IPCC HELPS SHIELD DUBIOUS DATA FROM OPEN EXAMINATION

0 comments
And the data remains unavailable to this day! (The IPCC is the U.N. climate authority)

One of the most important IPCC representations is the supposedly tremendous quality control of its review process. I've mentioned in passing on a number of occasions that, when I sought to obtain supporting data for then unpublished articles, IPCC threatened to expel me as a reviewer. I've had a few requests to recount my experience with trying to get data from IPCC for unpublished studies. So here's a short summary of my correspondence with IPCC.

On August 1, 2005, I was invited by IPCC to act as a reviewer. (I guess this makes me one of the 2500 scientists who support IPCC conclusions, although my review comments have all been ignored as far as I can tell.) "You have been nominated to serve as an Expert Reviewer for the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. The first draft of this report will be available for expert review from Friday, 9 September 2005, with all review comments due by Friday, 4 November 2005."

I accepted. In September 2005, I noticed that the Paleoclimate chapter cited two then unpublished studies by D'Arrigo et al (later D'Arrigo et al 2006) and Hegerl et al (later Hegerl et al J Clim 2006). In order to carry out my responsibilities as a reviewer, I wanted to see the supporting data for these studies and I accordingly wrote to the IPCC Technical Services Unit at UCAR in Boulder on Sep 20, 2005 as follows: "I have been unable to locate supplementary information or data archives for several of the articles posted at the pdf location for Chapter 6 and would appreciate assistance in this regard.

1) Hegerl et al, submitted. Can you provide me with an ftp location for the proxy data used in this study (which does not even list the proxies used) or post it at your website.

2) D'Arrigo et al, submitted. Again, this data has not been archived at WDCP. Can you provide me with an ftp location for the proxy data used in this study or post it at your website."

On Sep 22, 2005, Martin Manning of the IPCC/UCAR TSU wrote back refusing to provide this data in the following terms: "It is normal practice that expert reviewers of scientific works check the references given and the way they are used. We certainly expect this during the review of the first draft of our report and are grateful that you have identified an issue that the authors will need to deal with in the next draft if that can not be done now.

The second issue is availability of data used in cited literature. As you have recognized some of this is available at data centers. Often the original authors of the cited papers will release their data on request. However, the IPCC process assesses published literature, it does not involve carrying out research, nor do we have the mandate or resources to operate as a clearing house for the massive amounts of data that are used in the climate science community or referred to in the literature used by our authors. Given the many different approaches to intellectual property and data release in different countries and agencies such an undertaking would in any case not be possible."

I was obviously unsatisfied with their failure to provide supporting data and re-iterated my request for supporting data as follows: "My request for data pertains to two papers which are presently unpublished and for which the data is unarchived. One of the papers does not even list the data used. I request that you simply contact the authors who submitted the articles in question and ask him/her to provide an FTP location for the data so that it can be reviewed. The request can be made through a simple email and does not require resources beyond those available to you. You could have submitted the request as quickly as it took you to draft your reply to me. If the authors refuse to provide their data pursuant to a request from you, then that would be a factor in my review, as it should be for IPCC itself, as to whether the article should be referenced by IPCC."

The next day, Sep 23, 2005, Manning made the following shirty reply: "Let me repeat - If you wish to obtain data used in a paper then you should make a direct request to the original authors yourself. It would be inappropriate for the IPCC to become involved in that communication and I have no intention of allowing the IPCC support unit to provide you with what would in effect be a secretarial service. There are over 1200 other scientists on our list of reviewers and we simply can not get involved in providing special services for each. I gave you the courtesy of a detailed response earlier to ensure there was no confusion about our process which is my responsibility. Acting as an intermediary with other scientists is not. I will not be responding to further correspondence on this matter." ...

FULL ARTICLE here

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

GEORGE LAKOFF

0 comments
One of the great gurus of the American Left is linguist-turned-psychologist, George Lakoff. Most of his ideas are just corny old stuff that Leftist psychologists have been spouting for around 60 years -- and which have much evidence against them. But Lakoff shows little awareness of the research background on his subject. Like most Leftists, he just KNOWS: Evidence not necessary.

One idea he has made his own, however, is that conservatism is masculine and Leftism is feminine. It is an idea that has some intuitive appeal and conservatives come up with it from time to time too. Unfortunately, like a lot of appealing simplifications, the facts are against it. If it were true, we would expect a big sex polarization at election time -- but we usually in fact get close to a 50/50 split. George W. Bush and John Kerry split the female vote roughly 50/50 in the last presidential race, for instance. Again, however, Lakoff does not let such large facts as that get in his way.

If you Google Lakoff, however, you will find little criticism of him. He is routinely treated as a fount of wisdom and insight. I would like to put that right. I have just updated my article on him. You can find it here. If everybody reading this who has a website links to it, it might climb far enough up the Google page-rankings to get onto the first page of search results -- and thus make known that there is an alternative perspective on Lakoff.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Know thy Enemy

0 comments
A sobering note on the leftist press, and what it does when it gets hold of people it doesn’t like.

Gavin King, a leftist reporter with the Cairns Post here in Australia, apparently lulled, through deception, an anti-Islamist blogger into revealing his personal details. This little slime then apparently promptly published the lot, including his identity, his home address, business details, even a list of his property holdings:
[The] operator of the Winds of Jihad site. . .has had his identity and location revealed -- opening him to risk of being killed by jihadists -- by reporter Gavin King, who is no doubt convinced that Sheik has nothing to worry about anyway, since it's a religion of peace.
Going to such extremes, I believe there is only one reason Gavin King did this: he wants to expose this man to potential harm, and given the subject matter, harm of the highest order.

More on this here, here and here.

Be warned.

A Leftist Mind on the Islamist Problem

0 comments
How to address Islamist grievances?

Easy – get rid of the Jews (after all, it’s been done before) and absolutely everything else the fundamentalists don’t like.

Simple, really.

Watch this:

Listen to the voice of ‘liberal leftist reason’ (be warned – the mere sound of it may induce involuntary violence).

And be utterly, utterly appalled.

Truth about the U.N.

0 comments
Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, spoke truth to the U.N. Human Rights Council last Friday. His speech:

Six decades ago, in the aftermath of the Nazi horrors, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rene Cassin and other eminent figures gathered here, on the banks of Lake Geneva, to reaffirm the principle of human dignity. They created the Commission on Human Rights. Today, we ask: What has become of their noble dream? In this session we see the answer. Faced with compelling reports from around the world of torture, persecution, and violence against women, what has the Council pronounced, and what has it decided?

Nothing. Its response has been silence. Its response has been indifference. Its response has been criminal. One might say, in Harry Truman's words, that this has become a Do-Nothing, Good-for-Nothing Council. But that would be inaccurate. This Council has, after all, done something.

It has enacted one resolution after another condemning one single state: Israel. In eight pronouncements-and there will be three more this session-Hamas and Hezbollah have been granted impunity. The entire rest of the world-millions upon millions of victims, in 191 countries-continue to go ignored. So yes, this Council is doing something. And the Middle East dictators who orchestrate this campaign will tell you it is a very good thing. That they seek to protect human rights, Palestinian rights.

So too, the racist murderers and rapists of Darfur women tell us they care about the rights of Palestinian women; the occupiers of Tibet care about the occupied; and the butchers of Muslims in Chechnya care about Muslims.

But do these self-proclaimed defenders truly care about Palestinian rights? Let us consider the past few months. More than 130 Palestinians were killed by Palestinian forces. This is three times the combined total that were the pretext for calling special sessions in July and November. Yet the champions of Palestinian rights-Ahmadinejad, Assad, Khaddafi, John Dugard-they say nothing. Little 3-year-old boy Salam Balousha and his two brothers were murdered in their car by Prime Minister Haniyeh's troops. Why has this Council chosen silence?

Because Israel could not be blamed. Because, in truth, the dictators who run this Council couldn't care less about Palestinians, or about any human rights. They seek to demonize Israeli democracy, to delegitimize the Jewish state, to scapegoat the Jewish people. They also seek something else: to distort and pervert the very language and idea of human rights. You ask: What has become of the founders' dream? With terrible lies, it is being turned into a nightmare.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Coincidence - Yeah Right

0 comments
Remember back when the leftists were humiliated and cowed by their Islamist buddies over the Mohammed cartoons. Emboldened by the fact that we Christians live with the offensive depictions of Christ, the leftists got a little smart and tried their antics with Islam. Wasn’t it fun to watch the lot of them cowering and scattering like ants when they had to earn and defend their precious freedom of speech. Well the vermin are back kicking us in the teeth again.
A New York gallery has angered a US Catholic group with its decision to exhibit a milk chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ. The six-foot (1.8m) sculpture, entitled "My Sweet Lord", depicts Jesus Christ naked on the cross.

The gallery's creative director, Matt Semler, said the gallery was considering its options in the wake of angry e-mails and telephone calls.
It’s as if this scumbag is looking at a dinner menu in his favorite tofu-varieties, made from recycled materials restaurant or something. There’s only one of two options half-wit, exhibit or don’t exhibit. These leftists are so thick they can’t even make a simple decision.
"We're obviously surprised by the overwhelming response and offence people have taken," he said. "We are certainly in the process of trying to figure out what we're going to do next." Mr Semler said the timing of the exhibition was coincidental.
Yeah sure, it’s just a coincidence you ratbag, what, you missed that whole Easter thing that’s been going on for how many centuries again? Like I said, yeah right, how about having the balls to do the same to Islam, come on now, freedom of speech, creative BS and all that.

Update (2007.04.01)

Looks like the half-wits running this gallery are backing down. No, there no need for violence and burning effigies, they were overrun by emails and phone calls from angry Catholics; apparently a ‘Catholic Fatwa’ was all it took. Something about a death-threat and suddenly the leftists were out shopping desperately for plastic spines.

The display has been cancelled and the above mentioned half-wit Matt Semler has resigned in protest. Well so long half-wit; go create your crap somewhere else.

Via Hot Air and FOXNews, bane of the left.

Time to Confront

0 comments
Iran is testing us. So far, we’re failing. And if anyone is any doubt as to just how far the Iranians are prepared to go, this latest act, arguably an act of war, should leave none of us in any doubt.


Iran releases hostage marine's 'anti-war' letter

Iran has piled the pressure on Tony Blair using hostage Faye Turney in a cynical new propaganda stunt.
Except Blair is going to do sweet FA other than deliver sternly-worded objections. Pathetic.

Now for Iran’s agenda:


Addressed to "representative of the House of Commons", the one-page letter reads: "Isn't it time for us to start withdrawing our forces from Iraq and let them determine their own future." It is signed 'Faye Turney' and dated March 27, three days ago.

It concedes the key issue in the present crisis - that she and her fellow hostages were in Iranian waters when they were seized, which Britain strongly denies - and stresses her captors "have looked after me well".

The diplomatic crisis over the 25-year-old mother, who has a girl aged three, intensified when was paraded on state TV on Wednesday night.

And it deepened further when Iran made an abrupt U-turn over promises for her release. Tehran had said she would be freed after "confessing" that her Navy boarding party had "trespassed" in Iranian waters. But it back-tracked on the pledge.
A lie, of course, delivered to extract a ‘confession’. Pathetic.


Hardline Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani accused the British Government of "arrogance" and warned it to end its "fuss" and "media campaign".
I do most humbly beg your pardon, you jumped up little prick, but who precisely kidnapped these sailors and marines in Iraqi waters, and then paraded them on Iranian Festering Islamonut TV?




Larijani, the secretary of Iran's supreme national security council, said: "They have created a ballyhoo over diplomatic ties and raised the issue with the UN. This will not help solve the issue."
The issue? The issue is that the Iranian government, if it can be called that, is infested by hard line maniacs who have yet to be confronted in the way they should be.


Britain suffered a setback at the UN last night when the Security Council refused to support a motion "deploring" Iran's actions and demanding the immediate release of the 15. After three hours of talks, ambassadors from the 15 council nations were working on a watered-down statement.

Nations including Russia, China, Indonesia and Qatar are believed to have argued they have no way of verifying exactly where the incident took place.
Fine. The usual back-stabbing dross from the tossunits at the UN. Did we expect more?


Amid criticism of Britain's low-key response to the crisis, America's former ambassador to the UN John Bolton said the 'softly softly' approach Britain had adopted over Iran's nuclear programme had emboldened the Iranians to the point where they could say: "We can do something as outrageous as seize 15 of their citizens and they won't do anything in response."

Tehran raised the stakes by not only denying British diplomats access to the captives but also threatening to put them on trial.

In the Iranian capital, protestors accused Mrs Turney and her comrades of spying and called for their execution.
As usual, Bolton is absolutely right. That the British ship concerned didn’t throw everything it had into getting these personnel returned while they still could is the real shame, though. The gab-fest that has followed has made things even worse.


A Ministry of Defence inquiry is now under way into the capture in broad daylight of the 15 sailors and Marines amid mounting criticism of the Royal Navy's 'softly-softly' approach.
That the Royal Navy has descended to this - letting crewmen be kidnapped, in broad daylight, right under their noses - is the truly pathetic display here.

Rest assured, though. Given the limp-wristed pantomime that's been performed so far, Iran will most certainly do this again. Why not?

Update: in comments at the BBC’s Your Say site:


I feel no compassion for the British sailors. They are transgressors and deserve to be punished. I am completely sure that the British sailors are safe and have not been subject to any torture. In my opinion Iran has detained them in a move to secure the release of the Iranian diplomats [Iranian diplomats? Are you f’ing kidding me?] (held by the Americans in Iraq).
Mehrdad, Sydney
What is this little prick doing here? Anyone? Anyone at all? F'ing bring on the quarantine - now!

Human evolution radically reappraised

0 comments
The findings reported below are very politically incorrect stuff. They tend to show that the races of mankind are more different than was thought. Cochran, Lahn and others involved have previously got into big trouble from the Left over it. See here. One of the "more recent evolutionary changes" mentioned below was the comparatively recent emergence of new genes connected with brain size -- genes that seem to give a large intellectual advantage but which are mostly missing among Africans. See here and here for the academic journal abstracts. For the evidence linking brain-size and IQ, see section 6 here. I must say that I see pin-headed East-African refugees in the streets every day where I live. How incorrect of me to report that!

Human evolution has been speeding up exorbitantly, a new study contends; so much, that the latest evolutionary changes seem to largely eclipse earlier ones that accompanied modern man's "origin." The study, alongside other recent research on which it builds, amounts to a sweeping reappraisal of traditional accounts of human evolution. These generally assumed that humans have reached a pinnacle of evolution and stopped there. The findings suggest that not only is our evolution continuing: in a sense our very "origin" can be seen as ongoing, a geneticist not involved in the work said.

Gregory Cochran of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, a co-author of the latest study, said the research may force a radical rethinking of the story of modern human evolution. "It turns it upside-down, pretty much," he said. The traditional view of humans as a finished product began to erode in recent years, scientists said, with a crop of studies suggesting our evolution indeed goes on. But the newest study goes further. It claims the process has actually accelerated.

It also downplays the importance of a much-scrutinized era around 200,000 years ago, when humans considered "anatomically modern" first appear in the fossil record. In the study, this epoch emerges as just part of a vast arc of accelerating change. "The origin of modern humans was a minor event compared to more recent evolutionary changes," wrote the authors of the research, in a presentation slated for Friday in Philadelphia at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. The authors are Cochran and anthropologist John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The findings will also be submitted to one or more scientific journals, Cochran said.

The proposal is "truly fascinating," wrote University of Chicago geneticist Bruce Lahn in an email. He wasn't involved in the work, though he did conduct earlier research finding that evolution may still be ongoing in the brain...

Hawks and Cochran analyzed measurements of skulls from Europe, Jordan, Nubia, South Africa, and China in the past 10,000 years, a period known as the Holocene era. They also studied European and West Asian skulls from the end of the Pleistocene era, which lasted from two million years ago until the Holocene. "A constellation of features" changed across the board, Hawks and Cochran wrote in their conference presentation. "Holocene changes were similar in pattern and... faster than those at the archaic/modern transition," the time when so-called modern humans appeared. But these changes "themselves were rapid compared to earlier hominid evolution." Hominids are a family of primates that includes humans and their upright-walking, more apelike ancestors and relatives, all extinct.

Hawks and Cochran also analyzed past genetic studies to estimate the rate of production of genes that undergo positive selection -- that is, genes that spread because they are beneficial. "The rate of generation of positively selected genes has increased as much as a hundredfold during the past 40,000 years," they wrote.

Among the most notable physical changes have been ones affecting the size of the brain case, according to Hawks and Cochran. A "thing that should probably worry people is that brains have been getting smaller for 20,000 to 30,000 years," said Cochran. But growth in more advanced brain areas might have compensated for this, he added. He speculated that an almost breakneck evolution of higher foreheads in some peoples may reflect this. A study in the Jan. 14 British Dental Journal found such a trend visible in England in just the past millennium, he noted, a mere eyeblink in evolutionary time. Research published in the Sept. 9, 2005 issue of the research journal Science by Lahn and colleagues found that two genes linked to brain size are rapidly evolving in humans.

Anthropologist Jeffrey McKee of Ohio State University said the Hawks and Cochran study bears out predictions he made in a 2000 book The Riddled Chain. Based on computer models, he argued that evolution should speed up as a population grows. This is because population growth creates more opportunities for new mutations; also, the expanded population occupies new environmental niches, which would drive evolution in new directions.....

More here

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

It's one big party folks

0 comments
I was catching up on some reading the other day and thought I should share this with you, from the March 5 edition of National Review. The link won’t work unless you have a subscription, which incidentally is quite affordable (for the internet edition) and well worth the read.
Not all rallies are reported equal. Washington recently saw two big public demonstrations: the March for Life, marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and another let’s-abandon-Iraq-and-impeach-that-bastard-Bush extravaganza. None of the big-three networks sent a national reporter to cover the March for Life. According to the Media Research Center, ABC said nothing at all of it. CBS’s and NBC’s evening broadcasts noted that “both sides” of the abortion debate had been represented — but neglected to mention that there were tens of thousands demonstrating against Roe and only tens demonstrating for it. But the big three didn’t stint on coverage of the anti-war protest: Their evening broadcasts together devoted five reports and six anchor briefs to it. Just in case you thought the media had de-biased themselves...
Elsewhere the news is being reported but, let me point out the discrepancies. This is part of the story from Fox News, 4000 marched for saving the unborn and 700 marched or stood for killing them.
Thousands of Poles took to Warsaw's streets Wednesday to demand a complete ban on abortion, including in cases of rape or incest. Mostly elderly demonstrators attended a Mass and marched through central Warsaw carrying Polish and Vatican flags. One banner had an image of a baby and the words, "Can you really kill me?"
Well we have at least 700 who are more than happy to.
Elsewhere in the capital, about 700 mostly young people held a rally with music and balloons in support of abortion rights. One banner read, "Not the pope, not the president, I will decide myself."
Doesn’t it strike you as odd that terminating the lives of unborn children is a reason for celebration, music, balloons and who knows what else. Does anyone know the birth rates for Poland, I wonder if these happy folks will be just as celebratory in 40 years time when there are no children to carry on the family name. That is if there any families anymore, I see we’ve ditched sexist terms like wife and husband for ‘partner’ now.

Coming back to the article, see the same event as reported by the BBC, 3000 marched in favor of a total ban on abortion, while 1000 described as pro-choice held a rally. I’m inclined to believe the BBC has been a bit loose with their numbers, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. The pro-lifers are described as ‘extreme-right wing’, so being unhappy about killing the unborn now makes you an extremist, next they’ll be labeling us insurgents or terrorists.

They also talk about a woman who is going blind now because she was denied an abortion, apparently a Strasbourg court ruled that Poland violated her human rights. She already had two children so perhaps she shouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place, but that’s just mean old bastard me. These things just happen you know, like tripping on the foot path, just an accident and nobody’s fault really, however the baby must die.

The BBC ends by saying, “Polish women's rights groups estimate there are just 200 legal abortions performed every year.” Yes ‘just 200’, so the implication is that if you want to claim to have proper women’s rights then don’t come here waffling about 200 abortions a year. You better go back and try a few thousand or a million or so, then we’re talking adequate women’s rights.

Remember what I told you about ending human life.

Playing the race card

0 comments
America's favourite "get out free" card

Economy Drive "racist"

As with the Oliphant story below, any action taken by an employer to deal with an un-co-operative black is "racist" -- this time in Toledo. Democrat Mayor Carty Finkbeiner fired Perlean Griffin because she refused a new job assignment -- whereupon she accused him of racism:

"A long-time city employee, Ms. Griffin was terminated Tuesday after she refused to support the mayor's restructuring of the affirmative action-contract compliance office.

The mayor's plan to eliminate an $11.9 million budget deficit calls for affirmative action to move under the department of human resources and contract compliance to fold into the finance department....

Later, Mr. Finkbeiner denied to reporters during his news conference in the mayor's conference room on the 22nd floor that he was racist, and insisted the fallout over the last week was caused by a "personality conflict" between Ms. Griffin and Theresa Gabriel, the director of human resources.

"Ms. Griffin told me that directly," he said. "I told her she would be able to run an independent operation, as she has been doing. She refused to go to work at human resources, and that was her call."

"The simple truth of the whole issue has nothing to do with anything other than Ms. Griffin's lack of willingness to work in the human resource department because of a personality conflict," Mr. Finkbeiner said.

Source

It seems that behavior that would never be tolerated from a white must be tolerated from a black or a Muslim. If that's not racism and bigotry, I don't know what would be.






A Profitable Race Card

We read:

"Bill Oliphant thinks he's been suspended from officiating basketball and baseball games because he's black. The local boards that represent both sports say that's not true, and they're outraged over Oliphant's accusations....

Both organizations claim Oliphant hasn't followed their procedures or regulations regarding meeting attendance or certification, but he said they are using this as a cover to deny him assignments....

Two of the approximately 43 referees who officiate varsity boys' and girls' basketball games in Orange County are black: Otis Cowart and T.C. Wilmer, a female. "I'm not aware of any discrimination," Cowart said. "I know Bill is unhappy, he has a dilemma, but I don't think it's about discrimination or racism. There have been no problems for me."....

This isn't the first time Oliphant has taken a case to U.S. District Court. He and Sussman settled with the Central Hudson Valley Board of Girls Softball Officials last year for $20,000, according to sources familiar with the case. The case centered around Oliphant missing a mandatory meeting and not paying a $25 fine. He and his lawyer maintained Oliphant attended a meeting in Rockland County and, again, said the incident was driven by discrimination.

Bobby Moran, secretary/treasurer of the organization from 2001-05, said he thinks the case hurt the group financially. Sources confirmed that the softball board's members paid $5,000 of the settlement, the other $15,000 coming from an insurance policy with the state association. The board had to pay another $5,800 in legal fees. Dues have gone up this year from $50 to $65 and several sources say softball umpires are turning down assignments with Oliphant.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why," said Moran, also a basketball official. "It's unfortunate the way this has all gone down. But nobody wants to step up and say anything because they are afraid they will get sued."

Several officials interviewed echoed Moran's sentiments and said that Oliphant is arrogant, often unprofessional and chronically late to meetings and games. Documents obtained by the Times Herald-Record confirmed that in 2004 two softball umpires - Moran and Steve Aurigemma - asked not to work with Oliphant....

Source


(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

IRRELEVANT EXPERTISE: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CONSULT A ZOOLOGIST ABOUT STATISTICS

0 comments
We read:

The British government was advised against publicly criticising a report estimating that 655,000 Iraqis had died due to the war, the BBC has learnt. Iraqi Health Ministry figures put the toll at less than 10% of the total in the survey, published in the Lancet. But the Ministry of Defence's chief scientific adviser said the survey's methods were "close to best practice" and the study design was "robust".

The Lancet medical journal published its peer-reviewed survey last October. It was conducted by the John Hopkins School of Public Health and compared mortality rates before and after the invasion by surveying 47 randomly chosen areas across 16 provinces in Iraq.

Shortly after the publication of the survey in October last year Tony Blair's official spokesperson said the Lancet's figure was not anywhere near accurate. He said the survey had used an extrapolation technique, from a relatively small sample from an area of Iraq that was not representative of the country as a whole.

But a memo by the MoD's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Roy Anderson [A zoologist], on 13 October, states: "The study design is robust and employs methods that are regarded as close to "best practice" in this area, given the difficulties of data collection and verification in the present circumstances in Iraq."

To see what statisticians experienced in the research method concerned say, see here and here. I am myself a much published user of that research method and I made the following comments last year:

None of the comments I saw appeared to be by people who are experienced users of cluster sampling -- the method used for the Lancet study. I am a VERY experienced user of cluster sampling -- with many of my academic publications based on it. And the glaring error which rather explains why the study appeared in a medical journal rather than a more statistically sophisticated journal is that there was NO VALIDATION of the survey results. That your survey-takers might just sit down under a tree and "make up" their "interview" results is a routine peril and it is routine to take precautions against it -- usually by going back on a later occasion and checking with the alleged respondents a proportion of all interviews handed in. Just the awareness that a sample of the respondents will be re-interviewed tends to keep the interviewers honest -- though not always so, regrettably. So the results reported in the Lancet study have no credibility at all and must be regarded as garbage.

It is astounding that the authors of the study were so naive. Perhaps they WANTED their interviewers to "fudge" the results -- making clear what the desired results would be, of course.

Another oddity in the Lancet article that suggests something peculiar about the authors is the claim that their interviewers were all DOCTORS -- and not just any doctors but doctors bilingual in Arabic and English. I have never seen the like of that before. Experienced interviewers of some kind were what was needed and that is what is usually used, not doctors. Can we really believe that a whole corps of these rare doctors abandoned their medical duties for so long in order to do something outside their normal expertise? If true it certainly suggests a heavy political committment on the part of the doctors concerned -- exactly what one would NOT want in a study claiming to be objective. To me the whole claim seems like the sort of "gilding the lily" that con-men engage in.

Other critics have noticed other vast implausibilities in the results reported -- the amazingly high (98%) success-rate at getting people to consent to an interview, for instance --- garbage, garbage garbage. And the lie about the death certificates actually shows how bogus the results were.

"Those guys were not even trying to do real research. It was just a propaganda circus. I strongly support Moore's point about the survey's lack of demographic information. That is so unthinkable in survey research that the article would never have been published in an academic journal that knew anything about survey research. The Lancet should stick to medicine.

And as Iraq Body Count note:

"Between January and June 2006, there were 91 violent deaths recorded by the Lancet survey. This would correspond to over 180,000 deaths in the first 6 months of 2006, and an average rate of 1,000 per day. The daily death rate over the same period based on UN reports (which sum Baghdad morgue and Ministry of Health data) is 80 violent deaths per day. Cumulated media reports provide a somewhat lower figure. If the Lancet extrapolation is sound, this would imply a further 920 violent deaths every day (1000 minus 80) which have been recorded by neither officials nor the media. As these are averages, some days would see many more deaths, and others substantially fewer, but in either case, all of them would remain unnoticed."

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

So Sorry?

0 comments
Look at this ridiculous little jelly of a man.

He’s ‘so sorry’. . .



But ‘so sorry’ for what? ‘So sorry’ for slavery? ‘So sorry’ for his part in it? But he played no part in it. ‘So sorry’ for his forebears part in it? But they played no part in it, either (other than, quite possibly - in his specific case - to end it).

So what is this vapid little cultural harridan ‘so sorry’ for?

Apparently, thanks to the vile pogrom being run by the BBC, he believes he should be ‘so sorry’ for Britain's, his nation’s, ‘role’ (so-called) in the slave trade. . .

What utter bullshit! The problem for our self-hating little lefty is, of course, that his nation’s only role was to end slavery; to uphold liberty; to elevate right over wrong. His nation’s only ‘crime’ was to be the shining beacon of sanity, as it so often was.

It’s so unbelievably typical, though, that the left would find some way to turn this into a ‘wrong’; that it would, yet again, spin the line to the point that white is indeed black. . .

Back to vapid boy; the unpleasant little brat who, like the rest of his mindset, has grasped with both hands the magical PC fairy wand of ‘beat me quick’, and now promotes the notion that his people (and he, we must assume) were evil - and are evil still.

The real caption for this little creep’s T-shirt is a very different one, of course.

It should read: ‘So grateful’.

The fact is, he’d rather choke.

The second coming

0 comments
Did anyone else in Australia, who happened to watch a bit of television last night, notice the David Hicks story? Was it just me or did it seem like Christ was returning, breathless news readers bringing us up-to-the-second coverage, in-between programs, of Hicks appearance before a US military tribunal? On and on it went, he is about to appear, almost there, in hours, not yet, but stay tuned, he may appear, he’s about to appear… er guys I’m running out of one-liners here. It was almost as if Australians around the country were on the edges of their seats, chewing nervously at their finger nails waiting to catch a glimpse of Hicks. Maybe the local media outlets are unaware but it’s really only a few commie latte-sippers who were tossing, turning and fretting last night.

Well this morning, I heard more of this on the radio but turns out it was a waste of space, the fellow appeared and refused to make a plea. So for the last 5 years we have been raked over the coals, we were subjected to endless whining, where is the justice, just bring him home to face a trial, he is entitled to face a court. Yeah it would help if he could, like you know, make up his mind on whether to plead guilty or not. So don’t blame the Bush administration for not trying him, after 5 years he’s now facing a court and still can’t decide, perhaps Gitmo isn’t the North Korean style Gulag we were all led to believe.

Coming back to the reporting of this, well this morning it hadn’t improved much, one reporter gushed that he had long hair and spoke with numerous accents, I think the fool was implying he was speaking with an Arabic accent or something, that’s sure to win over the above mentioned commie latte-sippers. If it had been a French accent they’d have been outside Kirribilli house screaming at Howard ‘to pull the finger out’ and send the bloody SAS to bloody get him back here. I could be wrong on this, but I’m sure the pro-Hicks crowd will soon tell us we have to bring him back before he becomes more radicalized or loses his Australian accent and hence would be a great loss to Australia.

She also let slip that he gained weight and wasn't looking gaunt and hollow as we were told, see we told you stupid commie latte sippers that Gitmo wasn’t all that bad, but did you listen, no like insolent whiny brats you just carried on carping as always.

To cut a long story short, two of his lawyers were kicked out due to a technicality, one was still on civilian status and the other one was just being difficult, he refused to sign a document and had a good whinge about it and stormed off. All in all it was a complete non-event, a waste of space, but stay tuned folks, the left will continue to foist their messiah upon us no matter how boring and uneventful.

News reports here, here and here.

Update (no I'm still on Hicks)

Hicks has pleaded guilty, needless to say leftists will be carping about the unfairness of the trial and all that.

Now can we dispense with the courtroom antics, take him out the back and find a tree, post haste. Now that's an event I'll be on the edge of my seat for.

The BBC’s Slavery Campaign

0 comments
I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but Britain’s BBC has been running a campaign for the last several months (at least), trying to get Britain to don yet another hair shirt, this time over its supposed ‘role’ in slavery – the trade it actually dispatched its navy to stop. So now the BBC asks for your responses to its wonderful campaign. . .

Should reparations for slavery be paid?

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, says the Church of England needs to consider whether it should pay reparations for its own part in slavery. The Church's missionary wing owned slaves on plantations in the West Indies.

Tony Blair has expressed Britain's "deep sorrow and regret" for its role in the slave trade.

But the Church is now considering a more significant act of restoration.

What do you think of Dr Williams remarks? Should reparations be paid? What are the main consequences of slavery today? How should we mark this 200th anniversary?
Just a few responses from readers around the globe (and the overwhelming majority, I’m delighted to report):

A "sins of the father" argument is untenable; a "possible sins of the great-great-great grandfather" argument is absurd.

The fact remains that slavery existed in Africa since time immemorial, and was only suppressed during the time from the early 19th century to the mid 20th, whatever the rest of the world's debt to slavery, I say as an American that Britain paid its debt many times over by holding back the trade for as long as it did. Rule Brittania!

It happened hundreds of years ago, get over it. End of story.

Would all these descendents be better off living in Africa today or in the UK or America? The only thing holding the descendents back from the success that other minorities achieve is that today's Black "Leaders" greed is similar to that of the Black Leaders who sold the slaves in the first place. Assimilate in your society and throw off the shackles of low expectations!

So the British should make reparations for the slave trade. Very good. We'll pay up just as soon as the Roman Empire makes reparations to the British for making us their slaves.

Who ever suggested that reparations should be done is a complete moron!
It would be like me trying to sue someone for the torment my ancestors went through, I'm damn sure those Romans enslaved them and as their decendant I have the mental scars!

The world is NOT a nice fluffy place, it never has been, slavery was perfectly acceptable back then it was the way the world worked "I'm can kick your butt so do my bidding!" So reparation is like sending your grandkids to prison for your crime!

IN A WORD----------NO you ,bbc have opened a hornets nest with the publicity and as for that silly bishop why sould we pay for something that happened 200 years ago for instance, the church of england would be bancrupt, harewood house and its vast land, would have to be sold off come on it is fast going too far

My ancestors came to the USA from Europe at various times in the past - All settled in the north, none were slave owners - Some of my ancestors in the USA during the civil war fought on the northern side - some died. Some of my ancestors were abolutionists and participated in running the underground railroad which smuggled slaves to freedom via Canada. Why should I or any other guiltless person be required to contribute to reparations for the great great grandchildren of former slaves

Why pay reparation for something that happened 200 years ago. once again the bleeding heart liberals at the bbc spew this rubbish out on every news bulletin. look at the money WE give in aid and watch how it disappears to corrupt African governments. i did not vote for a government that wants to squander our money in an Africa that is still so corrupt. most of these slaves were sold to the traders by their own people.

No, reparations shouldn't be paid. Society changes and at the time of slavery, society accepted the use of African slaves. 1000's of years ago, White slaves were common place in Rome and Ancient Egypt also had their slaves. Should reparations be paid for that time in history as well? Reparations are silly .. to punish the society that freed the people is insane and will only create hostilities and second guessing to the value of the people asking for reparations.

If i read one more idiot on here suggesting i pay compensation for a 200 year old slavery problem, then thats it, i'm off to Scandinavia to sort out remuneration for the Viking pillaging and then down to France to demand an explanation for 1066!

The English were enslaved by the Romans, Saxons, Vikings and Normans, and today the majority are tax slaves of a Labour Government voted for by 22% of the electorate. So as Scotsmen Tony Blair and Gordon Brown should be apologising to the English tax slaves whose money they have wasted. Reparation should be made to students in England to repay student loans.
The only role Britain played, as a nation, in the slave trade, was to single-handedly enforce its end. Rather than making reparations, maybe Britain, as a nation, should be sending an invoice. . .

Update: the Bishop of Rochester has his say:

Politicians, religious leaders and social activists have all joined in to bewail the undoubted horrors of slavery and to apologise for British complicity in this social evil.

Those marching have been shackled hand and foot and have been wearing sweatshirts saying: "So sorry."

And yet this should be a time of celebration and of thanksgiving for Britain's role in bringing this great oppression and cruelty to an end. Why do the leaders and people of this country find it so difficult to acknowledge their achievements and to recognise the true source of their moral commitments?

If a civilisation is constantly criticised, run down and apologised for, the danger is that its virtues will cease to flourish.
Why? Because they're leftist tossers. And this is what leftist tossers do. . .

The Weakest Link

0 comments
While the lefties shriek that more should have been done in Afghanistan (and nothing should have been done in Iraq), I think it’s quite important to question what more we could have done – that is if we didn’t want to declare war on Pakistan as well. Relying on the Pakistani government to do a good deal of its own housework (with the exception of a number of joint raids and assaults, and for obvious reasons), is shaping up to being one of our weakest links.

Rival militants clash in Pakistan

Nearly 50 people have been killed after rising tension between local tribesmen and foreign militants in north-west Pakistan erupted into fierce fighting. Heavy shelling has raged since Monday near Wana in the South Waziristan tribal area close to Afghanistan. Most of those killed were militants from Uzbekistan suspected of links with al-Qaeda, officials said. At least two children also died in the crossfire.

The area is a stronghold of the Taleban, who have close ties to local tribes.

It is also home to hundreds of foreign militants who fled the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Could the Taliban have been headed off, before escaping across the frontier, and wiped out (assuming the lefties would have condoned such action, of course – a silly question, really)? The question assumes that the Taliban’s wellspring was and is Afghanistan. Moving back to the main question, however, there are solid indications that this situation may be getting worse.

The security situation in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province continues to deteriorate. Once again, Western pressure on the government of President Pervez Musharraf has failed to prevent Pakistan from handing over territory to the Taliban, this time to a group called the Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Laws. On March 17, a Pakistani "peace" committee struck a verbal agreement with the Mohmand tribe, under which the government promised to cease military activity in Bajaur in exchange for the tribe's promise not to shelter "foreigners" or allow cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

A look at the players shows this agreement to be another pact with the devil.
Why the devil? Simple, the people Musharraf is negotiating with effectively inspired and sponsored the Taliban.

Faqir Muhammad is a senior leader of the Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Laws, which provided the ideological inspiration to the Afghan Taliban in the 1990s. Faqir's group sent over 10,000 fighters into Afghanistan to fight U.S. forces during Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001.

Since the signing of the Waziristan Accord on September 5, 2006, essentially ceding North Waziristan to the Taliban and al Qaeda, attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan have skyrocketed.
While in the US, we have the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Carl Levin, saying, "Long-term prospects for eliminating the Taliban threat appear dim so long as the sanctuary remains in Pakistan, and there are no encouraging signs that Pakistan is eliminating it”, no one appears to be talking much about the long-term threat to (and from) Pakistan itself.

Given the extremist nature of a significant number of Pakistan’s Muslims, not to mention the significant support originally given to the Taliban from elements of the Pakistani military and secret service, Pakistan is now shaping up as a very real potential problem.

If Musharraf were to be deposed, and let’s face it, the Pakistanis have form in this area (and there have been several assassination attempts already), we could be facing a very real, very new, and very deadly Islamic threat entirely:

Pakistan's nukes.

Hero British fireman faces official punishment for risking his life in a rescue

0 comments
This really IS the Unhinged Kingdom

A fireman is facing disciplinary action after plunging into a river to rescue a drowning woman. Tam Brown, 42, is the subject of an internal investigation by Tayside Fire and Rescue because he breached safety rules during the rescue in the River Tay in Perth. He spent eight minutes in the cold water and at one stage feared that he would be swept to his death. But after dragging the 20-year-old woman to safety he was told by his employer that he had acted improperly by risking his life.

Mr Brown, who has 15 years' experience as a fireman, was hailed as a hero by the young woman's family but Tayside Fire and Rescue said that he had broken the brigade's "standing instructions" on safety procedures.

He said yesterday: "I was expected to watch that young girl die in front of me. As a father and a caring human being, I couldn't live with myself if I'd had to do that."

The woman, who has not been identified, is believed to have jumped into the river on March 6 as "a cry for help". A member of the public called 999 and she was thrown a rope, but she was in danger of being sucked under by the current.

Many drowning victims die before the emergency services arrive. Mr Brown said: "We had seconds to act. The girl was losing consciousness. We had one harness, so I put that on and went down 20ft on a safety line, grabbed her and held her out of the water. My colleagues tried to pull us towards steps, but the current was so bad and the rope was pulled so hard it snapped. "My own life hung in the balance as I swam for the steps with her in my arms. But we got there and were pulled out. I was in the water for eight minutes and it was heart-stoppingly cold, but we saved her."

The brigade's rules state: "Personnel should not enter the water." The fire crew should instead have tried to haul the woman out using poles and ropes. Stephen Hunter, chief fire officer of Tayside Fire and Rescue, admitted that fire engines in Perth were not equipped with the correct poles and ropes, but insisted that Mr Brown had broken the rules. He said: "Firefighter safety is of paramount importance to us. Although our duties include rescues from flooding, there is no statutory obligation to carry out rescues from moving water. "We know they broke procedure because we know he went into the water. We are investigating exactly what happened, and once that is concluded we will consider what action is necessary. That could include disciplinary action."

Steve Hill, chairman of the Perth branch of the Fire Brigades Union, said: "Not one senior officer has congratulated Tam or the other officers who attended that night. They should be elated they saved a life but are traumatised that they face disiplinary action instead." He added: "Contradicting an order can lead to dismissal. If Tam hadn't gone in, the public might have tried to save her and we could have ended up with several dead."

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

More religion of peace and tolerance.

0 comments
Incase your local news outlet forgets to let you know about the warmth, love and tolerance you infidels may receive in certain parts of the world. Oh and also remember this the next time some gasbag leftist tells you that we need to accommodate or appease, look where it got the French.
Security forces have been called in to tackle riots at a Yemen gas plant where a copy of the Koran is said to have been desecrated, security sources say. Hundreds of rioting workers burnt cars and a helicopter at the French-run facility, sources told news agencies.

"After a fight between a French engineer and another who is Yemeni, the Frenchman - to enrage the Yemeni - threw a Koran on the floor in an offensive way," a local official told AFP news agency, requesting anonymity.
If I were a Frenchman, I wouldn’t let anyone know that on my holiday in Mystic Yemen. In other slightly more embarrassing news.
Australia's obesity crisis has forced health officials to revamp their fleet of ambulances to cope with a sharp rise in overweight patients. Super-sized vehicles have been introduced and new air ambulances will be remodelled to carry heavier people.

In a recent case in Sydney it took 16 people several hours to take an injured man from his home to hospital. He weighed about 400kg (69 st) and had broken his leg. Emergency workers had to demolish part of his house to lift him out.
Come on Australia, get off your bums and lose some pounds, this is not just expensive since we the tax payer is coughing up to carry your ass around, it’s also embarrassing.

BBC pays 200,000 pounds to 'cover up report on anti-Israel bias'

0 comments
The BBC has been accused of "shameful hypocrisy" over its decision to spend 200,000 pounds blocking a freedom of information request about its reporting in the Middle East. The corporation, which has itself made extensive use of FOI requests in its journalism, is refusing to release papers about an internal inquiry into whether its reporting has been biased towards Palestine.

BBC chiefs have been accused of wasting thousands of pounds of licence fee payers money trying to cover-up the findings of the so called Balen Report into its journalism in the region, despite the fact that the corporation is funded by the British public. The corporation is fighting a landmark High Court action, which starts next week, in a bid to prevent the public finding out what is in the review, which is believed to be critical of the BBC's coverage in the region.

BBC bosses have faced repeated claims that is coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict has been skewed by a pro-Palestianian bias. The corporation famously came under fire after middle-east correspondent Barbara Plett revealed that she had cried at the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004.

The BBC's decision to carry on pursuing the case, despite the fact than the Information Tribunal said it should make the report public, has sparked fury as it flies in the face of claims by BBC chiefs that it is trying to make the corporation more open and transparent. Politicians have branded the BBC's decision to carry on spending money, hiring the one of the country's top public law barrister in the process, as "absolutely indefensible".

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

You know it's true

0 comments
The other day, I posted that, "Any policy or ideology that ends human life and/or hinders human progress will win the quiet support of the left. On ending human life though, they are against ending the lives of mass murderers, rapists, pedophiles etc, simply because if you start hanging pedophiles and mass murderers, that might deter other such scum from doing the same and hence fewer human lives will be destroyed."

At the time I offered proof of this, here, here and here. Well, I found more evidence of 'hindrance to human progress', let me share an article by Melanie Phillips with you.
As part of a drive to admit more students from disadvantaged backgrounds, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) says applicants will now be asked to declare whether their parents have degrees or other higher education qualifications.
Let me jump in and add to this. If any of us were filling out such an application and knew that the educational standing of our parents would be a disadvantage to us, I’m willing to bet that very few of us would be dumb enough to tell the truth. I’m also willing to bet that the leftists have thought of this already and will find a way to angle in ways to check up on our personal histories. Don’t bother thinking that you have a right to privacy and all that, that’s only in place to protect convicted pedophiles and for hardcore jihadists to plot our downfall in peace.
The ostensible reason is to widen participation at university by compensating for disadvantage and thus creating a level playing field. In effect, it means that if you are unfortunate enough to have white parents who have degrees and good jobs, the university admissions process will be rigged against you. However well-qualified you may be, however hard you have worked and however good your exam grades, you stand to lose your chance of a university place to someone who can tick all the right boxes about their parents’ circumstances.

This, we are told, is necessary to create a fairer society. And why stop at parents? Why not also discriminate against those applicants whose grandparents went to university? Isn’t such third generation advantage even worse?
Once they’re done with your parents, you can bet they’ll be on to your grandpa and grandma as well. Do you know where else the sins of the grandparents are held against their children and their children? That’s right, North Korea, who said leftists don’t like brutal dictatorships.
Clearly, in the interests of diversity and widening participation, the only people who should go to university are the black children of lone alcoholic mothers and fathers who are doing time for drug offences, and who were brought up by illiterate foster parents who sexually abused them in a mobile home up an isolated dirt track in Cumbria.
So how does this fit in with the ‘hindering progress’ bit, well it doesn’t end human life but, Phillips explains.
Not only is it monumentally unfair, but it is also self-defeating. The whole point is supposedly to help people escape from disadvantage in order to succeed in life. But discriminating in this way against those who have succeeded is obviously a powerful disincentive to succeeding in the first place.
Melanie Phillips goes on to explain how the government has, for years, dumbed-down the educational standards and this is just the next step. Here are the results.
Between 2002 and 2005, the proportion of university entrants from state schools and the lowest social classes fell. Social mobility has actually gone backwards as a result of the collapse of educational standards across the board.
See here for the results of a report that was released in November 2006. Basically, up to 3.3 million children are receiving inadequate education in Britain, despite a record spending of 400 billion pounds on education. Mission accomplished.

Unfortunately, for hardcore leftists that is, they can’t establish a North Korean style dictatorship to destroy us humans in the western world. It’s that democracy thing that stands in their way, so they have to do it by stealth and they are. The onus is on us, the public, to examine their policies for what they are and learn from the mistakes of others and our own.

Being Fed to the. . .

0 comments
IRAN is threatening to retaliate in Europe for what it claims is a daring undercover operation by western intelligence services to kidnap senior officers in its Revolutionary Guard.

According to Iranian sources, several officers have been abducted in the past three months and the United States has drawn up a list of other targets to be seized with the aim of destabilising Tehran’s military command.

In an article in Subhi Sadek, the Revolutionary Guard’s weekly paper, Reza Faker, a writer believed to have close links to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, warned that Iran would strike back. “We’ve got the ability to capture a nice bunch of blue-eyed blond-haired officers and feed them to our fighting cocks,” he said.
I’m kind of hoping something got lost in translation here, but you never do know. . .

Britain: Throwing celery now incorrect! (It's true)

0 comments
Even though it has never done any harm. Hard to imagine that it could!

Is the right to bear celery a civil liberties issue? It certainly wasn't what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted the US constitution. However, this week's news that Chelsea Football Club has banned celery from Stamford Bridge has pushed this humble vegetable to the forefront of the civil rights agenda. To paraphrase Voltaire: I don't like to eat celery, but I'll defend to the death your right to throw it.

Celery throwing, in case you weren't aware, is a slightly surreal Chelsea tradition that dates back to the 1980s. The vegetable throwing is an accompaniment to the famous `Celery song', a paean to the erotic properties of the humble apium graveolens dulce: `Celery, celery, if she don't come, I'll tickle her bum, with a lump of celery'.

Until this week the origins of the chant were a mystery to me. However, after trawling football websites, I came across the theory that the chant is based on a Chas and Dave recording of a traditional cockney singalong called `Ask Old Brown To Tea'. Not being particularly familiar with the Chas and Dave canon, I consulted my friend Ed, a self-confessed aficionado of the London pub rockers. He confirmed that the Chas and Dave connection was correct. The original lyric was, `Ask Old Brown to tea, and his family, if he don't come, I'll tickle his bum, with a lump-a celery'. Chas and Dave recorded a version on an old Christmas album, which then became a hit among travelling Chelsea fans on a tour of Sweden in 1981, and a tradition was born.

However, the football authorities haven't always taken kindly to celery throwing. In 1996, Gillingham FC banned celery from the Priestfield stadium after a goalkeeper complained that he had been struck by the vegetable. In 2002, four Chelsea fans were prosecuted and fined for `throwing celery without lawful authority' during the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham. The latest clampdown on celery throwing came after the Carling Cup Final, when Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas was showered with celery as he went to take a corner. Fabregas wasn't injured by the flying vegetables. In fact, the young midfielder, who is probably used to an entirely different calibre of makeshift missile in his native Spain, looked rather bewildered.

Although nobody was hurt, the FA has launched an investigation into this and another celery-throwing incident involving Chelsea fans and the club has decided to make Stamford Bridge a celery-free zone. `The throwing of anything at a football match, including celery, is a criminal offence for which you can be arrested and end up with a criminal record', said a statement on the club's website. `In future, if anyone is found attempting to bring celery into Stamford Bridge they could be refused entry and anyone caught throwing celery will face a ban.'

As I've argued before on spiked, a policy of banning specific objects that might be used as missiles will always be subverted by human ingenuity (1). If celery is banned, then fans will simply throw coins, cigarette lighters, or mobile phones instead. In 2002, a linesman was struck by a half-eaten meat pie at Millwall's New Den. Is a bunch of celery more hazardous than a meat pie? How many people, I wonder, have been injured by celery at a football match? According to Home Office figures there were 78 arrests for missile throwing in the 2005/6 season, only 16 of which were at Premiership matches (2). The fact that only seven Chelsea fans were arrested for throwing missiles in all competitions last season doesn't suggest a particularly widespread problem. Moreover, it is not possible to tell from the statistics whether these arrests were for chucking celery or more bog standard projectiles such as coins or plastic bottles.

The police may, of course, have been taking a softly-softly approach to celery throwing, so I contacted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to find out whether flying celery is a health hazard. `I don't think we can find any instances of people struck by vegetables at sporting fixtures,' Roger Vincent from the RoSPA press office told me. Vincent thought that, while throwing bunches of celery might be dangerous, there wasn't anything wrong with fans waving the vegetable. (Perhaps Chelsea fans should follow the lead of the campaign for safe standing and start a `safe celery' campaign.)

Next I tried the Football Licensing Authority (FLA), which was set up after the Hillsborough disaster to oversee stadium safety. According to the FLA website, the rate of fan injuries at football matches in the 2005/6 season was one injury per 32,449 spectators, of which 65 required hospital treatment (3). Two thirds of these injuries resulted from trips, falls or contact with turnstiles, while half of the remaining injuries were scalds from hot drinks. What about flying vegetables then? I rang the FLA to find out. `There is nothing on record to say anyone's been injured by a vegetable,' said Nikki Rutherford who compiles the FLA injury statistics. `We did have one person choking on a meat pie but that was about all,' she added. So, there you have it, the half-time catering is far more hazardous to spectators than flying celery.

Chelsea might be despised for their new-found wealth and success but celery throwing remains one of their more endearing traits. The spectacle of thousands of Chelsea fans singing their lewd ditty and hurling celery is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of most football fans, regardless of club allegiance. However, the football authorities evidently fail to see the funny side. Celery is now salata non grata at Stamford Bridge. Worse still, the club is urging supporters to ring a special hotline and inform on anyone seen throwing celery inside the stadium. A celery hotline, for Christ's sake! George Orwell himself couldn't have made it up.

Source


(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

DRAT!

0 comments
Yet another one of my websites has gone out of existence. Background: I have always had a website in webspace provided by my ISP but one does of course lose that if one changes to another ISP. And some ISP websites I have known have had big glitches that make them of only limited use. So I have always had "backup" websites with my writings on them. But the backup sites nearly all seem to be run by arrogant nerds who feel free to delete a customer's account any time they like. And they do like. I have never tried to keep track of it all but there must be about 10 addresses where my writings once appeared but which now just give an error message. The latest such is here.

I have enquired why the site just mentioned was deleted but got only a form-letter reply that gave me no clue about what my sin was in their eyes. The fact that I occasionally mention the most obscene four letter word of the modern age -- "r*ce" -- probably accounts for a lot of the cancellations I have had. Using that word makes me guilty of "hate speech" of course and webspace providers usually seem to have a "policy" about that. That I use the word in a scholarly way is obviously too deep a distinction for a lot of nerds.

The most reliable hosting service for me has in fact been blogspot -- though they go offline for a short while every now and then. Anyway, I cope with the unreliability of it all by putting up multiple copies of everything I write in different places on the net. So if my writings cease to be available in one place they will still be available somewhere else. The three "home pages" I list at the bottom of all postings here are all to sites that DO currently work most of the time and that do have most of my writings on them. So if at first you don't succeed, don't keep trying: try another one!

If blogspot ever bans me that will be pretty pesky (they DO delete blogs on "hate speech" grounds. See e.g. here) so keep handy a link to my only Wordpress blog -- IMMIGRATION WATCH -- in case that happens. I will use the Wordpress site to redirect readers to new non-blogspot sites in case that should ever be needed. The owners of blogspot are of course G*ogle -- which is why I generally mention their name in modified form only. I want to be as far below their radar as possible. They DO run searches to see what people are saying about them. There are around 1500 other blogs that link to Dissecting Leftism alone so all those links would become dead if blogspot got nasty with me.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

We Lose

0 comments
What a massive own-goal this is:

THE US House of Representatives has defied President George W. Bush, voting to impose a September 1, 2008, deadline for withdrawing all American combat troops from Iraq.

In a mostly partisan 218-212 vote, House Democrats succeeded in attaching the deadline to legislation authorizing more than $124 billion in emergency funds, mostly for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this year.

The vote was a significant victory for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and her fellow Democrats who took control of Congress in last November's elections on a pledge to end the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq.

“We're going to make a difference with this bill. We're going to bring those troops home,” said Rep. John Murtha, his voice cracking with emotion. It's a historic moment for our party and a historic moment for our country,” Pelosi said.
Words are insufficient to describe what a gibbering idiot this woman Pelosi is. Historic moment? It certainly is. It has broadcast to our enemies that the leader of the Western world hasn’t the will to fight anymore (not to mention where its greatest weakness lies); it has shown without a shadow of a doubt that we haven't the will for the hard yards in the face of consummate evil. You’ll see a concerted effort to step up insurgent attacks from this point on [see the update below]. We can only hope the surge will keep their heads down, but the Jihadis and the Ba’athists now see light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to their greatest ally and the gaping great chink in our armour: the Western left.

A resurgent 'insurgent' vigour is pretty much now guaranteed. I won’t even mention how this must affect the morale of the troops on the ground.

All but two House Republicans voted against the legislation, which they say will tie military leaders' hands and contribute to failure in Iraq.
Two gutless weasels.

House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio warned, “We have no choice but to win. If we fail in Iraq, you'll see the rise even further and faster of radical terrorism all around the world.”

Duncan Hunter, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, slammed the bill as being "detrimental to our national security and injurious to our military" because of the August 2008 pullout provision.

"Is there a strategic rationale for this date? Nothing that I have seen on the ground in Iraq - and I was there just 10 days ago - suggests that Congress should force a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq and tie the hands of American military commanders," Mr Hunter said today.
Hunter is right. This has nothing to do with any strategic rationale, other than ensuring failure. Split along two fairly distinct lines, one half of the lot who voted for (or supported) this wants its own country screwed, the other half just wants to screw anything to do with the current POTUS, no matter what the cost. Either way, we’re all screwed.

If the globe had been united in removing a vicious mass-murderer from minute one – as it should have been, if the (hollow) words of bodies such as the UN were to mean anything at all (which they manifestly do not) – the outcome would have been totally different, and another victory against evil and despotism would have been won. The truth is, though, there are many among us who don’t mind mass-murdering tyrants (or mass-murdering, pretty much full stop) in the slightest – as demonstrated by their eager delight at the first opportunity to jump into the partisan point-scoring pit and start tossing marbles into the works. These people (and certain like-minded nations) were and are quite happy to see a creature like Saddam stay precisely where he is, doing more of this.

These moral midgets just don’t have the honesty to admit it.

Update: I’m going to resile from something I’ve said in this post: that there will be an upswing in violence. There won’t be (apart, possibly, from a few isolated attacks). Why should there be? They’ve won. In fact, further attacks of a similar scale would be totally counter-productive, and entirely runs against their long-term strategy (which is what the bombings have been all about). Now will be the time to foster resources for next year, when the Americans pull out. The impression of relative peace will also serve to lull everyone into a false sense of security: ‘See - we were right,’ the leftist dullards - our civilisation's idiot child - will all twitter.

And when the Americans do pull out?

Then it will hit the fan.

And only one guess what you'll be hearing from the Mao-monkeys then. . .

Act of War

0 comments
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Iranian naval vessels on Friday seized 15 British sailors and marines in disputed Persian Gulf waters off the coast of Iraq.

The Britons were assigned to a task force that protects Iraqi oil terminals and maintains security in Iraqi waters under authority of the U.N. Security Council.

Britain's Defense Ministry said the Royal Navy personnel were "engaged in routine boarding operations of merchant shipping in Iraqi territorial waters," and had completed a ship inspection when they were accosted by the Iranian vessels.

The seizure of the British vessels, a pair of rigid inflatable boats known as RIBs, took place in long-disputed waters just outside of the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway that divides Iraq from Iran, Cmdr. Kevin Aandahl, of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, said. A 1975 treaty divided the waters down the middle between Iraq and Iran, but the area remains disputed.

"It's been in dispute for some time," Aandahl said. "We've been operating there for a couple of years and we know the lines very well. This was a compliant boarding, this happens routinely. What's out of the ordinary is the Iranian response."
It’s suspected the Iranians are playing tit-for-tat over the recent arrest of their boys in Northern Iraq, who are still being held. The difference here is manifest. Are these British personnel going to be held hostage, now?

Coupled with their strident nuclear ambitions, the Iranians seem hell bent on stepping up the heat.

Muslims lose one

0 comments


We read:

"A Paris court today acquitted the editor of a satirical French weekly sued by two Muslim groups for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, in a case seen as a test for freedom of expression. Applause broke out in the courtroom at the announcement of the verdict, which ruled that three cartoons published by the weekly Charlie Hebdo in February 2006 were not insulting to Muslims.

The Paris Grand Mosque and the Union of Islamic Organisations of France took Philippe Val, the Charlie Hebdo editor, to court for reprinting cartoons that first appeared in a Danish newspaper, sparking angry protests by Muslims worldwide. They argued that the images drew an offensive link between Islam and terrorism and asked for 30,000 euros in damages.

Source

I cannot resist mentioning that the lawyer for the Paris Mosque was named Christophe Bigot. And Pajamas Media says it was not much of a victory.

I have never studied French but I think the first cartoon above says: "Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists" and "It is hard to be loved by fools" and the second says: "It is Charlie Hebdo's fault"

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN LENNON AND YOKO ONO

0 comments
Your morality is what guides you in your choices between right and wrong, good and evil. If you believe it's wrong to enjoy life in a successful capitalist society, you'll feel guilty about your high living standard and a disproportionate consumption of world's resources. By extension, you wouldn't want to miss the once-in-a-year opportunity to redeem your sins by supporting such a highly moral cause as an anti-war protest.

But what is the source of a morality that forbids to fight terrorism and views the United States as the enemy? Clearly it isn't rooted in the American tradition. Such a morality manifested itself on a massive scale for the first time in the 1960s. Many of today's protesters admittedly crave to recapture the spirit of those days. Many will be singing John Lennon's "Imagine."

My research has led me to the excerpts from Yoko Ono and John Lennon's articles published in the 1972 editions of Sundance magazine. Although attributed to John and Yoko jointly, they were written mostly by Yoko who clearly was the one wearing the pants. It should be a required read for everyone who would like to know where their otherwise lazy and cynical leftist opponents get their passionate idealistic convictions from. Here is a condensed list:

1. A collective hallucination can create objective reality.
2. "The fenceless and doorless world is soon to come." Obviously it's a good thing.
3. Middle America is stupid and "afraid of youth and the future."
4. People work not because they're glad to have a job but because they're being bullied into working by the "tyranny and suppression of the capitalists." (Karl Marx called and left a message).
5. Immature youth are "the aware ones"; traditional education and thought discipline is the enemy.
6. Material reality is evil.
7. "Come together rather than claim independence."
8. "Feel rather than think."
9. Immature and irresponsible behavior is a virtue.
10. Possessions are immoral. "Any possession that is more than what you need belongs to someone who needs it."
11. A worldwide revolution ("progress") is inevitable, and such a future "cannot be anything but brightness."
12. To resist the revolution is immoral because it prolongs people's suffering.
13. A society based on competitiveness and logic produces "hypocrisy, violence, and chaos."
14. A society based on love rather than reasoning will produce "balance, peace, and contentment."
15. To remove evil from this world men must be feminized (if you liked this one you will also like "The DaVinci Code" which is a 500-pages-long regurgitation of this very doctrine).

Absurdities may be a good material for rock lyrics, but presented as a life philosophy they are, well, absurd. Nonetheless, in the absence of logic and reason whose use had been abolished by liberal education, this psychobabble has become Holy Scripture of the new "progressive" religion. John's fame and his unfortunate martyrdom have turned these mind games into unquestionable prophecies. They might as well be called the Gospel of John and Yoko, from which generations of protesters have been religiously drawing their strength and moral fortitude. Can you say, "Imagine no religion?"

While Yoko may not be the original creator of these inanities, she certainly succeeded in presenting them as the original "Instant Flower Garden" combination package. Planted into the heads of faithful innocents, the seeds have grown into the bizarre efflorescence covering the left side of America's brain that we are dealing with today.

So many of these uncontested absurdities have been inserted as moral messages in popular novels, TV shows, and Hollywood movies, that one can only wonder how come they haven't yet become the country's official ideology. One might even suspect there's some ominous dark force in this society that is preventing a total compliance with the "progressive" morality. A conservative might identify the culprit as the good old common sense. But if you are a frustrated "progressive," you will either blame it on the American stupidity, or claim a criminal conspiracy. Either way you may become convinced that the culprit had better be eliminated with prejudice for the sake of the Greater Good.

If you believe the Gospel of John and Yoko represents a higher morality, you will naturally begin to resent such obstacles in the way of "progress" as reason, the rule of law, common sense, the need to be a master of your own life, and the responsibility for your own well-being. And since the United States of America was built on such values and remains their most dedicated proponent, any honest and consistent "progressive" is bound to develop a seething hatred towards this country.

In the "progressive" book of virtues, American values are the quintessence of evil. So if you are a "progressive" and you aren't mad at this country, that just means you're neither honest nor consistent. But then again, because living by this dead-end moral code is logically impossible, one has to resort to hypocrisy and seek compromises, forever balancing on the edge of madness.

Such mad morality is exactly what drives people into crowds at anti-war rallies. The fate of Iraq is not their biggest concern. Protesting the war is more of an excuse to take revenge for the daily torture of maddening hypocrisy and compromises with the "system." Believers in the Gospel of John and Yoko use these rallies to claim high moral ground, work out anxieties, seek reassurance - and some of the die-hards may even still harbor hope that a collective hallucination will somehow change the objective reality - just as the prophecy predicted.

As for the Iraqis - to hell with them! Let them all kill each other. "Progressives" have more pressing issues, struggling to maintain and expand their high moral ground. They have never cared about the lives of the people they claimed to protect. They didn't care about the Soviets, Cubans, Vietnamese, Cambodians, or Palestinians. It was always about them and their maddening inner struggles.

Granted, this mad dead-end morality has always existed in various forms around the world. But it was in the 1960s that it gained such massive proportions in this country - and has been growing ever since, affecting schools, culture, politics, and even science - occasionally winning the official status. So even if America had swallowed and digested a refutation of itself then, it has suffered such a severe poisoning that many toxins have reached as far as the Capitol Hill and settled there, resulting in Congress's erratic and self-destructive behavior.

Attempts to confront the lure of "progressive" ideology with facts and logic have failed and will continue to fail because the "progressive" faith is not based on facts and logic. It is based on morality and this is the ground on which it must be fought.

Conservatives who support their positions with economic and political data but give away high moral ground to the "progressives" are thereby admitting that their economic and political achievements are immoral - and thus have no right to exist. Those seeking middle ground and a moral compromise are thereby proposing that hypocrisy and absence of moral standards be made the law of the land. Guess what fish will grow most rapidly in those murky waters!

The only way to fight absurdity is by exposing it for what it is - an absurdity. The "progressive" morality based on logical fallacies and wishful thinking cannot sustain the life of a society or even one individual. It lures people with seemingly easy solutions to life's problems, but results in breeding hateful wrecks wallowing in their own madness, trapped in their communal moral dead end, longing for self-destruction and trying to drag the rest of us down with them.

Because the spreading of the "progressive" morality has always brought suffering and misery to real-life humans, it should be exposed as inhuman and condemned. It should be opposed with the true human morality that is based on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - the one that has proven to spread happiness, prosperity, and real progress without any quotation marks.

More here

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)