Interesting News Snippets

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Doncha jus' love 'em ? That pillar of social justice and probity known as The Socialist Worker, the saliva speckled mouthpiece for the Socialist Workers Party has entered the lists with a spiteful piece on the story of the schoolboy attacked and killed by a polar bear on Svalbard Island.

"Eton by polar bear", was their headline. Hilarious ! Horatio Chapple was a pupil at Eton. With others, he was on an Arctic expedition when the group were attacked at night by an aggressive polar bear. The bear killed the youngster and then attacked, severely injuring others.

All rather strange with, one would have thought, little capital to be made from this story however, it seems that according to the Daily Telegraph wherein this story was reported, Charles Kimber who purports to be the secretary of the Socialist Workers Party, is an Old Etonian !

Much outrage has been expressed against this variety of gutter commenting - I won't refer to it as journalism.

Horatio Chapple RIP.

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8 years 8 months

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Well it could have been the other nest of the over privileged then it would have been a Harrowing experience! Aggressive Polar Bear? It was only doing what bears do,look for food why shoot it when it was leaving. From what I understand it was a trip doomed to failure. Rifle failed to fire twice, petty unlikely unless the guy was peeing himself or it was badly maintained lie the trip wires. As to the boy I feel the same amount of regret at his death as those who are killed on an almost daily basis by stupid motorists or murdered.

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Irrespective of any allegations of negligence - which remain to be proved. Irrespective of whether the bear was aggressive, highly excited or out for an evening stroll, the point of my comment was that the piece in the Socialist Worker (there's an oxymoron for you) was an entirely un-necessary jibe that was inconsiderate and distressful especially to the family of this unfortunate youngster.

How does 'privilege' creep into this ? Because young Horatio went to Eton, is his life worth less than someone at a comprehensive?

There is nothing quite like a good tablespoonful of moral comparison to justify a muddled opinion.

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The following was discussed on these forums some considerable while ago:

To-day's Mail carried the story that British security and anti terrorist units have been in discussions with the governing body of British aero modellers regarding the threat posed by explosive carrying, radio controlled, model aircraft or drones.

There is evidence that terrorist groups in the Near and Middle East have already experimented. One wonders what exactly would be an effective form of defence ?

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13 years 1 month

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One would have thought simply transmitting on all frequencies used near any targets would disrupt their flight. Trouble is by having to jump through all these loops they have already won.

You will never win playing the nice guy, you need to use the tactics they use to defeat them.

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For the last 25 years we've been dithering and debating the location for a new London airport. A press report, (Sun. 12th July) tells us that the Chinese in preparing for a new airport were somewhat restricted by the topography.

So they have demolished by explosives the tops of 65, yes, 65 mountains and then filled the valleys with the spoil to create a new regional airfield at about two to three thousand feet elevation. Heaven forbid that we take such action, what would all the Oddie's and Attenborough's of this world have to say about that. In any event we don't have any mountains, at least proper ones.

Judged even by British standards of procrastination, twenty five years is a long long time to be talking about siting a new airfield.

I wonder how many risk assessments were prepared by the Chinese ? How many impact assessments on the wild life ? How many committees were convened to discuss the social and environmental impact ?

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The answers to your last three questions are probably none, none and none. Nothing untoward in a totalitarian state.

I doubt many of us here would swap the frustrations of British procrastination for the Chinese model. But I could be wrong.

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Yes, but the way things are progressing, they, the Chinese will finish up very rich and successful in a totalitarian state and able to well pay their way and we will possibly be very poor, living in a make believe democracy under the beneficial order of Herr Juncker and the equally totalitarian EU.

Who would you regard as a potential winner ?

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This must be in the realm of fiction.

The D. Tel. (report, 23rd July ) relates the heart warming story of a doctor who after sexually assaulting at least three women in the course of his work, has been cleared by an enquiry and allowed to continue practicing unsupervised !

This creature works at a private hospital - the name of which was not published.

I am not skilled in these matters but, I would have thought that, as a matter of commonsense, the welfare and safety of the public should have been uppermost in whatever passes for the minds of the tribunal.

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Re 151

I have a friend who was a native resident of Mosul. Born and brought up there, as a Christian Iraqi citizen. He left, many years ago, citing even then, religeous persecution.

The events now taking place in the largely Christian North of Iraq have all the appearance of the opening shots in the current advancement of militant Islam. Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Heaven forbid that revolution should spread North to the 80 million Moslems in Turkey.

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To-day's D. Tel. has a letter from a reader asking why the first new British aircraft carrier, just launched, isn't propelled by nuclear power ?

I do not know the answer - does anyone ?

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Many countries, and many of our NATO allies, do not allow nuclear-powered vessels into their territorial waters; this would seriously limit the operational usefulness of the Royal Navy carriers. I believe Australia, New Zealand and Canada restrict nuclear-powered vessels (including submarines) in this way; previously Royal Navy carriers have been excluded when the Royal Navy would not (confirm or) deny that they were carrying nuclear-weapons.

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Re 154

That must limit the usefulness of many of the US. Navy's big ships. How do they get on ?

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13 years 2 months

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I suppose the Royal Navy carriers will have to be as much about 'showing the flag' as power-projection; the US Navy, with a far bigger fleet, will have more options for goodwill-visits.

I'm just guessing really that goodwill-visits would be a major consideration but you have to ask what advantage nuclear-power would give a carrier; even if the carrier didn't need to refuel the escorting vessels would need to. The development of a new nuclear-power plant would be expensive too; France chose to use two nuclear-reactors developed from those used in French submarines but I believe there were problems with this approach. The whole Royal Navy carrier saga was fraught enough without adding the 'nuclear' issues into the mix too!

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Re post 152
I have a very good and kind friend who is an Iraqi. He is a copier dealer with a wife and three young children. He spent years saving up to buy a house in Mosul. They has fled to Kurdistan with whatever they could get into their car. I cannot get in touch with him and am worried about him. Perhaps if the USA and us stayed out of other countries business he would still be at home!

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I hope your friend is okay.

While even the wisest off us can not see all ends, I believe this type of extremism was inevitable. We may have hastened it, but it was always going to happen eventually.

Now all we can do is decide whether we let it happen, or stand up to it.

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Re 157 & 158

Inevitable ? Certainly. We've seen nothing yet. Islam is on the march, especially in the Middle East region. It is supported in South East Asia, China, the Indian sub continent and much of the world where Islam enjoys a strong and militant religeous resurgence.

Is it possible to stop it ? Only by the most determined opposition by the Western powers. That will happen only when the existence of Israel is threatened with nuclear weapons and/or when serious trouble hits the shores of Europe.

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Why oh why didn't Daddy put me to work for the Local authority - any Local authority or, the blessed BBC. I'd now be enjoying my spoonful of the gravy train.

The Taxpayer's Alliance carries a report about Haringay Local authority and the Baby P affair featuring one, Sharon Shoesmith. No doubt most of you recall this matter. It seems that Sharon's alleged incompetance in the handling of the wilful neglect and death of Baby P has at last been rewarded by the award of almost three quarters of a million pounds in compensation for unfair dismissal from her former job.

Is this yet another example of failure and incompetance in public office being rewarded by promotion and more compensation than most people ever see in a lifetime of honest toil ?

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Come on be fair John £679,452 is hardly enough to buy a decent house in London!