Ryanair. Savaged by Feminists.

27 12 2007

Europe’s legendary low-cost airline Ryanair is in trouble over its annual calendar featuring bikini clad air hostesses in raunchy poses. The calendars were sold on Ryanair flights and on the Internet with proceeds going to the Irish disabled children’s charity Angels Quest.

Here at Lattenomics we see nothing wrong with a bit of harmeless booty action for the good cause. The air hostesses don’t seem to be harmed in any way by the experience and show no more skin than your average beach goer. The calendar is decidedly raunchy but in no way pornographic. The good people of Lattenomics are a little bit concerned about the wisdom of using a saucy calendar to aid children’s charity, but we assume the charity would’ve been aware of the calendar and comfortable with its content.

Unfortunately party-pooping Spanish feminists don’t see it the same way. Spain’s government run Women’s Institute has labelled the calendar sexists and vowed to complain to Irish and EU authorities. Institutes’ spokeswoman Maria Jesus Ortiz explains: “We’re not talking about morals or nudity here, it’s simply how women are portrayed. If there had been men in the calendar, I’m sure there would have been no controversy.”

Hang on a minute, lady! It sounds like you are demanding equality. Isn’t equality is what feminism is all about? So before we complain about the calendar and the rights and wrongs of having women and no men in it, could you perhaps enlighten us if Spain has a Men’s Institute that could respond from the male perspective? No? I didn’t think so. So how is this for the exercise in equality between sexes: the sexist calendar for excluding males is criticised by the professor of the institute that does exactly the same? Which one is more important, a calendar or a taxpayer funded institution?

For all the Spanish feminist outrage, it did little to harm the calendar’s commercial potential. The Ryanair website informs us that the calendar has been sold out and the disabled Irish children’s charity now has the money it didn’t have before. Would the calendar be quite as successful if there were raunchy pictures of men in it? We think even the joyless feminists of the Women’s Institute know the answer.


Freedom of Speech and The Golden Compas

24 12 2007

What is so bad about an atheist movie? Asks Larissa Dubecki in The Age today. The atheist movie in question is called The Golden Compas, a fantasy based on His Dark Materials, the trilogy of novels by Philip Pullman. In the novel, a 12-year-old girl named Lyra sets out on a quest to expose a malevolent governing body called “the Church”, which answers to the “Vatican council” and kidnaps children for experimentation.

The film caught the ire of Catholic League and other US fundamentalist groups calling for a boycott for pushing an atheist agenda onto children.

Larissa writes that perhaps Christians who feel the need to censor material viewed in a secular society need to be reminded they don’t have a mortgage on determining good and evil.

As far as we understand it, the boycott means voulantary abstinence by individuals, while censorship is involuntary and is preformed by some authority. They are two entirely different things.

Larissa correctly points out that whatever your religion, there’s cinema to offend. The Passion of the Christ offended Jews for its bloodthirsty depiction of the last days of Christ; Water offended Hindus; Bowfinger Scientologists; Hollywood Buddha Buddhists.

Precisely. However it is the extend and the vigour of the reaction by the so-called offended is what’s really important. It is one thing to call for religious followers to avoid seeing a movie and completely different to say, smash a cinema or to threaten physical violence against the cast. Curiously, Larissa completely forgets the M-word. You know, those easily offendable peace-loving Muslims that murdered Theo Van Gough for making a movie and placed fatwa on Salman Rushdie; and who can ever forget the crowds torching buildings and murdering in response to offence caused by the cartoons of Mohammed.

I don’t blame Larissa, she only writes for the most painfully politically-correct left-wing newspaper in Australia. I don’t know that such references to Muslims would even make it through The Age’s self-censorship process. Or perhaps she’d rather avoid any potential death threats from peace-loving Islamists.

Here at Lattenomics we think Larissa should be asking a much more fundamental question: is it OK to cause religious offence? After all religions are just a set of ideas, they are not immutable hereditary characteristics such as race. If we live in the society that truly values free speech the answer has to be a loud and clear YES! This means we should be able to offend any religious group and they should be fee to retaliate and defend their ideals in a non-physical way. That is the only way the ideas can be tested and ignorance and bigotry confronted.

Here at Lattenomics we defend the right of directors to make Atheist films but that doesn’t mean that Christians should have no right to protest and boycott such films as long as such protests are non-violent. We do however condemn such actions as the murder of film-makers, death threats and physical violence. These are the acts of intellectually bankrupt bullies that would harass rather than debate.

If Larissa is genuinely concerned about the freedoms or speech and thought, she should do an article about the Victorian Religious Vilification laws instead. Unlike boycotting Christians, these laws serve to place some ideas beyond legitimate criticism and prevent any critical examination of certain religious ideas. They are a form of state censorship and present a modern equivalent of blasphemy laws the people in the West fought so hard to repeal.

Merry, Bloody Christmas

23 12 2007

Just one more sleep to go, my Dear Readers, until the time of joy and fun is upon us! The time to give and share and to enjoy. The time to eat until your sides are about to split and to drink Champagne at breakfast!

Unfortunately Christmas is also a time for all kinds of miserablists to find the ever more creative ways to spoil our fun. The latest attempt comes from the United Kingdom. Latte-sippers bible – the BBC, and the Australian arm of anti-imperial resistance – the ABC, report today that enviro-mentalist boffins from the University of Manchester have figured out that a traditional British turkey Christmas dinner for eight generates 20 kg (44lbs) of carbon emissions. The figure includes the production, processing and transportation costs of the festive ingredients.

Before you set on your merry way thinking: so what, it is only 20 kg? Think again! If the third of UK’s population has a typical Christmas meal, the combined emissions will be 51,000 tonnes or 6,000 around the world car journeys! Unfortunately they fail to mention if the above mentioned “car journeys” are the 1.3L WV Polo put-put rides or the 8L W16 Bugatti Veyron orgies of speed.

Professor Adisa Azapagic of Manchester University breaks down the carbon loading further:

Food production and processing are responsible for three quarters of the total carbon footprint, with the largest proportion – 60% – being related to the life cycle of the turkey.

60 percent! You filthy bird! Thanks Prof, this is exactly the reason why the bird must die! Imagine how much extra carbon would be generated if it wasn’t slaughtered.

The cranberry sauce alone, normally imported from North America, contributes half the carbon footprint related to transport.

North America… That’s them Bush-voting fast food fatties in the USA, right? The planet is already collapsing thanks to McDonalds burgers and now they have to unleash the environmental Holocaust of cranberry sauce?! Michael Moore should do a documentary about it.

I don’t know about you folks, but I am going to make sure I take special joy in devouring my gobbling paltry treat tomorrow. The boffins from Manchester Uni have just ensured that my Christmas turkey will be extra special this season. Merry Christmas!

Go Green In Style

21 12 2007

If you want your boss to buy you a new Beemer but don’t know how to approach the issue, tell them you want to save the planet. New Zealand government have announced it will be replacing its fleet of Australian-made Holdens and Fords with BMW 730LD’s.

The diesel Beemers are said to consume over two litres per 100 kilometres less than Aussie built Ford Fairlanes. I don’t know what price the Kiwi government is paying for the BMW’s, but a quick check on the Internet shows that in UK BMW 730LD costs around 54,000 pounds or $125,000 Australian. Meanwhile, top of the range Fairlane can be had for around AU$70,000.

If we assume that the average fleet car does about 100,000 km, the reduced consumption of the Beemer; lets assume it consumes 2.5 litres per 100 km less than a Fairlane, will save roughly 2500 litres of fuel. The current price of petrol in Australia is AU$1.40 and therefore AU$3,500 will be saved in fuel costs. Kiwi government is essentially spending AU$55,000 on a Beemer to save AU$3,500 worth of fuel! And that’s just one car, the costs across the entire fleet can add up to millions.

New Zealand taxpayers must be thrilled that their government is spending their money so wisely. What is it about being “green” that makes politicians lose their mind and ability to reason? Even a 10-year old could do these simple sums that seem beyond the grasp of the Kiwi Mandarins. Unless of course they just using a “green” excuse to get themselves into luxurious more desirable vehicles and think we are stupid enough to notice how utterly ridiculous and wasteful their “world-saving” extravagances are.

Whale Of A Stupid Article

21 12 2007

Latte-sippers’ favourite newspaper, Melbourne’s glorious “The Age” loves to tackle the big issues. In today’s edition Palaebiologist Erich Fitzgerald delivers more gags, this time on the subject of whaling. Presumably borrowing a leaf from Catherine Deveny’s book, he starts off with describing the shared mammalian “heritage” of humans and whales:

Whales and dolphins stir the imagination and evoke our emotions to an extent almost unique among non-human critters. As fellow mammals, whales share a deep evolutionary heritage with us, just as rats, cats, dogs, bats and aardvarks do.

Aardvarks? Well they are certainly cuter than some of The Age readers I encountered around Brunswick Street. But what are you saying, Erich? By your own logic, would it be OK to bait whales as we bait rats or keep them as pets like cats and dogs?

Whales are long sundered from us by the vastness of over 60 million years, yet they are our true distant cousins in the sea.

What a brilliant piece of meaningless tripe! You see, this sentence can be written about any living organism on the planet by adjusting the vastness of time. For example, tapeworms are long sundered from us by the vastness of over 100 million years, yet they are our true distant cousins in the small intestine.

Perhaps it is this primeval shared ancestry that contributes to humankind’s long-held fascination with cetaceans.

Possibly. Perhaps it is this very primeval shared ancestry that makes Japanese so fascinated with the taste of whale meat? Or could it be that Japanese and Norwegians are not humans at all? Erich may be onto something here.

They are like us in numerous ways: generally highly social, with complex behaviour; have sophisticated communication; possess what may best be described as culture; and, after humans and next to chimpanzees, include the most intelligent known organisms.

I am not convinced about this whale culture thing. To quote Wikipedia, culture is manifested in music, literature, painting and sculpture, theatre, film and other things. Although some people identify culture in terms of consumption and consumer goods, anthropologists understand “culture” to refer not only to consumption goods, but to the general processes which produce such goods and give them meaning… What sort of goods do whales produce exactly? Whale poop? Never mind…

Erich starts his article with narrative of common human and whale heritage, but than goes on to contradict himself in the second part of the article that seems to have no logical link to the start:

Ever since humans put to sea, we have relentlessly hunted whales and dolphins. With industrialisation and quantum leaps in technology, the oceans have seemingly shrunk and no depth is too great for our trawls, lines, nets and hooks. And so the “great days” of unchecked, unsustainable, whaling of the 20th century decimated populations of the great whales, with population after population, in species after species, inexorably and predictably crashing.

I am confused. Do we humans have a long-held fascination with cetaceans because of the eternal bond of our primeval shared ancestry, or just a long-held fascination with murdering whales for their meat and blubber? I am afraid, one is not any better posed to answer this question after reading Erich’s gibberish.

Massaging The Rainfall Data

21 12 2007

Cherry-picking data to suit the argument is one of the favourite tricks used by the global warming advocates. One of the classic examples of this shameful craft is the blatant manipulation of Australian rainfall statistics.

You often hear a global warming salesman of some desription saying that since the mid 70’s the Australian rainfall has decreased dramatically. The “Australian Of The Year” Dr. Tim Flannery even calls 1976, the “magic gate” year. He claims with much drama that “in 1975 high pressure systems began forming through the winter over the south-west of Western Australia and they persisted for enough time to decrease rainfall over the south-west by between 10 per cent and 20 per cent”.

10 to 20 percent! Sounds impressive, but is it true? Yes, technically Flannery is correct. But, there is something very important he doesn’t tell us. Flannery conveniently fails to mention that in Australia 1970’s were an unusually wet decade, with mid 70’s being especially wet. This is absolutely clear to anyone from looking at the publicly available rainfall data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. It took me only 5 minutes to find this data on their website. Have a look at the graph below, and you will see a massive spike in rainfall in the mid 70’s! What is even more curious is that the present rainfall levels are not at all different to the rainfall averages recorded between 1900 and 1970! Can you see the massive drought we hear so much about on the graph?

Flannery is essentially manipulating the statistics. He picks a very wet period as his point of reference which makes subsequent years of close to average rainfall appear dry by comparison. To illustrate, if we took a man with an unusually large penis and declared his shlong size to be “normal”, all the average proportioned blokes would suddenly become small!

What Flannery is doing is dishonest and manipulative but he has books to sell and his activist agenda to push, he only thrives on the ignorance of others. The silence of our “independent” media that gives Flannery a platform and a clear unquestioning run, while failing to do the simplest of fact checking, is much more shameful. The same goes for the Australian scientific establishment that should demonstrate integrity by putting truth and facts above advocacy instead of latching on to the latest grant-generating gravy train.

Rainfall graph is from Australian Bureau Of Meteorology:

BOM Rainfall

Norway. Gassy and Delusional.

21 12 2007

Welcome to the split personality disorder world of Global Warming! The official website of Norway claims the whole country will be carbon neutral by 2050. Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg further adds that Norway will reduce its emissions of greenhouse gasses by 30 percent by 2020.

Such bold pronouncements are bread and butter of contemporary European politics where saving the world is all that matters. Unfortunately it is increasingly clear that European elites are suffering from some sort of mental illness. The disease attacks the central nervous system of highly ranked politicians and renders the sufferers incapable of reconciling the imaginary world of carbon-free Nirvana with reality on the ground.

You see, despite making all the proper politically-correct noises about carbon neutrality and slashing the emissions, it has just been revealed that Norway has actually increased its CO2 emissions by 80% between 1990 and 2004!

If anyone knows of a starker, more blatant example of disconnect between spin and reality, I’d like to see it.