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31 July, 2003


I have set out at length here (or here) the historical evidence in favour of the view that Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian and that the political authoritarianism of the 20th century was overwhelmingly Leftist in origin. Does that mean that there is no Rightist authoritarianism? Of course not. Conservatism is intrinsically suspicious of government power, authority and control but there are nonetheless some conservatives who want to use government authority for their own ends -- with some Christian conservatives in particular often attempting to impose Christian practices (Sabbath observance etc.) on everyone else.

Most psychologists, however, tell exactly the opposite story. They are wedded to the view that authoritarianism is intrinsically Rightist. But can they prove it? As the literature surveyed by the Berkeley group shows, they have spent over 50 years trying to do so. Amusingly, however, all their attempts have foundered on their inability to find any way of detecting authoritarianism among conservatives. For decades they relied on the California 'F' questionnaire (invented by the Marxist Adorno and his colleagues) to provide an index of authoritarianism but the evidence that the 'F' questionnaire does NOT provide an index of authoritarianism eventually became so overwhelming (Altemeyer, 1981; Ray, 1990) that it has now generally been abandoned. Instead, research in recent years has focused on the Altemeyer RWA questionnaire. The RWA stand for Right Wing Authoritarianism. Yet Altemeyer himself (1988, p. 239) baldly states that Right Wing Authoritarians as detected by his questionnaire, "show little preference in general for any political party"! Get it? What he is reporting is that people who show up as Rightist according to his RWA questionnaire turn out to be just as likely to vote Leftist as Rightist! So this last best hope of the conservative-bashers is not in fact an index of ANYTHING Rightist. How can people be Rightist if they vote for Leftist parties? What a circus! And THAT is the sort of psychology your taxpayer dollars are paying for.

(See also here).

ADORNO,T.W., FRENKEL-BRUNSWIK, E., LEVINSON, D.J. & SANFORD, R.N. (1950) The authoritarian personality. New York: Harper
ALTEMEYER, R. (1981). Right-wing authoritarianism. Winnipeg: University Manitoba Press.
ALTEMEYER, R. (1988) Enemies of freedom: Understanding Right-wing authoritarianism. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
RAY, J.J. (1990) The old-fashioned personality. Human Relations, 43, 997-1015.



Joke! Joke! (I hope): "Federal and local prosecutors will take to the airwaves Friday to try to make neighborhoods safer by convincing criminals that using guns carries a far higher personal cost -- a long, no-parole federal prison term -- than they might realize.

"State governors and legislators believe that ... their governments are now 'doing more with less.' The evidence, however, suggests just the opposite: States are doing less with more. The cost of state and local government services is rising along with spending in such a manner that inflation-adjusted state services are declining, but the states and localities are absorbing an increasing portion of our total output."

A Democrat view of "Green" voters that I rather like: "Older, white, left bourgeoisie, tenured and cocooned in the carapace of self-righteous satisfaction". He is just peeved because they siphon off Democrat votes of course. He is only being jaundiced, however, in saying that Greenies have no influence. In fact, BOTH major parties pander to them. It takes a Leftist not to see that.

This article points out how overwhelming the Asian, Indian and Jewish presence is at the top of America's scientific and engineering research tree and asks why. The politically motivated dumbing down of American education would seem to be one answer. Education in India and China still has standards and the USA imports the results of that. Pity about bright American kids, though.

There is a good sendup by Michelle Malkin of the "reparations" shakedown here

There is a good short article on Daniel Pipes here which points out that far from being an Islamophobe, he makes a sharp distinction between moderate Islam and the Islamic extremists -- which is why a lot of Islamic organizers hate him.

The French sure get a big serve in Front Page.

Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated: "New York City's tough gun- control laws did not prevent the City Hall shooting, [legislator Richard H.] Black said. 'Firearms regulations disarm the decent citizen,' he said." How much evidence does the anti-gun lobby need before they realize that it is only the crooks that they are helping?

Dextroblog is another conservative who is pretty disgruntled about the way government keeps growing even under GOP administrations.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again here

The Wicked one definitely has the best jokes. See particularly his post of 28th.

I put online yesterday one of the two academic papers of mine that were cited by the Berkeley group. How they can think that such a tendency as mental rigidity or intolerance of ambiguity exists after reading the vast array of evidence that I marshall there against such an idea escapes me. See here or here.


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A unicorn is something that we can describe but which does not exist. There are a lot of unicorns in psychology. And they really come out to play when psychologists are trying to disparage conservatives. Quite a lot of people noted with some puzzlement the "intolerant of ambiguity" description in the Berkeley study of conservatives. And quite a lot of people -- including the Berkeley authors themselves -- got the point that intolerance of ambiguity may not always be a bad thing. When a scientist tries to find some order in a body of data, is he not trying to reduce its ambiguity and give what is there a clearer meaning? After all, the basic scientific principle known as Occam's razor is a very strong statement of preference for the simplest possible conceptual world.

Nonethless the Berkeley intent clearly is to say that intolerace of ambiguity is generally a bad thing and that it is characteristic of conservatives. Allegedly, conservatives need to pretend that everything is cut and dried and simple even when it is not. Conservatives are allegedly simple souls who cannot deal with the complexity of the real world so have to oversimplify their understanding of it. They rush for simple formulas to describe things which in fact are complex.

Conservatives will of course recognize this as exactly what they see in Leftists -- and accusing others of your own faults is of course an old trick. What after all could be a greater and crasser oversimplification than the basic Leftist slogan of "All men are equal" -- when all men are in fact quite clearly different in various ways. So who is right? Is it Leftists or Rightists who are the great oversimplifiers? The answer clearly is: It depends on the circumstances. Leftists are often highly intelligent people much given to hairsplitting argument so while they do undoubtedly sometimes greatly oversimplify, it is not something that they HAVE to do or always do.

And that is what the research data shows: Intolerance of ambiguity is multidimensional and situational. It is NOT a trait or a consistent tendency. And that of course falsifies the customary claim by psychologists that it IS a trait or consistent tendency of conservatives. The trait concerned is a unicorn. It does not exist.

A listing of research findings supporting the view that there is no consistency in intolerance of ambiguity can be found here -- particularly under the heading Multidimensionality.

I will however mention briefly here just one of the crucial findings: The questionnaire psychologists most usually rely on as a measure of intolerance of ambiguity is the one compiled by Budner. Yet the questions in the Budner questionnaire correlate hardly at all with one another! The very measure usually relied on to detect intolerance of ambiguity itself shows that there is no such general tendency! I pointed that out in one of the two papers of mine that the Berkeley authors DID cite but they appear to have given little heed to such an inconvenient fact. They would have excluded all studies using the Budner and similar measures from their data-set if they had. Clearly, their need to disparage conservatives swamped all other considerations -- truth and logic included. One might even describe the Berkeley work as intolerant of ambiguity!



Paul Gigot has just got back from Iraq and reports of Iraqis that "The majority aren't worried that we'll stay too long; they're petrified we'll leave too soon."

Andrew Bolt points out how totally and arrogantly Leftist Australia's ABC (equivalent of America's PBS) is -- despite their denials.

Commiewatch is an interesting site run by a former U.S. Communist. If wackiness amuses you, this is a "Don't miss".

There is an amusing bit of Canada-bashing by a Canadian here. It is hard to disagree with his conclusion: "How on earth could a country as pathetic as Canada possibly have a foreign policy? It makes perfect sense that the rest of the world pays no attention to us. We do not deserve to be listened to." I myself think that Canada's lack of cojones goes back to when they started putting Frogs in charge of the place in order to keep Quebec happy.

Two quotes that the U.S. Supreme Court obviously does not agree with: "Haven't we learned, at this point, that judging and hiring and admitting and promoting on the basis of skin color is, in fact, divisive and destructive? (And un-American?)" -- Jay Nordlinger. And: "Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction." -- Thomas Jefferson

Sadly This is hardly news: "AS MUCH as £70 billion is being wasted by the UK Government every year because of inefficiency in the public services, a new independent study suggests. A report by economists at the European Central Bank (ECB) concludes that hundreds of billions of pounds could be saved in Europe each year if the EU public sector raised its game and became as efficient as that of the US or Japan."

Let's hope he's right: "Mr. Costa sees ousting Gov. Davis as merely the first step in a systemic reform of this huge state's politics. And there's evidence for his assertion that the movement is not entirely the work of the Republican right, as many elected Democrats claim, even though one wealthy conservative congressman certainly accelerated the process."

A genuine people's hero: "With government spending up to $2.2 trillion a year, there's more room than ever for waste, fraud, and abuse. Three cheers, then, for Representative Jim Nussle, who as Chairman of the House Budget Committee has launched a war to expose the rotten or unnecessary parts of the federal government."

The latest upload of one of my academic articles is another thorn in the side of psychologists who attempt to disparage conservatives. Two of the most widely- used questionnaires when psychologists are endeavouring to show conservatives as a bad lot are the Rokeach "D" questionnaire and the Adorno "F" questionnaire. If you say "Agree" to all statements in either you are allegedly shown to be a raging Fascist. In fact, however, when they are answering questionnaires lots of people agree with almost anything that sounds remotely plausible at the time. Far from being raging Fascists, they could in fact be simply agreeable, apathetic, unconcerned or careless people. In their wisdom, many psychologists discount such possibilities. They seem to think that everything people say in answering questionnaires is deep and meaningful! Hilarious! My paper here (or here) shows how unsafe and misleading it is to do that.


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29 July, 2003


John Jost, leading author of the Berkeley study, has emailed me his reply to Prof. Lindgren's post showing that conservatives in the community at large are happier than Leftists. A little birdie tells me that Prof. Lindgren now has a blockbuster demolition of the whole Berkeley study in the offing. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, one of my correspondents expresses well a point that I have often made over the years in my comments about the research on which psychologists base their "knowledge" of conservatism:

Here's a point that most of the critics of the study haven't even mentioned. Take a look at the studies on which this meta analysis is based: The overwhelming majority consist of analyses of college students in the US and other countries. Now I have nothing against college students, I was one once myself many eons ago, but is there anyone in the entire world, other than idiotic psychology professors, who believes that you can understand the essence of a political philosophy or the values and beliefs of the the members of a political philosophy by quizzing college students?

I have just posted here (or here) an article I had published over 30 years ago about the main measure of conservatism relied on by the Berkeley authors. My research showed that the questionnaire concerned was basically inapplicable to general population groups. In other words, what psychologists call conservatism among their students is different from conservatism in the community at large. Yet another finding that the Berkeley group "overlooked"!



Gerry Jackson, principal author of Brookes News, is a very bright boy, with an in-depth knowledge of both history and economics. I have just received from him the following email about the German economy in the Nazi era:

It is not generally known that the basic difference between the Nazi and Soviet economies was merely one of form. The Nazi economy was a centrally planned one in which private ownership was nominal. For the sake of economic planning the Nazis dissolved all corporations whose capital was less than $US40,000. A minimum of $US200,000 was required to form a new corporation. This policy eliminated about 20 per cent of German businesses. Compulsory cartels were formed, labour was strictly controlled and four-year economic plans implemented.

Capitalists were transformed into Betriebsfuehrer, that is managers who received their instructions from the Reichswirtschaftsministerium (Nazi equivalent of Gosplan), which set prices, including wage rates, interest rates, dividends and rates of return. It told the Betriebsfuehrer what what to produce and how much, from whom to buy and sell to and on what terms.

It was these arrangements that gave the superficial impression that a market structure was still operating when in fact it was the Party that exercised complete control over the economy, just as in the Soviet Union. The principal difference, apart from appearance, was that the Nazis were smarter at this game than the Soviets.

There is another point. Not only did the Nazis keep businessmen in place they also did not concern themselves with their ideology. So long as these businessmen did not oppose the party they were comparatively safe. Under the Soviet regime party loyalty and class backgrounds were vital ingredients in the economic structure.

Yes. Hitler quite explicitly saw that businessmen were best qualified to run Germany's industries so made sure they did while the Soviets executed all the "capitalists" could find and gave the job to bureaucrats instead!

I don't agree with everything Gerry says however. His attacks in Brookes News on such great communicators as Tim Blair and Miranda Devine are in my view absurd. But here is some of the good stuff in the latest Brookes News:

Australian journalists pan US victory and predict disaster. You can always count on a columnist from the Sydney Morning Herald, aka The Saddam Times, to distort conditions in post-war Iraq and malign the magnificent achievement that eliminated one of the planet's most vicious regimes. This time it was Anne Summers stupidly claiming that Iraq was another Vietnam.
Exposing media lies about Bush, uranium and WMDs. Once the evidence is considered, it is clear that much of the media are lying since they have been harping on this trivial issue, deliberately drawing the wrong conclusions, ignoring the enormous amount of relevant evidence about Saddam's regime, treating the oppressed citizens of Iraq with contempt, and denigrating the righteousness of the life-saving actions of the USA and her allies.
For China, there is liberty in capitalism. What Harry Wu described was not a mutation of capitalism or a marriage of capitalist methods with the political imperatives of the Beijing regime but Fascism. Yet Fascism can no more resist the power of the market than communism. The result is always the same. Either the state gives way or grinding poverty overtakes the people.

Details here



There is a lot of sad news in the world but today's saddest news for me is undoubtedly the death of Bob Hope. A lot of people thought him shallow but I thought he was a great human being and I am very sorry to see him go. I suppose the jealous Leftists will now immediately begin to blacken his name.

There is a fascinating editorial in USA Today about the present Congressional struggle to pass a prescription drug benefit addition to Medicare. It points out that the last such attempt under the Reagan administration was such a disaster that it had to be repealed.

What a lot of rubbish! Israel's protective wall against terrorists is being compared to the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall was to keep people in. Israel's wall is to keep people out!

The Indonesians want to execute an Imam over the Bali bombing. There should be a lot more Imams and Mullahs and Ayatollahs facing the same fate in my view.

Useful Fools looks like he has landed a big one out there in Arizona. He has some comments on his site from a German lawyer who knows Joschka Fischer (Germany's thuggish Foreign Minister) personally. The comments are however simply a rave about how "arrogant" America is. Pretty rich coming from a German! If Americans are arrogant what are Germans? When did Americans claim to be the master race?

Writing on his other blog, China Hand gives the BBC a big spray over their continuing smugness about Iraq.

Chris Brand has just had published a swingeing attack on another social "science" -- social anthropology -- here


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28 July, 2003


I received the following email from a reader:

"Yesterday, at Barnes and Noble Books, sipping my Starbucks, I tried to walk my leftie friend through the similarities between the USSR, which he concedes was Leftist, and Fascism. I listed the reliance on a police state, the use of slave labor, that the party is the state, that they're both totalitarian, that in both systems the individual is squashed, etc, etc, and still, he insisted that because ownership of the means of production is in private hands Fascism is conservative. I list commonalities that normal folks would shudder at, and he slurs conservatism."

I replied

"I think you should ask your Leftie friend if Sweden is conservative. Leftists usually love Sweden but the means of production are in private hands there. But your friend is correct -- the Soviets were slightly more Leftist than the Nazis because the Soviets used bureaucrats to run industry -- but that just shows that the Soviets were a stupider type of Leftist."

And here is One thing that the Left will never tell you:

"In Germany, it was first during World War I and its aftermath and later under the Third Reich in the 1930s when the welfare state experienced its greatest expansions. Under the national-socialist regime, in particular, the appeal to "social justice" and the expansion of the social security and protection systems flourished together with the build up of the warfare state."

And there is an interesting review of what made Stalin's Russia tick here Excerpt:

"The moral degradation of the Stalinist elite was crucial to Stalin's power, especially in the post-war years (1945-53) when his own anti-Semitism was allowed free rein, leading to a wave of arrests and expulsions from the major cities, and when much of Soviet policy was resolved at drunken dinners in his private rooms."

Andrew Bolt stirred up a bit of a storm
when he pointed out that the world's first prominent Greenie politician was none other than Herr A. Hitler of Germany. Odd that Greens are still big in German politics! And again as part of the Left too. Andrew replies to his critics here



Another social scientist has bagged the Berkeley study of conservatism. He is a political scientist rather than a psychologist and hopes that the Psychological Bulletin (in which the Berkeley study was published) is a low-rating journal among psychologists. I have sad news for him. It is just about the top journal in terms of prestige among psychologists.

Brian Carnell has an excellent post on the Berkeley "study", which points out, among other things, that Frank Sulloway, one of the authors of the study, is the same guy who wrote a book arguing that *birth order* is the single most significant driving force in human history, and that the French Revolution is best explained by the birth order of people in the various groups that came to power during the various stages of the revolution!



I have just posted here (or here) another of my academic publications. I report a survey designed to find out whether a feeling of alienation from society is usually associated with Leftism in the population at large. Perhaps surprisingly, it is not. Many alienated people vote conservative and have conservative views. So it is not feeling lost and hopeless that makes a Leftist. Ordinary conservative voters can feel pretty alienated too -- by unresponsive and demanding big government and by political correctness, for instance. Leftists in power are their own worst enemies.

I have of course long argued that ego needs -- hunger for fame and for power over others -- drive most Leftists. And that is a hunger that can probably never be assuaged. Even the "limousine liberals" who already have a lot of power, influence and recognition still want more. After all, from Marx onward, the Leftist agitators and revolutionaries have always been overwhelmingly bourgeois. And the ordinary people who vote for the Leftists generally just hope for more goodies from someone else's pocket.



An amusing viewpoint: Castro thinks the EU is in the pocket of the USA. He must be the only person in the world who thinks so. But Leftists are never much bothered by reality, of course.

There is an article here that gives the lie to the popular Leftist myth that Fidel Castro is kind to blacks. Afro-Cubans have been prominent in opposing him.

"moderate" Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas was responsible for the Munich massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes. Such a nice guy and such a big improvement on Arafat!

Useful Fools has a great counterblast to the myth that the USA has a high crime-rate.

There is a post on PC Watch about multiculturalism as a religion.


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27 July, 2003


As far as I can tell, there is only one psychologist who has replied to my criticisms of the Berkeley study of conservatism. And what an amusing job he does of it! He says that the rejection by Political Psychology of my paper on Leftist authoritarianism "really got him angry". How does he know it got me angry? What proof does he have? He has none at all. But proof is of course irrelevant to Leftists. They KNOW. They think that their simplistic theories tell them all that they need to know about the world and see the seeking of facts as an inconvenience. In actual fact, I was rather pleased by the rejection. I saw it as a useful illustration of the closed-mindedness of contemporary academic psychologists! And publication on paper is a trivial matter in the era of the internet anyway.

My critic's own closed-mindedness is shown by the fact that he seems to consider that only an acceptance of existing authority can make you authoritarian. That Leftists oppose existing authorities only in the hope of replacing them by much more powerful authorities (e.g. replacing the authority of the democratic State by the vastly greater authority of the totalitarian State) is not apparently authoritarian in his book.

I could go on to fisk him at length but I doubt that there is much point in it. So I will mention just one more point. The claims about the "dogmatism" of conservatives in the Berkeley paper rely almost entirely on Milton Rokeach's "D" questionnaire. I pointed out, however, that this questionnaire offers a most dubious index of dogmatism. In reply, my critic simply says that the "D" questionnaire is "doing fine". Any proof of that? No. You are expected to take his word for it: Very authoritarian. Let me therefore spell out what he thinks "doing fine" amounts to:

If people agree with a statement but also agree with its opposite, what does that tell you about the statement concerned? Does it not tell you that the statement concerned is so vague and ambiguous as to be essentially meaningless? Yet the "D" questionnaire consists entirely of such statements! Agreeing with a set of vague and ambiguous statements makes you dogmatic? I would have thought it made you tolerant and agreeable! Rokeach and the Berkeley group have clearly got the whole thing back to front. Conservatives DO tend to agree with statements in the "D" questionnaire but I don't think that shows them as being dogmatic. I think it shows quite the opposite. It shows how easygoing they are. So you see what sort of "science" we are dealing with in this affair. It is not even in the same ballcourt as science.

For some other examples of the absurdities that pass for science among psychologists see here or here or here

I have noted previously how rich it is for Leftist psychologists to accuse conservatives of "motivated" (unrealistic) and simplistic thinking when a major complaint that conservatives have always had about Leftists is their refusal to acknowledge anything that did not suit them -- such as the Soviet horrors. For those interested in a fuller demonstration of how simplistic ("intolerant of ambiguity") most academic psychologists themselves are, my article here spells it all out in academic terms.



Arlene Peck has some details of the vicious child-murdering terrorists that Israel is being pressed to release from jail at the moment.

Big Gold Dog has a theory that the difference between liberals and conservatives all goes back to the invention of beer! I think he's onto something there.

The Australian government has refused to sign the Kyoto treaty but still seems to have been buffaloed by the totally unsubstantiated claim that carbon dioxide is harmful. So they are talking about putting in place some anti-carbon dioxide measures. Fortunately, however, business is giving them a hard time over it and the plan may not go ahead.

At least the Oz government has now approved the growing of one genetically-modified crop.

What private business could afford to do this? "New South Wales taxpayers are paying a record $17.4 million a year in wages for 292 public servants who have lost their formal positions but remain on the payroll as so-called displaced officers."

Good to see that India is doing well -- with 8% growth forecast.

Wow! Nice to hear some knowledge of history: "Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, said he didn't believe President Clinton should make a public apology for America's role in the slave trade. He said tribal chiefs bore more responsibility for slavery than European and American slave traders."

The Wicked one has a list of some very funny Country & Western song titles.

I have just put online here (or here) one of my academic papers that reports some survey findings about punitiveness. Leftists are of course soft on crime and one of their ways of justifying this is to accuse the more "punitive" conservatives of all sorts of ill motives. Punitive people are said to be bad eggs in all sorts of ways. My research showed that none of the accusations are true. Punitiveness towards criminals is in fact normal. It is Leftists who are deviant.

Another recent academic upload here (or here) looks at attitudes to conventional authority (police, teachers, the law, the Army). I found that, in Britain, working class people tend to think highly of such authorities. It is rather disconcerting for visitors to Britain to discover how highly the British regard their police but it is an even bigger suprise to discover that the workers particularly are prone to admiration of such authorities. There is no such effect in Australia.


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26 July, 2003


More on the Berkeley study: I have for some time noted that what Leftists accuse conservatives of (such as "authoritarianism", " intolerance of ambiguity" and simplistic thinking generally), is precisely what characterizes Leftists themselves. The very people who accuse conservatives of oversimplification (In the Berkeley jargon: "lack of integrative complexity") are themselves proud of their "elegant and unifying explanations" that ignore half the data!

Such acusations are what Freud called "projection" -- you see in your opponents the very weaknesses that are most prominent in yourself. Freud saw the process as mostly unconscious but it could be conscious too -- you think that by shouting loudly about a particular fault in others, people might not notice the same fault in you. Even Christ knew of the phenomenon: "Why beholdest thou the mote in thy brother's eye but considerest not the beam that is thine own eye?" (Matthew 7:3). I have recently received an insightful email from Eleanor Spreitzer that also notes this phenomenon:

Liberals have no sense of humor at all.

They have the emotional maturity of 14 year old Junior High School Students.

The very little humor they attempt relies on ridicule and mocking of someone's looks or "intelligence". I truly believe the Liberal knows how truly inferior he (the Liberal) is, and uses his mockery in a feeble attempt to trick himself into pretending he (the Liberal) is correct and not inferior.

They are masters at accusing Conservatives of doing the very thing the Liberal is doing. Which proves the Liberal knows the action the Liberal is taking is destructive and harmful to our Country. Now we need a very smart Psychiatrist to explain why they do it.

My theory is Liberals are scared to death of "making it on their own" and want bigger and bigger Daddy government to take care of them. Since they are too chicken to admit they want help - they pretend they are only interested in the "little people - the forgotten ones -etc."

What a crock. They only want to help themselves to bigger and bigger government jobs - with financial security for themselves and their own children.

Elite Liberals are the ones that MUST keep the "little people" undereducated and poor and ignorant in order to keep the huge base they need for these government jobs. Absolute proof of this is the fact that the Elite Liberals send their children to the best private schools and insist the poor keep sending their kids to inferior government schools. The Elite Liberals' children are also going to need a huge base of undereducated, poor, ignorant people in order to keep their future big paying Daddy Government Jobs.

And they call Conservatives MEAN SPIRITED. I'm a conservative and I want every child in this country to have the same education the Kennedy Children have; the same education Chelsea Clinton had. I want all children to grow up and be well educated so they can have interesting and profitable lives. Is this Mean Spirited??? NO!

The Elite Liberal wants to keep poor undereducated children in failing schools - so as to keep a permanent base for this enormous Welfare Mess the Elite Liberal must have for himself and his children to survive.

Who's Mean Spirited? Who calls whom Mean Spirited?

The one (the Elite Liberal) who is truly Mean Spirited calls the one who is not Mean Spirited (the Conservative) - Mean Spirited.

As I said many words above - Liberals are Masters of accusing Conservatives of doing and being the very thing that the Liberals is and is doing.

Elite Liberals are beyond being "Mean Spirited" - they are truly evil. Only an evil person would want to tear down a great country like ours - that so many young men and women have died for - just to make big government jobs for themselves.



One of my Midwestern correspondents also sent me a rather good fisking of the Berkeley "study". Excerpts:

"Ten meta-analytic calculations performed on the material - which included various types of literature and approaches from different countries and groups - yielded consistent, common threads, Glaser said."

Stack the deck on what you put into a meta-analysis, and see what comes out.

"The avoidance of uncertainty, for example, as well as the striving for certainty, are particularly tied to one key dimension of conservative thought - the resistance to change or hanging onto the status quo, they said. "

Is this an example of resistance to change? … "Millions of California drivers will see their fee increase, On average, from $76 a year to $234, beginning in 90 days" (I was just griping about having to pay $47.50 for my truck. while my car is only $45.)

"Hitler, Mussolini, and former President Ronald Reagan were individuals, but all were right-wing conservatives because they preached a return to an idealized past and condoned inequality in some form."

That's a damnable insult to the man who ended the cold war. If you visit politopia.com, you might be surprised to find out that they rate FDR as closer to Hitler and Stalin.

"The result is an "elegant and unifying explanation" for political conservatism under the rubric of motivated social cognition, said Sulloway. "

Any time I see terms such as "elegant and unifying…" the red flags go up. And just what would be the alternative to "motivated cognition?" Unmotivated cognition = daydreaming?

"As for conservatives' penchant for accepting inequality, he said,"

As opposed to the liberals' penchant for trying to impose a mediocracy on the US?

"being intolerant of ambiguity,"

Midwesterners would say "Call a spade a spade…"

"high on the need for closure, "

Midwesterners would say "Shit or get off the pot…"

"might be associated with such generally valued characteristics as personal commitment and unwavering loyalty,"

Midwesterners actually think these characteristics are IMPORTANT.



THIS is what we have to fear if Leftists ever gain unlimited power anywhere again. It's horrible reading but you should read it. No wonder Leftists are trying to control the teaching of history.

Keith Windschuttle outlines here the late 19th century policy of 'protection' conducted by a previous generation of 'do-gooders' who sought to confine Australian blacks in reserves and missions -- a policy that the do-gooders of today condemn as "apartheid" and which has now been abolished. But it was NOT conservatives who wanted to isolate blacks -- it was the do-gooders -- the precursors of the Leftists of today -- who wanted to deprive blacks of their liberties.

China Hand has a couple of good posts up at the moment. He has an amusing tale of his stage debut in a Chinese bar and some interesting pictures of a bridge to nowhere that shows the Chinese authorities are not as dictatorial as we might think.

The Wicked one says that GWB is a centrist, not a conservative.


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25 July, 2003


Well, the blogsphere can certainly be an efficient means of communication. When this Berkeley nonsense about the psychology of conservatism came out, one blogger picked it up same day, other bloggers quickly followed on and a blogger friend drew it to my attention on the next day. I happen to have expert knowledge of the "research" on which the nonsense was based so I blogged on it immediately and -- with the help of an Instapundit link -- 12 hours or so later there were lots of links to my post on other blogs. People who had no prior awareness of me or my expertise in the area had my knowledge at their disposal in a matter of hours. Pretty good!



Prof. James Lindgren, Director of the Demography of Diversity Project at Northwestern University, was one of those who saw my post and he emailed me with some more information that upsets the conclusions of the Berkeley group. He notes that the Berkeley group (led by Jost) missed out on some very basic survey data which show that conservatives are much more likely to be happy than are Leftists. He writes:

The Jost article claims that conservatives are angry and fearful and it builds on a literature that claims that conservatives are unhappy. I find this strange, given the decades of superb data showing the opposite. In the NORC General Social Survey (a standard social science database, second only to the U.S. Census in use by U.S. sociologists), the GSS asks the standard survey question about happiness in general. In the 1998-2002 GSS, extreme conservatives are much more likely to report being "very happy" than extreme liberals--47.1% to 31.6%. Earlier years show a similar pattern.

This conservative happiness carries over into most other aspects of life as well. Conservatives usually report being happier in their jobs than liberals. In the 2002 GSS, for example 65.2% of extreme conservatives report being "very satisfied" with their jobs in general, while only 50% of extreme liberals report being very satisfied. When the question is broadened to satisfaction with job or housework, a similar pattern obtains. In the 1998-2002 GSS, 61.0% of extreme conservatives reported being very satisfied, compared to 53.6% of extreme liberals.

As to finances, in the 1998-2002 GSS 34% of extreme conservatives report being satisfied with their finances compared to 26.4% of extreme liberals. More extreme liberals (34.5%) than extreme conservatives (25.8%) report being "not at all satisfied" with their finances.

Conservatives usually tend to report less marital unhappiness than liberals. In the 1998-2002 GSS, 5.1% of those who report being "slightly liberal" say that they are "not too happy" in their marriages, compared to 0.9% of those who are "slightly conservative." Ordinary liberals (3.7%) and extreme liberals (8.9%) also differ from ordinary conservatives (2.4%) and extreme conservatives (4.1%) in the levels of reported marital unhappiness. Indeed, in the 1998 GSS, 18.2% of extreme liberals reported that their marriages were "not too happy," while only 1.6% of extreme conservatives reported marital unhappiness.

Earlier General Social Surveys found that conservatives were more satisfied with their health, their friendships, their family life, and the city or place they live--all in all, a remarkably consistent picture.

Another claim in the Jost paper is that conservativism is driven by anger and fear. Again, their claims conflict with some of the highest quality data available. In the 1996 GSS, questions were asked about anger and fearfulness. Extreme conservatives were much less likely to report being mad at someone every day in the last week--7.3% to 24.2% for extreme liberals. Extreme conservatives were also less likely to report being fearful in the last week--32.5% to 56.3% for extreme liberals. In other words, a staggering one-quarter of extreme liberals report being mad at someone EVERY DAY and most extreme liberals report being fearful at least once a week.

I am surprised that the Jost group was not aware of the very strong and remarkably consistent data that conservatives report being happier than liberals about their lives in general, their jobs, their finances, their health, their friendships, their family life, and where they live. Nor does the Jost group deal with the less extensive data suggesting that conservatives are less fearful and less angry than liberals. I will have to look into more of the studies that Jost cites to see why these fairly obvious patterns are missed. I wonder whether Jost relied too much on studies that either used unrepresentative samples (such as undergraduates) or used biased questions or indices -- asking about issues on which conservatives tend to be unhappy but not about issues on which liberals tend to be unhappy. In either event, the Jost group seems to have missed decades of very high quality survey data that undercut their thesis.

There is not much left of the Berkeley claims after that! I wrote back noting that the Berkeley group led by Jost had missed out LOTS of data that did not suit them. In fact I have just put online here (or here) one of the articles they ignored. The article points out in pretty plain terms the circular reasoning and lack of proper scientific caution behind one of the attempts to show that conservatives are "rigid" and "intolerant of ambiguity". The article has been in university libraries for years and academic psychology has very good indexing services so there is no excuse for the article being "overlooked".

There was also a Leftist article some years ago which claimed that conservatives are generally unhappy. I replied to it here. The Jost group missed that too!



A nice story here about a U.S. female soldier in Iraq. A top Iraqi general could not believe he was captured by a young woman. Those Arabs had better learn not to mess with American women! American women even terrify lots of American men!

Wow! It looks like Japan is willing to help out in Iraq.

At last! Canada has awakened from its slumbers. They are now telling the Iranians that they have been VERY NAUGHTY!

The South African government says that it is "racist" for white-owned newspapers to pursue allegations of corruption against black politicians. When will the world get totally sick of black misdeeds being covered up by the "racism" slur?

The Wicked one asks whether America is disappearing and thinks that there is not much conservatism in the GOP at the moment.

I have just uploaded another one of my academic articles here (or here). In it I again look at some very dubious "research" that was in the academic psychology literature and show that its conclusions were essentially fraudulent. Taking any academic conclusions on faith is very foolish. You have to look at what other academics say about the subject as well.


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24 July, 2003


For those who have broadband or a lot of patience, there is a link to the whole article here in the form of a huge PDF.

For a start, let me translate the jargon: That conservatives have "motivated social cognition" means that conservatives only see what they want to see. That is really rich coming from the Left when we consider how huge numbers of Western Leftists refused for decades to give any heed to all the reports of the horrors of Stalin's Russia. THEY undoubtedly had huge talent for seeing only what they wanted to see.

Probably the biggest failing of the article is its historical naivety. Because the authors appear to know nothing of the history of conservative political thought, they accept the old Leftist stereotype that conservatism is essentially opposition to change. That conservatives have historically seen themselves as being primarily champions of individual rights and opponents of big government, they give no heed to at all. One has to surmise that none of the authors has ever even talked to a conservative. If they had, they would have discovered quick-smart that there is HEAPS about the society in which we live that conservatives would like to change. Leftists and Rightist undoubtedy want different changes, but both would want to see lots of changes nonetheless. Attitude to change is simply a red-herring drawn across the trail by Leftists. It has NOTHING to do with who is a conservative today.

This ignorance and naivety on the part of the authors does however lead them into some hilarious pitfalls. Even they have to acknowledge that Communist countries have been ferocious enemies of change in their own societies. So what do they conclude from that? Do they think that they might have got it wrong in seeing opposition to change as so central? No way! They rigidly cling on to their stereotype. So rigid are they in their thinking about the matter that they are forced to conclude that Stalin and Castro are conservatives! If Stalin and Castro are not Leftists, black might as well be white! So they go on to say that the Soviets and their ilk are essentially the same as Reagan, Limbaugh and their ilk. People at opposite ends of the ideological spectum are all the same according to these galoots! No wonder the Wall St Journal thought that the whole article might be a spoof rather than an attempt at a serious study!

That their own cognition is motivated to ignore things that do not suit them is seen in their bland assertion that the old Marxist work by Adorno that they heavily rely on has withstood the test of time despite the huge number of criticisms that have been made of it. HOW and WHY it has withstood the test of time they do not spell out. They certainly make no attempt to show what is wrong with all those criticisms. They seem to believe that we should just take their word for it. Very authoritarian!

But perhaps the best indication of how "motivated" their own cognitions are is the fact that they cite only two of the more than one hundred articles I have had published on the subject. I am clearly one of the major authors (if not THE major author in terms of number of articles in print) in the field that they purport to survey, but they ignore 98% of what I have to say. That sure is a fine way to come to a balanced and scientifically reputable conclusion, don't you think? With selective reading as severe as that, you could prove anything about anything.



9/11: will Congress blame the FBI & CIA instead of itself and the IPS?: After the World Trade Centre atrocity people immediately wanted to know what the FBI had been doing. What they did not know was that under the influence of Marxist think tank Congress had virtually paralysed the FBI and the CIA.

Defending cartels against the Trades Practices Act: Australia's Trades Practices Act is under review by the Government. Unfortunately those reviewing the Act seem to be totally blind to the fallacious economic reasoning that upon which the Act is based. Why is this so?

Taxing animal flatulence -- a government stink tax: The concept of a Flatulence tax is preposterous -- there are simply too many arguments and inconsistencies that repudiate the whole theory of greenhouse gas emissions. There has been virtually no questioning in the media of the veracity of the premises behind the Kyoto Protocol .

A green zealot v free trade: Dr Clive Hamilton, executive director of The Australia institute, seems to have been getting quite a bit of favourable publicity of late. Nonetheless, there are some who are disturbed by his institute's extreme views and its open contempt for the material and social aspirations of ordinary people.

Bush targeted by leftist 'intelligence professionals': A group calling itself the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity has demanded that Cheney resign over the issue of Saddam's WMDs. Now who or what is VIPS? This is a question that many have been asking. The answer is simple. It is a front for the notorious Marxist-Leninist Washington-based IPS (Institute for Policy Studies).

The 1968 and the '90s boom: The extent to which media commentators are ignorant of economic history, let alone basic economics, is genuinely staggering. We got a good look at this ignorance when the 1990s boom was compared to the 1960s boom.

Our lying media and Castro: Examples of how the press cover for Fidel Castro by spiking stories and twisting the news.

Details here



The latest amazing example of Left-leaning doublethink by a political psychologist is here. Writing about modern Eastern Europe in Political Psychology of June 2003, Hilde Weiss says that the "new right" in Europe is "a "modernized" brand of fascism in which neoliberal ideology, instead of anticapitalist resentments, is combined with traditional value patterns." So to oppose big government (neoliberalism) is Fascist?? Tell that to the founder of Fascism, Mussolini. Mussolini tried his best to subject EVERYTHING in Italy to his control! What the ignorant Ms Weiss is describing is simply normal conservatism, not Fascism.

She also notes without making much of the implications that "anticapitalist feelings are strongly correlated with nationalism and ethnic intolerance". Get it? The racists are on the Left! How awkward!

(Don't anybody tell her that Hitler was a socialist too!)

23 July, 2003


Some psychologists at Berkeley have just done a big rehash job on the last 50 years of conservative-bashing in the psychology literature. The rehash seems to have attracted a bit of attention in the blogosphere (e.g. here and here and here and here) so I guess I should point out a few things that people might not generally be aware of. Since I have had many articles on the psychology of conservatism published in the academic journals, I might be considered a relevant expert.

For a start, there is nothing new in it. It is the same old refrain that the Marxist Adorno and his collaborators said in their 1950 book: "The authoritarian personality". Yet that book must have some sort of record for the amount of criticism it has attracted. In the first half of his 1981 book Right-wing authoritarianism Bob Altemeyer summarized the criticism that had been made of it in the psychological literature up to about 1973 and concluded that the Adorno work just could not prove what it purported to prove. Altemeyer, however, then went on to do some research of his own that was in some ways even more ludicrous.

The latest Berkeley rehash is remarkable for its quantity versus quality approach. They seem to agree with the dictum of Dr. Goebbels that if you tell a big enough lie often enough people will believe it. In the Berkeley case the fact that almost all psychologists have been saying the same thing about conservatives seems to be taken as good proof that what they are saying is correct. A survey taken in Galileo's day would have concluded with equal vehemence that the earth is flat. The Berkeley group seem to have given little or no weight to the fact that psychologists are overwhelmingly Leftist and so lean over backwards to find fault with conservatives. In other words, a survey of biased "science" has just produced more biased "science"!

What would have been much more productive would have been to look at the criticisms that have been made of the orthodoxy. Let me take just one example. The Berkeley group say that one of the five characteristics of conservatives is "Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity". This is a straight rehash of the old 1950 Marxist nonsense and ignores heaps of evidence that such general traits as intolerance of ambiguity and psychological rigidity simply do not exist. People who are rigid about one thing will probably not be rigid about other things. My paper here sets out the evidence for that at some length. And much the same goes for dogmatism. Maybe there are people who are in fact generally dogmatic but psychologists have not yet succeeded in finding a way to pick them out. Milton Rokeach in 1960 wrote a book that purported to offer a way of picking out dogmatic people but there is now plenty of evidence that the questionnaire he used for that purpose simply does not work. It is an "invalid scale" in psychometrician's jargon.

So the Berkeley findings can best be summarized in terms of an old computer saying: GIGO (garbage in, garbage out).

For those who would like to see some of the data that the Berkeley results do not take into account, I list below some of my academic journal articles on the question. The best counterblast of all, however, is probably my article here which (Surprise, Surprise!) the most relevant psychology journal refused to print! Isn't that a good way to get consensus? Just refuse to print anything that does not suit your biases! No wonder the Berkeley group found great unanimity in the the publications they surveyed!

Listed below are just those of my relevant publications that are available online. Most of the relevant articles are still only available from university libraries. More compehensive listings of relevant articles can be found here and here.


Ray, J.J. (1976) Do authoritarians hold authoritarian attitudes? Human Relations, 29, 307-325.

Ray, J.J. (1979) Does authoritarianism of personality go with conservatism? "Australian Journal of Psychology 31, 9-14.

Ray, J.J. (1979) Authoritarianism in Australia, England and Scotland. Journal of Social Psychology 108, 271-272.

Ray, J.J. (1979) The authoritarian as measured by a personality scale Solid citizen or misfit? J. Clinical Psychology 35, 744-746.

Ray, J.J. (1979) Is the Dogmatism scale irreversible? South African Journal of Psychology 9, 104-107.

Ray, J.J. (1980) Authoritarianism in California 30 years later -- with some cross-cultural comparisons. Journal of Social Psychology, 111, 9-17.

Ray, J.J. (1980) Authoritarian tolerance. Journal of Social Psychology, 111, 303-304.

Ray, J.J. (1980) Authoritarianism and hostility. Journal of Social Psychology, 112, 307-308.

Ray, J.J. (1984) Political radicals as sensation seekers. J. Social Psychology 122, 293-294.

Ray, J.J. (1984). Half of all racists are Left-wing. Political Psychology, 5, 227-236.

Ray, J.J. (1987) Conservatism and attitude to love: An empirical rebuttal of Eisler & Loye. Personality & Individual Differences, 8, 731-732.

Ray, J.J. (1989) The scientific study of ideology is too often more ideological than scientific. Personality & Individual Differences, 10, 331-336.

Ray, J.J. (1990) Book Review: Enemies of freedom by R. Altemeyer. Australian Journal of Psychology, 42, 87-111.

Ray, J.J. (1990) Racism, conservatism and social class in Australia: With German, Californian and South African comparisons. Personality & Individual Differences, 11, 187-189.

Ray, J.J. (1990) The old-fashioned personality. Human Relations, 43, 997-1015.

Ray, J.J. (1990) Letter to the editor about Duckitt's theory. Political Psychology, 11, 629-632.

Ray, J.J. (1991) Are conservatives despairing? Rejoinder to Petersen & Wilkinson. Personality & Individual Differences, 12(5), 501.

Ray, J.J. (1991) Authoritarianism is a dodo: Comment on Scheepers, Felling & Peters. European Sociological Review, 7, 73-75.

Ray, J.J. (1998) On not seeing what you do not want to see: Meloen, Van Der Linden & De Witte on authoritarianism. Political Psychology, Vol. 19, Issue 4, 659-661.

Ray, J.J. & Lovejoy, F.H. (1982) Conservatism, attitude to abortion and Maccoby's biophilia. Journal of Social Psychology, 118, 143-144.

Ray, J.J. & Lovejoy, F.H. (1990) Does attitude to authority exist? Personality & Individual Differences, 11, 765-769.

Ray, J.J. & Najman, J.M. (1987) Neoconservatism, mental health and attitude to death. Personality & Individual Differences, 8, 277-279.


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We all know that feminists think that a woman can do everything a man can do -- and that is probably broadly true. Many feminists take that thinking much further, however. They claim that women who see themselves as fitting into both male and female roles -- as lesbians generally would -- are in fact much healthier psychologically for it. Being androgynous is said to be much better for you mentally than being classically female or classically male.

And there has been much research in the psychological literature that appears to support that theory. When I first had a look at the research concerned, however, it seemed to be very sloppily done -- designed to reach a given conclusion rather than being conducted with proper scientific care. I therefore designed a survey of my own (in conjunction with a female colleague) that would look at the issue in a more careful way. I have just uploaded the resultant paper here (or here). What I found were in fact quite strong correlations -- but they were the exact opposite of the feminist claim. Androgynes turned out to be much more likely to be maladjusted than others. And since my research was much more generalizable and carefully controlled than anything that went before it, one would think that my paper would be an essential reference in any further discussion of the topic.

The paper was published in a widely circulated academic journal nearly 20 years ago now and Google reveals not one reference to it in any academic journal. Funny that! If you reach conclusions that go against Leftist orthodoxy, you might as well not exist in the social sciences, no matter how good your work is. You may begin to see why I resigned from my tenured teaching job at a major Australian university 20 years ago. It took me a while but in the end I did get sick of banging my head on a brick wall.



Whoopee! Saddam's sons are dead. It couldn't have happened to bigger bastards. It should take the steam out of the remaining Baathist thugs too.

For all its air of Leftist holiness, The New York Times is as "greedy" as it gets: "The Gray Lady is a greedy leech, siphoning off millions of dollars in state taxpayer subsidies for private real estate development disguised as a public good. Now, the company stands to benefit from a federal tax-exempt bond program intended to help businesses devastated by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."

An interesting comment on the introduction of free public schooling to America: "Supporters expected poor immigrants to rush to free public schools, but they didn't ... they were already in good schools, and many immigrants had come to the U.S. to avoid such intrusive, controlling government. When New York City offered free schools, attendance didn't increase. Even poor immigrant families valued education enough to pay for what they wanted."

A NAACP double standard? Hard line on South Africa, yet 'no comment' on oppression of blacks in Cuba. Nelson Mandela seems to suffer from the same problem. But Mandela also recently accused GWB of planning a 'holocaust' so maybe we should take his advanced years into account.

"I used to consider white liberals who praise Fidel Castro to be the most despicable people imaginable. That's probably because I have to deal with these people on a regular basis. I call them Starbuck's Socialists. You know the type. They spend about ten dollars a day to have other people make their coffee while they read the $20 deluxe edition of The Communist Manifesto at Barnes and Noble. ... But now I've changed my mind. I've decided that black liberals who praise Fidel Castro are just as repugnant."

This site has a link to an online petition signed by 17,000 (Yes, 17,000) scientists opposed to the Global Warming hysteria

This site says that it was labour-saving household appliances such as microwave ovens, not Gloria Steinem and the feminists, that ushered women into the workplace and "liberated" them.

Diversity has become a power game, a way not to break down arbitrary divisions but create new ones and, inevitably, a new set of group entitlements and therefore group resentments.

Nobody seems to support legal shark John Banzhaf's theory that fast food is addictive. Now we know why. The scientific research on the supposedly addictive nature of food, with which Banzhaf merrily threatens restaurants, was misrepresented. So say the scientists themselves.

Paddy McGuinness relates a great leftist "compassion" joke. It's a rework of the good Samaritan story. The beat up victim is lying beside the road, and the Leftist Samaritan says 'who did this you? ..he really needs my help' Margaret Thatcher had another variation on the Good Samaritan story. "No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he only had good intentions. He had money as well."

How the wheel turns: "Extreme-right and neo-Nazi groups in France have formed an anti-Arab and anti-Muslim alliance on the internet with extremist Jewish groups, a report published yesterday said. Since the French far right is known for its visceral anti-Semitism, the alliance has puzzled and disturbed anti-racism campaigners and mainstream Jewish organisations." Good to see that even the fruitcakes are now identifying the real enemy of civilization.

Rafe Champion has just sent out an interesting email about the recent history of economic rationality in Australia. See here

The Wicked one has another story -- a true story -- about Leftist "compassion". Apparently one of the founders of socialism poisoned people willy nilly!


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22 July, 2003


The Left are fond of pointing out that it was Republican President Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower who popularized the term "Military Industrial Complex". The Left promptly made this entity one of their chief bogeymen. The members of the complex were the conspirators who REALLY controlled U.S. policy according to the Left. Ike's farewell speech makes it clear, however, that Ike himself did not see things remotely that way. Ike didn't blame the Military Industrial Complex for the Cold War. He laid the blame on Communism: "a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method." Ike also felt the Military Industrial Complex was necessary and thought that its influence might be "sought or unsought." For 60s leftists, "unsought" power for the Military Industrial Complex was inconceivable.



Bin Laden and his ilk say that the only law they respect is Islamic law, yet many moderate islamic lawyers accuse Al-Qaeda of committing the Islamic crime of "hirabah" -- which translates roughly as "terrorism". This article stresses that the Islamic fundamentalists are in fact no more than an extreme sect of Islam who are totally perverting what Mohammed meant by "jihad". I don't think that is much comfort, however. The Islamic law punishments for hirabah include life imprisonment, amputation and crucifixion but I doubt if we will ever see an example of THOSE Islamic laws being put into practice. Bin Laden and Co. seem to be wildly popular in the Arab world in fact. I get the impression that Arabs are about as true to the Koran as Anglicans are true to the Bible.



For those who think that the facts matter: "You won't hear about this from Greenpeace but a UK government report has found genetically modified crops pose a "very low" risk to human health, according to an independent scientific review panel."

The murderous ignorance of the Greenies is set out on this scientific site. Quotes: "Somewhere on the Earth, on average every 12 seconds, a child dies of DDT-preventable malaria. The United States National Academy of Sciences estimated that DDT saved 500 million lives before it was banned." Speaking of mosquito-borne malaria, Albert Schweitzer said: ""How much labor and waste of time these wicked insects do cause us.. . . but a ray of hope, in the use of DDT, is now held out to us." The Greenies snatched that ray of hope away.

Like many conservatives, I have nothing against any individual homosexual personally and think that what homosexuals do with their own bodies is their business -- but I do nonethless oppose any homosexual influence on children. A slightly complex attitude like that is however too complex for many Leftists -- who rely on simple and invariably false sterotypes for their understanding of the world. Dr Laura, however, gave one of them a good lesson in real-world complexity.

Realism among one group of Australian blacks: "A major indigenous community has lobbied John Howard to stay on indefinitely as Prime Minister, dismissing the left of politics as "clueless" and calling for a new alliance between Aborigines and conservatives".

This is the best account I have so far seen of Israel's wall to keep out the Palestinian terrorists. The Leftists are doing their best to find fault with it but it is the only hope of stopping the bombings as far as I can see. Everything else has been tried many times.

A rare display of brains by the politically-correct British police: "Greater Manchester's top policeman, Michael Todd, believes the use of speed cameras leads to many law-abiding citizens developing an anti-police sentiment. So the northern region's Chief Constable has redeployed 200 officers from traffic duty to tackling burglars, robbers and sex offenders."

"With its aim of making— or remaking— cities on a human scale, the New Urbanism movement is winning adherents across a wide spectrum of political sympathies. But, as Public Policy Manager Phillip De Vous points out, the New Urbanism may be a ripe target for hijacking by anti-growth, anti-sprawl advocates.."

Australia's waterside workers (dockers, longshoremen) had a big defeat a few years ago when both business and government got tough on their overmanning practices and cut the wharf workforce drastically. PP McGuinness notes that the reforms, portrayed as a return to Dickensian days by Leftist theology, can now be clearly shown to have benefited both the workers and the country as a whole.

The first opinion poll in Iraq post-war: "We started by asking the basic question: was the war against Saddam's regime right or wrong? Fifty per cent said 'right', while just 27 per cent said 'wrong'"... "By almost three-to-one, Baghdadians expect life to be better (43 per cent) rather than worse (16 per cent) in one year's time than it was before the war."

Anti-globos say that globalization and growth is not narrowing the gap between rich and poor countries. What they don't look at is longevity. Our globalized world is helping poor people to live much longer. If lifespan is not a good index of personal welfare, it would be hard to say what is.

There is an appalling story on PC Watch about animal cruelty by blacks. And the authorities refuse to stop or punish it.

The Wicked one has another horror story about the oppressive and irrational antics of power-mad "child welfare" bureaucrats.


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21 July, 2003


Leftist 'human rights activists' in Britain and the USA are busily campaigning at the moment for the release of captured Al-Qaeda fighters from U.S. military custody. The people they want released were captured fighting for a terrorist organisation that acted as a kind of "SS" for Afghanistan's Taliban -- which itself was a dictatorship that rejected all notions of human rights for the Afghan people they oppressed. Nice to see whose side these Western "humanitarian" campaigners are on. Would they campaign for former members of Hitler's "SS" to be treated nicely too? If not, why not?

In any case, if the Al-Qaeda thugs are ever to be let out of Guantanamo Bay and put on trial, natural justice would seem to require that they are tried in Afghanistan by the people they oppressed. That should be fun!

And in fact, from early on, the Afghans thought Bin Laden and his fellow Arabs were scum -- as this 1998 report of a 1989 meeting with Bin Laden in Afghanistan notes: "The Afghans accepted the Arabi not because of their fighting ability but because of their lavish funding for pay-offs and weapons. During the war against the communist Kabul regime, many Afghans expressed horror at the ruthless nature of the Arabi who tended to kill their victims, notably prisoners, by slashing their throats. Also, I witnessed numerous captured female women and children from communist villages being transported by Arabs across the Pakistani border. According to Afghan sources and human rights groups, they were shipped to the Middle East as slaves. This human trafficking was well known to the Pakistani government and US intelligence."

But Arab slaving -- of both blacks and whites -- has been going on for many centuries of course. As it says here: "Slaves were the luxury goods the Islamic world seemed unable to wean itself off .... Like horses and gold, slaves conferred status, and the most opulent households had thousands".



Get this: "Carbon dioxide concentration was more than 10 times higher than current levels during the Ordovician glaciation, about 440 million years ago". So if carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes global warming -- as the Greenies claim -- how come it was super-high during an ICE AGE? See also here for the real explanation of earth's temperature fluctuations.

Andrew Bolt has an excellent column in which he points out that Hitler's Nazis were pioneers of the "Greenie" movement -- believe it or not.

Does Free Trade lead to a 'race to the bottom' as multinationals shift production to countries with the worst environmental records? Anti-globos say yes, but the figures say no.

This article points out that hydrogen fuels are no magic solution for pollution problems as hydrogen needs to be produced somehow. Nonetheless hydrogen fuel does have some advantages. But if we are to use them as a way to move away from 'fossil fuels', nuclear power will need to be used to generate hydrogen fuel. How awful that would be for the Greenie ignoramuses!

It looks like the World Meteorological Organisation thinks that joining the Greenie panic merchants is worth their while. They reported that extreme weather events occur every year somewhere in the globe, "but in recent years the number of such extremes have been increasing". But then one of their own directors admitted that the apparent greater frequency of such events probably just reflected better reporting of such events in today's world. What frauds they are! They must be desperate for funding. Panics generate funding.



Fancy that bastard Idi Amin living to 80 -- unlike 200,000 of his victims. Guess who is sheltering him? The Saudis! Great humanitarians sure can recognize one-another.

At Last: The BBC is on the defensive over its role in the suicide of British arms expert, David Kelly.

What fun! Now it is pizza that prevents cancer. I have always just ignored the food nannies. Everybody should. Human beings are omnivores. Our bodies are built to handle all sorts of food without harm.

China's economy is roaring ahead. Good news for Australia. They buy heaps of our stuff.

The religion of peace again: "Iran's supreme leader has inaugurated a new ballistic missile that brings Israel within range of the Islamic republic."

Mark Steyn is to the point in discussing Leftist criticism of GWB over Saddam's possible purchase or uranium for bomb-making: "Democrats who complained that Bush was too slow to act on doubtful intelligence re 9/11 now profess to be horrified that he was too quick to act on doubtful intelligence re Iraq..."

Arlene Peck says that Arabs treat their women worse than they treat farm animals.

China Hand has an interesting post about the health system in China.

My academic article just uploaded points out that "delay of gratification" is a significant topic for economists, sociologists and psychologists but that most of the reasearch literature on the topic is totally unscientifically based. See here (post of 20th) or here. I pointed out the fallacious nature of the research concerned in a widely-circulated psychology journal nearly 20 years ago but nothing seems to have changed to this day.


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20 July, 2003


With a schism among American Anglicans over homosexual bishops now likely, the following email from an Australian reader seems pertinent:

"The homosexual lobby, at least the 'gay left', aren't satisfied with mere tolerance and equal rights -- i.e. people should free to do what they want in their own homes, provided they don't disturb the neighbours... They want to force 'acceptance' on the rest of the community. And are extremely intolerant of those who just don't want to offer acceptance.. up to and including the use of legal sanctions. If homosexuals want to be ministers or priests or bishops, why don't they start their own church? New churches start up all the time.

The issue is probably not the homosexuals as such, most of whom just want to do their own thing without being hassled, but their self appointed leaders, spokesmen and non-homosexual Leftie guardians, who are really just fishing for causes. THEY are fixated on the US civil rights movement, which they see as a holy crusade and shining example to be emulated.

The Australian Left laud JFK and LBJ for their civil rights reforms, but not our own conservative Prime Minister R.G. Menzies, who did far more for black rights than the Left's Gough Whitlam did. Gough admittedly started the big spending but the key legal rights reforms were done under conservative Prime Ministers R.G. Menzies and Harold Holt. Leftists see the civil rights model as a one-size-fits-all-model that applies to all minority groups everywhere with a real or imagined grievance. That the civil rights movement may have made a few fundamental mistakes -- e.g. going for affirmative action; allying itself with the welfare lobby rather than fostering economic independence; and its campaigns against private discrimination (formerly known as the freedom of association) -- is not recognised or even debated."



"See, if you put a number on the value of skin color to benefit a minority, you're discriminating based on race -- a violation of the 'equal protection of the laws.' But if you wink and nod and pick a lesser-qualified student with a favored skin color over someone with better qualifications and you say that doing so will reach an undefinable 'critical mass' of minority students, well, you're apparently not discriminating."

"Not only does the practice of affirmative action ultimately neither help minority nor non-minority students, but it undermines the efficacy of our Constitution while belittling the progress of historically mistreated minorities by allowing the same ill that was used against them -- racism -- to be used against others."

Good to see the NAACP being blasted for hate speech and racism by other blacks.

Amusing: The recent affirmative action decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could lead to black enrollments falling -- as Hispanics take the places blacks presently get through racial preferences.



This bumper sticker gave me a laugh: "Conservatives Are From Mars -- Leftists Are From Uranus" Via The Federalist.

"Since 1980, federal funding for education has grown an astounding 228 percent -- a good track record if your goal is to maximize federal spending. The problem is, liberals don't care if the spending actually goes towards better educating children. More education spending has not resulted in higher test scores."

Some very interesting statistics: "Polls show that 80% of Americans now support legalization of medical marijuana, and an ever-growing number of states are passing such legislation in spite of federal laws to the contrary. That shows that the American people are wiser than their federal representatives, and that the War on Drugs is fading, but it's still destroying people every day that we put up with it. We're spending at least $50 billion each year on consensual crime. We're losing an estimated $150 billion in lost taxes. $200 billion would cut the income tax load by one- third ... just by decriminalizing consensual crimes."

I'm afraid it's true: "Environmentalism not only killed 14 U.S. astronauts, but it killed them in a most horrible and public way."

Good news for rationality: "If too many burgers and fries have left your waistline super-sized, don't expect a sweet pay-off in court, senators said Thursday. A bill would prevent people from suing restaurants and food manufacturers for making them fat."

This BBC historical feature discusses the slave trade run by the Barbary Corsairs. For centuries English and Irish people lived in terror of kidnapping by these delightful followers of the "religion of peace". Recent estimates of the toll of this slave trade show a surprisingly high count. "..for the 250 years between 1530 and 1780, the figure could easily have been as high as 1,250,000 - this is only just over a tenth of the Africans taken as slaves to the Americas from 1500 to 1800, but a considerable figure nevertheless.." Reparations anyone?

"The filibuster has a long history, but its pedigree should not make us proud. It prevented civil rights legislation from being adopted for nearly a century. Now a minority of senators is using it to prevent the Senate from voting on judicial nominees even though a majority of the senators from both parties would vote to confirm if they only could vote."

Tim Blair has a good post about Leftist "compassion". It shows that what Leftists really are is haters -- especially of anybody who is getting the limelight that they think that they should be getting.

The Wicked one says that Mussolini got one thing right, anyway.

My academic article just uploaded explodes the old Leftist claim that patriotism is a form of racism. See here (or here).


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19 July, 2003


An Australian reader writes:

"Bill Bunbury's book "It's Not the Money, It's The Land" tells the story of the social devastation loosed on outback aboriginal communities by well meaning but badly thought out equal pay laws. The laws were enacted by a coalition of economically illiterate social reformers and trade union allies mainly interested in advancing the interests of their (predominantly white) members. Bunbury's book is the transcript of a trio of radio documentaries available in Real Audio on the web here. Bunbury tells the story of minimum wage driven despair and dispossession from a social and 'oral history' perspective.

For the big picture, Linda Gorman provides a devastating analysis of how minimum wage laws work in practice, not only in the Australian outback but everywhere. This is pretty well standard economic textbook stuff these days. US studies show minimum wage laws to be particularly damaging to the economic interests of minorities and teenagers.

(Of course, this is not the only time discriminatory practices were introduced disguised as 'labor reform' see this item on the anti-minority Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. Here in Australia, the first political party to advocate federally enforced equal pay legislation for women was the socially conservative, 'pro-family' DLP. Unlike economically illiterate feminists, the canny DLP hoped this legislation would reduce the job opportunities for women and thus slow the move from home to workplace they opposed. You can't fault their economic logic!)

Milton Friedman has called minimum wage legislation "the most anti-black law on the statute books". The Australian outback experience bears him out. (As Friedman says, there is only one true minimum wage, zero. Attempts to impose artificial minimums above that, increase the number of people earning the true minimum wage.) Of course there is no rush here to say "sorry" by the apology police. They are too busy condemning a previous generation of well meaning do gooders, the missionaries and welfare authorities who ran child protection and adoption programmes. These are often condemned outright today as racist "stolen children" schemes. It is arguable that the minimum wage laws actually did more long term damage to Aboriginal communities. Hopefully a future generation of Aboriginal activists will return the favour to the minimum wage meddlers.

(A historical aside... It was through thinking about the minimum wage that prominent philosopher Rober Nozick, switched from a social democrat to a libertarian. "Bob [Nozick] went back to his pals at 'Dissent' [socialist] magazine and confronted them. If the minimum wage is so good, why not set it at, say, $10 an hour? They had no answer to the question. That is, these lifelong professional socialists, well-known and widely published writers respected to this day, could not even proceed past the first stage of the argument. Nozick began to rethink things furiously." See here)"



At last! Quack medicines (in this case ephedra) are coming under some attack. It is high time that "health foods" and "diet supplements" were treated the same as orthodox pharmaceuticals if medical claims are made for them.

"Misleading and meaningless claims on food labels are to be banned under EU laws proposed yesterday in a drive to regulate the industry and inform consumers. The move, announced by David Byrne, the European commissioner for consumer affairs, would outlaw claims such as 'preserves youth' and 'reduces stress,' and draw up strict rules to cover other statements such as 'low in fat' or 'high in fibre.'" Well. That's one bit of EU bureaucracy that I rather agree with. Lying and deception do need to be discouraged.



This article argues that universities are no longer engaged in the search for truth. I agree. It highlights the importance of other methods of information dissemination -- such as blogs. Perhaps I am having a rush of blood to the head but I think the internet is becoming the real university of today.

"Two U.S. energy experts cast more doubt on Friday on a push to develop hydrogen-powered cars as a means to cut air pollution and reduce oil imports" So much for the $1.5 billion GWB is spending on it.

No acceptance of civil liberties here: "Outraged by a Las Vegas company that claims to offer men a chance to stalk and shoot naked women in the Nevada desert with paintball guns, women's groups and government agencies were scrambling to find a way to shut down such "Bambi" hunts".

NOW we are told (in the July 14th issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine) that cutting cholesterol is bad for us! I never have listened to the food nannies anyway.

An Australian Leftist moaner really hates it that nearly a century of military alliance between Australia and the USA looks likely to give Australia a favourable trade deal with the USA.

But we know that Leftists like Fidel LOVE blacks! "Cuban dissidents yesterday accused the NAACP of a double standard in its promotion of human rights, defending those of blacks in South Africa while embracing -- rather than condemning -- the treatment of blacks in Cuba. 'I have never heard of a chapter of the NAACP taking an interest in the Cuban Negro,' said Eusebio Penalver Mazorra, a black Cuban who spent 28 of his 69 years as a jailed dissident in the communist nation."

The Wicked one has a unique posting about policing in South Africa.

I have uploaded two of my academic papers recently. The first is here (or here). It shows that white South Africans in the Apartheid era were a pretty nervous lot. They had reason to be. The second paper is here (or here). It shows the falsity of the old Leftist notion that conservatism is the politics of greed. The survey found that there were just as many greedy Leftists as Rightists.


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18 July, 2003


I am having a bit of a history day again today:

My post yesterday on whether Nazi Germany was economically efficient sparked a number of emails. Like many before me, I pointed out that Nazi Germany was NOT economically efficient because of the pervasive political interference with industry. A correspondent added some other details which suggest that the less politicized British bureaucracy did a better job of organizing the national war effort:

"R.V. Jones, author of "Most Secret War" has an interesting perspective on the German case. You can argue that the Germans had the best scientists, industrialists and generals of any side in WW2. Where they went badly was in coordinating those resources. The British were the first to create a coordinated scientific-military-industrial complex, with science and industry working on the real problems the military was having. German science and industry was for example working on developing new super-tanks and wonder weapons, when the Army merely wanted more tanks.

The foundations of the British scientific-military-industrial complex were laid pre-war in the 1930s as a response to fear of air attack, and Britain's need for a coordinated air defence system, something the British had anticipated since their brief exposure to the Zeppelin raids of WW1. As a result the British dominated radar research and development. Radar has been called the weapon that won the war, the atomic bomb merely ended it!"



"Those of us who know some economics are used to wincing when the typical clergyman makes a pronouncement on political economy ..... So it comes as a bit of a shock to read these religious figures, avowedly concerned first and foremost with justice and Biblical standards, and find that not only are they economically literate but that in many cases their economic theory was far more advanced than many professional economists who came after them... Tomas de Mercado wrote in 1571, "We can see that privately owned property flourishes, while city- and council-owned property suffers from inadequate care and worse management. . . . If universal love won't induce people to take care of things, private interest will"."



The Proposition 13 tax revolt has just had it's 25th anniversary. The 'World Socialist Web Site' tells us that tax revolts are underway in China too. Tax revolts have had enormous impacts in history. We all know of the Boston tea party and the English Parliament's struggles against King Charles and his unauthorized taxes but the French Revolution too was largely driven by countrywide discontent over sky-high taxes levied by the idle and spendthrift aristocracy and church. So Proposition 13 was a great step forward in that it cut taxes by peaceful means. We need a continuing flow of such propositions.

Leftists want immigrants to stay different: "[Massachusetts] Governor Mitt Romney yesterday chastised the Legislature for loosening the state's new voter-approved English immersion law, branding it an act of 'unfathomable arrogance' and vowing to oust legislators who backed the move. ... About 68 percent of Massachusetts voters last year approved the ballot initiative, Question 2, which required that immigrant students be placed in all- English classes instead of bilingual programs."

Alarming: "Former United States Defence Secretary William Perry has warned that the US and North Korea are drifting towards war, with an 'imminent danger' of nuclear explosions in American cities. His chilling assessment of the communist state's nuclear program came as an increasingly worried China intervened, revealing a push for talks and sending a special envoy to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-il."

In the shape of Britain's House of Lords, a conservative institution once again defends people's rights and liberties: "The government's hopes of a trouble-free week before Westminster's summer break were dashed last night when peers delivered a thumping defeat on already-modified plans to reduce the right to trial by jury. The 210-136 vote against David Blunkett's blueprint for restricting trial by jury in cases of complex fraud or likely jury tampering amounted to another rebuff to Labour's modernising ambitions on what peers declared is a fundamental point of principle - - 'this very touchstone of our liberty.'"

Amusing that NBC are going to "embed" their TV reporters with Democrat candidates for the election campaign. No news of them "embedding" with GOP candidates, though! I wonder why? (Don't tell me).

The government of my home State Queensland has shown some common-sense after Australia's High Court showed a conspicuous lack of it. The High Court said a couple must be paid the cost of raising a child that was born after a contraceptive procedure failed. The State of Queensland will legislate to prevent any further such awards.

Wow! Australia's Uniting Church (the former Methodists plus some Presbyterians) has cut its own throat. They have voted to allow homosexual clergy. Lots of their congregations will now go over to the more scripturally-oriented Continuing Presbyterians. A revived Methodist Church might even emerge.

Amusing: Bill Clinton is now being quoted in the case of the former Marine who ran off with the 12 year old British girl.

The Wicked one has a VERY naughty joke about Rev. Jesse Jackson.

My latest academic upload here or here looks at the distinctions that psychologists make between assertiveness and authoritarianism and shows that the two things are in fact pretty much the same.


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17 July, 2003


I received the following email from a reader:

I am having trouble seeing Hitler as a socialist when it comes to the economy. We all know that socialism is a failed economic model, yet how could Nazi Germany have been so economically successful if it was socialist state? If Nazi Germany had "a centralized collectivist economy just like the Soviet Union," how could it have been economically successful? Also, if Nazi Germany was socialist, and had a good economy, why was this success not seen in the other socialist/communist states?

There are a number of answers to that question but the first thing to note is that the Nazi and Fascist economies were more like the economies championed (and partly implemented) by "Third Way" Leftists of today (e.g. by Bill Clinton, Tony Blair et al.) than they were like the Soviet economy. In other words, the major German firms were subjected to tight political supervision and control but were still left at least nominally in private ownership. So the economy was not rendered totally inflexible. And just as today's pervasively regulated USA and Britain are still reasonably productive despite their bureaucratic load so Nazi Germany put in a middling performance too.

But there is another dimension to Nazi economics too -- as the example of the former East Germany shows: Why was the former East Germany so much more economically successful than other Communist States? I am afraid the answer has to be: Because it was German. Germans (and other Teutonic people such as the Dutch and the Scandinavians) tend to work hard even in economic systems that do not encourage it much. That is why Germany and Scandinavia are quite prosperous to this day despite their very high levels of taxation.

But the Reich did still suffer to a significant degree from its politically-controlled economy. It was not in fact nearly as efficient as it might have been. At the height of the Battle of Britain, for instance, the capitalist British economy was manufacturing twice as many aircraft as Germany. And even Stalin's Russia outproduced Germany in tanks by about 1943.

Where Germany WAS efficient in WWII was militarily. They overcame enormous odds right from the outset but eventually got crushed by weight of numbers. The Germans have been a warrior race for 2000 years. It was they who defeated the Roman Empire, after all. And the great military genius of WWII was undoubtedly Feldmarschall von Manstein. It is usually only military historians who have heard of him but it was he who was the architect of the Blitzkrieg through France. At the outset of the French campaign, von Manstein faced heavily entrenched French and allied forces that were in no way inferior to the German forces but his bold and innovative Panzer-led strike through the Ardennes outflanked the French and British forces and routed them completely. And later in Russia, von Manstein destroyed two Russian armies even AFTER Stalingrad. And his conquest of the Crimean peninsula is legendary among military historians: a frontal assault against superior forces who had nearly every advantage: a fortified position, command of the sea, the air, and tanks, while his army had not one tank. Compare that with the very high equipment level that characterizes the more capitalistic American forces going into battle.

So what success Nazi Germany had reflected the fact that they were German rather than the fact that they were socialist.



I am rather surprised that Australia is getting heavily involved with the North Korean problem. Korea is a long way from Australia. But we DID take part in the Korean war alongside the USA of course. And arms-carrying ships from Korea to the Middle East do have to pass fairly close to Australia.

Left-wing racism in The Guardian: "I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it."

Any idea of a World Parliament is a pipedream, fortunately. It would be a socialist and bureaucratic nightmare otherwise. Socialists would love us to have yet more government but lots of us can see that we have far too much government as it is. But lots of prominent U.S. "liberals" (such as THE senator from New York) are supporting the world parliament nightmare. Most of the world cannot govern itself sensibly. Why would we want them governing us?

"A news release from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) claims a 'New Look at Satellite Data Supports Global Warming Trend.' But the NCAR result is based on the wishful thinking of well- known global warming promoters, rather than on solid science. ..."

The rich are already paying their fair share: "[T]he richest of the rich paid more and everyone else paid less, explains Bartlett. This information is not surprising to those who know that the top 1 percent of taxpayers have increased their tax share almost annually, from 19 percent in 1980 to 27 percent in 1988, despite the Reagan tax cuts, and to 37 percent in 2000. Interestingly, the same pattern holds in other countries.... In the United Kingdom, the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 23 percent of income taxes this year."

The fatwa against fat: One of my regular readers has got very droll. He writes: "Following from recent postings about "the fat wars" and the left's fatwa against fast food, these two older articles here and here provide an interesting alternate take on this expanding issue."

Amazing: Lasagna is a British invention. They even called it that back in the 14th century.

The latest Carnival of the Vanities is here

China Hand seems satisfied with my view that Hong Kong's economic success traces back to its free market system rather than the virtues of Hong Kongers.

The Wicked one is dubious about how beneficial the contraceptive pill has been.

In my academic posting here (or here) I give a very thorough explanation and justification of the way I measure materialistic ambition.


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16 July, 2003


Australians are quite fond of referring to Australia as "The lucky country". Australia is such a relaxed and pleasant place that they have good reason to. The term was originally popularized by Donald Horne, who made it the title of one of his books. Because of the agreeable title, lots of Australians bought the book but few can have read it -- as the book is NOT a celebration of Australia at all. It is a miserable, carping book that says that anything good in Australia is only an outcome of sheer luck. So poor Donald has had the ultimate humiliation of lots of people buying his book yet still thinking that he intends exactly the opposite of what he actually says.

Perhaps for that reason, few people have bothered to refute Donald's silly negativism. Another well-known Australian, Clive James, has however recently said a few words on the subject. Excerpt:

"[Donald Horne's] central tenet, that his homeland was a lucky strike consistently mismanaged by second-rate politicians, caught on as a dogmatic aid to national self-doubt. As I read on through our recent and gratifyingly rich heritage of commentary and memoir, it became clearer to me all the time that we hadn't become a prosperous and reasonably equable democracy by the accidental dispensation of benevolent nature and a favourable geographical position. The country had been built, by clever people. Our constitution itself was the work of people who had studied history. They were readers of newspapers and periodicals, they were eternal students in the best sense, they were bookish people. They had built a bookish nation. But, as so often has been the case with Australia's consciousness of itself, the problem was to realise it."



A reader writes:"It would be interesting to hear CS Lewis's take on the modern 'gay marriage' debate. He was a great believer in marriage but had fairly libertarian views for his time on what the role of the state should be in all this. The following is an extract from his well-known book, "Mere Christianity":

"Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is the quite different question -- how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one.

I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mahommedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognise that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not. "



A scientist exposes green hypocrisy on GM foodstuffs: As a research scientist I would say that the only stumbling block to GM food has been vociferous scare campaigns waged by radical green groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.
Why Beijing is twisting North Korea's arm: The final irony is that it looks as if China's self-interest is going to be the means by which the fall of Kim is finally assured. The great thing about the situation for the rest of the world is that it is George W. Bush who occupies the Oval Office and not Gore, a man held in complete contempt in the capitals of Asia — and particularly in Beijing.
The Left's war against America: America's leftists are not just waging a culture war but a war against a culture. These are creatures who have nothing to offer but hate and malice. These ideologues and their media allies are the real enemy. These are ones who have to be confronted and defeated, not just in America but also in Australia.
Green attacks on GM reveal contempt for human life: We now have Dr Gyorgy Scrinis — a research associate in the Globalism Institute at RMIT University — trying to rationalise why it is preferable to allow peasants to suffer poverty and malnutrition rather than allow them access to life-improving genetically modified crops.)
How the greens kill people: The green movement has demonstrated a callous disregard for human life, especially in the Third World.

Details here



Those awful Israelis! There is a big Palestinian complaint here about how Israelis make Palis WAIT! How dare they? That the Israelis might be nicer if the Palis stopped blowing them up does not seem to rate a mention.

This is rich! A German Socialist politician is calling Italians racist. A German Socialist politician would know one, of course. Italians are in fact exceptionally non-racist. Even in WWII Italy was something of a refuge for Jews.

This is a bit breathtaking: Some nutty American Professor who lives in Australia thinks that Australia is not Leftist enough so Australia should fix that by becoming the 51st State of the USA! And he's not joking. But he may have something. In some ways the USA has drifted further Left than Australia. I myself think that Americans should recognize the Queen as their rightful liege lord and rejoin the British Commonwealth!

"Public education in America is producing politically correct, properly sensitized, ignorant little socialists. Some of them can read and write and many can make change at McDonalds, given the machines that tell them what the change amount should be. All of the problems now besetting our youth can be laid at the feet of the socialist indoctrination required by the states before one can become a 'certified' teacher."

The Wicked one uses a proverb to summarize why affirmative action will never make much difference anyway.

My latest academic posting here (or here) looks at what predicts economic success among Indian famers. Surprise! Surprise! It is intelligence and drive that makes the difference. Despite all the Leftist waffle to the contrary, that is what matters most in economic life everywhere.


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15 July, 2003


Definitely time for reflection. I have big problems with skin cancer so may not have many years left but the life I have had has been a blessed one in many ways. My father was a lumberjack, I left school before completing High School and I inherited nothing from my parents except my genes. But I nonetheless have done well in academe, in business and in my personal life -- which reinforces my view that in modern Western society it is only ability and good sense that separates most of the "haves" from the "have-nots".

One amusing episode in my university career was when I got an article published in an academic journal under joint authorship with another academic whose first name translates as "God's Penis" -- see here. Another odd accomplishment was when I got praise of one of my ex-wives into an academic journal -- see here.

My only regret is that I had only one child -- but my son is a real chip off the old block so that is pleasing. There is a picture of him here -- Warning: He is not very "diverse" in U.S. Supreme Court terms.



An Australian reader emailed me with this addition to my post about the cruelty of Leftist "compassion": "I think the classic example of being protected by leftists is the extension of 'equal minimum wage laws' to aborigines in the late 1960s. The result was large number of aboriginal stockmen (cowboys) put out of work: A great victory for social reform. Laws giving equal access to grog and social security came in about the same time, each on their own a genuine reform. But the net result was arguably a reformer-imposed social disaster that aboriginal communities are still struggling to overcome."

"Reality is not PC" was also moved to hit the keyboard by my "Leftist compassion" posting. He/she points out that a great Leftist cause of the 1930s was eugenics -- sterilizing some criminals and those who were deemed to be mentally ill -- and that the U.S. Supreme court upheld eugenics laws too. And here's the killer quote: "In 1933, Nazi Germany used the US sterilization laws as the blueprint for the Nuremberg Laws under which 350,000 "unfit" German citizens were sterilized.. Get that? Hitler modelled his policies on the policies of American Leftists!!. Leftists nowadays gloss all that over and even try to deny that the eugenicists were Leftists but the 1930s eugenicists even called themselves "Progressives". More on them here. So the cruelty and destructiveness of Leftist "do-gooding" goes back a long way even in the democracies.



The Society of St Vincent de Paul -- a large Roman Catholic charity organization in Australia -- has recently come out in favour of a range of Leftist political policies: "WE advocate a range of action, including removal of tax concessional treatment of trusts, means-testing of the baby bonus and the private health insurance rebate and the abolition of a number of tax concessions". What qualifies do-gooders to give economic advice? All the issues are old ones. Why do "Vinnies" want to throw their weight behind one side of the debate? I guess they want to alienate that half of the electorate who do NOT vote Leftist and thus halve the donations they receive. Clever! When they've got brains like that, you know what to think of their advice.



Good comment: "There are no foreign invaders in Liberia. The people who have been killing, mutilating and brutalizing Liberians are Liberians. President Bush will not have any problem finding bad guys. His problem will be finding good guys. The people opposed to the present president, Charles Taylor, are just as bad as he is. So just what will our troops do? Shoot Liberians on a random basis?"

I believe some libertarians were wishing one-another "Happy Bastille Day" yesterday. That seems dumb to me. What is good about replacing one tyranny with a worse one?

A limited school choice program looks set to go ahead in DC. Not as good as vouchers but a step forward.

The Agitator says: "Those in the "pro-choice" crowd who are most vigilant about protecting abortion rights aren't pro-choice at all. They're pro-abortion. They'll swear they aren't, because it's of course a political loser to admit as much. But don't let them fool you. They want to see lots of abortions, and they're genuinely pissed off each time a woman actually chooses to have a baby"

Arlene Peck has a VERY skeptical post about the current Arab "ceasefire" in Israel.

Writing on his other blog, China Hand has posted some old American rules for good manners that he thinks may help modern Chinese when they go abroad.

There is a flamethrower post from Chris Brand about racial differences reproduced (with comments) on PC Watch

The Wicked one reports a case where a violent home invader got let off scot-free because he said he was high on Jasmine tea at the time! Jasmine tea is the sort of tea we all normally get in Chinese restaurants.

My latest academic posting here (or here) reports that materialistic ambition is NOT particularly high among Hong Kong Chinese -- suggesting that the great economic achievements of Hong Kong are purely the outcome of their extreme free-market economy.


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14 July, 2003


That Leftist claims of compassion are a total fraud hardly needs proof for anyone who knows history. Their murderous brutality when they gain unrestrained power (e.g. Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and all of their many "revolutionary" brethren worldwide) shows that. And the admiration and support that Western Leftists regularly displayed for Communism before the Soviet implosion shows that Leftists in democratic countries share the same underlying values as the Leftist totalitarians. Since Western Leftists and Communists profess the same basic beliefs and use much the same propaganda, it would be surprising otherwise. Some American "liberals" and some Labor party supporters in Britain and Australia, however, claim that they have always deplored Communism and so are not like that. They claim that they REALLY care.

That this claim is false is displayed by the way they exercise what power they do have. For example, "tenant protection" is a great Leftist cause. A moment's thought should show what all experience shows: That making life more difficult for landlords discourages landlording and makes rental accomodation scarce -- thus forcing the poor people who depend on it to pay much higher rents than they previously did -- where they can find accomodation at all. No Leftist could be ignorant of that. It is such an old lesson that has been repeated worldwide so many times. Yet Leftist governments still keep doing it. The deeds of such Leftists show them to care only about their own self-righteouness -- and too bad if that slugs the poor.

Another disgraceful example stems from the old Leftist rejection of heredity. To listen to Leftists even today the only thing that is inborn is homosexuality -- the so-called "gay gene". Leftists want to change so much about the people who get into their clutches that they cannot afford to accept that some things about people just CANNOT be changed -- so they have always rejected the power of genetic heredity.

Right up until the 1990s, Leftist psychologists (psychologists are almost all Leftists) used to say that childhood autism was caused by "refrigerator mothers". Autism is a terribly distressing affliction for parents to see in their children and the unfortunate mothers at that time were told that it was all their own fault! They were told that autism resulted from their own lack of caring. How devastating! Nowadays, of course, autism is universally acknowledged to be an inborn condition. So, for as long as they could, Leftists caused immense, needless and unwarranted distress to many already-suffering mothers solely in order to prop up their own need to feel all-powerful. That's "compassion"? Give us a break! Even Leftists in an allegedly compassionate profession are anything but when it suits them.

Incidentally, why are most psychologists Leftist? It's obvious: Psychology offers some prospect of power over other people and power is the drug that the Leftist craves above all others.

Another piece of Leftist cruelty is their "anti-sweatshop" activism. Through boycotts and other means, such activists have put pressure on many companies (such as Nike) to stop using labour in low-wage countries. So Nike and others did stop. They pulled out of those countries and threw hundreds of thousands of poor people out of the only work they could get -- with most reduced to begging or prostitution if they did not actually starve to death. Great! Everybody would have told the Leftists concerned what the results of their agitation would be but their hatred of big companies trumped the best interests of the poor every time. Only pseudo "compassion" there! Leftism is a great scheme for hate-filled people though: You get to express your hatred while getting praised for "compassion". What a top deal! Too bad about all the little people who get hurt in the process, though.



The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that freed hundreds of paedophiles makes no sense at all. They ruled that prosecuting the offenders many years after the offence occurred breached the constitutional bar on retrospectivity. But the crimes concerned were crimes when they were committed. They were not made crimes retrospectively.

Only Leftists turn themselves inside-out to protect criminals so if the the recent U. Mich. affirmative action decision was not enough to make it clear that the court is predominantly Leftist, this certainly shows it. They are "limousine liberals"

Just a "scrap of paper"? "It's bad enough that teachers unions help miseducate American youngsters. Now they're waging war against constitutional government. Think we're exaggerating? The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Nevada Supreme Court "sets aside the state constitutional amendment requiring at least two-thirds support of lawmakers to pass tax increases. The justices ruled that the need to fund public schools, another constitutional requirement, took precedence over the need to approve tax increases by a two-thirds supermajority."



This article says that South Africa is now ruled by black Fascists. Excerpt: "South Africa today is not so much capitalist as corporatist or fascist, along the lines Mussolini wanted for Italy, with the masters of big business, the trade unions and the government doing coercive deals among themselves to control the whole economy". It goes on to say that South Africa's present black rulers respect the former Apartheid regime as fellow Fascists but despise anti-Apartheid white liberals! Once again we have two groups of Leftists hating one-another.

A Brooklyn, New York, US Federal Judge tossed out a 1994 murder conviction against Rodney Cox, a man who admitted shooting his victim in the head, because, the judge says, there is no evidence that Cox actually meant to kill his victim "rather than injure him," or "scare him" when aiming for his head. See NY Daily News 13-Jun-03. This is the sort of thing we have to expect where Leftists are constantly portraying criminals as victims and as not being responsible for their own actions. (Via Jerry Lerman).

There is a new blog with a similar focus to this one here. Some good postings on the self-appointed food police recently.

The Wicked one says that JFK was a conservative who actually got on well with Nixon.

My latest academic posting here (or here) shows that political stance is not determined by degree of interpersonal dominance. Some Leftists are wimps and some are dictators. The same goes for conservatives. I have argued elsewhere that it is strong ego needs, not personal assertiveness, that makes someone a Leftist.


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13 July, 2003


A reader writes:

"With President Bush going to Africa, the AIDS crisis there is getting renewed media interest. Recent articles indicate that dirty needles may have had more to do with the HIV epidemic than is usually admitted. See here, here and here. This is in many ways a stance like the boy who said, "the emperorer has no clothes". This controversial approach, if confirmed, amounts to an indictment of the way the African AIDS epidemic has been 'sold' over the last 20 years. It has been sold as due to normal heterosexual sex, when it may not be.

The cynical explanation is that agencies already promoting birth control pushed a half-baked 'heterosexual hypothesis' for African AIDS because it gravied their train. It also suited western AIDS lobbyists keen to highlight any non-gay, non-drug user AIDS to harness public fear for funding purposes. The dirty needle argument has some parallels to the much more radical stance taken by HIV-does-not-cause-AIDS skeptics like Peter Duesberg and Perth's Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos. They argue that the definition of "AIDS", especially as applied on the ground in Africa, has been drawn so broadly as to allow for a host of unrelated diseases to be cast under the AIDS net. See here, here and here"

One thing that nobody seems to be mentioning is that anal sex is the most commonly used form of contraception in Africa. That alone would explain the epidemic. But is anybody telling Africans that? It seems not. Better for Africans to die than to be told stuff that is inconvenient to Western Leftists!



Fascinating. The millionaires donate to the Dems, the little people donate to the GOP:

"'The Nine Dwarfs' pursuing the Democratic Party presidential nomination have been relentlessly asserting that the Republican Party is beholden to the wealthy. It turns out, however, that it is the Democratic Party that has been addicted to the million-dollar contributions from the nation's fat cats. "A recent study by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), a nonpartisan campaign-finance research organization, reveals that the Democratic Party gobbled up an astounding 92 percent of all individual contributions totaling $1 million or more during the 2001-02 election cycle. Meanwhile, it was the Republican Party that received 64 percent of all individual contributions less than $200 per donor."

From The Washington Times via The Federalist. I guess that wealthy people often like the idea of bossing other people around and the little people value their liberties.



Pat Buchanan has another interesting history lesson for us. He points out that FDR relied on dubious evidence to get the USA into WWII: "Stephenson's forgery was a triumph and served a backdrop for Clare Luce's remark that Roosevelt 'lied us into war because he did not have the political courage to lead us into it.' ... not only has FDR been forgiven, he has been celebrated. His lies, it is said, were noble lies, to rouse an isolationist America into doing its duty and ridding the world of Adolf Hitler". But GWB is not being forgiven for mentioning evidence about Saddam's nukes that later turned out to be fabricated. The familiar Leftist double standard.

I am pleased to see that my favourite American has had a tremendous instrument of America power named after him. Very appropriate for a man who made such constructive use of American power.

Clinton does something useful: Hosing down the crazy Left of the British Labour Party.

I'm inclined to agree with this Arab self-description: "In light of ongoing events, it appears that the Arab psychology has become addicted to the dictatorial model of life. Indeed, all the Arab peoples-- all of them-- have become completely addicted to dictatorship, oppression, and regimes that beat [the people] on their heads with their shoes, and hit them below the belt." (Via The WSJ)

The recent U.S. Supreme Court treatment of the Nike case was appalling. Now a company cannot say anything that "might" mislead. The Leftists have succeeded in wiping out free speech for companies.

One lesson the Leftist panic merchants will never learn: "There is no such thing as a poisonous substance, per se. Even drinking water can kill you, if you drink enough of it. It's the dose that makes the poison."

Great if it's true: "All parties and institutions are affected by a climate of cynicism and mistrust in which society is disinclined to believe whatever it is told by authorities and experts."

Hear here! "I cannot think of many more positive recommendations than abolishing the Equal Opportunities Commission and leaving men and women to work out their minor 'inequalities and differences' themselves."

Chris Brand has been writing to the papers about the root causes of Africa's problems again. See here.

The Wicked one has some amusing quotes from Oscar Wilde.

My latest academic posting here (or here) is another one of many in which I show how wrong the Leftist theory of authoritarianism is. I show that there is nothing wrong with dominant personalities. My second recent academic posting here (or here) points out a lack of scientific care that is all too common among psychologists.


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12 July, 2003


From my academic publications I have just posted two papers that might have some interest for libertarians. They both go back to the common perception that the extremely pro-market views of libertarians make them very right-wing or even "fascist". The first posting is of only the most minor interest. It is a letter to an editor of an academic journal written during my anarcho-capitalist days in which I defend myself from just such an accusation. The second posting is an article in a libertarian journal in which I explain the psychological research into authoritarianism for the benefit of libertarians. I point out that although their pro-market views give libertarians something in common with conservatives, their anti-authority attitudes give them a lot in common with the rebellious attitudes commonly expressed by Leftists. (Unlike Leftists, however, libertarians are suspicious of ALL authority, not just some existing authorities). The article also points out that you can be pro-liberty as regards society as a whole and still be dictatorial in your personal life. Certain prominent libertarians do rather spring to mind in that connection.

A later research article dealing with the relationship between libertarianism and the Right/Left divide can be found here. If any of the above links are not responding, alternative links are here, here and here.



It looks like the U.K. Conservative leader might have some balls after all. He seems to want to rein in the all-engulfing bureaucratic monster that the EU has become:

"Mr Duncan Smith made his most important speech so far on European policy. He went to Prague to call for a "democratic revolution" to achieve his vision of a "new Europe" of national democracies, and not of "soulless supranational institutions". In a fierce attack on the Franco-German axis, he accused "old Europe" of trying to bully the rest into believing that they had to accept their cherished ambitions, such as the euro and the new constitution, or else. But Mr Duncan Smith tried to put himself at the head of a campaign by Europe's Centre Right to rally the incoming entrants to the EU to a future in which they did not have to sign up to the euro, the constitution or the common foreign and defence policies of the EU."



A disgraceful story here of so-called British justice. Being anywhere around when a crime occurs is dangerous in Britain but it is not criminals who are the danger. It is the lax British police. If they cannot find who actually did the crime, anyone who was around at the time will do. It is the same in Australia -- as the Barry Mannix case (PDF) showed. Mannix only got out of jail when the real murderer turned up at a police station and confessed. Nobody should have to rely on that degree of luck. And note that the police who extorted a false confession from Mannix have not been disciplined to this day. So how many more innocent people have they sent to jail?

Let's hope other moderate Leftists listen to Tony Blair: "Blair said it would be wrong for centre-left governments to oppose globalization and be anti-American in their outlook."

There's a big article here comparing economic development in India and China. It seems that the more Westernized Indian economy relies on local entrepreneurship a lot more than does China and could well pull ahead in terms of future economic growth.

The African nation of Benin has apologised for its past role in slavery: "It's so easy to say white man did it to us, but we share in the responsibility,'' Ambassador Cyrille Oguin told an audience Friday at Southern University". Will they now be included as co-defendants in reparations claims?

This story shows how good the Left-dominated U.S. educational system isn't. Note that the librarian who wrote the letter would undoubtedly have a college or university degree.

A new survey shows that landowners who support hunting conserve more wildlife than those that don't -- something that lovers of hunting have always pointed out.

A great post on Samizdata about the incidence of liberty in the world. It is still the Anglo-Saxon nations that are on top of that tree. The post is based on CATO's annual international survey of economic freedom (PDF) -- which also shows that there is a correlation between economic freedom and prosperity. It also shows that "increased economic freedom does not lead to greater income inequality", contrary to what the Left would have us believe.

A Baltimore cop speaks from experience about the 'war on drugs'. He says: "Eighty years of failed drug prohibition have destroyed swaths of urban America."

UK Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees, is advocating turning Martian exploration over to private millionaires: "Mars needs millionaires"

At last! A conservative blogger in Ireland. Visit him soon.

The NEW CRITERION now has a blog here. The New Criterion is a culturally-oriented conservative site.


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11 July, 2003


The term "feeding frenzy" refers to the way a pack of sharks eat. But the incessant Leftist attacks on the food that ordinary people eat surely deserves that term too. Note that Leftists show their great sympathy for poor people these days by claiming that food is too cheap!

Theodore Dalrymple says that anti-fast food crowd seem to assume that if it weren't for corporations and advertising ...we'd all be eating "health" food. This conclusion of course is nonsense. Traditional British dinners were loaded with fat.

EUFIC, The European Food Information Council adds a note of common sense:

"...when judged by changes in life expectancy, health in our modern society is improving all the time and is not, as is often suggested, getting worse. Progress in medical care, better living conditions and hygiene, better food supply, improved nutrition and the importance of physical activity can be associated with this development."

Of course Hippocrates said much the same in the 5th Century BC:

"Positive health requires knowledge of man's primary constitution and the powers of various foods, both those natural to them and those resulting from human skills. But eating alone is not enough for health. There must be exercise, of which the effects must likewise be known. The combination of these two things makes regimen, when proper attention is given to the seasons of the year, the changes of the winds, the age of the individual and the situation of his home".

But this demented woman and her cohorts agree with none of that: "Diet scold Marion Nestle, who was the keynote speaker at last month's obesity lawsuit conference and complains that food is too cheap in America, went off the deep end yesterday. Echoing the lawsuit-happy John Banzhaf, who told a May 2003 food policy conference that personal responsibility is 'crap,' Nestle said on CNN that she doesn't support 'balance, moderation and exercise' when it comes to food choices. Nestle also argued that parents probably can't be expected to exercise any authority over their children's diets."

And "PETA's gang of lunatics filed an injunction with the California Superior Court today to prevent the popular chicken restaurant chain from defending itself against PETA's attacks. Without a hint of irony or self-reflection, the group that covertly supports arsonists claims that KFC is making 'deceptive statements' regarding their treatment of future three-piece dinners."



Wow! What a come-down for the Greenies. A new study has just shown that trees grow twice as fast in New York City, when compared with trees growing in the surrounding countryside. The Greenies have come up with the totally twisted explanation that pollution in cities cancels itself out but that the cities still pollute the countryside and stunt tree growth there. It's logic only a Greenie could understand. If urban pollution cancels itself out, how is there any left to get into the countryside? Obviously pollution is in the eye of the beholder and what Greenies see as pollution, trees see as fertilizer. The higher carbon dioxide level in cities is the obvious explanation for the finding -- as carbon dioxide is a basic plant food -- but Greenies are committed to demonizing carbon dioxide as a "greenhouse" gas so admitting that it might be beneficial is to be avoided at all costs.

But regardless of what is responsible for the finding, the fact that trees THRIVE in a "polluted" urban environment strikes at the very heart of Greenie claims about the "threat" of pollution. If the only "threat" is that it makes greenery grow faster, shouldn't Greenies be wanting MORE of that "pollution"?



Sad: After the recent elections, Mexico is still in the grip of its old fascistic Left. The PRI kept Mexico poor for most of the last century and it looks like it will keep up the performance.

Amusing: The French government has banned use of the word "email". It would make more sense for the Germans to ban it. "Email" is an old German word meaning "enamel".

As always, Buchanan knows his history -- and the conclusions he draws can be startling. The idea that Congress can simply REMOVE the jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court from moral and racial issues was certainly a surprise to me.

The Left are still at their old game of calling anyone stupid who disagrees with them. It shows how much they hate ordinary Americans, though: "Americans, whether consciously or unconsciously, actually pride themselves on their ignorance. It reflects their break with the overly complicated intellectual tradition of 'old Europe.' It's also a source of satisfaction that they have a president who's no smarter than they are. All this is bad news for the American anti-war movement which needs to enlarge its ranks. 'Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens,' wrote Schiller. 'With stupidity even the gods struggle in vain.'"

Michael Darby has just put up a new budget of reading for us here -- with particular emphasis on Zimbabwe, as usual.

If you don't get a laugh out of the latest offering from The Wicked one you've got no sense of humour.

My academic postings here and here have been a bit technical lately. Only for psychometricians.


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10 July, 2003


This blog began exactly one year ago today. Below is an extract from the first post I made -- on July 10th, 2002. I think it is still pretty relevant:


"The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind." (H.L. Mencken)

Denial is perhaps best known through the work of Sigmund Freud as a classical neurotic symptom or coping mechanism. Instead of dealing with uncomfortable truths, the neurotic acts as if those truths simply do not exist. This is, of course, very maladaptive and creates at least as many problems as it solves.

Sadly, however, it would seem that reality denial is far from limited to psychiatric cases. Denial would appear to be in fact much more common even than excess egotism. Human beings generally do not handle reality well. That is why humans are such a drug-using species. Whether it be alcohol, cannabis, opiates, Khat, cocaine, nicotine or merely caffeine, few of us seem able to face life without chemical crutches. Straight reality is generally too much for us.

But WHY are human beings so uncomfortable with reality? Why do they use so many means to "escape" it? Again it probably goes back to more primitive times when reality was very oppressive and dispiriting. Only those who could escape reality in some way had the heart to carry on. So a talent for ignoring unpleasant truths was adaptive. In the modern world, however, reality is much more benign and, as Freud saw, denying it can easily descend into the psychopathological.

So any attack on the reality-denying habits of Leftists would appear doomed to failure. Even such an overwhelming reality as the utter collapse of the world's 70 year experiment with Communism caused them not at all to abandon their equalitarian mania but only to change their focus somewhat.

Those who know the erratic nature of Blogspot archives will be surprised to find that the full archive of my earliest postings still exists exactly where it is supposed to be -- here. I forget now why I did so but for the first month or so I used to delete the whole blog and create a new one every time I added a new posting! But I always appended the old postings below the new posting. Complicated.



Stalin once said that there is complete freedom of speech in Russia -- "as long as you agree with me". Modern day American universities are the same:

"On Nov. 12, 2002, Steve Hinkle, an undergraduate at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo, was walking around campus, posting fliers advertising a speech by Mason Weaver, author of 'It's OK to Leave the Plantation'. In that book, Weaver -- an African-American -- traces his own journey "from Berkeley militant to conservative businessman," and argues that dependence on government welfare programs puts many modern African-Americans in circumstances akin to slavery. .... Today, Steve Hinkle remains under threat of expulsion from this hideous institution of 'learning' for trying to post a factual, constitutionally protected flier."

More here



Incredible, astounding and unbelievable! "United States President George W. Bush has expressed confidence in the manner in which [South African] President Thabo Mbeki is handling the Zimbabwean crisis." Handling it? He's not handling it at all! Zimbabwe is getting more and more disastrous by the day. Mbeki has done NOTHING.

I must say that I had a bit of a laugh when I heard that German Kanzler Gert Schroeder is cancelling his holiday in Italy because of the bad things Italians have said recently about Germans. Pretty childish. It's he who will be the loser. Italians and Germans have always scorned one-another but the fact that 10 million Germans holiday in Italy every year shows that most Italians and Germans still manage to get on with one-another.

V.D. Hanson has a good article here on the Mexicanisation of California and on multiracialism versus multiculturalism. He says "The problem is not one of "race". He considers it a virtue that America is a multiracial society. What concerns him is the danger of what he calls "a multicultural" society, one that has lost its sense of common political and civic values. A multiracial society "welcomes all races to learn one language and heritage," while a multicultural society "encourages separate but purportedly equal languages and traditions, and is a prescription for disaster - as we have seen in Bosnia."

A good comment on the ridiculous International Criminal Court that GWB has rightly boycotted: "A US academic has claimed that the International Criminal Court's definition of "crimes against humanity" is vague enough to try the POPE for his stand on issues such as abortion and homosexuality."

David Flint has a good article on why our intellectuals see themselves as an elite who are alone fit to rule us and points out how they do their best to exclude conservative views from all debate.

An interesting explanation here of why Communists rose to power in so many countries throughout the world in the 20th century. Ignorance among the population was one of the pre-requisites. You can fool such people for some of the time.

From NewsWeekly, not apparently covered elsewhere.. Climate scientists reject the Kyoto treaty on "Greenhouse" gases.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with its usual select range of thinking.

China Hand has just put up a couple of snippets about corruption and media censorship in his part of China.


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9 July, 2003


I have not so far commented on the shrill Leftist accusations that Bush, Blair and Howard "lied" about Saddam having WMDs because it is so obviously the cry of sore losers. But since even some sensible people seem now to have been sucked in by the Leftist claims over the matter, let me point out that the allies did NOT lie about WMDs. They said that they THOUGHT Saddam had WMDs and that his many years of obstructing UN weapons inspectors meant that there was only one way to make sure that he did not have WMDs. They were right.

And Rumsfeld brought some unanswerable logic to bear on the matter some time ago when he pointed out: "We haven't found Saddam Hussein either, but that doesn't mean he didn't exist."

The real liars are the Left. They lied about Stalin and the Soviets for decades and now they are lying about what GWB and his allies said. Because they are such liars themselves they see it in others at the drop of a hat.



Howard Dean: patriot or anti-American. Howard Dean and his fellow Leninist hardcore Democrats hate the war against Saddam because they believe it promoted US interests. This is their litmus test for condemning any foreign policy: will it benefit the US?
Green economic blueprint is a recipe for tyranny. The greens' economic system could only be enforced at the point of a bayonet and the threat of a Gulag. (Perhaps they are going to lift a few chapters out of Pol Pot's Manual for Economic Autarky).
Why the left support the BBC's neo-Stalinist agitprop that defends treason. The BBC production The Cambridge Spies boils down to a piece of neo-Stalinist agitprop that reveals the moral and ideological bankruptcy of the BBC, an institution that was once even respected by it totalitarian enemies for its integrity.
Arab politicians stayed silent on Saddam's killings fields. Arab parliamentarians spent comfortable nights in luxurious hotels in Beirut, refusing to utter a word of sympathy for the victims of Saddam's mass graves.

Details here



One of my American readers reports on the aggressive nature of his local "wage peace, not war" organization: "July 3, on the way to Austin TX I came across a "Pacifica Radio" broadcast from Houston. WOW - these people were full of venom - Prosecute George Bush and Colin Powell and Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney for war crimes against the Iraqi children; abolish private schools; provide better housing for "the poor" - the most arrogant, self-righteous crowd I have ever heard. Again, these people are well-funded. They are extremely hostile to anything conservative - and very enthusiastic about forcing their cause on others"

The recent BBC TV series "Cambridge Spies" portrays British supporters of Stalin during the 1930s as innocent young idealists. That is wilful deceit. As this article points out, Stalin's unprecedented crimes against humanity were already well-known at the time. Even that famous "Fabian" socialist George Bernard Shaw knew and approved of Stalin's methods. As Shaw said: "Every Russian knows that if he will not make his life a paying enterprise for his country ... an agent of the OGPU [Soviet secret police] will take him by the shoulder and will conduct him to the cellar of this famous department and he will simply stop living." It is amazing that Nazi Holocaust deniers like David Irving get blasted yet Leftist intellectual heroes who openly acknowledged and supported the Stalin Holocaust still get lauded. The Left simply airbrushes the inconvenient quotes from public memory.

The USA is doing better in Afghanistan than we normally hear from the media. Note this quote: "'I have two messages,'' says Ahmmad Nabi Mohammadi, leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Movement of Afghanistan, which has followers in all 32 provinces. ''One is that we strongly request the USA to continue supporting the government of Hamid Karzai. . . . The other is that everyone understand this is the exact government that Afghanistan needs now and to support that government.''

There are some good pictures of life in Iraq before Saddam and during the Saddam era here

There is a good catalogue here of the arrant nonsense that has been used by European intellectuals to justify their jealous hatred of the USA. How DARE a country give such freedom, such opportunities and such a good life to ordinary people! And Americans respect practical men a lot more than they respect intellectuals. Horrors!

Paddy McGuinness on Leftist censorship: He points out that sex is about the only thing Leftists do not want censored and comments: "By all means, let us screen any kind of pornography offered. But then why not let the forces of tobacco, alcohol, fast food, racism, sexism and homophobia loose to speak just as freely?"

Global warming comes unstuck again: "An analysis of more than 240 studies of the Earth's climate over the past 1,000 years suggests the twentieth century was NOT the hottest and that climate varies naturally. The analysis adds to the growing body of knowledge challenging previous assessments, based on less comprehensive data, that suggest climate was relatively stable until a sharp warming in the late twentieth century."

The Wicked one tells it like it is about Liberia -- where the USA may soon be sending troops.

Rather to the annoyance of libertarians such as myself, the old Left/Right divide seems to be the major way in which people group their political attitudes. In my academic posting here (or here) I list some of the opinions that are grouped in that way.


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8 July, 2003


The Archbishop of Sydney gives a very clear statement of the traditional Anglican stance on homsexuality and points out that it is not the traditional Anglicans who are provoking schism over the matter. If there is eventually a schism, the example of the vibrant and very traditional Sydney diocese shows which way the congregations will go. The Times blames "rich evangelical parishes" for forcing the backdown by a homosexual bishop-designate in the Church of England but omits to mention how the parishes concerned got rich. They got rich by having big collections and they have big collections because they have lots of churchgoers. Without the evangelicals, the Church of England would be a small group of atheistic Leftists in funny hats talking to themselves.



A reader writes:

"In Victoria the State Government is introducing regulations that require all new houses built to be equipped with solar hot water heaters and / or rainwater tanks. See here and here.

Solar heaters and rain tanks are great ideas but forcing people to buy them is not. The government is playing up the great energy savings these regulations will provide and selling the new laws as a 'win' to the environment. But if the savings were really as great as they say, you just wouldn't need to force home owners to adopt these systems. Householders could see the benefits of microwave ovens and adopted them quickly without being forced.

In order to win green votes, mainly from people who are not building new homes, and who are keen to enforce their green faith on others, (see here) the government has forgotten common sense. Solar hot water heaters don't save energy ...people do. And people respond to incentives.

Churchill said "If you destroy a free market you create a black market. If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law." In economic terms this legislation adds up to taxing new home builders to provide them with 'free' energy. Pretty nonsensical and certainly not very persuasive.

And the rainwater tanks and solar heaters will require backup from traditional systems, and over time will require more maintenance and cleaning. Homeowners will need to spend more time up ladders.

Having duplicate systems is in fact a waste of resources. Householders will face higher initial costs, even if there is some a longer term payoff. And the new homebuilders will in all likelihood revert to using the traditional systems as their primary system in the long run. If there are any environmental benefits from these measures at all, they are likely to be much less than the politicians are saying."



All this furore about same-sex marriages seems a storm in a teacup to me. Marriage arose as basically a reproductive contract so a homosexual union can NEVER be a real marriage no matter how often you call it that, as far as I can see. But Jeff Jacoby has an argument against homosexual "marriages" that does make at least some sense.

I was amused by the picture of authentic Basque culture on the Jennings blog. Apparently Michael has been to Spain recently.

A good bit of sarcasm from the WSJ: "As many as 50 Shiite Muslims are dead after a Friday terrorist attack on a mosque in Quetta, Pakistan, the Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports a pair of suicide bombers murdered at least 13 people at an open-air rock concert in Moscow Saturday.... Boy, it's lucky for the Pakistanis and the Russians that they opposed the liberation of Iraq, or the terrorists would have been really mad at them".

A fightback against traffic cameras: "A clear spray called Photoblocker can be applied to license plates to make them hyper-reflective and unreadable when the camera flashes."

"The European Commission and the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, based in Paris) are reprimanding and threatening several low tax countries with blacklisting or other sanctions because of their LOW taxes! Lowering taxes is "unfair" according to these insane bureaucrats

A strange one from Chris Brand: MARITAL CHOICE. In a dramatic breakthrough for the concept of 'families of choice' an American businessman began to offer wives for a rent of around $50,000 annually. Both parties sign a contract setting out terms on which they insist, and men are presented with a variety of women from nymphomaniancs through bluestockings to homemakers.

Writing on his other blog, China Hand has a good comment on the uselessness of many university degrees. The article in The Economist that he is referring to is here. Excerpt: "On average, Arts degrees show a negative return. In other words, those graduates earned less than if they hadn't done their degree at all."

In my academic posting here (or here) I look at the Leftist theory that people who express approval of conventional authority are prone to behaving in an aggressive, domineering way. I show that there is in fact no relationship between such attitudes and such behaviour.


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7 July, 2003


I have not heard much about "reparations" lately but no doubt it will resurface if ever Iraq becomes boring. The whole idea is of course just another scam to rip off white taxpayers but in case anybody thinks it is an issue that is worth seriously debating, let's have a brief look at it. As far as the USA is concerned, the argument seems to be that Africans suffer a "psychological burden" because their ancestors were brought to America in chains against their will and were subsequently subjected to forced labour. And that burden disables them from achieving much and so needs to be compensated for by giving them lots of money.

There are many reasons why that argument is a nonsense but let me mention two: I am a WHITE person whose ancestors came to my country chained up in the holds of ships and who were subsequently subjected to forced labour. I am descended from two British convicts who were transported to Australia for minor crimes. I even know the names of the ships they came in and my convict great-great grandmother was until very recently within living memory. But has that imposed an awful psychological burden on me and prevented me from achieving? I think you can guess the answer.

And I suppose that several millennia of persecution imposes a terrible psychological burden on Jews and makes THEM unable to achieve too??? But Leftists never do care about evidence or logic!

One of my U.S. correspondents has some good observations on the matter too:

Today, I saw a clip of Condelleza Rice talking to some Palestinian woman-hating macho men telling them to cut out their terrorism. This was just priceless -- these racist sexist subhuman Muslim fanatics taking orders from a Black American female. This was almost too much to handle. This was probably the first time in their lives that they were talked down to by a woman - and a Black one at that. I just love it. And these guys say we are racists.

Ken Hamblin has a talk show. One of his favorite quotes is: "I can't thank those slave traders enough for bringing my ancestors here; if they didn't, I wouldn't be driving this twin engine plane."

In the US, a Black woman with a college degree earns slightly more than Wnite women. This is about as "equal" as it gets. And the Palestinians call us racists. I hope Rice really rubs it in (I would bet she loves it too). This is the best form of "reparations".

And here is another relevant comment:

"What is uniquely Western is not slavery but the movement to abolish slavery. There is no history of anti-slavery activism outside of Western civilization. Of course in every society, slaves have strongly resisted being slaves. Runaways and slave revolts occurred frequently in all slave cultures. But only in the West did a movement arise, not of slaves, but of potential slave-owners, to oppose slavery in principle."

And another reader comment:

"Just recently, some poor Black man in SC was told his land would be declared "Nature Preserve" by the Sierra Club. This family has farmed this land since the Civil War, and now that farming small plots is not productive, he wants to sell it for Urban Sprawl which is reaching out. This poor sucker may not be able to sell his land because of the Democratic-supporting Sierra Club. Yet this guy still votes Democratic. This family has long ago left the Slave plantation - but are now living on another one - the Democratic Plantation. [Hopefully, getting shaken up enough by not being able to sell his land may convince him to vote Republican]."



A most amusing story of a BBC reporter sleeping with the enemy on Tim Blair's blog. The BBC know who their enemies are.

Another great Church of England "fudge": The homosexual nominee for the post of bishop, "voluntarily" withdrew his acceptance of the post. Anglicans make evasion of issues an art-form.

Great stuff: The UK government is stepping up its attack on the Leftist bias at the BBC. Lets hope it is a prelude to putting the BBC back onto a path of greater objectivity.

While I understand their feelings, I think the Jewish community is unwise in its efforts to block the airing of holocaust skepticism. It only creates the impression that they have something to hide and there is already enough paranoia about Jews out there as it is. And I do think freedom of speech is too important to be abridged even over this issue.

More black racism: "'Clarence Thomas is my color, but he's not my kind.' So sneered Al Sharpton, the black preacher and presidential hopeful during a recent Democratic candidates forum sponsored by Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH coalition. Sharpton's remark reportedly elicited one of the loudest applause lines. The decidedly Democratic audience apparently shared the insinuation that Thomas is a traitor to the race, not the least because the Supreme Court justice opposes racial preferences."

I have just put up here some safety hints for women that I think all women should read in these dangerous times.

The Wicked one has a big post from an American libertarian that yearns for King George III. He makes the very good point that George III allowed far more liberty to Americans than the present American government does.

In my academic posting here (or here) I look at attitude to authority among schoolchildren.


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6 July, 2003


A reader writes:

Environmentalist Jack Hollander has come to the conclusion that "the real environmental crisis" is poverty ..and promoting affluence, not retarding it, is the best way to promote environmental quality. See here and here. Hollander's conclusion is not so radical, even if it is news to the environmentalists. In economic terms, 'wilderness conservation' and 'quality of life' issues are both "luxury goods". Items people demand more of as their incomes rise. The term "luxury goods" in economics is not the same as the common usage and does not necessarily mean Rolls Royces or diamond tiaras. Of course environmentalists assert wilderness is a fundamental need and will bite at the mere suggestion it is a 'luxury good' . However if you look at the way people actually behave (not necessarily how they should behave) these are luxury goods. So Hollander's conclusion merely confirms textbook economic analysis. Originally environmentalists, when the movement first arose in the 1970s, were noted for their desire to promote 'quality of life' issues and promote wilderness conservation. That was of course before the collapse of Communism. Then the rechristened "green" movement was taken over by refugees from the far left ...more interested in promoting foreign policy and social agendas irrelevant to the environment, whilst spinning any real conservation issues in an anti-corporate direction: Thus undermining our most successful method of improving environmental quality. I wonder how long it is before Hollander joins the growing list of Green heretics, like Bjorn Lomberg, Garrett Hardin and Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore? All three have been sent to coventry for not treading the party line.



The "exporting jobs" myth: "As U.S. trade deficits continue to pile up, and as the economy continues in its slow-growth patterns, a number of economic commentators have been accusing American corporations of causing the trouble by "exporting jobs." Now, given the bounty of economic myths that economists and media pundits seem to foist upon us, one should not be surprised at anything we read in the academic literature or popular press, but the newest set of fallacies that we are hearing is especially insidious."

"In the Austrian school's theory of the business cycle, the 'boom' (even though it sounds good) is the cause of the business cycle and all its attendant problems. The 'bust' (even though it sounds bad) is the recovery, where all the problems of the business cycle are put right. The Austrian view is shared by many economy and stock market professionals who dub any retreats from overdone conditions as 'corrections'."

Only the economic ignoramuses would be surprised: "Opponents of NAFTA warned of a 'giant sucking sound' of jobs and investment heading south if the agreement were enacted, but all the evidence points the other way. Since 1994, Arizona's exports to Mexico and Canada have doubled, including more than $1.5 billion in computer and software exports to Mexico in 2001 alone. Arizona's farm exports to Mexico have also soared."



"Lawrence vs. Texas is not a 'gay rights' victory nor is it an attack on traditional values or marriage. Lawrence vs. Texas is a victory for personal liberty and for the Constitutional restraints that bind the government from violating individual freedom."

"The opponents of biomedical progress .... are making the mistake that the ideal of political equality rests on the notion of actual equality. That's nonsense."

I must say I sympathize with those Corsicans who want their island to be independent of France. Their language is not even French. It is an Italian dialect. And even history's most famous Corsican -- Napoleon -- had no love of France until he came to rule it.

Scotland has just marked the 400th anniversary of the union between the Scottish and English crowns. It was always a dubious advantage for England in my view and is certainly so now. Way back then it did not even put a stop to wars between England and Scotland and caused a civil war in England when Scottish kings would not respect English liberties. And in the here and now the over-represented Scottish electorate has often been instrumental in putting socialist governments in charge at Westminster. No wonder it is only the Scots who are celebrating!

Stupidity gets an apt reward: "A holidaymaker narrowly escaped death when lightning struck her tongue stud in an electrical storm. Becky Nyang, 26, was temporarily blinded, unable to talk and badly blistered by the bolt of electricity that surged through her body via the piercing."

Some interesting facts: Of 34 Mars missions since the start of the space age, 20 have failed ... Intel has shipped its 1 billionth computer chip ... when you misinterpret the words to a song it's called a Mondegreen. Kids are great victims of Mondegreens. When I was a kid I used to think that there was a line in "Silent Night" that said: "Round John Virgin, mother and child"!

Rafe Champion has a brief note about something that is often overlooked -- George Orwell's socialist economics.

The Wicked one has a post about hidden cameras in High School locker rooms.

A couple of psychologists have claimed on the basis of very flimsy evidence that Australians are particularly "authoritarian". In my academic post here (or here) I report much more substantial evidence showing that not to be so.


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5 July, 2003


Malcolm Muggeridge, one of the few journalists to report honestly what he saw in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, knew well the British Leftists of his day. He says that members of the Left intelligentsia, like Beatrice Webb, knew of Stalin's vast brutalities against his own people of that time but just didn't care. They were attracted by the Soviet "vision" of a people who were made to do what intellectuals thought was a good thing so that was all that mattered. Mass-murder and suffering were a matter of indifference to them. The indifference of modern Leftists to Saddam's horrors shows that nothing has changed.

I mentioned Tom Wolfe's essay on American intellectuals recently. Here is a nice excerpt from it: ""Fascism" was, in fact, a Marxist coinage. Marxists borrowed the name of Mussolini's Italian party, the Fascisti, and applied it to Hitler's Nazis, adroitly papering over the fact that the Nazis, like Marxism's standard-bearers, the Soviet Communists, were revolutionary socialists. In fact, "Nazi" was (most annoyingly) shorthand for the National Socialist German Workers' Party. European Marxists successfully put over the idea that Nazism was the brutal, decadent last gasp of "capitalism." "



Arafat Transferred Intelligence on Iraqi Opposition to Saddam's Regime. Yasser Arafat and his regime cooperated with Saddam's intelligence against Iraqi opponents of the regime.
Supply, demand and prices. Dr Frank Shostak: Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Karl Marx fallaciously believed that prices were determined by the quantity of labour. Thus the more labour required to make a particular good the higher the price of a good would be. The cost of production inserts the price, so to speak, into the good.
Why does Ralph 'the Red' Nader support Arafat's terrorism? Nader is more than just another leftwing hypocrite. His support for Arafat is a backdoor way of denying the right of Israel to exist. So why is he so hostile to the state of Israel?
Bob Brown's green vision will be hell for workers. Bob Brown's green economics would savage living standards and make workers' lives a living hell.

Details here



Great! The upheaval in the European parliament caused by a Leftist slur on the Italian Prime Minister looks like it could make the EU parliament almost unworkable -- at least for a while. The EU-loving Leftists might have shot themselves in the foot. Let's hope that P.M. Berlusconi does NOT apologize any further for his contemptuous retort!

Sounds good: "Australian and United States officials meeting in Brisbane next week will discuss an aggressive military operation to force down aircraft and board ships suspected of carrying prohibited weapons from North Korea, Iran, Syria and Libya

Australian workers get far more holidays than Americans do so Australia has a reputation as the "land of the long weekend". But apparently the REAL holiday-holics are the Europeans!

Interesting: Australians in New York are something of an elite group!

About time! The British company bosses who caused a train to crash by their persistent negligence are to be prosecuted for manslaughter. Negligence leading to death is what manslaughter laws are all about. If only the negligence of government bodies were similarly prosecuted!

I don't blame them: Separatism is enjoying a resurgence in Newfoundland and Labrador. A royal commission on the province's future within Canada has helped feed that sentiment. The commission has handed its report to the provincial government and it's due to be made public on Wednesday. In the meantime, Dave Hopley of St. John's, has been selling about 200 of his 'Free Nfld.' T-shirts each month. 'It's a popular sentiment these days,' he says."

Affirmative action harms many blacks. It causes them to be devalued by all. This black professor says that because of affirmative action he feels compelled to post his test scores on the web.

John Pilger's lies get tedious but this is a good demolition of his ridiculous attack on the USA for using non-radioactive uranium in their ammunition. Another thing the article could have mentioned is that non-radioactive uranium is actually used in medicine to SHIELD people from radiation.

"Why would custody of the Bryant children, who all involved agree are loved and well cared for at home, be transferred to DSS when no law has been broken? ... The bottom line is that the government would like to regulate this family. And my family. And your family."

"Gun control laws in major cities do nothing to keep 9mms and AK-47s away from male career criminals, but they are very effective in removing the .38 revolvers from the purses of career women in the subways". Only a Leftist could fail to see that.

"The essence of being an American is not where you were born....." says The Misanthropyst on July 4th.

The Wicked one has a couple of postings on "diversity" at work in American High Schools (and an Irish joke too). Great stuff that diversity!

Because they are mostly Leftists, psychologists very much like an old Marxist theory which claims that it is conservatives who are authoritarian rather than Leftists. My academic posting today (See also here) is an article that I had published in 1976 which reports findings that comprehensively demolish that old Marxist theory. If psychology were a real science that should have caused psychologists to question the theory. It didn't. Leftists care only about what sounds good to them. Evidence is an irrelevance.


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4 July, 2003


As usual, Ronald Reagan said it best:

"Isn't our choice really not one of left or right, but of up or down? Down through the welfare state to statism, to more and more government largesse accompanied always by more government authority, less individual liberty, and ultimately, totalitarianism, always advanced as for our own good. The alternative is the dream conceived by our Founding Fathers, up to the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with an orderly society. We don't celebrate dependence day on the Fourth of July. We celebrate Independence Day." --Ronald Reagan (1984)

Via The Federalist



There is an interesting review by Prof. Antony Flew here of The Lost Literature of Socialism by historian George Watson. Excerpt:

Many of his findings are astonishing. Perhaps for readers today the most astonishing of all is that "In the European century that began in the 1840s, from Engels' article of 1849 down to the death of Hitler, everyone who advocated genocide called himself a socialist and no conservative, liberal, anarchist or independent did anything of the kind." (The term "genocide" in Watson's usage is not confined to the extermination only of races or of ethnic groups, but embraces also the liquidation of such other complete human categories as "enemies of the people" and "the Kulaks as a class.")

The book seems well worth reading but is not of course available online. An excellent earlier essay by Prof. Watson covering some of the same ground is however available here. He shows in it that even such revered figures in the history of socialism as G.B. Shaw and Beatrice Webb were vocally in favour of genocide.



The recent slanging match in the EU parliament between German socialists and Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi is a bit reminiscent of some events back in the 1930s. The Italian Prime Minister at that time -- Benito Mussolini -- derided another German socialist -- Adolf Hitler. The Left have always tried to persuade us that Mussolini and Hitler were two peas in a pod but that is far from the truth. Mussolini got pretty unprintable about Hitler at times and did NOT support Hitler's genocide against the Jews. As it says here: "Just as none of the victorious powers went to war with Germany to save the Jews neither did Mussolini go to war with them to exterminate the Jews. Indeed, once the Holocaust was under way he and his fascists refused to deport Jews to the Nazi death camps thus saving thousands of Jewish lives _ far more than Oskar Schindler." Let's see that again: ITALIAN FASCISTS SAVED FAR MORE JEWISH LIVES THAN OSKAR SCHINDLER. Isn't there a lot that the Left never mention?



Black Racism: "Accusing General Powell, the US Secretary of State, of doing the bidding of his white masters, Zimbabwe's state-run newspaper, The Herald, branded him an "Uncle Tom" who was "despised by people of colour throughout the world".

Tinpot Hitlers at work: "Two Northwest Airlines passengers praying aboard a flight bound for Boston were handcuffed by air marshals and questioned by state police when the plane landed at Logan International Airport yesterday. The pair were praying when they were cuffed, WBZ-TV reported. Authorities would not confirm if they were praying."

Well deserved: "An Oklahoma man, arrested on suspicion of beating his wife, faced a year in prison and a fine. But when he spat in an arresting officer's face, he got a life sentence instead"

There's no doubt that the old system was ridiculous: "Such a workday is not unusual for young doctors, particularly surgical trainees like Regenbogen, who frequently work from 100 to 120 hours a week. But starting tomorrow, it will be against the rules."

Congress voted for a huge expansion of Medicare that enriches pharmaceutical companies, fleeces taxpayers with billions in new spending, and forces millions of seniors to accept inferior drug coverage. Conservatives might ask themselves whether this is what they had in mind when the party of 'limited government' gained control of the House, Senate, and White House."

The guardians of the Constitution have clearly become its destroyers: "When the Constitution says that no state may 'deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,' it apparently means that Michigan can discriminate in favor of African- Americans, Hispanics and Native-Americans who would like to enroll in the state's taxpayer-funded university. That's how the U.S. Supreme Court reads the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment -- with the evident approval of President Bush .... Translation: Under the guise of seeking a more 'diverse' educational climate, the Constitution may be treated as so much tissue paper."

How to increase unemployment in one easy lesson: "Santa Fe is a well known and fashionable New Mexico desert city and largely in the hands of a bunch of meddlesome lefties.... Perhaps not surprisingly, then, Santa Fe recently enacted an ordinance that mandates a minimum wage of $10 that every employer must pay. There is no opportunity to come to terms with potential employees -- the politicians have taken things over."

My academic posting here (or here) is very relevant to the old Leftist claim that they are non-racist. They have to hide the fact that Hitler was a socialist to make that claim but make it they do. What I show is that Leftist sympathizers in the community at large are no less racist than anybody else. What Leftist intellectuals and agitators say is not what ordinary Leftists say.


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3 July, 2003


Paul Sheehan has an opinion piece that opposes the usual interpretation of the Vietnam War. He says: "The US military campaign in Vietnam defeated the Vietcong and decimated the North Vietnamese army but lost the propaganda war... many conscripts from North Vietnam were chewed up by the conflict - more than 1 million communist soldiers were killed.... In the broader sweep of history, the US crushed Vietnam as a regional power. Since 1975, the US has become the world's dominant superpower while Vietnam has become a political, military and economic backwater"



I have just posted here a historically well-informed email from a moderate Leftist in support of the Iraq war. He refers to the treaty of Westphalia of 1648 in which various European States recognized one-another's sovereignty not on any legal or moral grounds but simply because, like Mt Everest, they were there. Before the Iraq war, many Leftists referred to this dubious old doctrine to defend Saddam. They argued that because he was there he should be left alone. Fortunately, the successful U.S. invasion of Iraq would seem now to have knocked that notion on the head for good. A good point that the writer makes is that for Britain and the British Commonwealth both World War I and World War II were also pre-emptive wars. They declared war on Germany rather than the other way around. And he thinks that the pre-emptive attack on Iraq was equally well-justified.



That pesky global warming! "Moscow saw its coldest June in 62 years this year, with the average temperature ringing in at a chilly 13 degrees Celsius, a top meteorologist said Monday"

Asking Leftists to give up their public spending habit is like asking a drug addict to give up his drugs: "California officially went broke on Tuesday after failing to pass its annual budget.... While a host of other US states also stagger under the weight of burgeoning deficits ... California's case is by far the most dramatic with... a budget deficit larger than those of all other US states combined"

Fascinating: "A French company is ready to launch a device that lets television viewers watch any channel on earth, and may open another front in the battle over digital copyright. Nexedi SARL's "TV Brick" effectively turns the internet into the world's longest antenna lead."

Serves them right: A local authority took an unfortunate company to court over some Greenie scare and got a damages settlement of $400,000. But it cost the authority $800,000 in legal fees!

Another sensible editorial in USA Today -- this time about mandatory sentencing for crime.

That constant hunger for attention at any price: "Around 30 people have staged a naked protest against GM food. The protesters spelled out 'no GM' with their bodies in a meadow at Forest Row, East Sussex .... Organiser Mike Grenville said he hoped it would send a message to the Government of people's concern, particularly over commercial planting of GM crops."

Hasn't the USA done enough already?: "Pressure built Monday on the United States to contribute to a peacekeeping force in Liberia, with West African leaders asking for 2,000 U.S. troops

It doesn't pay to insult people: "French wine sales to the US, once French winemakers' most promising market and now one of their greatest competitors, are going down the drain... Because of the greater competition during a global glut, France turned 9.5 million litres of unsold beaujolais into industrial alcohol last year. There is so much on the market that some French table wine is now cheaper than expensive mineral water."

It takes an Italian Prime Minister for a fiery response to insults! When a German socialist questioned his honesty, Berlusconi replied: ""Mr Schulz, I know there is in Italy a man producing a film on the Nazi concentration camps. I would like to suggest you for the role of Kapo. You'd be perfect." Italians don't have good memories of German socialists.

Arlene Peck's latest article is here. She points out how indifferent mainstream U.S. newspapers are to Jewish deaths while at the same time agonizing over Palestinian deaths. Pretty disgraceful.

China Hand has been blogging up a storm lately -- with some amusing stories from his trip to Manila.

There is a post on PC Watch showing that it is now a legal hazard to offer anybody free drinks!

I have recently exchanged emails with Father Mike Walsh of the Maryknoll Organization on the subject of priestly celibacy. He has an interesting defence of it. I have posted the emails here

I put up a link yesterday to my academic article "Towards a more pragmatic penal system". After it was originally published in a Criminology journal some years ago, it attracted a number of critical comments from other academics. My published reply to those comments is here (or here). The reply gives a shorter and simplified version of my original argument about how imprisonment should be used if we are to prevent crime.


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2 July, 2003


There is a review here of the recently-released film "Max" -- which is a portrayal of the early life of Adolf Hitler as a frustrated artist. The review makes a great point of saying how Hitler must be portrayed as a monster -- as something apart from ordinary humanity. That he was a horrible character is obvious but this talk of him being a monster apart from normal humanity is bunkum. He was a fairly normal hate-filled socialist in most ways -- very little different from other mass-murdering socialists like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and all their lesser "revolutionary" brethren around the world. And whatever else one might say about socialists, they ARE (regrettably) a part of normal humanity. Envy, hate and murder are all too human and mass-murder is common throughout human history. So this endeavour to portray Hitler as something apart is just more Leftist deception -- deception designed to camouflage the fact that he was in his day a fairly conventional Leftist. Even his nationalism and antisemitism were in his day common among Leftists (see here or here). Only his persuasiveness set him apart and millions of ordinary Germans idolized him. He was a political con-man and there are still plenty of con-men of all sorts around. If anybody really thinks that Hitler was a monster it is only because they do not WANT to understand what he really was.



An Australian reader writes:

"It is interesting to contrast the left's desire to kick Orwell for reporting what he believed to be 38 "crypto-communists and fellow travelers" to the Foreign Office months before his 1950 death with how they seem intent on whitewashing members of the traitorous "Cambridge Four" spy-ring. The Four may have been responsible for hundreds of deaths, but are now being lauded as slightly misguided anti-Fascist idealists. Everybody seems to have forgotten that Stalin was still very much in charge in Russia in 1950. So it was bad for Orwell to betray Stalinists to the West but good for the "Cambridge Four" to betray the West to Stalin?? But of course the Leftists don't want to acknowledge that Stalin was at least as bad as Hitler.

Even the usual and rather bogus Leftist smear of "McCarthyism" is anachronistic. Joe McCarthy's career peaked 1954, less than a year after Stalin's death. And Orwell's reports were made within a year of the first Soviet atomic test, an achievement that is now known to have been made easier and faster due to extensive Soviet spying. So Soviet spying really was a problem. And Orwell, unlike Senator McCarthy, had long standing and intimate knowledge of Communist-front tactics from his career as a socialist activist and anti-Franco volunteer. It is certainly possible that Orwell may have made some mistakes in his list but how would the left today treat someone with (say) inside knowledge of a Nazi spy ring in 1939? Would they still counsel silence in deference to the civil liberties of the suspects?

One of the best retrospectives of Orwell's career comes (surprisingly) from Robert Manne. Manne is a former editor of the Rightist Quadrant who, despite involvement with anti-Communism in the 1960s has recently swapped alliegiances for the left in opposition to 'economic rationalism' and conservative government attempts to reform the welfare state."



I have just put up a paper here (or here) that gives the detailed results of a survey of what South African whites thought of blacks during the Apartheid era. They generally thought well of blacks. I doubt that they would hold the same opinions today given the fact that they are all now frantic to get out of the country.

There is also a link here to a rather popular paper of mine: "Towards a more pragmatic penal system" in which I argue that protecting the community should always be the first goal of any criminal justice system and that no other goal should interfere with that (PDF file).



An interesting article here on the current state of the Iraqi economy. It seems that essentially ALL Iraqis are looters. They had started looting even before U.S. forces took over.

Good to see that GWB is pushing for school vouchers. It might help get more kids out of the grip of the NEA and its drumbeat of Leftist propaganda.

More on those good old, unbiased, fair-minded teachers: In House and Senate races, 'we may find some right-wing Republicans that we can take out,' said Randall J. Moody, the NEA's federal policy manager, at workshops to outline the group's political strategy."

The British government is in a turmoil over fox hunting again. The refusal to compromise on the part of most of the British Labour MPs could be good news -- meaning that there will end up being no ban of any sort! Tony Blair did not vote for the outright ban and when the Lords again reject it, he is likely simply to take no action to override the veto by the Lords.

The Wicked one has another instance of the old truth that minorities themselves are often intolerant.


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1 July, 2003


I have just put up here a further volley in the battle to free England from domination by the Scots and the Welsh by giving England its own parliament (which Scotland and Wales already have).

To be a bit frivolous about it, one could say that there is in fact a way in which the present situation is normal in English history. Those pesky Scots and Welsh were after all responsible for both the Tudors and the Stuarts -- and as well as the Scots and Welsh at the top there have been the Norman Plantagenets and the German Hanoverians. The English have hardly ever had a look-in at ruling their own country. And don't forget those enormously influential consorts -- the Dutch King Billy and Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg and Gotha. So if the English have survived all that in reasonably good shape, perhaps they will survive the present Celtic domination in reasonable shape too! Seriously, however, since 1649 it is parliaments that have mattered in England and the present parliament at Westminster would be very different without its big contingent of almost uniformly Leftist Scottish and Welsh members.



Chris Brand looks at the biology of it and writes:

"Bastardy may have been a rather good idea in the past, when more of it was done by highly successful men: see here; (Begins: "The failure of successful men to have plenty of bastard children is one problem the West is up against today. In the past, English kings on average sired more bastards than they had legitimate offspring. In Sweden of 1850, fully 50% of births were to unmarried women. Today, however, Western men are letting breeding with adolescent girls be done largely by spotty and drunken youths of distinctly mediocre IQ.").

Since 25% of American women now stay childless -- doubtless the brighter ones even if their brains have been addled by feminism -- we should perhaps arrange for girls to get pregnant by rich and bright men before they go to college -- for the attractiveness and viability of age-gapped partnerships, see here"



Intellectual antisemitism: "An Oxford University professor is facing disciplinary action after rejecting an Israeli student's application to work with him because he had a "huge problem" with his country's "abuses on the Palestinians""

The champion of Chappaquiddick sure has a neat turn of phrase: "I'm not sure where Arnold [Schwarzenegger] gets his political instincts. People often say that for Kennedys, it's in the water."--Sen. Ted Kennedy, quoted by the Associated Press, June 27

The British Tories really HAVE lost the plot. Instead of applauding Campbell's attack on the Leftist bias in the BBC, they are attacking him!

Encouraging: "China called Monday for a Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons and urged a diplomatic settlement to the North Korean nuclear crisis."

Surprise! The Left Coast goes soft on Leftist thugs "The district attorney's on-again, off-again pursuit of charges against protesters who shut down the city as the war in Iraq began is off again. Prosecutors decided Friday to drop cases against 407 people charged with traffic violations for blocking city streets during the first days of fighting. Police in riot gear arrested 2,300 demonstrators who brought San Francisco to a standstill. Prosecutors still plan to pursue charges against 20 people allegedly involved in acts of misdemeanor violence or vandalism, Assistant District Attorney Mike Menesini said."

"In just five years, a demographic tidal wave will begin that will forever alter the federal government. The large baby boom generation will start retiring and cause the costs of Social Security and Medicare to explode. Unfortunately, Congress seems blissfully unaware of the coming crisis as it works to create another elderly entitlement in the form of a $400 billion Medicare prescription drug benefit."

Globalization, multinationals and poverty: The figures show the anti-globos are wrong. "Evidence supplied by the World Bank and United Nations strongly suggests that multinational corporations are a key factor in the large improvement in welfare that has occurred in developing countries over the last forty years...."

Spiked-Online says the risk of vehicle accident by mobile phone distracted drivers is exaggerated.

Surprise! Lesbianism is often hormonal: "Doctors there noticed a "staggering" number of lesbian women, who, on investigation, were found to be suffering either from polycystic ovary syndrome, or a less serious but related condition ... polycystic ovarian syndrome... is linked to an excess of male sex hormones in the bloodstream."

The Wicked one has some "funny but true" stories about announcements on aircraft

In my latest academic posting here (or here) I try to disabuse my Leftist psychology colleagues of their simplistic notions about economic achievement. They think that poor nations are poor simply because the people there are not ambitious enough! I show that it is in fact affluent populations who are relatively unambitious. People in poorer countries are in general VERY motivated to better themselves materially.


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