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Saturday, November 17, 2007


Jerry Pournelle mentioned this story about a Saudi girl getting 200 lashes for being raped (technically being in the company of the men who raped her). He published my comment on the matter & how it reflects on US policy, realpolitik &, naturally, Yugoslavia:

The subtext mentioned at the end of the article is that this happened because she was Shia & the rapists Sunni. If it were true that the US was motivated by competent oil greed rather than the incompetence of a bull in a china shop the CIA would be setting up a liberation movement for the eastern (Shia) Saudi provinces, where coincidentally the oil is & then occupying the place to liberate the locals when the Saudis crack down. Exacerbating ethnic divisions is the way to shatter almost any state & in the particular case of the wahabbi kingdom, might be worthwhile.

This is what they did in Kosovo a place of absolutely no possible use to anybody except the local gangsters, drug lords & white slavers we recruited as a liberation movement.

Neil Craig

I have no desire to shatter Saudi Arabia. What I would like to do is develop our own resources and let the Saudis sell their oil to whomever will buy it.

As to injustices, when these United States have become paradise, it will be time to tell the world how to live; as it will be time for the federal government to tell the rest of us how to keep the peace and educate our children when they do so in the District of Columbia.

PS If the Israelis were to show a little more concern, genuine or otherwise, for the minorities in arab countries (Christians in Palestine & Lebanon, Kurds in Iran & Iraq, Shia in Saudo, most of the population in Iran) it might pay dividends.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Since the 15th C, when Scotland had 3 Universities & England 2, our boast is that we had a better education system than England.

The Policy Institute, from whom this graph comes go to some length to say that it may reflect a more complex situation but nothing they mention is likely to change things more in Scotland than England. Not being in the halls of academe I am able to say:

This is a disgraceful situation, it amounts to abuse of Scotland's children & the Lab/Lib regime which managed it, despite spending much more per head on Scots education than England can, has proven itself totally incompetent & unworthy of any responsible role in running this country.

I hope the SNP can & will reverse the trend.


Ascension Island is an unimpressive 35 square mile rock extruded from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge though fortunately not currently tectonically active. It is one of a number of small left overs from the British Empire situated just 7.5 degrees south of the equator. Currently its main importance is that it has a substantial Anglo-American airbase big enough to handle regular Hercules flights to the Falkland Islands. Current British government practice is to discourage migration, tourism & development, presumably to prevent the locals being able to object to the base. "In order to gain an entry to Ascension Island, people need the written permission of the Administrator. It is nearly impossible to take up permanent residence. Employment is a requirement to stay on the island. The UK government has asserted that no inhabitant of Ascension Island has a "right to abode".

The values I am concerned about are, in order, that it is near the equator, that it is under British legal authority & that it is an island far from the nearest shore. The UK rule & isolation mean that it & any business activities on it are secure. The position on the equator & being surrounded by sea make it one of the best places in the world for 1 particular business.

Developed properly it could be Earth's prime spaceport.

The Earth rotates & the equator rotates at 1000mph, which is 10% of the speed needed to reach orbit. From the equator costs to orbit are therefore much more than 10% less than they can be elsewhere. This is why Cape Canaveral & Baikonur are located in the southernmost parts of their respective countries. Moreover the automatic position reached in orbit from the equator is an equatorial orbit which is easier to match to than orbits starting at some other point & would allow communication satellites to hold a relatively stable position in the sky.

Developing the island conventionally would not be hard, which is why our government have had to actively prevent it. 3 of the world's richest territories are places with few natural resources which have become wealthy as British colonies. This is because our law ensures contracts are worth the paper they are written on & because being part of the Empire keeps them safe from predatory neighbours & even more importantly from police chiefs & political leaders, not necessarily more irresponsible than those of Springfield but who should not be trusted with the power of absolute sovereignty. The 3 are Bermuda, the Cayman Islands & Hong Kong (Hong Kong may not be British anymore but it got rich that way - in 1948 it got 2 million Chinese refugees, without the "aid" provided to the much less numerous Palestinians to keep them refugees). The success of these places, now richer than Britain, supports the libertarian view that beyond upholding the law most of the rest of government is parasitic & the old fashioned imperialist view that the natives generally benefited from our Empire.

Thus much of what is needed is merely to do nothing. No bans on immigration & development, allow commercial & tourist flights, don't charge corporation & most other taxes (the place is hardly a source of revenue currently). To develop it into a space port we would first need the UK government to have set up an X-Prize Foundation as I have previously suggested. Beyond that a little infrastructure - a good harbour & an Ocean Thermal Energy Converter (OTEC) able to produce enough power to hydrolyse as much hydrogen & liquid oxygen as might be needed or indeed to run a laser launching system. An extra effect of an OTEC is that by bringing nutrient rich deep ocean water to the surface it can facilitate algae & fish industries. Marshall Savage's book The Millennial Project details how & I have borrowed extensively from him for this idea, which is considerably less ambitious than his floating islands proposal. The US would have to be squared but if Pearl Harbour does not have to be isolated I don't see this base as presenting insuperable security problems, indeed good harbour facilities should make it a more useful base.

I am envisaging a spaceport in perhaps 10 years, launching a fleet of shuttles developed from "3 operational spacecraft which have achieved low earth orbit, returned to earth, and flown to orbit again three times in a period of three weeks" (as Dr Pournelle's X-Prize proposal suggests) relatively accessible from the North Atlantic shores of Britain, the USA & Europe. It may sound very Dan Dare but I see no reason why a forward looking self confident nation couldn't create it. I would welcome criticisms & refinements. Isn't the island's name a magnificent example of serendipity.

PS The picture is illustrative & actually comes from

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


It seems my prediction that the chance of the BBC reporting the ocean microbe CO2 hoax being greatly improved by being proven untrue has turned out to be on the money. This from David Thorpe's blog

I was interviewed for BBC World Service's Newshour last night which you can listen to for a while on their website (the 20.00 hrs edition, about 20 minutes into the programme).

He then follows up with this
1. I wish the sceptics would spend more time looking at the evidence for global warming and not waste their time with conspiracy theories: there aren't any.

2. The writer of the hoax is anonymous because we may be thinking of another. It wouldn't have my name on it.
The meaning of the word "irony" seems to be unknown to this ass as indeed is the definition of "conspiracy".

Which leaves some room for enquiry as to whom the "prominent environmentalist" is who did the heavy lifting in this conspiracy, by actually knowing enough science to write it. I would like to put forward a couple of runners.

George Moonbat, like him, is a Guardian journalist & makes considerable play of his ability to at least read scientific reports & pontificate on them.

Alan Thorpe the head of the NERC (government's science grant giving body). He has been prominent, in the same Guardian, promising to debate with sceptics in print or online but reticently declined to answer when one of the world's most prominent sceptics took up the challenge. It would certainly be improper of the head of a serious scientific body to get involved in such a hoax but arguably not much moreso than for a scientist duty bound to distribute scientific grants impartially taking sides in the subject under research. Thorpe is not a particularly common name. I should say that David has denied any connection with him & somewhat less credibly, ever having heard of this prominent alarmist. Alan Thorpe declined to answer my email.


The founder of the Weather Channel, John Coleman, on global warming:

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create an illusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the “research” to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild “scientific” scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda......
(centre article)

On the other hand the BBC say the opposite as do British politicians & Ross Finnie still hasn't retracted his "anybody who thinks Gore's film isn't impartial is on Mars". So much political capital has been invested in this lie that, with luck, not only the eco-fascist movement but the whole illiberal assumption that the government can be trusted with our consciences & money, accepted across what passes for western civilisation, will collapse with it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Scotland's SNP government are committed to producing a "Scottish Lion" economy (a heraldic version of Ireland's Celtic Tiger. Alex Salmond said
"Scotland's economy has suffered from decades of mediocrity. Over the last 30 years, Scotland's growth has averaged just 1.8 per cent - around a half of the average rate of growth for small European countries. And over the last 25 years, this same figure can be compared to the UK's growth rate of 2.3%.

"Scotland deserves better. And the Scottish Government believes that Scotland can - indeed must - become wealthier and fairer.

"Each of the five priorities in our economic strategy will be the focus of our efforts, and must be the focus, too, of our public, private and third sectors. For the first time, this is a national strategy that everyone can recognise and sign up to.

"This is also the first strategy of its kind with measurable, time-bound targets - including our ambitious target to raise Scotland's growth rate to the UK level by 2011. ....

"My hope for Scotland is that we will be honest about where we are and ambitious about where we can go. And, perhaps, as people now talk about the wonder of the Irish Celtic Tiger, within the next generation we can introduce the world to a new marvel - the Scottish Celtic Lion."
So lets be honest then Alex - your targets are disgracefully modest - that is a commitment to raise our growth by under 1% to 2.5%. This is not going to look like a tiger to anybody. Ireland has managed 7%, so has Estonia & Russia, China has managed 10% & seems if anything to be rising. I am willing to grant that the SNP are doing better than the Celtic Potato Sacks of Labour & the LibDems & the Tories seem little more active but you could do so much better. With world growth at 5% this cannot be a target for rejuvenating anything.

John Swinney waters it down with
....tightest financial settlement since devolution ..... sustainable economic growth .... investment in learning and skills, infrastructure and place, with a supportive business environment and an effective government ..... reducing income and regional inequalities
Well not really. You have to be single minded to achieve things. 9% growth would double everybody's income in 8 years. Serious growth is so important that it should be be the clear priority & if that takes tough decisions so be it.

Part of the reason for this can be seen in their listing of priorities.

* Learning, Skills and Well-being

* Supportive Business Environment

* Infrastructure Development and Place

* Effective Government

* Equity

No. The necessary & sufficient condition for success is a good business environment. Skills are well worth pushing. Learning & well-being are both worthwhile for their own sake & the former is of long term economic importance, but making entrepreneurship rewarding rather than a slog through government regulations should override everything.

What the SNP should do

Abolish business rates [cost about £1.8 billion]

Freeze each Ministry's spending including a hiring ban until 2% personnel cuts have been made {save about £1.5 billion rising each year it is maintained]}

Cut income tax 3% [cost £870 million]

Go nuclear [cost zero of done by private industry, £500 million a tear if done publicly but then the public owns the asset]

Stop subsidising windmills [save £1 billion]

Cut Scottish Enterprise you can attract more entrepreneurship with lower taxes. [save £500 million}

Publicly commit to cutting corporation tax so that the total tax stays the same, when Westminster allows. [cost zero now & ultimately zero to the net tax take as well]

Cut homebuilding regulations on the Irish model {cost zero]

Pay for the SNP's other promises only from the £3 billion potential saving publicly identified by Professors Sir Donald MacKay & David Bell. If that means some of the SNP's promises are delayed explain exactly why to the Scottish people, apologise but do it.

At 9% growth we would be a 41% better off Lion by 2011, at the UK average we will be 10% better off budgies

We will see what they are planning tomorrow.

Monday, November 12, 2007


The Guardian has just reprinted Mr Thorpe's article on his blog

& I, free of charge, replied by posting my updates with the following addendum
As well as being a "satarist & fiction writer" Mr Thorpe is, according to his blog, a Guardian free lance journalist :-). I therefore assume that the Guardian is willing to pay for his article. I doubt they would pay for mine. The remark about the BBC being more willing to report this has not yet happened but clearly the Guardian is, but censors any report of the new but undisputed evidence that 1934 was warmer than 1998.
I would have made it longer but was running into their letter limit. Let us hope that it is not "moderated" as well.


On the Guardian website yesterday that august paper published an article by Mr George Soros, billionaire of this planet, on how the party he opposes in the US (the Republicans) are engaging in media manipulation to "turn reality on its head" & how this subverts democracy. The article starts:

"In his novel 1984, George Orwell chillingly described a totalitarian regime in which all communication is controlled by a Ministry of Truth"

Indeed Soros is quite correct - this is exactly how our democratic choice is subverted - as he knows. I put this comment
This is what is politely known as chutzpah.

Soros is the billionaire who funded "democratic opposition" movements in Yugoslavia, Georgia, Ukraine etc so that the assorted "democrats", with openly Nazi credentials & indeed histories could use the very advertising techniques he claims to oppose, to gain power.

I referred, a couple of days ago, to the possibility of CIA psywar teams, as used in the "popular rising" against Milosevic when he was clearly about to win the 2nd round of the democratic election, being perfectly able to be turned against western populations too. I didn't expect confirmation quite this fast.

As Orwellian examples of accusing your opponents of your own crimes, which Mr Soros may wish to more specifically denounce, how about the British media's repeated claims that Milosevic was "another Hitler"? His parents were Resistance heroes, while our allies Izetbegovic & Tudjman were "democrats forming part of western civilisation" despite the fact that they had both served in Hitler's forces & were both publicly committed to genocide. How about the Guardian's assertion that anybody who didn't support Izetbegovic was "antisemitic" despite knowing of that Nazi's own anti-semitism?

Still Soros did well out of it - being "sold" the mines in Kosovo, with £4 billion reserves, for a peppercorn by NATO despite the fact that Yugoslavia rather than NATO owned them - guess separation of powers & government being subject to the rule of law is another of those things Soros is capable of exercising doublethink over.

As proof of the correctness of his concerns the Guardian has, twice, failed to publish this comment. Worse - normally posts appear & are then replaced by a sign "deleted by moderator" so that readers at least know censorship is going on (I recently had a congratulation from another poster on a post which he regretted seeing deleted). In this case. however, comments are clearly being precensored, which must take a bit of extra time & my post has therefore become in an Orwellian way, officially non-existent. Glad I kept a copy.

On the other hand this post by the very estimable Bannedbycastro was allowed to stand
Just who is subverting democracy ?

Established in 1993, the Open Society Institute (OSI) is the most prominent of the numerous foundations belonging to the international billionaire financier George Soros, its founder and Chairman. Claiming to be "a nonpartisan, nonpolitical entity" the OSI describes itself as "a private operating and grant making foundation [that] "aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform; ... implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of law, education, public health, and independent media; [and] works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses."

OSI's Director of U.S. Advocacy is Morton Halperin (President of John Podesta's Center for American Progress, and a longtime affiliate of the Institute for Policy Studies and the National Lawyers Guild).

The President of OSI and the Soros Foundation Network is Aryeh Neier, who, as Director of the socialist League for Industrial Democracy, personally created the radical group Students for a Democratic Society in 1959; he also worked for the American Civil Liberties Union from 1963 to 1978, serving as its Director for the last eight of those years.

PBS broadcaster and Schumann Center for Media and Democracy President Bill Moyers is a former trustee of the Open Society Institute.

OSI supports a wide array of leftist organizations, including:

The Tides Foundation
The Tides Center
The National Organization For Women
Feminist Majority
The American Civil Liberties Union
People For The American Way
Alliance For Justice
NARAL Pro-Choice America
America Coming Together
The Center For American Progress
Campaign For America's Future
Amnesty International
The Sentencing Project
The Center For Community Change
The National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People Legal Defense And Educational Fund
The Association Of Community Organizations For Reform Now (ACORN)
Campus Progress
Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington
Human Rights Watch
The Prison Moratorium Project
The Immigrant Funders' Collaborative
The Moving Ideas Network
The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
The No Peace Without Justice International Committee
The National Lawyers Guild
The Center For Constitutional Rights
The Coalition For An International Criminal Court
The Abortion Access Project
People Of Color In Crisis
The American Prospect
The Gay Straight Alliance Network
The Youth Law Center
Planned Parenthood
The American Constitution Society For Law And Policy
The Institute For Policy Studies
Joint Victory Campaign 2004
The Midwest Academy
Jews For Racial And Economic Justice
Project Syndicate (An International Association Of Newspapers That Publish Anti-American Propaganda)
The Rocky Mountain Peace Center
The International Gay And Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Earth Rights International
The National Gay And Lesbian Task Force
The Nation Institute
The Violence Policy Center
Gun Violence Prevention
Critical Resistance - Beyond The Prison Industrial Complex
The Center For Investigative Reporting
The Million Mom March
Murder Victims' Families For Reconciliation
The Death Penalty Information Center
The Death Penalty Mobilization Fund
The Drug Policy Alliance
The Brennan Center For Justice
The Project On Death In America
The Death With Dignity National Center
The Ms. Foundation For Women
The National Security Archive Fund
The Pacifica Foundation
Physicians For Human Rights
The Proteus Fund
The Public Citizen Foundation
The Urban Institute
The American Friends Service Committee
Catholics For A Free Choice
Human Rights First
The Independent Media Institute

Soros also funds Fenton, which funds the climate alarmist websites, and

However another post from me on a different thread, mentioning the first thread was kept up. It gives more detail on Soros.

Don't worry about being a poverty stricken economics professor. That was the job George Soros, elsewhere on CiF today, had for most of his life until he suddenly, in a largely unexplained manner, became a billionaire able to fund vast amounts of money at foreign democratic politicians committed to the Bilderburg/New world Order agenda. Said politicians often having been underfunded fascists, or in the case of the KLA Islamic terrorists, right up to the moment they became well funded pro-western democrats.

On the gripping hand the comments from real people, rather than the Guardian employees, on this thread on the legitimacy or illegitimacy of Carla del Ponte & the "Yugoslav War crimes Trials" indicates almost 100% of them entirely unconvinced by NATO's & the Guardian's propaganda lies, so perhaps Orwell was wrong.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


There was a mention of Clyde Space Ltd a Glasgow based satellite development company on BBC Radio Scotland this morning & there is also a piece in the Herald.

The guy they interviewed whom I assume was Craig Clark, the boss, was clearly a knowledgeable enthusiast. He saw this as merely the first step to putting up large numbers of small satellites where it would be possible to carry out experiments. I assume he meant in creating new materials in zero-g though such details would be a bit technical for a sunday morning audience. They are also reported in the Herald & on the radio he said he had got a grant, which I assume is a fairly small proportion of the £300,000 mentioned here.
Two years from now, ScotSat-1 will be launched into lower-earth orbit, 500-600km, most likely from Russia, or a Pacific Island near New Zealand. It may be only very tiny - weighing just 5kg and measure only 30x10x10cm - but it will be more than just a token lump of circuit boards.

"It's got to be something a bit special," says Clark. "We're not just going to put some electronics in box and say: Ooh, we've just launched a satellite'. That's not going to show Scotland in the right light. We want to show what a great engineering nation we are. So it's going to be something that will push the boundaries of technology.

"At the end of the project, we will have a product we'll be able to sell to other people."

Clark has just been awarded a knowledge transfer partnership, which means he will have somebody full-time to design the instrument. "We'll be doing that in partnership with Strathclyde University, with Professor Colin MacInnes, one of leading experts in satellite design in Scotland."

He is now trying to raise £200-£300,000 to create the satellite, which will be built with the help of students from Strathclyde and Glasgow universities, as part of an outreach programme designed to inspire interest in engineering.
Perhaps, since the SNP have decided to create a fund for encouraging high technology industry they might think of something along the lines of the Scots space satellite motion I proposed to the LudDims some years ago.

As you can see from the full article the Herald journalist writing it hasn't got a clue what he is on about & covers the thing with pointless Star trek jokes. On the other hand the female commentater on radio said that she wouldn't like to see space industrialisation because she liked the stars all shiny as they are now!

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