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The Ingrates are free thinkers who are are not troubled by your sensitivities. This web-site is not aimed at children and those possessed of a child-like character. We are also bully and coward resistant and we will fight back!

Ingratebriton

blog archive 2013

Forgotten expressions in (a temporary) Exile

19th December 2013 14.50 GMT permalink to this post

Online sellers' delivery services - get your act together

I know that, despite its rapid rise, we are still experiencing growing pains in the remote buying/selling world. Pre-internet, services exist but even these are now web based. The problems are with the quality of the delivery services used to get our paid-for stuff to us. There is no choice. We pay what we pay (even if it's 'free') and we get what they give us. We should be able to choose a carrier and select a service level/delivery speed for everything we buy. As a bare minimum, all 'tracked' services should be visibly tracked with the item's real current location always visible with full details accessible in real time. By all means sell us lesser services but make it clear and charge appropriately. More details to follow.

10th December 2013 12.35 GMT permalink to this post

2011 M5 pile-up

Why can't our journalists try to be a bit honest, just once and why are they so scared of asking upsetting questions? The M5 pile-up in November 2011 was caused by the same thing that causes (almost) all road traffic 'accidents' - carelessness, pure and simple. If everyone involved in that mess had been keeping a safe-distance, driving at an appropriate speed for the conditions (not to mention within the law), not allowing themselves to be distracted by phones and passengers and had not been straining to watch the fireworks, there would have been no accident, no matter how much fog or smoke there was. It is time for a coordinated response from all relevant authorities to deal properly with the morons who have been given and still hold driving licences by calling them to account for speeding, driving too close and for allowing distractions in the vehicle (lethal weapon) they are in charge of. Middle lane hogging is a red herring. Your middle lane hogging is the other guy's overtaking the next truck while preventing the speed limit breakers trapping him in the inside lane - totally legitimate driving and a lot less dangerous than the consequential moronic tailgating. What are the odds that this example of 21st century driving finesse wasn't a factor 2 years ago on the M5?

11th November 2013, 14.10 GMT permalink to this post

Online Security

Keeping yourself, your family, your property and your dignity safe online is constant battle for the most experienced users. The success of online criminals, their continually increasing sophistication and enthusiasm for their craft, which saves them ever having to leave the sofa to rob and hurt their victims, is evidence enough of how hard it is for newcomers. Landing on planet 'The Web' from the outer-space of off-line normality is terrifying. Sadly for some early victims the cloak of expectations of security and comfort and reliability that came with their last car, TV, house or any other purchase will not help them online.

They have probably bought a computer with a pre-installed operating instruction and no manual, other than how to switch it on. I will soon publish a page on why this trust is so badly misplaced and where to look for help. In the meantime, lesson 1, don't click on links in emails you receive unless you are certain who it came from, why it has been sent and what the link is supposed to be for. This site's page on online and PC security, which expands on this a little, is a good place to start. I don't really want to scare you (well actually I do) but are you sure the web page you are on is what it says it is? Are you allowing scripts to run in the background while reading this and if you are, what are they doing?

5th November 2013, 15.20 GMT permalink to this post

Fixing the NHS

Think small and cooperatively. Manage from the ground up by medical need and purchase collectively rather than centrally. Drive down excessive medical equipment and drugs costs by encouraging supplier competition. Remove as much middle and senior management as possible, which should be most. Dismantle the NHS as a mega-entity. There, done. No need to thank me and don't think 'team'.

25th October 2013, 13.30 BST permalink to this post

'Global Warming' is dead - may he rest in pieces.

Just a link to Craig Lindberg's entertaining Eulogy at Watts-Up-With-That, mourning the demise of a flailing 'science' cult.

25th October 2013, 13.00 BST permalink to this post

Is Psychology a science? Is anything, any more?

For as long as I've given a damn, I've not seen how it can be. Research that would test any aspect of psychology that matters would surely be either ethically dubious or too reliant on untestable surveys. This post, therefore, is more than a little biased. I place more than a significant weight of credence on the thoughts of Paul Lutus on this subject. In addition, I came across this article at Narratively, via (Climate Audit) that exposes a scandalous abuse of the whole science of psychology and its apologists. There is nothing more to say, surely.

It is yet more evidence in the general debate about the decline of science, especially in the light of the scandal that is the cult of Global Warming and other 'Planet Saving' religions. In recent times one of the most shocking of all is the murderous consequences of shoddy commercialism and self-aggrandising masquerading as science, in the case of eventual Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall's struggle to have accepted his discovery that antibiotics could 'cure' stomach ulcers and some cancers.

22nd October 2013, 13.30 BST permalink to this post

Still using Microsoft?

Me too (some of the time) but for one reason only - hardware/printer drivers. Considering the fantastic work at the Wine project, it feels petty to whine that the biggest stumbling block to converting the masses has always been those USB and PCI devices that Linux will never know about and that can't be installed under Wine. A branch of Wine that a Microsoft printer or sound card driver could run under would change the world. I wish I had the time, before you think it!

18th October 2013, 14.00 BST permalink to this post

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear - the mantra of the brainwashed

Just a rant, it's Friday. Whatever other arguments for and against the introduction or imposition of any law, system or other cultural change where anybody thinks they can argue - 'if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear', there is one thing that is certain - the case is already lost. People who cannot recognise that an individual right not to incriminate themselves should be absolute are a lost cause. Can they ever be rehabilitated? It doesn't what matter heinous crime they are accused of, incriminating evidence must, in a free society, always be obtained independently of the alleged perpetrator (unless willingly confessed). There is no difference between threatening punishment or using torture as a means of extracting information against the will of any individual.

A state that introduces laws contravening this basic human right is moving backwards. This is one reason I want to be a citizen/subject of an independent Scotland. Too many basic human rights have been eroded by successive British legislatures with no gain whatsoever other than for individual lazy (or underfunded) arms of the state security system. Two wrongs don't make a right.

15th October 2013, 13.55 BST permalink to this post

CO2 - innocent until proven guilty

Fellow members of the jury, I have listened to the evidence. I have read extensively on the web and in print. I have listened intently to the debate. I have concluded that there is no case to answer. I have made the effort, now you do the same. One hint - follow the money. Everything else the doom-sayers mutter on this subject has a sinister political or financial motivation. The planet was fine before we existed and will be fine after we have become extinct. We need to stop elevating ourselves as Gods and adopting every death fearing cult that comes along. It is a cult. While you are about it, ask yourself - what happened to investigative journalism? You could also re-familiarise yourself, if you think it's worth your while, with the meaning of scepticism and the purpose of science. It turns out that the sceptics are the good guys; how's that for a twist?

15th October 2013, 10.59 BST permalink to this post

Imagine the UK without the Liberal Demoprats

If you are anything like me, you will have felt a strong sense of betrayal when Clegg entered into his pact with the devil in 2010. Now I'm not so sure. As more evidence emerges it looks increasingly clear that we have been saved from the very worst of Tory excess. Imagine a post 2015 world without those dampeners and limits. Think about it Southern England. You ain't seen nothing yet and you can't blame Scotland this time. Ahh, the benefit of hindsight.

11th October 2013, 10.28 BST permalink to this post

Back to basics - because it's a good thing.

Let's KISS and reclaim the inter-web from the bling riders and all masters of style over substance. I may never establish the latter here but I will rest easy knowing I never contributed to an excess of the former in this enlightened corner of self-indulgence.

I like static HTML. Hackers hate it! I'm not selling or monetizing, so I don't need endlessly vulnerable dynamic CMSs or BBs, just to save me typing mark-up. I only wish that had dawned on me several incarntions ago of this site. There are only so many times you can trust the claims their creators make for their pre-packaged systems' impenetrable security, or indeed, their impenatrable instructions for making them secure. Thrice bitten and all that.

However, I do intend to write from scratch a dynamic LAMP platform based version of this site all by myself. See if you can spot the difference once it happens.

Says it all here.

11th October 2013, 10.28 BST permalink to this post

Independence? Why wouldn't we?

Remember, first and foremost, this is a vote about self-determination. We have to decide how we are to be governed. After a yes vote, more than a year of negotiations will take place to determine every aspect of Scotland's future. Every single issue currently being cynically bandied about by the media will not be decided by this vote. We are simply being asked to decide whether or not we want to have the power to make those decisions for ourselves. After a Yes vote we will make mistakes and definitely won't get it right first time. So what!

Scotland has a culture so far removed from most of English culture that we clearly stand out to external observers, yet decisions that affect our culture and every other aspect of our lives are made in Westminster by the Southern English.

Westminster is elected by the south of England, where the majority of the British population lives, dominated by reactionary Mail/Express reading,closet BNP cowards, xenophobes and those who define the very nature of political apathy. Scots are predominantly anything but any of those things.

The notion that we are better off as part of something bigger doesn't hold true for most of the small nations on earth and what do they mean by better anyway? At the moment we have no choice but to be as badly off as England/Wales/NI. The English (particularly in the south) don't like different and, to them, it is always somebody else's fault whatever the problem. They will assimilate us completely in time. People of Scotland, please don't abandon our heritage, not now!

No nation on earth would be better off being independent than England. They need us to help steer them in that direction. Wales and Northern Ireland will have to make their own choices ultimately and for both of them and us, I recommend history is taken out of the decision making process. All we have is the future.

For those of us confused by political loyalty or the status of the monarchy, these are red-herrings, completely separate to the nationhood status this vote is about. This must not become a Loyalist versus Republicanism issue and we must definitely not allow the interests of extremists in either camp to undemocratically undermine the simple self-determination debate. Let's gain a right to make those decisions for ourselves before we argue about them. A year or so after a yes vote we will choose the politicians who will run Scotland based on their manifestos and general political positions. That is when we vote for SNP, Labour, Liberal or any of the other lunatics and that is when we decide on the head of state. My view - why change that? Let QEII reign over us, so long as she spends a bit more time in Holyrood. After all, as an independant democratic nation, we will be able to change our minds in the future.

England is a nation dominated by the politics of fear, envy, bitter recrimination and a collective sense of being owed for past sacrifices. Scotland needs to move on from that.

We have a choice. Do we need somebody else to decide what is best for us from here to eternity? Perhaps they can start by redesigning the Victorian kilt they invented and while they are at it they can tell us what language to speak and what music to listen to, how to educate our children and how to care for the weak and infirm. They can also tell us what to think and believe and what opinions we are allowed to express and how to judge our peers in our own courts.

They can tell us how to treat strangers and visitors and how to react to world events. They can tell us, because they know best, where in the world to sacrifice Scottish lives. They can tell us which global corporations can tear apart our natural heritage and how our natural resources should be exploited. They can tell us who our friends are and who to trade with and trust. They know best and we are too stupid or incompetent or divided to argue with that because we are the lesser nation, the embarrassing but pretty rump whose people are a bit loud and unduly proud. We should be seen but not heard. Do we really want to remain the child in this relationship. Our ancestors did behave like children, 300 years ago, running home to mummy and daddy after our first big mistake. Their ancestors, who fought for 100s of years against endless brutality and tyranny are currently twisting endlessly in their graves at the very notion that we may throw away this chance to undo their decendants' mistake.

If you have lived amongst the Southern English, as I have (for too long), you will know the contempt in which we (and all who are not them) are held by so many of them. Every one of us considering voting 'No' needs to know the truth (and long term consequences) of that particular elephant in the room. The Union Jack is English for most of them; Scotland is in England as far as too many of them are concerned; everything British is declared English by a majority of them. This is not a petty thing, it is a mindset that is a constant detriment to anything that is not English and we allow them to rule over us and think they are our friends. When we vote 'Yes' we will see their true colours. It will be a painful divorce but think of our children's children Scotland. They will not thank us for remaining in this marriage for their sake.

All the cynical spoilers about the Defence of our nation, EU, UN, Commonwealth membership etc. are in the same category as post nationhood politics and the monarch, we will sort them out and we will decide when we gain the freedom to do so, not them, if we can find the collective courage to unite as a people. Should we, the Scottish, worry about the 'break-up' of the United Kingdom? Definitely not, each of the nations is capable of looking after themselves. It will require everybody to work hard but surely that is no reason to avoid it.

The empire has served its purpose. It's time to join the other post-colonial free states of the world. If we get it wrong, we can fix it. Scotland, let's be brave! It is time to let go of the collective fear and self-denigrating inferiority complex that put us in this position three centuries ago. The SNP perspective makes good reading. The Ingrates recommend everybody that cares about Scotland reads it from cover to cover.

Above edited 30/01/14.

Update 30/01/14

So now the government of England propaganda machine (especially the biased BBC) is beginning to turn on all its guile and cunning, taking advantage of the weak minded; I suspect aimed at the southerners living in Scotland. The immigrant head of the Bank of England is telling us that he will dictate Scottish economic policy if we vote for self-determination and choose to stay in a Sterling zone. Don't tell us what to do Carney! Also apparently our 16-17 year-olds don't understand nearly as much about the issues as their parents. Even, worse, when clumsily tested (BBC One Show 29th January), nobody understands enough about the issues. Let's test the whole of the UK before the next general election and see what they understand about the issues they can't be bothered to vote on. They are still underestimating us by applying their own dumbed down standards to us. We must resist the brainwashing Scotland. We will not be assimilated!

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