SPEAKER'S CORNER

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Tizer
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Re: SPEAKER'S CORNER

Post by Tizer » 01 Aug 2014, 08:35

Listening this morning to a British doctor in Gaza recounting how much worse it has been than when he was in Syria. Civilians being bombarded with shells, not just from Israeli tanks but from warships offshore, and bombs and missiles from F-16 fighter jets screaming above them. Israel claims it has to fight back because of the Hamas rockets although it has its Iron Dome system that shoots them all down. We've been hearing about this for a while now but this morning I was struck by an analogy. Imagine how the world would react if soldiers behind riot shields had children throwing stones at them and they reacted by machine-gunning the children. Would the governments around the world be so complacent about that? Would the US Government still support those soldiers, provide them with the machine guns?

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Re: SPEAKER'S CORNER

Post by Stanley » 02 Aug 2014, 04:48

Tiz. I agree but would point out that 'Iron Dome' isn't infallible. The comparison I have been making is that one missile, one plane and 298 lives in Ukraine is described as a global crime. I can't for the life of me see the difference between that and the present terrible events in Gaza.
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Re: SPEAKER'S CORNER

Post by Tizer » 02 Aug 2014, 09:46

Stanley wrote:Tiz. I agree but would point out that 'Iron Dome' isn't infallible.
That prompted me to search for more information on its effectiveness and I came across this transcript of a US TV programme. Scroll down the page and click on the words `Show full transcript' then look for Theodore Postol. His view is that it doesn't shoot down the Hamas rockets and it's the air raid warnings that really protect Israelis. But Raytheon who make the Iron Dome make a lot of money out of selling it and it makes the people feel safer when they see the iron Dome missiles exploding even if they aren't hitting anything. Interesting. I wonder if this is true or is misinformation?
http://www.democracynow.org/2014/7/31/i ... e_evidence

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Re: SPEAKER'S CORNER

Post by Stanley » 03 Aug 2014, 05:18

The missiles function like old fashioned AA shells, they explode close enough for the shrapnel to bring the target down. One thing is certain, Raytheon will not advertise misses! However, Iron Dome seems to be generally regarded as the best system available.
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Re: SPEAKER'S CORNER

Post by Tizer » 03 Aug 2014, 09:52

Perhaps none of the others work either! That reminds me, did you see that another couple have been in court over the `bomb detector' scam? The main perpetrator was a man from Yeovil. The worst aspect of all about the scam is that so many individuals, organisations and governments have fallen for it, all around the world and spent vast sums of money on the fake gadgets. All they had to do was open one of the boxes and they'd see it couldn't work. But then lots of people believe in homoeopathy...

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Re: SPEAKER'S CORNER

Post by Stanley » 04 Aug 2014, 04:24

I heard the report on R4 Peter. Am I right in thinking that some authorities are still using them? Probably can't bear to admit they were conned.
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Re: SPEAKER'S CORNER

Post by Bruff » 04 Aug 2014, 08:22

''But then lots of people believe in homoeopathy...''

Barlick's MP for one.

And Mr Treddinick MP, homeopathy fan and promoter of linking health interventions to astrological charts, has secured himself a place on the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee!

Truly we live in an age of idiocy when such imbeciles can achieve elected office - plausible idiots have always been with us but it's a sad commentary when people fall for such obvious bonkerdom in the 21st century.

Richard Broughton

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Re: SPEAKER'S CORNER

Post by Tizer » 04 Aug 2014, 10:09

Bonkerdom, I like that, a useful word these days - thanks Richard.

The Guardian, 9 June 2014:
"Why are countries still using the fake bomb detectors sold by a convicted British conman?
Pakistani security personnel still guard Karachi's Jinnah airport using versions of Jim McCormick's phoney bomb detector. They are not alone in having a seemingly unshakeable belief in the ADE 651"...."McCormick and other fraudsters, such as Gary Bolton, exported thousands to clients around the world"..."Less ambitious criminals used to sell them as golf ball detectors in the 1990s."
Full story here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/shortc ... hi-airport

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Re: SPEAKER'S CORNER

Post by Stanley » 05 Aug 2014, 04:58

"Bonkerdom, I like that, a useful word these days - thanks Richard." Hear hear! I shall use it!
I think we can elevate Nigel Lawson to bonkerdom....
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Re: SPEAKER'S CORNER

Post by Tizer » 05 Aug 2014, 08:54

Much discussion on the wireless this morning about improving transport links across the Pennines to allow the cities in the Manchester-Leeds area to compete with London and the south-east. It's all very well trying to move people and stuff faster but there's more to it than that - we need to decide what they and it are all going to do to boost economy. How about designating this area a centre for engineering, science and technology? It's already well on it's way to being that but it needs government to give its backing and long-term commitment. The area could aim to have the best educated people in the country, especially in the technical field. Better and more education is the way to escape that `grim north' image.

Talking of better transport links across the Pennines and around the north, the early Manchester-Liverpool railway got a mention on the radio. But so far I haven't heard anyone in the media bubble mention the pioneering Manchester–Sheffield electric railway of the 1950s which carried freight and express passenger trains through the Woodhead Tunnel. The Wikipedia page would tell them all they need to know - and it's a good read!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester ... ic_railway

And here's a link to a photo of one of the electric engines, Ariadne, preserved in Manchester. It's in the livery of Netherlands Railways who bought it when the English line closed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NS_Class_1 ... dustry.jpg

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Re: SPEAKER'S CORNER

Post by Stanley » 06 Aug 2014, 04:41

I've been watching this sudden upsurge of interest in the North as well Tiz. It's mainly electioneering of course but indicates that London and the SE has been so successful at exploiting other parts of the country that it is now reaching the stage where it is choking on its own affluence. Historically London has functioned like a colonising state. The North and other industrial areas were useful places for destructive resource extraction and smokestack industry. London preferred to keep its hands clean and function in paper shifting industries like government and the financial sector. The problem now is that the cracks are showing, shout as much as they like but government and the financial sector have failed the rest of the country. This is one of the major reasons why there is Scottish agitation for independence. The problem is not in the North but in London itself, it has reached the stage where it is parasitic and something will eventually have to be done to redress the balance. Look at comparative indicators like the amount per head spent on public transport, there are many other examples, not least property prices. Best analogy I can think of is cancer, uncontrolled expansion.
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"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
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