The Daily Stirrer, October 2010 (for breaking news skip to News Feeds)
2 November 2010
News, Opinion and Coment
Austerity Measures Will Cost 1.6m Jobs Says Think Tank
from BBC News:
The left never give up do they? They try to create fear and panic around every issue with the unspoken subtext being "Only more government can save you, you are herlpless, like children. Trust Nanny State.
The government's spending cuts and the rise in VAT to 20% in January will result in more than 1.6 million job losses across the public and private sectors by 2016, research suggests.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said the impact of the Spending Review had been "understated".
It predicts 725,000 public sector jobs will go - more than 100,000 higher than a government-appointed body.
750,000 public sector jobs need to go. We have six million people employed in the poublic sector (and more if we count consultants etc. That is ten per cent of the population and over 35% of the work force. No wonder the economy is up shit creek. Everyone who has a proper job has to support a passenger.
Prisoners To Be Given Right To Vote
read Ed Butt's rant on this topic votes for criminals
Ministers and think-tanks push for strict limits on concessions to the European ruling that prisoners should be allowed to vote, suggesting that it should only apply to convicts serving short sentences.
Republicans Set For Sweeping Victory In The U.S. Election
Looks like the end of the narcissist Obama's dream of a world remade in his image.
Anxiety over the stumbling economy and discontent with Obama and government in Washington have propelled Republicans to the threshold of huge gains that could give them a majority in the House of Representatives and perhaps even the Senate.
Opinion polls and independent analysts project Republican gains of at least 50 House seats, far more than ...
Perfect Storm For Investors
If you have savings be afraid, be very afraid.
Never mind what the Bank of England monetary policy committee says about interest rates on Thursday. One of the biggest wealth managers in the world is discretely warning its income-seeking clients to beware of bonds issued by the British Government; generally known as gilts.
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management fears that despite the apparent security of gilts, a combination of rising inflation already underway higher interest rates and the cessation of quantitative easing both widely anticipated could create a perfect storm for investors who ...
1 November 2010
News, Opinion and Coment
Once again, without actually having done very much, Al Qaeda have scored a victory in the so called 'war on terror.' The purpose of a campaign of teror is not to kill vast numbers or to destroy property, industrial installations and military hardware but to disrupt the routines of the nation or organization under attack. The alleged discovery of a bomb disguised as a toner cartridge for a laser printer on a transatlantic cargo flight at Heathrow airport represents a victory for the terrorists.
We say alleged because rumours are circulating that a high ranked executive of UPS, the carrier on whose flight the parcel was being carried, has denied it was a bomb. The conspiracy theorists were on the case immediately, claiming the Obama abministration were behind the story in an attempt to frighten voters ahead of the mid term elections tomorrow.
This can be discounted because Obama is seen by voters as being too sympathetic to organisations connected with terror so and incident or near miss at this stage would be more likely to drive votes towards Obama's opponents.
What an be said however is that with their usual impeccable timing Al Qaeda have managed to cause maximum disruption in the west at a time when tensions are already high. When security services proclaim their success in combating the terror threat after each unsuccessful attack they miss the point. Last Christmas massive disruption was caused by a wannabe suicide bummer whose plan was to detonate explosives hidden inside his own body as the filight from Nigeria he had travelled on was coming in to land at Chicago.
Forget the fact that the guy was so incompetent he only suceeded in setting fire to his own bollocks, his mission was spectacularly successful. Air travel was disrupted for the rest of the holiday period and higher security measures imposed on airlines since his failure have cost western businesses and governments $Łbillions.
Again the terrorists, whether the bomb was real or there is some substance in the latest rumours, have caused massive disruption.
We do not need higher security on passenger flights. Cargo is a different matter but given the just in time philosophy of modern business, corporate interests are likely to override security risks.
And as for those of us who are not concerned with the air frieght industry, all we need do is heed the words of Winston Churchill, "Keep calm and carry on."
Read news reportPassengers Face Ludicrous Safeguards
"> The Daily Telegraph
29 October 2010
News, Opinion and Comment
New Air Travel Tax
An increase in flight taxes that will add Ł100 to the cost of many family holidays threatens to end the benefits brought to the British economy and its people by air travel, British Airways has warned.
US Fiscal Trainwreck Fears
The US economy is a "fiscal train wreck" waiting to happen, US economist Nouriel Roubini warned on Friday.
He painted a bleak outlook for the world's biggest economy in a commentary for the Financial Times, saying while President Barack Obama's stimulus package prevented another depression, it was coming to an end with nothing to take its place.
The economist - one of the first to predict the US housing crash and nicknamed 'Dr Doom' - said the likely path of fiscal policy after next Tuesdays election will mean ...
E U Budget Plans Frighten BondholdersInvestors face large potential losses on eurozone debt under German plans likely to win backing from EU leaders on Friday risking a boycott of Greek, Irish, and Portuguese bonds.
I'm A Eurosceptic, Says CameronJames Kirkup writes in The Daily Telegraph: Ill post more on this soon, but Ive just come out of David Camerons press conference here in Brussels. I asked him a question thats been on my mind (and many others) for some time: Are you a Eurosceptic? Mr Camerons answer: Yes.
BoJo atacks Cameron's Housing Benefit Cap
Government housing reforms were under attack on multiple fronts as council home associations predicted they would backfire by driving up overall welfare bills and Boris Johnson warned against "Kosovo-style social cleansing" of poorer people from cities such as London. Downing Street moved to squash growing ministerial dissent by signalling there would be no retreat from ...
The Housing Benefit Cut Will Not Be A Vote Loser
Here is my column from this mornings paper (the printed version has a few sub-editing cuts): There seems, at the moment, to be a competition among the political classes to describe the Coalitions housing benefit cuts in the most lurid and tasteless possible terms. They are, were told, a final solution for the poor and a
Great Forest Sell Off
The government's plan to put half of England's state-owned forests up for sale might raise billions, but what will we lose?
The dog walkers arrive early at Cardinham Woods. It's still another hour before the cafe in the old woodsman's cottage starts serving walnut cake and bowls of stew, but already the car park is filling with vehicles containing excitable dogs yelping to be released on to the muddy forest trails heading up towards the steep valley flanks. The dense rain cloud resting ...
Now They Are Demolishing My Prejudices
From Trafalgar Square walk down Whitehall to Downing Street and stop. From this point on, the government in the 1960s wanted you to enter somewhere quite different, a British Stalingrad of concrete and glass slabs stretching to Westminster Abbey and Victoria Street. It was to obliterate acres of the city where now stand the Foreign Office, the Treasury, Richmond Terrace and New Scotland Yard, as far as the houses of parliament and across to St James's Park.
Perhaps one day a 21st Century Society battling to preserve Canary Wharf will emulate the heroes of our Victorian heritage ...
Modern Fiction Just Not Up To Scatch
The shortlist of titles for the Guardian First Book award has been announced. But even before deliberations reached this stage, the prize has become the source of a debate about the direction the publishing world is taking.
Book competitions have a habit of spawning rows: who should really have won, who should never have been a finalist and so on. But this year's Guardian first book award managed to set off a fierce debate, even before the shortlist had been announced, and it was all down to a tweet from one of the judges...
28 October 2010
News, Opinion and Comment
Could Liberalism Be Genetic
Liberalism may be genetic, according to a new study published by Cambridge University Press: Liberals may owe their political outlook partly to their genetic make-up, according to new research from the University of California, San Diego, and Harvard University. Ideology is affected not just by social factors, but also by a dopamine receptor gene called
Cameron Seduces Clegg
Liberal Democrat Reality
Liberate Your Civil Liberties
Clegg Cancer Debate
Biofuels - A Growing Evil
Is the world running out of food, alongside oil, metals, water and much else?
The answer to this question, according to a recent OECD and UN Food and Agriculture Organisation report is a definitive no; global agricultural production is on track to satisfy the expected long-term increase in demand, the OECD reckons.
Yet it's little thanks to public policy, which in combination with the current craze among financial speculators for commodities, seems hell bent on driving up prices to what for millions of the world's poor may be starvation levels ...
Green Energy Meltown
Obama's Loonytoons Biofuel Policy
America Like A Ponzi Scheme
US authorities are operating a "brazen" Ponzi scheme in government debt by buying trillions of dollars of bonds to stimulate the economy, according to Bill Gross, managing director of Pimco, the world's biggest bond house.
In a bid to restart the stalling recovery, the US Federal Reserve is next week expected to unveil a second round of quantitative easing (QE) of as much as $500bn, on top of the $1.2 trillion already completed.
Bond Villain Targets Britain
You Can't Keep A Bad Idea Down
Tom Friedman writes: I confess, I find it dispiriting to read the polls and see candidates, mostly Republicans, leading in various midterm races while promoting many of the very same ideas that got us into this mess. Am I hearing right?
Lets have more tax cuts, unlinked to any specific spending cuts and while were still fighting two wars because that worked so well during the Bush years to make our economy strong and our deficit small. Lets immediately cut government spending, instead of phasing cuts in gradually, while were still mired in a recession because that worked so well ...
27 October 2010
News, Opinion and Comment
27 October 2010
Von Rompuy - Pumpuy is trying to fuck us through the back door.
The National Socialist Government of Federal Europe is making another bid to get its hands on the controls of the British state. Yes, that dirty little Belgian bastards Von Rompuy is trying to use the Lisbon Treaty to transfer control of Britain's finances to Brussels. In other words The Bastards of Belgium are trying to stick their Federal superstate ambitions up our national arse.
Now this story comes from the Daily Mail and we normally treat DailyMail EU scare stories with some scepticism. This one does check out however. Well we told you the Bureau Rats would not give up on their dream of world domination - ever.
European President Herman Van Rompuy intends to use a report on the economic crisis to press for sweeping reforms that will strengthen economic governance in the EU.
"Ah but aren't you over - reacting?" you might well ask. After all Coalition Dave promised us a referendum on any further transfers of sovereignty to Brussels. He did, and that's why Rompuy - Pumpuy is trying to stick it up us the back way.
Mr Van Rompuy also suggests that ministers should sidestep calls for a new treaty and try to force through the new measures using existing powers under the Lisbon Treaty.
Yeah well no worries, if Dave says he will look after us we can relax, he's a much bigger bloke than Von Rumpuy - Pumpuy you are probably thinking. Maybe so but Dave is a former Public School Boy so he will be used to taking it up the arse
Downing Street has indicated that David Cameron may be prepared to trade agreement on a new treaty in return for a deal to cap the EUs runaway budget.
Now don't you wish you had taken UKIP a bit more seriously at the election?
Hat tip to the Grumpy Old Twat for pointing us to this one.
UK Airlines Back Changes To Crazy Security Measures
from BBC News
also reported in
The Guardian: UK Should Not Kowtow To U.S.
Mr Broughton said some "completely redundant" security checks should go. The Department for Transport said there were no plans to change rules on checking laptops and shoes. Practices such as forcing passengers to take off their shoes should be abandoned, Mr Broughton added.
He also criticised the US for imposing ... UK Airlines Back Changes To Crazy Security Measures">read full story
Virgin Media Ups Ante In Broadband Wars
Virgin Media is set to turn up the dial on its cable network, offering users speeds of up to 100Mbps (megabits per second).
It aims to provide the service to over 50% of the UK by mid-2012, beginning in December with 200,000 homes in London, the Home Counties and West Yorkshire.
It is the latest move in the race to bring super-fast broadband services to the UK.
It will give new impetus to rival BT's ...
OPINION and COMMENT from around the web
Osborne Needs Plan B To Deal With Banks
Supporters of cuts can still fear a recession. The lenders will pay no heed: demand and jobs must be kickstarted elsewhere
There must be a plan B. Yesterday's revelation that Britain's economic growth slowed from 1.2% to just 0.8% in the last quarter clearly indicates a stall, when it should be accelerating with the rest of Europe. Despite earlier spin making this rise better than a predicted 0.4%, George Osborne's recovery faces a blazing amber light. With cuts in public spending ahead and a swingeing rise in VAT in January, he needs a course adjustment ready for action.
So tribal is British politics that a non-partisan response
Stalking Deer In Thrilling - Killing Them Is Necessary
There are more deer in Britain than at any time in the last 1,000 years; the only humane way to manage them is to shoot them
The chill of the morning air on your face, the fresh smell of the forest, the sound of the birds as you slowly make your way through the trees in search of a stag. Nothing compares to the thrill of the stalk. The feeling as you select a beast, approach it, take aim and fire to ensure a clean kill is unique, as is the feeling that you are doing something important. Deer stalking is more than simply shooting a deer. Deer can cause considerable damage to habitat, especially where their numbers exceed the available food supply. If the deer are unmanaged, the herd will grow too big and the deer will starve.
Polly Toynbee And The Final Solution
Polly Toynbee finally lost it on Monday. Faced with one of the most progressive governments in recent history, she simply cannot contain her outrage. From Primrose Hill, she looks out across the land and sees nothing but suffering. From next year, the Government will not pay more than Ł400 a week in housing benefit. Thats only Ł89 less than ...
Why Magical Thinking Works For Some People
Ray Allens pregame routine never changes. A nap from 11:30am to 1:00pm, chicken and white rice for lunch at 2:30, a stretch in the gym at 3:45, a quick head shave, then practice shots at 4:30. ... and though many coaches, teammates and fans snicker and shake their heads, a new study headed by Lysann Damisch at the University of Cologne and recently published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that we should all stop smirking and start
26 October 2010
News Opinion and Comment
UK Economy Grows Faster Than Expected
Following the rash of gloomy predictions that followed his announcement, the Chancellor is likely to be pleasantly surprised by the figures, which are the first to reflect the period of the new Coalition Government ...
Fears that Britain is sliding towards a double-dip recession receded today, after the UK economy grew by 0.8% in the last three months.
UK GDP grew twice as strongly as the City had expected between July and September, with most analysts expecting growth of just 0.4%. However this was still slower than the surprisingly robust growth of 1.2% recorded in the previous quarter.
The government also received a boost from ...
UK Economy Grows Twice As Fast As Predicted
GDP expanded 0.8 per cent, well above the 0.4 per cent predicted by economists, as the prospects of a double dip recession receded.
The latest figures improve the chances that Britain will be able to withstand the effects of the Government's austerity package and will reduce the likelihood of the Bank of England pumping more cash into the economy in the coming months.
Just a week ago, George Osborne announced cuts of Ł81 billion aimed at reducing the deficit and restoring credibility to the countrys finances.
Paul Krugman's Ignorance Of History
Adam Collyer hands the Nobel prize winning economist a lesson in economics.
Paul Krugman reckons the UK government is wrong to cut spending. Mr Krugman is a leading American economist, and indeed a Nobel prize-winner. Heres what he had to say:
Jobs Grow Even In Recession
The left continues to rubbish the Office for Budget Responsibility's forecast of 2m new private sector jobs by 2015-16. This morning the BBC's Evan Davis described it as "quite a claim", and according to the Grun, Alan Budd is going to be hauled before the Treasury Select Committee to confess his manifest pro-Tory bias.
Both the new British budget announced on Wednesday and the rhetoric that accompanied the announcement might have come straight from the desk of Andrew Mellon, the Treasury secretary who told President Herbert Hoover to fight the Depression by liquidating the farmers, liquidating the workers, and driving down wages. Or if you prefer more British precedents, it echoes the Snowden budget of 1931, which tried to restore confidence but ended up deepening the economic crisis.
The best guess is that Britain in 2011 will look like Britain in 1931, or the United States in 1937, or Japan in 1997. That is, premature fiscal austerity will lead to a renewed economic slump. As always, those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.
Amazing that a Nobel-prize winning economist should be so ignorant of the history of a period that was so significant to economics as a discipline.
The truth is that in Britain, at least, the real economic pain happened from 1929, when the stock market crashed, to 1931...read all
But in truth - as we blogged a couple of days ago - Budd's forecasts do no more than suggest a return to the same sort of ...
25 October 2010
The Cancer Of Modern Life
Medical research insititutes continue to spend vast amounts of money on cancer research and the less level headed types involved, the boy - scientists twiiter about finding a cure for cancer as if it were one disease with a single identifiable cause. New research however suggests cancer is just one of the hazards of modern life. ( Health Menu )
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23 October 2010
Just one big crontroversy today but it is one we will be arguing about for years to come.
Coalition Needs To Come Clean About Labour's Failure On Energy
As we gloomily contemplate our present discontents, we should be pleased to learn that, to the outside world, the Comprehensive Spending Review looks good.
In the past few days, I have spoken to several people from America and Australia who are studying it with forensic interest. In France, where the modest suggestion that people should retire at 62 rather than 60 seems to have caused national paralysis, those who worry about deficits look enviously at our apparent readiness to take our medicine.
22 October 2010
Effin Hopeless: A Rant about the internet, ISPs, customer service and the general crappiness of everything.
As we regard the state of western civilisation with it's 'liberating' internet that puts all the information in the world
(and fart lighting videos) at our fingertips, lives lived online by increasingly isolated and dysfunctional people, the ability of authoritarian governments to control information and the politicians parallel and contradictory exhortations to reduce our carbon footprint and start spending to get the economy back in growth we are entitled to ask "Why are you telling us everything is great when experience tells us everthing is very, very crappy." - read all Effin' Hopeless
Opinion and Comment From Around The Web
From: The Washington Examiner
Obama Speech About Car In A Ditch, Opponents Sippin' On A Slurpee Misfires
You've heard it a lot. Barack Obama describes the economic crisis by accusing Republicans of driving the nation's economy into the ditch and then sitting back and watching -- "sippin' on a Slurpee" -- while Obama and the Democrats did the dirty, exhausting work of pulling the car out of the ditch.
Recently, Obama used the Slurpee line at a rally with the First Lady at Ohio State on the 17th. At a fundraiser for Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland the same day. At a rally for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick on the 16th. At a rally for Delaware Senate candidate Chris Coons on the 15th. At a fundraiser in Miami on the 11th. At a DNC rally in Philadelphia on the 10th. At a fundraiser in Chicago on the 7th. At a rally in Maryland on the same day. And so on. (The president seems to always use the image at big rallies, but not always at the high-dollar intimate fundraisers he also attends.)
Many people began rolling their eyes at, say, the 10th time they heard the Slurpee story. And on Tuesday, a reporter asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs about it. Why Slurpees? Gibbs didn't have ...
We're not part of the American election but we have to say that Richard Pryor imprersonation Obama does is enbarrassingly bad.
The Islamic Republic Of Tower Hamlets
I have received a number of requests for a full transcript of my Channel 4 Dispatches film, broadcast in March, about Lutfur Rahman, just chosen as the new directly-elected mayor of Tower Hamlets. Lutfur was council leader at the time of the programme, a position from which he was subsequently removed. The full transcript is
Bond Markets Have Become The Latest Investment Bubble
The benchmark five year gilt yield fell to a new low of 1.43 per cent on Thursday, which astonishingly takes it to a 25 basis point discount to that of its German bund counterpart. The UK Government likes to think of the record lows to which gilt yields have sunk to be a vote of
Education Gap Widened Under Labour
Theres a laughable headline in the Guardian this morning: State school pupils do better at GCSE. Technically, thats true. According to the latest tranche of examination statistics released by the Department for Education, 53.1% of GCSE candidates in state schools in 2010 managed to get five or more at grade C or above, including Maths
Savage Cuts And Social Cohesion
Of all the victims of George Osborne's Comprehensive Spending Review, none have more cause for complaint than local government. Councils are facing a 27 per cent cut in central funding, adjusted for inflation, by 2014-15. That compares with a 3.4 per cent cut for education, a 7.5 per cent cut for defence and a real terms increase for health. And thanks to the Coalition's two year freeze on council tax it will be difficult for councils to raise more money themselves to ease the pressure of this squeeze from the centre ...
The Chattering Classes Are Out Of Touch
Oh dear, oh dear. If you want an example of all the selfish little societies that coexist in the so-called United Kingdom, you have only to survey the public responses to the Coalition's "cuts". In how many ways is it possible to say how utterly unjust, disastrous, catastrophic the Comprehensive Spending Review will be for the wealth, health and happiness of everyone, while actually meaning dreadful, disastrous and catastrophic for ...
21 October 2010
There Is No Plan B Says Osborne
In a phrase reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher's "no turning back" George Osborne yesterday told MPs there is no Plan B. In other words there are no other options on the table for the economic savation of the country than his drastic public spending cuts and efforts to reduce the budget deficit.
The Chancellor insisted that he will stick to his plan for cuts, even after economists suggested he should be prepared to change course if the UK economy slips back into recession.
Mr Osborne yesterday set out a four-year plan to eliminate the structural deficit in the public finances, cutting welfare payments and Whitehall departments budgets.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies, an independent think-tank, has warned that the deficit could turn out to be larger than expected, and suggested that Mr Osborne should review his plans after two years.
also reported in The Guardian
The DSaily Stirrer is with Osborne on this.
Retail Sales Fall
Retail sales in Britain unexpectedly fell last month as consumers started tightening their belts ahead of the government's austerity measures, fuelling fears that the economic recovery has stumbled.
Retail sales have now fallen for two months in a row. Yesterday's spending review set out sweeping cuts to welfare, higher education and social housing which are likely to sap consumers' confidence further.
"The second successive fall in retail sales in September is surprising and
Opinion and Comment from around the web
How Juries Are Fooled By Statistics
Oxford mathematician Peter Donnelly reveals the common mistakes humans make in interpreting statistics -- and the devastating impact these errors can have on the outcome of criminal trials.
. In this video, Peter Donnelly reveals the common mistakes humans make in interpreting statistics -- and the devastating impact these errors can have on the outcome of criminal trials....
The Universe Just Got Bigger - New Galaxy Is Most Distant Yet
A tiny faint dot in a Hubble picture has been confirmed as the most distant galaxy ever detected in the Universe.
This collection of stars is so far away its light has taken more than 13 billion years to arrive at Earth.
Astronomers used the Very Large Telescope in Chile to follow up the Hubble observation and make the necessary detailed measurements.
They tell the journal Nature that we are seeing ...
A Life Without Work
A century after a ground-breaking investigation into unemployment, the remarkable journey of one British family has been traced. It starts amid the deprivation of industrial Yorkshire and ends in the glamour of film stardom.
Exactly 100 years ago an extraordinary investigation began into the lives of the poor. It provides a detailed account of the staggering poverty many of our grandparents or great grandparents endured.
"Up at five, walked round and round the town until 12. Nothing doing anywhere, so I was fairly sick of walking about. No breakfast, no tea and no supper. Went to bed around ...
Soft Sciences And The Slow, Stupid Return To Reason
A rather astonishing piece appeared in the New York Times this week, offering some degree of hope that the pursuit of scientific truth has a chance of once again becoming the dominant theme in university science.
I know, it felt just as foolish typing it. But the article itself in a pigs-fly moment of self-reflection at the NYT expressed the same concern regarding what multiculturalism has done to the sciences: truth has been subjugated in favor of answers that either a) do not make the scientist uncomfortable, or b) per the leftists fevered imagination, will not cause a broke, greedy, elitist, Appalachia-trash teabagger to lynch someone ...
Biodiversity: The New Big Lie To Replace AGW
And so it begins. With all the shamelessness of a Goldman Sachser trading in his middle-aged wife for a hot, pouting twentysomething called Ivanka, the green movement is ditching Climate Change. The newer, younger, sexier models name? Biodiversity. (Mega hat tips to: Hilary Ostrov and Ozboy at Libertygibbet) When I say shameless, Im talking so amoral
Cutting Public Sector Management Bureaucracy Will Improve Services
The biggest hit from George Osbornes spending statement will be suffered by the management of the public sector. Some 490,000 jobs will go over the next four years as administrative budgets are scaled back, in some cases by almost 40 per cent. Will it matter if these jobs go? The Government says it does not want
20 October 2010
Nothing on todays news - we looked at all that stuff about the government spending review and decided we couldn't be arsed.
Plenty of opinion and comment on a wide variety of topics however.
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Quote of the day:
Presenting the climate changes we've been experiencing in the last decades as a threat to the Planet and letting the global warming alarmists use this bizarre argument as a justification for their attempts to substantially change our way of life, to weaken and restrain our freedom, to control us, to dictate what it is we should and should not be doing is unacceptable. Their success in influencing millions of quite rational people all around the world is rather surprising. How is it possible that they are so successful in it? And so rapidly? For older doctrines and ideologies, it took usually much longer to get such an influential and widely shared position in society. Is this because of the specifics of our times? Is this because we are continuously "online"? Is this because religious and other metaphysical ideologies have become less attractive and less persuasive? Is this because of the need to promptly refill the existing spiritual emptiness connected with "the end of history" theories with a new noble cause," such as saving the Planet?
The environmentalists succeeded in discovering a new "noble cause". They try to limit human freedom in the name of "something" that is more important and more noble than our very down-to-earth lives. For someone who spent most of his life in the "noble" era of communism this is impossible to accept.
- Václav Klaus
Rees and the Royal Society are seeking ever greater roles for science in the political sphere. Politicians, who are suffering from a historic inability to define their purpose, take the authority this lends them with ever more enthusiasm. But this has resulted in a qualitative shift in the character of science. Where once it provided the means to liberate human potential, it now exists to regulate it. Instead of speaking truth to power, science increasingly speaks official truth for official power. The result is bad politics and bad science.
- Ben Pile of Climate Resistance asks What's Next for the Royal Society?, the above quote being his concluding paragraph.
19 October 2010
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Opinion and Comment from around the web
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18 October 2010
Today's big news stories.
Merkel: Multicultural Society Has Failed
Attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed", Chancellor Angela Merkel says.
She said the so-called "multikulti" concept - where people would "live side-by-side" happily - did not work, and immigrants needed to do more to integrate - including learning German.
The comments come amid rising anti-immigration feeling in Germany.
A recent survey suggested more than 30% of people believed the country was "overrun by foreigners".
The study - by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation think-tank - also showed that roughly the same number thought that some 16 million of Germany's immigrants or people with foreign origins had come to the country for its social benefits ... read full story Merkel: Multicultural Society Has Failed: BBC News.
Angela Merkel's admission that German's policy of multiculturalism has failed will come as a relief to those of us who have been opposing (in the blogosphere mainly - mainstream media is controlled by the Politically Correct Thought Police) the advancing of an agenda aimed at building a homogenous global culture. This globalism, not to be confused with the globalisation of trade, was the bainchild of the 'progressive left' whose political ideologies grew out of new age quasi - philosophies embraced by Californian stoners in the 1960s. The ideas at the core of their thinking always seemed to be based on the notion that if we all joined hands and sang Kumbiya the lion would lie down with the lamb, the hawk would bring (vegetarian) food to the dove's nestlings and rich people would share their wealth with the poor so we could all live in peace and plenty.
Apart from displaying a tragi - comic failure to understand human nature and the realities of the world such thinking is infantile in its naivete.
On the question of multiculturalism it is a basic requirement of successful communities that there is a common culture to bind people together. The common culture leads to common perceptions. Over long periods of time mythologies and folklore develop so that the cultural threads are woven into a single social fabric. Unravel that fabric, the civilisation collapses. Thus the native people resent large groups of incomers, people of an alien culture or religion whose unwillingness to adapt to the ways of the host nation threatens to disrupt the fabric of society.
There is bound to be resentment, there will always be resentment when a way of life is threatened. If people leave an area or nation en masse it implies they are dissatisfied with life in that nation. So why should the people in a society where there is no such mass desire to leave, where people are generally content with their way of life?
Speaking to young members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party on Saturday Mrs Merkel that at "the beginning of the 60s our country called the foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country."
She added: "We kidded ourselves a while, we said: 'They won't stay, sometime they will be gone', but this isn't reality."
"And of course, the approach [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other... has failed, utterly failed."
In her speech in Potsdam, however, the chancellor reiterated her previous pledge that immigrants are welcome in Germany.
There has been intense debate about multiculturalism in Germany in recent months. Many Germans feel that too many concessions have ben made towards Mulim communities living in Germany, there have been too many istances of the Islam card being played to gain exemptions to German law. People inside the Chistian Democrat party say Mrs Merkel faces pressure from within the party and its allies in Germany's coalition government to take a tougher stance and require immigrants to do more to adapt to German society.
Earlier this week, Horst Seehofer, the leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, the CSU, said Multikulti' is dead, it is "obvious that immigrants from different cultures like Turkey and Arab countries, all in all, are not willing to integrate.
Tensions first started to rise in August when Thilo Sarrazin, a senior official at Germany's central bank, said that "no immigrant group other than Muslims is so strongly connected with claims on the welfare state and crime". Mr Sarrazin later resigned in the face of pressure from the 'progressive left'.
Strong anti-immigration stances from mainstream politicians come amid anger in Germany about high unemployment and an exploding bill for benefits as unemployment rises and the age time-bomb, exacerbted by the generosity of Germany's state pension system takes its toll on state revenues, even though the German economy is growing faster than those of its rivals.
He adds that there also seems to be a new strident tone in the country, perhaps leading to less reticence about problems that were not discussed in the the past.
Anti Obama Tsunami of Anger Threatens Leading Democrats
Homophobic Violence In The USA:- The Guardian
The Speaker of the House of Representatives is threatened with political oblivion as she is demonised by beleaguered Americans who see her as the epitome of liberal elitism
pro-Pelosi sentiments are harder and harder to find these days, especially outside her fanatically liberal hometown. Across America, as the fiercely contested midterm elections at the beginning of November draw near, Democrats are on the run from a resurgent and freshly powerful Republican party. Many experts expect the Republicans, powered by a flow of energy from the Tea Party movement, to wrest control of the House which Pelosi heads. A few think they may even win the Senate too.
Carl Paladino, a Republican politician running for governor, is calling for gay people to be barred from teaching in New York, where homophobic attacks are on the rise a stance which has horrified liberals but does not seened to have harmed his support among working class voters.
Liberal America has looked on in horror as virulent homophobic prejudice seems to have returned to its streets and cities.Much of it seems to be focused around the New York region where a noisy and highly politicised gay community's demands that they be granted certain 'rights that are simply not extended to heterosexuals have push the limits of tolerance too far. New York, traditionally liberal and usually tolerant in its politics has not been hostile to homosexuals living openly or to their relationships being legally recognised by civil partnerships . The current push for Christian churches to be complelled by law to recognise same sex marriage is a blatant case of a politically correct administration riding roughshod over the feelings of the majority to pander to the demands of a vociferous minority.
Opinion and comment from around the web.
Labour Activist Dresses As Poo
We always thought that old election maxim "Round here they'd vote for a dog turd if it was wearing a labour rosette was a joke.
Obviously we were wrong
Climate Science: Is It In Their Nature To Lie
Devil's Kitchem:In his real life, your humble Devil is a Product Manager for a small software company. Given that it is a small software company, your humble Devil actually delves into the methods and programming of said software.As such, I know a little about how software programming works, and what is considered acceptable and what is notboth by the programmers themselves, and by those performing the "acceptance tests".
Having established some vague credentials, I would like to draw your attention to this article in Natureas highlighted by His Ecclesiastical Eminenceregarding the ClimateGate data releases last year.As most people will know, most of the forensic fury was focused upon the emails exchanged between the key players in this fraud, but a few people started delving into the data that was released alongside those communications.
Barack Obama And The Deathly Midterms
Film fans in the United States will have to wait until November 19 to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. But Americas liberal elites only have to wait another couple of weeks for November 2nd to roll by and see the latest frightening installment in the thrilling decline of the Obama presidency, and
Anti Obama Tsunami of Anger Threatens Leading Democrats
The Speaker of the House of Representatives is threatened with political oblivion as she is demonised by beleaguered Americans who see her as the epitome of liberal elitism ...
How The West Is Getting Greener At The Expense Of The Rest Of The World
The impending extinction of tigers, the melting icecaps and the ravaging of the rainforests are symptoms of an emerging global crisis. A new World Wildlife Fund report out maps its scale and concludes that if we don't change course by 2030, we will need a second Earth to meet our needs.
But does all this ring true? After all, in the UK we are greener than ever. Our air quality has improved dramatically "pea soup" killer smog has been ...
To Hell With Middle Class Self Pity
Oh those poor old middle classes. Day after day after weary day, we hear about their woes. Coping classes at breaking point; middle class hit by something or other; it never rains but it pours for these poor people. They go under many names: the coping classes are what the last government called the hard-working
Atheists and Believers Can Get Along
Julian Baggini: My atheist 'sermon' in Westminster Abbey seems incongruous, but it shows good faith is more important than the right beliefs ...
Climategate: The Fox Connection
A strange story in Bishop Hill about Fiona Fox. You may remember shes the director of the Science Media Centre who claimed earlier this year that the way BBC could improve its science coverage was to give less space to sceptics. She said: To have a sceptic or contrarian in every interview is really misleading the
16 October 2010
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Runs Short Of Fuel.
Strikes against government austerity meaures aimed at bringing the public sector debt under control are causing significant disruption to business and everyday life in France
Most newspapers today carried reports of a warning from the management of Chartle's de Gaulle airport, France's main international hub:
France's main airport, Charles de Gaulle, has enough fuel to last only a few days, the government warns, as unions prepare to hold another day of strikes against pension reforms ... read full story:Paris Airport Running Short Of Fuel
The French Unions are always good entertainment value when they take on the government, whether they are blockading major ports by setting up a chain of small fishing vessels across the harbour entrance, driving their lorries very slowly, abreast, to obstruct the lanes of main arterial roads, grounding all flights on busy holiday weekends by withdrawing air traffic control services or letting livestock loose in the streets of cities to protest the poor prices being paid to farmers by food cartels.
All good stuff and we can enjoy it because it is not happening here.
Such protests are very effective ways of bringing the nation to a near standstill and the government usually backs down. This time the protesters may have bet on a loser however. While the unions are protesting cuts to welfare budgets, reform of pensions (French pensions are very generous) and the raising on the retirement age among other things. All these measures are necessary if France is to avoid slipping into the same kind of debt trap as the loonytoons economics of Britain's 'progressive' New Labour government steered our nation into.
We in turn are not in as dire straits as the PIIGS nations (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) but very harsh austerity measures are needed to keep the United Kingdom from going the same way.
It is a measure of how far the left are detached from reality that leaders and prominent supporters of Labour are calling for a return to the days of profligate public spending in spite of their government, before it was thrown out of office, having been warned by the IMF that if the deficit was not reduced the international monetary regulator would have to step in and curb the government's excesses.
Ministers Agree MoD Budget Cuts
Cutbacks in the UK's Ł37bn annual defence budget have been finalised ahead of the chancellor's Spending Review, the BBC understands.
The reduction is expected to be less than the 10% the Treasury had been seeking, possibly around 8%.
The Army is not expecting significant cuts in personnel, while the Navy will get two new aircraft carriers ... read full story:
Ministers Agree MoD Budget Cuts
The problem of waste and iresponsible financial management is endemic in government, not only in the Ministry of Defence but throughout all departments. One area particularly prone to incompetence and sloppiness in procurement is the National Health Service. In my experience NHS procurement depatrments, with their enormous buying power, have always been able to find ways of paying for Information Technology hardware around four times the price it could be bought for commecially by medum sized firms.
We have to make sure it meets our exacting standards, is the excuse.
Do you remember when mobile phones were banned in hospitals? It was claimed they affected equipment. In fact they never did unless they were very close to small, extremely low voltage devices. What had the NHS wallies in a righteous panic was the 'snow' effect on screens caused by radio fequency interference that could have come from mobile phones, taxi radios, atmospheric static electricty or many sources.
The Snow on screens did not prove patients were being put at risk. What it did prove was that while enormous effort had been expended on ticking boxes, filling in forms and filinfg them, holding meetings going on
expensive, unnecessary jollies fact finding missions and finding one thousand and one ways of justifying the existence of their jobs the NHS technical experts had not bothred to make sure the expensive kit they were happy to pay over the odds for had been properely earthed.
Currency War Likely To Escalate As U.S. and China Clash
A long-awaited report from the US Treasury on whether China manipulates its currency has been delayed in a move that will do little to ease foreign-exchange market tensions. (...)The long-simmering tension between the US and China has flared aggressively over the past month. China warned the US on Friday not to use the dispute over the value of the yuan as a "scapegoat" for America's high unemployment and flagging growth prospects.
The Daily Stirrer's John de Roe has predicted a destructive currency war between the US and its trade rivals for over a year. Once again we find ourselves saying: We told so so.
Attacks On Iraq Security Forces Rise
A wave of targeted attacks on soldiers, police, traffic officers and senior officials is steadily picking off the custodians of Iraq's streets at rates that are nearing the darkest days of the insurgency, according to security commanders.
As of last Monday 710 Iraqis had been killed this year with silenced pistols or rifles. At least 600 more had been killed by magnet bombs placed under the cars of officials, according to Baghdad's Major Crimes Unit. Hundreds more have been injured.
The killings have increased sharply in the past four months amid fears ...
They thought it was all over and Obie claimed credit for winning the war. Pity American's don't realise there is a grat big world beyond their borders.
Opinion and Comment from around the web
Church'a vision Can Help Guide The Young
Stranded somewhere between the moon-shots and the launch of the iPad, "generation X", as it became known, was caught between two worlds, and didn't know where to turn. Grunge was its visceral groan of a soundtrack. And the accompanying "culture of despair" (remember that?) was identified by some, such as the author of generation X himself, Douglas Coupland, as a spiritual issue.
Back in 1994 when most of us were yet to send an email, or text, or surf the internet Coupland published his third ...
How Real Is America's Faith?
The British, I have discovered, assume that Americans are more religious than they are. That presumption seems justified in the light of Ed Miliband's declared atheism. As yet no one running for high political office in the US has been willing so to identify themselves. Indeed, it seems to be a requirement of political office in America that youyou believe in God. Americans seem to think those who rule us must believe in God because, if they do not, they cannot be "moral" which means they will cheat on their spouses, thus destroying the family, which will bring civilisation to an end.
Yet I remain unconvinced that the difference between Britain and the US, when it comes to religion, can be determined by the faith or
Female Genital Mutilation Cannot Be Defended As Part Of Islam
Should a man who supports female genital mutilation (FGM) really be considered a "leading progressive in the Muslim world"?
When I recently asked this question, I thought that the only people to answer "yes" would be far-right bigots who, choosing to ignore the many mainstream Muslims opposed to FGM, believe that Islam is inherently backwards and violent.
I shouldn't have been so naive. My expression of concern at Ken Livingstone's continued endorsement of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian televangelist who supports FGM, as a "progressive" swiftly led to me being denounced on one prominent leftwing blog as writing a "dishonest hatchet-job against a leading ...
Ignorance Was A Qualification For Quango Boss
There but for the grace of God, etc. As ministers culled the quangocrats this week, I paused to reflect that I could have been among them.
Back in the 1990s, I received a letter from an unknown civil servant inviting me to become chairman of the Zoos
Want To Delay Global Warming? Protect The Ozone.
Remember CFCs? They were the apparently harmless chemicals once used in aerosol cans, hamburger trays, fridges and a host of other everyday objects that once threatened to damage life on earth. For, after doing their job cooling food, puffing up foam and providing spray-on sex appeal, they drifted up into the
Health Fascist First Lady Treates Herself To Burger and Fries
The bad news? Thisll put a crimp in her next anti-obesity lecture. The good news? Once we finally get that VAT that all the smart kids are talking about, we can tax the hell out of fatty, savory treats. FLOTUS is just enjoying the all-American meal while she can, before it becomes prohibitively expensive for 50 percent of the population.
Seriously, though, her weakness for burgers and fries is well known by now. Who cares if shes sneaking out of the White House to hit ...
The Democratic Vision Of Big Brother
when Democrats got control of Congress in 2007 they acted to save the planet from the incandescent light bulb, banning it come 2014. For sheer annoyingness, that matches Congress's 1973 imposition of a 55 mph speed limit, which was abolished in 1995.
Nothing did more to energize conservatism in the 1970s than judges and legislators collaborating in the forced busing of (other people's) children to achieve racial balance in (other people's) schools. This policy expressed liberalism's principled refusal to be deterred by the public's misunderstanding of what is good for it. Obamacare is today's expression of liberalism's kamikaze devotion to unwanted help ...
Ken Fo9llett' Pillars Of The Earth - The Film Version
When the Emmy-award-winning television series Rome went out on BBC2, the public appetite for togas, sandals and bloody sword fights staged on the small screen became clear. High-production values combined with historical detail and romantic intrigue proved winning ingredients. Can Ridley Scott now perform the same trick with Ken Follett's bestselling novel The Pillars of the Earth, about the Middle Ages?
An eight-part mini-series to be broadcast on Channel 4 next week is to attempt to convert the success of ...
15 October 2010
Cameron Pledges To Curb Compensation Culture
At Last The Left's Politically Correct Agenda Is Being Questioned - We Can Discuss Poverty, Race and Single PatenthoodWith Germany's leader Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron both recently declaring multiculturalism dead and many commentators starting to question the Politically Correct orthodoxy on issues like race, sexuality and single parent families are we al last smashing down the barrier that has prevented the sensible policies on many social problems being adopted.
Universities To Face 4.2 billion Cut
Today's big story for The Daily Stirrer is the government's promise to end the compensaion culture.
from The Daily Telegraph:
David Cameron has pledged to curb "compensation culture" in Britain and create a new system that "treats adults like adults".
He made the comments in the foreword to a review into health and safety procedures carried out by the former Conservative minister Lord Young.
The Prime Minster said he hoped that the report would prove to be a "turning point" with an end to unnecessary bureaucracy faced by firms as well as "senseless" rules and regulations. read full story:Cameron To Curb Compensation Culture
David Cameron has promised his government will act to end the compensytation culture that has developed in Britain over the past few decades. He said the Government would restrict advertising and marketing campaigns of claims litigation specialists companies which he blamed for encouraging the compensation culture..
"We're going to focus regulations where they are most needed, with a new system that is proportionate, not bureaucratic, that treats adults like adults, and reinstates some common sense and trust," he told journalists.
Unsurprisingly business leaders welcomed the new approach because the draconian penalities imposed under health and safety relguations that place a ridiculous burden of responsibility on em[ployers and businesses have been blamed for causing reluctance to expand busines activity. The Unions argued that the proposals do not contain aany measures which will reduce the high levels of workplace death, injuries and illness. High levels of workplace death? It sounds as if they are talking about the nineteenth century not the twenty first.
A spokesman for the CBI said:
" Public regard for Health and Safety officers has never been lower. Press articles recounting stories where health and safety rules have been applied in the most absurd manner, or disproportionate compensation claims have been awarded for trivial reasons, are a daily feature of our newspapers.
"Businesses now operate their health and safety policies in a climate of fear. The advent of 'no win, no fee' claims and the all-pervasive advertising by claims management companies have significantly added to the belief that there is a nationwide compensation culture.
"The 'no win, no fee' system gives rise to the perception that there is no financial risk to starting litigation. Indeed, some individuals are given financial enticements to make claims by claims management companies who are in turn paid ever-increasing fees by solicitors.
"Ultimately, all these costs are met by insurance companies who then increase premiums."
It is good news for businesses and for lovers of common sense that the coalition government is moving in this direction but compensation culture does not beging and end with workplace injuries. What also needs to be tackled is the politically correct culture that encourages claims for compensation because a person of colour, an overweight person, a disabled person or a member of some crackpot religion claims compensation because "they wrre discriminated against" and their feelings were hurt by some humourous banter, a slightly insensitive remark or bit of plain speaking.
- BBC NewsUniversities are facing cuts of Ł4.2bn in comprehensive spending review, a leaked e-mail suggests.Good, maybe we can get rid of all the University of Usedtobeapoly colleges and the Mickey Mouse degrees in waste management with dance, etc. that they offer.
Racism and Equality
Opinion and Comment from around the web
America Warns Britain Over Defence Cuts
from The Guardian:
America and her Nato allies should combine their weapons systems to provide more bangs for bucks, not criticise UK cuts
Richard Norton Taylor writes:
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, and Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, are complaining about the British government's planned defence cuts. They have a nerve. Gates knows perfectly well that Britain's Ministry of Defence, like the Pentagon, wastes serious amounts of taxpayers' money. In common with his UK counterpart, Liam Fox, Gates is attacking the bureaucratic waste in his department.
Today's report by the National Audit Office is just the latest damning evidence of the billions of pounds the MoD wastes every year as a result of the political cowardice of successive defence secretaries and ...
Effing right. If they can't run their own countries why should we let them tell us how to run ours?
Cutting From The Rich and Clobbering The Poor
from The Guardian:
Simon Jenkins: Pension relief, graduate loans and child benefit all hurt the better-off. Now the axe will hit the public sector's well-paid classes.
The Daily Stirrer can't see a problem with this. The state of the economy was so bad a period of austerity became necessary. So long as the burden is shared there is no hypocrisy in asking us to tighten our belts. The whineing tax - eaters of the public sector have been feather bedded too long. What the coalition are failing to do is get the message across that creating new public sector jobs leads to growth in the economy. For such a policy to work the economic system would have to be a perpetual motion engine.
Fairness Is The Word Of The Weak
Fairness is the Coalitions watchword as it limbers us up for next weeks CSR bloodbath. But as the rows over pensions, university fees and child benefits show, there are as many definitions of fair as there are of middle class. Theres an interesting piece in the latest London Review of Books by the political philosopher John Gray
The Currency War Is Phoney
John Ross: At the US recession's core is a collapse in investment. America should sort out its own economic policy, not attack China's
The core of the "currency wars" in which China has been accused, primarily by the US, of undervaluing the renminbi to boost its exports is a simple piece of arithmetic. The US has only a quarter of China or India's population.
America can remain the world's largest economy only if average Chinese or Indian living standards never exceed 25% of ...
University Reform Will Only Work When State Schools Improve
Why is it that at Oxford University more students went to Eton than claimed free school meals? The Left blames the university system and tuition fees. As one Guardian blogger recently put it, gowns, formal dinners and an unnecessary amount of cutlery put off many from the poorest backgrounds. If only it were so simple. Universities
Are Cancers Man Made Illnesses
We report today that cancer is a man-made disease, a suggestion based on studies of ancient Egyptian and South American mummies, who researchers say were almost cancer-free. Now, I want to make it clear, we and other papers are not over-reporting this, at least in one sense. The
The Digital Reading Revolution
Devices such as the Kindle and iPad are changing the way we think about books but who will control the future of reading?
Books have come late to the digital party, but change is now happening at such a furious pace that even conservative members of the trade are starting to realise that their industry is being snatched away from them before their eyes. The undisputed leader in the race to sell digital books is Amazon. Its Kindle e-reader was a late entry into the race but it used ...
Why Maths Is Important And Inteesting
Were lucky enough here at the Telegraph to have Prof Ian Stewart, the Warwick University mathematics professor, writing occasional columns for us on maths and everyday life. I thought Id draw your attention to his latest, about when maths can mislead. The particular example he gives is of a test ...
14 October 2010
Death Of Quangocracy
from The Daily Telegraph:
Nearly 200 public sector bodies are set to be axed in a bonfire of the quangos, ministers will announce today. However they are expected to say that the move will save only a few hundred millions of pounds.
Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, is expected to stress that the move will make the public bodies more transparent and accountable in a Commons statement this morning.
Cost savings and job losses are expected to be limited as the functions of some of the bodies are simply returned in-house to Whitehall departments.
There will still be high profile casualties as David Cameron attempts to make good his promise in Opposition to have a bonfire of the quangos.
read full storyDeath Of Quangocracy
A few hundred pounds might be peanuts to the government but it would make a difference to most people's lives. Still, the economy being as top - heavy with government as it is we need the coalition to start pruning somewhere.
A billion here, a few hundred million there, it all helps. Unfortunately for their next trick ministers have to do something rather more difficult than pulling a white rabbit out of their collective hat. The have to produce a million real jobs out of thin air to get those dependent on benefit back in work and shift some of the tax eaters into gainful employment.
Middle Class Benefits Money Go Round
The squabbling at Prime Minister's Questions yesterday was the latest episode in what is fast becoming the Government's benefits breakdown. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said to the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, that it's not fair for his poorest constituents to pay for his child benefit. Mr Miliband told Mr Cameron that the child benefit cut had been a ...
read full storyMiddle Class Benefits Money Go Round
Parliamentary commentators rated this skirmish a win for Ed Miliband but all he achieved was to reaffirm Labour's enthusiasm for taking tax off people with one hand and giving it back with the other. Still, the Conservatives have no room to make use of that. Throughout Margaret Thatcher's time in power the iron - knickered lady, in spite of all her speeches about traditional values was waging war on the family and rearranging the tax system so that any household that did not have two incomes could not expect to have a decent standard of living.
from The Guardian:
There are 1,000 emails a month trying to penetrate or disable government computer networks. Losses from online banking fraud reached Ł39m in the first half of 2009, a rise of more than 50% over the year before. Whichever way you look at it, the director of GCHQ, Iain Lobban, was not exaggerating when ... read full story Cyber Warfare
Once again we are threatened by the easily foreseeable unforeseen consequences of scientists arrogance. When Tim Berners
Lee, the CERN physicist decided systems clerks, administrators and hop floor staff had no difficulty using was far too complicated for scientists whose minds were on higher things and 'invented' the universal document format that led to the stripping out from carefully designed and constructed networks all the security measures that kept data safe he made possible all the threats we live under today.
We computer professionals, having already experienced the results of letting the public loose on text only bulletin boards in the early 1980s warned of the chaos that would ensue should governments heed the claims of scientists, academics who worked in physics, chemistry, mathematical research must know more about computers that computer specialists because they are "scientists."
BTW how can anyone work in mathematical research? 2 + 2 = 4 end of story. In the name of scientific research there have even been people sitting (drawing bug fat salaries) for 50 years monitoring the radio waves coming in from space and hoping one days to see a message like "Hello Mum" appear on their screens. We know scientists tend to be a tad autistic but one would hope even the most obsessive human being would have given up after 50 years.
Still, so long as the government is willing to keep handing out our money on this crap people will keep doing it, after all it's better than working.
So there we are, saddled with a global network on which government and commerce now rely and which was designed by idiots who hadn't a clue what they were doing and were too far up their own arses to listen to people who had done the job professionally. And now the whole thing, along with your bank balance and private life are up for grabs by anyone who knows how to write a password crackers (about 20 lines of code) keystroke logger (even less) or simply relies on brute force and ignorance to hit you over the head and grab your laptop case as you walk along the street. It would take me about ten minutes to open a stolen laptop, short out the c-mos battery and thus reset the system passwords and get access to your bank account, credit card or investments. It is even easier to hack a system using remote administrator software.
So no matter how much you have spent on security software it is unlikely to be adequately effective against the kind of cyber criminals operating today. Welcome to the Cyber Wars, courtesy of Tim Berners Lee, Bill Gates and a few others who were similarly driven by the two forces that have shaped human destiny since man first stood erect, greed and stupidity..
Opinion and Comment from around the web
Atheist Civilisation Denounced
Václav Havel made a perfectly extraordinary speech yesterday, condemning ours as "the first atheist civilisation", which "has lost its connection with the infinite and with eternity".
Havel is not often thought of as a defender of religion, and the Czech republic is by some measures the most completely dechristianised part of Europe. But he means by atheism the kind of insatiable proud greed which mashes both interior and exterior landscapes into
Cameron Was Right To Leave EPP
Here is one reason why David Cameron must be thanking his lucky stars he got the Tories out of the EPP in time. When he led the German-led centre-Right grouping in the European Parliament he was accused of leaving the mainstream and joining up with various weirdos on the EU fringes. He must be delighted therefore to discover that the EPP have taken 400 of its MEPs and staff on a three day study break to Madeira at a cost to you and me of Ł350,000. Extraordinary ...
13 October 2010
12 October 2010
Miliband, Cameron Clash On Benefit Cuts
from BBC News:
Ed Miliband has clashed with David Cameron over proposed cuts to child benefits in his first prime minister's questions as Labour leader.
Mr Miliband said it was not fair and would see families on middle incomes suffering an "enormous" financial loss.
He accused the PM of breaking promises to protect child benefit and urged him to "think again" over ...
Miliband attacks Cameron on benefit cuts
Nice to see born again Labour will follow down the path trodden by New Labour and Old Labour before them in arguing for the extension of the dependency culture, the sqeezing of the taxpayer base into an ever smaller sector of the public and the insane beliefs that:
(a) Tax eaters contribute to the economy and appointing public sector administrators somehow creates "growth".
(b) the level of public sector deficit does not matter because governments can always simply print more money.
The coalition are not getting everything right by a long way but at least they give the impression that they understand the nature of the problems.
UK Infrastructure Faces Cyber Threat
Having praised the coalition government for understanding the economic threat we must beat them round the read with a big dead fish for resorting to that old standby 'fear and panic' in order to soften the public up for new taxes to fund the security services and buy very big boys toys for the lids who like uniforms.
from BBC News:
The UK's critical infrastructure - such as power grids and emergency services - faces a "real and credible" threat of cyber attack, the head of GCHQ says.
The intelligence agency's director Iain Lobban said the country's future economic prosperity rested on ensuring a defence against such assaults.
The internet created opportunities for hostile states and criminals, he said.
For example, 1,000 malicious e-mails a month are already being targeted at government computer networks, he said.
Speaking to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mr Lobban said he did not want to go into detail about ... read full story
UK Infrastructure Faces Cyber Threat
There are inherent weaknesses in systems that depend on the internet. These however are easily nullified by simply not mixing sensitive government or corporate data with the public domain chatter of the public internet.
The reasons we have these problems now is explained very clearly in Andrew Keen's book The Cult Of The Amateur. The reasons for it are also demonstated by the popularity if websites like Wikileaks whose founder Julian Assange clings to the stupid idea that nothing is private and everything should be online and accessible to everybody and the frequent scandals that arise from new media companies like Google and Facebook displaying not just a total disregard for privacy but a failure to understand why anyone would object to personal details being displayed onlines without the person's consent of knowledge.
Property Prices On The Edge
from: The Daily Telegraph
The alarming figures show the growing dependency of children on their parents to realize the dream of owning their first home.
A total of 35 per cent of parents with children aged 18 to 24 said they have or are willing to give up to Ł10,000, while a further 18 per cent said they would raise the amount to as much as Ł15,000, according to the exclusive research by Halifax, Britains mortgage lender.
More than eight out of 10 first-time buyers only get onto the property ladder because they receive a cash handout from
read full story
Britain's Property Market On A Knife Edge
Our finance expert John de Roe has predicted this many times
House prices will not go to zero, homeowners will simply opt to stay where they are rather than moving upmarket and so while nominal values will be static activity in the maket will come to a near standstill.
The much hyped recovery in the market in 2009 was illusory and illustrated this effect. Few houses of the right kind were on the market because people wanting to move up could not afford the asking price and with doubts about job security and fears of interest rate rises decided not to take a risk. Thus the people who had to move created a recoveryette as they competed for the properties available.
Benefit Claimants Rise Again As Jobless Total Falls
from The Guardian:
The Jobless Economy
Jobs Crisis Roundup
The picture in the labour market remains bleak, with the number of people claiming jobless benefits in Britain last month rising at its fastest rate since January.
However, the wider measure of unemployment, which also includes people out of work who are not eligible for benefits or choose not to claim, dipped in the three months to August thanks to 16 and 17-year-olds finding work or training.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said this morning the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance climbed ... read full story Jobless Benefit Claimants Rise Again
Opinion and Comment from around the web
NATO as bad as Taliban
Erica Gaston writes: If the US-led Nato counterinsurgency strategy depends on winning civilian 'hearts and minds', they're losing badly
Last week marked the ninth anniversary of the United States's invasion of Afghanistan, and the beginning of the 10th year of the current international engagement there. In the coming months, the US, Nato and ...
read full article
Afghans Say NATO As Bad As The Taliban
America's New Poor
America's New Poor - The Middle Class
The ideology that drove millions of people into expensive lifestyles on low pay and easy credit is bust. But who will tell them?
The men clustered in the shade of trees, in the 90F heat of a car park in Atlanta, form the lowest layer of America's so-called middle class. They stare, alert like greyhounds, at the vans leaving the ...
Murdoch's Media Monopoly
Murdoch's whingeing rivals have a case
Wow. The Guardian, Telegraph, Mail, Observer and Mirror, the BBC and Channel 4, even BT all in agreement and all spitting mad. Who, you ask, can have conjured up this anguished collective? You guessed it, Rupert Murdoch.
Murdoch is the best thing that ever happened to the British media, and they hate it. Without him and his Fleet Street revolution it is most unlikely that today there would be any ...
Krystal Does Congress
Nine compromising pictures of Democratic Candidate Krystal Ball, who is vying to become the youngest woman ever elected to the US Congress, were posted on the internet.
Taken at a Christmas party six years ago, they show her clad in a red velvet Santa Claus hat and black lace camisole, cavorting with her ex-husband and making obscene movements using a sexual aid strapped to his head.
28-year-old Ms Ball has dismissed a series of racy pictures of her leaked on the internet, claiming women of her generation running for office are likely to be caught out by such images.
Well maybe they do Krystal, but you are the only one whose name makes her sound like a porn star ... read full story
We start with a new feature today - a roundup of opinion and comment from various blogs and news sites we look at.
Opinion and Comment 12 October 2010
A daily roundup of opinion and comment available online
Compound Interest and Shocking Degrees Of Debt
Compound interest is a cruel taskmaster, as many students and their families are about to discover. Even at todays low rates of interest, debt that is allowed to accumulate on debt will often roll up faster than the debtors ability to repay it. For example, anyone who borrows Ł10,000 at a typical mortgage rate of 3.5
It goes against our nature but the left must assert its values
The progressive attempt to appeal to self-interest has been a catastrophe. Empathy, not expediency, must drive our campaigns says George Monbiot.
The Daily Stirrer says:
Well yes George but first the left must decide what its values are. Too many on the left think irrational hatred of those who disagree with them is sufficient.
EU To Tax American Tourists
Dan Hannan writes in The Telegraph
Jean Quatremer sets out the proposal in Libération, which I shall translate for the benefit of any Etonians who may be reading:
Does the EU desperately need funds to augment its meagre budget? Heres a proposal that could bring in tens of millions of euros each year: tax the millions of American tourists who come to Europe. Unfair? Hardly: since 8 September last year, the US has demanded a $14 dollar levy from every European issued with a tourist visa. Doesnt the principle of reciprocity demand that we return the compliment?
Dan Hannan on the latest, looniest piece of bureaucratic buffoonery from Brussels that can only do harm to the European tourist industry. It was only fair to mention however that the equally greedy, loony and dictatorian Obama administration though of it first.
The Most Important American Election
An election that will take place soon in the American state of Iowa while seemingly irrelevant to the outside world is in fact a vital indicator to the state of deomocracy in Obama-land. The three judges who overturned the state's deomcratically enacted Defense of Marriage Act confirming marriage must be between one man and one woman, thus precluding gay marriage (though the people of the state were happy with same sex civil unions) are up for relection. The result will determine whether in an alleged democracy the government and judiciary can ignore the result of votes they do not like.
Epitaph For Obama's Democrats
Bob Schieffer and Mark Halperin are not exactly Tea Party activists. Within their respective generations, they are archetypes of the media elite, inside-the-Beltway, liberal-leaning purveyors of the conventional wisdom. They dont want to be wrong, of course, so at times they are also weather vanes when the conventional wisdom has undeniably changed, they swivel. So
(also on this topic)
Todays News 12 October 2010
Students To Face Unlimited Fees
Tuition fees charged by Universities to students was always going to be the first big test of the coalition. While the Conservatives favour a policy of charging economic rates to students depending on what course they take, the Lib Dems favour the current flat rate fees regasrdless of course.
Universities in England should be able to charge unlimited fees, a major review of university funding has recommended.
Lord Browne's review calls for the Ł3,290 cap on fees, which students borrow in loans, to be scrapped.
Instead it proposes a free market in fees - setting out models of charges up to Ł12,000 a year for a degree course.
The Daily Stirrer is with the Lib Dems on this one. It is not in the nation's interests to exclude talented young people from higher education simply because they are not from affluent homes.
Having said that, the problem of funding the exploding costs of higher education becomes ever more acute as the economic crisis drags on and becomes depression.
The answer is simple. We are sending far too many young people to University. If higher education is a right as the last Labour government would have had us believe, where are all the plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, machine operators, lorry drivers and warehouse workers going to be recruited from? Unless we make those mundane occupations degree entry as has been done with many very ordinary jobs in the public sector and fill the vacancies for manual workers from immigration..
If the government is to have any hope of getting its head round this problem they must understand one thing. Education is worthless without experience.
The Guardian on Students and Tuition Fees
Strong Must Pay Fair Share Of University Fees Lord Browne defends radical proposals that will see students paying up to Ł36,000 for a three-year degree course.
More on the Evil Empire of Google
The internet search group is launching its own measure of inflation based on the goods and services people buy online, providing more up-to-date figures than official statistics provide ...
As we told you yesterday in Google Carjack the Internet Giant is trying to insinuate itself into the machinery of government.
UK Inflation Rate Stays At 3.1%
The Daily Stirrer's finance expert John de Roe has warned that inflation was the inevitable result of Quantitative Easing and spelled out its consequences for people with savings and pensions that are not index linked.
UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation remained unchanged in September at 3.1%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It means the rate has been above the Bank of England's 2% target for 10 months in a row.
Inflation as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) fell back from 4.7% in August to 4.6% in September.
RPI - which factors in a greater chunk of the cost of housing - is important for wage negotiations.
The Future Is Cancelled
Debt Crisis menu
British Media Unite Against Murdoch
This headline from The Guardian made us feel there is some chance of resisting the inexorable march of corporate fascis. We have blogged many times on the takeover ob British media by corporations controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Intrnation, a creping subjugation of the means of spreading information carried out for almost tweny five years with the complicity of governments led by Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.
Many people are sure, although it is unlikely ever to be proved that Blair's betrayal of Independent television was nothing more than what was promised to Murdoch in return for delivering Dowing Street into New Labour's hands.
Now it seems the increasingly beleagured companies that must try to compete with the Murdoch monster are at last seeing that their survival depends on collaboration.
Fleet Street's highly factionalised newspaper industry today set aside historic differences to join forces in an unprecedented assault against the power of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
The companies behind the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail both supporters of the Conservatives united with the owners of the Guardian and the Labour-backing Daily Mirror to petition Vince Cable, the business secretary, to consider blocking News Corporation's proposed Ł8bn full takeover of the satellite broadcaster BSkyB, which trades under the name Sky .
Fearful of the combined might of an integrated News Corp-Sky operation, which would include the Sun, the News of the World, the Times and book publisher HarperCollins, the complainants said the "proposed takeover could have serious and far-reaching consequences for media plurality".
The Evil Empire of The Media is not going to go down without a fight however.
Rupert Murdoch responds to his rivals and appeals to Vince Cable - a reponse printed in The Guardian
Who Needs HDTV
The Internet Is Making Us Stupid
11 October 2010
Control freakery, cars and public spending cuts feature today
Self Driving Cars Are The Latest Dehumanizing Development
Don't be evil, that's Google's job. The world's greatest corporate Nazis are always eager to promote the latest dehumanizing technological advance. The most recent project they revealed from a long line of technologies aimed at cutrailing our ability to think for ourselves and make our own choices is the self driving car. No doubt the Evil Empire will sell this as something to keep us safe and protect us from some of the risks and hazards of modern life.
In reality it is another ruse to make us slaves to machines - machines controlled by Google.
Google Tests Self Driving Cars
Engineers at Google have tested a self-driving car on the streets of California, the company has announced.
The cars use video cameras mounted on the roof, radar sensors and a laser range finder to "see" other traffic, software engineer Sebastian Thrun said.
They remain manned at all times by a trained driver ready to take control as well as by a software expert.
In reality all Google are doing here is claiming credit for innovations developed by other companies, one of the two things Google is good at (the other being creepy levels of control freakery. Mercedes Benz have had self driving cars for several years but have decided the market is not ready for them. Volkswagen have similar projects in the pipeline.
There can be no doubt what Google's sales pitch will be. They will not aim at drivers directly but at governments. What driver with a pulse would want to hand the controls to a car. Would you want to be confined to a secondary role as your car pootles along the prescribed route. When I drive fifty miles to see my Dear Old Mum I can go the motorway route like everybody else or I can choose the senic routes, through the Trough of Bowland, The Ribble Valley or the coastal route. They are all a bit further and take longer but the journey is pleasurable.
With a computer in control and programers taking into account input from government officials you can bet I would be restricted to the safest, most efficient route. And while Google strip me of my freedom the government will wind up the whining from the politically correct 'liberals' who in reality are the most dogmatic, least liberal people in the world. They will bleat about my irresponsibility and selfishness, complain that by choosing to drive myself I am putting people's lives at risk as well as damaging the planet and tell me my 140mph car is racist, sexist and homophobic (it may be homophobic, the contempuous snort from the engine when I get the tachometer into the red zone as I blow away a limp wristed Toyota Prius, Renault Clio or Smart Car would terrify anybody suffering from a testosterone deficiency.
(I should say here the makers data indicates my car will go 140mph but to drive at twice the legal speed limit on a public road would be crazy. I've never taken it above 120mph.)
Google of course, bunch of berks that they are, will want to be paid for making the roads safer. As nobody would pay two cents to have a remote controlled car driven by a geek for them and the kind of money needed to implement this beeing more stupendous than the Obama administrations annual public secor defecit the G - men must be thinking in terms of getting paid out of tax revenues. And why not. Corporate fascism in the healthcare field having failed to find the promised cure for death has now convinced the politicians that science can find a vaccine for everything except death.
To prove their point they are inventing diseases. Remember Swine flu that was going to kill us all if we did not get vaccinated? We did not get vaccinated, we did not die. But that is not the story history will tell. Already, even while the debacle is fresh in people's memories the history is being rewritten and the officisal story being told is that a Swine Flu pandemic and milliions of deaths were only averted by the prompt action of the politicians and the brilliance of the scientists working for Big Pharma.
"If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that even, it never happenedthat, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposedif all records told the same talethen the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"
George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 3
Consider some of the schemes aimed at controlling our freedomof movement floated recently in the developed world.
Fitting cars with RFID chips so that journeys can be monitored and charged by the mile.
Registration plate recognition so cars can be identified and their owners billed when they enter a congestion charge zone.
Adding bio-ethanol to fuel so that less non renewable fuel is used (in fact cars run less efficiently on ethanol so any saving would be marginal)
Electric Cars (which are too expensive for most people and need to be recharded every 200 yards)
If anyone was serious about our safety and the environment we would be talking not about Google projects aimed at increasing their control of our freedoms nor government plans for taking 999% of every Pound, Dollar or Euro we earn and giving 2% back in benefits and allowances. They would be talking about a new networks of tramways in urban areas, new intercity rail or maglev links, they would be talking about putting security gusrds on public transport so the
thieving, bullying, drunken, drugged up scumbags
victims of our unfair society could not make travelling an unpleasant experience for
decent, civilized people.
the bourgeois oppressors (I'm trying to make this piece politically - correct - fuckwit friendly.
If anyone was serious about our safety and the environment we would not be talking about computer driven cars, we would be talking about making public transport efficient, clean, practical, cheap and pleasant to use.
But we are not talking about saving the planet or keeping driver safe. We are talking about control. We are talking about the war on individualism. Think about that.
Oh and before I leave Google's control freakery and move on, Bing and Ask Jeeves are far better seaarch engines if you want information. If you like ads and irrelevance nobody can touch Google.
Polls Show Support For Cuts
Voters Support Cuts
Team Obama Hit By Exodus Of Senior Staff
An ICM survey for this newspaper shows a clear majority of voters still supports the controversial decision to axe child benefit for higher-rate taxpayers from 2013.
They also back further reductions of the Ł195 billion welfare budget in preference to cutbacks in defence and education as ministers step up their assault on Britain's record budget deficit.
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that three benefits claimed largely by the elderly and the sick face being cut in this month's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) in which all Whitehall departments face reductions in spending of around 25 per cent over four years.
Officials at the Department for Work and Pensions have been ordered to study urgently the overall costs of the Cold Weather Payments system, which last winter paid out Ł290million. Millions of elderly and ...
More senior White House staff are to leave in the next few months, adding to the high exit rate from President Barack Obama's administration.
Political analysts attribute the attrition rate to exhaustion, but Republican opponents blame disarray inside the White House, with an insular team responsible for too many policy failures.
The imminent departures include those of ...
Fascistic New Video Underlines Eco - Insanity Of Left
A must watch for all those taken in by the climate science scam. See how close to the techniques of the Church Of Scientology the Cult Of Climate Scienceology are in their efforts to suppress criticism of their dangerous creed of mind control.
9 October 2010
Another crisis (or another scare story) about the NHS and a new slant on rising sea levels today.
The main stories of the day
Intensive Care Disaster Warning
The relatively low number of intensive care beds in UK hospitals means it is poorly prepared for major disasters, a report in the Lancet says.
Critical care experts say there may be as few as 3.5 intensive care beds per 100,000 people in the UK, compared with more than 24 per 100,000 in Germany.
The experts from Canada also said demand for intensive care was likely to rise with an ageing population ...
And what kind of disaster are they expecting? One in which the gravy train stops running for consultants hired to dream up scare stories so the politicians keep pumping in the cash?
Nine Arrested After Irish Terror Raids
After reports of Obie's ham fisted attempt to save his Presidency by creating an Al Qaeda terrorist scare here's a reminder that we have plenty of problemes of our own without getting involved in America's.
President Obama may still labour under the misapprehension that he was elected President of the World so we should never miss an opportunity to remind him of the realities of modern life.
Nine men were being questioned by detectives on Saturday after bomb making equipment and handguns were seized in a series of police raids during an investigation into the activities of dissident Irish republicans ...
Rising Seas Not Down To Global Warming
More NATO Tankers Destroyed In Pakistan
from The Daily Telegraph
Water Mining Prime Culprit For Rising Seas
Nowhere in the Maldives juts more than 10 feet above the Indian Ocean, making it extremely worried about sea level rise. Its president, Mohamed Nasheed, illustrated the point by holding a cabinet meeting under water in the run-up to last year's Copenhagen summit.
But a new study shows that global warming is not the only cause of swelling seas. Much comes from "water mining" the pumping of vast amounts of groundwater from beneath the earth, mainly to irrigate crops. This inevitably ends up in the oceans after it evaporates from farmland and comes down as rain.
The study which will be published in the next issue issue of Geophysics Research Letters estimates that extraction of ground water for domestic and industrial use accounts for about 25% of sea-level rise around the world, the same as the melting ice from the glaciers outside Greenland and Antarctica.
Even more disturbing is the theory that increased pumping threatens food supplies. Underground reservoirs and aquifers are shrinking by more than 280 cubic kilometres a day, well over twice as much as in 1960. Nature cannot keep pace with the loss to replenish the levels of water tables. The enormous Ogallala acquifer which underlies eight states in the USA, helping to grow food on which people in a hundred nations rely is being drawn down by a three feet a year. How much of that is replenished by rainfall percolation? A mere inch.
Clearly then the blinkered focus of the climte 'science' lobby on carbon driven global warming has only served to divert attention from even more urgent and potentially catastrophic problems.
If the atmosphere does warm by as much as six degrees celsius by the end of the century as the most alarmist of doomsday prophets predict, it will not matter because we will all have died of thirst long before that. On the other hand once water shortages start causing millions of deaths thus relieving the pressure of overpopulation on the ecosystem nature will be able to start restoring the balance and the few humans who survive will rebuild civilisation.
Or we could all get the message now, ignore the scintists who are only the hired lackeys of big food, big oil and big money and all just do our best to consume less. There is nothing wrong with using a computer with a I.6 Ghz CPU if it does the job, we don't have to throw out clothes because they are last year's fashion and we should heed the old wisdom of the thrifty, buy cheap - buy twice.
All the science I have seen that claims to address his issue, all the statistics that are chanted like mantras and said to support the 'science' that was done with made up or manipulated data, all the crackpot geo-engineeering theories and all the carbon trading schemes are aimed at only one thing, not saving the planet but saving the unsustainable perpetual growth economic model.
Gunmen in southwestern Pakistan have set fire to nearly 30 tankers carrying fuel for Nato troops in Afghanistan.
Suspected Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on convoys carrying supplies for Nato forces since an air strike in northwestern Pakistan in September, described by the US ambassador as a terrible accident.
About 20 gunmen set fire to around 30 tankers parked outside at a roadside restaurant near the southwestern town of Sibi in a pre-dawn attack, officials said.
The tankers were on their way to ...
We have been saying since we started The Daily Stirrer that our troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan not just to stop the waste of young lives but to stop the war spreading throughout the reason. Who cares if it embarrasses Barack Hussein Obama who promised his country victory in Afghanistan, he's fucked anyway and it serves him right for trying to be a world leaders without ever having read a history book.