Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam's Execution.

I'm ashamed to confess feeling a little bit sorry for Saddam Hussein whilst I listened to the reports of his imminent execution that were coming in yesterday evening and the early hours of today. Thank goodness the Iraqi courts and government did not share my queasiness though, because it was a brave and correct decision. The benefits of Saddams death seem pretty clear to me:

  • 1) It removes the (surprisingly widely held) fear amoung Shias and Kurds that Saddam might come back. One of the reason for the emergence of Shia militias ethnically cleansing Sunnis is to make sure that they will never again be in the helpless position they were under Saddam, making sure the Sunnis will never rise again as one observer describes it.
  • 2) It makes it clear to Sunni death squads that he is not coming back. If they have less to fight for then they may fight less.
  • 3) The Prime Minister might finally be willing to allow the coalition forces to seriously confront the Sadr death squads in Baghdad. Up until now Maliki has been preventing this but with his prestige enhanced amoung the Shias he might be more willing to risk incurring Moqtada Al Sadr's wrath-
  • 4) Maliki's hatred of the Baath party, whilst justified, has hindered efforts at reconciling the low level Baathists to the new regime. Having humiliated Baathism by executing the former dictator he might well be willing to allow reconciliation to happen.
  • 5) His crimes simply merit death regardless of the utilitarian arguments for and against.
The idea that there will be a fresh wave of violence seems unlikely because anyone who could be inspired to violence by the death of Saddam is likely to already be part of a terrorist insurgent group.

Down With Me!

It was pretty absurd when Tony Blair signed a petition to himself last year, but with Labour ministers such as Hazel Blears protesting against their own decisions it goes from comical to offensive. Labour has never really lost the opportunistic qualities of opposition so it is of little surprise that they want to exercise power but hide from responsibility. John Redwood on his blog (must update blogroll soon) explains how ministers ought to conduct themselves:
Has no-one told Labour Ministers they are all responsible for every policy and action of their government? If they don’t like something, and they cannot persuade their colleagues in private to change things, they have to resign.

We now see Labour Ministers rushing to distance themselves from the NHS cuts that are becoming visible. As the next couple of years unfold there should be many more pressure points on public spending. The blow out years are past, and even this Chancellor and this government are going to have to cut the rate of increase in public spending considerably. Given the poor way they manage the public sector, that will doubtless mean cuts in those services which Labour MPs cherish. We will become used to Minister after Minister lobbying against their own government, even at times lobbying against their own department!
Labour are so incompetent that ministers don't even dare to associate themselves with their own decisions.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Quote of the Week.

Who are these minority of the world's population who own a majority of the world's wealth?

They are the population of the United States, Western Europe, Japan and a few other affluent countries. How did these particular people come to possess so much more wealth than other people?

They did it the old-fashioned way. They produced the wealth that they own. You might as well ask why bees have so much more honey than other creatures.
-Thomas Sowell.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

How Convenient

The Guardian's article on Gerald Ford notes that:
Mr Ford was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President John Kennedy in 1963 and concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin.
This cpuld explain the untimely death of the 93 year old ex president.

Gerald Ford.

Former US President Gerald Ford has died. Which reminds me of something I discovered a couple of years ago, that there is a Gerald Ford stadium in Dallas, Texas which was named after some generous billionaire also called Gerald Ford. It must be pretty dispiriting for the latter Gerald Ford to realise that rather than the stadium acting as a monument to himself his philanthropy will be credited by future generations to his more famous namesake. Texas also has a Mike Myers stadium which suffers from the same problem.

Friday, December 22, 2006

SWINE.



The Tehran Times must have been thrilled when Holocaustapalooza was greeted with this message of Solidarity from a group of Danes.

(via the Sandmonkey)

Merry Christmas!


Christmas is here and the puppies I'm giving away are all wrapped up, so all that remains for me to do is write a festive post for my blog. Will this do?:
A DIY store has been playing foul-mouthed Christmas songs to their customers.

Staff at B&Q in Stockport, Greater Manchester, mistakenly put on a South Park CD entitled Mr Hankey The Christmas Poo, reports The Sun.

Dad Grant Sullivan, who was shopping with his four-year-old daughter Deonne, said: "The song was playing in the Christmas grotto - I couldn't believe my ears.

"We were buying a tree and Deonne was looking for the star for the top of it. I was speechless."

One of the songs contains the lyrics: "Mr Hankey the Christmas Poo, small and brown he comes from you."

Obnoxious, Moi?

I've heard of 'Jerusalem Syndrome' where visitors to the city become convinced that they are the messiah, but Paris Syndrome in a new one to me, although the story is not recent:
An encounter with a rude taxi driver, or a Parisian waiter who shouts at customers who cannot speak fluent French, might be laughed off by those from other Western cultures.

But for the Japanese - used to a more polite and helpful society in which voices are rarely raised in anger - the experience of their dream city turning into a nightmare can simply be too much.

This year alone, the Japanese embassy in Paris has had to repatriate four people with a doctor or nurse on board the plane to help them get over the shock.

An encounter with a rude Parisian can be a shocking experience
They were suffering from "Paris syndrome".
The Japanese need to learn more foreign languages if the want to be made to feel welcomed in Paris, German is especially useful. Paris syndrome does thankfully have a remedy.
the only permanent cure is to go back to Japan - never to return to Paris.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

So Farewell Then.... Turkmenbashi.

Saparmurat Nyazov, president of Turkmenistan also known as Turkmenbashi- The Father of all Turkmens, has died. So the world loses it's finest comedy dictator since the late Idi Amin, Nuazov's 'achievements included:
  • Renaming Turkmen cities after himself and his family.
  • Placing a gold-plated statue of himself on top of Ashgabat's largest building, the Neutrality Arch, that rotates so it will always face into the sun and shine light onto the capital city. Though as he himself said- "I'm personally against seeing my pictures and statues in the streets - but it's what the people want,"
  • Naming months of the year after himself and his mother.
  • Replacing the Hippocratic Oath with the Turkmenbashi Oath.
  • Winning the Turkmen 'Hero of the year' award five times.
  • Ordering the construction of an Ice Palace in the Turkmenistan desert.
Obviously for all his absurdity he wasn't much fun to live under. The grim comedy of Turkmenbashi was probably not unintentional as with Amin, but rather it was a way of reinforcing his power by saying to the Turkmen's by emphasising that they were so fearful they couldn't even laugh at things which they knew were preposterous.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wannabe Hack Meets Wannabe Head Hacker.

Are newspaper columnists gullible morons? Consider the evidence from this article by the Independent's most challenged writer, Johann Hari (sorry Yaz you've lost your crown):
“I want to kill and kill and kill again. I want to be a killing machine until, inshallah [God willing], I become a martyr,” he said, staring at me intensely. He is 27 – my age – and murderous. He has just described how he slashed the throats of four female Israeli soldiers in an illegal settlement in 2002, and he chuckled as he described how they cried for their mothers. “All the Jews have to be killed,”
He certainly talks the talk but wouldn't an event like that make the news somewhere? Google-ing 'israeli' 'female' 'soldiers' throats' brings up no incident that fits this description. Wikipedia's list of 2002 deaths in the Israel-Palestine conflict also fails to yield any event that resembles what Walter Bin Mitty claims to have committed. Hari's whole article is based on the premise that if Israel and the West do not prostrate themselves before Hamas then they will face something even worse, yet the exemplar of this supposedly scary Palestinian radicalism is some pathetic fantasist who's as much of a jihadi as Colonel Mustard is a military hero.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sunday Tabloids.

According to Iain Dale the Mail on Sunday's big Sunday splash is that Lembit Opik has ditched his fiancee, weathergirl Sian Lloyd for one of the Cheeky Girls. Will being associated with a Lib Dem make the Cheeky Girls just seem lightweight?

Also on the Mail on Sunday's Website is this story:
Detectives have warned Heather Mills they fear she may be attacked by criminals from the Liverpool underworld who are angry about her split from Sir Paul McCartney.
Yeah right, as if gangsters are renowned for taking revenge attacks on pop stars' wives, anyway what are they going to do, kneecap her?
Note to Macca, there is a Cheeky Girl currently footloose and fancy free, so if your on the rebound who knows what might develop.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ipswich Serial Killer. (Updated)

I don't wish to make light of the horrific events happening in East Anglia at the moment, but I just want to put on record a prediction- Before the end of the week at least one column will appear in each of Britain's two left wing 'quality' papers, the Guardian and the Independent, to put forward the idea that these killings are symptomatic of society's misogeny and lack of resources available to 'sex workers'.

Update: The Guardian publishes this piece-
The cost of our callousness

'Serial killer in Suffolk' makes sensational headlines, but the real story is why we make it so easy for men to kill prostitutes.
It even ends with an echo of Dr Heinz Kiosk's refrain "We Are All Guilty!":

Prostitutes get murdered because their lives are held cheap and they are easy to kill. Usually, no one takes much notice. Only when there's talk of a serial killer do people get excited. But the truth is that we're all responsible.
Meanwhile at the Indy Thomas Sutcliffe* adds his thoughts:
The woman whose body was discovered on Sunday just outside the Suffolk town of Nacton didn't remain a woman for very long. By Monday morning that neutral description, the only one available before a proper identification of the body, had been displaced by the term "prostitute" and a subtle demotion in her victimhood had taken place.
Given that the profession of the victims is one of the threads connecting them to each other it cannot be improper to mention it surely.
With any other profession, you might be mildly taken aback by this sense of priority. A murder report that first identified the victim as a traffic warden or a chartered account, and only subsequently got round to telling you whether it was a man or a woman would surely seem mildly perverse in its approach.
If there was a killer who was targeting chartered accountants then it would be bizarre not to report that as a key fact about the victim .

*no relation to Peter Sutcliffe, although the Guardian might get him to pen an article given their history of publishing op eds by Osama Bin Laden and Gerry Adams.

Quote Of The Day.

It’s important to agree with people if you want them to think you are a genius. For most people, the definition of smart is “Thinks exactly like me but even more so.” If you think that disagreeing and offering excellent reasons for your thinking will change anyone’s mind, you might be new on this planet.
Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame).

He's right isn't he? An example of the way people define intelligence as agreeing with them is the tendancy for politicians who repeat the cliches of the media class to be hailed as intellectual demi gods by the media. Two prominent iq hoaxes in the US bear out this point, first was where an entirely fictious institution published a list of estimated Presidential IQs which gave a ludicrously low figure of 91 for Bush and a ludicrously high figure of 182 for Bill Clinton. The other hoax was the IQ by states hoax supposedly proving that the states that voted for Bush in 2004 were inhabited by morons wheras Kerry voting states were inhabited by philosopher kings. The fact that the left wing blogosphere and newspapers fell for these so easily bears out Adam's claim. It is ironic then that when someone did an actual estimate of the relative IQ's of Bush and Kerry, using test scores, the Senator was behind the President.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Londonistan.

So which crazed right wing hatemonger sys this:

on July 7 2005 Al Qaida finally came home to roost. The group had been building its base in the UK for 15 years: in the 1990s London was one of its main gloabal hubs, evidenced by the fact that between 1996 and 1998 nearly one fifth of the calls from Osama Bin Laden's mobile phone were to hardwired and mobile phones in the UK.
Melanie Phillips? Michael Gove? LGF? Actually it is from the Demos report I referred to below. Britain's policy from the 1990s until the World Trade Center attacks in 2001 of allowing hardcore islamist radicals to go about their business unmolested is the nation's gravest policy blunder since the Munich Agreement. Forget inquiries into Iraq, this is what should be investigated even if it suits both political parties to hush it up.

Slow Going.

My pledge to follow up my previous post 'Alienation, Identification, Ideology' with two additional posts later in the week has proved to be a tangled web of lies and deceipt. Hopefuly I'll do the this week. My mother has been admitted to hospital and visits are time consuming hence low blogging frequency.

In the mean time a report on the same theme, why people become islamists, by the left wing think tank Demos has been attracting both praise and derision but much of their analysis of the problem would find little disagreement on the other side of the political spectrum. I hope to offer a more detailed examination of the report at some point but that might be as fanciful as my previous promises.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Website Of The Day.

Councillor Terry Kelly of the Scottish Labour Party has a blog. So how does an authentic voice of the Labour Party sound when unfiltered by several layers of spin? Very much like an unreconstructed Stalinist with the economic literacy of Robert Mugabe, the commitment to free speech of Kim Jong Il and the social graces of those baboons that throw their faeces at visitors.

Terry on Milton Friedman:
I think that if the Chilean people thought about him at all, it would only be to wish him a lingering, miserable painful end. Big business and vast profits always came first and people came second with this monetary hoodlum, he was an evil man,

Terry on the USA:
there should be no problem in distancing ourselves from the decision to execute Saddam. Capital Punishment is barbaric and uncivilised, that's why it's so popular in backward societies like the USA
Terry on Israel:
if America pulled the plug today there would be no Israel tomorrow and it would be a good thing
This doesn't quite capture the essence of Mr Kelly though, most of his posts are devoted to "rightwing nutters" who have suggested in his comment box that Communism was bad or that Israel is not the fount of all evil. Most of his critics get banned. However before they do some quite interesting exchanges occur in the comments where he rails against "the cesspit that is the USA" some more "I set out to show Capitalist America in it's true light. That obviously upsets you, good ?". Before boasting of his own "towering intelect" compared to his opponents.

Via Right for Scotland

Monday, November 27, 2006

Alienation, Identification & Ideology.

I have been thinking and reading about what makes a western muslim become a muslim fanatic for a while. My conclusion is that there are at least three crucial steps- Alienation from the society they live in which causes them to define themselves by their religion, a spurious identification with any muslims whom they perceive to be suffering results from this and turns alienation into rage and finally an ideology to harness the resulting emotions. In order to look at the three steps, Alienation, Identification and Ideology, they should be considered separately. Here are my ruminations on the process of alienation. Two other pieces on Identification and Ideology will hopefully be posted later this week.

Alienation.

One of the recurrent themes with respect to westernised Islamist terrorists and their sympathisers is that they never felt themselves to be a part of their host society and that it was not possible to do so. Hassan Butt, a British islamist who rejected even the extremist Shaikh Omar Bakri because he was too moderate, says in a interview with Prospect that:
I experienced it as I was growing up, going into majority white schools and having a problem trying to be a Muslim.
In France jailed islamic radical, 'Ousman', declares
I wanted to conform to the image of the average Frenchman, to be like them, to make myself in their image. But at the same time I had the feeling that this was more or less impossible: ..... Islam was my salvation
Another French Islamist Zacarias Moussaoui testified at his trial:
today. I stand here as a French citizen. I want to make clear that I am not French and have no relation. I’m a sworn enemy of France. So I want to make this in the record that I’m not French, okay? I tell you I am a Muslim, and I have nothing to do with a nation of homosexual Crusaders. And I am not a frog
In all these cases radical Islam is turned to in order to fill a void. The possible causes of this alienation are worth considering. Part of the reason is Islam, a religion which limits social interaction with non muslims. From Britain to Bosnia to India to Malaysia marriages outside the religious community are very much the exception.

The growing influence of the extremists exacerbates this difficulty, the attempt to encourage garments like the burqa and the veil is nominally about modesty but has the inevitable result that social interaction with the wearer is made more difficult. Perhaps this is because Islam encourages adherents to think of themselves as superior to other cultures:
quite a few Muslims who enter the West see no reason for being assimilated. They assume that it is not they who should be guided by the West but they who should guide the West.
However it is not just Islam which causes difficulties, western societies can themselves inhibit integration. Ethnic Turks in Germany cannot easily integrate into a society which largely defines nationality by descent. The modern ethnic based nation state is less welcoming to outsiders than the multi-ethnic dynastic states that were once prevalent throughout Europe. Even in countries where nationality is less ethnically defined such as in Britian there have been attitudes that hindered integration. Politically correct dogma used to be that asking minorities to integrate was racist, during the 1980s a Bradford headmaster, Ray Honeyford, was vilified by much of the left for warning of the dangers of communal separatism that was occurring in his city.

Outside of London many minority communities live parallel existences to the natives even though physically they are intertwined, the riots that occurred in 2000 in Oldham and Burnley are a testament to that, white and asian youths who had grown up within a petrol bomb's throw of each other were virtually strangers. Should anyone have been surprised that the Tube bombers came from Bradford and its environs? If they were familiar with Honeyford's warning of two decades previously then they ought not have been.

Whilst it is important to be truthful about the barriers Western societies put up to those who simply want to belong it should be noted that the West is far more open than the Islamic world and that non muslim minorities appear to find the process far less fraught with difficulty. Societies are not obliged to encourage incomers, but if they do then it is dangerous to allow them to form parallel communities with strong links to dangerous and volatile homelands.

In any case the cause of alienation might simply be the personal failing of the individual involved, as Policy Review notes the aforementioned 'Ousman' complains of the westernisation of his siblings who presumably faced the same barriers which he found insurmountable.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Missing Posts.

I've just discovered that at least one old post of mine from May has simply disappeared into the ether. I can find a reference to it on the blogger search engine but the post has disappeared both as a seperate entity and as part of the May archive. Is this a common problem with blogger and does anyone know if the post is likely to reappear?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thick As Thieves.

It appears that the world thieving community is getting crazier. Crooks in Melbourne have been:
removing high-voltage overhead rail lines on one of metropolitan Melbourne’s busiest lines.
Removing live electricity cables during the rush hour is impressive, but Argentinian criminals may have topped even this when it comes to foolhardy crookedness:
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - U.S. and Argentine media reported that one of
President Bush's 24-year-old twin daughters had her purse stolen while being guarded by the
Secret Service during a visit here.

ABC News, citing unidentified law enforcement reports, reported on its Web site Tuesday that Barbara Bush's purse and cell phone were taken while she was dining in a Buenos Aires restaurant.
The Secret Service may not be the ruthless professionals that we have been lead to believe.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Idiotist Slams Christianist.

The only gay in the blogosphere, Andrew Sullivan, has for the last year or so been trying to popularise his pet phrase "christianist", which means anyone (except Sullivan) who uses their religious beliefs to inform their politics. The phrase hasn't really caught on anywhere outside of Andrew Sullivan and those weird emails, which he certainly doesn't write himself, that feature on his site where people tell him how much they agree with him.

Today he reveals that Mitt Romney, governor of Massachusetts is The Christianist Candidate:
In case you were unaware, it's Mitt Romney. As with most Christianists, the idea of allowing different states to try different solutions to the same problem is dispensable when moral absolutes are involved.
So the candidate of the theocratic "christianists" is some who isn't even a christian! Mitt Romney is well known for his Mormonism except by a well paid political commentator who is bizarrely taken seriously by some people. Still why should Sullivan demean himself with mere facts when he is the conscience of the world.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dead Economist To Blame For All Woes.

Neil Clark attacks Milton Friedman for being responsible for everything short of killing Bambi's mother and asks a series of rhetorical questions:
  • Do you ever wonder why British train fares are the highest in the world?
Half a century of nationalisation followed by a botched privatisation and a botched renationalisation would be my guess. But I'll accept that the fact of the matter is that the UK's rail fares are far too high, though how the blame can be laid at Friedman's door is questionable.
  • Or why gas and electricity bills now take up such a large part of our incomes?
Gas and Electricity prices have actually fallen steadily since privatisation in spite of a recent boom in the price of oil, as even people who are in the business of playing up the issue have to acknowledge.
Yet it is clear that since 1996, the liberalised energy markets has helped bring energy prices down and with it the number of fuel poor, and prices are still cheaper in real terms than before privatisation.
In 1991 there were 7.3 million households that were either fuel poor or were considered vulnerable to suffering fuel poverty. By 2002 this figure had fallen to just over two million.
So if Friedman is responsible for our energy prices then he has lifted millions of people out of poverty.
  • Or why the gap between rich and poor just keeps getting wider and wider?
It is true that the gap between rich and poor has widened, although the poor are still better off than they were. There is very little difference between rich and poor in North Korea this is a good thing in and of itself.

  • Or why British manufacturing industry no longer exists?

If by 'no longer exists' he means producing more than ever before in recorded history then he is right. Otherwise he is completely wrong.

(via Stephen Pollard)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Racism and Fascism

Good column in the Times about racism and fascism or more precisely the conflation between the two. Franco is an exemplar of a fascist who was not racist much to the chagrin of the contemporary left:
The Spanish dictator Franco was a Fascist but not a racist: in the 1930s, the left-wing New Statesman disparaged Franco as a “negrophile” (he employed Moroccan troops with gusto).
To be honest the classification of all non communist totalitarian regimes as fascist despite the minimal ideological connection between them is questionable, the ultra traditionalist Franco was not an ideological soulmate of the radical racial socialist Hitler for example.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Wisam Al Wilberforce.

On the subject of Nick Griffin's recent acquital I heard a muslim scholar being interviewed on Radio 5 about the accuracy of Griffin's depiction of Islam. In the course of the discussion the scholar from the MCB called something like Musharraf Hussain (I'm not sure if this is the correct spelling), made this claim about the Koran and when it was written:
when slavery was very common and Islam wanted to remove slavery gradually, it did so in a very powerful way....
Slavery was legal in Saudi Arabia until the 1960s and like most of the world Islamic countries only outlawed slavery in response to western pressure after the abolitionists succeeded here. So in what 'powerful way' did islam remove slavery?

*If anyone wants to listen to the original quote go here, listen to fridays edition of 'Drive' and listen to the interview about an hour into the show.

I Don't Want To Defend Nick Griffin But....

......Many people have been uttering words similar to these in the wake of the failed political prosecution of Nick Griffin for criticising Islam. The attitude of the government seems to be that because the BNP aren't nice people they shouldn't be allowed anything resembling a fair trial. The point is when governments start trying to create laws designed to catch out specific offender there can be no such thing as a disinterested justice system.

The BNP are trying to rebrand themselves by moving away from the thuggish image that the National Front revelled in, it is disingenuous as the long criminal records of some of their leading members would testify, but even so the fact remains that Griffin at least is intelligent enough not to say anything that actually violates the law. So well done to the BBC, the CPS and the police for all their good work in managing to elevate the BNP to the moral high ground in this dispute.

Gender Choice.

New York Plans to Make Gender Personal Choice

Article Tools Sponsored By
By DAMIEN CAVE
Published: November 7, 2006

Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery.


So does this mean that if I'm in New York I could go to the gym and hang around in the womens locker room without being arrested?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Virginian.

Although my sympathies regarding American politics lie with the Republicans rather than the Democrats the nature of the USA means that party affiliation is not always a reliable guide to the nature of individual candidates. Jim Webb who won one of Virginia's senate seats
from the hapless incumbent George Allen is a case in point. He is very pro gun and holds the Vietnam 'peace' movement in contempt. As well as this he is very proud of his 'Scots Irish' ancestors and has written a book* about them. The reaction from left wing Amazon customers is hostile to say the least at a "self righteous racist". Funnily enough the hostile reviews tail off towards November 2006 when it is realised that he is a Democrat with the potential to decisively swing the senate.


* The book itself is interesting but verging on the hagiographic.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Quote Of The Day.

Today, Americans all across the country, living and dead, will exercise their right and responsibility to vote Democrat.
Liberal Larry at Blame Bush.

By the way, apologies for the infrequent posting this should end by Friday.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Stereotype Or Die.

There is much to admire about Peter Tatchell, sure he's a loon but only because he follows his principles. When compared to someone like Ken Livingstone who's leftism is based on political expediency and a hierarchy of victimhood the difference is plain to see. For example on gay rights both men have long been prominent in pushing for more equality in that area for two decades, but Livingstone's commitment only extended as far as lambasting white middle class homophobes so he finds it perfectly reasonable to invite someone like Sheikh Qaradawi, who believes gays should be executed, to London. Muslims trump gays. Tatchell's support for the free speech of people who oppose him also sets him apart from much of the far left. So I don't dislike the man but this Comment is Free article by shows that a sincere extremist is just as wrongheaded the opportunistic variety:
Bloody prejudice

The National Blood Service is stereotyping gay men as modern-day "Typhoid Marys" by rejecting them as donors.
He seems to be arguing that the function of the National Blood Service is to make people feel good about themselves rather than efficiently providing healthy blood to those in need. Saying that something is a stereotype does not render it untrue, stereotypes arise because they reflect reality to some extent.
The NBS gay ban is based on the unscientific, homophobic presumption that all gay and bisexual men are "high risk" for HIV, regardless of their individual sexual behaviour.
Of course not all gay men are high risk, but the question is whether the cost of sorting the low risk from the high risk donors is worth doing. That really depends upon what extra measures would be needed to accomplish this.
The NBS policy is based on crass generalisations. It lumps together all gay and bi men, without differentiation, as if we are all the same.
Of course it relies on generalisations, there are a limited amount of resources and they can't really be spent on finding out about the complete life and times of every potential donor. Generalisations reduce costs of sorting out suitable donors.
If the transfusion service made similar sweeping judgements about the Jewish community, there would be an outcry. The NBS is promoting the homophobic myth that all queers are the bearers of contagion and death.
Unlikely, whilst the NBS does not filter out jewish donors they do make similarly sweeping judgements about sub saharan African donors and there is little outcry over this. This is because most people recognise that the function of the organisation is to provide as much clean blood to hospitals as they can with the money available but at no point in Tatchell's article does he provide any evidence for the impact of the prohibition on gay donors on this function.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Producing Crap.

How come the producer Jerry Bruckheimer is responsible for a string of dismal movies such as 'Pearl Harbour', the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' sequels, 'Coyote Ugly' and 'National Treasure' yet is also responsible for some of the very best television drama such as CSI and 'Without a Trace'? It seems reasonable to suppose that someone who makes cliched and overblown rubbish in one medium would to do the same in the other, yet this is clearly not the case.

Monday, October 30, 2006

More Free Speech.

This is the stupidest idea ever :
Human rights groups have opposed a plan by police chiefs to make flag-burning by protesters a new criminal offence.

The Liberal Democrats and Liberty said new legislation was unnecessary because police had powers to tackle incitement.

Scotland Yard has drawn up proposals to submit to the Attorney General because of a belief the UK has become a soft touch in dealing with extremists.
Scotland Yard refused to exercise their existing powers against the incitememnt of violence when they declined to arrest people waving placards saying "Behead those who insult islam" so they are now trying to deflect criticism by arguing that they need new laws. It is an absurd and unnecessary restriction on free speech.

Religion and Freedom of Speech.

In the all too frequent debates that have emerged over the limits of free speech when it offends religious sensibilities, mostly one religion in particular, one of the arguments of those who wish to inhibit free speech either by law or making certain ideas taboo is that the right to speak freely does not encompass the right to cause offence and the violent response of those who have been offended is in part the responsibility of the person who caused offence. This is of course bizarre as this article in the Australian publication 'Policy' by, Steve Edwards, elaborates:

Allow me to take stock of our new situation with reference to two hypothetical social groups, A and B. Group A is rather scientific and sceptical, curious and uncertain—at once interested in discovering ‘truths’ through rational inquiry, while remaining open to the possibility that existing knowledge can be falsified. Group B subscribes, with a famous ardour and certainty, to a bundle of unproven and unfalsifiable beliefs—a religion—and thus necessarily rejects the very premise of the ‘fallibility of human knowledge’. Clearly, as B already has The Truth, it shall be somewhat lukewarm on allowing any ‘conflicting notions’ to exist at all. Thus, legally-speaking, all demands that A take any notice of B’s sensibilities wherever something might grievously offend some pillar or derivative symbol of The Truth, imply both a justification for deploying force against A merely to placate the feelings of B and the subversion of Mill’s scientific case for free expression by allowing piecemeal incursions on behalf of ‘infallible’ dogma. That is, so long as B can bring enough rancour and enmity down on A for showing disrespect to some aspect of B’s unproven and unfalsifiable beliefs, the state may side with B against A.

In addition to this legal capitulation, our willingness to indulge B’s remarkable behaviour thus far has serious moral ramifications. Incredibly, due to the philosophical nature of B’s beliefs as unfalsifiable dogma, we have also necessarily admitted that B can be morally justified in heaping massive opprobrium on A, without being asked or even being able to explain precisely why. That is to say, B may mercilessly assault the character of A without bothering to provide a credible, logical, reason—I’m afraid ‘because God says so’ is no such reason. In short, by allowing any superstition to have a role in determining the theoretical legal limits of ‘free speech’ we are inadvertently crafting a doctrine for unscientific, irrational bullies.
The current governments long standing plans for a religious hatred bill will if it is ever allowed to pass do exactly that. It would be the most powerful tool for religious persecution since the eighteenth century.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Inflicting Torture To Prevent Torture.

I've just watched a Channel 4 plug for 'The Secret Policeman's Ball', a charity comedy gig to raise the profile of Amnesty International's work, which features routines from the likes of Russell Brand, Eddie Izzard and Jo Brand. It isn't hard to see why sitting through that would increase people's empathy for the victims of torture.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

'We Are All Hezbollah Now'

With the news that Argentinian prosecuters have announced that the bombing a decade of a Buenos Airies was an act that Iran's former president and Hezbollah were responsible for it is worth reminding everyone that these are the people John Pilger regards as 'heroes' and George Galloway believes should be glorified. The likely culpability of Hezbollah in the massacre has been known for years so I really don't see how there is any conclusion to be drawn other than that those on the left who supported Hezbollah when they attacked Israel earlier this year, believe that slaughtering dozens of jews is a heroic act. Incidently the government of Argentina is a left wing populist ally of Hugo Chavez so the inevitable squeals of Argentina being manipulated by Yanqui-Zionist plots are even more insane than usual.

More Policing.

Just when I thought that it was impossible to get more depressed about the police I see this story (via Dumbjon)-

Two police officers in Stroud barricaded themselves in a takeaway shop after youths became abusive.

About 20 youths were reported to police for swearing and threatening customers in the Subway Sandwich bar in Kings Street on Monday night.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Synergy, Vision, Ingenuity, Gobbledygook

After referring yesterday to the report that labels my local police force the worst in the country I was wondering what made it so bad. The Policeman's Blog provides an example of how Northants police operate:
VIKING: COURAGEOUS EXPLORER, DETERMINED PATHFINDER
17 October 2006

Operation Viking has been developed to coincide with the introduction of the SCT in Brackley Town. The initiative will focus on enhancing community safety issues in Brackley Town, through collaboration and problem solving methodologies.
The Viking title has been chosen for a number of reasons, primarily that the Brackley SCT is the pathfinder for South Northamptonshire, but also that we recognise the need to be bold and courageous in transforming Policing in Brackley from a reactive service that is distant in many ways from its statutory partners and the community it serves, into a formidable, cohesive alliance.
The challenge of Viking is not to commit local Police to working harder, but through collaboration and effective, meaningful problem solving partnerships to work smarter. Problem solving models have been developed to address the root causes of crime and disorder in the Town and we will systematically dismantle these. Viking will forge new partnerships and balance respective agendas, enabling the realisation of intelligence led Policing.
Where we lack resources, we will be innovative, when we respond, we will be lawfully audacious and by harnessing the potency of collaborations, we will ignite synergy.
Vision, Transparency, Ingenuity - we welcome you to Operation Viking.
Read the whole thing. Actually don't that would be cruel and inhuman.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Links.

Ok time for one of those periodic updatings of the links, in comes-

Prague Tory- A remarkably self explanatory blog title it must be said.

Blithering Bunny- I used to have a link there anyway but some technical problem led to me deleting it. This blog title is rather less self explanatory as he in fact is not a rabbit.

Choice Cuts- Good stuff, some interesting stuff on crime.

Ellee Seymour- One of those suspiciously professional looking blogs by an aspiring member of the great and the good. Wrote some of the more illuminating sections of the Little Red Book of New Labour Sleaze.

Marmot's Hole- Focuses on Korea, invaluable during the DPRK's recent shenanigans.

The Raving Wingnut- Steve Edwards is Australian, but that doesn't mean he's bad, I'll be linking to an article of his later this week so I shall not bother with an introduction here.

Daniel Finkelstein- Times comment editor's blog. Not that good yet but seeing as his articles are usually very good I'm assuming it will improve.

Peter Hitchens- Unfashionably honest, even when I think he's wrong I usually find him to be commendably forthright.

Brian Appleyard- Another professional writer who is an intelligent and independent minded voice.

No Place Like Home.

Immigration is a subject where debate has atrophied in the public sphere due in large part to the tactic of tarring and feathering anyone who holds a sceptical viewpoint. My own views on the subject don't fall neatly in one camp or the other although because of the dishonesty of the pro immigration lobby I usually find myself arguing against them. There has been an almost complete denial that immigration has costs and benefits that have to be weighed up and anyone suggesting the downside of the equation should be taken into account has been treated as though they were the reincarnation of Dr Mengele. In such an atmosphere it is hardly surprising that public services have failed to respond swiftly to the sudden influx of migrants from Eastern Europe. For example schools in Northamptonshire are complaining of the sudden influx of non english speakers and the lack of additional money to cope.
SCHOOLS in the county want extra cash to help teach the growing numbers of foreign children in their classrooms.
The schools say their resources are being stretched to the limit by the need to provide for youngsters from eastern Europe and other nations.
Between September 2004 and April 2006 nearly 3,000 pupils with English as a foreign language started school in the county. The county council has not had any extra Government cash to help teach the new arrivals and many schools are making their own arrangements.
In other news Northamptonshire Police have been named the joint worst in England along with Humberside. I wonder what sort of priorities they have. The inadequacy of our police force might explain their role in getting an innocent man jailed for 3 years on a bogus, evidence free charge of sexual assault.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Unvoiced Voices Heard.

The Telegraph has gone downhill in recent years, one of the symptoms of this crappiness is the fact that Sam Leith is employed there. In his latest offering he refers to responses he received in relation to a comment about youths outside his house.
The latter type was the most crude and straightforward. It suggested, broadly, that the only way to prevent such things happening was to arm all home-owners (a 9mm Glock was the weapon suggested by one respondent) – apparently on the principle that civil society would be best maintained if private citizens were given charge of executing people for vandalism. Unvoiced was the sneaking hope that we should be empowered to go about shooting black children on suspicion of playing football.
Does anyone want to unravel the unvoiced hopes buried in the pysche of a man whose reaction to a suggestion that people have the right to self defence is to immediately start fantasising about executing black kids? No me neither.

Iran- No Big Deal.

The West has been having problems with Persia at least since the days of Themistocles but in all that time the nation's conflicts with the West have been largely indecisive and they have not attempted a major westward expansion of their power for hundreds if not thousands of years. The current regime is pretty unpleasant and what passes for civilised life seems to have regressed but that doesn't make it a danger to us. As this fascinating article by Gregory Cochran in the American Conservative points out, its behaviour is far more consistant with planning for a defensive war and they clearly have no great ambitions for conquest.
Iran’s GNP is 20 to 40 times smaller than that of the U.S., and the Iranians are hardly sophisticated technologists. If they tried hard, if they spent a huge fraction of their GNP on weapons, they might be able to spend 1/30th as much on arms as we do. But they’re not trying hard.

In truth, Iran hasn’t embarked upon any military adventures in years: there is no pattern of aggression and conquest, no frantic military buildup. The war with Iraq a generation ago seems to have used up most of the Iranians’ revolutionary zeal. We do not hear of their “last territorial demands.” In fact, we’re still waiting for the first.

Even when provoked, they’ve been cautious. The Taliban, back in 1998, killed a number of Iranian diplomats along with thousands of fellow Shi’ites. The Iranian government was angry, as any government would have been. The Iranians threatened, they mobilized troops on the Afghan border—but never invaded.
The one concern about Iran I have had is that their behaviour could be suicidely unpredictable and they might launch a nuclear attack regardless of the consequences, but:
Most of the people running Iran today could have easily become martyrs under the Shah if they’d felt like it. Somehow they avoided it.
It's a good point, for all that the ignorant peasant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talks big, when the time came to put his courage to the test, either under the Shah or against Saddam, he was conveniently absent trimming his beard. Not the behaviour that one would expect from someone planning to die for their cause.

Iran having a nuclear weapon is not a desirable prospect, but it is not such an extreme threat that we should be willing to go to war.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Call Me Callous...

... but I can't say that I'm particularly bothered about this:
Poor-quality autopsies should cause public outcry, says report
For the simple reason that having the worst doctors work on the dead is vastly preferable to trying their luck on the living. I realise that in certain untimely deaths autopsies are important, but the majority of times death is natural and the families just want to get the formalities over and done with as quickly as possible.
"If one quarter of all surgical procedures undertaken on the living were deemed, by peers, to be poorly or unacceptably badly done, there would be a public outcry," says the report from the group, which operates under the umbrella of the National Patient Safety Agency.
Yes that is true, but there is quite an important distinction between 'dead' and 'alive' whiich will explain the lack of an outcry- the dead don't complain. In fact providing morticians avoid staging puppet shows with the cadavers I'm pretty relaxed about what they do or don't do.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Mr Caring Strikes Again.

In my previous post about the Salford school, Harrop Fold, which had one of its own pupils arrested for an alleged racist remark (racist being defined as 'not speaking Urdu') I had wondered if I had gone too far in describing the headmaster, Anthony Edkins, as a child abuser. The answer I'm happy to report is no:
A FURIOUS father has accused Harrop Fold school off treating pupils worse than animals after a whole year group were forced to stand out in thAlan Cavanagh says he feels ‘nothing but utter contempt’ after his daughter Amanda, 13, claimed she and her classmates were punished by being forced to endure a heavy downpour because of bad behaviour by some pupils during morning lessons.....
...Pupils then had to sit in afternoon lessons soaking wet and shivering and Alan says those responsible should face the sack.
Uh huh, as in the previous case Mr Edkins is insisting that the pupils are lying, presumably the 13 year old girls of Salford are all conspiring against him. They're like the mafia:
The school have denied Amanda’s account of the incident and say they were left outside because of a lack of available space.

Headteacher Antony Edkins said: "Students were standing in line outside as they always do following the lunch break, when an unforeseen downpour happened.

"Unfortunately, the current building offers limited shelter so we endeavoured to get them inside as soon as we could."
Yes, that sounds plausible, a school with insufficient shelter for every pupil. I suppose during classes some of them have to hang outside the window. The alternative explanation is that the school is run by inadequate bullies who get their kicks from employing strongarm tactics against young teenage girls.
Incidently John Derbyshire writes about the previous incident here:
This mild request had somewhat the same effect on her teacher as Oliver Twist’s request for " More" had on that beadle. All the school’s PC alarms went off simultaneously. According to Codie, the teacher "started shouting and screaming, saying ‘It's racist, you're going to get done by the police"

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Calling For Debates.*

Wouldn't it be easier to have a debate rather than calling for debates all the time?

* Note that I resisted the chance to include "mass debate" in the title, this was very mature of me.

The Politicians Piggy Bank- Us.

It's seldom a good sign when a political class views the general public as their own inexhaustible ATM. The main parties have been hinting at the the idea of state funding for some time, they realise that this is about as popular as genital warts so they have appointed proxies to promote the idea:
More public money could resolve party funding row

LONDON (Reuters) - Greater levels of public funding for political parties is one option being considered in a review of party financing triggered by a recent cash-for-honours scandal.

Hayden Phillips, appointed by Prime Minister Tony Blair in March to examine alternatives for party funding, will also suggest a cap on donations in an interim report on Thursday.
This concept doesn't work in other fields, if a policeman announced that because he had been caught taking bribes the "system" must be reviewed it wouldn't be popular. A supermarket that overspent three times its budget would not be allowed to get away with demanding state funding to bail them out. Politicians are seeking to foist the bill for their own incompetence and sleaze onto everyone else.

It isn't as if state funding reduces corruption anyway, presumably the various scandals that have afflicted European politics notably the Helmut Kohl case are known to everybody. Still it is never the fault of the politicians:
"As members of the public we cannot have it both ways. Party politics costs," Phillips said.
This patronising buffoon does not appear to understand that the public don't want it "both ways", they want parties to raise their money through legitimate means and spend only what they can afford. In what other sphere is that considered having it "both ways"?
Phillips' interim report aims to provoke a debate between political parties
That's lovely, I can't see any vested interests there then, just groups of people deciding whether they should be given free money. Should be some debate!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Who Could Have Predicted It?

A murderer has escaped from pris... a shopping centre,

Former market trader Mark Ryder, 37, escaped from Highpoint jail in Stradishall, Suffolk, on Thursday during an escorted visit to the Grafton Shopping Centre in Cambridge.
Oh well these things happen, it isn't as if this could have been predicted.

Ryder was originally jailed for theft but a judge imposed a life sentence in 1993 after he shot dead a love rival after escaping from prison guards during a trip to Brighton, East Sussex.
Oh.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Caring & Tolerant.

A Salford schoolgirl has been reported to the police by her school and subsequently arrested on suspicion of commiting a racial public order offence. The offence was asking not to be put in a discussion group with students who don't speak english, because obviously not being born with an instinctive understanding of Urdu marks someone out as part of the Ku Klux Klan. Anthony Edkins. the child abuser who is the headmaster at the school explained:
"We aim to ensure a caring and tolerant attitude towards people and pupils of all ethnic backgrounds and will not stand for racism in any form."
Mr Edkins obviously has problems with the English language as well if he thinks that this is a "caring and tolerent attitude".

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New Nork Nuke Notes.

Following on from my question yesterday about whether the North Korean nuclear bomb test might be bogus I've been reading around a bit and asking questions elsewhere. Essentially there are four methods of determining whether a nuclear test has occurred the monitoring of seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound, and atmospheric radionuclide activity, of which the first and the last are the most important although NK claims that their has been no radioactive leakage. There are methods of distinguishing between nuclear devices and large accidental explosions which the CTBTO uses, but the assumption has always been that states are more likely to want to conceal real nuclear blasts rather than pass off deliberate conventional blasts as nuclear.

So why was the North Korean blast so small? There are three possibilities- It was a failed test, it was deliberately kept small due to the absence of a large desert to test it under or it was a hoax designed to intimidate the country's enemies, ie everyone.

The arguments that it was an unsuccessful test for what was intended to be a larger explosion is set out in a series of posts at Defense Tech. Essentially the argument is that it produced an energy yield of only around ten percent of what it should have been expected to produce. These devices designed to be attached to Kim Jong Il's Dong missiles explode too soon. Kim's Dong goes off prematurely.

The possibility that shows North Korea's scientists in the best light is that they kept the explosion small deliberately either to avoid upsetting its neighbours too much or for enviromental reasons. As this article notes:
carrying out nuclear tests inside North Korea would be an extremely sticky action. That is because this kind of nuclear testing could only be carried out underground. There is absolutely no way they could do in the air or above ground. Even with underground nuclear testing, you normally need a fifty to sixty kilometer square of desert for a nuclear test. In the U.S., this would be something like the Nevada desert. Unless you have the kind they have in India or Pakistan, you cannot do it. The reason for this is that the underground water system gets damaged. North Korea has a very abundant flow of underground water, and if you carry out an underground nuclear test in this kind of place, radioactive materials would get into the water supply for the whole of the Korean peninsula
Whilst the hermit nation isn't known for its devotion to its citizen's welfare even a hellhole wants to keep some of its own people safe from radiation poisoning.

The arguments in favour of the proposition that it is a hoax by the DPRK are that the size of explosion can easily be reproduced by other means, the fact that NK has been trying to get the respect of its neighbours for a couple of years and the fact that they insist that there has been no radiation leakage which is highly unusual although it does have the convenient result that air samples can't confirm or disprove the claims of a successful blast. It is certainly the case that the possibility of it being a hoax is being discussed more widely since yesterday when I was worried that I had become the classic internet conspiracy crank for voicing my scepticism:
U.S. intelligence agencies say, based on preliminary indications, that North Korea did not produce its first nuclear blast yesterday.
U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that seismic readings show that the conventional high explosives used to create a chain reaction in a plutonium-based device went off, but that the blast's readings were shy of a typical nuclear detonation.
The consensus now appears to be that North Korea's military conducted an unsuccessful test and are probably going to behave even more crazily to regain some respect. For what it's worth I still believe the whole thing is a fraud perpetrated by Pyongyang.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Nork Nukes.

The North Korean regime has it appears tested a nuclear bomb, one aspect of the reports puzzles me though, the explosion was the equivalent of 550 tonnes of TNT which is a very small nuke, far smaller that the Hiroshima bomb which was 15000 tonnes. The force of the World Trade Center collapse was equivalent to 600 tonnes of TNT and no nuclear weapons were used then. So either North Korea have very little nuclear material to use in tests or they have simply exploded 550 tonnes of TNT and claimed to have a workable nuclear bomb.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Comment is Free hits a new low.

Mark Ames, editor of the Exile magazine, writes about the trend of school massacres-
another Wisconsin town, Green Bay, was rocked by the arrest of a group of teenagers who were storing up weapons and planning to carry out a Columbine-style massacre....
....Indeed the only hero so far this school year is the Green Bay school snitch, senior Matt Atkinson, who turned the Wisconsin school plotter-nerds in. While many are already questioning how real the plot was, ABC News made Atkinson its "Hero of the Week," and the school principal is talking of setting up a Matt Atkinson scholarship fund.

In slave times, snitches were also well-regarded and rewarded, and received glowing coverage in local slaveholder newspapers. Snitching was one of the few ways a slave could advance socially, and in the eyes of the master. However, then, as now, slave rebellion plots "exposed" by slave snitches were often exaggerated or entirely invented. Slaves were put to death, and the snitches rewarded with freedom and cash.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Go Away, Go Away, Go Away.

George Monbiot's appearance at the Conservative Party conference appears to have caused some consternation, not least to himself. Thankfully in a previous column Moonbat has explained the correct way of deterring the crazy greenie-
I sensed that someone was standing over me, and looked up. I was surrounded by a ring of women. They held their palms out towards me and their eyes were closed. Slowly and quietly they started chanting. “Go away. Go away. Go away.” It was terrifying and extremely effective. I left immediately

Battle Of The Bullshitters.

OK, which smarmy political leader made the most absurd conference speech, Blair or Cameron?

On the one hand we have Tony Blair promising to try and solve the Middle East situation in the next few months despite the fact that even before he was a lame duck his main achievement in the holy land was to sit grinning like a muppet whilst Captain Darling, sorry I meant Bashir Assad, sang the praises of suicide bombers. This was a few months after 9/11, so naturally Blair's idea of taking a stand against terrorism involved visiting Syria. Anyway having comprehensively failed to accomplish anything useful with respect to the Israel-Palestinian problem for the last 9 years he announces his intention to work really hard at it whilst he is on his way out. Naturally this absurd pledge drew a round applause from the Labour delegates.

He also said that if Darfur "were in the continent of Europe we'd act." He is the only person in the entire country who can actually affect the situation, he isn't some bystander who can bewail the tragedy of it all, he is the Prime Minister of one of the most powerful nations on earth, one which could force the Sudanese government to back down if the will was there. What was supposed to come across as a reflection of his humanitarian conscience was basically an admission that he couldn't care less.

On the other hand we have Dave, who despite not being able to hand out conference passes at a conference, feels he is up to the task of 'safe guarding' the highly complex National Health Service. His argument is essentially that the Conservatives got every major issue wrong during the pst decade therefore the voters should put them back in charge.

Of course the people really to blame for these two masters of vacuity are the half witted shit-for-brained floating voters who lap up this stuff and consistancy reject politicians who try to engage with them on an intellectual level in favour of those who make simplistic emotional appeals.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

More Murder

Gosh I wonder what political movement was in the ascendency in the USA from 1960 onwards when the homicide rate increased by around 150%.

Murder & Guns.

Finally, gun control advocates frequently attribute the UK's low rate of violent crime to its restrictive gun laws. They would do well to bear in mind that in 1919, the year before gun control legislation was introduced, the US homicide rate was almost twelve times that of the UK. After close to 80 years of rigorous gun control the gap has now narrowed to a factor of four.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Left Wing Logic.

Felicity Heywood in the Guardian on Black History Month:
But even though its original remit - to give children of African descent a new pride through discovering their heritage and past achievements - remains unfulfilled, moves are afoot which could threaten the project's future.
Does it not occur to her to replace "even though" with "because"?

It seems likely that Heywood works in the public sector with that attitude. The fact that Black History Month has been going for two decades and is a failiure even on the terms of its organisers seems like a bloody good reason to threaten the projects future.

Blair's Speech.

One of the features of Blair's leadership is his ability to make speeches that appeal greatly to shallow people and the Labour Party conference saw the last of these pep talks. In many ways he summed up 12 years of Blairism in that single speech, the rewriting of history, claiming credit for other's achievements and the promises that he has no intention of keeping. I didn't buy into his crap in 1994 or 1997 but I could see why others did but honestly after more than a decade of this drivel it really is pathetic that so many grown men and women fall for the same trick time and again. No doubt he can charm people because a charmless confidence trickster is a contradiction in terms

His promise to spend the rest of his time in office seeking a solution to the Israel-Palestine issue was a crude exploitation of other people's suffering to massage his own image. I'm surprised he din't pledge to look for a cure for cancer in that time as well because the chances of success are about the same and he clearly has no scruples about knowing raising false hope if he profits from it. They don't appear to be waiting for the great peacemaker with bated breath in the Middle East either.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Nazi Art & Bad Comedy.

An auction of some of Adolf Hitler's artwork took place today, and like most people I have qualms about it. Not as upset as Aaron Barshak the self styled "Comedy Terrorist" it would seem as he disrupted the proceedings. Barshak's wife justified* his actions by saying:
Adolf Hitler was a mass murderer and to make money from that is wrong.
Which is a good argument to make unless you are married to a man who dresses up as Osama Bin Laden for living. Actually Barshak is so cringe inducingly unfunny that he probably doesn't make money but that isn't through want of trying.

* No link because either blogger or my computer is playing up.

Angry Muslims.

Some might suggest that it would take a lot for a former nazi to become unpopular in the Middle East, but look at the pope and the furore over his remarks on faith and reason last week. Those such as the Guardian's Madelaine Bunting who perpetuate the myth that the rioting in response to Pope's innocuous comments reflect upon him would surely struggle to explain incidents like this:
The authorities in Nigeria’s northern state of Jigawa have imposed a nighttime curfew in the wake of a violent protest by a group of Muslim youths in the state capital. The rioters attacked Christians following a blasphemous statement allegedly made by a local Christian woman about Prophet Muhammad.
.....

At least 10 churches, 20 shops as well as homes of Christians were reportedly attacked and set ablaze by the angry protestors, who claimed a local Christian woman had made a blasphemous statement about Prophet Muhammad. The woman was said to have reacted to inflammatory language denigrating Jesus Christ by a Muslim man.
So muslims man starts berating a woman about her religion she answers back, so mobs of local muslims launch a pogrom against christians. There is no doubt that at the moment much of the islamic world takes the attitude that they are entitled to launch the most vicious assaults on infidels and heretics wheras the slightest response to this behaviour can justify almost any savagery in response.

The Tolerence Stasi.

As you might expect I am a regular reader of the Pink News* and I came across this opinion piece, which asks "Would The Pope Face Arrest For Homophobia":
The obvious argument is that we can never expect religion to accept homosexuality, but why does that make it ok for them to spread and encourage homophobic beliefs.
Er that would be the whole "freedom of speech" thing that we used to have.
Punishment should start at the top, or what is the point of struggling for equality, tolerance and fairness.
Interesting definition of tolerance- If I disagree with you then you must be arrested.

* Actually I was googling "Angry Muslims" and saw a piece saying that gays should have a papal apology too. It would certainly be amusing if everytime "angry muslims" went on a protest they were joined by a gay pride parade.

New Labour Singing From The Same Hymn Sheet!

Cherie Blair on Gordon Brown- Liar!

Gordon Brown on Gordon Brown- I Lied! I Lied!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Holyrood Porn.

The Scottish 'Parliament' has been getting adult channels instead of their usual fare, supposedly by mistake. One MSP was shocked to come to work only to see naked bodies rolling around and orgies all over the place. So he decided to leave Tommy Sheridan's office and watch television when he discovered the porn.

Blog Stuff.

1/ Did I mention that I am officially the 83rd best conservative blogger in the country? Well that's probably due to having the self awareness to realise that I'm not. The list was compiled by Iain Dale, for a Guide to Political Blogging that he is flogging. Of course if certain bloggers were to "disappear" then I could find myself on the rise.

2/ Is there any way that a "latest comments" feature can be put on a blogspot site? This is because when an old post gets a comment, only I and the commenter are aware of it, for example this post from June appears to have left someone rather irate and a comment was added this weekend, over three months later.

3/ Must update blogroll soon!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Siam What Siam.

Looks like there is a coup in Thailand, Parliament hasn't had an expert on Thai affairs since Joe Ashton retired so I doubt Britain will be a major party in resolving the crisis. As with the Pakistan coup some years ago people's hostility towards the generals will be tempered by the hideous corruption of the democratic regime. Seceral predictions that I will make are:
  • A speculative theory of how the coup is the USA's doing will emerge.
  • No evidence will be produced
  • It will become accepted as fact regardless.
  • If the coup regime lasts the week then it will last for several years.
  • China won't object.
  • Someone wittier than me will be able to make a ladyboy joke.

Short and Sharp.

I've just discovered tha the New Scientist magazine has a blog, their most recent story at the moment relates to the widely reported case of the Chinese man who was the recipient of a penis transplant but rejected it. They appear to be suggesting that it was turned down because of the pschological discomfort that people have about having dead people's body parts, but their could of course be other reasons for the rejection.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Islamic Criticism Blocked?

According to the 'Western Resistance' blog the Mail on Sunday put up and then removed an article by Peter Hitchens which was critical of that non violent religion, Islam. Liberal Larry also has some wise words on the subject of the Pope's recent remarks- 'Nazi Pope Refuses to Convert to Islam'.

Polly Toynbee To Commit Suicide?

Swedish centre-right alliance wins wafer-thin election victory

Presumably Greg Palast will pop up at some point and claim it was all down to voting irregularities. Anyway like Polly I'm a huge fan of the Swedish Model:

Household Income, Race & Voting.

Gary Younge's latest column makes the claim that since Bush came to office "median household income has fallen by 3%". As an iron rule when someone uses household income as a measure of wealth it means that they are trying to con someone. Unless more people living in their own houses is considered a bad thing by Gary Younge. He also makes the strange claim that:
black people, regardless of income, overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Indeed, were it not for black people, the Democrats would have won the presidency only once, in 1964. That was the year President Lyndon Johnson signed the civil rights act, turned to an aide and said: "We have lost the south for a generation." We are well into the second generation now, and the racialised politics of the south seem to be influencing the rest of the country rather than the other way round.In other words there is a clear racial attachment that white voters have to the Republican party
So if black people are over whelmingly voting for one party, how it follow that it is white voters who are demonstrating a "racial attachment" to one party?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Coming Next, The Barry Chuckle School Of Industry.

Oh dear, our glorious and much loved leader Anthony Blair is planning his post Prime Ministerial career:
As he contemplates retirement, his staff are again looking west, seeking inspiration from the example of American presidents.

At Harvard there is the John F Kennedy Institution. Bill Clinton has his own foundation. Now Tony Blair, it seems, could have his own "school of government". According to academic and other sources, Jonathan Powell, the prime minister's chief of staff, has been sounding out the London School of Economics about the establishment of such a new body.
It might have been an idea if he had studied government before assuming office. The hilarious conclusion is that Tony Blair honestly sees himself as someone people would regard as a model of good leadership, which not even his own party consider him to be.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Labour Deputy Leadership.

Harriet Harman announced yesterday that she is standing for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party, her main theme appears to be that she is a woman. Whilst I can see why not having a little cocktail sausage to wave at the secretaries might be a priority for Labour after Prezza's tenure it hardly seems to be a sufficient reason for backing someone.

In 1997 Harriet Harman was appointed Social Security Secretary, despite being the ultimate Blairite she was so incompetent in the role that she had to be sacked after barely a year in the job. She was intellectually not up to the task of reforming her department and incapable of getting on with those who were capable (ie Frank Field). She has since been allowed to return to a more junior role within the government outside the cabinet. Yet this cabbage is considered the standard bearer for Labour's womanhood!

The frightening thing is that Harman might well be the stongest Labour female candidate. Despite Nu-Lab's boasting about the number of women MP's they have, the ones they consider to be cabinet material are- Margaret Beckett who was actually a safe pair of hands at Defra but is in her 60s now, Hillary Armstrong who was the worst Chief Whip in living memory, Ruth Kelly who thinks that child molesters make good teachers, Patricia 'Best Year Ever' Hewitt, Hazel 'the nodding chipmonk' Blears, Baroness Amos and Jacqui Smith. Is there a left wing equivalent of Margaret Thatcher amoungst that lot? I doubt it. Jacqui Smith could be worth placing a bet on for the number two job if Labour MPs decide they need a woman in that position.

Non Aligned.

The Non Aligned Movement (NAM) is currently meeting in Cuba. Whilst the delegates enjoy Havana's hospitality which largely consists of cigars and child prostitutes, I'm wondering what they are non aligned with. During the Cold War they were supposedly non-aligning with the USSR and the USA (although even then it inculded a few Soviet puppet regimes) but since 1990 and the demise of one of the two powerblocks the NAM is little more than identity group which defines itself by being poor and unimportant. It's the club for countries that can't get into any other club.

Quote Of The Day.

Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence
-Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Evidence Not Needed In Northampton Courts.

Judicial idiocies are hardly a surprise nowadays, but when it is local I feel obliged to comment upon it. A Northampton man who was convicted in 1999 of a violent sex attack was cleared today at the Court of Appeal
Mr Justice Tugendhat, sitting with Lady Justice Hallett and Mr Justice Silber, concluded his conviction was "unsafe", after a report from the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

The commission referred to new evidence which gave rise to a "very real doubt" over whether the complainant was a victim of any assault at all..
If it is doubtful that any attack took place at all then quite clearly there could not have been any physical evidence that passed the "beyond reasonable doubt" standard in the first place. The wrongfully imprisoned man, Mr Warren Blackwell (naturally the bogus accusers name is not public as Mr Blackwell's is), was married, had a stable job so it isn't even as though he fitted the profile of a violent sex attacker.

In short on the basis of no good evidence the CPS in Northants decided to prosecute someone and the Crown Court managed to jail him on the basis of that non existant evidence. Will anyone in the Prosecution or Court services pay any penalty whatsoever for wrecking somebody's life for 7 years because of their inadequacy? Of course not, at most they will make a bland declaration that "lessons must be learnt" and carry on as before. Still he was luckier than this man.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Boris Johnson Upsets Papua New Guinea

The final paragraph of the BBC report on Boris Johnson's apology for calling the inhabitants of PNG cannibals is quite amusing but I'm not sure if this is intentionally so:
his journalism appears to have landed him in political hot water again.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Shallow Poole

The opening paragraph of this story about the execution of a number of terrorists is devious, misleading jihadi propaganda:
The brutal excesses of Saddam Hussein's regime were relived yesterday as Iraq's new government announced that it had hanged 27 prisoners convicted of terror and criminal charges.
So which newspaper is it that is comparing the execution after trial of members of a mass murdering death cult with the mass executions of people by Saddam for the crime of being Kurds or Shias? The Guardian? The Independent? The Socialist Worker? A Middle Eastern Newspaper translated by Memri? Well no.

(Via A Tangled Web)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Moonbat At Greenham Common.

George Monbiot was at Greenham Common. I would mock but simply quoting him is far more effective than anything I could add, just bear in mind that this is by someone supporting the Soviet dupes:
In the morning, unaware of the trouble I was in, I sat by the camp fire, waiting for the kettle to boil. I sensed that someone was standing over me, and looked up. I was surrounded by a ring of women. They held their palms out towards me and their eyes were closed. Slowly and quietly they started chanting. "Go away. Go away. Go away." It was terrifying and extremely effective
These certainly sound like the kind of people I would of chosen to run the Cold War.
Read the whole thing, Moonbat bewails the "Slanderous" stories about the Greenham Common women but his own tales in their defence are at least as damning.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Feeling A Little Horse.

The death of Australian Naturalist Steve Irwin prompted me to read his Wikipedia article, noticing that it was in the category of "people killed by animal attacks" I read through that and discovered Mr Kenneth Pinyan.

The mind boggles trying to imagine what his friends and family would say at the funeral.

The Voluntary Death Penalty.

The murderer of the Soham schoolgirls, Ian Huntley, has attempted suicide. Am I alone in being confused at the fuss about this? He wants to die, his life serves no purpose and he will not be missed, so why not just let him kill himself? The same is true of John Hogan who murdered his son a few weeks ago and now wished to commit suicide (this time without his children), let him do it, it is the only way that these people can even come close to atoning for their depravity, by leaving this world for good.

Monday, September 04, 2006

No Pedros.

In my previous post about the Pedro Mendes kerfuffle I failed to mention the worst part. When he got out of hospital and went back to his home in Portsmouth he found that a mob had ransacked it and daubed "No Pedros" on the wall.

On a serious note, the paediatrician attack which commenters frequently invoke when sneering at yokels upset at child molesters is almost entirely mythical, see the link above for what actually (didn't) happen.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Are Necrophile Murderers Being Treated Too Harshly?

If someone strangles a teenage girl to death for no obvious reason and then strips the body and has sex with her corpse how would you describe a sentence of 20 years? Is the answer:

(a) Inadequate.

(b) Appropriate.

(c) Excessive.

If your answer is (c) Excessive, then you could be on your way to becoming a senior judge.

[Kenneth] Fraser, a former youth footballer with Dunfermline, strangled the Inverkeithing High School pupil in November 2004 in the former mining village of High Valleyfield, in Fife, where they both lived.

He then removed her clothing and had sex with her before abandoning her half-naked body on the frozen ground, where she was discovered by a passer-by the next day.

At the trial, at the High Court in Edinburgh, Fraser denied the murder but was unanimously convicted by a jury and was sentenced to detention without limit of time - a juvenile life sentence....

... the judges agreed with the submission that 20 years was excessive having regard to the age of Fraser.

The judge said: "There is no doubt this was a dreadful murder of a young girl. However the period of the punishment part is excessive for a person of 16 years of age at the time of the offence."
In what way could it possibly be excessive to keep a necrophiliac killer in prison for any period other than life? I could understand the arguments about the sentencing of the Bulger killers because of their age, but this person was 16, an age at which you can marry or join the army and plenty old enough to know full well that murder is murder. His victim's undoubted terror at his hands prompted not any normal emotion of pity or regret but rather it aroused him and thanks to the Lord Justice General, Lord Hamilton, in 2019 the people of Scotland can look forward to a 31 year old man who gets turned on by murder roaming free.

`The Ulster Soviet Socialist Republic.

One of Northern Ireland's enduring difficulties is that constitutional issue top economic and social issues in elections. This means that Northern Ireland's politicians are as a rule economic illiterates who believe that growth is achieved by politicians spending other people's money so stories like this appear regularly:
Responsibility for NI's economy should be centralised within a single government department or agency, a Stormont all-party group has said.
Because clearly the right people to run the economy are to be found amoung civil servants, and politicians. Even if the Ulster government wasn't obliged to include a party of murderers, extortionists and assorted gangsters it would be a terrible idea/ With government spending accounting for over 60% of the local economy the best thing these people could do would be to resign and not waste another penny of taxpayer's money.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A War The Left Might Support.

May I present Defence Scheme No. 1 which was-

created in 1921 and details a surprise attack on the northern U.S. as soon as possible after evidence was received of an American invasion of Canada. According to the plan, Canadian troops would immediately be sent to seize Seattle, Washington; Great Falls, Montana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Albany, New York in a surprise attack.
I usually consider myself pro-American but you must admit this plan has balls!
So I say to Steven Harper- America's forces are divided and its borders undefended you must strike now whilst they are weak!!!!

During the 1920s there was a lunatic fringe in the USA which was agitating for a war with Britain, the infamous Plan Red for the invasion of Canada was one symptom of this. Another symptom was paranoia amongst certain groups including the world's two cuddliest ethnic lobbies, that Britain was secretly spreading pro-British propaganda through school textbooks, someone even won election to be Mayor of Chicago with a promise to burn all the British books in the city's main library!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thatcher To Be Given The Elbow.

When I watched Ben Thatcher's flying elbow assault on Pedro Mendes during the Manchester City - Portsmouth match my first thought was that it should be dealt with by the police rather than the FA, so I'm glad to see that Greater Manchester police are looking into the matter. Curious to find out how other police froces would have handled I emailed a few and some of them even gave me a response:

Nottinghamshire Police:

Me: What would Nottinghamshire Police do if the assault had occurred at one of the grounds in your juristriction?

Chief Constable Steve Green: Police officers in Nottinghamshire would be given light blue ribbons to show solidarity with the victims in this case, to prevent any further violence.

Me: But it is Manchester City who play in light blue, Pedro Mendes's team play in a darker shade.

Chief Constable Steve Green: Many people feel fully supportive of the Mancunian communities but have no way of showing it and this is a way of allowing them to do that. The backlash of violence is something that will not be tolerated in Nottingham.

North Wales Police.

Me: What would North Wales Police do if the assault had occurred at one of the grounds in your juristriction?

Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom: Well it is an incident we will pursue vigorously and there must be a prosecution.

Me: So what would Ben Thatcher be charged with?

Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom: Nothing, Mr Thatcher is a Welsh international and Mr Mendes's possible Taffophobia is the root cause of the problem.

Me: But you have no evidence of anti-Welsh sentiment.

Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom: Never stopped us before. It is also important to remember that Mr Mendes's ambulance was racing through the streets of Manchester at speeds of up to 22 mph, the man is a menace.

Northern Ireland.

Me: What would the PSNI do if the assault had occurred at one of the grounds in your juristriction?

Chief Constable Hugh Orde: What assault, there is no conclusive evidence that Ben Thatcher committed any assault, whilst there maybe isolated incidents there is no reason to believe that he is in any way something other than an honest man whom we would be delighted to see in our police force.
London.

Me: What would the Met do if the assault had occurred at one of the grounds in your juristriction?

Cressida Dick: Naturally our first action would be to go in with a Swat team and shoot Sylvain Distin, the Manchester City defender ,in the head 6 times.

Me: That's insane! Why would you shoot a completely innocent bystander?

Cressida Dick: His behaviour was suspicious and he was wearing bulky clothing.that could conceal a bomb belt.

Me: Does Ian Blair agree with this policy?

Ian Blair: It's a damning indictment of media racism that the press gloss over this assault on a black gay man whilst focusing tediously on silly season fluff like the Soham murders.

Me: Neither of the footballers involved were black or gay.

Ian Blair: Oh right. There is actually very little chance of being attacked on a football field, it is the fear of being attacked that creates the problem. People hark back to a golden age where no one ever got hurt by a flying elbow, but this simply isn't the case I'm afraid.