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March, 2012:

Pointless gesture of the year

Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers will turn off lights on the International Space Station.

And that will save exactly HOW much atmospheric CO2?

H/T Tim Blair

A Dissent

It is gone 20:30 here on Queensland’s sunny Gold Coast and Earth Hour, the sanctimonious celebration of luddism and poverty, is rolling around the planet generating feelings of “wot?” and “meh”.

With that in mind, to explain to those few who still care, I am aping Anthony Watts in posting Ross McKitticks dissent for all to read.

Earth Hour: A Dissent

Ross McKitrick

In 2009 I was asked by a journalist for my thoughts on the importance of Earth Hour. Here is my response. 

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity. Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading. Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of hot water. Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases. Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the third world should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that’s how the west developed.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity. People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.

I don’t want to go back to nature. Travel to a zone hit by earthquakes, floods and hurricanes to see what it’s like to go back to nature. For humans, living in "nature" meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. People who work for the end of poverty and relief from disease are fighting against nature. I hope they leave their lights on.

Here in Ontario, through the use of pollution control technology and advanced engineering, our air quality has dramatically improved since the 1960s, despite the expansion of industry and the power supply. If, after all this, we are going to take the view that the remaining air emissions outweigh all the benefits of electricity, and that we ought to be shamed into sitting in darkness for an hour, like naughty children who have been caught doing something bad, then we are setting up unspoiled nature as an absolute, transcendent ideal that obliterates all other ethical and humane obligations. No thanks. I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

Ross McKitrick
Professor of Economics
University of Guelph

Challenging

Emma Alberici is an Australian Broadcasting Commission journalist. Being employed by the ABC she swims in a sea of intellectual conformity, never has her assumptions tested in lunchroom conversations with colleagues, and assumes her opinions are mainstream.

Then she interviews Melvyn Bragg……

Melvyn is a bit of a lefty isn’t he? How about bowling him a couple of softball questions so he can agree with her opinions about Murdoch and Christianity?

This is one of the few occasions in her life she will have the privilege of dealing with a real honest to God intellectual.

Truly, it’s like watching a fluffy bunny confronting a kind, thoughtful and thoroughly rational Rottweiler.

What is really happening in Spain.

Amongst all the media talk of “savage cuts” in government spending in Spain (supposedly government spending is being cut by “17%” – surely that should mean that government spending next year will be 17% less than it is this year, does anyone believe it will be?) I have noticed the following facts……

Civil Service pay is being “frozen” (not cut by 17%), and unemployment benefits and pensions are not being cut at all – rather important in a nation with about 24% unemployment, and with a rising percentage of retired people on top of this.

I have also noticed that both personal and company taxation are going to be increased in Spain (on top of the tax increases that have already happened).

This increase in taxation (both on individuals and enterprises) may well hit the economy rather badly – but, have no doubt, the international collectivists will blame any slump on the “17% cut in government spending”.

At least no one is  suggesting that major savings could be made from getting Spain out of wars it is not in, or by cutting the Spanish armed forces (all 1% of  GDP that they cost).

In Spain (as in so many places) the Welfare State is out of control – and after today’s “dramatic action” (the “most savage cuts since Spain returned to democracy in 1975″  -  as “Euronews” put it,  just before getting on to the important business of attacking evil Jews for fireing rubber bullets and teargas at noble Islamists) …..  the Welfare State will still be out of control.

“Darwin Award” Is Barely Adequate

Down below, Paul has written a post about the “fall of the Moron civilisation”, and a very good post it is too. It describes how a certain South American civilisation, facing the invasion of the Conquistadores, responded by, er, killing their own people and setting fire to their pyramids, which turned out not to be the optimal strategy. That however was a form of organised moronism. Our society increasingly specialises in the individual form, largely it appears because it has now so regulated everything that individuals have entirely lost the capacity to take the most simple care of themselves. Which brings us to 46 year old Diane Hill, who set herself on fire with petrol.

Now burning yourself isn’t automatically moronic. Petrol is flammable. Under certain circumstances it can spontaneously combust (if you soak a heap of rags in it, then something to do with latent heat that our Physics expert Nick can no doubt explain). Or, more likely you can have a stray spark if there is a sufficient concentration of vapour, or…

She was using her cooker at the same time as pouring petrol from one container to another using a jug after her daughter had asked for some petrol.

Oh.

The woman was cooking dinner while decanting the fuel from an “appropriate petrol container” into a glass jug when the vapours ignited [...] that “created panic,” causing the woman to spill the petrol, which “resulted in spillage on the lady’s clothes which ignited as well”.

Ah.

Lee Smith, one of the fire officers called to the scene, told BBC Radio 5 Live that firefighters did not need to extinguish any flames but had to deal with “a lot of smoke”.

I bet they did.

So here we have a woman so stupid that she decanted petrol into a jug next to a cooker (this was a gas cooker wasn’t it, Mrs Hill? The one with the naked flames?) and who gets the blame for this? The government.

Now come on. I’m no fan of the Coalition, but we can hardly blame the government for presiding over people so stupid that the advice to keep a bit of extra petrol in results in them pouring it from jug to jug while stir frying dinner, can we?

Labour peer Lord Harris called for Francis Maude to resign after the woman, named locally as Diane Hill, suffered 40 per cent burns when she tried to pour petrol into a jug in her kitchen after her daughter’s car needed refuelling.

Because Francis Maude didn’t take into account how close to the fall of the Moron civilisation we actually are. Presumably if he’d advised people to buy cutlery, he’d be responsible for some woman deliberately stabbing herself in the eyes with a fork, because he hadn’t actually specified she shouldn’t do that.

I think we may as well give up on this “libertarian” thing, guys. With raw material like this, hoping for a society of self-reliant individuals is really asking too much, isn’t it?

What? No Aussie “Poetry” this Weekend then? ;-)

Well try some Fuckin right tidy aye Welsh stuff instead. What is described as a radio play in verse, but which I call a Movie for the Ears… The opening of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas…

 

 

To begin at the beginning…
It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and
bible black. The cobblestreets silent and the hunched,
courters’ and rabbits’ wood, limping invisibly down to the
sloe black, slow, black, crow black, fishing boat-bobbing
sea.
The houses are blind as moles, though moles see fine tonight
in the snouting, velvet dingles, or blind as Captain Cat there
in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the
shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widow’s weeds. And
all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping
now.
Hush the babies are sleeping, the farmers, the fishers, the
tradesmen and pensioners, cobbler, schoolteacher, postman
and publican, the undertaker and the fancy woman,
drunkard, dressmaker, preacher policeman, the webfoot
cockle women and the tidy wives.
Young girls lie bedded soft or glide in their dreams with rings
and trousseaux, bridesmaided by glow-worms down the
aisles of the organ-playing wood.
The boys are dreaming wicked or of the bucking ranches of
the night and the jollyrodgered sea.
And the anthracite statues of the horses sleep in the fields,
and the cows in the byres, and the dogs in the wet-nosed
yards; and the cats nap in the slant corners or lope sly,
streaking and needling on the one cloud of the roofs.
You can hear the dew falling and the hushed town breathing.

Only your eyes are unclosed to see the black and folded
town, fast and slow asleep. And you alone can hear the
invisible starfall, the darkest-before dawn minutely
dewgrazed stir of the black dab-filled sea where the
Arethusa, the Curlew and the Skylark, Zanzibar, Rhianon,
the Rover, the Cormorant, and the Star of Wales tilt and
ride.
Listen. It is night moving in the streets, the processional salt
slow musical wind in Coronation Street and Cockle Row, it
is the grass growing on Llaregyb Hill, dewfall, starfall, the
sleep of birds in Milk Wood.
Listen… It is night in the chill, squat chapel, hymning in
bonnet and brooch and bombazine black, butterfly choker
and bootlace bow, coughing like nanny goats, sucking
mintoes, fortywinking hallelujah; night in the four-ale quiet as
a domino; in Ocky Milkman’s lofts like a mouse with gloves;
in Dai Bread’s bakery flying like black flour.
It is tonight in Donkey Street trotting silent with seaweed on
its hooves, along the cockled cobbles, past curtained
fernpot, text and trinket, harmonium, holy dresser, water
colours done by hand, china dog, rosy tin tea caddy.
It is night neddying among the snuggeries of babies.
Look. It is night, dumbly, royally winding through the
Coronation cherry trees; going through the graveyard of
Bethesda with winds gloved and folded, and dew doffed;
tumbling by the Sailors Arms.
Time passes. Listen. Time passes.…Come closer now.
Only you can hear the houses sleeping in the streets in the
slow deep salt and silent black, bandaged night. Only you
can see, in the blinded bedrooms, the combs and petticoats
over the chairs, the jugs and basins, the glasses-of-teeth,
Thou Shalt Not on the wall, and the yellowing dickybird
watching pictures of the dead.
Only you can see and hear, behind the eyes of the sleepers,

the movements and countries and mazes and colours and
dismays and rainbows and tunes and wishes and flight and
fall and despairs and big seas of their dreams.
From where you are you can hear their dreams.

My best CD…

… I am listening to “Panic of Girls” but without a shadow of doubt the best set of tunes laid down by man, woman or beast was Blondie’s “Parallel Lines”. Epic. I may never have believed in God but dear sweet fuck I have always believed in Harry and Stein (and Infante and Burke). My wife bought us tickets to see Blondie at the Manchester Apollo many years back. It was emotional. I had a beer and a fag and was touching distance from Debbie. It was like all my Christmases had come together (getting into Blondie – oh, er… missus! was bittersweet). Now oddly enough I have seen Blondie twice at the Apollo. The first time there was a mosh pit (what I was in with a fag and an ale) and the second time just a couple of years later we were seated in rows and had to remain seated and couldn’t have a beer in the Carling Apollo (not that Carling is beer – the weakest piss of the donkster if you ask me – officious cunts not only told me I (a) couldn’t have a fag and (b) I couldn’t have a brew of even that Canuck piss and (c) I couldn’t jump around. All these were verboten by the sort of people who normally work at airports. You know the bottom fondlers. And this is what really gets me? Actually two things do. The first is why? I mean Blondie are dirty sexy by which I mean dirty only if it’s done right so a fag and a pint fits. And I’ll tell you something about that first gig. Something the authorities ignored completely. I was seriously impressed by the audience. Blondie fans cover every age and socio-economic. There was no trouble at all even though more than a few of us were Brahms und Liszt. On the bus home I talked to a bloke who was gayer than a tree full of monkeys and we had a disagreement over what was their best album. I held with the Lines and he thought Plastic Letters. No fight ensued – I still hold with the Lines but he had an interesting point and I also have that CD and like it. So yeah after a completely trouble-free gig where a whole load of folks from teenagers to folks the age of Chris Stein (with their grand-kids on their shoulders) are generally making merry and causing no trouble whatsoever the next gig is locked down and you can’t have a fag or a pint or even get out of your seat. It was like going to a Methodist tea-dance rather than CBGBs.

The second thing is no-one else seemed to mind. The third thing is how quickly it turned and how little anyone seemed to care.

Bradford West – election.

Bradford used to be a conservative city known for solid Yorkshire character. Mr Pickles (the minister in charge of local government) is from there (indeed he was once head of the council)  – and…..

The Conservative vote has just fallen by 22% (over a poor result last year) in the Parliamentary seat of Bradford West – the “deposit” (the money that is paid to cover election expenses, which is paid back if a candidate gets 5% or more of the vote) was barely kept.

The Liberal Democrats are led by an MP who represents a Yorkshire seat (in a nearby city) – and the Lib Dems lost their deposit in the election.

“You do not understand Paul – both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems are in government and the government is very upopular, and it is a byelection….”

In which case the Labour party (the main opposition party – and with a leader who also represents a Yorkshire seat – in a town not all that far from Bradford) should have greatly increased its vote – and its vote FELL by 20%.

So who won?

A “joke” candidate won – a man born and bred in Scotland (a long way from Bradford) who used to reperesent a seat in London (at the other end of Britain from Scotland) – a seat that just happens to have a very high Islamic population (just like Bradford West).

“So the man is a Muslim” – no he is not, he is a Red with an “ethnic Christian white” background.

It is the Conservative party whose Chairman (I do not like the terms “Chair” or “Chairwomen”) is a Muslim – and the Conservative party has made lots of “modernizing”, “outreach”, “treating Britain as it is now” moves. Yet (as stated above) the Conservative vote fell 22% (and that is from last year’s less than wonderful result in the seat).

So why did an “ethnic Christian” Red with no connections with Yorkshire (and whose last moment in the public eye, some years ago, was making a total …… of himself on a reality TV show) gain so many Muslim votes? And why did the Labour party (the principle party of opposition to an increasingly unpopular government) see its vote fall by 20% and lose the seat by a landslide?

I have no idea (said Paul with a glance over his shoulder at the new laws of modern Britain).

By the way – two totally unrelated  (unrelated to the above in any way) points.

The successful candidate in Bradford West just happens to be the victim of absurd charges that he wants to wipe Israel off the map (and absurd charges that he is active in the Red/Green alliance of Marxists and Islamists which does not exist – only paranoid people believe in it).

And the leader of the Labour party (again on a totally unrelated matter) just happens to be from a family that, although Marxist, also happens to be “ethically Jewish”.

Australian Greens

Fellow Earthians,

Never before has the Universe unfolded such a flower as our collective human intelligence, so far as we know.

Nor has such a one-and-only brilliance in the Universe stood at the brink of extinction, so far as we know.

We people of the Earth exist because our potential was there in the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago, as the Universe exploded into being.

So far, it seems like we are the lone thinkers in this vast, expanding Universe.

However, recent astronomy tells us that there are trillions of other planets circling Sunlike stars in the immensity of the Universe, millions of them friendly to life. So why has no one from elsewhere in the Cosmos contacted us?

Surely some people-like animals have evolved elsewhere. Surely we are not, in this crowded reality of countless other similar planets, the only thinking beings to have turned up. Most unlikely! So why isn’t life out there contacting us? Why aren’t the intergalactic phones ringing?

Here is one sobering possibility for our isolation: maybe life has often evolved to intelligence on other planets with biospheres and every time that intelligence, when it became able to alter its environment, did so with catastrophic consequences. Maybe we have had many predecessors in the Cosmos but all have brought about their own downfall.

That’s why they are not communicating with Earth. They have extincted themselves. They have come and gone. And now it’s our turn.

Extincted themselves?

(more…)

Micromanaged Insanity

Control Freaks.

Let them eat cold pasties…

We really are supremely fucked. They (by which I mean Gideon, obviously) are putting VAT on pasties. Are we not cunticulated enough? Apparently (and this is weird) there is hell on about this in the South West of England despite the people who are really going to take a hit from this are Greggs who are from the North East. I do mean it is bizarre because the whole “above ambient temperature” clearly means If I buy a Cornish pasty in Stockport (which is the sort of thing I might do) then clearly it has had much time to cool down en-route from Cornwall. I know this because when I was a kid my parents rented a VW camper van for a holiday in Cornwall. It broke down, and when I say broke down I mean there was fire coming out of the engine at the back. I was the one who told my Dad who was driving – I don’t think I ever saw him more concerned – I mean the engine on fire is never a good sign. The AA took us home and lorks that was a grim ordeal. I mean if you live in Gateshead (as I did) breaking down three miles from Land’s End is double-plus ungood.

Anyway, enough of my woes from a quarter of a century back. I am quite recovered from it. But on another holiday up in the Lake District we stop at Tebay services and I (I ought to be shot) buy a Ginsters pasty. I only managed to grockle myself fully and feel human again by the M60. Terrible guts. For most of the M6 I would have kissed the hand of any humanitarian with a gun who offered to shoot me. And that dear readers is what Gideon wants to put Value Added Tax on as though it was a luxury. A pasty is hardly a luxury item like a Gucci handbag, it’s usually a grimnacious ordeal. I think that is why people are up in arms over the pasty tax. VAT started as a tax on luxuries and inevitably wound-up being a tax on almost everything in much the same way income tax was a temporary measure to beat Boney. Oh, and didn’t VAT start at like 8% or something. It’s now 20% but not on “life’s necessities” such as children’s clothes. Well, I’m not a child but I suspect if I wandered the streets stark bollock naked at the age of 38 I’d rapidly be scrobbled by the rozzers for some public order offense. Especially if I were also eating an untaxed pasty.

Let’s call a spade a spade here. They have taxed everything because they are broke. A few weeks ago I got a new sofa. Now there was an unexpected dividend. Before hiring a man with a van to fetch the new and take the old to the tip (that was taxed!) I slit it and 8 quid fell out. That is what Gideon is doing. The gubbermunt is so broke it is taxing pasties in a demented attempt to make ends meet.

And for what? The NHS? Welfare? No… I’m with Mark Wadsworth here. Mark is a chartered accountant so when he figures things on the back of his “magic fag packet” he is worth listening to. His point is that we are in the financial shit not because of the big-ticket items but the huge number of little things and the waste and chronic overspend on those little things.

Here is an example. I come from the Western Gateshead commuter belt. As a result of John Prescott’s ten year transport plan they built a new bus stop. This was epically top-down and therefore located on the grounds of Ryton Rugby Club. I know what they were thinking. On the road west out of Blaydon there are essentially two “villages”, Ryton and Crawcrook. I say “villages” with the quotes because they are essentially dormitory towns for Newcastle and I guess Gateshead. So, they build a transport hub (multi-modal transport was in fashion) at the epicentre of Ryton/Crawcrook. The thing is whilst it is at the centre of the two “villages” it isn’t actually that local for anyone in particular. The idea was that this hub would be fed by bikes and taxis. This of course flew in the face of reality. Public transport is a pain anyway but public transport with a change is an epic pain which is of course why people tend to spend lots of money (taxed of course) on cars. The entire hub nonsense doesn’t work. Put simply nobody gets a taxi to get a bus. So this monstrance lasted two years and other than bored kids skate-boarding was never used. They built a bus-stop in the middle of nowhere on the basis of a theory which would have been debunked by asking anyone who lived around there (like me) which they clearly didn’t because they knew better. It cost GBP 1.3m to build. It probably cost something outrageous to demolish and it actually harmed bus travel in the area. Now seeing as I had lived in the area most of my life did they think to ask me? No. Or any of the fifty thousand people this was supposed to serve? Did they fuck.

I almost fell off my chair when I heard the 1.3m figure for what was a glorified bus stop. It had a little hut with staff where you could buy travel cards and such but nobody ever went there. All it did was prolong my journey in and out of Newcastle by 2 minutes. Nobody ever got on or off there and there is a very simple reason for that. Why do you think Ryton Rugby Club is there? Because there are no houses because Ryton and Crawcrook can never join because there is a former coal mine between them so you can’t really build much. You can have prop-forwards scoring tries but obviously that is not the same as building a housing estate or a supermarket. Subsidence. And anyway prop forwards are ten a penny (well more than that because presumably they’re taxed too…)

So that is where it has all gone. It has all been spent on random shit in some form of Keynesian orgy. And that is why Gideon is taxing pasties. Because we are epically fucked and there is nothing else left to tax. And that is why this frankly bizarre issue for a revolution is going to run and run. Because quite simply we only get it when we see how utterly insane it is and it isn’t even just that. We get it when we see how fucking desperate the government clearly is. No pretence anymore. Fucked immaculate.

The Fall of the Moron Civilization.

A recent BBC programme was on the fall of a Moron Civilization (“Moron Civilization” is not the official name – but you will see….). The BBC may have got the facts wrong (they are not exactly famous for getting history, or anything else,  right), but it is amusing to proceed on the basis that the BBC account is an accurate one.

The Moron people lived in South America and (in the last period of their history anyway) were subjects of the Inca Empire.

The Morons devoted most of their resources to building pyramids – in order to control the weather.

Of course building a pyramid did not enable the Morons to control the weather – but they had an answer to that.

When a pyramid failed to control the weather the Morons burnt the top of it (there were houses and so on on top), and then….

Built another pyramid – another big pyramid.

This would also fail to control the weather – so the Morons would….. (well you can guess the rest).

However, the end of the civilization is interesting – it occured at the time of the Spanish entry into South America, but the Spanish did not destroy the Moron Civilization.

On hearing that the Spanish had entered the Inca Empire, the Morons acted quickly.

What form of military preperations did they undertake?

None at all.

What they did instead was to take some of their own people and cut their hearts out.

First the victims would be drugged so they could not struggle, but would be fully conscious (did I mention the Morons were sadists?).

In spite of this wonderful miltary tactic of killing your own people, the Spanish contiuned to advance deeper into the Empire – closer to the part of the Empire where the Morons lived.

So the Morons killed more (and more) of their own people – see their attitude to the failure of pyramids to control the weather (build more….).

As the Spanish advanced so the Morons cut the hearts out of more and more of their own people, and also indulged in their traditional practice of burning their own buildings….

Till…..

Well when the Spanish finally arrived – there was nobody, everything had fallen apart before they got there (with the locals either being dead – or, the slightly less moronic, fled to starve to death somewhere).

So fell the mighty Moron Civilization – before the Spanish even made contact with it.

“How dare you call these people morons Paul – they were following their traditional religious beliefs….”

Errrr the Politically Correct crowd who come back with that response never cut traditional Christianity any slack  (it is “sexist”, “homophobic” and so) so they are rather selective with their cultural tolerance.

“Paul these people were subjects of the great Inca Empire – a noble Welfare State…”

Yes the Inca Empire was a Welfare State – it was also (in its expanded state) only about a century old. There are also the troubling claims that preInca civilizations had the wheel, metal tools and writing.

The Incas had none of these things – they seem to have managed to “deinvent” them. But establishment historians do not like the idea that technological regress is possible – so let us leave aside claims about pre Inca civilizations.

What is less easy to brush under the carpet is that the Inca Empire had just had a civil war before the Spanish arrived – and that a handful of Spanish (operating without any official support) managed to crush the whole civililization (those parts of the Empire that did not crush themselves – see above).

Is it still legal to think that the Civil War and general collapse indicates there might just have been something wrong with this civilization?

Still the charge of cultural insensitivity cuts me deep – so I will balance my attack on the Moron Civilization with an attack upon our own Western one (or what is left of it).

We also spend vast resouces on failed schemes – we call it “monetary and fiscal stimulus”, and when these policies fail we EXPAND them.

We “double down” on the “monetary and fiscal stimulus” with new leaders following the same credit bubble policies as the old leaders, only more so.

The Bank of England, the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank…. off they all go building their credit bubble pyramids, and the more the policy fails the more desperatly it is done.

And how to we react to intruders?

For example, to the “Islamists” (for want of a better word).

We attack ourselves of course.

We do not (yet) tear people’s hearts out – but we do persecute (even send to prison) people for expressing thoughts that do not fit in with our modern notions of “Poltical Correctness”.

Our enemies need not attack (although they do) – because we are very busy attacking (indeed destroying) ourselves.

The Moron Civilization has returned (although it is soon to die again).

We are now the Morons.

Earth Hour

The corporate owners of Earth Hour, The Sydney Morning Herald, want to know your intentions on Saturday, in 150 words or fewer. I plan on educating them about the failure of the planet to cooperate with the Motley CRU, the rest of the Hockey Team and the IPCC, and then go on to tell them all about Human Achievement Hour and the glories of modern civilisation.

Will you or won’t you turn off your lights at 8.30pm on Saturday, and why?

We invite entries of no more than 150 words. Please send to loadeddog@sunherald.com.au by 10am on Friday and put “Earth Hour” in the email subject field. Please include your full name, email address and telephone number.

This is the Internet. Vast numbers of people loath this sanctimonious celebration of luddism and poverty. In making this request to the entire planet, what could possibly go wrong?

Please encourage your friends to help keep the SMH informed.

BTW, That is 10:00 AM Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time, GMT+11.

H/T Andrew Bolt

Ken Livingstone

Has anti Jewish bigotry become mainstream amongst progressives in London? Jews are all rich are they? Money grubbers maybe? Tell me, do they make Passover bread with the blood of Christian children? Poison wells maybe? Or is that sort of claim still a bit extreme for the moment?

Pogrom anyone?

Why is Ken Livingston still a member of the Labour Party?

Perhaps I just see (and hear) things differently from other people.

Presently there is a lot interest in Barack Obama’s you-forgot-the-mike-was-on comments to the Russian Prime Minister. All about how November was his last election – and after it he, Comrade Barack, would be able to….

Most people (apart from the msm – the BBC, who normally broadcast Comrade Barack’s every word, do not seem to making much of these comments) seem to be seeing the comments as evidence of Barack’s “weakness”, I do not see them that way at all.

I see them more in the way of the Emperor in “Star Wars” saying “soon the Rebel Alliance will be crushed and then we will….” hardly “weakness”.

However, it was Comrade Barack’s previous comments in Korea (ones that were widely reported) that really showed me that I see the world (the basic data) totally differently from other people.

Barack said that North Korea had missed “forty or fifty years of progress”.

I would have thought that people would at least say that “the Korean War was 60 years ago”, but no one seems to have said even that.

And what is this stuff about the North Korean problem being a lack of “forty or fifty years of progress” anyway?

Is Barack saying that North Korea is like the world of 1962?

The world of De Gaulle, “Supermac” and Jack Kennedy? The “never had it so good” world?

North Koreans are dependent on food aid – without which they would starve to death. That does not sound like 1972 (forty years) or 1962 (fifty years) to me.

The problem of North Korea is not a lack of X number of years of progress.

North Korean is NOT “stuck in a timewarp” back in 1962 (or in freaking 1862 for that matter).

The problem with North Korea is SOCIALISM.

I do not expect Comrade Barack to say that. After all he is a life long Marxist – and Frank Marshall Davis would be very vexed, in whatever part of Hell he is currently in, if young Barack betrayed the Red cause by saying that the problem with North Korea is socialism.

However, I did expect someone to point out that the problem with North Korea is NOT lack of X number of years of progress, that it is NOT in a “timewarp” back in 1972 or 1962 (or 1952 or any other date). That North Korea is a socialist slave state. But no – it was all…. wise Barack points out that North Korean is stuck in a timewarp forty or fifty years ago.

This is even how Fox News reported Comrade Barack’s comments.

I despair. I used to think that the problem was that other people did not see the same data (the same information) as I did – but it is increasingly obvious that when we (me and they) see the SAME data, we interpret it totally differently.

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