Friday, April 20, 2007

More on the strangeness of Google

What have Google got against "The Times" of London? I noted on 17th. that an interesting historical article from the "Times" could not be found via Google and I have encountered another example today. I tried to find this article via Google today but they had no record of it at all -- both via a web search and a news search. I DID however find a copy of the article in an Indian newspaper!

The article I could not find today was about immigration so maybe it fell foul of Google's notorious "hate-speech" filters. The article is a report of a speech by a British government minister, however, so only Google would see it as "hate speech".

Another possibility is that Google have been fine-tuning their algorithms lately to cut out duplicated content and the algorithms have got too smart for their own good -- cutting out far too much. Cutting out Britain's most famous newspaper is just ludicrous.

Google's censorship of my 200+ academic articles still seems to be absolute. I did find a record of one of them online today but it was given as a "Supplemental Result" -- meaning "no longer online". It IS however still online at the address given and always has been. I think the bosses at Google must be slowly losing their marbles.



The most salient fact about the French elections is the degree to which they show a France that is moving steadily to the right. "Sixty-five per cent to the right, in fact," as I am told by Louis Dreyfus of the Nouvel Observateur. Only 30 percent of even the dwindling blue-collar electorate can now be counted upon to vote Socialist or Communist. The surprise "centrist" figure in the contest, Francois Bayrou, is an upper-crust Catholic from the elite ranks of Giscard d'Estaing's rump conservative faction. The front-runner, Nicolas Sarkozy, is a "law-and-order" hard-liner who promises to get tough with young Muslim slum-dwellers and rioters. The superficially glamorous Socialist, Segolene Royal, who got the nomination only by forcefully repudiating her party's Old Left, has pitched herself as the spokeswoman for the holy trinity of the tricolor, the Marseillaise, and Joan of Arc.

M. Le Pen smirks broadly and says that everyone is moving his way in one form or another. And he isn't completely bluffing. There is a reason why the French Communist Party, which used to dominate the working class, the unions, and much of the lumpen intelligentsia, is now a spent force that represents perhaps 3 percent of the electorate. And that reason, uncomfortable as it may be, is that most of the Communist electorate defected straight to the National Front. Moreover, as Louis Dreyfus adds rather gloomily, none of Le Pen's last-time voters (who put him in the second round against Chirac and knocked the Socialist candidate out of the race) have any reason not to vote the same way this time.....

All this comes at a time when the French political elite is discredited and enervated to an amazing degree. There is general agreement that the country cannot afford any more featherbedding, but the Socialist program is only the most egregious in promising to pay people more than they earn. Anti-Americanism has reached a point of diminishing returns. A society that has benefited hugely from EU subsidies now resents the very bureaucracy at whose tit it has so long nursed. Amazing insularity is demonstrated in almost every presidential debate, with Mme. Royale the most astonishing in her apparent innocence of a world beyond the landlocked French district of Poitou of which she is regional president. (In the latest of many gaffe-strewn interviews, she seemed to be blissfully unaware that the Taliban was no longer the official government of Afghanistan. And which French Socialist does not know how to snigger at George Bush for his lack of sophistication in foreign affairs!)....

I don't think it is sufficiently appreciated that France has now become the most conservative major country in Europe, where different defenses of the status quo are at war only with different forms of nostalgia and even outright reaction.

More here



I have critiqued some pretty awful nonsense on FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC yesterday and today. I sometimes think there is nearly as much BS in the medical literature as there is in the political literature.

Ethel knows best: "A world authority on cybersex has warned teenagers against posting rude or sexually explicit images of themselves on internet chat sites because of their potential to be used by people who view child pornography. Ethel Quayle, a consultant with the research organisation COPINE (Combating Pedophile Information Networks in Europe), is in Sydney to hold seminars for NSW detectives attached to the Child Protection and Sex Crimes Squad. She said images that children and teenagers believed would remain with their friends found their way on to the internet and became fodder for men who viewed child pornography. "Self-produced material is a huge concern," Dr Quayle said yesterday. She said the material could never be removed from the internet and could become a source of future embarrassment and distress to young people."

Must be all those pesky Nazis (wouldn't be Muslims): "Great Britain, France and Canada saw a sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks and vandalism last year, a World Holocaust Day report revealed Sunday. Reported incidents of anti-Semitism rose worldwide -- the highest total number since 2000, said a study by the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism and Racism at Israel's Tel Aviv University. The report, written with the World Jewish Congress, was released on Sunday to correspond with Holocaust Memorial Day, Haaretz reported. In all, 590 incidents of violence or vandalism were reported in 2006 against Jews, Jewish property and Jewish institutions, the study said. In Great Britain, more than 100 Jews were attacked -- the highest number in the 20 years -- while the number of violent incidents in France rose by 45 percent and doubled in Canada".

The boom continues: "Yesterday, we had news that retail sales rose 0.7 percent in March, with February sales being revised upward to a 0.5 percent gain from 0.1 percent previously. So despite all the concern that consumers will stop spending now that they're tapping less and less into their home equity, they are continuing to spend... Clearly, Americans are somehow failing to fully comprehend the message put out by the naysayers that incomes are falling, all the new jobs are low-paying, and millions of existing jobs are headed overseas. They're too busy shopping!"

Failure rewarded: "The Federal Emergency Management Agency will replace the American Red Cross as the agency in charge of coordinating the provision of shelter, food and first aid to victims in disasters under an agreement disclosed by a Senate panel yesterday. The change in the government's emergency plans, formalized in letters between FEMA and Red Cross leaders Feb. 21, follows criticism of the way they cooperated after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and a new law that bolsters FEMA's role in providing emergency housing, human services, case management and financial help."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here.

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) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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