Types of leftists

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My fellow Brisbane blogger Leon Bertrand has had a stab at classifying Leftists -- which I reproduce with his permission below:

In the last eight years of my life I have encountered many leftists, from my year 12 English teacher to the left-wing mafia on the blogosphere and all the different left-wingers in between. Because I went to university for six years, in left-wing faculties, and was actively involved in fighting the left in student politics, I have, in my few years, become familiar with the different types of leftists.

Of course, this little guide to lefties is not intended to be exhaustive: undoubtedly there are many leftists who are hybrids of some of the types described here, and there are also some who wouldn't fit into any category. Nevertheless, this is an attempt to identify the varieties of leftists which exist in terms of their psychology, behaviours, hypocrisies, absurdities, motives and beliefs.





Naturally, I do not apologise for any offence caused, because this little ditty wouldn't be entertaining if it didn't describe with such frankness, clarity and lack of diplomacy.

The Scuppy. The trendy and wealthy type of leftist, otherwise known as “latte left” or “Chardonnay socialist”. Called scuppies because they are allegedly half-yuppie (even though some have children) and half-hippy. These types are more materialistic and fashionable than most other members of society, but at the same time oppose the capitalist system which provides them with all the luxuries they enjoy. They differentiate themselves from the rest of society with (usually expensive) trendy and alternative consumer choices, such as solar panels, organic food and Fairtrade coffee. As Andrew Bolt pointed out recently, “they care about the environment, but it’s a care manifested more by a seeming than a doing”. It could be said that these types are ‘left in name only’.
Examples: Heather Mills, Al Gore, Elle McPherson, Barack Obama.
Groupthink score: high
Hypocrisy score: extremely high
Extremism score: moderate
Totalitarian tendencies: low

The artist. This category covers the majority of performers and artists, whether they paint, star in Hollywood films or perform in plays. These people tend to think and vote left because they are highly emotional people, whose view of the world involves far more wishful idealism than rational analysis. As a result, they support socialistic policies because they yearn for equality between humans, which capitalism does not achieve. They also support social freedoms and believe in primarily compassionate immigration policies. Some journalists and commentators also fit into this category.
Examples: George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Daniel Johns, Bernard Fanning, Peter Garrett.
Groupthink score: extremely high (almost total)
Hypocrisy score: high
Extremism score: moderate
Totalitarian tendencies: low

The professional. These types of leftists populate the professional occupations, particularly academia, school teaching, the media and the law. They nearly always think of themselves as more enlightened than the rest of society because of their education and their progressive views. Many of them also are found on the blogosphere. These types tend to be well-informed on many issues, but intensely dislike those who disagree with them. This often manifests itself in conservatives achieving lower grades at university, and the banning of right-wingers on blogs. Whilst they are wise enough to have abandoned raw socialism, they still believe in economically destructive progressive policies such as inflexible labour markets, protectionism and the nationalisation of industries. Female members of this group are often strident feminists, who believe in affirmative action, women getting the majority of property settlements after marriage, oppose joint custody and want to have paid maternity leave forced upon taxpayers and employers. Members of this group also strongly oppose mandatory detention of asylum-seekers, and continually moan about the ALP not being left-wing enough. Most of the infamous ‘Howard haters’ belong to this group. They often confuse their right to free speech with the denial of the same rights to others.
Examples: Jeremy Sear, Larvatus Prodeo, Ken Lovell, Robert Manne, David Marr, Julian Burnside.
Groupthink score: high
Hypocrisy score: moderate
Extremism score: moderate
Totalitarian tendencies: moderate to high

The subversive. These types are often found still at university campuses. Usually part-time students or ex-students, they are characterized by their desire to overthrow the current capitalist order in favour of hard core socialism, anarchism or some extreme variant. Interestingly, most of them seem to come from wealthy middle-class families and expensive private schools, even though they stand for the abolition of all privileges. They also tend to eat at McDonald’s, Baskin n Robbins etc and drink coffee and soft drinks from multinationals. Many of them are psychotically violent, and aim to cause maximum disruption and violence towards people and property at major protests, such as the G-20 and APEC. They tend to belong to ultra left groups such as Socialist Alternative and the Socialist Alliance, where there are very high levels of radicalism and extremism. Most of them are socially inept and have been bullied at their private schools. Their capacity for reasoning or examining the facts carefully is usually non-existent. Their hatred towards those who shows contempt for their views is visceral, and they think of moderates and right-wingers as fascists, regressive, homophobes and racists.
Examples: Paul Coats, Paul Hood, Paul Jacobs, Cindy Sheehan.
Groupthink score: extremely high (usually total)
Hypocrisy score: high
Extremism score: extremely high.
Totalitarian tendencies: extremely high

The hippie. There are some lefties who very much mind their own businesses, don’t engage in violence, eat organic vegetarian food and sometimes smoke marijuana. When they participate in protests, they do so peacefully. Not as prominent as other lefties because their activity levels tend to be low. Nevertheless, they do have a strong desire to protect the environment, including fauna.
Examples: these types are too peaceful and quiet to ever become famous.
Groupthink score: high
Hypocrisy score: low
Extremism score: high.
Totalitarian tendencies: low

The Christian lefty. Unlike most other lefties, who tend to be non-believers or spiritually non-aligned, these types go to church, pray, etc, but support female priests, gay Catholics, etc. They are also strongly in favour of multiculturalism and very compassionate immigration policies, believing that Australians should ‘open their hearts’ (and their wallets) and embrace those wanting to come to Australia and live a better life. As Peter Saunders has pointed out, most employees in the Job Network charities fit this category, hence their occasional soft approach on non-compliant job-seekers. They strongly believe in kindness and compassion towards all, in many cases because they are too weak to hate or seek revenge.
Examples: Michael Kirby, Rowan Williams.
Groupthink score: high
Hypocrisy score: low
Extremism score: moderate.
Totalitarian tendencies: low

The Labor hack. This type tends to join the Labor Party soon after graduating from High School before working for an MP, a Senator or a trade union, and from there hoping to get elected to parliament themselves or becoming union bosses. Many of them are sneaky and determined people, intent on exploiting the webs of patronage, dynasties, alliances and affirmative action which exist in the ALP. Most of these types are primarily motivated by desires for power and social prestige, with the principles of their party nearly always taking a backseat. As a result, many of them tend to wax lyrical about the rights and dignity of employees, whilst not treating the employees they come into contact with very well at all. Whilst believing in equality, “social justice” and fairness, they usually boot-lick powerful people and look down on ordinary people. Often not very interested in ideas or policy at all.
Examples: Belinda Neal, John Della Bosca, Judy Spence, Doug Cameron, John Robertson.
Groupthink score: high
Hypocrisy score: high
Extremism score: low
Totalitarian tendencies: low

The Whitlamite. These types of lefties are usually from the ‘baby boom’, generation, where they protested for free love, gay rights, native title etc. Often they belonged to radical political groups and clashed with police officers in their youths, but have now moderated a little. Nevertheless, they still look back on the 1960’s and 1970’s with some nostalgia and still believe in what they were fighting for then. Naturally, these types consider the Whitlam government to be the best government Australia ever had, in spite of its poor economic management, and they yearn for the ALP to return to the agenda of that era. They hold Swedish socialism at the ideal, and want Australia to move in that direction.
Examples: Phillip Adams, John Cain, Gough Whitlam, Kim Carr.
Groupthink score: moderate
Hypocrisy score: low
Extremism score: moderate
Totalitarian tendencies: low

The Environmentalist. Like the subversive, this one is a fanatic with a psychotic temperament. Extreme animal rights activists fit this category. These types also resort to extreme methods, such as the committing of violent acts and criminal offences in order to further their ends. Many of them tend to be truthers, and sympathise with communism and other extreme ideologies.
Examples: You know who they are.
Groupthink score: very high
Hypocrisy score: low
Extremism score: very high
Totalitarian tendencies: very high


Legal disclaimer: The author does not consider that all examples of people necessarily fit every single characteristic of the type of leftist they have been listed as. Furthermore, this post is intended for comedy and entertainment only, and should therefore not be taken as a precise representation of the truth, or as a libelous post.

Posted by John Ray.



When lefties are in charge of education

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Times Online - Pupils are being rewarded for writing obscenities in their GCSE English examinations even when it has nothing to do with the question. One pupil who wrote “f*** off” was given marks for accurate spelling and conveying a meaning successfully. His paper was marked by Peter Buckroyd, a chief examiner who has instructed fellow examiners to mark in the same way. He told trainee examiners recently to adhere strictly to the mark scheme, to the extent that pupils who wrote only expletives on their papers should be awarded points.

To gain minimum marks in English, students must demonstrate “some simple sequencing of ideas” and “some words in appropriate order”. The phrase had achieved this, according to Mr Buckroyd. The chief examiner, who is responsible for standards in exams taken by 780,000 candidates and for training for 3,000 examiners, told The Times: “It would be wicked to give it zero, because it does show some very basic skills we are looking for – like conveying some meaning and some spelling. “It’s better than someone that doesn’t write anything at all. It shows more skills than somebody who leaves the page blank.”
So someone who swears obscenities at you is better than someone who is illiterate and probably doesn't hold animosity towards you, only lefties can spin it that way. It's real folks, don't believe me, believe the Times, you simply cannot make this stuff up. Folks like me are often quick to stick it to the left, and deservedly so, but even we who know what scumbags they can be are surprised at how bad it really is. You'd think the leftie government of Britain would like to rectify such absolute nonsense, no folks, they have more important things to do, like screw over the faith schools, you know those folks trying to instill some good Christian values into children, something that's desperately lacking in much of the western world. Heaven forbid, the children grow up to become hard working, dedicated, patriotic citizens with a sense of pride in themselves and their country, and with some morals and values. People who might not need anything from the welfare state, children who might not grow up to be crack-addicted, welfare queens.... have you gone completely insane!
Daily Mail - Faith schools are being subjected to a vicious Government witch-hunt which is undermining their independence, a report claims today. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Children's Secretary Ed Balls are 'bashing' the schools to curry favour with Left-wingers in the Labour party, according to a report by the Centre for Policy Studies. [snip] Christina Odone, author of In Bad Faith and a former editor of the Catholic Herald, claims that the 'witch-hunt is on', from a Government that is obsessed with 'phoney egalitarianism and control freakery'.

It is 'aligning itself with the strident secularist lobby to threaten the future of faith schools in Britain'. She warns that the Government intends to remove their remaining autonomy, 'making them mere cogs in the vast and dysfunctional state educational bureacracy'. It means that a 'rich legacy is being betrayed'. She continues: 'Gordon Brown knows that for the "Old Labour" rump of the party, equally committed to secularism and comprehensive education, faith schools are anathema.

Farm Lobbies abandon Farmers

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The Carbon Sense Coalition today accused the big farming lobby groups, government departments, politicians and Ministers representing agriculture of ignoring science and abandoning farmers to unjustified carbon taxation.

The chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, claimed that there was no justification whatsoever for including emissions from farm animals in any carbon emissions tax scheme.

“Every intelligent farmer can understand the carbon food cycle whereby every bit of carbon dioxide released by farm animals or plants into the atmosphere has previously been removed from the same atmosphere.”

“This simple process is surely not beyond the understanding of all the lobbyists, bureaucrats, researchers and media living off farmers?”



“In the farm sector carbon balance, apart from any fossil fuel used, it is a zero sum game, and all farm animals have ZERO NET CARBON EMISSIONS.”

“Grazing animals have not yet learned to live on coal or diesel fuel, and they cannot create carbon out of rocks, soil or water. Therefore they must extract it, via grasses and grains, from that marvellous gas of life in our atmosphere, carbon dioxide. All foods and organic matter represent carbon that has been sequestered by life processes into living matter. The carbon is simply recycled at ZERO COST.”

“Farm plants and animals are every bit as green as forests. Both farms and forests extract carbon from the air and store it in organic life forms until that organic matter is burnt or decays in the open air, thus returning their borrowed carbon to the atmospheric storehouse.”

“Why then do those who grow forests attract a carbon credit and but those who grow cattle and sheep cop a carbon tax?”

“Australia and New Zealand lead the world in harvesting solar energy and carbon dioxide to produce an abundance of clean green food. Why then are both the New Zealand and the Australian governments proposing to force farm animals into their emissions trading quagmire? And why are they subsidising the conversion of farmland producing food into forests producing nothing but carbon credits or crops producing ethanol motor fuel? What are future generations going to eat?”

Forbes claimed that farmers need to start agitating now or they risk being the only bunnies still paying carbon taxes.

“Motorists who vote and use petrol will escape the carbon tax by sleight of hand – petrol excise will in future be called “carbon tax”. Exporters will get an exemption to enable them to compete with more sensible regimes with no carbon taxes. Other protected species like working families in marginal electorates will get subsidies to cover carbon taxes on electricity bills. Truckies will blockade the roads if politicians add carbon tax to diesel prices. That leaves farmers as the only big group with so few votes and such incompetent leadership that they will pay the carbon tax.”

“Farmers have been abandoned by Ag Force, the Meat and Livestock Authority, CSIRO, the National Party, our “working families” Government and most of the similar organisations in New Zealand. It is not clear whether this is because of a lack of scientific logic or cowardice in the face of electoral hysteria on global warming.”

“But the politicians representing the treasured “working families” in the battling suburbs had better start taking notice of rising food prices or a more soundly based hysteria about the growing shortage of food will sweep emissions trading nonsense from the political landscape.”

Press release above from Viv Forbes, BScApp, FAusIMM, FSIA, Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition, MS 23, Rosewood Qld, 0754 640 533, info@carbon-sense.com. See
www.carbon-sense.com


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Stupid Federal attack on tech colleges

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I guess they are not Leftist enough. To attack the most practical part of Australian education is madness

Australian Technical Colleges have urged the Rudd Government to rethink plans to abolish their funding, arguing the states have shown little interest in supporting an apprenticeship program devised by the former Howard government. The colleges claim their model of delivering apprenticeship training to students is more efficient than the federal Government's replacement scheme in which secondary schools can apply for funding to offer their own training centres.

"Our preference would be to remain funded at a commonwealth level because the state response has been less than desired," Nigel Hill, chairman of the Australian Technical College Association told The Australian.

At a time when 40 per cent of first-year trade apprentices are dropping out and exacerbating skills shortages, the Rudd Government has allocated $2.5billion over 10 years for schools to establish trade training centres. The Government is also spending $1.9billion over five years to provide 630,000 new training places, including 85,000 apprenticeships.

But Mr Hill believes the approach of the colleges in attracting students while they are still in school and having them work closely with industry is the key to improving retention rates. An example is the ATC at Sunshine in Melbourne's west, whose chairman Barry McCarthy is also the manager of car giant Toyota's training and development planning centre. Enrolments at Sunshine have this year doubled to 120. "We think this is a good model going forward, but we need to ensure that industry connection," he said.

About 3000 school students are enrolled in the technical colleges, federal funding for which will cease at the end of 2009. The Government is working to integrate the colleges on a case-by-case basis into the existing training education system, which is largely a state responsibility.

Source


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Pigs, Snouts, Trough.

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By AR - A must-watch German TV report on just how deep EU parliamentarians have their snouts in the trough. Especially hilarious are the MPs' attempts to flee the camera when they are caught in the rort. Not so hilarious is the amount this must all be costing.

Can't wait for our Asian-region EU-style organisation which Kevin07 chirruped about recently.

A social science attack on that wicked voter ID

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In my days as an employed academic, I used to follow the social science literature quite closely. I think I can say without fear of contradiction that I knew the current findings better than almost all of my academic colleagues -- and I have the published critiques to show for that.

And keeping up with the scientific literature was particularly onerous for a conservative. One knew that the summary and conclusions of any given article would always be "spun" as supporting a Leftist viewpoint. So one had to go to the "Results" section of the article and plough through a lot of statistics in order to find out what really happened in the research concerned. That did of course take a lot of time but was often very instructive. I have seen results that could not have been more destructive of a Leftist theory presented as if they supported the Leftist theory. I offer a small appendix below in which I give an example of that.



After about 20 years of that, however, I gave up. There was so little wheat among the chaff that I just ceased to take the whole body of social science literature seriously. What was reported was usually very poorly done (Leftists corrupt anything they touch) and anything that was openly supportive of a conservative view would almost never get published anyway. So one was reading bigotry rather than science.

So it is only now that an article published last January has come to my attention. And even now I cannot justify a long look at it but I thought that I might make a few comments. The article claims that asking for ID from voters is a BAD THING. I reproduce a summary of it below and I will then go on to point to some of its weaknesses.
A new Brown University study reports that U.S. states that require voters to present identification before casting ballots have lower levels of political participation. The research also indicates that voter I.D. policies discourage legal immigrants from becoming citizens, particularly for blacks and Hispanics, reducing odds of naturalization by more than 15 percent.

Since 2000, and stimulated by new security concerns after 9/11, there has been an upsurge in state requirements for voter identification. By 2004, a total of 19 states required some form of documentation of a voter's identity, sometimes in the form of photo I.D. Proponents of such requirements believe identification is a necessary tool to prevent voting fraud, such as voting by noncitizens or people who are otherwise ineligible to register. Others argue that whatever its intention, I.D. policies have the effect of suppressing electoral participation, particularly among minorities.

The report, co-authored by S4 Director John Logan and graduate student Jennifer Darrah, concludes that voter I.D. is one of many factors that negatively influence civic participation in the United States. The report states, "At a time when many public officials express regret that immigrants seem to lag in their participation in mainstream society, even small suppressive effects on naturalization - the formal step to becoming an American citizen - work in the wrong direction and should be taken into account as people evaluate the benefits and costs of more stringent identification requirements."

The new study extends previous research on I.D. requirements by analyzing not only voter turnout, but also voter registration and - "the key prior step for immigrants" - the decision to become a citizen, across racial and ethnic groups. Key findings include:

* in states with a voter I.D. policy in 2000, the odds of naturalization for foreign-born residents of the United States were reduced by more than 5 percent, with the strongest impact on Hispanics;

* in election years from 1996-2004, the odds of being a registered voter among citizens aged 18 and older were higher for whites by about 15 percent in states with voter I.D. requirements. But this effect was more than counterbalanced by a reduction in white voter turnout. In 2004 alone the net effect was to reduce white turnout in these states by about 400,000 votes;

* in this same period, voter I.D. policies reduced Asians' registration and diminished voter turnout by blacks and Hispanics, by about 14 percent and 20 percent respectively. The net reduction in minority voting in these states in 2004 was more than 400,000 votes;

* the suppressive effect of voter I.D. disproportionately affected not only minorities, but also persons with less than a high school education and less than $15,000 income, tenants, and recent movers. While persons with these characteristics are substantially less likely to participate in civic affairs regardless of their state of residence, they experience an additional significant reduction in participation relative to others in voter I.D. states.

"It is incredibly clear how voter I.D. requirements disproportionately affect and suppress minorities," said Logan, professor of sociology. "This data shows that if voter I.D. policies had not been in place in 2004, voter turnout would have increased by more than 1.6 million. That is a strong argument in itself for change."

Source

Those "incredibly clear" results are not so clear if one looks at them with the skeptical eye that is proper in science, however. For a start, how did they equate States with and without voter ID laws? As a broad generalization, I would expect that it would be the more conservative States that have such laws. So are observed differences between the States caused by the greater conservatism of those States or are they caused just by the voter ID laws? It could be either one of those -- and any attribution of the interstate differences to the voter ID laws is nothing more than speculation.

There are of course statistical means (analysis of covariance etc.) for holding one influence steady while examining the effect of the other influence but that requires a good measure of both influences. And how does one quantify the degree to which a State is conservative? Does one use percentage voting for the GOP in the previous Presidential election? Maybe. But as many conservatives will tell you with some vehemence right at this moment, even a GOP Presidential candidate may not be very conservative so a vote for him could be a long way from an expression of conservatism. So statistical control founders on such objections.

In essence, then, the research above is essentially epidemiological -- and therefore heir to the big limitation of all such research, the limitation that correlation is not proof of causation.

And there are in the results themselves indications that the guesses about causation are poor. How do we explain that voter ID allegedly increased white voter registration but reduced white voter turnout? The two effects seem contradictory. Surely registration should INCREASE turnout and surely ID requirements should REDUCE voter registration? Yet the opposite happened in both cases. One can of course come up with ad hoc explanations for both effects but once again we are forced into speculation rather than having clear evidence of anything.

And one should finally note that a reduction in voter turnout is precisely what the voter ID laws aimed at. If you prevent ineligible people from voting, that must (ceteris paribus) lead to a reduction in the numbers who vote. So if the research above proves anything, it proves that voter ID laws had the intended effect. The fact that the reduction seems to have been particularly marked among Hispanics (many of whom suffer from a sad lack of "documents") supports that interpretation.

APPENDIX

An article on racism by Gough & Bradley (1993) is an example of how a respected author in the field concerned can reverse the plain implication of his research results. The article started out well. Gough & Bradley were unusual in that they used a properly constructed multi-item scale to measure rated racist behavior. They correlated it with a form of the California "F" scale (usually described as measuring authoritarianism but perhaps more informatively referred to as measuring a type of old-fashioned thinking). They found a correlation between the attitude and behavior measures of essentially zero (.08). A clearer disconfirmation of their theory would be hard to imagine.

So did they say: "We were wrong"? Far from it. They then decomposed their attiutude and behaviour indices into the individual items making up those indices and looked for correlations in the large matrix of correlations between the individual items. And there were some non-negligible correlations there. But there would be by chance alone! If you take 5% probability as your criterion for significance (which is conventional) and you have 100 correlations, 5% of them will (ceteris paribus) be identified as significant! What Gough and his friend did was then exactly what you are warned against doing in Statistics 101. And on the basis of that fraudulent procedure they claimed to have produced evidence in support of their theory

Reference: Gough, H. & Bradley, P. (1993) Personal attributes of people described by others as intolerant. In P.M. Sniderman, P.E. Tetlock & E.G. Carmines (Eds.) Prejudice, politics and the American dilemma (pp. 60-85) Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Labour - The party for crackheads, boozers and Islamic terrorists

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Daily Mail - Disability benefits are costing taxpayers an extra £3.1billion a year under Labour - and a major factor is a massive rise in the number of claimants who are drug addicts and alcoholics, according to newly released documents. Over the past ten years, the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) budget has soared from £5.7billion to £8.8billion a year - enough to build 20 new 'super hospitals'. And papers released under the Freedom of Information Act disclose that the number of drug addicts and alcoholics claiming the £60-a-week payment has risen five-fold, from 3,000 in 1997 to almost 17,000 last year.

Daily Mail - American counter-terrorism chiefs are demanding a full explanation from Britain of how radical cleric Abu Hamza was able to smuggle murderous messages from his UK prison cell to Al Qaeda's deputy leader. [snip] Hook-handed Hamza was jailed for seven years in Britain in 2006 for inciting murder and racial hatred and is held at Belmarsh prison, South-East London, supposedly one of Britain's most secure jails. But according to senior American intelligence sources, Hamza evaded the extensive security measures surrounding him to send a series of questions to Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden's right-hand man. Among the most serious accusations is one that he was involved in the kidnap by Islamic radicals of 16 tourists in the Yemen in 1998. Four hostages, including three Britons, died in a rescue attempt.

MK - For those unfamiliar, Labour is a left-leaning political party in Britain, Australia and New Zealand. The only party that's even further left-leaning than them, as in bloody nuts, are the Greens.

the socialist womb.....

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"For long-term prisoners, time stands still. The world that they remember is the one that they left behind when they were imprisoned. They fear bewilderment by the new and foreign world into which they will be thrust, and for which no preparation can adequately prepare them. Their powers of adaptation have been destroyed or at least much reduced by prolonged institutionalisation. Better the incarceration they know than the freedom they don't."
Theodore Dalrymple
For a moment there I thought he was writing about Labor voters.....

The Can't Do Society

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Excerpts from Victor Davis Hanson below. There is much truth in what he says but I disagree with his use of "We". Why should Americans in general and conservatives in particular take the blame for what Leftists have wrought?

We have become a nation of second-guessing Hamlets. Shakespeare warned us about the dangers of "thinking too precisely." His poor Danish prince lost "the name of action," as he dithered and sighed that "conscience does make cowards of us all."

With gas over $4 a gallon, the public is finally waking up to the fact that for decades the United States has not been developing known petroleum reserves in Alaska, in our coastal waters or off the continental shelf. Jittery Hamlets apparently forgot that gas comes from oil -- and that before you can fill your tank, you must take risks to fill a tanker......


We are nearing the seventh anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center. Its replacement -- the Freedom Tower -- should have been a sign of our determination and grit right after September 11. But it is only now reaching street level. Owners, renters, builders and government have all fought endlessly over the design, the cost and the liability.

In contrast, in the midst of the Great Depression, our far poorer grandparents built the Empire State Building in 410 days -- not a perfect design, but one good enough to withstand a fuel-laden World War II-era bomber that once crashed into it.

Despite unsophisticated 19th-century architectural and engineering science, not to mention legions of snooty French art critics, the Eiffel Tower in Paris was finished in a little over two years and is as popular as ever well over a century later.

In my home state of California, we spent a decade arguing over the replacement for portions of the aging and earthquake-susceptible San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Now that the design has finally been agreed to, it will be several years before it is finished. That's quite a contrast to the original bridge that was completed in just over three years.

California is also in yet another predictable drought and ensuing water shortage. Despite strict conservation and new water-saving technology, we simply don't have enough water for households, recreation, industry and agriculture. Building new dams, reservoirs and canals, you see, would apparently be considered unimaginative and relics of the 20th century.

The causes of this paralysis are clear. Action entails risks and consequences. Mere thinking doesn't. In our litigious society, as soon as someone finally does something, someone else can become wealthy by finding some fault in it. Meanwhile a less fussy, more confident world abroad drills, and builds nuclear plants, refineries, dams and canals to feed and fuel millions who want what we take for granted. In our present comfort, Americans don't seem to understand nature. We believe that our climate-controlled homes, comfortable offices and easy air and car travel are just like grass or trees; apparently they should sprout up on their own for our benefit.

Americans also harp about the faults of prior generations. We would never make their blunders -- even as we don't seem to mind using the power plants, bridges and buildings that they handed down to us.

Finally, high technology and the good life have turned us into utopians, fussy perfectionists who demand heaven on earth. Anytime a sound proposal seems short of perfect, we consider it not good, rather than good enough. Hamlet asked, "To be, or not to be: that is the question." In our growing shortages of infrastructure, food, fuel and water, we've already answered that: "Not to be!"

More here

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

PM Dudd flips on climate change

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SMH - MOTORISTS will be spared an increase in the price of fuel under the emissions trading scheme being thrashed out by the Federal Government. As a special climate change subcommittee of cabinet met again yesterday, followed by a full cabinet meeting, senior Government sources told the Herald that the starting point was that there be no net increase in the price of petrol. "We are not going to do people over," one senior minister said.
I for one am glad he has flipped on this, I'm quite happy for politicians to change their minds when they come up with stupid policy and later realize the consequences. Would be nice if they'd use their brains before shooting off at the mouth in the first place, but these are leftists we're talking here. None the less I think we should be careful of the Dudd, he might rule out shafting you with additional carbon taxes on fuel, but he didn't say he won't shaft you at a later stage or that he won't shaft you in some other way.
The Government's price commitment indicates that should fuel be included in the emissions scheme, petrol excise would be cut to offset the increase caused by the imposition of a carbon tax. Another option is to defer the inclusion of petrol until after the election scheduled for late 2010.
I believe the next election is around 2010, so in all honesty I doubt Rudd the Dudd is ruling out the shaft out of concern for us, rather he's just holding off until the peasants have been fooled into voting for him again. Once the election is over, I suspect that working families and all that will be out the window and you'll be grimacing at the local petrol station and probably elsewhere. All in the name of leftie junk science. If he does lie to us and promise no carbon fuel tax and then weasel one in after the election, can we call him a 'lying rodent'?

VC Hero fighting Bureaucratic scum again

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A hero, Tul Bahadur Pun [May 2007] - "I have served the UK with the utmost loyalty and to be treated this way is appalling." Tul was handed his VC by Lord Mountbatten in 1944 for single-handedly charging a Japanese position in Burma under heavy fire. In an "exemplary" 18 year Army career he won 10 more medals, risking his life in Malaysia, India and Hong Kong, and served several tours of duty in Britain. Now living in a hut with no proper roof, running water or sanitation in a village 16,000ft up in the Himalayas, Tul has diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems and asthma. His eyesight is poor and he has hearing trouble. He said: "I take a substantial amount of medication daily, without which I would die. There is not always a constant supply. When it runs out I feel vulnerable. There are no doctors or nurses, no medical outposts. I wish to settle in the UK to have better access to medication, care and support from doctors and nurses.
You'd think the British government would be falling over itself to accomodate this hero, a soldier much like every other soldier who guarantees our very lives and professions. Wrong folks, this is the bureaucratic scum we're talking here, this is a loathsome but unfortunately not unique species. Whilst many other species are usually in short supply, this particular one is never on the endangered list, it is not bothered by its enemies, it breeds like you wouldn't believe and every continent has them. The old hero may have stuck it to the Japanese, Germans and every other fascist bastard out there, but I don't think any amount of training could have prepared him for the bureaucratic scum. Read on, it's the least we can do...
Tul applied for indefinite leave to enter Britain. The law allows for deserving cases to be let in but British officials in Nepal said they were "not satisfied... your application meets the requirements". They added: "This is because you have failed to demonstrate that you have strong ties with the UK." Astonishingly, among the reasons were: "You have not produced satisfactory evidence that you have a chronic or long term medical condition where treatment here would significantly improve your quality of life."
You might be surprised, I wasn't since we're talking leftist scum here, to find out that they rejected this old soldier who fought for them and instead took in other illegal immigrants who happened to contribute to Britain is ways Tul Bahadur Pun wouldn't imagine. Here are some examples -
Mouloud Sihali, Algerian. Lived at Finsbury Park mosque, breeding ground of Islamic terrorism. Described in court as “unprincipled and dishonest”. Illegal immigrant.
Yonis Dirie, Somalian. Drug addict, armed robber and burglar. Convicted of raping a young woman in London. Illegal immigrant.
“AS”, Libyan. Islamic extremist involved with Milan terrorist group. Court accepts that he is likely to try to kill us all again quite soon. Illegal immigrant.
Anyway after much shaming from decent British folk and letters of protest from around the world, myself included, the bureaucratic scum was finally shamed into allowing Tul Bahadur Pun into the UK so he could live out the rest of his days with proper medical treatment from the NHS, which incidentally they would gladly give to any British born crackwhore who has never worked a single minute in her life, not counting tricks, and never will. In case you were wondering, they'd also be glad to help out any rapist, child-raping pedophile, mass murderer or Islamic terrorist but not an old soldier who gave just about all when they needed him. But wait, I like most of you would think that Tul's battles with the bureaucratic scum would be over now, wrong again.
Mirror [June 2008] - An NHS boss terrified a hero Gurkha yesterday after banning him from heart treatment and claiming he owed THEM money. Tul Bahadur Pun - who was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery - went to the hospital's cardiology department for an urgent follow-up appointment. But bosses demanded to see the frail 87-year-old's passport, said he would get no more NHS care and that he would get a bill for thousands of pounds for past treatment because he had "misled" them over his immigration status. The once-proud veteran was close to tears in front of other patients as he was forced to leave West Middlesex Hospital in London. Ironically, it was the same hospital that saved the war hero's life last August - since then he has been kept alive by heart drugs.

Hospital Income Generation Manager Andy Finlay [moron pictured above] said Pun's passport and visa showed he had no right to NHS hospital treatment. He argued that Pun had been issued with an indefinite leave to enter visa, not an indefinite leave to remain visa and therefore had no access to the NHS. He also asked the war veteran - one of only 10 living VC holders: "Is that what VC means in his passport?" Pun was kicked out of the hospital on the anniversary of winning the VC in Burma on June 23, 1944. Pun's lawyer, Kieran O'Rourke, said: "Mr Finlay then began to interrogate the old man, who does not speak English and had a friend acting as a non-professional interpreter. Finlay demanded to see Mr Pun's passport.

"He then made the serious allegation that the VC winner, had 'misled' the hospital previously in relation to his immigration status. Finlay told Mr Pun he would have to pay back the NHS. He was shocked and extremely upset." Pun - who is also blind and almost deaf - was granted indefinite leave to enter Britain in June 2007 after a Daily Mirror campaign to get him to the UK for NHS medical help. Last night Pun - who lives on just £135- a-week - said: "I could not sleep worrying about having to pay thousands of pounds for the treatment I have already had. I have not misled anyone, the British Government allow me to live here." But last night the West Middlesex Hospital reversed its decision admitting they had "made a mistake".
This is what the bureaucratic scum is like folks, this species has no emotions, no brains, no gratitude, no respect, no understanding, no common sense and worst of all, no shame. The bureaucratic scum has to be shamed every single time into doing the right thing, the species is simply incapable of doing the right thing. And you can rest assured that the leftist government running Britain will not punish this hospital, because they are the same scumbags who rejected this fellow in the first place. Spread the word folks, it's the only way to get justice done, name and shame. Hat tip The Lone Voice. I shall end with a description that tries to describe the kind of soldier who has earned a Victoria Cross, Tul Bahadur Pun.

Wikipedia - The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. It takes precedence over all other orders, decorations and medals. It may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and civilians under military command, and is presented to the recipient by the British monarch during an investiture held at Buckingham Palace. The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then the medal has been awarded 1,356 times to 1,353 individual recipients. Only 13 medals, nine to the British Army and four to the Australian Army have been awarded since the start of the Korean War.

"Paralipomena"

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As regular readers here are well aware, I am a man of many blogs. I seem to have a blog for most things, even though some of them are "in hibernation". See the list below for some of them and also here

Sometimes, however, I come across news reports that I find interesting, but which, amazingly, don't seem an immediate fit for any of my blogs. I don't like to let such reports escape me, however, so I have recently began putting them up on a special site which is really intended for me only. I call it "Paralipomena", which is Greek for "things left out". They don't always stay left out. After a while I often decide that I can make use of some of them elsewere.

Today, however, for some reason, there was a real rush of interesting reports for which I could not find an immediate home on any of my regular blogs. So "Paralipomena" is at the moment overflowing with what I think is interesting stuff. In the circumstances, I thought it might be reasonable to let readers know it is there. I have no intention of posting to it regularly but it is probably worth glancing through today.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, DISSECTING LEFTISM, GREENIE WATCH, OBAMA WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.) Cautionary blogs about big Australian companies: TELSTRA, OPTUS, VODAFONE, AGL, St. George bank, Bank of Queensland

YOU will pay for leftie junk science

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Daily Mail - Labour's plans to cover vast swaths of the countryside with wind farms will cost every family at least £260 a year in higher fuel bills, it emerged today. The Government said the sacrifice was needed to reduce Britain's greenhouse gas emissions and meet Europe's targets for green energy. Under its £100 billion plans unveiled by Gordon Brown yesterday, at least 4,000 wind turbines will go up in some of the UK most beautiful scenery, while another 3,000 will be built at sea. [snip] The Prime Minister said the renewable plans were a green revolution. But critics warned that the "dash for wind" was a fantasy. At least one new wind turbine would have to go up every day between now and 2020 to meet the targets. And to guarantee that Britain's lights stayed on 365 days a year, a vast fleet of gas, coal and nuclear power stations will be needed in reserve. [snip] At the same time, the EU is demanding that 15 per cent of the UK's energy comes from renewable sources such as solar, wind, tide and wave power.
But it's for the greater good isn't it, to save the planet for future generations isn't it. Future generations who aren't actually happening because trendy green-inclined westerners aren't bothered to have any 'next generation' so to speak and are encouraging others to not have any wretched children. So cough up folks, I'm sure there's good reason for all this and you'll see the results soon enough. The sea level will drop, no more storms, no more heat waves, smaller carbon assprints, colder winters, no more summer, why does that last one sound like a bad thing. Surely, lefties wouldn't be taxing you and screwing you over, just for the sake of it would they?

A win for freedom and liberty

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FOX News - The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Americans have a constitutional right to keep guns in their homes for self-defense, the justices' first major pronouncement on gun control in U.S. history. The court's 5-4 ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment. The decision went further than even the Bush administration wanted, but probably leaves most federal firearms restrictions intact. [snip]

The basic issue for the justices was whether the amendment protects an individual's right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right is somehow tied to service in a state militia. Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that an individual right to bear arms is supported by "the historical narrative" both before and after the Second Amendment was adopted. The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Scalia said. The court also struck down Washington's requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled, but left intact the licensing of guns.
But it's not over yet folks, the court may have ruled but make no mistake, there are many amongst you who will not get it, they don't want you to be free to look after yourself, they don't like that you can legally own and carry a firearm to protect yourself and your loved ones. They don't like that your home is your castle, they want to stick their noses into your home to ensure you are unarmed and defenseless. They'd rather you were shot and killed than see you with a gun on your person or in your home and they will never stop trying to take your freedom and liberty away from you because that threatens them. They will never stop until you are nothing but a nation of whining, servile cowards. Here is one example of what life is like under Gun Control, there are many, many more if you choose to open your eyes and look. So it is imperative that you remain eternally vigilant.

Weird media perspective on warfare in Afghanistan

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The news agency which does not want to be quoted will be today. In a story in which 22 enemy are killed and the remaining enemy flea to Pakistan and no Afghan or coalition troops are killed the AP says:
Fighting between Taliban-led militants and security forces is surging, clouding hopes that the six-year, multibillion-dollar effort to stabilize the country will succeed any time soon.

The problem with this perspective is that it is divorced from the reality of warfare. Fighting is why it is called a war. What should be blazingly obvious is that the Taliban are losing this fight and every other engagement with coalition forces. The AP has this weird perspective that violence is the enemy of peace. They divorce the concept from the fighters. They made similar mistakes in Iraq where violence was used as a metric disembodied from keeping score on casualties and more importantly who controlled the real estate.

Any fair observation of the conflict in Afghanistan would note that the Taliban do not control real estate or people and they are losing all the fire fights. Because they are fighting an insurgency, the war may drag on, but the outcome is clear if we stay with it.... In contrast the Reuters story points to an even larger defeat for enemy forces.
U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces killed up to 35 Taliban insurgents after the militants attacked two towns in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border overnight, a police chief said on Wednesday.... About 100 Taliban insurgents attacked the towns of Gomal and Sarobi in Paktika province overnight, but fled when they were engaged by Afghan police supported by coalition troops, said provincial Police Chief Nabi Jan Mullah Khail.

Source

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Brand-new road closing for maintenance already

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This is absolutely typical of government roadworks, sadly. I have seen it often. Just on my drive this morning I found a road half closed that opened only weeks ago. Anybody who wants to put more things into the hands of government reveals his appetite for destruction of the society he lives in

The Tugun Bypass [connecting Qld. roads with NSW roads] will be closed for three nights from tonight for routine maintenance, despite only having been open for three weeks. The closures will take place between the hours of 9pm to 5am tonight, Wednesday and Thursday, but the new road will remain open throughout the day. Several detours will be in place for drivers, with most having to use the Gold Coast Highway through Tugun.

A Main Roads spokesperson said the maintenance would be carried out as part of traffic management system's commissioning period. ``Our aim was to implement the works at a time which would be less of a hassle for drivers so that's why the operations are being conducted at night,'' she said. ``All the work is concentrated to within the tunnel and we will be looking thoroughly at the intelligent transport system. ``This is being done because we're still in the commissioning process and are making sure that everything is running smoothly."

The long-awaited Tugun Bypass opened a day late on June 3 after heavy rain prevented final line marking work from being completed in time for the scheduled opening. A boom gate malfunction on June 11 left southbound motorists stranded for up to an hour at the entrance to the bypass tunnel, with traffic further back diverted through Tugun.

Source


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Is there such a thing as a good phone company?

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What I hear about American and British phone and cable companies is pretty appalling and my experience with such companies here in Australia is similar. I have put online some of my correspondence with three such companies as follows: TELSTRA, OPTUS, VODAFONE. I rather foolishly hope that others might learn from my bad experiences with the companies concerned and avoid some of the pitfalls. I have sometimes gone to quite extraordinary lengths to get the companies to address problems but even that has not always worked.

A story I heard today from my local cellphone retailer leads me to believe that the equipment providers are just as bad as the service providers. He tells me that some time ago he returned a cellphone to Nokia for repair under warranty. Rather incautiously, however, he left the memory stick in it when he sent it in.

When he got the phone back the memory stick had vanished. He asked for it back but was told it had been destroyed. Nokia had destroyed someone else's private property! He asked why. He was told that they did not inspect the content on the stick concerned but some sticks can have pornography on them so it is company policy to destroy the lot!

He took great umbrage at that and kept kicking at Nokia over it. Initially they would not even replace the stick pace any content on it. He eventually contacted the State Sales Manager, however, and pointed out that he was a retailer who did not HAVE to stock Nokia products. That breached the dam. They replaced the stick. It took him half a dozen calls over a period of months to get that result however.

Imagine how far up the creek you would be if you were just an ordinary customer who did not have a retailer onside! No apology for the lost content on the stick was ever received, of course.

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

Brace yourself for the real price of climate change

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LiveNews - Ross Garnaut's long awaited paper on climate change will be released next week, and it's likely to recommend petrol be included in a carbon trading scheme. Last year the Coalition was all for the idea but now, knowing it will send up the price of fuel, has backed right off. [snip] Labor's Anthony Albanese says the Opposition is all over the place on the issue. "The Shadow Minister has at least six positions. Six positions he's put forward on climate change. More positions than the Kama Sutra." However the Rudd Government is under fire as well, refusing to spell out its own stance on whether transport emissions will be taxed.
I'd much rather a government be flipping around and remaining undecided on the issue of screwing the public over than one that has its mind firmly set on screwing us over in the name of junk science and ideology. Amidst all this are these morons putting down any milestones or measurements, you know, those things that you're supposed to use to see if some half-baked policy of yours is actually working? I know about the targets of cutting emissions by X, I'm talking about the goal. Cutting emissions, feeling fuzzy, dancing around in Bali and reducing your carbon assprint is not the goal.

The goal is supposed to be stopping climate change, or stop the globe from warming isn't it. Is the sea level around Australia going to drop, is it going to get colder, will we get more rain, will the hurricanes go away? Will it start snowing up near the equator, will the drought end, no more winter or summer, what and when! They aren't screwing us over for the sake of it are they. And if these milestones or whatever aren't going to be met, then what, will we scrap the trading scheme or will we just have to keep coughing up?

It's all well and good for Pixie and his boyfriends to be doing the Kama Sutra, but if I have to cough up or do without, I'd like to see some bloody results. These jackasses can make all the funny quips and sexual references they want to, but the fact remains that they've either sat on their asses or they've contributed to the rising prices of just about everything in this country. And now they're entertaining even more taxes that we'll have to cough up for. Working families and fresh ideas, my ass!

Another confirmation of long Australian lifespans

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There was a similar finding reported 18 months ago. Pesky that Australians are exceptionally long-lived despite the typical Australian diet being just about everything the food-freaks deplore. There are certainly a lot of nonagenarians about in Australia who grew up on food fried in dripping (animal fat) -- fried steak particularly. Fried steak and eggs was a routine breakfast for many Australian working men up until a few decades ago. And they would only have eaten nuts at Christmas. And to this day, very fatty meat pies (see pic above) and sausage rolls are a great favourite.

Going by the results of double-blind studies (e.g here), however, it is doubtful that type of diet has ANY influence on longevity. The fact that two long-lived populations -- Australians and Japanese -- have radically different diets also supports that conclusion.

The explanations for Australian lifespans given in the news report below are entirely speculative. An equally plausible explanation is that traditional Australian skepticism causes most Australians to ignore food freaks.

The only thing about diet that increases lifespan is restricted calorie intake. Which is probably why the Japanese -- who had very little food for much of the 20th century -- live so long. Restricted calorie intake also stunts growth -- which would also explain why older Japanese are so short. So attributing the high Japanese lifespan to a "healthy" diet is also just a guess that fails to consider other possibilities





Australians are living longer than ever as death rates from the big killers of heart disease and cancer fall and smoking continues to wane in popularity. The Australia's Health 2008 report, released yesterday, shows Australians can now expect to live for 81.4 years - and that we have leap-frogged Sweden and Iceland to claim the No2 spot on the world's life expectancy tables, second only to Japan.

Overall, the latest snapshot of the nation's health paints a mixed picture, showing that while Australians are cutting down on smoking and doing better against cancer and heart disease, we are also fatter, boozier, more likely to catch a sexually transmitted infection, and still likely to end up in hospital for something that could have been avoided.

In 2005-06, more than 9 per cent of hospital admissions were considered potentially preventable. We also too rarely make the diet and lifestyle choices that would ward off diabetes, high blood pressure and other problems, and there are poorer outcomes for people of lower socio-economic status which happens worldwide]. While asthma has receded as a health threat, others such as oesophageal disease, are looming larger.

And the picture for indigenous Australians is also mixed: the gap in death rates between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians appears to be narrowing, but otherwise indigenous adults seem to be slipping even further behind the health of their non-indigenous countrymen. [If you saw the way blacks often live, you would not be surprised. Methanol ("metho") is not a healthy drink]

Launching the report in Canberra yesterday, Health Minister Nicola Roxon said it was a "great achievement" that "highlights both the good and the bad". "We can take heart that an Australian born between 2003 and 2005 can now expect to live 42 per cent longer than those born in 1901-10," Ms Roxon said. "That's an extra 25 years for most people." Once the danger years of youth and middle age are past, men who reach 65 can expect to live to 83, and women to 86 - about six years more than a century ago.

The AIHW said one of the biggest factors in extending life was the drop in smoking rates. About one in six Australians were daily smokers last year, one of the lowest rates in the world. Vaccination also continues to enjoy widespread support, with more than 90 per cent of children fully immunised against the major preventable diseases such as whooping cough, measles and mumps.

As well as asthma affecting an estimated 10.3 per cent of the population in 2004-05 - down from 11.6 per cent in 2001 - other good news is that illicit drug use appears to be falling. The percentage of people aged 14 and over who admitted to using marijuana fell from a high of 17.9 per cent in 1998 to 9.1 per cent last year, while those using methamphetamine or "ice" fell from 3.7 per cent in 1998 to 2.3 per cent last year.

Ecstasy use remained level and only cocaine showed any upward trend, being used by 1.6 per cent of respondents to last year's survey, compared with 1 per cent in 2004.

However, AIHW director Penny Allbon said Australia could do more to tackle the main risk factors for chronic diseases. "In rank order, the greatest improvements can be achieved through reductions in tobacco smoking, high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, high blood cholesterol and excessive alcohol consumption," Dr Allbon said. "The prevalence of diabetes, which is strongly related to these risk factors, has doubled in the past two decades.

"Excessive alcohol consumption not only brings costs in terms of personal health, but tangible social costs in terms of lost productivity, healthcare costs, road accident costs and crime-related costs that have been estimated at $10.8 billion in 2004-05."

The report shows that alcohol caused 3.8 per cent of the burden of disease for males, and 0.7 per cent for females. Four in five Australians aged 14 and over drank alcohol, and one in 10 did so daily. However, the report said these rates "have been fairly stable since 1993".

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, DISSECTING LEFTISM, GREENIE WATCH, OBAMA WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.) Cautionary blogs about big Australian companies: TELSTRA, OPTUS, VODAFONE, AGL, St. George bank, Bank of Queensland

B. Hussein - Lessons for all

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IHT - When Obama began his presidential campaign, Muslim Americans from California to Virginia responded with enthusiasm, seeing him as a long-awaited champion of civil liberties, religious tolerance and diplomacy in foreign affairs. But more than a year later, many say, he has not returned their embrace. While the senator has visited churches and synagogues, he has yet to appear at a single mosque. Muslim and Arab-American organizations have tried repeatedly to arrange meetings with Obama, but officials with those groups say their invitations — unlike those of their Jewish and Christian counterparts — have been ignored. Last week, two Muslim women wearing head scarves were barred by campaign volunteers from appearing behind Obama at a rally in Detroit.

In interviews, Muslim political and civic leaders said they understood that their support for Obama could be a problem for him at a time when some Americans are deeply suspicious of Muslims. Yet those leaders nonetheless expressed disappointment and even anger at the distance that Obama has kept from them. "This is the 'hope campaign,' this is the 'change campaign,' " said Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota. Muslims are frustrated, he added, that "they have not been fully engaged in it." Aides to Obama denied that he had kept his Muslim supporters at arm's length. [snip] The strained relationship between Muslims and Obama reflects one of the central challenges facing the senator: how to maintain a broad electoral appeal without alienating any of the numerous constituencies he needs to win in November.
In all honesty I don't know why the Muslims are getting all worked up into a huff and puff over B. Hussein Obambi not reaching out to them, visiting mosques and chanting Allah Akbar. I mean do they want things to get easy for them, as in set up their own third world style life here in the west or do they just want B. Hussein to visit and hold hands. Let's face it, Obambi is as about as leftist as a presidential candidate would get, so if he wins the coming election, it'll be smooth sailing for jihadists worldwide. Look at Britain for example, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown aren't in and out of Mosques, they aren't saying prayers 5 times a day or something and yet things are real swell for your average Jihadist in Britain.

They have female circumcision, honor killings, sharia law in some parts, no-go zones for Christians, multiple wives supported by welfare, toilets are rearranged, halal meals in jail, heck Muslims are even allowed to speed when commuting between wives. It's all good for Muslims in Britain and the dhimmi has to choke it all down in his own land. Christianity has been driven so far out of the public sphere that the Church is now battling to get the state out of its affairs. So pipe down you fools and keep your heads down, then your man may win the election and then he'll sell your brethren over in Iraq out and they'll go back to slaughtering each other merrily like the old days, just the way you and the left want.

You, CAIR and the ACLU can then quietly remake America into just another dhimmi nation. I was reading earlier that B. Hussein is reaching out to Christian evangelicals. Well folks, there's a lesson in here for them too, they might fall under the spell of hope and change and overlook partial-birth abortion and gay marriage. They might buy the promises and interfaith, common-ground wiffle-waffle, he might promise not to sell them out but their lesson is in the current plight of these Muslims. If they give him their vote and he wins, they'll be in the same position as these Muslims, they'll be the ones feeling left out and marginalized then. But by that time it'll be too late and they'll just have to suck it all down for the next 4 years and maybe even more.

Cartoon ruling may prompt 'Islamophobia'

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We read:
"The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a league of 57 Muslim nations, said a Danish court's rejection of a suit against a paper for printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad could provoke "Islamophobia".

Last Thursday the High Court for western Denmark rejected a suit against Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that first published cartoons of Islam's prophet, leading to deadly protests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The court said the editors had not meant to depict Muslims as criminals or terrorists, the cartoons had not broken the law, and there was a relationship between acts of violence and Islam - comments that provoked outcry among Muslim groups in Denmark. "It is a known fact that acts of terror have been carried out in the name of Islam and it is not illegal to make satire out of this relationship," the court said.

The Saudi-based OIC, the largest grouping of Muslim countries, said the ruling could encourage "Islamophobia", a fear or dislike of Islam, which the group has identified as existing in the West.

Source

It's the Muslim terrorists who encourage "Islamophobia"


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Hysterical global warming alarmists

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FOXNews - The heads of major fossil-fuel companies who spread disinformation about global warming should be "tried for high crimes against humanity and nature," according to a leading climate scientist. Dr. James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, sounded the alarm about global warming in testimony before a Senate subcommittee exactly 20 years ago. [snip] Asked by a reporter about the feasibility of putting corporate CEOs on trial, Hansen dodged the question, stressing instead the need to take stronger measures against global warming.

I'm surprised he didn't demand that the skeptics be lined up against the nearest wall and shot. Just dispense with all that fair trial wiffle-waffle, make an example of them.

You cannot be too careful in talking about blacks

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We read:
"An Australian political adviser to London Lord Mayor Boris Johnson has been forced to resign over a racism scandal.

James McGrath was accused of suggesting black people should ``go home'' if they did not like the new Mayor.

Responding to claims Caribbean immigrants could leave the UK if Mr Johnson was elected, Mr McGrath said: ``Let them go if they don't like it here.''

Source

If he had been talking about Americans instead of blacks he would have been applauded.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

Toyota Prius - Uglier than a Baboon's ass!

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This one is for all the greenie nutjobs, celebrity dimwits and angry leftist farts out there. Foul language Alert! Suck it down baby!

Oh and there's one in there for the America hating, gun grabbing tossbags as well. Death at the hands of a .50 cal, score another one for the yanks, thanks for doing us a favor Billy Bob. A fitting end for that piece of shit Prius. Yes, I realize that this was the first Prius, but the latest one ain't that flash either...
Depending on the level of indignation generated, this post may appear again at random times in the future.

Australia's alleged "fat bomb"

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I would rather like the report below to be true. It claims that Australians are extraordinarily fat. Since Australia has one of the world's longest life expectancies, it would help to slay the myth that obesity is unhealthy. Some skepticism about the report has already been expressed, however. The report comes from a nonprofit, not a university, so may simply be a trawl for funds. I have left it for a few days to say much about it as I wished to see details of the research first. The sample would appear to be far from random. I have however not so far been able to find the full report online. It is not linked from their home page and there has been some suggestion that their international comparisons are erroneous. The report is certainly deliberately deceitful in failing to note that it is extremes of weight rather than obesity which is unhealthy. The longest life expectancies are for people of middling weight. Not to put too fine a point on it, the alarmist claims of the report are total junk

AUSTRALIA has become the fattest nation in the world, with more than 9 million adults now rated as obese or overweight, according to an alarming new report. The most definitive picture of the national obesity crisis to date has found that Australians now outweigh Americans and face a future "fat bomb" that could cause 123,000 premature deaths over the next two decades. If the crisis is not averted, obesity experts have warned, health costs could top $6 billion and an extra 700,000 people will be admitted to hospital for heart attacks, strokes and blood clots caused by excess weight.



The latest figures show 4 million Australians - or 26% of the adult population - are now obese compared to an estimated 25% of Americans. A further 5 million Australians are considered overweight. The report, Australia's Future 'Fat Bomb', from Melbourne's Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, will be presented at the Federal Government's inquiry into obesity, which comes to Melbourne today.

A grim picture is painted of expanding waistlines fuelled by a boom in fast food and a decline in physical activity, turning us into a nation of sedentary couch potatoes. Those most at risk of premature death are the middle-aged, with 70% of men and 60% of women aged 45 to 64 now classed as obese.

But some weight specialists have questioned the tool used to measure obesity, saying "entire rugby teams" would be classified as obese if their body mass index (BMI) was calculated. BMI is measured by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared. A BMI of over 25 is considered overweight while more than 30 is obese. But the tool does not distinguish between muscle and fat, prompting calls for the BMI overweight limit to be raised to 28.

However, even leading nutritionist Jenny O'Dea from the University of Sydney - who recently claimed Australia's childhood obesity epidemic had been exaggerated - has backed the new figures, which suggest that the crisis for adults has been drastically underestimated. Professor O'Dea said that while being fat was not necessarily a health risk for everyone, there was no doubt obesity was taking its toll on the nation.

It was previously thought that around 3 million adults were obese. But many past surveys were seen as unreliable as they often required participants to guess their own weight. The latest data was based on more than 14,000 people at 100 rural and metropolitan sites in every Australian state and territory. Each had their BMI recorded by having their weight, height and waist measured as part of a national blood pressure screening day last year.

The report's lead author, Simon Stewart, said that even allowing for the BMI's potential failings, the best case scenario was that 3.6 million adults were battling obesity. "We could fill the MCG 40 times over with the number of obese Australians now, then you can double that if you look at the people who are also overweight - those are amazing figures," Professor Stewart said. "And in terms of a public health crisis, there is nothing to rival this. If we ran a fat Olympics we'd be gold medal winners as the fattest people on earth at the moment," he said. "We've heard of AIDS orphans in Africa, we're looking at this time bomb going off where parents have to think about this carefully," Professor Steward said. "They're having children at an older age, if you're obese and you have a child do you really want to miss out on their wedding? "Do you want to miss out on the key events in their life? Yes you will if you don't do something about your weight now."

The obesity inquiry in Melbourne will be told that a national strategy encouraging overweight Australians to lose five kilograms in five months could reduce heart-related hospital admissions by 27% and cut deaths by 34% over the next 20 years. Among the radical solutions proposed in the report is a plan to make fat towns compete for "healthy" status in national weight loss contests tied to Federal Government funding. Towns that lost the most weight would be given cash to build sports centres and swimming pools. And like the "Tidy Towns" program, communities would have to meet targets to be eligible for a share of the funding pool.

Other suggestions from Professor Stewart's report include subsidised gym memberships, personal training sessions for heavier people and restricting weight loss surgery to those who show they can lose some weight on their own first.

One of Australia's leading obesity experts, Boyd Swinburn, will tell the inquiry in his own submission that a crackdown on junk food marketing to children is paramount in the fight against the epidemic. With the fastest growing rate of childhood obesity in the world, Australia must make radical changes to the way unhealthy food is promoted if the rate is to be reduced, his submission reads. Professor Swinburn, director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University, will argue that better nutritional labelling and more funding for effective treatments such as weight-loss surgery are also necessary. "We've got a huge problem here and we can't bury our head in the sand any more," Professor Swinburn will tell the inquiry. "The previous federal government blamed parents and individuals and told them to pull up their socks . that's not going to achieve anything but make us fatter as a nation. "It's good to see the Rudd Government take obesity seriously with this parliamentary inquiry and the preventative health strategy but that has to be turned into proper policy, regulation and funding."

Ian Caterson, director of the Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and Exercise at the University of Sydney, said innovative government "thinking outside the square" policies were necessary because, "as we get fatter and older as a nation things are just going to get worse."

Source

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

N.Z...life in the socialist paradise:

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"Silence let child abuse continue
Three children repeatedly beaten with a broom handle were so hungry they had to rummage in rubbish bins, and yet neighbours were too scared to report the cruelty they witnessed.

Kylie Tekani, 30, of Porirua, has been sentenced in Wellington District Court to eight months' home detention after pleading guilty to three charges of cruelty to a child and assault with a weapon.
Neighbours in Penguin Grove saw the children searching through rubbish bins and asking for food. Locked outside, the children would huddle under a tree, sometimes till dark.

Though people would slip food to them as they passed on their way to school, they were too scared to report the cruelty, partly because of the intimidating presence of patched Mongrel Mob members who lived in the street. "We know it is best to keep out of other people's business," a resident said.
Another, gesturing toward the gang house, said it was wiser not to get involved. Others were too fearful to speak to The Dominion Post."

The owner of a liquor store is murdered by young Polynesian thugs--and the Prime Minister suggests the fault lies with having too many liquor stores.
Maoris are beating babies and children to death in considerable numbers--and this government passes a law against smacking.
Maori separatists are caught with illegal arms and the police force apologises for any cultural gaffes they may have made during the operation--and nobody faces court.
Draw your own conclusions.

IQ and ideology: A little puzzle

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This is a bit of an old chestnut: Are Leftists more intelligent than conservatives? Leftists often assert that Leftists are brighter. Conservatives tend to see it otherwise. As Wray Herbert points out, it would be surprising if one did not see one's own views as more intelligent. So who is right? Is there a real difference?

One reason why the Leftist accusation that conservatives are dumb gains some weight is the great preponderance of Leftists among professors. That overlooks, however, that the situation was not always thus. Up until the 1960s, the professoriate was in general politically moderate. There were of course exceptions. The elite universities have always tended Left. The best known examples of that are England's two great universities, Oxford and Cambridge. We have all I think heard of the Cambridge spies (Philby et al.), and the Bloomsberries were far Left too. Such leftism can perhaps most economically be described as a "spoilt brat" syndrome. Less well known is the prewar fascination of Harvard with Nazism -- which was a popular form of socialism in its day.





The general moderation of the pre-1960s professoriate was however its undoing. Precisely because of its moderation, it came under ferocious attack from the 1960s student radicals and it responded in a typically moderate way -- apologetically. Curricula were revised in response to the radical demands and more and more Leftists were hired and promoted. And when in the course of time the radical academics so appointed rose in seniority and power, they behaved in a typically unscrupulous way and used their power to squeeze out as many conservatives from academe as they could. So smart conservatives these days go on to get rich in business while the Leftist academics fume away in their ivory towers!

Perhaps most amusingly, however, it should be noted that the Dems and the GOP split the college-educated vote about equally in the 2004 Presidential election. In other words, about half of the people whom the Leftist professors themselves have certified as academically able in fact vote GOP!

But education is not IQ so do we have more direct evidence on the question? Has anybody correlated IQ scores and politics in the general population?

For a long time the only study I knew of which did so was one that I myself helped to write up in the 1970's: Martin's study. That study looked at clearly Leftist attitudes such as the following:

* Most people who are leaders in the world today got there by crooked or sneaky means.
* There isn't really very much your parents or older people can tell you that will help you get along in the world nowadays.
* The best school system is one that is democratic and treats all the pupils exactly alike.
* Complete freedom is the best way to bring up a child if you want it to be free and active.
* Most so-called "juvenile delinquency" is really just "youthful exuberance" and should not be punished.
* One of the best attitudes a young person can learn is that "nothing is sacred."

So who tended to agree with statements like that? The smarties or the dummies? It was the dummies!

Time marches on, however, and another study has recently emerged which looks at the same question. Deary et al. (2008) did quite a powerful study of a British population which came to exactly opposite conclusions. Wray Herbert sums up the study in layman's language.

So how come? A clue is to be found in the fact that the Deary et al. study reported that education was a major factor in the relationship. It was the fact that more intelligent people had more education that produced the relationship. It was education that made you Leftist, not IQ. Anybody who knows how Leftist the educational system is these days will not be surprised to hear that all that Leftist brainwashing had some effect.

But education was not the whole of the story. There was still some effect on attitudes due to IQ alone. But what the education results alert us to is the importance of the overall mental environment of the people surveyed. Deary's sample were all born in 1970. The Martin sample was interviewed in the early 1960s and covered a representative age range but would on average have been born in the mid-1930s. That is a very different group of people -- people who have grown up into very different mental environments. And just the difference in interview dates -- the early 1960s versus the early 2000s -- would account for a lot. A lot has changed over the last 40 years.

In particular, the great attitudinal upheaval of the late 1960s had not happened for Martin's sample and the very expression "political correctness" would have been incomprehensible to them. In short, the cultural attitudes of the modern day world are very different from the attitudes that prevailed before the upheavals of the '60s. I was there in the 60s. I remember the upheavals concerned very well. And the defeat of Soviet Communism ratcheted up the cultural changes even further. When it became clear that Leftists had lost the economic argument (over socialism versus capitalism), they turned their energies onto cultural questions -- promoting homosexuality, attacking marriage etc. The end result is that we now live in a world where the prevailing cultural attitudes are MUCH more Leftist than they once were.

So it is clear why the Martin and the Deary results differ. Smarter people are more aware of the values that are regarded as "correct" in the world about them. What smarter people said in the 60s was conservative because conservative values were the default assumption then. What smarter people said in the 2000s was Leftist because Leftist values have now become the default assumptions in conversations about such things -- and the default assumptions in the media most particularly.

So what the Deary results show when taken in conjunction with the Martin results is not that smart people are Leftists but rather that smart people are more sensitive to the thinking of people around them.

Update:

Is the short list of attitudes from Martin's study above really Leftist? Libertarians would also agree with some of the statements listed. Libertarians are however only a tiny fraction of the population and libertarianism was essentially unknown in Australia at the time. It still largely is, in fact. So a libertarian influence on the results can be excluded.

The statements listed are very similar to other statements that were characteristically Leftist at the time. The underlying theme of the items was intended by their author to be a rejection of authority and it should be noted that another Australian questionnaire which systematically surveyed attitudes to authority in 1969 found that attitude to authority correlated even more strongly with political party choice (r = .43) than it did attitude to innovation (.33). Supporters of Australia's major Leftist party were, in other words, even more likely to be anti-authority than they were likely to be in favour of change. In the same study attitudes to authority also correlated very highly (.73) with a collection of radical attitudes generally. Leftists reject all authority that they do not themselves control and that rejection is a central part of their thinking.

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