Monday, July 31, 2006


Apparently thinking he could prompt Tim Lambert to address at least some of his numerous DDT misrepresentations, John Baltutis poses the following question:
Any comment on DDT "Expert" Debunked?
Rather than justify or correct his past DDT postings Lambert instead goes on the offensive by attacking the source of information for my debunking, Nature Medicine's senior news editor Apoorva Mandavilli:
The [DDT ban] myth just will not die. Apoorva Mandavilli even manages to contradict herself in the article, with this:
On 2 May, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), arguably the most powerful donor agency in the world, endorsed the indoor spraying of DDT for malaria control. The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to follow. In its new guidelines, a final version of which is expected to be released later this summer, the WHO is unequivocal in its recommendation of DDT for indoor residual spraying.
and this:
The WHO recommends 12 insecticides including DDT--which is an organochlorine--six pyrethroids, three organophosphates and two carbamates.
Oh look, the WHO already recommends DDT.
This is, of course, another Lambert misrepresentation. He has isolated the excerpts from context, stitching them together to make it seem there's a contradiction where none exists. He has done that because he know's it impossible for readers to view the excerpts in context: the link he provides is to Nature's subscription page, not to Mandavilli's article.

To put things in perspective here's more from Mandavilli's article (subscription required, no link):
The WHO supported the use of bednets dipped in insecticide over indoor spraying, even though malaria rates continued to increase. DDT was "further ignored and intentionally or unintentionally suppressed," by these agencies, says Kochi.

"People are very emotional about DDT, even within the WHO," Kochi says, adding that much of the reaction to DDT was a response to political pressure. Since his arrival at the agency in late 2005, he has pushed for the return of indoor spraying not just to Africa, but wherever malaria continues to be a problem.
Sure DDT is on the list of insecticides recommended for indoor residual spraying; that doesn't mean the WHO recommended or encouraged DDT use. Hell, even Dr. Arata Kochi, the new chief of the World Health Organization's anti-malaria program, says DDT use was suppressed.

A lot of the political pressure Kochi mentions came from supposedly knowledgable people like Lambert – he is hosted by – who have continually manipulated the truth about DDT and its use. Lambert's DDT posts are about political points scoring, not about the truth – so what if a few million Africans die as a result?

Despite the importance of DDT to the anti-malaria effort there's little chance Lambert will respond to any of this; at the moment he's too busy attacking Glenn Reynolds in hope of generating an Instalanche. And Patterico is also still giving him grief.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Residents of a Perth suburb were shocked to see a teenager brazenly "tagging" everything in sight in broad daylight. Bet they won't be shocked by the result:
A police spokesman said it was unlikely the teenager would be formally charged over the incident. Instead, he would probably be eligible for a juvenile caution or a referral to the juvenile justice team.
The kid knew he'd suffer no real consequences so why not have a bit of fun.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Apoorva Mandavilli, Nature Medicine's senior news editor, has written a superb article titled "DDT returns". While reading the article I got the distinct impression Mandavilli was directly responding to Tim Lambert's (Deltoid at DDT misrepresentations.

"[The World Health Organization] recommends indoor residual spraying of DDT for malaria vector control". (It doesn't - ed.)
On 2 May, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), arguably the most powerful donor agency in the world, endorsed the indoor spraying of DDT for malaria control. The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to follow. In its new guidelines, a final version of which is expected to be released later this summer, the WHO is unequivocal in its recommendation of DDT for indoor residual spraying.
The goal should be to reduce malaria and you should let the experts figure out the best way to do this. It should not be to spray DDT.
"DDT is the most effective chemical, the most effective insecticide in terms of malaria," says Arata Kochi, director of the WHO's Global Malaria Programme.
There is no de facto ban on DDT.
In theory, any country is free to use DDT. The Stockholm Convention of 2001 sought a global ban on DDT, but many countries and scientists argued against the ban, citing its value in malaria control. The final treaty made an exemption for DDT's use in public health, but called for countries to gradually phase out the pesticide.

Still, in places where malaria was still endemic, the treaty spelled disaster.

Most African nations are heavily dependent on foreign aid and can ill afford to cross a line drawn by donor agencies.

USAID never banned DDT outright, for instance, but nor did it fund DDT's purchase—which amounts to the same thing.
Alicia Colon has written the usual rubbish about how Rachel Carson killed millions of people...
"I think the whole push of the environmentalists like Rachel Carson and many others to eliminate all uses of DDT are, quite honestly, responsible for millions and millions and millions of human deaths," says Don Roberts, professor of tropical public health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland.
For the umpteenth time: I do not oppose the use of DDT and neither does the World Bank.
USAID never banned DDT outright, for instance, but nor did it fund DDT's purchase—which amounts to the same thing. For that reason, the May announcement is widely seen as a change in policy even though the agency doesn't position it as such. The World Bank went one step further, making the ban of DDT a condition for loans.
At this point an important question arises: Is there any aspect of the use of DDT against Malaria that has not been misrepresented by Tim Lambert?

Lambert, who averaged about five DDT posts a month earlier in the year, has only posted on DDT once in the past two months. I think that's because it has finally sunk into his great big thick head that the scientific community's anti-DDT position was moderating. The anti-DDT tide had turned. Dumb-arse.

Note: Mandavilli's article is subscription only, thus no link. If you'd like to purchase it – it's a very informative read – go here.

Update: In related DDT news there's this from Paul Driessen:
DDT is not a silver bullet. However, it is a vital component of a truly integrated program to control this devastating disease. Simply put, no other chemical – at any price – can do what DDT does.
Concerning that nonexistent DDT ban there's this:
Beginning in the 1970s, the United States and several European nations banned the pesticide, largely due to concerns about environmental harm. Pressure from international agencies also led many African countries to abandon DDT`s use.

But the world`s malaria epidemic continued to escalate, killing an estimated 1 million people annually -- about 90 percent of them children under the age of 5 in sub-Saharan Africa.

Now, the World Health Organization is set to endorse the use of DDT for malaria control and the U.S. Agency for International Development has approved DDT`s reintroduction.
It'll be interesting to see if Lambert has anything to say about any of this. He has been very busy lately, you know, addressing some very important issues.

Update II: If you're unfamiliar with Lambert and the way he operates, here's the crash course: he's a lying control freak.

Despite my being at best a minnow in the blogging sea he's shit scared of me for some reason – today he removed the following comment from this thread, presumably because he found it threatening:
In an earlier thread you accuse a commenter of sock-puppetry for using a pseudonym. Here you say use of a pseudonym is not sock-puppetry. Which is it?
The comment was there for a couple of hours and then disappeared: no comment or explanation, just gone. I emailed him but, as always, he refuses to respond.

Update III: My apologies to GMO Pundit for not acknowledging that he made me aware of the Nature Medicine article. Thanks, David.

Update IV: Lambert's limited response is discussed here.


In New Statesman John Pilger gives his take on America's relationship with Israel. Along the way he condemns the architecture of the Smithsonian Institution as symbolic of the American Empire, ridicules the remembrance of America's war dead by comparing the museum's "The Price of Freedom: Americans at war" exhibition to Santa's Magic Grotto, mentions Hitler and Mussolini, refers to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and throws in Vietnam as icing. All of this in the first two paragraphs.

I tried - I mean really tried - to read the whole thing but just couldn't do it. See how much punishment your mind can handle, have a go.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


A new World Health Organization report says 60,000 people a year die from sun overexposure. Their recommendation:
Simple measures, such as covering up when in the sun, could cut the deaths.
There was some research money well spent.


Speaking from wherever it is an over-the-hill couldn't-find-a-bomb-belt-in-my-size wanna be terrorist dude hides out, Ayman al-Zawahri has called for a broadening of the jihad against the west:
"It is a jihad (holy war) for the sake of God and will last until (our) religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq," al-Zawahri said. "We will attack everywhere."
Possibly running short of cannon fodder, he announced new lower standards for recruits, who no longer need be true believers:
He also called for the "downtrodden" throughout the world, not just Muslims, to join the battle against "tyrannical Western civilization and its leader, America."
He also made it clear that nothing short of total victory was acceptable: total victory for Israel, that is:
The Egyptian-born physician said that the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah and Palestinian militants would not be ended with "cease-fires or agreements."
There's going to be quite a backlash to al-Zawahari's speech for sure. I mean, here we have a useless non-combatant geezer calling for what amounts to world war, so lefties are going to ridicule him as a chickenhawk, right? Nah, this guys a freedom-fighter.


The Thai goverment has warned tourists to take note of an ongoing upsurge in crime, citing numerous examples of thieves breaking into vehicles, even when occupied. Tourists are also warned to be especially wary of approaching motorcycles which are the criminals favoured mode of transport.

The warning is, by the way, intended for Thais visiting France.

Via: The Brussels Journal


Michael Scheuer at ANTIWAR.COM can't see that Israel's action against Hezbollah is in America's best interest:
No, the real question of moment is not the red-herring of Israel's right to defend itself, but rather what possible U.S. national interest is at stake that requires America to put its security at risk on Israel's behalf.
Lefties like Scheuer are so ideologically blinkered they can't see that Hezbollah's annihilation is in the world's best interest:
Israel says diplomats' decision not to call for a halt to its Lebanon offensive at a Middle East summit has given it the green light to continue.

"We received yesterday at the Rome conference permission from the world... to continue the operation," Justice Minister Haim Ramon said.
Belonging to a death cult can be deadly.


According to a new study, computer geeks are inclined to engage in questionable behaviour:
“Of 77 students, 68 admitted to engaging in an activity that could be classified as deviant.”
With 88% of computer science students admitting inappropriate behaviour, maybe it's time to question who's teaching them what. I mean, just imagine the ethical cues being picked up from this guy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


A Tasmanian pub's toursit-attracting beer-swilling pigs have drawn the ire of animal rights activists:
It was one of the most horrible things I've seen, to see a pig begging for a stubby and everybody standing around laughing and jeering and sort of pouring stubbies down its neck.

I mean, we've had locals tell us that the pig has drunk over 100 stubbies in a day. That is animal cruelty. And there's absolutely no reason to go letting people feed beer to pigs just because they can.
Priscilla, the main attraction, actually has a pretty good life but not as good as it could be:
Certainly in intensive farms the pig would have a lot worse life, I'll give you that, but just because it could have a worse life, I mean, it's like I would have a worse life if I lived in a Third World country and I was starving, but that doesn't mean that I should necessarily put up with being put in a paddock and given alcohol.
Now that's a point, Priscilla could live differently: maybe she should be put on a Sydney-London flight and allowed a go at Boony's 52 beer record. Or set up a massage regimen and then serve her up as premarinated VB pork Kobe style.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Bubba may be a scumbag but he's a canny politician who isn't about to stand around doing nothing while the fruitcake fringe takes over the Democratic Party:
Before a roaring crowd in Waterbury's Palace Theater, Bill Clinton slung a companionable arm over Sen. Joe Lieberman's shoulder. He made a series of self-effacing jokes — "the obligatory hillbilly poormouth," he explained — which whipped up the audience even more. And then he covered Lieberman with the political equivalent of fairy dust.

In a 23-minute speech, the former president made the case that Democrats should not abandon their leaders over the war issue. Lieberman's unyielding support for the war in Iraq has turned Connecticut's Aug. 8 primary into a startlingly fierce contest, pitting a three- term U.S. senator and vice presidential nominee against a political neophyte, Ned Lamont, who advocates setting a deadline to withdraw troops.
The reason for Clinton's support is clear:
Lieberman has strong support from Republican and independent voters, and the Quinnipiac poll shows that he could win the general election if he ran as an independent, winning 51% to Lamont's 27%. The Republican challenger, Alan Schlesinger, would win only 9% of votes in that case, according to the poll.
Kos is already distancing himself from the coming Lamont debacle:
We're supporting the efforts of local activists. That's what we're doing. I have no influence whatsoever on who locals vote for.
He has no influence on anyone with any sense, he means.

Monday, July 24, 2006


A Thai teacher has been shot dead in front of his class of 10 year-olds. In reporting this the ABC does not lay blame but offers a hint:
Unarmed guards patrol the schools in the Muslim south where 1,300 people have been killed in the past two years.

Thirty of those shot dead have been teachers.
Well, that's one way to get the kiddies' attention.


These weird creatures have much in common with this weird guy: they're bottom-feeders; they're spineless; and they suck. It's the spineless suckiness of the latter I'm going to focus on.

Tim Lambert (Deltoid at recently leapt to the defence of accused sock-puppeteering lefty Glenn Greenwald. In defending Greenwald Lambert redefines sock-puppetry:
Posting under more than one pseudonym is not the same as sock puppetry. And I don't think it is a crime if your partner posts a comment on your blog.
This is really interesting because Lambert recently accused me of sock-puppetry for commenting using a pseudonym - the only reason I used a pseudonym was to bypass his moderation; I was not supporting my own argument (see links in excerpt immediately below). Lambert was also unhappy that my adult daughter lodged a comment in the same thread but from a different computer at a different address.

Since this is relevant to Lambert's Greenwald defence, I lodged the following comment at 6:54 PM (AWST) yesterday:
Mr Lambert,

You've gotten yourself all confused. When I commented using a pseudonym you specifically said I was engaged in sock-puppetry. The comments were made using a pseudonym to ensure they actually got posted – comments under my real name are known to disappear in moderation. (Interestingly, my pseudonymous comments prompted you to correct an error in one of your earlier posts.)

You also told a whopping great lie - see first link above - in accusing me of habitually abusing other commenters. You know no shame.
When I noticed over four hours later that Lambert was active at his blog but had still not posted my comment, I sent him the following email:
So, how are you going to justify my comment getting sucked into your moderation black hole yet again? Abuse? Sock-puppetry?

Come on mister science guy post my comment and then hammer me with the truth. Ha!
My comment has now been in "moderation" for 22 hours. The email remains unanswered. If Lambert had a spine he'd put up my comment and make his case. Instead, yet another of my comments has been sucked permanently into his moderation black hole. Pathetic.


As has been frequently pointed out here, Antony Loewenstein's blog is always good for a laugh. I thought the humour unintentional but it turns out to be by design - he's doing his version of the duh-ly show. So, in his new book Ant's actually going for laughs when he places Lebanon between Haifa and Tel Aviv and in repeatedly referring to Tzipi Livni as "he". Jeez, I'm so embarrassed; up to now I thought Loewenstein was, you know, dumb.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Ten Years After – I'm Going Home (Woodstock 1969)


Journalist and author Antony Loewenstein's latest post is titled "They hate us". The post links to, and has excerpts from, the Guardian and Common Dreams. The thing is, neither linked article discusses the hate "they" have for "us". Angry Ant slipped up here; he meant to write "I hate us".

Friday, July 21, 2006


Predictably, Robert Fisk claims Israel is deliberately targeting Lebanese civilians:
The Israelis constantly boast of their "pin-point" or "surgical" precision in air attacks. If this is true, then there are far too many civilians being killed in the Lebanese bloodbath to make every one of them an accident. And since Israel's target list now includes obviously civilian targets - deliberately bombed to punish the civilian population - the evidence is mounting that these air raids are intended to kill the innocent as well as the Hizbollah guerrillas whom Israel claims to be fighting.
Rather than deliberately target civilians, Israelis have taken the difficult decision to kill enemies hiding amongst civilians. Regardless, Fisk thinks it very unfair that Hezbollah is forced to use less than accurate weaponry:
True, the Hizbollah are killing civilians in Israel, but their missiles are inaccurate and the West, which has done no more than mildly disapprove of Israel's retaliatory onslaught, must surely expect higher standards of the Israeli armed forces than of the men whom both Israel and President George Bush describe as "terrorists".
The West hasn't condemned Israeli because every civilized person on the planet wants Hezbollah exterminated.


Big-mouthed Muslim cleric Omar Bakri fled Britain for Lebanon in August 2005, later remarking:
“When I left England I bought a one-way ticket out. I never want to see the place again.”
That's just as well because the British government told him he would not be allowed to return:
Bakri, who previously referred to the September 11 terrorists as 'the magnificent 19', was banned from Britain last year because he 'was not conducive to the public good'.
Well, now that the situation in Lebanon has gotten somewhat tense, Omar is all homesick for Old Blighty:
It was reported that he begged members of the Royal Navy co-ordinating the evacuation from Beirut to rescue him.

ITV News said he had written to the British Embassy saying: 'I know my case was controversial but the current situation in Beirut has left me with no choice but to appeal to you to grant me a visa to see my children.'

Anjem Choudary, who was a close associate of Bakri, said last night the cleric feared for his life in the Israeli airstrikes.

Bakri is also terrified that Syria might move forces into Beirut if the crisis escalates. Bakri was allowed asylum in England only because Syria wants to put him on trial for attempting to overthrow its government in the late 1970s.
Bakri has warned British authorities his family will be in jeopardy if he is not allowed a British visa:
Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme by mobile phone from Beirut, Mr Bakri said: "I am not appealing now against the decision to give me the right to stay in Britain. I am not appealing for that.

"I am appealing on behalf of my children who are worried and they want to see their own father. Do you want my little sons or my little family to come now to Lebanon? I don't think you want that."
Unfortunately, children cannot pick their parents. These kids are doomed no matter what.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Hezbollah has figured out a way to disappear in plain sight: mingle with civilians. The UN's Jan Egeland having an epiphany of sorts:
"But I also clearly see that Hezbollah is trying to blend into the civilian population in too many places and they bear also a heavy responsibility for this. They do not seem to care that they really inflict a lot of suffering on their own population."
In other words, Hezbollah has taken the population of Lebanon hostage and is using it as a massive human shield. Really, that's not very nice.


Journalist and author Antony Loewenstein is a vocal advocate of those killing American imperial aggressors in Iraq. It therefore seems reasonable to assume he also supports the courageous Hezbollah fighters resisting Israeli aggression. When called on this Loewenstein goes all indignant but doesn't deny it:
I mean to suggest that I'm pro-Hezbollah because I question civilians being murdered is the kind of rhetoric that we expect from the pro-Israeli lobby. "You are either with us or against us." The Lapkins and their cronies, their world view very much is the George Bush view of the world - you are either with us and "us" being this sort of emorphis definition of the West, which is we invade, we occupy, we continually bombard or them which supposedly is terrorists. I mean, in the latest edition of Quadrant magazine, Mr Lapkin accuses me essentially of being no better than Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Now, that kind of rhetoric, that kind of extremism, which AIJAC unfortunately is very much a part of, means any kind of debate is next to impossible. But, more importantly, it leaves the sense of people who actually understand what that kind of language is about, that to suggest that an individual who questions Western policies, US policies, Israeli policies, is no better than a Hamas militant or a Hezbollah militant is ridiculous.
With bullshit laden non-anaswer answers like that, this guy has a future in politics. Loewenstein's answer is equally evasive when it's put to him that his forthcoming book questions Israel's right to exist:
What I'm questioning in my book is quite simple. I'm simply saying when Israel was formed after the war, which was a lot to do with European Holocaust guilt, was talking about that it was formed on the back of another people. In other words, Jews had history on that land. No one is questioning that and I haven't questioned that in my Israel question. What I have questioned, however, is the way in which Israel was essentially formed on the back of another people. So, in other words, Palestinians who had been living there for generations were told to leave. There's an argument - the issue about what happened in 1948 we could argue about indefinitely, but my point is that I am not saying that Israel was formed in sin. My point is that ideology, which is the right to a Jewish homeland for Jewish people is formed and has become a perversion of what it maybe once was because it has allowed an occupation to continue for nearly 40 years.
Reading the Lateline transcript has confirmed some things about Loewenstein I've been thinking for a while. He writes like he speaks like he thinks, fucked up.


As anyone who drops in here even occasionally is aware, I have a problem with scientist Tim Lambert. I have a problem with Lambert because he has a problem: much of what he writes is intentionally misleading. Maybe I'm naive but I can't understand how it is that a scientist blogging at can write stuff designed to deceive.

Lambert's The Australian's War on Science, because it is link-rich and rather long, appears at first glance to be well-researched, worthwhile reading. In reality there is so much wrong with the post it's hard to know where to start.

Lambert's embedded links are probably the best starting point. Following standard Lambert obfuscation procedure (SLOP), most of the links are self-promotional, five of the nine links leading to other Lambert posts. None of these links is relevant to Lambert's attack on The Australian.

For example, Lambert says The Australian "published several stories on how [Mann's hockey stick] was wrong or fraudulent"
For example, Soon and Sallie Baliunas' badly flawed paper was touted as refuting the hockey stick. Mark Steyn was allowed to claim that Mann, Bradley and Hughes were guilty of fraud. And now, right on the front page, the hacks who put out The Australian claim that Global Warming is a fraud. (Next week the headline will probably be "The Fraud of Evolution".)
Maybe Soon and Baliunas's paper is flawed and maybe Steyn accused Mann, Bradley and Hughes of fraud, it's just that Lambert doesn't link either to The Australian. In fact, the link supposedly to Steyn's accusations of fraud links to material that has Steyn saying nothing of the sort.

It's also worth n0ting that Lambert's post is directed not at a "story" but at "opinion" that featured on the front page as the inset teaser "THE FRAUD OF GLOBAL WARMING". This was not the paper's headline.

Lambert continues his attack on The Australian:
If you've been following the hockey stick wars, you've probably guessed that The Australian is peddling the Wegman report.
The first link directly above is to one of Lambert's hockey sticks posts and fair enough. The second link, however, like those discussed earlier, has nothing at all to do with anything appearing in The Australian. Up to this point in Lambert's post there have been five links, those described above plus one to the National Research Council report on Mann; of these five, none have anything to do with The Australian. Thus, Lambert has not substantiated his first paragraph claim that:
[The Australian has], however, published several stories on how [the hockey stick study] was wrong or fraudulent.
Lambert does eventually link directly to The Australian in quoting from Wood's opinion piece but he doesn't really accomplish much other than come off as whiney and nitpicky. He concludes his post with this observation and suggestion:
Wood's article and the front page headline {an inset teaser for an opinion piece is not a headline - ed.} appears in the Wednesday Australian, which has the Higher Educational Supplement, full of ads from Australian universities for academic positions. I think universities should find more effective means of using their advertising dollars than giving them to a newspaper that holds science, scientists and the scientific method in such contempt.
Oh yeah? I also think universities should find more effective ways to spend their money... other than employing teaching staff who produce complete crap like the stuff Lambert cranks out. I mean, imagine what his teaching is like.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


All practicing Jews, Christians and Muslims are creationists in that they believe God created the universe and everything in it. In current usage, however, "creationist" refers specifically to a conservative Christian fundamentalist who rejects some of the underpinnings of science. (See Wikipedia article here.) Creationist is, of course, wielded as a pejorative by lefties.

Indeed, creationists in general, and two in particular, are ridiculed by Tim Lambert for not sharing his faith in Anthropogenic Global Warming. Here's the intro to Lambert's post:
We all know that the scientific consensus on global warming is that humans are causing most of it. The Creationist consensus is that humans aren't causing it. But just as their are divisions in the Creationist camp between Old Earth and Young Earth Creationists, they are divided on why people believe that humans are warming the planet.

Creationist Julia Gorin thinks it's to avoid thinking about the threat from fascist Islamonazi Hitlers
The first bolded bit above makes no sense at all so I'll ignore it. The part that interests me is Lambert's nomination of conservative Jewish comedienne and political commentator Julia Gorin as a creationist. Gorin is an unlikely creationist not only because she's Jewish but also because she hasn't written anything pitching the creationist line – nothing that I could find, anyway.

Lambert incorrectly assumes Gorin is a creationist bsaed on the abstract of a article he links to. It seems to me a scientist of Lambert's notoriety would be careful to base his arguments on facts, not on incomplete and inconclusive information.

There's also the little matter of Lambert characterizing Gorin's global warming opinion piece as emphasizing "the threat from fascist Islamonazi Hitlers." Gorin focusses on global warming, mentions terrorism only by way of comparison and says nothing at all about Muslims. In short, Lambert sensationalizes in order to create interest.

Lambert then turns his attention to Jewish-Catholic-Anglican-Baptist, high-school dropout, Canadian-living-in-America Mark Steyn, who Lambert deems creationist based on his response to a reader's question:

Steyn: The fact is that this is a planet overwhelmingly dominated and shaped by one species, and our kith and kin – whether gibbons or pumpkins – basically fit in in the spaces between. That’s pretty much the world the Psalmist outlined in the Old Testament thousands of years ago. By comparison, the evolutionists’ insistence that we’re just another “animal” seems perverse and irrational and refuted by a casual glance out the window. I am coming round to the view that hyper-rationalism is highly irrational.
Steyn might well be a creationist but his answer doesn't prove it.

So, what's Lambert up to with this post? For one thing, he mixes three topics certain to generate controversy: politics, religion and alternative religion (global warming). He's also pretty sly in mentioning a big name like Steyn even though he has nothing to do with the topic – maybe Steyn will respond and link. Lambert even throws in a link to Tim Blair in hope of generating some traffic.

The bottom line: Lambert's post is yet another pathetic attempt to get his numbers up. Maybe if he stopped posting shit...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Exhibitionistic Poms are looking forward to an upcoming charity circle jerk:
In what must surely be one of the summer's more bizarre events, hundreds of people are expected to gather in a hall in central London on August 5 to pleasure themselves in aid of charity.

Cameras from independent production company Zig Zag, which made Essex Boys for ITV1, will follow the organisers and participants for a 60-minute film, which has the working title of Wank-a-thon. It is expected to air on Channel 4 towards the end of the year.

The event will encourage Londoners - both male and female - to sign up sponsors and head to Clerkenwell in order to masturbate in front of hundreds of others.
Just in case you're wondering, the individual duration record is 8 1/2 hours. Strokes per minute not specified.


Journalist and author Antony Loewenstein currently displays the photo below – via the Sydney Morning Herald – noting:
The following photograph and caption speak for themselves (how many civilians did our bombs kill today, Daddy?)

Israeli girls write messages in Hebrew on shells ready to be fired toward Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon.

Well, I've looked at a blowup of the image and the writing that's visible isn't Hebrew. Surely Angry Ant and the SMH editors could work this out for themselves – since Ant's a Jew he should be able to recognize Hebrew. Regardless, the impact of the photo is obviously meant to be enhanced by noting that the children were writing in Hebrew. (Don't get me wrong, I reckon the photo is tasteless in the extreme but since I don't know the circumstances I'm not going to get all worked up about it.)

While I'm on the subject of bloodthirsty children I might as well include the photo below, no caption required.

Obviously the photo and caption at top didn't "speak for themselves"; the caption now reads:
Israeli girls write messages on shells ready to be fired toward Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon.
Stealthy after the fact editing doesn't seem appropriate coming from a journalist and author of Loewenstein's stature. Shame!

Monday, July 17, 2006


According to The Electronic Intifada, Fox News's David Lee Miller and his film crew were shot at by the Israeli military. Miller, who was actually there when the shot was fired, says he doesn't know who shot at him but assumes it was the IDF. Deep into the video clip Miller says that the IDF was probably just trying to warn him to take his crew and leave the area. That makes sense: I mean, surely the IDF, which can take out individual Hamas hoons with accurate fire, could hit a stationary reporter – or his vehicle or cameraman – standing in the open a couple of hundred metres away, if it wanted to.

If you click on the Electronic Intifada link above you'll find a partial transcript of the video – the transcript conveniently omitting Miller's admission that, if Israeli forces fired at him, they probably weren't tryng to hit him.

Hat tip: Antony Loewenstein


Bill Clinton suggests an assertive international response to Sudan's rejection of UN peace-keepers:
“The Sudanese government should be pressurized by the international community to accept a larger number of troops from the international community in order to stop the killing in Darfur and to get a lasting solution.”
But, in order to avoid offence:
“To make things acceptable to the Sudanese government, the international community can mobilize troops from Muslim countries like Turkey, Pakistan and Bangladesh.”
Just imagine Clinton's presidential response to 9/11.

Update: In other political news, Russian defence minister Sergey Ivanov predicts Israel's military action could cause a regional war. EU Observer notes that Ivanov is especially well qualified to make such a prediction:
... he has regular contacts with Hamas...
Sounds like the Russians see some money to be made.


The US government has been issuing exploding cheques, apparently:
The clock is ticking on the blank cheque offered to every Israeli manoeuvre, no matter how provocative or illegal.
That quote is, of course, from anti-Zionist author and journalist Antony Loewenstein. Angry Ant's rant also includes these fine examples of professional writing:
A negotiated settlement to the current crisis should be a priority, the release of untold number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails – many of whom are arrested and never even face court – and cessation of cross-border, state terrorism.
The uncontrolled policies of the Israeli government should now be seen as a danger to enlightened citizens and governments across the globe.
Ant's in no danger then, now is he?

Sunday, July 16, 2006


In April USC Annenberg's Online Journalism Review published a plug for masquerading as a review, with the collective pictured as one big happy family.

Much was made of the blog collective's ability to attract readers:
"I think the collective nature of this project improves traffic," said [Ed] Brayton, who said he's seen the number of visitors steadily climb to about 4,500 hits per day.

[Tim] Lambert said his traffic has increased 50 percent since he began blogging for He ascribes that increase to the quality of all the blogs combined.
Back then, with his daily visits averaging 3,500 or thereabouts, Lambert confidently demanded $520 a week for ad space ($3,360 for three months). Not surprisingly, no one took up the offer. Why? Because Lambert's numbers were, and still are, on a long slow downhill slide – his counter now shows daily visits as 1,215. It's no wonder then that Lambert did his best to provoke an Instalanche.

A number of factors are contributing to Lambert's shrinking readership. For one thing, his focus is obsessively narrow. Really, how much does any sane person need or want to know about what's-his-name Lott or the current state of the endless hockey stick argument? There's also the little matter of Lambert's relentless negativity, and his off-puttingly snide and whiney tone. Even commenters are complaining:
Hello Tim When is this blog going to start dealing with science? To call it a science blog is a bit mis leading! All this site is dealing with is character assaination and politics.
No matter why his numbers are down, Lambert's fellow bloggers must have serious doubts about the value of his contribution to the collective effort.

Update: Hoping to generate some controversy that will pull his numbers up, Lambert accuses the Climate Audit guys of lying and censorship. This is really rich coming from Lambert who is guilty of everything he accuses the Climate Audit guys of doing, and then some.

At his old site Lambert responded to dissenting comments by repeatedly calling me a troll. Some of my comments were deleted without notice – on one occasion he accused me of abuse for using the disemvoweled word "crtn". He responded to critical posts at my blog by permanently bouncing all of my links.

At his site it's much the same. He has falsely accused me of abusing other commenters, some of whom I referred to as "toadies", using this pretext to ban me from a discussion. He continues to moderate my comments, which he withholds until the discussion has moved on – 12 hours in limbo is not uncommon. Best of all, some of my comments aren't allowed through at all.

So, I don't understand what Lambert's problem is with Climate Audit's comments policy: if he has described it correctly the CA policy is the same as his.

Update II: Not getting enough hockey stick related traffic at his own blog, Lambert attempts to generate some interst by commenting at Just One Minute. The guy knows no shame.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


High profile Perth model Edwina Nattrass, daughter of Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass, has been nabbed shoplifting pies from a supermarket in an upmarket suburb. To her credit, she admits it was a silly thing to do. From the look of her, she might well have been suffering temporary insanity due to lack of food.

Friday, July 14, 2006


The Wall Street Journal takes a brief look at paleoclimatologist Michael Mann's much discussed hockey stick temperature graph. The article focusses on a soon-to-be-released report by statasticians Edward J. Wegman of George Mason University, David W. Scott of Rice University and Yasmin H. Said of Johns Hopkins University. The article gets really interesing when discussing the vaunted peer review process:
In addition to debunking the hockey stick, Mr. Wegman goes a step further in his report, attempting to answer why Mr. Mann's mistakes were not exposed by his fellow climatologists. Instead, it fell to two outsiders, Messrs. McIntyre and McKitrick, to uncover the errors.

Mr. Wegman brings to bear a technique called social-network analysis to examine the community of climate researchers. His conclusion is that the coterie of most frequently published climatologists is so insular and close-knit that no effective independent review of the work of Mr. Mann is likely. "As analyzed in our social network," Mr. Wegman writes, "there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis." He continues: "However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility."
Imagine that, politicized scientists.


If you ever have a really big animal carcass you need to get rid of, don't call in a dynamite equipped highway maintenance crew...


Foreign prostitutes are forcing down the price of sex in Perth:
CUT-PRICE Asian sex workers are flooding Australia's sex market, stealing the "bread and butter'' of more expensive local prostitutes, a Perth madam says.

"This is the first year in 14 years trading, that I have ever been down in my turnover and we're down about 17 or 18 per cent,'' she said.
Maybe it's time to increase turnover by dropping prices.


Journalist and author Antony Loewenstein makes a diagnosis:
Ted Lapkin is the Director of Policy Analysis for AIJAC, Australia’s most virulent, Zionist lobby group.
The unsuspecting are in danger of infection. Loewenstein concluding his little rant:
Of course, blindly supporting Israel and the US isn’t indoctrination, it’s simple common sense, according to Lapkin and his ilk.
Well no, blind support does not constitute indoctrination. My diagnosis: Loewenstein's a meat-head who can't write for shit.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Colorado's organic farmers want to introduce a new, environmentally friendly rodent eradication method, explosives:
Under a proposal by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, explosive gases - such as a mix of oxygen and propane - could be injected and then ignited inside the burrows of prairie dogs, ground squirrels, gophers and marmots.

Wildlife officials say they've been approached by organic-produce growers interested in using the gases, which deliver a powerful concussive force that kills the animals and collapses their tunnels.

"This is a way for them to avoid using toxic substances to help them remain certified as organic," said Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Tim Holeman.
There's something not quite right about organic farmers blowing up rodents. They could always try a really big vacuum cleaner and if that doesn't work...


Scientists will conduct an autopsy of sorts on the remains of famous 18th century castrato Farinelli. Among over things, the scientists hope to learn more about the testicle-less Farinelli's body conformation:
"We want to know if they were like the cartoons at the time depicted them, tall and dangly, or with women's breasts and large buttocks, or like the grand gentleman in Farinelli's official portraits."
I may not be a scientist but I can guarantee there are some dangly bits missing. The body will be studied, by the way, at the... drumroll.. Farinelli Study Center in Bologna. Gee, being a castrati specialist must make for some interesting cocktail party conversations. So professor, what's your area of specialty?


Stop the obesity epidemic by ridding the planet of fast food outlets:
"Shut them down and train the kids how to cook, if they don't know how to cook - put up a cooking school!"
Fucking idiots are everywhere.


Ancient Australia's animals were even weirder than today's:
Vertebrate paleontologist Sue Hand said modern kangaroos look almost nothing like their ferocious forebears, which lived between 10 million and 20 million years ago.

The species found at the dig had "well muscled-in teeth, not for grazing. These things had slicing crests that could have crunched through bone and sliced off flesh," Hand said.

The team also found prehistoric lungfish and large duck-like birds.

"Very big birds ... more like ducks, earned the name 'demon duck of doom', some at least may have been carnivorous as well," Hand told ABC radio.
Kangaroos and ducks that can kill you back would certainly add an extra dimension to hunting.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Anti-nuclear lunatic Helen Caldicott – she is not a radiation specialist – sees nuclear power plants as cancer factories:
Nuclear power will, without doubt, induce harm to global public health in a massive way and over generations.
Experts have reached a different conclusion:
The dangers of radiation to human health have been exaggerated significantly, according to scientists who have examined the legacy of the Chernobyl disaster 20 years ago.

Research into the aftermath of the meltdown at the Soviet nuclear reactor has suggested that low levels of radioactivity are not as harmful as believed — and may even be beneficial.
Radium suppositories have restored my sexual vigour and haven't hurt me a bit. There's another plus: a glowing wet spot is easy to avoid in the dark.


Now here's a good idea:
Violent Islamist extremists must be killed on the battlefield. Only in the rarest cases should they be taken prisoner. Few have serious intelligence value. And, once captured, there's no way to dispose of them.

Monday, July 10, 2006



Another martyr is paradise bound:
The most wanted Chechen rebel warlord, Shamil Basayev, has been killed, Russian media report.

Basayev was killed in a special operation overnight in Ingushetia, near Chechnya, Russia's FSB security service chief Nikolai Patrushev said.

President Vladimir Putin said Basayev's killing was "deserved retribution" for terror attacks, including the 2004 mass hostage-taking at a school in Beslan.
As Dennis Miller once observed, it would be better to spend eternity with one experienced woman than with 72 trainees.


Christopher Sheil, blog collective Larvatus Prodeo's number one attraction, last posted there in May and is no longer on the LP blogger list, where he held the coveted number one position – since Sheil's departure the list has been alphabetized. So, earlier this evening I emailed LP blog-daddy Mark Bahnisch to ask if Sheil was still afilliated with LP and, if not, why his departure wasn't mentioned. Bahnisch replied:
You'd do better to put that question to Chris Sheil.
Okay: Christopher Sheil, where are you? I'm guessing Crete. Anyway, from the tone of Bahnisch's reply it looks like I'm not the only person Sheil has problems with.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


If you're planning to serve up something exotic like worms at that big dinner party for your boss, make sure you know the worms' history:
"You don't want them raised in a dump site, you don't want them raised in manure."
If scorpions are on the menu, don't forget the wine:
"When you look at a scorpion your salivary glands dry up. It's not like looking at a pizza," Cal Dennison said, winemaker for Redwood Creek, who was offering advice on wine pairings.

He recommended a pinot grigio or something similar "to get your salivary glands working".
I recommend stomping on scorpions and worms, not eating them.



Not being much of a writer myself, I generally try to avoid making fun of the writing of others. Well Okay, I do frequently make fun of language mangler extraordinaire Antony Loewenstein but that's because he bills himself as an author and journalist. It just seems petty to focus on how someone makes a point rather than on the point he is trying to make. That said, I'm now going to make fun of computer scientist Tim Lambert for screwing up mightily in a post making fun of noted language mangler George Bush.

Lambert's entire post:
In an interview with People Bush says:
I think we have a problem on global warming. I think there is a debate about whether it's caused by mankind or whether it's caused naturally, but it's a worthy debate. It's a debate, actually, that I'm in the process of solving by advancing new technologies, burning coal cleanly in electric plants, or promoting hydrogen-powered automobiles, or advancing ethanol as an alternative to gasoline.
He's solving the "debate" about whether its caused by mankind by advancing new technologies? Maybe he meant to say that he he's solving the problem by advancing new technologies. But that would only solve the problem if warming is caused by mankind. And the technologies he suggested aren't going to solve the problem. Burning coal cleanly doesn't make any difference to the amount of CO2 produced. Hydrogen powered cars won't make any difference to CO2 emissions if the hydrogen is produced with energy obtained by fossil fuels. Ethanol could make a small difference, but it's not going to make a big difference to CO2 emissions.
It seems to me Bush's point is that he wants to short-circuit the anthropogenic global warming debate by introducing new technologies that will render moot the humans-are-screwing-up-the-atmosphere point. It's a simple point really, and one Bush has made repeatedly.

Now, let's take a closer look at what Lambert wrote:
He's solving the "debate" about whether its caused by mankind by advancing new technologies?
Bush said that the problem could be solved by advancing new technologies but Lambert gets the point arse-about in his great big head and asserts that Bush says the problem is caused "by mankind by advancing new technologies." Oops.

Lambert continues:
Maybe he meant to say that he he's solving the problem by advancing new technologies.
He he, indeed.

Update: Ever on the ball, Lambert has removed the superfluous "he".

Update II: Journalist and author Antony Loewenstein isn't about to let Lambert out mangle him:
As I’ve written before, journalists have a responsibility to challenge, provoke and reveal government “secrets”, use of excessive power and potential illegality.
The only reason to read Loewenstein is for a laugh.

Friday, July 07, 2006


June, historically Perth's wettest month, was very dry this year. Western Australia's farmers, normally a very tough bunch, are apparently pathologically saddened by this emerging drought:
Farmers in drought-stricken areas of WA are plunging into depression and in some cases have taken their lives, says the Anglican Archbishop of Perth.

Archbishop Roger Herft has told The Sunday Times he will spend three days in rural WA visiting farmers and their families who are fighting for their livelihoods in the face of WA's record dry.
This last June was, in fact, the driest on record. But drought is not uncommon to Australia; if you're going to be a farmer down under you better be prepared for dry spells. Anyway, the depressed-farmers-offing-themselves thing is questionable:
Wheatbelt Mens Health Group community educator Julian Krieg said people in faming communities were feeling "a significant amount of distress''.

But he did not believe they were taking their lives.

"Because we haven’t had rain there is a significant amount of distress, but to say people are suicidal is wrong,’’ he said.
At least Archbishop Herft didn't blame the "suicides" on Global Warming.


New Scientist reports on the threat to Europe of a Global Warming induced ice age:
The ocean current that gives western Europe its relatively balmy climate is stuttering, raising fears that it might fail entirely and plunge the continent into a mini ice age.
Scientist Richard Seager reckons that Global Warming will not plunge Europe into a new ice age:
Instead of creating catastrophe in the North Atlantic region, a slowdown in thermohaline circulation would serve to mitigate the expected anthropogenic warming!
If I didn't know better I'd say some of the climate experts have been fear mongering.


The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils has offered to reinstate the $40,000 clerical allowance recently taken off of Sheikh Taj Aldin Alhilali. The proud Sheik respectfully declined to take the money:
"I would like it to be known that for what is left of my life, I have taken the decision to take my stipend from God directly and will not accept a salary from any organisation whether Islamic or otherwise," Sheikh Alhilali said in a statement.

"I also confirm that I will not be going to Centrelink."
So, what's he going to do for cash? Maybe he's gone Breatharian.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Norway is not the ideal choice for whale watching, as a group of cetacean lovers recently discovered:
As they were admiring one of the animals, a Norwegian whaling boat came along and harpooned it.

"The blood flowed and it wasn't a pretty sight. This really wasn't what we came to see," Leontien Dieleman from the Netherlands told a Norwegian newspaper.
What started as a whale watching trip turned into a safari. Bonus!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


It's no wonder convicted terrorism supporter Jack Thomas talked to his interrogators; look what confronted him:
"When there's a superpower on one side of a little table and you're with handcuffs behind your back, you have no choice but to cooperate."
I thought it was maybe Gary Albright across the table from Thomas but that can't be right; Albright was already dead.

Oh yeah, it's interesting that the ABC article – top link above – describes Thomas as a "convicted terrorism suspect." Conviction means you're guilty, not a suspect.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


How's this for a teaser?
A mule at an amusement park in this summer resort city developed an awkward infatuation with a five-year-old girl who had come with her family from Makkah to enjoy the cool weather, the Okaz daily reported.
The Arab News does no elaborate. No need, mule infatuations are always awkward.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Another typically profound observation on the evils of empire from journalist and author Antony Loewenstein:
Australia’s national broadcaster continues to confirm its descent towards the capitulation of the Murdoch and Packer media empires.
Everybody get that? Err, anybody get that?