Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Isolating Iran

The US State Department has been blocking a Congressional bill that aims to isolate Iran - like the Brit Foreign Office, State prefers words to deeds. Now words have abjectly failed, it's time for Congress to pass the Iran Freedom Support Act, and I hope the President recommends that tonight.

... the Iran Freedom Support Act, has been languishing for more than a year in the House and about a year in the Senate. It is described as a comprehensive bill designed to end the tyranny of the mullahs and the international security threat they pose by supporting the Iranian people in their quest for freedom. Among its many provisions, the bill would toughen sanctions against the Iranian regime, would provide "financial and political" assistance to civil society organizations, and would help fund the broadcast of free television and radio into Iran - reminiscent of the strategy employed by America in bringing down the Iron Curtain.

The legislation would also make it America's official Iran policy "to support efforts by the people of Iran to exercise self-determination over the form of government in their country," and "to actively support a national referendum in Iran with oversight by the international observers and monitors to certify the integrity and fairness of the referendum."

In addition to providing "financial and political assistance" to pro-democracy groups, the Freedom Act also officially recognizes that Iran is a "repressive" terrorist state, and stipulates: "Representatives of the Government of Iran should be denied access to all United States Government buildings." The Freedom Act would create a new position, to be filled by presidential appointment, responsible for assisting the president by coordinating among federal agencies with oversight of Iran policy. The bill also calls for increased American scrutiny of interactions between Iran, Russia, China, Malaysia, Pakistan, and the nuclear-arms network of a Pakistani physicist, A.Q. Khan.

The House version...now has 333 cosponsors - almost 77% of the House. The Senate companion bill...has 42 bipartisan co-sponsors, or almost half the Senate.

Time for the president to kick State off the pot and get the bill passed.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Isolationist Myth

Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch thinks we should pull out of Iraq and stay home, spending our money on nuclear power plants. That's a false choice, based on bad data.

(Note: the Blogspot editor is broken, so the clips aren't italicized).

UPDATE 1/31, problem is fixed and now italics are back & I've tidied up the post.

The contributors to Jihad Watch, including Fitzgerald, do a good job tracking the Jihadists - I'll add the site to my blogroll when I next upgrade it. But - perhaps out of disillusionment at the Palestinian elections - Fitzgerald now recommends the isolationist plan -
cut and run. Here are his false facts.

Myth 1: The US Army In Iraq Is Broken
We have a citizen-army that is rapidly degrading in size and quality, given that few people are being recruited. We have Humvees, Bradley fighting vehicles, helicopters, planes -- all of them overworked, and degraded prematurely in the desert of the Land of the Two Rivers, Iraq.
Actually war improves armies - as our parents and grandparents found in Vietnam, Korea & WW2, combat weeds out weak people, equipment and tactics.

The claim that few people are being recruited is lefty spin, here are the facts (as opposed to comment) from the Boston Globe:

U.S. Army leaders on Monday said there was no crisis in recruitment despite figures showing a big shortfall in new soldiers in the latest fiscal year, partly caused by concerns over the war in Iraq. In the fiscal year that ended on...(Sept 30, 2005) the Army ended just under 7,000 recruits short of its annual goal of 80,000 recruits.

(The Army Secretary said) "Over the last 10 years the average recruiting number is about 74,200. Our final numbers are about 73,200 to 73,300, so we're about 1,000, or one percent, off our average recruits for the last 10 years..."

Gen. Richard Cody, the Army's No. 2 general, noted that while recruiting new soldiers remained a challenge, the Army was more successful at convincing current soldiers to stay on, with reenlistment topping the Army's annual goal by 8 percent.

"Degradation in the desert sand" is fantasy - the Brits won a 3 year desert war against the Germans in WW2 - over 50 years ago - by successfully "desertizing" men, tanks, guns and airplanes. All machines have a hard time in the desert, but they're now designed for that, and the US has fielded some spectacularly successful new equipment, for example the Stryker with its anti-RPG slatting.

The fighting men aren't being degraded either -
less soldiers are being killed and injured:

In 2004, American troops suffered 8,837 casualties in Iraq (ten percent fatal). In 2005, casualties declined by 23 percent, to 6,785 (12 percent fatal). That didn't make the news because the number of American dead remained about the same.

Myth 2: The US Can Either Fight Or Invest. Not Both

We have a certain amount of money to spend. The money spent in Iraq might instead be spent on an energy program to deprive the Saudis and Ahmadinejad and others of the wherewithal that is critical to the Jihad -- are you quite sure that the $300 billion spent in Iraq would not have been better spent on solar and wind projects, and on nuclear reactors

Actually, the US can fight multiple wars while building those nuclear power plants - Iraq is a small and inexpensive war - here's the data from Jerry Bowyer of NRO, hat tip Mark In Mexico:


Myth 3: Iraq Is Just About WMD

Would we have invaded Iraq)…if we knew three years ago what we know now about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs?

All we actually know is that we haven’t found WMD, and since Saddam had 12 months to hide them and two terror states to hide them in, that’s not surprising.

But what if it was all a ruse and he never had any WMD? Does that justify withdrawal? Surely that depends on the consequences - an army that withdraws in the face of the enemy is technically termed “defeated”, and its opponents “victorious”.

Victory energizes the victor and demoralizes the defeated – that’s why the once-formidable Germans and Japanese are now so well behaved. The US took 20 years to recover from its defeat in Vietnam, can it afford to give the Jihadists 20 years of victory? I don't think so.

Myth 4: Democracy Is Too Difficult For Muslims

That enemy is not "poverty" and it is not the absence of democracy. We have "democracy" in Iran and look who won; we have "democracy" in the Palestinian Authority and look who just won. Real "democracy" in Lebanon would be fatal to the Maronites. Real "democracy" in Syria would bring down the Alawites and replace them with "real" Muslims.

As Churchill observed, democracy is the least bad form of governance. That why the US founders took over 10 years to figure out all checks and balances to minimize factionalism and the tyranny of the majority. And even under the US Constitution, most of the current opposition party is working for defeat in Iraq.

Iranians voted for just 6 candidates after 1,000 were excluded – that’s not democracy. The Palestinians voted in a bunch of terrorists because their constitution doesn’t stop terrorists standing. That was foolish, and may cost them support, but it’s no different to the Northern Irish nationalists electing terrorists. They got what they wanted, and will now have to live with the consequences.

I wouldn’t guess on what will happen in the Lebanon, Syria, and for that matter Iraq. At least Iraq has a well designed constitution, which is why the pols for the 3 different groups are squabbling about who does what. Of course like most parts of the world outside the Anglosphere it’s low trust and corrupt. But so are Greece and Italy, are they so bad?

Myth 5: Passivity Is A Winning Strategy

The venture in Iraq at this point can only be turned to Infidel advantage if, in the spirit of divide-and-conguer, the Americans leave, and let the natural fissures widen – naturally.

If the Americans had used that logic in 1945, I’d be writing this in Russian - if at all. Divide and rule – the policy followed by the Brits until WW1 – requires focused action, like Iraq, not inaction.

Myth 6: We Can Defeat Jihad Wihout Fighting It

Jihad is worldwide, and is central, not tangential, to Islam. This does not require "boots on the ground" here and there and everywhere. Not at all. It requires diminishing Muslim oil revenues. It requires mass education of Infidels, including persistent mockery of the press for not dealing truthfully with the tenets of Islam. Infidels should be moving heaven and earth to split, demoralize, constrain, and tie up the forces of that Jihad. Iraq is the perfect place to do it -- and in that case, without even lifting a finger. In fact, by simply putting that finger down altogether, and leaving.

Building nuke plants is highly desirable and can be done without a cent of government money - just less regulation. It won’t diminish Muslim oil revenues much since China and India will take up the slack, but it will reduce US exposure to blackmail.

Encouraging civil wars is daft – they just lead to piles of dead innocents and a single victor – in this case probably Iran.

Of course our societies must constrain Islam immigrants to respect our values, but that gets harder if we run from battle, not easier. Conversely, if they fear us in their homelands, it's more likely that immigrants from those lands will respect our laws.

So, in spite of the cost, we have no alternative but to fight our enemies.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Countering Iranian Mini-Nukes

There's no doubt that Iran is building nukes, but we don't know what type. A report today suggests (to me) that they may plan bombs that can be detonated by Palestinian suicide bombers inside Israel. Israel should quickly block this option by promising Iran with massive retaliation if any nuke explodes in its vicinity.

The drab compound that houses the Iranian embassy in Pyongyang is the focus of intense scrutiny by diplomats and intelligence services who believe that North Korea is negotiating to sell the Iranians plutonium from its newly enlarged stockpile — a sale that would hand Tehran a rapid route to the atomic bomb.

The Americans were aghast to learn last year that while engaging in disarmament talks, North Korea had made enough plutonium to amass a stockpile of about 43 kilograms, perhaps as much as 53kg
...Plutonium is the element used to fuel the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki in 1945. Between 7kg and 9kg are needed for a weapon.
Actually, this suggests (page 55, hardcover) that a full implosion bomb can be made with under 1 kg (2 pounds) of Plutonium, and is about six inches in diameter. The yield isn't stated, but I'm guessing it's around a kiloton. That's too small to bust a city, but it would make a mess of a nightclub full of kids, or targets like this, hat tip American Future:
On the West Bank, a Palestinian university in Nablus has been putting on an exhibition celebrating the Palestinian suicide bombing of a family pizza restaurant in Israel. The exhibition consisted of a replica of the Sbarro's restaurant complete with Hebrew inscriptions. Inside the exhibit, replicas of human body parts and pizza slices were strewn. Pictures published on the Internet showed Palestinians waiting in line to see the exhibit.
Conventional wisdom is that the Mullahs wont dare hit Israel, and will just use their weapons to control the oil in Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and to scare the Europeans into subservience.

I'm sure they'll do that, but it's worth looking carefully at what they've said about Israel - just because they're nutters don't mean they don't have a plan. Here's Alazeera quoting Iran's president:
"The establishment of the Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world," the president told a conference in Tehran on Wednesday, entitled The World without Zionism. "The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land," he said. "As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map," said Ahmadinejad, referring to Iran's revolutionary leader Ayat Allah Khomeini.
He's not saying that Iran will do the wiping, just that it will happen as part of the Palestinian war on Israel.

So they might provide small nuclear weapons to the Palestinians, and when the weapons detonate squeal as loudly as possible "it wasn't us!". If they arranged to be surrounded by lots of Euro diplomats in Tehran when the hit was made, that might delay Israeli retaliation, giving the Euros time to apply maximum pressure on Israel to give peace a chance, etc.

Israel should block this with a public statement that any nuclear weapon detonating on or near Israeli territory will trigger massive and immediate retaliation against Iran.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Double Post

My apologies to readers who got two not-quite-identical posts. The Blogspot editor is misbehaving - I'll use something else form now on, so won't happen again.

Defend The British Army Against Blair

The Brits are deploying 6,000 troops to clean al Qa'eda out of the Afghan badlands - that's excellent news. Sadly, a senior officer has had to promise the troops that he'll do his best to stop Blair's government prosecuting them as war criminals. The army needs our help.

Paras to have Army's full backing over any Afghan prosecutions

The commanding officer of the paratroopers being sent to Afghanistan said yesterday that Army chiefs would give him their "full support" over any incident in which his soldiers might be prosecuted.

Following a raft of prosecutions of troops in Iraq, Lt Col Stuart Tootal, the CO of 3 Bn, The Parachute Regiment, said it had been made clear that if his men found themselves having to open fire but "made an honest mistake" they would be fully backed.

The regiment has already experienced the Army's prosecution system after seven members were cleared of murdering an Iraqi following a court martial last year in which the judge heavily criticised military investigators.

The Paras are keen that the "rules of engagement" for Afghanistan will be robust enough that soldiers will not have to hesitate before getting involved in potentially lethal fire fights.

Can you imagine the Para commander needing to give such reassurance before this battle?
...during Operation Overlord on D-Day (June 6 1944)...the task of the airborne forces was to secure the flanks of the landing beaches in Normandy Including)...operations designed to take the specific hardened targets notably the guns of the Merville gun battery. Buried under 12ft-thick concrete, the four 105 mm guns, just miles from the beaches of Sword, Juno and Gold, had the capability to engage warships out at sea and sink landing craft heading for the beaches. The task of putting them out of action fell to the 9th Parachute Brigade which they succeeded in doing for 36 hours by killing all but a handful of the gunners.
Lt Col Tootal is doing the best he can to lead a fighting force, but it won't work because the shots on army prosecutions are called by politicians - not just in Iraq but in the war against the IRA (my emphasis):
...hundreds of British soldiers who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles face the prospect of extensive investigations - and possible prosecutions - for their involvement in past operations in which terrorists were killed.

On the evidence so far, the Government intends to give better treatment to terrorists than to its soldiers. The IRA members who murdered 11 people at a Remembrance Sunday service in Enniskillen in 1987, for example, would be effectively pardoned without ever having to attend a court.

No such warm assurances have been extended, however, to the SAS men who took part in the controversial ambush of an eight-strong IRA unit at Loughgall that same year. The IRA men had blasted a hole in the wall of a small police station - and were about to enter the ravaged station to gun down any survivors - when they themselves were ambushed and killed by the SAS.

Although the SAS action was sanctioned at ministerial level, senior Ministry of Defence officials now believe that the soldiers involved could face prosecution under the terms of the Historic Review.
The IRA objected to being pardoned, so Blair has dropped that plan. But - no doubt at the IRA's request - he's forging ahead with his persecution of Brit veterans.

The Army can - and must - endure until the Brits elect a decent government. Meantime, we should support our troops in the same way Americans
support theirs - I'll research this and post suggestions.

Friday, January 27, 2006

China Overtakes UK!

The Chinese economy only just passed that of the UK and has a long way to go before it approaches the US. Their growth is very fragile, and they’re most likely to implode as one or more of their systemic weaknesses bites them.

The
news comes via the New Economist:
China's economy grew 9.9 percent in 2005, probably overtaking the U.K. as the world's fourth largest, powered by record exports and investment in manufacturing. Gross domestic product rose to 18.2 trillion yuan ($2.3 trillion) after expanding 10.1 percent in 2004...

The economy grew 9.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier after expanding a revised 9.8 percent in the previous three months, the NBS said today. Economists forecast growth of 9.5 percent in the quarter and 9.8 percent for the full year, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

...The U.K. economy was worth $2.14 trillion in 2004, according to the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has forecast 1.7 percent growth for the country in 2005. The U.S. economy, which measured $11.7 trillion in 2004, is the world's largest.
China’s problem is that most if its technology is stolen, and the rest is imported. It’s also a very corrupt Fear State and these don't prosper. Plus, it depends on the US buying its exports – if the US buys elsewhere, devalues the $, or forces a big revaluation of the Chinese yuan, they’ll hit the wall. Finally, they’re tooling up for a war with Taiwan, which – even if they win – will leave them severely trashed.

I wouldn’t put money into China.

Carter Shows The Way

Jimmy Carter continues to be an invaluable aid to moral clarity – what he says is right is actually wrong, and vice-versa. So funding Hamas by the back door, as he suggests, is plain wrong and the US should cut all direct and indirect funding of Palestinians (my emphasis).
Former President Carter said the United States, by law, would have to cut off direct funding to the Palestinian Authority as soon as Hamas takes control, but it should look for other ways to give money to the Palestinians, such as through the United Nations. Hamas has been branded a terrorist group by the U.S. and Europe.

"United States law would require that the money would be cut off if Hamas is in the government, so that's a foregone conclusion," Carter told The Associated Press.

Carter said the United States should increase its donations to U.N. and other aid groups earmarked for the Palestinians to make up for the cut in direct aid "so that the people can still continue to have food and shelter and health care and education."
He’s saying that a nation that's elected a government of100% certified terrorists should be funded by the US in a manner that circumvents US law. Because any money we give a terror state simply frees funds for it to spend on killing. And that assumes that earmarking works in a terror state – it doesn’t because the money provided for “food and shelter and health care and education” is simply taken by men with guns. If Carter doesn’t realize this, he’s a fool - and if he does, he’s a knave.

Here’s
the record of the people he wants the US to finance:
Hamas has set the destruction of Israel as its goal. Between September 2000 and April 2004, Hamas perpetrated 425 terrorist attacks against Israel and murdered 377 Israelis - nine every month.
377 dead out 6 million Israelis are equivalent to 18,850 dead Americans, that’s six 9/11s at the rate of about two every year.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

They're Going To Need Those Tunnels

Palestinians’ election of Hamas - an organization committed to the destruction of the State of Israel and all its peoples - clarifies Israel’s relationship with the Palestine nation. It’s a state of war.

Until now, Israel has fought a Palestinian combination of the ballot box and the bomb, modeled on the successful IRA campaign. The Fatah government represented the ballot box (although, typically, it had its
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades). And Hamas did the bombing.

Now Hamas has to combine these two roles:
Official election results came in Thursday, with Hamas picking up 76 seats in the 132-seat parliament and Fatah winning just 43.
So the next Hamas attack on Israel will be an act of war by the government of Palestine, and Israel can respond with the full force of modern weapons against the Palestinian state, in accordance with laws governing sovereign defense.

Not that that will stop Palestinians (and their Euro financiers) whining that Israel must give peace another chance. Here’s a supposedly moderate Palestinian who’s taken lessons on personal responsibility from the Mayor of New Orleans (my ellipsis):
He…believe(s) that Israel and the international community contributed to this backlash vote.

"Israel did not come to terms with the road map - it did not even reach Stage One. And the international community did not help the Palestinians create their own economic infrastructure. This contributed to the public's dissatisfaction with the Fatah.

(He) called on Israel to put a stop to unilateral disengagement and to negotiate directly with the newly-elected Palestinian government. He called on the European parties to help to normalize relations between Hamas and Israel.
So it’s Israel’s fault for building walls to keep these creeps from blowing them up, and the international community should pay Hamas to keep doing it. He doesn’t mention the agonizing withdrawal from Gaza, in which Israel ejected its own citizens from land they’d farmed for decades – that was yesterday!

Hamas might consider having their cabinet meetings in one of their arms-smuggling tunnels - it's going to be a hot 2006.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Swiss Cheese

The evidence-free allegations against the US and UK by a Swiss investigator have failed to impress (my emphasis).
An investigator for Europe's leading human rights watchdog accused America yesterday of "gangster tactics" in its war on terrorism, notably the illegal transfer of terrorist suspects to countries likely to torture them.
He presented colleagues with an interim report dominated by newspaper cuttings and buttressed with evidence from an Italian inquiry into the alleged 2003 kidnapping by the CIA of a radical Egyptian cleric, Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, in Milan.
That "Italian inquiry" is the unsubstantiated allegations of the Italian judge who thinks it takes 22 CIA agents to send one Egyptian home.
He accused Britain of particular complicity on the basis of a leaked secret memo from Sir Michael Wood, the chief legal adviser to the Foreign Office. In the 2003 memo Sir Michael asserted that there was no legal barrier to using foreign intelligence obtained under torture.
What has this to do with kidnapping? If someone gave the Swiss government information, extracted under whatever they consider to be torture, of a plot to blow up their Cuckoo clock industry, would they ignore it? I don't think so.

Not surprisingly, the investigator's presentation bombed:

Several British members of the assembly, which gathers MPs from 46 countries, criticised Mr Marty's report.

Michael Hancock, a Liberal Democrat, said it needed to have "more substance. . . many of the issues are clouded in myth and a desire to kick America."

Denis MacShane, the former Europe minister, said the report had "more holes than a Swiss cheese".

The Council of Europe, which is independent of the European Union, was set up in 1949 as a guardian of human rights in Europe.

The Council of Europe would be better employed investigating why Europe facilitated the atrocities in Bosnia.

Hypocritical, Not Evil

In China, Google hides the crimes of the ruling tyrants by censoring the search results of its customers. In the US, Google refuses to respect the requests of a democratically elected US government. That makes Google hypocritical.

Google has agreed to censor specific topics out of search results in China (my ellipsis):

"In order to operate from China, we have removed some content from the search results available on Google.cn, in response to local law, regulation or policy," (Google) said in a statement issued yesterday. The search terms blocked will include what are known as the "the three t’s and the two c’s": references to Taiwanese or Tibetan independence, the Tiananmen massacre, cult-related searches, which may trigger reference to the banned Falun Gong organisation, and information about Communist party supremacy.
I guess they'll add the "two fs" - Freedom and Faith. Still, Google faced a bleak choice - either fall in line, or leave the market to Yahoo and Microsoft, who have already caved. If the tyrants agree, they'll be honest about their censorship:
In an attempt to be more transparent than its rivals, Google said that it would inform users that certain web pages had been removed from the list of results by order of the government.
Yet when the elected US government makes reasonable and legitimate demands , Google defies them:
...Google is resisting efforts by the US Department of Justice to force it to hand over data about what people are looking for.

Google was asked for information on the types of query submitted over a week, and the websites included in its index...the Department of Justice has said that several of Google's main competitors have already complied.

It wants:

A list of terms entered into the search engine during an unspecified single week, potentially tens of millions of queries.

A million randomly selected web addresses from various Google databases.

The US government is seeking to defend the 1998 Child Online Protection Act, which has been blocked by the Supreme Court because of legal challenges over how it is enforced.
Handing over this information harms nobody except kids searching for porn, and respects a law passed by the democratically Congress (on Clinton's watch!). If Google thinks the requested information breaches any person's privacy (highly unlikely), they can offer an alternative dataset.

Otherwise, Google is obeying the dictats of Chinese tyrants and opposing the laws of the US, and that's hypocrisy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fahrenheit 451

The modern left are the spiritual heirs of these people.

On May 10, 1933, Nazis in Berlin burned works of Jewish authors, and the library of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, and other works considered "un-German".

73 years later, rather than burn books they consider "un-liberal", lefties abuse Amazon's reader feedback system to suppress them. They post comments on books by conservative authors most haven't read to cut their Amazon star ranking. This isn't Amazon's fault - their system adds a lot of value and assumes good faith.

Michelle Malkin has the full story, with examples here and here.

I've ordered both books & when I've read them will share my opinions with Amazon.

Farewell Germany

The circumstances of the release of Susanne Osthoff confirm that Germans are indifferent to our interests, and we should reciprocate.
Susanne Osthoff, 43, was released after a month in captivity on Dec 18. While she took a shower in Germany's embassy in Baghdad, officers from the BND, its intelligence service, found "several thousand dollars" fastened with rubber bands in her clothes, according to one of the investigators. Their serial numbers matched those on notes paid to secure her release.

While the German government has refused to comment on whether it paid a ransom, it is widely speculated that the equivalent of £3 million was handed over to secure her freedom.
Miss Osthoff had picked up several thousand dollars from a bank shortly before being taken. The money - believed to be £9,500 - was intended to pay contractors for a building project in Mosul.

She told investigators she pressed her kidnappers - whom she understood to be part of al-Qa'eda - to return the money, which they did on the last day of her captivity, mixing it with banknotes from the ransom.


They saw it, she is reported to have said, as "compensation" for her 23-day ordeal.
In summary:

1. The German government paid £3 million - $5 million - to the group that murdered 3,000 US citizens on 9/11, and which seeks the destruction of the US.

2. The German government freed the man who tortured and murdered an American,
Robert Stethem.

3. The German government refused a formal US request to either not release the killer, or to extradite him to the US for trial:


US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales requested that the German government not release Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a convicted hijacker accused of killing a US Navy diver, but Germany refused, the Bush administration confirmed Wednesday.

Hamadi is suspected of killing Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem while aboard the flight, but the German government refused to hand over Hamadi and rebuffed US requests that he not be released.
4. The German "kidnap victim" was complicit in the whole dirty business.

We should abandon this self-absorbed nation to its decline, issue a warrant for Osthoff's arrest for sponsoring terror, and track down and kill Hamadi.

A Canadian Lesson For Brit Tories

The new Brit Tory leader has dumped core conservative values, hoping to encourage socialists to vote for him. The lesson from Canada is that such appeasement is unnecessary and will greatly delay the recovery of Brit society from socialism.

Here's a flavor of the new Tory policies:

Dropping tax cuts
They've de-prioritized cutting taxes, abandoning the Thatcher/Reagan/Bush policy of growing the economy by returning taxpayer's money.

Supporting the Kyoto treaty
That will makes Brits depend on gas from Russia as their own supplies run out. It's also lousy science, but that's not new - Tories are traditionally the stupid party.

Aiming for wealth redistribution, not creation
A future Tory government will make wealth redistribution its goal - the plan that worked so well under Communism!

Locking people in the awful national health system
They've dropped plans for a voucher system that would allow poor taxpayers to escape (the better-off already have private insurance).

Locking poor but smart kids in a uniform education system
They now oppose specialist schools for smart kids from poor families (I went to one) - not a good idea since 60 million Brits on a tiny island must survive on their wits.

These New Tories are doing this because many Brits live outside the market economy and will like their new policies. They hope that traditional Tory voters will hold their noses and vote for them anyway. If the plan works, they'll get elected in 2009/10 on a socialist ticket.

Canada offers an alternative. Thirteen years ago the conservatives were reduced to just 2 seats in parliament and the liberals seemed to have won the game forever. But then the liberals did liberal things, crime exploded, and like all despots the liberals became corrupt. So now the conservatives are back - in a coalition, but so were the liberals. And these are real conservatives - pro US, pro-defense, and socially conservative.

This 13-year decay from absolute victory to defeat looks uncannily like the Brit experience. Mrs Thatcher lasted 11 years before being removed in a coup. Her replacement limped along for 7 years before collapsing in a mess of corruption, appeasement and economic failure. If the Tories had not sandbagged Mrs T, they might have lost the next election - 13 year cycle - but would have kept their reputation for competence.

Blair's socialists were elected in 1997 on the back of the same public revulsion against the Tories that ejected Canadian conservatives in 1993. The next Brit election is due on of before 2010 - 13 years, and Blair's ship is sinking. Usual causes - incompetence, failure and petty corruption.

On this analysis, all the Tories need do is wait. By becoming socialist themselves, they risk suffering the fate of Mrs T's successor, gaining power briefly but at the cost of another 13 years in the wilderness. By which time the Brits may not exist as a nation.

Monday, January 23, 2006

True Brit Pedophilia

Courts in the US and UK just ruled on parents' involvement in their kids' abortions. American families survive in good shape while Brits get state pedophilia.

Here’s the
Supreme Court:
…in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of New England, which is the first abortion case they’ve heard in quite a while. The issue was whether a federal court can entirely strike down a parental “involvement” statute for failing to make a health exception. The Court unanimously said “no.”
The decision is not perfect – if a child’s health is at risk, its parents consent is not needed, and the "health" loophole has led the millions of Brit abortions - but at least the parents are kept in the loop for "normal" abortions.

Brit parents aren’t even
allowed to know that their kids have been given abortions:

A mother today lost her High Court battle for a parent’s "right to know" if girls under 16 are being advised on obtaining an abortion. Mr Justice Silber, sitting in London, ruled that (no) parent had no right to know unless the child decided otherwise.

To force a girl to tell her parents "may lead her to make a decision that she later regrets or seek the assistance of an unofficial abortionist", said the judge.
Who benefits from denial of parental care for a pregnant 11-year old?

The father of the aborted baby benefits – he’s protected from the wrath of the parents – so kids become fair game for sexual predators. The Brit anti-family lobby gains - no parent held in such ignorance can care for and nurture their kids, so the “professionals” get control.

The family loses – by authorizing the child to lie, the state breaks the trust that ties it together. The child loses – cut off from her mother’s support, she’s forced into the hands of the “professionals” and maybe the mercies of a sexual predator. And the law loses, since impregnating a child is a crime that the state has chosen to ignore.

Sadly some of these “professionals” are plain
depraved (Spectator, free subscription, irritating cookies):
...a sex education booklet from the Family Planning Association, aimed at nine- to 11-year-olds, includes explicit drawings and advice about masturbation. Similarly, a leaflet from the state-funded Brook Advisory Service told schoolboys as young as 13…the best types of condoms for oral and anal sex.
Perverting children and procuring abortions for them while cutting them off from their parents’ protection is true pedophilia.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Royal Navy Strikes Back

Not to be outdone by the Dragoon Guards, the sailors on HMS Campbeltown, a Type 22 Frigate, produced this during their spare time while on patrol in the Indian Ocean.

Besides demonstrating the universal Brit desire to mime Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, it's very funny.

13 Useful Facts About Iran

1. It's A Fear State That Majors In Victimizing Women

If you have a strong stomach, look through the
Omid database.

2. It's Ranked
Not Free

Only a tad freer than China and Zimbabwe -
here's why (WSJ subscription):
The Supreme Leader wields autocratic power and reigns for life. The Guardian Council selects who can run for office. Before the 2005 elections, this clerical council disqualified more than 1,000 candidates, allowing the public to choose from only eight, all of whom endorsed theocracy and opposed far-reaching reform.
Ordinary Iranians ignore the sham: While the Iranian government claims 50% voter turnout, Iranian pilgrims in Iraq say it was less than 20%. Contrast that with Iraq, where 70% of the population braves bombs and bullets to vote.
3. It's Ranked The World's Second Least-Free Economy

Because:
Iran's economy is marked by a bloated, inefficient state sector, over reliance on the oil sector, and statist policies that create major distortions throughout. Most economic activity is controlled by the state. Private sector activity is typically small-scale - workshops, farming, and services.
4. It's Industrially Weak
The import-dependent industrial sector is further plagued by low labour productivity, lack of foreign exchange, and shortages of raw materials and spare parts.
5. It's More Corrupt Than Mexico

6. It's The Fourth Largest
Oil Producer, With Plenty Left For Export
Oil - consumption: 1.425 million bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports: 2.5 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
7. It Imports From The Weasels, Plus Italy and South Korea
Germany 12.8%, France 8.3%, Italy 7.7%, China 7.2%, UAE 7.2%, South Korea 6.1%, Russia 5.4% (2004)

8. It Exports (Oil)

Mostly To Asia
Japan 18.4%, China 9.7%, Italy 6%, South Africa 5.8%, South Korea 5.4%, Taiwan 4.6%, Turkey 4.4%, Netherlands 4% (2004)
9. Most Iranians Are Very Poor

- 40% of the population live below the poverty line.
- GDP per capita is about the same as Turkey's.
- A Brit woman kidnapped by the Mullahs saw
this in Iran:
Some time ago, I lived...in Peru. I have also worked in the Eastern bloc countries, so I am used to seeing extreme poverty and the mindless ugliness of socialist economies. Here, though, just 30 minutes from the wealth of the United Arab Emirates, was a brutal poverty and ugliness which - in a country that produces three-and-a-half million barrels of oil a day - was obscene.
10. Most Iranians Have Lost Faith In The Mullahs (WSJ, subscription):
Iran's youth want no more to live under theocracy than do Americans or Europeans. Iran Institute for Democracy telephone polls sampling opinion in every Tehran neighborhood suggest that 80% of the population have lost faith in the Islamic Republic.
11. Most Iranians Don't Hate Israel (WSJ subscription):
While the Iran-Iraq War killed hundreds of thousands, Iran and Israel have never exchanged a single shot. Many Iranians express pride that Israeli president Moshe Katsav was born in Iran. Indeed, the real ire of ordinary Iranians is expressed toward their government, not the outside world. In a 2002 labor protest, workers demanding back pay marched through Tehran, chanting, "Forget about Palestine and think about us."
12. Its Military Is Weak

One third as powerful as Israel's:
(measured by) a combination of the quantity and quality of manpower, equipment and weapons...multiplied by...an efficiency rating.
Its navy is poorly equipped:
The Iranian navy has been suffering from years of neglect. Its major units are mostly old, and replacing them will be expensive. Neglect of a navy can take a while to show signs, but once the signs have shown, making things good will be expensive – a lesson the mullahs are learning the hard way.
Its airforce is ramshackle but viable (they have some old F-14s):

Iran’s Air Force is held together by ingenuity a lot of scrounging, and they have also been upgrading their force with modern Russian aircraft. Iranian ingenuity has allowed them to keep their air force as a viable force.

13. But Individual Iranians Are Smart

For example, in the US in the 1950s an Iranian metallurgist made one of the key contributions to the design of the wildly successful TRIGA ultra-safe reactor.



Saturday, January 21, 2006

Good And Evil

Brit volunteers failed to rescue the young whale lost in the the river Thames, but their efforts showed a national predilection to help the weak. They illustrate an unbridgeable gulf between the civilization of the West and the barbarism of the Iranian Mullahs.

Brits form associations that do helpful things, and it turns out that there is a group of divers dedicated to
rescuing marine creatures:
Chairman of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue Group Alan Knight said: "We had a phone call from the vet saying that it had started convulsing and while he was on the phone it died.
The BDMLR is quite something:

BDMLR was formed in 1988, when a few like minded divers got together in response to the mass mortality of Harbour seals in the Wash area of East Anglia, to do what they could for the rescue effort.

From these early beginnings, they gained further knowledge of marine wildlife and acquired valuable training in rescue techniques. BDMLR now provide a committed 24 hour marine animal rescue service.

BDMLR now train over 400 volunteer Marine Mammal Medics a year and have 20 whale rescue pontoons located at strategic points throughout the UK, waiting to help stranded whales and dolphins.

Many others helped out, providing a large recovery vessel and medical expertise:

A rescue team of medics and vets had earlier successfully lifted the River Thames whale on to a barge. Blubber and blood samples were taken to assess the animal's health. An inflatable pontoon system was used to support the 15ft Northern bottlenose whale before a crane lifted it out of the water close to Battersea Bridge in central London. The cost of the whole operation was expected to be between £50,000 and £100,000.

The Brits value kindness to animals and abominate cruelty to them - a mark of their civilization.

Contrast this with the monsters that run Iran, noted yesterday in Francis
Fukuyama's report of the Omid website that documents people killed by the Mullahs (WSJ, subscription):
Browsing through the database is a remarkable experience. The victims come from all religions, nationalities and walks of life. There is the young girl who, by swimming in a bathing suit in her pool at home, was found guilty of "causing a state of arousal" in a neighbor and was lashed to death.
.
The moral gap between the civilized west and the Mullahs seems unbridgeable.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Freedom And The Internet

The Internet and competition are making those of us the Free World freer, but Fear States are becoming less free, and the images we see are still controlled by liberals.

First the good news.
Peggy Noonan observes that one by-product of decline of the old US news networks has been they lie less:

...the very diminution of the importance of network news leaves some old news hands to drop their guard and announce what they are: liberal Democrats. Nothing wrong with that, but they might have told us when they were in power. The very existence of conservative media--of Rush Limbaugh, of Fox, of the Internet sites--has become an excuse by previously "I call 'em as I see 'em/I try to be impartial" journalists to advance their biases.

Actually, it's more Fox than anything. The existence of a respected cable network that is nonliberal and non-Democratic (or that is conservative, or Republican, or neoconservative--people on the right have polite disagreements about this) is more and more freeing news outlets, encouraging them actually, as a potential business model, to be more and more what they are. Is this good? Well, it's clearer.

And here's what happened when a German court tried to shut down Wikipedia:
The German-language version of the Web-based encyclopedia Wikipedia remained off-line Friday, following a court order barring the German chapter of the Wikipedia Foundation as part of a lawsuit filed by the family of a dead hacker. But by going to http://www.wikipedia.org , and clicking on the German language link, users can still access German content.
Also any English speaker can find out the identity of the hacker on the English site.

Now the bad news. Google and Yahoo help China run their Fear State:

All the US companies have been criticised for censoring news sites, search engines and weblogs that China's communist government considers subversive or obscene. For example, a web user in China who tried to search Google or Yahoo for subjects such as democracy and human rights would find nothing in his search results.

There was outrage in September when it emerged that Yahoo had supplied details to the Chinese authorities of the personal e-mail account of Shi Tao, a 37-year-old journalist. He was found guilty of "spreading state secrets" and jailed for 10 years, for forwarding to a foreign website a Chinese government circular banning the media from reporting the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

And Victor Davis Hanson reports some unpleasant truths about our own news sources - it's worth reading the whole thing - here's one shocking data point (my emphasis):
Israeli soldiers are actually forewarned of clashes when film crews suddenly materialize. (Coalition forces have experienced the same phenomenon in Iraq.)
How do these reporters or photographers, on a quest for dramatic stories and footage, know where the “spontaneous” violence is to “erupt”? One or another foot soldier in their “small army of Palestinian fixers” is tipped off by the attackers. The
Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Press (which together supply 80% of news images to the world media) require the assistance of natives who speak the local language, know who’s who, and can get things done. These hired locals, in turn, make decisions about where to drive and what to translate (or leave un-translated).
80%! Later posts will examine how we can bust the Fear States' censorship of the Internet, and break the Agency monopoly.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Chirac Gets It Right

Chirac's statement that he will retaliate against nuke attacks by terror states is to be commended. He's teaching the Mullahs an important lesson - if you nuke France (even through proxies), we will nuke you, then you die. This policy of deterrence worked with the USSR, and it may work with the Mullahs. Bush, Blair and the new Israeli PM should follow Chirac's lead.

Speaking at a nuclear submarine base in eastern France, Mr Chirac said: "The leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, as well as those who would consider using, in one way or another, weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would lay themselves open to a firm and adapted response on our part."

He added: "This response could be a conventional one. It could also be of a different kind." Mr Chirac said there was no change in France's overall policy which rules out the use of nuclear weapons in a military conflict.

However, he said his country's nuclear forces had been adapted to deal with the threat of terrorism. In particular, the number of nuclear warheads on French nuclear submarines had been reduced to allow targeted strikes.

"Against a regional power, our choice would not be between inaction or annihilation," Mr Chirac said. "The flexibility and reactivity of our strategic forces would enable us to exercise our response directly against its centres of power and its capacity to act."

For "a regional power", read "Iran".

Deterrence is strictly personal - the rulers of fear states need to be convinced that if they launch a first strike, they will be killed in a second strike. I'm guessing that in the political battle in which Iran, Russia and China are trying to stop sanctions against the Mullahs' nuke program, the Iranians told the French that if they pushed for sanctions then, in the future, Muslim "terrorists" might nuke France. This is plausible because France can ignore the oil embargo the Mullahs have been threatening everyone else with - France is not very dependant on oil.

France has a respectable
second strike capability (my ellipsis):
France currently has two nuclear weapons systems: submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) carried by nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and medium-range air-to-surface missiles carried by Mirage 2000N and Super Étendard aircraft.
The SSBNs can deliver 288 100 kiloton warheads out to 4,000 kilometers, and the bombers can deliver 60 300 kiloton warheads using stand-off missiles with ranges of 300 kilometers. That's sufficient to wipe Iran off the map.

Chirac's clear statement of deterrence is the first realistic action taken by any state to dissuade the Iranians from building nukes, and the US, UK and Israel should follow his lead.

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Supreme Court Justice Souter, the Republican appointee who undermined Americans' property rights illustrates Lord Acton's famous observation. He also considers that aged quadruple murderers should be spared the death penalty. We must hope that Roberts and Alito reamin uncorrupted by abolute power.
On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay of execution to Clarence Ray Allen, who, as ProDeathPenalty.org notes, murdered 17-year-old Mary Sue Kitts, 27-year-old Byron Schletewitz, 17-year-old Josephine Rocha and 18-year-old Douglas White...

Justice Stephen Breyer dissented from the court's order denying the stay (arguing):

"Petitioner is 76 years old, blind, suffers from diabetes, is confined to a wheelchair, and has been on death row for 23 years. I believe that in the circumstances he raises a significant question as to whether his execution would constitute "cruel and unusual punishment."

Still, only 3 of the 7 Republican appointed members of SCOTUS have turned liberal after their lifetime appointment, so there's hope that Roberts and Alito will stay uncorrupted.

Losers

Bin Laden (or a clone) just confirmed that those calling for the coalition to withdraw from Iraq are aiding and comforting him. He's not happy though - he also asked for a truce. That makes him and his Western supporters losers.

Here's the assessment of a US advocate of withdrawal:
The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion.The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, Saddamists and foreign jihadists.
Sure, and in WW2 our troops were the common enemy of the Nazis and Japanese - odd that. Also, the "primary target" of the terrorists are Iraqi men, women, kids, and babies - about 10 times more than coalition deaths, 22 in Baghdad today. Unsurprisingly, bin Laden agrees with the appeaser:
"Your president is misinterpreting public opinion polls which show that the vast majority of you support the withdrawal of your forces," the tape said.

"He disagreed with this desire and said the withdrawal of troops will give the wrong message to the enemy and that it is better to fight them on their ground than on our ground.

"Reality shows that the war against the US and its allies is not just restricted to Iraq as he claims, but Iraq has become a gravitational point and a recruiting ground [for al-Qa'eda]."
But in spite of all the support from his friends, and his claimed victories, bin Laden wants a truce!
.. the voice on the tape, which resembled that of Osama bin Laden, said al-Qa'eda was willing to offer America "a long-term truce with fair conditions that we adhere to".

Only losers offer truces.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Violence, Brit Style

Snippets from the local MSM showing the silly and dark sides of the Brits (my ellipsis).

Extreme Vengeance

A hamster that achieved celebrity when she was found with her head poking out of an envelope in a post box was mailed as a bizarre act of revenge, a court heard yesterday. (The accused said) he posted (the hamster) to (an adversary) "to cause confusion - I suppose to make him look after it".

Extreme Drunkenness
A British diplomat returning from the tsunami in Thailand verbally and physically abused passengers on the flight home after going on a drinking binge, a court was told yesterday. He made disparaging remarks about the Thai king and the Buddha and said North Koreans were untrustworthy, it was said.
Extreme Justice

The leader of the British National Party predicted that Islamic terrorists would set off bombs in major British cities causing blood on the streets more than a year before the July 7 attacks, a court heard today. (He) denies two counts of using words or behaviour intending to stir up racial hatred and two of using words or behaviour likely to stir up racial hatred.
Extreme Concern For Taxpayer's Money

(A) millionaire lotto winner has been granted legal aid to fight a court case. The ex-binman, who won £9.7m in the lotto, is accused of affray. A spokeswoman for the Department for Constitutional Affairs said if legal aid was applied for it was granted automatically so there was no delay in the legal process. "It is more or less a matter of course in a criminal case like this. This case is no different," she said. "When he was arrested how was the court to know he's a millionaire or not?
Real Extremism

A farm that has been breeding guinea pigs for medical research and has been targeted by animal rights activists is to officially close. It was hoped the decision would prompt those who took the remains of the mother-in-law of (the) part-owner of the farm from a churchyard (to) return them. Her remains were taken in October 2004. She had been buried there seven years earlier.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This Just In!

Here's a possibly vain attempt to emulate James Taranto's Best of the Web.

Tony, Socialist Rationing Does Not Work!
The law is to be changed to allow up to three prostitutes to work legally in brothels as part of the Government's new vice strategy.

They Meant "Hamper", Right?
Two Cambridge University students have admitted sending a live hamster through the post. (They) admitted abandoning a hamster in circumstances likely to cause the animal unnecessary suffering. The hamster survived the ordeal.

And Your Point Is?
The British National Party leader...faces a series of race hate charges arising out of speeches (in 2004) featured in an undercover BBC documentary on the party. (The prosecutor told the Jury):

"Some of his analysis of a situation is, you may think, perfectly legitimate political comment. He deals with serious issues. He accurately predicts events that happened in London in July 2005." But (he) urged the jury to look at how and why (the party leader) had said what he said.

Oh, THOSE Golden Globes
Felicity Huffman was widely praised for her performance as a pre-operative male transsexual on a road trip with a bisexual prostitute who doesn't know he's her son.

Syntax Error! Does Nor Compile!
EU powers plan action on Iran.

Depends On The Meaning Of The Word "Eligible"
Clinton Eligible, Once Again, To Practice Law

Game Over For The New York Times

The blogosphere just forced the New York Times to retract a fabrication. It's been injecting untruths into the minds of its readers for a long time, including one about John F Kennedy. It's good to know its lyin' days are done.

Remember last week's Predator attack on the
Al Queda house party?

At least four foreign terrorists died in the purported U.S. airstrike aimed at Al Qaeda's No. 2 leader in a Pakistani border village, the provincial government said Tuesday.

Pakistani intelligence officials have said Ayman al-Zawahiri, Usama bin Laden's top lieutenant, had been invited to a dinner in the targeted village of Damadola to mark an Islamic holiday but did not show up and sent some aides instead.
Civilians in the host village were unfortunately killed, but hopefully in future other villages will steer clear of hosting Al Queda meetings.

The NYT naturally played this story as a botched slaughter of the innocent, and to tug its readers heartstrings published this photo and title from AFP (the integrity-filled Agence France Press).

Pakistani men with the remains of a missile fired at a house in the Bajur tribal zone near the Afghan border.

The American Thinker picked up the deception, hat tip LGF and PowerLine, The villagers are displaying a live and unfired 6" artillery shell - goodness knows how these innocent tribesmen got hold of it! Predators fire the AGM-65 Maverick, which leaves only tiny pieces of metal when its shaped charge warhead explodes. The nosecone is a transparent dome over TV seeker, so if for some reason it impacted without exploding, it would be a mess of metal and plastic.

Anyone in the NYT editorial chain with an ounce of knowledge would have known this.

Here's another NYT lie. Readers may have a dim recollection that when John F Kennedy made his famous 1963 speech in Berlin, his statement "Ich bin ein Berliner" caused the crowd to laugh, since it meant "I am a jelly-filled doughnut".

This story originates in an April 1988 NYT piece, and The Pedant's Revolt, an excellent book that debunks commonly held "truths" shows it to be a lie (page 87, UK edition) .

According to linguistics professor Jurgen Eichoff, "Ich bin ein Berliner" is the only correct way of expressing in German..."I stand with the people of Berlin". Outside the city of Berlin, a Berliner is indeed a variety of doughnut, but within Berlin the pastry is termed a Pfannkuchen. In (Eichoff's) view, there is not the slightest chance that anyone in the audience could have interpreted "Berliner" as denoting a jelly-filled doughnut.

JFK was a staunch anti-communist, and the NYT sides with America's enemies, at that time communism. By portraying the guy as an idiot, they sought to undermine him without directly attacking a Democrat, a party they nominally support.

But now their game is over.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Taking Down The Mullahs (1)

The Brits are reported to have developed a non-nuclear powered EMP weapon. If so, the Mullahs Russian-supplied Tor missile system will be easy to suppress.

EMP weapons generate high energy electromagnetic pulses that fry electronics - destroying most of the gadgets that support modern life. Protection requires expensive and heavy Faraday cages.

Until now, the only way of generating an EMP has been with an airburst nuclear weapon, although the possibility of a chemical EMP device has been discussed - there's an interesting article in the September 2001 issue of Popular Mechanics that suggested that terrorists might build one.

Muslim terrorists come from societies with no technology infrastructure, and can at best imitate old western technology - like copying 60 year old nukes. The technology-rich Brits have done rather better:

Britain, which has taken the lead in developing EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse) devices, is testing a new EMP warhead with the United States. This weapon is intended for use in cruise missiles or UAVs, for attacks on enemy command and control centers. Some of these operations are in bunkers that are well protected from bombs. But an EMP device could at least damage some of the electronics used in those locations. An EMP warhead would also be useful when the target is surrounded by civilians, an increasingly common tactic with some governments, who know that Western governments are more reluctant to kill non-military personnel.

...several countries have been researching ways to generate an EMP without a nuclear weapon. Britain has had the most success, and has successfully tested their device several times in the laboratory. But the new tests will be more realistic. Most details of the British device, and the tests, is kept secret (lest potential targets see ways to better protect themselves.)
If the tests work, we have an easy way of compromising the Russian Tor missile system the Mullahs are deploying, with minimal loss of life. The Tor missile has command guidance and proximity fusing circuitry that will be nicely fried by an EMP, and hardening it will severely degrade its range and warhead size.

Nice to see the Brits keeping their lead in weapons innovation.

The Precautionary Principle Erodes Our Liberties

Blair's nanny state is evolving into totalitarianism, and the culprit is the Precautionary Principle meme.

A meme is a
mental virus:

...one can roughly define 'meme' as any piece of information transferable from one mind to another. Examples might include thoughts, ideas, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances and moods.
Memes can be good or bad - an example of a bad meme was the belief during the 1980s that groups of adults were committing "satanic abuse" of kids, which led to terrible injustices.

The
Precautionary Principle (PP) is a bad meme:

The precautionary principle, a phrase first used in English circa 1988, is the idea that if the consequences of an action are unknown, but are judged to have some potential for major or irreversible negative consequences, then it is better to avoid that action. The principle can alternately be applied in an active sense, through the concept of "preventative anticipation", or a willingness to take action in advance of scientific proof of evidence of the need for the proposed action on the grounds that further delay will prove ultimately most costly to society and nature, and, in the longer term, selfish and unfair to future generations.
Examples of the PP range from the the Kyoto treaty to the the mass administration of the drug Ritalin to control the (normal) behavior of small boys.

The problem with the PP is that it doesn't balance costs and benefits. So unlike Bayesian decision making, the mere existence of a risk justifies any cost. Here are three current Brit examples:

First, the Brit MSM is howling for the blood of alleged pedophiles, and the Blair government is bending (my emphasis):
Ministers are to be stripped of their power to decide whether people charged with sex offences should be cleared to teach in schools.
Note "charged with", rather than "convicted"! Google does not reveal any actual instances of pedophile acts by schoolteachers in the UK, although there have been cases of romantic entanglement between teachers and older kids - regrettable but not pedophilia. But now people suspected by the cops of pedophilia will deprived of their livelihood, without trial.

The next application of the PP addresses the risks that criminals might be wrongly acquitted:

Tony Blair is planning a revolution in the legal system that would mean up to a million petty criminals a year being dealt with by prosecutors and the police without ever going to court.

Defendants who plead guilty to offences such as shoplifting, theft and criminal damage would have their punishment decided by the prosecutor, in consultation with the police, instead of going to court.

The plan would represent a revolution in the criminal justice system which has always been based on the principle that sentencing should be weighed in court, with the defence entering a plea in mitigation in response to the prosecution's case.
Every accused person is innocent until proven guilty - regardless of any confession, which may have been coerced, and justice should fit the circumstances of the crime. So alleged pretty criminals join alleged pedophiles in being excluded from the legal process the Brits gave to the civilized world.

A
final example will amuse US readers bored with the lefty whines about NSA tapping Al Queda's phone calls:

Blair may drop 40-year bar on tapping MPs' telephones
The Prime Minister is understood to favour an end to the ban but faces opposition from colleagues...An announcement on the issue, which comes under an expansion of MI5 powers since the London bombings, is expected within weeks.
Blair gave IRA terrorists seats in Parliament, but rather than fix that problem, he's adopted the PP and all MPs phones will be tappable. Just in case.