Freedom, system thinking, politics, science, education, economics, pirates
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.
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Where I differ with Mr Jasper is that I don't think any segregation in schools is acceptable. I think he makes my point very well.
Friday, 12 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Sunday, 7 September 2008
1) They saved my life. Together with a passer-by and an off-duty policemen who performed CPR on me, the Paramedics, A&E and ITU saved my life. Most people who have a cardiac arrest die.
2) The NHS is chock full of people waiting. Half the patients on my ward were waiting for by-pass or valve surgery, while being too sick to be at home. There is a very big percentage of resources tied up in looking after patients who are waiting
3) Thre are some fantastic resources. I had the following tests: X-Ray, Sonogram, Angiogram, Stress Test ECG, MRI Scan, Blood tests (lots of those) In ITU I was Intubated, sedated and refrigerated. Most of these resources are located in brand new facilities. I had my ICD fitted in a state-of-the art Catheter lab.
4) Hospital is not a good place to get well. Sleeping is difficult. There is so much noise in the night, from nurses moving around and gossiping, other patients' snoring, machines beeping etc. The food is not too great either, all overcooked and not hot enough. I'm much more comfortable now I'm home and sleeping and eating much better.
5) They have to do some dumb things to meet targets. People organising complex tasks are not trained and do not have the tools required. I watched the team responsible for organising taking patients home. they were trying hard, but the organisation was very poor and the service very inefficient. A little bit of John Seddon would go a long way.
6) The staff are mostly dedicated and hard working, who are motivated by looking after people. But they work in a system that wastes a lot of their time.
7) Some of the women working in the NHS are top-drawer beautiful. Makes the days pass more easily, I can tell you! My MRI at the Brompton test was transformed form a scary experience into on of the most pleasurable, by the lovely radiographer, Annette, who is from Norway. As well as being beautiful she was really kind and caring and she has the most lovely voice, which really calmed me down when I was inside the machine.
Thursday, 4 September 2008