December 2002 postings for "Dissecting Leftism" 



Here are the "lost" archives (December 2002) for "Dissecting Leftism"

Blog Mirror 1
Blog Mirror for China
Mirror archive
Rightism defined
Right/Left wrong?
Leftist Churches
Leftist Racism
Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
What are Leftists
Psych of Left
Political Psych
Leftism is authoritarian
Status Quo?
Of Interest
Academic Papers
More Academic Papers
Older Wisdom
Old Blog site
Academic home page
Academic Backup Page
General Backup


11 Day Emp
14000 Penn
Aaron rants
Always Right AMCGLTD
Am Realpolitik
Amish Tech
Bad Eagle
Betsys Page
Blissful K
Blogs of War
Brian's Educ
Sasha Castel
S Chapman
Chicago Boyz
Cindy Blogger
C Cramer
Colby Cosh
Cold Fury
Conservative Comment
Critical Mass
Cruel Shoes
Damian P
Dancing Dogs
Dean's World
Electric Venom
England's Sword
Ex Parte
V Ferrari
G Frazier
Free Whisky
Gene Exp
G Extremist
Good Turn
Gold Dog
Hello Bloggy
Heretical Ideas
Hitler's Leftism
Hoosier Rev
Innocents Abroad
Invisible Hand
Ipse Dixit
Jacob Levy
Jennie T
Judd Bros
Limbic Nutri
Light of Reason
Link Heaven
Liquid Courage
Little Green footballs
Lone Dissenter
Rachel Lucas
Mind Floss
Moderate Left
Muddy Shoes
C Murtaugh
R Musil
No 2 Pencil
Not A Fish
N.Z. Pundit
B O'Connell
Arlene Peck
Political Lom
Regions Mind
Bill Quick
Random Jot
Razor's Edge
Recovering lib
Redwood Dr
Revealed Truth
Right Thinking
Sean Gabb
Shiny Canuck
Silent Running
Sine Qua Non
Small Victory
N Solent
Steve Sailer
A Sullivan
M Totten
Townhall Clog
Useful Fools
Viking Pundit
Vodka Pundit
Rich Webster
Bill Whittle
Why read This
Wicked Thoughts
Wild Monk
Winds of Change
You Big Mouth

ABC Watch
A Anderson
The Australian Libertarian Society Bargarz
Angela Bell
A Oakley
Tim Blair
The Bunyip
M Darby
M Jennings
Media Dragon
B Monaro
Ken Parish
G Parker
Alex Robson
Wog Blog
S Wickstein
Weekly James
Whack Day
Paul Wright
Vigilant Zem
The Yobbo

Tim Dunlop

Front Page
Best of Web
National Rev
Fin Review
Business Review Week
Business Week
Free Republic

Asia Business Intelligence
Asia File
Asia Times
Asia Media
Big white guy
Black Man in China
Chi-Chu Tschang
China Hand
The China Hand
China Update
China Weblog
Gweilo Diaries
Hemlock's Diary
Micah Sittig
Lotsa links
Rice Cooker
Shanghai photos
Speak of China
Tiger Cafe
Taiwan news
Washington Post-China

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The Blogspot archiving system had something of a meltdown after Google took over. There is sometimes now no way of accessing most of the past posts from my blog. I am therefore putting up most of my past posts as separate sites. It seems to be the only way to keep them available.

In summary, my posts for 2002 are now available as follows:


The earliest postings on my blog -- from 10th July, 2002 to 31 October 2002 are sometimes available where they should be -- at http://jonjayray.blogspot.com/jonjayray_archive.html -- but they have also been reposted here.

The November 2002 postings on my blog have been reposted here

The December 2002 postings on my blog have been reposted below:


Comments? Email me. See my most recent writings on my Blog HERE. See my Home Page Here. For a FULL MENU of my academic writings, see here or here.


31 December, 2002


New Year is traditionally a time for optimism about the future so I thought I might reproduce here a New Year message from a self-described "incurable optimist". As a Swede who manages to spend much of his year on the Isle of Capri in Italy, perhaps he has grounds for optimism.

A message from Gunnar Adler-Karlsson:

Dear Friends,

My Christmas and New Year question is: Do nine out of ten of us live thanks to the birth of the symphony orchestra some three hundred years ago?

The "Mediterranean Museum" in Stockholm recently arranged a concert with the first known keyboard instrument, a water organ or "hydraulis". Fascinated, Marianne and I listened to the sounds from 19 longer and 14 shorter pipes, united into a small organ, the inspiration for all later organs in our Christian culture.

Suddenly, I saw in front of myself a shepherd of the sort that you still can see in the Greek countryside, with his flock of sheep and a flute under his arm. Then another came, and still others until in my fantasy I saw 19 shepherds with long, and 14 with short flutes. Together they played a beautiful concert, like the one by "hydraulis".

Then came a lyre, a cymbal, a trumpet, a drum and a bit later, a violin. An orchestra was forming. Out of this joint effort came then more advanced music, such as Bach's Brandenburg Concerti and Pergolesi's neapolitanean Opera Buffa, a few decades later perfected in the symphonies by Mozart and Haydn.

Then it came to my mind that the population of the earth has increased tenfold since the birth of the symphony orchestra! Do nine out of ten of us thus live thanks to heavenly symphonic music? Or is there some other, possibly less crazy relation between these two phenomena, the symphony orchestra and the increasing number of children in our global Christmas cribs?

I do think that is the case! Even if only thanks to a "spurious" relation.
Both phenomena are born out of an improved ability to co-operate. Slowly the shepherds learned to play together. With the help of more instruments we got ever more beautiful music, enjoyed by ever more people. Now, for instance, refined into the Santa Cecilia orchestra Marianne and I recently heard in Rome under a Japanese conductor, a Georgian piano soloist, and five other nations involved.

What is easy to understand and accept in music has also happened in society in the form that in my latest books I have termed "co-thinking Superbrains". Thanks to co-operation and "co-thinking" between individual brains, both within and between ever bigger nations and companies since the early 1700, we have also achieved fabulous economic results. The number of those who can enjoy symphony orchestras is probably a thousand times bigger today than in 1700. And , even if many still exist in dire poverty, about ten times as many human beings can live.

Now, when we peacefully have united almost all of Europe, couldn't we, in spite of all, also imagine a Christmas vision with a water organ transformed into a global symphony orchestra? In which, even if with different instruments, both Greeks and Turks, Hindus and Buddhists, and even Jews, Christians, and Moslems play together in a beautiful symphonic community. In order that all the world's people may enjoy that global harmony, of which our Christmas cribs can make us dream!

Happy New Year from

(Latest book: Meditations on Western Wisdom. If you want a copy, just tell me)



Prof. Bunyip is a great favourite of lots of people. Here is an example of why. He is reporting something he once said at a Christmas dinner party made up of Leftists:

These words (or something very much like them) tumbled unbidden from the Professor's lips:

"Ronald Reagan won the Cold War, revived the American economy, brought freedom to Eastern Europe and ended the Soviet Union. Why are any of these things bad?"

Pandemonium erupted. One simply can't utter such bald truths in what passes for the left's version of polite society. The right to demand that an alternate point of view be examined and rationally discussed can never be granted. The left fears scrutiny as a vampire shuns sunlight.



Two of the most articulate political writers of today are Christopher and Peter Hitchens -- who happen to be brothers. For many years, Christopher was far-Left and Peter was far-Right. Recently, however, Christopher has had a change of heart and moved to the Right. And he has become a vigorous supporter of war with Iraq. So what has Peter done? Anybody who has read Freud on sibling rivalry would not be surprised. Peter has just come out in OPPOSITION to war with Iraq! Fortunately, however, his arguments are so silly that it is unlikely that anyone will take him seriously. He argues, for instance, that it is a pity that the USA has not become a true empire!



Sport is very popular in Zimbabwe and Australian Prime Minister John Howard has just called on the Australian cricket team to cancel their forthcoming tour to Zimbabwe as a means of putting pressure on the horrific Zimbabwe government of Robert Mugabe.

Michael Darby tells you how you can support that call.



Tim Gillin has written in with some good thoughts and links on human cloning. He compares the current controversy with earlier controversies about advances in reproductive science. See here.

There is also an article in "Spiked" on the Clone Wars.


Comments? Email me: jonjayray@hotmail.com.If there are no recent posts here, check my HomePage for a new blog address.


30 December, 2002


With the current agitation for slavery "reparations" in the United States, it seems important to get clear just what the reparations might be for. I think that the following extract from The Encyclopedia Britannica will have lots of surprises for most people:

Black slaves exported from Africa were widely traded throughout the Islamic world. Approximately 18,000,000 Africans were delivered into the Islamic trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean slave trades between 650 and 1905.

In the second half of the 15th century Europeans began to trade along the west coast of Africa, and by 1867 between 7,000,000 and 10,000,000 Africans had been shipped as slaves to the New World.

Although some areas of Africa were depleted by slave raiding, on balance the African population grew after the establishment of the transatlantic slave trade because of new food crops introduced from the New World, particularly manioc, corn (maize), and possibly peanuts (groundnuts).

The relationship between African and New World slavery was highly complementary. African slave owners demanded primarily women and children for labour and lineage incorporation and tended to kill males because they were troublesome and likely to flee. The transatlantic trade, on the other hand, demanded primarily adult males for labour and thus saved from certain death many adult males who otherwise would have been slaughtered outright by their African captors

I guess I am naive but is there not some cause for THANKS somewhere in there?



Here is a good Quiz: What do these three people have in common? John Tyler,
James Polk and Zachary Taylor. I doubt that anyone outside the USA would know and I suspect that many Americans would not know either. And yet they all held a very exalted office. They were all Presidents of the United States.



I have previously noted how irreligious Australia is compared to the USA -- and noted also that it seems to do Australia no harm. Here is another observation of the marginal place of Christianity in Australian life.



Present realities are the best argument for making education voucher-funded:

If money were the answer, Washington public schools would be the best in the nation -- if not the world. Per student expenditures are $10,500 a year, second highest in the nation. With a student-teacher ration of 15.8, they have smaller-than-average class sizes. What is the result?

In only one of the city's 19 high schools do as many as 50 percent of its students test as proficient in reading, and at no school are 50 percent of the students proficient in math. At nine high schools, only 5 percent or fewer of its students test proficient in reading; and in 11 high schools, only 5 percent or less are proficient in math. The story gets worse when we look at the percentages for "below basic" performance, which means that the student has little or no mastery of subject skills.

But that's not the worst of the story: Each year, more than 80 percent -- and up to 96 percent -- of high school students are promoted to the next grade. This is nothing but fraud, dishonesty and deception, plain and simple. While the education establishment can rightfully point to education problems beyond their control, -- irresponsible parents, students with alien and hostile minds, and rotten teaching conditions -- they bear the sole responsibility for fraudulent promotions and fraudulent diplomas.

The bottom line is that if one didn't know better, one would think that Washington's predominantly black public school system was being run by the grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, hell-bent on a mission to sabotage black academic excellence. Instead, it's a system being run by blacks for blacks.

More here.



Meanwhile, the North Korean "news" agency KCNA reports that "General Secretary Kim Jong Il received a floral basket from Yasser Arafat, President of Palestine, on the occasion of the New Year, Juche 92 (2003). The floral basket was handed to Paek Nam Sun, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK, by Shaher Mohammed Abdlah, Palestinian Ambassador to the DPRK, on Wednesday."

Arafat won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

From Best of the web



Michael Darby gives his recipe for defeating Islamic fundamentalism.

On IQ & PC there is a story of completely off-the-planet political correctness in Britain. Apparently if you have a social worker on your case and you go and steal a car and then crash it, it is the social worker's fault! Leftists seem to be doing their best to abolish all ideas of personal responsibility whatsoever! Do they ever think at all about what they are doing?


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If there are no recent posts here, check my HomePage for a new blog address.


29 December, 2002


Wow! On the recently-released Russian scientific data, the Arctic is NOT warming up. And they should know: More of the Arctic is in Russia than anywhere else. What their figures show is that the temperature of the Arctic oscillates but that it is now actually lower than it has been for long periods within the last century. It has been clear for a while now that ANTarctica is not warming up so this really should put the lid on global warming once and for all --- among those who are interested in the facts anyway.

It is precisely the scare that the ice at the two poles is melting that the Greenies have been dining out on for years now. "Trust me. I'm a Greenie"!

There is also a more wide-ranging demolition of the whole global warming case by atmosphere scientists here.



I think that this description of environmentalism as a religion is a spoof but Greenies can be pretty loony so you never know.

Anyhow here is another amusing little story about the high calibre of our Greenies.And another bit of fun: When given a free choice of a taxpayer-funded car to drive around in, Australia's only "Green" Member of Parliament in our lower house chose a gas-guzzler! A definite bright spark!



A few bloggers and others are now looking at what the U.S. should do in Iraq once Saddam is knocked off his perch. Most think that there is no way that Iraq can be turned into a democracy any time soon. One reason why is that Arab societies are intensely tribal and their tribalism is very deep-seated because of the Arab custom of cousin marriage. So why that custom?

It is a result of the ease of divorce in Islam. A Muslim just says "I divorce you" three times to his wife and that is it. So how does a woman in a poor country get the security she needs to raise her children if marriage offers no security? There is only one way: She has to have a means of preventing her husband from exercising his "Islamic rights". And the only good way of doing that is to have his family on your side. But the only chance of having his family on your side rather than his is if they are your family too. So in cousin marriage, if a man divorces his wife without very strong reasons, he will have the whole family come down on him like a ton of bricks. So incestuous marriages are yet another outcome of that delightful religion.



Recovering Leftie, Ron Rosenbaum, is appalled at the words of a Leftist film-reviewer:

"Still, if
"Road to Perdition" ultimately fails as entertainment, it offers rich material for allegory. Maybe it was because I attended a screening on Sept. 11, but I couldn't help seeing Hanks as an American everyman, a pure-hearted killer who will commit no end of mayhem to ensure a better life for his children. Imagine Willie Loman with a tommy gun, and you'll see what I mean. 'You dirty rats! Attention must be paid.'"

But of course! What a BRILLIANT point he's making in the course of preening his anti-Americanism before his audience of U.K. intellectuals. What does Sept. 11 remind him of? The way AMERICANS are killers. Sept. 11 becomes, in his lovely leap of logic, really about Americans being pure-hearted killers capable of "no end of mayhem," infinite evil deeds. Doesn't EVERYBODY think that way? (Everybody in his little circle, I imagine). Sept. 11 reminds them that Americans are first and foremost murderers, so let's not spend a moment acknowledging that little matter of Sept. 11 being a day on which 3,000 AMERICANS were murdered by the "pure-hearted killers" of Al Qaeda. Who, when not committing mass murder, stone women as punishment, torture gays, crush free thought by executing dissidents. No, THEY get a pass (and the 3,000 become non-persons). Because they hate America

Source here. Via Bleeding Brain.



Human cloning is in the news at the moment -- though the current claim is almost certainly a fraud. All I know is that human cloning WILL happen sooner or later and I fail to see what is wrong with it. Such a child would be very much a wanted and treasured child for sure. And is that not a great start in life? Anyway, there are clones all around us. All banana trees are clones, for instance. And natural human clones (twins) invariably LOVE being clones. Criticizing cloning is just busybody stuff as far as I can see. Anyway, here is a scholarly link on the subject which deals with the considerable SCIENTIFIC problems of the procedure.



One of the sanest sites on the web at the moment is Bill Whittle's new blog. His essays are so simple and yet so insightful that I cannot see how any sane person could disagree with them. Now how's THAT for a big claim? Here's just one thought-provoking paragraph in which he gives just a tiny part of his answer to European anti-Americans:

To those who doubt our mental sophistication, I would remind you that our GRANDPARENTS walked upon the moon. And why is it that of all we produce and all we exult, the only things that seem to have caught on in Europe are McDonald's and "Baywatch"? That says much more about them than it does about us, and none of it good, I'm afraid.

There is a good joke just up on Michael Darby and there are some reports about the oppressiveness of political correctness in Britain today up on IQ & PC.


Comments? Email me: jonjayray@hotmail.com.
If there are no recent posts here, check my HomePage for a new blog address.


28 December, 2002


In the course of the Trent Lott affair, U.S. Democrats did their best to paint all Republicans as racists and quite desperate attempts are now being made by them to tar Lott's successor with the same brush. In the crazed minds of Leftists, even blunt pencils are seen as a sign of racism!

I have mentioned previously this quiz that lists the history of racism in the U.S. Democrats. One wonders how they can have the cheek to accuse Republicans of racism in such circumstances. "Those who live in glass houses ....." No doubt, however, liberals say that it was "only" Southern Democrats who were racist. I think therefore that I should point out that Leftists everywhere were not so long ago unashamedly racist.

One striking case in point is the immigration policy maintained by all Australian governments from 1901 to 1966. This policy was known as the "White Australia policy" and was aimed mainly at excluding Chinese immigrants from Australia. And who were always the most ardent supporters of that policy? The Australian Labor Party -- Australia's major Leftist party. It was an Australian Labor Party leader (Arthur Calwell) who became famous for his remark that, "Two Wongs don't make a white". The policy was eventually abolished by a conservative government under Harold Holt.

And are feminists conservative? Hardly. And feminists are not a new phenomenon. In the person of Margaret Sanger and others, they were very active in the USA in first half of the 20th century, advocating (for instance) abortion. And Margaret Sanger was warmly praised by none other than Hitler himself for her energetic championship of eugenics. And the American eugenicists were very racist. They shared Hitler's view that Jews were genetically inferior and opposed moves to allow into the USA Jews fleeing from Hitler (Richmond, 1998). So if Hitler's eugenics and racial theories were loathsome, it should be acknowledged that his vigorous supporters in the matter at that time were Leftists and feminists, rather than conservatives.

So Leftists racism was once ubiquitous and, going by the way Jews are treated on many American campuses today, the old prewar follies are rapidly being rediscovered by Leftists. Any Republican racism has nothing on Leftist racism.

Update: John Hudock has some additional "Quiz" items for us:

Which party voted in higher percentages for the 1964 civil rights act? (Republicans 80% House/82% Senate vs Dems 63% House/69% Senate). What was the party of the ex-Klansman who lead the filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act? (the 'conscience of the Senate' Robert Byrd, Democrat). What was the party of the Senator who rounded up votes to invoke cloture to end the filibuster (Everett Dirksen, Republican)

Richmond, M. (1998) Margaret Sanger's eugenics. "Life advocate". January.



On Christmas eve, Israeli blogger Imshin wished all her Christian readers a "Merry Christmas". I wonder if any Muslim blogger did the same? Far too childish and insecure, I would think.



Pejman has a great cartoon about the "brutal" way Americans treat their Muslim prisoners of war.



A reader has recently directed my attention to a most amusing piece of Greenie "cleverness". In a big scaremongering blub here, the United Nations climate-change panel note as proof for their contentions that "the Arctic ice is thinning". Those in the know would all laugh about that one. The statement is of course true. BUT did you notice that word "arctic"? Why not "polar"? Because the ANTARCTIC ice is thickening! What fun! We good guys down in Australia are making up for those bad guys in the USA see!

What a lot of dishonest nonsense it all is. You can prove anything by the sort of selective use of evidence that the Greens rely on.



One of the latest capers of the Left is to blame drug-companies and vaccines for the rise in cases of autism that have been reported in recent years. The Lefties particularly condemn a particular preservative (Thimerosal) used in many vaccines. The fact that the same preservative has been used in vaccines for 60 years without giving cause for concern does not seem to hold the Lefties up one bit. Charles Murtaugh (post of 22nd) has a few good shots at the nonsense being written on the subject at the moment.

Blissful Knowledge has been blogging on the topic lately too.



"My friends, I must tell you that a Socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Although it is now put forward in the main by people who have a good grounding in the Liberalism and Radicalism of the early part of this century, there can be no doubt that Socialism is inseparably interwoven with Totalitarianism and the abject worship of the State. It is not alone that property, in all its forms, is struck at; but that liberty, in all its forms, is challenged by the fundamental conceptions of Socialism."

Words of Winston CHURCHILL: Pre-Election radio broadcast, June 4th., 1945


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27 December, 2002


The Economist has always been my favourite magazine but I think that in one recent article they have got part of their story back to front. They claim that conservatism is doing much better in the USA than in Britain and that Ronald Reagan therefore had more lasting influence than did Margaret Thatcher.

I think that the real problem for the British Conservative party is that Prime Minister Tony Blair of the British Labour Party has stolen their thunder -- he has taken over most of the the Tory causes and themes. In other words, Britain's most effective Tory is now the very popular head of a still somewhat Leftist party. In keeping with that, a British Labour party stalwart (Peter Mandelson) recently said: "We are all Thatcherites now". Can you imagine Ted Kennedy or any other prominent U.S. Democrat saying "We are all Reaganites now"? Lady Thatcher changed the whole agenda in Britain -- more than Reagan did in the USA. I must say, though, that while I admired Margaret Thatcher, I loved Ronald Reagan.

That the British are inherently less promising material for conservatives than are Americans, however, I do not doubt. For hundreds of years the more enterprising and independent Brits have been emigrating to Britain's daughter countries in North America, Australasia and Africa. We now have much evidence (e.g. Lake et al., 2000) that personality is one of the many human traits that are genetically inherited so it is no surprise that the descendants of the Brits who remained at home in Britain should be more inclined to suck on the teat of the Welfare State.

Lake, I.E., Eaves, L.J., Maes, H.H.M., Heath, A.C. & Martin, N.G. (2000) Further evidence against the environmental transmission of individual differences in neuroticism from a collaborative study of 45,850 twins and relatives on two continents. Behavior Genetics. 30 (3), 223-233.



Wow! Robert Musil has a great blog. He really knows what he is talking about in economics and science. I don't know why he likes the French, though.



Wow! There has been a great stoush recently between economist John Quiggin and scientist Aaron Oakley over global warming! I declare Aaron the winner!

(Hmmm ... Is "stoush" a term used outside Australia? Literally, it means a punch-up or a fight but in this case I am referring to a vigorous controversy.)



Leftist logic always leaves lots out but it is at least usually easy to follow -- far too simplistic if anything. But the latest Leftist idea that American Indians should not be allowed to use Indian mascots or use such Indian terms as "Braves" to refer to themselves or name their sporting teams leaves me crosseyed with the deviousness of its "logic". Apparently it is supposed to be "non-racist" and "inclusive" to ban Indians from referring to their own group names and their own past. I guess that whites who refer to themselves as "Anglo-Saxons", "Germans", "Italians" etc. will be in the firing-line next. And Americans who remember and praise the deeds of George Washington must be a bad lot too by the same logic. David Yeagley (an American Indian) has been fulminating about it for some time. He has good reason to be angry at such oppression in the name of "tolerance" (of all things!). Only George Orwell would not be surprised by it all.

So the supposedly "anti-racist" Left is now not only persecuting Jews again (particularly on U.S. College campuses) but it is now persecuting the poor old American Indians too, because they have the temerity to be proud of their warrior past! With friends like the Left, who needs enemies?



People from time to time point out that what Americans rather cruelly call "white trash" show much the same low achievement levels as blacks and they take this as an indication that there is no genetic basis for black underachievement. The (unproven) claim is that whites who underachieve do so because of bad habits, customs or culture and that therefore bad habits, customs and culture also explain low levels of achievement among blacks. This has however been tested just about as carefully as can be imagined and been found not to be so: If whites and blacks are reared in the SAME family, the black disadvantage persists (Whitney, 1996).

But if the "cultural" explanation fails on the evidence the genetic explanation does not. As Richard Lynn and many others have pointed out, it has been known for nearly a century now that IQ correlates substantially with most indices of social disadvantage -- lower educational achievement, lower occupational status, lower income, smoking, crime etc. So the commonalities between blacks and poor whites can be simply explained by saying that BOTH poor whites and blacks suffer from lesser intelligence and that the lesser intelligence is the major factor leading to the lower achievement and the maladaptive customs and behaviour that people observe in both groups. Whether you are black or white, lower intelligence is a broad-ranging handicap.

So poor social habits and practices can indeed lead to low achievement but we then need to go on and ask why some people (both black and white) display such disadvantageous behaviours. And in many cases the answer will be: because of low intelligence. So in such cases unwise behaviour is simply the MEANS whereby low intelligence exerts its unfortunate effect. It is not the basic cause itself.

Ray, J.J. (1972) Are all races equally intelligent? Or: When is knowledge knowledge? Journal of Human Relations, 20, 71-75.
Ray, J.J. (1985) Smoking and intelligence in Australia. Social Science & Medicine 20, 1279-1280.
Whitney, G. (1996) Professor Shockley's experiment. Mankind Quarterly, 37 (1). Reproduced here and here.


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26 December, 2002


Orrin Judd is one of many Americans who assert their belief that the secret of American success in material and other fields is the very strong hold that Christianity has on Americans. He feels that Christianity is needed to encourage and enforce moral and ethical behaviour and that a civil society would be impossible without the moral habits that Christianity is so good at engendering.

As it happens, the Judd blog is one of my favourites. I log on there frequently and when I do I settle myself down for a careful read of the many interesting and well-informed posts there. I think that the Judd blog is at least twice as deserving of the money that Andrew Sullivan recently raised from his readers. On the importance of Christianity, however, I am going to disagree with the Judd position across the board and I am going to do so by referring to some historical and sociological evidence from outside the United States that Americans generally seem little aware of.

But let me start out by conceding that there is indeed something there to explain. Materially, the American advantage is great. The average Englishman, Frenchman, Canadian, German or Swede has only around two thirds of the spending power of the average American. See the figures on the matter in my post of 13th. And Americans are also around half as likely to be victims of crime.

(Unlike other crimes, the American murder rate is very high but that is almost entirely a matter of blacks murdering blacks. It has little impact on the white population. See my post of 8th. Whites are much safer in America than in many other advanced countries (though nowhere nearly as safe as the Japanese in Japan). Even blacks, however, are much safer and more prosperous in America than they would be in Africa -- in impoverished hellholes of war and crime such as South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Ghana, the Congo etc.)

And I agree with Hayek (1944) that morality and trust in a society are enormously important to its prosperity, not to mention the pleasantness of everyday interpersonal relationships.

But the American advantage is much slighter than the statistics referred to so far might suggest. Countries like Britain, Australia, Canada, Germany and Sweden are still pleasant and prosperous places to live and their small degree of disadvantage to America can easily be accounted for by such simple differences as the less socialized American economy (i.e. government there does less than in other advanced economies) and the much longer prison sentences that Americans inflict for crime (See my post of November 24th).

Australia is a particularly interesting case in point. Americans generally like Australia and see it in many ways as being a version of the USA -- though minus the blacks. The more laid-back Australian lifestyle does lead to poorer standards of consumer service and the fact that there are only 20 million people to pay for a road network covering a country as large as the United States does mean that the roads are generally of a noticeably lower standard but otherwise life in Australia is generally attractive: Rather like a friendlier and less weird version of California.

Yet from its foundation in 1788, Australia has always been a traditionally unholy place with a very low rate of churchgoing. Americans trace their founding fathers to religious fanatics but Australians trace their foundations to convicts. And other major population elements in the white settlement of Australia -- such as goldrush "diggers" and Irish rebels -- did little to alter the culture originating from our convict origins. Only about 3% of modern-day Australians have convict ancestors but the early days formed a culture that has been passed on to others as they arrived -- just as only a small minority of Americans now have primarily English ancestry but English is nonethless the language of America. And Australia's only national hero to this day is Ned Kelly -- an Irish highway robber who eventually was hanged for his undoubted crimes.

So how come Australia is a civil, prosperous and pleasant place to live? It is because Australians DO have a widely agreed-on moral code -- but it is not a Christian one. It originates from the values of the English working class of yesteryear and can perhaps be conveniently summed up (in its original Australian slang) as the following five "Commandments":

* Thou shalt not dob in thy mates
* Thou shalt not bung on an act.
* Thou shalt not be a tall poppy
* Thou shalt give everyone a fair go
* Thou shalt be fair dinkum

Translating these into standard English yields APPROXIMATELY the following:

* You must not incriminate your friends to the boss, the police or anyone else. Loyalty to your associates is all-important.

* You must not be ostentatious or pretend to be what you are not.

* You must treat others as your equals. If you are seen as being better than others in anything but sport you will be made to suffer for it.

* You must be fair and permissive in your treatment of others.

* You must not be insincere or dishonest.

From Hammurabi onwards, most moral codes have had much in common and the Australian and Christian moral codes do also have things in common but the Australian moral code is not preached in churches. It is simply traditional and widely heartfelt.

So. Sorry to all you American churchgoers but people CAN be moral and decent without someone either putting the fear of God into them or inspiring them with the love of Christ.

Final note:
When asked at census time most Australians do put down some religion for themselves. Note, however, that in the last census we had over 5% of the population describe themselves as Methodists -- a denomination that does not exist in Australia any more. The Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists combined to form the "Uniting" church a quarter of a century ago. In other words, for the vast majority of Australians, Christianity is a token thing.

Hayek, F.A. (1944) The road to serfdom. London: Routledge
Ray, J.J. (1981) Is the Ned Kelly syndrome dead? Some Australian data on attitudes to shoplifting. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 14, 249-252.



I hope that everyone had as good a Christmas as I did. If so we should maybe spare a thought for what Christmas was like in Zimbabwe.



I always enjoy watching the Queen's Christmas-day message on TV. She always speaks such good sense. This year I particularly enjoyed the following passage in which she speaks of the huge celebrations of her Jubliee that took place this year in many countries of the world.

The celebrations were joyous occasions, but they also seemed to evoke something more lasting and profound - a sense of belonging and pride in country, town or community; a sense of sharing a common heritage enriched by the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity of our 21st Century society.



Tim Blair, Bernard Slattery, Aaron Oakley and others have been reflecting lately on how they and many other well-known Australian conservatives started out on the Left and for various reasons became fed up with it and moved towards the Right. In the full knowledge that it leaves me open to the accusation that I have no "heart" I am pleased to say that I joined a conservative political party in my teens and have lived to see much of what I have always believed in (such as the folly and brutality of Communism) vindicated by time. In my case, the world has moved in my direction rather than vice versa. The 1970s were arguably the high-water-mark of Leftism but in 1974 I published a largish book in defence of conservatism!

There are many lifelong conservatives like me but few of them bother to talk about it much. Just as it often said that there is no anti-Catholic like an ex-Catholic, so it is that those who are most vocally anti-Left are usually ex-Leftists. I guess that they resent being conned and very commendably try their hardest to save others from the same fate. My motivation is that I have always seen irrationality and dishonesty as highroads to disaster.

Ray, J.J. (1974) Conservatism as heresy. Sydney: ANZ Book Co.


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25 December, 2002


Merry Xmas, a happy New Year and best wishes for the holiday season to all!

Or as they say in Bella Italia: Tantissimi auguri di Buon Natale e di Buon Anno a tutti, e tanti auguri affettuosi di buone feste. (Pinched from Wog Blog). Italian is a beautiful language.

Nothing very heavy today. Just some interesting links, stories and jokes:



See here for the latest "Carnival of the Vanities" -- a digest of good posts from all over the blogosphere.



The London Underground or "tube" is a great way to get about London and has been for a very long time. Take a relaxing look here at the parts that the public can no longer normally access.



Do you hate Muzak and other forms of piped music in shopping centres etc? It only bothers me if it is loud but this site suggested by one of my correspondents could be for you if you are really anti. Apparently MOST people do not like it and those who inflict it on us do sometimes turn it off once they find that out.



After a week of silence, China hand has redeemed himself with some interesting holiday season reading about religion, politics and the economy in China today.



Philip Jenkins makes the point that the vast paedophilia scandals in the Roman Catholic church have harmed it badly in the Western world and compares that effect with the effect of the Reformation launched by Martin Luther.

He also points out, however that the church is gaining adherents rapidly in the poor countries of Africa and Asia so foresees the time when the RC church will be mainly a non-Western operation.



I have had three papers published in the academic journals that report psychometrically-based survey research among the Parsees (Indian Zoroastrians of originally Persian origin). As the Parsees are rarely studied by psychologists, that may make me the world's leading expert on the psychology of the Parsees. When I said therefore (in a post on this blog of 13th November) that the Zoroastrians of today are great haters of Islam, I was not entirely speaking through my hat. One of my Hindu correspondents has however written to remind us that Zoroastrians were historically not effective opponents of Islam and he also has some interesting thoughts on what the past tells us about the future prospects for Iran (Persia).

See here. He is undoubtedly right that Hindu Indians resisted Islam much more effectively than did the Persians.

Ray, J.J. (1983) Ambition and dominance among the Parsees of India.
Journal of Social Psychology 119, 173-179.
Ray, J.J. (1986) The traits of immigrants: A case study of the Sydney Parsees. Journal of Comparative Family Studies 17, 127-130.
Ray, J.J. (1983) Race and climate as influences on anxiety.
Personality & Individual Differences 4, 699-701.



Wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. And radio operates exactly the same way. The only difference is that there is no cat.

_ Albert Einstein (explaining radio)



There is a blog called: How to learn Swedish in 1000 difficult lessons. It is written by an American living in Sweden. I guess he is no linguist.



One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water.

She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"

"You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."

He said..... "Then I thank you from my heart." As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her
at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his
best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the
business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill.

She read these words.....

"Paid in full with one glass of milk"


Dr. Howard Kelly.



Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews had to convert to Catholicism or leave Italy.
There was a huge outcry from the Jewish community. So the Pope offered a deal. He would have a religious debate with the leader of the Jewish community. If the Jews won, they could stay In Italy; if the Pope won, they would have to leave.
The Jewish people met and picked an aged but wise Rabbi, Moishe, to represent them in the debate. However, as Moishe spoke no Italian and the Pope spoke no Yiddish, they all agreed it would be a "silent" debate. On the chosen day, the Pope and Rabbi Moishe sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Rabbi Moishe looked back and raised one finger.
Next the Pope waved his finger around his head.
Rabbi Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat.
The Pope then brought out a communion wafer and a chalice of wine. Rabbi Moishe pulled out an apple.
With that, the Pope stood up and declared that he was beaten, that Rabbi Moishe was too clever and that the Jews could stay.
Later, the Cardinals met with the Pope, asking what had happened. The Pope said, "First, I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there is still only one God common to both our beliefs." "Then I waved my finger to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us."
I pulled out the wine and wafer to show that God absolves us of all our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of the original sin." "He had me beaten, and I could not continue."
Meanwhile, the Jewish community gathered around Rabbi Moishe. "What happened?" they asked.
"Well," said Moishe, "First, he said to me that we had three days to get out of Italy. So I said to him, Up yours!"
"Then, he told me that the whole country would be cleared of Jews; and I said to him, Mr. Pope, we're staying right here."
"And then what?" asked a woman.
"Who knows?" said Moishe. "He took out his lunch, so I took out mine."


A cowboy dressed in a cowboy shirt, hat, jeans, spurs and chaps went to a bar and ordered a drink. As he sat there sipping his whiskey, a young lady sat down next to him.

After she ordered her drink she turned to the cowboy and asked him, "Are you a real cowboy?"

To which he replied, "Well, I have spent my whole life on the ranch, herding cows, breaking horses, mending fences, I guess I am."

After a short while he asked her what she was. She replied,

"I've never been on a ranch so I'm not a cowboy, but I am a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in the morning I think of women, when I eat, shower, watch TV, everything seems to make me think of women."

A short while later she left and the cowboy ordered another drink.

A couple sat down next to him and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?"

To which he replied, "I always thought I was, but I just found out that I'm a lesbian."

More jokes here


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24 December, 2002


Several people have written in to say that I should not blame President Bush for the moronic Gestapo that he has inflicted on the American public in the name of "security". They seem to have forgotten where the buck stops.

I do not particularly blame the low-paid front-line workers who initiate these abuses. I blame their supervisors and superiors who should know better and who should proceed immediately to an apology for the excesses of their workers. They do not. They treat innocent people as criminals. And they do it time and time and time again. And the victim never has any effective redress. It is a Police-State system and I think that there is no doubt that the President is responsible for the system



There has been a lot of rage in the blogosphere about the ban on Xmas paraphenalia in British Red Cross shops. Now I would never donate to the Red Cross because of their tradition of Antisemitism but I think that their explanation of this one is reasonable. See here.

By the way, even though I am an atheist, I love Xmas, Xmas carols and Xmas day. Christmas symbols certainly do not "offend" me one bit. I will probably in fact attend the 9.30am divine service at Brisbane's marvellous St John's Anglican Cathedral on Xmas day because I love the old hymns and other Xmas music. And the Anglicans have always known how to put on a good show: Big ecclesiastical processions with lots of shiny stuff, tastefully magnificent vestments, smells and bells, anodyne sermons, Anglican chant etc. Great stuff!

(But the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches have the best hats!)



That most of the media are Left-leaning is pretty obvious to anyone who cares to think about it. That most of the media are also pro-Green is less obvious because not many people have easy access to the original scientific reports and statistics that disprove Greenie claims. This article shows that even minimal access to such information is sufficient to disprove the global warming nonsense we get every day from the media.



"Do as I say, not as I do" is a motto that could have been designed expressly for Leftists. The State Library of Massachusetts describes one William Bulger as follows:

"Former President of the State Senate William Bulger's memoir contains many stories of life in the political trenches. Bulger, now President of The University of Massachusetts has been a strong force in Democratic politics since the 1960s"

Yet this stalwart of the Democrats is at the moment deliberately protecting a brother of his who is a gangster wanted for many murders. Foolish old Trent Lott just had to say a few silly words to lose his position. But Lott was a Republican. A Democrat can protect murderers and still remain an idol of his party!

But from Robespierre through Stalin to Pol Pot, murder has never bothered Leftists, of course. Isn't it wonderful to be so "caring"? As a certain wise man once said: "By their fruits shall ye know them".

Jeff Jacoby has more,


Medpundit tells of a $250.00 jar of skin cream being promoted on the basis of pseudoscientific claims and comments:

"And $250? If that were a prescription skin cream, there would be cries of outrage. Funny that we're willing to pay more for unproven therapies than we are for proven therapies."

Funny?? Moronic!



For once Chris Brand seems to have the strength on his side -- the British Prime Minister, no less! See yesterday's postings here



Steve Sailer has a good point. He says that there is no overall equality or inequality between blacks and whites, only differences, and deplores the Leftist habit of denying that any differences exist:

We must finally take seriously the value of diversity. The first step is to drop the fashionable but Orwellian habit of saying "diversity" when we mean "sameness." To pretend that all groups have all the same talents to all the same degree is the antithesis of truly celebrating diversity.



Here are some examples of how the law is so often an ass. The examples are Australian ones but I am sure that similar crazy judgments are handed down all the time in Britain and in the USA too. It is because of examples such as these that I support the recent British moves to weaken the hoary legal doctrines that have led to this sort of injustice in the past.


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23 December, 2002


Guess who has been playing around with his template? I think that the new colour down the side is easier on the eyes. Green and Gold are of course Australia's national colours: Green for our vast agricultural and pastoral industries and gold because we are still a major gold-producing country. And the bit of blue sky in the corner tells you what sunny weather we usually have. Where I live in Brisbane, Queensland, we very rarely have grey skies. Queensland has long been known as "The sunshine State". (And, as a monarchist living in a monarchy, I think that the name of my home State is a proper tribute to a great Sovereign -- Queen Victoria).



The "Carnival of the Vanities" is due out again this Wednesday -- at Ravenwood's Universe -- so if you have a posting that you think deserves a re-run, email the link to Steve pronto so he does not have to work too hard on Xmas day: steve@ravnwood.com.



No. Not a horror perpetrated by terrorists: A horror perpetrated by the U.S. government. And it is far from an isolated incident. Conservative though I am I think it would be enough to make me vote AGAINST G.W. Bush in the next election if I were an American. The USA now has its own Gestapo and it is G.W. Bush who set it up and who lets it do what it does. American civil liberties will soon be gone altogether at this rate.



I suppose that there are still a few people around who are not aware how heavily fictionalized the recently released Australian film Rabbit-proof fence is. The film itself does assert that it tells a true story -- about a young Aboriginal girl who "escapes" from a white institution to return to her Aboriginal home.

Funny that the person whose life it was allegedly based on could not recognize her experiences in it at all! If you want the true story see here.

But perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the film is that the man who made it has himself done exactly what he portrays as evil in the film! See here.



There is a great quiz about all those good old anti-racist Democrats here. It comes ultimately from a column by Thomas Oliver. Clever man!



An excellent satire here about the current French military intervention in Africa.



There is a long but very thorough article in The Economist looking at the heritage of Karl Marx -- which concludes that the anti-globalization protestors of today are his direct intellectual heirs. Excerpt:

"Anti-globalism has been aptly described as a secular religion. So is Marxism: a creed complete with prophet, sacred texts and the promise of a heaven shrouded in mystery. Marx was not a scientist, as he claimed. He founded a faith. The economic and political systems he inspired are dead or dying. But his religion is a broad church, and lives on."



The FBI agent who wrote a scathing memo on the agency's intelligence failures and women who blew the whistle on corruption at corporate giants Enron and WorldCom were on Sunday named Time magazine's Persons of the Year.




A story reported at IQ & PC yesterday suggests that terrorists may not be the only danger to aircraft at African airports.



The Australian government has spent BILLIONS on Aborigine welfare programs in recent years. Most of the money of course went into the pockets of white bureaucrats and social workers. I am sure that the Aborigines themselves would rather have had the money in THEIR pockets. A good way of putting an end to government racial favouritism, therefore, would be to abolish ALL the existing government agencies concerned with Aborigines and just send each Aborigine a cheque once a year for (say) $2,000 for the next 5 years.

The white bureaucrats and Leftist agitators would of course fight that tooth and nail but if the Prime Minister went on TV and appealed over their heads directly to the Aboriginal people themselves to ask THEM whether they wanted the money or not, I think the answer would be clear and the do-gooders might have to submit.

Abolishing the government agencies concerned would of course disrupt the lives of the clerical employees in them but that could be overcome by placing a moratorium of hiring into the rest of Public Service for one year so that former empoyees of the Aborigine agencies could be absorbed into other Public Service vacancies as they arose.



In another bit of Nanny State foolishness, the British government has banned Kava Kava on the grounds that it might damage your liver.

The Pacific Islanders would be amazed at the ban and the reasons given for it. It has been a traditional tipple there from time immemorial so one would think they would all be dead if it killed your liver.

At any event, KK could not be nearly as bad as cigarettes or alcohol: Probably a lot safer as KK just zonks you out. People will die from this decision as they turn from KK to booze. Just one alcohol-related traffic accident could kill more people than will ever die from using KK.


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22 December, 2002


Under the influence of Leftist political correctness, a lot of biological scientists have in the past pooh-poohed the reality of race and said that all races are more or less the same genetically. It is interesting, therefore, that the latest DNA research establishes what every honest observer has known all along -- that there are different races, that they are genetically different and that the differences in the genes correspond to how people generally group the races.

Thanks to Steve Sailer for the link.

Razib at Gene Expression also blogs on the study concerned -- ending up with an hilarious sendup of how a post-modernist might explain his conclusions.



Eternal student has some interesting observations on urban gangs (But a warning: "Eternal student" is a vegetarian liberal lawyer) in his area -- which appears to be in New Jersey. He says that his law office has seen evidence of gang activity going up sharply in recent years and that gang members are becoming more loyal to one-another. He explains that (predictably) as an outcome of "society" having failed them and compares it to Muslim attacks on our society but, all that aside, his observations impress as sound so there does seem to be something there worth investigating. It does look as if gangs are getting more savvy at avoiding the law -- which could alone account for their growing popularity. Perhaps tougher penalties for gang activity are needed.


9/11 RACIST?

I no more agree with all the views expressed at WASP than I do with all the views expressed by "Eternal Student" but the post of 20th on "WASP" did make an interesting point that I had not thought of before -- but a point which seems obviously true in the light of much of the propaganda coming out of the Arab world: The hostility expressed by Arabs towards the USA and its allies is at least in part good old-fashioned racism. Arabs believe that they are (or were) a great people and a great civilization and that our ascendancy over them is unjust. So they attack us just as Hitler attacked the Jews and for the same reason. Hitler too, of course, thought that the Jews were in an unjustly dominant position in German society.



In response to my "Black armband" post yesterday, Tim Gillin has written in giving a summary of the anthropological arguments in favour of the view that there were THREE waves of immigration by primitive peoples into Australia before the white man came. See the post of 21st here. See also an earlier communication from Tim on the same subject here.



I have been to India three times and very much like Indians so it was saddening to find out that the grip of the Left on the media and on academe is as tight in India as it is in Australia and the United States. See here. And the authorities there are pandering to Muslims too.



Yet another US college makes a laughing-stock of itself. Pity the taxpayers who are forced to pay Leftist parasites to destroy genuine scholarship and learning.



The Spectator has an article in its latest edition which does a good slash and burn job on the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury but fails to do a similar job on the Roman Catholic church. The author's criticism of the current Pontificate is very shallow indeed and focuses entirely on papal toleration for some pagan symbols in ceremonies that he has attended. But the church has always co-opted pagan symbols as a means of propagating its own message. Look at Xmas!

But there is a cartoon here that I love for its fabulous British silliness!



A good site for political cartoons is American Realpolitik. It is run by a couple of clergymen!



I think Prof. Quiggin should stick to economics. First Gareth Parker and now Aaron Oakley have made him look ignorant over his global warming claims.

It is pitiful the way supporters of the global warming scare are always appealing to authority rather than looking at the evidence itself: Just like the supporters of the flat-earth theory in Galileo's day appealing to the Pope for support.



That is the heading of an amusing story over at IQ & PC of yesterday.


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21 December, 2002


Americans might be able to understand Australia's current "Black Armband" controversy but I doubt that many others would. I have some difficulty understanding it myself.

The controversy is about the fact that the Commonwealth of Australia (like the United States of America) is the result of conquest by the British. Unlike the USA, however, the early British settlers of Australia met only feeble and sporadic resistance from the indigenous population (Aborigines). And, for some reason that quite escapes me, many white Australians seem to take comfort from the fact that their ancestors met only feeble resistance.

Australian Leftist historians, however, do the usual disruptive thing that one expects from Leftists and try to undermine that comfort by claiming that Aboriginal resistance was in fact fierce and that the slaughter of them was great. They also claim that white Australians owe black Australians an "apology" for the suffering inflicted on their ancestors -- with "reparations" being the obvious next step after that.

Our Prime Minister has dismissed what he calls the "black armband" version of Australian history put forward by Leftists and resolutely rejects the need for an "apology".

The Leftist version of Australian settlement has not however gone unchallenged and Keith Windschuttle, a reformed Marxist, has just published a large scholarly book called The fabrication of Aboriginal history in which he points out all the distortions in Leftist histories of the events concerned. Some of his arguments are given here

This has raised quite a storm in the Australian press with "get Windschuttle" being the agenda. Some of the criticisms are pretty desperate -- e.g. that he wrote his book "too quickly" and that he did not get it published through a conventional Left-leaning academic publisher -- but he has also been accused of "plagiarism", even though it is only a similarity to another author that has been paraded rather than true plagiarism (i.e. outright copying). But this too is nonsense as both Windschuttle and the author he supposedly semi-copied were in fact both paraphrasing yet an earlier source and both footnoted that fact.

So why are the Leftists so frantic to get Windschuttle? An unspoken reason is that the Leftist historians are afraid of Windschuttle's really BIG challenge to them. Windschuttle has also publicized the now generally forgotten fact that the Aborigines are NOT Australia's original inhabitants. They too were invaders and wiped out or absorbed most of their predecessors. And pictorial evidence of that is freely available!

One of the predecessor groups was a pygmy race -- a pocket of whom survived into modern times by living in Australia's densest rainforest. And striking early photographs of them are still available and were once widely circulated. Despite the photographs and extensive early Anthropological descriptions of them, however, Australia's pygmies have been unmentioned in the textbooks and popular histories of Aboriginal Australia for roughly the last 30 years! And Windschuttle has broken the silence! So if THAT gets widely known, the Leftist case for apologies and reparations will get completely wiped out!



An Ontario priest convicted of sexually assaulting a teenager is suing the victim's parents, claiming they had a duty to protect and provide counselling for their son and were negligent in allowing him to spend time with the Roman Catholic priest.

More here

A convicted rapist has sued the hospital where he raped a patient in her bed, saying the hospital failed to protect visitors and patients.

In the lawsuit, filed Monday in Erie County Common Pleas Court, Edward Brewer said the former Providence Hospital's "inadequate security in protecting visitors as well as their patients" caused him pain and suffering. Brewer, 47, was found guilty in October of rape and sexual battery for attacking a 44-year-old woman in June, 1998

More here

Both these cases reflect the current Leftist obsession with victimhood and are perfectly consistent with the Leftist's constant theme of trying to shift responsibility off the individual and on to "society".



Marc Miyake wrote recently of the way he that he, as a Japanese American, feels neither Japanese nor American. He was obviously coping with it but not without some regrets. I thought therefore that I should reproduce something that an older Scottish-born woman who has spent most of her adult life in Australia wrote to me recently:

We are all indeed Scots to the core and to the end. I wrote a letter to the editor about that the other day. Some Asian immigrant had said that they did not feel that they belonged. In one sense no immigrant feels that they belong .... I also want my remains to be in Scotland"

The cases are not directly comparable as my correspondent loves Scotland whereas Marc clearly does not love Japan but it may be some reassurance to Marc to realize that there is nothing that he personally could have done to prevent the problem that he has encountered.



The death penalty is available in 38 states and the federal system, yet only 66 convicted killers were executed in the United States last year.

But whatever else might be said about these numbers, they are eclipsed by a far larger and more heartbreaking number, one not mentioned in the Justice Department's report: the number of murder victims. In 2001,
15,980* Americans lost their lives to murder -- a death toll hundreds of times greater than the small body count of executed murderers.

Year after year, the number of inmates put to death by the state -- usually painlessly and after years of due process -- adds up to a minuscule fraction of the number of Americans purposely shot, beaten, strangled, knifed, poisoned, burned, drowned, hanged, and tortured to death by murderers. And yet which set of deaths elicits more public outrage, more media attention, more demands for reform, more cries to protect the innocent? Which occasions more debates, more candlelight vigils, more international protest?

If those who pour so much passion, effort, and money into wiping out the death penalty would pour themselves instead into wiping out homicide, who knows how many thousands of innocent lives they might save? But for reasons I have never been able to fathom, they would rather save the lives of the guilty.

Jeff Jacoby


FALSE ACCUSATIONSThere are some links in yesterday's IQ & PC about the disgraceful affair in England where local social workers falsely accused some nursery nurses of paedophilia. It took them years to clear their name because no-one would admit that local-government officials could have got it wrong!


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20 December, 2002


Gareth Parker skewers John Quiggin very neatly here on global warming.



Larry Elder says:

This in no way excuses the bone-headed, offensive remarks made by Lott. But let's apply the same standard to non-Republicans.

and Elder goes on to show how much Democrat racism there is. After all, both Thurmond and Lott started out as Democrats.



One of my correspondents writes:

Monday night a Black Republican man called the Michael Savage show. He said he supported Trent Lott until he saw him on Black Entertainment TV, and Lott said he favored affirmative action.

Then the caller told his story. He had scored 99% on an exam to be a police officer (in Boston, I believe). He lost the job to a White woman with a lower score.

The largest numbers of affirmative action giveaways are to White women, simply because there are more of them. This is shameful and apparently unknown to many Blacks, who really have been duped to believe that it is all about them. Why do they think White liberals (largely women) support this nonsense - because of "caring"? Many of these same women are also obtaining special treatment under affirmative action - why would they vote conservative?

For more on the harm done by affirmative action, see this account of the long-term outcome of the famous Bakke case.



The bedrock of the Greenie argument for global warming is climate modelling -- in which a whole series of assumptions are fed into a computer program and out pops a prediction for the future. In a recent email Tim Gillin notes how incredibly overconfident this is and compares it to the stockmarket gurus who ran a firm called "Long Term Capital Management". The LTCM gurus convinced many important people of the wisdom of their predictions only to end up getting their predictions disastrously wrong -- much to the mortification of their investors.

Another one of these ideas that needs to be taken skeptically is climatic modelling. Computer modelling of the economy (econometrics) is interesting but hardly a predictive science. Same goes for computerised horse tipping systems. In fact people who have bet money on these systems have lost big time. Ever heard of an outfit called "Long-Term Capital Management"?

The earth's climatic system is probably as complex as the world economy or any horse race gambler's "system" ... and even less well understood. Why make a multi-trillion dollar bet on a "clima-metric" model that is probably flawed? That is what the Greenhouse lobby is asking us to do. It probably makes more sense to build up reserve funds "for a rainy day" and use that surplus to help us deal with come what may. Isn't that the case for economic growth?



A great article by Neal Boortz here. As Peter Cuthbertson comments:

Haters of the rich exist everywhere and what Neal Boortz does is examine sympathetically the mindset of people who make bad decisions in life, most often taking the easy road, and end up working tough, boring jobs for little reward. Isn't it so much easier, he asks, for such people to blame the rich than for them to examine themselves and their choices critically? How much simpler and better for them it would be if it wasn't their own freely chosen decisions that led to their present state, but the conspiracies and exploitation of those who did better.

Please read the whole article, and bear in mind as you do the famous
Economist statistic regarding American poverty - that your chance of being poor is 0.5% providing you do three things: (i) complete high school, (ii) marry and stay married and (iii) take a job, even at minimum wage. It's a figure worth remembering next time you cringe at someone saying that poverty is largely self-inflicted. For 199 out of every 200, it very nearly is.



The animal rights brigade will hate this one. Even The New York Times is calling for a mass culling of America's millions of deer. The animal rights people come from all over the world to protest Australia's practice of culling some of our millions of kangaroos so I imagine this call will whip up a storm too.

Via Blissful Knowledge.



The opportunity for large-muscle movements is a "vitamin". Even prisoners are entitled to an hour in the yard. But there is ongoing curtailment in American schools of the opportunities for play involving large-muscle movements, bodily movements over space, and the conduct of lively games many of which by preference appear to be competitive.

This is both a reflection of fears of lawsuits against school boards, teachers, equipment makers, and the like, but it reflects an anti-male bias by feminizing school systems. These have clearly been configured more to female than male nature and one result is that females are decisively more successful in the system academically as well as emotionally--in colleges and universities there are some 57% females to 43% males. There is apparently a nine to one ratio of male to female victims of Ritalin and similar behavioral management drugs. Perhaps because males throughout the primates like to move around more than females, human ones in particular are being penalized for their nature. They are required to become drug users by those responsible for their welfare. Obviously such drugs are useful for some individuals. But it becomes highly suspicious when the sex ratio of prescriptions is so remarkably skewed. Is this about the students, or about the system they are in?

Lionel Tiger.



There were a lot of good scientific links on IQ & PC yesterday pointing to the genetic origins of intelligence.



I have given up posting on the large throng of Leftist Canadians but The Rottweiler is still savaging them.


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19 December, 2002


One of my US correspondents writes:

The country is currently a-buzz about Trent Lott. You're probably been up to speed on all of the clamor. As a conservative I would rather he step down and in fact I never thought that he was the man for the job in the first place. He has had a history of "foot-in-mouth" disease for years.

His recent "5th apology" on Black Entertainment Television was a form of grovelling that would have made Bill Clinton (spit) blush. He offered affirmative action support and other trinkets if he could just stay in power. This flies in the face of the platform of the Republican party which recognizes those policies as nothing more than reverse discrimination.

As I said this is not the first time he stuck his foot in his mouth. In 1997 there was a B-52 bomber pilot in the U.S. Airforce; Kelly Flinn, who was brought up on charges of disobeying and order, lying and adultery. Before all of the facts were out Lott and his wife jumped on the band waggon and declared that the Air Force was wrong. Of course the charges against Flinn were from the beginning the three listed above but the press chose to ignore the more important of lying and disobeying an order. The military just can't have it's officers "doing their own thing" especially when they fly a B-52 that could be delivering a nuke.

Most recently Lott made a deal with the Dems that he would be the majority leader and leave them at their posts as chairmen of the committees. What a slap in the face of conservatives. Those people are the ones that have held up appointments of federal judges, and the tax cut for over a year. Why would someone make deals with them. It's strange to me how the Dems can play hardball when they are in the majority but when Republicans are in power they "share the power". I wish the SOB would just step down.



This article shows that Republicans do NOT have an inferior record to the Democrats on civil rights.

Via Innocents abroad.

In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 percent of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes.
The civil rights act - Republicans favored the bill 138 to 34; Democrats supported it 152-96.

I honestly feel the Dem's are the party of segregation now. They are the ones who wish to categorize and classify us by our skin color, sexual orientation, religion, etc. They are the ones constantly trying to divide the American people into ever smaller victim groups.

From American RealPolitik

"Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals. And the founding ideals of our nation, and in fact the founding ideals of the political party I represent, was, and remains today the equal dignity and equal rights of every American."
-- George W. Bush

Via The Fed:



People for the American Way has put out a report claiming that Lott's prospective rivals as majority leader also have what the group's honcho, Ralph Neas, calls a "dismal voting records" on civil rights. Among the evidence? Sens. Mitch McConnell and Don Nickles both voted for the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. That's right, by Neas's lights you're against civil rights if you vote to put a black man on the Supreme Court.

From Best of the web of 18th.



Meanwhile, a Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 60% of Americans would support nuking Iraq "if Iraq attacked U.S. forces with biological or chemical weapons." Let's hope it doesn't come to that.From Best of the web of 18th.



In this quote a Hindu lady replies to an Arab comment on the fact that a Hindu Nationalist party did well in the elections for India's Gujurat State:

"If the election that has just taken place in Gujarat, where the BJP has been re-elected by a landslide, had happened in Europe or elsewhere in the West, there would be an international outcry, with demands for a boycott of the country and that something be done about it".

Thus starts the preaching of this Arab News column, which is published in Saudi Arabia, where as our readers know, there are no elections at all. I would respond to this guy's pontifications, except that I refuse to even dignify with an answer his rants and ravings. I mean, his country does not elect its leaders, is extremely oriented towards only one religion, and he is preaching to a secular, democratic country about how they should hold their elections? Pah!




"Fossil fuels": How often have we heard that phrase? It is the Greenies' favourite way of persuading us that we are about to run out of oil. How the Greenies must hate old Tom Gold! Astronomer/geologist Gold makes a first-class scientific case that petroleum is not of fossil origin at all and that we have only scratched the surface of what there is locked up in the earth's crust.

Read about Tom Gold here and read his account of why his work has largely been ignored by academics so far here.


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18 December, 2002


Carnival of the vanities is up again here. You need to keep ABREAST of these things!



Palestinians might revile Israelis as oppressors and occupiers, might bleat to the international community for redress of their political grievances. But Palestinians the world over aren't hunted down like dogs. Arabs the world over aren't targeted for extermination. Muslims the world over aren't murdered in packs. Humankind would not stand for it. The Pan-Arab alliance would not stand for it. Islamic countries would not stand for it.

Imagine, if Zionist terrorists armed with shoulder-held rockets had attempted to bring down a Saudi airplane, as unidentified militants had attempted to blast an El Al flight out of the sky over Kenya, simultaneous with the Mombasa bombing _ a two-pronged attack suggesting sophisticated planning and a network of operatives, with the fingerprints of Al Qaeda all over it. The reverse scenario _ Jew on Muslim _ would be grounds for war, for a unified assault on Israel. And the West would be hard-pressed to interdict, to mollify

Via Angela Bell.



Slattery has a good post about the privacy rights of a dead giraffe. I kid you not. You couldn't make this stuff up.



The anti-Americanism that seems to be rife in SOUTH Korea these days proves once and for all that the taproot of anti-Americanism is envy. It was only by virtue of thousands of young Americans spilling their blood in the Koean war that South Korea escaped from the horror to their North. One might naively think that this would induce gratitude to America. That it does not shows that there is a stronger force at work. And only envy seems to be a sufficienmt explanation. What have Americans done to earn the dislike of South Koreans? Nothing of any significance (unless you count this). All that they have done is to be their prosperous, kindly,confident and successful selves. And envious people hate them for it: So very sad for all concerned.



Dihydrogen Monoxide, or DHMO, is a colorless and odorless chemical that kills or maims thousands each year, primarily through accidental inhalation. It has also been revealed to be a causative agent in many environmental exposure incidents, industrial contaminations, automobile accidents, and property damage. The dollar amount losses caused, and the lives impacted, by the DHMO threat are virtually innumerable.

Via NZ Pundit. If you don't know what DHMO is email me and I will tell you.



AP - China's mobile phone users, already the world's most numerous, surged past 200 million last month, according to state media.

They sure are making huge progress over there. Link.



There is a good story about insane political correctness in Edinburgh, Scotland at "IQ & PC". Apparently ANY picture of children is incitement to paedophilia there.



Marc Miyake saw my reference to the brief autobiography given by Bad Eagle and appears to have been rather moved by it. He gives a brief rundown of his own travails as a Japanese American and the conflicts it has caused him. His main difficulty, however, has clearly been his refusal to go along with the Leftist consensus in the colleges and universities where he seeks employment.

As a 5th generation Australian of WASP origin still living in Australia, I fortunately have none of the ethnic or cultural identity problems that he has but I can sympathize with the political problems. I was given tenure at a major Australian university on the strength of my academic work before anyone knew of my conservative views so my encounter with academe was not too bad but I suspect that Marc should consider a career change. He will get nowhere in academe. When I realized how limited my academic future was by reason of my views, I went into business part-time and did well enough out of that to retire at age 39 -- now 20 years ago.



I suspect that I am seen by some as the bad boy of Australian conservative blogging -- too "extreme"! I think that I am unlikely to change, however. I have just been looking at a few things I wrote over a quarter of a century ago in my book Conservatism as heresy. Somewhat to my surprise, I find that I was pulling few punches then too. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1 -- which is a reprint of something that originally appeared in Nation Review in 1973. I was discussing the now thoroughly laughable Zero Population Growth movement:

If any further evidence for the obsessional neuroticism of this movement were needed, it could be found in the amazing way it treats the entire world population as an undifferentiated, featureless gruel. Because the world population is expanding steadily, it is argued that we in Australia should therefore limit our numbers.

This is to regard Australian as being in the same situation as Bangladesh -- which we most evidently are not. If love of sweeping generalizations were the basis of comparison, the ZPG movement could well be compared with Hitler's Nazism

Sound familiar? Lots of conservatives started out as Leftists. I don't think I have changed a bit.


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17 December, 2002


Excerpts from a just-released public opinion poll:

While it has long been suspected that public and elite opinion differ on the issue of immigration, a new poll provides the most compelling evidence yet that there is an enormous gap between the American people and "opinion leaders" on the issue. The survey also suggests that the gap between the public and elites has actually widened since the September 11terrorist attacks.

The results of the survey indicate that the gap between the opinions of the American people on immigration and those of their leaders is enormous. The poll found that 60 percent of the public regards the present level of immigration to be a "critical threat to the vital interests of the United States," compared to only 14 percent of the nation's leadership - a 46 percentage point gap

It is a well established fact in public opinion polling that most Americans for nearly all of the last quarter century have desired reductions in legal and illegal immigration. However, in general, federal lawmakers have moved in the opposite direction of their constituents' desires, continually raising the numerical level of legal immigration and failing to take steps to reduce illegal migration.

See here for more. It looks like Australia is a lot more democratic than the USA on this one. Our government DOES go to great lengths to control immigration. It is probably one of the most effective in the world at it. Republicans should learn from Australia's conservatives and make more of an issue out of this one. They could at last toss out some of those entrenched Democrat incumbents if they did.



NASA has just said that it does not know whether the earth is warming up or not and has just launched a satellite to help them check. If the world's most heavily-funded scientific agency still does not know whether or not global warming is real, why are stupid socialist governments everywhere impoverishing their countries to "stop" global warming?

Thank goodness for the realism of America's President Bush and Australia's Prime Minister John Howard! Predictably, the soppy socialist governments of Canada and New Zealand have just signed up for the risible "Kyoto" treaty.



This story should impress feminists a lot. I wonder why feminist activists are all so silent about the Islamic cockroaches? If it really was just women that they wanted to help, one would think that they would all be up in arms in support of President Bush. That they are not shows just what nasty and dishonest ideologues they are. Their only real aim is to disrupt their own society. They latch on to the cause of women as just another means of pursuing that aim. Like most Western men, I have protective feelings towards women and that is the main reason why Islam has always disgusted me.



"...Music corrupts the minds of our youth. There's no difference between music and opium. Both create lethargy in different ways. If you want your country to be independent, then ban music. Music is treason to our nation and to our youth..."

"...Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in Whatever is serious..."

The words of Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Source.



Lots of good stuff on NewsMax and Jewish Word Review at the moment. Try "Searching for Mr Good Nazi" if you are wondering where all those good Muslims are
"Republicans and civil Rights" if you suspect that there is a double standard for the Left and the Right when it comes to civil rights.



Atheists are victimized by believers: The National Secular Society of Britain complained that Colin Powell and President Bush have been disrespectful of atheism. A Colorado man wrote a letter to the Washington Times saying that atheists are targeted by vandals and falsely accused of conducting human sacrifices. "So many of us are in the closet," lamented one spokesman at the Godless Americans rally last month in Washington, D.C.




In the wake of the Gutnick vs. Dow Jones defamation case there was a threat that some internet sites might bar some of their material to readers overseas. It seems pretty crazy but I seem to have come across an example of that. On 14th I posted a link to this article about W.F. Buckley only to find a few hours later that clicking the link got you nowhere. I presumed that the article had been censored because some of its statements were rather extreme. But I gather that the article can still be accessed by US readers. Strange. Anyway, I have now obtained a copy of the article and have posted it here. As I made clear at the time, I disagree with much in the article but I disagree with censorship of any kind even more.



Britain's famous CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) has finally shown its true colours. These "pacifists" are now trying to prevent the British government from taking part in a war on Iraq. Why would pacifists want to protect a murderous and genocidal dictator who would have any true pacifist for breakfast if he could? Might it be because Saddam is head of Iraq's "Ba'ath SOCIALIST Party"?

Those who know their history will be less surprised at this turn of events. After all, Hitler was a pacifist in his youth (Kubizek, 1954).

Kubizek, A. (1954) The young Hitler I knew. N.Y.: Tower.



Colby Cosh has a link about the Nobel prize that all men will like.



Michael Jennings's blog is remarkable for its unremitting good sense. His account of his journey from youthful Leftism to conservatism is particularly interesting.


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16 December, 2002


Rafe Champion's Australian philosophy site has an interesting new essay up about Lawrence of Arabia -- who enlisted Bedouin Arabs to help the British defeat the Turks in the First World War. The author points out that Lawrence taught the Arabs the sort of terrorism tactics they use to this day and traces Arab problems to their fear of women.



David Yeagley has just put up a rather poignant post (Dec. 15th) which points out that he is conservative despite being poor and a minority group member. He may not be as unusual as he thinks, however. The literature on social deference shows that in Australia and Britain, about a quarter of working-class people vote for conservative political parties. The situation is probably not too different in the USA.

Many working-class people do see it as being in their self-interest to vote for Leftist political parties and candidates because those parties and candidates promise them a better deal but, aside from that, it seems clear that political stance is mainly determined by personality needs. If you are envy-ridden you will always vote Left, if you are not, you will judge the parties and candidates as best you can. And lots of poor and working-class people do see through the dishonesties of the Left to the hatred and incompetence that lies beneath and so vote for parties and candidates that will do better for the country as a whole.

Ray, J.J. (1972) The measurement of political deference: Some Australian data. British Journal of Political Science, 2, 244-251.



From Rousseau onwards, Leftists (and now Greenies) have always loved to romanticize primitive, tribal life. Here is a quote from someone who saw it close-up for many years:

"In particular I noticed how tribalism - really only an anthopologist's term for an extreme form of communitarianism - seemed tohave dinned the individualism out of people, so nobody cared or dared to take a lead or differ notably from the others. Some people will tell you tribe (or village, or community) humanizes, brings comfort and security. I thought it was stifling, and brutal in its way."

Read more here.


AN INDIAN VIEW OF Gutnick v. Dows Jones

Indian lawyers have long had a reputation for cleverness and this recent summary from India of the Gutnick defamation case is more informative than most.

Thanks to and Randall Parker for the link.



Aaron Oakley shows exactly what is wrong with the Greenie dream of wind and solar power -- and tells us of the piteous experience of the Danes with such nonsense.



Some Leftists are now making the incredible claim that the US mass media are leaning to the politcal Right. Jeff Jacoby has a good counterblast.

If the link given does not load, try here.



Australian courts have given out some crazy judgments at times but I don't think any of them can hold a candle to this:

A Palm Beach County, Florida, jury found a gun distributor, the original gun owner and a school board responsible for the shooting death of a teacher by a student while failing to find the student who stole the gun and the bullets and who pulled the trigger, killing the teacher, at all responsible for the murder.

Being an American is a legal hazard, it seems. Source. Thanks to Jerry Lerman for another good one.



Because of the immovable Leftist bias in academe, I now rarely write for the academic journals -- but when I did I had lots of "critiques" published. A critique tears apart an article by another author. See here for an example of my critiques. Journal editors dislike publishing critiques because it shows up the inadequacy of their initial evaluation of the paper attacked. A critique therefore has to be pretty compelling before they will print it. So the fact that I had a lot of critiques published shows that there were a lot of truly awful "scientific" papers being published. In particular, a lot of writers on any given topic show a woeful unawareness of what is already in the literature on their topic. I therefore was disposed to agree with the recent finding by Simkin & Roychowdhury (summarized here) to the effect that many academic authors do not in fact read the papers that they cite.

I regret to say, however, that Simkin & Roychowdhury are about as careless as those they purport to criticize. They look at the reference lists given at the end of every academic paper and note that those reference lists often perpetuate mistakes made in citation details given by earlier papers. They conclude from this that the person who repeats the mistake has not read the original paper!

This is a breathtakingly silly conclusion. Listing the citation details of the papers one has referred to is an onerous task and to facilitate it I often copy the citation details I need out of anything I have handy. And I will often use for that purpose a review article of the literature on the topic concerned rather than digging out each of the original papers themselves. But that does not at all mean that I have not previously read any of the papers I list. It just means that I do my referencing task as efficiently as possible. Simkin & Roychowdhury's work can only be described as naive.


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15 December, 2002


I went to a local Sunday market this morning and, as I walked in, was greeted by the lush sound of a Salvation Army brass band playing some wonderful Christmas Carols from our great Christian past. No multicultural rubbish there! Thank God for the Sallies!

As an expression of tolerance for different customs, languages, foods etc, multiculturalism is a perfectly sound idea. But when the obscene Left turn it into an attack on all that we hold dear it is a cause for anger.



Speaking of anger, I grit my teeth in anger every time I hear of some Muslim moron killing his own daughter BECAUSE SHE HAS BEEN RAPED!. They supposedly do it to save their family's "honour". If that is their concept of honour I cannot help thinking that they will be no loss to the world if we have to end up nuking the whole lot of the cockroaches. Muslim "civilization" indeed!



How many people have heard of the Hindu holocaust? No? Well, what the Muslim barbarians did in India makes Hitler seem like an amateur. There are around a billion people in India who will never buy the lie that Islam is a religion of peace.



I grew up in Innisfail -- a place that was 50% an Australian country town and 50% an Italian village. Since then I have always had an affection for Italians. Italian was even one of my matriculation languages (Ho studiato Italiano a scuola ma ho quasi tutto dimenticato). So I have always thought it in keeping that Mussolini's Italian Fascism appears to have been the mildest of all the many Leftist dictatorships of the 20th century. The Italian Fascist response to political rivals was not to torture them to death but simply to give them a large dose of Castor oil! Almost funny! Here is a link about another instance of Italian humaneness in the Fascist era.



A lot of people seem to have bought the scary argument put forward by Dow Jones in Gutnick v. Dow Jones, to the effect that their liability in Australia is a "thin-end of the wedge" phenomenon and that Americans will now have to obey the laws of rogue states like Zimbabwe. This is utter nonsense. It is of course true that an infinite extension of the Australian judgment would be problematical but any such extensions will have to be fought out case by case -- with no certain outcome. All we have at the moment is a judgment that when you defame someone you have to consider the defamation law in that person's own country. That does not seem to me at all onerous -- particularly where the truth of what you say will normally be an adequate defence in any subsequent proceedings.

And the impact of any future judgements similar to the Australian one will be very much dependant on whatever law-enforcement treaties the USA has with the countries concerned. The USA could for instance renegotiate all such treaties to exclude defamation from their ambit. Such a move would probably succeed in most cases though probably not in the case of Australia. I can well imagine that any Australian government would refuse to renegotiate a treaty if the result was to leave Australian citizens effectively unprotected against defamation just because the defamation emanated from the United States.

So now that the internet has made the world into the "global village" long ago envisioned by Marshall McLuhan, we may have to accept that a small body of global law will grow up to deal with that.

Iain Murray has reproduced a letter from an English lawyer that expresses a view similar to mine.



Marc Miyake has been having a lot of fun about some crazy college course where students are allowed to pick up trash as part of their credit for studying English composition! Everybody already knows that a lot of educational qualifications are pretty useless so one wonders what sort of favour the college thinks it is doing its students by now totally demolishing the credibility of any credentials that any student will receive from it: Typical Leftist failure to consider the disastrous consequences of their "compassionate" policies.



Bovination has some informative comments on Australia's latest efforts to inject more sense into its welfare system.


China hand has just posted some more tales of everyday life in modern China.


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14 December, 2002


I am sure that most blog readers are fed up with the debate about Trent Lott by now but since most people seem to be ignoring the obvious I suppose I should say it: The psychological research shows that we are ALL racists. So Trent Lott's undoubted racism may in fact have ENDEARED the Republican party to a majority of white American voters -- white working-class Democrat voters in particular!

Australian Prime Minister John Howard's anti-immigrant policies certainly got him a big win in the last election.



We read here that Republican US Senators are not allowed to say anything anti-black but Democrat US Senators are. That is too confusing for a mere foreigner like me to understand.



The National Socialist German Worker's Party of the 1930s was famous for burning Jewish books. Modern day British Leftists go one better: They won't even publish them in the first place!



Sometimes Greenie lies get too much even for Greenies: "No, Greenpeace has harmed the environmental case." So said Paul Crutzen, Nobel Prize winner for his work on the ozone layer, who cancelled his Greenpeace membership in protest at their distortions. See here for more.



Marc Miyake (post of 12th) has got the measure of Left activists:

"Many aktivists don't really want to solve problems. They enjoy feeling superior and would miss that ego boost if the world complied with their whims. Besides, who'd give them donations if their cause was no more? So they moan on for money in the name of morality.



Marc also wrestles with explanations for the poor economic and educational standards of Hawaii and wonders how the Japanese-descended elite who run the place have got it into such a mess. He points out that East Asians are by all accounts highly intelligent so dismisses any role for intelligence. I think however that the success of a society may be more a function of its AVERAGE intelligence and I suspect that the considerable numbers of native Hawaiians do drag the average down. Previous studies of international IQ differences have always been of the inferred national average so Hawaii should presumably be treated in the same way. Why would a low Hawaiian average matter? Because, in a democracy, there is a strong tendency for politicians to cater to the lowest common denominator.



That old warrior of American conservatism, W.F. Buckey says: "The conservative instinctively rejects collectivization". A pretty useful short definition.

Many conservatives think Buckley has now gone soft, however. For an extreme version of such a view see here.

The extreme view of Buckley overlooks the need for compromise if policy change is to be achieved. A lot of Americans are taken in by the "compassionate" pretensions of the Left -- dishonest, shallow-brained and irresponsible though those pretences might be -- and that does create a problem that conservatives have to deal with in a democracy.

Update: Hmmm... The anti-Buckley article seems to have been taken down. Does NewsMax self-censor too? All I could get out of the Google cache was the following:

William F. Buckley Jr. and the John Birch Society - A Book Review
Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D.
Friday, Dec. 13, 2002
This book should be read by all Americans who have wondered, as I have, why - no matter which political party wins - we continue our steady march toward less personal freedom, more government and more foreign entanglements.



An awful lot of Greenie claims are essentially frauds. The prophecies of imminent calamity in Paul Ehrlich's 1968 book, "The population bomb" are hilarious these days and global warming seems to be on the cusp now too. Tim Gillin has just pointed me to an amusing story showing that such frauds go back a long way. Tim's comment on the story: I think we can call those urban Westerners in love with their own mythology of what wilderness and tribal society is supposed to be like: 'Grey Owl's children'. Another idea: We all know the story of the "cargo cult" tribes in New Guinea that were impressed by Western material achievments but not really understanding how they came about -- so they developed their own superstitions about runways, airfields, John Frum etc etc. In fact this ultra-materialist cult is something of an obstacle to those trying to modernise NG who may have some idea of how the West did it.

In the West we see the the same thing from our post-Columbus contact and conflict with the tribal and pre-agrarian world generally. Our reverse cargo cult has from Rousseau to Greenpeace portrayed the tribal world in similarly superstitious and superficial terms to the way that the Cargo cults portray ours.



Hmmm... This article by Sipos has got me thinking. I have always been derisive of the constant hypocrisy I see among Greens and the Left but it took Sipos to point out to me that an accusation of hypocrisy is a species of ad hominem argument -- something I deplore. I THINK that "inconsistency" is mostly what I have meant when I have spoken of "hypocrisy" in the past but I will certainly have to be more careful in the future.



China hand has just put up a rather astounding account of the use of servants in China. Important officials under Communism used to have lots of servants but under the new more capitalist system they no longer do! Capitalism has even done away with servants!


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13 December, 2002


Practically the whole of the internet seems to be of the view that Dow Jones SHOULD be allowed to describe an Australian businessman who has been convicted of no crime as "a schemer given to stock scams, money laundering and fraud". I think this is an appalling disregard for individual rights and freedoms and I would have expected conservative bloggers at least to stand up for such freedoms. Mr Gutnick's right not to be slandered is the obligation of Dow Jones not to slander him. All rights imply duties.

The altar on which internet and mass-media writers are willing to sacrifice Mr Gutnick appears to be some view that no laws should have worldwide reach. Yet this principle seems to be a totally new invention. Nobody has ever doubted that murderers should be pursued across international boundaries, for instance. So why not slanderers? The difference seems to be a quibble about where the crime was committed. Because the utterance that damaged Mr Gutnick's reputation in his home town was forged and launched overseas it is argued that Mr Gutnick should have no redress. So if I fire a bullet across an international border and kill someone, should the person I kill have no redress? Obviously not.

So the real issue comes down to what is a crime -- and that something which has redress as a crime in Australia has no redress in the USA. And the reason that an obvious crime has no redress in the USA is thought to be compelling: That effective libel laws restrict a free press. But this is nonsense. All law consists of finding a balance and drawing lines between what is acceptable and what is not -- and Australian law draws the line in a way that both protects the individual and also allows a vigorously critical press that pursues wrongdoers on a daily basis. The press has to employ lawyers to see that it does not overstep the boundaries and report rumour or mere allegation as fact but that is as it should be.

So the remaining question is whether a small degree of international "forum shopping" for redress of grievances should be allowed. Should those who utter a slander have to consider not only the law in their own country but also the law in the country of the person slandered? I can see no earthly reason why not and nor could the High Court of Australia. And if the effect of the High Court judgement is for good law to drive out bad law to a small degree who should mourn? I think it is highly desirable that big media in the USA should be made more careful about speaking only what is demonstrably true --- even if it is only about foreigners that they are made to speak the truth.

Update: At least Ken Parish seems to agree with me in general on the matter.



How would you like someone to proclaim to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide the accusation that you are "a schemer given to stock scams, money laundering and fraud"? Not nice? Yet that is what Dow Jones did to Joe Gutnick, despite his having no convictions for any such offences and hence being entitled to the full presumption of innocence. And apparently US libel law allows a newspaper to say that sort of thing about people. Dow Jones would hardly have said that in the first place otherwise and Joe Gutnick would certainly have sued them in the US for saying it if his advisers had told him he stood any chance of success.

Instead, of course, Gutnick sued in Australia where individual rights are better protected in such matters. There has been much breastbeating on the internet about the Australian High Court accepting jurisdiction in the matter but it seems to me that the breastbeating should have been about the scandalous inadequacy of US libel law.

In any case, legal co-operation between different countries is governed by international treaties so if the US is so attached to its bad law in this matter it can renegotiate the relevant treaties and accept the consequences -- the major consequence being that the other countries concerned will also limit their co-operation with the USA when it wants to enforce the judgements of its courts.

So if the USA wants to protect its internet publishers from foreign law it can do so -- at a price. The price would probably be low in the case of a country like Zimbabwe but high in the price of a country like Australia.

It might finally be noted that Australia's racial vilification laws are quite as absurd and as onerous as anything existing or proposed in Britain (See my post of 27th November) but the sky has not yet fallen in for Australian bloggers so it seems unlikely that overseas internet publishers have anything significant to fear from the laws concerned either. Liberties have always been guaranteed in Britain more by custom than by law and that is true in Australia too.



One of my more frequent American correspondents, Dave Mecklenburg, has been reading a bit about Canada lately and is not impressed by what he has learned. He comments as follows:

"Canadians are proud of their healthcare system, which does not constitute "health insurance," nor does it provide "better access to healthcare." Canadians have socialized medicine, paid for with taxes. That is not health insurance; it is Big Government. I, on the other hand, have "health insurance." My health insurance gives me access to the best medicare in the world. My health insurance has covered two elective surgeries, and of course, I didn't have to wait. From initial check-up to actual general-anesthetic surgery took less than two weeks both times. Canadians on the other hand get to wait for inferior healthcare, which is why Canadians cross the border for American healthcare.

Now do Canadians really have "better access", even if you ignore the inferior medicine and long waits? This is a complete lie from the Left. Every American has access to a job with healthcare insurance. If an American chooses to take a job that does not offer healthcare insurance as a benefit or if a person is self-employed, health insurance can be bought for approximately $130 per month for an individual under 30 years old. $130 is affordable to any working American, including individuals making the minimum wage.

But because America is a free country, individuals can choose to spend their income on car payments, stereos, cable television, cell phones, and other non-necessities if they so choose. The other thing the Left hides is that any hospital that accepts Federal money, which is the great majority of American hospitals because of the Federal Medicare payments, CANNOT turn away anyone from its emergency rooms. It turns out that every American DOES have access to healthcare, either through affordable private health insurance or through emergency room of public hospitals.



The latest GDP per head figures (in US dollars) are interesting:

USA $35587
Japan $32552
Ireland $ $26823
UK $ 23829
Sweden $23596
Germany 22427
Canada $22362
France $22123
Italy $18989
Spain $14452

Ireland has really streaked ahead thanks to a history of continual tax cuts and Germany and Canada have really sunk thanks to unending government meddling in their economies. But what a blow it must be for the English to see the Irish now better off than them!

GDP per head is of course only a rough guide to the purchasing power of the average inhabitant of the country concerned. High land prices and high food costs (both the product of ferocious government meddling) erode purchasing power particularly markedly in Japan. So for spending power there is still nothing like being an American.

Thanks to Iain Murray (of England's Sword) for the figures.



Great story here. Britain will shortly have an open door to immigrants from Central Europe -- Poland etc. Central Europeans have a history of integrating seamlessly into Anglo-Saxon populations. More European Christians and fewer middle-Eastern Muslims sounds like a great policy to me.



A majority of all South Africans (black and white) now believe that the place was better run under Apartheid -- according to a recent survey. Having myself been there twice -- once under Apartheid and once recently -- I cannot say that I am surprised.



According to one of Sean Gabb's recent newletters, most UK libertarians are atheists who believe that if God does exist, He ought to be privatised!


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12 December, 2002


Carnival of the Vanities is out again here. I have my very popular "Guess who?" political quiz on it this time.



I posted yesterday about the court case for defamation between Dow Jones and Joe Gutnick. Randall Parker emailed me the following comment in response:

I disagree. I'm a hard core 1st amendment guy who thinks the most treasonous US president was John Adams when he signed into law the Sedition Act and prosecutors started locking up Jeffersonian (or were they Whig?) newspaper editors. I think one of the biggest advantages of the US system is the greater protection for speech. Someone like Gutnick can easily reach the public to provide his version of the story. That is more true today than it was in the past. The public then can judge.

The disadvantage of the ease of suing for slander is that often times one side has a monopoly on knowledge and only by tossing around rumours that might bring forth people who can fill in the details can the truth emerge

Some thoughts in reply:

My main point was that it is Dow Jones that has let us all down with its egregious insults and its refusal to do the decent thing and apologize. If they had been half way decent none of this would have arisen. Judges are only human and I think our High Court could well have been moved in its decision by the gravity of the slander and a wish to protect Australian citizens from future such outrageous attacks.

And while Gutnick may be able to afford advertisements etc. in an attempt to clear his name, that is going to be a much less satisfactory corrective than getting a retraction from the original slanderer. And for the great mass of us who cannot afford even advertisements, getting newspapers to be more responsible in the first place is a signal service that Gutnick has probably done for us.

But I see Randall's final point and I am inclined to agree that newspapers should indeed be free to report rumours -- but they should report them as rumours not as facts. What was said of Gutnick was not a rumour -- it was a gross, direct and slanderous insult that anybody would be most grieved to hear of themselves. I certainly would be. I would not be able to defend myself so I am glad Gutnick did.

But, in any case, our High Court is the equivalent of the US Supreme Court so the deed is done now. It is a precedent that is most unlikely ever to be overturned. And it is a precedent that should have considerable influence in other common-law countries such as Britain.



The recent oil-tanker sinking off the coast of Spain was undoubtedly a disaster but only part of the oil escaped into the ocean at the time of the sinking. Most remained in the ship. The Greenies really like that, however. They claim that all the oil must escape someday and hence will wreak damage for years to come. That is utter nonsense. The claim that the oil that has gone down with the ship is any problem is a total lie. One of my correspondents explains why here.



After all the bad thoughts that I and many others (including many Canadians) have been having about Canada lately, they go and surprise us and go to some lengths to co-operate in the fight against terrorism. Let's hope that they keep it up. Excerpt:

"The United States and Canada announced today a broadening of their military cooperation to include the possibility that troops of one country would cross into the other in case of a terrorist attack or natural disaster"



I hear that some survey results are due to be released in the United States shortly that show a huge gap between "opinion leaders" and Joe Public on the issue of immigration. It is the same here in Australia. All the wiseheads are saying how terrible it is that we lock up illegal immigrants from the Middle-East but the public are behind the policy by a huge majority. So strong is the public support for the policy that even our major Leftist party felt obliged to support it at the recent Federal election -- which is still causing much weeping and wailing and garnishing of teeth among the Leftie hardliners in the party.



From The Fed:

"A liberal is a man who will give away everything he doesn't own." -- Frank Dane



Welfare payments can be a very corrupting and unfair influence but I think this proposal has a better case than most. With sub-replacement birthrates now the rule in most of the developed world, incentives for women to have children do make sense in many ways.

So the Zero Population Growth movement of the 70s is an example of how laughable Greenie scares tend to be in the long term. When the Greenies were all trying to scare us with Paul Ehrlich's "Population bomb" -- and its claim that the population was growing so fast that catastrophe was imminent -- I am pleased to say that I was even then ridiculing the whole idea (Ray, 1974)

Ray, J.J. (1974) Conservatism as heresy. Sydney: ANZ Book Co.


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11 December, 2002


The only US newspaper that I regularly read (online) is the Wall Street Journal. It leaves other US newspapers for dead in my opinion and its large circulation shows that I am not alone in that opinion. The publishers of it (Dow Jones) would appear, however, to have become rather puffed up with their success. They published an appalling attack on Joe Gutnick (a devout Australian-Jewish mining entrepreneur and well-known friend of Israel) describing him as "a schemer given to stock scams, money laundering and fraud" -- a remarkably gross and intemperate accusation -- and appear to have made no subsequent effort at retraction. Given his community position, Mr Gutnick of course sued and has just won the first round against Dow Jones in the Australian courts. The Australian High Court ruled that it had jurisdiction and the case will now be heard under Australian libel law -- which is less permissive than libel law in US jurisdictions.

So I do rather hope that Dow Jones end up getting it in the neck over this one. Any rational and decent chief executive would long ago have decided to cut his losses and make a full apology. But big media just hate backing down, of course, and you have to have a deep pocket to make them. So I think Mr Gutnick has done us all a favour if he helps puncture some of that arrogance.

The "Opinion Journal" tentacle of Dow Jones indexes its article on the subject (on December 11th) with the words: "Free speech on the Internet? Not if an Aussie judge has his way". and in the body of the article concerned says:

U.S. libel law, consistent with the speech protections afforded by the First Amendment, makes it fairly difficult to win a libel suit. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show the allegedly defamatory statement is false; the statement must be the result of negligence in the case of a private figure, willful falsehood in the case of a public one. That's one reason so many Web sites advocating change in repressive regimes are located in the U.S.

In Britain and the Commonwealth countries, the reverse holds. It is up to the defendant to prove a statement is true, without reference to fault or intent. This Draconian standard has been used in recent years to shutter political publications

But this is just hiding behind free speech. Thankfully all legal systems have limits on slander and it certainly seems to me that newspapers should be restricted to making true statements.

Captain Clueless, that well-known Democrat voter and supporter of affirmative action, has opined that any judgment obtained would not be enforceable in US courts. I am no more of a lawyer than the good Captain is, but it seems to me not remotely likely that Dow Jones would have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in defending the case so far if that were so.



"Scientists have been warning that the Earth is slowly heating up, that the recent run of gentle winters in the United States is no fluke, but the warm-up to the big meltdown. Now, however, comes a chilling prediction from some of the same experts. Before the climate gets balmier, they say, it could take a sudden turn toward the frigid--and stay that way for decades, if not centuries."

From Best of the Web.



Here is one Canadian thinker who wishes the USA would invade his country -- so disgusted is he with its corrupt government and indifferent public.


FRUITCAKE WATCHRadical vegans - who avoid any product that comes from animals - are now buzzing about the evils of honey. They claim its production uses the labor of oppressed worker bees, according to a Time magazine report on the growing numbers of American vegetarians

From Steven Chapman: Post of Dec. 4th.



It looks like both Australia and the USA share a similar insanity about trains. We read here that despite huge subsidies from the government, train travel in the USA is still slower and more expensive than air travel or road travel. It is much the same in Australia. When will people accept that government subsidy is no long-term solution to ANYTHING?



Last Sunday I pointed the skinger of forn at what Americans call SUVs and what Australians call 4WDS. I knew when I wrote the post that I would get a counterblast or two from SUV owners. And I did indeed get that. I reproduce here one such email correspondence. The SUV owner concerned claims that the figures showing that SUVs are prone to rolling over are a political concoction. I cannot agree. I would be surprised if vehicles with such a high centre of gravity were NOT more prone to rolling over.



This article provides a better balanced view of Chinese economic progress than the hype that we normally see.



There are faint signs that Sweden is pulling away from its high-tax and pro-immigration past. Let's hope so, given the following impression of Sweden from Floyd McWilliams:

"Two of Aspect's vice presidents went to Stockholm in August. They said that it was amazingly beautiful, that the women were more than amazingly beautiful, and that everyone spoke English. They would ask shopkeepers or people on the street if they spoke English, and the Swedes would answer, a little surprised, "of course." After awhile they stopped asking.



See here for one of the most recent discussions of the two big "gaps" (racial and generational) in IQ scores. Chris Brand and Jim Flynn are the two discussants: Brand being pessimistic about any closing of the black-white gap and Flynn being a bit more optimistic. Both are of course noted authors in the field -- Flynn being the nearest the Left have to a psychometrically sophisticated defender of their nonsensical "no differences" mantra. Both Flynn and Brand agree however that, despite a general rise in IQ scores over the last 100 years, IQ is about two-thirds inherited and that the black/white gap is not closing.

Flynn said at one point that IQ tests "only" measure general problem-solving ability. That is one hell of a big "only"! He has however now elaborated his view to agree that what IQ tests measure has many wide-ranging implications in life.

The main difference between the two discussants seems now to be that Brand sees the gradual rise in average IQ scores as an outcome of both increasing test sophistication and healthcare improvements whereas Flynn thinks it is a bit more mysterious than that.

A healthcare improvement that Brand highlights as a major factor in increasing IQ scores is improved obstetric practice (e.g. more Caesarian births). I believe that I was the first psychologist to advance that possibility (Ray, 1988).

Ray, J.J. (1988) IQ gain as an outcome of improved obstetric practice. The Psychologist 1, 498.



(Reuters) - The United States reminded Iraq and other countries on Tuesday that it was prepared to use nuclear weapons if necessary to respond to an attack from weapons of mass destruction. The warning, which underscored longstanding U.S. policy leaving open the use of nuclear weapons if needed, was contained in a statement of U.S. strategy against nuclear, chemical and biological weapons -- the first update since 1993. The six-page strategy document says deterring attacks with the threat of "overwhelming force" is an essential element in protecting America and its allies from weapons of mass destruction, also known as WMD.


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10 December, 2002


I think American conservatives will rather envy Australians if they hear the new Australian Labor Party policies announced today at the National Press Club by party leader and leader of the Federal Opposition, Simon Crean. The A.L.P. is the more Leftist of Australia's two major political parties but Crean announced today many sensible and economically rational policies accompanied by only vague "fairness" rhetoric. Strikingly, he also committed a future government led by him to wide-ranging tax cuts. Do the US Democrats campaign on a platform of tax cuts?



This article points out that the British Labour Government is trying to ban traditional British foxhunting on the pretext that it cruel to animals while not even mentioning the equallty cruel and equally traditional Muslim method of slaughtering cattle. Hypocrisy once again.

Thanks to Conservative Commentary for the link.



One of the favourite whipping-boys of the Left is the advertising industry. If people want various non-essential material goods, that is presented by Leftists not as something legitimate and reasonable but as the result of demand "artificially" created by big business via advertising. All the evidence shows, however, that advertising in fact CANNOT create demand that does not exist. There has to be a pre-existing need or desire there first before the advertising will work. So advertising has to find some real need to work on.

Advertising people all know that, of course, and do their best to find a need at which they can target their products. Even then, however, they can come a cropper. The most spectacular example of a failure of advertising to create demand for a product was the stylistically different"Edsel" car produced and promoted by Ford from 1957. Ford spent a record amount of money on advertising and hired top advertising brains to promote the Edsel to absolutely no avail. The model was a complete flop.

So next time you hear Leftists complaining about the way advertising can create demand, ask them to tell that to the guys who tried to sell the Edsel.



A very moving and very honest story here that any father could relate to. When his son joined the US Marine Corps what he encountered from his erstwhile "liberal" friends can only be described as ignorance.

Link via The Right Track.



This article from Canada says that Canadians generally feel "morally superior" to Americans. What on earth is "moral" superiority? Being unable to provide prompt health care for your citizens? Having only two-thirds of the average income of the USA? Getting a free-ride off the US taxpayer's defence expenditure? I guess the average Bulgarian too could feel "morally" superior if he put his mind to it.

Not all Canadians agree with this tosh, however: Colby Cosh for one.

Some details about waiting times in the nationalized Canadian health system can be found here



Wow! Alex Robson has wiped the floor with Ken Parish over Australia's ridiculous gun buyback policies.



Being both a libertarian and a monarchist is an unusual combination. The only blogger that I know of other than myself who holds such views is Redwood Dragon. I am pleased to see, therefore, that one of Britain's most prolific libertarian writers -- Sean Gabb -- has also just written a lucid defence of the British monarchy.

My only quarrel with him is that he underestimates the support for the monarchy in Australia. There are many Australians -- mostly older and female -- here who quite openly declare that they "love" the Queen. And if your old Mum loves the Queen, you are going to be pretty constricted in saying much against the monarchy! And in our recent constitutional referendum -- fought specifically on whether to have the Queen or a political appointee as Head of State -- two thirds of Australians voted to retain the monarchy. How the Leftist wreckers must have hated that!

I also put up a defence of monarchy (in general) about two-thirds of the way through my article here.



Seeing I have substantial Irish ancestry, I think I can risk an Irish joke:

We have often heard Cork called the Venice of Ireland, but have never heard Venice called the Cork of Italy


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9 December, 2002


That is the heading of the latest story on the topic in "The Guardian" -- no less. The article still insists that global warming is real so purveyors of scientific fact such as Amax, John Daly and Aaron Oakley still have work to do but if Britain's No. 1 Leftist broadsheet is at least acknowledging that there are two sides to global warming, I suspect that the writing is on the wall for the whole global warming scare.



When Air New Zealand (a government-owned airline) crashed one of its planes into Mt Erebus in Antarctica some years ago, there was evidence of negligence in setting up the plane's navigational system. But pinning the blame on any one person or procedure was difficult. Top people all over New Zealand were involved in various ways with the airline and they all appeared to be covering up for one-another. The New Zealand government of the day was so despairing of getting to the bottom of the matter that it imported a judge from Australia to head the official enquiry. No New Zealand judge could be found who could be trusted. Even so, when the enquiry was over, the judge reported that he had been confronted by "an orchestrated litany of lies" in the course of his enquiry and it remained dubious whether enough changes had been made to prevent further such disasters.

This account of recent events tends to confirm such fears. Air New Zealand planes are just falling apart as they fly through the sky. It has now happened four times in the last four months. Maintenance is still obviously a low priority for this bureacratized monstrosity of an airline. When they owned Australia's Ansett Airlines, Ansett also had major maintenance problems -- leading to its eventual bankruptcy.

Here is an account of what passengers actually saw in the latest incident.



Canadians sometimes seem to have an obsession with being different from the USA. This appears to have been disastrous in the field of health insurance -- where Canada has a "single tier" system. In this system you have only the government to rely on for your health care! How any sane person ever thought that was a good idea escapes me. The result of course is NEGLECT rather than CARE. To get important medical services, Canadians often have to cross the border into the USA. Even the Canadian Prime Minister does so!

The big claim to fame of the Canadian system, however, is its universality. Medical care in the USA is clearly better but you have to have health insurance to use the best of it -- and many poor people have no insurance. Poor US patients are forced to go to badly overworked public hospitals.

It seems a pity that the Australian compromise is not better known in Canada. Australia has a compulsory and universal national health insurance scheme (with premiums collected through the tax system) that enables people to access health care in either the public or the private sector. Government insurance routinely pays for you to see a private doctor and will also pay part of your costs if you are admitted to a private hospital. The scheme is "community-rated" -- i.e. everyone pays the same, no matter how "at risk" they are. Like the Canadian system, however, the scheme falls down when public hospital admission is called for. Urgent cases are treated promptly and well in public hospitals without charge but anything that is not life-threatening can take years to get treated in public hospitals.

For those who dislike the thought of such a wait there are private hospitals that will treat you promptly and well but there will be extra charges that you will have to pay that are not covered by the government insurance scheme. There are, however, many private health insurance schemes you can join that will pay for the whole or almost the whole of those extra chages.

It seems to me that having to wait for non-urgent surgery is a fair price to pay for making a lesser contribution to your own health insurance.



We hear so much about Iraq these days that news about US economic policy tends to get swamped. Here is a useful summary of what is happening at the moment. Decisions President Bush will have to make soon are going to make a big difference to prosperity in the USA -- and hence to some extent in the world generally.



This is what passes for education at the University of Michigan. Read this excerpt from one female student's account of a COMPULSORY "course" she had to do there:

We had to go around and talk about at least one way in which we have been/are oppressed. When my turn came up, and I answered that I have never been oppressed, the instructor corrected me, saying that I must have been, as I'm female. I persisted, saying that being female has never been anything short of a blessing for me. The instructor was relentless, insisting that I was necessarily oppressed at one point in my life. The instructor asked to speak with me after class. He was visibly shaken and angry. He told me that my classroom behavior was disruptive in the least (although I was never voluntarily disagreeing), and that I would be kicked out of class and would thereby lose my job and my housing for the next year unless I learned to be more cooperative."

Link via Cruel Shoes



The Greenies LOVE pushbikes as a means of transport. So much better than cars, in their view. So next time you see a cyclist pumping away and obstructing other traffic have a little laugh to yourself about this report on habitual mountain-bike riders summarized by Medpundit on December 3rd.:

"On average, the study found, the bikers produced only a third the amount of sperm as those who were not bike riders. The researchers suggest that trauma to the testicles causes vascular damage affecting the sperm".

Bike-seats can be a hazard to your fertility!


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8 December, 2002


Natalie Solent does not know why the USA has a much higher murder rate than the UK (though other crime-rates are much lower in the USA). Do these statistics tell her anything?

Number of victims of murders per 100,000 population in the USA in the year 2000:

White 3.3
Black 20.5
Other 4.1

So it's pretty simple -- America has more blacks per head and blacks are much more prone to murdering one-another. Most black murders are of course "black-on-black".
So if we considered whites only, the US murder-rate would be quite low.



In his post of 7th, Parapundit sets out in painful detail how President Bush insists that Islam is a "religion of peace". This decription of Islam has been endlessly scoffed at on the blogs every time Islamic militants perpetrate a fresh atrocity and it has long been perfectly well known that Islam preaches death or conversion to "infidels" (non-Muslims). The only peace Islam offers is to Muslims.

So why does President Bush persist with this arrant nonsense? It is all Realpolitik. Like any good strategist, Bush very sensibly wishes to knock off the enemy one by one. He has fixed Afghanistan with Arab help and now has Iraq in his sights. And co-operation or at least neutrality from other Arab nations will greatly facilitate dealing with Iraq. So he butters up the other Arab nations to achieve that. So let us not criticize him for what he says in this matter but rather thank him for doing the unpleasant task that he has to do.



Bad Eagle obviously still has some of the fire of his Comanche ancestors in him. He calls for the US government to deport all Arab Muslims from the USA. It certainly seems amazingly optimistic to harbour people who hate you. I think the Australian government should deport the Muslim crazies here -- like Sheikh Hillaly.



An interesting article on what Australians call 4WDS and what Americans call SUVs. The article quotes research findings to the effect that they are primarily bought for show and statistically debunks the claim that they are safer. Because of their instability, they are far more likely to roll over than other vehicles. So, overall, they are less safe and more likely to kill those in them. They are also more likely to kill other people in smaller vehicles that they collide with. And, as we also often see on the news in Australia, people accidentally back their 4WDS over their own children at a great rate. Charming! So they are a lose-lose proposition for everyone. And those who own them are more likely to be Leftist! Though Leftists are also the ones who voice most opposition to them: Typical. Libertarian though I am, I would not be at all regretful if the government put a whopping great tax on all such killer vehicles in the interests of public safety.



There is a recent magazine article here in which the differences between the USA and Canada are claimed to have become minimal since the Free Trade agreement between them of 14 years ago. From what I can see from a distance, however, the article fails to deal adequately with the political differences between the two countries. Canada seems to be clearly more Leftist -- just as Scotland is clearly more Leftist than England. Leftists like big government and a country that has its police force as its best-known symbol might be expected from the outset to fall into that category. And the widespread support in Canada for its creaking nationalized health service confirms the suspicion. And contrast the wholehearted way the Australian electorate and government have supported US foreign policy ever since Vietnam with the much more wishy-washy Canadian policy.



"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt"

"Former Enron adviser, Paul Krugman"

"Visitors to a off-beat Berlin arts center thought a dead woman on the ground was a performance art act rather than a suicide,"

(From "Best of the Web" of 5th)


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7 December, 2002


NZ Pundit is greatly puzzled as to why he and most other males find the female breast very attractive. He gives an almost encyclopaedic list of possible explanations for the phenomenon. He has however missed out the obvious one -- the explanation from ethology (i.e. the study of animal behaviour). Any ethologist will tell you that most vertebrate species (at least) have markers for masculinity and femininity -- often very striking markers -- as in the well-known vivid red posterior of Mandril moneys and the less well-known coloured undersides in the three-spined stickleback fish memorably studied by Tinbergen (1951).

And what the studies show is that the more exaggerated these markers are, the more they succeed in attracting the opposite sex: The enormous tail of the Peacock being the most obvious case in point. Large tails have aroused peahens for thousands of generations so peacock tails have, through evolution, (or, more strictly, through sexual selection), gotten longer and longer as a means of winning the reproductive race.

So the enlarged breast that occurs during lactation has taken on the job of sexual marker among humans and the resultant attraction it generates has caused the human female breast to become (through evolution) non-functionally large -- just like the peacock's tail.

Tinbergen, N. (1951) The study of instinct. Oxford: Clarendon.



The latest post from China hand makes fascinating reading. He says that Christianity is thriving in China, even among Communist Party officials, and that China could well become a generally Christian country in the foreseeable future. Christmas trees are on sale, churches are open and well-attended, Christmas carols are widely and openly enjoyed and non-confrontational proselytizing is allowed. But the Christianity concerned has to be CHINESE Christianity. Links to overseas church organizations are frowned upon. That is certainly a problem for Catholics, given their doctrine of the magisterium of the Pope, but for more democratic forms of Christianity, there is no problem.



Every time there is unseasonably hot weather, someone is sure to tout it as evidence of global warming. Why not? It is no weaker than any of the other evidence that Greenies rely on. Opinion Journal therefore asks, rather sarcastically, but with perfect logic, why the present heavy winter in the Northern hemisphere is not seen as evidence of global cooling?



In his post of 4th., Lefty Australian economist, John Quiggin claims that there is a "preponderance of evidence in favor of global warming" but admits that there are "remaining uncertainties". He concludes nonetheless that we should start acting as if the case were proven. This despite the fact that the "uncertainties" are large indeed. See Amax, John Daly and Aaron Oakley for just a sampling of them.

Why does Quiggin advocate such an unscientific approach? A large clue might be his statement a little later on that: "I haven't changed my fundamental views in the thirty years since Gough Whitlam was elected." In other words he still identifies with Australia's most notorious episode of crazy and dysfunctional Leftism. For background on Whitlam, see here. The Red/Green connection is alive and well.

I wonder does Quiggin realize who was recent history's chief advocate of "action first"? Yep. It was a fellow Leftist, Benito Mussolini, the founder of Fascism.



Realism about differences in black behaviour reported in the "Los Angeles Times", no less!

(Subscriber registration is needed but use "sabertooth1" for both your subscriber name and password and Voila!)

Link via Razib of "Gene Expression" and my fellow psychometrician, Kimberly Swygert of "No 2 Pencil"



The Tugboat Potemkin has churned its paddlewheels gaily once again and naughtily misrepresented one of my more academic posts -- of December 2nd. I pointed out that the phenomenon of "regression to the mean" explains the lower school performance of middle class black children. Potemkin misrepresents that as a claim that the lower performance is a statistical artifact. It is not, of course. The lower achievement levels are REAL -- however we explain them.



There is an excellent short review of the life of George Orwell here which stresses how it was Orwell's realism that cut him off from his fellow Leftists. The article also reports how the Left nearly succeeded in strangling Orwell's writings at birth. The article includes a review of the recent book on Orwell by Christopher Hitchens.



I wonder how many people got the joke in a recent posting on WogBlog? He was supporting our Prime Minister's declaration that Australia would send forces to attack terrorists even outside Australia if they threatened Australia -- and in his argument in support of our PM said: "I expect the PM to protect me, and my car, from terrorists". "Wogs" (Australians of Mediterranean ancestry) are of course famous for their pride in their cars. It gave me a chuckle anyway.



"Best of the Web" of 5th. has an excellent enquiry about the beatup surrounding the admission of women to the Augusta golf club:

No one cares if Augusta admits women or not, except for the Times and a group called the National Council of Women's Organizations, which together have contrived this whole phony debate. (Incidentally, how come "women's organizations" are kosher, but a men's golf club isn't?)


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6 December, 2002


Blogs of War reports on a group Canada considers a humanitarian organization:

The leader of the Lebanese Muslim group Hezbollah is urging a global suicide bombing campaign, increasing the prospect that the regional conflict between Arabs and Israelis will expand to mimic or even merge with al Qaeda's war against the West. "I encourage Palestinians to take suicide bombings worldwide. Don't be shy about it," he added. Both speeches were broadcast by a Hezbollah-owned TV station in Lebanon.

The newspaper also reported that Bill Graham, the Canadian minister of foreign affairs, had decided not to outlaw Hezbollah in its entirety because the group is also involved in social and political work in Lebanon. The group has been using Canada as a source of money, forged documents, stolen cars, recruits and military-use equipment.

Decent people everywhere should do what they can to urge that the Canadian government should (at least) ban fundraising by Hezbollah. Contact Canadian PM Jean Chretien to demand an end to his outrageous policy. Please E-mail him today!

Right Honourable Jean Chretien, PC, QC, MP
Prime Minister of Canada
Parliament of Canada
Ottawa, Canada
Fax: (613) 995-0101
E-mail: pm@pm.gc.ca

One of my Australian correspondents writes:
"Thanks for the stuff on Canada. I was in Canada last September, just after the Sept 11 bombing, and was horrified by the extreme Leftist views of the populace."



The great enemy of the Christmas spirit in literature is of course Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge. And Scrooge was not exactly a loved or praised figure. That Dickens was a "social reformer" in his day does therefore make it all the more strange that the Left of today have adopted Scrooge as their own. As Trevor Sykes (a.k.a "Pierpont") reports:

"The kindergartens of Victoria have launched an anti-Santa campaign this Christmas. At last count, about 50 kindergartens had banned Santa and were going to entertain their tots with magicians or clowns instead so as not to offend minority groups.

If the teachers are really conscientious objectors to Santa and Christmas, Pierpont assumes they will not recognise Christmas at all and keep working right through the Yuletide holidays. If they did that, perhaps some Australian offspring might emerge from our education system with an IQ somewhere above single-digit levels."

It is of course a pure Leftist lie that Xmas "offends" non-Xians. Nobody had ever heard of any such thing until Leftists invented it and to this day I have yet to hear one non-Xian claim such offence. In reality the whole anti-Xmas project is nothing more than the usual childish Leftist attempt to draw attention to themselves by attacking worthy institutions that are in fact supports to the good life and comfort of ordinary people. Now that Buddhists, Confucians and Communists in Japan and China are eagerly adopting Christmas and its trappings, it really shows how "offensive" to other religions Christmas is, doesn't it? Even to Muslims, Christ is a great prophet.

(For Australian readers: The link above also gives an excellent debunking of the myths surrounding the economic record of the Australian Left's no. 1 Saint -- Gough Whitlam)



Twin-Ruler is right to question the way the holocaust is sometimes described as "uniquely evil". Whether done by Nazis like Hitler, Communists like Stalin or Fascists like Saddam Hussein, vast brutality and murder regrettably has many parallels throughout human history. In the 20th century, however, the worst examples were all done in the name of "socialism", whether national, international or "Ba'athist". In today's civilized society, Leftists need to hide their real motives beneath a cloak of claimed "compassion" but the real motivation underneath that cloak is primitive savagery. "By their fruits shall ye know them", as a wise man once said.



I often enjoy seeing people take up points that I have previously written about. I have previously noted the racism implicit in the low expectations that Leftists seem to have for anyone non-Western and I see that Andrew Sullivan has now taken up precisely that point in his post of December 3rd.

My fellow psychometrician, Kimberly Swygert also makes a similar point about low expectations held for American black academic performance -- in her post of 5th.



Britain's BBC 4 website featured a short extract of an "email of the day" yesterday which said, among other things:

It's a tax on people who cannot afford it - The real problem is that income tax isn't high enough..

Such wit and originality! But it does tell you where the BBC is coming from. For more on Britain's "public service" broadcaster see here.



The recent handgun shooting in Melbourne suggested that Australia's last lot of gun restrictions and buybacks did no good and Alex Robson reports that the statistics show that too. So perhaps we can be glad that the second round of restrictions that the Melbourne tragedy sparked now looks to have been just about scuppered by Federal/State bickering. It has just been announced that the second round of restrictions/buybacks will take only 20% of existing handguns out of circulation! What on earth is the point of that? Yet another idiotic waste of taxpayer funds.



Since Vin Ferrari has just posted that "JOHN RAY IS BRILLIANT", I think you had better go and read the blog of such a sensible guy!


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5 December, 2002


Below is an extract from the policy document of a well-known 20th century political party. See if you can pick the party concerned:

9. All citizens of the State shall be equal as regards rights and duties.

10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. The activities of the individual may not clash with the interests of the whole, but must proceed within the frame of the community and be for the general good.

Therefore we demand:

11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in life and property, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as a crime against the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits whether in assets or material.

13. We demand the nationalization of businesses which have been organized into cartels.

14. We demand that all the profits from wholesale trade shall be shared out.

15. We demand extensive development of provision for old age.

16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle-class, the immediate communalization of department stores which will be rented cheaply to small businessmen, and that preference shall be given to small businessmen for provision of supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.

17. We demand a land reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to confiscate from the owners without compensation any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

So who put that forward as their party's policy? The US Democrats, the British Labour Party, the Canadian Liberals, some European Social Democratic party? No. It is an extract from the (February 25th., 1920) 25 point plan of the National Socialist German Workers Party and was written by the leader of that party: Adolf Hitler.

So does anyone still believe the big lie that Nazism was Rightist?

The rest of Hitler's program was aimed mainly at the Jews but in Hitler's day it was very common for Leftists to be antisemitic. And the increasingly pervasive anti-Israel sentiment among the modern-day Left -- including the Canadian government -- shows that modern-day Leftists are not even very different from Hitler in that regard. Modern-day Leftists still seem to think that dead Jews are a good thing.

A study of history is MOST instructive.



Feisty Italian Left-wing writer, Oriana Fallaci, is also horrified at the antisemitism of the modern-day Left:

"I find it shameful that almost all of the left ... forgets the contribution made by the Jews to the fight against fascism ... I find it shameful that in part through the fault of the left--or rather, primarily through the fault of the left (think of the left that inaugurates its congresses applauding the representative of the PLO, leader in Italy of the Palestinians who want the destruction of Israel) -- Jews in Italian cities are once again afraid ...

I find it shameful and see in all this the rise of a new fascism, a new nazism. A fascism, a nazism, that much more grim and revolting because it is conducted and nourished by those who hypocritically pose as do-gooders, progressives, communists, pacifists, Catholics or rather Christians, and who have the gall to label a warmonger anyone like me who screams the truth.

I see it, yes, and I say the following ... I have often had disagreements with the Israelis, ugly ones, and in the past I have defended the Palestinians a great deal. Maybe more than they deserved. But I stand with Israel, I stand with the Jews ... And disgusted by the anti-Semitism of many Italians, of many Europeans, I am ashamed of this shame that dishonors my Country and Europe. At best, it is not a community of States, but a pit of Pontius Pilates.


Oriana Fallaci (aged 73) was a Resistance fighter in her youth.



I have previously written at some length to point out that both Fascism and Nazism are simply nationalistic variants of Leftism and on November 5th on this blog I pointed out that Iraq's Saddam Hussein could reasonably be considered to be a Fascist because he is in fact not simply a military dictator but rather the Iraqi head of the Pan-Arab Ba'ath Socialist party. I gave a potted history of Ba'athism at the time but if you have the stomach for it you can read some actual Ba'ath propaganda on the subject here.

Jason Soon in his post of December 2nd has also taken up the theme and shows that Saddam is in fact thoroughly post-modernist! And that makes him a very trendy Leftie! Truth is stranger than fiction.

No wonder the Western Left hate the idea of us attacking Saddam. He is one of them. They no more care about his brutality than they cared about Stalin's brutality. Their "compassion" is yet again shown to be a sham.

See also here for an account of the large similarities between Islam generally and Nazism.



Did you hear about the dyslectic Devil-worshipper who sold his soul to Santa?


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4 December, 2002


The enormous irrationality of many Greens has always been something of a puzzle and is certainly reminiscent of much in religion. It has just occurred to me that Nature-worship IS a religion. ALL of us were nature-worshippers not so long ago and most of Asia and Africa still is in various ways. So Greenies are really a reversion to a primitive instinct in us. No wonder they are so passionate. It is faith and instinct we are dealing with here, not reason.

It all begins to fit in now: The decline of Christianity has led to a revival of natural religion.



Tim Blair has up a most amusing report about how the Sydney gay organizations were all anti-American and pro-Arab until they went to a meetinfg addressed by Muslim Arab speakers and discovered that the Muslims really wanted to stone them all to death! It sort of blunted their enthusiasm for Muslims for some strange reason!

It reminds me of a talk I went to in the School of Sociology at the University of New South Wales in the 70s which was addressed by a speaker from an official Soviet women's organization. She was saying how much equality there was for women under Communism. You can imagine how the sociologists (at least one of whom was gay) were lapping it up. THEN someone asked the speaker: "And how do you treat homosexuals in the Soviet Union?" The speaker replied: "We don't have them under Communism". Did I laugh!



One of my correspondents has picked up the link between Leftist love of controlling everything and the way Arab leaders control everything:

If one thinks hard enough one can almost make out why the Left is jerking towards support for Arafat's crew of killers (i.e. 99% of the Palestianian population). The reason is that when you look hard enough what you see in Arafat is a Leftist. Look at the way he runs the PLO in terms of governance, rule of law (lack of), capricious decsion making. This guy is a Leftist and the Left sees this. The same goes for the Ba'ath party in Iraq ( also a socialist party). Take this and add the old line the enemy of my enemy (The US) is my friend (PLO, Iraq) and it becomes clear why those low lifes are marching around.



Jason Soon at Gene expression has a delicious link (Tuesday 3rd) to some research work by a group of economists. Excerpt:

"We find that countries that are poor, close to the equator, ethnolinguistically heterogeneous, use French or socialist laws, or have high proportions of Catholics or Muslims exhibit inferior government performance."



See here for an update on Britain -- soaring crime, ever-declining educational standards, a distrust of excellence generally and a Conservative party with nothing to say -- and hopeless at cricket, of course (despite the England team no longer being an English team). But the British computer industry is doing well -- probably because it is largely outside the grip of the government.



Conservative sociologists are as rare as hen's teeth. I ought to know -- being one of them. Robert Nisbet is probably the best known example of one. Like all conservatives, he was appalled by the gradual growth of State power over the last century and pointed out how the State had supplanted and destroyed local community-based organizations and ways of doing things. And I agree that a lot of that did happen.

But I think it is sheer romanticism to say that it could all have been avoided. I think the whole trend of history is towards de-localization of almost everything. Globalization of world trade is the clearest case in point. Division and specialization of labour has become more and more pronounced as time goes by and is part of the essence of modernity. And division of labour means ever larger and more complex organizations (businesses and factories) to make that specialization work. And, after that, large and complex networks of people to distribute the fruits of that specialized labour are needed. Doing everything locally is as obsolete as the spinning wheel. So big, complex organizations have inevitably replaced small, local organizations. So the State was just one of the things that destroyed localism and community.

I cannot see that we will ever get the same sort of community back under any circumstances but we are also forming new communities all the time. We may no longer live in villages but, for many people, those they work with are an important community and most of us are part of various communities connected with our leisure activities. So I think we will always have about as much community as we want.

Large, complex organizations do not have to be part of the State, however. And the State is in fact very bad at running large, complex organizations. So modernity may have destroyed the old communities and replaced them with new ones but the role of the State in that process was certainly unnecessary and will hopefully yet be at least in part ridiculed out of existence.



Australia is supposed to have around 6% unemployment at the moment. So how come both I and others I know find it costs the earth to get anyone to come in and do basic housework -- IF you can get anyone at all? Cleaning is not exactly high-tech. I guess the government handouts for NOT working are too attractive. It is a pity that "work for the dole" schemes are only embryonic here.



One of my correspondents has pointed out that multiculturalism came to Australia mainly at the hands of our short-lived but very Leftist Whiltlam Labor government in the early 70s. The succeeding conservative government under Malcolm Fraser was just about equally enthusiastic about the idea, however. Neither government, however, made it a significant feature of their election campaigns so nobody has ever really had any chance to vote on it.


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3 December, 2002


Zoosexual lib! I had never even heard the term "Zoosexual" until this morning but it looks like Britain is legalizing it! It refers to people coupling with animals. It's all in The Speccy



One of my Australian correspondents has asked me where I think "multi-culturalism" came from. Australia is a nation of immigrants and up until the 70s had what seemed like a universally accepted policy of assimilation for all immigrants. There was nothing heavy about it but it was assumed that everyone would learn English and that the children of immigrants would be indistinguishable from other Australians. And that was indeed mostly what happened.

But suddenly, without any discernible public discusion, debate or opportunity to vote on the matter we acquired officially-sponsored multiculturalism. Why? It would be tempting to see it as another disruptive initiative from the Left but it seems to me that the whole thing actually goes against the usual "All men are equal" dogma of the Left. I would have expected them to support assimilation -- as they long did. The Left have adapted to multiculturalism by now saying that "All cultures" are equal -- thus making it into a thoroughly pernicious and dishonest doctrine -- but I doubt that it was originally a Leftist idea. I am inclined to think that the idea sprang from do-gooders who just wanted to be kind to immigrants and who appreciated ethnic restaurants, ethnic dance etc. And pervertiing do-gooder ideas is an old Leftist strategy.

On the other hand, maybe we can blame it all on Canada. The strife they have had with their French minority made multiculturalism the only way of holding Canada together and Canada is such a great model for the wishy-washies of the world that it became widely emulated. Certainly from an Australian perspective, multiculturalism seems almost to have sprung out of nowhere.

Canada certainly does seem to carry multiculturalism to almost the point of insanity. Take a recent initiative of the City of Toronto to call their Christmas tree a "holiday" tree so as not to offend non-Christians and a similar move by the Canadian Mint to change "The Twelve Days of Christmas" in their advertising to "The Twelve Days of Giving" -- thus offending a lot of Christians. It seems that far from permitting and celebrating all cultures there (which was the original idea of multiculturalism) they have now got to the point of SUPPRESSING Christian culture!

Thanks to Jerry Lerman for the links about Canada



After reading this I can say nothing good of Canada:

From Blogs of War.

Canadian Magen David Adom is affiliated with Magen David Adom in Israel and sends them the ambulances and medical equipment which is donated by Canadians. Magen David Adom is a human rights organization, providing essential medical care/treatment to the citizens of the State of Israel, it is the Israeli version of the Red Cross. Magen David Adom treats all the people of Israel, including; Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

The Canadian government's decision to shut down Canadian Magen David Adom is unfortunate and unnecessary. (Canadian) Magen David Adom is NOT a political organization and has NOTHING to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The CCRA and the Canadian government's decision to shut down Canadian Magen David Adom will negatively affect the level of medical care in Israel for the entire population, including; Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

So Canada doesn't want it's citizens providing Israel with ambulances and medical supplies but it has no problem with them donating to the terrorist organization Hezbollah.

There must of course be a minority of decent Canadians who deplore this but why are they not shouting about it? Is it all just another aspect of their stupid anti-Americanism? USA=Israel, or some such? If there was enough outcry about this almost terrorist act, even the moron Chretien would back down.



"America has its faults as a society, as we have ours. But I think of the union of America born out of the defeat of slavery. I think of its constitution, with its inalienable rights granted to every citizen, still a model for the world. I think of a black man, born in poverty, who became chief of their armed forces and is now Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and I wonder frankly whether such a thing could have happened here. I think of all this and I reflect: yes, America has its faults, but it is a free country, it is our ally and some of the reaction to September 11 betrays a hatred of America that shames those that feel it."

Who said that? The quote is from a larger discussion of Canadian anti-Americanism. It was said by British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Good man!

Some more vitriolic comments on Anti-Americanism -- by a Greek.



I don't know where this one originally came from but it is good:

Dear Abby,
My husband is a lying cheat. He tells me he loves me, but he has cheated our entire marriage. He is a good provider and has many friends and supporters. They know he is a lying cheat, but they just avoid the issue. He is a hard worker but many of his co-workers are leery of him. Everytime he gets caught, he denies it all. Then he admits that he was wrong and begs me to forgive him. This has been going on for so long, everyone in town knows he is a cheat. Just because I am a lesbian he chooses to ignore me at home. I don't know what to do.

Dear Frustrated:
You should dump him. Now that you are a Senator for New York, you don't need him anymore


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2 December, 2002


I don't know how the socialists among us would react to a country with a Communist government that has no social welfare and operates as a free market, but that's Vietnam.

From Angela Bell who has just come back from there.



This post by an Estonian which describes his country's rapid ascent out of Communist poverty by way of free market policies summarizes in a few sentences the essential truths that will always be ignored by the Left.



The heading above is the one given to this story by Norwegian blogger, Fredrick Norman. The Hitler Jugend was of course the Nazi youth organization.

One of the "new political talents" in the Labor Party of Norway's oil capital, Stavanger, and third-highest ranked candidate to the City Council for the same party, Torstein Tvedt Solberg, recently put on a highly unusual show for the city's children, many of whom were only seven and eight years of age, according to the local paper.

Solberg and his cohorts encouraged the children to learn literally "how to throw rocks as the Palestinians do it". The kids then proceeded to throw big rocks at a photograph of the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, and the older members of the Labor Youth organization cheered them on.



Revealed Truth thinks that Greenies are more dangerous than the Islamic Fascists. I am inclined to agree.



Wow! Razib (who appears to be a dark-skinned American whose parents came from the Indian subcontinent) pulls no punches about the reasons why even those African-American students who come from middle-class homes are not doing well at school.

I think that he overlooks the most obvious reason for the failure, though: "regression to the mean". As a statistical phenomenon that is rather beyond full explication on a blog but hopefully it will suffice to say that middle class blacks would be way above the black average on (for instance) IQ and ANY parent who is way above the average on any characteristic can expect to have children closer to the group average on that characteristic. Middle class whites, on the other hand, are probably only a little above their group mean on IQ so regression effects among their children are much smaller.



Not speaking ill of the dead is an ancient pagan idea but not one that I see as having much relevance today. But it seems to be alive and well in the blogosphere when it comes to mentioning the recent death of Leftist philosopher, John Rawls. I did not honour the custom nor did The Brothers Judd (post of Nov. 29th) and I particularly liked this comment put up on the Judd blog by Lou Gots:

I spent an interesting semester at Penn disecting A Theory of Justice in a course taught by Bruce Ackerman (!!!) A central part of Rawls' theory (and Ackerman's exegesis thereof) is the notion the the goods of the earth are "manna"--they just drop out of the sky. Thus social justice concerns itself only with distribution and not with production, because when you get up in the morning the manna will be there. Thus Rawls and his disciples make as much sense as a Melanesian cargo cult. We know from human esperience that irrational systems fail because they are unproductive. Thanks to Rawls, many of our intellectuals start with the premise that productivity does not matter. As to the "veil of ignorance," it is Rawls' way of getting around this. Since no one is supposed to know that he will not be in the "worst-off class," the just society will always favor the worst-off. This is a sick notion, as such a society will tend ever downward, becoming less and less productive, until all are "worst off." On the contrary, I Would say that the poor in a free society (tempered by charity) are better off than they would be in an unfree. Rawls wrote that envy should not be a factor in these decisions, so relative deprivation should be irrelevant. Furthermore, I would hold that even if the veil of ignorance were more than just more cargo cult nonsense, a rational person would desire freedom because even if he were to be born to the "worst-off class" his wealth and his opportunities to improve his lot would be maximized. De mortuiis, etc., eternal rest and perpetual light, but the works are still meaningless socialist blather.



Walter Williams shows us why prejudice and discrimination are not necessarily a bad thing.


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1 December 2002


Wow! There seems to be a new realism abroad in the world about the unsavoury population changes being brought about by virtually unrestricted immigration. See here for signs of a long-overdue awakening in Canada, here for signs of a similar awakening in France and here for a voice of reason in Britain.Thanks to Pauline Hanson making the voice of mainstream Australia heard in political circles, Australia woke up a long time ago and we have already put a stop to the worst of it. It would seem that Pim Fortuyn, although now tragically deceased, has just done much the same for Dutch politics.

See here for the latest update on Fortuyn's murder.



In a post of 19th. November, I was critical of an assertion by megablogger Andrew Sullivan to the effect that the British are rude and crude when compared to Americans. It seemed to me that Sullivan was overgeneralizing about both the British and the Americans. He seemed to me to be taking insufficient account of social class differences in both countries and to be making an irrelevant comparison between the British working class and the American middle class. Randall Parker has just emailed me an interesting follow-up to that post which points out that geographical differences should also be considered before any comparison is made:

"About rude Americans vs rude Brits and so on:
A Canadian friend who has spent a lot of time in the US working takes the view
that the US is such a big place with different population centers and regions that one can't compare the US to Canada on many topics. One really needs to compare regions. He even points to (and I have to take his word for it on some of these
cases though listening to a Minnesotan neighbor in California certainly showed evidence of this) regions in the northern US where the accents and phrasings have more in common with Ontario than with most of the rest of the US.

Just as with accents similarly, politeness behavior varies a great deal within the US. I think Manhattan and Charleston South Carolina are probably at two extremes in that regard. The Old South places far greater importance on manners and also on
honor. Anyone who has experienced these extremes within the US can see that a US-British comparison is nonsense because there is no single US style of behavior.

So these comparisons between countries have to be taken with a grain of
salt. Perhaps someone can compare London with NYC. But I'm sitting here in Southern California 3000 miles away from NYC and since I grew up in New Jersey and spent a lot of time in Georgia I can tell you from personal experience that
attitudes vary quite a lot across the states.



There is a good article here about how Australians are doing better and better economically but still feeling badly done by. We are SPOILT!


AUSTRALIA'S "UNFAIRNESS" TO REFUGEESBecause Australia locks up and sends home illegal immigrants who masquerade as refugees, many people both within and outside Australia promote the impression that the Australian government is unfair and heartless in its response to those who claim refugee status. You can find here a summary of how Australia in fact treats refugee applications. There are in fact FOUR STEPS that can be taken before an applicant is finally rejected. Australia in fact bends over backward not to reject anybody unfairly.



Eddie at One Good Turn has returned bravely to the fray with a claim that moral values CAN be inferred from the state of the world.

He makes the reasonable point that our preferences can generally be explained in some way and takes it that such explanations are sometimes the elusive "moral truths". He uses preference for liberty as an example and says:

"To value liberty is to believe that individuals accomplish more when guided by their own intelligence. This belief is not itself a preference; it is an empirical judgment."

But what does he mean by "accomplish" and "more" here? I think Eddie is sneaking arbitrary value judgments in through the back door here. I could for instance be greatly constrained by living in a Stalinist State but feel that I had "accomplished" a lot just by composing beautiful poems in my head all my life. So did liberty help me to accomplish "more" there? Hardly. Clearly, certain types of liberty do facilitate certain types of activity but which activities we prefer is surely entirely subjective and personal.


By the way, Eddie is one of many who normally refer to me as John Jay Ray. I wonder why I am the only blogger in the entire blogosphere who is regularly assigned a middle name? Amusing.



Medpundit comments amusingly and accurately on a recent finding that eating lots of peanuts will prevent diabetes.



Cricket fiend Michael Jennings has a rather fascinating story about the role of cricket in the gradual process of Australia becoming an independent country.

He also notes that comparatively few English people are now interested in the game that was once seen as quintessentially English -- to the point where the Cambridge University team is almost entirely made up of people from Commonwealth countries.



Since it is Sunday and we are all relaxed, I think it is time for a joke (Thanks to a certain ex-wife for sending it to me):

Far away in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, two prawns were swimming around in the sea - one called Justin and the other called Christian. The prawns were constantly being harassed and threatened by sharks that patrolled the area.

Finally one day Justin said to Christian, "I'm bored and frustrated at being a prawn, I wish I was a shark, then I wouldn't have any worries about being eaten..."

As Justin had his mind firmly on becoming a predator, a mysterious cod appears and says, "Your wish is granted", and lo and behold, Justin turned into a shark. Horrified, Christian immediately swam away, Afraid of being eaten by his old mate.

Time went on (as it invariably does...) and Justin found himself becoming bored and lonely as a shark. All his old mates simply swam away whenever he came close to them. Justin didn't realise that his new menacing appearance was the cause of his sad plight. While out swimming alone one day he sees the mysterious cod again and can't believe his luck. Justin figured that the fish could change him back into a prawn. He begs the cod to change him back so, lo and behold, he is turned back into a prawn.

With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes, Justin swam back to his friends. Looking around the gathering at the reef, he searched for his old pal. "Where's Christian?" he asked.

"He's at home, distraught that his best friend changed sides to the enemy and became a shark", came the reply.

Eager to put things right again and end the mutual pain and torture, he set off to Christian's house. As he opened the coral gate the memories came flooding back. He banged on the door and shouted, "It's me, Justin, your old friend, come out and see me again.

"Christian replied "No way man, you'll eat me. You're a shark, the enemy and I'll not be tricked. " Justin cried back "No, I'm not. That was the old me. I've changed."...

(wait for it) . . .

...."I've found Cod, I'm a prawn again Christian".



Bovination is going great guns lately. The Greens, the United Nations, the ABC and Feminazism all get it from both barrels.


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