Of Moaning Brits And Outdated Yanks…


There are times I wish the British would just shut up and give others a chance. One can’t watch the BBC news, or peruse its website (or that of any other U.K. media outlet) without being forced to listen to opinions on the European Union spouted by folk who really don’t know what they’re talking about. Their views reflect whichever celebrity politician turns them on the most, and whether he/she is a “Stayer”, or a “Leaver”.

Those most needing to refrain from opinion are the old fogeys (like me!). It won’t matter one iota to those over sixty whether Britain stays in Europe, or leaves. By the time any advantage, or disadvantage, results from the referendum on June 23rd, they’ll all be dead anyway. This is all about the future of Britain for the young. Anyone over fifty shouldn’t even be allowed to vote.

One hears constant, arrogantly expressed remarks like, “I’m British. I don’t want to be European,” or, “I want to stay in Europe. When I’m in France or Germany I love to flaunt my Britishness. I love being British.”

Such rampant nationalism was just what the Brits complained about in 1930’s Germany.

Perhaps, after all, Britain should leave Europe and become the 51st state of the U.S.A.. Brits have moaned on for years about “arrogant Americans” coming to London and complaining. Now, it seems they have much in common with their transatlantic neighbours.


We all know that Britain and the U.S. share a “special relationship” (ha!) but it’s not just Britain that relies on America for its security. NATO covers all of Europe and is spearheaded these days by the U.S. military establishment. It comes as something of a shock, therefore, to learn that the Pentagon is still controlling its nuclear arsenal using 1970’s era computers with floppy disks:

The US nuclear weapons force still uses a 1970s-era computer system and floppy disks, a government report has revealed.
The Government Accountability Office said the Pentagon was one of several departments where “legacy systems” urgently needed to be replaced.
The report said taxpayers spent $61bn (£41bn) a year on maintaining ageing technologies.
It said that was three times more than the investment on modern IT systems.
The report said that the Department of Defence systems that co-ordinated intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers and tanker support aircraft “runs on an IBM Series-1 Computer – a 1970s computing system – and uses eight-inch floppy disks”.[1]

According to Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt Col Valerie Henderson, this is not a reason to feel insecure:

…the floppy drives are scheduled to be replaced with secure digital devices by the end of 2017.”

An investment in DVD drives, perhaps?

I have an aging HP XW4600 Workstation I would gladly donate if it would help improve nuclear security?

Maybe, after all, Britain would be better sticking with Europe.

“US nuclear force ‘still uses floppy disks'” BBC, May 26th 2016

4 Replies to “Of Moaning Brits And Outdated Yanks…”

  1. Hmm – I’m surprised Microsoft isn’t bombarding the Pentagon with screen messages enticing them to update to Win10 for free. I get at least two of those a day, some threatening to do it at a given time unless…. and it’s getting harder to find a way to prevent the dang thing doing that instant update. Grrrr!

    I think, that though I’m well into senior years, I DO have an interest in whether there’s Brexit or whatever the opposite is. My two pensions, state and civil service arrive in my bank each month, and are subject to currency exchange level at the time (as you probably recall from your own experience, RJ). I suspect exchange level of sterling value might tank, at least temporarily, if there’s Brexit. :-/ That’s not my reason for preferring a “stay-in” vote though. I just think it’s the safer option all round.

  2. Well a goodly follow the money challenge on those old floppies.Scaaary. but then what isn’t in this unbrave new world of ours.

    as if we can trust any of these spouting about safety abound security. Unless you have a Kevin Vickers breaching every diplomatic protocol taking down local citizens for speaking up on atrocities.


  3. Twilight – there’s a fairly straightforward bit of free software that’ll banish the WIN 10 pest from your taskbar. It called “Never10” and is available here:

    It’s virus free and very easy to use. And if you decide you want to update to WIN 10 it’ll reverse the process for you. I use it on all our computers (except Mrs RJ’s, which has WIN 10 installed and she loves it! Can’t think why).

    The EU referendum has turned into a political circus and has now more to do with Boris Johnson ousting Cameron than how the country would be affected by the result of the vote.

    WWW – Kevin Vickers fancies himself as Canada’s Superman. I don’t think he’d quite look the part in blue tights and red knickers!

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