Dinosaurs blew up the earth

It was long my theory that Dinosaurs created so much methane through their huge farts that it all became so concentrated one day that it ignited and literally blew up the earth and all Dinosaurs with it. I don’t belief that it was a huge comet, just the methane would do.

A story from Germany proves that cow methane in a shed of 90 cows blew up the shed when the methane became concentrated and was set off by static electricity. Just imagine if cows can create that much gas how much gas the much bigger Dinosaurs created around the globe.

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The fastest growing economy?

I have taken it upon myself to listen and watch the weekly Prime Minister’s Question Time, both prior and after the David Cameron’s appearance in this show. It is quite easy to open the Parliament Channel window in the background, and listen to the proceedings whilst I do my job search.

I am quite relieved that I never gotten elected or chosen as parliamentary candidate when I once tried because that type of conversation is very refined and must be acquired and learned.  The speaker delivers superb compositions of tit for tat arguments, even personally tailored to the occasions when he delivers them.

It is just a little repetitive to hear always the same answers to often the same questions. It is said that Britain now has the fastest growing economy to shut up protestations about poverty and high costs of living.

But when I last visited the Imperial War Museum, in the history section about World War I and II there is a display that clearly shows that Germany prided itself to have the fastest growing economy in Europe prior to both world wars.

Now it is Britain that has the fastest growing economy in Europe. And the government laments any rise in taxes and will not provide any relief to those suffering from cut-backs. Quite obviously many do not even answer the lamentations of council tax rises in Labour boroughs as it is obvious that without taxes there will be no service and services is what people need.

The most popular answer though is that we have inherited this mess from Labour. That is said in response to almost 75% of complaints. A little bit stale and bitter, this answer has become.

I am about to go on holiday to Germany, in the hinterland, the rural area of Germany, where there is little public amenity in vast areas of land that used to be farmed by many small holders but is now farmed by larger farmers. There is little but houses and farm land, broken up by little bits of forest here and there. Perhaps that is what the UK government wants to achieve?  In the area of Germany where my relatives live, they own several houses and large swats of land, there is no council housing up for rent, all housing is privately owned, there is little public amenity and the biggest entertainment is the small shop per village and the village pub.

All the people work hard for a living, the land is worth nothing, the houses cost money to up-keep and nobody can afford to lose their low wage job as otherwise they would have to sell their house to be able to survive.

Most people are either self-employed or work in the public service like driving a bus or working at the local hospital, many still farm.There is a lot of care in the community as the elders are looked after in the family, and the elders in turn look after the children. All help each other. But still those houses there are big, they have plenty of bedrooms.

Cameron cannot reasonable try to copy this as city flats in London or elsewhere are very small, we have the spare bedroom tax with many families being already so splintered up that many have lost contact with their peers or elders.

Is England cornered?

Whilst we now have a Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Germany, who originates from Scotland and has the name David MacAllister, we see the rise of the Scottish power going steeper and steeper into the political horizon. Scotland has made first steps into independence from the UK and or England and Wales.

So far so bad for England, that badly needs the partnership with Scotland to get some real and down to earth relationship with politics and geography because apparently the financial industry is the only big business that England knows these days. But now the EU ministers from France and Germany in particular want to push for the tax on financial transactions, which would raise an enormous amount of taxes for the EU coffers but apparently the UK would be the biggest contributors to the funds, from which France, that relies heavily on subsidies for farming industry, would mostly benefit.

This would take away most of Britain’s edge to the finance industry, Britain that currently calls itself the finance capital of the world. English ministers and British politicians worry that many financial houses might want to re-locate elsewhere, where they do not have to pay the financial transaction tax.

Of course that would put the final nail in the coffin of the British commerce and especially the English one. Because if the Scots become independent and get involved in selling natural energy and other products, England would shiver because it could not even afford to heat its many homes as their income would be shrinking and it could become the prune of Europe.

Many Euro sceptics have encouraged a drop out of Europe quickly but Cameron apparently thinks we should remain but become more powerful in Europe, but powerful with what? Is the UK about to become the next Greece? Apparently the pattern is the same Greece hosted the Olympics and then crashed their economy and we are going to host the Olympics and our economy is very likely to crash completely when the EU finance tax becomes reality.

That makes Germany and France very powerful because they do not rely on financial transactions to stay strong but they rely on real industries to keep in power. I criticised it years ago when under Tony Blair Britain embarked on making education, entertainment and finance the main industries of Britain. of course education is a no-brainer as Britain has fallen far down in the league tables. Is it any wonder with the highest drug consumption in Europe that the English in particular have no thought left to think on how to save the failing economy.

Most interesting of all Ed Miliband fully supports the Euro levied finance tax when he announced during a visit of crane manufacturer :Liebherr that he would tax bankers and bonuses to fund jobs. What jobs would be left to fund, when Britain does not have a native engineering industry as such? Only bankers that trade from Britain can be taxed and what Mr Miliband forgotten to think about is that they are not bound to trade from Britain at all.

I think Italy is a good example in how a country can actually try to resolve a problem without elected politicians. They now established a government of Technocrats, which is something that could to Britain a lot of good.

Whilst the Scottish feel strong and take power in Germany and become independent from England, the English themselves seem to have lost grip on the situation and try to solve problems by creating dodgy judgements that are politically tainted to influence Russian politics and forget all about how to tackle the European malaise with real assets. The English don’t seem to understand that they cannot bathe in the glory of winning 2 world wars forever. Cameron, a polemicist of the European relationship since he has become known in politics, drags behind him a steady tail of Euro sceptics who seem to spend all day lamenting about how bad Europe is whilst the French, Germans and Scots try to drive England into the ground with new tax regulations and the Italians have had enough of trusting in politicians altogether.

Of course the best move Osborne could come up with so far was to sell Northern Rock to Virgin Money with a loss.

The productivity argument

During my visit at the Imperial War Museum yesterday, we made some personalised poppies for a sea of poppies. Then we went to see the exhibits and down in the cellar where some display boxes with German war regalia and I was amazed about 2 things. Firstly that not only Hitler told people to eat potatoes but the British did too and secondly that even during World War I the Germans used the higher productivity output of their factories as argument of their superiority.

They then boasted to a 1/3 higher production of goods and exports than Britain. Seems still to be almost the same argument today. I found it very disturbing when Angela Merkel threatened war as one option to get out of the European crisis only last week because it seems that the Germans want to turn higher productivity into war activity perpetually.

During my few years of blogging I repeatedly always put high manufacture output with high environmental damage, nothing to be proud of Mrs Merkel.

There are no quick solutions to the European crisis and to the need to manufacture products for general use. What is needed is leadership that works for the people and not for the idea of being the best,or just think quantitative all the time.

Don’t settle into your home

is going to be the motto for local authority tenants in the future. No new tenancies will be for life any longer. Well that is what the new Conservative government has lumbered us with and that is big downer in my few. It is not only so in my view but in the view of most social tenants up and down the country.

How can you possibly settle into a home for a period of only 2 or 5 years? Can any benefit even cover the cost of the constant moving around, or how long would it take someone to pay off the loans for the home moving all the time?

What about the social stability? This article shows an exemplary estate where tenants have managed to make such a cosy environment out of their council estate, that it is listed as a good example of how well estates can look and function.

Every social landlord knows how many years it takes to influence social change and help develop some people’s attitude. As well as they know that for many with learning disabilities settling into a home takes a decade at least.

I think this brain-dead idea is very costly and does not solve the problem of unemployment and social stagnation at all, because it costs much more to administer unnecessary social movements rather than just house those from the areas they are in already. I am under the sneaky suspicion that the government brought in that law to be able to break up large areas where ethnic immigrants have settled and do not shift or disperse as they previously did. Looking at the area around Brick Lane for example, we saw that all types of groups of nationalities settled there but dispersed after some time whether they were Jewish, German or French but now with the Muslims there is no moving on at all. I think that move will enable the government to move around immigrants around the country to break them up.

Obviously housing itself is not responsible for stagnant social mobility but it is the 2-tier social structure in the UK and a lack of economic prosperity. Looking at my own estate, about 50% of homes are now privately owned and those leaseholders have a big stake in the modelling of our social futures in that they want their areas to be nice and do not wish to see problem tenants darkening their door steps. Only recently I was told that we are a nice family. I am however concerned that for those who have problems being nice that moving around will cause more instability rather than help. We had the social behaviour contracts for local authorities, we had the ASBOs, which are worked successfully but what really is at the heart o the problem is sheer poverty and how does one improve poverty? Once cannot improve it by creating greater costs for sure.  Perhaps the government thinks people will be more inclined to buy a property to avoid moving around all the time but with the current job insecurities, that is not a good enough reason at all.

In Germany where I come from, private rented homes can have termination periods as short as 3 months and then its out of the home, especially if the landlord needs the property for one of his children. People move around much more to find jobs but tenancy conditions are even stricter in that one has to re-decorate the flat before one moves out and/or get the deposit back. That however is again, very expensive. Yet the German system heavily relies on ID cards as a central source of identification, which is something the Conservatives fought, just because the idea came from Labour, but how long will they resist the pressure when the social mobility takes over and local authority and or business administration will become very expensive over the bigger workload because of the constant moving around.

Is the US more racist than Hitler?

With the Olympics coming up next year here in London in 2012, we are all very excited to speculate about the amounts of medals each country will be getting. Of course the British hope for medals will be high and I must say, just watching over the years, that UK and British athletes did relatively well. At least I can recall having seen the UK crop up here and there in the contenders for medals lists in the various sports.

It is not the same about my country of origin Germany. When I was a child the Germans did much better in the Olympics than they do now. Especially in sprinting and other athletic discipline the Germans were athletes to be reckoned with but lately they are hardly in the headlines.

I was therefore amazed to read in a magazine that Germany got 33 more medals in the Olympics in 1936 than any other nation. So something must have worked well in the early Hitler years. It just all went badly wrong afterward with the Holocaust and the wars to follow.

Whilst Hitler then wanted to prove that the Aryan race is superior, his athletes gave Jesse Owens tips on how to improve his techniques, which led to him winning a record 4 gold medals but when he then returned to the USA he got treated like a second-class citizen because of his black skin says Doug Stanhope. Of course in those days athletes were amateurs who could not also endorse commercial products especially not if they were black and US citizens.

I always thought that everything about the Hitler era was bad but this article in Shortlist on page 45 seems to break the mould of universal condemnation of the Hitler era and at least allows some credit for sporting attitude. The 1936 Olympics success must have put the nation onto a high. Just wonder whether David Cameron now hopes that Olympic success will rub off on his popularity positively.

The German Atomic Conscience

Just as David Cameron announced a nuclear energy programme for the UK, the Germans are out on the streets, protesting against nuclear energy in the light of the Japanese disaster.

I am very impressed by that because it shows that the German self-preservation instinct is still intact. It is this attitude of Cameron to roll out a nuclear energy program throughout the UK that makes me very disappointed with the Conservatives. This practically nullifies everything else I might fight beneficial about Tory policies.

We cannot simply come along and say, but wait a minute, didn’t we fight the Germans in Word War I and II and so have to keep on fighting everything they do? When I heard the German anthem being played at the Monaco Grand Prix I felt proud to be from Germany and when I look at the nuclear policy of late, I regret having gotten myself a British passport.

These latest German protests in Germany show to me that there is a healthy survival instinct in Germany and I wonder why Cameron first of all wanted to sell off all forests and make more nuclear energy available.

Angela Merkel pledges to cease all nuclear energy production by 2022.  Currently 23 % of German energy is produced with the help of atomic power and rightly the German industrialists have argued that there is danger to the German productive economy from its German base. There is little chance that a disaster like the Japanese one will strike in this region just yet but long-term earth warming predictions are as grim for us as for the rest of the world.

Yet current government advisors have said that nuclear energy is the cheapest solution for Britain. I just think that is a little bit short-sighted and I am very disappointed at this suggestion being embraced by the current government.

 

The comparison of British and German culture

Some progress seems to be made in how Germans are portrait in the British media today because the article published on BBC is less harsh and more detailed than just the usual, “The Germans have no sense of humour” or “don’t mention the war”.

However what I miss is the proper comparison because whilst there is Paddington Bear, Germans have the famous Steiff Teddy, who is probably bigger or as big as Paddington. Certainly it has a big collector’s value everywhere.

The article says there is no small talk in Germany because some parts of a story had not been translated but that seems to be due to the individual who did the translation rather than the whole culture.

I do however agree that basic methods are different but those methods are often also different in average households on both sides of the channel. Some individuals plan forward more and others don’t. Some people use the instructions before they assemble furniture or use a gadget for the first time whilst others don’t. The British are famous for being laid back and enduring, whilst Germans are more planning and direct.

I think there are plenty of comparisons though for the word small talk, for example

The word quatschen, which is a German equivalent for chatting.

Some modern translation use of English words has simply been published by certain media publishers though the use of such phrases is just contemporary publishing but not the true sense of the word, it is a fashion to use certain words in certain circumstances. For example the word Mieze has been translated as Dolly bird when the word Mieze itself is feline and has feminine association and in the German language women can be described as Mieze or Kitten.

It cannot be said that the modern use or translation of English phrases represents the whole of the German culture though, it just shows that publishers use language in their own way, which is not exactly text book German or popular use of the German language.

The word Smalltalk itself is more a particularly cultural phrase, which is associated with a region rather than a word that is transferable itself. Smalltalk is the description of a conversational strategy or ritual. It can simply be translated with Unterhaltung, sprechen.

I am certain German’s know light conversation. The word small talk should be translated as leichte Unterhaltung just as German language knows the word leichte Music.

But the BBC article shows that people get employed for doing the most hilarious jobs.

Excellent Conservative common sense approach

Imaging you are a parent and your school looks for parents to accompany the class for a trip. You had to get a safety check, that cost at least £30, to be able to help out in class or go on a trip with the school. That will be scrapped now and only those who are in intense contact with children, will need to undergo a CRB check.  According to this report, around 9 million adults came into contact with children about once a week.

further, in the matter of social harmony, not only the Germans decided that multi-cultural societies do not work but now also David Cameron delivered a very important speech to the Munich Conference. A national identity is needed to prevent people’s attraction to cultural terrorism.  It is only common sense not to financially support those Muslim groups that do not tackle terrorism and radicalism. Ministers are also urged not to share any platforms with such radicals. That should not only apply to ministers though but to all of us.

David Cameron said:

“Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism,” the prime minister said.

“Let’s properly judge these organisations: Do they believe in universal human rights – including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separatism?

“These are the sorts of questions we need to ask. Fail these tests and the presumption should be not to engage with organisations,” he added.

My personal comment to this is though, that we, as Christian nations must do more to prevent moral decline and drug and alcohol dependency. We must encourage participation in Christian churches more and help those lapsed Christians to find a way back to the churches, thus giving churches greater moral and social responsibilities.

In that sense Muslims can be part of a solution but they are seen as part of the problem because it were mainly Muslims that engaged in terrorist Muslim radicalism, there is no denying that fact.

I personally think that the government should spell out clearly that we are a Christian culture and nation and that our lifestyle and habits are the norm and not just another way of life of people who share the same geographical area.

are church schools supposed to be political?

When I read this week’s East London Advertiser online, free of charge, very nice, thanks ELA, I noticed, to my amazement, that 2 local church schools refuse to publish their SATS tests for reasons of unfairness.

At least this is how I understand the absence of SATS results for St. John’s C.o.E school, Bethnal Green and St. Elizabeth Catholic Primary school (as well as many other religious schools). That is quite a shocker because normally churches distance themselves from worldly value statements in that religious and political values are seen as different matters, that do not necessarily complement each other.

I think those that trumped the unfairness of SATS results around are those left-wing teachers who think that way. Why on earth have those left-wing teachers managed to infiltrate 2 religious schools in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

In St. John’s C.o.E. we’ve seen a suspension of Homework, except reading, because teachers have enough to do already, at least so I understood a remark from a governor. In St. Elizabeth the new headteacher must support the non publication of SATS results.

Amazingly in the case of St. Elizabeth previous SATS results made the school famous and since then the school bloomed. We could see new extension built, playground equipment installed and the 2 former schools of St. John and St. Elizabeth Catholic schools amalgamated.

Also amazingly I found that a nearby non-religious comprehensive junior school, Bonner School, published the (joint) best SATS results in the  borough. This school has relatively little special needs pupils whilst St. Elizabeth publishes that over 1/3 of pupils have special needs.

For a parent that wishes to achieve the best possible grades for my child, I am puzzled as to choice. Wouldn’t most parents go for the best results school instinctively?

Being schooled in Germany I never knew schools refusing participation in the test for ability method. There all churches equally supported the Grammar school system, that excelled with regular test results. I therefore think that the anti-test-result phenomenon is particularly characteristic for the UK.  I just feel sad that some church schools fall for the left-wing propaganda that makes education a type of class-war method in that left-wing teachers try to tell us that poor people cannot achieve as much as rich ones. It is of course not true that only rich children can be good at school, see the brilliant example of Bonner School.

I think all parents have the right to know SATS results and schools should be obliged to publish those results because those tests are mere expressions of facts and not value statements for poverty or wealth.  It is kind of sad if church schools use religion as a ground to achieve badly in learning.  In that they only accept religious pupils but those religious pupils apparently are not good learners, at least that is what the policy seems to be about to me.

In the UK of course there are many church schools who  usually perform well in the school league tables. But why now accept the left-wing argument that performing well in education is no longer in fashion? Do church schools now want to advocate the philosophy that it doesn’t matter how well a school does as long as they pray well enough? Through history it was always the church that drove forward academic excellence and it shows a sad case scenario that many Tower Hamlets church schools of Catholic and Anglican denominations want to advocate Labour and left-wing politics rather than educate pupils with religious culture as admission criteria.

That teachers refuse to give pupils homework because they feel overworked and underpaid is a novel situation at St. John’s C.o.E. school, that hopefully is not being copied throughout the UK or all our pupils are going to miss out.  Children should never have to suffer from left-wing ideologies.

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