The rich DO pay more: Highest-earning 1% in Britain pay almost a third of all income tax

0 comments


Similar to the USA

The highest-earning 1 per cent of Britons pay almost 30 per cent of all income taxes, according to research. The 308,000 on the 50p top rate – who earn more than £150,000 – pay £47billion a year to the Treasury.

Since 2000, the share of tax paid by the highest earners has risen from 22.2 to 27.7 per cent.

Research by Oriel Securities shows the 3.7million who earned more than £35,000 and pay 40 per cent tax, hand over £57billion in tax, 34 per cent of the total.

The lower-earning 50 per cent pay £17bn – less than the housing benefit bill.

Overall, 90 per cent of all income tax is paid by half the working population.

About 3.7m people earn between £35,000 and £150,000, placing them in the bracket that pays the 40 per cent income tax rate. Collectively they pay £57bn in income tax, about 34 per cent of the total.

Michael Spencer, chief executive of the City broker Icap and former treasurer of the Conservative party, said: ‘The debate about tax in this country has sadly become more and more about politics and less and less about what is good for the economy and for growth.

‘All we hear about is “the rich must pay more; soak the rich”. Well the facts are clear; the rich are paying much more. 'Once you factor in national insurance, for each £1m paid as a bonus the employee receives £480,000 and the Exchequer gets £658,000.

‘The top marginal rate of income tax is actually 58 per cent, the highest in the developed world. No wonder we are losing mobile high earners with rates like that. ‘This is becoming a great and increasing loss to our country and we need to realise quickly that we cannot tax our way back to growth.’

SOURCE

Mobile phones cleared again

0 comments


Some pesky findings for the freaked-out brigade. Since 1987, brain tumors have actually DECREASED among young men, for instance -- despite the big rise in mobile phone use over that period. Maybe cellphones are actually GOOD for your health! Students of hormesis would find that plausible
Mobile Phone Use and Incidence of Glioma in the Nordic Countries 1979–2008: Consistency Check

By Deltour, Isabelle et al.

Abstract:

Background: Some case-control studies have reported increased risks of glioma associated with mobile phone use. If true, this would ultimately affect the time trends for incidence rates (IRs). Correspondingly, lack of change in IRs would exclude certain magnitudes of risk. We investigated glioma IR trends in the Nordic countries, and compared the observed with expected incidence rates under various risk scenarios.

Methods: We analyzed annual age-standardized incidence rates in men and women aged 20 to 79 years during 1979–2008 using joinpoint regression (35,250 glioma cases). Probabilities of detecting various levels of relative risk were computed using simulations.

Results: For the period 1979 through 2008, the annual percent change in incidence rates was 0.4% (95% confidence interval = 0.1% to 0.6%) among men and 0.3% (0.1% to 0.5%) among women. Incidence rates have decreased in young men (20–39 years) since 1987, remained stable in middle-aged men (40–59 years) throughout the 30-year study period, and increased slightly in older men (60–79 years).

In simulations, assumed relative risks for all users of 2.0 for an induction time of up to 15 years, 1.5 for up to 10 years, and 1.2 for up to 5 years were incompatible with observed incidence time trends. For heavy users of mobile phones, risks of 2.0 for up to 5 years' induction were also incompatible.

Conclusion: No clear trend change in glioma incidence rates was observed. Several of the risk increases seen in case-control studies appear to be incompatible with the observed lack of incidence rate increase in middle-aged men. This suggests longer induction periods than currently investigated, lower risks than reported from some case-control studies, or the absence of any association.

Epidemiology. 23(2):301-307, March 2012.

Santorum rejects the separation of church and state

0 comments


It isn't in the constitution so he is entitled to -- but it is vastly "incorrect" in Leftist circles

Rick Santorum, the ultraconservative presidential hopeful, has intensified his Christian rhetoric as he rejected John F Kennedy's promise to maintain an absolute separation between church and state as an idea that "makes me throw up."

The appeal to the party's Christian base – dismissing the famous 1960 campaign speech by President Kennedy to keep his Catholic faith out of politics – represents a further lurch to the right in the acrimonious battle to find a Republican candidate to face Barack Obama in November.

"I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute," said Mr Santorum, an evangelical Catholic who would become the second Catholic to win the White House after President Kennedy.

"The first substantive line in the [Kennedy] speech says, 'I believe in America where the separation of church and state is absolute," the former Pennsylvania senator told ABC News, "You bet that makes you throw up."

His remarks came on the eve of Tuesday's crucial primary in Michigan where Mr Santorum is hoping to upset the Mitt Romney, the long-time front-runner, who finds himself is scrambling to win his 'home state'.

An aggregate of polls by Real Clear Politics has put Mr Romney two points clear in the Rust Belt state, which several senior Republican figures have said the former management consultant must win if his claim to be the man only who can beat Mr Obama is to retain credibility.

Mr Santorum has surged to the front of the Republican nomination contest in recent weeks with a message of social conservatism, attacking Obama health care reforms that obligated religious-affiliated hospitals and schools to provide contraception to employees.

However in a year where the economy is uppermost in most American's minds, it remains far from clear that the appeal to conservative social issues will prove a winning formula for Mr Santorum.

"One place Santorum may have hurt himself in the last week is an overemphasis on social issues," said Public Policy Polling (PPP), observing that 69 per cent of Michigan voters were concerned with economic issues this year compared to only 17 per cent who picked social issues.

SOURCE

If the icecaps are melting, how come the sea-level is FALLING?

0 comments




Sea level has been plummeting for four years, and is lower than it was in 2003 when EU’s Envisat satellite was launched. This is solid proof that Greenland and Antarctica are melting down at unprecedented rates and flooding the oceans with negative water [/sarcasm]

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Conservatives target free speech restrictions in racial discrimination laws

0 comments


FREE speech restrictions in racial discrimination laws would be wound back under a federal coalition government.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has revealed the plan to change the laws if he was made prime minister.

The plan would see sections of the Racial Discrimination Act that were used to prosecute Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt last year, after he wrote about light-skinned Aborigines, repealed by the Coalition.

The Australian newspaper reports Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis saying that would mean the removal of provisions that prevent the use of words that could offend or insult.

"We consider that to be an inappropriate limitation on freedom of speech and freedom of public discussion – as was evident in the Andrew Bolt case," he said.

"Offensive and insulting words are part of the robust democratic process which is essential to a free country."

The changes would bring the Act's restrictions on free speech closer to limits found in defamation laws, The Australian reports.

Liability for racial vilification would be limited to comments that humiliate or intimidate.

SOURCE

A wonderful story and an evocative picture

0 comments



Once upon a time everybody understood the bonds that could form between people and their horses and this picture brings that back to us.

Can someone who knows horses well read anything in the expression of the horse?


It was a race against the tide that pulled at the heartstrings.

For three hours, show horse Astro was stuck neck deep in thick mud at Avalon Beach on Corio Bay in Victoria [Australia] as the tide inched closer.

Rescue crews first tried to pull the 18-year-old, 500kg horse free with fire hoses, and then a winch before a vet turned up to sedate Astro and pull him clear with a tractor.

The crews knew by 5pm the tide would have come all the way in. But within minutes of the waters rising around him, Astro was being dragged up on to solid ground slowly but surely, the team filthy but ecstatic.

Owner Nicole Graham said she and daughter Paris, 7, set off at noon when without warning she sunk up to her waist in thick, smelly muck.

She wouldn't leave Astro's side until he was free. "It was terrifying," Ms Graham said. "Every time I moved it sucked me back down."

Source

OK to portray Jews with hook noses but not OK to portray Muslims with hook noses?

0 comments




Cartoons from Muslim countries routinely portray Jews with big noses. Some examples here.

Note that the Muslims in the toon are also portrayed as wearing turbans and having long beards -- which is indeed how many Muslims do present themselves, particularly in Muslim countries
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on the New York Post to apologize for a political cartoon published in the paper Friday which CAIR says “evokes anti-Semitic themes” through its depiction of hook-nosed terrorists objecting to the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims without warrant throughout the city.

A post on the group’s Facebook page indicates that the Muslim civil rights groups is asking American Muslims and “other people of conscience to contact the newspaper and to politely ask that they apologize for the offensive cartoon.”

Source

Melting Arctic causes snowier winters

0 comments


This is all just Warmist boilerplate by now but I am putting it up to draw attention to just one thing: History began in 1979 and stopped in 2007 for Warmists: "The level of Arctic sea ice has reached a new record low in 2007". No mention of the bounceback since then and that the "record low" was in a time series that went back only as far as 1979. Talk about clutching at straws!

No-one can regard these "scientists" as honest men. To rephrase Lord Acton: "Money corrupts and your salary corrupts absolutely"


MELTING sea ice in the Arctic may be causing the snowier winters the northern hemisphere has experienced in the last two seasons.

The level of Arctic sea ice has reached a new record low in 2007, said the study led by the Georgia Institute of Technology and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Meanwhile, above-average snowfall has blanketed large parts of the northern United States, northwestern and central Europe, and northern and central China.

The northern hemisphere has recorded its second and third largest snow covers in documented history in the last two seasons, spanning the winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

Researchers believe the disappearing Arctic ice is sending more water vapour into the air, and is interfering with atmospheric currents and westerly winds that would typically have swept snowy weather northward.

Instead, more cold air is descending into the middle and lower latitudes, "leading to increased heavy snowfall in Europe and the northeast and midwest regions of the United States", said Jiping Liu, a senior research scientist at Georgia Tech.

The research included scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and New York's Columbia University, and was supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation.

SOURCE

Only government cash keeps the Australian car industry afloat

0 comments


GOVERNMENT subsides of more than $300 million a year are the only thing keeping Australian car making alive, says the man who led the small-car revolution that deposed the Holden Commodore.

Mazda Australia's Doug Dickson said subsides as high as $100 million a year for Ford, Holden and Toyota were the only thing keeping them alive as local makers.

The baby Mazda3 was officially Australia's favourite car last year, leading the Mazda boss to question the viability of the Commodore and Ford Falcon.

"If the car makers continue to get subsidies, they will remain here," Mr Dickson said. "It guarantees them dominance and gives them a competitive edge with fleets, government and private buyers, who like the fact that they are here."

Mr Dickson said he "desperately" wanted an Australian motor industry. "As an Australian, I don't care what they make as long as they provide the infrastructure for young Australians to become good at making things."

"As a industry figure I want the industry to be strong because we become a whole lot more important as an industry. Without manufacturing here we would just stand in a long line waiting for attention."

SOURCE

ZEG

0 comments



Conservative cartoonist ZEG thinks there is still more strife to come in the Labor Party

Why Does the Left Despise Valor

1 comments


Because they are personally gutless, too yellow to risk their own precious skins for anybody or any thing. And yes: I have served in the army myself -- JR

There is a pretty reliable predictor in America today. If someone says something nice about our military, the need to support them, or show demonstrative appreciation for them outright--that person is likely a person of the political and theological right.

I'm not sure why that's the case, but it is so doggone accurate in the circles of punditry, media, and entertainment, I have to think it's not much different in other places where hard core partisan ranks exist.

This weekend is the perfect example.

One of the most important films to be made in such a long time--honoring our military--reinforces the love of family, the honor of sacrifice, the love of country, and most importantly deep appreciation for men who do things most of us would shrink from. Yet almost universally in media, punditry, and entertainment circles it is being panned as pro-war-mongering-propaganda-responsible-for-all-that-is-wrong. They base these arguments on everything from video games, to perceived war crimes.

They lay these charges at the feet of Act Of Valor, an independently produced film debuting this weekend.

But what I want to know more specifically is why? Why were there repeated articles on GAWKER and HUFFINGTON POST this week--prior to the film’s release and in a couple of instances complete admission by the person writing the critique that admitted they hadn't seen more than the trailer--that included denouncements of danger, lies, and propaganda that this film contained?

Everybody knows that the left hates war. To a fault. I've debated leftists who believed freeing slaves, stopping the Holocaust, or liberating fifty million people from the suffocation of tyranny is somehow an abuse.

What the media will never tell you is that the right doesn't like war either.

But the difference between the two mindsets is simple: sometimes stopping a known evil is worth the sacrifice of the price paid.

The overarching problem for the left is that increasingly evil is indistinguishable, unrecognizable, and in some cases ignored. Pious platitudes about negotiating, compromising, or blaming America for her wrongs, somehow become a relevant response from the left when staring into the eyes of a tyrant who would kill us if he had the power to do so.

SOURCE

The picture that shames Britain

0 comments


As a man's body floats in three and a half feet of water, 25 emergency workers stand and watch because they aren't 'trained' to go in water



The busy scene on the banks of the lake appears to show our emergency services at their dynamic best. An air ambulance stands by as two specialist officers in yellow ‘immersion suits’ deliver a man who has collapsed into the water to paramedics at the water’s edge.

They attempt to resuscitate him inside an inflatable tent. A queue of ambulances and fire engines stands by ready and waiting near a small crowd of shocked onlookers. Yet the story behind this picture is anything but impressive.

This was Walpole Park in Gosport, Hampshire, on an overcast lunchtime last March when no fewer than 25 members of the emergency services, including a press officer, descended on a 3½ft-deep model boating lake minutes after Simon Burgess, 41, fell into the water when he suffered a seizure. But as an inquest heard last week, he lay floating face-down for more than half an hour while firemen, police and paramedics watched and did nothing.

The reason? Even though they could all swim, the first fire crew to arrive hadn’t been ‘trained’ to enter water higher than ankle-deep. Instead they waited for ‘specialists’ to arrive to retrieve his body. They had decided Mr Burgess must surely be dead because he had been in the water for ten minutes. When a policeman decided to go in anyway, he was ordered not to. A paramedic was also told not to enter the water because he didn’t have the right ‘protective’ clothing and might be in breach of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.

The tragic incident made headlines around the world, held up as a shocking example of ludicrously risk-averse Britain. And it prompted a coroner to demand that fire, police and ambulance services improve training to prevent a repeat.

Following the inquest, a Mail on Sunday investigation has now discovered that:

* The ‘ankle-deep’ rule was meant for fast-flowing water and is taken from guidelines drawn up to deal with floods.

* Other rescue agencies believe people can survive submerged for much longer than ten minutes – some will still try resuscitation at 90 minutes.

* The incident happened despite a previous reassurance from the Health and Safety Executive that firefighters would not face prosecution if they performed acts of heroism that break rules.

* Mr Burgess could have been reached within two minutes of emergency crews arriving at the scene – as proved by our reporter who went into the lake and waded 25ft to the spot where his body had been floating.

Mr Burgess had been feeding swans from a plastic bag that blew into the lake. He went in to retrieve it and while he was in the water he had a fit and fell unconscious. Last week, Coroner David Horsley ruled his death was an accident on the balance of probabilities, but said there was a chance, ‘albeit a slim one’, he could have been saved had the emergency services intervened sooner.

Fire station watch manager Tony Nicholls arrived at the scene within five minutes but refused to try to rescue Mr Burgess because, he told the inquest, his crew’s ‘Level 1’ training only allowed them to go in the water up to their ankles.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue said all its firefighters were trained to Level 1, which includes ‘general water safety awareness and basic land-based rescue techniques’. To comply with the guidelines, they had to wait for a specialist water rescue team to arrive. Mr Nicholls said these officers were ‘Level 2-trained’, meaning they could ‘go in chest- high’. Only those who had completed the Level 3 course would be allowed to swim, however.

Although it wasn’t made clear at the inquest, the rule about not entering water more than ankle-high is based entirely on guidelines drawn up by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for tackling flood emergencies.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue spokesman admitted the service knew the guideline was originally intended as advice to be followed at flood incidents – but the service insists firefighters apply it in ALL water-related incidents.

A Defra spokeswoman explained: ‘Our guidance is only ever to be used by the emergency services in response to a flood. This is because floods by their very nature are highly unpredictable, unlike existing bodies of water. Our guidance should never be used in any other instance.’

However, the Government’s Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, Sir Ken Knight, has included the Defra training recommendations in an ‘operational guidance’ document on water safety.

One of the police officers at the scene, PC Tony Jones, told the inquest that he volunteered to go in, but was ‘strongly advised’ not to by Mr Nicholls. The PC also told the inquest that Mr Nicholls refused to let him borrow his lifejacket.

Then PC Jones was told by his control room that ‘under no circumstances’ should he attempt a rescue. Asked to explain that decision, Hampshire Police said yesterday: ‘The fire service were already there and they were recovering a body.’ The decision to downgrade the incident from a rescue to a ‘body retrieval situation’ reflected the confusion over submersion victims.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution said the only instances in which its rescuers would not attempt resuscitation would be if a body was already decomposing, or had been submerged for more than 90 minutes. Rescuers in the US believe a person can be revived after being immersed in water for up to an hour.

Professor Mike Tipton, of Ports–mouth University, concluded in a report for the emergency services last year that if ‘water temperature is warmer than 6C [42F], survival is extremely unlikely if submerged longer than 30 minutes’.

Chances of survival are much higher if water temperature is lower than this, but not if the body is submerged for more than 90 minutes.

He produced examples of people who had been saved after submersion of between 20 and 60 minutes.

Despite the safety rules, those at the scene could have entered the water under Health and Safety Executive guidelines that exempt 999 workers from prosecution if they perform acts of heroism. This follows Lord Young’s report, Common Sense, Common Safety, which called for an end to ‘senseless’ rules and regulations.

Last night, Fire Minister Bob Neill said: ‘Health and safety rules should be there to save lives, not put them at risk.’ He added that the Government would review existing guidance and take into account lessons learnt from recent incidents.

SOURCE

Atheist Calls Christians Planning to Attend D.C. ‘Reason Rally’ ‘Mindless Parasites’

0 comments


More Leftist hate speech
Atheists are coming to Washington, D.C., en force. We already told you about the so-called “Reason Rally,” which is being dubbed a Woodstock for non-believers. The event, to be held on March 24, will bring together “free thinkers” and the organizations that serve them. But following the announcement that this massive undertaking would be occurring in our nation’s capital, it seems some Christians are crafting a response — an event called “True Reason.”

The Christians behind the effort want atheists to know that they’re reasonable individuals who are prepared to confront them with love. Here’s what the “True Reason” web site says:

"This website represents Christians from all over the country—even some from as far as Australia and New Zealand—who know that Christianity is both good and reasonable. We’re ready to meet the New Atheists at their Reason Rally in Washington: in truth and in love, to share person-to-person, one-on-one, with anyone we can."

At least one atheist who caught wind of Christians’ plans shared his disdain on FreethoughtBlogs.com. PZ Myers, who will be speaking at “Reason Rally” and who was also responsible for hijacking a Blaze poll about faith last year, had some strong words for believers planning to attend the atheist “Woodstock” event:

"I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. This gathering will certainly attract swarms of mindless parasites…this is just the first public announcement of their intent that I’ve seen."

Source

What a contrast in attitudes! It is certainly clear who the haters are. Leftists are constantly accusing conservatives of hate on the flimsiest of grounds -- in an attempt to cover up who the real haters are.

Will of the people fails to sway the Federal ALP caucus

0 comments


Old joke: Q. "What's the difference between a caucus and a cactus?" A. "With a cactus all the pricks are on the outside"

Labor has overwhelmingly endorsed the candidate of the unions and the party machine over the candidate of the people.

For a political party that has been super-sensitive to opinion polls in the past, it was a remarkable rejection of the public will.

The people consistently prefer Kevin Rudd to Julia Gillard as Labor leader by a factor of about two to one. But Labor has gone the other way by a factor of more than two to one. For a party that is on a steady trajectory to electoral defeat, it was an extraordinary act of steely resolve. Or suicidal madness.

Under the Gillard leadership, Labor lost its parliamentary majority and then proceeded consistently to register the lowest primary vote on record.

And the only polling figures to shift in the past week beyond the margin of error was Gillard’s approval rating.

Yet the vote of 71 to 31 for Gillard suggests that Rudd, on net, has failed to win over any votes since last week. Even more remarkably, he has failed to win any votes since losing the leadership 20 months ago.

Some names have moved from one column to the other on the caucus voting lists, but, on a net basis, the caucus has shown itself to be deeply entrenched in defending Gillard.

This is a violation of one of the customary laws of leadership challenges – that the challenger carries momentum.

The repudiation of Rudd reflects three forces.

First, it illustrates the power of the Labor institutional infrastructure of unions and their caucus outgrowth, the factions. Not one trade union supported Rudd.

Second, it shows the visceral personal dislike for Rudd in the caucus. The great bulk of the caucus would rather protect its comfortable working conditions under Gillard than choose a difficult leader more likely to deliver an election win.

Third, it demonstrates a commitment to continue to deliver its existing agenda. Oddly enough, it is largely an agenda drafted by Rudd.

The 40-vote margin compares with a 22-vote margin in Paul Keating’s first and failed strike at Bob Hawke. So Rudd faces a much bigger task to win in any second challenge. It would take a very dramatic shift to move 22 votes.

SOURCE

Nitwit thinks a few degrees of temperature rise will melt the polar ice

0 comments


He is trying to add a scare about increasing volcanoes and earthquakes to the usual scares about warming. But polar regions are VERY cold, far below the melting point of ice, so even if all the Warmist prophecies came true, there would be minor melting at the margins only. Excerpt:

So what – geologically speaking – can we look forward to if we continue to pump out greenhouse gases at the current hell-for-leather rate? With resulting global average temperatures likely to be several degrees higher by this century's end, we could almost certainly say an eventual goodbye to the Greenland ice sheet, and probably that covering West Antarctica too, committing us – ultimately – to a 10-metre or more hike in sea levels.

GPS measurements reveal that the crust beneath the Greenland ice sheet is already rebounding in response to rapid melting, providing the potential – according to researchers – for future earthquakes, as faults beneath the ice are relieved of their confining load. The possibility exists that these could trigger submarine landslides spawning tsunamis capable of threatening North Atlantic coastlines. Eastern Iceland is bouncing back too as its Vatnajökull ice cap fades away. When and if it vanishes entirely, new research predicts a lively response from the volcanoes currently residing beneath. A dramatic elevation in landslide activity would be inevitable in the Andes, Himalayas, European Alps and elsewhere, as the ice and permafrost that sustains many mountain faces melts and thaws.

Across the world, as sea levels climb remorselessly, the load-related bending of the crust around the margins of the ocean basins might – in time – act to sufficiently "unclamp" coastal faults such as California's San Andreas, allowing them to move more easily; at the same time acting to squeeze magma out of susceptible volcanoes that are primed and ready to blow.

More HERE

In the Soviet era, American "liberals" tried to deceive America into not defending itself against Communist hostility

0 comments


Now they are trying to deceive Americans into not defending themselves against Muslim hostility. The idea of America being punished for its success and prosperity gives them erections so they do anything they can to bring disaster to America

Federal law enforcement has amassed an impressive record identifying and interdicting would-be jihadists bent on waging terrorist attacks before they can acquire the means to kill people. The American military has killed or detained senior terrorist leaders, including those tied to a slew of homegrown terror plots.

So when a spike in those plots from 2009 ebbs, those seeking an explanation might start by looking at these documented successes.
Not University of North Carolina sociologist Charles Kurzman.
In a report issued last week, Kurzman tallied 20 terrorism prosecutions in 2011 as further proof of his theory that the threat of Islamist terrorism is exaggerated and the country's response still rooted more in emotion and fear than reason.
The New York Times promoted the report a day before its release, leading with Kurzman's conclusion that, "A feared wave of homegrown terrorism by radicalized Muslim Americans has not materialized."

"The public perception of threat does not match actual case-by-case attacks," Kurzman also told the Raleigh News & Observer. "We're getting a skewed perception of the prevalence of these figures."

Neither newspaper challenged Kurzman's premise and methodology and neither sought out an opposing viewpoint. For the Times, it is yet another example of its long time collaboration with uncritically and falsely presenting militant Islamist groups and officials as "moderate."

But the Kurzman report is flawed by its assumptions and by Kurzman's conclusion that the data shows the threat of radicalization has been repelled, an opinion for which he offers no evidence.

He is careful to say there is a threat, noting that "revolutionary Islamist organizations overseas continue to call for Muslim-Americans to engage in violence." But in a Muslim-American population of 2 million, such cases barely register a blip in a country "on track to register 14,000 murders in 2011."

Murderers and terrorists both kill. But the comparison ends there. Murders tend to be individual acts, committed for personal or monetary reasons. Terrorist attacks seek mass casualties and seek to instill mass fear to deep economic harm and political surrender.

Kurzman authored a book last year detailing his theory. In a question-and-answer posting on his webpage, he explains that if Islamic radicalism were a genuine crisis, "we would see far more than the 20 Muslim-Americans, on average, who engage in terrorist plots each year." Until perspective comes to the debate, he writes, "we may wind up scaring ourselves into panicky policy decisions and a paranoid quality of life."

James Carafano, deputy director of the Heritage Foundation's Institute for International Studies, said it was misleading to use raw numbers on an issue like terrorism. Terrorists are "fringe elements of society" whose number never will equate to the damage they can cause.

"You could quadruple the number of attacks by Islamic terrorists and it would still be a small number [of the population]," said Carafano, who studied 40 disrupted homegrown terror threats. "Would people say that's not a problem because it is less than 2 percent? No, they would be apoplectic."

More HERE

Meet the ‘Mosquebusters’: British Legal Team Out to Stop Islamic Influence in its Tracks

0 comments


Meet the Mosquebusters — or as they’re officially known, the Law and Freedom Foundation – a group of anti-Islamic vigilantes in Britain with a subtler approach than their peers: Rather than picket Mosque sites, or lead demonstrations of any kind, they sue under Britain’s byzantine legal code to make it illegal for those Mosques to be built in the first place.

Anti-Islamic sentiment in Britain is not new. Groups such as such as England Is Ours and Stop Islamisation of Europe have, for some time, been defending what they see as traditional British/Western culture against a group they see as closeted Islamic extremists who will kill “infidels” or take slaves at the drop of a hat. In fact, they believe that the Koran urges precisely that. Some — like the English Defence League (EDL) — verge on paramilitary fascism in their use of tactics.

Others simply run around in public yelling incendiary phrases. The Mosquebusters, however, are apparently clever enough to avoid those obvious trappings of pro-Western resistance. Foreign Policy Magazine describes their approach as “a war against Islam, but one that often resembles a bureaucratic turf battle more than a clash of civilizations.”

Their leader, who calls himself “The Lawman,” also takes a subtler approach to the question of fighting Islamic influence in Britain. Rather than play into liberal stereotypes of “Islamophobia” and racism, he makes it very clear up front that what concerns him is Islamic doctrine, not people. From his manifesto: “It is primarily about the division between Islamic and non-Islamic society, and the lawless violence at the heart of Islamic doctrine and practice.”

The key message, especially for those with concerns about scandals like the one surrounding the Mosque being built at Ground Zero last year, is as follows:

It’s very seldom that a Mosque outfit will put forward a Mosque calling it a Mosque. They will always try and say it’s for the benefit of the community, it’s a prayer room, it’s a community center for all faiths or all ethnicities. No, it’s not, it’s going to be a Mosque, and if you disobey parts of Islamic law whilst you’re on the premises, you’d better look out. They go under all kinds of names and local authorities lap it up because local authorities are afraid to nullify the politically correct gravy train that they’re riding. It’s good business for them, and things go through under all kind of euphemisms, but they are Mosques.

Foreign Policy:

It’s not religious practice, claim the Mosquebusters, it’s parking. Or noise pollution. Or building codes. And with downloadable petition templates, generic letters to councilors, and free legal advice for begrudged locals, it‘s Boby’s mission to make it as easy as possible for your average, disgruntled suburbanite to join in. If there’s a trial or hearing about planned construction, Boby will come down to the courthouse to provide free legal representation; if a mosque site has been proposed, he’ll arrange volunteers to paper a neighbourhood with flyers.

But the Mosquebusters aren’t just a resource for aggrieved pensioners — the group actually wants its volunteers to spread out, actively trolling city planning offices and public records for mosque applications. “It is satisfying detective work, rooting around Islamic deviousness!” reads the instructional e-mail sent to volunteers.

The process begins by searching for D1 planning applications (non-residential buildings), then checking floor plans for a “prayer room,” checking names of applicants and agents for names that sound Muslim. “It might be lodged under the label of ‘multi-faith center‘ or ’community center,’” says Boby. “Mosque applicants are crafty and often try to hide what it’s really about.”

It might seem that the Mosquebusters is a quixotic, xenophobic campaign limited to a handful of small towns in England, but it has ties to other anti-Islamic groups around the world. People from Australia, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia, and the United States comment on the Mosquebusters website regularly, and the group is often written about by far-right organizations.

“Mosquebusters racks up another win, all was needed was for someone to oppose it’s [the mosques] construction,” crows Tundra Tabloids, a Scandinavian website that claims to keep tabs on the political correctness that allows Islamic extremism to flourish. “This is brilliant. I hope council was paying close attention,” reads a caption on MRCTV, a right-wing news website.

SOURCE

Greenies are the intellectual descendants of the Nazis

0 comments


Their eugenics, their false science, their nature worship, their belief in big government and their panic about running out of resources are identical. They would bump lots of us off too if they had the power. See below:

John P. Holdren, the top science adviser to President Barack Obama, wrote in a book he co-authored with population control advocates Paul and Anne Ehrlich that children from larger families have lower IQs.

The book—"Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions"—argued that the United States government had a “responsibility to halt the growth of the American population.”

“It surely is no accident that so many of the most successful individuals are first or only children,” wrote Holdren and the Ehrlichs, “nor that children of large families (particularly with more than four children), whatever their economic status, on the average perform less well in school and show lower I.Q. scores than their peers from small families.”

Holdren and the Ehrlichs published "Human Ecology" with W.H. Freeman and Company in 1973. In June 2000, a study published in American Pyschologist debunked the notion that children in larger families have lower I.Q.s. But when Holdren appeared in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in 2009 for a confirmation hearing on his appointment to run the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, he continued to argue for the benefits of “smaller families” on other bases.

In "Human Ecology," Holdren and the Ehrlichs concluded: “Population control is absolutely essential if the problems now facing mankind are to be solved.”

“Political pressure must be applied immediately to induce the United States government to assume its responsibility to halt the growth of the American population,” they wrote.

Australian weather watchers confess long-distance vision dodgy

0 comments


But they can tell us what the temperature will be in the year 2100!

THE weather bureau has revealed Day Seven of its long-range forecasts is wrong most of the time.

The bloopers include a "mostly sunny" outlook one week out from the disastrous Christmas Day hail storms.

"Isolated showers" were the long-range forecast for February 4 last year - the day Melbourne was swamped by flash flooding.

The 40 per cent accuracy rate for Day Seven temperatures is less than what the Day One forecast was 50 years ago, according to data compiled for the Herald Sun.

Weather bureau spokeswoman Andrea Peace has defended the use of seven-day forecasting, but admitted the uncertainty increased dramatically from the four-day mark.

"We use the main global models that are considered to be the best, and there can still be days where even for tomorrow they can all give conflicting results," Ms Peace said.

"The need is still there but people have to understand that it's a guide, it's an outlook and there's a strong possibility that it will change as you get closer to the day."

"Severe weather" was forecast closer to Christmas Day, but thousands of Melburnians were caught out by the storms, with hailstones and flash flooding causing tens of millions of dollars in damage.

Ms Peace said it was difficult to determine the severity of thunderstorms 24 hours out.

The figures show Day One forecasts are more accurate than ever with an 85 per cent strike rate in 2011. And the number of forecast failures - an error margin of 5C or more - was just three last year, 10 times fewer than in 1962. The Day One error margin has halved in 50 years to just over 1C, while the Day Seven forecast averaged a 2.5C error last year.

Ms Peace said technological advances had combined to hone forecasts over the years.

"As we get better computing power, the size of the grids is going to get smaller and smaller, so the computer models will be able to resolve smaller, more localised weather phenomena," she said.

SOURCE

Higher tax rate REDUCES revenue in Britain

0 comments


The amount of income tax paid fell sharply last month in the first formal indication that the new 50p higher rate is not raising the expected amount of revenue.

The Treasury received £10.35 billion in income tax payments from those paying by self-assessment last month, a drop of £509 million compared with January 2011. Most other taxes produced higher revenues over the same period.

Senior sources said that the first official figures indicated that there had been “manoeuvring” by well-off Britons to avoid the new higher rate. The figures will add to pressure on the Coalition to drop the levy amid fears it is forcing entrepreneurs to relocate abroad. [Many businesses have already done so]

The self-assessment returns from January, when most income tax is paid by the better-off, have been eagerly awaited by the Treasury and government ministers as they provide the first evidence of the success, or failure, of the 50p rate. It is the first year following the introduction of the 50p rate which had been expected to boost tax revenues from self-assessment by more than £1billion.

Although the official statistics do not disclose how much money was paid at the 50p rate of tax, the figures indicate that it is falling short of the money the levy was expected to raise.

A Treasury source said the relatively poor revenues from self-assessment returns was partly down to highly-paid individuals arranging their affairs to avoid paying the 50p rate.

More HERE

Muslim Admits to Attacking Atheist; Muslim Judge Dismisses Case -- in Pennsylvania

0 comments


The Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists, Inc., Mr. Ernest Perce V., was assaulted by a Muslim while participating in a Halloween parade. Along with a Zombie Pope, Ernest was costumed as Zombie Muhammad. The assault was caught on video, the Muslim man admitted to his crime and charges were filed in what should have been an open-and-shut case. That’s not what happened, though.

The defendant is an immigrant and claims he did not know his actions were illegal, or that it was legal in this country to represent Muhammad in any form. To add insult to injury, he also testified that his 9 year old son was present, and the man said he felt he needed to show his young son that he was willing to fight for his Prophet.

The case went to trial, and as circumstances would dictate, Judge Mark Martin is also a Muslim. What transpired next was surreal. The Judge not only ruled in favor of the defendant, but called Mr. Perce a name and told him that if he were in a Muslim country, he’d be put to death. Judge Martin’s comments included,
“Having had the benefit of having spent over 2 and a half years in predominantly Muslim countries I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. In fact I have a copy of the Koran here and I challenge you sir to show me where it says in the Koran that Mohammad arose and walked among the dead. I think you misinterpreted things. Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it it makes you look like a dufus and Mr. (Defendant) is correct. In many Arabic speaking countries something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society.

Judge Martin then offered a lesson in Islam, stating,
“Islam is not just a religion, it’s their culture, their culture. It’s their very essence their very being. They pray five times a day towards Mecca to be a good Muslim, before you die you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca unless you are otherwise told you can not because you are too ill too elderly, whatever but you must make the attempt. Their greetings wa-laikum as-Salâm (is answered by voice) may god be with you. Whenever, it’s very common when speaking to each other it’s very common for them to say uh this will happen it’s it they are so immersed in it.

Judge Martin further complicates the issue by not only abrogating the First Amendment, but completely misunderstanding it when he said,
“Then what you have done is you have completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very very very offensive. I’m a Muslim, I find it offensive. But you have that right, but you’re way outside your boundaries or first amendment rights. This is what, and I said I spent about 7 and a half years living in other countries. when we go to other countries it’s not uncommon for people to refer to us as ugly Americans this is why we are referred to as ugly Americans, because we are so concerned about our own rights we don’t care about other people’s rights as long as we get our say but we don’t care about the other people’s say”

But wait, it gets worse. The Judge refused to allow the video into evidence, and then said,
“All that aside I’ve got here basically.. I don’t want to say he said she said but I’ve got two sides of the story that are in conflict with each other.”

And: “The preponderance of, excuse me, the burden of proof… “

And: “…he has not proven to me beyond a reasonable doubt that this defendant is guilty of harassment, therefore I am going to dismiss the charge”

The Judge neglected to address the fact that the ignorance of the law does not justify an assault and that it was the responsibility of the defendant to familiarize himself with our laws. This is to say nothing of the judge counseling the defendant that it is also not acceptable for him to teach his children that it is acceptable to use violence in the defense of religious beliefs. Instead, the judge gives Mr. Perce a lesson in Sharia law and drones on about the Muslim faith, inform everyone in the court room how strongly he embraces Islam, that the first amendment does not allow anyone ” to piss off other people and other cultures” and he was also insulted by Mr. Perce’s portrayal of Mohammed and the sign he carried.

This is a travesty. Not only did Judge Martin completely ignore video evidence, but a Police Officer who was at the scene also testified on Mr. Perce’s behalf, to which the Judge also dismissed by saying the officer didn’t give an accurate account or doesn’t give it any weight.

Needless to say, this is totally, completely and unequivocally unacceptable. That a Muslim immigrant can assault a United States citizen in defense of his religious beliefs and walk away a free man, while the victim is chastised and insulted by a Muslim judge who then blamed the victim for the crime committed against him is a horrible abrogation.

This reeks of those cases we used to read about where a woman is blamed for her own rape because she “was asking for it” by virtue of the clothing she chose to wear, and then having the Judge set the rapist free.

I can promise you this, you have not heard the last of this issue. Not by a long shot.

SOURCE

Lindzen totally squashes the alarmists

0 comments


By James Delingpole

Professor Richard Lindzen is one of the world's greatest atmospheric physicists: perhaps the greatest. What he doesn't know about the science behind climate change probably isn't worth knowing. But even if you weren't aware of all this, even if you'd come to the talk he gave in the House of Commons this week without prejudice or expectation, I can pretty much guarantee you would have been blown away by his elegant dismissal of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming theory.

Dick Lindzen does not need to raise his voice. He does not use hyperbole. In a tone somewhere between weariness and withering disdain, he lets the facts speak for themselves. And the facts, as he understands them, are devastating.

Here is how he began his speech, which was organised on behalf of the Campaign To Repeal the Climate Change Act:
Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.

You can read a full version of his speech here. The Bishop has it up here.

But don't take my word for it. Simon Carr of the Independent (not a publication hitherto noted for its rampant AGW scepticism) was sufficiently impressed to write a blog on the subject headlined Is catastrophic global warming, like Millennium Bug, a mistake?

I think we know the answer to that one, eh?

SOURCE

Australia has a corrupt Reserve Bank!

0 comments


Reserve knew of bribes two years before police called. It is hard to know which is worse, the initial offences or the coverup

THE Reserve Bank governor, Glenn Stevens, has admitted his deputy was told in writing of corruption inside the bank's operations in 2007, two years before the scandal became public and it called in the federal police.

But the bank is refusing to release the briefing or the legal advice it relied on when it decided not to report alleged corruption to the police.

Mr Stevens told the federal parliamentary economics committee yesterday the reserve's deputy governor, Ric Battellino, who retired earlier this month, was informed in writing about corruption inside the reserve's currency firm, Note Printing Australia.

The briefing was written by an unnamed Note Printing employee and detailed admissions made by its Malaysian and Nepalese agents that they had paid bribes on behalf of the Reserve's firm.

Last year, federal police charged Note Printing with bribing officials in Malaysia and Nepal as part of a criminal inquiry that begun in 2009 after revelations in the Herald. It is fully owned by the bank and overseen by serving and former Reserve senior officials.

The Herald revealed last October that Reserve officials were told in 2007 about the corrupt conduct involving Note Printing's overseas agents, but sought to cover it up instead of alerting police.

Under questioning from the Liberal MP Tony Smith yesterday, Mr Stevens initially told the committee the bank had received no written briefing on corruption inside Note Printing and that concerns raised in 2007 were only verbal and inconclusive.

Mr Stevens also used the hearing to strongly deny claims bank officials engaged in any cover-up, saying he "unequivocally" rejected the claim.

But after Mr Smith interrupted the conclusion of the hearing to press Mr Stevens on the bribery scandal, Mr Stevens conceded his earlier evidence to the committee was wrong and the bank had been advised in writing of corruption concerns in 2007.

"Well, actually, that [what I said earlier about their being no written briefing] wasn't quite true. I have been reminded while we have been talking that in fact the deputy governor invited that person [the Note Printing employee who raised bribery concerns] to put that in writing, which he did and give it to the deputy governor."

When he attempted to further press Mr Stevens about the briefing, Mr Smith was told he had run out of time.

It is the second committee hearing in which the RBA has been forced to correct the evidence it has given about its handling of the corruption scandal, which has so far led to the charging of 10 former bank note executives.

Note Printing's sister company, Securency, which is half owned by the RBA, is also facing bribery charges. At the time of the alleged bribery, both companies were chaired by the former Reserve Bank deputy governor Graeme Thompson. They shared the same agent in Malaysia, who has been charged with paying bribes.

Instead of alerting police to the allegations of corrupt conduct in 2007, the Reserve Bank appointees on Note Printing's board confidentially referred them to the corporate law firm Freehills. The Note Printing board also agreed to conceal from the Nepal central bank information about improper tender dealings involving secret commissions.

The RBA claims Freehills later advised there was no need to go to the police. It has also refused to release the Freehills report.

Mr Stevens told the committee yesterday the bribery scandal was "quite easily the most unpleasant, difficult set of issues I've ever had to deal with in my job".

SOURCE

Why Does Valentine’s Day Make Me Cry?

0 comments


A "Romantic Industrial Complex"? What next? Laurie Essig sounds a very confused young lady below. The second last paragraph sounds sheer gibberish to me

I suspect that she cries because her Leftist hates cut her off from a lot of things that normal people enjoy -- JR


Driving to work yesterday, I was feeling that Valentine’s Day depression that is wont to come upon me on February 14. It’s not just the cliche storyline of boy meets girl, boy buys girl stuff, boy and girl eat dinner, and so it is that love becomes incorporated into the market that gets me down. It is the sinking sense that there is no way to ever escape this story.

So it was that I drove by the church with the billboard that said “Jesus is God’s Valentine to You” and smirked with the ironic distance of my truly analytical feminist brain. But that smirk was quickly wiped off my face as I listened in on a local radio station’s Valentine’s Day special: a real live wedding. Of course it was incredibly predetermined in its presentation—the young high-school friends who were meant to be together but went their separate ways, reunited on Facebook, now marrying live on the radio. Of course their vows said all the right things about for better or for worse as if they were unaware that a lot of marriages don’t really get through the worse times. Of course they played every single cheesy love song in the background as the radio host narrated the bride’s descent down the stairs, the flower girl’s throwing rose petals in her path, the ring boy, the bride’s son from a previous relationship, looking forward to his new life in the “sanctuary” of his new family.

I could have written this scene in my sleep it was so overdetermined by historical, economic, cultural, and narrative forces. And yet I was crying as I listened to it. Why did I cry?

I asked my students in my course on the Sociology of Heterosexuality this very question. “Because,” one of them ventured, “you find their inability to be analytical about the hegemonic discourse of romance depressing?” Yes, of course I do, but that doesn’t explain my tears. This sort of argument—that there is something really and truly inauthentic and wrong about the way the Romantic Industrial Complex (RIC) manipulates us into buying stuff to express our love was beautifully laid out by my comrade in heterosexual studies, Samhita Mukhophadyay over at the Nation. Mukhophadyay points out that:

"There is a romantic-industrial complex that nets billions of dollars from Valentine’s Day and weddings, and it needs you to “buy into” outdated ideas of love and marriage. The more you express your love through candies, chocolates, diamonds, rentals, and registries, the more the RIC makes! Valentine’s Day is only one manifestation of the RIC: Americans spend $70- to $80-billion on weddings each year. With the average American wedding costing $27,000, marriage itself has become a luxury item. This is more than a struggle between old and new traditions—this is about money."

Calling on us to Occupy Valentine’s Day, Mukhopadyay says that we

"Romantic citizens deserve a better, more authentic and sustainable ways to express their affections—whether that be spending time with their friends and families, donating money they would spend on a romantic dinner to a domestic violence shelter, forgoing that expensive wedding for a more meaningful but less costly one. Above all, let’s find a way to honor ourselves that does not rely on buying stuff."

I agree with her completely. In fact I told her that I couldn’t have said it better and there was no reason to post about Valentine’s Day. And then a seriously sad reality began to set in.

It is not that capitalism distorts my authentic human emotion, forcing me to cry over a commercial radio station using a wedding to get me to tune in and hopefully buy stuff they advertise. It is that there is no authentic human emotion floating outside the cultures in which we live. The fact that I experience deep and even desperate feelings of romantic love is not separate from the capitalist exploitation of those feelings; in fact my love is produced by that very exploitation.

And if that doesn’t make us cry on Valentine’s Day, I cannot imagine what would.

SOURCE

Update:

Her picture here suggests other reasons why Ms Essig might be sad

British TV channel forced to apologise after reporter calls black sportsmen 'coloured'

0 comments
America's NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) must be REALLY offensive!
ITV were forced to apologise today after a reporter covering a Downing Street football racism summit twice referred to black players as 'coloured'.

Following the ITV broadcast, dozens of viewers objected to the uses of the term 'coloured' on Twitter.

An ITV spokeswoman said they were sorry and the recording should never have gone out.

Using the term 'coloured' to refer to black people is considered offensive because it dismisses everyone who is not white as the same. The term was in widespread use in Britain in the 1960s but is now considered racist. The problem is it suggests white people are white and everyone else is 'coloured'. There is no recognition that everyone has their own ethnic origin. [So what race you are is important?? I thought that was "racism"!]

Source

Some very confused thinking above. Africans must not be confused with Indians? I agree with that but would normally be accused of racial discrimination for saying so. Yet above such distinctions seem to be demanded and regarded as important. But logic doesn't seem to work on political correctness. It's all just an emotional kneejerk.

The moron act of branding normal healthy kids as "obese" has now spread to Australia

0 comments




A MELBOURNE mother is horrified after a child and maternal health nurse labelled her healthy three-year-old daughter "obese".

Helen Karalexis said the incident occurred when she took Viktoria to the Sunshine Child and Maternal Health clinic for a routine check-up on Wednesday.

Ms Karalexis was concerned this was not an isolated case, and that it was sending children the wrong messages.

Her daughter is 108cm tall and weighs 21.1kg - when the nurse put these measurements into the computer, she told her Viktoria was obese. "I said, 'how can you tell me my daughter is obese? Look at her'," Ms Karalexis said. "She's very energetic, she's always outside playing, she's got a lot of muscle, which is heavier than fat."

The nurse recommended Ms Karalexis switch her daughter to low-fat milk, reduce her meal portions and not give her any cordials, soft drinks or fruit juice. "She almost convinced me my daughter was obese," Ms Karalexis said.

Nurses should not be relying solely on a computer program to determine whether a child was obese, but also use discretion and common sense, she said. "It's hard enough trying to get kids to eat as it is, but this could make them start thinking 'I can't eat this because I'm going to get fat'," she said.

Ms Karalexis urged parents suffering a similar experience to seek a second opinion.

A Brimbank City Council spokesman said discussions were being held with Isis Primary Care, which provides maternal and child health services in the area on its behalf, over Ms Karalexis's allegations.

Isis director of community services Michael Girolami said body mass index (BMI), which took into account a child's age, height and weight, was used to determine if a child was in a healthy weight range.

The online BMI assessment tool was available from the US Government's National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Mr Girolami said. "In this particular case, the child was placed in the 95th percentile, which is defined as "obese" in the chart," he said.

Dietitian Karen Inge said the BMI system had limitations because it measured only height and weight, not body composition, and muscle weighed more than fat.

SOURCE

BOOK REVIEW: The Climate Caper by Garth W Paltridge, Published by Connor Court, Australia, 2009

0 comments


Below is part of a very large and informative review. Reading the whole thing definitely recommended

The Climate Caper is a “must read” for the insights it provides into the way the prospect of mild global warming has been beaten up to become “the greatest moral challenge of our times” by a recent Prime Minister of Australia. It provides some extra dots to add to the pattern explained by John Grover’s book The Struggle for Power on the worldwide political campaign against the peaceful use of nuclear power.

Grover’s book could have been called “the anti-nuclear caper”. It describes the worldwide campaign by a network of radical leftwing groups, operating initially under cover of the peace movement and then in the environmental movement. Their greatest institutional achievement came under administration of President Carter when representatives of the movement occupied many senior positions and embarked on the program of massive regulation which now prejudices the economic recovery of the US. In Australia the movement delayed the mining of uranium and prohibits the lucrative industry of storing the nuclear waste of the world and also the prospect of nuclear power.

There is a very major difference between the two campaigns and Paltridge’s book is especially helpful on that topic (though he does not refer to the previous caper at all). The anti-nuclear caper drew no support from reputable scientists, unless you count a handful of outright cranks and some ideologues from non-relevant disciplines. The incredible triumph of that no-growth campaign was to marginalise the entire scientific community. This time around the scientific community is on board and the scientists on the more realistic side of the debate have been marginalised. Paltridge provides a great start on answering the $64K question “how did this happen?”

The book has many striking features, starting with the qualifications of the author.

Emeritus Professor Garth Paltridge is an atmospheric physicist and was a Chief Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research before taking up positions in Tasmania as Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies and CEO of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre. He retired in 2002 and remains an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania, a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

He provides historical perspective because he was involved in climate science from the beginning of interest in warming, up to and beyond the point where it became inflated and politicised.

He was close to the epicentre of the explosion in the IPCC and he explains how the scientific committees of that body became subservient to the political committee.

On the science of warming he provides a luminously clear explanation of the problems with the models that provide the core of the case for drastic action.

In the Australian policy-making process he was very close to the action when the chief advisor to the Government encouraged a committee from the Academy of Science to water down some potentially damning criticisms of the model he was using as the basis of the proposals that have been taken up by the Administration.

He understands enough of the sociology of science to understand the significance of the rise of Big Science, almost entirely government-funded, and the parallel proliferation of Kuhnian “normal scientists”.

In the same way that John Stone can document the decline of professionalism and quality in the Commonwealth public service because he was there as it happened, Paltridge saw the decline of independence and the spirit of criticism in the scientific community during his career (much due to the same influences described by Stone).

All of this adds up to a compelling case to stop the rush to drastic action to address a so-called problem, namely the prospect of a degree or two of warming over the next century, which will have positives as well as negatives (if it makes any noticeable difference at all).

As a bonus the book is short and very clearly written with a light and humorous touch.

Much more HERE

Fakegate Illustrates Global Warming Alarmists' Deceit and Desperation

0 comments


"People with sound science on their side do not need to forge documents to validate their arguments or make the other side look bad"

James Taylor

There never was a “leaker” in the shameful Fakegate scandal. In the end, there was only a forger, a fraudster and a thief. Alarmist scientist Peter Gleick has admitted that the latter two were one and the same person – himself. I suspect we will soon learn the identity of the forger, as well.

With the weight of damning evidence closing in on him, Gleick has admitted in his Huffington Post blog that he was the alleged “Heartland Insider” who committed fraud and identity theft, lying and stealing his way into possession of Heartland Institute internal personnel documents and then sending those private documents to global warming activist groups and left-leaning media. Gleick sent to the press an additional document, a fake “2012 Climate Strategy,” that he claims he did not write.

In short, Gleick set up an email account designed to mimic the email account of a Heartland Institute board member. Gleick then sent an email from that account to a Heartland Institute staffer, in which Gleick explicitly claimed to be the Heartland Institute board member. Gleick asked the staffer to email him internal documents relating to a recent board meeting. Soon thereafter, Gleick, while claiming to be a “Heartland Insider,” sent those Heartland Institute documents plus the forged “2012 Climate Strategy” document to sympathetic media and global warming activists.

While the legitimate Heartland Institute documents revealed personal, confidential and private information about Heartland Institute personnel, donors and programs, there was nothing scandalous in the documents. The documents merely showed the inner workings of an influential public policy organization operating on a budget that was quite small compared to environmental activist groups such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense. Indeed, the internal documents refuted the false, yet often repeated assertions that the Heartland Institute’s powerful climate realism message is largely funded by Big Oil, Big Coal or Big Whatever.

The only thing that would seem to undermine the Heartland Institute’s credibility was the wording of the fake “2012 Climate Strategy” document. Computer forensics experts quickly discovered the climate strategy document was created by a different computer program and at a different time than the legitimate documents. The climate strategy document was also written in much different language, style, format and font than the legitimate documents. And long before Gleick confessed to being the fraudster and thief at the heart of the stolen documents, analysts noted a striking similarity between the language and style of the forged document and the language and style of Gleick’s public writings.

The real story in this Fakegate scandal is how the global warming movement is desperate, delusional and collapsing as global warming fails to live up to alarmist predictions. People with sound science on their side do not need to forge documents to validate their arguments or make the other side look bad. Also, people who are so desperate as to forge documents in an attempt to frame their rivals are clearly not above forging scientific data, studies and facts to similarly further their cause.

It is both striking and telling how global warming activists have failed to condemn the acts of forgery in the Fakegate scandal. For global warming activists, the ends justify the means – any means necessary to sell their alarmist message, even if they must sink to forgery and fakery.

It is also worth noting that Gleick repeatedly claims in his confession that his misconduct was motivated by a desire to create a rational public debate on global warming and that he was trying to fight back against the people he claims are seeking to prevent such a debate. Yet in January 2012 the Heartland Institute cordially invited Gleick to publicly debate me at our 2012 annual benefit dinner. All Gleick would had to have done is defeat me in that debate and he could have accomplished his twin goals of promoting public debate and embarrassing the Heartland Institute. Yet Gleick declined to participate in such a fair and open debate, and then on the very next day committed his acts of fraud and theft against the Heartland Institute.

Beyond our invitation to Gleick, the Heartland Institute has cordially invited dozens of scientists who believe humans are creating a global warming crisis to give presentations and to debate skeptics at our annual global warming conferences. Only one such scientist has ever accepted our offer.

If Gleick is indeed concerned about people preventing a public debate on global warming, he perhaps should have targeted his global warming activist colleagues rather than the Heartland Institute.

SOURCE

Parental Outrage Forces Houston School To Drop Pro-Obama Chant

0 comments


We read:
"Just last week The Blaze brought you the story of Tipps Elementary School in Houston that sent kindergarteners home with an assignment to learn a poem that lavished praises on the president as part of Black History Month.

An outraged parent sent a copy of the poem/song, and the memo attached to it, to syndicated talk show host Joe Pagliarulo. Pags (as he is known to his listeners) broadcast the story on the radio last week and generated considerable interest — and anger — from parents and citizens whose tax dollars fund the Tipps Elementary School.

The school’s principal did not respond directly to inquiries from The Blaze or Pagliarulo, but progress has been reported. Yesterday we received a copy of a letter sent to parents from the kindergarten teacher, Debra Thornton. The note read:

"Although you have indicated that your child will not be participating in the Black History program, I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify some misinformation you have received.

Since you received this preliminary selection, Ms. Reid has had the chance to review all the performance selections by all grade levels. Those kindergarten students with parent permission to participate will be doing a recitation of a selection from the book by Michelle Cook, Our Children Can Soar, A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change, instead of the preliminary selection that was sent to you.

Nothing in the original memo mentioned that this was a preliminary selection. And the note also states that all kindergarteners will be required to learn it, not just those participating in the program.

Source

British bureaucrats are only barely human beings

1 comments


How low can you go? Man drowned in lake just 3ft deep after firemen refused to wade in due to health and safety rules

A charity worker drowned in a 3ft deep lake when a policeman and a paramedic were ordered not to try to rescue him. Simon Burgess, 41, was left to float face down as emergency crews watched.

Health and safety rules stopped them going more than ankle deep into the lake, an inquest was told yesterday.

According to a doctor, Mr Burgess’s life could have been saved had he been removed from the water quickly.

The constable and the ambulance worker who volunteered to jump into the lake were given strict orders not to do so by fire station watch manager Tony Nicholls.

PC Tony Jones arrived at the scene on foot shortly after Mr Burgess fell into the water while feeding swans. He told the inquest: ‘When I spoke to witnesses and found out the body hadn’t been there long I told my sergeant I was willing to go into the water. ‘He authorised me to do so and I took off my body armour but Mr Nicholls advised me strongly not to go in.

‘I said I would go in anyway and asked if I could borrow his life jacket but he said “No”, but I was going to do it regardless. It didn’t sit right with me that no one was going to get the body or assist the person in the water.

‘The control room was informed I was going in and they sent a message that under no circumstances could I go in the water.’

Paramedic Robert Wallace told the hearing he also offered to attempt to retrieve the body from the water at Walpole Park in Gosport, Hampshire. ‘I’m trained to swim in currents you go white water rafting in, but Mr Nicholls told me he didn’t want my help,’ he said.

Mr Nicholls, who is based at Gosport fire station, told the inquest that he understood the body had been in the water for five to ten minutes. ‘There were no obvious signs of life so from that I made an assessment it was a body retrieval and not a rescue,’ he said.

‘The officers were trained to go into ankle deep water, which is level one, so we waited for level two officers, who can go into chest high.

‘One of the police officers told me he would like to go in the water and I advised him in the strongest terms not to. A paramedic told me he was level two water trained, but when I asked him if he had protective equipment he said “No”, so that was the end of that.

‘I was under immense pressure from the three witnesses to go into the water but I gave them a short answer. ‘The specialist team arrived and three officers went in and removed the body.’

A witness told of her frustration at seeing 999 workers stand and wait. Gillian Hughes said the specialist team measured the depth of the water with a pole and even called for a press officer before recovering Mr Burgess’s lifeless body. This was almost 30 minutes after the earlier teams arrived.

Mrs Hughes, 53, said Mr Burgess fell in while trying to retrieve a plastic bag from the water. ‘He looked like he was swimming and had a smile on his face,’ she said.

‘The next minute he had stopped and was lying face down. The firemen arrived with the police and I said “He’s only been there five or ten minutes so if you hurry you might save him”.

‘He just said “We’re not allowed’ and I said “But that’s your job”. Mr Burgess was only 20ft away. I thought they would get him straight away. ‘I believe one of the police went in to get him but was told he was not allowed. I said to one of the firemen “Why don’t you go in?” and he said they couldn’t if the water was higher than ankle deep. ‘I said “You’re having a laugh”. He said “No, that’s health and safety”.

‘After the incident I was unable to sleep because I kept blaming myself and now I have to live with it.’

Brett Lockyer, a registrar of histopathology, told the inquest there were signs Mr Burgess had fallen into the lake because of an epileptic seizure, following unsuccessful brain surgery to ease his condition.

‘If he had been taken out of the water after ten minutes there is a slim chance he could have been resuscitated,’ he said.

‘The seizure would’ve made it look like he was swimming and explains why he had a grin on his face.’

SOURCE

Newest Government Magic Trick: Disability Fraud Holds Down U.S. Unemployment Rate

0 comments


Looking for another reason for an artificially low unemployment rate? Consider disability fraud, people claiming disabilities they do not have such as mental illness. Prior to the great recession 33% of applicants claimed mental illness. The number is 43% now.

There was fraud before, of course. There is even more fraud now. Please consider: Jobless disability claims soar to record $200B as of January
Standing too many months on the unemployment line is driving Americans crazy — literally — and it’s costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

With their unemployment-insurance checks running out, some of the country’s long-term jobless are scrambling to fill the gap by filing claims for mental illness and other disabilities with Social Security — a surge that hobbles taxpayers and making the employment rate look healthier than it should as these people drop out of the job statistics.

As of January, the federal government was mailing out disability checks to more than 10.5 million individuals, including 2 million to spouses and children of disabled workers, at a cost of record $200 billion a year, recent research from JPMorgan Chase shows.

The sputtering economy has fueled those ranks. Around 5.3 percent of the population between the ages of 25 and 64 is currently collecting federal disability payments, a jump from 4.5 percent since the economy slid into a recession.

Mental-illness claims, in particular, are surging. During the recent economic boom, only 33 percent of applicants were claiming mental illness, but that figure has jumped to 43 percent, says Rutledge, citing preliminary results from his latest research.

His research also shows a growing number of men, particularly older, former white-collar workers, instead of the typical blue-collar ones, are applying.

The big concern about the swelling ranks is that once people get on disability, they’re unlikely to give it up and go back to work.

What's the Number?

The above article says there were 10.5 million individuals receiving disability checks. A quick check of Fed data shows there are 27.5 million Civilian Noninstitutional Population - With a Disability, 16 years and over. Unfortunately the data only goes back to mid-2008. I would like to see the pattern before the recession began.

We can see a brief recovery for a year following the end of the recession. However, since mid-2010 the number of people with disabilities has risen by 1.5 million.

All of them dropped out of the labor force and are no longer counted as unemployed.

More HERE

Facts don't bother Warmists

0 comments


The Himalayan glaciers aren’t melting, at least for the moment, says a recently study published in Nature. Between 2003 and 2010 the effective change in the size of glaciers in the high mountains of Asia was “not significantly different from zero,” said a British scientist not involved with the study, who added, “I believe this data is the most reliable estimate of global glacier mass balance that has been produced to date.” Low-lying glaciers were indeed melting, but ice added at higher altitudes made up the difference.

Astoundingly, the scientists don’t seem to have realized the significance of their own findings. “People should be just as worried about the melting of the world’s ice as they were before,” said one of the researchers. In other words, we should be just as worried as we were when the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was scaring us with the news that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035 (or was it 2350?). It turns out, too, that the polar bear population in the Arctic is much more stable than previous estimates suggested.

The science is never settled.

SOURCE

English-Only Driver's Tests

0 comments

(Jefferson City, Missouri) The State of Missouri currently administers driver's license exams in a variety of languages other than English. The license tests are given in Bosnian, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Missouri legislators are attempting to change the process, endorsing a measure requiring driver's license tests to be administered only in English.

Internet freedom fighters aiming to build a shadow Web

0 comments


We read:
"Governments and corporations have more control over the Internet than ever. Now digital activists want to build an alternative network that can never be blocked, filtered or shut down

Just after midnight on January 28, 2011, the government of Egypt, rocked by three straight days of massive antiregime protests organized in part through Facebook and other online social networks, did something unprecedented in the history of 21st-century telecommunications: it turned off the Internet. Exactly how it did this remains unclear, but the evidence suggests that five well-placed phone calls—one to each of the country’s biggest Internet service providers (ISPs)—may have been all it took.

The Internet was designed to be a decentralized system: every node should connect to many others. This design helped to make the system resistant to censorship or outside attack.

Yet in practice, most individual users exist at the edges of the network, connected to others only through their Internet service provider (ISP). Block this link, and Internet access disappears.

An alternative option is beginning to emerge in the form of wireless mesh networks, simple systems that connect end users to one another and automatically route around blocks and censors.

Yet any mesh network needs to hit a critical mass of users before it functions well; developers must convince potential users to trade off ease of use for added freedom and privacy....

What mesh networks do, on the other hand, is precisely what an ISP does not: they let the end user’s machine act as a data relay. In less technical terms, they let users stop being merely Internet consumers and start being their own Internet providers. If you want a better sense of what that means, consider how things might have happened on January 28 if Egypt’s citizens communicated not through a few ISPs but by way of mesh networks.

At the very least, it would have taken a lot more than five phone calls to shut that network down. Because each user of a mesh network owns and controls his or her own small piece of the network infrastructure, it might have taken as many phone calls as there were users—and much more persuading, for most of those users, than the ISPs’ executives needed.

Much more here

A reaction to Australia's latest education proposals from a Chinese perspective

0 comments


The author below is an Australian with post-graduate qualifications from two Australian universities and who has been living, studying, working and teaching in China since 1978

For the past 7 years I have been teaching at a HK/Malaysian/local tertiary institution joint venture in Suzhou, China which was seen and resourced by the HK side

As part of the government curriculum students are required to study a compulsory higher mathematics course (which is far in advance of anything I've studied at high school in Maths I and Maths II). This course was rigorously taught and examined albeit not to a national standard exam. Of course there was also a compulsory politics and society course, which is mostly taken by the students as a chance to tune out and nap. The examinations are well projected and students provided with model answers. Clearly no one takes it seriously. By contrast the politically correct curriculum of Australian schools appears seen as the raison d'etre and teachers treat it accordingly.

And so it was that I listened with interest to the press conference announcing the long delayed Gonski Report on Education in Australia. First of all was the promise that 'no school would lose a dollar of funding per student'. That seems an entirely political statement you wouldn't expect from a politically neutral report.

In China there is no universal education system. There never was. Instead there was a separate fee-based system in which the state owned businesses and government departments paid for the fees of the children of their employees. If you did not work for the government you paid your own fees. The better the school the higher the fees. The higher the government department or state owned enterprise, the better the school their employee’s children attended.

The standards at these schools vary. In the major urban centres schools are set up in a hierarchical manner with major state, provincial, and metropolitan schools leading the pack. Then for those who can’t make it, the private schools take up the slack. Many of the private schools are run by the state schools and universities trading on their name and raking in extra cash.

In poor rural villages where students could not afford to pay fees, the local collective or village pays for the school. Poorly paid, educated and under resourced teachers struggle to make a difference with students who are often pulled out of school to attend to farm work. Today the government is beginning to see the importance of proper educational funding for the countryside to reduce the potential for dissatisfaction and to ensure the best students are identified and streamed into better schools. In the cities parents struggle, as they do in the west, to get their children into the best schools and pay the fees any way they can. Often the whole family will contribute hoping to get a member of the family into the government elite who profit from economic rent and are obliged to spread it around the family. In my development here in Suzhou there are a number of families one might identify as from the village, or at least to be parents and relatives of rich officials.

When I was at school in Beijing in the 70’s the education system had just been restored and while I was sharing a room with a student selected on his social class and political credentials, a new group of students arrived who had passed exams. The tension was informative. The gongnongbing students, or those selected from amongst working class, peasants and soldiers, were looked down on by the xinzhishifenzi, or new intellectuals. Like everything in China however the names do not always match the reality. My roommate, ostensibly selected from among the peasant class, was actually the son of a senior PLA general who lived in the same complex as Deng Xiaoping. He had been ‘adopted’ by a family of farmers, perhaps relatives, in order to qualify. It was clear many other students came from similar backgrounds.

An interesting note was struck by some of these New Intellectuals who praised the exam system saying it would result in a decrease in the number of women attending university as the old system had insisted on a 50:50 split of male and female. Within ten years of the exam system being implemented the government was pondering the problem of how to get more male students into university because women were performing better and out numbering men by a significant majority. At this rate it would be very hard to find enough men for government positions the government sources complained!

At our school, the Beijing Language Institute (now the Beijing University of Language & Culture), our teachers had responsibilities outside the classroom as well as in. Indeed the teachers specifically in charge of our Australian cohort were called our Responsible Persons (fuzeren). Should any of us miss a class, or perform poorly in class, we would be visited by the classroom teacher, in addition to our responsible teacher. The reason for our transgression would be investigated and the teachers would offer to help us. They made it clear that our satisfactory performance was their responsibility. Should we continue to miss classes or perform poorly the visits would continue but we would have to take more responsibility and write a confession, or self-criticism (ziwopiping), which demonstrated our contrition and an understanding that we had to attend classes regularly and abide by the teacher’s direction. In other words it was a form of social contract between the school and the student both sides bore responsibility. There were no authoritarian head masters, but major infractions such as attacking local students resulted in immediate repatriation.

Although teachers in China are legendary for their care for their students, and vice versa, there are examples of poor teachers who just put on a video and leave the students to watch it. The moral standards for teachers are high as well. In my school a married teacher, who was very high in the school party apparatus and also widely loved, was dismissed due to reports he was seen out together with another teacher! School leaders insisted teachers set a moral example. Interestingly many of the local teachers insisted that what teachers did in their private time was no business of the school! In Australia you have to sleep with one of the students to be sacked!

So the central question is how can Chinese teachers teach better on much less money and resources? Dedication? Tradition? Student discipline these days is not what it was. The 'Little Emperors' of China have no automatic respect for teachers. Indeed they have the arrogance of the nouveau riche in demanding their certificate since they paid their fees regardless of the effort put in! School officials spend a lot of their time defending their teachers against rich and or powerful bullies demanding to know why their child was failed (he didn't submit assignments or attend enough classes usually). The rich threaten to sue the school. The powerful say they will have it closed down. The traditional respect for education in China is much threatened.

A possible suggestion for the superior performance of Chinese schools (at least the elite schools in the major cities) is the competitive nature of the Chinese school system in which the best fight for a place in the elite schools. As we all know from the 50's on in Australia we sought to destroy a merit based education system in order to attain equality of educational outcomes. The same number of poor students should finish Y12 as rich students. In China, paradoxically, there is no obsession with a social class based education system as is still displayed in the Gonski Report. It is a merit-based system. As a result China has leaders of extraordinary ability and intelligence who are unfailingly guiding China back to its normal position as the pre-eminent power in the world. Meanwhile, since the Wyndham Report in NSW, Australia has unerringly declined from top of the OEDC countries to the bottom. Is there a lesson there?

Generally I can say that the Gonski Report could have been the same one submitted to Whitlam, or that submitted by Harold Wyndham to the NSW government in 1957 i.e. an extension of class war politics. Even now the comment by nearly all educationalists is the urgent need to address the lack of equality or fairness in the measured outcomes analyzed on a social class basis. There should be a cognizance that we have been addressing this problem by various means since 1950 without closing the gap. A more realistic approach would be to place extra resources where they are needed, both at the level of disadvantage and also at ensuring the top group of students received the most challenging education available globally.

The resulting emphasis on equality of outcomes resulted in a ridiculous system of pre-HSC exams designed to rate the school, so that when applied to the HSC results, each school had an equal share of A's, B's, C' etc. This was a nice bureaucratic solution, which had nothing go do with educational outcomes. Universities insisted on raw scores for admission purposes thus exposing the corrupt nature of the 'trick'.

Finally one must say that the Australian obsession with equality of outcomes in education is odd in a capitalist country in which income disparity is generally wide. It seems to be a denial of the capitalist nature of country by our educationalists. It seems a denial of human nature to expect equality of outcome in education when it is not manifest in any other form of human life.

One aspect common in Chinese schools, which is totally lacking in Australia as far as I know, is that each semester the students are surveyed on their satisfaction with each teacher for each subject. This survey covers such things as punctuality, helpfulness, good communicator, covered topic, allowed participation, as well as general topics about school facilities. The results of the survey weigh heavily on the teacher’s evaluation and at the end of the year the teacher’s bonus is based on this as well a peer evaluation. I was a member of the teacher’s union at the school and of course the union supported such surveys. I can’t see any Australian teachers union allowing such evaluations as they are opposed to any merit based system of teacher evaluation and appear to oppose any moves toward continuous education for teachers. They certainly motivated teachers to maintain professional standards as well as satisfying the student desire to enhance the learning environment.

If there is anything to learn from China it is that the thirty years of human disaster resulted from the same idealism and desire for equality. Stalinist socialism didn’t work there, it did work anywhere in the world. In China in the 1980’s it was systematically undone and an exam based system implemented. The search for the best and brightest does not stop at the school system. Twice every year the government will hold open exams in major centres for those who aspire to work in the government. Of course the system does have ‘Chinese characteristics’ a good score alone is not enough to gain admission to government employment, there is a personal interview, and of course ‘good references’ or background also will be considered.

No one suggests we imitate China. Their excellent performance is due to a highly selective system, national standards and rigorously supervised exams, dedicated and responsible teachers, highly motivated students, and an educational philosophy aimed at teaching to the highest world standards with only the slightest nod to political correctness. But we might learn from that.

Received via email