Monday, 30 November 2009

Countdown to Copenhagen: The 'people's summit'
A test of true colours had_it wrote:Monday, 30 November 2009 at 01:25 pm (UTC)
What proportion of the activists will have walked or bicycled to Copenhagen?

Britain faces return to Victorian levels of poverty
Planning for Failure had_it wrote:Monday, 30 November 2009 at 01:22 pm (local)
"higher earners would finance more generous, universal benefits"
Get the better off to give poorer people something for nothing as an entitlement, not as something to be earned. That will surely reduce dependence and poverty, won't it? But as Thatcher once quoth: sooner or later we will run out of other people's money.

Friday, 27 November 2009

The real reasons Blair went to war
It's modern politics  had_it wrote: Friday, 27 November 2009 at 01:22 pm (UTC)
This is the current political thinking: winning an election is not the first thing, it is the only thing.
Whether Dumbocrat or Retroblican, Layburr or Consternative, politicians are blithely willing to do untold damage to their country if it only helps them win an election.
China sets ambitious target on emissions
More Happy talk  had_it wrote:Friday, 27 November 2009 at 01:14 pm (UTC)
So China, the worlds biggest polluter, promises to cut the rate of emissions growth; not cut emissions, just reduce the growth rate of emissions. Sadly, I suspect that even this will turn out to be a Kyoto promise - one the signatory has no intention of keeping.
Pay rise for peers
About time!  had_it wrote:  Friday, 27 November 2009 at 01:10 pm (UTC)
Abolishing the communication allowance removes all suggestion that keeping constituents informed is part of a member's job. Let 'em eat cake.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Can a Muslim say happy Christmas to his friends?

      "Whoever argues that a person is entitled to complete freedom of faith is an unbeliever, guilty of the major sin of disbelief." Whoever argues that a person is NOT entitled to complete freedom of faith is a bigot who promotes hate crime.
    "The person who maintains that the Sun does not move should be condemned to death" - so all intelligent people should die? Reminds me of Pol Pot.
    "It is not permitted to teach secular law as a general course in higher education. This subject should be limited to specialists, who are able to show how secular law deviates from the truth..." i.e. those who agree with me.

That there are not fatwas against the people who issued these edicts is a stain on all Islam.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Google says sorry
"Cynics noted that Google was not so high-minded when it entered the lucrative Chinese market..."
Here's a solution: Let's have China set the standard for free speech.
Will that make the cynics happy?

PS: Most of the criticism seems directed at the the tool that people used to find the image, little at the hosting website and almost none at the creator of the image.  Does anyone else find this odd?   Unless we want Google to become Big Brother, deciding what people can and cannot see, doesn't it seem downright misguided?
Obama sets target for emissions cut

It feels good
[info]had_it wrote:  Thursday, 26 November 2009 at 03:47 am (UTC)
Almost no signatory to the Kyoto protocol met their stated targets, but it is nice to see America joining the happy talk at last. Even if Copenhagen is as big a failure as Kyoto, perhaps things will be less bad than they would have been without this move.
Parties face new rules to end 'white men's club'

Good idea, but
A fair assessment of discrimination in employment: is the proportion of qualified applicants from a given group roughly equivalent to the proportion of those hired? With democratically selected candidates, this is a bit tricky. It measures the biases of the selecting population but is difficult to fix without destroying democracy. Still, reporting the proportions might be a step in the right direction: it would let people see their bias and decide whether or not they wish to change it.

It might also fix your teeth and get bankers to behave responsibly. Unlikely, but could.
Okay. You have now had two days. No other side. No explanation of why you would take allegations and report them as fact or why you would use words like "betrayal" and "wasted".
Is the Bulldog to be real effort at journalism, or do we need to ask who is paying whom?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan Through CIA Eyes: Lessons for the US Today
Of course, when the Soviets did withdraw, there was a bit of a blood bath, women were told to stay home and forget education, men were told how to wear their hair and to forget democracy, Al Qaeda was invited to plan and conduct the murder of civilians abroad (mostly Muslims, including lots of women and children). Is that how this author thinks the UN involvement should end?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Why is my gender suddenly in retreat?

Use one of your roles
Women raise and educate most of the children in this and any other country.
Stop whining and do something about it.
Battle lines drawn on US health Bill
One side wishes to pass a weak and ineffective bill, the other wishes to emasculate it entirely. Both are paid political compensation from the same deep pockets.
expenses spotlight falls on Britain's judiciary
The expenses appear reasonable to me.
As there is a remarkable lack of fact in the story, until I see any evidence of a judge scamming the system, I will file this story under the let's-you-and-him fight category. That is, a story designed to weaken trust in an institution and to increase anomie and alienation in society.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

China will soon export its ideas as well
While Barack was lecturing on Tibet, I was surprised that Hu didn't lecture back on our treatment of 12 million illegal immigrants (or the lack thereof).
Obama Paints a Fresh Bull's-Eye on NYC
I am getting a little tired of the cowards who fear a trial because it might damage New York or might fail because of flaws in our justice system. These people are the natural targets of terrorism, and it works: they get scared and try to bend over backwards to accommodate the terrorists by saying "not on our soil" or "we have to use tribunals because our courts aren't good enough." Grow some backbone - stand strong for America.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Imam Al Awlaki Did Not Press Fort Hood Gunman

Any Imam who has not issued a fatwa against or called for jihad against Al Qaeda and the Taliban has Muslim blood on his hands. These two organizations have murdered more Muslims than all the western forces combined. Anyone who does not condemn them lies each time he says Salam Aleikum.
         Just as any Irish priest who did not condemn the IRA and ex-communicate any member of its military wing has Christian blood on his hands, any Irish protestant minister than did not condemn the UDA and ex-communicate any member of its military wing has Christian blood on his hands. They lied each time the gave the benediction.

Insurance Runs Out For 12-Year-Old Without Arm

This kid tugs at our heartstrings in a way that distracts from clear thinking. If the lifetime limit is set at $300,000 or $3 million, the premiums have to be higher - one gets what one pays for.
         I do not know if such options were available to his parents at the time they made their selection. If it was, they are to blame - not the insurers. If higher coverage limits were NOT available, then this family was not offered true health insurance and hence have a moral case, if not a legal one.

Army Mom Skipping Deployment To Care For Baby

Duty or family; abandon your child or your comrades: not a fun choice. 
She made the right decision, but I feel for her dilemma. 
Give her a general discharge and let her be on her way

Palin Accuses AP Of "Opposition Research" In Fact Check of Book

Well, she's right, of course. 
Anyone who stands for facts and against drivel is opposed to Sarah Palin as a political candidate.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Nick Clegg: Cancel the Queen's Speech
Dream on Clegg. You are asking for sensible behaviour at a pre-scripted piece of theatre.
Next thing, you'll be asking MPs to represent their constituents, rather than their party - or for the party to care about anything other than winning elections. (And that will get you in just as much trouble at LibDem headquarters as it would at the HQs of other parties.)
Education officials spent £10m on first-class fares
If we measured these bureaucrats on results, I would be happy to give the top 10% first class travel. Unfortunately, if they are measured on anything at all, it is input not outcomes. Their use of 1st class comes from a sense of entitlement of rank, not from a desire to work on the train.
Although I accept that many do work on the train, the work that they do does not seem worth the price. I am prepared to be corrected: let the education bureaucrats list the work they did and its effect on results.

Best thing to do to get a relationship back on track: lie.
With advice like this, no wonder kids are in trouble.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Parliamentary questions not there to be dignified

Is Parliamentary question time just public-school theatre?
I won't dignify that question with an answer

Religious freedom at last!

Man sacked for belief in psychics backed by judge

It is nice to know that respectable religions like Scientology, Jedi, Voodoo and Wiccan will now be protected, along with beliefs in psychics, ghosts, laetrile, numerology, faith healing and UFO's. If we can protect the evil five (Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism - those responsible for more war and oppression than any other cause), it is about time we started protecting more gentle superstitions.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Key differences between Dumbocrats and Retroblicans

Redistribution of Wealth
Dumbocrats: One main purpose of taxation is the redistribution of wealth
Retroblicans: Government should not redistribute wealth, except to farmers, steel-makers, oil companies, banks, insurance companies and other friends of ours.

Retroblicans: Throw them all out, except for those that work for me and my friends
Dumbocrats: Let them all in, as long as someone else pays for them

Health Care
Retroblicans: No Socialized Medicine, but don’t you dare touch our Medicare drugs plan
                       Doctors, Hospitals, Drug Companies and Insurers deserve a fat profit at our expense
Dumbocrats: Give the indigent free health insurance, as long as someone else pays for it
                       Doctors, Hospitals and Insurance Companies deserve no profit (except for mine).

Social Security
Retroblicans: Get government out: people should plan for their own retirement income
                        PS: don’t you dare touch our Social Security
Dumbocrats: Give everyone free social security, as long as someone else pays for it

IG CEO Robert Benmosche Ready To Quit Over Pay Constraints

I think you are perhaps too simplistic about a complex area. People resent the big bonuses that sports stars get for hitting a ball, until you explain that the team owners are making millions from the TV coverage - then folks agree that the players ought to get a fair piece of the pie. As Walter Cronkite said when he got the first million-dollar newscaster contract: Am I worth it? Compared to a school teacher, no; but compared to a baseball player, you bet!

What folks do not understand is what talents are actually being paid for, why executive compensation is such a large share of the profits and why they do not seem to sink in relative measure when the companies do badly. They also have been led to distrust the term "bonus" in its own right. If these exec's could swallow their pride and call their performance-contingent compensation "commission", much of the animosity might disappear.

Indeed, if executives were paid commission on profits, both shareholders and the general public might be a good deal happier - especially if commissions went negative when the executives showed losses.

Fannie and Freddie Fire Their Own Inspector General

Why? Did the IG object to the size of their bonuses?
End this futile 'war on drugs'
You answer your own questions
[info]had_it wrote: Wednesday, 11 November 2009 at 10:47 am (UTC)
Reasons for the drug war:
1) "there is a huge profit to be made in a black market" Sensible drugs policies would reduce that profit
2) "Under prohibition, drug use becomes more hardcore" which means better profit margins
3) "The drug war doesn't reduce drug use" so it gives employment in criminal justice without damaging the profits

"What would happen if we started to build our drugs policy around the facts, rather than our desire for a fuzzy feeling inside?" The media would never allow this: basing things on fact makes the story too hard to cover.

"like all faiths, it can only be maintained by cultivating a deliberate blindness to the evidence." True - and this has not stopped people adhering to the lies of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism, so what is your point?
Independent poll casts doubt on key justification for Britain's involvement
Nice bias   had_it wrote:Wednesday, 11 November 2009 at 10:26 am (UTC)
46% is not less than half, but almost half
"involvement in the conflict, with its rising toll of casualties"
      The independnt has been trying to drive the UK public into abandoning the Afghan people for the past 3 years. Why?  What is their agenda?   Is it just the modern desire for all political journalists to be a member of the opposition to whomever they cover? Or do the Independent's owners have some deeper financial interest in a civil war or a failed state in Afghanistan?
[info]corporeal_v001 wrote: Wednesday, 11 November 2009 at 10:52 am (UT
How would you feel if the UK was invaded?
[info]had_it replied:
Well, that actually happened!  In 1941, US forces invaded England because some taliban-like group called Nazi's were trying to take over Britain. As I recall, although there were some problems, the British people didn't seem to mind too much on the whole.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Reality TV police shows are criminal
What? You don't like to watch police deliberately endangering the public by running unnecessary high-speed car chases? Particularly the one's that continue until there is a pile-up, even after the police already have the perp's licence plate and a helicopter in the air that could follow at a distance, without endangering anyone, until the car slows, then stops and back-up can be called in?    Sissy
Ten new nuclear sites win approval
About time! Despite its drawbacks, nuclear is still safer and cleaner than any other power source in common use today. I will be happy to see these new plants phased out in 25 years when solar and other renewables can pick up the slack - but I prefer nuclear to the much more dangerous and dirty coal, oil or gas.
Double up in Afghanistan or leave
You are certainly right that we stuffed the country of Iraq. But how, pray tell, was this in anyone's economic interest? Iraq was already selling us their oil and I have never seen any war scenario that said getting rid of the rabid Hussain (who I admit we created) would get us more oil or the same oil at a cheaper price. Each and every pre-invasion scenario said that the war would cost us serious money that could never be recouped.
    PS: as for Mr Morgan calling Iraq a "once orderly society" - I hope one day he will have a chance to live in such order and look forward to hearing how he likes it.
Minor languages, major importance
Languages the way of the dodo
And I, for one, will not miss them. How are we damaged by the fact that no one now speaks Aramaic, Cumbric, Dalmation, Etruscan, Gaulish, Latin, Norn, Pictish, Sudovian, Umbrian, or Vandalic?
       If the world officially recognized a single inter-tribal de jure (today English, de facto), I would be more supportive of keeping self-isolating tongues alive.
Now the pundits come out to say that someone else is at fault for splashing scare-tactic headlines and fastening on worst-case scenarios, rather than publishing the most-likely middle estimates along with the out-riding best and worst ones. If it weren't that modern British culture thinks that everything is always someone else's fault, I would say: look to your own house Jeremy Lawrence.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Lessons of Maine
I guess I still need educating: how is someone who supports equality for homosexual civil unions but opposes calling such unions by the word "marriage", morally wrong?  Would it be morally wrong to oppose calling the adult status of a boy "Bat Mizvah" if he said that was what he wanted to call it?
    The real lesson from Maine is that the electorate is not with you yet: they do not see what advantage they gain from changing a long-held custom of the majority to suit a small minority - especially when that minority seems to gain only a semantic benefit.
Mayor Bloomberg's Mini-Victory
And how many presidents have been elected by a 5-point majority?
Ah well, the media pundits have decided that this huge victory is a near-loss and anyone who does not toe this line will be castigated.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Al Gore denies he is 'carbon billionaire'
Good for Gore Showing that one can make money by going green is a nice example to set. 
I do continue to like "global-warming deniers" - conflating pre-supposition of facts in a debate with the emotional baggage of the Holocaust. A tactic Limbaugh, Beck and Hanratty would be proud of, had they thought of it.
Sounds like GM has had enough incompetent, dawdling interference from governments. For the workers sake, I hope they make it. But if they do not, I don't want my tax dollars supporting more make-work jobs for the boys. Let them sink or swim.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Government wants to have its cake and eat it
Name one group involved in politics that does not.

Bombs see UN pull out of region   Some progress   [info]had_it wrote:
It used to be that the military was the primary targeter civilians: the purpose was to demoralise the enemy population and horrify their leadership. No western military thinks this a legitimate war aim today.
  Now this tactic is restricted to uncivilised insurgents (militants, rebels, terrorists, pick your noun) who view the killing of (primarily Muslim) women and children as a good means to an end. It does tell us what things would be like were they to gain power.

Let my baby die, says mother
"no one has the right to judge over life and death.only the FATHER ALMIGHTY.the main fact the child survived the BIRTH process in enough evidence that the child should live."
       Absolutely! It was a sin for these doctors to help the child survive the birth process.
      Performing a trachestomy would be equally sinful: if God did not want this baby to be in continuous agony, He would fix the problem or let the infant die.

We got it wrong on immigration
Absolutely! Normans and Norsemen out! 
                 Death to the non-Kelt! 
                 Anyone not painted blue is not a true Briton. 
                 Woad on!
Cameron admits U-turn on Lisbon
There is only one referendum questions: Should the UK be a part of Europe?
      All the rest is detail so, unless we wish to hold a referendum on every detail of every EU treaty and EU regulation, Cameron should put the one question to the people of Britain. The anti's will have their referendum and the pro's will have their result and the politicians can get on with dividing up the spoils as they have always done.