Counting Cats in Zanzibar Rotating Header Image

Politics

Whatever Else, He’s Either Ignorant or a Liar

I can’t stand this and now my friends in Zanzibar are going to be treated to a rant !!!

It’s that blasted Ted Cruz. He’s certainly my pick of the availables at this point. I was even willing to forgive his not understanding the “natural born citizen” Constitutional requirement for the privilege of serving as President of the U.S., since apparently most of the elite libertarian legal eagles don’t either, and I am bitterly, bitterly sorry to say that that includes Randy Barnett, who gave a sobworthy (in parts) presentation on the issue to the Washington Journal. You can see for yourselves — link’s below. (C-Span, not embeddable.) –(You probably won’t see why I’m so disgusted by his performance unless I tell you, though.)

However, I’m just now getting around to watching Debate #6, and Ted is in the hot seat. He’s just been asked if he’s a “natural born citizen.” Butter wouldn’t melt as he snidely skewers (as he thinks) those who would dare to raise — quote — “the Birther issue.” In a voice dripping with disdain.

Now, given the authoritative Constitutional weight of people like Barnett and others at The Volokh Conspiracy*, I can understand and forgive the average layman and even the average lawyer and maybe even the average Constitutional lawyer for going along with the idea that birthplace is immaterial– though Shrill, or her staff, thought it important enough to bring up the birthplace issue vis-á-vis the Gentleman from Wherever-the-hell-he’s-from, when they were running against each other back in 2008. However, Ted DOES stick on side about being a Constitutional attorney, or at least his fans and promoters do. (I’m trying to be fair, even though I am royally p.o.’ed.)

So now, back to his answer in the debate. First, and the least of the issues, he says it’s only the “extreme” fringe who think eligibility requires not just one but TWO citizen parents.

Not so. There is a valid argument for that understanding, which is that at the time of the Founding the wife’s citizenship automatically followed that of the husband. Therefore if the wife was not a citizen, it would mean the husband wasn’t either. Mind you, that’s the argument. I don’t say it’s correct; in fact it overlooks uncommon cases that were in fact discussed by the Founders, such as Pop as already passed on or the child is illegitimate. But it’s not “extreme.” And it’s what most non-Proggies who have an opinion seem to believe.

But here is the real problem. He says that the courts have said time after time that people having a parent who is a citizen are natural born citizens (regardless of birthplace).

This is flatly untrue. Yes, such people have been found to be American citizens, but not natural born citizens. In fact they aren’t even native citizens, which specifically means citizens born on American turf: natives-by-birth, so to speak. This is an obvious difference** and so fundamental that only an ignoramus or a liar could say such a thing. So Ted, which is it? Are you openly showing your flat ignorance or are you lying — you know this distinction perfectly well — and hoping nobody will notice?

Disgusting!

He has the nerve to back this remarkable position up by saying that “after all, if it were true then Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal wouldn’t be eligible either” — and so they aren’t, but not because of extra-American birth: Rubio born in Miami, Jindal in Baton Rouge. Birthplace not an issue with them. Their problem is parentage. But worse yet, he goes on to add that even THE DONALD wouldn’t be eligible, because although he was born here his mother wasn’t. (She’s from Ireland.)

You fool! As long as she (or she and her husband, or only her husband, depending on your theory about whether it takes one or two citizen parents) was a citizen — naturalized or statutory, makes no difference, which is why the “anchor baby” 14th Amendment comes into the controversy — as long as some non-zero number of parents were ALREADY citizens when the babe was born, the parent(s) citizenship is automatically inherited by the baby**. If Ma Trump was already naturalized when she popped Bonnie Donnie, he IS natural born. (Leaving aside the issue of one parent or two, of course.)

This really is baby stuff. And even Randy Barnett, If I Remember Correctly, does not make such an uninformed claim.

The reason I was going to vote for Ted was that he’s obviously the least worst of the bunch having any chance of the nomination. But if this is not flat-out lying, then he’s not only completely ignorant (or confused, as in deer-in-the-headlights confused, or having what we Computer Types call a Kernel Panic), he’s also unaware of how ignorant (or confused) he is — or else he’s perfectly aware and lying about THAT, claiming that his opinion is the one the courts have gone by all these years.

Horsefeathers!

So now what. I have to vote against whatever fool and/or criminal the Dims put up, which means I have to vote for the Heffalump candidate.

At this point, those are the only grounds on which I can urge people to vote for Ted in the general election — if he’s the candidate.

–J.

Ted Cruz in Debate #6, 1/14/16, Fox, Bartiromo and Cavuto, around 22 minutes in, maybe a bit more:

Randy Barnett’s discussion is actually pretty good in the first half. He presents the opposition’s (that would be me) argument honestly and reasonably thoroughly. It’s in the second half of his remarks that he comes up with an ingenious but, to me, not entirely convincing argument, and then ends on a most undignified note (and remember, I’m a longstanding fan of Prof. Barnett; much more than any of the other Volokhites, except in some respects David Bernstein). Now I feel jilted by both of my Libertarian Legal Loves. It’s not FAIR !!! :>((

40 minutes.

Randy Barnett: “Natural Born Citizen” Presidential Requirement

*Not Prof. Laurence Tribe, interestingly enough — per Barnett, Prof. Tribe’s understanding of “natural born” IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT OF ELIGIBILTY is the same as mine: A citizen parent at the time of the candidate’s birth, AND must be born on American soil. But, says Randy, this poses no problem for Tribe because Tribe is not an Originalist of any stripe but rather a Living Constitutionalist, so is not hampered by this little departure from the Rules.

**Not true that there are only two classes of American citizens: For purposes of Constitutional eligibility at least, there are three: Naturalized, statutory (for children born abroad of citizen parents), and natural born. Only those in the last category are eligible.

–No, that does not make anyone a “second-class citizen.” There is theoretically no such thing in the U.S. To serve as President is a privilege, not a right. There is no other post in the entire Federal government that is restricted to natural born citizens.

2016 – Another bad year for Shrillary?

Shrillary vs Comrade Bernie

Mrs Clinton has been flexing her muscles in Iowa in the hopes of finally punching through what she’s described as the “highest, hardest glass ceiling”. So you’d expect the women of Iowa to give her a helping hand on the way to having a female occupant of the White House. But there are worrying signs for Mrs Clinton that the sisterhood is letting her down.

One poll has given Mr Sanders a double-digit lead over Mrs Clinton among 18 to 34-year-old women. Tad Devine, Mr Sanders’ senior campaign adviser, has put it down to a youthful suspicion of all things “phoney”. By contrast, “with Bernie there’s authenticity”. His stance on social issues like abortion has also done him lots of favours with 20 somethings.

The danger for Mrs Clinton is that history is about to repeat itself. In Iowa in 2008, Barack Obama defeated her, and it was in part women he had to thank for his victory then.

Women won’t help Hillary Clinton make history

The possibility that Shrillary could be ‘out-leftied’ by Comrade Bernie Sanders was something that I initially dismissed as “Nah – never happen”, but leading into the Iowa caucuses they are both neck and neck in the polls with Comrade Bernie trailing Shrillary by 1-to-2 points.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no love of Comrade Bernie and his 18 Trillion dollar bill for fixing America (yes, that’s Trillion with a ‘T’), but since this Marxist schmuck has absolutely no chance of winning the Presidency, the possibility that he might sufficiently embarrass Shrillary in the primaries for her support to desert her would be both ironic and deeply satisfying.

She knows that this is last chance city to gain the White House as even 2020 will be too damn late for her, but is she really prepared to go for broke, bringing herself to near bankruptcy for a race to the crown that is slipping from her fingers?

I do hope so.

Deploy the Rubber Nuclear Weapons!

Cuban Missile Covers - Lubricated

 Jeremy Corbyn has suggested that Britain should keep its fleet of nuclear submarines but have them patrol the globe without nuclear weapons.

The Labour leader suggested Britain could keep Trident submarines without the nuclear warheads, in a move that will placate the unions who fear abandoning the deterrent could lead to job losses in shipyards in Cumbria and Scotland.

With Labour in the process of reviewing its defence policy, Mr Corbyn’s comments raise the prospect that deploying British nuclear submarines armed with only conventional weapons could become the party’s official position.

Mr Corbyn also said that he would never “press the button” to launch nuclear weapons, adding that he didn’t think “David Cameron would either”. Number 10 firmly denied the accusation.

Jeremy Corbyn says he would keep submarines patrolling the world without any nuclear weapons

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is worthwhile reviewing whether Trident is an appropriate solution given the restrictions and limitations placed upon its use by the US Government, but nevertheless, disarming them whilst retaining the rather expensive technical platforms they are reliant upon is an exercise in futility, all so that Jezza can keep in with the unions. It’s like a rerun of the 1970′s, something Tony Benn would have come out with.

Mr Corbyn floated the idea during a wide-ranging interview BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show in which he also suggested opening up a line of communication with so-called Islamic State and called for a “sensible dialogue” with Argentina over the British-controlled Falkland Islands.

As for his comments about simply ignoring the wishes of the Falkland Islanders and doing a dodgy deal with the Argentinians over sovereignty, “Go fuck yourself, Jeremy”. If self-determination means anything it is the Falkland Islanders that get to choose, not some moron in London.

He also pledged to repeal Conservative trade union laws banning sympathy strikes and did not rule out allowing the return of flying pickets.

Christ on a moped, so we’re going to return full circle to the bullshit of the 1970′s, with wildcat strikes and violent thugs roaming the country in minivans to destroy the economy like it did last time? Remember when Labour had to go begging for money to the IMF?

No, No, No, No, No!

Keep pushing the rhetoric Jeremy, because it will ensure that you never get elected and it makes the collapse of Labour even more likely every day you remain as leader, but everything that comes out of your mouth I find absolutely repellent, as will many who remember the dying days of the Wilson/Callaghan regime.

Interview: Ronald Coase

Herewith economist Dr. Ronald Coase, interviewed in 2002 by Richard Epstein for the Liberty Fund’s “Intellectual Portrait” series. Dr. Coase sketches his background, and then discusses such topics as public utilities, in particular the water supply and the Post Office, how these came to be state-owned in Britain, and the reasoning that led to the state-owned BBC. Notes that the Educated Classes approved: for it was necessary to raise the tone of the culture of the lower classes. He explains that having started as a socialist, sheer observation persuaded him that free enterprise works better. He discusses the famous Lighthouse Example, and states that in the end, governments are necessary to determine (i.e. define) what will be the property rights, and to enforce them.

About an hour.

Violence remains at the heart of the left

Egg thrown at a Tory

Over the past 48 hours, delegates, MPs, journalists and exhibitors who are attending the annual gathering of the nation’s governing party have been punched, spat at, kicked, subjected to racist abuse, sexist abuse and other general threats of violence.

- The Telegraph

I’m not a Tory, not by a long chalk, but it’s a personal thing. I don’t like the intrusive and nanny state aspects of the Tories, as a result, I don’t tend to vote for them, except as a protest and I don’t fund them.

But some on the left, firmly believe that having their arguments decisively, if not overwhelmingly, rejected at the ballot box, feel they have the right to turn up outside the Tory party conference and intimidate, spit and throw eggs at the attendees for little more than supporting a different political vision.

So inured are we to the childish, yet violent behaviour of the left, that for the most part we are more disgusted than surprised, but could you imagine the opposite happening? A bunch of sneering Young Conservatives turning up to protest at the Labour Party conference? No – me neither.

This is the fundamental problem at the heart of the left – that when their arguments are rejected by the electorate, they don’t seek better arguments, they just reach into their grab-bag of socialist solutions for what has worked in the past and try and apply that.

The problem being that strikes and sit-ins and the rest of the panoply of student union politics seldom works in the real world for the simple fact that the real world is not made up of 20-something’s who’ve never had a job and have too much time on their hands.

As the left crumbles, expect more intimidation and “Direct Action”, but the more they do it, the more the general populace will become alienated by it and contemptuous of those who practice it.

21 Days Later…

Bad start for CorbynSo three weeks in to “Régime Corbyn” and things are looking pretty grim for the Tooting Popular Front Labour leader, with IPSOS/MORI Poll ratings that show his début as leader has been the worst in modern party history, with a negative satisfaction rating which even Michael Foot, after the leadership contest with Tony Benn never quite achieved.

In other polls, his leadership qualities are similarly trounced, which just goes to show the consequences of a voting process in which the indulgence of socialist ideals comes before the possibility of winning an election. I do hope those Labour MP’s who were coaxed into nominating a ‘token lefty’ in the Leadership contest are choking on their porridge this morning, personally I haven’t found so much schadenfreude in politics in a long time and long may it continue.

The poll also reveals just how badly Labour’s image has been damaged in the past five months of election defeat and leadership bickering. Since April, when the same questions were asked, the proportion of people who see Labour as “divided” has soared from 43 to 75 per cent.

More than twice as many people, 36 per cent, now see the party as extreme. Fewer think it is “fit to govern” than before the election, while a majority — 55 per cent — see it as “out of date”.

Evening Standard

I know that many here fear El Presidenté Corbyn might be able to slip into 10 Downing Street by some spectacular failure of the Tories, but given that the gap between the wider electorate and Labour is growing rather than shrinking, I suspect that the probability of that was never very high and is still receding.

Not that I fancy another term under either David Cameron or Gideon Osborne, but both are preferable to the typical Blairite puppets on display during the Labour Leadership Election.

So three cheers to Comrade Corbyn, for the petrels of Muscovy have returned and find the climate bracing.

Who knows? 20 years from now we might look back and say “Labour? Oh, yes. I remember them. The dying last gasp of socialism.”.

Talking aboot mah Generation!

Whaurs Wullie

He famously described last year’s referendum on Scottish independence as a “once in a generation” event. But Alex Salmond has now changed his mind, arguing that the country is heading for another one “much faster” than he originally anticipated.

The former SNP leader said his earlier view had been “overtaken by events”, citing his party’s surge at the general election and the continued policies of austerity being imposed by the Conservative Government. A second referendum is now “much closer”, he added.

Mr Salmond’s U-turn came a day after Nicola Sturgeon, his successor as leader of the SNP, announced that she would lay out a timescale for another vote on Scotland’s future in the party’s manifesto for next year’s Holyrood elections. Another referendum could take place within five years, she suggested.

Alex Salmond makes U-turn over ‘once in a generation’ Scottish independence referendum

On the first anniversary of the much ignored “Biggest vote AGAINST Scottish Independence ever!”, the late and definitely unlamented leader of the Scots Gnats, Wee Eck aka Alex Salmond has announced that when he called last years vote “a once in a generation” event, he had is fingers crossed. Not that he was lying at all, because obviously the natural leader of Scottish Gnashnalism, if not currently the SNP is a man of enormous personal integrity…..err..yeah…Right.

Wee Eck’s replacement as SNP Leader, wee Jimmy Krankie Nicola Sturgeon is now trying to align SNP hard-liners behind “referendum triggers”, such as voting to leave the EU against the wishes of the Scottish Parliament, while ignoring the only trigger that Nicola Sturgeon really cares about, winning, not just holding another referendum on Scottish Independence.

Last time I looked in the dictionary, a generation was defined as

The average period, generally considered to be about thirty years, in which children grow up, become adults, and have children of their own:

“the same families have lived here for generations”

Obviously, given the breathing space of another 29-years would place the next referendum beyond Ms. Sturgeon’s political lifetime (and that of several of her successors), she is trying to use the SNP’s current electoral power in Scotland to force a vote that shouldn’t really be held and then blame “those nasty Tories” for the consequences of yet another vote on Scottish independence.

I’m often reminded of the Muslim Brotherhood’s campaign slogan of “One Man, One Vote, but only Once”, because that is similar to the deal being offered by the SNP, because once independent, there is no going back short of invading England…again.

braveheart

Australian / Americans seldom invade England any more…

Hat Tip to Natalie Solent over at Samizdata

 

Musical Chairs – Aussie-style

Tony Abbot v Malcolm Turnbull

The sudden ousting of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott now means the country has had five people fill the position since 2010.

Tony Abbott removed: Australia has had five prime ministers in five years

It began with the ousting of Kevin Rudd in June 2010 by his execrable deputy Julia Gillard, she was then ousted in June 2013, back again to Kevin Rudd until September 2013 when (quelle surprise!), Labor get kicked out and in comes budgie-smuggler-in-chief, Liberal leader Tony Abbott at the Aussie general election and then the Liberals start playing the same games as Labor and have ousted Tony Abbott in favour of “effective, but not well loved” new Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull.

While it might be justified for the Australian electorate to “throw the buggers out!”, they have had very little say in any of this.

For myself, I think that a change of Prime Minister (other than due to his or her death*), in a parliamentary system, should result in an immediate general election. It would mean that the decision of the electorate is paramount and it would also stop a lot of ‘party games‘ such as this.

* – Obviously you wouldn’t want some nut-job being able to force a General Election by the assassination of a Prime Minister.

The Turkeys have voted for Christmas…

Comrade Corbyn

So they’ve only gone and done it and by a landslide of 59.5% of the vote Jezza Corbyn has been thrust from the back benches to the leader of the opposition. The looks on the faces of the Blairites, especially Andy Burnham were worth their weight in gold, a collective of “How the fuck did this happen?”.

Well, it’s going to be a roller coaster ride, that’s for sure and nobody is quite sure where the living embodiment of Wolfie Smith, erstwhile leader of the Tooting Popular Front is going to lead this very real incarnation of Old Labour (‘cos it certainly ain’t new), some say the Houses of Parliament, but I strongly suspect the correct answer is down the toilet with a monumental flush.

Indeed the strength of the comrades party unity is already showing with shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt and shadow health minister Jamie Reed both trouncing out of the shadow cabinet, presumably taking their balls with them. Similarly, Yvette Cooper aka Mrs. Ed Balls has decided to spend more time with her family, err, return to the back benches. Well it’s certainly better than spending time at home with Ed Balls drowning his sorrows at home after being firmly rejected by the Leeds electorate.

So wither next for the Blairites and indeed the moderates and centrists of the Labour Party? I suspect they will similarly retreat into the shadows and lick their wounds while waiting for Jezza Corbyn to demonstrate his teen Trot credentials and cause rift after rift amongst the Parliamentary Labour Party.

There is an old American saying “Rattlesnakes don’t commit suicide”. I think, indeed I hope and pray that we are witnessing the death throes of this vile and repulsive collective. I give him 3-years at the most and when they do realise that Jezza Corbyn is an electoral liability they will eject him, but without sufficient time to pick some new idiot to be Head Boy (Tom Watson? Don’t make me laugh) and get them up to speed for the next election in 2020.

So Gideon Osbourn for PM in 2020 looks like a shoe-in, which is a shame really, because the guy is a upper class twat and doesn’t deserve to get handed the country on a platter, just because the opposition have had a sudden attack of electoral irrelevance.

Stephen Colbert eating popcorn

RAFF Protests Halite Decision

Unfortunately they’re doing it wrong.

For once Residents Action on Fylde Fracking and I have something in common.  Sort of.

Who is Halite?  Once calling themselves Canatxx they are the people who want to store pressurised gas in salt caverns slap bang in the middle of a geologically unstable area, full of brine wells, a collapsed salt mine and geological faults, in my neck of the woods.  The YouTube video I have linked to will explain why 40,000 local residents have been fighting for years to resist this insanity.

There are no weasel words like might or could or maybe.  Brine wells at Preesall have collapsed in the past and one is in the process of collapsing.  The depression in the ground is growing fast and an entire field has been lost to it already  Another well is filled with God knows how many tons of mercury sludge courtesy of the now departed ICI.  Just image what will happen to the water table if that bad boy collapsed.  And Halite want to store pressurised gas right next to the brine well field.  Let’s not forget the partially collapsed salt mine.  And did I mention the natural faults that gas can migrate along?  Well it needs saying over and over.

Anti-fracking campaigners have reacted with anger and frustration at a Government decision to allow a controversial gas storage facility on the Fylde Coast.

And I agree with their reaction.  Three applications from Canatxx/Halite have been rejected by local government because of the real danger of catastrophe yet some cretin in central government has given the green light to this insanity.

Energy minister Lord Bourne has, on appeal, granted permission to Halite to create a huge underground gas store in salt caverns at Preesall despite three rejections of the plan and massive public opposition.

Now residents and campaigners opposing shale gas say that decision by the Department of Energy and Climate Change was undemocratic and bodes ill for their own battle against energy company Cuadrilla.

But this is where my strange comradeship with RAFF and their associate anti-fracking groups parts way.  You see their “protest” appears to be purely selfish.  They don’t seem to care about the real dangers of the Halite proposal.  They only seem to care about how it will affect their own cause and how they can exploit it.

Two bids by Cuadrilla to test frack on the Fylde were rejected last month by Lancashire County Council, but the shale gas explorer could yet appeal to a Government inspector.

It’s not about Halite, you see.  It’s about Cuadrilla and the appeal they will no doubt be submitting.  A real danger has been hijacked to support an anti-capitalist cause that really would benefit all if fracking were permitted to go ahead.  That really piddles me off.

Barbara Richardson, from the Roseacre Awareness Group, said: “We are appalled by this decision to overrule local democracy and fear that Westminster will try and intervene in the fracking debate too against the wishes of the people and elected representatives.

What Barbara doesn’t tell you is that Mike Hill, who was campaigning on an anti-fracking ticket, was wiped out during the GE by the Tory incumbent who I believe is actually pro fracking.  It seems that democracy is something of a loose concept in Barbara’s world.  At this point I will add that the proposed Roseacre site is highly problematical because access will be a nightmare and Barbara does have a point.  However there is no such problem with the Plumpton proposal which I support and Barbara doesn’t.  She is opposed to fracking absolutely.

“We elect local councillors (parish, borough and county) to represent us and this is democracy in action. Local people understand local issues and the will of the people.

Yeah, I saw how the craven sods at Lancashire County Council were cowed by a few tens of anti-fracking protestors and voted against the advice of their own legal department.  Democracy my left nether cheek.  Perhaps you think the 40,000 plus local residents fighting the Halite plans can be co-opted by proxy to your own cause, eh Barbara?

“To blatantly ignore this is sheer arrogance and a recipe for disaster. We will stand with the people of the Wyre.

That’ll be a “yes” then.

“They have spent years to successfully defeat this, with good grounds, and even had the support of the Planning Inspector as well as local councils. They must be absolutely devastated.

We are devastated and we are still fighting.  But Barbara, where were you and your pals all those years we were fighting Canatxx?  How come we get your support now?

“Fracking is an altogether different game as it could affect over 60 per cent of the UK, and should Westminster intervene again, I am sure it will have serious repercussions.”

Whereas gas storage is a dangerous game and has the real potential to affect more than 60% of the residents of Fleetwood, Knott End, Presall, Stalmine, Steynall and parts of Thornton if the storage caverns rupture following the collapse of a brine well (it has already happened in the US which is why storage of the type proposed for Preesall has been banned in the US on safety grounds), the gas escapes and finds an ignition source.  All thanks to Westminster intervention.

All that seems to bother Barbara is the precedent set by overturning a decision made by local government.

Alan Tootill, from the Preston New Road Action Group, said: “This confirms our worst fears.

“This government has no concern for local democracy and local decision-making.

“Over 40,000 people objected to the Preesall applications and three times the plans were turned down at local level.

I didn’t hear your voice raised against the initial Canatxx/Halite proposals either Alan.  I don’t recall you standing up at the many meetings and voicing your concern.

There is also a familiar name mentioned in dispatches.  You’ll find her in the comments below the Mike Hill post.

Tina Rothery, from Residents Action of Fylde Fracking, said: “It is awful news not just for the people of Wyre but for the rights of local people anywhere in the UK.

“That central government can overrule the clear will of the people and their Council that has three times rejected this application, makes a mockery of our ‘democracy’.

“Many of us have been fighting to keep fracking out of Lancashire for nearly four years now and the recent support of Lancashire County Council was very welcome; with this announcement today though at the overturning of the decision on Halite, we are of course deeply concerned about what will happen next in this campaign as well.

See what I mean?  They’ve tagged on their anti-fracking campaign to the Halite fight.  I know Tina by sight having seen her on TV and in the papers several times but I don’t recall seeing her at the Stop Canatxx meetings either.  All of a sudden the Canatxx/Halite cause has become the No Fracking cause.  At least in the anti-fracking eyes.

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said: ‘This decision raises big questions about the Government’s commitment to local democracy because this facility was turned down several times before Westminster stepped in to make it happen.

Then maybe Friends of the Earth ought to hand back the millions in taxpayer money, whether taxpayers agreed with it or not, that has been handed to FoE by various governments over the years.  It’s obviously a matter of principal after all.  But I guess, like Barbara, your perception of democracy only goes so far, eh, Tony?

“This must not be repeated in order to force fracking on Lancashire after the county refused to swallow the hype from central Government and the fracking industry.”

“This must not be repeated in order to refuse fracking on Lancashire after the county swallowed the hype from minority anti-frackers and the Big Green industry.”

There, fixed it.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne, who is the Minister responsible for energy planning consents, said the Halite plan was strategically important for the nation.

Yeah, because what the Scammell truck would a Professor of Law know about geological faults, collapsed mines. the unsuitability of layered salt beds, unsafe brine wells and other unimportant shit that affects the lives and safety of tens of thousands of locals?  Oh and we’re considered an area of Special Scientific Interest too because of the rare fauna and flora living in and around Morecambe Bay which will be grossly affected by the brine outfall. Why, after so many years,  has central government, after even that towering intellect, John Prescott, recognised the serious flaw in Canatxx/Halite’s planning applications, suddenly made this perverse decision?  Well I have a theory.

Wyre has been a marginal seat for a long time.  Since 1997 it has been tinkered with twice which gave us Hilton Dawson (Lab) a decent MP who worked hard for the constituency before resigning and returning home to his native Northumberland. Then came Ben Wallace (Con) who also fought hard on the Canatxx front and moved over to the newly created Wyre and Preston North in 2010.  Despite Labour stacking the boundary decks in its favour we got Eric Ollerenshaw (Con) clinging to his seat by the skin of his marginal teeth, only ever rebelling (well abstaining really) against the Tory whip once but who still recognised the dangers posed by the gas storage proposal and added his effort to the fight against corporate venality and stupidity.

Then in May, 2015 we get Cat Smith (Lab) also on the slimmest of majorities, with her BA in sociology and gender studies who, while paying lip service to both the anti-Halite and anti-fracking camps, clearly hasn’t got a bloody clue what she’s talking about.  Perhaps, once in a while, when she isn’t too busy identifying herself as a Christian, socialist, feminist, republican, trade unionist and LGBT, she’ll pick up and read The Idiot’s Guide to Wyre Estuary Geology so she doesn’t look a total fool and will finally be able to tell the difference between a landslide and a great big Scammell off sinkhole.  Meanwhile we get the standard leftie gobshite response to Lord Bourne’s decision by calling for the “launch of a new action” and “seeking urgent clarification” rather than going up to the idiot and hitting him with FACTS.  But then she did previously work for Jezza Corbyn so she quite possibly has a good grounding in political stupid.

And my theory?  Well Lord Bourne has nasty previous when it comes to the opposition.  He plays very dirty tricks and then lies about what he’s done before being forced to come clean.  Ask Rhodri Morgan.  Lord Bourne got handed this particular chalice when it turned out that Amber Rudd’s brother , Roland, heads a lobbying company, Finsbury, that numbers Halite amongst its clients.  Given Bourne’s scandalous history could the recently tinkered with constituency returning a Labour MP be an underlying reason for his perverse, against all common sense decision?  I think we should be told.

Here’s the “offical” reason for the decision.

He said: “Investment in new energy infrastructure is essential if we are to keep the lights on and bills down.

“This is a major project which will benefit the local economy by creating jobs and stimulating businesses.

Yes, we’ve seen how central government keeps the bills down with bills hiked up to feed the heavily subsidised and deeply despised renewables monster.  As for the local economy, destruction of the environment aside, there may be a temporary injection of jobs to construct the storage caverns and build a pipeline to connect with the main grid at Garstang.  But honestly, long term, how many people will it take to press a button at the control station in order to release or store gas?   Three hundred?  Four hundred?  Try a handful.

What is the impact of millions of gallons of concentrated brine that Halite propose to pump into the sea off Anchorsholme as they carve holes in the salt?  What will happen if the geology ruptures a cavern and the project goes sky high tits up?  The infrastructure to deal with an explosion doesn’t exist.  There are mainly small villages and narrow country lanes in this part of the world.  That is providing, of course that no structure damaged in the blast doesn’t block those narrow country lanes and blocks access to the grossly inadequate emergency services.

Oh and the storage capacity that Halite proposes will give a close to zero contribution to keeping the lights on.  Selling the gas back to the grid at premium rates will keep bills down how?   The man is a moral bankrupt and a weapons grade pudendum

“Gas is also the greenest fossil fuel and helps us lower our carbon emissions, which is important in the UK’s move to a cleaner energy future.”

I agree but what would be the point of pumping gas from underground only to pump it back underground?  The only people to benefit from storage is Halite who will buy cheap and sell at a premium rate at great risk to the locals.  Halite propose to do it here because back in their native US they would be given very short shrift.  You see storing gas in layered salt, most particularly anywhere near a field of brine wells (we have more than a hundred of them), is banned because it is demonstrably unsafe and a threat to life. Is that what Bourne calls stimulating businesses?

And if he really believes that gas is the greenest fossil fuel will he be insisting that the Drax power station will be converted to gas instead of burning CO2 producing wood pellets from felled US forests?

No?  Thought not.

False Data and the Moral Panic that Follows: A Threat to Liberty

From which today’s QOTD was taken. Debunks the trumped-up statistical survey on which one of the current campus-rape scandal-stories is based. (I assume that Miss LeFauve’s story eviscerating the reported “study,” which Mr. Morrissey cites and which is NOT TO BE MISSED, as it covers quite a bit more ground than Mr. Morrissey’s précis, is accurate. –Nowadays I feel obliged to include that as a standard caveat, since so much on all sides of various aisles turns out to be full of mouldy Swiss cheese or worse.)

False data and the moral panic that follows: a threat to liberty

posted at 2:41 pm on July 30, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Let’s start this topic with the latest in a long series of debunked claims resulting from studies that are later discovered to be either incompetently conducted or flat-out fraud. Reason’s Linda LeFauve dismantles one of the key bases for the supposed epidemic of “rape culture” on college campuses, a study published in 2002 by University of Massachusetts-Boston professor David Lisak. This study, LeFauve notes, has informed current White House policies on Title IX enforcement [pdf] as well as documentaries and books on the subject of college rape. It had at least an indirect impact on Rolling Stone’s debunked UVA campus rape hoax from last December.

It’s also based on shoddy research and deception [pdf, Lisak, "Statement to U.S. Civil Rights Commission...] , as LeFauve discovered when researching the study. Despite claiming to have conducted the research himself, Lisak actually derived it from student theses on another topic entirely — adult survivors of child abuse, using non-random samples mainly consisting of UMB employees and non-resident students:….

“Read the Whole Thing.” Oh, and here are the first two paragraphs of Miss LeFauve’s article “Campus Rape Expert Can’t Answer Basic Questions About His Sources”:

David Lisak’s serial predator theory of campus rape has made him a celebrity. Once a virtually unknown associate professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, his work is now cited by White House officials and reporters for major newspapers.

His influence is evident in the recent documentary The Hunting Ground, and the producers continue to promote his work along with their film. In Jon Krakauer’s new book, Missoula, about sexual assault at the University of Montana, Lisak’s name appears more than 100 times.

…. [SNIP]

Treason doth never prosper

Varoufakis Treason

Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

John Harington – Epigrams

In the latest round of the sorry saga that is modern Greece we have a further example of how the corrupting and totalitarian influence of the European Union has now spread in that it would appear that attempting to replace the Euro with a restored national currency is now treason.

“The context of all this is that they want to present me as a rogue finance minister, and have me indicted for treason. It is all part of an attempt to annul the first five months of this government and put it in the dustbin of history,” he said.

“It totally distorts my purpose for wanting parallel liquidity. I have always been completely against dismantling the euro because we never know what dark forces that might unleash in Europe,” he said.

The goal of the computer hacking was to enable the finance ministry to make digital transfers at “the touch of a button”. The payments would be ‘IOUs’ based on an experiment by California after the Lehman banking crisis.

A parallel banking system of this kind would allow the government to create euro liquidity and circumvent what Syriza called “financial strangulation” by the ECB.

Varoufakis reveals cloak and dagger ‘Plan B’ for Greece, awaits treason charges

I am no fan of Yanis Varoufakis who is just another dreadful little Marxist troll, but any decent economist will acknowledge that given the prospect of the ECB funding being stopped for any period of time then parallel currency measures such as IOU’s are a rational response to the problem.

Only in the cloud-cuckoo land of Eurozone politics could this be a justification for treason, at most Varoufakis exceeded his authority, but then surely Greek PM Alexis Tsipras did as well, in which case he should be impeached?

The “why” they attempted to do it is a different matter.

Enforcing the unenforceable

Enforcing the unenforceable - the 10 commandments

You would think that politicians large and small would have enough incentive not to make utter fools of themselves before national audiences on TV or the front pages of national and even local rags, but evidence suggests not – hyperbole before idiocy it seems.

I’ve never been involved in the legislative process, only in the attempted implementation and enforcement of pollution legislation for Her Majesty’s inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) as an IT consultant back in the early 90′s, but one of the most important aspects of any proposal must surely be not to propose legislation which is unenforceable. Surely?

The passage of unenforceable laws (such as the various alcohol/drug/gambling prohibitions in the US) or laws which can be easily circumvented/ignored (censorship/licensing of pornography for example) end up bringing the law as a whole into disrepute.

When police officers are catching bank robbers and muggers they have the support of the law-abiding majority, but when they end up as petty enforcers of public morality or expression then such widespread public support is lost.

Take David Cameron and his idiotic “ISIS use encryption, therefore lets ban all encryption” viewpoint. Even the most cursory understanding of how the internet works would make you realise that such a proposal if implemented would mean the end of internet eCommerce in the UK, to highlight just a single instance.

The only purpose of such unworkable schemes seems to be to lay the groundwork for ever more draconian (and expensive) monitoring regimes which either never work or are so intrusive that people go elsewhere.

One insider at a major US technology firm told the Guardian that “politicians are fond of asking why it is that tech companies don’t base themselves in the UK”.

“I think if you’re saying that encryption is the problem, at a time when consumers and businesses see encryption as a very necessary part of trust online, that’s a very indicative point of view.”

Maybe I am being naïve, but the only beneficiaries of this sort of thing are civil service bureaucrats and the massive IT and outsourcing companies which win the contracts to implement all this crap.

 

Dark green jackets and black buttons – liberty and voluntary service can defeat Collectivist tyranny.

This day of evil is finally drawing to a close. The leftists in Paris may well have (as they do every year) slaughtered a pig – as part of their celebration of the treacherous betrayal (“come out – we promise you and your men safe conduct”) and savage murder of the Governor of an old fortress in Paris – a fortress in which there were seven (7) prisoners, none of whom were there for their political opinions.

Thus the left celebrate the principles of the left. Treachery, robbery (for the real goal of the operation was to steal weapons and other goods) and murder.

Soon all of France was to be convulsed in mass robbery (of the Church – and of many ordinary people who were far from “aristocratic”) and the murder of hundreds of thousands of people (see the works of William Doyle and others). And Europe was to be convulsed by the designs of the French Revolutionaries to bring the collectivist doctrines of Rousseau to power everywhere. His idea that the Law Giver knows the “General Will”, better than the individual persons themselves, so (in Marxist fashion) people have to be “forced to be free” against their false consciousness. If need be robbed and slaughtered – for their own good. And with their own consent – as their cries of protest (and screams of pain) are but mental confusion, not what they “really” believe.

The French Revolution does not show the danger of taking liberty too far – because it was not about liberty, it was about power. The Revolutionaries talked of liberty – but they lied, as followers of Rousseau tend to do (using their words as a mist to blind the unwary).

Paper money (forced on people on the pain of death), theft of property, the murder of the innocent (of all levels of society) – these were and are the principles of the French Revolution. Its criminal lust for unlimited power (not just in France – but over the world) under the mask of “liberty”, which destroyed the rule-of-law and the security of persons and possessions.

People who cried for religious tolerance (in fact granted by Louis XVI years before), and practiced religious persecution – of the most savage kind.

People who cried for the end of serfdom (largely unknown in France for centuries), and an end to torture (“putting the question” had actually already been abolished in French Roman Law), but actually introduced serfdom to the state, and reintroduced torture (in all its forms).

These were the French Revolutionaries – if one judges them by their deeds, or even looks carefully at the meaning of their words (rather than the nice sound the words make).

But let us leave the Rousseau evil of the Revolutionaries aside – and turn to more hopeful things, dark green jackets and black buttons…….

Sir William Stewart (Colonel Stewart) in 1799 (some ten years after the Revolution started – and after its forces had overwhelmed most of Europe with vast slaughter) published his thoughts on “light infantry”.

People who fought as individuals and in small groups – but could (if worked with correctly) help defeat vast enemy forces.

Colonel Stewart studied the Croats who had resisted (for the Hapsburgs) the invasions of the Ottomans – for centuries. Helping hold back the forces of despotism (that recognised no rule-of-law, no protection of property rights from the state) that might otherwise have destroyed Europe.

He also studied the mountain people of the Tyrol – famous for both their individualism and their loyal service (there is no contradiction – the people of Eastern Tennessee are much the same in these aspects, Southerners who supported human freedom over tribalism in the 1860s and have supported the elephant over the donkey ever since ).

The great revolt of Andreas Hofer – the innkeeper turned leader of the “Reactionary” forces of the Tyrol was yet to come (but the spirit had been known for centuries).

Hofer opposed the takeover of the Tyrol by Bavaria – not the relatively conservative place we know today, but then an ally of Revolutionary France and ruled by the bureaucrat (and rumoured ally of the illuminated ones) M. Von Montegelas – a man who made a great show of “abolishing serfdom” (actually just a few old rituals by this time in Bavaria) whilst actually introducing serfdom – both for children (via his system of compulsory state brainwashing of the young) and adults (via mass conscription). Nothing (not Church property, or even other countries, if they were small and weak – he was not a man of great courage ) was safe from Montegelas, a sort of “mini me” Napoleon. And Bavaria was backed by the vast forces of France.

Andreas Hofer eventually lost and was killed – famously giving the order to fire at his own execution. But the idea of light infantry is sound – it just can not win major wars on its own.

Nor should the experience of the North American wars, against the French and some Indian tribes, and against the American colonists, be forgotten. The “King’s Rifles” had already been born – although still in red jackets….

Sir William Stewart was supported by Colonel Manningham (Equerry to the King) and in 1800 the Rifle Corps (the 95 regiment of foot) was born.

It was the first British infantry regiment since the Civil War to have green uniforms – I recently went to a Civil War re enactment, and whilst everybody raves over the red uniforms of the New Model Army (red because the dye was cheap), but there is something about dark green uniforms against the green fields and woods (and not just of England). Yes it is camouflage – but it is more than that, but I lack the gift of words to explain what I mean.

People will be familiar with the exploits of “the Rifles” from such things as the “Sharpe” novels – but the basic message is historically accurate and simple to state.

By out fighting French skirmishers (not so well trained, or so well TRUSTED, and armed with muskets not Baker rifles) British skirmishers – fighting as individuals and in small groups, were able to help change battles (and thereby help change wars). Negate some of the advantage of the enemy in numbers – and cause confusion and chaos among French (and other) armies that were organised as vast masses of conscripts.

The forces “equality and fraternity” could be defeated by the forces of liberty. Skill, creative thought, and voluntary service.

Those men in dark green jackets with black buttons have (under various names of regiment) fought in many wars since then – surprising people who assume that the British army is a force of robots who do not fight as individuals and in small groups, and who can not think without detailed orders.

Their story is little known – and the reader should look it up for themselves.

Three cheers for Jeremy Corbyn

Comrade Corbyn

There are four people vying to replace Ed Miliband as Labour leader following the party’s worst election result for almost 30 years.

Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary is seen as the frontrunner followed by shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper. Liz Kendall, seen as the Blairite candidate, has struggled to build support.

But Mr Corbyn, who only got on the ballot paper after a campaign to ‘widen the debate’ is now seen to be building a head of steam with his call for a sharp move to the left.

His policies include the introduction of a Soviet-style ‘planned economy’, unilateral nuclear disarmament, open door immigration and the creation of a united Ireland.

Mr Corbyn has secured the backing of the powerful Unite union, which bankrolls Labour, and is second in the latest league table of constituency Labour Party branches.

Some 28 constituencies are backing Mr Corbyn not far behind Mr Burnham on 33.

But his success has stunned senior Labour figures who fear a repeat of the 1983 election when Michael Foot led the party into an electoral disaster.

Jeremy Corbyn leaps into second place in race for Labour leadership supporters

They say you shouldn’t interrupt an enemy when he’s making a mistake, but a term under the unelectable Corbyn might just be enough to tip Labour over the edge into the political abyss.

Interrupting an enemy is one thing, but how about a bit of political sabotage?

Harriet Harman: voters can pay £3 to help choose next Labour leader

Vote Comrade Corbyn to ensure a Labour wipe-out in 2020!

%d bloggers like this: