Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Open Thread

As I'll be travelling most of the day down to Ottery St Mary for ANY QUESTIONS, we'll have an Open Thread today. My Blackberry is being very tempremental about approving comments at the moment but I will stop in a layby every so often and try to get them through. I might even take moderation off, if you're very very good and promise to behave. Anyway, subjects for discussion...

a) A levels
b) Drug use
c) GM crops
d) Georgia
e) Inflation
f) How terribly you expect me to perform this evening
g) Guessing the funny question at the end

85 comments:

Ron Todd said...

Georgia will be top subject.

What can the west do
should they do anything
why has our Government been so quite

Inevitably a planted leftie in the audience will compare with Iraq/Afginistan.


A levels governmant (and BBC) interest is equality of outcome, hence wanting to make deploma in hairdressing equal to maths or english.


last question I am guessing will be something like

'if you could be an olympic sportsman which sport would you be in'

stuart said...

I just heard on the Today programme that Russian troops are sinking ships in Georgian ports. This is genuinely an outrage. Russia is acting like a drunken thug.

We should promise to help rebuild Georgia after all this, and we should hurt Russia diplomatically. Russia wants to be respected, just like China. We should rob them of that.

Letters From A Tory said...

I didn't realise that they did A-levels in Drug use, GM crops, Georgia and inflation.

Glyn H said...

On the radio this morning: Major-General Barny White-Spunner - what a spledid name, recall also Sir Jock Stirrup. Maybe there is hope for this country yet in a sea of ghastly polytechnic lecturers and local authority solicitors who infest the establishment: Byers, Browne, McNulty, Harman, Baird, Blears, Hodge. It sometimes feels as if Brenda Dean and Sid Weighell are about to put in wraith like appearances!

(Good Luck in O-S-M, in glorious East Devon, the sun even shone here yesterday for Regatta day)

stuart said...

@glyn h - the rest of Devon is pretty nice too.

Anonymous said...

Iain if the PE report comes up you might compare your views, (PE is wunnnerful) with yer 'ol pal Michael Brown who thinks they're shit.

see today's Indie.

Anonymous said...

GM crops. The scientists reckon that we've not all grown second heads in the 10 years that GM crops have been sold in our shops (at least in the USA). Precisely how many generations of evolution is 10 years? Right, not even one!Testing should be allowed to run for at least 3 generations before being given approval. And if we have to eat unmodified food in the meantime then that's just fine by me!

ginger said...

a) Not worth the paper they're printed on, and if that upsets the "hard working" students - tough, just like life.

b) Should be respected as a life style choice leading to an early death or self motivated redemption ie not subsidised.

c) Headline in the not too distant future -" Scientists claim that GM crops are a complex subject following reports of wide spread plague and famine."

d)What with the USA signing that defense deal with Poland it looks like things are lining up nicely for a third world war.

e) Yeah, well Prudence f****d off a while ago now didn't she?

f) You're gonna bomb. Break a leg as they say.

g) What's your favourite musical?

Anonymous said...

Try the Golden Lion pub in Tipton St John!

Anonymous said...

A levels - they MUST be easier, musn't they? In the 60's we took three at best, the swots maybe took four (not 5,6,7) and you either passed or failed, no grades. if you were very good,, you could get a Distinction.

GM crops - yes, people don't seem to be suffering from ghastly side effects in USA. HRH went ever so slightly over the top.

Georgia - interesting interview with (I think) the Chairman of the DUMA defence cttee (or somesuch) yesterday - with the Russian line that since the break-up of the Soviet Union they have embarked on only (this) one foreign intervention / overseas adventure, compared with how many by the USA (he said dozens)? That doesn't remotely justify what's going on, but it does hint at the perception of hypocrisy in some of the West's statements. You don't have to agree with that, but expect this line from the lefties.

Mu Tai Dong said...

Also social and human rights possibilirties now for China after Olympic.

trevorsden said...

I expect you to perform terribly and be far too kind and forgiving to the lefties on the panel. Labour does not work - its incompetent.

Do remember to point out that the think tank report proposing to raze northern cities was done by lib dem authors.

Ken said...

A levels. I note that once again that someone from the JCQ has justified the collapse in A level standards/Increase in A level results with the following comment:

From the Daily Telegraph:
Independent schools also stretched their lead over comprehensives. In 2002, the gulf in A grades between the two sectors was 24.8 percentage points, but that grew to 28.4 points in 2007 and 30 points this summer.

Jim Sinclair, director of the JCQ, told The Daily Telegraph this was not down to examinations getting easier.

"If that was the cause, things would be improving at the same rate in different [school] types," he said. "There must be underlying causes. One of the things that has been put up is different types of teaching and learning. There are other factors, such as the socio-economic differences."

Aargh. This is just bollocks.
Why? Because the collapse in standards should result in differential rises in A level results at different school types.

This is because each school type has a normally distributed range of pupil marks, with varying means. Independent schools have the highest, state schools are lower. Shifting the pass mark for an A results in far more (in percentage terms) A grades for independent schools than for state schools because of the normal distribution. For those who didnt follow that explanation, I try to describe it simply below.

We can assume with a high degree of probability that Independent schools, grammar schools, comprehensives and secondary moderns have pupils with an ability to score marks on exams that is normally distributed. (think like a smooth mountain). The peak (average of each school type) differs, with independent schools having the highest average ability, secondary moderns the lowest. Thus you have four normal distributions overlapping, with the exam mark on the X axis. Each peak is the same height, but the rightmost peak is independent schools, the leftmost peak is secondary modern. The Y axis shows the percentage of pupils.

At any given mark on the X axis we draw a line upwards, for that mark, everything to the right of the line and below the curve is the percentage of pupils scoring an A. Imagine that the pass mark was 70, this leads to 40% of independent pupils getting an A and 19% of state school pupils.

Then shift the pass mark for an A grade along the X axis to the left (lowering the pass mark to 60). The percentage increase is largest for independent schools and incremental for secondary moderns. Now 50% of independent school pupils get As and 24% of state school pupils get As.

To see an explanation of normal distribution -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution

This is basic statistics, and the JCQ chap should know better. Not someone we want anywhere near qualifications.

Londoner said...

Good luck this evening. All of us regulars on here will be egging you on, if only so the wider audience who don't read this can't say to us: "Why on earth do you read his blog? He sounded like a complete plonker." So we all have a vested interest.

But one hint: the real achievement is not to be invited on the programme in the middle of August. It is to do well when you get there. And then maybe even be invited back at a time of year when they have the choice of getting someone else...(ouch)

Anonymous said...

Re an earlier comment:

My 1960's A levels had grades - not sure what the blogger was thinking of.

Back to Georgia: Are we to witness a re-run of the showdown in Berlin in the 1960s where an American tank faced up to the just imposed Berlin barbed-wire wall as they sought to protect their (ie USA's) right to patrol the Russian sector?.

albert said...

ken.

Jim Sinclair.

"Not someone we want anywhere near qualifications."

Obviously someone the government wants very near qualifications if he's towing the government lie.

jailhouselawyer said...

Yawn!

Anonymous said...

The mediaeval universities all had the same course structure - the 'trivium' followed by the 'quadrivium'.

The worry for higher education is that the government will start to tell universities what they can teach - this in an attempt to make all degrees 'equal' (and so remove the distinction between a degree from Oxford and the University of Neasden, say)

All this being all part of the Federal EU's desire to re-create the Holy Roman Empire...

EU - a cancer out of control.

Anonymous said...

Don't pull into a lay-by with an ex-EastEnders actress in the passenger seat whatever you do...

stuart said...

Pleased to see that TP will be exhibiting at the LibDem conference (and presumably at the other two as well). Look fwd (hopefully) to a free issue?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.31 - your '60's A levels may have had grades - mine didn't! I've just checked the certificates and they simply say that I 'satisfied the examiners in the following three subjects of the General Certificate Examination of the Oxford and Camvridge Schools Examination Board in July 1962: Advanced Level: French German English'
Maybe the grading system came in in the middle of the decade?

Anonymous said...

Going to O'ry, eh.

Don't forget to visit Jashua's health food store just ou'soid town for some rare high roughage grub.

Anonymous said...

There are numerous Israeli websites highlighting Israeli involvement in Georgia, Israeli arms sales to Georgia, Israeli military training in Georgiaand Israelis generally upping the ante in the region. Has anyone seen any of this reported anywhere in the British media.

Desperate Dan said...

The media are completely unable to find any scientists/chemists to speak on the subject of GM crops who have not been funded by biotech conglomerates. No BBC interviewer would dream of asking a scientist who funds his research and/or pays his salary.

judith said...

I took my 'A's' in 1963 and they were definitely graded.

Anonymous said...

judith said...
"I took my 'A's' in 1963 and they were definitely graded."

It depended on the examination board.

Mine (London) in 1961 were graded (the actual mark was given) but that was definitely not the case with some of the other examination boards.

I was offered a place at 3 universities and none of them asked for the A-level marks. All they were concerned about was that I had passed in the required subjects.

Geoffrey G Brooking said...

Take a zero tolerance line on drugs Iain and you will be right in my good books.

BOF2BS said...

Right now in the Olympics medal table we are right behind Russia & 5 places ahead of Georgia!

Possible end of game question:

Britain appears to lead the world in cycling do the panel members participate in this activity/sport?

Anonymous said...

If Salmond is going to be a key part of the SNP election campaign at the next General election surely he is going to have to stand for the westminister parliament again?

If Salmond did not stand for Westminister the SNP could be shooting themselves in the foot and missing their unique opportunity to promote their agenda. Whilst i think Salmond would be a rare attender in the Commons - it would be pretty pointless for the SNP to campaign on Salmonds record in government in Scotland if he is not actually a candidate!

Think the SNP need to show some clarity on this in my opinion.

Ken said...

A levels (part 2)

Was very amused to see the stuff about how many more people were taking maths A level.

A few years ago the "education" mob decried the fall in the numbers taking maths and the hard sciences and small bribes began to be offered to students to take these subjects.

I always thought that this was a mistake. The relative decline in popularity of the hard sciences and maths was because it was more difficult to do well in the exam. My solution would have been to make other subjects tougher. An alternative way of doing this, is to lower standards in the difficult subjects.

So I checked and between 2001 and 2008, the rate of A grade passes in maths has risen from 29.3% to an astonishing 44%. In comparison, media studies rose from 12% to 13.7%.

I think that someone has been thinking. I dont like the results of their thoughts (A level maths is now a joke) but they did persuade more people to take maths.

Anonymous said...

a) Something needs to be done -- but not diplomas as created. 14 is the wrong age for life-altering decisions. The disadvantaged are likely to be further disadvantaged by differential access to good sources of advice on appropriate choices.

b) We are wasting more than just vast amounts of cash -- worse, we are wasting a huge number of productive lives by alienating people from civil society and in some cases giving them criminal records that will cripple their futures.

c) Yawn. Most of the attacks are aimed at the wrong target. The science is not the big danger, a stranglehold by megacorporations could condemn us all to serfdom.

d)Obviously we would never have chosen to start from last month's position in the first place. There is a huge problem all round the old USSR's rim of countries with transplanted populations from other parts of the USSR. Russia was undoubtedly sending a message to all of them that the tanks may roll again. Persuading Russia "never again" is high priority. Almost the whole world wants stronger sanctions against *anyone* crossing borders in force.

e) God help us all! -- and we pray He gets Brown to do a bit too.

f) You have a lot of relevant experience, you should be fine. Remember this is more about entertainment than your political work. Try to keep a smile on your face -- deep, angry responses are for more established participants.

g)What should be done about the little girl who didn't get seen singing at the Olympics? Answer: The blackened press pot should shut up about the the chinese kettle.

[Damn, not sure if this is posting again. And have to be "Anonymous" because I am too close to one of these areas -- must create a good fake ID sometime.]

Anonymous said...

GB crops will be the test of whether you are there to be populist or put down a marker for a future ministerial career.

Anonymous said...

The problem with A levels is there are too many easy courses and the schools pick them. The exams are difficult but if a school has the option of teaching Economics or a Business degree worth 2 alevels and is 70% coursework, which one would you pick? The employers can see the difference but its all part of reaching the targets

stuart said...

Heard an amusing report on the radio this morning.

Apparently some SATs test results worsened this year... so, clearly things are getting worse.

As we know, the A-level results were better this year... so, clearly things are getting worse.

What a grumpy bunch of moaners we Brits are.

barny said...

stuart.

"What a grumpy bunch of moaners we Brits are."

Yeah, it's something that happens after a relentless bludgeoning with tractor statistics.

ginger said...

jailhouselawyer. 11.04

" Yawn!"

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Anonymous said...

Dales on a car journey...let's talk rude.


Pee, Poe, Belly, Bum, Drawers!

God Bless The Prince of Wales!

God Bless the Duchess of Cornwall.

God Bless our Royal Family.

God Bless Iain. Let us hope he does really well this evening!

God Bless all Loyal Englishmen and women.

God Bless Alec Salmon and hope he gets his dearest wish.

God Bless Gordon Brown and may he have a long and happy retirement. (Soon...really, really soon)

God Bless Margaret Thatcher. The greatest Prime Minister this Country has ever had.

God Bless you all. Even those of you talking boring nonsense about GM Motors or something.

God Bless and Good Night.

ZanuLab Lies said...

On the geographical difference in A level results, and the Policy Exchange report.

The reason the North lagging the South is that anyone in the North with much get up and go has already got up and gone leaving behind only those who are too lazy, or who genuinely prefer a more relaxed life style to a big income.

Why spend taxpayer money trying to make them change when they don't want to?

Emily R said...

You evidently didn't do an A-Level in English Iain - if you had you would be able to spell "temperamental"...

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:30 AM

For your Info:

My A Levels were taken in 1969 with the JMB board, and as I said had letter grades. JMB O levels of that era had number grades.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 1:32

... and

God Bless Sir Winston - the right man to have in a tight situation.

Anonymous said...

When the US announced that they were going to send war ships to the Black Sea they forgot to ask Turkey's permission first. So far, Turkey has refused to give them permission so the US warmongers will be kept at bay a while longer.

Laurence Boyce said...

Please don't let Prince Charles get away with his latest GM outburst. He really hasn't got a clue.

Anonymous said...

I thought Matthew Parris's comment on the Labour Government's current difficulties over policy initiatives was particularly good - something like: "The elephant in the room is that there isn't an elephant in the room".

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with GM. If there was, the scientists would have told us. After all, it only took them 350 years to find out that smoking tobacco apparently kills you.

Anonymous said...

Labour have, give them their due, stuck rigidly to one of their 1997 slogans:

"Tough on education, tough on the causes of education".

Anonymous said...

GM yum

any potatoes for tasty chips

Dave H. said...

c) The row over GM is a joke. I think (Dr Pushtai? Rowett Institute?) put the gene for making snowdrop lectins into a potato, making them slightly poisonous. Rats fed on a diet of said potatoes became er, slightly poisoned.

The researchers concluded that although it hadn't caused a serious disease, it had, amongst other things, weakened the rats' immune systems, making them more susceptible to certain infections, say, meningitis.

Resulting headline: "GM FOOD INCREASES RISK OF MENINGITIS. Pathetic.

f) I am busy binge-drinking this evening, but as a regular reader of your blog and an occcasional listener to Mary Beard on Today, I might set the video for QT.

...and then put it onto YouTube if something embarassing happens (bribes welcome).

Anonymous said...

God Bless Condaliza Rice. What a woman.

God Bless the EU. It will save the world.

God Bless Tony Blair. He needs you.

God Bless Lord Kinnock of Sheffield. Oh Yeeaa!

God Bless the Archbishop of Canterbury - he'll be pleased to learn that you are there!

God Bless all Sinners - so that I am included!

Valleys Mam said...

last questions
From a D Cameron, Mr Dale have you any idea what diet Barak Obama is on, he is thiner than me you know:>)

Ron Todd said...

Ken.

Long time since I did statistics at school but...

Would you have 4 peaks of equal hight?

Would not the hights be proportional to the number of children that go to that particular type of school.

Anonymous said...

There does seem to be some inconsistency on the public view over GM:

We don't want GM food.

We do want GM children.

Curious, that.

Rex said...

Gordo's massive hike in Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax)

I think it's pretty established that the poorer will be affected the most. i.e. those with large family saloons who cannot afford to buy a new car.
Many will be compelled to buy their road tax for 6 months but this will come at a greater cost.
SO
As nuLab have been bleating on about the fuel companies who have a higher (more expensive) tariff for the less well off will Gordo and his motley crew, practice what they preach and reduce the cost of buying 6 months road tax to half the yearly cost.
or as Delia would say.......
COME ON NULAB LET'S BE HEARING FROM YOU!

BOF2BS said...

FUNNY QUESTIONS

Re Obama & McCain's ipod song disclosure.

(1)What are your top 3 songs if you have an ipod?

Re Joss Stone (sort of local)

(2) Who would the panelists choose to sing their/their party's campaign song?

Update to olympics medal table (end of Chinese day - I think).

France now ahead of GB and chasing Russia - Poland down in 20th place - Georgia maintaining position - USA way ahead of all the above.

Hope it goes relly well Iain.

Albert son of a gypsy said...

To those that cannot get out of this GM nonsense.

BRING BACK DDT!

You know it works.

Anonymous said...

can anyone recall work done by a uk university about 3 to 6 months ago that reportedly claimed that after a year or so the yield of gm crops started to progressively decrease by eventually around 10%. if this is so then what is the advantage other than, in the short term at least, to monsanto shareholders ?

as to a levels and gcse's, for years we have been told how standards are improving but every year over 40% of pupils leave functionallt illiterate and nearly 50% inumerate and this has been the case for decades so it is nothing new.explain that one away jim knight /ed balls etc.

Cicero said...

Well enjoy glorious Devon- I did a very long piece of Western options vis-a-vis Russia earlier today. You might point out that Russia is breaking both UN Charter & Geneva conventions. If rumours of Georgian Death toll are confirmed, it would also show the Russian Army as lacking any restraint and discipline. The rapes question is particulaly disturbing.

The Lakelander said...

On the subject of inflation, Iain, a couple of points to raise:

(a) Will the increase in V.E.D. be included in our inflation figures?

(b) According to one of the government's own reports:

"The number of untaxed vehicles rose from 1.55m in 2005 to 2.19m in 2007 - or one in 15"

Is the increase in V.E.D. just another stealth tax on the honest and middle class drivers?

Oscar Miller said...

News just in from the BBC - David Cameron is going to visit Georgia. Good to mention that tonight - and good luck Iain.

Anonymous said...

I love the Otterys - beautiful places and many happy times spent in the company of the
Seigneur giving him his droits. I hope you will have time to forget politics and won't be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

With DC off to Georgia Iain I'd stay in Ottery if I was u, the nuclear fallout may not reach there.

Edward said...

Anon at 11:44 am

re Georgia's purchase of arms from Israel. Are you saying that Georgia should not have any army?

Shaun said...

Edward said...

"re Georgia's purchase of arms from Israel. Are you saying that Georgia should not have any army?"

And that, I'm afraid, plays into the Russian's hands when they want to deliver s300 AA units to Iran. Sauce for the goose, they'll say, as they load up Israel's enemies with state of the art air-defence.

Anonymous said...

@ dave h. 3.53

You're the one from the gauRdIan, nesty pas (innit)?

Nuff said.

Rebel Saint said...

Take it from me Iain, the judge is absolutely right when he says just about every dysfunctional child comes from a broken home. Here's 2 very simple bits of very research you can do ...

Go into any school. Ask the teachers to identify the 5 nightmare children in their class and to identify the 5 children who are a joy to teach. Then ask which children live in homes with both their natural parents and those who don't. There will be almost a 1 to 1 correspondence. I would stake just about everything I own on the result.
Second experiment. Go to any prison. Ask the inmates about their family background. If you find an inmate who came from a home where he lived with both his natural parents then go out and buy a lottery ticket because it's obviously your lucky week!

Liam said...

You're doing a great job Iain - I would invite you on again =). It is a very "dry" panel, you're coming across really well.

Anonymous said...

Iain

You were excellent and I can only assume you WILL be invited back

jilted john

Oscar Miller said...

You made the programme Iain - and well done for coming clean on climate change AND demolishing Smit on the UN climate change conference. They'll be mad not to invite you back.

Anonymous said...

ian, you could have saved the petrol... i have just listened to the program....jonathan dimbley may have been better employed chairing a topical debate from ...st.mary mead.. with mary beard replaced by miss jane marple. in my opinion a debate of this sort is much better on television,when we can SEE the participants,michael.

Luis said...

Disagreed with you on Georgia espcially when you claimed to be speaking for all most everyone in the country.

Otherwise you were good. Nice retort on Climate Change when you were challenged to name a sceptical scientist.

Mary Beard was good value too. I didn't know her before but will her blog a view.

Luis said...

Disagreed with you on Georgia espcially when you claimed to be speaking for all most everyone in the country.

Otherwise you were good. Nice retort on Climate Change when you were challenged to name a sceptical scientist.

Mary Beard was good value too. I didn't know her before but will her blog a view.

Jake said...

A job well done it has to be said. My only minor criticism would be that you could have defended the 'pontificating judge' a bit more robustly as he is obviously a lot more in tune with modern society than your colleagues on the panel.

Terry said...

What is David Cameron going to do in Georgia ? LOL. At this rate Prince Charles will be joining him to talk about organic vegetables while he's there.

Talk about Georgia becoming a bandwagon. Still, I suppose John McCain needed a boost. "Putin for Obama" as a negative slogan could garner "old John" a few more votes.

Oscar Miller said...

Terry - David Cameron was invited to visit Georgia after his robust statement about Russia behaving like a bully who must be stood up to. He's behaving like an international statesman - which is more than can be said for Brown.

BOF2BS said...

Bring on Greenpeace - well done.

The Beboid do a transcript somewhere which it could be worth referencing / checking for editing!

Will appear here in next day or so I guess.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news
/anyquestions_transcripts_20070525.shtml

PS shall we all phone up Any Answers and say how great that guy was who questioned global warning?

doggo said...

pull into a layby for a spot of dogging more like

Anonymous said...

Much as I love you Ian the "Zero Tolerance" on drug use is a complete non starter so just forget it and advise the Conservatives to do the same.
Freedom to Prosper

strapworld said...

Iain,

you were quite excellent.

Loved your answers on global warming, absolutely wonderful and to find that 50% of the audience agreed with you must have made you smile!

I do think as many of us who can should bombard any answers tomorrow congratulating the man who stood up against the blessed TIM Lord of EdenProject INC. That was quite wonderful when he had to admit you were correct! well done.

I am damned sure you will get on in the autumn schedule now.

Yak40 said...

Mr Dale have you any idea what diet Barak Obama is on,

All BS, no substance.

Bert Rustle said...

A quite remarkable interview of David Bakradze, Chairman of the Georgian Parliament, by Stephen Sackur on BBC News' Hardtalk

... Russian forces have driven Georgian troops out of the tiny separatist enclave of South Ossetia, and they have the firepower to go much further, if the Kremlin wants them to.

Georgia's President calls it the cold blooded murder of a small country. Is Georgia now paying the price for a massive strategic misjudgement? ...


David Bakradze was pressed repeatedly on why Georgia instigated this recent conflict and in my opinion failed to explain Georgia's actions.

This interview is definitely worth a look.

strapworld said...

It's got to be DAME REBECCA now, has it not?

If Dame Kelly gets one for two golds that is the currency.

Congratulations Dame Rebecca.

Ken said...

@Ron Todd

If the Y axis was number of children then the peaks would reflect the different numbers of children, but since we are talking about percentages the peaks will be of similar height.

In fact, what I described is a significant oversimplification. I assume that the peaks are the same height because it is easier to describe. However, it is possible that the variance of each group differs, for example if one believed that independent schools improved performance amongst the average pupils, the peak would be higher for independent schools. Also there is likely to be skewness (the two sides of the mountain are not symmetrical as a normal Gaussian distribution) in the distribution as the less able are discouraged from entering examinations and possibly because better teaching makes the tail on the right hand side higher.

electro-kevin said...

I passed an 'A' level in Law. OK only a grade 'D' but what do you expect after only two week's of study with a cramming book from WH Smith ?

I did it to test the debate for myself.

Anonymous said...

Well done Kevin, at this rate you can have 25 A Levels a year. It knocks my 25 Yard Breast-Stroke into a cocked hat.
Are you going to be a Legal Aid lawyer?
Freedom to Prosper

Ninian Reid said...

Georgia: It's probably too late to confer NATO status on Tblisi - so the West has to keep one step ahead of the game if we are to emerge with any credibility. Therefore, I would urge the NATO nations to draft in Ukraine - and draft them in quickly. Remember, they have control of the Crimea so we could really mess things up for Russia (aka Soviet Union). McCain has made encouraging sounds which could resonate all the way to the White House come Inauguration Day. Sadly, Obama is not up to speed with events and should have curtailed his vacation in Hawaii however well earned. But, it has to be said as a side issue, Senator Obama is clearly committed to a big build up of US forces in Afghanistan and seems to appreciate the need to entirely eradicate that nation's poppy harvest which bankrolls terrorism the world over. But the more pressing problem is Georgia and "Russian" expansionism. The Kremlin criminals need to be stopped in their tank tracks while brave Georgian warriors return from the Hell that is Iraq. Fighting for George Bush and Gordon Brown just a few short days ago, they now face a losing battle but their martyrdom will not go unheeded. We must always remember who we dealing with in Moscow : Unreformed Politburo thugs. Senator McCain summed it up when he said he saw three letters in the eyes of Prime Minister and chief puppeteer Putin: KGB. And what about the Russian people themselves? I would simply leave you with the historical fact that they dug up the newly-dead in Leningrad and ate their compatriots while the Germans pounded the living. And they remain one of the most any-semitic nations on the face of the earth...despite plundering the West's nuclear secrets through the treachery of the Jewish A-bomb traitors, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.