28 February 2009

Global Sale! Get Fifty Percent Off!

It seems like we've been in a constant sale since about October. Everywhere I go, or whatever I see on the radio, there's a sale on at most of the stores. Cars, sofas, houses etc.

There's one major reason why the economy isn't doing too well- there's nothing really to buy.

Books I can generally get for free from the local library if I'm even inclined to read them. With the Internet, I can find out most stuff easily.

Most of the magazines in any given newsagents are of the soft pornographic variety. While I like attractive women as much as the next heterosexual man, lesbian or bisexual, I have no interest and actually dislike "lads' mags".

The papers are either too expensive or not worth reading (I've been a Metro reader for months).

I don't eat a huge amount of sweets, I don't smoke and I don't like alcohol too much.

DVDs are generally rubbish (I can watch that stuff on TV), I rarely buy video games since I got seriously into RPing and I have little interest in clothing.

I'm sure many feel somewhat similar to me. With job worries, we're also saving our money.

We need an incentive to buy stuff before the economy recovers.

23 February 2009

West Ham's season

Since Mr. O'Donnell of The Poor Mouth (see my blogroll) has added me and I currently show as having made my last post a week ago, I might as well post.

West Ham now have 33 points with 12 games to go. We need 9 points from the remaining games to be statistically sure of being safe. I think we'll get that.

Our losses to Manchester United and Bolton were not all that bad and we should have some easier games after that.

I predict that we'll finish between 8th and 12th this season, more likely 9th or 10th. Good job Zola!

13 February 2009

Basic ideas for a post-STARTarms treaty

You might have heard already, but the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is due to expire soon and so President Obama has proposed reducing stockpiles to 1,500- 2,000 nuclear warheads.

I have some basic ideas for this new treaty and would like your opinions.

Overall aims

I would aim for a reduction in deliverable nuclear warheads to a total of 800 for the United States of America and 1000 for the Russian Federation. Those precise numbers would be tweaked about, but reflect the differences in technological capabilities, as well as other things.

This number would allow for effective mass destruction of either country without ensuring complete "breakdown" of their countries.

No strategic weapon systems with increased capability from present would be permitted.

Nuclear long-range bombers

The US has the B-52 and B-2s as their sole aircraft tasked for strategic nuclear weapons, with 1,080 such warheads. Russia has the Tu-22M "Backfire", the Tu-95 "Bear" and the Tu-160 "Blackjack".

I propose that the B-52 fleet is reduced to a total of about 30 and completely denuclearised. The B-2 will become the sole US nuclear bomber, along with the "2018 bomber" and these two together limited to a total of about 40. These would only carry free-fall bombs.

Russia would de-nuclearify the "Backfire" and the "Bear", reducing their numbers to 100 of the former and 50 of the latter. The "Blackjack" could go up to 40 in numbers too, retaining the air-launched cruise missile capability..

Stealth would balance out stand-off capability.

Tactical nuclear weapons

Eliminate the lot of them- on both sides. They are not needed in any likely war scenario. This includes sub-launched cruise missiles.


Eliminate the R-39M/SS-18 and UR-100N/SS-19 from Russian service immediately. Allow Russia a total of 400 ICBM mounted warheads, on Topol, Topol-M and RS-24 missiles.

Reduce the US Minuteman III force to 150 missiles, with two warheads each.


The US would convert three more of the fourteen Ohio-SSBNs to SSGNs and eliminate a further four, leaving seven.

Russia would be allowed nine Borey SSBNs, with everything else going.

Anti-Ballistic Missiles

Now, this is where things will get a little more controversial.

Basically, the US will be allowed to continue development of NMD, if President Obama decides to do so. However, its deployment will be limited to a total capacity to intercept 150 warheads and limitations would be placed on BMD-capable ships (10 in total as a figure I'm throwing out there), which would be clearly marked (paint the launchers orange or something).

In return, Russia would be permitted to have intercept capability of 200 warheads, either expanding A-135 or converting S-400/SA-21 missiles for an ABM role.

Other thoughts

The inspection regime would continue as is with appropriate modificiations.

China and the other nuclear powers, as well as potential ones (like Iran and Saudi Arabia) should be brought into a global agreement on the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons

Personally, I'd like to see one each of the Ohio and "Typhoon" SSBNs as museum vessels.

So, your thoughts.

Exhuming the Corpse: Why 'Demons' failed

ITV's big new Saturday drama, Demons is almost certainly not coming back. If Incompetent Television renew it, I will be very surprised indeed.

There's a number of reasons that it failed.

Firstly, Philip Glenister's American accent was pretty poor. A man of considerable acting talent, he looked wasted in this show. This was a minor reason.

Secondly, lack of genre savviness among the characters, who casually wandered into traps and fell for dodgy people. Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the rules of the game regarding this.

Thirdly, a general moral issue with good guys who freely waved firearms around in public, shot someone who had just given information and were in essence pursuing a policy of genocide. Luke's father actually had the right idea.

Fourthly, it was too dark for the time slot. Doctor Who has far more humour.

Fifth and finally, it was boring. There was little to hold viewer interest.

Time to close the coffin on this one and for ITV to try something new.