Thursday, March 29, 2007
sordid and insane as he is, I would prefer another leadership term from Tony than a term from Cameron
I hate David Cameron. I want to see him collecting my bin bags or sweeping the streets. Or counselling delinquents. Or providing contraception to children. Or providing career advice to junkies. We'd soon see how good he is at dealing with real life issues.
This cock-weasel thinks otherwise. I gave him what-for (see comments).
The Tory-cuddler I address above has done me the fine honour of becoming my first commentator on this blog.
- (round of applause)
Thankyou CPR, I am flattered by your attention and look forward to your response to my latest comments on Cameron, The Cock-Weasel King.
Cameron quotes of note #1:
"I think more young people should be forced to become volunteers."
Batz wrote: "My flabber is well and truly gasted. Sky Pixie believer in "I believe in underground Pixie" shocker!"
(I wish they wouldn't let the Jesus cuddlers on there- for fuck's sake, when will a UK newspaper have the spuds to stop giving platforms to gods-botherers for the sake of "balance". Its like giving )
I got a few cheap shots in before moving on to the article that is the real subject of this polemic and an accompanying podcast from my preferred Vishnu-basher of choice, AC Grayling. Subsequently I encountered his new book for the princely sum of £5.26 from Amazon. I might buy it.
I was subsequently drawn to the "my most recent views" panel on Amazon and was reminded of Prof Steve Jones' latest epistle, entitled: "Coral: A pessimist in Paradise". Which looks to be a very, very good book too. I hate it when I find loads and loads of really good books I want to read. I really must join the library.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
"The underlying causes of unsustainable development remain – in brief:
- Economic growth is considered an inviolable principle, rather than people’s rights and welfare, or environmental processes and thresholds
- Environmental benefits and costs are externalised
- Poor people are marginalised, and inequities entrenched
- Governance regimes are not designed to internalise environmental factors, to iron out social inequities, or to develop better economic models
- Therefore unsustainable behaviour has not been substantially challenged.There are three paradoxes here. First, the economic paradigm that has caused poverty and environmental problems to persist is the very thing that we are relying on to solve those problems. Second, this unsatisfactory state of affairs co-exists with a policy climate that espouses sustainable development. Third, action is being neglected just when it is most urgently needed:sustainable development remains at best a ‘virtual’ world, a planners’ dream."
This is all laid out in much greater detail in Environmental Economics.
"Of the services and systems examined in this report, it is clearthat at a global level there are two issues where the capacity to continue to provide services has most clearly declined. One is marine and coastal capture fisheries, as described earlier in this chapter and in Chapter 18. It is now well established that the capacity of the oceans to provide fish for food has declined substantially and in some regions showing no sign of recovery. The other isthe loss of biodiversity, in large part because the rates of loss (of species diversity) are so much more rapid than the creation of new diversity through evolutionary processes. (See earlier section and also Chapter 4.) The implications of this loss are less immediately clear than those of the decline of marine fisheries, but over the long run they are likely to be considerably more importantIn addition, some systems have eroded their capacity to provide services on a regional basis, such as inland waters (Chapter 20),forests (Chapter 21), and drylands (Chapter 22)."
Notable is the passages in each referring to gun ownership:
1 (English to the Americans):
You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.
2 (Americans to the English):
You will not be allowed to own guns. This is because you fail to see how harmless wooden shields and spears are compared to a weapon capable of firing a projectile at upwards of 2,700 feet per second (Refer to the Anglo-Zulu War). You only pretend to be pompous intellects because you don’t have the testicular fortitude to own a gun, and thus only rely on drive by insults.
I would love to think that these two puerile arguments encapsulate the essence of each nation's foreign policy. Probably not, 'though.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
More relevantly, he also explains how opaque he finds modern news reports and comments that surely he is not the only one. This is very pertinent to what I consider to be one of modern UK society's major failings- the disengagement of the electorate with current events. It seems to me that few people my age take the time to even catch a news bulletin, let alone read a quality newspaper or read up on current affairs on the interweb. Political stories are limited to "who MP shagged" or "Tony Blair is a cock-weasel" (errrrrrm ?!?!). Foreign affairs are "another three hundred people died today in (insert troubled country's name)". There is no suggestion of a solution to these events- just the reporting of their occurrence without any suggestion that anything is being done to correct them.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Fucking right I did.
Even if there are Iranians in Iraq- so fucking what? There are Arabs of every nationality as well as a large number of Americans involved in committing attrocities in Iraq. If evidence existed that the Iranian government was involved so fucking what again? The US and UK governments have engaged in the genocide of hundreds of thousands of innocents and have no grounds for complaint. This is what happens when you engage in an illegal war. You have no right to whinge when previous victims of your injust policies seize the opportunity to deal out a few rightly deserved kidney punches when your people are looking the other way.
Another article in the Guardian details how the US and UK have together engineered Iran's supremacy in the middle East:
"The uncomfortable paradox facing London and Washington as they try to put the Iranian genie back in its bottle is that they have done more than anyone to uncork that bottle in the first place and set Iran on the way to regional hegemony.
First they removed the Taliban, Iran's enemy to the east, and then they eliminated Saddam Hussein. In little more than a year, the allies ensured Iran achieved its key strategic objective: to become the dominant power in the Gulf and the Middle East."Lets face it, of the three I think we're better off with the Iranians coming out on top than the Taliban or Saddam. At least the Iranians are a balance between the outright religious nutcases of the Taliban and the endemically corrupt and totalitarian personality cult of Saddam's Iraq. Iranian culture is- in many ways- far more progressive than the other two (although still appalling brutal in other ways but next to the Taliban and Saddam's secret police I know who I'd rather be imprisoned by).
"Ecological economists would argue that once one adopts the 'systems perspective' then the requirements of the system (the economy and its supporting ecosystems) can take precedence over those of the individual. This argument has important ethical implications for the role and rights of present individual humans compared with the system's survival and therefore the welfare of future generations. The constant capital rule for sustainable economic development requires us to adopt an explicit position in equity (justice) and asset transfers across people and through time. The ethical argument is that future generations have a right to expect an inheritance ( in the form of natural capital / physical capital / human capital bequests) sufficient to allow them the capacity to generate for themselves a level of welfare (well being) no less than that enjoyed by the current generation. In more formal language, the requirement is for an intergenerational social contract that guarantees the future the same 'opportunities' that were open to the past ('justice as opportunity').
Friday, March 23, 2007
Sorry if this is a bit disjointed but its pasted together from several posts.
"“ Sometimes I really think people ought to have to pass a proper exam before they’re allowed to be parents. Not just the practical, I mean.”
So- I can see a lot of sense in this one. Predefine a set of rules so that regardless of race, creed, background, genetic makeup, etc. people ought to be able to demonstrate a certain degree of parenting talent prior to the arrival of the child?? I might also suggest an associated prepayment package in the form of a bond that must be acquired prior to conception that would fund for your child a basic standard of life for their formative years. Such funding might even be arranged in the form of a mortgage to pay for the bond- an investment, almost, in your offspring's wellbeing and an incentive that many parents I see on the street direly seem to need??
A simple demonstration of practical parenting knowledge may be required- a personal interview might help. In the UK we trust independent groups of people to determine whether or not someone is guilty of a variety of crimes in the UK court systems. These people often have no experience of committing a crime and yet we trust them to administer law and order in our society.
As for paying for the costs of raising children I think that you'll find that an enormous proportion of costs associated with raising children responsibly is associated with those who have not had the luck to be born to responsible, loving parents (say 5% of them). I am merely suggesting that everyone ought to be responsible enough to make a commitment to the wellbeing of their child before that child is concieved. THAT is responsible parenting in a nutshell.
As for investing in our children and repaying their 'debt to society' any advocate of ecological economics will tell you that regardless of their education certain individuals contribute more to society than others and this cannot be determined simply by comparing the input of well-raised children to that of 'troubled' children.
I'm not daft enough to try and advocate banning everyone from having children. I would simply like to see the practice regulated so that those fools who might manipulate benefits schemes to their advantage through excessive fecundity or who clearly do not have the stability and aptitude to become responsible parents are not allowed to burden society with the tortured souls of their abused, unloved and unwanted children.
Women who find themselves inadvertently pregnant would have nothing to fear if it is their first or even second child, unless they are not making a reasonable job of raising their firstborn- in which case this would be taken into account during the whole evaluation of the women's right to bear another child. I am only advocating intervention in cases where the prospective mother's motives or resources as a parent are in question.
Essentially I am proposing a sytem in which any reasonable individual will be given every possible support in starting a family.
As for potential abuse in the interview, or whatever assessment process is ultimately involved, there exists in any system the opportunity for people to abuse it. As I described above, however, I do not see people being subjected to any sort of significant scrutiny until they start trying for their 2nd child. At this point the wellbeing of their 1st child can be evaluated and the results used to assess whether or not they are capable of meeting the added challenge of raising a 2nd child at the same time.
Lets just say that everyone gets one chance to prove themselves but when you're gambling with something as enormously valuable as a child's life then those who have demonstrated an inability to devote themself to responsible parenting shouldn't be given a second chance until they can show marked improvement in their parental skills.
Maybe unlicensed breeders would be separated from their child at birth. I imagine a decade on from the introduction of such a system the fostering and adoption rates would have fallen as a result of this policy. I believe that even now there is considerable demand for babies for adoption in the UK as it is more appealing to parents to adopt a child as a baby or a toddler, rather than as an older child or teenager."
I was driven to posting this after seeing anews report on TV about some 14 year old who was pregnant. I think that a pregnancy to a girl under the age of 16 should be aborted, with or without her consent. How can children be allowed to ruin their own life as well as that of their child's? I am 28 and I still don't want children yet and I am grateful for the wisdom and experience I have gained through not having any significant responsibility for most fo my life. Now, of course, I am married so I have my share of concerns but at the age of 14??? I was wanking 6 times a day and drinking Galliano from my parents drinks cabinet for kicks. I could no more have cared for an infant than composed an opera.
"I was interested to read your report on the Royal Navy personnel taken prisoner by the Iranians. I was particularly caught by this statement:
"It also follows claims that much of the violence against UK forces in Basra is being engineered by Iranian elements, which Tehran denies."
I am following the process of aggression against Iran with great interest and would therefore be very grateful if you could direct me further information on these claims and particularly to the evidence suggesting that this is the case. I am sure you are aware that such a claim is incendiary at this surrent time and I would hate for the BBC to be seen to be spreading rumours about the Iranian's role in Iraq. I was particularly surprised not to see any sort of disclaimer regarding the disparity between the intentions of these "Iranian elements" and the intentions of the Iranian government. I feel that your statement would be better balanced by the inclusion of such clarification.
Surely such a major development in Iraq would have warranted more detailed coverage than a single line in a related story. Unless its all bullshit, that is.
I am concerned and confused. I consider the BBC to be above disseminating propaganda. There is enough of this bollocks out there without the Beeb playing along. Such material needs to be better researched and balanced if it is to avoid becoming "popular knowledge". The lethal power of such material has been amply demonstrated by the loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives in Iraq.
Its a real dilemma for me as a non-interventionist, especially as action is being proposed against an ex-colony. However, Britain's imperial legacy means that we have an obligation to our colonies.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I'm still too numb from the Iraq debacle to even consider this as a real prospect. Put it this way: The American military don't want war, the American people don't want war, the Iranians don't want war, the Euopeans don't want war. Every informed analyst across the globe says it would be another disaster. So why is it still being pushed by the Shrubbery? Why do these things happen when everyone knows they are going to be a disaster? It's like Western society is masochistic and wants to hurt itself and other people around it. This is why society is in such dire need of a change of government style. If such decisions are left up to some faceless diplomats, ministers and civil servants in London then you will end up with inhuman decisions. If we were allowed to practice direct democracy, can anyone see an attack on Iran happening with UK endorsement? I can't.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Another couple of interesting articles today in The Independent about the financial generation gap produced by the baby-boomer's legacy and majority vote in the UK due to the aging population. I thought I'd posted something about this after reading this article in The New Statesman but maybe I was drunk. Actually I think that's me on the comments page so maybe I wrote my thoughts there. Yes, for sure its me. Check the angry tone.
Incidentally the most recent post references a speech by some Tory MP called David Willetts. Its- and I bite my tongue as I type this . . . . . . . . quite . . . . . . . good . . . .. . ..
I need a shower now. Gods! Praising Tories, what next? A measured endorsement of rape camps as a means of propagating ethnicity? Ugh!
Here's a quote:
"The difficulty of buying a house and creating a nest means that family formation is delayed. This in turn means that people have children later, and they will have fewer children. It is no accident that the British birth rate fell successively every year from 1997 to 2003 as house prices rose and so did the average age of the first-time buyer."
I am supportive of antinatal policies as I believe there are too many people in the UK and that the remainder will benefit greatly from such a decrease. Excluding immigration this is currently the situation as our birth rate is far below replacement, hence the greying population. The problem is that Labour aren't managing an overall decrease. They are managing a net increase due to immigration. I am an outright supporter of a humanist asylum policy but there is no way that the UK is improved as a country by replacing its already diverse natives with immigrants. Having said that I come across natives every day who I would happily replace with Polish plumbers, Indian students or Czech taxi-drivers. But they are not the people that are being replaced- the feral benefit-fiends, Sun readers and Gala Bingo patrons are the ones who aren't going anywhere except the pub on the corner to complain about the funny foreign types who have moved in next door. It is my social group who are giving up on Blighty as a worthy prospect and looking abroad for a place to call home.
Fuck Brown and triple fuck Blair.
I hate children. Every one is a symptom of the disease of humanity. Spreading forward without reasonable consideration for the consequences of yet another individual for the planet to support. A new human being brought forth with little contemplation of the need for responsibility implicit within the creation of a new life of your own. A product of the ignorance of modern society, as much as any other ill. A target for marketeers to exploit; an income for the illiterate and sociopathic troglodytes living below the poverty line; a generation to be repressed, neglected and legislated against by the greying voters.
I hate them. I intend to adopt. There are too many people on this planet already.
I particularly hate Catholics and Muslims for being wantonly natalist.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I was thinking the other day about how I got burned in a few places for suggesting that zionism is implicitly racist (which is not the subject of this post).
So: If being Jewish is not just a religion, but a cultural orientation (i.e. you can convert to Judaism and become a Jew), or a nationality (i.e. you can- exclusively- become an Israeli by being a Jew), or an ethnic minority (you can be born one and reject all other aspects of Jewishness but still be considered, by some, to be Jewish). Then, if no other nation-state or ethnicity, or religion in the world promotes this trinity of human phenomena; why should the Jews?
In my eyes Judaism is a religion, to be scorned as I scorn all god-botherers, irrelevant of the details of their superstition. From Mohammed to Thor to Isis they are all denying reason. So why is there such a thing as 'atheist' Jews? This is, to me, an oxymoron. I would like someone to explain it to me. I might go to Little Green Soccer Balls and ask them.
"Questions concerning 'fair' distributions of resources can quickly become complicated and, in the environmental context, will involve fairness not just between individual people alive now but also between them and future generations yet to come. To take just one illustrative example, the exploitation of resources such as fossil fuels and minerals like iron ore and bauxite (non-renewables) today means less of a stock left for future generations. ( Other resources (renewables) like fisheries and forests may also be over-exploited and not given enough time to regenerate. Again the stocks of such assets for future generations will be reduced. The question can then be posed: "Is this fair?"
Is it 'right' that those of us alive now should essentially destroy assets ( and economic opportunities that they yield) gaining benefits in the process, while passing on the costs to people not yet alive, and who have had no say in the matter?"
Saturday, March 17, 2007
So if its going to take an hour to fly there and you have to check in a couple of hours before departure then why should BA be allowed to fly this route when the high speed rail link will get you there in only an hour more, for the same money and 1/5 of the carbon emissions?
It is the responsibility of the government to protect the many over the interests of the few. This should be prohibited.
Can any see Labour actually having the cojones to act? . . . . Nope, thought not.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
The voters have good reason to feel let down
Published: 15 March 2007
Margaret Beckett may not have distinguished herself greatly as Foreign Secretary, but as a parliamentary performer in the cause of this third-term Labour government she has been second to none. She opened the debate on the renewal of Trident with confidence, professionalism and style. Her speech was, as her Conservative shadow, William Hague, noted, all the more powerful because of her record as an anti-nuclear campaigner in the past.
In the end, neither Mrs Beckett's persuasive qualities nor the last-minute concession offered by the Prime Minister did much to limit the damage. The vote saw the biggest Labour revolt since the Iraq war. Nor, as Sir Menzies Campbell pointed out for the Liberal Democrats, was the precedent for the Tories voting with the Government on a controversial subject of national interest very comforting.
We agree. The renewal of Trident, like the Iraq war four years ago, is an issue of paramount national significance that cried out for a thorough debate. Instead, a succession of mostly lacklustre speeches preceded a vote that the Government was never going to lose.
The voters, and taxpayers, have good reason to feel let down. Mr Blair's suggestion that a future Parliament may decide about contracts for the new submarines was neither here nor there. Mr Hague was correct when he said that the decision taken yesterday was the decision. Unfortunately, it went through on the nod, in the last months of Mr Blair's decade in office. Could it not have waited - or was the timing less about Trident than about Mr Blair's determination to leave Labour shorn of its unilateralist tendencies?
This newspaper is not unilateralist. We believe that Britain should have strong defences. Immediately after the end of the Cold War, we argued that it was too soon to make any irrevocable change in defence provision. Fifteen years on, the picture is clearer. Trident was conceived to counter the military threat from the Soviet Union. Both concept and purpose are now obsolete.
We sympathise with those who contend that some of the money earmarked for Trident - a cool £20bn or so - would be better spent on equipping our troops properly for the wars they are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this argument is short term. Our troops should be properly equipped regardless. The more compelling arguments against upgrading Trident relate to the future direction of British defence policy.
To renew Trident means to renew a commitment to an outdated policy. It means to tie ourselves for another 20, probably 40 years, to the existing alliance with the United States on the present terms, even though Iraq has raised all sorts of questions about its usefulness. It means to perpetuate the illusion that this nuclear deterrent is truly independent.
Nor can we ignore the international signals we send. The Government insists that, even as we acquire new submarines, we will press for a stronger nuclear non-proliferation regime; the two are, it maintains, completely compatible. We seriously doubt that Iran, North Korea and any other country that may harbour nuclear ambitions will find that equation so obvious.
The years before Trident becomes obsolete gave Britain time to review its defence priorities, its alliances and its interests for the world as it is, rather than as it was. It is regrettable that neither the Government nor David Cameron's new Conservatives could suggest anything more original than an expensive renewal of the current arrangements. Regrettable, too, that the Liberal Democrats, so staunch in opposing the Iraq war, asked for nothing more than more time to make up their minds. A unique chance for new thinking has been lost.
There's more on CiF, including this remarkable account of the Labour Party's infidelity to its roots. It includes the startling revelation that "Instead of entering into multilateral negotiations to fulfil our commitments to the NPT, as [Fred] Mulley (UK minister of state for foreign affairs and later Lord Mulley) had promised, the next Labour government in the mid-1970s, secretly modernised our Polaris nuclear WMD with Chevaline, without consulting or even telling, parliament."
Predictably, the Tories- in the form of Willy Hague, are spunking in their neatly ironed Y-fronts over their ability to dictate policy.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I was reading through the CiF today and came across an article by the excellent George Monbiot about the manipulation of harassment law by corporations to obstruct legitimate protest by the public. After reading this article I decided to pursue further this theme of newly spawned obstacles to our freedom thrown up by Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara and his sociopathic Tory predecessors (who lacked even the excuse of the absurd "war on terror" to justify their tyrranical reign). Predictably I find no shortage of bile directed at the Cock-Weasel-In-Chief and others, indeed there seems to be so much of it that I am surprised the little turd has not been rightfully lynched by a mob of irate human rights campaigners (sigh). (Before you humanists navigate away from this page in disgust at my oxymoronic turn of phrase it was intended to be so- and not a serious comment).
nyway, here are some more for your delectation, particularly the first.
Monday, March 05, 2007
There's lots of noise today in the press about how the large number of single parents out of work are going to have to make an effort to return to it or face losing their benefits. Some bloke called John Harris provides some elegant analysis of this proposal and also produces some wonderful insights into the UK governments' attempts to produce miracles on a shoestring. Put simply, the government yearns to mimic the successful social policies of the Scandinavian countries with the budget of the anaemic US system. Laughable, really, but no surprise.
So Ming Campbell seems to be the only political leader out there with the cojones to make use of the prodigious political gifts being donated to any opposition by the morally bankrupt Labour Party and the sociopaths of the Conservative Party. Although I am a member of the Green Party I cannot continue to delude myself that they are a political force to be reckoned with in the country. Maybe I will vote for the LDs at the next election. We will just have to see.
Cock-Weasel-In-Chief Blair: Take notice!
One of the links in the article leads to a fascinating publication on American exceptionalism.
An interesting aspect of this article is its relevance to Trident replacement- "lead by example", "multilateral action, not unilateral", "United Nations needs reform- not sabotage" and "foreign aid is money far better spent than an overweight defence budget".
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Still, any move away from "shock and awe" can't be criticised, but I'm not celebrating yet. Bush is still a cock-weasel who should be sent back to primary school.
There is a profound review of the events leading to this seachange in ideology here.