Monday, March 30, 2015

Perverting the language

Star Trek's Mr Sulu, George Takei, has written an article for MSNBC [Emphasis mine—DK]...
The so-called “Religious Freedom Bill” would have allowed proprietors of establishments open to the public to refuse to serve customers if doing so would violate the “sincerely held” religious beliefs of the owner. 
On the surface, the proposed law seemed like a neutral way to protect the First Amendment rights of business owners.
But beneath that surface lurked a dangerous and divisive effect, granting hotels, bars and restaurants the right to refuse to serve LGBT persons and couples such as Brad and me, simply because our love did not comport with the religious views of the owners.

But thanks to pressures upon the governor’s office in days before she was set to sign the law, and in the face of a boycott of the state by tourists and the NFL, which threatened to move the Super Bowl to Pasadena, Gov. Jan Brewer ultimately decided to veto the law. Tolerance and equality won out that day.
Hmmm.

So, "tolerance" for LGBTQ means intolerance—enacted with force—towards people who would like to choose who they do business with?

Whilst I don't support a religious position, this definition of "tolerance" does rather illustrate how our language has become utterly perverted.

To be honest, my attitude is pretty much espoused by Tim Cook, i.e. that serving everyone equally is good business.

Or, as I put it after the heated feminism debate at this weekend's Liberty League Freedom Forum...
I am an individualist. I discriminate on whether or not you are a cunt, not whether or not you have one.
That pretty sums up my attitude to all identity politics, frankly.

The bastards are still stealing from us

Another day, another tale of ordinary thieving folk...
Forty six MPs have claimed expenses for London rent or hotels despite owning a property in the capital, a Channel 4 News investigation has found.
...
Our investigation found many of the MPs bought their London properties with the help of the taxpayer when the previous expenses system allowed them to claim back mortgage payments.
But when those claims were banned following the expenses scandal they switched to letting out their properties, in some cases for up to £3,000 a month. They then started claiming expenses for rent and hotels in the capital.
The only thing that MPs learned from the expenses scandal was how to line their pockets, at our expense, in new and exciting ways.

Clarkson again...

And so Spiked! weighs in again on Clarkson, pointing out that this so-called offensive, racist oaf helped to propel Top Gear to be the most watched factual programme in the entire world.
When Clarkson’s suspension was announced, one of the first to express sadness was his Farsi voiceover, Mozaffar Shafeie, who helps to translate Top Gear for the benefit of the show’s multitude of viewers in Iran. As much as it might grate on the tender sensibilities of Clarkson’s detractors in the UK, his oafish, crass manner is actually fundamental to his popularity in the Islamic Republic. ‘His humour is so inappropriate and not at all what you hear on state TV’, said the BBC’s Darius Bazargan, who made a documentary in 2008 about motor racing in Tehran, before adding, ‘that must account for some of [Top Gear’s] appeal’.
Oddly enough*, that's pretty much why I enjoyed Top Gear too.
This jolly, life-affirming show about risk-taking and camaraderie, one only superficially devoted to automobiles, has done more than any other TV show to spread happiness and bring people together on a global scale.
Quite.

* I don't, of course, mean "oddly": I am drawing a direct comparison between the legal and religious authoritarianism of the disgusting Iranian regime, and the social fascism of the bien pensant media classes in this country—and the tacit support given to them by our cowardly politicos.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boycott!

So, the BBC has finally sacked Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear.

Given how much money the programme makes for the Beeb, I would say that decision might be described as "courageous".

However...

Your humble Devil has sod all interest in cars*, but I did rather enjoy watching Top Gear. I think, basically, because it was three chaps—mercifully free from the aching right-on-ness of most people these days—arse-ing about in colossally brilliant machines built by very clever human beings.

It seems that the other May and Hammond—in a decent British show of solidarity with a mate—will probably not continue with the programme. Good for them.

So, the upshot is that I think that the BBC are totally wrong to sack Clarkson. Totally and utterly wrong.

Thank goodness that I can boycott their output, withhold my payments and cancel my contract. And that's why I am calling for a...

I'm sorry—what?

Prison? For not wanting to pay for a service that I not only don't want, but morally disagree with?

Oh.

FFS.

* I got banned some years ago, and have never bothered to apply for my licence back—despite the ban having expired two years ago (or more).


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Appropriate

One of my problems with the Thatcher governments is that they actually centralised a lot of local government. For someone who believes in localism, that is something of a problem.

However, when you see what local governments spend money on, that is entirely understandable.

As a very small example, let us take this pathetic story from the Daily Fail...
Staff at a council used payment cards to spend nearly £700,000 of public cash – including £170 on a pair of designer Ugg boots, £100 in a Ralph Lauren store in Barcelona and £44 in a tattoo parlour.
There just isn't any fucking excuse for this kind of spending.

Look, I work in a company and we have a company credit card: it is totally necessary because, these days, many services cannot be purchased without some kind of debit/credit card.

I can understand why some purchases might look weird to our shareholders. But I can justify every one of them (and I am a shareholder so I authorise most of them). Nevertheless, at our company, every single penny saved is worthwhile.

But this is not even about getting the best deal.

This is about what it is appropriate for state agencies to spend our fucking money on.

Let us be really fucking charitable and assume that the £44 spent in a tattoo parlour was for a "vulnerable" constituent who maintained that only permanent damage to their epidermis could allow them to feel accepted in their environment.

I am well aware that local councils feel obliged to pander to their customers (don't we all sometimes? After all, saying "no" to people is never nice).

But the correct answer is still, "fuck off".

And not just because the aresehole will probably sue the council, in a few years time, for the right to have said tattoo removed (at our expense).

No, the real reason to say "fuck off" is because even that £44 belongs to someone else.

Personally, I don't get tattoos: the idea of doing any kind of permanent damage to my body makes me feel slightly ill. But, again, that's not the fucking point.

A council, or a state, has the mandate to stop put a roof over people's head, and to prevent them from starving—and that's basically it.

So, many people will sit and say that £700,000 is not that much money. And, in the grand scheme of state spending, that's true.

But when councils hike taxes and, more gutlessly, campaign against central government funding cuts then this kind of shite needs to be highlighted.

Because that £44 was taken by force from some poor family somewhere in Bristol, and then spunked up the wall by some council employee who was unable to say "no".

This kind of petty fucking fraud needs to stop—and not because we need to "reduce the deficit". No, it needs to stop because these cunts are stealing your money, so that you can no longer afford things that you want.

And then they are taking that money, and then spending buying frivolous shite for people who have earned fuck all. Never forget—this is your money that they are spending.

So, what could you do with £700,000? And this sum was racked up on only one payment method, by only one council.

Not such a small amount now, is it...?

Monday, March 16, 2015

The BBC and Green's hypocrisy over 500 million deaths




**Please note I am not Devil's Kitchen**

Last Friday the 13th March, as aficionados of popular culture will attest, was Comic Relief and Red Nose Day. The feel-good factor cup ranneth over in raising money for charities not only at home, but very much abroad, especially Africa. Presenter Claudia Winkelman triumphantly said £78 million had been raised, pushing the final figure since the BBC began thirty years ago to over £1 billion. Delights usually include the cringe worthy actor trying to dance, the footballer trying to act, and the TV presenter trying to sing. Sometimes euthanasia might be kinder.

One of this years highlights was In The Loop's, foul mouthed Malcolm Tucker and Dr. Who's current incarnation Peter Capaldi slumming it in Malawi looking at the plight of malaria ravaged children. He implored us to donate for mosquito nets which prevents transmission of the disease.  I certainly do not want to make light of a child's death, but we were treated to scenes of five children and even more under a bed as hospitals are overwhelmed. One of the scenes was the distressing death of Thenbani aged 3 years and 8 months of malarial induced cardiac arrest.  The caption then reads "His death could have been prevented."

Too damn right. 

It is not the wicked west and tight-fisted Brits to blame, but the Green Movement and by implication its apologists at the BBC. Malaria was on the verge of being eradicated world-wide in the early 1960s. It is down to one very long word, and its marginalisation and banning:

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane. 

DDT as we commonly know it, is sprayed on the swamps where the mosquitoes bred, it was highly effective. For example in Sri Lanka in 1948, had 2.8 million cases and by 1963, just 17. Zanzibar saw 70% of its population infected in 1958 dropping to 5% in 1964. After DDT spraying stopped, Sri Lanka returned to 2.5 million cases and Zanzibar 55% infection rates.  It was estimated at the time by the US Agency for International Development's Chief Malaria Officer that continued use of DDT would have eradicated 98% of the disease. DDT is estimated by Drs. Michael Arnold Glueck and Robert J. Cihak, to have saved 500 million lives.

Why was DDT banned? It was the publication of a book by Rachel Carson called "Silent Spring." DDT was accused of causing breast cancer, diabetes, killing birds and animals, the former by causing their egg shells to be too thin.  Almost certainly junk science, the mirage still appears among us, as former Vice President Al Gore said in 1994 “Because Carson’s work led to a ban on DDT, it may be that the human species...or at least countless human lives, will be saved because of the words she wrote.”

The BBC have not been shy in banging Carson’s drum. In 1999 it copied and pasted from the World Wide Fund for Nature’s press release that, “The chemical DDT is so dangerous that it should be banned everywhere..”

In 2003 it reported reduced infertility from DDT and “The chemical has already been linked to premature births and low birth weights.

The BBC on this 2014 copyrighted GCSE exam Bitesize, revision text says, “An example of bioaccumulation is the use of DDT as an insecticide in the 1950s and 1960s. Birds of prey were badly affected because it made the shells of their eggs very thin, causing them to break easily when the birds tried to incubate them.”
As recently as January 2014 they wrote that there maybe a link between DDT and Alzheimer’s disease.


DDT was banned in the USA in 1972 with Europe following soon after, despite egg shell thin evidence. If I can quote directly from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) report.

“Judge Edmund Sweeney concluded that ― ‘DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man... DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man... the use of DDT under the regulations involved here does not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife..’”  

Administrator Ruckelshaus was not persuaded or perhaps wanted to make a name for himself saying he “was convinced that the continued massive use of DDT posed unacceptable risks to the environment and potential harm to human health. On June 14th 1972, Administrator Ruckelshaus cancelled nearly all of the remaining Federal registrations of DDT products.”

Empirical evidence seems redundant.

The United Nations Environment Programme of 2001 saw the passing of the Stockholm Convention calling for DDT's restriction and partial elimination and a legally binding treaty was signed on the 17th May 2004 by 173 countries. Although theoretically it could have limited deployment for “Vector Control,” a discouraged world padlocked the chemical shed. The EPA‘s reaction above no doubt set the standard of expecting everyone to comply with the Silent Spring being waved at them.

What evidence is there Carson's hypothesis holds water? None, it is junk science.

On breast cancer in 1997 and published in the New England Journal for Medicine, lead author Dr. David Hunter concluded "Our data do not support the hypothesis that exposure to 2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane (DDT) and PCBs increases the risk of breast cancer."

In the UK the Wilson Report from 1969. "Review of organochlorine pesticides in Britain" found “no close correlation between the decline in population of predatory birds, particularly the peregrine falcon and the sparrow hawk, and the use of DDT."”

Ospreys in the USA thrived with 191 in 1946, to 288 in 1956, to 457 in 1967, and 630 in 1972.

On egg shells typical papers such as Dr. ML Scott's from 1975,  "Effects of PCBs, DDT, and mercury compounds upon egg production, hatchability and shell quality in chickens and Japanese quail,” concluded "Dietary polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and related compounds, in well controlled experiments, produced no detrimental effects upon egg shell quality”"

Shortly before his death in 2004   Dr. Gordon Edwards, Professor Emeritus of Entomology at San Jose State University, savaged the agreement. “The ban on DDT, founded on erroneous or fraudulent reports and imposed by one powerful bureaucrat, has caused millions of deaths, while sapping the strength and productivity of countless human beings in underdeveloped countries. It is time for an honest appraisal and for immediate deployment of the best currently available means to control insect-borne diseases. This means DDT.”

Hope in 2006 seemed to re-emerge. At the World Health Organization (WHO), Japanese Dr. Arata Kochi was appointed to head up the anti-malaria programme.  Known for his abrasive, get things done style, he stated that DDT was the most effective means of eradicating malaria.  Ironically he found an ally in President George Bush and his head of the $1.2 billion malaria programme, Admiral Timothy Ziemer said "that (DDT) must be deployed as robustly and strategically as possible.”

Kochi also criticised the use and sale of drugs to combat malaria as it reduced resistance. Big Pharma was not happy.

However, many African countries are reluctant to return to DDT as Europe and the USA may block agricultural exports, in case the products become tainted with DDT. Malawi's biggest currency earner is tobacco making up 70% of foreign currency receipts. Arguing against the BBC/green scientific orthodoxy could be catastrophic. DDT’s pariah status remains unchanged.

So Africa and other parts of the world are condemned to have Sir Terry Wogan join Dermot O'Leary in the Floral Dance and the dreadful Russell Brand doing cheap and unfunny jokes at Jeremy Clarkson's expense, while the ravages of malaria are causing 98 million cases and an estimated 584 000 deaths, 90% are in Africa. It seems the orthodox of Groupthink on left/liberal science of malaria control has been all pervasive and has set a precedent for over 50 years. It seems that questioning DDT as a killer is still verboten. Analogies of challenging "man-made" global warming and the harm of second hand cigarette smoke, where many scientists have been cowered and bullied into silence are persuasive. 

The BBC complicit and collaborating with their cohorts in the Green Movement may have inflicted Biblical levels of pestilence on the world. If DDT saved 500 million when it was used, it could imply 500 million people may have been lost subsequently.

One could conclude that BBC mosquito nets are throwing dead babies out with the swamp water.