Thursday, April 30, 2009

Education Experts

The education system once seemed to function fine (I went to a primary school in a pretty rough area but went on to grammar school and then university for example- as did many of my classmates)- but years of trying to "improve" things has left it a mess.

I now have two daughters at Primary school, separated by a couple of years. When the eldest was in P1 she was taught reading from the word go, with spellings and reading homework each night. Just a few years later and the younger one is only now- halfway through her first year- beginning to come home with reading homework. Why, you ask? Well, the new government-mandated curriculum means that the children are now forbidden from having homework books and their lessons are to include more play and more focus on "being a good friend".

Some improvement, eh?

Well, it seems that the empty-headed morons in charge of education aren't finished with trying to ruin what used to be a rather good education system.

Ministers will unveil a blueprint for a primary curriculum, which will require pupils as young as five to study blogging and Google Earth, as well as mastering search engines and writing emails.

At the same time, traditional subjects such as history and geography will be cut back in favour of lessons based around themes and social causes, including healthy eating and 'well-being'.

It's like something out of The Onion, isn't it? It's actually worse than it sounds-

In English, youngsters will be taught how to 'skim, scan and use key word searching and other features of texts to locate and select information' and use webcams, podcasts and video.

Literature will be defined more widely to include websites and emails, while pupils will be taught to 'adjust what they say where communication is facilitated by technology'.

These morons...sorry experts are worried that kids with a poor grounding in IT skills will fare badly out in the real world. Doesn't seem to have occurred to them that kids won't fare any better if they can't read or write properly either.

But last night the Conservatives voiced deep concerns about the plans, which have been called 'an assault on knowledge' by critics.

They published an analysis of official figures showing more than three million children have left primary school without a proper grounding in the basics since Labour came to power in 1997. Last year alone, almost 230,000 did not achieve the standard.

No doubt, some of Labour's education experts will be confounded by how removing reading and homework from schools has led to a reduction in basic knowledge.

Compare and Contrast

There are times when all common sense, decency and justice seems to have fled the United Kingdom. On the one hand we have a government doing all it can to frustrate the efforts of courageous Gurkha's who have served our nation from settling here when their time in the Army is done.

Gordon Brown is under overwhelming pressure to scrap 'offensive' rules barring Gurkhas from Britain after Labour rebels dealt him a crushing Commons defeat.

He paid a heavy price for attempting to introduce guidelines preventing thousands of veterans who had risked their lives for this country settling here with their families.

The result was announced amid shouts for Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who is responsible for immigration rules, to resign.

The Commons vote was non-binding but it seems that, after a long time, those in Downing Street will actually do what the people of this country want.

But then, on the other hand, we have the case of a failed asylum seeker who killed a 12 year old girl in a hit and run accident.

Weeks before the fatal accident, Ibrahim, who was living in Blackburn, had been banned for nine months for driving while disqualified, without insurance and without a licence. He has never held one.

He knocked her down and she was left trapped beneath the wheels- he got out of the car and ran away.

Ibrahim, who has married a British woman and has two children with her, was jailed for four months by Blackburn magistrates for driving while disqualified and failing to stop after an accident.

And then this-

Since then he has exhausted all his applications to stay in the UK and he was seized in October last year by the UK Border Agency which said he would be deported 'at the earliest opportunity'.

But he has won a court appeal against him being detained while his deportation case is being processed.

So, despite having exhausted all of his appeals- and broken the law and killed a young girl- he has still somehow been able to file another appeal and remain free in this country. If it were up to me he'd be on the next flight out of the UK- I'm sure the RAF could bundle him onto one of their transports if all else failed- flown to Iraq and then booted out the door. If he wants to file any more complaints he can do it from that end.

What on Earth happened to Great Britain?

Playing The PC Game

Part of the problem with UK politics is that the Conservatives have, for years, thought that the key to coming back to power has been to become Labour-lite. Nowhere is this seen better than in the current leader David Cameron.

Here's his latest attempt to out-PC the Labour Party-

David Cameron yesterday insisted a third of jobs in a Tory government would go to women - despite a backlash from party traditionalists.

Dismissing criticism that his top team is too male, the Conservative leader said: 'The fact is we've got more women in the Shadow Cabinet than Labour have in their Cabinet. We have more than 80 parliamentary candidates who are women.'

But he added: 'I am under no illusions. The Conservative Party has still got a long way to go before our party fully reflects Britain as it is today.'

Mr Cameron said he had redesigned the system for selecting candidates for elections to the European Parliament, so that the first vacant place in every region goes to a woman.

'If straightforward positive discrimination is about closing doors to those who don't fit the new mould, positive action is about opening them to those we want to welcome,' Mr Cameron said.

Never mind merit of course.

Mr Cameron's promise of 'positive action' has also dismayed some women MPs, who said they wanted to be promoted on the basis of talent rather than gender.

And get this- although positive discrimination is supposed to be illegal there is, of course, an exception for the Prime Minister.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Big Number Problem

Great little video.

End Result of 100 Days

There's a lot of talk about Obama's first 100 days. Well, the result is in- and he's been a great big bust.

The U.S. economy shrank at an annual pace of 6.1% in the first quarter — almost as much as it did in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to a government report Wednesday.

Ed at Hot Air provides the most spot on analysis of what this actually means-

Without that growth, the revenues will fall short of even CBO estimates, and we could be looking at a $2 trillion deficit this year and deepened deficits throughout the next several years.

I'm going to cut and paste a good bit here because it needs to be read in full-

Thus far, we have spent almost $3 trillion on bailouts and another $800 billion on stimulus packages. Clearly, these have not led to recovery. The bailouts were sold as ways to prevent a catastrophic collapse of the economic system, but thus far lending has not increased (for good reasons) and we’re still seeing bankruptcies ahead for GM, Chrysler, AIG, and others. Six banks failed their stress tests this week, as Stephen Spruiell notes, which may prompt even more government intervention.

Some will say that the stimulus package has not had enough time to work. It passed in mid-February, though, and six weeks of government spending didn’t move the needle. That highlights its greatest weakness: it doesn’t actually provide short-term stimulus. Republicans kept pointing out that most of the spending came after 2009, and half of it after 2010, when by the Obama budget projections the economy would already be in recovery.

After almost $4 trillion in spending and commitments, we’re still where we were in the 2008Q4.

The stimulus has failed.

The economic policies of Obama and the Democrat majority in Congress has failed.

America has been plunged into catastrophic debt and the economy has not improved in any way.

And there, dear reader, is the result of Obama's first 100 days- monstrous debt and failure.

Rose-tinted Lenses

I think we can safely say that Christopher Buckley has officially left planet Earth and headed off to Cloud Cuckoo Land.

I am delighted, overall, with our president’s first 100 days.

But of course! Bowing, scraping, apologising and being weak-willed has worked wonders to improve America's position...sorry, that should read "make foreigners like us better".

Mr. Obama’s spending worries me greatly. If every president who comes into office doubles the national debt, then we are finished. We are burying future generations (trans: our children) under crushing debt.

So when our economy collapses after the deficit is doubled, it will be—my bad!

Otherwise, I am with you, Mr. President. Keep up the good work.

Hey, let's not worry about a trifling $65 billion in debt for every one of his 100 days in office! In Buckley's world you only have to worry if Obama's debt is doubled. (In actual fact, Obama has quadrupled the deficit Bush left behind.)

And anyway, this whole "crushing debt" thing is evidently outweighed by Obama's obsequious attitude overseas, not to mention his being "a cool cat".


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fly By

Another video of the White House's efforts to terrorise New Yorkers in what must surely rate as one of the most bone-headed gaffes of all time.

White House Morons

For the sake of a damn photo-op the White House buzzed New York City with low-flying aircraft- causing considerable panic. You'd almost think they hadn't heard of 9/11.

Stupid, insensitive morons. Watch the video if you haven't seen it already-

And here's a Hot Air-style exit question- why didn't the New York authorities object?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Amateur Hour

It seems that no matter how much information, no matter how classified, is lost that some people just aren't getting the message-

A BRITISH agent has thrown the war against drug traffickers into chaos by leaving top secret information about covert operations on a bus in South America.

In a blunder that has cost taxpayers millions of pounds and put scores of lives at risk, the drugs liaison officer lost a computer memory stick said to contain a list of undercover agents’ names and details of more than five years of intelligence work.


It happened when the MI6-trained agent left her handbag on a transit coach at El Dorado airport in Bogota, Colombia. Intelligence chiefs were forced to wind up operations and relocate dozens of agents and informants amid fears the device could fall into the hands of drugs barons.

The agency in question tried to hush the loss up and blamed the incident not on the preposterously bad common sense of the agent in question but on their newness. Yep they had the gall to claim that they were still working on their security protocols.

Now, I don't work in the field but it would have seemed prudent to me to prioritise security if you're working with top secret information.

Some questions spring to mind- why was such vital information on a thumb drive in her handbag on a bus in the first place? Why on Earth did she need that information away from a secure location? Also, why was so much information gathered together in one place? And was the drive made safe by their highest levels of encryption?

They say you should never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity but sometimes you have to wonder at just how stupid these officials- handling incredibly sensitive data- are.

100 Mistakes

There are, of course, a number of mistakes missing but it's a telling list nonetheless. This one, in particular, caught my eye-

"Ten days before his inauguration, the President's chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Rohmer, released a report describing what to expect economically during the first 100 days and beyond. It presented two starkly different scenarios: one good (if the stimulus were to be passed), and one terrifyingly bad (if we did nothing). Amazingly, the report estimated that if the stimulus package were to pass, the unemployment rate would not go above 8% at any time until at least 2014.

"It's already at 8.5%.

"In fact, while there is an acknowledged level of uncertainty, the projections estimated that the unemployment rate would be lower today if we had done nothing at all."

Wonderful. Good thing you have Mr Indispensable, Tim Geitner, heading up Treasury, eh?

Disgusting Behaviour

In any sane society this person would be sacked immediately.

A SENIOR Tory MP joked about MURDERING a Miss California contestant on a popular TV show.

Shadow leader of the House of Commons Alan Duncan was appearing on BBC comedy show "Have I Got News For You" when he made the gaffe.

Mr Duncan, who had earlier in the show revealed his ambition to become Home Secretary, was discussing American Beauty Queen Carrie Prejean's belief that same sex marriages were wrong.

And the MP called her a "silly b***h" and said "If you read that Miss California is murdered you will know it was me".

Given the current state of the UK- and the gutter standards of British politicians- I'm not holding my breath.

Change You Can Believe In

Wow- Obama really meant that change stuff, didn't he?

The Obama administration has argued for the end of the Michigan v Jackson ruling that requires police to provide an attorney for a suspect once one has been requested.

The Michigan vs Jackson ruling in 1986 established that, if a defendants have a lawyer or have asked for one to be present, police may not interview them until the lawyer is present.

And, for what seems like the millionth time since Obama won the election- can you imagine the media reaction if President Bush's administration had pulled this?

So, let me see if I can get this straight- the current Democrat administration believes that foreign terrorists seized on the battlefield or plotting to commit mass murder should have more rights....but the average American citizen should have less.

Too Late Now

An outbreak of swine fever in Mexico and the situation is serious-

This virus is a mix of human, pig and bird strains that prompted WHO to meet Saturday to consider declaring an international public health emergency — a step that could lead to travel advisories, trade restrictions and border closures. Spokesman Gregory Hartl said a decision would not be made Saturday.

Border closures?

If only someone in the USA had been warning for years that border security needed to be taken seriously...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Three Years Left

That's right- there's only three years left until TEOTWAWKI.

The catastrophe, when it comes, will be beautiful at first. It is a balmy evening in late September 2012. Ever since the sun set, the dimming skies over London have been alive with fire.

Pillars of incandescent green writhe like gigantic serpents across the skies.

Sheets of orange race across the horizon during the most spectacular display of the aurora borealis seen in southern England for 153 years.

Beautiful- but deadly.

And then, 90 seconds later, the lights start to go out. Not the lights in the sky - they will dazzle until dawn - but the lights on the ground.

Within an hour, large parts of Britain are without power.

By midnight, every mobile network is down and the internet is dying. Television - terrestrial and satellite - blinks off the air.

Radio is reduced to a burst of static.

By noon the following day, it is clear something terrible has happened and the civilised world has plunged into chaos.

Mad Max time- here we come. Actually, an event like this did occur back in the 19th century-

This last happened on the morning of September 1, 1859.

A bright flash of light erupted from the Sun's surface and detached itself from it.

Just 48 hours later it struck, and the effects were extraordinary.

Brilliant aurorae lit the Earth's night skies right down to the Tropics - their light being so brilliant it was possible to read a newspaper at midnight.

In California, a group of gold miners were roused from their bed hours early, thinking the dawn and a new day's prospecting had come. It was 2am.

Telegraph operators received severe electric shocks as solar-induced currents surged through the networks. It was as though the Earth had been immersed in a bath of electricity.

Just one question- will this cause the zombies or will they come after?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tax Madness

Labour. Is there any problem they can't make worse?

City experts warned tonight that top earners could leave Britain to avoid Labour's new 50 per cent tax on the rich.

Alistair Darling sparked fears of a 'brain drain' with a shock increase in the top income tax rate in a Budget harking back to Old Labour today.

He revealed measures aimed at punishing high earners in a bid to drag Britain out of the worst recession since the Second World War.

Westminster was stunned as he outlined a new 50 per cent tax band for those earning more than £150,000 which will come into force next year.

And the inevitable response...

The City immediately responded with fears highly-skilled staff on top salaries will simply move abroad to avoid paying more tax, in a blow to UK industry.

Stuart Fraser, policy chairman of the City of London Corporation, claimed the measures would put the Square Mile at a disadvantage compared to other countries.

'The new top rate of income tax at 50 per cent may damage the City's competitiveness - we operate in a global market for talent, and that talent is expensive,' he said.

Who would blame them? And the City experts aren't the only ones warning of the tax increase resulting in lowered tax revenues.

The IFS said: ‘The Government’s plans to raise income tax rates for people on incomes above £150,000 are very unlikely to raise the revenue that it has predicted, and indeed more likely to reduce revenue overall’.

Killer Freed

The way criminals are treated in the UK is like a bad dream.

A mentally ill thug who stabbed to death a young mother in front of their child has been released from custody after just three-and-a-half years.

Percy Wright butchered Colette Lynch, 24, on her doorstep in a frenzied knife attack in front of their two-year-old daughter.

He had threatened to kill her just days before. The police took no action.

Two days earlier, Colette had called the police after Wright smashed a window and threatened to cut her throat.

But the two officers who attended, PCs Charlotte Hall, and Theresa Cottingham, dismissed the incident as criminal damage and took no action.

They were disciplined by the Independent Police Complaints Commission two years ago but docked only five days' pay.

And now, despite his having committed this terrible crime, he has been allowed to walk free- because he is considered to no longer a threat to society.

Wright pleaded guilty to manslaughter in August 2005 on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was sent to a secure psychiatric unit indefinitely.

The judge at Birmingham Crown Court ordered he be detained until he was no longer a threat to the public.

But last night Ministry of Justice officials revealed he had been discharged after just three-and-a-half years.

Incredible. A vicious murderer gets out after three and a half years but merely carrying a knife mandates a four year sentence. The UK's justice system is seriously flawed.

Only Ones - UK Edition

A couple of examples of modern day UK policing.

Returning home from a visit to the shops, 73-year-old Mary Reason was shocked to discover that police had kicked down her front door and were standing in her living room.

She was even more surprised when she was charged £100 for the repairs.

Mrs Reason, from Staverton, Gloucestershire, was due to appear as a witness in a magistrates' court case and police wanted to check that she would be attending.

When there was no answer the police- who "had reason to believe someone was in"- decided to kick her door in because they were concerned for her welfare. But they aren't so concerned for a pensioner's financial welfare that they'll pay for the repairs.

And then we have this-

Royal protection officers posed for 'comical' photographs on the Queen's throne, traded hardcore pornography in locker rooms and handled firearms while drunk, a court heard yesterday.

Members of Scotland Yard's Royalty Protection Command based at Buckingham and St James's palaces also sold steroids, fell asleep on duty and ran gambling rings, it was claimed.

On other occasions they smuggled friends into royal garden parties and offered them free Palace parking for shopping sprees, it was alleged.

The sensational claims were made at the trial of former Royal Protection Officer Paul Page, 37, accused of masterminding a £3million swindle from the Palace.

And note that these are the supposed "elite" of the police, the highly trained only ones allowed to carry firearms.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Moron of the Day

Does this guy even know what words are coming out of his mouth?

“It’s nuts for ordinary citizens to go out and buy assault weapons,” Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa., told CNBC. “Assault weapons are difficult to operate, they jam easily. If you want a gun to protect your home it’s the last thing you should have.”

Got that- they're difficult to use, they jam easily and are the last thing you should use to defend yourself or family with. So what does he then propose?

“These weapons have one purpose,” added Rendell. “…They’re to kill and to maim, and they shouldn’t be in the hands of anyone else but the police and the military.”

Um, okay. Can Gov. Rendell explain why he wants the police and military to be armed with weapons which are difficult to use, jam easily and are the last thing you'd want to use to defend yourself or others with? What, does he hate the police and the military or something?

Off The Rails

What happened to the USA? Where did it go?

Example 1-

Janet Napolitano’s decision to free illegals caught in a raid and issue them work permits - to the extent of having the Department of Homeland Security drive them to the office where they needed to complete the paperwork - was the rule, not the exception.

On Sunday, April 19, 2009, Secretary Napolitano went on CNN’s “State of the Union” and proclaimed that crossing the border illegally is not a crime.

Read that last line again- crossing the border illegally is not a crime. And this woman is the head of the department charged with keeping American citizens safe? How the hell can this be allowed to stand? Especially given the continuing threat from terrorism.

Example 2-

The Financial Times reports that banks and other financial institutions which received TARP funds may not be allowed to repay the loans.

Strong banks will be allowed to repay bail-out funds they received from the US government but only if such a move passes a test to determine whether it is in the national economic interest, a senior administration official has told the Financial Times.

I suppose the national economic interest now includes Obama keeping his nose poked into the banking business.

I can't believe that this is happening in America.

MPs Take It Easy

I can see why some people are upset about this but to be honest I they're looking at it all wrong.

MPs will take an 82-day summer holiday this year - seven days more than members enjoyed last year.

The 12-week break is 12 days longer than their summer recess of just five years ago.

The news has provoked claims that the Government is out of touch and that politicians are more concerned with feathering their own nests than solving Britain's problems.

In fact, I'm all for extending British politicians' holidays. The longer they are out of Parliament the less chance they have to come up with their next crackpot scheme and slowly suffocate what little freedom the UK still enjoys. Frankly, it's politicians thinking that they are solving the nation's problems that's gotten us into this mess.

Anti-Zombie Advice

You'll hear a lot of internet chatter on the efficacy of the .22LR against zombies. It's a theory I've long railed against- the object of the game is to destroy the zombie's brain, not put a tiny hole into it.

We don't often get real-world examples to prove or disprove our zombocalypse scenarios but today I found one that, I think you'll agree, lends weight to my argument. And note too that this unlucky-but-lucky lady wasn't hit by a tiny .22, it was a .380 that did the damage.

47-year-old Tammy Sexton, of Mississippi, was shot in the head with a 380-caliber handgun by her husband in her home in rural Jackson County. The bullet hit her in the forehead, passed through her brain, and exited through the back of her skull.

Amazingly, she survived. Not only that but she went and made a cup of tea. I suspect she has some British ancestry.

'When the officer got there she said, "What's going on?",' said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd. 'She was holding a rag on her head and talking. She was conscious, but she was confused about what had happened. She had made herself some tea and offered the officer something to drink.'

Sexton was rushed to hospital by helicopter following the shooting last Tuesday, but Byrd said that the bullet appeared to have passed through her brain without causing any major damage.

And I thought the British soldier whose head was missed by a sniper's bullet by a mere 2mm was lucky.

So there you have it- when TEOTWAWKI comes around and the dead shamble/run around looking for their next meal, you'll know what to do. Save that .22LR and go for a more robust calibre.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Assault Weapon Ban 2

The AWB 2 is coming- and note that Obama vowed during the campaign to make it permanent this time round.

He dropped another hint about it today-

Obama lauded Mexican President Felipe Calderon, with whom he will meet Thursday in Mexico City, as having done "an outstanding and heroic job in dealing with what is a big problem right now along the borders with the drug cartels."

He vowed that the United States can be counted on to help.

"We are going to be dealing not only with drug interdiction coming north, but also working on helping to curb the flow of cash and guns going south," Obama said.

Buy 'em while you still can.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Teleprompter Glitch

Wasn't Obama supposed to be super duper smart? Having seen this- and the numerous other slips he made both before and after the election- I'm beginning to wonder if there's a reason why he didn't reveal the details of his time at university. From Hot Air's amusing Obamateurism of the Day feature-

What kind of moron doesn't know this without having to resort to a teleprompter? Jeez. It makes me long for those cringe-worthy moments when President Bush stumbled over his words. Give me a bad public speaker over a guy who apparently doesn't hold any knowledge in his head

Sunday, April 12, 2009

White House Dog

So the Obama family has chosen a dog. And it's been named Bo. As in the President's initials.

That can't be just a coincidence.

I'm not the only one who thinks it's a little weird to name your dog after yourself, am I?

Read of the Day

A must read for those interested in the debate on the right to keep and bear arms. Kevin over at Smallest Minority devastates the arguments of a British hoplophobe. Not so much a dissection of his opponent's argument as a bloody vivisection using razor sharp logic.

One to bookmark for future reference it's so rich in pro-gun evidence and statistics.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Leading By Example

How's that terrible economic crisis working out for you America? You know, the one so bad that Obama had to plunge generations into debt to "repair" it.

When you're the president of the United States, only the best pizza will do - even if that means flying a chef 860 miles.

Chris Sommers, 33, jetted into Washington from St Louis, Missouri, on Thursday with a suitcase of dough, cheese and pans to to prepare food for the Obamas and their staff.

He had apparently been handpicked after the President had tasted his pizzas on the campaign trail last autumn.

Mr Somers was accompanied by this business parnter Ryan Mangilardo who will help prepare the dinner for 140 this evening.

It will feature his signature dishes - ten deep dish and ten thin crust creations.

Well, at least you can rest assured that everything's just fine in Washington DC.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Smart Diplomacy

Barack Obama seems to be stuck in some kind of permanent adolescence if his gifts to foreign dignitaries is anything to go by. First of all he gives British PM Gordon Brown a box set of DVDs and then- having learned nothing from the episode- he gives the Queen- the Queen!- an iPod.

And to cap it all off he had audio of himself giving speeches added to it. Oh yeah, and pictures of himself at his inauguration.

A colossal ego attached to a teenager's view of international diplomacy. Good grief, it's like he's a high school class president, not the man in charge of the most powerful nation on Earth.

And that's not even touching on the fact that he's such a cheapskate.

To think that people used to complain about George Bush...