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Econasties

Richard A. Epstein: When, How Should Courts Override Legislatures?

Please, do not miss this 1:26:33 of Prof. Epstein’s inimitable and marvellous discourse. Indescribably educational, and, of course, fascinating; and this one is particularly wide-ranging. My quibble-quotient here is tiny and is swamped by the education effect. The UT description:

Published on May 21, 2012

Richard A. Epstein, legal scholar and author, visits the Dole Institute to discuss courts grounds to invalidate the constitution.

Filmed on October 19, 2006 at the Dole Institute of Politics.

Look who’s got the Old Heave Yeo…

Yes it’s Trougher Tim the Trencherman who always eats his Greens and was making sure that you did too, especially if it added oodles to his bank balance.

Well done South Suffolk Constituency party! It does no harm to remind the over Great and Good to whom their responsibility is supposed lie, even in these times of Westminster being merely a sham front of puppets for the real string pullers in Brussels, now does it? That’s two useless wastes of space, salary and expenses de-selected in a week on the Conservative side. Any possibility of the same thing happening on the Labour and Lib/Dem side? None whatsoever.

And will it affect his bank balance, directorships etc  etc ? I seriously doubt it. He will probably be caught in a Channel 4 sting next year, peddling access to Ministers at the DoE for ten grand a pop or so, and still get away scot and pension free.

Chris Huhne, a convicted criminal, has hardly slunk away in shame, silence and contrition now has he? Nope, he has a column in the Guardian, and all his directorships intact too. Ah the Guardian! The thinking man at the BBC’s ethical Bible. So much more to be trusted with the truth than the Telegraph or the Mail, don’t you think? Winking smile

Witless Downfall

It had to happen.  The infamous Downfall internet meme has finally entered the orbit of the Fylde’s anti-fracking fraternity.  According to the Blackpool Evening Gazette, the attempt by Frack Free Fylde (FFF) to land this turkey has resulted in it burning up on reentry.

A ‘comedy’ video which shows gas fracking bosses as high-ranking Nazis has sparked controversy after it was aired at a public meeting.

I think the Gazette means niche comedy video.  It must have had the anti-frackers rolling in the aisles.  The Cuadrilla CEO is really a frustrated double glazing salesman?  It has me laughing too but not for the reason FFF intended.

The video, a scene from the war film Downfall, had been overdubbed so Adolf Hitler appears to rant about people on the Fylde coast rising up to oppose to the controversial shale gas exploration process.

Those stratosphere bound people apparently being our old friends Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF) since they are mentioned both in the narrative and the credits.

The five-minute long film was met with laughter at the meeting at St Annes community centre where Gayzer Frackman, from the pressure group Frack Free Fylde, gave a lecture.

Clearly not everyone was amused.  There was a stoolie in the audience.  And it was a shade over four minutes but why let a little thing like accuracy get in the way.

But Fylde Council leader, Coun David Eaves, has described the video as “a disgrace”.

I prefer to call it an “insight”.

And Tina Rothery, from another anti-fracking group Residents Action on Fylde Fracking (RAFF), distanced her group from the video – which has received almost 300 hits on YouTube.

Was that before or after Councillor Eaves took umbrage I wonder?  RAFF is associated with the video by name – twice.  It is partly a tribute to RAFF.  Distancing itself from the video apparently doesn’t include posting a comment below the video condemning the use of RAFF’s name.

She said: “We all have different audiences. What Gayzer attracts and what we attract are different crowds.”

Because the likes of the infamous and equally wrong Gasland is the video of choice in RAFF circles?

St Annes Town Council member Coun Carol Lanyon said: “From my personal point of view I find it distasteful.

I’d go for humourless.  Satire is supposed to be witty and/or funny even if the message is bonkers wrong.

“It’s not to say I’m in agreement with fracking, but I think there’s a better way to go about it (opposing the process) than tasteless satire.”

By using, for example, one’s position on the local council to make the case for your prejudice via a soundbite in the local rag?

However, Mr Frackman has defended his decision to show the video at the meeting, which was attended by around 40 people.

Well he would, wouldn’t he.  After all he has no hard science to fall back on, only fear-mongering and ad hominem.

He said: “You’ve got to have a little bit of humour every now and then. It’s satire and that’s been going on for years.”

I think he might mean satyr because when it comes to humour the video has the wit of a goat’s arse.

Downfall is a German language film which depicts the final 10 days of Hitler’s rule.

Mr Frackman says he found the fracking version of the film while searching for something else on internet video site YouTube, and does not know who created it.

Perhaps he was looking for the latest release of that famous eco-rock band, Shale Gas Devastation, but had to settle for second best – the Titanic of protracted, double glazing salesman punchlines.

A link to Frack Off’s website appears beneath the video, but the group has denied it is responsible.

Poor Gayzer, abandoned not once but twice.  If you can’t rely on your fellow anti-fracking activists who can you rely on?

During his speech to the meeting Mr Frackman also accused the Government of “pandering” to big oil and gas companies over plans to drill at sites on the Fylde, and hit out at claims the process could lead to cheaper energy bills for householders.

Yet despite the knives in the back he remains stolidly on-message and off the reality trolley.

Fracking is the process whereby chemicals and water are forced deep underground at high pressure to release gas

Mr Frackman said: “The only people going for (fracking) are the Government, fracking companies and their shareholders.

Yet Gayzer has no qualms about benefiting from the fruits of Gaia’s rape.  His talk wasn’t given by candlelight.  His computer isn’t made out of wood and organic cotton.  And no doubt the carpark outside wasn’t devoid of motor vehicles.

“When they get the shale out, we won’t be getting it – they’ll be selling it to the highest bidder.”

I think Gayzer should get his mental lead out.  Cuadrilla is not a charity.  Making a profit out of supplying energy is not a crime against humanity, it’s what makes the world go round and raises our standard of living from the mire of a short and often brutal primitive existence.  Unlike renewables Cuardrilla does not soak up billions in public subsidies.  Remove the money extorted from us all in order to subsidise “sustainable” wind and solar industries and they will sink without trace because they are parasites, not honest businesses.  Cuardrilla actually has the real potential to produce a commodity we desperately need – a cheap, reliable source of energy that doesn’t depend on our volatile and unpredictable weather or upon mass deforestation to make wood chip pellets for back-up power plants when the weather goes moody, as it so often does.

As for “get the shale out” I’d like to see how they extract rock from a borehole measured in inches.

Energy firm Cuadrilla has several potential drilling sites on the Fylde coast.

They’ve never made a secret of it.

Cuadrilla has declined to comment on the issue of the video.

So what?  The video says more about the anti-frackers than it does Cuadrilla.  Even the activists understand that.  With the exception of Gayzer and the Judean People’s Front FFF of course.

However a spokesman for the company said: “While we are at the exploration stage in our work to unlock Lancashire’s considerable shale gas potential, we are confident that natural gas from shale could play an important part in Britain’s energy mix.

“A growing number of reports show that shale gas could help to replace gas imports, improve energy security and create well-paid jobs in the sector.

“Gas is a commodity and, like all commodities, increasing supply, in particular supply located close to domestic demand, will exert downward pressure on price.”

Providing they frack with care because the Fylde aquifer is between them and the shale deposit, I’m not going to argue with that.

As for the Vale of Glamorgan issue alluded to in the video, I’ll let you Google that for yourselves.  It’s not the victory the anti-frackers want you to think it is, particularly since Welsh Water has now retracted its “small risk of contamination” assessment upon which the local council based it’s refusal to allow test drilling.

Fracking Confidential.

Are you enjoying the end of a rather splendid Summer  by spending it protesting against something you know absolutely nothing about, but which you have been told is evil incarnate?  Er just because it makes a profit and may very well cut your energy bills by half?

Have you had your picture taken with a parachuted in disapproving  international Celebrity like designer Vivienne Westwood, who is as clueless as you are? Been arrested with our one and only Green MP Caroline Lucas then?

Oh come on! some of you must want your name in the papers? No takers yet?

PS Will you be turning up in equal numbers when HS2 starts trashing our Green and Pleasant, all to shave 20 minutes off the travelling time from London to Birmingham?

No thought not!

Quote of the Century. Er.. or four…

…He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers. He told me, he did not doubt, that, in eight years more, he should be able to supply the governor’s gardens with sunshine, at a reasonable rate: but he complained that his stock was low, and entreated me "to give him something as an encouragement to ingenuity, especially since this had been a very dear season for cucumbers." I made him a small present, for my lord had furnished me with money on purpose, because he knew their practice of begging from all who go to see them.

Jonathon Swift: Gulliver’s Travels.

Nails  and satirically eviscerates our Green fanatics nicely doesn’t it? And in 1726.  Read the only proper working journalist left in England, here on the topic of keeping the lights on at vast and hypocritical cost. And the punch-line…

“And the final irony, of course, is that those diesel generators chuck out almost as much, per unit, of that supposedly polluting CO2 as any of the coal-fired power stations our politicians want to see taxed and regulated out of existence.”

Cut Out and Keep Article of the Week.

We here all know the nature of the beast, so there is not much point me saying anything else about it, because this article says it all.

It’s crunch time for little Cyprus tomorrow. What happens to them, will happen to us the day after.

Be afraid, be very afraid…

Mali

So what are we up to in Mali?

I have never seen a more rapid and openly disingenuous escaltion ever. First it is a couple transport planes, then it’s a surveillance plane (but no boots on the ground – honest), then it’s “training” and it’s allowing tankers to operate from British airfields but still we’re “not going to be combatant”. It beggars belief. Finally all the pundit’s of Jane’s Fighting Armchairs are talking of a long-term commitment. I suppose that’s kinda like marriage. Except marriage is nice and being shot at by ragheads until HS2 is completed* (or for the duration) isn’t.

So why the interest?

iDave has annoyed the French with all this referendum on the EU nonce-sense. Helping out Hollande is some quid pro EU. He’s blotted his copy book but is now trying to get himself back in the good books by playing teacher’s pet.

Which of course begs the question. Why are the French getting involved? Could it just be that 80% of French electricity is nuclear and France buys 80% of it’s Uranium from Niger which is beginning to look almost surrounded by Islamist insurgencies…

If that domino falls to the beards France is up a gum-tree without an electric paddle.

Oh, and of course it’s back to the Caliphate. And not the future. To dark age tyranny over all of North Africa in the C21st. And boat people across the Med in huge numbers. Not that I’d blame them.

And if that happens expect the domino (I think that game is haram BTW) next to be Nigeria where we do have interests. Yet more refugees. Not that I’d blame them either. It’s not that I hate refugees – I don’t at all and they should be afforded our help, if it comes to that – but I hate the reasons for them which are universally vile – like polio better prevention than remedy (Yes, I did see Bill Gates at the RI last night – and he pussy-footed about saying polio would be no more if it wasn’t for Islamic fundamentalism – not that we can be too proud following the MMR fiasco). Politicians (by and large) do hate refugees because the Daily Wail can whip up an election killing stink over ‘em.

But there is another thing – returning to the energy issue** – and that is we have got into a position where these places matter to us.

So I suggest if iDave hadn’t engaged in a cockamamie grand-standing over the EU (the price of which is helping out France in a war that at first blush has nothing to do with us) and we hadn’t put ourselves in a situation where we simply can’t generate electricity sufficiently (I’m talking base-load here) we wouldn’t be embroiled in this utter mess.

I mean the sensible thing is to just get fracking! And of course build nuke plants. And yes, I’m calling Johnnie Porridge out on this. And all the bally rest of ‘em such as Chucles the Lugs all because they dream of their deranged visions of The Shire. Deranged because unlike the Hobbits we have the tech (sadly less advanced than it ought to be due to their meddlesome obstruction) and also deranged because they dream of sitting at the high-table and lording it over the rest of us. Oddly enough I don’t get the impression (and I am a Tolkienista) that was how Hobbits actually lived. They didn’t have a Central Committee of the Righteous.

Oh, well, it’s all going to pot. But I would warn them we’re only three power cuts from bloody revolution. I hope we do not go gentle into that last dark night.

*Why is that taking so long to build. Isambard Kingdom Brunel would have reached for the smelling salts on hearing the time-scale. I mean 20-odd years to build a railway not quite as good as that the French or Japanese, or… have had for decades. It’s like me being charged through the nose for a Ford Escort to be delivered just in time for turning 60. I’m 39 BTW. Yes, that is the time-scale!

**It would appear the Cumbrians have voted against a major nuclear waste storage facility so that is British nuclear power buggered and we’re stuck with playing with whirly-gigs and importing real power from France via the Channel cables. So in that sense Niger matters to us and therefore Mali does. How it should come to this is of course a sequence of unfortunate events. And of course the oil and gas from Nigeria.

Windy Miller – Irish edition – it’s like a Leprechaun rotisserie!

UK and Irish ministers will today sign an agreement that could see some of the world’s largest wind turbines built across the Irish midlands.

Stretching more than 600 feet (180 metres) in the air, the towers are set to generate energy for millions of UK homes from 2017.

The companies involved say the Irish power is a cheaper form of renewable than UK offshore wind.

Note cheaper form of “renewables” and no mention is made of burning coal or oil or gas or trash or uranium.

But environmentalists have described the scheme as “crazy”.

They say it risks damaging Ireland’s landscape.

Well, for once I’m with the Greens here. I mean Mr Magoo himself would manage to spot a 180m tower. That is roughly the height of the BT tower in London. Apparently they don’t look so big if you look at them from a long way away. Neither does Jupiter.

BTW that is an explicit ref to “Father Ted” and cows. And he was trying to explain scale and such to his dim-witted curate Dougal.

Under the plan, a number of companies are seeking to erect hundreds of wind turbines across the boggy midlands of Ireland. The power generated would be transferred to the UK via undersea cables that would join the grid at two points in Wales.

“Boggy midlands”. Dear Gods! Have people been on the Poitín? I mean building a 180m tower in a bog? What could possibly go wrong?

One of the developers, Element Power, says the plan would save UK consumers around £7bn over 15 years compared to other renewable sources.

Again with the renewables Moriaty! Electricity is the life-blood of modernity. Without the electricity we might as well dig-up Jimmy Maxwell and bugger the remains. I mean for fuck’s sake! Let’s make the most important thing in the World – the thing that separates us from the brutes in the most half-arsed manner imaginable! But that’s OK because this utter fuckeration is happening in Paddyshire. And they are stonier than an Old Testament execution.

The developers also say that thousands of jobs will be created in Ireland and the economy as a whole will benefit.

But it creates jobs! What Keynesian madness is that? You might as well just pay Pat to dig a hole in the bog and Mick to fill it in. I hate this. It is the key fail of BBC News. Always with the jobs Moriaty! Economic development is about destroying jobs not make-work for the sake of it. I mean how many dung-chewers or pig-pokers do you know? We had this thing called an “Industrial Revolution”. This meant we made things quicker, cheaper, faster and with less general effort. We might as well climb up a 180m tower and piss on the grave of Lord Armstrong. And yes, his gaff was the first home in the world with electricity. He had a hydro station because he wasn’t a numpty.

But concerns are now growing that the turbines needed to provide the power will be of a size and scale not seen in Britain or Ireland before.

Because the bog lands are relatively windless, the company behind the scheme says they will need to stretch high into the sky to catch sufficient wind to generate power.

Some old-time buggers in Babylon had a similar idea. That’s in fucking Genesis. Do we ever learn?

“We felt it was better to built slightly larger turbines but fewer of them and that’s the best way to minimise the impact on the local area.”

180m is slightly larger. I am a former student of astrophysics so I have a technical term for 180m, “fucking enormous”.

But opponents say that local people have not been consulted and few actually realise just what an impact the turbines will have on the landscape.

“People don’t actually understand the scale of them,” said Andrew Duncan, an auctioneer and spokesman for the Lakelands Wind Information group, who are opposed to the plan.

Is Mr Duncan lobbying for windy milling in the Lakes. Because if so he can fuck off too. Cumbria has a major role in power generation – it’s called Sellafield.

“Putting up the largest turbines in the world without consultation – I think it is ludicrous, to be honest.”

Yeah, well I live in a grade II listed building and technically I’m not allowed a Sky dish. And that is less than a metre across! It was hidden round the back of the chimney by the Sky-man. Of course in order to get “council telly” I could perfectly legally erect a monstrance of a 5 metre Yagi dipole which is odd because just down the road from me is a fucking ginormous dish. We call it Jodrell Bank. Oddly enough that is also a grade II listed building. A few years back it was faced with closure for the want of GBP 3.5 million. I almost did an MSc there but I also had an offer from Queen Mary in London and I kinda figured Stepney would be more fun than Macclesfield which is (in a weird way) is how I wound-up in Cheshire anyway. In the end though London was fun – as ever.

Jodrell Bank is fucking awesome. I go there when they have does. I go there because it is the future, not the past. I recall being disgusted when it was to be scrapped and folk were on about what an iconic thing on the Cheshire skyline it was. Yes, it is but is that the point of it? There’s a Universe out there and that is our telephone. It is not about being cute. It’s about being an enormous steerable array. It’s about astronomy, not heritage. This is Britain. This is the birthplace of the industrial age and the nation of Newton and Darwin. We are not a fucking museum. My boss at Nottingham University won the Nobel Prize for inventing the MRI scanner. There is no blue plaque on the door. We are now going for the Blue Paque and twinning with Hobbiton. I have stood on the reactor plate of the first ever nuclear power station at Calder Hall in Cumbria as a kid (A-Level Physics school trip) and I shall be buggered if I’m giving up that to build cunting windmills in Irish bogs. You couldn’t get Fathers Ted, Jack and Dougal to come up with something more half-witted! And at least Craggy Island was windy.

Oh for God’s sake electricity, the motor car and heavier than air flight are like cool. They are the second industrial revolution. They are the reason I can get fro Manchester Airport to Paris in just over an hour or to Istanbul in like four. It is the reason I don’t go into the stream and bang my washing with rocks like some medieval cunt but stick it in the electric machine instead. Dear sweet Jesus! Do I want to live like my grandparents? No. And they appreciated new stuff too. My Grandad went to primary school without shoes. I went to university in Nike Airs. I’d say that was an improvement and so would he if he was still with us.

But not everything has been cured yet.

In a hole in the ground…

…there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats-the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill-The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it-and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another. No going upstairs for the hobbit: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining-rooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage. The best rooms were all on the left-hand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows, deep-set round windows looking over his garden, and meadows beyond, sloping down to the river.

- JRRT, “The Hobbit”.

Sounds OK. I mean apart from the Sky dish and broadband that’s nicer than my gaff – and I like my gaff. So… What is the Mainly Fail on about with Mrs Bilbo. She looks a sight and lives like a scumbag in a way that annoys me (because she thinks herself “righteous”). We clearly all can’t – all 62 million of us Brits can’t afford to live like that – even if we wanted to! I mean I live in a house first built c.1600 but it ain’t Hobbiton (it’s on the outskirts of Manchester which was one of the places modernity was invented). More to the point why consider that living in a mud-hut can be compared to Bilbo’s gaff? Shifty Failish churnalism – again. Yet again.

Soon enough I shall wire-up the TV (downstairs) to the router (upstairs) for internet TV. This will involve an electric drill and language that would put Viz to shame. As I said, it’s c.1600 and I’m c.1973 so God knows what you drill into. Or what ineffable Geordisms may occur. I am no longer taking monies on the frequent use of “buggerated piss-flappery”.

Bilbo lived the most comfortable life imaginable (without electricity) (I can’t imagine life before Nikola Tesla stole lightning from Al Gore* or whomever because Tesla was a nasty man and made us modern.)

Admittedly I don’t have wizards and dwarves coming round with offers of quests. The lack thereof is a bit of a downer about living in the C21st. I would give up my comfort in an instant mind and dash out of my gaff, without a handkerchief, on an adventure (it’s my “Tookish” part). But whilst part of me would love to go into Wilderland with an Elvish blade in the company of dwarves I am still in Bag End. Hell’s teeth I want to be in the first Éored storming the fields of Pelennor. But it ain’t going to happen.

I am up for offers for anything utterly outrageous even if it means missing second breakfast. Usually that means somebody has a buggered Dell which can be fun but it’s not exactly dragon-slaying is it?

It is though civilization and not some sort of (quasi-sexual/quasi-religious?) kick about daubing the walls with horse shit. Because you see I am a Geordie and that means engineering and making life easier and more pleasant. But not just Geordies. Oh, no! Lots of other folk got into engines and abandoned the cute life – look at the “Good Life” – would the Goods have survived without continual help from Margo and Jerry? It is only slags like Drew Barrymore

Barrymore: I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal … awesome.
Diaz: (laughing) I’m so jealous right now. I’m going to the woods tomorrow.
Barrymore: It was awesome.

And E.T. told her to be “Be Good”! That’s Cameron Diaz by the way who once plastered the inside of someone’s gaff in Nepal with cow shit – on a show for MTV – whether they asked for this or not I dunno. Do you see a common thread here? I call it “Marie Antoinette syndrome”. You only aspire to play milk-maids and such when you don’t have to. For the really poor of this World in Africa and India and such places motorbikes and mobile phones make the difference not Hollywood A-listers who probably spend more on a set of bathroom taps than it would cost to drill a well for an entire village for people who can only dream of having a bathroom let alone the palatial ones Ms Barrymore and Ms Diaz have in their mansions.

So how does the humble phone and the motorbike help? Well, imagine you are from Kerala and fish for a living. There are several ports you can land your catch at. You got a mate shore-side and he texts you which one is short on fish and he’s got his bike (so he can find out) and your fish will be delivered by him on his bike. It all works out beautifully. It minimizes waste and ultimately forces down prices so it ain’t just good for you and your biker pal but for everyone.That makes a difference. Drew Barrymore crapping in your mango plantation doesn’t. Unless of course the canny owner puts it on EBay quick-smart, as a “Genuine Hollywood Turd”! Some deranged loon would buy it. If the internet has taught us anything it is that there is always one…

Oh, it undoubtedly made her feel good for a certain value of good. But so what? If she really wanted to help she could invest her millions in a Kawasaki dealership in Angola or an Indonesian mobile phone merchant or something.

We could save so much water if we all “hunched over like an animal”. It would make dog-walking perilous mind. “Watch out Rover! Charlize Theron is taking a dump behind that bush!”. Oh, and we’d have endemic cholera. Which of course they have in the poor countries. There is nothing noble about being a savage. And there is nothing decadent about having indoor plumbing. If you want a suggestion for the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square how about Joseph Bazalgette?

Or Drew Barrymore squatting. I shouldn’t have said that because that is precisely the sort of thing the Arts Council would fund. Not a distinguished white, male, be-whiskered Victorian engineer. Oh that would never do! The Bazalgette sewer system still works for an enormously larger London. He built quite a bit of slack into it. Basically he based the diameters on the maximum expected and then doubled them. His argument for this is they were only going to do it once so… And that is how we have the magnificent city we call our capital. Because of people who had vision beyond shitting in St John’s Wood and calling it “awesome”. Joseph Bazalgette lived a large chunk of his life in St John’s Wood and God alone knows what the great engineer would have thought if he’d found a Hollywood starlet “in the position” whilst out surveying. A sewer system for the (at the time) largest city ever on the planet is an awesome achievement. An arboreal defecation, less so.

And Bilbo wouldn’t approve. He liked his comfort (who doesn’t?). He liked a well-stocked larder and a mug of ale with his pipe by his front door. He was, in short (which he was), disgustingly middle-class. And fair play to the fellow. He was (is?) what half the World aspires to be and what a very vocal, though considerably less than half the World, aspires to demonize.

To put it bluntly. I suspect that a huge swathe of enivro-mental do-gooders want Africa and (other places) to remain “authentic”. They don’t want ‘em to develop because that means they can’t go over and patronise them and feel good about it. And of course development means certain people will make loads of money which is clearly evil unless you make loads of money from being one of “Charlie’s Angels”. Of course that is fine. Digging sewers in Lagos or putting Wifi into Mumbai is obviously evil. You know in much the same way the greatest philanthropist (and he does look a bit Hobbitish) of all time is an evil man. That would be Bill Gates. Of course he was never as cool as Steve Jobs who never even flicked a dime towards research into the cancer that killed him (look it up – it’s 2:32am by this Win 7 machine here). But he wore jeans and a black polo-neck so he must be cool and therefore good.

I am now going to sit down with a pipe of Longbottom and discuss roots with The Gaffer…

Attenbore Redux

According to arch-misanthrope David Attenborough, humans are a plague on earth.  This claim is nothing new of course and I’ve sailed on his sea of Malthusian sewage before .  The fact that Telegraph Environment Correspondent, Louise Gray, is cheerleading for him is no great surprise either.

The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources.

But let’s not mention that Attenbore uses up those very same vital resources jetting himself and camera crews all over the world to make smug wildlife documentaries to prove his point.  All at human virus TV licence payer expense, of course.

He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.

The planet is in famine?  Really?  So why is food being turned into biofuel?

There is species extinction?  Hardly surprising since rainforests are being felled in order to create palm oil plantations to salve greenie guilt over people wanting to keep warm and lead productive lives.

We must limit human population?  Attenbore’s wish is made real because biofuel production is leading the way.

It’s not population growth that’s the problem.  It’s the growth in greenie corporatism, authoritarian stupidity and greed.

“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times.

The Radio Times?  That world renown journal of scientific endeavour?  Well I’m convinced.

Just kidding.

I see that Attenbore has reset his personal doomsday clock – again.  The timetable for impending population doom has been de-escalated from thirty years to fifty.  As for the natural world seeing people off, it’s been doing that since people first evolved.  Nature isn’t vengeful.  It isn’t a thinking entity that targets a single species it dislikes.  Apparently Attenbore believes it is.  What a plonker!

Sir David, who is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, has spoken out before about the “frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries.

Only in developing countries?  Why pick on them?  I mean, don’t they have enough population reduction to contend with, what with palm oil plantations displacing whole communities nature going postal on their malnourished brown bums?  I note that Attenbore limits the educational investment to family planning.   God forefend that we educate these people to a standard where they can enjoy the benefits of technology and wealth – both of which have drastically reduced the birthrate in developed countries.  To be honest, the only “frightening explosion in human numbers” I’m worried about is the overabundance of people-hating cretins like Attenbore.  In patriarchal China, where population control was limited to one child per family, a “voluntary” means of limiting population led to the abandonment and death of an untold number of female babies.  And he endorses this?

“We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves — and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case. Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a coordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse.”

Don’t worry, Dave.  The Ethiopian government and Somali militia are doing their best to reduce the population.  Mostly the part that opposes them but I guess you have to start somewhere.

Sir David, whose landmark series are repeated from Monday on BBC2, starting with Life on Earth, has also spoken out about the change in wildlife documentaries during his lifetime.

The 86-year-old said commentary from presenters like himself are becoming less necessary as camera work is able to tell a story.

But not the whole story, eh Dave?

“I’m not sure there’s any need for a new Attenborough,” he said. “The more you go on, the less you need people standing between you and the animal and the camera waving their arms about.

That goes double for Attenbores who wave their arms about while ranting on about how many human lives should be snuffed out in order to preserve the Attenbore’s comfortable existence world resources.

“It’s much cheaper to get someone in front of a camera describing animal behaviour than actually showing you [the behaviour]. That takes a much longer time. But the kind of carefully tailored programmes in which you really work at the commentary, you really match pictures to words, is a bit out of fashion now … regarded as old hat.”

Well I can honestly say I’ve had more than enough of your carefully tailored, anti-human crap, Dave.  Time to give it a rest, methinks.

Bile.

Yesterday I sent an airmail letter to the Prime Minister of Vietnam. This is something I rarely do.

This is fairly urgent…

So please make some noise about it. And you all have the ‘net – you know how.

Ministry of Defence issues eviction order.

Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre faces eviction from Tam Dao National Park, following an aggressive campaign by the park director, Do Dinh Tien.

On Friday 5 October, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) informed Animals Asia that the Ministry of Defence has issued an order to evict the sanctuary operation and its 104 rescued bears. This follows Mr Tien lobbying the Ministry of Defence to declare the sanctuary to be an area of “national defence significance”.

Mr Tien has been pressuring Animals Asia to relinquish the land since April 2011. It is believed that he intends to hand it over to the Truong Giang Tam Dao Joint Stock Company, in which his daughter has an investment. This company has submitted an application for development of an “eco-tourism park” and hotels on the site.

The closure of the rescue centre would have a severe impact:

104 bears, rescued from Vietnam bear bile farms and smugglers – evicted

77 local Vietnamese staff – unemployed

US$2 million – investment in building and development by Animals Asia – lost

The word on the street is that this “military requirement” is a stalking horse for the minister’s daughter who wants (I am not joking here) to set-up alleged “eco-park” hotel-complex and such and evict the bears. So people who carbon-offset their holidays can feel good about themselves whilst destroying an animal sanctuary. The whole thing stinks. I think we must call for Mr Bond. He seemed to be involved with thwarting a dodgy “eco-hotel” recently.

“We are desperate to ensure that the rescue centre is not closed down and relocated. The welfare of 104 bears, who have already suffered enough, would be seriously compromised, and the rescue centre and US$2 million in donations would be lost. We’re calling on the public, and the media, both in Vietnam and overseas to urgently appeal to the Prime Minister of Vietnam for justice, and to let him know their feelings on this terrible threat to the bears’ welfare.”

-Jill Robinson MBE, Dr.med.vet. h.c, Founder and CEO of Animals Asia.

I have mentioned this charity before. My wife supports it (she did the Manchester 10km run for it) and is very upset about this. So am I. And I know some of you folks gave a fair few quid to this excellent charity. So I don’t ask for further financial support but I do ask kinda differently this time. This is state corruption and that above almost anything is what we ought to stand against. My wife, me and some of you (thanks!) have monies given on completely honest terms only for a corrupt state to line their own pockets by a blatantly false flag equivalent of a compulsory purchase order on a charity that had hitherto had the “full support” of the Vietnamese government. Yeah, I know, it’s like football management. When the board says they are, “Standing behind the manager” you just know they have the daggers sharpened.

Let me add some more…

Bear bile is not only horrifically cruel to the bears but so insanitary is it it is not only dangerous medicine and to the extent it works there are alternatives that do not require such cruelty but proper, cheaper drugs and ones that don’t carry the considerable risk of infectious disease to humans are available.

My wife’s adopted bear, called January died, but she now has Wilfred. And yes, that is the blog of the Animals Asia founder Jill Robinson. Might I add that cage that Wilfred was in is relatively generous compared to the ones most bears are kept in for frequently a quarter of a century with their gall bladders tapped. The Chinese government wants to end this (they want for all their sins to appear modern and civilized and their burgeoning middle class do care about animals and as I said this can be injurious to human health). The Vietnamese Government seems to have back-slid on this because the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (and that is how they style themselves) has ministers that are going for the buck in the nastiest way.

The claim that the land in question is an area of national defence significance is questionable, given that the centre has been in operation since 2005 and that the Chat Dau Valley, where it is located, has been used for tourism and other private purposes since the park opened in 1996.

It is believed that once the bear centre is forced to close, the land will be declared to no longer be of national defence significance, allowing the Truong Giang Joint Stock Company to take it over for private development.

The eviction is in direct violation of the Vietnam government’s 2005 agreement with Animals Asia to fund and develop a facility on 12 hectares of the park that would permanently rehabilitate and house 200 endangered bears rescued from the illegal bear bile industry. Based on this agreement, Animals Asia has invested more than US$2 million in building and infrastructure.

And that is the rub. This is a naked stalking horse for vile corruption and for a usurpation of property rights on the grounds of that classic coverall of defence. A beut is that one given that you can D notice or whatever any discussion on the grounds of “national security”.

It is a fine charity (some aren’t of course). My wife and I don’t support causes without a good look-see. What appears to be happening is a charity welcomed with open arms by a government is having the rug pulled due to the greed and duplicity of a minister of that government who has played the “security card” from the bottom of the deck. If the Vietnamese government are made to know that they risk international ill-will and a fall in tourist Dollars, Yen, Euros and Pounds because of this depraved and Machiavellian scheme to make a minister’s daughter rich by blatant chicanery then they might think again. So go make some noise. Let them know.

Here’s a good start point.

Write to Vietnam. The postcards I sent from Paris recently saying like the Musée d’Orsay is like awesome cost EUR1.35. The airmail letter to the Vietnamese PM cost GBP1.28. Let them know we care about corruption (and why – why the stable rule of law – and not the whim of a Politburo member – encourages investment). Let them know that destroying part of an organisation aimed at ending an evil trade that is already (technically) against Vietnamese law will mean that regardless of the wonderful things to see in their chunk of South East Asia we’re going to Thailand instead (Mr Tien’s scheme is all about the tourist money-bags so hit ‘em there). Let them know this “traditional cure” causes more harm then good. Let them know they sold that land to Animals Asia in good faith and that we shall not invest in Vietnam when property rights are treated there in such a cavalier fashion. But most of all let them know that that charity has done wonderous things to help prevent (and to deal with the aftermath) of caging and torturing intelligent mammals with mouldering and rusting taps fitted into their abdomens in tiny, filthy cages sometimes for decades. And that that is unacceptable even if this was good medicine which it isn’t.

Let them know if that if they want to be seen as a civilised nation this is just not on.

PS. I’m not sure I have made it clear enough moneys gone to the major effort of Animals Asia in China are OK. They have spent that on buying bears from farmers (in much the same way the British Empire ended slavery – unlike the Septics who did it by having a dreadful war), looking after them.

Climate Wars Redux

This started out as a Quote of the Day, with the following quote, but it grewed, into almost a repost. I hope the original author doesn’t mind.

It doesn’t matter how many of the opening rounds you lose because you see, by refusing to give up and die, that in itself is a victory.

(…)

I have fought the evil anti-human thing that environmentalism metastasised into for many years. I’ve seen good people I had a regard for smashed into the ground by it, because in all innocence, they simply couldn’t help but voice their honest concerns about the simple accuracy of the science or the logical implications of its policies, both for humanity in general and the most vulnerable people on the planet in particular.

Those people were too civilised and decent to understand what they were dealing with; raw naked brutality, so they were destroyed by it. They lost tenure, they lost jobs and they lost that inner optimism that every true scientist still retains in their silly, secret, heart of hearts, about some innate goodness or at least some basic objectivity that they always believed was at the centre of science. What they could never understand was that scientific integrity was irrelevant, it was always about politics, power and money.

(more…)

Banality of evil

Well, here we have it. Senator Bob Brown, the most powerful politician in Australia outside Cabinet, arguably more powerful than many senior government ministers, may have been Australia’s own personal barking moonbat, but he’s your problem now as well.

Here we have the global gathering of Greens from around the world, meeting in Dakar, and agreeing on a common Charter of Principles.

Proposal by the Green Party of Mexico:

IN ORDER TO MAKE A REALITY THE GLOBAL GREEN CHARTER POINT 4.7 OF POLITICAL ACTION, THE GREEN PARTIES OF THE WORLD, WITH PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATION, SHOULD COMMIT TO PROMOTE AMENDMENTS TO THEIR LEGAL SYSTEMS IN THE SHORT TERM, IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH MANDATORY ECOLOGY EDUCATION AT ALL LEVELS.

Status: Resolved

I think we can safely assume that the Green Party definition of ‘ecology’ will not be the well defined, statistically analysable and politically neutral observational branch of biological science I studied at university.

So, it is now Green policy, world wide, that their wretched ideology be rammed down the throats of ALL children, EVERYWHERE. As an aside, you see why I am against state mandated curricula? All state mandated curricula, in every subject.

Anyway, this is the killer -

Sponsored by Ecolo (Belgium). the FYEJ, the Australian Greens:

The Global Greens Congress reaffirms its support for the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) as a parliamentary body within the UN system that is complementary to the UN General Assembly. As a first step it should be composed of representatives of national parliaments but ultimately it should become a body that is directly elected by the world’s citizens.

Status: Resolved

There we have it. Think this will be an innocuous body? Senator Bob thinks it should take over economic, environmental and defence decision making.

Can’t you just see it? The freely elected parliamentarians of China, Russia and the countries of the OIC determining the economic and defence policies of Europe and North America?

Yeah, sure. Basically, bye bye any concept of Western freedom.

Don’t be confused by the use of the buzzword democracy, it is irrelevant. Democracy has value only as the most appropriate means by which free people govern themselves. Abolish freedom, the sovereign right to live under laws we freely choose, and democracy ceases to have any more validity than any other form of tyranny. Democracy is a symbol, freedom is the substance.

Watch the video, it is boring, it is bureaucratic, and it rams home the sheer banality of the evil they are espousing.

H/T Wake up to the Lies

The Death Rattle Of The Private Sector

There are all sorts of issues in libertarianism and small governmentism, and some are more important than others, and we all have our particular things we focus on. My own normal focus is “social” liberty, the puritan stuff about sex’n'drugsn’craplikethat, and other than polluting the comment sections of other blogs (sorry Tim!) in particular I have a tendency to leave economics to other people who are brainier about it than I am. Talking of which, our own Paul Marks nudged me earlier this week with the following quote from our most glorious Chancellor Of The Piggy Bank, mister George Osborne-

I will not hesitate to move swiftly, without notice and retrospectively if inappropriate ways around these new rules are found. People have been warned.

-which is scary stuff and which Paul has addressed in an earlier post. But even this astonishing declaration, which is basically “we will decide post hoc whether you broke rules that had not yet been made”, pales into insignificance beside THIS from The Void (via The Libertarian Alliance blog).

It is astonishingly scary stuff. It appears that, largely under the radar (or, at least, under my radar), old bumhole mouth himself Iain Duncan Smith is constructing (or at least attempting to construct) a Mother-Of-All-Databases that will make Broon’s Identity Card scheme look like small potatoes. Which if nothing else pretty much kills off the last of those trying to justify voting for Cameron’s “Heir To Blair” party at the last election by saying, “well, at least they got rid of the ID cards”. Ho hum.

(more…)

Ding Dong the Leech is Dead…

…in the water.

Huhne, no longer able to cling to power like the proverbial turd to a blanket, has finally resigned after being charged with perverting the course of justice.  Now comes the circling of the climate change wagons. Neil O’Brien, Director of Policy Exchange writes in the Daily Telegraph:

The next climate change minister must learn from Chris Huhne’s successes and failures

There were successes? Well I suppose the Titanic was deemed a success right up until the moment it hit an iceberg and sank.

Never has a Lib Dem away-day received so much media attention.

Yeah, a cabinet minister charged with perverting the course of justice tends to raise eyebrows and elevate the media to fever-pitch.

Rolling news cameras are currently showing absolutely fascinating footage of… a door somewhere in Eastbourne. It doesn’t seem to be opening or closing very much, but presumably behind it Chris Huhne’s political career is being weighed in the balance…

The words sink, lead and duck spring joyfully to mind.

I feel terrible for his clever and nice ex-wife. But his successor has a huge and important job to do. What should the new climate change minister keep, and what what should be changed?

Sometimes revenge comes with a price tag.  Obviously Ms Pryce reckons it’s worth it.  Good for her.

Huhne had one big success: protecting a stable nuclear policy, particularly after the Fukushima disaster. While some other countries like Germany suddenly changed direction in a knee-jerk response, Huhne kept the long-delayed policy to build new nuclear power stations on track. Given the Lib Dems’ historically anti-nuclear policy, this was a particular success.

So where are the new reactors then?  How come we aren’t seeing any new ones being commissioned and built despite them being given the go-ahead?  Could it be that all that’s left in the energy kitty is moths and empty promises because  the fruits of legal extortion subsidies are constantly diverted to dance to the Greenies tune prop up uneconomical, unsustainable, and unreliable renewables?  I see lots of windmills being erected but there’s sod all for nuclear, a proven reliable source of energy.

But also made two big mistakes, which are linked.

Firstly, he failed to challenge Labour’s unnecessarily expensive approach to reducing carbon emissions, which focusses on deploying lots of high-cost renewables (particularly offshore wind).

Huhne had no intention of challenging anything. He’s a weapons grade, opportunist slimeball politician who bought into the AGW scam big time and is/was pressing for a shitload more of that unnecessary expense in the shape of wind farms.  Or have you somehow you managed not to notice that, Mr. O’Brien?

This squanders resources which could be much better spent on either delivering the same short-term carbon reduction more cheaply, or – better still – on investments to develop new technologies which could be genuinely competitive with fossil fuels.

Short termism is killing us and it’s an evil that is in bountiful supply so you can stuff it.  BTW why the hell are you wibbling on about carbon?,  It’s carbon dioxide you moron, a harmless, life giving invisible gas the production of which wealth redistributing Marxists warmists want to control reduce and/or sequestrate.  Or has that passed you by as well? However, you’re correct about squandering money.  Government get’s an A* for that.  We’re living the nightmare of technologies designed to “compete” with fossil fuels.  Scrap the subsidies and feed-in tarrifs and there isn’t any competition because fossil fuels will win hands down every bloody time on an even playing field.

Deploying lots of known technologies which are expensive and have little potential to improve in future (wind) means that Britain is making very little contribution to fighting global warming. As a tiny island in a huge global economy, we won’t make much impact unless we concentrate on developing new technologies with the potential to be competitive globally.

It’s new “technology” that got us into this mess you berk.  The planet is cooling and our ability to generate energy has had the balls ripped off it.  We need energy security and new power stations NOW.  What we don’t need is vague promises of pie in the sky gizmoism that may or may not be available at some indeterminate time in the future.

Secondly, he has been presiding over the dismantling of the competitive electricity market – a UK policy success emulated across the world – through the ill-thought-through “Electricity Market Reform” process. Rather than letting the market operate, Government increasingly controls a whole range of detailed decisions, which chip away at the market’s ability to operate well.

Dismantling?  Willfully clubbing it to death with a neutron cosh and shoving the entire country towards the event horizon of a blackout hole more like.  Where were you when all this crap was being set up?  How come we are only hearing from you now that AGW is no longer a major cause célèbre?

Several of these controls are part of the overly-expensive, micro-managing approach to climate change policy, like the Renewables Obligation, its ‘banding’ to give different subsidy levels to different renewables, feed-in tariffs, the Carbon Emission Reduction Target, a Carbon Capture and Storage deployment subsidy (enabled in legislation), the EU Industrial Emissions Directive, the EU Emissions Trading System and the Climate Change Levy.

The combined effect of government interventions has been to distract and prevent market players from taking investment decisions, innovating, revealing and adapting to new information. Instead they now look to, and wait for, government to make decisions on which technologies are favoured, by how much and what the planned outcome for the generation is. Market decision-making is replaced with ‘monopoly’ decision-making by government.

Big government leads to corporatism: resources are wasted on ‘rent-seeking’: there are now more than ten UK organisations, each representing particular generation technology sectors, lobbying government for policies and/or subsidies to favour their sectors. You may have seen adverts in the papers encouraging you to cash in on the Feed In Tariff while the courts rule on it. There has been increased politicisation, and frequent tweaking and ‘fine-tuning’, of policy.

No shit, Sherlock.  Run out of Mogadon did you?  Woken up at last have you?  What on earth did we ignorant proles do before you finally stared harsh fiscal reality in the face and shared your gosh-golly-really? thoughts with us? Better late than never, I suppose.  You’ll be waking up to the reality that AGW is a fraud next.

Maybe not.  Snrrrrrr grunt heeeeeze….

Getting this right is hugely important for growth and jobs. With a different approach we could still hit all our green targets, but save every household in the country £400 a year. If the new minister wants to help families under pressure and do something for the environment, we need to change course now.

The stupid, it burns…

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