Friday, February 27, 2009

A great French ship visits Sydney

The Queen Mary 2 was built in the Alstom Chantiers de L'Atlantique shipyard in Sainte-Nazaire, France.

Details of the visit here

Why do so many people hate Gail Trimble?

Britain has a TV quiz show called "University Challenge", in which teams from various universities compete against each other to answer some very obscure questions. The team from Oxford's Corpus Christi college has just won. They won because one member of their team, Gail Trimble, seemed to know just about everything. As a much-published academic, I think I have some claim to being bright and knowing a lot but I would not have been able to answer a single one of the questions that Miss Trimble answered even before the question was finished.

Knowledge and intelligence are not the same but her prodigious knowledge is a byproduct of stratospheric IQ. She was reading at age one. And early language mastery is one of the best indices of IQ. Confirming the disjunction between knowledge and IQ, however, Miss Trimble failed utterly at answering "Pub Quiz" questions about film stars, TV shows and the like. She knows as little about popular entertainment as she knows a lot about academic things.

Since it is high IQ people who are responsible for the many scientific and technical advancements that have made our lives so much easier than the "nasty, brutish and short" lives of our ancestors, one would think that high IQ people would always be celebrated and admired. And they do often get recognition of various sorts, the Swedish (as distinct from the Norwegian) Nobel prizes, for instance. But I guess it will be no surprise that high IQ people also attract dislike and hatred. Envy is a very common human trait and it is not only higher incomes that are envied but many other things as well. And Miss Trimble has certainly attracted lots of dislike and abuse as a result of her abilities. See the insert below.

And that ties in with politics. The nonsensical and incoherent claim that underlies so much Leftist discourse is "all men are equal". And that is the envier's gospel. It makes not a scrap of sense and shows no contact with reality but it is something that enviers resort to as a way of soothing their envious feelings. They deny the very differences that give them so much heartburn. "Denial" was long ago indentified by Freud as a maladaptive psychological defence mechanism and "All men are equal" is a prize example of that. Whatever one thinks of his theories, Freud was undoubtedly an acute observer of people and very few psychologists today would doubt the maladaptive nature of denial as described by Freud.

So Gail Trimble by her very existence offends Leftists. Her existence pushes down their throats the falsity of their central dogma. Reality is SUCH a problem for Leftists! And because their central dogma is not rational, they can only respond to inconvenient reality by hatred and abuse. Conservative bloggers know from their email and the comments that they get on their blogs how most Leftists respond to any presentation of facts that are inconvenient to them. A rational comment backed up by facts is very rare. It is almost all assertion and abuse. If you are very lucky you may get selective attention to the facts but that is all.

Envy has always been with us and the envier's gospel has therefore had many outings throughout history. One thinks of the "Levellers" of Cromwell's day, for instance. And it also appears in the American Declaration of Independence, of course. There were enviers among the American revolutionaries too. But the declaration was of course a compromise document and Jefferson inserted into the envier's creed the word "created" ("all men are created equal"), which removed it from everyday reality and made it clear that the dogma was a matter of faith, not fact.

I think it must be because of that one word "created" in the Declaration that some Christians claim that God suffers from poor sight. They say "all men are equal in the sight of God". As the Leftist FDR said in his January 6, 1942 State of the Union address: "We are fighting, as our fathers have fought, to uphold the doctrine that all men are equal in the sight of God."

That is, however, very poor theology. The Bible makes it clear that God treats saints and sinners very differently. Homosexuals are accursed and condemned to death, for instance (Romans chapter 1). All men are NOT equal in God's eyes. I have seen Galatians 3:28 quoted in support of the equality myth but that text quite clearly refers to committed Christians, not to all men.

More about the brilliant Miss Trimble here and here

One in nine people living in Britain now born overseas as 300,000 more foreigners settle in the UK

More than one in every eight people in England were born abroad, according to an official breakdown of the population. It showed that in the middle of last year there were 6,486,000 people in Britain who were born abroad, with just over six million of them in England. The figures suggest the impact of immigration on numbers in England, already the most crowded country in Europe, may have been underestimated until now.

Numbers of those born abroad have been rising at more than 300,000 a year - a rate of increase far in excess of the level of immigration noted by other surveys accepted by Government ministers. Over the past four years the population of people living in Britain who were born in Eastern Europe has gone up by between 400,000 and 500,000, while the ranks of those in Britain who were born outside-Europe have swelled by just under 700,000. According to the new statistics, published yesterday, foreign-born people make up one in nine of the population of the UK as a whole.

However although the figures from the Government's Office for National Statistics show an increase in numbers of foreign born people they still fail to record the true impact of immigration because they record their children as British rather than second or third generation immigrants. The Labour Force Survey, from which the information has been obtained, also fails to include people who live in hotels, boarding houses, hostels or caravan sites, as large numbers of migrants do. Nor does it include students in halls of residence.

The dramatic new population estimates come alongside fresh evidence that much higher numbers of foreign citizens have been allowed to settle permanently in Britain over the past decade. Around 400 foreign nationals a day are being given permission to settle in Britain - nearly three times the number given the right to stay when Labour took power in 1997.

The Migrationwatch think tank said the series of immigration and population figures published by Whitehall were 'cause for real concern' and heralded a ' population explosion'. The new figures showed that while the foreign-born population shot up between 2004 and 2008, the population of those born in Britain stayed steady, rising by just 62,000 people. The foreign-born population rose by 290,000 last year and has risen by an average of 313,000 each year since 2004.

This conflicts with official immigration figures, which are based on different methods of calculation, which say immigration pushed up the population by 237,000 in 2007. On the basis of official immigration figures, ministers say the total population will reach 70million by 2028. But if yesterday's new estimates are correct, the population may be closer to 75million by then.

Sir Andrew Green of Migrationwatch said: 'These figures are a cause for real concern. They are much higher than official immigration figures have indicated. They may mean that we face a population explosion.'

Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green called for new curbs. 'It is the rate of growth that disturbs people when immigration is badly controlled as it has been over the past ten years,' he said. 'The chaos of the immigration system over the last decade has meant too much change too quickly.'

A Home Office spokesman said: 'This is in line with the other figures published by ONS showing the number of foreign-born workers. 'But this includes British nationals born overseas and those who are here and have settled or gained citizenship. 'Migrants continue to make an important contribution but it is right that in these current times that we control the numbers coming to the UK to work.'

The Labour Force Survey questions 130,000 people every month - far more than the surveys at ports and airports used to count immigration. The population figures came as a Home Office analysis showed the number of foreigners being given the right to settle in the UK permanently has almost trebled under Labour. Last year, 145,965 foreign nationals were granted settlement rights, or 400 every day. This compares with only 58,725 in 1997.


British paramedic refused to take man with broken back to hospital 'because he was on his break'

A paramedic refused to help a man in agony with a broken back because he was on his lunchbreak, a tribunal was told. Robert Chambers was approached by the man's desperate friends as he filled his ambulance with fuel. To their horror he told them to wait for another ambulance before driving off. Yesterday the paramedic appeared before the Health Professions Council accused of misconduct and lack of competence. He could be struck off if the case is proved.

The patient, who had been taking part in a fox hunt on the Sussex Downs on Boxing Day 2006, had suffered a jolt to his back, the hearing was told. His friends took him to a Tesco car park in Lewes but could go no further because he was in such pain. 'A friend called the emergency services and he was assessed as a category B patient - which was not life threatening,' Emily Carter, solicitor for the council, told the hearing in South London.

'However at that moment a friend of the patient noticed an ambulance refuelling at a nearby petrol station. 'He approached that crew and spoke to Robert Chambers who was refuelling. He explained that his friend had hurt his back but was told that the crew were off duty.' The ambulance crew, which had been on duty for six hours, had been given their half-hour break at 1pm, the hearing was told. 'This did not prevent him from voluntarily assisting should the need arise,' Miss Carter said.

Mr Chambers was approached for help 16 minutes into his break. But instead of helping the patient, waiting with him until help arrived or clarifying which ambulance was on its way, he simply drove away, the hearing was told. A transcript of a conversation between his ambulance and the control centre was read out. The operator said: 'I know you're off the road at the moment but it looks like you're there - I thought I would let you know in case you were approached.' Chambers is said to have replied: 'I believe it's a gentleman who has hurt his back - I explained there's probably an ambulance on its way.'

However, in another blunder, an ambulance car - which did not have the space or equipment to transport a patient with back injuries - was sent to the scene. It took a further 40 minutes for a proper ambulance to arrive.

Mr Chambers, who works for South East Coast Ambulance Service, admitted his actions were 'wrong' and apologised at a disciplinary hearing in March 2007. At yesterday's hearing he admitted a lack of competence but denied misconduct. The case continues.


In batty Britain, a BALLOON is now a health & safety risk!

Alex Pearson was thrilled with the balloon she had been given while having a meal at a restaurant. She was happily carrying it as she walked into a nearby Tesco store with her mother. But the nine-year-old girl, who has learning difficulties, was left bewildered when a security guard told her she could not come inside with the helium-filled balloon because it was a health and safety risk.

Alex's mother, Marion, said: 'This whole health and safety thing is just getting silly. You keep hearing more and more reasons why you can't do this or that. 'This is just another ridiculous rule that we have to follow. Why is it that Tesco sells balloons if they are such a risk?'

Alex had been given the balloon by staff at the Chiquito Mexican restaurant on the Tower Park retail park in Poole, Dorset. She had been having a meal there with her mother and grandmother, Martha Talbot. Afterwards, Alex wanted to spend her pocket money in the Tesco superstore, which is also on the retail park. Mrs Pearson tied the balloon to her wrist so it would not blow away. As the family tried to enter the store at 5pm on Monday, they were told it was 'company policy' that the balloon could not come in.

Mrs Pearson, 44, a carer, from Upton, Poole, said: 'Alex loves balloons and she was desperate to keep it. The security guard stopped us and told us we couldn't come in because of it - some idiotic reason about security. 'Alex didn't understand why she wasn't allowed in and I told the security guard to explain it to her. He couldn't even look her in the eye - I think he was too embarrassed. 'She would have been so upset to let the balloon go, so we had to go home. I won't be using the shop again.'

A Tesco spokesman said: 'A restaurant near the store was handing out helium balloons. A number of children had come into the store and released them inadvertently or on purpose. 'Unfortunately they were getting trapped on the ceiling and blocking the sprinkler system, and they are pretty difficult to retrieve. The managers decided to use their discretion. 'There is not a set policy on helium balloons at the store - it's just common sense really.'


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