Thursday, 30 April 2009
can you pass on to the V-C my thanks for her concern that industrial action may cause 'distress to students and staff'? She's absolutely right - both groups are already distressed and concerned by the speed, management of, and absence of supporting educational research for, the major institutional changes the university is currently undergoing.
Cynical, immoral and unprofessional, anyone? Stockpiling anti-flu drugs then doing online prescriptions for patients they haven't examined? Just think, if you were a panicky, devious hypochondriac, you could google the symptoms, fill in the boxes, stockpile drugs which are in short supply, or take them and therefore reduce the effectiveness of the antivirals (thanks for the correction Ben) when the actual illness reaches the population. I wonder if this disgusting company has thought of this possibility (that's sarcasm, by the way).
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
"We doubt that small town broadcasters run a heightened risk of liability for indecent utterances... their down-home local guests probably employ vulgarity less than big city folks, and small town stations generally cannot afford or cannot attract foul-mouthed glitterati from Hollywood."
I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter, and I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence.Turns out she's wrong too: Republican Gerald Ford was in the White House!
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Professor Jim Waddington from SLS has been granted £94,000 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for his research project entitled “Evaluating police behaviour- using video-clips to examine evaluations of police conduct.” The research will aim to advance academic understanding of how the public perceive and assess the conduct of police. It will investigate different types of police–public encounters and identify those features of which the public approves or disapproves. The project will try and establish what it is about such experiences that leave people with an unflattering impression and equally, what the good practice is of which they approve.I'd hope that batoning people to death (G20), telling the press a pack of porkie pies (G20), falsely imprisoning peaceful demonstrators ('this is not a riot', chanted seated demonstrators as cops waded violently in - G20), filming and identifying said legal demonstrators (G20), building a database of innocent civilians (ongoing), harassing journalists (Kingsnorth) while ensuring that friendly TV crews are on scene for dramatic armed arrests of 'terrorists' who are then released without charge, making up spurious injury lists (Kingsnorth) removing identity numbers (forever), suborning Plane Stupid protestors, and telling the press and Facebook that violence is relished ('we're up for it' / 'bash some hippies') might get a mention, though some of this doesn't take place on video unless the activists catch it.
Monday, 27 April 2009
Sunday, 26 April 2009
Friday, 24 April 2009
E. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation: “fear of catastrophic, man-made global warming is a mistake,” and argued that because the “biblical worldview sees the world and ecosystems as the work of a wise God,” humankind couldn’t possibly be affecting the climate.
Lord Christopher Monckton, aka the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, a British hereditary peer (adviser to Thatcher, journalist, not a scientist) who’s become a minor star in the climate-skeptic world. “The right response to the non-problem of global warming is to have the courage to do nothing,” he told the panel. He readily agreed with Rep. Shimkus: “We are a carbon-starved planet.”
Thursday, 23 April 2009
Co-presenter Millie Clode later apologised, saying "[Best] made remarks he thought were off-camera. We would like to apologise for any offence this may have caused".
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Dear Aidan,Thank you for your e-mail dated 6 April 2009.Some of the expenses claims made by MP's from all parties seem pretty strange.It will not surprise you to hear that I support the general proposition that MP's from outside London should not be out of pocket because, on average, we have to spend 2 or 3 nights a week, for about 35 weeks a year, sleeping in London. For the last 25 years, I have lived in the same house in Penn Fields. I do not live in London. I do not wish to live in London. However, I do have to sleep there, because of my work. That is why I claim (about half of) the London accommodation allowance.I have spent most of my working life in the private sector, where my away-from-home expenses were reimbursed by the partnership for whom I worked.However, the whole system of MP's additional accommodation expenses needs to be radically overhauled. It seems to me that there are two possibilities;1. Set an appropriate amount, and include it in MP's basic, taxable pay;or2. Set an appropriate flat, daily rate, not taxed, for each overnight in Westminster, away from home.In either case, the 'appropriate amount' should be set by an independent, outside body, reviewed annually.If an MP wishes to live higher off the hog than either of those amounts would permit, then it is up to the MP to do so, paying for the excess living from his or her salary. Conversely, if the MP wants to sleep under a bridge, then they can do so!There are about 650 MP's. Some of them may well be 'on the make'. However, a number of the rest of us are certainly not, given that we took a pay cut to become an MP!I am surprised at reports of some individuals claiming a London living allowance, whilst being provided with a grace and favour residence. As you say, Ministerial careers can be short lived. It seems to me there is a simple way forward: get rid of the grace and favour residencies (except for the Prime Minister).We bought our house to live in, not as a piggy bank. Those who did otherwise are now paying the price. So are the rest of us, with the toxic debt of defaulting mortgages. I confess we did extend the mortgage once, but that was to invest in bricks and mortar, and we quickly paid it off.There is a political class. Whether, as is suggested, it is separated from the interests and lives of the citizens is perhaps not for me, as an MP, to judge. However, the upper echelons of the 3 main political parties are increasing [ly?] filled with individuals who have not had for any real length of time, what I think most of my constituents would regard as a proper job, before entering Parliament at a relatively young age. In any individual case, it may well be explicable. However, as the body politic, particularly Parliament, becomes increasingly filled with people in that position, and the upper echelons disproportionately so, one does have to question the balance.You asked me to relay your thoughts to party leadership. I have certainly done so, as regards MP's London expenses, and as regards the backgrounds of those who are increasingly dominating our politics.Yours sincerely,Rob.
That was fun. At a UN conference on racism, the racist president of Iran made a speech calling Israel racist - which seems fine to me, given Israel's treatment of the Palestinians within Gaza, the Occupied Territories and within its own borders. Then the racist countries of Germany (Holocaust, Turks), Britain (Empire, slavery, 'institutionally racist' police, mass ethnic minority unemployment), the United States (slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, 80% of black men with criminal records) walked out.
Monday, 20 April 2009
Friday, 17 April 2009
Thursday, 16 April 2009
...I'm not dead. Not yet anyway. That is a problem though isn't it? That if I don't write anything for a week or so people will think I have died.
I remember in particular a six month residence in and around Jasper, Alabama resulting from a disagreement about contour lines in residential areas. I think the politest thing I can say about Jasper, Alabama in nineteen fifty-five is that it was undergoing a period of social change.
I never trusted Joseph Angel at all. He was a stoat of a man: active by day and night, characteristic bounding gait, often stands bolt upright, solitary except in breeding season. Petty lies were far from being beneath himAnd she eats at Go!Sushi. I'm not cool enough. Nor do I like raw fish. I'm not a water vole.
Unfortunately, it all unravels quite quickly:
“We can’t say that use of Facebook leads to lower grades and less studying – but we did find a relationship there,” said Aryn Karpinski, co-author of the study…though the students who used Facebook heavily studied less and were getting lower grades than they thought. OK, it's a small and flawed piece of research, and may only suggest that people disinclined to work have a new hobby, but it's interesting anyway. Perhaps I'd be a better lecturer if I didn't blog so much. I wonder what P Z Myers thinks of that idea.