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Saturday, March 19, 2011


  Herald today
Doctor Andrew Craik's memory (letter today) of Chernobyl is playing him false. He is wrong in remembering that all the fire-fighters at Chernobyl died of radiation. The total casualties from that "disaster" were 56, including those killed in the immediate explosion and 3 elsewhere who died of thyroid cancer. It is true that the antinuclear movement predicted 1 million cancers and half a million deaths which would be easily statistically provable had it happened. In fact the current number of such is zero.

   He is correct to remember that various British farms were prevented from selling mutton due to the detected radiation levels. He clearly doesn't know, because the media have been silent on it, that though the Chernobyl radiation had a short half life an is virtually all gone in Ukraine, the radiation in these farms is unchanged - thus proving that it cannot have any link to Chernobyl but is natural background radiation which has been there for at least 10s of millions of years. Of course admitting this & removing the restrictions would be to admit that the entire anti-nuclear movement is politically driven Luddite hysteria, comparable to medieval witchburnings and our political class clearly consider the farmer's livelihoods less important than concealing that fact.
  Glad the Herald allowed a response to Dr Craik's error of fact. Edited out bits in bold. Understandable that they decided the last sentence, while clearly true, was to strong a criticism of our wise and benevolent class of political parasites to be published.

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Friday, March 18, 2011


Adopting resolution 1973 (2011) by a vote of 10 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russian Federation), the Council authorized Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory — requesting them to immediately inform the Secretary-General of such measures.  UN site
A whole number of issues coalesce on this, both of principle and practical ones.

1- this is an entirely illegal act by the UN. The UN Charter states it has no authority whatsoever for aggression against sovereign states "The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members"; "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state"; "Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter",,,,, The Security Council may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.. Thus the Security Council simply does not possess the legal authority to to intervene in a civil war and any attempt to do so is a war crime. The only threat to international peace and security here is from the attacking states.

2 - If international law can be overturned at will against Libya it can, some day, be overturned against anybody. We are thus all made less secure.

3 - This erosion of national sovereignty can only lead towards a one world state. I am with Professor John McCarthy here that "You say the only alternative to nuclear war is world government. There is only one possibility worse than nuclear war for the survival of modern civilization, and that is world government. Civilization might recover from the damage of a nuclear war, but judging by past static empires in Egypt and China, it might never recover from world government, there being no chance of external intervention. As it is, present governments are only prevented from becoming dominated by crazy ideas that will suppress all opposition by the existence of other governments. The only way a people can be sure that their government is substandard is that it does worse than those of other countries".

  If a one world government can ignore its own constitution to capriciously enforce whatever it wants it can use military methods to enforce CO2 restriction; peak oil alarmism; cartelisation of world commodity trading for the purpose of raising prices; or any other cartel; enforcement of nuclear "no lower threshold" fear stories; the destruction of new technologies like GM; the imprisonment of anybody who asserts the existence of racial differences; the imprisonment of anybody who disputes catastrophic warming (or cooling); the imprisonment of anybody who asserts the right to disagree with the policies of the one world government; the imprisonment of anybody who shows "disrespect" to Christianity, or Islam, or Chinese "communism".

"What I fear most are affirmative actions of sober and well-intentioned men, granting to government power to do something that appears to need doing. Please remember always that the Lunar Authority was created for the noblest of purposes by just such sober and well-intentioned men, all popularly elected." Robert Heinlein

This is a major step on that road and we should all fear it not for Gaddafi's sake but for our own.

4 - This is, as I said, capricious. Gaddafi may have been a thorn in the side of western states but he is not, by any rational definition, among the worst of national leaders. In the Arab world Syria's Hama Massacre was orders of magnitude worse than anything he has done (I also think Syria not Libya was responsible for the Pan Am bombing - the direction all the investigation was pointing to until Syria became our ally in the Gulf War). Saudi is also a far worse despotism and by sending troops into Bahrain to kill people on behalf of that country's government, has done something which the UN really is allowed to oppose.

   Indeed Gaddafi cannot credibly be accused of being 100th as vicious as "President" Thaci of Kosovo, who has been involved, under NATO command authority, in real genocide and the dissection of living people to sell their body organs. Thaci was, of course, put in power as our policeman by NATO's last bombing offensive.

   Once again we see that whenever those in power start talking about humanitarianism it is because they want to prepare us to start bombing somebody. While the obscene NATO occupation of Kosovo and consequent organlegging continues nobody can honestly suggest that any part of this is motivated by humanitarianism.

5 - It won't save lives. Gaddafi has just announced, probably wisely, that he is imposing a one sided cease fire. However that doesn't solve the problem. Even if both sides keep it that simply divides the country into 2 until something, probably another war, resumes. If not all the rebels keep it and since they are not a united organisation it seems impossible that they will, another and much nastier war resumes. There are things much worse than a civil war in which one side quickly triumphs and the worst of them is a civil war which drags on for generations.

6 - It will destabilise the region One of the things that have been erased from the media is the recent history of Algeria. In June 1990 Algeria had a democratic election "Among the scores of parties that sprang up under the new constitution, the militant Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was the most successful, winning more than 50% of all votes cast in municipal elections in June 1990 as well as in first stage of national legislative elections held in December 1991.

The surprising first round of success for the fundamentalist FIS party in the December 1991 balloting caused the army to intervene, crack down on the FIS, and postpone subsequent elections. The fundamentalist response has resulted in a continuous low-grade civil conflict with the secular state apparatus".

     The western powers largely supported this military coup because the Islamic winning party was voted in on a platform of introducing a one party, Islamic state, which was seen as not entirely democratic and not likely to support western interests.

    We don't know exactly what the Libyan rebels stand for, indeed there barely seems to be anything they are united on except replacing Gaddafi. On the other hand what signs there are suggest they are not any more likely than him to be intrinsically either pro-western or democratic.

    By enforcing an Islamic or largely Islamic revolution in Libya we have made it almost impossible for the military in Algeria or Turkey or Egypt or Tunisia to resist the same pressure.

7 - If there really is a thought out and intelligent desire to establish democracy in these countries, whatever the cost to our interests then well and good. However I suspect this has not been thought through and we are being led more by anti-Gaddafiism than anything else. Though "liberal democracy" is the generally agreed aim there is a contradiction between liberalism and democracy. Liberalism is the support of the maximum of individual freedom. Democracy is the rule, if desired absolute rule, of the majority's wishes. It is normally assumed that the majority want freedom and that where they appear not to it is because of government propaganda and as soon as enlightened western psy-ops operatives take over their media they will all decide they want what we want them to. Adolf Hitler and Hamas, winning on a platform that everybody got to blame the Jews for all their problems proved that is not so.

     Recent events, largely unreported in British media, such as the gang "sexual assault" by the "democratic" mob in Cairo of US reporter Lora Logan, while chanting "Jew, Jew" or the subsequent burning down of Coptic Christian churches, with the priests inside suggest that while we may be on the side of democracy we are not thus on the side of liberty.

     Forced to choose I will go for liberty every time. Liberty is a principle, democracy is merely, usually, a means to that end. This is something the American Founding Fathers understood when they set up the country as "a Republic not a Democracy"  and it is a sign of moral decline that public discourse dare not even mention that there is such a contradiction.

 8 - Showing the world we cannot be trusted - A few years ago Gaddafi was ceremonially removed from the list of rogue states because he reached an agreement with our leaders. Since then they have eagerly solicited bungs trade deals with him and he has invested his money heavily in western countries. Now, at the first opportunity of weakness people who were grateful to be photographed with him [eg Herman Van Rompuy made a sonorous statement to the effect that Muammar Gaddafi was a frightful chap who really ought to stand down. Then Nigel Farage stood up and brandished an excruciating photograph, taken as recently as four months ago, of the two unelected leaders grinning and holding hands] are denouncing him again. This gives the impression, probably correctly, that there are no circumstances under which they can ever be trusted and that no foreign leader who is not a complete fool should ever make an agreement with us, let alone leave their money here.

   Not being able to enter into agreements with other countries is not in our interests.

8 - China and Russia's decision not to veto this suggests they realise that as rising powers and shortly, in \China's case, to be the dominant part of the "international community" they are likely to be not the victims of  action authorised by the UN but the ones doing it. The day may not be far off when they can get the US suspended from the UN, followed by sanctions to liberate the Mexican majority in southern California, as NATO failed to get it over Kosovo. These actions certainly bring that day nearer.

9 - We will spend money and probably blood in regime change here. More locals will die in a protracted war than a short one (the BBC are editing Gaddafi as promising no mercy when in fact if they read out his full statement it would be clear he was offering amnesty to anybody who wants it). There is no likelihood that the new regime, even if Gaddafi and all his family are murdered as we seem to want, will be more democratic or pro-western and almost a certainty it will ultimately be less liberal.

  Daniel Hannan eurosceptic Tory MEP has his 6 shorter reasons for opposing this war. There is some but not total overlap.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Worth The Candle? The Economic Impact of Renewable Energy Policy in Scotland and the UK

"The report’s key finding is that for every job created in the UK in renewable

energy, 3.7 jobs are lost. In Scotland there is no net benefit from government
support for the sector, and probably a small net loss of jobs."
Downloadable from here

"Labour's manifesto promises to create at least 100,000 new high skilled jobs in Scotland by 2015 - up to half of which are expected to be green collar jobs. Labour's manifesto also contains the promise of a Green Investment Bank that would provide £2 billion for green projects, many of which would be in Scotland."

So they are promising the net deliberate destruction of 270,000 jobs

"SNP First Minister Alex Salmond, had today announced that the party would aim to create 60,000 new jobs in the green energy sector over the next decade, particularly in tidal power and off shore wind farms."

Promising to destroy 160,000 productive jobs

Pseudoliberal promise: Chris Huhne promises to create 250,000 'green' jobs

Promising to destroy 650,000 jobs

Conservatives: "we will unleash the power of green enterprise and promote resource efficiency to generate thousands of green jobs."

It's fighting talk from the Green Party today as they promise a “green” recovery with a guarantee of 100,000 jobs over the next 10 years if the party is returned to Government.

The Greens, which published its jobs strategy today, say their policies implemented since 2007 have delivered more than 20,000 positions.

Promising to destroy 270,000 jobs and claiming credit for having already destroyed 54,000

  That subsidising jobs that cannot exist without subsidy with money which must ultimately be taken from the productive part of the economy, with all the inherent added inefficiencies of having tax collectors to collect it and "environmental specialists" to hand it out, must automatically have a net cost and reduce jobs is about as basic in economics as you can get.

   Therefore all leaders of all of these parties who have enough brains to know that water flows downwards know that when they promise "green jobs" they are lying. They are specifically and deliberately actually promising to destroy large numbers of jobs to provide taxpayers money to their friends, donor and cronies.

   If any representative of these parties were remotely honest they could obviously never make the claims above. If they were remotely interested in improving the standard of living of the people they could never do it. If they were not lying thieves they could never take our money for this.

   I don't think it can be factually denied that Labour, the SNP, Pseudoliberals, Conservatives and Greens are, one and all, proven to by wholly corrupt, lying thieves with no remote trace of concern for the country. Nor that the nominal 5 separate parties are, in the essentials, a coalition to help the same cronies.

   Checking out UKIP and the BNP I find no such promises. QED

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


  Last night Channel 4 "News" broadcast an item from somebody standing in front of a taxi rank in Tokyo who said that the fact that there were taxis there unused (2 of them) proved that residents were staying home, which in turn proved a level of panic.

   My girlfriend, who has been in Japan, said that, because people downsized from Japanese industry, had gone into taxiing there was always a considerable oversupply of taxis. It is not like Britain and in particular London, where licencing regulations keep the numbers artificially below market demand. Clearly C4 were deliberately lying to promote their anti-nuclear scare story to the British audience.

  The fact is that nobody has been killed in this "catastrophe"; nobody has been injured; less radioactivity has been absorbed by anybody offsite than would be absorbed from an X-ray, air flight, or probably from eating a banana; far less radioactivity is being emitted than a conventional coal burning plant would over time (coal contains natural radioactives, like bananas & everything else). There is no honest journalist or politician who says or implies that nuclear is less than 100s of times safer than conventional power.
That is a comment I put up on Channel 4 News' site this morning. It has yet to appear.
I also sent a letter based on Saturday's entry to dozens of newspaper's worldwide, none of whom, according to Google News, have published it.

The coverage of an incident which has neither killed not injured anybody at all now clearly greatly exceeds that for the rest of the entire Tsunami/earthquake. Occasionally MSM reporting will include, very quietly, a mention of the fact that the amount of radiation anybody is going to experience is on the level of eating a banana. However far more often they get somebody on from some eco-fascist organisatio9n to tell all sorts of alarmistt lies without allowing any balance (eg C4 again had a Greenpeace spokesman balanced by a government one in the knowledge that the government one would not dismount from the fence).

   Sensible discussion comes from Jerry Pournelle and interestingly enough from The Register. Do yet again we see the blogsphere is where you go for actual information. Presumably why in America now and Britain next year, more people choose to get their news online than from the press.

   On the other hand if you think journalists talk nonsense look at how the EU are describing zero injuries as the "Apocalypse"

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Monday, March 14, 2011


  This is one where I don't know the answer. Via Dick Puddlecote comes something about the charity pushing the salt kills scare story. The astonishingly named CASH (Consensus Action on Health and Salt)
the entire anti-salt industry is a huge conglomerate consisting of ... one very sad geezer with a longstanding fixation.

I looked into CASH a while ago and vaguely remembered that they received paltry income while paradoxically enjoying huge media interest. It also struck me that they were working out of someone's office in Tooting.

That someone didn't concern me at the time ...

Prof Graham MacGregor, of St George's Hospital, in Tooting, South-West London, welcomed the move but added: "Why do they need to put salt on the chips at all? Why not leave them as they are and let customers sprinkle on what they want?"

Hmm, interesting.

But the BBC article says he is from the "Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine".

Funny enough, so now is the HQ of CASH.

Principal address:

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine,

Charterhouse Square,

London ECIM 6BQ

So it would seem that this entire organisation consists of Graham MacGregor and, err, a couple of mates.
   This is perhaps an unsympathetic view since they also have a bit over £230,000. I sent this email to their largest contributor     
I note that, reading the accounts of "Consensus Action on Salt and Health", the organisation behind the the salt in foods scare it is funded very largely (£200,000) by Nissan UK with an extra £30,000 from the Food Standards Authority. I hope you don't think I'm being nosey but, of all the possible charities Nissan could support, why did you choose this one? Did some high executive in the company once suffer a salt related accident or something?
     Coincidentally since writing to them the accounts section of CASH's site seems to have disappeared but it used to show those 2 donations and a string of donations of £1,000 from various food producers. This would certainly be consistent with them having received a letter saying "we are going to give out a press release naming food manufacturers who have salt in their foods - how would you like not to be on it - we accept cheques made out to CASH" but perhaps there is something else it would be consistent with.

     I completely understand the Food Standards Authority funding them - this is standard fakecharity procedure where an empire building government department pays a fakecharity who then propagandise for a bigger, more powerful and more parasitic government department. That is how British government is run. But why on earth does Nissan, a car company, want to fund a false salt scare story?

      The only thing I can think of is, other than the chief executive being scared by a salt cellar, is that when setting up in Britain they made a discrete promise to make "charitable" donations to funds suggested by various politicians. Perhaps somebody else has some ideas.

     I'll leave the last word on the ridiculousness of this particular health-fascist scare story from Professor John Brignal's Numberwatch
Here we go again! The food fascists are back on the salt trail. A press release from a branch of the Nanny State that calls itself the Food Commission was picked up by all the UK media. They harangue the processed food industry for failing sufficiently to reduce the salt content of their products. There is, of course, a maximum recommended level, based on no scientific evidence at all. The justification comes in the last two lines:

Eating high levels of salt is linked to high blood pressure, which is the main cause of strokes and a major factor in heart attacks, two of the most common causes of death and illness in the UK.

Not only is this based on a familiar form of weasel words “is linked to”, but the story is all about 1 to 6 year olds. We are not told how many of these die of strokes and heart attacks.

The BBC in its enthusiastic promotion of the new scare links to its own essay on salt, which relies on more tame weasel words “Many scientists believe this process is linked to high blood pressure, or hypertension, which in turn is linked to a greater risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.”

In fact, the whole salt farrago has become the epitome of junk science. Gary Taubes has provided a monumental survey of the evidence. It is all there – exaggerations, statistical fiddles, ex cathedra pronouncements, subreption, bullying and an adherence to the principles of religion rather than of science.

The physiological fact is that the human body deals very effectively with the maintenance of its salt balance. Any excess is successfully excreted by action of elaborate control mechanisms. What it cannot deal with is a lack of salt, since it cannot manufacture it. Both sodium and chlorine are essential to huge range of functions within the body, from digestion to nerve impulse transmission. The trick by which animals were able to leave the salt sea was to take it with them in the blood plasma. Animals instinctively know the importance of salt, which is why they resort to salt licks.
PS I love the use of the word "consensus" in their title to lend an entirely spurious authority to the scam.


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Sunday, March 13, 2011


The South's Bank of Korea said last August that the North's economy in 2006 stood at $22.8 billion but the survey from Lee Jong-seok said the figure was closer to $9 billion.

This means that the average North Korean makes the equivalent of about a dollar a day, which puts the North among the world's 25 poorest countries in terms of per capita income.

But the Bank of Korea's estimate put annual per capita income at closer to $1,100, about the same as Nepal. ctd
  Which does not make NK a total pushover - it may have a nuke and it has massive dug in artillery pointed at Seoul, which is within range of the border. Any military clash would be fearsomely destructive of both countries and if China decided its interests required that it not be united on the South's terms, would likely end with the country still divided.

     However there is reason to believe China is no great friend of the Northern "spoiled child", which has been giving a bad name to "communism". If a united Korea was friendly towards Chins, as the South is currently trying to be, and removed the US division there, which the US would be happy to see gone and is only there because of the Northern threat, they would probably be happy.

     Gaddafi's currently unavailable website, of all places, has produced an interesting evaluation of the benefits of peaceful reunion . In essence a union would create a much larger educated hard working population, more accessible ports than the 2 separate and the release of massive resources from the South (and North) which prevent them playing a role in the world.

     None of which answers the difficult question of how. My opinion is that it depends on making sure nobody in power in the North has greatly fear union.

     The South should offer to pay the salaries of every Northern government official for life, so long as they aren't earning more elsewhere. They also guarantee an amnesty for any NK official who may be chargeable with "war crimes". China would also guarantee this and to provide residence for any NK official who wanted to leave and who would still receive salary from the South. These guarantees have to be formidable and credible precisely because various western promises, from those to Pinochet to Karadzic have proven false. It may not be abstract justice that some leaders may get away with things we don't like. though abstract justice would certainly not be served by a "prosecution" influenced by NATO states whose own leaders are certainly guilty of war crimes, genocide and organlegging. However as an alternative to starvation for the northern people and possible nuclear war for everybody it seems preferable.

      In return for paying salaries they get a gradual loosening of the Northern dictatorship. A veto on promotions and new appointments. Taxes could be drastically reduced since they were being already paid.. Road, rail and telecommunication links between the 2 (I suspect the South even more than the North would fear free movement of peoples since 10s of millions of refugees would be unwelcome). Trade between the 2 be made free. The right of Northerners to take up free market jobs and the right of such jobs to exist without government regulation. The desired end result would be a zero tax, minimal regulation zone governed, through leaders appointed by the South to which many southern and indeed international companies would outsource much of their production and which would grow faster than the South could. It would probably take decades for the North to reach Southern levels of affluence and political sophistication, after all it took the South decades in the first place, but it would be done without deaths, refugees and war.

       The cost to the South would be less than they presently spend on defence. Paying the full salaries of everybody would cost no more than $9 billion assuming the NK currency is valued correctly. Going on the post Soviet model we would probably find that most of the successful entrepreneurs were previous government apparatchiks so as soon as they were making money they would lose their government salaries. Doubtless even 20 years later there would be a few people still drawing the same government salaries while not required to do anything for it, but that would be far less parasitic than we see in Britain where "diversity officers" and suchlike not only get paid but also actually do things, which are entirely economically destructive, to prove how vital their jobs are.


Measuring GNP by electricity light. North Korea an island of poverty in a sea of success

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