Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Socialist planners at work

"More than 1 billion pounds has been wasted by the [U.K.] Government on transport projects that have been cancelled or delayed, leaving roads and railways struggling to cope with huge growth in traffic.... The Government has repeatedly claimed that rising costs have made new road links, tram networks and rail upgrades unaffordable. But official figures uncovered by the Conservatives reveal that more than 1 billion has already been spent since 2000 without providing any extra capacity.

The most expensive single scheme on the list of stalled projects is Crossrail, the plan for mainline rail tunnels under Central London to relieve congestion on the Central Line. It has cost 254 million since 2001 without an inch of tunnel being dug. The Government has yet to commit itself to fund the 16 billion project and officials privately admit that, even if it goes ahead, it may not be ready until 2020.

Almost 300 million has been spent preparing for tram schemes in Portsmouth, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester that have either been cancelled or greatly reduced in scope. In 2000 John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, promised 25 new tram lines by 2010. So far two have opened: in Nottingham and the London City Airport extension of the Docklands Light Railway. The Thameslink 2000 project to upgrade the north-south rail route across London was due to open six years ago but is unlikely to be ready for another decade.

More than 80 million has been spent on preparatory works at St Pancras, including tunnels that will be boarded up and a station that will remain half-empty. Another white elephant is Stratford International Station, in East London, which cost 210 million but might never be used by the Eurostar trains for which it was built."

More here



Why the Canadian Left's new bad guy is Israel

At some point in his first or second year, the average undergraduate comes to a dreadful, shocking, thrilling, intoxicating realization: Everything I was taught to believe until now is a lie. We're not the good guys. We're the bad guys: the West, white people, my parents, whatever. Grasping this insight is the key to enlightenment, and enlightenment is the key to, among other things, pulling chicks. As time passes, most of us move on to a more balanced understanding of life...

The reflexive oppositionism of so much of the left, its instant identification with whoever or whatever is most hostile to the society of which it is a part, most closely resembles that of the undergraduate. It is a badge, a pose, a lifestyle, an arrangement of reality that is pleasing to believe, a reminder to the believer of the third eye of enlightenment that is his gift.

Yet in this country [Canada] it can take on a rather uglier form, insofar as the object of its loathing can be displaced onto another society, quite apart from our own. Until now, the locus of this disaffection was the United States. Lately, disturbingly, it has centred more and more on Israel. Anti-Americanism has mutated into something that might at best be called anti-Israelism, and at times looks alarmingly like anti-Semitism. Which brings us to the present wretched state of the Liberal party.

That the party's left wing has long been a hotbed of anti-Americanism is news to no one. Indeed, so entrenched was this attitude among certain sections of the ruling party that it resembled something of a state religion... ... perhaps there is a link between them: between the pseudo-neutrality that is one strain of recent Liberal foreign policy, and the anti-Americanism, shading into anti-Israelism, that is the other. An unwillingness to take sides was, of course, one of the ways in which we were supposed to distinguish ourselves from the Americans: They were warlike and ideological, we were peacekeeping ecumenicals.

But perhaps there was something else at work. A refusal to make moral judgments, to distinguish between the merely flawed and the truly evil, may in time lead to an inability to do so. Having gotten out of the habit of judgment, the muscles can atrophy: If "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," then it is all too easy to forget, not only who the terrorists are, but who are the freedom fighters. If anti-Semitism is the "socialism of fools," perhaps anti-Israelism is the pacifism of knaves.

(Excerpt via Damian Penny. Full article Here)



Big business prefers the party of the status quo -- The Democrats: "Businesses do not desire free markets. Businesses desire profits. Sometimes free markets yield profits. Sometimes big government yields profits. Take private equity shops. Some of them may resist regulations or taxes on themselves, but taxes and regulations can--and do--drive privately-held companies to sell out... Also, if you are one of the biggest businesses in your industry, regulation could be a boon. Regulation and tax compliance add to overhead, which acts as a barrier to entry and disproportionately affects smaller businesses. Maybe you got big in the world of hedge funds thanks to relatively low regulation, but now it might profit you to pull the ladder up behind you. Free markets are dynamic. Industry leaders want the status quo.

China Hand has just done one of his rare postings -- giving a glimpse into life in modern China. Some good pics. Blogspot blogs are not viewable in China so there is also a China-readable backup of the blog here. There is also a small archive of his pics from China here or here

Wow! I think the weak-kneed British police who won't chase a motorcycle thief in case he falls off the bike could learn something from the Spanish police. Watch this video.

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here). Other backups here


"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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