Sarah Palin is the reason compasses point North.

calendar   Friday - April 08, 2011

advertising you will never see again ….

Anyone old enough to remember any of these?


Hey, I remember part of the old BLATZ BEER jingle. I bet it’s on YT.
And how about these two below.  When gay meant something else.




I’ve saved my favorite for last below the fold. Eye Candy of a different sort.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/08/2011 at 12:20 PM   
Filed Under: • History •  
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some unintended eye candy

I had no intention of doing another eye candy thing so soon after my last. Which was only yesterday.

BUT ...

Rich distracted me with a link and you know ... one leads to another so in spite of having other things to do ..... like dinner .... well that’s on hold for a few minutes.






Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/08/2011 at 10:44 AM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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do men who cry in public unman themselves? if not, they still look stupid.

And it isn’t just the Brits nor is it restricted by race or class or political party.

Maybe daytime TV had a hand in it. But do any of you guys also cringe when you see a guy start to blubber on national TV? 
Oh right. They’re only getting in touch with the softer side.

Well stop it fools.  It’s damned embarrassing to witness. Especially as the lady suggests, when it’s from ppl who are supposed to be leaders.
Remember Trent Lott?  Jeesh.  Grovelling and doing a mia culpa when in fact he didn’t have to.

The guy I admire most even if he did become a loony tune in old age and was ill, was Howard Hughes.  Do any of you folks remember that wonderful scene when he walked out on those stuffed shirt, self important , pretentious bags of gas called congress?  Or was it a senate hearing?  Doesn’t matter.  He got fed up with their harping and walked out.  I admired him for that.  And it was a senate hearing.

This isn’t that exact clip but it does show how he answered those jerks.
Sorry. Embed not possible.

Below has been edited for space. Link to whole is below.

A blubbing politician? It’s enough to make you weep

By Cristina Odone

I came across an expression the other day that made me sit up in surprise: “unmanned by tears”. It sounded quaint enough to nestle in a Barbara Cartland romance, cheek to jowl with one of her preposterous, cleft-chinned, hard-but-gentle heroes.

No wonder the phrase has been dropped from our everyday lexicon: how could it survive the legions of men who dissolve in tears in public? From footballer John Terry, who wept in front of millions of viewers when Chelsea lost a Champions League final, to the line-up of macho actors – Daniel Craig and Willem Dafoe among them – that artist Sam Taylor Wood photographed breaking down, even the toughest toughs these days are in touch with their emotional side.

Now the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has admitted that he, too, is a blubbing big boy, who “cries regularly to music” in the evenings. He confessed in an interview this week that he is wounded by the brickbats and jeers that he receives from the electorate.

Years of being the Prince Charming of a party that never dreamed of attaining power did not prepare Clegg for the cruelty of life at the top.
But he is at the top. And from where many of us stand, that’s a pretty good place to be. The son of a millionaire banker, educated at Westminster and Cambridge, Nick Clegg had a head-start in the race to the top. His beautiful wife is a highly paid lawyer, his children appear healthy and are well-educated (soon, it would seem, in faith schools) and his parents and in-laws wealthy enough to take care of themselves in their sunset years.
A powerful man’s tears too often reek of self-pity, not raw honesty. They play badly with the public, and can destroy a political career.

This may be an emotionally candid era, but the unofficial contract between public and politicians is very clear. Voters want a tower of strength, not soppy, soft-toy empathy, from their elected representatives, particularly at a time when millions are worried about finding a job, or simply keeping one, and their incomes being squeezed dry.

Their ideal is still Churchillian: the confident, unyielding statesman who leads the troops into battle (figuratively as well as literally), a brandy bottle rather than a hanky at the ready. A millionaire martyr moaning about name-calling sounds like a spoilt boy indulging in self-pity.

The much-derided confessional culture has given rise to freak shows on daytime telly, but it has also delivered men from the need to preserve the stiff upper lip.

Political strategists traditionally portray women as more likely to cast a sympathy vote. In fact, we are just as impatient with a weeping politico as men are. This may explain why so few female politicians ever blub in public.
Women politicians know better than to play the sympathy card: one tearful outburst and the whole Cabinet will mock the “hormonal Missus”.

read all here


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/08/2011 at 09:29 AM   
Filed Under: • MiscellaneousUK •  
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calendar   Thursday - April 07, 2011


late again ....outta here and leave with some






See More Below The Fold


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/07/2011 at 01:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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Brits give savage mau-mau boo-boo. mau-mau now want com-pin-say-shun

Yeah. Like those savages didn’t bring it on themselves. They were doing these things to each other long before any Brits dreamed of the place. So now these innocents want to sue.

Mau-mau deserved everything they got.  There is not one example where they showed anything but the savage cavemen they were. Piss on em. I hope their lawyer gets hit by a bus. These sub-humans look pretty old. Maybe they’ll croak before any court can screw the country any more then has been done.
Get a load of some of the names. Ndiku Mutwiwa Muta?  Wambugu wa Nyingi? Oh yeah ...
Hussein Onyango OBAMA????  Scrambled alphabet names for scrambled sub species.  Take a look at some of the pix at the link.

Castration and conspiracy: How British government covered up torture of the Mau Maus for 50 years
Last updated at 9:55 AM on 6th April 2011

‘Torture victims’ in court for landmark claim against British government
Files exposing abuse were flown out of Kenya on eve of independence
50 year cover up as damning papers languished in Foreign Office
Successful case could open floodgates from claims around world
A Government ‘cover-up’ of one of the darkest episodes in British colonial history emerged yesterday on the eve of a High Court battle by veterans of Kenya’s independence war.

Around 300 boxes of documents ‘lost’ for almost half a century have been unearthed as four elderly Kenyans claim compensation for torture carried out against Mau Mau rebels.

The Kenyans say they suffered ‘unspeakable acts of brutality, including castrations and severe sexual assault’ in British-run detention camps during the rebellion against colonial rule between 1952 and 1960.

The 1,500 files – documenting efforts to put down the Mau Mau guerrilla insurgency – were spirited out of Africa on the eve of Kenya’s independence in 1963 and brought to Britain. The missing documents, with material that ‘might embarrass her Majesty’s Government’ removed, were thought to have been lost or destroyed.

But after a High Court judge ordered the Government to produce all relevant evidence, the files – which filled 110ft of shelving – were found in the Foreign Office.

They are expected to play a key role in the court action beginning tomorrow by Kenyan claimants who want a statement of regret from the Government and a welfare fund for victims. With at least 1,400 other former Mau Mau detainees still alive, Britain could face a multi-million-pound compensation bill if the Kenyans win their case.


I don’t suppose their victims can claim any com-pin-say-shun.  Course not. Those that aren’t dead are mostly white. No hint of a pay out for them.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/07/2011 at 11:52 AM   
Filed Under: • AfricaTURD WORLD •  
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another quake for japan

Don’t know if you folks are seeing anything in the states yet. I suppose you might.

This just came from the Mail about 20 minutes ago.

Tsunami warning issued after 7.4 magnitude earthquake strikes off coast of Japan

Last updated at 4:59 PM on 7th April 2011

Huge aftershock strikes SAME underwater spot as original March quake
Warnings of two metre wave over 300 miles of coastline
Fukushima Nuclear plant evacuated
A tsunami warning has been issued in Japan after 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the North Eastern coast.

The Japan meteorological agency has issued a warning for a wave of up to two metres after the night time eruption, 25 miles underwater off the coast of Miyagi prefecture.

The alert is for coastal areas already torn apart by last month’s tsunami, which is believed to have killed some 25,000 people and has sparked an ongoing crisis at a nuclear power plant.

The latest quake occurred around 90 miles from Fukushima.

A spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said workers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant are safe but that it had evacuated two workers there and seven at a sister plant to the south that was not badly damaged.

Paul Caruso, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo., said the new quake struck at about the same location and depth as the March 11 quake.

more at the source



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/07/2011 at 11:21 AM   
Filed Under: • Nature •  
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Dumb Gun “Knowledge”

I have no idea why this was on CNN’s news page today. It’s a link to a story at Cracked from 10 months ago about the false ideas Hollywood spreads about firearms. As if you didn’t already know. Just for gits and shiggles I guess.

The bit about silencers is good, but it could use a lot more detail. They do mostly tell you the truth: there is no such thing as a silencer. In other parts of the world where such things are legal, even required for hunting in many countries, the devices are called suppressors. Because that’s all they do. They abate a noise loud enough to instantly damage your hearing down to a noise only loud enough to damage your hearing if you’re exposed to it for an extended length of time, like a whole 2 seconds. Guns are loud; wear double ear protection when you go shooting.

There is more to the gun loudness issue than just the boom that the gunpowder makes. Any bullet that travels faster than 1100 feet per second - and most do - is flying faster than the speed of sound, and that means it creates a sonic boom. Even though bullets themselves are relatively small, the noise of their passage is significant. This is why real “silenced” guns shoot slow bullets, around 950fps. And the only way to get any kind of power with a slow bullet is to use a really heavy bullet. Unfortunately heavy bullets at really low velocities aren’t usually fully stabilized, so accuracy suffers. Bottom line is that a truly silent firearm isn’t going to be accurate enough or powerful enough to get the job done at any kind of realistic range. 75 yards, maybe 100, and that’s really pushing the envelope.

Why don’t silencers work? It’s a simple matter of volume. Hur hur hur Drew, good one. No, seriously, it is. Not the “turn down the volume” kind, the “cubic feet of air” kind. To be effective they have to contain all the gas that comes out of the end of the gun and then release it to the atmosphere slowly enough so that there is not pressure wave. That’s the bang sound; it’s the air rushing back in to fill the volume displaced by the expanding powder gases as they leave the end of the barrel. It’s a small thunderclap.

Here’s the math in a simple example. (Sorry Rich, sometimes math is necessary)

The 9mm Parabellum ( 9x19 NATO ) is a very popular cartridge the world over. We’ll use this one for the example. Common ammunition generates about 35,000psi inside the gun barrel’s chamber, and we’ll use a barrel 5” long, which is pretty typical for a full size pistol. Granted that you’ll want to actually use a fully locked breech gun, like the single shot T/C Encore. “silencers” don’t work for jack on revolvers, because they’re open at the back end, but I digress. Stay focused Drew!

Ok, to actually silence a firearm you have to capture all the gas that comes out the end of the gun. Other than using a subsonic bullet, that’s all there is to it.

Typical groove diameter for a 9mm pistol barrel is .355”. With a 5” barrel this means that the volume of the barrel is 3.14159 * (.355/2)2 * 5 = 0.49489 in3. Call it half a cubic inch.

Standard atmospheric pressure is 14.7lb/in2. 35,000 ÷ 14.7 = 2380.952; 2380.952 * 0.49489 = 1178.33. 1178.331/3 = 10.56. This means that the half cubic inch of gas under pressure in the gun is actually 2/3 of a cubic foot at regular air pressure. No wonder it goes bang.

To capture that much gas, you need a vacuum box attached to the end of the barrel. Since no vacuum is perfect, you want to design it a little oversize ... so you’d need an airtight box of about a cubic foot to do the job. You want to handle the heat as well; gunpowder burns at a temperature higher than that needed to melt steel. Good old PV=NRT takes care of most of that; as the gas expands it cools off. But build the vacuum chamber a bit bigger than math requires just to be on the side of certainty. Naturally you’d stick in all those nifty internal baffles to deflect the ejecta blast and to stifle the muzzle flash. And you’d need to figure out the right kind of membrane for both ends that the bullet could pierce without impacting accuracy too much. Maybe Mylar film would work. And you’d need an evacuation valve so you could pump out the air and hold the vacuum. And all of this would be good for exactly ... one shot.


a cubic foot baffled vacuum box might actually be silent

design is to scale

Not what I’d call a practical size. And this is for a puny little pistol. A hunting rifle runs at double that pressure so it would require a much bigger chamber; something about the size of a garbage can ought to do it.

(picture of T/C Encore pistol borrowed from The Firearm Blog)

So follow the math and follow the link, and take home today’s lesson: Hollywood feeds you lies about guns. About everything else too, but that’s another lifetime’s worth of posts.

Ok, that’s enough school for one day.

PS - I “cheated” See the first comment and figure out where I went wrong. UPDATED WITH MY ANSWER AND REBUTTAL

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/07/2011 at 08:07 AM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun ControlHollywood •  
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law and disorder but sure as hell and taxes, no justice here.

There isn’t anything wrong with the justice system here. It works very well and people need to get a life and stop bitching about it.
After all, killers and rapists and paedophiles and other useless pond scum, well, they need love and help too.  And especially taxpayer funded legal aid.

I think I’m gonna be sick.  Once the anger abates.

Take a look at this.

Killer who shot dead police officer granted £12,000 legal aid to fight for a cushier life in prison


· Ex-marine is held in underground secure unit
· Lawsuit could cost taxpayer £500,000, experts warn

A killer who gunned down a policeman in cold blood has been granted legal aid to sue the prison service for breaching his human rights.

Former U.S. marine David Bieber, 45, shot dead PC Ian Broadhurst on Boxing Day 2003 and, after two attempted prison breaks, is seen as one of the most high-risk inmates in Britain.

But he claims his status as a category-A exceptional-risk prisoner, which restricts his movements within County Durham’s high-security Frankland Prison, breaches his human rights.

Last night PC Broadhurst’s family attacked the decision to grant Bieber up to £12,000 in legal aid to mount his challenge at the High Court in London later this year.

His mother Cindy Eaton said: ‘I am very disappointed. I feel cheated and let down on behalf of my family. He chose to do what he did. This is the consequence and I don’t think he has any rights and it is letting us down if he is allowed these rights.

‘He has no idea about our pain. We live that. We can never go back to the life we had.’

Married PC Broadhurst, 34, had stopped Bieber in Leeds for a check on a suspected stolen vehicle. He was shot in the chest and, as he lay helpless on the floor, Bieber shot him again in the head at point-blank range.

Bieber, a steroid-addicted bodybuilder and drug dealer who was wanted in the U.S. for conspiracy to murder and had fled to the UK under an alias, also tried to kill two other officers at the scene.

In the most extraordinary passage, he complains about the ‘horrible effect’ the ‘foolish and disproportionate violence’ of his shooting had on him as well as the victim.

Bieber launched his legal challenge in October and has now been granted a judicial review to have his case heard at the High Court. Experts say it could end up costing the taxpayer £500,000 in legal fees.

This is the first time a category-A exceptional-risk inmate has challenged their status. If successful, it could open the floodgates for claims from other such inmates, including terrorists.

Former Detective Chief Supt Chris Gregg, who led the hunt for Bieber, said: ‘He is the most manipulative and dangerous criminal I have ever experienced. Given half a chance he would take any opportunity to escape and I dare say this is what his legal challenge is about.

‘He would kill or harm for his own purposes and the Prison Service will recognise that danger. He must never be downgraded.’

Neil Atkinson, from the National Victims’ Association, said: ‘This is the kind of mind-numbing madness that makes decent, law-abiding citizens despair of our criminal justice system.’



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/07/2011 at 07:46 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeJudges-Courts-LawyersJustice - LACK OF •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 06, 2011

Speak Now, Pay Later

How Much Will It Cost The US To Apologize For This One?

Latest Defense Department report mirrors Cameron’s costly statement: Pakistan either isn’t trying very hard, or they just plain suck

US doubts Pakistan’s plan to defeat Taliban

WASHINGTON: Pakistan lacks a robust plan to defeat Taliban militants and its security forces struggle to hold areas cleared of the al-Qaida-linked fighters at great cost, according to US report released on Tuesday.

The United States wants Pakistan to subdue Taliban fighters using safe havens in its rugged tribal areas to attack US forces across the border in Afghanistan.

“There remains no clear path toward defeating the insurgency in Pakistan, despite the unprecedented and sustained deployment of over 147,000 forces,” President Barack Obama’s administration said in a report to lawmakers in Congress.

“This is the third time in the past two years that the army has had to conduct major clearing operations ... a clear indication of the inability of the Pakistani military and government to render clear areas resistant to insurgent return,” the report said.

One problem was the “low operational readiness” of the Pakistani military’s helicopter fleet—a vital tool in effective counterinsurgency strategy. The report noted this situation had been exacerbated by Pakistan’s reluctance to accept US maintenance teams to work on the helicopters.

Sure, sure, it’s diplomatic and all, and what the press is printing doesn’t name names. But there is lots of space between the lines here, so you can read the unwritten words easily because they are set in really large fonts.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/06/2011 at 01:42 PM   
Filed Under: • Middle-EastWar On Terror •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Larnin me some stuff


Whereas convection means the vertical movement or circulation of a fluid (air, liquid, magma), advection means the horizontal movement.

Similar to the other iso-s (isotherm - areas of equal temperature, isobar - areas of equal pressure, etc), an isopycnal is an area of equal density. Well, potential density actually, which is what the actual density of the isopycnic (no, that isn’t an outdoors lunch for one) substance would be if it were at a standard pressure and temperature. And to be completely correct, any “iso” is merely the mapped line that shows the edge of any such area, but common usage allows the line term to be used to refer to the whole thing.

We all know that pure water is incompressible; it’s liquid state density does not change when subject to pressure or temperature changes except when it is at the very edge of state transition (about to freeze or boil), when it’s density decreases. This is not the case for salt water. The more salt in the water - it’s salinity - the denser it is, given equal temperatures. Surprise surprise, while the salinity of the oceans are fairly constant, the salinity of the various seas around the edges can vary significantly. This is because many of them are fed by freshwater rivers. The Baltic Sea and the Caspian Sea are much less salty than the Atlantic Ocean. So there can be areas of less dense less salty water that float over areas of more dense more salty water. These areas can be measured and plotted, and because they tend to layer they are called haloclines. “halo” from halide, meaning salt. “cline”, meaning layer.

There are several different clines involved with large bodies of water, such as thermoclines and chemoclines. And yes, there is such a thing as a pycnocline; water stratified into layers based on density.

A rough example of isopycnal advection would be to take a gallon of well mixed paint and to pour it out on the dining table. Because the density of the table top is much greater than the density of the paint, the paint flows out to the sides, horizontally. Don’t try this example at home, or you’ll be having your own isopicnic in the doghouse for a long time.

I have no idea how I got there, but I found myself reading the Wiki page on the Black Sea. The Black Sea is an odd place, a relatively shallow (7200’ max) brackish lake with a significant underwater shelf mostly on the north side. It is only slightly connected to the world’s oceans via the narrow Straits of Bosporus at Istanbul. Fed by several of the major European rivers, the Black Sea has lots of isopycnal advection. The fresh water comes in at the surface, floats only around the sides of the sea, and sneaks out into the Aegean and from there into the Mediterranean via the Bosporus, and then the tiniest sea in the world called the Sea of Marmara, and then through that little passage there by the Dardanelles (the Hellespont) at the feet of ancient Troy. Meanwhile, while the fresh water is flowing out, salt water is flowing in. The Aegean Sea is a bit of an isolated zone in the northeast corner of the Mediterranean, so because of less mixing due to gentler currents it is slightly less salty to begin with. Quite a bit of mixing goes on in the Marmara and it’s two connecting rivers, so the salt water that does get back to the Black Sea is considerably less salty and sinks right to the bottom. And it stays there. Forever. The Black Sea is one of those few bodies of water that is actually anoxic (oxygen limited), and this is all due to the isopycnal advection. Nicely aerated fresh water comes in, and supports abundant life, but the deeper you go the deader it gets. A special kind of bacteria - an extremophile - lives at the medium depths (~200m) right at the pycnocline, and eats up all the remaining nutrients and uses up all the remaining oxygen. It poops out hydrogen sulfide, which sinks into the local abyss. So not only is the deep water of the Black Sea devoid of oxygen and life, it’s also poisonous. If there were a massive earthquake or a big meteor strike that brought those deep waters to the surface, the gas released could kill half the continent. And it’s all completely natural and humans had nothing at all to do with it.

Because the Black Sea has only one drainage point and a small one at that, it can be thought of as one of the world’s largest lakes. Actually, it has been a lake in the geologically recent past, more recently than the last Ice Age. Human dwellings have been found in a number of areas on the northern shelf, so what was once dry land is now 100m underwater. Anyway, the term for lakes where the surface water does not mix with the deeper water is meromictic, and that applies here as well. So water comes in, flows on top due to isopycnal advection, and flows out, and the end result is a meromictic body of water.

Ok, time for recess!!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/06/2011 at 10:01 AM   
Filed Under: • Education •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

the uk cause of many of world’s problems. mickey mouse pm says so.

Always be sure and knock your own country when traveling to another. Makes the natives feel nice. Makes you look stupid of course. But the natives feel nice.

Saw a headline this morning and wasn’t surprised at all. The Prime Minister of the country apologizing again.  In fact, the conservative in name PM said that the UK caused many of the world’s problems. Well, maybe in a manner of speaking in a few cases that could be true enough. It’s true of many countries as well.
But I always have honestly believed that this country left many people better off then they were before the arrival of the Brits. No need to go into a litany of deeds. It would be foolish to assume that there were never any self serving greedy people. Which isn’t the point anyway.
I had hoped that the age of apologies was over by now. Anyway, this PM doesn’t speak for all the people and that is for certain.
Brits have nothing to say sorry for. As far as I am concerned, they do not even owe an apology for slavery, which Tony Blair gave as PM.
In a column today in the Telegraph, Peter Oborne says, “History is not some retrospective court case in which blame is apportioned.”

So then, apologies aside which alone are bad enough. We now also have this.

The £650m apology: Forget our ailing education system, that’s what Britain’s giving to Pakistani schools to make amends for the past

Last updated at 9:05 AM on 6th April 2011

David Cameron vowed to hand hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money plus vital military secrets to Pakistan yesterday to make amends for offending the Muslim nation last year.

The Prime Minister pledged to invest £650million in Pakistani schools at a time when the education budget at home is being cut.

The gesture came after Mr Cameron sparked a diplomatic rift last year when he accused the country of ‘looking both ways’ on terrorism.

Britain is also to give highly sensitive military technology to combat roadside bombs to the Pakistani security services, which are widely blamed for funding and arming the Taliban.

In a huge gamble with the lives of British troops in Afghanistan, Mr Cameron agreed to spend millions more on a centre of excellence for the country’s soldiers and spies near Peshawar, a hotbed of militancy.

In a huge gamble with the lives of British troops in Afghanistan, Mr Cameron agreed to spend millions more on a centre of excellence for the country’s soldiers and spies near Peshawar, a hotbed of militancy.

The technology deal sparked fears that the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, would hand details to the Taliban, enabling them to build more effective improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The huge cash injection for schools by the Department for International Development will make Pakistan the UK’s biggest recipient of overseas aid.

It is designed to get four million children into the classroom – 17million currently get no schooling. Pakistan spends just 1.5 per cent of its national income on schools but is placing billion-pound orders for six Chinese submarines and 36 fighter aircraft.

The UK will have no control of the curriculum in schools receiving funding, meaning taxpayers could see their money pumped into madrassas peddling extremism.

Mr Cameron defended the payments, saying it was ‘in our interest’ to help Pakistan.

He said: ‘If Pakistan is a success we’ll have a good friend to trade and invest and deal with.

‘If we fail we’ll have all the problems of migration, of extremism, problems that we don’t want to see. So it’s in our interest that Pakistan succeeds.’

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said he believed a ‘root cause’ of terrorism was illiteracy.

(illiteracy? sure. but how to account for many highly educated pond scum who have attended Brit universities, and gone on to terrorism from there)

But Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘Particularly at the moment when we’ve got no money, there’s absolutely no justification for increasing the amounts that we give to other countries.

‘That is especially the case with countries that can afford to spend billions on defence. If they can afford submarines they can afford to educate their own people.

‘We need to concern ourselves with our own schools because countries around the world are overtaking us in educational attainment.’

read all the rest

That isn’t all either.  This country gives away millions upon millions upon millions every year. They even give money to countries like India, which has it’s own space program. 


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/06/2011 at 06:12 AM   
Filed Under: • UK •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 05, 2011

A Close Shave In Space

Chicom satellite debris misses International Space Station by 3 miles

A new analysis of a piece of Chinese space junk zooming so close to the International Space Station today that its crew prepared to take shelter in a Russian lifeboat has revealed that the satellite debris poses no risk to the orbiting lab or its astronauts, NASA officials said.

“Tracking data now indicates that a piece of orbital debris being monitored by Mission Control Houston will not pass close enough to the International Space Station to warrant the Expedition 27 crew members taking safe haven within their Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft,” NASA officials said in an afternoon status update.

The space junk is a piece of China’s defunct weather satellite Fengyun-1C, which was destroyed during a Chinese anti-satellite test in 2007 that created a vast cloud of orbital debris, NASA officials said. 

Based on the refined analysis, NASA officials said the satellite debris will fly within about 3.3 miles (5.3 kilometers) during its closest approach to the space station at 4:21 p.m. EDT (2021 GMT). It is approaching the space station from the front, but poses no danger of impacting the spacecraft. 

Flight controllers had been tracking the debris all day from NASA’s space station Mission Control room at the Johnson Space Center in Houston to determine the potential risk it posted to the station and its crew. At about 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT), Mission Control radioed the station astronauts to tell them they may need to seek shelter in the Soyuz until the debris passes the space station.

“The probability of a collision became low enough that it wasn’t a high enough risk that we would need to shelter in place,” NASA spokesman Kelly Humpries told Mission Control radioed the all-clear to the crew at 2:41 p.m. EDT (1841 GMT) as the space station sailed 220 miles (354 km) above eastern Asia.

Sure, sure, that’s what they say now. Earlier today it was lifeboat drill time.

A piece of space junk from a Chinese anti-satellite test will fly uncomfortably close to the International Space Station today, forcing the outpost’s crew to take shelter in a Russian lifeboat as a safety measure, NASA officials said.

The threatening space debris will zoom within 2.7 miles (4.5 kilometers) when it makes its closest approach at about 4:21 p.m. EDT (2021 GMT) today, NASA spokesman Josh Byerly told from the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The station’s three-person crew includes NASA astronaut Cady Colman, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli and Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, who is commanding the mission. The astronauts and cosmonaut will close hatches between modules of the station’s U.S. segment, and take shelter in their Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft, which can double as a lifeboat in case the debris actually strikes the space station and forces the crew to flee.

NASA is keeping a close eye on the space debris to make sure it passes by the space station without incident.

The space debris is a piece of China’s defunct weather satellite Fengyun-1C, which was destroyed during a Chinese anti-satellite test in 2007 that created a vast cloud of orbital debris, NASA officials said.

There are something like 22,000 bits of garbage floating around up there.  Any one of them can cause a lethal impact, seeing as they’re flying around at thousands of miles an hour. Even when countries are nice and take out the trash, like Japan did last week there’s still a lot left. We need some kind of zero gravity litter picker up there.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/05/2011 at 04:15 PM   
Filed Under: • Space •  
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eye candy

Speaking of HUGE sums of money .....

The eyes have it.


I couldn’t resist doing it this way.  This young woman is made of money. Lots of it.  Which should not be held against her.

Theres a million bucks worth of earrings there.




She has a very English name for a girl with an Egyptian father ....


Her daddy is that loony tune billionaire, Mohammed Al-Fayed, who I posted about yesterday. The loon who erected a statue of Waco-Jacko at his football stadium.
But hey, not her fault. She’s beautiful.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/05/2011 at 01:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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When Even The Big Idea Is Not Enough

GOP Budget Plan: Six Trillion In Cuts Over 10 Years

The budget proposal from the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee will offer more than $6 trillion in cuts over the next decade, Fox News has confirmed.

Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal, set to be unveiled Tuesday, will serve as the Republican’s official response to President Obama’s proposed $3.7 trillion budget for 2012. The White House claims its plan would cut deficits by $1.1 trillion over a decade.

But Ryan, R-Wis., in an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” accused Obama of “punting” and said Republicans’ plan would exceed the fiscal goals set by the president’s fiscal commission—which issued a report calling for $4 trillion in cuts. That report never made it out of committee.

“We can’t keep kicking this can down the road,” Ryan said. “The president has punted. We’re not going to follow suit.”

According to an op-ed written by the congressman for The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Ryan says the “Path to Prosperity” plan will brings federal spending to below 20 percent of gross domestic product, less than Obama’s 23 percent and consistent with the postwar average.

He added that a study released by the conservative Heritage Center for Data Analysis projects his plan will create nearly 1 million new private-sector jobs next year and 2.5 million, reduce the unemployment rate to 4 percent by 2015 and add 2.5 million more private-sector jobs in the last year of the decade.

“It spurs economic growth, with $1.5 trillion in additional real GDP over the decade. According to Heritage’s analysis, it would result in $1.1 trillion in higher wages and an average of $1,000 in additional family income each year,” Ryan wrote.

The plan, which Ryan outlines in a video made available on YouTube, also proposes welfare reforms in the way of Medicaid block grants, a consolidation of job training programs and changes to food-stamp distribution.

It also calls for reforms to the nation’s “outdated tax code, consolidating brackets, lowering tax rates, and assuming top individual and corporate rates of 25 percent,” Ryan wrote. “It maintains a revenue-neutral approach by clearing out a burdensome tangle of deductions and loopholes that distort economic activity and leave some corporations paying no income taxes at all.”

Among some of the likely more controversial plans are efforts to end the conservatorship of mortgage giants, an elimination of Wall Street bailout authority and a rollback of “expensive handouts for uncompetitive sources of energy.”

And the screaming, crying, foot stamping, the allegations of racism, and the claims that the aged and poor will be left out in the snow to starve and freeze begins in ... 3 ... 2 ... 1.

Nice idea Congressman Ryan, but it’s only a start. It’s not enough. Six trillion over a decade is only 600 billion a year, and while that cuts the level of federal deficit spending by about half, it doesn’t do diddly to reduce the level of outstanding debt we already have. Let’s look at some numbers, courtesy of Wikipedia.


2.162 trillion dollars coming in, 3.456 trillion dollars going out. This leaves a shortfall of 1.294 trillion dollars per year. A third of all federal spending is done with borrowed money! 600 billion a year in cuts does not close the gap. DOUBLE that amount to 1.2 trillion, and you still don’t close the gap. And we are currently wobbling on the ultimate debt precipice, the point where any new debt added to the old debt will put us in the position of never being able to pay the debt off EVER. The interest on that much debt is simply insurmountable. So the only idea that will actually work is one that not only cuts deficit spending to ZERO, it cuts federal spending to significantly less than the amount of tax revenue that comes in. All the extra tax money goes to paying down the debt. A balanced budget is merely a stop gap that doesn’t really even stop the gap, because those interest amounts continue to accrue. You have to pay the debt down to a more than sustainable level. You have to pay off half of it at the very least over the next 20 years, but you need a plan NOW to pay off more than a third of it in the next 10 years, and you need to stick to that plan as if it were made of Velcro and Epoxy. Nobody does an end run, not Democrats, not Republicans, not Libertarians. Nobody.

The USA already owes 14.266 trillion dollars; a debt load of $46,000 PER PERSON in a country where perhaps one person in three actually earns an income. Babies don’t work, school kids don’t work, nor do prisoners or those who live in hospitals of one kind or another. Welfare recipients aren’t paying taxes are they? And while the retired folks don’t hold down actual jobs, we hope that they have some investment income to live on. Let’s not debate whether government employees pay “real” taxes, since they are paid with tax money to begin with. The way the income tax system is currently set up, less than half the working people pay any net income taxes. So if only 1 in 3 have a job ... OK, let’s throw in a big pile of retirees who pay tax on their retirement income, and we’ll create a hypothetical number ... call it 1 in 2 people with money coming in. But less than half of them pay into the system, so that makes only 1 in 4 folks who are carrying that tax burden. That means that if you have a job that pays you enough so that come April 15 you don’t get back as much money as you put in, then your personal slice of the federal debt is $148,000. Plus whatever crazy debt your overspending state has created for you. As I’ve said before, the federal debt slice is akin to the mortgage on a small vacation home for each and every one of us who pays into the system.

We heard a whole bunch of noise about how Obama was spending like a madman and incurring new debt at a crazy rate. Before that we heard far more noise about how Bush was spending like a madman and incurring new debt at a crazy rate. BOTH ARE TRUE. You can easily find national debt graphs vs time on the internet. The blame game doesn’t really matter. What matters is that $14+ trillion in debt is way too much. It has to be brought down significantly. So pick a debt number that you feel is “sustainable”. My favorite number is 0, but let’s be realistic. 6? How about 8? How about 9? That’s still $9,000,000,000,000, and that’s still too much, but it’s good progress for only a decade’s effort. Let’s set a goal, a milestone, a hurdle, and say we want to do this in 10 years. Then we all pull together and make it happen. And then let’s get out the axes and sharpen them.

So, 5 trillion in debt reduction over a decade is 500 billion per year. Assuming no other changes in the tax structure, that means the federal budget needs to take in $500,000,000,000 more each year than it spends on all programs other than paying down the debt. With 2,162 billion coming in, that means that the feds can’t spend a penny more than 1,662 billion - $1.662 trillion - per year. Allowing for some disaster contingency spending, cost overruns, and so forth ... the actual budget should be no more than $1.5 trillion. Currently it is $3.5 trillion. To get out of this mess, the federal budget has to be cut by 60% (Ok, 57.143%) right now, and has to stay at that level for 10 years. This is simple “kitchen table” budgeting. It is not complicated. We owe too much, we aren’t earning enough, we are spending too much. Cuts have to be made. Big ones. Right now. Congress Ryan’s plan needs to cut 20 trillion, not 6. And 20 is a bare minimum; 25 would be even better because a $4 trillion national debt is much better than an $9 trillion one. The bottom line cuts need to be more than 3 times as much as his plan calls for in it’s original version (and you saw what happened to Boener’s “$100 Billion” proposal: it’s at $30 billion now, and falling). Or more. Right here, right now.

So do we cut every department by 60%, or do we save some sacred cows? Well, the cost of holy bovine rescue means that the other departments will have to be cut even more. Cut to the point of elimination. Farm subsidies? GONE. Corn ethanol program? GONE. Department of Education? Have your 50 best people draw up a set of achievement standards for reading, writing, history, mathematics, civics, art appreciation, and social interaction. Whatever. Make them tough, because America is way behind the rest of the world in terms of primary education. Publish them, and let the States do their best to meet them. Set up test banks for the primary grades. Let the colleges know that they’d better be looking at the high school scores as part of their admissions process, because there will also be both a general collegiate exit exam and one for each major, and those scores will be available to the job market. Colleges who turn out graduates who can’t score well on those exams will quickly be out of business. Then you disband the Department of Education, or at least cut it down to no more than 200 employees, who keep the tests and the scores databases up to date, and put them in the Department of the Interior. Every other Department would go through the same process: preserve the standards, publish, then go away.

Naturally we’d have to find a way to realistically push for energy independence. And I mean realistically. Carter set up the Department of Energy back when Chris Matthews wrote him his “malaise” speech. They had two goals: R&D for alternative energy methods, and push for national energy independence via more drilling, more nukes, more natural gas. That was 34 years ago and we have almost nothing to show for it. Not one new reactor, not one new oil refinery, no real cost effective solar, tidal, or wind energy technology. But untold billions spent on government salaries. Set some standards, publish them, and go away. Disband the department.

Bring the military home. All of them. Park the ships and the tanks and the jets, and have the troops patrol the borders and inspect cargo for bombs and contraband. It’s all part of securing the border, which is what they are there for in the first place. When enlistments run out, scale down the military. They will probably have to take a pay cut as well. Secure world peace by crazy mad levels of retaliation against the first several bad guys. Do this half a dozen times and the message will be received. Do it once every couple years after that as needed and the little dictators and tyrants around the globe will learn. But none of our boots on their ground. Blow the crap out of them and then leave them in the rubble to sort things out, or rot, without a cent in foreign aid. Rebuild your little country the right way, or be prepared to get blasted back to the stone age once again. Hey, I know! Publish a set of standards, and then disband 90% of the State Department. Send the UN to some other country. Bring home all our ambassadors. We don’t need them. Really, we don’t. Foreign countries will know they’re in good with us because we’re doing business with them. That’s all they need. Bombs falling from the sky would be a good indication that they’ve screwed up, but a few generic nasty form letters beforehand would at least give them a chance to mend their ways.

It will be a tough ten years. Sadly some people will die. There might be riots at first. It’s going to be really hard on the illegals once the welfare dollars start getting the axe and the layabouts find that they have to work. Maybe the illegals will just have to leave and Americans take on the cooking, cleaning, lawn mowing, painting, home construction, crop harvesting, and fishing jobs they now do.

Cut the small business tax rate to a token 2%, and cut the corporate tax rate by 2/3, unless the business exists primarily to import foreign goods and/or export American jobs. They don’t get a tax cut at all, and most of their loopholes get closed. You put the word out that the thing to do is Buy American so that you and your neighbors have a job. And all the laid off government workers will have to learn how to build widgets in the factories, and the new corporate philosophy will have to become “we employ this many citizens, and this many of them make a living wage or better, and we still pay some dividends to our shareholders, and our company has no outstanding debt whatsoever” because the only real investment that matters is the people. Screw the day traders. Stocks will have to become the long term investments that they once were. Beneficent Capitalism.

This isn’t Muslim Outreach rocket science. It really is quite simple. The federal government needs to be reduced by more than half. Period. Do it now, make it the new normal.

PS - one of the side benefits of cutting the debt by vast amounts is that the value of a US Dollar is going to skyrocket. Especially when business taxes are drastically reduced. Money and jobs will come rolling in like a tsunami. It might take 6 or 8 years for that to happen, for the world to believe that America actually has a plan and the intention of keeping it for once. But a decade down the road, 20 years from tomorrow, we will own the world.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/05/2011 at 09:28 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsGovernment •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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