Saturday, September 13, 2008
Back during the Nixon years my Phd dissertation chairman Warren Nutter, was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. One day in his Pentagon office I asked him how the US government got foreign governments to do what the US wanted. "Money," he replied.
"You mean foreign aid?" I asked.
"No," he replied, "we just buy the leaders with money."
It wasn't a policy he had implemented. He inherited it and, although the policy rankled with him, he could do nothing about it. Nutter believed in persuasion and that if you could not persuade people, you did not have a policy.
Nutter did not mean merely third world potentates were bought. He meant the leaders of England, France, Germany, Italy, all the allies everywhere were bought and paid for.
They were allies because they were paid. Consider Tony Blair. Blair's own head of British intelligence told him that the Americans were fabricating the evidence to justify their already planned attack on Iraq. This was fine with Blair, and you can see why with his multi- million dollar payoff once he was out of office.
The American-educated thug, Saakashkvili the War Criminal, who is president of Georgia, was installed by the US taxpayer funded National Endowment for Democracy, a neocon operation whose purpose is to ring Russia with US military bases, so that America can exert hegemony over Russia
It is not deniable that genocidal child rapist & war criminal Bliar is becoming very rich indeed & the suggestion that he resigned his seat largely to get off the register of MPs interests certainly fits the facts.
This corruption also goes round in circles. Saakashkvili may be paid by the US government but it recently turned out that McCain was being paid by Saakashvilli. At the last US election it turned out Gore was getting funded by a wealthy KLA supporting Albanian with no visible means of support. The KLA were & are, in turn, financially supported by the western powers. Friends of the Earth, Ash & presumably many other lobby groups are funded by government. The Yugoslav, Ukrainian & Georgian governing parties are. The US ambassador to Belarus (previously US official in Nicaragua) once boasted he was funding 300pro-democracy groups. The role of Saudis in funding almost everybody from Mark Thatcher to Osama bin Laden is well known & little discussed, as are the bribes we give to the Saudis. Clinton got into trouble for taking money from the Chinese.
And so it goes. Embezzling public money for yourself would be highly improper but doing so to bribe foreigners is accepted & everybody is a foreigner to most of the world. After all there is no shortage of money in government & increasingly world "leaders" have far more in common with & far more empathy with each other than with for those they rule. And the media can be relied on to confine their reporting of such things to the likes of Milosevic, where the accusations were clearly untrue, after all they don't want off the gravy train either.
Friday, September 12, 2008
On the other hand he said:
"....Sea level is now increasing at a rate of about 3 cm per decade or about
one-third of a meter per century..."
"....What has changed recently is the steady global warming, at a rate of about 0.2°C per decade" in fact it has declined since 1998 & is now back to where it was when Hansen first predicted 0.5 per decade 20 years ago
"business as usual [ie warming at this rate] would lead to a great increase of extinctions and the possibility of ecosystem collapse" there is no evidence whatsoever of this
"These summary facts were known by the UK government, by the utility EON, by the
fossil fuel industry, and by the defendants at the time of their actions in 2007:
(1) Tipping Points: the climate system is dangerously close to tipping points that could have disastrous consequences for young people, life and property, and general well-being on the planet" It is not "known" & it is not true. Temperatures are lower than in the Medieval warm period, in turn lower than the Late Roman warming, in turn lower than 5,000 BC. None of these had the promised "disastrous effects" though the Sahara was lush 5,000 years ago.
These are all lies told under oath in court. They are lies which could have been easily refuted had the "prosecution" made the attempt. A fair trial is only possible if the prosecution & defendant are on different sides. Somehow I doubt if the authorities will show the zeal in prosecuting perjury here as in the Tommy Sheriden case.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I believe the jury system is a vital defence of our freedom. Nonetheless no human institution is beyond being corrupted & we say that yesterday.
The threat of global warming is so great that campaigners were justified in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station, a jury decided yesterday. In a verdict that will have shocked ministers and energy companies the jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage.
Jurors accepted defence arguments that the six had a "lawful excuse" to damage property at Kingsnorth power station in Kent
.....During the eight-day trial, the world's leading climate scientist, Professor James Hansen of Nasa, who had flown from American to give evidence, appealed.....
.....He was one of several leading public figures who gave evidence for the defence, including Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Richmond Park and director of the Ecologist magazine who similarly told the jury that in his opinion, direct action could be justified in the minds of many people if it was intended to prevent larger crimes being committed.
The acquittal was the second time in a decade that the "lawful excuse" defence has been successfully used by Greenpeace activists. In 1999, 28 Greenpeace campaigners led Lord Melchett, who was director at the time, were cleared of criminal damage after trashing an experimental field of GM crops in Norfolk. In each case the damage was not disputed – the point at issue was the motive.
Thus the jury were persuaded, again, to release thugs who had caused substantial damage to an innocent & law abiding organisation.
Well sorry the rule of law is not an optional extra. There are circumstances where the individual should be prepared to break the law but when it happens they must expect to face the consequences. If the state is complicit in crime then we live in a very unfree society & that is what has happened here.
There is an emotional but no moral difference between the blackshirts being allowed to attack Jewish shops or southern courts refusing to prosecute lynching & Greenpeace being given writ to attack those they do not like.
The fact that their global warming threat is demonstrably as untrue as the accusation that all Jews were in a worldwide conspiracy enhances the comparison.
James Hansen is a liar who besmirches the name of science. His initial predictions, which if the word of the BBC is in any way to be trusted, has been proven true, have actually been proven wrong. He has been caught faking temperature readings. His NASA appointment is a purely political one.
Zac Goldsmith is a pal of Dave Cameron & the heir of billionaire Sir Jams Goldsmith, who worked to make his money. He uses his money to fund his minuscule circulation Ecologist Magazine which, in turn, is the basis for his claim to expertise.
It seems clear that not only was the court mugged by these "great & good" fascists but that it put up no counter attack. An attempt could easily have been made to dispute the assertions of these liars, indeed on those few occasions when this has been done the result was victory for the sceptics.
As an absolute minimum the government must pay for the damage done (under the Riot Act I think they may well have a legal obligation to anyway.
And if the Conservatives wish to claim to be a party of law & conservative values, Zac Goldsmith must be expelled.
If this precedent is allowed to stand, that destroying property is OK because there is claimed to be a risk to future property from global warming then consider the case of those opposing nuclear power. It is accepted that something in the region of 24,000 pensioners die of fuel poverty annually. There is no doubt whatsoever that we could have power at under half the present price if we went for new nuclear. Thus anybody who explicitly or implicitly supports this result 7 who opposes new nuclear is endorsing the theory that anybody who wants to prevent pensioners dying of hypothermia is entitled to kill them. I suspect they would not be pleased to see what they practice being applied to them.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Lot of stuff in the news today about the new Cern collider. Mostly wrong. An interesting mixture in the media of a virtually religious awe without knowing exactly what to be awed about & criticism on 2 grounds.
1) That £5 billion is a lot of money. Well when divided across Europe (it comes to about £700 million for Britain which would be £60 million for the Scots) & dividing it up over 20 years (ie £3 million per annum for Scotland) it is not very much.
By comparison we gave up £6 million a year in fees from oil tankers on the spurious environmental grounds that they were likely to spill oil in the Firth of Forth. The EU regulatory system costs us £405 billion annually. In those terms it is small change.
2) That some scientists say it is going to create a black hole & destroy the world.
Also nonsense. If it were to create such a miniature black hole & there is no reason to suppose it will, it would instantly evaporate. Stephen Hawking proved this years ago but the catastrophe story is more newsworthy.
The "some scientists" are 2 who went to a Hawaiian court (!) to get it stopped. One is an engineer & the other has a biology degree & teaches “grade school to college”. There is also some German chemist. It shows how the media can & do literally search the world for somebody they can falsely describe as "independent astrophysicists" after their 15 minutes of fame. Unfortunately it is inevitable, human beings being what we are, that they will find somebody. This explains most of the scare stories that make up the media's "science journalism".
An worthwhile exception is this from Time:
From the flagellants of the Middle Ages to the doomsayers of Y2K, humanity has always been prone to good old-fashioned the-end-is-nigh hysteria. The latest cause for concern: that the earth will be destroyed and the galaxy gobbled up by an ever-increasing black hole next week.
.....German chemist at the Eberhard Karis University of Tubingen, filed a lawsuit against CERN with the European Court of Human Rights that argued, with no understatement, that such a scenario would violate the right to life of European citizens and pose a threat to the rule of law. Last March, two American environmentalists filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Honolulu seeking to force the U.S. government to withdraw its participation in the experiment. The lawsuits have in turn spawned several websites, chat rooms and petitions - and they have led to alarming headlines around the world (Britain's Sun newspaper on Sept. 1: "End of the World Due in 9 Days").
Should we be scared? No. In June, CERN published a safety report, reviewed by a group of external scientists, ruling out the possibility of dangerous black holes. It said that even if tiny black holes were to be formed at CERN - a big if - they would evaporate almost instantaneously due to Hawking Radiation, a phenomenon named for the British physicist Stephen Hawking, whose theories show that black holes not only swallow up the light, energy and matter around them, but also leak it all back out at an accelerating pace. According to Hawking, if tiny black holes occurred at CERN, they would evaporate before they got a chance to do any damage
......CERN spokesman James Gillies said that even if it is successful, the experiment will go ahead without U.S. participation.
"The U.S. court has no jurisdiction over our equipment...."
PS Mr Higgs, whose particle is being searched for, is Scottish. It will be interesting if the particle is found. Patriotism notwithstanding will be even more interesting if it isn't because that is how scientific progress is made - finding the theory is wrong & you need to improve it.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
This is the stark warning from the head of an energy think-tank who believes power cuts could be serious enough to spark civil disorder.
Campbell Dunford of the respected Renewable Energy Foundation said: "It's almost too late to do anything about it. Nothing will stop us having to pay very high prices for power in future.
"If we pull our finger out now we can limit blackouts but it's going to be pretty grim whatever happens."
Gordon Brown pledged last week to end Britain's reliance on the "dictatorship of oil" but Mr Dunford believes the Prime Minister's new interest in the security of energy supplies may have come too late.
Only last Thursday, National Grid issued an urgent call for power after a series of power station breakdowns. Suppliers were asked to bring all their available generating capacity online, including costly oil-fired stations.
In May, hundreds of thousands of people in Cleveland, Cheshire, Lincolnshire and London suffered blackouts when seven power stations were closed.
If even renewabilists are saying this then things must be pretty serious.
REF claims it is supported by private donation and has no political affiliation or corporate membership which, if so, makes it unusual among the government funded "environmental" movement.
If it is not part of the government funded mafia this may also explain why this announcement was only covered by the Express.
If even renewabilists are saying this then things must be pretty serious when normally we can expect any announcement from renewable lobbyists to be major news on the BBC, ITN & pretty much everywhere.
Everybody knows that it is easily possible to produce as much nuclear electricity as we could want at half the current price. They also know that 24,000 pensioners die annually because of fuel poverty. We have seen considerable friendly coverage of James Hansen's outburst that those who are "deniers" of global warming should be brought to trial for scepticism. Less coverage for Moobat's call for mob lynchings.
Perhaps we should be asking how long it will take for the members of the political parties, press & BBC & ITN who have lied continuously & deliberately in the eco-fascist cause & have thereby been responsible for the pointless but deliberate murder of 100s of thousands of pensioners to be brought to justice?
A Greek pensioner shouts slogans during an anti-government rally in Athens March 5, 2008. Parts of Greece suffered blackouts
Monday, September 08, 2008
There will be more. Many, many, many more.
It is inconceivable that any of these people either would have been approached or would have accepted without the permission of Blair and those behind him: Mandelson, Campbell, and all that crowd of old Communists, Trotskyists and fellow-travellers; the European Commission, of which Mandelson is now a member; Murdoch, who now employs Campbell; and the old Trots at the American Enterprise Institute and the Project for the New American.
Whether in intent or in effect, there is absolutely no difference whatever between what we now have and the physical rigging of elections by such means as the stuffing of ballot boxes.
He is largely right though it is conceivable (but not likely) that Cameron will turn out to have real opinions of his own. This is precisely the sort of analysis that can only appear on the net because no newspaper or broadcaster could say it or would wish to if they could.
I remember that Cameron's campaign for leader took off when Newsnight ran a focus group on the runners for Tory leader & he got glowing opinions. I didn't spot it at the time but there are non-fraudulent ways of running these things to get the desired result. We are told that to become a leading politician today one has to be not only good on TV but good at getting on TV. It ain't what you know its who you know. Cameron's only real job was as a TV executive.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
MODULAR HOUSING COSTS
This house is available for £39,000 ($68,500). It is named the "Sherwood" & is can be bought in the US for that. OK granted that doesn't include VAT, putting it in place & the land. On the other hand you can get land over most of Scotland at £5,000 an acre which, with 6-8 plots an acre will add about £1,000. I suspect shipping it over here would add several thousand though, obviously, if it there were an established market in the UK we would already be building them here. Beyond that the purchaser's job is
"Excavation, water and sewer/septic.
Installing the foundation so that it meets the specifications of the supplied prints.
Installing a single 2x6 pressure-treated sill on the foundation.
Preparing space on the site to allow storage of the house modules on the lot.
Preparing space on the site for the crane on the day of the set.
Disposing of the plastic and scrap wood removed from the house modules by the set crew.
Drywall touch-up after the house has been set (the house will be all drywalled and primed white in the factory).
Installing drywall in all archways and passthroughs between modules.
Seaming the carpets in all the archways and doorways in the mating walls.
Re-shimming the exterior doors (this is not always necessary).
Re-shimming the interior doors (this is seldom necessary).
Installing and trimming out all interior doors associated with the mating wall (Materials provided by Manufacturer).
Installing porches and decks.
Installing the heating system including the baseboard loop as well as all other basement plumbing (all Plumbing is stubbed through the floor by the manufacturer).
Installing the bathroom roof vent (unless the house configuration allows it to be installed by the manufacturer).
Applying insulation to the floor-joists between the basement and the 1st-floor. (Required in most states).
Installing the basement stairs."
which all in all I guess would add maybe 50% to the price. About £60,000 all in.
Which looks to me to be comparable with this
Currently being advertised at £205,000.
Except that you can't do it. There is no way that if you bought an ordinary piece of land you would get permission to build. Don't try it without schmoozing all the right councillors & officials.
Government regulation, alone, is why houses cost what they do. That, alone, is why such a large proportion of people's incomes is swallowed up in housing. Government regulation, alone, is why people are desperate to "get on the housing ladder" (the phrase itself shows the desperation & that housing has been turned into an artificial monopoly from which much of the population is being excluded).
What to do?
The ideal should be to let people build except in areas of particular historic or scenic interest. The default position should be for freedom. Freedom to build would mean an end to shortage & major drop in prices.
Unfortunately this would mean negative equity for a lot of people, most of whom, while they were gambling on house prices rising do not really deserve to be broken because the government change the rules on them.
What I would propose is that we should change the rules as above but introduce a £10,000 charge for any new houses built, paid when they are sold. If house building went up to about 600,000 a year this would raise £6 billion. This money should be put into a fund to compensate 75% of the reduction in value, beyond the first 10% fall, of any house from its original purchase price. It is reasonable to expect anybody to pay the first 10% fall just as they would have had to pay rent. It is important that the compensation be from the purchase price not from the top valuation - if it has gone up in value 10 times since you bought it & then drops 3 times you have no reason for complaint. Care should be taken to stop fiddles like selling the house to the kids in a falling market & then letting them get compensation.
I don't have figures for how much such compensation would be possible but theoretically if we assume average houses have doubled in value since purchase & could drop to 1/3rd compensation could amount to 0.75 X 16.7% or 12% of the value of all housing. This is far more than £10,000 on 2% of our housing stock annually but (A) there is no possibility, even in the worst panic, of more than a fraction of these houses being dumped & (B) a house price fall of 67% would require expansion of the new builds to a lot more than 2% of the market. I suspect the £10,000 surcharge would actually be considerably more than needed but better safe than sorry.
The effect of this would be to slightly slow the price drop while providing a safety net which would keep people & indeed building societies solvent. Even in the worst possible case they would get nearly 75% of their money back, which is arguably more than they deserve since lenders, knowing the business better than the ordinary punter, must have known for decades that house prices were a racket on which they got rich. It would provide no safety net for those who had taken out a 2nd mortgage & blown it, nor for those who lent it to them - nor should we.
My guess is that, after a few years, the prices would stabilise at the lower rate. Far more & far better houses would be built, though with fewer workers (I am not one of those who believes "labour intensive" is a good thing). Houses would cease to be an "investment" which would free a lot of money for real investments & indeed a lot for just spending. Over several years following the stabilisation & normal effects of inflation few people would need compensation & the surcharge should, over time, be reduced & ended.
A variation, particularly for the south of England where there is a genuine shortage of non-urbanised land, would be to put a major degree of Land Value Tax into council taxes. This would discourage sprawling houses without having bureaucrats coming round & enforcing it. I strongly believe the price system is a morally superior way of encouraging lifestyle decisions than force.