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31 March, 2003


Does anybody really think that a hate-filled abomination like this guy is fit to be teaching kids at a university?

A Columbia University professor told an anti-war gathering that he would like to see "a million Mogadishus" -- referring to the 1993 ambush in Somalia that killed 18 American servicemen. At Wednesday night's "teach-in" on the Columbia campus, Nicholas De Genova also called for the defeat of U.S. forces in Iraq and said, "The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military." And he asserted that Americans who call themselves "patriots" are white supremacists.

This has been extensively reported but The Wicked one has put up a copy of an email that gives you the means of registering your protest.



DU is one of the favourite scares of the Greenies. In their simplistic way, they seem to think that anything to do with uranium MUST be bad. So the fact that US troops use DU in their ammunition really suits the Greenies: Two demons in one! But a reader writes:

This article on the Depleted Uranium myth is pretty good. Considering the well known post-war post-battle risks of land mines (see here ), unexploded ordnance (see here) and lost weapons (see here) DU would have to rate as one of the great all time non-problems:

"....It is called "depleted" because most of the lighter uranium isotopes, U-234 and U-235, are removed from natural uranium, leaving behind uranium consisting of 99.8 percent of U-238. The result is 40 percent less radioactive than natural uranium...."

"..What happens to DU if someone eats it? According to a European Union study released in 2001, "most of the ingested DU (between 98% and 99.8%, depending on the solubility of the uranium compound) will be rapidly eliminated in the faeces." The vast majority of any remaining uranium will be "rapidly cleared from the blood" in a few weeks. Similarly, the majority of inhaled DU dust will also be cleared via the bloodstream and kidneys..."

It's a shame fear mongering stories cannot be cleared so easily. It would be better if the energy expended on mythical fears like DU were invested in promoting innovative solutions to real problems like this one about new ways of mine clearing.



Disgraceful: Some families fear that their brave soldiers will return home to face discrimination, while others are too scared to tie yellow ribbons in their yard for fear of repercussions from anti-war supporters

We should weep! The biggest anti-war rally in Pakistan to date saw Islamic leaders call for a Muslim economic boycott of the United States and for the Islamic world to sever ties with countries in the US-led assault on Iraq.

More evidence of Islamic civilization: KASHMIRI Muslims described the horror yesterday of having their noses chopped off by Islamic militants who accused them of spying for the Indian Government.

Ridiculous! AFTER months of bitter recriminations on both sides, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac have put their differences aside to unite in a dual push to place the UN in a central role in the running of post-war Iraq.

Good show: MOTORISTS in Johannesburg who tooted their car horns outside the US consulate to demand an end to the war against Iraq were slapped with 100-rand ($20) fines, the Sunday Times reported today

Jeff Jacoby compares Arafat with Saddam and agues that we should use the same standards in evaluating both. We clearly do not so far.

In this article from my past academic writings I look at a claim that conservatives come from "authoritarian" families. I point out much evidence to the contrary that the authors concerned ignored.

Chris Brand has some thoughts on how the politicization of psychology and alled disciplines has made it irrelevant.

Michael Darby has an email from France with some ideas about how we might effectively show our displeasure with France. There are SOME decent Frenchmen.


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30 March, 2003


A reader writes:

About the 'war for oil' argument: We (the USA) are already expecting to pay 75 billion dollars on this war. It is going to go up if the Iraqi's don't start a popular revolution soon (I expect it, once the brown shirt thugs who are intimating people to stay in line, are put down). So, if this drops world oil prices a dollar a barrel (below where it was before it all started) how long is that going to take to pay us back? I have not done the math, but, I'm guessing it won't add up as a good investment.

Anyway, the leftists want it both ways. They want to point out that Bush is an oil man and doing it for his friends in the industry. Well, if they have oil wells, they make more money when prices are high. So, keeping Iraqi a police state with international sanctions is in their interest. It reduces the amount of oil on the world market, thus keeping prices higher....



It's rather a surprise coming from a "celebrity", but here we have a very well-balanced comment on the war from a decent man, Tiger Woods:

Obviously, no one likes war. Our Congress and President tried hard to avoid the use of force, but ultimately decided it was the best course of action. I like the assertiveness shown by President Bush and think we owe it to our political and military leaders, along with our brave soldiers to be as supportive as possible during these difficult and trying times. I just wanted to take this opportunity to let our forces know that I am thinking about you and wishing you and your families the best.



In response to this article in "Spiked", a reader writes:
Instead of teachers' unions, principals and governments getting all high and mighty about students rights, they should just say that attendance at demonstrations is unauthorised absence from school. Period. If their parents bring a note, there is probably not much a school can do about it. Although I know of an anthropology professor who used to make himself unpopular in the 1970s by scheduling spot exams during Vietnam protest days. This issue has nothing to do with students rights. If they really feel strongly about an issue they can demonstrate on the weekend. The trouble with that weekend demos, as organiser know, is that they are less disruptive to the working city and that the teen turnout on weekends is poor . Kids would rather be doing something else. The "children's crusade" is cannon fodder tactics. I heard a radio interview with one of the organisers of the Wednesday demo in Sydney this morning (Friday). He said they ran mid-week demos to encourage "civil disobedience" (i.e. skipping school) by school kids.



A reader writes:

Matt Ridley is an excellent commentator on Darwinism. In this NYT book review he discusses symbiosis in evolution, an oft neglected part of the whole evolutionary story. Some commentators (including left anarchist Kropotkin) see symbiosis and mutualism as justifying 'socialist cooperation' versus ' capitalist competition'. In fact symbiosis is actually closer to the "positive sum game" (mutual advantages) of free trade than is traditional Darwinian competition.



A reader writes:

Beatrix Campbell retains a regular paid slot as UK commentator on ABC Radio National's Late Night Live program hosted by Phillip Adams. Apparently no other English leftists are available for the role.

When Campbell is not out witch hunting "paedophiles" she offers her views on international affairs. For a noxious example see the verbatim quote reproduced here.

"...In Australia, the English radical feminist Beatrix Campbell, a resident commentator on the ABC's Late Night Live radio program, claimed "the victims of September 11 are also the architects of a mess of their own making and that's what has to be sorted out". In other words, those killed by the terrorists -- including the women and children -- brought their deaths upon themselves. This grotesque piece of blame shifting brought not a murmur of dissent from the host of the program, Phillip Adams...."

I heard the original broadcast and in order to verify what was said, caught the repeat broadcast the next day. I sent a letter of protest to the ABC and the Minister. The producer of the show in an insipid reply tried to argue that she meant the US government, not the NY victims, and that 9-11 was all 'blowback'. This is not what she said and it is not what is usually meant by the term 'architect'.



Chris Brand considers what Britain might do about its troublesome Muslim minority.

Michael Darby reminds us of the less brueaucratized and less troubled age in which many of us grew up.

In this academic paper from my past I once again point out how unscientific modern-day academic psychology is. The theory was at one time put out that people who are chronically busy are more likely to get heart attacks. There is now a large amount of evidence that shows that theory to be entirely false but some psychologists still write as if it were of some importance. I suppose it is some comfort that my paper did at least get published in a prestigious medical journal.

I have just put up HERE a collection of fun photos showing bureaucracy at work and my Picture Page has some very pretty new pictures too!


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29 March, 2003


One of the most revealing evidences of the dishonesty and hidden agendas of the Left is the way that "peace" demonstrations commonly erupt into violence (e.g. here). Leftists are clearly such violent people that they cannot restrain themselves even when it makes a mockery of what they claim to stand for. They truly are Stalin's heirs.

I have my own personal recollection of this. In the Vietnam war era I was a student at the University of Queensland and one of the very few students who outspokenly supported Australia's involvement in the war. As in Iraq so in Vietnam Australians fought alongside Americans. The Australian conservative government came up for re-election in the midst of the affair and the peaceniks made a huge effort to have it defeated at the polls. There were huge anti-government demonstrations of all sorts. When Prime Minister Harold Holt came to Brisbane I was one of his party members and so was invited to attend his Brisbane campaign launch. Various university Leftists known to me, however, forged entry tickets to get into the hall in which the rally was held and created such a din that the meeting was severely disrupted.

We few pro-war students decided to take our revenge for this. Next week the leader of the Australian Labour Party (A.L.P.) came to Brisbane for HIS campaign launch and we were there in the hall. As the party leader (Arthur Calwell) stepped up to the microphone and before he could open his mouth I shouted out in a very loud voice "All at sea with the A.L.P." Pandemonium erupted. The Special Branch of the Police had been tipped off that there would be disruption and were there to protect our freedom of speech but otherwise we would have been murdered. Half the hall jumped up and tried to get at us -- thus thoroughly disrupting their own meeting. Whenever they settled down we would just shout something again and restart them at enraged shouting back at us. The meeting became a shambles. The police pointed out to them that they had disrupted our meeting the week before but the Leftists saw no justice in that of course.

Anyway, after the meeting, the police escorted us across the road to the police station for our own safety while a mob of Leftists gathered outside waiting to get us as soon as we emerged. I don't know how long they waited, though, as the police let us out after a while through a back entrance that the Leftists obviously did not know about.

When the Leftists disrupted the government meeting they did so in no fear for their own safety and thought that they had a perfect right to do so but woe betide anyone who tried to do the same to them! In good Stalinist fashion their resort to violence when faced with opposition was immediate. Can anyone doubt that it is hate and not compassion that is their real motivation?

Incidentally, in the subsequent election, the conservatives were returned with a landslide majority.



In this academic article from my past I look at the popular theory among psychologists that national economic affluence reflects the ambitiousness or achievement motivation of the people in the nations concerned. The idea is that poorer people are less ambitious. I show from survey research results that this is the reverse of the truth. Poorer people desperately WANT TO BE RICH. The reason some nations are poor and others are not goes then back to politics. Practice socialism and you will be poor. Practice capitalism and you will be rich. Get the wrong one of those two systems and you will be poor no matter what. Though it may be true that the smarter the people of a nation are, the more likely that nation is to make the right choice between those two alternatives. The article concerned was never published on paper but it summarizes earlier articles of mine that were published in the academic journals.



A reader writes:

You regularly criticise the British system of Justice in DISSECTING LEFTISM, Peter Hitchens has some ideas on what went wrong with the police force, which in per capita manpower terms is larger now than ever. See here and here. Quote:

"....When they patrolled on foot and were among us, our police used to belong to us, enforcing laws we supported, sharing our views, taking our side against trouble. ..Now they are a distant and politically correct service belonging to the liberal elite, which puts the human rights of criminals above the rights of the rest of us to live in peace, and which even now has no idea of the scale of the disaster it has caused...."

Hitchens is the author of A BRIEF HISTORY OF CRIME



Another feminist myth goes up in flames???

"....Between a fifth and a quarter of those executed for witchcraft were men. This is not news to historians; they just don't want to know about it...."

Under the heading: "The Mind of George Bush", Richard Brookhiser has a good short biography of the President. I liked his comment that one of the benefits of GWB going to Business School was that it meant that he did not go to Law School.

The Wicked one has a good post on the wastefulness and stupidity of bureaucracy.

Chris Brand reviews what we know about the psychology of politics.

Michael Darby has a story about a leftist who finally saw through it all.


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28 March, 2003


I recently sent the following email to some Leftists. I HOPE it is in terms that will get through to some of them. One can only try.

Why the US is taking out Saddam:

Simple: Once both Saddam and the Taliban are gone other Muslim leaders will get the message loud and clear that they must co-operate in the fight against terror or else. Simple and rational and highly desirable.

If it was about oil why did the US intervene in Kosovo? No oil there. They intervened there for purely humanitarian reasons. If it was about oil they would have taken over Saudi Arabia. It produces more oil, has an army of only about 7,000 men and could be taken over in an afternoon. Which is why the Saudis try to be friendly of course.



French Synagogues are regularly attacked and individual Jews are regularly assaulted. And the French government response? They acknowledge verbal assaults only and pretend a booklet will cure it!

France's education ministry last month launched a campaign to stamp out anti-Semitism and other types of racism in schools. Education Minister Luc Ferry acknowledged that verbal insults are becoming common..... He introduced 10 measures to combat the problem, including the creation of a monitoring committee in Paris, the appointment of a team of mediators for the worst cases and the publication of a booklet
The "worst cases" get only mediation? As Cronaca says: "Apparently protecting the victims and punishing their attackers would be an unacceptably simplistic approach.

But I am sure they will publish a most tasteful booklet! And a monitoring committee in Paris will certainly be good for some long lunches if nothing else.

Just for contrast let us see what Jacques Chirac says about SMOKING in schools:

"I want to insist on one priority: the war on tobacco. The law will be applied without exception, notably in public places. We have got to ensure respect for the principle of tobacco-free schools," the president said.

Summary: You can beat up Jews but don't DARE smoke!

(Crossposted on Israpundit)



Britain's Daily Mirror is a Leftist rag in general but their columnist Tony Parsons seems to be a man of sound instincts. This column from 6 months ago in which he praises the enormous restraint and decency of the United States is very alien to anything else you will ever read from Leftist sources. And this extract from his latest column (March 24th.) is good too. Commenting on the recent upsurge of support for the war in Britain, he says:

"War is never the answer," we are still being told. But, of course, sometimes war is the only answer. Especially when a war has begun. There were people cheering Tony Benn's speech on Saturday who would be against war if the Waffen-SS were gang-raping their granny. It is no longer the dwindling peace marchers who seem to hold to the high moral ground. It is the British soldier and his American allies. We seem to be bending over backwards to make this a good and righteous war. Civilian casualties are being kept to a minimum. Our soldiers are not allowed to raise their country's flag in victory. They are told to treat the Iraqi people with dignity and respect. The realisation is dawning that those who were against this war were, quite simply, wrong. The Iraqi people seem bloody delighted to see British and American troops. They seem fantastically relieved to know that Saddam's days are numbered.



The US ambassador to the United Nations walked out of a debate on Thursday after Iraq's ambassador accused the United States of trying to exterminate the Iraqi people. Let's hope for more such walkouts.

Under the heading "America the Liberator" Jeff Jacoby has a good summary of the war so far.

"We are all anti-war -- and American troops in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf represent the kind of protest that terrorists can understand." --Thomas Sowell via The Federalist

Michael Darby reminds us about the "other" China.

Chris Brand summarizes the issues in the psychology of ethnic and racial differences.

The Wicked one has a hint about avoiding telemarketers.

In this academic paper from my past I deal with a common theory among psychologists to the effect that intolerance of ambiguity is a bad thing. I point out that the evidence for this is so poor that you have to be very intolertant of ambiguity to accept such a theory!


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27 March, 2003


A reader writes:

I get the feeling that as the Limits to Growth forecasts have proven to be wrong, ...and even later 'follow up' reports from the Club of Rome were generally more optimistic, ...that the global warming models of the IPCC were "taken over" to provide new justification for the same agenda by the faithful.

There are of course parallels with millennialist sects which make confident predictions of the end of the world, and when it fails to happen, shift the date out, after a new revelation. Like the millennialists, there is also some "wishful thinking" in their end of the world predictions. They are really quite keen to see the sinful old world go. When greenhouse sea-level concerns first made a splash, there were predictions of the inundating of coastal cities, melting ice caps etc.

Although they still argue that sea levels are going up, most of the scientific greenhouse people have, in recent years, substantially lowered the expected increase. When the newer figures came out, many greens seemed a bit disappointed, as if sinful industrial man 'deserved' ecological punishment. Similarly if you mention to greens, the advances in carbon sequestration or the Tom Gold hypothesis that petroleum may be abiotic and thus may be much more abundant than previously thought, ...their first reaction is almost of disappointment. They so much wanted to impose sackcloth and ashes on everyone. Energy conservation or recycling to many of them is not so much a policy option that may or may not make sense, so much as punishment and penance. "Save energy, save a soul".

As Lewis Carroll, wrote in Alice in Wonderland "No! No! Sentence first - verdict afterwards!" Just as energy use is 'bad', trees are 'good'. Evidence is not required. So we hear the mantra that tree planting, old growth forests and paper recycling are "good for greenhouse".

I like trees and forests too, but only young rapidly growing plants actually absorb atmospheric CO2 and even then only temporarily. See here. If you wanted to use trees (why not bamboo?) to fight greenhouse, you would plant new trees, chop down old ones, turn them into paper, ban recycled paper and require that all paper waste be buried in poorly designed landfills (or kept in attics) to prevent biodegradation. Arizona garbage archaeologists (!) have shown that newspapers buried that way are good enough to read decades later. See here



WITH bottles and knives in their hands and hate in their hearts, a mob of violent troublemakers yesterday ambushed a student anti-war rally to lead a vicious rampage through Sydney streets. A group of young men, described by police as "Middle Eastern males", created havoc by throwing chairs, rocks, bottles, eggs and golf balls at police and media during several hours of chaos in the CBD.

More here



The "Carnival" is up again with lots of good reading at Dancing with dogs

Good to see that there are some decent Canadians who appreciate the generous giant to their South.

Jim Ryan's comment on recent events: "I don't speak of the shame of the French and Germans. They are shameless, and there is no point speaking about shame in their connection. They are morally dysfunctional societies."

Limbic nutrition has an excellent extract showing that Leftists NEED their current antisemitism to prop up their worldview.

Opponents of the "Greenhouse" theory have always said that any climatic fluctuations on earth are due to fluctuations in solar output. There has long been indirect evidence of fluctuations in solar output from geology and other sources but this article reports direct measurements of fluctuations in solar output in recent times.

One of my readers has also been reading up on history. He writes: "What people tend to forget about the German Nazis is this: not only did they appeal to AntiSemitism and Racism, yet they also appealed to the grievances of the Working Class. If one reads their propaganda, one finds that it is chock full of references to the evils of International Finance Capital and Banking Cartels. In this respect, the Nazis, strangely enough, resembled their Communist enemies!"

Chris Brand looks briefly at the literature on social class and has a quiet laugh at low Leftist sociologists both need and abjure the concept.

Michael Darby looks at the heroic optimism of the Zimbabwe opposition.

The Wicked one has a rather non-feminist joke.

China hand is most impressed at the range of furniture available for sale in his area of China. Luxury and economy are equally available.

In this academic paper from my past I respond to an alleged proof by Leftist psychologists showing that Leftists are more morally mature than conservatives. I point out that they get such a result only because they define moral maturity in a Leftist way.


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26 March, 2003


A good quote from Peter Cuthbertson: "Scotland's spending on healthcare, for example, is the same as the European average, and this goes largely unprotested by the electorate. So clearly many Britons are willing to pay the price - but equally clearly, given the fact that Scotland's health service is worse than England's, paying this price does not bring a better state sector at all."

It is hard to imagine anything worse than the English National Health but there you have it. The English even have to export a lot of their patients across to Europe in order to get them treated. That fact is presumably why the article Peter was responding to claimed that Europe does socialized medicine better than Britain does.

That may still not mean much however. I know an older woman here in Australia who had dental implants (artificial teeth) to form permanent new front teeth in lieu of dentures. Dental services are almost wholly private in Australia so it was simply one of the options she was offered. Whilst on holiday in France, however, she fell and broke one of her implants. She wanted to get it fixed immediately of course and had traveller's insurance which would have paid for it. But she was told: "We don't yet do that sort of work in France". She had to wait until she could get back to Australia to have the work done that the French could not. It would seem to take capitalism to provide the most advanced medical services.



In response to my academic paper on homebirths (mentioned yesterday) , a reader (a medical specialist) writes:

Concerning home births - there is just no place for them outside of the most remote areas. With helicopters, women can be transported to hospitals from far away; those who deliver on the way probably don't need doctors. Briefly, every pregnancy is a high risk pregnancy - something goes wrong about 5-10% of the time, and when things happen, they happen fast. Rapid access to surgery, drugs, anesthesia, is essential; there simply isn't time to act from "home births". Those who crusade for them are simply stupid and/or greedy.

To demonstrate just how serious this is, rapid bleeding often occurs during difficult deliveries - the patient can die in minutes at home - and many have.

The idiots who quote infant mortality in the US don't tell the whole story. The system is good - but the same low IQ people who score poorly on tests and commit most of the crime don't take advangtage of it - those with drug and alcohol problems damage their child before they are born, and afterword; and then some bleeding heart liberal says we "owe" the child because its mother neglected it. Just nonsense.

Recently, some liberal female pediatrician claimed her study showed that cocaine in pregnancy wasn't so bad - because the post birth environment caused most of the damage. How could you separate out this scientifically? It just can't be done. In cases like this, you just have to believe basic science and common sense. Rats and dogs and monkeys that are given drugs don't produce healthy babies; why should people be different? I believe that these "coke moms" need a good dose of their own medicine - incarceration for child abuse.

In South Carolina, a group of "coke moms" filed a suit (with the help of a liberal NYC female attorney) against the Charleston Hospital District for reporting these "coke moms" for incarceration if they refused rehab; they sued for "violation of their privacy" in abusing their babies.



Funniest bit of Muslim propaganda yet: "Iraqi peasant shooted an american helicopter with a gun when he saw US Navi soldiers raping his goat". Via Limbic nutrition

A final gift from Saddam to his people: Mines. COALITION forces are doing their best to de-mine the southern Iraqi port of Umm Qasr to break a bottleneck delaying badly needed humanitarian aid efforts, the White House has said.

There was a comment about the asteroid threat on this blog yesterday saying: "It is fascinating that many Greens are quite hostile to the idea of taking the impact threat seriously. Maybe this reveals their anti-technology bias." Marc Miyake emailed me this comment: Actually, I think it reveals their anti-human bias. If their beloved 'Nature' sends an asteroid our way, we 'deserve' to die. I can't help but think of the Greens who have praised disease for its ability to decimate human populations.

Charles Wickwire has the latest on the 9/11 memorial that was vandalized by Leftists in La Habra, CA. Apparently the owner of the property is now being prosecuted for not having the proper permits for the memorial!

Aaron the Liberal Slayer is starting a movement for everyone to join NRA and buy a gun as their personal answer to the lying and odious Michael Moore.

The Wicked one has an interesting post under the heading: "No more Golliwogs".

Michael Darby has some news about the dramas of electioneering in Zimbabwe.

Chris Brand has some observations on sex differences and feminism.

In this academic paper from my past I point out the illogic of some Leftist psychologists who recognize the universality of racism but also believe that psychologists should be immune from it.


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25 March, 2003


A reader writes:

If the UN okayed it and if Clinton ran it, they would probably support the war as 'humanitarian' (as in Serbia, Somalia, E Timor). This seems to me to be a very shallow and superficial basis for rejection of the present war. It is almost if the only good wars are the ones where there is no national interest at stake.

I know you think that they are just anti-American but I think that they are a bit like the ancient Greeks: They didn't like technology or even experimentation, as that was 'hands on' i.e. slave work. It is as if we now have a social class who believe that the marketplace and national interest are menial work best delegated to a lower order to do all the work, pay the taxes and take the risks. The Leftist protestors will just air their superiority from the sidelines and claim the lion's share of the rewards.

When those who carry the burden protest, the Leftists accuse them of selfishness, bigotry etc!



A reader writes:

Ron Bailey makes the point that we may be facing a "tragedy of the commons" with disease. In the long run, this is probably a bigger threat to globalization than terrorism. There have certainly been examples in history where expanding international trade and cooperation, and the population growth it sustains, was brought to a halt by plague.

It is fascinating that disease, a threat that has been shown time and time again to endanger the lives of millions draws less concern than the more nebulous and much less certain threats of climate change, something that is not inherently lethal. Many climate activists do of course argue that changing climate may induce the spread of tropical diseases. Their solution is to throw money at schemes like the Kyoto Accords which even to it's advocates can merely delay the feared warming for a few years. This is a pretty roundabout way of dealing with a problem. Why not just invest in fighting the disease?

Similarly the threat of asteroid impact. This is 'new' but planetary scientists have proven that impacts are common in the solar system and have happened many times on Earth. We even witnessed the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact on Jupiter. The risk is small but the consequences dwarf climatic change, something the Earth and even man has seen and survived many times.

See this article by Richerson (PDF file) for a detailed background on paleolithic man's experience with 'natural' climate change.

It is fascinating that many greens are quite hostile to the idea of taking the impact threat seriously. Maybe this reveals their anti-technology bias. This site has some discussion attempting to assess the actuarial risk of impacts and tries to guess what premium we should pay to prevent impacts.

That item from Richerson is quite interesting. He argues that climatic change was so common and extreme the Paleolithic (approx 1.5m to 10,000 before present) that agriculture was nearly impossible. Then in the Holocene (10,000bp to now) we had a period of benign climatic stability.

What is the 'norm'? Sometimes I think the Holocene stable patch may be "gamblers luck in a climatic casino": Just as "the gamblers fallacy" is to assume that past results (good or bad) will determine future results. Maybe we assume that past climates (as determined over a small baseline of a few thousand years) are normal and natural and any variation must be abnormal, unnatural and artificial (ie human induced). But the big picture says change is the norm, with or without human or industrial influences.



Some excellent data here on the general usefulness and heritability of high intelligence from the former East Germany -- a country with the usual Commuinist devotion to "equality". Definitely not a nasty capitalist plot:

From 1963 to 1971 about 2.8 million East German school children participated in nine nationwide mathematical competitions. The 1329 most successful participants were selected for further study. In 1970/71 and in two follow-ups in 1983 and 1993, data on 23,000 relatives of these children were gathered. The data indicated the existence of a strong relationship between mathematical-technical giftedness in school and achievement in life. There was evidence from the distribution of high professional achievement among the relatives that such achievement needs not only nurture but also an appropriate genetic background, which seems to be transmitted as a simple Mendelian trait, now open to investigation by molecular genetics.



Fun! I have just received another email from the Marxist who wrote to me previously claiming that Stalin was not a Leftist! He has now accused ME of being a liberal! He also says that Bill Clinton is a war criminal -- presumably because Bill rescued the admittedly rather undeserving Kosovars. Here we see once again an almost total loss of reality contact in a Leftist. In psychiatry, of course, loss of reality contact is the prime symptom of psychosis. You can read the email in full here.

Ex-Iraqi and Assyrian Christian, Sam Shalalo writes about how the Iraqi people have had "enough of Saddam and people like him" and why the war is "just and legal". See his piece here

Michael Darby has a letter from a group of Zimbabwean women that should stir sincere feminists to anger and protest. But will it? I think we know the answer.

Chris Brand has some thoughts on the psychology of ageing.

In this academic paper from my past I argue that the decline in homebirths has improved the intelligence of the population.


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24 March, 2003


A U.S. reader writes:

My mother (who wishes to remain anonymous because she fears for her job) just returned home from work at Home Depot in Waltham, MA. She called me with disturbing news. The employees' lunch room has a television. It previously had been tuned to the news to allow employees to follow the war. Today, all day, the television was tuned to "Home Depot TV". Additional, there was a metal bar locked across the television in order to prevent the channel from being changed. When my mother inquired about the situation, she was told that a Muslim employee had complained to HR that he was offended by the war coverage. This is a complete outrage.



There is a great article by David Frum in today's UK Daily Telegraph (Requires free registration) headed Blair must find the courage to turn his back on the EU which argues that Britain should move away from the EU and build closer ties with the USA instead. Some excerpts:

After the war, Mr Blair's prestige will if possible rise even higher in America..... Instead of using his transatlantic clout to help others, Mr Blair could use it for the benefit of Britain..... After five decades of European integration, Britain still wields more military power than all the rest of Europe combined.... Britain continues to prove itself the most dynamic large economy in the continent.... Britain doesn't need the EU to be powerful. The EU does need Britain. Doesn't that suggest that it is France and Germany that should be left to mend the fences - while Britain seeks instead to institutionalise its renewed military alliance with America? .... The great geopolitical lesson of the Iraq war is that America, despite its strength, does not wish to be a unilateral power...... Britain should work to develop and renovate institutions that offer the Anglo-American alliance multilateral legitimation .... America is often glibly accused of imperialism. The accusation is not very convincing: would the Romans ever have permitted the Gauls or the Cappodocians to do to them what the French and the Turks have done scot-free to the United States?.... America craves partners - and of all potential partners, Britain is both the most capable and the most reliable.



The book The Mirth of Nations by Christie Davies has been reviewed a few times since its release (See for example the review by "Theodore Dalrymple") and its salient point that the Scots and the Jews make an interesting comparison has generally been picked up.

A point that I found most interesting, however, was that both the Jews and the Scots have historically been very prone to theological divisions. They have both had numerous sects of their religions (Judaism and Protestantism) in nitpicking and verbally fierce dispute with one-another:

"It is the questioning, disputing, argumentative quality of Judaism and of the Christian religion in Scotland and the corresponding requirements of literacy and study that have led both to the secular intellectual achievements of the Scots and the Jews."

And as Arthur Herman in his book How the Scots Invented the Modern World points out, the intellectual achievements of the Scots have indeed been great. I do not think the Davies thesis explains all about either the Jews or the Scots but I find it of some personal relevance. I have always been rather philo-Semitic and I did also have a lot of Scots Presbyterian influences in my upbringing.

(Crossposted on Israpundit)



There is here a lengthy summary of Al Qaeda's "Mein Kampf" and it's author Sayyid Qutb. It takes the view that Qutb is a powerful intellectual with a valid criticism of the emptiness of modern Western civilization. He says we have disconnected God from our daily lives. The article concludes that we need to wage a propaganda war to assert our democratic and tolerant values in the Arab world as a counterweight to that critique. I would however have thought that any exposure to Western media would have given Muslims some message along those lines. They can certainly see that our civilization works a lot better than theirs does.



My my mirror site for this blog seems to be working out well. It is definitely not as pretty but seems to load more quickly and more reliably than this blogspot site. I have therefore adopted the practice of posting my stuff on the mirror site first (up to an hour before I post here) so I would recommend in general that people make my mirror-site their first port of call rather than this site. Now that I have said that, I suppose the mirror site too will develop bugs .... I hope not. I have kept it simple to limit the scope for bugs as much as possible.



Michael Darby looks at who supports the USA in its Iraq policy and looks at a probable aftermath of the war.

The Wicked one has a good peacenik joke.

Chris Brand looks at the possibility and the morality of psycho-social engineering.

A paper here (Post of 22nd) from my archives of academic writing looks at an unusual finding to the effect that a program of training designed to ward off heart disease also reduces racism. A simple explanation for the finding is suggested.


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23 March, 2003


Jim Ryan at Philosoblog (post of March 22nd) has become so despairing of the anti-war attitudes in Canada that he thinks that the antiwar people must be suffering from a mass mental illness. Loss of reality contact is of course the prime symptom of psychosis and the thought that ANYONE could oppose the removal of one of the bloodiest butchers in history does make you wonder whether the antiwar people just cannot get in touch with that reality. The alternative is to believe that they SUPPORT Saddam's evils. So we are left with mass psychosis or mass sadism to explain the mass antiwar sentiments around us. Not a happy choice.

The third reason why widespread "peace" protests continue, however, is clearly the most influential: Mass hatred of America. Given the world's long history of hatred towards other nations, that must be recognized as a powerful influence too. Even being the kindest, most ethical and and most generous nation in history (which America is) cannot deflect ancient hatreds like that. It is just lucky for Americans that they are big enough and strong enough to stand up to all that hatred directed against them.

Anyone who has read Helmut Schoeck's book on envy will understand very well why America is hated. Paradoxically, their kindness probably gets them hated even more than they otherwise would be: Because it too shows them up as being so much better than most other people. Quite simply, those with weak egos need to pull down America and American power in order to make themselves feel better. And similar protestors in America itself need to feel that they are wiser and better than those who lead America.

And let us not forget that some of the protesters are simply naive emptyheads who just want to do something to make themselves feel good. The story told by one of the returning "human shields" here spells that out loud and clear.

Reference: Schoeck, H. (1969) Envy: A theory of social behaviour London: Martin Secker & Warburg.



Shishir Yerramilli writes:

HAR HAR MAHADEV That's the battle cry of Vedic Hindu soldiers before they enter battle and it worked for them so far. Mahadev is none other than Shiva, the Hindu god of war and death. I invoke this battle cry on behalf of the U.S soldiers whenever I see them storming across Iraq. BRAVO, BRAVO!

I am ashamed of the Indian government. They are bunch of f*****g eunuchs. Don't be fooled though! The average Hindu very much supports the American chutzpah. Remember that the Indian elites are Western (i.e. Leftist) educated and are uncomfortable with conflicts of any sort -- hence the sorry situation in Kashmir.

I would recommend that American soldiers take Richard III's advice and hang Saddam and his clones' genitals from a tree! LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR!

I got into a minor altercation here in Dubai with a fellow student when he noticed my screensaver was that of George Patton saluting with the U.S flag in the backdrop. Well, actually it was George C. Scott as Patton, but it was still provocative. I would soon like to put a picture of George W. Bush in a heroic, stoic posture (such as is hard to come by in the Leftist media). That would be something!



Those Leftists who think that all violent adult behaviour is just the result of an unfortunate upbringing and not the result of heredity should read this article. It waffles a lot but in the end cannot get past the fact that a violent adulthood can be predicted from behaviour in infancy:

Research released last month from the Australian Temperament Project claims that it is possible to pick up early warning signs that children may be heading for delinquency, drug-taking and criminal behaviour. Some experts claim children who go on to develop delinquent behaviour are different from their peers from as early as two years of age. The Australian Temperament Project has followed 2443 Victorian children and their parents from infancy in 1982 to adulthood.



Best laugh of the war so far: Some nitwit Kiwi said that damage to the sand-dunes by tanks was a good reason to oppose the war.

This paper from my archives of academic writing shows that personal authoritarianism (aggressive dominance) is NOT associated with racism -- except in one country -- Germany. But Germany has such a strong anti-racist ideoilogy these days (understandable in view of the disaster that racism brought them in their recent history) that it is perhaps only the most assertive Germans today who feel able to admit to racial dislikes.

Michael Darby thinks that the Northern Iraq oilwells are pretty safe and that the French and Russians will lose out big on contracts they had signed to take oil from there.

The Wicked one says that bright people are better off WITHOUT spellcheckers and grammar checkers.

Chris Brand tells of how he first encountered the data on inherited racial differences in IQ

The latest postings on PC Watch include reference to the weird editorial processes at the New York Times and the de-emphasis on books in British libraries.


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22 March, 2003


One of my U.S. readers (a Southern belle) writes:

Are you ASHAMED to be an American today?

Well let me tell you why you should be PROUD to be an American today. Today we have made history - and changed the future.

We are one of the world's youngest countries. We have become the greatest power. France, Germany and Russia have been sent a message, it's two words... and it ends with You.

We must protect ourselves and our world from people who would do either one harm. I've heard people say, " Does the US think it can police the world?" Well someones got to, and after 9/11 and the chemical and biological scares, I think that is apparent.

This is A-Day, "Awe" day, not meant to awe with military power, but meant to awe by its MESSAGE. We will set right wrong in the world when we see it, and we don't need permission. We can not wait for another 9/11, it was a wake up call - and we are AWAKE.

If we have shown at least 4 new, advanced, extremely effective weapons - then you can rest assured we have several more that we will NOT show the world. Rest assured we can protect the American public - and will. We will also help to assure peace in the world, because as a race we are getting so advanced, that the wrong weapon - in the wrong hands, could literally obliterate us all. We will not let that happen.

The US and the UK are together. There can be no doubt that of TWO making the largest whole, and 46 countries so far saying they would rather be with us than against us.

Be proud to be an American today because the message is that this young country is going to show the rest of the world how to let freedom ring.

France says the UK and the US can't administer Iraq after this war?! Are they going to and stop us? The answer is that the US, UK, and 46 others make up a Coalition -- and France can join it, shut up, or be Awed. Either way, it will benefit them - they found Ricin in their subway - and that is the type of thing the US seeks to stop.



A reader writes:

Your recent post about the London paedophile case reminds me of another case in the UK discussed here. The accused workers were put through 9 years of hell and ultimately obtained justice in the form of damage awards of two hundred thousand pounds each.

The witch hunt against them was led by Judith Jones (formerly Judith Dawson) and her partner Beatrix Campbell. Campbell was a key figure in the Cleveland child abuse scandal:

"....in their 1999 co-written book Stolen Voices which sought to portray, through misinformation and misrepresentation, the British False Memory Society and other critics, as part of a 'paedophile's lobby'. Unsurprisingly, the totally unfounded slurs in the book resulted in a queue of people intending to take legal action. Responding to the first of many potential claims, the publishers withdrew the book the day before publication...."

More here

Under the heading "No Man is safe" here are some other examples of Campbell's campaigns.



Today's funniest headline: France Rejects U.S.-British Control of Postwar Iraq. Who do they think will be listening?

And a pleasing report for Australians: "Coalition forces, led by Australia, captured an Iraqi tug boat that apparently was preparing to lay sea mines in the Persian Gulf.".

Nice people, the French: All the EU leaders except Chirac offered their condolences to Blair on the deaths of eight British servicemen in a helicopter crash in Kuwait..

Hello Bloggy has some thoughts on why Baghdad will NOT be like Mogadishu and wonders at how TV commentators can be so asinine.

The Wicked one has some good jokes plus scathing comments about black congressmen and the Africanization of London.

Michael Darby condemns Australia's Leftist opposition party for lack of any principles.

Chris Brand has posts on flirtation and IQ tests for pregnant women.


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21 March, 2003


Warblogcorner is probably the best place to follow the war. Heaps of bloggers are logging in and posting news. It seems that whole Iraqui armies have already surrendered -- as expected. And it seems pretty likely that the "Saddam" we saw on TV after the first strike was in fact a double.



There is a long and very scholarly article here that argues that European Post-modernism is the real enemy of the Anglosphere countries:

George Bush and Tony Blair's appeal to common ideals in their attempt to recruit Europe to the task of reshaping the Middle East is fundamentally mistaken: such common ideals do not exist. Indeed, I will argue that the Cold War is not over, that the U.S. has not won the "war" and that the battles that lie ahead will be far more difficult to pin down than even the asymmetric warfare of the Islamic terrorists. These battles will not be fought with guns and missiles but will take place in the sphere of ideology. The core issue around which these battles will be joined is the very definition of what it means to be a free society. Among the European masses and across the spectrum of academic intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic, the position of classical liberalism - the founding ideology of the United States - has already lost.

The Post-Modern project enjoys both the energy of moral outrage and a philosophical cover for its errors to prevent anyone from undercutting the outrage. In this, it is enormously attractive to any party having a gripe against the modern world. Every failed state, every ethnic hustler, every ideological movement, every intellectual poseur, and every tyrannical thug has a stake in feeding and propagating this modern variant of Rousseau's Hydra. Its energetic rise in modern Europe will prove to be one of the great ideological challenges of the 21st century.



A reader writes:

In your recent posting featuring Paddy McGuinness's column on the "symbolic" legal cases being raised against fast food chains, McGuinness mentions that the scientific debate in this field is still pretty nebulous.

These two recent stories in "Reason" here and here give an airing to both sides of the "fat wars" in science . My guess is that we are still a long way from deciding these issues and my guess is that the methodological and modelling issues in nutrition science would make climatology look simple.

Food of course has been a major cultural and ideological divide for humans since the year dot, yet somehow McDonalds has become the prime symbolic target of choice for anti-globalisation protestors. A good example is French farmer and anti-GM food campaigner Jose Bove arrested for trashing a McDonalds.

The global spread of curry and thai food outlets, which vastly outnumber McDonald's franchise outlets are never mentioned or criticised by the anti-globos, who thanks to double think, often simultaneously imagine themselves as enjoying a "cosmopolitan" lifestyle whilst opposing globalisation. Did they protest the replacement of the humble Aussie pie by pizza? Or the ongoing demise of the traditional Aussie cake shop to the cambodian bread stall? For those who have already made up their minds on this issue, they can always quietly celebrate the 150th birthday of the potato chip.



Some interesting history of the U.S. Army's Third Infantry Division, known as the "Rock of the Marne," which "is likely to smash head-on into Iraqi defenses":

The 3rd Infantry Division's history dates back to World War I, when it earned its nickname, said Walter Meeks, the director of the division's museum at Fort Stewart, Ga. In northeast France, near the Marne River, American troops rebuffed a German offensive while two French divisions fled. The victory was credited with helping turn the tide in the war.



Here is a good description of the U.N.: The headquarters of global tyrant-appeasement evidently serves as a clubhouse in which butchers are celebrated, while Jews, Americans and women who are both, are not wanted.

Not so strange: As Americans braced in recent days for the war against Iraq, many Californians were feeling strangely out of it.

I like it: "A man protesting the looming U.S. war on Iraq fell to his death from San Francisco's famed Golden Gate Bridge on Wednesday as he was hanging a banner"

Chris Brand continues the story of his intellectual development with some thoughts about aggression.

Michael Darby has news of developments in Romania and Spain.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I used to teach survey research methodology at university and I try here to educate some of my colleagues out of doing the silly things in surveys that they usually do.


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20 March, 2003


Against enormous opposition worldwide, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have pushed through this tremendous effort to bring down yet another enemy of the liberty and civility that the English-speaking people have always valued so highly. All best wishes for the American, British and Australian fighting men in Iraq who are fighting for civilization today. Once again, only the the English-speaking world has the guts to be the bastion and defender of liberty.



The McDonalds' restaurants worldwide often come under attack from Leftists as embodying American "cultural imperialism". Yet there are probably even more French restaurants around. Why are they not a sign of French "cultural imperialism"? One would seem to be as logical as the other.

But as Don Quixote said: "Facts are the enemy of truth". The Don was obviously a Leftist. Many of the targets that Leftists aim at are at least as silly as the Don's windmills.



An Australian reader says that "Leftist" anti-globalizers and Australia's most prominent anti-immigration politician (the "rightist" Pauline Hanson) both really want the same thing. They both want to retain a "national" identity and individuality:

I have been thinking about this doublethink amongst the anti-globos of late. I have a pain in the neck friend who is always on the latest lefty bandwagon. He hates Pauline Hanson and is afraid Australians are all becoming "xenophobic" but then is against "globalisation".

My argument is that if there is a problem with economic globalisation at all, (I am not convinced it is bad) it must apply to cosmopolitanism as well, something he and his ilk are always praising as a great social advance on the old Australian "anglo-celtic" culture. Thanks to cosmo, Sydney and Melbourne are now just like Vancouver, San Francisco and London. If it weren't for the climate differences you'd hardly know which one you were in. They all have the same big fast food chains, and Thai and Indian curry houses on every other corner. All these cities are "cosmopolitan" and the same at the same time. "Cultural Diversity" at the local level is paradoxically leading to homogenity at the international level. Sameness.

Luckily for us, Star Bucks has been slow to spread here... mainly because the Italians taught the Australians what constitutes good coffee, a lesson the North Americanos never really learned. Yet when my pro-cosmo anti-globo friend travels he prefers to visit places that are "out of the ordinary", culturally different, have their own culture and traditions.. the non-cosmo cultures. But isn't that the very thing he is preventing Australia from keeping and developing by opposing "Hansonism"? I enjoy the diversity of restaurants etc as much as the next guy but if we lose what makes Australia different and become just another cosmopolitan ant pile, with all the social cohesion of an international airport transit lounge.. we can't blame it all on McDonalds and The Simpsons.

Note that the famous French Leftist anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss (1983) also justified ethnocentrism as a means of preserving cultural diversity.

Reference: Levi-Strauss, C. (1983) Le Regard Eloigne Paris: Plon.



Sorry to talk of mundane things in these dramatic times but it is rather forced upon me.

I am really happy with Blogger.com software when it works as it should. But hardly a day goes by when it does NOT work as it should. They seem to have got WORSE since Google took them over. For instance, today and yesterday I could not post to any blog for a couple of hours. When I got through at all, I kept getting absurd error messages (error 203) instead. I eventually emailed Jason Shellen about it and he got it fixed after about an hour. But it was exactly the same bug that I had encountered two days ago and it soon came back.

Anyway, I have decided to follow Instapundit and set up a parallel site that is completely independent of blogger.com and blogspot. You can see it here. It is a bit basic but it does the job. If you are a regular reader of this blog please bookmark the alternative site for occasions when Blogger.com will not let me put anything up.

In case I sound paranoid, note that there is one site here that I lost contact with months ago. I can no longer access it to add or change anything either through blogger.com or through an FTP program. I cannot even delete it! It would be most vexing if the same happened to this present site.



Wylie says: I have a feeling the names Bush and Blair will stand in history alongside those of Roosevelt and Churchill and Reagan and Thatcher in opposition to tyranny. And that's pretty heady company indeed.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with its usual big range of good reading.

Chris Brand comments on the latest bouts of paedohysteria and has some stories about the man that Leftists worldwide campaigned so hard for.

Michael Darby gives his predictions about the likely course of the Iraq war.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I take my academic colleagues to task for some of the absurd things they do when they purport to measure people's attitudes and personality.


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19 March, 2003


The New York Times email edition made the following expression of good sense and caution their quote of the day. How it must have hurt them to do so!

"In this century, when evil men plot chemical, biological and nuclear terror, a policy of appeasement could bring destruction of a kind never before seen on this earth. Terrorists and terrorist states do not reveal these threats with fair notice in formal declarations. And responding to such enemies only after they have struck first is not self defense. It is suicide. The security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein now." - PRESIDENT BUSH



Jubilation in court as care workers freed. ON FRIDAY 14 MARCH, in the solemn surroundings of the High Court in London, the friends and supporters of two Merseyside care workers rose to their feet to cheer and applaud as Mr Justice Kennedy announced that the men's convictions were unsafe

Thank your lucky stars if you do not live in England. They specialize in jailing the innocent and ignoring the guilty there. More here.

For more on the madhouse of British Injustice see the post headed Gunman shoots security guard, Guard gets arrested for murder on PC Watch (post of 18th)



Most people seem to be groaning under the load of spam they get these days. I guess I delete about 50 of them from my inbox every day. If governments cannot do anything about it, they should declare all commercial spammers to be outlaws so that we can put a bullet through them anytime we find one. The amount of time people must waste deleting all the stuff must add up to a huge workload overall. A reader writes:

In terms of junk mail I have discovered that if you use those "remove me from this mailing list" things on the bottom of spam it mainly makes things worse. they then know that the e-mail address is active and send your more spam and/or sell your address to other spammers. Spam is the one form of free enterprise I hate. I really like this Cringely guy when talking about net stuff. He has a couple of articles on spam here and here and he refers to this WIRED story here which makes me feel that using remove pages is (was) a bad idea.



Quote from the science journal "Nature":

Dioxins, which are industrial by-products that at certain doses can cause cancer, can actually reduce tumour growth in some species. Similarly, small amounts of the toxic trace metal cadmium can promote plant growth

The great Greenie scare about all the "toxins" produced by industry is gradually becoming unravelled. The concept of "hormesis" (the therapeutic effect of things that can be poisonous in high doses) has been around for nearly a century and is in fact the basis of one form of "alternative" medicine (Homoeopathy). Once again we find that nature is unkind to simplistic formulations. It depends on the dose whether something is a "toxin" or not. Common salt can be a poison if you take too much of it.

More here



The British Firemen have agreed to drop their outrageous pay claims. This is a victory for Tony Blair almost on a par with Margaret Thatcher's defeat of the coalminers.

Alternatives to Blogger.com are emerging: Welcome news. The constant malfunctions of Blogger.com really are a trial.

I note that wine-drinkers who are boycotting French wines refer to themselves as The coalition of the swilling!

Timothy Noah says that France is America's NATO ally. With allies like those ....

British Leftist academic Tony Kushner (PDF file) thinks that scientists who say that there really are differences between the races should be subjected to something like Hitler's holocaust. And they try to deny that Leftism is a religion of hate! Hitler, of course, was a good socialist.

Chris Brand says that he first became an hereditarian when he worked as a prison psychologist and noted that criminals all blamed their criminality on their families -- even though other members of the family were generally not criminal.

Michael Darby has the story about how it was only the incredible persistence of one man that overcame the bureaucratic hurdles that nearly prevented the development of a great Australian industry.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I look at the claim that people who are wary of AIDS victims are "authoritarian". I point out that what the researchers have really found is that it is old-fashioned to be wary of homosexuals.


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18 March, 2003


Americans might be pleased to hear that Australia's pro-war Prime Minister is miles ahead of his Leftist rival in the polls:

John Howard is winning the war for public opinion as Australia braces to invade Iraq by the end of the week. Despite nationwide anti-war protests, and Labor scrapping 30 years of bipartisanship on sending troops overseas, the Coalition has maintained an election-winning lead. Although Mr Howard's support as preferred prime minister has dropped to its lowest level since July last year, he still holds more than a 2-to-1 advantage over Simon Crean.



The latest news now from the Canadian Ice Service is that Lake Superior is now 100% frozen over. In addition, Lakes Huron and Erie are also frozen tight. This is a rare and brief occurrence, the last events being in 1982 and 1994. The northern one third of Lake Michigan is also ice covered. Further east, the Gulf of St. Lawrence has 25% more ice than normal, and the Atlantic coast down to Halifax is covered with sea ice, a direct result of the deep winter freeze that has gripped Eastern Canada. Toronto recorded its coldest March day since 1868. This in spite of the `urban heat island'. The city has now had 63 days in which temperatures failed to rise above 0oC, more than double the number last year.

The occurrence of such a record-breaking freeze in these greenhouse times must raise questions as to the validity of the greenhouse warming theory, particularly its assumed magnitude, since the theory suggests that the greenhouse effect has its greatest leverage in the coldest places and at the coldest times.

Post of 12th from John Daly's site.



The BBC has a discussion going under the heading:

Jacques Chirac's domestic opinion poll ratings are as high as they've ever been, in a period when the economy is in a decidedly patchy state. Is Iraq a much needed panacea for the French President's popularity problems, or should his views on war be interpreted as a purely moral stance by a truly independent world leader?

I would not have thought that there was much to discuss there!



Today's academic paper from my past is here. In it I look at how modern academic psychologists explain racism. For many years they pretended that racism was a form of mental illness to be found only among conservatives. Eventually, however, the sheer weight of their own evidence on the subject forced them to acknoweledge that racism in some form was in fact universal and normal.

This still however left the puzzle that some people appear to be more racist than others. Why? There are many pet theories about that now and in my paper I surveyed most of them and pointed out their flaws (which makes it a very long paper). What I pointed to as the best supported theory is that racism emerges as the result of culture clash. Different ethnic groups really are different in their customs and values so those who encounter people from groups with values that they would normally decry in anyone also decry the groups holding those values.

An excerpt:

More generally, in some cultures industriousness and hard work are much admired. They are seen as badges of responsibility and respect-worthiness. In yet other cultures, however, hard work is seen as something that any sensible person avoids wherever possible. When people from the pro-work culture are mixed in with people from the anti-work culture people from the anti-work culture must be looked down upon by people from the pro-work culture. For people from the pro-work culture to do otherwise would simply be inconsistent and discriminatory. People from the pro-work culture would think ill of themselves for being "lazy" so why should they not think ill of others who are "lazy"? To ask them to approve of laziness would be to ask them to be untrue to their own values and their own culture.



I got an amusing email today from a Leftist which accused me of being a Nazi and a Fascist for supporting REMOVAL of a Fascist (Saddam). There is just no such thing as Leftist logic. Emotional and irrational abuse is the best they can do. Facts and reality matter to them not at all.

An American college student (otherwise best known for burning U.S. flags in public) was killed while trying to block Israeli bulldozers in Gaza. Good riddance to an arrogant and hate-filled busybody.

China hand seems to have recovered from having his wife come to stay with him and is now blogging again. He has updates on the frenetic construction activity going on there and concedes that corruption is pretty bad after all.

Michael Darby notes that an Australian Leftist government has banned the public release of balloons!

The Wicked one has a joke with an unexpected moral to it.

Chris Brand sounds a skeptical note on what we know about Right-brain, Left-brain function.


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17 March, 2003


It's not a day I celebrate personally but I have plenty of Irish ancestry (I still remember my Grandmother Kelly quite well) so you will not find me saying a bad word about the Irish.


U.N. -- R.I.P.

Jeff Jacoby says it as well as anybody can:

"The American people understand," President Bush said at his March 6 news conference, "that when it comes to our security, if we need to act we will act. And we really don't need the United Nations' approval to do so."

"And as we head into the 21st century, when it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission."

What Bush knows but doesn't want explicitly to say is that the United Nations is finished. Oh, it isn't going to go out of business any time soon -- the League of Nations wasn't formally dissolved until 1946 -- but it is finished as a force of any consequence in world affairs, and it is finished as a body whose judgments serious people have reason to take seriously.

Last fall, Bush warned the UN that it would make its own downfall inevitable if it failed to support the US campaign to disarm and depose Saddam Hussein.

"The conduct of the Iraqi regime is a threat to the authority of the United Nations, and a threat to peace," he said on Sept. 12. "Iraq has answered a decade of U.N. demands with a decade of defiance. All the world now faces a test, and the United Nations a difficult and defining moment. Are Security Council resolutions to be honored and enforced, or cast aside without consequence? Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?"

More here



US to rein in its farmers

THE Bush administration is prepared to confront Washington's protectionist farm lobby to secure a genuine free trade deal with Australia, the US Government declared yesterday

More detailed coverage here



We won't back war: Crean

LABOR has called for Australia's troops to be sent home and unequivocally ruled out supporting war in Iraq without UN backing.



In the 1970s Chirac enjoyed a reputation as an amateur Arabist. The rising Gaullist star went so far as to take Arabic lessons and, in a clever twist on his name, earned the media sobriquet "Sheikh Iraq" for his close personal ties with Saddam Hussein.

That quote was written in 1995. See here.



DDT could save millions of Africans from dying of malaria--if only environmentalists would let it. See here.

The theory that Hitler's behaviour can be accounted for by him being ill with (say) syphilis has popped up again here. All the history showing that he was just another socialist dictator behaving as other socialist dictators do (Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il etc.) no-one wants to believe.

Should there be a free market in organ donations? Shock! Horror! But this article points out that it could save thousands of lives. Is that not what's important? If it isn't, what is?

Chris Brand looks at genius, talent and creativity and concludes that IQ is still the biggest contributor to it but allows a contributory role for greater emotionality too.

Michael Darby is once again keeping us up to date with human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. Odd that an old Tory like Michael should be doing this when the "compassionate" Leftists are silent! But then the oppressor in Zimbabwe is BLACK! And we know that in the twisted world of the Leftist, only sunlight shines out of blacks.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I criticize the idea of some other psychologists that a dislike of erotic imagery is "authoritarian" and point out that it is simply old-fashioned.

A great Oscar Wilde quote: I am not young enough to know everything


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16 March, 2003


It shows what a deep hole the German economy is in that socialist Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has just announced the following policy changes:

Making it easier for employers to fire workers, reducing the length of time unemployed people can receive benefits and eliminating some of the costs of the vast national welfare system. The program also would increase public works spending, would make it easier for small businesses to hire temporary workers and would require unemployed people who have received welfare payments for a year or more to accept jobs, even if undesirable, that are offered to them by the state employment agencies.

The reforms are, however, long overdue. More here



HEADTEACHERS are paying council staff up to 250 pounds sterling for an electrical socket to be fitted - more than five times the going rate - because they don't have real control over school funds, it was claimed yesterday.

That's about $500 for one power point. I think it cost me $50 last time I had one installed. Via Freedom and Whisky



This is pretty scandalous. U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to prop up Greenie groups that campaign against so-called "global warming" and the building of new homes

A sad article here. Scientists are intimidated against speaking up about Greenie lies.Some Greenie scientists have recently claimed that evidence from an old sea-level indicator in Tasmania shows that there has been a big rise in the sea-level around Australian in the last century. John Daly shows that the scientists concerned ignore evidence that the marker was not originally placed where they say it was. He also looks at other evidence about sea-levels around Australia and finds evidence of only a tiny rise at best.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I look at the politics of environmentalism in Australia and find that support for mainstream environmental protection measures is general across the political spectrum. I also find however that agreeing with one environmental issue is a poor predictor of your agreeing with other environmental measures. So just because people want a clean and green environment, it does not mean that they support Greenie extremists like Greenpeace.



Paddy McGuiness has a shot at the fee-hungry lawyers who are trying to make money out of proving that food is addictive. If you can blame McDonald's for the food they sell you, what about banning all restaurants? Most of them sell lots of fatty food. And maybe your old mother is guilty for her choice of menus when you were a child too!Tech Central Station has details on the latest lawsuit against McDonalds -- which claims that their food is full of chemicals. It is. Before you even dig it out of the ground, the average potato contains 150 chemicals for a start -- many of them toxins.



Christopher Hitchens has an excellent column in "Slate" pointing out that the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and other mainstream church leaders have come out in defence of Saddam -- and goes on to point out that this does more to damage the ethical authority of the churches concerned than it does anything else. How evil do you have to be before a mainstream church condemns you? Christ may have reduced the Ten Commandments to two but those who speak in his name these days seem to have redduced them to zero. I suppose if it is OK to force homosexual intercourse on little boys, anything is OK. I think that Christians these days who seek moral and spiritual guidance should stick to reading their New Testament. The churches have become a den of Pharisees.



Have you ever noticed how erratic are the results you get from Google? One day a new site will be listed and the next day it disappears again for a while? This article explains why. The upshot is that until a new site has been listed by Google for a month or more, a search may not always retrieve it.

Chris Brand thinks Britain's new political party shows promise.

Michael Darby has a rather heartrending letter from a victim of a heartless "child care" bureaucracy -- the infamous New South Wales Department of Community Services. They really do kill kids by their negligence, unbelievably.

The Wicked one has some good jokes up plus another shot at the Pope.


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15 March, 2003


For as long as I can recollect, the British national flag has always been known as the "Union Jack" -- a Jack being a flag indicating nationality. The U.S. Navy also has a "Jack" -- a blue flag with a star for each State. I gather that "Jacks" were originally called such because they were flown from the "jack-staff" of a sailing vessel. But in recent times the term "Union Jack" seems to have dropped out of use. All we now hear is "Union Flag" -- which is a lot of nonsense as there are any number of political unions in the world. Which union? The Soviet union? The European union?

Score one for feminism I guess. "Jack" was obviously too masculine. Many who fought under the Union Jack must be sad at their flag being denationalized, though.

Strictly speaking, a Jack is a small flag so "Union flag" is better from a heraldic point of view but I think it is political correctness rather than heraldic correctness that has changed the normal usage from what it once always was.



A good comment from a reader on my recent posting about the difference between doing harm and "allowing" harm:

Liberals know full well that we are unable to stop "all harm" - but, as long as any evil exists anywhere, they can blame conservatives for "not doing enough". Also, they do not differentiate good intentions and good deeds - as long as they "intend" to eliminate all harm (by good deeds - such as giving food to African dictators, etc.) they "feel good".



A reader writes:

Have you ever tried using against the anti-war protesters the line that: "The antiwar protesters don't trust the 'coloreds' with Democracy and that is why they are trying to kill the last best chance of Western-style Democracy in the region?" It causes everyone I've seen to blanch; they try to reconcile being "pro-Democratic" with being anti-Racist and recognize they can't do it.



Grammatical purists are a dying breed in these days of "Ebonics", "postmodernism" and the like but for the small band who are left I have been reflecting on when it is that one may use a noun as an adjective. The best known example is from cricket. When England puts a team together to play Australia (generally with some difficulty), we speak of the England team, not the English team. Why? It's obvious. Every village in England has a cricket team so there are thousands of English cricket teams -- but there is only one England team. An English cricket team is comprised of Englishmen. The England cricket team represents England. Clear? It should be but there is a small hitch. No-one ever refers to an Australia cricket team. The England team always plays "Australia" or "the Australians"! I think I know why .......



In case anybody has missed it, the last item on today's Best of the Web is a brilliant spoof of the logic used by the "anti-Zionists" in America today.

(Crossposted on Israpundit)



In June, 2002, the BBC reported that Greenland is warming up. In March, 2003 the BBC has reported that Greenland is cooling down. What a difference 9 months can make! At least the second report is based on more long-term data. When will people accept that there is nothing systematic going on there at all? Just random variations beyond our control?



Useful Fools has had an amusing thought: He wanted to boycott the U.N. -- but since he could not think of anything useful that they do he could not figure out how!I liked this: that axis of paralysis known as the U.N. Security Council. From WSJ

Unfossilized has a picture of America's latest MOAB bomb for those who have not yet seen it.

Michael Darby reproduces an analysis of how the far Left recruit students to do their dirty work.

Chris Brand looks at the causes of crime and asks whether certain personality types are more likely to be associated with criminal activity but finds no certain answer.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. It was written in about 1980 and was at one stage accepted for publication in an economics journal but for no clear reason never actually appeared. It looks at what it takes for people to be motivated to go into business.


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14 March, 2003


For some years now Britain has seen an absolute rash of false accusations of child abuse which have caused great hurt to many innocent people. The way the police and other arms of government have pursued the allegations has been an absolute travesty of justice that makes the very expression "British justice" a sick joke. In the end, however, the higher courts have usually overturned the dubious verdicts. TODAY we will see what the learned appeal court judges hand down in another such case. For more see here.



Australia's Miranda Devine has some trenchant observations:

It's not just about Iraq. Bush faced the same protests in Europe in June 2001, three months before the September 11 terrorist attacks. He was even mooned by 1000 Swedish bottoms outside his Gothenburg hotel room. "I am against so many things about him it is hard to explain," 24-year-old student Kiffa Alverfors told The New York Times at the time. "The capitalist system is a way of living that I don't agree with."

Then there was ABC's Four Corners on Monday, which built up a picture of a sinister Jewish cabal of "neo-cons" who have stolen Bush's brain, for what it's worth. There was even ominous music to introduce these scary conservatives who are "almost all Jews whose parents had emigrated from Eastern Europe", reporter Jonathan Holmes told us. "Most of [hawk] Paul Wolfowitz's extended family perished in the death camps." In other words, it's all Israel's fault and Bush can't think for himself.

More here.**



Jeff Jacoby has a good commentary on current attempts by homosexuals to institute same-sex "marriage". He points out that such a change would simply degrade the meaning of "marriage" -- which originated as a reproductive contract. And if you can have same-sex marriage, why not polygamy? Or why not marry your dog? Or even marry yourself? Such things have been suggested.



The Greens love to waffle on about depleted uranium -- implying that it poses all sorts of health risks. It is a very hard and heavy metal so its main use is in ammunition -- where it is very good at knocking out enemy tanks. So if the Greens could get it banned it would greatly increase deaths among American soldiers during combat -- something the misanthropic Greens would of course cheer. Bizarre Science has an excellent summary of the evidence on the riskiness of DU. All the evidence shows it to be less risky even than normal soil. As well it should. The "depleted" part refers to radioactivity. DU is uranium from which the radioactive component has been REMOVED.



Professor Bunyip has an hilarious but sensible article on the folly of making recreational drugs illegal here.

Hello Bloggy is not mincing words about makes a "good" school -- it is a school with as few black pupils as possible -- and he notes that the NAACP agrees.

A reader sent me his version of why we should leave the young guys at home and send old guys to fight Saddam. See here. (Original version apparently by Jeff Ackerman)

Dean Esmay has a great collection of the "Day by Day" cartoons plus an interview with the writer/drawer of the cartoons.

And this is what is being taught in US high schools as history these days: Anti-semitism here during World War II was essentially an American Holocaust. From The Lone Dissenter. Only a Leftist would think that you could have a holocaust in which no-one died!

Michael Darby thinks that Jimmy Carter should stick to growing peanuts.

Chris Brand reviews what we know about neuroticism.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I examine a paper by two Leftist psychologists who purport to show a relationship between conservatism and racism. I show that they ignore or misunderstand much of the literature on the subject and that their own research is flawed as well.


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13 March, 2003


Calpundit has a post on the hoary old contention that kids who watch violence on TV grow up to be violent adults. As he points out, after about 40 or more years of research on the subject, the conclusions are still tentative. Note however that when psychologists (who are almost all Left-leaning) report on the effects of pornography on those who view it they almost always say "no effect". But when they report on the effects of viewing violence, they usually conclude "there was an effect". Could it be that Leftists are not bothered by pornography but do like to deplore violence? Could it be that the conclusions of Leftist researchers are dictated by their ideology? It certainly could. That researchers tend to find what they expect to find has a name, in fact. It is called the "Rosenthal effect".

Note also that there is an old Freudian theory of "catharsis" -- which in the present case would indicate that watching violence "gets it out of your system" and so helps you to avoid actually doing any violence yourself.



Serbia's prime minister _ who spearheaded the revolt that toppled former President Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000 _ was assassinated Wednesday by gunmen who ambushed him outside government headquarters. More here

Leftists certainly do not like people who topple their dictators -- though they seem to be trying to blame the deed on "criminal gangs" at the moment.



"It is my understanding that Americans are currently being softened up for the introduction of so-called "hate laws" - legislation similar to that existing in Canada and most Western European countries, which makes it illegal to say, write, publish or distribute anything which could be construed as stirring up "racial hatred" against an ethnic group. I have actually served a term of imprisonment in Britain under such a law, and Americans may find my experiences instructive.

The judge at our trial exhibited the typical do-gooder liberal attitudes in this respect. He could not possibly gainsay, and therefore condemn someone for saying, that blacks perform intellectually at a lower level than whites. At the same time his emotions could not bear the thought that this state of affairs was unchangeable and not capable of remedy by education and social engineering. The first thought was just about acceptable to him; the second was not. It is essential to the liberal's faith in his ability to guide people forward that he have the capacity to lift up the low by civic action, whatever their depressed condition. Offend that faith, and you make the liberal very angry!"

More detail here



Peter Cuthbertson thought that a blog devoted solely to documenting the many idiocies of political correctness (which generally means Leftist correctness) might be an entertaining site for people to bookmark. So he and I have started up http://pcwatch.blogspot.com. Have a look and see what you think. And do draw my attention to any examples of political correctness that you think I should note on the blog.

Some readers have reported problems in getting the blog to come up -- presumably because the blogspot servers were overloaded -- so you may have to try more than once to view it.

The best comment I have got from a reader about it so far is: "Do we laugh or cry?"

Another reader was so depressed at the nonsense he read about on PC Watch that he wrote to me as follows:

When I retire in a few years, I think that I will move to Wyoming, Montana or even to upstate Idaho. PC is unimportant there and you are what you are and can say what you please. As long as you know how to use your "shooter".



There is a HUGE Anti-French diatribe here. It IS very hard to see anything excusable in current French policy. They just hate us Anglo-Saxons and that is it. They are now getting it back too. Not clever of them.A good reply to Mr Chirac: "Apart from securing American independence, ending slavery, and defeating Nazism and Communism, war has never solved anything". (Via Conservative Commentary)



Chris Brand has a post on political nakedness and speculates that Tony Blair is about to take over the British Tories.Michael Darby has an excerpt from V.D. Hanson showing that dealing with Iraq, Afghanistan and Al Qaeda are all parts of one war.

The Wicked one has some fun posts about assorted stupidity.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I examine a paper by a Leftist psychologist who tries to find evidence that racists are maladjusted. I point out that he fails to do so and also point out that there is plenty of evidence in the psychological literature to show that racism is in fact normal.


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12 March, 2003

The latest "Carnival of the Vanities" is now up at The Daily Rant.



I am still having a bit of a chuckle about my Leftist correspondent here (post of 6th March) who denies that Stalin was a Leftist. I wonder how long it will take before that becomes a common Leftist claim? Given the Leftist talent for denial and dishonesty, I doubt that it will take them long. "Since he was such a nasty man, he CANNOT have been a Leftist" will be the drift of it.

There is however some truth in my correspobndent's claim that Stalin was in fact a Fascist. I pointed that out myself in "Front Page" of 22 October 2002. The twist though is that Fascism was founded by Mussolini -- who was both a Marxist and an intimate of Lenin! Fascism is simply the most nationalist version of extreme Leftism and Stalin did became strongly nationalistic during World War II. So even making Stalin a Fascist still leaves him as a Leftist! No matter how much the Leftists twist and turn, history is MOST inconvenient to them.



Inappropriate Response has a long discussion of whether the USA has a culture of argument -- compared with an Asian culture of consensus. I think the idea to be largely true but would very much challenge the notion that Europe is in the Asian camp. One example given was of a Dutchman seeking consensus but all the Dutchmen I know are are a blunt, individualistic and unbending lot -- a world away from the Japanese. And I think that Americans are very keen not to ruffle feathers too. Australians are MUCH blunter and more forthright than Americans. So much so that American politeness is often seen as rather dishonest here in Australia.



In the past, many of the the strongest taboos regarded sexual matters. One can read almost the entire body of Victorian literature without seeing any explicit mention of that activity which enables the human race to reproduce itself, and which is a major preoccupation of the majority of human beings. Today, one can freely discuss most sexual topics in public.

A major taboo in today's world concerns any mention of genetic differences between the races, even when it is made plain that the differences are statistical rather than universal. The politically correct view is that the only physical difference between Negros and Caucasians lies in the color of their skin. There are, of course, many other statistical differences between the physical attributes of blacks and whites. (For example: eye color, hair color, amount of body hair, age at menarche, and frequency of fraternal twins.) But the most serious taboo regards any suggestion that the well-known racial difference in average IQs is even partly due to genetic factors.

More here



Black Intelligence in White Society is a clear-eyed, methodical account of what the presence of large numbers of blacks means for the United States. The author, writing under the pseudonym of Stanley Burnham, explains how employment, education, law enforcement, and welfare programs have all been strained nearly to the breaking point to accommodate a group that cannot, on average, meet the cognitive standards that European civilization requires.

Those accommodations have been made in awkward, often destructive ways because our country refuses to face the fact that racial differences in achievement are due largely to heredity rather than to environment. The first part of this book is therefore an overview of the evidence for a genetic explanation of racial differences.

More here



Amazing! Australia's best-known Left-wing pundit, Phillip Adams has just said that he is not anti-American. And he gives a long list of the things he likes about America. He says he is just anti-Bush -- which as a Leftist he would have to be. I never thought I would find Phillip refreshing but I quite liked what he said about the US. When there is so much real anti-Americanism about, it is rather heartening to find that even one of Australia's most one-eyed Leftists does actually like America.

Many Leftists really ARE anti-American.



This heading gave me a laugh: BLIX HIDES SMOKING GUN

Chris Brand looks at the explanation for black backwardness given by a black sociologist and notes how all the explanations fall flat if we note that the problems of blacks in the USA are very similar to the problems of blacks in Africa.

Michael Darby has a letter from East Timor reporting progress there.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I examine the work of a very Leftist psychologist who tries to find evidence that Leftism is better for you psychologically, fails to do so and then draws that conclusion anyhow! Leftists don't let evidence or the lack of it hold them up! Such a nonsensical paper would never get published in a truly scientific journal but psychology is so heavily dominated by Leftism that science flies out the window whenever Leftist beliefs come under scrutiny.


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11 March, 2003


A lot of the world seems not to have got the point that the US/UK moves against Iraq are defensive and preventive -- designed to prevent horror weapons from finding their way into the hands of anti-Western terrorists. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have repeatedly done their best to get that message across but -- for whatever reason -- many people do not seem to get the point.

It is therefore heartening that Australian Prime Minister John Howard is also adding his voice to the debate in trying to get the message across. As it says in today's papers: John Howard has laid out an effective blueprint for war in Iraq, arguing the world must unite now to disarm Saddam Hussein or face the proliferation of global terrorism.

We also read: Australian troops are almost certain to march into war against Iraq without United Nations backing. Prime Minister John Howard warned of "very serious consequences with or without UN Security Council backing" if Iraq failed to fully disarm.



"More than half a century of experience shows that the UN is a theater of hypocrisy, a sink of corruption, a street market of sordid bargains and a seminary of cynicism." --Paul Johnson

Via The Federalist



Useful Fools has written an interesting article on the implications of international terrorism for individual liberty. Extreme libertarians (anarcho-capitalists) will disagree violently with his view that international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction make government action and reduced privacy rights necessary for the survival of a good society but I think that minimal Statists and most conservatives will agree with him.



The amazing things you read when you take an interest in history:

The defenders of the last Nazi perimeter in Berlin, around the ruined chancellery and Hitler's bunker, were Frenchmen. They were survivors from the Waffen-SS Charlemagne Division, a handful of battle-hardened French Fascists who now took on the full strength of two converging tank armies in a blatantly hopeless struggle. With them, in the remnants of the Nordland Division - also Waffen-SS - were young Danes and Norwegians, still with a few heavy tanks. Hitler and Goebbels were dead, and most remaining German troops had wisely melted away, but the Frenchmen fought on in the wreckage of Gestapo headquarters.

More here



China's internet users are suffering sharp slowdowns in access because of the communist government's heightened efforts to police online content, industry experts say. Beijing has essentially built an online barrier around China, requiring traffic in and out to pass through just eight gateways.

More here



Most working mothers are happy for their husbands to be the main breadwinner and do not want an "egalitarian" relationship, Australia's largest survey of work-family patterns has found. The paper's author, leading US work-family researcher Robert Drago, found a substantial gap between the preferred working hours of men and women with children aged 16 or younger. Professor Drago's figures were drawn from the federal Government's House hold Income and Labour Dynamics survey, which aims to track the choices of 7682 households over the course of their lives. His findings appear to support Prime Minister John Howard's recent stance that the best way to help women is to help them find part-time work.

More here



Michael Darby has an article setting out the stupidity of trying to protect local industries from overseas competition.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. It looks at a theory by a Leftist psychologist which asserts that racism is the cause of authoritarianism. I demolish that theory on a number of grounds. For instance, Leftists claim not to be racist but they certainly can be authoritarian (Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc.)


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10 March, 2003


British Spin quotes this statement approvingly:

The British government's longtime political and military support for U.S. foreign policy has granted it an international standing disproportionate to its real political clout -- or military prowess

I agree that what is described is rather clever on the part of the Brits but I don't think that that is at all the main point of it. We can see what is at work better if we look at the Australian case. Australia is an older ally of the USA than Britain is. We joined the USA in Vietnam where Britain did not. And we did not do so to give ourselves any delusions of power. Australians do control one of the world's largest bits of real estate but we are still a numerically tiny community by world standards (20 million). So we can never aspire to great influence.

What we have long seen is a natural and trustworthy ally in the USA and a great community of values between the two nations. I think the Brits see that too. A recent opinion poll in Britain reported that 80% of Brits liked Americans personally. Maybe it makes me sound like a dinosaur but I think in the end it all comes down to the old saying: "Blood is thicker than water". Common origins do make a big difference. If the Canadians can ever again get a Prime Minister who is not a Frenchman, they might join the party too.

In the meantime, the changing alliances of the post-Soviet world do seem to be bringing old friends back together again. I think the time is very close when Americans, Brits and Australians will all tend to see themselves as part of a larger and reasonably united "Anglosphere" in addition to their own national identities. And such an Anglosphere is a formidable phenomenon from any point of view.



Well, you've got to hand it to them for consistency: The Leftist attitude to freedom of speech never varies. Note this report. Excerpt:

Kahn had required students, to achieve full credit, to write letters to President George W. Bush "demanding" that he not go to war with Iraq. Several students requested that they be allowed to complete the assignment by expressing their own opinions, which would mean, in some cases, writing letters in support of President Bush's foreign policy. Kahn told the students that letters supporting the president would not be acceptable and would not receive credit. Several students refused to turn in the assignment and were penalized.



Jim Ryan (post of March 3rd) and Eddie Thomas have been having a discussion about the difference between doing harm and allowing harm. Leftists sometimes argue, with their usual illogic, that it is OK for them to do harm with their addled programmes of action because conservatives ALLOW great harm to go on in the world -- such as starving children in Africa.

There are various possible answers to that "argument" -- the best of which is probably a reductio ad absurdem -- but the one Jim has chosen and that Eddie is dubious about is that actively doing harm is much worse than allowing harm to go on. As Eddie, says, however, that surely depends a lot on the circumstances of the particular case.

I myself would identify the essential point in any answer as being that the amount of harm and suffering in the world is essentially infinite -- the world is full of harm going on all the time. So we HAVE TO allow most of it. Our own positive actions are different however. We have lots of choice about them. And if we do harm through them we should rightly be held culpable. We cannot solve all the world's problems but we can at least do our best to do no harm ourselves. As I recollect, that is part of the Hippocratic oath: "First do no harm".



Today's academic paper from my past is here. It looks at Australia's "Deep North" -- the warmer part of Australia and so analogous to the American "Deep South". Australia's "Deep North" (the State of Queensland) was once often compared to the U.S. "Deep South" not only because of its climate but also because of its perceived greater racism, conservatism and lower levels of education. When Australians hear that I am a Queenslander born and bred they tend to nod wisely! My research showed that this stereotype once had some truth but is now no longer true. Stereotypes of the American "Deep South" could therefore be equally outdated.



Hooray! Useless university liberal Arts courses degraded by decades of Leftism are getting the recognition they deserve in Britain at least: A degree in an arts subject reduces average earnings to below those of someone who leaves school with just A-levels, a study shows. Via Cronaca

I note that there is a new Australian Leftist site here -- for those who are interested in such things. He sounds like it might be possible to argue with him.

Michael Darby has a very authoritative article which looks at whether the Queen or the Governor General is Australia's head of State. Anti-monarchists argue that Australia should have an Australian as head of State. In fact, we already have one.

Chris Brand looks at the work of Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget. Piaget is known for identifying the stages children go through as they mature. Although some think otherwise, Chris points out that there is nothing in Piaget's work which disturbs the notion that intelligence is primarily inherited.


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9 March, 2003


I thought I knew all about Stalin but I still think that Jonathan Hari has written a remarkable article on him. He points out: Not only are there Stalinists in power today; there are apologists for them here in Britain. And read why Stalin's wife committed suicide. And Castro (surprise, surprise) recently said that Stalin "showed great wisdom". And read what the punishment for switching your radio off is in North Korea. And who said: The disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life"? Yes. It was one of the group of "anti-war" Labour party M.P.s in Britain that Tony Blair has to put up with.



Leftists are still covering up for Robert Oppenheimer and saying that he did not pass U.S. atom bomb secrets to the Soviets despite his being a member of a clandestine Communist organization! KGB documents released after the fall of the Soviet Union showing that he WAS a spy from the early 1940s onward are ignored.A reader comments:
There certainly were plenty of real Soviet agents within the U.S. nuclear weapons projects in the early days as has been made clear by the release of the Venona decrypts a few years back. See here and here Although the Soviets certainly built their own indigenous nuclear weapons program and had plenty of scientific and engineering talent, their first bomb was very much based on material supplied by their agents. At least according to the author of the "Brotherhood of the Bomb" when interviewed on radio -- who said that the first Soviet A-bomb was a copy of the US bomb. All this would seem to me to indicate that maybe Oppenheimer got a rather mild rap over the knuckles: He had his security clearance withdrawn... and went on to head up the elite Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton (where he got to be the boss of notables like Einstein, Freeman Dyson and Godel). It's hardly Siberia.

The usual story of this period of American history is one of unbridled McCarthyist paranoia, yet there really were reds under some pretty important beds. This doesn't let "Tailgunner Joe" McCarthy off the hook of course, but the anti-anti-communist myth that it was all unwarranted paranoid delusion, still promoted today... is itself a delusion.



In response to my post of 7th on Democrat racism, a feisty U.S. reader writes:

If it is we conservatives who are racist why is it that the Leftist news media here in the United States asked the question, "Is the United States prepared to have a Korean First Lady in the White House?" when Senator Phil Gramm ran for president in 1992? Fact is Mrs. Phil Gramm is a Hawaiian born NATIVE AMERICAN of Korean ANCESTRY.

Several years ago when a NEGRO liberal at my work accussed me of being racist, I had him called into the company President's office and in front of the his and my supervisor dressed him down with this rebuttal. "I'm of Italian, Scottish, Welsh, Norwegian AND American Indian ancestry and one hundred percent native American Redneck. My wife is Oriental of Spanish and Chineese ancestry AND a "naturalized" American AND her son has been treated as if he were my own blood. You have two choices, three days suspension without pay or a law suit for slander." He took the suspension



"Spiked" has Greenpeace pretty well summed up. Why is disrupting business at Esso gas stations such a big priority for them? Why not focus on -- say -- pollution?? That their real agenda is self-display and good old Leftist business-bashing is obvious.



Iain Murray has a very good article looking at the public opinion polls in more depth than the media generally do. He notes that a majority of the British publio would support war on Iraq as long as it had MAJORITY U.N. support -- regartdless of vetoes by a few malcontent nations such as France.



Paddy McGuinness has a long article pointing out what liars Leftist historians are.

The Wicked one has a pretty scathing post on the Pope and his inaction over paedophilic priests.

Michael Darby reproduces a defence of free trade from a Catholic perspective.

Chris Brand looks at how important IQ is.

My latest academic paper from my past is posted here. It looks at some pretty basic issues about Leftist attitudes to authority. Most of it should be pretty comprehensible to non-specialist readers. That Leftists deny their real motives is found to be needed if we are to explain the facts.


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8 March, 2003


There appears to be widespead disapproval in Britain for GWB's plans to neutralize Iraq. And this would appear to be motivated in part by anti-Americanism.

I think that people worldwide (including 95% in Turkey) do not understand that the US action over Iraq is precautionary -- designed to prevent further terrorist attacks of the 9/11 kind (or worse). A war on someone not obviously connected to terrorism (Saddam) seems an incomprehensible action to most people -- including many in the US. Only conservatives are much into precautions and most of the population is not clearly Left OR Right. Only the US public generally understand GWB's priorities -- which reflects the fact that it is they who were attacked. So British public opinion on Iraq simply shows that they were not the ones attacked.

And of course the English are anti-American! They are anti-French, anti-German, anti-Scots, anti-Irish, anti-Australian etc etc too. And there is no shadow of doubt about whom the Scots and the Irish hate most -- the English! And have you ever heard a Yorkshireman talk about a Lancastrian (both of whom are English)? Contempt is the only word for it!

EVERYBODY likes their own group best. In practical terms, however, most Brits would give hardly a negative thought to marrying an Australian but would have BIG reservations about marrying a Frog. That's why millions of Australians and Brits DO intermarry whereas French/English unions are comparatively rare. So being "anti" anybody is a matter of degree and it needs more sophisticated polling than we usually get to draw that out.

So average Brits may be a bit sniffy about Americans but they despise the Frogs.



John Hudock has a fascinating summary of the ways in which "liberals" remind him of his 5 year old daughter. Excerpts:

She thinks everything in the world exists already and the only problem is distribution. I.E. How more of the stuff can get distributed to her.

She wants the government (me and my lovely wife) to solve all her problems and protect her from all harm but fails to see that this requires that we put severe restrictions on her activities.



A prize for bureaucratic stupidity goes to the South Gloucestershire council in the UK which had to, with red faces, inform their residents that they cannot open the new $2.5 million library as planned because the council forgot to order any books for the library which actually works out considering they forgot to order the bookshelves too.

UK Telegraph 5-Mar-03

Another bureaucracy prize goes to the Bermuda Department of Tourism which has admitted that their tourism ads show pictures of people having fun in Hawaii, the Seychelles and Florida and not people having fun in Bermuda.

Reuters via Yahoo News 28-Feb-03. Via Jerry Lerman



Eleanor Spreitzer is in fine form. She wrote to a certain well-known "journalist":

Dear Helen Thomas:

If you and the other Liberal Elitist Lap Dogs are really interested in failed expensive programs (i.e. potential war with Iraq and the cost thereof) as you and other reporters howled at the news conference today, why have we NEVER heard you rail about the colossal-failed-unbelievably-expense welfare system started by one of your very own -- Lyndon Johnson.

I know why not: Too many of your Liberal Friends get huge salaries and benefits by keeping the welfare system and the people stuck in it -- right where it and they are. Talk about trickle-down economics from the corporations: The poor and intentionally undereducated in our country are lucky if they even get a trickle-of-a-smell of the trillions of dollars spent on welfare after the Liberal Elitists take their cut.

I thought you retired? What are you doing at the News Conference anyway? You are such a closed-mined Liberal there of course, that there is no way to reach you. So rail on Helen, with your completely wrong points of view. People are actually starting to listen to you and see you for what you are and unfortunately, always have been -- a propaganda machine for the very far left.



Useful Fools is worried that North Korea might use the attack on Iraq to invade the South

Michael Darby has a poem addressed to the Prime Minister of Malaysia!

Chris Brand reports that he has had a hard disk crash and has lost his address lists. If you want to receive emails from him, maybe you should email him your address.

The Wicked one reports two welcome examples of sanity from the courts.

My latest posting of my past academic papers here deals with one of the favourite ideas of Leftist political psychologists: "authoritarianism". The article points out that the idea is totally discredited among those who have researched it but still the Leftist psychologists cling on to it. Surprise!


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7 March, 2003


Somebody has had a lot of fun with Invisible Hand. He visited Australia recently and obviously fell victim to the Aussie sense of humour. He was told that Koalas are savage, that Australia has only one casino and that our large bats are dangerous. The truth is that Australia has lots of casinos, that it is routine for tourists to be given a Koala to cuddle (or at least it is only 15 minutes drive from where I live in Australia's third-largest city) and that, although our bats (we call them "flying foxes") are larger than other bats, they are still only about the size of a small cat, eat fruit and are completely harmless. And although there are some stinging flies, they are quite rare.



I have put up here two emails recently received. One is from a socialist who tries desperately to deny that Hitler was a Leftist. He is so keen to do so that he even says Stalin was not a Leftist but a Fascist! Wow!

The second email is from someone who puts very briefly but very clearly the issues involved in saying that IQ is largely hereditary. All his points are spot-on but he balks at the final hurdle when he points out that lower average negro intelligence COULD be due to black Americans growing up in much less favoured circumstances than American whites. He is right. It could be that. But how come that almost any other group in the US (Chinese, Japanese, Jews) who start out behind soon end up ahead? Odd that blacks are the only exception! Asians in America who cannot even speak English well still do better than blacks who speak it perfectly. If environmental (non-hereditary) factors were the key issue, blacks should do better than Asians but they do not.



I have also posted here two other emails recently received. The first is from a student who reports on the pervasive Leftism in what he is being taught at college. He is also courageous (foolish?) enough to be answering back in class against the Leftist nonsense. I do not predict good grades for him but I feel that he deserves our congratulations nonetheless.

The second email is in response to my recent post here about how Leftists constantly use the "big lie" technique in their propaganda. He points out what a big lie it is to say that it is the Republicans who are the racists. I guess Abraham Lincoln must have been a Democrat? And the "Jim Crow" laws of the old South must have been put in place by Republicans? No need to guess, is there? How do the Leftist liars get away with it? I guess hardly anybody knows their history so that gives the liars free rein.



French unilateralism: The French REALLY know how to be unilateral. The whole world (more or less) was against their nuclear tests in the Pacific but they still went ahead. They are the last ones who should be talking about unilateralism. But French arrogance disregards anything that does not suit the French, of course.

Jeff Jacoby says that past US support for Saddam in his war with Iran should not stop us now from correcting that mistake.

Leftists are on the side of the poor, right? We how come so many of those they favour are so rich?

There's a good lesson here in how to be a "liberal"

As a libertarian and a former economics teacher, I am a strong advocate of free trade so it did not bother me to see that a German firm had won the competition to redesign the World Trade Center. But I was still a bit pleased to see this note:The head of the architectural firm is an American who works in Berlin right now. He'll move to Manhattan for this project and there'll be plenty of work for everyone. From Bill Quick's site.

Chris Brand looks at the various explanations for how differences in IQ arise.

The Wicked one reproduces a fairly learned email from someone who argues that Abraham Lincoln was concerned only with keeping Americans all under one rule -- with slavery an afterthought.

Michael Darby continues his campaign to keep us informed about what is happening to the unfortunate people of Zimbabwe.

Today's academic paper is here. It looks at the female mid-life crisis and what actually goes on then. This is the longer version of a paper that will be coming out later this year in one of the academic journals in an abridged and revised form.


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6 March, 2003


Robert Nozick's explanation of why most intellectuals oppose capitalism in general and the USA in particular is well worth a read. Basically, Nozick's point is that intellectuals think that our society does not reward them to the vast degree that they think they deserve. So in childish petulance they do all they can to denigrate that "unappreciative" society.

My intellectual credentials are as good as anyone's so how did I escape that feeling of grievance? I know that I have always had a strong tendency to be happy with whatever I have got so that would probably explain why I have never felt any urge to denigrate the society in which I live. I am profoundly grateful to it in fact. I could have been born an Iraqui.



"There is no such thing as truth" and "Reality is merely a political construction" seem to be the two most widely promoted views among modern Leftist intellectuals. For people who find facts and reality so embarrassing they WOULD say that, of course. The emptiness of all their high-flown rhetoric on the subject was shown by the "Sokal hoax". See here and here Give me Warren Buffett's view of the matter any day:

"You're neither right nor wrong because people agree with you. You're right because your facts and your reasoning are right. In the end that's all that counts"

Not profound but look at his results!

There is a new site called ObjectiveReality with some good essays up that should be just about the dead opposite of what "postmodernists" believe in. Have a look!



I've heard it all now: the history department at Harvard University no longer offers a course on the American Revolution. In its place, it now offers a course on the history of midwives and quilting. It sounds like a deliberate plan to devalue university degrees to me. It will succeed. The only talent Leftists have is for destruction.



There is a BIG essay on Gene Expression that looks at the writings of prominent psychologist Jerome Kagan. It shows in great detail how Kagan's Leftist and anti-heredity ideology makes him ignore and contradict his OWN published research findings -- which show big hereditary influences.



One of Britain's biggest hospitals, University Hospital of Wales, had to postpone a heart operation because the surgeon couldn't find a parking space thanks to the "improvements" they made in parking arrangements meant to increase the number of spaces available for patients and visitors.

"By the time I arrived I felt so stressed I was in no state to perform the surgery," says heart surgeon Ulrich Von Oppell who spent an hour finding a parking spot. "I am sorry for the patient but I felt this was the right decision to make."

(Via Jerry Lerman -- from the UK Telegraph of March 4th. under "News in Brief" -- Free registration required)



Today's academic paper from my past is here. It demolishes a claim by another group of authors that they have called into question my finding that aggressive dominance is the major psychological precursor to coronary heart disease. Pushing other people around can give you a heart attack!

Useful Fools has a good collection of jokes about the French.

Clubbeaux has a big essay on why NATO has now outlived its usefulness.

Hooray! When the Turkish parliament decided not to co-operate with the USA, the Turkish stock market plunged 11 percent and the national currency, the lira, fell four percent.

Michael Darby reports on Leftist disruption of a local council and the drug legalization policy of the Greens

Chris Brand reports on genes for anxiety, AIDS in South Africa, book-pulping etc


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5 March, 2003


TIM BLAIR in the THE BULLETIN (4 March 2003, p. 18) recently published these two quotes side by side:-

"No one can doubt its cruelty and atrocities, but comparisons with the Third Reich are ridiculous." - John Pilger on the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, Nov 15, 1999

"The current American elite is the Third Reich of our times." - John Pilger on the government of George W. Bush, Jan 29, 2003.

I feel rather sorry for Pilger. He has flashes of sanity and realism at times (as in his film about Pol Pot) but his desperate need for attention causes him to say ever more outrageous and unreasonable things -- to the point where he is basically just laughable. He is a good study in how the Leftist mind works. That juvenile need for attention overrides almost everything else.

There is a very good brief demolition of Pilger's film about Iraq here.



Daily Rant points out that Clinton was at least as "unilateral" about Iraq as is Bush. In saying that I am recognizing that Leftists now use "unilateral" to mean "without universal approval" -- which is an example of the way Leftists have always loved to play with words rather than face reality. Of course any national leader who waited for universal approval before he did anything would never do anything at all. And having the approval of the corrupt French is certainly no honour either.

"Now please stop this preposterous charade of pretending to need the imprimatur of that exclusive club for mass murderers, thieves, thugs and tyrants (The United Nations) to justify anything whatsoever". From Samizdata.

What a laugh: Some of the peace activists who went to Iraq to serve as human shields in the event of war returned home, fearing for their safety, a spokesman said Sunday. Via Hoosier Review

The Swedish Nazis are supporting Saddam! That must be comforting to the Lefties! There's an old saying: "You know a man by the company he keeps". Via Dean's World.



Two good quotes from Peggy Noonan's letter to the Democrats:

There is another problem. You have become the party of snobs. You have become the party of Americans who think they're better than other Americans.


This is the Democratic paradox: You want so much to run America and yet you seem not so fond of Americans.

There is a good analysis of Australia's anti-Americans here. Excerpt:Anti-Americanism should be studied as a serious psychological affliction, a pathological condition which paralyses the mind's analytical capacity.



Gloom! There is an election campaign on in Australia's most populous State and even the conservatives are promising an indefinite "moratorium" on genetically-modified crops if elected. And the Leftists have weighed in too, of course. Just when Australia has almost entirely got rid of the impoverishing stupidity of socialism from its politics we now have the impoverishing stupidity of the Greenies to contend with. Superstitious fear is all that is behind the GM ban. I guess we are still not far away from our caveman ancestors.

Here is an Arab-American who LIKES airline security checks.

A big international survey has found that: Christian religions are more positively associated with attitudes conducive to economic growth. Orrin Judd will like that one.

Black community leaders don't want their kids going to all-black schools. I can't say I blame them.

Chris Brand turns a cynical eye on claims that relationships between younger teenage girls and older men must always be a bad thing.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. It deals with some technical questions about how best to measure differences in people's personalities.

Michael Darby documents more bungling in the government-run railway system of Australia's largest State.

The Wicked one has a laugh at the "black" college degrees produced by Affirmative Action and gives three reasons why talk radio is Rightist.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with its usual big range of reading.


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4 March, 2003


The CounterRevolutionary has recently argued (with obvious truth) that what influence Leftists have stems from their being better at propaganda rather than from their capacity to deliver desirable results. He argues therefore that conservatives should do more to press their arguments rather than just respond to Leftist claims. He is undoubtedly right but I think that conservatives will never be as good at propaganda because we do not have the Leftist's carelessness about the truth.

The greatest triumph of the Leftist "big lie" technique in recent times would have to be the way they have persuaded almost everyone that Hitler was a Rightist when he was in fact one of them -- an extreme socialist. He was to the Right of Stalin but that is about all.

But there are many smaller examples of successful Leftist deception and the "stolen generation" story in Australia is one of them. The story is that wicked white racists early in the 20th century tore black children out of their mothers' arms and farmed them out to cruel white foster parents to be brought up in white ways rather than in black ways.

The truth is that it was white do-gooders and social workers just like the Leftists of today who ran the programme concerned. The children concerned were all half-castes (of partly white ancestry) and the wiseheads of the day felt that "for their own good" such children would have "a better chance" if they were brought up in white families. Like the Leftists of today, the "welfare" workers of that time felt that they knew what was best for other people -- regardless of what the people concerned might want. Disgusting!

But to this day most Australians believe it was all just racism -- with no awareness of the do-gooder motivation for it all.



There is an interesting account here of the prevalence of antisemitic beliefs among members of the US Christian Right. I think it is wise to keep this phenomenon in proportion, however. As the article also points out, the same people are often among the strongest supporters of Israel. In this they differ greatly from the antisemites of the Left who want to destroy Israel.

The Judaic religions (Judaism+Christianity+Islam) all tend to the view that their particular sect is the one and only possessor of the truth. So anybody of the "wrong" sect will tend to be condemned. So while Protestant fundamentalists may condemn Jews for their "wrong" beliefs, they would also condemn (say) Catholics with at least as much fervour -- because Catholic beliefs are "wrong" too.

At least Christian fundamentalists have usually evolved beyond the stage where they physically attack people with the "wrong" beliefs -- unlike Muslim fundamentalists.

And as for the anti-Israel attitudes of the current Pope -- well he IS a Pole. The Poles were generally delighted to help the Nazis round up the Polish Jews during World War II.

(Crossposted on Israpundit)



I noted some days ago that young Australians are less Green than their elders and also noted that, from what my 15-year-old son tells me, the kids get so much pro-Green and pro-black propaganda these days that it bores them silly and they react against it. I also see now that Tech Central Station has a name for the the young people concerned: "South Park Republicans"

The Swedish Greens have at last woken up to the fact that most recycling is in fact wasteful of energy and other resources and so are now OPPOSING recycling. (If the article fails to load, Instapundit has a big extract here)

Details here of just how ridiculous and wrong-headed recycling is. Here's just one little excerpt:

We are not running out of trees or forests. America has three-and-one-half times more forest land today than it had in 1920. America is growing 22 million new acres of forest annually while harvesting but 15 million acres, for a net gain of 7 million acres each year.

A classic article by SLATE magazine's economics columnist Steven Landsburg on "Why I am not an environmentalist". And the subtitle is: The Science of Economics Versus the Religion of Ecology. Excerpt:

The naive environmentalism of my daughter's preschool is a force-fed potpourri of myth, superstition, and ritual that has much in common with the least reputable varieties of religious Fundamentalism. The antidote to bad religion is good science. The antidote to astrology is the scientific method, the antidote to naive creationism is evolutionary biology, and the antidote to naive environmentalism is economics.



Chris Brand discusses the present state of the nature/nurture debate.

The Wicked one tells is what a vague and wimpish character Abraham Lincoln was and how little respect he had from those who knew him.

Michael Darby has a rather horrifying story about how a white tourist was treated by black Zimbabwean "police".

Today's academic paper from my past is here. It deals with the rather hilarious claim made by Leftist psychologists to the effect that conservatives are too pro-authority. The paper shows that there is in fact no such thing as a general attitude to authority -- i.e. approving of one type of authority does not mean that you will therefore approve of other types of authority.


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3 March, 2003


A recent book by Rubin is summarized by a reviewer as arguing that:

Autocratic society violates human nature for most of those who belong to it and therefore is inherently unstable. Rubin also argues, however, that libertarianism is unstable because it entails extremes of individuality that equally violate evolved human tendencies and thus cause social breakdown.

And the conclusion from that is that the compromise represented by modern democracy best suits human nature.

That may be a comforting conclusion but I think one of the assumptions is wrong. The plain historical fact is that human beings have almost always lived under a tyranny of some sort. Ancient Athens emerged from tyranny for about 100 years and then self-destructed and the Roman republic was never more than an oligarchy until it too became an empire. And the supremacy of Parliament in England dates only from 1649. So if autocracy is against human nature we have had an amazing amount of it. Some governments of the past were more consultative than others but there was almost always a king, Pharaoh, emperor or the like running the show.

I think it is much more obvious to argue that autocracy is what in general comes naturally and the love of big government exhibited by Leftists is the modern-day evidence of that inclination.

So modern democracy is in fact a painfully learned lesson in overcoming human nature that only a minority of humankind seem to have learned to this day. Human nature is powerful and I would be the last to underestimate it but it is not a straitjacket. Wearing clothes is not natural but we all do it. Let's hope that we will all also practice democracy one day.



There is an interview with a rather confused "feminist critic" of environmentalism here. She rightly sees people-hating impulses at work among the Greens and says that is Right-wing. Then she endorses the optimistic perspectives of free market anti-Green economist Julian Simon. So Left is Right and Right is Left to her. Maybe she has been converted to conservatism but has not realized it yet.

It was whilst trying to debunk Simon's work that Green heretic Lomborg realised Simon may after all be correct. For more on Simon see here. The story of Simon's influence on Lomborg is here



Hooray! Exposing Greenie dishonesty works! After a lot of publicity of their lies, the Greenies in Brazil have given up opposing nuclear power (the safest, cleanest and cheapest form of energy generation there is) and new nuclear power stations are now being built there. Via Aaron Oakley.

Hooray again! It looks like Russia too will refuse to ratify the nutty Kyoto "Greenhouse" treaty. Death knell! Via Country Store

There are two quality articles here and here from the CIS detailing the growing threat of old fashioned trade protectionism disguised as new fashioned environmentalism.

Dioxin has long been one of the great Greenie swear-words. All sorts of health disasters have been blamed on it and anything that produces dioxin is supposed to bring us all a slow and painful death -- and deform our babies too, of course. But it has just been discovered that the peat fires that the Scots and Irish have used for millennia to keep themselves warm in winter also give off lots of dioxin! How awful for those poor Scots and Irish! They must not realize how ill and deformed they are.

And it does look like the poor old Greenies are gradually having global warming chipped away from them too. Note this:

Data compiled from the journals of early Arctic explorers casts doubt on the assumption that recent thinning of Arctic ice is the result of human-induced climate change. Via Cronaca.



When the US attacks Iraq, could it spare a few bombs for Riyadh? The way the Saudis torture Westerners to extract false confessions puts them in much the same league as Saddam. A lovely lot, those Arabs.

Revealed Truth thinks that the current Leftist hatred of the Jews may be motivated by a feeling of betrayal. Minorities are supposed to be uniformly Leftist.

Chris Brand notes some encouraging signs of realism among Muslims.

The Wicked one has had a couple of good jokes lately.

Michael Darby has a link to the persecution of Christians by Moslems and another report on the incompetence of a government-run railway

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I show that middle-America tends to be "authoritarian" in the sense used by psychologists but also point out that this essentially means no more than that middle-Americans have old-fashioned values.


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2 March, 2003


This article by David Brooks -- already noted on Israpundit -- must be one of the saddest articles I have read for a long time. An old and cruel folly has roared back into life. Although I am an atheist with not a shred of Jewish ancestry, I have been writing on antisemitism for over 30 years (e.g. Ray, 1972). When I started out, antisemitism was vestigial and no Leftist in the Western world would have a bar of it but now it really is a major phenomenon on the Left worldwide -- including the "liberals" of the USA. The battle with irrationality is unceasing, I am afraid.

Just listen to this bit of poison from Yale university:

But does the prevalence of Jews in American media, business and politics help explain America's steadfast support for Israel, whose 35-year occupation of Palestinian lands is an affront to human decency? Of course.

It's Hitler's "National Socialism" all over again. That a decent person of any religion might support a people trying to defend itself against persecution, outside military attacks and internal terrorism is obviously beyond the ken of the hate-filled writer (Sahm Adrangi).

Ray, J.J. (1972) Is antisemitism a cognitive simplification? Some observations on Australian Neo-Nazis. Jewish Journal of Sociology 15, 207-213.

(Crossposted on Israpundit)



An appalling quote from a Feminazi professor who objected to her female colleagues taking leave to have babies:

"Having babies is a choice -- already, people who have babies are getting tax breaks, getting hugely discounted insurance (forcing those more reproductively responsible to subsidise them), and often getting to slack off work for some 15 years using children as an excuse to reschedule meetings and avoid heavy committee work. This is NOT a women's issue -- it is a matter concerning a specific group of people taking advantage of the rest of their department."

More here

Who does she think will support here in her old age through their taxes? Those selfsame people who are now babies. If everybody was "reproductively responsible" in her sense, she would die of hunger and disease in her old age -- and justly so.

Speaking of feminism, I am no feminist but I do like and respect women so I would have a strong urge to put a .50 calibre slug through the guy in this picture.



A good summary of "human shield" motivation below:

Hi, I'm Special Ed and I'm a human shield. I come from a country with many freedoms and opportunities, all of which I take for granted. I suffer from a God complex, low self-esteem, a desperate need to feel better about myself at the expense of others and I crave attention like a three year old. I feel the need to take time out from my job and leave my family so that I may deny you - the Iraqi people - the same freedoms and opportunities I do not appreciate in my own country. I am committed to preserving Saddam Hussein's brutal and oppressive regime. Why? Because I'm a socialist and I know what is best for the Iraqi people.

From The Ville (Post of 26th)



Spiked argues that the British "peace" marchers are not interested in peace or anything else much. They are simply alienated -- they do not trust government or politicians. The anti-government factor does help explain why there are some antiwar conservatives and libertarians.

But The Tocquevillian thinks that the American peaceniks are just the old Communist-sympathizers revived.



There is an article here on the Left's 'unholy alliance' with Islamic extremism

Anti-business bureaucrats have twisted Bill Clinton's medical leave law so that you can now take sick-leave for all sorts of minor ailments and still have your job protected.

Who says there is free speech in America? Not at Michigan State University, there's not. How can someone in the US get a criminal record for doing something that is protected by the US Constitution? I would really like to know. And particularly since blacks can do exactly the same thing with impunity. America sure is a classically racist society. There is one law for whites and another for blacks. It's a mockery of justice.

Chris Brand thinks that "paedophile" Roman Polanski has done no harm and that better nutrition can prevent a lot of crime.

Michael Darby has a reflection on socialism being inimical to families.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. In it I again review Altemeyer's claims about Right-wing authoritarianism -- this time in the context of the overall lack of a scientific orientation among modern academic psychologists.


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1 March, 2003


Over at England's Sword there is quite a good debate going on in the Comments about whether the USA or England is the better place to live. I have spent time in all the English-speaking countries and my first preference is Australia (my country of birth) but after that I choose England. The US is clearly better off in almost every material respect but I just LIKE England better -- mainly because it is a much more relaxed place, I think. Also, I think that the English have by far the best patriotic songs (I am listening to an infinite loop of "Jerusalem" as I write this). On the other hand, I think that the greatest and truest gentleman who has ever lived is an American -- Ronald Reagan.

Some thoughts from others on the countries concerned ....

In the UK, one snowflake is enough to bring the country to a standstill.

There is a good article from Britain on the stupidity of America-bashing here

Gregory Hlatky has an interesting post on how much more Fascist Europe is when compared to the USA.

"Damn Americans. . . . I hate those bastards." The words of a "liberal" Canadian member of Parliament. What is that if it is not left-wing racism? And a particularly stupid form of racism at that. More here.

There is a fun article here which argues that instead of making Britain's House of Lords less hereditary, it should be made WHOLLY hereditary. He makes a good case too.

Interesting impressions of a newcomer to Southern California here. I had similar impressions when I first went there over 25 years ago.

Chomsky's virulent hatred of America has apparently made him insane. He actually says "East Europe under Russian rule was practically a paradise" More here.



Freelance Radical has some interesting ideas about:

Why people might become ignorant liberal-lefty's:


These are individuals who so deeply desire to never become identified with any form of aggression, that they'll dissociate themselves from its reality and completely deny its existence in an attempt to perceive themselves, others, and the rest of the world, as being tolerant, peace-loving, and rational. It's a really sad and ironic truth, however, that their unwillingness [when confronted with aggression] to assert their own authority, while at the same time curtailing that of others, causes the proliferation of that very same evil aggression they so much abhor.


People who spent their childhood with parents who were either violent, psychotic, or both, would be unable to admit to themselves, when young, that they were at the mercy of adults they could not trust. Acknowledging this violence or craziness as being real, could invoke such catastrophic fear in a child, that it might literally be unable to survive. So it blinds itself to what its parent really is. But this blinding terror continues to operate long after such people have become adults, making them unable [or unwilling] to acknowledge similar truths in the real-life world of political matters.


For many people, life is boring and nobody seems to care about anything too much and so they get kinda depressed just getting up in the morning. That is, until they decide to join the anti-war crowd and suddenly they're part of a group, a gang, an organization, and they've got a "home" and others care about where they go and how they'll get there and they're invited to join a bus trip, a flight to another city, a sign-making group, discussion forums, strategy planners.......wow!! life is no longer boring and they don't want this to end - not ever - and so, these liberal-lefty anti-war marchers have zero interest in ever finding out about any political truth that might ruin their new-found sense of belonging!



There is often a temptation among right-wingers to think, "Why can't this problem of anti-Semitism just go away? It's such a distraction from more vital concerns." But the problem is, as much as you would like it to, the problem of anti-Semitism doesn't go away, and if you ignore it, it just gets worse. Furthermore, as cannot be said often enough, the Jews are the canaries in the coal mine. When a society starts veering into moral nihilism, the first target is almost always the Jews. But they're only the first target.

More here

(Crossposted on Israpundit)



Today's academic paper from my past is here. In it I expose the almost bovine stupidity of a famous Leftist psychologist who tries to pin authoritarianism onto conservatives.

Chris Brand has more on C.R.A.C.K. and Britain's ethnic problems.

The Wicked one tries to explain the popularity of Hitler in British schools.

Michael Darby has a retort to John "Third Reich" Pilger.


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