Press enter to see results or esc to cancel.

Socialism is as Socialism Does…

And what socialism does is kill people.

Whether it is National Socialism killing off the Jews to usher in the millenial kingdom, the ideal society, the 1,000 year reich, or Stalinist, Maoist, or Venuzuelan socialism killing off the kulaks or bourgoisie to achieve the same end, socialism kills.

Socialism fails because it does not understand human nature. Scientific materialism has a profoundly unscientific view of both nature and society. Because it does not reflect physical and human nature,  socialism cannot work without coercion. And coercion always means violence. The failures must be the fault of saboteurs. The saboteurs must be identified and destroyed.

It is an old joke, and a particularly gruesome one, that Stalin was just one purge away from achieving the perfect society.

Socialism and its cousin radical environmentalism are always just around the corner from achieving a perfect world. There’s just that one last group of people who stand in the way and must be removed to reach the final solution.

Australian Federal Budget 2018

I am just back from a long day at work, and too tired to think in detail about the 2018 budget.

But the Greens hate it, so that is an indication that at least some aspects of it are positive.

These might include reducing the likelihood  of “bracket creep” for low and middle income earners.

And especially good news, no increases in Newstart allowance (unemployment payments, the dole – as someone once said, the best social welfare programme is a job), no increases in funding for climate alarmism, and no increases in foreign aid. Many of the countries we have been handing money to have bigger armies than us and hate us anyway. And those on welfare will be required to pay fines out of their allowances, which will prevent the egregious build-up of massive fine debts by people who believe they will never have to pay.

But the level of overspending continues to be frightening, the so-called Gonski reforms in education are nothing of the sort, come at huge cost, and will continue the evidence-free over-bureaucratic and PC nonsense that has afflicted our schools and damaged education for more than a generation, and the outlawing of the use of legal currency, ie cash, for transactions over $10,000 suggests a troublingly excessive desire by Treasury to scrutinise private transactions. Adequate reporting measures are already in place for large cash transactions, so why outlaw them?

Maybe more over the weekend…  Have a good night everyone 🙂

Climate Change is a Moral Issue

Vain attempts to stop completely natural climate variation – aka global warming – kill millions of people in developing countries. 4.3 million people die every year from indoor pollution casued by burning wood and dung on open fires for cooking and heating. Yet  greenies actively work to stop poorer nations developing the electricity supplies and other forms of cheap energy they take for granted.

“The grim irony of the pursuit of “green” energy is that it may be placing millions of people in poor countries at risk of living much shorter, unhealthier lives due to air pollution, according to a new report from The Global Warming Policy Foundation.”

The report, by eminent epidemiologist Mikko Paunio, says that international bodies and NGOs are trying to prevent poor countries from expanding their use of conventional fuels, have abandoned the so-called “energy ladder” — the gradual shift to cleaner types of fuel that underpinned the clean up of air quality in industrialised nations. As Dr Paunio explains, this will have devastating consequences:
“Indoor air pollution from domestic fires kills millions every year. But instead of helping poor people to climb the energy ladder and clean the air in their communities, the poorest people are being given gimmicks like cookstoves, which make little difference to air quality, and solar panels, which are little more than a joke.”

What is worse, the greens inside and outside the development community are blaming air pollution on power stations, industry and cars, as a way to prevent any shift to industrial power production. As Dr Paunio makes clear, most air pollution in poor countries is in fact caused by burning low-quality biofuels and coal in domestic stoves:
“Trying to blame power stations for indoor air pollution might make greens feel they are saving the planet, but the reality is that they are allowing millions of deaths from air pollution to continue. The body count is going to rival that of the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century.”

And of course, the ones who shout loudest about the need for government and other people to “do something” about global warming are the ones who do least themselves.

All Israel Wants is to Live Peacefully Within its Borders

Time to end the false narrative of a right to return for millions of refugees who were never refugees at all.

By Aviv Ezra at American Thinker:

In November 1947 the United Nations voted to approve a partition plan that would have created a Jewish-majority state and an Arab-majority state in historic Palestine, and shared Jerusalem between the two parties. The Jews accepted the partition plan, and the results of the UN vote, though it provided insecure borders in a fragmented new state. Reaching a compromise is always a process in which neither side gets everything they want, but it is better than war, with all the destruction and upheaval which war brings.

Two thirds of the British Mandate given to create a homeland for the regions Arabs
Two thirds of the British Mandate was given to create a homeland for the region’s Arabs. The 1947 partition reduced this area again, leaving the Jewish people with less than half of their historic homeland, and less than 0.6% of land in the Middle East.

The Arab nations voted against the partition resolution in the General Assembly, and never accepted the results of the UN vote. The Arabs had never accepted the idea of a Jewish-majority state in any part of historic Palestine, and began a campaign of violence against the Zionists the very night the resolution was passed. During World War 2, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, holed up in Berlin, encouraged Adolf Hitler to turn his death machine against the Jews in Palestine while the Nazis were working to murder all the Jews in Europe. During the British mandate period, the Arabs had rejected earlier partition plans more favorable to them, such as the 1938 Peel Plan, because it allowed a tiny Jewish state to be created. In essence, the Arabs had fought Zionism for half a century, and were determined to deal the Jewish state a knockout blow as soon the British left in May 1948.

Five Arab nations attacked Israel the day it became a new nation, assisting the Arabs in Palestine in their effort to destroy Israel. Despite enormous advantages in armed men, planes, tanks, and other weaponry, the Arabs were unsuccessful. Israel survived the onslaught, and defeated the Arab armies , creating new borders for the Jewish state, as well as for Jordan and Egypt. At the end of the war, Jordan held Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank) and the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the old city, and expelled Jews who had lived there for thousands of years. Egypt captured Gaza in the war. At no point did Egypt and Jordan attempt to create a new Arab state of Palestine with the territories they had picked up in the war. Instead Jordan annexed the West Bank, a seizure recognized by only two nations, and Egypt held Gaza as a territory.

During the war, there were many people displaced on both sides. More than half a million Arabs became refugees. Most of them had left their towns as instructed by invading Arab armies to get out of the way of the coming planned slaughter of the Jews. Tens of thousands had left even before the UN partition resolution. Some fled a war zone, where there was very close fighting, a sensible thing to do. In some cases, the Israeli forces consolidated territorial corridors, particularly to Jerusalem. The Arabs also spread stories of civilian killings, which frightened many Arab residents to leave their towns, even though the stories were false or greatly exaggerated.

After the war, the Arabs demanded that the partition borders be restored, and all the refugees be allowed to return. This was a novel demand. If you start a war meaning to annihilate the enemy and you lose, you don’t get a do over. There are no do overs in history. The smart thing would have been for the Arabs to have accepted the partition plan and not started a war. There are consequences to starting a war and losing.

The Syrian Prime Minister during the war of 1948-1949, Haled Al Azm, wrote in his memoirs in 1973:

“Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave. Only a few months separated our call for them to leave and our appeal to the United Nations to resolve on their return.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wrote in 1976:

“The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettoes in which the Jews used to live.”

This is the real tragedy of the Palestinian Arabs. Those who left their homes wound up not far from home, in Arab countries which had supported their cause during the war. They were among other Arabs, who spoke the same language, had the same culture, and the same religion. No refugee population should have had it easier, given that Arabs wound up among their own people. But the Arab countries refused to allow normal resettlement, as usually occurs with refugees, instead relegating many refugees to squalid camps, in which their families have lived now for 3 or 4 generations. Many Palestinians have chosen to remain in these camps dreaming of a return to Israel, clanging old keys from 70 years back, or been threatened if they wanted to leave. But how can you “return” to a place where you have never lived or even visited? The truth of the matter is that there may be no more than 25,000 refugees remaining alive from the 1948 war. The rest are descendants — children, grandchildren even great grandchildren of original refugees, none of whom have been in Israel or left it.

All the refugee populations in the world come under the jurisdiction of a single UN agency, except for the Palestinians. All other refugees do not pass refugee status on to descendants, only the refugees themselves are counted as such. Only the Palestinians are allowed to count all descendants as refugees, and many have chosen to live off their collective grievance, rather than move on with their lives.

Sephardic Jews, more than 800,000 of whom were expelled or encouraged to leave Arab countries in the years after the creation of Israel, provide a far better and more humane approach for dealing with refugees. Israel absorbed more than 70 per cent of these refugees (France and the United States took many others) and within a few short years, had moved them out of temporary housing and allowed them to start new lives in Israel. I know because my father and his 4 brothers and parents left all of their lives and assets behind when they fled from Iraq and they made themselves a new life in Israel.

Today there are 6.6 million Jews in Israel, and 1.8 million Arabs, more than 11 times as many Arabs as resided within the borders of Israel at the end of the fighting in 1949. So much for the absurd notion of ethnic cleansing. In essence, Israel’s war of independence resulted in a population exchange, something that is very common during wars or when new nations are created. 20 million Muslims and Hindus moved to new countries when India and Pakistan became nations.

The demand for a right of return for millions of Palestinians, including all the descendants of refugees, signals one enduring Palestinian goal — to destroy the state of Israel, by overwhelming it with Arabs from abroad. The Palestinians still do not accept a two-state solution, just as they refused the partition in 1948, but demand a single state they can dominate.

Israel will not commit national suicide to endorse a false narrative of what happened 70 years back.

Doctors Remove 132 Pound Ovarian Tumour

A 132-pound ovarian tumor was removed from a 38-year-old Connecticut woman this year, according to two doctors involved in the case.

The patient, who wished to remain anonymous, reported that the tumor began growing at a rate of about 10 pounds per week in November. A medical team, including 12 surgeons, removed it in a five-hour procedure February 14 at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut, according to Dr. Vaagn Andikyan, a gynecologic oncologist for Western Connecticut Health Network and a lead surgeon on the case.

Surgeons remove 132lb tumor
Surgeons remove 132lb tumor

How terrifying to feel something growing inside you at 10 pounds every week. Thank God for science and modern medicine.

Chicago Gun Violence

“New reports reveal a deadly wave of gun violence in Chicago, with nearly forty people shot in three days. A 15-year old boy, a young mother, and even a four-year-old girl sitting on her porch have all been shot dead.

These are just a few of the nearly 40 people who were gunned down in Chicago over a mere three-day period this week.

This level of violence is usually not seen until the middle of summer in Chicago, but as temperatures reached into the 80’s this week criminals were drawn into the streets.

On Monday, one person was shot dead and nine others were wounded. A day later, 12 people were hit by gunfire in a 12-hour period.

However, Wednesday was the worst of all with at least 14 people shot in just nine-hours. This included a 15-year-old boy who was shot in the head while riding the bus home from school.”

Chicago is the perfect example of strict gun control not reducing gun violence. This is because gun ownership on its own is not correlated with higher rates of gun violence.

Until authorities base policy on fact, nothing will change. And the facts are that most gun deaths in the US are suicides. Of the remainder, almost all are committed in localities with high populations of blacks or illegal immigrants, and almost all are related to gang violence or the commission of petty crimes.

Saudi Arabia to Permit Churches

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad has agreed to allow Christians to build churches in Saudi Arabia.

If this is accurate, it is a remarkable breakthrough. Muhammad said that no religions other than Islam should be permitted on the Arabian peninsula. There will be strong resistance from Islamic leaders to any suggestion Christians should be allowed to build churches in Saudi Arabia.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has recently pushed through reforms allowing women to drive, and cinemas to be opened. The Saudis are the guardians of the holy sites. This new openness, and willingness to engage in more open trade, talk and travel with Israel, could signal hope for real reform in Islam, and a move away from Wahabist extremism.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman meets with President Donald Trump at the White House on March 20th 2018
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman meets with President Donald Trump at the White House on March 20th 2018

Meeting with Prince Muhammad on March 20th, President Trump described the relationship between the US and Saudia Arabia as “.. probably the strongest it’s ever been.”

Crown Prince Mohammed, speaking in English, described the Kingdom as “the oldest ally of America in the Middle East”, with political, economic and security co-operation as deep foundations for the relationship.

“We know today the relation produced more than four million jobs directly and indirectly,” he said.

Trade and openness lead to peace. Let’s hope that other Islamic countries will follow Saudi Arabia’s lead.

No, Orange Juice Does Not Cause Cancer

Scary headlines claiming orange juice causes cancer still float around the internet, even though the authors of a 2015 study themselves said their findings were not conclusive.

“Grapefruit and orange juices are breakfast staples for many of us. But consuming these in large amounts may be putting us at higher risk of melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – according to a new study.

… Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the study found people who consumed high amounts of whole grapefruit or orange juice were over a third more likely to develop melanoma, compared with those who consumed low amounts.”

Orange juice causes skin cancer? Probably not.
Orange juice causes skin cancer? Probably not.

Well, maybe. But as I have pointed out before, correlation does not prove causation.

“Though Dr. Wu and colleagues did not investigate the mechanisms underlying the association between citrus fruit consumption and melanoma risk, they speculate that it may be because the fruits are rich in psoralens and furocoumarins, which are believed to make the skin more sensitive to the sun.” So, just guessing, then.

Let’s suggest another, simpler, possibility. More citrus juices are consumed in places where more citrus is grown. Citrus fruit is almost entirely grown in warmer climates with lots of sunshine. Exposure to sunlight is the predominant cause of melanoma.

I think William of Ockham would prefer my theory.

 

Trump Right on Korean Peace

South Korean President Moon Jae-in says President Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing about the new rapport between North and South Korea, and for getting North Korea to agree to dismantle its nuclear arms programme:

South Korean President Moon Jae-in thinks US President Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, according to a South Korean official.

“President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace,” Mr Moon told a meeting of senior secretaries, according to a presidential Blue House official who briefed media.

Mr Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Friday pledged at a summit to end hostilities between their countries and work toward the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula.”

Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in walk together at the border village of Panmunjom
Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in walk together at the border village of Panmunjom

A reporter yesterday called out to President Trump on the White House lawn: “Do you think you deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?”

Trump answered: “Peace is the prize.”

Amen to that.

James Randi and Homeopathy

Need a dose of common-sense? Watch this. Even if you have seen it before, it is worth another look.

Also, homeopathy is stupid. So is naturopathy. So is chiropractic. None of these have any basis in science or reality. None of them work. Don’t waste your money.

Vaccines, Anti-vaxxers and Faulty Reasoning

My chiropractor told me I don’t have the gene for autism, so it must have been caused by something else, probably vaccines.

I blame hair conditioner. Widespread use of hair conditioner began in the seventies, shortly before the alarming rise in diagnoses of autism. Well, what do you expect, rubbing chemicals into your head? Even now, places where hair conditioner is not used have a far lower reported incidence of autism. The more hair conditioner a population uses, the higher the rate of autism diagnosis in that community.

Well, no. I don’t really think autism is caused by hair conditioner, though that correlation does exist.

This is the kind of argument frequently used by anti-vaccination campaigners; this happened, then that happened, so this must have caused that. My child was vaccinated, then I noticed his ears turning purple. That had never happened before. Big pharma is trying to poison us!

This kind of faulty reasoning is so old and so common it has a name; post hoc ergo propter hoc. After this therefore because of this. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew this did not necessarily follow over two thousand years ago.

But  anti-vaxxers still manage to fool some people, potentially endangering themselves, their children, and others.

A couple of years ago in a doctors office in Perth, a nurse was drawing down a vaccine to administer to a four year old girl. The child began having convulsions while she was waiting with her mother. If her convulsions had started just a few minutes later, medical staff would never have been able to convince her parents they were not caused by the vaccine.

Just because something happens after something else does not mean the first thing caused the second.

Changes in Climate Have Nothing to Do With Changes in Atmospheric CO2

CO2 is not a driver of climate. Climate changes constantly. There is no long-term correlation between rises in CO2 and subsequent rises in globally averaged temperatures.

CO2 is vital for all life on earth. At levels below 300 ppm, plant growth and productivity begins to be severely impaired. Optimum levels for plant growth seems to be about 1000ppm. This is the level greenhouse operators aim for to give maximum growth and yields. Humans and other animals cope easily with levels as high as 4,000 ppm. Our exhaled breath contains as much as 35,00ppm and is safely used for CPR.

Atmospheric CO2 is currently at near its lowest level ever on geological timescales.
Atmospheric CO2 is currently at near its lowest level ever on geological timescales.

 

Changes in CO2 do not drive changes in climate.
Changes in CO2 do not drive changes in climate.

The City of Adelaide

In 1916 the ship the City of Adelaide was wrecked near Magnetic Island in Queensland. This is what remains now.

Wreck of the City of Adelaide, off Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia
Wreck of the City of Adelaide, off Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia

Seems like an appropriate time for one of my favourite poems:

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said — “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Multivitamins and Supplements

For almost everyone, multivitamins and supplements are not necessary, do not work, and are probably harmful.

Taking vitamin A dramatically increases the risk of developing lung cancer in smokers.

Excess intake of vitamin E increases mortality (in other words, you are likely to die sooner), increases rates of heart failure, and significantly increases the risk of prostate cancer.

Taking calcium supplements actually increases the risk of suffering a hip fracture, as well as increasing the risk of death from cardio-vascular disease.

Taking anti-oxidants increases your risk of getting colon cancer.

If you are pregnant, a dark-skinned person who lives in a cold or dark environment, a diabetic who takes metformin, or if you have been on high dose of a proton pump inhibitor for more than a year, you should talk to you doctor (a real medical doctor, not a scammer like a chiropractor or naturopath), who will check, and if necessary advise about possible short term supplementation.

For everyone else, unless you have been diagnosed with a specific deficiency, vitamins and supplements are more likely to harm you than do you good. And yet people in the USA spend more than $32 billion per year on them.