Saturday, June 23, 2007

Free the sex workers-Let them sell sex in peace

My article for Desicritics, Free the sex workers-Let them sell sex in peace, is now up at their site. I have put forward a case for legalization of prostitution.I also take a dig at the ma-behen crowd, people who try to suppress freedom in name of saving their ma-behens(mothers and sisters). You may read it here or just click Read More below for an excerpt-

Free the sex workers. Let them sell sex in peace.

Free them from the daily harassment, from punitive police raids- the same police that extorts it's hafta(cut) to let them work at all. It is like having to feed a ferocious dog so that it would let you in peace but the dog occasionally bites you anyway.
Free them from the clutches of the criminal mafia and the brutal 'madams' and the pimps, who treat them like slaves.

Free them from the indignity and the agony of having to work furtively, with secret signs and meeting places in dangerous neighborhoods, as if they were reprehensible crooks.

Free them from the feeling that they are social outlaws, the very scum of the earth.
But all this cannot be done unless prostitution is legalized.

Quelle Horreur!
“What a horrible thought! Legalize prostitution! You must be mad- no, you must be barking mad!” you might say. And yours would be an absolutely normal reaction. That's what many, perhaps most people would say.

And yet..
Imagine that an intelligent alien from some far away planet- let's call him XwoTu- has arrived here and is observing our world with the curiosity of an anthropologist. He is free from the prejudices of our culture, our customs and traditions, from the burdens of morality, religion and history.

He would wonder-
“Person A wants to have sex. Person B can fulfill A's desires in exchange for a sum of money. Person A and Person B have sex, A pays B. Both are satisfied. Both got what each wanted. It's a transaction, a deal like millions that take place every minute of the day, just like buying(or selling)a soap or a car.”
How is it different ,” the amused alien would wonder,” from any other commercial transaction?”

“It's not moral!” you might shout, “ It's against morality!” - but that would only increase XwoTu's puzzlement.
“What's morality?” he would ask.

Read the whole thing at Desicritics.

'May you live in interesting times' -We do!

'May you live in interesting times' is said to be a Chinese curse.
We do, in fact, live in interesting times. Consider the crazy things going all around-

Ivy League professor, Scott Armstrong, challenges Al Gore to a 10,000$ bet that he(Al Gore) is wrong about global warming-

Armstrong has challenged the former vice president to a 10-year bet, in which $10,000 from the two would be set aside in escrow as Gore pits his forecast of how much global temperature will increase during that time against a so-called "naive model," in which temperature would be expected to stay the same.

Al Gore had earlier failed pick up a TV debate challenge gauntlet thrown by Lord Monckton.

U.N. Secretary General blames Darfur killings on climate change-

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the slaughter in Darfur was triggered by global climate change and that more such conflicts may be on the horizon.


update- Ed Driscoll points out U.N.'s fleet of gas guzzlers even as Ban Ki Moon is concerned about climate change. Is the UN Secretary General going to fight global warming by the Amitabh Bachchan method? It sure seems so.

Pakistani politicians want to knight Osama Bin Laden-

"Muslims should confer the ‘sir’ title and all other awards on bin Laden and Mullah Omar in reply to Britain’s shameful decision to knight Rushdie,” Sami ul Haq, leader of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, said in a statement.

(via-Tim Blair)

China becomes world's larger emitter of CO2 and media blames Bush-

........not one of the television news outlets bothered reporting the Chinese CO2 data at all. It appears that television news divisions only feel CO2 is a problem if it’s emitted by American corporations or citizens.


BBC is not sure who carried out the 9/11 attacks or why-

No-one can say exactly why the attacks were carried out.
The US thinks a group called al-Qaeda is behind the attacks. Al-Qaeda leaders have in the past declared a holy war - called a Jihad - against the US.

(via- Biased BBC)

update- Even more lunacy-

Now Global Cooling could be on it's way!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

BBC says BBC is biased!

Breaking news- BBC is biased.

Says who- the evil neocons?
No, the BBC itself!
More on this here, here, and here (pdf).

Monday, June 18, 2007

Amitabh Bachchan fights global warming

The Master Jedi from Bollywood takes on climate change.

There is only one reaction to this-
(I am not a vulgar person-that F stands for "friggin'")

You might have seen Amitabh Bachchan's ads on TV , pledging to do something about global warming. Also the IIFA(International Indian Film Academy) has tied up with something called Global Cool to do something about-well,global warming.
Okay, now this bunch of multi-millionaires had their annual award show last Saturday where a large swathe of Bollywood elite turned up.
And where did the awards take place- in Mumbai? Dellhi? Goa?
In Yorkshire, England.

So this is how they fight global warming- by flying tons of celebrities to UK along with all the entertainers and the press, spewing out tons and tons of CO2 with their jetliners.
If this is how one fights global warming, then I want to join in.

Update- The Bollywood's war on Global Warming continues (pdf)-

Indian cinema’s superstars will reach out to fans across 6 continents & 18 countries
Yorkshire, June 8th, 2007: Keeping in tune with its philosophy of celebrating Indian
cinema and integrating it with a global platform, Wizcraft International Entertainment,
the organizers of IIFA Weekend,
today announced the grandest,
blockbuster world tour - ‘The
Unforgettable Tour - Experience
the magic…’ with Amitabh
Bachchan, Aishwarya Bachchan,
Abhishek Bachchan, Lara Dutta,
Bipasha Basu & Ritesh Deshmukh.

Update 2- Here is Amitabh's best friend tackling global warming in his own way-
Amar Singh bought a huge Bentley luxury car worth 1.5 crores(15 million rupees) (or is it 1.7 crores?) in London and brought it to India.

Abhishek Bachchan in the Bentley

From the looks of it , it could be a Bentley Continental GT (mileage- city/highway-10/17 miles per gallon or approx. 4.2/7.1 km per litre, or an average of 5.5 km per litre) or a Bentley Continental Spur(mileage- same as above).

Bentley Continental GT

I am sure Amitabh will persuade Amar to give up his Bentley and buy a Reva electric instead, just after he comes back from his world tour of 6 continents & 18 countries. He he he , just kidding!

Reva electric

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Call the police! This student has a mind of his/her own!

Is she a racist?

Educationists who set the agenda often claim that their one main purpose is to teach 'students to think for themselves.' This, of course, is balderdash. A pupil who voices opinions outside of the accepted version of 'truths' can face severe consequences, their teachers and principals suddenly behaving in a most vengeful fashion. And the 'truths' in most cases are just some fashionable leftist fetishes.
So we learn that in a Canadian school, a student was suspended and police called in.Why? Just because he came to the opinion that "cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco."

"He said he had done independent research on marijuana use out of personal curiosity and decided to share the information with his friends at school."
"The three-day suspension will prevent King from writing his final exams before he goes to China on a correspondence course. He's to leave Thursday.
The honour student said he will still pass Grade 10 because his marks are in the 80s and 90s. By missing his final exams he will lose 30 per cent of his marks.
"I know my children don't smoke, drink or take drugs," said King's mother, Jo Ann Buler. "As a parent I feel I need to support Kieran but I can see both sides of the issue."
Buler is a teacher and works in the school division which oversees Wawota Parkland School. She said she holds no ill will for the school and believes Kieran and the school have a point of view.
"He doesn't feel he's promoting drug use by talking about it. I don't think he deserves a permanent black mark on his school record," said Buler.
Neither Wilson(
the principal-ed.) nor the school division returned calls made by the Leader-Post."

This reminds me of the case (and there are several of similar nature)of the schoolgirl who was branded a 'racist' and arrested just because she refused "to sit with a group of Asian students because some of them did not speak English."

"She(the class teacher -ed.) said I had to sit there with five Asian pupils," said Codie yesterday.
"Only one could speak English, so she had to tell that one what to do so she could explain in their language. Then she sat me with them and said 'Discuss'."
According to Codie, the five - four boys and a girl - then began talking in a language she didn't understand, thought to be Urdu, so she went to speak to the teacher.
"I said 'I'm not being funny, but can I change groups because I can't understand them?' But she started shouting and screaming, saying 'It's racist, you're going to get done by the police'."
Codie said she went outside to calm down where another teacher found her and, after speaking to her class teacher, put her in isolation for the rest of the day.
Last night Robert Whelan, deputy director of the Civitas think-tank, said: "It's obviously common sense that pupils who don't speak English cause problems for other pupils and for teachers."
"I'm sure this sort of thing happens all the time, but it's a sad reflection on the school if they can't deal with it without involving the police."
"A lot of these arrests don't result in prosecutions - they aim to frighten us into self-censorship until we watch everything we say."

(emphasis mine)

Let me emphasize- the person who seemed most eager to send the hapless girl packing to jail was - her class teacher.
We are paying long for the takeover of the academic and educational institutions by the leftists.

(h/t- Instapundit and the Brussels Journal)

Update- Her full name is Codie Stott

Just another day in the life of the compassionate state

Aren't we told that Capitalism is dog-eat-dog, kill the poor to get rich, fat cats getting fatter and everyone else exploited and getting a bad deal for life? That is why, we are told, we need Socialism, a welfare state that would toil for the welfare of the poor, the common people, a state that would be compassionate, kind and just, not!

But as we all know, there isn't much compassion in the compassionate state. And if you don't know this(if by some quirky misfortune, you are blind, deaf and have no powers of cognition then it is possible that you don't know), just try getting some legitimate business done in a government office, any government office. I am sure you would be overwhelmed by their compassion.

Here's your welfare state at work-
Seven inmates of Tihar jail die of overcrowding, torture, heat and no water.

According to HT-

"A ward for 40-50 prisoners in Jail No. 3 reportedly has only five to six fans. Many inmates are weakened by police torture and others suffer from a variety of ailments. Medical attention is scarce and when available often rudimentary. This is not surprising considering that there are some 90 doctors for the 13,750 inmates in Tihar — a downward spiral from the 100:7,000 doctor-prisoner ratio in 1995."

(emphasis mine)
It's okay, they were just prisoners, scum of the earth, really.
Don't fret.It's just another day in the life of the compassionate state.

Friday, June 15, 2007

However mightily the wind howls, the moutain does not move

Think up of a world leader who goes against the world opinion on the issue of climate change, who scorns the doomsday scenarios and does not have much time for activists calling for radical changes.
It's George Bush, right?
Bush often stands stubbornly on what he thinks is right- think Iraq. Yet too often he is a politician too. He takes stands that appear to be popular or that would invite less abuse from the screaming classes- think immigration. And so it appears that he is giving in, bit by bit, to the global warming lobby.
So Bush is not it.
Besides he would never say things like these-

"The so called climate change and especially man-made climate change has become one of the most dangerous arguments aimed at distorting human efforts and public policies in the whole world."


"I agree with Professor Richard Lindzen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who said: "future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century's developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age".

"The issue of global warming is more about social than natural sciences and more about man and his freedom than about tenths of a degree Celsius changes in average global temperature."

No world leader would be caught dead saying this.
So who is this mountain that stands while the collective(and collectivist) army of environmentalists, activist media and scientists cow every one before them?

It's Vaclav Klaus, the Czech President.
Just some excerpts from the remarkable(in these crazy times common sense truth does appear to be remarkable) speech and an op-ed-

"The environmentalists consider their ideas and arguments to be an undisputable truth and use sophisticated methods of media manipulation and PR campaigns to exert pressure on policymakers to achieve their goals. Their argumentation is based on the spreading of fear and panic by declaring the future of the world to be under serious threat. In such an atmosphere they continue pushing policymakers to adopt illiberal measures, impose arbitrary limits, regulations, prohibitions, and restrictions on everyday human activities and make people subject to omnipotent bureaucratic decision-making. To use the words of Friedrich Hayek, they try to stop free, spontaneous human action and replace it by their own, very doubtful human design."

"By concentrating on the human contribution to the climate change the environmentalists ask for immediate political action based on limiting economic growth, consumption, or human behavior they consider hazardous. They do not believe in the future economic expansion of the society, they ignore the technological progress the future generations will enjoy, and they ignore the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society is, the higher is the quality of the environment. "

"As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning."

Go read them both.It's a strong gale of fresh air. The op-ed is a
ppropriately titled-What is at risk is not the climate but freedom.

I delight in imagining that if our own Manu(Manmohan) was given a similar speech to read out, he would faint of shock!

Millions died, nobody cried

Imagine the reaction if the U.S. government withheld medical supplies or prevented drug companies from providing/selling vital medicines to a disease ridden poor country- the shrieks of protest would be endless,with all the 'rights' groups and the other usual suspects out on the streets screaming imperialism and bloody murder!
Yet, it has already happened- vital disease fighting supplies were and still are being denied to poor countries and over the years millions have died. Let me repeat- millions.
Yet there is an eerie silence from the usually hysterical NGO's and the media.The talking heads aren't interested in talking about this.
Reason- because the people and the organizations responsible are the holy-cows of our times- Greenpeace, WWF and other environmentalists, the UN organizations and countless pundits who shouted for a ban on the DDT.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Sam Zaramba, director general of health services of Uganda, says-

"The United States and Europe eradicated malaria by 1960, largely with the use of DDT. At the time, Uganda tested the pesticide in the Kanungu district and reduced malaria by 98%. Despite this success, we lacked the resources to sustain the program. Rather than partner with us to improve our public health infrastructure, however, foreign donors blanched. They used Africa's lack of infrastructure to justify not investing in it.
The U.S. banned DDT in 1972, spurred on by environmentalist Rachel Carson's 1962 book "Silent Spring." Many countries in Europe and around the world followed suit. But after decades of exhaustive scientific review, DDT has been shown to not only be safe for humans and the environment, but also the single most effective anti-malarial agent ever invented. Nothing else at any price does everything it can do. That is why the World Health Organization (WHO) has once again recommended using DDT wherever possible against malaria, alongside insecticidal nets and effective drugs.
Although Uganda's National Environmental Management Authority has approved DDT for malaria control, Western environmentalists continue to undermine our efforts and discourage G-8 governments from supporting us. The EU has acknowledged our right to use DDT, but some consumer and agricultural groups repeat myths and lies about the chemical. They should instead help us use it strictly to control malaria."

Newsbusters asks-

"Who ARE these people who are allowing thousands to die? America's and the world's journalists should be devoting substantial resources to finding out who these people are, naming names, and exposing their treachery to the public. These enviro-religious zealots are stuck in the 1960s and 1970s. Lives are lost for every day they cause delay.

What else could possibly be more important than exposing these people?"

So once again, where are the howls of protest?
In our media,the holy cows are truly holy.

(h/t- Instapundit)

Just some idle statistics-
Malaria sickens 300 to 500 million poor people annually, killing as many 2.7 million.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A carbon tax everybody will love?

I am against taxes in general and totally opposed to any tax in the name of reducing CO2- we breathe it out all the time! However there are people who are quite enthusiastic about carbon taxes, even apparently reasonable people(sorry to go after this bunch again!).
However if a carbon tax it has to be then why not tie it to levels of actual warming, i.e. more the warming, more the tax and vice-versa. This is an excellent idea proposed by Ross McKitrick-

he IPCC predicts a warming rate in the tropical troposphere of about double that at the surface, implying about 0.2C to 1.2C per decade in the tropical troposphere under greenhouse-forcing scenarios. That implies the tax will climb by $4 to $24 per tonne per decade, a much more aggressive schedule of emission fee increases than most current proposals. At the upper end of warming forecasts, the tax could reach $200 per tonne of CO2 by 2100, forcing major carbon-emission reductions and a global shift to non-carbon energy sources.

Global-warming activists would like this. But so would skeptics, because they believe the models are exaggerating the warming forecasts. After all, the averaged UAH/ RSS tropical troposphere series went up only about 0.08C over the past decade, and has been going down since 2002. Some solar scientists even expect pronounced cooling to begin in a decade. If they are right, the T3 tax will fall below zero within two decades, turning into a subsidy for carbon emissions.

At this point the global-warming alarmists would leap up to slam the proposal. But not so fast, Mr. Gore: The tax would only become a carbon subsidy if all the climate models are wrong, if greenhouse gases are not warming the atmosphere, and if the sun actually controls the climate. Alarmists sneeringly denounce such claims as "denialism," so they can hardly reject the policy on the belief that they are true."

Tim Worstall summarizes-

"Once you get past the technical matters his proposal is really quite simple. Impose a carbon tax, one that's revenue neutral, but tie it to the actual amount of warming observed: the higher temperatures rise, the higher the tax. If temperatures don't rise then nor does the tax.

This should of course please everybody. Those who believe that temperatures will rise get the higher taxes they desire: those who don't can simply wait to say I told you so.

Of course, the true delight of this proposal is that it not only won't please everyone, it will enrage just about everyone. I for one look forward to the great spectator sport of watching those who want the higher taxation explaining why this form of accountable higher taxation won't work."

Somehow I think that this is not going to find favor with the usual suspects.

Free marketeers forget the 'Free' part

Over at the Indian Economy Blog, supposedly a collection of free market minded pundits, a novel solution is proposed to end the daily chickchick with the autorickshaw drivers-

"Are there any other simple solutions to this problem? One option could be peak hour rates - at times of the day when traffic moves slower than average (average is quite slow nowadays), auto-rickshaws should be allowed a premium. A premium in order to compensate for the greater strain on the resource that is driver’s time. It would be something like if you get into an auto between 8 and 11 am or 5 and 8 pm you have to pay a 20% premium on the meter fare. Implementation of this could be through fare charts like those they have in Mumbai.
Remember that fair deals are far easier to implement than unfair ones - which take an extraordinary degree of policing. It is hence an expectation that cheating on the part of auto drivers will reduce in case of fair setting of prices. Of course, there will still be nothing to stop the driver from cheating, but in case of a fair deal I believe that policing should become easier which will further reduce possibility of cheating."

Of course, the truly free market solution does not occur to the gentleman- let anyone provide public transport and set fares, have no restrictions on the number of entrants or on the fares. Let the markets decide-it works in everything else. Or does public transport work under different laws of economics and human nature?

The colorful Indian language translator-
Chickchick -(intense annoyance caused by being tormented by) persistent disputation with someone or over something.

P.S.- it seems that their commenting system is not working properly.I was unable to pass their Spam-protection filter.It asks a simple maths question like- 4+8=? I was unable to pass it repeatedly, the message being -You have not passed the spambot maths challenge-! Either that or perhaps in a postmodern world even 2+2 has become relative.

Update- They have removed the math challenge. Believe me, it was a challenge trying to get 7+8=? right for twenty minutes! Nice of them.