Thursday, April 17, 2014
For sale, medals of the Spitfire superman who had Messerschmitts for breakfast
This article is typical of the way Brits exaggerate their WWII military achievements. In fact ALL of the top flying aces of WWII were German. Erich Hartmann shot down more than 10 times as many planes as Ronald Berry. This list should be thought-provoking. The Luftwaffe knocked down 2 or 3 planes for every one of their own that they lost.
The Supermarine Spitfire was a fine fighter airfcraft but the Messerschmitt 109 was an advanced design from the very beginning and, with upgrades, was still knocking down Spitfires towards the end of the war.
For some reason. Adolf Galland is best known as a German fighter ace during the war. He was a fine man and had over a 100 "kills". But there were dozens of Luftwaffe pilots who were even more successful
The air war of WWII is most accurately seen as a relatively small number of talented German "hunters" flying a brilliant machine who fought to the end against overwhelming numbers. Is that politically incorrect enough?
In a single day at the height of the Battle of Britain he shot down three German fighters – one before breakfast, one after breakfast and one in the evening.
Air Commodore Ronald Berry became one of the RAF’s greatest aces of the Second World War, helping to destroy some 30 enemy aircraft.
Indeed, he was held in such esteem that he was one of the few airmen chosen to lead Winston Churchill’s coffin at his funeral in 1965.
Now the medals of this remarkable pilot are expected to fetch a six-figure sum at auction, not least because Air Commodore ‘Ras’ Berry as he was nicknamed was one of The Few who helped save Britain in the battle for the skies in the summer of 1940.
The Spitfire pilot, who died in 2000 aged 83, later admitted that seeing German bombers destroy British cities had motivated him to wreak revenge on the enemy.
He was involved in one of the first dogfights of the war in December 1939 and also fought the Luftwaffe over France and North Africa.
In all, he notched up an impressive tally of up to 30 ‘claims’ on enemy aircraft, including 14 confirmed ‘kills’. On August 31, 1940, aged just 23, he destroyed three Messerschmitt 109 planes after being scrambled three times in one day.
Two months after the outbreak of war he was sent to Montrose in Scotland to help protect the airfield there and served in 603 Squadron. Days later he was involved in one of the earliest interceptions of the war when he damaged a Heinkel 111 bomber.
Due to increasing RAF casualties, 603 Squadron was sent to Southern England in August 1940 during the height of the Battle of Britain.
By the following month, the pilot was involved in up to four dogfights a day, earning him his first Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the Battle of Britain he was one of only eight out of the 24 original pilots from the Squadron left. He was promoted to Squadron Leader and took part in convoy patrols. His fighting record later continued in Tunisia.
After the war he was in charge of the Air Fighting Development Unit in Norfolk, and was appointed OBE in 1946 and CBE in 1965. He later retired with wife Nancy, with whom he had a daughter, to East Yorkshire.
A spokesman for London auctioneers Spink said: ‘Ronald Berry was very much one of The Few who stopped Operation Sea Lion, Hitler’s plan to invade Britain, from happening.’ The medals are being sold in London on April 24.
White babies just 15 months old show racial bias when picking playmates, study found
Toddlers show racial bias when picking playmates, a study reveals. They also take account of how fairly others behave.
Researchers tested the reaction of white 15-month-olds as toys were distributed.
Two white adults divided the toys, one equally and the other unequally. Seventy per cent of the toddlers chose to play with the researcher who distributed the toys fairly.
But in a second test, when one researcher favoured a white recipient over an Asian one, they picked the ‘fair’ researcher less often, the journal Frontiers in Psychology reports.
And the babies are more likely to help those who share the same ethnicity, which is known as in-group bias when people favour those with the same characteristics as oneself.
The University of Washington team first noticed the phenomenon when the infants began playing favourites with the researchers during a previous experiment.
Professor Jessica Sommerville said: 'At the time, about half of the research assistants in my lab were Asian-American and the other half were Caucasian, and most of the babies in our experiments are Caucasian.
'We know that by preschool, children show in-group bias concerning race, but results in infants have been mixed.
'It's surprising to see these pro-social traits of valuing fairness so early on, but at the same time, we're also seeing that babies have self-motivated concerns too.'
The study revealed when it came to picking a playmate, the babies seemed more tolerant of unfairness when the white recipient benefited from it.
They picked the fair experimenter less often when the unfair experimenter gave more toys to the white recipient rather than the Asian one.
The researchers say this implies that babies can take into account both race and social history when deciding which person would make a better playmate.
Professor Jessica Sommerville of the University of Washington said: ‘If all babies care about is fairness, then they would always pick the fair distributor, but we’re also seeing that they’re interested in consequences for their own group members.’
A woman with sh*t for brains
She mustn't have visited any Muslim countries nor observed how blacks in her native South Africa treat women. Is "corrective rape" a common treatment for Lesbians in Britain? It is in South Africa
Sexism in Britain is more widespread than in any other country due to a 'boys' club culture', a United Nations official has concluded.
Rashida Manjoo, a South African human rights expert, was charged by the UN Humans Rights Council to monitor violence against women in the UK and report back to them.
She warned that sexual bullying and harassment were now "routine" in UK schools, according to NGOs she had interviewed, and recommended that schools have mandatory modules on sexism.
Ms Manjoo shared her preliminary findings on Tuesday and said: “Have I seen this level of sexist culture in other countries? It hasn’t been so in your face in other countries. I haven’t seen that so pervasively in other countries. I’m sure it exists but it wasn’t so much and so pervasive.
“I’m not sure what gives rise to a more visible presence of sexist portrayals of women and girls in this country in particular.
“What is clear from these indications of portrayals of women and girls is that there is a boys’ club sexist culture. That exists and it does lead to perceptions about women and girls in this country.”
Her comments were dismissed by former Conservative health minister Edwina Currie who said: "Most of the women I know like living [in the UK] and enjoy being in a diverse and interesting society."
Ms Manjoo, who has reported on violence against women in more than 10 countries since 2009, including Somalia, Zambia, Algeria, Jordan and America, said her findings came from meetings with UK government officials, civil society organisation and individual survivors of violence as she travelled throughout the UK.
She is also a Public Law professor at the University of Cape Town, in South Africa, which has some of the highest levels of sexual assault in the world and is one of the world's top ten most violent countries.
Ms Manjoo, summarising her UK meetings, said: “The sexualised nature and portrayal of women and girls came through very clearly from all interviews that were conducted, but including from the state sector, where preventative programmes are being developed."
In particular, she highlighted “the easy availability of porn, the use of social media including influencing young children around images” and “harassment on the [London] Tubes", referencing the current 'Women Who Eat On Tubes' trend of people taking pictures of women eating on the London Undergound, and posting them onto Facebook.
“When you’re sitting on public transport and it’s OK to harass someone, to inappropriately touch them, it’s sexist culture,” she said.
“If I was walking down the street and there were whistles - which won’t happen at this stage in my life - but that’s sexist culture. It means it’s OK, it’s normal, what’s the problem?”
Ms Manjoo said it was the Government’s responsibility to battle sexist culture, saying that schools should consider having mandatory modules on sexism.
“The state has a responsibility to protect, to prevent, to punish, to provide effective remedies,” she said. “These are part of the state’s responsibility.
“So in terms of prevention, is it necessary to mandate that certain modules are mandatory for children in schools considering the quite pervasive levels of bullying, sexual harassment and harassment on the tubes which is part and parcel of violence?
“The general view is that it should be mandatory.”
However, Ms Currie dismissed Ms Manjoo’s comments, saying she doesn’t think the UK has a problem with sexist culture.
“There are people around who are quite convinced that there are things wrong with British society and I’m not one of them,” she told Telegraph Wonder Women.
“Why can’t she go to a country where women can’t drive cars, or have maternity leave? There are plenty of countries where women face serious problems. You can’t say they have a big problem in the UK.
“Most of the women I know like living here and enjoy being in a diverse and interesting society. Many of the men I know think that we live in a female dominated society and it’s women who call the shots.”
Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism project, said: “I would say that it’s really important that we take this seriously.
“What she says about the importance of teaching this in schools is absolutely paramount. We know [young people] are exposed to [sexism]. The question is, are we going to give them tools to deal with it?”
But Ms Bates said she does not think it is entirely the Government’s responsibility to tackle sexist culture in the UK, adding: “I think it has to be both: support from the Government and organisation, but also individuals playing their part in changing what we consider to be normal and acceptable.”
France is the new cauldron of Eurosceptic revolution
Britain is marginal to the great debate on Europe. France is the linchpin, fast becoming a cauldron of Eurosceptic/Poujadist views on the Right, anti-EMU reflationary Keynesian views on the Left, mixed with soul-searching over the wisdom of monetary union across the French establishment.
Marine Le Pen’s Front National leads the latest IFOP poll for the European elections next month at 24pc. Her platform calls for immediate steps to ditch the euro and restore the franc (“franc des Anglais” in origin, rid of the English oppressors), and to hold a referendum on withdrawal from the EU.
The Gaullistes are at 22.5pc. The great centre-Right party of post-War French politics is failing dismally to capitalise on the collapse in support for President François Hollande.
The Parti Socialiste is trailing at 20.5pc. The Leftist Front de Gauche is at 8.5pc and they are not exactly friends of Brussels.
Click to enlarge
The heirs to Charles de Gaulle are watching their Right flank peel way to the Front National, just as the Tory flank has been peeling away to Ukip. Needless to say, they don’t like it. A party gathering over the weekend was a hubbub of Eurosceptic dissent.
Xavier Bertrand, the former employment minister, said it is time to abandon the Franco-German axis that has been the guiding principle of French foreign and economic policy for half a century. “It’s important but it shouldn’t be the alpha and omega of France’s vision,” he said.
“How can we pursue an energy policy if the interests of France and Germany are so different. It is better to work with the English on this subject, and the same goes for European defence. Let us recognise that the alignment with Germany is stopping us pushing for another ECB policy, one that favours growth and jobs,” he said.
This refrain was picked up in an astonishing column in Le Figaro by former editor Philippe Villin last Friday in which he called for a Latin front led by France and Italy to blow up the euro.
In an open letter to Italian leader Matteo Renzi – just 17 years old at the time of Maastricht, and therefore uncompromised and free of EMU’s Original Sin – he warns the young leader that there is no hope of lifting Italy out of its low-growth debt-trap without a “return to the lira.”
Even if the euro fell to 1:1 against the dollar it still would not be enough to save Italy – says Mr Villin – since the intra-EMU gulf with Germany would remain.
He tells Mr Renzi to undertake a tour of southern capitals to forge a Latin alliance, then march on Berlin to inform Chancellor Angela Merkel that monetary union has become untenable. He should warn her that the end has come unless Germany does more than the bare minimum to keep EMU afloat.
She will of course refuse to budge – says Mr Villin – but that is not the point. The young Italian’s actions would set off market alarm, causing a precipitous drop in the euro and a bond crisis. This would be deliberate, if dangerous. It would force Germany to face up the choice it has so far evaded: accept a genuine fiscal/transfer union, or leave EMU. Mr Villin obviously prefers the latter. (So does the Bundesbank in my view.) “By precipitating this drama, you would save Europe and the Europeans”, he said.
I pass this on so readers can make their own judgment, reserving my own. What is striking is how such thoughts are gaining currency (excuse the pun) in the French political debate.
Three books have recently appeared arguing that the euro must be broken up in order to clear the way for genuine economic recovery, or even to save the European Project.
1. François Heisbourg, “La Fin du Rêve Européen”
2. Coralie Delaume, “Europe Les Etats désunis”
3. Steve Ohana, “Désobéir pour sauver l'Europe”
A further book by statesman Jean-Pierre Chevènement — “1914-2014: L’Europe sortie de l’Histoire?” – makes a fascinating case the EU has lost its way because it wrongly blamed “nationalism” for causing the two world wars. It has tried to build a superstate edifice by denying the nation-state soul of the European peoples (plural). Fine stuff.
France is a country “animated by a spirit of rational liberty”, to borrow from Edmund Burke, and it has always seemed obvious to me that it would not fore ever tolerate mass unemployment, fiscal infeudation to Berlin-Brussels, and a state of affairs that has become so noxious in so many ways. It is hardly surprising that it is at last in the grip of a fresh revolution.
The Gaullistes are divided. The old guard will of course yield no ground on EMU. They cannot do so because they have worshipped at this altar all their lives. Some relative reformists are now clutching at the flimsiest of straws.
Laurent Wauquiez – a former Europe minister, no less – has just written a book “Europe, il faut tout changer” (Europe, we must change everything) in which he calls for a return to a euro hard-core of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and Holland.
This strikes me as unworkable. Are they going to relegate the Slovenes, Slovaks, Finns, Latvians or Portuguese to non-voting status, or freeze them out of EMU altogether? You cannot run Europe on that kind of capricious basis. Such thinking does however show the intellectual policy swamp that has engulfed the grand venture of monetary union.
In the meantime, of course, we are assured that the EMU crisis is entirely behind us. Sunlit uplands lie ahead. This moment of malaise will pass. Yes, and pink elephants will fly over Mare Nostrum.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.