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30 June, 2003


Some interesting thoughts from an expert on the history of Fascism: "Every now and again, as I wander about town, my mind drifts from Mussolini and Fascism, the subject in hand, to another matter: Tony Blair and New Labour. Odd, but I cannot help noticing that Blair and Mussolini have rather a lot in common. I am not saying that Blair has consciously copied Mussolini. But Blair, probably without even realising it, does seem to have imbibed quite a few things from the Duce. ... For a start, Blair extols the virtues of the Third Way, which was the phrase coined by the Fascists, no less, to describe their alternative to capitalism and communism..... Indeed, despite all the uncanny similarities between the two leaders, there are, of course many differences, not the least of which is that Blair is in many ways more right-wing. Mussolini, for example, founded Italy's welfare state. Presumably, most people would agree that such a move was fairly left-wing. Blair, on the other hand, is doing his best not just to hack away at the welfare state but also at workplace rights"



The Vatican says that it is not going to change its rule of priestly celibacy. They might have to rethink soon or they will find themselves with no priests to be celibate about. In the Australian State of Queensland -- population about 2 million -- there will be only ONE new priest ordained this year. And the average age of existing priests is over 60. But maybe the RC church does not really need priests. Given the Roman devotion to "miraculous" apparitions, perhaps a stain on the wall would do just as well.



Australia has a big illegal fishing problem to its North. The Indonesians have fished out their own waters so their fishermen are continually intruding into Australian waters to fish there. The Australian navy does catch them and tow their boats into Broome harbour at times but this email just passed on to me says that such measures are no deterrent:

We had talked to the crew of HMAS Arunta when it brought another Indonesian boat in. They said they just about knew most of the Indonesians by name because the fishermen didn't really mind being caught - they got good food and were paid $5 a day in temporary detention until the Broome magistrate found them guilty and they were flown home at our expense. $5 a day was more than they earned in a month as fishermen, and made them relatively rich when they got back to their kampongs, especially if the magistrate had lots of business on his hands and they had to stay in detention a while. And they were taught English to boot! A real ticket to a better life. The boss lost the boat, of course, unless he/she paid compensation (which was hardly ever, because they were not very sophisticated boats - most were just burnt). Some of the fishermen had been caught eight times!



Jeff Jacoby is scathing about the "benefits" of race-based admissions to universities.

Apparently there are some people in the Church of England and in Anglican churches worldwide who still accept the authority of the Bible. So the "gay bishop" controversy looks like splitting them off from other Anglicans. In a typical Anglican way it will not be a formal schism, but it seems that parishes will soon start choosing which bishop they acknowledge rather than accept the one given to them. The "primate" of the new faith-based faction looks like being the Archbishop of Sydney. Sydney is a very big and prosperous Anglican diocese with lots of committed young people in its churches and seminary.

There is a rather sad story here by an idealistic Leftist from South Africa who has recently returned there after many years in England teaching at Oxford University. He seems to have decided to stay in Africa now but from the tale he tells about how everything is collapsing there and how everyone who can (black and white) is leaving, he is one hell of a masochist. The only good thing he can find about the place is the scenery. Even the initial presence of a large white minority seems to have done nothing to prevent South Africa from following the other countries of Africa rapidly downhill. Clearly, anti-racism has converted the whole of Africa from a reasonably well-run place into a deadly shambles.

"Exploiting junk science is great for re-election campaign coffers. Thus, one of Sen. Hillary Clinton's first major crusades after she took office was to whip up public health hysteria on Long Island, where some activists have blamed slightly elevated breast cancer rates on everything from pesticides to power lines to planes. ... Red Queen Hillary and her courtiers' expert conclusions notwithstanding, _there is no shred of legitimate scientific evidence connecting breast cancer on Long Island to chemicals or other environmental causes."

A win against hysteria at last: "A federal appeals court told the Tennessee Valley Authority that for now it's 'free to ignore' Environmental Protection Agency orders to clean up pollution at several of its coal-burning power plants. The decision from a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta came in a test case challenging an initiative by the Clinton administration and states to reduce smokestack emissions from aging coal-fired power plants."

The Left think George Orwell must have gone ga ga when he handed a list of Communist sympathizers to the British authorities! I would have said that he was backing his anti-Communist words up with deeds.

A REAL Feminazi: Rwanda's genocide was planned by a feminist


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29 June, 2003


Much of English history is to a large degree also the history of modern-day Americans and Australians so I think there is a lot of interest in this historical vignette showing that the English attitude to civil liberties and the power of the State has always been different:

Background: We all know how Elizabeth I was famous for her tolerance in religious and other matters. Her statement that she did not want to make a "window into men's souls" is best known in that connection but she also at one stage reproached that great bureaucrat and religious tyrant, King Philip II of Spain, by asking him -- as any modern-day libertarian might have -- "Why cannot Your Majesty let your subjects go to the Devil in their own way?" She also respected Parliament and when Parliament was getting heated about the sales taxes of the day (government-granted monopolies), she abolished most of them -- making probably the first big tax cut in English history.

When she died, however, she was succeded not by an English king but by the Stuart King of Scotland, James I. And note that the attitude of the Scottish Stuarts towards the relationship between the individual and the State differed from traditional English views from the very outset. Note this report of an incident on the initial journey to London of James I:

He ordered a pickpocket to be hanged straight away without trial. The prudish English were too dainty for 'Jedburgh justice', which hanged Border robbers out of hand. They muttered tiresome objections about their Common Law, and Sir John Harington, that privileged wag, proclaimed loudly: 'If the new King hangs a man before he is tried, will he then try a man before he has offended?'

(Quoted from p. 172 of That Great Lucifer: A portrait of Sir Walter Ralegh by Margaret Irwin [Bungay, Suffolk: Reprint Society, 1960])

So the fact that the son of James I (Charles I) eventually got into such trouble with Parliament that they beheaded him was more than a personal mistake. It reflected a deep culture clash between English individualism and the much more tyrannical rule that was accepted as normal by others. Not much has changed since.



An interesting post from Chris Brand:

WATCH OUT WEASELS! France saw the rise and rise of beautiful neo-rightist, political science student Sabine Herold, 21. Fed up with union domination of France and the paralyzing strikes of June, Sabine, a real babe (long eyelashes, light blue mascara), aimed to roll back the state, rein in the unions, cut welfare dependency and to claim the freedom to work as well the freedom to homosexualize, take drugs and work in the prostitution industry. Altogether her bag sounded rather like that of the late neoliberal Pim Fortuyn (see above) in Holland, and, hinting at her attitude to mass dullard immigration, she certainly supported the Anglo-American Crusade against towelhead fanatics and Madman Insane in Iraq. Of rightist Monsieur Le Pen, she had bravely denied that he was a "fascist" -- "Ca ne sert à rien de gueuler que Le Pen est un fasciste. Il ne l'est pas. C'est son programme liberticide qui est dangereux". Miss Herold had been nicknamed "the Joan d'Arc of the liberals" by "Le Figaro" and, by the London Times "Mademoiselle Thatcher". She was "Rédactrice en chef" of the Paris-based free-market association "Liberté j'écris ton nom". On June 15 she addressed a crowd of 200,000 fans in Paris. She favoured Edmund Burke, Friedrich Hayek and classic English liberalism. She was attending the prestigious Institut des Sciences Politiques in Paris and had links to the liberal organization, Centre for a New Europe.



Australia's token antigun laws. A .38 sixgun is still legal! "The states will ban a range of small handguns, handguns with a calibre above .38 and those with a magazine capacity exceeding 10 rounds."

We all know that there are some morons in the world but how did this guy get to be an air-traffic controller? Frightening. "A Swiss air traffic controller jokingly put an "al-Qaeda" label on a French helicopter that strayed into restricted air space during the Group of Eight summit, nearly leading to a shooting down of it by the French air force."

There is a good article in the WSJ about the implications of the recent U. Mich. affirmative action decision by the U.S. Supreme court. It says that American institutions know that blacks can never be equal in achievement so also know that they need racial preferences to look good. It also explains anti-Americanism as a "holier than thou" attitude.

I think they are pretty right about this: "The Dept. of Defense ... just announced the launch of a new advertising campaign that links military values with success in life. The military believes the values soldiers learn through military service to be a key to success in civilian life as well. The primary goal of the ads? To encourage adults to to advocate military service to the young people in their lives."

Disturbing: "Even without a prescription drug benefit, the cost of Medicare will double as a percentage of GDP by 2040. The program's unfounded liabilities are more than $13.3 trillion, dwarfing even Social Security's massive debt. ... a more courageous or sensible Congress might have tried to reform this deeply troubled program and bring some restraint to its escalating costs. Instead, Congress decided that what Medicare really needed was a brand new entitlement estimated to cost at least $400 billion over the next 10 years ..."

The Wicked one has an email from a U.S. medical specialist about the incredible red-tape being generated by subsidized prescription drugs.

My latest academic posting: "AUTHORITARIANISM AND ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION IN INDIA" can be found here or here. I find that the Indians are a submissive but ambitious lot.


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28 June, 2003


The attention-seeking never stops: "Hundreds of protesters descended on [Sacramento's] streets Sunday as agriculture officials from around the world prepared for a meeting where U.S. officials will pitch advances in genetically engineered agriculture. Chanting, banging drums and carrying signs that read 'We Don't Want to Eat Their Corporate Creations,' protesters swarmed the streets around the state Capitol and nearby conference center."

'Feed the needy, not the greedy!' read one placard hoisted near where agricultural ministers from hundreds of countries are meeting to consider the benefits of genetically enhanced crops. 'Beat Back the Corporate Attack!' demonstrators chanted. 'Entire populations are being put at risk simply for corporate economic benefit,' one protestor told the San Francisco Chronicle. Lost in the haze of anti-corporate hysteria is what the Sacramento conferees are actually doing."

Big food is the nouveau public health epidemic that has been targeted with phasers set on demonize. It began with the fast-food lawsuits. Fat people claimed the food was too cheap so they bought too much. And that restaurant operators should be made to pay for this manipulation."



A big Greenie scare from a while back said that sperm-counts were dropping all over the world because of pesticide use. It turns out that sperm-counts are NOT dropping and that normal pesticide use does not influence sperm-count anyway.

Wow! New Scientist doesn't seem to be able to work out whether global temperatures are rising or falling but they are sure it is our fault anyway.

The sun needs to sign "Kyoto" too: "Recently, Professor Richard Wilson published a peer-reviewed article in the journal Geophysical Research Letters where he reported the results of his studies on the amount of solar energy that our sun has been producing over the last 24 years. During this time period, the amount of energy the sun is producing has increased by 0.05% every 10 years."

The old fluoride scare: "If you thought that a loony obsession with malevolent forces spiking our drinking water was limited to fictional characters from 'Dr. Strangelove' ... think again. Such characters are very real, and they belong to the extreme environmentalist movement. National Review reports that the same crowd who brought you the entirely unfounded hysteria over Alar on apples and falsely accused biotech corn of mass- murdering monarch butterflies is now warning of a deadly substance that nameless, faceless government officials are purposely putting in your tap water: fluoride."



There is a good article here on what a dangerous fraud the "diversity" idea is. The version of it made into law by the U.S. Supreme Court doesn't mean what an unsuspecting person might think it does.

We believe in freedom of association -- it's implicit in the First Amendment, in fact -- but that freedom entails not only the right to associate with those willing to associate with us but the right not to associate -- the right to discriminate, on any ground, good or bad, or no ground at all".

Contrary to first world middle class leftist dogma, the people of the third world are big fans of globalisation. Now why would that be? Simple. Because they know from experience that it makes them better off, not worse off -- contrary to what the lying Leftists of the West say.

Great news: Spam just doesn't sell. I must say I could throttle anybody who buys something advertised in spam. If people stop buying it will go away.

Not very libertarian but I sympathize: "France may pass a new law to ban Muslim veils and other religious symbols in public schools and buildings"

Good show: Officials last week agreed to pay $1.35 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of some 700 women illegally strip- searched after their arrest. .... It didn't matter if the women had been arrested for a major felony or for a minor offense. A murder suspect was searched, as were women arrested for underage drinking or shoplifting."

Tom Wolfe wrote an essay at the turn of the century three years ago about the triumph of America and the failure of its Leftist intellectuals that makes interesting reading. He concludes that American intellectuals do not actually want change. They just want to talk about it.

The Wicked one has some more of those exceptionally funny courtroom transcripts.

In my academic posting here (and here) I report evidence which demolishes a stupid Leftist claim that Leftists are "life-loving" and conservatives are "death loving".

China Hand has some pictures of the graceful new buildings that have just gone up in his part of China.


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27 June, 2003


Great! Australia's Foreign Minister has pissed all over the United Nations (metaphorically). He said that the U.N. was "ineffective and unfocused" and that Australia's foreign policy will increasingly rely on "coalitions of the willing" like the one that waged war in Iraq.

There is good coverage here of the lies and hypocrisy that went into securing the moderately favourable verdict for the University of Michigan in the recent affirmative action case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

There is a short dialogue here with a rather wise correspondent who DEFENDS affirmative action as cheap pacification.

About time: "Alastair Campbell, the Prime Minister's press chief, yesterday accused the BBC of pursuing a secret agenda against the government and demanded an apology for its "biased" Iraq coverage."

There is a good article in Brookes News about why the unemployed deserve better treatment from the Government -- i.e. the unemployed deserved to be compensated by the rest because the market is rigged against them. Conservatives could use that argument to really confuse the Leftists!

Philip Adams, child murderers and paedophilia. "Paedophilia is a nasty activity that means the sexual abuse of children. This is something that every ordinary person understands and, with the exception of child molesters, vigorously condemns. But it takes a rancid socialist like Philip Adams to accuse companies who produce goods and advertising that target the youth market of "corporate paedophilia"

There is a good short summary here of the Radical feminist worldview and their notion that there is a "Gender War" going on which women must win against men. It is pretty fevered stuff. Totally devoid of realism or rationality.

Paul Johnson says that the USA is an empire but he makes clear that his usage of that word is not the usual one today. He gives an interesting coverage of how the meaning of the word has changed over time.

Why do Jews rarely become farmers? According to Slate's economics writer it's because they are generally well-educated and so know better. I myself always describe farmers as "rural gamblers".

I am getting a strange new respect for USA Today. Note for instance this straight talk: "The financial problems racking many state governments this year have less to do with the weak national economy than with the ability of governors and legislators to manage money wisely. That is the key finding of a USA TODAY analysis of how the 50 states spend, tax and balance their budgets -- or don't. The National Governors Association says states are suffering their worst economic crisis since World War II. But for many states, the analysis shows, the fault is largely their own."

A good joke from Chris Tame of the Libertarian Alliance: "Q: What do you get if you cross a mafioso with a deconstructionist post- modernist philosopher? A: A man who makes you an offer you can't understand."

There is a good short book review here of a book by an expert on Italian Fascism. He shows that Fascism and Nazism modelled their methods on Lenin and Stalin and that the Fascist idea of adding nationalism to socialism was later taken up by Stalin and Mao -- so that in the end Fascism and Communism were two very similar Leftist sects -- something that I have also argued. The idea that Nazism was Rightist is thus an old Soviet lie that Left-leaning intellectuals in the West have perpetuated in flagrant denial of historical reality.

Environmental Colonialism: "Saving" Africa from Africans: "Under the banner of saving the African environment, Africans in the last half century have been subjected to colonialism from an overlooked source: the conservation movement. Local populations have been displaced and impoverished in order to create national parks and to serve other conservation objectives"

Powerful help for Israel: "Fundamentalist Christians have launched a nationwide billboard and bumper sticker campaign, opposing President Bush's plan for peace in the Middle East that calls for a Palestinian state with permanent borders by 2005. Some 100 billboards in major American cities, including five in Memphis [TN] alone, cite Genesis 35:11-12: 'And the Lord said to Jacob "Unto thy offspring will I give this land!"' Beneath the Bible verse, the billboards say, 'Pray that President Bush Honors God's Covenant with Israel.'"

Chris Brand has a big excerpt from the confession of a lesbian gone straight which concludes: "There's a quiet ex-lesbian minority of 'hasbians' out there, having a gay old time with men after years of sapphistry". It sounds like lesbians are pretty nasty to one-another.

The Wicked one has a sad story about a very small business being persecuted by local bureaucrats.

My academic posting here (or here) looks at possible effects of climate on political attitudes. It was hypothesized that people from the warmer climate of the Australian State of Queensland would be more conservative than people from the cooler climate of New South Wales. It was found that Queenslanders WERE more conservative on social and moral issues but were not more conservative on economic issues. An expanded treatment of the same subject can be found here.


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26 June, 2003


The Australian alternative to vouchers is already well-established: "Federal funding of non-government schools is on a runaway trajectory but the Howard Government has no plans to rein in the cost, estimated to hit $5.4 billion by 2006. With enrolments in non-government schools growing - and a new religious school opening every six weeks in NSW - federal budget estimates of the funding have blown out by $150 million. "We have no intention of putting some sort of a cap on it," the Minister for Education, Brendan Nelson, said. "This is a society that values and believes in supporting parents in their choice of education." This year, the scheme will pay $4.37 billion to 2650 schools - more than federal spending on universities - while two years ago the budget put the bill at $4.22 billion."



As a courageous black woman says: "By vigorously defending racial preferences in the name of diversity and refusing to challenge racial double standards, our national and state leaders have fostered hostilities among and between different racial and ethnic groups.... How long can a nation as diverse as America sustain racial and ethnic preferences without fueling increased racial and ethnic conflict? How long can the American people be satisfied with public policies that give advantages to the offspring of new immigrants over the needs of Americans with deep roots in this nation?"

Another story here about the disgusting "humanitarians" of the United Nations -- this time they are pretending that North Korean refugees don't exist. The whole sorry lot of them should be kicked out of New York at least.

A good comment from one of my U.S. readers: "The GOP "tax breaks" and "prescription drug" plans are nothing short of something to take away ALL liberal issues from the Democrats - and essentially castrate them. The only problem is who is paying the bills."

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with its usual conspectus of the blogosphere.

Realism at last: "Israel is too strong to defeat and the Palestinians have no choice but to live with the Jewish state in peace, a senior Hamas official said in an extraordinary departure from the militant group's implacable enmity towards Israel."

Wayne Lusvardi has a review here of a crap anti-democratic book that a surprising range of people seem to agree with. Wayne writes: "The author of the book is getting quite a bit of attention in the U.S. in TV and print media. Even many libertarian websites (i.e., LewRockwell.com, vonMisesInstitute.com) have been duped by the book. I'm a sociologist by training and can spot a Neo-Marxist quickly. Globalization is a very contentious issue and the political Left is very aggressive in selling their socialist solution by calling it something other than it is."

Hey! I really like this: "The US House of Representatives has voted to award British Prime Minister Tony Blair the Congressional Gold Medal, the country's highest civilian honour, for his steadfast support of the US-led invasion of Iraq. Mr Blair becomes the second British leader to receive the award, following in the footsteps of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill"

Clever! Beats sending troops: "The United States has offered Zimbabwe "generous assistance" in exchange for its ruling ZANU-PF party ousting President Robert Mugabe and agreeing to hold free elections."

About time: "THE United States and the European Union today agreed to start landmark talks this year on liberalising the trans-Atlantic air market. The "open skies" talks, which have been held up for several years, could radically change relations between European and American airlines."

ANIMAL activists have threatened to do their utmost to stop shooters culling 6,500 kangaroos at the Puckapunyal army base in central Victoria. There are untold millions of the b***s in Australia and they are a tremendous pest to graziers (ranchers) because they eat what the sheep and cattle also eat. There are so many kangaroos in Australia that you even see them hopping around the suburbs of Brisbane at times -- and Brisbane is a city of 1 million people.

A recent posting from Chris Brand: "RACE IS KEY VARIABLE IN CRIME: Engaging Human BioDiversity President Steve Sailer pulled together US Department of Justice figures showing that Blacks are 9.1 times as likely to commit crimes as are Whites. Apparently, race has now overtaken even sex as a predictor of criminality (and that's without allowing for the fact that much female criminality consists of civil and unpunishable cheating on men)."

China Hand replies to allegations about China's "sweatshops". As an experienced industrial engineer who has toured many Chinese factories he is in an ideal position to do so. He says that many Chinese factories are in fact better than some Western ones he remembers.

The Wicked one has a set of hilarious quotations that should be enough to make a libertarian out of anyone.

My academic posting here (or here) looks at psychopathic tendencies in the normal population and concludes that psychopaths may have got a bad rap.


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25 June, 2003


Very few people outside the UK are probably aware of the anomaly that Prime Minister Blair and most of his senior ministers are in fact Scotsmen or Welshmen. So England is not being ruled by the English. A second anomaly is that Scotland and Wales have parliaments of their own in addition to their representatives in the UK parliament but England does not. So Scotsmen and Welshmen control England plus their own countries while Englishmen have no say over Wales, Scotland OR England! And to add insult to injury, the present UK government is even proposing constitutional changes that would almost certainly be rejected by the English if they were given the chance to vote on it all via a referendum. So a lot of the long-suffering English are getting pretty fed-up with all that. I reproduce here an email from one of them that gives more detail of how anomalous the situation has become.



Paul Gottfried makes the interesting aside in his book MULTICULTURALISM AND THE POLITICS OF GUILT that the scientific case for racially based differences in intelligence is much stronger than the case that homosexuality is genetic. Yet the first hypothesis is controversial and hotly disputed, but the much weaker hypothesis is paraded as fact and treated as an 'article of faith' by a large section of society and virtually all the media.

The gay gene theory (criticised here) does now seem to be widely accepted as THE explanation for homosexual behaviour. I don't have a dog in that fight but must note that NONE of the research in fact finds that there is a one-to-one relationship between genetic makeup and homosexuality. I have no doubt that there is a genetic predisposition to it in some cases but in ALL cases there need to be other infuences as well for homosexual behaviour to result.

This article notes how widespread homosexuality is in the RC priesthood and also notes some of the other influences that give rise to homosexuality.

A less controversial gene: Scientists say some people are born shy. Not only that, researchers from Harvard Medical School say most people don't outgrow their natural inhibitions. 'Now we're suggesting that same link continues through life,' says Carl Schwartz, an assistant professor of psychiatry. In a study published in the journal, 'Science', Dr. Schwartz and his colleague, Jerome Kagan, say MRI brain scans show shy adults react to new faces differently than their less inhibited peers.



A recent post from Chris Brand:

"Any hopes that the June 1-published Pergamon Festschrift (PDF!) for Arthur Jensen would make waves were dashed as the publisher failed to establish any significant presence for the book on the Internet, let alone anywhere else. This failure had been predicted by some in view of Pergamon's owner, Elsevier, having moved in 2002 to close down Praeger -- the only house to have been publishing London School mat‚riel since 1996. Better cheer came from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where postgraduate Alexander Beaujean had set up a nice website with pictures of Galton, Spearman, Burt, Eysenck and Jensen and gave plenty of news of his own work and reviews on topics such as mental speed (which he reports from meta-analysis to have a heritability of around .40 -- quite high given the unreliability of many mental speed tasks as conventionally administered by researchers)."



A rare victory for free speech in these politically correct times: "The city violated the First Amendment rights of two firefighters and a police officer when it fired them for riding on a parade float in blackface in 1998, a judge ruled Tuesday. U.S. District Judge John E. Sprizzo said the government "may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because a segment of society finds it offensive."

The poor dears: "There's no guarantee of safety for Canadian soldiers who start patrolling the troubled streets of Kabul next month"

A U.S. Marine on leave in Australia after the Iraq war saved a life: "A US Marine who intervened in a vicious brawl outside a northern Sydney nightclub may have saved a man's life, police said today"

Surprise, surprise: Germany's socialist government sure has made a mess of the German economy.

A critical report on Australia's peak Aboriginal body (ATSIC) has called it a "corrupt shambles" that would not be tolerated if it were run by whites. Is not the continued tolerance of this an example of Leftist racism? The poor blacks are too childlike to live up to adult white standards?

China Hand notes a mature and tolerant response to "insult" from the People's Daily in Beijing which is a refreshing change from the paranoia and hysteria of the past.

The Wicked one has a good example of why democracy is a good thing.

In my academic posting here (or here) I show that the main things psychologists are interested in are personal adjustment, personal ambition and cynicism. One wonders what those interests reflect about psychologists themselves. Certainly it my impression that they are in general ambitious, cynical and prone to presenting childish games as "research".


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24 June, 2003


Since everyone else will be blogging on this I won't say much but I find this reasoning pretty incredible:

Justice O'Connor declared that the Constitution "does not prohibit the law school's narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body." ... "Effective participation by members of all racial and ethnic groups in the civic life of our nation is essential if the dream of one nation, indivisible, is to be realized,"

WHAT educational benefit flows from having a racially diverse student body? No-one has ever shown any net benefit to my knowledge -- though there is plenty of evidence that it leads to dumbing down.

OF COURSE all racial groups should participate in the life of the nation but who said that blacks need favouritism before they can participate? Sounds like old-fashioned racism to me.



It was notable how quiet Libya's Gaddafi went after Ronald Reagan had him bombed: A modern equivalent of the old "whiff of grapeshot" effect. The man who once hosted Arafat has now not only agreed to pay compensation to the Lockerbie victims his terrorist underlings attacked but after Iraq he now does not want even to be known as an Arab!

"Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan 'Supreme Guide', plans to announce his withdrawal from the Arab League sometime in August. The Libyan 'Popular Assembly' has just passed a bill to drop the word 'Arab' from the country's official name. After next September, Libya will describe itself as 'The African Republic of Libya'."

What Reagan started, GWB has finished. Destroying two aggressive Islamic regimes (in Afghanistan and Iraq) has had the intended effect of putting big psychological pressure on other Islamic regimes that have a history of supporting terrorism.

And guess what? Now that Israel seems to be getting pretty good at blowing up their leaders, even the ultra-intransigent Hamas suddenly seems very interested in a cease-fire. Funny that!



There is a stereotype-busting article here about the new prescription drug plan for the elderly that looks like being enacted in the U.S.A. soon. The scheme will benefit ALL older peoople -- not just the impoverished elderly and the article points out that the elderly have far more assets than the working families who will be paying for the program via their taxes. So the whole scheme is grossly unjust.

"It is wrong to increase refundable child tax credits to families with no income tax liability. It's not a question of being stingy; many are genuinely concerned about the growth of a nontaxpaying class that potentially can vote subsidies for itself under the guise of tax reduction." But this article shows that such credits were a GOP idea in the first place.



Thought-provoking: One of my English correspondents has recently spent a couple of months in Indonesia and mentioned with approval the dusky maidens there. I commented that dusky Islamic maidens were probably pretty dangerous. His reply was: "Indonesia seems as much Islamic as the UK is Christian. There are more Islamic nutters in the UK than there seem to be there!"

"The appointment of a gay bishop does not violate the Church of England's current teaching", Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said Monday. Well, I guess we all knew that the C of E long ago ceased teaching the New Testament.

He! He! "Belgium is to amend war crimes laws used to target George Bush and the commander of American forces in Iraq, General Tommy Franks" Those pissant Belgians soon folded under a bit of pressure.

Although IVF conception was invented in Britain, it seems that there are incredible and rather offensive bureaucratic requirements before you are allowed assisted reproduction in Britain today. In Australia, if you can afford it, you have it.

How ridiculous that people have to go to these lengths to have a child: "Eight more British families are to sidestep U.K. law by following the example of a couple who travelled to America to use selective embryo screening to create a so-called 'designer baby' to help save the life of their first child."

The younger brother of the Battleship Potemkin (post of 19th) has found a small round in his aging revolutionary magazine and fired it off with great jollity. He notes with satisfaction that the Left sometimes oppose some taxes (only if they are put forward by conservatives, of course) while taking no account of the fact that they still do their best to increase taxation overall.

Eleanor Spreitzer says that if our kids are eating unhealthy food it is not the fault of McDonalds but the fault of high taxes that force mothers to go out to work and so to be unable to prepare proper home-cooked meals.

The Wicked one has a most instructive fable about modern-day Canada.

My academic post here (or here) reports on the popular notion that love of animals goes with love of people. Survey evidence showed no relationship.


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23 June, 2003


A reader writes:

Reciprocity and immigration: A possible basis for a bold new "non-discriminatory" immigration policy?? This VDARE article takes a half satirical swipe at immigration thinking based on wonderful big ideas. What could be more 'fair' and 'natural' than the great principle of 'reciprocity'? Do unto others as they do unto you.

The article also makes some points about Japanese immigration policies in the 1930s. Historians still ascribe Japan's path to war in 1942 as being "propelled" by the restrictive immigration policies of countries like the US and Australia. Sure.

It reminds me of a comment by historian Geoffrey Blainey in his SHORTER HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA talking about the adoption of the "White Australia Policy" in the late 19th century. "The White Australia Policy was far from unique. Canada, the United States and New Zealand - three other democratic nations which faced an inrush of Chinese - had built there own walls against Asian immigration by the 1880s. China and Japan usually gave no welcome to foreigners; and it was much safer to be a Chinese living in Australia than an Australian in China. Late in the century six Australian missionaries, young women and men of compassion, were murdered in various episodes in China. When the Emperor of China sent commissioners to other lands in 1887 to see whether Chinese residents were ill-treated, he was informed that Chinese living in Java and the Philippines were treated rather worse than those living in Australia."

The old White Australia policy (ended by conservative governments in the 1960s) stupidly denied Australia the benefit of hard working non-European immigrants. It was short sighted and harmed our economic interests, a bit like our 1960s tariff wall. In it's day it was seen as protecting what were internationally advanced working conditions. The trade unions believed the coolie labour system, common across the Empire could get a toehold here. It had the support of the "social progressives" too. They used the White Australia policy to end an indentured black labour system then operating in North Queensland: Racism and reform in one package, neither wholly right or wholly wrong, it was certainly nothing later generations need apologise for. The article also has some fun pointing out features of Mexico's immigration policies here.



Who said that conservatives can't have fun? Though I must admit that British Conservative politicians do seem to like having their fun in unusual ways.

I have just posted here an article about Saudi Arabia that gives a vivid picture of what a disgusting place it is. Excerpt about their religious police: "Last year, when a girls' school caught fire, they stopped the fire brigade entering the blazing building in case the girls were not fully covered. As a result, 15 burned to death."

I have just posted here part of a report about the "peace" activist who makes a practice of invading U.S. airbases and damaging aircraft. His own mother cannot not understand why he does what he does but it is not hard to work out if you look at the results of his actions. Does he do anything to prevent war? No. Does he get heaps of personal publicity? Yes. So he is just another attention seeker -- and has been since he was in High School, it appears. Typical Leftist motivations, in other words. In our present terrorist age, however, he probably does the U.S. Airforce a great favour by making clear to them in a relatively harmless way how laughable their security is.

A good summary of the state of affairs in Zimbabwe here. You would think Tony Blair could spare a few troops to get rid of the obscene Mugabe, but Mugabe IS black, I suppose. Blacks can do anything without being pulled into line, of course. But even the French send in their troops to sort out their ex-colonies.

And elsewhere in Africa apes are disappearing and it's not global warming or industrialism that is doing it. Old fashioned hunting by Africans is to blame. How odd that the Greenies are not condemning Africans as the chief threat to an endangered species!

There is some good in everyone, they say: The French not only allow genetically modified crops to be grown but jail those who attack them.

There has just been a big conference in Boston which was 'intended to encourage and support litigation against the food industry'. The usual suspects -- lawyers and activists who use junk-science in an attempt to erode consumer freedom and turn food companies into their newest cash cow -- were on hand."

So it can happen: The Philippine government welcomed a public rejection of terrorism by Muslim rebels, saying it could lead to a resumption of peace talks.

Smallpox vaccination has been going on since 1796 (Yes. 1796, not 1976) and yet we get this self-important nonsense: "The next phase of the smallpox vaccination program should be put on hold while health authorities investigate possible severe side effects, a CDC advisory panel recommended Thursday."

"'If you keep a gun in your home,' a University of Pennsylvania press release said last week, 'you dramatically increase the odds that you will die of a gunshot wound, according to research published in the June issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.' ... Frightening results for people who own guns, or who are thinking of buying them. Frightening but, it turns out, meaningless -- another example of how unsound social science is being used in public-policy debates."

The Wicked one explains why a "young man" got shot in the head in South Africa.

In my academic posting here (or here) I point out that not to have a death penalty for serious crime is undemocratic.


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22 June, 2003


And so she should: "A gun distributor wants the widow of a slain middle school teacher to pay its defense costs from last year's five-week trial. The Valor Corp.says it is entitled to recover legal costs, including attorneys' fees, because Pam Grunow lost her lawsuit accusing the Broward County company of being responsible for her husband's death. Valor sold the .25-caliber handgun that Lake Worth Middle School student Nathaniel Brazill used to kill Barry Grunow on the last day of school in 2000." And Brazill stole the gun, let it be noted. How was the gunmaker responsible for that? If these evil lawsuits that blame everyone but the wrongdoer are to be stopped, the people bringing such suits have to be made to bear the costs of their actions.



Clinton in treason's shadow. Seeing as Hillary Clinton's book has decided to mock history in an attempt to clear a path to the White House, I think it behoves us to once again draw attention to the enormous damage her husband wilfully did to America's national security.
President Lula and the "untouchability" of communist Cuba. How nice, Brazil's President Lula and the rest of his charming socialists gang up with Castro against his victims and those who demand liberty for Cuba.
Bush and America's political civil war. The ruckus over the 2000 election at least had the beneficial effect of revealing the enormous ideological rift that has been developing for more than thirty years in America.
Philip Adams' socialist hypocrisy. By keeping Adams shocking record on communist aggression and tyranny in mind when reading his current diatribes against Bush and his sneering references to WMDs one can see where he is coming from. Not only that, one can also see why he never refers to Saddam's crimes, the mass torture, the mass graves, even one filled with children.

Details here



Russia's President Putin is about to discover that no-one can do pomp and circumstance like the British. His getting such a grand welcome on his visit to London underscores what an asset to Britain the monarchy is. The disagreements between Putin and Prime Minister Blair are well-known but Russia is still a very important country whose friendship with the West must be fostered. And the monarchy helps with that by giving great honour to Russia despite minor differences at the political level.

The story of this unfortunate woman is as good an example as any of the disgraceful arrogance of government intervention in people's private lives. We no longer allow government intervention in the private lives of homosexuals. Why do we allow it in the private lives of infertile couples? No child could be more wanted than one conceived through the great difficulties and uncertainties of IVF.

The FDA is up to its usual nonsense -- this time warning people that the long-lasting anti-impotence drug Cialis is "risky". Yet it has been readily available on prescription in Australia and New Zealand for some time. Are American bodies so much frailer than Australian ones? All the FDA are interested in is protecting their own vast bureaucratic empire.

V.D. Hanson has an interesting review of a recent book about Napoleon that looks at why the murderous Corsican dictator is still widely admired -- even by his chief victims (the French). Excerpt: "Indeed Napoleon's enduring resonance in some parts of contemporary Western society tells us as much about ourselves as it does the self-proclaimed emperor. Johnson's matter-of-fact chronicle of executions, grotesque battle losses, betrayal, and outright lying—stripped of Napoleonic fluff and bluster—reflects deeply-rooted Anglo skepticism about messianic killers, as the principled careers of Englishmen like Edmund Burke, the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill, and most recently Tony Blair attest. In contrast, for the insecure, megalomaniac, and duplicitous, Napoleonic power holds an eternal appeal."

The previous French government to the present one was not too hot either: "French Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin stated that he was "proud" of the presence of communists in his government and shocked by a comparison to the Nazis."

Thomas Sowell has an excellent short review of the work of Eric Hoffer. Excerpt: "People who are fulfilled in their own lives and careers are not the ones attracted to mass movements: "A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding," Hoffer said. "When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business." " He also has a good explanation of the "Limousine Liberal" phenomenon.

O to have such small concerns: "A Norwegian family of four is facing eviction for painting their front door green. Tor Ole Eriksen's colour choice has put him at odds with his local homeowners' association in Kristiansand. The Brattbakken homeowners' association allows doors to be painted only blue, red, gold or white."

I have received another email from a reader about the famously anti-Australian Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mohammad Mahathir -- which I have posted here. The email makes the point that Australia is more respected in Asia if we stick to our own traditions instead of pandering to theirs.

China Hand has some reflections about a modern Chinese film Shower. Excerpt: "The film is full of nostalgia for the old ways put pessimistic about their ability to survive".

The Wicked one has some pretty appalling examples of perverted justice in California and New York.

In my academic posting here (or here), I look at whether whether there is a distinctive Protestant ethic in Australia today. In five surveys I found no differences between Protestants and Catholics but I did find differences between believers and unbelievers. These days it is the atheists and agnostics who are hard driving and ambitious.


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21 June, 2003


My slightly sympathetic comment about the outrageous Mohammad Mahathir, Prime Minister of Malaysia, elicited the following response from a rather irate Australian reader:

"Didn't Mahathir appoint as deputy a man he now accuses of sodomy and homosexuality? If an Australian Governor General was forced to resign over an appointment he made in a previous job, surely el Presidente should be held accountable for his decisions in office.

And weren't Malaysia's sodomy laws introduced by the British anyway? And didn't Malaysia once include Singapore, which is home to the notorious transvestite Bugis Street? My understanding is that the Singaporean government, since being expelled from Malaysia for being of the wrong race, has made efforts to 'clean up' Bugis Street. So where were Malaysia's allegedly squeaky clean "Asian values" back then? Apparently the apparently puritanical and precious Malaysians were not offended by Bugis Street when Kuala Lumpur and Mahathir's own ruling UMNO party called the shots?

Do 'Asian values' include torture? Apparently Mahathir's values do! "



How quickly the tune has changed: "The European Union has embraced a new doctrine of hard-nosed military intervention around the world. EU leaders meeting in Greece on Thursday ditched their strategy of "soft power". Instead, they favoured a more muscular mix, including pre-emptive strikes against dangerous regimes if necessary. "Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is the single most important threat to peace and security among nations," said the text, drafted by Javier Solana, the EU's security chief."

"The House voted Wednesday to eliminate estate taxes by the end of the decade, keeping the Republicans' tax cut efforts at the top of the congressional agenda. Republicans, criticizing the levy as a 'death tax,' said it forces families to liquidate small businesses and sell family farms to pay tax bills." See also here. Much the same bill was passed by the House last year but failed to get through the Senate so this is only a tiny step. Wealthy elderly Americans should migrate to Australia where such taxes were abolished years ago..

Jeff Jacoby has some ideas about what the U.S. should be doing to support the pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran.

USA Today can have surprisingly sensible editorial pieces at times. This one about High School students being required to pass a final test before they get a graduation diploma makes a lot of good points. Example: "U.S. Department of Education researchers found that ''A'' students in schools in poor neighborhoods had the same reading scores as ''D'' students in schools in affluent areas." In other words, without the tests, a lot of diplomas are meaningless. But I guess we really knew that.

As their science comes increasingly into question, the "Greenhouse" advocates just push the panic button harder. They now claim that temperatures COULD rise by 6 degrees next century and that this would wipe out most life on earth! This article in "Spiked" points out the obvious however: "Humans live in a wide diversity of weather conditions already. Even within a single city like New York, people live very successfully with temperature extremes of 50 degrees Celsius or more." So what's a puny 6 degrees to that?

If only: Japanese Genetic engineers may soon give us decaf coffee that actually tastes like coffee.

There is already a huge Australian diaspora in Britain and the latest deliberate relaxation of the rules for Australians working in Britain will undoubtedly make Britain a second home for many more Australians. Britain clearly wants hard-working young Australians badly. They already fill many gaps in the British economy.

But government employees in Australia are a different matter. For instance, Australian police are as corrupt as any in the Western world. And public hospitals in Australia may be nearly as bad as British ones (See here , here and here for the British example)

I have posted here a report that shows anti-abortionists doing something PRACTICAL to save young lives. About time! And didn't it get the abortionists irate! They obviously put profit before saving lives. I advocated similar abortion-prevention measures myself last year (scroll down).

Eleanor Spreitzer has an amusing new set of ten commandments that Leftists will not like very much here.

There is a redirection notice on Michael Darby's blog

There is a redirection notice on Chris Brand's blog

In my academic post here (or here) I help wipe out a whole body of psychological "knowledge" about personal ambition.


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20 June, 2003


Australians, and their European brethren, are a greedy, war-mongering mob who promote free sex and sodomy, are indifferent to incest and want to conquer the world -- or so said the retiring Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mohammed Mahathir, recently. Australians will be delighted that the world's most famous anti-Australian is stepping down but I fear that his going might in fact be a disaster. Malaysia is a racial tinderbox with the way its bumbling native Malays hate their large and prosperous Chinese minority and Mahathir's anti-Western rhetoric was a classic way of distracting attention from that. Will anybody else be able to hold Malaysia together? I am pessimistic.



A reader writes:

"The recent doings in Dubbo show that city/country split may not have been healed by big cash handouts to the bush from governments. Recently in the New South Wales provincial town of Dubbo (pop. 38,000) about 11,000 people have signed a petition for kids who regularly commit crimes to be taken from their parents. The town has a problem with juvenile crime committed mainly by black youth. This is both a race and crime issue. I think the locals support for the proposition, which has zero chance of actually being implemented, was being deliberately provocative. The locals were sort of telling State and Federal politicians by this "..if you don't care about our crime problems, we don't care about your social reform agenda".



Jeff Jacoby writes: "As if the mass graves containing the remains of so many Iraqi men and women weren't horrific enough, now comes word of an Iraqi grave filled with children. "This is different from other mass graves discovered since the fall of Saddam," the Kurdish newspaper Taakhi reported this week, "because it contains the remains of 200 child victims of the repression of the Kurdish uprising in 1991." Found among the corpses were dolls; the little girls who owned them must have been clutching them when they died." But all the world's "compassionate" Leftists defended the man who did this! It tells you what THEY are. But they defended the murderous Stalin for decades too so they are at least consistent.



"We have the legal custody of the children and we will do with them as we see fit. They are minors and they do what we tell them to do." --Susan Etscovitz, of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, on attempts to take a pair of homeschooled teenagers from their parents. We now hear however that the words of this Nazi "social worker" were "taken out of context". I don't think those words need much context for us to know what we think of the system and the mentality which produced them.



" Three more Iranians set themselves on fire on Thursday in European capitals to protest a crackdown on an exile group in France". The sad thing about it is that the arrogant French will not give a damn about the poor old self-immolators. "Imbecile" will be the ordinary French response if I know anything about it.

The lucky old British taxpayer: "Citizens of ten Eastern and Southern European countries will be entitled to UK social security benefits, council housing, treatment on the NHS and schooling when their countries join the European Union next year."

Blogger.com does it again! "Bigwig" writes: "Silflay Hraka has moved to http://silflayhraka.com. Blogger went down for us on Friday night and never came back, so we were more or less forced out, though I'd been toying with the idea for a while."

If only there were supermajority requirements like this everywhere: "The requirement is especially important this year, as California struggles with massive budget deficit of $38.2 billion_the legacy of an incredible run-up in spending in the late 1990s. The requirement of a 2/3rds supermajority by the California Constitution protects state taxpayers from government's natural instinct to raise taxes instead of cut waste and extravagant spending."

Arlene Peck has been to a Hollywood party and is amazed at the antisemitism of the Jewish Leftists she met there.

China Hand has discovered a Hong Kong equivalent of New York's famous "Soup Nazi"

Michael Darby has a post which shows that Leftists totally ignore the realities of the Middle East.

Chris Brand has a few reflections about his long-standing advocacy of conservative causes even whilst almost all of his academic colleagues were Leftist.

The Wicked one is pleased at news of two successful fightbacks by ordinary ARMED Americans against criminal intruders.

In my academic post here (or here) I report a new way of measuring how ambitious people are. It works very well but psychologists generally still use older methods that can be shown to work less well. They are much more interested in confirming their prejudices than in finding out anything new.


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19 June, 2003


I have often argued that a Leftist personality underlies the rhetoric of the Leftist ideologue. I think all history shows that Leftists are basically unhappy people with big ego needs -- needs that make them crave attention, praise and -- ultimately -- power. And along with that goes a hatred of any success, happiness or power in others. And the Leftist aims to exercise power by taking away the liberties and regulating the lives of ordinary people. But if such a Leftist personality does exist, it should have been around for a long time -- far longer than we have had the term "Leftist" for it. I believe that evidence of such personalities does abound in history and we see it in fact in one of the great eras of English history -- in the Elizabethan era. Note the following excerpts from a discussion of two of the most powerful politicians in the reign of Elizabeth I -- Sir Walter Ralegh and Elizabeth's Prime Minister -- Robert Cecil:

Cecil's shrinking heart probably allowed him to receive only the unpleasing news of how much he was in Ralegh's debt. 'He worked with a cold fervour for the things of this world,' writes C. V. Wedgwood, 'but he did not love the world at all ... it seemed to him no more than a painful, unrewarding purgatory.'

Ralegh loved the world, and his work in it.

Robert Cecil was Secretary of State as well as Leader of the House of Commons, and made earnest efforts to regulate the private lives of citizens into a neat and tidy pattern. His paternal policy was one that has often since led to disaster. He tried to enforce economy by law; it was 'most necessary' to insist on coarser bread, and thinner beer, and fewer ale-houses, and 'opening hours' for them; they must be closed at least one day a week (as in the modern 'Six Day Licence') and then, so he argued, people would grow more food. Sheep-grazing was also wrong, and must be replaced by crops of hemp and corn; though as he added, 'in these last few wet years', their deaths might as reasonably be blamed on the weather. Cecil's piety failed to convince some of the M.P.s that men should be 'compelled by penalties', as one complained, to grow the regulation amounts of wheat and hemp, etc.

Francis Bacon's outstanding intellect came to Cecil's help with heavily embroidered eloquence. This would be a 'law tending to God's honour'....

By contrast with Bacon's incomprehensible rhetoric, Ralegh's forthright attack on the bill is startling. His pungent rejoinders made short work of the Government's high-flown theories. The practical knowledge he had gained as a child on his father's farm had shown him at first hand how absurd it was to try to legislate for land without experience of it. And there was something at stake more important to him even than the land -- and that was individual liberty. 'I do not like this constraining of men to manure or use their ground at our wills; let every man use it to that which it is most fit for, and use his own discretion.' Let Parliament set corn and hemp at liberty, 'and leave every man free, which is the desire of a true Englishman'.

IIe won over the whole House. They shouted 'Away with the bill!' and persistently rejected it, though the Government pushed it twice to a division.

Ralegh, that 'liberal-minded independent',' also [opposed] the bills to enforce a right religion. There was one against the Sect of Brownists, whom he had agreed gravely were `worthy to be rooted out of any commonwealth'. But just how, demanded the uncompromising realist, were they to set about rooting them out? (`I am sorry for it, I believe there be ten or twelve thousand of them in England.') If by banishment, who was to pay their transport, and to where? And who was to maintain their wives and families? And did the House really know what exactly the Brownists were, even after a Committee had been locked in by Cecil to study a book of their Articles of Belief? They should be judged, Ralegh insisted, only by their acts, not by their opinions. Like his Queen, he would not admit to anyone the right to set up `window to peer into men's souls'.

His loathing of such spiritual tyranny helped to cut out the cruellest measures of repression. It was expressed again, in terms of sheer hard common sense, against the new bill to make church attendance compulsory, and the church-wardens act as informers to the J.P.s. With the brisk logic of mathematics, Ralegh pointed out that if there were only two offenders in each parish, their sum total, together with the church-wardens, would add four hundred and eighty persons to every quartersessions, and `what great multitudes-what quarrelling and danger may happen, besides giving authority to a mean churchwarden'.

In matters more vital it was Ralegh's voice more than any that persistently championed the poor. He attacked with open scorn the meanness of rich men who called it good policy to squeeze the pockets of the poor and oppress their liberties.

He championed the humble housewife as keenly as he did his sovereign lady, and more dangerously for himself. Robert Cecil spoke in patriotic praise of the news that 'some poor people were selling their pots and pans to pay the subsidy.... Neither pots nor pans, nor dish nor spoon should be spared', he announced unctuously. He was sure it would have an excellent effect on the King of Spain when he heard 'how willing we are to sell all in defence of God's religion', etc. His listeners applauded this noble sentiment. It has a hollow echo coming from a man who had made a large fortune, as Master of the Wards

His complacent eagerness to sacrifice the household goods of poor folk was backed by Bacon. The poor ought to be taxed as heavily as the rich: because, as he quoted in Latin, it was a right and 'sweet course to pull together in an equal yoke'.

This smug hypocrisy brought Ralegh to his feet. `Call you this an equal yoke, when a poor man pays as much as a rich? His estate may be no better than he is assessed at, while our estates are entered as £30 or £40 in the Queen's books -- not the hundredth part of our wealth!' His outrageous frankness over this unfair advantage given to his own class, shocked his opponents. His final blow demolished them: 'It is neither sweet nor equal.'

(Quoted from p. 136 - 138 of That Great Lucifer: A portrait of Sir Walter Ralegh by Margaret Irwin [Bungay, Suffolk: Reprint Society, 1960])

So we see that, even back then, it was the conservative defender of individual liberty (Ralegh) who was -- as conservatives have always claimed -- the true champion and helper of the poor. While the power-mad control freaks such as the scheming Cecil and the intellectual Bacon had no real concern for the poor at all. Nothing has changed.

And in another very modern touch, Queen Elizabeth ended her reign by announcing a big tax cut (by abolishing government-granted monopolies) -- to much popular acclaim (p. 158). Big tax-cutters such as Thatcher and Reagan thus have a most respected and successful predecessor in English history.



Tony Blair's sudden announcement that he is going to abolish Britain's ancient unwritten constitution and replace it with more "modern" arrangements is rightly being decried by most conservatives. A major objective is to make the appointment of judges less politicized, yet, as it points out here, the British judiciary is in fact already much LESS politicized than most. It is certainly less politicized than the US judiciary. So replacing such a successful system seems crazy. One reason that has been suggested for this attack on the British constitution is that Tony Blair and most of his senior ministers are in fact Scotsmen, who have no love for anything English. I think that is a red herring, however. It is almost certainly just another example of the Leftist conviction that they can "improve" anything by ever more legislation. Robert Cecil would understand.



There's some amusing stuff in the WSJ today about clinical depression at Guantanamo Bay and the evils of dihydrogen hydroxide.

President Bush said Wednesday that he and other world leaders would not tolerate nuclear weapons in Iran. And after Iraq, that carries weight.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with reading for all.

Chris Brand has a discussion of the connection between white guilt and coloured immigration.

Michael Darby has some thoughts about explaining tax reform better.

The Wicked one points out that George Bush supports big government.

In my academic posting here (or here), I re-do some research originally reported by Marxist psychologists and get results that totally undermine their conclusions.


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18 June, 2003


A reader writes:

I read your recent posting on multiculturalism with interest. There is something quite arrogant and self contradictory about 'multiculturalism'. On the one hand multiculturalists think it is arrogant and supremacist for western people to rate their own culture higher than other cultures, especially Third World cultures. They say it is xenophobic and racist for Australians to want to give preference in immigration to people with similar cultural traditions.

Yet how do they treat the experience of other nations, especially Third World nations? Look at the track record of multi-ethnic, multi-cultural states. Eritrea split from Ethiopia 1993. Czechoslavakia splits 1993. USSR breaks down into about a dozen ethnically distinct states 1991. Yugoslavia 1991. Lebanon effectively splits into Christian and Muslim regions 1975. Cyprus partitioned 1974. Hindu and Muslim areas of India split into India and Pakistan 1947, with muslim Pakistan and muslim Bangladesh further spliting on ethnic lines in 1971. Malay dominated Malaysia, expels Chinese dominated Singapore in 1965. Sri Lanka. Turkey. Iraq. Iran. Sudan. Chad. Nigeria. Ireland. Ulster. The German speaking South Tyrolians of Italy. Canada and Quebec. Even multi-ethnic Switzerland, which is effectively divided into linguistically homogeneous cantons each with local control over education and cultural affairs, saw the creation of a new Francophone canton of Jura within German Berne following years of terrorist activity.

Isn't it arrogant to ignore the numerous failures of other nations? Doesn't this imply that multiculturalists really believe, ...under their benign leadership, of course, that we are superior to the Ethiopians, Czechs, Slovaks, Russians, Yugoslavs, Lebanese, Cyrpriots, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Malaysians, Singaporeans, Sri Lankans, Turks, Iraqis, Iranians, Sudanese, Nigerians, Irish, Ulstermen, Italians, Canadians, Quebeckers and Swiss? Isn't their something self contradictory about the multiculturalists' failures to deal honestly with the real world failures of numerous multi-ethnic states? Isn't it a tad arrogrant to believe we can avoid the same fate if only we cast out our doubters?

Multiculturalism is an idealistic political programme. History shows that idealistic programmes don't last more than a generation, sometimes they linger for two, especially if the vested interests dig themselves in. Hopefully it will work and countries like Australia and the US will be spared the ethnic conflicts that litter the world. Just maybe we can show mankind a new, better way to live. But don't bet on it. Unfortunately, like communism, another highly idealistic program, the most likely outcome is that in it's wake it will leave a mess for the realists to sort out.



Is France now on the side of the mad Ayatollahs of Iran? "Masked and heavily armed police raided the compound of an Iranian opposition group Tuesday, detaining activists on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks in France and building a support base for operations abroad."

Language the French might underrstand: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told France on Tuesday it should ''shut up'' about his Middle East policy.

Hmmm... It looks like the British Conservatives have rediscovered traditional conservative values and are thus putting the heat on British Labour.

The total disregard for truth and honesty among Leftist academics is breathtaking --as we see here. They complain about the private funding received by conservative think-tanks whilst totally ignoring the vastly greater government expenditure in supporting Leftist institutions such as the Social Science and Humanities faculties of the universities and "public" broadcasters. And they even put such distortions into a "textbook"!

This should at least keep him away from children for a while: "The Roman Catholic bishop of Phoenix has been arrested over a deadly hit-and-run accident after US police said they traced the number plate of his car and found the windscreen caved in."

Notice from Iain Murray: "A glitch in Blogger has meant that I have to unveil my new web site for The Edge of England's Sword a little earlier than I wanted. The new site is at: http://www.iainmurray.org/MT. The full iainmurray.org site is under development, and will hopefully contain links to all my published articles in weeks to come."

On this day (18th June) in 1814 Ann Jane Burnside was born. She grew up to be less than 5' tall and obtained work in Northern Ireland as a child's maid. She was tried in court at Down on 26.3.1840 and convicted of stealing clothes. She was sentenced to transportation to Australia. She arrived on the "Margaret" on 17.8.1840 from Ireland. The convict ship records show that she could read, that her native place was Liverpool and that her religion was Presbyterian. She was my Great-great Grandmother.

I have just put up a new cartoon I like here and two cat and dog pictures here that I think most people will like.

I have a post on PC Watch that compares the big effects of Marshall Plan aid to Europe with the negative effects of aid money given to Africa.

Michael Darby has more on the legal machinations that force our insurance costs up.

Chris Brand points out how little UK academics are concerned about freedom of speech.

The Wicked one has a post about the black war on whites.

In my academic posting here (or here), I report that even back in the '70s, the English were not much bothered about Scotland becoming more independent.


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17 June, 2003


See here for a translation of the National Academy of Science's report on global-warming into more honest English. And Nobel prizewinner Kary Mullis explains it REALLY simply: "Environmentalists predict that global warming is coming, and our emissions are to blame. They do that to keep us worried about our role in the whole thing. If we aren't worried and guilty, we might not pay their salaries. It's that simple." There is a review of Mullis's book here. Mullis recommends the "Public Choice" ideas of James Buchanan, 1986 Nobel prizewinning economist, to anyone trying to find out how publicly funded big science actually works. Interestingly, research in the field is increasingly labelled 'climate change' rather than global warming. A code word for hedged bets?



There is a facsinating interview with famous but anonymous Baghdad blogger Salam Pax here.

Black racism: "The inclusion of a white contestant in a pan-African version of the reality TV show Big Brother has ignited a heated debate about who can call themselves an African"

Better late than never, I suppose: "The European Union, in a significant shift towards United States thinking, says force might be necessary where diplomacy fails to address threats from weapons of mass destruction"

Most people around the world, including Americans, view US President George Bush unfavourably and think the United States was wrong to invade Iraq. That sounds bad but when we realize that the poll comes from as discredited an organization as the BBC, the "findings" are no surprise. For contrast, look at the professional polling results described by John O'Sullivan.

Andrew Bolt summarizes well the shocking story about how the exposure of systematic lies by Leftist historians caused not one shred of repentance among them. They of course attacked the man (Keith Windschuttle) who exposed them instead. Excerpt: "Windschuttle aims to take the discipline of history back to some golden age when it was all about facts," complained Professor Alan Atkinson. Well, yes, professors. That's his point."

A victory for home schoolers against the Fascist educational authorities of Massachusetts.

Some U.S. libertarians have voted "Rabbit Proof Fence" as "Best Libertarian film". I hope they realized that the film is fiction masquerading as fact. If anybody wants the true story see here.

From Brookes News: Plant closures and left-wing fallacies. Tariffs and the state of the textile, clothing and footwear industries should serve to remind us that socialist and statist economic fallacies are a bit like weeds, no matter how much intellectual hoeing we do they constantly return to pester us.
Is India stealing America's high-tech jobs? To cut to the chase, India has been subsidising the US economy. Think of it as foreign aid in reverse, with the benefits of Indian investments in computer science and engineering moving to the US whose highly advanced capital structure could accommodate the flow.

Michael Duffy points out that keeping Australian Aborigines isolated from mainstream Australia by way of "land rights" will leave them forever without hope of achieving white living standards

Arnold Kling sounds like he knows how to minimize the nuisance of spam. I would like spammers to be declared outlaws myself. People would be lining up to shoot them.

The problems of the Japanese economy certainly are an amazing test of whether Keynesian "pump priming" works. By itself it clearly does not. The Japanese experience certainly shows how hopeless and destructive it is to prop up failing or failed busnessses -- particularly banks in the Japanese case.

Hydrogen-powered cars are a Greenie dream but making them practical really is a dream. And if we did all convert to hydrogen powered cars, the effect on the ozone layer would probably be catastrophic! Erk! The Greenies might find that a problem.

Chris Brand thinks there are six dimensions of human personality.

Michael Darby has some suggestions for making public liability insurance cover more affordable.

The Wicked one is appalled at the extent of the battle against drugs in U.S. schools.

In my academic posting here (or here) I note hypocrisy among British Leftists who decry materialistic ambition and ambition generally without being any less ambitious and materialistic themselves.


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16 June, 2003


The usual "alternative" that Leftists offer to racial, ethnic or national consciousness is multiculturalism. Though what is inadequate about awareness of oneself as being simply an individual rather escapes me.

Leftists have undoubtedly given multiculturalism a bad name but I would argue that moderate versions of the idea are perfectly reasonable. There is surely a middle way between rejecting everything that is "foreign" and regarding Western civilization as little better than a criminal conspiracy. Multiculturalism is firmly entrenched in Australian politics as just such a middle way. There is general agreement that other cultures should be generally accepted and that we should all be open to whatever good might be in them.

And I fully accept that. What I do NOT accept is the claim that all cultures are equal or of equal value. I believe it to be pretty obvious that modern Western culture does best at delivering generally desired outcomes to its adherents. And it is also historically undisputable that, from early roots in the Mediterranean area, that culture has mainly been developed by a small group of interrelated peoples with origins on the fringes of North Western Europe. And those of us who are part of one or more of those peoples have every reason to celebrate it. And I am and I do. I am happy with who and what I am.

Critics of multicultural excesses are often portrayed as uneducated redneck yokels by the Left. But are Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr or Harvard's Samuel P. Huntington rednecks? Huntington sums up rather well the excesses that the chronic anger of the Left leads to:

"Historically American national identity has been defined culturally by the heritage of Western civilization and politically by the principles of the American Creed on which Americans overwhelmingly agree: liberty, democracy, individualism, equality before the law, constitutionalism, private property. In the late twentieth century both components of American identity have come under concentrated and sustained onslaught from a small but influential number of intellectuals and publicists. In the name of multiculturalism they have attacked the identification of the United States with Western civilization, denied the existence of a common American culture, and promoted racial, ethnic, and other subnational cultural identities and groupings. They have denounced, in the words of one of their reports, the "systematic bias toward European culture and its derivatives" in education and "the dominance of the European-American monocultural perspective." The multiculturalists are, as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., said, "very often ethnocentric separatists who see little in the Western heritage other than Western crimes." Their "mood is one of divesting Americans of the sinful European inheritance and seeking redemptive infusions from non-Western cultures."

Clearly, there is absolutely no need for multiculturalism to be so negative. Only the chronic hatred of Leftists for the ordinary people around them can explain such negativity.



John O'Sullivan has been looking at international public opinion poll data and concludes that the big new division in the world may be between the USA and its Anglosphere friends on the one hand and the rest of the world on the other. But it is notable that he includes among the "friends" not only Britain and Australia but also India. The many years of the British "Raj" in India have of course left an enormous legacy there -- in that Indian English the only means many Indians have of communicating with one-another and English culture generally has become deeply integrated into Indian life. So even without common racial origins, common culture can be very important, influential and unifying. And Leftists want to throw that great cultural legacy away! I personally have known Indians since my childhood and very much like them so sharing a culture that unites me with one billion of them strikes me as a very good thing.



Saudi support for terrorist organizations is coming back to haunt them. They have just found a "huge" cache of weapons and explosives in Mecca itself. Since no "infidels" are allowed in Mecca, other Muslims were obviously the intended target.

Good! The French are peeved that the USA is largely ignoring their Air Show. They insult and disparage Americans and still expect American support?? So having got themselves into that pickle, what do they do? In a truly French display of brainlessness, they add more insults!

German practicality resurfaces: Even the German Greens now back Schroeder's long overdue plan to trim Germany's welfare state and reduce job market regulation.

China has sacked two high-ranking naval officers involved in a fatal submarine accident. Encouraging. They are sounding increasingly Westernized. It might have happened under Mao but would never have been announced.

Chris Brand argues that recognizing inherited differences in IQ would be a positive for liberalism.

Michael Darby notes that the U.S. military have far more respect for GWB than they had for Clinton.

The Wicked one has a rather amusing post about atheist churches.

In my academic post of 15th. here (or here) I report a survey of white South Africans done during in the Apartheid era which found them to be no more racist than anyone else. Their refusal to give legal equality to blacks at that time was then an outcome not of racism but of of fear about what black control would lead to -- a fear that has now been amply borne out by the collapse of law and order in modern-day South Africa under black rule.


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15 June, 2003


Carol Johnson has a good comment on looting: "There's much bias evident in this NYT article, but it is still a good read on the current state of affairs of the Iraqi oil industry. I find it very ironic that the truth appears to be that museum artifacts were not, after all, heavily looted, but the oil fields that the US was condemned for protecting, have, in fact, been targets of looting."

The Guardian, of all papers, has a furious attack on the anti-Americans who invented the "looted museum" myth in Baghdad.

The French "peacekeeping" forces in Africa under the auspices of the U.N. are a joke. All they are doing is observe while the slaughter goes on. But the poor dears got fired on yesterday!

There are some signs that moderate Muslims everywhere are getting sick of the extremists: In Australia, in Malaysia, in Italy and in Saudi Arabia itself. Obviously, however, there is still a long way to go. Some talk of the "Clash of Civilisations" with the West versus Islam. They have got it wrong. Terrorism is about those who are against ALL civilisation.

LOL: "Canberra's 25-year-old Aboriginal tent embassy was gutted by fire early yesterday - and angry indigenous residents on the site are pointing the finger at the Federal Government"

I think this is a disgrace: "In 1999, Ifaw found meat from a western Pacific grey whale on sale in Japan: no more than 100 or so are thought to survive."

A very good look at the history of Marxism here: "His coverage of Marx and Engels makes one ask the inevitable question, which is how two rogues such as these could have seduced a large portion of the world's population with their delusions. Marx appears to have been the prototype for what I call the 'self- righteous leftist' who still swings, like a Bonobo in search of a five second mate, from the girders of our political infrastructure today."

To make Social Security solvent over the next 75 years, either a permanent 15 percent increase in payroll income taxes, or a 13 percent reduction in benefits, or some combination of the two would be required."

Thomas Sowell: "The June issue of National Geographic contains one of the rare honest looks at India. The article ('India's Untouchables') gives a shocking picture of some of the most persecuted people on Earth. For far too long, India has been one of a number of countries used by the intelligentsia to denigrate the United States. The image or the insinuation has been that we are materialistic, they are spiritual; we are violent, they are peaceful ... and so on."

"If American education is to survive, it must completely abandon its current paradigm of enormous, age-segregated schools controlled by Federal monies and the NEA. A return to the one-room school house -- even in large metropolitan areas -- would be a massive improvement.... As long as we allow any government body to control education through funding, our children will continue to be either ignorami or bored stiff all day long."

Australians for Constitutional Monarchy takes a very relaxed stance on flag burning. Libertarians would argue that if you own the flag concerned it is up to you whether to burn it or not.

Australia's open ended welfare system -- with no limits on how long one can be on welfare -- is at last coming in for some criticism.

Genetic technology may revive extinct Tasmanian tigers ... so the Greens are against it, of course. What a horror it would be for them if the extinctions they love parading turned out to be reversible!

Peter Hitchens on what the EU means for the UK: Extinction of 1000 yrs of history. And his authority for that? None other than respected British Labour Party leader Hugh Gaitskell!

Arlene Peck's latest article, "The gloves are off!" -- on the response to terrorism directed against Israel is up here

The Wicked one has a posting about enemies of free trade.

Chris Brand notes some tentative retreats from political correctness.

Michael Darby notes that ownership of personal compurters is now severely restricted in Cuba.

In my academic post here (or here) I report evidence that upsets a silly psychological theory that tries to blame the poverty of some nations on lack of ambition among their people rather than laying the blame for poverty where it belongs -- on socialist politics.


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14 June, 2003


For anybody who still thinks our universities are places of light and learning, this story should be instructive:

"Dr. Ted Steele, senior academic and researcher in Wollongong University, well known for pioneering work in immunogenetics, was dismissed without warning and without pay more than a year ago. The legal battle to reinstate him has continued to this day. In the latest hearing, the Federal Court Judge Murray Wilcox expressed shock at the University's behaviour, the sacked academic is treated 'worse than a murderer'. Steele won his case, but to his dismay discovers he will be re-instated, only to be immediately dismissed again.... Steele was sacked in February 2001 for defending academic standards".

Steele had said that "soft-marking" for fee-paying Asian students was common. See here. Apparently, however, after immense public pressure, the university did cave in and reinstate him. They really hated him for exposing their racket, though.

For some information on the rather revolutionary scientific work Steele was doing before dismissal see here. He is in the forefront of finding some Lamarckian processes in the evolution of the immune system. Marc Miyake also has some comments on the sacking here and here. Marc also found Steele's home page.



A medical correspondent writes:

In Toronto, this medical student who was exposed to SARS was quarantined for 10 days (idiotic, especially when incubation has been up to 14 days) - so, predictably, on day 11 he goes back to work in the nursery, and on day 12 he comes down with symptoms. A lot of new mothers are really pissed offf because thay can't bond with their quarantined babies.



An amusing article in the New Statesman points out that Europe is indeed united -- in that all countries of Europe are now overwhelmingly dominated by American culture. In that context, the "Iraq refusal" by a minority of European States does look a bit Canute-like.

A climate of fear and paranoia is making men wary of joining the childcare profession. And the teaching profession too. Anti-men FemiNazis are successfully depriving many boys of any male role-models in their lives.

A great bit of sarcasm in the WSJ: "The American people deserve nothing less than a full congressional investigation into the false claims of antiwar politicians, scholars, journalists and activists. If they lied to us about Iraq, how can we ever trust them to talk us out of future wars?"

Astounding -- but very welcome if it's true: "In a campaign against terrorism, the Saudi Government has fired several hundred Islamic clerics and suspended more than 1000 others for preaching intolerance. One month to the day after terrorist bombs killed more than 30 people in Riyadh, the Government announced on Thursday that it had implemented new regulations intended to stop the flow of Saudi money to terrorist groups overseas."

Hear here!: "The United States should be prepared to destroy North Korea's Yongbyon reactor if necessary to keep Pyongyang from trafficking in nuclear weapons, an influential member of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's advisory panel said on Wednesday. ... '[I] don't think anyone can exclude the kind of surgical strike we saw in 1981,' [Richard Perle] said, referring to Israel's surprise air attack that destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor near Baghdad on June 7, 1981."

And Britain is doing its bit: "TONY BLAIR is launching a drive to put maximum international pressure on Iran after concluding that it is well on the way to becoming a nuclear power"

And Tony Blair has finally beaten the rogue British firemen's union -- after 6 month's of strikes. They "only" wanted a 40% pay-rise! It's nearly as big a victory over union power gone mad as Margaret Thatcher's victory over the British miners.

Looks like those smallpox vaccinations are a pretty good idea: "Federal health officials Wednesday advised states to offer smallpox vaccination to anyone who might be at risk of infection with monkeypox. In an effort to contain the unprecedented multistate outbreak of the rare disease, they also halted the importation of rodents from Africa and banned the sale of prairie dogs and other animals that might carry the disease."

There is an interesting case here that "insider trading" on the stockmarket should be legal. I believe it still is in New Zealand.

Chris Brand notes big problems with both the Church of England and Islam in Britain at the moment.

The latest post by China Hand is fascinating. China is encouraging vigilantism as a way of dealing with thugs and robbers.

The Wicked one has some good jokes up at the moment.

Michael Darby still likes Margaret Thatcher's ideas about British non-involvement with Europe.

In my academic post here (or here) I really take apart a typically careless piece of "research" by a Leftist psychologist.


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13 June, 2003


Some comments from a U.S. reader:

"This weekend, I returned from Montreal. It was quite unnerving to hear Blacks (obviously not immigrants), Indians, and Asians speaking French. This culture is just one step more backward than the rest of Canada. Canadians love to consider themselves morally superior to Americans - they like "being European" - and their sick socialistic repressive economy reflects this - a Canadian dollar is worth about 60 cents American and hasn't changed much in many years - this says it all about a corrupt culture. Yet Canadians continue to self destruct to prove they are right.

Americans gave up many of Britain's "bad ideas" years ago, and kept "good ideas" like the language, legal system, etc.. In other words, they kept the better things and rejected the bad things. I assume Australians did some of the same (except obvious stupidity - like gun control). But the Canadians - they just love "being British" - like their gun control, and people still hold on to their delusion that "Universal Health Care" is good. But the French Canadians have carried this "cultural superiority" one step further - even though the French left Canada almost 200 years ago, the French Canadian Intelligentsia have embraced (by force - people are required to speak French, etc) a culture that is several steps more corrupt than the British culture. However, this corrupt culture has kept the Canadian dollar down, and makes for a cheap vacation for people like me.

The worst part of my trip was my trip to the Public Garden - truly a great place - I just got psyched up to see the Rose Garden - then, I just gasped when I entered to see only leaves (even Russia had roses in June last year). I had forgotten that Montreal is very far north of LA , and that the past winter was one of the coldest on record (all the great lakes and the St Lawrence river froze over) - And the Canadians just bought into this Kyoto nonsense!

I just hope the Canadian economy keeps up at its present level. I can't wait to take another trip to Canada."



The post of 11th on A Tangled Web is one of many deploring GWB's failure to endorse Israel's right to pursue terrorists. The USA can pursue Bin Laden and Saddam but Israel cannot pursue Hamas??

Or as the WSJ says: "The only way to stop the "cycle of violence" is to kill or incapacitate the instigators. If Abbas cannot or will not do so, how can anyone fault Israel for acting in its own defense?"

How amusing: Castro led an anti-Europe march through Havana. After Iraq, he's getting rattled.

Amusing: Yahoo news has a story about Spanish and Polish troops going to Iraq as peacekeepers under the heading "Australia". I am of course delighted. Obviously, the equation: "Australia = U.S. Ally" has gotten into a lot of minds.

Good to see Colin Powell so outspoken about the thugs who run Burma. But why does it always have to fall to the United States to make the running in these matters? Are the U.S. and its Anglosphere allies the only moral countries left in the world? What about the self-righteous hypocrites of Canada and France? What are they doing?

And some things are happening in the campaign to bring North Korea into line.

Distinguished bacteriologist Hugh Pennington has an article here that tells you about all there is to know about SARS so far. He compares it with the spread of smallpox many years ago and comments: "It is easy to forget how important the isolation of cases was in smallpox control. Vaccination was made compulsory in Scotland in 1863 but indigenous smallpox was not eradicated until 1904, after the Public Health (Scotland) Act of 1897 facilitated the building of isolation hospitals"

Good news for economic progress in China: "China had convened a secret top-level body to draft sweeping changes to its constitution so the property of private enterprises had equal legal protection as state-owned ones, The Financial Times website reported yesterday."

The Misanthropyst has a good post on the relative importance of Fascist dictators and dumb American singers. And he also notes that the Saddam regime did not bother censoring the BBC. Saddam knew he could rely on them. The BBC self-censored instead!

The Bunyip is in fine form on tax. He says: "There are few times of year more galling than when the tax man walks away from the Billabong's bank account with a big chunk of whatever Mrs. Bunyip hasn't spent on shoes" and he rightly describes taxes as "commandeered labour".

Hey! I like it. Bill Hobbs has got me listed as the sole entry under the "International Blogs" section of his blogroll. I certainly try to keep in close touch with what is happening in Australia, the USA, Britain and Israel -- with occasional excursions into India -- so it is good that someone thinks I have achieved it. Bill also makes a good point (see his post of 12th) about the world's biggest killer of Muslims: Israel? India? the USA? No. Saddam Hussein. And Muslims CRITICIZE us for getting rid of Saddam??

Michael Darby has some poems that mourn the wild horses deliberately mass-slaughtered by a Greenie-influenced government.

I have just put up an amusing post on PC Watch about politically-correct shoes!

In my academic post here (or here) I look at an old Leftist contention that conservatives are authoritarian and that authoritarians are "intolerant of ambiguity". I show, that, if anything, authoritarians are tolerant of ambiguity.


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12 June, 2003


A Sydney reader writes:

Miranda Devine has a column outlining some of the sillier ideas from government town planners with big ideas. They want to plant trees everywhere whether anyone wants them there or not. Sydney has become a considerably greener city in recent years mainly due to the green thumbs of it's backyard loving suburban home owners. Suburban living has never been popular with the urban intellectual elite, who like to imagine everyone living on Paris's left bank. Of course, recent studies that show children raised with backyards and pets are fitter don't worry them the way Ronald McDonald does.

Hence the latest mantra of the greens and the urban planners is that suburbia is just not environmentalist enough. Low density, we are told uses too much space and needs too many cars. But high rise is too dependent on energy and air conditioning. So now medium density "backfilling" is the answer. This is music to the ears of budget consious bureaucrats. Unfortunately it promotes crowding, traffic congestion and stresses local services. Things most normal people think of as environmental problems. Once the greens wake up to this they will recommend we live in caves.

That the whole plan is driven by Leftist envy is shown by the fact that its authors make a point of saying that they aim to use trees to block out the water views that better-off Sydneysiders love so much and pay so much for. Fortunately the plan has Buckley's chance of success. You can plant a tree but it can very easily have an "accident" some time thereafter. People are already rather free with herbicide, chainsaws etc in some places.



The Iranians are learning that it is easy to put the Islamic fundamentalists in charge but a lot harder to get rid of them. It seems that only the USA can do that.

The latest Australian legal provisions for questioning of terrorism suspects seem to offer a reasonable balance between preserving individual liberties and protecting our security.

India seem to be on the brink of approving use of a genetically-engineered potato with potential huge benefits to hundreds of millions of poor Indians -- but the Greenies are still condemning it on their usual flimsy grounds.

There is a rather silly criticism of the "Anglosphere" idea here. Michael Duffy implies that Anglospherists are racists and that they believe that "in our international dealings we have the right to impose our values on others" etc. The fact is that advocates of the idea say the exact opposite. They aim in fact simply to promote greater international co-operation. The political, cultural and social values of the English-origin countries are spreading rapidly throughout the world anyway regardless of what anyone does -- much to the fury of the Muslim fundamentalists! See The Anglosphere Primer.

American conservatism is traditionally isolationist but that has taken quite a battering in recent years. One U.S. college student who still thinks that way, however, is Ryan Thoryk. He has been casting a beady eye on the internationalists here.

The French government is at least doing the conservative thing on the home front: "THE French Government vowed to push through pension and education reforms in the face of widespread opposition, which last night sparked sporadic clashes between riot police and masked protestors. "

This article points out that "the Enron syndrome" (fraud) is rife in our society, and actually worse outside of the big business world: Especially in the academic and media worlds and among Leftists generally. At least in the marketplace, competition helps keep big guys honest. Of course lying has been around for a long time. Is it any more popular today? Do we tolerate it more now that "God is dead"? For a 'brief history of lying' see here.

"The punk was 17. Dangerous. Mixed up in drugs, with a nasty habit of robbing prostitutes and roughing them up. Judge James P. Gray was sitting on the Municipal Court bench back then, enforcing a plea bargain that was worked out up the food chain, in Superior Court. The kid would be behind bars for a few weeks. It was nothing. 'He had gotten away with it, and he knew it,' Gray says. 'It was wrong.'"

Carnival of the vanities is up again -- with 68 posts this time! Should be something for everyone.

Michael Darby has an open letter from some prominent Australians about the "Kyoto" Greenhouse nonsense.

Chris Brand reports increasing recognition for his views about IQ and suggests that he may in fact have been the first blogger! Were there any bloggers prior to 1996?

The Wicked one has another story of the bad guys not getting away with it and reports that private enterprise is alive and well and rather alarming in New Zealand.

China hand has seen fit to reply to the latest lulu proposal from Captain Clueless (that well-known Democrat voter and supporter of affirmative action). The proposal? That China take over North Korea with Western support!!

In my latest academic post here (or here) I tackle an old problem in analytical philosophy: What do we mean by "cause"?


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11 June, 2003


I have had an email from Matthew Cowie in China about how Chinese internet censorship is affecting him. I am pleased to say that my "For China" mirror site is working for him. He writes:

I can view your site at http://users.tpg.com.au/jonjayra/tripod.html. Rumor has it that proximity to Beijing figures into internet censorship, although I haven't been down south yet to see if it's the case. The funny thing is that all the blocked sites are left-wing, like the BBC. (Plus the unfiltered Blogger, Geocities, Tripod, etc.). NYTimes and Washington Post are accesible since the outset of the Iraq war, but before that they were blocked. The weekly China-bashing editorials from the Washington Times have always been available. (Although I guess most Chinese haven't heard of the Washington Times so it's not considered a problem.) My blog is not viewable in China, although I can post. Since it is aimed at the home audience it isn't much of a problem.



The recent story of a Melbourne snowboarder lost and injured in the British Columbia high country who used his mobile to call his parents in Australia to organise a rescue suggests how silly and counterproductive current technophobia is. Future generations will surely giggle at it -- just as we find quaint the old "Red Flag Act" (see here and here) that required all cars to be preceded by a man walking in front and carrying a red flag.

The myth of the 'risk' of using mobile phones at petrol stations is surely a huge non-threat. As this industry site says: "There has been no actual incident of fuel ignition at petrol stations that has been demonstrated to have been caused by mobile phone use, anywhere in the world." Such scares tend to divert attention from real risks. There is, for instance. evidence of filling-station fires related to static discharge from customers wearing synthetic fibre clothing. But there are no warnings against that.

As New Scientist wrote in an article entitled "Dial F for Fear" a few years back. "Never have so many people worried so much about so little."



Marvellous: The US government is stepping in to reverse some of the damage that has been done to the nuclear power industry by the Greenies. For those of us who REALLY want a cleaner environment, nuclear power is the answer.

Incredible: The same knives that the 9/11 hijackers used still get through security and on to Australian aircraft! Trust governments to look after you!

And you can be as mad as a cut snake and still be allowed to drive trains in Australia.

Australia is talking to the United States about a new mission to intercept North Korean vessels suspected of carrying missiles, counterfeit money and drugs

Shame: "A Danish pizzeria owner who refused service to French and German tourists because their governments didn't back the US-led war in Iraq was convicted of discrimination today."

There is some good stuff just up on Brookes News: Leftist economic illiteracy about wage-rates and a remarkable history of Castro's military record.

Prof. David Flint observes that the voting patterns of the local football teams are a better guide to public attitudes than are "elite" opinions or the prognostications of the media! He also says that Australia's Governors and Governors General are far from being "Rubber stamp" functionaries and that we need more of their services not less. One would have thought that Australian Leftists would realize how significant our Viceroys are by now -- after Sir John Kerr sacked their great hero -- Gough Whitlam.

Luke Slattery has some interesting comments on the Left/Right division in modern politics. He argues that Leftists today are really conservatives and that they should become more so to be true to their ideals.

China hand has the inside story of how SARS got out of hand in Hong Kong.

Chris Brand notes that female chauvinist sows are active in the London literary scene.

I have up on PC Watch an argument in favour of stopping Islamic immigration.

In my latest academic post here (or here) I show that the Protestant ethic is not dead and that to this day committed Protestants are more inclined to strive to better themselves materially.


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10 June. 2003


An Australian reader writes:

Peter Brimelow has a great "5 point" summary of the arguments against immigration. He includes a link to an article discussing economist Peter Bauer who made some key points in the economic case. There is also some discussion of the tensions between the welfare state and immigration. This one point was apparently lost on the left who went into a headspin when "One Nation" emerged as an electoral force in Australia in the late 1990s, winning up to 10% of the vote despite (or because of?) near universal condemnation by the country's political, academic and media elite.

The left's pundits wondered aloud how Australia 1997, rightly thought of as more tolerant and cosmopolitan, could generate a mass populist anti-immigration movement, when the provincial and staidly Anglo-Saxon Australia of 1947 didn't. "Australia was not a multicultural society in 1947 when the first post-War Census was held. Indeed it recorded the lowest proportion of immigrants at any time since 1788 (among the non-indigenous) and for any time after 1947." As a result the left, who under Paul Keating's administration, often praised the Australian people for their tolerance, started to call the same people closet "rednecks".

The real answer of course was obvious, and under their nose. The 1948 immigrants didn't come with a fat government welfare and multiculturalism industry price tag around their neck. In fact in 1947 refugee immigrants were required to labour for two years on public work projects. Thus "Citizen Bigot" in 1947 had less incentive to oppose immigration than did broad minded "Citizen Tolerant" in 1997 .



Life was meant to be cheesy: Dr Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine, says cheese is addictive because it contains small amounts of morphine from cows' liver. .... 'There's a biochemical reason many of us feel we can't live without our daily fix. Cheese, for example, contains high levels of casein, a protein that breaks apart during digestion to produce morphine-like opiate compounds, called casomorphins.'

Amusing: Carol Johnson supports the ordination of an openly homosexual bishop in the (U.S.) Episcopalian Church. But she also makes clear what sort of Anglican she is: She attends church there because they have pretty ceremonies and no stuffy dogmas: None of that silly old New Testament stuff! As an atheist myself, I wonder why she bothers.

BRITAIN is facing the prospect of co-ordinated strikes that could paralyse the public services as the country's biggest union prepares to go to war against the Government. No doubt everyone and his dog will be comparing this with the famous "winter of discontent" that brought down the previous Labour government of Jim Callaghan. But in 1979 Callaghan had Thatcher challenging him whereas Blair's Leader of the Opposition is a pusillanimous nobody.

Iraq: "To hear U.S. officials talk, the key to restoring livable economic conditions is the military working with regulatory agencies, international governmental bodies like the World Bank, and billions in tax dollars. That's not true, of course. If Iraq is to be rebuilt into a functioning society again, it will be through the efforts of Haydar Hussain and other [individual Iraqis] like him."

Islamic "extremists" versus Jewish "extremists": Hamas and Islamic Jihad want to drive Israel into the ocean, but the Jews are extremists too. They want to keep their homes!

"Canada has all but wrapped up its search through cattle country for mad cow disease without finding any cases beyond one confirmed in May, but its biggest export market, the United States, is not ready to lift a ban on Canadian shipments" Odd that! Where are your friends when you need them?

Canada's Trudeau invented multiculturalism as a clever trick to dilute Quebec secessionism.

We know from recent radio interviews (here and here) with Jerzy Zubrzycki, influential Australian immigration policy advisor, that the Whitlam govt used Canadian multiculturalism as a "model" for Australia's policies. Zubrzycki also reveals that besides Canada, another model, not publicly discussed, was 16th century Poland's Zlota Wolnoscz ("Golden Freedom") period. The subsequent history of Polish ethnic relations is hardly inspiring and probably indicates why the pioneer advocates of multiculturalism were not prepared to expose their model to public debate.

There are some skeptical comments about the inevitability of democracy here. It is certainly an undoubted historical fact that the normal human method of government is a tyranny of one sort or another. I myself think that it is only the temperament of a few closely-related races from the fringes of Northwest Europe that makes lasting democracy possible. And I don't think Iraq will surprise me.

It sounds like special pleading of the worst kind but it does seem that fox-hunting is good for the fox. For a fuller account of the fox-hunting issue see here.

Cecil Adams, author of THE STRAIGHT DOPE column has some clear thinking about DDT here. He says that Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" was not quite a pack of lies.

Michael Darby writes about the heartless bureaucrats who are supposed to be in charge of child welfare. Shooting would be too good for most of them.

Chris Brand notes that rising educational expenditure in the USA has been accompanied by falling educational standards.

I have recently noted on PC Watch that politically correct language can have the reverse effect to that intended.


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9 June, 2003


Following is an interesting excerpt from a recent book review:

The designation of the US by the Iranian religious establishment as the Great Satan is something much more specific than a mere description of the US as extremely evil. Rather, the metaphor is used in the sense that Satan's role, in Islam and Christianity, is primarily to offer temptation. Satan is the great seducer, offering material and carnal delights to the faithful to tempt them away from righteous living.

Thus the roots of fundamentalist hatred of the US are not its support for Israel or any of the other litany of specific allegations levelled against it but that its material success offers Muslims, and Muslim societies, a great temptation to abandon the stringent practice of religion.

A more extensive excerpt from the review is to be found here.



I mentioned recently the powerful effect that William Blake's great "Jerusalem" hymn has on me. An Indian correspondent comments:

"You may be aware that the Academy Award winning movie CHARIOTS OF FIRE is based on the poem by William Blake which you mentioned in your blog. It's about about an English Jew and a Scottish missionary in training competing in the Olympics (1924) and how their idealism at times impedes and obstructs their game but they stick to it no matter what. Incredibly inspiring -- considering today's narcissistic and dog eat dog culture. I absolutely love this movie and the movie gets me choked up as well: quite incredible considering the movie celebrates British victory at the Olympic games in the 1920's.

I mentioned this to some girls and they said that they didn't get what could be so emotional about the film. I hope they are satisfied with some retarded Meg Ryan chick flick. So apparently one doesn't have to be British to appreciate the visual translation of William Blakes poetry."



The latest finding from genetics researcher David Goldman at the NIH is exciting stuff for those of us who study variations in human personality. A single gene (the Catechol-O-Methyl-Transferase or COMTgene) has been found that determines whether you are a worrier or an action type. That sounds very similar to a major human trait that psychometricians call neuroticism/stability. Psychometricians have had evidence for some years now to show that the sort of person you are is mostly inherited but it is good to see the precise gene responsible for one of the major inherited traits being identified. The old Leftist whine that "education" can change everything about us is looking sillier every day.

Another good column by Jeff Jacoby. He says basically that "old Europe" has lost its cojones and that is why they hate America.

Some relentless logic that gave me a chuckle: "Either there is a justification for the war (objectively speaking) or there is not. If there is, then it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush. If there isn't, then it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush. Either way, it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush."

Lots of good stuff in the Spectator at the moment: More evidence of how much we are a product of our genetics; How bureacracy is strangling British schools; How Nike "sweatshops" are enriching the world's poor and Mark Steyn is skeptical about Iraqi democracy happening any time soon.

Amusing: A prominent Australian law professor has just realized something that social scientists have known for a long time: Prejudice can be a good thing.

There is a short, sharp and well-informed debunking of "natural" and "organic" food here. Yes, you guessed it, it can have MORE pesticide residues than normal food and it is much worse for the environment. And it tastes no better either. So there!

The 'working rich' bear virtually the whole cost of government and its extensive entitlement programs... but the left media is trying to convince us that the beneficiaries of our system are really its victims."

The Wicked one has a comment on why homosexuality among the top Nazis is denied or glossed over.

Michael Darby has a fresh lot of horror reports from Zimbabwe. Opposition still goes on there despite brutal repression.

Chris Brand reports that although IQ has been rising throughout the world and although American blacks have now had decades of interventions to help them, blacks scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test are actually falling

My latest academic posting here (or here) is one of my small number of academic philosophy papers. I look at what perception is.


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8 June, 2003


From FEE: "Martha Stewart has been indicted for lying about a stock sale that the government can't prove was illegal insider trading. That's bad enough, but she is also charged with securities fraud -- for proclaiming her innocence! Read all about it in "Free Martha!" by Sheldon Richman." An Australian reader writes:

In Australia, stockbroker Rene Rivkin has just been jailed for 'insider trading' -- rather paralleling the US Martha Stewart case. Harry Browne says we are wasting public money on an absurd law based on the myth of an unobtainable 'level playing field'. William Anderson says that envy has something to do with it. Crikey makes the point that whatever the rights and wrongs of insider trading, putting Rivkin in prison is a waste of money. He's hardly a threat. A big fat community service order, say free financial advice to a public charity, makes more sense than Rivkin's weekend detention order.

One other link between Rivkin and Stewart is celebrity. This Yahoo article asks if law enforcement agencies stalk celebrities for their own PR purposes. Nobel prizewinning economist George Stigler once did an analysis entitled "Public Regulation of the Securities Market," which concluded that purchasers of new share issues fared no better (or worse) after the creation of the SEC than before. No wonder regulators feel the need to collect high profile scalps! The media, of course pull down prominent people for a living. See here for the BBC job on Martha.



I have now commented a couple of times on the way all sorts of colleges get "verbally upgraded" to being called universities. I seem to recollect that Sinclair Lewis had a satirical comment on that in "Babbit" many years ago too. Matthew Cowie comments:

I found this link which kind of goes into the differences between a college and a university in the US. My alma mater has only 1600 undergrad students, but calls itself a University because it has a law school and a separate undergraduate business school, in addition to offering far more majors than most colleges (hence making it more like a University). I think small schools that call themselves universities always get asked why they are a university (because the word invokes images of Division 1 football and at least 10,000 students), especially by parents when they visit with their children, so they are going to have some kind of answer.

I myself take the traditional British view that in a university those who teach are all supposed to have some involvement in research and/or writing as well.



Further to my recent mention of Greenie dissension about windmills, a reader writes:

"The American Wind Energy Association has a site, (www.awea.org) with some interesting papers. One paper stated: "Installed wind energy generating capacity now totals 4,685MW and generated about 1.2 billion kWh of electricity - less than 1% of US electricity generation"

Calculation #1: US electricity generation in 2000 was 3.800 trillion kWh according to the US energy department. Dividing 1.2 by 3800 yields 0.3%. (Yea, this is less than 1%, a LOT less.)

Calculation #2: Theoretical output = 4685 MW x 24 x 365 = 41.05 billion kWh. Actual output was 11.2 billion kWh 11.2 / 41.05 yields a paltry 27% efficiency. How do they make money? In some cases, the tax benefits per kWh are actually greater than the money they get for selling the power.

As a closure, I find it so Kennedyesque that Ted has suddenly done an about face regarding wind power when it comes close to home in Martha's Vinyard. Ultimate NIMBYism."

The really HUGE cost of wind-power generators, however, is that you have to double them up with other types of generator for use when the wind is not blowing. The whole thing is utter nonsense, in other words.



Remember all the shrill Leftist denunciations of the US armed forces for failing to prevent the "looting" of all the Iraq museum treasures? Will they be retracting their criticisms now that almost all the treasures have been found NOT to have been looted? Don't hold your breath.

Chris Brand thinks it may be mainly people of Chinese race who get SARS -- but that the PC media hide that fact.

Michael Darby has a speech which sets out a vision of what conservatism is all about

The Wicked one has some criticisms of the anti-tobacco extremists.

Writing on his other blog China Hand makes a case that being unsure of yourself is better than having convictions. But he is not too sure about it!

In my academic posting here (and here) I reproduce one of my analytical philosophy papers -- which tackles the basic question of meta-ethics: What is meant by such terms as "right" and "good"? I take the unusual step of using social science methods to help answer a question in academic philosophy.


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7 June, 2003


Fellow blogger Carol Johnson, has emailed me about my post in which I mentioned that many British colleges are shortly to be renamed as universities for no good reason. She points out that such "verbal upgrades" go on all the time in the USA too. She questions my claim that people soon wake up to this and are not deceived by it.

To expand my view of the matter, what I think goes on is that people start looking more and more at the institution that grants the degree rather than the degree itself. So paper credentials in general get devalued and other things -- such as your performance on standardized tests, the prestige of your background or your family connections become the real credential in hiring decisions etc. In other words, the degradation of paper credentials has the effect opposite to that intended: Able people from poorer backgrounds find fewer and fewer ways to prove their worth.

"Verbal Magic" is of course a great Leftist ploy in general. They think that renaming things can do all sorts of wonders. That it cannot was shown very well many years ago in Australia. Shortly after WWII, a Leftist Australian government wanted to encourage immigration into Australia but faced prejudice against immigrants from many native Australians. The government thought it could fix this by banning the words "immigrant" or "migrant" and replacing it by the more positive term "New Australian". And they did succeeed in getting their new term widely adopted. What they did NOT succeed in doing, however, was to alter people's attitudes thereby. The term "New Australian" very rapidly came to be used with contemptuous connotations. People were NOT influenced by the attempted verbal magic.



In response to fear recently expressed by the Prince of Wales that micro-robots might one day turn the world into grey goo, a reader writes:

"Spiked" suggests that fears about nanotechnology or "Grey Goo" are probably just part of overall the green technophobia -- Fear of what you don't understand. The "Grey Goo" threat is also known as "The Star Trek scenario".

The term was coined by Eric Drexler, a kind of self promoting pioneer and prophet of nano-tech. Drexler is either a prophet or a nut depending on whom you talk to. His biographer Ed Regis says the public should just ignore his weird "Grey Goo" scenarios and look at the practical real world nano applications.

Nonetheless there have been some interesting advances in the nanotech world -- for example Nanotechnology May Help Overcome Current Limitations Of Gene TherapyFreeman Dyson also talks about Grey versus Green too. But he considers nano-technology, biotechnology and Genetic Engineering to be the true "green" technologies, not windmills and compost bins. These 'true' green technologies may revolutionise our "grey technology" and help overcome mass rural poverty around the world. See "Freeman Dyson envisions biotech solutions to rural poverty".

Some more of Dyson's surprisingly different take on the future are that Aeroplanes will become obsolete and we will have trees with leaves made of silicon and "Things are going amazingly well"



Britain's decision not to adopt the European currency is a great victory for economic rationality over political symbolism. Why would a prospering Britain want to put itself under the same rules as a stagnant Europe? It's bad enough Britain being in the EU at all when a free trade agreement with the USA would do them a lot more good -- even if all that did was to free British industry of all the EU red tape.

The Church of England now has an openly homosexual bishop. I have got some New Testament readings for those who appointed him -- Romans 1:24-27; 1 Timothy 1:9-11; Jude 7; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11. But I guess that the New Testament is just another fuddy-duddy old book to the Leftist clergy of the present-day Church of England.

For those who like British humour, The Times was surprisingly good yesterday -- here and here

We hear such a lot of ill of the clergy these days that this story may be needed to restore a balance.

The Leftist "educators": Recent studies suggest as many as half of today's college freshmen must take at least one remedial course in college, with more than four in 10 of these taking a remedial course in writing. Why would K-12 teachers put a low priority on grammar and usage skills? Because that's what they are taught to do by their professors in schools of education.

The Wicked one has a big posting on whether or not Nazism was gay

Michael Darby quotes the 19th century Chartists in discussing how long a Parliament should be allowed to serve before facing an election.

Chris Brand has some amusing examples of PC insanity.

In my academic posting here (or here) I draw on evidence from Australians, Afrikaners and Indians to show that being proud of your own country or society does not mean that you denigrate or are prejudiced against other nations, groups or races.


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6 June, 2003


Gerry Jackson of Brookes News writes regarding my recent post about Oliver Wendell Holmes defending taxes:

"A couple of points about Holmes. If I recall my history correctly he made his statement about taxes and civilisation before 1910. This was before the US had an income tax and when total government spending was about 9 per cent of GDP. I find it odd that critics of high taxes never point this out when self-righteous lefties quote Holmes. Moreover, it was Holmes who said: "I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealising envy."

Some current headlines from Brookes News:

Socialism is the villain, not Nike. The communist government in Hanoi is responsible for the appalling level of wages in Vietnam, not Nike. It is that government's socialist policies that keeps living standards at an abysmal level.

Revealed: Goebbels' plan to destroy Britain's radar defences. Sixty-five years ago Joseph Goebbels hatched a devilish scheme to destroy Britain's radar defences without firing a shot.

The Dems fascist supporters. Many have expressed puzzlement at the spectacle of the very rich lavishing "soak-the-rich" Democrats with money and other means of support. Buffett is one such supporter whose recent and dishonest attack on Bush's tax cuts immediately brings this apparent paradox to mind. So why do they do it?

Why Kim's antics threaten Beijing's Pacific ambitions. One does not need a deep knowledge of Chinese affairs to realise that the last thing Beijing would welcome is a nuclear conflagration on her doorstep. It is also recognised in the Asian region that Beijing would like to see an American withdrawal.



Hey! Affirmative action has its uses. At least it led to the downfall of the notoriously biased Howell Raines.

Some fruitcake slashes at police with a knife and it's the fault of the police when they shoot him? Only in San Francisco (I hope).

Taxes wasted on bureaucracy: In the British National Heath service, the National Office of Statistics found that, while resources rose by 6 per cent in real terms in 2001, treatments to patients rose by only 3 per cent

You live and learn: Like most people I thought that South Korea's "sunshine policy" towards the North was simply designed to avert war. This article explains that it is acually a form of collaboration with the North. Reunification of the two Koreas would, of course, be a huge economic drain on the South.

Good comment: "To certain critics of U.S. policy in Iraq, the only thing worse than going to war with Saddam Hussein is the fact that we won". Via The Federalist

Good to see that the judge in the case made a laughing-stock of the ridiculous Federal prosecution of a medical marijuana grower.

What fun: Greenies are at one-another's throats over windmills. Maybe that fad will pass soon too. How anybody ever thought windmills could be a reliable source of power-generation escapes me.

A disturbing article in the "Speccy" by someone of Pakistani Muslim origin. He says that anti-Western Islamic TV stations are accessible worldwide through satellite and that they are widely watched by Muslims in the West. So even in the West Muslims are getting fed a diet of ferocious anti-Israel and anti-Western propaganda that glorifies terrorism. No wonder a couple of British Muslims recently became suicide bombers. Muslims everywhere are being made a danger to us.

Libertarian socialism? A prominent UK politician says that there is such a beast but goes on to advocate government dominance of just about everything. Perry de Havilland has more.

"House Majority Leader Tom DeLay sharply attacked China's leadership recently, demanding that the United States forge a trade agreement with Taiwan despite Chinese opposition. Calling China 'a backward, corrupt anachronism, run by decrepit tyrants, old apparatchiks clinging to a dying regime ...'" He's right but 1.2 billion people are not to be trifled with and they have liberalized an awful lot in recent years -- so much so that their capitalism is in some ways more unbridled than we ever now see in the West.

Clinton's Energy Information Agency estimated Kyoto's annual cost to the U.S. at up to $400 billion ..."

Understandable: While four out of five Americans would describe an unwed mother and her children as a 'family,' fewer than one in three would apply the term to a gay or lesbian couple raising children."

Michael Darby is not very happy about a government policy of shooting "brumbies" (Australian wild horses).

Chris Brand discusses the Spanish conservative philosopher, Ortega Y Gasset.

In my academic posting here (or here) I report a study of South African Afrikaners (whites of Dutch origin). I found that they were conservative and ambitious but not maladjusted in any way. And pro-Apartheid voters among them were not particularly conservative!


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5 June, 2003


A reader writes:

A thought about Australian immigration policy: The development of large ethnic sub-communities apparently unwilling or incapable to integrate into the wider Australian community and the symbiotic relationship that their unelected "leaders" have with the multiculturalism industry is really a by product of the Whitlam / Fraser immigration policy era. Whitlam claimed to be killing off what remained of the old "White Australia" policy. This was disingenuous -- as the previous Liberal administrations from Holt to McMahon were the governments that actually abolished the "White Australia policy" progressively over a decade, in favour of a programme based on integration and assimilation.

The Whitlam ministry instituted "multiculturalism" which was effectively sold to Fraser and institutionalised ever since. Neither Whitlam or Fraser ever attempted to sell multiculturalism to the electorate directly. In fact Whitlam argued that immigration of all kinds, including non-european immigration, would be reduced under his government and "family reunion" would provide a conservative alternative to "white Australia". Whitlam was trying to play both sides, defusing concerns from those concerned about radical social change by emphasising lower total numbers and maintenance of traditional sources of immigration, whilst winning support from "ethnic community leaders" and playing up his burial of a policy that was already dead.

Unfortunately 'family reunion' has turned into chain immigration and Australia's stringent criteria applied to independent immigrants (ie those lacking a family predecessor) are bypassed, sometimes by genuine or false refugees, but mainly by legitimate family union immigrants.

In current Australian politics, social conservatives are portrayed as advocates of "discrimination", where the multiculturalists portray themselves as advocates of a "non-discriminatory" immigration policy. This is also disingenuous. All immigration policies other than a completely open door or a completely closed door involve some form of discrimination, and almost no one advocates either of those positions.

In fact social conservatives, by advocating an end to the family reunion "loophole", and the application of the usual rules applied to independent immigrants, could easily argue that their policy is by far the fairest and hence the least "discriminatory" option.



Carnival of the Vanities is particularly interesting this week. Just two posts for example:

Eric Berlin tells us why ethanol is more wasteful than thermal depolymerization. One hopes that Senator Daschle would bother actually learning the facts, too, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Jeff Medcalf blogs about the possible results of the US putting pressure on Israel. A frightening scenario, to be sure, but worth reading (and pondering at length).



What rot: The British government is about to start calling almost any college with more than 4,000 students a university -- whether it does research or not. Another example of the Leftist belief in verbal magic -- the belief that changing the name changes the reality. Nobody is ever fooled by it for long, fortunately.

Sounds good: "The United States is said to be developing new plans for a war in North Korean that would bypass the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas and target the leadership in Pyongyang. The plan is based on the success of US-led forces in Iraq in quickly reaching the capital, Baghdad. US officials quoted by Reuters said the plan would involve the consolidation of the US and South Korean forces in two areas away from the demilitarised zone."

What a joke: The Australian Labor Party is distraught that Jacques Chirac is NOT going to visit Australia. Rather odd when a nominally Rightist French obstructionist becomes a hero to a nominally Leftist Australian political party. We live in crazy times.

The latest posting on Vdare is an article by Joe Guzzardi which reveals more unethical reporting at the NYT. In typically Leftist fashion the NYT seems to be an ethical vacuum -- with one revelation about their carelessness with the truth following another.

Also on Vdare, P.G. Roberts has a pretty alarming article about a new interpretation of the constitution being considered by the US Supreme Court that would assign "equal protection" to minorities only -- making most whites into second-class citizens. If the judiciary really does run amuck to that extent, I can foresee that some people might be driven to vigilante justice against them -- with the more racist judges ending up with a bullet in the head. As Juvenal said: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

There is a report on PC Watch that says many Iraqis want the U.S. to stay in Iraq but that Muslim zealots make them afraid to say so.

In his usual fearless way, Chris Brand has been writing to the papers about black penis size.

Michael Darby details one way in which the United Nations is very similar to the Roman Catholic church: Tolerance of paedophilia.

The Wicked one enjoys instant justice being done.

In my academic posting here (or here) I report some survey research findings about Germans that will surprise many. I found that Germans were far more likely than most others to have "Hippy" values -- a far cry from the goose-stepping robots of Hollywood war films. I point out some prewar history that makes the finding understandable however.


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4 June, 2003


An Australian reader comments on an Australian Labor Party hero:

In a recent major speech, Simon Crean, Federal Parliamentary leader of the Australian Labor party, quoted with approval the American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who famously said: "When you pay taxes you buy civilisation". Of course when Holmes, who died in 1935, said that neither Australia or the US had anything like the tax rates imposed today. My guess is that Holmes paid a lesser slice of his pay packet to the government than most of us, and I doubt whether Crean would want Holmes sitting on that Australian Hign Court bench as Holmes was a strong advocate of "judicial restraint" and would have fought the judicial activism supported by the left today.



Good to see that Tony Blair is so hugely popular worldwide. Being a man of principle does pay off in the long run.

Overweight people and heavy smokers would have to sign contracts promising to diet or give up cigarettes in return for Health Service treatment, under radical new plans being drawn up by the British Labour Party. And if they break their contracts they get charged the full costs of their treatments. I expect that a lot of people will be outraged by that but we do not live in an ideal world and the fact is that health care is universally rationed these days -- only the way it is rationed varies. And a rationing system that gives preference to people who are ill through no fault of their own makes sense to me.

The British government has declared war on the huge and obscene payouts that company bosses now often get when their companies go broke. As a shareholder myself, I just hope the Brits start a ball rolling there that gets to other countries as well. Shareholders seem to have no power in the matter so I think this is clearly one area where governments do have a proper role. I actually think a chief executive's pay should be cut to zero when his company goes under. Why should shareholders be the only ones to suffer? They are the ones who have least control over anything but they always get the penalty.



A LUTHERAN priest was suspended today after his remarks that God doesn't exist and there is no eternal life rankled many of his peers in Denmark's state church. They would have made him a bishop in the Church of England.

New blogger FreeSpeech points out that the Bush tax cut gives little to the poor because the poor already pay almost no tax in the USA anyway.

This article says that opposition to the FCC easing of U.S. media ownership regulations is mainly driven by Leftists who hate Rupert Murdoch and his Fox News. Sounds right.

Prime Minister John Howard told the mining industry his government was committed to Kyoto greenhouse gas emission targets, but he would not sign the Kyoto Protocol. I suppose we must be thankful for small mercies.

A black intellectual comments on trends in black music: "The staged alienation of the hip-hop scene shows black Americans celebrating attitude over action at best and violence over civility at worst. For 350 years white America told blacks they were beasts. Now a black-generated pop music presents us to whites and ourselves as beasts."

Very clever of American interrogators to pressure captured Baathists in Iraq with heavy metal music to make them talk. It would drive me around the bend too. Give me Mozart any day.

Keith Windschuttle shows how the (new) National Museum of Australia perpetrates outright deception in lieu of history. It is truly amazing how things like the emancipation of Australia's blacks and the abolition of the White Australia policy are routinely attributed to the Leftist Whitlam government when they were in fact initiatives of conservative governments.

Also from Windschuttle, the text of his latest debate with Henry Reynolds discussing the so-called genocide of Tasmanian aborigines by British settlers.

Turns out the Florida woman who is suing for the right to wear a Muslim headdress in a driver's license photograph has previously been subjected to an, um, unveiled government portrait. Following her 1997 conversion to Islam, Sultaana Freeman (formerly Sandra Keller) was arrested in Decatur, Illinois for battering a foster child.

Great! The G8 leaders urged Iran to co-operate with weapons inspectors, and President Putin promised to suspend Russian nuclear exports to Iran until it had complied,

I suppose everyone has seen this picture of the latest "nude protest" by Leftists -- this one at the G8 summit on May 31st. Yahoo postings do not stay up long so I am also posting the picture here to provide a more lasting reminder of how desperate Leftists are to draw attention to themselves. Talk about weak egos!

The Wicked one points out that, far from being a pollutant, carbon dioxide is good for us.

Michael Darby has a sad story from Zimbabwe

Chris Brand quotes figures showing that poorly educated immigrants cost the taxpayer heaps.


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3 June, 2003


A reader writes:

This article discusses some of the wins of 'Stewardship Partners', a US conservationist group that works with, not against, private land owners, to forward 'down to earth' conservation aims.

The Australian Land Care movement is probably the most successful environmental group in Australia. Mainly because it focuses on practical measures to improve environmental quality at the local level, and avoids green politics and doomsday scaremongering, most of which has next to nothing to do with what used to be called 'quality of life' issues. Campaigns to encourage farmers to plant more trees have been quite successful. Fostering conservation stewardship on private land is also the path most likely to succeed.

Historically it has been the largest and usually richest private land owners, often aristocrats, that have been the main wildlife preservationists in the long settled countries. Many aristocrats were also hunters, in fact the longest running 'conservation program' in the world protected the Chinese Père David's deer, which survived exclusively in the Imperial Hunting Park in Beijing for nearly 1,800 years. Few 'national parks' in Australia or the US are likely to survive shifting political fortunes that long. Having government as land manager of large national parks for instance is no guarantee that park authorities will have the resources or political will to protect their conservation value. In Australia, national parks as often as not provide refuges for feral animals as much as native species.

One genuine environmentalist I know says we should consider the heresy of selling off one or two of our national parks to pay for adequate fencing and feral animal control in the remainder. Under current politics, more national parks, the rallying point for green voters, will not equate to better biodiversity protection. At the same time recreational users of national parks, whose interests sometimes compete with conservation, are getting better organised politically.

Environmentalists in Australia are currently campaigning against land clearance, something that brings them into conflict with land owners. A more useful tactic would be to change the incentives private land owners face so as to encourage more conservation. Most of our land taxes and local government rates are based on the assessed market value of land. This puts private owners who want to conserve at a financial disadvantage. The solution would be to replace property value based rates and land taxes with user pays charges for local government services. Of course our green politicians oppose user pays. This site has several case studies of private conservation projects in the US..

A common theme they report is echoed by Fred Hebard, from the American Chestnut Foundation, an outfit dedicated to reviving the american chestnut from a devastating fungus, "government funding is too fickle to support a long term project like restoring the American chestnut."

The lesson of all this would seem to be that greens would be more successful if they put their money where their mouths are. If they want to preserve wilderness they should buy land themselves.



I have just put up here and here a copy of a paper I had published over 30 years ago during the Vietnam war era. It is worth reading to see how little has changed in the interim. In that paper I reproduced many reports of gangs of thugs going on an orgy of destruction and violence in the name of: "Peace"! The points I made then about the great gap that exists between what Leftists say they believe in and what they do are still true today. Leftists are by their nature full of hate and that shows itself when they think they can get away with it -- it shows itself in the way hate usually does -- through violence and destruction.

Here is an equivalent from present times: "Thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets Sunday to protest the Group of Eight summit across Lake Geneva in the French town of Evian, some battling with police and looting shops and gas stations. Anti-riot agents struck back with tear gas, water cannons and rubber pellets, as clashes continued into the evening."

What has looting shops and gas stations to do with the high-minded ideals Leftists profess? Nothing. What does it show? Everything we need to know about Leftists -- that they are hate-filled, thieving, dangerous thugs. Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were no accidents. They show what Leftists are really like when not restrained by more decent people. Ignore their fancy talk. Watch their brutish deeds. The "activists" reveal vividly the basic motivations behind Leftism generally.



What a joke: "The Group of Eight nations yesterday pledged to "fully commit themselves" to boost development in Africa and help build an African peacekeeping force on a continent where civil wars still spawn death, hunger and poverty."
All of Africa has gone only one way after the colonial powers left -- backwards. What magic wand is anybody going to wave that will change that?

China Hand now has a Mirror Site that evades the Chinese censorship of Blogspot and is therefore viewable in China itself. If you have any contacts in China, please let them know. It should also be faster to load than Blogspot is at the moment.

Michael Darby reproduces a report of a vast underground nuclear complex that was discovered early on in the Iraq war. One wonders why we seem to have heard nothing of it since.

Chris Brand notes mockingly some of the dangers of sexuality.


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2 June 2003


Arlene Peck's latest column is up here (post of June 1st.). Arlene says that Israel is being treated like a banana republic at the moment and should not put up with that. Also: Last time she was in Israel she had some photos taken that she is very proud of. You can see them here. Arik looks a bit bemused in the second one, though.

Crossposted on Israpundit



A reader writes:

It's interesting to note how the press are turning the recent aircraft hijacking story into a human interest story about what a nice chap the hijacker is, , mowing his neighbours lawns etc., rather than focusing on the systems failures the hijack attempt represents. These articles from Jeff Tucker here and here written after 9-11 argues that excessive regulation in the aviation industry has prevented and politicised one of the most basic private property rights, the right of the property owner to take their own steps to secure his property. When the average big city McDonalds or suburban 7-11 store has better security than a multi-million dollar airliner, you can bet government bureaucrats have stuffed up again.



Referring to the Ogbu findings that even affluent black kids are too unmotivated to do well at school, an article in Front Page comments: "Many ethnic groups have found ways to combine pride in group identity with pride in individual academic striving. Moreover, the African-American community was once an outstanding example of just that synthesis of effort. Why has the African-American community succumbed to this particular pathology? McWhorter's answer in Losing the Race is that affirmative action -- especially racial preferences in college admissions -- are operating as a perverse incentive to value group identity over individual performance." Sounds logical. Why strive to do well when affirmative action will give you what others have to work for?



There is a very powerful article here that exposes how enormously bigoted educated Democrat supporters tend to be.

Another example of the disgraceful behaviour of the Red Cross here -- this time over the Bali bombing.

A smart-ass act from Sweden: They are refusing to hand over an Islamic terrorist because they have no law to enable it. How about passing such a law?

Good to see that Germany's socialists are finally doing something about Germany's economic problems. Pity it took 5 million unemployed to convince them that their bloated welfare system needed cutting, though.

GWB might be another Reagan yet: "The Bush administration issued new rules Thursday making it easier for businesses to compete for government work, an effort that could lead to the privatization of nearly half the nation's 1.8 million federal jobs. 'For quality service at the best price, competition beats monopoly every time,' said Mitch Daniels, outgoing director of the Office of Management and Budget. Government studies show that competition for jobs can save the government almost a third of the cost."

Interesting news: "The Iraqi military came within seconds of possibly wiping out the headquarters of the coalition ground forces with a missile on March 27, U.S. military officials said. The missile was intercepted and destroyed by a U.S. Patriot missile shortly before it could have hit its target. A CNN crew embedded at ground forces headquarters witnessed the incident. At the time of the incident, the material from the crew was embargoed under an agreement with the U.S. military until major hostilities in Iraq were over."

Anyone for government schooling? "More than four in 10 teachers (43 percent) say that in their schools, teachers spend less time teaching than they do trying to keep order in the classroom."

The black mayor of Washington D.C. has thrown his weight behind school vouchers, realizing that increasingly vocal parents demand more options and will not want to wait for the public school system to improve the schools.

A good article here comparing the looting losses at the Iraqi museum with the destruction inflicted on Western museums by multiculturalism -- showing that the protests about Iraq and the non-protests about the Western losses are both motivated by hatred of Western success and pre-eminence.

The Wicked one has four appalling examples of what passes for justice in the USA today.

Michael Darby commemorates Italy's national day with some surprising information about World War I.

Chris Brand is mocking about the outrage over Russian "lesbian" Pop duo "Tartu".


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1 June, 2003


According to Yossef Bodansky, Osama Bin Laden was known as a serious terrorist threat long before 9/11. And, as it says here and here Australia went very close to being his first major target in the West. A reader comments:

I remember reading about this in Yossef Bodansky's pre 9-11 book on Osama Bin Laden. Bodansky's book was available in most chain book stores in Australia and discussed OBL related threats to the Olympic Games, Lucas Heights reactor, visits by OBL 'afghanis' to Melbourne and NZ arrests of 'afghanis' on illegal immigration charges. The book's claims received nil media coverage in the Australia of the immediate post 9-11 period when there was 'wall to wall' coverage of terrorism issues, yet Bodansky's book was probably for sale at the corner bookshop. This absence of discussion or coverage presumably reflects a failure to perform the most basic level of background research by our "media professionals".



"It has become Standard Operating Procedure in climate change hype to never bother with inconvenient facts. Tons of tornado data are only a few mouse-clicks away. And they show that Toles was dead wrong in his implication that the recent storms show any link to the slight warming of the atmosphere that has occurred in recent decades. In fact, just the opposite may be occurring despite a perception of increased storminess."

"Efforts in the Senate to amend the bill with aggressive global warming policies make for a long, hot summer. Should the proponents of these measures succeed, American consumers could be in for a shock." And more on the latest Greenie nonsense from the U.S. Senate: "A renewable energy portfolio mandate would require each energy provider to ensure that 10 or 20 percent of its delivered energy comes from a renewable energy source."

"John Holdren, a Clinton-era leader of energy technology task forces, and now the leading academic member of the National Commission on Energy Policy, was one of four authors to hurl accusations of incompetence and worse at Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, in the pages of Scientific American. Energy expert Rob Bradley, Jr. rebuts Holdren's criticisms of Lomborg. Indeed, Bradley's review of Holdren's publications over a 30-year period documents a penchant for exaggeration, error, and now wholesale intolerance of reasoned dissent."



How about that: The latest scientific work shows that it is NOT the Gulf stream that keeps Western Europe warmer than North America.

"Thomas Paine is primarily remembered for his fiery rhetoric in favor of American revolution and independence. But in The Rights of Man, in which he tries to 'establish a system of principles as a basis on which government ought to be erected,' he shows that commerce, or free trade, is not only deducible from those principles, but interference with such commerce impoverishes the nations involved as well. We would do well to return to that understanding he expressed over two hundred years ago."

"Russia supplies Iran with nuclear technology and advanced conventional weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles. After the vote in the UN, Washington does not need to placate Moscow as much as before, and pressure is mounting to force an end to the construction of the nuclear power reactor at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf. In fact, the Bush administration seems to be moving toward sending the Kremlin an ultimatum: End Bushehr or we will bomb it to bits anyway."

We hear of the Jewish diaspora, the Greek disapora, the Chinese diaspors etc. but how often to we realize that the Australian diaspora is huge too. 5% of our people now live abroad. Young Australians really do see the world as their oyster.

A great letter to Senator Byrd from a US navy man about his commander in chief.

"During an anti-income tax protest recently, a friend of mine and I discussed fact that for some unexplained reason, modern democracies tend to have high tax rates. Later, I found out this phenomenon is known as 'Wagner's Law.' Wagner could not explain it either. The only possible explanation I can come up with is this: taxpayers in wealthier countries can afford to give more and still maintain a comfortable lifestyle. In other words there is a bigger pie; the politicians can take more of the pie and redistribute it; and still leave the populace with enough to live on."

Ambrose Bierce in 'The Devil's Dictionary' had the last word on protectionism: "TARIFF, n. A scale of taxes on imports, designed to protect the domestic producer against the greed of his consumer. " (See here).

Chris Brand has some thoughts on the low birthrate among highly intelligent people.

Michael Darby reports that there has been an almost total collapse of food production in Zimbabwe.

The Wicked one reports on the vast unemployment problem in France.

In my academic journal article here (post of May 31st), I report survey evidence showing that Leftists are sensation-seekers -- people motivated by a desire for change and novelty of almost any sort.


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