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>Of course they should be sacked

June 21, 2009 2 comments

>Do civil libertarians do anything other than undermine standards and decency?

Civil libertarians have criticised a proposal to sack police officers if they are convicted of drink-driving.

Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson is expected to release a new policy this week following a number of drink-driving offences by off-duty police.

Eight officers have been caught driving over the limit this year.

Queensland Council for Civil Liberties vice-president Terry O’Gorman said dismissing police convicted of drink-driving was harsh and amounted to “double punishment”.

“Drink-driving disqualification periods generally are onerous and in some cases have a harsh flow-on effect on employment and family financial stability if a person as a result of losing a licence can’t work,” he said.

“This is as true for police as it is for the general community.”

Mr O’Gorman said police convicted of drink-driving already faced being taken off the road and given desk jobs, often resulting in less pay.

Officers could also miss out on promotion, he said.

So, officers who are convicted of drink driving could earn less pay and miss out on promotion?

How sad for them.

What about if they use racist language and are convicted?

Or shoplift a Snickers Bar?

Police officers who drink drive have no place in the police force, as they obviously have disdain for the law.

They should be sacked let alone lose pay and promotion.

(Nothing Follows)


Categories: Australia, Morals, Politics

>Conservatives more honest than liberals?

June 1, 2008 1 comment

>Andrew Bolt links to an article by Peter Schweizer, author of “Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less … And Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals” that crosses into an area that is close to my heart – the self-deception and moral ambiguity that is fundamental to being on the left in the 21st century.

The headline may seem like a trick question — even a dangerous one — to ask during an election year. And notice, please, that I didn’t ask whether certain politicians are more honest than others. (Politicians are a different species altogether.) Yet there is a striking gap between the manner in which liberals and conservatives address the issue of honesty.

I have addressed this issue before. There’s a difference between telling lies and believing lies. All politicians tell lies; it’s axiomatic. The left, by and large, believes lies. It has to believe that values are relative, that group identity is more important than one’s values and that policies that have failed the test of time (at a macro level, socialism, or at a lower level things like socialised medicine, for example) can be made right with just a bit of tweaking because ‘it hasn’t been done properly before’.

Consider these results:

Is it OK to cheat on your taxes? A total of 57 percent of those who described themselves as “very liberal” said yes in response to the World Values Survey, compared with only 20 percent of those who are “very conservative.” When Pew Research asked whether it was “morally wrong” to cheat Uncle Sam, 86 percent of conservatives agreed, compared with only 68 percent of liberals.

Ponder this scenario, offered by the National Cultural Values Survey: “You lose your job. Your friend’s company is looking for someone to do temporary work. They are willing to pay the person in cash to avoid taxes and allow the person to still collect unemployment. What would you do?”

Almost half, or 49 percent, of self-described progressives would go along with the scheme, but only 21 percent of conservatives said they would.

When the World Values Survey asked a similar question, the results were largely the same: Those who were very liberal were much more likely to say it was all right to get welfare benefits you didn’t deserve.

The World Values Survey found that those on the left were also much more likely to say it is OK to buy goods that you know are stolen. Studies have also found that those on the left were more likely to say it was OK to drink a can of soda in a store without paying for it and to avoid the truth while negotiating the price of a car.

Another survey by Barna Research found that political liberals were two and a half times more likely to say that they illegally download or trade music for free on the Internet.

A study by professors published in the American Taxation Association’s Journal of Legal Tax Research found conservative students took the issue of accounting scandals and tax evasion more seriously than their fellow liberal students. Those with a “liberal outlook” who “reject the idea of absolute truth” were more accepting of cheating at school, according to another study, involving 291 students and published in the Journal of Education for Business.

A study in the Journal of Business Ethics involving 392 college students found that stronger beliefs toward “conservatism” translated into “higher levels of ethical values.” And academics concluded in the Journal of Psychology that there was a link between “political liberalism” and “lying in your own self-interest,” based on a study involving 156 adults.

Liberals were more willing to “let others take the blame” for their own ethical lapses, “copy a published article” and pass it off as their own, and were more accepting of “cheating on an exam,” according to still another study in the Journal of Business Ethics.

Now, I’m not suggesting that all conservatives are honest and all liberals are untrustworthy. But clearly a gap exists in the data. Why? The quick answer might be that liberals are simply being more honest about their dishonesty.

However attractive this explanation might be for some, there is simply no basis for accepting this explanation. Validation studies, which attempt to figure out who misreports on academic surveys and why, has found no evidence that conservatives are less honest. Indeed, validation research indicates that Democrats tend to be less forthcoming than other groups.

The honesty gap is also not a result of “bad people” becoming liberals and “good people” becoming conservatives. In my mind, a more likely explanation is bad ideas. Modern liberalism is infused with idea that truth is relative. Surveys consistently show this. And if truth is relative, it also must follow that honesty is subjective.

Sixties organizer Saul Alinsky, who both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton say inspired and influenced them, once said the effective political advocate “doesn’t have a fixed truth; truth to him is relative and changing, everything to him is relative and changing. He is a political relativist.”

During this political season, honesty is often in short supply. But at least we can improve things by accepting the idea that truth and honesty exist. As the late scholar Sidney Hook put it, “the easiest rationalization for the refusal to seek the truth is the denial that truth exists.”

It’s a topic that the left will dismiss with a quick pejorative or two, as it’s impossible for them to defend.

What’s ironic is that it’s the left that thinks it has the moral high ground because of its ‘support’ for the downtrodden, minorities, women and the environment etc when in fact it’s the clear thinking right that has a better claim to the high ground.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Morals, Politics

>10 signs that you’re a Moral Idiot

>Reposting an old favourite…this was written over a year ago and given some of the lunacy that that has passed as intellectually outstanding subsequently I should probably do an update…

We live in an age of cognitive dissonance, of inverted values and of true Orwellian doublethink. The Left believes in, amongst other things, gay rights, women’s rights and rehabilitation for thieves while also offering moral support to radical Islam, which hangs gays, stones errant women to death and chops the hands off thieves. On the Right, we stand in bewilderment wondering why nobody has learned the lessons of the evil of socialism throughout the last century or understands the threat of totalitarianism in this one.

Given all of this topsy turvey-ness it seems to me that we need some sort of test, a guide, in order to establish whether your moral compass is tuned correctly. Therefore, I have prepared the following 10 signs that you’re a Moral Idiot and hope that it helps guide you towards good, solid values in life.

1. You can’t tell the difference between Israel and her enemies*. This really is the ultimate test. If you are so dozy, so hopelessly indoctrinated with University-educated ignorance that you equate a democratic (and extremely left wing!) Israel, a country that has had to defend itself from attack for all of its existence, in which a million Arabs live peacefully alongside Jews, in which Arabs have the highest standard of living (by miles) of any country in the Middle East, in which Arabs serve on the judiciary, in which Arabs stand for, and are voted into, the Knesset (their parliament) with the suicide bombing, fanatical, genocidal, death cults known as Hamas, Hezbollah or Fatah then you are definitely a Moral Idiot and there’s no hope for you. Click here to go to a website of like minded and racist moral idiots.

2. You believe that the United States is the greatest threat to world peace. This sign is similar to the first sign about Israel. In order to hold this view you must forget that America fought a civil war to eradicate slavery, costing a huge number of lives, proving the moral strength that underpins its values even to this day. You must forget about America’s role in saving the Allies in WWII, rebuilding the Japanese and European economies afterwards and defeating socialism during the Cold War (probably something you’re still not too thrilled about anyway) and then going home afterwards when it could have annexed half of Europe. You must forget about the fact that the US is the largest provider of humanitarian aid on the planet, exceeding all other nations combined and is the first and only non-Imperial superpower in history (even France still has greater imperial influence than America). You must forget that its free market approach and entrepreneurship have driven the economies of the world forward in a way unlike the collective efforts of all nations through history. China is on the rise because of it, as is India and many others. The result? Vastly increased living standards and hugely longer life expectancy. How appalling! You must forget about the positive outcome of the civil rights movement that, while divisive and momentarily destructive, has led to equality of opportunity for all citizens of the United States. You must forget about the threat of the deranged regime of North Korea or the completely round the bend Islamic Revolution in Iran building nuclear weapons and you must laugh off their threats to annihilate their neighbours and Israel because ‘they’re not really serious’. You must forget about Al Qaeda’s declaration of war in 1996 on the US (before 9/11, imagine that!), as well as the Lebanon peacekeepers bombing, the attack on the USS Cole, the attacks on the embassies in Africa that left hundreds dead and the first World Trade Centre attack – and you must recast all of those events into a “it’s all due to US policies in the Middle East” and “we’ve brought it all onto ourselves” framework. You must magnify the smallest US mistake into the greatest sin, believe that Vietnam was the worst war ever, that Iraq is just a repeat of it and that we were all better off with the world’s worst living mass murderer, Saddam Hussein, who had killed hundreds of thousands of his own citizens and was an existential threat to the world, still in power. In short you must believe that there is nothing exceptional about the United States at all and that its only intention is to rule the planet in spite of the fact that there is nothing in the evidence cupboard to support the argument. If you believe that the United States is the greatest threat to world peace then you’re a Moral Idiot.

3. You believe that all cultures are equally valid. This particular piece of hare-brained logic has its roots in secular multiculturalism. The loss of belief in God, particularly in oh so enlightened Western Europe, has resulted in a loss of societal values and along with that has gone the ability to differentiate good from evil and right from wrong. Cultural relativism dictates that equality is the order of the day and that all cultures are equally good. What a complete load of bollocks. If I go to Saudi Arabia I will behave exactly in accordance with their culture and customs, understanding all the while that they have certain harsh punishments for crimes that if they were committed here would result in a slap on the wrist compared to a complete loss of the wrist over there. If a Saudi comes here and enslaves his house keeper, beating her along the way such as is reported from time to time then he should expect to be given time in jail for something that isn’t even considered a crime over there. But, oh no, cry the cultural relativists. We can’t offend people with cartoons! We must respect their culture and bend over backwards to accommodate their disgusting values even if it means allowing Muslim women to wear the profoundly demeaning mask of oppression, the burqa, when in public here, giving moral support to the obnoxious and evil Sheik ‘cat meat’ Al Hilaly or agreeing to replace our own symbols for fear of offending a violent and backward religion. It demeans us and cheapens our culture. Congratulations, if you believe that all cultures are equally valid then you’re a Moral Idiot.

4. You believe that Iraq 2.0 is all about oil. “No blood for oil!” wailed the crowds of bra-less grandmothers and grey haired, pony tailed protesters as the US prepared itself to invade Iraq in 2003. The only reason that the US could have to go into Iraq was oil. Nothing else. It’s all about the oil. That it was the home to a terrorist supporting, brutal dictator with masses of the blood of his citizens on his hands after the repeated use of WMD against the Kurds, who was defying UN resolutions and whose daily activity included shooting at US aircraft patrolling the no fly zone protecting the Kurds is completely lost on people (by the way – if you believe the war was illegal then go and read the text of UN resolution 1441, which clearly states the consequences of non-compliance). Here’s a fact that people don’t know – 80% of the United States oil supply comes from itself, Canada and Mexico. Hmmmm. Bet you didn’t know that, did you? Now, here’s a really big question. I want you to concentrate really hard. Put on your tin foil hat if you think it’ll help. If the United States wanted Iraq’s oil then…why didn’t it just buy it? Would have been much cheaper. Because they’re warmongers and wanted it for free, you cry, thus demonstrating the terrific double standard you have that also supports socialist confiscation of western companies’ assets such as happened in Chile and Cuba, and is going on in Venezuela today particularly with foreign owned oil companies. If the US wanted the oil then they would have simply taken over the refineries and pipelines, rolled up the oil tankers and pumped away. Would have been much easier. Did that happen? No. If you believe that Iraq 2.0 is all about oil then you’re a Moral Idiot.

5. You believe that war is not the answer. The irony is that war was the answer when it was needed to protect your ongoing right to say that war is not the answer. It was the answer to defend Europe from Germany in both WWI and WWII. It was the answer when socialism threatened South Vietnam (and would have been the ongoing answer if Congress hadn’t cut off funds to the South Vietnamese Government). It was the answer in Korea. It was the answer in the First Gulf War. It was the answer in Kosovo. It was the answer in Panama. It was the answer in Grenada. It seemed to be a pretty good answer to the question of freeing the slaves in the South even if there were more Americans killed than in WWII. And I think you’ll find that Israel thinks it’s been a pretty good answer to 60 years of Arab aggression. Oooooooh, sorry. I completely missed your point. It’s only not the answer when the major nations like the United States, Australia or the UK go to war. Of course, how silly of me. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan you didn’t protest against that because it was obviously OK for them to cause the death of 1.5 million people. Not a peep when the Rwandans started a war that exterminated a million or more Hutus. Must have been the answer to something, surely? Perhaps their library books were overdue. Let me see here. Uh huh, no protests against the Iran-Iraq War with another million dead. No protests about Ethiopia or Mozambique or the 1.5 million killed in the Congolese conflict. Checks the history…nope, no protests against Cambodia and the 1.6 million dead there or the 2 million dead in the Second Sudanese Civil War. If you stay silent on totalitarian and socialist atrocities while advocating that for the good guys ‘War is not the answer’ then you’re a Moral Idiot (and a bloody dangerous one at that).

6. You believe that Fidel Castro has been a positive influence for Cuba and a role model for the world. This really is one of my favourites. Cuba used to have a vibrant, competitive economy and now has a stagnant, pitiful self-enriching dictatorship. But they have free health care for all, you cry, and free education too! Well guess what? So did the Soviet Union and look what a bastion of enlightenment and progress that turned out to be in its hideously murderous and repressive seventy-something year history. And guess what else? Cuba has been just as repressive and backward as it. Read Against All Hope and check out The Real Cuba and if you can look at the reality of the health care, education and living standard and still believe that Fidel Castro has been a positive influence for Cuba and role model for the world then you’re a Moral Idiot.

7. You believe that 9/11 was an inside job. Another particular favourite of mine. In order to believe this one you must first believe that America is rotten to its core and that it will do anything in order to promote its interests, including killing 3000 of its own citizens. Popular Mechanics profoundly debunks all of the hilarious and bogus claims about rate of building collapse, use of explosives, explosive pods on the 767s and the collapse of Tower 7. Even more hilarious than the 9/11 conspiracy sites are the ones that debunk the Popular Mechanics debunking. Here’s a question. If the administration’s goal (which had only been in office for eight months so obviously they were speedy workers) was to give it a cause to invade Afghanistan, and then Iraq, then why did it need four aircraft? Assuming that the conspiracy is true then one plane into the WTC might frighten people but not anger them into action so I can see that a second would be necessary. But a third? And a fourth? And why ‘bring down’ Tower 7 at all? It’s completely unnecessary to the overall plot. The key, for me, was the reaction of George W Bush when told of the attacks. He sits there looking like a stunned mullet without a clue what to do for nearly ten minutes. If it was a set up then he would have been immediately up on his feet, in front of a camera, marshalling the country and showing himself to be a man of action in time of crisis. Conspiracy theories always rely on thousands of people keeping quiet and the hyper-competence of government. In spite of proving itself to be less than competent on a near daily basis on a wide range of issues it’s still possible to believe that on this one issue it’s hyper-competent. Want more proof? If there was something in it then the traitors at the New York Times would have gone looking, found one of those thousands of people keeping quiet and exposed it to the world like they have with so many other national security secrets. So, despite a plethora of incontrovertible evidence you continue to be driven by ideological hatred and maintain your lunatic position. If you believe that 9/11 was an inside job then you’re a Moral Idiot.

8. You believe we should sign the Kyoto Protocol. Hmmm, you say, why is there a moral aspect to this? If you disagree with me then aren’t I just an idiot and not a moral idiot? Good question, I’m glad you asked. A fully implemented Kyoto Protocol (the US and Australia sign, China and India etc are exempt) would cost the world $20 trillion and save 0.1C by 2050 and, if you’re wondering, there’s not much argument on those figures from either side of the political spectrum. The moral aspect comes into play in that it is completely immoral to spend such a massive sum of money on a completely symbolic project when millions of people in the world currently don’t have access to clean drinking water, don’t get enough to eat, suffer from diseases that were eradicated in the West decades ago (malaria, polio, cholera etc), live in totalitarian African regimes and have an average life expectancy of about 35. When the environmentalist Bjorn Lomberg gathered representatives from countries affected by these issues and created the Copenhagen Consensus Centre they came out with a report ranking the priority that aid money should be spent (in their case they assigned a hypothetical $50 billion). The first of the climate change issues, the Kyoto Protocol, ranked 27th on their list of 40. If you want to hamstring the US economy (the greatest provider of humanitarian aid on the planet) and transfer money to China and Russia through carbon trading schemes (which is their net effect) while we have a here and now crisis in Africa then your values are inverted and you’re a Moral Idiot.

9. You believe that socialism is still the answer. The fact is that socialism is still surprisingly popular, especially among the world’s academics and others that suck at the public teat. And just as a point of clarification – Marx made no distinction between communism and socialism – which is why I always use the latter, more accurate term (after all, it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The theory is that ‘we just haven’t got it right yet’ and we still need to do some fine tuning. Well, Stalin fine tuned 20 million of his compatriots into early graves, but even he was left for metaphorical dead by Chairman Mao whose Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution and other assorted attempts at fine tuning socialism into something workable required the digging of 40 million graves in order to bury the evidence of failure. Those are extreme cases, you say, clutching feebly to the last straws of logic still left in your argument. Really? How many million did the Vietnamese knock off with their fine tuning? The Cambodians? And what about our current favourite socialists, those crazy North Koreans? The evidence against socialism is overwhelmingly stronger than the evidence in support of Global Warming but our pinko friends still reject the socialist reality while embracing wholeheartedly the results of computer climate models that have never shown to be remotely accurate even once. The European Union is the latest organisation to impose its socialist ideology. Do you know that the EU costs 600 billion Euros a year to operate? All it has done is add in a layer of unelected, totalitarian ideologues and detract spectacularly from economic development. Thus, the socialist EU is being completely outperformed by free market economies such as the US and Australia. But that’s OK because they’ll just keep fine tuning until they get it just right. How many millions of lives that costs is yet to be tallied. If you believe that socialism is still the answer then you’re a Moral Idiot.

10. You support the troops but don’t support the war. The people that are most vocal in their opposition to the war point to the goings on at Abu Ghraib, the killing of civilians by the US military and claim that it is all about funding Halliburton and Big Oil not to mention that it’s an ‘illegal’ war. Saying that they support the troops but not the war is a way of protecting themselves from claims of being anti-military. If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if they tortured and killed at Abu Ghraib? If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if they wantonly kill Iraqi civilians? If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if they’re really working for Halliburton and Big Oil? If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if the war is illegal in the first place? How can you support those troops that volunteered for service after the war started, after Abu Ghraib and in the ‘knowledge’ that it is a blood war fought for the profit of a few companies? If you claim to support the troops but don’t support the war then you’re a Moral Idiot.

* Thanks to Dennis Prager for the idea.

Categories: Morals, Politics

>Aussie Oscar winner Eva Orner is a coward

February 26, 2008 Leave a comment

>It should come as no surprise that yet another entertainment industry figure has taken a swipe at the current US administration. It seems to be how they earn their credibility points in the Hollywood social set.

The fact that it’s an Australian is upsetting insofar as few of us – even those who disagree with the war in Iraq – would describe President Bush as a war criminal.

Oscar winner Eva Orner has described the US government as a “bunch of war criminals”.

The Australian filmmaker won the Academy Award for best feature documentary as co-producer of Taxi to the Dark Side, a film about the US government’s use of torture in its war against terror.

The documentary features interviews with US soldiers who participated in the torture of suspects in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

Ms Orner said she did not blame low-ranking soldiers for such behaviour.

“Obviously, everyone’s responsible for their own actions, but you put people in bad situations who are ill-equipped, not trained, under enormous pressure and getting orders from above to do bad things,” she told ABC Radio from Los Angeles today.

“I don’t really believe it is terribly much their fault, it comes from much higher sources.

“The current administration are a bunch of war criminals and they need to be stopped. People need to know what’s going on.”

Ms Orner said she was surprised such a dark film – directed by Alex Gibney – had won the Oscar.

Why would she be surprised when such rubbish as An Inconvenient Truth and Farenheit 9/11 won awards?

“This is one of the toughest films I think either of us has made,” she said.“It wasn’t a lot of fun.”

Resting on the desk in her hotel room was the shiny Oscar Tom Hanks presented to the 38-year-old at the 80th Annual Academy Awards ceremony at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre.

It wasn’t a dream, she thought, looking over at the statuette.

New York-based Orner and her American filmmaking partner, Alex Gibney, won the documentary feature Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side, an expose on the US government’s use of torture in its war on terrorism.

Orner is both a Moral Idiot and Cowardly Piece of Crap.

It’s not brave to attack the US administration or the military.

If she wants to really support truly moral positions and be brave then why doesn’t she do a documentary on:

– Saddam Hussein’s torture regime, which included feeding people into tree shredders;
– Fidel Castro’s regime of suppression, torture and murder;
– The concentration camp disguised as a country – North Korea;
– The human rights abuses, especially against women, occurring all over the Middle East; or
– The 10,000+ acts of terror carried out in the name of Islam since 9/11?

No. That would take real courage. That would require a real understanding of the world. That would require an ability to understand evil.

And those are traits that she lacks.

It seems that when people become part of the Hollywood set they don’t mature and grow up, they grow down. Listening to their rantings is like listening to a bunch of rich, narcisstic school kids.

Looking for bravery? Avoid Hollywood.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Morals, War On Terror

>India improves standard of living. Big Green gnashes teeth.

February 24, 2008 Leave a comment

>One of the positions that environmentalists have taken pretty much since the movement was created is that they have a better understanding of what’s best for the developing world than the developing world does itself.

Over recent years this has seen Big Green oppose every single development aimed at helping give the poor nations of the world an improved standard of living whether it’s mining, new energy projects or improved food production through such things as GM crops.

Unsurprisingly, some countries are now in a position to help themselves and it’s making Big Green gnash its teeth and wail about the end of the world. Big Green is always wailing about the end of the world.

The latest reason for gnashing of teeth? India’s new cheap-as-chips micro car, the Tata Nano. Good on the Indians, I say.

It’s small, it’s cheap, it’s low emission so… the arrival of the Tata Nano, India’s new ‘people’s car’, has been greeted by a wailing and a gnashing of the teeth from the environmental aristocracy. The prospect of millions of the global peasantry driving, emitting and pushing up ‘our’ gas prices is a nightmare. It promises to be, said Yale environmental law professor Daniel Esty, “an environmental disaster of substantial proportions.”

In fact, the size, or even existence, of this environmental disaster is doubtful. A few millions of a car that emits 30 g CO2 per km simply isn’t even an influence upon global CO2 emissions, let alone a disaster of even insubstantial portions. At that emission rate, doing 20,000 km a year each car will produce 600 kg of CO2: one hundred million of them on the roads would be less than 1 per cent of current emissions of over 6 Gtonnes. No, not substantial then.

But whether it is a substantial addition or not is dwarfed by the seeming ignorance of other commentators: “In none of our reports did we assume there’d be a car like this,” said Judi Greenwald, a researcher with the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Well, OK, cut Judi a little slack, no one did predict a car exactly like this: but everyone has indeed predicted that something similar would happen, that the peons would at some point be able to get off Shank’s Pony and move around in the same way us civilised folks do. Indeed, all the concerns we have about global warming are rather based upon predictions that this will happen.

Apologies, but this is where a little economics becomes necessary. Yes, we’ve all heard of the International Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, those people who issue the reports containing the scientific consensus on the issue (yes, we are assuming they are correct here). Greenland’s ice disappears sometime around 2,500, East Antarctica a couple of centuries later and boy, then we all really are in trouble. But all too few people, and unfortunately all too few environmentalists, stop and wonder where those numbers come from. Yes, we’ve got lovely computer models to tell us what the temperature rises will be if we stick x amount of methane into the atmosphere, y amount of CO2 and so on: but someone, somewhere, has had to work out how much methane, how much CO2 is likely to be so emitted. And that comes from the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios, the SRES.

The SRES is a series of economic models based upon four families (again divided into scenarios but we’re not going to worry about that level of detail). The A1 family assumes that in 2100 the world output (GDP) will be $550 trillion for some 7 billion people. That is, that the world will be at least ten times richer in 92 years than it was eight years ago (essentially, growth goes on as it has since 1850). A2 (what the Stern Review uses and, umm, the low globalisation model) has 16 billion people and $250 trillion in GDP. B2 10 billions and $250 trillion, B1 $350 trillion and 7 billion again. These are the economic assumptions upon which everything we are told about climate change rests. Yes, there are different assumptions in them about how technology develops but all of them are entirely without any attempts at all at mitigation. That is, all the numbers we work with assume that we don’t have carbon taxes, we don’t ban patio heaters, we don’t abolish the aeroplane. Anything we do along those lines reduces the damage that might be done.

Just as an aside we might note that these models all assume that the less trade we have, the more regionally based the world economy, the more self-sufficient we all become, buying locally, the worse the outcome. Campaigning to reduce globalisation to counter global warming is like fucking for virginity.

While none of the families specifically predicts the Tata Nano, all of them predict that the great unwashed will indeed have transport: and no, none of them predict that that transport will not be fossil fuel based. So while those folks at the Pew Center might be correct that this specific thing was not predicted, something very like it was. In fact, the existence of growing wealth and thus mobility is rather written into the plans that worry us.

Which leads us to the glorious George Monbiot. In a recent column he said:

“So economic growth this century could be 32 times as big an environmental issue as population growth. And if governments, banks and businesses have their way, it never stops. By 2115, the cumulative total rises to 3,200%, by 2138 to 6,400%. As resources are finite, this is of course impossible, but it is not hard to see that rising economic activity – not human numbers – is the immediate and overwhelming threat.”

Leave aside his (known) ignorance of economics: growth is not defined by nor is it dependent upon the consumption of resources. It’s defined as the addition of value to them: making sandpaper and a computer chip both consume sand, but one is the addition of rather more value than the other. Thus economic growth is not constrained in the way that he thinks by resource availability. Look rather to his “this is of course impossible”.

In talking about climate change and the dangers thereof he tells us that a continuation of past economic growth is impossible. But as we can see above, the world’s largest report on the subject, indeed the scientific consensus, is that said growth is indeed possible. In fact, the terrors of climate change depend upon it being so, for the whole science is based upon the outcome of economic growth. Thus George has either, by showing the impossibility, told us that climate change isn’t a problem or that, perhaps more likely, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Which brings us back to those worrying about the Tata Nano: it isn’t a horror for the climate, it isn’t a disaster. It’s actually one of the things already built into our models which lead us to our current understanding of what will happen. We’ve already taken account of it in our calculations, you see? As we have all those other things: more flights, more people, more wealth. We even know the solution, a Pigou Tax, but that’s a matter for another day.

For a group of people who think they have the moral high ground, the immoral positions of Big Green make Big Oil look like Pope John Paul II.

I’m also constantly surprised by the view of Big Green that resources are finite. The fact is that resources are infinite; when one runs out another is found. Who remembers that whale oil used to be one of the world’s biggest industries?

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Climate Change, India, Morals

>10 signs that you’re a Moral Idiot including #10 update

August 17, 2007 56 comments

>We live in an age of cognitive dissonance, of inverted values and of true Orwellian doublethink. The Left believes in, amongst other things, gay rights, women’s rights and rehabilitation for thieves while also offering moral support to radical Islam, which hangs gays, stones errant women to death and chops the hands off thieves. On the Right, we stand in bewilderment wondering why nobody has learned the lessons of the evil of socialism throughout the last century or understands the threat of totalitarianism in this one.

Given all of this topsy turvey-ness it seems to me that we need some sort of test, a guide, in order to establish whether your moral compass is tuned correctly. Therefore, I have prepared the following 10 signs that you’re a Moral Idiot and hope that it helps guide you towards good, solid values in life.

UPDATE – The original list called for ideas for the #10 sign. I’ve updated the list to include it.

1. You can’t tell the difference between Israel and her enemies*. This really is the ultimate test. If you are so dozy, so hopelessly indoctrinated with University-educated ignorance that you equate a democratic (and extremely left wing!) Israel, a country that has had to defend itself from attack for all of its existence, in which a million Arabs live peacefully alongside Jews, in which Arabs have the highest standard of living (by miles) of any country in the Middle East, in which Arabs serve on the judiciary, in which Arabs stand for, and are voted into, the Knesset (their parliament) with the suicide bombing, fanatical, genocidal, death cults known as Hamas, Hezbollah or Fatah then you are definitely a Moral Idiot and there’s no hope for you. Click here to go to a website of like minded and racist moral idiots.

2. You believe that the United States is the greatest threat to world peace. This sign is similar to the first sign about Israel. In order to hold this view you must forget that America fought a civil war to eradicate slavery, costing a huge number of lives, proving the moral strength that underpins its values even to this day. You must forget about America’s role in saving the Allies in WWII, rebuilding the Japanese and European economies afterwards and defeating socialism during the Cold War (probably something you’re still not too thrilled about anyway) and then going home afterwards when it could have annexed half of Europe. You must forget about the fact that the US is the largest provider of humanitarian aid on the planet, exceeding all other nations combined and is the first and only non-Imperial superpower in history (even France still has greater imperial influence than America). You must forget that its free market approach and entrepreneurship have driven the economies of the world forward in a way unlike the collective efforts of all nations through history. China is on the rise because of it, as is India and many others. The result? Vastly increased living standards and hugely longer life expectancy. How appalling! You must forget about the positive outcome of the civil rights movement that, while divisive and momentarily destructive, has led to equality of opportunity for all citizens of the United States. You must forget about the threat of the deranged regime of North Korea or the completely round the bend Islamic Revolution in Iran building nuclear weapons and you must laugh off their threats to annihilate their neighbours and Israel because ‘they’re not really serious’. You must forget about Al Qaeda’s declaration of war in 1996 on the US (before 9/11, imagine that!), as well as the Lebanon peacekeepers bombing, the attack on the USS Cole, the attacks on the embassies in Africa that left hundreds dead and the first World Trade Centre attack – and you must recast all of those events into a “it’s all due to US policies in the Middle East” and “we’ve brought it all onto ourselves” framework. You must magnify the smallest US mistake into the greatest sin, believe that Vietnam was the worst war ever, that Iraq is just a repeat of it and that we were all better off with the world’s worst living mass murderer, Saddam Hussein, who had killed hundreds of thousands of his own citizens and was an existential threat to the world, still in power. In short you must believe that there is nothing exceptional about the United States at all and that its only intention is to rule the planet in spite of the fact that there is nothing in the evidence cupboard to support the argument. If you believe that the United States is the greatest threat to world peace then you’re a Moral Idiot.

3. You believe that all cultures are equally valid. This particular piece of hare-brained logic has its roots in secular multiculturalism. The loss of belief in God, particularly in oh so enlightened Western Europe, has resulted in a loss of societal values and along with that has gone the ability to differentiate good from evil and right from wrong. Cultural relativism dictates that equality is the order of the day and that all cultures are equally good. What a complete load of bollocks. If I go to Saudi Arabia I will behave exactly in accordance with their culture and customs, understanding all the while that they have certain harsh punishments for crimes that if they were committed here would result in a slap on the wrist compared to a complete loss of the wrist over there. If a Saudi comes here and enslaves his house keeper, beating her along the way such as is reported from time to time then he should expect to be given time in jail for something that isn’t even considered a crime over there. But, oh no, cry the cultural relativists. We can’t offend people with cartoons! We must respect their culture and bend over backwards to accommodate their disgusting values even if it means allowing Muslim women to wear the profoundly demeaning mask of oppression, the burqa, when in public here, giving moral support to the obnoxious and evil Sheik ‘cat meat’ Al Hilaly or agreeing to replace our own symbols for fear of offending a violent and backward religion. It demeans us and cheapens our culture. Congratulations, if you believe that all cultures are equally valid then you’re a Moral Idiot.

4. You believe that Iraq 2.0 is all about oil. “No blood for oil!” wailed the crowds of bra-less grandmothers and grey haired, pony tailed protesters as the US prepared itself to invade Iraq in 2003. The only reason that the US could have to go into Iraq was oil. Nothing else. It’s all about the oil. That it was the home to a terrorist supporting, brutal dictator with masses of the blood of his citizens on his hands after the repeated use of WMD against the Kurds, who was defying UN resolutions and whose daily activity included shooting at US aircraft patrolling the no fly zone protecting the Kurds is completely lost on people (by the way – if you believe the war was illegal then go and read the text of UN resolution 1441, which clearly states the consequences of non-compliance). Here’s a fact that people don’t know – 80% of the United States oil supply comes from itself, Canada and Mexico. Hmmmm. Bet you didn’t know that, did you? Now, here’s a really big question. I want you to concentrate really hard. Put on your tin foil hat if you think it’ll help. If the United States wanted Iraq’s oil then…why didn’t it just buy it? Would have been much cheaper. Because they’re warmongers and wanted it for free, you cry, thus demonstrating the terrific double standard you have that also supports socialist confiscation of western companies’ assets such as happened in Chile and Cuba, and is going on in Venezuela today particularly with foreign owned oil companies. If the US wanted the oil then they would have simply taken over the refineries and pipelines, rolled up the oil tankers and pumped away. Would have been much easier. Did that happen? No. If you believe that Iraq 2.0 is all about oil then you’re a Moral Idiot.

5. You believe that war is not the answer. The irony is that war was the answer when it was needed to protect your ongoing right to say that war is not the answer. It was the answer to defend Europe from Germany in both WWI and WWII. It was the answer when socialism threatened South Vietnam (and would have been the ongoing answer if Congress hadn’t cut off funds to the South Vietnamese Government). It was the answer in Korea. It was the answer in the First Gulf War. It was the answer in Kosovo. It was the answer in Panama. It was the answer in Grenada. It seemed to be a pretty good answer to the question of freeing the slaves in the South even if there were more Americans killed than in WWII. And I think you’ll find that Israel thinks it’s been a pretty good answer to 60 years of Arab aggression. Oooooooh, sorry. I completely missed your point. It’s only not the answer when the major nations like the United States, Australia or the UK go to war. Of course, how silly of me. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan you didn’t protest against that because it was obviously OK for them to cause the death of 1.5 million people. Not a peep when the Rwandans started a war that exterminated a million or more Hutus. Must have been the answer to something, surely? Perhaps their library books were overdue. Let me see here. Uh huh, no protests against the Iran-Iraq War with another million dead. No protests about Ethiopia or Mozambique or the 1.5 million killed in the Congolese conflict. Checks the history…nope, no protests against Cambodia and the 1.6 million dead there or the 2 million dead in the Second Sudanese Civil War. If you stay silent on totalitarian and socialist atrocities while advocating that for the good guys ‘War is not the answer’ then you’re a Moral Idiot (and a bloody dangerous one at that).

6. You believe that Fidel Castro has been a positive influence for Cuba and a role model for the world. This really is one of my favourites. Cuba used to have a vibrant, competitive economy and now has a stagnant, pitiful self-enriching dictatorship. But they have free health care for all, you cry, and free education too! Well guess what? So did the Soviet Union and look what a bastion of enlightenment and progress that turned out to be in its hideously murderous and repressive seventy-something year history. And guess what else? Cuba has been just as repressive and backward as it. Read Against All Hope and check out The Real Cuba and if you can look at the reality of the health care, education and living standard and still believe that Fidel Castro has been a positive influence for Cuba and role model for the world then you’re a Moral Idiot.

7. You believe that 9/11 was an inside job. Another particular favourite of mine. In order to believe this one you must first believe that America is rotten to its core and that it will do anything in order to promote its interests, including killing 3000 of its own citizens. Popular Mechanics profoundly debunks all of the hilarious and bogus claims about rate of building collapse, use of explosives, explosive pods on the 767s and the collapse of Tower 7. Even more hilarious than the 9/11 conspiracy sites are the ones that debunk the Popular Mechanics debunking. Here’s a question. If the administration’s goal (which had only been in office for eight months so obviously they were speedy workers) was to give it a cause to invade Afghanistan, and then Iraq, then why did it need four aircraft? Assuming that the conspiracy is true then one plane into the WTC might frighten people but not anger them into action so I can see that a second would be necessary. But a third? And a fourth? And why ‘bring down’ Tower 7 at all? It’s completely unnecessary to the overall plot. The key, for me, was the reaction of George W Bush when told of the attacks. He sits there looking like a stunned mullet without a clue what to do for nearly ten minutes. If it was a set up then he would have been immediately up on his feet, in front of a camera, marshalling the country and showing himself to be a man of action in time of crisis. Conspiracy theories always rely on thousands of people keeping quiet and the hyper-competence of government. In spite of proving itself to be less than competent on a near daily basis on a wide range of issues it’s still possible to believe that on this one issue it’s hyper-competent. Want more proof? If there was something in it then the traitors at the New York Times would have gone looking, found one of those thousands of people keeping quiet and exposed it to the world like they have with so many other national security secrets. So, despite a plethora of incontrovertible evidence you continue to be driven by ideological hatred and maintain your lunatic position. If you believe that 9/11 was an inside job then you’re a Moral Idiot.

8. You believe we should sign the Kyoto Protocol. Hmmm, you say, why is there a moral aspect to this? If you disagree with me then aren’t I just an idiot and not a moral idiot? Good question, I’m glad you asked. A fully implemented Kyoto Protocol (the US and Australia sign, China and India etc are exempt) would cost the world $20 trillion and save 0.1C by 2050 and, if you’re wondering, there’s not much argument on those figures from either side of the political spectrum. The moral aspect comes into play in that it is completely immoral to spend such a massive sum of money on a completely symbolic project when millions of people in the world currently don’t have access to clean drinking water, don’t get enough to eat, suffer from diseases that were eradicated in the West decades ago (malaria, polio, cholera etc), live in totalitarian African regimes and have an average life expectancy of about 35. When the environmentalist Bjorn Lomberg gathered representatives from countries affected by these issues and created the Copenhagen Consensus Centre they came out with a report ranking the priority that aid money should be spent (in their case they assigned a hypothetical $50 billion). The first of the climate change issues, the Kyoto Protocol, ranked 27th on their list of 40. If you want to hamstring the US economy (the greatest provider of humanitarian aid on the planet) and transfer money to China and Russia through carbon trading schemes (which is their net effect) while we have a here and now crisis in Africa then your values are inverted and you’re a Moral Idiot.

9. You believe that socialism is still the answer. The fact is that socialism is still surprisingly popular, especially among the world’s academics and others that suck at the public teat. And just as a point of clarification – Marx made no distinction between communism and socialism – which is why I always use the latter, more accurate term (after all, it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The theory is that ‘we just haven’t got it right yet’ and we still need to do some fine tuning. Well, Stalin fine tuned 20 million of his compatriots into early graves, but even he was left for metaphorical dead by Chairman Mao whose Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution and other assorted attempts at fine tuning socialism into something workable required the digging of 40 million graves in order to bury the evidence of failure. Those are extreme cases, you say, clutching feebly to the last straws of logic still left in your argument. Really? How many million did the Vietnamese knock off with their fine tuning? The Cambodians? And what about our current favourite socialists, those crazy North Koreans? The evidence against socialism is overwhelmingly stronger than the evidence in support of Global Warming but our pinko friends still reject the socialist reality while embracing wholeheartedly the results of computer climate models that have never shown to be remotely accurate even once. The European Union is the latest organisation to impose its socialist ideology. Do you know that the EU costs 600 billion Euros a year to operate? All it has done is add in a layer of unelected, totalitarian ideologues and detract spectacularly from economic development. Thus, the socialist EU is being completely outperformed by free market economies such as the US and Australia. But that’s OK because they’ll just keep fine tuning until they get it just right. How many millions of lives that costs is yet to be tallied. If you believe that socialism is still the answer then you’re a Moral Idiot.

10. You support the troops but don’t support the war. The people that are most vocal in their opposition to the war point to the goings on at Abu Ghraib, the killing of civilians by the US military and claim that it is all about funding Halliburton and Big Oil not to mention that it’s an ‘illegal’ war. Saying that they support the troops but not the war is a way of protecting themselves from claims of being anti-military. If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if they tortured and killed at Abu Ghraib? If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if they wantonly kill Iraqi civilians? If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if they’re really working for Halliburton and Big Oil? If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if the war is illegal in the first place? How can you support those troops that volunteered for service after the war started, after Abu Ghraib and in the ‘knowledge’ that it is a blood war fought for the profit of a few companies? If you claim to support the troops but don’t support the war then you’re a Moral Idiot.

* Thanks to Dennis Prager for the idea.

>Moral Issues – Abortion

February 9, 2007 Leave a comment

>I have long been a believer in a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion or not. This belief has not been without its moral dilemmas, though, particularly in relation to the questions of partial birth abortion and the time at which a foetus is considered a human being. Also disquieting is the fact that the loudest proponents of abortion seem to be those disgusting women in the style of Germaine Greer and Betty Friedan that have done more to set back the cause of women than anything else in the last 50 years.

So where do I stand now?

Having looked into my (atheistic) soul and asked some really hard questions I find that I must come down on the side opposing abortion, unless a woman’s health is at risk or the foetus has some major defect.

I simply cannot agree with the argument that a foetus is not a human being until it’s born. Is an elephant foetus not an elephant until it’s born? What about a dog foetus? If they’re all not of their species when they’re foetuses then what are they? Are they all the same? Do they have no value? Are they all disposable?

Leaving aside the issue of declining birth rates in the West (and particularly in countries where abortion is legal), which is a matter I’ll post on elsewhere, a foetus has the potential to be a great scientist, a President or Prime Minister, and, yes, a mass murderer; all of which are human beings.

Categories: Culture, Morals