Thursday, April 03, 2008

[trends] damned lies and statistics

Both sides of the debate will latch on to this and use it as "evidence" but it seems to me one of the more sensible approaches:

Now, the Wilkins ice shelf on the other side of the peninsula appears to be disintegrating. All these changes would seem to be signs of global warming, but are they just a recent phenomenon or part of a natural cycle?

There is controversial evidence from sediment cores drilled from where the Larsen B Ice Shelf used to be that suggest it may have broken up previously.

"Marine sediments tell us that an ice shelf break-up happened around 5,000 years ago as well. This core will tell us for certain if it got warmer then, too," Dr Mulvaney said. It should also tell him about how the great Antarctic ice sheets began to retreat at the end of the last ice age.

I think I'd prefer evidence like that rather than statistics cleverly used to support things just not happening. Broadening this away from climate change, Andrew Brown wrote on my post "[britain] could be america, canada or australia", undoubtedly from good motives:

A little more digging and I see that the ONS are saying that the number of teenage conceptions are at the lowest rate for 20 years. You can download the data here.

On the other hand, this seems to tell a different story:

Britain's teenage pregnancy rate is the highest in Europe. In 2002 there were 39,286 teen pregnancies recorded. The government has spent more than £60 million to tackle the problem but so far failed to halt the rise.

Andrew would say that is old news [2004] and that the government campaign is working. This is why it might be working:

Encouraging schoolchildren to experiment with oral sex could prove the most effective way of curbing teenage pregnancy rates, a government study has found. Pupils under 16 who were taught to consider other forms of 'intimacy' such as oral sex were significantly less likely to engage in full intercourse, it was revealed.

Oh wonderful, wonderful. So children are going to be told they have to do oral sex. Are these people off their collective brains or are they just lost to evil?

Never crossed the government's mind that this is an activity between adults in a marriage? Never occurred to the government to re-establish the family as the unit and work on parents to take responsibility for their children?

Never occurred to the government to adhere to the country's tradition of sane societal values e.g. kids are kids and adults are adults and it's a gradual process from one to the other at ages 16-21 as it most certainly was earlier?

No, the approach of NuLab and it's accolytes in the teaching profession prefer to exacerbate the problem by pleading "well, kids are already doing it." And why are they? Because you people turned a blind eye instead of educating them.

And why did you turn a blind eye? Because you yourself were allowed to adopt stuffed values, in line with being a modern person.

Enough, I say. Quantum shift needed here in the paradigm. Total shift in values required. And from where will it come? The termited C of E? Will it heck as like.

So from where?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

[thought for the day] wednesday evening

[ugggh] better not to know

Me not well - gut ache - more tomorrow morning.

[good blogging] much better than the msm

Think I might do a listing of various bloggers that are so good they can't be missed.

[anti-american] or myopic intolerance

Ruthie Zaftig has touched on the whole trouble with debate today - polarization of opinion:
There’s a divisive conflict. There’s a conflict that has people all over the world lining up on one side or the other, declaring one side to be the “good” side, and the other side to be the “evil” side, arguing that the evil side subjects the good side to any number of atrocities, and that the good side deserves to prevail.

I have friends on campus who are rigidly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli. They will list Israel’s crimes all day, but turn a blind eye to the equally egregious misdeeds of extremist Palestinian groups like Hamas.

She mentions an incident at her local Christian church:

One church member—a very intelligent, artistic, compassionate sort of man—spent two weeks explaining the central tenets of Islam so that we might better understand our Muslim neighbors. The presentation had a pleasant tone—he explained, for example, why zakat is important to Muslims. He talked about the different sects within Islam and how their beliefs differed. He talked quite a bit about history and the spread of Islam in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

When he was done speaking, another member of the congregation criticized him for looking at Islam through “rose-colored glasses.” He berated him for failing to focus on Islamic extremism, for failing to be alarmed at what he perceived as a dangerous religion. He characterized Muslims as wanting to
appear virtuous, but not wanting to actually be virtuous.

Now many of my readers know I'm involved in a Muslim community of bloggers and with one in particular with whom many progressive discussions have taken place over this. I also live in a Muslim republic and deal with Muslims each and every day. Most just go about their day to day lives as most westerners do, with an added sense of personal and societal morality a possible distinction from many of my mates.

The real problem is that the concept of jihad is so misunderstood, even by nominal Muslims. It should be to "struggle in the way of G-d" or "to struggle to improve one's self and/or society." Jihad is directed against the devil's inducements, aspects of one's own self, or against a visible enemy of the word of G-d.

Now just look at this post and the way I rail against societal evils. One of my Jakarta friends would say to me: "That's jihad, James." Well, if it is, then I'm a mujahid 'cause I'm going to continue railing against those things.

Looking at the real evil in the west which this blog is basically all about [see the micro-control series of posts for an overview - don't google but type "micro control" into the blogsearch top left - 1, 3 and 7 are perhaps the best of them], this, by definition, transcends national boundaries and leads to the completely erroneous conclusion of most Muslims that "America" per se is evil - the Great Satan - and the equally erroneous conclusion of patriotic Americans that blind loyalty to their leaders, e.g. Bush and Co., whom even Alan Greenspan criticized, is the gung-ho way to truth and really good things.

Thus we have a blogger called Great Satan's Girlfriend and that's just craziness. The average American is no more satanic than bambi but he is patriotic and he is loyal to the constitution and the flag. Nor am I anti-American for saying these things and nor is Ruthie anti-American for her post. This is garbage. For myself, over 40% of my readers in the morning are American and you don't get that by being anti-American.

It's the intolerant debate, the non-debate, the polarized, entrenched positions which are the problem. It's the lack of real understanding, esp by the Beslan murderers, the 911 gang, the throat slitters and so on and also by our own side, entrenched in our narrow focus, which is the key issue.

You know that I am an English nationalist but many blogfriends are Scottish. I'm a Christian but hobnob with two Muslim communities. I'm western but live in Russia. This does not make me a relativist or multi-culturalist. I'm still a conservative in values and libertarian in outlook.

But I sure as hell am not going to turn up my nose at good friends in other communities.

Will his vision prevail?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

[thought for the day] tuesday evening

If suffer we must, then let us suffer on the heights.

[Victor Hugo]

[curves] in the eye of the beholder

Which naturally leads us to Nunyaa's question:

Guys say they like curves, well which one here is more appealing?

[britain] could be america, canada or australia

[Despite my bit of fun in the sidebar at the moment with this Gobi Desert thing and recent spurious photos of myself, I'm deadly serious about the issue below for which we will be held accountable. We must, must act on this.]

Coming back to Iain Dale's distressing report yet again:

* An epidemic of violent crime, teen pregnancy, heavy drinking and drug abuse fuels fears that British youth is in crisis.
* 27% of UK 15 year olds have been drunk 20 or more times compared to 12% in Germany, 6% in Holland and 3% in France
* 44% of UK teenagers are frequently involved in fights compared to 28% in Germany.

* 35% of UK 15 year olds have used Cannabis in the last 12 months, compared to 27% in France, 22% in Holland and 18% in Germany.

* 40% of English fifteen year old girls have had sexual intercourse, compared to 29% in Sweden, 24% in Canada, 20% in Holland, 18% in France and 14% on Spain.

* 15% of English girls fail to use contraception.

* A 2007 UNICEF child welfare study placed Britain bottom of a league table of 21 industrialised countries.

* Between 2003 and 2006 violent crime committed by UK under 18s rose 37%

* Marriage rates in Britain are at a 146 year low.

* Class sizes in Britain are among the highest of 20 Western countries.

* British children start school earlier and take more exams than other European countries.

... we can add Johnathan Pearce's piece at Samizdata [thanks Lord Somber]:

It has been blamed on many things, with varying levels of plausibility: the lack of authority figures that can inspire and instill respect in youngsters, mostly boys; the breakdown of the family and the rising levels of single-parenthood, which in turn is encouraged by perverse incentives, such as the Welfare State.

Throw in a culture that celebrates, or at least does not condemn, yobbery and violence plus the decline of manual labour and lack of outlets for youngsters who are not academically gifted, and you have quite a toxic mix.

... in which Time's piece is mentioned:

None of those indicators are good, but it's the increase in nasty teenage crime that really has Britain spooked. Violent offenses by British under-18s rose 37% in the three years to 2006.

... and the matter is brought home personally to fellow blogger Clive Davis, whose teenage son was assaulted by ASBOs:
My son was attacked - without provocation - on Saturday night. (He told the kids who punched and kicked him that he had a pacemaker, but it didn't make any difference. He was knocked cold in the end, and he's still suffering from concussion.) Yet the officer handling the case didn't plan to interview the main witness - one of my son's friends - until this weekend.

... the lily-livered response by the authorities followed - unbelievable!

We abandoned the moral code we paid lip service to in the 60s, parents went all out for the "self-fulfilling" lifestyle, children were allowed to grow up in a moral vacuum and look at the 22 year olds today - nightmare scenario.

What the F? 14 year old girls having group sex at overnight parties and doing drugs is somehow progressive? Hey, there used to be a thing called fathers protecting their daughters' reputations. Running a good chance of being bashed on the street is onwards and upwards? There used to be such a thing as police jumping on these things. Give me a break.

And some have the nerve to say society's improved.

Tom Paine has commented and it needs to be included in the body of the post here:

The established middle classes refuse to believe the sombre truths evident to those more recently emerged from the working class. No, Hermione, you would NOT get pregnant in order to get a council house. Nor would you keep getting pregnant to maximise your benefits. It would not make sense for you to do so. But if you were unskilled, poorly-educated and your alternative was a part time job at the chip shop, you just might.

If you offer farmers subsidies to grow certain crops, are you surprised if they grow them? We have now subsidised baby-farmers at the margins of our society for three generations - and those margins are widening in consequence. Some of the mothers may - when confronted with the reality of their offspring - actually raise them lovingly. I am sure many do. Nature programmes us to take care of our genes and there are few drives stronger than parental love. But many mothers who conceived with such attitudes do NOT care for their children. That is a terrible fate for the child. Are we really surprised to find feral youths roaming our streets? In their place, mightn't you be angry and vengeful, Hermione?

Our grandparents and parents' generations were naive fools. They visited many ills on us; not least the debts of their unfunded healthcare system, pensions (especially the generous and entirely unfunded pensions of their public employees) and their myriad state benefits. Their worst legacies of all though are the ills fostered by their crypto-marxist ideology and hippy social attitudes - especially to education. Those selfish boomers are now gearing up to check smugly out of their heavily-subsidised existences, leaving us all their messes to deal with.

[western gobi] khan's own country

My half brother Nesnej spreadeth half lies about my rightful right to this Khan forsaken piece of land we've come to know and love for our children and our children's children and our children's children's children.

Recently raiding the tent compound in Athek, my stronghold at an undisclosed location, he made away with 74 concubines and impending children. Not a lot by historical standards, I realize but they eased the aches and pains after a hard day's horse riding in that bloody sand.

So I call on all good people to rise up and help overhrow the usurper [and help me get my women back too, which is the main point of the exercise, truth be told].

Sigh - look at the beautiful landscape - isn't it worth dying for?

[fed power play] here we go, here we go

The Creature from Jeckyl Island is making it's latest power grab:

The plan would beef up the powers of the Federal Reserve, which earlier this month engineered the purchase of troubled investment bank Bear Stearns by JP Morgan. It would give it greater oversight of all kinds of financial institutions from hedge funds to insurance companies.

"Our current regulatory structure was not built to address the modern financial system,"
said US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. "Government has a responsibility to make sure our financial system is regulated effectively. And in this area, we can do a better job."

The government says the proposals are an effort help US firms become more competitive in the global economy. The 218-page report was commissioned before credit markets began to seize up in August last year.

The reactions to this tightening will clearly range from "right, so here we go" to "the Fed's a government body, isn't it?" Capitalist bloggers fall somewhere in between, knowing full well that the Fed is a privately run concern, not only influencing the regulation of markets but also playing in them and yet not willing to accept this thing for what it is.

The long and the short is that the Fed is Morgan and associates, who have a habit of bailing favoured firms out of crises and panics. They control the economy by ostensibly playing the government watchdog whilst at the same time creating the ability to openly play the markets through the FOMC and working closely with Europe.

The reason this is evil is because of all the human misery which has historically attended it, including housing crashes, depressions and war. Either Google the Federal Reserve or search this site and there is considerable material in support of this contention if you look.

They can be stopped if everyone is awake to what's going down but no one sector of society, e.g. the economists, can see the others sides, e.g. depopulation and Eisenhower's military-industrial complex.

There's no one authoritative ombudsman body which can draw all the threads together and see where this is going and why it is.