Egypt may be worse without Mubarak

0 comments


Sayyid Qutb. Remember that name. You'll hear it often in coming months and years. Indeed, he may end up being the most influential person of the 21st century. He's been dead 46 years. But Karl Marx was the person who most influenced the 20th century he did not live to see.

Qutb's influence is more menacing than Marx. The radicals of the Muslim Brotherhood that are these days inspired by his manifesto, In The Shade of The Koran, will be central to the riots and violent chaos in Cairo.

It has always been the ultimate aim of the likes of Qutb and the Koran-quoting assassins he inspires to die advancing the cause of Islam. It goes without saying that an Egypt led by Islamic theocrats would attack Israel, unleashing god knows what.

The world understands Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak corruptly keeps government and that some of his people are illegally repressed. But that draconian rule has kept Egypt stable and its Islamic core under control. After losing wars with Israel, it decided to join the modern world in accepting that country's right to exist, even if Egyptian Muslims still see it as an enemy.

Under Mubarak, Egypt has helped keep the peace first won by his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, and Israel's Menachem Begin in 1979. For daring to barter peace with Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Sadat in 1981. Mubarak that day bravely took on the leadership, and pledged to recognise all treaties with Israel, and they have been trying to kill him ever since.

While these days some are inclined to smile at some of the absurdities uttered by Qutb -- he once wrote that jazz was "music that the Negroes invented to satisfy their primitive inclinations, as well as their desire to be noisy" -- his influence is on enemies of ours who mean business. Al-Qaida for one.

Qutb was hanged with Brotherhood mates who'd been planning to assassinate Egyptian leaders. That's the good news. The bad is he is a hero to people who plan to hurt us.

SOURCE

Where Calvin meets Mao

0 comments



A Clown with a Knife from AltRightTV on Vimeo.



In this interview with Craig Bodeker, AltRight contributing editor Derek Turner provides what may be the most concise yet penetrating explanation of the origins and nature of political correctness I have yet to encounter. The full video is available on the website of the National Policy Institute.

Critics of PC have advanced several theses regarding its origins. Paul Gottfried has suggested that it is largely an outgrowth of left-wing American Christianity. Bill Lind considers it be a form of “cultural Marxism” derived from an inversion of orthodox Marxism advanced by the Frankfurt School. David Heleniak has an interesting thesis suggesting that PC is largely a derivative of the Christian doctrine of original sin that subsequently took on a secular form through the influence of the philosophy of Jean Jacques Rousseau. Still others regard PC as good old fashioned Communism wearing a different set of clothes. My own efforts to investigate the historical development of PC (which I prefer to call “totalitarian humanism”) have led me to a position that is something of a synthesis of these narratives.

Derek points out that political correctness has become the most deeply entrenched in historically Protestant countries, primarily the nations of Scandinavia and the Anglosphere. Presumably, this can be explained as a manifestation of the sense of Calvinist guilt that has been woven into the cultural fabric and historical memories of Protestant societies. That colonial American Puritanism was a rather extreme manifestation of the Calvinist ethos, and that American left-wing Christianity came about largely as an eclipsing successor of orthodox Calvinism in the American northeast, may help to explain why PC first took root in America and exported itself throughout the Western world the way that it did.

If indeed Rousseau’s philosophy provided a secular transformation of the notion of original sin, then it is not improbable that such thinking would take root in a cultural milieu where orthodox Calvinism had once been virulent, but was in the process of shedding that history while retaining some of its residual influences, which would have been the case with northeastern American Protestantism during the developmental periods of this country.

It should not be surprising then that the Frankfurt School found a home for itself in northeastern American universities following its exile from Nazi Germany (and after an ironic stay in Geneva, the city most closely associated with the legacy of Calvin!). Some of the iconic figures of the New Left, such as Angela Davis and Abbie Hoffman, were personally students of the Frankfurt School’s most extreme left-wing advocate, Herbert Marcuse, and it is another irony that just as Marcuse eventually settled in California, it was at West Coast universities such as Berkeley that the leftist student rebellions of the 1960s began to emerge before spreading throughout the West and even elsewhere.

As for the relationship between orthodox Communism and PC, in my efforts to trace the origins of the term, I have encountered phrases such as “correct politics” or “correct political line,” and references to persons being shunned or dismissed from organizations for “incorrect politics” in old radical literature from the late 1960s and early 1970s, particularly among Weather Underground-influenced groups or the most extreme offshoots of the “black power” movement. The Maoist influence on these groups is well-known, as is the fascination of some of the more extreme New Left radicals of the era with the Chinese Cultural Revolution. PC in many ways resembles a Maoist self-criticism session, so there is likely a connection there.

I actually grew up in part as a Calvinist fundamentalist myself during the 1970s. My family were adherents of old-style orthodox Calvinism of the kind represented by theologians like J. Gresham Machen and Cornelius Van Til, and for a time we were involved with a church associated with the theocratic “Christian reconstructionist” movement of R.J. Rushdoony and Gary North. All of my education up through and including my sophomore year of high school was done at a fundamentalist academy that adhered to dispensational Christian Zionism (think of Bob Jones University and you will get an idea what the atmosphere there was like).

During the late 1980s and early 1990s I was a left-wing Chomskyite and it was during this time that I first began to personally encounter PC. Observing the psychology of PC and its behavioral manifestations up close and in an unadulterated form gave me a sense of déjà vu: “Where I have seen this kind of thing before?” Having long since abandoned my previous Christianity by that time, I came to realize that PC essentially amounts to Christian fundamentalism without a Christ (perhaps this explains the Left’s habit of elevating perceived progressive saints such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the status of Christ-like semi-divine figures).

Whatever the true historical trajectory of PC may be, its obscurantist and totalitarian nature is obvious enough. It is ironic that eccentric religious subcultures such as the ones I came from are demonized by the anointed as dangerous theocratic fascists about to carry out an Taliban-like coup any minute now (a view that wildly exaggerates the influence and degree of extremism of such subcultures), while a form of obscurantist totalitarianism that has actually has the support of elites, intellectuals, academics, journalists, and others of genuine influence continues to entrench itself in Western cultural and political institutions.

SOURCE. (See the original for links)

QUIS MAGISTROS IPSOS DOCEBIT? (Who will teach the teachers?)

0 comments


Obama's pet nut wants to "educate" people. Yet, no matter how hard they tried, nobody could educate Holdren. He has less scientific competence than most first graders. Note that he talks about "the science" without mentioning one single scientific fact. Some background on the amazing wit and wisdom of Holdren here

President Obama's top science adviser said there's a need to "educate" GOP climate change skeptics on Capitol Hill as the White House seeks to advance its green energy agenda. "It is an education problem. I think we have to educate them," said John Holdren, who heads the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, in an interview broadcast Sunday.

Obama, in his State of the Union speech last week, called for deriving 80 percent of U.S. power from "clean" sources by 2035, and funding increased R&D of green electricity and fuels by repealing billions of dollars in oil industry tax breaks. But the effort comes as a substantial number of GOP lawmakers, such as House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-Texas), are questioning climate science.

Holdren, asked about advancing Obama's agenda in the face of skepticism, said the scientific evidence of dangerous human-induced climate change is powerful. "The science of climate change is really very clear in its essentials," Holdren said on Platts Energy Week.

He said there is uncertainty about details, but noted that's always the case in science. What's plain, Holdren said, is that the climate is changing in damaging ways and that human activities - notably burning fossil fuels - are "overwhelmingly likely" to be the primary cause.

"Those points are clear in the science, and we need to talk with the members of Congress who aren't yet convinced of that to try and convince them," Holdren said.

Obama's Jan. 25 speech didn't mention climate change, greenhouse gases, or global warming explicitly, instead referring briefly to protecting the planet, while repeatedly framing green energy as an economic driver.

The careful phrasing comes after emissions-capping legislation collapsed on Capitol Hill last year.

More HERE

Must not express anti-Muslim sentiments in Britain

0 comments


We read:
"Five men have been arrested after a Facebook site was set up declaring “all Muslims should be thrown out of Wales”. Around 150 people joined the group on the social networking site claiming they would march through the Rhondda Valleys to make their feelings known.

The proposed march has been described as “mindless bigotry” by racial equality groups. But South Wales Police have now stepped in and arrested five men for religiously aggravated public order offences.

It is one of the first occasions people have been arrested over comments posted on Facebook. The group has also been removed from the site.

Police now believe the march will not go ahead, but they will be on standby in case anyone turns up. Members of the group, which was entitled Rhondda March, said they would walk from Treherbert down to Pontypridd on February 28.

Source

Go girl!

0 comments


Palin issues scathing response to Obama speech

Sarah Palin has issued a scathing response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, attacking his economic policies and "recycled rhetoric," which she says no longer inspires hope.

In a lengthy missive on Facebook, Palin didn't mention the call for unity that Obama made in his speech Tuesday.

Rather, she focused her attention on his economic proposals, calling his ideas for investments in areas like high-speed rail "half-baked." She says they'd put the nation on a "bullet train to bankruptcy." She also said Obama doesn't understand that debt is the biggest problem facing the nation.

She noted the speech was dubbed "Winning the Future," and suggested that the acronym of that title, "WTF," is an apt way to describe the speech.

SOURCE. Read the whole thing here. She really nails it.

When is civilization going to learn . . .

1 comments


. . . that government spending makes things worse, not better?

You can, perhaps, forgive the policy makers of the early 20th century for not knowing this. Throughout the Western world, big government was in. Technology was allowing government to get bigger, and to do more, and people figured, "Well, why shouldn't it do more?" There are problems in society that need to get fixed, and maybe it's government's role to fix them. After all, government could do big things. Government could build great dams. Government could electrify country farms previously lit by candle and kerosene. All it needed to do was tax enough money, or borrow it or print it, and—with its monopoly of force and law—arrogate the resources and land it needed, and government could do just about anything.

Herbert Hoover, the great engineer, had done great things prior to becoming president. Through force of will, organization, and careful planning, Hoover believed that great things could be done. And he did great things, including feeding millions of starving people. He took this mentality and his many successes with him to the White House and, through his policies, helped cause the Great Depression. Franklin Roosevelt took over, Hoover's name was blackened, and then Roosevelt and his gang proceeded to make most of the same mistakes Hoover did, only worse, more, and bigger.

Of course, during this moment of history where big government was in vogue, fascism was as well, with open fascisms in Europe and more than a whiff of it here at home. But ignoring that, for the time being . . . on strictly economic grounds, the people of that day may perhaps be forgiven. A bigger government, taking greater control over the economy, had never really been tried before. The theories were new. This was a modern era, and it was time for new ideas to be tried, people believed.

That said, we now have a century of data, and the data are clear: The ideas failed.

More economic freedom means more prosperity. Less economic freedom correlates to less prosperity. Large government, spending large amounts, tends to hinder, not help economic growth. The body of evidence is, at this point, so overwhelming on the subject that in a completely rational world, we would no longer even be having the discussion. This is not, however, a completely rational world, and we'll probably need a century of intellectual combat to completely undo a century of ideological errors (though I am hopeful that we may be able to speed up the process).

The 2011 Index of Economic Freedom has fired another salvo in that struggle—and a fairly convincing one. Ambassador Terry Miller, in Chapter 1 of The Limits of Government, provides some compelling charts data and charts on these issues.

The firtst is on government spending levels and how they correlate to growth. The trend and correlation are unmistakable:



Miller acompanies that chart with, in part, this text:
"The 2011 Index results demonstrate clearly that for many of the countries of the world, particularly those that experienced the inevitable results of state economic control under Communist systems in the past, policy solutions that would re-regulate economic activity or undo the integration of economies in a globalized trade and investment market hold little attraction.

Their skepticism is justified. Countries that reduced government spending had economic growth rates almost two percentage points higher in 2009 than countries whose government spending scores worsened, and countries with the highest rates of government spending had gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates 4.5 percentage points lower on average than countries where government spending was best contained. (See Chart 1.)"

The evidence is not just that economically freer countries enjoy more prosperity, higher standards of living, more political freedom and tolerance, etc., though the evidence is out there for those factors as well. But it's also very specifically that more government spending correlates with less growth. Stimulus spending, for example, appears not only to fail to do what it sets out to do (stimulate), it also appears to have the opposite effect. Needless to say, though the situation is always more complex than a single chart can report, with trendlines like that, correlation is almost surely causation, at least in part.

Miller goes on to provide several other charts in this chapter, including this striking one:



There are deviations, obviously. The one outlier on the Y axis (GDP per person) is not the economically freest. The economically freest (X axis) does not have the absolute highest GDP/person. But again, the trendline is unmistakable.

The trend also appears to be geometric as you move along the X axis. In other words, each "investment" a country makes in economic freedom (moving further right on the x axis) produces not only an increase in per person GDP, it produces a greater "rate of return" on that "investment" for each move further down the line towards the freest end.

With data like these, I keep going back to the question, "Why are we even still having the discussion?"

And then I remind myself, once again, that we do not live in a fully rational world.

SOURCE

Congress considering internet “kill switch”

0 comments


Egypt has one. Why not Obama?
"Introduced last summer, a bill affording President Obama executive power over private Internet companies in the event of a 'national cyberemergency' is returning this year, albeit with a few tweaks.

The CBS News article, 'Renewed Push to Give Obama an Internet ‘Kill Switch,‘' insists that the bill should not cause Internet companies any alarm, citing government promises to limit the bill’s use to 'crucial components of national infrastructure.'

We must question, then, why it is the case that these promises aren’t built into the bill."

Source

Yet Another Warmist Group Says Communist Dictatorship “Looks Very Attractive”

1 comments


What is with the warmist’s love affair with communist dictatorships? Yet another group of committed climate change worriers has come out to declare their abiding admiration for Chinese-style dictatorship.

The Islington and Hackney Carbon Reduction Action Group (how annoying do they sound?) have posted a notice to say that they are no longer trading carbon with each other, due to the fact that there are now only four people willing to trade carbon with each other, and no one wants to do the maths:
"Back in 2006, I thought that personal carbon allowances would be a great leveller in more ways that just in terms of carbon emissions and perhaps that would be a good thing. But now I think that even moderate greens living in our energy intensive, consumer driven western economies would be perfectly happy to buy up carbon credits from another person without feeling much guilt or being too concerned about the morality of it . . .

Looking at the global stage, back in 2006 I would never have believed that so little would be achieved at the international climate conferences over the following 4 years. But until politicians in the West, accept that the largest per capita emitters have to make the largest emissions reductions, and they can find a way of getting the electorate to still vote for them, progress is going to be slow. The Chinese system of command and control government seems very attractive from afar."

As The Register points out, the group managed to reduce their carbon emissions to 3.36 tons per person per year by “heroic” efforts, but their Co2 emissions were still way above the supposedly “sustainable” emissions levels of 0.5 tons.

Sadly for the Islington and Hackney Carbon Reduction Action Group, and warmists everywhere, the sort of WWII sacrifices that Greens are calling for are just not going to happen in a democracy, which perhaps explains the evident longing for the Chinese Communist “command and control” style of Government where they can just tell people what to do (for their own good, of course).

SOURCE

Nanny-staters think that people read labels

0 comments


The few who do are probably careful about what they eat and drink anyway. The New York experience shows that the sort of labelling advocated below will achieve nothing. Do the brainiacs below think Australians are more sophisticated than New Yorkers? Good luck with that assumption

FOOD police would enforce labels showing nutritional value on packaging and cigarette-style health warnings on alcohol under changes recommended for national laws.

A report released yesterday to improve food labelling laws in Australia and New Zealand contains 61 recommendations, including dropping mandatory "per serve" columns while explicitly stating the inclusion of trans-fats and salt content.

The report, Labelling Logic, was commissioned by the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council in October 2009 and compiled by a panel of independent experts, led by former federal health minister Dr Neal Blewett.

Information about food safety would be of primary importance followed by preventative health, new technologies such as genetic modification and lastly consumer values like "free range".

"The crux of the review was to address the tensions between competing interests that drive food labelling policy and seek to resolve them," Dr Blewett said.

Some of the recommendations call for food manufacturers to voluntarily adopt proposals such as a traffic light front-of-pack labelling system before they are legislated.

Food manufacturers attacked the traffic light recommendation, arguing there was a lack of consensus on the best way to label food. "The industry rejects traffic light labelling on the basis that it's badly understood by consumers and the system has been rejected by countries around the world," Australian Food and Grocery Council CEO Kate Carnell said.

The Federal Government has until December to respond to the recommendations.

The State Government has welcomed the review, which recommends fast food chains and vending machines declare energy (kilojoule) content - a move introduced in New South Wales last November which takes effect from February 1.

Under the recommendations, country-of-origin labelling would be tightened along with mandatory identification of any food prepared or treated with new technologies.

Alcoholic beverages would have generic health warnings including specific messages about the risks of drinking while pregnant. Alcoholic drink labels would also have to reveal their energy content.

SOURCE

What does it take? British criminal gets 578th conviction but has never been sent to prison

0 comments


A man with a 50-year record of crime has been spared jail despite being found guilty of his 578th offence. The case led an MP yesterday to describe the criminal justice system as a ‘joke’.

The serial offender is one of thousands given community sentences every year for crimes including violence and sex attacks, despite having been convicted or cautioned more than 50 times before. The number in this category has increased by a quarter in a year.

The appalling statistics are seen as proof that the justice system is failing to tackle career criminals who repeatedly avoid being locked away.

Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt revealed the case of the man with 578 offences in response to a parliamentary question by Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley. He refused to give any details about the offender or his crimes.

Mr Davies said: ‘This shows that the criminal justice system has become a joke. ‘Even Crispin Blunt has said that prison should be there not just for serious offenders, but for persistent offenders as well. ‘Surely when someone has committed so many crimes, somebody somewhere should say this man is a serious offender? ‘Whatever he has done, this man is surely a menace to the community and it beggars belief that he can commit 578 crimes and still not be sent to prison.

‘And of course, these are only crimes that are detected. ‘We are probably talking of thousands of crimes here. It shows that, despite what (Justice Secretary) Ken Clarke would have us believe, we have too few people in prison, not too many.’

David Green, of the think-tank Civitas, said: ‘I have long argued that career criminals should be jailed for a long period, because they have no respect for the rights and obligations of normal life. ‘We all accept that prison should not be something we resort to too quickly. ‘We would all like to be given a second chance if we do something stupid – it’s the 578th chance I have a problem with.’

SOURCE

Civility? What Channel?

0 comments


Frank Salvato



What’s all this talk about civility taking hold in the American political arena? Evidently, Progressive talker Stephanie Miller, who, I guess, has a syndicated radio show – amazing what passes for talent these days on talk radio – didn’t get that memo...strange, too, as her leader, Pres. Obama took to the airwaves after the Tucson tragedy to admonish everyone who was throwing rhetorical bombs under the guise of “political debate.” Yet, for Ms. Miller, it’s full speed ahead with the name-calling and the deprecating jokes.

Mediateite.com reports that while discussing House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH):
 
“...Miller and her show’s producer, Chris Lavoie, mentioned her earlier joke about Barack Obama making ‘the Boehner cry’...”
 
Miller pronounced the Speaker’s name “Boner.”
 
“And then came an observation about Boehner’s warm glow – an observation that, of course, acts as rather juicy bait for conservatives who will (we’re guessing) most certainly ask why it’s excusable to make comments about the Speaker’s skin color:
 
“’And then the other big thing I noticed – I’m sorry cause you know you can’t help the visual, okay – Boehner is a darker color than the President.’
 
“Lavoie then chimed in with quite a specific observation:
 
“’I tweeted last night that if he wore and avocado green tie, he would totally be a 1970’s kitchen.’”


That’s nice. Isn’t it?
 
 



Truth be told, when one honestly compares the rhetoric of the Progressive Left, the Democrats and the Right – the main word here is honestly and yes I did separate the Progressives from the Democrats – we arrive at only one outcome consistently, and that is that the overwhelming majority of caustic rhetoric comes from the Progressive faction of our political spectrum.

Politico.com reported in February of last year, well before the Tucson tragedy, that Progressive talker and admitted Socialist, Ed Shultz, said this of former Vice President Dick Cheney:
 
“You’re damn right, Dick Cheney's heart's a political football. We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him...Do you realize that if you had five heart attacks, hell, you wouldn't get past two heart attacks and they’d dump you...But because you're a war criminal and because you are on the take from Halliburton...you can get the best healthcare on the face of the earth.”


One has to wonder where all that Leftist tolerance has disappeared to. On a more measured note, but nevertheless just as dishonest and disingenuous, former (it feels good to say that) MSNBC pundit Keith Olbermann denigrated the Tea Party Movement, challenging:
 
“Let me ask all of you who attend these things, how many black faces do you see at these events?”


He continued,
 
“Why are you surrounded by the largest crowd you will ever again see in your life that consists of nothing but people who look exactly like you?”

Ironically, and simply to make a point, ACORN whistleblower Anita Moncrief recently announced the creation and launch of the nation’s first Black Tea Party group. One has to wonder whether Mr. Olbermann can wipe the self-pity from his eyes long enough to see the different “colors” involved in the Tea Party Movement, or whether his arrogance just sees Conservatives and those who want to protect the Constitution as gray.

But why should we be surprised at the vitriol coming out of the Progressive Left? Progressives are the ones who gin-up discontent around the world. From Greece to San Francisco, France to the G20 summits and World Trade Organization events wherever they take place, if there is a loud, obnoxious, bull-headed protest event, complete with posters depicting someone as Hitler and denouncing Capitalism in favor of wealth redistribution and Che Guevara, there you will find Progressives, in all their disgruntled, arrogant, elitist glory.

Now, you may be asking why I separate the Democrats from the Progressives. After all, they both come from the Left side of the aisle, right?

Wrong. Progressives exist on both sides of the aisle; they simply have found it easier to take-over the Democrat Party. Nancy Pelosi, the majority of the Congressional Black Caucus (can you imagine if there was a Congressional White Caucus? Whoa!) and all of the mini-me special interest caucus leaders routinely are found to be members of the House Progressive Caucus – 70 House members, along with two Senators comprise the whole of the Progressive contingent. Compare that to the rest of the Democrat side of the aisle which numbers 123, including 26 Blue Dog Democrats.

My point? If you want to truly arrive at civility in the American political arena, all we really have to do is separate the infiltrating Progressives from the true Democrats and spotlight the Progressives for whom and what they are: caustic malcontents hell-bent on diminishing our Constitutional Republic to a Socialist Democracy. All we have to do is encourage true Democrats to...take back their party. That achieved – and only then – can we return to the days of civil, spirited and honest debate in the American political arena.

And so it goes...

SOURCE.

Rabbis protest Fox host’s use of Holocaust imagery

4 comments


Jews have a monopoly on mention of Hitler & Co.? A lot of non-Jewish Americans died to defeat Hitler. Does that not give all Americans the right to talk about it?
"Four hundred rabbis will publish a letter on Thursday calling on Fox News to sanction host Glenn Beck for repeated use of Nazi and Holocaust imagery and for airing attacks on World War Two survivor George Soros.

In an open letter to Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp, which owns Fox, the rabbis also demand an apology from Fox News chief Roger Ailes for characterizing Beck's Jewish critics as nothing more than 'left-wing rabbis.'"

Source

Truth hurts. Once again Jews are antagonizing their only real friends: Conservatives. Their Leftism rots their minds.

Britons going cold on global warming: Number of climate change sceptics doubles in four years

0 comments


The number of climate change sceptics has almost doubled in four years, official research showed yesterday. A quarter of Britons are unconvinced that the world is warming following successive freezing winters and a series of scandals over the credibility of climate science.

The figures suggest that a growing proportion of the public do not share the belief of all three major political parties and Whitehall – that climate change is a major and urgent challenge requiring radical and expensive policies.

The survey, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, has plotted levels of acceptance of the theory of man-made global warming since 2006. In that year it found that 87 per cent of people were at least ‘fairly convinced’ that climate change was happening. Last year that share had dropped to 75 per cent. Numbers who say they are unconvinced went up from 12 to 23 per cent.

The erosion of the public consensus behind global warming coincided with the ‘Climategate’ fiasco which came after damaging e-mails from the University of East Anglia were leaked in November 2009, and the arrival of another cold winter.

There were also setbacks for climate change advocates over flaws in UN reports on global warming and evidence that temperatures across the world have been falling.

The proportion of those who said they were ‘not very concerned’ about global warming now includes more than one in five.

The latest polling, carried out in August last year, came before the arrival of another big freeze.

There is also an increasing reluctance to take personal steps to tackle climate change. Fewer than half those polled – 46 per cent – are ready to use their cars less, and only 47 per cent are prepared to take public transport more often. Fewer than a quarter – 23 per cent – are willing to fly less.

SOURCE

Wrapped in the flag and loving it

0 comments


Sally Neighbour makes observations below that are similar to the ones I made briefly on Australia day. Note that I was able to explain what she cannot

NOT usually one for patriotic musings, at lunchtime on Wednesday I nonetheless found myself pondering the meaning of Australia Day and how this once second-rate public holiday became the source of such riotous celebration across the land.

At the time I was floating on a giant inflatable plastic thong, clinging to a rope tethered between buoys beyond the breakers at Bondi Beach.

For the record, it wasn't my idea. But there we were, bobbing on the ocean, me and 2067 other patsies, all set to make a world record for the number of people gullible enough to queue for 45 minutes and - get this - pay $30 to promote a foreign brand of rubber thong. The marketing genius who thought that up surely deserves an Order of Australia for services to advertising.

As the hoary strains of Men At Work's Down Under drifted predictably across the sea, our mooring provided a novel vantage point of Bondi Beach, now crowded with tens of thousands of bodies, outnumbered only by Australian flags - on bikinis, board shorts, towels, hats, umbrellas, beach shelters, painted faces and fake tattoos.

I wondered: how had it come to this? How had I been roped into such a commercial stunt? (In short, because my in-principle objections sounded lame in the face of my 11-year-old's protestation: "but it'll be fun". And damn it, it was.) More to the point, when and why had Australians embraced with such gusto an event that, not long ago, was regarded as just an excuse for a day off?

In the 1970s and 80s, having a holiday to commemorate the arrival of the first boats of white settlers was widely regarded - at least among my generation - as passe, an anachronistic nod to a history we weren't sure whether to be proud of or not.

As for the Australian flag, it was seen by many as an irrelevant relic of our colonial past, doomed for the scrapheap come the republic.

We would no sooner have draped ourselves in such a frumpy ensign than donned our grandma's bowling whites and headed for the local green.

For some, a vague discomfort with Australia's national symbols was only sharpened in recent years by the spectre of Pauline Hanson wrapped in the flag and its use as a symbol of ugly jingoism at Cronulla in 2005. "The cloak of racism," one friend calls it.

But such reservations have little traction among generations X and Y. Ambivalence has given way to unabashed pride in all things Australian, not least the flag.

They turn up to the Big Day Out with it tattooed on their skin. The same young Australians flock to Gallipoli each year to mark Anzac Day, and trek in their thousands along the Kokoda Track.

Just why this is so is a question that intrigues social researcher Rebecca Huntley, director of the survey-based market research firm, Ipsos. She has commissioned a study beginning this year called "being Australian", which will examine, among other things, the patriotism of gens X and Y.

Ipsos research thus far shows the things people most typically associate with being Australian are time-honoured values such as the "great Australian dream" of owning their own home, the idea of having a "laid-back" lifestyle, which Huntley says is "a core part of being Australian", and the knowledge that people will pull together in a time of need such as the recent floods. The surging affinity with nationalistic symbols is a more recent trend, most markedly in the past three years.

Huntley is reluctant to jump to conclusions about why young Australians are clearly more comfortable with the flag than the generation before them.

Maybe the young revellers simply realise how fortunate they are. It's hard to know when all you can get out of them is, "Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie, Oi Oi Oi!" It was left to a jubilant newcomer at a citizenship ceremony in Sydney to articulate why being Australian was something to be immensely grateful for. "The opportunity to find jobs here is much better and it's much safer. I do think that Australians who haven't travelled and seen how the rest of the world lives take the freedom here for granted."


SOURCE

Happy New Year from Russia

1 comments


With all the bad news we get, it's nice to report on some good news. Especially, when it come from Russia, which is not often the source of good news. With a war against Muslim separatists, a monstrous suicide bombing by Muslim "Peaceniks", and having someone like Putin as your leader, life can be tough. But there was some good news on the Muslim terrorist front recently.

As you may know, the Russian Orthodox New Year occurs in mid January. This year as Islamists prepared to send another message of Muslim tolerance, joy and love, by strapping on a suicide vest, they received something unexpected. The vest was to be detonated by a spotter via cell phone when the female suicide bomber, from the religion of Peace and Tolerance, had reached a position where she would be able to murder the greatest number of infidels. However, before this could happen the woman's service provider sent out a mass message to all its customers wishing them all a happy new year. And indeed it was, the woman exploded right then, while still in the safe house. The terrorist wanted to spread the message of Islam, but only managed to spread herself all over the apartment.

As one report on the event stated, it "might be the only time that a wireless carrier’s SMS message has ever been useful". See also

Happy New Year!

It's very difficult to win against even the most extreme feminists

0 comments


And it has been very difficult for a long time. The discovery that the Obama Department of Justice takes sides in political cases (by refusing to prosecute non-white violators of voters’ rights, most notably by abandoning the New Black Panthers' voter intimidation case) may be shocking, but it is nothing new.

An appalling prior example of connivance between American prosecutors and Leftist agitators is found in a recently-published book available on Amazon.com "Odd Customers", by Wim de Vriend.

Most of the book consists of humorous human-interest stories about restaurant customers, and reminiscences of World War II. But the longest story in the book describes the siege of de Vriend's business by radical feminist picketers, who were out to destroy his livelihood in revenge for a letter he had published in the local paper.

The local D.A. decided that his tormentors, who were well-connected to the local government, were not at fault; he was. It's all pretty shocking so I have excerpted the relevant chapter here. The book includes some good pictures as well which I have not reproduced --JR.

"This rather odd little German dynasty"

0 comments


That is the extraordinary description that Christopher Hitchens gives to the British Royal family. Clearly he retains a lot of hatred from his Leftist days. Sad that a man with only a little longer to live is trying his best to be remembered as a shrill abuser. Most of us mellow with age.

His rage arises from the success of the British movie, "The King's Speech". He resents that the movie is a feelgood story rather than meticulous history. He points out ways in which the movie glosses over the rough edges of the times it describes. Hitchens calumniates Edward VIII, George VI, Winston Churchill and Neville Chamberlain. His central point is that they were all nicer to Hitler than he, with the wisdom of hindsight, would have been.

Hitchens is of course partly right in that Edward VIII was very weak character and Chamberlain was very badly mistaken. But the first thing that Hitchens completely and quite dishonestly ignores is the tenor of the times in which all four moved. Hitler and the Fascists were at the time widely admired outside Germany, particularly among the political Left. The description of Mussolini by FDR as "that admirable Italian gentleman" perhaps best captures the mood of the times. Harvard, too, was pro-Nazi. Churchill was one of the few who stood against that mood.

Secondly, Hitchens fails to remark the vast public antipathy towards war that prevailed in England at the time. After the horrors of WWI, almost every living soul in Britain considered another European war unthinkable and wished that no stone be left unturned to avoid such a war. In his policy of appeasement Chamberlain was simply representing the nation that he led.

So Edward VIII's undoubted enchantment with Hitler and George VI's support for Chamberlain were well within the normal range of opinion for the times. Neither man had Hitchens' luxury of seeing events from the vantage point of the year 2011.

Hitchens is also enraged that Churchill supported Edward VIII for a time. But Churchill was by that time quite conservative and in a monarchy support for the King is simply normal conservative practice.

Hitchens accuses the makers a popular movie of distorting history but it is Hitchens the historian who is the biggest distorter of all -- JR

Flood levy blues

0 comments


THOUSANDS of people, including high-income earners whose homes were not flooded, have a ready-made loophole to avoid paying the Federal Government's new flood levy.

And several Queensland projects designed to stop flooding on the Bruce Highway are likely to fall victim to federal spending cuts to help rebuild the state.

The flood levy will not apply to anyone who received the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment, which was not means tested. As of last Friday more than 250,000 Queenslanders - one in every eight - had collected the payment of $1000 for adults and $400 for children.

The eligibility criteria was broad and paid out even if residents simply could not access or leave their homes for 24 hours or lost electricity, water or gas for at least 48 hours.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the floods posed a massive challenge to build and manage economic capacity. "We're not just going to need money, we're going to need concrete and rubber and steel and more importantly, we're going to need carpenters and bricklayers and road gangs," she said.

However, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott yesterday continued his attack on the levy, calling it unfair, particularly on those who lost their businesses but whose homes remained unaffected. "They obviously face very great reconstruction costs that in many instances won't be covered by insurance and they will still be paying the flood tax under the scheme," he said.

The Government has gone all out to sweeten its levy, restricting its impact to people earning over $50,000 and promising it will not increase and will last just 12 months starting from July 1.

Those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 will pay 0.5 per cent in 2011-12 which rises to 1 per cent on taxable income above $100,000. According to the Government, 60 per cent of taxpayers will pay $1 a week or less and the tax hike only reaches $5 a week when income exceeds $100,000 a year.

But it came under fire for its planned $2.8 billion in spending cuts which hit several projects agreed with the Greens to help Labor form government after the last election.

The federal Independents are also expected to see cutbacks to the $10 billion in regional spending they secured in exchange for supporting Labor.

Queensland Independent Bob Katter has thrown his support behind the levy, saying the precedent was sure to one day benefit North Queensland.

The Greens accused the Government of turning its back on the cause of the disaster climate change. "But it does a disservice to all those tragically affected by these floods . . . to keep insisting that these are one-off events and ignore the role of climate change," Greens Senator Christine Milne said.

Independent Rob Oakeshott said he would examine the package and discuss possible amendments. "On the specific question of flood package impacts on the agreement reached to form Government, I expect that all aspects of the agreement both in writing and in spirit will be upheld," he said.

Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig the Gillard Government's point man for the recovery told The Courier-Mail the work so far had focused on cleaning up after the floods and the effort would now shift to the bigger rebuilding task. "Queensland needs to be rebuilt and it will be rebuilt," he said.

State Premier Anna Bligh supported the package and thanked Australians for helping Queensland. "I understand that no one wants to pay more but the people of Queensland didn't want this disaster either," she said.

SOURCE

Confirmation bias in the name of global warming

0 comments


A new paper has been published in Ecology Letters: Ran Nathan, Nir Horvitz, Yanping He, Anna Kuparinen, Frank M. Schurr, Gabriel G. Katul. Spread of North American wind-dispersed trees in future environments. Ecology Letters, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01573.

In this paper the authors have assumed that climate change will cause changes to CO2 concentration and wind speed. They have assumed also that increased CO2 will “increase fecundity and advance maturation”. They have then modelled the spread of 12 species as a function of wind speed.

So far so good – they have actually modelled only the effect of wind speed which they assume will reduce due to climate change.

Their results basically showed no effect of wind speed: “Future spread is predicted to be faster if atmospheric CO2 enrichment would increase fecundity and advance maturation, irrespective of the projected changes in mean surface windspeed”.

And now comes the perversion!

From their fundamental conclusion that wind speed has no effect and that therefore any CO2 increase resulting from climate change will enhance the spread of the trees, they invoke “expected” effects to deny what they have just shown: “Yet, for only a few species, predicted wind-driven spread will match future climate changes, conditioned on seed abscission occurring only in strong winds and environmental conditions favouring high survival of the farthest-dispersed seeds. Because such conditions are unlikely, North American wind-dispersed trees are expected to lag behind the projected climate range shift.”

This final conclusion is based on absolutely nothing and their modelling showed nothing and yet this paper was accepted for publication. I have no problem that a result showing “no effect of wind speed” be published but suspect that it needed the nonsense, speculative conclusion to comply with current dogma.

Science Daily then produces the headline: Climate Change Threatens Many Tree Species when the reality is:

This study Shows No Effect of Wind Speed But Yet We Believe that Climate Change Threatens Many Tree Species
“Our research indicates that the natural wind-driven spread of many species of trees will increase, but will occur at a significantly lower pace than that which will be required to cope with the changes in surface temperature,” said Prof. Nathan. “This will raise extinction risk of many tree populations because they will not be able to track the shift in their natural habitats which currently supply them with favorable conditions for establishment and reproduction. As a result, the composition of different tree species in future forests is expected to change and their areas might be reduced, the goods and services that these forests provide for man might be harmed, and wide-ranging steps will have to be taken to ensure seed dispersal in a controlled, directed manner.”

Whether the perversion is by the authors themselves anticipating what is needed to get a paper published or whether it is due to pressure from the Journal Ecology Letters or by their referees is unclear.

Abstract:
Despite ample research, understanding plant spread and predicting their ability to track projected climate changes remain a formidable challenge to be confronted. We modelled the spread of North American wind-dispersed trees in current and future (c. 2060) conditions, accounting for variation in 10 key dispersal, demographic and environmental factors affecting population spread. Predicted spread rates vary substantially among 12 study species, primarily due to inter-specific variation in maturation age, fecundity and seed terminal velocity. Future spread is predicted to be faster if atmospheric CO2 enrichment would increase fecundity and advance maturation, irrespective of the projected changes in mean surface windspeed. Yet, for only a few species, predicted wind-driven spread will match future climate changes, conditioned on seed abscission occurring only in strong winds and environmental conditions favouring high survival of the farthest-dispersed seeds. Because such conditions are unlikely, North American wind-dispersed trees are expected to lag behind the projected climate range shift.

In essence this paper is only based on belief and the results actually obtained are denied. It seems to me that denying or twisting or “moulding” results actually obtained to fit pre-conceived notions is not just a case of confirmation bias but comes very close to scientific misconduct.

SOURCE

Obama and his imbalanced ledger

0 comments


FACT CHECK: A tricky juggling act as Obama urges more spending and a freeze on spending

The ledger did not appear to be adding up Tuesday night when President Barack Obama urged more spending on one hand and a spending freeze on the other.

Obama spoke ambitiously of putting money into roads, research, education, efficient cars, high-speed rail and other initiatives in his State of the Union speech. He pointed to the transportation and construction projects of the last two years and proposed "we redouble these efforts." He coupled this with a call to "freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years."

But Obama offered far more examples of where he would spend than where he would cut, and some of the areas he identified for savings are not certain to yield much if anything.

For example, he said he wants to eliminate "billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies." Yet he made a similar proposal last year that went nowhere. He sought $36.5 billion in tax increases on oil and gas companies over the next decade, but Congress largely ignored the request, even though Democrats were then in charge of both houses of Congress.

A look at some of Obama's statements Tuesday night and how they compare with the facts:

OBAMA: Tackling the deficit "means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. Health insurance reform will slow these rising costs, which is part of why nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit."

THE FACTS: The idea that Obama's health care law saves money for the government is based on some arguable assumptions.

To be sure, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated the law will slightly reduce red ink over 10 years. But the office's analysis assumes that steep cuts in Medicare spending, as called for in the law, will actually take place. Others in the government have concluded it is unrealistic to expect such savings from Medicare.

In recent years, for example, Congress has repeatedly overridden a law that would save the treasury billions by cutting deeply into Medicare pay for doctors. Just last month, the government once again put off the scheduled cuts for another year, at a cost of $19 billion. That money is being taken out of the health care overhaul. Congress has shown itself sensitive to pressure from seniors and their doctors, and there's little reason to think that will change.

OBAMA: Vowed to veto any bills sent to him that include "earmarks," pet spending provisions pushed by individual lawmakers. "Both parties in Congress should know this: If a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it."

THE FACTS: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has promised that no bill with earmarks will be sent to Obama in the first place. Republicans have taken the lead in battling earmarks while Obama signed plenty of earmark-laden spending bills when Democrats controlled both houses.

It's a turnabout for the president; in early 2009, Obama sounded like an apologist for the practice: "Done right, earmarks have given legislators the opportunity to direct federal money to worthy projects that benefit people in their districts, and that's why I've opposed their outright elimination," he said then.

OBAMA: "I'm willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits."

THE FACTS: Republicans may be forgiven if this offer makes them feel like Charlie Brown running up to kick the football, only to have it pulled away, again.

Obama has expressed openness before to this prominent Republican proposal, but it has not come to much. It was one of several GOP ideas that were dropped or diminished in the health care law after Obama endorsed them in a televised bipartisan meeting at the height of the debate.

Republicans want federal action to limit jury awards in medical malpractice cases; what Obama appears to be offering, by supporting state efforts, falls short of that. The president has said he agrees that fear of being sued leads to unnecessary tests and procedures that drive up health care costs. So far the administration has only wanted to pay for pilot programs and studies.

Trial lawyers, major political donors to Democratic candidates, are strongly opposed to caps on jury awards. But the administration has been reluctant to support other approaches, such as the creation of specialized courts where expert judges, not juries, would decide malpractice cases.

OBAMA: Praised the "important progress" made by the bipartisan fiscal commission he created last year.

THE FACTS: The panel's co-chairmen last month recommended a painful mix of spending cuts and tax increases, each of them unpopular with one constituency or another, including raising the Social Security retirement age, cutting future benefit increases, raising the gasoline tax and rolling back popular tax breaks like the mortgage interest deduction. But Obama has yet to sign on to any of the ideas, even though he promised when creating the panel that it would not be "one of those Washington gimmicks."

Obama missed another chance Tuesday night to embrace the tough medicine proposed by the commission for bringing down the deficit. For example, the president said he wanted to "strengthen Social Security for future generations" -- but ruled out slashing benefits or partially privatizing the program, and made no reference to raising the retirement age. That left listeners to guess how he plans to do anything to salvage the popular retirement program whose trust funds are expected to run out of money in 2037 without changes.

OBAMA: As testament to the fruits of his administration's diplomatic efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons, he said the Iranian government "faces tougher and tighter sanctions than ever before."

THE FACTS: That is true, and it reflects Obama's promise one year ago that Iran would face "growing consequences" if it failed to heed international demands to constrain its nuclear program. But what Obama didn't say was that U.S. diplomacy has failed to persuade Tehran to negotiate over U.N. demands that it take steps to prove it is not on the path toward a bomb. Preliminary talks with Iran earlier this month broke off after the Iranians demanded U.S. sanctions be lifted.

SOURCE

A Statement From Sergio Redegalli.

0 comments
Eeyore has previously posted an interview with Sergio Redegalli, the artist who painted a mural saying "NO" to burkhas. part 1,part 2.

Sergio has just released a statement:

STATEMENT FROM SERGIO REDEGALLI

Newtown has always been a safe haven for the unique varieties of people in Sydney. Newtown has always been, and hopefully will remain, a rich source of creative people. Newtown has for a very long time been an interesting mix of Australians coming from many different backgrounds, education and countries.

Newtown in the last 30 years has been on the leading edge for the creative arts, with many successful artists not just working in the area but committing to making Newtown their home.

This page is a step in clearing up some untruths spread about the ‘Say No To Burqas’ mural (‘the mural’) by a very small number of people.

THE ‘SAY NO TO BURQAS’ MURAL WAS PAINTED TO CREATE DIALOGUE AND TO HOPEFULLY ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO BE BETTER INFORMED ABOUT SOME VERY IMPORTANT ISSSUES CURRENTLY FACING AUSTRALIA TODAY.

As Australian Citizens we all have a duty to stand up and express ourselves on issues that are important to discuss and to do this always in a sensible and peaceful manner. We all have the right to express ourselves non-violently both verbally and creatively, via any form of media format without having to be fearful of physical abuse or vandalism to property.

There have been too many untruths made by people and groups who take very much care in not putting their names (as individuals as well as groups as a whole) to their beliefs.

Firstly, the ’Say No To Burqas’ mural has always and only been a starting point for debate and discussion, aside from graffiti and vandalism, it has never had the wording painted saying anything other than ‘SAY NO TO BURQAS’.

Point of fact, Islam is a Religious Ideology with its followers coming from many races all over the world and it is impossible to be racist towards a Religious Ideology.

Islam is more than a Religion; it is in fact a system of rule that guides all devout Muslims throughout their lives from the time of their birth to their death. Apart from its Religious element that most Western people understand the concept of, it also has a very clear and fixed set of legal rules, for almost every event in a Muslim’s life (SHARIA).It also has a political system within its structure clearly describing the aims, desired and results that would be the most beneficial for the expansion of Islam. I personally have discussed these sections with my Australian Muslim friends and I encourage anyone interested in understanding Islam to read more about the challenges facing Australian Muslims and the problems that they are facing because of minority groups who have extremist views that do NOT represent the greater Australian Muslim population.

Extremism does exist; every time any we fly overseas we are exposed to the measures that airport security under take to combat this risk. This year, the majority of Australian Coptic Christians had their Christmas celebrations cut short due to terrorism threats made towards them for their celebrations held on the 7th January 2011, after several Sydney Churches were targeted. (Terror threats sour Coptic Christmas services http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/01/07/3108477.htm?site=sydney). The list goes on.

One very important fact for all Australians to understand is that the burqa and niqab are not a necessary part of Islam. This ruling was made clear to all Muslims around the world by Sheikh Mohamed Tantawi, the dean of al-Azhar university, when he stated that “full-face veiling (is) a custom that has nothing to do with the Islamic faith”. (Egypt's highest Muslim authority has said he will issue a religious edict against the growing trend for full women's veils, known as the niqab. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8290606.stm).

An important reason for a law to be passed in Australia regarding all forms of full-face covering worn in public spaces, is that we live in a land where reasonable rules make more sense. We as Australians like being one united country, not a divided one. We have rules that we have all been following in the past, not because they are Law, but because they give all people a feeling of safety. Australians understand that taking off our motorcycle helmets in banks and other sensitive areas is a normal practise, that people walking the streets with their faces fully covered for no apparent reason is out of the norm.

Australians have worked very hard in creating a balanced and non discriminative society. Let’s not let our good will be used against the common good of all Australians. This issue is not about the clothing, it is about the direction of Australia, and the type of community we wish to live in, one that is clear about what is suitable in Australia and what is not. We have rules that clearly state that public nudity is not appropriate and creating rules that state that 100% full-face coverings in public spaces are not appropriate is just as balanced.

Some people may say it is the right of a woman to make a choice of covering themselves 100%, however I ask one very simple question, who is going to protect and allow for the freedom of choice to the next generation of young girls born into these family groups that will control all aspects of their dress code, education and the types of friends they will be allowed to know.

ADVERTISEMENT
Sergio Redegalli
Local resident and artist

cross-posted at Vlad Tepes Blog and RightWingDeathBogan.

Shout at your spouse and risk losing your home: It's just the same as domestic violence, warns British woman judge

1 comments


Men and women who shout at their partners risk being thrown out of their homes under a sweeping ruling by judges yesterday. Raising your voice at a husband or wife, or a boyfriend or girlfriend, now counts as domestic violence under the landmark Supreme Court judgment. The decision also means that denying money to a partner or criticising them can count as violence and bring down draconian domestic violence penalties from the courts.

The Supreme Court made its decision in the case of a woman who left her husband’s council flat and then demanded a new council home. She said she left because she had suffered domestic violence – even though her husband had never harmed her.

Lady Hale, leading a bench of five justices, said the definition of violence must change so that a range of abusive behaviour now counts in law.

The decision will affect domestic violence and family law which has given the courts powers to throw someone out of their home if their partner accuses them of violent behaviour. Until now violence has always had to mean physical assault.

The judges were hearing the case of Mihret Yemshaw, 35, who said she had been subjected to domestic violence and was entitled to be rehoused under the 1996 Housing Act. Officials in Hounslow, West London, turned her down after hearing that her husband had never hit her nor threatened to do so.

Mrs Yemshaw told them he had shouted in front of their two children, failed to treat her like a human, had not given her housekeeping money, and she was scared he would take the children away from her.

Lady Hale said the meaning of the word ‘violence’ had moved on since Parliament passed the Housing Act. The word ‘is capable of bearing several meanings and applying to many different types of behaviour. These can change and develop over time’. The judge added that ‘it is not for Government and official bodies to interpret the meaning of the words which Parliament has used. That role lies with the courts.’

Lady Hale said that according to the dictionary, violence means physical attack, but can also apply to extreme fervour, passion or fury.

One judge, Lord Brown, said he had a ‘profound doubt’ as to whether the domestic violence provisions were ever intended ‘to extend beyond the limits of physical violence’.

The judgment means that Mrs Yemshaw will now have her case reconsidered by Hounslow. It will also apply to a wide field of legislation, including the 1996 Family Law Act which allows people to be ejected from their homes if their partners complain of domestic violence.

The decision comes at a time of growing concern over the powers of senior judges and their willingness to alter laws made by Parliament.

Family law expert Jill Kirby yesterday drew a comparison between the ruling and the Humpty Dumpty character in Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking-Glass, who said words meant whatever he wanted them to mean. She said: ‘The judiciary are taking the Humpty Dumpty view, and it risks undermining confidence in the legal system.’

Mihret Yemshaw’s husband told the Daily Mail last night he had never been violent towards his wife who, like him, was born in Ethiopia. They married in London ten years ago. Samuel Estifanos, a 40-year-old bus driver, claimed she left the flat where he still lives because she was ‘unhappy’. He added: ‘I never hit her and I never even screamed or swore at her.’

SOURCE

"Sexist" comments a just cause for firing of British TV commentator?

0 comments


Must not discuss either the competence or the appearance of a female? The comments were made privately but were overheard and recorded.
"One of British football's leading television commentators, Andy Gray, has been fired, a day after being taken off the air for making sexist remarks about a female match official.

Gray, who has been the face of Sky Sports' football coverage for the past two decades, was dismissed by the broadcaster with immediate effect after "new evidence of unacceptable and offensive behaviour" in an off-air incident last month came to light.

Gray, 55, was broadcasting the Premier League match between Wolverhampton and Liverpool on Saturday when he and Keys make disparaging remarks about Massey, who was officiating the game.

Gray questioned whether Massey knew the offside rule, widely seen as a barometer of basic football knowledge, and made an abusive reference to Toms, saying she had been "hopeless" as a lineswoman.

Further footage which compromised Gray and another member of Sky Sports' commentary team - Andy Burton - was also passed to the media. Burton was taken off air yesterday.

In that incident, Burton was talking to Gray off-air on the touchline at Molineux prior to kickoff on Saturday and said: "Apparently a female lino today, bit of a looker."

Continuing to remark on Massey's appearance, Burton added that another member of the Sky Sports crew said Massey was "all right," adding: "Now, I don't know if I should trust his judgment on that?"

Gray then said: "No, I wouldn't. I definitely wouldn't ... I can see her from here," before swearing and adding: "What do women know about the offside rule?"

Source

Did you think global warming alarmism was about saving polar bears?

0 comments


From across the pond, AFP reports from Paris: “From being a marginal and even mocked issue, climate-change litigation is fast emerging as a new frontier of law where some believe hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake. Compensation for losses inflicted by man-made global warming would be jaw-dropping, a payout that would make tobacco and asbestos damages look like pocket money.”

We’re shocked, shocked to find people are going to sue you because of your carbon footprint. Shocked.

AFP continues: “In the past three years, the number of climate-related lawsuits has ballooned, filling the void of political efforts in tackling greenhouse-gas emissions. . . Seminars on climate law are often thickly attended by corporations that could be in the firing line — and by the companies that insure them.”
Profiteering? Who would have guessed? Well, OK. It was transparently obvious from Day 1.

But there is a glimmer of hope, says AFP’s report: “… legal experts sound a note of caution, warning that this is a new and mist-shrouded area of justice. Many obstacles lie ahead before a Western court awards a cent in climate damages and even more before the award is upheld on appeal.

“There’s a large number of entrepreneurial lawyers and NGOs who are hunting around for a way to gain leverage on the climate problem,” said David Victor, director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California at San Diego.

The bottom line (so far)? “The number of suits filed has increased radically. But the number of suits claiming damages from climate change that have been successful remains zero.”

SOURCE

Earth's climate crisis ain't necessarily so

0 comments


Viscount Monckton writes for an Australian audience below

WHILE the Gillard government's climate-change parliamentary committee plots to wreck Australia's economy with a rigged market to make motoring and electricity unaffordable as soon as the new Greens-infected Senate starts work in July, thoughtful pollies are at last - privately, quietly - beginning to ask the Gershwin question.

What if it ain't necessarily so? Suppose there's no climate crisis?

The Romans used to farm out tax collection to "tax farmers" such as St Matthew. The cap-and-tax boondoggle is a tax-farming scam to impoverish the working man and enrich the new tax farmers: bankers, traders, ministers, officials and media moguls. None of them saints.

Cap-and-tax in Europe has been a wickedly costly fiasco. The rigged market has collapsed twice. Member states cheated by allowing themselves more rights to emit than their actual emissions, so the price of emission rights plummeted. Then the tax farmers simply invented 90 per cent of their carbon trades.

Result: electricity prices have doubled. In the name of preventing global warming, many Britons are dying because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Cap and tax is as pointless as it is cruel. Australia accounts for 1.5 per cent of global carbon emissions. So if it cut its emissions, the warming forestalled would be infinitesimal.

It's worth explaining exactly why. Suppose the Australian committee's aim is to cut emissions by 20 per cent by 2050. Anything more ambitious would shut Australia down, especially while the Greens insist on not letting the country use its own zero-carbon-emitting uranium as fuel.

A 20 per cent cut by 2050 is an average 10 per cent cut from now until then. Carbon dioxide concentration by 2050 probably won't exceed 506 parts per million by volume, from which we deduct today's concentration of 390 ppmv. So humankind might add 116 ppmv from now until then.

The CO2 concentration increase forestalled by 40 years of cap-and-tax in Australia would be 10 per cent of 1.5 per cent of that 116 ppmv, or just 0.174 ppmv. So in 2050 CO2 concentration would be - tell it not in Gath and Ashkelon - 505.826 ppmv, not 506.

Thus what we maths wonks call the proportionate change in CO2 concentration if the committee got its way would be 505.826 divided by 506, or 0.9997. The UN says warming or cooling, in Celsius degrees, is 3.7 to 5.7 times the logarithm of the proportionate change.

It expects only 57 per cent of manmade warming to occur by 2100: the rest would happen slowly and harmlessly across 1000-3000 years.

To be charitable to the committee, let us take the UN's high-end estimate. The warming forestalled by cutting Australia's emissions would be very unlikely to exceed 57 per cent of 5.7 times the logarithm of 0.9997: that is - wait for it - a dizzying one-thousandth of a degree by 2050.

I have set out this calculation to show how certainly it is known that all attempts to cut CO2 emissions will expensively fail. Focused adaptation to any adverse consequences of such warming as may occur would be orders of magnitude more cost-effective. But do we need to cut CO2 at all? Some cold facts:

Satellite datasets show last year was not the warmest on record. It was not the least snow-covered year but the most snow-covered: a largely unreported gain in Antarctic sea ice since 1979 almost matches the widely reported loss of Arctic sea ice.

It was not the worst year for hurricanes, but the best year: the accumulated-cyclone-energy index shows less tropical-cyclone activity worldwide than for 30 years.

The forest fires in Russia and southern Australia, and the floods in Pakistan and eastern Australia, were far from the worst ever. Nor can they be attributed to human influence: the UN's climate panel has warned us against that.

They were caused by naturally occurring weather patterns called blocking highs. And global warming can scarcely be blamed after a decade without any.

Nor did 2010 see the second-highest level of natural catastrophes. Yes, 90 per cent of them were weather-related, but in most years that is true, and was true long before we could have influenced climate.

Nor is sea level rising fast. It has risen at the rate of just 0.3m a century since satellites measured it reliably in 1993, under a quarter of the average rate during the past 11,400 years. The Greens don't believe their own whining about sea level: their Hobart office is just metres from the "dangerously" rising ocean.

Nor do most scientists believe man-made global warming will be catastrophic. Most are not climate scientists and take no view, and only a few climatologists have published on the central question how much warming there will be.

Of these, the researchers using measurement and observation rather than modelling have shown that much of the radiation the models say should be warming the surface is escaping to space as before.

The upper air in the tropics that the models predict should warm at thrice the surface rate is warming only at the same rate; model-predicted surface evaporation in response to warming is a third of the observed rate.

The missing heat energy imagined by the models but not present as warming in the past decade is not lurking in the oceans; and the entire warming of the late 20th century can easily be explained without blaming man.

Just one of these fatal discrepancies between prediction and reality - and each points to very little future warming - would normally be enough to dismiss climate catastrophism.

As the Gershwins rightly concluded, "It ain't nessa, ain't nessa, ain't nessa, ain't nessa, ain't necessarily so."

SOURCE

A falling out between partners in crime

0 comments


Does Monday's carnage in Russia mean Islamist bombers are indiscriminate and irrational, and pose no special threat to free nations? You might as well ask whom Hitler hated more: Churchill or Stalin?

Should the dozens slaughtered and well over 100 injured by a suicide bomber at Moscow Domodedovo Airport on Monday identify with the American victims of 9/11? Some might say that the many tributes we've heard in the years since al-Qaida attacked the U.S. homeland preclude such a comparison.

On that very day, President George W. Bush began his address to the nation with the assertion that "our way of life — our very freedom — came under attack." He said, "America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world."

Certainly no one can say that about the Russia of Vladimir Putin, the former KGB operative who has done everything in his power to maintain an undemocratic grasp on power and darken his countrymen's opportunities for freedom — including his likely being behind the murder in London four years ago of dissident Russian journalist Alexander Litvinenko, courtesy of a radioactive isotope slipped into his tea.

While history may well record the Litvinenko killing as the first-ever act of nuclear terrorism, Putin's Russia has for years helped Islamofascist Iran achieve nuclear capability, the route to the kind of terrorism that leaves far more than a troublesome writer dead.

Moscow was instrumental in building Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant along the Persian Gulf coast, completed in 2009, and provided nuclear fuel for the facility.

It's no stretch to view the Moscow-Tehran alliance as a 21st-century version of the Nazi-Soviet Pact. There may have been immense differences between Nazism and communism, but both powers were united as enemies of U.S./British-style representative government, economic freedom, and the religious and philosophical values of Western civilization.

"By signing the pact with Germany, the Soviet Union opened the door to war" against Britain and France and "Germany was protected against a major conflict on its eastern front," Russian historians Mikhail Heller and Aleksandr Nekrich write in their Soviet history, "Utopia in Power." The August 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop "non-aggression" treaty was followed a week later by Germany invading Poland.

The leaders of al-Qaida and the mullahs of Iran are similarly united with the reconstructed communist thug Putin as enemies of the West. And just as the Hitler-Stalin Pact did not stop those two bloodthirsty tyrants from ultimately going at each other, a selective Russian-Islamist alliance does not preclude jihadist suicide bombings against Russia — or Moscow's certain reprisals against Islamists.

Consider Russia's stubborn dominance of Chechnya, whose population of more than 1 million is Sunni Muslim. Stalin's 1944 deportation of ethnic Chechens, many to Siberia — officially declared "an act of genocide" by the European Parliament in 2004 — is but one of countless crimes committed against them by Moscow.

A nearly constant state of war has persisted there, and in that Islamists see opportunity. For a new Muslim nation to finally emerge from the ashes of the Soviet Union would be a resounding propaganda victory for jihadists.

It would give the impression that more of the world is coming under Islamic rule — an obvious counterpunch to Iraq going from seemingly permanent Baathist rule under Saddam Hussein to becoming a pro-Western state with freely elected leaders.

It was no neoconservative but President Bill Clinton who, in his 1994 State of the Union address to Congress, said: "Ultimately, the best strategy to ensure our security and to build a durable peace is to support the advance of democracy elsewhere; democracies don't attack each other."

Governments and groups who are opposed to political and economic freedoms, on the other hand, do attack each other — even when they work toward common ends in other areas.

SOURCE

The Biggest Lie in American Politics

2 comments


Ben Shapiro

For decades, liberals have used "big business" as a bugaboo. Leftists say corporations are mean, heartless and cruel -- and what's more, they're inherently capitalist and conservative. When the economy tanks, liberals blame right-wing corporations; when the regulatory state fails, liberals claim that corporations have perverted the system.

In reality, corporations aren't conservative. They aren't capitalist. They're after the nearest buck. And when the nearest buck can be obtained simply by playing footsie with the federal government, big business becomes an emissary of the government.

To achieve its ends, the federal government employs two methods: the carrot and the stick. The carrot is special regulation and legislation benefitting certain businesses; the stick is heavy regulation designed to threaten businesses into compliance with federal mandates.

This last week provided proof in spades that big business has become a tool of the state. On Jan. 18, the Federal Communications Commission OK'ed the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal. In order to obtain permission for that merger, however, the FCC required that Comcast fulfill certain conditions: NBC and Telemundo will need to add 1,000 hours of local news; Comcast must subsidize low-income Internet access to the tune of $10 per month for 2.5 million low-income households; and most egregiously, Comcast must increase Spanish-language programming.

Comcast, seeking to confirm the $30 billion deal, went along with the regulatory blackmail. And so Comcast became an active part of the liberal program to reach out to Hispanics, the poor, and a news media that desperately needs government interventionism in order to survive.

In the same vein, Republican entrepreneur Donald Trump caved in to Democrats this week in an attempt to protect his business interests. While The Donald is no fan of President Obama -- he says that China is "laughing at our leadership" and that Obama is letting China "get away with murder" -- he willingly forked over a $50,000 check to Rahm Emanuel's Chicago mayoral campaign. No doubt Trump's Chicago real estate holdings had something to do with the contribution.

When the government isn't taking away, it's giving. This week, President Obama conferred knighthood on Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, by appointing him to head his Economic Advisory Panel. In the recent past, Immelt has vacillated between criticism and praise of the Obama administration -- last July, he said that Obama was anti-business, while in December, Immelt praised Obama's outreach to business. Immelt's wild swings between antipathy and peonage to the Obama administration closely mirror the administration's treatment of GE: In general, when GE gets a handout, Immelt is a happy camper.

This relationship has worked beautifully for the government. GE has utterly abandoned its capitalistic, entrepreneurial past. Instead, it has embraced the roller coaster ups-and-downs of government subsidization. Immelt doesn't believe that the main job of government is to keep the hell out of a company's way -- he believes instead that government should become a "partner" in crime. According to Washington Examiner columnist Timothy Carney, GE has spent $65.7 million on lobbying, outpacing its competition by leaps and bounds.

GE and Comcast aren't alone in their desire to cozy up to the federal government. Google, once an entrepreneurial superstar, now links arms with the Obama administration by pushing "net neutrality," a scheme designed to run its competitors out of business via government regulation. Like GE, Google has one of its own inside the Obama administration -- Andrew McLaughlin, Google's former top policy executive, is currently deputy chief technology officer of the Obama administration. He has already been called on the carpet for asking Google to use its power to help out his new White House buddies.

Welcome to today's corporate America, where business takes a back seat to politics. The stock market now swings wildly based on Ben Bernanke's moods; the banking system teeters each time Barney Frank sneezes; titans of American industry scrape and bow for the scraps from Obama's dinner plate. Corporations are no longer capitalist but statist. Next time liberals cite the misdeeds of big business to complain about the ills of capitalism, inform them that big business is more a representative of government than it is of the free market.

SOURCE

More Greenie charm

0 comments


The Fascist mentality shows itself: Warmists Demand Armed Uprising and Ask: “Why Aren’t Greens Kicking The S**t Out of Corporate America?”

In a post typical of the “violent rhetoric” of the global warming debate, an alarmist website has called for the movement to ditch legislative changes in favour of a far more violent approach.

The website, It’s Getting Hot in Here, is aimed at children and youngsters, and is staffed and written by activists who come from Greenpeace, 350.org, The Breakthrough Institute, and the WWF.

In its latest outburst it said that it was pointless to expect any action from “corporate shills like Barak Obama” and said that Greens should be looking towards an armed insurrection on the lines of the Cuban Marxist revolution:

With this quagmire of conflicted interests governing the White House, K Street Lobbying Firms and the boards of large environmental groups, how are we ever going to see real change come out of Washington D.C.?

To say, “we need to fight back” is the understatement of understatements. I think last time we needed to be fighting back this hard, John Brown led an armed raid on Harper’s Ferry. Instead of looking for leadership from corporate shills like Barak Obama and the Democratic Party, environmental and climate movements should be kicking the SHIT out of Corporate America with the uncompromising guerilla fervor of a Che Guevara or a Geronimo.

The article concluded that “Challenging the root causes of climate change should be the role of our movement, and that root cause is corporate power”.

It is still unclear at this stage how many global warmists are up for the “armed raid” to “kick the sh*t” out of the “corporate shills” in Washington, as called for in the article.

Leo Hickman and Damian Carrington of The Guardian have not yet denounced this latest example of violent rhetoric. But given their awareness of the “terrifying atmosphere” that can generated by such rhetoric, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they do so, in unequivocal terms.

For the record, this blog denounces ALL violent rhetoric, on all sides of the ongoing debate over global warming.

SOURCE

A pesky one for the Warmists

0 comments


In their usual form, Warmists have been out in force blaming the recent Brisbane flood on global warming (e.g. here), quite ignoring the fact that Brisbane flooding has been happening since Brisbane was founded nearly 200 years ago.

They also allege that the world has warmed significantly in recent decades. That should mean that the recent flood was greater than previous floods. Since the previous flood, however, a conservative government built the huge "Wivenhoe" flood mitigation dam. So flood levels don't necessarily tell us much.

What DOES tell us something is the amount of rainfall. If global warming were the dark person in the woodpile, recent rains should have been a record high. They were not. The recent Brisbane rainfall was dwarfed by the amount of rain that fell during the previous flood 36 years ago


BRISBANE had more rainfall in the 1974 floods than it did in the latest episode, preliminary figures show. And rainfall during the 1893 floods may have dwarfed both the 1974 and 2011 events.

The weather bureau on Tuesday unveiled rainfall comparisons suggesting the city falls were relatively light compared with '74. But the inland falls that caused the flooding of the Brisbane River were extremely heavy. The bureau stressed all data was not yet complete.

But weather experts suggested "peak rainfalls from the 1974 event were substantially heavier than those in 2011". Brisbane's three-days and one-day totals were 600mm and 314mm in 1974, compared with 166mm and 110mm in 2011. "However, in 1974 the heaviest rains were closer to the coast whereas in 2011 heavy rains spread further inland," the bureau said.

Insufficient data exists for a comprehensive assessment of the 1893 floods. But what data the bureau has suggests 1893's rainfall was extreme. Crohamhurst in the Glass House Mountains, inland from the Sunshine Coast, received 907mm on February 3, 1893. That remains an Australian daily record.

SOURCE

Australia Day today

1 comments


It commemorates the arrival of the first white settlers in Australia in 1788 and has become an increasingly popular celebration. As the Left-run schools have robbed Australians of their history, the few shreds that remain in people's consciousness are seized on eagerly. The same goes for Anzac Day, which goes from strength. My family on my mother's side have for many years celebrated the day in a good Aussie way -- with a family get-together over a BBQ lunch. I have just got back from that. I saw quite a few cars with Australian flags on them -- something that is a phenomenon of recent years only.

I was pleased that two young relatives at present in high school expressed a considerable interest in history and knew quite a bit about it. They were scornful of how it it taught in the schools and expressed regret that so little British history is taught -- on the grounds that British history is both more interesting and more important. And the very vivacious girl who expressed that most strongly is half-Chinese!