Monday, July 16, 2012

Some reflections and lessons painfully learnt in the interregnum

Dear readers,
due to a personal tragedy and its aftermath there has been an unexpectedly long interruption in services here.

Past few months have often found my mind involuntarily meandering on such deadends as the meaning and purpose of death, on the widely held belief in some sort of life after it, on the purpose of life or lack therof and other such futilities.

Why are we born and to what end we die? While both life and death may be entirely puposeless, yet it is human to pine for a reason of existence of self other than being a chance occurrence.

It is human to reflect on being human. And it is human to struggle with scanty and pitiful answers one comes up with. The feebler minds are not able to cope with this struggle and turn to the sedative("opium" according to Marx) of religion with its ready made and seductive myths. Those who know better (or rather, know that we don't know much better- agnostics or atheists like myself) are tormented by questions that seemingly cannot ever be resolved. Not by philisophers or saints or prophets or even by modern scientists with their giant particle-colliders and Theory of Everything.

Gustave Doré - Death Depicted as the Grim Reaper on Top of the World from an edition of Poe's The Raven

We know that we don't know- but, heck, it is so hard to let it go at that! Therein lies the torment. While we may fashion a purpose conciously(to write a novel, become a millionaire, become the preident) or by default(to raise a family, make a career, somehow pass through life without trouble), there is that almost subconcious and constant vexation, like the background radiation of soul - is there something more? Are we born to some cosmic purpose, to some greater calling that we, in our helpless inadequacy, are unble to grasp and fulfill? We live and sure, we will die -but is that all?

If there was God and if one could face Him -one would ask:
"Anything else, my Lord?"

It may be, of course, meaningless to seek a meaning - my mind accepts this despite its resistance; yet it also feels almost a pity on the thought of it being so.

Is it all futile?
Gustave Doré
- Hoarders and Wasters 
Dante Alighieri's  Inferno
Plate 22

To veer off, among my other forced ponderings was to question the many common assumptions and presumptions-
No, death and taxes are not inevitable!

I am optimist that science shall one day make us immortal. The thought will horrify the huamnity-hating environmentalists, no doubt. But these pestilential specimens will be long dead by the time immortality arrives- otherwise imagine the horror of an undying Al Gore or the never ending scourge of an immortal Rajendra Pachauri! And no there shall be no shortage of space -imagine all the millions and billions of planets waiting for us.

Living forever may be hundreds or thousands of years away - but life without taxes is possible right now. It is a tragedy of humankind not to be able to live with each other without forced servitude(which is what taxes are). But I shall write much more on this later.

There were also some painful lessons I learnt in recent months. Painful and surprising despite my natural cynicism and despite the fact that I anticipated most of what happened. One lesson is that your close ones in their greed of pelf and property will stab you in the back with nary a thought. Brother will deceive brother and sister will twist the knife. Another lesson is that the one doing the stabbing will loudly proclaim himself the victim. Such are the ways of the world.

I might blog on this later.

So dear readers, I am glad to be back and will continue to blog, all my troubles and travails permitting. And a warm thank you to those who wrote in to ask after me. Your mail comforted me in some dark times. Thanks.

Crossposted at-
What the Heck is Art?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

From the LNC Quote Shop " "

Vaclav Klaus:

“Today’s debate about global warming is essentially a debate about freedom. The environmentalists would like to mastermind each and every possible (and impossible) aspect of our lives.”

Blue Planet in Green Shackles

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Difference between phony and true rights

It is the pathetic state of current discourse that something as obvious as this needs to be explained-

Your article Saturday on CSU Monterey Bay students who are unhappy with a private company's inspections of the student housing they live in contains a telling quote. Student spokesman Michael Frederiksen states, "We all deserve safe and secure housing." But to say that someone deserves something is to say that others have a duty to provide it. Who has that duty? Frederiksen thinks that taxpayers owe it to him and his fellow students. But why do students' decisions to attend a heavily subsidized Cal State University automatically impose a duty on taxpayers who do not attend?

Frederiksen is advocating a "phony right." What's the difference between a phony right and a real right? A real right is, say, my right not to be murdered. The only responsibility that imposes on you and others is not to murder me. In other words, it's a responsibility not to do something. The "right" to good housing, though, is a phony right because it implies that someone else has a positive duty to provide it. And let's not hide behind government. The only way government can provide things is by forcibly taking from others.

More the phony 'rights' are created, more the real rights are trodden upon.

India is embarking on a very large scale expansion of phony 'rights' in the Right to Food Bill that is  likely to pass sometime this year. Foolishness on a massive scale - but par for course for a government run by an 'eminent' economist.

Obama -the Indira Gandhi of America

You must be doing something right if you are on Obama's enemies list.

Yes We Can Screw America
Also observe the disturbing behavior-

In this country, we regard the use of official power to oppress or intimidate private citizens as a despicable abuse of authority and entirely alien to our system of a government of laws. The architects of our Constitution meticulously erected a system of separated powers, and checks and balances, precisely in order to inhibit the exercise of tyrannical power by governmental officials.

Our Constitution even explicitly prohibits bills of attainder so that Congress may not single out individual citizens or groups for disfavored treatment or unequal application of the force of government. Prosecutorial power is rigidly constrained and judicially supervised so that government may not accuse private citizens of crimes or investigate them without good cause.

Whoever may be the victim of such abuse of governmental authority, the press and public almost invariably unify with indignation against it. If a journalist, labor-union leader or community organizer on the left can be targeted today, an academic or business person on the right can be the target tomorrow. If we fail to stand up against oppression from one direction, we abdicate the moral authority to challenge it when it comes from another.

This is why it is exceedingly important for all Americans to respond with outrage to what the president and his allies are doing to demonize and stigmatize David and Charles Koch. They have been the targets of the multiyear, carefully orchestrated campaign of vituperation and assault described above—and much more. It has been choreographed from the very top. When the president personally takes leadership, his political surrogates and army of allies in the press and Congress quickly and surely follow the direction and tone he sets.

The misuse of government power to damage or demean one's political enemies is abhorrent and the very antithesis of a free society and a government of laws, not men. It is time for the public to ask those engaged in these practices, "Have you no sense of decency?"

Decency is lost on Obama.

At the time of Obama's election, when there were euphoric celebrations in the streets and TV studios, I remarked to a close member of the family ( an enthusiastic Obama supporter, alas) that the Americans have elected their own Indira Gandhi. Just as she royally screwed India - I well remember her long years of state caused poverty, inflation, corruption, vendettas and oppression, a legacy that continues- I predicted that Obama would do the same to America.

Not to toot my horn, but the prediction has come true even more than I imagined.

No warming in 15 years!

Well, this is getting some attention and protests from the warmistas-

World Average Temperature to 2012

Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years

The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

The alleged 'scientific consensus' is breaking down every day.

Let the fun begin-

Frost fairs on the River Thames during the Little Ice Age

River Thames frost fairs were held on the Tideway of the River Thames at London between the 15th and 19th centuries, during the period known as the Little Ice Age, when the river froze over. During that time the British winter was more severe than now, and the river was wider and slower.

During the Great Frost of 1683–84, the worst frost recorded in England, the Thames was completely frozen for two months, with the ice reaching a thickness of 11 inches (28 cm) in London. Solid ice was reported extending for miles off the coasts of the southern North Sea (England, France and the Low Countries), causing severe problems for shipping and preventing the use of many harbours. Near Manchester, the ground was frozen to 27 inches; in Somerset, to more than four feet.

(Source- Wikipedia)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The drudgery of importing Haloscan comments into Disqus

Ok, I have tried everything but this brain surgery equivalent suggested here to import the old Haloscan comments into the new Disqus system. And all I can say is, as the French would put it-
J'en ai marre!
Je m'en fous!

The only way out now is the long way round - to manually paste in the old comments into the new system. Which is what I'm, alas, have to do.

To identify the these comments, there will be a footnote for each comment pointing out the original comment date and a link to this post. E.g.-

Why don't those jholawalas get together and go to some socialist hellhole country, if they love them so much. First to go should be Arundhati roy

Original comment date- 2009-10-29. See -

Let the drudgery begin!

  Whew, done! Anybody notice anything missing, you tell me, OK?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rats attract rats-
Rat population has ‘exploded’ around Occupy D.C. camps
Truest words never were said

International Liberty:

The key thing to understand is that people prefer leisure to work. The reason they get jobs, by and large, is to obtain the income needed to consume and enjoy life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nobody parties like Obama

For Obama, whose main achievements are getting elected and writing books about himself, life is a wonderland.. Unlike for millions now out of work, the presidency for this man is endless golf, holidaying and party. Hey, who wouldn't like to have a never ending ball at taxpayers' expense?

The Obamas have taken it to a new level - secret partying!

Johnny Depp and Obama at the Alice in Wonderland 2009 White House Halloween party.

The big news over the weekend, that the Obama White House had a secret Alice and Wonderland-themed Halloween party, really didn’t surprise me. The taxpayer-funded event featured Johnny Depp in full Mad Hatter costume prancing on tables in the White House State Dining Room. Someone wore the actual Chewbacca Wookie costume, while guests drank punch from blood vials. (An aside: why is Halloween such a big event for some people, requiring excessive decorations and festivities?) The State Dining Room was turned into a Lewis Carroll-themed house of horrors for the invited guests.

Not surprisingly, the White House deliberately concealed the existence of the grotesque party from the public and the press corp. That pesky 16% real unemployment rate required stealth.

So much for the vaunted transparency.
Also note the complicity of the lapdog media in keeping his quiet. Woof, woof - anything else, master?

2012 - the year the world jumps off a cliff?

Here comes the obligatory New Year post - well, OK, like most things in my life a little too late.

There is again that dash of foolish optimism that I feel at the commencement of each year - which, as the weeks shamble along, duly muddies, then blanches and fades. And one goes about the chores with a heart that secretly (secretly to its owner) bides for another year to rally fresh hopes.

Yet this time it is different - and not in a good way. It is not just me that is in shambles  - but seemingly the whole world. There is a pall of uneasiness, a slippery fog in which we might, I fear, lose our way.In a big way. We are, civilizationally speaking, at crossroads of history -history that is the future. Just our luck that instead of clear thinkers that we need the world is run by dense elites. The fog is in their head. They have lead the world to  this crossroad and they will now take the highway to nowhere. They will reliably fail, the world over, as they always have -but this time the consequences will be history making and shaking.

It is not just me. Look at the year's first covers of these magazines:

2012 could be the year when the fools who brought us to the edge of the cliff jump off -and take us with them.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Best of comments

From James Cameron at this page-

With the global-warming jolly about to open in Durban, the CRU whistle-blower released a second tranche of Climategate emails just as tawdry and demeaning as the first. Few outside the ranks of professional physicists consider they are able to adjudicate but most people are capable of recognizing when an investigative procedure is flawed.
It is clear the IPCC assessment process has so many serious material defects as to put into grave doubt the soundness and reliability of any of its heavily promoted claims. We know the IPCC report-writing teams are cherry-picked in an opaque process by a secretive bureau in Geneva with no effort to ensure representation of diverse viewpoints. Conflicts of interest abound in the report-writing process and favoured authors review both their own work and that of their critics, inevitably concluding in their own favour. Environmentalist campaign groups are ludicrously overrepresented among the authors who can overrule academic peer review procedures and subsequently rewrite the texts. It is this disreputable behaviour which has been exposed so damagingly by the e-mails and in files subsequently obtained under recent U.K. freedom of information rulings. They show that an IPCC chapter author recruits a contributing author not on the basis of his knowledge or past work but with cloying cronyism which decides if he is 'one of us'. The Canadian investigative journalist Donna Laframboise has recently released her book 'The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World's Top Climate Expert'. It is a classic exposé showing how the IPCC evolved into an activist organization bearing no resemblance to the picture of scientific probity painted by its promoters and its allies. The claim that the IPCC is made up of thousands of the world's top scientists with the most rigorous and exhaustive review processes in the history of science is totally risible. In fact, far from ensuring 'balance, transparency and accountability' the apathetic plenary panel made up from the 195 member governments is the greatest block to reform. Those countries truly seeking objective, balanced and rigorous information about climate science on which to base momentous policy decisions should simply withdraw. Like so much of the UN, the IPCC is irredeemably corrupt and a new assessment body is needed made up scientists rather than green zealots, political placemen and celebrities.
(bolding mine)

Now why can't all those environmental reporters scrambling feverishly like headless chickens put it as simply and precisely as this instead of copy pasting press releases from green groups? 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bad day for Phil Joneses

First the Phil Jones of the Climategate infamy is found further vitiating the scientific process in the new release of Climategate emails with mails like this-

I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process

Then Phil Jones, the Manchester United center back, scores an own goal in a crunch match with Benefica that United needed to win. The match was drawn
There is still hope about America-
Anti-Obama sales outpace pro-Obama nearly fourfold at popular online clothier

Climategate strikes again!

With some explosive emails of climate "scientists" (the scare quotes seem quite appropriate) like-

I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.

[2007] What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably [...]

Although I agree that GHGs are important in the 19th/20th century (especially since the 1970s), if the weighting of solar forcing was stronger in the models,surely this would diminish the significance of GHGs.
[...] it seems to me that by weighting the solar irradiance more strongly in the models, then much of the 19th to mid 20th century warming can be explained from the sun alone.

Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive [...] there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC [...]

 I gave up on Judith Curry a while ago. I don’t know what she think’s she’s doing, but its not helping the cause

the important thing is to make sure they’re loosing the PR battle. That’s what the site [Real Climate] is about.

A growing body of evidence clearly shows [2008] that hydroclimatic variability during the putative MWP (more appropriately and inclusively called the “Medieval Climate Anomaly” or MCA period) was more regionally extreme (mainly in terms of the frequency and duration of megadroughts) than anything we have seen in the 20th century, except perhaps for the Sahel. So in certain ways the MCA period may have been more climatically extreme than in modern times.

[FOI, temperature data]
Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (US Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.

Basic problem is that all models are wrong – not got enough middle and low level clouds.

I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process 

So much for truth and honesty in science.

Government support of science has corrupted it -like everything it touches. We now have tax-payer funded activists whose only 'science' is to find/stretch/twist/make up evidence for their religious  beliefs(hard to call them scientific theories).

There is much, much more here and here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Renewable Scam

Renewable Energy: Bubble, Scam, or Both

When private industry starts looking to Washington as their primary area to make profits, we’ve made a mess of things.
Read it all.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oxford bends rules for a torturer

What is it with the love affairs among the Western intellectual elites and Third World brutes-

Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani -  the brute Oxford bent over to please

The son of a former Iranian President has been found culpable of torture and has been ordered to pay his victim millions of dollars in compensation while studying for a DPhil at Oxford.

Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani – who was admitted to the University with a “let-off clause” for language skills – had a judgement brought against him by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in August for ordering the torture of a Iranian businessman who refused to surrender control of his oil consultancy to Rafsanjani and pay a demanded $50 million.

In the judgement made against the 42-year-old, seen exclusively by this newspaper, the judge described how Mr Houshang Bouzari suffered “unspeakably outrageous torture at the hands of the defendant or at his instigation”.

Read it all here and find out what Michael Rubin calls

the murky deals Oxford University appears to have made in order to get its hands on just a small portion of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s multi-billion dollar nest egg. The price? Apparently, to admit Rafsanjani’s son, waive his language requirement, and ignore the fact that the son was working elsewhere when he was supposed to be studying.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

And speaking of left wing historians-
India's young Chomsky, Pankaj Mishra reviews Niall Ferguson's new book Civilisation: The West and the Rest and shit hits the fan.

Which was inevitable, given the loads of gobar (cow dung) with which Mishra's upper hollow is stuffed.

So England started WW2?

Russia invades Georgia- and lefties blame the victim!

No, Condoleezza Rice Does Not Blame Georgia for the War
Strangely preoccupied with undercutting the pro-Georgia attitudes prevalent in the American national security establishment’s position on the sometimes-violent Russia-Georgia conflict, leftist writers have sought—unconvincingly—to portray Georgia as the aggressor in the two countries’ August 2008 war.

Read it all.
Turning facts upside down is all in a day's work for left wing scholars and historians. Unfortunately, their joke of a 'history' is force fed to children in text books. Child abuse!

BTW, I missed all those anti-imperialist rallies against Russia. It's as if the lefties didn't care about a small, independent country being attacked by a traditionally imperialist power. Either that or I must have been hibernating in a cave.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Top News

Red Green threat

China and bullying ought to be next to each other in the dictionary:

China Threatens Massive Venting of Super Greenhouse Gases in Attempt to Extort Billions as UNFCCC Meeting Approaches

In the run-up to the international climate negotiations in Durban later this month, China has responded to efforts to ban the trading of widely discredited HFC-23 offsets by threatening to release huge amounts of the potent industrial chemical into the atmosphere unless other nations pay what amounts to a climate ransom.

China's threat comes after the European Union and other nations moved to ban HFC-23 credits from internal carbon markets in recognition of the perverse incentives created by these credits under the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The vast amounts paid for HFC-23 offsets have led factories in China and elsewhere to manufacture far more HCFC-22 and its HFC-23 by-product than necessary, just to maximize the amounts paid to destroy HFC-23 through the UN-backed carbon trading scheme.

Green fail continues.

Do read it all.
Welcome to the 21st century!

Mother models lingerie with her 19-year-old daughter

Down with stupid taboos!

The parallel lives of Laura Pollan and Prof. Mushirul Hasan

Laura Pollan was born in 1948 in the pre-Castro Cuba.

Mushirul Hasan came on this planet a year later in a newly independent India.

Laura Pollan - Cuban freedom fighter
Laura Pollan, a simple housewife, a mother and a teacher, died recently of medical complications possibly caused by a long, wrenching struggle against a brutal regime that had imprisoned her husband for being an independent journalist.

 Prof. Mushirul Hasan - influential academic and Castro admirer
image source 

Prof. Mushirul Hasan, a world famous scholar and academic, is a vocal champion of that regime.

Prof. Mushirul Hasan, son of a  noted historian and professor, is a former Vice-Chancellor of Delhi's famous Jamia Millia Islamia University and has written several scholarly books.

 Laura Pollan was a bit like him -
She was ......... a teacher: someone who loved literature and had taught peasants to read in the early years of the revolution.    

Prof. Mushirul Hasan was

the elected President of the Indian History Congress in 2002. In 2007, He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India and the Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French Government in 2010. In May 2010, he was appointed the director-general of the National Archives of India.(wikipedia)

Prof. Mushirul Hasan lives in the comfortable and spacious environs that are available as perks to the government-academic elites in India even as the hundreds of millions of Indians who pay for their cozy existence squeeze into their hovels and worry about paying bills.

Prof. Mushirul Hasan at home in the JNU campus
image source

Laura Pollan had been less privileged and much less lucky-

Prior to her husband's arrest in March of 2003 she was an apolitical high school literature teacher who loved cats and plants. That all changed when her husband, Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez, was sentenced to an unjust 20 year prison sentence for his activities as an independent journalist. He had been a nuclear engineer until being demoted in 1992 for ideological errors.

Laura Pollan, instead of sucking up to a barbaric regime like Prof. Mushirul Hasan does, decided against all odds to take it on- 

Within days of the March 2003 show trials and the unjust prison sentences the Ladies in White came into existence and Laura Pollan was one of the founders of the movement. Their demands were simple and direct. The freedom of their loved ones. Their methods were nonviolent, strategic, and well thought out.


Short, blonde and stout, she was not cut out to be hauled into a bus by the police. All she wanted was to see Héctor back, and all the others. Her group would meet each Sunday at the church of Santa Rita in Miramar, Havana’s grandest district, say the rosary, hear mass, and then walk ten blocks in silence along Quinta Avenida on the green verges under the palm trees. The women wore white, symbolising pure intentions, and carried gladioli, a single stem each.

Unlike the cozy environment available to tenured leftist professors in India protected in their group-think, things are tough in Cuba for those of independent minds-

Ms. Pollan, whose resources were limited, ran the protest operation from her Havana home. Branded as a “mercenary,” she lived the dangerous life of a dissident. The government tormented her and other wives by moving the men to prisons far from their homes.

Shock mobs of other women were especially bused in to attack them, beat them and pull their hair. Ms Pollán could fight back with the best: when a man called her “Puta!” once, she threw her gladioli in his face. In one battle in September she was crushed against a wall, which may have set off the breathing troubles that killed her.

 Prof. Mushirul Hasan is such a partisan of the regime that brutalized Laura Pollan that during his time as the Vice-Chancellor he decided to name a university café after his beloved dictator in 2007-

Welcome to Castro cafe at Jamia Milia
Vice chancellor of the university Mushirul Hasan said the varsity will be soon naming a cafeteria after Castro. Earlier, he spoke about how Castro had become a symbol of “anti-colonial movement” across the world.
Visiting Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque was the chief guest...

Prof. Mushirul Hasan, like so many of his ilk, is in fact a serial admirer of dodgy characters-

(In Jamia)There is Noam Chomsky Complex, the big Edward Said Hall, the smaller Yasser Arafat Hall, and the smallest KM Ashraf Hall named after the Marxist historian. Not to forget the coolest spot to hang out — the Castro Café with its award-winning white and black design.  

As Jamia’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mushirul Hasan, says, “These names reflect Jamia’s cosmopolitan and secular character reflecting a continuity in its history and a link with future.”

So we have here totalitarian apologists( Noam Chomsky, Edward Said,  KM Ashraf ) and a terrorist (Yasser Arafat). Nice friend list, professor!

Laura Pollan,  unfortunately, could not much enjoy the world built on the ideals of these comfortable Marxist theoreticians-

   ....the (protesting)women were repeatedly assaulted by government-organized “shock brigades,” claiming to represent the ire of the popular masses against “counter-revolutionaries, in the pay if the U.S. empire.”  These thugs also took up intense harassment, occupying the sidewalks outside Pollán’s home on Havana’s Neptuno Street.  During one of the Ladies in White peaceful marches through Havana, video cameras show them being physically attacked before police arrest them, not the attackers, and piling them into a bus to be hauled off to jail.  At one point it became unclear whether the police or the mob did more physical harm to the women.  

Laura Pollan probably never heard of  Mushirul Hasan.

Prof. Mushirul Hasan has most likely heard of Laura Pollan (and if he hasn't, what kind of a historian is he?).

I wonder professor, is there is just an itsy-bitsy chance that you would like to dedicate just a small, lonely chair at the Castro café to this brave freedom fighter?

No need to answer, professor - we all know.