Tuesday, February 27, 2007


The UN ICJ tribunal into Srebrenica have rather curiously cleared Serbia of responsibility for the crime. In theory the verdict that Serbian forces armed, supported and participated in some of the killings should be pretty damning, but no one would be a Srebrenica denier if they respected facts, so the likes of John Laughland are spinning as a vindication which it certainly is not. I was going to use this as another opportunity to criticise the buffoons at Israpundit (as someone who is sympathetic to Israel I find it embarrassing that they choose to identify with Israel), but is there really any point in responding to people, Ted Belman in this instance, who are so utterly ignorant they don't even know that Srebrenica is in Bosnia not Kosovo
.So the Court determined that the intent to destroy a substantial part of the group is required and for this purpose the “group” can be limited to a certain area. Thus the Court had to decide if Serbia intended to destroy Kosovo Muslims by killing part of the group at Srebrenica.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Whose Human Rights?

The problem with the current approach by the Human Rights industry is that when one persons best interest is designated a 'right' it automatically trumps the conflicting interests of everybody else. Take the objection by Amnesty UK to the imminent deportation of Abu Qatada, frequently described as Al Qaida's spritual leader in Europe, to Jordan. Amnesty* are complaining that Jordan practices torture and cannot be trusted to keep their agreement not to torture Qatada, who has been convicted of terrorism offences in the country.

This is a reasonable enough point on the face of it, however one important aspect which Amnesty gloss over is that Qatada was given refugee status in the UK, he returned the favour by denouncing the West and giving inflammatory sermons praising martyrdom, his sermons are known to have been listened to by several known terrorists. So what Amnesty are demanding is that we must provide sanctuary to people who are our sworn enemies and that they have absolutely no obligations in return. In short they are putting his right not to be tortured above everybody else's right not to have to provide a safe haven to someone who seeks to endanger their lives, what Amnesty are demanding is that we sign a suicide pact.

* Not that Amnesty genuinely disapprove of torture, at least not all torture.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Olympic Costs Spiral, Sun Rises In The East.

When even the Kenyan and Somali press consider the UK's wastefulness worthy of comment you know that we have a disaster on our hands. London 2012 would have been a mistake even if it was likely that we would build it on time, the principle justification used by the advocates is that the Games will be used for urban regeneration. This argument is nonsensical, if east London needed improved transport links what was stopping the work being done before now?

Since when does an area regenerate by evicting hundreds of small businesses employing thousands of people and replacing them with large sports facilities like an athletics stadium, an aquatic centre and a velodrome which will lie unused for most of the year and even when they do get dusted down they will never be filled to capacity again once the games finish? When Ken Livingstone is in charge I guess. American sports economists such as Andrew Zimbalist have looked into the claimed economic benefits of publicly subsidised baseball stadiums in the US and found that the benefits seldom if ever materialise, this is despite the fact that Major League Baseball grounds are full close to capacity 80 to 100 times a year, which is around 80 to 100 times more often than the Olympic stadium will be.

Still it isn't as if the government could have predicted that this Grand Project would be a disaster after all their experiences with the Millenium Dome, Wembley, the Scottish Parliament building, the Royal Opera House, Sadlers Wells and Picketts Lock had been so positive.

On a vaguely related note check out the Field of Schemes blog which documents the efforts of American sports oligarchs to extort publicly funded stadiums for their teams.

See also Foreign Dispatches on this subject, this post is basically an extension of my comments over there.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Community Leaders To The Rescue.

As you may see from my profile on the right I am now a designated Community Leader. Who voted for me you ask? No one, I'm a community leader whether the community likes it or not. My decision has been inspired by the government's reaction to the shootings in south east London:
Police chiefs, community leaders and politicians have been meeting in London to discuss ways of combating gun crime in the UK
Gosh I wonder what the community leaders will recommend.
"Specific measures" were needed for a "specific number of families who are just outside the mainstream", he said.

Tony Blair was speaking after a No 10 gun crime summit at which plans were outlined for tougher punishments and more funding for community groups.
Who saw that coming? These same community leaders, in reality race baiting parasites like Lee Jaspar, have been forcing the police to withdraw from policing ethnic minorities for quarter of a century and now throw up their hands in mock horror when a spate of murders breaks out between black gangs. Steve at Pub Philosopher has a post which is well worth reading on this subject.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Left Wing Rebels & Right Wing Death Squads

Colombia's new Foreign Minister, Fernando Araujo, is a man whom until he escaped a couple of months ago had been held hostage for six years by the FARC terrorist group. His predecessor, Maria Consuelo Araujo, had to resign because members of her family had been arrested for contacts with rival terror groups. The BBC World Service report hawever reported that whilst Fernando Araujo had been kidnapped by left wing rebels, Maria Araujo had been linked to right wing death squads. The BBC's famous love of euphemisms when referring to terrorists as insurgents, rebels or militants apparantly has some limits. Why is it though that the one group whom the BBC does not wish to sugar coat is the one group who don't proclaim their loathing of the West?

It says something about what a good President Uribe is that he is willing to allow the investigation of his political allies in his determination to defeat all terrorism, rather stupidly a half witted US Senator by the name of Patrick Leahy was threatening to restrict American aid to Colombia because of the scandal, which sends out a message to all recipients of US donations- Cover up your scandals at any cost or you will be screwed.

Monday, February 19, 2007

God Almighty.

Above is an image of Vanuatu natives worshipping the great god Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. The Telegraph reports that:
the villagers — all of whom are illiterate — only learnt recently that his birthday falls on June 10.

Ambitious plans are now underway to celebrate the occasion this year. There will be dancing and a feast. Chief Jack Naiva has acquired an immaculate Union flag, which will be run up a flagpole and saluted.

But the celebrations will only really be complete if Prince Philip himself turns up, say the tribes people.

"You must tell King Philip that I'm getting old and I want him to come and visit me before I die," said the white-haired chief, who thinks he is about 80. "If he can't come perhaps he could send us something: a Land Rover, bags of rice or a little money."
For illiterate tribespeople they seem rather canny, trying to persuade their god to give them a Land Rover. Mind you Vanuatu is the home of rather mercenary cargo cults so I suppose this isn't a surprise although if it does work then I shall give thanks to my lord and saviour Bill Gates.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Enlightened Liberals In Action.

One of the reasons for the somewhat self deprecating blog title which I have chosen is because deep down I know that my right wing views are simply the product of my lack of sensitivity and progessive thought. Frankly reactionary knuckle draggers like myself could never aspire to the sophisticated debates that occur on sites such as Crooked Timber, for example this week the great minds at Britain's premier left wing academic blog are debating whether it is okay to respond to disagreements with asian women by clogging up comment boxes with stuff like 'You love me long time' 'sucky sucky' and 'Me so horny!'.

Next week on Crooked Timber- Is it okay to throw bananas at black conservatives and burn crosses on their lawns?

Left Wing Humour.

Q. How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb.
A. That's not funny!

The cliche of the humourless left has been around for so long that I had simply assumed that most of the left were at least aware of the tendancy even if they themselves did not share it. It appears that this is not the case because according to Stephanie Merritt: 'conservatives and satire just don't go'. So presumably PJ O'Rourke, South Park, Evelyn Waugh, Craig Brown, Mark Steyn, Scrappleface, Blamebush, the Modern Parents etc are figments of my imagination. Whilst the Guardian does have columnists who are hilarious it is usually unintentional.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Party Funding.

Party Funding.- Back in October I predicted that the party funding review had been set up with the sole purpose of letting the political parties take public money whilst pretending it is not their idea but an independent commitee's idea. Sadly I was right.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Quack Quashed.

This superb takedown of pretend doctor Gillian McKeith, by Ben Goldacre, has been justifiably receiving a lot of praise. Her obsession with faeces is disturbing as is her bullying of critics through litigation. I was once going to send her something to express my low opinion of her but then I realised that she is the only woman on the planet who would regard a turd in the post as fanmail.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Nutters & Liars Part Two.

This post is a continuation of the previous post.

Lie #2
There was no massacre of Bosniak Men & Boys at Srebronica.

This is one of the most preposterous claims made at Israpundit, one example of the denial will suffice although I could provide further examples if required:
But it is the word “Srebrenica” that represents the most villainous use of this word “Massacre”. There, indeed, there was a ***real massacre, but it happened in the years before the Serbs retook Srebrenica, when thousands of the simplest and most innocent of rural Serbian folk were systematically liquidated, usually at night under cover of darkness, by the Islamofascists in that area. This was ignored by the Media and took place under the noses of the UN “peace” keeping taskforce.

Meanwhile, though, the truth about the Srebrenica Massacre that was pinned on the Serbs was that it did not happen, and not a shred of proof has been produced by Albright and co that it did happen.
Unsurprisingly every factual claim made in that passage is untrue. Evidence for the atrocity at Srebrenica includes:

Testimonies From Survivors.

The testimony of a man who miraculously survived the mass executions that followed the fall of Srebrenica was heard this week in tribunal’s biggest-ever case.Mevludin Oric is believed to be one of only 12 men to have escaped the July 1995 slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys, carried out by Bosnian Serb forces soon after they overran the enclave.He said he had stayed alive only because he hid under a pile of dead bodies for hours before fleeing the execution site.
According to Israpundit, Oric must have made this up, and the people he accuses are actually heroes.

There Are Confessions By The Perpetrators.

These are even more damning than survivor testimonies, if you follow the Israpundit line then it must be difficult to explain why men like Momir Nikolic would confess to crimes they did not commit.

Some of the mass graves have been discovered.

No doubt there is a perfectly reasonable explanation why thousands of bodies or body parts have been found in the vicinity of Srebrenica.

The Serbian government admits it!

The Dutch Government Resigned Over Their Soldier's Failiure To Intervene.

Genocide deniers like those at Israpundit point to a Western conspiracy, but why would a government conspire to bring themselves down?

Some Of The Killings Were Captured On Film.

The video shows men wearing camouflaged uniforms executing a number of young men, two of which were identified this week by their families as missing after the fall of Srebrenica. Four appear to be minors, two in their Thirties.

The tape, which carries no visible time or date, begins with the alleged Serbian paramilitary unit members leading the six captives from a lorry through a wooded area to a place of execution, prodding them like cattle.

The Muslims walk calmly, with their hands tied, their eyes on the ground, looking subdued. The paramilitaries then tell their captives to stop, position them for execution and then shoot them point blank, killing four.

Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunica – for a long time staunch opponent of the tribunal – appeared on a press conference in Belgrade on June 2 together with the Hague chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte to announce the arrests, which came after the tape had been aired in Serbia.
Deniers of the Srebrenica massacre have somewhat less in the way of evidence. Indeed their primary source for there claims appears to be the website Emperors Clothes, and its sister site. Unsurprisingly this is not the only conspiracy those two websites peddle (it never is), the editor Jared Israel is also a keen 9/11 truther! Still the truthers look comparatively sane next to the Srebrenica liars at Emperors Clothes who claim, and I swear that I'm not making this up, that what really happened at Srebrenica was that the Muslim population was transported to places like Ireland and Australia by the Red Cross to make it look as if a massacre had occurred, in order for Nato to have a cause to attack Serbia.
It seems as though the Red Cross, the UNHCR, and a host of "western" governments around the world were engaged in hiding the fact that these men were not massacred.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nutters & Liars.

Oliver Kamm has been writing recently about his encounter with the commentators of Israpundit, many of whom are, to put it kindly, people whom nursey hasn't dosed up fully.

To put it less kindly they are ill informed, paranoid conspiracy theorists who have developed a counter factual fantasy about the wars in the former Yugoslavia in which the principle perpetrators of genocide and ethnic cleansing, particulary the Bosnian Serb army and to a lesser extent the Belgrade government, are portrayed as innocent victims who were caught up in islamist plots to turn Bosnia into an Islamic state. The victims of the genocide are dismissed as either non existant or as having brought their fate upon themselves.

Having once had an unproductive discussion with one Israpundit contributer (Felix Quigley, on another blog), in the wake of Slobadon Milosevic's death last year, I feel obliged to warn Oliver Kamm that things like facts, evidence or logic will be of little use if he is planning on changing the minds of the hardcore genocide deniers but as I am at a loose end I shall take some time to nail a few of the more obvious lies spread by Israpundit's contributers.

Lie #1.
President Alija Izetbegovic Was An Islamofascist.

This is a claim that has been made frequently by various Israpundit contributers. One frequently cited out of context quote (or often a misquote) of Izetbegovic's recurs repeatedly:
there is no peace between the islamic faith and non islamic social and political institutions.
This was from a book he wrote in the 1960s called the 'islamic declaration', which as Noel Malcolm explains in 'Bosnia- A Short History' was specifically referring to countries where an absolute majority of practisin muslims existed, it plainly could not apply to Bosnia wher only 43% of the population were even nominally islamic and of those, according to a 1985 survey, only 17% actually practiced the religion. So only 7% of the total Bosnian population were practicing muslims. As someone who does not not like what Islam itself very much, I must say the vision Izetbegovic wanted, in the 1960s, for islamic societies does not appeal to me at all but he clearly did not think it could be imposed on a society by force and Bosnia was a non starter as Islam was not widely practiced in any case. He explicitly rejects the creation of such a state by physical force.

By the 1980s the views Izetbegovic was expressing was even further removed from those held by islamist extremists, explicitly praising Christianity as a 'near union of supreme religion and supreme ethics' and praising Anglo American culture and philosophy, in a time where the USA was being regularly denounced as the Great Satan in Iran.

Ironically given the fondness of Israpundit for the epiphat 'islamofascist', the man who coined the word, Stephen Schwartz, is an unabashed admirer of Izetbegovic, who during the 1990s was being even more explicit in his condemnation of the islamic chauvinism of the Wahabbis and ayatollahs, telling an islamic meeting in Iran that:
The West is neither corrupted nor degenerate. It is strong, well educated, and organized. Their schools are better than ours. Their cities are cleaner than ours. The level of respect for human rights in the West is higher, and the care for the poor and less capable is better organized. Westerners are usually responsible and accurate in their words. Instead of hating the West, let us proclaim cooperation instead of confrontation
Is it even imaginable that the genuine breeds of islamofascism in Saudi Arabia or Iran could utter such words? It would be unthinkable.

The other claim about Izetbegovic is that he recruited for the SS during WW2, this is based on essentially no evidence whatsoever, so I shall not spend any time refuting it, but suffice to say if the people who make the claim had any evidence I am sure it would have been produced long ago.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

They Luvvie Subsidies.

Stephen Frears recalls meeting him soon after [Gordon Brown] had announced a big increase in money for films. "Do you know what you've done?'' the movie man asked. "Created a rush of absolutely terrible British films?'' the benefactor replied, laughing.
As a basic point of principle I dislike the idea of tax payers being forced to subsidise any industry, when it is something as ephemeral as the film industry this is compounded. The usual argument that it is needed to popularise British culture is undermined by the facts that (a) most of the films are by people who hate Britain, such as Ken Loach. (b) Very few of them get noticed by anyone outside of Britain, and (c) Hollywood executives are willing to spend vast amounts of money propagating British cultural achievements anyway, see Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter films for example.

Which brings me on to the discovery that the Department of Culture Media and Sport announced new guidelines to which films are sufficiently British (pdf) for the producers to suckle at the public teat. If the film ticks enough boxes like having a 'Audio Post Product' or a British 'Principle Hair or Make Up Artist' it gets public money. Quite how Britain benefits from this is unclear. Perhaps it is from the artistic joys of such subsidised classics as er... um..... well that's not the point.

PS- is there a list available online of all films which have received subsidies from the British Government in recent years.

Millie Tant Blogs.

Millie Tant is Viz's resident man hating, logic averse feminist. She may seem to be a rather far fetched caricature but reading Squander 2's encounter with a feminist blog, Pandagon, ought to be enough to realise that Millie lives. Finding an idiot on the internet is hardly a great feat but this lunatic isn't a crazy fringe figure within the American left, she is the official blogger of the John Edwards presidential campaign!

Michelle Malkin is highlighting some of Amanda Marcotte's (the woman who writes the Pandagon blog) craziest statements in an attempt to shame John Edwards. However Malkin appears to be unaware that John Edwards cannot be embarrassed, he has an almost sociopathic lack of shame. This is a man who in the 2004 presidential election claimed that when "John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again", this is a man who once stood before a jury and pretended to channel an unborn baby!

Of course Edwards's fetus channelling might embarrass Ms Marcotte into ditching the former Senator, seeing as she and most of her commentators believe that anyone suggesting that a fetus is more than an insentient blob is a knuckle dragging misogynist.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Liberal Slavery.

The Independent's second worst columnist, Johann Hari, makes a "liberal case for the draft". Now I realise that 'liberal' in the USA means 'far left wacko' but in the UK arguing for a liberal case to force people to do what they have no wish to do is bizarre. The two blogs through which I came across this article, the genuinely liberal 'Stumbling & Mumbling', by Chris Dillow and the 'Conservative Party Reptile' both highlight different areas of stupidity.

Hari's astounding rhetorical question 'Would I have (stupidly) supported the war if there was a chance I would have ended up patrolling Basra with a machine-gun?' prompts this response by Dillow:
If you have so little imagination that you're incapable of sympathizing with people, you've no right whatsoever to take views that affect them - especially when the effect extends to killing them. Hey, even I can do this - and I'm borderline Asperger's.
I suspect Johann might have blurted out a pathology of our chattering and ruling classes here. Could it be that these regard real people - soldiers, Iraqis - not as living beings with interests and desires but as mere pawns to be manipulating by their whims?
Oddly enough he seems to have noticed an aspect of Hari's writing that Dumbjon describes as 'Liberal Tourettes' (Jon uses 'liberal' like Hari but hey) which involves obliviously stating out loud what most of his contempories keep quiet about. Party Reptile however focuses on Hari's claim that 'The people fighting the war are overwhelmingly black, brown or poor. Most of us are not.' This is untrue, in the British army only around 1% of personel are from ethnic minorites, so conscription would put more 'black and brown' people in the army. In the USA non hispanic whites make up around 66% of the army and 68% of the Marine Corps. The general population is 69% non hispanic white. These figures took me less than one minute so there are two alternative explanations for Hari's error he either lied or decided that the accuracy of what he writes does not matter in the slightest.