Mr Obama is a hopeful sort of chap

Mr Obama has praised Mr Mandela. Mr Obama has said that Mr Mandela is an inspiration to the world, kind words as Mr Mandela lies on his deathbed. Mr Obama’s well timed visit to South Africa enables Mr Obama to say the nicest things about Mr Mandela, his love for humanity and Mr Mandela’s yearning for justice, Mr Mandela’s principles, and so forth, and so forth. Why, Mr Obama even spoke on the telephone to Mr Mandela’s wife. Continue reading

It’s Hotting Up

In August ten years ago Faversham in Kent recorded the higher temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom. The good folk of Faversham felt 38.5 °C (101.3 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded on this planet was at Death Valley in California in July 1913 when temperatures reached 56.7 °C (134 °F).

These are exceptional temperatures, as you would expect record temperatures to be, about ten degrees higher than average temperatures.

While the United Kingdom has experienced a poor and sometimes sunless summer, the folk of the Western United States are suffering a heat wave. Temperatures are on average ten degrees higher than average. In Phoenix 47 °C was recorded while in Death Valley 51 °C was recorded and were forecast to reach very close to the record.

The Western United States is getting hotter, and it is still June. Back in the United Kingdom the forecast for this week end is for temperatures to reach 24°C this week end.

Power for the People

The energy policy of the United Kingdom has been in a mess for at least two decades. Ofgem has indicated that it expects power cuts to be frequent from 2015 onwards as the plant load factor – the amount of spare capacity at the electricity generating stations – reduces to very dangerously low levels. For successive governments energy has been an afterthought, and addressed in words rather than deeds and coherent policies, and the government is in denial about the risk of blackouts. Continue reading

How to Make the Poor Poorer: Payday loans

I have for a number of years on these pages deplored the activities of the payday loan companies. I have always held that payday loans should be illegal, if the interest rate charged exceeds a certain amount. I would propose no more than 100% per annum, as an APR as the maximum rate of interest, which would prevent payday loan companies from charging 3000% or 4000% per annum. Continue reading

Where Are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

Edward Snowden is a much sought after person. Governments, legal authorities and journalists want to arrest him, try him and interview him to get his story. His decision to reveal that governments are spying on their masters, the people, in the name of “security” has been for him life changing. Continue reading

On Oaths

People sometimes swear solemn oaths; jurors swear an oath to faithfully try the defendant and give a true verdict according to the evidence. In Nazi Germany people swore the Wehrmacht Oath of Loyalty to Adolf Hitler. It was an oath of blind obedience. “I swear by God this sacred oath that to the Leader of the German empire and people, Adolf Hitler, supreme commander of the armed forces, I shall render unconditional obedience and that as a brave soldier I shall at all times be prepared to give my life for this oath.” Hitler was the master of the German people, not the servant of the people. In the United States of America people swear the oath of allegiance to the United States when they become citizens or join the armed forces. This is not an oath of blind obedience but requires some thought, although it has often been interpreted as an oath of blind obedience. It includes a promise “that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. Continue reading

On Inclusion

Inclusion is a modern concept, which i do not properly understand. Committees and departments of enterprises and institutions (particularly schools) are set up to promote inclusion and to monitor effective inclusion , but it is hard for me at least to understand precisely what they are promoting and monitoring.  Continue reading

On Equality

The school that provided most of my formal education, George Green’s School, was in Poplar; its motto was “Fideliter”. Today it is located on the Isle of Dogs, also in dockland. It has an additional motto that it uses “All different, all equal”. Continue reading

On Diversity

These days we are supposed to celebrate diversity. I have tried very hard to understand what diversity is, but so far I have failed to understand diversity. Continue reading

Striving for Perfection

There are many ways that humans can be oppressed; the means of oppression are threats to survival, poverty, threats to freedom and corruption and these threats in all societies are present, but as societies become more prosperous the risk of each threat changes. Continue reading