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Voting with Mother

One Child One Vote

While I am not a great believer in the democratic process, when given the opportunity to vote* I make the effort to do so, even if it is just to send the message to “those who would rule us” that they are all a bunch of gits and I hate them.**

My voting pattern has shifted from the tribal Labour of my youth, through core Conservatism in my thirties, followed by a brief flirtation with Liberal Democracy before emerging into the rightful libertarian anarchy of spoilt ballot papers in my forties.

Given that the current incumbent in my constituency is SNP (Scottish National Socialist German Workers Party) and his nearest rival is the candidate for Jeremy Corbyn’s reanimated corpse of Old Labour some Tory twit named Murdo Fraser, I suspect that a spoilt ballot will again be my personal choice with “None of the above” scrawled across the ballot.

None of the Above

That being said, there is a bit of a difference with my visit to the voting booth on Thursday as this will be my first involvement in devolution (voting for a member of the Scottish Parliament to represent my constituency here in Perth), but also I will not be the youngest voter there, not by a long chalk.

It will be the first parliamentary election in Scotland in which 16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote, under the provisions of the Scottish Elections (Reduction of Voting Age) Act.

Scottish Parliament Election 2016

I’m a great believer in the viewpoint that “No taxation without representation” works both ways and since, by-and-large 16 and 17 year old’s don’t pay tax (VAT accepted), I don’t believe they should have the vote.

Indeed the only reason that they have the vote is that Alex Salmond and his bunch of SNP halfwits came to the not very surprising conclusion that 16 and 17 year old’s were a bit more susceptible to lefty propaganda, especially during the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum.

Now I might be prepared to make an exception for the referendum as it was billed as a “once in a generation” plebiscite and 16 and 17 year old’s had as much to lose as anyone in Scotland, but the extension to other Scottish elections is going too far.

It’s got nothing to do with “expanding democracy” or any of the other meaningless twaddle that is often talked about and everything to do with gerrymandering the ballot because 16 and 17 year old’s are more likely to vote for left-wing parties, after all they have precious little to “Conserve” all of it coming from the Bank of Mum and Dad.

So I’ll be going to the polls much later than usual on Thursday, by which time, I hope, the newly appointed voters will be doing their homework or tucked up in bed with their teddy bear “Aloysius” and a nice hot Ovaltine.

For myself, I’ll be taking a bright red bingo pen and a clothes peg for my nose, after all, its a dirty, smelly business this voting malarkey.

* – When in residence in Penang, Malaysia I am not entitled to vote as Article 119 of the Constitution of Malaysia defines voting rights as only for Malaysian citizens and I hold a mere long-term resident visa.

** - Utter contempt is too mild to describe the depth of my animosity towards politicians, councillors and their ilk.

Well, this makes me feel a bit safer

My New Wall Mounted Gieger Counter

After all of last weeks postings and commentary about the pro’s and con’s of nuclear power, my paranoia peeked enough to buy myself a wall mounted Geiger counter.

I had to turn the clicking off, because after about 1/60th of a second it became bloody annoying, other than that quite happy. I’d prefer a lower reading (ideally it should be about 0.08μSv/h or so), but that’s one of the difficulties of living in a city centre flat facing directly on to a main road.

Cost was £98.98 courtesy of your friendly, neighbourhood, eBay. Certainly better than the cheap and tacky Android phone antennae ones.

[UPDATE - I did think this photo from the manufacturer amusing]

Livingstone

Sorry for revisiting this topic so soon, but the interview here really does provide quite an insight into Ken Livingstones thoughts.

Naz made these comments when there was another brutal Israeli attack on the Palestinians, and there is this one stark fact, that virtually no one in the British media ever reports, in all these conflicts the death toll is usually between 60 to 100 Palestinians killed for every Israeli. Now, any other country doing that would be accused of war crimes.

Hamas, daily, sends badly aimed missiles into civilian areas of Israel. What do we learn from this small summary of Ken Livingstone’s position:

  • Israel occasionally getting right pissed off and responding to the constant provocations, and attacks on the Israeli civilian population, by Hamas, from Gaza, is an Israeli attach – seemingly from the context, unprovoked.
  • The Israeli government and forces are demonstrably more capable of protecting their fighters and population from Hamas attacks than Hamas are of protecting their fighters and population, and this is ipso facto evidence of Israeli war crimes.
  • Israel is accused of war crimes, constantly and without let.
  • This disparity, far from not being reported, was repeated constantly by the media, Islamist propagandists and the anti-Israeli left. That Ken can make claims to the contrary shows either, or both, cognitive dissonance or dishonesty.

I’m sorry, but anyone who accepts Kens statement at face value is ignorant, living in a fantasy world, or a bigot.

What’s the difference between left and right?

All too often, time. In this case, about 30 years:

An Ifop poll for Le Figaro measuring perceptions of Islam has found that people have a growing sense of unease about its role in France.

What’s notable about the results is that where once such sentiments were perceived as the preserve of the “extreme right”, they are now felt across the political spectrum. Back in 2010, 39 per cent of Socialist Party voters felt Islam was too prominent within French society — a majority of 52 per cent feel this to be the case six years on.

Le Figaro says the poll confirms a “total rejection” of the religion in France, after its capital in 2015 saw two deadly Islamist terror attacks.

In 1989 33 per cent of French people responded that they were “in favour” of building mosques, while the figure today is just 13 per cent . That year, 31 per cent were opposed to wearing the veil in general, a number that in 2016 has risen to 63 per cent.

Hilary

From Powerline Blog:

Hilary wants to make it illegal to criticise her.

Mrs Clinton is making no bones about it, and she seriously expects her supporters to go along with it as well.

It is easy to understand why Hillary and certain other politicians would want such a radical evisceration of the First Amendment, but why would anyone else?

Seriously, is it the ignorant and capricious court jester, or the evil bitch queen from hell?

Not only is she criminally corrupt, but she is quite open about her wish to shred the Bill of Rights.

Left Racism

Is Ken Livingston a racist and a Judeophobe?

Absolutely, and he always has been. consider the people he actively pals around with, and whom he defends when necessary. Anyone, like Livingstone, who demands from the Jewish inhabitants of Israel moral standards different from, and superior to, those demanded of others, specifically in this case the Palestinians, is both.

I have never regarded him as other, and the wide acceptance of his views and actions from his peers has reinforced my view that there is a major problem with the progressive left, world wide.

BUT,

Yeah, there’s always a ‘but’, isn’t there?

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The Great Frack Off Bake Off F*ck Off

This made my day.

The local rag, the Blackpool Gazette, printed a story that was a little more modest although they did post the video shot at the time, perhaps to garner readers” sympathy for the celebrity environmental warriors eco-loon trespassers.

A-list celebrities Emma Thompson and her sister Sophie visited the proposed shale gas drill site off Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, to lend their support and bake a few cakes for the Lancashire Nannas campaign.

Lancashire Nannas?  There doesn’t seem to be many of those in the video (follow the above Gazette link).  Perhaps the Gazette meant ‘nanas as in right ‘nanas.

Emma, who has been a Greenpeace member since she was 16, said she was inspired by the fight put up by the Nannas and the other local campaign groups against the Government and industry which supports fracking.

Hollywood actors and actresses with carbon footprints the size of Texas absolutely never fail to pass up a celebrity whoredom opportunity virtue waving exercise anti cheap energy for people not half as well off as them protest.

Emma said: “The Lancashire Nannas and other groups have fought so bravely against big business. We wanted to come along and support them.

Wot, no patented quotes from Big Red Dictionary of Socialist Epithets?  Perhaps she forgot to bring her spectacles.  She missed out on “evil capitalists” “vile economic realists” Gaia rapers and planet killers.  Why does she think that supporting a bunch  of Luddite Shreddies knitters is the sensible thing to do?

I went ballistic when I found that David Cameron came back from the Paris global warming conference having agreed to cut carbon emissions and then right away okayed 200 new fracking licences. On the one hand, he was saying the world should cut fossil fuels, and on the other he was preparing to start a new fossil fuel industry. The Government has removed support for solar power and has virtually called a halt to onshore wind energy schemes, but is pushing this dirty fossil fuel industry.

So, Emma, how many of your countless trans-Atlantic flights were powered by windmills and solar panels rather than that filthy fossil fuel that gets you into such a tizzy?  Did you arrive by bicycle or a filthy fossil fuel guzzling car?  And how did you bake those cute little anti-fracking cupcakes?  Over a cow-shit fire pit?  There was certainly enough of it around once the farmer had finished spraying his own protest over his property and uninvited interlopers.  How about that much vaunted cake baking competition?  What filthy fossil fuel was used to bake those world changing comestibles you seem to think gives you a free pass to break the law?

It is disgusting, hypocritical and an example of how the Government is hand in glove with big corporations.

And you, Emma, are a disgusting and hypocritical example of how a stupid, anti-humanity celebrity bimbo works hand in glove with Big Green.  Do you possess even a nanogram of self awareness?

The danger is that all of the efforts of these magnificent Nannas and the residents to fight this industry may be ignored by national government. It is undemocratic, especially having been told by the Government and Greg Clark that decisions should be made on issues locally.

Undemocratic?  Because a small minority of dummy chucking, deluded anti-realists, some of whom seem to have been imported from other parts of the UK to make up the numbers, aren’t getting their way?   I’m a local and I haven’t been consulted (nor has anyone I know) so how the hell do you, Emma “I Love Greenpeace” Thompson, know whether or not the people of the Fylde want fracking or not?  No one that I know is against it.  Why is that?  Because we are sick to death of paying through the nose to heat our homes.  It’s not like we can hop on a plane and piss off to the Riviera to keep warm.

Lancashire Nanas campaigner Tina Rothery said: “It is wonderful to have ‘Nanna McPhee’ – Emma, and Nanna Sophie here with us today.

We’ve met Tina on this blog before.  If you are reading this, Tina, please explain to me why “Nanna McPhee”  (Who she?) is trespassing on private property in breach of a high court injunction?  Does her greenie credentials trump the law of the land?

However, the visit was condemned by pro-fracking group the North West Energy Task Force. Member Tony Raynor, from Lytham said: “I won’t be lectured by a London-based celebrity and multimillionaire, especially when lots of local jobs and much-needed investment in Lancashire are at stake.” And a farmer was also spotted spraying muck on the fields close to the bake off (Video courtesy of Andy Ball and Rock FM)

Typical Anti-fracking Gazette.  A few paltry lines at the end of the article for the pro-frackers and barely a mention of the farmer.  Especially when the Thompsons and their Greenpeace cheer leaders get this extra puff piece.  The mail wasn’t much better.

I used to know Tony Raynor because I worked for his Dad, a very astute businessman, many moons ago.  When I knew Tony he was a teenager trying to fill some big boots and making a muck of things.  He now runs a successful telecommunications company.  It’s nice to see the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree after all.

I’m left wondering why the cupcake clowns weren’t arrested for breaching a high court injunction.  Maybe the paltry fines, or rather lack of them, would fail to outweigh the cost of cleaning cow shit from police vehicles?

The Lord of the Fires…

When I was a kid in the early ’80s we were terrified by the possibility of nuclear war.

So me and the “Bash Street kids” built a nuclear shelter. We dug an enormous hole and lined it with the cardboard from my parents’ new bedroom set. Obviously if a 100kt Soviet nuke went off over the Vickers-Armstrong tank plant just down the road we’d be fine – due to the cardboard.

Nah! We weren’t even that thick back then. So we used it as a fire pit. I recall burning a cooker in it. I cannot recall (this was a while back) how that came to pass. I fail to remember but we ate off it. On one occasion S ate a pigeon off it. To say it was underdone… Well, a dose of jollop and a pair of AA batteries and it would have been flying again. He’d lost a bet so he had to eat it. Yup, a dead pigeon cooked on the remains of cooker in a fire-pit in Gateshead. John and Greg my friends cooking doesn’t get much worse than that.

Then I had an idea. A neighbour was renovating and had a shed-load (literally) of tarred roofing and asbestos to get rid off. So we got it. Now I made an innovation. If you mix roofing tar, asbestos and a serious fire (do try this at home kids!) it goes off like it’s 8:15. So given this we took to chucking this on and leaping over the pit.

Enormous fun was had by all until the aforementioned S, legs fully akimbo, received a blast to the technical area. On this occasion enormous fun was had by all but one. The rest of us were all laughing like drains whilst S was rolling on the grass making noises like the last wails of Chewbacca.

I think he now has kids so all is well that ends well.

There is no moral to this story.

Supreme Court

Something to be considered. Much as most posters here, and visitors, loath the thought of Donald Trump as President, preferring anyone, anyone at all, including the known to be criminally corrupt Hillary Clinton, consider the Supreme Court.

Whoever next takes the White House will be gifted the opportunity to appoint one, probably two, maybe four, or possibly even five, Justices of the Supreme Court. This will shape United States policy for the next three decades.

Do we really want Hillary to have this opportunity?

One mighty argument for Donald Trump is that he has committed himself to appoint Constitutionally conservative Justices, as opposed to the flaming progressive and ‘living document’ appointees we know Hilary will push.

We already know, in advance, that Mrs Clinton intends to appoint only justices who commit to reversing Citizens United. She is determined to undermine the First Amendment, and create a situation where people, when acting jointly, lose the freedoms they possess as individuals.

Consider, how many Sotomayors do we want to see on this Bench? What will this do to Constitutional supremacy?

Do we, following the next election, want to see all three branches in Democrat hands?

Sen. Ted Cruz Picks Carly Fiorina as Running Mate

MSNBC is live-streaming right now at

Said he would make formal announcement at 4 p.m.

BHS

BHS are having a closing-down sale. Whilst I am obviously sad to see them fail they really didn’t help themselves did they? I was talking to my wife about this and both of us realised we hadn’t been in a BHS in 30 years. It was like a really piss-poor version of M&S so why go there? It is a dinosaur that didn’t see the meteor coming and evolve into a bird. Have you ever been to BHS online? Was there ever a BHS online? Exactly. My wife opined that their last gasp of breath was selling school uniforms. But you can buy them cheaper and better at ASDA, TESCO or even Sainsburys. We are not that daft as to trek into the city centre and pay over the odds for stuff that isn’t as good anyway. Not that you really care that much about school uniform quality because it is all shite anyway. There is a reason for that. Children grow.

Whilst I am sorry for the predicament the staff of BHS are in the loss of the company is not an issue for me. That is the market and if you can’t sell stuff people want at the right price then you is only going one way.

I find the vilification of Philip Green most unedifying. He flogged the company a while back for a quid*. That is over 130 department stores. He’d paid something like GBP200 million so he must have taken a hit. Fundamentally though why blame the previous owner and not the current ones? Oh because Green is very wealthy (from the stores he bought that were profitable) and wealth is the new sin.

It is that evil top 1% like that Bill Gates. I have held many things against Microsoft (Vista!) but I think Bill and Melinda’s charity work is both excellent (curing malaria for example) and reasonable. I mean that in two ways. It is pointless to have that many billions. You simply can’t spend them unless you are a nutter and Bill Gates isn’t a nutter. So why not do some good with it? And most of his wealth is tied-up in Microsoft shares which he can’t devest himself of all in one go without killing the company he co-created. Anyway it has to be said some Microsoft products have been excellent – I learned structured programming via QBasic and made a Lego robot I built dance like it was on “Britain’s Got Talent”. That was part of my degree. Science isn’t dull you know. Apart from Chemistry and it’s endless “milky white precipitates”. I could have jacked-off into a boiling tube for the same result and it would have been more fun but what happens in the prep-room stays in the prep-room. The first rule of Chem club is…

*Apparently to a consortium. That must have been a very strange pub-lunch. “Oh, here’s my 20p. Always liked a punt!”.

A tale of two emergency services…

30 years ago today Chernobyl had an “incident” and not a good one.

I (a physics grad) am in favour of nuclear power but not the RMBK design and apparently nobody running it was a qualified nuclear physicist. What could possibly go wrong? We found out didn’t we?

I always try and find a positive and despite poor design, engineering and bad management the Ukrainian Fire Brigade did the best they could and rescued calamity from mere disaster. Many died but they did their job and did it knowing the risks which were extreme. They are heroes by any definition. Death from ARS is not a nice way to go.

Today, also the Hillsborough inquiry finally came to a conclusion that the emergency services were at best inept. I watched that on TV in 1989 with my Dad. It was very clear to me the Police were worse than useless forming a line across the centre of the pitch rather than pulling down the cages. I have rarely been more outraged by the callous authoritarianism that sometimes manifests in this nation than that day. The TV commentators knew what was happening, me and my Dad knew but the rozzers did nothing. Partially I think because they thought football fans were just scum in principle. That it has come to 2016 for this to be concluded legally is a disgrace.

The contrast between the behaviour of the emergency services in both disasters (and note Hillsborough resulted in more immediate deaths than Chernobyl) is striking. The firefighters of the Ukraine are heroes in my book. To tackle a nuclear meltdown knowing this is probably “it” takes true grit. To stand on the half-way line whilst 96 people are crushed to death just a few tens of metres from you takes true cuntery.

The Hillsborough inquiry verdict and the anniversary of Chernobyl provide a very stark contrast in the human spirit.

I dedicate this post to the firefighters,

And I condemn South Yorkshire Police.

Winners in the New York primaries

The best of friends, all Democrats together.

donald-melania-trump-bill-hillary-clinton-600

Anyway, enough about the front runners in the OmniParty race, an email doing the rounds:

TRUMP AND HILLARY IN A BAR

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a bar. Donald leans over, and with a smile on his face, says, "The media are really tearing you apart for that Scandal."

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Thou shalt not…

I knew of an obscure law in Texas that essentially made it illegal to have in your home more than two sex toys (guess why the two?). Seeing as archaeologists have found dildos in ancient Egyptian tombs and such this clearly not some vile post ’60 innovation undoubtedly linked to drugs.

I didn’t know Ted Cruz was an architect of either creating the law or just making it er… harder. But…

In perhaps the most noticeable line of the brief, Cruz’s office declared, “There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.”

It sort of seems this was a kinda plea bargain for the removal of the sodomy laws (which he was part of). OK, we’ll let gays do what they want but not with artificial help. In short things like anal sex were made legal but a vibrating butt-plug illegal. Yeah, I’m doing a switcharo here because dildos (or similar) are used in all ends (intended) of the sexual Spectrum (ZX and indeed 48K).

There are a number of issues here but let’s boil it down to one. Ted Cruz strongly implies sex ought to be for procreation and not for fun. So that is me un-fucked. Oh go on Nick! Yes I shall. Would he object to a married woman having a contraceptive implant? I bet he would. Because that is very much sex for fun and also bonding between two humans at the deepest level. There is a bigger issue though. How very dare Ted Cruz tell people what sex is for? How very dare he declare that sex without procreation is against the constitution when the constitution doesn’t mention sex at all and for good reason. Because it is private. He does also mention “public morals” and that is scary. And it comes down to the line about due process rights. And that is scary. The law is to tell you what not to do and not what you can do. Under common law systems it is assumed (and generally upheld) that you can do whatever you want unless it is specifically proscribed. Cruz’s attitude to masturbation is very scary here because it is about the law having to specifically allow something. It is basically allowing nothing unless it is made as legal.

That is very worrying.

H/T here and here.

Goodnight Sweet Prince…

I had just been hit by the death of Victoria Wood. Then Prince…

The two had quite a bit in common. Both crafters and grafters. Both absurdly multi-talented.

If there is anything positive here it is this. If you believe in an afterlife they might just be together in a Little Red Corvette.

And if you don’t both Victoria and Prince are now in The Overhead

As, of course is Sir Terry.

Whilst we have 1s and 0s they are still with us. Whilst the satellites fly and the copper hums (assuming BT Overreach aren’t playing Les Buggeuers Risible with it) and the fibre is still lit. While I (and others) still have several terabytes offline in a sense they are still here. Perhaps that is the true immortality.

I have to be careful here but one of the reasons I never class myself as an atheist but as an agnostic is that I do have a spiritual side. It is a hard-edged one and is somewhat Borgesian. The best way I can put it it is to invert (not literally!) Woody Allen. He has a gag along the lines of, “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it by not dying”. OK, it’s funny. But… A couple of weeks ago I dragged out some old text book and derived the speed of light from Maxwell’s equations purely because I realised I’d forgotten how to. Maxwell now lives in me again.

Now that is a very Borgesian.

Ideas, concepts, jokes, music and equations (and the double curl trick) matter as much as our material selves. I think we can take some comfort in that. How old is the theorem of Pythagaros?

I mentioned Borges. This is what I meant.

OK, Pierre Menard embarks on an insane (indeed truly Quixotic) quest to re-write a literary classic but the point that Borges is making is about the overhead. It is just there. Of course there is the secondary point (there always is with Borges) about literary criticism and how text change meaning even if identical textually. The key is even if their meaning is different down the generations there is still meaning. That is what makes a work great.

And of course so is Borges. He is part of the great tradition (and, yeah, he knew it) of creating works that will last forever and in that sense lasting forever himself.

But then there are things that last forever and do not change.

Here is one.

So goodbye to icons of (almost) my generation. Fare well. I know you shall.

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