Johnny Cash Sings Civil War Songs

Johnny Cash’s love of country and his Southern Heritage shines through in these performances. You can always tell when a subject is really close to a performer’s heart. 1862, 150 years ago, saw many fierce battles still etched into the American memory: Antietan, Shiloh, Fredericksburg, Harper’s Ferry and ‘Stonewall’ Jackson’s victories in the Shenandoah Valley. The first video is a medley of several songs performed with great dignity and respect for all the men that fell, even though Johnny cheerfully admits his Southern sympathies in the end. The second is one of my personal favorites ‘God Bless Robert E. Lee’, and the last is a soul-stirring performance of ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’.

Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colors

The environmentalist Patrick Moore was one of the founders of Greenpeace in 1971. He left the organisation in disgust fifteen years later, which he described in the Wall Street Journal:

“At first, many of the causes we championed, such as opposition to nuclear testing and protection of whales, stemmed from our scientific knowledge of nuclear physics and marine biology. But after six years as one of five directors of Greenpeace International, I observed that none of my fellow directors had any formal science education. They were either political activists or environmental entrepreneurs. Ultimately, a trend toward abandoning objectivity in favor of political agendas forced me to leave Greenpeace in 1986”.

The final insult for Moore was when some colleagues in Greenpeace decided it would be a good move to try banning chlorine. This is an absurdity twice over. How can you ban a naturally occurring element, much less one that has led to great advances in public health and the virtual eradication of cholera in the developed world?

Greenpeace have denied trying this, yet the conduct of the Green Movement, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, tells me who is speaking the truth. James Delingpole, one of the heroes of the Climategate scandal, is one of the few writers in Britain with the courage to expose the “Watermelons”: those who are Green on the outside, yet Red on the inside; the people trying to wreak havoc on our prosperity and and take away vital freedoms in order to fulfill a misanthropic vision strongly linked to Communism.

This leaflet from Friends of the Earth, which Delingpole tells us he keeps on his desk, is telling:

Oil companies. Supermarkets. Petro-chemical firms. Airlines. Globally they spend millions of pounds undermining environmental policy.

Big business spends serious money on advertising and PR telling us that they are doing their bit for the environment. But away from the public eye they’re spending millions holding back environmental progress.

Airlines are spending millions to persuade governments to expand airports. Petro-chemical companies are blocking environmentally friendly measures because of the cost to them. Oil companies are funding “independent think-tanks”, designed to to undermine serious climate change research. And they are doing it all for one thing: Profit.

To any readers who believe profit is evil, I pity you. James Delingpole’s triumph of a book is not designed to enlighten you in this regard. What it can tell you is that the claims made about big business funding climate change and Green skepticism are laughably bogus when you look at the bigger funding picture. The US federal government alone spends 3,500 times the funds trying to prove the existence of Anthropocentric Global Warming (AGW) than anything offered to the skeptics. Its difficult to keep track of the vast and labyrinthine funding to the AGW Industry, which is a truly massive complex involving government departments, quangos, corporations, pressure groups, universities and the UN among others. Dr. Richard North at the EU Referendum blog calculated that the EU has spent well over $100 billion on climate funding since 1989. This is five times the cost of the Manhattan project.

Here just a few examples of taxpayer and even Big Oil money wetting the beaks in the AGW Industry:

– $4 billion allocated by the US federal government for climate research in 2011.

– £650 million paid by the EU for research and development in the same field between 1994 and 1998.

– $100 million donated by ExxonMobil (!) to Stanford University’s Global Climate and Energy Project (no doubt for the purposes of reputation building).

– £13.7 million received in grants by the disgraceful Phil Jones at the infamous Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

– £6 million paid by the British government in October 2009 for an ad campaign promoting man-made global warming.

– A$13.9 million paid by the Australian government for an ad campaign on climate change.

I could go on all day, but its all too depressing. Obama’s 2009 stimulus package included $50 billion in handouts to ‘green’ corporations. The result was a whole bunch of Solyndras.

Now, you may ask about all those scientists who are all aboard the AGW expressway. Well, scientists are susceptible to corruption, idiocy and left-wing misanthropic agendas as much as the next person. The leaked Climategate e-mails prove that. There one can see, at the world’s foremost center of climate change research: manipulation of evidence, private doubts among the researchers about whether the world is really heating up, attempts to cover up the truth about the Medieval Warm Period (WMP), a period of global warming between 950 to 1250 CE (check the Domesday book, many crops were growing then in England that can’t grow now due to cooler temperatures), attempts to squeeze intellectual opponents out of the peer-review process and even fantasies about killing and maiming scientists who disagree with their agenda. Among other things.

Its also wise to get acquainted with something called ‘Post Normal Science’. Normal Science is what the average person believes what science is and ought to be about: empricism, impartiality, honesty and so on. Post Normal Science was defined by the US academics Jerome Ravetz (associated with the Communist Party) and Silvio Funtowicz. In a 1993 treatise called “Science for the Post Normal Age” they claim:

“… a new type of science – ‘post normal’ – is emerging…in contrast to traditional problem-solving strategies, including core science, applied science, and professional consultancy… Post-normal science can provide a path to the democratization of science, and also a response to the current tendencies to post-modernity”.

At its heart, Post Normal Science is about subverting traditional science for to achieve desirable leftist political ends. The nonsensical language of Ravetz and Funtowicz is in the fine tradition of Derrida, Edward Said, Chomsky and the post-modernists. Anyone who opposes them is usually labelled a ‘reactionary’ in the pockets of Big Business. Post Normal Science holds sway over large swathes of academia and the scientific community. It has destroyed scientific integrity and made the AGW scare possible. Its long been realized that the Green pundits have always been more  about politics than science. A good example is Alexander Cockburn, who tellingly went from attacking Gorbachev – for selling out Brezhnev – to penning environmentalist tracts when he knew the Soviet Union was a goner. To Cockburn’s credit, he was questioning a lot of environmentalist dogma in his twilight years.  Unfortunately today, we can’t even trust the scientific community itself.

The consequences of not fighting this are too great to be ignored, even if you will be subjected to the abuse deserved by us ‘deniers’. Delingpole provides Denmark as an example of Green policy disaster. The Danish government’s commitment to Green values has given Denmark the world’s highest density of wind towers, which have blighted much of the landscape. Yet the Danes pay the highest energy prices in Europe (and four times the US average). The wind farms only survive on a 257 million euro annual subsidy. Half of the Danish household electricity cost is tax. Denmark then ends up exporting 50 percent of its wind power to Sweden and Norway, because wind power cannot be turned on and off according to need. Yet the poor Danes happen to be charged for the use of their neighbors’ hydroelectric power, which can be turned on and off. Has any good come from this policy? How much has Denmark cut from its carbon emissions, for instance? The answer is 0.3% between 1990 and 2007. Wind farms need a conventional power source to back them up, so they end up saving virtually nothing in terms of CO2 emissions.

Britain is not immune from the madness. The Climate Change Act of 2008 aims to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. The Department of Energy admits this will cost the taxpayer £18 billion per year for the next forty years. All this to stop a threat that is probably as imaginary as the vision of the Carthaginian priest Tertullian in the year 210:

Our teeming population is the strongest evidence our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly support us from its natural elements. Our wants grow more and more keen and our complaints more bitter in all mouths, while nature fails in affording us our usual sustenance. In every deed, pestilence and famine and wars have to be regarded as a remedy for nations as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race.

From Tertullian to Malthus to Friends of the Earth, the misanthropic Green vision has always been with us. I am reminded of the words of H.L. Mencken when he said: “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”.

Climate change, overpopulation and ManBearPig are hobgoblins. Nothing more. And remember, Greenies, capitalism and economic growth happen to be the greenest policies around:

Not to mention the Kindle, CDs and the floppy disc

Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colors [Kindle Edition]

What I Saw In ‘The Iron Lady’

I’m shamefully ignorant in regards to British politics. Wasn’t Margaret Thatcher some free-market fundamentalist, an adherent of Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek? Now that sounds like my kind of lady.

Yet a quick internet search reveals state spending increased annually under her reign. Mrs. Thatcher merely slowed the rate of growth of the state. Still, fair play to her for delivering some notable liberal reforms. If no mine or factory should ever closed on economic grounds, as the socialists say, then it follows that they must have been screaming in favor of  those bank bailouts. They weren’t? Oh, politics is a confusing game.

Was Thatcher a war criminal? She got compared to some nasty characters after the sinking of the ARA General Belgrano.  I fail to see the issue here: the Belgrano was an Argentine warship, sunk in a war with Argentina. The fact it was outside some ‘exclusion zone’  has no bearing whatsoever. Historically exclusion zones exist for the benefit of neutral vessels. Both sides were perfectly aware the Belgrano was fair game. End of that non-controversy.

I don’t like politicians all that much, no more than I like their animal kingdom equivalent, the leech. Politicians are just leeches that ask to be loved. Few exceptions to my leech theory exist in the 20th century. Bibi Netanyahu I certainly have a soft-spot for, as well as Augusto Pinochet (hah! I said it you Castro-loving cunts!). Then there is Thatcher, a charming lady who screwed us less than the rest.

Confident I would not be viewing a glorification of a war criminal or a nasty leech, off I went to see a film about Thatcher.

The Iron Lady wouldn’t sway my opinions in any direction regarding, well, the Iron Lady. Amazingly, its creators managed to make a biopic of the Baroness that glosses over political matters, reducing the big dramas to speedy montages. It seems insane, but partly through the film I realized it must have been written by a woman or women. Women are relationship beings, not terribly interested in politics. A woman’s biopic of a towering political figure such as The Iron Lady focuses on a happy marriage and a tearful widowhood, and other chick-flick fare. Thatcher’s arrival in Parliament in this film felt like watching that girl from Legally Blonde entering Harvard. My guess not long into the film proved to be correct, of course. The Iron Lady was written by a certain Abi Morgan and directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Neither name rang a bell, but then again I am not interested in art by women, for women (whether they intend it to be or not).

Meryl Streep pulls off a fantastic Thatcher, capturing her voice and mannerisms without descending into a caricature. Well, you would expect no less from America’s most accomplished actress. Some have complained about Thatcher’s dementia being exaggerated in the film, particularly Tories that know her. The dementia scenes are touching and will no doubt draw sympathy from anyone with a heart not made of socialism. I don’t know about her mental condition, but I recall seeing Thatcher knocking back gin in the Goring Hotel several years back. I felt an air of loneliness about her, and my eyes started welling up. Now that’s never happened to me before.

America’s Budget Problems Explained

This appears to have gone viral, and deservedly so.