The right to bear arms

I have never really understood the American Constitution providing there to be a right to bear arms. Some Americans hold this right to be of great importance, but I do not understand why they feel this. I can understand there being a right to defend yourself, your property and others. A right of self defence always involves reasonableness (or as the European Union prefers to call it proportionality) and reasonableness. I cannot understand that there should be a right to bear arms.

I confess that I have never owned or fired a gun and although I live in London where very few would ever dream of bearing arms, I have travelled extensively throughout all parts of the United States and know that people do cherish the right to bear arms. They regard it as being in some way fundamental to retaining America’s freedom yet I am sure no one in the United Kingdom feels it necessary that we have to bear arms in order to defend our freedom.

When the right to bear arms became a constitutional right in the USA the arms that were in existence were daggers, swords, pistols and muskets. Since then rifles (which were not invented until 1850 or thereabouts, hand guns with revolving and cartridge chambers, machine guns hand grenades, mortars, bazookas and other devices have all been invented. Do the proponents of the right to bear arms think that they have a constitutional right to bear, for example, bazookas and hand grenades in defence of their democracy. Are small nuclear weapons and bombs included as part of the right to bear arms? I would love to know.

Warmth in a Changing Climate: more thinking required

I have always wondered why a think tank is so named. Is it supposed to be like a military tank, that trundles through battlefields and cities firing shells or a fish tank in which in a special environment sheltered for the protection of the thinkers the thinkers can operate. Perhaps it is a water tank, with thinkers encapsulated inside, shielded, but that cannot be it. Continue reading

The Global Casino

Learning from experience, my late partner Mark Braier use to tell me, was the definition of intelligence. If you bang your head against the wall experience should teach you that banging your head against the wall is never a good idea and you do not bang your head against the wall again. Most people have sufficient intelligence to learn from experience in most walks of life but when it comes to investment and buying and selling shares and stocks and commodities they show a naive faith in systems. Continue reading

The great land grab

The big money may be moving out of stock markets across the world and it may be worried about the security of bank deposits but one thing is sure; it is rushing into investing in land, arable land, around the tropical and sub tropical world. In the past ten years Oxfam reports that 227 million hectares of farm land have been bought or leased by big business and investors. Continue reading

On being greedy

It is human nature to want more of all the good things of life and the more we want the more want we create. Being a human is mostly a competitive business. We compete with each other to secure the best that we can get for ourselves and our offspring. It is a rare specimen of humanity that cries “enough, I have had enough and want no more”. Continue reading

Cash is the least safe investment right now.

We are making economic progress. Everyone is running but no one knows where they are running to. That is progress. They are running too fast to see where they are going; that is panic. Continue reading

It is time to cleanse this den of robbers

Something must be done and done quickly; everyone agrees that the economies of the developed world must be stopped from tumbling back into recession. Something must be done but no one really knows what to do. If you pay back your debts you are accused of bringing “austerity” into the world. If you allow the normal capitalist process of bankruptcy to apply to a nation you are accused of wrecking the economy of a significant part of the developed world. It is an odd world. Continue reading

A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery inside an Enigma

The speed of light in a vacuum is 299,792,458 metres per second and nothing can go faster than that speed, or so we thought. Our reason for thinking this is Einstein’s theory of special relativity, the infamous E=mc2. But people forget that the theory of special relativity is simply a theory, not a proof. Continue reading

A Remembrance

On the tenth anniversary of the destruction of the Twin Towers inNew Yorkthe papers, television and newspapers in theUnited Kingdomwere full of articles and shows about 9/11. The anniversary was treated by our media as an entertainment, albeit a solemn one. Papers were filled and television and radio stations overwhelmed and no doubt much readership was attained and much advertising sold. It was a circus where grief was the clown. Continue reading

The Pollution of Photovoltaics

I have previously explained that there is “clean” renewable energy and “dirty” renewable energy. Clean renewable energy produces little pollution and almost no emissions and includes wind turbines, solar thermal panels (that produce heat) and dirty renewable energy includes energy produced from wood burning. The distinction is important because the point of renewable energy is to produce fewer emissions and less pollution. Originally I had classified photovoltaic panels as “clean” but the latest news suggests that photovoltaic panels, which produce electricity, are really a very dirty form of energy. Continue reading