Saturday, February 17, 2007
15-year-old Melissa Busekros [removed]from her home to a psychiatric institution.... New reports from Germany indicate that the child has been transferred from the clinic to another location and the German Youth Welfare Office authorities are refusing to inform the parents of Melissa's location.If Germans aren't going to hear about this then I am glad we are able to. I am uncertain on whether on balance homeschooling works. Not having a family my information is very much from the outside. However I am certain that the media should not treat these people as unpersons. What would have happened to the kids in Shetland if the media had consistently refused to mention their story.
Another very disturbing revelation, which comes from an interview given by Melissa's father Hubert Busekros with the German Catholic news service kreuz.net, is that local media are refusing to cover the matter. "The local papers have determined that there will be no report," he said. "It is about a personal affair that is not of public interest."...
"Homeschooling was first banned under Adolf Hitler, and that ban is still enforced today," said HSLDA explaining the reason for the actions of the state.
Melissa is now in the custody of the Youth Welfare Office. They permitted Melissa only brief visits from her mother and her five younger siblings last week. The family expected her to be released Friday.
Melissa was the only child in the family being homeschooled. It was undertaken in an effort to improve her grades in courses she was struggling with.
Update - the pain goes on
Friday, February 16, 2007
This conference will be debating:
Community Power - Trust in People
Disability in Scotland
Better Health in Our Communities
Our Vision for Rural Scotland
Consultation: The Future of Trident (I am mentioning this because although it is not a motion, very carefully not, it is the most interesting thing there)
Thats it. Now to be fair just before an election is the time for rallying round the flag not discussing what colour it is. Nonetheless this, including the fact that they dare not even make public what the motions say or who is putting them forward (in theory conference is the time for constituencies to have some input by putting forward motions but in actuality they increasingly come from the party central).
However they are a pretty sorry looking uninspiring bunch of titles. Once again, as in both conferences every year since devolition, there is absolutely nothing on the economy, despite the SLD holding the "Enterprise" Ministry. Nothing on jobs, nothing on crime, nothing on transport, nothing on war, nothing on housing, even nothing on greenery.
No wonder nobody joins parties any more - what is there to attract anybody interested in politics?
Thursday, February 15, 2007
High Court judge Jeremy Sullivan handed a stinging rebuke to Blair's government, saying the public consultation it carried out before deciding Britain needed new nuclear power stations was "inadequate" and "wrong".Judge Jeremy Sullivan has absolutely no business making engineering decisions. It is a matter of record that 24,000 pensioners die unnecessarily every year from fuel poverty. If the entire programme is held up on average by 3 months that will be 6,000 people. If it leads to more unnecessary blackouts Mr Sullivan's death toll will be much higher. Judges are not experts on nuclear engineering & should not abrogate to themselves the right to decide on this or many other things.
The ruling was a setback for Blair, who has made it a priority of his final months in office to win backing for a new generation of nuclear power stations -- a policy opposed by some Labour Party members.
Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling said the government would give interested parties a new chance to comment -- a process that usually takes three months.
Will his Lordship be apologising to any of the people he has, albeit not immediately, murdered? Or do we think that when blackouts come he & his ilk will be making judicial decisions that extra efforts must be made to ensure the lights continue to shine on the majesty of justice.
Unfortunately the unearned stranglehold that lawyers have on government is damaging us. In this we are following rather than learning from America's example. In Heinlein's Number of the Beast his best of all possible worlds had in its history a "year they hanged the lawyers". That may be extreme but Judge Sullivan has certainly justified the hanging of 5,000 of the worst.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
MORE MORE COMMENTS
Developing Scotland's economy http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=69422007
More letters saying catastrophic warming is bunk http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=69922007
Germany wants to limit free speech in the name of anti-Nazism http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=72012007
Brainwashing children http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=84422007
Germany in the EU http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=85162007
Tories in Scotland http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=89522007
A lie to call Yugoslavia a totalitarian military dictatorship http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=96952007 strangely enough the paper didn't publish my paper letter on this.
Cinton stands http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=108092007
Corporation Tax http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=109272007
India in Space http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=116012007
Comparative growth http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1996549,00.html
Debate with on Albanian Nazi http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=121892007 - this is a good one.
Scots in Space http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scitech.cfm?id=128212007
Scots economy http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=134192007
Energy crisis http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=145612007
Separate separation http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=149172007
Monbiot lied http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2001694,00.html
Supporting Hamas http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/ismail_patel/2007/02/celebrating_a_victory.html
BBC Luddite propaganda http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scitech.cfm?id=173792007
Guardian on warming http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/nico_pitney/2007/02/science_moves_forward_bush_mov.html
IPCC Report isn't the Report http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scitech.cfm?id=180342007
£100 off our council tax http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=183962007
Gore up for the Nobel http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/martin_peretz/2007/02/post_1052.html
Sir David King says http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2005608,00.html
Eco-fascist liars http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=180342007
Cutting business tax http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=188082007
South Africa https://www2.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6214838&postID=117061215566296685
Israel's separate development http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/david_goldberg/2007/02/hold_jewish_voices_5.html
Nuclear's future http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=200462007
Those who supported Blair in war crimes http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2007297,00.html
Bjorn Lomberg http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/bjrn_lomborg/2007/02/climate_hysteria.html
Another Guardian Pro-Nazi Article on Kosovo
Scotland & growth http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/iain_macwhirter/2007/02/why_scotland_doesnt_need_sub
Pylons are useless http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=217912007
Government waste http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=218542007
Putin speaks for the rule of law http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=223662007
Death in Kosovo http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=225972007 &
Putin's speech http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=238482007
Forth crossing http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=238102007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
An extra reason I am putting this here is that it proves, once again, how important the net is for news dissemination. A google news search showed this to have been picked up by no conventional media. When you consider what a media darling Havel has been this is quite remarkable.
Q: IPCC has released its report and you say that the global warming is a false myth. How did you get this idea, Mr President?•
A: It's not my idea. Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. IPCC is not a scientific institution: it's a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It's neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment. Also, it's an undignified slapstick that people don't wait for the full report in May 2007 but instead respond, in such a serious way, to the summary for policymakers where all the "but's" are scratched, removed, and replaced by oversimplified theses.• This is clearly such an incredible failure of so many people, from journalists to politicians. If the European Commission is instantly going to buy such a trick, we have another very good reason to think that the countries themselves, not the Commission, should be deciding about similar issues.•
Q: How do you explain that there is no other comparably senior statesman in Europe who would advocate this viewpoint? No one else has such strong opinions...•
A: My opinions about this issue simply are strong. Other top-level politicians do not express their global warming doubts because a whip of political correctness strangles their voice.
• Q: But you're not a climate scientist. Do you have a sufficient knowledge and enough information?•
A: Environmentalism as a metaphysical ideology and as a worldview has absolutely nothing to do with natural sciences or with the climate. Sadly, it has nothing to do with social sciences either. Still, it is becoming fashionable and this fact scares me. The second part of the sentence should be: we also have lots of reports, studies, and books of climatologists whose conclusions are diametrally opposite.• Indeed, I never measure the thickness of ice in Antarctica. I really don't know how to do it and don't plan to learn it. However, as a scientifically oriented person, I know how to read science reports about these questions, for example about ice in Antarctica. I don't have to be a climate scientist myself to read them. And inside the papers I have read, the conclusions we may see in the media simply don't appear. But let me promise you something: this topic troubles me which is why I started to write an article about it last Christmas. The article expanded and became a book. In a couple of months, it will be published. One chapter out of seven will organize my opinions about the climate change.• Environmentalism and green ideology is something very different from climate science. Various findings and screams of scientists are abused by this ideology.•
Q: How do you explain that conservative media are skeptical while the left-wing media view the global warming as a done deal?•
A: It is not quite exactly divided to the left-wingers and right-wingers. Nevertheless it's obvious that environmentalism is a new incarnation of modern leftism.•
Q: If you look at all these things, even if you were right ...•
A: ...I am right...•
Q: Isn't there enough empirical evidence and facts we can see with our eyes that imply that Man is demolishing the planet and himself?•
A: It's such a nonsense that I have probably not heard a bigger nonsense yet.•
Q: Don't you believe that we're ruining our planet?•
A: I will pretend that I haven't heard you. Perhaps only Mr Al Gore may be saying something along these lines: a sane person can't. I don't see any ruining of the planet, I have never seen it, and I don't think that a reasonable and serious person could say such a thing. Look: you represent the economic media so I expect a certain economical erudition from you. My book will answer these questions. For example, we know that there exists a huge correlation between the care we give to the environment on one side and the wealth and technological prowess on the other side. It's clear that the poorer the society is, the more brutally it behaves with respect to Nature, and vice versa.• It's also true that there exist social systems that are damaging Nature - by eliminating private ownership and similar things - much more than the freer societies. These tendencies become important in the long run. They unambiguously imply that today, on February 8th, 2007, Nature is protected uncomparably more than on February 8th ten years ago or fifty years ago or one hundred years ago.• That's why I ask: how can you pronounce the sentence you said? Perhaps if you're unconscious? Or did you mean it as a provocation only? And maybe I am just too naive and I allowed you to provoke me to give you all these answers, am I not? It is more likely that you actually believe what you say.
[English translation from Harvard Professor Lubos Motl]
This universal, indivisible character of security is expressed as the basic principle that “security for one is security for all”. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said during the first few days that the Second World War was breaking out: “When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.” ....
However, what is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making.
It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within...
I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world. And this is not only because if there was individual leadership in today’s – and precisely in today’s – world, then the military, political and economic resources would not suffice. What is even more important is that the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilisation. .....
Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. As a result we do not have sufficient strength to find a comprehensive solution to any one of these conflicts. Finding a political settlement also becomes impossible.
We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?
In international relations we increasingly see the desire to resolve a given question according to so-called issues of political expediency, based on the current political climate.
And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasise this – no one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them. Of course such a policy stimulates an arms race. The force’s dominance inevitably encourages a number of countries to acquire weapons of mass destruction.....
However, today we are witnessing the opposite tendency, namely a situation in which countries that forbid the death penalty even for murderers and other, dangerous criminals are airily participating in military operations that are difficult to consider legitimate. And as a matter of fact, these conflicts are killing people – hundreds and thousands of civilians!.....
am convinced that the only mechanism that can make decisions about using military force as a last resort is the Charter of the United Nations. And in connection with this, either I did not understand what our colleague, the Italian Defence Minister, just said or what he said was inexact. In any case, I understood that the use of force can only be legitimate when the decision is taken by NATO, the EU, or the UN. If he really does think so, then we have different points of view. Or I didn’t hear correctly. The use of force can only be considered legitimate if the decision is sanctioned by the UN. And we do not need to substitute NATO or the EU for the UN. When the UN will truly unite the forces of the international community and can really react to events in various countries, when we will leave behind this disdain for international law, then the situation will be able to change. Otherwise the situation will simply result in a dead end, and the number of serious mistakes will be multiplied. Along with this, it is necessary to make sure that international law have a universal character both in the conception and application of its norms....
It is important to conserve the international legal framework relating to weapons destruction and therefore ensure continuity in the process of reducing nuclear weapons.....
In Russia’s opinion, the militarisation of outer space could have unpredictable consequences for the international community, and provoke nothing less than the beginning of a nuclear era. And we have come forward more than once with initiatives designed to prevent the use of weapons in outer space....
think it is obvious that NATO expansion does not have any relation with the modernisation of the Alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe. On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust.....I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: “the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee”. Where are these guarantees?....
In general, we should talk about establishing a whole system of political incentives and economic stimuli whereby it would not be in states’ interests to establish their own capabilities in the nuclear fuel cycle but they would still have the opportunity to develop nuclear energy and strengthen their energy capabilities....
And there is still one more important theme that directly affects global security. Today many talk about the struggle against poverty. What is actually happening in this sphere? On the one hand, financial resources are allocated for programmes to help the world’s poorest countries – and at times substantial financial resources. But to be honest -- and many here also know this – linked with the development of that same donor country’s companies. And on the other hand, developed countries simultaneously keep their agricultural subsidies and limit some countries’ access to high-tech products.
My opinion - we live in an ever smaller world & we have to have some rule of law which will allow nations to rub along. The only alternatives to the rule of law are endless war or empire. The destruction of the rule of law & the proof that no treaty with any NATO nation is worth the paper it is written on shown by the Yugoslav wars & to a lesser extent repeated over Iraq has made the world a very much more dangerous place. I wish the UK or US had some leaders who were also thinking about long term consitutional issues rather flailing about in the midst of a mire of their own creation.
A shorter version of Putin's speech has also been posted by the Guardian where I (9percentgrowth) have posted.
Monday, February 12, 2007
WHETHER THE GREEN MOVEMENT RAISED AWARENESS OF PROBLEMS
CCNet 32/07 - 12 February 2007
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Sunday, February 11, 2007
The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), which helps people rearrange their debts so they can pay them off, was launched in 2004 as a flagship Executive policy to tackle spiralling debt. Since then, it has ploughed close to £12 million into setting up the service and supporting advisers whose job it is to deliver it.The real problem with this is not just that it was ever done but that our leaders don't want to axe it merely "reform" it & that the Tories & SNP are barely better
Yet in that time, the advisers have helped Scots with a total of only £3.2 million of debt.
Politicians and accountants last night said the scheme was far too bureaucratic.
The Executive admitted the take-up of Debt Payment Plans was "lower than hoped for" but said it would be reformed.
Kenny MacAskill, an SNP MSP for the Lothians, said: "The idea is right but not the implementation ......David McLetchie, the Conservative MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, said: "The DAS is a good idea, but it's not working in practiceNo it isn't. If it is doing that badly it should be axed immediately not "reformed" & given another chance to blow another £12 million. This is the problem with our government spending having got out of control & politicians being afraid to grasp this nettle.
£12 million could cut business rates by 1%. Does anybody believe there are not 100 other government activities similarly useless which could be axed without harm? There is absolutely no reason why Scotland cannot have a very successful growing economy indeed if we let the people make use of more of the 55% of the economy the government takes & spends.
I don't think this is just socialism since David McLetchie mentioned as someone who didn't want to axe it, is no socialist. Though socialism is an 'ism that fits with state bureaucracy better than most. The problem is that there is very little incentive for anybody of any party to cut spending & a culture in Holyrood of throwing money.
It must be made possible to fire public "servants". Nobody else has a job for life. Beyond that I would like to see a cap on government spending. Any other industry expects to make efficiency savings of about 2% a year & government clearly has room for this. A 2% cut in real terms would be the equivalent of no inflationary increase. The savings should then be devoted to cutting corporation tax, business rates & income tax in that order. This would get the economy moving in a world beating way.