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Story Of Wonder Dark And Light Over The Hill-ary Stalemate Second Battle Of Calais 2016 - (First one see low on this page.) Not So Mighty - Putin Things In Perspective 10 Scandal Of Three - (in a bed) Labour RIP - bring in PR Three Weeks On- See Le Don'tGetIt Below this comment Le DontGetIt BEton Down Cheat Ouch! - Ed
Who came up with the idea of a fictional super-hero being a UN ambassador? Well it didn't last long: Super Woman has been sacked. The episode is as hard to believe as the comic strip!
A bright "flash" of light in the sky has been studied by astronomers for months now. At first it was thought to be an exploding star, a super nova. Now it seems we may have the first clues about how black holes and stars interact. (See BlogJob for previous comments about heads in the stars and putting your finger in a black hole.) Apparently the star is being torn open by a black hole. (You might need to stitch your finger up.)
The last chance for the Clinton dynasty to make it two died last night. Just about the worst candidate imaginable becomes the most powerful man in the world next year. God, help us all... give him a heart attack for Christmas.
Our mates in Europe must be wondering... You know there's an old joke about a man in a café- "don't eat pie: it's stalemate." Brexit seems to be heading just there. The High Court has ruled MPs must vote before article 50 can be invoked, which starts Brexit talks. Now given that The House is largely against brexit, that leaves us rather like the man in the café. Go on, say it out loud...
After years of aggro between France and UK about illegal immigration centred on "the jungle" outside Calais, French officials accept that the 6000 so-called refugees camped there are not all going to get into UK. At last many of them are being bussed away to reception centres where they can claim asylum in France. The camp will be demolished, much to the relief of the mayor of Calais, whose town resources have been stretched by this nuisance for years now. The big question is, how many will simply start again camping by another ferry port? The fact is European migration problems are tearing the EU apart. That's why UK is leaving: we feel swamped and are already short of housing. When will that sink in to the owner of Europe's brain, eh, Mrs Merely?
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The sight of an old fashioned aircraft carrier with even more old fashioned, inefficient oil burning engines belching black smoke, does nothing to convince us at Infinity Junction that Russia is still a force to be reckoned with at sea. UK scrapped newer carriers than that nearly 10 years ago. F14 rip-off aircraft on deck, scrapped by USA many years ago, add to the impression that Russia is a power well past its best. So Putin flexes his military muscles, sailing deliberately close to European waters, with such out of date equipment; in Russia itself the press is not allowed to mention that. How long before this menace to world peace goes?
Predictably the Wimmins movement is up in arms at one of their number being caught out "crying wolf." (Ched Evans rape conviction overthrown by retrial.) While it is fair to say that historically women have not had the best of treatment by the law regarding sex abuse, it is also true that there has been a growing temptation to accuse men of behaviour in which, at the time, the women involved actively and willingly participated. The fact that this girl had been drinking and claims not to remember, does not mean she didn't want sex. What is probably more annoying is that she can't remember the fun they had at the time. In this particular case it seems rather a lot of fun, with the girl taking the lead, with two men at once. It is disturbing that police seem incapable of working out what happens when inhibitions are lowered by alcohol. How drunk do you have to be not to "give consent?" If she's being dragged along or in a drunken sleep, unconcious etc, she's not giving or not capable of consent, obviously. But willingly going to bed and taking the lead in sex? Use some common sense!
Now Trotskyite Jeremy Corbyn has been confirmed leader, we can expect the UK Labour Party to break up. Corbuncle will have his ultra left fanatics, unless something very unexpected happens, the rest will drift into various coalitions or splinter groups, before re-emerging as New-New Labour or something similar. In the meantime Conservatives with a clear minority of 25% of the vote will dominate. Shame on the left wing- you've destroyed to only thing which could save UK from right-wing capitalism. Only the introduction of proper Proportional Representation instead of First Past The Post can save the ordinary citizen now.
An article in The Guardian, based on a book by Joseph Stiglitz, says pretty much what Infinity Junction said last month- Europe will punish itself if it tries to punish Britain for leaving EU. Stiglitz though blames the Euro currency for the turmoil and mistrust within mainstream Europe. He says it was set-up by ideological people, rather than proper economists; in other worlds it was a politcal statement of intent more than a means to an end. That is what we have been moaning about for years here; unelected, dogmatists running the EU. No wonder it is beginning to stink a bit. Stiglitz says there needs to be a fundamental review of the way the Euro works and how it copes with so many different economies. We agree but go even further, we need a review and change to the Commission and clear democracy: at present the only democratic institution in the European Union control structure- the European Pariliament- is a joke with very little power.
Just about everybody outside of UK who can get their views in the press is saying the same; UK not in EU; bad, bad, bad. What will be interesting is what the final outcome of the EU get out clause negotiations actually says. Several leaders are saying "you can't have free market without free movement." Don't they realise that immigration was the deciding factor in the UK vote? Taken that the Brits stand firm on limiting numbers coming in, then what are the rest of Europe going to do about free trade? Again it does not seem to have sunk in that if tarriffs or limits are imposed, then UK will do the exact same in reverse. German and French cars become more expensive, so what, UK makes more cars than the French and Italians by miles; we won't suffer a shortage, more likely UK-made car sales will go up. That'll please Nissan, Ford, Jaguar, Honda, McClaren, Land Rover, Mini etc. The same car companies will also benefit because Land Rover, Jaguar and McClaren sell a lot of their cars outside the EU and a lower pound will boost their sales too. New UK markets are already being explored outside Europe, Australia seems very keen to do a free trade deal; good. Back in EU land it's all reaction, speculation and no realisitic ideas at present. As the Germans say- you never eat as hot as you cook. Expect a much watered down agreement than the punitive revenge sought by some EU leaders at present; not Fire and Brimstone, more a luke warm fudge.
Theresa May, she of the remain camp, now UK Prime Minister in charge of leaving? Hum. Well, it's better than Boris Trump and Donald Gove. Speaking of them, what a clever move to make buffoon xenophobe Boris Foreign Minister! One finger up at francois frog, for sure. Good idea to sack back-stabber Gove too. Now another clever thing is to break up the Eton clique that surrounded CamEton when he was PM. Who knows what happens during Brexit: it's never been done before, but Mrs May doesn't stand nonsense, not even from the EU commission, they of the bloody noses.
Commentary during Wales surprise defeat of Belgium in European Cup football- "The goal keeper managed to get two or three hands on that." No comment; see title.
Nobody in Europe saw that coming; UK actually voting to leave, while lesser economies queue up to get in. That'll wake up Brussells; hopefully heads will roll and the organisation shrink and become more sensible. If it doesn't, its going to run out of money, just like Greece has and Spain and Italy almost did. The second largest contributor to EU funds pulling out will cause problems. The European commission needed a big kick up the backside, although perhaps not that hurtfull a kick. The process of disentangling UK and Europe is going to be a long and complex one, don't wait up.
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Story Of Wonder
Dark And Light
Over The Hill-ary
Second Battle Of Calais 2016 - (First one see low on this page.)
Not So Mighty - Putin Things In Perspective 10
Scandal Of Three - (in a bed)
Labour RIP - bring in PR
Three Weeks On- See Le Don'tGetIt Below this comment
Ouch! - Ed
Too Right - by Infinity Junction's political correspondent Polly Mint
As expected, the rhetoric from the Brexit and Remain camps has been grossly exaggerated on both sides. If ever there was a Nasty campaign, this is it. It has had the unfortunate effect of awakening Far Right sleepers. Now we see venom and hatred aroused to the extent that an MP has been shot dead by a neo-Nazi. Two young children motherless. A pragmatic, rising political star extinguished. Will politicians ever learn to moderate extreme views? Sadly it seems not. Shame on you.
Tit For TIAAF - Putin Things In Perspective 7 (see previous comments in Blogjob.)
The Internation Athletics Federation upholds its ban on Russian field and track competitors, making them miss the Rio Olympics. There is good cause, systematic doping, but is there also a bit of tit-for-tat politics in here too? The world punishing Russia under dictator Putin for invading Crimea? Things can only get better without Putin.
A lot of nonsense in the media about a new antarctic ship the people's voice named Boaty McBoatface. Private eye came up with Votey McVoteface for elections. Well then there must be some mileage in this, eh. Man with beard: Goatee McGoatface. Person in shower: Soapy McSoapface. How about a vote on who should be called Pokey McPokeface, Dopey McDopeface; perhaps certain pop stars for that one? Punchy McNoseface? Make up your own: it takes your mind off those tedious politicians spouting dire warnings about the Europe vote; Polly McPolleface? (Later note- Boaty McBoatface was used for for its submarine, the ship's name was Boring.)
BBC managed some wonderfully wobbly syntax in a news report which might explain why Michelle McCollum, a tourist in Peru, got jailed for being a drugs mule. They said caught "...along with Mellissa Reid in her bag." That would have been quite obvious, wouldn't it.
Infinity Junction's NuGgets column has had several goes at naive astro-physicists. Last night's Horizon on BBC made an illuminating point. Dark matter and dark energy, which nobody seems to explain, was called that, not because you can't see it, (which you can't,) but because dark means ignorance, as in the dark ages. As far as we are aware here, its the first time this has been admitted publicly. So what's our desi res title got to do with it? Ans: Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, scheduled to go into service in 2020. Can't wait.
Not Auto-Text - for a change
Talking about the impending UK steel industry collapse, an American pundit was heard to say "do we want terriss?" Any proper English speaker would translate that as 'terrorists,' but hey, this is about steel. The auto text was obviously having trouble too because it was only after the third time she said the word that we saw and realised she was saying "tarrifs." The late Tom Lehrer summed it up years ago "(s)he's from Georgia and doesn't speak the language very well."
More Bad News For Rabbie Burns Soc.
Scotland's beloved national dish, haggis, took another knock recently. Last year it was the Welsh making the best haggis. This year it's the revelation that haggis is actually English in origin. Feel the oncome of more sporran stamping.
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Left Out At Easter - Ed.
The Pope in his Easter message urged people to use love against terrorism from Brussels to Baghdad. As I couldn't help saying- he left us out then! I suppose that means we can carry on using the police. I wonder which strategy will be more effective.
Dogmadamies - Ed.
Predictably, as soon as the right-wing UK government makes a pronouncement, there are howls of protest, often but not always justified. The latest "privatisation," which is idealogically driven because it makes no sense, is that all schools must become academies. To those not aware of the UK system, until fairly recently all state run schools came under control of local government. Local government inspectors made sure the curriculum was good and that it was well enough taught. Local government also supplied administrative support, cheap stationery, equipment, services and advice. It allowed easy transfer of teachers from one local school to another, as the need arose. Doing this from a locally centralised point meant economy of scale and consistency. But the dogmatic bunch of ministers we have now, privately educated of course, want to see rich buddies creaming off the profits from private venture. So every school has to become independent of government and run on business lines. They don't want parent governors, they want business style appointed boards. There is no pragmatic reason for this because even the largest schools are going to need extra specialised admin staff, which will come out of the scools budget. Ah, but, the Conservatives say, they'll have more money because it won't go to local government. The probelm with this argument is that small schools' budgets won't be able to cover the extra specialist staff needed, and probably don't have anywhere for them to work anyway. Without parent governors, and I was one, so I know what used to go on, parents will have no say in their children's education at all. No sense in the idea at all!
As predicted, that pro-Islamic, anti-Kurd, neo-dictator in Turkey has gone another step to making himself absolute ruler. President Erdogan, as long time readers will know, is not liked by Infinity Junction. We think he's bad for the Turkish people and bad for the Middle East. Ever closer to a stranglehold now, beacuse he's taken state control of the country's most popular newspaper, Zaman. He's nowhere near as bad a Putin, but he appears to becoming more and more a potential problem in the region.
Tackling A Problem Groof - NG2
70 doctors, safety experts, sports scientists etc signed a letter calling for Rugby Football in schools to be made non-contact, to avoid sometimes life-changing injuries sustained during tackling and scrums. There is a form of the sport called touch rugby which could be adopted instead. The RFU, the national governing body, has reacted so badly it is already taking sanctions against those anti-contact campaigners and closing ranks. Some years ago a member of the national senior team called the RFU "a bunch of old farts." I think their reactionary, super conservative and old fashioned response proves this to be true. As somebody who did receive life-changing injury, admittedly not catastrophic, I agree with the non-contact approach and also think the senior game needs toning down considerably. I propose a new organisation to those 70 signees: G.R.O.O.F. - get rid of old farts. Of course schools could take a more civilised route and play association football instead. (Soccer, US. Ed.)
Hundreds of vitriolic and emotional, even hysterical social media comments were made about that tiny North Wales police force, who have appeared in this column several times before. Most notably known for its anti-motorist campaigns, they aroused ire about roads in a different way. A stray dog was causing a danger to cars on the A55, apparently unaware of what cars are and can do to dogs, especially at 60 mph on an A road. They couldn't catch it: it was wild. They couldn't leave it: it might have caused a fatal accident. They couldn't shoot it: they might have hit an innocent motorist, (if you can be innocent and a motorist at the same time in North Wales.) So they ran it over. End of danger, start of media frenzy. If that dog had been human, there wouldn't have been as much fuss, especially if it was an immigrant! (There's a thought.)
The Battle Of Calais 2016 - Ed. (With references to Agincourt and Waterloo; of course.)
Here we are 601 years on from the most famous time Britain faced the French in a battle over sovreignty and it's about to start again. CamEton crowed that he had a famous deal from a summit in Brussels, well he got something nobody has managed since that Ding Dong Dead Woman; some concessions from an ever strengthening euro-bureaucracy. Now Boris Trump (Bojo) and Donald Gove (Gozo) are on the attack because CamEton's plan is flawed. In order to twist euro arms, he threatened in in-out referendum, now he has to actually do it, the Outers are making hay. So now we have to wait until late June to find out whether we're in or out. My prediction is for some heated debates, mud-slinging, false statistics, stories of impending doom and a lot of people getting turned off. Today, (Late Feb,) it looks like a 'damned close run thing,' as the Duke of Wellington said of the deafeat of Napoleon 201 years ago not far from Brussels.
Over-Reaction To A Weak Force - Ed.
"The secret of the universe revealed!" Those were the headlines prompted by an over dramatic announcement by US scientists that the long expected gravity waves had been detected. Headline hardly true! Those of us not embroiled in the head-in-the-clouds atmosphere of many academic institutions have realised, as Einstein predicted, that they must exist. You don't need a blackboard full of equations to work out that at least gravity must distort and therefore effectively move about; travelling in waves is one way to do that. I look at pictures of two spiral galaxies going through each other. There'll be collisions, near misses and suns effecting other suns and their orbitals; self evident I'd have thought. Read Infinity Junction (the novel) for more explanation.
Things In The Air
Several reports of airliner near misses with radio controlled drones have come to light recently. Not long ago a camera drone came close to killing a skier in the alps when its pilot lost control. New rules no doubt will soon be announced. But one thing nobody thought of was, wait for it, flying rabbits. Storm Gertrude lifted a rabbit when its hutch blew over in Northern Ireland. The fire service retrieved it, relatively safe, from the roof of its owner's house. It is reported to be renamed Gertrude now. Perhaps the new flying drones rule will be called Gertrude's Law?
Beware Greeks Avading Answers
In an interview on BBC TV Newsnight the Greek foreign spokesman failed to answer a single question about Greek failures on immigration control and was timed out. 'Damage limitation' was achieved by one simple phrase repeated to 'answer' almost every question- "If you look at history" blah, blah. No wonder they are in a mess if he has anything to do with it. Don't do anything, run away and quote history instead!
Infinity Junction finds itself in England but unable to get English terrestrial TV. To make matters worse, satellite TV is very patchy due to trees in the way. So we have to put up with usually sub-standard Welsh TV about which many round this neck of the woods moan, especially endless rugby. There are very occasional exceptions though and last night was one of those. The Great British Car Crash Con (from Week In Week Out team) on BBC 1 Wales did a positively brilliant, detailed dissection of a car insurance fraud costing insurance companies millions. It showed up just how weak insurance companies are when it comes to tackling fraud. If it hadn't been for a spot of luck for the police, not the insurance company involved, this fraud could still be costing you and us loads of money. The policy of caving in rather than checking and fighting is very short-sighted. The more insurers try to save court costs, the more unscrupulous people are going to take advantage. Obvious really. Wake up insurance bosses!
A Gun With No Bang - Stew the Oil
Jeremy CorBlimey, left wing leader of the right-wing-socialist Labour Party in the UK, suggested we build four new nuclear armed submarines with no warheads. That's like police wearing holsters with no guns. Either save the money and scrap submarines or build a real deterrent; it's so simple. Head in the sand, brain in the clouds, ne'er the twain shall meet. God help Labour! (God is on sabbatical, apparently, Ed.)
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