Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence.. 

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31 January, 2004


Although I am an Australian, one thing that really annoys me is the constant refrain among non-Americans to the effect that Americans are stupid. How did a stupid people get to be one of the most prosperous on earth? How did a stupid people get to be the world's only superpower? How did a stupid people avoid ever having their cities bombed flat? How did a stupid people produce military equipment so advanced that no-one else can hope to match it? The Iraqi army put up a tenacious fight against the Iranian army but it just went home when a much smaller American military force arrived. How did a stupid people come to dominate the world with its cultural products? Ever heard of Hollywood or American popular music? And even Italians now make "Western" movies. How did a stupid people get to dominate the world with its products and business systems? Ever heard of Coca Cola, McDonald's or KFC? How did America get to dominate the world with its intellectual products? Ever heard of Microsoft or IBM or Intel or all the American Nobel prize-winners? How did a stupid people get to integrate successfully within their ranks large numbers of people from every country in Europe? South America and North America are both large continents well-endowed with natural resouces so how come there is no South American equivalent of the USA? How come prosperity stops at the U.S.-Mexico border? And how come it is Europe that invented both Communism and Fascism and that it was America that had to rescue them from both?

The truth is that Americans are a very wise and sophisticated people who very often affect a folksy style -- such as the style we see the high-achieving President George W. Bush or in the incredibly high-achieving investor Warren Buffett. But the REALLY stupid people are those who cannot see past the folksy style to the hard-working, dedicated, careful-thinking people beneath it. Only people as stupid as most Europeans could mistake style for substance. Really smart people would try to understand Americans rather than condemn them for having their own ways. They would see the folksiness as a sign of a less elitist and more democratic society rather than as a sign of stupidity.

And it is not only Americans who affect folksiness. Australia's most popular Prime Minister in the last 50 years was "Bob" Hawke -- a conservative in most ways but the leader of Australia's major party of the Left. Although he was so thoroughly bourgeois as to be the son of a Protestant clergyman and brilliant enough win a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford university, he normally spoke during his political career with a broad working-class accent. He certainly wasn't stupid but Australia too is a very egalitarian country where people of all classes are treated with respect.



Keith Burgess-Jackson has a good link to an insider's story about the kneejerk Leftism in most of the American media.

I haven't had the stomach to find out what "The Vagina Monologues" -- so beloved on the feminist Left -- are all about but Mike Tremoglie has braved it and reports: "It stereotypes males and Christians -- not to mention the fact that it's crude and arguably pro-pedophilia. Most disturbing about the play is the fact that it features the seduction of a female minor by an adult woman, legitimizing predatory sexual behavior". Charming!

Just like Saddam did: "Cuban President Fidel Castro vowed on Friday to die fighting "with a gun in my hand" if the United States invaded Cuba to overthrow his communist government".

Great stuff: "Two anti-war protesters who scaled the Sydney Opera House last year to paint "No War" on its tallest sail have been sentenced to jail and fined more than $150,000. Activists Will Saunders, 42, and David Burgess, 33, attracted international attention when they defaced the icon on March 18 - the day John Howard committed Australia to the war in Iraq."

In the area of taxation, there is probably nothing that drives Democrats crazier than when they hear Republicans praise John F. Kennedy's tax cut and compare their tax cuts to his. Unfortunately, Democrats keep running up against Kennedy's own statements and actions, which show a clear parallel to Republican tax policies since 1980.

National Center for Public Policy research demolishes some Leftist myths about how economic progress is not helping "the poor". One excerpt: "The poverty rate for children of single mothers fell from 50.3 percent in 1995 to 39.8 percent in 2001".

Flat, fair and forever: "Every profession has its unofficial list-of-things-you-don't-say, and politics is no exception. A leading entry: Never call for a tax increase. At least, not by name. Instead, do what the Democratic presidential candidates do: Cloak your increase in the reassuring moniker 'tax reform.' ... In other words, the reform they favor is a tax increase. Even if they were candid enough to admit it, though, their policy is misguided. There are two things we should do this year: Make the previous tax cuts permanent, and begin to fix the entire tax code to make it flatter and fairer."

Third World sweatshops: "At the heart of all this is a confusion between the vagaries of fate and the sins of man. All of us wish that workers in Costa Rica and Cambodia, not to mention other poor countries, were able to earn higher pay and live better lives. But wishing will not make it so and causing them to lose their jobs will not help."

Frank Vogelgesang says that the recent deregulatory changes in Germany are small but may be a sign that the dam of regulation is cracking under the weight of unemployment.

"Number Watch" has a send-up of the animal rights group PETA. "Number Watch" has "PERV": People for the Ethical Regard of Vegetables

Some sanity in Taxachusetts: "The state's highest court refused yesterday to block the use of the MCAS exam as a graduation requirement, dealing a blow to high school students who are suing to abolish the controversial test. The Supreme Judicial Court denied a request for an injunction to stop the state from giving the high-stakes exam pending the outcome of a lawsuit, saying an injunction 'would undermine educator accountability and hinder education reform.'"


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


30 January, 2004


A Leftist analysis of the justice system: "Since the 1970s, in any case, the humanistic veneer has been scraped off, and we have returned to what Foucault, and Nietzsche before him, might consider a much more forthright reckoning of how we really feel about all those ne'er-do-wells: the rapists and the murderers and the bank robbers; and the petty drug dealers and the petty drug users and the poor. And in the United States we now have a penal system undergoing rapid growth, whose primary mission is to separate ne'er-do-wells from the rest of society and, to the extent possible under vestigial humanistic laws, to make this experience unpleasant."

Notice how "the poor" get slipped in alongside rapists and murderers! Rigorous thinkers, those Leftists! And they accuse conservatives of simplistic, black-and-white thinking! But it is only by such sloppy writing and thinking that they can make any case for their views at all, of course. What is wrong with giving rapists and murderers a taste of their own medicine? There should be more of it!



It's going to be slow as turning an ocean liner around but it looks like the New York Times is TRYING to take an interest in conservative thinking.

Despite frantic Leftist efforts to twist the story, a general realization is slowly dawning that the Kay report shows clearly that GWB did NOT lie or deceive about Iraq's weaponry. Jeff Jacoby sums it up well. Mike Tremoglie has a very clever and amusing article on the subject too.

This article makes the point that the American Left too believes in Demons as an explanation for evil. But their Demons are the Christian Right!

Despite the recent audiotaped messages allegedly from him, Osama B.L. is probably dead: "Prior to Tora Bora, videos of him were the norm. What happened?... The tape was a recording of one of Osama bin Laden's sons, who was deliberately trying to sound like his father. This is, in my mind, the most likely hypothesis."

Seattle schools learn money doesn't buy grades "Seattle school officials are learning a valuable but surprising lesson -- throwing money at schools doesn't always help kids achieve. And spending more money on some students rather than others does little more than cause trouble. Under Seattle's weighted student formula, schools with kids who are poor, not fluent in English or have special needs get more money to help them compete. Only it doesn't seem to work. 'If money is the only thing we need to make better schools ... then we would have seen that by now,' said Lynn Harsh of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, an Olympia-based group that focuses on state budgets and tax policy, welfare reform, health-care reform, education and governance issues. 'Instead we're seeing the opposite results.'"

Socialized medicine at its best: "Compulsory drug testing for Scottish nurses is being considered by the country's largest nursing union amid fears that staff may be under the influence of illegal substances on hospital wards. Screening of nurses for drugs or alcohol at work is being put to the vote by the Royal College of Nursing Scotland, and a pilot project to gauge the scale of substance abuse may follow. Previous attempts to study the level of the problem in Scotland broke down amid concern that checks could make it harder to recruit nursing staff."

The Misanthropyst has a report about a U.S. public school deliberately deleting advanced classes for more able students in favour of "equality". In other words, the very bright and the very dumb all now get put into the same class -- to the obvious detriment of both. The bright students will be so bored that they will just misbehave to entertain themselves and the dumb ones will not get the special attention they need. And no doubt the people who have instituted the new system consider themselves "humane"! That they really hate their students and wish them ill is obviously what is really going on. Deeds speak louder than words. Leftists hate ordinary people in general. They consider themselves to be an elite and that they alone should have rights and privileges. It's what they did in Russia and they constantly show that the same thing is the ideal of Leftists everywhere and everywhen.

An excellent article from a Leftist about why a sincere Left WOULD have supported the Iraq invasion.

Arlene Peck thinks that Israel's recent release of hundreds of Palestinian terrorists is totally insane. I agree. It just encourages the terrorists to kidnap Israelis and will soon make impossible the holding of any terrorists as prisoners.

Like Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, Brazil's President Lula Da Silva does seem to have come from the Left to end up very pro-capitalist: "In an all-out bid to attract foreign investment, Brazil's energetic president and members of his Cabinet met with more than 200 executives Thursday to promote their country as a prime site for building factories and opening businesses"

Gene Berman has a great essay on what drives the Left and why the Left will always be with us.

The latest Carnival of the Vanities is now up with its usual big range of stories.

I have just put up some more of Chris Brand's recent postings here. He has a big coverage of the current British debate about eugenic infanticide.

The Wicked one says there is more economic freedom in Ireland than in the United States.


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


29 January, 2004


The US economy losing its manufacturing base? Although most economists and economic commentators have rationalised the shift from manufacturing into services as a natural process brought about by increased living standards, it should be noted that this view is merely an opinion presented as economic analysis.
The balance of payments myth Dr Shostak exposes some of the myths behind much comment of our so-called balance-of-payments problems, and argues that government foreign debt is the only type of debt that should concern us.
Technology, investment, risk and state interference Now that Carmen Lawrence, Australia's foremost economic thinker, has been appointed the Australian Labor Party's national president, it's time to revisit the intellectual pretensions of this would-be central economic planner.
The Left and the corruption of language and thought Once language is corrupted, the whole process of thought is corrupted too. George Orwell made this point painfully clear in his 1984. It is our responsibility to never allow the left to get away with the kind of language that corrupts and distorts our thinking.
Hanson's medianomics Pauline Hanson's One Nation's got its economics from its left-wing media critics, the very same ones who mocked her as an economic illiterate.

Details here



An interesting comment from a reader on my post yesterday about a brilliant black who is not allowed to teach High School: "Yes - there are Racists in Atlanta - racists who just don't want their Black students to have good role models - most likely the under achievers at the school - not the students, but the teachers and administrators who just can't stand someone that looks like them being a hell of a lot smarter". I think that may have hit the nail on the head.

The "gender" divide in education: Maybe a comeback of same sex schools is needed -- or maybe less feminist teachers -- or maybe males have been more rebellious against the Leftist and Greenie propaganda that so often passes for education these days: "The women's movement has taught us many things, one of the more surprising being that boys are not performing in school as well as they might... In the late 1970s more girls than boys began to enroll in college, and the disparity has since increased. Today women make up approximately 56 percent of all undergraduates, outnumbering men by about 1.7 million. In addition, about 300,000 more women than men enter graduate school each year." Given the meaninglessness of a lot of the credentials concerned, it may just mean that men have found better things to do -- like go into business.

David's Medienkritik is having fun with the official British Inquiry into bias at the BBC by Lord Hutton. He says that not only the BBC but the German media too have got a black eye out of the report findings.

Documents from Saddam Hussein's oil ministry reveal he used oil to bribe top French officials into opposing the imminent U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Starbucks in Paris: "The great attraction of Starbucks is: It's different! This monster of American homogeneity breaks the mold of the homogenized French cafe. Starbucks is, dare I say it, cool here". Another teeth-grinder for the French elite. Must Americans win ALL the time?

"The great paradox of the civil rights revolution is that instead of enforcing and expanding equality before the law, the revolution created differential rights based on race, gender and, any day now, sexual orientation. The great liberal revolution, centuries in the making, that brought forth equality in law has been overthrown. In its place we see rising a new feudal legal order of status-based rights." -- Paul Craig Roberts (Via The Federalist)

A new wave of young traditionalist clergy are emerging within the Catholic Church. And the older, more Leftist priests are a grumpy and unhappy lot. More unhappy Leftists. How unusual!

Against new wave protectionism: "The case for free trade is as strong as ever. Worries about the "flight" of service-sector jobs out of the United States are largely overblown"

Hmmm... "A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by descendants of slaves against corporations they say profited from slavery, saying the plaintiffs had established no clear link to the companies they targeted. The court still left the door open for further litigation. "

John Moore was a military reservist in his younger days and is hopping mad at the way the Left deride GWB for having been a military reservist too. As a former military reservist myself, I am glad to see John put the record straight about what military reservists do and what GWB's record actually means.

Lying in Ponds is an interesting site devoted to the idea that anyone who finds no fault with his own political party but heaps of faults with the opposing party is being dishonest. I am inclined to agree. I do post approving comments about the Australian Labor Party leadership (see yesterday, for instance) and, like many conservatives, was appalled by GWB's steel tariff, for instance. I can't remember finding anything to praise in the current U.S. Democrats, however. Anger and hate seem to be their only message. I have always thought of Clinton, however, as a moderate who did quite a lot of good -- particularly with the budget. But don't start me on Waco! I still am moved to tears by the fate of all those young Christian women and their children. I cannot imagine how their families must feel.

I have just put up some more of Chris Brand's recent postings here -- on postmodernism, IQ, Muslims, the Fascist Left and much more besides.

The Wicked one has a post on privacy and ID cards that will not please everyone.


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


28 January, 2004


Enviro-imperialism: "International environmentalists finally are being held accountable for the havoc they are wreaking around the world. On Jan. 20, the Congress of Racial Equality -- a 62-year-old, New York-based civil rights group -- and the Women's National Republican Club convened a Manhattan teach-in to begin educating the public on what they call 'eco-imperialism.' Countless Third Worlders still plunge into darkness every dusk. After they fall asleep, they dream about such things as lights, running water and the defeat of diseases Westerners cannot even remember. Then these Third Worlders awaken ... to none of the above. American and European environmentalists help maintain this grim status quo, even as they claim to pursue the best interests of black, yellow and brown people the world over. Meanwhile, these First World citizens enjoy refrigerators, indoor plumbing, Internet access and CAT scans. This toxic hypocrisy is the core of eco-imperialism".

Wind farms in the gun again: The low frequency sound from them makes people sick who live anywhere near them. Ban them! They were once of course the Greenie solution to just about everything.

The "Wizard of Id" on Global Warming -- great cartoon.

The far Left is deep Green. The facts don't matter to them there either: "No doubt trying to distract attention from the recent Bush-Hitler ad controversy and its sponsorship of an event where B-list celebrities used the F-word to describe Republicans, the liberal organization MoveOn.org hosted an event on global warming recently in a freezing New York City. The speaker was a man whom few associate with cursing, former Vice President Al Gore. Yet, ironically for an organization called MoveOn, Gore's speech was very much stuck in the past."



An absolutely amazing article here. A brilliant young black was refused a High School teaching job because he was too high an achiever. It was felt that he would set an "unrealistic" example for his students. Can you get a clearer message than that? Blacks are supposed to be dumb and not rise above their "station" in life and teachers of blacks are not expected to be very bright. The affirmative action era and the Jim Crow era have a lot in common!

An Australian Leftist leader who is more conservative than most conservatives? "A federal Labor government could ask courts to order parents to undergo parenting classes if they failed to adequately discipline their children, Opposition Leader Mark Latham said today. In his Australia Day address to a citizenship ceremony in his electoral base of Campbelltown, Mr Latham said a federal Labor government would support the introduction of 'parental responsibility' contracts and orders. Under the scheme, parents of troubled teenagers would be encouraged to sign voluntary contracts, obliging them to take stronger action and responsibility for their childrens' behaviour. The process would allow the local courts, when all else failed, to impose a 'parental responsibility order' on parents of children at risk." Latham is conservative in being business and free-market oriented too -- though some elements in his party are discontented over that one.

A nasty one for the Leftists: Poverty does NOT cause terrorism: "Krueger and Maleckova compared terrorist incidents in the Middle East with changes in the gross domestic product of the region and found that the number of such incidents per year increased as economic conditions improved. On the eve of the Intifada that began in 2000, the unemployment rate among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was falling, and the Palestinians thought that economic conditions were improving. The same economic conditions existed at the time of the 1988 intifada. Terror did not spread as the economy got worse but as it got better."

Margaret Thatcher talks about religion and individual liberty. One excerpt: "Freedom is a moral quality. It comes from the Old Testament and the New. It's definitely a part of Judaism and Christianity. The talents that we have are God-given talents, therefore we have a right to use them. But, of course, you can only exercise that right under the rule of law of the state. But in the last analysis, each of us is accountable for the way in which we live our lives."

An oldie but goldie: There is a very feisty but anonymous collection of conservative attitudes here that make a lot more sense than most of the mealy-mouthed stuff we read in the media.

National Center for Public Policy Research has a good article here on pay equity for women. It points out that there already IS pay equity once everything is taken into account. See also their blog for further comment.

European Latino immigrants: A good email from a regular U.S. reader: "We are starting to see many more immigrants in the U.S. from the South of S. America. Most of them are white, which confounded a reporter in our local paper who went to interview one of these new immigrant families. She could not get over the fact that they were not little brown people! I informed her that there are millions of Europeans in S. America, and that Argentina, where this family that she interviewed came from, is 97% white. This reporter is typical of those on the Left who are always looking to talk to the downtrodden minorities, but she got a shocking lesson in population demographics, and the fact that things are not always as they seem after her visit with a poor, but well educated family of German descent!"

Not all immigrants are equal -- despite what the Leftists would like to think: Apparently the Indians expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin who went to the UK are now one of the highest per capita income groups in the UK. They were entrepreneurial, with strong middle class ambitions and had received a traditional British-style education.

Rubbery Leftist "principles" again: "It goes without saying that the mantra of The New York Times Editorial Pages is 'All the Leftist Propaganda That's Fit to Print.' But sometimes the newspaper's transparent knee-jerk liberalism shocks even us. Take, for example, the Gray Lady's political hypocrisy when it comes to appointment of federal judges...." The Times previously said: "Clinton rightly moved to address _ the refusal by Congress to consider judicial nominees with reasonable dispatch." -- But Bush cannot do the same thing, apparently.


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


27 January, 2004


Wow! I don't know whether to be pleased or disappointed but it seems that mainstream psychology is catching up with what psychometricians such as myself have been saying for years: That IQ is highly general, highly central, highly hereditary and of overwhelming importance in determining people's life-chances. Even a few years ago any claim to that effect would be very marginal within psychology and would expose anyone making it to all sorts of nasty accusations.

But you can now read it all not in some obscure academic journal or some Rightist source but in the latest issue of the American Psychological Association's most widely-circulated journal -- the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Article after article there sets out the importance of IQ. And for social psychologists to be taking an interest in such evidence is really amazing. Psychometricians have known all that stuff for years. It is the social psychologists who have been most resistant to such ideas. I fear that I have suddenly become mainstream! I guess that even an organization as Leftist as the American Psychological Association has to come to terms with the evidence eventually. I would never have predicted it, though.

The madness of the 60s must be waning at long last. Before the 60s the central importance of IQ was uncontroversial introductory textbook stuff in psychology but the radical takeover of the universities from the 1960s onward and its inevitable accompanying baggage about "all men are equal" caused the whole idea of IQ to be marginalized for many years.



The idea that many scientists might be influenced by such crass considerations as money is still hard for a lot of people to get used to -- though Leftists have always said it of any scientist who gets funding from business sources. But when juicy government funding is coming their way many scientists must want to believe the claims that produced the funding. The global warming myth is the most obvious case in point but I think I have just found another instance of it. The scaremongering over mobile phones is well-known but countless investigations of it have shown no harm in them (e.g. here). But a study has just been published which shows really gross ill-effects from mobile phones. How come? Why is that study so different? Are the results fake? Who knows? But want to bet that the authors of the study get big funding to investigate it further?

U.S. Spends Most on Pollution Abatement: "As a percentage of output, American manufacturers spend considerably more on pollution abatement than do their competitors in Germany, Japan, France, the U.K., Canada, Mexico, China, South Korea, and Taiwan,". See also here

"The environment values deserve as much -- but no more -- protection than other values. Nature cannot protect itself. Trees cannot have standing as legal actors, but behind every tree can stand an owner who, by protecting his property, protects it for all. The classical liberal approach is not to seek more efficient ways to advance some politically determined goal, but rather to create an institutional framework to facilitate exchanges and trade offs between individuals, empowering them to make their own choices."

How uncritically the press treat environmental stories and scares : "It often turns out that an idea that sounds like a hot controversy on the news is actually old hat to scientists, and long since discredited: saccharin as a danger to humans, electric and magnetic fields as a brain cancer cause, and on and on."

What Fun! The latest scientific findings are that burning fossil fuels has a measurable cooling effect on the climate. So those naughty fossil fuels both warm us up and cool us down. No wonder there is a lot of doubt about there being any overall effect at all!

Recent computer-model based claims of massive species extinction due to global warming have a serious flaw: Previous climate changes of similar magnitude were not associated with notable extinctions. So much for such "models" (in reality just a fancy name for guesswork).

Is wind power viable? Howard Hayden, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Connecticut says: "With the right subsidies, wind could become a viable energy source. And, with the right subsidies, gasoline could be made free, and 2-carat diamonds could be given away in cereal boxes.

Some "global warming" news just in from one of my American correspondents: "Over the past 24 hours, much of the central US has been blanketed with snow -- and it's still falling. We're talking snow depths of 12 - 24 inches in some places. This storm hasn't been exceptionally powerful; it's just a slow moving, long lasting weather system that isn't forecast to leave our area until some time this evening. Having spent a good part of yesterday and this morning moving enough snow so our Australian Terrier could go out for her calls to nature, I can say that we haven't had snows like this in several years."



With lots of examples from Europe, Steve Sailer has pointed out the obvious -- that where you get your immigrants from matters a hell of a lot more than how you treat them when they arrive. Steve does not stress the point but immigrants of African and Muslim origins are the problem groups. So America's Latinos are not terribly likely to be a big problem in the long run.

Thomas Friedman says that the huge unemployment among Muslim youth is a major cause of their disaffection and thinks we can somehow solve that. I think Friedman is looking at a symptom (unemployment) rather than the cause (a medieval culture). And to modernize Muslim culture is a RATHER big job with so many Ayatollahs and Mullahs and Muftis and Imams pushing in the opposite direction.

Another bunch of Leftist fakes revealed: "The war in Iraq cannot be justified as an intervention in defence of human rights even though it ended a brutal regime, Human Rights Watch said Monday". Don't they realize how ridiculous they make themselves sound? Their "concern" for human rights is not even clever fakery.


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


26 January, 2004


I have been having fun reading Mein Kampf again. You can open almost any page of it at random and hear echoes of the modern-day Left and Greens. I have a large article on Hitler's Leftism (with a good quote from Goebbels recently added) already up on the net but that is just a sampling. I could fill a book with examples showing that Hitler was not only a Leftist in his day but that he was also a pretty good Leftist by modern standards. His antisemitism would certainly pass unremarked by much of the Left today.

Among students of the Nazi period it is well-known that Hitler's most central concern after getting rid of the Jews was Lebensraum for Germany -- i.e. taking over the lands of Eastern Europe for Germans. But WHY did Hitler want Lebensraum (literally, "life-space") for Germans? It was because, like the Greenies of today, he was concerned about overpopulation.

Greenie Paul Ehrlich wrote in his 1968 book The population bomb:

"The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate..."

Hitler shared Ehrlich's pessimism:

"Germany has an annual increase in population of nearly nine hundred thousand souls. The difficulty of feeding this army of new citizens must grow greater from year to year and ultimately end in catastrophe, unless ways and means are found to forestall the danger of starvation and misery in time... Without doubt the productivity of the soil can be increased up to a certain limit. But only up to a certain limit, and not continuously without end..... But even with the greatest limitation on the one hand and the utmost industry on other, here again a limit will one day be reached, created by the soil itself. With the utmost toil it will not be possible to obtain any more from it, and then, though postponed for a certain time, catastrophe again manifests itself". (Mein Kampf pp. 121 & 122).

Both Prof. Ehrlich and Hitler were intelligent but overconfident Green/Left ignoramuses who knew nothing of the economics concerned -- as is shown by the almost hilarious wrongness of Ehrlich's predictions -- but Hitler unfortunately had the means to do something about his ill-informed theories. He concluded that rather than let Germans starve, he would grab more land off other people to feed them -- and the rest is indeed history.



What a lot of waffle and nonsense America's "liberal" intellectuals come up with! The latest NYT column by Robert Kagan is typical of their breastbeating. America is said to be in a fight for "legitimacy". What rot! Who cares? And where is this "legitimacy" (whatever that may be) to be decided? In the corrupt political circles of Paris, perhaps? What a laugh!

The average American is an isolationist -- he just wants be left alone. He knows next to nothing about the outside world and cares less. America was dragged into two world wars with great reluctance (remember Pearl Harbour?) and it is only after the 9/11 attack on America that American troops went in to Afghanistan and Iraq to cauterize at least some of the support for any further Islamic madness. Anyone who thinks that the average American enjoys hearing of their young men dying in Iraq on a daily basis needs a brain transplant. If the world leaves America alone, America will leave the world alone. Many Americans think their system is best and think the rest of the world should adopt it but (aside from very limited humanitarian interventions) it is only a perceived threat to America itself or to America's future that will drum up any enthusiasm for risking the spilling their young men's blood.

Repeated and large-scale American bombings of any community that harbours or supports terrorists would do a lot more good than any waffle about "legitimacy". Clinton's bombing of the Serbs set a good example there. And the notable backpedalling in the Islamic world after the capture of Saddam is also proof of the need for action rather than talk. The exercise of power is one thing the Islamic world DOES understand and respond to. I am sure that the average Islamicist would be highly amused about Kagan's idea that America could somehow gain "legitimacy" with them. And it is only the Islamicists that America has to worry about these days. Who else is going to attack America? France? They wouldn't have the time: They'd be too busy telling one-another how clever they are.



A fat lot of good Australia's gun bans do: "Five people are in hospital with gunshot wounds after two shooting incidents in Sydney overnight, including one where shots were fired at people queuing to enter a nightclub."

Germans pride themselves on their racial tolerance and their acceptance of homosexuals these days -- but what if the two don't mix? One German newspaper has at last condescended to notice that "Orientalen" (people from the Middle-East rather than from the Far-East) often bash German homosexuals to within an inch of their lives. How awkward!

"The poor": What do you do when you don't have as much of something as you need? One of the things you can do is stretch it out to make it last as long as it can. That is what the political left is doing with the poor. A lot of noise is made about how we are 'running out' of this or that natural resource -- almost always falsely -- but the real problem of the left is that they are running out of the poor, who serve as a justification of the left's drive to extend their power over all the rest of us. ... What is the left to do when they find themselves running out of the poor? They must stretch the poor to make them last -- even if that requires stretching the truth."

Ayn Rand's ideas seem to be getting more well known: "In addition to the encouraging growth of Rand references in scholarly circles, there has been a remarkable growth in such references throughout popular culture. That development is not measured solely by her influence on authors in various genres _ from bodybuilder Mike Mentzer (the late author of Heavy Duty) to fiction-writers Ira Levin, Erika Holzer, Kay Nolte Smith, James Hogan, Karen Michalson, Edward Cline, and so many others. It is measured also by the number of Rand-like characters or outright references to Rand that have appeared in fictional works of various lengths and quality."

Arlene Peck finds antisemitism even in popular magazines.


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


25 January, 2004


"The environmental lobby now stands charged with direct responsibility for millions of needless deaths, mostly of children in the Third World, from malaria. At issue is the banning of DDT. Bjorn Lomborg, of The Skeptical Environmentalist fame, puts the basic science briskly. "Our intake of coffee is about 50 times more carcinogenic than our intake of DDT before it was banned ... the (cancer) risk for DDT is about 0.00008 per cent." Ted Lapkin insists in November's edition of Quadrant that it's "still widely regarded as the single most powerful weapon at our disposal in the war against malaria" and that its disuse has been a scandal of public policy".

"Contrary to the public image of an everyman's movement, environmentalism is in fact big business, raking in more than $8.5 billion per year. ... Environmentalist group income is larger than the Gross National Product (GNP) of about five-dozen nations worldwide. ... Only a small portion of these immense revenues comes from the checkbooks of concerned individual donors. ... Each year, hundreds of foundations earmark thousands of grants totaling hundreds of millions of dollars for environmentalist groups. Many of these foundations are part of an informal coalition called the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA) .... Occupying a prominent place at the EGA meetings is the Ford Foundation, which has a long history of donating enormous sums to environmentalist causes."

The Green enemy being recognized: "A vote for exploration of Alaska's National Wildlife Reserve is a vote for environmental responsibility, Jerry Hood, Local Alaska Teamsters leader, said on July 31, 2001. When the Teamsters announced support for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to create jobs, many commentators claimed that the nadir of the relationship between environmentalists and the labor movement was reached. Halting drilling in ANWR is the No. 1 defensive priority of the largest environmental organizations in the country, and creating new jobs is the top priority for many labor unions."

What fun! "An unusual alliance of immigration foes and animal-rights activists is attempting to take over the leadership of the Sierra Club, America's oldest national environmental group, in what is emerging as a bitter fight over the future of the 112-year-old organization founded by Scottish immigrant John Muir. Leaders of a faction that failed to force the club to take a stand against immigration in 1998 are seeking to win majority control of the group's 15-member governing board in a spring election -- this time, as part of a broader coalition that includes vegetarians, who want the club to denounce hunting, fishing and raising animals for human consumption."

Biased schools: "Some material taught in NSW [Australia] public schools was anti- farmer and 'blatantly deep green,' Acting Prime Minister John Anderson said today. Prime Minister John Howard this week sparked a political debate on education when he said government schools were too politically correct. Mr Anderson welcomed the debate on public schools, saying teachers' unions and government school curriculums were sometimes too ideological. He said some lessons on sustainable development given in NSW schools were biased against farmers."

Phoney panic: Again the UK authorities find no evidence that mobile phones are a threat to health - and again they warn us to be cautious anyway.

Environmentalism as the new socialism: "The International Socialist Party, which is intent upon continuing to press countries into socialism, is now headed up by people within the United Nations. They are the ones in the UN environmental program, and they were the ones sponsoring the so-called Earth Summit that was attended by 178 nations.... One of the main organizers of the program, Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway was the assistant executive for the conference. She is also the vice-president of the World Socialist Party. When she was questioned by Brazilian reporters after her talk and asked if what they were proposing didn't have a peculiar resemblance to the agenda of the World Socialist Party she said, "Well, of course." That was reported in Brazil but not picked up by the American press".

A useful summary of the Left/Right difference over global warming here. Its conclusion: "When it comes to global warming, conservatives are not convinced there is a problem, are convinced the left's expensive solution wouldn't work, but are willing to consider the matter further".



Amusing: In response to my post yesterday about "too much" choice, Gary Gravett emailed me: "People are going to say that you are "irritated" at diversity and discriminate against minorities. You should treat all jams equally!" To which I replied: "Good point. All jams are equal!"

An EXCELLENT post on Right Nation under the heading: "Prejudice is Good". An excerpt: "As someone who was born to a black father and grew up in white community, I have often been asked, "How do you deal with racism?" The answer is racism has never been a big issue with me. I have experienced prejudice. But that's not the same thing. Prejudice is good. Prejudice is an instinct; it's unavoidable. It is through prejudice that we determine how to approach a situation. Our prejudgment is not always correct. But that does not mean we shouldn't prejudge. For example, when you're walking along a downtown street and decide to take a shortcut through an alley, and spot a group of four young black men, wearing "dew rags" and baggy pants, while barking foul-mouthed grunts at each other, what do you do? If you're smart, you turn around, take the long way".

Walter Williams looks at the evidence and says that it is high levels of discipline that black High School students need in order to achieve -- just the opposite of what Leftists prescribe for them.

About time: "A well-known conservative is reaching out to state lawmakers to beat back what he claims is rampant political bias against students and faculty who do not agree with a pervasive liberal orthodoxy in state schools across the country. As a result, leaders in several states are reportedly working on anti-bias legislation, including Colorado state Sen. John Andrews. Andrews told Foxnews.com that lawmakers in the state General Assembly plan to introduce a bill in coming weeks that would require state college and university officials to educate students and faculty better about their rights against political and ideological bias by other professors and administrators."


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


24 January, 2004


I suppose I should comment on the latest psychology findings just gleefully paraded in the NYT -- to the effect that too much choice can be bad for you. Too much choice is said to be confusing, paralysing and dissatisfying. This is actually a very old idea -- one made much of in Alvin Toffler's 1971 book, Future shock -- and it is ideal fodder for Leftists who want to dictate to people. As good totalitarians have always said, they can say: "See. Choice is bad for you. WE will make all your decisions for you".

There is of course some truth in saying that choice can be "blinding", as Toffler put it, but everything has its costs and the key question to ask is what if YOUR particular choice (of jam or anything else) were taken away? You would not like it. I myself feel irritated by the vast range of jams, mayonnaise etc that I have to go through in the supermarket to find just the one I want -- but I get REALLY irritated if my particular favourite is not among those on offer. The basic conclusion is that if we want our OWN choice of something, we have to tolerate OTHER people being given their choice too. Freedom has its costs. Nobody has ever pretended otherwise. But take that freedom away and you run into REALLY big costs -- in happiness and much else besides.

And there is the larger question of whether getting what you want makes you happy. Often it may not. As Oscar Wilde memorably wrote in his 1892 play Lady Windermere's Fan: "In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it". And having choices and options may be an instance of something that people seek but which does not make them happy. But surely only someone who thinks he is a very superior being (e.g. the typical Leftist) would see that as a reason to stop giving people what they want. Who are we to sit in judgment on other people's choices and on what will make them happy? As Queen Elizabeth I asked the King of Spain centuries ago: "Why cannot Your Majesty let your subjects go to the Devil in their own way?"

There is another thoughtful comment -- by Peg Kaplan -- on the issues involved here



I have just posted here another email from one of my scientific correspondents about unscientific scientists.

I liked the dry comment on FEE (post of 22nd) about this news item: "The US Commerce Department has said it may impose tariffs of up to 123% on Chinese, Malaysian, and Thai plastic shopping bag producers." FEE commented: "Finally, someone recognizes the threat from plastic-bag imports"

This comment from Jane Fonda suggests that the combination of Leftism and feminism is REALLY bad for the brain: "Fonda became involved after attending her first "Vagina Monologues.'' -- "I had resisted it. You know with my kind of controversies, I don't need to add vaginas and c -- . But it changed my life. I began to own my vagina, and I realized the extent to which I hadn't owned it before.'' (Via Opinion Journal)

All that addled French philosophy seems to be bad for the brain too. Witness this statement: "French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie criticized "certain radical, neoconservative ideas" in the United States as harmful to U.S. relations with Europe. She singled out what she called American aspirations for economic supremacy". How can you aspire to be something that you are already? How can you unlock an unlocked door? I guess you can in French philosophy. (Via Opinion Journal)

As a group called Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (MLAW) points out: 'lawsuits, and fear of lawsuits, have prompted many manufacturers to issue warnings against even obvious misuses of consumer products.' MLAW has announced the winners of their 'Wacky Warning Label Contest' -- and the results remind us why ambulance chasers are increasingly viewed with disdain."

North Korea shooting starving people. That's a Leftist "worker's paradise" for you.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow gets a very thorough fisking from Michelle Malkin over Paltrow's dislike of America.

A few members of the multiculturalist police, always on the alert for real or imagined dissent, have condemned "Lord of the Rings" as racist. Maybe they should read Tolkien's own stinging rejection of racism -- written well before modern multiculturalism had even been invented

Mike Tremoglie has an article on the very strange American phenomenon of Anti-Catholic Catholic Schools. Another demonstration that most of the leadership of the old mainstream churches is Christian in name only these days. It's on a par with the atheist bishops in the Anglican churches. Ask the average Anglican clergyman whether he believes in God and you will rarely get a straight-out "Yes". The most likely response will be, "What do you mean by "God"?". And from there on you will get waffle about God being the "ground of our being", or some such gibberish.

Stopping the police from doing racial profiling seems to be effective at killing blacks. If saving lives were the aim, black areas would get extra-heavy policing! But since when have Leftists ever cared about human life?

PID says that a huge majority of Americans would like their government to be as tough on illegal immigration as Australia is. Australia locks them all up so not many bother coming these days. The failure of the U.S. elites to heed the popular will does tend to show that Australia is a much more democratic country.

This is one of the most amusing examples of our weird English language that I have seen.

Chris Brand wraps up his big coverage of the controversy in Britain about censorship by the BBC of anti-Muslim comment.

The Wicked one has recent posts about surveillance cameras and Russian beer plus some new jokes.


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


23 January, 20004


In response to my recent post about the ban on Muslim headscarves in France, I received the foillowing email:

"I was employed in Saudi by an Australian company that was under contract to its British parent. At Riyadh Air Base there were about 80- 100 Brits and about 15 or so Aussies working alongside each other as flying or simulator instructors.

To a man the Brits strongly resented the treatment of Muslims in the UK as against the treatment of non-Muslims in Saudi - I am sure you would be aware of the disparities. The Brits' experience, and my experience in Saudi, Egypt and here is that the Muslims never compromise - it is the host country that must do so. Any failure to give in to the Muslims is invariably touted by them and their supporters as discrimination, racism etc.

This did not sit well with us. While The Arab News trumpeted the latest insult to Islam in the UK or elsewhere, we were very much aware there were no churches, temples or shrines permitted in Saudi - just mosques and no more than about every kilometre apart.

The problem for the host country starts as a small insignificant cloud on the horizon. For example, in Victoria ham sandwiches are no longer served by one of the regional councils, while I understand at least one council-operated pool has set aside time for women only. All innocuous warm inner glow stuff. However, as their numbers and influence build, the politeness and warmth will be replaced by demands, as it was in Britain.

The Singaporeans (where I worked for two years with the RSAF) have no doubt about the dangers of Islam. The RSAF does not have any Muslim pilots as the government doubts the ultimate loyalty of even a Singapore born one. The concern, is that if Singapore comes into armed conflict with Indonesia or Malaysia, the Singapore Muslim just might start shooting for Allah. I am sure the Singaporean Army and Navy have similar restrictions on the employment of Muslims in sensitive occupations.

The Singaporeans must surely see us as idiots. That would be entirely reasonable from their point of view, as we seem hell-bent on importing a culture they do not like and do not trust.

As far as France is concerned I think they have left it too late - on a recent visit there I walked to the fringes of Islamic territory and sensed that I had better not go further. The Dutch are about to have the same problem with their Muslims while the Danes already do. Indeed, I thought I read recently the Danes were considering the introduction of two legal systems.

Ban headscarves - at the very minimum."



Illegal immigration to the USA does cost the good old U.S. taxpayer heaps but who cares about good law-abiding citizens? It is the "victim" classes who get the attention. Maybe it's about time that taxpayers were recognized as victims too.

If GWB is to lighten up on Mexican illegal immigrants, maybe Mexico should co-operate with the US on Mexican cross border criminals?

The BBC has been publicly attacked by one of its own flagship TV programmes -- "Panorama" -- over the long-running accusations of Leftist bias at the BBC.

Researchers are finding the panic about drink-spiking to be something of a fraud: "the [UK] Forensic Science Service last year investigated 450 allegations of drug rape, a far lower total in itself than the 900-plus claimed by the Roofie Foundation. Of these 450 cases, just 1 to 2 per cent yielded any positive drug identification" And in Australia and New Zealand, there were drugs present in NONE of the alleged cases. It seems to be a fancy excuse to blame just plain old drunkeness on someone else. Under Leftist influence, everything is someone else's fault these days.

There is a good fisking of some of the lies in Michael Moore's Stupid white men here

A comment on Right Nation that I agree with: "Conservativism usually is the product of seeing beyond the overt and obvious into the covert or inobvious, in comparison to much of liberalism, which is often the very product of the knee-jerk, superficial, disenfranchised, angry approach to life"

The consumer pays for bad law: "Though a smattering of doctors around the country charge for phone calls and other formerly free services to help cover administrative costs, the 'office user fee' appears to be the first example of a surcharge designed specifically to defray recent hikes in malpractice insurance."

Carnival of the Vanities is up again.

I mentioned Castro's cultivation of the Eastern Orthodox Church yesterday. Father Mike Walsh of the Maryknoll Society emailed me the following reasonable comment: "If Castro thought the Orthodox were any threat to his power, they wouldn't be there. If they are not a threat to tyranny, they are hypocrites. If Castro can use them for bragging rights, then they are as compromised in Cuba as they were in the Soviet Union."

I have just put up here an email from one of my scientist readers about how biased against new ideas or "rocking the boat" most scientists are. I know from experience how right he is. And it is largely that unwillingness to question the orthodoxy that keeps the "global warming" myth alive.

The anti-globalization World Social Forum has just wrapped up its big bash in Bombay, India. Indian blogger Varnam has some interesting notes about it here and here. He notes that the anti-Globos OBJECT to India's "Green Revolution" that saved India from its recurrent famines and converted India into a food exporting country! Real humanitarians! You don't have to see much of them to conclude that they are driven by anger and hatred rather than by reason or any real concern for others.

Brazilian blogger Luis Afonso advises me that the "reactionary" Brazilian political party I referred to yesterday is just a paler shade of Leftist rather than Rightist and that there ARE no major parties of the Right in Brazil. By Anglo-Saxon standards he is probably correct in that. No wonder Brazil is poor.


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


22 January, 2004


Bush did not cause the recession The true nature of recessions always confounds the prevailing economic orthodoxy. Highly paid economists sit in their Wall Street offices trying to figure out what's up.
The Clintons and the Democrats' moral decline A couple of weeks ago I argued that for Hillary Clinton there was an acceptable level of violence that also included murder. The statement is all too true.
China's military and Sun Tzu: What every American should know The Chinese military is extremely nationalistic in the worst possible way. There seems to be little doubt that China sees Asia and the Pacific region as its own special sphere of influence, an interest threatened by a powerful American presence.
China's economic growth and green elitists Some Westerners, specially those with a distinct greenish hue, just cannot abide the thought of China raising its living standards to Western levels.
From red to green Where the Red and the Green meet: Where the old left still believe in the virtues of a centrally planned economy, the utopian left consist mainly of people who have developed a vague vision of an agrarian socialist society.
Budgets and spending: a contrarian's view What we are left with are big-spending politicians; a situation that must eventually lead to higher taxes. If not that, then little or no genuine tax relief in the foreseeable future can take place.
Taiwan democracy a model for China While talk of Taiwan's "economic miracle" has become commonplace, its political and social developments have been even more miraculous.

Details here



How awful for the Left: Life in the Western world has continued to improve steadily throughout the last century. For all the prophecies of doom coming from the Greens and the Left, the opposite has happened. Just this one sentence must be deeply upsetting for the American Leftists who hate their own country: "Incomes are up. Inflation-adjusted per capita income has doubled since 1960". Fancy that nasty old capitalism making people twice as rich as they were in the 1960s so beloved of the Left! But the Left will just deny it all of course. It is their own wonderful feelings that matter to them, not facts -- and certainly not the welfare of Joe Average.

I am a bit uncertain what to think about the French ban on Muslim headscarves. On the one hand, the libertarian in me says that people should be free to wear funny hats to their heart's content, but on the other, the French seem to see the ban as a signal to their large Muslim population that they are not going to have France Islamicized. Since Islam is a deadly foe of liberty as we know it, I have some sympathy for that. Good to see that the Sikhs are unlikely to be banned from wearing their turbans.

I must say I am rather pleased to see Eastern Orthodox Christianity being treated with great respect in Cuba. It's a small step but a good one.

An amazingly pro-Bush article in Australia's most Leftist newspaper here: "Most Americans also support Bush's decision to go to war with Iraq. They are not stupid".

A Brazilian reader has responded to my post about Brazil yesterday, noting that privatization there has delivered SOME benefits: "Telephones and comunication are great now, and roads with tolls on them are much better". He also points us to this site -- where a Brazilian writer rather despairs of the instinctive anti-Americanism that prevails in Brazil. His article on the causes of poverty in Brazil is hard-hitting.

And Brazilian blogger Luis Afonso has drawn my attention to this article -- which sees the present Brazilian Leftist government on a Gramscian path of gradual takeover of all the institutions of Brazilian society. There is no doubt that Brazil has taken a big risk with its present government but it seems to me that how good the outcome is depends very much on President Lula Da Silva himself and a drift from Left to Right with age and a drift from Left to Right on attaining power are both far from unknown. One can only hope at this stage. His recent alliance with a major "reactionary" party would seem to suggest that there are some grounds for such hope.

My mention of flat tax yesterday caused one reader to ask what its advantages are. Here is one answer.

Steve Sailer has summarized the available evidence on the IQ of GWB and finds he scores in the top 5%! Pretty good. Sailer reports grumbles from a psychologist about GWB's simple recreational interests but that probably keeps him close to the average American -- which is surely a virtue in a democratic leader. There is also talk of GWB not being very "open to experience" but psychologists talk such a lot of nonsense about that subject (See e.g. here) that I am not even inclined to look up the evidence for the claim. I have got very tired of refuting that sort of nonsense.

UN secretary general Kofi Annan receives the German Media Award 2003 this Wednesday in Baden-Baden, Germany. Former US president Bill Clinton will hand him the award.... The award for Kofi Annan - who was against the invasion in Iraq - is a message from the German media to the world: Annan yes, Bush no.

Some American Leftists support the Iraq war regardless of the WMD issue. Good to see that some Leftists really are against Fascists, since the Arab world has little else.

Random observations thinks that the Leftist Tugboat has sprung a leak over that pesky conservative happiness.


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


21 January, 2004


Awkward facts from Walter Williams: "46 percent of poor households actually own their homes; 76 percent have air conditioning; the typical poor American has more living space than the average non-poor individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens and other cities in Europe... Here's Williams' roadmap out of poverty: complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits."

Free trade: Moral questions and partisan politics: "In the run-up to the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 19, trade policy has been one of the hottest issues. But the debate among Democratic candidates seems to revolve around who is more opposed to free trade. Voters should beware, however, that trade involves not just presidential politics but profound moral questions."

Another raid on the taxpayer by farmers: "The federal government has agreed to bail out the struggling citrus industry by buying up to $50 million worth of orange juice. The news was welcomed by Florida orange growers who are facing shrinking prices caused by their largest crop ever. Florida is the source of most of the nation's orange juice and is the world's second-largest orange producer behind Brazil."

Iraq to receive flat tax : "The citizens of Iraq will receive a tax reform gift in 2004, compliments of the U.S. government. 'That's because the Iraqis will enjoy something we don't -- a simple and fair tax system,' said Daniel J. Mitchell, the McKenna Fellow in political economy at The Heritage Foundation. 'Beginning in January, all Iraqis will pay a flat tax of 15 percent.'"

Amazing -- Leftist admiration for Hitler -- because he was the first "Keynesian": "As Cockburn writes, "Hitler, genocidal monster that he was, was also the first practicing Keynesian leader. ... There were vast public works, such as the autobahns. He paid little attention to the deficit or to the protests of the bankers about his policies. ... By 1936, unemployment had sunk to 1 percent."

Leftists like Keynes because he said that, in a recession, governments can spend more than they raise in tax. They usually "forget" Keynes's "in a recession" limitation, however.



Brazil is a large and important country but I am having trouble working out what to think of the political situation there. One of my Brazilian correspondents pointed me to this article showing that their present Leftist government under Lula Da Silva is giving great honour to the old Communists and their sympathizers from Brazil's past -- which is certainly pretty disgusting. But is it important? I am inclined to think that such moves are mere tokenism. Although Lula was a flaming radical early in his career, he lost election after election on radical policies and finally won only by moving towards the centre. And since gaining power, he has been fairly Rightist in fact -- as this disgruntled Leftist points out. So I am inclined to think he is a bit like Malaysia's Mahathir -- spouting nonsense to keep his supporters happy but implementing good capitalist policies at the same time. Rather clever, in a way. That's my impression so far, anyway, but I am sure my Brazilian readers will let me know if I am missing something important. It does seem that neither privatization nor anything else does much good in most of Latin America and corruption is certainly the obvious explanation for that.

" Martin Luther King was a brave and courageous person. I agree with him that a person should be judged by the content of his character and not by the color of his skin. To those who stress King's loose sexual morals, I reply that sin is that for which we ask God's forgiveness. My problem with Martin Luther King Day is that it celebrates a civil rights revolution that achieved the opposite of King's intention. Today we are judged by the color of our skin."

Still some real Christians among American Anglicans: "Episcopal conservatives, making good on their threats to form an ecclesiastical and legal shelter for theologically orthodox believers, meet today and tomorrow in a Dallas suburb to hammer out the details. ... The AAC is the lead group opposing the November consecration of the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the denomination's first openly homosexual bishop." (Note: I define what I mean by a "real" Christian here).

My comments yesterday on Ronald Reagan's lifelong anti-racism drew this comment from a reader: "When Reagan was working in Hollywood he joined a country club that did not allow Jews as members. As soon as found this out, he immediately resigned from the club. Some have said that he did this for professional aggrandisement due to the fact that most if not all the studios were run by Jews, but this does not seem to fit the man. Apparently he had a fist fight with Errol Flynn when Flynn made some antisemitic remarks in a bar one day. What a guy!"

Socialized medicine: "A baby was treated for the deadly meningococcal disease just days after being diagnosed with a simple case of gastroenteritis in a country hospital. Miss Carman said yesterday that on both occasions when she took the baby to the hospital, she was forced to wait in the emergency area for more than four hours. "It's really frustrating when you know your child is very ill," she said" Would YOU like a 4 hour wait when your baby had a disease that could kill it within hours?

Setting an example for GWB?: "The [Australian] Federal Government intensified its attacks on public schools yesterday, accusing the system of being hostile towards Australian heritage and values"

Arlene Peck is once again drawing attention to the double standards in the treatment of Israel.

The Wicked one has recent posts about creampuff firemen and the dubious state of justice in America.


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


20 January, 2004


GWB's Hispanic "guest workers" will have children -- who will be automatically U.S. citizens because they were born in the USA. So their parents will have to be allowed to become permanent residents to look after them. So the policy is in effect an open door to all who want to come. V.D. Hanson also thinks the whole idea is pretty nonsensical.

Clearly, America has no answer to its huge and continuing Hispanic influx. The horse has long ago escaped and it is no good trying to close the barn door now. There is certainly not enough political will to stop it. And there is not enough political will because lots of Americans think it is not such a bad thing. And the way it undermines restrictive labor laws is undoubtedly an important source of oxygen for the U.S. economy. And at least the immigrants are Catholic Christians rather than some alien religion. Sensible U.S. conservatives would therefore be focusing on making sure that the influx is assimilated and integrated rather than forming alien and hostile "multicultural" ghettoes. Schools that taught the immigrant children American culture, American history and traditional American values ought to be the major means of doing that but government schools in the U.S. seem to do anything but that these days. So once again it is breaking the Leftist stranglehold on the schools that is the real key to a harmonious future for America.



PID has a discussion of vested interests and global warming. The global warming mania has in my view been unparallelled in the Western world for the way it has politicized and corrupted what were once regarded as "hard" sciences. The public cannot rely on any authority for truth and objectivity these days. Perhaps that's a good thing. Skepticism of authority made the Protestant Reformation, after all.

The situation has got so bad that the White House is now having to insist that normal scientific criteria be applied to politically-relevant scientific judgments -- and the scientists are resisting! They are so politicized that they are rejecting science itself!

The first global warming scare: "A marked climate change has taken place in a number of areas around the polar circle" claims a publication by The Royal Society (UK). "In the last two years more than two thousand square miles of ice-sheet covering the Greenland Sea have completely disappeared between latitudes 74 and 80 degrees north." The big freeze, which for centuries had transformed the region into an impenetrable shield of ice, clearly seems to have lost out to warmer temperatures in no time at all. Even in central Europe the report records alarming signs of a sudden warming of the climate: All rivers whose source lies in the high mountains have flooded vast areas because of the meltwater from snowfields and glaciers." The statements just quoted above were written on 20 November 1817. See also point 3 here

One of the biggest dangers to endangered species is the U.S. Endangered Species Act -- which in theory protects endangered species but which in fact discourages conservation. Yet another example of government coercion being counterproductive.

Wallace of Big Gold Dog is a Texas oilman and he has emailed me about geologist Demming's claim that there are still big oil reserves in the ground. He makes the point that while Demming is right and there is a lot of oil still in the ground, recovering it will gradually get more costly. He is right. Recovery costs are clearly the ONLY limiting factor on oil production -- but oil-derived motor fuel is still about half the price of industrial alcohol (the major alternative motor-fuel) so we are a fair way from that ceiling. Note that, because of high taxes, much of the world already pays heaps more for their fuel than Americans do so even a big rise in prices could be absorbed with little problem over time.



And fake science is not confined to Greenie issues. Frank Furedi is one psychologist who is always worth reading and his latest article titled "A danger to the nation's children" pulls no punches. One excerpt: "Advocacy research is the very opposite of scientific investigation. Sound science is devoted to the exploration of the unknown and the discovery of the truth. Advocacy organisations don't have to discover the truth - they already know it and their research is designed to affirm what they already know".

Pretty amazing to anyone who listens to Leftists: Ronald Reagan was a lifelong anti-racist!

David's Medienkritik notes this news item about Green/Left shenanigans: "The six-day anti-globalisation meeting was overshadowed by a presumed rape. As police stated on Monday, a South African participant was arrested on charges of forcing sex on a woman from his country in his hotel room". I liked David's dry comment on the matter: "Probably a South African neo-conservative..."

Liking Indians as I do I was delighted to read these words of an Indian journalist about the tour of Australia by his country's cricket team: "Australians are, I have found, ready to laugh at themselves if they think that the joke is funny and the humour not ill-directed. And the ability to be self-deprecating is the mark of confidence; it is, as much as anything else, the yardstick by which a society measures how tolerant and self-assured it is. That tolerance and readiness to applaud have been reflected in Australian fans' attitude towards the Indian cricketers. Everywhere this Indian cricket team has gone in Australia, there has been genuine warmth towards them; there has been a great deal of respect"

More rubbery Leftist "principles": "In an interview with Jane Hall in the most recent Columbia Journalism Review, Brokaw suggests there is no such thing as liberal media bias ... and then asserts that liberal bias is an "obligation" of journalism. Journalists should "represent the views of those who are underrepresented in the social context, or the political context, and to make sure that they're not overlooked, and that their wrongs get the bright light of journalistic sunshine.""


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

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19 January, 2004


Fake food scares: "In this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, organic-farming cheerleader Michael Pollan declared: 'For several years now, an alternative, postindustrial food chain has been taking shape, its growth fueled by one 'food scare' after another: Alar, G.M.O.'s [sic], rBGH, E. coli 0157:H7; now B.S.E.' This, for Pollan, is a good thing. Never mind that the Alar scare, which devastated apple farmers, was an utter fabrication staged to raise money for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Forget that biotech crops pose zero risk to human health, that milk from cows given the 'recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone' is indistinguishable from conventional milk, that Americans are more likely to get E. coli food poisoning from eating organic produce, and that -- as Pollan himself admits -- the risk of getting mad cow disease 'may be vanishingly small.'"

UK to approve commercial growth of GM crops: "The Government will next month approve the commercial growing of genetically modified (GM) crops in Britain for the first time. But ministers will impose strict conditions on the cultivation of GM maize and ban commercial GM sugar beet and oilseed rape after trials showed that they could be more damaging to the environment than conventional crops ....."

A long but very comprehensive debunking of the "multiple frauds" behind the "Kyoto" greenhouse treaty here

Geologist David Demming questions "hottest year ever recorded" claims: "the borehole data also showed that present-day climatic conditions are in fact colder than average when compared to climatic conditions that prevailed over the 10,000-year-long rise of human civilization... The geological evidence demonstrating that 20th-century warming is nothing unusual has been ignored"

Demming also says that 'The Petroleum Age is just beginning": "For more than 80 years, geological estimates of the world's endowment of oil have risen faster than humanity can pump it out of the ground. In 1920, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the total amount of oil remaining in the world amounted to only 20 billion barrels. By the year 2000, the estimate had grown to 3,000 billion barrels. "

And physicist Tom Gold says oil is not a fossil fuel anyway and that there are still vast amounts of it to be discovered beneath the earth. Hydrocarbons (the principal components of crude oil) have been observed throughout the universe -- including on planet Jupiter -- so clearly are far too common to be explained as the product of living organisms.

Gold has an excellent if rather depressing article on fashions in science here

A good comment from a reader about Greenie predictions: "I'm always amazed that people who have no idea what the weather will be in 24 hours, can somehow figure out what will happen in 24 years, or 24 decades. I heard that Mount Rainier is starting to rumble. When that blows, imagine what will happen to the atmosphere (not to mentions Seattle)"



The cricket was on in my home town of Brisbane yesterday -- a one-day international match. I could hear the roars of the crowd at the "Gabba" cricket-ground from where I sit writing this. India beat Australia by a whisker -- which no doubt caused great joy in India. The vast majority of the world's cricket fanatics are Indians.

Leftist hypocrisy goes back a long way. They believe in nothing other than their own brilliance. This is just one extract from a history of the Soviet propaganda apparatus: "If Americans in the adversary culture understood that the oppression of blacks was the society's great institutionalized crime, Stalinism would take the highest of high ground on the "Negro question." No matter that Stalin ruled a country where a significant part of the population languished in slave labor camps. If the English adversary culture saw philistinism and middle-class repression as the enemy, Stalinism would embrace iconoclastic taste and sexual liberty as nobody else did; the Bohemianism and flamboyant homosexuality of Guy Burgess were an indispensable part of his slick Stalinism and central to his place in Bloomsbury. No matter that Soviet sexual policy and taste were intolerant to a degree that made Colonel Blimp look liberated."

And not much has changed: "Nothing can be more obvious than that the current Democratic leadership considers actual principle a laughable electoral weakness. ... Democrats consider strength to be the skillful capture of swing votes via the tactically precise execution of a fuzzy policy of standing for nothing at all, as in the case of Bill Clinton."

The German media are even using mistranslation to put the USA in a bad light in Iraq.

Some breath left in American conservatism: "National leaders of six conservative organizations yesterday broke with the Republican majorities in the House and Senate, accusing them of spending like "drunken sailors," and had some strong words for President Bush as well"

That's government for you: "Australian civil servants have been warned they could face disciplinary action if they hold lunch meetings between noon and 2pm. An Education Department circular to all staff implies lunch meetings are permissible -- as long they're not at lunchtime. The bizarre edict is one of six changes to hospitality expenditure policy."

Left wing feminists were happy to criticise the Bush/Blair campaign against Saddam Hussein but they have had no such concerns about rushing into Iraq to export their own brand of feminism. Hypocrites? Carpet baggers? The real imperialists?

Irshad Manji has been called Osama Bin Laden's worst nightmare.

Seen on a billboard outside a church"Dear God, Please help me live up to the image that my dog has of me"


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

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18 January, 2004


Political extremists of both Left and Right have always loved their conspiracy theories but such theories now seem to be going mainstream. Frank Furedi -- one of the few psychologists I have respect for -- has a good article on why so many people now believe in conspiracy theories -- about the death of Princess Diana and JFK, about the 9/11 events and much else besides. As he says:

"The public's scepticism towards the official version of events surrounding Diana's death is the result of a profound sense of distrust in conventional authority. We live in an age of rumours where official facts often carry little more authority than an internet site devoted to alien abduction".

Under Leftist and Greenie influence, people have been told so many lies that public skepticism about government statements is warmly to be welcomed in my view. As a libertarian, I can only hope that it carries over into skepticism about the worth of government in general.

Gerard Henderson also has a good article on conspiracy theories -- though his evidence for thinking that Australians are less affected by them is pretty dated.

But Germany would now seem to be the world headquarters for conspiracy theorists. Modern-day realities seem to be too much altogether for Germans.



My mention yesterday of the demand for legal polygamy brought this response from one reader: "Polygamy is already "legal"! Back in the late 70s, this guy I worked with practiced polygamy. I heard he had personal checks with 3 names - his, and his two "wives". And the house was also "shared". If there is no marriage involved, any number of "partners" is legal. And mobility is easy - when you get tired or want to make a new arrangement, you do it. So what the hell do these people demanding "legal polygamy" want? More restrictions on their "relationship" - divorce courts, etc?" And most married men seem to have "girlfriends" at some stage too. The polygamist is just more upfront about it.

The American Left seem to have slowed down their tirade to the effect that GWB is intent on establishing an American "empire" but if there is any doubt that the American presence abroad is nothing like the empires of the past, Herbert London sets the record straight. He shows it is not even like the British Empire.

A reader noted this article on changing standards in modern society. It shows that in the US military, obesity is punished but deserters can go free -- so my reader asks: "Does this mean that they treat desserters tougher than deserters?". Very droll.

There is a fun story here about an engineer's encounter with "postmodern" literary criticism. He says that figuring out what it is all about is "a mind stretching departure from debugging C code" -- and any programmer knows how hard that can be. After studying it, he concludes: "The basic enterprise of contemporary literary criticism is actually quite simple. It is based on the observation that with a sufficient amount of clever handwaving and artful verbiage, you can interpret any piece of writing as a statement about anything at all". Personally, I regard that as a charitable judgment.

What fun! "Two words in the modern French vocabulary are almost invariably spoken here with an air of disgust: mondialisation (globalization) and McDonaldisation (no translation necessary). Tomorrow, in what some would see as the next step toward American homogenization and a gastronomic faux pas, Starbucks Coffee Company opens its first retail store in the heart of the City of Light."

On anti-Americanism: "A large part of the European left spent a large part of the 20th century hating the United States not because it had economic inequality or Jim Crow but because it did not have show trials, labor camps and the other appurtenances of "actually existing socialism." ". But, aside from that, it all boils down to jealousy. And, childish though it is, jealousy is all too common.

Are GWB and some libertarians trying to model U.S. immigration policy on the policy of Saudi Arabia? "So, the president's proposal would create a permanent guestworker class, millions strong, but lacking any realistic timetable for becoming Americans".

Pat Buchanan has some tough words criticising Bush's amnesty for illegals: "Consider what the president is saying with his amnesty. He is telling us that he cannot or will not do his constitutional duty to defend the states from invasion. He is saying that he simply cannot or will not protect our borders or enforce our immigration laws. He is saying he will no longer send illegal aliens back"

Wow! I had no idea that it was this difficult to get a prescription filled in America. If you go to a pharmacist in Australia in the morning and something is out of stock, they get it for you by that afternoon. In my experience that even applies to prescriptions requiring special authorization.

PID debunks the Leftist myths surrounding late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

Whether or not Saddam had WMD's, he had some extremely advanced military equipment -- as this article shows (with 3 photos). No wonder the Russians opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. They were sending Saddam their best stuff and now the U.S. has it!

The Wicked one has an interesting quiz about age.


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17 January, 2004


A good summary of Bjorn Lomborg's findings (PDF): "Professor Lomborg does believe that global warming is taking place. However, he says: "The cure is worse than the ailment. Let's not focus on phantom problems at the expense of real problems." All the Kyoto treaty on global warming would achieve is to postpone warming for six years, he argues. For a bill of $4 trillion, a 2 degree rise in temperature would arrive in 2106 instead of 2100."

In contrast, a recent BBC "Horizon" program presents a variety of scientific data showing that Britain is headed for a new ice age!!! -- possibly with 20 years. Ahh!! How lovely to have such scientific certainty about these things. It is certainly true geologically that we are living at the end of a warm interglacial period so I have always said that we might one day need all the global warming we can get. Geology is not a very precise clock, however, so whether the next ice age will start in 20 years or in 1,000 years time, nobody can say -- though the start does already seem to be overdue. When it does start, however, Canada will rapidly cease to exist. Canada should be laughing the Kyoto treaty to death, not supporting it.

Don't mention the Sun! "The Sun is more active now than it has been for a millennium. The realisation, which comes from a reconstruction of sunspots stretching back 1150 years, comes just as the Sun has thrown a tantrum. Over the last week, giant plumes of have material burst out from our star's surface and streamed into space, causing geomagnetic storms on Earth."

The air gets cleaner, while environmental politics gets dirtier "The way the administration's environmental critics tell it, you can't see your hand in front of your face anymore because of all the pollution Bush has allowed his big business buddies to emit. That's certainly the theme of every green activist group, Democratic presidential hopeful, and far too many environmental journalists. But there is one big problem with this scenario -- it's the exact opposite of reality, according to a 2003 report by the Environmental Protection Agency."

Disease doesn't have much to do with climate change one way or the other: "Every year, according to a new report by the World Health Organisation, 150,000 people succumb to the effects of global warming... But what about all the elderly and infirm people who would have died had this winter been as cold as those frequently experienced in Europe during the 19th century? Strangely, these non-deaths do not appear to feature in the World Health Organisation's one-sided ledger"

Alarmism sells papers: "It seems that virtually every news organ in the English language has carried the story of new scientific claims published in Nature magazine that by 2050 over a million species will be doomed to extinction owing to the effects of global warming. Yet few of them realized how flimsy the story actually is."

John Daly also takes apart recent claims of greenhouse species extinction.

And another article that says the mass extinction is more like a mass exaggeration

Carbon dioxide is beneficial, not harmful: "The results of this impressive study of real-world agricultural operations in a significantly CO2-enriched atmosphere -- which is the only environmental change we can be confident will occur in the foreseeable future -- bodes well indeed for the financial well-being of Western Australian wheat farmers and the land that supports them."

The green machine "Twenty EU member and accession states labour under a cadre of panels collectively known as the European Environmental Advisory Council (EEAC). Styling itself as a body 'to provide independent, scientifically based advice on the environment and sustainable development,' this so-called 'network' is actually a series of organisations funded by the European Commission to lobby for their interests locally."



Jeff Jacoby asks the obvious next question in the homosexual marriage debate -- Is lawful polygamy next? "Three adults who want to live together as a husband and two wives asked a federal court this week to strike down Utah's ban on polygamy as a violation of their constitutional rights". Why a guy would feel the need for a government certificate to say he sticks his penis up some other guy's behind rather escapes me but as a libertarian I think all marriage should be a matter of civil contract anyway.

To put it plainly: "Now the Democrats and their reactionary academic gurus are peddling the notion that what will make people rich is, once again, raiding the wealth of those who are already rich. More taxation, they scream, not more production and free trade. These pathetic people are counting on voters to be motivated not from an honest desire to become prosperous -- one that would incline a person to work harder, to invest wisely, and to save prudently. No, they hope that voters are motivated from rank envy, the desire to bring down those who have it better than they do. And to fuel this envy good and hard, these vile politicians are preaching class warfare and zero-sum political economy."

Homeschoolers vs. Big Brother: "New Jersey's child welfare system, like most state child welfare systems, is a corrupt and deadly mess. Children are lost in the shuffle, shipped to abusive foster homes, returned to rapists and child molesters, and left to die in closets while paperwork piles up. So whom does the government decide to punish for the bureaucracy's abysmal failure to protect these innocents? Homeschoolers. And what does the government think will solve its ills? More power and paperwork."

The Spectator has a satirical piece lampooning Cherie Blair's advice to the Vatican after a recent state visit. It also says that Mrs Blair is just the latest incarnation of one of a common English character: "Mrs Blair is in a noble tradition among British women. She knows what is good for us. ...Mrs Blair's generation must espouse what the age most values. This seems to be two, on the face of it, incompatible things: diversity and equality".


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16 January, 2004


Unemployment and the tyranny of aggregates It was sad state of affairs when in late 2001 economic news from the US surprised and contradicted our economic commentators. For sometime I had been predicting a significant rise in unemployment as America's recession unfolded. So what happened?
Bush, Beijing and al Qaeda By striking hard and swiftly against terrorists, by imposing on them and their paymasters a terrible price, Bush not only sent a vitally important message to other terrorists and their potential supporters but also to Beijing's generals. For this the world should be immensely grateful.
Why increased consumption hampered America's economic recovery Greenspan's policy of trying to promote increased consumption hindered economic recovery in America. Concentrating on consumption at the expense of production is a recipe for prolonging recessions.
The media, Iraq and the traitor Burchett Even though the Soviet Empire collapsed some years ago many of our so-called journalists still refuse to call those Westerners who worked for the murderous KGB traitors.
Addressing the causes of terrorism: A cry from the Quisling Left There is a cry from the Quislings and fifth columnists among us that we must not only address terrorism, but to also "address the causes of terrorism". I shall address it right now.
Hillary Clinton's acceptable level of homicide To Hillary Clinton and her progressive friends more dead blacks and Hispanics was a small price to pay to fulfil her ambition to become the country's first female president.

Details here



The Tugboat is getting all churned up at the moment over the well-established fact that conservatives are happier than Leftists. He first fusses over whether the differences in a recent Gallup poll are statistically significant -- apparently unaware that statistical significance is just a way of allowing for small sample size and, as such, irrelevant to large public opinion polls -- unless very small subsections of them are being examined separately. His post was too long and rambling for me to read right through but he appears to be convinced that conservatives are only happier because they are more self-deluded! I guess that, as a Leftist, he has to believe that.

No doubt some study of 30 American college students somewhere has shown that happy people are more self-deluded. American college students are very obliging about giving their Leftist psychology professors what they want. I have critiqued such studies too often to want to do it again. The phenomenon even has a name. It is called The Rosenthal Effect.



The Democrats seem to be back on the socialized medficine trail -- but they don't have to look further than New York to see where it leads. One of my medical correspondents comments: "And most doctors simply don't want to practice in NY State because of this nonsense - so the State subsidizes medical education (I don't know where these doctors end up, but I can tell you that several Anesthesia Residents we fired from our (Backward Southern) institution were immediately hired in NY (Progressive, Enlightened) because they were short on doctors)"

Bin Laden losing: "The United States' global 'war on terrorism' has clearly entered a new phase. Regardless of how one feels about the US-led war in Iraq, the results of that war, and especially the increased capability that US forces have shown in fighting terrorism, capturing Saddam Hussein and gaining valuable intelligence thereby, have had a decisive effect.

FrontPage seems to be taking the phenomenon of white nationalism seriously. Confronted by whites arguing for "group rights" in the same way that minority advocates do, some multicuturalists now seem to have re-discovered the benefits of colour blind integrationism.

Virginia Postrel has an excellent summary article on the free-market and other ideas of Friedrich Hayek and the way his ideas took decades to be recognized for the great insights that they are.

This article about evangelical Christianity in America rings true. The author sees it as being anything but fanatical and a long way from the Protestant dogmatism of the past.

The lowdown on the "condom in my soup" case.

An Australian atomic physicist has put links to "PC Watch" and "Dissecting Leftism" on his home page -- and I do get a few hits off it. Should be more of it!

Donald Luskin has a lot of good jokes up at the moment. I particularly liked the one about GWB and the Pope.

A government commuter railroad kills: "NSW State Rail has knowingly operated defective trains since 1988, according to a report that blames the authority for the Waterfall rail disaster that killed seven people last January."

China Hand has just posted on his other site yet another attempt to drum sense into people about the folly of "protecting" jobs. GWB's recent steel tariff fiasco shows that this ailment of the brain can afflict even those who are supposed to be in favour of free trade. China Hand is also addressing a committed conservative -- his brother -- and uses the example of Australia's large-scale abandonment of protectionism to show how beneficial that is.

The Wicked one has lots of funnies up.


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15 January, 2004


Leftists still haven't learned basic economic lessons even when delivered by one of their own. This biographical piece outlines some uncommon economic sense on minimum wages and government intervention in agriculture delivered by socialist economist Gunnar Myrdal.

New jobs for old: "It is in destroying jobs that the economy improves and makes it possible for the standard of living of all Americans to increase. This constant churning means that even a "stagnant" American job market is extremely dynamic, and that the ranks of the unemployed are not necessarily the dispossessed of the earth, as Democrats tend to portray them."

"An inevitable consequence of socialism is the division of society into two groups; those who are consuming government 'services' and those who are paying for them. As the waning and collapse of socialist countries around the globe has clearly demonstrated, those who consume eventually overwhelm those who provide. ... Every entitlement program the government ever instituted has or soon will metastasize into an open ended endowment that politicians can incrementally expand to buy votes; 'vote for me and we'll take care of you, too.' The best illustration of this point is the history of Social Security."

Too logical for his own good: "Early in our marriage, 40-some years ago, Mrs. Williams would return from shopping complaining about the unreasonable prices. Having aired her complaints, she'd then ask me to unload her car laden with purchases. After the unloading, I'd ask her: 'I thought you said the prices were unreasonable. Why did you buy them? Are you unreasonable? Only an unreasonable person would pay unreasonable prices.' The discussion always headed downhill after such an observation."

Indian economist Jagdish Baghwati has come out swinging in favour of globalization. He gives the facts and figures to show what an enormous influence it is in reducing Third-world poverty. "During the three decades that Bhagwati's India was a relatively closed economy, for example, the economy grew at 4 percent a year, and the poverty rate hovered around 55 percent. But in the two decades since it opened its economy to foreign trade and investment, economic growth averaged five percent; by 2000, the poverty rate had fallen to 26 percent. China's experience was similar: with liberalization came spectacular growth, and poverty declined from 28 to 9 percent between 1978 and 1998."

Californian stupidity is very bad for business: "Robert Peritz is no jingoist, despite how he sounds at times ... Neither is the ex-New Yorker ... some storming anti-government extremist -- despite his rants against politicians and bureaucrats: 'There is too much big government and a lot of bad policy right here in this state. The politicians and bureaucrats are making and passing regulations that are actually running businesses out of town. We need less government intrusion into our lives.' Peritz, in truth, is an inherently humble guy who knows what's what. He's clear that in business, as in life, if you do good things, good things will come back to you."

Facts don't matter to some, apparently: "Richard Florida, a Carnegie Mellon professor .. argues that cities that attract gays, bohemians, and ethnic minorities are the new economic powerhouses because they are also the places where creative workers_the kind who start and staff innovative, fast-growing companies_want to live... [BUT] Far from being economic powerhouses, a number of the cities the professor identifies as creative-age winners have chronically underperformed the American economy..."

An important reminder about free trade: "Before getting into the heart of the matter, let us remind ourselves of a basic but important fact: Tariffs are taxes. No matter how sophisticated the argument, when someone opposes free trade, what that really means is that he favors the placement of taxes (or similar restrictions) on consumers."

Unemployment: "Chronic unemployment is only and can only be caused by one thing. That is the resistance of the unemployed worker to accept employment at a rate or in an area that reflects his current market value. Remember as long as any human desire remains unfilled there is work that can be done. This means there is always work."



Boondoggle opens: Australia's billion dollar railroad to nowhere. Australia has a history of huge government spending on uneconomic projects -- the Snowy and Ord river schemes being the most notable predecessors of the present nonsense of spending over a billion dollars to service a town of only 80,000 people.

Those awful religious people! There's an interesting study in the October 2003 issue of Policy Review on "Religious Faith and Charitable Giving". The study was of 30,000 religious and non-religious people. It found that religious people give to charity and volunteer themselves SIGNIFICANTY more than non-religious people. The study measures people of the same socio-economic and educational class. Also, religious people give to non-religious affiliated charities more often than non-religious people do.

This article from TCS shows that George Soros is like many people who are very good at one specialization -- totally ignorant of the real world outside that specialty.

More Leftist lies about American "imperialism" exposed in Front Page.

At least the Spanish have got cojones: "Muslim author of book advocating wife-beating jailed"

David's Medienkritik has an amusing picture of Germany's Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder (look at his feet).

Chris Brand has a further posting on the latest attack on free speech in Britain -- the sacking of a TV presenter who once made disparaging remarks about Muslims.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again as your contents-page of the blogosphere for the last week


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14 January, 2004


Government idiocy at its finest: "Last year Sandy Meadows, who supervises the floral department at an Albertson's supermarket in Baton Rouge, was filling in at another Albertson's store that had lost its florist when she was visited by an inspector from the Louisiana Horticulture Commission. He told her she'd have to throw out the seven arrangements she had produced that morning if she wanted to avoid a $250 citation for practicing floristry without a license. Louisiana appears to be the only state in the nation that treats unlicensed florists making unauthorized arrangements as a public menace.

And this idiocy is nearly as bad: ""Is the war on terrorism over? Have we stopped drug trafficking? Has corruption in corporate America ended? We must have cured these problems. Why else would federal officials spend their time prosecuting people for importing lobster tails in plastic bags instead of cardboard boxes?

But 40 years of trying has not made this one work: "In his State of the Union address forty years ago this week, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared an 'unconditional war on poverty in America.' Since then, the federal government has created vast new bureaucracies and raised taxes to a staggering level not seen since World War Two. L.B.J. helped create welfare (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), Medicare, Head Start, the Job Corps, and Medicaid. Worst of all, most of L.B.J.'s War on Poverty was a failure."

The British contribution: "The Government has announced it is to scrap an obscure law after shop staff refused to serve a police officer a sausage roll. Constable Dougie Brown was on duty in the village of Nettleham, near Lincoln, last month when he tried to buy the snack in his local Co-op store. It turned out that the staff had acted according to the letter of the law which bans the sale of 'any liquor or refreshment' to an on-duty policeman without the permission of a senior officer."



Safire in the NYT has joined the chorus in concluding that the Iraq invasion has been of enormous strategic benefit to the USA and to world peace. And even a German newspaper has condescended to notice positive developments in Iraq.

Keith Burgess-Jackson says that feminists have lied to women in saying that they "can have it all" -- and he once had feminist views himself. I myself have been fortunate in knowing lots of women who are very happy to be female but I do blame feminism in part for raising women's expectations to unrealistic levels and thus making them postpone childbearing until it is too late. Two of my four ex-wives have had no children -- despite both being very good and capable women.

The current City Journal has a couple of rather pessimistic articles: George Will thinks it will be a long haul before Iraq becomes democratic and James Q. Wilson thinks that terrorists will be with us for a long time yet.

Putin's "authoritarian liberalism" may be better for Russia than corrupted democracy. We cannot expect them to leap in one bound from centuries of oppression to where we are now: "For all its dictatorial tendencies, the contemporary Russian state clearly exhibits some restraint. It does not seek to intervene in every aspect of its citizens' lives, and Russia is a country where people can and do criticise the government without being molested. In many respects the government of Vladimir Putin is probably the most benign in Russian history. Like the Whites, Putin is no liberal democrat, but his promotion of state interests may well be the best hope for liberal democracy in Russia."

Slavery is alive and well in the Islamic world: "From the Niger River to Sudan slavery continues to be practiced and justified in the name of the Koran"

Now that soot has been shown to have global warming potential, the Greenies are trying to blame soot on Diesel engines used in the West and are ignoring the huge output of soot from poorer countries. A reader who has been overseas recently writes: "I crossed from Romania to Bulgaria, two extremely poor, poor countries, the living conditions were about 12thC in the country, Romania especially. The Danube was anything but blue & huge power plants belching out smoke & SOOT! It certainly did away with any romantic notions one may have had".

A good report about current health panics on "Spiked" -- problems which the do-gooders of course blame on everything modern: More people are getting cancer! How Awful! But is it? It's mainly because people are living longer and older people are more prone to cancer. British sperm counts are dropping! How awful! Will the British die out? Hardly, it was only men with fertility problems who had lower counts and counts vary widely anyhow.

Not all actors and actresses are imbecilic Leftists. See at the bottom of this article for some very sensible comments by John Rhys-Davies, the actor who played "Gimli" (the dwarf) in 'Lord of the Rings'

PP McGuinness has an interesting review of a humorous film about the old Communist East Germany. He knows something of it from personal experience. He concludes: "Everybody has had hankerings after the creation of a new society, a vision, the ongoing progressive march forwards - but the reality is that carrying such hankerings beyond youth leads not to utopia but to dystopia".

A big collection of LEFTIST race-hatred here.

Yesterday I mentioned in passing an economist (Gittins) who thinks that "money does not buy happiness" is a reason to stop giving people more of what they want. There is a reply to Gittins here

Heh! Heh! I am in a minority again: "Blogs are currently the province of the young, with 92.4% of blogs created by people under the age of 30".


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13 January, 2004


George Will has a good review of a recent Gregg Easterbrook book on happiness. The basic point, of course, is that making a lot of money does not necessarily bring happiness. Anybody who reads anything about the lives of filmstars would have known that at least 50 years ago but economists and Leftists seem to have discovered it only recently and are using it as a weapon to say that we should stop trying to give people what they want -- in good authoritarian style. Nicolae Ceausescu, Joseph Stalin and Marshall Tito would approve.

But I had a post last year that traces unhappiness to Leftist values and it is certainly clear that conservatives are in fact happier.

So some things DO generally make a difference to your happiness -- and HOW you spend your money is a factor: "Money can buy happiness and the best investment advice may be as simple as the sports shoe slogan: just do it. That's the conclusion drawn by researchers who set out to identify what sort of spending made people happiest"



An editorial in "USA Today" backs U.S. intervention in Iraq as having improved world peace and safety and rejects Leftist claims that it has been "destabilizing" etc.

In the latest City Journal, Heather MacDonald shows that some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. Yet cops cannot use the most obvious tool to catch them: their immigration status. Reasons: fear of offending powerful immigrant lobbies

A reader comments on "global warming": "Last year, there were no roses in Montreal in June - the winter had been the worst in many years. Apparently, more of the same this year."

An encouraging article here about moderate Islam in Turkey. Very different from the Arab world. Turks are an entirely different race from the Arabs of course and until roughly a century ago held most of the Arab world in subjection.

I have said little so far about the latest GWB illegal immigration "solution" because it does seem very complex. I am however almost sure that bureaucratic incompetence will transform it into a virtual "open-door" policy. Jeff Jacoby, however, seems to have some sensible comments on the matter and his stress on putting life back into "e pluribus unum" (i.e. the policy of assimilation) I heartily agree with. Australia has successfully assimilated a huge immigrant intake and America can do the same if the Leftist "all cutures are equal" dogma is defied.

The lost Left: "An examination of the plans that former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Rep. Dick Gephardt (Mo.) and the rest of the nine dwarfs have proposed reveals just how sharply leftward the Democratic Party has tilted in recent years. Every one of the major contenders wants to raise taxes, wants to re-regulate key industries, militantly opposes private accounts for Social Security, supports the Kyoto Treaty on global warming, and would seek a much higher minimum wage. Most would create a Hillary Health Care- type plan for the nation"

About time: "People are turning increasingly to alternatives such as the Internet for news about the presidential campaign, shifting away from traditional outlets such as the nightly network news and newspapers, a poll found"

Dave Huber has a good post on the nonsense that passes for modern educational theory -- and which is all too often being imposed on our kids nowadays. I myself have taught High School under both systems -- "student directed" and "traditional" and there is no doubt which delivers students who know their subject.

The poor old Sikhs seem to have fallen foul of French anti-religious laws. For a Sikh not to wear a turban is to abandon his faith so I hope they are given an exemption -- as they so often are elsewhere. I have known Sikhs since my early youth and think they are exceptionally good citizens wherever they live.

"KOALA contraception was being considered as a way to curb population blow-outs among the marsupials in Victoria". But the Greenies still oppose any development in areas that Koalas inhabit, of course.

The Far-Leftist MoveOn.org has been goosestepping backwards with its on-again off-again hate- speech about GWB being a "Nazi".

It looks like mad cow disease has become a hobbyhorse for some pretty mad people (if a disease can be a hobbyhorse). See here

Michael Darby has put up another big selection of postings. Some of his headlines:
Yet another "bank" scam
Cathy Buckle: Deepening Disaster in Zimbabwe
French Corruption
"Beyond the Razor Wire" - the truth about asylum-seekers
Seventy-two Dark-Eyed Virgins still taught as reward for Shahada (Death for Allah)
Democracy & the Enemies of Freedom
Tough Times For Terrorists
Public Broadcasting Service, Recruiting for Islam
Prepared for war and peace on Earth
Tax Reform for the New Century

The Wicked one has an Australian elaboration of an old joke about the FBI etc.


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12 January, 2004


Keith Windschuttle has a good review of a book about the "Noble Savage" myth that has for so long been so popular on the Left. I noted here on 4th how ludicrous is the image of primitive societies as wonderful and peaceful and non-violent. There is also a post at Marginal Revolution showing that in primitive societies an average of about 30% of all male deaths are caused by warfare! Peaceful indeed! The post also shows that deaths from warfare in the US and Europe are the tiniest fraction of that.

Windschuttle has also of course come under continuing attack for his revelations about how Australian history has been misreported by Leftist historians. His latest "salvo in reply" pulls no punches (If a salvo can pull punches). See here.



Whoopee! "Australia has abandoned a major international measure aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions, arguing that it is unlikely to come into effect and creates no incentive for industry to reduce such emissions"

Record Cold Freezes Northeastern States. That pesky global warming again!

An understandable wish: "An American Airlines commuter flight was diverted after a passenger passed a note to the crew demanding to be taken to Australia"

Those good old generous taxpayers again: "FORKLIFT drivers, nurses, engineers, teachers, clerks, information technology workers and architects are among the 292 "displaced" public servants costing taxpayers more than $17 million a year. They each earn an average of $61,000 a year despite having no official duties".

Those impartial librarians: "Ann Sparanese, a member of the governing Council of the American Library Association, has written a letter to the Voice criticizing my columns about Fidel Castro's prison sentences of 20 and more years for 75 Cuban dissenters, including 10 independent librarians. ... At an upcoming midwinter meeting in San Diego, from January 9 to 14, the ALA plans to decide whether it will indeed live up to its principles and finally support the locked-up independent librarians in Cuba. It has refused so far."

Unbelievable. Airline pilots still not armed: "They fly by the Capitol, but the bureaucrats won't trust pilots with guns.... "

"If American democracy is finally done in, the perpetrators will unlikely be Hitlerian figures whose strutting authoritarianism is plain to see, but a collection of well-meaning, schoolmarm-like activists who aim to restrict our freedoms for our own supposed good.

Worth remembering: GWB won the presidency without a majority of the popular vote but so did JFK. No Democrat outrage about that, though!

More conservative than GWB? "In his first speech to California's Legislature, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday touted March ballot measures aimed at solving the state's budget problems and demanded an overhaul of worker compensation laws to cut employers' costs and create more jobs. Schwarzenegger warned that painful spending cuts are coming as he outlined his agenda for 2004 in the annual 'state of the state' speech in Sacramento."

I guess I know why this is: Under US Army rule, Baghdad has a lower per capita murder rate than most US big cities. That reminds me of something else: I believe that whilst Australian troops were in Vietnam in the 60's they had a lower death-rate there than they did whilst back in Australia. One of my Army friends of that time was a case in point. He came back from Vietnam safe and sound only to die in a car accident in Australia. I am still saddened by the loss of Lt. Michael Joseph James Gillespie ("Mick") but it was drunk-driving that killed him, not the Viet Cong. I cannot imagine how his family must have felt at the loss of such a splendid young man in his prime of life. I hope their faith helped them.

Sowell: The BBC confuses neutrality with objectivity: "Objectivity refers to an honest seeking of the truth, whatever that truth may turn out to be and regardless of what its implications might be. Neutrality refers to a preconceived "balance," which subordinates the truth to this preconception". Sowell gives as an example historian Robert Conquest who objectively reported the famines and other horrors of the Soviet era -- but who was constantly accused by the Left of "bias" because of it. But we all now know that Conquest was right.

I have just put up a lot of Chris Brand's recent posts here. He has a big coverage of the cancellation by the BBC of a popular TV show because the presenter once made anti-Arab remarks. And the Arabs are gloating about it too.

Arlene Peck notes that millions of illegal Hispanic immigrants are now to be welcomed into the USA and hopes that a few million Palestinians can come too. She is sure they would be happier in the USA than in Israel.

The Wicked one has recent posts on diet fraud and sexual abstinence!


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11 January, 2004


A nasty dilemma for the Greenies: "an MIT study says a global tripling of nuclear power generation could avoid nearly 2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions annually".

Why Greenies like to forget that water vapor is a "greenhouse gas" "Just how much of the "Greenhouse Effect" is caused by human activity? It is about 0.28%, if water vapor is taken into account-- about 5.53%, if not. This point is so crucial to the debate over global warming that how water vapor is or isn't factored into an analysis of Earth's greenhouse gases makes the difference between describing a significant human contribution to the greenhouse effect, or a negligible one. Water vapor constitutes Earth's most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth's greenhouse effect"

The Latest "Kyoto" nonsense, aid to Saudi Arabia: "Delegates said that Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, wanted promises of aid if Kyoto spurs a shift to renewable energies like tidal, solar or wind energy at the expense of fossil fuels"

GM crops becoming accepted: "The debate over Genetically Modified Organisms usually focuses on their safety. However, as study after scientific study continues to find that no unique or inherent risks arise from biotechnology, people will slowly but increasingly come to accept GM foods. Earlier this month, for example, the European Food Safety Authority announced that a particular variety of GM maize was perfectly safe for human consumption."

Unshakable Greenie religion: "Alarming predictions of mass extinctions due to future global warming, forthcoming in this week's edition of the journal Nature, represent yet another salvo in the ideological battle to frighten the public into believing in a future of catastrophic climate change. ... 'Not only are the conclusions outlandish, but the theory upon which the entire article rests has been itself thoroughly disproved,' said Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Iain Murray."

Crackpot Radio: "It is one thing to lean left politically. It is quite another to look the other way in the face of out-and-out lies, fraud, and misinformation in the arena of environmental science. The other day, I listened as my local National Public Radio (NPR) station gave a complete pass to a crackpot telling everyone in the listening audience that wind, waves, photovoltaic cells, and solar energy could easily replace fossil fuel."

A few days ago I noted with approval Randall Parker's comments on soot as a cause of global warming and had a laugh at how inconvenient it is for Greenies that it is mostly poor countries that produce lots of soot. A reader confirms that: "In 1988, at least, I would have classified Hungary as third-world. I happened to be there on a smallish economic visit. The low technology that they were using at the time made breathing the Pest air a challenge; the Buda air was better, since it sits on a bluff overlooking the Danube (Donau) .... Ditto for Bangkok, at least in the mid to late '60s. I suppose that most Asian cities are still that way". I commented jokingly in my post that Randall might end up wearing cement shoes for speaking so much truth and I am sad to say that there was an element of truth in that. Randall has emailed me to say that he has at times got hate-mail and abuse as a result of his attempts at objectivity.



"Former US president Bill Clinton said in October during a visit to Portugal that he was convinced Iraq had weapons of mass destruction up until the fall of Saddam Hussein, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso said". Portuguese blogger Valete Fratres (post of 9th) gives a selection of quotes from what Clinton said as President that back up the story. So if Bush lied, Clinton lied too!

Maybe I am easily amused but this comment about General Wesley Clark in Opinion Journal made me laugh: "Clark, who has never run for office and has spent virtually his entire adult life in the military, has had far less contact with women than have most politicians (to say nothing of Bill Clinton)...."

Bernard Chapin is a good man. He has just "interviewed" me (via email) for Men's News Daily.

An excellent article about Rush Limbaugh's painkiller problems and the relentless media attack on him. One excerpt: "About the criminal probes, Limbaugh attorney Roy Black asks rhetorically, "Of all of the . . . millions of people who've become addicted to painkillers, some very well-known people, have you ever seen search warrants served on their doctor's offices? Have you ever watched people on television leafing through records, calling out the names of their doctors and a list of medications they were using? Has anyone ever seen that before? The first person is Rush Limbaugh. And you have to ask yourself, why is that?"

Good to see a glimmering of sense entering the discussion of the African AIDS "epidemic". I have always pointed out (e.g. here) that in Africa almost any serious disease is automatically attributed to AIDS. It seems that the official wisdom is beginning to agree. With just a little more care about their statistics, they have reduced the number of cases in Kenya from 3 million to 1 million, for instance. But what's a couple of million people between friends?

Wow! The famous Tuskegee experiment of the 1930s which left syphilitic blacks untreated is now routinely held up as an example of wicked racist deeds. BUT, someone who has looked behind the hype reports: "I also learned that the study emerged out of a liberal progressive public health movement concerned about the health and wellbeing of the African-American population" Those racist liberals! And it was only blacks who appeared to have got over the disease who were left untreated anyway.

The "Carnegie" study that strongly criticises the Iraq policies of the Bush administration has got a lot of press. The authors are presented as "experts" and "researchers". In fact, two of the authors worked for Clinton. The third author, Joseph Cirincione, has proven himself to be a hardline Bush-hater and a foe of the "neo-conservatives". David Kaspar has the details.


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10 January, 2004


A reader has pointed me to a good background article on how polarized along religious lines American politics have become. We all know that there is a strong affinity in America between real Christians and the Republicans but the article also points out the survey evidence showing that the Democrats generally (and Democrat convention delegates in particular) are equally (and fervently) anti-religion [unless the religion is Islam, of course]. It also shows that the Leftist media consistently downplay the anti-religious nature of the Democrats. Just some excerpts:

"ANES results indicate that anti-fundamentalism appears disproportionately among secularists, the highly educated, particularly those living in big cities, and persons who strongly favor legalized abortion and gay rights, oppose prayer in schools, and who, ironically, "strongly agree" that one should be tolerant of persons whose moral standards are different from one's own .... over a quarter of Clinton's white supporters in 1992 said that they intensely disliked Christian fundamentalists... despite the reams of data documenting the alignment of secularists with the Democratic party and the countermovement of religious traditionalists into the Republican party, the media, particularly network news, has tended to emphasize only the latter phenomenon... What viewers do not hear about is the secularist vote, which has gone two to one in the Democratic direction in the past three presidential elections"

Why the Leftist media downplay the religion-hating among Democrats is a really easy question to answer: Religion is an almost universal human experience and atheists are never more than a small minority in any national population. Most people have SOME religious beliefs. So being totally and vocally anti-religion would be a big vote-loser.

But are Democrats really anti-religion? Are they not just anti-fundamentalist? The simple answer to that it that it is the fundamentalists who really are religious. To call your average Episcopalian religious would be a joke and even Catholicism is only a shadow of what it once was. But, aside from that, the article does give a lot of survey data showing that the influential core of the Democrats really are anti-religious in general. They are far more rejecting of religion than the American population at large. So why?

It is no mystery at all, really. Leftists are against ANYTHING that is "established" in the society they inhabit. They are always against the status quo, whatever that might be -- and America is a very religious country. To Leftists religion is a big, complacent target that they itch to tear down -- just as the Soviet Communists once did. Modern Leftism is just an attempt to achieve communist goals by stealth and attacking religion is an integral part of that. Leftists cannot stand any creed but their own -- with their own superior wisdom being the core of that creed.

It may be worth noting that Left/Right politics in Australia are NOT religiously polarized. Why? Because Australia is one of the world's most irreligious countries so religion is not a target big enough for the Left to aim at. By American rules, Australia should also therefore be frantically Leftist. It is anything but. It is also one of the world's most conservative countries with a government that is arguably more conservative than America's. It is less wishy-washy on free trade; It has STOPPED illegal immigration and -- despite Australia having had its own "9/11" in Bali -- has no special security legislation that threatens civil liberties. There have also been no notable expansions of the Australian welfare State for many years. And it is one of the few countries that DID help out in the invasion of Iraq.

So the U.S. situation is clearly the result of U.S. Leftists attacking Christianity out of their hatred of ordinary Americans. American Christians have been driven into the Republican party because only there do they find respect for themselves and their liberties.

After my post yesterday about Christianity and holiness, I received what I regard as a true Christian response from Father Mike Walsh of the Catholic Maryknoll Society. He emailed me: "God, I'm sure, doesn't mind your atheism. And neither do I. Keep up the good fight, and as to the whited sepulchres, keep giving it to them good and hard"



Democrat hypocrisy over tax: "Nowhere is this more striking than in the sudden scrambling of Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor, who has advocated repealing all of Mr. Bush's tax cuts, including those for the middle class. Now, under heavy fire from his rivals, Dr. Dean is preparing a new tax plan that is widely expected to offer tax relief for the middle class"

More amazing hypocrisy: Free trade was supported by the Democrats as recently as Clinton -- but not now. They have no principles or guiding philosophy whatever -- but I guess the support many of them gave to a Fascist dictator (Saddam) showed us that for once and for all.

There is a very good article here on the worldwide upsurge of antisemitism in recent years.

Suzanne Fields has some examples of moronic intellectual-speak. Here's one: "Dr. Rowan Williams, who as the archbishop of Canterbury heads the established Anglican Church, demands that America show not righteous anger but sympathy for the men who murdered 3,000 of us on Sept. 11. We must recognize that these mass murderers who crashed into the Twin Towers "have serious moral goals" that Americans merely fail to appreciate. Since we can't judge what's in our best and moral interests, he says, we must let the United Nations do it for us"

Damian Thompson of the "Telegraph" says only stupid white men would believe Michael Moore

A good Winston Churchill saying: "We contend for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

An interesting blog from an American soldier serving in Iraq.

The Wicked one is back on the funnies -- with a list of top morons for 2003


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9 January, 2004


Regular readers of this blog will be well-aware that I often write on matters to do with the churches. I even had a well received article in Front Page Magazine some time back that looked at why many mainstream churches are now Leftist. And readers will also have noted how derisively I speak of "liberal" Christians. I imagine however that some readers would want to ask what right an atheist (which I am) has to to pontificate on such matters. The simple answer is that it is my remote fundamentalist past still speaking. I still have great sympathy for my former fundamentalist brothers in arms despite no longer being one of them. And I share their view of what a "real" Christian is. All that aside, however, I do think that there is an important rational distinction to be made between those on the one hand who sincerely believe that Christ is their saviour and do their humble best to follow his teachings and those on the other hand who have no real convictions but simply use the churches for social, political or even financial purposes. And I will continue to refer to the former as "real" Christians and the rest as "pretend" Christians, "impostors" and "hypocrites" -- or, as Christ called the equivalent people in his day: "whited sepulchres" (Matthew 23:27): "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye are like unto whited sepulchres which indeed appear beautiful outward but are within full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness". I will never be able to better that description.

I should, I guess, make clear that it is pretend belief, not unbelief or unorthodox belief that I am condemning. I have met holy people of all faiths and no faith -- from the Greek Orthodox Church to Jehovah's Witnesses. And in my view the holiest person I know is a geriatric nurse who works in a nursing home. When her lonelier patients finally become so ill that they are sent to hospital she goes of her own accord and in her own time to visit them in hospital. Such good-heartedness leaves me awestruck. She is, as it happens, a complete atheist who says that her strong Methodist background was never anything but a burden. She also is a habitual voter for the A.L.P. -- Australia's major Leftist party -- but like many supporters of that party (including its present Federal leader) she has strong conservative views on many subjects -- in her case including a complete derision for anything to do with governments.

And what I think all of that goes to show is the one thing Leftists hate to admit -- that life is far too complex to be reduced to their simple rules, formulas, slogans and theories.

And Ann Coulter has a very amusing article on the hypocrisy about religion of the current Democrat Presidential hopefuls. Some excerpts: "When they were fund-raising, the Democratic candidates for president all claimed to be Jewish.... To ease Democrats into the Jesus thing, the Democratic Leadership Council is holding briefings for Democratic candidates teaching them how to talk about religion. The participants were warned that millions of Americans worship a supreme being whose name is not Bill Clinton... The only Democrats who go to church regularly are the ones who plan to run for president someday and are preparing in advance to fake a belief in God... "



Edward Feser has a powerful article on Tech Central Station about the ideal Democrat Presidential candidate. History is most awkward for the Left. I am more than pleased to see someone else saying what I have been saying for so long. For instance, Feser claims that the Left suffer from "projection" (seeing their own faults in others). I first made that claim in an academic journal in 1972 -- though I very much doubt that I was totally original in making that claim at that time.

Friedman in the NYT rightly says that the war with extremist Islam is World War III and rightly says that the Islamic nations themselves are needed to help us win it. How we get them to help is the question. Intimidating them is surely one part of the answer. The toppling of Saddam seems to have changed a lot of minds among Islamic rulers. The "carrot and stick" approach, in short.

A reader comments on my post yesterday about Hillary Clinton's racial stereotyping: "I think you (and possibly Hillary) missed the REAL MESSAGE of racial stereotyping of Indians. This is about as positive a statement of the work ethic of Indians as exists - these guys own and manage gas stations when those complaining of "lack of opportunity" buy the gas while the Indians sell it. This is the way it is for many Indians - they arrive dirt poor, work like hell, go to school, and end up OWNING the neighborhood - tha American dream at its best - and Hillary is really stereotyping them - as SMART" Yes. I have always said that Leftists do know what the racial differences are. They just won't normally admit to it.

The court case resulting from the police shooting of African immigrant Diallo has now been settled with a $3 million payout from NYC to his parents. The police concerned were exonerated as having acted out of a honest mistake but there was an understandable political furore over the event nonetheless. A reader comments: "Following Diallo's killing by police from the Street Crimes Unit, Mayor Bloomberg abandoned the unit in the interest of "eliminating police brutality" {Police brutality was eliminated - in fact, policing itself was eliminated.} Needless to say, since then, the murder rate has shyrocketed in this area - mostly Black. So these people have been sacrificed on the PC altar. Here are leftists praising themselves for the murder of large numbers of Blacks -- sacrificed for a "just cause".

I know I shouldn't gloat. I know. I know. But I cannot help feeling pleased with the excellent results of my own very conservative stockmarket investment strategy when I read about the results obtained by the Wall St high-flyers of just a few years ago that are described in part here. I got the sort of results that they wanted because I understood capitalism and they did not. Nasty of me.

Interested Participant has an excellent post on how millions of taxpayer and private dollars were spent on protecting an "endangered" species of mouse which has now been shown to be common in fact. But nobody in government is yet admitting that they were wrong, of course.

One of my readers whom I have quoted before here has now started her own blog -- primarily concerned with the idiocies of modern literary studies.

The Wicked one has recent posts saying that DDT is good for you and that there should be free trade in jobs.


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8 January, 2003


A reader writes:

"Delighted to read the article on hormesis. Interestingly, it was a health physicist called Luckey who first revived this hormesis thesis over twenty years ago -- but somehow he got the silent treatment, just like Paracelsus. The radiation protection brigade are hardly going to expand their remit if they admit that a small dose of gamma rays is the best thing since sliced pan.

Here's a radiation hormesis site you might be interested in. See also here and here. The final paragraph of this essay says it all:

"In August 1985, a Conference on Radiation Hormesis in Oakland, California, recognized the reversal in concepts of radiation effects. Its Proceedings, published in the Health Physics journal in 1987, finally recognized that low dose radiation is not only good for you, it is essential to life. But how will Health Physicists now earn a living? ""



Kristof in the NYT does the usual performance for that rag of appearing fair and unbiased -- as long as you don't think too much. He clearly hates it that so many Americans are real Christians (as distinct from the pretend Christians who are so common among Episcopalians etc) and tries to excuse Howard Dean's lie about his Bible knowledge this way: "Anyone who cites Job as a New Testament book should be scolded not just for religious phoniness but also for appalling ignorance of Western civilization _ on a par with Mr. Bush's calling Greeks "Grecians." Dean made his gaffe after explicitly claiming to know the Bible well. So according to Kristof, poor grammar by GWB equates with an outright lie by a Democrat! But I guess that's the sort of senseless judgment that the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold.

David Brooks has an amusing article in the NYT about the "neocon" conspiracy theories that are so popular even among the mainstream Left as an "explanation" of GWB's foreign policy. This "definition" gave me a chuckle: "con is short for "conservative" and neo is short for "Jewish"". Some of the letter-writers to the NYT got very huffy about their antisemitism being described so blithely but you don't have to read many recent Leftist rants to know the truth behind what Brooks said.

GWB's latest proposals to give official recognition to illegal immigrants is clearly another abandonment of conservatism on his part. In practice, it is nothing more than a total abandonment of immigration controls. I am glad I live in a country with a real conservative government that controls illegal immigration effectively. One can only hope that GWB's proposal is a temporary political expedient like his steel tariffs and that he is secretly hoping that it will get overruled in Congress the way his steel tariff was overruled by the WTO.

A leading Democrat engages in public racial stereotyping. But she's a Democrat so that's OK. "New York Senator Hillary Clinton has felt obliged to apologise for making a joke about Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi having worked as a gas station manager in Saint Louis, Missouri"

Have I missed something? Where are all the protests against China from the Greenies and animal libbers? "Animal merchants watched aghast as government SARS fighters descended on China's largest wildlife market Wednesday and hauled off bagfuls of squirming civet cats for slaughter"

Christians in general, and evangelicals in particular, have been leaving the Democratic Party in droves. And why should they not, given how openly hostile the party of the left has become to every social issue embraced by Christians as well as the most trivial public expressions of Christianity? Were significant elements within the Democratic Party to have their way, every mention of Christmas would be banned, every Christian would be barred from public service and every homeschooler would be forcibly thrown to the lions of the public schools.

One impostor down: "Archbishop Peter Carnley has announced he will step down as the head of the Anglican Church in Australia early next year... Dr Carnley, 66, was a controversial choice for primate when he was elected by his peers four years ago because of his liberal views on gays, the ordination of women and his strong stand on Aboriginal land rights"

Opinion Journal draws attention to yet another instance of the constant Leftist claim that they are the smart ones and conservatives are dummies. Just have a look at my comments on the work of five prominent Leftist intellectuals in my field of academic expertise here and here and here and here and here and decide for yourself how smart they are. If those five are not enough, there's lots more here.

But one thing that DOES differentiate conservatives and Leftists is happiness. There is a long history of evidence showing that conservatives are happier. The latest is from Gallup: "Even when accounting for partisan differences in marital status and household income, Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats and independents to be very happy." Leftists are miserable sods, to put it plainly -- but you just have to hear their constant whining about everything in our society to know that.

Extremist Islam in America: "Just as a Florida Islamic conference was trying to recover from one media controversy, they were mired in another when Islamic speakers who have voiced support for suicide bombers and referred to Jews as "Jewish crackers," "apes" and "pigs" freely addressed the crowd and were warmly embraced by conference leaders. The speakers addressed the crowd just hours after Islamic leader Dr. Sayed M. Saeed assured media that those present represented "mainstream" Islam"

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with a heap of good links.


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7 January, 2003


The welfare state versus the family: The Swedish experience: If the author's arguments are correct, the long term effect of the welfare state is the depopulation of the nation, the erosion of its tax base and possible influx of peoples from cultures where extended family and ethnic bonds are put before national bonds, thus undermining the 'social compact' that democratic welfare states rest on.

And as Sowell says: "These countries have also been importing large numbers of immigrants from other countries and other civilizations, people with values at cross purposes -- often dangerously so, as we learned last September 11th. Because these culturally different immigrants typically have a much higher fertility rate than the populations of the countries to which they are moving, the very composition of the Western world is changing in irreversible ways that threaten the survival of the existing culture.... the sheer magnitude of today's immigration into Western countries threatens to overwhelm any society's ability to absorb so many strangers and so many incompatible cultures. As just one example, the virtue of tolerance has been extended to cultures that are unabashedly intolerant. As Pat Buchanan says, try setting up a Christian church in Istanbul! Do we want to import people who are preaching hatred toward other American groups, such as the Jews, who are already here?

Steve Sailer looks at the statistics in more detail



Keith Burgess-Jackson has a great article out that presents in his usual breezy style the story of how he moved from being a Leftist to being a conservative. It is a very common move over a lifetime of course -- with Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan being the best-known examples -- and Keith does strongly associate the move with gaining increasing experience and understanding of life's realities. I liked this sentence: "The good news is that as long as one lives, one can be saved into conservatism". Keith is an atheist but obviously he uses evengelical language to describe what a big and beneficial change the move from Left to Right can be. As a lifelong conservative myself, I have never experienced that "conversion" -- I have had a lifetime of poking fun at Leftists instead. There are of course heaps of lifetime conservatives but you rarely hear from them. They are just happily getting on with their own lives and doing their best to dodge being bothered by all the busybodies and meddlers of the world. I myself have always spoken up (for the last 40 years) because I have always found Leftism to be so incredibly at variance with the facts -- and for some reason that has always bothered me greatly.

Incidentally, for the origin of the saying about heartless youth that Keith quotes at the beginning of his article, see under "Leftist Youth" here

Once again experience brings a move from Left to Right: "When I was growing up, the family dinner was a tradition. Above the clatter of plates, my parents discussed the world around us from their perspectives at either end of the great oak table. Together, we'd review the news of the day put into context by the events of yesterday, and always we'd think about tomorrow. Politics was a main course, and being a working-class family from Massachusetts, we were fed a healthy serving of Democratic Party principles. ... But I expect to break with that tradition. Come November, I'll be casting my vote for George Bush."



A Texas funeral for a fallen soldier. I was moved to tears. I hope you will be too. There is so little we can do to comfort bereaved families but on this occasion all that could be done was done. Leftist intellectuals may be indifferent to loss of human life but decent people are not.

A review of In Denial: Historians, Communism & Espionage by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr: "Hard as it may be for outsiders to imagine, a lingering affection for communism remains part of American university life.... American leftists insisted for decades that Hiss was falsely condemned. When a mountain of evidence proved the case against him (and many others), the defenders began suggesting that maybe spying actually didn't matter.."

Australia has nothing remotely like the race problems of the USA but lots of parents (including myself) still send their children to private schools. And Government statistics expose the myth that private schools are for the rich. "A breakdown of parental income shows 9 per cent of Australia's 3.3 million students live in families where the average annual income is less than $20,800. Almost one in five of these students - about 50,000 children - go to a non-government school". People just like to have choices about how their children are educated. But the advocates of government education don't like that one bit.

Is "free" education and medical care too expensive? This excerpt from a National Review article (not online) by Stephen Moore (titled "Nice goin' Uncle Sam") suggests that it is: "According to Department of Labor consumer-price index (CPI) data, since the creation of Medicare in the mid 1960s the health-care component of the CPI has grown at roughly twice the rate of economy-wide inflation. But in the 15 years prior to Uncle Sam's taking on the role of health insurer, medical inflation grew at about the same rate as inflation in other sectors of the economy. There are only two industries in America today that suffer from rampant inflation: health care and education. In virtually all other sectors of the economy, prices are relatively stable, or even falling. So why do prices in these two industries gallop out of control? In both cases, government plays a domineering role."

Leftist meddling reaches a new height. In Britain you now need a licence to MEDITATE! If you don't believe it, Scott Burgess sums it up in The Daily Ablution.

What fun! "Genetic testing confirms that the cow diagnosed with the first U.S. case of mad cow disease was born in Canada"


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6 January, 2003


The Greenies will hate this one: Because of a long-known effect called "hormesis", most poisons and pollutants (even radiation) are actually good for you in small amounts -- which is a nasty shock for the simplistic Greenie approach that wants "zero" of practically everything modern. Life is always more complex than the know-it-all theorists imagine. Hormesis is actually the theoretical basis of homeopathic medicine -- though all that homeopaths normally give you in their "medicines" is distilled water. Under the heading "Naughty Radiation" I first blogged on hormesis back in 2002. (Scroll down a little). See also here under "Nice Toxins".

The indefatigable Randall Parker at Future Pundit has a blockbuster post on global warming. He say that IF global warming exists, it is very difficult to know it and that programs to reduce soot and methane emissions would be much more effective and cheaper than the Kyoto nonsense in reducing global temperature. But here's the really awful bit for the Greenies: U.S. soot levels have already halved in recent years just as a result of normal technological progress, without governments doing a thing! And even worse, the big soot-production offenders are Third World countries! Randall will end up wearing cement boots if he is not careful! Speaking so much truth all at once could be dangerous!

Panic! The Earth's magnetic field is weakening! I wonder how long it will take the Greenies to blame the Bush administration for that? Judging by their record on ozone and global warming, any possibility that planetary events might be natural fluctuations is always dismissed.



The book on national differences in IQ by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen (IQ and The Wealth of Nations) is finally getting a bit of media attention and their findings have also now been used academically (Voracek M. "National intelligence and suicide rate: an ecological study of 85 countries". Personality & Individual Differences, 2003, in press) so I thought I might add a small contribution to the discussion.

I have just uploaded to the web an article by Nathaniel Weyl which was written nearly 40 years ago and which is now very little known (though it is referred to here). It reports a large and comprehensive body of data on white Rhodesians -- as they then were. They were one of the most intelligent Caucasian populations ever -- now of course thoroughly dispersed and destroyed by the Mugabe regime. Weyl explains the selective pressures that produced such high IQs among whites in what is now Zimbabwe. Details here or here



How hilarious! Frontrunning U.S. Democrat Presidential candidate Howard Dean needs Bible-belt votes so claimed to know the Bible well -- then immediately proved his utter ignorance of it. GOP supporters should now have a new motto available to them: "Dean Lied"!

Antisemitism is alive and well on German Public Radio. History IS slowly repeating itself. Hitler was a German socialist too.

I tend to like Jews -- mainly because of their intelligence, I guess -- and every regular reader of this blog will be aware that no Gentile could be more pro-Israel than I am. But none of that means that I think Jews and Gentiles are the same. I think that there are some things that are typically (though not of course universally) Jewish. I came across an amusing example of it recently in my correspondence with the very Zionist Arlene Peck (whom I quote often). She asked me why I just quote her without adding any comment of my own. I said that she and I see eye to eye so there is nothing for me to add. Her reply? Essentially it was "Well, why don't you quote me more often, then?" I guess that sort of "never satisfied" response might annoy some Gentiles but I was still laughing about it half an hour later. People don't have to be exactly the same as you for you to like them. It would be a sad day for men and women if that were the case.

Why the Left hate Bush: "His fiercest detractors don't loathe him merely because they think he's mediocre, hypocritical and simplistic. What they truly resent is that his popularity suggests that the country might be more like him than it is like them. They fear he's exiling them politically. On one level, their embrace of hatred aims to make others share their outrage; but on another level, it's a self-indulgent declaration of moral superiority"

Tim Blair has a dreadful story about how Leftist hate-speech against GWB led to actual deaths in Turkey. Not that deaths have ever bothered Leftists, though.

Bernard Chapin has a blog that espouses a lot of traditionalist values but is still very lively and full of fun. He is also exasperated with the foolish behaviour of women seeking a mate. He finds a lot of them so up themselves that he wonders why they bother. Women in their 30s and late 20s seem to be the main target of his ire. I myself ran a popular singles group for a couple of years once so I recognize the behaviour of which he speaks. It is just self-centredness as far as I can see and that is crippling to anyone -- male or female. And it is the self-centred ones who tend to get left on the shelf and so are the main frequenters of singles venues. Bernard's story about "Evil Chuck" is amusing. I used to have a much simpler line for the same purpose. I used to walk up and say (with a smile): "Can I join this meeting?" It always worked. I personally have no complaints about women at all. Women have been more than kind to me in my life.

The Wicked one thinks that Christians are too fearful of biotechnology.


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5 January, 2003


As you will see from the link below, anti-Americanism is rife in France, particularly among the more intellectual strata of French society, and all sorts of batty things are eagerly believed there about Britain and America. I will never attend a dinner party in France but here are the some of the things that I would probably say if I did:

"Europe invented both Communism and Fascism and it took the Anglo-Saxons to rescue them from both -- so it is the Europeans who are the moral cripples, not the Anglo-Saxons"

"France originated both Communism and Fascism. The revolution led to Communism and Napoleon was the first Fascist. He ran a police State, he waged great wars of conquest. He preached the national glory of his country and all he achieved in the end was the death of millions of his people -- all of which is exactly what Hitler and Mussolini later did"

I would no doubt at some point be accused of ignorance of the profundities of French philosophy so I would say: "French philosophers think that creating confusion is clever. Anglo-Saxon philosophy aims to clarify things. Confusion is childish. Getting things clear is what you do as you grow up.

Wouldn't that be rude of me? But Australians are in general a blunt lot. I would probably get tossed out before I got my dinner, though.

French thinker Jean-Francois Revel says that French and other European anti-Americans are out of it mentally. Excerpt:

"Revel, for example, doubts that anti-Americanism seriously can be challenged by rational thought and a careful mustering of facts. Overwhelming the anti-Americans with reason, he believes, would be a formidable and perhaps impossible task "doomed to failure, since the disinformation in question is not the result of pardonable, correctable mistakes, but rather of a profound psychological need" ... "The mechanism of the Great Lie that fences in America on every front, and the rejection of everything that might refute it," Revel says, "evokes the equivalent lie that surrounded the Soviet Union ever since 1917 - not to the detriment, but to the advantage of the Communist empire. Here again, among those who fed from the idealized and falsified images of 'existing socialism,' a sort of mental flyswatter swiped away at facts that were too threateningly real."



"Americans give over two-and-a-half times more of their income to charity than do than Canadians." Just like Republicans in the USA when compared to Democrats. It's all explainable by the secret socialist motto: "We don't care so you have to".

Leftists fancy themselves as intellectuals but I have always said that they are only second-rate intellectuals and in my own field I have repeatedly shown that to be true. But this article about Marxist Terry Eagleton makes "second rate" look like a vast overestimate. The guy has gone from being a big defender of postmodernism to now saying it is all wrong but still calls himself a Marxist and is still treated worshipfully by other Leftists. How desperate can you get? They've got about as much intellectual rigor as a flea! It's not what you say but whom you hate that counts. But we read: "Nowadays Mr. Eagleton lives the life of an academic superstar" so I think that tells you all you need to know about Leftist intellectuals. They are just con-men but the mugs lap it up.

And another much more trivial case in point: The Annals of Improbable Research reports a study by a Prof. Trinkaus showing that 'modern kids don't smile when they see Santa'. Trinkaus admits that he does not know why they do not smile or if they ever did but still draws big conclusions about the evils of modern society from his "findings".

There is an amusing and very pro-Democrat article in the NYT which, despite all its biases, ends up admitting that the Democrats are mushy on national security and that they will lose votes over it. And the author didn't mind slipping in a few untruths to bolster his anti-Bush hatreds. For instance he says: "Zakaria noted that ''with the exception of Britain and Israel, every country the administration has dealt with feels humiliated by it.''" I guess Australia and Poland don't exist to Democrat eyes. Both unhesitatingly sent troops to help depose Saddam and have supported American policy solidly. Poland is a European country as big as France and Australia is the only nation to have an entire continent to itself -- but we know how often large realities can be invisible to Leftists.

U.S. Army snipers in Iraq seem to be doing a good job of giving the terrorists a bit of their own back.

"The first of January will mark ten years of NAFTA [The North American Free Trade Agreement]. There is little doubt it has helped the United States and Canada, but how about Mexico? Foreign investment in Mexico has increased dramatically. It now stands at $12 billion a year, more than India receives. Exports have grown by a factor of three, up to $161 billion. Mexico's per capita income has risen 24%, to $4000 a year"

One of the Leftist historians whom Keith Windschuttle has attacked for "fabricating" Australian Aboriginal history -- the same one who defended herself by saying that historians make things up all the time (!) -- has another defence of herself here -- the core of which is that other "independent" historians have agreed with her account. What a laugh! There is only ONE "independent" historian of that subject in Australia -- Windschuttle! That Leftists stick together is extremely unsurprising but proves nothing. You have to look at the evidence itself and that is exactly what the wicked Windschuttle has done.

Conservative German blogger David Kaspar is having a good laugh (in English) over the fact that the European space probe sent to Mars failed but the American one worked.

The Wicked one has a post on how the Left still hate the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover and the amusing lies that they tell about him.


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4 January, 2003


Keith Windschuttle points out how nonsensical are the Leftist claims about how wonderful primitive people were. Aside from the mythical Tasaday, they were usually extremely brutal and selfish in fact. Windschuttle reports for instance the "frequently murderous level of violence Tasmanian men heaped on their women" .

He notes that even historians who criticize him in fact confirm his account: "How violent, Clendinnen asks, were Aboriginal men toward their women? "Very", she answers. "What the newcomers saw as remarkable --what I would think would be remarkable anywhere --were the blows Australian men publicly, casually, dealt their women for trivial offences, and their ready resort to weapons. Their women were, literally, browbeaten."

And, as it happens, it still goes on today. I myself have had a fair bit to do with Australian Aborigines in my time and I have SEEN them treat their women in exactly the same way today. I have SEEN Aboriginal men casually knock their women across the room for such minor offences as interrupting them. There is absolutely no doubt that Windschuttle has got it right. And it is a work of art the way he demolishes his Leftist critics.



More from mathematician Brignell's Numberwatch site. He has a discussion of the work of AIDS/HIV skeptic Gordon Stewart -- whose predictions on the course of the AIDS epidemic seem to have been more accurate than those of the establishment:

"(In) 1989 Gordon Stewart wrote a paper challenging the official view that AIDs cases in the UK would reach tens of thousands by 1992. His paper remained unpublished during a four-year correspondence in which referees wrote comments such as "Why should I read a paper by someone who believes the earth is flat?" Stewart's paper, which was rejected by Nature, Science, the New England Journal of Medicine and the British Medical Journal, was proved to be correct to within a remarkable 10%. The "experts" were out by several orders of magnitude. The establishment ignored their shame and simply moved on.

The same process is now taking place with the Global Warming Myth. The reward for conforming is millions of dollars worth of grants. The penalty for dissenting is being relegated to a remote corner of the World Wide Web (among the cranks and pornographers), which is the last home of scholarship, as practised by such lone battlers as John Daly."



Charles Murtaugh has a fascinating post on the biological role of prions (the probable cause of "mad cow disease" or CJD). Apparently they have very important natural functions in the brain but, like everything else, can go awry sometimes -- a bit like cells going wrong and turning into cancer. So hundreds of unlucky people get CJD spontaneously every year and there is NOTHING that governments can do about it. So the logic is that America's sole mad cow could have got it spontaneously too.... Hey! That would let those complacent Canadians off the hook! Clayton Cramer has a post suggesting that existing government research into the problem may be misdirected anyhow.

I have always liked the Poles and this article tells what a hero nation Poland is -- and it may even be the world's most pro-American nation. They know the importance of liberty from experience.

The is an amusing NYT article by David Brooks here that says that in the next election the GOP can no longer advocate reducing the size of government (because they don't reduce it) so will have to advocate change. That proposal is of course meant to be provocative and one hopes that it is. It might help drive out the last remnants of the nonsensical claim that conservatives oppose change. Brooks is right. There is a whole heap of Democrat nonsense enshrined in U.S. law that badly needs changing. Abolishing the entire U.S. public school system and replacing it with vouchers would be one nice change. No alternative school system could be worse than the present one as far as I can see. No doubt it won't happen but it gives you an idea of the scope for change that exists. And how about legislating for more "diversity" on campus by setting quotas that say the percentage of conservative professors on campus must mirror the percentage of conservatives in the community?

Britain: Shuffling the deckchairs on the "Titanic": "Downing Street advisers are pressing for the Government to take over direct funding of schools, which could spell the end of local education authorities. Two of Tony Blair's senior aides want him to 'nationalise' school spending, channelling money to headteachers and governors through a central agency that would 'cut out the middle man.'"

A little bit of conservatism in a big lot of socialism: "For advocates of consumer-driven health care, the most positive part of the new law has little to do with Medicare. It is the section that expands medical savings accounts, renamed Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Such accounts empower consumers by allowing them and their employers to choose higher-deductible insurance plans, with the savings from lower premiums going into tax-sheltered savings accounts that are the property of the consumer."

An Australian public broadcaster is running a Hanoi government (Communist) news program against the wishes of the local Vietnamese community. So much for their charter...

Australian blogger Esoterica is definitely interested in all the big questions. I like his post about obedience and the Left. I wonder if he knows about the Milgram experiment? Milgram showed that it is not only Germans who are prone to obey authority, no matter what.

The Wicked one has recent posts on the evils of inflation, labor unions and condoms.


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3 January, 2004


On socialized medicine in the UK: "Harriet Sergeant's investigation of the NHS, the final part of which we publish today, is as frightening as it is infuriating. It describes a healthcare system in which the most fundamental rules of hygiene and patient care are ignored, the costs of basic supplies run out of control for sheer lack of common sense, and incompetent staff cannot be disciplined"

And another NHS report: "Whether you enjoy attentive nurses, a proper diet and clean wards is simply pot luck. Nor can this arbitrary standard of care be blamed wholly on staff shortages; rather, it is a catastrophic failure of management, combined with substandard training, that has brought about a crisis in the wards."

And the British taxpayer is SO kind to foreigners: "All asylum seekers who have an illness for which they cannot get treatment in their own country, have under Human Rights Legislation, the right to stay in this country and to receive free treatment. So if you are HIV positive, you have an automatic right to asylum in the UK.... Applicants from Eastern Europe and the Third World have recently received two thirds of student visas, and the majority of work permits. Unfortunately TB, Hepatitis B and HIV are all endemic in these parts of the world. They are contagious, life-threatening diseases and are now taking hold in the UK. For example, 95% of all new cases of Hepatitis B in this country come from abroad. Each patient costs the NHS about o10,000 a year. HIV is now a heterosexual disease. Rates of TB in London have doubled over the last 15 years. London is now the TB capital of Europe"



Americans do not yet seem to be panicking about their "mad cow" case and nor should they, apparently. Prof. John Brignell, the author of the UK site "NUMBERWATCH" has released his "number of the year" for 2003. It's 137...

"This is the total number of vCJD ["mad cow"] deaths recorded ever. It was meant to be millions, but something went wrong somewhere. It all but destroyed the British beef industry. If this is not exciting enough how about the total of 774 deaths ever from SARS? That caused a temporary economic collapse in South East Asia. For a really boring comparison consider the 20 million deaths from influenza in 1918 alone. The important thing to remember is that Panic Sells Papers." (Quote from the end of this article). Prof. Brignell also adds some comments on the British NHS.

But that mad cow is great for propaganda: "PETA's quasi-medical front group, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has purchased a sponsored link that appears when you type 'mad cow' into the Google search engine. Unsuspecting Google users simply see a page called 'mad cow facts,' but they may quickly find themselves bombarded with unabashed anti- meat propaganda."



A marvellous post on environmentalism here from someone who has taken great trouble to look into it.

Regarding my "Town and Gown" posting yesterday, a reader reminded me of G.B. Shaw's saying: "Those who can do, and those who can't, teach". There is a later extension of that applying to universities: "And those who can't teach, teach the teachers!"

Almanacs are dangerous? The FBI is not what it used to be: "The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning. In a bulletin sent Christmas Eve to about 18,000 police organizations, the FBI said terrorists may use almanacs 'to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning.'"

A survey here of what Islamic clergy in Europe have been telling their congregations lately: "With one exception, they are sermons that incite to hatred. The end of Ramadan was marked by the legitimization of Islamic terrorism in Iraq and the whole world"

An improved climate: "Every year, environmental alarmists claim we have taken another step on the road to ruin. This year, they claim 2003 was the third-hottest year ever, and that its heat waves, floods, and tornadoes are evidence of global warming that will bring global catastrophe. But, despite their claims, statist environmentalists will remember 2003 as a very bad year for their credibility. Above all, we should remember 2003 as the year that saw the death of the most economically damaging idea ever to come out of the United Nations, the Kyoto Protocol on climate change."

I have often made the point that the idea of conservatives opposing change is an inversion of the truth. What IS true is that Leftists LOVE change. Conservatives can take it or leave it. This account of Australia's shortlived but very Leftist government of the '70s shows just HOW frantic for change that government was.

German blogger "Davids Medienkritik" (he posts in both English and German) is very amused at Chancellor Schroeder being invited to attend French D-Day celebrations. I must say that I am surprised that the arrival of Anglo-Saxon liberating forces is even mentioned in France today. Isn't that "unilateral" or something?

As I do occasionally link to Leftist sites, I suppose I should link to extreme-Right sites occasionally too. This one is classic in its nuttiness. Though it could equally well be from the extreme Left, come to think of it.


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2 January, 2004


I put up a link recently to one of Thomas Sowell's articles about how business, profit and commerce generally seem to be decried and scorned by the intelligentsia. And having spent much of my life in academe, I often noted myself the scorn many academics express for the world of business. Why that enmity? I think it might help if I note that this is not exactly a new phenomenon. For hundreds of years in Europe there was always a "Town and Gown" rivalry -- where "Gown" meant the students and academics of the local university and "Town" were the ordinary businesspeople of the city. So at least in part it is yet another version of the natural group prejudice that I have been alluding to recently in my comments on America's "hegemony". People like their own group best and are suspicious of outsiders. People who live very different lives develop different values and do usually consider their own values to be the best. Academics are "prejudiced", in short (horrors!).

Another obvious factor is that old green-eyed monster again -- envy. Lots of people in business make lots of money but few academics do. And since academics tend to consider themselves to be better in all sorts of ways, what is that usually going to lead to? Rage and hate of course! Childish but all too common, I am afraid. I suppose I should be glad that I have never had that conflict. I am one of the few who have been successful in both business and academe. I preach capitalism and I practice it too. And the realities of practicing it are a pretty good innoculation against the impractical nonsense of the Left.



At NUMBERWATCH, British mathematician John Brignell has some interesting correspondence with one of the critics of global-warming skeptic John Daly:

"We are invited to accept the IPCC report, and particularly the Summary for policy makers, as the Holy Writ and reject the Daly contributions as Apocrypha. What I see is a bunch of hypocritical Green politicians and bureaucrats getting up to all sorts of dishonest shenanigans to foist an economically damaging myth on a gullible world, contrasted with an honest jobbing lone scholar with limited resources trying to establish that there is an alternative view. They ask "Which would you rather believe?" I reply "Daly!" The alterations made to the IPPC report, in particular, are tantamount to downright fraud.

John Daly gets many things wrong. I am prepared to make allowances for this, as he is a lone amateur scholar. I make no allowances for the likes of CRU, with 40 staff and millions of pounds of taxpayer money. 40 was our number of the month for August 2001 in their honour. The likes of Daly have as opposition not only the whole of the "scientific" establishment, but also the whole of the media establishment. Times Newspapers and the BBC, for example, go in for large scale ratchet reporting of warm weather and completely ignore devastating examples of cold. They also cold-bloodedly fake their charts, as O'Ronain and Daly cogently pointed out. Why, if they think they are right?"



There is now a mirror site for "PC Watch" that is viewable in China. See HERE. The webspace I upload it to is very carelessly managed so I may not be able to update it every day but I will update it several times a week at least, I hope.

An interesting article here on the great flexibility and tolerance of American Christianity and the irrelevance of religious denomination. One cannot help reflect on the contrast with Islamic or Leftist fanaticism.

French culture: "In what has become one of France's least agreeable annual customs, vandals torched 324 automobiles during New Year celebrations"

Colin Powell has just set out the New Year resolutions of the Bush administration. And it's a real no-nonsense program! I notice that even Castro seems to be in their sights. Not before time!

Generous people from a generous nation: "The top 400 American earners in 2000 provided nearly 7 percent of all the charitable gifts reported on income tax returns for that year, well in excess of their roughly 1 percent share of overall income"

How FDR's New Deal harmed millions of poor people: "For defenders of the New Deal, perhaps the most embarrassing revelation about New Deal spending programs is they channeled money AWAY from the South, the poorest region in the United States. The largest share of New Deal spending and loan programs went to political 'swing' states in the West and East - where incomes were at least 60% higher than in the South. As an incumbent, FDR didn't see any point giving much money to the South where voters were already overwhelmingly on his side."

Arlene Peck points out that it is not only Jews who are under attack in Israel but Christians too.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again. It is quality not quantity this week.

"Precautionary Tales" tells us that George Monbiot (UK Leftist pundit) is really a reactionary who even hates aircraft.

One of Chris Brand's latest postings says that if you can "tube" your tongue it is a sign of high IQ!

The Wicked one has recent posts about the autism scare and one way that Clinton was better than Bush.

An amusing Xmas story on No. 2 Pencil. Excerpt: "I woke up my boyfriend so that we could open our gifts. And then I poured a nice large shot of liqueur into my coffee. Boyfriend wondered aloud why I was hitting the booze so early; I reminded him that it was necessary because I was getting ready to open gifts from my family".


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1 January, 2003


In response to my post yesterday about America being doomed to being unloved by many, Wayne Lusvardi writes:

Perhaps we can learn from two old jokes for the New Year from Iraq circa 1925. From 1914 to 1932 Britain occupied Iraq under a Mandate from the League of Nations to abolish the old Ottomon Turkish-British imperialism and create a modern state out of its urban Sunni, rural Shiite, and mountain Kurdish tribes. Britain ruled mainly by the then new air power of the Royal Air Force and the use of expert "advisers." By 1932 Britain abandoned Iraq. What the U.S. might learn from that experience comes from two popular Iraqi jokes of that time:

Joke 1 - There are only two things to fear - Allah and the Hakumat al tayarrat (government by aircraft).

Joke 2 - (A). Men say that a certain religious Mullah has prophesied the immediate second coming of the Mahdi (savior).

.............(B). What good would that be? Christ will come too and he'll be the Mahdi's Adviser.

Borrowing from the thoughts of Niccolo Machiavelli, history may not necessarily repeat itself but it laughs at any American expectation that we can be both loved and respected in Iraq and the Middle East. The dilemma is that we can't be loved unless we are first respected, but can't be respected by merely trying to be loved. It is probably not coincidental that love is a central Christian concept that is at best marginal to the Islamic religion. The U.S. might just have to accept that it is a sufficient partial victory to get its troops out of Iraq and Saudi Arabia and to be respected by other terrorist states or rogue terrorists, and give up any expectation of being loved or setting up any form of democracy in Iraq.



I have decided that ozone depletion theory is a bit too arcane a subject for me to continue my series of postings on it here but there is a heap of stuff on the net from climate scientists who have always disputed the ozone-CFC connection. Start here for instance. From my reading of the evidence, ozone fluctuations, as with global temperature fluctuations, are a product of solar variation -- though in the case of Antarctica some scientists also implicate micrometeorites.

Before I leave the subject, however, I have received what I regard as an interesting email on it from Rogue Pundit -- which I reproduce here for the record.



For those who have not already seen the story, the huge death toll (now 40,000) in the recent Iranian earthquake was essentially the doing of the mad mullahs in the rag hats, believe it or not.

Sounds good to me: "Washington's hawks have sent a public manifesto to President George Bush demanding regime change in Syria and Iran and a Cuba-style military blockade of North Korea backed by planning for a pre-emptive strike on its nuclear sites."

One reason why NASCAR fans like the GOP: "NASCAR is a daredevil sport. It's all about risk-taking and nerve. Not unlike President Bush's Iraq policy, and his tax cuts and his plans to remake Medicare and Social Security. Not necessarily reckless, but bold and nervy. "NASCAR fans feel like the president is one of them," Hunter said. Democrats, on the other hand, have become the party of the safety net. At NASCAR events, there are no safety nets."

Amusing: "The Domino's Pizza poll found the day of Saddam's capture provided delivery drivers with their biggest "tips night" of the year"

Amazing: The favourite New Year TV viewing of Germans is a British play broadcast in English!

Economist and former anarchist Johan Norberg says people are dying because the West talks free markets but doesn't live it internationally. He says MORE globalization is needed, not less: "Take just about any statistic, any indicator of living standards in the world, and you can see the progress that has been made over the exact period that worries globalization critics. In the last 30 years we've seen chronic hunger and the extent of child labor being halved. In the last 40 years, we've seen life expectancy going up to 64 years in developing countries.... What's more, the most progress is found in the countries that increased trade and contacts with the outside world. "

There is a very frank article here about the disgusting way the U.S. Congress decides what to do with the taxpayer's money. Big government is inbuilt.

Lee Harris points out that the stupid Leftist search for simple formulas to solve all life's problems is now even more pointless than ever in the age of terrorism. There ARE no simple answers or sure-fire remedies for terrorism, much as we all no doubt wish there were. Conservatives, however, have ALWAYS said that the world is a complex place.

We have recently had some unintended compliments from an Australian Leftist. About the new leader of Australia's major party of the Left, Robert Manne says: "Mark Latham is probably the most right-wing leader the ALP has ever had. On economic questions he is a low tax, neo-liberal. On political questions he has shown consistent contempt for the values of the inner suburban, chardonnay socialist set." And about our immigration policy "Of all Western societies, Australia is now almost alone in having no asylum claims from unauthorised arrivals. Since Tampa, there has been, quite simply, no asylum seeker "problem" here."

I have found another blogger who liked the Queen's Christmas message -- N.Z. blogger PNN


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