Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The UN Gang

Jonathon Kay has a great piece on the United Nations this morning on why we westerners shouldn't suck up to the UN. Here's my take on it from a few years ago:

Every October each weekend is dedicated to visiting University of Toronto book sales. (Darn, my secret is out). There, for a pittance, I can fill my library with everything from trashy pulp fiction to erudite and astute political science tomes and histories that weigh as much as a snowmobile.

This year, my prize find was "The UN Gang" by Pedro A. Sanjuan. Here's an excerpt from the jacket notes. I recommend that you read it (and next year don't go to the U of T booksale before I do).
Sanjuan soon discovered that incompetence, corruption, anti-Semitism, and outright criminality were rife throughout the UN Secretariat. Among the shady activities that he personally observed or documented were rigged bidding for major service contracts; drug transactions conducted in the UN’s parking garage; sale of shotguns and beryllium directly out of the UN building; ties to global organized crime figures; use of UN Information Centers and other agencies to disseminate anti-US and pro-PLO propaganda; systematic theft and abuse of UN facilities and budgets in East Africa; graft and corruption in Vienna; widespread sexual harrassment; use of the UN employee’s lounge to plan anti-Israel and anti-US activities by Muslim delegates; open celebration of 9/11 by said delegates in the halls of the UN; and inexplicable tolerance of all of the above on the part of the secretary general and the US government.
Meanwhile, here's a piece I did in the CCD the year before Pedro's book came out:

July 26, 2004 - Originally Published in Canadian Coalition for Democracy
Never in the history of mankind have we lived in such a period of peace and prosperity.
Without much help from the UN.

Of the 193 UN Members:

33 have a democratic government (for the people) and an economy which adequately provides the UN's defined basic human rights to its people (Food& Water, Shelter & Clothing.

30 nations are democratic, but are economically unable to feed, clothe and house their citizens.


How right is the UN, when 130 member countries (which represents almost 3/4 of the world's population) do not provide their citizenry either with the UN's basic rights, or with the rights of freedom for which hundreds of thousands of Americans, Britons, and Canadians have died.

Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Movement, Freedom of the Press, a Right to Education are not defined by the UN as basic rights to which a human is entitled.
Under the UN Charter, despotism is not considered wrong; a freely elected government is not a requirement, feudalism is a legitimate form of government, female circumcision, sexism and racism are permitted.
The UN, if it does not adopt a truly humane and modern Charter of Human Rights, and enforce these rights, is irrelevant. And by not so doing, the UN does nothing to improve the lot of almost all humans. It exists only to provide cushy jobs for a chosen few to live in fancy digs in New York and allow them to not pay their parking tickets.
Perhaps, worst, tt provides a convenient "out" for the rest of the world (i.e. Canada under the Liberals) to not take action against the 133 criminal regimes in the world that treat their people obscenely.
If the UN chooses not to enact and then act, then who is left to solve the hunger, education, and freedom deficit that pains almost everyone in the world?
Is Martin Sheen going to carry bags of rice through the checkpoints of Somali war lords?
Are all of the marchers in all of the WTO and G-8 protests and demonstrations going to show the Mugabi's, and Fidels, and Irani mullahs so much love that they see the light, resign and heap oil royalty checks on their people?
I don't have the answer. Sanctions generally only harm the subjects, not the objects. Diplomacy has been proven to almost never work - especially Bill Graham's "quiet democracy".
What do we have left? Well, thanks to the fighting men and women of the United States, Canada and other countries, women in Afghanistan aren't forced to wear burkhas anymore, and that's a start, and that didn't come from the UN being nice.
Good to have dialogue, though. Cause about 5.5 billion in the world can't.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Too Much Bogus News for One Scribbler to Handle...

I won't get into the fact that another Ceeber has joined Al Jazeera... It's droll enough for a Flintstone's episode.
But the totally discredited pic of a lonely, starving, freezing Polar Bear on an ice floe (30 yards off shore when they can swim about 20 miles in freezing water without changing underwear and whom have never e
xisted in such numbers in their history to such a degree that they may not have enough range to exist in and might all starve to death or resort to cannibalism to survive) is a little rich.
But such is our media...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lemon & stageleft on AGW, Climate Change or Whatever They're Calling it Today

Stageleft and I always have always had, at least on his side, intelligent blogbates on issues being tossed back and forth in the public forum and fora. My place almost almost from the right and his almost always from the wrong.
Haven't had a good one for a while, except in the comments section of a recent post by, Reid, our correspondent from "Right from Alberta", in which he was bitching about a blizzard in Alberta caused by Ontarians.
But I digress...
Here's Stagie's and my (slightly editted) back and forth on the current climate dialectic:

stageleft said...
You are obviously being punished for voting Conservative.... it's 18 deg and sunny here :-)
anonymous: the appropriate phrase, regardless of what the media chooses to focus on, is "climate change" - some places will warm, others.... well ;-)

Lemon said...
Stagie - you are an expert at rhetoric, so I expect a little tongue in cheek here.
Thing is - the climate always has and always will change - we're currently in the middle of a 15 year cooling period after a 15 year warming period.
Gore and his gang would blame a sparrow hitting an illuminated window on global warming / climate change. Though, or course, millions of more birds are getting killed by AGW - the dammed windmills put up to prevent one more climate catastrophe.
And isnt just LIVING in Alberta punishment enough??

stageleft said...
Of course the climate has always changed, the new element in the equation is us, whether or not we are pushing it, and how we may best mitigate and/or survive it.
There are alarmists and extremists on both sides, I like to think I'm somewhere in the middle - and I have no doubt that there is some really nasty sh*t coming down the pipes if we don't mend our ways. Possibly not really nasty until after I'm dining with the ancestors and my grand kids have to deal with it, but since I'm sorta more than a bit attached to the little folk my concern is just as real.
The earth will always seek to achieve balance, and in the grand scheme of things we're an irritant that is causing an imbalance.

Lemon said...
Stagie you and I were both born with NB BS detectors, and we both know (I think) that there is a far greater chance of our blowing ourselves to smithereens or poisoning ourselves with one virus or another than burning or freezing to death.
I have never lived through a time in almost 50 years when we haven't had some terrible Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads: the nuclear bomb clock set at 11:55 pm, global cooling, Islamism, AIDS and the bird flu, global warming/cooling/climate ambiance.
The road to bucks and fame (and hippie chicks) is to scare the livin bejeezus out of people.
And almost all of the noise about this (and all the other looming disasters) comes not someone or some group who actually knows the event for a fact, but at best speculators and at worse media.
And we simply cannot act to protect outselves or our species against every eventuality. Or, we would just have stayed in the same caves our surviving ancestors lived in 10,000 years ago. After all there were all those huge long toothed predators out there, lets stay here and starve rather than be eaten.

But instead we banded together, slew the sabertooth, and built cities to protect us.
The human cost by starvation (as one example) of the course of action as prescribed by the Econuts is guaranteed. But the cost of whatever form of climate change is speculative.

Our species have thrived in terrible climatic upheavals in the past, using only bearskins and spears.
Feels like winter here in NB this week.

stageleft said...
You're probably right about there being a greater possibility of some nut bar country with nuclear weapons starting the big one that comes really close to making us extinct (I figure it will either be the US or Israel that pulls the nuclear trigger first btw).... and I've never bought into the "The Day After Tomorrow" scenario however I have little doubt that there are large climactic changes coming down the pipes, and that we will do far less than "thrive" on them unless we are a lot smarter and more adaptive than I happen think we are.
As I said in the other comments thread, the earth will always seek to achieve a balance - right now we are creating an imbalance, and, one way or another, we will be corrected.
We may not be able to protect ourselves from every possible eventuality but, IMO, it makes sense to look at the bigger, and what is to me anyway, common sense picture and do what we can to mitigate that which we can as opposed to trying to ride out 'come what may' on our supposed ingenuity and adaptability... ymmv of course, I an cautioning prudence and advocating common sense.-- aren't they supposed to be conservative values?

Lemon said...
We may well be creating an imbalance (or at least contributing to it, but whence the tipping point. The most negative "forecasts" by the IPCC (and a lot of IPCC scientists have said they never provided a forecast, the politicians did) are for a very minimal level of effect, that will hardly be noticed (and they have decreased the effect in the last 3 releases. It's the Gores and Sukukis that are predicting mass disaster - and their bias is obvious.
I think just as the ecosystem will work to restore a balance so will mankind (but not by starving millions to death and refusing the right for undeveloped countries to leave the stone age). Surely, if we are so all powerful to destroy the planet (which we are not), then to carry forward the logic, we must be powerful enough to adapt to or correct the imbalance.
As far as concervative values - I think everyone has their own collection of values that fit their personal definitions.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

There is No Limit to the Disgust That Al Gore Deserves

Another Great Find by Tom Nelson
Thirty days after Steve McIntyre caught NASA cooking climate history again - this time in a feeble attempt to somehow conceal the alarmist-embarrassing downward trend since 1998 -- Al Gore shamelessly portrayed Saturday's Myanmar cyclone catastrophe as a ‘consequence' of global warming.

A mere 16 days after NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation's cool phase shift would likely bring colder temperatures for as many as the next 20-30 years, Gore told NPR that the "trend toward stronger and more destructive storms appears to be linked to global warming and specifically to the impact of global warming on higher ocean temperatures." This just 6 days after a German study also predicted cooler ocean temperatures due to the Meridional Overturning Circulation entering a weak cycle, and in spite of there being absolutely no empirical evidence of a global warming / storm strength link.

Gore's monotonous and baseless account of AGW forced violent cyclones and hurricanes came just two days after McIntyre reported that 4 of the past 5 months were "'all-time' records for Southern Hemisphere sea ice" levels.

In fact, it was the very day after Anthony Watts reported another false start to the distinctly overdue Solar Cycle 24, a likely contributory factor to falling global temperatures, that the Nobel Peace Prize winner exploited the deaths of over 22,000 (reported and still rising) human beings to egoistically advance his threatened AGW political agenda while callously protecting his personal financial interest.

And with 41,000 reported missing since Cyclone Nargis devastated the former Burma, the death figures are sure to rise to unthinkable numbers. Meanwhile, the nation's corrupt military rulers are making aid delivery to ease survivor misery nearly impossible.

And while these poor souls will undoubtedly see years of unimaginable suffering and the arduous rebuilding of over a million destroyed homes, this man -- who professes his desire to save the planet - saw another opportunity. That it arrived at the end of a one month period in which another wheel fell off the greenhouse gas disinformation bus almost daily only adds to the morass.

This was an astonishingly nauseating display -- even for the likes of Gore.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Fisk of Latest Toronto Star Nonsense

It is said that if an infinite number of monkeys typed away on an infinite number of typewriters that one would eventually write Hamlet. Sorta reminds me of a lot of the content in the Toronto Star.
For sure, little of their content is Hamlet, and most is on the factual standard of said lower form primates. (I know, I'm being a little unfair. But only a little...).
Their latest nonsense, and my response:
"We have a compassion gap in Canada, a land that by tradition celebrates mutual health and happiness and not the accumulation of wealth."
So THAT's why we are so anxious to pay taxes and not worry about having financial security. It's in our genes, unlike those of almost all other humans.
"Most shameful is that 3.5 million Canadians, or 11.4 per cent of the population, live in poverty, almost 900,000 of them children. That's not much better than the 12.3 per cent of Americans in poverty."
So let me get this straight, with all of our traditions of egalitarianism, and the greedy drive of Americans to spit on the poor, we're just a teeny, tiny bit better... (Maybe better call us incompetent compassionists).
"Two-thirds of Canadians earning at least $150,000 in 2005 have a university degree (for the most part publicly funded)."
So, The Star is able to see that education is a good thing when it comes to earning filthy lucre. But is it just me or does this imply that (a) public university education should only be available to the rich, or that (b) those who receive publicly funded educations should spend a career in servitude to the government doing compassionate things?
Income growth is stuck in first gear for most Canadians as government and business have failed to address the impact of globalization; the shift from a manufacturing to a service economy; the need to protect labour rights in bargaining for decent pay and benefits.
I'll let others observe that this assumption seems to indicate that government has some control over whether production economies are best served where output can be delivered to consumers at a lower cost, or whether Canadians are better off paying $5k for a laptop instead of $500,
Governments have permitted an erosion in the progressive income tax, the most powerful tool for redistributing wealth. Governments long ago deserted the field of affordable housing – for which 70,000 GTA families are on waiting lists – the absence of which is the chief impediment to educational achievement, fulfilling jobs and escape from spousal and child abuse.
Ah, that's the answer. Just tax us more, give all the money to the government and all the ills of society will be cured. Like in, say, Cuba.
A caring society provides affordable education, so aspiring teachers, nurses and public-health workers no longer pass up those noble vocations because they don't pay well enough to cover the student loans.
Ah!!! And higher taxes will mean that unionized workers will MAKE MORE FILTHY LUCRE...
MP Peggy Nash, whose Parkdale-High Park riding observes first-hand our compassion gap, celebrates the coexistence of rich and poor in her constituency, but adds: "You're always fighting against a deterioration in communal values. The last thing we can afford is a grossly polarized society."
Note - "Communal Values" (i.e. socialist / communist values) NOT community values such as clean living, hard work and honesty. Much better than we aspire to the lowest common denominator, so that the government can make our lives much better.

Doesn't The Star have anyone with half a brain read stuff like this before they publish it?
Talk amongst yourselves...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Simple Truth for Bio Fools - From Anon Reader

Great stuff from a former Manitoban on the Biofool Dilemma.
I know we like to lay all the blame at the feet of the biofoolish do-gooders insistence on replacing fuels from the earth, with fuels from the earth that need a little Goddish work by humans to substitute natural processes with artificial and saving about 10 million years.
But as pointed out below, there is more to it...

From Anon in comments on previous Post
This problem is a lot more than just a simple grain going to biofuels causing this rise.
Call it more the perfect storm:
-Part very ambitious biofuels mandates/targets by governments. This creates subsidized demand and changes producers planting intentions.
-A change in philosophy by exporting countries (govt involvement again). Back in the late 70's, early 80's accounting practices started being enforced. Suddenly people who owned the grain were shown the true cost of carrying grain for up to a year,ouch! Most countries quickly switched to the popular Japanese JIT (just in time) way of managing inventory. Those except for the CWB, but that's another story for another day.
-Mix in a dash of 2 years of bad crops in major growing areas (Australia, FSU, Europe)
-China and India adopting the North American consumptive nature.
-and the final piece de resistance, investment money. People trying to retire by age 40-50 giving large amounts of money to managed funds eg Goldman Sachs, CARPAS (2 of many). These folks have billions of dollars at their disposal and trying to find the next big thing (they are involved in all commodities: grains, energy, metals) so they can earn the 20%+ per annum they have guaranteed their investors.
The end game: countries who normally would export grain, holding back stocks to try and put a cap on their own inflation. Less grain on the market, more freaking out, panic.
If you look at the overall carryout numbers, especially on rice which has gone stupid, you will notice there is more than ample supplies to get to new crop supplies but because of the above and the media's insatiable appetite to go all henny penny, chaos insues.
I get a front row seat to this madness every day and must say watching, reading the debates go on is quite interesting, amusing and infuriating all at the same time.
Don't get me started on crude oil...

Escaped MB