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Monday, July 07, 2008


The promotion of alternative energy source biodiesel as an alternative to oil and fossil fuels has led to serious consequences for food prices, which have risen up to 75% as a result of farmers’ preference for growing biofuel products rather than basic foods.

This is according to a confidential report from the World Bank, the results of a study undertaken by a team of recognized standing in the international economic community who met in April, but the results were not published to avoid damage to U.S. President George W. Bush, one of the greatest proponents of biodiesel as the best new vehicle fuel alternative.

The analysis takes into account the upward trend of prices and contradicts the opinions from Washington who argue that biofuel energy has had a minimal effect of just 3% on the increase in food prices.

The reason for subsidising biofuels was because it would cut oil use but that seems unlikely.

Measurements of emissions from the burning of biofuels derived from rapeseed and maize have been found to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than they save.

In the long term I think biofuel made from genetically engineered organisms or algae designed to produce straight oil, of refinry quality, because
"We have modest goals of replacing the whole petrochemical industry and becoming a major source of energy," Venter told an audience that included global warming fighter Al Gore and Google co-founder Larry Page.

"We think we will have fourth-generation fuels in about 18 months, with CO2 as the fuel stock."

Simple organisms can be genetically re-engineered to produce vaccines or octane-based fuels as waste, according to Venter.
Well not exactly the long term to do it but possibly a relatively long term before government decides that even though Not Invented Here it works.

So we have the invisible foot of government screwing up in 3 different ways. their biofuels are pushing up food prices. They aren't saving oil. They aren't the effective way to do it.


A couple of replies to points made on Jerry Pournelle's site

Petronius said

"running an uncontrolled atmospheric "experiment" by raising the CO2 level of the atmosphere is probably not a good thing to do"

To some extent this is true in that the precautionary principle is a sensible idea so long as it is purely precautionery & not the "nothing should ever be done for the first time principle".*

However the one thing we know for certain about increased CO2 is that it increases plant growth which is probably on balance a good thing for food eating creatures.

* From Yes Minister a wonderful British comedy about our civil service. Filmed in the 1970s the civil servant is referring to the guiding principle of all civil service policy. That it became the guiding principle of the Greens may be a coincidence.

You said

"The US appears to be headed for a Great Depression, and the incoming administration and Congress seem determined to make that happen"

If the Chinese economy continues growing at 10% a year I suspect that would make it plain that it was Washington's fault. In which case declarations of independence from the more competent states would look like the most credible option. Whatever Heinlein thought of that (in Friday) it might be a good thing for the same reason that I oppose the EU - that competing small governments limit each other's ability to screw up.

Neil Craig

Sunday, July 06, 2008


This is background information to the almost totally censored proof that NATO's "judges" knew that NATO's KLA allies were, under NATO protection, kidnapping Serbs to dissect to sell their body parts to our hospitals.

Albania has long been known as a hot spot in the illicit trade of human organs, and the missing Serb prisoners are likely just the tip of the iceberg in a much larger scandal that could involve the murder of thousands by ethnic Albanian organ traffickers.

Italian police first became aware of illegal organ trafficking from Albania in 1997 when a young Albanian boy was found with a large scar in the renal area of his back. According to an Italian government report, Albanian immigrants were behind the trafficking.

Reports published in Italian newspaper Il Giornale described Italian authorities intercepting Albanian speedboats racing across the Adriatic with eye-retinas and kidneys freshly removed from human bodies and prepared according to all the necessary medical conditions.

In 1998, London’s Observer newspaper published a shocking expose detailing a massive black market trade in human organs taken from children and infants in Albania. UNICEF told the Observer that hundreds of children simply vanished from the Albanian highlands during the late 1990s. The report said, "There have been many cases of dead new-born babies being discovered on rubbish dumps in Tirana" and that "It is widely thought that most of the missing babies are stolen from mothers who are told they are stillborn."

Arben Rakipi, Albania's then-attorney-general, told the Observer "We could be talking about hundreds of stolen babies here, of doctors being involved in the trade and of a network that extends to Italy, Greece and Macedonia."

The "babies scandal," as the Albanian media named it, became known when gravediggers in a public cemetery near Tirana discovered that some coffins, of allegedly buried stillborns, were empty.

In 2004 the Greek Embassy in Tirana published an explosive report detailing the illegal Albanian organ trade. The Greek report said that children were snatched from their families in various parts of Albania or sold, in many cases for the price of a television set. The victims, many of them disabled, were taken to special "clinics" in Durres and Fier to have their organs removed.

According to the Greek report, the organ smuggling began in 1994 and Albanian children with special needs were the primary source of black market organs. The children’s organs were often removed with the permission of parents or the directors of orphanages and institutions where the children were hospitalized.

The Greek report accused Albanian Government officials of smuggling the stolen organs to Western Europe in diplomatic bags, which are not subject to customs control.

Women forced into sexual slavery are thought to be another source of black market organs. Thousands of women are held captive for sexual slavery in Kosovo. According to one witness, when the enslaved women are no longer sexually attractive they are killed and their organs are harvested and sold on the black market.

In 2003 Elizabeth Rehn, the former U.N. undersecretary general and special rapporteur for human rights in the Balkans, gave an interview to the Washington Post where she described the trafficking of young females in the Balkans for sexual slavery and organ trafficking. Rehn accused the international community of turning a blind-eye to the problem because diplomats, workers at non-governmental organizations, police officers and religious group employees are among the pimps' biggest clients.

Rehn's assertions are backed-up by a 2004 report from Amnesty International, which found that the international troop presence generates 80% of the income for pimps and brothel owners in Kosovo.

The murder of hundreds of Serbian prisoners at the hands of KLA "surgeons" is a tragedy in its own right, but the number of Serbian victims is probably minimal compared to the number of newborn babies, retarded children, and used-up sex slaves who met the same fate.

The Albanian mafia has been harvesting human organs since 1994. Although nobody knows the precise number of victims, thousands may have been systematically butchered and sold piece by piece like old cars in a salvage yard.

Since this has "long been known" & going on since 1994 while NATO went to war the assist them in 1999 & appears to have been extensively organising, funding & arming them since 1997 there can be no question that they were unaware of exactly what they were involved in by either NATO or its/our media.

Doing a Google News search turns up 1 entry which hasn't actually reached any public outlet:

PRISTINA, Kosovo, June 27 (UPI) -- The Council of Europe has launched an investigation into allegations that rebels in Kosovo sold human organs forcibly removed from Serbs.

The council appointed Dick Marty, a Swiss senator and lawyer who investigated CIA rendition flights in Europe, to lead the investigation..... well I guess we can look forward to something equally anodyne again
...Del Ponte claimed as many as 300 people mostly Serbs, after the war were taken from Kovoso to Albania and that some of those people may have had their organs traffickedno she said "some 300" in one specific proven instance, that they were all Serbs 7 that they had all been murdered this way

Del Ponte said these organs had been flown out of Tirana to Europe. There is unquestionable that the landings, recipients of organs & who they paid for them will be on record & could be traced by policemen wishing to do so. Whether a senator will do so is something we can only speculate on.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

“This House would prefer to be led by the invisible Hand”

Every individual...generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.
The Wealth of Nations, Book IV Chapter II
This was the title of a lecture on Thursday organised by the Adam Smith Institute in Edinburgh for the day before the unveiling of the Adam Smith statue in the Royal Mile. The statue is shown above & though I haven't seen it in life yet it looks a bit overpowering for my taste.

Anyway the debate was proposed by Michael Forsyth, Madsen Pirie (Adam Smith Inst) and Andy Hume and opposed by Brian Wilson, Alex Neil and Kenny Fleming & chaired by BBC Scottish Political Editor Brian Taylor. Since it was being run by the ASI there was no doubt which way the vote was going to go but everybody enjoyed themselves (free beer & wine too).

Most fun speech was by Alex Neil, though it didn't really advance the socialist case much. Best serious speech was from Andy Hume who went into detail on how India's decision to end its 5 year plans & import substitution & let the "hidden hand" work had, as we can all see, worked so very well. Strangest misunderstanding was from Brian Wilson who used this quote
In every great monarchy of Europe the sale of the crown lands would produce a very large sum of money, which, if applied to the payment of the public debts, would deliver from mortgage a much greater revenue than any which those lands have ever afforded to the crown...When the crown lands had become private property, they would, in the course of a few years, become well-improved and well-cultivated...the revenue which the crown derives from the duties of customs and excise, would necessarily increase with the revenue and consumption of the people.
and ended it by saying "See Adam Smith supported nationalisation". He completely misread it when it is quite clearly giving exactly the justification for privatisation that Thatcher (& Forsyth) made - not primarily for the sale money but that they would be more profitable & thus ultimately pay more taxes in the private sector. How Brian Wilson, who is by no means an unthinking Labourist could so misunderstand the remark is difficult to understand. It suggests how completely the blinkers are on most politicians that they cannot see beyond the idea that dispossessing the monarch could be anything but a leftist policy. The fact that Brian gave the quote in full proves that this was an honest misunderstanding of plain English & not a politician trying to be slippery. Best point from the floor came from Neil Craig (in his opinion) when I expanded on Andy's point to say
I don't see how there is really much room to debate on this. The statistical evidence is overwhelming. For example 60 years ago Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore were poor countries as were Burma, most of Africa & Cuba. Indeed of them all Hong Kong was not only probably poorest but had just been landed with 2 million refugees while Cuba was the richest of them. Now Hong Kong is one of the richest places in the world while North Korea, Burma, Africa & Cuba are still desperately poor.
This was lifted from the pdf described here & I acknowledged to David Farrer, standing beside me, that he had uncovered this gem first.

Temperamentally my sympathy in the cold war between the US & Cuba is fully with Cuba but the fact is that free enterprise works better & it is no service to the world's poor, or indeed ourselves, to say otherwise.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Holyrood was left stunned last night when it emerged that Nicol Stephen, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and a former Deputy First Minister, has decided to stand down for family reasons.

Well Maybe but I put this on Iain Dale's Diary

When he took over the party had placed 2nd at the Westminster elections, their polls had been going up & they were generally considered the only party destined to be in any possible Scottish government.

Since then (& since they expelled me for traditional liberalism) they have become 4th party in Holyrood, are out of government & polls in free fall.

Nicol was chosen for being photogenic not for brains. Thus he was able to say on TV that "nuclear is the easy answer" before going on to explain that it must thus be strangled because if it wasn't the proles (OK he didn't use the word) would never be willing to subsidise windmills. On Question Time he accused the Jews of a war crime, by destroying an electricity substation in Gaza, clearly being unaware that NATO had destroyed many power generators in Yugoslavia in the LibDim supported campaign to help the Nazi inspired KLA in their campaign of genocide. I may be biased - he pushed the £270 million Glasgow airport rail link
without even being willing to look at the option of a £20 million monorail link I brought to his attention.
Tavish is pretty much his ugly sister.

Ross Finnie has a good record of taking tough economic decisions & is 1 of only 2 politicians I am aware of who said in advance that the Thatcher government's policy of shadowing the EMU was unsustainable (the other being Thatcher). He did say anybody doubting we are currently experiencing catastrophic warming was "from Mars" but a little idiocy can be forgiven.

Mike Rumbles talks well of supporting freedom (though he didn't seem so supportive when the smoking ban was being introduced) & has somewhat hedged his position on the party's anti-nuclear lunacy.

On Radio Scotland today Rumbles did indeed say that he would be in favour of less big statism & of freedom generally. He also said he would like to see decisions made more broadly by the membership through Conference (which legally is how it is done but not in practice) & have "more interesting Conference motions" (which would not be difficult).

We will see if he really is going to call for a repeal of the smoking ban, which cause ructions among the politically correct but I am sure would be popular with up to 87% of voters . If not the "in favour of freedom" stuff is just flannel. We shall see over the next few weeks.


Ewan Watt sent me this

Naser Oric, has had his war crimes conviction quashed by the UN tribunal in The Hague.

He was convicted of failing to prevent men under his command killing and mistreating six Bosnian Serb prisoners.

His alleged crimes took place well before the 1995 Bosnian Serb massacre of nearly 8,000 Srebrenica Muslims.

Between 1992 and 1993 he commanded troops who allegedly destroyed 50 Serb villages, causing thousands to flee.

.....was convicted two years ago but given a two-year sentence - much less than that demanded by the prosecution.

He was ordered to be immediately release because of time he had already spent in custody.

It doesn't get him out of prison since he was in fact let off 2 years ago with time served. What it may do, since anybody charged with war crimes is automatically disbarred from politics is to allow him to give up his day job of running a "nightclub" (probably a the sort of sex slave brothel Paddy Ashdown was so supportive of) & get officially into politics.

What it proves is the NATO controlled & funded "court" has decided to dispense with even its token appearance of being uncorrupt or in any way interested in justice.

Note that Oric was not charged with the genocide in these villages which the BBC, with characteristic dishonesty, describes as "causing thousands to flee" when what actually happened is that at least 3,800 identified Serbs were murdered. Oric subsequently showed journalists videos from his extensive home video collection of him beheading men, women & children, though mainly women & children since most of the men were in the army. The Nazis of NATO have used the Srebrenica Massacre lie as racist propaganda. The only real "evidence" it ever took place is the bodies of about half of the 3,800 Serbs murdered by Oric - reclassified as Moslems though it would almost certainly be possible to prove which community they were actually from using modern DNA tests. Thus they cannot allow any "trial" which would produce evidence the that these bodies are indeed Serbs

According to Google News coverage of this obscenity is limited in Britain to this BBC online news & something from Earth Times.

Meanwhile numerous people who are clearly innocent have been given what amounts to life sentences. In particular I have previously mentioned Fikret Abdic the most popular Bosnian Moslem leader serving a 20 year term for opposing the al Quaeda press gangs in his native Bihac province. Abdic has become, in the western media, as much an unperson as anybody in Orwell's' book. It has been proven that no major newspaper in Britain or the US will publish a letter pointing out this injustice.. By all normal standards Abdic is the sort of moderate, pro-market, anti-Al Quaeda Moslem we are calling for to stand up & be counted. He is the one leader who is trusted by members of all communities in Bosnia, indeed the one Moslem not tainted by support of genocide. If the NATO Nazis had ever had any intention of creating a Bosnian "nation" rather than a colony he is the figurehead they would have needed. Instead they have chosen Oric & genocide.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I have been finding it difficult to find much stuff on the net about house prices over the years & if anybody else knows a good source I would appreciate it.

However I have got this about house prices & rents in Warwickshire between 1907 & 1921 (more of the listing is given over to renting which seems to be around £25) & I have put some examples placing beside them what this is equivalent to in 2006 prices by the usual RPI calculation from the Measuring Worth site

1907 northumberland rd houses £1200 each-----£87,251.18
1908 eastbourne terrace 12 house £525 -----£37,686.12
1908 st marks rd 11 milverton house £1,350----£96,907.16
1910 greens norton hall near towaster house £11,000-----£771,593.69
1911 compton st 1a & 1b coach house £700------£48,999.76
1912 regent st 38 & 40 house £1,275--------£86,735.49
1917 higham grange higham on the hill house £10,000------£385,077.82
1920 the lodge newbold terrace house £3,000------£82,833.40
[1921 gordon st 10, 11, 12, 13, houses £280-------£8,536.30]
[1921 new st 42, 44, houses £350------------------£10,670.37]
10/aug/1906 elmdon lodge radford rd 100 house price £560----£41,384.71
1/feb/1920 daulcourt kenilworth rd house £4,500------£124,250.10
10/aug/1906 elmdon lodge radford rd 100 house price £560------£41,384.71

It may be I am misreading the Gordon St & New St entries & they are just for rent. What I am assuming is the same Greens Norton Hall is currently for sale at Offers in excess of £895,000 [The Hall, Towcester Road, Falcon Manor, Greens Norton) although since it is described as merely "forming a major part of the original Falcon Manor" the price given in 1910 may be fro thewhole original building.

It does overall look like most prices would fit in the band of £40,000 to £80,000 which is a pretty good band to be sitting in today if you are buying a house. From the use of titles such as lodge & the very fact these are considered worth recording it may well be that these are largely the more expensive houses.

Our current planning system system has not altered much from the Town & Country Planning Act 1947 though before that was the first Housing and Town Planning Act 1909, to which there followed: Housing and Town Planning Act 1919, Town Planning Act 1925 and Town and Country Planning Act 1932.

I can think of no technological reason, other than this planning system which would account for house prices rising about 4 times in real terms. Indeed with JCBs, off site manufacturing & new materials it would be reasonable to expect them to have risen slightly less than the overall RPI. If so this means that something like 75% of the cost of housing is government bureaucracy & restriction of supply.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


20 years ago James Hansen a supporter of the catastrophic warming theory (& before that a proponent of the new ice age scare) testified before the US Congress that we were all doomed. His "proof" was the graph above showing that by now temperature will have risen a full degree. In fact, as the red line which denotes reality, shows we are now almost exactly back where we statred & the graph is falling uncomfortably.

This evidence he gave is considered by alarmists as one of the key points where the warming claim became official. Strangely enough the BBC, who have some new piece of warming (or as it is now called "climate change") alarmism on the box every night have omitted to have any mention of this great anniversary of the predictions they have pushed so enthusiastically (though they have got stuff about lesser known Hansens).

Dearieme has mentioned an improved & colourised version of the graph above available at What I also saw on that link that the lower of the 3 lines shown is the warming he predicted if we had immediately followed his advice & gone into a drastic recession. This is not far above what reality achieved & strikes me that had we followed that nostrum the BBC would be wildly announcing that the eco-fascists had been proven right - in exactly the same way the banning of CFCs & subsequent failure of us all to die of skin cancer is portrayed.

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