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Archive for the ‘If only they would listen’ Category

Cambodia, and destroying the world

I found this on Instapundit today. It’s so sad, I almost wept reading it.

When Khmer Rouge forces seized Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975, the couple was living with eight of their children in a rural town called Kampong Chhnang. Three days later, the guerrillas arrived and residents — including Younly — cheered, relieved the war was finally over, his 86-year-old widow Som Seng Eath recalled.

But within hours, everything changed. Every soul was ordered to leave on foot.

The Khmer Rouge were emptying Cambodia’s cities, marching millions of people into the countryside to work as manual laborers. Their aim was to create an agrarian communist utopia, but they were turning the Southeast Asian nation into a slave state.

Younly “didn’t believe what was happening. He kept saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon, don’t pack much,’” his widow said. She ignored his advice, and took as much as she could — including five of her husband’s school notebooks, and several blue ink pens.

As gunshots rang, they joined the departing hordes, cradling their young children and whatever they could carry. As they walked into the night, people wept.

Sadly, we forget so quickly just how evil humanity can be.

Go read, and remind yourself of the dangers we face when people decide that they can reshape society to their ideal, by whatever means they deem necessary.

Related, is this via Patterico. You can click through and read the letter to which this is a reply, but I think the reply pretty much speaks for itself, and the state of politics today.

Dear Son of A Right-Winger,

Go back and read the opening sentences of your letter. Read them again. Then read the rest of your letter. Then read it again. Try to find a single instance where you referred to your dad as a human being, a person, or a man. There isn’t one. You’ve reduced your father — the person who created you — to a set of beliefs and political views and how it relates to you. And you don’t consider your dad a person of his own standing — he’s just “your dad.” You’ve also reduced yourself to a set of opposing views, and reduced your relationship with him to a fight between the two. The humanity has been reduced to nothingness and all that’s left in its place is an argument that can never really be won. And even if one side did win, it probably wouldn’t satisfy the deeper desire to be in a state of inflamed passionate conflict.

The world isn’t being destroyed by democrats or republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist — the world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world. The world is being hurt and damaged by one group of people believing they’re truly better people than the others who think differently. The world officially ends when we let our beliefs conquer love. We must not let this happen.

Worth pondering, I think.

Undermining Your Protest

Is it just me or did the footage of the motorcycle protests seem edited?

No, so far as I know this guy wasn’t there.

I mean, it can’t possibly be that thousands of motorcycle riders turned up to a protest about ACC wearing black. That would be stupid, given the current publicity campaigns trying to persuade riders to wear high-visibility clothing….

A horrifying story

Semper Vita highlights this story.

Mr Jones, a retired bricklayer with two daughters, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in May 2005. After undergoing chemotherapy, he had his stomach removed by surgeons at Royal Liverpool Hospital that September.

He was told he was in remission from cancer, but the grandfather of two continued to suffer pain following the operation as well as difficulties in eating, and on January 3, 2006, he went to the city’s Marie Curie hospice for respite care.

While there, however, his family were told the cancer had returned by Dr Alison Coackley, a palliative medicine consultant who played a key role in drawing up the Liverpool Care Pathway.

Despite the fact that no tests were carried out to confirm the diagnosis, his family say doctors instructed nurses to stop giving him food and fluids.

The only medication he was permitted were painkillers, and he slipped into semi- consciousness without the chest infection being diagnosed and died on January 14.

But a post-mortem examination found he was free of cancer and had in fact died of pneumonia.

Reports commissioned by Mrs Jones’s solicitor concluded that with antibiotics and a rehydrating drip he could have made a full recovery and survived for at least another two years.

So instead of finding out what was wrong and treating it, they assumed it was terminal cancer and starved him to death.

The hospice and the doctors who treated Mr Jones continue to deny liability, but his widow has now accepted an £18,000 out-of-court settlement after being told she would otherwise lose her legal aid.

Yesterday she said: ‘If they’d only treated his chest infection, my husband could well still be alive today.

‘We fought in the hospice to get Jack the right treatment and they blocked us, making us feel we were a nuisance.

‘I was worried it was pneumonia, I wanted them to check his chest, but they wouldn’t.’

So it wasn’t like no one had thought of other possibilities.

If Only John Key Would Listen to Me!

I have a category on my blog called “If only they would listen”. I haven’t used it much lately, but then I saw this:

Keisha Castle-Hughes has hit back at Prime Minister John Key’s comments telling her to “stick to acting” over her stance on climate change.

The Whale Rider actor told Close Up last night that she would be willing to meet Mr Key to discuss the issue.

“I’d love to sit down and maybe he’d know that – if we sat down and talked – that I know a lot more about it than I think he thinks I do.”

“Oh, if I could just sit down the the PM, I’m sure I can convince him”. Really?

Outside of the fact that Castle-Hughes seems to think her fame gives her the right to skip past the public process and speak straight to the prime minister, she also seems to think that she’s every well informed compared to him.

She said the only message she wanted to send to Mr Key was that it was the perfect time to commit to the [40 per cent] emission target.

I’m sure she has her reasons. However, I doubt she has considered what John Key has to – the cost of meeting that 40% target. By all accounts, that will destroy our economy.

So as I said, let us say we get rid of every car and bus in New Zealand. We all walk to work, video-conference, cycle or take the solar powered train. That takes out 20%. Only a third of the way there.

Then we decide to join Great Barrier Island and survive off solar power. We close down all the power plants and turn off the electricity supplies. It’s candles for warmth in winter. That gets a another 9%. 29%.

To get to 60% we also really need to wipe out those agricultural methane emissions by shooting every evil cow we can find. That gets us to 50%. Yes I know it will mean no more dairy exports. In fact we may even need to import our milk and butter, but hey we will have met our target.

There is an upside though. Our incomes will all drop by thousands of dollars as we wipe out the agricultural sector. And it is tough having less money to spend. But as cars would have been outlawed, and there will be no electricity bills, as we have no electricity, then that should allow you to survive the drop in income a bit easier.

That’s a massive cost.

Even if the science is settled, the science of what might happen is not, and the political decisions are quite a different matter again.

Let’s say we did do this – we destroyed our economy. If China and India don’t follow, any gains we make are utterly pointless and we would still have to pay for all the costs associated with temperature and sea level rise.

Better to commit to modest, affordable gains, saving money to deal with the inevitable consequences. In fact, so much money is being spent lobbying politicians that we might as well stop spending that money and put it in the bank. If we did that, I recon we’d have plenty to mitigate any effects caused by the climate changing.

Keisha, I agree with John Key. Stick to acting, and if you want to make a submission join the queue with the rest of us. There are, believe it or not, people who have more interesting things to say than merely repeating whatever Greenpeace told them.

Whale Oil – Ahead of the Science?

Heh, it seems that Mr Slater’s “Silly First Name Syndrome” may just have some sort of scientific backing.

Boys growing up with popular names such as Michael, Joshua and Christopher have a good chance of leading law-abiding lives – but those named Kareem, Walter or Ivan could find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

That’s according to a United States study that claims the more unpopular, uncommon or feminine a boy’s first name, the greater the chance he will end up behind bars.

Shippensburg University professor David Kalist’s report in Social Science Quarterly shows that “unpopular names are likely not the cause of crime”, but he explains that factors often associated with those names can “increase the tendency toward juvenile delinquency”.

Boys with uncommon names are often ridiculed by peers, come from families of low socioeconomic status and face discrimination in the workforce, according to the study.

We’re not going to hear the end of this one for a while.

Prosecution has a strong case

DPF quotes the Herald outlining the prosecution case against Bain.

  • Stephen Bain’s blood was found on David Bain’s clothing.
  • A lense from Bain’s glasses was found in Stephen’s room while the frames and another lense were found in Bain’s room.
  • The trigger lock and the key to the .22 calibre rifle were also found in David Bain’s room.
  • Bain had also tried to wash blood out of some of his clothing, including a green jersey, in the laundry.
  • “Woollen green fibres were taken from under Stephen’s finger nails which match the fibres from the green jersey,”
  • A partial palm print of David Bain was found on the washing machine.
  • Bain was also seen to have scratches on his chest above his nipples.
  • A policeman also noticed a bruise on Bain’s temple, about the size of a 50 cent piece.
  • No finger-prints belonging to Robin Bain were found on the .22 calibre rifle.
  • There was about 20 minutes of “lost time” between the time that the Crown believes he finished his paper round – 6.45am – and the 1,1,1 call made by Bain – 7.10am – from the family home.
  • Alleged Bain had also displayed some “unusual behavior” in the days leading up to the murders.
  • Alleged Bain told a friend that he had had a premonition and that he “sometimes knew what was going to happen”. He also “told her he had a feeling something horrible was going to happen”.

In the privy council case that dismissed the original finding, the Privy Council described the original finding as “a substantial miscarriage of justice”.

Bain’s supporters have adopted that statement as a mantra, quoting it as though it were sacred scripture.

However, from the serious analysis I have heard, it was not that there was no or insufficient evidence, but rather that the case had moved from the original evidence. The original case is no longer valid, but a new case can still be made.

It’s been amusing to see Bain’s supporters ignoring that fact. By doing so they’ve set themselves up for massive disappointments again and again. They seemed to have thought that all they need to do is give their version and all objections will fall at the wayside.Their shock at loosing appeals that they brainwashed themselves into thinking to be a “sure thing” has raised several chuckles over the years from this citizen.

I have my doubts as to weather he will be convicted this time. I have further doubts whether it even matters – he’s only 3 years left to serve. But those doubts are balanced by the fact that he is charged with an extremely serious crime – the murder of his entire family.

However, it has to be acknowledged that there are two sides to this story. And both sides will be fully presented in court over the following months.

As they should.

Section 59 – They still don’t get it

Anita at Kiwipolitico is musing about Section 59.

The reality was very different, sometime after the 9th of June 2005 the political wheels fell off; section 59 was replaced, but the cost was huge.

I could (and will 🙂 write a lot about the social forces, but today this is about the political forces. How and why did the politics become so ugly? I have a handful of theories, I’m sure there are other possibilities:

  1. It was a Green bill – that made it easier to paint as extremist.
  2. Labour dithered – which made it appear that this was an area of potential weakness
  3. National  has been building links to conservative Christian churches – for example Brash spoke to a large conservative congregation (with no media present) in July 2005 about “values” and “morals” and pledged National would fight the bill.
  4. The “Nanny State” meme – it was an incredibly well developed attack theme against the Labour led government, and had been successful against similar governments overseas, and this issue fit perfectly.
  5. Cynicism – I already noted that a National MP had tried to limit s59 (Bob Simcock way back in 2001) and National voted unanimously for the bill’s third reading. But it proved such a good stick to beat Labour with, perhaps for a while their principles were traded against a chance at the cabinet benches.
  6. Poor communications strategies by both the Greens and Labour – something went badly wrong here, there was no comms, then too much inconsistency, and little co-ordination between the Greens and Labour.

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry – it seems that the left honestly have absolutely no clue even now as to why they lost so much with Section 59.

The points crossed out are particularly wrong:

  • Labour did not dither – in fact, quite the opposite. Helen Clark reversed a great many policies (“Closing the Gaps” anyone?) that proved unpopular, yet was seen by many to be driving this policy – with a consistent 80% public opposition –  as hard as she could.
  • Brash may have built links with churches, but Key did not. In fact, he drove away a lot of truly conservative support. Conservatives would oppose this bill no matter who was for or against.
  • I love the “poor communications strategies” line. It’s brilliant, and I’ve even got a whole category here for these things. What about the left is it that makes them think that if they just communicate their policy “correctly” everyone will agree with it?

The fact, is that this law was bad.

  1. It affects all of society, not just parents but also those who come into contact with their children throughout their lives. This was not just some issue that affected a limited group like farmers or business owners or students.
  2. It’s serious. Everyone understands the danger in not disciplining children.  So not only is everyone involved, by they all have an opinion.
  3. Most people have also been disciplined as children. So not only are the involved, and have an opinion, it’s an informed opinion – they know that smacks do not harm, if they did, we’d all be discussing our smacking ACC claims at the water cooler.
  4. We were constantly told that this law was about abuse, about beating. That was really the final straw, telling informed, opinionated, experienced people that they were either violent abusers or that their parents were.

Climate Change is Happening Rodney

There’s a new campaign out there, which has a certain category written all over it.

The facebook group has 175 members so far. If even half of them actually write a letter, then it will be enough to seriously register on the government’s radar.

Something tells me that John’s not going to pay much attention to letters from people who hate his guts in the first place. And, last I checked, 175 was a very small proportion of hose who voted for the Labour/Green side of the political spectrum.

Loved this paragraph though.

In particular, I am concerned about the draft terms of reference for the select committee, which include a review of the science and a wide-ranging inquiry into every aspect of climate change policy. In my view, this is a mistake. The science is clear: climate change is happening. Rather than questioning that, we should be worrying about how to minimise its impacts on New Zealand and the world.

Here’s where the weasel words kick in: the climate is always changing.

That’s not the question. The real questions are:

1. is it serious (and the science suggesting that sea level will rise by a few cm over 100 years suggests not)

2. is it caused by humans? (maybe it is, that’s possible)

3. if it is, can the international community do anything about it? (um, not really)

4. if we in New Zealand can do anything about it, will we be able to implement those things in time (no!)

5. and finally, will trying to implement “fixes” destroy our way of life. Meaning, will we actually be better off in the balance?

And the answer to that last question is again, a most emphatic no.

I understand that your agreement with ACT commits you to a select committee inquiry. But you don’t have to be a Rodney about it! A review of the science by untrained politicians is simply laughable – not to mention embarrassing. So, I’m asking you to exclude that review from the committee’s terms of reference.

Actually, here I agree. The committee should not review the science.

The scientists have settled the matter. Now, the fact is they’ve settled the matter by shouting down the dissenters, but regardless, they have settled it. They may have settled the matter incorrectly, but now the debate moves to the next question.

That is, what should we do? That is a political question.

I suggest that all the money being spent on the matter be terminated immediately, and half put in a fund to be accessed the day we begin to feel effects of this scientific phenomena, that cannot be explained by variations or bad reporting.

Like, a 1m rise in sea level.

And for Pete’s sake, get some engineers over to Holland already!

Why it’s not a good idea to overhype someones percieved downsides

Patterico makes a point that I like to make every so often – that pretending your opponents are ignorant backwater hicks (or dishonest, or corrupt, or…) when they’re not isn’t a good long term strategy.

Guess what, Glute-boy? You’re right. The speech will indeed cause her image to soar — even though anyone can read a speech, and it doesn’t really mean anything.

And it’s the fault of dimbulbs like you. Half-wits who have artificially depressed expectations, by taking a bright and capable woman and making it seem like she’s nothing more than an unqualified former beauty queen hick. Tonight, when the country sees otherwise, they’ll be shocked. Shocked to learn that tools like you had misled them so badly.

So, yeah. What would have been an impressive rollout will now be a blockbuster. You just realized that today, and so now you’re trying to raise the same expectations you’ve been dampening for days.

We, the newly excited members of the Republican Party, thank you for your utter idiocy.

Please Eat Vegan after Illegal Border Crossings – PETA

Via Patterico, another for my “if only they would listen” file.

PETA wants to put billboards on the Southern border fence warning illegal immigrants not to come to the US because of the dangers of our high calorie, high-fat lifestyle. If immigrants decide to cross anyway, PETA wants them to know they should “Go Vegan”:

“While many view the contentious border fence as a government fiasco, an animal rights group sees a rare opportunity.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans today to announce an unusual marketing pitch to the U.S. government: Rent us space on the fence for billboards warning illegal border crossers there is more to fear than the Border Patrol.

The billboards, in English and Spanish, would offer the caution: “If the Border Patrol Doesn’t Get You, the Chicken and Burgers Will — Go Vegan.”
PETA says its billboards would picture “fit and trim” Mexicans in their own country, where their diet is more in line with the group’s mission. Another image on the sign would portray obese American children and adults “gorging on meaty, fat- and cholesterol-packed American food.”


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