Archive for the ‘history’ Category

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

Tony Blair at home

February 9, 2007

Hi Grit

For those who don’t know a lot about Blair and his official home, here is a site that lets you take a tour around it. It will walk you through all of the rooms where important decisions are made and you can click on items of special interest to learn more. Unfortunately it does not allow you into his private accommodation.

Other interesting fact from this site include some interesting quotes from previous PM’s, dating back to the 1740’s, which our friend Tony might do well to refer to. For example:-

William Pitt the elder (1766-1788) “Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.”

Henry Addington (1801-04) “In youth, the absence of pleasure is pain, in old age the absence of pain is pleasure.”

Sir Robert Peel (1841-46) “There seem to me to be very few facts, at least ascertainable facts, in politics.”

Marquis of Salisbury (1886-92). “English policy is to float lazily downstream, occasionally putting out a diplomatic boathook to avoid collisions.”

Arthur James Balfour (1902-1905) “I am more or less happy when being praised, not very comfortable when being abused, but I have moments of uneasiness when being explained.”

Andrew Bonar Law (1922-3) “If I am a great man, then a good many great men of history are frauds.”

Clement Richard Atlee (1945-51) “Often the experts make the worst possible ministers in their own fields. In this country we prefer rule by amateur.”

Sir Alec Douglas Hume (1963-64) “There are two problems in my life. The political ones are insoluble and the economic ones are incomprehensible.”

Interesting!

the Brit

Speaking of double standards…

February 1, 2007

Hi Brit,

You may not be aware of the nature of our information distribution here in the States, seeing as how your Government has so much control of yours.  On one hand, we have the broadcast TV networks, which, in general, have a decidedly liberal slant on the news.  On the other hand, the radio broadcast news and commentary shows, have the opposite slant.  Over the last few election cycles, this has proved to be a great advantage to the Republican Party.  A few years ago (2,3,4?) a liberal coalition with Evil Rich backing, decided to start a radio show group with a liberal slant, in an attempt to counter the conservative advantage.  It was called Air America, and, at its peak, was carried on eighty something stations out of several thousand.  It went bankrupt last year and has finally given up the ghost and folded yesterday.  It is interesting to note that this death was not mentioned in the main stream liberal press.  However, it has had a side effect.  One of the failed stars is running for office, Official: Al Franken to Make Senate Run in Minnesota.  In normal circumstances I would say this is funny, however, the citizens of Minnesota are just strange enough that Al may have a chance.

the Grit

The Global Warming hoax continues!

February 1, 2007

Hi Brit,

Apparently, not everyone on the planet has bought into the Global Warming hoax yet, so they’re putting out this: Satellite data vital to UN climate findings.  While I would be fine with the title, I would also question why the satellite data wasn’t vital to the previous findings.  Could it be because previous satellite data didn’t back up the Global Warming Theory and was thus discarded?

Anyway, even this bit of media biased reporting casts suspicion on the entire Global Warming scheme in its opening line, “The most authoritative report on climate change to date will be released tomorrow in Paris, France.”  If the previous reports were not “authoritative” then why, a rational person might ask, are we in a rush to base policy on them? 

Then we have this bit of scandal, “Predictions for the future of global warming in the report, intended as a summary for policymakers, are based on 19 computer models.”  I would point out that I can have you any number of computer models, within a month, that will show anything you want them to predict.  To verify the projections of these computer games, one has to wait until the date of the projection and take REAL MEASUREMENTS!  This is admitted in the next paragraph of the report, “The ability of satellites to deliver global data on the Earth System makes them particularly useful to study climate change and to validate and assess the quality of climate models.”

Then we have this twisted bit of misdirection, “Satellites are often the only means of studying the Earth’s Polar Regions because of their remoteness, darkness and cloudiness.”  Which makes me wonder how, considering that the greatest warming in the other IPCC reports occurred in the Arctic, was measured without the aid of this satellite data included in the latest report. 

Another interesting quote from the story is, “Satellites are useful for helping build scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions, such as methane — the second most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Using the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) instrument aboard Envisat, researchers at the University of Heidelberg in 2005 were able to confirm increased methane concentrations induced mainly by human activities. ”  Which raises the question of why the 2001 report was presented in such a definitive manner if it wasn’t confirmed until four years later?  Of course, that delay, and the obvious agenda being pushed by these “scientists” brings anything they say after the initial report into doubt.

As a parting shot, allow me to present this:

A space-borne instrument known as a radar altimeter offers valuable information on the state of the ocean by providing measurements of the height of the ocean surface. Data acquired by radar altimeters aboard Envisat and ERS show sea levels have been rising by three mm a year since the early 1990s.

I would point out that the alarmist predictions of the initial IPCC report were of sea level rises of several feet, even hundreds of feet.  For the record, 3 mm is 0.11811 inches, so a hundred years at this rate is less than a foot.  Of course, one would have to question the ability of satellite measurements of a wave tossed ocean to have this level of accuracy.

the Grit

No tailgating at Super Bowl? World to end soon!

January 27, 2007

Hi Brit,

Here is some American stuff that might interest you, Tailgating Banned at Dolphin Stadium for Super Bowl Sunday.  Now, to non-football fans this probably requires a lot of explaining.

Super Bowl:  football, the kind with the non-round ball, is big time sports in the US.  There are two different sets of teams, the NFC (National Football Conference) and the AFC (American Football Conference) that, together, comprise the NFL (National Football League.)  The NFC and AFC teams compete to be champions in their own conference.  Then, in a huge hyper-hyped spectacle the two winning teams meet to decide who gets the League title for the year.  This event is the biggest thing in US sports.  The winning team players get gem encrusted specially designed rings, billions of dollars exchange hands from wagers, parties are held in homes across the nation, millions of dollars are spent on the half time show, there are several hours of pre-game shows and more hours of post-game shows, and, best of all, various companies use it as a platform to roll out great new commercials.  If you happen to be in Miami and want to catch the game, bring a big wad of cash and a lucky charm.  Tickets at mid-field are going for a bit over $3,000.

Tailgating:  one of the great traditions of football is tailgating.  Originally, this was the practice, for those driving trucks, to use the lowered tailgate as a table for pre-game party food in the parking lot.  It has evolved far beyond its humble roots.  These days, some people don’t even enter the stadium, but continue elaborate tailgate parties while watching the game on large screen TVs.  They can run the big sets because they’ve rebuilt large motor homes into rolling party mobiles, complete with exterior beer taps, extra electricity generating capacity, and full swing out kitchens.  With these as centers of activity, hundreds of others set up less dramatic portable gear and the entire assembly can distribute enough food and drink to feed a small country. 

Vendors:  the food and drink distribution inside the stadium is a very lucrative business.  Bring your own food and drink is prohibited, so ticket holders are gouged as hard a possible, with the total take from concessions usually being more than is made from ticket sales.

Thus, it would seem, that this year, greed is going to win out over fun.

the Grit

Hitler, Chavez – same number of letters…

January 19, 2007

Hi Brit,

Here we go again, another dictator with a Hitler fetish, Rule by decree passed for Chavez.  Will someone please shoot this monster-in-waiting before the sheep start taking him seriously?  For that matter, why hasn’t the UN shut this loon down?  Oh, I forgot; the UN is absolutely impotent and corrupt.  My bad.

the Grit

Global Warming – science or religion? Part II

January 18, 2007

Hi Brit,

I’ve accepted my fate today, and realize that this topic just won’t die.  How could I possibly resist this: U.S. scientists, evangelicals join global warming fight?  The Universe obviously wants me to taunt these people, and who am I to argue?  This quote should be a good place to start.

“We agree not only that reckless human activity has imperiled the Earth — especially the unsustainable and short-sighted lifestyles and public policies or our own nation — but also that we share a profound moral obligation to work together to call our nation, and other nations, to the kind of dramatic change urgently required in our day,” the group said.

Well, God has spoken (or the voices in their heads are unusually loud today.)  The story doesn’t mention it, but I suspect the letters they sent to our politicians were chiseled on stone tablets.  That would be expensive if they sent them by FedEx.  Oh well, back to being hunter-gatherers, which is what this group of twits seem to be advocating.  Good thing I live in an area with a mild climate and plenty of wild food.  Of course, if I have to start chunking rocks at squirrels to get my dinner, the animal rights fanatics are going to get mighty upset.  That’ll be nothing compared to how the feminists will feel when these Righteous Ones insist on putting women back in their place, which I have no doubt is on their Devinne agenda.  Oh, and I suspect the scientists in question will be just a tiny bit sorry when the Faithful get the chance to go Medieval on them.  Remember Galileo?  You’ve got to love the Universe, for its sense of humor if nothing else.

the Grit

A little more EU help, if you please.

January 17, 2007

Hi Brit,

Sorry to keep pestering you, but European Union facts are few and far between here in the US.  This one has me going, Merkel warns of “historic mistake” on EU charter.  I was under the impression that France and some other country hadn’t ratified the EU charter yet, but this seems more targeted at England.  Your insight would be appreciated.

the Grit

Liberals, living in the past

January 17, 2007

Hi Brit,

While my favorite musical group, Jethro Tull, didn’t specifically target liberals in that song, they are trying desperately to be its target: Court will not hear nuclear plant threat case.  Try to keep up liberal folk.  CO2 bad!  Nuclear power good!  For that matter, didn’t you get the talking points memo?  Terrorism isn’t really enough of a threat to worry about.  Go have a chat with Nanny Pelosi.  Of course, she’ll probably give you a good spanking, but, then again, you might like that.

the Grit

A little help on Scottish independence!

January 16, 2007

Hi Brit,

This one has gone right over my head, Blair warns against Scottish independence.  When you get the time, I and, hopefully, our readers would like your input on this.  I’m hoping that this isn’t leading up to something like our War of Northern Aggression, more commonly know as the Civil War.

the Grit

Catching up with the Brits

January 16, 2007

Hi Brit,

Now that we have liberals in charge again, it looks like we’re going to start catching up in the race to take away personal liberty.  Kucinich: Congress To Take On FCC  The key bit in this story is the return of the Fairness Doctrine, which was a law requiring programs broadcast over the public airwaves to present both sides of an issue.  Of course, in practice, it never worked and was mostly used as a tool for Democrats to shut down radio programs which favored the conservative view of an issue.  It’s main effect was for most stations to remove political debate from their content, so as to avoid trouble with the Government. 

While I’m at it, let’s take a look at Representative Kucinich (D-OH),

dennis_kucinich.jpg

who just happens to be running, yet again, for President on a platform designed to win the Hobbit vote, as well as that of overly liberal humans.  I’ve heard rumors that, in the unlikely event of his 2008 victory, he is planning to cover the White House with a mound of dirt so he will feel more at home.

the Grit

Global Warming, why am I skeptical?

January 14, 2007

Hi Brit,

Several of our guests seem surprised that anyone can be skeptical about global warming, so I’ll explain my reasons.  While tamino presents some good arguments, there are several things that don’t add up.  However, the root cause of my disbelief is things of this nature, SEPP News Release: More Than 15,000 Scientists Protest Kyoto Accord; Speak Out Against Global Warming Myth.  And this, Globally-Averaged Atmospheric Temperatures.  And even more importantly from the IPCC ( Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) itself, Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis, where we find:

“most of the increase in global temperature since the late 19th century has occurred in two distinct periods: 1910 to 1945 and since 1976”

which does not make any sense if the change is due to greenhouse gases or even point to any consistent warming trend.  Also from the same document we find, “The global average surface temperature has increased by 0.6 ± 0.2°C3 since the late 19th century.”  Notice that the level of uncertainty is a third of the total temperature increase, which hardly gives me confidence in the measurements.  Also from the same document, “The regional patterns of the warming that occurred in the early part of the 20th century were different than those that occurred in the latter part.”  Again this is inconsistent with the greenhouse theory since temperature change should be determined by the levels of those gasses in the atmosphere which should be fairly evenly distributed around the world, and it also makes the point that what is being discussed is not global at all.  Finally we have, “During the last 10,000 years, there is emerging evidence of significant rapid regional temperature changes, which are part of the natural variability of climate.”  It should not be difficult to consider that a less than one degree change could easily fall into that category.

Add all this to the fact that this issue was started by the UN, generally known to dislike the US, and was used politically to try and cripple the US economy through the Kyoto Treaty, and is still being used for political purposes to effect social change, and I would say anyone who isn’t strongly skeptical about Global Warming in general and anthropogenic climate change in particular is thinking with someone else’s brain.

the Grit

Power from space.

January 13, 2007

Hi Brit,

There is a way to power England with solar power, and only take up a tiny bit of your island: Whatever happened to solar power satellites?  This concept, putting the solar cells in space and beaming the energy to Earth as microwaves, has been around for a long time.  It would have been almost practical back in the early seventies to establish a lunar colony to do the manufacturing of parts.  This was discussed, but the political situation made it impossible to divert the investment capital needed away from social and military programs.  There was also a bunch of chatter from environmental groups, claiming that the SPSs would heat the Earth too much, use too much land for the microwave collectors, and potentially get out of control and destroy all life as we know it.  As I recall, the deciding factor against even putting up a test version was that the USSR would have seen it as a weapon system.  Of course, as energy costs rise and space flight gets cheaper…

the Grit

Shucks, the US looses one.

January 12, 2007

Hi Brit,

One of those things we’re taught from childhood on is that we, as a people, are evil for what we did to the Indians, excuse me, Native Americans, and are the only people who have ever done such a horrible thing.  Hah!  Even though I’ve long known that the Native American’s got kicked out by the British, French, and Spanish (something they finally teach one in college,) I just found this bit of news, Sweden’s Sami struggle over land rights.  It seems that the Swedes have been oppressing a native people!  Cool!  Sweden has been around a lot longer than the USA, so that means that we, as a people, are off the hook and everyone can start hating the Swedes as evil repressive monsters instead of directing that sentiment toward us.  That’s a load off my mind.

the Grit

Could this be you?

January 11, 2007

Hi Brit,

I remember that there is a big scandal going on over there, something about selling titles of nobility.  Well, you may not have to shell out big pounds for ties to the Crown, Attention heirs to throne: Where are you?  I’ve got my fingers crossed for you buddy.  Of course, my family name goes back to 1066, so I might should send them my name as well.  Lord Grit, it has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?

the Grit

Settle the Saddam hanging the American way!

January 9, 2007

Hi Brit,

I suspect, knowing how well informed you are, that you’ve noticed the uproar over Saddam having his neck stretched.  While I expect this nonsense from Europe, I must admit that I’m a bit taken aback by the reaction in America.  Truly, I don’t understand the fuss.  We’ve been after this asshole for decades, and, now that we got him, everyone wants to cry? 

I must, reluctantly, apologize for my country.  Over the decades since we saved the world from the Nazis, the Japs, the Fascists, and the Communists, it would seem that, as a nation, we’ve lost our balls.  Really, what are we boo-hooing about?  The guy was some of the worst scum produced since Hitler and Stalin?  Crap people, if this was 1950 and that saw Hitler dangling from the gallows, we would make it a national holiday and be mass producing little Hang-a-Hitler action play sets!  Hell, you liberal whimps make me so sick that, if I didn’t have a family to take care of, I’d throw in with the religious lunatics myself and do my best to kill all of you.  Seriously, 70 virgins is starting to sound better than Social Security!

the Grit

Speaking of WWIII

January 9, 2007

Hi Brit,

Besides the growing tension between Russia and Germany, it looks like trouble is also brewing on the other side of the world: Japan upgrades its defence agency.  That’s comforting news.  Let’s see, who’s missing from the sequel?  I wonder if the French have started drawing up surrender plans?

the Grit

UK – EU oil supply problems

January 9, 2007

Hi Brit,

Not to worry for the moment, at least for jolly old England.  It looks like the current problem is only in Germany and Poland:

Russian oil supplies to Poland, Germany caught in Belarus dispute

Doesn’t Britain get its oil from the North Sea? At least there was a Jethro Tull song about that, which is usually a trustworthy source of information.  However, if you just need a worry fix, consider what happened last time Germany and Russia had a dispute in that region.  What was it that comes after II…

the Grit

Happy birthday to the King

January 8, 2007

Hi Brit,

As I’m sure everyone knows, Elvis was born on this day back in 1935.  I suspect this anniversary is what provoked my usually unreliable source to send me this:

 elnix.gif

“This photograph documents the first meeting between President Nixon and Elvis.  However, it is not going to be the last time the two will meet.  The bodies of each were quick frozen immediately upon their deaths and the corpses will be among the cargo shipped to the secret polar moon base.  The plan is to clone them and, using secret military technology, copy their memories into their new brains.  Nixon is being included because some of The Powers That Be suspect he still has deep cover operatives in their organization who will sabotage the escape project if the ex-president isn’t included.  Elvis is going because, well why not.”

I must say, I hope at least part of this is true.

the Grit

Memphis needs some of this.

January 3, 2007

Hi Brit,

You may not know that Memphis, Tennessee (which I live on the outskirts of) is on an earthquake fault, which is why this, Quake-prone Istanbul awaits disaster, hit home.  Most people around here, and in a line stretching a few hundred miles up to St. Lewis, either never knew or forget that the New Madrid fault runs along the west side of the Mississippi river.  It’s name comes from the town of New Madrid, which sank into the river last time we had a big quake.  That was also the jolt which formed Reel Foot lake, the only natural lake in Tennessee.  Reports from people in the area at the time say that the Mississippi ran backward for three days while the sunken area filled up.  The geology here is a worst case scenario for earthquake damage, mostly being several hundred feet of sediment with a high water table.  When we get the next big shake, it’ll make Katrina seem like fun times.  Oh, and the last big one was in 1811 – 1812, so the next should be any time now, like in 2012?

Details on our impending disaster at:

The New Madrid Fault Zone (NMFZ)

the Grit