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November, 2009:

Copenhagen

How much do you know about the proposed treaty? Your government doing its best to keep you informed about what it is all about?

Well?

Of course they are, open and democratic all the way.

Ok, how about this:

Annex 1, Paragraph 33:

By 2020 the scale of financial flows to support adaptation in developing countries must be [at least USD 67 billion] [in the range of USD 70-140 billion] per year.

How much? Every year?

Annex III, Section E, paragraph 17:

[[Developed [and developing] countries] [Developed and developing country Parties] [All Parties] [shall] [should]:]
        (a)  Compensate for damage to the LDCs’ economy and also compensate for lost opportunities, resources, lives, land and dignity, as many will become environmental refugees;
         (b)  Africa, in the context of environmental justice, should be equitably compensated for environmental, social and economic losses arising from the implementation of response
measures.

Dignity? opportunities? Does demanding money add to their dignity? We gotta pay because we have WOUNDED THEIR FUCKING DIGNITY?

Annex 1, Section C, paragraph 41:

[Financial resources of the Convention Adaptation Fund"] [may] [shall] include: (a) [Assessed contributions [of at least 0.7% of the annual GDP of developed country parties]

0.7% of GDP, every year, turned over to the UN. Bigoted, racist and corrupt.

That’s a whole lot of moolah to be spent on buying patronage and clientele, isn’t it. How much exactly? Well, Australia has a GDP of 1 trillion dollars US. That’s seven billion dollars from po’ lil ole Oz alone. The UK? $2.6 trillion or 17 billion dollars in payments. The US? $14 trillion or 98 billion dollars.

Just from those three countries the UN gets $122 billion dollars to spend on all its favourite people.

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? But wait, there’s more.

Annex IV, paragraph 16, Option 1, alternative 1:

An assessed contribution from developed country Parties based on the principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities, respective capabilities, GDP, GDP per capita, the polluter pays principle historical responsibility of Annex I Parties, historical climate debt, including adaptation debt, amounting to [[0.5–1][0.8][2] per cent of gross national product] at least [0.5–1 per cent of GDP]].

Can’t make out much at all there, but 1 percent of GDP looks pretty ominous.

But still, that is $122 Billion from just three countries, that the UN can use to buy influence and subvert freedom and democracy around the world. Then there is the rest of Europe.

Every year.

Damn, but Mercedes will love this. Land Rover too.

Ok, I am working to a script here. Andrew Bolt has done a superb analysis of this over here.

You think that because we are handing over the dosh that we might get a bigger say in spending it than maybe Cuba, Venezuela or Sudan? Hah. Dream on. Just like the crappy UN Human Rights Council? The ‘developed countries’ get just one vote in nine on the spending body. This is gunna be a bonanza, a cornucopia of goodies for every crook liar and thief who ever got a job as tranzi.

And that’s just the start – wait ‘til you learn about the Billion dollar fines we got to pay if we are silly enough to want reliable power supplies.

These fuckers governing us hate us. They really do.

Go read Andrew.

Cheesed Off With The Swiss

So the Swiss have decided that they want no more minarets. Well, like the Kaiser Chiefs I predict a riot. Do you remember the Motoons of Doom riots? In certain parts of the Islamic world they ran out of Danish flags to burn and burnt Swiss ones instead. I wonder if the reverse will happen this time?

I dunno how much upset there will be internationally. Somehow I can’t see Saudi princelings closing their numbered accounts and stomping their Rolexes into the dust. I suppose they could ban yodelling (which would be an unalloyed good) and torch a huge pile of Toblerones…

Minarets should be a planning issue in the same way that building a MonstroMart in a picturesque village is. But alas it isn’t. Minarets can be supremacist symbols. Within dhimmi states historically the mosque had to be taller than other religious buildings to demonstrate Islam’s supremacy*. But… Switzerland is not a dhimmi state (clearly not!) so I think the Swiss have over-reacted here. This ban has all the hallmarks of something approaching the start of a witch-hunt. If the Swiss want to antagonise the Muslims in their midst (who I am given to understand are primarily pretty easy-going Turks and Bosnians) then congratulations! They have achieved their goal. This ban plays perfectly into the hands of the sort of rabble-rousing clerics who preach that Europe systematically discriminates against Muslims. It’s an own goal against a non-issue and an absolute guarantee of null points from Turkey at the next Eurofission.

It is also putting the cart before the horse. If you have Catholics you get churches, with Jews synagogues, with Muslims mosques. It doesn’t go the other way around. If the Swiss fear Islamic domination then they should be tough on the causes of minarets and not on minarets themselves. Instead they have fired a pathetic warning shot against Islam over a non-issue in a way that demonstrates fear not resolution and in so doing they have pissed-off a lot of Muslims. Great!

Perhaps more to the point though I don’t object to Islam because of it’s funny clothes or festivals or it’s architecture – certainly not the later some of which is exquisite** – but because it’s core beliefs frequently promote violence and authoritarianism. What the Swiss are essentially attacking here is the symbol and not the thing in itself. If someone wants to build a minaret and worship Allah then fine. They can knock themselves out. If the imam starts going all Abu Hamza then we have a problem. Cathedral spires didn’t cause the crusades and minarets don’t cause jihads any more than guns cause violence.

I am amazed this was a federal issue in Switzerland. It should be a town planning issue and it should come down to whether the minaret in question spoils (or perhaps enhances) the view or causes traffic problems or whether or some such. It should be an issue for local people and a matter of civil law. If, from said minaret, the imam starts inciting murder or at the attached madrassa scheming bomb-plots then it is a police matter. It’s that simple and a federal ban on a type of addition to a building is that ludicrous. This is especially so in a nation that has prided itself on its liberal tradition going back centuries.

I, like the Swiss, have fears over creeping shariah (sounds like a particularly nasty garden weed) but this is just not the right way to go about tackling radical Islam and the horrors that come in it’s wake. There has been much debate in Britain about shariah operating as a parallel legal system. That of course should not be allowed to happen because there should be one unified law for all of us (even Lord Mandelson). I believe that to be a universal concept. Within a jurisdiction the same law should hold for everyone. It would appear that when it comes to the construction of religious buildings 57% of the Swiss disagree with me. And their cheese is full of holes too!

*Mohammed Atta was an architect and what really boiled his piss initially were the Hiltons and Banks of America towering over the old mosques in his native Cairo. Not that this is uniquely Islamic. Until quite recently you couldn’t build anything in London taller than St Paul’s.
**And a lot is dross as in any architectural tradition. Like I said this is a planning issue.

Happy St Andrew’s Day

Happy St Andrews Day to all our Scottish readers. Please enjoy a dram responsibly or Nicola Sturgeon will get ya!

Just one thing puzzles me though – this is how Google chose to celebrate:

Before I rolled-over that I thought it must be Bram Stoker’s birthday or something. Not exactly cheery is it?

Pearls of wisdom

Apropos my previous posting:

“The House will forgive me for quoting five democratic questions that I have developed during my life. If one meets a powerful person–Rupert Murdoch, perhaps, or Joe Stalin or Hitler–one can ask five questions: what power do you have; where did you get it; in whose interests do you exercise it; to whom are you accountable; and, how can we get rid of you? Anyone who cannot answer the last of those questions does not live in a democratic system.”

Viscount Stansgate

I had always seen Tony Benn as a political enemy, or at least an opponent, back in the days when the UK was a democracy. However, while we may disagree about who should own and control property, and the means of production, we were in full agreement on a far more important matter – that WE should make that decision.

All criticism is forbidden

An independent country no more. As from tomorrow, a dependent province of a brand new polity.

A system of managerial fascism.

No more, and no less.

We are now part of a fascist state.

More Credible Predictions

I did see this one some time ago. Apparently oblivious to the recent total annihilation of scientific credibility on climate predictions, New Scientist has hired a Tarot card reader to foretell the doom of the polar bears. Yes, a Tarot card reader. An actual, card-carrying Tarot card reader.

Like other practitioners, I was always praying that one card would not appear. It shows a grinning skeleton carrying a giant scythe standing above a field littered with severed heads. It is card number 13, Death, and few customers reward you generously after they encounter it.

I don’t know. Al Gore does rather well out of it.

Although I know the card well, I was still surprised when an image of it popped into my mind out on the Arctic seas, in the middle of a large field of broken ice floes some 1200 kilometres from the North Pole.

You’re stranded in a freezing Arctic wasteland thousands of miles from anywhere being hunted by polar bears and you’re surprised to see a grinning skeleton carrying a scythe? Well, yes, I suppose so.

The obligatory lecture on the inevitable doom of the polar bears follows. But polar bears are not the only animals spotted.

For a brief moment, three improbably long spiral horns broke through the water and waved above the sea like magic wands.

Magic wands. Right. And we all know exactly what those look like.

But on a brief positive note, we are reminded that species come and go, and that even their eco-catastrophe will not be the end for mother nature. Polar bears will be replaced by killer whales. I guess the killer whales will be crossing his palm with silver, for such a good fortune telling.

However, at the end we learn the Tarot symbol for all those naysayers who doubt the coming Ecopalyse. That sinister symbol for “blind abandonment to self-destructive materialism.” And I think there must be something in it – because I see the same symbol in the sidebar to this blog! Spooky!

Priorities

Compare this with this.

So we are grounding helicopters whilst at war to cover half the NHS budget on the most blatent of utter quackery…

Abso-fucking-lutely typical.

I don’t think the Afghan front should involve the War on Drugs but it’s the principle.

Whilst on the subject of healthcare: compare and contrast this and this.

The same organisation that can’t keep a hospital ward clean is to be lecturing us from The Book of The Goreacle.

Every fucker responsible for all this tomfoolery ought to be put in a camp, injected with MRSA and then only given homeopathic “remedies”. When they die horribly it will at least save them the terrors of dying from climate change.

Poor Harry

On Samizdata, the comment was made that the UEA has confessed to having “lost” all the original data. This was a revelation known some time ago, as a result of the FOI responses that have been received. It’s not quite that straightforward, I suspect. I commented there, but this is an issue that is not in the forefront of the coverage yet, so I thought was worth repeating here.

When they say "lost", they mean lost in a special way. Imagine you are collecting a database of temperature statistics. You input the data, and dispose of the no longer needed input media. You are tweaking and correcting them as you go. Now you run a program to collect a summary, and publish a paper. And then you carry on adding (and tweaking) statistics to the database. Adjusting and improving your programs, and so on.

Ten years later, somebody asks for the data you used to generate the original paper. Problem is, you’ve got no idea of what the state of the database was at the time. That was thousands of additions and hundreds of tweaks ago. You have no regular backups, no archives, no records of what you’ve done. Because after all, why should you keep a record of the old data when you know the new version is so much better? It makes no sense, and would be a waste of valuable storage space.

And so you tell the enquirers to get knotted. You know what you’re doing, why should these amateurs be allowed to come in and rip 25 years of work to shreds?

But then some fool politician passes the FOIA, and you’re suddenly told you have to share your data. "Oh God!" What are you going to do?! You don’t have it any more, and it’s going to be a nightmare to reconstruct.

This, I believe, is the desperate genesis of the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file. Some poor sod (called Ian "Harry" Harris, it is generally suspected) was given the miserable job of going back through the stinking tangled mass of code and intermediate results to try to reconstruct what was done. We gather that several years of late nights and working weekends were involved. Most of the software people who have looked at the file have expressed deep sympathy for the poor fellow. Many of us have been there.

You are utterly trapped! On the one hand, reconstructing the data is impossible, on the other, admitting what you’ve done is unthinkable, and increasing legal pressure is getting ever closer to forcing a choice, and the politics in the run-up to Copenhagen is doubling and redoubling the stakes. And yet at no point in the whole process did you do anything you consider to be wrong.

I wonder, did the release of the emails maybe even come as something of a relief? Yes, you are now going to be pilloried before the entire world, but at least the agonising wait is over. And in a few months time, it might even pass. And you can relax in your enforced retirement in that little cottage with roses over the door, instead of that sword of Damocles. Looking at it on a human level, wouldn’t it be nice if that was so?

Carbon

I’ve been slow posting because I’ve been enjoying the spectacle of Climategate, or CRUdgate, or whatever you want to call it. Things do seem to be calming down a little as we start to move from the denial-that-this-is-at-all-significant phase to the hold-an-enquiry-to-avoid-having-to-talk-about-it phase. Only when we move out of that into the-enquiry-exonerates-everyone stage can we expect a further burst of outrage. Given the complexity of some of the issues, that could be years away.

This earthquake does seem to have shifted the landscape quite considerably. Issues like motives that were previously subject only to speculation are now accessible. Cracks have been forming in the media facade – so far, ones that could be plastered over quite quickly if things turn around, but significant nevertheless. Several prominent and respected scientists have taken the opportunity to break ranks. And Google now returns 10 million results for the word “Climategate”. (Although their predictive text thing doesn’t seem to recognise the term. Although “ClimateGroundZero” does, with about 10 thousand hits. Anyone know what that’s about?)

So it occurred to me that I’d better get on and do some more posts on this climate stuff, before it all gets out of date!

(more…)

MacDonough’s Song

I stumbled across this in an old collection of SF short stories. I hope it isn’t something everyone has seen before…

Whether the State can loose and bind
In Heaven as well as on Earth:
If it be wiser to kill mankind
Before or after the birth-
These are matters of high concern
Where State-kept schoolmen are;
But Holy State (we have lived to learn)
Endeth in Holy War.

Whether The People be led by The Lord,
Or lured by the loudest throat:
If it be quicker to die by the sword
Or cheaper to die by vote-
These are things we have dealt with once,
(And they will not rise from their grave)
For Holy People, however it runs,
Endeth in wholly Slave.

Whatsoever, for any cause,
Seeketh to take or give
Power above or beyond the Laws,
Suffer it not to live!
Holy State or Holy King-
Or Holy People’s Will-
Have no truck with the senseless thing.
Order the guns and kill!
Saying – after -me -

Once there was The People -Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth
Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, 0 ye slain!
Once there was The People -it shall never be again!

- Rudyard Kipling, 1912

They don’t even try and hide it any more.

 One law for us, and another for them:

Make sure you are mates with European Intelligentsia -

Then you can fuck, rape and sodomise children to your hearts content.

This isn’t a matter of guilty or innocent, that has already been established, in court. The man is as guilty as sin and these people are acting to help him avoid punishment.

Our intellectual amd moral superiors.

A Modest Proposal

Close air-support in Afghanistan is being carried out by fast jets which are generally not suitable. Not even the Apache gunship or the A-10 Warthog were designed for counter-insurgency warfare. They were designed primarily to massacre Soviet armoured columns in the Fulda Gap.

But there is a ‘plane that would do the trick. An A-1 Skyraider for the twenty-first century.

And this is the baby.

It isn’t too fast, carries a reasonable warload and by that I also mean suitable. There was an event a while back in Afghanistan (not the “German one”, before that) when air-support was called and the only thing on station was a B-1B Lancer. It dropped 5000lbs of ordnance on some commpound causing a lot of collateral. 5000lbs in one drop? It must have looked like a baby nuke.

It has a few other good points for the job. Full night and all-weather capacity,, cabability to operate from short, rough strips, good performance in hot weather (being designed for Latin America).

Oh and did I add that it was cheap? Colombia recently paid $234m for 25. That’s peanuts in aerospace terms. You could equip a squadron with Super Tucs for the cost of a single Typhoon. This of course means you could deploy lots of them to the ‘stan. This would mean there’s always some when you need them and the ludicrous over-kill of using the likes of Lancers (designed to nuke Russia) to take out a few terrorists would be avoided.

And, and this is the killer. Great range and endurance. Our jets frequently streak over, unleash hell and then like Kayser Soze, they are gone. Loiter time is critical for CAS missions – you need something that can hang-around and keep the bugger’s heads down during casevacs for example. It also acts as a force multiplier. The Super Tuc might not get there as fast as an F-16 but they wouldn’t need to. You could have enough buzzing around that ground patrols would just need to whistle and one would be there. They also do armed-recon brilliantly and I would guess escort of transports.

Did I add it’s hard as nails and has good resistance to small-arms fire?

The USA is considering buying 100.

They should have done it years back. I’ve been saying that for quite some time but nobody listens to me.

Our own dear MoD doesn’t seem bothered even though the Harriers they’ve deployed are totally unsuitable. They are now being replaced by Tiffys which are not really suitable either – supersonic sledgehammers to crack nutcases. There is no way we could operate anything like as many as the Super Tucs either.

This ignorance on behalf of the Ministry of Dunces is odd because of two salient facts which make this aircraft ideal for the RAF.

RAF strike pilots will all have flown something very similar so conversion ought to be easy. Secondly (though I don’t know the details here) is it not possible that Shorts could build it under license from Embraer? That would be great if they could.

Anyway, it’s only a modest proposal from a member of Janes’ Fighting Armchairs but it’s better than anything I’ve heard the Sec State Ainsworth come-up with. He’s too busy squandering billions on paper-shuffling in Whitehall.

But, you know, we really ought to at least try and look like we’re trying to win this bloody war…

Did those feet…

Jesus Christ could have come to Britain to further his education, according to a Scottish academic.

Church of Scotland minister Dr Gordon Strachan makes the claim in a new film entitled “And Did Those Feet”.

The film examines the story of Jesus’ supposed visit, which survives in the popular hymn Jerusalem.

That’s not Gordon Strachan the former footballer is it? Talk about a career change. And that’s the popular hymn the lyrics of which were penned by noted mentalist William Blake of course. And further His education in what precisely? Woad Studies?

Dr Strachan believes it is “plausible” Jesus came to England for his studies, as it was the forefront of learning 2,000 years ago.

“Coming this far wasn’t in fact that far in the olden days,” Dr Strachan told BBC Radio 4′s The World At One. “The Romans came here at the same time and they found it quite easy.”

Dr Strachan added that Jesus had “plenty of time” to do the journey, as little was known about his life before the age of 30.

Dr Strachan clearly was not a student of the epistemological sciences. It’s plausible that I could have been to the Near East. I haven’t but it’s plausible.

Now the first words of the hymn – “And did those feet” – are the title of a new film based on a book researched by Dr Strachan, who lectures on the history of architecture at Edinburgh University.

“It is generally suggested that he came to the west of England with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, who was here for tin,” said the academic.

It is generally suggested? I am sold. What the hell is a fine and noble institution like Edinburgh University doing employing such people?

Dr Strachan claimed Jesus Christ could have come to England to further his education.

“He needed to go around to learn bits and pieces about ancient wisdom, and the druids in Britain went back hundreds if not thousands of years. He probably came here to meet the druids, to share his wisdom and gain theirs.”

Now this is getting very silly. Cue Graham Chapman to come on in an army uniform and stop the whole thing. He probably came here to meet druids. Oh for fuck’s sake! That’s a rapid shift from the coulds to the probables ain’t it?

Among the places Jesus is said to have visited are Penzance, Falmouth, St-Just-in-Roseland and Looe, which are all in Cornwall, as well as Glastonbury in Somerset – which has particular legends about Jesus.

Lots of places have legends. Here’s one from where I grew-up. I have the bones in the attic and charge people a quid a throw to see ‘em.

“St Augustine wrote to the Pope to say he’d discovered a church in Glastonbury built by followers of Jesus. But St Gildas (a 6th-Century British cleric) said it was built by Jesus himself. It’s a very very ancient church which went back perhaps to AD37.”

Well, most churches are built by followers of Jesus. Hindus tend to build temples. All part of life’s rich tapestry and all that jazz. Jazz of course was invented by the swing-combo Moses and the Israelites who toured Sinai for forty years. The details will be revealed in my blockbusting historical work, “What isn’t in Exodus”. Due out next year.

And – my knowledge of early Christian history is a little shaky – but how does Christ building a church Himself fit with it being built in (perhaps) AD37?. Especially when according to the good doctor (and damn fine striker in his day) Christ travelled to talk with druids (did they know Aramaic, did he know ancient Celtic?) and trade tin before he was thirty? I mean He was born around 4BC and crucified in his early thirties right?

What the bloody hell is this farrago of wild and self-contradictory nonsense for? Has Strachan gone doolally with a case of the Dan Browns? Or is there some bizarre ulterior motive? God knows but even He doesn’t move in such mysterious ways.

I’m currently down with a vile lurgy but I’m not making this up am I?

More here.

Enjoy yourselves on your day

First-Thanksgiving-PilgrimsWould you believe I saw Thanksgiving recipes in the supermarket this week? Here, on the sunny Gold Coast, with both the wide Pacific and the planet girdling equator separating Oz from the good old US of A.

Ain’t globalisation wunnerful?

In other news:

And we maintain cordial relations with these barbarians?

A man has been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for witchcraft because he makes predictions on television.

(…)

The only evidence presented in court was reportedly the claim he appeared regularly on Lebanese satellite issuing general advice on life and making predictions about the future.

Saudi Arabia is a sick culture, and there are dickheads who want this barbaric insanity duplicated here?

 

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