Thursday, 31 January 2008

Daily Kos contributor KibbutzAmiad is a complete clown

LGF has a link to a very funny piece by KibbutzAmiad Rightwing World: A trip through the Looking Glass in which he tells of his experience of reading right wing blogs over a period of a year.

It really does demonstrate the infantile intellectual level of today's left, as represented at Daily Kos. There's actually a very good reason why everyone on the left believe what he writes as true and everyone on the right has a good belly-laugh at what a complete clown he is.

What is the reason? The left is going to get a complete shock but here it is:

The right understands the left. The left does NOT understand the right.

In a post I did a year ago, The differences between Left and Right, I wrote:
The fundamental difference between Left and Right is that the Left thinks with its heart and the Right thinks with its head. To those on the Left, compassion and good intentions are what matter most. On the Right the most important consideration is 'does it do good?' This is why the Left thinks the Right is bad and the Right thinks the Left is wrong (as distinct from bad).

There's a quote that is attributed to Churchill (apparently wrongly but nobody quite knows who said it first) that goes along the lines, "If you're young and not on the left then you have no heart. If you're middle-aged and not on the right then you have no brain."
It's also worth pointing out that most men don't 'grow up' until they're 30 while some men never grow up at all. Women have things pretty well worked out by the time they're 25 though I would say that the current Gen Y young people are probably going to test that point given the rampant narcissism from this new entitlement generation.

I then continued:
...(Churchill's) pithy aphorism explains the bad/wrong view that Left and Right have of each other. The vast majority of the Right (more than 90%) when they were young had leftist ideals, from wanting to be good to the environment to helping the poor. However, there comes a time when young people begin to 'grow up' attitudinally, they begin to see the world as it really is and the gravitation to the Right is a natural result. This is how come the Right knows that the Left is wrong; it's been there. Meanwhile, those on the Left continue to believe that all cultures are equal, that because their cause is morally good any negative results don't matter and that equality of outcome is more important than equality of opportunity. This is why the Left thinks that the Right is bad; i.e. you don't agree with my high moral values then you must be bad.
One can tell that KibbutzAmiad is yet to make it to 30 given the poor use of language in his piece and the fact that he clearly hasn't, as the saying goes, been "mugged by reality".

KibbutzAmiad starts off:
A year ago, I embarked on a dark and frightening journey. I began monitoring the Free Republic and Little Green Footballs, two of the more well - know right wing blogs. I felt like Frodo, unsure of what Ring Wraiths or other dangers I might encounter. Would I emerge as the political equivolent of a Stepford Wife? Would my ‘97 Buick suddenly sport a "Freedom isn’t Free" bumper sticker? Would I inexplicably develop an affinity for jingoistic country songs? Maybe this was a bad idea. I’m a bleak sort anyway, and who knows how long my Klonopin prescription would shield me.
He started on 'a dark and frightening journey' and wondered what dangers he might encounter? When I read left wing blogs, which I do all the time, I am not frightened by what I might read!
My goal: get some insight into the Bizarro World of political blogging, go through the Looking Glass and venture forth into EvilLand. I regularly read and post on progressive blogs, and had heard tell of another land, far away and frightening.... As a Jewish/pagan socialist homeschooler living in the JesusLand of the north (DuPage County, Illinois) I felt pretty well armed. I’d been swimming in the swamps of Christian reconstructionism via the homeschool community, after all - what better armor could I ask for? I figured I was prepared.
He lives in the Bizarro World that thinks global warming is a planetary emergency, Islamic terrorism is caused by US foreign policy and, in any case, should be treated as a police matter and all cultures are equal while at the same time wanting to tax business into non-existence in an effort to create equality. Of course, people like him won't stop until we really are all equal - and all have nothing. Socialism killed over 100 million people in the 20th century and that's without counting any of the wars that occurred. It takes a fair capacity for cognitive dissonance to dismiss this fact and still promote socialist ideals.
So let’s start with the obvious: many of the stories posted and comments on these blogs are racist beyond belief. Nearly every crime story posted there featured a criminal who’s name evoked comments about their ethnic origin, invariably African American or Hispanic (and all Hispanics are illegal aliens, or so the belief is in Freeper World). Theirs is a world in which almost all African Americans are welfare exploiting criminals raised in single parent homes, and Hispanics are mostly "illegal aliens" also sucking up undeserved government dollars and having multiple "anchor babies" while undermining American wages.
The articles about crimes are not racist. They are about crimes committed by people who use victimhood as an excuse. I defy KibbutzAmiad to find one racist post by Charles Johnson on LGF. Not only that but Charles has been very vocal in his condemnation of organisations such as the British National Party and Belgium's Vlaams Belang because of their promotion of racist policies. I defy him to find an article on LGF supporting a position that "all African Americans are welfare exploiting criminals raised in single parent homes, and Hispanics are mostly "illegal aliens" also sucking up undeserved government dollars and having multiple "anchor babies" while undermining American wages." The last point about anchor babies is quite a legitimate talking point. It's hardly racist.

KibbutzAmiad is either deluded or a liar. Or both.
Freepers and Lizards use the exact same language about Muslims that the Nazis did about Jews. In Wingnut World, Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison is a traitor and an Islamist terrorist, and Barack "Hussein" Obama, as they call him, is often referred to as "Hussein" or "Osama". Little Green Footballs wins the dubious award for religious bigotry here, with the posters screeching endlessly about "Mooslimes" and other crass descriptions of Muslims, endless sarcastic references to the "Religion of Peace" and characterizations of Muhammad as a child molester. They engage in frequent flights of fantasy whereby they, the "Lizards", as they refer to themselves, engage in killing Muslims, and desecrating the Koran or mosques.
Lizards refer to Jews as nothing better than vermin - rats- as the Nazis did? Check out Der Ewige Juden to find out what the Nazis really thought or read Mein Kampf. It's a long, long way from how the right, anywhere, refers to Muslims. It doesn't surprise me that Kibbutz doesn't understand the reality of his German National Socialist predecessors. Talking about race is not racism just as talking about women is not sexism and talking about gays is not homophobia. These are simply left wing labels used to stifle debate so that that substance of the argument does not need to be addressed. Islam refers to itself as "the religion of peace", which is rightly pilloried by anyone with half a brain regardless of political disposition given Islam is responsible for more than 97% of all terrorist attacks that take place in the world. Why is talking about this FACT racist? For Kibbie's edification, Mohammed married Aisha at age nine. Nine, Kibbie, nine...Islam defends this fact, which is anathema to any right-thinking person's values.

His post continues on with more of the same misguided drivel and then he finishes with a fantastic piece of what is referred to as psychological projection:
If I had to sum up my view of wingnuts based on the blogs, I would use one word: Fear. They are afraid of everything and everyone who don’t exactly mirror themselves, or how they imagine themselves to be. And even then, even in the secure walled garden that is the right wing blog, they are unsure...newbies are highly suspect, and any newbie that doesn’t immediately fall into line tends to be quickly banned.
Read the whole thing for yourself. I thank KibbutzAmiad for his terrifying journey through right-wing-death-beast-land and for giving me the opportunity to highlight the intellectual immaturity of today's left.

The most amusing thing about his post is that he probably sees it as the highlight of his contributions. The fact it's completely inverted will remain hidden from him for years to come - unless he gets mugged by reality.

(Nothing Follows)

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

More CO2 is good for the environment

A new paper out by Arthur B Robinson, Noah E Robinson and Willie Soon points out that far from being a bad thing, the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere has had a net positive effect on the environment.

I encourage you to read the whole thing but what I'm going to do in this post is simply reprint the abstract and then only include the graphs, which are interesting in themselves.

ABSTRACT A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth’s weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly in creased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future in creases in hydrocarbon use and minor green house gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Bill Gates really doesn't understand capitalism?

In a recent speech Microsoft main man Bill Gates called on business to embrace a new idea - "creative capitalism".

Exactly what he means by that is hard to tell but it boils down to the same thing as other crackpot, socialist ideas - take from the rich and give to the poor.
Microsoft CEO Bill Gates gave a glimpse of his future as a philanthropist in a speech in Switzerland last week, calling for a new kind of "creative capitalism" from businesses to help improve the lives of the world's poorest people.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Gates challenged companies worldwide to work with governments and nonprofits to find ways to be charitable and solve the problems of the poorest people without sacrificing their own business needs.

"We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve the wealthier people serve poorer people as well," he said, speaking via a webcast from Switzerland.

The idea of creative capitalism combines the "two great focuses of human nature -- self-interest and caring for others," Gates said. By keeping in mind business acumen, corporations can find new and innovative ways to solve major problems for 1 billion of the world's poorest people, who don't get enough food or don't have drinking water or reliable access to medication, which the rest of us take for granted, he said.

"This system driven by self-interest is responsible for incredible innovations that improve lives," Gates said. "But to harness this power to benefit everyone, we need to refine the system."

Gates plans to retire from full-time duties at Microsoft in July and devote most of his time to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropic organization he runs with his wife.
Of course, there is no other country that matches US business philanthropy. Few people from outside America understand either that fact or the massive contribution to overseas' charities that church groups make.

The always interesting Larry Kudlow hits back at Gates in his inimical style:
Bill Gates, bloviating at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is issuing a clarion call for a "kinder capitalism" to aid the world's poor. Gates says he has grown impatient with the shortcomings of capitalism. He thinks it's failing much of the world. This, of course, from a guy who's worth around $35 billion (give or take a billion).

Don't you just love it?

A guy without a college degree who invented a new technology process in his garage that literally changed the entire world, a guy who took advantage of all the great opportunities that a free and capitalist society has to offer and got filthy rich in the process, is now trashing capitalism and telling us it doesn't work. What chutzpah.

For all his do-good preaching, Gates is ignoring the global spread of free-market capitalism that has successfully lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and into the middle class over the last decade. Think China. Think India. Think Eastern Europe. (Maybe even think France under Nicolas Sarkozy.) Gates wants business leaders to dedicate more time to fighting poverty. But the reality is that economic freedom is the best path to prosperity. Period.

The latest stats out of China are revealing. Here's a country that was a basket case not so long ago and today is the world's fourth largest economy -- hot on the heels of Germany, the third largest economy. China just reported 11.2 percent fourth-quarter GDP, its fastest growth rate in 13 years. Total output for China is now 24.7 trillion yuan, or $3.42 trillion at current exchange rates.

At $14 trillion, the U.S. economy is still four times the size of China's. But we've had free-market capitalism for more than 300 years. China's only had it for about 15. China is still an undemocratic, authoritarian and repressive society that lacks the benefits of political freedom. But it was the late Milton Friedman who argued that the onset of free-market capitalism was the precursor to full-fledged democratic capitalism. China's on the right track.

Gates says he has witnessed steep income and cultural inequities in his travels around the world, in particular to Africa. But for this he should blame the absence of capitalist principles, not capitalism itself. Even the most compassionate corporate executives are not going to bring prosperity to impoverished countries with statist economies. Until Africa's nations undertake the market-oriented reforms that have boosted China and the other Asian Tigers -- like South Korea and Taiwan -- they will continue to rank at the bottom of the world prosperity scale.

The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal 2008 Index of Economic Freedom reveals how free-market economics is spreading like wildfire, while state-run socialism is on the decline. And it's no wonder why. The free-market countries are prospering mightily, while the least-free economies are mired in poverty. We're talking North Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe and Iran. Also noteworthy is Venezuela. As the neo-socialist Hugo Chavez attempts to adopt Fidel Castro's failed economic model, he's sinking his nation toward Cuba-type poverty.

Economist Mark Perry, on his Carpe Diem blog site, reports that both the U.S. share of world GDP and its global stock market capitalization are shrinking. But this isn't a bad thing at all. It doesn't mean that America is heading downward. On the contrary, it means that newly freed economies are heading up.

The reality here is that the rising tide of global capitalism is lifting all boats that employ it. Capitalism works. It's a good thing. It's the key to unlocking a nation's prosperity. In fact, free-market capitalism is the greatest anti-poverty program ever devised by man.

Another billionaire, George Soros, the Davos partygoer who finances near every left-wing political-action group on both sides of the Atlantic pond, recently wrote in the Financial Times that the era of capitalism is coming to an end. Soros, of course, has been predicting this for at least 20 years -- through the greatest world boom in history. And how was it that Soros made his money? Trading currencies in the technologically advanced world financial markets, the very same markets that were spawned by 20th century free-market capitalism.

So I just have to smile when billionaires like Bill Gates and George Soros turn cold shoulders to the blessings capitalism bestows. Or when their buddy, Warren Buffett, broadcasts the importance of hiking tax rates on successful earners and investors.
Look fellas, the command-and-control, state-run economics experiment was tried. It was called the Soviet Union. If you hadn't noticed, it was a miserable failure.

By the way, Larry, today's left don't believe that it was a miserable failure. In fact, they don't refer to the misery and death toll of 20th century socialism. I often wonder what to rank as a leftist's number one value. I sometimes think it might be naivety.

(Nothing Follows)

UK fights to improve its education system. The left resists.

One of the institutions that the left fought for control over was our education system. Winning that battle many decades ago, they have turned out students ignorant of the world around them, biased against the institutions that do good in the world - for example free markets and the church; with an inability to recognise true evil such as socialism and Islamic expansionism and completely lacking skills in maths and English grammar.

Do they feel any shame at this shocking outcome? Of course not. One of the beauties of being on the left is never having to say you're sorry. As long as intentions are well meant, outcomes are irrelevant.

There's clearly a cultural battle going on in the UK with a review under way about the shocking state of academic standards at GCSE level. Business needs educated, sharp recruits in order to compete in an ever smaller, more competitive world.

That the UK's education system has failed the last generation is well documented. This idea that self-esteem is enhanced by having students 'progress' in spite of not meeting required standards at the end of each year has been powerfully destructive.
The number of teenagers failing their GCSEs will soar as a government drive to raise standards makes the exams harder, education chiefs have warned.

Candidates will not be awarded a C grade or better unless they pass new "functional skills" tests in English and maths under moves designed to ensure pupils master the three Rs.
If you didn't read it then you wouldn't believe it.
But England's biggest exam board - AQA - warned a generation of teenagers would suffer a "grave injustice" when GCSEs become more difficult as a result.
The previous generation has already been inflicted with a "grave injustice". At some point things have to improve.
Pupils will struggle to compete for jobs and university places against school-leavers who achieved better grades in previous years, the board said.
No they won't. If you understand how these positions are assessed then you know things like different standards across years and schools are taken into account.
AQA deputy director general Andrew Bird said the functional skills tests would effectively "change the standard" of GCSEs.

"From our modelling, it will suppress the pass rate at A*-C at GCSE," he said.

This suggests that many pupils currently achieve Cs without mastering what the Government believes are "the basics" of literacy and numeracy.
In written evidence to the Commons schools select committee, AQA said reforms were "a major concern".

The significant "change in GCSE standards" in English and maths would distort school league tables, the board said.
Well distort them, then!

It is unbelievable that the whole reason for opposing higher standards relates to not making people feel bad rather than actually achieve positive results.

That's the cultural left for you.

(Nothing Follows)

Monday, 28 January 2008

Europe knows they have a Muslim problem. Will they do anything about it?

Is Europe starting to get a clue about the cultural misfits in their midst known as Muslims?
AN “overwhelming majority” of Europeans believe immigration from Islamic countries is a threat to their traditional way of life, a survey revealed last night.

The poll, carried out across 21 countries, found “widespread anti-immigration sentiment”, but warned Europe’s Muslim population will treble in the next 17 years.
Why will it treble? Continued immigration or simply because they have such a high birth rate?
It reported “a severe deficit of trust is found between the Western and Muslim communities”, with most people wanting less interaction with the Muslim world.
So called 'moderate' Muslims consistently fail to denounce atrocities committed in their name. They won't even call Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups so no wonder there's a 'deficit of trust'.
Last night an MP warned it showed that political leaders in Britain who preach the benefits of unlimited immigration were dangerously out of touch with the public.
They are, indeed, out of touch with the public and that's why the BNP and Velaams Belang are increasing in popularity along with other nationalist groups.
The study, whose authors include the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, was commissioned for leaders at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

It reports “a growing fear among Europeans of a perceived Islamic threat to their cultural identities, driven in part by immigration from predominantly Muslim nations”.

And it concludes: “An overwhelming majority of the surveyed populations in Europe believe greater interaction between Islam and the West is a threat.” Backbench Tory MP David Davies told the Sunday Express: “I am not surprised by these findings. People are fed up with multiculturalism and being told they have to give up their way of life.
Multiculturalism and pluralism have come to mean different things. The former now means that the home country can't impose its culture on immigrants, who are allowed to follow pretty much any rules they like, and the latter is why the USA and Australia have been so successful with its immigrants fitting into the existing culture.
“Most people in Britain expect anyone who comes here to be willing to learn our language and fit in with us.”
There is an argument that Western Europe has given up its cultural heritage in favour of nanny state-ism and therefore that rent-seeking Muslims fit right in.
Mr Davies, who serves on the Commons Home Affairs Committee, added: “People do get annoyed when they see millions spent on translating documents and legal aid being given to people fighting for the right to wear a head-to-toe covering at school.

“A lot of people are very uncomfortable with the changes being caused by immigration and politicians have been too slow to wake up to that.”

The report says people have little enthusiasm for greater understanding with Islam and attempts to improve relations have been “disappointing”.

And with the EU Muslim population expected to reach 15 per cent by 2025 it predicts: “Any deterioration on the international front will be felt most severely in Europe.”
I think it will end up being felt most severely by Muslims. Time will tell.
But leading Muslim academic Haleh Afshar, of York University, blamed media “hysteria” for the findings. She said: “There is an absence of trust towards Muslims, but to my mind that is very much driven by an uninformed media.

“To blame immigration is much harder because the current influx of immigrants from eastern Europe are by-and-large not Muslim.

The danger is that when people are fearful of people born and bred in this country it is likely that discrimination may follow.”
Have you ever heard such drivel? Those words could be right out of the mouth of Tariq Ramadan. To say that the media is uninformed is to deny the fact that the BBC, AP, CNN et al shill completely for Muslims to the detriment of the rest of us.

(Nothing Follows)

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Sunday night rock 'n' roll

Motörhead are a British heavy metal band formed in 1975 by bassist, singer and songwriter Lemmy, who has remained the sole constant member. Usually a power trio, Motörhead had particular success in the early 1980s with several successful singles in the UK Top 40 chart. The albums Overkill, its follow on, Bomber, Ace of Spades, and particularly No Sleep 'til Hammersmith, cemented Motörhead's reputation as one of Britain's foremost heavy metal groups. More recent exposure has included providing wrestler Triple H's entrance music, and performing live at WrestleMania events; and in 2004, contributing the song, "You Better Swim", to the soundtrack of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. In 2005 the band received their first Grammy.

While Motörhead are typically classified as heavy metal, speed metal or thrash metal (and often regarded as a foundational influence on the latter two styles); Lemmy dislikes such labels, preferring to describe the band's music simply as "rock and roll". Motörhead's approach has remained the same over the band's career, preferring to play what they enjoy and do best, their like for the early rock and roll is reflected in some of their occasional cover songs. Motörhead's lyrics typically cover such topics as war, good versus evil, abuse of power, promiscuous sex, substance abuse, and "life on the road".

The band's distinctive fanged face logo was created by artist Joe Petagno in 1977 for the cover of the Motörhead album and has appeared in many variations on covers of ensuing albums.

I am embarrassed to admit that I bought tickets to see Motley Crue when they toured Australia a few years ago. Why, do you ask, would a man with my obvious high quality taste in music do such a thing? Because the great Motorhead was the support act. They were great - and loud - easily outdoing Motley Crue in the music department but losing the flamboyant stakes.

Killed By Death is, in my opinion, the greatest heavy metal song ever written so here it is, with some of their other great numbers.

Killed By Death

Ace Of Spades


(Nothing Follows)

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Saddam lied, people died

To the truth-averse left - a tautology if ever there was one - the 'Bush lied, people died' meme has been a major part of what passes for intellectual analysis.

CBS's 60 Minutes turned left some years ago and has become more and more loopy, a demonstrated in recent times with the inane Save The Planet series. For them to broadcast an interview demonstrating what really was going on with Iraq is quite remarkable.
NEW YORK — Saddam Hussein allowed the world to believe he had weapons of mass destruction to deter rival Iran and did not think the United States would stage a major invasion, according to an FBI interrogator who questioned the Iraqi leader after his capture.
Saddam believed that the oil deals he had done with UN Security Council members China, France and Germany, as well as bribes paid to representatives from those countries would protect him from any US action.
Saddam expected only a limited aerial attack by the United States and thought he could remain in control, the FBI special agent, George Piro, told CBS's "60 Minutes" program in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.

"He told me he initially miscalculated ... President Bush's intentions," said Piro. "He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998 ... a four-day aerial attack."

"He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack," Piro said.

The Associated Press spoke to a close aide of Saddam's in August 2003, who said that Saddam did not expect a U.S. invasion and deliberately kept the world guessing about his weapons program, although he already had gotten rid of it.

Saddam publicly denied having unconventional weapons before the U.S. invasion, but prevented U.N. inspectors from working in the country from 1998 until 2002 and when they finally returned in November 2002, they often complained that Iraq wasn't fully cooperating.

Piro, a Lebanese-American who speaks Arabic, debriefed Saddam after he was found hiding in an underground hideout near his home city north of Baghdad in December 2003, nine months after the U.S. invasion.

Piro said Saddam also said that he wanted to keep up the illusion that he had the program in part because he thought it would deter a likely Iranian invasion.

Anyone with half a brain understood that this must be true when it became clear Saddam had been lying about his weapons program. It's also possible that Iran is playing the same game in reverse. They are now militarily much weaker than Iraq and want to both deter any plans that country might have post-stabilisation, as well as presenting itself as the strong horse in the region.
"For him, it was critical that he was seen as still the strong, defiant Saddam. He thought that (faking having the weapons) would prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq," Piro told Scott Pelley of "60 Minutes."

Piro added that Saddam had the intention of restarting an Iraqi weapons program at the time, and had engineers available for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
I'm sure that the Daily Kos, Huffington Post etc crowd will deny this one all ways 'til Tuesday.
Piro also mentioned Saddam's revelation during questioning that what pushed him to invade Kuwait in 1990 was a dishonorable swipe at Iraqi women made by the Kuwaiti leader, Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

During the buildup to the invasion, Iraq had accused Kuwait of flooding the world market with oil and demanded compensation for oil produced from a disputed area on the border of the two countries.

Piro said that Al Sabah told the foreign minister of Iraq during a discussion aimed at resolving some of those conflicts that "he would not stop doing what he was doing until he turned every Iraqi woman into a $10 prostitute. And that really sealed it for him, to invade Kuwait," said Piro.
Such are the petty things that people go to war for...

(Nothing Follows)

Thursday, 24 January 2008

More nails in the CO2 as primary forcing agent coffin

Joseph D'Aleo has some interesting graphs that should make any of the Climate Faithful reconsider the reality of the CO2 as bogeyman 'consensus'. I say 'should' but I doubt they will, as truth is not a primary value of these people.

First up, a graph of CO2 against US temperature. Note the low r-squared correlation of 0.44.

That is quite a profound non-correlation. How's CO2 looking over the last 10 years or so?

An r-squared of 0.02? Oops. Random noise has a higher correlation than that!

Of course, the unscientific loons who buy into climate change propaganda will start by bashing D'Aleo and then follow up by stating that correlation with the US record is irrelevant - that's why it's called
global warming.

So, let's have a look at CO2 vs the CRU global and MSU lower tropospheric monthlies over the same period:

CO2 is meant to be the
forcing agent accounting for more than 60% of all forcing agents. For that to be the case then the above graph is impossible.

Is there anything that does have a good correlation?

The sun has a higher correlation than CO2. Imagine that.

D'Aleo then hit upon an idea:
Since the warm modes of the PDO and AMO both favor warming and their cold modes cooling, I though the sum of the two may provide a useful index of ocean induced warming for the hemisphere (and US). I standardized the two data bases and summed them and correlated with the USHCN data, again using a 11 point smoothing as with the CO2 and TSI. This was the jackpot correlation with the highest value of r-squared (0.83!!!).

In summary:

Definitive? No. Interesting? Yep.

However, does it kill the idea that CO2 is the primary forcing agent of climate? Pretty much.

(Nothing Follows)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Let's hope London's Red Ken loses the May election

I assume that most people have heard of Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, who has long carried the nickname Red Ken.

For over 20 years he has worked assiduously to weaken British society by limiting free speech, promoting extremist causes and associating with the worst types of populist, leftist, totalitarian world figures.

Check out his Wikipedia entry to get a full understanding of his anti-Semitic, socialist views.

People like Livingstone are a major reason that organisations such as the BNP are gaining increasing support.

From the UK's socialist rag, The Guardian, comes this amazing defence of Red Ken, which shows just how much The Guardian lives in a parallel universe.
It's as if the last 25 years had never happened. For the past week we've been back in the days of Margaret Thatcher's war on Red Ken and the Greater London Council. Every morning, the media have brought new revelations of the horrors at City Hall and Ken Livingstone's manifest unfitness to be re-elected mayor of London. Just as in the time of the GLC, Livingstone is denounced for consorting with dangerous leftists and terrorist apologists. Only the details have changed: for lesbian workers' cooperatives, read the Arab women's network, and for Sinn Féin and the Irish community, substitute Islamist groups and London's Muslims.
Livingstone not only cavorts with those obnoxious, anti-progressive groups but believes, and promotes, their causes to the detriment and against the opposition of the huge majority of proper thinking people.
Leading the charge until now has been the capital's only paid-for daily newspaper, the Evening Standard, which is to all intents and purposes running the Tory candidate Boris Johnson's campaign for the mayoral election in May. But now most of the national press has fallen in behind, as stories have multiplied of Livingstone's whisky tippling, alleged dodgy grants to black businesses and a "secret Marxist cell" of advisers intent on turning London into a "socialist city state", or maybe fomenting a "bourgeois democratic revolution" - the specifics were never quite clear.
Good on the Evening Standard for exposing the little fraud.
The trigger for this retro onslaught was Monday's almost comically slanted Channel 4 Dispatches programme on Livingstone, presented by the New Statesman's Martin Bright, who wrote that he felt it his "duty to warn the London electorate that a vote for Livingstone is a vote for a bully and a coward who is not worthy to lead this great city of ours". Quite how Channel 4 managed to describe an hour of primetime vilification as a "fair and balanced investigation" with a straight face will be a mystery to most of those who watched a programme without a single supportive interview. Instead, we were treated to a hotchpotch of allegations and denunciations from disgruntled ex-employees and political opponents, ranging from the bizarre and sub-McCarthyite to the more serious but unproven.
Livingstone most certainly is "a bully and a coward" not worthy to lead a chook raffle let alone the great city of London.
Among them was an attack on Livingstone's deal with Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez to subsidise half-price travel for London's unemployed, his dialogue with non-violent Islamist groups, the use of public funds to commission research for his dispute over multiculturalism with the then head of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, and the well-aired fact that several aides have been members of the one-time Trotskyist group Socialist Action - though since they have been working happily with the police and City grandees for the past eight years, that might seem to be of somewhat specialist interest. Most of the real issues that will dominate the mayoral elections - housing, transport, crime, the environment - barely got a walk-on part. But the programme was certainly an effective party political broadcast on behalf of Johnson.
Finally, people are sick of Livingstone and are 'attacking' him. Why pointing out reality is an attack is beyond me but I presume it's because The Guardian supports his disgusting positions.
What has given this latest assault on Livingstone a special edge is that the people driving it trade as being on the left: Bright as a representative of Britain's main centre-left political weekly and Nick Cohen, who has more openly lined up behind Johnson, as an Observer columnist. In reality, both writers share a broadly neoconservative agenda on Islamism and the "war on terror" - though Bright opposed the Iraq invasion - and that is the central issue that has turned them and their allies against Livingstone. Bright wrote a pamphlet for the rightwing thinktank Policy Exchange attacking government dialogue with Islamists, warmly praised by the leading US neocon Richard Perle. Cohen famously declared after meeting Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz for drinks at the Mayfair nightclub Annabel's: "I was in the presence of a politician committed to extending human freedom."
Ahhh, it's the neocons; part of the Bushitler cabal that seeks to control the world. The article's author, Seumas Milne, is a lunatic.
As the most powerful British politician to have opposed the Iraq and Afghan wars and supported engagement with mainstream political Islam, Livingstone has naturally attracted the enmity of the neocons. After hearing Bright dismiss Chávez's administration as a "government with links to Iran and cocaine-smuggling guerrillas and accused of human rights abuses", it should come as no surprise that he, Cohen and their friends prefer to see a high Tory elected mayor of London rather than the radical Labour incumbent.
Venezuela is slowly heading down the same path as Zimbabwe. Will Seumas Milne defend Chavez when the place runs out of oil and ends up as a clone of Cuba?
To the rest of London, it's scarcely news that London's mayor has his faults, or controversial that he should be held to account. It's right that the less than 1% of the London Development Agency's budget that went on grants to failed business startups should be properly investigated, even if that isn't a bad record compared with the private sector. You'd never know it from all the chatter about Bolshevik cabals, but there's also a strong left critique of Livingstone: for his embrace of the City and property developers, for example, and defence of the Metropolitan police commissioner over the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

But that's not what will be at stake in May's election. The choice will be between two candidates: one who has pioneered congestion charging and cut traffic by 70,000 cars a day, pushed up the supply of affordable housing, boosted bus ridership by one and a half million journeys a day, abolished fares for under-18s, is preparing to introduce emissions charging and free public transport for pensioners and has played a key role in cutting crime and maintaining community relations during a tense and dangerous period. On the other hand, you have a Thatcherite who thinks it's witty to refer to Africans as "piccaninnies" and regrets the end of colonialism, is an enthusiastic Bush and Iraq war supporter, opposed the Kyoto treaty, and is against the welfare state and the "teaching" of homosexuality in schools.
Seumas Milne lives in a different world. Crime rates in London are soaring and it's one of the least safe cities in the world. The police have had to rig the statistics and invent meaningless categories to show they're making any impact at all.
The choice could hardly be starker. No other candidate is in with a shout. Despite his record, Johnson's media profile and geniality mean he is the first serious challenge the mayor has had to face. With Livingstone and Johnson only one point apart in the latest opinion poll, the Tories have scented blood. Johnson's decision to hire the ruthless Lynton Crosby, who masterminded four election victories for John Howard in Australia, should be a warning. The Tory candidate knows he'll make little headway among the non-white third of London's electorate, so expect some dog-whistle appeals to white voters, perhaps dressed up as broadsides against political correctness. A defeat for Livingstone would not just be a blow to the broadly defined left, working-class Londoners, women, ethnic minorities and greens. It would represent a wider defeat for progressive politics, in Britain and beyond.
Hopefully, our own 'ruthless' Lynton Crosby can engineer a win for Johnson. Why it's a 'dog whistle' to appeal to white voters but not 'the non-white third' is a mystery.

It's amazing that people think the left is progressive. Backward economic policies, totalitarian instincts, limits on free speech - and thought - are not normally associated with progression. But for the left, believing in good is better than actually doing any good.

People like Livingstone ruin the world. Let's hope he loses the upcoming mayoral election.

(Nothing Follows)

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The UK's impending Islamic doom

From the UK's Telegraph comes a disturbing article about UK's Muslims ongoing attempts to introduce Sharia Law in that country. When Joe Public decides he's had enough the backlash is going to be swift and violent.
Islamic courts meet every week in the UK to rule on divorces and financial disputes. Clare Dwyer Hogg and Jonathan Wynne-Jones report on demands by senior Muslims that sharia be given legal authority

Amnah is a modern British Muslim. She is dressed in a denim skirt and her head is covered in a hijab. Poised and self-assured, she has come to meet Dr Suhaib Hasan, a silver-bearded sheikh who sits behind his desk, surrounded by religious books.

"But why would I have to observe the waiting period?" she asks him. "What are the reasons?" There is an urgency to her questions.

"These reasons don't apply to me, that's what I'm very confused about. If you could give me the reasons why I have to wait three months, then I'll understand."

Amnah is going through a divorce and is baffled at being told that she must wait for three months to remarry, considering that she hasn't seen her estranged husband for two years.

She twists her sock-clad toes into the carpet, grasping one hand with the other in her lap, and fixes Dr Hasan with an intense look. He meets this with a simple reply: "These rulings are all in the Koran. The rulings are made for all."

Amnah has little choice but to comply: Dr Hasan is a judge, and this is a sharia court - in east London. It sits, innocuously, at the end of a row of terrace houses in Leyton: a converted corner shop, with blinds on the windows, office- style partitions and a makeshift reception area.

"Amnah has little choice but to comply..." Of course she has a choice; she lives in a free society.
It is one of dozens of sharia courts - also known as councils - that have been set up in mosques, Islamic centres and even schools across Britain. The number of British Muslims using the courts is increasing.

To many in the West, talk of sharia law conjures up images of the floggings, stonings, amputations and beheadings carried out in hardline Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, the form practised in Britain is more mundane, focusing mainly on marriage, divorce and financial disputes.
Heh. If Muslim leaders had their way then they'd be happy to see floggings, stoning, amputations and beheadings in the West.
The judgments of the courts have no basis in British law, and are therefore technically illegitimate - they are binding only in that those involved agree to comply. For British Muslims who are keen to follow Islam, this poses a dilemma. An Islamic marriage is not recognised by British law, and therefore many couples will have two ceremonies - civil for the state, and Islamic for their faith.

If they wish to divorce, they must then seek both a civil and an Islamic divorce.
Oh, boo bloody hoo...if they want to live in an Islamic society then they should leave the UK. Simple as that.
Dr Hasan, who has been presiding over sharia courts in Britain for more than 25 years, argues that British law would benefit from integrating aspects of Islamic personal law into the civil system, so that divorces could be rubber-stamped in the same way, for example, that Jewish couples who go to the Beth Din court have their divorce recognised in secular courts.

He points out that the Islamic Sharia Council, of which he is the general secretary, is flooded with work. It hears about 50 divorce cases every month, and responds to as many as 10 requests every day by email and phone for a fatwa - a religious verdict on a religious matter.

Dr Hasan, who is also a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain on issues of sharia law, says there is great misunderstanding of the issue in the West.

"Whenever people associate the word 'sharia' with Muslims, they think it is flogging and stoning to death and cutting off the hand," he says with a smile.
Funny, that, as it's what Sharia Law actually dictates.
He makes the distinction between the aspects of law that sharia covers: worship, penal law, and personal law. Muslim leaders in Britain are interested only in integrating personal law, he says.
If you believe this statement then you are in for a serious shock down the track.
"Penal law is the duty of the Muslim state - it is not in the hands of any public institution like us to handle it. Only a Muslim government that believes in Islam is going to implement it. So there is no question of asking for penal law to be introduced here in the UK - that is out of the question."
He's a good stalking horse, isn't he, in the style of Tariq Ramadan?
Despite this, Dr Hasan is open in supporting the severe punishments meted out in countries where sharia law governs the country.

"Even though cutting off the hands and feet, or flogging the drunkard and fornicator, seem to be very abhorrent, once they are implemented, they become a deterrent for the whole society.

"This is why in Saudi Arabia, for example, where these measures are implemented, the crime rate is very, very, low," he told The Sunday Telegraph.
Ahhhhhhhh, OK.
In a documentary to be screened on Channel 4 next month, entitled Divorce: Sharia Style, Dr Hasan goes further, advocating a sharia system for Britain. "If sharia law is implemented, then you can turn this country into a haven of peace because once a thief's hand is cut off nobody is going to steal," he says.

"Once, just only once, if an adulterer is stoned nobody is going to commit this crime at all.

"We want to offer it to the British society. If they accept it, it is for their good and if they don't accept it they'll need more and more prisons."
" is for their good...", sounds like socialism to me.
These sentiments, and the vast cultural gulf they expose, alarm many in the West and go to the heart of the debate about the level of integration among Muslims living in Britain and their acceptance of British values.

Dr Hasan's cause is not helped by the fact that, last December, he was named by the Policy Exchange think tank as being linked to a mosque, the Al-Tawhid in Leyton, east London, which was accused of propagating extremist literature - although the evidence for this has since been challenged.

Many are uncomfortable with the idea of linking sharia to civil law in Britain. In The Sunday Telegraph earlier this month, Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, wrote: "Attempts have been made to impose an "Islamic" character on certain areas? There is pressure already to relate aspects of the sharia to civil law in Britain. To some extent this is already true of arrangements for sharia-compliant banking but have the far-reaching implications of this been fully considered?"
No. The Law of Unintended Consequences will be prosecuted to its fullest extent.
There are also issues around the Islamic approach to equality and human rights that make integration with British law problematic and contentious.
No! But all of those countries are members of the United Nations and have signed up to the UN Charter.
Sharia judges in this country deal mainly with divorce - khula. In Islamic law, a husband can divorce his wife in the presence of two witnesses without having to go through an official system.

He can even merely utter the word "talaq" - meaning "to release" - to gain a divorce, whether or not the wife accepts it. She has no such right and must go through the processes of sharia, entreating judges to grant her divorce.
Never let it be said that there are not some attractive ideas in Islam!
"The introduction of sharia law in Britain raises complex questions, as some of its basic tenets are incompatible with the fundamental principles of our liberal democracy and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," says Baroness Cox, a leading human rights campaigner.

"There is no equality before the law between men and women and between Muslims and non-Muslims; and there is no freedom to choose and change religion."
That's a pretty amazing statement coming from a human rights campaigner given they spend almost all of their time bagging the US, Israel, capitalism and big business.
Ibrahim Mogra, chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain's inter-faith committee, admits that to non-Muslims some laws may seem harsh on women. Those who are married to a man with a number of wives can be treated badly, for instance. But he insists that sharia is an equitable system.

"It may mean that a woman married under Islamic law has no legal rights, but the husband is required to pay for everything in marriage and in the case of a divorce all the woman's belongings are hers to keep."
She has no rights but he has to pay? Well that's OK then. Not.
In fact, Sheikh Mogra argues that sharia in Britain would give rights to women. "A Muslim man can take a second wife under sharia law and treat her as he wants, knowing that she has no legal rights in Britain. It means that she is regarded as no more than a mistress and he can walk out on her when he wants."

Critics warn, however, that in giving even parts of sharia law official status, Britain would be associating itself with a system that in many ways was intolerable according to Western values.

Professor John Marks, author of The West, Islam and Islamism, points out that apostates from Islam can suffer severe punishment, even honour killings.

"There are more violent cases that are being related to people who choose to convert from Islam," he says.

A survey by Policy Exchange found that 36 per cent of young British Muslims believed that a Muslim who converted to another religion should be "punished by death".
I reckon the other 64 percent didn't answer honestly.
"This clearly goes against the laws of our country. If they come to live in this country they should live by our laws," says Prof Marks.

Haras Rafiq, the executive director of the Sufi Muslim Council, points out that Muslims are anyway divided on the correct interpretation of sharia law. He is particularly critical of those who support the strict penal law.

"Things like stoning are being used as a deterrent, but this is reinterpreting the Koran in a rigid and extreme way that misses the spirit of what is being said."

Perhaps the strongest argument in favour of some form of recognition of sharia in Britain is that it would help to regulate a system that operates beyond the law.

The Government has expressed concern about imams who may be using the Koran to justify fatwas that clash with British law.

Leaders of four major British Muslim groups published a government-backed report in 2006 that accepted that many imams were not qualified to give guidance to alienated young people.

They agreed to set up a watchdog aimed at tackling extremism and monitoring mosques, but Yunes Teinaz, a former adviser to the London Central Mosque, warns that one of the greatest problems is the imams who arrive in Britain unable to speak English, and with no regard for British law.

"The absence of anyone regulating the mosques and sharia courts means that they can act as a law unto themselves, issuing fatwas that breach people's human rights because they have no knowledge of the law," he says. "They can take people's money despite having no proper qualifications, but worse they can harm the communities that they are in."

Zareen Roohi Ahmed, the chief executive of the British Muslim Forum - one of the four groups on the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Body - concedes that sharia courts in Britain are still poorly organised.

"They need development - the government should be supporting them to deliver their service more effectively," she says.

"If sharia courts can be supported to be more professionally run and to have female involvement as well on the decision-making panels, then I think they can work quite effectively and meet the needs of Muslims."

She suggests that existing systems need to be supported and a wider range of scholars and academics involved to put more thought into making the rules and regulations applicable to today's society.

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, points out that during British rule in India, Muslim personal law was allowed to operate and sees no reason why it wouldn't work now.
I do. The genius of the British Empire was its ability to get a good balance between letting the indigenous cultures continue while at the same time applying British law and justice. In the UK these days they seem to run as far away as they can from making judgements and kow tow to foreign cultures and standards.
"Sharia encompasses all aspects of Muslim life including personal law," he says. "In tolerant, inclusive societies all faith groups enjoy some acceptance of their religious rules in matters of their personal life.

"I am sure some day our society here will also be more at ease with its Muslim community and see the benefit of allowing such rights to those who prefer this."

Back in the court in Leyton, the plight of Amnah is typical of the challenges facing Muslim women in Britain who are seeking to abide by the traditional Islamic teaching, but find themselves victims of the system as a result.

The husband she seeks to divorce is untraceable, but she married him in a purely Islamic ceremony so now she must fight to gain her freedom.

She met him on an Islamic matrimonial website, then discovered that he wasn't everything he had claimed to be.

"I found out he was stealing money from me," she says, adding that her husband had lied about having a job and a visa for the UK.

"So how come you married such a person who is not of your standard?" Dr Hasan asks quietly, leafing through the notes of her case.

"I made a mistake," Amnah says, simply. "Basically this man lied to me from the beginning until the end. Not only did he fool me, he fooled my family."

Despite Amnah's protestations and questioning, Dr Hasan goes on to explain that the methods and rules set out in the Koran are for very practical reasons.

A recently divorced wife must wait three months to remarry to give enough time for her ex-husband to know that she is not carrying his child. "This is for all," he says.

"There is no exception to this rule, in the sharia there is no exception, you have to accept it."

He takes down a copy of the Koran from a shelf and points to the chapter and verse that spells out the lengths of iddat - the waiting period - in detailed terms.

There are different lengths for widows, for wives whose husbands have authorised the divorce and for wives whose husbands have not. There is even a rule for pre-pubescent girls.

For Amnah, it is clear that the answer has thrown up further problems for her. "Another quick question," she says. "Because I'm going through a divorce now, is it right for me to have found someone or should I have waited?"

The man may not, Dr Hasan replies, clearly state his wish to marry her - he may subtly make his intentions known, as in "once you are free from marriage, remember me", but no, not propose. That is not allowed in the Koran.

Amnah thanks him with deference, and leaves. Coming through this religious court is the only way she will be truly at liberty to remarry but, for now, she must wait.
She has true liberty now but chooses to be chained to Islamic rules.

There are fair comparisons to be made between Islamic divorce laws and those of the Catholic church. However, Islam can only be judged by the actions of its advocates and practitioners and on that level it's no surprise that reasonable, thinking people in the West would reject any attempts to integrate Islamic law into their own.

(Nothing Follows)

Monday, 21 January 2008

On capitalism, environmentalism and a bit on California

John Robson from The Ottawa Citizen has a nice piece, Capitalists saving the planet, in which he describes the many ways that capitalism is really the main driver of environmental advancement.

This will come as a surprise to many committed greenies who see capitalism as the cause of all of the world's evils and especially the current Climate Change Bogeyman. The mistake they make is to see capitalism and Big Business as one and the same thing rather than understanding capitalism as being the enabler of not only business but also the advancer of society, as well.

In a recent post I described how anti-progress economic systems such as socialism cannot innovate, as there are no venture capitalists willing to risk their money on developing new products. A Sony Playstation or your mobile phone or your wide-screen TV or the myriad of other products are all the result of the investment evolution enabled by capitalist economics.

So back to the main point. Capitalism creates a competitive environment in which the company that can bring a product to market at the lowest cost survives while the others either die or lower their own cost. A major cost of manufacturing comes in the form of energy. If companies can lower the amount of energy consumed in either the manufacturing of the product and/or the operating of the product (in the case of electronic devices) then they have a competitive advantage. In the process, any impact on the environment in the manufacture or use of the product is reduced.
It's opera. My wife is listening to opera while jogging. The heroine will, one assumes, come to a tragic end. But the batteries won't, because she's using a digital player. On which, I trust, I can record the sound of environmentalists applauding the technological advances capitalism brings.

...Permit me, then, to wipe it off deftly by pointing out that self-interest is what's driving this greener technology. Most of us value the environmental benefits to some extent. But for all of us, digital technology means going green without suffering. Which will displease some in the organic-hair-shirt crowd.

It will upset others that companies are succeeding where governments often fail. The European Union's environment commissioner just admitted that biofuels promote rainforest destruction. Legally mandated efficient light bulbs may give some people skin problems. The failure of governments to build nuclear plants has contributed massively to greenhouse-gas production. But over there in the private sector, it's just progress progress progress. Wretched, isn't it?
Continuing the theme is Glenn Milne in The Australian:
The great thing about visiting California is that it gives you a sense of where Australia is probably headed. In the context of the climate change debate, this assertion stands, only more so.

So to come here and see some of the political and economic hurdles that are emerging out of the market forces unleashed by global warming, and the political response to it, is to understand that while Kevin Rudd still basks in the warm afterglow of ratifying Kyoto, just a little way down the track substantial domestic challenges loom.

Remember, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is something of an environmental pin-up boy for Rudd. During the election campaign, Rudd repeatedly used Schwarzenegger's embrace of an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2050 to justify his own approach to target-based policy.

The thrust of Rudd's argument was that if California, one of the biggest and most successful economies in the world, could adopt such an approach, why couldn't Australia?

...Schwarzenegger's thinking is crudely simple and effective. He believes that Californians want urgent action on the climate-change front and he feels compelled to respond to this democratic impulse.

The strategy is to set mandated targets and then for the Government to simply get out of the way.

In other words, Schwarzenegger is using the sheer mass of the Californian economy and, critically, its venture capital base to crash through any resistance on the climate change front.
Again, the key point is that governments can't achieve the same level of positive progress as private enterprise and financial incentive.

Milne does get a bit carried away, though, in his description of California's economy. Its liberal policies have seen it go through completely unnecessary financial difficulties and it is currently many billions of dollars in debt. That doesn't seem like much of a model for new Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd to aspire to.

As usual, the great Victor Davis Hanson gets it right:
Our poor state is $14 billion plus now in the red, and the Governator has promised no new taxes, wise inasmuch as our sales and income taxes are already among the highest in the country. The University of California system is panicking and sending out emails to us alums, to march en masse on Sacramento for redress!

But lost in the furor is any self-reflection, such as why would UC Davis recently pay John Edwards, multimillionaire trial lawyer, $50,000 plus to give a brief lecture on poverty? Such questions are never answered, much less raised, since the problem is always framed as a matter of a shortage of income, never a surfeit of unnecessary expenditure.

We in California, given the past budget implosions, know the script to follow. We expect that police, fire, prisons, parks, etc. will be threatened with cut-backs and closure while the state-funded "Center for this" and the "Department of that" will remain untouched, since cutting the essential while protecting the politically-correct superfluous is the only way to scare the voter and achieve higher taxes.

At some point we Californians should ask ourselves, how we inherited a state with near perfect weather, the world's richest agriculture, plentiful timber, minerals, and oil, two great ports at Los Angeles and Oakland, a natural tourist industry from Carmel to Yosemite, industries such as Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and aerospace — and serially managed to turn all of that into the nation's largest penal system, periodic near bankruptcy, and sky-high taxes.
(Nothing Follows)

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Sunday night rock 'n' roll

Slade are an English glam rock and hard rock band. Slade were one of the most recognisable acts of the glam rock movement and were, at their peak, the most commercially popular band in the UK. They are well known for the deliberate misspelling of their song titles and for the song "Merry Xmas Everybody" (released December 1973), now one of the most iconic Christmas pop songs in the United Kingdom.

One of the most acclaimed British Rock bands of the 1970s, Slade are especially remembered for their brash songwriting and energetic live performances. Today, the band is often regarded as an obvious pre-cursor to late 1970s British Punk (Sex Pistols, The Clash).

The group dominated the British charts during the early 1970s. During the height of their success, Slade out-performed their chart rivals Wizzard, Sweet, T.Rex, Suzi Quatro, Mud, Smokie, Gary Glitter, Roxy Music and David Bowie. In the UK, they achieved 12 top five hits from 1971 to 1974, six of which topped the charts. In total, Slade had 17 top 20 hits between 1971 and 1976 including six #1s, three #2s and two #3s. No other UK act of the period enjoyed such consistency in the UK top 40 and Slade actually came the closest to emulating The Beatles' 22 top ten records in a single decade (1960s). Three of their singles entered the charts at #1 and they sold more singles in the UK than any other group of the 1970s.

The very first album I owned was Sladest. I pestered my mother until she bought it for me and she actually bet me $10 that I wouldn't like the album in 10 years. I collected. I still rate Slade Alive as one of the top 10 live rock 'n' roll albums ever made.

Cum on Feel the Noize

Get Down and Get With It

Mama We're All Crazy Now

(Nothing Follows)