Saturday, July 28, 2007

Freed Guantanamo Bay inmates return to terrorism

Reality catches up with progressive opinion. Finally.

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?

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

Stay away from the fat people!

Another day, another piece of junk "science" being given wide and uncritical coverage in the media.

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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Public entertainment in Iran

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

Some music

Thanks, in a round about kind of way to Knowledge is Power, but directly from this strange blog

The White Stripes live doing Son House's Death Letter

Richard Hell and the Voidoids doing Blank Generation

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What's wrong with Britain?

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

Jerkin' the Durkin

I'm not surprised.

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?