Obama's fake freeze folly

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President Obama made a big deal last week about his purported federal spending freeze, but not enough has been said about how meager the supposed savings actually are. Historical context shows that any savings from this public-relations gimmick will be tiny. Frugality, apparently, is a concept Democrats have a hard time understanding.

The Obama freeze is projected to "save" $15 billion from expected spending next year. This is not a cut of $15 billion in existing spending, but only a decision not to raise spending (to match inflation) on certain accounts. Those accounts supposedly are to be frozen for the following two years as well, but they are being frozen only after a decade-long spending orgy that included an 8.2 percent increase in domestic discretionary spending this year. And they don't apply to any new purported jobs bill or to any other new item on the president's priority list.

Now, let's consider the $15 billion itself. By most people's reckoning, that's a big number. By government reckoning, it's child's play. In 1995, for instance, Congress rescinded - took back - $18.9 billion that had been signed into law but not yet doled out. Whereas the Obama plan is a mere pledge not to let government grow by $15 billion in certain programs, the 1995 rescissions actually cut about $19 billion from existing programs. And that was back when the dollar was worth far more. That $18.9 billion then would be worth $26.6 billion today.

That amount was trimmed from a budget of about $1.5 trillion, making it a real, honest cut of 1.27 percent. The Obama freeze is from a much larger budget of about $3.6 trillion, meaning a paper "savings" of barely more than four-tenths of a single percent.

Look back again to 1995 and 1996. The 1995 rescissions, combined with further cuts in domestic discretionary spending in those two years, amounted to just shy of $50 billion of honest-to-goodness debt reduction - not from projected spending levels, but from prior spending levels. Using the president's version of accounting, that Republican Congress saved almost another $50 billion - or $100 billion total - from the projected growth in spending.

Yet the cuts didn't leave little old ladies freezing in the streets, didn't leave orphans without food or water and indeed had no noticeable ill effects. In fact, as Congress moved toward a balanced budget, the nation's economy boomed and, happily, the poverty rate fell. That era of progress came without government "stimulus" or "jobs" programs or bailouts or any other central-planning flapdoodle.

What the president is proposing now has the aspect of a toddler putting a single foot beyond the water's edge at the beach for the very first time and then proudly reporting to everybody that he "swam in the ocean." If he really wants to swim with the economic tide, Mr. Obama should learn from the 1990s that government is not the engine of prosperity and that when it comes to saving taxpayer money, boldness works far better than puny half-measures.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

“Turkeys voting for Christmas”

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That's what the intellectual elite think of working class conservative voters. They think that voting Left is OBVIOUSLY in the best interests of the workers and cannot understand that the base of support for the GOP is mainly among the less affluent. They think that working class people are cutting their own throats by voting conservative. It's an old claim but an extended version of it has just appeared -- where else? -- on the BBC.

So what is the reason for this incredible folly among conservatives? Mental illness, emotional disturbance etc., of course. I can't be bothered to excerpt any of the nonsense this time. Suffice it to say that Drew Westen and Thomas Frank -- the usual suspects -- are trotted out to give their versions of the "explanation". How the BBC missed out on getting a comment from George Lakoff is the only mystery.

To give the author -- David Runciman -- his due he does point to the elitism and arrogance of the Democrats as a reason why ordinary people might not vote for them and he does reject the old but very extreme Hofstadter claim that it is all "paranoia". But, even, so, the explanation he gives is that conservatives are voting with their emotions and not their reason.

I am confident that in ten minutes I could give Runciman enough reasons for the rationality of conservatism to jar even him but why stray into politics when we are discussing political psychology -- which is my academic specialty? As some measure of how long Runciman's nonsense has been around my paper on the subject dates back to 1972! and it appeared in The British Journal of Political Science. So if Runciman -- who claims to be a political scientist -- were a competent scholar he would already be aware of it and would mention the evidence in it. But what Leftist is bothered about evidence?

What I found was that it was the working class conservatives who were "normal". It was the working class Leftists who were particularly rebellious and haters of the society in which they lived. That characterization of Leftist voters is of course not at all surprising but it does put the boot on the other foot for Runciman. It is the Leftist voters who are emotion-driven, not the conservatives. And my conclusions were based on carefully validated survey research using a representative general population sample, not the vague inferences of Thomas Frank, Drew Westen etc.

What a laugh they are!

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Carhire: Avoid Europcar. Their predatory practices continue

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Car rental outrage

Last year I rented a car from Europcar's depot at Coolangatta Airport. Four days later I returned the car and it was inspected: "No problems. Have a good flight."

Europcar's "courtesy call" on my message bank awaited me at Sydney Airport and stated that my credit card would be charged for damage to the car's rear. I made a furious call and learned that the damage was detected during washing. I demanded photos, which duly arrived, with the advice my card had been debited $381.25.

The photos revealed a minuscule black mark to a car I hadn't rented. Given only 86 minutes between inspection and billing, no time was wasted in washing the vehicle, detecting and assessing the alleged damage, obtaining and approving a written quotation and then authorising and debiting my card.

I sent a number of letters, including one from my solicitor, to Europcar. When Europcar caved in, insult was added to injury by its company secretary advising "that Europcar's decision to reimburse the amount was made purely as a goodwill gesture".

- Mel Bloom

Fuel for thought

Following a recent trip to Britain, I arrived home to find an additional charge on my credit card of $1500 from Europcar.

The car we were allocated at the Fulham Broadway branch had a broken key bound up with tape.

On expressing my concern, I was informed that this car was the only one available and the key was working. I also noticed some glue residue on the fuel cap and was informed "it's nothing to worry about".

As it turned out the missing tag and sticker from the fuel cap said "diesel only". Not realising these omissions I filled up with petrol and broke down at night in the Yorkshire Dales.

After appealing to Europcar about the charge I was informed "that it is the customer's responsibility to check what type of fuel the vehicle requires prior to refuelling and, as in this case, when this has not been made clear on the key or fuel cap, it would be deemed especially necessary to clarify this".

- Janet Reynolds

Car scrape

I read Mel Bloom's experiences with Europcar Coolangatta where he was charged $381.25 for minuscule damage to a car that was not even the one he had rented. I had a similar experience with Europcar at Launceston Airport last year.

A "courtesy call" to my message bank awaited my return to Brisbane and said my credit card would be charged $260.23 for a scrape on the front guard. This "scrape" was invisible to me in the photos but there were pre-existing scrapes, scratches and chipped areas, some rusty.

I said I would seek the car's hire records for a history of others subjected to similar treatment. Fortunately, the photos also showed a front tyre lacking sufficient tread; reason enough to have the matter resolved in my favour.

- Chris Longden

Rental quarrel

I, too, had a similar experience as Mel Bloom (Traveller, January 9) when I hired a car for four days from Europcar at Launceston Airport in 2005.

I returned the car washed and undamaged except for scratches already indicated on the signed condition report. It was Sunday morning and the Europcar counter was unattended so I deposited the key in the key slot at 9.30am.

Two days later I received a letter from Europcar advising it had debited my credit card $356.30 for damage to the front tyre, wheel trim, bumper and guard. It provided undated photos of the damage but no photograph of the entire vehicle.

The charge had been made to my credit card at 9.52am, so in the space of 22 minutes the company had supposedly checked the car and obtained quotes.

The quotes I asked for and received were not dated, so I phoned the two businesses named on the quotes and they told me they didn't open on Sundays. When I challenged Europcar it said the quotes were guesstimates. I phoned my credit-card provider for advice and it took on the case. After three months the $356.30 was credited to my card. The lesson: ensure a company representative checks the car with you when you return it.

- Lynda Simpson

SOURCE 1. SOURCE 2

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Revkin is wobbling

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Andrew Revkin in the chief Warmist for the NYT. He is trying to cope with the "discovery" (to Warmists) that atmospheric water vapour is a big influence on the earth's temperature. Excerpt from his article of 29th:

A new study led by Susan Solomon, a federal climate scientist and co-leader of the 2007 science review by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is fascinating not only for the revelations, but the underlying lessons, too.

The study, described in an article today in The Times, finds that poorly understood variations in water vapor concentrations in the stratosphere were probably responsible for a substantial wedge of the powerful warming trend in the 1990s and a substantial portion of “the flattening of global average temperatures since 2000″

The "Stolen Generations" myth is just another Leftist fraud -- entirely at variance with the facts

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Summary below by Keith Windschuttle, Australia's most painstaking historian. He looks at ALL the evidence

In his 2008 parliamentary apology, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd endorsed the estimate by Peter Read, the university historian who first advanced the concept of the Stolen Generations, that 50,000 Aboriginal children were forcibly removed in the 20th century. Read had written that governments removed children as young as possible and reared them in institutions isolated from any contact with Aboriginal culture. "Welfare officers, removing children solely because they were Aboriginal," he said, "intended and arranged that they should lose their Aboriginality, and that they never return home."

The majority were allegedly babies and infants. The SBS television series First Australians claimed most of the 50,000 were aged under five. Henry Reynolds explained the rationale: "The younger the child the better, before habits were formed, attachments made, language learned, traditions absorbed."

Many have escaped death row

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Fox News - Jurors swiftly convicted an abortion opponent of murder Friday for shooting to death one of the only doctors to offer late-term abortions in the U.S., a killing the gunman claimed was justified to save the lives of unborn children. The jury deliberated for just 37 minutes before finding Scott Roeder, 51, guilty of premeditated, first-degree murder for putting a gun to the forehead of Dr. George Tiller on May 31 and pulling the trigger.

...Roeder faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years when he is sentenced March 9. Prosecutor Nola Foulston said she would pursue a so-called "Hard 50" sentence, which would require Roeder to serve at least 50 years before he can be considered for parole. ...Roeder had confessed publicly before the trial and admitted again on the witness stand that he shot Tiller in the foyer of the Wichita church where the doctor was serving as an usher. He testified he felt the lives of unborn children were in "immediate danger" because of Tiller.
Well he has a point hasn't he, I mean, it's not like it's just a fantasy or something. He was right, tiller was a fellow who prevented the unborn from living, that's the fancy way of saying he killed off unborn babies by slicing them up, babies who most likely would have made it and may even be walking amongst us if it hadn't been for tiller and his quest to provide 'services' to women.

Vengeance catches up with Hamas

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News.com.au - ISRAEL has assassinated a senior Hamas military commander in Dubai, an official in the Palestinian Islamist group said today. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed on January 20, Izzat al-Rishq saod in the Syrian capital Damascus. "I cannot reveal the circumstances. We are working with the authorities in the United Arab Emirates," said Rishq, who is a member of Hamas's politburo.

Rishq said Mabhouh was an "important" member of Izz el-Deen al- Qassam brigades, Hamas's military wing named after a Syrian religious leader who fought British colonial forces in Palestine in the 1930s. Mabhouh, born 50 years ago in the Gaza Strip but who had been living in Syria since 1989, was assassinated a day after he arrived in Dubai, said Rishq.
Let that be a lesson to all those upstart jihadist pieces of shit, no matter where you go, no matter how long it takes, they'll hunt you like a pig and never stop until they serve you that icy cold dish!

Thanks for taking out the trash Israel, much appreciated.

Amazing: Migrants with HIV, cancer allowed to settle in Australia

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Chronically ill foreign workers and their families, including those with HIV-AIDS, will be allowed to settle in Australia for the first time as the Immigration Department loosens its stringent health rules to alleviate the skills shortage. The department is widening a loophole that lets it waive the health requirement for some sick dependants of Australian citizens.

Taxpayers will spend nearly $60 million on healthcare for 288 migrants granted special clearance last financial year to live in Australia, despite failing health exams. These included 59 cases of HIV infection, 10 of cancer and 26 of intellectual impairment. Most of the waivers were granted to the foreign partners of Australian citizens.

Now the federal government wants to widen the health loophole in a bid to lure skilled immigrants who otherwise would be turned away on the grounds of illness, mental health or chronically ill family members.

What fun! HNN has just run a "special" denying that Fascism/Nazism was Leftist!

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It is Jonah Goldberg's book that has got them steamed -- and steamed is the word. Most of the "critique" is little more than abuse, liberally leavened with unsupported assertions. What has got them steamed is that a recognition of the philosophical affinities between historical Fascism and modern "liberalism" has become rather widespread among conservative writers and broadcasters. The Left tried to ignore Jonah at first but now that the cat is out of the bag they are desperately trying to stuff it back in.

I note with some amusement that Jonah seems to be the sole villain as far as the HNN writers are concerned. I have been aware since my late teens (now more than 40 years ago) that Nazism was simply national socialism whereas Stalinism was international socialism so the information has always been there for anybody who cared to look. Additionally, my monograph on the subject much preceded Jonah's book. My monograph was was originally written in the '90s and was available on the net from around the year 2000. And I noted a growing awareness among conservative writers about the Leftist nature of Fascism well before Jonah's book came out two years ago. But Jonah is a much more energetic communicator than I am so he rightly deserves pride of place in the matter.

Always punish the good

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Just as leftists joyfully slaughter the unborn for the mistakes and/or sins of their parents, they do it often to children that have brains and also to ones who are simply born with the wrong skin color. Now they’re doing it to small children as well, and what sins exactly you ask, did they commit, did they steal, did they murder, did they cause some sort of trouble? Oh no, this is far, far worse folks.
Daily Mail - ...Families said their children had been left in tears, unable to understand why they were banned from going on trips with their friends. Last night council officials were accused of penalising working parents as only 'economically disadvantaged' pupils can take part in the excursions. A Government-funded scheme, being trialled across Trafford Council in Greater Manchester, is open only to children who receive free school meals because their parents are on benefits. Families not on state support are not eligible for the trips to Knowsley Safari Park, football sessions with the Manchester United Foundation and a day at the Chill Factore indoor snow centre, even if the parents are willing to pay.

Who can blame them

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News.com.au - ASYLUM seekers have gathered at the Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre (CIIDC) to protest against lengthy visa processing times, refugee advocates say. A group of Tamils from Sri Lanka had gathered in the detention centre grounds brandishing signs drawing parallels to the processing time of asylum seekers from the Oceanic Viking to the processing times in the CIIDC, Project SafeCom spokesman Jack Smit said. While the claims of asylum seekers on board the Oceanic Viking had been processed in six weeks, detainees at the CIIDC are frustrated at a processing time of up to 11 months, refugee advocates claim.
They have a point don't they, back when the Tamils took over the Oceanic Viking, all they did was hold firm and refuse to get off and kevin rudd promptly blinked, lost bladder control, dropped his sauce bottle, whined like just-kicked-dog and gave them everything they wanted.

So the precedent is set, now everyone wants a piece of the fairy to get in and who can blame them, bullying and thuggery is the easiest way to get into free-go Australia, formerly the land of the fair-go. Over to you kevvie, careful with the wheeties chump, don't want to spill that milk too.

ZEG

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In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is appalled at the amazing waste by the Leftist NSW government on failed transport projects.



Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Monckton in Newcastle

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I went to the Christopher Monckton talk in the Newcastle Town Hall today, just making it back to my car before a thunderstorm hit. Monckton gave a wonderful talk to a packed town hall - I was in the top deck of this nice, old-style hall, looking down. Unfortunately Ian Plimer had to drop out at the last minute, but the organizers managed to get hold of the Professor of Hydrology from Newcastle University to do the introduction - in a thick Liverpudlian accent. Monckton repeated the word "Viscount" in an Australian accent (as he gets from Plimer), a Liverpudlian one (today) and said that at least it wasn't as bad as in Scotland where he's introduced as The Vacant Monckton.

My schools goes up in smoke

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News.com.au - THE Federal Government's controversial My School website appears to be experiencing technical difficulties on its first morning of operation. At 6am (AEDT) today, the site's search engine to find schools was not working. The site became active at 1am (AEDT).
Unlike grocery watch and fuel watch which were found to be largely useless and toothless after a little while, this one's turned to shit from the get-go. Well done krudd.

Words fail...

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Guardian - The TV presenter and Marks & Spencer model Myleene Klass has been warned by police for waving a knife at teenagers who were peering into a window of her house late at night. Klass was in the kitchen with her daughter upstairs when she spotted the youths in her garden just after midnight on Friday. She grabbed a knife and banged the windows before they ran away. Hertfordshire police warned her she should not have used a knife to scare off the youths because carrying an "offensive weapon", even in her own home, was illegal.

Telegraph - Nicole Mamo, 48, wanted to post an advert for a £5.80-an-hour domestic cleaner on her local Jobcentre Plus website. The text of the advert ended by stating that any applicants for the post ''must be very reliable and hard-working''. But when Ms Mamo called the Jobcentre Plus in Thetford, Norfolk, the following day she was told that her advert would not be displayed instore. A Jobcentre Plus worker claimed that the word ''reliable'' meant they could be sued for discriminating against unreliable workers.
Both stories above were brought to my attention by a regular reader and fellow conservative AR.

Weak as just boiled noodles

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The Australian - TONY Abbott urges women to save their virginity for marriage and reveals mixed feelings about contraception in a new interview. After conducting a charm offensive over the summer break and rejecting suggestions his conservative social views were a turnoff to women, the Liberal leader has been subjected to a grilling in the next edition of the Australian Women's Weekly about his views on sex, marriage and his own daughters' virginity. The new Liberal leader is understood to have suggested men and women should try and adhere to “the rules” when it comes to sex before marriage and when they can't he has conceded they should use contraception.
Good on him I say, but apparently the above views have caused a bit of a kerfuffle. For those of you who don't know, Tony Abbott is the federal opposition leader and if elected will be the next Prime Minister of Australia, which I suppose is part of the reason why the elitists in weekly whine have their panties in a knot. On a side note, he is the leader of the Liberal party, which in Australia is the more conservative of the mainstream parties, moving on.

Britain becomes a nation of conservatives for the first time in 20 years

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After 12 years of Labour Party rule, is anyone surprised?

People's views are becoming more conservative and there has been a mass move away from tax-and-spend values, an influential annual study said yesterday. Even Labour supporters have weakened in their belief in equality and redistribution of wealth, said the British Social Attitudes report. It said that after a dozen years of New Labour, 'British public opinion now has a more conservative character'.

For the first time in 20 years, more people called themselves Conservative than Labour, 32 per cent against 27 per cent. The large-scale survey, carried out every year since 1983, points to a hardening of views on many issues. People are less willing to consider legalising cannabis than they were just a few years ago and more than half think a single mother with a school-age child has a duty to go out to work to support the household. But there has also been a liberal swing on family life, with increasing numbers tolerating homosexuality and fewer condemning cohabiting couples.

The survey also found a declining sense of civic duty, with only 56 per cent believing everyone should vote in an election, down from 68 per cent in 1991.

Some fun from New Zealand

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Someone is a bit too outspoken for their own good
"Writing "fake Maori" on their faces with marker pen tattoos to attract tourists has landed a Kiwi tour operator in hot water. The venture, called Discovery Heritage Centre, has admitted hiring Europeans, including French and Israelis, to dress in traditional Maori outfits and poke their tongues out in Maori war dance custom to lure tourists from cruise ships.

The director of the company has added fuel to the fire by saying she's only employing the "fakes" because Maori people in the North Island New Zealand town of Tauranga are too lazy to work. "Some of our Maori are too slack to promote themselves. Some of our Maori are too lazy to get out of bed to do that," Terina Puriri told the Herald on Sunday. "They don't turn up and it's a known thing for Tauranga Maori to do that."

The company provides "cultural liaison" and on-board dance performances for cruise ship tourists. Performers include a few authentic part-indigenous people and at least three foreigners dressed in feathered robes, holding traditional wooden weapons and with pen marks scrawled on their faces.

MY AUSTRALIA DAY

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Commemorating the landing of the first white settlers in Australia, it is a national holiday that is becoming increasingly popular. Lots of cars are driving around today with Australian flags on them, which never used to happen. I suspect that it is a backlash against all the multicultural preaching that floods the schools and the media.

My relatives on my mother's side have for many years marked the day with a family get-together over a BBQ lunch and we did so again today. I spent a fair bit of time talking to Peter, my cousin once-removed. He is an academic like me and very well-informed about most things, but particularly China. He married a Han Chinese lady and his Eurasian daughter, Michelle, was there today, as she usually is. She is still in High School but growing up fast and it was a pleasure to see how bright, confident, articulate and animated she is. With good looks as well, she will go far.

Australia day

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On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian. It's the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. It's the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future.

Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788.

Though 26 January marks this specific event, today Australia Day celebrations reflect contemporary Australia: our diverse society and landscape, our remarkable achievements and our bright future. It also is an opportunity to reflect on our nation's history, and to consider how we can make Australia an even better place in future. Source. Image from Dreams Time.

I haven't been to a lot of places, haven't seen a lot of this world, but some of the nicest people I've ever met, some of the most beautiful places I've seen are right here in Australia. For that I am grateful to God. Happy Australia day folks.

Madness in the west

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Daily Mail - A crazed immigrant who stabbed to death two doctors has won the right to stay in Britain - because he would be a threat to the public if deported to his homeland. A judge has ruled that sending Laith Alani back to Iraq would also be a breach of his human rights. Alani has spent most of the last 19 years in a secure hospital after he killed two NHS consultants in a frenzied attack because he believed he had received a 'command from Allah'. ...Alani, 41, who is likely to be released in the near future, has been receiving the drug clozapine on the NHS for ten years.
Yes, you read right, the judge doesn't want him deported because he'll most likely kill some Iraqis back there, but given that he's going to be released anyway, it's apparently better that he kill Brits than Iraqis. A British judge considers an Iraqi life more valuable than one of his own countrymen.

Now that's an example of cultural suicide that even the dumbest of lefties ought to understand. It'll be interesting to see if the judge would feel the same way if alani were rushing at him with a switchblade screaming 'allah akbar'.

Open borders baby!

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News.com.au - THE new Australian of the Year has waded straight into controversy, describing detention centres for asylum seekers as "factories for producing mental illness''. Mental health expert Patrick McGorry was named Australian of the Year by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at a ceremony outside Parliament House this evening. On the eve of Australia Day, Prof McGorry called for asylum seekers to be allowed to live in the community, instead of being sent to detention facilities on Christmas Island.
You know I've never heard of him until today and when I saw the news I couldn't help but wonder where his political views lie and now that I've read this bit of stupidity, I can't say I'm surprised.

I suppose the prof hasn't heard how wonderfully this 'living in the community' has worked out over in Britain. Heck the place has become such a shithole that more and more refugees are actually trying to get out of Britain. Hard to believe I know, but that's what you get after more than a decade of leftist rule and leftist thinking.

RECENT RESEARCH RELEVANT TO IQ

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More politically-correct inability to see the obvious

Both sides of the debate below seem to be assuming that it is upbringing that is responsible for the difference in children's intellectual achievement -- when all the research shows that genetics is the major influence -- with upbringing of negligible importance. Smart people tend to get rich and pass on their smart genes to their children -- and that is all there is to it. The finding is in fact just another confirmation of Charles Murray's well-known scholarly work that showed a strong link between social class and IQ. To be very blunt about it, the poor tend to be dumb and the rich tend to be smart. There are of course exceptions but that is the general tendency that is being detected below

A CHILD’S reading age and ability to count develop a month earlier for every extra £100 a month in family income, according to a government-funded study to be unveiled this week. Gaps in the development of children from different socio-economic backgrounds appear by the age of three and widen until 14. The findings, written by a panel chaired by Professor John Hills, are based on the Millennium Cohort Project which tracks 19,000 youngsters.

It will fuel divisions between Labour and the Tories over the link between a child’s prospects and household income.

Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader, said last night: “[The report] provides an incontrovertible basis for us to move beyond inaccurate assertions made by the opposition ... David Cameron says that the differences in child outcomes between a child born in poverty and a child born in wealth are statistically insignificant when both have been raised by confident and able parents. “But what he fails to say is that you can’t separate out good parenting skills from family income. The two are so strongly correlated. So this is an utterly misleading portrayal of the evidence.”

The report says inequalities are exacerbated by differences in the mother’s education, the father’s job and deprivation in the area where they live. Details of how far up the salary scale the effect occurs are expected in the report.

SOURCE

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Brain areas linked to mental performance

What? It's not "poverty" that makes you dumb? Once again the data contradict Leftist nostrums. Many of the skills mentioned below are closely linked to IQ. Mental speed and brain size have long been known as correlated with IQ. So the research below confirms a lot in IQ research. Note the confirmation that IQ can't be "trained"

HOW well you play a video game can be predicted by measuring the size of structures in your brain. Researchers have found certain brain centres play a vital role in influencing traits crucial to video game success. The findings could lead to applications for education and treatment of dementia.

The study, published in the scientific journal Cerebral Cortex, adds to evidence that a collection of distinctive tissues deep in the brain influence the ability to refine motor skills, learn, plan, and adapt quickly to a changing environment. "This is the first time that we've been able to take a real-world task like a video game and show that the size of specific brain regions is predictive of performance and learning rates," said University of Pittsburgh psychology professor Kirk Erickson.

The study was done by Pittsburgh University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois.

Researchers explored an anomaly between novice and veteran players. Research had shown expert players outperformed novices in areas such as attention and perception. But training novices for endless hours produced no measurable benefit to their cognitive abilities.

The study's authors believed existing differences between individual brains might explain the anomaly. They concentrated on an area known as the striatum. "Our animal work has shown that the striatum is a kind of learning machine - it becomes active during habit formation and skill acquisition," said McGovern Institute investigator Ann Graybiel. "So it made a lot of sense to explore whether the striatum might also be related to the ability to learn in humans."

The researchers used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging to analyse brain regions of 39 adults aged between 18-28 who'd spent less than three hours a week playing video games in the previous two years.

Half were asked to focus on maximising their score; the rest were asked to periodically shift priorities, improving skills in one area before moving to something else. Players who had a larger brain "reward centre" did better early on; players whose brain centres for motor skills and adaptation were larger performed best overall.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

For the gun-hating fascists

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Apparently the video below has caused much irritation and whining over on the gun-hating side of Australia, apparently even singing songs about guns cannot be allowed, so in the spirit of pissing the fascist scum off even more.



But don't worry you wankers, it's only a song, gun control is here to stay in Australia. So keep your panties undone, the law-abiding will remain defenseless and bare-arsed and the criminals will be the only ones with guns, just the way you want it.

IPCC - A disgraced pustule

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Times Online - The Indian head of the UN climate change panel defended his position yesterday even as further errors were identified in the panel's assessment of Himalayan glaciers. Dr Rajendra Pachauri dismissed calls for him to resign over the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change’s retraction of a prediction that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.
You know how the more shrill fascists warmists on the left bray that their research and evidence is peer-reviewed, well this pile of shit that won the Nobel prize was. And it's almost 3 years later that people are finding that this really is a pile of worthless shit, like the so called peer-reviewing. But don't expect the prize to be returned or heads to roll over this folks, some of these types cannot even be shamed into doing the right thing.

Bad behaviour by African "sportsmen" in Brisbane

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They don't seem to get the idea of sport. So we have the inevitable attempt to play the race card, of course. If they had simply said that they were unfamiliar with local customs and then apologized for offending people they would no doubt have got a much better outcome. That is the sort of thing that Western whites are always expected to do when they offend some minority

A TEAM of African refugees has been blocked from playing after accusing basketball officials of racism. The Hoop Dreamz team has lodged a complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, alleging victimisation by Brisbane Basketball and its parent organisation Basketball Queensland.

Mediation has begun but Basketball Queensland says the players will only be allowed to compete in the new season, beginning next month, if they split up and join different teams. Basketball Queensland says that it is necessary because referees have felt threatened by Hoop Dreamz players and spectators and the sporting body has a duty of care.

The usual Warmist love of partial data

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A recent Warmist paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research purports to disprove claims that U.S. temperature-measuring sites are poorly located and thus lead to a "warm bias" in their measurements:
On the reliability of the U.S. Surface Temperature Record

By Matthew J. Menne, Claude N. Williams, Jr., and Michael A. Palecki

Abstract

Recent photographic documentation of poor siting conditions at stations in the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has led to questions regarding the reliability of surface temperature trends over the conterminous U.S. (CONUS). To evaluate the potential impact of poor siting/instrument exposure on CONUS temperatures, trends derived from poor and well-sited USHCN stations were compared.

CO2 good for Amazon rainforests

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They're gobbling up all that increasing CO2


Discussing: Gloor, M. et al. 2009. "Does the disturbance hypothesis explain the biomass increase in basin-wide Amazon forest plot data?" Global Change Biology 15: 2418-2430.

Background

The authors write that "analysis of earlier tropical plot data has suggested that large-scale changes in forest dynamics are currently occurring in Amazonia (Phillips and Gentry, 1994; Phillips et al., 2004), and that an increase in aboveground biomass has occurred, with increases in mortality tending to lag increases in growth (Phillips et al., 1998; Baker et al., 2004a,b; Lewis et al., 2004)." However, they state that this conclusion has recently been challenged by an overzealous application of the "Slow in, Rapid out" dictum, which relates to the fact that forest growth is a slow process, whereas mortality can be dramatic and singular in time, such that sampling over relatively short observation periods may miss these more severe events, leading to positively-biased estimates of aboveground biomass trends, when either no trend or negative trends actually exist.

Out-of-touch Democrats and the Kamikaze Congress

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Democrats across the country are switching parties or retiring, probably because they place greater value on their political careers than in blind party loyalty or supporting a far-left agenda. A new Rasmussen poll indicates that 36% of Democrats “believe their representatives in Congress have lost touch with the party’s voters”, while only 54% say they “have done a good job representing their party’s values over the past several years.”

Obviously, Democrats are not on the same page as their supporters, let alone independents and Republicans. Which page are they on? Whose interests are they representing? And how can they possibly believe that ignoring their constituents will be helpful in winning reelection in November?

Some don’t, which is why they’re getting out of the game with their reputations intact. The rest, who go along with Obama’s disastrous agenda, seem to be committing political suicide, sacrificing their careers to implement long-lasting changes in U.S. government and society that the people do not want. Like Japanese kamikaze pilots of the Second World War, they fly a one-way mission. But this brand of liberalism is no “divine wind,” and the inevitable crash will affect the entire country.

A falling camel attracts many knives

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The Australian - AN American company says it will stop adding biblical references to the so-called “Jesus sights” for rifles used by Australian soldiers. Trijicon triggered an international uproar when US soldiers in Afghanistan discovered that letters and figures they thought were simply stock or model numbers referred to passages from the Bible. ...The company has now issued a statement saying it had stopped putting the inscriptions on its sights. It said it would also give the Pentagon, free of charge, 100 free kits which could be used to remove the references from sights that had already been issued to troops. ...Their use by US, British and New Zealand troops has raised alarm among military leaders that it could reinforce views among extremists that the West is waging a crusade against Islam.
Back in 2001 osama bin laden was quoted as saying, when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse. Well that may be true, but what happens when people see a strong horse and a weak, unsure, lily-livered horse that is ashamed of itself and also at war with itself?

Jihadist islam has been at war with us infidels from the day mohammed put together his death cult that is currently masquerading as the religion of peace. They have never shied away from telling us that they are at war with us, never shied away from killing as many of us as they can, the number they kill only limited by our ability to resist and their stupidity and backwardness. In other words folks, there is no confusion over on their side.

Imagine some islamic company had the brains to make rifle sights and put koranic versus on them and we found out about it. No islamist piece of shit would call a press conference, hold a meeting or send a memo and lose bladder control over it, none of them would say, oh look this is just unacceptable, we're not at war with the west, we don't want them to think that this is some sort of jihad, so get rid of the inscriptions.

No, that sort of stupidity that will earn us nothing in good will or a spare us from a single homicide bomb or attempt to kill as many of us as possible is only reserved for the falling western camel that will attract many knives.

Call for action

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The Greens have indicated that they may do a deal with the Labor Party on the Emissions Trading Scheme. If they vote with the Government in the Senate, Labor needs another two votes to pass the legislation.

There is a rumour about that Senator Boyce (Liberal QLD) intends to support the Rudd Government's ETS legislation when it is re-submitted to the Senate. If you are a Queenslander (or even if you're not?), you may consider contacting the Senator to express your opinion.

Keep the pressure up .... politicians only respond when they think the may lose a few votes. Boyce's email address: senator.sue.boyce@aph.gov.au

There is a Victorian Senator, Judith Troeth, who is also wavering ... her email address: senator.troeth@aph.gov.au






Green rise in power, fuel costs

VICTORIANS could face higher electricity and petrol prices from July 1 if the Rudd Government adopts a carbon tax proposal by the Greens to break the climate change policy deadlock. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he would examine the idea and was open to discussions with all parties.

The Greens called for a $23-a-tonne carbon tax to be introduced for two years. The temporary tax would raise $10 billion a year, of which $5 billion would be paid as compensation to low and middle-income households to shelter them from higher electricity and energy prices.

Industry and small business would get about $2 billion in assistance with $1.2 billion given to help poor countries deal with climate change.

Unlike the Government's plan, petrol would be hit by the tax and it could add about 5c a litre at the pump. Electricity generators would also miss out on compensation, but farming will be excluded.

The plan aims to put the Greens back into the national debate about climate change, after they were effectively sidelined by the Rudd Government last year as it sought to strike a deal with the Coalition's former leader Malcolm Turnbull.

Greens leader Bob Brown said it was urgent and essential that a deal be struck in the short term, to begin the quest to reduce climate change, while a proper plan was worked out for the longer term. "Our job is to help get the climate change bus going again," Senator Brown said.

Mr Rudd's carbon pollution reduction scheme was blocked by the Senate last year. It faces defeat again when Parliament resumes.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

No job is now better than any job!

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NRO Jan 25 Edition - Kingsbridge Armory, in the Bronx, is a cavernous building erected nearly a century ago to house a National Guard regiment. The Guard abandoned it in the mid-1990s, and after a decade and a half of sporadic use a developer proposed to convert the edifice into a shopping center that would bring some 2,200 jobs to the depressed borough. The New York City government, which owns the armory, was enthusiastic about the plan, but the city council said no way — unless retail outlets in the center agree to pay all their workers at least $10 an hour (the federal minimum wage is $7.25). This proviso, predictably, has killed the project. “We see how the interest of the people has prevailed over corporate America,” crowed borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. “We here maintain that the notion that any job is better than no job no longer applies.” That’s debatable, but if New York politicians keep preventing New York residents from selling their labor for what it’s worth, any job will certainly become scarcer than no job.
In the past most of us with a brain figured out pretty quickly that if you went out looking for a job and you only got a job that paid half of what you wanted, it was still better than that other job paying a grand sum of $0 every month. No one had to draw fancy flow charts and pie graphs or anything to get it into your skull, you just figured it out all by your lonesome.

Then came the leftist, so here we have a developer who wants to turn some dump into a mall creating jobs that'll pay bills, put food on peoples tables, etc. But that's not good enough for the leftist, just so they can stick it to evil, corporate America, the leftist refused to accept that those who actually own the businesses that would employ the people could actually pay their workers the market rate. How dare they invest their own money into a business and take all the risks that accompany it and get to decide what to pay their workers!

And so thanks to the leftist cockroaches, the people were spared the grueling slave-labor wages and now have full time jobs, with great annual salaries of $0 and long-term benefits of $0, yay for leftism!

Have the voters of a small and rather gullible American State just knocked global warming on the head?

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The most far-reaching effect of Scott Brown’s upset victory in the Massachusetts senatorial election is likely to be on the world’s attempts to combat global warming. It will make it very much harder for a climate and energy bill – primarly promoted, as it happens, by the other senator from the hitherto famously liberal state, John Kerry – to pass the Senate, and that, in turn, would bedevil attempts to revive the prospects for a new international treaty after the fiasco in Copenhagen.

In truth the prospects for the Senate bill have been looking rocky for weeks, despite Kerry’s determined attempts to talk it up. Just two months ago it looked as if it might have a reasonable chance, despite the fact that several Democratic senators from coal and oil states were expected to vote against it, depriving the party of its filibuster-proof 60-strong supermajority. One Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham, had joined Kerry in putting forward the bill and some ten others – who had expressed support for climate legislation in the past – were thought to be persuadable, especially if it made provision for massive support for nuclear power.

But the Republican leadership then made the issue one of party loyalty identifying it as a key issue for this autumn’s mid-term elections. Nasty attack ads were launched against Graham in his state, and it was made clear to other potential supporters of the bill that they could not expect any backing at the polls. Today’s result will add one more Republican vote against the bill, and make some Democrats more nervous about supporting it.

Obama does have a fallback strategy if the bill goes down – if he chooses to take it. As the Copenhagen conference opened, his administration took powers to regulate to cut carbon dioxide emissions through its Environment Protection Agency, and some environmentalists believe this would be more effective than relying on the “cap and trade” measures in the bill. Moreover, if the Administration did take this course, it might even revive support for the legislation, since industry would far prefer its proposals to the regulations.

It would take courage from Obama, and aggression, but that might be his political salvation. He has, in fairness, not been short of courage: taking up such contentious issues as healthcare and climate change during a recession shows that. But he has lacked political aggression. His disastrous rebuff in Massachusetts came partly because he had not taken the battle to his opposition over healthcare, stressing the benefits of reform, and so allowing his opponents to define it as an issue of cost and taxation.The Republicans have benefited by fighting for their convictions. If Obama fails to do the same, on today’s showing, he is likely to be done for anyway.

SOURCE


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Scott Brown’s Victory: New Englanders Love Their “Little Platoons”. Immigration Is Hurting Them

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By a happy Massachusetts native

“To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections”, wrote Edmund Burke in Reflections on the Revolution in France.

New England has always been a region of “little platoons”, where people proudly retain their local customs and accents. It’s not a place you can just move to and suddenly “belong” (as my California-born wife can attest). You have to put your time in here before you can become a bona fide New Englander. That is something we both love about New England—and it is also one of the many things our elites can’t stand about it.

During his 1831 visit to America, Alexis de Tocqueville was the most impressed with New England. It was in New England’s “little platoons” that de Tocqueville found the American spirit of self-reliance and volunteerism to be the strongest and most admirable.

Unfortunately, New England—and Massachusetts in particular—has also produced an elite culture, a class of people who are largely the product of the region’s many prestigious universities and prep schools.

In recent decades, however, there has been a growing antagonism between everyday New Englanders and the post-American elites who claim to represent them. Granted, we rarely read about it in the press, but the tension is definitely there. Just ask the good people of Lewiston, Maine and Nashua, New Hampshire who never voted to have Somali Bantu refugees forced into their neighborhoods at their own expense.

Why is academe so Leftist?

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The NYT has just come out with some half-reasonable thoughts on that and I have added a few comments in my leading post today on EDUCATION WATCH. For readers in a hurry, however, I will repeat below my preamble to the article:
There is much that is reasonable in the NYT article below but it ignores the numerous reports from conservative academics of the discriminatory treatment that they have received in their workplaces. My own experience is typical. Probably because I was an obvious high-flyer from the beginning, I was APPOINTED (at age 27) with tenure. I didn't have to wait for tenure. So when they found out that I was a conservative, they could not kick me out. But they COULD block my promotion. And they did. Although I was in some years getting as much published in the journals as the whole of the rest of the Department put together, I only ever managed to get one step up the ladder. With the amount I was getting published, I should have FLOWN up the ladder.

Another thing the article below ignores is that the unrealistic ideas of Leftists make them unsuitable for work in business. My realistic conservative ideas meant that I did well in both business and academe but the only Leftist I know who went into business eventually went broke. Academe is a refuge for dreamers who couldn't make it elsewhere. I look at the issues concerned in greater detail here

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Jewish Fascist wants to silence Christians

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She opposes not only freedom of speech but even freedom of beliefs!
"Chai Feldblum, the Georgetown University law professor nominated by President Obama to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has written that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, that may negatively affect homosexual “equality.”

Feldblum, whose nomination was advanced in a closed session of the Senate Health Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on December 12, published an article entitled “Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion” in the Brooklyn Law Review in 2006. “Just as we do not tolerate private racial beliefs that adversely affect African-Americans in the commercial arena, even if such beliefs are based on religious views, we should similarly not tolerate private beliefs about sexual orientation and gender identity that adversely affect LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] people,” the Georgetown law professor argued.

Feldblum’s admittedly “radical” view is based on what she sees as a “zero-sum game” between religious freedom and the homosexual agenda, where “a gain for one side necessarily entails a corresponding loss for the other side.”

“For those who believe that a homosexual or bisexual orientation is not morally neutral, and that an individual who acts on his or her homosexual orientation is acting in a sinful or harmful manner (to himself or herself and to others), it is problematic when the government passes a law that gives such individuals equal access to all societal institutions,” Feldblum wrote...

Feldblum does recognize that elements of the homosexual agenda may infringe on Americans’ religious liberties. However, Feldblum argues that society should “come down on the side” of homosexual equality at the expense of religious liberty.

The full Senate must now vote on Feldblum's nomination, but a date for that vote has not yet been set. As an EEOC commissioner, Feldblum would rule on cases involving alleged violations of federal employment law, including gender, age, and race discrimination.

Source


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Yeehaw! - Choke on that obama!

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Fox News - Washington was waking up Wednesday to a new Senate make-up, one featuring Republican Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown, who defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in a victory few thought possible just a month ago.
The race for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by the late Ted Kennedy is a win that could grind President Obama's agenda to a halt and portend unexpected losses for Democrats in the November midterms.

In his victory speech, Brown declared that he had "defied the odds and the pundits," and said he would try to be a "worthy successor" to Kennedy. "Tonight, the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken," Brown said. "This Senate seat belongs to no one person, no one political party. ... This is the people's seat."

Israel in Haiti

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Israel’s relief efforts to Haiti include the following:

* A field hospital, the only hospital in operation, with 40 doctors, 25 nurses, paramedics, a pharmacy, a children's ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an emergency room, two operating rooms, a surgical department, an internal department and a maternity ward. The hospital can treat approximately 500 patients each day, and in addition will perform preliminary surgeries.

* A search-and-rescue team, which has rescued about five people from under the rubble.

* 220 personnel in total

* Dozens of truckloads of medical and logistical equipment

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, one of the richest countries in the world, has sent a message of condolence to Haitian President René Préval. Some Arab countries have “pledged” help, such as $1 million pledged from both Kuwait and Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates says it will “shortly” send a plane with humanitarian assistance. Qatar, with the third largest gas reserves and the second highest GDP per capita in the world, has dispatched 50 metric tons of aid to the hundreds of thousands of homeless and injured Haitians.

Latest reports are that the IDF Medical Corps have treated some 200 injured people in Haiti, performed ten life-saving surgeries and saved the lives of 140 others. On Sunday night, a resident of Port-au-Prince gave birth to a boy at the Israeli field hospital. In appreciation and gratitude, his mother decided to name her new son “Israel” in honor of the country that helped her.

The director of the Haiti field hospital, Col. Dr. Itzik Reis, explained that the IDF delegation is also giving assistance "to people from emergency crews from all over the world, who simply are not capable of dealing with everyone who needs help and giving them treatment. For example, when we understood that the Dominican team is not set up to provide full treatment, we created an order by which they stabilize the patients and we give them the remainder of the treatment.”

Other Israeli relief operations in Haiti include:

* A six-man ZAKA rescue unit, which worked for 38 consecutive hours and succeeded in pulling eight students alive from the rubble of the collapsed university.

* IsraAID, which sent a planeload of food and medical equipment.

* "Latet" (To Give) – a 15-member mission to Haiti, including three physicians, three nurses, and three paramedics.

SOURCE (Videos here)

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

The lefties will be so proud

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El Universal - French-owned retail chain Éxito supermarkets will be seized for "violation of Venezuelan laws," President Hugo Chávez ordered. He instructed the relevant authorities to file a proceeding against the chain that is run by Colombian retailer Almacenes Éxito, while a law allowing the nationalization of companies that have raised prices after the devaluation announced two weeks ago is enacted.

The four expropriated supermarkets will become part of the Socialist Market Corporation (Comerso), along with shopping mall Sambil located in La Candelaria (downtown Caracas), which is under construction and could be converted into a "mixed" market, but it would not become a mall, said Chávez.
Once again the socialist pustule hugo chavez drags his nation further down the path to ruin in the name of socialism. Apparently there have been multiple violations of Venezuelan laws by this company, more like violations of hugos dreamt-up bullshit. So anyone who invested in that company can kiss their money good bye. And the message is crystal clear to anyone toying with the idea of investing in Venezuela, don't bother coming here, at any point every cent you put in can turn to shit at the whim of a socialist pustule.

Eventually the pustule will run out of other people's money and assets to confiscate, however by then I'm sure hugo's bank account will be sitting nice and fat. And Venezuela will be just another worthless socialist shithole.

Yugoslavs bring their old hatreds to Australia

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Croatians are anti-Russian because Russia has always supported the Serbs. Various ignorant newspaper headlines claim that the events described below are "racism" that shames Australia. How come? Serbs and Croats are racially the same. They even speak the same language. The rivalry is a religious one. Croats are Catholics and Serbs are Orthodox. And what's it got to do with Australia anyway?

RACIAL tensions cast a sinister shadow over the first day of the 2010 Australian Open. Ugly scenes of unruly fans chanting as they headed to Melbourne Park, letting off flares, intimidating visitors, making a mockery of security and shaming so-called multi-cultural Melbourne were broadcast to a world-wide audience who had tuned in to watch the tennis. Award-winning photographer Craig Borrow, from the Herald Sun, was spat on and slapped in the head as he attempted to photograph the chanting mob.

And in a worrying indication about security at the two-week tournament, at least one person was detected and ejected from Melbourne Park for smuggling in flares into the area - despite security searches on arrival.

Day One saw thrills and spills and upsets on the court including world No. 14 Maria Sharapova was bundled out by an upstart fellow Russian.

But it was the boorish bad behaviour of some Croatian fans which stood out just a day after the success of Sunday's exhibition match organised by Roger Federer and supported by stars of the sport who helped raise more than $500,000 for the countless victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Teams of security staff were waiting when the front gates opened but some Croatian fans tried to dodge them by running up the stairs while others attempted to hide their faces under hats, hoods and scarves. Police defended the security presence, despite louts managing to breach the event, saying it was "as tight as it can be". "People are innovative and people smuggle contraband and other illegal goods into events, tournaments, to a number of public places," officer in charge of major events, Superintendent Jock Menzel said.

The behaviour of some fans yesterday - before the gates had even opened or a ball been hit - sent out signals of a return of the racial tension that have marred the international grand slam events in recent years. In the worst scenes of disharmony, opposing fans last year hurled chairs during a fracas in front of stunned families enjoying the sunshine in Garden Square last year - one tennis fan was knocked unconscious.

Eleven had been rejected by lunchtime yesterday and other groups of Croatian fans shunned the bad behaviour of the few who tarnished the name of all Croatian fans. "It is just a few older fans who make trouble and the general public thinks it is all of us," said members of one roaming group of proud, Australian-born Croatians who declined to be identified. "Flares are just over the top and dangerous and there is no place for them at a place like this."

Tennis Australia put fans on notice declaring that anyone would be expelled from Melbourne Park if they were caught playing up.

Family First Senator Steve Fielding said louts ejected from the Australian Open should be banned from all sporting events for at least three years or jailed. The idiot troublemakers deserved the full weight of the law, Senator Fielding said. He said the latest incident had already been a major embarrassment for Melbourne, which was currently on show to the world.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

ZEG

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Conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG has been busy lately. He has two new offerings up. In one, he is steamed that NSW voters seem to find their new female Premier a more attractive personality than the Liberal Party leader. Intended vote swings the other way, however. He actually scored a "well-done" from the leader of the NSW opposition over that one.

And in the latest toon he has a shot at the Leftist teachers' unions who cannot stand the thought of teachers being judged by results.

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

500 rally against 'draconian' laws in Western Australia

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The laws are a gross attack on freedom of movement and freedom of association -- all because a couple of bikers had a fight in an airport departure lounge. For that, all biker clubs have to be outlawed, apparently. But the laws are likely to affect many other clubs and businesses too. Background here

HIGH-PROFILE members of WA's legal fraternity, academia and industry united with outlaw bikies to rally against proposed new anti-association laws today.

About 500 people attended the rally opposite Parliament House this morning to protest the Barnett Government's "draconian" anti-association laws.

Speakers such as high-profile QC Tom Percy, CFMEU president Kevin Reynold,s and leading academic and criminologist David Indemaur spoke out against the injustices contained within the Government's police powers legislation, which is expected to be debated in Parliament within weeks.

Coffin Cheater Eddy Withnell spoke of the prejudice he had already experienced, having been hit with a prohibition order that prevents him entering any licenced premises - including his own business, The Voodoo Lounge.

The rally was organised by the United Motorcycle Council of WA (UMCWA), which was formed last year to give riders a voice in the public debate.

SOURCE

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

12 Signs That 2010 Is Going To Be A Really, Really Bad Year For The Democrats And The Obama Administration

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Guest post below from "Michael The Patriot" of The Truth

The 2010 election is still almost 10 months away, but already every indication is that if the election was held today, the Democrats would suffer a crushing defeat. So will things get better for the Democrats by the time election day rolls around? Well, actually the truth is that things are only likely to get worse for the Democrats and the Obama administration in 2010. As the U.S. economy continues to fall apart, and as health care and national security continue to take center stage on the national scene, an increasing number of voters are likely to become disenfranchised with the Democratic Party. The following are 12 signs that 2010 is going to be a really, really bad year for the Democrats and the Obama administration.

#1) Health care "reform" has been a total nightmare for Obama and the Democrats. The majority of Americans have been horrified to learn that the plan put forward by the Democrats will make purchasing health insurance mandatory, will raise taxes, will give the government unprecedented control over health care decisions, will result in much fewer health care choices for the average American and will push U.S. government deficits through the roof. Approval ratings for the health care "reform" bill have been hovering in the 30s, and considering that this is the centerpiece of the Democratic agenda, this is a really, really bad sign for Obama and the Democrats.

Coakley wishes for Catholic-free ERs

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Life News - Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley is coming under fire today for comments showing her attacking the conscience rights of pro-life Catholics. In a Thursday interview, Coakley is asked whether doctors and nurses working in a hospital emergency room have religious freedom. Because they oppose dispensing the morning after pill because it can sometimes cause an abortion she says Catholics should not be allowed to work in hospital emergency rooms.

...Deal Hudson, a Catholic writer for InsideCatholic.com, tells LifeNews.com that there doesn't appear to be "any limit to the anti-Catholicism of pro-abortion 'Catholic' politicians. If politicians like Coakley are put in charge of 'health care reform' the day may come when orthodox Catholics will be excluded from any medical services where they might decide not to provide an abortion, prescribe contraception, or euthanize a suffering patient," Hudson laments.
You can bet your bottom dollar that day is coming, already these shitbags are calling for those who don't agree with murdering the unborn to be excluded from work. If leftists ever get their wishes for public health and death panels, you think they'll let any one of you stand in the way of getting rid of grandpa and grandma. It's plainly obvious unless your some sort of dumbass or came down with last night's shower, there is no room for dissent or differing opinion in the progressives wretched utopia.

Do the right thing Massachusetts, kick this fool to the kerb.

ZEG

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In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is steamed that NSW voters seem to find their new female Premier a more attractive personality than the Liberal Party leader. Intended vote swings the other way, however.

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Wealthy migrants pricing locals out of Sydney property market

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This is an almost inevitable result of a high level of immigration anywhere and Australia's Leftist Federal government is deliberately and openly fostering a high level of immigration. The price problem would be much alleviated if more land for housing were released from restrictive land-use regulations but the Greenies would raise hell if that were done so the problem will only get worse

AUSTRALIAN families are being priced out of the property market by record numbers of highly paid skilled workers arriving from overseas. Research by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed for the first time how skilled immigrants - predominantly from Britain, India and China - are forcing house prices to some of the highest levels in the world when compared with average incomes.

Almost 115,000 permanent skilled visas were issued last year, compared with just over 40,000 in 1998-99 - an increase of 187 per cent. During the same period, the median house price rose 168 per cent, from $156,600 to $420,600.

An odd old saying

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There is an old tripartite saying that sticks in my mind -- mainly because I don't understand the second part, I think. It was said to be fatherly advice given by a British aristocrat to his son:

1. Never drink port after champagne.

2. Never hunt south of the Thames

3. Never give your lady one in the morning. You never know what might come up during the day.

I would be interested if anybody knows other versions of that advice and if anybody knows who first uttered it. I remember reading it long ago in a book but have quite forgotten which one.

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Hey obama, it ain't Ted Kennedy's seat

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Fox News - President Obama's charm offensive didn't work in New Jersey or Virginia, where Republicans won crucial gubernatorial races in November. Will it work in Massachusetts? That remains to be seen, as Obama puts his prestige on the line again when he goes to the Bay State on Sunday to stump for Democratic nominee Martha Coakley, who is in a dead heat with Republican candidate Scott Brown for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat.

...In fact, the stakes are even higher for the president than they were in last year's gubernatorial races, as he seeks to avoid losing a critical 60th vote in the Senate for his signature health care overhaul that is nearing the finish line in Congress. If Brown wins Tuesday, Republicans pick up their 41st vote, which would be enough to sustain a filibuster and possibly kill the reform bill.

Madworld: The Best Game of 2009 None of You Played

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I will try to keep this specific to this game and not go into the general state of gaming (as that is another whole article for another day) suffice to say that those of you lamenting the current state of gaming really have nobody to blame but yourselves.

I have never been one to buy into the bullshit criticism of “There are not enough mature games on the Wii” as I am more concerned about there being good games available on the various platforms rather than types or genres of games, but scan through any gaming forum and taking out the dipshit 8-15 year olds and their asinine comments, you will still find a somewhat valid criticism that there are not enough games on the Wii catering to adult gamers specifically.

I say somewhat because looking at violence/gore standard for the Wii, 2009 saw the release of Madworld, House of the Dead: Overkill (a take on the grindhouse style of cinema from the 70’s - which holds the record for the most amount of swearing in a videogame), Dead Space: Extraction, and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, and three of those games are on-rails shooters.

So along comes Madworld, something totally different and unique, and most people overlook it. Well no more.

BrookesNews Update

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Things are not looking up for the US economy : Obama's borrowing and spending binge point to an eventual rise in long term interest rates severe enough that if it did not kill off investment it would severely curb it. Sustained economic recovery means capital accumulation. Obama's policies are anti-growth, whether he knows it or not. His green jobs policy is a prime example of gross economic illiteracy and amounts to nothing but a 21st century version of pyramid building that will do as much for the American economy as did the building of the Palace of Versailles for the French economy
Why Bernanke needs to change course to save the US economy : The main source of the current crisis is the Fed's own policies. Once the Fed lowers interest rates and pumps money into the economy, it enables the formation of various false activities, and sets in motion an economic boom. A reversal of the loose stance strangles non-productive activities and sets in motion an economic bust
Doyle is screwing the Liberal Party on green policies : Once again the Liberal Party reveals its total incompetence in dealing with green nonsense and economic fallacies. Robert Doyle proposes destructive green policies and Liberal politicians and their advisors are unable to figure out what's wrong with them
Another interventionist fallacy: unemployment, labour costs and the value-added fallacy : Interventionists and all manner of would-be central planners are utterly clueless about how businesses are run and how markets operate. This ignorance makes these meddlers particularly dangerous to our standard of living
Castro's Cuba: Terror sponsor : "Castro has protested being placed on the U.S. list of terror-prone nations slated for extra airport screening. This is the same murderous thug who built terrorist-training camps, sponsored individual terrorists like Carlos the Jackal, and who in 1962 plotted to blow up New York's subways with 500 tons of TNT under Bloomingdale's, Gimbel's and Macy's on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The plot was foiled by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. The same thug also attempted to blow up a Miami-area nuclear plant in 1983. No wonder the Hollywood left love him
Fidel Castro: Hollywood screenwriter : Well whaddyaknow, it turns out that the Soderbergh/del Toro biopic Che was basically written by Castro's The Cuban Film Institute with Castro having the final say on the script. What a pair of lying leftwing Hollywood creeps. They couldn't wait to grovel to the sadistic Castro while praising the equally sadistic but inept Che. Hollywood has been turned into a leftwing cesspool by the likes of the America-hating Soderbergh and stone
The Crucifixion of Brit Hume : When Brit Hume declared his faith in Christ the American left immediately went into an indescribably vile frenzy. Christians should be happy because it revealed the left's hypocrisy, its shocking intolerance of anyone disagrees with it and its pathological hatred of Christians. It also revealed that the left is the real threat to Americans' liberties
Obama: America's gift to terrorists : For al Qaeda and other terrorists across the globe, Obama is the gift that just keeps on giving. The fanatical Muslim terrorists who are intent on wiping out every man woman and child that doesn't accept Allah as God was just handed another victory by the President of the United States
Leaving the US - why and why not? : After the Bolsheviks took over Russia, many who lived there before were able to compare life before and after the Communist take-over. It became readily apparent that they had gone from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. Subsequent generations, having nothing to compare, had no idea what life could be under some other kind of government and simply accepted the regime as a way of life. Is this what will happen in the United States?

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Predestination -- and a small reflection on the Calvinist culture into which I was born

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"It was meant to be". "It was all planned out before we were born". Such statements are the essence of Calvinism. And I think that they are still common in at least some Christian circles. In the English-speaking world, the home of such doctrines is the Presbyterian Church -- in its various incarnations. But very few modern-day Presbyterian churches still preach it from the pulpit.

Yet it has a good foundation in scripture. See Ephesians chapter 1, for instance. And because of that foundation a very theological version of the doctrine even appears in the famous 16th century 39 "Articles of Religion" of the Church of England. There was a time when the Church of England respected scripture -- and you had to assent to the 39 articles to be an Anglican priest, in fact. These days the only faith that most of the Anglican clergy seem to have is in homosexuality and global warming.

Despite its venerable historical and scriptural roots, however, it seems to me that predestination is still not generally a well-articulated doctrine. It is more an instinct than anything else.

I was born into a family that was not at all religious but was still somehow Presbyterian. I was sent to Presbyterian Sunday School as a kid and still have the fondest memories of that time even though I have been an atheist for all of my adult life. Yet my mother and my aunties would all from time to time come out with the statements with which I have introduced this post. What is not now preached from the pulpit still survives among the people. And the lady in my life -- Anne -- who also has a Presbyterian background but is no more religious than my mother and my aunties -- also comes out with such utterances to this day.

And Islam seems to have a very similar doctrine.

So I think that we should respect religious feelings even if a searching examination of them reveals large logical difficulties. Feelings are important. Anne does not in fact appear to believe in God. Yet she believes in a planner and a purposer. I have no difficulties with that -- even though I personally do not remotely share such beliefs.

Religion is much more a matter of feeling than anything else and I am delighted that I myself once shared such feelings. People who attack religion are in my view incompletely human. I don't in fact think that a true atheist feels any need to attack religion. Crusading atheists like Dawkins seem to me to be very religious themselves. They too are feelings-driven.

And while I am about it, I want to pay tribute to the immense power of the New Testament faith. Virtually all present Christian churches stray extensively from that faith -- as my commentary on the NT sets out in great detail -- but even that fragment of the original faith that Christians generally possess has survived, flourished and conquered for 2,000 years. And I have every confidence that there is at least another 2,00 years of life in it yet. Forget church doctrine and pagan preconceptions. Just read the NT and soak in it. It probably still has the power to transform you if you let it. It has certainly been the biggest single influence on my life.

A small addendum to that: There is one large diocese of the Church of England that does still hew closely to the scriptures: The Sydney diocese of the Anglican church of Australia. And their theological seminary -- Moore college -- is overflowing with around 300 young people (male and female) studying the faith. By contrast the local Roman Catholic seminary has about six students. Getting close to the NT is the key to power in Christian faith.

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

Something fishy in whaling debate

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Ecoterrorists are actually likely to prolong Japanese whaling, says Australian anthropologist Adrian Peace. Pearce has an excellent coverage of the Japanese viewpoint but rather inexplicably overlooks something very basic about all East-Asian socities: Face. If the Japanese yielded to the ecoterrorists, it would be a huge loss of face -- and as such will be strenuously resisted. So as long as the ecoterrorists keep up their publicity-hungry antics, the Japanese will continue whaling

IF the profits were high and it required a substantial labour force, it would be possible to understand why the Japanese run the gamut of international condemnation at this time of year. But whaling nowadays entails minimal economic return and directly employs only a few hundred workers. A number of social scientists, Japanese and non-Japanese, have tried to explain why this intensely capitalist country persists in this seemingly irrational economic behaviour. The main points they make are worth thinking about.

The first explanation lies in the realm of Japanese culture and national identity.

When the International Whaling Commission holds its annual meetings, the intensity of the media gaze provokes pro-whaling claims about the Japanese being involved in this maritime industry for several centuries. But it is not necessary to go that far back. In the early 20th century, canned whale meat became a staple food for the Japanese military, while in post-war years the entire population acquired almost half of its animal protein from whale meat.

Older Japanese believe whale meat has saved them from famine. Subsequently, it became a regular item in lunch boxes (obentos), while for many people today whale meat in the form of sushi and other dishes is a special treat.

So the notion of an exceptional and distinctive whale eating culture (gyoshoku bunka) is a significant one which Japanese discourse (nihinjin roh) incorporates into a sense of national identity, for a unique population. As the anti-whaling movement has become the dominant international discourse, the consumption of whale meat has become a significant counter symbol of belonging to an inimitable Japanese tribe. As one anthropologist puts it: "The whaling issue serves to strengthen much-cherished Japanese myths about their identity, which itself helps fuel one form of Japanese nationalism."