Monday, December 28, 2009

The other thing they dislike is that, as a theist, I reject the materialistic explanation of the universe which is held to by some, but by no means all, scientists. Now, if you think that paddle-steamers and telegrams are modern, you may still imagine that this is the triumphant, settled view among scientists. But if you pay any attention at all to modern science, especially Physics, you will find that it simply isn't so. Nor was it from the beginning. There is a perfectly clear argument that science and reason have their origins in Theism, especially monotheism, since monotheism relegates the Moon, stars and Sun from being Gods themselves to being (as someone said, who?) 'mere lamps and clocks'; simultaneously it makes the universe potentially explicable, and potentially reasonable, rather than just something that just mysteriously is, without purpose or direction. If other people wish to use science to exclude the possibility of God, that is their affair, but - as I always argue - it is their choice to do so and there is no ultimate supreme court of science to which they can appeal, which will rule in their favour. Nor can such questions be resolved by claims about 'the vast majority' or 'the consensus', since science, if it is anything, is not ruled by such things. They are equally free to choose a Theist explanation, and they really shouldn't try to pretend that science and God are incompatible.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A lot of what's interesting is found in the negligable..

I think most of what I find interesting, becomes interesting because I've failed to notice something which turns out to be more than what I have foreseen.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In a statement released while Dr Fox was working overseas, he has explained the reason behind the repayments.

He said: "In October I raised with Sir Thomas the issue of the formula used by the fees office to determine reimbursement of mortgage interest against the cost of refurbishment and repairs.

"Sir Thomas has subsequently asked for a repayment of £7984.28 as a settlement for the accumulated overpayments over five years.

In other words you. are. pissed.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lead singer of the Inspiral Carpets, Tom Hingley, who currently lectures at Salford University on pop music, told Channel 4 News at Noon: "I think it's quite extraordinary for Simon Cowell to describe anyone else as being Scrooge."

He said that Simon Cowell and Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller "have kind of monopolised the top ten in Britain".

"It's like if the people who owned (Aintree) owned all the horses and all the bookies and voted on the winner at the Grand National.

"I don't know why these records from these reality TV shows have ever been eligible for the charts…it's not a fair playing field for all the rest of the music industry."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How long can donors justify this expenditure? If Israel continues, as its prime minister says it will, to build settlements, making an agreement on a viable Palestinian state all but impossible, should the international community simply shrug its shoulders and write more cheques? The money that I spent in Palestine on behalf of European voters and taxpayers over five years as a European commissioner has drained away into the blood-soaked sand. Many projects funded by European taxpayers have been reduced to rubble by the Israeli Defence Forces. Is Europe’s role in the region to be the paymaster for intransigence and the use of disproportionate force?
Just one final point, there is an element of fantasy and arrogance here, that Israel wants to dictate to Great Britain what to do in its judiciary when Britain is the one that founded Israel.
Mr Reddihough brayed, as he wielded the sword of injustice: ‘If persons were permitted to take the law into their own hands and inflict their own instant and violent punishment on an apprehended offender rather than letting justice take its course, then the rule of law and our system of criminal justice, which are the hallmarks of a civilised society, would collapse.’

Take this garbage slice by slice. Whose law is it, if not ours? Why shouldn’t it be in our hands? It is wrong to steal, to rape, to kill. We all know this.
Must we stand by while these things happen, and wait for the useless police to come, hours later, and for the CPS then to drop the case?
What he means is that Left-wing fake justice fears competition from the real thing, and will do all in its power to keep the monopoly of force in its hands. That is why some of the toughest sentences are reserved for those who defend themselves against crime.

What ‘civilised society’ is he talking about? Does he live in this country? What is this ‘justice’ that he says will take its course? Heaven forbid that Mr Reddihough should ever need to call upon it, but if he does, he will find that he might as well dress up as a pantomime dame as in his wig and robes, for all the good he is doing.
By the time he qualifies for his large pension, the actions of people like him will have made the country so unsafe that even retired judges may come home to find skunk-crazed robbers waiting for them.

Here’s the point, Mr Injustice Reddihough. People like you have destroyed the rule of law by your weakness and discredited policies. There is no rule of law, just the rule of fear.

Bad people should be afraid of the law. When they are not, we have to be afraid of bad people.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Germans have restricted their military exertions in Afghanistan to horticulture, when will we see sense and just pull out of this mess.

The symbolic entrance sign to the Nazi death camp Aushwitz has been stolen. My guess is it couldn't have been taken without some help from inside.

There is still a small but significant Nazi/neo Nazi trend in Poland which goes largely unreported.
Simon Cowell wants to open up the X Factor to address serious political issues in a similar TV format, I can't wait to see the death penalty proposed for egregious fashion crimes and see it pass with a comfortable majority.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Under international law, “questionable legitimacy” does not exist. An attack on a sovereign state is a crime. This was made clear by Britain’s chief law officer, Attorney General Peter Goldsmith, before his arm was twisted, and by the Foreign Office’s own legal advisers and subsequently by the secretary-general of the United Nations. The invasion is the crime of the 21st century. During 17 years of assault on a defenceless civilian population, veiled with weasel monikers like “sanctions” and “no fly zones” and “building democracy”, more people have died in Iraq than during the peak years of the slave trade. Set that against Sir Jeremy’s skin-saving revisionism about American “noises” that were “decidedly unhelpful to what I was trying to do [at the UN] in New York”. Moreover, “I myself warned the Foreign Office... that I might have to consider my own position...”.

In February, Jack Straw, one of Blair’s principal accomplices, the man who let the mass murderer General Pinochet escape justice and the current “justice secretary”, overruled the Information Commissioner who had ordered the government to publish Cabinet minutes during the period Lord Goldsmith was pressured into changing his judgement that the invasion was illegal. How they fear exposure, and worse.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What about some kind of political engagement for the X Factor?

If you went around the public now there would 5 or 6 big issues... so I think there could be some kind of referendum type TV show... because I'm more interested in hearing what the public have to say than politicians.

There are so many really hot topics, for instance, should we or shouldn't we be in Iraq and Afghanistan? If you actually asked most people in the country, why are we there? I couldn't even tell you I don't know why we're there, I knew why we were in the Falklands, I don't know why we're over there. So when we see all these people coming back dead, I think we have a right to have a say in something like that, or knife crime, or just the whole way I don't think the justice system is working properly at the moment.
Stella Artois are hoping that their 'send a card, save a tree' campaign will save a million rainforest trees before Christmas, too bad half a million were cut down to process the promotional beer mats. Oh well you've got to kill trees to save trees, moving on.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The class war is not about hanging the Bourgeoisie from lampposts, its about recognising that different sections of society have interests which don't coincide with yours, and deciding which side you're on.
You had not formerly yet left the services... [and] that has attacked one of the fundamental principles of our constitution, which is the separation between the government and the military.
Mohammed Nasheed, the President of the drowning Maldives, said simply: “The last generation of humans went to the moon. This generation of humans needs to decide if it wants to stay alive on planet earth.”

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sooner or later the Conservative party will have to face up to the fact that they are the first party in history to devise a tax cut entirely for themselves.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

NIR ROSEN: This is impossibly naïve and would require a revolution in the way America does business, but stop supporting dictatorships in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and elsewhere, stop supporting the Pakistani dictatorships or quasi-dictatorship, stop supporting the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Be perceived as a fair player in the Middle East and the Muslim world. Stop killing Muslims and Muslims will not want to kill you. It is really very easy.
the McChrystal report or assessment identified the Afghan police as one of the main problems in the country, so your going to double them? —So you’re going to double? Basically the Afghan police are the recruiters for the Taliban. They oppress the population. They are mostly on drugs. They are incompetent. Some of them are very brave and they are being killed in large numbers, but your going to double this corrupt and oppressive force? That is truly not going to win you any support among the local population. The Afghan army, meanwhile, which we have spent billions on, was a failure. We saw in the Helmand operation in July, they just decided not to show up. I was in Helmand and the Americans and Brits were surprised and complaining the Afghan army didn’t feel like taking part. They perceive themselves more as a force designed for external threats, not for internal purposes. So that’s a complete waste.
If we are talking about Al Qaeda and the whole reason for why we are in Afghanistan allegedly is this threat from Al Qaeda which has been severely exaggerated, then at least understand their motives. Their chief motives are the Indian occupation of Kashmir, the Israeli and American backed occupation of Palestine. These are the motives. If your goal is to weaken Al Qaeda, understand their motives, address their grievances. This is not some James Bond villain the wants to attack the U.S. for no reason. These people who have grievances, the same grievances that have been troubling people around the world for decades. They were once explained using a secular Marxist nationalist discourse, today it has become a more religious discourse; but the grievances have remained the same. So why, if your goal is to weaken Al Qaeda, are you attacking the Taliban? The Taliban being a local movement with a very limited and unsophisticated ideology. Al Qaeda exists to much larger extent in Pakistan yet there are no American troops in Pakistan, so why do you need such a huge military footprint in Afghanistan were there is no Al Qaeda really if they are coming in from Pakistan?

In Pakistan you do not have this American presence and yet you have been relatively successful. There been no attacks on America thanks to intelligence, interdiction, heightened security. Al Qaeda isn’t really a threat. You have a couple of hundred relatively unsophisticated guys. They used their A team on September 11 and it was tragic, but it wasn’t that significant and didn’t really affect the U.S. What affected the US was the American response internally and abroad. Al Qaeda isn’t really a big deal, but even if you think it’s a big deal, even if you think this is a huge threat that really deserves so much of our resources, understand their grievances and address them.

If your remove Palestine and Kashmir, you’d have way less people in the world who support Al Qaeda, who want to join it. Instead, what we are doing is increasing the occupation of a Muslim country. Although Obama mentioned the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, he mentioned Al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan, what about the American occupation of Afghanistan? What about all the innocent people who being killed there today thanks to American counter-insurgency, counter terrorism operations only further increasing ethnic tensions? You are going to have a civil war in Afghanistan between Tajiks and Pashtuns at some point. It is going more and more in that direction.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Why is the Copenhagen summit looking more and more like a tin-foil hat convention for self-righteous Millenarians

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The confusing and varying disparity between the popularity and perceived worth of various products and artistic endeavours is much documented and discussed. Why are some shit things so popular – Madame Tussauds and Dan Brown books, for example? And yet some popular things are also brilliant, like The Simpsons and the Angel of the North. While other brilliant things hardly anyone buys – I'd put my friend's first novel and sherry in this category. And then there are things for which there's an apparent consensus of abhorrence, and yet loads of people do: hogging the middle lane, going to James Blunt concerts and so on.

So I realised the commercial viability of I Dreamed a Dream is no guarantee of musical excellence. It'll just make a fortune for some, while others' minds turn darkly to eugenics. I've listened to it now and I think I prefer it to But Seriously. Mind you, it's been a long time since I heard that – I couldn't get the cassette to go on my iPod.
It was the misplaced deference of civil servants and others, and the trusting compliance of a largely gullible media, which led us into folly. If we can learn one thing from this, it is that we trust our governments far too much.