Australian Leftist governments plan to stop cow farts!

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The success of the Labor states' proposed carbon emissions trading scheme may hinge on stopping cows breaking wind. A joint discussion paper released by the states says agricultural emissions must be cut by 60 per cent and part of the solution is reducing flatulence in cows. Livestock produces more than 60 million tonnes of methane gas annually - the equivalent of 10 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. The discussion paper was released this month to support the case for a state-based carbon emissions trading scheme.

Prime Minister John Howard has attacked the idea and Premier Peter Beattie, although supportive, is concerned about the impact of the proposed scheme on Queensland's coal industry. The paper says agricultural emissions of methane and nitrous oxide are a particular concern. "In order to achieve around a 60 per cent reduction in emissions by the middle of this century, agricultural emissions would need to be addressed at some point," it said. "Achieving emissions reductions in agriculture will require a significant research and development effort."

Reducing flatulence in cows is identified as one of the most promising research areas. In particular, it points to "preliminary rumen ecology" research being undertaken in Queensland. Scientists at the Department of Primary Industries are working on three projects. These include investigating whether bacteria found in the gut of kangaroos - which emit very little methane - could be used to reduce emissions from cattle and sheep.

Principal scientist Athol Klieve yesterday said three different types of bacteria had been isolated. "We have been looking at them in a fermentation apparatus . . . to see how well they can colonise, and see if they can reduce methane," he said. "There are promising indications that if we can work out a bit better the requirements they need to be able to persist in the rumen, they will be able to reduce methane emissions." Dr Klieve said the other two projects involved putting coconut oil and cotton seed in cattle feed. "It is known a lot of these liquid-based feed materials do reduce methane emissions," he said.

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Ahmadi-Nejad Kisses German Butt

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Unless you're reading Darleen's Place or Dr. Sanity and a select few other sources of important information, you probably haven't heard about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad's recent letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. That's okay, I understand that there are far more critical events taking place in the world.

Let me break it down for you.

Ahmadi-Nejad tried to kiss up to the German Chancellor with an appeal to her religious convictions (Chancellor Merkel, unlike 49% of her countrymen and women, believes in God); flattery over Germany's achievements in the arts and sciences; and by patronizing her as a woman with a woman's unique gifts.

The purpose of the letter? To enlist Germany as an ally against the evil U.S.-Zionist worldwide conspiracy. You don't have to read between the lines to realize that Ahmadi-Nejad's impression of the German zeitgeist was probably formed by a close reading of Mein Kampf. He still thinks they're Nazis at heart, and therefore potential friends of Islamofascism.

If you take the middle third of the rambling missive (containing the most anti-semitic passages) and replace the universally accepted euphemism "zionist" with the word he really meant, "jew," it looks like the letter could have been written by Adolf himself.
Sixty years have passed since the end of the war. But, regrettably the entire world and some nations in particular are still facing its consequences. Even now the conduct of some bullying powers and power-seeking and aggressive groups is the conduct of victors with the vanquished.

The extortion and blackmail continue, and people are not allowed to think about or even question the source of this extortion, otherwise they face imprisonment. When will this situation end? Sixty years, one hundred years or one thousand years, when? I am sorry to remind you that today the perpetual claimants against the great people of Germany are the bullying powers and the
[jew]s that founded the Al-Qods Occupying Regime [i.e. Israel] with the force of bayonets in the Middle East.

The Honorable Chancellor

I have no intention of arguing about the Holocaust. But, does it not stand to reason that some victorious countries of World War II intended to create an alibi on the basis of which they could continue keeping the defeated nations of World War II indebted to them. Their purpose has been to weaken their morale and their inspiration in order to obstruct their progress and power. In addition to the people of Germany, the peoples of the Middle East have also borne the brunt of the Holocaust. By raising the necessity of settling the survivors of the Holocaust in the land of Palestine, they have created a permanent threat in the Middle East in order to rob the people of the region of the opportunities to achieve progress. The collective conscience of the world is indignant over the daily atrocities by the
[jew] occupiers, destruction of homes and farms, killing of children, assassinations and bombardments.

Excellency, you have seen that the
[jew] government does not even tolerate a government elected by the Palestinian people, and over and over again has demonstrated that it recognizes no limit in attacking the neighboring countries.

The question is why did the victors of the war, especially England that had apparently such a strong sense of responsibility toward the survivors of the Holocaust not allow them to settle in their territory. Why did they force them to migrate to other people's land by launching a wave of anti-Semitism? Using the excuse for the settlement of the survivors of the Holocaust, they encouraged the Jews worldwide to migrate and today a large part of the inhabitants of the occupied territories are non-European Jews. If tyranny and killing is condemned in one part of the world, can we acquiesce and go along with tyranny, killing, occupation and assassinations in another part of the world simply in order to redress the past wrongs?

Excellency

We need to ask ourselves that for what purposes the millions of dollars that the
[jew]s receive from the treasury of some Western countries are spent for. Are they used for the promotion of peace and the well-being of the people? Or are they used for waging war against Palestinians and the neighboring countries. Are the nuclear arsenals of Israel intended to be used in defense of the survivors of the Holocaust or as a permanent thereat against nations of the region and as an instrument of coercion, and possibly to defend the interests of certain circles of power in the Western countries.

Regrettably, the influence of the
[jew]s in the economy, media and some centers of political power has endangered interests of the European nations and has robbed them of many opportunities. The main alibi for this approach is the extortion they exact from the Holocaust.

One can imagine what standing some European countries could have had and what global role they could have played, if it had not been for this sixty-year old imposition.

I believe we both share the view that the flourishing of nations and their role are directly related to freedom and sense of pride.

Fortunately, with all the pressures and limitations, the great nation of Germany has been able to take great strides toward advancement and has become a major economic powerhouse in Europe that also seeks to play a more effective role in international interactions. But just imagine where Germany would be today in terms of its eminence among the freedom-loving nations, Muslims of the world and peoples of Europe, if such a situation did not exist and the governments in power in Germany had said no to the extortions by the
[jew]s and had not supported the greatest enemy of mankind.
"The greatest enemy of mankind." That is just scary.

The man is so clueless about the progress of history, that he actually believes he can win Germany to his side by appealing to a wounded national pride that he imagines the Germans still feel. Germany has changed since 1945, not always for the better. But if it retains any nationalistic tendencies, it's people like Ahmadi-Nejad who need to worry. No, if Germany ends up aligning itself with Iran, it will be the pacifists and appeasers who'll be responsible for that decision.

I recommend reading the entire letter. Ahmadi-Nejad tries so hard to sound worldly and intellectual, but he just comes off as a poseur trying too hard to make friends. He and Hugo Chavez could form their own Axis of Smarmy.

United 93

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Did any of our Australian readers watch it? I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t even know it was playing, after reading a review of it a while back, no not the review by some condescending critic from an ivory tower somewhere, I prefer the no-nonsense reviewers over at the asylum. I made a mental note to watch it, hoping to be reminded by an ad or two as the release date drew near in Australia.

But not a word from anyone, perhaps I missed them, I happened to hear a talkback radio listener who watched it a day or two ago, that’s how I found out. So I looked it up at the local theatre and watched it on Tuesday night. I gritted my teeth through the ads that we are now forced to watch, after PAYING to watch a movie, knowing it is nothing compared to the sacrifice we were about to witness.

After much thought about the movie, I came to the realisation that it didn’t matter how the movie was, not that it was a bad movie, rather it was about the passengers of United 93 or as written elsewhere in this blog, the first soldiers in the Great War on Terror.

Let me come back to them. When so many were butchered on 9/11, I didn’t know much about America, even less about Islamic terror and probably wouldn’t have known where Australia was on the map, just somewhere down south.

I remember, at the time, hearing some commentator in America talking about reaching out and “understanding why they hate us so much”, something about dialogue and I can’t remember what else. Then I heard the stories of people jumping out of the twin towers and saw the footage of the planes, the firemen going up the stairs to certain death and the last words from the victims and I knew something wasn’t right.

When I came to Australia, I saw the protestors, the hand wringing, the accusations, the illegal war, I heard of the racist white folk, dictatorships, oil, vote rigging, genocide, SUVs, ruining of the planet and I wondered if I had made a mistake.

So I did some looking and did a bit of reading and wondered, are they blind, do they not see? You see, I do not have the blood of Anzacs running through my veins, my ancestors did not fight in Normandy or Berlin, they did not fall in Iwo Jima or Sandakan, and they did not go down swinging at Pearl Harbour or on a lone mountain top in Italy or a plain in France. They did not have to contain their rage as they kicked down the gates to the concentration camps. They did not have to fight tooth and nail in a plantation in Vietnam, they did not have to go home and tell loved ones that, their fathers, their sons, their husbands will not return. They did not have to hold it together as they received a wrapped up flag with the words, “on behalf of a grateful nation”.

So, to me, one who has not been forced to learn the bitter lessons of history, I am bewildered by some westerners today, who take their freedom for granted. Are you blind, do you not see, are you mad. Did your ancestors spill their blood for you to be ‘impartial’, did they fight so you can consider the rights of your enemy, did they fight so your enemy can plot in private, did they fight for your flag, so you can spit on that flag, burn that flag or replace it with the white flag?

I laughed this morning, when I thought about the movie, it wasn’t something in the movie, but the trailer of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth that they played prior to the movie, how Global warming is more of a threat than Terrorism, what else can you do but laugh at it. If you love your planet.. If you love your children.. How appropriate that they show United 93 immediately after this.

Coming back to the passengers on United 93, they give me hope in the other westerners. Their ancestors can take pride in their descendants; you may rest easy as your blood runs strong through their veins. Those of us who came to these lands and enjoy the fruits of your sacrifice cannot fathom the price you paid; I can only hope that one day we will have the courage to take up our places next to your sons and daughters to preserve your legacy.

It would be wise for the enemy to take heed of this. As we saw, when the hijackers took control of the plane, screaming and murdering in name of their God, the passengers recoiled and retreated, much like the way we do when confronted by videos of beheadings and the barbarity displayed by the enemy.

But when they realised they were being used on a suicide mission and there was no compromise and more would die for a wicked cause, they wiped away their tears, remembered an old prayer and found their God. They knew what must be done, they knew that evil had taken control and had changed the course of their destiny; they called their loved ones and said their farewells. They stood up, with courage and honour, they threw caution and fear to the wind, they charged into the valley, burdened with the shadow of death and they roared into the face of evil.

Serious flaws in the latest big obesity study

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The latest study of "obesity" has received what appears to be totally uncritical mention in the press so I think it is time I pointed out just some of the glaring problems with it. For starters, however, I reproduce the original journal abstract below:

Overweight, Obesity, and Mortality in a Large Prospective Cohort of Persons 50 to 71 Years Old

By Kenneth F. Adams et al.

Background: Obesity, defined by a body-mass index (BMI) (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) of 30.0 or more, is associated with an increased risk of death, but the relation between overweight (a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9) and the risk of death has been questioned.

Methods: We prospectively examined BMI in relation to the risk of death from any cause in 527,265 U.S. men and women in the National Institutes of Health-AARP cohort who were 50 to 71 years old at enrollment in 1995-1996. BMI was calculated from self-reported weight and height. Relative risks and 95 percent confidence intervals were adjusted for age, race or ethnic group, level of education, smoking status, physical activity, and alcohol intake. We also conducted alternative analyses to address potential biases related to preexisting chronic disease and smoking status.

Results: During a maximum follow-up of 10 years through 2005, 61,317 participants (42,173 men and 19,144 women) died. Initial analyses showed an increased risk of death for the highest and lowest categories of BMI among both men and women, in all racial or ethnic groups, and at all ages. When the analysis was restricted to healthy people who had never smoked, the risk of death was associated with both overweight and obesity among men and women. In analyses of BMI during midlife (age of 50 years) among those who had never smoked, the associations became stronger, with the risk of death increasing by 20 to 40 percent among overweight persons and by two to at least three times among obese persons; the risk of death among underweight persons was attenuated.

Conclusions: Excess body weight during midlife, including overweight, is associated with an increased risk of death.


1). What most glaringly identifies the sample concerned as not a random one is of course the percentage of women. A random sample would comprise about 50% women but there were actually twice as many men as women in this sample. So the population to which the findings may be generalized is essentially unknown, though a guess that it is a population who were worried about their health would probably not be too far astray.

2). The results were "adjusted" for physical inactivity. That is entirely inappropriate. Overweight people undoubtedly exercise less so the adjustment in effect creates an artificial population with no relevance to the real world. It is also possible that the adjustment for alcohol intake was inappropriate.

3). The overall results were, as usual, that people of middling weight lived longest. It was only in selected subsets of the sample that people of middling weight died somewhat younger. It is those subsets, however, that have attracted most media attention. If it were my practice in my own research to generalize from arbitrary subgroups of non-samples, I could prove anything too.

4). BMI is now in any case a rather contentious index of "obesity", for the amusing reason that in some populations it shows that overweight people live longer, as indeed it did in the present study.

5). The article looks at obesity at only one point in the lifespan. Weight tends to increase unevenly with age so that some people become overweight in later life who were not previously so. So what is true of those who are overweight in later life may not at all be true of (say) childhood obesity, and vice versa. This is a lacuna rather than a flaw in the study but it is yet another reason why the results of the study should not be generalized.

Since the conclusion given in the journal abstract is wildly inappropriate to the data, however, the media can hardly be blamed for their dramatizations, for once. It would seem that the prestigious academic journal -- NEJM -- in which the study appeared has gone the way of the BMJ in becoming a largely politically correct organ.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

A visitor's report on Cuba

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Two years ago, I was given what quickly became an awful assignment. I was told to visit Cuba. Oh sure, like everybody I thought: dark rum, hot nights, fat cigars, the rumba. The reality was very different. Cuba was wretched. Every day the photographer and I encountered distressing scenes of women, children and ageing Cubans living in terrible poverty....

Elsewhere, we found barefoot children searching through rubbish bins for food. There is a large black population in Cuba - many of them are descendants of sugar-cane cutters - and there were many blacks among the beggars. Women with babies at the breast tugged at our clothes, begging for pennies. In the Western-style bars, beautiful Cuban girls hung off the arms of Western men.

We drove into the countryside and found people living with open sewers and dirt floors, with no food, no coffee, no rum, no pork, no music, none of the things a Cuban needs to thrive. Castro's revolution - free food, free education, free health care for all - was a sad, sorry joke. The classrooms were decrepit, the school books so old as to be useless. Store shelves were empty. It was a police state, too. Nobody would speak ill of Castro (if they did, it was quietly, with a pale, strained face and a furtive glance over the shoulder).

We visited the homes of dissidents and heard that librarians, poets and free-marketeers - good, friendly people - had been taken to prison, some of them sentenced to 20 years or more in a cell no larger than a toilet block, forced to walk around and around in circles, 400km from home in a nation where it's impossible to visit anybody unless you hitch a ride in the back of a creaking, humpbacked truck known as a "camel", made in eastern Europe and liable to break down in the Cuban heat.

It was a terrible shock because, like many people, I'd believed the hype about Cuba: that it was a socialist paradise; that Castro was a visionary leader; that the Cuban people were happy communists. In fact, Castro is a gutless dictator who has never been brave enough to hold a presidential election. Yet across the West he continues to be celebrated as some grand, visionary leader, instead of being derided as a lunatic on his last legs.

More here

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

A pretty good speech about the media and Israel from Australia's foreign minister

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Excerpt from a speech given 28 August by Alexander Downer

From our own public diplomacy strategies, I now want to talk about how the media's own reporting of issues can affect Australia's interests and the responsibilities of the media. The first dimension to this issue is how Australians get their news about overseas events. On the whole, we get a good standard of writing on many of the key topics that shape our international relations, including developments in the US, UK and Europe and with our Asian neighbours. However, I have to say I have been disappointed with some of the recent reporting out of the Middle East, which I believe has brought discredit upon the Western media.

Let's not dwell on the shock-horror headlines surrounding the Australian Government's efforts to evacuate more than 5000 Australian nationals out of a war zone. I think it is widely accepted today that the early assertions that the Government and its diplomats were too slow to react were ill-founded, not to say grossly unfair, to many of my officials who worked under extremely arduous and gruelling conditions to get all Australians who wanted to leave out of Lebanon.

What concerns me greatly is the evidence of dishonesty in the reporting out of Lebanon. For example, a Reuters photographer was forced to resign after doctoring images to exaggerate the impact of Israeli air attacks. There were the widely-reported claims that Israel had bombed deliberately a Red Cross ambulance. In subsequent weeks, the world has discovered those allegations do not stand up to even the most rudimentary scrutiny. After closer study of the images of the damage to the ambulance, it is beyond serious dispute that this episode has all the makings of a hoax. Yet some of the world's most prestigious media outlets, including some of those represented here today, ran that story as fact - unchallenged, unquestioned.

Similarly, there has been the tendency to report every casualty on the Lebanese side of the conflict as if a civilian casualty, when it was indisputable that a great many of those injured or killed in Israeli offensives were armed Hezbollah combatants.

My point is this: in a grown-up society such as our own, the media cannot expect to get away with parading falsehoods as truths, or ignoring salient facts because they happen to be inconvenient to the line of argument - or narrative - that particular journalists, or media organisations, might choose to adopt on any given controversy or issue.

This is not just a politician complaining. The public is onto this. Your readers and viewers are not fools. They talk about these things in pubs and clubs. And I would venture to say that these lapses in accuracy, the distortion of images and the failure to report the straight facts, has made it that much harder a job for the Western media to restore its credibility in the public mind.

Sixty five per cent of the department's 10,000 annual media enquiries with the media relate to consular issues. And while I can understand the demands on journalists and editors to get the story, I also make no apology for the fact that my first responsibility is a consular responsibility for the Australians affected. We run a consular service, not a media service. And we have privacy concerns that must be respected. What we can do sometimes is help the process by working with the family to get a statement or a well-chosen photo that can be used in the press, while at the same time ensuring that they are afforded the decency and respect we all deserve in times of crisis.

Foreign policy is a complex area and it's important to Australia that the media get the story right, which is mostly the case. To help accuracy, senior Departmental staff last year gave more than 130 background briefings to individual journalists and 20 general media briefings. We can't always give a briefing when we're asked. For example, in the lead-up to sensitive negotiations we can't publicly reveal our hand. But where we can give a briefing, we will. We also make a big effort to ensure that the material on our website is comprehensive and up to date.

And for the sake of clarity, let me reinforce what I've said already, a free media, whatever its shortcomings, is as important to society as the executive, legislature or judiciary. But that freedom comes with responsibilities. Standards of decency and respect for others and self-restraint are clearly important elements for the media to consider. Freedom cannot be unqualified and cannot operate without regard to the effect on others. We see this in restrictions on reporting of matters before the courts, for example.

In my view, the Danish cartoons of last year crossed those boundaries. Now, I absolutely defend the right of publishers to print this material. But publishers also need to be mindful of the implications of their actions. In this case, I think it was unfortunate that the Danish newspaper published these offensive cartoons in the first place. I was glad to see that only one or two Australian papers re-published the cartoons. Of course I utterly condemn the violent reactions to the cartoons.

Conclusion

To conclude my remarks, I'd like to come back to my main point, that the values that underpin a free press also underpin our wider foreign policy. As a free press, you will claim the right to report it as you see it, unsentimentally, even when that might cause problems for the execution of our foreign policy, or for our image abroad. But we who have responsibilities in government also have the right to call it as we see it - and to point out that, even in the most free of societies, the first duty of a responsible media is to get the facts straight, and to get the story right, even when that story might not necessarily conform to your own opinions or prejudices.

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

The Lucky Country

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PEOPLE living in areas of high unemployment will be offered up to $5000 to leave home and take jobs in other parts of the country.

The Federal Government will launch a pilot program before the end of the year, hoping to lure single people with no family connections to the likes of Darwin and Western Australia, where there are chronic skill shortages.

But welfare groups and the Opposition say it must not be a precursor to people being forced to move to take jobs.

The Government believes the most likely work will be in the fishing industry in Darwin, pearling in Broome and agricultural, horticultural, retail and hospitality in regional Western Australia and Queensland.

The Workforce Participation Minister, Sharman Stone, told the Herald it was "not sensible to have lumpy unemployment across Australia where people are keen to work but there's no work … We have got to become innovative and loosen the attachment to place if that place doesn't deliver a job. Quite frankly, the effects of long-term unemployment are very serious and that includes isolation, mental health concerns and intergenerational unemployment."

I also heard on talkback this afternoon, the question, “is $5000 enough?” I am bewildered, are we actually whinging about this? We get paid to have children, we get paid when we are on the dole and now in the lucky country, they’ll pay you to move to find work.

Are we still whinging, if so, let me be the minister and here’s how I’ll deal with someone who can’t find work and still wants to have a whinge.

Me – Listen up Mr/Ms so-and-so, you’ve been struggling to find work for a few years now. I’ll give you $5000 to pack your crap and move out where you can find work.

Whinger – Well you see the thing is $5000 is not really enough, all my family and friends are here, I like the local pub, I always get a warm welcome from the local liquor store and you know its those rich folks who stole all our money and that mean John Howard’s IR legislation that started all this.

Me – Well there are jobs out in WA or NT offering around 40K an annum, if you don’t want that, can you arrange your family, friends and fellow locals to fund your annual salary?

Whinger - That’s not fair on them, they paid their taxes. John Howard must pay for me.

Me – Maybe this is news to you, but did you know all those English and others who came out here, they never got relocation expenses, nobody held their hands and wiped their bums when they came out here, you know they had to leave a lot behind when they left.

Whinger - That’s hundreds of years ago, this leftist told me I deserve the tax payers money, I suffer from low self-esteem, so I don’t really need to work, you owe me. That John Howard..

Me [had enough now] – Ok then, I understand, how about I try and motivate you into moving and finding work?

Whinger – Yeah ok.

Me – How about I write you a cheque for a princely sum of zero dollars and zero cents only, for relocation expenses, I’ll also arrange for a fort-nightly payment of zero dollars and zero cents only, from Centrelink to you forever, unless you move.

Whinger – er..

Me – Alternatively, I can always write you a cheque for 20 Zimbabwean Dollars. Note, a $AU20 currency conversion fee and $AU5 cheque processing fee applies. Lastly a 5 working day waiting period applies for the cheque to clear.

More stupid anti-conservative psychology

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The recent book by John Dean (of Watergate fame), called Conservatives Without Conscience has been a great hit on the Leftist blogs. There is for instance a huge and hugely self-satisfied comment string about it here. The comments there that amused me most were the ones by Leftists saying that they had not actually read the book but still thought it was great. Very Leftist. They KNOW what is right: Evidence is irrelevant.

The book says of course that conservatives are psychologically disturbed and "authoritarian" -- an ongoing leftist theme that goes all the way back to a 1950 book which had as its leading author the Marxist theoretican Theodor Wiesengrund (aka Adorno). The Adorno book was written at a time when most Leftists alive could remember themselves espousing doctrines similar to Hitler's (the prewar American Left was heavily into racism, antisemitism, eugenics, nationalism, homophobia etc.) so, nonsensical though it was, the book was eagerly seized on by the Left of the day as a way of attaching Nazism to conservatives rather than to themselves.

The book has long since been discredited (See e.g. here and here) and one of the most comprehensive demolitions of it was by a curious Canadian psychology professor known as "Bob" Altemeyer. Altemeyer (1981) pointed out in great and convincing detail that the research methods and research results available did not support the claims of the book but he still thought that the theory behind the book was pretty right. So he set out on his own large program of research to find support for at least some parts of the theory.

The central pillar of his research was a new inventory of attitudes -- attitudes which he claimed reflected "Right-wing authoritarianism" (RWA). In a quite hilarious piece of bathos, however, he concluded in one of his later books that: "Right wing authoritarians show little preference in general for any political party" (p. 239 of Enemies of Freedom). In other words, the people Altemeyer's questionnaire identified as "Right-wing authoritarians" were in fact as likely to vote for the Canadian Liberals or the U.S. Democrats as they were likely to vote for Conservatives or Republicans! His "Rightists" were, in other words, often Leftists!

Such a stupid body of work as Altemeyer's claims about conservatism would of course long ago have been consigned to the dustbin of history if reason and logic were what motivated the Left but in fact Altemeyer's work is wildly popular among Leftist social scientists and social commentators -- and the John Dean book relies heavily on it. So if you ever do get around to looking at the Dean book, just remember that everything he says is just as likely to be true of Democrat supporters as GOP voters!

For those interested in a more comprehensive demolition of the Dean book, Peter Thomas has written one. See Liberals Without Logic.

References

Adorno,T.W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E., Levinson, D.J. & Sanford, R.N. (1950). The authoritarian personality. New York: Harper.

Altemeyer, R. (1981). Right-wing authoritarianism. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.

Altemeyer, R. (1988) Enemies of freedom: Understanding Right-wing authoritarianism. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Why the Leftist conspiracy theorists think the 9/11 events were "staged"

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Excerpt from Ace of Spades

The writer of the current conspiracy book gives the game away several times. Here's a telling example:

Why had the FBI failed to put the record straight over the previous four-and-a-half years? One answer is that it suited the heroism legend to keep silent as the Pentagon banged the drum for war in Iraq.


"Heroism legend"? Again, assuming for the purposes of the argument that he's right -- how does this diminish the heroics of the Flight 93 Rebellion whatsoever? In his own mind it diminishes their courage, because he needs physical courage to be denigrated and exposed as futile. His entire worldview depends upon this.

For the rest of us, the planes crashed into the WTC, the Pentagon, and a field in Shaksville, Pensylvania. For the left, the planes crashed into their entire worldview, collapsing it as surely as the Twin Towers were collapsed.

And since then, they've made a determined and relentless effort to substitute in their own preferred narrative, in which the WTC was destroyed in a controlled demolition by the CIA, the Pentagon was simply blown up with an American missile or planted American bombs, and the first soldiers in the Greater War on Terror shouldn't even have bothered, because the Sidewinder missiles were on their way no matter what they did.

What links all these conspiracy theories? The unshakable belief that there is no enemy except the US Government (except, perhaps, for the Mossad), and that heroism, patriotism, and a physical defense of one's country and one's very own life is a doomed venture hardly worth the candle.

Admitting there is an external, implacable, and deadly threat to us strongly implies we need to fight it. But they've decided a priori that fighting is never the correct response.

Ergo, somewhere the syllogism must be flawed. They focus their attention on the premise-- that there is in fact a deadly external threat. That must be demonstrated as incorrect if their preferred conclusion -- pacifism at any price -- is to remain viable.

In their own minds they've rebulit the Towers so they were never destroyed that day, but they now stand on a foundation of magical thinking and a childish retreat into dreamworlds and fantasies.

For some, the choice between adapting one's worldview to the real world or adapting the real world to one's worldview is a fairly easy call.
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Politically correct Play School exploits kids

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Comment from Piers Akerman

It's no exaggeration to say that generations of Australian children and young parents have grown up with the ABC's Play School. Whether it was Big Ted, Little Ted, Noni or Benita, Lorraine, John or Don, viewers of all ages found some character they could identify with over the 40 years of its existence. But the harmless happy-family content has fallen victim to the nauseating politically-correct agenda that drives so much of the ABC's news and current affairs programming on radio and television.

ABC Children's Television head Claire Henderson says Play School owes its success to the fact "we respect the child, we respect the audience. We don't patronise, we don't exploit them, we don't preach to them, we don't talk down to them. We will always have the nursery rhymes and things children know and love, but the program will always be a program for today."

Except it isn't. The show does patronise kids, it does exploit them, it does preach to them, it does talk down to them and it doesn't have the nursery rhymes the children know and love, it has bowdlerised humbug that the ABC's in-house ideologists know and love. Take Play School's recent treatment of the classic nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep, for example, as rendered by Christine Anu and an associate, which began:

"Ba Ba Woolly Sheep/Have you any wool?
Yes, O, Yes, O/Three bags full. One for the jumper/And one for the socks," etc, etc.


You get the drift. Black sheep are out, as probably are diminutive people of the male gender, but the reader who sent this in was so bemused by the attempt to scour any possibly offensive material from the nursery rhyme that she didn't pay attention to the rest of the verses. But if black sheep have been magically erased, it seems likely that words such as "master", "dame" and "sir" have also been banned for fear of upsetting the sensitivities of the ABC's young audience.

This sort of hamfisted attempt to induce culturally anodyne thinking into the minds of youngsters would be laughable were it not of a piece with the efforts of the trade union movement and the ALP to ensure that organised Labor's messages, too, are pushed upon malleable young minds. Having exposed Labor's "real life" cases campaign against the Howard Government's industrial reforms as bogus, The Daily Telegraph can also reveal that the union movement is asking teachers to assist it in wooing school students to its cause with a campaign based on xenophobia and outdated class war materials.

Just as parents should pay more heed to Play School's rewriting of the classics of nursery, it would also pay them to monitor the "factsheets", "case studies" and other resources provided for teachers on Labornet's UnionTeach website. With union membership rapidly eroding, the diehards are trying to staunch the flow and save their jobs by pandering to youthful insecurities with scenarios designed to create fear and insecurity. In a "case study" of "globalisation, redundancy and Australian workers", for example, "Ben", a network administrator in his 50s who has been in the telecommunications industry for the past 20 years is advised by a new manager that all jobs in his team's field are to be declared vacant and staff must reapply for their positions. At the same time there is also an announcement that about "300 jobs in the company are going to be performed from India". The discussion points suggested for the lesson include "What are the advantages and disadvantages of union membership in a call centre?" and "How could the union assist in dealing with workplace conflict?"

Suggested activities include calling the ACTU for a call centre charter on workplace rights and responsibilities, designing a brochure promoting the role and benefits of a union in a call centre, developing a pamphlet or poster showing how to contact call centre unions, and watching a video titled Working it Out: ACTU. In the proposed group activity, the teacher role-plays with the students as the call-centre employer and changes the conditions of work by setting time-limits or quotas on simple tasks, "students complete tasks and teacher pressures them. Conflict is created."

There are laws designed to protect the young and impressionable from perverted adults who target them for sexual abuse. This campaign and the pap served up by the ABC's Play School would suggest that there should be laws protecting them from adults who want to rape them intellectually. The new workplace reforms contain specific protections for young workers, in addition to those which cover employees generally, and concerned parents can contact the Office of the Employment Advocate.

The ALP's media arm, the ABC, is well-known for its ducking and weaving whenever its core ideologies are challenged, from its recent biased Behind the News program on Hezbollah's attacks on Israel, to its four-year refusal to admit that the Palestinian groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah are terrorist organisations. ALP or ABC, it doesn't matter. The exploitation of young people is rife with misinformation, disinformation and blatant untruths and propagandising being foisted on unsuspecting minds. The young must be able to learn without having their minds mortgaged to politically-correct causes by their teachers and agenda-driven institutions.

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Credit where its due

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BLOGGERS HAVE become a critical component of the free world's defense in the current war. During the Hizbullah campaign in Lebanon, bloggers scrutinized coverage of the war in a way that has never been done before. Their work has exposed the dirty secret of the Middle East that the media has hidden for so many years: The global media and the international NGO community, which profess to be neutral observers, are in fact colluding with terrorist organizations.

The blogosphere, and particularly Little Green Footballs, Powerline, Zombietime, Michelle Malkin, and EU Referendum, have relentlessly exposed the systematic staging of news events, fabrication of attacks against relief workers, and doctoring of photographic images by Hizbullah with the active assistance of international organizations and the global media.

As each day passes, the governments, formal and informal legal apparatuses, and media of free societies show themselves to be less and less capable of contending with the information operations conducted against their societies by subversive forces seeking their destruction.

As each day passes it becomes clear that the responsibility of protecting our nations and societies from internal disintegration has passed to the hands of individuals, often working alone, who refuse to accept the degradation of their societies and so fight with the innovative tools of liberty to protect our way of life. The vigilance of just a handful of bloggers brought us the knowledge of the corruption of our media and the network of global NGOs that we have come to rely on to tell us the "objective" truth.

It is up to all citizens of the free world, who value our freedom to recognize this corruption, applaud the bloggers and join them in refusing to allow these corrupt institutions to cloud our commitment to freedom.

Whole article here, by Caroline Glick

Focus.. dammit focus!!

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August 27, 2006
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Inside the Haditha Dam in Iraq, a member of the Purrfect Angelz dance group entertained American troops.
Apparently this has caused a bit of a kerfuffle among some bloggers, on the face of it, it looks like the mike cord has been photoshopped out.

Let me be clear, I couldn't care less whether the cord has been photoshopped out or in; I know it’s from the NYT, but I, like the troops, am not focusing on the cord.

The juvenile Left

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Why the Canadian Left's new bad guy is Israel

At some point in his first or second year, the average undergraduate comes to a dreadful, shocking, thrilling, intoxicating realization: Everything I was taught to believe until now is a lie. We're not the good guys. We're the bad guys: the West, white people, my parents, whatever. Grasping this insight is the key to enlightenment, and enlightenment is the key to, among other things, pulling chicks. As time passes, most of us move on to a more balanced understanding of life...

The reflexive oppositionism of so much of the left, its instant identification with whoever or whatever is most hostile to the society of which it is a part, most closely resembles that of the undergraduate. It is a badge, a pose, a lifestyle, an arrangement of reality that is pleasing to believe, a reminder to the believer of the third eye of enlightenment that is his gift.

Yet in this country [Canada] it can take on a rather uglier form, insofar as the object of its loathing can be displaced onto another society, quite apart from our own. Until now, the locus of this disaffection was the United States. Lately, disturbingly, it has centred more and more on Israel. Anti-Americanism has mutated into something that might at best be called anti-Israelism, and at times looks alarmingly like anti-Semitism. Which brings us to the present wretched state of the Liberal party.

That the party's left wing has long been a hotbed of anti-Americanism is news to no one. Indeed, so entrenched was this attitude among certain sections of the ruling party that it resembled something of a state religion... ... perhaps there is a link between them: between the pseudo-neutrality that is one strain of recent Liberal foreign policy, and the anti-Americanism, shading into anti-Israelism, that is the other. An unwillingness to take sides was, of course, one of the ways in which we were supposed to distinguish ourselves from the Americans: They were warlike and ideological, we were peacekeeping ecumenicals.

But perhaps there was something else at work. A refusal to make moral judgments, to distinguish between the merely flawed and the truly evil, may in time lead to an inability to do so. Having gotten out of the habit of judgment, the muscles can atrophy: If "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," then it is all too easy to forget, not only who the terrorists are, but who are the freedom fighters. If anti-Semitism is the "socialism of fools," perhaps anti-Israelism is the pacifism of knaves.

(Excerpt via Damian Penny. Full article Here)

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Socialist planners at work

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"More than 1 billion pounds has been wasted by the [U.K.] Government on transport projects that have been cancelled or delayed, leaving roads and railways struggling to cope with huge growth in traffic.... The Government has repeatedly claimed that rising costs have made new road links, tram networks and rail upgrades unaffordable. But official figures uncovered by the Conservatives reveal that more than 1 billion has already been spent since 2000 without providing any extra capacity.

The most expensive single scheme on the list of stalled projects is Crossrail, the plan for mainline rail tunnels under Central London to relieve congestion on the Central Line. It has cost 254 million since 2001 without an inch of tunnel being dug. The Government has yet to commit itself to fund the 16 billion project and officials privately admit that, even if it goes ahead, it may not be ready until 2020.

Almost 300 million has been spent preparing for tram schemes in Portsmouth, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester that have either been cancelled or greatly reduced in scope. In 2000 John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, promised 25 new tram lines by 2010. So far two have opened: in Nottingham and the London City Airport extension of the Docklands Light Railway. The Thameslink 2000 project to upgrade the north-south rail route across London was due to open six years ago but is unlikely to be ready for another decade.

More than 80 million has been spent on preparatory works at St Pancras, including tunnels that will be boarded up and a station that will remain half-empty. Another white elephant is Stratford International Station, in East London, which cost 210 million but might never be used by the Eurostar trains for which it was built."

More here

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Hate speech trial now underway in Australia

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Is it hate speech to quote what the Koran says? The State of Victoria seems to think it is

It is impossible to vilify Islam without also vilifying Muslims, because the two are indistinguishable, the Victorian Court of Appeal was told yesterday. "If one vilifies Islam, one is by necessary consequence vilifying people who hold that religious belief," Brind Woinarski, QC, told the court. Mr Woinarski was appearing for the Islamic Council of Victoria in the appeal by Christian group Catch the Fire Ministries and pastors Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot against a finding under Victoria's religious hatred law that they vilified Muslims in 2002. The Racial and Religious Tolerance Act defines vilification as inciting hatred, serious contempt, revulsion or severe ridicule against a person or class of persons.

Cameron Macaulay, for the pastors, argued that the act explicitly confined the prohibition to vilifying persons, not the religion - otherwise it could operate as a law against blasphemy. Instead, it recognised one could hate the idea without hating the person.

Justice Geoffrey Nettle asked Mr Woinarski: "There must be intellectually a distinction between the ideas and those who hold them?" "We don't agree with that," Mr Woinarski said. "But in this case it's an irrelevant distinction, because Muslims and Islam were mishmashed up together." Justice Nettle: "Are you saying it's impossible to incite hatred against a religion without also inciting hatred against people who hold it?" Mr Woinarski: "Yes."

Mr Macaulay said orders by Judge Michael Higgins against the pastors to take out a newspaper advertisement apologising and not to repeat certain teachings were too wide, and beyond his powers under the act. He said it was surprising that the pastors could hold the beliefs but not express them. "They are restrained by law from suggesting or implying a number of things about what in their view the Koran teaches: that it preaches violence and killing, that women are of little value, that the God of Islam, Allah, is not merciful, that there is a practice of 'silent jihad' for spreading Islam, or that the Koran says Allah will remit the sins of martyrs. "Contentious or otherwise, these are opinions about Islam's doctrines and teaching. Statements of this kind are likely to offend and insult Muslims but their feelings are not relevant under the act." Mr Macaulay said the act burdened free speech, contravened international treaties Australia had signed and breached the Australian constitution.

The act, amended in May, has been controversial. Opponents rallied against it outside Parliament earlier this month, and some Christians vowed to make it an issue at the state election. This case has been monitored by Christian and Muslim groups overseas, and at one point Judge Higgins had to assure the Foreign Affairs Department he was not considering jailing the pastors after a flood of emails from America.

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

They have a Bone!!

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A meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Friday (25 August) saw member states commit up to 9,000 troops to a UN force to oversee the fragile ceasefire in Lebanon. The agreement means that thousands of UN troops will be deployed to the region within as little as a week.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who also attended the meeting in Brussels, welcomed the EU pledges saying they amounted to over half of the total 15,000 troops envisaged under the UN resolution governing the ceasefire. "More than half the force has been pledged today. Not only troops on the ground but we also got naval assets as well as air assets and when you put it altogether Europe is providing the backbone to the force," he said.

But alas, the bone is weak.

The breakthrough came on Thursday when French president Jacques Chirac said he had received "guarantees" on the mandate which allowed him to commit 2000 troops instead of the previous offer of 200.

Referring to the unclear mandate, which had caused so many countries to hesitate, Mr Annan told foreign ministers that Hizbollah would only be disarmed as part of a political process, but that if UN troops encountered a situation on the ground, they would be able to act.

So they can ‘act’ if Hizbullah were to be ‘mean’ to them. I wonder what this ‘act’ means. Stand down if shots are fired, raise the white flag perhaps?

I wonder how exactly they would act when confronted with the following.

IDF forces from the Golani Brigade blasted open a Hizbullah bunker overnight Saturday some 400 meters from the security fence near Rosh Hanikra, it was reported on Sunday. The bunker was discovered a mere stone's throw from a UN post. According to Lt.-Col. Jassem Elian, a senior officer in the Golani Brigade, "Hizbullah dug a 40-meter by two-kilometer pit, in which they built dozens of outposts."

Elian added that the bunker had "shooting positions of poured concrete," and that the combat posts inside were equipped with phone lines, showers, toilets, air ducts, and emergency exits, as well as logistical paraphernalia for Hizbullah.

Is Mr Lefty a bit of a thickie?

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Most lawyers aren't, but I'm starting to worry for Mr Lefty (and by extension, his clients). He is saying silly things, presumably in the vain hope that a now thoroughly exposed Islamist fraud can be redeemed, albeit in a slightly 'honed' form.

I am, of course, talking about Zombie's most excellent exposure of the Lebanese/Hizbullah ambulance fraud. The story alledged that the murderous, bloodthirsty Jews had deliberately targeted a red cross ambulance. Not just the ambulance, but the red cross atop the cross, in a seemingly overt display of homicidal anti-Christian sentiment.

It was a clever piece of perception management - or, at least, would have been - had it not been such an obvious hoax.

Clarification: By that, I mean it was obvious to bloggers. The MSM, ever eager to print anything that is roughly aligned with their perverse world view, ran it immediately.

Unfortunately for them, a Zombie was on the case. (Oh, how I have waited for an excuse to use that line!)

Mr Lefty, being an ardent analyst of right-wing authorship, leapt awkwardly into some twitchy kind of uncertainty position, manifested through a lengthy post on his blog. But he did make sure to insert the compulsory tone of dismissal (he was reviewing a right-winger, after all) based, strangely, upon nothing.

His method of dismissal? Zombie didn't consider all the possibilities, you see. He hadn't ruled out the chance that the missile had come close to the ambulance before detonating, but didn't actually strike it. Thus does Mr Lefty seek to explain the large dent in the roof and the hole where the ventilation cap used to be.

Only, Mr Lefty didn't consider all the possibilities himself. If indeed this was the result of a near-miss detonation (from above; it is the only way that the dent is explained) then there would be something else present on the roof of that van. Something that is not there.

When any weapon of significant explosive yield is airburst-detonated above its target, it produces shrapnel. A lethal storm of white-hot hail which peppers everything below the blast area.

Take another look at the roof of the ambulance. Scroll down on Zombie's article to the line which reads "Both of these pictures were taken within a week of July 23". Once you have found it, closely examine the photographs you see beneath.

Sure, there are lots of holes in the roof of the ambulance which might have been made by shrapnel of some kind. But shrapnel from when? Was the Israeli/Hizbullah war waged more than a year ago? I dare you to find a single shrapnel hole(?) which is not heavily corroded.

This ambulance was clearly damaged a long time ago, and probably left in a dump to rust until enterprising Hizbullah PR people came up with an idea to fool gullible leftist clowns who masquerade as "critics" of western policy but who are really just the Islamists' favourite useful idiots.

Breaking News

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Turkish news agencies say four separate explosions in a coastal resort and in the country's commercial centre Istanbul have injured 22 people. British authorities say ten Britons were among those hurt in the popular tourist destination Marmaris. No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts.

Update

According to the BBC, none of the injured suffered life threatening injuries.

CNN puts the injured toll at 27.

Update [29.08.2006]

A suspected member of a Kurdish separatist guerrilla group, planning a new attack in Turkey, was detained on Monday, state news agency Anatolian reported.

A bomb blast killed three people and wounded dozens in the coastal city Antalya on Monday in a second day of attacks on Turkish resorts apparently designed to scare off tourists and hit the economy.

End the occupation?

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Sounds good doesn’t it. End Zionazism, Joos, end the aggression, the apartheid wall, free Palestine blah blah, all feel good phrases aren’t they. As I tell anyone who will listen, everything in life has a price, with freedom comes a price, and the price is choosing what to do with it. You can squander it or make something of it, either way you have to decide.

This morning when I checked AWH, I read posts about leftists turning around, multiculturalism being junked, conservatices being proved right and then I found this, it has the beginnings of a good day.

"When you walk in the streets of Gaza City, you cannot but close your eyes because of what you see there: unimaginable chaos, careless policemen, young men carrying guns and strutting with pride and families receiving condolences for their dead in the middle of the street."

This is how Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority government and a former newspaper editor, described the situation in the Gaza Strip in an article he published on Sunday on some Palestinian news Web sites.

The article, the first of its kind by a senior Hamas official, also questioned the effectiveness of the Kassam rocket attacks and noted that since Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip, the situation there has deteriorated on all levels. It holds the armed groups responsible for the crisis and calls on them to reconsider their tactics and to stop blaming Israel for their mistakes.

"Gaza is suffering under the yoke of anarchy and the swords of thugs," Hamad wrote. "I remember the day when Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and closed the gates behind. Then, Palestinians across the political spectrum took to the streets to celebrate what many of us regarded as the Israeli defeat or retreat. We heard a lot about a promising future in the Gaza Strip and about turning the area into a trade and industrial zone."

Hamad said the "culture of life" that prevailed in the Strip has since been replaced with a nightmare. "Life became a nightmare and an intolerable burden," he said. "Today I ask myself a daring and frightening question: 'Why did the occupation return to Gaza?' The normal reply: 'The occupation is the reason.'"

Dismissing Israel's responsibility for the growing state of anarchy and lawlessness in the Gaza Strip, Hamad said it was time for the Palestinians to embark on a soul-searching process to see where they erred.

"We're always afraid to talk about our mistakes," he added. "We're used to blaming our mistakes on others. What is the relationship between the chaos, anarchy, lawlessness, indiscriminate murders, theft of land, family rivalries, transgression on public lands and unorganized traffic and the occupation? We are still trapped by the mentality of conspiracy theories - one that has limited our capability to think."

Hamad admitted that the Palestinians have failed in developing the Gaza Strip following the Israeli withdrawal and in imposing law and order. He said about 500 Palestinians have been killed and 3,000 wounded since the Israeli pullout, in addition to the destruction of much of the infrastructure in the area.

By comparison, he said, only three or four Israelis have been killed by the rockets fired from the Gaza Strip over the same period.

"Some will argue that it's not a matter of profit or loss, but that this has an accumulating effect" he said. "This may be true. But isn't there a possibility of decreasing the number of casualties and increasing our gains by using our brains and making the proper calculations away from demagogic statements?"

The Hamas official said that while his government was unable to change the situation, the opposition was sitting on the side and watching and PA President Mahmoud Abbas was as weak as ever.

"We have all been attacked by the bacteria of stupidity," he remarked. "We have lost our sense of direction and we don't know where we're headed."

Addressing the various armed groups in the Gaza Strip, Hamad concluded: "Please have mercy on Gaza. Have mercy on us from your demagogy, chaos, guns, thugs, infighting. Let Gaza breathe a bit. Let it live."

I’ll let you in on a little secret guys, put down the guns and stones, don’t bother burning the American flag, open the fists and lower them, put down the placards and shut the hell up.

Get a job, pay some tax, clean your house, set an example for your children. Replace the plans for rocket launcher sites and tunnel maps with home building plans. Forget the 'Roadmaps to nowhere' and concentrate on actual roads, sanitation, garbage collection and payroll.

Tell the leftwing media, bleeding hearts and the NGOs to go home, for without you, they have nothing to write about, whine and protest over. Build a house, buy a car, buy a TV and you’ll have something to be proud of and not have to thank someone for and then have to wait on your ass for the next hand-out.

Huge natural climate variability in geologically recent times

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An article that puts the Greenie panic over the very minor climate fluctuations of recent times into perspective

Britain has had one of the most volatile climates on earth with up to 10 ice ages forcing early settlers into exile, leaving the land uninhabited for periods of up to 110,000 years, researchers have found. A study - led by the Natural History Museum - of 700,000 years of human attempts to settle in Britain found that the Gulf Stream, which keeps the British Isles warm, kept collapsing, plunging them into Arctic cold. The lurches from temperate to freezing sometimes took as little as 10 years, says Professor Chris Stringer, head of human origins in the museum's paleontology department, in a new book, Homo Britannicus, to be published in October.

After the last ice age humans returned to Britain only 11,500 years ago. Stringer said: "We might think that the roots of the British people lie deep in British soil but they can be traced back less than 12,000 years, far more shallow than those of our continental neighbours."

His book summarises the findings of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) project, a six-year study of thousands of artefacts and other remains left behind by prehistoric man during successive colonisations. Thirty archeologists, paleontologists and geologists from institutes across the country worked together to construct a detailed calendar of early humans' arrivals and departures.

They concluded that the present temperate climate is an anomaly and steamy heat or bitter cold are far more typical. Stringer said: "We have evidence that between 500,000 and 12,000 years ago humans were only in Britain for about 20% of the time. Between 180,000 and 70,000 years ago Britain was abandoned, completely empty of people." Such findings imply a major rewriting of British prehistory. It has long been known that climatic changes forced early humans out of Britain but not so many times.

There were other surprises, too. Until recently it was thought that the first humans arrived in southern Europe about 800,000 years ago but that none made it to Britain until 500,000 years ago. But Stringer says: "We have remarkable new evidence from East Anglia showing that humans arrived here 700,000 years ago, earlier than anyone believed. They lived in an environment with a balmy climate like that of southern Europe."

Their stay was, however, not destined to last because about 470,000 years ago a huge ice cap spread across northern Europe, reaching the outskirts of what is now north London. That glaciation was to be the first of many. By the time it receded, about 400,000 years ago, Neanderthals had evolved in Europe and it was they who recolonised Britain.

However, they too were driven out when the ice returned 380,000 years ago, a pattern that was to be repeated many times. The most prolonged and enigmatic evacuation of Britain began with a new ice age that peaked about 140,000 years ago. When it finished, about 20,000 years later, many animals quickly returned to Britain, including deer, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses and hyenas - but no humans. They remained absent for more than 100,000 years, says Stringer.

Eventually, about 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals did return to Britain, only to become extinct 30,000 years later. Modern humans have proved better than Neanderthals at withstanding climatic changes but they, too, were driven back from Britain as a mile-thick ice-cap built up over Scotland 25,000 years ago, returning only 10,000 years later. The last ice age began 13,000 years ago and lasted 1,500 years.

Source

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Conservatives were right after all (as usual)

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Excerpt from an article by Rod Liddle --- in The Times

Quick, somebody buy a wreath. Last week marked the passing of multiculturalism as official government doctrine. No longer will opponents of this corrosive and divisive creed be silenced simply by the massed Pavlovian ovine accusation: "Racist!" Better still, the very people who foisted multiculturalism upon the country are the ones who have decided that it has now outlived its usefulness - that is, the political left.

It is amazing how a few by-election shocks and some madmen with explosive backpacks can concentrate the mind. At any rate, British citizens, black and white, can move onwards together - towards a sunlit upland of monoculturalism, or maybe zeroculturalism, whatever takes your fancy....

It has all been a long time coming. Some 22 years ago Ray Honeyford, the previously obscure headmaster of Drummond middle school in Bradford, suggested, in the low-circulation right-wing periodical The Salisbury Review, that his Asian pupils should really be better integrated into British society. They should learn English, for a start, and a bit of British history and a sense of what the country is about; further, Asian (Muslim) girls should be allowed to learn to swim despite the objections of their parents (who did not like them stripping down even in front of each other). Muslim kids should be treated like every other pupil, in other words.

For these mild contentions, Honeyford was investigated by the government, vilified as a racist by the press, ridiculed every day by leftie demonstrators outside his office and was eventually hounded from his job. He has not worked since. Perhaps it will be a consolation to him, as he sits idly in his neat, small, semi-detached house in Bury, Lancashire, that he has now been comprehensively outflanked on the far right by a whole bunch of Labour politicians, including at least one minister, and indeed the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality. Then again, perhaps it won't.

It is impossible to overstate the magnitude of this shift. To give you an example of the lunacy that prevailed back in Honeyford's time: then, the Commission for Racial Equality was happy to instruct Britain's journalists that Chinese people were henceforth to be described as "black" because that, objectively, was their subjective political experience at the hands of the oppressive white hegemony.

I don't suppose they asked the Chinese if they minded this appellation or derogation - the question would not even have occurred. By definition, people who were "not-white" - from Beijing to Barbados - were banded together in their oppression and implacable opposition to the prevailing white culture and thus united in their political aspirations. People from Baluchistan, Tobago and Bangladesh were defined solely by their lack of whiteness. This was, when you think about it, a quintessentially racist assumption, as well as being authoritarian and - as the writer Kenan Malik puts it - "anti-human".

We are not born with a gene that insists we become Muslim or Christian or Rastafarian. We are born, all of us, with a tabula rasa; we are not defined by the nationality or religion or cultural assumptions of our parents. But that was the mindset which, at that time, prevailed.

This is how far we have come in the past year or so. When an ICM poll of Britain's Muslims in February this year revealed that some 40% (that is, about 800,000 people) wished to see Islamic law introduced in parts of Britain, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality responded by saying that they should therefore pack their bags and clear off. Sir Trevor Phillips's exact words were these: "If you want to have laws decided in another way, you have to live somewhere else."

My guess is this: if such a statement had been made by a member of the Tory party's Monday Club in 1984 - or, for that matter, 1994 - he would have been excoriated and quite probably would have been kicked out of the party. "If you don't like it here then go somewhere else" was once considered the apogee of "racism".

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(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Melanie Morgan on media defeatism

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In an article in the New York Observer, Carlson announced, "I'm getting more paleo every day" which surely pleases Carlson's bosses at MSNBC who target an audience ideologically opposite to that reached by the Fox News Channel... But, while Carlson will be doing the Tango on television, there will be "real men" enduring the blinding sandstorms in Iraq, trying to secure a peace that will allow a new Iraq to rise up from the ashes of Saddam Hussein's despotic regime. The men and women of the United States Armed Forces have made tremendous progress in Iraq, but Tucker Carlson and his ilk are largely ignorant of this or ignore such progress because it doesn't fit with their own agenda.

The foreign terrorist threat posed by al-Qaida sympathizers who poured into Iraq from Iran and Syria has largely been defeated. You hear almost nothing from the news media about the fact that al-Qaida in Iraq has been effectively destroyed by our military. The violence today is largely sectarian violence between competing religious and ethnic groups. The greatest need in Iraq today is to ensure that a sense of stability and security can allow this newly freed nation to chart a course for a peaceful future, free of sectarian violence.

Carlson sat silent and stunned, along with anti-war Democrat strategist Rich Masters, when I pointed out that the number of fatalities in Iraq had been dropping over the past several months. You see, both Carlson and Masters are creatures of that political-media world where truth is concocted out of do-gooder liberal ideology and facts are ignored...

The humanitarian efforts of U.S. troops are almost entirely ignored. Liberal journalists scoff at the daily reports by U.S. Central Command outlining our military's success in apprehending or killing terrorists and death squad leaders. These left-wing reporters seem hell-bent to rally the American public to oppose the mission in Iraq....

Increasingly, a number of conservative women such as myself, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham and others have had to carry much of the load in rallying the American public to muster the fortitude to outwit and outlast the Islamic terrorists who are plotting to bring down the nations of the West.

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(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

How stupid we were... how stupid they'll always be

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I now officially join the ranks of those former supporters of the Iraqi War who openly and freely admit that the attempt to bring Democracy to Iraq has been a dismal failure.

I do, however, attach a few clarifications.

1) This war was fought against both Islamist infiltrators, Ba'athist loyalists and 50% of the population of the west (western liberals & Muslims living in the west whose sympathies were never unclear), who were goddamned determined to make sure that a war that was initially amazingly successful, would turn into a "quagmire" as fast as could be arranged. Theirs was a self-realising prediction, and they have been unequivocal in seeking to bring it about.

It was a war fought against lowlife democrat/labor politicians who sought to raise their personal profiles by saying the most detrimental things possible - and insuring a place within a sympathetic media. Together, these people gave heart to the Islamists, who saw hope so long as fully 50% of the people who populate the lands they call "Dar-al-Harb" (lands of war - lands yet to be conquered by Islam) shouted them encouragement and shouted against their own countryfolk.

2) This war could still be won - easily - if politicians were to simply insure that the requisite number of troops stayed put. That's a historical truism. But they won't, because if they support the war, politicians know that they will be attacked by the Islamist's allies within the western media and internet pundits (blogs like Daily Kos, who rejoiced regularly at the deaths of American troops). As the early period of the Roman Empire showed, if the force with the greater logistical and technological advantage equals those strengths in endurance, then the occupying force will inevitably win through. The Roman Empire only collapsed because they abandoned this principle. Politicians want to remain politicians. They can't do that with the press hating their guts. Thus, the war is lost. Through the weakness of our system and the treachery of our citizens, it is lost.

3) This was never, ever a war of exploitation, as lying organs of the Islamist and liberal propaganda have constantly attempted to portray. It was a highly idealistic attempt to bring democracy to a backwater region which - without its massive resources - would be a third world backwater (and is, in many regards, because of gross national mismanagement). Democracy does not belong to the west. It is an idea that all people should be able to choose their own destiny and play a real, tangible part in the governance of their nation. It controls the excesses of the state and tempers the ambitions of their national leaders.

But, as I now know, this was a mistake. It was a mistake because we believed too much in Iraqis, and because we believed too much in the humanity of the people of the region. We believed (naively) that they would welcome the fruits of liberty, the product of which took our ancestors thousands of years and oceans of blood to perfect.

Instead, they have rejected our gift and have proven, time and time and time and time again, that they are nothing more than a barbarous sub-species of humanity, unfit for even the most base levels of civilization. They are animals, pure and simple, and as they are animals, we should never again expect that they will be able to think as men or deal as men.

They want only to kill, rape, steal and destroy everything that does not pay homage to their wretched God.

I propose that not a dime more be spent nor a drop more of western blood be spilled in seeking to make tame the savages who populate the region. It is a phyrric exercise which we can ill afford to indulge in.

Let idealism be placed aside for now. We shall instead deal in the ruthless pragmatism of our subhuman enemies, and seek only advantage in our dealings with them. Better yet, should the opportunity present itself, we should take everything from them, and remove the blight of their existence from this planet.

They consider civilians legitimate targets, fine.

So should we.

The U.N. is the enemy of the West

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UNIFIL Broadcast Israeli Troop Movements
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon acted as an intelligence gathering service for Hizballah during the war: What did you do in the war, UNIFIL? (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

DURING THE RECENT month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel, U.N. “peacekeeping” forces made a startling contribution: They openly published daily real-time intelligence, of obvious usefulness to Hezbollah, on the location, equipment, and force structure of Israeli troops in Lebanon.

UNIFIL—the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a nearly 2,000-man blue-helmet contingent that has been present on the Lebanon-Israel border since 1978—is officially neutral. Yet, throughout the recent war, it posted on its website for all to see precise information about the movements of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and the nature of their weaponry and materiel, even specifying the placement of IDF safety structures within hours of their construction. New information was sometimes only 30 minutes old when it was posted, and never more than 24 hours old.

Meanwhile, UNIFIL posted not a single item of specific intelligence regarding Hezbollah forces. Statements on the order of Hezbollah “fired rockets in large numbers from various locations” and Hezbollah’s rockets “were fired in significantly larger numbers from various locations” are as precise as its coverage of the other side ever got.

See for yourself; here are the documents to which this article refers: UNIFIL: United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon - Press releases. As reported several times on LGF, these daily press releases also contain numerous examples of Hizballah’s use of UN facilities as firing stations—none of which ever made it to the mainstream media.

from LGF LINK

Glaciers: Heads I win, tails you lose

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How often have we seen melting glaciers pointed to as evidence of global warming? So what if lots of glaciers are actually growing (which has been long known)? Does that DISPROVE global warming? No way!



Global warming could be causing some glaciers to grow, a new study claims. Researchers at Newcastle University looked at temperature trends in the western Himalaya over the past century. They found warmer winters and cooler summers, combined with more snow and rainfall, could be causing some mountain glaciers to increase in size.

The findings are significant, because temperature and rain and snow trends in the area impact on water availability for more than 50 million Pakistanis. Researchers focussed on the Upper Indus Basin, which is the mainstay of the national economy of Pakistan and has 170,000 sq km of irrigated land - an area two-thirds the size of the UK. Dr Hayley Fowler, senior research associate at the university's school of civil engineering and geosciences, said: "Very little research of this kind has been carried out in this region and yet the findings from our work have implications for the water supplies of around 50 million people in Pakistan." Co-researcher David Archer added: "Our research is concerned with both climate change and the climate variability that is happening from year to year. "Information on variability is more important for the management of the water system as it will help to forecast the inflow into reservoirs and allow for better planning of water use for irrigation. "However, information on the impacts of climatic change is important for the longer term management of water resources and to help us understand what is happening in the mountains under global warming."

The findings are published in the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate.

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(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Incitement to terrorism ignored

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NSW Premier Morris Iemma has urged Islamic extremists behind Sydney pamphlets calling for a holy war to destroy Israel to leave that sort of hatred overseas. A radical group with alleged links to the London bombings is reportedly distributing pamphlets through suburban Sydney calling for a holy war. The leaflets, from the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahir, call for a jihad to destroy Israel and use key dates in the Muslim calendar to signal the coming destruction of the Jewish state, News Limited newspapers report.

Mr Iemma said legitimate debate, free speech and opinions were welcome in Australia. "However, the sort of inflammatory language about conflicts in wars overseas, leave them behind. "Leave the conflicts, the old wars and the hatred behind."

The group is banned in Germany and British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called for Hizb ut-Tahir, which has alleged links to last year's London terrorist attacks, to be outlawed in the UK. But it remains legal in Australia despite calls for it to be banned. Security agencies here are "very aware" of the pamphlets, a spokesman for Attorney-General Philip Ruddock's office said.

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(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)