with oil rig maintanence - and Amelia will digest the entire thing in seconds. Then when you type in a question (in one of 20 languages) it will be able to send you a genuinely useful answer, without having access to any other network, manual or information store. It can go from knowing nothing to being able to teach you to fix a faulty oil rig in 30 seconds."
    When you interact with her, feed her texts on employment law, exploitation and slavery.

The Walmart Wealth Gap Is Getting Much More Troubling
I know! Let's steal it all from them and give it to ourselves/ That'll work, right?

John Cantlie's Father Issues Powerful Plea To Islamic State
"He sought only to help the Syrian people "
Well, as far as ISIS are concerned, that is a serious strike against him right there.

The Rainbow List 2014: A list that says: Oh look at me, look at me, oh, please, look at me!

Blackpool becomes the latest zombie airport
Gosh! It is clear that the users who love this airport are not willing to pay the extra cost of keeping it, but can't they use someone else's money? Can't we FORCE someone to lose money hand over fist or shunt the losses on to the taxpayer to keep these privileged people in the airport they would like to become accustomed to?

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Tax Cuts For The Rich? 4 Graphs David Cameron Does Not Want You To See
When and where did Cameron say he did not want me to see these graphs?
Graph 1 shows the most help going to middle earners
Graph 2 shows the richest benefiting less than the poorrest, with the greatest benefit to the lower middle
Graph 3 shows only the richest see a flat loss, the poorest gain and the lower middle swap government subsidy for keeping more of their own money.
Graph 4 is a nonsense: it simply shows that most people do not make 50K.

Note two key facts from the Office for National Statistics
         52% of UK households received more in benefits than they paid in taxes. That is, the tax and benefit scheme is a straight transfer from the richest half to the poorest half - pretty much what a welfare system is supposed to do, even if the richest half may not be happy about the results of their labour being given to the idle. (Most of us do not object to supporting the ill, the infirm or the temporarily unemployed.)
       Since 2007/08, the fall in income (-5.2%) has been largest for the richest fifth of households. In contrast, the average income for the poorest fifth has grown over this period by 3.5%. (So some good news on the income inequality front.)

Times Higher Education World University Rankings Shows UK Losing GroundSince 2007/08, the fall in income (-5.2%) has been largest for the richest fifth of households. In contrast, the average income for the poorest fifth has grown over this period by 3.5%. (So some good news on the income inequality front.)

Rankings are interesting: the highly respected AWRU (Shanghai) uses academic criteria only and has only 6 UK universities in the top 100, 2 in the top 10 (oxbridge). The Times table adds teaching (30%) industry(2.5%) and international outlook (7.5%) into the score, gets 10 UK institutions in the top 100 and 3 in the top 10 (add Imperial). QS puts 10% on employers, 20% on teaching and 10% on international diversity, to squeeze 15 UK universities into the top 100 and 4 into the top 10 (add UCL). 
AWRU is probably the most objective, but QS is probably the best to help a student decide where to go.

Banksy Artwork Destroyed For 'Being Racist' The logical consequence of political correctness: any comment that can possibly be construed as aint-immigrant is immediately called "racist" and all racist commmunication must be expunged.

‘Republicans Are People Too’
Republicans and people; American citizens, who want America to be a good place to live.Democrates are people; American citizens, who want America to be a good place to live. They often disagree on how to achieve this.
     Only idiots think the other side is less than human or wants to damage our country.

Tax breaks worth billions set to expire unless Congress acts
Oh dear.  50 welfare handouts to companies and the rich will expire?  Quick do something!

Parliamentary burqa rules 'treat Muslim women as second-class citizens'.02 Oct 
The parliamentary rule does no such thing. It does NOT say that only muslims must do anything - it says ALL masked people.

PS: Wearing a burqa is deliberately offensive to the local cultural values of Australia. Australians do not believe that there are people so high and mighty that none dare look upon their face. Should a burqa wearer state that it is okay for one gender to look upon her face but not for another gender, then it is rank sexism.