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Saturday, May 10, 2014

UKIP Scotland Rally To Meet Nigel

     Last night I was at a UKIP rally in Edinburgh.

     Misty (Arthur Thackery current chairman) confirmed that polling shows us on 12-18% which is enough for 1 MSP and within striking distance of 2. Well ahead of the Tories and far ahead of LDs and Greens. That went down well.

       Nigel encouragingly said that in parts of southeast England he expects UKIP to take more than  50%  of the vote. That the political class are terrified of us because they know they have no serious counter arguments to us.

        In Scotland the official Better Together campaign (which actively excluded UKIP)  are so Europhile that they simply will not mention that a separate Scotland would only get EU membership term far more expensive than we have as part of the UK. He also suggested that a good UKIP showing in Scotland will put pressure on the SNP to say they would allow us to have a vote on EU membership, which they are currently set against.

         He made an amusing but serious comparison between alcohol and nationalism - they make you feel better in moderate amounts but can be ugly when overdone.

         He predicted eurosceptics would do well not just in Britain but across all of northern Europe and Scotlands ruling political consensus is out of touch with the people.

         On the matter of the media accusation that UKIP is a one man band (the BBC in particular, for years, refused to have anybody else on QT and then use this line) he said that this clearly untrue but for us to win at a general election we have to be seen to have a wide ranging and competent Shadow Cabinet and that this is "one of his most important jobs".

         We are "on the verge of the most extraordinary breakthrough in British politics for 100 years.


        Unfortunately most of the media coverage has gone on a remarkably unquestioning and factually non-truthful reporting of the demonstration outside.

        Interestingly Misty told us of how he had gone to Radical Independence's public meeting organising the demo outside, without announcing himself, and heard how the organisers "led" the meeting to reject suggestions of wishy washy pseudo liberal demo handing out "foods from around the world"; or any involvement from No supporters to concentrate on chanting and being intimidating. He described this, I think correctly, as Indy-Fascism and pointed out that our First Minister and Justice Minister, among others, have always refused to even mouth any objection to their thugery.

   Certainly had anybody rioted against the SNP or any of their PC activists or Rangers fans against Celtic ones (though probably not vice versa, they would have been immediately arrested. That isn't a guess - this Christian preacher arrested purely for exercising what used to be the right of free speech, did not approach the nicest of the RI thugs in violence. It didn't even get coverage in the obedient Scots media.

     Attributed to Churchill but Huey Long got there first "The fascists of the future will be called anti-fascists"

     And that the reason for their demo was not because any of them believe the multiple and conflicting things they accuse UKIP of, but because we are winning.

     As we were leaving and being followed by 2 very young girls one bearing the anti-fascist poster referred to below where Fascist was spelt with an H. He turned to the other and asked why they opposed UKIP - "Because you're anti-gay". In fact he is not merely gay but clearly so to anybody who reads body language. Our candidate is too. She went silent when informed.

     This was symptomatic of the entire pseudo-left today - not only were they demonstrating under a large variety of causes, many of them such as gay rights and the IRA, which have no connection either to each other or to UKIP, but they are overwhelmingly ignorant of the principles they are supposed to believe in and to what the word fascism actually means (and fairly ignorant of the real world too). "Left" has become a portmanteau label for those who have not thought through their beliefs and want somebody to give them some out of a box.

     I have sent this letter to the Scotsman who will doubtless censor it in their normal way:

       Having attended the Scottish UKIP meeting with Nigel Farage may I point out a susstantial factual error in your report of the event. Rather than a "couple of dozen" of us there were around 100. Granted this was probably less than the total of protestors but one must remember that they were drawn from, by their own admission, diverse viewpoints.
         From hooded and masked thugs at the, back of the crowd, to those waving IRA flags, SWP promoters of totally unlimited immigration, windfarmists, and various strands of gays including one young woman holding up a poster about her genitalia and another denouncing fascism, but spelling I with an H. The only common factors seemed to be their opposition to democracy and free speech and their commitment to the SNP's "Independence in Europe" (indeed at the meeting organising this spontaneous demo a few No campaigner supporters were made ostentatiously unwelcome.
        It is arguable that UKIP represent the views of the average Scot and perhaps even the average Scotsman reader rather better than these assorted totalitarians do. Which is why, despite almost total censorship of debate of our actual policies by the state broadcasting corporation and most of our media we are getting 12-18% here in polling for the EU election and the assorted thugs of the Yes campaign are reduced to protesting against Scots rights to vote for who they want.
      It is unfortunate that your newspaper decided to falsify its report in a manner designed to support what are, at least by Mussolini's definition of the word, fascists.
 PS  If you decide not to publish this one either I must formally ask for your evidence that the meeting I attended was attended by only "a couple of dozen"
An interesting sidenote - LibDem leader Willie Rennie, of whom I have said previously, is reported as having said Salmond should "call off the dogs" over Nigel's visit. That is a remarkable piece of phraseology (and an unusual acknowledgement of liberal free speech principles which would have been more convincing a year ago). Rennie works in Holyrood as part of our ruling "consensus" and certainly knows a lot more about the back corridors of power than I do and if he says Salmond's relationship to RI is a master to his dog I am inclined to believe him.

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Friday, May 09, 2014

Greatest Military Victory In The History Of The British Isles - Arthur at Solsbury Hill

      Some time ago I did an article about King Arthur, concluding that he was a real person, though a war leader (Dux Bellorum) rather than king, and a Roman officer from the Etruscan area of northern Italy (Artorius is an Etruscan name rather than pure Roman).

       I also accepted the site of his most important battle, Mount Badon as being near Bath, probably Solsbury Hill (Bath and Badon were probably pronounced similarly at the time and there is reference to it being near volcanic springs, which  exist there alone in Britain).

       The Battle of Badon Hill is considered a great victory and looking at the map today we can see why. If the Saxons had been able to advance only a little further, to the Severn where Bristol is, they would have cut the Briton stronghold of Wales off from the Briton stronghold of Cornwall. Technically an army could have moved between the 2 by boat but this would mean no cavalry and much less convenient movement.

      Obviously, standing alone, neither area could have hoped to drive back the Saxons. England would have become a wholly Anglo-Saxon nation rather than the mixture our culture and blood groups show. Reaching the Severn at Bristol, 11 miles away, would have been a literally pivotal moment in our history.

       But actually Bath, not Bristol was the pivot.

      This winter (& next unless our politicians' promises mean anything) we have seen flooding of the Somerset Levels. This is not because of global warming, whatever the ecofascists say, but because these same ecofascists, assisted by the parasitic EU bureaucracy are, quite deliberately, destroying the drainage system established in the 18th century (which takes some effort because a system established in the horse and shovel age would not take many bulldozers to maintain).

       However it has made it obvious what the land used to be like before such drainage.

      So basically Badon/Bath is the high point covering the entire coast as it was then. The sea, then. came in to almost directly south of  Bath as well as being directly to its east. No enemy army could march along the coast, as it then was, without exposing its flank, all the way, to an enemy working on its own interior lines.

      Almost certainly the Saxons had not been held at Badon as I previously thought, but had advanced all the way to the sea, at one of any of the points close to Badon and decided that the Badon Hill fort was the natural, indeed inevitable central control point.

       And Arthur, in one last throw of the dice, got both Welsh and Cornish to combine on an attack there.

       And won what increasingly looks like it really was the most important land victory in the British Isles (mores than Hastings which mainly changed the aristocracy)

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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Colin Pillinger - Beagle 3 - Would Be A Fitting Memorial

Prof Pillinger was the driving force behind the ultimately doomed Mars lander, and was awarded a CBE in 2003.

His spokesman said he suffered a brain haemorrhage at his home in Cambridge and later died in hospital.

His family said his death was "devastating and unbelievable".
How the ill-fated Beagle 2 mission would have looked on Mars
He was best-known for the Beagle 2 mission to Mars, which was supposed to land on the planet on Christmas Day 2003 and search for signs of life, but didn't transmit and was presumed crashed.

He became a professor in interplanetary science at the Open University in 1991.
      Beagle II has his brainchild. It was built on a shoestring and made so light that ESA couldn't find any excuse not to include it with their probe to the red planet.

      Against all of the expectations of our political class it became incredibly popular, and a source of pride, across Britain.

       Which shows good judgement by the people - finding life on Mars means life must be common across the universe. One life creating accident on Earth is possible but 2 and only 2 isn't. If there is a more important philosophical question than "are we alone in the universe" I have yet to hear it.

       So they relabelled it a spaceprobe in its own right rather than just an experiment (& gave him a CBE).

      Then it failed, as scientific experiments (& half of all Mars probes) often do if they are pushing the envelope.

       The proper thing to do was to send another. With the development work already done a new probe, tweaked in line with experience, would have been cheaper and more reliable. This is how generations of, edge of the envelope, aircraft were produced.

        Instead ESA said they would take it over and do it "more efficiently" at 10 times the cost & our Westminster MPs explained to him, from the eminence of their technical knowledge, the reason for his failure. He hadn't spent enough or taken long enough.

        ESA got their budget. Beagle 3 is still unlaunched. Yet another example of how our "space budget" largely isn't used for space but for co-opting something people are willing to see money spent on and then hijacking the money for the bureaucracy.


        So how about this.

        I have written before about cubesats ("black boxes" 10cm on a side launched into space - as revolutionary to space experimentation as containerisation was for shipping). And of how an engine is being designed that can put drive a cubesat, or a cluster of several, across the solar system. I suggested then they would be ideal for exploring and assaying the asteroids beyond Mars.

       Cubesats work because of Moore's Law, that computer capacity doubles every 18 months, means devices can be made proportionately smaller.

        So lets see how much smaller. Beagle II was launched 11 years ago. Add a couple of years development time to 13 years and by Moore's Law capacity is up (2^8.6) 400 times. The original was 33.2 kg so that implies current equivalence of 1/10th of a kilogram - far lower than cubesats regularly are.

       Finding microscopic life doesn't require size. Even a drill to find material beneath the surface, which is where any life on Mars is likely to be, need not be big. In fact, because of the square cube law, landing a small probe is easier than a large one.

         Possibly we are talking about a cluster of 3 cubesats rather than just one. I don't know enough to have an educated opinion.

         But I do know that cubesats (40% of all the ones in the world have Glaswegian hardware) are being put in orbit now for under £100,000 and are a technology which is game changing for space development.

          Beagle III would be much more complicated than 1 communications cube in Earth orbit. But how much more. It looks to me like the cost would be likely to be several million £s which is less than small change to government.

           Less than we spend subsidising 1 single windmill. Or less than 1 metre of the new Forth Bridge is costing.

           Worth spending to answer arguably the ultimate question about life and the Universe? I would think Westminster, Holyrood, Tom Hunter and Bill Gates would fight for the opportunity to fund it.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Big Engineering 65 Educating the World

   OK, following on from yesterday's Big Engineering. Here is a secondary effect it implies.

  It gives us not only mobile phone but also internet coverage everywhere in in the world (well possibly not at the north and south poles because they aren't visible from the equator).

   It does so for relatively simple receivers because with the signal capability up to a million times stronger than current satellite broadcasters picking it up is easy. That, plus mass production, means 10s or even hundreds of millions of receivers could be produced at relatively small cost.

    As regards mass production this is a relevant recent comment by Jerry Pournelle.

After 1940 America mobilized, Detroit began to turn out tanks and trucks and artillery, airplane factories sprang up, Kaiser finished Hoover Dam and put in shipyards where there had been nothing but mud flats, and GM’s Knudsen showed everyone that if you could produce one of something, you could produce a million of them, and do it with workers who hadn’t been trained – this was the time of Rosie the Riveter. Hitler never really believed that Sherman tanks were being built by women, and where did we get all those bombers?

Up to then the limit to mass production was the skilled work needed to make machine tools; in the period leading up to WW II American industry learned how to make machine tools – tools to make the machinery for mass production machines – and to get past the limit that had previously been imposed by the requirement that workers had to be highly skilled to make tools to the precision – one thousandth of an inch – needed to build precision machine tools.  That opened the way to true mass production.  Incidentally, we are still learning that lesson, but it isn’t fully learned yet: that is, it takes highly skilled workers to build some of the production facilities required in modern large chip production.  That limit is being overcome, and Moore’s Law continues to be a good approximation of reality, with the inevitable consequence that fewer and fewer workers are required to produce more and more goods. 

     Then all that is needed is a teaching programme. Multiple choice questions may not be the only way to run tests but they work and you would only need 1 programme to teach millions of people that way. Might not be the best education system in the world but it would certainly be far from the worst.
South Korea but it can be anywhere
      Imagine a world where 100 million kids across Africa (& India, China, Indonesia and South America) have internet readers, provided free at a cost of £1 billion instead of the 10s of billions in "aid" their masters get to put in Swiss banks.  Learning everything from reading to nuclear physics with multiple choice testing.   

      Julian Simon always said that population growth was good because human beings are the only real wealth producing resource. We can find out.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Big Engineering 64 Three Geosynchronous Satellites

      This (and tomorrows following from it) come from something proposed by Joseph Friedlander some time ago.

      He pointed out that the amount of information that can be transferred by transmission from orbit is a multiple of the power of the transmitter and of the receiver, OK and the distance.

       Our current satellite broadcasters rely on satellites whose solar collectors give them around 2 kw - ie about 15 square feet.

       There is no real limit to the size of collectors or anything else we can build in orbit because they don't have to stand up against gravity, wind, rain etc. Mirror that collect and focus sunlight could easily be a couple of miles across (call it 90 million square ft).

        That means no limit to what information can be transported. The limit is more likely to be all the information humanity can produce.

        There is a speed of light limit - it would take about 1/4 of a second for a signal to go to Geo and back. A matter of some importance for scientific measurement and selling shares but not for normal people.

         Note also that if you have big expensive transmitters you can have very cheap inexpensive receivers down here.

         All that is needed to cover the planet is 3 bases in geosynchronous orbit, 120 degrees apart.

         I would also suggest that a large base in orbit would be able, using laser transmission, to provide individualised programming/telephones to small areas, dividing the planet on a grid. That,in turn, further increases the amount of information that can be sent to each individual spot.


       Once we build a shuttle that can get to low Earth orbit at commercial rates, something we can do at any time, we could have a, possibly unmanned, tug, powered with an electric ion rocket, to move material from low orbit to Geo. At which point building the 3 bases is simply a matter of keeping going.

You can use the Satellite to Yes one we could have had 13 years ago

       In addition to communications this gives us somewhere that people can live and replace or repair other satellites. Together with a tug we have the infrastructure to connect to anywhere in near orbit.

       It would not be suitable for zero-G manufacturing, because a base as large as is needed here starts to produce the sort of microgravity that is not absolutely perfect for manufacturing, but it does work as a transfer point to such manufacturing bases. An ion rocket is slow but steady. It can be powered from nuclear electricity or even solar. Either way it has virtually zero fuel costs so that, once it is in place, actual running costs are low.

       I have previously written about space elevators and while we will get them this is can be put in place much more quickly - indeed it follows directly from having a working shuttle or indeed the Russian Soyuz production line, which has been in place for decades. Essentially we could do it tomorrow,

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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Max Clifford Clearly Innocent

     There is a good article on this on Spiked here from barrister Barbara Hewson about the injustice of the Clifford sentencing - specifically described as in her private capacity.

     In particular it draws attention to the ECHR requirement that "‘No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the criminal offence was committed.

    He has had the maximum sentence - 2 years each - but the use of consecutive terms rather than concurrent - ie 8 years in total rather than 2 - is completely against all practice at the time.

    A commenter points out that
Ian B
I was also surprised that the judge in his sentencing (point 21) openly states that he is taking into account the offences of which Clifford was acquitted, as if he had been convicted of them. Is a judge even allowed to do that?

     I don't think it can be legal for a judge to "take into account" something the defendant has been found innocent of either. Indeed I cannot conceive of any just legal system where being innocent would be grounds for increased punishment.

     The thing that astonishes me is that I put up a there on Spiked yesterday specifically saying that I believe he is innocent and that we are seeing a "shameful" witch hunt. Yet it is not on there.

      I will see if it appears again. And if so past it here too.

      Or I may rewrite it from memory.

      However if even Spiked, which prides itself on publishing what others fear to, feels it cannot allow a rigorous defence of an octogenarian of whom there is good reason to believe he is being falsely imprisoned then that alone confirms the extent of the witch hunt we are seeing. 

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