23 February 2010

“Diversity” vs. Human Morality

"What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy," said Gen. Casey, the Army's chief of staff, "but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here."

- US Army Chief of Staff General Casey

The two matters cannot be compared. Diversity is simply something that can be observed when you see something that resembles a description of it. To align it with human morality, or make informed moral choices conditional to it is beyond absurd, it is to politicize and racialize the concept of good and bad. It’s as basic as that:

The fact that a grown man not employed by a U.S. educational institution or media outlet used the word "diversity" in a non-parodic sense should be deeply disturbing. "Diversity" is not a virtue; it's morally neutral: A group of five white upper-middle-class liberal NPR-listening women is non-diverse; a group of four white upper-middle-class liberal NPR-listening women plus Sudan's leading clitorectomy practitioner is more diverse but not necessarily the better for it.
Let’s put it another way. What if the composition of patients in an ICU had to be diverse, and you were the one who altered the “desired complexion” of that one night. Which “virtue” would be more relevant?

22 February 2010

Wealth Redistributions is Bad for you

Especially if you’re poor. The weird lefty bugaboo (if it really is a bugaboo, and not just a social pry-bar) of trying to construct ‘sameness of income’ in society is a crock.

It is not the fact that Swedes in in Malmö and Vellinge are rich that is CAUSING Rosengård dysfunctional, as Wilkinson claims. If Vellinge had an economic crisis and became poor, this would have no effect of health in Rosengård (or probably a negative effect, since the hospitals would have less money). The causality is more complex.

People in corrupt southern Italy have lower health outcomes and lower economic outcomes than North Italians. The casual link is that Mafia, lack of trust, and low education make south Italians poorer, and it makes them have lower health outcomes.

The Spirit Level thinking instead childishly interprets the complex relationship that North Italians are rich makes South Italians unhealthy, because of the stress of knowing they are doing worse than North Italy.
In other words, whatever effect a social scientist wants to assume to produce an outcome is piled in, even though the data never seems to bear it out, but dispelling fond assumptions about the link between poverty and crime, (or in the case of the new left: differential income or any sort,) and so on.
Using levels for OECD countries we have no statistically significant relationship. Using levels for UN we still have no statistically significant relationship, and even find the opposite of what the book claims. Using change we find no statistically significant relationship, and the opposite of what they claim.

This does not mean Wilkinson is wrong. It just means he has no evidence for his hypothesis. Wilkinson and people who think inequality causes lower health (for example through stress) need to find exogenous experiment to verify their hypothesis. Until they have done that we cannot accept they claims as science. But not only have they not done that (to my knowledge), they are going ahead and selling their story as if they had evidence!

This is deeply unethical, because ordinary people trust academics.
Actually, I think that very few people still trust academics, which on one hand might lead to outbursts of the calling the public ignorant, anti-intellectual, or the sort, but that would be specious. For one thing, people know the stench fairly well at this point, and know that the frustrated critic is expecting the public to have the same level of aptitude in their field as they, the “expert” would.
Another fishy looking claim in "The Spirit Level" is that more equal countries are more innovative.
The funny thing is that when it comes to addressing what looks like a social stunt using statistical buckshot, for the most part, they do know a lot more about the reality of society that the crash-test dummy manipulating the science for the sake of politics or their own miserable Niedkultur:
Notice that the United States is one of the least innovative countries according to "The Spirit Level". Now, no matter how dogmatically leftists you are, it is hard to claim that the U.S., the most technologically advanced country in the world, winner of 60% of scientific Nobel prizes in the post war period, is one of the least innovative advanced nations on earth, no more innovative than Portugal.
So what it all amounts to is a study that measures the world’s ability to have the same priorities as the studies’ framers, the UK’s “Equality Trust” which says that their theory (essentially holding up communist economics as a cure for humanity’s ills, not to mention the allpowerful autocracy that it will need to do it) EXPLAINS things like individual childhood illnesses. Among their many goals for the whole of humanity:
For centuries the best way of improving the quality of life has been to raise material living standards. But we have now come to the end of what economic growth can do for developed countries. Measures of well-being or of happiness no longer rise with economic growth. Even though health goes on improving in rich countries, that improvement is no longer related to economic growth. We also know that rates of depression and anxiety have risen over the last fifty years or so.

Not only has economic growth in the rich countries ceased to bring the social benefits it once brought (and continues to bring in poorer countries), but it now threatens the planet. We are therefore the first generation to have to find new ways of improving the real quality of life. The evidence suggests that we need to shift our attention away from increasing material wealth, to the social environment and the quality of social relations in our societies.
Got that? It’s the hushed leftist argument of explaining to people how compassionate they are, even though advancements in health are only for those with economic (or political) utility to the managed society, not for the sake of the flowering of the individual, the morality of withdrawing support, or a basic respect for the dignity of the individual. The managed society (read: the state) is more relevant that the dignity of the individual, as if the existence of a good society would require the vernichtung of the autonomous individual, the retired, and the like. It leads to classic European superman theory, with Communism and Fascism fighting to lead the left. It also comes with the same tactics too: like arguments that one-party states were the real democracies, simply inverting the meaning of things, in this case calling a society where your means were less likely to rise a place that has more “social mobility”.

The evidence of statistics is not causal. It does not make you pick a column and want to join up to a behaviour. And to think that they are tacitly implying that the PUBLIC is stupid, as is obvious from signing up a bad Señor Wences impersonator as their spokes-sock.

Ignoring the evidence of the income equalized societies in the past, including their ultimate need to employ social oppressions to “keep the magic” of passivated equality construction alive, they aren’t accounting for the life-quality aspect of what they eventually led to: failed societies that couldn’t evolve, and ended up with revolutions.

Opacity Transnational

Kazakhstan, favored by the Euro-polity to be the rotating head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), ranks 120th in transparency on the perceived corruption index. It shares the slot with Armenia, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Mongolia, and Vietnam. With its’ corruption in military procurement featuring prominently, the OSCE seems to have taken up the method of rewarding venality as a means of encouraging self-improvement.

19 February 2010

It's Sort of Like Sticking it to the Man

Now there’s one passionate environmentalist

18 February 2010

So Who's Paying You?

Next time you find some virulent loon spewing invective at you for not submitting to their demand that you convert to their religion of Anthropogenic Global Warming, just ask them the activist’s usual evasive question: ‘whose paying you?

The difference is, though, that you won’t be asking them to degrade or evade as the phrase is normally employed, even if they are unwittingly supporting racketeering. You’ll be entitled to a factual answer:

In recent years, however, on the initiative of Lord Kinnock when he was its chairman, the British Council has been hijacked to promote the need for action on climate change. In answer to a Freedom of Information request, we can now see some of the curious ways in which the British Council has been spending our money.

More than £3.5 million has gone on recruiting a worldwide network of young "climate activists" in over 70 countries to engage in climate change propaganda – what Marxists used to call agitprop – and to pressure their politicians to join the worldwide struggle. Under a programme called Challenge Europe, £1.1 million has been paid out to fund young "climate advocates" in 17 countries across Europe, including Britain itself. But £2.5 million has been spent on a more ambitious project to recruit a global network of 100,000 activists in 60 countries across the world, led by 1,300 young "International Climate Champions", to participate in "international peer networks, both in person and online, to share ideas, projects and experiences".

Of this sum, £303,093.24 went to China; £71,262.91 to Brazil; £53,006.25 to Japan; £70,132.88 to India (including £11,000 to Dr Pachauri's Teri institute); £77,507.89 to oil-rich Qatar; and £50,000 to the US. There was £120,000 for a dozen different countries in Africa, including £14,000 to fund climate champions in starving Zimbabwe.
Then again mendacity has never been much of a problem to green advocates of the forcable primitivization of man.
One of the most widely quoted and most alarmist passages in the main 2007 report was a warning that, by 2020, global warming could reduce crop yields in some countries in Africa by 50 per cent. Dr Pachauri not only allowed this claim to be included in the short Synthesis Report, of which he was co-editor, but has publicly repeated it many times since.

The origin of this claim was a report written for a Canadian advocacy group by Ali Agoumi, a Moroccan academic who draws part of his current income from advising on how to make applications for "carbon credits". As his primary sources he cited reports for three North African governments. But none of these remotely supported what he wrote
No matter. They’re only words. They’ll only turn into policies.

17 February 2010

Continental Drift

1967 - Communism’s promoted definition of Justice:

Justice: Ethical and legal category that refers to social equality of humanity, which is only possible only with the common ownership of the means of production, and which enables real equality in a legal sense. Justice as a standard of social relationships is not a timeless, universal, or unchanging concept. Middle-class society can claim only the formal legal equality of civil law as its highest principle of justice, because the primary purpose of justice – the protection of capitalist property – is the basis for the perpetuation of societal inequalities. Historical materialism discovered the class nature of justice and proved that the working class’s pursuit of justice requires the abolition of exploitation, social inequality, bureaucratic despotism, and imperialistic war, which means the elimination of capitalism and the establishing the common ownership of the means of production under socialism. The Marxist-Leninist concept of justice contains fundamentally includes equal social possibilities for all people to develop their personal abilities on the basis of inviolable legal and moral principles. By justice, we understand that the power of imperialism and militarism will finally be broken, the peaceful endeavors of the people will be protected, and every imperialistic attempt to misuse humanity for aggressive purposes will be ruthlessly eliminated; that socialist accomplishments are inviolable, that all citizens will be equally entitled to take part in socialist construction and through their work create a better life for all; that there will be no privileged classes that exploit and oppress the people, that the socialist principle “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” will be realized; and that those citizen who accomplishes best results for society will enjoy the highest appreciation be honor.
2010 - a leftist activist’s definition of ‘Social Justice’:
Social workers also apply social-justice principles to structural problems in the social service agencies in which they work. Armed with the long-term goal of empowering their clients, they use knowledge of existing legal principles and organizational structure to suggest changes to protect their clients, who are often powerless and underserved. For example, social workers may learn organizational ethics to ensure that clients are treated respectfully by staff or they may examine the organization’s policies on personal client information to make sure it is held in confidence.

Often, social workers bring social justice concepts into the wider social and political arena. Following the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington an international group of social workers issued statements condemning terrorism but calling for examination of possible underlying causes. In particular, the statements suggested that terrorism may be fueled in part by global practices that led to poverty and rage among millions of Middle Eastern citizens.

Indeed, from the beginning of their profession, social workers have been involved in “connecting the dots” between peace and social justice. According to social work philosophy … Peace is not possible where there are gross inequalities of money and power, whether between workers and managers, nations and nations or men and women.
1967 - Communism’s promoted definition of War:
War: Violent continuation of politics, organized armed combat between classes, states, or nations, which is undertaken for the economic interests or political and military goals of specific classes. Historically, war is the result of the division of community into antagonistic classes. It is rooted in the production relationships of exploitive society, today represented by imperialism. Only when that social system is overthrown in every country will the socioeconomic grounds for war will disappear.
2010 - a leftist activist’s definition of ‘war’:
go to war.... corporations send a message, support a particular mindset with charity/donations, and they pretty much make the call on the war thing... how about a war profiteering amendment.... if that incentive was gone, there would be little draw for a war of choice.A war amendment would state that any and all contracts between the victim nation would remain in effect (with other nations and not the invading nation) so that the economy of invaded nation would not be ripped out from under the victim nation's feet so to speak.Had the U.S. reinstated Iraq's contracts with Russia, France, Germany and others, the insurgency may have been a shadow of what it is now, and many American kids might still be alive.
I’ll omit the conventional, class based definitions, as they are simply to much like that of the Communists of the last century.

03 February 2010

“This is a Waste of my Time”

The EU, it seems, is just a mashed potato circuit that ends up getting the rest of the world caught up in their internal bickering and excessive vacation calendars.

Obama's Madrid snub exposes 'excessive' EU summitry
It couldn’t be any clearer, and yet “excessive” is still in quotes.
"At this point, Obama told his aides: 'This is a waste of my time'," Missiroli said, adding that the potential for sequels is still there, coupled, most probably, with "possible confusion" surrounding the preparation of the summit.
”Possible”? How about absolute confusion, as in “this is a waste of my time”? I guess multilateralism means never having to pick up a phone when a fleet of airliners and a staff of thousands will do.
"The agenda of leaders is packed with summits. Maybe focusing on fewer summits with more substance and more continuity in foreign relations in-between summits is the way ahead," Missiroli suggested.
Gee, you know maybe that would be a good idea.
Bruce Jackson, an American political strategist, told an event in the European Parliament today (2 February). “There are currently six different EU presidents, the rotating EU presidency president [José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero], Mr Barroso, Mrs Ashton, plus Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, who also aim to be EU presidents,” he added.
Better still, if the White House waits it out, the 6 month term of that complete loon will have passed without him infecting American policy any more than it already has been.

Blood Libel, French Style

As if rendering aid were not enough, the common, base anti-Americanism one is used to coming from Le Monde is rising to exceed pre-Hopey-Changey levels. A piece in today’s Al Jazeera sur Seine alleges that a massive wave of butchery-like amputation is taking place in Haiti wherever Americans doctors have engaged in triage.

This blood libel comes from 3 French Doctors who make passing comments about how “they wouldn’t have to amputate in Paris”. In spite of the fact that they aren’t practicing emergency medicine in Paris, or Houston, or Atlanta, the Le Monde readership laps it up and comments rather orgasmically over the possibility of impugning Americans in any context possible:

Monstrous USA! Everything revolves around the war home now, their policies, neo-colonialism (Iraq / AfPak = 1.5 million dead), their invasions humanitarians, their budget (on credit from other countries) that goes to 60% in war industries and death, their imagination, their films! The France was right to challenge the invasion which is seen and sees the devastation! It must be able to say the U.S. is a threat to humanity (see also Copenhagen) as was the former USSR!
Yes indeed, those films caused this!
Terrifying. Between how Americans "judge" this population, and the 20,000 soldiers landed to occupy Haiti, colonialism looms on the horizon, not so different in form and in his "speech" that might have existed in the 19th century ...
Neo-colonialism? By whom, exactly? By Barack Obama? If that’s really the case, wouldn’t we be bringing in farmers by the boatload to ‘colonize’ their land? Apparently reality and logic aren’t much of an issue to these dramatic fantasists, even tangentially playing off another commenter calling what has taken place in Haiti “like a guillotine” and comparing American aid workers to pillaging rebel forces in Sierra Leone:
"Guillotine amputations” was a technique pioneered on a large-scale children's RUF rebels in Sierra Leone in the 90s. 20 000 civilians had been victimized ...
And so forth, as per the usual pedantic yadda, yadda, yadda we’ve grown to expect that a big chunk of the readership is incapable of any other sort of statement.

Overshadowing this kind of reporting that amounts to out-of-scale agitprop, is what those with a specialty in prosthesis are gauging what their planning efforts will require of them:
Estimates of new Haitian amputees reported in the international media the first weeks after the earthquake overstated the number by tens of thousands, Winfried Danke, executive director of Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, told Associated Content Thursday. Danke said the original estimates given news media by doctors working at the disaster scene, ranging from tens of thousands to 150,000, has been pared down to "several thousand," as reports are updated and analyzed. The number may be as low as 2,000.

While there will be less amputations stemming from the earthquake than originally predicted, meeting the need for prosthetics and rehabilitative services will be difficult. Haiti's prosthetics production capacity was almost wiped out by the earthquake.
No doubt were Le Monde’s readers to have heard of that, they would connect their own sad little imaginary dots, and assume that like ‘a war for oil’, the earthquake was somehow magically engineered by that evil Obama White House to create a dependant market for prosthetics.

Knowing that he was not operating in London, Doctors of the World’s Jacques Lorblanche indicated:
"We expect to perform around 400 amputations over the coming days"
Don’t worry, I’m sure that out there in the zeitgeist there’s another “organ harvesting” story in the works.

Dreams of their Cousins

Have you ever wondered why those French brown-shirt, red-flag types are so in love with the ‘muscular, white Russian’ image? It isn’t because they have wet dreams of Russia annihilating the US, it’s because of this kind of thing. Something they wish they could do themselves.

Police detained up to 100 anti-Kremlin protesters, including leading opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, in central Moscow on Sunday, despite an appeal by rights group Amnesty International to let the rally go ahead.

Hundreds of people gathered to protest against what they say is a long-running Kremlin campaign to dismantle the constitutional right to peaceful protest, one of the few avenues open to Russia's weak and fragmented opposition.

Zappo's Folly

In a statement upon arrival in Damascus, Zapatero said "I carry a message of friendship to the Syrian people and leadership and a message of peace to the Middle East region".
15-October-2009: Zapmaster Flash visits a mosque in the aliberal, secretive, dictatorship of Syria – a nation that has brought no peace to anyone in its’ entire Ba’athist post-putsch existence. It’s government is dominated by a religious minority called the Alawites.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and Mr Obama are both expected to attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Thursday. But no bilateral meeting has been announced so far.

The informal event sees some 3,500 celebrities, businessmen, politicians and religious leaders get together in the US capital each year. It is organised by the Fellowship Foundation, a Christian fundamentalist pressure group.
Reaction: zilch, zippo, nada, bupkus.

04-February-2010: Zapatero to attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington in a desperate attempt to get Barack Obama’s attention. Reaction?:
Mr Zapatero, a centre-left secularist, has taken flak for his trip in Spanish media, with the El Pais daily calling his decision to attend the prayer event "shocking."
Shocked? At what? That he would sell his precious image as an inept, post-modern leftist for political access?

Something as benign as the National Prayer Breakfast will draw shock, but indulging an offshoot of Shia Islam that believes that women don’t have souls doesn’t. Great thinking, guys. At least you know where the culture’s outreach priorities are.
the ‘Socialist and Communist City Hall in Sevilla’ paid 21,000 € for ‘illegal Bolivians’ to travel to Madrid to vote for Evo Morales. The paper claims that those legal Bolivians who did not want to vote for him were excluded.
Outside of Spanish municipal authorities worshiping at the altar of 3rd world neo-marxism fantasies, the matter of fact reporting of that week managed to find this indulgence to a religion unworthy of being called “shocking” though:
Zapatero’s visit to Syria at the start of his Middle East tour brings some coverage. El Mundo has a photo of the Spanish Prime Minister putting on over-slippers to protect the floor of the Mosque.

01 February 2010

Hatred, Low Humor, and High Culture

Sure, this kind of hatred is found in every part of the world, but it’s only in certain places where it’s done with such enthusiasm and élan, and with such care taken to spelling and the details that are as Nazi-like as possible:

The desecration in a Strasbourg cemetery came as Jews marked the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz death camp, a symbol of the Holocaust, when the Nazis killed millions.

France's main Jewish organization, CRIF, said at least 18 tombstones at the Cronenbourg cemetery were found Wednesday marked with swastikas and 13 of them were overturned.

The CRIF's Marc Knobel said the inscription "juden raus" (Jews out) was found on one tomb.
Not sounding the least like it was done by immigrants or descendants thereof, it comes as somewhat of a surprise since it took place in Strasbourg, a city that has an odd historical relationship with religious minorities.

Odd, because this is the sort of history hardly a soul in Europe likes to recall. They prefer to scream about Americans, using examples as strange as Christopher Columbus, killing Native Americans. The origin or place of birth of these Americans is rarely thought about.

While Strasbourg is in present day France, it’s changed hands over and over. Family and place names speak to a majority German heritage with a French and Francofilic elite. Prior to the Nazis taking power in Germany, religious minorities in the area, including Alsace’s Jews, were under the greatest pressure when the Germans were not in charge, only getting some relief from the iron fist of one of Napoleon’s dictats.

We also find the puzzle of European culture in this as well. Over millennia in the Rhein river valley, which has a rather unique cultural outlook distinct from both of its’ neighbors, yet sides somehow are still taken to the extent that while language ghettos of a German variant in France, and French variant on the German side, not speaking your neighbors’ language is more the rule than the exception. Even to this day, one finds French fluency among young Germans (told as they are that it aids one in work, and is culturally appropriate), but hardly a soul across the river who made any effort to learn German. On two occasions, German and French persons discovered that their humble interlocutor and translator happened to be a Yanqui, also called an Ami.

Even the signs found in the main train station, even on the local and regional platforms, are not customized to the extent that they vary from the pattern of French first, English below in smaller type, and German blow that in even smaller type.

Regardless of how much one ‘celebrates diversity’ in that kind of place, the objects of an ugly mentality’s fixation remain an enemy in a sort of cold war of atmospheric cultural factionalism. It ranges from learned hate to miserable grumbling and self-pity, and it’s all very traditional – maybe even their version of the place ‘The Waltons’ keeps in US culture. So to find ‘Juden Raus’ graffiti on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, one should hardly be surprised.

Acorn Continent

“[The recipients] do not question the EU to the extent they would if they were not being funded by it,” said Pieter Cleppe, from the euro sceptic think-tank Open Europe. “That’s the whole point of the grants”.
An outfit set up and funded to gin up good news for the EU puts in some mild criticism of NGOs, GONGOs, and other miscellaneous Astroturf flunkies for taking money. It’s kind of rich, and that’s where the fun starts, once you realize that they DO have a price... it’s more that the EU is giving them, but they do have a price.
But some argue that Clepp is ignoring the big budgets of some of Europe’s NGOs and think tanks.

For instance, the €146,000 the European Policy Centre receives, accounts for just over 5% of its budget, according to its chief Hans Martens. “You can’t buy us for that price […] We’ve never felt any pressure because of it,” he said.
No, no, of course not. Think about this, you either have SO little public interest in policy that the think-tank would never be funded by citizens, or funding is getting piped to it from other government funded interest-groups and universities as well as Brussels.

So you either have a bunch of clucks who just don’t see a reason to scrutinize governments, or a bunch of clucks who think getting funded for its’ own sake to effectively say nothing substantive is better than working for a living.