Thursday, May 31, 2007


The UK will soon introduce carbon labeling for all products:
Consumers in the UK will soon be able to judge the environmental impact of goods they buy, as London is taking steps to introduce carbon labels for all products sold in shops – in further proof of how climate change has moved up the political agenda in the last few months.

In the next 18 months, the country is set to develop a "carbon calculator" allowing businesses to calculate the quantity of greenhouse gases each and every product emits, while being produced, transported, consumed and even disposed.

The highly complex job will subsequently translate into a "carbon point" similar to an energy score for electrical appliances or a calorie figure for food. All marketed products – from a pack of tomatoes to a car – would be graded.
No figures on the carbon emitted by the scheme's development and implementation.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Some advice from a civil servant:
When adjusting yourself following underpants usage, such as going to the toilet, if you happen to catch part of your scrotum in the elastic, then don't adopt a squat stance to extend the elastic past the scrotal area. That way when the guy who sits over from you comes into the toilet as you squat doesn't assume you've issued a Sumo challenge.
There's some decidedly funny stuff going on in government toilets.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Lefty educator and wanna be intellectual Arthur Vandelay takes exception to my claim his invention of the nonsensical "presuppositionalist apriorism" shows he has delusions of grandeur:
Granted: it's not the kind of language you're likely to hear at the footy, but the idea that it demonstrates my having delusions of grandeur is completely nonsequitous (oops! Another big word). The only explanation I can come up with is that whenever this individual sees someone using TEH BIG WORDS, he concludes that it's all part of a conspiracy to make him feel stupid. Bruce and I only used TEH BIG WORDS, you see, because we think we're betterer than him.
Oops, another big non-word word from pretentious Arthur, who makes the most of every opportunity to embarrass himself:
I'm actually something of an advocate for plainer English. When I was teaching essay writing earlier in the year, I was amazed at how difficult it was to disabuse my students of the myth that they would get bad marks if they didn't use unnecessarily big words (many of which they plainly misunderstood anyway) and convoluted prose. They were convinced that to adopt a simpler approach would be to appear "unprofessional"--as if maintaining an image of professionalism is more important than getting a message across.
Coincidentally, whoever it was at who wrote the entry for "disabuse", he appears to be familiar with Arthur's work:
To free from a falsehood or misconception: I must disabuse you of your feelings of grandeur.
Yes, "I must disabuse", also.

It isn't possible to disabuse students "of the myth that they would get bad marks if they didn't use unnecessarily big words". The students thought that the use of big words was necessary to achieve good grades. For them this was not a myth but something they thought true; it was therefore a notion, albeit a false one. And it makes no sense to say that students thought they were expected to use "unnecessarily big words"; if the students already knew big words were unnecessary they would feel no need to use them.

Had Arthur really wanted to express himself plainly he might have said something like:
When teaching essay writing earlier in the year I was reminded of how difficult it is to disabuse students of the notion that they will get bad marks if they don't use big words (many of which they plainly misunderstand anyway) and convoluted prose.
That's a big fat F for modeled writing for teacher Arthur. For homework he is to write 100 times, "In future I will not be a pretentious twat."

Monday, May 28, 2007


Libertarian intellectual Jason Soon denies the notion of culpability through inaction:
People are not responsible for causing a bad thing to happen just because they do nothing to stop it - contrary to the claims of idealists through the ages.
If he saw an old woman about to be mugged he'd look the other way. That's just the sort of public behaviour criminals hope for.

Update: Unable to win the argument, the real Soon comes to the fore:
You truly are a despicable intellectually incoherent piece of trash CL.
Hell, he even brags about name-calling:
I don’t particularly like JF Beck. That’s on the public record. I’ve called him all sorts of names and made my dislike of him clear. He’s a prat, but he’s a shit stirrer and sometimes his participation adds tabliodish human drama.
Calling me a prat is much easier than telling me where I've gotten it wrong.


Lefty economist John Quiggin reckons cutting Australia's emission by 60% is no big deal:
Overall, my assessment is that Stern’s central estimate, a cost of 1 per cent of GDP, is in the right ballpark. Stern is probably a bit on the optimistic side, but not wildly so.
Real-worlder John Daley isn't so optimistic:
"I expect the cost to be very much higher than the optimists tell us, especially if we have to effect change in sectors like agriculture and transport and it will be less costly if market instruments are used."

Federal Labor has pledged to cut emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.

Mr Daley says severe emission cuts could have severe economic consequences.

"One of ABARE's scenarios, and admittedly it's an extreme one, with Australia setting itself tougher targets than our competitors, going to 50 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050, the economic impacts are very adverse for Australia with no less than 10.7 per cent reduction in GDP by 2050," he said.
A 60% reduction in food animal emissions would, well, require us to pretty much stop eating meat. Hey here's an idea for a trade-off, we can kill off the farting whales and keep the cattle.


Deep-thinking lefty Bruce writes a 1,785 word post proving KFC doesn't turn NAZIs into Flying Spaghetti Monsters, or something. One thing he does prove: he's unsure if it's "premiss" or "premise", so he plays it safe by alternating. Try to read the whole thing, I dare you.

Update: Art Vandelay also suffers delusions of grandeur, as this comment attests:
Presuppositionalist apriorism also rears its ugly head in debates about whether atheists can be moral, whether evolutionists can be moral, etc.
"Presuppositionalist apriorism" may often come up in these guys' discussions but the rest of the universe ain't getting the message.

Update II: Big-brained-Bruce, master logician, in comments:
I almost pity people like you "J.F Beck".

For a start, it must be embarassing for you to have ot admit that you can't spell the plural form of "premise". The plural form is spelt "premisses" which you would familiar with if you had some basic education in logic.

The spelling police on the blogosphere are silly enough, but when they try to correct spelling that is already correct... It's an embarrasing, and intellectually dishonest ploy this type of red herring.
Near-pity from a leftard, cool.

Bruce should save that pity for himself; he's just made a fool of himself. "Premise" and "premiss" are interchangeable in some circumstances but the plural of premise is premises; the plural of premiss is premisses. Thanks for the education, Bruce.

Update III: Bruce's equally big-brained, school teacher friend Arthur Vandelay is an advocate of "plainer English", really. Unfortunately, he can't write either.

Update IV: Bruce accounts for his nonsensical post:
Incidentally, I wrote this post after a long day of not eating much; blood sugar will be back up tonight so blogging will return to some semblance of normal functionality
It's great to hear that Bruce's functionality will soon return to some semblance of normal. Jeez, compared to Bruce I'm Shakespeare.

Update V: Bruce unconvincingly claims his poor spelling, mangled language and poor reasoning are intentional. Brainiac has way more issues than I thought.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


A group of academic economists wants the Australian government to "to stop undermining international efforts to tackle climate change and ratify the Kyoto Protocol without delay". Professor Peter Dixon demands even tougher action:
"We've been most concerned to protect our sales of coal," he said.

"Of course, we will lose a considerable amount of sales of coal whether we sign or whether we don't in the end because in fact, the main part of the solution to the greenhouse gas problem will be reductions in worldwide use of coal."
The Germans apparently haven't gotten the word on the need to reduce coal consumption: they plan to build 15 new coal-fired power stations by 2012 (because worldwide coal supplies are plentiful).

Meanwhile, Americans have been subjected to a "Coal is filthy" campaign:
Featuring misleading claims about pollution from coal-fired electrical generating plants, and a Web site, it urged citizens to tell government officials, "No more filthy coal plants."

But the coalition wasn't another gaggle of environmental pressure groups, like those listed on the Web site. It was a cabal of natural gas companies, led by Chesapeake Energy of Oklahoma. Their goal wasn't really helping Americans get "clean skies" and "live longer." It was fattening corporate wallets.

It's really disappointing to learn there's deception associated with the global warming debate.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Brice Hortefeux of France's new ministry of immigration and national identity wants to expand an existing scheme whereby illegal immigrants are paid to go home:
"We must increase this measure to help voluntary returns. I am very clearly committed to doing that," French minister Brice Hortefeux was cited as saying by the BBC.

According to the long-time friend and ally of president Nicolas Sarkozy, a family with two children would be paid €6,000 to leave French territory.

A similar sweetener has already been in use, with some 3,000 families leaving France in exchange for money in 2005-2006, the BBC reported.
Paying illegals to go home is not unique to France:
Between 2008-2013, the 27-nation bloc will be able to make use of a European return fund running to €676 million...
Such incentives might produce unintended consequences:
"The European Commission is in favour of voluntary return," one official told EUobserver, adding "incentives for voluntary return should not become a pull factor for migrants to come the EU illegally, however."
Yep, a paid holiday to Europe might be too good to pass up.

Friday, May 25, 2007


According to an ABC News report, Tim Flannery wants Australians to pay more for electricity:
"The bill that you and I pay might go up by 30 per cent, which sounds like a lot," he said.

"But if you and I can't make efficiency gains of 30 per cent in our house, there's something wrong. We all waste a lot of electricity and I have no doubt most of us can make those sort of cuts."
A closer look at what Flannery actually said reveals he's expecting a much bigger rise and doesn't give a damn about the consequences:
TONY JONES: Let's try and understand the price. The price is the dollar amount that you pay for each tonne of carbon dioxide you emit into the atmosphere after you exceed your limit. That's the point at which your penalties begin as it were?

TIM FLANNERY: That's right.

TONY JONES: What do you think it should be?

TIM FLANNERY: I think it probably should be around $50 per tonne. Working group three of the intergovernmental panel on climate change did modelling and $50 a tonne gets you significant reductions and that would equate to about a doubling of the wholesale price which would be about maybe 30 per cent of the retail price. So the bill that you and I pay might go up 30 per cent which sounds like a lot but when you think about it if you can't make 30 per cent efficiency gains in your house I don't know, there's something wrong. We all waste a lot of electricity and I think there's no doubt that most of us can make those sorts of cuts.

TONY JONES: Except we've already established if the drought continues and electricity prices already go up by pretty much that amount, they could then go up vastly further, could they not?

TIM FLANNERY: I suppose they could go up another 30 per cent or so. At that point yes you'd have trouble getting those efficiency gains in households.

TONY JONES: Would that affect the economy, though? Because that's what industry is arguing?

TIM FLANNERY: That's the great question. We'll know pretty soon. The price will go up and we'll see what the impacts will be.
Let's run an experiment with Australia's economy and see what happens. Oh well, wrecking the economy should drive down emissions. The guy is a moron.


According to the ABC, would be Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and entrepreneur wife Therese Rein are suffering as a result of her company underpaying 58 employees $70,000. The Lateline report on this was originally titled Rudd embarrassed over wife pay ordeal but has since been changed to Rudd embarrassed over wife's comapny pay row -- the misspelling might indicate the title was hastily changed.

In the interview Rudd shows no concern, none, for the underpaid employees but is plenty concerned about himself:
If you're in my position and you're putting yourself up as the next prime minister of Australia, you don't want these sorts of things to happen. It's as simple as that.
Champion of the working man Rudd refuses to comment on how much his wife's employees are being paid to give up their penalties, overtime and other benefits, saying only that they are being paid "fairly". If BHP had underpaid its employees and payed them a pittance to sacrifice some of their entitlements Rudd and his Labor cronies would be raising quite a stink. Politics, eh?

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Africa Fighting Malaria's Philip Coticelli has an excellent article -- refreshingly, Rachel Carson doesn't get a mention -- in The New York Sun on the fight against malaria. Make sure you read the whole thing; it nicely sums up the situation.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Tim Lambert has done one of his infamous hatchet jobs on Rich Karlgaard's short article on the environmental movement's patron saint, Rachel Carson. Glenn Reynolds is castigated for quoting "approvingly" from the article:

Lambert argues that, contrary to what Karlgaard leads readers to believe, the Silent Spring inspired DDT ban actually saved lives (bold in original):
FORBES' RICH KARLGAARD ASKS how many people died because of Rachel Carson?

The answer is that many lives have been saved because of Rachel Carson and it's scandalous the way Reynolds and Karlgard [sic] mislead their readers.
Lambert's thinking goes like this: because the agricultural use of DDT is, effectively, universally banned (because of Carson), the spread of DDT resistance among mosquitoes has dramatically slowed, thus DDT maintaining its mosquito lethality when used for Indoor Residual Spraying.

What Lambert doesn't tell his gullible readers is that the effective outright ban on DDT use in Europe, United States and most of the developed world discouraged DDT use by those countries needing it the most. With the advent of agricultural bans, the indoor spraying of DDT fell into disfavour with the big players in the anti-malaria effort, the World Health Organization and USAID; these two organizations only recently rescinding an effective ban on the use of DDT. In short, DDT can only save lives when it is used; its indoor use has been effectively banned, so people (lots of them) have died.

Anyway, to prove DDT hasn't been banned Lambert quotes DDT supplier Yorkool Chemical:
In the past several years, we supplied DDT 75% WDP to Madagascar, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Africa, Namibia, Solomon Island, Papua New Guinea, Algeria, Thailand, Myanmar for Malaria Control project, and won a good reputation from WHO and relevant countries' government.
Several years? The Yarkool page says it was last modified in March 2004 so it's not at all clear when the DDT was purchased -- perhaps prior to the 1999 and 2000 POPs Treaty kerfuffle. And since no quantities are given it's impossible to determine to what use the DDT was put -- it's possible the DDT was purchased in small quantities for research purposes.

Not only that, of the countries listed as DDT buyers, only the first six are wholly or partly in sub-Saharan Africa. This is critical because the great majority of malaria deaths occur in the over forty African countries south of the Sahara. Most of these countries are obviously not buying or using DDT -- it's availability is limited; if they aren't buying it from Yorkool, where are they getting it? Again, since DDT isn't being used in most of sub-Saharan Africa, lots of people have died.

Lambert doesn't aim to provide accurate information, he's out to score political points. In order to do that he Lamberts: he misrepresents the facts.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


The shenanigans continue at Antony Loewenstein's blog, home of the disappearing comment. This time a whole post by Loewenstein's partner Andre has silently and mysteriously vanished. A screen-shot of the RSS feed follows:

A Google search reveals the comment did indeed exist but clicking the link produces an Error 404 – Not Found. Very strange.

As an older guy my memory isn't what it once was but I can't remember removing even one of my almost 2,300 posts. And if I did remove a post I would certainly follow the unwritten rules of blogging and tell my readers why the post was removed. Loewenstein obviously feels such transparency is unnecessary.

Did Andre censor himself? Did Loewenstein censor Andre? Either way, there's a whole lot of censoring going on at Loewenstein's blog, which is odd since his only claim to fame is that he is the victim of censorship.

Update: On his recent visit to Cuba where does Loewenstein go to meet the locals?
I met Felix at the Iranian embassy in Havana.
Loewenstein in Cuba hanging out at the Iranian embassy; nothing out of the ordinary here.


The EU is finally getting serious about tackling over-regulation -- 80,000 pages of EU regulations are on the books -- with the elimination of the "knots in wood" and bread packaging standards. The anti-red-tape drive was launched in 2005 following over six months of intensive work by 15 full time staff. It is not known how many pages of deregulation rules were produced but it must have been plenty.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Lefty deep-thinker Bruce has produced an especially weird -- even for Bruce -- 2,200+ word post encouraging Miss Politics to continue blogging the most intimate details of her sex life. Bruce obviously draws considerable pleasure from reading about Miss Politics's sexploits and is worried that being discussed in passing by RWDBs might encourage her to be more, well, circumspect, thus limiting his online stimulation. (Be sure to click that link and read Bruce's post; it's nasty, whiny and funny all at once.)

Naturally, I feature prominently in Bruce's post: he reckons I "electronically and misogynistically violated" Miss Politics. Even better, he finds an anonymous comment he hasn't read -- I removed it from my blog at Miss Politics's request -- possibly "pedophillic" [sic] but definitely sexually abusive. So that readers can judge for themselves, the removed comment reads:
I went and checked out Miss Politic's blog. What a laugh. I love this one:

'Why can't we talk about orgasims? '

And you know, the fact that she has a daughter called 'Ocean', I mean how 'orgasimic' can she get. She swims in the stuff. I guess she'll call her son, Semen.
And for complete transparency, my two relevant Miss Politics posts are (oldest first) here and here. The reaction to these posts is much ado about nothing much, in my opinion.

One last thing, there is nothing in any of Miss Politics posts that is even remotely stimulating; sexually, intellectually or otherwise. Sorry Miss P., I do have my standards.

Update: Apparently unable to think for herself, Miss Politics picks up and runs with Bruce's points:
I have been feeling really ikky about the whole thing to be honest. Not in a ‘I won’t blog’ kind of way but rather that I am being violated in some kind of twisted and perverse manner. I know that sounds weird considering that none of these people have put their hands on me in any way whatsoever, but still, violated is the best way in which to describe it.
Read some of her posts and you'll know why she feels "ikky".

Update II: Bruce favours me with a typically deep comment:
Even better, he finds an anonymous comment he hasn't read -- I removed it from my blog at Miss Politics's request -- possibly "pedophillic" [sic] but definitely sexually abusive.

I gather you didn't read the part where I said;

"Pedophillic? Perhaps not." - to equate this with "possibly" is an exaggeration.

or earlier where I said;

"Not that I (or many others) got to see the comments and clearly as such can not easily assess the veracity of “Miss Politics” allegation..."

Alas poor JF, it's as I thought. To [sic] prejudiced to see a crtiticism [sic] for what it is and too dishonest to deal with your own abusive nature.

Thanks for the traffic.
Big-brained Bruce needs to buy a dictionary and get someone to show him how to use it. Merriam-Webster defines "perhaps" as meaning : "possibly but not certainly: maybe". Thus, saying the comment is possibly not paedophilic is the same as saying it is possibly paedophilic.

Without reading the comment in question Bruce casually throws out an accusation of possible paedophilia in a blatant attempt to smear me by association. This is unacceptable, even coming from a loony lefty.

Bruce needs to update his post to reflect his error. He also needs to post a separate correction. If not, the stink HE created is gonna be following him around for quite a while.

As for steering traffic his way, glad to be of help: there's a reason he has no counter.

Update III: It'll come as no surprise that Miss Politics doesn't like Australia:
I had a weird patriotic moment on the weekend. I felt good to be Australian. Weird but true.
Not weird for a committed lefty.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I haven't had much to say about Kevin Rudd -- for one thing, my routine has changed so I've got much less time for blogging -- but he deserves to be ridiculed for proposing a high seas confrontation with Japan over whales:
Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has defended Labor's plan to intercept Japanese whaling vessels after the Government said the idea was doomed to fail.

Under Labor's plan, unveiled yesterday, Australian Navy ships would be sent to intercept and board whaling vessels in the Southern Ocean.
If the Japanese choose not to stop and be boarded, then what?

And what if the Japanese side with activists who oppose the proposed Canberra kangaroo cull? Surely Mr Rudd wouldn't object to a Rising Sun airborne assault aimed at disarming the cruel kangaroo shooters.


Computing lecturer Tim Lambert is nothing if not persistent. He made a complete arse of himself in trying to nail John Berlau (see here and here), eventually admitting he was wrong -- characteristically, the admission is hidden toward the end of an almost 2,000 word post. Undeterred, Lambert has another go.

Lambert objects to Berlau connecting "Silent Spring" author Rachel Carson to malaria deaths:
Two million dying every year in Africa of malaria, a disease proven to be preventable by killing and repelling the mosquitoes that carry it with DDT. DDT wiped out malaria in much of the world, including the southern U.S. Carson vilified DDT based on distortion of facts known even then. For instance, she implied DDT was developed as poison gas, when history shows it was developed to protect our troops in World War II from typhus and malaria.
In responding Lambert pulls no punches:
Berlau is lying. Here's what Carson actually wrote about the development of DDT:
DDT (short for dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane) was first synthesized by a German Chemist in 1874, but its properties as an insecticide were not discovered until 1939. Almost immediately DDT was hailed as a means of stamping out insect-borne disease and winning the farmers' war against crop destroyers overnight. The discoverer, Paul Muller of Switzerland, won the Nobel Prize.

... one of its first uses was the wartime dusting of many thousands of soldiers, refugees, and prisoners, to combat lice.
Yes, and here's what Carson wrote in chapter three ("Elixers of Death") about synthetic insecticides in general:
For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.


All this has come about because of the sudden rise and prodigious growth of an industry for the production of man-made or synthetic chemicals with insecticidal properties. This industry is a child of the Second World War. In the course of developing agents of chemical warfare, some of the chemicals created in the laboratory were found to be lethal to insects. The discovery did not come by chance: insects were widely used to test chemicals as agents of death for man.
It would have been difficult for anyone reading "Silent Spring" in the 1960s not to make a mental connection between synthetic insecticides (including DDT) and Zyklon-B.

No one should be surprised that Lambert has been caught Lamberting* yet again. Perhaps the powers that be at keep him on as light entertainment.

* Misrepresenting facts.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Economist John Quiggin reckons journalist Andrew Bolt's writing on global warming is complete crap and provides the links to prove it:
I know Bolt mainly from his writing about global warming and (to a lesser extent the Iraq war) where he is about as wrong as it is possible to be, in every possible way. He gets basic facts wrong, recycles long-exploded propaganda exercises like the Oregon Petition and commits just about every kind of logical fallacy known, all in an attempt to push a position that has literally no credible scientific defenders left*.

* There are a few credible scientists who dissent from some aspects of the mainstream consensus, but none who back the wholly delusional position espoused by Bolt.
Golly, six links in one paragraph, it looks like Bolt has been busted big time. The thing is, if you look at the links closely, there's precious little substance to them, with none of them authored by anyone with climate science qualifications. Here's a quick overview. The first link is to this Lamberting of Bolt by computer scientist Tim Lambert. Lambert makes a couple of valid points but Bolt's original article is, on balance, more accurate than Lambert's Lamberting -- that is, after all, why it's called a Lamberting.

The second link is to an earlier Quiggin post on stratospheric cooling. As far as I can tell the only fact mentioned is that the stratosphere is cooling. Bolt might have misinterpreted the causes and implications of this cooling but, then again, maybe not.

The third link reveals a Bolt mistake in reading the date of a graph -- he mistakes a 2006 graph to be for 2007. Oh my God!, the guy's an idiot.

The fourth link is to more crap from Lambert, with Lambert confusing the situation by littering his post with internal links rather than linking directly to sources.

The Oregon Petition link goes to the Oregon Petition page at Wikipedia. Yep, it's a petition alright.

The logical fallacy known link -- to a blog grandly named The Thinker's Podium (by Bruce) -- has nothing to do with any logical fallacies supposedly committed by Bolt but stratospheric cooling does get a third mention.

Gee, I would have thought after claiming Bolt is "as wrong as it is possible to be, in every possible way" Quiggin the academic might have backed up his claim. Regardless, both of these guys are denialists: Bolt doesn't believe in anthropogenic global warming; Quiggin reckons DDT was never banned and that no-one died as a consequence. Compared to Quiggin, Bolt is a minor league denialist.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Like the cats they are so fond of, lefties are superficially all warm and cuddly, but rub them the wrong way and out come the razor-blades.

Obviously still miffed at my Vicky likes Jeremy post earlier in the week, Miss Politics has had a go at me in earnest, threatening via email to take matters "further" if I did not remove from my blog a "disturbing comment" supposedly containing "sexual inuendo" [sic] directed at her young daughter, Ocean. The Miss Politics bluster was totally unnecessary: I was not reluctant to remove a weak comment she found offensive. The comment was deleted without further ado.

This morning when I made the rounds of Australian blogs I checked in to see if Miss Politics had posted anything interesting and discovered she had posted this nasty nonsense:
Over at Club Troppo that 'Barrister Bewitched' post from some conservative troll got a mention. The ensuing comments were certainly interesting and many summed up exactly how I was feeling. Namely that JF Beck insinuated that I had 'cheated' on my partner and took my posts on sex out of context to substantiate his claim. Now as I understand it certain conservative bloggers don't like Jeremy very much however their reaction to my post on meeting him has been quite abhorrent. Incidentally, JF Beck denies ever having insinuated that some time of cheating was going on. Now we all know that this is nonsense as that was exactly the purpose of the post. Apparently he has also apologised and I would accept the apology if the post was actually rectified as not to allude to any type of cheating going on.
There's obviously something not quite right in the poor woman's head. She obliquely refers to me as "some conservative troll" as if she doesn't know or want to mention my name and two sentences later names me. The email she sent me is similarly confused:
Dear JF Beck

Apologies but I do not know your name so I hope you don't mind me referring to you as JF Beck.
Nope, don't mind at all.

Anyway, I did apologize for any inference that Miss Politics was cheating on her significant other, but the apology only applies within the context of the Club Troppo thread, which is the only place I know of that the cheating thing had come up. In earlier discussions (here, here and here) Miss Politics had ample opportunity but does not mention cheating. She picked up and ran with the idea after encountering it at Club Troppo. Just so we're all clear on this, my post was very clearly written and does not hint at infidelity; if people can't understand what I wrote, too bad.

The second paragraph of Miss Politics's post is equally well written but even nastier (my bold):
Further he has allowed a comment on his blog that links a three year old child with sexual activity. This is absolutely disgraceful and the comment should be taken down. It is one thing to attack grown adults (though this is in no way alright either) and quite another to attack in the most perverse way possible three year old children. In fact if that comment is not taken down over the next forty eight hours I will have no choice but to contact the authorities. I'm all for free speech but with that comes responsibility. Such ugly comments about children should not be kept up even by the trolls.
Not even close. The comment, while rather crude, DID NOT make any link whatever between Miss Politics's daughter and sexual activity. Rather, the comment linked Miss Politics's sexual activity with the choice of name for her daughter. The comment also speculated on a possible name choice should Miss Politics ever have a son. (If Miss Politics wants to dispute this I have kept the text of the comment and will gladly post it for further discussion, or for consideration by whatever authorities she might care to refer the matter to.)

Miss Politics is smearing me by making stuff up; to round out the smear the post's address is:

That's a bit of a leap, now isn't it?

Miss Politics is also incorrect in terming my original post an attack. I said what I had to say clearly (the post is factually correct throughout) and left it at that, avoiding stirring the pot, so to speak, by staying away from the comments threads at both Sear's and Miss Politics's sites. Had I wanted to be nasty I would have asked young Jeremy if he'd be taking a raincoat to his next rendezvous with Ms Politics. But being a nice guy I resisted the urge.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Antony Loewenstein rarely comments at his own blog -- reader comments are tightly controlled so there's no need -- so this outburst is, well, unusual:
Ok, either stay on topic to the post, or your comment will be deleted. Simple as that. Spend your time masturbating each other elsewhere. Clear? Good.
Loewenstein was just a tad miffed that one of seemingly sycophantic commenters was working a sting that exposed his comment tampering, again. It's a classic gottcha moment. Hah!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Bob Brown says Australia must stop exporting coal. The Germans are keen to import coal for power generation, however:
The European Union aspires to be the world's first low carbon economy and its emissions trading scheme is designed to limit production of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is emitted in large quantities by burning coal.

But Germany, the world's sixth largest greenhouse gas emitter, is planning 15 new coal plants by 2012 because it is cheaper to burn coal than more environmentally-friendly gas, even with the added cost of offsetting emissions of CO2, a gas that contributes to global warming.

Power companies and European policy makers are also wary of being overly dependent on imported Russian gas and of the rising cost of gas, which is linked to high oil prices.

Whereas the European Union imports a quarter of its gas from Russia, coal is available from a variety of sources across the globe, meaning supplies are less vulnerable to disruption.
Why should Australia unilaterally impose a coal export embargo? So green types will feel like they've accomplished something, while costing thousands of jobs in the process.


Jason Soon, the boring boy of Australian bloggers, honours me with an award:
JF Beck, the confirmed bad boy of Ozplogistan, discusses the sex lives of his fellow bloggers in a post that shows there is more (or less?) to blogging than arguments about the Iraq War and tax reform.
Cool, but Soon's judgement isn't 100% reliable, he likes Chick Corea.

Anyway, I didn't discuss the sex lives of my fellow bloggers, I merely posted excerpts from a fellow blogger's posts about aspects of her sexuality and observed that she has "qualities many men would, well, want to investigate". That apparently makes me a big bully. Boo hoo.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Say cheese!


It's no secret that Melbourne barrister and blogger Walter Jeremy Sear (aka Anonymous Lefty) is looking for female companionship following the breakdown of his marriage. Well, it looks like he has a prospective partner: fellow lefty blogger (aka Miss Politics), Wiccan, would be revolutionary and former Swinburne University Student Union President Vicky Kasidis.

Writing as Miss Politics, Kasidis speaks glowingly of a recent rendezvous with the foot-loose activist lawyer. To keep things discrete Sear's name is never mentioned but to make sure everyone knows who she's talking about the post is filed in the Anonymous Lefty category.

Actually, it's been obvious for a while that Miss Politics likes Anonymous Lefty. Back when his separation became the topic of conversation (early April) Kasidis made this contribution :
Your an amazing man and you'll find an equally amazing women! Spewing I'm not single lol!!
Just a few days earlier Kasidis posted this under the title Anonymous Lefty Absolute Genius:
The post below is from the Anonymous Lefty blog written by Jeremy Sears. Honestly the guy is a genius. Not onlyh is he a cutie but he also has brains.
So just over a month ago Kasidis had a partner but was obviously attracted to Sear. Regardless, she seems to now be available. Good timing, no?

And who can blame Sear for being attracted to Kasidis, who has qualities many men would, well, want to investigate:
I have had sex with more than three people at one time.
For the record female ejaculation is a clear fluid that comes out of the urethra. It is not urine. It seems that unlike a normal orgasm, when a female experiences ejaculation the organism is much more intense and lasts longer. The first time that I had one was when I was around nineteen. I had sex with a forty five year old and had the best frickin orgasm of my life. It went for nearly a minute and was so intense I was speechless. These days they don't go for quite that long but they are awesome all the same.
Will true love blossom? Stay tuned.

Update: Miss Politics reckons I'm a bullshit posting troll:
Its just a nasty, conceited piece of bullshit that should be taken down. Perhaps its one for the Privacy Commissioner ...
Miss Politics tells the world about her orgasms and love-making juices, her multiple simultaneous sex partners, her bisexuality and her attraction to Sear but I'm out of line for discussing it. Here's a tip for Miss P: if you don't want people discussing your intimate details, don't post them online. In reality, you posted those intimate details in order to draw attention to yourself, so I've merely given you the attention you seek. Stop complaining.

Update II: Sear nemesis Iain Hall also thinks the pairing sounds like a romance.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I recently accused Antony Loewenstein and sidekick Andre of censoring comments. The text of a missing comment was offered as proof. Andre reckons the comment never existed:
Having just searched through all the comments posted since May 1, I am here to tell you that not an single post from Daniel Lewis appears anywhere in the archives. If the post was awaiting moderation, it would me flagged as such. According to the records, the post was never made and given that it was hardly offensive, there is no reason why it would have been blocked to begin with.

J.F. Beck’s case is rather weak considering that neither he nor yourself appear to understand the difference between a screen grab (ie. proof) and hearsay (which is what he has provided on his blog).

So what say I Benz? Perhaps both you and Mr Beck need to get a life.
Poor Andre isn't alert enough to realize when he's being set up. The screen grab of the missing Daniel Lewis comment (available online here) is below (following a comment from Andre):

Perhaps Andre and Loewenstein should have a confab to decide who's going to fall on his sword for the comment tampering. Regardless, the doofus duo's already low credibility is now zero.

Update: Andre admits the comment was posted but can find no evidence it ever existed:
While I certainly acknowledge that the evidence proves Daniel Lewis posted to the that thread, I can only go by the information available to me. Lewis and Beck called me a liar, but nothing I have said is untrue. I searched for any posts I could find from Daniel Lewis as far back and February last year, and I found nothing.
The comment didn't spontaneously destruct, it was removed by someone with admin privileges. Such goings on at the blog of an internationally known author and journalist -- who has harped on and on about efforts to censor him -- are unacceptable and surely undermine the credibility of his forthcoming book, a critical examination of the media.

The organizers of the Byron Bay Writers Festival must now reconsider their invitation to Loewenstein to join a journalists' discussion of media ethics. Unless, that is, Loewenstein's comment tampering is to be paraded as an example of unethical journalism.

If Loewenstein is to salvage any credibility from this sad episode he needs to explain exactly what happened to the missing comment. Don't hold your breath.

Editing note: The typo in the title (plumments) is, of course, meant to mock the doofus duo's ongoing mangling of English. Oh by the way, I have this bridge I'd like to sell you...


Lavatory Rodeo's tigtog is all a lather at Chimpo's inappropriate positioning during an address by the Queen:
Note where POTUSGWB is standing while HMQEII speaks from the podium. Discourtesy much?

The poor woman has to get through a State Dinner in Washington shortly, sitting at the same table with this ungracious buffoon. I’m not a monarchist, but not even a parasite upon the proletariat deserves that.
The Queen survived a state dinner with mega-buffoon Idi Amin Dada; she'll probably survive dining with Bush. Tigtog's twisted concern is touching nonetheless.

Monday, May 07, 2007


This Thursday is the Fast Against Malaria. All you have to do is skip lunch and then donate some of the money you would have spent. Every $5 buys an anti-mosquito bed net that should last for five years. It's a worthwhile cause; do the right thing and donate.


Antony Loewenstein on his network TV debut:
During my recent visit to New York for the US launch of My Israel Question, I was interviewed by Press TV, a relatively new cable news network that broadcasts in the US, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific region. It aims to rival al-Jazeera by providing an alternative perspective on issues that are relevant to Arab people everywhere. Although financed from Iran, its aim is not to broadcast propaganda of the Iranian regime. Press TV works principally with the UN in New York to produce stories.
So lets see, an Iranian TV network is working with the UN to produce programming relevant to Arab people everywhere. Loewenstein might be just a little bit confused. Maybe.

Here's what I learned from watching the interview:
  • smears, harassment and death threats (from his not so nice fellow Jews) are now a fact of life;
  • at some point in his youth something "went off in his head" (the echo must have been something);
  • that massive earring looks to be a clip-on;
  • his shoulders are even more narrow than I thought;
  • he has a double chin (surprising for one so young);
  • an Australian ban of My Israel Question was threatened;
  • we're in trouble so long as there is no open debate of the issues (see here for further discussion).
There, I just saved you seven minutes of tedium.


As everyone familiar with Antony Loewenstein is aware, his writing career is pretty much based on the claim that he is the ongoing victim of a mainstream Jewish conspiracy to silence him. He is, in short, a staunch advocate of free speech. Co-blogger Andre is equally passionate on the right of dissenting voices to be heard:
Ant and I are strongly against censoring comments unless of course, they get seriously out of hand.

There is no conspiracy here and no one is trying to fool anyone. Like I said, if your posts get stuck in moderation, I have offered to look at them and post them on your behalf. How many bloggers do you know have offered to do that, especially for petty whingers like yourself?

Get a life mate.
To which Daniel Lewis responded:
You are a liar Andre.

I've had every single one of my posts to this site moderated in the past. I expect this one to be no different.

I also posted 24 hours ago, yet it remains in moderation.

I don't expect you to publish this one, of course, but just want you to be aware there are a number of people who know you are lying (as do you) and screencaps will see you come undone courtesy of other bloggers with more integrity (and readers) than you two.
The above comment has gone missing. Andre is indeed a liar.

Update: The missing comment turns up -- it's a great oops! for Andre.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


The Netherlands is contemplating replacing incarceration with home detention:
Under the bill, whether criminals remain in the vicinity of their homes will be monitored by an electronic ankle or wrist-band. Those convicted will however be able to leave their homes for two hours a day. This will only be allowed according to a schedule agreed beforehand. The two hours can be used for doing shopping, visiting family, sports activities or a visit to a mosque or other religious event.
But hey, it's not like a large percentage of Dutch criminals or Muslim, or anything.

Friday, May 04, 2007


It's been pretty hectic around the Beck homestead for the past few weeks -- my younger son had pneumonia and wasn't able to fly out on holiday as scheduled and my wife has lost her mind again (but that's a story for another time) -- so I haven't been able to blog as much as I normally do. Things have settled down a fair bit now so I'm going to take the opportunity to relax with a good old-fashioned Fisking.

The BBC looks at Perth's water supply situation in a news article based on a Radio 4 Costing The Earth program. Both the article and the radio program are atrociously inaccurate. I'll restrict my comments to the news article because Miriam O'Reilly's breathless reporting is so grating I had to stop listening.

The article makes the following observation early on:
Australians are some of the world's greatest energy consumers, and people in Perth use more water than any other city in Australia.
The energy use reference is included in an article about water just to remind readers that Australians are big per capita carbon dioxide emitters. The Perth water use claim is wrong -- Brisbane uses the most water per capita, with Perth's water consumption being below the mean. But this is only the third paragraph of the article so there's still plenty of opportunity to screw up:
Yet theirs is also the driest climate in the world, and Perth sits right on the edge of a vast desert, an island of greenery in the form of European style parks and gardens.
Perth's long term annual rainfall average is 862.7 mm, not even close to being the world's driest. And Perth does not sit on the edge of a desert (a desert defined as an area receiving less than 250 mm of annual rainfall) -- the linked map is for the last three years, so remember to divide the rainfall figures by three to get the annual figure.
Perth sits above a vast ancient aquifer of 40,000-year-old water that has traditionally been the main source of drinking water. But in the mid 1970s there was a dramatic shift in climate that resulted in a decline of between 15% and 20% in winter rainfall.
Perth sits atop a number of aquifers; the water in the shallow aquifers is obviously not all that old and isn't potable in any event -- much of it is very mineral rich with hydrogen sulphide contamination common, which is why the water stains and stinks and isn't suitable for drinking. This is the water tapped into by the vast majority of home bores (wells) for garden watering. Contrary to what the article says, Perth's scheme water comes approximately half and half from groundwater and surface catchment, with the new desalination plant projected to meet 17% of requirements.
By the mid 1990s, scientists realised they were facing more than a prolonged drought, that this was in fact climate change.

Don McFarlane, of the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), says: "Climatologists tell us that it is the most profoundly affected city in the world. People have accepted that it is climate change.
Perth is not experiencing a prolong drought; rainfall has cycled downward over recent years but could well increase again -- a 30 year trend is not conclusive. The claim that Perth is "the most profoundly affected city in the world" is a new one on me. Time for another energy profligacy jibe:
People consume a lot of energy. It is a car-dependant city with little public transport. Many of the luxury houses overlooking the ocean (known locally as "starter mansions") boast currently fashionable black roofs that soak up the heat in temperatures of up to 42 degrees in summer, and produce a greater need for air conditioning inside.
There are a few dark roofs around but it's not like every other new house has a black roof. Not once in the almost 30 years I've lived in Western Australia have I heard anyone say "starter mansion" -- it doesn't sound even remotely Australian.

The following paragraph makes no sense at all:
Yet the Water Corporation is reluctant to clamp down on private water usage even though before current restrictions people were often watering their gardens in the middle of the day when the water was most likely to evaporate and be wasted.
People stopped watering during the heat of the day after being told it was a waste of water.
One gardener we spoke to for Costing the Earth told us that 90% of his water usage is for his garden and that it would break his heart if he ever had to stop watering and give up his beloved green lawns.

But Pierre Horwitz, associate professor of ecosystems at Edith Cowan University, Perth, questions why drinking water is being used for gardens to such an extent and says people have got to start using less water.

"If you compare our individual consumption rates, they're almost a third higher again than those in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. You just can't continue to sustain that."
Perth's per capita water consumption is not a third higher -- according to these government figures, Perth's water consumption is lower than both Sydney and Brisbane. It makes sense for Melbourne to use less water because its climate is drier than Perth's. Now check this out for a contradiction:
Horwitz says people have been too complacent about the availability of water because of the vast ground water resource.

"We're actually mining water. This is a non-renewable resource and we have to constrain our behaviours so that we use what's replenishable rather than eat into our reserves."

Following this early wake up call to the onset of climate change, Perth's water experts are now leading the way in exploring new ways of providing water for this thirsty city. One of them involves recharging the aquifer with treated waste water - left over from people's washing machines and dish washers.
Horowitz says ground water is non-renewable but Perth experts are working on recharging the
aquifers with waste water. Go figure.
Gary Crisp, the corporation's desalination engineer, is proud of their achievements: "What we've done [in Perth] is truly pioneering stuff.

However, he does concede that, ultimately, Perth is going to have to pay more for its water.

"At the current prices in Australia, there's not enough water to go around and there's not enough incentive for people to use less."

And that is the only true solution to Perth's water crisis - learning to live with less water and maybe even giving up some of those beautiful green lawns.

Otherwise that prediction that it could become a ghost town may yet come true.
Just think of the water that could be saved if the government paid people to rip out their water-guzzling lawns and replace them with water-sipping native gardens. Nah, lefties are always keen for people with money to pay more for the government services they receive.

Anyway, both the BBC article and the radio program are shit, there's no getting around it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Good news from South Africa:
On Africa Malaria Day yesterday, national health department spokesman Charity Bhengu announced that malaria cases had dropped by 65 per cent and malaria deaths in the country had dropped by 73%.

Bhengu said: “Between June, 2006, and March, 2007, a total of 3 597 cases were reported, compared with 10 418 cases between June, 2005, and March, 2006. In addition, the number of deaths has come down from 85 to 25 during the same reporting period.”

Bhengu said the decline was largely attributed to anti-malaria interventions by the department, which included the use of Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane.
DDT's benefits outweigh its risks.