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28 February, 2003


The French have always hated the way "inferior" British and now American culture has been so influential worldwide. They think that "Gloire" (glory) should always belong primarily to France. So they have always been very prone to lumping together the despised British and Americans as "The Anglo-Saxons" -- even though US/UK co-operation has been far from complete in the past (e.g. in two world wars, the Suez invasion and Vietnam). They even call Kofi Annan an Anglo-Saxon because he speaks English! Now that the co-operation between Britain and America has really become as whole-hearted as the French always pretended it was, that really frustrates them -- hence their present efforts to obstruct the "Anglo-Saxon" attack on Iraq.

My favourite Professor has published a defence of French military prowess. He has to go a long way back to find much to say about victories, however, and his idea that Napoleon was defeated only by superior numbers is way-off. Napoleon was defeated by his misjudgment of Russian resolve and the Russian winter and it was his hesitancy that lost him the battle at Waterloo. Napoleon was his own worst enemy. And he wasn't French anyhow. His native language was a form of Italian. And William the conqueror may have spoken French but his immediate ancestry was Norse (Viking).

There is a nice anti-French poster here that would look good on a lot of websites



This is the sort of thing that would have Greenies frothing at the mouth. How DARE our scientists gaily produce such "unnatural" organisms. Should be a law ....

"I recently heard a presentation on this crazy guy, Peter Schultz, who has engineered bacteria to use para-aminophenylalanine instead of amber codons. The bacteria synthesize para-phenylalanine, have a para-phenylalanine tRNA synthetase, and and insert it with very high fidelity whenever the amber codon is found. The amber codon, which causes the ribosome to stop reading the mRNA when it's found, is apparently quite rare, and because bacterial mRNAs aren't as processed as eukaryotic ones, the bacteria get along quite well. I was thinking it would be really keen to make a series of mutants, each of which incorporated a different D-amino acid instead of the L version. Then, analysis of the structures of the D tRNA synthetases, of the ribosome translating the codon, and of the resulting protein could contribute a little information towards answering why we use all L amino acids.

More here. That a better understanding of all life will come from people doing this sort of thing would not worry a Greenie. They want to take us all back to a primitive past anyway.



The latest claim that British Prime Minister Tony Blair is losing support for war on Iraq is nicely answered here.

Just a reminder here of what the American military freed the Afghans from. And some good news about what Afghanistan is like now.

There is a good site here that spells out the comparison between Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler. Antiwar protesters are animated by a deep dislike of George Bush. They don't like his mannerisms, his haircut, his use of the word "evil". In short, they dislike his style . . . and for this they are willing to march in defense of fascism incarnate, chant infantile rhymes in public, and chain themselves to Iraqi military installations. From Invisible Hand -- who backs up his argument with lots of quotes from what Leftists have been saying. I think he has a point. The Left really can be that infantile.



Today's academic paper from my past is here and deals with the fact that many people who answer questionnaires will say "Yes" to anything. Ways of dealing with this problem are analysed but it is pointed out that many psychologists simply ignore the problem -- making their survey results pretty meaningless.

Lovely! America's Nation Organization of [Leftist] Women tried to get anti-abortion protesters sent to jail for protesting! Free speech anyone? Not if Leftists have their way! Fortunately the Supreme Court has just knocked that attempt on the head. (Article requires free registration)

The USA seems to be in danger of banning all cloning. Charles Murtaugh bravely battles the vast ignorance so frequently expressed on this subject and makes a good case for allowing at least some forms of scientific research on the subject to proceed.

Orrin Judd reproduces another wonderful speech by Ronald Reagan -- whom Orrin refers to simply as "The man".

Michael Darby has a review of the situation in Zimbabwe

Chris Brand has an excerpt of a news report about some controversial help being given to drug addicted mothers in the USA.

The Wicked one has some fun with Korean names and New Zealand TV.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit here instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


27 February, 2003


In my now rather distant past I taught psychology for two years and sociology for 12 years at major Australian universities. During that time I did a lot of research and that research resulted in my getting over 250 papers published in the academic journals. In the age of Google and the internet, however, very few people -- even academics -- now read academic journals. I am therefore in the weeks ahead going to be putting up my old academic papers on Blogspot in the faint hope of introducing them to a wider audience. I have always tried to write even my academic papers in as jargon-free a way as possible so I live in some hope that there may be many outside the universties who can follow what I have written.

The paper I have just put up here asks about the relationship between ambition and anxiety. If you are an anxious sort of person does that mean that you are also ambitious or does anxiety make you less ambitious? Or are the two unconnected? (statistician's jargon for "unconnected" is "orthogonal"). Have fun (I hope)!



The Wicked one point out that the French have despised Americans for at least a century.

This article by Semmens points out that giving the U.N. a power of veto over American war plans for Iraq amounts to giving Jacques Chirac a veto and points out what an unsavoury character he is to be wielding any veto.

Prominent British Conservative politician David Davis thinks that if Scotland and Wales can have a parliament of their own in addition to seats at Westminster then there should be a wholly English parliament too. Logical. If the USA, Germany, India, Australia and Canada can have successful Federal systems, why not England too? Let's leave centralism to the French.



Another good article by Steve Sailer in reply to the Leftist claim that "science" shows there is no such thing as race. Leftists really are brilliant at ignoring the evidence in front of their eyes.

There is a fairly scandalous story here about the repeated misuse of DNA evidence by government prosecutors. Be afraid!

Eugenics lives! Genetic screening has now all but eliminated an awful hereditary disease. Via Steve Sailer.



Hello Bloggy takes a swipe at the argument that affirmative action benefits us all.

Chris Brand points to the idiocy and injustice of affirmative action in British universities.

One of my correspondents (a medical specialist) writes to me:

"Of great amusement to me are the leftist doctors that crusade for "better access to care" for "underpriveleged Blacks" - clearly racially profiling - but encourage you not to say "The patient was a 25 year old Black male with a gunshot wound to the chest" etc. because "race isn't relevant" to the discussion of the patient."



A good line from SpicedSass: "Probably why the Whores of Hollywood are so symbiotic with liberalism. They all specialize in creative lying."

Is this the ultimate Leftist distortion of history? "And did you ever think about the socialist revolution in France that was crushed by D-Day because the socialists were fighting off the Nazis single-handedly?" Via Layman's Logic. Again we see Leftists ignoring reality in favour of their dream-world.

A recent documentary about Cuba showed that you can shove facts and reality right down the throats of Leftists and it just makes them angry. They prefer their preconceptions to the truth. Their ego is so bound up with them being right and everybody else wrong that they just do not WANT facts. Via Aaron Oakley.

A famous Heinlein quote: The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. That does just about sum up the Left/Right division these days.

Michael Darby notes all the things that the "peace" demonstrators do NOT demonstrate about. "Compassion not included" seems to be their motto.

This article points out that Leftist guru Robert Fisk realizes that the liberation of Iraq will be welcomed by Iraquis but still hates it because it will be done by Americans. Great hatyers, those Leftists.

Amax gives Leftie columnist Philip Adams a big blast for the dishonesty of his criticisms. Things that are bad in GWB are OK in Saddam, for instance.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit here instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


26 February, 2003


I am rather pleased that the news about there being a really good vaccine against AIDS that works with blacks only has got a lot of coverage. See here and here. What surprises me a little is that most people seem to be unable to explain the finding. It seems to me that there is an obvious evolutionary explanation: AIDS is said to originate with West African monkeys and to have been passed to man by West African blacks killing monkeys and eating them. American negroes originate from West Africa. Fill in the gaps.

In case the gap answers are not obvious, let me point out: AIDS is not fatal to everyone and the survivors of it over the millennia would therefore have tended to spread the genes that promoted survival throughout the West African population. So presumably most West Africans need only a little help to beat AIDS -- and the vaccine gives them that little bit of extra help.

That's probably an oversimplified explanation but I suspect that it starts us off in the right direction. One of many possible questions would be: Is HIV a recent mutation or something that has been around for thousands of years? Lots of people think the latter but it would actually make more sense if it were a recent mutation so that inherited immunity to its predecessors was only weakly helpful with the present mutation.

The Leftists are frantically panning the whole study, of course, with the usual comment being "the numbers are too small". But the fact that the results among blacks were statistically significant at the <.01 level means precisely that the result was NOT the outcome of small sample size. Anyway, if I were a black gay, I would be wanting that vaccine NOW!

Note that findings of medically-relevant differences between the major races are not at all new.



The Baltic Sea has the most extensive ice cover in decades. Oh Dear! Where has all that nice global warming gone?

A nasty one for the Greenies: Using a dishwasher may be be better for the environment than washing up by hand!

The prophets of doom were telling us that the world was in danger of global cooling not so long ago!

Young Australians are less Green than their elders. Aaron Oakley thinks it might be because all reasonable Greenie demands have now been met. From what my 15-year-old son tells me, however, the kids get so much pro-Green and pro-black propaganda that it bores them silly and they react against it.



Ever since Rousseau, Leftists have tended to romanticize primitive people and their religions and say how much better and wiser they are/were than modern man. The Maya of Central America were once an example of such puffery. But note what one historian says now that Maya writing has been deciphered: "decipherment transformed the Maya, once thought to be unusually peace-loving, into one the most vicious and violent of all ancient cultures, one delighting in torture and human sacrifice". But Leftists would like such behaviour anyway. Look at Stalin. Western Leftists defended him until the day he died -- and then some.



The Carnival of the Vanities is up again -- with 27 posts on many topics.

This gave me a laugh: The French Foreign minister (Villepin) has written that Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo "shines with an aura worthy of victory". With a wacko like that in charge of French foreign policy, no wonder the USA is having trouble with France. The Corsican was a clown at Waterloo anyway. He used no strategy -- just a frontal attack -- and waited until lunchtime to advance. If he had moved before dawn (like many before him) he would probably have won.

Better Living Through Software has put a nasty spin on Red Ken's London congestion charge. His version is:

But the way I see it, here is what happened -- traffic was bad, and someone had the brilliant idea "things would be a lot better if we pass a law that says poor people are not allowed to use the roads" -- and they passed a law.
That should cause some heartburn among Red Ken's supporters if it gets bruited about.

The sad story about the kid who reached 4th grade without being able to read shows that if equality is enforced, achievement becomes irrelevant -- so his teachers were simply obeying the stupid Leftist system they were in.

Chris Brand has quotations from several scholars to the effect that inherited IQ has a big influence on where you end up in the British social class scheme.

Michael Darby says it is all about oil money for the French and Germans and that they have no conscience.

The Wicked one has a good Jewish joke.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


25 February, 2003


Charles Murtaugh gives cautious approval to the notion that IQ is both important and genetically heritable -- which is rather big of him given the mountain of scientific findings to that effect -- but he seems to give first priority in his thinking to showing that he is not a racist. That is understandable I suppose, but it would surely be better for us all if he and those like him gave top priority to finding and reporting the facts -- palatable or unpalatable as they may be. But his commentary is interesting and he does have some interesting links.

Marc Miyake also has an interesting discussion of the genetics of race but seems to me to be too optimistic about how much choice people have in determining what they become. Undoubtedly genetics is only one factor. Different environments do have an effect. But anybody who knows the twin studies will know that identical twins reared apart are nearly as similar as identical twins reared together. That does not leave a lot of room for environmental influences. The studies by Martin and others have shown that even political ideology is highly heritable genetically.


Eaves, L.J., Martin, N.G., Meyer, J.M. & Corey, L.A. (1999) Biological and cultural inheritance of stature and attitudes. In: Cloninger, C.R., Personality and psychopathology. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press.
Martin, N. & Jardine, R. (1986) Eysenck's contribution to behaviour genetics. In: S & C. Modgil (Eds.) Hans Eysenck: Consensus and controversy. Lewes, E. Sussex: Falmer



Wow! We are going to hear a lot of repercussions from this research finding: The latest AIDS vaccine was completely ineffective among whites but protected three quarters of blacks! Racial differences, anyone? It appears that blacks need only a small amount of help to beat AIDS but whites are not so lucky.

Left-leaning scientists have always told us that race does not exist -- despite the evidence of our eyes. Odd if something non-existent becomes essential to medical prescribing!

I imagine that Leftist "concern" for blacks will now get this vaccine buried (probably under "more research is needed") because of how embarrassing it is -- thus depriving blacks of protection they could have.



The hypocrisy of feminists in not condemning Saddam for his brutal treatment of women is breathtaking. Wendy McElroy gives the details.

The Kurdish "Peshmerga" in Iraq seem poised to help out in defeating both Saddam and his Islamic militant allies as soon as the war begins.

"The greatest danger of all would be to do nothing.": Words of J.F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis. Very relevant to Iraq. Via Blogs of War.

N. Georgia Dogma says: "Total nations that are signed on to help the U.S. vis-a-vis Iraq: 34. Total NATO members that are in agreement with the U.S. policy vis-a-vis Iraq: 16 of 19"

A good point from a German blogger: "As I see it the disagreement over the war on Iraq isn't really one between nations like Germany and America anyway, rather a left-right policy dispute, one more reason to let my voice as a German conservative be heard here."

A good point from an ex-Catholic: "The Pope has called for Catholics to fast on Ash Wednesday against war in Iraq. Hows about a fast against child molestation? Against hush money? Against suppression of felony evidence?"



A free-trade agreement between Australia and the United States is said to be "close" -- as these things go. Great if it happens.

How awful for the Leftists! There has just been a big survey to find which were America's most dangerous prescription drugs>. And all were generics! Not one was a brand-name drug produced by a big pharmaceutical company! The story will now get buried, of course but imagine the puffed-up outrage if one of the most dangerous drugs had been a brand-name drug! The top scorers: - Insulin - Morphine - Heparin - Warfarin - Potassium Chloride. More here. If you have not yet seen any of the pictures of the latest weirdo Japanese fashion statement, there is one here.

Michael Darby has a rather amazing account of how an Australian government-owned railway is run. The British will not be very surprised.

The Wicked one has an account of what happens when you abandon all standards and say everything is relative. Christians in particular will like this one.

Chris Brand has some more news from the paedohysteria front in Britain and elsewhere.

China Hand has posted again despite being barred by the Chinese system from reading his own posts on Blogspot. He has just been to Vietnam and compares Vietnam with China. He finds that the Vietnamese have still got a lot to learn about being business-friendly and that their progress is slow as a result.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


24 February, 2003


The "It's all about oil" mantra does seem to feed off a genuine incomprehension among many people about why the US is going to war with Iraq. So let me put it in one simple sentence that maybe will get through to the confused ones: The forthcoming Iraq war is a defensive war -- to protect the US from further terrorist acts like 9/11 by keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of the Islamic lunatics. I hope that helps someone.



An interesting but exceedingly optimistic view from a Leftist U.S. blogger:

The problem is that Arafat is an 800 lb. criminal gorilla. He has to go, as he PERSONALLY benefits from the status quo to a degree that dwarfs anything on the Israeli side. If a deal can be worked out with Israel's sponsors in Washington that, because of Arafat's longstanding simpatico relationship with SADDAM HUSSEIN, Israel has full cover to remove him and Fatah, and then implement the rest of Mitzna's agenda, we will see a political resolution of the "Israeli-Palestinian crisis" within one year

(Crossposted on Israpundit)



Tim Gillin writes:

Lomborg is not the first heretic to be sent to coventry by the green faithful. This older post by former Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore shows an earlier incident in the campaign.

Moore's heresy is his belief that "the sustainable economy" beloved by environmentalists needs a forestry industry and green campaigns against foresty, especially clearcutting in old growth forests, do more harm than good.

To add insult to injury he has pointed out that "clearcuts", a photogenic eyesore that is a moral sin to the greens, of themselves, are no more environmentally damaging in the long run than the various 'natural' calamities that forests take in their stride. The attempt to equate clearcutting with deforestation is misleading propaganda. Clearcutting is a forest management technique that can be used destructively or as part of sustainable management strategy. 'Deforestation' only occurs when the natural forest cover is not permitted to grow back usually due to farming.



Tim Gillin writes about the latest caper of Australia's "multicultural" bureaucrats:

This is a bit odd and may upset your Irish ancestors:

The organisers want everyone to wear orange to celebrate harmony day. Orange is said to represent the Australian sun. Considering maybe 20-25% of Australia's population are of southern Irish descent this seems to be a lapse in the bureaucracy's ethnic sensitivity radar. Would they dare suggest we wear 'white' to represent the colour of crashing waves? Why not recommend the colours of the Aussie flag or our sporting colours instead? My own views on this derive from this old Top 40 song.



Dr Weevil thinks that the antisemitism of the modern-day Left will be electoral suicide for them. I hope he is right.

Michael Miller has just put up a whole swag of new stuff on his "Hitler was a Leftist" site. He has had quite a few hits for a site that has been up for only 2 or 3 weeks.

Leftist twit, Eric Alterman, has just made a flying visit to Europe to find out if it is anti-American or not. His conclusion?? Surprise, Surprise!! He says that they are not anti-American, just anti-Bush. He even seems to think the French are not anti-American. The French are anti-everyone non-French!

Bleeding Brain says of the French: "Their selfish motives for attempting to preserve Saddam Hussein are absolutely inexcusable. And there is much, much more ....

Wow! Ken Livingstone's congestion charge on London roads is not the only bit of Friedmanite thinking surfacing on the British Left. Stephen Pollard points to lots of other Friedmanite thinking in the British Labour Party. The sensible Left in Britain seems to be growing. Maybe the loonies will soon be marginalized.

There is a BIG post at Critical Mass about the utter destruction that has been wreaked on black education at high school level by affirmative action. Leftist tolerance and lack of any standards has meant a total betrayal of black students -- giving them virtually no education at all. Leftist dishonesty really is immensely destructive wherever it is allowed to prevail.

A good post at Tobacco Road that begins: "If today's Democrats had been in power during World War II they would have opposed the Manhattan Project... "

Michael Darby has some comments on the disgraceful state of child protection services in New South Wales and some moral thoughts from Eddie Cross in Zimbabwe about what history indicates for the future of the Mugabe regime.

Chris Brand has a post on the importance of general intelligence.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


23 February, 2003


In my various postings about the sources or alleged sources of the respect for individual liberty that characterizes the English-speaking nations, I have often referred to what I take to be the ancient Anglo-Saxon sources of such attitudes and have referred to such attitudes as "Germanic" -- on the perfectly undisputed grounds that the Angles and the Saxons were a German-speaking people when they arrived in England 1500 years ago.

The word "Germanic" has troublesome resonances for many people, however. It sounds to them like Hitler. They ask: Is what I am saying not reminscent of Nazi doctrines of German racial superiority? Am I not attributing at least one type of superiority to Germans just by reason of their being German?

In response I have to say that I have been a student of the Nazi phenomenon for most of my adult life and have even written several papers for Jewish journals about it but I still do not know what Hitler thought was Germanic. On my reading he had no clear idea at all: Just confused and contradictory utterances from time to time. He was in fact much more vocal about being Aryan than being Germanisch. So it is difficult to show that my ideas are dissimilar to Hitler's without knowing exactly what his ideas were. His speeches are raves rather than anything consistent.

I guess, however, that the one lesson he would NOT draw from German history is precisely the one that I DO draw: That the German spirit is inimical to tyranny and in favour of individual liberty. I think it is fairly clear at least that individual liberty was not one of his priorities. So does that not make me ANTI-Nazi? I think it does.

But why should I even try to make such distinctions between my arguments and Hitler's? I do not really see why a rational debate should be distracted by irrelevant comparisons with a populist demogogue. On the other hand, I do not like to give needless offence so I am making this clarification.

Actually, I should probably have been using the word "Teutonic" instead of "Germanic" as it is clear that everything I have so far said about the Anglo-Saxons is equally true (if not more so) of the Scandinavians. Those Vikings were certainly an individualistic, independent and decentralized lot! They also treated women more or less as equals and have a great history of democracy. The oldest continuously sitting parliament in the world is in fact the Althing of Iceland -- with a history going back 1,000 years. And Scandinavians are almost 100% Protestant too -- which fits with a spirit of independence and individualism.

As to Jewry, I no more believe in Jewish conspiracy theories than I believe in the man in the moon. I will leave such beliefs to the simple-minded of both political extremes. I am and always have been, however, an unapologetic and unreserved supporter of Israel. But I hope nonetheless that I have the sort of balanced view of the Jews that one should have of any group -- seeing both strengths and weaknesses. I think that Jews in general are a remarkable and admirable people but I do not think that they are right about everything and I think that their historic collectivist doctrine that they are a "chosen people" has been both a blessing and a curse to them.

And insofar as Christians have adopted such "groupthink" it has been a dubious influence among them too. Fortunately, St. Paul (a Jew) initially set Christianity on a much more inclusive path than that adopted by Jews before him so group consciousness has not had such good precedents among Christians. The way both Catholics and Protestants have engaged in persecution of those not of their faith does however show that religious groupthink is far from absent among Christians.

Interestingly, both modern Jews and ancient Jews have always been fractious and disunited so Jews could be an inspiration to those who OPPOSE collectivist thinking if we looked at what they did rather than what their religion preaches!



Shiny Happy Gulag (from Canada) has some good posts up at the moment -- from quoting Nye Bevan at the French to throwing the Swedish example at Canadian socialized medicine.

Now that China is blocking Blogspot again, this graphic is pretty appropriate.

Here is someone who regrets trying "alternative" therapy. Via Secular Blasphemy.

This is a good one for animal lovers: A cockatoo that attacked intruders and led to their conviction for murder. Via Betsy's Page.

Elephant Rants has some good quotes at the moment -- about soldiers, Ann Coulter and "human shields"

Marc Miyake has an amusing link to what is now regarded as politically correct speech. Apparently it is hard these days to speak of your own grandmother without offending against political correctness!

The Curmudgeon has moved house on the net and has some very funny news headlines up at the moment.

That oldtime British actress and all-purpose Leftist agitator, Vanessa Redgrave, has proposed her solution to the Iraq problem: Declare Saddam Hussein a war criminal and bring him before the International Criminal Court. She does not say how we might get him there, however. You couldn't call that thinking, but that's Leftism for you. Via Conservative Commentary.

Useful Fools has a link to a NYT article about "Ethnomathematics". Marc Miyake was heaping scorn on "Hawaiian" mathematics a few months ago but the nonsense goes on.

Cronaca summarizes a British report that suggests that crime has become enormously problematical there -- far worse that what official statistics reveal.

Michael Darby has some thoughts on the nature of government intelligence-gathering plus a horrible story from Zimbabwe.

Chris Brand looks at the basic questions about the nature of IQ or 'g"

The Wicked one has a couple of good jokes up.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


22 February, 2003


Winds of Change has some detailed strategy for how the Iraq war should be fought.

The Infidel reports an Australian Leftist parliamentarian who defends Saddam's use of poison gas against his own people -- babies included. Lovely!

A good spoof here on the Belgian unwillingness to bring Saddam to heel.

Only 28% of Britons think: "It's all about oil". More here.

Spiked has an amusing article called "DON'T MENTION THE 'U' WORD". Summary: "In an age when unilateralism is out, Western powers pursue their agendas under the guise of an increasingly fictitious 'international community'."

For those who have not seen it already, the WSJ has a fabulous article in support of unilateral military intervention from a most unlikely source. Consistency is NOT a Leftist virtue!



According to lots of experts quoted in this article, climate science is in its infancy and any global warming observed has many possible explanations others than greenhouse gases resulting from human activity. In other words, the science of the matter is a big: "Don't know". "Greenhouse" is just guesswork, in other words. So we should spend billions of dollars and change virtually everything we do on the basis of something as unknown as that? Only a Greenie would think so.

The UN Panel on Climate Change uses a computer model to predict global warming. Another choice prediction from the same model: The average income of South Africans will have overtaken that of Americans by a very wide margin by the end of the century. In fact America's per capita income will then have been surpassed not only by South Africa's, but also by that of other emerging economic powerhouses, including Algeria, Argentina, Libya, Turkey and North Korea... And that's the sort of wacko "science" the Greenies are relying on! Great predictions! More here.

Greenies are trying to stop starving Africans from getting US food aid because American food (which Americans eat with no ill-effects) is genetically modified. How to explain such cruel behaviour? Easy. Greenies hate people anyway so who cares about a few million Africans starving to death? Not the Greenies. Greenie religion trumps compassion every time.

The British government's Environment Minister thinks that people are a "virus" infecting the Earth and that we are all on the brink of a vast ecological disaster. Greenies have of course been saying that for decades -- with no evidence in sight -- but it is a bit weird coming from a government minister. Mick Hume thinks that he might get the boot shortly. There is an excellent listing of the large number of ways in which Environmentalism functions as a religion here. Via Bizarre Science



My post on whether Christianity had any role in fostering the respect for individual liberty that characterizes the Anglo-Saxon nations drew a few emails in response. I have just posted one particularly interesting correspondence here.

Orrin Judd has reproduced a fabulous and historic speech from the Gipper (scroll down).

Michael Miller has put together a site devoted to spelling out the various ways in which Nazism was Leftist. I have contributed a couple of articles to it. The site is still under development but there is already a lot of interesting stuff up there.

GASP! The British press has identfied two rapists as BLACK! How politically incorrect! No doubt protests will ensue.

A pretty disturbing report here about how police laziness leads to murderers not being caught. Sherlock Holmes they are not.

Arlene Peck thinks that the USA should now let Europe sink or swim -- by withdrawing troops from all countries that have recently shown themselves as anti-American. See here I think there would be widespread agreement with that.

Jesus Gil has an excellent site for reporting what is going on in the Spanish-speaking world. But one of his posts of 20th you should NOT read.

Michael Darby has some thoughts on Australian Muslims in the aftermath of the Bali bombing.

Chris Brand looks at the history of ways in which we describe the personalities of people that we encounter.

China Hand says investment in coastal China is going gangbusters but that investment inland is held up by corrupt local officials.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


21 February, 2003


The English-speaking world in general and conservatives in particular have always been characterized by a strong respect for the individual and for individual liberties. Christians often attribute this to the influence of Christian teachings despite the fact that Christianity is far from peculiar to Anglo-Saxon countries. When this is pointed out, they often admit that what they really mean is the influence of Protestant Christianity in particular. The idea that Catholics are not really Christian is very common among Protestants.

But both Protestantism and Catholicism have in the past been fiercely intolerant and, as such, resolute enemies of individual liberty. Whether it be John Calvin (who, with Luther, was one of the founding fathers of Protestantism) burning the scientist Servetus at the stake, the forbidding Puritans of Cromwell's Protectorate or the antisemitic writings of Luther himself, no-one can say that Protestants are totally different from the very holy Catholics of the Spanish Inquisition or such products of a good Catholic education as Adolf Hitler. All forms of Christianity appear to have within in them much of the intolerance that characterized the "jealous God" of the Jews (Exodus 20:5).

And not much has changed in recent times. Would anyone like to read this story from Rwanda and still tell me that Christianity, by itself, leads to respect for the individual? Or do we need some other instincts of Northern European origin as well? The Rwanda story is about some pretty fervent Christians. Excerpt:

Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and his son Gerard were accused of herding large groups of Tutsi men, women and children into a church and hospital compound in the Kibuye region of western Rwanda in 1994 and then calling Hutus to come and kill them. The 78-year-old Seventh Day Adventist pastor was found guilty of aiding and abetting genocide.

The example is merely illustrative of course. The underlying point is that Africans everywhere are commonly enthusiastic Christians whilst also being characterized as a group by extremely high rates of violent crime, including murder. So looking to Christianity or even Protestant Christianity (Seventh Day Adventism is a very Protestant sect in many ways) for a sole explanation of the greater respect for individual rights among peoples of Anglo-Saxon origin runs up against both historical and sociological evidence to the contrary.

It is then the fact that Protestantism became the characteristic religion of the Anglo-Saxon peoples -- with their ancient pre-existing non-religious respect for the individual -- that made it a force for tolerance rather than the fact that it was Christian. In MOST of its forms Protestantism was more liberating than Catholicism. Anglo-Saxon (individualistic) values did what Judaic (group-conscious) values could not.

I should perhaps spell out that "Judaic" is not synonymous with "Jewish". The Judaic religions are of course Judaism and those religions descended from it -- Christianity and Islam. The common features of Judaic religions are too well known for me to spell out (monotheism etc) but the feature of them that seems to me most pernicious is the belief that belonging to the particular religious group concerned makes you superior (chosen or special or saved) in some way. It seems to me that the example of Islam shows vididly just how pernicious and intolerant that belief can be and that the example of the British empire shows that such beliefs do not need to go to anyone's head if one also has non-religious pre-Christian traditions of individual liberty. And many non-Judaic religions -- such as those of the far East -- are of course almost completely tolerant of one-another. Yet orientals are much more conformist than individualistic.



A good post on why it is that Leftists are always demonstrating about something here. Excerpt: "street marches are basically the Spoiled Child Temper Tantrum method of political discourse. Nobody in a demonstration is there to listen or learn or reason"

There have been some great pictures of idiotic "peace" protestors but this one seems to be everybody's favourite. The peacenik does not seem to know what makes buses move. I wonder does he realize that he is being laughed at across the whole planet.

Leftists will do ANYTHING to get attention. The Curmudgeon has a picture of some "anti-war" demonstrators carrying a big North Korean flag! They are willing to espouse the most oppressive dictatorship on earth just to be different! I think it is called "compassion". But why I do not know.

Always Right has a good quote: "Those who marched in peace demonstrations this Presidents' Day weekend probably missed the irony: The two men we were commemorating -- George Washington and Abraham Lincoln -- chose war when they believed it was the lesser of two evils."

Jeff Jacoby makes the point that 4 million Iraquis have fled Iraq since Saddam took power. So how come that none took part in the "antiwar" demonstrations? Do they WANT Saddam bombed? You bet!

And the WSJ records WHY no Iraquis were to be seen at the demonstrations: The peacenik organizers BARRED Iraquis from being present. How "caring" of them!



Hey! This blog is no 58 on Technorati's list of the top 100 most interesting recent blogs! I don't fully follow the rationale but it certainly sounds good when you consider that Blogger.com alone has over a million bloggers using them. To be anywhere on any list extracted from a million or more blogs seems an achievement. But there is also a website dedicated to pictures of dogs in cars which gets 10 times as many hits as I do so that should help keep me humble!

The Wicked one has a very logical sort of joke

Michael Darby punctures some more myths about business.

Chris Brand thinks that the Franco-German axis is effectively Nazi. They do after all back the Nazi-trained Saddam Hussein.


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20 February, 2003


Blogger.com is playing up again: Giving error messages and not showing recent posts. Note the advice at the bottom of today's postings.



The idea of American military or political imperialism has always been a fantasy that flies in the face of all the facts. American troops have gone all over the world in the last 50 years but have only ever been used to install or protect local self-government, not take it away. Americans just don't WANT an empire. Ideally, they just want to be left alone instead of being hated by every crazy loon around the world with nothing constructive to do. And not many imperial powers would sentence one of its soldiers to 30 years in jail for assaulting a local.

But the idea of American cultural imperialism has at least had the basis that American films etc are very popular worldwide and provide an attractive model against which local cultures often look pretty stupid even to the locals concerned. But now even that is changing. Competition with the American output has made filmmakers in India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere sit up and start producing films that people want to watch. So the popularity of American films abroad is steadily declining. Another empire lost! How sad! More here.



Sometimes the Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) does get in touch with reality. As were see here. They ask, if Saddam does not have chemical weapons, why is he preparing his troops with protective measures against such weapons? He must know that the West will not deploy them. So it is clear that the Iraquis need protection for when they deploy such weapons themselves.

Country Store thinks the "human shields" in Baghdad have got a weak grip on reality. Sure have! Do they really think that even one cruise missile is going to be retargeted because of them? I actually have this guess that they will succeed in keeping well out of harm's way and will end up going home and dining out on the story of their "bravery" for years.

Why are 3 large cargo ships going round and round in circles in the middle of the Indian ocean? Is that one of the places where Saddam has stashed the weapons he says he does not have? It seems likely.



We live in strange times. Having Leftists defend an alleged Communist dictator like Kim Il Sung is old hat but having them defend an outright Fascist dictator like the brutal Saddam is certainly strange. "Fascism" used to be the constant Leftist swear-word (and, hopefully for some Leftists it still is). But brutality has never bothered the "compassionate" Left. That Saddam's regime will crumple like a house of cards as soon as the US lays a hand on it is all that bothers the Left. They have no moral anchors to make them look at what sort of regime it is. Power is all they care about. They will oppose any power but their own.

Even stranger, in a way, is what is happening in London. Before he got his present nickname, the Lord Mayor of London was known as "Red Ken" -- for good reason. Yet his just-introduced solution to London's traffic jams is as thoroughly market-based as you could imagine. He is now CHARGING people to drive into the city. Economists and libertarians have been advocating such things for a long time but it has taken an extreme Leftist to do it! (Though Singapore has been doing much the same for years). To really solve London's transport probems, you would have to privatize the "Tube" (underground railway) and the main roads but all of that seems to be firmly stuck in the "too hard" basket.

There has been a bit of discussion about the matter on England's Sword recently. And there have also been some grumpy comments about it on Catallaxy.



The Moonbat does it again! He thinks that the problem of the USA and the West generally -- and why they want to oust Saddam -- is that we have too much capital that we do not know what to do with. We are just SO rich that we have nothing to spend our money on! You really do have to be batty to believe that! But he does!

There has been a rather worrying development for anyone in Britain with unorthodox opinions. Just expressing disapproved thoughts about race etc could now land you in jail. Freedom of speech has effectively been abolished there. More here. And it is the European contagion that is behind it, of course.

Michael Darby punctures some myths about business.

Chris Brand has some more news about multicultural madness in Britain.

The Wicked one is having a laugh at the French again.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


19 February, 2003


One of the readers of this blog has just read right through my monograph on Leftist motivation (see the 5 links top left on this page). He feels that I have given insufficient weight to Leftist denial of reality. He points out how strange are the mental gymnastics that Leftists constantly have to engage in. I have posted the email here. It is worth a read.



Although they are on opposite sides of the world, the PERSONAL ties between Australians and the English are enormous. At least 5% of the people living in Australia were actually born in England and there are huge numbers of Australians who keep in touch with relatives in England. And it is almost a rite of passage for young Australians to spend some time living in London. Young English people also commonly come to Australia for a working holiday before settling into their careers. Even the Prince of Wales did part of his education in Australia.

One thing that often attracts young Englishmen is the idea of going to work on one of Australia's huge cattle stations (ranches) as "Jackaroos" (cowboys) and, when they do, the Australian jackaroos often give them a bit of a hard time to knock what they see as the English softness out of them. On one such occasions the jackaroos threw a dog up in the air and shot it just to see how the young English arrival would react. He coped -- but what bastards they were! I think visitors to Australia should be warned that there are a lot of morons in our more isolated areas. Fortunately, like most modern nations, Australia has only about 5% of its population engaged in rural employment and country people everywhere are in general very kindly people.



Bureaucracy! Soldiers in the British Army and Royal Marines also like to supplement their issued kit with other gear such as hiking boots. In the Falklands, British military boots could not cope with the wet, marshy ground. And in the Gulf, they fell apart in the desert heat. There are some Laws of bureaucracy here.

It appears that some U.S. bureaucrats think that being proud of being Irish is now racially offensive! My grandmother Kelly would turn in her grave!

Samizdata says that the French have national ID cards but rarely use them but the Brits ask for ID all the time. Score one for the French. British bureaucaracy really is a pain -- and nearly as irrational as U.S. airport security screening.

The space station exemplifies NASA in general -- it costs a fortune yet just travels around in circles going nowhere. More here.



Carnival of the Vanities is up again. Lots of good posts as usual.

Australian philosopher Rafe Champion thinks the work of Karl Popper gives us a good guide to how we should deal with Iraq after Saddam is deposed. I have just posted his proposals here.

As Commonsense and Wonder says: "More serious flaws found in the major global warming study. How long before this sham falls apart completely?"

Slammed by antiglobalist protesters, developing-country politicians, and Nobel Prize-winning economists, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has become Global Scapegoat Number One. But IMF economists are not evil, nor are they invariably wrong. It's time to set the record straight and focus on more pressing economic debates, such as how best to promote global growth and financial stability. More here.

A great quote from J.S. Mill: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight; nothing he cares about more than his personal safety; is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." Via Views on the News.

Why Read This says: According to the Japanese president of a division of Sanyo Electric, China is more capitalist than Japan in terms of labor issues

Hooray! I have at last found one Greenie idea that I agree with: Bottled water is a waste of time and money.

Unmedia has a defence of SUVs -- and gives an opposing view too! I always find it odd that this seems to have become a Left-Right debate. Lots of Leftists drive SUVs and lots of conservatives would not be seen dead in one.

Arlene Peck has an article about the continued imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard, who passed on lifesaving information to Israel. Outright crooks like Marc Rich can be pardoned so why not Pollard?

Michael Darby has some ideas about how the North Korean problem could be solved.

Chris Brand has a bit of a laugh at the sexual prudery still around.

The Wicked one scoffs at the idea of respect for the law.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


18 February, 2003


A reader emails me:

I live in Central New Hampshire, a State with no income, sales, or capital gains tax. This is a unique situation, and the people who live here are proud of this, and naturally suspicious of taxes, or government growth.

I'm active in the State Republican Party; and almost 80% of all elected officials are Republican. That said, we have problems with liberals moving up from Massachusetts, and other places, but it's still a small State, 1.2 million people; so we get our message out.

What I have come to see over the past several years, and what you elegantly expose every day on your blog, is the psychosis of liberal thought today. The profoundly disturbed, and personal psychopathology the left tries to pass off as thought. I constantly attack the left up here on this basis, and it works. What a lot of my conservative colleagues are starting to understand is that we are not, by and large, dealing with decent, rational people on the left; but very disturbed individuals. The Simpsons cartoon show on FOX Networks once uttered a truism I use all the time. On a show they did spoofing the Democratic Convention a sign holder in the crowd held up his poster that said this: " Liberals hate life, and they hate themselves". Perhaps a little overdone, but it rings true.

We have our own local radio show in the area, a conservative weekly paper; and a local population that gets it ! At least seems to get it more so than other places. When I go on the weekly radio show, or write letters to the editor I often slip in that our local, and national Democratic Party may be dealing with issues that could best be dealt with in a more personal setting, like a psychologists office; well, I'm not that blunt, but the public needs to understand that the left is far more destructive, and off the wall, than the press lets on. I long for a 1950's style of debate when the liberals in this Nation were more sane, and were not infected with self-loathing. Until then, we go on, and up here, we are kicking ass.....



Something that seems generally to be overlooked is that the three countries with the most notable Fascist movements in the early 20th century (Germany, Italy and Spain) were all in countries with fragile national unity. Germany and Italy had become unified countries only in the late 19th century and Spain, of course, is only nominally unified to this day -- with semi-autonomous governments in Catalonia and the Basque country. Right up until the end of the Prussian hegemony in 1918, Germans saw themselves primarily as Saxons, Bavarians, Prussians etc rather than as Germans and the contempt for Southern Italians anong Northern Italians is of course legendary.

So the fierce nationalism of the Fascists (though Franco held himself above the Spanish Falange to some extent) appears to have been at least in part the zeal of the convert. Nationalism was something new and exciting and was a gratification to be explored vigorously. And the Fascists/Nazis undoubtedly exploited it to the hilt. The romance of the new nation was an important asset for them.

So if we regard the creation of large nation states as a good thing (a fairly dubious proposition) the small silver lining that we can see in the dark cloud of Fascism is that they do seem to have had some success in creating a sense of nationhood. A German identity, in particular, would seem to be the creation of Hitler. There was certainly not much of the sort before him.

There are of course differences between the three countries but in all three an acceptance of their nation-state now seems to be well-entrenched. This acceptance seems to be strongest in Germany -- probably in part because modern Germany is a Federal Republic with substantial power devolved to the old regions (Laender) so that local loyalties are also acknowledged. Spain has moved only partly in the direction of federalism and there is of course a strong political movement in Northern Italy for reform in that direction also.

It is perhaps worth noting that it took a ferocious war (the civil war) to create an American sense of nationhood too.



Wow! Even The Guardian is ganging up on the antiwar Left! Saying: The Stop the War coalition is the greatest threat to any hope for a democratic Iraq. Some loyalty to their own claimed principles may be breaking out on the Left.

"Spiked" has a charitable interpretation of the motives behind those in the recent "Peace" marches. I see them as just Leftist exhibitionists but ....

The Infidel has a link to the horror that the "peace" marchers are really supporting. Andrew Ian Dodge has an amusing bit of "future history" about what could shortly happen to Tony Blair if the Left of his UK Labour party get too stroppy.

You would never know it from the Australian newspapers but apparently there is an Americas cup yacht race going on in New Zealand at the moment. And the Kiwis are being beaten by a SWISS boat! Switzerland is a long way from the sea! NZ Pundit is following it.

Richard Webster has another appalling story about the gross injustice that characterizes official paedophile enquiries in Britain. The way innocent people are penalized over there does make the term "British justice" quite a mockery. British carelessness about justice would be more like it.

Say Uncle has some rather amusing comments on what bloggers do to get traffic to their site.

Chris Brand has a sophisticated coverage of the nature/nurture debate

Michael Darby has a great essay about how the USA is seen as "evil" no matter what it does.

The Wicked one is having shots at Catholics and the French.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


17 February, 2003


I have just posted here a short screed on Prussia -- the Northeastern part of Germany that came to dominate most of Germany in the late 19th century and which some see as the precursor to Nazi Germany. It should ideally be read in conjunction with my posting of 10th below about Nazi Germany. Summary:

1). Germany has historically been notable for its decentralization of power and is still relatively decentralized today.

2). The Prussian hegemony of Germany and the Nazi domination of Germany were both relatively short-lived (48 and 12 years respectively) by comparison with a history of Germany that stretches back for over 2000 years so cannot by themselves be the basis for much in the way of generalizations about Germans. We might as well argue from the despotism of Henry VIII (38 years) or the Cromwellian Protectorate (6 years) that Englishmen do (or did not) not value their liberties.

3). Although both Prussia and Nazi Germany undoubtedly had strong autocratic features, that is far from the whole story. Both kings and parliaments of Prussia were in fact for much of the time remarkably liberal (in the original 19th century sense of that term) by the standards of their day and Nazi Germany also was remarkably polycentric in its power structure. So even these "worst case" regimes still retained much of the ancient German diffused power structure that the Anglo-Saxons brought with them to what became England



Australia has been returned to the top ranks of the world's most creditworthy nations for the first time since the "banana republic" warnings of the mid-1980s, in a report which praises the federal government's strong fiscal performance. Announcing the results of its annual review, ratings agency Standard & Poor's raised Australia's foreign currency rating to AAA from AA+, ranking it alongside the United States and Britain and ahead of Japan.

Conservative economic management pays off! More here.



Deadanyway is a self described "outspoken vixen". This is the beginning of her latest post:

Without exception the anti-war protesters fall into two categories: monsters and fools, Nearly all the American opposition to war against Iraq are really just opponents of Bush, left-wing cranks who are willing to risk the safety of other Americans in order to gain some kind of political capital for the Democratic Party by likening him to, say, Hitler. These are the fools.

And there's more ....



Great win for the USA and a pratfall for France at NATO.

Moderation and compromise from the Greeks over Cyprus! There is hope for everybody at that rate.

Disgraceful! The murderous Leftists of the Symbionese Liberation Army got prison sentences of only 6 to 8 years! California loves its Leftists!

There is now a conservative cartoon site! Worth a visit.

There were a lot of laughs in Arlene Peck's latest article. I liked this: Today, the Jewish men seem to prefer Asian women. They think they are unlike the Jewish women and will be subservient. Yeah, right! To them, meeting an older Jewish woman is the wife they left. The article seems to be only an email so far so I have temporarily put it up here.

There is a new issue of Free Life Commentary out. I thought Sean Gabb's article on "Is there a Right in Ireland?" was particularly interesting. Some Leftist nut who claims that he is "working for change" thinks Americans are no better of than Iraquis under Saddam or Russians under Stalin! The Razor's Edge (Post of 11th) gives him a good slashing.

Ghost of a Flea thinks Canada is the Axis of Waffle!

Big Mouth feels proud that the U.S. armed forces who will be fighting in Iraq include people born in many different parts of the world. Even if were only the US military going to war, it would still be like a mini-United Nations going to war.

No Left Turns has an interesting discussion about Biblical support for individual liberty.

Feminist lies about domestic violence are exposed here

Now they are going to TEACH the need for reparations for slavery in the Schools! Yuk! See No 2 Pencil (post of 12th)

The Wicked one says that French antisemitism is behind French anti-Americanism.

Michael Darby has a digest of an excellent article by V.D. Hanson arguing that history suggests only minor difficulties for the USA in invading Iraq.

Chris Brand looks at ways of describing human personality in terms of just a few dimensions.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


16 February, 2003


An email from Dean Esmay:

I've arranged with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies to release a special button in support of democracy and human rights in Iraq!

We don't have a lot of time what with the protests beginning this weekend, but we've got the official blessing of the foundation to release the graphic and point people to their pro-Iraqi, anti-Saddam site.

I'm also unofficially (for now) collecting the web site names and URLs of sites that are participating. Please go here to nab the graphics and information. Also please post about this to anyone who you know runs a web site and get them to use the button--and hopefully add their names to the list in the comments. I recently ran across something on Metafilter about 100 web sites putting themselves in black this week to protest the war. Think we can outdo these pro-Saddam fools? I think we can. Help spread the word ASAP!


Useful Fools has a lot of fun photos of his local "Peace" demonstration -- plus pictures of the pro-war anti-demonstrators.

WogBlog is clearly bothered by the big crowds at "antiwar" demonstrations in London and elsewhere. He should set his mind at rest. Leftism is all about drawing attention to yourself and trying to look virtuous so this whole Iraq issue is like manna from heaven for these narcissists. The fact that they are demonstrating for Saddan Hussein shows that they would demonstrate for anything. It would be crazy to take them seriously.

Conservative Commentary has some nasty questions for pacifists It is pretty well-known now that the Vietnam war was a failure of will on the part of a Democrat administration rather than a military defeat. This article spells it out. LBJ let the demonstrators bluff him. I doubt that GWB will.



An email just received:

My observation on the sexual habits of women tend to renforce what one of your readers wrote: That non-political women may be more inclined.

I would go on to say that young women, like young men, from 18 to 25 are very active regardless of politics. If anything, lefty women tend to be extremely intolerant of other points of view. So, conservative men should keep their politics private if they want to get some where with a lefty girl. Most girls, after marriage, become more conservative, as the voting of the 2002 Presidential election showed.



Teachers do make a difference. "The vocabulary of the average American 14-year-old has dropped from 25,000 words to 10,000"

World history textbooks in U.S. classrooms sanitize the problems of Islam when compared to how they often treat Western civilization More here.

Jeff Jacoby has some horror stories of how Leftists destroy high-school education in Massachusetts -- all in the name of "equality" of course. Like the Soviets, they achieve equality not by lifting everyone up but by keeping everyone down.



Samizdata agrees with me that libertarianism is a broad church (See my posting of 14th).

Inn of the Last Home has some forgiving words about the French.

Big Mouth has a big swipe at Belgium. He begins: "I've avoided talking about Belgium, well... because it's a pissant, unimportant speck of a country" and it goes on from there.

A "liberal" wishes 20 million people dead. So what else is new? "On behalf of the country, it would be better without Limbaugh and his 20 million listeners." The words of Eric Alterman. Stalinism lives!

The Wicked one has some good jokes about kids.

Chris Brand looks at the current fashion in psychology of saying that everything we do is the product of the situations in which we find ourselves. He points out that the sort of person we are is at least as important in determining what we will do on any given occasion.

Michael Darby reproduced a speech given in Australia's House of Representatives (Federal parliament) giving support for war with Iraq.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


15 February, 2003


Economics writer Martin Hutchinson has two interesting articles here and here on the economics of the "Axis of Weasels" (Germany and France). He concludes:

The important Axis objectives are thus to slow down as far as possible the rapid pace of change in the world economy, to keep the U.S. unpopular in the Third World, so that it is seen as a global bully, and not as a free market economy worthy of emulation, and thereby to preserve against the forces of adverse demographics and economic change both the illusion of Axis political and economic power and the reality of high Axis living standards.

His basic point it that Germany and France are suffering economically from their high level of government spending and government regulation of their economies and want to drag everyone else down with them.



Peter Singer is definitely his own man. His relentless following of certain ethical axioms to their logical conclusions makes him friends and enemies on both the Left and the Right -- though he is mainly in favour with the Left. His latest idea is to reclaim Darwin for the Left. His version of evolution is that we have evolved to be co-operative and he thinks the Left should buy that. If there is any way we can get Leftists to accept anything about human nature and its origins we have at least got the chance of a sensible debate with them so I wish him luck.



I reported recently several observations from my fellow bloggers to the effect that Leftist women are more sexually willing. Gweilo has a comment on that:

Women who don't give a whit about politics are generally a lot more fun than are those of either political persuasion. The strength of a girl's political opinions is inversely proportional to the amount of fun she's likely to be in the sack.



A good summary of the Iraq question by Sine Qua Non:

I continue to be struck by the fact that every single article from Europe, or about Europe's perspective, refuses to examine the current state of affairs in anything other than the false dichotomy of peace and war. Can someone "over there" please try and understand that freedom is more important to us than peace? Would Western Europe have preferred the "peace" of Soviet communism if the US had not established NATO and spent our money acting as a deterrent for their freedom?



Since life is so good in that bastion of freedom and prosperity known as Cuba, I can't for the life of me figure out why four Cuban coast guardsmen would defect to the evil old USA. What would Danny Glover and Jimmy Carter have to say about this?

The thing that really disturbs me is how these men pulled their boat right up to the dock of a Key West resort at 4:00am, walked into town fully armed and surrendered to police. Where was our Coast Guard and Navy?

More here.



Right Thinking has a good fisking of another celebridiot who badmouths GWB. Sample:

Like most celebrity morons Glover has waited until speaking to the foreign press overseas before running his mouth.

"YES, HE'S RACIST," Glover said in response to a question from a reporter from the Brazlian magazine "Isto E", according to our source's translation.

Strange that a racist would choose two blacks for arguably his two most important cabinet positions.

Along similar lines, 11 Day Empire says that bigmouth celebridiots really are ignorant limousine liberals who do not practice what they preach.



The BBC here takes the role of organizer of the London antiwar March. It gives a new meaning to "Public Service Broadcaster". "Service to Leftists Broadcaster" would be more accurate. But ALL owners of TV sets in the UK are forced by law to pay for it!

The Wicked one is harrying the French again -- this time using history.

Michael Darby reports that New South Wales farmers are about to sue their Labor government over its failure to follow elementary bushfire prevention measures.

Chris Brand writes on the bases of intelligence.

China Hand has come back to life again after his recent trip to Vietnam and compares Chinese and Vietnamese approaches to economic development. He concludes that the Viets have still got some nettles to grasp, as it were.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


14 February, 2003


I noted on 10th that Matthew Cowie was in China and unable to access Blogspot. China Hand has now confirmed that Blogspot is indeed blocked again in China. Worse, Hotmail has been blocked too so I have been able to communicate with him only via MSN Messenger. The Hotmail block seems to be more local however as he can access it from some sites.



In some of his recent postings on Philosoblog, Jim Ryan seems to treat values and rules as interchangeable. I think this is a mistake. Libertarianism can for instance be either a value or a rule. In the first case liberty just feels good so I like it and value it. In the second, we try to maximize liberty because it leads to other things that we like for themselves -- such as security and prosperity. Conservatives like Jim do often seem to overlook the fact that libertarianism is a broad church in general -- ranging from anarcho-capitalists at one extreme to many varieties of minimal Statists. And all but the anarcho-capitalists do allow what Jim says that they do not -- they allow that there are some cases when liberty has to be subjugated to other values -- such as security. A good instance of such subjugation is the fact that most U.S. libertarians do seem to support action by the U.S. government against Saddam.

Where a surname like Ryan is concerned (though I seem to remember that Jim's mother was Jewish), I would always suspect at least a vestigial attachment to the old Roman Catholic doctrine of moral absolutes -- something which makes it difficult for adherents to see that others do not organize their values in such a rigid way. The Catholic church does seem to be the main holdout of moral absolutes. People of all political persuasions are moral relativists these days. In 1981, I reported a study of Introductory Sociology students at an Australian university in which they were asked to respond to the statement: "There is no such thing as an absolute right and wrong". 77 agreed and only 28 disagreed. I have no doubt what the direction of change would have been since then.

I don't much like hitting people over the head with my academic research results on this blog but seeing that I have just done it once, I might as well do it again: I also did a general population survey of Californians (Ray, 1982) in which I looked at whether libertarian and conservative attitudes were statistically separable. They were not. Virtually all the libertarians were conservatives too. Despite the usual contentions to the contrary, there really is just one dimension of political attitudes out there in the big wide world of the English-speaking countries -- a Left/Right dimension with conservatives and libertarians at one end and socialists and lovers of big government at the other.


Ray, J.J. (1981) The morals of attitudes. Journal of Social Psychology 115, 227-235. Ray, J.J. (1982) Authoritarianism/libertarianism as the second dimension of social attitudes. Journal of Social Psychology, 117, 33-44.



Parapundit has an excellent post on Leftist motivation that echoes much of what I have put forward on the same subject. Some excerpts:

For the British academics (and some American academics as well) Israel provides a group that is enough like them that they can point at the Israelis, draw a distinction, and say "see, we are better than those folks". Their protest is motivated by a desire for more status

For a lot of young men in college and afterward involvement in environmental and other politically correct protest activities is a great way to meet young women and impress the women with their principled compassion.

One reason academics do not boycott Syria and other countries with worse human rights efforts is they expect more from the Jews than from the Arabs. Why? Because they really believe that the Arabs are not capable of better behavior but that the Jews are. So this boycott is a compliment to the Jews

He also quotes Steve Sailer as saying:

And this is typical, in my experience: whites who proclaim their anti-white feelings don't really care much about blacks or other minorities, pro or con. What they care about is achieving social superiority over other whites by demonstrating their exquisite racial sensitivity and their aristocratic insouciance about any competitive threats posed by racial preferences.



An incredible picture here -- Leni Riefenstahl at her birthday party -- aged 101. She should be a great heroine to feminists, Leftists and all moviemakers but she is not. She triumphed in a man's world and made movies that are still shown 60 or more years later. And she did it all for a socialist dictator! Given the antisemitism of modern-day Leftists, they might rediscover her yet. The picture is from a German Leftist website.



Liquid Courage does not like religion very much but still thinks that living in a basically Christian country is the best deal there is.

Rabbi Lerner, an antiwar Jew, was banned from speaking at a "peace" rally because he is a Jew. As he says: "there is support on the left for self-determination for every group in the world except the Jewish people." The Left has returned to its traditional antisemitism with a vengeance.

This link spoofs descriptions of psychiatric illness by showing that Leftism could be described in similar terms.

This IS a funny picture. Not really one for cat-lovers.

Chris Brand reviews a "safe" book on IQ testing.

Michael Darby has a post that points out how events in Zimbabwe affect the whole of Africa.

The Wicked one has a post that compares Abraham Lincoln with certain antidemocratic figures from German history.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


13 February, 2003


Writing in the WSJ, Susan Lee makes out there is more of a conflict between conservatism and libertarianism than there really is. As I have pointed out at some length elsewhere, concern for individual liberty and a distrust of big government is historically basic to conservatism. Where libertarians and conservatives differ is that conservatives add on a few extra bits and pieces (such as Sunday observance and sexual restrictiveness) that libertarians do not -- that is all. And the add-ons vary from one conservative to another. And most of the add-ons seem to be fading away rapidly everywhere except among the religious Right.



The No. 1 Chief "liberal" speaks: "The American people don't want this war. Our global allies don't want this war. So why is President Bush stampeding down the warpath, and not working toward a real solution to disarm Saddam?"

Ted Kennedy has not noticed that U.S. opinion polls support the effort to remove Saddam. Ted Kennedy has not noticed that the U.S. has many European allies in the effort to remove Saddam. Ted Kennedy thinks that taking 18 months to make sure that no other solution is possible is a "stampede". Ted Kennedy has not noticed that Saddam will not disarm unless we make him. It sounds like brain decay except that the brain concerned seems to have been born that way.



There is a good article here by Robert Conquest that gives numerous hilarious tales of what serious "liberal" intellectuals deluded themselves into believing during the Soviet era. It shows how Leftists can be utterly blinded to reality by their own wishful thinking. Just one example:

"Liberals" condemned the West as dominated by "greed" yet .............

Corruption of every possible type has flourished in all the communist countries. It is not only that the USSR, for example, became a vast kleptocracy but also that even the supposedly pristine early revolutionaries were anything but immune. In fact, with few exceptions the victorious Bolsheviks lived comfortably through the deprivations of the postrevolutionary period. Milovan Djilas, then a Yugoslav communist leader, was shocked at how his victorious partisans, on entering Belgrade, seized villas, cars, women, and so on. The same was noted of the Sandinistas when they entered Managua.



U.S. Airport security CAN be made to eat humble pie! About time! This does however seem to be another case of favouritism for well-known people. You can carry a loaded gun onto an aircraft in the U.S. and get only a warning if you happen to be connected with a TV talk-show host, for instance.

The average citzen gets shafted by these goons time and time and time again. And the goons would never catch terrorists anyway. As Jeff Jacoby writes, they are only good at catching the ones that got away.



There are now TWO Anti-French blogs. The satirical one proposes that France should be banned from invading Iraq!. The other one is here. The anti-war movement is intellectually bereft. Its leaders lie continuously Read more here. Conservative Commentary has a new heading on his blog -- a quotation supporting the peace movement! But you might guess from whom the quotation comes.

This gave me a laugh: The French are to diplomacy what the British are to cooking. From Useful Fools. Having been brought up on British cookery, I know what he means.

The Latin Americans still regard Simon Bolivar as a great liberator but he had some pretty authoritarian ideas. No wonder liberty is still struggling in Latin America.

Calpundit agrees that India should replace France on the U.N. Security Council. I agree. It is absurd the way 1 billion people and the world's largest democracy is currently being forgotten by almost everyone.

In his article on the weird anti-Americanism in SOUTH Korea at the moment, E. Nough comes up with a good definition: It's this substitution of feelings and warm fuzzies for cold, rational, and sometimes unpleasant thoughts that defines idiotarianism

The Wicked one has some dubious medical advice.

Michael Darby has an unusual reason for opposing capital punishment and is pleased that the England team will not now play cricket in Zimbabwe

Chris Brand has a roundup of recent moves on race and immigration in Britain.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


12 February, 2003


I am pleased to be the Carnival host this week. A lot of work but interesting. Bigwig can put me down for another turn any time he likes.

So here goes (in order of receipt):

Photomatt has some great hints on how to do your blogroll.

Clubbeaux (No. 1) asks: "Who's a better friend to America, NATO "ally" Greece or Turkey?"

Clubbeaux (No. 2) asks: "What exactly is "tolerance?""

Clubbeaux (No. 3) asks: "When did the postwar world change?"

Revealed Truth has a spoof debate between the contenders for the upcoming Democrat Presidential nomination.

Observations of a Misfit has some coffee secrets.

Dean's World has some thoughts on Christian bashing in the media and elsewhere.

A Small Victory has a great Winter photo essay.

Occam's Toothbrush has found out why "oleaginous" is a good word for the French. (It means "oily"! -- oil, oil, get it?)

The People's Republic of Seabrook is quoting Ronald Reagan! -- and giving us some great pictures from the Johnson Space Center.

The People's Republic of Seabrook (No. 2) has a tribute to astronaut Willie McCool

Amish Tech Support has some hints on how to stop a cameraman filming you.

Useful Fools has a spoof US reply to the North Korean threat.

Useful Fools (No. 2) says that there can be no draft dodgers in the war on terror.

IMAO has a spoof terrorist FAQ

Solonor's Inkwell thinks the war on terror is stripping Americans of their individual liberties.

Ravenwood has a list of celebrities whom he thinks should stick to what they are good at and otherwise shut up.

Ravenwood (No. 2) points out the importance of running credit checks on anyone you plan to employ.

Ravenwood (No. 3) enlightens us about the nonsense surrounding ballistic fingerprinting.

The Declarer thinks we should settle Antarctica before we explore Mars.

The Talking Dog does not like restrictions on the holding of demonstrations. He thinks he might become a protestor himself.

Blogatron describes the Povich talk show as a "particular brand of naked, soulless, grasping evil"

Cognocentric muses about the future direction of the space program

Pete wishes some woman would stalk him.

Pete (No. 2) has a meditation on the space shuttle disaster.

Eleven Day Empire thinks the shuttle enquiry is getting a bit childish.

Eleven Day Empire (No. 2) attacks Lefty economist Krugman as a Luddite for questioning the space program.

Eleven Day Empire (No. 3) attacks other critics of the space progam.

Everything Must Go roadtests a $2 bottle of wine!

Silent Running has some scenarios of what Saddam MIGHT do before we dispose of him.

Kalyr has a post about when certain Rock bands Jumped the shark

Alisa in Wonderland says that the French are brainwashed but they still hate the Arabs more than the Jews.

Viking Pundit explains why celebrities tend to lean Left politically (Post of 10th -- his permalinks are not working)

Tim Dunlop summarizes this entry as Just to think that it all began on an uneventful morn.... (I don't get it so maybe I don't understand Lefty bloggers or maybe his permalinks are playing up)

You Bigmouth mourns the death of a cat.

MTPolitics has a sheep joke. MTPolitics (No. 2) tears some more chunks out of liberal columnist Morford.

Northwest Notes has a bicycle story.

Acidman is trying to cope with turning 51

Foolsblog has a laugh at a big media writer who still does not realize that the Bin Laden letter is a fake.

Ipse Dixit wants help with a Google bomb.

The Heretic thinks it is OK for celebrities to talk about the war. Freedom of nutty speech you might call it.

Floyd County Fragments has a post for dog-lovers. Jimspot has some comments on the crazy San Francisco marijuana trial where jurors were told only half the story.

Jimspot (No. 2) is also irate at education authorities in hanging-chad country who will not allow students to fail exams.

Wylie is not very pleased by news about Baptist homosexuals.

The Raving Atheist questions the interjection of religion into the Columbia space shuttle tragedy.

The Shark has a laugh at the way liberals have flip-flopped over foreign intervention by the USA since the days of the Yugoslav intervention.

The Truth Laid Bear opens a new cross-blog Iraq debate (For the pro-war side)

And Stand Down is co-ordininating the anti-war side of the debate.

Nostradumbass is saying something about Viggo Mortensen but I have no idea what or why. Esoteric humour, I think.

The Rant says that the obstructionism of France, Germany and Russia has resulted in a great deal of speculation, but all of it misses the point. This is not about oil or morality or French insecurities. This is the return of Realpolitik.

Little Tiny Lies has some "Coffee pornography"

Little Tiny Lies (no. 2) also sent his own scam letter TO Nigeria.

Hello Bloggy believes that the strong homosexual influence in Hollywood results in its films being largely anti-family.

Silflay Hraka believes that alcohol is the cause of and the solution to all of life's problems. He likes English Real Ale so he may have a point.

Views on the News points out what a tiny minority the nudists for peace are. (Permalink a bit erratic. You may have to scroll down).

I have no idea what This is about. I think it is a shaggy dog story.

NEXT WEEK the Carnival will be at The People's Republic of Seabrook. His Email address.

And THANKS to Bigwig for devising and administering the Carnival.

FINALLY: Fran Mason writes:

A thought to take or leave as you see fit: When Silflay Hraka introduced the Carnival, he asked people to submit one piece, saying that (if I remember right) if they sent more than one, he would narrow it down to one on his own. Lately I've noticed more and more people submitting two or three pieces.



Apologists for Islam often speak of a "Golden Age" in mediaeval times when the Islamic world was allegedly more civilized than the Christian world. But that is mostly hype. The Muslim Arabs got most of their civilization when they took over Zoroastrian Persia and most of their ancient Greek texts direct from the Greeks themselves.

Yes. The Greeks did not fade away after the death of Alexander the Great. They continued on in the Eastern Mediterranean just as before. And when they were conquered by Rome, Rome simply took over their culture. The teachers for educated Roman youth were generally Greek. Far from suppressing Greek learning. Rome admired and promoted it. And anybody who knows his Bible knows how strong Greek culture still was in the time of St Paul. St Paul spoke Greek and wrote his letters in Greek to congregations in Greek cities such as Ephesus, Corinth etc.

And St Paul did not labour in vain. Christianity flourished in Greek lands. So 300 years later when the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire was set up it was both Greek and Christian from the beginning. Its headquarters was what we now call Turkey but it extended far and wide at various times. It was founded as a Christian empire by Constantine the Great and continued on as a fervently Christian empire for nearly 1000 years. But its culture was Greek and all the old Greek learning was preserved there. Although the Byzantines called themselves Romans, they spoke Greek -- mainly because they were Greek. And Byzantium coexisted with Islam for 500 years -- plenty of time for Greek culture to percolate across the borders -- which it did.

So the idea that the Muslims preserved ancient Greek learning is a laugh. The Greeks themselves preserved Greek learning and had a great Christian Greek civilization flourishing right alongside the Arab world for 500 years. The Christians taught the Arabs, not vice versa.

So the acclaimed civilization of Moorish (Islamic) Spain in the middle ages was little more than a projection of Byzantine culture and that was theological rather than philosophical and certainly not liberal in any sense. So Islam has not regressed. It has stood still. It was never innovative and is now just about as good or bad as ever it was. If you want to see what it was in the past look at what it is now.



Between the Leftist peaceniks and the Conservative isolationists in the U.S. electorate, the idea that any American President could do anything remotely imperialistic is laughable. Americans want to keep their boys at home and need a hell of a lot of persuading to do otherwise.

One Good Turn also has a succinct post on the European idea that American power needs "counterbalancing". (Permalinks erratic. See his post of 10th.)



Ranting Screeds thinks that the NATO alliance is dead now that France and Germany have blocked moves to have NATO defend member-country Turkey. I think he is right. I think that this refusal should cause GWB to announce at some time of his own choosing that he now regards NATO as dead and start up negotiations for a new alliance of freedom-loving nations -- which would probably include most of the rest of Europe and could well be based in Poland.

The amusing thing is that the present alliance of France and Germany will probably prove to be very temporary. The average Frenchman hates Germans.



What a beauty! It took Tim Blair to come up with this one: NASA actually sent up an Arab on the space shuttle long before they sent up an Israeli! No nation tries harder to be fair than the USA.

Arlene Peck says that the Muslim Arabs have cost us an incalculable amount in their quest to force their religion on the rest of the world and that we should seize their oil to pay the cost of that. The USA easily could, but will it?

Ombudsgod reports that Leftist book banning is still going on in American universities. I think a lot of the universities should be renamed as "Madrassas" -- after the Islamic version.

Bigmouth has a fun idea about another rogue nuclear power: South Africa gave up its nuclear weapons. It's time that France did too. We cannot tolerate a power hungry regime in Paris that has nuclear weapons.

There is an interesting article here that compares the globalizing world of today with the globalizing world at the beginning of the 20th century. War and nationalism disrupted the peaceful globalization of 100 years ago so it is well to be cautious that the same factors do not derail it again. If globalization were stopped it would be as impoverishing as it was last time. (Article needs registration)

Detainees in Australian detention centres are the target of religious hatred. From Muslims Chris Brand thinks Michael Jackson is not so bad. Michael Darby has an interesting article on Shaka Zulu and what we could learn from him today.

The Wicked one does not like the French very much. Disliking the French is an old British tradition that Americans are taking over with gusto these days


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


11 February, 2003


My sole focus in discussing the historic Germanic and Protestant contribution on this blog so far has been on individual liberty. I believe that the individualism of our Anglo-Saxon (Germanic) forebears has given us the liberties we have today.

There are however other ways in which Germanic and Protestant civilization is often alleged to have played a leading role in shaping the modern world. In particular, the German reformation is seen as enabling a freedom of thought that eventually brought about the English industrial revolution and hence modern civilization as we know it. And as part of that process the scientific, technical and engineering innovations that enabled the modern world do almost all seem to have flowed from Germanic countries -- principally Germany itself and Britain. From the printing press to the steam engine the creation of technological civilization seems to have flowed almost entirely from the Germanic peoples of Northwestern Europe.

I think that there is a large element of truth in this account but do not place any great reliance on it. It seems to me that the account overlooks very substantial contributions from France and Italy for a start (e.g. Marconi, Pasteur etc.) -- though it could also be argued that both the Northern French and the Northern Italians have substantial German elements (e.g. the Franks and the Lombards) in their ancestry.

Another objection is the role of the Scots. In his book How the Scots Invented the Modern World, Arthur Herman points to the very substantial contribution made by Scots to the the development of modern Western thinking and the invention by Scots of much in modern Western technology. So how does that square with the contention that the modern world was essentially a Germanic invention? Surely the Scots are Celts rather than Germanic!

I doubt however that the Scottish case constitutes a crucial objection. Some reasons why:

* To my knowledge both the Chinese and the Russians make similar claims to have produced many great inventions. Most things seem to have had more than one "inventor"

* There is an awful lot that the Scots did NOT invent -- from the printing press onwards.

* The Scottish lowlands (where most Scots live) were thoroughly colonized by the Anglo-Saxons so most Scots have substantial Germanic ancestry.

* The Celtic Scots got at least Germanic culture via Protestantism and the English hegemony generally.

The reviews in the Amazon site linked above are well worth a read.

On the political front however, the Scots show very clearly the Germanic difference. Scotland has long been heavily socialist, returning very few Tory members to the Westminster parliament. When English voters swung very heavily towards Margaret Thatcher in 1979, Scotland actually swung away from the Tories! So the greater Celtic element in the Scots ancestry does seem to make a marked difference in politics. Where the Germanic English favour individualism and conservatism, the Celtic Scots favour collectivism and socialism.



I have had some correspondence from my fellow bloggers (who must of course remain nameless) confirming Andrew Ian Dodge's view that Leftist women are a lot better as bed prospects. Despite views not much different from mine, one even attends peace rallies for pickup purposes! And another said that he finds ladies of the night more skilled, however. He also points out that they are the REAL capitalists!



American Kaiser notes German anti-Americanism and thinks America should relocate its military bases from Germany to Eastern Europe. The Eastern Europeans are generally pro-American (sometimes wildly so) and could use the dollars the bases would bring. It might just happen. V.D. Hanson has a similar idea.

Robert Musil shoots down the latest bit of economic nonsense from Paul Krugman -- but only for those with some literacy in economics.

An influential German newspaper (Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) has recently suggested that the present isolation of Germany and France over Iraq (most of the rest of Europe supports the USA) may herald the breakup of the EU. As an Anglospherist and a libertarian, I look forward with glee to the end of that bureaucratic monster. Britain in particular would be far better off signing a free-trade agreement with the USA. More here.

There is a good essay here on why Leftist antisemitism is based not on a hatred of Jews per se but rather on a hatred of success and traditional values.

Orrin Judd has a good summary of the disastrous '70s. Having lived through that time myself, I see much truth in what he says. He is certainly right that to leave Saddam in place would be to repeat the follies of that time.

Prof. Bunyip has a devastating exposure of the barefaced lies being told by Leftist commentator Phillip Adams. He gives the Melbourne Age a pretty effective serve for dishonesty too.

Chris Brand has some further observations on how the Nazi phenomenon still corrupts modern thinking.

The Wicked one has some dubious advice for travellers to Britain

Michael Darby posts on the contentious subject of water rights.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


10 February, 2003


Matthew Cowie is in China at the moment and thinks that the Chinese have blocked Blogspot again. As before, he can post but not see his postings.



Most of what most people think they know about Nazi Germany is wrong. For instance: It was mainly Britain and America that defeated Hitler. Right? Wrong! 80% of German military casualties were on the Eastern front (i.e. fighting Russia). The Western allies were a sideshow. And I have often pointed to the historical evidence showing that Hitler was a Leftist rather than a Rightist. But wait! There's more:

The idea that Hitler's Germany was a nation of bureaucratized automatons under a single iron rule exists only in the popular imagination. Any comprehensive history of das dritte Reich (e.g. Shirer, 1964; Bullock, 1964) will tell you that power was if anything excessively decentralized and unfocused under Hitler. Hitler's immense popularity and respect in the country gave him ultimate authority but he exercised it only in a desultory and general way -- leaving most decisions and all administration to his subordinates. And he deliberately gave his subordinates overlapping jurisdictions so that they continually had to compete with one-another for power. Power in Nazi Germany was polycentric, not centralized.

And nor were his subordinates rigid automations. Contrary to the Hollywood

stereotype, the Nazi armies were far from being filled with rigid bunglers. Their remarkable initial successes against overwhelming odds (Dupuy, 1986) should alone suggest that but see also Singer & Wooton (1976) and Hughes (1986). Both on the home front and in the field Hitler's Germany can be shown to be flexible and improvisational rather than rigid and formal.

Hitler's closest friend and the person he spent most time with was Albert Speer yet when allied bombers destroyed a building containing most of the records of his armaments ministry, Speer rejoiced at the loss. He welcomed the opportunity to make a new start. He was innovative rather than rigid (Singer & Wooton, 1976). And that was also true of Hitler's generals. It was only their flexibility and creative thinking that enabled them to achieve so much against numerically much superior odds. The example of Rommel is of course well known but a better example is in fact Manstein -- architect of the Blitzkrieg on France. At the outset of the French campaign, Manstein faced heavily entrenched French and allied forces that were in no way inferior to the German forces but his bold and innovative Panzer-led strike through the Ardennes outflanked the French forces and routed them completely. And later in Russia, Manstein destroyed two Russian armies even AFTER Stalingrad. So even Hitler's Germany was very much a nation that allowed much scope for creative individualism -- as long as you did not threaten the overall power structure, of course.

The innovative nature of Nazi Germany can also of course be seen in the large number of previously unknown weapons systems that it deployed -- cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, radar and jet aircraft. The Focke company also produced the first workable helicopter -- though it was not used militarily.

So Hitler's Germany was in fact much more individualistic and decentralized than is generally realized.

Bullock, A. (1964) Hitler: A study in tyranny N.Y.: Harper
Dupuy, T.N. (1986) Mythos or verity? The quantified judgment model and German combat effectiveness. Military Affairs 50(4), 204-210.
Hughes, D.J. (1986) Abuses of German military history. Military Review, 66(12), 67-76.
Shirer, W.L. (1964) The rise and fall of the Third Reich London: Pan
Singer, E.A. & Wooton, L.M. (1976) The triumph and failure of Albert Speer's administrative genius: Implications for current management theory and practice. Journal of Applied Behavioral Research, 12, 79-103.



I like this from Betsy's Page:

Thomas Sowell has another of his tirades against Affirmative Action. His logic is overwhelming and you get the sense that he's very tired of having had to say the same thing for a quarter century. I like his opening.

It has been said that, when Ronald Reagan was governor of California, someone told him that admitting students to the University of California on individual performance alone could mean that all the students at Berkeley might be Asian Americans.

"So what?" was the Gipper's response.

And Jonathan Chait asks why politicians are so afraid to stop affirmative action even though it is hugely unpopular with the voters.

And Mixed Asian says that affirmative action has not really ended in Malaysia.



Big backdown "Germany offered missiles to defend Turkey, and France refused to rule out an attack on Iraq" More here.

Poor and Stupid defends GWB's budget against an attack by Andrew Sullivan -- on the grounds that compassionate conservatism costs money.

Chris Brand sums up his argument that liberalism needs rescuing from the ghost of Nazism.

Michael Darby has posts on the Nazi-like behaviour of certain vegetarian and pro-animal groups.

The Wicked one has posts about noise and anti-Americanism.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


9 February, 2003


In a world where the EU has just been significantly enlarged and the USA has (though NAFTA) integrated the whole of North America into a single economic unit, some unusual thoughts are becoming more and more plausible. As this observation on Israel's problems by Orrin Judd shows:

...and you have to wonder if the eventual, fate of Israel might not be to become an American state. Such a state would lose its distinctly Jewish identity and become more like a Utah, but would be preserved as a world enclave of Judaism. That would be better than many of the more likely alternatives.

And, one might add, if the USA can accomodate the Amish, it could probably also accomodate the Haredim.


Mark Steyn thinks that the U.N. has become an irrelevance and that we should abolish it. I heartily agree. If the U.N. endeavours to obstruct the attempt by the USA to dismantle Saddam and his dangerous weapons program, they will in effect abolish themselves of course. It is seldom stated overtly, but President Bush would probably withdraw his representatives to the U.N. if that happened. And then the U.N. really would be nothing but an irrelevant talking shop. The USA kept out of the League of Nations in the 1930s so there is no reason why it could not absent itself from the U.N.

And it is certainly worth noting that U.N. resolutions have not done Israel much good.

(Crossposted on Israpundit)



Goldberg says that men are naturally dominant because of their different hormones etc. Here is a summary of his book. His critics have found him hard to argue with. See here.

Why are there so few women who are top achievers (famous composers etc.) in so many fields? Denis Dutton has made a study of genius and says that females stick closer to the middle in ability. There are fewer very dumb women but also fewer very bright ones



There is a good review here of Allan Levite's book about Leftist guilt. Allan Levite proposes that affluent Leftists are primarily motivated by guilt about their own affluence.

I have my doubts about Levite's theory -- as you will see about half-way through my article here.



This gave me a good laugh: Greenpeace now wants to ban peanuts! It certainly shows them up for the crazies they are.

Also: "The envirowackos have won again... birds encroaching on a temporary dry lake have been granted property rights!. Read the whole sorry story here

There is a good short summary of why environmentalism is a religion for many people here.

Razib notes that Green is not only the colour of the Environmentalists but also the colour of Islam. And of course it is also the colour of the Irish. So what is it that causes green to be associated with so much irrationality? (I can get away with calling the Irish irrational given my own substantial Irish ancestry).



The Curmudgeon gave me a laugh: Another thing. I always thought that if you jumped up off your feet in an airplane, you'd be slammed into the rear bulkhead. After my friends laughed at me, I know it can't be true, but whenever I start to try it - like on the way to the lavatory, I'm too embarrassed to jump up, so I don't really know. I guess it's all relative!

Only Australians will understand this but Happy 80th birthday to Vegemite!

Can a megalomaniac get bored by his own propaganda? It seems that He can!

Bridgeblogger Floyd McWilliams has picked up my post about the Germanic origins of the English yesterday and highlights some puzzles in it. The Wicked one has a sexy-sounding link and more on French corruption.

Chris Brand has more on Hitler as a betrayer.

Michael Darby has posts on subsidies to the arts, free trade and Zimbabwean savagery,


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


8 February, 2003


A picture is said to be better than 1,000 words so this link to a BBC educational site should help fix in all our minds the fact that the English are historically the Western branch of the Germanic people -- and that the basics of what is German should also therefore be the basics of what is English. Though 1500 years of history can create a lot of differences, of course. The words in the yellow text-box are particularly relevant to my constant stress on the historical importance of political decentralization among the Germanic peoples.

Thanks to Matthew Cowie for the link.



Andrew Ian Dodge is one of several people who have put to me that young men are attracted to Leftism because Leftist women are more sexually accessible. And certainly in my own youth the Leftist ladies did seem to be less attached to their pants than others. But that brings us to the next question: Why? I think the answer is pretty straightforward:

Leftism is intrinsically rebellious
Young people are instrinsically rebellious
Female sexual promiscuity is intrinsically rebellious.

So the three go together.

I have just posted Andrew's email here (Post of 7th.). It is worth a read. I think he even outdoes me for forthrightness!

Mainstream politicians are not unaware of the issue. It arose in South Carolina in 2001. Addressing the young men of "Boys State", the Democratic chairman, Dick Hartpootlian, declared that the Democrats were the party of "beer and girls". Not to be outdone, the Republican chairman, Henry McMaster, countered that the Republicans were the party of "cold beer and hot girls". You can imagine how the feminazi hens clucked over that one!

On a much darker note, read here how a former Leftist is horrified by the hatred that drove him during his Leftist youth.



Andrew Sullivan's recent article in the Sunday Times seems very superficial to me. Equating Germany and France because of their present alliance is ludicrous. You would not want to tell the average Frenchman that he had anything in common with the Germans!

And saying that neither country has the social and organizational diversity (pluralism) of the English-speaking countries is ridiculous too. I am sure that there are just as many sporting clubs, special interest organizations, and school/parent associations in France and Germany as anywhere else.

And we must not confuse Germany's present government with Germany. Germany and Australia both normally have pretty conservative governments but with occasional lapses into Leftist craziness. Australia's last such crazy-Leftist government (under Whitlam) was in the 70s. It lasted only 4 years. I don't see Germany's Schroeder lasting much longer either. The recent Land elections (German State elections) gave huge majorities to the German conservative parties so that should give Chancellor Schroeder a hard time in the Bundesrat (German Senate) if I understand German politics rightly.

But if I think Sullivan is wrong on the points above, I think he was absolutely right in his judgement of my hero: Ronald Reagan. Contrary to all the Leftist mockery, Sullivan said some time ago of the Gipper: "He was one of the most intellectual presidents in history. If you doubt it, you need to read Sullivan's article.



Libertarians will like this link. It shows how the internet is enabling small companies and individuals to do the sort of basic and applied scientific research that could once only be done by big organizations -- generally government-funded ones.

Bob Park has a good laugh at the "Freedom Car" -- GWB's sop to the Greenies -- but agrees that it is a cheap sop at least.

Nice to see a prominent Canadian attacking anti-Americanism. There's a big strike at affirmative action on Clubbeaux If the opposite of pro is con then the opposite of progress must be congress. As a libertarian, I LIKE that! From Commonsense & Wonder It is hard to believe that this I love Saddam article could be published in any Western newspaper. It is eerily reminiscent of the sort of "happy worker" stuff pro-Stalin Western Leftists used to write years ago. Yet it appeared a few days ago in the Washington Post. Via Commonsense & Wonder

Michael Darby has a speech by a conservative politician with an academic background which makes the good conservative point that academic theories often do not work in practice and says that politicians should therefore be more critical of such theories.

Chris Brand asks why we can accept black athletic superiority but not white intellectual superiority.

The Wicked one says what a great racket deathbed repentance is.


Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.


7 February, 2003


Ed Mick has a great follow-up to my initial post on why it is that young people tend to be more Leftist than their seniors. Ed sees youthful Leftism as being mainly the outcome of the institutional influences that young people are exposed to. He sees these as:

1) Immediate family
2) Education establishment
3) Mass media
4) Church

And points out that the last 3 of these are very often Leftist these days. So young people learn Leftism just as they learn any other lesson. Ed spells it all out in detail. Well worth a read.



Wunderkinder notes:

[German Foreign Minister Joschka] Fischer said that although Iraq has constantly violated U.N. resolutions and Saddam's regime is "terrible for the Iraqi people," the inspections must go on.

And comments:

Apparently in Gerhard Shroeder's political philosophy, constant violations and a terrible regime aren't enough for UN action. If Iraq flew a chemical weapon-carrying drone plane into the Bundestag, German politicians would apologize for leaving it in such an inconvenient spot.



"Democrats will trample over a thousand poor people to throw a rock at a rich man." --Tom Adkins of "The Common Conservative," on the Bush tax-cut plan. Via The Federalist

Whacking day has a good summary of the strange and totally dishonest minds of Leftists. That Leftists NEED to criticize and be different is the most obvious explanation of such strange behaviour.

Tim Gillin (post of Feb. 2nd.): Concern for the poor is admirable and charity is a virtue, but the recent advances in China shows that Adam Smith did more for the world's poor than all socialists put end to end.

Cold Fury has found some remarkable honesty and good sense about Iraq from two Leftists. It shows that there is a small minority of Leftists who really are humanitarian.

It is often vaguely asserted that the peaceniks and do-gooders who urge that Saddam should be dealt with by "negotiation" are following the same strategy as the foolish peaceniks of the 1930s who tried to appease Hitler. Someone who remembers the 1930s very well writes here that the parallels are in fact enormous. The peaceniks of today are saying almost exactly what the peaceniks of the 30s said. They are just not serious. They aim only to sound good.

But sometimes the dishonesty of Leftist peaceniks becomes just TOO gross. It becomes so transparent that they harm their own cause. The recent interview of Saddam by Tony Benn certainly seems to have made the British public more pro-war.



The Federalist has some good quotes from the speech of President Bush, given at the memorial service for the astronauts of the Columbia at the Johnson Space Center a few days ago.

The administration has assured North Korea it has no intention of invading [but] it has left open the possibility of a pre-emptive air attack on North Korean nuclear plants. THAT'S what I like to hear! More at the Judd blog.

Delightful news! Tony Blair blocked a decision to award a French company a o3 billion contract to build the Royal Navy's two new aircraft carriers because of anger at President Jacques Chirac's behaviour over Iraq and Zimbabwe. (Via Right Wing News).

So there IS responsible thinking in Scandinavia (sometimes): Norwegian television has sacked a left-wing journalist for his outspoken views on the impending Iraq War after he compared President Bush to Adolf Hitler. (Via The Politburo)

There is a rather nice flag idea for Anglospherists at Samizdata

Chris Brand has some critical thoughts about the Michael Jackson interview.

Michael Darby has some mail about the monarchy and some advice from mother Teresa.

The Wicked one is not very happy with either Vegans or Mrs Arafat.


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6 February, 2003


David Horowitz has for some time been running a campaign to get some political balance onto US college and university campuses. But he has a long way to go. I have just received an email from a US college student that details the tripe he has to endure as part of his studies. The bias and inconsistency is so bad that it is actually painful for him. Students should not have to endure propaganda in lieu of scholarship. I have just put his email up here. It has its funny side.



Vin Ferrari also has a good summary up about the oppression of a conservative student by a "liberal" academe. He has lots of pithy summaries up in fact. Like this one:


Saddam Hussein doesn't have any weapons of mass destruction. We definitely shouldn't go in there because if we do he might use them.

Saddam Hussein has no connection to Al Qaeda, etc., because Saddam Hussein is hated by Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. If we attack him, they will retaliate against us around the world.



Razib has posted an excellent but necessarily long post on whether our Anglospheric respect for individual liberties is of Christian or Germanic origin. He and I agree that Germanic origin maps respect for the individual a lot better than the prevalence of Christianity does.

Razib gives a rather more wide-ranging history lesson in support of his views than I have so far done (see the second half of my article here) but he seems to have more difficulty with the Prussian phenomenon than I do. Roughly, Prussia is the Northeastern part of Germany which, over the course of the 19th century, gradually came to dominate the whole of Germany. And the Prussian army had a famous tradition of requiring that its troops be Kadaver gehorsam (corpselike obedient) so how that squares with a Germanic respect for individual liberty does at first seem very difficult to explain indeed.

The point is, however, that, like many other groups, Germans encompass a wide variety of people within their ranks and Prussia is only one part of Germany (and in fact for most of its history it was only partly German -- including large numbers of Poles, Silesians and other non-Germans). Furthermore, the Prussian ascendancy was both very recent and very short-lived. It dates essentially from the French surrender at Sedan in 1870 and ended with the flight of the Kaiser to Holland in 1918 -- to be succeeeded by the very un-Prussian Weimar Republic. Those 48 years are undoubtedly of enormous significance to the world but all that they show essentially is that Prussian militarism had some initial success but ended up destroying itself.

Prior to Sedan, Germany was a disunited and decentralized agglomeration that generations of Prussians, French and others tried unsuccessfully to subdue. And after Sedan, unity of a sort was achieved and maintained only by the diplomatic genius of Bismarck. And after the remarkable restraint provided by Bismarck was dispensed with by the new Kaiser, the German Empire very quickly self-destructed -- in World War I. And Hitler's attempt to revive it went the same way. So now Germany is back to something much more like what it always was -- a nation with a strongly decentralized power structure in the form of the various Land (State) governments. And that is of course exactly the same structure that certain other countries of mainly Germanic origin (the USA, Canada and Australia) have adopted too. And "devolution" is rapidly leading to a similar state of affairs in Britain as well.

In short, from a historical perspective, the Prussian ascendancy was no more than a short and atypical blip in the more than 2000 years of decentralized power in Germany so cannot possibly be the major source of any generalizations about Germany that we might wish to make.



Today is Ronald Reagan's birthday. I wish him as happy a birthday as is possible in his present reduced state. After what he did for his country and the world, no-one is more entitled to have his birthday honoured. There is a great photo of him in his prime here. One of his typical sayings:

"One legislator accused me of having a 19th century attitude on law and order. That is a totally false charge. I have an 18th century attitude. That is when the Founding Fathers made it clear that the safety of law abiding citizens should be one of government's primary concerns."



"Media bias" is not the right word for it. Jim Miller shows that what people get from the major U.S. newspapers is straight-out, old-fashioned censorship that would do a wartime censor proud. As Jim shows at length, if you had relied totally on such newspapers for your information about the world, you WOULD NEVER KNOW that the leaders of major European nations such as Britain, Poland, Spain and Italy had all signed a letter supporting the U.S. policy on Iraq. Infinitely less important and less newsworthy stories were run instead.



Michael Darby is keeping up his campaign of awareness about Zimbabwe with another firsthand report.

Chris Brand stresses the extent to which Hitler was a deceiver

Under the heading: Are Catholics ethically primitive?, the Wicked one has put up a major rant that seeks to explain the spinelessness of the French over Iraq as an outcome of their Catholicism. His concluding sentence: Chirac is an amoral, corrupt sleazeball.


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5 February, 2003


This week's Carnival is open for business. See here for a smorgasbord of reading.



A reader who had a very close-up look at the famous Leftist youth of the 60's has another idea why Leftism often appeals to youth. The whole email is fascinating so I have just posted it in full elsewhere but I give an excerpt below:

I think I have another reason the Left attracts the young: Kids are protected.

When things are wrong, grownups are supposed to fix them. When we have a war, it's bad. Somebody is supposed to fix it. Failure to fix (when the grownup is supposedly omnipotent) demonstrates that the grownup likes the war. Otherwise, the grownup would fix it. The Kids demand it. But he doesn't. Thus, it's the grownup's fault. Government is the grownup.



I gave a link yesterday to an article by Martin Malia which looked at the question of whether Communism was to be preferred to Nazism. Malia basically concluded that the history we have of the Soviet period is so full of lies that it is still too early to make a fully-informed judgment. The link I gave, however, leads only to an extract of the article and I have not been able to find a better link so I have posted what appears to be the main body of the article (sent to me by a reader) here until someone tells me the proper way to access it.



Leftists all hate the idea that what we are is largely determined by our genes. There is a good article here which endeavours to show just what is and what is not genetically determined in us.

Richard Dawkins explains how genetic modification of food works and points out that it is a lot like computer programming.

Why Read This notes that genetically-modified crops are going great guns in China. If GM food ends up feeding one billion Chinese, the Leftist and Greenie objections to it are going to look pretty lame.



In Global Warming And Other Eco-Myths, some of the most respected researchers in the USA explode the myths behind much of the doom and gloom of today's environmental movement. See here for more details.

In GWB's recent SOTU address he did of course try to include something for everyone -- even the Greenies. There is an article here which knocks the hydrogen car idea which formed part of the address.

An SUV-friendly article here



Black racism is every bit as bad as white racism. Conservatives have been saying that for a long time but this time it is Britain's Left-wing Independent newspaper saying it.

Chris Brand has more news about Britain's race and immigration problems and relays some surprising news about the Archbishop of Canterbury's views on asylum-seekers.

The philosophical cowboy has a look at a couple of the more realistic voices on the Left and finds large holes even in their arguments.



Why Israelis are not intimidated by the present "intifada". I guess that most Jews have seen this inspirational affirmation by now but many Gentiles may not have.

Animal lovers will like this story but Muslims may not: The revenge of the goat!

More multicultural craziness: Muslim women in Florida can get their driving licence picture taken with their faces covered! More here

Our good old reliable media! CNN reported that the shuttle was travelling at 18 times the speed of light when it disintegrated. Einstein would be amazed. (Via Jerry Lerman)

China Hand has blogged recently (Jan. 21st) on what a powerful and destructive force envy is in China. This story from "Forbes" about a murdered capitalist in China certainly confirms it.

Michael Darby has coverage of the "treason" trial presently underway against Mugabe's democratic opponents in Zimbabwe.


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4 February, 2003


There has been a vigorous debate on Oxblog recently over whether Communism was in some sense more commendable than Fascism. At the heart of the argument appears to be the old claim that Communism was "well-intentioned".

Both protagonists, however, seemed to be handicapped by a cardboard-cutout view of Fascism. Neither seem to realize that Mussolini (the founder of Fascism) was in fact a Marxist and that Fascism was very Leftist and differed from Communism mainly in being more nationalistic. And Hitler too called himself a socialist and campaigned as a great friend of the worker. BOTH Fascists and Communists claimed good intentions and both tried to lift up "the worker" -- and both failed.

So could it be the nationalism of Fascism and Nazism that makes it particularly bad? Hardly. Nationalism has been around for a very long time and may in fact be universal but it does not normally lead to mass murder of political opponents (or imaginary political opponents). It is not even clear that extreme nationalism is particularly murderous. Mussolini's Fascism was undoubtedly extreme in its nationalism but -- despite his occasional brutalities -- Mussolini was no mass-murderer. In fact the normal punishment for political opponents in Fascist Italy was simply a forced dose of castor oil! Give me Mussolini's Italy rather than Stalin's Russia any day!

What IS clear is that extreme socialism is thoroughly murderous. And James Donald explains very simply why. All four great mass-murderers of the 20th century (Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot) were extreme socialists. The Southern European Fascists were much less thoroughgoing in their socialism (degree of government control over everyday life) so were less murderous. And socialists in a democracy of course lack the power to be mass murderers.

A historically sophisticated comparison of Nazism and Communism can be found in Martin Malia's article "Judging Nazism and Communism". You can access it via this link but you will first have to register for a free subscription here. A few excerpts can also be found here



Tim Gillin writes:

People say Australia's John Howard runs a tough policy on immigration: Not compared to the Ancient Athenians.

And the Swiss seem to be toughening up on immigration too ... and negotiating return deals with asylum-seeker exporting nations



Amazing! The murderous Iraqui regime actually thanking the New York Times for being pro-Iraq. What a Left-wing rag! Looks like Saddam is the new Stalin -- to be defended by Leftists at all costs.

And some appalling antisemitism from a major British Left-wing newspaper here (scroll up). Nazi propaganda also lives on among the Left!

Frank Ellis points out: What we call "political correctness" actually dates back to the Soviet Union of the 1920s (politicheskaya pravil'nost' in Russian), and was the extension of political control to education, psychiatry, ethics, and behavior



There is a good article here showing that Prime Minister Sharon's victory in the recent Israeli elections was also a resounding victory for conservatism.

And the recent conservative victories in the German State elections seem likely to give Chancellor Schroeder and his Leftist Federal government some big headaches too.

Robert Musil takes on New York! He points out at some length that Freudian psychoanalysis is essentially quackery -- a "medical" procedure that does no good at all. Most psychologists would agree with him.

A rather persuasive argument at Chloe & Pete to the effect that a nation's foreign policy is ALWAYS dictated solely by self-interest -- with morality being no more than an afterthought.

Donald Luskin does a good job of exposing Paul Krugman's latest bout of dishonesty with statistics.

Chris Brand says Hitler betrayed just about everyone and that a lack of checks and balances in the German political system was a major factor in enabling him to do that.

Cronaca notes more strangeness emanating from Britain: Charles Clarke, the British government's education honcho, said education for its own sake was "a bit dodgy"

Michael Darby has a story by a farmer who wishes all the global warming talk was really true.


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3 February, 2003


American Realpolitik juxtaposes the good speech about the shuttle disaster given by GWB with the great speech given about the earlier shuttle disaster 17 years ago by President Reagan. Only the Gipper can still bring tears to my eyes. That man was magic: A once-in-a-lifetime President. I will never see his like again.

I note that even The Moderate Left agrees with me about the Reagan speech.

And I understand how one blogger found comfort in saying the Latin invocation: Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis ("Give them eternal rest O Lord and may the perpetual light shine upon them")



Scott Wickstein and one or two others have called into question the basic assumption underlying my long post of two days ago about why young people tend to lean to the Left politically. They argue that young people do NOT tend to lean to the Left.

I guess I did not spell it out properly in my post yesterday but the academic paper I cited DID show a strong correlation between age and ideology. The research was based on random general population sampling and would not have got into an academic journal unless it was pretty rigorous. So Leftism DOES tend to be a folly of youth. Like Scott, I have always been conservative and there are many like us but we all also know of many examples of age moving people to the Right -- from David Horowitz in the USA to Paddy McGuinness in Australia. So there IS something there that needs explaining.

Tim Gillin (post of Feb. 2nd.) mentioned another point that I should obviously have added to my 4-point list: Young people are often Leftist because they have just been through or are just going through an educational system (both schools and universities) that vigorously indoctrinates them with Leftist ideas. Tim's words on the subject:

How much of this is due to 'wet behind the ears' idealism and how much is due to political indoctrination through the school system, or their greater exposure to the media? Idealism doesn't neccessarily have to be leftist. Youth generally are more peer oriented and the arts/intellectual/media world has a definite left/'progressive' slant. So indoctrinating them is easier. It's interesting that young "computer geeks' and Sci Fi fans are generally less leftist, they tap into a different media network.

An interesting 6th cause of youthful Leftism was added by Eddie Thomas -- who points out on his blog that families tend to be communistic. In a family we give to each according to his/her need. So it takes a while to adjust to an outside world that is not communistic and until that adjustment is made young people tend to believe that the outside world should be like what they have been used to at home.

And the old Leftist mantra "All men are brothers" reflects that. It is an attempt to model society on the family -- but ignores the fact that family ties are a very special case of human relationships.

Tim Dunlop's suggestion was that I should add "parental indoctrination" to my list of causes. That would obviously be true in some cases, though youthful rebellion probably makes it ineffective pretty often. At any event, it does not explain the preponderance of young people among Leftists.



According to Strawman Baghdad real estate prices prove that Iraquis are looking forward to being liberated by the Americans. I don't blame them.

Matthew Cowie has a good point: This seems too obvious to even say, but I've watched so many talking heads ( mostly leftists) say that Saddam Hussein does not pose an imminent threat to the United States. It is important to remind them that at 8:00AM on September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda did not pose an imminent threat to the United States.

Jeff Jacoby on attacking Saddam: As slogans, "rush to war" and "unilateralism" are catchy. But they are also false. If anything, Bush has been inching his way to war. And Jeff Jacoby also says we should have Syria in our sights after Iraq.



Bob Whaley thinks that the public response to the second shuttle loss shows that America has matured as a nation.

Hello Bloggy has a good rant: What I can never understand in the reasoning of the Left is: What have the poor done to deserve the fruits of redistribution? What is it about being poor that entitles people to handouts at the expense of taxpayers? ..... More here

Another good one from the Professor: Mrs Bunyip once took it into her head that lavatory water should be blue, which didn't worry the Professor one way or the other but certainly did the dog no good.

The Wicked one has some "marital" jokes.

Michael Darby reproduces an important address (not apparently otherwise online) by Sir Harry Gibbs (a former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia) in which Sir Harry defends the court from affirmative action demands.

The Wicked one has found a funny photo he likes and reprints a great old poem.

Chris Brand points out the uncomfortable truth that Hitler's genocide was far from unusual even in modern history.


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2 February, 2003


Dreadful news that our brave American brothers have lost a second space shuttle. It took Americans to attempt something as bold as reusable space technology and then entrust their lives to it. I remember vividly seeing on TV President Reagan's address to America after the first loss. He struck just the right note (as always): A combination of dignified sorrow and a determination not to be daunted by the immense challenges of space



From the Leftists of the 1930s who thought Hitler and Mussolini were good guys to the Leftists of today, Leftists never seem to be able to learn. When the USA finally goes in to Iraq and topples Saddam, there is absolutely no doubt that what they will find in Iraq is a tale of horror and suffering of a thoroughly Hitlerian sort. A mini-holocaust will be revealed. Saddam himself has said that he thought Hitler was "too mild". So, once the bestiality of Saddam's Ba'ath socialist regime can be thrust graphically in front of everyone's faces, what will Leftists say to the charge: "You supported this!" There will be nothing they can say. They could always say that their support for the vicious Stalin happened because they were "misled" by Stalin's claims of idealism. But the only people Saddam is misleading are the UN weapons inspectors. There is no idealism about him. Leftists must be brain-dead not to foresee how absurd the near future is going to make them look.

It would seem in fact that Leftists cannot deal with foresight at all. After the 9/11 attack on Americans and the Bali attack on Australians, the Leftists were all up in arms asking why did not the US and Australian governments foresee the coming attacks and do something to prevent them. Yet now that the US and Australian givernments DO foresee a grave danger from the weapons being developed by Saddam and are doing something to prevent him using them, the Leftists are opposing that: Damned if you do, damned if you don't. There really must be something missing in the brains of Leftists.



As the only girl among 12 brothers, you could be forgiven for thinking that Cerys Hughes would turn out to be a bit of a tomboy. But the pretty two-year-old is living proof that nature is stronger than nurture. "You really couldn't find a more girly girl," says her mother.

More here.



A U.S. Postal Service manager was forced to disrobe and walk naked in front of about a dozen employees yesterday morning by a colleague who threatened to kill her unless she complied. Lonnie Wilson, 60, who planned to retire on Friday, is in Summit County Jail, charged with kidnapping, aggravated menacing and gross sexual imposition.

OK. Normal nutcase stuff. But here's the punchline: What did the Postal Service do about it? It placed him "on administrative leave"! What does a government employee have to do to get sacked? More details at Sine Qua Non



Richard Webster has another dreadful report about false allegations of paedophilia in Britain. How anybody can be thrown out of his job before the matter goes to trial and how the police can prosecute a case so flimsy that the judge throws it out without even waiting to hear the defence I really do not know. "British justice" is beginning to sound like a mocking term.

Random Jottings says: "In A Credibility Problem (01/28/03) Paul Krugman unwittingly demonstrates with remarkable clarity that the real problem for U.S. liberals is reality itself. They are no longer in touch with it ......"

Ed Mick says: "Hooray for Oregon! Despite an orchestrated campaign warning of gloom and doom, Oregon voted down an income tax increase. This despite a heavy campaign by labor unions and almost no organized campaign on the other side." If only we ever got that sort of choice in Australia.

The Wicked one feels sorry for our politicians!

The Greenies don't get much more disgusting than this. They want you to do your ski-ing on artificial snow made from human waste!

Chris Brand says how foolish it is to let Hitler's interest in eugenics put us off looking at an important idea.

Michael Darby canvasses some proposals for a peaceful solution of the terrible problems in Zimbabwe and looks at the improper Chinese acquisition of American military knowhow under Clinton.

Scott Wickstein says a Greenie is just a Leftie with social pretensions. There's something in that.

Right Thinking picked up my recent post about the stupidity and crassness of German anti-Americanism. But if you think that I was abusive about it .........

Shiny Happy Gulag has some rather vehement comments about "diversity" that make my recent comments on that subject look meek and mild too.


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1 February, 2003


There is a well-known and much misattributed saying: "If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain." It might be interesting to note that the earliest version of this saying is by mid-nineteenth century historian and politician Francois Guizot, who said: "Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head". He was referring to the controversy over whether France should be a republic or a monarchy. France did of course have various experiments with monarchy even after the decapitation of Louis XVI. So foolish young people want Presidents and wiser old people want Kings? Perhaps.

Nonethless, it IS true that people who are Leftist in their youth often become more conservative as they get older. In one of my research reports, I found in fact that most older people are quite astoundingly Right-wing (Ray, 1985). So how come?

I think that there are in fact four (sometimes interrelated) main reasons why the Left is more attractive to youth:

1). Simplicity:
The young do not know much so try sweeping generalizations in order to help them understand the world. Leftists supply such oversimplified generalizations ("All men are equal" etc.). So when one is young, the drastically simple "solutions" and mantras proffered by the Left simply seem reasonable. Leftism has the appeal of simplicity. When many a young idealistic person sees a problem and realises that he or she cannot fix it, the natural response is simple: "The government should do something". Given what they are constantly bombarded with through the media and the educational system this is an understandable response to the problems of the world. It is however based on the fairly amazing idea that we can create a Utopia through the actions of governments.

As Aaron Oakley once put it to me: The problem is that the arguments for individual liberty, free markets, limited government etc are complicated but correct. The Left have it easy. Their philosophies are simple but wrong. The public grasp simple ideas much more easily than complicated ones.

So some of the young are attracted to simple solutions to the world's problems. Most of the young do not bother, however. They are interested mainly in the opposite sex so just want politics not to bother them -- a thoroughly conservative response. Those who do adopt the Leftist simplifications do often eventually find through experience that the world really is a complex place so tend to give up the simplifications and Leftism along with that.

2). Idealism:
Some people in general, but particularly the young, are idealists -- and, as such, they find the imperfect state of the real world unsatisfying. That there is some genuine idealism even among extreme Leftists is shown by the exoduses from Communist Parties in the economically successful "Western" democracies that followed the violent Soviet suppression of the East German, Hungarian and Czechoslovak uprisings against Communist rule in 1953, 1956 and 1968. Once the real nature of Communist regimes became too clear to be denied, honest decent people whose wishful thinking had led them to believe Communist protestations of benevolence and good intentions saw the light and abandoned Communism. In the USA (in New York particularly), some liberal intellectuals even saw enough in the Soviet actions of those times to cause them to abandon "liberalism" and found neo-conservatism. Similarly in Australia of the 1950s and '60s, the Andersonian libertarians of Sydney were also intellectuals who might otherwise have been Leftists but who were united by realism about Soviet brutality.

3). Impatience:
Just as dangerous to society as the idealist is the "practical" reformer. Some people in general, but again particularly the young, are genuinely outraged by things that they do not understand and are unwise enough to want to change those things willy nilly rather than endeavour to understand what is going on. They are impatient with what they see as "obviously" wrong. In particular, they may be genuinely grieved by the unhappy experiences of others and want to fix that ASAP without being wise enough to seek for means of fixing it that have some prospect of working or that are not self-defeating. They might, for instance, be disturbed by the impact of rising rents on the poor and propose rent-control as a quick-fix solution -- though a few minutes of thought or the most elementary inquiry should tell them that rent control will after a time also have the effect of degrading and shrinking the existing stock of rental accommodation and drying up the supply of new rental accommodation, both of which make the poor much worse off in the long run.

4). Ambition:
The young are ambitious, want to have it all NOW and want to get the top -- so see "The Establishment" as an obstacle to that. So the more unscrupulous and vicious ones use any tool to attack it: Radicalism as a path to power -- a very familiar theme in history. Leftists are intrinsically power-mad

Ray, J.J. (1985) What old people believe: Age, sex and conservatism. Political Psychology 6, 525-528.



Janet Albrechtsen has some very good thoughts about our pacifist clergy. Opposition to war is thoroughly scriptural (Matthew 5:39) but throughout history Christians have seen the need for war nonetheless. But many of our clergy still do not seem to have found out why. Some clearly do not want to find out. The Anglican Primate of Australia (Bishop Peter Carnley) is obviously a total moral bankrupt and Leftist stooge with his refusal to condemn Saddam and his grossly insulting claim that you cannot be a Christian and a conservative too. No wonder many Anglicans worldwide are looking for more traditional leadership than they usually get at the moment.

Albrechtsen's point that many churchmen now seem to think that the United Nations is God does help to explain why "modern" ideas are being rejected by many Anglican congregations.



Chris Brand points out the many absurdities that have been perpetrated in the name of distancing ourselves from a certain charismatic, vegetarian, non-smoking, teetotal lover of children and animals.

Michael Darby notes French hatreds and reports a speech by the leader of the Zimbabwean opposition.

In Britain you can get into more trouble with the law for having normal consenting heterosexual intercourse than for being a burglar. Don't believe me? Read it! California used to be the world headquarters of crazy law. Britain now beats California by a country mile.


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