By David Vance On February 23rd, 2014 at 10:25 am
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night.
The last surviving member of the Trapp Family Singers, the group whose story inspired The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 99, her family say.
Maria von Trapp died at her home in Vermont on Tuesday, her brother, Johannes von Trapp, told the Associated Press. He said she was a “lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people”. Von Trapp and her family fled Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and ended up performing around the US.
By Pete Moore On February 21st, 2014 at 7:23 pm
Because Friday night is Music Night: Full Fat Edition
It’s the Big One tomorrow. The third weekend of the Six Nations sees England welcome Ireland to Rugby HQ for a match which I think will give us plenty of bosh. It’s difficult to call. Ireland seem to have been buoyed by their fine performance against the All Blacks in the autumn, and their demolition of a big, powerful Wales team two weeks ago was superb stuff. England are just as powerful up front. That the game is at Twickers would normally make me lean England’s way in a prediction. However England tighthead Dan Cole is out injured and his replacement, David Wilson, has played hardly any rugby this season. If the ref starts pinging him in the scrum then Johnny Sexton will knock over the penalties. That might just swing it Ireland’s way.
Let’s hear it for the fat boys then, and hope for a good old scrap tomorrow: BBC1, KO 4.00pm
By David Vance On February 21st, 2014 at 6:00 pm
Friday evening arrives and time to unwind a little! Here’s one from the vaults…
By David Vance On February 21st, 2014 at 11:07 am
Well, if there IS the one thing we can assume is it will not be Islamic!
A fatwa issued by Gulf imams has ruled it is un-Islamic to promote or be involved in a a one-way trip to the Red Planet.
According to reports in the Khaleej Times, a fatwa committee under the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment in the UAE, prohibits Muslims from being involved in such a journey as it would pose “a real risk to life” and is tantamount to suicide.
The report emerged after more than 500 people from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries were said to have signed up for a spot on the Mars One mission. The Mars One mission aims to establish a permanent human settlement on the red planet. Crews of four will depart every two years from 2024 following an initial unmanned mission in 2018. The mission would use a worldwide reality television show to raise the estimated $6bn required to send the team to Mars and give them a chance of survival.
“Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam,” the committee said. “There is a possibility that an individual who travels to planet Mars may not be able to remain alive there, and is more vulnerable to death.”
OK, Mars looks a safe bet for the future of mankind then…
By David Vance On February 21st, 2014 at 10:48 am
Remaining in the EU carries a very high price for Greece.
“Austerity measures imposed by the
Greek German government since the economic crisis have inflicted “shocking” harm on the health of the population, leaving nearly a million people without access to healthcare, experts have said.
In a damning report on the impact of spending cuts on the Greek health system, academics found evidence of rising infant mortality rates, soaring levels of HIV infection among drug users, the return of malaria, and a spike in the suicide count.
Greece’s public hospital budget was cut by 25 per cent between 2009 and 2011 and public spending on pharmaceuticals has more than halved, leading to some medicine becoming unobtainable, experts from Oxford, Cambridge and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) said.
Rising unemployment in a country where health insurance is linked to work status has led to an estimated 800,000 people lacking either state welfare or access to health services and in some areas international humanitarian organisations such as Médecins du Monde have stepped in to provide healthcare and medicines to vulnerable people.
There was no need for ANY of this. Greece has no reason to remain in the EU other than the fact that Germany and the other eurocrats demand they stay locked in so as to convey the notion of “stability”. There is nothing stable about Greece and as this study shows the price being asked is too high. The sooner the new Drachma is brought back the better,
By David Vance On February 21st, 2014 at 10:38 am
The Judge makes it clear. These immigrants do not respect our culture in any way. Of course they have their own culture and we must not be judgemental, right?
An immigrant child sex gang was jailed yesterday by a judge who condemned them for failing to respect Britain by abusing young girls and failing to learn English.
Judge John Bevan QC said the four Roma men and boys and an Iraqi Kurd had ignored the responsibilities of living in this country as he sentenced them for raping and sexually assaulting five girls aged as young as 12.
The Old Bailey had heard how the victims had been forced to have sex with men for money, which was used to buy drugs and alcohol. One of the girls had become pregnant and another had self-harmed.
It’s not that long ago since I took part in a TV debate on the Roma in Britain, or “gypsies’ to be more precise. I pointed out that there IS a problem with them and this was met with studied disagreement. I wonder if the families of the children so abused share my view that NOT all cultures are equal and that those who come here MUST integrate.
By David Vance On February 21st, 2014 at 10:14 am
When it comes to Nazis there seems to be a consensus that regardless of how many years pass, we should still hunt them down. In my view, rightly so.
Germany has swooped on three elderly former guards who served at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz in WW2 where 1.1 million Jews were exterminated. The arrests follow months of investigations by the country’s central war crimes investigation unit which has zeroed in on some two dozen still surviving guards – several of them women. Those seized this week are all men aged 88, 92 and 94 and living in the southwestern state of Baden-Wurttemberg.
At the ages of 88-94, they are not most likely long for this world but the moral dilemma is in the light of this certainty, do we walk away from them and the crimes they committed at Auschwitz all those decades ago? I don’t think we can and if that is the case then using the same logic neither can we walk away from those IRA/UVF/UDA killers who committed unspeakable acts of evil in Northern Ireland. Bring them all to book and ensure justice is done.
By David Vance On February 21st, 2014 at 10:05 am
I read that it’s a special day for the world’s oldest dictator, as Robert Mugabe turns 90.
As is customary for such occasions, it’s set to be a lavish affair, as poverty-stricken Zimbabwe spends a reported $1m on celebrating his 34 years in power.
Here are some of his achievements;
1. A water and sanitation crisis in the capital Harare “places millions of residents at risk of waterborne disease”.
2. Mugabe recently stated that LGBT citizens are “worse than dogs and pigs,” and threatened to behead them.
3. ’A campaign of politically motivated abuses against civil society by the police..continues under the new administration.’
4. Unemployment is estimated at 60%
5. HIV/AIDS is the fifth highest in the world, at 14.7%
6. The UK expressed ‘grave concerns’ over the election that returned Mugabe to power in July, HRW identified ‘widespread irregularities’
This guy is a monster and whilst he still walks this earth Zimbabwe will never prosper. Let us hope this is his final birthday.
By David Vance On February 21st, 2014 at 9:54 am
Did you see that Veteran star David Bowie crowned his comeback to become the oldest star ever to win a Brit Award a few nights ago and used his winner’s speech to urge Scotland to remain part of the UK?
‘In a speech read out on his behalf by supermodel Kate Moss - wearing one of his Ziggy Stardust stage outfits from 1972 – he stepped into the referendum debate by declaring: “Scotland stay with us.”
That seemed a pretty polite if heartfelt plea but it has caused Scottish Nationalists to descend on his head via the internet and castigate the thin white Duke! We are informed that this intervention by Bowie will have NO impact on how Scottish people vote. I’m sure that is the case but it is no reason to abuse the man. That’s one of my many problems with Scottish Nationalists – they shout a lot, seem so angry and very intolerant.
By David Vance On February 21st, 2014 at 9:41 am
I know Pete Moore has already hammered a few nails into the coffin of the MET Office regarding their ‘forecasting” ability but just to recap…
The forecasters – using ‘cutting-edge science’ – assured councils there would be a ‘significant reduction in precipitation compared to average’ for most of the country, adding that there was only a 15 per cent chance the winter would fall into the ‘wettest category’. It will have been of little assistance to the many local authorities facing some of the most severe flooding Britain has seen in decades. Swathes of the country are still underwater, the Army is still helping to pump out deluged homes and thousands of people have nowhere to live.
So, they got it profoundly wrong and THAT was trying to guess what would happen 3 months ahead. Just imagine how unlikely the probability of them forecasting what things will be like in 30 years then! And yet, because they are leading edge propagandists for AGW, they have the temerity to lead the charge on that front despite the fact they get things so wrong.