Friday’s Summer Six-Pack: Books, blogs and burghers
Six more delicious desserts from the Archives trolley here at NOT PC. Seen any of these posts before?
* * * *
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Warmists, lies, and 3000 deaths per day from malaria.
Stop obsessing about global warming says the Neo-Jacobin, an obsession he says that "threatens to marginalize and overlook more pressing problems for humanity in the here and now – like, for example, the fight against malaria in Africa, and other Third World countries."
“Environmentalists constantly bang on and on about forcing the most powerful leaders of the Western world to do this, that or the other, in order to ‘save us all from global warming’, but meanwhile in the real world, the body count for malaria in Africa alone is a million per year, and rising. What makes me really angry is that these deaths need not have occurred. In fact, all those death lead right back to earlier environmentalists political obsessions – the banning of pesticides [and in particular of DDT].”But, say warmists, global warming is itself exacerbating malaria! Isn't it? Well, says malaria scientist Paul Reiter in yesterday's International Herald Tribune, no it isn't. Not only is the self-claimed warmist consensus a "mirage," but the idea that warming is causing the disease to spread is what Reiter calls an "unsubstantiated claim." That's scientist-speak for "the bastards are lying."
The claim in the Blair Government's Stern Report, for example, "released with much fanfare in late October, predicted increases in temperature will produce up to 80 million new cases of malaria."
“This claim relies on a single article that described a simplistic mathematical model that blithely ignored the most obvious reality: Most Africans already live in hot places where they get as many as 300 infective bites every year, though just one is enough. The glass is already full.”Here’s another “unsubstantiated claim,” one of many made by Al Bore in his movie An Inconvenient Truth, "which claims that Nairobi was established in a healthy place "above the mosquito line" but is now infested with mosquitoes because— naturally--of global warming." Notes Reiser:
Gore's claim is deceitful on four counts. Nairobi was dangerously infested when it was founded; it was founded for a railway, not for health reasons; it is now fairly clear of malaria; and it has not become warmer.”
In other words it's a lie, just like all the other warmist's lies. Says Reiter, "We have done the studies and challenged the alarmists, but they continue to ignore the facts."
Ignoring the facts while ignoring real issues. That's so like a warmist, isn't it.
LINKS: Climate change in Africa? Fight malaria instead - A neo-Jacobin
Malaria is alive and well and killing more than 3000 African children every day - World Health Organisation
Dangers of disinformation - Paul Reiter, International Herald Tribune
Global warmist - Urban Dictionary
RELATED: Global Warming, Science, Health, Environment, Politics
* * * *
Monday, November 03, 2008
If you're wondering what sort of people get so upset about exotic plantation pine forests being converted to productive dairy farms-- upset enough to do this, and this -- then here you have the answer; it's the sort of people who do this:
Morons. Reminds me of this Nick Kim cartoon:
UPDATE: Don’t laugh. Jeff Perren reminds us that tree huggers grow up to be coal industry destroyers.
* * * *
Monday, March 17, 2008
NZ's 'independent' anti-nuclear stance
New Zealand has enjoyed few really prominent international moments in the sun -- the most celebrated by the chatterati is that 'glorious moment' in the mid-eighties when the country thumbed its collective nose at one of the world's superpowers: telling our ANZUS treaty partner and former ally the United States we wanted no more of its nuclear umbrella, and to go take a hike.
New Zealand's foreign policy turnabout was taken in the very midst of the Cold War -- it was celebrated then as a courageous sign of independence and is celebrated still as an outstanding and iconic example of New Zealand's vigorous and free-thinking independence.
As we now discover, however, tt was nothing of the sort. It was neither rational, nor independent.
The knee-jerk anti-American, anti-science anti-nuclearism still infects the country's thinking today, to everyone's detriment. And far from being an assertion of New Zealand's independence, an article by Trevor Loudon and Bernard Moran from Australia's National Observer magazine confirms the anti-nuclear position to have been a strategy cooked up in Moscow.
The 'peace movement' was the chosen trojan horse -- "We have many clever people in the Soviet Union," a local peace activist attending a course in Moscow on how to destabilise a country was told, "but no one has even been able to come up with a weapon potentially as powerful as the peace movement." The stalking horses were three Labour MPs who still bestride the local political stage.
That 'peace activist' quoted above was actually an SIS agent called John Van de Ven who was interviewed in 1990 by Loudon and Moran, upon whom they rely for their account. Van de Ven was told by his tutors that then Soviet leader (and former KGB chief) Yuri Andropov had "initiated a strategy for taking a social democratic country out of the Western alliance, by utilising the 'correlation of forces' provided by the peace movement and the trade unions. New Zealand was given a high priority by the Soviets, for its strategic propaganda potential -- show the strategy worked here, and you demonstrated you could apply the same pressure to less distant dominoes like Denmark.
The immediate result of the strategy (and one still evident today) was the Soviet infiltration of the peace movement and the trade unions, and consequently of the left wing of the then Labour Government as well. As the late Tony Neary of the Electrical Workers Union related to an audience in 1987
"In the New Zealand trade union movement, those who mutter about Reds under the beds must be joking. The Reds are already in the beds and have been there for some years. By now they are sitting up and getting breakfast brought in."
The "Reds" were as thoroughly in charge of NZ's anti-nuclear groundswell in the seventies and eighties as they were of the US State Department in the thirties and forties. The anti-nuclear legislation they brought about here knocked New Zealand permanently out of ANZUS and the western alliance, and it still paralyses both our relationship with the US and our ability to produce clean energy.
Given its long-lasting and entirely negative results, it's as crucial to understand the mechanics of how it came about as it is to understand that those who learned this methodology are still about. In the Oxford Union debates David Lange famously shot back at a heckler that he could "smell the Uranium on his breath"; it remains unfortunate still that he couldn't smell the borscht on the breath of his foreign policy advisers, or didn't care that he did.
If you want to understand how the Soviets made the local peace movement and the Labour Party their puppets, then read and digest 'The untold story behind New Zealand's ANZUS breakdown' from the National Observer.
* * * *
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Books for a 21 year old
A friend asked me to recommend four books to a twenty-one year old boy with a brain but few if any passions; an interest in science and how the world works, but little enthusiasm for really investigating it; and a reading ability that allows him to consume lots of reading matter, but of a type that is mostly of little substance and no challenge.
I hit on the following list:
- Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead opens up a world in which great passions are played out on a broad stage. More than one person has found that this book has given them a reason to live -- this scene on its own for many readers gives the inspiration it itself describes. Great for readers old and young, especially as an antidote to today's fashionable cynicism and too-cool-to-move languor.
- The more analytical twenty-one year old might prefer to read Rand's Atlas Shrugged first. "Might" because Atlas touches the parts other novels don't even acknowledge, and explains how all those parts fit together to make the world move ... or not. An analytical brain looking for or needing inspiration should eat this up, as they will the adventure story that keeps building and rebuilding on itself. Magnificent fuel for a young fire needing a spark.
- A teacher recommended Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon to me when I was just a teenager, and although I didn't read it until much later it would have fitted the teenaged me like a glove, as it should any youngster with even a passing interest in politics and idealism. This perfectly crafted novel proves, as Nat Hentoff famously described it, "that dishonest means irredeemably corrupt all ends, no matter how noble." And that doesn't just describe the Stalinism of the story, as we older ones soon come to realise.
- If science fiction is already your youngster's bag, then Robert Heinlein's Time Enough for Love should be their introduction to adult science fiction. The long life of protagonist Lazarus Long and the struggle to give the old Lazarus meaning in that life allow Heinlein to muse rhapsodically on themes of life, death and sex, and what it all means for each of us.
So there you have it. Don't buy that twenty-one year old a book or CD voucher (they'd only waste it). Buy them something to introduce them to the life of an adult, and to show them it's all worth it.
* * * *
Saturday, December 16, 2006
How to write a good blog post, #1: Use a sniper's rifle, not a shotgun
Okay, for those who wanted it, here it is: my tired, ten-year-old advice on how to write a press release, nipped and tucked so it now advises how to write a good polemical blog post (see if you can spot the joins). Not every blog post is a polemic, but every poster of polemic blogs might find this useful. If you don't need it, don't read it.
Want to be a libertarian blogger? Great!! Here's a few guidelines to help you put together your posts:
Unlike this one, every good post needs a hook on which to hang your argument. A post is a seduction, and you have to seduce people into reading it, however you try and do it. The readers you want to seduce are busy people -- you have to find some means of giving them a way in by making it seem worth reading on. And then you have to make sure it is worth reading on.
Most people won't read beyond the first paragraph (particularly if they're reading you on a news reader), so that opening paragraph must be provocative enough to grab the attention AND to make your point in one hit -- AND try and seduce them into reading further. Make that first paragraph count. That's as much as most people are going to know (or care) about what you think.
If they want to read further, they probably want to know why you said what you said. Tell them - that's why second, and sometimes third, paragraphs were invented. Explain your position, and make those paragraphs count.
Notice I said "second, and sometimes third, paragraphs"? Don't piss around. Your readers are busy people, and so are you.
Press releases need the oxygen of timeliness to survive; not so much for blogs. Press releases make the news; blog posts generally comment on the news. So unlike press releases you can get something off your chest even a week or more later -- a great way to relieve that blood pressure. But a week or so later you have to have something to say that hasn't already been said - and most people's minds were already made up on Day One.
A good post uses a sniper's rifle rather than a shotgun - it has ONE strong point rather than several, and it doesn't spray its load around: it shoots straight for its target. (If you do have two points to make on a subject, then write two posts. Or link them.)
On a similar point: no flab. Put your posts on a diet. If a post was a muesli -- a bit of a stretch, I know -- then it needs lots of sultanas, and bugger-all bran. Too much filler and too many filling words and you're on your way to sounding like a Hubbard's cereal. Edit your posts, with brevity being the virtue prized above all, clarity being second.
Every post is a missionary, trying to change the world, but each one goes out on its own, without you hanging around to explain what you meant by it all. Before pressing 'publish,' read it through as if you're an intelligent reader without any clue what you're talking about. How does it sound to them? If it sounds like you don't have a clue, then you have more work to do.
Invite the reader to form your conclusions for you. If for example you're going to insult someone, by the time you've given all your reasons for despising somone your insult should just be the logical conclusion -- your reader should be able to join you in agreeing.
Argue forcefully. If you don't appear to believe what you're talking about, then why the hell should your reader?
If they've read all the way to the end, your reader will want to know why they bothered. So leave them a moral. "It's enough to make you vote Libertarianz" is an obvious one. "Politicians are scum," is another. “Need does not create an entitlement,” goes deeper. Whatever it is, try to leave the reader some quotable one liner to remember, one that sums up what you just said.
And finally, if you want to use words like 'vermin,' 'scum,' 'maggot,' and so on, then just go right ahead. If you don't, your comments section will soon be filled with them anyway -- best you get in first. :-)
And if people complain then just remember Oscar Wilde’s advice: the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. And if you don’t want to be talked about, then what are you blogging for?
Hope that helps you. Go to it!! And as my footie coach used to say: Do as I say, not as I do.
* * * *
Friday, August 04, 2006
Burgher - Rodin
* * * *
Thanks for reading. As your reward, here are three great guitarists. The John Butler Trio:
The great Joe Pass:
And the immortal Django Reinhardt: