September 4, 2011

James Delingpole forced to offer an apology

Filed under: Britain, Environment — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 11:45

Yes, it’s true. Delingpole made an error in a recent column and has to make a full apology for the error:

It has been brought to my attention that this blog owes Sir Reginald Sheffield, Bt. an apology. In a recent column entitled Green Jobs? Wot Green Jobs? (Pt 242), I carelessly suggested that Sir Reg — beloved dad of the famous environmentalist “Sam Cam”; distinguished father-in-law of the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, no less — is making nearly £1000 a week from the wind turbines on his estates.

The correct figure is, of course, nearly £1000 a day.

In other words, Sir Reginald is making the equivalent of roughly 1000 looted widescreen plasma TV screens every year from the eight 400 foot wind turbines now enhancing the view for miles around on his 3,000 acre Normanby Hall estate, near Scunthorpe.

There will be those who suggest that my mistake is a resigning matter. I do share their concern. However it is my view that if a journalist is going to resign on a point of principle these days, it has to be over something immeasurably trivial, rather than over something merely quite trivial. What I do nevertheless agree is that I owe Sir Reginald Sheffield, Bt, an apology.

A big apology.

Scottish Conservative party too tainted to survive, claims leadership candidate

Filed under: Britain, Politics — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 11:10

Scotland has not been kind to the Conservative party for the last few decades, and a candidate for the leadership thinks the solution is to destroy the party in order to save it:

The Scottish Tory party could be scrapped and replaced by a new centre-right party, under radical reform proposals drafted by the favourite to become its next leader.

Murdo Fraser, deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, will launch his campaign to head the party on Monday by claiming that its only hope to attract greater popular support would be to split off from the UK party led by David Cameron.

Fraser, a former chairman of the Scottish Young Conservatives, will argue that creating a new Scottish centre-right, tax-cutting party would allow it to build up a fresh political mandate and attract voters disenchanted by the current party, which has failed to recover significantly from 25 years of decline.

After losing every Scottish seat at the 1997 Westminster election, the party now has only one MP at Westminster, David Mundell, the Scotland Office minister. It won just 15 out of 129 seats for the Scottish parliament at the last Holyrood elections and has failed to benefit from the collapse in Liberal Democrat support in Scotland.

UK “will lose 2 to 3 per cent GDP a year for around 20 years” on renewable energy subsidies

A report in The Register says that the subsidies for green renewable energy will be a big net drain on the national economy:

The UK’s headlong rush into renewable energy — one ignored by the rest of the world — will hit British jobs and then general incomes, an economic study finds.

The report, The Myth of Green Jobs by economist Professor Gordon Hughes of Edinburgh University, examines the long-term impacts of subsidising expensive “green” renewable energy projects. It says that if the UK continues to do so, it will lose 2 to 3 per cent GDP a year for around 20 years. If reducing CO2 emissions is your goal, says Hughes, your economy really can’t afford renewable energy.

[. . .]

“All forms of green energy tend to be substantially more expensive than conventional energy, so there is a trade-off between higher costs and lower emissions,” writes Hughes. “This trade-off is not specific to green energy, since there are many ways of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Hence, the starting point of any assessment of such programmes should be the total cost per tonne of carbon dioxide saved — or its equivalent — which will be incurred by relying upon different measures or policies to reduce emissions.”

California is apparently not in deep enough trouble

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Economics, Government, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 10:44

Otherwise, there’s no explanation for yet another extension of the state’s regulatory reach into the lives of everyday citizens. The most recent example is a bill that (at least on first look) appears to mandate workers’ compensation coverage, detailed pay slips (with all deductions clearly indicated), and paid vacation time for babysitters. Coyote Blog would like to see even more of this kind of thing:

I know this is exactly the kind of thing you would expect me to oppose, but I have decided this is exactly the kind of thing California needs. I am tired of average citizens passing crazy requirements on business without any concept of the costs and injustices they are proposing, and then scratch their head later wonder why job creation is stagnant.
I want to propose that California do MORE in this same vein. Here are some suggestions:

  • Every household will have to register for a license to conduct any type of commerce, a license to occupy their house, and a license to hire any employees. Homeowner will as a minimum have to register to withhold income taxes, pay social security taxes, pay unemployment insurance, pay disability insurance, and pay workers comp insurance.
  • Households should have to file a 1099 for every payment they make to contractors
  • All requirements of Obamacare must be followed for any household labor, including payment of penalties for even part-time labor for which the homeowner does not provide medical insurance
  • No alcohol may be purchased by any individual without first applying for and receiving a state liquor license
  • No cigarettes may be purchased by any individual without first applying for and receiving a state cigarette license
  • No over the counter drugs may be purchased by any individual without first applying for and receiving a state over the counter drug license

And the list goes on. But they’re not just being randomly generated: they’re all things that ordinary businesses in California already have to do.

Vikings cut down to 53-man roster

Filed under: Football — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 00:06

All NFL teams had to reduce their rosters to 53 players by 5:00 Saturday evening, but can’t sign players to their practice squads for a period afterward — as some teams are forced to cut quality players, the “final” roster is subject to a certain amount of churning. As a result the following summary is still only “mostly” final.


Position Starter(s) Backups Practice Squad Injured Reserve
QB (3) McNabb Ponder, Webb    
WR (5) Berrian, Harvin, Jenkins Camarillo (?), J. Johnson, Aromashodu Arceneaux, Iglesias, S. Burton  
RB (3) Peterson Gerhart, Booker Davis, Robinson  
FB (0) D’Imperio (?)   Asiata  
TE (4) Shiancoe, Rudolph Kleinsasser, Dugan, Reisner1    
OL (10) Loadholt (RT), Hutchinson (LG), Sullivan (C), Herrera (RG), C. Johnson (LT) DeGeare, R. Cook, Cooper, Love, Fusco2, Brown2, Olsen3    
DL (9/10) Robison (LE), Williams (UT)4, Ayodele (NT), J. Allen (RE) Griffen, Ballard, Awasom, Guion, Reed, Evans5    
LB (5) Greenway (S), E.J. Henderson (M), E. Henderson (W) Farwell, Onatolu, Dean Homan  
CB (6) Winfield, Griffin C. Cook, Sherels, A. Allen (?), Carter, B. Burton6 Parks, Torrence  
S (5) T. Johnson, Abdullah Sanford, Frampton, Raymond7   Brinkley8
K (1) Longwell      
P (1) Kluwe      
LS (1) Loeffler      
KR J. Johnson* Sherels*      
PR Booker*      

Players who have been waived are marked like this, while players who I didn’t predict making the team’s roster are marked in green. I’d marked Ryan D’Imperio and Asher Allen with question marks in my original post, as I wasn’t sure either one of them would make the team and didn’t know if they could be signed to the practice squad.


1. I’d assumed that Reisner would be cut, but projected to signing on the practice squad. Cutting Dugan created a slot for him.

2. I listed aboth Brown and Fusco as practice squad candidates. Rather surprised to see Fusco made the team, based on the reporting about him.

3. Seth Olsen wasn’t even on my list of practice squad candidates. He must have been doing good work away from the reporters, as I’d barely heard his name until now.

4. Kevin Williams has been suspended for the first two games of the season, and fined another two game cheques. He won’t count against the roster limit until the third game.

5. Fred Evans was a veteran I didn’t expect to see back on the full roster. I was clearly mistaken.

6. I’d originally predicted that CB Brandon Burton would be signed to the practice squad, but Jeremy Fowler noted that he’d made the regular roster.

7. Mistral Raymond made enough moves to join the regular season roster (I projected him as a practice squad player).

8. Jasper Brinkley moved to Injured Reserve: his season is over, and he won’t count against the roster.

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