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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Cool Britannia, home of the whinging neighbour?

The Online newspaper, "The Metro," carried a report yesterday that about sums up the mess Britain has descended into with the nannying and touchy-feely decade of the Blair's "Cool Britannia." Among the more stupid things his government did was create a framework for neighbours to spy on neighbours, to complain about them and to campaign against them. The headline says it all really-

Parents of toddler threatened with fine over noises he makes in garden

Frankly the complainant should be exposed and publicly shamed. Children are noisy and they certainly can get on your nerves, especially when they misbehave (But I bet the same neighbour would be quick to report any attempt to discipline the kid to Social Services if the parents dared to do so!), but one does have to accept that they need to let off steam and play noisily sometimes. OK, so this kid loves to play football. I'd be willing to bet that he kicks the ball against the fence - because it makes a great 'bang' which is very satisfying to a small boy. But for Pete's sake, why not just have a word with the parents instead of threatening to bring the whole "noise abatement" machine into operation to deal with a 4 year old.

Britain is, indeed, a sad place these days. Bad neighbours, spying neighbours, out of control teenagers, jobs worth civil servants ruining everything, politicians who haven't a clue and a media that blames it all on "Europe."

Wünderbahr!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Hannover's Münden ...

Is a very ancient town south of Hannover, just off the A 7 Autobahn. We stopped on the way our way home on Sunday.

The old Town is filled with lovingly restored "Fachwerkhauser" - a description of half-timbered buildings of three and four storeys. The facades are decorated very artistically (and would probably send English Heritage into a complete tailspin over "originality" and "conservation not restoration"), yet all of them are original and the restorations have used replica tools, original techniques and, where original materials are not available, replica bricks made in the same manner as originals.






The town is located on the conjunction of two rivers, the Fulda and the Werra
which together become the Weser River from this point on. There is a famous poem about this, the German equivalent of a "tongue-twister." I'll try to get Mausi to give it to me so I can post it later for those who are interested.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Visit to Hanover

OK, OK, I can hear my German friends telling me it's spelled Hannover ...

Never mind, my camera packed up on me so I could only get a few pictures on my phone. The following were taken in the suburb of List which is very full of trees (All of Hannover is!) and has some fascinating architecture out of the late 1890s, early 1900s. Most of it has been beautifully restored and the 'Wohnungs' (Apartments or Flats to the English speaking world) within have been modernised. These scenes are all located near the Lister Platz U-Bahn station.




Friday, 26 August 2011

A little trip away ...

Mausi and the Monk are off to Hanover (or Hannover as the German's spell it) for a farewell party for Mausi's sister who is taking up a position at a school in Brussels. This will be the Monk's second visit to Hannover, but the last hardly counts as he was there for only one day and a night - for a major exhibition.

He's looking forward to seeing more of it, but not particularly to the four hour drive! Normal posting will, hopefully, resume next week, possibly with some pictures of Hanover!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Playing God? Again?

An interesting item caught my attention today. It's one of those reports that could herald a major breakthrough in disease control - but it could also herald the fall of the first domino tumbling in yet another cascade of scientific disaster. The report concerns the release of mosquitoes deliberately infected with a bacteria which blocks the parasite virus responsible for Dengue Fever. It sounds like a great idea. Dengue Fever is a serious viral illness, possibly on a par with malaria and certainly one of the scourges of populations in mosquito infested areas.

But the problem is this - viruses can also mutate, the Dengue virus being one of the most rapid mutators around. As Denngue is a parasite and relies on the mosquito as a host, it is a matter of time before the virus finds away to fool the blocker.

As I read the news item I was reminded of the Cane Toad story. These poisonous toads were introduced some years ago - in the 1950s I think - to del with another pest damaging the sugar cane crop in Queensland. There was only one problem. Nothing in Australia can eat the toads and they are voracious predators. Not only have they dealt with the original pest - they've decimated the natural fauna as well. One could, I dare say, find many other instances where "science" has found a solution to one problem only to create a monster in another. One which springs readily to mind is the over use of antibiotics in the 60s and 70s which has now given rise to superbugs resistant to antibiotics.

I just hope this experiment with the mosquitoes doesn't go the same way. A "new, improved" dengue fever would not be a good idea!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Financial Problems ...

A recent article in Der Spiegel touches on the problem of "financial markets" and the manner in which they impact on national economies. It makes very interesting reading and exposes the fact that all major investment currencies are extremely vulnerable to manipulation by investors. The fact is the "market" controls the politicians, not the other way round.

Nor can you blame the investors or the investment fund managers for exploiting a system which allows the trade of a nations "assets" on international markets. In fact, at present it would be near impossible to stop it. The "investor" wants to get a return on the investment, the Investment Fund Manager is legally and morally bound to pursue the best return for the investor.

Ever since the government of William Pitt invented "Deficit Budgetting" to fund the French Revolutionary War and then the Napoleonic one, we have faced the possibility of government's being unable to repay their loans. It has also given rise to the need for the politicians to pander to the needs of the financial "markets" in order to keep the money flowing into their dreams and ambitions.

There lies the dichotomy. If a politician makes a decision which weakens a currency or impacts on an economy (and they do all the time!) the "market" takes fright and whisks their investors capital out of danger. Thus the Greek €uro crisis, the Irish €uro crisis and all the others are exacerbated by the transfer and trade against the currency by investors. Even the Almighty US$ is under threat from this trade and so is the GB£.

As Der Spiegel points out, the opportunity to remove at least some of the speculative threat was lost when our politicians failed to ban or regulate the most dangerous financial "products" which were responsible for the collapse of Lehman Brothers. They have failed to regulate their own spending as well, borrowing far more than was wise in the pursuit of ideological dreams.

It's a toxic legacy, one which threatens peace and security for us all.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Weinfest Pictures ...

As promised, some pictures from the Weinfest in Wiesbaden ...




A "Grill" evening

Last night we enjoyed the company of our Pfarer and his family for a "Grill" evening. That's a BBQ to the rest of us.

It was great fun, we all ate a superb mix of meat and salads and parted company eventually a little sadly as it had been so enjoyable. Nothing quite like good food, good company and a little of the right beverages to make it all come together wonderfully.

We were lucky in the weather as well - the morning did not bode well, with "gewitter" and heavy rain, but by the time our guests arrived, the sun was out, the sky clear and we had the perfect evening.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Evolution?

The Postulant writes -

I’ve discovered a subspecies of policeman:

homo sapiens odit homines can be distinguished from homo sapiens sapiens by it’s crusty exterior, monosyllabic and sometimes complete lack of communication with other humans. Anthropologists theorise that odit homines has evolved to distrust the rest of humanity based on overexposure to criminal pathogens (or is that pathological criminals).

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Weinfest ...

Last night Mausi and I visited the Wiesbaden Weinfest. Its an annual thing, and all the Rheingau vineyards have their stalls set out and their wares to sample. There's food available as well - an essential really. Interestingly the local Transport company has several stalls for patrons to buy transport tickets and to obtain water, fizzy drinks and the like.

The venue is the Marktplatz around the Marktkirche and Rathaus between Friedrichstrasse and the Landestag buidings. There are three stages set up around the area and live music from all of them. The whole thing lasts a week, and the square is packed throughout. Mind you, given the range of choice of wines, you need a week just to do the sampling justice ...

As Mausi was driving, the Monk sampled. The system is you pay a deposit on a wineglass and €2 or €3 per refill. You can visit and sample as many stalls with your glass as you think necessary. The great thing is you don't wind up dodging drunks. Everyone has a good time, drinks and eats sensibly and it's a great evening out.

Some pictures will follow when I have downloaded them from my phone...

Friday, 19 August 2011

We have a problem ...

Recently I've seen a number of news reports in which various factions have blamed the police for the rioting in London and elsewhere recently. Much is made of references by the police to the "civillian" population and clearly some are uncomfortable with that terminology, even though, in strictly pedantic terms, as every police "officer" carries the Queen's "Warrant" he or she is an "officer of the law" and not a "civilian" when carrying out their duties. They certainly do have an "image" problem, but we can hardly blame them for warning the victim of a robbery who dared to defend himself/herself from the robber, that they might face charges of assault if they pursue their complaint. The Police don't make the law, they are obliged to apply and enforce the laws made by the politicians and the interpretations handed down by our increasingly lunatic courts.

I know that blaming the police is not an answer here. The average officer is a decent person trying to do a job within the constraints of the mess the law has become. He is beset by political overseers, bureaucrats who think form filling equals accountability and let down repeatedly by a justice system run by “liberals” for a “liberal” ideology which needs to have “victims” to patronise and “enemies” to revile in order to maintain its legitimacy. In this the criminals have become the “victims” and the police the “enemy.” Why are we then surprised that the police are feeling alienated and behaving as an alienated group themselves?

There is a much deeper ailment eating away at our society. Over 60% of teenagers say they see no prospects for themselves or their generation in our current society. 49% say they do not believe in any “higher power” or in any form of religion. With numbers like that having no hope of improving their lot – in this life or another – and seeing themselves as forever excluded from the organs of power, wealth or the tools to achieve either, why are we surprised they fall back on believing they are “entitled” to welfare, housing and anything else they fancy?

The history of the last sixty years and the growth of this problem, from Attlee's bodged "welfare state" creation at the end of WW2 when he and his government squandered what remained of the nations wealth and the US Reconstruction loans on fantasies, Macmillan and Eden throwing open doors to ex-colonies (But NOT interestingly to the Dominions) and then Wilson and Callaghan giving the Unions the power to destroy industry and commerce, we see a common thread. A steady march toward a "Utopia" for the political classes in which they control the wealth and the distribution thereof to everyone else. And here it has to be said that the "political classes" include politicians, trade union bosses and the civil servants who are supposed to be apolitical... As the saying is; all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

There is massive corruption in Whitehall. The whole Civil Service operates on nepotism, patronage and networks. Contracts for vast amounts of tax money are awarded to contractors on the basis of their being on a list issued by the Treasury. The “Preferred Bidders” are selected on the basis of "buggins turn" where a single contractor is needed or the contract split between several in other cases. And the prices charged are loaded, because there is no one in the Civil Service hierarchy capable of actually writing a proper specification for what they are buying. They get away with this because they are able to argue that this system saves time on a "bidding process" which might take a year or more to settle.

Senior Civil Servants invariably retire to become “consultants,” lobby “advisers” or “Non-executive directors” of the companies on these lists – but nothing is done about this cosy relationship even though it is right there in everyone’s face. The same applies to our politicans. Lost your seat? Never mind, here’s a directorship for you … The same applies to the Union Bosses, who benefit from this cosy relationship as well, though usually by means of "safe" seats in that House of Corruption and then into a Boardroom ...

The political classes have, over the last sixty or so years, cut the average person off completely from the corridors of power or any meaningful avenues to wealth generation. The burden of the civil service alone on the taxpayer runs into billions – from experience of running a public fire service – 63% of the budget goes on salaries and wages – and more than 20% of the UK workforce is now directly or indirectly employed by the taxpayer. We no longer offer kids like those who rioted recently any form of apprenticship for a trade, because we’ve successfully killed off all skilled trades bar a handful. We’ve killed off our large industries and now have only niche industries which require highly skilled and possibly dedicated staff. Our commercial interests are now all focused on consumer supply and our merchant “fleet” and its partner the fishing “fleet” are no more.

Access to education is now controlled by faceless bureaucrats despite the much vaunted "choice" parents supposedly have. Those who can afford it, send their children to private schools, but Blair et al cut off access to "scholarship" children for the poorer members of society. Perhaps because that might move those children out of their control. Access to education and the control of what is taught, or perhaps "indoctrinated" is a better description, also means control of access to the better paid jobs, and so the cycle of control extends - and it all rests in the hands of a few politicians and bureaucrats, paid for by you.

We have a problem. A complex one. We have a large underclass with no hope and no prospects. And a bigger problem, our political class (which includes the civil service and the Union bosses) have no interest in addressing this – because their contnuing in power depends on maintaining this disaffected class on benefits …

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Rioter's Prayer ...

I don't know who the author of this is, but he's summed up the present state of religion and society pretty well ...

Our Father who art in prison
my mum knows not his name.
Thy riots come,
read it in the Sun,
in Birmingham as it is in London.
Give us this day our welfare bread
and forgive us our looting as
we are happy to loot those who defend stuff against us.
Lead us not into employment,
but deliver us free housing.
For thine is the telly's,
the blackberry and the Bacardi
forever and ever.
Innit.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Some other views on the riots ...

From Insp Winter's Blog I got some interesting insights from the police perspective ...

This bit particularly stood out:

"To the Members of Parliment who have criticised us or mocked us, I say this: you disgust me, you sit safely in your palace protected by my colleagues your personal protections officers are my colleagues, we all face huge levels of danger on a daily basis and we are doing our best. Your unhelpful and frankly ill-informed criticisms and little snipes in the media sicken me, dishearten me and make my job a heck of a lot harder. If you feel compelled to pass comment on things then come out on to the streets with us, come and meet those of us who were on the front line, do not meet Chief Constables resplendent in tunics, do not wander around control rooms miles away from disorder. To you the whole world smells of paint, to me it smells of smoke and petrol!"

A couple of other sites give some interesting insights like this one from Charon QC (That's a very senior Barrister ...)

or this one on the family courts and the charade that passes for "justice" in them. The blog "Pink Tape" is another run by a lawyer ...

A hat tip here to The Postulant who found these links for me.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

From Madam & Eve ...

Probably the best comment I've yet seen on how far Britain has sunk under its present Socialist elite ...

http://www.madamandeve.co.za/cartoons/me005155.jpg

Monday, 15 August 2011

Hidden Agendas ...

I have been watching, with some interest, the stream of anti-Christian innuendo and briefing in the media for some time. One of the more irritating is the description of the Oslo murderer as a "Christian Extremist" merely on the grounds that he apparently visited some 'extreme' Christian websites. The fact that he was never a member of any church or congregation, held views that were extremely critical of Christian precepts and then went on to carry out a mass murder attack in complete contravention of everything the Gospels teach, is apparently irrelevant to a good anti-Christian headline.

Recent conversations with my children and comments I have seen posted to blogs that are Christian in character, made me do a bit more digging. What emerges is that many of the Atheist and Humanist 'information' leaflets and 'teaching information packs' actually contain material which ignorant teachers are taking as fact, when it is not.

The object of the exercise is to undermine the single book which underpins our faith. The Bible is described in many of the tracts I have seen as "composed by different authors and much amended by the church, to reflect a questionable 'history' for which there is little archeological evidence." The early books, namely the Pentateuch, the "Five Books" of Moses, are dismissed as "fantasy," a collection of fairy-tales and fantasies. The material I have seen cites Egyptologists as saying "there is no reference to Moses or the Israelites on any Ancient Egyptian monument. Given that the Egyptians had a habit of defacing any monument to any ruler who fell out of favour, or was overthrown, and you have to question that. They also had a good 'spin' going on other things.

Ramses II is generally depicted as always 'triumphant' yet other records from other kingdoms of the time show that he and his armies regularly got beaten and chased out of territories they invaded. The fact is that there may even be a mismatch between the currently accepted "dating" used by Egyptologists where they have the dates of the Pharaohs arranged consecutively, when in fact quite a number of them may have reigned simultaneously. Then there is the city excavated in the delta which actually fits a number of the Biblical description, and contains a deliberately destroyed important tomb and many defaced monuments. The official line is that it is the "wrong period" to be the city mentioned in the Bible, but you also have to recognise that the Muslim World does not want anything which would 'prove' any aspect of the Bible as it would legitimise the Jewish claims to Israel.

Turning to the next set of 'books' in the Bible we have Judges, Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. These are fragments of the originals, probably the work of many scholars piecing together remembered fragments of destroyed earlier 'Court' records. The current form of these books dates from the return from exile of the leading families after the nation was overrun and suppressed by the Babylonian invasions. How accurate are they? Probably pretty close to the original, though very incomplete. Ironically records from the southern Arabian peninsula, Oman and even Babylon (Modern Iraq) suggest that there is far more truth in these books than any archeologist is prepared to admit for fear, possibly, of upsetting their Muslim friends who control access to the sites they want to examine. Politics there fore dictate that anything which supports anything in the Old Testament must be suppressed. That, of course, plays directly into the hands of the Atheist and Humanist Secularisers who wish to destroy Christianity.

Destroy the Book which provides the foundations of Faith - and you destroy faith.

The remaining books of the Old Testament fall into a category which may be more readily labelled as "philosophy." The Prophets of old certainly wrote with passion and fire in their hearts and pens and one of the things any open minded reader soon spots is that many of the things they raged against in their society are observable in our own. Human nature certainly doesn't change a great deal and hasn't in the 3,000 odd years since those ancient writers began compiling these books. The books contain poetry, allegorical stories and political commentary, some of that last, again, is very close to the bone for some of our present political ideas.

Does their being "philosophical" make them any less valid than, say, the writings of Bertrand Russell? I would say no, but I can hear the screams of rage from the Atheist community even as I write. Certainly much of the historical reference they make is slowly being verified, though not without huge amounts of opposition, obfuscation and resistance from those for whom the Bible is an "enemy" artifact to be destroyed at all costs.

Our children are also painstakingly taught that the entire Gospel story is a fantasy, invented by the Roman Catholic Church in some of the more pointed papers, to "enslave" the hearts and minds of the gullible. According to what at least two of my children were taught, the crucifixion and the resurrection are pure fantasy, the invention of people trying to overthrow the religious leaders of the time. They draw heavily for this on later Gnostic Heresy documents and, when these are exposed as false, fall back on the arguments that "there is no mention of Jesus in any historical record of the period." This is not, in fact, true, but it depends on what you refer to as a "record" and how you read it. There is a brief reference in the "Histories" of Josephus, but more tellingly, there is a record of the fact that Pontius Pilate seriously botched something which led to his being replaced and sent to a lesser post as far as possible from Rome. That, plus the fact that he eventually committed suicide.

It is also not surprising that no records survive of these events in Jerusalem, the Romans made sure of that when they raised the Temple and Jerusalem in 70AD. The Sanhedrin records and all the Temple records were thoroughly and systematically destroyed. All the noble Jewish families were imprisoned, sold off as slaves and sent into exile all over the Roman Empire. Where the Babylonians probably left at least some in situ, the Romans made very sure that only peasants and workers remained. And they then went on the rampage against the Christians as well.

For me, perhaps the most conclusive proof that Christianity is founded on truth, is the fact that there was such a determined effort to erase all evidence of the events described in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The story, the evidence and the faith survived that and I'm pretty sure it will survive this latest assault. It was said by a far greater author than I, that the absence of faith does not mean an absence of belief. Now those who are faithless will believe in everything ...

As a Christian I am tired of being told by the terminally ignorant, that "there is no historical proof of anything in the Bible" or that "The Church" teaches that the earth is flat, that we are the centre of the universe or any of the other zany "evidence" they can and do dredge up from the extremities of faith. It is time for those of mainstream belief to stand up and refuse to accept these canards any longer. Does this make me an "extreme" Christian?

No it does not, but it does mean that, from now on, I intend to demand the same respect for my beliefs from public organisations and commentators that they show for atheists, humanists, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Gays, Lesbians and everyone else that my Faith apparently offends. The laws that 'protect' the rights of all these others also 'protect' me and those who share my beliefs - it's time to start demanding their even handed application. It is time to expose the "hidden" agenda behind these assaults.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Redecoration ...

The Monk and Mausi live in a lovely part of the State of Hessen in Germany. We are surrounded by forest and perched atop a mountain. All that is missing are some of Pratchett's "silicone based lifeforms," a few vampires and the odd werewolf to make it the perfect reflection of Überwald. Not quite the Ramtops, but Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat optional ...

I jest of course, it is a beautiful little corner, one I am glad to inhabit away from the youff and freeloaders causing the riots in Britain.

We currently have the decorators repairing and redecorating the exterior of our house. That means scaffolding, plastic sheets over windows, and strange noises emanating from the jet washing of tiles, walls and other surfaces as they prepare them for a new coating of paint, treat the timbers in our soffits and generally get it all looking nice. They're a cheery bunch, drawn from several countries including Kosovo, Poland and, of course, Hessen.

My German is improving - but Hessiche still defeats me!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Making a stand ...

A recent article in the Guardian got my back up, not difficult given the bias that rag displays against the culture, heritage and nature of the English and western society. So I have registered my complaint with the Press Complaints Commission.

I cannot reveal what or the detail, suffice it to say I have no great expectation of it being upheld, given the nature of the beast. Now back to explaining for the third time, in detail, what I object to, and how it breaches their Code of Practice...

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

I'm angry enough to write a Blog Post

I have scolded the BBC via Twitter for giving Red Ken airtime - they won't listen, but it made me feel better. He and his cronies have taught a generation that they are entitled to everything without any effort, hamstrung the police to the point that they are powerless and all he cares about is trying to be elected as mayor again. He also has the "entitlement" disease.

In fairness to Red Ken (but very begrudgingly), all politicians of all parties are to blame - between them they have:

- removed vocational training
- devalued degrees and tried to shoehorn non-academic children into an overloaded higher education system
- introduced mountains of debt for graduates, making it seem impossible to earn enough to pay it off
- kept wages low to please big industry (who political parties rely on for funds)
- restricted housing to keep house prices beyond the reach of the average young worker - another blow to anyone paying off student loans
- removed the tools that enable the police to control rioters and put them in fear of being sued or suspended for doing their jobs
- reduced police numbers to levels that make it impossible for the police to deal with normal levels of crime, let alone riots
- adopted a soft touch approach to punishing crime, so no one's scared of being caught

The rioters are not poor misunderstood little children - they are cynical exploiters of a society where it is easier to make money by stealing, either from the government (benefits) or by looting. They have been brought up to worship celebrities and covet expensive flashy items. No teenager is prepared to postpone their dreams for 10, 15 or 20 years, so when they look at their options, they choose benefits and/or crime, because that looks like the best way to get what they want out of life. Benefits aren't generous at all, but if you have a choice between hard work for minumum wage vs sitting at home on benefits, if you have been trained to expect good things for no effort, which seems better? Those who choose to work have as many obstacles put in their way as possible, so the lazy ones think they're mugs for trying.

...and since the politicians all took part in protests in their youth and they wear rose-tinted specs when they look back at those days, they had no idea about what they could unleash. Politicians think that protest is a middle class hobby and all terribly well-behaved. They should have taken note of how the make up of the mob has changed in the 90's, when the poll tax and Reclaim the Streets riots started.

I can't find a link to the story, but I heard on the radio this morning that an immigrant community in West London banded together to defend their local businesses, so there is some hope. There are also clean up crews being organised all across London in defiance of the rioters - Londoners are angry and are determined to show that these people are not the majority and are not going to be tolerated. I just hope it doesn't turn into vigilanteism.

And then all the BBC can say is this ...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14459127

…while the media wring their hands over how mean it would be for the police to use crowd control methods that actually work, blame the Tories (rather than all politicians, which I think is more accurate) and blame social deprivation, my friend in Bromley tells me that police are gathering in preparation for more unrest – in the middle of the day in Bromley, of all places!

The Postulant

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

UK Riots ...

A disaffected populace, out of control youths, kids with not enough to do, benefit cuts, a Tory government, ... all the usual excuses and arguments offered by a biased media for the rioting occurring in the UKs major centres at present. I would certainly suspect that at least some of it is down to the disconnect between the reasonable aspirations of people and what the last government and this one are creating. But that doesn't excuse the rioting, the looting, the destruction of the livelihoods and businesses of those they are attacking.

The Postulant is keeping me up to date on events and has sent me some interesting links. I read with tremendous sympathy a blog post from a policeman at the heart of all this. His sensitive observations of the victims - small businessmen wiped out by these criminal and mindless gangs - is at odds with the usual media presentation of the police as brutish thugs just spoiling for the chance to beat up some "innocent" gansta. I have to say that Insp Winter epitomizes the policemen and women I have had the privilege of working with through my career.

Here is an excerpt from his account of Saturday Night ...

I have never experienced looting of this scale, the wholesale sacking of shops is taking place, we know it is taking place and there is nothing we can do about it, a couple of the more hardcore members of my team want to “blat round and stop it”, we’re outnumbered, we’re encumbered by protective equipment and we’re drained. If we go blundering into this kind of situation we’ll do more harm than good. And that’s when it happens, my moment of terror “MAN DOWN”, two words I never want to hear, we run to form a cordon round the fallen officer, shields up in all directions, everyone alert and scanning for a threat. I can’t see anything but I can feel the impact of stones against my helmet, I can see some glass breaking around us, thankfully the downed officer isn’t baldy hurt and is able to regain his footing, we’re up and we’re mobile, one of my worst fears averted.


But the bit that really got to me was this -

There are so many things I would like to say, so many experiences that have happened over the last 48 hours, experiences of terror, experiences of massive humour and sadness.
Trying to restrain a shop owner who is attempting to run into a burning building to attempt to salvage his stock, and indeed his livelihood. Taking off my helmet so I can hear him better, he sobs as he explains to me about his life, and how he has built up his trade and now does not know what to do. I simply do not know what to say to him, when I survey the streets around us it reminds me of the looting that took place in Iraq in 2003, it’s genuinely heartbreaking. I do something I find myself doing alot over the next few hours, telling him I’m sorry and then giving him a manly hug with a pat on the back. Helmet back on and we’re off somewhere else.


These guys are heroes, right up there with our Armed Forces fighting wars our politicians should never have engaged in and do not even begin to understand. I have, in my own career, had my fair share of being attacked with stones, petrol bombs and even shot at - and I was in the Fire and Emergency Services. Every MP whose "electorate" is currently out destroying the livings, homes and economies of their communities should be out there in Riot Gear learning what it is like to be on the receiving end of this sort of abuse instead of mouthing off about the police from the comfort of the BBC Studios. They, and they alone, have created the situation we are now in. The only problem with my desire to see these worthless parasites in the front line is that the Policemen and women would feel obliged to protect them - and place themselves in even more danger.

The police must now be empowered to put an end to this with whatever means are necessary and the courts must be told in no uncertain terms that the rioters, looters and thieves must be given punitive sentences - not the usual "community service" or "limp wrist" smack for being naughty. It is time to get tough and if the judiciary aren't up to it - sack them and let's have some who are.

Every now and then one stumbles across a statement so profound it is almost impossible not to see how obvious it is, and yet, how often it is ignored.

I recently came across an article on the Physicist Richard Feynman. It prompted me to take a slightly longer look at his life and work, interesting because, even as a physicist, he maintained a strong adherence to his Christian Faith. Born 1918 he died in 1988 and is still quoted on a wide range of science matters. One of his greatest assets though was his ability to summarise difficult issues and put them into plain words. Another was his ability to nail down "home truths" that seem to have got lost somewhere in recent years as secularists, atheists and general "religion is the root of all evil" pundits comment and sometimes rant about a faith they know little or nothing about.

One of my favourite quotes from Dr Feynman is simple -

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."


but it has a close second in

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."


However, the profound statement which drew my interest was this -

In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another. The great problems of the relations between one and another aspect of human activity have for this reason been discussed less and less in public. When we look at the past great debates on these subjects we feel jealous of those times, for we should have liked the excitement of such argument. The old problems, such as the relation of science and religion, are still with us, and I believe present as difficult dilemmas as ever, but they are not often publicly discussed because of the limitations of specialization.


Now it seems to me that he has struck a blow right to the very heart of the current attacks on faith by certain members of the "scientific community" and others in politics and even literature. They may well be "experts" vin their own narrow fields, but many of them patently do not have sufficient knowledge or understanding of the religious beliefs they so freely attack - and it shows every time they open their mouths before those who do. I may not be a physicist, biologist or great "best selling" author but I do know a little about my faith, enough in fact to know that those who attack it know less than nothing at all about it. And that is very sad indeed.

Patently, Dr Feynman did know his faith and had no difficulty reconciling either his science or his faith. Reading some of the papers he delivered I am left with the conclusion that the world needs a lot more scientists like him ...

You really do have to love his simple statement - Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts ...


You can find more of his quotes at WikiQuotes.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Real Science

Browsing some articles on climate and sea ice I stumbled across a blog called Real Science and added it to my blogroll. One item in particular caught my attention and tickled my funny bone - entitled Its Real, its dangerous all scientists agree its your fault - . Having perused other information on the site I have to say I found it very interesting and informative.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Demonising Faith ...

Following on from my rant of yesterday, I note the epithet "Christian Extremist" is used with gay abandon by the left wing media now in connection with Brevik, the Norwegian gunman and bomber. There is no excuse for doing so, the man was not a member of any Christian Church or sect, nor of any Christian organisation. He has spoken publicly denouncing the tenets of the Protestant Churches the media suggest he followed. His actions in bombing, shooting and killing were not Christian - in fact the antithesis of the teachings of every Christian Church.

So what is happening here?

Put simply, his murderous rampage is being used to create the impression in the public mind that all Christian teaching is likely to lead to murder, or to some act of intolerance. The determination to drive all religion from the public mind is being carefully orchestrated by a viscious and unscrupulous coalition of Secularists, Atheists and Humanists. Under the guise of "liberalising" society and creating "tolerance" they do not hesitate to stir up hatred against people of faith, especially those of the established church, in order to persuade the silent majority that they alone are 'tolerant.' Yet that 'tolerance' has a very strange face.

Yes, there are, for Christians, Muslims and other faiths, some very tricky moral questions regarding their attitudes to homosexuality, abortion and some of the other "liberal" doctrines. But painting us all as "evil deniers of choice" or "indoctrinators and perverters of children" at every opportunity hides the fact that they have, to date, failed to convince us that their "alternative religion" of prejudice and amorality is superior. Our children are now fed a mishmash of falsehoods in the Whitehall devised and promoted "Religious Education" which tells children - certainly two of mine were told - that the Bible has no basis in fact, the Old Testament has no historical foundation is is the creation of Zionists, the New Testament is a mix of fantasy and philosophy with no foundation in fact.

The media is controlled by the left and there is a constant bombardment of anti-Christian trivia. That pillar of socialist secularism, the Guardian never loses an opportunity to decry any objection from any Christian leader as "extremist" or "out of touch" and as for the BBC ...

What is worse, there is little point in complaining about any of this to the Press Complaints Commission - guess who controls that?

The truth is that unless the socialist left secularisers can drive Christianty out of Britain, they know there is little hope of succeeding in imposing their desired atheist secularism. Nature abhors a vacuum and secularist atheism is a vacuum.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Pro-Life, or Pro-Death?

The current 'scandal' in the Guardian, that rag of monumental misinformation subsidised by the UK taxpayers and the BBC Licence Fee, is the supposed "expose'" by a "charity" called "Education for Choice" which - presumably with completely innocent and open minded intentions - sent a "mystery shopper" to the offices of another charity which opposes abortion. Surprise, surprise, in a series of very loaded questions, the "mystery shopper" managed to "expose" the charity's part-time counselor as "failing to offer advice which was pro-abortion." The Blog Archbishop Cranmer has a great deal more detail on the issue, including the blatant bias and anti-ethics and immorality of the complainants.

According to "Education for Choice" an unborn child has no life and no right to life. Their counselors never mention any alternative - such as adoption - to any woman seeking advice. According to them, there is only one option and it isn't life for the unborn child.

I have a very simple solution to this "scandal" as the Guardian and the editor of The Humanist portray it - I would like the government to make it compulsory for all pro-abortion counselors to attend and watch abortions on the ultra-sound scans while they are performed BEFORE they are allowed to be licenced to counsel for it. The second change I want to see is one which switches the funding away from abortion. At present these "clinics" are paid per abortion and receive nothing if there isn't one. I suggest that only abortions which are necessary to save the life of the mother, or the child is likely to be still-born or seriously 'non-viable' should be paid for. All others should be counselled for adoption or pay their own way.

In Britain's current climate of Atheist/Humanist prejudice replacing religious morality, immoral action is now accepted as "moral" and those who dare to say otherwise find themselves pilloried and lampooned - or, as in the case of the charity LIFE - with the likes of The Humanist and the Guardian demanding their charitable status and licence to offer counselling withdrawn.

Perhaps it is time for someof us on the other side of the fence to pay them in their own coin - by running similar entrapment visits, collecting evidence of their malpractice - and then demanding their being struck off.

It really is time to stand up to these immoral, prejudiced and frankly poisonous individuals.

Friday, 5 August 2011

A monument to failure ...

This year sees the 50 anniversary of possibly the most infamous monument to the failure of an ideology - the building, overnight, of the "Berlin Wall." It's architects, the Socialist Government of the then "German Democratic Republic," proclaimed it was necessary to "protect the people of the Socialist Republic from the "Fascists" in West Berlin and the truly democratic Western German state. It stood for 30 years before being rendered redundant by the collapse of the system that built it and the complete exposure of "socialism" and "communism" as the oppressive and fraudulent systems they were and are.

These "workers paradises," as one Anthony Wedgewood Benn MP was fond of calling them, needed armies of secret police, networks of informers and armed border guards to prevent anyone leaving them. The real reason for the Berlin Wall and the subsequent fencing in of the entire East German Border, was the fact that the trickle of emigrants from the Socialist Republic to the West was rapidly becoming a flood. The East was suffering a brain and a skills drain that spoke volumes about the kind of "paradise" the general populace were forced to live in. The socialists believed that everyone must be allocated everything by the state, so the choice of school for a child rested with the state. So did the choice of work, higher education and living space. Of course, it was 'democratic' in the sense that everyone could vote - but with only one party to vote for, choice was again decided by the State. If this is 'paradise' then I know what my choice will be.

The Berlin Wall came down almost as rapidly as it went up. In the 30 years it stood as a monument to the fear of exposure of the Socialist leadership, eighty people were summarily shot attempting to escape the "paradise" it protected. Thousands more spent time in prison for daring to question the "system." 22 years ago, the Soviet Union went bust. With it went all the satellite states they had imposed their "socialist paradise" upon. Once the walls and the barbed wire were dragged aside the real truth emerged. Prisons for dissent, the Stasi records, the antiquated factories, the incompetence of the bureaucrats, the failing infrastructures - and the lifestyles of the "Party" functionaries.

It is completely beyond my ability to understand anything why it is then, that the UK and a large part of the political establishment of the US want to adopt this failed political system and all that goes with it... Perhaps they should be forced to study the realities of the Socialist System at first hand - but only as members of the "proletariat" and definitely not as its "Leaders."

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Justice/Injustice

A report on the Yahoo News Feed caught my eye. It tells of a policeman attempting to stop a stolen car being hit when the 29 year old banned driver hit his police car and then attempted to run away. The injured policeman got up, chased the thief and Tasered him before collapsing from his own injuries. Follow the link to see this on the Police cameras.

The disgraceful thing is that when this worthless piece of filth appeared in court, the Prosecution had obviously 'plea bargained' to reduce the charge from attempted murder to a lesser charge of "driving dangerously." The Judge handed down a sentence of 23 months ... Is it any wonder crime is paying so well in the UK?

As the comments on the original post showed, many feel as I do about the manner in which criminals are now routinely treated as "victims" and let off lightly. I fully expect to read, at some point, that the Policeman has been disciplined for daring to use his Taser gun.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Socialism's Achilles Heel?

The situation in Britain after a little over a decade of socialist "Tax and Spend" economics coupled with the landslide of nannying legislation, much of it conflicting or duplication of older and better drafted, thought out and crafted law, the British economy is in the same state as many "developing nations." The one difference is that it now has a government that has at least made a start at slashing the vast amounts of money Whitehall squanders annually.

Across the pond, political brinkmanship seems to have brought a small breathing space for the socialist inclined Democrat regime. They have a budget settlement it appears for this year which doesn't seem to cut any of the Washington "Tax Spend" - instead it does a "Gordon" and raises the Overdraft limit. The interest payable on this "overdraft" must be horrendous - certainly the one Britain inherited from Liebor's Blair/Brown regime has interest repayments that would allow the Royal Navy to pay for both its Aircraft Carriers in two years and fit them out with a full complement of aircraft and manpower.

Everywhere "socialists" manage to get their hands on government it is the same. Taxes rise exponentially, vast numbers of parasitic bureaucrats are recruited and "administration" exponentially expands, spending increases in line with this expansion and the propaganda machinery cranks out the same message. Any non-socialist voice must be instantly stifled as "fascist" and reasonable debate goes out of the window as labels are applied and repeatedly used until any dissent is quashed or driven underground. We can see this happening in a number of "socialist" organs - the Guardian is typical - with an editorial attempting to blame the Oslo tragedy on "conservatism and right wing thinking." I've even seen some trying to link the actions of this pathological murderer to "climate deniers."

This is, I believe the greatest weakness of the socialist ideology. It is founded on some pretty good ideals of a fair share and a fair reward for everyone, but it does not actually work in practice. It falls apart very quickly under the pressure of simple economics. As one economics lecturer told me many years ago, increase in demand has to be met by an increase in supply. Any imbalance quickly sees prices either rise or fall. So too with wages, as they rise the cost of whatever is produced must rise to cover them - or the workforce must shrink. But you cannot shrink the workforce without reducing production, unless you find another means of producing the goods or services using fewer workers. Then the social services kicks in and now you are paying workers not to work ...

But government's have no money of their own to pay this, so they have no option but to take it from those who are working. There lies the weakness of the socialist ideology. The true socialist genuinely believes that all goods, services and wealth belong to the "state" and it is the "state" therefore that has the sole right to apportion rewards to the workers. There is the conundrum. In order to get money to spend, the "state" must first take it from the working people and they do this in the form of tax. Gordon Brown proved that he had no understanding (and nor, apparently did anyone in the Treasury!) of economics when he began to desperately look for ways to get the money for all the handouts he had promised. He didn't dare to raise Income Tax, so he did some very shady dealing in hidden taxes, one of the most infamous ruined the private Pensions system - a fact he still denies. In taking GBP8 Billion out of the funds in a "tax raid" and then imposing a tax which raises some GBP6 Billion a year subsequently, he left the majority of these funds unable to meet their commitments and several went bankrupt.

A popular - to the "Green" lobby - tax is always a hit on the price of petrol and diesel. But the Treasury fails to take into account - as did Brown and his fellow socialists - that the price of fuel impacts on food prices. As these rise, wage demands increase, as wages rise, so do the cost of other goods. Mass immigration encouraged by the socialist tendency has produced another cost spiral - housing. It has a secondary impact as well - benefit claims have gone up exponentially under the Liebor government and so has fraud. As the strain on the Treasury increases, so do the taxes and when they can't raise the money through tax - they borrow it ...

As anyone who has ever taken out a longterm loan knows, it isn't the capital that is the problem, it is the interest. By the time a large loan is repaid, the interest has usually almost doubled the original amount borrowed. If, as all socialist regimes do, you "roll the loan over" year on year and keep borrowing more to cover the interest payments and your spending plans, you eventually reach the situation of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and now, it seems, the US.

The complete failure of the socialist intelligentsia to understand the operation of a simple economic market model is the Achilles Heel of the entire ideology. Unfortunately, it seems that this lesson is beyond the understanding of the majority of voters who are beguiled by the image of a "paradise" State that provides for their every need. What the voter's forget is that they end up paying for the extravagance of the politicians and the incompetence of the civil servants. That is, perhaps, our Achilles Heel.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Short days ...

Seem to be the order of my life at present. Far too much to do or which I want to do and not nearly enough time to do any of it!

Ce la vie, I shall have to make a good post for the blog tomorrow. There are a number of important things to be looked at at the moment and I shall probably comment on some of them. But the grass keeps growing, the house needs cleaning, the cat needs attention, books have to be written, edited and nursed round the publishers ...

You get the picture.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Catching up

Today was spent on a medical check this morning and trying to catch up on a number of things at home.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better organised!