Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.



Comments

I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Friday, 31 December 2010

End on a High

Well we can't have too many depressive posts - er can we?

Anyway my bouquet goes to ANONYMOUS who have launched a DDOS attack on Zimbabwe government websites according to The Register

The organisation states:

"We are targeting Mugabe and his regime in the ZanuPF who have outlawed the free press and threaten to sue anyone publishing Wikileaks."

Good luck to them! Anything that interferes with the appalling Mugabe and his bunch of thugs gets a hearty cheer from me.

Until the next time

Happy New Year?

Hello.

I genuinely wish you a Happy New Year, though given the financial gloom that seems continually to deepen with each passing week and the ever expanding government control that prevails, a "Happy New Year" does seem rather a forlorn hope.

Meanwhile Frank Davis in his latest posting says:

"But for myself I believe that it is one of the most terrible things that can be done to a human being, to deprive them of friendship and community, to isolate and exclude them from civil society. What can be more destructive to anyone's well-being?

And for what? Simply to make people stop smoking. To deprive them of one of life's simple pleasures. To force them to comply with medical orthodoxy. To make them live "healthy" lives, where "health" is mere longevity, devoid of any other considerations of social or psychological well-being."

Eloquent as ever, he is of course, talking about the absurd smoking ban introduced in England in 2007 (and in France January 2008) and shortly to begin in Spain, as if those poor people didn't already have enough problems.

I loved the quote from a World War II veteran who, cursing the smoking ban in the cold outside a pub, said "The fascists have won after all... they say it's for my health - I'm 85 for fuck's sake!"

Happy New Year!

Until the next time

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

A Chance, Albeit a Slim One

The BBC reports today that the government has given the go-ahead to the debating of on-line petitions in the House of Commons, although only under the private member's bill procedure, which is easily blocked.

Well, all you frustrated smokers, 20-odd percent of the population, here's your opportunity. This wants very careful thought though - I think that a petition should be eminently moderate and I think that there should be only one grand petition.

Until the next time.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Spot the Similarity (If there is one)

Source

I hope that you had a peaceful and plentiful Christmas, faced as you all you are with what is shaping up to be an austere 2011 (except of course for the bankers amongst you whose bonuses I understand, will be robust).

I see that in England, nine suspects have been remanded in custody charged with conspiring to cause explosions. All well and good; I hope that they are thrown out of the country if guilty.

However, the BBC report contains a paragraph which did shock me deeply:

Five of the defendants are also facing a third charge of possessing documents and records containing information likely to be of use to terrorists.

What were these "documents" I wonder? A life story of Guy Fawkes? A map of London? I find it incredible that anyone in a so-called free country (which of course it isn't) can be charged with the "possession of documents" unless of course the documents in question were stolen, in which case they would be charged with "stealing documents" wouldn't they?

So the English are now having to be careful what they read?

Meanwhile the New York Times reports:

"Allegations against them, the police said, included downloading and researching material from the Internet."

That of course changes everything: researching material from the Internet? Whatever next?

To me this is as disgraceful as the sham trial in Russia of Mikhail Khordokovsky on what are apparently trumped-up embezzlement charges. That one really stinks I think.

Here's an extract from a Daily Telegraph analysis:

"At times too during the trial it seemed like the defence would win. Several high profile figures, including a former Putin trade minister who is head of the Russia's largest state-owned bank, testified to Mr Khodorkovsky's and Mr Lebedev's innocence. They were also absolved by their auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In the end, the semblance of true process was, as an American diplomat wrote in a leaked embassy cable last November, like putting "lipstick on a pig". The political reality is that powerful people are determined to keep Mr Khodorkovsky behind bars. This is partly because they fear a challenge to the redistribution of assets that followed Mr Khodorkovsky's downfall. More generally though, Mr Khodorkovsky's incarceration has become harder to overturn as it has become a central part of the narrative of Mr Putin's political career."

Big Government...

Grrr!

Until the next time

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year

No "happy holidays" nonsense for me, nor any stupid "Winter Festival." If this "offends" anyone, well, tough! It might not be the correct, true Christmas spirit, but I grew up with Christmas as with many other things, and I see no reason why I should yield to the revisionists.

So, from Western Europe, racked with "global warming" (two feet of snow on the roof of Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris today) I wish you all as politically incorrect a Christmas as is possible in these straitened times.

So here's a silly festive video for you.




Until the next time

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Another Awful African Dictator

It was only yesterday when I wrote here about Laurent Gbago, the man who has decided that he is still president of Côte d'Ivoire despite the outcome of a "run-off" election for the presidency.

Quite obviously, I mentioned that African "Presidents" (i.e. in many cases dictators) must be able to rely on their armies, and today we have news of the repellent "Dr" Robert Gabriel Mugabe; I have written numerous times on the subject of this extraordinary survivor, for example in my "Bandits" series a couple of years ago.

The Daily Telegraph reports that he is to impose an election on an unwilling populace and to ensure a proper democratic outcome, has sent forces out over the country to "persuade" the electorate that their best interests lie in supporting Zanu PF, "best interests" in this case meaning such as staying alive or retaining one's legs. He says he is ready to "bury the opposition." How reassuring; is he referring perhaps to the free graves that the Zimbabwean government offered to the thousands of cholera victims?

I do desperately hope that Mugabe's army proves to be unreliable, but I fear that my hopes are likely to be unfulfilled.

Meanwhile, today the New York Times has a piece showing some Zimbabwean reality - health-care for peanuts or other barter items:

Image source: New York Times

Never forget that under Ian Smith's government, the country, then called Rhodesia, was arguably one of the most prosperous on the continent.

Until the next time


Manifesto

Those of you who have followed my suggestion to visit Dr John Ray's Greenie Watch, will probably know about this already, but for those who haven't...

"This [Greenie Watch] is one of TWO skeptical blogs that I update daily. During my research career as a social scientist, I was appalled at how much writing in my field was scientifically lacking -- and I often said so in detail in the many academic journal articles I had published in that field. I eventually gave up social science research, however, because no data ever seemed to change the views of its practitioners. I hoped that such obtuseness was confined to the social scientists but now that I have shifted my attention to health related science and climate related science, I find the same impermeability to facts and logic. Hence this blog and my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. I may add that I did not come to either health or environmental research entirely without credentials. I had several academic papers published in both fields during my social science research career"

The Food & Health Skeptic blog carries this nice quote from the late Bertrand Russell:

Bertrand Russell could have been talking about today's conventional dietary "wisdom" when he said: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

Finally I heartily recommend this piece from the same blog concerning the "five a day" fruit and vegetable advice that the British and French governments keep harping on about!

EDIT: I see that Dr Ray "has no time for smokers", an opinion to which of course he is perfectly entitled; nevertheless he is satisfyingly robust on other topics!

Until the next time


Saturday, 18 December 2010

Yet Another African Bandit

As if that beleaguered continent needed another!

This time it's a bloke called (unpronounceably) Gbagbo who thinks that he is president of the Ivory Coast or Côte d'Ivoire. It seems that he might not be following a presidential "run-off" that took place recently. It seems that Gbagbo (did I get that right?) follows Stalin's dictum that "it doesn't matter who voted for whom; what is important is who counts the votes." Or in this case who has an army that is for the time being, loyal - always a bit tricky where the Afs are concerned.

The Daily Telegraph article includes an intriguing paragraph:

Earlier on Saturday masked men in military uniforms opened fire on the UN base. No one was injured, but the incident underscores the perilous position of the 10,000-strong mission that includes personnel from Ireland, France and Poland. UNOCI deployed in 2004 to help keep the peace after civil war divided the country, once one of Africa's most stable.

10,000-strong says the article. These are modern western-trained troops, one hopes for their sakes, equipped with proper stuff. Why didn't they vaporise these scum? The problem with these "peace-keeping" missions is that their rules of engagement are probably crap - as we saw with the Dutch in Bosnia.

Give them proper rules: let them blow away these shitheads; I'm fed up with hearing about these bloody people; I suppose Gbagbo won't suffer too much: he's probably got billions salted away like the rest of them - even that appalling turd "Omar al-Basher" in Sudan (according to Wikileaks). Of course he's an "al"; he would be wouldn't he?

Grrrr!

Until the next time

Raspberry Beret Again!

Occasionally one reads of Hitler's "illegal" régime". No it wasn't: Hitler was democratically elected. Similarly, Hugo Chavez, whom I like to call "Raspberry Beret". Once again, according to the New York Times, Chavez has decided to adopt dictatorial powers; this is how Hitler started.

If one is permitted to rule by decree, then nothing short of a revolt by the armed forces could stop Chavez theoretically proclaiming himself king.

I have written a number of times about this deranged maniac, so after a quietish period it is fun (as I do not live in Venezuela) to have him back again. For more, just search for "Chavez" on this blog.

Until the next time


Thursday, 16 December 2010

It won't last!

It won't last if the warmists are correct: they'll be making wine there next year I expect!

Until the next time

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Filamentary Angst

Yes, I'm going to miss them too, now that the alarmist-warmists have arranged for their banning. I hate those horrible energy-saving bulbs and the foul light they emit.

A German chap tried to bring an ingenious action but sadly has failed and his 40,000 light bulbs will be destroyed.

Meanwhile Greenie Watch has a nice story about a chap who has decided what HE wants. See below.

Until the next time.

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Rage against the dying of light (bulbs)

Somewhere in Wayne County there's an ACO hardware store without a single incandescent light bulb in stock. They're all on a shelf in my basement.

The idea of soon having no illumination choice other than those twisty light bulbs has left me a little bit nuts. So now part of my Saturday routine is making the rounds of various stores and loading my pickup with packages of incandescent bulbs. It's an obsession I bet I share with others who dread the day a year from now when the old-fashioned bulbs become extinct by federal fiat, and all that's left are the smug compact fluorescent lights.

Congress has decided that everyone should use the new bulbs because they are more energy efficient, though I doubt anyone factored the extra energy used to ship them from China, where they're being made instead of the Midwestern plants that produced the old bulbs to price them anywhere near affordable.

I hate everything about the new bulbs. So I've done my best to calculate how many of the old bulbs I'll need to light the rest of my days. I figure I burn out about 25 bulbs a year. If I'm lucky I've got 30 years left. If I'm really lucky and someone comes up with a major life-extending breakthrough, 40 years.

So I'll need 1,000 bulbs. If I've overestimated my expiration date, any remaining bulbs will make a nice next egg for my heirs. I've got to believe they'll be like glass gold once folks can't get them anymore. There may even be a trading exchange.

I've been buying them in every wattage and shape. Three-ways. Spotlights. Sconce bulbs. I'm even thinking about stashing away some colored Christmas twinklers.

Revulsion to the new bulbs is rooted in two of my many character flaws: impatience and stubbornness.

It's as simple as this: When I flip a light switch, I expect light. Immediately. The delay between switch and light with the new bulbs is unsettling. No matter how many times it happens, my reaction is always to keep flipping the switch on and off again.
I suppose I could get used to that, but not to what the new bulbs represent. I don't want to use them mostly because the federal government is telling me I have to.

We've been bullied and brainwashed into accepting the ever-growing intrusion of politicians, regulators and do-gooders into our personal decision making in the name of the greater societal good.
We're told that if we give up some of our individual freedom to buy what we want, drive what we want, smoke and eat what we want, the world will be a better place.

But we can't be trusted to make the right decisions on our own just because we understand the need to conserve and may hope to save a few bucks. We need laws to make sure nothing is left to chance.

Those mandates have already saddled us with toilets that won't flush, washers that won't wash, ethanol-laced gasoline that burns up our lawnmower engines and electric cars that aren't nearly as comfortable, powerful or practical as the models they're supposed to replace. And next, we get crazy-looking light bulbs shoved into our sockets that may or may not come on before we fall down the stairs in the dark.

Well not my sockets. If I can hoard enough bulbs to make sure I die by the glow of an incandescent light, I'll consider it a small blow for freedom. If you feel the same way, you'd better get to ACO before I do.


Big Government in Spades

I am, as you know, opposed to anything that resembles Big Government.

Thanks to BANNED I have found the ultimate in Big Government, resulting from the CANCUN conference. It is so depressing and alarming that I have decided to reproduce the piece, written by Lord Monckton, in its entirety:

The abdication of the West

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Cancun, Mexico

I usually add some gentle humor to these reports. Not today. Read this and weep. Notwithstanding the carefully-orchestrated propaganda to the effect that nothing much will be decided at the UN climate conference here in Cancun, the decisions to be made here this week signal nothing less than the abdication of the West. The governing class in what was once proudly known as the Free World is silently, casually letting go of liberty, prosperity, and even democracy itself. No one in the mainstream media will tell you this, not so much because they do not see as because they do not bl**dy care.

The 33-page Note (FCCC/AWGLCA/2010/CRP.2) by the Chairman of the “Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Co-operative Action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”, entitled Possible elements of the outcome, reveals all. Or, rather, it reveals nothing, unless one understands what the complex, obscure jargon means. All UNFCCC documents at the Cancun conference, specifically including Possible elements of the outcome, are drafted with what is called “transparent impenetrability”. The intention is that the documents should not be understood, but that later we shall be told they were in the public domain all the time, so what are we complaining about?

Since the Chairman’s note is very long, I shall summarize the main points:

Finance: Western countries will jointly provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to an unnamed new UN Fund. To keep this sum up with GDP growth, the West may commit itself to pay 1.5% of GDP to the UN each year. That is more than twice the 0.7% of GDP that the UN has recommended the West to pay in foreign aid for the past half century. Several hundred of the provisions in the Chairman’s note will impose huge financial costs on the nations of the West.

The world-government Secretariat: In all but name, the UN Convention’s Secretariat will become a world government directly controlling hundreds of global, supranational, regional, national and sub-national bureaucracies. It will receive the vast sum of taxpayers’ money ostensibly paid by the West to the Third World for adaptation to the supposed adverse consequences of imagined (and imaginary) “global warming”.

Bureaucracy: Hundreds of new interlocking bureaucracies answerable to the world-government Secretariat will vastly extend its power and reach. In an explicit mirroring of the European Union’s method of enforcing the will of its unelected Kommissars on the groaning peoples of that benighted continent, the civil servants of nation states will come to see themselves as servants of the greater empire of the Secretariat, carrying out its ukases and diktats whatever the will of the nation states’ governments.

Many of the new bureaucracies are disguised as “capacity-building in developing countries”. This has nothing to do with growing the economies or industries of poorer nations. It turns out to mean the installation of hundreds of bureaucratic offices answerable to the Secretariat in numerous countries around the world. Who pays? You do, gentle taxpayer.

Babylon, Byzantium, the later Ottoman Empire, the formidable bureaucracy of Nazi Germany, the vast empire of 27,000 paper-shufflers at the European Union: add all of these together and multiply by 100 and you still do not reach the sheer size, cost, power and reach of these new subsidiaries of the Secretariat.

In addition to multiple new bureaucracies in every one of the 193 states parties to the Convention, there will be an Adaptation Framework Body, a Least Developed Countries’ Adaptation Planning Body, an Adaptation Committee, Regional Network Centers, an International Center to Enhance Adaptation Research, National Adaptation Institutions, a Body to Clarify Assumptins and Conditions in National Greenhouse-Gas Emission Reductions Pledges, a Negotiating Body for an Overall Level of Ambition for Aggregate Emission Reductions and Individual Targets, an Office to Revise Guidelines for National Communications, a Multilateral Communications Process Office, a Body for the Process to Develop Modalities and Guidelines for the Compliance Process, a Registry of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions by Developed Countries, a Body to Supervise the Process for Understanding Diversity of Mitigation Actions Submitted and Support Needed, a Body to Develop Modalities for the Registry of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, an Office of International Consultation and Analysis; an Office to Conduct a Work Program for Development of Various Modalities and Guidelines; a network of Developing Countries’ National Forest Strategy Action Plan Offices; a network of National Forest Reference Emission Level And/Or Forest Reference Level Bodies; a network of National Forest Monitoring Systems; an Office of the Work Program on Agriculture to Enhance the Implementation of Article 4, Paragraph 1(c) of the Convention Taking Into Account Paragraph 31; one or more Mechanisms to Establish a Market-Based Approach to Enhance the Cost-Effectiveness Of And To Promote Mitigation Actions; a Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures; a Work Program Office to Address the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures; a Body to Review the Needs of Developing Countries for Financial Resources to Address Climate Change and Identify Options for Mobilization of Those Resources; a Fund in Addition to the Copenhagen Green Fund; an Interim Secretariat for the Design Phase of the New Fund; a New Body to Assist the Conference of the Parties in Exercising its Functions with respect to the Financial Mechanism; a Body to Launch a Process to Further Define the Roles and Functions of the New Body to Assist the Conference of the Parties in Exercising its Functions with respect to the Financial Mechanism; a Technology Executive Committee; a Climate Technology Center and Network; a Network of National, Regional, Sectoral and International Technology Centers, Networks, Organization and Initiatives; Twinning Centers for Promotion of North-South, South-South and Triangular Partnerships with a View to Encouraging Co-operative Research and Development; an Expert Workshop on the Operational Modalities of the Technology Mechanism; an International Insurance Facility; a Work Program Body for Policy Approaches and Positive Incentives on Issues Relating to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries; a Body to Implement a Work Program on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures; and a Body to Develop Modalities for the Operationalization of the Work Program on the Impact of the Implementation of Response Measures.

The world government’s powers: The Secretariat will have the power not merely to invite nation states to perform their obligations under the climate-change Convention, but to compel them to do so. Nation states are to be ordered to collect, compile and submit vast quantities of information, in a manner and form to be specified by the secretariat and its growing army of subsidiary bodies. Between them, they will be given new powers to verify the information, to review it and, on the basis of that review, to tell nation states what they can and cannot do.

Continuous expansion: The verb “enhance”, in its various forms, occurs at least 28 times in the Chairman’s note, Similar verbs, such as “strengthen” and “extend”, and adjectives such as “scaled-up”, “new” and “additional”, are also frequently deployed, particularly in relation to funding at the expense of Western taxpayers. If all of the “enhancements” proposed in the note were carried out, the cost would comfortably exceed the annual $100 billion (or, for that matter, the 1.5% of GDP) that the note mentions as the cost to the West over the coming decade.

Intellectual property in inventions: Holders of patents, particularly in fields related to “global warming” and its mitigation, will be obliged to transfer the benefits of their inventiveness to developing countries without payment of royalties. This is nowhere explicitly stated in the Chairman’s note, but the transfer of technology is mentioned about 20 times in the draft, suggesting that the intention is still to carry out the explicit provision in the defunct Copenhagen Treaty draft of 15 September 2009 to this effect.

Insurance: The Secretariat proposes, in effect, to interfere so greatly in the operation of the worldwide insurance market that it will cease to be a free market, with the usual severely adverse consequences to everyone in that market.

The free market: The failed Copenhagen Treaty draft stipulated that the “government” that would be established would have the power to set the rules of all formerly free markets. There would be no such thing as free markets any more. In Cancun, the Chairman’s note merely says that various “market mechanisms” may be exploited by the Secretariat and by the parties to the Convention: but references to these “market mechanisms” are frequent enough to suggest that the intention remains to stamp out free markets worldwide.

Knowledge is power: The Chairman’s note contains numerous references to a multitude of new as well as existing obligations on nation states to provide information to the Secretariat, in a form and manner which it will dictate. The hand of the EU is very visible here.

It grabbed power from the member-states in four stages: first, acting merely as a secretariat to ensure stable supplies of coal and steel to rebuild Europe after the Second World War; then as a registry requiring member states to supply it with ever more information; then as a review body determining on the basis of the information supplied by the member states whether they were complying with their obligations on the ever-lengthier and more complex body of European treaties; and finally as the ultimate law-making authority, to which all elected parliaments, explicitly including the European “Parliament”, were and are subject. Under the Cancun propsoals, the Secretariat is following the path that the plague of EU officials here have no doubt eagerly advised it to follow. It is now taking numerous powers not merely to require information from nation states but to hold them to account for their supposed international obligations under the climate-change Convention on the basis of the information the nations are now to be compelled to supply.

Propaganda: The Chairman’s note contains several mentions of the notion that the peoples of the world need to be told more about climate change. Here, too, there is a parallel with the EU, which administers a propaganda fund of some $250 million a year purely to advertise its own wonderfulness to an increasingly sceptical population. The IPCC already spends millions every year with PR agencies, asking them to find new ways of making its blood-curdling message more widely understood and feared among ordinary people. The Secretariat already has the advantage of an uncritical, acquiescent, scientifically illiterate, economically innumerate and just plain dumb news media: now it will have a propaganda fund to play with as well.

Damage caused by The Process: At the insistence of sensible nation states such as the United States, the Czech Republic, Japan, Canada, and Italy, the Cancun outcome acknowledges that The Process is causing, and will cause, considerable economic damage, delicately described in the Chairman’s note as “unintended side-effects of implementing climate-change response measures”. The solution? Consideration of the catastrophic economic consequences of the Secretariat’s heroically lunatic decisions will fall under the control of – yup – the Secretariat. Admire its sheer gall.

Damage to world trade: As the power, wealth and reach of the Secretariat grow, it finds itself rubbing uncomfortably up against other supranational organizations. In particular, the World Trade Organization has been getting antsy about the numerous aspects of the Secretariat’s proposals that constitute restrictions on international trade. At several points, the Chairman’s note expresses the “decision” – in fact, no more than an opinion and a questionable one at that – that the Secretariat’s policies are not restrictive of trade.

The Canute provision: The conference will reaffirm the decision of its predecessor in Copenhagen this time last year “to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels”, just like that. In fact, temperature in central England, and by implication globally, rose 2.2 Celsius in the 40 years 1695-1735, as the Sun began to recover from its 11,400-year activity minimum, and rose again by 0.74 C in the 20th century. There has been no warming in the 21st century, but we are already well over 2 Celsius degrees above pre-industrial levels. The Canute provision, as some delegates have dubbed it (after the Danish king of early England who famously taught his courtiers the limitations of his power and, a fortiori, theirs when he set up his throne on the beach and commanded sea level not to rise, whereupon the tide came in as usual and wet the royal feet), shows the disconnect between The Process and reality.

Omissions: There are several highly-significant omissions, which jointly and severally establish that the central intent of The Process no longer has anything to do with the climate, if it ever had. The objective is greatly to empower and still more greatly to enrich the international classe politique at the expense of the peoples of the West, using the climate as a pretext, so as to copy the European Union by installing in perpetuity what some delegates here are calling “transnational perma-Socialism” beyond the reach or recall of any electorate. Here are the key omissions:

  • The science: The question whether any of this vast expansion of supranational power is scientifically necessary is not addressed. Instead, there is merely a pietistic affirmation of superstitious faith in the IPCC, where the conference will “recognize that deep cuts in global [greenhouse-gas] emissions are required according to science, and as documented in the [IPCC’s] Fourth Assessment Report.
  • The economics: There is no assessment of the extent to which any of the proposed actions to mitigate “global warming” by cutting emissions of carbon dioxide or to adapt the world to its consequences will be cost-effective. Nor, tellingly, is there any direct comparison between mitigation and adaptation in their cost-effectiveness: indeed, the IPCC was carefully structured so that mitigation and adaptation are considered by entirely separate bureaucracies producing separate reports, making any meaningful comparison difficult. Though every economic analysis of this central economic question, other than that of the now-discredited Lord Stern, shows that mitigation is a pointless fatuity and that focused adaptation to the consequences of any “global warming” that may occur would be orders of magnitude cheaper and more cost-effective, the Cancun conference outcome will continue to treat mitigation as being of equal economic utility with adaptation.
  • Termination: Contracts have termination clauses to say what happens when the agreement ends. Nothing better illustrates the intent to create a permanent world-government structure than the absence of any termination provisions whatsoever in the Cancun outcome. The Process, like diamonds, is forever.
  • Democracy: Forget government of the people, by the people, for the people. Forget the principle of “no taxation without representation” that led to the very foundation of the United States. The provisions for the democratic election of the new, all-powerful, legislating, tax-raising world-government Secretariat by the peoples of the world may be summarized in a single word: None.

How did this monstrous transfer of power from once-proud, once-sovereign, once-democratic nations to the corrupt, unelected Secretariat come about? The story begins with Sir Maurice Strong, an immensely wealthy UN bureaucrat from Canada who, a quarter of a century ago, established the IPCC as an intergovernmental, political body rather than as a scientific body precisely so that it could be maneuvered into assisting in the UN’s long-term aim, reiterated at a summit of senior UN officials this May by Ban Ki-Moon himself, of extinguishing national sovereignty and establishing a world government.

The Process began in earnest in 1988, when the IPCC was established. Shortly thereafter, on a June day in Washington DC deliberately chosen by Al Gore because it was unusually hot, his political ally and financial benefactor James Hansen appeared before a Congressional committee and put before it a wildly-exaggerated graph predicting global warming over the coming 20 or 30 years. Yet June 2008, the 20th anniversary of his testimony, was cooler globally than June 1988, and worldwide warming has happened at less than half the rate he predicted.

The Rio Earth Summit in 1992 allowed environmental groups and world “leaders” to grandstand together. From that summit emerged the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which began holding annual conferences on “global warming”.

The Kyoto Protocol in 1997 committed its signatories to cut back their national CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by 2012. Most are not going to make it. The US Senate, with Al Gore as its president, voted 95-0 to reject any treaty such as Kyoto, which bound only the West while leaving developing nations such as China to emit carbon dioxide without constraint.

Very little progress had been made by the time of the Bali conference in 2007: but at that conference a “road-map” was constructed that was to lead to a binding international treaty in Copenhagen in 2009.

Just one problem with that. The US Constitution provides that, even if the President has signed a treaty, his signature is meaningless unless the treaty has been debated in the Senate, which must ratify it by the votes of at least 67 of the 100 Senators. It became clear to everyone, after the Obama administration failed to cajole or bully even 60 Senators into passing the Waxman/Markey cap-and-tax Bill, that no climate treaty would pass the Senate.

Worse, the Secretariat grossly overreached itself. Believing its own propaganda to the effect that none but a few vexatious, fossil-funded sceptics believed that “global warming” would be small enough to be harmless, it drafted and posted up on its website a 186-page draft Treaty of Copenhagen, proposing to turn itself into an unelected world government with unlimited powers to impose direct taxation on member nations without representation, recourse or recall, to interfere directly in the environmental policies of individual nations, and to sweep away all free markets worldwide, replacing them with itself as the sole rulemaker in every marketplace (treaty draft, annex 1, articles 36-38). Some quotations from the draft reveal the sheer ambition of the UN:

“The scheme for the new institutional arrangement under the Convention will be based on three basic pillars: government; facilitative mechanism; and financial mechanism. … The government will be ruled by the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change with the support of a new subsidiary body on adaptation, and of an Executive Board responsible for the management of the new funds and the related facilitative processes and bodies.” (Copenhagen Treaty draft of September 15, 2009, para. 38).

The three central powers that the UN had hoped to grant itself under the guise of Saving The Planet from alleged climate catastrophe were as follows:

“Government”: This use of the word “government” is the first use of the term to describe a world government in any international treaty draft.

“Financial mechanism”: The “financial mechanism” was a delicate phrase to describe a new power of the UN to levy unlimited taxation directly on the peoples of its member states: taxation without representation, and on a global scale.

“Facilitative mechanism”: This mechanism would, for the first time, have given the UN he power directly to coerce and compel compliance on the part of its member states, by force if necessary. The Treaty draft describes it as –

“… a facilitative mechanism drawn up to facilitate the design, adoption and carrying out of public policies, as the prevailing instrument, to which the market rules and related dynamics should be subordinate.”

In short, there was to be a New World Order, with a “government” having at its command a “financial mechanism” in the form of unlimited rights to tax the world’s citizen’s directly, and a “facilitative mechanism” that would bring the rules of all formerly free markets under the direct control of the new UN “government”, aided by an already-expanding series of bureaucracies.

At no point anywhere in the 186 pages of the Treaty draft do the words “democracy”, “election”, “ballot”, or “vote” appear. As the EU has already demonstrated, the transfer of powers from sovereign democracies to supranational entities brings those democracies to an end. At the supranational level, in the UN, in the EU and in the proposed world government, decisions are not made by anyone whom we, the voters, have elected to make such decisions.

The exposure of the draft treaty in major international news media panicked the UN into abandoning the draft before the Copenhagen conference even began. Instead, the UN is now legislating crabwise, as the European Union does, with a series of successive annual agreements, the last of which was the Copenhagen Accord, each transferring more power and wealth from individual nations to its supranational bureaucracy. The latest of these agreements is being finalized here in Cancun.

The European Union, which has stealthily stamped out democracy over the past half-century by a series of treaties each transferring a little more power and wealth from elected hands in the member states to unelected hands in Brussels, has been advising the Secretariat on how to do the same on a global scale.

After the spectacular bloody nose the Secretariat got in Copenhagen, it was most anxious not to endure a second failure in Cancun. To this end, it obtained the agreement of the German government to host a monthly series of conferences in Bonn in the early part of 2010, some of which were open to outside observers and some were behind closed doors in a comfortable suburban palace, where the new way of legislating for the world – in secret – first came into use.

The Chinese regime, anxious to get a piece of the action, agreed to host an additional session in Tientsin a few weeks ago. The purpose of this near-perpetual international junketing – which the national delegates have greatly enjoyed at our expense – was to make sure that nearly all of the elements in the Cancun agreement were firmly in draft and agreed well before Cancun, so as to avoid what too many journalists have tediously and obviously described as a “Mexican stand-off”.

It is precisely because of all this massive and expensive preparation that the note by the Chairman, whose main points are summarized above, may well reflect what is finally decided and announced here in a couple of days’ time. The Chairman is not simply guessing: this Note reflects what the Secretariat now confidently expects to get away with.

However, following the Copenhagen disaster, our grim future New Masters are taking no chances. They persuaded their friends in the mainstream news media, who cannot now easily back out of their original declarations of blind faith in the Church of “Global Warming” and are as anxious not to lose face as the Secretariat is, to put it about that at Cancun this year and even at Durban next year very little of substance will occur.

The intention is that, after not one but two international climate conferences, the second of them in Rio in 2012 on the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit that began it all, the Secretariat will have become so wealthy and will have accreted so much power to itself that no one – not even the US Senate – will dare to resist ratifying the Treaty of Rio that brings democracy to an end worldwide and fulfils Lord Mandelson’s recent statement that “we are now living in a post-democratic age.”

Over my dead body. The people know best what is best for the people. The governing class no doubt knows what is best for the governing class, but does not necessarily know what is best for the people, and must always be kept in check by the ballot-box.

If we are to have a world government at all (and, as the science of “global warming” alarm continues to collapse, the current pretext for world domination by a privileged few is wearing more than a little thin), then it is essential that the world government should be an elected government, and that, as Article 1, Section 1 of the US Constitution makes plain when it grants “All legislative power” to the elected Congress and to the now-elected Senate, none shall make laws for the world or impose taxes upon the world except those whom the people of the world have elected by universal secret ballot.

How can we, the people, defeat the Secretariat and keep the democracy we love? Simply by informing our elected representatives of the scope, ambition, and detail of what is in the Cancun agreement. The agreement will not be called a “Treaty”, because the Senate, particularly after the mid-term elections, will not pass it. But it can still be imposed upon us by the heavily Left-leaning Supreme Court, which no longer makes any pretense at judicial impartiality and may well decide, even if Congress does not, that the Cancun agreement shall stand part of US law on the ground that it is “customary international law”.

What to do? Send this blog posting to your legislators. It is their power, as well as yours, that is being taken away; their democracy, as well as yours, that will perish from the Earth unless this burgeoning nonsense is stopped.

*******************************************************************************

Until the next time.


Thursday, 9 December 2010

Oh Yes! Let's break a butterfly on a wheel...

Great: sentence a 16-year-old to four to six years in prison!

Disgusting.

Story here which includes the following:

Wim de Bruin, a spokesman for the prosecution service, said Dutch police were working with the FBI on an investigation into the hacking attack and expected to make several more arrests.

The FBI? really? surely not...

Until the next time.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Et tu VISA II

Well, well.

The supporters of Wikileaks have been quick to respond to to the actions of - amongst others - Paypal, Mastercard, Amazon and VISA. As most of you know by now, substantial "denial of service" operations have been taking place, which today succeeded in bringing down Mastercard's site.

This New York Times article includes a splendid line:

"The initial decision to deny service to WikiLeaks," he said, was “Mastercard’s alone,” and was not made under government pressure.

Ah! shades of Mandy Rice-Davies: "He would say that wouldn't he?"

Taking the spokesman's words at face value, I suppose it depends upon what one calls pressure; it can after all, be internal as well as external can it not?

Until the next time.

Bright Future for the €?

Like many, I have noticed gathering clouds around the European Single Currency, the Euro, with pressure building owing to the colossal debts of both banks and indeed, states.

Whilst living in England, which I did until five years ago, I was wholly opposed to the UK signing up to the Euro, and I believe that that was the correct view and now even more so.

So you might ask, why the title to this piece? The reason is pictured above; yes, Gordon Brown has suddenly appeared out of the woodwork after a few months' silence. This BBC article states:

'Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told the BBC he fears the euro will face a "high noon" moment of reckoning early in the New Year.'

'"I sense that in the first few months of 2011 we [will] have a major crisis in the euro area," he told the BBC's business editor, Robert Peston.'

Yes, this IS the Gordon Brown who sold £15 billion worth of Britain's gold, which would probably now be worth £40 billion or perhaps even more...

So despite all the evidence to the contrary, I am now convinced that the Euro will soar in 2011!


Until the next time.


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Et tu, Visa?

I am becoming increasingly sympathetic towards the Wikileaks organisation, especially with the news that VISA is "pulling the plug" following the lead given by Amazon, Paypal and Mastercard.

I am just longing to hear some sort of moralising crap from those appalling pirates VISA and Mastercard with their usurious interest rates.

Amazon, Paypal, VISA and Mastercard; four American companies. How funny that is!

Until the next time

More Sweden

In my last post, there is a link at the beginning of the article I took from Greenie Watch.

I was quite surprised, even shocked, at what I read there.

Here is an extract:


2007 update:

Some interesting comments from Gates of Vienna:

Marcos Cantera Carlomagno in 1995 published a PhD thesis at Lund University describing a series of letters sent by Per Albin Hansson, leader of the Social Democrats and Prime Minister between 1932 and 1946, who worked for the establishment of "Folkhemmet," the People's Home, as the Swedish welfare state model became known as. Hansson was a dear pen pal with Italy's Fascist leader Mussolini and praised the corporate, Fascist system where the entire economy and each individual were intimately tied to and subordinate to the state. Hansson was positively disposed to Fascism and saw his welfare state as a related concept. After mentioning his work in a local newspaper, Carlomagno was called by his supervisor who stated in anger that his scholarship would be cut off. Carlomagno's work was totally ignored by the entire media and political establishment in Sweden when it appeared in the 1990s.

Why did this information meet with such repression? Because the power of the political and cultural establishment is not based on reasoned discussion but on shaming opponents and branding them as evil with words loaded with emotions and taboo. Terms such as "racist", "Fascist", and "Nazi" automatically shut down any rational discussion of a subject. The irony is that a similar strategy was employed with great success by.....the Nazis.

Adolf Hitler described how to use "spiritual terror" to intimidate and silence opponents, a technique he learned from watching the Socialists and the Social Democrats. He understood "the infamous spiritual terror which this movement exerts, particularly on the bourgeoisie, which is neither morally nor mentally equal to such attacks; at a given sign it unleashes a veritable barrage of lies and slanders against whatever adversary seems most dangerous, until the nerves of the attacked persons break down and, just to have peace again, they sacrifice the hated individual. Conversely, they praise every weakling on the opposing side, sometimes cautiously, sometimes loudly, depending on the real or supposed quality of his intelligence."

In 2006, the newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported that following recommendations from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, priests in the Swedish Church applied German race laws from 1937 onwards. According to Lund University's Professor Anders Jarlert, who led the research, any Swede who wanted to marry an Aryan German was forced to sign an affirmation stating that none of the German's grandparents were Jewish. History Professor Stig Ekman told DN that Sweden's culture of silence and secrecy is one reason why this is appearing only now, generations later. In 1937, the Swedish government was controlled by the Social Democrats, yet despite this evidence that they applied Nazi race laws, party members still get away with denouncing critics of their immigration policies as neo-Nazis, racists or Fascists.

In the book The New Totalitarians, the British historian Roland Huntford in the early 1970s pointed out that Socialist professor Gunnar Myrdal and his wife Alva, both highly influential ideologists in developing the Swedish welfare state, had intimate connections with the German academic world during the Nazi age. Gunnar Myrdal served as both a member of parliament and later as a government minister for the Social Democrats during this period. According to Huntford: "The professor was then a Nazi sympathizer, publicly describing Nazism as the movement of youth and the movement of the future. In Myrdal's defence, it must be pointed out that, whatever his other propensities, Hitler did have advanced ideas on social welfare, and that the social ideology of the German Nazis and the Swedish Social Democrats had much in common. Until the mid 1930s, Nazism had considerable attractions for those who favoured a benevolent and authoritarian state."

Gunnar and Alva Myrdal promoted the idea of positive eugenics and forced sterilization programs against those with "weak genes." This started in Sweden even before Nazi Germany, and it continued longer.

The Nazis called themselves national Socialists, and they took the Socialist component of their ideology quite seriously. They never nationalized all assets of production as the Communists did. They left nominal ownership in private hands, but production was in reality controlled by the state. The Nazis were thus to the left, economically, compared to many of the labor parties in Western Europe today. As Adolf Hitler stated in 1927: "We are Socialists, enemies, mortal enemies of the present capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, with its injustice in wages, with its immoral evaluation of individuals according to wealth and money instead of responsibility and achievement, and we are determined under all circumstances to abolish this system!"



2009 update

There is an assumption that the welfare states of Scandinavia were high-tax regimes which tried to redistribute wealth from rich businessmen to the average person. This is not the case at all. On the whole the Scandinavian systems are not meant to be redistributive states. Nor are businessmen the targets. Business is relatively lightly taxed compared to many developed nations. It is not the earnings of businesses that the bureaucrats want to control but people.

The Swedish welfare state, in particular, was designed so that the average individual was highly taxed. There was even the well-known case of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, of Pippi Longstocking fame, who discovered that her tax bill was 102% of her earnings. Consumers are highly taxed, while business itself is not so highly taxed.

The reason for this is simple. Taxation is a means of control. The object of control in the Swedish system is not business, they produce the golden eggs after all. The object of control is the individual. The Swedish system doesn't so much redistribute your wealth but confiscate it and return it to you provided you spend it in ways approved of by the political elite.

Consider how this system works. Say you are taxed $100 on earnings of $150. The state may now say that can have $20 back in education vouchers for your children, $30 in health "benefits" and so on. If you choose to spend in other ways you will not receive the money back. In essence the Swedish system was created to take control of the individual Swedish consumer, not redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor. While some redistribution is inevitable that is not the reason why the system was created.

Swedish business is more lightly taxed because the government wants business to provide jobs for workers. Once the workers are employed the state can tax them and control their spending. Approved spending is subsidized with the tax money that consumers pay in, unapproved spending is not subsidized or may be heavily taxed. This system of coercive incentives is meant to regulate how people act.

While many in the world think that the "third way" of Sweden was a "socialistic" policy of helping the needy, the reality is closer to a "fascistic" policy of manipulating the consumers into behaving in ways that politicians want.

Big Government indeed!

Until the next time

"There is something rotten in the Sate of Denmark - er Sweden?"

Again thanks to Greenie Watch for the following article. I had to add this given the Swedish pursuit of Mr Assange!

Until the next time


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Swedish Fascism: University in Shock Ban on Academic Freedom and Debate

Sweden has been quietly Fascist for a long time and Warmism is just the latest excuse

by John O'Sullivan

Extremist pro-green Swedish university shackles academic freedom and bans all teaching that doesn’t conform to dogma of human-caused global warming: The latest victim targeted by global warming fascists is Swedish professor, Dr. Claes Johnson who is smacked down for speaking the truth by his employers, the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

It’s no coincidence that Johnson, a world-leading mathematics professor has been silenced in the very week his co-authored climate skeptic book, ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory’ stormed has stormed the science best seller listings after rave reviews.

Johnson is among 22 leading international experts who have dared to join forces and speak out in a blockbuster of a book that exposes the fraudulent science and calculations built into the theory of man-made global warming. The two-volume publication skillfully shreds the lies of government climatologists that faked the warming effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by falsely multiplying the numbers three times over.

Cynics are claiming the teaching ban is a knee-jerk panic reaction to these startling revelations that Johnson had dared to explain in depth to his inquisitive students. The math professor reports that this latest gagging is most extreme because it includes required material for his students and may be fatally damaging to their studies.

Dr. Johnson laments, “the course, has been "stopped" by the President of the Royal Technological Institute KTH, because the book contains a mathematical analysis of some models related to climate simulation.”

A Little More Wikileaks

The news today of Julian Assange's arrest and the fact that he has been refused bail, despite prominent individuals offering sureties, makes it quite plain to this writer that the pressure is mounting. There are even rumblings about the US possibly seeking extradition though it is difficult to understand what possible legal charges could be laid against him.

This piece is prompted by news today of one of the leaks: that concerning contingency plans by NATO to defend eastern European countries in the event of Russian aggression.

I considered this to be hardly worth reporting; after all surely everybody - at least everybody who has ever read a book or two - understands that all nations have contingency plans for every conceivable, or even inconceivable, eventuality.

The "fourth estate" is precious indeed, but should not insult our intelligences with silly alarmism.

Until the next time.


Monday, 6 December 2010

More Warmist Bullshit

Directly from Greenie Watch:

Aaaaah! Look at this lovely picture of a polar bear cub riding on its mother’s back. It appeared in a number of papers this week with stories – inspired by the lobbying group WWF – suggesting that this was a new development, caused by global warming.

This is propaganda garbage, just like the piffle talked about another famous picture of polar bears perched on a melting ice floe. That was taken in August, when ice in Alaska always melts. Land was close by. Polar bears can swim for hundreds of miles if they want to.

The piggyback picture is just as misleading. It isn’t remotely new. I have established that it was taken by the charming Mrs Angela Plumb on a holiday in Spitsbergen more than four years ago, on July 21, 2006.

It then formed the basis of a scientific paper written by the equally charming Jon Aars, a Norwegian polar bear expert. I have read this paper. It speculates that the cubs may ride on their mothers’ backs to avoid the cold water, as they don’t have the thick layer of blubber that allows adult bears to swim in icy temperatures for hours.

But there’s no proof of this, as polar bears can’t speak English or Norwegian so cannot tell us why they do what they do. The paper accepts that bear cubs may always have done this.

Jon Aars himself said to me that polar bear cubs have ridden on their mothers’ backs for ages. ‘What we do not know is whether or not it is happening more frequently than it used to,’ he says.

So we don’t know. Once again the almost invariable rule applies. If any picture is produced to support the warmist panic, it will turn out to be suspect. Oh, and by the way, how much use have all those stupid windmills been during the cold snap?


Until the next time


The GREAT French Lie

And what you might demand, is the great French lie (Le grand mensonge français)?

I'll tell you; it takes just two words: "Ouverture Facile"

For the non-francophones amongst you, this means "easy to open" a statement found on all sorts of plastics packages such as those that contain sandwiches or sliced ham and so on.

It is never true. I saw people on the TGV amazed as I pulled out a large pocket-knife (perfectly legal in France) to attack one of SNCF's sandwich packets. N.B. Most Frenchmen - at least here in Haute Savoie, carry some sort of pocket-knife. I use mine to slice saucisson or cheese at informal gatherings, quite apart from tackling the "ouverture facile" syndrome.

Can anyone tell me why French manufacturers persist with this gross untruth?

Until the next time

Pass the Sick-Bag

Originally I intended the title of this to be "nauseating" (which indeed it is) but I wanted to be a little more direct.

This gem of smug, nauseating anti-smoking crap I found on Tobacco News. Read on and keep a paper bag handy. I love the bits about "natural heritage" yawn...

Until the next time.

Tobacco Free Hernando, partnering with the Hernando County Community Anti-Drug Coalition, its youth group Chill Smart and Hernando County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT), is asking the Hernando County School Board to revise its tobacco-free school campus policy and pass a comprehensive 100 percent tobacco-free policy designed to ensure a safe learning and work environment.

What is the definition of a 100 percent tobacco-free school district? A school district that prohibits tobacco use at all times, by anyone, on school grounds and at school events. This includes students, teachers, school staff, and visitors. This policy should create a culture at our schools that we are 100 percent tobacco-free and an expectation that other drugs are also not tolerated. Over 50 percent of a student’s day is spent at school, and their attitudes towards tobacco use are influenced by their peers and educators at school.

The Pro Children Act of 1994, reinforced by the Pro Children Act of 2001, states “No person shall permit smoking within any indoor facility owned or leased or contracted for and utilized by such person for provision of routine or regular kindergarten, elementary, or secondary education or library service to children.” The Tobacco Free Hernando Partnership believes that the current school district policy, which was adopted in February 2000 and consists of only two sentences, is not comprehensive enough and does not address all that this law directs.

Chill Smart and SWAT members have worked hard to collect hundreds of signatures, students and adults alike, on a petition that states “We the undersigned ask our local board of education to mandate a policy requiring all public school buildings, grounds, and events to be 100 percent tobacco free.”

They have also conducted a survey of Hernando County youth, and plan on presenting all of the facts they’ve obtained at a Hernando County School Board workshop in the near future.

They, along with the Health Department, had a table at Anderson Snow Park for the Great American Smoke-Out Nov. 18. They gave out bags with literature, information and items to help anyone that wanted to quit smoking. They also acquired signatures on the petitions, gave out other anti-tobacco items and picked up many cigarette butts from the park grounds.

Tobacco Free Hernando is a group of local individuals and community agencies who are committed to a Tobacco Free Hernando County. It is a community initiative targeting youth attitudes, behaviors and tobacco access, to mobilize and address tobacco policy and system changes in Hernando. The group consists of a wide array of adults from both the public and private sector, local youth leaders, and members of the general public. Tobacco Free Hernando is supported by a Community-Based Tobacco Prevention Grant through the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Prevention Programs.

Shari Noriega, Hernando County Community Anti-Drug Coalition

Celebrate state’s natural wonders

In this season of celebration and giving thanks, we should celebrate the natural wonders of our public lands. Florida’s rich natural heritage is woven through the wild places that all of us own together, and that are managed for us in trust by our local, state, and federal governments. These amazing natural places, places that define what it means to be a Floridian, are the birthright of every Floridian and belong to future generations as they belong to us.

My wife and I recently adopted two children and one of the most incredible and enjoyable things our new family has shared together is time spent exploring and enjoying our public lands. We have hiked through Cypress Lakes Preserve, paddled down the Withlacoochee River, snorkeled in the Gulf of Mexico at Pine Island, looked for wildlife at Chinsegut Nature Center, and swam in the cool clear waters of Juniper Springs. These places helped our new family bond, and helped introduce our children to their natural heritage.

My kids and I have explored the Withlacoochee River in the big old red canoe that my father bought when I was a kid. The first time we went paddling together on a cool fall day, my children got to see the same places and wildlife that I saw in the canoe on that river decades ago.

The legacy being passed to them was passed to me by my parents and grandparents. I want my children to see a Florida black bear in the wild as I have been so blessed to have seen. I want them to fish clean waters, hike through longleaf pines, hear birds and frogs calling, and pass those experiences on to their children.

We should all work to ensure that our public lands are valued and protected, and that our grandchildren know the Florida our grandparents knew. Each generation must protect the right of the next generation to know and love natural Florida.

Anyone who hunts, fishes, paddles, sails, snorkels, birds, rides horses, hikes, or otherwise recreates on our public lands understands what an incredible resource they are and how valuable they are. We must continue the work to acquire new public lands and manage our current public lands for their highest conservation value.

Our public lands provide tremendous public benefits at little cost to Floridians. They help filter our water, protect our communities from flooding, provide critical habitat for wildlife that we love, and create economic activity through recreation and ecotourism.

In the Nature Coast they provide some of the best and most sustainable economic development opportunities we have. People come here to explore and enjoy nature and the amazing mosaic of wetlands, uplands and sandhills, rivers, and coastlines we are blessed with. Our public lands nourish our spirits, and our economy.

As we begin to formulate our resolutions for 2011, let us resolve to spend more time outside under the sun or the moon and in and on the waters, trails, and back roads of our public lands. Let’s take our kids out into the woods and share with them all the wonders of nature. Our public lands are our children’s public lands, and they bind generations together in a shared love of nature. All of us have the responsibility to be good stewards of our public lands, and future generations will thank us for protecting their natural heritage.

Wikileaks

Given that Julian Assange's latest Wikileaks releases have occupied the headlines for the past few days, I felt obliged to scribble a few lines on the subject. These may not be original, but they are after all, my lines!

I am in a bit of a quandary on this one; I recently wrote a piece saying that Politics can be confusing and I am little muddled over Wikileaks. On the face of it, the idea of nasty dealings by governments and politicians being released is most attractive; after all why should these bastards get away with it, I thought to myself.

Today's news (Daily Telegraph) about the list of locations which are vital to the interests of the USA, made me pause for further thought.

Given that Amazon and Paypal have allegedly given in to US Government pressure to cease assisting Wikileaks, I am concerned that provocations such as those provided by Wikileaks could perhaps lead to Internet restrictions, which of course none of us wants.

After all, would you bloggers out there like to operate under the Chinese Government's censorious régime? Remember Google's experience last year... Of course we like to console ourselves with the classic thought "It couldn't happen here," but a few minutes' reflection on the already terrifying extent of the curtailment of our personal freedoms in Western Europe should be enough to tell that indeed it could!

The Telegraph article linked to above includes the following paragraph:

WikiLeaks has already been forced to change its domain name and hop-scotch to servers around the globe after successive companies and countries have responded to American pressure attacking its disclosures over the past week as illegal.

It has also come under repeated cyber-attack, through a tactic known as distributed denial of service in which thousands of computers connect to its servers in a concerted attempt to knock them off-line.

“What we are seeing here are dangerous moves towards a digital McCarthyism,” wrote the group’s founder Julian Assange in a statement on its website.

UPDATE:


P.S. Normally I would add updates in a different colour, but once again HTM 'Ell refuses to let me do so...
Until the next time.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Monday, 29 November 2010

RIP Leslie Nielsen

I really loved this man; why the original series of Police Squad was cut short, I shall never understand.

Here's a taster for you:




Until the next time

Thursday, 25 November 2010

A Parable

The following piece was written by John Stossel and appears on the site Liberty for All a fine idea indeed.

***********************************************

If you’re a scientist working for private industry, it helps to invent something useful. But if you’re a scientist trying to get funding from the government, you’re better off telling the world how horrible things are.

And once people are scared, they pay attention. They may even demand the government give you more money to solve the problem.

Usually the horrible disaster never happens. Chaos from Y2K. An epidemic of deaths from SARS or mad cow disease. Cancer from Three Mile Island. We quickly forget. We move on to the next warnings.

This is the story of a looming disaster that never became an actual disaster — because the science that led to the terror was never sound science at all.

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the media used a few small studies of babies born of cocaine-addicted mothers to convince America that thousands of children were permanently damaged. Dr. Ira Chasnoff, of the National Association for Perinatal Addiction Research and Education, after studying only 23 babies, reported that mothers were delivering babies who “could not respond to them emotionally.” He told People magazine the infants “couldn’t respond to a human voice.” This led to a frenzy of stories on “crack babies.” Many people still believe “crack babies” are handicapped for life.

It isn’t true. It turns out there is no proof that crack babies do worse than anyone else. In fact, they do better, on average, than children born of alcoholic mothers.

Nevertheless, Rolling Stone told us these children were “like no others.” They were “automatons,” “oblivious to affection,” and “the damage doesn’t go away.” Education magazines warned that soon these children would reach the schools, which would be unable to control them.

It was terrifying news — thousands of children likely to grow up wild and dangerous.

It wasn’t until several years later that the myth started to unravel. Emory University psychologist Claire Coles had her graduate students spend hours observing “crack babies” and normal babies. Her students did not see what Chasnoff had seen. In fact, they couldn’t tell which children had been exposed to cocaine.

Coles told me, “They couldn’t really tell whether they were looking at the effects of cocaine or the effects of alcohol or the effects of poverty, and everybody ignored that. They just said, ‘This is cocaine.’”

How could that happen? “Well,” Coles said,” they wanted to get published.” It is easier to get your work published, and, more importantly, funded by the taxpayers, if you find something dramatic.

Coles said, “If you go to an agency and say, ‘I don’t think there’s a big problem here, I’d like you to give me $1 million,’ the probability for getting the money is very low.”

It’s also easier to get funded if what you conclude feeds someone’s political agenda. The idea of crack babies was perfect. It met the needs of liberals and conservatives. Conservatives wanted to demonize cocaine users. Liberals wanted more money for social programs.

When Dr. Coles dared suggest that crack babies were not permanently damaged, she was attacked by politicians, called incompetent, accused of making data up or advocating drug abuse. Dr. Chasnoff, who helped start the scare, did not receive similar criticism. After his scare was shown to have been exaggerated, he denied that he had pushed any agenda: “Neither I nor any of my colleagues were ever pushing junk science. Is everything we thought then — do we know that every bit of that is correct now? Well, obviously, the answer is no. But that’s the process of science.”

He said People and Rolling Stone exaggerated the implications of his research — took him “out of context.” Perhaps. Journalists hype risks constantly. But Chasnoff didn’t ask the magazines to correct or clarify their reports. So people continued expecting the crack babies — the real human beings who had to grow up with that label — to be walking disasters.

Next time you hear dire “scientific” warnings — and demands to surrender more control over your life to the government in order to avert disaster — remember the crack babies. The only disaster coming may be an activist-induced panic.

Think about that when you hear dire predictions about global warming or avian flu.

Source

Until the next time

More Climate Change Nonsense

"Modest hopes for climate summit as gas levels rise" reports the BBC today.

What's the matter with everybody? They say that so-called greenhouse gases are increasing, but if this is the case, why is the planet not actually warming? I don't believe in the greenhouse gas effect, and when I read rubbish such as:-

Heightened methane emission from wetlands and permafrost has regularly been touted as a potential amplifying factor in climate change, with warmer weather stimulating their release and so producing further warming.

- I despair.

HELLO BBC! ARE YOU LISTENING? THE PLANET IS NOT WARMING.

Until the next time

Sarah Strikes Again

Politics can be very confusing: on the one hand I would like to see far less government here in western Europe, and this is part of the platform of the American "Tea Party" for the USA, and on the other hand I find the Tea Party very disturbing indeed, as I recall sentiments similar to those of the Party being expressed some time ago (and recently!) by Sarah Palin, the deeply worrying ex-governor of the State of Alaska. I have mentioned her before...

Today however, she has hit the jackpot. Former president George W. Bush was mocked for his verbal gaffes, but Miss Palin is in an altogether different league:




The gaffe was reported in the Daily Telegraph today.

Meanwhile on the Tea Party site (link above) it says that "Lasse Hanson is sad about Sarah Palin's unfortunate slip of the tongue supporting North Korea."

Not as sad as I am I suspect!

I did not feel inclined to register with the Tea Party to find out what Miss Hanson had to say, but as I suggested at the beginning of this piece I really do not like Big Government (= Big Brother) so perhaps I should register and at least have a look around.

Until the next time

Monday, 22 November 2010

A Small Start?

The disturbing news reported today by the BBC, following a Panorama investigation, that anti-Semitic and homophobic lessons are being given to schoolchildren in the United Kingdom, has provoked a response from the Education Secretary, Mr Michael Gove:

"To my mind it doesn't seem to me that this is the sort of material that should be used in English schools."

A bit tame don't you think? However, in the video, (on the BBC article) which includes pictures of the lesson-books concerned (which apparently originate in Saudi-Arabia) Mr Gove is a little more robust, but I think that he should have said:

"Her Britannic Majesty's Government requests and requires that these books be burned immediately, some distance outside UK territorial waters."

Happily, a) I have no children and b) live in France...

Until the next time

Brewing Up?

The USA is known to be one of the most litigious societies in the world, perhaps the most litigious.

However, as with all things there is good to be found amongst the widely-publicised absurd claims that reach the American courts.

Greenie Watch mentions an article from the American Thinker concerning a case involving the University of Virginia and emails between Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia, home of the "Climategate" scandal of a year ago and former Assistant Professor of environmental studies at the University of Virginia, Dr Michael Mann.

I especially enjoyed the following paragraph from the piece:

"I was wondering just how long it would take the Nature editorial to suggest a parallel between climate skepticism and the tobacco lobby. Well done! It's too bad that global warming cannot be shown to cause lung cancer -- not yet, at any rate. But more research money may yet uncover such a connection. There's still hope."

As the article suggests, there should be interesting times ahead for the "warmists"!

Until the next time

Friday, 19 November 2010

Please Read This

Just as "Global Warming" has been shown to be a blatant lie, now the pigeons have come to roost concerning "Passive Smoking.

There's a good blog article on the subject of a recent Canadian study here.

Funny it received so little publicity; non-conformist news (cf. "Global Warming") is always unpopular, as is of course the truth.

Until the next time.