The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Can 77 Economists get it Wrong?

Posted by rantingkraut on April 15, 2010

Apparently 77 economists have sided with Brown in the following letter:

As expected, a key election issue concerns how much to cut government expenditure in 2010/11. The main opposition party now proposes to cut an extra £6 billion in 2010/11, on top of the measures already planned by the government. This cut is described as efficiency savings. But in macroeconomic terms it is just a cut by another name. It will lead directly to job losses and indirectly to further falls in spending through the standard multiplier process. At a time when recovery is delicate, it could even affect confidence to the degree that we are tipped back into recession – with much larger job consequences. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in In The News, UK politics | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Stasi 2.1

Posted by rantingkraut on March 8, 2010

If the tasks of the state know no limits, the reach of its police force can know no limits. That’s why, as New Labour seeks to micromanage every aspect of human behaviour, more and more state employees are pressed to take on police tasks:

Under CSAS, a chief constable can give employees of local authorities or private companies limited powers such as the right to hand out on-the-spot fines for offences including disorder, truancy and littering; stopping vehicles for roadside tests and confiscating alcohol.”  (source)

Posted in Civil Liberties, fence posts, In The News, surveillance | Tagged: | Comments Off on Stasi 2.1

Police Raid on Manchester

Posted by rantingkraut on February 20, 2010

It appears that the police has been laying siege to Manchester city centre in a massive fishing expedition. During the operation, pedestrians apparently had to pass airport style security checks just to walk down the pavement.

Given that the alleged reason Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Drugs, fence posts, In The News, UK politics | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Global Warming: respect for science depends on the convenience of its truth

Posted by rantingkraut on January 31, 2010

The BBC tells us that “… Ed Miliband has warned that recent rows over scientific data must not damage efforts to control climate change. (…) I think it would be wrong that when a mistake is made it’s somehow used to undermine the overwhelming picture that’s there …” (source)

OK, let’s first clarify that this is not a matter of ‘a mistake’ being made. People -including scientists- make mistakes all the time. This is one reason why we rely on testing, replication and open debate to arrive at findings which are less susceptible to individual human error.

In the case of the IPCC and its sources, the occasional honest mistake is not the issue. Systematic deceit is and Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global Warming, quotes | Comments Off on Global Warming: respect for science depends on the convenience of its truth

Sharia in Practice: Don’t just blame the victim …

Posted by rantingkraut on January 26, 2010

… punish her too: “A 16-year-old girl who was raped in Bangladesh has been given 101 lashes for conceiving during the assault.” according the the telegraph. (source)

In this case at least, sharia seems to be only informally applied so the state can still act against it.

Posted in In The News, Islamism | Comments Off on Sharia in Practice: Don’t just blame the victim …

Banning the ‘Burka’: a poor performance from UKIP

Posted by rantingkraut on January 17, 2010

Nigel Farage appeared on the BBC arguing that face covering Muslim dress should be banned on security grounds -which seemed uncontroversial- and because it is a symbol of the oppression of women and of a divided society. On the two latter points he lost the argument to his Respect opponent.

To argue that women who choose to wear burka or niqab are as a rule oppressed -even if they say otherwise- is essentially a feminist argument which requires hefty dose of social determinism to conclude that women can’t make genuine choices within a patriarchal society.

Alternatively, one could argue that the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Atheism, Civil Liberties, immigration, Islamism, Libertarianism, monthly rant, Regulation, Religion | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Muslim Integration in Germany

Posted by rantingkraut on January 7, 2010

Necla Kelec, a German sociologist of Turkish origin is again in the news, criticising islamism as well as multiculturalist relativism:

Kelec pointed out that Islam has a problem: ‘it wants to be the leading culture and aims to regulate not only the life of Muslims but also wants to dictate how the rest of society has to relate to Muslims’. Islam, moreover did not separate religion from politics, it isn’t secular. At the same time, there is generally no consensus on what defines its ideology. ‘Islam is everything and nothing at once. It is a phantom. Islam is -in this way- irresponsible, since believers only have a duty to Allah.’

The onus therefore ought to be on civil society Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Islamism, quotes, Religion | Comments Off on Muslim Integration in Germany

Henry Porter on the UK Police

Posted by rantingkraut on January 5, 2010

“… if I have one overriding concern in 2009 it is about the British police, which every day seem more like a force than a service, whether it is displaying violence at legitimate demonstrations, making secret databases of political and environmental activists, swooping with unnecessary might on innocent people such as the rock band the Thirst, making arrests to add to the DNA database, Tasering members of the public as punishment or treating football supporters with a shocking disregard for their rights. It has been a bad year for the police, and a worrying one for the general public who see an essential trust and respect being lost. The next government must find a way of bringing the police under control and making them realise that they are the servants, not the masters, of the public.” (source)

Posted in Civil Liberties, quotes | Comments Off on Henry Porter on the UK Police

The Results of the Motoons

Posted by rantingkraut on January 3, 2010

The BBC followed a report on the attempted Murder of Kurt Westergaard and a Danish police officer with a review of the earlier Motoon saga. This background report starts of with a rehearsal of the Motoons publication history (they were first printed in Jyllands Posten, later reprinted elsewhere etc.). Then the narrator announces “… and this were the results …” before the clip cuts to archive footage of Motoon riots in the Middle East.

If the riots were the result of the cartoons’ publication then the cartoons must have been the cause,  the riots the effect. The rioters’ ideology Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Freedom of Speech, In The News, Islamism, media manipulation, Middle East, Religion | Comments Off on The Results of the Motoons

Carbon Tax as Insurance?

Posted by rantingkraut on December 30, 2009

Fareed Zakaria has suggested that “Carbon Taxing” and cap and trade arrangements should be understood as insurance against the costs of climate change. By Zakaria’s argument, you pay a small charge now to insure yourself against the larger cost of climate change.

The argument correctly identifies the equivalent to an insurance contribution. What about the payout? Maybe Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global Warming, In The News, Regulation | Comments Off on Carbon Tax as Insurance?