Pyramid Comment

This journal takes an alternative view on current affairs and other subjects. The approach is likely to be contentious and is arguably speculative. The content of any article is also a reminder of the status of those affairs at that date. All comments have been disabled. Any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Opposition Party

It's really quite nauseating, though predictable, to hear the out of power (after 13 years) Labour-party would-be leaders of a failed ex-government pontificating about what they propose to do. Now. The predictable revelation is that now that they are the official Opposition they begin to scream what they have always known the people want in the simple and cynical hope that they will thereby be re-elected.

Just to regain power

Squealer - Animal Farm

Orwell describes Animal Farm as a fairy story. That of itself is highly revealing. It is a satirical novel and, even though written between November 1944 and February 1945, accurately describes present times (2010). It's a remarkable insight and illustrates the mechanism through which (political) control works. This should be compulsory reading for everyone and in any country. The methods described descend to the terribly crude, but nevertheless are very effective. It mostly relies on unsubstantiated claims (unverifiable allegation) that are believed (for no good reason) to be true. It's political spin and double-speak.

Once that has been achieved they will simply revert to the ideology that has always existed and that is clear the majority of the electorate detest. It sounds similar to common sense, but took more than 13 years to be mouthed.  It cannot possibly be believed.

It seems that to behave in a deceitful way has more chance of success than honesty. An example of typical disinformation in an attempt to persuade:

A government-funded report defines the
'British public' as being just 160 in number

  • "We expected people to be very wary of claims about creating synthetic life, but they weren't... They were quite relaxed about it, and seemed to see it as a natural extension of biological knowledge."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gender Selection

The possibility of determining the gender of a child by gender selection, presumably before conception, is potentially fraught with issues. Assuming both parents agree on the sex of the pre-conception child, the obvious effect is to skew the proportion of each gender. This happened in China where there is now a deficit of females and this implies the destruction of the embryo when the sex can possibly be known, but in any case after conception. Abortion of the unwanted. It seems the ethos of simply a healthy child without defects is to be subverted. There are no guarantees of a successful choice and rejection of the child before or after birth (if late abortion is not an option) becomes possible. After the birth, even if it is known a wrong-choice gender had been developing, presented with a live wrong-gender child, rejection could still instantly happen. Familial breakups are very likely, especially if gender selection is considered important enough to have been discussed. One case in favour of this could be if there is a genetic problem that is either known or becomes known. To end a particular familial genetic trait, it may be prudent to terminate a developing embryo (Huntingdon's disease). Even this is likely to raise many ethical, philosophical and psychological issues.

The implications for Population Growth are far-reaching, especially when considered with the number of (male) homosexual partnerships increasing. Statistically, this is inevitable as the numbers of men and women are both increasing, but the proportion of males will outstrip females. Gender selection and the China model will, in principle, gravitate towards a barren future. The non-ability to procreate becomes a reality, though IVF and multiple births linked to surrogacy could artificially affect the balance.

Arguments for an increase in the culture of child-trading can easily be made. Not only will the natural balance (roughly 50:50) between males and females be distorted, but society will descend into a worse condition than it already is. With the selfish greed-appetite to be satiated and a deficit of females in an ever growing global population, the locations of the skew effects will move to the so-called 'civilised' world.

The world is already in a mess, in terms of both population and the financial/employment consequences of over-population. The outlook for Mothership Earth (Gaia) does not only look bad, but progressively getting worse. And by the day. Some of the new and 'progressive' ideas are actually contributing to the opposite effect.

Small Bites: 500 - 599

500. Debt creation is the life-blood of lenders. There is (literally) no interest in paying off high cost loans before the cheaper ones. They are 'allowed' to take on a lesser importance and are only serviced after closing off the less expensive ones. This maximises the yield from the bigger debts that remain the longest. It's so obvious that it's truly painful. Money lending is a cynical (and highly lucrative) business and always causes meltdown and misery.

501. The cynical exploitation of another country's willingness to carry out the (lucrative) IVF treatment that is illegal in the UQ (aka UK) Ltd, and at much lower cost. The NHS will still provide the support even though the pregnancy was started outside the country.

502. The alcoholic is no different to the drug addict. Raising the cost/unit will make no difference. The money is found somehow. Drink is a powerful control freak.

503. An example of perverse logic: reduced monthly borrowing means there is money to give away.

504. The issue of a party leader's wife has potentially far-reaching implications in UQ (aka UK) Ltd politics.  The woman in question has no more position than being a spouse. That is simply a question of a potential PM's choice of partner and has nothing to do with politics. Potentially it has. If the wife being paraded in an attempt to influence voters to favour a particular party actually works it's almost inevitable that the Trojan Horse principle will be set in motion and it has possibly already been implemented. The 'choice' of partner could be an 'arranged' marriage looking ahead to the day a potential candidate can be pushed forward and 'switched'.

505. An individual can make a great deal of personal wealth just by being famous. A known name. A 'celebrity'. This is simply a collection of many small amounts from a very large number of sources (punters). The entertainment business illustrates this: £millions to an individual in a very short time does not define the money brought into the company coffers that is the contract owner. Those that make up the global population do not each contribute much, but collectively represents a great deal to the 'star': £1 each from 50million people = £50m. Or 10p each from 500million still = £50m.

506. Road tax is meant to pay for road maintenance: potholes. Not an extra payment. Putting up Council Tax and the government £100million 'donation' is a sham. It's already been paid for many, many times over. Road fund license revenue collected by government for use in maintaining roads has never been used in that way. It's an example of technical misappropriation at it's worst.

507. British Gas feeling pain? Great, but it's hugely unfortunate that customers need to feel it as well. Totally unwarranted for the attitude of the few. It's unlikely that this outfit cares anyway. The likes of Bentley will still get paid themselves regardless of this company. After all, Bentley is just another employee as are all directors of a public company, although they could consider their status differently.

508. Influence is only an ability to get others to act and does not demonstrate any actual ability.

509. Unions bankroll Labour and are precipitating discontent. This suggests the aims of the unions: to wrest control from government. Back to the 1970s and the days of Red Robbo and British Leyland. It's been forgotten that the Labour party is the unions. Whoever controls the money...


510. Climate Change Act. A law based on unproven models.

511. More fat cats, the fattest being in Kent. Chief executive Peter Gilroy takes home £255,000 a year, making him the third highest paid council boss in the country. Only the third means there are two others 'earning' more than this. The term 'earning' diverts attention from 'is paid by council-tax payers'. The real issue with fat cats is that there are still 'fat cats'.

512. With alcohol 'abuse', this is clearly either a lack of sophistication, experience, judgement or worldliness; artlessness; gullibility; credulity or the absolute denial of a problem. The problems are those who use alcohol for its 'feel-good' influence though this is only the state between sobriety and drunkenness. The real problems are those that by choice are determined to get drunk at the outset. The psychological reasons for this are complex, but many users stop imbibing alcohol when the desired state has been reached. This raises the questions of what is that limit and why is it something to be achieved? Sometimes flat out and unconscious. The term 'abuse' actually suggests that there is a proper use for alcohol. None of them involve ingestion. This in itself defines an addiction in a similar sense as addiction to chocolate. Alcohol addiction as an alcoholic is a serious and potentially totally destructive condition for the alcoholic. Personal choice implies a 'choice' of alcohol for the alcoholic and it should still be the alcoholic in control.


It simply isn't and demonstrates the

real power of alcohol

An improper use of heroin is abuse. Proper uses are only medical, but it still starts with personal choice.

Addiction removes the element of choice

513. The concept of acting tough by threatening to bar access to benefits after the third offence is just posturing. Any potential government actually being tough would state (not threaten) that after the first proven offence any benefits are instantly withdrawn. Probably, possible human rights abuses would be highlighted and so such comments won't be made and any loss of face backtracking will then not be necessary. Benefit cheats are encouraged as the easiest to continue cheating. Prisons aren't available and inevitably cheats will mostly be the growing number of the unemployed. And back on the streets.

514. Circumcision is peculiar as it represents the failure of the believers' god that has not led to the deletion of a human genetic trait. The foreskin is still required. Odd.

515. Honesty may enable people to expect difficult times ahead and the conditioning may evolve into acceptance. What is not acceptable is that essentials are being ramped up in cost. Energy. Petrol. That is demonstrative of the absolute 'unfairness'.

516. "Trust me...", "I'm going to be honest with you..." - lies are coming! And to avoid answering a point: "let's return to the question." Usually, a question that has no scripted and rehearsed answer cannot ever be answered. The response is always an answer to a question that was wished had been asked.

517. Reductions in obesity levels is not the responsibility of the NHS. That is through education and the transference of responsibility to the individual. The NHS is not a teacher, but should only attempt to put right that which has gone wrong, though never as the result of some self-inflicted affliction.

518. Nick Clegg appears to demonstrates the collective all-party responsibility where Brown is clearly "do it my way." Everything is from "next year." The untested future.

519. The volcanic ash problem and the claim of £130m/day shows the high stakes of air travel.

520. The electioneering fear threats are appear to be aimed at retaining power between two parties.

521. The benefit of a single-party government is that it can do as it pleases. A multi-party government needs to work through co-operation.

522. Labour against Tory? Yet, support is for each other. Apparent opposition is actually mutual support.

523. Analysis of pseudo-democratic dictatorship: record of real ability?

524. That being in the EU is advantageous to trade presupposes that finance is the prime directive to progress. The control of the people is through the belief that this is so (without realising) and again illustrates that absolute control is gained through the peoples' pockets. People are compelled to pay for the business concept of that which constitutes progress. The spiritual betterment of a people or an entire race is conditioned to the association with wealth. The driving force is the acquisition of an illusion. Chasing the rainbow. Money and power. They are now absolutely linked.

525. Motion: when acceleration is zero (at constant velocity) the momentum does not change from whatever it may be at that moment. An increase in fuel consumption cannot happen as velocity is constant, assuming a level path: no incline or decline so that the potential energy cannot change. If an economical driving technique is followed the fuel used will be at a minimum. This is the reason that long distance driving theoretically returns the best result if potential energy remains constant and acceleration/deceleration is non-existent.

526. Electoral promises so often never materialise into reality, but it would seem the Lib Dems still want promises to be forthcoming: "I promise you I'll do everything I can to...". If this doesn't happen then 'at least I  tried'. Allegedly, but no breach of contract if such a promise is not fulfilled. 'We tried...'.

527. Proportional representation (PR) is sometimes referred to as full representation and is a class of voting system aimed at securing a close match between the percentage of votes that groups of candidates obtain in elections, and the percentage of seats they receive (e.g., in legislative assemblies). PR is often contrasted to plurality voting systems, such as those commonly used in the United States and (much of) the United Kingdom, where disproportional seat distribution results from the division of voters into multiple electoral districts, especially "winner takes all" plurality ("first-past-the-post" or FPTP) districts.

528. The denial to vote is contrary to a democratic right. Voters had been present at polling stations and some for allegedly hours. The doors were closed at 10pm regardless of the queues outside. This raises a constitutional  point that is unlikely to go away. UK citizens who are expected to pay their taxes have been denied the right to take part in that country's government election.

529. Building houses does not translate into selling them. The more that get built simply means there are more to sell. With a decreasing employed population this must become more of a problem, but the industry would appear to be in denial. Or just attempting to ‘talk up’ the whole selling game. The number of repossessions may be slowly decreasing, but many are still happening. This indicates ongoing serious problems.

530. Indications are that forcing repayment of student loans and with a higher level of interest imposed will happen. The number of graduates looking for work is very high and so repayment is not an option. To impose a higher level of interest on a loan that cannot be repaid is a (deliberately) contentious ‘suggestion’. Nobody willingly wishes to retain such a burden. This cannot benefit the universities, but will just increase the burden of the unemployed student. The lending authority will eventually benefit, but at huge cost to others: the graduate students. Many already regret working for their degree and this feeling can only escalate. University funding is suffering so passing on that suffering to those who have graduated, yet have no way of realistically paying back the loan is betrayal and demonstrates very short term thinking. The number of potential students must decrease as the message is understood that a graduate degree is not such a great idea or even worth having. The conditioning is that a degree will be a requirement for any job. At a very high cost that can never be recovered. Many will still enter the system, but many could be advised to delay entry or abandon any idea of future entry.

The Russell Group says: "The lack of a real rate of interest on student loans" is a "subsidy which imposes high costs on the Government, and which exceeds the requirements of ensuring fair access to higher education". It goes on: "One way of modifying the current system is therefore that student loans should carry a real rate of interest; one which would be equivalent to the Government's overall cost of borrowing." The public costs of funding the student finance system could be reduced by lowering the threshold (currently £15,000) at which graduates begin paying back loans, it adds. A spokesman for the review of fees said it would consider the submission along with all the others. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said it would respond to the review when it reported in full. University and College Union general secretary: "The future for the UK is, as the Russell Group report correctly identifies, as a high-skilled knowledge economy and that requires proper funding for our universities. "We desperately need to overhaul how universities are funded and move away from the idea that the current review of student funding is merely a question of how much student fees go up by."

This demonstrates the attitude that students are simply the fodder that supplies the cash intake. Tertiary education is just another business placing itself before the job market. The parasite that feeds from the fodder and which will destroy the system. The only concern is how to raise increased funding and not caring how it happens. The survival of the universities is the only concern and how this is done does not feature in the mind-set thinking. Self-destruction. The top heavy graduate work force has a decreasing expectation for gainful long-term employment.

531. In these current days of global recession in general and the UK in particular with national debts of £$100s bn, the concept of growth cannot be realistic. Unless the gap between fewer winners and the growing numbers of losers continues to widen. The term actually 'begins' to give off a more nauseating odour. The concept of growth that leads to decline is illogical. Inflation and growth are forever married within cement.

532. The inconvenience of the volcanic ash is being treated as though a traffic jam can just be removed. To get around the problem just move the threshold where flying is disallowed. Jet engine manufacturers are allegedly to be burdened with 'improving' engines so that they can operate under volcanic ash contamination conditions. So, the cosmetic 'talking up' of the situation makes it all OK? Of course not. Volcanic ash is dangerous to the entire principle under which a jet engine works. The commercial pressure will place lives at huge risk. The latest atmospheric contamination (May 2010) by volcanic ash is again caused by Eyjafjallajokull, a volcano in southern Iceland. This small country has well in excess of 28 volcanoes.

533. The illusion of 'spending' grotesque amounts of public money suggests that the country can easily afford it and creates the 'feel-good factor' and that the UK is doing rather well. The reality is that the country is totally bankrupt and that the ex-Labour government was the party of disaster.

534. Any denials about the existence of a Nanny State are weakened by complaints that not enough is being done to protect people from themselves. People taking (contaminated) drugs and not surviving seems to be not their fault, but caused by the authorities' lack of vigour.

535. Chemicals added to food may prevent degeneration in air, but when eventually inside the body may have another destructive pathway.

536. Gender selection: the possibility of determining the gender of a child, presumably before conception, is potentially fraught with issues. Assuming both parents agree on the sex of the pre-conception child, the obvious effect is to skew the proportion of each gender. This happened in China where there is now a deficit of females and this implies the destruction of the embryo when the sex can possibly be known, but after conception. Abortion of the unwanted. It seems the ethos of simply a healthy child without defects is to be subverted. There are no guarantees of a successful choice and rejection of the child before or after birth (if late abortion is not an option) becomes possible. After the birth, even if it is known a wrong-choice gender had been developing, presented with a live wrong-gender child, rejection could still instantly happen. Familial breakups are very likely, especially if gender selection is considered important enough to have been discussed. One case in favour of this could be if a genetic problem. To end a particular familial trait, it may be prudent to terminate a developing embryo (Huntingdon's disease). Even this is likely to raise many ethical, philosophical and psychological issues.

537. Aspartame (artificial sweetener) has been progressively used as a non-sugar substitute in products that require sweetening, but that can be marketed as sugar-free. All the diet products that fail to declare the sweetener additive (Note 1). It's very cynical. One of the latest products is sugar-free chewing gum and it now seems impossible to get non sugar-free gum. It's supremely ironic and paradoxical that a product designed to clean the teeth should actually use sugar.The product should have neither. Can sugar-free AND aspartame-free gum be obtained?

538. Viewing a TV in 3D requires special glasses and the glasses are specific to a particular manufacturer of TV. The TV cost ranges from between £2000 - £3000 and glasses anything from between £50 and up to £150. Every viewing individual requires a set of glasses and without them the display is rendered unwatchable. The technology is currently very expensive.

539. "We expected people to be very wary of claims about creating synthetic life, but they weren't," says Brian Johnson, an independent consultant. "They were quite relaxed about it, and seemed to see it as a natural extension of biological knowledge," he says. However, the government-funded report defines the British public as being just 160 in number. Typical disinformation in an attempt to persuade.

540. Is the concept of climate change being exploited as the justification that covers up weather manipulation? It cannot be noticed and so is not considered.

541. If the disaster of BP is a predictor of future problems, what will happen in the nuclear scenario?

542. The continuing search for an effective sweetener that replaces natural sugar, so reducing the calorie count of a soft drink, suggests a caring and watchful outlook. But the reason is more likely to simply bolster the sales of the soft-drinks industry and the marketing will probably exploit the obesity ironically encouraged by that very industry. Diabetes type-2 is implicated. Sweetness enhancers are being developed that increase the effectiveness of sweeteners so reducing the amount needed. Commercially this is beneficial to the industry, but none of this is designed to benefit the consumer.

543. The whole concept of natural selection is quite simple to comprehend. Any species that adapts to its current environment is more likely to survive when in good health. Any sickness or weakness will get filtered out by virtue of a failure to procreate. Procreation is an effect of the mating of the fittest and strongest, enhancing the sustainability of a species. This mitigates against the Human species as weakness can be countered to some extent by so-called life-style drugs and surgical procedures. The market for organ donation will probably descend into (involuntary) organ trading. The future of the Human species is being terribly skewed and distorted. Paradoxically, this severely weakens the outcome by enabling the sick and the weak to procreate. The later generations are getting weaker and sicker. The eventual outcome is obviously extinction.

544. Alternative energy production like wind farms could easily be bled off into the grid. This will then subsidise the greater cost potential of conventional (gas, oil) sources. The approach of oil companies that attempt to illustrate how to be more energy efficient are really just protecting their own future. It is in their interest that energy is conserved. The projected rise in global population is constantly mentioned and simply observed with no attempt at suggesting it should be curtailed or reduced. The constant reminder conditions the growing population into acceptance and so does nothing about reducing or slowing the growth. A growing consumer market means more potential profits. What will not happen is a reduction in energy costs to the consumer. The overall reduction in energy use generally would not be expected to impact much. Greater waste is 'lost' before it can be used. Distribution of power from its very 'creation' is a wasteful process. This compared to trivial individual consumer savings is enormous. To save energy equates to reducing losses before it is ever used. Claims are made that consumer bills are already being reduced by 10% and peak demand has been lowered to 15% (as a consequence?). The aim, it could be argued, is to maintain the reduced peak demand, but also lower the amount saved by usage. Effectively raising prices though using less. The LSE (London School of Economics) has allegedly calculated that an investment of £5bn developing a smart power grid could create or retain a quarter of a million jobs in energy and related industries. The wages bill for the same level of employment coupled with such an investment that must be returned, defines a financial yield that does not involve reductions. Costs to the consumer (indirectly targeted by all commercial users) must be expected to increase in any business model.

545. If a novel and creative way to make money (redistribute) cannot be found, then steal it. This is less intellectually demanding.

546. Buy-to-let? It's cheaper to rent than to have a mortgage. Renting can be quickly terminated. A mortgage cannot be 'got rid of' so easily. Paying a landlord may not satisfy many yet it enables an individual to save and have money when it's needed rather than being held hostage to finances for years and years. Money can theoretically be 'made' and 'lost' over a relatively short period, but it remains an issue that depends very much on circumstances. Employment stability and property ownership are current problems.

547. Is the concept of climate change being exploited as the justification that covers up weather manipulation? It cannot be noticed as it's not even considered.

548. If the disaster of BP is a predictor of future problems, what will happen in the nuclear scenario? It's also a possible opening gambit for the hostile take-over of the company. Already around 40% of shareholdings are American owned.

549. The continuing search for an effective sweetener that replaces natural sugar so reducing the calorie count of a soft drink, suggests a caring outlook. But the reason is to simply bolster the sales of the soft-drinks industry and the marketing will probably exploit the obesity encouraged (ironically or cynically?) by that very industry. Diabetes type-2 is implicated. Sweetness enhancers are being developed that increase the effectiveness of sweeteners so reducing the amount needed. None of this is designed to benefit the consumer.

550. The whole concept of natural selection is quite simple to comprehend. Any species that adapts to its current environment is more likely to survive when in good health and any sickness or weakness will get filtered out by virtue of a failure to procreate. Procreation is an effect of the mating of the fittest and strongest and enhances the sustainability of a species. This mitigates against the Human species as weakness can be countered to some extent by so-called 'life-style' drugs and surgical procedures. The market for organ donation will probably descend into (involuntary) organ trading. The future of the Human species is being terribly skewed and distorted. Paradoxically, this severely weakens the outcome by enabling the sick and the weak to procreate. The later generations are getting weaker and sicker. The eventual outcome is obviously extinction.

551. Alternative energy production like wind farms could easily be bled off into the grid. This will then subsidise the greater cost potential of conventional (gas, oil) sources. The approach of oil companies that attempt to illustrate how to be more energy efficient are really just protecting their own future. It is in their interest that energy is conserved. The projected rise in global population is constantly mentioned and simply observed with no attempt at suggesting it should be reduced. The constant reminder conditions the growing population into acceptance and so do nothing about reducing or slowing the growth. A growing consumer market means more potential profits. What will not happen is a reduction in energy costs to the consumer. The direct overall reduction in energy to consumer use generally would not be expected to impact much. But indirectly and the greatest impact comes from commercial enterprises. The growing population enhances this profit-tree where the money grows and by minimising direct consumer use maximises the potential for commercial profit. Distribution of power from its very 'creation' is a wasteful process and greater waste is 'lost' before it can ever be used by the consumer.  The consumer explicitly subsidises commercial losses and, compared to any trivial individual consumer savings, the amount is huge. To save energy equates to reducing losses before it is ever used. Claims are made that consumer bills are already being reduced by 10% and peak demand has been lowered to 15% (as a consequence?). The aim, it could be argued, is to maintain the reduced peak consumer (small) demand and increase the available (large) remainder for commercial (profit) usse. Effectively raising consumer prices though using less. The LSE has allegedly calculated that an investment of £5bn developing a 'smart grid' could create or retain a quarter of a million jobs in energy and related industries. The wages bill for the same level of employment coupled with such an investment that must be returned, defines a financial yield that does not involve reductions. Costs to the consumer (indirectly targeted by all commercial users) must be expected to increase in any business model.

552. If a novel and creative way to 'make money' (redistribute) cannot be found, then steal it. This is intellectually much less demanding.

553. Buy-to-let? It's cheaper to rent than to have a mortgage. Renting can be quickly terminated. A mortgage cannot be 'got rid  of' so easily. Payingg a landlord may not satisfy many yet it enables an individual to save and have money when it's needed rather than being held hostage to finances for years ad years. Money can theoretically be 'made' and 'lost' over a relatively short period, but it remains an issue that depends very much on circumstances. Employment stability and property ownership are current problems.

554. Good crop yield is allegedly achievable, but the produce is nutrionally empty if the ground cannot provide it.

555. The growing population and deforestation conspire to increase CO2 output and reduce the ability to replenish atmospheric O2. Photosynthesis will be compromised. Harvesting increased yields of foodstuffs artificially with chemicals and GM massaging, will generate low nutritional foods. The illusion is one of plenty, yet actually it is dire.

556. A paradox exists between a growing population (yet apparently overfed) and the obesity epidemic which is not pandemic, but focused around the 'developed' world. Overfed does not define well nourished.

557. Now's the time for Argentina to 'take' the Falkands. The Royal Navy is already depleted and the conflict in Afghanistan consuming huge resources. There's not a lot left. The UK would never do another 'Thatcher'.

558. The inevitability of education trimming. An over population of the overfed seems to generate little interest whereas it should be. This is the single important threat to the Earth: humans as parasitic predators. The lungs of the Earth are being invaded and destroyed at an increasing rate. The growing population generates more CO2. Respiration involves breathing in oxygen and exhaling CO2 in order to survive. Deforestation destroys the ability to replenish breathable oxygen. The population is being brain-washed into imagining CO2 is a poisonous gas. It is only that it does not sustain mammalian life above the surface of the seas and water-based life below it, but is an essential part of the life-cycle. Hardly 'poisonous'. The myth of seas reaching 100s of metres in height is simply scaremongering with the single interest of creating fear as the money generator. The growing population should create greater competition within this generation size expansion, but paradoxically seems to result in the opposite effect. This is not particularly surprising. The prospects dwindle as the more disinterested up-and-coming generation matures. The potential tax yield is reducing as more and more poorly paid workers produce less revenue. And linked with a growing longer-living elderly population that is gradually declining in general health, the separation into support personnel and a constantly enlarging consumer base is becoming wider. As the consumer base grows, it becomes difficult to imagine a single society. The division between the 'haves' (declining) and 'have not' (increasing) groups widens. Those without become less wealthy as those with increase their wealth: Winners And Losers. The prospects for wealth creation continue to decline for the majority. This all constitutes a series of ever-decreasing circles that ultimately creates a vacuum. The blindness of greed to manufacture the human invention of money will destroy the planet. The Earth should completely recover in a few millions of years, but without the problem of the human race. This virus upon the Earth imagines it has a right to destroy the very planet that provides it with life. This could be a definition of madness, but being mad does not assist survival: survival of the maddest. The biblical wisdom of the Gates of Heaven being closed to those with money will instantly lock out the entire greed culture.

559. Parking charges in locations like Margate (Thanet) must be reduced. The meters themselves create difficulties when working out the required charge for an estimated parking period. Locations like Sandwich offer a very easily understood meter. Thanet Council either cannot or will not make life easy for the user. It implies the difficulty is deliberate so that the car owner is likely to fall foul of parking without payment. It defines a contemptible attitude. The free parking at Westwood X clearly disadvantages local traders. Expensive short-term parking distant from shopping areas discourages the visits by the short-term shopper. Revenue is collected from office and shop workers as can be clearly seen during the week when parking is very difficult even though the High Street areas are quiet. If Margate is to be re-invented then the parking issue has to be seriously addressed. It must not simply be an easy-revenue raising scheme.

560. The BP/Gulf of Mexico disaster appears to be downplayed by US President Obama, yet it is unlikely that the $bns of dollars committed in penalties/compensation and the now inferred reduced clean up, will be lessened. The outcome can still be a depressed BP share value and the cheapest way for the American shareholders to become the majority holding from current equity - about 40% each between the UK and USA. America always looks to the future and security in the supply of oil is essential. Denial And Skepticism.

561. Government wants to make a difference? Then make tertiary education free (the future providers). This should be restored and made more effective. All graduates who have paid for their education should be totally refunded. It's similar to paying for rent to stay in prison. Absurd. But now that they're in (coalition) the screws start to tighten without ever having been relaxed. The problem is deciding how honest justification becomes: reducing the colossal deficit run up by Labour or just squeezing the people? Or both together?

562. A minimum payment made on loan repayments is the worst scenario for a borrower. The lender simply maximises the interest on the debt. Strangely, the most sought after mortgage is the one with the lowest repayment. Even interest only that can never pay off the capital. This is the highest total return for the lender and ultimately the most costly to the borrower. Paradoxical.

563. It's peculiar that car manufacturers supply all sorts of safety devices and features so that drivers can behave in a more dangerous way, yet have a slightly greater chance of survival (perceived - any crash at 60+mph is not survivable). Unless in a Formula 1-type protective cocoon.

564. Like the appearance of a new word that eventually becomes absorbed into the language, ideas and behaviours are adopted, but the source cannot always be identified. Slipped into societal thinking unnoticed.

565. A few decades ago (the previous generation) a pass mark threshold was set once exam papers had been marked. This wasn't designed to massage the result, but to access the difficulty standard of the questions. There is no absolute formula to devise questions that test not only the ability to remember and then regurgitate facts, but to examine the depth of the understanding of those facts. It is not probable that some genetic advancement has 'suddenly' (over 40-50 years) created a super intelligent breed of young adults (the 16-17 year olds). The increasing numbers every year of those being successful in their exams would suggest a more likely cause being the questions are either less demanding or the syllabus and/or exam is simply easier. The logical progression is that passes will eventually exceed a 100% success rate. That is a truly absurd and perverse concept.

  • That university applications soar and revenue through debt collection on student loans rises as a consequence would explain the increasing numbers of successes. The growing number entering tertiary education and the colossal and collective costs to the students, does divert and delay those young people seeking work by three years or so. It seems much more like a 'damage limitation' tactic.

566. Carbon capture storage simply moves the problem and makes no attempt to deal with it. Scrubbing and pumping underground requires energy and must be a non-starter of an idea. The 'Hiding under the carpet' philosophy. The population still grows and consumption grows with it. Dealing with the issue of CO2 generation must involve population control, but with the political and related financial implications will fail before anything is started. A larger consumer market defines greater profit and growth. Anything that grows requires nurturing or else it dies. Ultimately the planet. Logically, diverting energy sources from a growing global consumer market (population) will cause probable insurrection. Before that the worst (and only) offender, the human race,  will rapidly begin to die. Life may recover, but damaged on an enormous scale: possibly billions. The planet will control any growth in the population by destroying it.

567. Governments keep regurgitating that 'everyone must share the responsibility' for everyone's ills with nauseating frequency? But this makes those not responsible pay for the irresponsibility and greed of others. The less well off (poor) pay for the losses of the already greedy rich. The clear message is that any future repeat of the repeating cycle will involve more people acting out of the learning:

If we are all to pay then we should all
be involved in creating the problem

This defines a shorter time between repeats. The revolution will continue to gather speed. It has already started (some time ago) and this perhaps illustrates what is meant by the World End 2012. If there is to be an end. Coincidence? Maybe.

568. Urban sprawl is counter to the natural division (mitosis) of large groups into smaller ones for survival. When too big and cumbersome, failure to divide would lead to failure. Humans trying to play smart behave as idiots. Usual behaviour.

569. Isn't it odd that MPs seem to be self-serving, but claim to be serving the people?

570. In a service industry: where is the finance 'created' that pays unrealistic salaries? And why are they so ridiculously high?

571. The conservation of water by consumers and encouraging a more environmentalist attitude simply gives commercial outlets more resourse from which to maximise profits.

572. The Big Bang seen from a more involved scene (existing inside) can simply be an exploding space object: a supernova.

573. The wind farms allegedly attract an annual £60m government operating subsidy (grant). Also, it is claimed that already consumers are paying a 14% surcharge on energy bills. The cost to consumers of any power usage is so far unknown, but it is probably easy to divert this 'free' energy, that does not utilise fossil fuels (origin is debatable), to supplement the national grid by selling-on any unused’ energy. This would be difficult, if not impossible, for an ordinary (paying) consumer to monitor.

574. The growing consumer (population) numbers of longer-living (so what if the quality of life is poor?) possibly has a statistical analysis to predict the expected numbers of individuals that will suffer illness of genetic defects. As the population grows so should this number grow if nothing changes. Any advance in genetic controls would be expected to minimally reduce the overall %age of sufferers. The number of affected people seems to keep increasing, but as the population grows the %age may actually be decreasing. This simply demonstrates than the increase in population will still result in more and more sick people even if significant medical advances are made.

  • If 1% of 10,000,000 people are affected this represents 100,000 individuals. A population increase of 5% would yield a total of 10,500,000 people and 1% of an affected population would give 105,000 patients. If the numbers of sick people remained at 100,000, then a reduction would be apparent: 100,000 of 10,500,000 is 0.952%.
575. "If the banks are allowed to fail." They must not fail whatever it costs. That is the conditioning to control. Whatever it will cost... Anything must be allowed to happen: a 'blank cheque' underwritten by the people. Chasing nothing and paying everything. The wealth is diverted out of the system to leave even less.

576. There is an absurd concept that increased population increases wealth. It divides a finite resource between more so each gets less. Everyone becomes increasingly hungry as the slice of the cake gets smaller and this promotes selfishness with the greed that goes with it. The bestial survival instinct rises.

577. A product 'closer to market' does not define the effectiveness of that product, but who cares? It is saleable even if no one needs it and can 'make' money .

578. On the one hand IVF assists a population that has already grown too big and on the other there is not enough energy to go around. Allegedly.

579. Growth And Decline are opposing reflections that mirror Winners And Losers.

580. In life, every encouragement is provided for procreation. Even those that cannot have children, for whatever biological reason (nature is unselfish and favours no-one). The right to terminate one's own existence (suicide) is rendered illegal. Birthing is facilitated and encouraged while death (unless by natural causes) is prohibited. A highly peculiar convergence of two diametrically opposing issues: life and death.

581. Banks paying £bns in bonuses, yet likely require to borrow more 'government money'. It's tax payers' money used to prop up a decayed system built on vapour.

582. The old Labour government (RIP, 2010) was responsible for ramping up the deficit with its prolific borrowing, but now claims to halve this amount within one term.

583. It's not difficult to find a reason for greed: the possession of more and more and more and... The Winners And Losers concept. To be 'Winner' more is the critical statement. To be the best in the pile there must be 'Losers'. Many have no ability, but still desire to be 'Winners' and for some theft by taking is the way to become a 'Winner'. It's a terrible consequence of the human condition that has always been present. Acquire by taking. This leads to conflict and death. To keep the proceeds of theft, the trail and any pursuit must ideally be destroyed.  Anarchistic nature comes to the fore as primordially bestial behaviour is encouraged. For all the rhetoric, there is a large part of mankind that is still a very hostile and primitive creature. But far from all. Yet it's the bestial (greed) nature that prevents growth to what is perceived as a 'better person'. Perhaps that is not possible and the limit of human evolution has already been reached. Whatever the genetic changes are imagined to yield, without a spiritual growth, the human is finished.

584. How to keep wages down? Prevent people from becoming too well qualified by moving education away from their grasp. Create an elitist society: wealth to the minority and poverty to the majority.

585. The improved potential through education is being used as the justification to incur debt. Debt is good.

586. Taxes up, so the people pay. The maxim of any government.

587. The cuts, the deeper they are made, sabbotages any chace of Labour's turn. The cuts are a torpedo act. The poorest are probably potential Labour voters, so hit them hardest. Favouring the most likely Tory voter. The most ble to pay are the rich. Some chance, they're Tory friends.

588. Is al-queda just a device? An fictional invention and is global warefare orchestrated?

589. Taxing the banks would just result in this being passed onto clients. They still allegedly 'pay' grotesque bonuses, but do the banks actually have any money? They still fail to lend any.

590. Redistribution of a fixed amount of 'wealth' is a similar principle to a computer sharing resources and bandwidth. The overall potential cannot be changed, only shared amongst users. The more users or activity, the less share each gets. Slicing up the cake: Wealth Creation.

591. Goverment pouring on the financial pressures from which they are totally immune (they have no money except that 'acquired' from taxpayers) and ring-fenced. Osborne and Cameron will never feel the pain even though they are good at turning the screws.

592. Statistically, as the general population increases all things good and bad will also increase. The ongoing 'debate' about crime reduction goes nowhere unless the causes of crime are tackled. And that's not probable as easy pickings are ever present and become more attractive. Crime will always increase roughly in proportion to the chances of firstly being caught and secondly suffering real punishment.  Imprisonment is also less likely. It's a charter to commit crime.

593. The wealthy can afford to squandor resources reducing those resources available to all. The debt-based society and its unquenchable desire for more and more divides up the fixed-size cake into more disproportionate slices. The rich (do) get more. The poor (don't) get less. Wealth begets riches. The 'haves' become more and more unconscionable.

594. The very low interest rate on savings is designed to encourage spending since there is such a poor return on savings. Create the problem and make it worse while providing a solution for those who created the problem in the first place. The low interest in addition to devalued finance simply steals 'worth' from the people.

595. Quantitative Easing in the USA ($600bn) simply reduces the value of money in circulation. It illustrates the massaging attempts to 'hide' the entire issue of a failed financial system. Buying up government debt with this 'valueless' money printed by government. Ridiculous. The 'logic' is laughable. But then the people are stupid, aren't they? DA.

596. There comes a point at which the potential to make money from the consumer begins to decline as the population becomes too great and requires huge expense to maintain. To openly attack the population to cause its decline would be too risky. A more subtle and 'invisible' way is to cause a great deal of hardship. In the short term societal pressures would potentially decimate the population. A sort of human race culling. In the longer term a smaller (more contained) population would cost less to keep healthy. Once the wealth of the general, so-called 'middle-rich' has been plundered, the new balance can be found between rich and poor. The redistribution of wealth towards the rich (minority) from the rest ensures greater control and riches for the rich. King Midas lives on. For now. It's purely coincidence (of course) that the creation of the 'middle-rich' classes was just before the alleged global financial devastation that followed.

597. Goverment pouring on the financial pressures from which they are totally immune and ring-fenced. Osborne and Cameron will never feel the pain even though they are good at turning the screws.

598. Statistically, as the general population increases all things good and bad will also increase. The ongoing 'debate' about crime reduction goes nowhere unless the causes of crime are tackled. And that's not probable as the easy pickings are ever present and become more attractive. Crime will always increase roughly in proportion to the chances of suffering real punishment.  Imprisonment is also less likely. If caught. It's a charter to commit crime. Keeps the general population potentially living in 'fear'.

599. The wealthy can afford to squandor resources reducing those resources available to all. The debt-based society and its unquenchable desire for more and more continually divides up the fixed-size cake into disproportionate slices. The rich get more and the poor get less. Wealth begets riches. The 'haves' will ultimately become fewer (the 'have nots' greater numbers) with a more and more unconscionable attachment.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Southern Electric, North Sea Gas And Hess Energy

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Southern Electric is a trading name of the Scottish and Southern Energy Group of which SSE Energy Supply Limited is a member

Scottish & Southern Energy (Southern Electric SSE) is to buy almost 80% of the North Sea gas assets from Hess for $324 (£290m) after the US company partners exercised their right to acquire the remaining 20%. At the moment, SSE is one of the Big Six suppliers and agreed an outline deal worth $423m with Hess saying that it expected the partners to take some of the original 383bn cubic feet (35.6bn cubic metres) of the available gas and liquid resources. The remainder of the gas will supply around 6% of the amount SSE needs to supply its customers and fuel (presumably gas fired) electricity-generating power stations. Such moves are made to hedge its exposure to volatile wholesale gas prices.

  • This logic suggests that it can maximise profits by protecting itself against upward price moves while at the same time failing to pass on any reductions to the consumer. Nothing new there. But this does illustrate the possible deceit in its 'justifications': to the consumer.
Southern Electric
Southern Electric - The Deceit
Southern Electric - The Letter

Southern Electric - Update


However, a promising energy future is potentially likely when considering any Big Six break-up and competition working in favour of the consumer:

Smaller Energy Players Challenge Tariffs of ‘Big Six’

Energy supply director of SSE (Alistair Philips-Davies):

  • "We are very pleased with the assets which we can now go ahead and acquire. For a fair price, we will secure a new source of primary fuel and a hedge for our gas generation and supply activities, taking a very useful first step into the upstream gas sector."
Credit Suisse (Investment Banking) analysts said that the SSE strategy should be regarded as "positive". But this fails to communicate if the shareholder or consumer is indicated.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Nuclear Contamination


Children living near nuclear facilities face an increased risk of cancer. Though a link has long been suspected, it has never (up until now) been proven. In the 1980s, studies revealed increased incidences of childhood leukaemia near the nuclear installations at Windscale (now Sellafield), Burghfield and Dounreay in the UK. Around German nuclear facilities, a similar effect was detected. The radiation doses from the nearby plants were judged too low to explain the increased leukaemia according to the official response. The Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment [COMARE] (responsible for advising the UK government), eventually concluded that an explanation remained unknown, though was unlikely to involve radiation. A rather sweeping statement in the absence of evidence. 

Epidemiological studies (last year) have appeared and researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston carried out a meta-analysis of 17 research papers that covered 136 nuclear sites in the UK, Canada, France, the US, Germany, Japan and Spain. The incidence of leukaemia in children under 9 living close to the sites showed an increase of 14-21%, while death rates from the disease were raised by 5–24% depending on their proximity to the nuclear facilities: European Journal of Cancer Care vol 16,  p355.

A German study followed that found 14 cases of leukaemia compared to expectation (4 cases) between 1990 and 2005 in children living within 5 kilometres of the near Hamburg and becoming the largest leukaemia cluster near any nuclear power plant anywhere in the world: Environmental Health Perspectives.

Even more surprising, the results of KiKK studies were published this year in the International Journal of Cancer vol 122, p721 and the European Journal of Cancer vol 44, p275. Higher incidences of cancers were found and a stronger association with nuclear installations than all previous reports. A 60% increase in solid cancers and a 117% increase in leukaemia among young children living near all 16 large German nuclear facilities between 1980 - 2003. Those who developed cancer lived closer to nuclear power plants than randomly selected controls. Children living within 5 kilometres of the plants were more than twice as likely to contract cancer as those living further away, a finding that has been accepted by the German government. The KiKK studies received scant attention, but there was a public outcry and vocal media debate in Germany. No one is sure of the cause (or causes) of the extra cancers and coincidence has been ruled out.

The
Kinlen hypothesis (weak, but convenient argument) theorises that childhood leukaemia is caused by an unknown infectious agent introduced as a result of an influx of new people to the area concerned. The most obvious explanation for this increased risk was surprisingly also ruled out by the KiKK researchers: that radioactive discharges from the nearby nuclear installations were too low. The evidence on which this assertion is based is not clear.

Anyone who followed the argument in the 1980s and 1990s concerning the UK leukaemia clusters will recognise the similarities. A report in 2004 by the Committee Examining Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters [CERRIE] (set up by the UK) points out that the models used to estimate radiation doses from sources emitted from nuclear facilities are riddled with uncertainty. Faulty assumptions could have been made about how radioactive material is transported through the environment and taken up and retained by local residents.

Should radiation prove to be the cause of the cancers, how might local residents have been exposed? Most of the reactors in the KiKK study (pressurised water designs) were notable for their high emissions of
tritium, the radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Last year, a report on tritium published by the UK government concluded that its hazard risk should be doubled. Tritium is most commonly found incorporated into water molecules, a factor not fully taken into account in the report, so this could make it even more hazardous.

The new evidence of an association between increased cancers and proximity to nuclear facilities raises various important issues: should pregnant women and young children be advised to move away from the vicinity of nuclear reactors and should local residents eat vegetables grown in their own gardens?


Governments around the world planning
to build more reactors must clearly
review those plans


Based on an article by Ian Fairlie
New Scientist, 26th April 2010

 


Economical Driving - The Physics
Economical Driving
Head Injury

Manufacturers' fuel consumption statistics are (simplistically) at a constant (rolling road) speed or, so it would appear, 90 km for 60 minutes = 90kmph (56mph). Figures like this are quoted at one speed only and are totally unrepresentative of reality. There is considerable variance between 30kmph, 60kmph and 90kmph. Only at constant speed on long journeys is the best fuel economy returned if the speed is kept between 96-112kmph or 60-70mph (approx) and if the legal fastest top speed [112kmph or 70mph in the UQ (aka UK) Ltd] is not exceeded. Drive faster and illegally, the cost overhead is huge. The heavier the car, the more the cost overhead. Up to x22.5 or possibly more depending on how heavy the right foot is. Most driving involves stop/start/slow/accelerate/brake/stop/start... etc. Considerably variable conditions

Distance Tax - Update
PetrolPrices.com

Overall, the actual fuel consumed and 'official' statistics are very misleading. Not necessarily anything untrue, but massaged and distorted to provide favourable (to the manufacturer) statistics. Petrol as a fuel is increasing in price and as always, regardless of any shortage or glut. It seems as though an arbitrary decision has been made (somewhere!) to screw the global population as with other energy sources. When diesel as a fuel became popular in the UQ (aka UK) Ltd, it was considerably cheaper than petrol. Not surprisingly, time saw the price of diesel rise and is currently a similar cost to petrol.

Diesel or Petrol
Differences

It is possible that people are realising (at last) that owning an expensive vehicle is affordable, but running such a vehicle is not. Psychologically, it is common for someone to keep a product even though the 'hype' does not live up to reality.


How many users actually do an analysis
of petrol/diesel usage and monitor
their driving technique accordingly?

If you have on-board fuel status system, especially if it updates regularly, it is an education to monitor how fuel consumption varies significantly depending on driving technique. Revs for the gear selected have a great impact on mpg. It is an education. Translating the mpg into £pm is then very enlightening. The overall cost for a day, week or month can be a real wake-up call if there are concerns about the cost of fuel. For the environmentally aware, the wastage of a dwindling resource due to careless driving techniques should shock.

The sales of forever better performance vehicles is maybe in decline and car manufacturers are developing better diesel engines. The return (mpg or litres/100km) used to be better even though the cost of the fuel is now roughly the same. Performance diesel-powered engines are now not much better than an efficient petrol-powered small engine. The distinction between diesel and petrol appears to be decreasing as performance improves.

It is a curious perception that even though an explosive air/petrol vapour mixture of constant energy yield apparently translates into more or less power irrespective of the vehicle size and weight. The misconception is created by the manufacturers' performance data. Selectively presented to produce the illusion of difference. How can a 2-tonne vehicle produce the same economies as a 1-tonne vehicle. It cannot, so the driving techniques and conditions that produce these figures are highly contentious. But this sells cars. Even more bizarrely, some of those who complain about high fuel costs do not consider driving more economically. They contribute to a financial problem and may possess the answer to their own problems.

  • It's instructive to observe drivers (especially women driving powerful cars) negotiating bends. Power steering cannot assist heavy cars negotiating bends. The vehicle moves comfortably in a straight line, but move out of true and the forces attempting to roll the car are quickly realised (Newton's 1st law of motion). Turning at speed requires considerable strength regardless of any power assistance.

Green Car Guide

Police spec XF: May 27 2009 (2.7 Diesel) currently (2010) a 3L model with identical results, but kerb weight unspecified.

  • "The Jaguar XF Diesel, especially in new S form, would be an ideal pursuit car." The new, higher power XF cranks out a stolid 271bhp and ticks all the key detective criteria: 0-60mph in 5.9sec, combined economy of 42mpg and 179g/km CO2
So, after removing all the irrelevant equipment (for policing operations) the current production (diesel) Jaguar is the police performance car of one year earlier.

The sales of diesel engined cars also appears to be expected to increase with a concomitant decline in petrol-powered car sales and it shouldn't be long until the cost of diesel fuel substantially overtakes that of petrol. In any event, the selfish wealthy individuals who imagine themselves to be able to 'afford' to finance any obscenely thirsty vehicles are consuming an evermore valuable resource. For every wealthy individual that can finance driving at 70mph -> 80mph -> 90mph -> ... and consume (destroy) enough fuel in a week that could allow a smaller car to operate for several months, the oil wells get closer to inevitable exhaustion.

When in a desert conserving water is vital and a rich man will die of thirst as quickly as a poor man.

Small Bites (Philosophical):

  • 215. What is the purpose of life? How is success measured? What does one need to do in order to be 'successful', but whose definition: rich man or poor man? What is wealth: money in the bank or novel ideas in the mind? It is only the exploitation of an idea that can make money. It may be a physical or intellectual idea, but is still just an idea or concept. Without an idea nothing can happen. A man who has a financial fortune (from where?) may be absolutely devoid of ideas. A man rich with ideas may develop financial wealth from ideas, but the creation of the idea of an individual can never be bought by that individual as it doesn't exist until it's created (free) in the mind. It's the (huge) difference between an Einstein and a Rockerfeller (Wealth And Power). Like the Sun and the Moon.