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Happy July 4th.

And I mean Happy – in spite of all that follows, as such things as the Declaration of Independence (or parts of it) and, especially, the Bill of Rights deserve to be honoured. The world stands of falls by the fate of the American Bill of Rights – that really is the truth.

The first American Independence Day that sticks in my memory was that of 1976 – the 200 anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Millions of people were being murdered by the Communists in Indo China (Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam), but at least “the war was over” as far as the United States was concerned (for the Boat People and so on it was rather different). No conscription any more – and no wild inflation either (unlike Britain), sit back in 1976 and watch all those television shows set in California – which, in those days, was part of the United States (rather than Mexico and the rest of the Third World), although California was already in decline – Governor Moonbeam was busy unionising government work. By way Governor Moonbeam is back as Governor again. Now he is as bald as I am, but he clings to the ideas of his youth – as I suppose (in a very different way) I do also.

Richard Nixon was out of the Whitehouse (although he had done nothing that the media had not winked at when Johnson, Kennedy and Roosevelt did it) and the bumbling, but decent, Gerald Ford was President. America was at peace – overseas, and (to some extent) with itself (although violent crime in the cities, such as New York, was out of control – an evil fruit of 1960s “liberalism”).

And segregation was finally over in the South – the final holdouts, big spending Democrat populists Lester Maddox in Georgia and Governor Wallace in Alabama having gone or given way. Not that the Democratic party had given up racial groups politics – it had just gone over to promising stuff to black people because they were black, rather than to white people because they were white. As that charming man President Johnson said about his welfare schemes and “civil rights” laws – “now the niggers will vote for us for a hundred years”.

The idea of not appealing to people on the basis of rich-versus-poor or black-versus-white being alien to the Democrats. The central observation of Classical Liberalism, that the long term interests of “rich” and “poor” (or of people in different racial groups) are THE SAME, escaping the modern Democrats. Although President Grover Cleveland seems to have understood – although he neglected to impress his Southern colleagues with this point. Hard though it may be believe now – but in the 19th century the New York State Democratic Party (not the Democratic Party as a whole) was the more free market of the two major parties.

Although there was a major reduction in the size of government under President Grant, Grant did not campaign on that basis – his was more of a “vote for me – I am General Grant” campaign (rather like Ike in 1952 and 1956), indeed the first Republican to campaign and win on the basis of reducing the size and scope of government was Warren Harding in 1920 (and he did it – Harding is perhaps the most unfairly attacked President in American history, in reality he was a sincere anti big government man and a sincere defender of black people against lynching and other persecution).

In 1876 (not 1976) the Republicans were the party of tariffs (although not the “Liberal Republicans” , “liberal” meaning almost the reverse of what it does now, who were free traders). This was the time of President Grant and the “Gilded Age”.

An age that is rightly denounced for its corruption – but the good side of the hundredth anniversary of American independence is often forgotten.

Taxation was low (no income tax or corporation tax) and so was government spending – sorry “libertarian left” but “Corporate Welfare” is a lot less expensive that welfare-for-all (which does NOT make “Corporate Welfare” right). The Welfare State (created in two stages – 1930s [some of the 1930s stuff was actually repealed in the late 1940s - the glorious "Do Nothing Congress" elected in 1946] and 1960s and then left to grow and grow) was not in existence.

Also blacks were not subject to the full force of “Jim Crow” law in 1876 – but soon the United States army was to be withdrawn from the South and the KKK and the “Redshirts” (and other Democrat armed terror groups) were to take back power in the South. Take back by power by threats and by murder – both of black people and of white people who opposed the terror groups.

Not only was (not “was not”) the Civil War about slavery – especially its expansion (the Charles Beard, Woodrow Wilson, Murray Rothbard “economic class conflict” historical theory is wrong). But the war did not really end in 1865 – the Southern “Bourbon” Democrats (who looked down on the KKK and the Redshirts – but did little to stop their activities) may have had some regard for private property rights (of white people) but leftist Democrats such as Governor Bilbo of Miss combined vicious racism (and anti Semitism) with a hatred of “big business” and a fanatically faith in government (in his own wise hands of course) to do good for “the poor”, “the little guy”, “the workers” (the ancient lie that goes back all the way to Pericles).

Almost needless to say the real causes of Southern poverty – the corrupt and arbitrary nature of power (government and armed private groups) that discouraged private investment and capital accumulation (the “capital” of the old South had been largely human) were not taught – then or now. Any more than many Southern Democrats being IN FAVOUR of “gun control” is taught – I hope the reader can work out which people these Democrats wanted not to be allowed to own firearms.

Even as late as the 1960s the father of Condi Rice had to drive off a Klan attack on his home with a rifle – and the local Church was bombed by the Klan (and some childhood friends of Condi were killed) – the modern South of such people as Senator Tim Scott was, as yet, far in the future even in 1976.

In the future – or in the past, as there had been black United States Senators and Governors before (in the brief period that came to an end in 1876). But the time was not right – and, to be blunt, people were often not really either. Although white politicians were often just as wild spending as black ones – in the post Civil War chaos.

Eastern Tennessee has remained constant since the 1860s – Republican (and the right sort of Republican), rejecting both racial politics and class (“rich versus poor” politics).

And the Bill of Rights? If you need me to tell you why they are important (to the world – not just the United State), you will have to wait for another time (this means – work it out for yourself, they are the essence of limited government, of universal principles not dependent on time or place).

I am tired. It is not 1976 – I am old. For individual people grow old – and die. Only principles live on.

The man is mad

“Having thought about this a great deal, and for more years than I care to remember, it seems to me that if we are to achieve different outcomes to the ones toward which we are presently headed, then we will absolutely need a different kind of economy to get there,” he said.

“Governments will have to set targets, signal the direction of travel and create the fiscal conditions necessary for attracting the right kind of finance towards the correct priorities. Those who run our financial systems and lead our companies will need to develop strategies and work together for successful implementation. And citizens across the world will need to understand why change is necessary,” he added.

Ok, so HRH the Prince of Wales has finally broken cover and revealed himself as full on fascist.

He is proposing a societal model, a relationship between the government, commerce and the people, which would have been familiar to and supported by his grand uncle, and, like him, should be offered the governorship of the Bahamas as the limit of his future advancement.

What is going on?

What is it with this defence of the symbols of the Confederacy?

It is unquestionable, at least, I hope, to the people who visit this site and others similar, that we know and understand history, and reject the determination shown by so much of the progressive left to impose their views on all of us. However, contrary to Gerald Warner writing on Breitbart the Confederate flag does not proclaim a glorious heritage.

Many men and women sacrificed and died for that flag, and the country and constitution for which it stood, but not one of them sacrificed in a glorious cause. It is argued that the Civil War was fought for the protection of States Rights, and this is true at a superficial level, but The Confederacy was established for the purpose of protecting and promoting the right of one man to own, purchase and sell other men, treating with and disposing of them as livestock. As such it was an enterprise entirely without merit and no measure of valour on the part of its supporters is deserving of celebration.

Instead of defending this symbol of mans contempt for other men, libertarians and conservatives should be demanding the Democrats explain their one hundred and sixty years of association with not just this flag, but everything it represents. We should demand they disassociate themselves from their entire race obsessed history.

Why aren’t we holding them to their own standards, and going Alinsky on their asses?

Instead, so many of those who claim to speak on our side are, yet again, giving them a free pass.

Get your ass to Mars

Phobos Base

“Mars is possible, and in a time horizon of interest,” Hoppy Price, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said May 20 during a presentation with the space agency’s Future In-Space Operations (FISO) working group. “It could happen in our lifetime, and it wouldn’t take a trillion dollars to do it.”

This effort would require four launches of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket, which is currently in development and is scheduled to make its maiden flight in 2018.

The first Phobos-oriented SLS launch, in 2029, would loft a space tug and two chemical-propulsion payloads — a Phobos Transfer Stage and a Trans-Earth Injection Stage. The tug would use solar-electric propulsion (SEP) to haul the two payloads to Mars orbit in just less than four years. (The team’s concept requires no big breakthroughs in propulsion technology or other areas, Price said.)

A second SLS liftoff would carry another SEP tug and the Phobos base, which could support a crew of four. The tug would take the base to Phobos and deposit it on the moon’s surface, then stay with the habitat to provide power and move it to different locations on Phobos if desired.

The third SLS launch, around 2032, would carry a deep-space habitat (with the same basic design as the Phobos base) and a Mars Orbit Insertion Stage to Earth orbit. Another SLS liftoff would then send NASA’s Orion capsule and a crew of four up to meet this preplaced gear, which would help take the astronauts to Mars orbit in a journey lasting 200 to 250 days.

A Manned Mission to Mars: How NASA Could Do It

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of a landing on Mars and indeed human colonisation thereof (if it’s worth colonising), but I suspect that NASA’s bureaucrat heavy costing model and desire for ‘big new kit’ is essentially the problem here.

If we put the entrepreneurs in charge instead of the bureaucrats I suspect we could get a mission to Phobos by 2025 and landing on Mars soon thereafter.

We already have a marshalling yard and habitation module in orbit in the form of the ISS. Simply build the interplanetary components of the cargo and habitation units on earth in a modular form and powered by electric motors and boost them into space using the SpaceX Falcon Heavy alongside the ISS with a limited final assembly in orbit alongside the ISS.

At next opposition (when Mars and Earth are closest) fire them to Phobos so that food, water and habitation are ready and waiting for astronauts upon their arrival and we can test and monitor equipment remotely. Do the same with the Phobos-Mars descent/ascent vehicle.

The speed of the journey here is not critical so it doesn’t matter if it takes 18-months to get there as long as they are operational before the astronauts depart the ISS.

Then do the same for the ISS/Phobos shuttle with the crew module and powered by a multi-megawatt Vasimr engine capable of reaching Mars at opposition in 40/50 days.

The ISS/Phobos shuttle would be completely reusable as none of the components would be subject to damage by atmospheric re-entry albeit a chemical powered Phobos descent/ascent module would probably be necessary.

All of the technology to do this is available today (albeit both the  Vasimr engine and Phobos-Mars descent/ascent vehicle require more work, this could be undertaken during the preparation phase for the Phobos habitation module.

All of the above could be achieved for a fraction of the current NASA proposals for MARS and in less than half the time. The ISS/Phobos shuttle could be reused to support a genuine space base on Phobos (transiting at every opposition) and the ISS would have a genuine purpose.

P.S. – Currently reading Andy Weir’s The Martian. :-)

Grexit…

Lord Hall’s Dirty Little Secret

Council Tax bill 2013/2014 for property dwelling band F with 25% discount for sole adult resident

Hat tip to the TV Licensing blog

Speaking on BBC1′s the Andrew Marr Show, Lord Hall also said a “household tax” – as proposed by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee – is a “very interesting idea”.

He added there is broad agreement for the licence fee to be reformed to ensure “everyone is paying equally for it and I would go along with that”.

BBC boss Tony Hall says TV licence fee will last another 10 years

Some will find Lord Hall’s admission that there is no long-term future for the UK’s antiquated “Telly Tax” a refreshing volte-face from the BBC Chief, but the reality is that he needs to protect BBC revenues as well as addressing growing criticism of how TV Licensing operates, specifically:

  • The regressive nature of the TV License which, at an annual cost of £145.50 ($230 USD, $300 AUD) disproportionately affects the poor as it relates to households rather than income.
  • For non-compliant households (both scoff-laws and “TV Refuseniks” who genuinely don’t require a license), sending out threatening letters and visits by Capita goons generates endless bad PR.
  • Those jailed for non-payment of court imposed fines for TV License evasion are primarily poor women (a staggering 73% of all TV License related convictions)

So it is for these reasons, as well as a desire to silence those proposing a mixed public-service/subscription only model, that Lord Hall is suddenly open and honest about the need for change. In fact I suspect that “revenue neutrality” will be the foundation stone, but that will be revenue neutral from the BBC’s perspective – not the “hard-working families” who have to pay for the BBC’s largess.

The model that Lord Hall is proposing is a “Household Tax” and he is suggesting that it be simply added as a line item on Council Tax bills across the nation. Councils would then remit the money to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – which then sends the bulk of that money directly to the BBC (less some smaller scale payments to other media companies for their public service commitments)

On the face of it, since the “Telly Tax” is essentially a household tax anyway (save for those ½ million-or-so “TV Refuseniks”), so bundling it as a £145.50 line item within the Council Tax would mean:

  • All costs associated with TV License collection would be eliminated (about £100 million per annum) along with the bad PR associated with threatening letters, visiting Capita goons and those poor women jailed for non-payment of court imposed fines for TV License evasion.
  • Collection would revert to local councils, so any refusal to pay would be classified as Council Tax rather than TV License related evasion.
  • The ½ million or so “TV Refuseniks” would be forced to pay regardless as I suspect ”not watching TV as it is broadcast” would cease to be a valid reason to refuse payment. This is a growing problem for the BBC and would “Send the right message” (as in “Fuck you – pay me.”)

However, the one thing which this approach would not deal with (or at least not on the surface), is the accusation that “a fixed fee of £145.50 disproportionately affects the poor”. Here I expect that the provisions covering Council Tax Reduction (previously known as Council Tax Benefit), will be extended to include the TV License component.

So if those in receipt of a Council Tax Reduction are no longer actually paying the cost of their TV License then who will? If your answer to that particular rhetorical question was “Muggins ‘ere”, then I suspect you are correct. :-)

Given a “Revenue Neutral” approach (from the BBC’s perspective), any shortfall would have to be made up from an increase in either general taxation (income tax, etc.) or Council Tax.

Given that the OECD classifies the TV License as “a hypothecated tax for the purpose of funding public broadcasting“, neither approach would increase the overall tax versus GDP (one of Chancellor George “Gideon” Osborne favourite metrics), but I expect the new legislation preventing increases in general taxation to be used to add it onto the Council Tax bill.

Thus those eponymous “hard working families” who actually pay their Council Tax bills in full will be paying a hidden and unknown  element to cover those who can’t pay / won’t pay.

Now you can see why Lord “Marxist” Hall is in favour of a “Household Tax” as it has the potential to solve all his current problems…Except BBC profligacy and left-wing bias obviously.

Channelling Enoch

Enoch Powell

It is all too easy to dismiss Enoch Powell as being both as bigoted and as racist as the members of the National Front (predecessor to the BNP) who adopted him as their latter day patron saint were, but to do so is to fall into the trap set by our enemies.

As with all intellectuals, he believed that even in politics, those with the better argument, supported by facts would win the day – how astonishingly naïve this now appears in our more cynical age, even then many of his fellow Tories knew he was likely to be proven right, but kept their own counsel and remained silent.

Nearly 50-years on since his infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech, the picture of the impact of immigration that he painted (at least in terms of pure numbers) appears worse than he predicted, but he also seems to have presumed a higher degree of ongoing ghettoization than has actually been the case.

NOTEAll indented quotes are taken directly from the text of the “Rivers of Blood” speech, my annotations are shown in red, between square brackets.

In 15 or 20 years [i.e. 1983 and 1988 respectively], on present trends, there will be in this country three and a half million Commonwealth immigrants and their descendants.

That is not my figure. That is the official figure given to parliament by the spokesman of the Registrar General’s Office.

There is no comparable official figure for the year 2000, but it must be in the region of five to seven million, approximately one-tenth of the whole population, and approaching that of Greater London.

Although his projected figures were described as “inflammatory” and “grossly exaggerated” by senior politicians at the time, comparing them with census records for 1981 he was pretty much spot on (3,429,100) and the 2001 census was at the lower end of his “five to seven million” estimate (4,896,600) although this census is acknowledged to be understated by about 500,000 people, the majority of which are believed to be missing immigrants numbers.

Although Powell touched on “integration” he did not seem to appreciate that it was the inherent fear of the unknown, simply passed off as “the inherent racial prejudice of the British lower classes” that created some (but not all) of the ghettoes.

The other dangerous delusion from which those who are wilfully or otherwise blind to realities suffer, is summed up in the word “integration.”

To be integrated into a population means to become for all practical purposes indistinguishable from its other members.

Now, at all times, where there are marked physical differences, especially of colour, integration is difficult though, over a period, not impossible.

There are among the Commonwealth immigrants who have come to live here in the last fifteen years or so, many thousands whose wish and purpose is to be integrated and whose every thought and endeavour is bent in that direction.

But to imagine that such a thing enters the heads of a great and growing majority of immigrants and their descendants is a ludicrous misconception, and a dangerous one.

One area where he was clearly lacked foresight was that many of the immigrants from the commonwealth were the educated middle class (at least in the context of their country of origin) and sufficiently aspirational that they broke the boundaries of the ghetto and relocated to suburbia as quickly as they were able, in fact I would go further and say that the injection of Hindu and Sikh immigration of the 1970′s forms the basis of much the entrepreneurial spirit of the subsequent decades and the strength of the SME sector in the UK today.

It is often forgotten that the context of his speech was the Race Relations Act of 1968 and his genuinely held belief that it would lead to the silencing of criticism over immigration and the impact on the working class.

But while, to the immigrant, entry to this country was admission to privileges and opportunities eagerly sought, the impact upon the existing population was very different.

For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country.

They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted.

They now learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by act of parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to protect them or redress their grievances is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent-provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions.

In the final analysis, his fears may have been parochial and based upon a paternalistic attitude which I find patronising, but much of what he predicted has come to pass, especially in the context of Islamic and Romany immigration.

Hat Tip to Gildas the Monk over at Anna Raccoon

Full text of Powell’s 1968 Rivers of Blood speech

Quote of the Day, June 26, 2015

Loyalty to bad commitments leads to moral incoherence.

–David Horowitz, “The Two Christophers”

Frack Yeah!

The Graun is glumly reporting the go ahead Lancashire County Council had given to Cuadrilla to frack for shale gas.  It is an anonymous piece and therefore lacking the usual colourful alarmist hyperbole so loved by the Moonbatistas of this world.  Even so, it contains lefty bias.

Rejecting plans for test fracking in Lancashire would send a message that the county was not open for business and investment, a coalition of local businesses, academics, farmers and students has warned.

So not everyone is buying the climate alarmist claims then.  What a shame.

Planning officers at Lancashire council have recommended the application for a site at Preston New Road near Little Plumpton be passed, subject to a number of conditions being met, but plans for a similar site at Roseacre Wood should be turned down because of an increase in traffic.

Both sensible decisions.  Preston New Road is a major ‘A’ road linking Blackpool with Preston.  Roseacre is a tiny village served by narrow and winding country lanes not suitable for heavy traffic.

The council’s development control committee will have the final say this week on whether Cuadrilla can explore for shale gas by drilling, fracking and testing the flow of gas. Separate applications would need to be submitted if the firm wanted to progress to commercial fracking.

And not a single subsidy in sight.  Private enterprise is footing the entire bill.  Shame the same can’t be said about Big Wind and Big Solar.

Among those speaking on Monday was Steve Pye, a former chairman of the Blackpool and Fylde and Wyre branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, who pointed out that concerns had been voiced when the nuclear, aerospace and chemicals industries all set up in the region.  That had not led to an adverse impact on local people or local house prices, he said.

Clearly not a member of one of the local anti-fracking activist groups then.  They think that fracking will bring about Ragnarok.

It is a brand new industry that could create a lot of jobs. It would lift the the average wage and it would boost the local economy significantly.

Brand new, no.  The Yanks have been fracking for years.  It’s certainly an economic game changer and, unless you are a watermelon, a welcome one.

Janet Thornton, founder of Kirkham-based consultancy firm Inspired Energy, said: “I believe it will expand jobs everywhere.  The cost of energy is the biggest issue to growth of any business. Some of the companies that we have been working with say they have gone down to three-day weeks and they have lost contracts and orders.

Yes, it’s high time we stopped driving British companies to the wall or abroad because spiraling energy costs at home are crippling them.

She added: “I think you will always have strong opposition because people in the north-west don’t like change.

Because even in the twenty-first century we Lancastrians still refuse to put aside our clogs, shawls and whippet pies or cease muttering darkly about “Trouble at t’mill.”  You were doing fine right up until that stupid, condescending comment, Janet.

We need to progress as a community. Lancashire needs putting on the map.

Oh, goody.  I’ll phone Ordnance Survey first thing.

Pye said: “Henry Ford would not have got any further if they all had told him at the time when he went to build his first car: ‘Oh by the way Henry, there is going to be 100 people a week in the UK who will die on the roads, we are not going to let you go ahead and manufacture your cars because it’s not going to be safe.’”

The Graun reporter must have put some effort into finding the two most media-unsavvy people in the room.  Capitalism kills – geddit?

A group of local sixth formers, college and university students later gathered on the steps of County Hall in Preston to call for the approval of the plans.

All those years of CAGW indoctrinatiion in our schools gone to waste.  Tut, tut.

Julian Hine, a student at Blackpool and The Fylde College, said: “At the college we’re learning a lot about the technical aspects of shale gas and the skills required to work in the industry. The approval of the applications would be great news for Lancashire and the whole of the UK.

“For me and my friends, further exploration would be an exciting step towards Lancashire becoming a hub for a major new industry.”

I share your sentiments, Julian.  So do a lot of not-so-averse-to-change- as-some-would-have-you-believe north-westerners.

The government is pushing for the development of a shale gas industry in the UK, claiming it would create jobs and growth, reduce energy prices and cut the country’s reliance on gas imports.

Nowt wrong with that.  Unless, of course, you are on a mission to save the planet from a non-existent threat world slaying plant food.

Opponents have raised fears that the process causes earthquakes, can pollute water supplies and could lead to inappropriate development in the countryside and damage house prices.

Ably assisted and widely reported by the Beeboids and Grauniadistas ad nauseam.

Can we leave yet?

Sizewell B

Austria is to officially file a legal complaint in Brussels against state subsidies for Britain’s planned new Hinkley Point nuclear power plant, the government in Vienna said.

“We cannot accept that a technology such as this being portrayed through subsidies as being modern, sustainable and future-oriented,” Chancellor Werner Faymann said after a cabinet meeting.

The complaint, which Vienna had already threatened in September and which will be filed next Monday, “is also of symbolic value against nuclear power”, the centre-left chancellor said.

Austria to file legal complaint against UK’s Hinkley Point nuclear plans

After decades of umming and ahhing by the UK government over what to do about replacing our ageing nuclear power stations AND having opted for the least inventive solution (i.e. build current generation replacements on the same sites as the existing nuclear power stations), we get this stab in the back from our European “allies”.

Everyone is hyped-up on the CAGW nonsense, but when it comes down to keeping the lights on or replacing nuclear power stations with bird choppers or god forbid fossil fuels, we can just hurry up and wait.

All of this is despite the fact that Hinkley Point in Somerset is roughly 900 miles from Austria. This is political grandstanding at its most repugnant and makes a mockery of the EU bureaucracy we’ve already been through to deal with the state aid issue. Once again demonstrating that the EU is little more than an unnecessary overhead adding nothing of value.

Can we leave yet?

Isn’t the internet WONDERFUL

<snigger>

First we have this:dixie

And this:clinton_gore

And this

sonsofthenewsouth

And finally, we have this:

(more…)

Ignorant Idiocy of the Day — July 15, 2004

No Jewish person is going to look–especially if their family is originally from Czarist Russia. They’re never going to look on anything of Russian Communism with the same pure horror and fear and revulsion that they are going to bring to a reaction to Nazism.

–Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens, “Uncommon Knowledge,” July 15, 2004

Au contraire. I give you Ayn Rand.

You don’t get me

I’m part of the union.

New video doing the rounds of the right wing blogs right now here in Oz. It was up, then down, then up again. I guess some students, environmentalists and, maybe, possibly, even a few lawyers weren’t happy with its contents.

Come on, I know it’s a union, but you gotta have at least some sympathy for them…

 

H/T Tim Blair

The EU makes one last attempt to keep Greece in the Eurozone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vruy2GRUsV8

Friday Humour

It's all fun and games until someone needs a cone

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