Global News: April 2008 Archives
"Every fill of the tank with ethanol uses the same amount of corn a child would eat in a year, and let's not even talk about the amount of potable water used to grow the corn in the first place. Given the above, which is the better use of the corn? If we produce ethanol from waste -- such as with switchgrass, which shows promise -- then no ethical problem would exist, although certainly the efficiency issues would remain. Until then, we should end the push to turn food into fuel, driven by the global-climate-change hysteria and pandering to the agricultural sector. Feed people ahead of cars. Is that really such a difficult concept?"
For real, writes Brett Arends: "Food prices are already rising here much faster than the returns you are likely to get from keeping your money in a bank or money-market fund. And there are very good reasons to believe prices on the shelves are about to start rising a lot faster.... Stocking up on food may not replace your long-term investments, but it may make a sensible home for some of your shorter-term cash."
"Shall I tell you the worst thing about being a Euro-sceptic? It's that some of the schemes you're exposing are so monstrous that, if you give people the plain facts, they think you're being hysterical. After a while, you find yourself deliberately playing down the magnitude of what is being proposed in order to sound more plausible." (Indirectly via Ephemeral Isle's item about a transnational region called Manche.)
"In Iran as many as 1 million people have surreptitiously converted to Evangelical Christianity in the last five years.... One Iranian religious scholar believes youth are abandoning Islam because it is identified with the corrupt Iranian government.... After decades of Islamist war, evangelicals report thousands of sub-rosa converts in rural areas of Kashmir. Says one churchgoer: 'I am interested in this religion. I hate violence. I hate fundamentalists in Islam. I come here to seek peace.'... Following decades of terrorist rule, Palestinians are being quietly converted, holding in-home services to avoid detection. Says one evangelist: 'I've been working among these people for thirty years, and I promise you I've never seen anything like this.'" (Via Clayton Cramer.)
Incumbents automatically renominated -- Europhile skullduggery in the selection of UK Conservative Party candidates for European Parliament elections. (Via Samizdata.)
"This enlisting of economic stagnation in the service of moral immobility had been part of the conscious intention of the founders of the Republic of Ireland. Challenged by a journalist over the likely tendency of an economic policy of self-sufficiency to lower Irish standards of living, [Eamon] De Valera rebuked the assumptions underlying the claim:'You say "lower" when you ought to say a less costly standard of living. I think it quite possible that a less costly standard of living is desirable and that it would prove, in fact, to be a higher standard of living. I am not satisfied that the standard of living and the mode of living in Western Europe is a right or proper one.'"
Why the Great Firewall of China works, despite all the holes in it: "By making the search for external information a nuisance, they drive Chinese people back to an environment in which familiar tools of social control come into play."