June 17, 2007

Biking in Utah

Inspired by Mick's post I looked up this picture of the virile Utah style of biking in 1948. It's Rollie Free breaking the American speed record on a Vincent Black Lightning.

The 1952 Black Lightning inspired the great song by Richard Thompson.
in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
Beats a 52 Vincent and a red headed girl
Now Nortons and Indians and Greeveses won't do
They don't have a soul like a Vincent 52
He reached for her hand and he slipped her the keys
He said I've got no further use for these
I see angels on Ariels in leather and chrome
Swooping down from heaven to carry me home
And he gave her one last kiss and died
And he gave her his Vincent to ride
Here's another great bike song with pix by PJ Harvey (profanity ahoy).

June 12, 2007

Never complain, never explain..well maybe this once

I rarely read speeches, but this one by Tony Blair will be making waves. Full transcript here
"I need to say some preliminaries at the outset. This is not my response to the latest whacking from bits of the media. It is not a whinge about how unfair it all is.As I always say, it's an immense privilege to do this job and if the worst that happens is harsh media coverage, it's a small price to pay. And anyway, like it or not, and some do and some don't, I have won 3 elections and am still standing as I leave office. This speech is not a complaint. It is an argument."
"From Stanley Baldwin's statement about "power without responsibility being the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages" back to the often extraordinarily brutal treatment, if you've ever read it, meted out to Gladstone and Disraeli through to Harold Wilson's complaints of the 60s, the relations between politics and the media are and are by necessity, difficult. It's as it should be."
"The metaphor for this genre of modern journalism is the Independent newspaper..... a well-edited lively paper and is absolutely entitled to print what it wants, how it wants, on the Middle East or anything else. But it was started as an antidote to the idea of journalism as views not news. That was why it was called the Independent. Today it is avowedly a viewspaper not merely a newspaper."
"So there are my thoughts. I've made this speech after much hesitation. I know it will be rubbished in certain quarters. But I also know this has needed to be said."


I despise much of what Mr Blair has done, but he's brave and resilient and he's 75% articulate which helps. I think he'd agree that an avowed viewspaper like The Independent isn't too obnoxious. It's the priestly hypocrisy of the BBC and the NYT that stinks up the joint.

June 10, 2007

Lies, damned lies and The New York Times

The Fork Tongue Times June 10th:
Grass Roots Roared and Immigration Plan Collapsed

Public opinion polls, including a New York Times/CBS News Poll conducted last month, showed broad support among Americans for the bill’s major provisions.
Rasmussen Reports May 25th:
NY Times/CBS Poll Finds that 69% Believe Illegal Immigrants Should Be Prosecuted

The New York Times/CBS News did not specifically ask about the immigration bill currently being considered in the Senate. However, in the article written about the poll, the Times states “large majorities expressed support for measures contained in the legislation.”
The survey found, for example, that 67% would allow illegal immigrants to “apply for a four-year visa… as long as they pay a $5,000 fine, a fee, show a clean work record, and pass a criminal background check.” That, too, is similar to a Rasmussen Reports survey which found 65% support for a compromise proposal allowing illegal aliens a “very long path to citizenship” provided that “the proposal required the aliens to pay fines and learn English” and that the compromise “would truly reduce the number of illegal aliens entering the country.” The proposal, specifically described as a compromise, was said to include “strict employer penalties for hiring illegal aliens, building a barrier along the Mexican border and other steps to significantly reduce the number of illegal aliens entering the United States.”
However, while 65% were willing to support such a compromise, only 26% support the legislation currently before the Senate.
Rasmussen Reports June 8th:
Why the Senate Immigration Bill Failed

23% of Americans supported the legislation. When a bill has less popular support than the War in Iraq, it deserves to be defeated.
There is no mystery to why the public opposed the bill. In the minds of most Americans, immigration means reducing illegal immigration and enforcing the border. Only 16% believed the Senate bill would accomplish that goal.

June 09, 2007

A Mayor's right to choose

Wikipedia:
Giuliani was criticized for embracing illegal immigrants. Giuliani continued a policy of preventing city employees from contacting the Immigration and Naturalization Service about immigration violations, on the grounds that illegal aliens must be able to take actions such as to send their children to school or report crime and violations without fear of deportation. He ordered city attorneys to defend this policy in federal court. The court ruled that New York City's sanctuary laws were illegal. After the City of New York lost an appeal to the United States Supreme Court, Giuliani vowed to ignore the law.
City Journal:
Former mayor Rudolph Giuliani sued all the way up to the Supreme Court to defend the city’s sanctuary policy against a 1996 federal law decreeing that cities could not prohibit their employees from cooperating with the INS. Oh yeah? said Giuliani; just watch me. The INS, he claimed, with what turned out to be grotesque irony, only aims to “terrorize people.” Though he lost in court, he remained defiant to the end. On September 5, 2001, his handpicked charter-revision committee ruled that New York could still require that its employees keep immigration information confidential to preserve trust between immigrants and government. Six days later, several visa-overstayers participated in the most devastating attack on the city and the country in history.

Banana Republicans

Senator Mel Martinez joined 6 other GOP senators to vote for cloture of the Immigration Bill. The GOP base loathes the bill and 38 of 45 GOP senators voted against. How then can Martinez remain GOP Chairman?

Now is a tipping point. Either build the fence, secure the border, deport criminals and deter employers or accept a demographic Reconquista. That means "humanely enforce the law", a policy opposed by the President, the GOP Chairman, the head of Homeland Security, the Majority Party in the Senate and the House, John McCain, the MSM of course and The Wall Street Journal - a Grand Alliance for the Grand Bargain versus the Grand Old Party.

The McCain-Kennedy Shamnesty Bill is a blessing because it's dragged the border and demographics into open politics. Let a new 'Grand Bargain' be made between conservatives and working Democrats. Immigration and the border may be the issue of 2008 and may work magic for Giuliani or Romney. Hispanics and liberals may vote for Amnesty and insecure borders, but they mostly vote Dem anyway. Blacks and blue collar workers have a real incentive to switch in critical states. Many are socially conservative anyway and could be Reagan Republicans were it not for identity politics. "Humanely enforce the law" is good policy and good politics.

By the way 'sanctuary cities' is a bad idea for a society that wants 'a government of laws not of men.' Why should Paris Hilton accept the justice of jail for breaking probation in Los Angeles?

Americans scoff at the UK's Islamification which is driven by short-term electoral gain. UK Moslems vote as a bloc and Moslem electoral fraud in postal voting has tainted British democracy in unprecedented ways. So scoff away, Yanqui, you're dead right. BUT you have imported a Latin American political culture which is a government of men not of laws... sanctuary cities, illegal immigration, amnesty, La Raza, bilingualism. The perceived electoral value of Hispanics as a bloc drives the political class to outrages on democracy. Well, while you're jostling for elections, you'll lose America for your children and mine. I have a name for Bush, McCain, Martinez and the rest: Banana Republicans.

PS this is how Latinos see it:

“California is going to be a Hispanic state. Anyone who doesn’t like it should leave.” Mario Obledo, California Coalition of Hispanic Organizations and California State Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Governor Jerry Brown, also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton

“We are practicing ‘La Reconquista’ in California.” Jose Pescador Osuna, Mexican Consul General

“The American Southwest seems to be slowly returning to the jurisdiction of Mexico without firing a single shot.” Excelsior, the national newspaper of Mexico.

“We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. The explosion is in our population . . I love it. They are shitting in their pants with fear. I love it.” Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez, University of Texas

“Remember 187--proposition to deny taxpayer funds for services to non-citizens--was the last gasp of white America in California.” Art Torres, Chairman of the California Democratic Party

“We need to avoid a white backlash by using codes understood by Latinos . . . “ Professor Fernando Guerra, Loyola Marymount University

"We paid a political price in the last election cycle. If we get the same type of Hispanic support in the next election cycle than we did in the last, there's no way we could elect a Republican president' in 2008." Mel Martinez, GOP Chairman

June 07, 2007

CO2 PMQ QED WAWAA

Prime Minister's Questions yesterday in the UK Parliament:

Mr. John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con):
Why did carbon dioxide emissions in both the UK and the EU rise last year while falling in the United States of America...
The Prime Minister:
blah blah blah... European emissions trading system... blah blah blah...only through that...blah blah blah...Kyoto.

Comment by Iain Murray
Blair's failure to answer the question asked, while typical, is indicative that he knows the real answer but cannot deliver it: that America's free enterprise system is better at delivering greenhouse gas reductions than the targets and timetables approach of the EU. The American experience proves that it is not "only through that trading scheme" that any difference can be made.
My friends, (mocking McCain) this is not about CO2. It's about power for transnational elites and their fleas. A superpowerful, free-enterprise, democratic, self-determining USA antithesizes the énarquiste weltanschauung (just having fun with polylingual polysyllables - it's the coffee) and there's a secular war whose fronts are the UN, Kyoto, the MSM, Academia, the US Supreme Court and The Culture Wars. My friends, it's a vast left-wing conspiracy. I guess we need a name for the whole shebang. 'The War on Error' doesn't capture the moral dimension. 'The War against the War against America' - 'WAWAA' - is my best shot on this pot of coffee. My friends, good morning.

June 05, 2007

The horror, the horror


There's something about logos that brings out all that's most spastic in ponytail aesthetics. Once a CEO has bought into a logo, it's blasphemy to state the obvious - same with IT projects or the Emperor's New Clothes.

The crazed emperor of the London Olympics is Sebastian Coe, one of the greatest athletes of all time. I once walked behind him at Athens airport. It was like walking behind a man with wings on his ankles...he just glided down the corridor with no effort. Here he is announcing the new logo..

See also Fake Steve.

Death or glory or a cup of tea


Michael Yon has posted the first of 4 accounts of the British army in Iraq.
The Queen’s Royal Lancers have been living out in the desert for about six months, like nomads moving from place to place, sleeping under the stars, getting much of their resupply of food and water by nighttime parachute drop as they patrol the Iran-Iraq border.
I'm proud of my fighting compatriots and take special pride in the mutual respect of the US/UK allies in this account. For me it's vicarious and I'm conscious of not having earnt my own freedom, but if one is going to be proud of anything outside the family, then this is it.

The expertise that's been acquired by the Allies in Iraq and Afghanistan will be priceless in future.

Psycho-economics

Michael Lewis (Liar's Poker) has an astute piece on the psycho-economics of trophy newpaper ownership.
The cachet of the New York Times is worth more to the Sulzberger family than to anyone else. The Sulzbergers' relationship to the Times is the chief source of their status; without it they are mere mortals with a bit of cash; and so the Sulzbergers cling to their control of the Times as tightly as ever.
Instead of getting out while the getting is good, they flop around looking for new ways to raise money without ceding control, and to make money without leaving the news business. Which is to say, they are working as hard as they possibly can to throw good money after bad -- with the predictable result that they have alienated their outside investors.
But...
The cachet of the Wall Street Journal to the Bancrofts, by contrast, is worth very little. There are too many Bancrofts, and they are too loosely associated with the paper: Even if they do theoretically control the Journal, no one but Rupert Murdoch wants to invite them to dinner to discuss the page one A-heads.
There's a word for an investor who clings to an asset whose chief value, its cachet, is of virtually no value to them: insane
I disagree with Michael Lewis that Murdoch is overvaluing the WSJ. The world is ripe for a print and web-based global clearing house for business matters and non-elitist opinion. The WSJ franchise can be vastly expanded, especially since Pearson has gone out of its way to ruin the FT.

June 03, 2007

You read it here first

Blair's abdication is nigh. Gordon Brown has a couple of years till a general election. The 'Conservative' leader, David Cameron, is universally recognized is an opportunist, unprincipled, inexperienced, socially liberal scumbag of the most transparent sort, BUT he's had much better poll numbers than his predecessors and is given an easy ride by large elements of the MSM, especially the BBC which played a big part in getting him elected leader against the favourite, the socially somewhat conservative, David Davis. Cameron is openly ridiculed and despised in some influential quarters, so he may not win the general election despite a pervasive feeling of 'throw the bums out and give us some new bums.'

If Labour loses the next election, but more importantly the election after that, then the last 10 years will seem like a golden age to the hordes of feather-bedded pols and tax-funded nosy parkers who infest Great Britain. Then the issues of Iraq and friendliness with the Toxic Texan will have receded and Tony Blair will be remembered as the Undefeated Champion of 3 General Elections, by far the most successful leader Labour has ever had. He will still be youngish, vigourous and his reputation will have been resuscitated. He won elections and he had principles, quite Thatcheresque.

I therefore forecast that Blair will be drafted back to power within 7 years.

June 02, 2007

Lies, damned lies and carbon credits

FT
Europe furious at US climate call
A spokesman for Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor and current G8 president, said Germany’s stance that climate talks should take place within the United Nations was “non-negotiable”.
Guardian
Truth about Kyoto: huge profits, little carbon saved
The [Clean Development Mechanism] is one of two global markets which have been set up in the wake of the Kyoto climate summit in 1997. Both finally started work in January 2005. Although both were launched with the claim that they would reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, evidence collected by the Guardian suggests that thus far, both markets have earned fortunes for speculators and for some of the companies which produce most greenhouse gases and yet, through a combination of teething troubles and multiple forms of malpractice and possibly fraud, they have delivered little or no benefit for the environment.

While the [Clean Development Mechanism] is run under the umbrella of the UN, the second market is overseen by the European commission.
The Guardian investigation is rich with comic detail of the brazen scams. God knows how much the envirocrats are skimming off the top. It all comes from you and me, folks, so smile while you're being shafted by these smug, moralising, gormless, elitist, manipulative, anti-scientific, parasitic, 3-pool heating, Stalinist twerps.

Kudos to The Grauniad for giving scoffers like me the material to berate their soulmates.

You read it here second

A funny blog is The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs ("Dude, I invented the friggin iPod. Have you heard of it?"). At the recent, wonderful reminiscence orgy of Jobs and Bill Gates, Gates opened with the line "First I want to clarify, I'm not Fake Steve Jobs" and raised the blog's profile a couple of notches to 50,000 visitors the next day.

So who is Fake Steve if he's not Bill Gates? The answer may be here and I'm more than half convinced despite the denial.

Blogger/Flickr test

Bonnabel Wood