Archive for August, 2007

>Testing Blogger’s new video upload function

August 26, 2007 1 comment

>Here’s a video of what happens when an aeroplane hits a dirty, great wall that’s designed to absorb such an impact. It’s yet another piece of evidence that 9/11 Nutjobs must ignore to continue their ‘a missile hit the Pentagon…if it was a plane then where did it go?’ conspiracy lunacy.

Categories: Miscellaneous

>Who is more immature in schools – the students or the administrators?

August 25, 2007 4 comments

>The following is an example of the intellectual and emotional immaturity of those people that run Payne Junior High in Arizona. For some reason the left seems to go overboard on non-issues such as this or global warming while at the same time providing moral support for such existential threats such as Islamic terrorism.

Officials at an Arizona school suspended a 13-year-old boy for sketching what looked like a gun, saying the action posed a threat to his classmates. The boy’s parents said the drawing was a harmless doodle and school officials overreacted.

“The school made him feel like he committed a crime. They are doing more damage than good,” said the boy’s mother, Paula Mosteller.

The drawing did not show blood, bullets, injuries or target any human, the parents said. And the East Valley Tribune reported that the boy said he did not intend for the picture to be a threat.

Administrators of Payne Junior High in nearby Chandler suspended the boy on Monday for five days but later reduced it to three days.

The boy’s father, Ben Mosteller, said that when he went to the school to discuss his son’s punishment, school officials mentioned the seriousness of the issue and talked about the 1999 massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School, where two teenagers shot and killed 12 students, a teacher and themselves. Mosteller said he was offended by the reference.

Chandler district spokesman Terry Locke said the crude sketch was “absolutely considered a threat,” and that threatening words or pictures are punishable.

The suspension of this student demonstrates a totalitarian mindset by those involved. Comparing a drawing – and a ‘crude sketch’ at that – to what happened at Columbine is one of the most intellectually bankrupt things I’ve heard for a long time.

If he had have drawn a picture of two men holding hands then would he have been suspended? What about a picture of a suicide bomber? He’d probably have been awarded a prize.

Categories: Education, Politics

>Cool airport of the day

August 24, 2007 3 comments

>I’m one of those people that loves aeroplanes but hates flying. Actually, the flying is OK, it’s just the crashing that I’m not too thrilled about. Like most people that hate flying the phobia gets worse as I get older and, predictably, my work has seen me take over a hundred flights in the last few years. My method of dealing with it is to book myself with the same airline, pick the same type of aircraft where possible and sit in the same seat (exit row) every flight because then I know all of the noises and bumps and what to expect. I also force myself to look out of the window during the entire take off and landing phases rather than doing what a lot of people do – sit back and close my eyes, as that simply magnifies the bumps.

Today’s cool airport of the day is at the ski resort of Courcheval in France. At one end, the runway is 1941m (6386′) and at the other it’s 2006m (6581′). There’s a 535m (1760′) part of the runway that is at an amazing angle of 18.5 degrees.

You know there’s no flat spot anywhere in the area when the airport has to look like this:

It must be a daunting view for first time visitors.

So what’s at the end of the runway if you don’t have enough speed up?

OK. Nothing…

And what does an aeroplane look like when it’s on its departure run?

An amazing place that just goes to show how versatile aeroplanes really are.

Categories: Airports

>Socialised medicine fails those who need it in UK

August 23, 2007 4 comments

>From the UK’s Daily Telegraph comes this telling article on the result of the UK spending all of that money on health care.

Cancer survival rates in Britain are among the lowest in Europe, according to the most comprehensive analysis of the issue yet produced.

England is on a par with Poland despite the NHS spending three times more on health care.

Survival rates are based on the number of patients who are alive five years after diagnosis and researchers found that, for women, England was the fifth worst in a league of 22 countries. Scotland came bottom. Cancer experts blamed late diagnosis and long waiting lists.

In total, 52.7pc of women survived for five years after being diagnosed between 2000 and 2002. Only Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Czech Republic and Poland did worse. Just 44.8pc of men survived, putting England in the bottom seven countries.

The team, writing in The Lancet Oncology, found that Britain’s survival rates for the most common cancers – colorectal, lung, breast and prostate – were substantially behind those in Western Europe. In England, the proportion of women with breast cancer who were alive five years after diagnosis was 77.8pc. Scotland (77.3pc) and Ireland (76.2pc) had a lower rate.

Rates for lung cancer in England were poor, with only 8.4pc of patients surviving – half the rate for Iceland (16.8pc). Only Scotland (8.2pc) and Malta (4.6pc) did worse.

Fewer women in England lived for five years after being diagnosed with cervical cancer (58.6pc) despite a national screening programme. This compared to 70.6pc in Iceland. Dr Franco Berrino, who led the study at the National Cancer Institute in Milan, said cancer care was improving in countries that recorded low survival figures. He added: “If all countries attained the mean survival (57pc) of Norway, Sweden and Finland, about 12pc fewer deaths would occur in the five years after diagnosis.”

His co-researcher, Prof Ian Kunkler from the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, said waiting lists for radiotherapy were partly to blame.

“Although there has been a substantial investment in radiotherapy facilities, there is still a shortfall,” he said.

“We have good evidence that survival for lung cancer has been compromised by long waiting lists for radiotherapy treatment.”

A second article, which looked at 2.7 million patients diagnosed between 1995 and 1999, found that countries that spent the most on health per capita per year had better survival rates.

Britain was the exception. Despite spending up to £1,500 on health per person per year, it recorded similar survival rates for Hodgkin’s disease and lung cancer as Poland, which spends a third of that amount.

An accompanying editorial said the figures showed that the NHS Cancer Plan, published in 2000, was not working.

“Survival in England has only increased at a similar rate to other European countries and has not caught up with the absolute values seen elsewhere,” it said.

Prof Richard Sullivan at Cancer Research UK said: “Cancer is still not being diagnosed early enough in all cases.”

The United States on the top of the list? That’s sure to be ignored by those promoting the virtues of socialised medicine.

Categories: Politics, United Kingdom

>The Kerplunk Freedom Graph

August 23, 2007 3 comments

>A clear inverse relationship exists between the level of government control and individual freedom, which is why Western Europe is experiencing the social problems that it is. Society needs strong common values to tie communities together. However, in post-modern Europe values are now completely relative with the result that not only do communities not trust each other or work coherently together for the common good but also certain immigrant groups, of which Muslims are the most glaring example, use the incumbent society’s tolerance against it in order to gain concessions and impose their own values on the majority. In this morass of competing values there’s only one organisation that can direct society – government – with the result that more and more laws are passed resulting in a reduction of individual liberty.

This political penchant for passing laws so that society doesn’t have to be responsible for maintaining strong values is one reason that I see the potential for a currently ‘free’ European country becoming a fascist state in the medium-term.

As I pointed out in comments a day or so ago, fascism has been recast by leftist intellectuals as a right wing political construct, chiefly in order to remove from the left the guilt of the Holocaust. They’ve invested heavily in setting up opposites to their ideology so that socialism is the opponent of capitalism, for example. This intellectual sleight of hand is typical of the left’s need to create opposition in order to sustain their endeavour.

Take a fully functioning democracy, for example the UK, in which school children as young as ten end up in court for calling their opponent a ‘Paki’ in a schoolyard fight or a teenage girl is charged with racist crimes for complaining at school that she couldn’t understand the study group she had been placed in on the not unreasonable grounds that the rest of the group were from Pakistan and all speaking Urdu, and add to that democracy an increasing level of government intervention in people’s lives due to so called ‘hate speech’ laws, environmentalist causes including reducing garbage pick ups to once a fortnight, city inspectors looking through people’s garbage to make sure they’re recycling properly and a plan to publicly shame high energy users and ask yourself this question; are people more free or less free than they were before?

From that point it’s not too far a step leftward into fascism in which government, supported by the military, dictates how much of what product is needed – which we’re already seeing with the self-destructive response to the global warming myth – but allows the market to, on the whole, set prices. From there it’s not too far a step into socialism in which major businesses are gradually subsumed by the state (as Venezuela is doing) and, of course, from there it’s only a short step into communism at which point the state controls everything.

Thus, fascism is a leftist political construct.

It’s difficult for the post-modern left to accept that those who were previously called liberal are now called conservative. Today’s conservative believes in individual liberty and a non-coercive, functioning society. We are prepared to give up some personal freedoms in order to ensure our nation’s security, provide infrastructure and deliver health and education services etc but want individuals to take responsibility for themselves and for the state to only ever be the provider of last resort.

Click to embiggen

From the graph it’s clear that the opposite of communism is anarchy. That clearly makes sense. The opposite of fascism is libertarianism. That also makes sense with each doctrine’s emphasis on the role of government; fascism more intervention, libertarianism less intervention.

Given the left’s predilection for resorting to ad hominem labels, it will come as a surprise that someone would claim that fascism is part of the prism of left wing ideologies. Naturally, they will reject the claim out of hand because it doesn’t comport with their understanding of the world and themselves. That’s what happens when people embrace the intellectually immature philosophy of left wing politics; reality is the first casualty.

As the saying goes – being conservative means that I don’t need to get up in the morning and live a lie. No wonder that, when polled, those on the right come out as being more happy and content than those on the left.

Categories: Politics

>Global Citizen or National Citizen?

August 22, 2007 4 comments

>Over the last one hundred years the world has become a much smaller place. A trip from London to Sydney that used to take weeks at sea can now be achieved in less than a day. Clearly, news can only travel as fast as the fastest medium and as radio and then television caught on the world became so much closer than before. Now, with worldwide mobile services, email and instant communication brought about by the rise of the Internet the world is probably as small as it’s ever going to get (at least until faster than sound air travel becomes the norm). We feel like people in London, New York, Moscow or Nairobi are right next door, in our own neighbourhood. We hear their problems, which are like ours, we empathise with their aspirations for a successful life and we agree that we all need to look after the world. We watch American sitcoms, British documentaries and subtitled French movies and absorb a part of it all into ourselves.

In this way our sense of ourselves as having a national identity has been eroded away and replaced with that of a Global Citizen.

Don’t agree? Why do you see so many more Australians now referring to the Australian flag not as a national emblem but as a symbol of racism? Ditto in the USA, England and other Western countries. Why does the hopelessly corrupt and mostly ineffective United Nations receive such wide support? Because it is seen as the global authority needed in an age of globalisation.

We see Al Gore stride the globe promoting catastrophic predictions due to climate change and are left with the impression that this large, earnest gentlemen cares about the world because he’s a Global Citizen first and an American second. Ditto with the ubiquitous Richard Branson. We see him flying here, there and everywhere and recognise him as an international figure – a Global Citizen. We are also bombarded with visiting sporting stars like Roger Federer who come here, win all the time, and we take to heart. Same with ‘Our Kim’, Kim Clijsters. We form bonds with these non-citizens in almost the same was that we do with our own sporting stars. I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with that, as it happens, I just use it by way of example of showing how resistance is lowered by a series of little things.

How about this? In countries that do not have the same development of infrastructure in the West, and therefore little or no access to the Internet, we see terrific patriotism and flag waving at even the slightest opportunity. Don’t agree? Then why can you tell me what the flag of Lebanon looks like?

There’s an old saying, “Think global, act local”, which was thought up by the environmental movement to make a connection between people’s local activity and ‘the good of the world’. Given the loopy things people actually get up to I modified it to “Think global, act loco” but a Google search a couple of years ago showed that I was about twenty years late with that one.

The loss of belief in God in secular Europe has certainly created the vacuum for Global Citizenship (and its attendant belief in environmentalism) to fill the void, as has the sustained attack by leftist institutions on our Judeo-Christian values.

Rounding out the erosion of national identity is the implementation of a multicultural policy and its associated cultural relativism. Unfortunately, cultural relativism is the Mr Hyde to our multicultural aspirations’ Dr Jekyll. We are taught that our culture is no better than anyone else’s, thus the exceptional aspects of our culture are flattened by cultural relativism’s lowest common denominator outcome.

So now we have a large number of people that think of themselves as Global Citizens first and Australians (or Americans or Brits or Germans or, especially, Belgians) second. These people are almost exclusively on the left of the political spectrum and this inversion of citizenship priorities helps explain their support for Islam, a culture which puts Islam, and the desire for a worldwide Umma, first and the requirements and expectations of their nationality or place of residence second.

Global Citizenry is a fool’s dream. It is based on the assumption that you can be more important than you really are but without having to change much to be more important, and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be more important than we are right now? Hugo Chavez sees himself as a Global Citizen and world leader. In the meantime, the Venezuelan economy is going through the floor, there are food shortages and inflation is heading towards three figures. The crazy Iranian, Armindinnerjacket, promotes himself in the same way. Meanwhile, the oil-fed Iranian economy spirals out of control, forcing people onto the street in protest (a dangerous thing in Iran), while the Mullahs continue to build nuclear weapons. In the name of Global goodness the Global Citizen Gore would implement policies that would in all likelihood double the US unemployment rate sending the US and, ironically, Europe into a massive recession.

In order to promote the leftist concept of a Global Citizen, the left uses its instruments of influence, the media, universities, unions and political parties to attack national emblems. Thus the attack on the flag as a racist symbol, the support of indigenous people that refer to Australia Day as Invasion Day, the writing out of the high points of our cultural achievements, which are replaced with a raising in importance of even the smallest sin of our past. Why would a young student want to identify with a culture whose history is thus distorted?

The greatest person you can be in life is a patriot. Defend those values that made us great, that are exceptional, that underpin our progress and allow us to achieve our multicultural aspirations without losing our unique sense of national identity. It is up to all good people of the world, regardless of political association, religious belief or ethnicity to stand up and fight against the malign concept of Global Citizenry.

Categories: Culture

>10 Institutions That Ruin The World

August 20, 2007 1 comment
Categories: Culture, Top 10 List