Friday, September 30, 2005
And if the NYT says it, it must be so!
The diet messages are everywhere: the National Cancer Institute has an "Eat 5 to 9 a Day for Better Health" program, the numbers referring to servings of fruits and vegetables, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation has a detailed anticancer diet. Yet despite the often adamant advice, scientists say they really do not know whether dietary changes will make a difference. And there lies a quandary for today's medicine. It is turning out to be much more difficult than anyone expected to discover if diet affects cancer risk. Hypotheses abound, but convincing evidence remains elusive....
Dr. Barnett Kramer, deputy director in the office of disease prevention at the National Institutes of Health, said: "Over time, the messages on diet and cancer have been ratcheted up until they are almost co-equal with the smoking messages. I think a lot of the public is completely unaware that the strength of the message is not matched by the strength of the evidence." .....
Dr. Tim E. Byers, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, was convinced that up to 20 percent of cancers were being caused by diet and he wanted to be part of the exciting new research that would prove it. "I felt we were really on the cusp of important new discoveries about food and how the right choice of foods would improve cancer risk," Dr. Byers sad. That was 25 years ago, when the evidence was pointing to diet. For example, cross-country comparisons of cancer rates suggested a dietary influence.....
At the same time, some cancers were inexplicably becoming more common or, just as inexplicably, fading away in the United States. In 1930, for instance, stomach cancer was the second leading cause of cancer death in women and the leading cause in men. Now, Dr. Stampfer says, stomach cancer is not even listed in the American Cancer Society's 10 leading cancers. "So people think, 'What's happened in the past 70 years to make that change?' " he said. "Diet comes to mind."
The best studies are the hardest to conduct: prospective studies that that follow healthy people for years instead of looking backward and relying on memory. Even better - and harder and more expensive - are studies that randomly assign people to follow a particular diet or not. But those more difficult studies were well worth doing, researchers said. And as more studies started, scientists hoped for definitive evidence that diet affected cancer. But as the results from those studies have begun to roll in, many researchers say they are taken aback. The findings, they say, are not what they expected.
Fat in the diet, the studies found, made no difference for breast cancer. "For fat and breast cancer, almost all of the prospective studies were null," Dr. Schatzkin said. Fiber, in the form of fruits and vegetables, seemed to have a weak effect or no effect on colon cancer.
The more definitive randomized controlled trials were disappointing, too, with one exception. A study reported in May found that women with early stage breast cancer who followed a low-fat diet had a 20 percent lower risk of recurrence. Even so, the effects were just marginally statistically significant. The study's principal investigator, Dr. Rowan Chlebowski of the Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center, said it needed to be repeated before scientists would be convinced.
Nonetheless, the study contrasted sharply with those preceding it. Several involved beta carotene and antioxidant vitamins like C and E, substances that scientists thought were the protective agent in fruits and vegetables. The idea was that antioxidants could mop up free radicals in the body, which left unchecked could damage DNA, causing cancer. Beta carotene was of special interest. People who ate lots of fruits and vegetables had more beta carotene in their blood, and the more beta carotene in the blood, the lower the cancer risk.
But a four-year study that asked whether beta carotene, with or without vitamins C and E, could protect against colon polyps, from which most colon cancers start, found no effect. People who took either beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E or all three had virtually identical rates of new polyps compared to participants taking dummy pills.
Another study, of 22,000 doctors randomly assigned to take beta carotene or a placebo, looked for an effect on any and all cancers. It found nothing. Two more, involving current and former smokers, found that those taking beta carotene actually had slightly higher lung cancer rates than those taking placebos.
Studies of fiber and colon cancer were similarly disappointing.
BRITISH SOCIALISTS GETTING CRAZIER AND CRAZIER ABOUT "JUNK" FOOD
While British educational standards are going down the plughole, the British government is obsessing about what the kids eat
Ruth Kelly declared war on tuck shops yesterday as part of her campaign to expel junk food from schools. The Education Secretary said that crisps, chocolate and fizzy drinks would be banned from sale in schools from September 2006. Schools will be required by law to empty vending machines of the products and remove them from tuck shops. A spokesman for Ms Kelly said that new legislation would cover “any way that food is served in schools, in tuck shops and vending machines”.
Processed burgers, sausages and other foods high in fat, salt and sugar content will also be outlawed as part of new nutritional standards for school canteens. Ms Kelly told delegates at the Labour Party conference in Brighton that it was time to act against the diet of junk food served to pupils at school. “I am absolutely clear: the scandal of junk food served every day in school canteens must end,” she said. “And because children need healthy options throughout the day, from next September no school will be able to have vending machines selling crisps, chocolates and sugary fizzy drinks.”
Head teachers’ leaders said that many parents send children to school with packed lunches containing crisps, chocolate and fizzy drinks. They also said that head teachers could not change what was sold in vending machines because they were controlled by outside contractors under the Government’s Private Finance Initiative.
Ms Kelly’s spokesman said that companies would have to amend their contracts to comply with the new law. Instead of sweets and crisps, vending machines will be expected to offer items such as milk, bottled water and fresh fruit. The Education Secretary said that she would publish a report next week by the Government’s school meals review panel setting out detailed proposals for tough nutritional standards. Her announcement followed government promises to improve school dinners after a television campaign by the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver highlighted appalling standards of nutrition.
John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, said that a ban on unhealthy food in schools would be difficult to implement. “Children eat over a thousand meals a year, but less than 200 of these are in school,” he said. Mr Dunford said that plans to make Ofsted responsible for inspecting the quality of school meals was “just silly”. Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “School leaders are heartily sick of having initiative after initiative foisted upon them. “We wholeheartedly support healthy schools programmes, but to expect schools to provide a quality meal for less than the price of the cheapest unhealthy burger does not stand up to serious scrutiny.”
BRITAIN: FOOD CORRECTNESS SCARES BEST IGNORED
Two headlines this week will have left parents in despair. First was a claim by the Soil Association that 25 per cent more pesticides were found in samples of school fruit compared with fruit bought from shops; second was news from Canadian researchers who found that children who drink bottled water rather than fluoridated tap water may be missing out on tooth protection.
It's not fair, is it? There you are thinking that you are doing the right thing and someone tells you that you've got it wrong, yet again. Why is it, for example, that your children are toting a bottle of water in their lunch boxes? Because you thought getting them to drink water would be better for them than sending them in with cartons of tooth-rotting squash. Similarly with the schools fruit programme. You thought five a day was good and now someone is telling you that school fruit is full of pesticides.
Neither of these headlines gives the whole picture. Children today have better dental health than their parents and most are likely to reach adulthood without a single cavity. Most will also keep their teeth to old age, unlike their grandparents. This spectacular improvement is due to fluoride which, in those parts of the country that do not have fluoride either added to the water or present naturally, comes mainly from toothpaste. N ot so long ago there was a scare that children were having too much fluoride from toothpaste, hence the recommendation that under-sixes use only a pea- sized amount on their brush.
Is water better than squash or cola? You bet. And providing it in a form that's accessible and pleasant (unlike the school drinking fountain) is entirely sensible.
As for fruit and veg, it's taken us the best part of a decade to get people to understand that five portions a day is the way to go. How little acquaintance children have with green stuff was shown on Jamie Oliver's School Dinners programme. Several children didn't know what an onion looked like.
All but two of the pesticide residues identified in the Soil Association report were below government maximum residue levels, which are set with a wide safety margin and also assume that a substance is consumed at breakfast, lunch, tea and supper, every day, which is clearly not the case in real life. Thus a "maximum" residue is very tiny. The benefits of eating fruit and vegetables far outweigh any possible harm from pesticides, which at these levels has yet to be proved.
So ignore the headlines, and if you can get fruit, veg and water, of any type, into your child, take three house points, a gold star and go to the top of the class immediately.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Pity about courage, confidence, boldness, resolution, peace of mind etc
Fear is fast becoming a caricature of itself. It is no longer simply an emotion or a response to the perception of threat. It has become a cultural idiom through which we signal a sense of unease about our place in the world.
Popular culture encourages an expansive, alarmist imagination through providing the public with a steady diet of fearful programmes about impending calamities - man-made and natural. Now even so-called high culture cannot resist the temptation of promoting fear: a new exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York has the theme of 'The perils of modern living'. Fear is also the theme that dominates the Eighth Contemporary Art Biennial of Lyon. Natasha Edwards writes about the 'art of fear' that haunts this important exhibition of contemporary European art. But the more we cultivate a twenty-first century sensibility of anxiety, the more we can lose sight of the fact that fear today is very different to the experience of the past.
Throughout history human beings have had to deal with the emotion of fear. But the way we fear and what we fear changes all the time. During the past 2,000 years we mainly feared supernatural forces. In medieval times volcanic eruptions and solar eclipses were a special focus of fear since they were interpreted as symptoms of divine retribution. In Victorian times many people's fears were focused on unemployment.
Today, however, we appear to fear just about everything. One reason why we fear so much is because life is dominated by competing groups of fear entrepreneurs who promote their cause, stake their claims, or sell their products through fear. Politicians, the media, businesses, environmental organisations, public health officials and advocacy groups are continually warning us about something new to fear.
The activities of these fear entrepreneurs serves to transform our anxieties about life into tangible fears. Every major event becomes the focus for competing claims about what you need to fear. Take the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It is not bad enough that we have to worry about the destructive consequence of this terrible catastrophe: according to some fear entrepreneurs, there is more to come. They claim that global warming will turn disasters like Katrina into normal events. Free-market ideologues blame 'Big Bureaucracy' for the mismanagement of the rescue operation. Critics of President George W Bush point the finger at the war in Iraq. And Bush blames local government. In the meantime, some contend that New Orleans represents God's punishment for human sin, while others suggest that the whole event is driven by a hidden conspiracy against the black race.
The fierce competition between alarmist fear entrepreneurs helps consolidate a climate of intense mistrust. Is it any surprise that many African Americans believe that the Bush administration sought to save New Orleans' white districts by flooding black neighbourhoods, through deliberately engineering the levee breaks?
The catastrophe that wreaked havoc in Louisiana was also a test of our humanity. But sadly we were encouraged to interpret the event in the worst possible terms. Most of the stories about rape, looting, gang killings and other forms of anti-social behaviour turned out to be just that - stories. But for a while we became distracted from empathising with our fellow human beings as we feared for the breakdown of civilisation.
It is not simply the big events like Katrina that are subjected to competing claims on the fear market. Imagine that you are a parent. For years you have been told that sunshine represents a mortal danger to your child, and that you must protect them from skin cancer by minimising their exposure to the sun. Then, this summer, a report is published that raises concerns about the rise of vitamin E deficiency among children who have been far too protected from the sun. So what do you do? The fact is that a growing range of human experience - from natural disasters to children's lives in the outdoors - is now interpreted through competing claims about fear.
Our misanthropic reaction to the catastrophe in New Orleans is reproduced daily in response to far more mundane events. That is why society cannot discuss a problem facing children without going into panic mode. Research shows that when viewers see an image of a child on a TV news item, they automatically anticipate a negative story. So a majority of people who were asked to give their interpretation of a photo of a man cuddling a child responded by stating that this was a picture of a paedophile instead of an act of a loving father.
More of this sad story from Frank Furedi here
MORE FOOD CORRECTNESS: BRITISH SCHOOLS BAN CHOCOLATE
As far as they can. But highly calorific milk is still OK, of course. But the really terrible thing is that companies make a PROFIT selling stuff that people want! Our nasty little enviers can't allow that!
Vending machines selling fizzy drinks, chocolates and crisps are to be banned from the country's state schools under laws to improve children's diets. Ruth Kelly, the education secretary, has decided that not only meals but also the machines will be covered by nutritional standards for school food. Junk food and sweets currently sold in the machines will have to be replaced by fruit, milk and bottled water.
Snack and drink manufacturers had hoped that vending machines would escape the crackdown, but the school meals review panel, set up by Kelly to examine nutritional standards, has decided that "healthy eating" rules must apply to all food and drink available at school. The panel says that the move will require legislation. "Unless you stop selling the highly branded sugary snacks and drinks," one panel member said, "they will always be chosen by children. You have to remove them if you're going to be serious about reforming the school meals service. "The way companies have profited from these machines at the expense of children's health - and in the light of rising obesity - has been disgraceful."
The proposal is likely to be opposed by manufacturers, with critics arguing that children unable to buy fizzy drinks and sweet snacks at school will buy them from local shops. Supporters of the policy say that schools will not lose too heavily from the change."
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney kicked off a rumpus this month when he observed that homeland security depends not just on protecting assets but on counterterror intelligence -- including keeping tabs on people and places when there is reason to believe they may be involved in terrorism or its incitement. "People who are in settings -- mosques, for instance -- that may be teaching doctrines of hate and terror," Romney said in remarks at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. "Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping? Are we following what's going on? Are we seeing who's coming in, who's coming out? Are we eavesdropping, carrying out surveillance on those individuals that are coming from places that sponsor domestic terror?"
Well, no kidding. After 9/11, after the Madrid and London transit massacres, after everything we have learned about the radical Islamist quest to force its ideology on the West, it is hard to imagine anyone objecting to Romney's statement of the obvious. But object they did. The ACLU accused the governor of proposing "another giant stride toward a police state." The Council on American Islamic Relations, shamelessly distorting Romney's words, said it was aghast that any governor would "suggest blanket wiretapping of houses of worship." A gaggle of left-wing groups, including the Cambridge Peace Commission and the American Friends Service Committee, staged a protest outside the governor's Beacon Hill office.
But if they expected to browbeat him into an apology, they were disappointed. "This thing is just common sense," he told reporters. "Surely we have to recognize that some of this has gone on in mosques in the past . . . . There have been places of extremism where certain teachers have been identified as having been involved in . . . terrorist attacks. Let's not pretend that's not the case." Again, a statement of the obvious. But imagine the reaction if Romney had said something not so obvious. Something, say, like this:
"The most dangerous thing that is going on now in these mosques . . . is the extremists' ideology. Because they are very active, they took over the mosques; and we can say that they took over more than 80 percent of the mosques that have been established in the US. And there are more than 3,000 mosques in the US."
An American politician who uttered such thoughts would be smeared as a bigot. But it wasn't a politician who said them. It was a Muslim scholar and humanitarian, the Sufi sheik Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, speaking at a State Department forum in 1999. Kabbani was one of the first moderate Muslim leaders in the United States with the courage to publicly denounce the extremists. Unfortunately, his alarm didn't wake most Americans from their pre-9/11 slumber (though there were some who were paying attention). But what excuse can there be now for not taking seriously his warning that most US mosques are in the hands of a radical minority? As Romney says, "This thing is just common sense."
BRITISH KIDS STILL RESISTING "CORRECT" FOOD
The bit I have highlighted in red really gave me a laugh. Nice to see the dictators defeated
"Some educational establishments are famous for their alumni or their prowess on the rugby field, but if Ealdham primary school achieves a mention in the history books it will be as the place where a child threw up in his lunch on national television. In the battle to change the eating habits of the nation's schoolchildren, Ealdham is on the front line and the battle against the dreaded Turkey Twizzler has not easily been won. More than a year after Jamie Oliver powered into Greenwich, southeast London, pledging to improve the quality of school meals in the borough - and thereby creating a blueprint for revolutionising school meals nationwide - Ealdham is still struggling to persuade parents and children that the switch from chips and burgers to slow-cooked balsamic beef with mushrooms, Mexican bean wraps and salads has been a good thing.
"In the early days the children would be in tears and the parents were very angry and upset," says Sally Castle, Ealdham's head teacher. "I used to look out of my office and see them meeting their kids at the school gate with McDonald's Happy Meals." It was rapidly apparent there was going to be a huge gulf between those who would willingly adapt to Jamie's dinners - mainly the schools with a middle-class intake - and those who would not. "We're a white, working-class estate school," explains Castle. "Unlike other urban schools we don't have a great multicultural mix and this food was alien and challenging because it didn't come out of the freezer and go into the microwave."
So great was the resistance to the new food - a typical lunch might be fish in a creamy coconut sauce - that take-up of school dinners plummeted by an astonishing 24% as children switched to packed lunches, replete with sweets and bubble gum. Some children would hide from teachers in an attempt to skip lunch entirely, rather than have to eat strange food. "The attitude was, `You're not the police, you can't tell us how to feed our kids - they're coming home hungry'. People got very emotional," says Castle. "The children were going home starving hungry, so naturally the parents were upset. They just didn't want things that weren't in fried shapes. They liked the fish fingers and smiley potato faces."
To try to avert a crisis, the school had to abandon the national curriculum for a week, draft in the local MP for extra support and turn the assembly hall into a restaurant where children served their parents the new menu. Oliver threw his weight behind the attempt - even making a surprise appearance in the school pantomime, in which Snow White mused on how to cook for her dwarfs without a microwave or freezer.
At other schools the dinner revolution also caused a furore. Overworked dinner ladies who found themselves peeling carrots and potatoes rather than opening bags of frozen veg threatened to resign over working extra hours. At Kidbrooke Park primary in Greenwich, where dinner lady Nora Sands became an unlikely television star, parents pushed burgers through the school railings at lunchtime. At Thomas Tallis secondary school a fast-food van arrived at the gates and teachers watched helplessly as children raced to buy chips at lunchtime. "We tried to have it closed down on environmental grounds," says a Greenwich council spokesperson. "We tried health and safety, but unfortunately he was complying with everything and there was nothing we could do."
According to the council, Oliver's initiative - at a total cost of o628,850 across the borough - has been a success. But if so, it appears to be a modest one - the number of children eating school meals has risen during the last year but only by 3%, far fewer than the project's organisers must have hoped for. There have been some encouraging signs, however. At Charlton Manor primary school the children appear to be enjoying the food, but its biggest fan is Tim Baker, the headmaster. "I used to have school dinners every day just to fill me up," he says. "Before, I could never finish everything on the plate, it just wasn't very nice. Now I look forward to lunch." ....
Ruth Kelly, the secretary of state for education, is to address the issue of school meals at the Labour party conference this week. She will shortly announce a new set of standards for school meals, including a ban on junk food, and is expected to raise the typical spend on each plate from 37p - which was lambasted by Oliver - to 50p a head for primary pupils and 60p for secondary schools, so that every school can follow the Greenwich example. But even in schools such as Charlton Manor it has not all been plain sailing. There was initial resistance from some parents and pupils to the new menus with one mother complaining they were "grown-up dinners".....
The question is whether other councils will be able to follow in its footsteps and overcome the entrenched reliance of modern dinner ladies on frozen processed food and chips. The signs are progress will be slow. .....
Kevin McKay, chairman of the Local Authorities Caterers Association, believes the key to bringing in change across the nation is to move slowly. "I think Jamie Oliver taught us how not to do it," he says. "It was just `bang' - here it is, eat it. There was little consultation. You've got to get everyone involved. I'm not surprised the kids and the parents were frightened." ......
Back at Ealdham, the revolution is happening - just. In the immediate aftermath of the changes, one parent sent her child to school with a lunch box containing three Mars bars, two packets of crisps and a fizzy drink. "I spoke to the mother," says Castle. "He's still eating packed lunches, but recently I saw he'd brought in a pasta salad. That's progress. "It has been a huge task. We still throw away most of the fish pie, but the sausages go down well - and they've got proper meat in them now. The real ray of hope is that the four-year-olds have accepted the new menus with far fewer problems.""
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
After all the ACLU attacks on Christian prayer, this is downright amazing
Muslim employees at the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Norfolk have agreed not to strike pending negotiations of alleged religious discrimination by management. The meeting between both sides on Friday was productive, said Fardusa Council, a negotiator for the Muslim employees. All Muslim employees had planed to strike if a resolution was not reached, but that is being put on hold as the two sides work together, she said. The employees are alleging that they are being denied the right to pray -- something that they say was previously approved by Tyson officials, said Ahmed Hashi, a spokesman for the Muslim population in Norfolk.
Council said Tyson officials were open-minded and committed to reaching an agreement. "I've got a good feeling that we'll reach an amicable agreement," Council said. Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said the company was likewise encouraged by the meeting. "It was an opportunity for us to listen to their concerns and an opportunity for us to share our position," said Mickelson, a spokesman at the company's headquarters in Dakota Dunes, S.D.
The situation began to come to a head last Friday when 10 Muslim employees walked off of the job. Subsequently, the 10 individuals were counseled for violation of Tyson's policies and the union's labor agreement with the company. Mickelson said the same 10 deliberately walked off the job the following day and were fired as a result.
The Muslim faith requires five prayers, or "salats," during the day, one each at dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall. If the prayer is not completed within a specified amount of time, the prayer is then considered void. Mickelson said the Tyson plant provides a prayer room for Muslims and that plant officials consistently are trying to work with the religious leaders to accommodate prayer time. "However, because we're a manufacturing operation, we're not able to let everyone leave the production line at the same time without shutting down entire sections of our operations," Mickelson said. "Since we have more than 200 Muslims working our second shift, this has sometimes been a point of contention and misunderstanding."
Plant manager Randy Sexton agreed to take action immediately if there are reports of discrimination. Shamso Ahmed, one of the Tyson employees to walk out, said she's hopeful a decision will be reached that will benefit both sides. Said Yousuf, a member of Tyson's union, agreed. "We'd like to keep our job and keep our religion," Yousuf said.
REALISM ABOUT RACIAL AND ETHNIC DIFFERENCES COMING TO BRITAIN
By Minette Martin
"How late it is, how late. At last Trevor Phillips of the Commission for Racial Equality has dared to point out the obvious: we are sleepwalking towards segregation. The British have prided themselves on good race relations, at least in most places and particularly in London. But the truth is rather different, as the recent bombings have forced us to understand, and as the Burnley, Bradford and Oldham riots of 2001 and the Cantle report might have made us appreciate sooner. We are not as different from the United States as we like to imagine. We may be becoming more like them.
As Phillips said last week, there are walls going up around some ethnic communities, particularly those of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origins. More generally there is surprisingly little contact between different ethnic groups and maybe less now than previously. Last year the commission found that 54% of white Britons could not name a single good friend from a different race and fewer than 10% could name two.
More strikingly, young people from ethnic minorities were twice as likely to have a circle of friends exclusively from their own community. This year the figures show even less mixing. The well-worn idea that children are colour blind and will mix quite naturally at school is mistaken. Research suggests that children are slightly more segregated in the playground than at home.
Regardless of the unintended consequences of misguided housing policies, which have flung people into ghettos, it is natural for people to want to live with their own kind. At last it is beginning to be possible to admit this obvious fact without being called a racist, because it is clear that it is not only white people who like living with their own kind, whatever that might mean. Everyone tends to. White people may choose leafy ghettos in suburbs, while according to Saira Khan, the young businesswoman star of the television series The Apprentice, the “guilty secret” of her (Pakistani) community is that “so many of us live in ghettos not because we have to but because we want to”.
I don’t think there’s any guilt attached to living with people you want to live with, and a great deal to be said against forcing people to live somewhere else. Ghettos only matter when they present problems. However, when living with your own kind turns into apartheid, when it means ignorance and mistrust and resentment of other kinds of people, then it is dangerous and can even be explosive.
By now even left-liberals admit that all this has been made much worse by official multiculturalism that encouraged segregation, separate values and even separate languages. British society has become alarmingly fragmented alarmingly quickly. The question is what, if anything, should be done about it.
I passionately believe that “doing things” — at least in the sense of government and quangos and councils actively doing things — is usually a large part of the problem. Playing with Fire, a play by David Edgar that opened last week, makes exactly this point. The subject is the complex causes of some race riots much like those of 2001. In the plot heavy-handed Whitehall interference in the running of a Yorkshire council, with intrusive targets and grants and ethnic manipulation, does a lot to inflame resentment and to light the touchpaper of the riots.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that over 25 years the race relations industry has exacerbated race relations in this country. The answers to segregation, if there are any, lie not in doing things but in stopping doing things, as far as officialdom is concerned. Phillips’s proposals to tinker with school populations and university entrance are just more of the same old mistakes — almost certain to make things worse.
My modest proposals start with the suggestion that we should stop worrying about race and racism. Crude old-fashioned colour prejudice is not usually the problem any more; when it is, there are laws to protect its victims. All the anti-racist audits and outreaches and targets and ethnic bean-counting generally should stop at once, leaving public servants to get on with providing frontline colour-blind public services. Even if the hydra-like growth of initiatives to ensure perfect numbers of ethnic representation, right down to questions about ethnic parking (like one I received from my council), were practicable — and they aren’t — they are counterproductive. They make everyone hyper-sensitive about race. They inflame grievances where few exist.
It also seems entirely obvious that we should stop creating new faith schools in the state sector. Mixed schools can do something, if only a little, to bring children and parents together in a community; schools segregated by religion promote segregation and cultural apartheid. This is unfortunately more true of Muslim schools than of others. The chief inspector of schools commented in January that some Muslim schools failed to provide pupils with the tools they need to live in modern Britain. Yet Tony Blair is proposing to allow the number of state-funded Muslim schools to grow along with other religious schools. At the moment there are five, but there are about 100 private Muslim schools that the government wants to help move into the state sector. It intends to make that easier by temporarily relaxing certain standards. This is subsidising segregation. The solution is to create no more state religious schools at all.
When it comes to how people feel about each other, which is what counts, official solutions rarely work. If anything can be done, it will be from the bottom up, simply from people getting to know each other, recognising how important that is. Last week the mosque nearest to me in North Kensington, London — it is also an Islamic cultural centre — invited local people for a discussion on community cohesion, followed by lunch. The centre is close to the estate where two suspected bombers were arrested in July so more community cohesion would be welcome. We the guests found ourselves discussing all sorts of local concerns and projects and in the process getting to know some local Muslims. It would be hard to exaggerate the importance of little events like this, unexciting though they might sound. If it is not too late to make a difference, then this — slow and informal though it may be — must surely be one of the best ways forward"
MORE ON THE DALAI LAMA
I think I now understand why it is incorrect to criticize the Dalai Lama. Note this 1996 statement from him:
"Of all the modern economic theories, the economic system of Marxism is founded on moral principles, while capitalism is concerned only with gain and profitability. Marxism is concerned with the distribution of wealth on an equal basis and the equitable utilization of the means of production. It is also concerned with the fate of the working classes-that is the majority---as well as with the fate of those who are underprivileged and in need, and Marxism cares about the victims of minority-imposed exploitation. For those reasons the system appeals to me, and it seems fair. . . I think of myself as half-Marxist, half-Buddhist".
Sad, isn't it?
Monday, September 26, 2005
Post lifted from Red State
About six days ago, I blogged about Reverend Bryan Fischer's statement on the Dalai Lama's visit to Idaho. For a refresher here's what he said regarding the Dalai Lama's visit:
"He was very likable but I think his view of evil is simplistic. There is no dialogue that is going to stop an insane terrorist from attacking innocent people. His views on human nature are also very naive. He believes we are born good, but parents know you don't have to teach your children to be bad. They know how to do that. You have to teach them to be good. He also doesn't believe in a creator. If the colonists had been Buddhists, we wouldn't have the United States."
Now, this is his statement of honest disagreement with the Dalai Lama's views, but Joyceann Fick wrote in letters to the editor to the Statesman:
Fischer seems to think he alone has cornered the market on "acceptable" beliefs. That he would actually criticize the tenets of the Dalai Lama only proves how narrow-minded and intolerant Fischer's message really is.
He didn't say that the Dalai Lama's beliefs were unacceptable, he said they were wrong. He disputed and challenged them, he respectfully disagreed and expressed his opinion. He took the good, the bad, and as a pastor called to speak the truths of the Christian faith, he pointed out what were the problems in this message. Last I heard, debating and discussing viewpoints was an American tradition, apparently not when the Dalai Lama is here. We're to have our religious leaders pretend down is up and 2+2=5 to please the left. Next up, we have Kurt Caswell, from Lubbock, Texas who just had to join in from 2,00 miles away:
I find it astonishing that a spiritual leader would help to cultivate an atmosphere of fear and vengeance over hope and light...If Fischer would only compare his words with the words of the terrorists he wishes to kill, he'd find his world view is identical...
If the colonists had been Buddhists we would indeed have a United States (see Fischer's comments), but instead of a United States founded on acts of terrorism against the 500 Indian Nations, we'd have, perhaps, a true union of states and peoples.
Wow, now Christians who after politely sitting through a speech by the Dalai Lama and disagree with him are the equivalent of Al Queda terrorists. This is Mr Caswell's attempt to spread hope and light instead of vengeance.
Secondly, Fischer had a point. America had a very strong protestant (particularly reformed influence) in its founding. Books have been written about the role Scottish Presbytrianism played in the country's founding.
More importantly, the point he made is that the Declaration of Independence refers to a Creator and the rights, King George violated were given to us by the Creator. If you believe there's no Creator, how do you fight a Revolution based on violations of rights He gave you.
However, there were some people who had some common sense about this, among them was Stacey Boone:
According to an article in The Idaho Statesman on July 24, the Dalai Lama is believed to be "an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion." This is religion. This is a form of Buddhism. Since the state is not supposed to support one religion over another, I wonder if Gov. Kempthorne and his office will be promoting a visit and speaking engagement to Idaho's children by Billy Graham or maybe the pope.
Now our state, because of the White Supremacist problem up North for many years is always ready to show itself diverse and tolerant with things like this, but I have to question where the ACLU was. Apparently, they're warming up for their fight against Christmas trees and manger scences. I've heard garbage about Buddhism being a philosophy, but most people are going to say its a religion. The Separation of Church and State, the danger of religion in the public square can only be used against Christians.
Hurricane Katrina and Political Correctness
"If Hurricane Katrina is not America's greatest natural disaster, it's near the top of the list. There are many important lessons to be learned from it. For example: building a city below sea level was a big gamble. And building levees to withstand a category 3 hurricane instead of a category 5 hurricane was pennywise and pound-foolish.
The leftist politicos and their media allies are furiously blaming white Republican men (President Bush, Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff and Federal Emergency Management Administration Director Michael Brown) for the enormous scope of the disaster. They are desperately trying to keep the public from focusing on the fact that a black man (New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin) and a white woman (Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco), both Democrats, actually are mostly to blame.
And another white woman who earned a large share of blame (Senator Mary Landrieu) became hysterical and actually threatened to punch President Bush: "If one person criticizes [our sheriffs], or says one more thing, including the president of the United States, he will hear from me - one more word about it after this show airs and I - I might likely have to punch him - literally," Landrieu announced on ABC's "This Week." [Note to Secret Service: Watch her carefully.]
Pointing out that an elected black man and a couple of elected women (all Democrats) failed their constituents miserably and that black man and one of the women then lost self-control during the resulting crisis is not politically correct. BUT, it's true. And it DOESN'T mean that there aren't plenty of qualified blacks and women who would have performed admirably in their place.
Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco deserve to be designated as the main culprits. And Mayor Nagin is much worse (see Ray Nagin Is NOT America's Mayor ). And quicker to blame others. After Hurricane Ivan last September, Mayor Nagin had absolutely no excuse for failing to have the Superdome ready, waiting to order mandatory evacuation (despite urging from President Bush) and failing to use the school buses and municipal buses to get people without their own vehicles out of harm's way (see AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION ). On September 1, 2005, Mayor Nagin "calmly" offered a constructive suggestion: "Governor Blanco and President Bush need to stop holding "goddamn press conferences" and "get their ass[es] on a plane and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out right now."
His strategy was to scream and to blame others: "I don't know whose problem it is. I don't know whether it's the governor's problem. I don't know whether it's the president's problem." (All he "knew" was that it was someone else's problem.). White Republican males are supposed to be the only scapegoats, Mr. Mayor. Didn't you get the word?
Or did you retaliate becausing Governor Blanco publicly acknowledged the embarrassing truth--that President Bush had urged a mandatory evacuation long before you ordered (but failed to really implement) New Orleans' first mandatory evacuation?
The event most of the major media disregards or downplays: Governor Blanco, standing beside Mayor Nagin, at a news conference, announced that President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation. It took until September 6, 2005 for Mayor Nagin to issue the appropriate declaration.... Better late than never!
Senator Barbara Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, and House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi called on FEMA Director Brown to resign for not acting faster, but not Governor Blanco. Sexists! Governor Blanco declined to let the federal government take control of disaster relief efforts when she received the offer!
"Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans," the Washington Post reported. No, said the Governor, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Governor Blanco also failed to use more than a hundred school buses parked near the Superdome to transport stranded citizens who didn't have the means to obey earlier evacuation orders. And the buses were rendered useless by rising flood waters after the levees broke. Governor Blanco even dawdled over invoking a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until the day after the levees broke.
Dick Morris rightly blames not only Senator Mary "I'll punch the President" Landrieu, but also former Senator John Breaux, for leaving New Orleans so vunerable to a category 4 hurricane like Katrina: "Where was Sen. Mary Landrieu demanding aid? If this swing-state senator, whose father was a mayor of New Orleans, had made clear to her party's leadership and to the White House that her legislative course would be determined by their response to this critical need for a new levee, she could have exerted the pull needed to get the project under way. "Likewise, ex-Sen. John Breaux -- who was probably the single most influential senator during the Clinton years. In the '90s, he could have weighed in successfully and gotten the capital support his state needed. "Breaux and Landrieu have always been among the handful of swing votes in the Senate. Where were they? They have a bit of explaining to do as well."
They do indeed. But Democrats are busy trying to distract the public from their own failures while the federal government, the national guard, those New Orleans police who did not flee or fly to Las Vegas for a vacation (courtesy of Mayor Nagin) and good people across America and even abroad are dealing with a preventable crisis".
Sunday, September 25, 2005
People who drive down the middle of the road tend to get smashed up and I risk that frequently in my posts. For instance, when I mention such things as low average black IQ and the high rate of black criminality, Leftists shriek "racist" at me. But I also like Asians and think that they in general make highly desirable citizens. And various Rightists call me "far-Left" (or worse) because of that!
So today I want to do a single longish post to set out exactly how I see racial matters and why:
Ethnicity and group membership is one of the great preoccupations of the human race .... possibly second only to sex. It is also an almost taboo subject among modern-day white liberal Anglo-Saxons. Race is to the modern-day civilized and educated world what sex was to the Victorians -- unmentionable. In other words the strength of resistance to discussion of it is a measure of the threat to a civilized order that it is seen as posing.
Amid this fearful silence, I, of course, have always continued to call a spade a spade: Not a recipe for popularity among modern-day intellectuals! My position is really only a classical Anglo-Saxon attempt to find the golden mean between conflicting extremes. It seems to me, in short, that there ARE real differences between races and other groups but that only a few of these differences are of any importance. In other words, I reject the blind Leftist assertion that we are all the same under the skin and I also reject the view that only people like us are any good. This causes Leftists and humanists to see me as a racist and racists to see me as a Leftist pointy-head! In other words, the whole issue is such an emotive and explosive one that the middle-ground tends to be a rather lonely and uncomfortable place.
Group-sentiment is an amazingly pervasive thing. To take some examples from where I live in the State of Queensland and in Australia generally: Queenslanders all know what Queenslanders generally think of "cockroaches" (residents of the State of N.S.W.) and "Mexicans" (Southerners generally) and most know how Sydneysiders and Melbournians regard one-another but such sentiments fade into insignificance if you talk to a Launceston resident about Hobart people! Residents of the two largest towns in a quite homogeneous place like the State of Tasmania hate one-another! And non-Tasmanians would notice no differences at all between the two! So what hope is there for the Protestants and Catholics of Ulster, the Tamils and Sinhalas of Sri Lanka, the Jews and the Arabs of Israel, the Serbs and the Croats of the former Yugoslavia, the Xhosa and the Zulus of South Africa, the Sikhs and the Hindus of Panjab, the "untouchables" and the caste Hindus of India, the Southerners and the Northerners of Italy, the French and the English-speakers of Canada etc etc etc?
And to think that for the whole of my active career as a social science academic, my colleagues virtually universally believed that only maladjusted deviants were racists. I have always thought it to be crystal clear that EVERYBODY is a racist to some degree! My colleagues obviously thought that all the world was out of step and only they were in step. I did my best to disabuse them of their silly notions but there are none so blind as those who will not see.
Of course, discriminatory attitudes towards other groups such as those I have listed ARE generally nonsense. You do not have to be sick in the head to believe nonsense. If you did, most of my academic colleagues would be VERY sick in the head. In fact, of course, they are simply wishful thinkers -- like most of humanity. Wishful thinkers are not scientists, however.
To help see why discriminatory attitudes to other groups are generally nonsense, consider, for example, that Catholic and Protestant Ulstermen come out here to Australia and live side by side with no problems at all. Nor does a Launceston person who moves to Hobart or a Melbourne person who moves to Sydney thereby undergo any sort of personality change. All that is going on with discriminatory attitudes is that the old human preference for familiarity is raising its head. We like people who are like ourselves and people who have made the same decision as we about where to live (or happen to live where we live) become thereby more "like us" and are therefore preferable to others.
So I sound like a nice safe liberal in saying that do I not? Where I get into trouble with liberals, leftists etc is that I go on from there to say "But NOT ALL differences are imaginary". Most loyalty-provoking group differences are either imaginary, trivial or evanescent BUT SOME ARE NOT. As I see it, those who deny ALL intergroup differences are just as dogmatic, irrational and sweeping as the racists they claim to oppose. They are in fact accusing 99% of the human race of being totally blind and preoccupied with something that does not exist! Even I am not misanthropic enough for that! I think it is pretty clear who the blind ones are.
As I see it then, the differences between people of Northern European race are objectively (but not subjectively) mostly trivial. They have been invading and taking over one-another for so many thousands of years that the national gene pools must overlap almost totally. When they emigrate to countries like the USA and Australia, their children cannot tell one-another apart and get on as well with one-another as they do with anybody else.
But some groups ARE different and probably will remain so. The outstanding example of this is of course the negroids. Whether they are discriminated against (as in the old South Africa), discriminated in favour of (as in the USA from about the '70s on) or treated reasonably impartially (as they long were in Britain), they always as a group end up the same -- at the bottom of every heap, mired generally in criminality, violence, incompetence, drug abuse, promiscuity and poverty. And this is not peculiar to white-run countries. They are no different when they live in the African-run countries of Africa and the Caribbean. So for those who will see it, we now have mountains of evidence for the view that, as a group, negroids are always going to be a vastly problematical population with very limited potential for achievement in many spheres and a very great potential for disrupting the lives of others. Only the disagreeableness of that conclusion could blind one to the evidence for it. But THAT conclusion, it seems to me, is important.
I must emphasize here, however, that I am clearly speaking about groups and do NOT assume that what is true of the group is true of all individuals in that group. So individual blacks may be very highly civilized indeed. The person I quote most often on my blogs is an American black (Thomas Sowell). And, unlike Leftists, I don't think group problems can be solved at the group level. I think that treating people according to what they as individuals do (regardless of any group to which they may belong) is the only way to solve problems that the group as a whole may pose.
And note that what I say has nothing to do with skin-colour. Indians are just as brown as Africans but are vastly different. They tend to move towards the TOP of the heap outside their native land, and, as a group, are extremely patient, polite, hard-working, law-abiding and family-oriented. I personally like Indians very much. And Arabs are as white as many Europeans but would be in a very poor position indeed except for their oil wealth. The characteristic Arab achievements at the moment seem to be religious fanaticism, treachery and incest.
Obviously, we should all continue to treat individuals from different groups according to their individual merits but people who report that IN GENERAL they do not like members of a certain group are certainly not to my mind necessarily irrational, misled, deluded, ill-informed or ill-educated. They MAY be perfectly rational, balanced and well-informed. And anyone who doesn't want to live around negro populations is just looking after his own skin! And the phenomenon of "white flight" shows that most Americans understand that very well -- regardless of what their expressed attitudes might be.
Real ethnic differences need not of course be aversive. People would hardly travel so much if they were. The eminent French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss regards racial discrimination as DESIRABLE precisely on the grounds that it fosters diversity. I do not go that far but I do nonetheless enjoy all kinds of ethnic diversity in a way that, I suppose, makes me an ideal citizen of a multicultural society like Australia.
My personal background
I have lived my entire life in a highly multicultural society so I am acutely aware of racial and ethnic differences. I grew up in an Australian country-town that was only half Anglo. The rest were Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, Maltese, Yuogoslavs, Chinese, Sikhs, TIs (Melanesians) and Aborigines (blacks). And when with that perspective I look at my fellow Anglo-Australians I see people of admirable restraint, fortitude, good humour and moderation in all things. But that is only the majority of them. There is also a minority for whom I have no kind words.
Now I could sound like an uncomprehending elitist in saying that. Maybe I am just wiping off working class people and glorifying middle class people like myself. It is however if anything the reverse. If anything I find something like three times as much good sense in the workers as I do in the bourgeoisie. But there are problem-types in both camps. And I find that even the difficult cases among the workers are not much of a problem to me personally. Because I was born into an Australian working class family, working class thinking and conventional wisdom is an open book to me. I know all the key words and key phrases and I defer to no-one in my knowledge and enjoyment of the brilliant Australian slanguage. And I certainly did put all that to the test when I spent a couple of years as a boarding house proprietor in a "depressed" area (Ipswich) of Brisbane. I was really dealing with the hard cases there. A significant number of them in fact came to me directly from "the big house" (jail). Yet such is the power of a shared culture that I was in all cases able to handle to my satisfaction the people concerned. I always knew the right words to use. The people concerned were a considerable problem to others (and to themselves) but they were well within my capacity to handle -- though the time I threw a druggie through a closed door was approaching my limits. Words are wasted on druggies. So there is no doubt that I am as much an insider to basic Anglo-Australian culture as anyone ever will be. I am of my culture and I appreciate it and enjoy it.
But much as I am at home among my own people, I am still delighted at the sterling qualities I find in Asians. I find scarcely any problem-types among them. And I actually share my large house with Asians -- mostly South Asians. None of them are of course flawless human beings but when I think of their relaxed good humour, their intelligence and their unfailing politeness and restraint I cannot see that they are inferior to anyone or that they are anything but an asset to any environment they inhabit.
Now somebody will want to tell me that it is different in England. And it certainly is different superficially. The way just about EVERY small business in London is run by South Asians is pretty amazing (though the way English shop-assistants treat their customers makes it a lot less amazing). And when I am in England and I walk into one of those Asian shops I am greeted with the wariness and reserve that experience has taught the proprietors concerned. But I only have to exchange half a dozen words with the people concerned before all that changes. Because I genuinely like and admire Indians, that message gets through almost as fast as a bullet and it is soon smiles all round. I remember once when I was in an Indian shop in London and some old English prick was telling the Indian proprietor how great the English were and how the world owed them a living. As I walked out, I "accidentally" shouldered him hard enough to knock him over. I felt embarrassed that a fine Sikh gentleman had to put up with such crassness from the prick concerned.
And nor am I talking about immigrant Indians only. I have also lived in Bombay and I can only admire the cheerfulness, enterprise and good humour of the street-people there.
I certainly don't think that all races are equal but I also think it is absurd to say that there is something special about someone just because his skin is pink. Each case must be judged on its individual merits but it seems to me that on any non-racial scale of values the Asians average out well ahead. And we live in a century that will see that proven. Ironically, the poison that has held the Asians back so far is of Western origin -- socialism. If any people are instinctive capitalists it is the Indians and Chinese.
And the claim that Asian cultures are tribal is a grave misconception. Asian culture is a culture of reciprocity. So if you treat them well or do them a good turn you generate enormous feelings of obligation in return. So when I walk into an Indian shop where I am known and buy three samoosas for my lunch I will occasionally get a fourth one popped into the bag as a gesture of goodwill. What is problematical about a culture like that?
"Racist" as a term of abuse
As I have said, I particularly like Indians. And if we are going to use the term at all, Indians are clearly a race. I also like the Han (majority) Chinese. And almost any member of the Han will assure you that the Han are a race apart. I also admire the Japanese and regard Israel as one of the great adventures of the human spirit. So I am clearly a racist, am I not? If not, why not? Just using the word "race" is pretty close to taboo in much of the modern world. The fact that I DO use it probably keeps my blogs much more marginal than they otherwise would be.
How has that come about? It's no mystery is it? The deeds of Hitler showed the world what colossal evil can be done in the name of race and, in their usual way, the Left hopped onto that bandwagon and pushed the idea to simplistic extremes. Not only unreasonable uses of ideas about race were condemned but ALL ideas about race were condemned. So the Left absolutely shriek and go ballistic about any mention of race. Which tends to make people think that there really is something wrong with even using the term. It's rather like the woman who has bad experiences with one or two men and who then concludes that ALL men are "no good". Her response just puts a roadblock in front of her finding out WHICH men are good or bad and probably denies her much happiness that she could have. Similarly, talk about race can be good or bad. The intelligent thing is to discuss and look into the matter. Up until 1945 the whole world did just that. So all our ancestors were "racists"?
Don't get me wrong: As both a conservative and a libertarian, I think that the individual comes first and that each case (or each person) must be judged on its (his/her) individual merits. So while I like most Indians and Chinese I don't like them all. And I don't like all Jews either. Jews who hate Israel I find particularly contemptible. The United Nations charter says that each case must be judged on its individual merits and that is one of the few things about the United Nations that I agree with. That must have been the bit that the conservatives put in.
Because the Left DO judge people in terms of race. The entire Leftist mentality is group-oriented. The individual hardly exists to Leftists. Individuals are too complicated and messy. Leftists can think only in terms of vast groups of people -- such as "blacks", "Hispanics" and "Native Americans" (and "gays", "women", "the workers" etc.). So you can talk about races after all -- just as long as you don't CALL them races.
What utter stupidity! The only way to combat such stupidity is to defy it and talk about race in sensible ways and just ignore all the hypocritical Leftist shrieking. I do. For example, I make no apology for saying that people of Northwestern European origin (principally the Anglo-Celts and the Germans) are the ones who have made the modern world what it is and I am delighted to be myself of that ilk. I have pictures of my Australian pioneer ancestors on my walls and I am forever grateful to them for what they have bequeathed me.
I don't think that an ethnically homogeneous society is a particularly good thing. Yet I am at the same time as pleased as Punch about my English, Scottish and Irish ancestry and am also proud of the country that my forebears have created here in Australia. And I also think it is incontestable that Protestantism has been an overwhelming influence in creating the modern world. And having been brought up as a Presbyterian, that is easy for me to say.
What disturbs many people, as well it might, is the woes that the English and Americans now suffer as a result of past and present unselective immigration. I am in company with the vast majority of Australians in saying that only SELECTIVE immigration makes sense. And Australia practices it too. Though recent admissions of "refugees" appear to have been much less selective and have had some worrisome effects.
But I also think that the egg is thoroughly scrambled now. I can see NO way in which the "internationalization" of the U.K. and U.S. populations is going to stop. Nor will it stop in Australia. Australia's selection criteria do not include race and, as a result, we are said to have a greater percentage of our population foreign-born than any other country except Israel. There is however a huge difference in the COMPOSITION of the Australian population. Where the U.K. and U.S. have large numbers of people of African ancestry, we have large numbers of people of East Asian ancestry. The difference that makes is considerable, to put it mildly. I think Australia is very lucky indeed to have a large minority of hard-working, intelligent, enterprising, law-abiding family-oriented East Asians.
What about the loss of community? Wouldn't it be nice to live in a sort of large village where everybody is of similar ancestry? Yes and No. I must admit what a relief it is when I can go into an Australian shop or cafe and speak relaxed broad Australian with the staff there instead of having to struggle to communicate with people who know little English. But as someone who actually grew up in a large village (the Australian country town of Innisfail) I know there is a downside too. There are huge pressures towards conformity in a village and a lot of back-biting and gossip. Everyone knows everybody else's business so privacy is very restricted. And I shudder to think of the inconvenient opening hours and limited range of services (such as restaurants) that we would have without the ethnics.
So I don't think much of mono-ethnic or village-style life at all. And in a modern society we create our own communities anyway. By and large we associate with whomever we choose and if we are comfortable only with people of a similar ethnic background, then people of that background will become our community. We are no longer restricted to the community that we live geographically next-door to. We create our own communities to suit ourselves. So we in fact get the best of both worlds these days: We live in a virtual community without the limitations of an old-fashioned geographical community.
So regardless of whether the U.K. or the U.S. ever come to their senses about illegal immigration, loss of community and continuity will not occur.
The moral case against racism
On my reading of the psychological research, preference for the similar and the familiar is in general more common than not so it would be fairly hard to argue that such preferences are of themselves morally wrong when applied to one's social environment. But what does seem to me to be in principle wrong, however, is to judge individuals by their group membership. Should my brother be hanged because I commit a murder? All principles of justice as we know it (some systems of tribal justice excepted) say No. Similarly, should all Muslims be discriminated against because a minority of Muslims are dangerous religious nutcases? Again the answer has to be No. Yusuf might be a very decent man while Ali is a psychopath. And there are plenty of Yusufs. I know a few. So to treat the Yusufs like the Alis is a breach of all natural justice. Each case must be judged on its individual merits.
And that applies to Anglos too. There are plenty of dreck Anglos. And they should be treated like dreck while decent Anglos are treated as they deserve. So I make no judgement about Anglos IN GENERAL that can be applied to any individiual. The group level of analysis is interesting and may even be important but conclusions from it CANNOT justly be applied to any individual in that group. Any particular individual may be an exception to the rule.
So while I see no virtue in living in a monoracial homeland, I DO see great virtue in living in a homeland where immigrants are selected for generally desirable characteristics. And Australia is a fair example of the latter. We may have lots of immigrants here but they are generally GOOD immigrants! And some immigrant groups -- Asians mainly -- do in my view leave Anglo-Australians for dead in generally desirable characteristics -- such as low crime-rate, family-orientaion, proclivity to work hard etc. I am happy to have them around.
Mind you, I thoroughly sympathize with "white flight". As a group, Africans are undisputably BAD "minorities". White flight shows that most Americans think that and who am I to argue? What I have seen on my visits to America has certainly convinced me that a wise white person keeps as far away from groups of blacks as he can. On Hispanics as a group I reserve judgment. There clearly are lots of "good" Hispanics. I have met a few.
So I think there is no reason for seeking a monoracial homeland that can be deduced from any external fact or set of facts. You just feel the need for such an environment or you don't. I don't. I DO however feel a need to keep undesirables out of my country and the fact that both the U.S. and U.K. governments have failed to do that seems to me a tragedy of the first order. And some populations have such a high proportion of undesirables (one third of black American males are said to have spent at least some time in jail) that selective admissions of people from those populations should only be on the strictest of criteria. In other words, I think they should be judged as individuals but need to be looked at particularly carefully -- with evidence of good character and educational attainment (for example) being insisted on. At the moment, unfortunately, Australia does the opposite of that. African "refugees" are admitted with what seems very little scrutiny.
As a psychometrician, I am acutely aware of the low average IQ of Africans, Arabs and Australian Aborigines -- while at the same I stress that I am talking about averages, not individuals. As I have noted before, the person I quote most on my main blog is of African ancestry -- Thomas Sowell. As I have set out at length elsewhere, however, there are some circumstances in which we do have to make judgments about groups and I make no apologies for saying that I like my environment to be one with as low a frequency of the three groups I have mentioned as possible. I don't think it is in any way morally questionable to want to live in a safe and trouble-free environment.
I have said a fair bit about Indians above so I want to close with just a few personal anecdotes about my own experiences with East Asians:
When my son Joey was about 2 he discovered that putting things into rubbish bins was great fun. So once when we were dining in a Chinese restaurant I had used a paper napkin and screwed it up after use. Joey immediately spotted his opportunity and declared loudly "In the Wubbish". He seized the napkin and trotted towards the back of the restaurant. In their usual observant way, the Chinese staff of course saw within seconds this little blond moppet trotting towards them and by the time Joey got to the back of the restaurant, there were three Chinese staff bending over and giving Joey every attention with huge smiles on their faces. They directed Joey carefully to a bin and shepherded him gently back to us with every sign that they had had as much fun out of the episode as we did. And anybody who knows anything about the Chinese love of children will not be remotely surprised by any of that.
The second story is about the time I took a ride on the Hong Kong Metro (subway, underground railway). It was offpeak and my wife and I were the only occidentals in the carriage. A little Chinese boy came trotting down the carriage and spotted this strange white individual (me). Being just as much a tease then as I am now, I made "big eyes" at him. And of course in Chinese iconography, wide eyes are associated with demons etc. So the dear little boy ran screaming back to his parents. Again in their usual observant way, however, the Chinese in the carriage had observed what went on and saw the joke. They had a great (but of course restrained)laugh. There is nothing wrong with the Cantonese sense of humour!
And there is this Malaysian Chinese restaurant that I go to regularly. And there is one dish that I particularly like and I always order it. So when I walk in, not only am I greeted with a big smile by the receptionist, but the kitchen staff wave to me and smile at me too. And my dinner arrives with express speed. They put it on as soon as they see me.
And my next two stories are about the Japanese. Again when Joey was about 2 we took him to a local Koala sanctuary here in Australia. And the Japanese love Koalas so there were lots of them there. But when they saw this little toddler with golden-blond hair, sky-blue eyes and paper-white skin being wheeled about they were utterly entranced. I think there were as many photos of Joey taken that day as there were of the Koalas!
And finally there is the Sushi Train restaurant that I often dine at. There are Sushi train restaurants everywhere these days so I am sure readers will know what I am talking about. And my local version does seem to be staffed entirely by Japanese -- a head chef and two assistants. And the amazing thing about them is that they are utterly silent. If the restaurant were staffed by Cockneys it would be an absolute bedlam of chatter. But the Japanese are so well-organized that they need to say nothing to one another. They just silently and steadily go about their great art of producing the most wonderful fresh Japanese food. And they are totally impassive 99% of the time. I greatly value my British heritage and thoroughly appreciate British reserve. But Japanese impassivity makes British reserve look like emotional outpouring. So the head chef misses nothing but the expression on his face never changes. But guess what? They too have noticed that I am a dedicated customer so I do occasionally get a fleeting smile from the head chef when he sees me there again. And to get a smile from him is an honour indeed.
And with such experiences of these gentle, hard-working, family-oriented and utterly civilized people of Asia, how can I not respect them?
Saturday, September 24, 2005
The following report, headed "No Place to Get Away from Them" by "Eric in Montana" is dated 9/17/05 and is being circulated by email. As far as I can see, nobody has been game to put it online so far. But here is a slightly watered-down excerpt from it:
I live in Helena Montana. Last week I discovered that our governor decided that we needed to host 500 Katrina "evacuees" from New Orleans. I was completely amazed but soon understood what kind of ridiculous PC capitulation our government engages in ..now more than ever. I realize what having 500 New Orleans ferals in our community means. This place I knew is gone. I will never be able to feel safe in the small town again.
Helena is fairly densely populated but isn't spread out over a large area, due to mountains. One can see the whole city from a hill without turning one's head. The low income housing that has been set aside for these people is right in the middle of town next to one of only two high schools. I have seen the "diversity" my city has inherited first hand yesterday while driving to the store.
Two 20s something, gangsta-dressed, shaved-head, obvious (displaced persons) gang members, trash were waiting to cross the street in a residential area. They walked out in front of a car they could have easily waited to pass...only a few cars for many blocks. It was apparent they did this for the fun of it. One gang member wandered towards the front of the car and gestured, one hand on his crotch and one in the air, a display of simian dominance.
This gang maneuver was done to intimidate a stranger that had been forced to stop for these degenerates in a town where there has never been gangs. In all the years Ive lived in Montana I have never seen this kind of thing. I can only compare it to the mentality of someone publicly and deliberately poisoning a city's water supply and DARING anyone to say something about it.
I am sick of this scum loving, liberal political plague and so I have to ask. ..What can be done? Really? I know there is an agenda for this to occur ... So what the hell? Karate and blowguns? Old-fashioned western vigilantism? Is it even possible to find a city in America that has enough sense to arrange its infrastructure to keep gangs, welfare generations and degenerates out? You'll notice I don't describe the color of this element... don't' have to. Anyone with an IQ above 80 knows what I'm talking about.
I guess I just want to know if there is something that can be done. I am sick to my stomach watching the liberal media lies and opportunistic political parasites mooing and yowling over the race factor in the New Orleans rescue. I can't really keep up with all the accounts of racism against whites and don't have the stomach for it any more.
Ohio Health Dept. Caves to AIDS Activists
Post lifted from Interested Participant
The Ohio Department of Health (DOH) has jettisoned columnist Maggie Gallagher as the keynote speaker at the Conference on Abstinence Education scheduled for next month. According to DOH spokesman Jay Carey, the speaker's fee of $5,000 was too high.
However, after an internal DOH committee selected Gallagher to speak, the AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland loudly protested because of her anti-homosexual beliefs. Consequently, Gallager's rejection is seen as the DOH bowing to political pressure from homosexual advocates. Operation Keepsake, an abstinence advocacy group serving Northeast Ohio schools, said that the Department of Health was practicing "values profiling." The claim that the decision was based on cost is being dismissed as "ludicrous." In fact, the contract review committee had approved Gallagher's proposal prior to DOH Director Dr. Nick Baird rejecting it.
I'm no expert, but $5,000 seems to be on the low end of the scale of customary celebrity speaker's fees. Furthermore, since when does a few thou here or there bother a bureaucrat? Conversely, it doesn't take an expert to peg the homosexual advocacy groups as loud, troublesome, and influential.
So, with regard to the real reason Maggie Gallagher won't be speaking at the abstinence conference, I'll agree with Operation Keepsake. In my opinion, Dr. Baird caved to political pressure and used cost as an excuse.
Friday, September 23, 2005
A Swedish court on Wednesday convicted Volvo Cars of gender discrimination for denying a woman a job at its manufacturing plant because she was too short to work at the conveyor belt. Sweden’s Labor Court ordered Volvo to pay 40,000 kronor ($5,200) to the woman, who was not identified, saying the hiring policy constituted “indirect gender discrimination.”
Volvo’s hiring policy stated that for safety reasons, employees must be between 5 feet 4 inches and 6 feet 5 inches to work at the conveyor belt at its car manufacturing plant outside Goteborg. The woman only measured 5 feet 3 inches, said Equal Opportunity Ombudsman Claes Borgstrom, who sued Volvo on the woman’s behalf. The court ruled that that statistically, the height requirement excluded more women than men, and should therefore be considered as gender discrimination. “The consequence (of the ruling) must be that Volvo cannot routinely continue to automatically exclude people who are shorter than 163 centimeters (5 feet 4 inches) from employment,” Borgstrom said in a statement. “Instead, they will have to make an individual judgment of the applicants’ physical conditions for the job, for example span of reach and muscle strength.”
Volvo spokesman Christer Gustafsson said the company will follow the court’s ruling and drop the height requirement. “We will have to look at what we can do to avoid job injuries without the height requirement,” Gustafsson said. He said the height requirement was adopted four years ago to prevent strain injuries. “Those who are too short or too tall will then have to reach a lot, or bend down a lot,” he said.
FEMINIST DEGRADATION OF THEMSELVES
Some feminists know that feminism does not feel right -- but resist seeing that it was all wrong in the first place
Ariel Levy attended Wesleyan University in the 1990s, and she doesn't feel the better for it. It was a place where "group sex, to say nothing of casual sex, was de rigueur." It was a place where they had "coed showers, on principle." When Ms. Levy suggested to a department head that it would be nice to have at least one course in the traditional literary canon, she was dismissed with icy contempt. Yet elsewhere on campus a professor of the humanities taught a course on pornography featuring, um, detailed textual analysis.
It was all supposed to be so liberating. But it wasn't, as Ms. Levy argues forcefully in "Female Chauvinist Pigs." It was merely the academic groundwork for what she calls "raunch culture," now so ubiquitous that we take it for granted. Young women wear shirts emblazoned with "Porn Star" across the chest. Teen stores sell "Cat in the Hat" thong underwear. Parents treat their daughters' friends to "cardio striptease" classes for birthday parties. This is liberation?
Ms. Levy is baffled. "Why," she wondered, "is laboring to look like Pamela Anderson empowering?" Why did female Olympic athletes pose for Playboy before the summer 2004 Games? Why did Katie Couric feel the need to point to her cleavage and gush "these are actually real!" when she guest-hosted "The Tonight Show" a couple of years ago?
Some sort of pervasive pressure, apparently, requires "everyone who is sexually liberated . . . to be imitating strippers and porn stars." Ms. Levy describes the perfect distillation of this impulse--a social group called CAKE that hosts steamy, hooking-up parties in New York and London. CAKE makes big bucks advertising "feminism in action"--it claims to be the place where "sexual equality and feminism finally meet"--but its events are indistinguishable from those held at the Playboy Mansion.
The surface logic of such conduct is fairly simple, notes Ms. Levy. "Women had come so far," or so the thinking went, that "we no longer needed to worry about objectification or misogyny." If male chauvinist pigs "regarded women as pieces of meat, we would outdo them and be Female Chauvinist Pigs: women who make sex objects of other women and of ourselves."
Well, Ms. Levy is having none of it, and she is not the only one. Even Erica Jong seems to feel that something has gone wrong. Known for popularizing the idea that a woman may want consequence-free sex, Ms. Jong today declares: "Being able to have an orgasm with a man you don't love . . . that is not liberation." It isn't? Someone should tell this to Annie, a blue-eyed 29-year-old who admits to Ms. Levy that she "used to get so hurt" after a night of sex that didn't yield an emotional bond. Now she has gotten over it, or tried to: "I'm like a guy," she brags.
How did this happen? Why did feminism sell its soul to the sexual-liberation movement in the first place? After all, the original feminists were fighting to be taken seriously. Hugh Hefner, by contrast, said that his ideal girl "resembles a bunny . . . vivacious, jumping--sexy." There seems to be a contradiction here.....
It may be that, like Ms. Levy, a lot of feminists now regret getting in bed with Mr. Hefner. Yet if you mention the word "modesty" within 20 feet of them their heads spin around like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist." This is where they get stuck. Only if feminism can embrace the more traditional ways that men and women have courted throughout the ages can it have anything practical to offer young women. To the extent that feminists dismiss as worthless anything that is perceived as "backtracking," they only help to perpetuate the "raunch culture"--even as they deplore its effects.
REAL WOMEN'S LIB
With great "incorrectness", a reader writes:
My wife said this many years ago:
"Real liberation is when your husband makes enough money that you don't have to work".
Thursday, September 22, 2005
I am still putting up a lot on political correctness at Tongue-Tied in addition to what I post here. Note that posts there stay up only for one week. There is however here an archive of the posts from Sept. 5th to 10th and an archive here of posts from Sept. 11th to 17th.
Lots of today's young women want to be mothers, not Lesbians
Cynthia Liu is precisely the kind of high achiever Yale wants: smart (1510 SAT), disciplined (4.0 grade point average), competitive (finalist in Texas oratory competition), musical (pianist), athletic (runner) and altruistic (hospital volunteer). And at the start of her sophomore year at Yale, Ms. Liu is full of ambition, planning to go to law school. So will she join the long tradition of famous Ivy League graduates? Not likely. By the time she is 30, this accomplished 19-year-old expects to be a stay-at-home mom. "My mother's always told me you can't be the best career woman and the best mother at the same time," Ms. Liu said matter-of-factly. "You always have to choose one over the other."
At Yale and other top colleges, women are being groomed to take their place in an ever more diverse professional elite. It is almost taken for granted that, just as they make up half the students at these institutions, they will move into leadership roles on an equal basis with their male classmates. There is just one problem with this scenario: many of these women say that is not what they want.
Many women at the nation's most elite colleges say they have already decided that they will put aside their careers in favor of raising children. Though some of these students are not planning to have children and some hope to have a family and work full time, many others, like Ms. Liu, say they will happily play a traditional female role, with motherhood their main commitment.
Much attention has been focused on career women who leave the work force to rear children. What seems to be changing is that while many women in college two or three decades ago expected to have full-time careers, their daughters, while still in college, say they have already decided to suspend or end their careers when they have children. "At the height of the women's movement and shortly thereafter, women were much more firm in their expectation that they could somehow combine full-time work with child rearing," said Cynthia E. Russett, a professor of American history who has taught at Yale since 1967. "The women today are, in effect, turning realistic."
Dr. Russett is among more than a dozen faculty members and administrators at the most exclusive institutions who have been on campus for decades and who said in interviews that they had noticed the changing attitude. Many students say staying home is not a shocking idea among their friends. Shannon Flynn, an 18-year-old from Guilford, Conn., who is a freshman at Harvard, says many of her girlfriends do not want to work full time. "Most probably do feel like me, maybe even tending toward wanting to not work at all," said Ms. Flynn, who plans to work part time after having children, though she is torn because she has worked so hard in school. "Men really aren't put in that position," she said.
Uzezi Abugo, a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania who hopes to become a lawyer, says she, too, wants to be home with her children at least until they are in school. "I've seen the difference between kids who did have their mother stay at home and kids who didn't, and it's kind of like an obvious difference when you look at it," said Ms. Abugo, whose mother, a nurse, stayed home until Ms. Abugo was in first grade.
While the changing attitudes are difficult to quantify, the shift emerges repeatedly in interviews with Ivy League students, including 138 freshman and senior females at Yale who replied to e-mail questions sent to members of two residential colleges over the last school year. The interviews found that 85 of the students, or roughly 60 percent, said that when they had children, they planned to cut back on work or stop working entirely. About half of those women said they planned to work part time, and about half wanted to stop work for at least a few years....
THE INCOMPREHENSIBILITY OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
Do they stand for anything but hatred of ordinary people? Post lifted from Reliapundit
ON THE ONE HAND, the Left gets all bent out of shape if you criticize Islam and non-democratic misogynistic Islamic nations, or argue that race, age and country of origin should be PART of a profile and that police SHOULD profile, or that there are such things as UNIVERSAL RIGHTS.
The Left argues that "we" ("we" being the hegemonic West in general, and specifically the "American Empire") have no right to interfere or intervene in other cultures and countries because values cannot be imposed; there is no such thing as "evil;" good and evil are values which are relative to each culture, and using force to change another culture is nothing more than cultural hegemony motivated by colonialism's naked greed.
That's also why the Left argues that "we" should appease the our foes, appease the "other", appease the Third World and send them umlimited amounts of Foreign Aid - with no strings attached: Because "we" are to blame for their poverty - AND - since it is their poverty which makes them mad at us and attack us, "we" should withdraw from their spheres of influence (Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Moro Islands, Kashmir, Kurdistan, Spain, Bosnia and Serbia - for starters), and just send them our money.
Yet, ON THE OTHER HAND, the Left has no qualms about accusing BusHitler, KKKarl Rove, and John AshKKKroft of every evil thing under the sun. From (a) planning 9/11 in order to have an "endless war" with which benefits their buddies in the defense contractor industry; to (b) fulfilling their long-held dream of tearing up the Bill of Rights; to (c) lying about WMD as a pretext to steal Iraq's oil.
This is simply hypocrisy. On the one hand they deny that evil exists (except as defined by each culture for itself), and on the other hand Bush - and the GOP and conservatives, and pro-lifers, and neo-cons and Zionists are absolutely EVIL!
And this gets us to what is now the GIST of Leftist hatred of evil right-wingers: ABORTION. Leftists do not believe that life begins at conception - as if some ELSE was conceived - NOT A LIFE; as if an expecting mother was not expecting anything special until the 25th week. This is irrational because all delineations EXCEPT for conception are by definition ARBITRARY. Yet the Left persists in calling pro-life people evil because the Left believes that anyone who wants pregnant women to go to term and give birth and then - if they don't want the baby - just give up the baby for adoption (rather than killing the baby while it is in the womb) are evil. To the Left, people who abort their pregnancies are doing nothing wrong at all.
To the Left, pro-lifers are evil. To the Left, neo-cons - (people who believe that every person everywhere is entitled to their universal human rights and that democracy is the only way to guarantee this, AND THAT SINCE WE ARE THE MOST POWERFUL DEMOCRACY ON EARTH WE HAVE A DUTY TO HELP LIBERATE OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS EVERYWHERE, just as FDR and JFK said) - are evil.
But, to the Left jihadists and islamofascists who openly call for genocidal war are not evil; they're just misunderstood indigenous people who are well-motivated.
Which is why the Left openly proclaims that they are more afraid of BusHitler than they are of Binladen. Which is irrational. Which is why the wise man said: "Leftism isn't just a discredited ideology, anymore; it's a mental disorder."
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
"Recently an organization on this campus made a mistake and chalked “Scalp the Indians” on a sidewalk by library lawn. They, unfortunately, left out one important piece of writing, neglecting to mention how our OSU Cowboys were playing the ASU Indians. Had the chalking stated that fact, this might be a different situation altogether.
The students and faculty who walked by the chalking who were unaware of the team we were going to play were probably confused or enraged. It is obvious why this chalking is offensive. OSU has a large American Indian population. The state of Oklahoma has one of the largest populations of American Indians in the country. A portion will inevitably regard this as a blatant act of racism. Is it though?
There is an ongoing controversy in sports. Numerous teams have American Indian mascots. In Major League Baseball, we have the Cleveland Indians. We have the Washington Redskins in pro football. The Florida Seminoles are an NCAA powerhouse. My old high school’s mascot was the Indians. Arkansas State’s namesake is the Indians as well. It seems that the growing trend is to try to replace these “culturally insensitive” team names. My old high school is now the Falcons. I wonder how much longer we will be seeing Cowboys versus Indians matchups.
This all ties into the matter of the chalking because the chalking itself was not an act of racism. It was an act of school spirit. I am willing to wager that those who committed this act were unaware of the possible repercussions. They probably had no idea that an act of game day rivalry would add to a growing list of racially insensitive acts.
Is this really that big of a deal? To an extent, yes. And I can understand why an American Indian would be upset. I still think that this country has taken political correctness way too far. Our country is a large melting pot. We are all Americans. Let’s laugh together and understand that cultures poke fun at others and use euphemisms. If this is that big of a deal, why has someone not mentioned anything about Eskimo Joe? I liken him to Chief Wahoo.
We worry too much about offending others. It seems people have lost their sense of humor and understanding. If there is anything we need to learn from this, it is to just take a moment and think. Will what I am about to do anger anyone, anywhere, for any possible reason that I can think of now or in the future? Anyhow, Indians scalp Cowboys, not vice versa. I wonder if anyone at ASU wrote “Scalp the Cowboys” in an ill-thought act of school spirit".
TOUCHY WELSH POLICE
They can't catch crooks so they go to London at great expense and harass TV stars
"One of Britain's most controversial police forces spent nearly £4,000 on an inquiry into "anti-Welsh" comments made by Anne Robinson, it has emerged. Four senior officers from North Wales Police were called on to investigate the remarks made by the TV presenter on the BBC show Room 101. During the programme, which asks celebrity guests to list their pet hates, she described the Welsh as "irritating and annoying", adding provocatively: "What are they for?"
But what many shrugged off as light-hearted comments provoked anger among language activists and Welsh politicians, and the North Wales force - headed by maverick chief constable Richard Brunstrom - launched an investigation. Yesterday the full extent of the bizarre probe became clear after former Welsh Assembly member Peter Rogers obtained the facts under Freedom of Information legislation. In all, a superintendent, detective chief inspector and two detective inspectors were deployed, two of whom interviewed Greg Dyke, the then BBC director general. The cost of the investigation is put at "approximately £3,800" and at least 96 hours were spent on the case.
Last night Mr Rogers, now a Tory councillor, said he regarded the affair as "political correctness gone mad". "It's appalling that we've had to drag the information out of them this way," he said. "Twice, I put down questions in the Assembly seeking the cost but was told it wasn't available and hadn't been worked out. "It was the most stupid thing to investigate when there are real criminals who should be occupying the time of such highranking officers."
Weakest Link presenter Miss Robinson made her comments about the Welsh in 2001 on the Paul Merton-hosted show. She said: "I've never taken to them. What are they for? We can't sing like they can, we can't play rugby like they can and we can't be clever like they are." Hundreds of viewers complained to broadcasting watchdogs and the resulting furore led to the Commission for Racial Equality being consulted and a police investigation. But no action was ever taken because of "insufficient evidence". In 2002, a fresh investigation began after repeat screenings, but again no action was taken.
The Freedom of Information reply says: "North Wales Police received 12 complaints about the alleged comments. Once a complaint is received, we are duty bound to carry out an investigation."
Under Mr Brunstrom's stewardship, the force has been at the centre of a string of controversies. His hardline support for speed cameras has alienated the motoring lobby and he has come under fire for suggesting that the legalisation of all drugs may be the only way to win the war on abuse. The force has also been heavily criticised for its woeful record in catching burglars. A BBC spokesman said that Miss Robinson would not be making any comment".
"GLOBAL WARMING" IS POLITICALLY CORRECT TOO
"In the September 2, 2005 issue of Science, it was reported that a U.S. hurricane expert resigned because of the 'politicization' of the scientific process. In other words, only the 'right' results were being reported. If results didn't further those political beliefs that were prevalent, i.e. global warming, then the results were not included. This is not science. As well, a federal panel that was about to release a report on recent temperature trends suffered a setback when one of its scientists, Roger Pielke, of Colorado State University, resigned. His reason as stated was because the study failed to be inclusive and improperly eliminated the consideration of regional temperature trends. In layman terms, the study was being done to provide a politically correct conclusion and not necessarily the accurate one.
In September, 2003, the BBC ran a story about NASA's new IceSat satellite, designed to measure polar ice and sea ice elevation. With feedback from IceSat project scientists, the BBC story continued that "up to now climate scientists have had only spotty measurements of the height of the remote ice sheets." The question that one would have to ask of that comment is by what means can these scientists claim to know for sure the actual percentage that the icecaps have supposedly melted by. After all, if we only had a spotty measurement of their size up until 2003, can the claims that they have been shrinking dramatically for the last 30 years be assumed to be even remotely accurate? These claims are now suspect. It goes on to state that glaciologists do not even know whether these massive blocks of ice are expanding or shrinking. Their vast size makes accurate ground measurements impossible.
Yet another study outlines the implications of man made and natural aerosols, particularly the eruption of volcanoes. We are told that these aerosols contribute to global cooling, and the effects of some eruptions last years and can well exceed the effects of global warming in the 21st century. The author explicitly implies that natural occurences more than make up for the greenhouse effect. Why have we not heard about this study on our news stations? Is it not negative in content, therefore not newsworthy?
For 30 years, levees have helped keep the city of New Orleans dry. They were designed to withstand a category 3 storm, as the chances of getting hit head on by a larger storm were slim. Former Democrat Senator John Breaux of Louisiana said that everyone has known for a long time that they wouldn't stop a "once every hundred years" storm of this intensity. It must also be noted that New Orleans was hit by three massive hurricanes in the 1700's. When Hurricane Betsy hit Louisiana in 1965, she was one mile per hour under Category 5 strength, and was packing winds of 155 mph. The point of all this is that these storms are not caused by a man induced global warming. History plainly states the truth, and is always unbiased, unless men rewrite the history books as they have been known to do. Further, the facts plainly show that these storms have happened before, and will happen again. They are not a new phenomenon, but are part of a global cycle that has occurred before our time, and will continue to occur....
Scientific journals around the globe have been expounding on reports that glacier ice is in rapid retreat, especially on Greenland. We have seen television reports about northern native communities where the 'devastation' has started. Other reports state that the Antarctic ice sheet is now expanding, but nowhere do you hear this being reported. No one is touting the end of global warming, or at least of one scenario. This is a paragraph I found from another article , discussing what has been found in retreating ice caps. "Over the ensuing years, the glaciers ebbed and flowed, driven by vast, cyclical changes in weather that could send tongues of ice rushing downward, only to retreat a few hundred years later. The last one, known as the Little Ice Age, began around 1450 and completed its cycle around 1900." In other words, for at least the last 600 years, scientists have been aware of great shifts in the ice sheets, with some periods of growth, and others of drastic shrinkage.
Is it no longer politically correct for scientists who disagree with the alarmist rhetoric to speak out? Are they being quieted and pushed out of scientific communities like those who challenged the Papal leaders in Rome of old? Is their now a scientific inquisition happening? There is a wealth of information, theory, and actual reliable data, as well as historic evidence to refute global warming. The media, in a deliberate and organized fashion, seems intent on ignoring any such evidence.
What then is the driving force behind this powerful lobby?
Is it the need to acquire government funding? The U.S. government awarded more than $4 billion dollars in grants for the study of our climate in 2000. Is it the desire for men to make a name for themselves by pioneering a theory? Is it an industry promoting its own agenda, or perhaps a larger scheme for global wealth redistribution? While I have heard all of these ideas, the truth is I don't know what is driving all of this alarmism. I do know, however, that you cannot suppress scientific data that refutes a theory just because you have gotten behind it.
If this is the only way that a certain segment of the scientific community can continue to convince us of their cause, then we should be able to see through it. They indeed do science more harm than good. When men of high calibre start to question this theory publicly, and are then quickly silenced and ridiculed, we must start asking why. We must also look at this theory more openly.
Another very important question that we must ask is why does the media continue to report on only the most alarming information coming from the scientific community on this subject?"