Saturday, November 25, 2006
Contacts within the Intelligence communities both in the UK and the US strongly advised AFI Research not to run this piece on assassination. However, we consider that such a response merely gave added credence to the suggestion that in the future the British authorities may indeed be prepared to use more "positive" methods, under certain circumstances, in dealing with both external and very probably, internal "enemies of the state". It now seem almost certain, therefore, that a limited number of selected and highly trained MI6 officers have once again been given a "license to kill", and perhaps very largely because of the experience and influence of the Israeli secret service.In full http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EF13Ak03.html
(AFI Research, a leading source of specialist intelligence, defense, terrorism, conflict and political analysis)
Thursday, November 23, 2006
I response to Eric Brown's letter (21st Nov.) < defending the Munich crisis as not being Britain's worst foreign policy failure i would like to put the opposite view.>
At the time of Munich Czechoslovakia was a serious European military power < - 2 of the 10 German armoured divisions in 1940 consisted of Czech 38T tanks seized at from them.>
Germany, at the time, was much weaker since its rearmament was less further advanced.
More importantly the Russians had an alliance with the Czechs which they < had made clear > they were prepared to honour along with the western powers < (during this period the Russians drastically cut back their supplies to the Spanish Republic which shows they were seriously preparing for action). >
Had Germany gone to war she would have been < easily > crushed , even if the generals had not immediately pulled a coup against Hitler. After the war they said they intended to - which may be treated with as much scepticism as wanted.>
Chamberlain not only threw away all our military advantages but even more disastrously made it quite clear that he intended to scupper any possible alliance with Russia leading < almost inevitably> to the Hitler Stalin Pact.
< WW2 as anything but a small local stramash need never have happened were it not for Chamberlain's action.> However pointless the Iraq war it does not compare with Munich
Much of the editing is taking out my verbiage though they also cut both factual examples (the use of Czech tanks & cutting supplies to Spain) & I am sorry "stramash" wasn't kept.
There is also a rather silly letter from Canon Kenyon Wright today about the debate on global warming really being over because Al Gore proved it. This was started by a previous letter of mine & I hope to see my response published.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Conclusion: we ain't out of oil, we won't run out soon, and if we do there are technologies that can take over.To which I responded
Which was my point. And if we would put real money into space solar power, we would build a Lunar colony on weekends and third shifts.
"And if we would put real money into space solar power, we would build a Lunar colony on weekends and third shifts"Since I have a very high opinion of Dr Pournelle's site & think it should be read by anybody who would like to see the world fixed (politically incorrect though it is) I am pleased when he occasionally accepts something I suggest.
And solving global warming, if it actually ever turns out to be a problem, by building tinfoil parasols on bank holidays.
He also said this a few paragraphs earlier
One wonders, is the higher education establishment the beneficiary of huge increases in available funds as is the US? The US education establishment, faced with what amounts to unlimited funds in the form of student loans, has priced itself to an absurd level, with the result that whereas my wife, the eleventh child of a coal miner, could put herself through university and become a teacher without any public assistance, my new daughter in law, from a solidly middle class family, has debts that won't be paid for years. The entire middle class in the US is now in debt to the government, or will be; and that cannot be a good thing.I don't think we are in quite that bad a situation yet but I don't know. I remember The Little Black Bag by Kornbluth from when it was shown as one of the episodes of Out of the Unknown (3rd series) but apparently the BBC have contrived to lose half of the recording.
Credentialism, particularly education degrees and such like, dominate employment in the US because it is the only way personnel departments can operate; anti-discrimination laws make it impossible to reject an inept minority candidate for a job unless there is some "objective" evidence that the person hired is "better qualified". That usually means education degrees and the like. Thus everyone has to pay tribute to the higher education establishment, which keeps raising the costs of education to new levels; costs always rise to what the traffic will bear, and with the flood of loans and grants available there is very little limit to what the traffic will bear. The result is that the upper classes don't care; there are grants for the lower classes; and middle class kids expect to come out of university owing the government money they won't pay for much of their lifetime.
The result on family structure and the next generation could be imagined if it were not already clear.
We are in the realm of "The Little Black Bag", a story so politically incorrect that I doubt it could be published now. (cornfield's The Marching moronic is probably better known, but The Little Black Bag is perhaps more illustrative).
A report from LogicaCMG states that by 2015 energy demand could outstrip supply by 23% with climate change and demand for electricity to power air-conditioning causing blackouts all year round.
LogicaCMG says its analysis contrasts with the warning in the Government's Energy Review which suggested that by 2025 demand could outstrip supply by 30%.....
This should be taken very seriously. It is is grossly irresponsible for politicians to ignore this & witter on about somebody some day finding a working sort of renewable that might give us enough power or indeed about spending 5 years doing the paperwork before we start building reactors. People are going to die in large numbers if we have blackouts.
Monday, November 20, 2006
The first minister's position has been further undermined by his failure to back his party on key policy areas. McConnell has been at pains to resist new nuclear power stations in Scotland, arguing that the country could meet most of its energy needs from green power, including wind farms.Nice to see Scottish Labour trying to be taken seriously.
He is conscious that the Greens, who could be kingmakers after a close election result next May, have ruled out a rainbow alliance with him unless he guarantees not to build new nuclear power stations. Instead, by the time he addresses his party conference in Oban this week delegates will know that trade union muscle has defeated him and cast his coalition strategy into crisis.
Labour's glossy final manifesto policy document, agreed by ministers, MSPs and senior activists, is almost mocking. "No political party can be taken seriously on climate change if it refuses out of hand to consider any source of energy generation that is carbon free, such as renewable energy or nuclear."
Seriously. Taking this together with McConnell's decision a few days ago to go for corporation tax reductions if Northern Ireland gets them we are looking at an, at least nominally, sensible Labour party.
Lets not go too far - after all these aren't promises but just offers to look at. They are also made in a pre-election period when cynicism is justified & finally we have the experience of Jack's previous promise just before the last election, that economic growth would be his "number one priority" followed by a full term of almost nothing. Also we should note that support of corporation tax cuts could mean no more than a token cut & that Labour's national nuclear plans still involve spending about 5 years deciding whether French & American reactors can be licensed as workable & Hunterston & Torness suitable as sites for new reactors despite the obvious fact that they have been working for decades. Since Hunterson is due to close in 2011 & it takes 4 years to build a reactor we obviously cannot spend an extra 5 on paperwork.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
A chilling report last week from the Institute for Economic Affairs exposed the nightmarish toll the state is taking on Britain's potential wealth. It calculates that if public spending had been kept at the 1960s level over the past 40 years, economic output today would be almost double its level of £1,168bn.Bearing in mind Ireland's growth over the last 17 yearI I think this is an, as it were, conservative estimate but chilling nonetheless. I think the author is underestimating the ability to have an underclass in that no matter how wealthy we are some will always be poorer than others. Of course roughly the same has happened in all western countries otherwise we would have been far outstripped. Singapore, Japan, China etc have not had economic "miracles" they have just progressed at the normal rate of competently run states, at least some of the time, while we have managed it none of the time.
That is the tantalising might-have-been of Britain's economic narrative: if doctrinaire Labour governments, cowardly Tory ones, brain-dead trades unions andcomplicityt dirigiste academic gurus had not blighted our wealth creation, there would be no underclass today, our schools would be centres of educational excellence rather than penal stockades and our global competitiveness would be formidable.
Instead, as the report exposes, public spending now accounts for 46% of the economy - 57.6% in Scotland. Public sector dominance in parts of Britain, including Scotland, is now at the same level as communist Poland in the 1970s. A separate report last week revealed that a typical British family will pay £200,000 in indirect taxes over a lifetime. The predator state is strangling Britain