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politics 5

New translation, the Magna Carta
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politics 5

another ivory tower report—bush the oil man and cloud-cuckoo land

The report criticises Bush’s hydrogen car ambitions. Bush is giving trivial amounts of money to hydrogen car development and pretends he wants them widely on the market in 15 years.

“However, the report by a panel at the National Academy of Sciences shows that Americans should not hold their breath waiting for the cars to arrive in showrooms.

“ "In the best-case scenario, the transition to a hydrogen economy would take many decades, and any reductions in oil imports and carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be minor during the next 25 years," said the academy, an independent group that makes scientific recommendations to Congress.”

A slight problem for the ‘National Academy of Sciences’: there will be just about no pumped oil left for running cars in 25 years time.

related material
replacing fossil fuels—the scale of the problem

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related material
replacing fossil fuels—the scale of the problem


being ‘poor’ in the united states

“Forty-six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.

“Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

“Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.

“The typical poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)

“Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.

“Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.

“Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.

“Seventy-three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.”

Longer report with table and charts linked from above link.

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a very accurate summary of the problem of the next us presidential election

“One thing seems to me to have gotten a little lost in the debate over Bush and Kerry/Dean/Edwards. This election is not going to be simply about which one of these candidates you believe in, trust more, agree with more, and so on. The broader question is: given that the House and Senate are almost certainly going to stay Republican, do you want one-party government or divided government? Recent history suggests that the best option for people of my polyglot persuasion is a Republican Congress and a moderate Democrat in the White House. With any luck, you get gridlock, the Congress restrains spending, and you don't get wackos on the courts. The big exception this time around, of course, is war. Can we trust a Democratic president to defend the country adequately enough? Toughie. So far, none of the Dems has even begun to make the sale to my satisfaction. But, again, that has to be weighed against whether the country can live with bankrupt big government Nixonism as a price for national security. Second toughie.”

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home of democracy welcomes another dictator, after feting mugabe and vetoing removal of madsam

peasenik ch-irak wants to sell more arms

“The arms embargo on China makes no more sense today, French President Jacques Chirac said here Tuesday at a joint news conference with his visiting Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao.”

half french parliment protest with their feet

“One lawmaker [deputy] placed a white gag in his mouth and dozens more stayed away in protest Tuesday as China's leader got the rare honor of addressing parliament, the hallowed home of French democracy.”

“During a 29-minute address, Hu stuck to established Chinese government policy. About 240 of France's 577 lawmakers attended the speech, which was heavy with Communist Party boilerplate and appeals for strengthened France-China cooperation.”

dear friend schroeder in accord...(and prodi)

“Vice President Annette Lu [of Taiwan] has severely criticized on a TV show Germany's policy of sharing its high-tech weapons and nuclear reactor technology with China, describing the policy as "unimaginable."

“Many countries spent a lot of money and time to fight against terrorism last year, Lu said in the program "Weltspiegel" broadcast Sunday, adding that it is "unimaginable" that Germany would share high-tech weapons with the totalitarian Chinese regime.”

“The chancellor also promised Beijing that he will request that the European Union remove a ban it imposed in 1989 prohibiting delivering weapons to the mainland.”

light it red

“The Eiffel Tower, one of the great symbols of France, is bathed in scarlet red lights for the first time in its history on Saturday evening and will sparkle red for the next five days in honor of China.”

Meanwhile, demonstrators were kept well out of sight. Nearby Paris streets were almost empty, while many others jammed wth diverted traffic – the result of an unprecedented security operation.

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bush foreign policy going just great

Recommended quick reality check, while the Left whines ever onward.

What the intelligence services believed:

“U.S. government analysts were not alone in these views. In the late spring of 2002 I participated in a Washington meeting about Iraqi WMD. Those present included nearly twenty former inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), the force established in 1991 to oversee the elimination of WMD in Iraq. One of the senior people put a question to the group: Did anyone in the room doubt that Iraq was currently operating a secret centrifuge plant? No one did. Three people added that they believed Iraq was also operating a secret calutron plant (a facility for separating uranium isotopes).

“Other nations' intelligence services were similarly aligned with U.S. views. Somewhat remarkably, given how adamantly Germany would oppose the war, the German Federal Intelligence Service held the bleakest view of all, arguing that Iraq might be able to build a nuclear weapon within three years. Israel, Russia, Britain, China, and even France held positions similar to that of the United States; France's President Jacques Chirac told Time magazine last February, "There is a problem—the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq. The international community is right ... in having decided Iraq should be disarmed." In sum, no one doubted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.”

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virtual property now exists in china

Very interesting changes to Chinese property law:

“No sooner have the Chinese authorities decided to amend the constitution to provide for private property protection than their Courts start implementing it [...]

“So not only are Chinese Courts going to protect private property, they are even going to protect virtual private property.

“A columnist for TechNewsWorld, a U.S. news Web site, said the Chinese court case appeared to be the first in the world.”

If it is true that this is the first such case, this will confer a serious competitive advantage to the Chinese. I hope that the USA [ed.] et al. follow suit.

[item from aoiko]

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the filthy hydrogen economy—is george bush a black environmentalist?

“Gerard is right: The so-called hydrogen economy will be a boon for the mining industry. The clean-energy future that many environmentalists have dreamed of has been turned over to the coal industry and a notoriously dirty Siberian mining company run by Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin. A deal personally smoothed over by Bush has given Norilsk Nickel, one of the world's worst polluters, a toehold on American soil - and a major stake in the hydrogen economy.”

related material
Replacing fossil fuels—the scale of the problem

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related material
Replacing fossil fuels—the scale of the problem

putting chomsky in perspective – a review
[note: Washington Post requires nominal login] Four GoldenYak(tm) award

A succinct and accurate summary of the standard Chumsky baloney.

“The book itself [Hegemony or Survival] is an overcooked stew concocted for the most part of stale leftovers.”

marker at news

kissed Mary the leprechaun

Here starts an excellent commentary on Chumsky’s supposed ‘contributions’ to linguistics. The item is a bit ragged, but is an ideal start for understanding why Chumskyist linguistics is not treated as serious science. Recommended: Three and a half GoldenYak (tm) award

If the facts do not conform with the theory, the facts must be discarded.

“A theory which cannot even in principle be disproved is of no interest. It is like a Superman comic book with no kryptonite: if we know in advance that the Man of Steel is utterly invulnerable, there is no dramatic tension, and no one would be interested in reading about his exploits.”

This link from Greg Hennesey.

marker at news

Fisking Chomsky, a deconstruction of a Chomsky tract.

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target: one per year—
wind-up artist stein just goes right on mocking the left

“The delay between the fall of the Taleban and the fall of Saddam was a little too long: there should be an informal target of one tinpot thug per year......

“ It remains a melancholy fact that, for a US President, it’s easier to reform Iraq’s government agencies than America’s.”

Worth a quick read.

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on the weird coalition: effete westerners and tribal primitives

“ [...] Lost between the shared loony sympathies of the first-world elite and the third-world clan, between refined postmodern and uncouth premodern societies, was an iota of lamentation for the dead, those rotting and dried-out bones that appear in the thousands in desert sands outside Baghdad.”

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“why should washington respect federalism when that would doing so would restrict its ability to jail the sick?”—us loony drug war

Step by step, the loons are losing their ridiculous ‘drug war’.

“The U.S. is increasingly alone in prosecuting marijuana users. The Netherlands has long tolerated personal possession and allowed cannibis coffee shops. Pot is now available as a prescription drug at pharmacies. Spain no longer arrests recreational drug users; Portugal has decriminalized marijuana use. So has Luxembourg.

“Belgium allows the medical use of marijuana and is considering permitting citizens to grow small amounts of pot. Local authorities in France and Germany decide whether or not to arrest cannabis users. Germany even allows hard-drug use in legal "drug-consumption rooms." In Britain police increasingly confiscate marijuana but leave the users alone; new guidelines embody a "presumption against arrest."

“The Swiss senate has approved legislation legalizing personal use of cannibal. The Australian and New Zealand governments are considering approving the medical use of marijuana.

“Canada provides marijuana through its health-care program and has proposed decriminalizing pot cultivation and consumption. As in Britain, police in Toronto merely confiscate pot from users.

“And in the U.S., an Alaskan appellate court has affirmed the constitutional right of citizens to grow and consume marijuana at home. Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, North Dakota, and other states have relaxed their penalties for drug use and sale.”

And many more details.

For a survey of the logic see drugs, smoking and addiction

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a series of suggestions for lefties needing to distort the news regarding madsam [Saddam Hussein]

What to say if.....
  • Saddam refuses to co-operate with his interrogators.

  • Saddam sings like a canary, identifying the perpetrators of insurgency.

  • Saddam admits to having had weapons of mass destruction all along and gives a detailed account of
    1. where they can be found,
    2. how and when he destroyed them.
  • If Saddam's trial is conducted by Iraq without outside interference.

  • If Saddam's trial is conducted under American and British supervision.

  • If Saddam's trial, by whatever agency, produces previously unknown evidence of crimes against his own people that is so horrific that it shames those who resisted his forcible removal.

  • If the arrest, trial and possible execution of Saddam results in a free and democratic Iraq.

Item brought to my attention by Steven X Brown.

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is aids, in fact, peaking in africa?

“Bennell raises an interesting point here. Why would UNAIDS and its massive alliance of pharmaceutical companies, NGOs, scientists and charities insist that the epidemic is worsening if it isn’t? A possible explanation comes from New York physician Joe Sonnabend, one of the pioneers of Aids research. Sonnabend was working in a New York clap clinic when the syndrome first appeared, and went on to found the American Foundation for Aids Research, only to quit in protest when colleagues started exaggerating the threat of a generalised pandemic with a view to increasing Aids’ visibility and adding urgency to their grant applications. The Aids establishment, says Sonnabend, is extremely skilled at ‘the manipulation of fear for advancement in terms of money and power’.”

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a courageous voice speaks from iraq

This you have to read to taste the flavour.
Other voices are also recommended by this blogger.

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new large document with much uk government data Four GoldenYak (tm) award

A 1.4 megabyte PDF file with 111 pages and a large number of charts

This document is to be the basis of consultation and forward planning.

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“the worst is yet to come” – aids

“Governments everywhere should look at Africa and tremble. In some countries, more than half the population will still die of AIDS. All of Africa's famines are now AIDS-related: hungry people lack the strength to fight off sickness, sick people lack the strength to grow food, and dead parents cannot teach their children how to farm.”

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defining wmds (weapons of mass destruction)

I have asked, possibly dozens of times, for those using the term ‘wmd’ to define their meaning. No-one has yet made anything like a fist of it.

Governments are constantly trotting out the phrase ‘weapons of mass destruction’, again with no meaningful definition. Meanwhile, they attempt to use it as an excuse to centralise power and to restrict civil liberties.

It may be considered trivial to be concerned that so many people respond to an undefined ‘boo word’ in a thoughtless manner. I do not consider this to be trivial. In my view, the easy acceptance by individuals of an essentially meaningless phrase is a road to them losing their independence and freedom.

If the ‘war on terror’ is allowed to be elided into a war on ‘wmds’, governments will be able to slip past public awareness many impressive-sounding but vague laws and controls. Even the idiotic ‘war on drugs’ has some basic definitions which can be used by the courts.

The easy acceptance of this undefined term is becoming a growing worry, and a block in the way of useful debate.

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