Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
But why miss an opportunity to diss our ABC yet again? Why it has made the decision not to show the service of Nine Lessons and carols on Christmas Eve any more I don't know, though I suspect that small-minded parochial nationalism is behind this.
Now all we get is a similar kind of thing from an Australian cathedral. The simple fact is that the choir of King's is head and shoulders above the quality of any local one. And this service is a long standing international Christmas tradition.
I'm all for the ABC supporting local choirs and giving people an opportunity to hear them sing, but why play around with this?
And do we really need to see the Anglican archbishop of Melbourne pretending to be an Orthodox hierarch, giving the blessing at the end with the tip of his fourth finger touching that of his thumb? I think not.
And while I'm at it - The Seven Joys of Mary:
Finally, one of my favourites, the old Basque carol The Angel Gabriel:
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
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Monday, December 3, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
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Sunday, November 18, 2007
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007
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Sunday, October 28, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
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Thursday, October 18, 2007
Labor anticipated the Coalition's attack on its links to the union movement and immediately had a reply deconstructing it.
Now the Coalition responds in kind.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
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Sunday, October 14, 2007
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Thursday, October 11, 2007
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Sunday, October 7, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007 at 10:52am
A British judge rules that Al Gore told a string of untruths in An Inconvenient Truth and children should be warned:
In order for the film to be shown, the Government must first amend their Guidance Notes to Teachers to make clear that ... (e)leven inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children.
The inaccuracies are:
1. The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.
2. The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.
3. The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming.
4. The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case.
5. The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.
6. The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.
7. The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.
8. The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.
9. The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.
10. The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
11. The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.
The new Guidance Notes, very grudgingly amended, are here. Would that even this small gesture was matched by Australian schools.
This isn’t the first time, of course, that global warming scaremongerers have been dismissed by a court in which evidence still counts.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
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Thursday, October 4, 2007
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Sunday, September 30, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
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Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
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Thursday, August 9, 2007
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Battle of best-selling authors
CHICAGO, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Best-selling author DennisAvery is the next prominent figure to challenge the facts Al Gore is promoting in his global warming crusade. Mr. Avery is co-author of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years. Both Al Gore and Dennis Avery have New York Times best-selling books on global warming, but with opposite conclusions.
The list of Al Gore detractors continues to grow as his extreme rhetoric and conclusions get dissected by scientists, economists, and researchers. Avery joins Lord Christopher Monckton (former Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher advisor), Bjorn Lomborg (Danish economist), author Michael Crichton, Prof. S. Fred Singer (former director of the U.S.National Weather Service), Tim Ball, Ph.D. (historical climatologist), Prof. Ian Clark (University of Ottawa), and Prof. Richard Lindzen (MIT) among others.
Gore claims recent climate change is the result of human activities, and society must give up most of its energy supply to prevent global catastrophe. Conversely, Avery amassed physical evidence of pastwarming/cooling cycles and experimental evidence demonstrating variations in solar activity affect Earth's constantly varying temperatures.
"My book says our warming is natural, unstoppable - and not very dangerous anyway," stated Avery.
"These books represent the two leading explanations for the Earth's recent temperature changes - and they conflict. If global warming truly is the most important public policy issue of our day, then it is high time the public got to hear the arguments from both sides matched up against each other," continued Avery.
Gore has refused all debate challengers to date. Joseph Bast, presidentof The Heartland Institute, noted, "Maybe it's because climate alarmists tend to lose when they debate climate realists. [As happened recently with the Intelligence Squared debate in New York.] Or because most scientists do not support climate alarmism." The Heartland Institute has run more than$500,000 of ads in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and WashingtonTimes promoting a debate.
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Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Newsweek against "deniers": three responses
Sharon Begley has what is known as a poultry brain - the readers of TRF also know her as the author of a lousy, but not the lousiest, article on string theory - but she has a huge, fanatically believing religious heart, especially if the task is to parrot musings by scientific titans such as Barbara Boxer, Al Gore, and Naomi Oreskes. So she decided to write, together with a few collaborators, another Goebbelsian article in Newsweek,
Global warming deniers: a well-funded machine
It is full of insults, "corrupt deniers". The criminal reasons why skeptics do what they do are "explained" in detail: for example, Pat Michaels needs some extreme weather to grow his award-winning pumpkins. ;-) But the article doesn't contain facts that would be both relevant and true. The only fair part of the article is the cover of the magazine (on the left) as long as you omit the silly footnote and the somewhat exaggerated color of the Earth (assuming it is supposed to be Earth) :-).
Marc Morano responds here, explaining, among many other interesting things, that the alarmists have actually received 2500 times more funding (50 billion vs 19 million per decade) than the skeptics.
Another response comes from
Ratings: Begley only gets 2 stars, Lindzen's article in Newsweek had 4 stars. A poll next to Lindzen's article showed that 54% of readers think that there is no permanent momentum to fight global warming. The poll attached to Begley's article shows that 40% of the readers think that global warming is not a major threat to life on Earth while 6% are not sure.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
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"It is IMPOSSIBLE to speak politely, intelligibly, with reason to moral cretins masquarding (sic) as humans, cretins utterly devoid of intelligence, humanity, common sense, courage: YOU ARE ALL F**KING NAZI'S (sic). May you and all your progeny burn in hell for eternity. Perhaps there is a special place there for nazi's (sic)."
But only a pretend one, because all she's doing is sociology.
Go here to find out what she's so cross about.
Via Knowledge is Power
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Andrew Bolt reports another astouding series of "compensation" payouts in Victoria, this time to the widows of criminals killed in gangland violence.
This follows on the decision of the Victorian government to pay $700,000 "compensation" to violent street protesters complaining about heavy handed policing. (The wonder of this is that anybody watching these demonstrations would have come away thinking why on earth the police had allowed themselves to be little more than useless punching bags for these people. But that's the state of the Victoria Police these days.)
But what happens to honest people earning a living honestly?
Postmaster Gilbert Icke, shot during a hold-up, at first received only $231 for clothes. After public outrage, he received about $2500 -- for petrol and other expenses.
Friday, August 3, 2007
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Just in case some of you think that I exaggerate when I complain about how the media distorts, hypes and spins stories, this latest coral bleaching one is a case in point.
news.com.au's Breaking News section has the story with this headline:
Reef ruined by record cold snap
Ruined? That's pretty serious, isn't it?
But what do you get when you click on the link to the actual article?
The much more sober heading of "Coral bleaching as record cold snap hits."
And absolutely nothing to even remotely justify saying that the reef had been ruined.
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Thursday, August 2, 2007
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Saturday, July 28, 2007
The news that a number of the people formerly held in Guantanamo Bay that the civil libertarian Left have championed as unfortunate victims of those naive and simplistic Americans have returned to violent jihad comes as no surprise.
Okay, it should come as no surprise, but I suppose it will for those precious luvvies who seriously think that the Americans are a greater danger than the people who use young children as suicide bombers or who shot to death that poor Korean man so callously and brutally just the other day.
Turns out that at least 30 former detainees have subsequently been killed or recaptured after being released from Gitmo.
"Commander Jeffrey Gordon said the detainees had, while in custody, falsely claimed to be farmers, truck drivers, cooks, small-arms merchants, low-level combatants or had offered other false explanations for being in Afghanistan."
""These former detainees successfully lied to US officials, sometimes for over three years," he said. "Common cover stories include going to Afghanistan to buy medicines, to teach the Koran or to find a wife. Many of these stories appear so often, and are subsequently proven false, that we can only conclude that they are part of their terrorist training.""
Mandou Habib anyone?
As Andrew Bolt in a post entitled "The killers the Left wanted freed" asks:
How many people have now been murdered by fanatics set free from Guantanamo Bay, at the urging of so many civil libertarians and Leftist activists?
How many deaths do those civil libertarians now have on their conscience?
And this time?
Wait for it folks, because this is going to shock you - having fat friends may make you fat too!
Truly! There's a "study" that says so. And it's been in the papers and on the telly.
Pretty much settles it doesn't it? Fuck, there goes what ever social life I had.
Apparently, hanging out with fat people may influence you to think that also having a gut hanging over your pants is in reality a good look, and send you elbowing your way to the sweets trolley for a fourth helping of pudding.
Makes sense to me! I mean, in a world where failed American politicians seeking to recast themselves as the saviours of the planet and narcissistic uber-consuming celebrities are actually taken seriously on climate change, a single mangy hedgehog proof of global warming and The Secret a best seller, none of this is exactly surprising.
Disappointing and maddening yes, but surprising? Sadly no.
But as Junkfood Science notes:
Not one health or medical writer, even at the most prestigious consumer or medical publications, has critically reported on this study or even appears to have read it. Not one has made a critical examination and pointed out its unorthodox methods, its findings that conflict with known science and known biological mechanisms, or the flawed and contradictory findings within the study itself. Not one.
And yet this idiot garbage was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a “peer-reviewed” medical journal.
Which only goes to show that peer review increasingly means nothing these days. It was The Lancet that published peer reviewed "research" that claimed over 650,000 excess deaths in post-war Iraq on the basis of a sample of just 547 real deaths.
Oh, and you are probably imagining that this study was based upon looking at real people right?
If so, you'd be wrong.
"It was computer animation and, in essence, created a virtual reality."
Gee. Who could be responsible for suspect pseudo research like that?
And then the light goes on. One of the researchers, while a physician, is a professor of medical sociology.
Ah, the problem starts to come into focus. In a world of pseudo research, you don't get much more "pseudo" than sociology, a ridiculous pretend academic "discipline" if ever there was one.
Our other scientific researcher is in fact a professor of political science.
Anyway, Junkfood Science has a lot more to say. Go. Read.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
There's an intercept page where you can choose whether or not you want to watch two men and a woman hung in public from a crane, and taking a long time to die.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I'd hasten to say before starting that this isn't some exercise in an Australian being smug about the Mother Country. Let's face it, Australia seems to be heading in the same direction, just not as far down the road. I think. Well, I'm reasonably sure. I think.
And I know at times more can be made of stories of political correctness gone mad than is really justified, but all up there does truly appear to be a clear "signal."
First up we have Matthew Carter, a binman from Burnley, who has been told by the Pendle council to stop wearing a Cross of St George (ie the English flag) bandana because "it could be considered offensive and racist."
The national flag? Offensive and racist? To whom?
Now, as you can see from Mr Carter's photo above, he's not exactly your so-called "typical" white red-neck is he?
Ian McInery, the operational services manager for Pendle council, said that "We have made it clear to staff that they are not allowed to put stickers or flags on bin wagons or wear clothing which shows support for a particular team, group or country."
Okay, apart from the basic libertarian question to Mr McInery of just who are you to tell anybody, including your employees, that they can't show support for a "particular team, group or country," do you notice the really interesting thing going on here?
It's as if England for Mr McInery is just another country, of no special significance or provenance compared to, say, Upper Volta (or whatever that shithole is called these days. I had to use it - the best description I ever heard of the old Soviet Union was when The Economist years ago referred to it as "Upper Volta with rockets").
That the act of an Englishman - a black Englishman - in wearing the Cross of St George was qualitatively no different to the wearing of any other country's flag.
Tim Blair links to Pommygranate's open letter to the kind of insufferably overbearing minders of other people's business responsible for this nonsense.
For me, though it is hardly an original observation, the truly dangerous and insidious thing here is the increasing expectation that freedom of expression and the truth are now considered secondary and sacrificable to the greatest sin possible in our post-modern world - to cause offense.
To quote Pommygranate: "I despise your attempts to censor my right to speak, all in the name of not giving offence. Well, you offend me deeply, you mealy-mouthed jumped up middle class prick."
Now, I'm no fan of Senator Ross Lightfoot, but his "conviction" for offending some aboriginal lawyer by describing traditional aboriginal society as the most primitive on Earth, shows to what extent freedom of speech has been undermined even here.
Two things before returning to the Old Dart.
The lawyer didn't counter Senator Lightfoot's claims with any attempt at reasoned and rational argument. No, she immediately sought to silence him and to have him punished for daring to say something she disagreed with.
And how was this possible? By one of those cancers of modern society, the Equal Opportunities Commission. Maybe there were sound reasons for setting this up years ago, but if so, then it has outlived any usefulness it may have had and now seeks to justify its existence by looking for ever more marginal "abuses" to produce reports full of dodgy "research" that call for yet more government intrusion into people's lives.
And we just sit back and let it happen.
This and similar bodies are now effectively anti-social agencies, working against the best interests of society and the majority of its citizens.
Cue the Devon Racial Equality Council, funded by and affiliated to the Commission for Racial Equality.
Here is a perfect example of unelected middle class types, pursuing their irrational fixations with questions of race and "equality" with obsessive zeal, effectively taking on an anti-social role, even to the point of getting in the way of efforts to catch a rapist.
A rapist? But hang on a minute, why would inner-city progressives, unimpeachably "right" thinking, get in the way of the cops (however much they dislike and distrust these neo-fascist tools of the ruling classes) chasing some bastard man who has committed crimes against women (which is what men do, of course)?
Oh oh, there's a problem.
The man in question, Noorullah Seddiqi, is an Afghani.
So what would you do if you work for the Devon Racial Equality Council and found out that the police planned to put a reconstruction on ITV's Manhunt crime show in their efforts to catch Mr Seddiqi?
You raise fears about a possible "racial backlash" and a chief constable, (already burned by suggestions of bias), will just roll over and prefer to hinder his officers' efforts to catch a man charged with serious offenses.
And then there is this bit of insufferable arrogance from Sonia Francis-Mills, the director of the Council, "If they had contacted us earlier we may have been able to help track him down through people within the community." That is, keeping it all in house within the particular immigrant community, not the society at large (most of whom are racist bigots anyway....).
Ah, the sacred "community", the early 21st Century substitute for the "wisdom" of the noble savage and the tribe. If only the police had pleaded their case to the "community", all would have been well.
Who the hell does she think she is?
Naturally enough, the decision hasn't pleased victim support organisations.
Yvonne Traynor, of the Rape and Sexual Abuse
Support Centre, said the case set a dangerous precedent.
"I think that everybody is so afraid of being
labelled a racist that no one's taking into consideration the crimes that have
allegedly been committed here," she said.
As I say, these kinds of agencies are not only useless at producing anything beneficial for a society, they are positively harmful.
Get rid of them.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Disappointed yes, but surprised no.
The ABC's performance last night concerning the screening of The Great Global Warming Swindle, especially that of Tony Jones, was nothing short of a disgrace to any principles of fair and objective journalism.
Bill Leak's cartoon above from this morning's issue of The Australian distils Jones' unconcealed bias and refusal to even for a moment consider a contrary argument.
I mean really, do you think for a moment that the ABC would have had Jones at the front of a specially built set and solemnly intoning that the following program does not reflect the views of the ABC, (as he did last night - think about that for a moment, because it was actually very revealing), almost apologising to the true believers for allowing such dangerous heresy to be seen in the first place, if it was An Inconvenient Truth?
Can you really imagine Jones going after Al Gore in the same 'attack dog' fashion as he went after Durkin last night?
Of course not.
And Jones clearly packed a hatchet in his bag for the trip to London and was determined to do a 'job' on Durkin no matter what.
I'd have to say though, Durkin looked nervous and didn't do a very good job of taking the argument up to Jones (who knows less than he thinks).
So I was sitting there last night consumed with the frustration that comes from knowing how Jones was dealing in misleading information to try and make it look as if it was Durkin doing so, and thinking to myself "I know the answer to this and could do a better job of explaining why Jones was wrong."
And I see that Jones is not above indulging in cheap tabloid tricks to advance his cause.
Anyone watching Durkin's film would be struck by the stellar cast of high-profile and well credentialed climate scientists, as well as the co-founder of Greenpeace and a former editor of New Scientist, all saying that anthropogenic climate change is rubbish.
What's Tony to do?
Head for the margins!
Ignore Richard Lindzen from MIT or John Christy etc, make out that a letter being published in 1996 is a big issue, (despite no claims or suggestions it was written later than that - see the trick?), or make out that something dishonest must be going because the term of office of the first director of some meteorological institute wasn't given, even though any half-wit should be able to work out that if you are being described as the "first" director then you obviously aren't the current one and there may have been several people who had followed you in that position.
Okay, he ceased that position back in the '60s. What, he magically stopped being a climate scientist and just forgot everything? He'd done nothing in the field of climate science since? The man was clearly well qualified to express an opinion on climate science and it was just an cheap and unethical ploy on the part of Jones to discredit someone, rather than answer their arguments.
Predictably the ExxonMobil excuse was trotted out. I don't care if someone has got money from them. It doesn't provide me with an excuse to use this fact as a way of dismissing an argument rather than answering it. And getting money from big oil doesn't mean you are wrong.
The fact that the Medieval Warm Period definitely was warmer than today, irrespective of any dodgy IPCC graphs (and if only you knew what they get up to with those), and that this is confirmed by not just scientific data, but also the historical record, is a point Durkin didn't get across.
Not that Jones was at all interested in listening anyway.
And we don't know what the ABC cut out of the interview to "shape" it the way they wanted it.
I found the Ebola virus analogy used by one of the counter-scientists to try and deflect attention away from the inconvenient truth that CO2 makes up just a tiny fraction of a percent of the Earth's atmosphere, (and that the CO2 that is man made represents an even smaller fraction), laughable and ridiculous in equal measure.
You don't have to be an epidemiologist to see what nonsense that was!
What kills you isn't a small number of Ebola viruses. What kills you is the millions or billions of them in your body produced by the initial few. What an idiot.
Now, no doubt Tony was cheered today as he entered the cafeteria at the ABC in Sydney. After all, he'd done the job they expected of him.
But has he?
I'm sure some people were convinced by him, but I still reckon most people can see through the organised gang-assault orchestrated on Durkin and the sheer quality of the scientists featured in the film and their arguments.
I watched the program with my mum, and as Jones began his precis of Durkin's earlier work she turned and said "now the character assassination begins." And how right she was.
A work colleague tells me "I watched it with a couple of others last night who were sceptical about my scepticism, but after watching the debate they now think there is something dodgy going on. And they didn't like the science nerd (David Karoly) - too rude and smarmy."
In being so desperate to make sure that their audience, (who they clearly don't trust to make up their own minds), reached the "right" conclusion about TGGWS, perhaps they've over-reached?
Monday, May 21, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
KisP also reports that:
The Center for Sex and Culture ...the only publicly available, non-profit sex education center in the United States, is proud to announce the Seventh Annual Masturbate-a-Thon, Saturday, May 26th in San Francisco, in honor of National Masturbation Month. Founded in 2000, the star-studded Masturbate-a-Thon is like a walk-a-thon but a lot more fun.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
It's over? Who won?
Does anyone, including Mr Younge, really believe that if the Americans leave Iraq (other Coalition members are seldom mentioned) that the killings will stop? Will we really have peace in our time? Mr. Younge does not say.
"If President Bush's veto is not challenged tomorrow, thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of US troops are certain to perish", the sub-heading claims.
Who is killing all these Iraqis, and why should these killings stop if the Coalition troops leave? Are these killings being committed by the potential winners in Iraq, who Mr. Younge doesn't mention?
After giving the tradition Guardian view of the relationship between the American people and their military, Mr. Younge says "Finally, in a nation with no safety net, the military is one of the few government-backed means of advancement for the poor".
Perhaps Mr. Younge can explain how people advance through government backing, apart from being one of its employees. It is odd that he mentioned the G.I.Bill in his article, and its success, yet says there are neither social social programs or a safety net.
There is absolutely no reason why the writer should not be aware of the dozens of social programs in the United States, easily googled on the Internet.
We can only wonder at his competence, or motives, in making such an obvious error.
"I was living in a trailer with my grandmother," says Darrell Anderson, 25, who earned a purple heart in Iraq and later went awol. "I was broke and I needed education and healthcare, and if I had to go to war for them that was just what I had to do. Going to the military was my last chance. My last option."
Canadians have been well aware of Mr. Anderson for quite some time, his varying stories, and willingness to tell anyone what he feels they want to hear.
Few here in Canada will be missing him.
"If all else fails, you can yomp and shoot your way to the American dream".
Yomp? If only it was that easy! Shooting your way to the American Dream has been tried, certainly, but has usually met with greater success elsewhere.
What, it might be asked, is this "American Dream" he refers to? I suspect Mr. Younges idea of this dream, judging by the tone of his article, would be quite cynical. Would he ever consider what the British dream might be? Or the German or Australian dream? I doubt he has ever thought far.
"The showdown between the Bush administration and the Democratic Congress over the war in Iraq currently hinges on which side can claim ownership of the troops' interests, and harness that public affection to bolster their position".
It is the military leadership and the Copmmander in Chief who are responsible for the troops interest, not the US Congress or the Democratic party. If there has been neglect in the welfare of any troops then their leaders will make this known. Mr. Younge obviously knows little of the US Constitution, or chooses to ignore it.
"President Bush has requested more money from Congress for the war. Congress has passed a bill that gives him more than he requested so long as he sets a timetable for withdrawing the troops. Bush has vowed to veto the bill, effectively demanding a blank cheque for the war".
Mr. Younge has choosen to overlook completely all the pork in this bill, well over $20 Billion worth, used to bribe those members who might otherwise have voted differently.
It is a bill that shames everyone who voted for it.
"The Democrats do not have enough votes to override the veto".
Obviously not everyone can be bribed, surely a healthy sign.
"Bush cannot get the money without Congressional approval. For as long as the stalemate continues no money can be earmarked for the war, and at some stage the cash will dry up. In these deliberations the plight of Iraqis, who are dying in their scores every day, is subordinated to more local concerns: which side can convince the public that they are standing their ground to protect the troops, and thereby force the other side to compromise before the money runs out.You would think this would be a slam-dunk for theDemocrats".
The cash will not dry up. The American people, who Mr. Younge acknowledges strongly admire their military, will not allow that to happen. If he had thought much about his earlier remarks, instead of just including them as the usual cliches, he would realize this. And, again, he makes the suggestion that if the Americans leave Iraq the killings will somehow cease. That is highly unlikely, which is probably why Mr. Younge is avoiding this scenario.
"Not only is Bush weak, but so is his standing with the troops. Since he announced the surge, the US death toll has remained steady at around three a day, whilethe situation on the ground has deteriorated and theIraqi government has disintegrated".
This is not any evidence whatsoever that the President's standing with the troops is weak, and is in fact known to be untrue. If he had any evidence to the contrary there is little doubt he would have included it in his article.
"Last month camethe debacle at Walter Reed hospital, where wounded veterans testified to lying in rooms infested with mice and cockroaches, with mould on the walls".
The person responsible was fired and how the US President is responsible for mould on hospital walls, or how it relates to the war in Iraq, remains unsaid.
Mr. Younge then goes on to Jessica Lynch and the Pat Tillman tragedy, though what connection this has to the war in Iraq is also left unclear. Is he suggesting that the terrorists have the moral high ground in Iraq, not the American people or thier military? The suggestion is certainly there.
"All of this provides ample space for the Democrats to establish an alternative narrative for both supporting the troops and stopping the war. One that says the best way to support them is to remove them from a war they cannot win, and return them home where they will be cared for".
It is not up to the public to care for the military, it is up to the military to protect and defend the public. One can only wonder at what Mr. Younge's opinion of the role of the military might be. While the US military might be quite comfortable on their American bases, being cared for there is not their raison d'etre.
"An opportunity to represent the people who elected them, implement their mandate, and in so doing fulfil their constitutional duty to check and then balance executive power. Like most acts of principle, making this move carries significant political risk.
The executive Branch of the US government also has a balance of power, and the American system was designed with this in mind. And of course if the American people were behind the Democrats there would be little political risk whatsoever. But of course the Democratic Party, far moreso than a Guardian commentator, understnads this quite well.
Monday, April 23, 2007
I got a feeling I’m not the only one
All I wanna do is wipe my bum
Until the TP comes off the roll by the yard
(Thanks to Mr Surber.)
On a day when the Australian Greens have yet again proved that they are completely insane and disconnected from reality, calling for an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but without any idea as to how much this would cost and, if the truth is to be told, no idea about how it is to be achieved either.
(I mean, are they really mad or naive enough to believe that wind and solar power are going to make up the difference in generating baseload power? Surely not? So that leaves us with one alternative only - the end of the modern world as we know it and a retreat away from all the benefits that this world's science, technology and medecine have brought us. And if you think reading by candle light in an otherwise dark and cold home sounds romantic, then you're mad as well.)
But anyway, the latest instalment from the climate hysteria brains trust comes from that noted scientist and thinker Sheryl "Stinky Finger" Crow.
Her idea to help beat global warming or save the environment or...whatever...is to, wait for it guys, restrict ourselves to one square of toilet paper per visit to the dunny.
Why haven't the eggheads thought of this? Bludgers.
Jesus, we've got vast rivers of public money - billions of dollars a year worldwide - flowing to these people in their brand spanking new research facilities, full of newly employed scientists (who would never have believed you just a few years ago if you'd told them there would be a day when climate science wasn't an under-funded backwater), and it takes an intellect such as Crow's to cut through the crap (as it were) and solve the problem!
Let's stand back shall we and marvel at her in her very own words:
Crow (4/19, Springfield, Tenn.): I have spent the better part of this tour trying to come up with easy ways for us all to become a part of the solution to global warming. Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.You know, I'm not sure what about this offends and annoys me the most: the stupidity or the hypocrisy?
Crow (4/19): I also like the idea of not using paper napkins, which happen to be made from virgin wood and represent the height of wastefulness. I have designed a clothing line that has what's called a "dining sleeve." The sleeve is detachable and can be replaced with another "dining sleeve," after usage. The design will offer the "diner" the convenience of wiping his mouth on his sleeve rather than throwing out yet another barely used paper product. I think this idea could also translate quite well to those suffering with an annoying head cold.
I really don't know. Maybe it's an equal measure kind of thing.
But this is just the latest example of the madness that seems to be taking over even intelligent people, who you would expect should be smart enough to spot a crock of shit and other generalised bad and illogical thinking at 50 paces.
And then there is the out and out hypocrisy.
Laurie David, the producer of "An Inconvenient Truth" and global warming activist, told Texas A&M students to change their "individual behavior" in order to consume fewer resources and to help battle global warming. As an employee of Easterwood Airport, I would like to point out that Mrs. David flew to our campus in a luxurious private jet, which could be seen from 10 miles away due to the thick plume of smog it left in its wake. I am neither denying nor confirming the epidemic of global warming, I am simply pointing out that hypocrites such as Mrs. David don't care about the environment, only their own political agendas. This is proven time and again by these celebrities' and lobbyist's "do as I say, not as I do" attitude.
So take your pick - stupidity or hypocrisy.
Laurie David has been labeled a "Gulfstream liberal" by Eric Alterman, himself a proud member of the Left and a regular columnist for the Nation. He recognizes that Ms. David's brand of environmentalism is nothing more than a facade, a distraction from the financially secure yet intellectually boring life of the fabulously wealthy. But this hobby has dire consequences for the rest of us.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I'm completely uninterested with ultimately boring questions about his sexuality.
But as a crafter of words he has few peers (and I prefer to keep his writing in the present tense). Not fancy words, but simple words that speak clearly to the heart and to the head.
A man with a beautiful turn of phrase and an ability, (all the more precious in these times of overblown postmodern tripe, where banal inanities are hidden under mountains of words ordered into sentences that go on for page after meaningless page), to say so much in just a few well chosen words.
But here's an unusual reciting of the Gettysburg Address, electric guitars and all!
Thanks to the ever entertaining Knowledge is Power for the video.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Despite desperate attempts to deny reality, the fact remains that, as any Sydney-sider will tell you, the lights may have dimmed a bit, but they didn't go out by any means.
Interesting too that both The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald had to doctor before and after photos in an effort to make it look like it had been a success. The Age had a night time photo of the Harbour Bridge and surrounds lit up so brightly you'd have needed sunglasses while driving! (See here - also for some untouched-up night time photos of the Bridge).
Now, apart from the sheer pointlessness and uselessness of such conspicuous gesture making, I really wonder as to whether the naive and the gullible caught up in this kind of neo-religious puritanism have really bothered to sit down and think about just what it is they are being asked to accept here.
The more radical fringes of the green movement have for years preached and railed against the evils of the modern world, calling on us to renounce, not the devil and all his works, but his latter-day substitute - material abundance and technology.
Just as the 16th Century Puritans in England and the American colonies wanted to reject a world that they saw as evil and corrupting and create of new one that was simple and pure - no dancing and no Christmas (and certainly NO!!!! kissing under the mistletoe), but rather an austere life of simple things and simple food - so the Greens want a return to some kind of fantasised pre-modern world unsullied by technology, a return to nature (whatever that actually means) and a mythical golden age.
There were of course two problems with this.
The so-called natural existence they dream about never existed to begin with. The pre-modern life of human beings was one of hunger, pain and disease. A world where parents expected to watch several of their children die in front of them from sickness and for them to often die early from disease too, after years of agony from mouths full of rotting teeth.
The reason why we are healthier and longer lived now than at any time in human history, despite the fashionable angst of we "worried well", is because of science and technology.
And I'm sorry, but you can't run that science and technology on wind or solar power.
It is, for the moment (and I'll wager for many, many years to come), impossible.
Put your windmill up if you must, but be prepared for your fridge not to work on a still summer's day.
It's interesting that the other great exercise in futile self-abnegation in front of the Great Goddess Gaia, the one where you turn all your appliances off for a time, has been reduced to just 24 hours this year, because doing it for a whole two days last year proved to be such a nightmare for those involved. (I mean really, isn't there a lesson here folks?)
The second problem they had, following on from the first, is that basically nobody listened to them.
But there's nothing like a prophetic vision of the coming apocalypse to get people worried and listening to you, especially when even some scientists started talking in similar ways.
There was a false start back in the 1970s with warnings of a new ice age, but the Greens finally hit pay dirt with global warming.
It's perfect for them. Nothing much has happened, and the scientific data is in truth inconclusive and equivocal about the future effects of climate change.
Just the field of grey doubt they need on which to pour all their hatred of the modern world and, just like the old-fashioned fire and brimstone preacher, foretell the coming wrath of the Goddess.
Repent! Give up your whoring with those plasma TVs and digital recorders. Abjure those cars, those overseas holidays and the foreign gourmet treats tainted with the carbon used to get them to you, sinner!
But hang on a minute! Is this the kind of life you want to lead? A world where people like George Monbiot seriously suggest the banning of major sporting events, or others Christmas lights, even for your tree at home?
(Bloody hell, these people really are the direct descendants of the Puritans.)
All to save inconsequential amounts of carbon?
All on the basis of unproven and unlikely doubts about the future, based upon computer modelling unable to accurately reproduce the known climate history of the 20th Century without the programs being fudged and fiddled to get the "right" answer?
And make no mistake, the nightmare scenarios of Gaia's chief prophet, the Holy Goracle, are very, very unlikely.
Ignoring the overwrought headlines in the media, once you boil down the latest assessments of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change you are left with a much less scary scenario. Yes, the planet has warmed a bit. It will warm a bit more over the coming century and sea levels will continue to rise very slowly.
But in many respects it doesn't matter to the Greens whether it's global warming or global cooling or the population bomb (remember that scare that came to nothing, despite the pious injunctions that we 'live simply, so that others may simply live'?).
It's the modern world and all its comforts and opportunities - things hated by the religiously pure zealot - that is in their sights.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
His recent demolitions of wild, hysterical and (most importantly) factually inaccurate and unsupported claims about links between the spread of so-called 'American capitalism' and mental illness (easily refutable by checking readily available data), the prospect of the Amazon becoming a desert etc are always as amusing as they are analytical and scarifying.
But we seem to live in times where to think logically and clearly is almost considered to be a bad thing, with no secular or religious superstition too absurd to be taken seriously.
Anyway, go here and enjoy!
Monday, March 19, 2007
The local rag here, The West Australian (never even a particularly good provincial newspaper) obviously took the story and the attendant headline "Pentagon admits: It's civil war" straight off the wire and was too lazy to bother reading it.
I mean, how else to account for a headline and opening paragraph that actually runs counter to and is contradicted by the detail in the article?
There is the tell-tale sign of a biased hack projecting his or her opinions onto a story, irrespective of the facts.
It's almost always a dead give away - the actual report or whatever else is being discussed isn't directly quoted from until well into the article.
Keep an eye out for this. You'll see what I mean.
Sure enough, it isn't until the fourth paragraph that the report's views on whether the situation in Iraq is a civil war or not are referred to, and the fifth paragraph before there's an actual quote from it.
Now, the truly astounding thing here is that it is the fourth paragraph itself that contradicts the headline and opening paragraph, and shows that whoever wrote them was either deliberately lying or was simply incompetently projecting their own views onto the story.
It's right there. And in English too! "The report agreed that the term [civil war] did not capture the complex situation [in Iraq]."
Er, that doesn't sound much like an admission of anything does it? Didn't anybody at The West pause and think about this clear disjunction between claim and reality?
The nearest you get is the fifth paragraph's direct quote from the report that "some elements of the situation in Iraq are properly descriptive of a civil war..."
Again, not exactly the red meat the headline screamingly promised is it?
Surely the logical corollary of "some elements" being descriptive of a civil war is that other elements are not descriptive of it.
It seems pretty clear that what the report is saying is little more than the situation remains essentially unchanged - the country remains on a knife edge and one possible outcome is civil war.
But large sections of the media, who opposed the overthrow of Saddam from the very beginning, are forever seeking to justify their 'progressive' judgement to effectively support the continued rule of a mass-murdering fascist.
The Sydney Morning Herald's Paul McGeough has been calling civil war in Iraq since about, oh, the day after the invasion began some four years ago! ;)
And what they want to see is what they make sure they see, and inconvenient facts are not going to be allowed to get in the way of their real target - George Bush.
And if that means betraying the Iraqis and refusing to listen to them (what would they know about Iraq before and after the invasion anyway?), so be it.
But hey, guess what? Some of us do think that the ordinary Iraqi is central to this and more important than giving vent to arrogant and elitist disdain for poor Dubbya.
So what do the Iraqis think? A new poll, involving a large sample of 5,000 people in Iraq makes for interesting reading.
First off, seeing as we've talked about the so-called civil war there, fully 61% of Iraqis (against 27% with a contrary opinion) believe that the country is in the grips of such a conflict.
But again, what would they know eh?
And talk about ingratitude for the selfless work of the "peace" movement, which tried so hard to protect Saddam and keep him and his two psycho boys in the lavish lifestyles they had become so accustomed to!
Most Iraqis still think that they are better off now than under Saddam and remain confident about the future.
But this just reconfirms previous polling.
So what were the "anti-war" protestors actually protesting about yesterday, here and around the world?
The invasion happened and Saddam was deposed. Now, even if you honestly believed that was on balance not a wise foreign policy choice (fair enough), the fact remains that we are now in support of a democratically elected government which is being assailed by a mix of secular and religious fascists.
To leave now would increase the likelihood of this embryonic democracy failing and being replaced by people such as those who have recently tried to set off chlorine gas bombs in the midst of civilians. People who have shown themselves to be remorseless and indiscriminate killers.
But of course the truth is that the "peace" movement couldn't care less about ordinary Iraqis and were quite happy to let them continue to die pointless, degrading and horrible deaths every day, as long as the Americans couldn't be blamed, as they were under Saddam. And gee, it didn't take them long to forget about Saddam's specially trained police rapists did it? Or that women were often raped in front of their children.
Or the interesting variation of children being tortured in front of their parents.
And so too the real motivation of too many in the media.
It's all Bush, all the time.
And everything has to be fitted into that overarching schema.
But those "ignorant" Iraqis don't care about the meta-cause, the defining principal of Bush Derangement Syndrome, that underpins so much of this nonsense.
They want the violence to stop and the Americans to go. But they are glad Saddam is gone and they want a better future for their kids, and they are smart enough to know that if America loses its courage now that that better future will not arrive.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
This might look harmless at first sight. People may like the idea, finding comfort in the thought that we are all in it together. But it conceals a collection of fundamentally unsustainable thinking.
Collective rights get rid of the traditional ideas about right and wrong, obligation and ownership.
Traditionally judgements about people, whether they've done something good and bad, whether something is theirs to do what they like with it, focus on what they did, what their intentions were, and what the results were. Did I help or harm anyone? Did I mean good or bad? Was I responsible for what happened? Most of us are pretty familiar with this from our dealings with friends and family.
Collectivism replaces this way of thinking with group rights.
Where traditional right and wrong highlights your actions, collectivism highlights your identity -- what group do you belong to?
Where traditional right and wrong stresses your responsibility, collectivism stresses your status -- can you claim some kind of victim status?
Where traditional right and wrong seeks to examine your motives, collectivism examines your entitlement -- what assistance/compensation is on offer for people in your group?
Where traditional right and wrong looks at you in relation to other people, collectivism looks at you in relation to society or "the community" -- are you a victim of society? Are you an enemy of the community?
These alternative beliefs run deep and spawn their own vocabulary, intended to cloud meaning. For instance, people are assessed according to whether they, and others like them, help or hinder "social justice". This, if it means anything, is mere shorthand for the opinion that it is unjust for people not to receive more or less (depending on how hardline you are) the same income.
People are not described according to who they are, but against the backdrop of membership of a "community". This brings up a load of pre-set judgements about that community, particularly its entitlements, as the foundation for assessing a person's actions.
Prisoners, racial minorities, religious minorities, rich people, poor people, single parents, married parents, property developers, the homeless, sick people, old people, children, immigrants and natives. People are increasingly classed according to what group they belong to, and which grouping is relevant at the time.
As a result, we have democratic nations which are barely capable of controlling their borders or a decision about who should be a citizen. This inability to make fundamental decisions about existence makes perfect sense in the collectivist mindset.
As a result, we get public disturbance and national concern over something so trivial and irrelevant as cartoons published in another country -- see the Danish Mohammed cartoon Jihad. This absurd situation is entirely natural within collectivist thinking about group sensitivity.
As a result, people in France Germany and Italy are forced by the state to spend 50 to 55% of their incomes on state projects, where public deficits are run up to unrepayable levels, and where future generations are mortgaged to the hilt before they are born. Rushing toward economic collapse in this way makes sense if you have adopted the foggy unreality of collectivist language.
As a result, the majority of European people assume that the state can, should and will provide for every major decision which adults normally make: educating your children, caring for your elderly, your social insurance, your retirement income, your healthcare, what sort of house you can live in, your working hours, how much holiday you can take, and TV entertainment. And, as a result, European people aggressively resist any mention that this dependent luxury should not continue to increase forever. If one accepts the basic collectivist assumptions, such self-destructive obstinacy is brave and sensible, and becomes the brave defence of justice and principal.
This is the poisonous root of collectivism. I’ll try to look at how it arises, and some of its offshoots, next time.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
What’s happening? Why? And what can be done about it?
I hope my mates here won't mind the focus on Europe, since (a) I’m in the European corner of our global quartet, (b) the tendrils of those problems are dragging Europe to the front, and (c) although problems are worst in Europe, they don’t end there.
They can be traced in every stable democracy: America, Australia, Canada, and even the newer democracies in Latin America and eastern Europe. Which makes it the more relevant to examine what they will lead to, by looking where they have the most devastating potential.
Those problems can be summed up as: welfare vs. economic survival; Islam vs. democracy; and statism vs. freedom.
Think of Europe as a field under a virulent weed.
Think of “Collectivism” as its poisonous philosophical root.
Think of the material circumstances which support and feed that root as the soil.
Think of the intellectual offshoots as the stinking flowers: dependence; inability to face threats to survival; anti-Americanism; general amorality.
Think of the political offshoots as the choking tendrils: economic decline; Islamic demographic surge; state reliance. The third is the worst and supports the others.
These offshoots are often condemned by those frustrated by European politics. But rarely tugged apart to reveal the root and soil beneath. Because, whilst the costs of inaction are gruesome, the apparent remedies are too unpalatable to discuss.
But the harshness of the outlook, and the lack of people doing it, makes the search for remedies more relevant.
I’d like to start with the philosophical root: Collectivism. What is it? How does it arise? And how does it lead to the baffling ineffectuality and amorality of modern European politics?
Then, perhaps, to dig into the soil beneath, and look for a solution that won’t kill it and might even grow something good.
Collectivism. Next time!
Monday, February 26, 2007
The latest being the spread of Asian hornets in Europe.
He says "The hornets arrived in a shipment of ceramic pots from China so we could blame globalization -- but how passe is that? No, let's pin it on global warming instead!".
Follow the link above to read the rest.