Friday, August 22, 2008

NOT PC's week: 15-22 August

Another week in which top sport dominated the attention of most rational people, and politics was delegated (mostly) to its rightful place.  But a few moments of political madness still slipped through the net ...

  1. Tragedy on the mountain
        A storm on a mountain generated another storm here in the comments: What did you first think of  when you heard there was tragic news emerging from the Prime Minister's tramping party?
  2. Wake up warmists
        Here's a few updates on the collapsing of the warmist mantra, which in a more rational world would presage the collapsing of the bipartite political stampede towards an Emissions Trading Scam.  Sadly, etc...
  3. Aren't we over the bloody haka yet?
        It gets done when visitors arrive. It gets done when they leave. It gets done before sports games.  It gets done after sports games. It gets done to show respect. It gets done to show disrespect. It gets done to say, "Good onya." It gets done to say, "Fuck you."
        Aren't we over the bloody haka yet?
  4. "Sea level is not rising"
        It's time to feel sorry for warmists.  Their most cherished beliefs are under threat, poor dears.  The Globe is not "Warming," alas, so all they can do is assert "There is a warming trend."  And sea levels are not rising, so all they can do is pretend.  
         No wonder the warmists are getting more shrill.
  5. Amazing sporting weekend
        Has there ever been a more comprehensive weekend of NZ sporting achievement!
  6. Who's Christine Caughey?
        Who's Christina Caughey?  She's the silly bint who wants the internet "regulated" -- from little old New Zealand! -- to stop bloggers and internet sites saying nasty things about self-important small-time busybodies like herself.

All this, with lashings of great Olympian-themed sculpture thrown in!  What more could a reader ask for. Enjoy your weekend. :-)

Beer O'Clock: Bring on the Yeastie Boys!

Your regular Friday afternoon Beer O'Clock post comes to you this week from regular beer correspondent Stu, who this week is blowing his own trumpet:

YB 20080821 copy PC New kids on the brewing block, Yeastie Boys, will launch their hoppy Pot Kettle Black porter at the Beervana festival on 5 September.

Rather than a hip-hop tribute band made up of gynaecologists, as the name may suggest, Yeastie Boys is the brewing brainchild of local brewer Stu McKinlay (ie., yours truly) and New Zealand's most notorious beer-hunter Sam "The Grandmaster" Possenniskie.

In the name of research these two beer lovers have spent the last three years immersed within the secretive inner sanctum of the brewing world, tasting more than 2,000 different beers, in 70-plus different styles, from over 50 countries. Yeastie Boys are now set to unleash this research with a series of seasonal beers unlike anything else the New Zealand beer drinking public have tasted.

The first of these Pot Kettle Black, is the result of an ongoing friendly debate I’ve been having with Wellington beer writer and fellow Beer O'Clock contributor Neil Miller over whether hops or malt is the most important element in beer.

I’m all about malt, while Neil is a certifiable hop head. Pot Kettle Black, the first release from Yeastie Boys, is an American-style porter that combines the delicious elements of dark malty beers with the huge hopping rates usually reserved for modern craft pale ales. This beer will certainly save us plenty of time arguing at the bar.’

In true Kiwi style, Yeastie Boys' recipes originate from a 40 litre pilot brewery in a Wellington backyard shed. 'Operating on such a small scale there was little chance of the beer making it any further than ourselves and those in the know, until we partnered with multiple award-winning brewer Steve Nally of Invercargill Brewery to produce our first batch of commercial beer,’ explains Yeastie Boys co-director Sam Possenniskie.

’Part of the Yeastie Boys concept is to utilise the excess capacity of New Zealand's best little breweries and to promote the diversity in New Zealand’s craft beer scene. Steve, being one of the best experimental brewers in the country, is the perfect partner and mentor for us to produce our first beer with.’

Yeastie Boys' Pot Kettle Black is only available on tap for a limited time. It will be available at the upcoming BrewNZ "Beervana" festival, and at selected outlets specialising in craft beer from early September.

Stay tuned for more …

  • Pot Kettle Black by Yeastie Boys
    Tech info: ABV = 5.2%, OG = 1061, IBU = 47
    Malt: NZ Pale Malt, Melanoiden Malt, Crystal 55L, Pale Chocolate, Black Patent Malt.
    Hops: Nelson Sauvin, New Zealand Styrian, New Zealand Cascade.

Slainte mhath, Stu
SOBA and Yeastie Boys

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Libz 'erotica'

If you're heading off to Steve Crow's Erotica Expo this weekend, then amongst all the many distractions on offer do try to keep an eye out for the Libertarianz stand, and during discussions with the helpful Libz volunteers therein, do try to remain focused upon the essential elements of capitalist acts being offered to consenting adults, and the importance of more freedom and less government thereto.
And if you can't make it to the Expo, then keep an eye out here for news and pics of the well-manned Libz stand, and the many well-dressed visitors it will undoubtedly be attracting.       IMG00016 
UPDATE: You can get a 'live' look at Expo highlights, including the Libz' stand, at this TV3 clip.

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Time for an Olympian razor

I"ve been thrilled by the outstanding performances of Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps; I've enjoyed every medal every New Zealand Olympian has won; and I've savoured the new Olympic sports added to the programme like triathlon and marathon swimming.

That said, I don't care two hoots what happens to New Zealand's two BMX riders going for gold this afternoon. I couldn't care less, because BMX riding is simply not an Olympic sport.

I was talking about this yesterday with CP, discussing why their success or otherwise means nothing to me, and she reckoned it's not just a matter of tradition that means sports like soccer and tennis, and BMX and beach volleyball shouldn't be at the Olympics -- and it's not just because they're demonstrably silly that so-called sports like synchronised bloody swimming should be sent packing forthwith -- it's that the essence of Olympic sport is that it highlights perfection in the essentials of every sport.

Genuine Olympic sports, she argued, are the abstracted elements of sport -- you can run and jump and leap around playing soccer, for example (and if you're good enough you can do it on a world stage in its own right), but only at the Olympics are the essential elements of running fast, jumping high and leaping around gymnastically abstracted from all other sports, and the world spotlight shone upon the champions in these fields.

I suspect she's on to something here, that real Olympic sports are genuinely Olympian in their abstraction. At the Olympics, we thrill to the sight of the world's fastest man (and wasn't he outstanding!), as we should.

This is clearly an order of abstraction higher and more Olympian than the thrill of seeing a chap bending a soccer ball around a wall of defending players (and I apologise sincerely to readers for any confusion I may cause by using the word 'abstraction' in the same sentence as a reference to David Beckham), or kicking said ball to each other for ninety minutes. If she's right, then the more abstract the sporting feat, the stronger are the grounds for its Olympic inclusion; and the more specific it is, the more the grounds for exclusion.

If she is right, and I think she is, then we can formulate a new 'epistemological razor' by which to ensure the Olympic are restricted to their essential sports, and not multiplied beyond necessity.

Athletics, for example, contains the abstract elements of most sports, and is therefore the core of the Olympics -- as are sports that involve shooting things, throwing things, leaping over things, punching other people while they try to punch you back, and lifting heavy weights. And cycling, for all it looks like it might be too specific, is basically about riding things fast -- the abstracted essence of the means by which human-powered machinery can be made to go fast -- so that has to be there too.

But BMX cycling? That's just too specific, and therefore far too un-Olympian.

That said, I do of course wish New Zealand's two BMX Olympians every success, but I trust they'll forgive me if I don't tune in to hear how they got on. After all, if we come to accept sports like BMX and synchronised bloody swimming as part of the canon of Olympic sports, then come 2012 and the London Olympics we'll be seeing arguments from the English that pub sports like snooker and darts must be included.

And down that way, madness surely lies.

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Get your iPhone **now**

If you missed out on your new iPhone in the first round of the New Zealand release, NBR reports that second-round buyers will be able to reap the wave of customer pressure over the price of iPhone plans on their first release by taking advantage of the resulting drop in the price of plans.

So if you're in the market, now might be the time to buy.

A new, more rational Greens?

I was interested to see the Greens' Frog Blog's reaction to Genesis Energy's proposed new gas power station in Kaukaupaupa.

Naturally, the Greens are gearing up for a fight -- as environmentalists' protests against wind, hydro and even solar schemes indicate, not to mention their protests against even the means by which power is reticulated, they will be gearing up for a fight whatever the means by which a power station is to be powered, whether it's thermal or 'renewable' or whatever -- their opposition is all too obviously to human power as such -- but what I'd like to note is one of the arguments against the scheme used by Frog Blog contributor 'Frog.'

Now bear in mind that Genesis is government-owned, and the Greens to day have been, one might say, somewhat in favour of wall-to-wall government ownership of the means of production, and opposed to the 'irresponsibility' of corporations.

But in the last few paragraphs of the post they argue that it is the choice to build a gas-powered plant that they specifically oppose, and they oppose it because it will be a) economic without a government handout,and b) because "the Energy Data File from the MED says we’ll be running seriously short of gas (at least as far as electricity generation is concerned) around 2015. That’s just when Genesis’ mega plant would want to start operating." So, says the Frog,

Whose hair-brained, think-big idea was this? Could it even stack up economically to the scrutiny of a real board of directors? Or has our SOE and its shareholding Minister lost the plot?

Interesting, don't you think, that question "could it even stack up economically to the scrutiny of a real board of directors?" Is this the foreshadowing of a realisation among some Greens that the scrutiny of a real board of directors is orders of magnitude greater than the scrutiny of a political elite (just look for example at the 'scrutiny' currently applied to one Winston Raymond Peters by said elite, for example, or of the management and appointment of the Hawkes Bay District Health Boards and the failure so far to even lay a glove upon either entity for obviously shonky behaviour). Could it be the first sign of an understanding among some Greens that being able to stack up economically is the very best means we have by which to ensure that valuable resources are not wasted, but instead put to their highest value use?

Or am I just talking bollocks?

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Help the Greens

Yes, here's your chance to help the Greens. 

TVNZ reports the Greens are "seeking feedback from the public ahead of a crucial caucus meeting next Tuesday," when its MPs will decide whether or not they should support the government's Emissions Trading Scam.

I invite you to offer them the help they ask for, both at Frog Blog (here and here), and at the dedicated email address ets@greens.org.nz.

Be polite but firm.  Feel free to select points from earlier posts on the subject here at NOT PC.  And do feel free to suggest they propose a very special carbon tax instead, and a Kyoto Plan with a difference.

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Trotter goes blogside

For all the scorn and derision that commentators, columnists and journalists pour upon blogs, aside from the likes of Colin James and Garth George -- neither of whom are probably even aware that blogs exist -- there's more and more of them turning to the blog side.

The latest to come across is Chris Trotter, who aims in his blog, he says, to be unashamedly elitist.  A fine non-egalitarian start then.

'Morning Light,' by Michael Wilkinson

                                 Morning_Lightwarmer

More on the sculptor here.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Olympic-quality candour

Mark Hubbard enjoyed last night's interview with canoeist Ben Fuohy, whose responses (unlike the braindead questions) were refreshingly free of the usual pabulum:

'What do you think went wrong?'
   
'Doesn't take a blind man to see that. [Looking back down the course]. The winning boat was there, my boat was way back there, damn hard to win a race with a boat in front of you like that.'

'And do you think you'll take something from this race 'going forward.''
    [Fouhy looking at interviewer as if he just arrived from Planet Prime Time.] 'Probably not. No.'

Very forthright.  Meanwhile, and from two opposing world-views, Nick Provenzo in posts here and here , and new Tumeke correspondent Phoebe Fletcher both remind us that we should taihoa somewhat in our enjoyment of the Olympic spectacle, lest we forget that China has still to completely shake off its authoritarian past.

UPDATE:  Rather than applauding the literally extraordinary Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt  for their outstanding victories, as Mindy reports there are some hateful harridans -- hateful of the good for being the extraordinarily good -- who damn their achievement as a means by which to damn achievement per se.

Its very much worth understanding the phenomenon, since this is the mentality of socialism: far better, to this mentality, to ensure the failure of many than  to stand back in admiring wonder at the success of a few.

Leave them to their misery.  As Jamaican-born John Newnham says, "Isn't it just an effing joyous thing to watch someone *achieve*?!!"

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Fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency?

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition ... least of all Winston Peters, the man with all the integrity of a wounded jackal, and with an ego bigger than his party vote.

As Whale Oil points out, there are some difficulties with Peters's artless comparison of the wet bus-ticket investigation in operation in Helengrad with the medieval torture of the Spanish Inquisition, most of all the absence of such crucial inquisitorial tools as the rack, the Toca, and the Garrucha -- much and all as we'd love to see the double-breasted one subjected to such indignities.

If Parliament's Privileges Committee has any resemblance to any Inquisition, it's more Monty Python that Torquemada.  See what I mean?

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"Should the U.S. Use Military Force Against Iran?"

"Should the U.S. take direct military action against Iran?"  The question is debated here between Elan Journo from the Ayn Rand Insitute, and David Bukay from the Heritage Institute.

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'Windscarf' - Mary Louise Snowden

                            windscarf 

More sculpture from Mary Louise Snowden here.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Control freak Clark

The Australian Government appears to have a very shrewd view of what drives Helen Clark. Unofficially released briefing notes picked up by the media describe her as "controlling," trusting "few people outside her inner circle," has "foreign policy perspectives forged during the Vietnam War," with a chief of staff, Heather Simpson (known as H2), "who is "known as the second most powerful person in New Zealand."

In short, a hippy control freak fighting yesterday's battles.

Discuss.

A plea from a political 'journalist'

The Listener's political journalist Jane Clifton this week bewails the competition coming her way from bloggers, and from politician-bloggers.

And the poor dear -- who can frequently be found in her reports trying unsuccessfully to sort truth from spin (a job made more difficult by marriage to the odious Murray McCully, one would have thought) -- has good reason to worry.  Her political columns usually eschew analysis for gossip, and issues for sport; Clifton epitomises the journalist who ignores the effect of politics on those over whom the politicians seek power, and instead simply reports the 'game.'

Well, many of us have become heartily sick of our political reporting being served up in such a fashion by such insightless unworthies, and are eager for something she and most of her ilk are clearly unable to provide: intelligent analysis.  While bloggers don't always provide that, it's only early days, and it's clear enough from her bleating that the heat of competition is already holding a few feet to the fire.

If the likes of Clifton find their job and the way they're accustomed to do it made more difficult by the brighter light shone on their subject by bloggers than they can manage, then I'm all for it.

UPDATE:  Clifton's column appears to have been released to the internet inadvertently, and has now been withdrawn.  If you wish, however, you can read most of the cached version here.

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Greens' Fitzsimons favours toxic poison drop

WHILE THAMES RESIDENTS PROTEST against the Department of Conservation's 1080 aerial drop in the Coromandel Ranges, dropping the toxic poison over 13,000 hectares from Jeanette Fitzsimons bit of “green heaven" in the Kauaeranga Valley all the way up to Te Puru, the clean, Green Party Leader pleads in today's Hauraki Herald for “tolerance.” “She did not know anyone who was comfortable with poison being dropped from the air," the local paper reports, "However, 1080 was necessary to ‘hold the line’ until a more effective pest control method was developed."

If recent polls can be trusted, Fitzsimon's party will experience a rather effective pest control method come November.  But it does seem strange to see the Green leader plead for tolerance for toxins, when opposition to toxins and the like was once the Greens' raison d'être.

Perhaps when the toxins are delivered by Nanny it's okay?

But why should hunters and land-owners have to be tolerant of a poor decision made by government without any reference to those directly affected?

Fact is, DoC's use of 1080 has been intensely destructive to everything but possums, on which it has only just held the line.  After many years and over a billion of tax payers dollars spent on possum control we still have the same 70 million possums we had at the start. Not successful and of very little, if any, benefit. 

No wonder DoC staff joke that the best way to protect the kiwi is to give it them to exterminate.

The so called possum problem is largely a manufactured one by the Government agencies who stand to gain from perpetrating it. DoC claims that the 70 million possums in New Zealand eat about 300 grams each of foliage each day, resulting in a whopping 21,000 tonnes of vegetation being consumed daily.

What they do not tell us though is the forests of this country produce about 300,000 tonnes of new vegetation daily

The economics do not make any sense either. The New Zealand Conservancy Authority states that the economic costs attributable to possums is estimated to be between $40 million and $60 million per year. Yet over $130 million is spent each year by State, private individuals and businesses on control. Not much benefit in something that uneconomic, or in the costs to game hunters and food gatherers who face a stand-down time of 6 months or more, and the considerable risk of contaminated meat, and the considerable costs to farmers directly and indirectly of aerial spreading of such a toxic poison on and near their properties --including in some cases whole farms -- with no compensation for their loss.

There are three main limits to possum populations in any given area; in decreasing order these are dry nest sites, food supply and (to a much lesser extent) play areas. Possum populations cannot go beyond these natural barriers, so despite DoC claims to the contrary, they simply cannot explode without control. In fact, many areas of New Zealand do not have any possum control, without any of the adverse effects that DoC claims they should experience.

Further, concern about damage done to endangered species by possums is more than offset by the damage done by 1080 itself.

THE ARGUMENT OVER THE use of 1080 shows once again the problem of a lack of private ownership.  To control a pest on government land, the government tramples on the rights of everyone - no matter how ineffective the control, or how toxic the chosen pesticide.  But governments always favour blunt instruments, in complete disregard of the damage they cause.

The use of 1080 itself should not be banned. What should be stopped is the widespread use of 1080 whether a landowner consents to it or not. 

1080 use should be controlled because of the downstream effects on almost everything, including invertebrates, birds and fish -- and all those good things that hunters like to shoot. There's no need for a ban, however, because widespread private ownership and rigorous common law would effectively do this anyway, as a responsible property owner would have trouble guaranteeing no harmful effects to other property owners. 

What needs to be emphasised is that in free countries free people own the land, not the Government.  It's the government's ownership of land that causes the conflict, not the possums.

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A short midweek ramble

UPDATE:

  • Here's a few pictures of the actual environment that would be at risk by drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and of the environmental destruction wrought by the Prudhoe Bay drilling operation, responsible for nearly twenty percent of U.S. oil production.
  • When discussing Objectivism once, and those who purport to be Objectivists, I was asked how long it takes to thoroughly understand and integrate the philosophy -- I said about ten year, if you're honest.  I'm fascinated to see that Objectivist philosopher Leonard Peikoff tackles the same question in his latest podcast.
  • Historian Scott Powell explains the importance of art in a proper study of history, especially as a means by which to develop what he calls "a proper historical awareness."  "By its nature," he says, "it is uniquely valuable, because it accomplishes two things at once: it engages students with vivid perceptual concretes and guides them to think “big picture” thoughts."  But there's more to it, much, much more ...
  • Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez's "mission" is "not accomplished," says Alvaro Vargas Llosa, and is never likely to be -- his stated mission, at least.
  • And if you're here looking for boobs on bikes pictures from Auckland's parade -- and my Statcounter tells me there are hundreds of you -- then see what the blogs and TV3 have for you.  And, perversely, the Otago Daily Times.  Oh, and I'm obliged to let you know that Libertarianz were in favour of the parade, and in agreement that it was a freedom of speech issue.  The right to freedom of speech is required precisely for those actions and statements to which others object -- particularly those in power.  It's great to see one person at least, Steve Crow, who understands that.

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Thieves still out of control

Most people will expect to be held to their word -- unless of course you're Winston Peters, or his lawyer Brian Henry [audio].  Or the IRD.

The IRD, Te Taari Takee, were a law unto themselves in the years before the inquiry into their methods was undertaken after revelations of their thuggery and bullying were revealed, including the news that they drove Ian Mutton and his son to suicide.  After the inquiry, they promised to change.

Nothing has changed, nothing at all, as local tourism operators have recently discovered "over the Inland Revenue Department’s decision not to honour formal, written GST agreements it signed with the industry in 2001 and instead seek $30 million of back taxes," leaving operators "appalled by the conduct of the IRD towards our industry."

Nothing has changed.  As Tourism Association President Brian Henderson says on behalf of the businesses being done over, "The IRD has behaved incompetently, arbitrarily and retrospectively... It is out of control."

It is all of that, and it is still out of control -- literally a law unto itself, with powers given to it by those who live off the money they extract --  and it will continue to be incompetent, arbitrary and out of control right up until voters themselves realise the moral cannibalism at the root of the welfare state, and the iniquity of a political system based on theft.  The principle point to make is this: if you legalise theft, then you must expect iniquity.

The IRD: It's Still Their Job to Drive You Under.

UPDATE: Christchurch accountant Mark Hubbard writes a letter to the minister in charge of the IRD, Damien O'Connor, which concludes:

Seriously Mr O'Connor, the fair answer is so obvious: you cannot fairly impose this interpretation retrospectively. Everybody within the IRD who thinks this is acceptable, including the Deputy Commissioner on the Network News last night, should be fired as not fit to hold the power they do. In fact any life-time bureaucrat that has been in the IRD since High School, get rid of them: let them see what life is like in the productive sector they, and you, are so hell bent on destroying, despite it being the hand that feeds you all.

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'The Gymnast,' by Richard MacDonald

                    gymnastthird

You can see more of MacDonald's work here.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wake up warmists

Here's a few updates on the collapsing of the warmist mantra, which in a more rational world would presage the collapsing of the bipartite political stampede towards an Emissions Trading Scam.

First of all, and despite "predictions" by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that this century we'd start to see the planet burn, instead, so far, we've seen ... this:
That is, no net global warming. Marlo Lewis explains the graph, courtesy of atmospheric scientist John Christy, here -- but note:
This graph, , shows how climate models and reality diverge. The red, purple, and orange lines are model forecasts of global temperatures under different emission scenarios. The yellow line shows how much warming we are supposedly “committed to” even if CO2 concentrations don’t change. The blue and green lines are actual temperatures as measured by ground-based (HadCrut) and satellite (UAH LT) monitoring systems.

What’s really rather remarkable, is that since 2000, the rates at which CO2 emissions and concentrations are increasing have accelerated... And yet, despite accelerating emission rates and concentrations, there's been no net warming in the 21st century.
I'll let you work out what that means for the veracity of the warmists' models, and of their predictions. If the planet's gonna burn, as all the warmists say it will, it sure as heck is goin' the wrong way about it.

Second of all, and despite further "predictions" by the United Nations IPCC that the likes of impoverished Bangladesh will lose 17 percent of its land by 2050 because of rising sea levels due to global warming, leaving 20 million Bangladeshis to become "environmental refugees" -- and NASA's scaremonger-in-chief James Hansen to "predict" that the entire country will be under water by the end of the century -- the Banagladeshi landmass just resolutely refuses to play ball.

After studying 32 years of satellite images, scientists from the Dhaka-based Center for Environment and Geographic Information Services say Bangladesh's landmass has been increasing by 20 square kilometres annually. That's an extra 2000 square kilometres or so of land on which "environmental refugees" can continue to make themselves at home. [Story here.]

Oops.

Warmists might point out that Bangladesh's annual increase in land is due to the enormous amounts of sediment travelling down the big Himalayan rivers and deposited at the Bangladeshi delta, and so is nothing to do with the "predicted" sea level rises the warmists are looking forward to -- and while IPCC-loving warmists are still looking forward to a predicted fifteen inches or so by 2100, uber-warmists like the Goracle and his followers are eager for the twenty-foot deluge that will soak most of the world's major cities unless (they say) we stop our carbon belching ways.

But despite the predictions, reality once again just refuses to comply with this disaster scenario either. As Bjorn Lomborg points out, "over the past two years, the global sea level hasn’t increased. It has slightly decreased . Since 1992, satellites orbiting the planet have measured the global sea level every 10 days with an amazing degree of accuracy – 3-4 millimeters (0.2 inches). For two years, sea levels have declined. Proclaiming six meters of sea-level rise ... requires the sea-level rise to accelerate roughly 40-fold from today."

But there's nothing at all to suggest it will. If the planet's gonna drown, as all the warmists say it must, it sure as heck is goin' the wrong way about it.

Meanwhile, up at the top of the world, if you're wondering why you haven't been hearing "The Arctic Ice is Disappearing" stories this northern summer, it's because the Arctic Ice isn't going anywhere -- except of course to melt slightly over the northern summer, just as it has every summer since time began. In fact, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center data shows ice for this northern summer "nearly identical to 2002, 2005 and 2006... ice has grown in nearly every direction since last summer - with a large increase in the area north of Siberia. Also note that the area around the Northwest Passage (west of Greenland) has seen a significant increase in ice. Some of the islands in the Canadian Archipelago are surrounded by more ice than they were during the summer of 1980."

Yes, Virginia, the polar bears are safe.

Naturally, the onset of reailty leaves politicians all the more resolute in pushing ahead with their emissions trading scams -- hell, they think, there's control and tax revenue to be made out of this -- and it leaves warmists all the more shrill. Take the new Australian "warmer-drama" Scorched in which Sydney will be made to burn -- on celluloid, if not in reality. Or the recent report on "climate change" produced by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, which has been described as "a gross perversion of science based on faulty methodology and dodgy inferences... with a complete disregard to opposing views that are held and published by other credible, qualified and knowledgeable persons." Or the litany of Goremongering that the Occar-winning Man Who Would be President trots out whenever there's a microphone about. Or the banishing of dissent that a warmist mainstream media is increasingly adopting. Or the head of the UN's IPCC likening a critic of the IPCC to Hitler "because the man had publicly reflected on whether it would make more sense to compensate and relocate the residents of Pacific island nations threatened by rising sea levels (sic) instead of attempting to keep sea levels somewhat constant."

Director of The Great Global Warming Swindle film Martin Durkin knows all about the shrillness of warmists. One year since it aired on Britain's Channel 4, Durkin sums up the reaction: a chilling attack on free speech. "To greens," he says, "I was worse than a child abuser." But as the The Sydney Morning Herald observed in the wake of the Australian screening of the film, "There is something odd about the ferocious amount of energy expended suppressing any dissent from orthodoxy on climate change. If their case is so good, why try so fervently to extinguish other points of view?"

Perhaps because it's clear enough now even to the zealots that their case is unproved, it's uncertain and it's crumbling.

How long do you think before the politicians are made to wake up?

[Hat tip Climate Debate Daily]

UPDATE: While you're feeling cold and poor, Kevin Rudd and Helen Clark are discussing how they'd like to introduce a cross-Tasman emissions tradings scam to keep you that way.

But as we've noted, the world is already cooling. Has been for years, globally -- and check out some Anecdotal cold weather news from around the world.

And just check out Sixty Minutes' dissection (via Andrew Bolt) of just how much Kevni '08 really knows about the whole warmism charade. Not much, it turns out.

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Aren't we over the bloody haka yet?

Making the mistake of watching Mark Sainsbury last night, in the vain hope of hearing an intelligent question asked of NZ's medal-winning Olympians, I was amused to see that after winning gold, silver and bronze medals in the toughest competition in the world, they got back to their athletes' village to celebrate and were met by a bunch of savages beating their chests -- or, more specifically, a bunch of highly tuned athletes who should know better impersonating a bunch of bloody savages beating their chests.

Aren't we over the bloody haka yet?

It gets done when visitors arrive.

It gets done when they leave.

It gets done before sports games.

It gets done after sports games.

It gets done to show respect.

It gets done to show disrespect.

It gets done to say, "Good onya."

It gets done to say, "Fuck you."

Oddly, based on the actual origins of the haka, it's only the last of these sentiments that is even close to 'appropriate.' Waving your arms around and poking your tongue out now seems to be the 'right on' thing to do on every bloody occasion, no matter how pacific, regardless that is was traditionally only performed as a portent of cannibalism.

And how ridiculous are most of the hakas anyway? The most well known, the 'Kamate Kamate' rigmarole in which boys from Kings College like Ali Williams get to roll their eyes and poke their tongue out, is about a 'warrior' whose bravery consisted of hiding in a food pit underneath an old woman's skirts while his enemies looked in vain for him up above. (Apparently it was unthinkable that a warrior would hide in a food pit, and a woman's genitals were thought to have a shielding effect -- when Ali chants "Tenei Te Tangata Puhuruhuru," what he's actually saying is, "Who is this hairy person?")

Top stuff, huh?

Time to let the haka go.

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The Winston Henry show

Can I just say that I have no idea whatsoever how my bills are paid, or who pays them, or indeed if I even have any bills.

So am I now qualified to hire Brian Henry, or to get a job in his accounts division?

Or would I have to pay him for the privilege first?

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'The Belated Party on Mansfield Mountain' - Jerome Thompson

Thompson-Jerome-Mansfield

The magnificent weekend of sporting success was finished off for me and a group of friends with a visit to the Town Hall Sunday night to see the NZ Symphony Orchestra play Dvorak's 'New World' Symphony.

Wow!

I've got to say, for a bunch of civil servants, they were magnificent. Dvorak's stirring evocation of the promise of a new world was in excellent hands.

So why the piece of art above? Because the spirit of Dvorak's New Word is the spirit of Thompson's 'Party on Mansfield Mountain,' the feeling of a slightly Bohemian sunrise at the edge of great things.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Southern Man sues to stop the emissions scam

Basil Walker is almost a New Zealand hero.

This Southern Man from Queenstown is suing the Government to prevent their anti-industrial emissions trading scam from "being made law before the general election this year. The Government is trying to force expensive legislation on the country and someone has to stand up and say there is no evidence to support it," he says.

His beef with the Clark Government, reports the Southland Times, "is the apparent lack of scientific evidence supporting the Government’s move to enact the emissions trading scheme... He doesn’t know the answers, he says, but neither has the Government supplied any solid evidence to prove the emissions scheme is needed."

He's right you know, but his net has been drawn too narrowly. It's not just the Labour Party who wants to impoverish us with this sort of scam -- the empty vessels from National want to introduce their own emissions trading scam within nine months of taking office, making them equally culpable.

I trust should the need arise, Mr Walker will exercise the power of principle and join the National Socialists in his admirable action, and that the likes of Keeping Stock, Homepaddock and Whale Oil will be just as vigorous in their applause. Or will the power of party partisanism pip principle at that stage.

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Amazing sporting weekend

748939 Well, wasn't that a great weekend of sporting achievement!

18031 Five Olympic medals -- five of them -- all in one night. New Zealand's most successful day at the Olympics ever. Amazing.

Beating the Springboks -- and despite kicking the ball to them at every opportunity, holding them scoreless for the first time ever.

That would have been enough for any weekend, but on top of that we got to watch two amazing Olympic champions: we saw Michael Phelps confirmed as the most successful Olympic competitor ever, just ahead of Mark Spitz; and we saw the fastest man on the planet, the super-human Usain Bolt, break the world 100m sprint record, and tantalise us with the prospect of how fast he would be if he sprinted for 100m. This must be the most amazing ten seconds of sport ever.

opgl-32408-mid This is why we watch top sport: to see champions like this in action, and to savour great victories like these.

And just to cap it off, for me at least, was the news that teams from my old Australian Football club, the West London Wildcats, won all three British Grand Finals over the weekend, including the flag for the senior team.

Amazing.

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Some thoughts on politics and politicians

  • Politics, n.: from the Latin poly meaning many, and ticks meaning small blood-sucking objects.
  • Politician, n. An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organised society is reared. When he wriggles, he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, the politician suffers the disadvantage of being alive.
    - Ambrose Bierce
  • A statesman is a dead politician. Lord knows, we need more statesmen.
    - Anonymous
  • Politics is the business of getting power and privilege without possessing merit.
    - PJ O'Rourke
  • What is any political campaign save a concerted effort to turn out a set of politicians who are admittedly bad and put in a set who are thought to be better. The former assumption, I believe is always sound; the latter is just as certainly false. For if experience teaches us anything at all it teaches us this: that a good politician, under democracy, is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
    - HL Mencken
  • Getting a lecture on morality from a politician is like getting a lecture on chastity from a whore.
    - Perry de Havilland
  • There is nothing that politicians like better than handing out benefits to be paid for by someone else.
    - Thomas Sowell
  • Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
    - Mark Twain
  • The world will be a freer place when the last politician is strangled with the guts of the last bureaucrat.
    - paraphrased from Voltaire
  • It is truly a triumph of rhetoric over reality when people can believe that going into politics is 'public service,' but that producing food, shelter, transportation, or medical care is not.
    - Thomas Sowell
  • There were two squashed corpses out on State Highway One near Mangaweka. One is a
    dead possum, the other a dead politician.
    What's the difference? There are skid marks before the possum.
  • If an intelligent politician, an intelligent woman and the Easter Bunny got into a lift and discovered a ten dollar note lying on the floor, who would pick it up? The intelligent woman, of course. The other two don't exist.
  • What happens to a politician who jumps out of an aircraft as 35,000 feet without a parachute? Be honest - who really cares?

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National's list

National has released its party list, and it's not a list from which I'd be able to make up a decent cabinet. In fact, you'd have to go a long, long, long way down the list before you'd find someone with whom you'd even want to have a drink.

But according to half of you reading this, it's this list that you think should be making up the Treasury benches come November.

Why?

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