Saturday, 30 January 2016

WW2 and why my dad fought in it.

In late August 1939 my dad joined the RAF, some time later he found himself in North Africa, then Sicily and finally Italy. He was with fighting along side others from the following countries
 United States
 Free France
Poland Poland
 New Zealand
Union of South Africa South Africa
Brazil Brazil
Greece Kingdom of Greece
 Mandatory Palestine

My dad died before I could ask him why he fought, especially as he joined up before the war had started and wasn't conscripted like so many of the troops. I am surprised how many supporters of UKIP, the EDL etc seem to think they know why my father and so many others fought, and want to claim that they are behaving the way they do in support of his goals and the sacrifices of his friends and comrades.
The one thing I am sure about is what the other side was fighting for and that seem to be more in line with the policies of the EDL and UKIP.
One thing that came out of WW2 was the European convention on human rights, which is presided over by the European Court of Human Rights. The leading UK advocate was a Conservative politician, supported by Churchill. See European Convention on Human Rights what UKIP and the Tory right are fighting against is the explicitly expressed wishes of hose who fought and led in WW2. In there racists and xenophobic speeches the are reproducing the the messages not of the Allies but of the Axis powers, the only thing that exceeds their bigotry is their ignorance and stupidity.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Keep your own council on its toes.

Well as you can imagine I must appeal you claims that I'm a vexatious.

Then member of the Council Ron Gould, made the comment "We have been told all about you" back in 2005, so far who we are and what they have been told about me has not been explained.

Joe Anderson made the comment to some he was walking down Dale Street with that I "bullshit everything", he has been asked to explain that but has failed to do so. It also brings into question Anderson's degree of social training as he doesn't seem to be able to moderate his voice in public or he wants people to hear his abusive comments.

In both cases they have not denied, clarified or the source explained. A subject access request provided no information one why these allegations should have been made. I strongly suspect that your staff pass around gossip they hear and perhaps have their own axe to grind with me, this is most unprofessional, but typical of the council

Then we have the troubling matter if Wendy Twigge, and her malicious complaint to the police and some ancillary allegations and comments she made, which was disproved by a recording of the phone call, but her statement was backed up by an equally false statement from Chris Walsh, someone you still employee and who I have stated I will not deal with in any circumstances. Yet here he his still making decisions about my communications with the council.

Then there is the little question of the multi year unofficial mail block, whose existence you organisation seem blissfully unaware of until the Ombudsman got involved, more of Walsh's handy work? no documentation has ever been produced about this.

The right to communicate with my councillors is not your to take away, I will continue to use the methods the council publishes to contact the council and will not give yourself, Walsh or Anderson to remove the emails who content they find exposes their lack of dignity.

Attempting to get explanation from your charges regarding their rude and ill-informed actions, is slightly more difficult than getting blood from a stone, continuing to ask unanswered, unacknowledged and relevant questions cannot be considered vexatious, the council is simply using it as a smoke screen to hide from scrutiny.

Your own role in funding Anderson's Ill informed legal action, using public money, makes you IMHO an accessory to embezzlement, as a member of the public I have an interest in how public money is spent, and as such I am reporting it to the police as a financial crime. For the full data I forward this link to Merseyside Police

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Trident: A fork in the road.

I've always been a supporter of the UK having nuclear weapons. The morality of a weapon doesn't depend upon it size, destroying a city by conventional carpet bombing is just as immoral as using a nuclear weapon.

I'm less keen on Trident for several reasons, one of which is that with the rise of Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM) system it will become less effective. The major powers are developing Hypersonic Glide Vehicles to overcome this defence. These vehicles will be launched from ICBMs, but instead of following a ballistic trajectory to their target, they will fly at a speed approaching Mach 10 in the upper atmosphere. So reducing reaction time for any ABM system.

For the UK developing one of these is a possibility, perhaps along with France, the other possibility is a very long range (3000 miles +) cruise missile, which is the option I prefer. This is partly down to utility and partly down to the rise of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Drones to you. What is a cruise missile, but a single use, disposable UAV? The UK is committed to developing UAV, so why not take advantage of this convergence in technology.

I was struck by the following assessment on Wikipedia of the Royal United Services Institute suggestion for a Trident replacement.

A ‘Dual-Capable’ Submarine Force: "This would maintain the plan to build new submarines, but with only four missile tubes (compared with the twelve currently planned) and with an explicit design mandate that asked designers to allow them also to perform conventional roles... It would not be possible, however, for potential adversaries to detect whether or not a particular boat was nuclear-armed when it went on patrol. Such an arrangement could, in time, combine increased survivability for the nuclear force while also holding out the possibility of further reductions in the size and readiness of the nuclear deterrent."

The US is also considering a dual use boat to replace the Ohio class based on the Virginia Class

The US Navy has converted 4 of its Ohio class Trident submarines to a role which replaces the Trident missiles with 7 Tomahawk cruise missiles as well as many other systems.

The USs current attack submarine is the Virginia Class, which as part if its design contains the Virginia Payload Module a system which is very similar to having Trident Launch tubes, but with the 7 cruise missile armament, though these will not be nuclear capable.

These all point to the end of the dedicated ballistic missile submarine, Tridents replacement should be the dual use boat, when not armed with Trident, the tubes should not be empty but armed for other jobs. These boats should be based on the Astute class, and when the Astute class comes up for replacement, they should be replaced by dual use boats. This could provide a Navy with a Nuclear Submarine fleet of 11+ boats, possible up to 14, with greater flexibility than the current system.

In the very long term a cruise missile could replace the Trident missiles themselves, in about 2050, which will be long after I've stopped being.

Jeremy Corbyn, the new Labour leader, is against Trident's replacement, but given the current make up of parliament, he is unlikely to get his way. That doesn't mean he cannot influence the system, with dual use boats, the boats do not become waste if Nuclear weapons are  abandoned. The dual use plan adapts the system to the threats faced now and at the same time makes Nuclear Disarmament easier.

When it comes to a vote in the Commons on replacement I cannot see JC ever asking his party to vote for a replacement of the Vanguard boats, but it might be easier for the party to abstain on Dual Use boats, if that is a way of stopping a like replacement, with all the costs and limited capability that entails, and as the RUSI report suggests this, "while also holding out the possibility of further reductions in the size and readiness of the nuclear deterrent." which is at least a step in the direction JC wants to go, it is better than no step at all.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Battle of the Gob Shites

On Saturday, August 8th, there is a march titled "The White Man March" as you can probably guess, from the title this is being organised by the Racist far right. They are promising 150 people, so rather a small march. I doubt it will happen now after they sent a threatening letter to Joe Anderson, the City Mayor see Neo-Nazi thugs threaten race riots in Liverpool if they're not allowed to march.
If the march does go ahead, then there will undoubtedly be a counter demonstration by the Anti Fascists League, which is for the most part the SWP. The SWP isn't that nice an organisation either, they'd quite happily end freedom of speech, and some will argue that is what they'll be trying to do on Saturday.
If I go down it will be to take photographs and document the entire thing, the one thing that is for sure is that there will be a very antagonistic atmosphere and lots of Police. I will probably wear steel toe caps, as there will also be police horses, who, whilst being staunchly non violent, do weight a tonne.
I don't have any time for the Marchers or the counter marchers. They remind me of people who play their music very loud, and are convinced they are doing everyone a favour, by letting them hear their tunes. Ideally, they'd be placed in either side of a semi detached, on a housing estate, full of semi detached with everyone hating their neighbours for playing their shite music and preventing their great music from being heard properly.
Unfortunately, they like to be in a semi, in the middle of a normal housing estate. They each believe that by making more and more noise they will attract more people to support their music.
Like so much of the crap in the world this is about gangs and the need people have to feel part of a group. "Look, I'm not alone" should be the subtitled on the placards of both sides. Society is full of little groups of people linked by some tenuous connection, who, when they all gather together can convince themselves they are not some minor clique. "Look, I'm at a Corbyn/SNP/LFC/AFL/Religious meeting and everyone agrees with me, which means the whole world agrees with me".
When more than 20 people, or 3 drunks, gather together they suddenly become deluded that they are the representatives of a majority in society and can miraculously solve all the world's problems. You'd think after several millennia of pissed people putting the world to rights, after a mug or two of badly fermented fruit, we as a species would have realised it is bollocks.
The truth, as revealed by Cleveland Brown is simple.

 It is a long hard struggle folks and no amount of protests or counter protests will improve tomorrow, if you are seriously in the fight for a better future, it is the lives of your great great great grandchildren who you should be fighting for.

Personally, I think we should cordon of two separate blocks on Wavertree Playing field and put the White Man marchers in one and the UAF in another and sell tickets to people to watch them.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Schroedingers Spacecraft

Pluto before New Horizons impact or not.
It is now about 2 hours after New Horizons  made its closest approach to Pluto or perhaps crashed into it, we have no way of knowing as the event happened more than 4 light hours away. Even if we had a telescopes big enough to pick out New Horizons the light from the event would not have arrived.
In reality it will not be until we receive the first past flyby communications that we will know whether or not the probe has survived and gathered data.
Currently New Horizons is both an impact crater on Pluto and a Successful space probe, but when, in the quantum sense will this superposition be resolved? When the first light hits Earth or when the first signal has arrived?

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Pluto dwarf planet, major star

On the 14th of July 2015 at 11:50 UTC New Horizons will fly by Pluto at an altitude of 7,800 miles. On July 14-15, 1965 Mariner 4 performed the first flyby of a planet, so it will be exactly 50 years. It is 50 years through which I have lived, I'm 5 years younger than the Space age, but 2 years older than planetary research.
Best picture of Pluto 4 July 2015
In that time Pluto's status has changed from Planet to Dwarf Planet, this has caused some upset to some people. In reality, when Pluto was first observed it was the press that decided it was a planet, astronomers new it was different but couldn't spell out why. When other objects similar to Pluto began to be found, starting with the romantically named  (15760) 1992 QB1 in 1992, it became clear that a new classification was needed or there was going to be a vast number of planets, currently there are over 1500 know Trans Neptunian Object and Pluto is more like the larger of these Eris, Makemake and Haumea than it is like the 8 planets.
In mid June the pictures from New Horizons exceeded the resolution of Hubble images, detail is now beginning to show and in 10 days Pluto will be ready for its close up.
When the mission set out it was to complete the set of planetary snapshots, but it appears now that Voyager 2 managed that in 1989. So this mission now represents a much more important milestone, not the end of one phase of discovery, but the start of a new one, a phase that will take many life times to complete, even if new faster than light travel is discovered. The TNOs cover a vast collection of objects including the Kuiper belt, scattered disk, and Oort cloud enough to make sure that we lose interest before getting to them all.
I had a look through the list of predictions of what might be found, I cannot comment on those but did notice one missing and that is a Flux Tube between Pluto & Charon, similar to the Io Flux tube, but far far weaker. I think it is possible only because the solar wind will be so light at that point that even a ghostly tube may exist. For it to exist Pluto must have a magnetic field and Charon an atmosphere. If there is one I want my name on it.
If you are alive on the 14th then you live at the beginning of a greater age of space exploration than any of your dead predecessors. Like the start of all the other ages it will be live on all sorts of media but you should make sure you gather with your friends and family so you can remember where you were when it started.
I know who I was with and where I was when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon and when Giotto passed by Halley's Comet  they are precious memories to me, if not the others present.

New Horizons Web Page.