Archive for the ‘Government Waste’ Category

Global Warming, global roundup.

February 23, 2007

Hi Brit,

Not surprisingly, Global Warming is rearing its ugly head in today’s news.

First, and also not surprisingly, we find that Al Gore lied in his alarmist “documentary” by indicating that hurricanes are wore lately because of, you guessed it, Global Warming.  However, in this article, Expert disputes storms’ link to global warming, we find just what the title says:

Chris Landsea, science and operations director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said the notion that global warming is causing an increase in hurricanes gained widespread attention after the stormy seasons of 2004 and 2005.

But that perception is wrong and the statistics don’t bear it out, Landsea told about 200 students and professors in the auditorium at USC’s geography building.

It seems that even the IPCC bought into the Gore propaganda, as on page 5 of the IPCC WGI Fourth Assessment Report, they also blame Global Warming for an increase in intensity of tropical cyclones. 

Moving on we have, State distances itself from climatologist.  Here we find an expert “climate scientist,” who is experiencing political pressure because he does not hold with the consensus opinion on Climate Change.  The article mentions that this has also happened in other States than Delaware.  So much for “science.”

Which leaves us with the Business of Global Warming, China, India Smile as West Overpays for Climate: Andy Mukherjee.  You really should read this one as it’s choked full of information.  However, this bit bares repeating:

Sydney-based Easy Being Green says it will mitigate your cat’s flatulent contribution to global warming for A$8 ($6). The same company could also make your granny “carbon-neutral” at A$10 a year, according to a report in the Australian newspaper last weekend.

Then there’s Carbon Planet Pty, another company cited in the article. If you are hopping on a short-haul flight between Sydney and Canberra, and feeling bad about the damage you are doing to the ecosystem, you can buy credits worth A$23, for which the Adelaide-based company will guarantee to keep 1 ton of carbon dioxide out of the air for 100 years.

Well, I must go now as I have some scheming, ah, thinking to do.

the Grit

Islamic schooling in the UK

February 21, 2007

Hi Grit

Your mention of Islamic matters reminded me of what is going on in education over here. There is an organisation here called the “Muslim Council,” whose task it is to see to the needs of their people who have immigrated to this country or were born here. Of itself, I have no objection to such an organisation. However, I do get very irate when organisations of this nature try to destroy our heritage and culture.

The latest example of this is the report that this council has just put together a report, which apparently they are going to present to the government. This report outlines ways in which they feel that “un-islamic” activity and behaviour should be eliminated from school teaching and other activities. I personally find such action insulting, primarily because if the roles were reversed and we were living in their country, we would not be expected, or even allowed to deign to interfere with their religious and cultural traditions. Whatever happened to the concept of “respecting your hosts?” To me this is taking human rights and political correctness just a dozen steps too far. If people want to live in our country they could at least extend us the curtesy of treating our home with respect.

Of course what angers me even more is that, knowing our present government, there will be more than a few who will be prepared to listen to this outlandish idea. After all, they have already stopped the singing of Hymns in school assemblies, in case this offends our immigrant friends. Are we next going to see schools being built facing in the direction of Mecca?

the Brit

Iraq! we’re pulling out.

February 21, 2007

Our esteemed leader, the Right Honorable Tony Blair has been making promises to our soldiers in Iraq, and their families at home, which at the moment he hasn’t a clue whether he can deliver. But it does give him good press for the first time in a number of months. He has promised to cut our forces in Iraq by at least a third in the next few months, and possibly by half before the end of the year.

Nice words for the soldiers and relatives, but are they realistic promises? He provides a rider that says “if conditions permit,” but of course the media do not pick up on this so readily. In my opinion it is to early to even consider such promises. Irrespective of what Blair says, it is obvious that the situation in Iraq is far from settled and a withdrawal at this stage does not seem politically or militarily sound. The environment over there is still fragile and taking away the trained troop will leave a fledgling government lacking in strength and support needed to be able to fully carry out their democratic reforms. He claims that Basra is safer than Bagdad. Whether that is the case or not, does he not realise that once the insurgents hear about it, rather than taking on the might of the US forces in the capital, they could do just as much damage by attacking less well supported areas.

Whilst I appreciate that the proposed withdrawal is comforting for many, the worst case scenario is that we pull out, violence flares up again and we are forced to return. Or perhaps that is Tony Blair’s intention, namely to use this news to make himself popular again and leave the mess cleaning to Gordon Brown (did I say cleaning?). If this is the case, this reported withdrawal is not a pleasant publicity stunt.

Anyway, what has happened to this special relationship we have with the US? Are we now saying that it no longer important to maintain unity with the multi-national force?

the brit 

Gordon Brown and labour in trouble

February 20, 2007

Hi Grit

Hard on the heels of the “cash for honours” crisis, and the forthcoming change of Prime Minister as Tony Blair steps down this year, his expected replacement Gordon Brown and the labour party as a whole find themselves in deep trouble with the electorate.

A current poll of voters shows that, if there were a choice between labour led by Brown and conservatives led by David Cameron, at this moment in time only 29% would choose Brown against 42% for Cameron, a massive 13% gap which has not been seen since 1992. Even in terms of the party of choice, rather than the leaders, labour lags behind the conservatives by 31% to 40%.

If this is representative of the national opinion, it is a severe blow for Brown, who was expected to potentially call a snap general election possibly as early as september this year. Economic factors do not look good for the future and it is thought that he would have liked to have been granted a full 5 year term by the electorate soon after taking office. This option appears to be slipping away from him. There will be some worried people in the halls of government today.

However, it is probably too early to get over-excited as the poll only questioned a cross section of 1,000 voters, although the signs are encouraging for those who have become disillusioned with the policies and the antics of the labour party over recent years. It appears that the british public may be considering this change as a result of issues such as road pricing schemes, the disolving of human rights, big brother policies such as CCTV and the proposed introduction of ID cards with biometric data. In addition, I believe that the arrogance that Tony Blair has displayed over recent years, and his almost dictatorial attitude towards his government and the public, has lost labour a lot of friends, and justifiably so.

Maybe we can now look forward to the prospect of some sensible policies, but I won’t be holding my breath.

the Brit

Lower taxes, higher revenue.

February 18, 2007

Hi Brit,

Considering the tax rates y’all have, you should send a copy of, Sharp fall in US budget deficit, to Blair.  It seems that, even though our Government has lowered taxes over the past several years, revenue flowing into the Federal coffers is at all time highs, $834 billion in the last quarter.  Of course, our politicians are still managing to increase spending fast enough to fritter away the gains, but that’s nothing new.

the Grit

UK Human rights and Freedom extinguished

February 18, 2007

Hi Grit

The government in the UK, if re-elected at the next election, will be taking the final steps to abolish human rights, freedom and privacy for the individual UK citizen, all in the name of protecting us against terrorism.

If the labour government have their way, all adults over the age of 16 will, by 2009, be required to place their fingerprints on a central computer. The suggested law may even extend to “iris” prints. These moves are in addition to the requirement to provide photographs for driving licences; requirement to provide details for the census and annual local government property occupancy register (for council tax purposes); and the multitude of close-circuit television cameras that adorn our towns, streets, villages and roads. An extra measure of identity that is also being considered is to place our medical records in the same “identikit” of us.

Not satisfied with us already being the most watched nation in the EU, these latest moves will actually increase the gap between us and other countries, turning us into one of the most monitored nations in the world. Some may argue that these moves are positive, but are they? Let us consider the evidence.

1) COST:

Naturally, there is the cost of the citizen ID rules. The government suggest that this will amount to just over £5.4 billion ($10.8 billion). However, independent sources put the figure at £19.3 billion ($38.6 billion). This represents over £300 ($600) per annum, per citizen. In addition to this, it is compulsory for people to give this information at one of 69 centres through the UK, at their own cost. In some cases this means travelling up to 100 miles, irrespective of age, financial situation or infirmity. A round trip of this nature, taken in work time will cost the worst affected another £100 at least. Of course, this does not take into account the annual running costs of the scheme.

2) PRIVACY

A basic human right is that of privacy. The ability to live our lives without fear or favour, and to keep parts of our lives free from the prying eyes of others. From 2009, if these plans go ahead, this will no longer be possible. Some will argue that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, but that is not the point. Do I really want my health, age, medical condition, financial status and life history potentially exposed to every form of media and individual nationally and internationally? Our data protection act suggests that such information should be secure but, in view of the fact that the government has incorporated rules to allow certain organisations, commercial as well as government and non-government organisations to access the data, this guarantee no longer holds true.

3) DISCRIMINATION

Such a system will also lead to discrimination, both intentional and by devious means. Employers will be tempted to access medical and financial information about potential employees, therefore leading to unfair bias against certain applicants. This is particularly the case in medical issues. For example, take the case of a person who may in the past have had cancer. Although possibly totally cured, when such a person is set against an applicant who has not past health problems, which is the less than totally honest employer going to chose?

Medical, legal and financial practitioners will be able to access medical records, providing a situation where they can discriminate against those they do not want to assist.   

4) MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE:

No computer or other registration system is infalible and the identity system will be no exception. With personal and biometric information on around fifty million people on file, the incidences of misinterpretation, incorrect identification and transpostion of information will rise. As a result this is bound to lead to an increase in the incidence of miscarriages of Justice. Add to this the fact that none of the biometric identity measures are 100% accurate and it can be seen that this will compound the issue. A small example of this might occur with twins for example. Especially in cases of identical twins wrong identification is even more likely.

5) THE CONCEPT OF INNOCENCE

The United Kingdom laws have always been founded upon the rule of “innocent until proven guilty.” It is bad enough that in recent decades tax and other laws have led to a reverse of this process in such areas. Now, with the introduction of of these measures, such a foundation has been totally eroded. The onus on the citizen will now be to prove their innocence in all cases.

Does this mean that in future one has to keep a daily diary of life events to ensure that one cannot get into a situation where lack of evidence to suggest otherwise leads to automatic guilt? I work from home and, during the day, this means that there is no-one to provide an alibi for my whereabouts, especially if I am not on the computer. If I take two hours off for a bath and rest, will I in future have to log this and provide photographic evidence? 

6) IDENTITY THEFT

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes of the past decade. It is also one of the least obvious to the victim, unless it has been committed for financial purposes. How can we be sure that our identity will not be stolen or duplicated for other criminal purposes? What is more important is, if such an event does occur, how will we know until a crime, using our identity has been committed?

7) PROTECTION AGAINST CRIME AND TERRORISM

The assumption that identity laws will offer protection against crime and terrorism is flawed in so many ways as to make it laughable. It only works if one starts from the premise that every hardened criminal and committed terrorist is going to abide by these laws. Naturally, Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists, and underworld criminals are going to assist the law by coming forward voluntarily to offer their biometric identity to the authorities. I think not! Such an assumption is, at best, insane.

There are those who argue that it is easier to catch someone who does not possess an identity card. How does that work? There are 60 million people in the UK and it is certain that there are not enough law enforcement agencies or officers to check each indicvidual. Add to this the fact that there is unencumbered travel in the EU through 25 countries and a determined criminal or terrorist has more than adequate escape routes. These are in addition to the many illegal ways of escaping from the country. Furthermore, why should such persons worry about being apprehended when there is always the route of identity theft to cover their tracks?

Although there may be rules and laws in place to address breaches of the protections in place, these are an “after the event” remedy, by which time the damage is done. Once the security of information has been broken, one cannot recapture the privacy, irrespective of how much money has been recovered in damages.

The hypothesis that these measures are a protection against crime and terrorism, as has been clearly demonstrated, is totally wrong. They will have little to no effect in these areas. 

In conclusion therefore, one has to observe that these new laws will have limited impact upon detering any major crime and terrorism attempts. What they will do is to damage the human rights of the innocent citizen.

the Brit

Yet another poke in the eye of Global Warming!

February 17, 2007

Hi Brit,

Once again I have the pleasure of poking the myth of Global Warming in the eye with a literary pointy stick.  According to the “science” behind the theory, the more CO2 in the air, the higher the temperature should climb.  Fair enough.  However, according to this, 2006 was Earth’s 5th warmest year, it would appear that CO2 levels have dropped, else, 2006 would have been the warmest year.  Other than making the obvious case that Global Warming rests on shaky foundations, the story is short enough to include completely, and make detailed commentary on.  My comments will start with ***

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Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City have found that 2006 was the fifth warmest year in the past century.

Other groups that study climate change also rank these years as among the warmest, though the exact rankings vary depending upon details of the analyses. Results differ especially in regions of sparse measurements, where scientists use alternative methods of estimating temperature change.

*** What?  Temperature is temperature.  If you don’t have adequate measurements, concentrate on getting them, not “alternative methods!”  How many BILLIONS of dollars do you “scientists” need to scatter some thermometers around?  Of course, until you do, all the jabber about Global Warming has to be considered a total lie.

Goddard Institute researchers used temperature data from weather stations on land, satellite measurements of sea surface temperature since 1982 and data from ships for earlier years.

*** Which is like mixing apples and oranges?  If the satellite measurements are reliable, why bother with other means?  Could it be that the satellites don’t confirm your predictions?

“2007 is likely to be warmer than 2006,” said James Hansen, director of NASA GISS, “and it may turn out to be the warmest year in the period of instrumental measurements. Increased warmth is likely this year because an El Nino is underway in the tropical Pacific Ocean and because of continuing increases in human-made greenhouse gases.”

 *** Which is like, hedging one’s bet?  If El Nino is responsible, why, if not for propaganda purposes, blame greenhouse gases?  Can you prove that guess?  Obviously not, else you would.  Does your research grant depend on connecting Global Warming to human activity, obviously it does.

Most places on the globe have warmed in recent decades, with the greatest warming at high latitudes in the Arctic Ocean, Alaska, Siberia and the Antarctic Peninsula. Most ocean areas have warmed. Climatologists say that warming is not due to local effects of heat pollution in urban areas, a point demonstrated by warming in remote areas far from major cities.

*** Except earlier in the article it was pointed out that adequate data is not available for remote regions.  So, this bit is obviously a lie.

In their analysis for the 2005 calendar year, GISS climatologists noted the highest global annual average surface temperature in more than a century.

*** Which leaves us with the obvious, and unanswered, question, why wasn’t 2006 even warmer?  I don’t recall seeing any reports that CO2 levels were declining, or levels for any other greenhouse gas going down for that matter.  This tends to indicate that the “climate scientists” may not know as much as they claim they do.

===========================================

Heck people, if this doesn’t wake you up to the fact that you are being played, I don’t know what will.  Make sure you click over to the original article; they deserve the traffic.

Oh, it occurred to me that even if I quit driving a vehicle powered by internal combustion and went back to a horse and buggy, these same twits would be bitching that my equines were causing Global Warming because of their flatulence. 

the Grit

Pelosi smiles while Democrats spit on our troops!

February 17, 2007

Hi Brit,

In a replay of the last war the Democrats lost for us, Nanny Pelosi has engineered a spineless vote in Congress to pass a “non-binding” resolution against President Bush’s running of the war in Iraq.  While this vile spit-in-the-face attempt to spit in the face of our troops, who, while risking their lives in service to their country, are totally committed to the war, failed to make it through the Senate, it still serves to prove how cowardly and anti-American the liberals are.  Just take a glance at this, Pelosi smiles at Bush, and know that she is really smiling at a partial political victory at the expense of the men and women who defend our country.  Of course, if Pelosi and her liberal gang had any stones, and I’m surprised that Nanny P. doesn’t, they would have put their cards on the table and tried to actually cut funding for the war.  However, as usual, symbolism is just as good to liberals as substance, and they are just beside themselves at this at this partially successful mocking of everything America used to hold dear. 

the Grit

Global warming and the Sun

February 17, 2007

Hey Grit

I have been told in the past that I should change the UK newspaper that I use to do research on the Global Warming issue, so this week I did just that, moving up to the highly respected UK Sunday Times, a broadsheet paper that prides itself on the educational, intellectual and scientific approach to most issues, and what did I find? Nothing less than another article dealing with a cautionary message to those in the IPCC who remain dogmatic regarding their findings.

I have to say from the outset that the author of the article, Nigil Calder, is also the co-author of the book that illustrates the cosmic ray effect on Global Warming, that I mentioned in an earlier post. However, he is also a former editor of the very prestigious publication “New Scientist.” Therefore, one has to take notice of his views. There are a number of aspects of the article that deserve attention.

Mr Calder mentions the potential error of taking a “90% certainty” as a basis for accurate action, drawing an analogy with the scientifice comment made in 1958 when it was said to be 90% certain that we could control nuclear fusion, a comment that has subsequently proven to be totally wrong. However, as we know, having start on the route of developing nuclear power no-one knows how to stop the effects of it. A similar situation could develop with controlling global warming. If we do not understand fully the implications of the problem, how the heck can we be sure that remedial actions are controlable? 

Mr Calder also confirms that the IPCC are paying too little regard to the sun as a contributory cause of Global Warming and that, if this is not taken into account, the planned man-made adjustments may be too much, causing the reverse of the result sought, in other words, too much cooling. There is a level of CO2 that is necessary to maintain the equilibruium of the planet. If we reduce our emissions by too great a level and then find that cosmic activity does have a significant impact, we may find ourselves sometime in the future yelling “light the fires again!”

What does seem strange to me is, that whilst many are just dismissing this as just a “denialist” view, it is being treated seriously enough in scientific circles for a major research study to be undertaken. Does this not suggest that it is something that those intent on proving man-made global warming have failed to take into account sufficiently in their own researches? It is this lop-sided and unbalanced approach to scientific research that always bothers me.

Unlike the politicians on Global Warming, Mr Calder does not claim to have all the answers, but he reasonably suggests that the issues should be approached with caution. I repeat my previous comment that the problem with mainstream research is the direction given within the original hypothesis. If you say to someone “I want to find out how much global warming is due to man” the sub-conscious inclination is to prove that fact and, to some degree, this tends to blind them to the opposite viewpoint. To get an accurate and balanced view one needs to research the positive and negative at the same time, then compare the findings.

The have been too many instances in past research where findings have been stated as being absolute facts and solutions, only to find later that either they were not, or the remedy produced was more harmful than the original problem. I fear that we are in danger of taking this same route with global warming unless we proceed with care.

the Brit

What?

February 16, 2007

Hi Brit,

I just read this, U.S., developing nations accept Iran aid cut plan, where we learn that, “Western and developing nations broadly accept a U.N. nuclear agency plan to cut almost half its aid projects in Iran.”  OK, I, and all rational people, know that the UN sucks and is run by corrupt twits that should not be trusted to run the local dog pound, but this is beyond belief!  Why in the hell has anyone ever given nuclear aid to Iran, ever!  Now that this insane policy has come to light, why are we not cutting every tiny shred of aid, any kind of aid, every kind of aid to this rabid, Jew hating, terrorist sponsoring state!  For that matter, why does the UN have a nuclear aid agency in the first place?  Excuse me while I take some more pills and pour myself a strong drink.

the Grit

Global Warming, following the money trail

February 15, 2007

Hi Brit,

I’ve said before that the case for “Global Warming, end of the world so we must act NOW” is motived more by money and politics than science.  It seems that I am not alone in this belief, On Global Warming: Follow the Money Indeed!  However, even though the lie of Global Warming is now so entrenched in the public mind that there is no stopping these fear mongers from winning, we can still learn some lessons from this gigantic and corrupt conspiracy.

1.  Always follow the money before trusting anyone’s motives.

2.  Never, under any circumstances, ever, trust anyone either employed by, or connected to, the United Nations.

3.  It’s past time to question why scientific research needs to be funded by the Government.

4.  It’s way past time to question our continued funding of the UN.

5.  Most politicians get their jobs by being good liars.  Why do we expect them to change their ways once they get in office?

6.  We, as a country, have few friends outside our boarders.  We should start acting like it.

7.  Almost all fanatics, be they religious, political, or environmentalists, are evil and should be dealt with accordingly.

the Grit

We don’t have smoking police, yet…

February 15, 2007

Hi Brit,

While we don’t yet have special police to fetter out evil smokers, at times the regular police are pressed into service.  Ellison Sends ‘Sorry’ Note to Tancredo For To-Do Over Cigar Complaint.  This is the face saving attempt by newly elected Representative Ellison (D-Min) who sicked the Capital Police on Representative Tancredo (R-Col) for smoking a cigar in his office, which happens to share a wall with the Freshman Congressman.  As it turns out, there is no law or rule preventing smoking in the private offices of Representatives, but the police did drop by to mention the report to Tancredo and share a laugh, if not a stogy.  Of course, if the liberals get their way, the officer would simply have shot the evil smoker, sprayed his corpse with a fire extinguisher, and been done with the matter.

the Grit

Anti-smoking police – £29.5 million

February 15, 2007

The UK government are at it again. Just when one thinks that they cannot waste any more money, the powers that be come up with yet another crazy scheme to waste our money. Not satisfied with all the cameras that are spread around the country, nor with the increasing powers that are given to police and local authorities, they have decided that we still cannot be trusted on our own.

This time it is all to do with the impending “smoking ban” which comes into force later this year. Under the new laws we will be banned from smoking in all public places. That includes bars, shops and resturants. The owners of such establishments will also be liable to fines if they allow people to breach the ban in their premises. However, as is this is not enough incentive to uphold this law, the government have decided to spend nearly £30 million ($60 million) of our money to train what they call “smoking” police. 

The task of these officers (undercover of course) will be to wander around all of the establishments trying to spot the illegal smoker in the act. What has to be borne in mind here, is what happens if a smoker is standing outside of a shop and the smoke from his/her cigarettes drifts into the shop? No doubt they will be fined for a “passive” smoke offence.

With this, and the recent case of smoke penetrating the wall into a neighbours house, it is not hard to imagine waking up one day to find one of these new “fag” detectors encamped in the cupboard under the stairs.

the Brit 

Democrats move toward socialized health care!

February 15, 2007

Hi Brit,

I hope the American people are happy, because putting Democrats in charge of Congress is already starting to pay unexpected dividends.  While the subject of socialized medicine was carefully avoided during the recent campaigns, here it comes: Mental health bill moves forward in Congress.  Of course, this sounds innocent enough, just another attempt to force Big Business to be fair to the little guy, in this case forcing health insurance providers to cover mental health treatments.  However, underneath the feel good surface lurks a sneaky plan to drive health care costs high enough that the average person can’t afford it, forcing the kind and good hearted Government to take over and protect the innocent, but not too bright, general public.  Placing Big Brother firmly in charge of another 15% of the US economy, is just a bonus.  What’s that old saying, “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it?”  So get that elective surgery now, because, after Big Government takes the reigns, the wait time for that nip and tuck or those fake boobs is going to be measured in years.  Oh, and pick up a good thick book, because the wait time at your doctor’s office is going to make a trip to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) seem like the service at McDonald’s.

the Grit

MP travel expenses

February 14, 2007

Hi Grit

All of the debate about travel costs, its effects on Global Warming and the need to conserve energy is generated by politicians. However, today figures have been published that show just how two-faced these people can be, especially in the UK. You need to bear in mind that there are around 634 MP’s and that the travel expenses are in addition to their salary and other expenses.

The current report reveals that the cost of MP’s travel for 2005-06 was a staggering £4.5 million ($9 Million). Of this £2 million was spent on car travel, £1.5 million on trains and £1 million on Flights. This equates to over £7,000 per MP, or £136 per week, and these figures are rising. However, as can be seen from the report, some MP’s are claiming as much as £44,000 per year, an incredible £850 per week!

There are a number of issues here. Firstly, these same MP’s are telling us to cut down on our road travelling, whilst at the same time failing to take their own advice. On the one hand the government is saying that the congestion on the roads is reaching a gridlock position, yet at the same time over 44% of their own travel is adding to the problem. The difference is that we, as lowly citizens, will not be able to reclaim any “rush hour” mileage cost imposed upon us, whilst the MP will be reimbursed. Every £1 an employee spends on mileage costs them £1.30 of gross income.

Secondly, they keep saying that we need to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce energy consumption, at the same time as they are increasing their own (or perhaps we should all walk so that they can travel in luxury!). Our tax authorities penalise us for the type of vehicle that we drive. For example, the tax levels on a 4×4 (SUV) are far more stingent than a small saloon. For an MP this is not a problem as they reclaim all of their expenses direct from the government.

Thirdly, there are no budget constraints on MP spending. They do not have to answer to anyone regarding the level of their expenditure. Any family is aware that they have to budget their expenditure to match their disposable income, or they will suffer the problems of escalating debt. Similarly, every employee knows that their expenses will not be sanctioned by their employer if it is considered to be unreasonable, and that continual extravagance will be rewarded with unemployment. A corporation is aware that cost control is vital to attracting business growth. An Mp’s attitude is directly opposite to all of these, safe in the knowledge that Joe public will be made to pay for their representative’s extravagance through the tax system, either directly or by stealth.

Standing alone, the MP’s travel expenses are bad enough, but when you add to this their other annual expenses, which on average work out at £110,000 ($220,000) each, and their salary of between £57,000 and £150,000 depending upon their position, it all adds up to an enormous public cost. What is worrying is that this represents just a small fraction of the cost of our government and civil service. In my view the time for “accountability of government” is NOW!

the Brit 

   

Great, new evidence of Global Cooling!

February 13, 2007

Hi Brit,

Great news on the Global Warming front!  “Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City have found that 2006 was the fifth warmest year in the past century. ”  Since we had the hottest year on record was 2005, then, logically, if last year wasn’t warmer, we are cooling.  What fantastic news!  This, of course, means that we can call off all the Climate Change taxes, cut the billions of dollars in research grants for “climate scientists”, and go back to spending that money on fighting disease, poverty, and starvation.  Oh, and we can officially tell AlGore to kiss the collective Global Ass.  Pucker up you evil tobacco farmer!

 The article also adds, “Most places on the globe have warmed in recent decades, with the greatest warming at high latitudes in the Arctic Ocean, Alaska, Siberia and the Antarctic Peninsula.”  Which, obviously, means it’s not a GLOBAL phenomena, but appears to be localized to the poles.  It would seem that the “climate scientists” need to come up with a better story to justify the massive investment in their theorizing.

the Grit

British are ignorant on sex!

February 13, 2007

Hi Grit

The family planning association has recently undertaken a national “Sex Quiz” for British people and found that we are generally ignorant when it comes to sex facts. (I hasten to add that I was not asked to take part in this quiz!).

Results from the quiz revealed that 1 in 3 of Brits believe that rigorous exercise, a visit to the bathroom and/or washing will stop a lady getting pregnant; Half of the people responding (I assume this was the males), did not know when a lady was most fertile; And 90% haven’t a clue how long the sperm remains active inside a lady. The answer to the last question is one week. Thus bearing in mind that tomorrow is Valentine’s day, the love activity could produce a mini baby-boom by the 21st.

However, before we all over here start running around blaming the poor education systems for all of our sexual deficiencies, we should look further into the survey carried out. It transpires that the questions were only asked of a representative sample of 500 people. Bearing in mind our population of 60 million, I would hardly call 500 representative, nor would I say that it could be called a national quiz. In addition, something around 16% of the population are over 75 with a similar number over 65. What the heck do they care about the reproductive cycle?

It does annoy me when the Media respond to these type of reports by creating headline news, giving the impression that we are just a bunch of uneducated neanderthals (even if some of us are). 450 people don’t know how long a sperm is active? Take another bunch of 500 people and it is quite likely that the reverse would be the position. Probably more to the point is how many people know how much of their tax money was spent on this report in the first place?

the Brit

PS: for those who want to know the questions and answers click here.

Pay as you go driving

February 12, 2007

Hi Grit

It seems at last that the UK public are actually trying to get their voices heard over government laws that are, to say the least, crazy and unacceptable. The regulation causing the problem is their intention to charge £1.34 per mile for drivers to use their vehicles during the “rush hour.” As the average distance for rush hour drivers in the affected areas is around 10 miles a day return, this could cost over £60 ($120) per week. No one but a fool (which obviously includes our government ministers) could suggest that this would work.

However, a petition drawn up against this measure has already attracted well over a million signatures. Mind you, so far this does not faze the transport minister who said recently “of course we will listen to people. But parliamentary democracy doesn’t just involved the expression of views.” Well, that is news to me! I thought democracy was all about expression of views.

Let’s hope the petition numbers continues to grow.

the Brit

Global Warming and cosmic rays

February 12, 2007

Hi Grit

Yet again, hard on the heels of a report saying that humans are creating Global Warming and it is nearly too late to do anything about it, we find another contradictory report. This time it is in the Sunday Telegraph (11 Feb).  To be fair this report is not saying that man is not contributing to Global Warming, just that, because of the effects that cosmic rays are having, the extent of man’s effect, and its growth pattern may have been seriously miscalculated.

The theory behind this research is that the cosmic rays activity affect the cloud cover that the earth experiences. The higher the cosmic ray activity, the lower the cloud cover and the more warming occurs. At present we are in such a high cosmic ray activity period. If correct, this research means that the calculations used in the IPCC report need to be adjusted. Although there are some scientists who dismiss these claims, it is important enough for a group of at least 60 to conduct tests to check its validity. 

You will hardly be surprised to note that this report was relegated to page 16 of the newspaper in question, rather than the front page. However, this is not my main criticism. It is obvious from the comments of the scientists in question that they are not “denialists.” They accept that man does contribute to global warming, just that the rate is significantly different than has been reported. My problem is, as I have mentioned before, the lack of full research when addressing an issue such as climate change. Three points I would like to make, which I have probably covered before.

Firstly, if one is researching a subject, it is encumbent upon the researcher to fully address and study issues that contradict the findings. This does not appear to have been done in the case of cosmic activity, as the fact that only now 60 scientists are going to do research suggests.

Secondly, in environmental issues the accuracy of numerical findings is paramount. This is important so that one can accurately measure the impact and the level of remedy needed. In this case, if cosmic rays are proved have a significant effect it means that man’s response can be more controlled, accurate and less damaging both to the environment and the economic structure than has been suggested by the IPCC. As has been mentioned in other posts, overkill responses to these issues can be just as damaging to the environment as the global warming itself.

Thirdly, the habit of labelling people because they do not fully accept ones findings, in this case as denialists or sceptics, is becoming boring and counter-productive. There are no absolutes in science. The scientists who have come up with this current research cannot be labelled as sceptics or denialists, because they accept the concept of Global Warming and man’s contribution. All they are saying is get the facts straight. I wonder if those who support the IPCC report will respond positively to this challenge?

It is time to stop the media dramatics and hype and approach this subject on a sensible, factual discussion basis.

the Brit

This is most UNusual.

February 11, 2007

Hi Brit,

I did not know that this was possible, but the UN just fired a staff member for being UNqualified, U.N. Fired Staff Members With Academic Degrees From Diploma Mill.  This is disturbing on several levels. 

First, how can such a massive bureaucracy not have several people who have nothing else to do but check the backgrounds of job applicants?  What have they instituted the Old World tradition of buying one’s job?

Second, since the position filled by the UNcredentialed individual is chief of the Human Resources Information Technology Section, how could someone without the proper education do the job to begin with?  Perhaps, besides improving their applicant screening process, the UN needs to prune some of the deadwood from their organizational charts.

Third, this does cast some light on the lack of educational credential listings for the “scientists” working for the IPCC.  Could this be the reason for keeping that information secret?

On the bright side, one down, tens of thousands to go.

the Grit