Freedom, system thinking, politics, science, education, economics, pirates
Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Friday, 26 December 2008
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Monday, 22 December 2008
Saturday, 20 December 2008
Friday, 19 December 2008
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Monday, 15 December 2008
The 14 points are a basis for transformation of [American] industry. Adoption and action on the 14 points are a signal that management intend to stay in business and aim to protect investors and jobs. Such a system formed the basis for lessons for top management in Japan in 1950 and in subsequent years.
The 14 points apply anywhere, to small organisations as well as to large ones, to the service industry as well as to manufacturing. They apply to a division within a company.
- Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.
- Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
- Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
- End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimise total cost. Move towards a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
- Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
- Institute training on the job.
- Institute leadership. The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of an overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
- Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.
- Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.
- Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
- a. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.
b. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute leadership.
- a. Remove barriers that rob the hourly paid worker of his right to pride in workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
b. Remove barriers that rob people in management and engineering of their right to pride in workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and management by objective.
- Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
- Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's job.
Sunday, 14 December 2008
Saturday, 13 December 2008
Friday, 12 December 2008
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Thanks to "The Real Machiavelli" for alerting us to this story.
Colour Sergeant Krishna Dura, of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, based at Shorncliffe Barracks, Folkestone, died last month in the Musa Qala district of Helmand.
The vehicle in which he was travelling was struck by a roadside bomb.
Now the soldier’s family face the threat of leaving the country which has become their home.
They live in Canterbury MP Julian Brazier’s constituency, and the Tory politician has given his backing for them to be allowed to stay in the UK.
He said: “I am appalled and outraged that anyone could think it fair or humane even to think of treating the family of a fallen hero this way.
“Krishna Dura, who has made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of his country, should be able to rest in the knowledge that that country will treat his dependants in a fair and honourable manner.
“His wife has long been settled here and both his children were born here.
“This is therefore their home and I urge the Government to treat their case with the compassion and humanity that it deserves. I have written to the Home Office minister myself, urging that they should be allowed to stay.”
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
He may be labour and I have never voted for him, but today I am glad to have him as my MP.
Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock) (Lab): I shall not be giving way, because of the time constraints. I wish to kick off with some slightly controversial comments.
First, I challenge people to reflect on the fact that if this had happened in Moscow or Minsk, there would have been one hell of a row and the British ambassadors would have been making representations. Secondly, leaks are food and drink to me as a Back-Bench Member of Parliament, and I do not want to stop them coming to me—I do not say that in a flip way, because it is very important. My only flip point is to ask people to send me this information on rice paper, so that I can eat it before the police get it. I am open all hours to leaks.
This is a serious matter. We need to support and endorse the office of Speaker, and ensure that it is properly facilitated over the next 10 or 20 years, because as part of the increasingly political role of the Speaker—it is not party political, but it is political—he or she must safeguard the rights and interests of this House and, I believe, of our democracy. I urge hon. Members to read the Speaker’s document that has been handed round, because the protocols set out new modalities for dealing with what are the ancient rights and duties of the Speaker to protect our interest. I commend it to the House. Some aspects may be new, but the principle is that the Speaker is the safeguard in respect of two things—first, the rights and independence of the House of Commons, and second, the idea that Members are not above the law. When I criticised something that a colleague—he is no longer in his place—had said earlier, he said, “Well, what about paedophilia?” I said that if an hon. Member were guilty of a serious crime, such as pushing drugs or being a member of the Mafia, the Speaker could take cognisance of a legitimate representation made to him by law enforcement officers and would say, “Yes, of course you must proceed forthwith.” The role of the Speaker is to be a safeguard, and that is what we must ensure. Let us kill the lie now: no one is asking for special privileges for Members of Parliament. We want any bad Member to be prosecuted with vigour, but we need to safeguard people from arbitrary action by the executive arm of Government.
I remember people laughing at me when I protested when we did away with Sessional Orders. That was treated with levity by Members, but those Sessional Orders reaffirmed the point that people must not interfere with this place. I hope that the House returns to the proposals made in 1999 that people who give evidence to this House and its Committees should not be influenced or leaned on by anyone else and should tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as happens in the Congress of the United States.
The Bill of Rights, which too few Members have studied, makes it clear that this place has comity with the courts. That is a very important principle. What is more, the logical interpretation of article 9, which says that no court shall be able to look into the deliberations of this House, must extend to our documents. In 1689, Members of Parliament did not have the same volume of documents or technology as we have now. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Frank Dobson) said, we should think about putting that protection into statute.
Monday, 8 December 2008
Purnell: "I think it is slightly insulting to the millions of people who are claiming benefits and looking to get back into work..to say that they are at risk of turning into Karen Matthews.
"So I think that there is a danger in what David Cameron is saying."
Balls: "The idea that you can tar them with the Karen Matthews' brush is completely wrong,"
Karen Matthews's lifestyle is the problem, from which sprang the crime she committed. Karen Mattews is not stupid; she worked out that, if she kept having babies, the government would give her more and more money. She is a creation of the system. Maybe she could have chosen a different path; many people born and grown up in difficult circumstances, as she did, manage to get themelves educated, get themselves a good job and leave the ghetto. But she didn't have to, the choices she made were rational and morally acceptable to her and her neighbours. This is the broken societey, and Balls & Purnell do the poor a disservice in not aknowleging what really happens in the cities where they govern.
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Ten New Blogs
Iain Dale 7:45 PM
John Moss - Right of centre view from Walthamstow (!)
Victor Meldrew's Brother - Right wing and then some
Thoughts of Mrs Smallprint - Non aligned Eurosceptic
Mark's Any Musings - Non Aligned
Mike Hobday - Labour candidate for Welwyn & Hatfield
Cllr Simon Gibson - Blog of a 20 year old town councillor in Dorset
Eyes to the Left - Blog of a confused liberal
Chanticleer - Blog of a Welsh freelance journalist
These blogs aren't necessarily newly created, but I haven't known about them before and they had not, until now, appeared in the TP Blog Directory.
Visit the Total Politics Blog Directory which contains more than 1,700 blogs. If you know of one which isn't there, please fill in the Submit a New Blog form on the left hand side of THISpage.
"For those who like metaphors, a City commentator (I think it was Lombard) compared the actions of the MPC and the Bank to the person in the shower who can never get the temperature right. Tiring of the cold start to the shower, they turn the thermostat to very hot. After a pause they are surpised to be scalded. They wrench the thermostat back to cold. Sometime later they are shivering from jets of cold water. They lurch the control back to very hot…
Please can our authorities learn to get the temperature right soon?"
Friday, 5 December 2008
"The single most sickening aspect of modern British society is the fate of children bred to maximise state benefits."
Go and have a read: click the title of this post for the link.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Prime Minister: Jeff Randall
Chancellor of the Exchequer: Mark Wadsworth
Home Sec: Old Holborn
Foreign Sec: Boris
Leader of the house: Anti-Citizen One
Education, Health, Housing, Local Gummint: John Seddon
Communication: Iain Dale
President of the Board of Trade: Eddie Stobart
Technology & Innovation: Dizzy
Sport: Sue Barker
Food, Ag & Fish: Nigella Lawson
They could have saved all the writing, filming and editing costs. There's plenty of archive footage of Amy Winehouse around.
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Claimants don't work, because work does not pay. The benefits system provides just enough money to live on. If you are living off the system and get a low paid job (as is likely, most people's first job is low paid) then you will lose 80p of benefit for every pound earned. Would you work a whole week for £40? Hence the term "poverty trap".
To get people working, change the system so withdrawal rates are smaller.
Why is this so hard for the political class to understand?
Monday, 1 December 2008
Simon Caulkin examines the Balls-driven IT project and its implication in the Baby P Tragedy. Click title for link.
Sunday, 30 November 2008
Friday, 28 November 2008
It is little reported in the British media that Poland now has a lower rate of unemployment than Britain, its rate having fallen from 8.7% to 6.4% in the last 12 months. UK's true figure, with long-term economically inactive included and those claiming disability is only matched by that of Spain's at 13%, within the European Union.
All the signs are there of a false economic structure on its last legs. The Soviet's was the military-industrial base, the British the housing/finance/public sector base, again highly artificial and unproductive. When collapse comes, as it will, within 12 months, real national output and incomes will fall by a quarter with up to a 10 million out of work and real starvation and deaths from common, as in Russia during the aftermath of the communist system collapse. As per the Russian experience real economic recovery will not take place for a further 10 years due to the massive shock to the whole politic-economic system.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Monday, 24 November 2008
Miller's Bar, DearbornMetro Detroit's most famous bar burger is an undeniably delicious no-frills classic: a thick patty of fresh ground beef on an honest bun, brought to your table on a square of waxed paper. Help yourself to pickles from a jar on the condiment tray; sliced onion is served on request. Want cheese? It's Swiss or Velveeta, sliced off long loafs and melted onto the patty into near-oblivion. You won't get a bill; just tell the bar man what you had and he'll tell you what you owe. For its fans, the bare-bones service and semi-divey setting only enhance the growing Miller's mystique. Hamburger, $4.75; cheeseburger, $5.50.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Excerpt: "In retrospect the UK has endured a long period of living beyond its means, supported by interest rates held far too low. We have become used to unsustainable levels of debt and consumption (we use the graphic image of the “obese economy”). We now need to find a new path based amongst other things on saving (remember that?). A fiscal stimulus would be the last hurrah of the debt-binge era. It’s time to move on. Instead the Chancellor should get a grip of public spending. That does not mean crisis cuts in public spending, which would increase inefficiency and – by creating a perception of under-funding – lead to demands for higher spending later on.
Saturday, 22 November 2008
He's going to drop small savings in lots of different places, so most people won't feel any better off.
For a fiscal stimulus to work, it has to be so big that it can't be afforded or funded. James Callaghan found this out the hard way. This is pissing on a bonfire - pointless.
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
"It seems the govt is going to give away cash to the "poor". I wouldn't call it tax breaks, when those getting the money won't be those paying the high taxes when it needs to be repaid. Sadly I probably earn enough to not be "poor" to get the handout, but not enough to be "rich" to avoid the taxes. Of course, I'll probably lose my job the week after the handouts, so maybe I won't have to pay the taxes after all..
I'd go a lot further than stop final salary pensions for the statritariat, I'd give them a 10% pay cut and put them on a contributory pension at 65, obviously expediently to save the economy, but it needs doing, so why not now? Taxes could really be cut accordingly. They would only be going through what their neighbours in the private sector are going through.
The inequality between those employed in the private sector and those working in the public sector, or those on benefits is going to become a major social & political problem."
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Spam spam spam spam spam & spam is selling really well, it is boom time for Hormel and their employees. Rice, beans and other basic and low cost foods are also increasing in sales, according to the New York Times. Perhaps the scale of the increase in these sales is an indicator of how bad folks think the economy is going to get. Wisdom of crowds ?
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
There are lots of council houses and estates I know of, which are no-go zones full of smashed up cars and broken windows with the stairways running with urine. But if they were private they would be really nice places to live.
The problems are:
The housing is effectively given away, rents are so low so as to look like they are free. The tenants can value them accordingly and treat them badly. If they were charged real money, they would look after them better, even if they were given rent money through the benefit system, as private tenants are.
The housing is heavily subsidised, but it is only means tested once when it is first given. If instead market rents were charged, rent money could be given depending on individual circumstances and vary as these change.
Monday, 10 November 2008
What is the point of Libby's article? Interesting maybe, but this doesn't tell us anything we don't already know. It doesn't contain any OPINION, which is what Libby is supposed to do.
Camilla Batmanghelidjh is a far more important writer on youth crime, she has ideas of what causes it and what to do about it.
Camilla's article also addresses the recent findings that bullies enjoy inflicting pain, due to brain make-up.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Discusses a Dutch politician's idea of enforced contraception for "unfit" parents.
Quite a topic. I can't work out what my response is. On the one hand I can see that it is unfair for children to grow up in homes where they will not learn to be a successful, happy, law-abiding person. On the other hand, taking away the ability to have a child seems way outside what the state should be allowed to do.
What I am certain though, is that the state welfare system should not be designed so that it encourages childbirth to people dependant on welfare.
Friday, 7 November 2008
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Friday, 31 October 2008
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
"by Michael Mandel
Is the market and economic turmoil nothing more than a crisis of confidence? To listen to Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson, you might think so. "At the root of the problem is a loss of confidence by investors and the public in the strength of key financial institutions and markets," Bernanke told the Economic Club of New York on Oct. 15.
On Oct. 20, Paulson went further, explaining the bank recapitalization program this way: "Our purpose is to increase confidence in our banks and increase the confidence of our banks so that they will deploy, not hoard, their capital. And we expect them to do so, as increased confidence will lead to increased lending."
The implication of the Bernanke-Paulson view is that the underlying economic system is fundamentally sound, so that restoring trust in the financial system will put us back on a growth course. From that perspective, the infusion of massive amounts of capital into banks, which replaces the money lost in bad mortgages, will enable lending to begin again. Once investors see that all is well, then they will cease their irrational behavior, and start putting money back into stock markets and companies around the world.
Treating the Wrong Problem?
But what if the Bernanke-Paulson view is wrong? What if financial stress is a symptom, not a cause?
What if we face a wrenching readjustment of the global real economy rather than a crisis of confidence rooted in the financial system? What if Bernanke and Paulson are treating the wrong problem? What if investors, realizing that their long held assumptions about the global economy are wrong, are rationally bailing out of stock markets in almost every country, at least for now?
In fact, there's good reason to believe that the current crisis reflects a growing realization: Long accepted patterns of cross-border technological transfer, foreign trade, and global finance are simply not sustainable.
Three Big Flows
For the past 10 years, global growth has been driven by three big flows. The first flow was the transmission of knowledge, technology, and business know-how from the U.S. and other industrialized countries to low-wage emerging economies such as China and India. Under the neutral name of "supply chain management," multinationals taught local suppliers to make shirts, laptop computers, and airplane rudders that could be sold around the world. Moreover, U.S. and European companies gave suppliers access to enough information that they could develop their own cell phones, software, and other tech products. The result: a massive improvement in productivity and living standards in emerging economies.
The second flow was the movement of goods and services from China and other emerging economies to the U.S. Massive amounts of production capacity was built around the world, assuming that the U.S. was always going to be the consumer of last resort. Indeed, the value of U.S. imports—over $2.3 trillion in 2007—was larger than the entire output of Britain, the sixth-largest economy in the world. The result: Rising living standards in the U.S., rising employment, and production around the world.
The final flow, of course, was financial. The rest of the world lent U.S. consumers trillions of dollars to finance the trade deficit. The money flowed into the country in all sorts of ways, including cheap mortgages and cheap credit for cars and televisions that were made overseas. At the same time, companies in emerging markets were borrowing heavily to build the factories that were going to supply the developed world.
Something Had to Give
This tri-flow worked as long as everyone believed that American consumers could finance their debt. But here's the problem: At the same time Americans were borrowing, their real wages were falling—and not just for the least educated. By BusinessWeek's calculations, real weekly earnings for college grads without an advanced degree have dropped every year since 2002.
You can't pay back rising debt with falling wages; something had to give.
The first thing that broke were subprime mortgages, given to less creditworthy borrowers. But once investors started to look, they realized that the entire global edifice was built on an impossibility. The tri-flow that had built global prosperity could not be sustained.
Good News and Bad News
That's why the financial crisis has spread across the globe. Investors are peering at every country, from Kuwait to Korea, asking the question: Is it sound enough to survive if American demand for imports falls? The problem is in the structure of the global real economy, not the financial system.
This is both bad news and good news. The bad news is that government injections of capital into banks around the world can slow the damage, but they cannot fix the basic problem. The global economy has to go through a readjustment process that will be difficult even if policymakers can restore confidence in the financial system.
The good news is twofold. First, the productivity gains in the emerging economies are real. Sooner rather than later, their growth will resume. Second, we do have a tool for easing the adjustment, and that's fiscal stimulus. With private demand for credit weak, governments can judiciously borrow and spend to help pump up growth and employment.
The final implication: Policymakers should stop talking about investor confidence as if it exists in a vacuum. Instead, they should focus on the real goal of stimulating the creation of innovative new goods and services that the U.S. can produce and sell on global markets. That would reduce the amount of borrowing the country has to do, and help create a sustainable global economy. This crisis is not any fun. But if it shakes up companies and government, and forces them to focus on innovation, the end result will be stronger, more solid economic growth.
Mandel is chief economist for BusinessWeek
Monday, 27 October 2008
The EU is putting non-British laws upon us which we have no control over. The issue is not informing people what laws are from the EU, but the fact that these unwanted laws land here and we have no say in them.
Can. We. Leave. Now.
Hat tip: EU Referendum
The rest of the article is linked to the title.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
"To reduce teenage pregnancies, this society had better stop financing a lifestyle that young girls aspire to which can only be accessed by having a baby. Despite what Labour politicians believe, young girls have babies so that they can have a flat, some money and leave home. At a time of massive youth unemployment, no other choices these girls can make offer such rewards."
Monday, 20 October 2008
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Well, I agree with that; but the question is: how? A broad based economy will be a result of policies. What might those policies be, and what are their chances of achieving the aspiration laid out here?
Friday, 17 October 2008
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Saturday, 11 October 2008
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Sumo Bank has gone belly up.
Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.
Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.
Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks. Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.
Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal!
BUT there is some good news amid the gloom, a spokesman for Ichifani Bank Corp confirmed- ''we are up to scratch''
Sounds a) greedy and b) irresponsible to me.
The economy is now in the shitter and tinkering with rates isn't the answer. Why?
We have had years of debt fuelled consumerism. Vast sums on the credit card for plasma TV's from China etc. New cars and bigger houses.
Today we have a mass realisation that borrowing can't go on forever. The brakes are on.
It now feels risky to borrow money, people are worried about their job security so won't extend themselves. Do you want a new mortgage on a house that is still depreciating heavily.
Most of the stuff people have been buying on credit is nice to have: Plasma TV's, new cars, bigger houses, foreign holidays; when their old TV, car or house or a cheaper holiday was perfectly usable. So they can stop spending right now; without much impact on their standard of living. This is shrinking the retail sector, the importers and financial services leading to high and sudden increases in unemployment in these sectors. This is a snowball effect.
It's going to get a lot worse yet.
Surely these people knew it was in a foreign country? It must be the Iceland govt's and taxpayers' problem, not ours.
Gordon Ramsey has a lot of money there, is he mates with Gordo Broon?
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Friday, 3 October 2008
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
She seems to miss the point that most of the debt carried by students is on overdrafts, bank loans and credit cards, since the governments student loan is too small to cover all fees and living costs. It is true that the student loan company need not be repaid if a graduate fails to earn in excess of £15k/year, but banks aren't so helpful when it comes to their loans and credit card debt.
I think Cherie kinda missed the students' point. Surprising she didn't say "let them eat cake"
I have a two sons at University, they get the minimum Student Loan, because I am "rich" (I make enough money to just miss on help like EMA and WTC, but after tax and mortgage on my modest three bed terraced house in Essex, I just clear what a "Job seeker" getting all his various benefits can get.) The minimum student loan does not cover education and living costs so other forms of debt are inevitable for my sons. I really hope the economy recovers enough for them to get decent graduate jobs, otherwise they'll be unemployed and saddled with a ton of debt.
Saturday, 27 September 2008
Friday, 26 September 2008
Gawain Towler has been forced to stop blogging by his bosses at the EU as employees of the EU are not allowed to publicly criticize the EU. Oddly Gawain is a press officer, working for the Independent group, which is Eurosceptic, which means by the same rules that have stopped him blogging, he can't actually do his job.
This reminds me of the civil servant who had her blog shut down a little while ago, so its not just the EU where the jackboot rules.
Thursday, 25 September 2008
How can she be allowed to do this? The state provides childcare that is better than any parent can provide(apparently). Mrs Kelly has been part of a Govt and Minister of a department that has coerced parents into putting their children into childcare; but it's OK for her to decide she doesn't have to do that.
One rule for us, another rule for them.
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
That's my enquiry - not holding out too much hope of a good reply!
That's right - nobody.
England: land without representation. The Scots pick our pockets and screw over our employees.
When can we leave?
Monday, 22 September 2008
A Conservative for Obama
My party has slipped its moorings. It’s time for a true pragmatist to lead the country.
THE MORE I LISTEN TO AND READ ABOUT “the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate,” the more I like him. Barack Obama strikes a chord with me like no political figure since Ronald Reagan. To explain why, I need to explain why I am a conservative and what it means to me.
In 1964, at the age of 16, I organized the Dallas County Youth for Goldwater. My senior thesis at the University of Texas was on the conservative intellectual revival in America. Twenty years later, I was invited by William F. Buckley Jr. to join the board of National Review. I later became its publisher.
Conservatism to me is less a political philosophy than a stance, a recognition of the fallibility of man and of man’s institutions. Conservatives respect the past not for its antiquity but because it represents, as G.K. Chesterton said, the democracy of the dead; it gives the benefit of the doubt to customs and laws tried and tested in the crucible of time. Conservatives are skeptical of abstract theories and utopian schemes, doubtful that government is wiser than its citizens, and always ready to test any political program against actual results.
Liberalism always seemed to me to be a system of “oughts.” We ought to do this or that because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of whether it works or not. It is a doctrine based on intentions, not results, on feeling good rather than doing good.
But today it is so-called conservatives who are cemented to political programs when they clearly don’t work. The Bush tax cuts—a solution for which there was no real problem and which he refused to end even when the nation went to war—led to huge deficit spending and a $3 trillion growth in the federal debt. Facing this, John McCain pumps his “conservative” credentials by proposing even bigger tax cuts. Meanwhile, a movement that once fought for limited government has presided over the greatest growth of government in our history. That is not conservatism; it is profligacy using conservatism as a mask.
Today it is conservatives, not liberals, who talk with alarming bellicosity about making the world “safe for democracy.” It is John McCain who says America’s job is to “defeat evil,” a theological expansion of the nation’s mission that would make George Washington cough out his wooden teeth.
This kind of conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse.
Barack Obama is not my ideal candidate for president. (In fact, I made the maximum donation to John McCain during the primaries, when there was still hope he might come to his senses.) But I now see that Obama is almost the ideal candidate for this moment in American history. I disagree with him on many issues. But those don’t matter as much as what Obama offers, which is a deeply conservative view of the world. Nobody can read Obama’s books (which, it is worth noting, he wrote himself) or listen to him speak without realizing that this is a thoughtful, pragmatic, and prudent man. It gives me comfort just to think that after eight years of George W. Bush we will have a president who has actually read the Federalist Papers.
Most important, Obama will be a realist. I doubt he will taunt Russia, as McCain has, at the very moment when our national interest requires it as an ally. The crucial distinction in my mind is that, unlike John McCain, I am convinced he will not impulsively take us into another war unless American national interests are directly threatened.“Every great cause,” Eric Hoffer wrote, “begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” As a cause, conservatism may be dead. But as a stance, as a way of making judgments in a complex and difficult world, I believe it is very much alive in the instincts and predispositions of a liberal named Barack Obama
- Tuesday 4th November 2008 – 9.30am – 12.30 pm
The Conference Centre Buckingham
- Tuesday 11th November 2008 – 9.30am – 12.30 pm
IMI Conference Centre & Residence, Dublin 16
- Wednesday 26th November 2008 – 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Waterton Technology Centre, Bridgend
The cost is ONLY £95+VAT/€125 per delegate, to cover the event costs plus delegates will also receive a free copy of either John Seddon’s ‘Freedom from Command and Control’ or ‘Systems Thinking in the Public Sector’ book.
Places are limited and are on a first come first served basis so to reserve your place(s) please e-mail info@vanguardconsult for a booking form.
Friday, 19 September 2008
"For all Gordon Brown's boasting, his economic stewardship has failed people on every count. Ordinary taxpayers have seen their bills rise and rise but our services have not improved in return. With the credit crunch tightening its grip, it's clear that the country is poorly prepared for tough economic conditions, and it is Gordon Brown who is to blame. He has pursued flawed policies, wasted taxpayers' money and further complicated a government structure which is chaotic and in dire need of reform."
Thursday, 18 September 2008
According to this blog (click title for link) Senator McCain was confused by a Spanish reporter.
When I lived in the US in Detroit, people would regularly remark on my English accent, ask where I came from and on my reply that I came from England would ask: "what language do you speak in England?"
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Monday, 15 September 2008
- Sensors that can detect my heart rate
- Microprocessor that controls it
- RAM for storing data it collects
- Capacitors for bulding and applying the shock (this is the reason why an ICD is larger than a pacemaker)
- Telemetry module that communicates with an external computer for programing
- Batteries - battery life is 5-8 years, depending how much use I make of it. When the battery is exhausted, the whole thing has to be replaced.