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news archives — politics 3

New translation, the Magna Carta

article archives at abelard's news and comment zonepolitics archive: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


politics 3


the mad world of the ‘drugs war’—a reminder and a reality check

“The research into the global burden of disease attributable to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs found that in 2000, tobacco use was responsible for 4.9 million deaths worldwide, equating to 71 percent of all drug-related deaths. Around 1.8 million deaths were attributable to the use of alcohol (26 percent of all drug-related deaths), and illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine and amphetamines) caused approximately 223,000 deaths (3 percent of all drug-related deaths).”

The mass of the deaths from ‘illegal’ drugs is attributable to their illegality.

The web address for this article was


scare tactics for cash—media and lawyers

“Science — today and every day — is under assault. The assailants are members of the media, trial lawyers, self-appointed consumer-activists and environmentalists. The science being mutilated pertains to a wide spectrum of health topics — including "facts" on the purported health hazards around us, including acrylamide (a chemical formed in cooking high-carbohydrate foods), breast implants, PCBs, phthalates (plasticizers), aspartame (Nutrasweet), Olestra (Procter & Gamble's doomed fat substitute).

“In these instances — and so many more — outright blatant misrepresentations of the available science are made, health hazards that do not exist are claimed and picked up by the news media, and ultimately by lawyers intoxicated with the possibility of a cash reward in court from a corporate deep pocket.”

“Yet the Environmental Protection Agency, prodded by environmental activists. is compelling General Electric to spend more than $500 million to remove PCBs from the Hudson River. Why? EPA tells us it wants to prevent cancer. But even the National Cancer Institute concedes it knows of no evidence that eating fish from a PCB-contaminated river contributes to the toll of cancer in the United States.”

And the item contains further comment on PCBs.

The writer, E. M. Whelan, is a high grade source ... ab

The web address for this article was


ethics and war—assessing collateral effects of weapons

Item moved to ethics and the ‘just war’ section

The web address for this article was




interesting american poll on irak action

“Time and CNN, poll: 54 percent of Americans are pro, 38 percent are against. Also, the poll notes, younger demographics are more pro-war than their elders, 63 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds support military action, while only 40 percent of those over 65 agree.”

Of particular interest is the fact that younger people are more positive to removing Madsam. This is quite the reverse of the impression I have been receiving from upm [UK politics misc newsnet newsgroup] and other media, although it was notable that most speakers at rallies were the old ded beat socialists. Maybe it is just the incredible immaturity of those prattling in support of Madsam. Maybe they are in fact mostly senile old farts in their second, or third, childhood J

One could of course see this as a form of ‘rational’ selfishness although they’d likely claim ‘wisdom’! Clearly this action is about the future, and the action is very pressing.

It is easy to see the old fogies not caring, as the long term problems are hardly going to effect their remaining lives. The difference is very marked and also gives hope the younger generation are, in the majority, no fools.

It is a good job that the USA and Britain have young leaders—
Bliar 48, Bush 56, Aznar 49 (yesterday);
whereas across the English Channel, currently we have Schroeder 59, 60 next month, and a very old pensioner at 70.

And that fount of wisdom, Madsam? – nearly 66.

Note: there was some editorial debate as whether this item should be in the fun section.

The web address for this article is


your government is lying to you on a life and death issue—reply to mel

Mel Rowing:

The Government claimed to have put tackling climate change at the heart of its energy policy in a White Paper that focused on renewable sources of power and efficiency and put off a decision to build new nuclear power stations.


increasingly i believe they are deliberately lying, and that they are using ‘global warming’ as code for depleting oil etc. It is my view that the UK government are avoiding nuclear for merely cowardly political reasons. See also below.


The White Paper set out the “goal” of cutting Britain’s fossil fuels emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, the amount needed eventually to halt climate change, placing this for the first time above the traditional goal of security of supply.

In the light of this it might be appropriate if we look at articles like this.

Failing that note the quote:

“A doubling of greenhouse gases will probably cause a global warming between 0.5 and 0.9°C. Since 60% of the warming should have already have occurred, the remaining 40% of the warming will be between 0.2 and 0.4°C, which will occur over the next 70 years. This warming is equivalent to about 0.03 to 0.06°C/decade. The rate of change is less than previous climate changes; its total magnitude is small; and ecological systems can adapt as they have in the past.”

If you are into heavier reading then

Note at least the list of signatories which accompanies this project.


you will be aware that there is still suspicion that such climate changes can set up severe local changes, and possible feedbacks.

the current evasion of the nuclear option shows deep lack of courage and honesty in the government; and see this.
building new nuclear power stations “would damage the prospects of the country's renewable energy industry” because nuclear-generated electricity is much cheaper. Renewable sources are uncompetitive, as well as relatively inefficient.

from this article:

“The Government makes the pursuit of a "low carbon" economy Britain's priority in energy policy and sets out an "ambition" to double the share of electricity generation accounted for by renewables from 10 per cent in 2010 to 20 per cent in 2020.”

this reporting is entirely innumerate and, in my view, the government is being intentionally misleading/dishonest.

  1. it is a ‘target’, and we all know what a newoldlabour ‘target’ means—another damned lie.
  2. 10% of electricity production is about 3% of current energy inputs (usage) to the UK. Therefore the claim for an increase in renewables is, in fact, a claim for merely 3.3% of total UK energy needs. (My approximate figures give 2.3% for current renewables-sourced electricity production, so the claim is probably another porky.)
  3. the time scale is utterly unrealistic in the face of the problems.
  4. to produce oil or oil substitutes from subsidiary sources will take far greater inputs than the present mere piping it out of the rapidly depleting oil fields.
    • if it is through using coal, i doubt the resulting production of transportable fuel would be better than half or one-third the energy input with fossil oil;
    • if through using electricity, the production would probably be one quarter of the energy input. Thus, these methods of producing oil/oil substitutes would require increases in current production of energy inputs of two, three or four-fold.
  5. UK coal reserves are down to less than 50 years, even at current usage rates. Therefore, the British will become dependent on imports in the foreseeable future.
  6. there is no possibility at present of meeting these numbers outside of nuclear generation.
  7. part of what is driving the imperative to remove madsam [Saddam Hussein] is the fact that the overwhelming remaining and rapidly shrinking supplies of oil are in the Middle East.

related material
World recoverable coal resources
is nuclear power really really dangerous?
replacing fossil fuels: the scale of the problem

The web address for this article is



related material

World recoverable coal resources

is nuclear power really really dangerous?

replacing fossil fuels: the scale of the problem


now wouldn't you just know it: iran flies unsafe aircraft—blame it on america!
An interesting report when you look under the carpet.

“A military plane crash in mountainous southern Iran killed 302 of the nation's elite Revolutionary Guards. The crash was the deadliest in a string of plane accidents that the government has blamed on US sanctions preventing the country from repairing and replacing its aging fleet.”

Of course, every serious idiot knows those beastly Americans are to blame for everything.

It is probably an American (Joooish for the really dedicated!) fault for making ’planes in the first place. If Allah had meant us to fly....

If these people invented, developed and built their own ’planes, and then stopped flying them when unsafe.... Why then, how could they blame the United States?!

The USA should not tempt these poor people so.

In the same article:

“The hard-line evening daily Kayhan reported today that security forces had confiscated three surface-to-air missiles from drug smugglers in southeastern Iran. It did not say when the operation took place.”

So is this a hint?
Notice that—

“The Revolutionary Guards, under the direct control of Khamenei, are seen as the defenders of Iran's Islamic regime. The guards protect Iran's borders and defend ruling hard-liners in this ultraconservative society.”

Of course, just to put icing on the cake, apparently it was a Russian-built ’plane, with Russian-supplied spare parts and maintenance!

The web address for this article is


more eu shenanigans

You need to follow the thread of the game somewhat in order to appreciate the full impact of this crookery.

  1. Britain currently has the lowest national debt in the European Union.
    But Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown is in the process of driving up borrowing.

    “In a co-ordinated attack, Spain, Denmark and Belgium voted at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels to declare Britain's projected deficit "significantly above" target. It was also in breach of its EU obligations, they said.“

    “Efforts to make the report more critical of Britain were initially spearheaded by the Netherlands, and Sauli Niinisto, the Finnish Finance Minister...”

    Belgium has one of the largest debt levels in the European Union. Now I become suspicious of the other countries mentioned above, whose debt levels I do not have to hand.

  2. “But Mr Brown won the backing of larger member states including France and Germany, which have fallen foul of the strict rules laid down for membership of the euro.”

    What!! France and Germany courting the UK?

Hang on.....

  1. EMU (European Monetary Union) is deliberately designed to push up inflation, that is its central raison d’être. Inherent in this design is an extremely strong motivation for countries to send their national debt as high as they possibly can.

    In plain English, “fallen foul of the strict rules” means France and Germany are doing just that—pushing up their national debt—while daring anyone to stop them according to those so-called “strict rules”.
    Germany and France have not just “fallen foul” of the “strict rules”, they have breached them, they have ignored them, they continue to ignore them blatantly.

Next data point:

  1. Keep in mind the Independent newspaper is fanatically pro-EMU, and it has the rabid Euro-loon, jolly Ken Clarke (you know, the ciggie dealer whom every Socialist dreams of being ruler of the Tory Party) as one of its ‘directors’.

    Thus, you can always rely on the good old Independent for thoroughly ‘independent’ ‘reporting’ on the subject! (For further information, remember that the English newspaper of choice for that bastion of European television reporting, EuroNews, is .... yes, the Independent.)

  2. So (remember n° 3) French and German politicians do not want any signals that may bring attention to their breach of the rules. Such ‘breaches’ are supposed to engender enormous fines to stop countries driving up national debt, and thus stealing a march on their neighbours.

    For, you see, the higher your national debt, the more you stand to gain from your neighbours.

  1. Now, the EMU mechanism drives vast transfers of wealth from low-debt countries towards high-debt countries.

    So, of course, this bunch of ‘chancers’ will move heaven and earth to have Britain join the EMU, whereby they may milk Britain of huge new transfers of wealth. (Britain is already one of the two big contributors.)

  2. And, remember, Belgium is one of the major beneficiaries of this game. Hence, the last thing Belgium wants is Britain having a higher debt level, for that would spoil the game for them.

    Good to see all this neighbourly concern.

If you wish to understand the EMU/debt game in more detail, see The mechanics of inflation.

And then there is that other EMU maniac, Tony Bliar, the worthy Prime Minister of Britain.

  1. Now, if Bliar could drive the UK national debt up high enough, the costs to the UK would be somewhat lessened, even though it would cause a variety of other ill-effects to the UK and also to the EU.

    Then, just maybe, the Bliar could find it more easy to force a too intelligent and reluctant UK public into the idiotic EMU confidence trick.

And, of course, few, of the generally innumerate and politically illiterate, British citizens and voters can follow all this. The dream of a European Socialist super-state critically depends upon an easily manipulated and ignorant population. Ask why serious civics courses are not standard fare in British schools.

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new religion—anarchism—get out of my face, 390,000 brits tell government

If enough people do not accept government intrusion, government becomes helpless. Government-controlled media attempts to play down the real message and significance.

[lead from aoiko]

The web address for this article is


legislating for a global commons—poverty, carbon and fossil fuel rationing

The notion of ownership is central to solving the problem of the tragedy of the commons. No-one owns the globe. Therefore, international commons problems fester until they cause resource wars, or environmental degradation.

Only by assigning property rights to fossil fuels and carbon, on an international foundation, can the pollution and pressure on fossil fuels be resolved. Likewise, fisheries and other goods will be destroyed without appropriate spans of ownership.

This does not, and should not, encourage ambitions of world governments, but where planetary (or other large cross-border) commons problems exist, only international administrations can cope.

Only through giving each person a tradable ration can the various objectives of conservation, market efficiency with its freedom enhancement, and alleviation of poverty be achieved, without giving governments dangerous and untoward powers.

Hernando de Soto identifies lack of legal title in informal economies as a major reason for poverty in countries where capitalism exists without strong formal ‘laws’. The greatest problem with joining the formal legal system is predatory government, which attempts to steal ever more of the GDP. (Incidentally, these governments also force ever more of the country’s economy into a monetarised form which they can then control and tax).

Meanwhile, corporations attempt to buy governments and pressure them to introduce ‘laws’ (such as ridiculous recent extensions of copyright) which restrict competition, in order that the corporations may establish near monopolies and thus keep out rivals.

‘Global stalemate’

“ There are two contending methods of dividing the carbon cake. The first proposes a "carbon aristocracy" of inherited natural resource wealth, in which the basis for talks is the greenhouse gas emissions, per person, that each country has today. The second, and a starting position for countries such as China, India and Brazil, is that the atmosphere is a global commons that we all need. So entitlements to emit, they argue, should be shared on a per capita basis.”

Allowing some primitive loon to use oil revenues to obtain powerful weapons, with which to take control of the resources developed by Western nations, is not acceptable if you desire a better and more advanced society.

related material
The link between ethics and the ‘Tragedy of the commons’
‘tragedy of the commons’ (archived news item)

The web address for this article is


related material

The link between ethics and the ‘Tragedy of the commons’

‘tragedy of the commons’ (archived news item)


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