They know it won't happen but it will take the heat off them to cut their emissions. They must be having a quiet laugh to themselves

Finding money to help poor countries pay for new energy technology that doesn't contribute to global warming is the most difficult task facing negotiators as United Nations climate change talks began today, said U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy.

Financing works "hand in glove" with establishing carbon dioxide-emissions cuts for developing countries, which will be responsible for most of the world's output of greenhouse gases in the coming decades, said Todd Stern, the chief U.S. climate negotiator. "The financing issue is extremely important in our judgment," he said. "What's vital in general is that the developing countries leapfrog the carbon intensity path, and for that they'll need help."

Delegates from 175 countries are struggling to close the gap between their positions on financing and other issues, including setting CO2 cutting goals, in Bonn this week. Obama's delegation is participating for the first time in climate talks and promises to work toward a "robust deal" when the talks wind up in Copenhagen at the end of the year. "This is a new start for the U.S. delegation and the start of a new hope to solve the problem of climate change," said Matthias Machnig, Germany's deputy environment minister, during a speech to the 2,600 delegates and participants at the start of talks today.

While Obama has pledged greater emissions cuts than his predecessor, George W. Bush, the reductions fall short of what's needed to tackle the problem, China's lead negotiator, Su Wei, said in an interview before the start of the 10-day talks in Bonn, Germany. "The U.S. has become more positive than the previous administration: I think they are going in the right direction," Su said in a telephone interview. "Still, we're waiting for very firm climate policy from the U.S., including very clear medium-term targets. All of the parties are waiting for that."

A global climate treaty to reduce CO2 emissions and replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol must focus on later targets, not just 2020 goals, said Stern. The U.S. favors slashing emissions of heat-trapping gases to 1990 levels by 2020.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG thinks that the new antibiker laws in NSW are a stupid kneejerk reaction that will make criminals out of a lot of innocent people. Similar laws are planned in other States.

Posted by John Ray.

Are You Next?

The latest resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. has completely broken faith with this nation and everything it has stood for during the past 200+ years.
The Founders would be slapping the taste clean outta that punk's mouth for the way he pissed all over the Constitution with his unprecedented move of firing GM's CEO, Rick Wagoner.

Make no mistake, and don't fall for the spin that he "stepped down".
His ass was FIRED by St. barack the Clueless of the Church of Socialism.

I don't give a damn how bad a CEO Wagoner was, since WHEN does ANY President have the authorization UNDER THE U.S. CONSTITUTION to do so? know, that trite old document that b. hussein obumpersticker SWORE TO DEFEND just a dozen weeks ago???
For that matter, since when does the Sacred Sock Puppet have the BUSINESS COMPETENCE to make that kind of decision?
...and how long until these royal decrees hit YOU AND ME?!?!?

That punk has decreed for himself the same sort of power wielded by Stalin, Hitler, Hussein...all the great socialists have had that axe to wield against those who displease them.

Thus, I'm granting b. hussein obumpersticker yet another nickname.
NOT "der F├╝hrer" - since that pathetic boob has yet to demonstrate ANY verifiable leadership traits - but something far more accurate:
"der Fehler".....the MISTAKE!

The only question remaining is:
How long will it take us to correct all the damage der Fehler is inflicting on the nation our kids and grandkids will inherit?

There's a storm coming... - MORE than 42,000 people have taken up the Federal Government's first home buyers grant since extra money was poured into the scheme last October, new figures reveal. Under the Government's $1.5 billion first home buyers boost, the first home buyers grant was doubled from $7000 to $14,000. Those first home buyers who purchase a new home receive an extra $7000 to take the total cost of government assistance to $21,000.
It's set to expire in a few months and I myself have been tempted by the increase in this grant, but one has to stop and ponder the other side of all this. Sure, Kevvie is just throwing our money around willy-nilly, but when you consider that this government-grant is actually only about 10% of the price of a home, depending on where you live in Australia, you ought to get a bit worried. You only get this money once you've signed up, and then you still have to pay back the other 90% of the price. If you lose your job or the ass falls out of the market, you still have to pay it back. When interest rates go up in two years or less and you suddenly have to cough up your lungs, Rudd and his gang of big-spenders aren't going to be around to save you, they'll be long gone.

Read the following bits I've seen in the last couple of days and you might also share my wariness of the days ahead. A lot of people are waffling on about stimulating this and that with money they're borrowing and don't even have, all to save us, but I have this niggling feeling that something's gonna give and it's gonna give in a really bad way. - THE Rudd Government is preparing to ditch a number of key promises in the May Budget because it can no longer afford them. A day after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd admitted Australia could not avoid a recession Treasurer Wayne Swan warned the Government can no longer meet all its commitments.

Yahoo!7 News - In his strongest language yet, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has admitted it is "virtually impossible" for the Australian economy to avoid recession. It's a tacit acknowledgement that government action - including pumping more than $50 billion directly into the economy since December - won't be enough to stave off recession.
The previous government left us with a $20 billion surplus, that was gone before we blinked, now we're in debt and the recession is going to be choked down our throats anyway. Read on.
HeraldSun - In a move that will further strain relations with the Defence Department, the Government is looking to wind back a promised 3 per cent increase in military spending as it seeks billions of dollars in budget savings. The savings measure could strip about $1 billion from proposed Defence funding over the next few years.

Daily Telegraph - AUSTRALIA is facing its own version of the US sub-prime housing crisis, with thousands of young home owners risking bankruptcy as a result of Kevin Rudd's economic stimulus package. ......Professor Keen said that in trying to avoid an economic crisis caused by too much borrowing, Australia was in effect encouraging the poorest in the community to take on even more debt. ......Meanwhile, the first-home buyer end of the market has been booming. But economists fear this flurry of activity at the lower end has inflated prices to unsustainable levels. The average Sydney property already costs nine times the average annual household income, yet Britain and the US reached a peak of only seven times average income before their markets crashed.
That's just in Australia.
Times Online - GORDON BROWN’S carefully laid plans for a G20 deal on worldwide tax cuts have been scuppered by an eve-of-summit ambush by European leaders. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, last night led the assault on the prime minister’s “global new deal” for a $2 trillion-plus fiscal stimulus to end the recession. “I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money,” she said. The Spanish finance minister, Pedro Solbes, also dismissed new cash being pledged at Thursday’s London summit. Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has insisted that “radical reform” of capitalism is more important than tax cutting.

Times Online - As Brown left the Strasbourg parliament, however, word began to reach the Downing Street party of worse trouble back home. Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor, appearing before the House of Commons Treasury select committee had in effect destroyed the prime minister’s hopes of turning the April 22 budget into Britain’s second fiscal stimulus. Bank governors are supposed to stick to interest rates and the money supply. Matters of tax and spending are traditionally seen as the province of elected politicians, but King was not in a mood to respect these distinctions. “I think the fiscal position in the UK is not one where we could say, ‘Well, why don’t we just engage in another significant round of fiscal expansion?’,” he said.
Listen to this fellow, every child born in Britain now owes 20,000 pounds, thanks to all the stimulating and squandering! There is hope though, that not all the world's leaders are completely off their heads.
New York Times - But she [Angela Merkel] is clear that she is not about to give ground on new stimulus spending, stressing the need to maintain fiscal discipline even as she professes to want to work closely with the new American president. ......During the hourlong interview, Mrs. Merkel made clear that she was not wavering in her response to the economic crisis, by loosening the German checkbook or encouraging the European Central Bank to follow the Federal Reserve in pumping money into the system. ......It is not, she pointed out, simply a philosophical difference. Borrow and spend today, repay down the road, is a particularly difficult proposition for a country with a shrinking population, she said.

Wall Street Journal - That idea -- growing a nation out of recession by improving productivity -- puts Mr. Key [Prime Minister of New Zealand] and his conservative National Party at odds with Washington, Tokyo and Canberra. Those capitals are rolling out billions of dollars in stimulus packages -- with taxpayers' money -- to try to prop up growth. That's "risky," Mr. Key says. "You've saddled future generations with an enormous amount of debt that then they have to repay," he explains. "There is actually a limit to what governments can do."
The only problem is that they may not be enough to ward off the coming storms. Back to America and the old saying, when America sneezes, we all catch a cold. Well, what happens if America doesn't just sneeze but actually catches a cold or pneumonia or worse, which seems to be the way Hussien wants it.
Mark Steyn - This year federal government spending will rise to 28.5 per cent of GDP, the highest level ever, with the exception of the peak of the Second World War. The 44th president is proposing to add more to the national debt than the first 43 presidents combined, doubling it in the next six years, and tripling it within the decade. ......If you listen to the principal spokesmen for U.S. economic policy — Obama and Geithner — they grow daily ever more explicitly hostile to the private sector and ever more comfortable with the language of micro-managed government-approved capitalism — which, of course, isn’t capitalism at all.

......Where does the world’s hyperpower go to borrow more dough than anyone’s ever borrowed in human history? More to the point, given that, partly at the behest of Obama and Geithner, almost every other western government is ramping up national debt to cover massive bank bailouts and other phony-baloney “stimuli,” is there enough money out there to buy up the debt that’s already been run up? Last week, at the official British Treasury auction, investors failed to buy the full complement of so-called “gilt-edged” 40-year bonds. Two such auctions have already failed in Germany.

The U.S. Treasury, facing similar investor reluctance to snap up $34 billion of five-year notes, was forced to increase the interest it will pay on them. The Chinese and the Saudis have long taken the view that it’s to their advantage to own as much of the western world as they can snaffle up, but it’s unclear whether even they have pockets deep enough for what America and the many Bailoutistans of Europe are proposing to spend. In their first two months, Obama and Geithner have done nothing but vaporize your wealth, and your children’s future.
Think Steyn is just a doom-monger talking out of his backside, go back to what Angela Merkel said about the future demographics of Germany, Steyn was right about that, wasn't he. Here's some more detail on that 'vaporization' he's referring to.
Victor Hanson - 1) Aggregate tax rates are going to approach 70% in some states, effectively destroying the idea that anyone from the lower classes can ever achieve wealth in a single lifetime, and pass some of it on to his children (increases in estate taxes will be next).

2) The pulverizing of the Dow (cf. Obama’s flippant talk of gyrations and advice to invest now at rock bottom prices, as if those who were wiped out have disposable cash to buy more stocks) means that the aggregate wealth in 401(k)s and stocks for millions — along with equity in homes — of the upper middle classes has effectively vanished. In some cases, the lawyer or contractor who a year ago had $400K put away in retirement funds and $300K in home equity has effectively lost half, if not more, of his hard-won wealth. And when one computes the additional taxes on future income he will pay, it will be almost impossible in his remaining lifetime to make it back.

3) The promises of free health and free education for everyone most surely will come with salary considerations and mean-testing (we are seeing that already with ideas floating about charitable contributions). In other words, the more you of the upper middle class will pay for new expansive entitlements, the more likely you will not be eligible to use the full extent of them.

4) The power of anti-“rich” rhetoric is already beginning to demonize the wealthy as those who have somehow done something wrong in paying the full ticket for their children’s’ educations, or their own health care, or their full mortgage payments. Of all the things that worry me about Obama, the most troublesome is his conflation of the super wealthy — who are so rich that even Obama cannot touch them and who often are his most fervent supporters — with the entrepreneurs, the scramblers of the small business class who make between, say, $250,000 and $600,000.

These already pay over 50% in various taxes, are eligible for almost no government support, do not have access to insider government breaks and special legislation, pay their own way — and create both jobs and new innovations critical to the performance of the U.S. economy. Yet between Wall Street and DC they have been targeted for extinction.

......I’ve come rapidly to the point where I simply do not believe (cf. the claim that all those companies every thirty minutes are going broke due to the lack of federal health care) that what our President says is at all accurate. And worse have come to think that he knows it is not, and, worse still, knows that the media largely know too but will do their part as disciples must. In short, we are soon to see an end to things as they once were for the last quarter-century.
The way I see it, one thing's for sure, most of us will be in the crapper in years if not months to come, the only question is, how far down it will we find ourselves. Batten down the hatches folks and hang on, storm coming.

BOOK REVIEW OF: "United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror" by Jamie Glazov

Reviewed by RALPH PETERS

If you've ever wondered at the delight with which academics excuse Islamist terrorists, or at the callousness with which radical feminists ignore the oppression of Muslim women, or at the gushing adulation the Left devoted to the last century's worst butchers, from Stalin to Saddam, "United In Hate' is the book for you.

Radical Leftists have been losing their war against human nature for a long time, but they continue to search desperately for a winning formula. After Stalin, Mao, Uncle Ho, Pol Pot and countless Third World thugs had let them down, they believed they'd found redemption at last on 9/11. Jamie Glazov, the editor of, describes the reaction of Leftist acquaintances to the fall of the Twin Towers: "Never had I seen them so happy, so hopeful and ready for another attempt at creating a glorious and revolutionary future. Without doubt, September 11 represented a personal vindication for them." Noam Chomsky agreed with Osama that we deserved our misery. Ward Churchill had finally met his love match. This rigorous, fight-back book dissects the Leftist identity in which personal dissatisfaction and social dysfunction are externalized as the fault of our wicked society an uncanny reflection of the Islamist platform that worldly evil flows from the US and Israel. Glazov is scathing on the inability of Islamists and Western fellow-travelers to form healthy male-female relationships: Sex may (or may not) be OK, but love between a man and a woman threatens the collective.

No matter whether the idealized system is a Communist utopia or an Islamist caliphate, the happy couple is a mortal threat. Worst of all, "The pursuit of happiness implies ... that the world can be accepted for what it is," Glazov argues, "and human beings can be accepted for what they are."

So the Leftist believer embarks upon "the desperate search for the feeling of power to help him counteract the powerlessness he feels in his own life." That could equally describe a suicide bomber. You and I may be too stupid to realize we're miserable or damned, but the American Left and the mullahs are going to perfect us for our own good. The horrific bloodshed along the way is the outcast's great revenge.

Whether analyzing Code Pink or "Code Sharia," the book's descriptions hit the target dead-center again and again: "Like Islamists, Leftists have a Manichean vision that rigidly distinguishes good from evil. They see themselves as personifications of the former and their opponents as personifications of the latter, who must be slated for ruthless elimination."

Welcome to the hellish alliance that encourages American college brats to root for Hamas and Hezbollah. Dead Jews? Today's Left has no more problem with the Holocaust than Stalin did or Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah does.

Fearlessly, Glazov rips into "the deep-rooted hatred and fear of female sexuality that permeates Islamist-Arabic culture." But he also unveils our pseudo-feminists who excuse the burqa, genital mutilation, honor killings and general savagery toward Middle-Eastern women, noting that the privileged Americans need to ignore the suffering of their distant sisters in order "to hold onto their self-created victim identity." If America isn't so bad, it spoils everything.

I'd quibble with a few propositions: I find all fanatics dangerous, Left or Right but no honest person could deny this book's validity and power. It's a serious work by a brave scholar. It's also fun to read (fun's another no-no to Islamists and the Left).


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

The C of E (Church of the Environment) is still dribbling

Most of the Anglican episcopacy may not believe in God but they sure believe in Warmism. They are the Pharisees of today. Note the indented straw-man argument

We may all be damned -- in this world and the next -- by our environmental misdeeds and heedlessness, according to a stern warning from the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, last week.

Mankind is rebuffing the divine love of God and, by its refusal to face "doomsday" environmental damage, it is choking, drowning and starving God's creation, Williams said. He ties it all in to salvation season, when thoughts of Easter and forgiveness from sin loom large, saying suggest that God might intervene to protect us from the corporate folly of our practices is as un-Christian and un-biblical as to suggest that he protects us from the results of our individual folly or sin.

Would you agree? Even if we step up our conservation efforts one by one, are we responsible, even eternally, for our group/national actions? What would be "enough" to stay high and dry in heaven?


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

Earth hour roundup

Comments from various sources:

1). Al Gore certainly didn't shut the lights off

2). I could not help but chuckle at the irony of earth hour's method of getting their message across. By turning off lights around the world they showed people exactly what they want. They want to turn the light out on human civilization. The wish to stop progress, to pull back humans' desire to better our world. Instead of light that allows us to see truth clearly they choose darkness, to hide their true intentions.

3). I will be thinking about the 1.8 billion people on Earth who have no access to electricity, and how insane they must think we are.

4). Earth Hour is a good demonstration of what will happen very soon if energy policy continues to be strangled by futile attempts to control the weather/climate using the harmless, essential, naturally occurring, aerial plant food gas CO2.

5). With reference to the absurd Dearth Hour, is wondering how many stories we can collect of people injured falling over the cat/furniture in the enviro-induced darkness. Candle fires from unsafe lighting? Anything you or your readers may have heard about can be returned to this email address or preferably posted under this topic on the forum. (It's a self-register arrangement & you can post immediately following registration).

6). An email from Greenland with illustrative picture below: Does it sometimes seem like everything you read, see or do has the word “Green” attached to it? When you are living in Greenland you can't ignore it! But the Earth Hour made a difference here. See No more global warming.

7). Comment by Australian cartoonist ZEG:

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

'Extinct' possums back from the dead

There are MILLIONS of possums in Australia and New Zealand. "Brushtail" possums commonly live in the roof spaces of older houses in Brisbane, where they make a considerable racket. It is hard to imagine how noisy such small animals can be. They sound like a thundering herd of elephants when they run about on my ceiling at times. Visitors from South are often greatly alarmed by the noise they make there and look dubious when you tell them that it is "just possums". Most Brisbane people are used to them, however. Nonetheless possum removal experts do a good trade. The fact that the slightly different species described below is so rare almost certainly indicates that it has been out-competed by the more adaptable common "brushtail" species and was headed for extinction anyway.

Although they are only about the size of a small cat, Australia's possums (a different but related species to the American opossum) are remarkably fearless of humans, which is rather endearing and gives rise to the Australia expression of "Stir the possum". If you disturb them they will often snap back rather than run away. That fearlessness is probably bad for them in New Zealand, however. New Zealanders hate them and do all they can to kill them. The fact that there are probably more possums in New Zealand than there are people might have something to do with that. But I certainly enjoy it when I am having an evening meal on my verandah and a possum comes strolling past along the telecoms cable that runs above the street in front of my house. They are remarkably confident little animals and seem to do a high wire act with total ease

And I can vouch for the fact that Australia's "brushtail" possums are marsupials. I got quite a clear view of the marsupium of a female possum while sitting at my dinner table recently. There is a mulberry tree that abuts onto my verandah and possums often leap about in it quite unconcerned about the nearby human presence. It is always a great pleasure to see them there. And I live in an old inner-city area, not in any kind of rural setting. But Australian inner city areas tend to be pleasant, leafy places. I also see wild turkeys about the place a lot -- JR

A POSSUM population believed to have been wiped out by climate change is in fact clinging to survival, scientists say. Researchers say they have discovered three living brown lemuroid ringtail possums in the Daintree National Park, on Cape York, although the Daintree possums were believed to have been killed off during a heat wave in 2005.

No white lemuroid possums - which once accounted for 40 per cent of the lemuroid possum population in the area - have been located so far.

But Associate Professor Steve Williams of James Cook University said there was no reason to believe they wouldn't have survived alongside their brown relatives. "I don't think there is any reason to believe the white ones are harder hit than the brown ones," he said.

Lemuroid ringtail possums are found in just two locations, at the Carbine Tablelands in the Daintree and in the Atherton Tablelands, west of Cairns, though white lemuroids are extremely rare in the latter location.

Prof Williams said the Daintree possums had not been spotted since an extended heatwave in 2005, leading to the belief that they had been pushed to extinction by climate change. He said the species could not cope with extended periods of temperatures over 27 degrees.

"Over the last 50 years, the number of days where you get that temperature has been steadily increasing, to the point that in 2005 there were 27 consecutive days where the temperature went above that threshold," he said. "That seems to have really knocked them down."

Prof Williams said the species still hadn't been found in locations where they had been common and his research team would try to identify why they had survived in the current location.

He said the possums remained extremely vulnerable and another heatwave could wipe them out. "I don't think they are out of danger in any shape or form. It is very clear that these heatwaves are steadily increasing," he said. [And where is the evidence for that? It is just a creed he is uttering]


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

Obama does NOT have America's best interests at heart. He has a typical Leftist hatred of the society he lives in

"By their fruit ye shall know them"

President Barack Obama has no intention of helping to grow the United States economy. On the contrary, he is doing everything a President can do to weaken it. I know that sounds harsh. Maybe it seems outrageously “partisan.” Maybe it just seems outrageous. But after roughly ten weeks, Obama has consistently proposed ideas and plans (and in one case signing legislation) that will weaken the U.S. economy, not strengthen it. To attempt to view this man through the lenses of American prosperity, and to evaluate him with the same assumptions with which the behavior of other modern-day Presidents has been evaluated - - that growing the U.S. economy is a good and noble and necessary thing - - simply makes no sense.

Yet to assess this very different President with a very different set of assumptions in mind - - that American prosperity itself is a problem to be remedied, or that the U.S. has become an economic superpower at the expense of other nations - - only then does his economic behavior appear rational. And it is now clear that President Obama’s objective is to weaken the U.S....

During his campaign, President Obama liked to reiterate that he was being advised on economics by investment guru Warren Buffett. Buffett now deems Obama’s so-called “economic stimulus bill” as largely a waste of taxpayer dollars, and has expressed alarm over the national debt that Obama’s further plans will create. With the majority of the "stimulus bill" devoted to social welfare projects- - "free" condoms, childcare , “cricket control,” tatoo removal, and so forth - - and most funding for infrastructure projects delayed until 2011 and beyond (closer to Obama's re-election race), it's difficult to argue with Buffett's assessment.

Obama repeatedly reminds Americans of the tragedy that he faces, having “inherited” a $1.3 trillion deficit from the former President, yet he spent more than half that amount with the so-called “stimulus” bill during his first six weeks as President, and has now proposed a federal budget that spends $3.6 trillion more. He campaigned on a promise to take money away from “rich” Americans and re-distribute it to people who he deemed were deserving of it, yet there is no more wealth in government coffers for President Obama to re-distribute. He is now proposing to spend the wealth of future generations of Americans - - wealth that has yet to be created - - while confidently asserting along the way that he is reducing the federal deficit, not expanding it.

If we are to take seriously the many promises that Obama made as a candidate, it is not far-fetched to think that his efforts to weaken the U.S. economy are quite intentional. For two years, Senator Obama campaigned across the country preaching the economics of “getting even” - - a "strategy" to make conditions more "fair" for the less fortunate by punishing successful individuals and organizations. By every indication, he is now applying that same ‘strategy” to the United States, as it relates to the rest of the world, making the world a more “fair” and “just” playing field by weakening the strongest player on the field. After a few short weeks, it is now apparent what President Obama is doing. Will the Democratic Congress allow the President to fulfill his dreams? [They hate America too]


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

Sarah Palin - The witch-hunt continues

NRO Weekend - Since Alaska governor Sarah Palin was named John McCain's running mate, her foes and various Alaskan liberals have begun a new exercise, attempting to bankrupt the Palin family through legal fees, by filing endless ethics complaints against her. In her term, ten ethics complaints and 150 FOIA requests have been filed. (One of the complaints, about improperly firing her state public-safety commissioner, predates her national prominence.)

While holding elected officials accountable is laudable, most of the matters are beyond trivial. One of the complaints against her was for talking to reporters about the presidential campaign while she was in the governor's office. Another objected to her office press secretary offering a statement to clarify a statement put out by her political action committee. The latest complaint is that Palin wore snow-machine gear advertising her husband Todd's sponsor, Arctic Cat Inc, while "in her official duties as governor" when she served as the "official starter" of the race.

Palin owes $500,000 in legal fees, almost four times her annual salary. She says she may be forced to create a legal defense fund. Hat tip Right Truth
An absolute disgrace, she and McCain lost the election, it's over morons, but do they leave her be to get on with her life? No, no, oh no, they're not happy, the leftist scum who waffle on about womens rights, diversity, tolerance etc are not done, no way, they want to bury her, they can't stand that someone they, the ivory-tower intellectual scum did not approve off, dared to put her head up. The message is crystal-clear America, the choice is not yours, you won't be presented with the full picture and be allowed to make your choice. No, these self-appointed assholes want to decide who gets to run, who gets to say what, where and when. They are lording over you, uninvited and smug as ever. It's up to you to smack em' back into their place.

Spread the word folks, you have to let people know yourselves, cos you know the MSM won't do it, that lot also think themselves superior to you lot, those supposedly impartial scumbags would be happy to bury her, so you never ever get the choice of giving her your vote. Maybe Sarah Palin ought to start a defense fund and folks who support her can contribute to keeping the leftist vermin at bay. Maybe they can also go after these vermin and make them pay. I mean, where is the justice here, can any group just sue someone into submission, is that the kind of world we want to live in. Cos I can tell you now, if they get away with this, they won't stop at Sarah Palin, these fascist scum will do the same to you if you raise your head. They'll sue, bully and hector you into submission, all the while telling everyone how tolerant and wonderful they are. I noticed at Conservatives 4 Palin, they have a financial support section, unfortunately it's only for U.S. citizens, dang!

Eventually you will run out of others' money

IHT - ......Europe's extensive job protections and unemployment benefits are "bad in the upswing, because firms don't dare to hire people, because then they are glued to them," said Hans-Werner Sinn, president of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich. "In the downswing, it's good if the people are glued to the companies. They keep their jobs. They keep their income. They keep consuming."
And there you have it, the harder you make it for companies to fire people, the fewer people they actually hire. Yes, Europe has great benefits and companies are glued to you once they hire you, but only if they actually hire you. And when they do hire you, you have to pay a lot of money in tax to subsidize those who were not hired. Wouldn't it just be easier to not 'glue' people to companies, that way they'll hire more people and then you can even lower the taxes and people can save some of their hard-earned for when that rainy day comes. But then we wouldn't need those vast battalions of bureaucrats to administer and nanny the subjects around now would we. Less government intervention, oh no, we can't have that!
The German Federal Labor Office projects that it will spend some $2.85 billion this year for more than a quarter of a million people who end up on Kurzarbeit. In comparison, the agency doled out around $270 million last year, as the financial crisis first began to bite, and roughly $135 million in both 2006 and 2007.
I'm no fancy economist or anything, but I wonder if it's crossed the minds of all these boffins where the $2.85 billion is coming from. It's from taxes isn't it, and to tax someone, don't they have to first make some money? What are they going to do next year and the year after if those who were earning money and hence paying taxes are no longer earning any money? The article initially talks about how one company is asking people to work 50% less, which is better than being fired, but what happens when that company closes shop completely, so much for the glue ey.

The other thing is that once Hussein is done socializing America, it'll become like Europe. Who will keep the western world safe to sit and waffle about diplomacy and tisk-tisk at cowboy foreign policy when American hard-power disappears into history in favor of better healthcare and fancy welfare programs. What will Europe do when their diplomats are told to eff off by a Russia, China, North Korea or Iran and do as you are told? Will they have enough money for both welfare and the hard-power that is needed for those who just don't feel like 'getting-along' or 'cooperating' or 'win-win'?

I sure hope they got it all figured out cos I have a feeling a lot of people are going to get what they wished for.

The latest bit of bright-eyed optimism about IQ

There are always books and articles coming out that purport to show that IQ is unimportant, not hereditary and uniform across races. The research findings show the opposite but that offends against the "all men are equal" credo of the Left so the facts have to be got rid of somehow. Another such treatise has just arrived. A review of it (from the NYT!) is below. I have not read the book and nothing in the review encourages me to do so but I assume that some of my colleagues who specialize in IQ studies will read it and dissect it in due course. Meanwhile, I just offer a few comments (In italics) that occur to me. The book is INTELLIGENCE AND HOW TO GET IT. Why Schools and Culture Count by Richard E. Nisbett. The book is actually better than most in that it is largely research-based so concedes the two major facts that always stick in Leftist craws: That IQ is important and is largely hereditary.

Success in life depends on intelligence, which is measured by I.Q. tests. Intelligence is mostly a matter of heredity, as we know from studies of identical twins reared apart. Since I.Q. differences between individuals are mainly genetic, the same must be true for I.Q. differences between groups. So the I.Q. ranking of racial/ethnic groups — Ashkenazi Jews on top, followed by East Asians, whites in general, and then blacks — is fixed by nature, not culture. Social programs that seek to raise I.Q. are bound to be futile. Cognitive inequalities, being written in the genes, are here to stay, and so are the social inequalities that arise from them.

What I have just summarized, with only a hint of caricature, is the hereditarian view of intelligence. This is the view endorsed, for instance, by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray in “The Bell Curve” (1994), and by Arthur R. Jensen in “The g Factor” (1998). Although hereditarianism has been widely denounced as racism wrapped in pseudoscience, these books drew on a large body of research and were carefully reasoned. Critics often found it easier to impugn the authors’ motives than to refute their conclusions.

Richard E. Nisbett, a prominent cognitive psychologist who teaches at the University of Michigan, doesn’t shirk the hard work. In “Intelligence and How to Get It,” he offers a meticulous and eye-opening critique of hereditarianism. True to its self-helplike title, the book does contain a few tips on how to boost your child’s I.Q. — like exercising during pregnancy (mothers who work out tend to have bigger babies who grow up smarter, possibly because of greater brain size) [More likely because they are middle class]. But its real value lies in Nisbett’s forceful marshaling of the evidence, much of it recent, favoring what he calls “the new environmentalism,” which stresses the importance of nonhereditary factors in determining I.Q. So fascinating is this evidence — drawn from neuroscience and genetics, as well as from studies of educational interventions and parenting styles — that the author’s slightly academic prose style can be forgiven.

Intellectually, the I.Q. debate is a treacherous one. Concepts like heritability are so tricky that even experts stumble into fallacy. Moreover, the relevant data come mostly come from “natural experiments,” which can harbor subtle biases. When the evidence is ambiguous, it is all the easier for ideology to influence one’s scientific judgment. Liberals hope that social policy can redress life’s unfairness. Conservatives hold that natural inequality must be accepted as inevitable. When each side wants to believe certain scientific conclusions for extra-scientific reasons, skepticism is the better part of rigor.

Nisbett himself proceeds with due caution. He grants that I.Q. tests — which gauge both “fluid” intelligence (abstract reasoning skills) and “crystallized” intelligence (knowledge) — measure something real. They also measure something important: even within the same family, higher-I.Q. children go on to make more money than their less-bright siblings. [An important admission]

However, Nisbett bridles at the hereditarian claim that I.Q. is 75 to 85 percent heritable; the real figure, he thinks, is less than 50 percent [The most common estimation is two thirds so Nisbet is not being very original there. And even a 50% figure puts large contraints on what a person can achieve]. Estimates come from comparing the I.Q.’s of blood relatives — identical twins, fraternal twins, siblings — growing up in different adoptive families. But there is a snare here. As Nisbett observes, “adoptive families, like Tolstoy’s happy families, are all alike.” Not only are they more affluent than average, they also tend to give children lots of cognitive stimulation [I doubt those assertions. The point is one commonly made but I think the evidence for its effect is weak]. Thus data from them yield erroneously high estimates of I.Q. heritability. (Think: if we all grew up in exactly the same environment, I.Q. differences would appear to be 100 percent genetic.) This underscores an important point: there is no fixed value for heritability [A non sequitur. The value can be fixed even if it is hard to estimate]. The notion makes sense only relative to a population. Heritability of I.Q. is higher for upper-class families than for lower-class families, because lower-class families provide a wider range of cognitive environments, from terrible to pretty good. [An assertion only]

Even if genes play some role in determining I.Q. differences within a population, which Nisbett grants, that implies nothing about average differences between populations. The classic example is corn seed planted on two plots of land, one with rich soil and the other with poor soil. Within each plot, differences in the height of the corn plants are completely genetic. Yet the average difference between the two plots is entirely environmental. [True in theory but irrelevant in fact. There are studies going back many years where blacks and whites have sat in the same classrooms throughout their education but the IQ gap remains. And any claim that blacks are poorly fed is laughable. Their rate of obesity is higher than for whites]

Could the same logic explain the disparity in average I.Q. between Americans of European and of African descent? Nisbett thinks so. The racial I.Q. gap, he argues, is “purely environmental.” For one thing, it’s been shrinking: over the last 30 years, the measured I.Q. difference between black and white 12-year-olds has dropped from 15 points to 9.5 points. [Blacks mature faster so the IQ gap has long been smaller during childhood. The adult IQ gap remains the same] Among his more direct evidence, Nisbett cites impressive studies in population genetics. African-Americans have on average about 20 percent European genes, largely as a legacy of slavery. But the proportion of European genes ranges widely among individuals, from near zero to more than 80 percent. If the racial gap is mostly genetic, then blacks with more European genes ought to have higher I.Q.’s on average. In fact, they don’t. [But where do the white genes concerned come from? Mostly from the bottom of white society. "Race mixing" has been looked down on for most of America's history]

Nisbett is similarly skeptical that genetics could account for the intellectual prowess of Ashkenazi Jews, whose average I.Q. measures somewhere between 110 and 115. As for the alleged I.Q. superiority of East Asians over American whites, that turns out to be an artifact of sloppy comparisons; when I.Q. tests are properly normed, Americans actually score slightly higher than East Asians. [I concede that some of the figures for Asian IQ may be poorly representative but the enormous rate of achievement among Asian Americans certainly shows that Asians who emigrate are superior. We are on much firmer ground with Jewish IQ because of Israeli army figures. There is no doubt of Ashkenazi superiority -- if Jewish achievements alone did not tell you that]

If I.Q. differences are indeed largely environmental, what might help eliminate group disparities? The most dramatic results come from adoption. When poor children are adopted by upper-middle-class families, they show an I.Q. gain of 12 to 16 points [For a while. In adulthood their differences are small. And the children chosen for adoption by such families are probably not representative either]. Upper-class parents talk to their children more than working-class parents do. And there are subtler differences. In poorer black families, for example, children are rarely asked “known-answer questions” — that is, questions where the parents already know the right answer. (“What color is the elephant, Billy?”) Consequently, as Nisbett observes, the children are nonplussed by such questions at school. (“If the teacher doesn’t know this, then I sure don’t.”)

The challenge is to find educational programs that are as effective as adoption in raising I.Q. So far, Nisbett observes, almost all school-age interventions have yielded disappointing results [An important and entirely true admission]. But some intensive early-childhood interventions have produced enduring I.Q. gains, at a cost of around $15,000 per child per year. [Small gains achieved at great effort are consistent with the environmental component of IQ]. Yet, by the author’s reckoning, it would cost less than $100 billion a year to extend such programs to the neediest third of America’s preschoolers. The gain to society would be incalculable. [More likely to be negligible -- on the balance of the evidence]

Still, there are limits even to Nisbett’s optimism. Social policy can get rid of ethnic I.Q. gaps, he thinks, but “the social-class gap” in I.Q. “is never going to be closed.” I would frame the matter a little differently. Even if I.Q. inequality is inevitable, it may eventually become irrelevant. Over the last century, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, I.Q. scores around the world have been rising by three points a decade [That has now stopped and it did not affect the racial gap anyway]. Some of this rise, Nisbett argues, represents a real gain in intelligence. But beyond a certain threshold — an I.Q. of 115, say — there is no correlation between intelligence and creativity or genius [IQ has never correlated strongly with creativity -- largely because different sorts of creativity do not correlate with one-another]. As more of us are propelled above this threshold — and, if Nisbett is right, nearly all of us can be — the role of intelligence in determining success will come to be infinitesimal by comparison with such “moral” traits as conscientiousness and perseverance. [And law-abidingness?] Then we can start arguing about whether those are genetic.



Perhaps I should say a little more about the nutritional argument. It is briefly alluded to above but is very commonly mentioned in arguments of this sort.

There appear to be two adverse nutritional influences on IQ: Total calorie deprivation and micronutrient deprivation. The first is obviously irrelevant to American blacks so I will just note that the Dutch famine study showed it to have a eugenic effect if anything. It is mainly the children of smart people who survive a famine so the children concerned will on average tend to be brighter rather than dumber.

Micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) deficiency is more serious, though United Nations figures suggest that, even so, it accounts for only about 5 IQ points. If you give micronutrients to poor blacks in Africa, it does boost their average IQ by about that amount. The diet of poor blacks in Africa and the diet of American blacks are however quite different. Africans in Africa might see fried chicken only a few times in a lifetime. They mostly live on corn porridge ("mealie pap"). But critics nonetheless say that while African Americans eat plenty, they eat the "wrong" food: McDonalds for instance. But look at what is in a Big Mac meal: Meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which adds up to a mainstream Western diet. Some contend that there is too much salt and fat in such meals but that the meals provide a good range of micronutrients can hardly be doubted.

So there are no grounds for saying that the cause of lower average IQ in blacks is nutritional. They are not "seed that fell on stony ground".

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

“Earth Hour or Blackout Night?”

"Earth Hour" is supposed to be observed in Australia tonight Saturday, March 28, 8:30-9:30pm.

The Carbon Sense Coalition today came out in support of Earth Hour, but said it should be renamed “Blackout Night” and be held outdoors, for the whole night, in mid-winter, on the shortest and coldest day of the year - 22 June in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that spending just one night in the cold and the dark, with no hot coffee or beef on the barbecue, using no light, heat or vehicle energy from coal, gas, petrol or diesel, and without protection from metal or concrete structures, would be good practice for the blackouts and shortages to come if world rationing of carbon products and carbon energy is achieved.

“Winter nights are usually still and cold, so the candles crew can really experience what it will be like to depend on alternative energy when there is no sun and no wind. The back-to-nature brigade can also try living without iron roofs and concrete walls. And the eat-no-meat mob can experience a night without hamburgers and cappuccinos.

“To hold a candles-and-champagne party indoors, on the mildest night of the year, for just one hour, shows that the whole thing is tokenism. Moreover both candles and champagne emit carbon dioxide. Let the true believers try the real thing in one of the extreme seasons so they can appreciate the great benefits we take for granted when using all of our carbon fuels and foods.

“Instead of sneering at human achievements they should salute the people who keep the lights on for the other 364 days of the year.

“Australia gets almost 90% of its electricity from hydrocarbon fuels – black coal, brown coal, gas and oil. And without the nuclear power that underpins electricity supplies in more advanced countries, the massive cuts in carbon dioxide emissions demanded by the deep greens would see Australia headed for the Romanian power rationing experience - during the Ceaucescu regime in Romania, each house was limited to ONE 25 watt bulb for all of their light.

“All over the world we have aging power stations and an orchestrated campaign by a few warm and well-fed agitators to harass, delay and deter construction of new power facilities.

“Such a campaign can only have one result – blackouts and brownouts will recur erratically every time we have extremes of cold or hot weather. “So we support “Blackout Night” to prepare our population for the dark days ahead”.

The above is a press release from Viv Forbes [], Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

They are scum, so treat them like scum

Over in London, preparations are already underway to bend this way, slither that way and weasel the other way in the face of violent scumbags. They did the same thing here in Australia a while ago and look where that got us. And you think we've learned from it? This is 2009 people, the age of progressivism or some crap, so don't be silly.
Daily Mail - City workers are being urged to stay at home or to dress down during next week's G20 summit to avoid being targeted by anti-capitalist protesters. Unprecedented measures are being put in place to prepare for thousands of demonstrators targeting the City and Canary Wharf. About 3,000 anti-capitalist protesters are expected, with groups next Wednesday marching to the Bank of England, holding 'flashcamps' outside the European Climate Exchange in Bishopsgate, and marching on the US Embassy.
Why are these vermin marching on the US Embassy? Kinda proves the point when many of us label these leftwing groups are mere, anarchist, America-hating, oxygen-thieving western Communist scum. After all, isn't the hated Bush out of the White House, isn't their precious halfrican-American messiah running the show? So what's with the protesting outside the US Embassy. Any scheduled outside the Iranian embassy, the Chinese embassy, the Russian embassy, the Burmese consulate? Yeah didn't think so.
Demonstrators have vowed to hang effigies of bankers from lampposts along the protest route. City workers have been warned not to wear suits, but to 'dress down' in chinos and loafers because they would be obvious targets. Banks have been warned to take extra security precautions to protect their staff after vandals attacked former RBS chief Sir Fred Goodwin's Edinburgh home.
Why are certain sections of the community asked to dress in a different way, don't walk down that street, stay indoors, lock your doors etc Are some sections of the community allowed to behave violently and break the law because they feel like it? If the authorities fear that these vermin might do something, and based on previous experience that is the case, why allow them to march in the first place? Are these bank employees allowed to carry weapons to protect themselves when the authorities themselves admit that they cannot protect them, nope. Seems to me, if you're some sort of leftwing scumbag, it's pretty much open slather, you do as you please, break, burn and fight until you're all tired out and are ready to go home.

Utterly shameful, our politicians and authorities. Coming back down under to Australia, you might think this won't happen, but you think again folks. This is why people like me have to constantly bang on and on about it, cos the second you take your eye off the, the criminal-coddlers are at it, cooing and making nice-nice with the scum of the earth that they find so fascinating. - A COMPANY expected to bid for contracts to operate two jails has backed facilities in which inmates have keys to their cells and are on a first-name basis with their jailers. Gary Sturgess, research director of the UK-based Serco Group, will tell a New South Wales [Australia] parliamentary inquiry today that decency, not efficiency, is the main reason to privatise jails.

He says overseas experience shows that prisoners enjoy more privileges - including being given the keys to their own cells - in correctional systems where private and public providers compete, The Australian reports. Prisoners in these systems spend more time out of their cells and have far greater interaction with their jailers - with whom they are frequently on first-name terms - than in systems where public providers face no competition, Mr Sturgess says. The results are safer jails and lower rates of reoffending.
Well, isn't that just dandy, the easy life for criminal scum masquerading as safer and all that. I have an even better method of having really safe jails and an almost zero rate of reoffending, why don't we just leave the prison doors wide open, the gates too, in fact why bother sending criminals to jail, just let them back out into society. Just have a few prison guards sitting around watching TV and I'm sure the jails will become the safest places and the reoffending rates will also plummet. Don't know about the rest of society though, but then again, when did these criminal-coddlers start giving a rat's ass about the law-abiding? Maybe when it's their women and children who have to 'entertain' these vermin.

If we really wanted to make jails safe and lower the reoffending rates, we'd call Sherrif Joe from Arizona Contry to put these scumbags into chain gangs. But society out there by and large has gone soft. Yes, there's a bit of outrage when a pedophile gets a year or two for raping a child, but ultimately, we the public are not prepared to make these things election issues. When the time comes to vote, we give our vote back to the same useless criminal-coddling parasites that let them off in the first place.

If we're asked whether criminals should be in chain-gangs and not in their cells watching TV and slacking off with warm meals and all that, we'd all be huffing and puffing. But ultimately most of us feel that taking a convicted child-rapist out the back and shooting him in the head is too much, putting him to work moving boulders around is too much of an infringement on his human-rights and all that crap.

The way I see it, not enough of us are outraged enough and not enough of us give a damn to make lawlessness an election issue.

"Great men are almost always bad men" (Acton)

We like the story of the disgraced former judge Marcus Einfeld, jailed last week for lying about a minor traffic fine, because it is a reassuring morality tale. It restores our belief that character is destiny, that karma eventually catches up with everyone, and that lying, even in an era when trust is in short supply and truthfulness downgraded, is a serious transgression that can land a big wig in jail.

Einfeld didn't just start telling lies in 2006, when he falsely named a dead friend as the driver of his car when it was caught travelling at 10kmh over the limit by a speed camera in Mosman.

The pattern of deception apparent in even a superficial examination of his life shows that he gained a lot of kudos and reward from his fabrications, whether it was padding his Who's Who CV with dodgy degrees from American "diploma mills", or alleged plagiarism, or allegedly claiming a lost overcoat on expenses when he was head of the Human Rights Commission, having already lodged an insurance claim, or using the names of people living overseas in statutory declarations to evade traffic fines. A habit of dishonesty went unpunished.

Instead, Einfeld was richly rewarded, becoming a darling of the legal and media establishment, with an Order of Australia and named a "National Living Treasure". Sad as it is for a 70-year-old man suffering from prostate cancer and depression to be thrown in jail for what essentially began as a trivial matter, his punishment represents a larger righting of wrongs.


Being an incorrigible academic, I thought I might give a fuller version of the famous quotation from Lord Acton. It formed part of Acton's opposition to the declaration of Papal infallibility of 1870
"I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. "

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

Australian interest in environment issues wanes as Facebook group urges Earth Hour power ON

An anti-Earth Hour group urging Australians to keep their lights blazing this weekend is a sign of waning interest in environmentalism, experts say. The global Earth Hour movement – founded in Australia in 2007 – is asking people to switch off their lights for one hour on Saturday night. But a Facebook group is urging people to "keep every light you own running during Earth Hour".

The group urges people to protest by switching lights on "if you think turning the lights out for an hour is completely ridiculous and will change nothing". "Or if you just think people who really believe global warming is a giant threat are dumb, join this group to keep every light you own running during Earth Hour."

Group member Alexander Woodhouse says: "The Earth Hour makes people feel like they've done their share and makes them sleep better... that's nice for them but it doesn't really help the earth." Another member wrote: "I don't believe the vast majority of those participating have given it enough thought to get to that point. ‘It's helping! I don't know how, but it's helping! I'm helping! I don't have to do anything else because I'm doing this now! Go me!'"

Australians have been losing interest in environmentalism for years, says social analyst David Chalke, who leads the annual AustraliaSCAN survey, a cultural change monitor established in 1992. "Absolutely the GFC (global financial crisis) has accelerated a decline in interest in environmentalism that was already going on,” Mr Chalke said. "Environmentalism has been in decline among the Australian public for the last five or six years. "The notion that we’re all becoming more environmentally concerned is not true. We get concerned occasionally when (global warming activist) Tim Flannery tells us we’re all going to die – but it’s not a genuine fundamental shift in values. "The impending recession has focussed people’s minds and priorities and clearly they are much more focussed of my job, my family, my house, rather than the more distant and esoteric idea of climate change. The attitude is: if the climate changes we’ll live with it."

Earth Hour will see lights go out in 82 countries and more than 2400 towns between 8.30pm and 9.30pm (local time) tomorrow night. Organisers hope one billion people will switch off. But practical measures – like demand for candles - suggest interest in the initiative has dipped this year. Last year, nearly 10,000 candles were ordered by a Caulfield candle business in Melbourne to cope with the demand during Earth Hour, but shop owner Roy Merrington said demand had dropped markedly, The Age reported. "I would like to think we would do the same (trade), but we will probably do half that," Mr Merrington said. "People's attention is elsewhere … the conversation about the health of the planet is on the back burner, because people are paranoid about money — and quite rightly."


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

The big news

The Fed has just "printed" one trillion dollars of new U.S. Greenbacks. It has created a huge amount of new money out of thin air. Governments have that prerogative. It doesn't actually run the printing presses faster. It does it in a more complicated way than that but the result is the same. Its main effect is to put fresh cash in the pockets of the banks and other financial institutions. The good news is that it is not debt. The taxpayer is not going to be required to pay more tax to fund it. The bad news is that it will devalue whatever greenbacks you at present own. They will buy less in the future -- "inflation" in other words. So it IS a tax in the long run.

Will it work? Will it get the banks lending again? Will it create jobs? Nobody seems terribly optimistic. The real problem is to restore business confidence so that businesses start hiring again but most of the O-man's agenda is anti-business and intent on jacking up business taxes so it will do nothing for that. Abolishing regulatory burdens on business (e.g. Sarbox) and halving company tax is what is needed to perk up business. Like FDR before him, Obama thinks business is the enemy -- when it is in fact the only way out of the present problems. Kicking business when it is down so stupid that only a Leftist could do it. But that is the FDR/Obama thinking.

Lots of commentary here

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

M. Le Pen still making waves

Sloppy accusations of racism are sadly common and the characterization of France's Jean-Marie Le Pen as a holocaust denier is another example of that sloppiness. His remarks reported below are similar to those he has always made and show that he does NOT deny that the Shoah happened. He simply regards it as unimportant -- a view to which he is perfectly entitled, though I myself violently disagree with it. It is certainly true that Jewish deaths were greatly exceeded by other deaths during WWII and that the events concerned are now well in the past so M. Le Pen's judgment, that there are present-day issues of great concern -- such as illegal immigration and Muslim hostility -- that we should be devoting our attention to instead, is at least arguable. That he has been prosecuted for expressing his views is certainly a lamentable comment on the state of free speech in Europe. If a prominent politician cannot say what he thinks, what hope is there for others? The Fascist instincts in Europe obviously run deep -- with suppression of free speech being a strong manifestation of them.
"The prospect of Jean-Marie Le Pen becoming the father of the European Parliament led MEPs yesterday to start a frantic attempt to change their own rules to stop the far-right French politician from presiding over the new chamber. Under the Parliament's rules its inaugural session must be overseen by its doyen - the oldest MEP - which will be Mr Le Pen, 81, if he is re-elected for the French National Front in the elections in June.

Members who have just realised this are making a last-minute effort to block him, perhaps to give the honour of running the inaugural session on July 14 to the youngest member of the new Parliament. The embarrassment felt by French MEPs opposed to Mr Le Pen is acute because July 14 is also Bastille Day, France's national day.

Mr Le Pen, who has convictions in France and Germany for denying the Holocaust and for calling it a detail of history, poured petrol on the flames by repeating the same phrase in the European Parliament chamber in Strasbourg. “I just said that the gas chambers were a detail of Second World War history, which is clear,” said Mr Le Pen, a long-standing critic of the European Union who also opposes immigration, abortion and gay rights.

Mr Le Pen stubbornly remains a prominent figure in European politics despite his far-right views, causing a shock in the 2002 French presidential elections in reaching the final run-off by knocking out Lionel Jospin, the Socialist candidate. He was fined 1.2 million francs (£171,000) for making his remarks about the Holocaust in a radio interview in 1987. “That proved the state in which we find the freedom of speech in Europe and France,” he said yesterday, referring to the case.

Martin Schulz, the German head of the Socialists, said: “I am concerned by the fact that a Holocaust denier could preside over the opening session of the European Parliament.”


He is a former member of the French Foreign Legion (which is open to Frenchmen as well as foreigners) so his claim to being a French patriot stands up well in comparison with many other French politicians.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

Two interesting posters

A reader sent me them a little while ago but I have no details about their origins. I am wondering if any reader can help me identify them: When and where they came from and where originals or copies of them are housed these days.

I can't help noticing the artistic superiority of the Nazi effort. Hitler was an artist, even if a mediocre one, and Nazi images are often quite attractive -- perhaps precisely because Hitler kept pretty close to an average taste rather than being original in any way.

The Soviet effort is very dismal. Where the Nazi effort displays primarily individuals, the Soviet effort just hints at masses of people in the very bottom of the image. The Red army did use the Swastika long before the Nazis did so I have no doubt of the authenticity of the images above.

The "Roman" salute is generally said to have been invented by Mussolini but Musso was a Marxist who knew Lenin well so it is perfectly reasonable to believe that Stalin was influenced by Musso's ideas for a while.


It appears that the posters above come from a documentary film called Soviet Story. See here. The film has had a lot of praise from people who should know so I think that vouches pretty well for the authenticity of the posters. I would like to get dates for them, though -- and where they were first used. Academic caution and all that -- though a lot of academics these days are anything but cautious in their pronouncements.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

Defining conservatism

The claims below seem rather stupid and narrow-minded to me. They amount to saying that religious unbelievers cannot be conservative. Yet Australia is one of the world's most conservative countries but it is also a place where very few people are religious. The proportion of the Australian population present at church on a typical weekend is well under 10% and even a lot of them are there for mainly social reasons. And the churches are almost all Left-leaning in fact. So conservatism in Australia has nothing to do with religion. Australian conservatives generally respect religion but there are heaps of them who are not themselves religious. I think my definition of conservatism works a lot better: That conservatives just want to be left alone to get on with their own lives in their own way with as little government interference as possible -- which is why they tend to be strong advocates of individual liberty

If you want to learn to recognize the mark of a true conservative, read Mark Levin's new book, "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto." Levin is the real thing -- a longtime intellectual and activist leader of the conservative movement -- who writes with unmatched authority and clarity about the conservative vision and how it ought to be pursued today by you and your children and anybody else you know who wants to preserve American liberty....

Like our Founding Fathers and like other first-rate conservative thinkers, Levin recognizes that America's rise to greatness was not rooted in ideology but in a worldview defined by basic -- and true -- assumptions about the nature of the world and the nature of man. Fundamentally, Levin explains, conservatives recognize that there is an immutable natural law ordained by God that all men and nations must obey. He also makes clear that while human beings have a God-given right to individual liberty, they are also imperfect by nature and, thus, if given too much power, are likely to abuse the God-given rights of others.

"Some resist the idea of a Natural Law's relationship to Divine Providence, for fear it leads to intolerance or even theocracy," writes Levin. "They have it backwards. If man is 'endowed by (the) Creator with certain inalienable rights,' he is endowed with these rights no matter his religion or whether he has allegiance to any religion. It is Natural Law, divined by God and discoverable by reason, that prescribes the inalienability of the most fundamental and eternal human rights -- rights that are not conferred on man by man. It is the Divine nature of Natural Law that makes permanent man's right to 'Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.'"

Levin deftly isolates why modern liberal class warriors -- those of President Obama's ilk -- must reject this understanding of the world. "The Statist cannot abide the existence of Natural Law and man's discovery of 'inalienable rights' bestowed on all individuals by 'their Creator,'" writes Levin. "In ideology and practice, the Statist believes rights are not a condition of man's existence but only exist to the extent the Statist ratifies them. Furthermore, rights do not belong to all individuals. They are rationed by the state -- conferred on those whom the Statist believes deserving of them, and denied to those whom the Statist believes undeserving of them."

As on his radio show, so in this book, Levin is unapologetic in his indictment of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and successive generations of FDR acolytes -- including LBJ and BHO -- for perpetrating a "counterrevolution" against the limited government prescribed by our Constitution and for creating and expanding a welfare state that breeds dependency in the people and that -- if not soon dismantled -- will bankrupt our nation.

"The significance of the New Deal is not in any one program, but in its sweeping break from our founding principles and constitutional limitations," he says. "Roosevelt himself broke with the two-presidential-term tradition started by George Washington by running for four terms. His legacy includes a federal government that has become a massive, unaccountable conglomerate: It is the nation's largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer, contractor, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, health-care provider and pension guarantor."

This is the truth about what liberals have done over the last 80 years of American history. American freedom cannot survive another 80 years of expanding government and diminishing individual autonomy.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

Sounds like an outright dislike of Jews to me

Haaretz [Jan 2009] - South Africa's Jewish community on Wednesday lodged a complaint of hate speech against the country's deputy foreign minister, who earlier this month said that "Jewish money controls America and most Western countries." ...... In the complaint, the Board quotes what Hajaig said at a pro-Palestinian rally in Lenasia on January 14. "They in fact control [America], no matter which government comes in to power, whether Republican or Democratic, whether Barack Obama or George Bush," Hajaig was heard saying.

She also said: "The control of America, just like the control of most Western countries, is in the hands of Jewish money and if Jewish money controls their country then you cannot expect anything else." ...... The Israeli Foreign Ministry also recently complained to the South African government about Hajaig, after she used harsh and "undiplomatic" language in speaking with Israel?s ambassador to South Africa, Dov Segev-Steinberg, during the Gaza operation. According to various sources, Hajaig accused the ambassador of bringing a diplomat of Ethiopian descent to the embassy "only because he was black," presumably in order to counter the often-heard accusation in South Africa alleging that Israel is an apartheid state.

Mail & Guardian [Jan 2009] - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) wants the South African government to cease all relations with Israel and close down the Israeli embassy in Pretoria. The moves are among several agreed to at a meeting on Wednesday concerning developments in the Middle East, Cosatu said in a statement on Friday. "Many South African parastatals and companies have serious business deals with Israeli companies and workers must reject them, with Telkom being an example," Cosatu international relations officer Bongani Masuku said in the statement.
...... "We should call for the expulsion of Israeli security agencies and Mossad at our airports," Masuku continued. ...... The relationship between South Africa's national carrier South African Airways and its Israeli counterpart El-Al should also be terminated, he said. Wednesday's meeting was attended by Cosatu's alliance partners, the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party, union affiliates, international solidarity organisations, NGOs, social movements and academic activists.

......"It further noted the need for maximum impact through deeper synergies around a clear and concrete programme of action to raise the plight of the Palestinian people and intensify pressure against the occupying power, Israel, to withdraw from the whole of Palestine in the interests of freedom and democracy for the Palestinian people, and broader peace and justice in the whole Middle East region.
Oh so the underlying motive apparently is the freedom of the Palis, because of, you know the genocide that Israel is waging against them. It's never occurred to these morons that if it really was a genocide, how come there are still so many Palis around. After all, these fellows are happy to believe that the world is run by Jews and you need to check in your closets and under your beds for some lurking Jews, implying that Jews are far more intelligent than they'd like to admit. Yet at the same time these Jews are doing such a piss-poor job of finishing off the Palis. A bit like those muslims who insist that 9/11 was a CIA/Mossad conspiracy and a great victory for Muslims at the same time. Does not compute.

Coming back to SA and the human rights of the poor, oppressed Palis and the occupiers. I remember when I was there a while ago, I noticed the heavy anti-Israel bias in the media, basically it's pretty much Israel=bad, Palestine=good and that's it. And I thought the MSM here in Australia were biased, the ones here look positively pro-Israel compared to those ones. Anyway since they're all pro-oppressed and anti-occupier and all that, let's see if the South Africans can bring themselves to support another group of people who really are oppressed, who really are being pushed and shoved into history, victims of a real cultural genocide if you will.
FOX News - South Africa barred the Dalai Lama from a peace conference in Johannesburg this week, saying Monday it did not want to endanger the government's relationship with China. The move prompted sharp criticism from the Nobel Committee, among others. Thabo Masebe, spokesman for President Kgalema Motlanthe, said now was not the time for such a high-profile visit from the Tibetan spiritual leader and added that South Africa hoped to avoid being "the source of negative publicity about China."

...... Masebe told the AP the decision was made last month and communicated to the South African organizers of the conference, who planned for Nobel laureates, Hollywood celebrities and others to discuss issues ranging from anti-racism to sport as a way to bring peoples and nations together. ...... Masebe said the Dalai Lama has been welcomed twice previously in South Africa, and would be welcome again in the future — but "not now, when the whole world is looking at South Africa." "We do value our relationship with China," Masebe said Monday. South Africa is China's largest trading partner on the continent.
So much for the oppressed and the occupiers ey. No meetings condemning China, no calls to cut ties, close embassies or any fancy conspiracy theories about puppet-masters and all that and Israel is also a trading partner, though not as big as China. So I'm not buying the trading partner angle, neither am I buying the human rights, freedom for the oppressed bullsh!t either. Tibetans are really being oppressed and crushed, China is a real occupier and they don't really give a damn. So I think it's just a bit of old Jew-hatred on display.

Illegal jokes in Britain

At last – legislation is about to be passed which will make homophobic jokes illegal. It has been a long time coming. I haven’t found jokes about homosexuals funny for at least two decades, so either way I win...

The other great thing is that jokes about homosexuals will immediately become funny again, because they are now contraband, samizdat and against the law. Those same boring old jokes about not bending down in the shower, being good at interior design, liking Judy Garland and so on, will now make one prick up one’s ears (ooh, get you, dearie! But not the ears, surely). And these days we need more things to laugh at.

For years I found racist jokes extremely boring – but they became funny when it was apparent that the act of telling them could (a) lose you your job and (b) bring the Old Bill down on you with a charge of inciting racial hatred. Now, as a consequence, I find almost all racist jokes hilarious, especially ones about Muslims and particularly if they are cartoons which feature Allah or Muhammad or fat ladies in burqas saying to one another: “Does my bomb look big in this?”

However, I don’t find them quite as funny as I find jokes about physical or mental disabilities – they are the real howlers these days. And that’s because the disability lobby has become so preternaturally sensitive, so disposed towards pouncing on anything which might be construed as disablist. Consequently, these days, all you have to do is say “and guess what . . . he only had one arm!” and I fall about laughing.

When my colleague Jeremy Clarkson described Gordon Brown as a “one-eyed Scottish idiot” I smiled briefly; but when the professional race monkeys and anti-disablist monkeys got on his case I suddenly found it all killingly funny. “How dare he imply that having one eye, or being Scottish, is an insult?” these terrible people ranted, and with every rant Jeremy’s comment became truly funny. Oh, I thought, in the end – strap up my sides, I can’t stand it. Such wonderful pomposity, a real gift to the comedian. Such hilarious hypersensitivity.

Jokes are almost never funny per se, when they are stripped of their social context (if they ever could be). The stuff that makes us laugh is never neutral; it involves poking that part of us which, for most of the time, remains unpoked. The part of us which civilised behaviour insists should remain below the surface. That’s why Ricky Gervais is so funny; he gets this point – he understands the latent humour of social embarrassment, of saying things which you are simply not supposed to say. The mentally handicapped kid in the restaurant, the black actor confronted by a golliwog.

It is the breaching of the social convention which is really funny, not the supposed slighting of black, disabled or homosexual people. It is the potential for naughtiness, which exists in all of us (yeah, okay, except maybe Patricia Hewitt). Bring on the legislation and bring on those queer jokes.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

Australian airport security & gun-control are a joke

The Age - Two boys have smuggled an arsenal of weapons and ammunition through two states in one of Australia's most serious breaches of airport security. The boys, aged 14 and 11, packed stolen pistols, knives and 3000 rounds of ammunition in their check-in luggage on a Qantas flight from Karratha to Perth on Monday night, the West Australian reports. They then boarded a Jetstar flight to Cairns where they were arrested on Tuesday morning, the paper said. The 14-year-old, who allegedly stole the weapons and ammunition from a shop in Karratha, north of Perth, has been charged and will face court on Tuesday.

ABC News - Three children and their parents were inside a house hit in another drive-by shooting in western Sydney last night that police believe may have been gang-related. Homes in Sydney's west have been targeted by a string of drive-by shootings in recent months that are thought to be linked to rival bikie gangs, amid an escalating turf war in the city. - The robbery happened when a cash-in-transit security officer stopped with his partner on Merrylands Road, Merrylands, to collect cash from a chemist about 3pm (AEDT) on Monday. "As he was returning to his vehicle he was approached from behind by a man, who he believed was armed with a firearm," police said. "The man forced the security guard into a vehicle, described as a white VT Commodore, that was parked and waiting with two other occupants in McFarlane Street. "The officer was driven a short distance before being ordered out of the car without the bag of cash." The security officer was punched in the face during the robbery, causing minor injuries. - TWO men have been found shot dead in southern Canberra with reports the murders are related to outlaw bikie gangs. ...... Emergency services were called to Couchman Crescent, Chisholm, at about 3.10pm (AEDT) today after receiving reports a man had suffered a gunshot wound. The ACT Ambulance Service found two men, and declared both dead at the scene.