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31 October, 2003


There is a real sob-story from a Leftist in The Washington Post saying how the American people are misinformed about the Iraq war. He quotes public opinion poll data showing that viewers of Fox news believe "false" things about the Iraq war. As ChuDogg points out, however, the supposedly "false" beliefs are true! Fox viewers have got it right!

I actually had a look at the poll results themselves and THAT makes clear what was really upsetting our Leftist sobber: Roughly two thirds of Americans have continued to think that America did the right thing by invading Iraq! I suspect technical irregularities in some of the interpretations of the other poll data (cell sizes in some of the crosstabs being very small, statistical significance is unlikely) but the whole thing is a bit too silly for me to bother investigating that.

Even if our sobber were 100% right in his interpretation of the poll data, however, he still overlooks that what most people believe is OFTEN an imperfect guide to the facts. Even if people get the general impression right, they will often oversimplify the details. Not everybody is a specialist. And you will also often get what psychologists call a "halo effect" -- i.e. if one thing is believed, other things that are congenial to the belief concerned will be assumed to be correct as well.

And what viewers of the other networks believe about such things as the "global warming" myth would be interesting too! What you hear from the mainstream media about that is almost pure propaganda.

Discriminations has more details and commentary about the story.



The new issue of City Journal is out, and it includes a cover story called "Why We're Not Losing the Culture Wars Anymore" -- it's about the blogosphere and the revolution in conservative media. Also of interest: Victor Davis Hanson v. Francis Fukuyama on the direction of history; Heather MacDonald on policing in L.A. -- and what challenges Chief Willam Bratton faces; and Sol Stern on the tragedy of school reform in NYC. Plus lots of "Theodore Dalrymple".



Conservative economic policies have now undisputably trumped communism and it looks like the conservatives have had the last laugh over the feminists too. This NYT reporter has found that lots of able women would rather just be mothers after all -- despite getting top university educations etc. And the percentage of stay-at-home mothers is INCREASING! And as even this Canadian feminist grudgingly admitted: "Certainly it's true that more women are leaving the work force to tend to their families. U.S. Census figures released in 2001 revealed a growing number of women at the peak of their careers were dropping out to stay home for the first time in 25 years".

A good "Townhall" comment: "The Bush administration's prophecy that its tax cuts would produce an economic recovery is coming true... In a front-page story about the fastest pace of economic growth in four years, there was this rare (for The Times) admission: "Most of that growth stemmed from a sharp rise in consumer spending, driven largely by a continuing boom in mortgage refinancing and checks that were mailed out as part of the recent tax cut." .... Low interest rates and tax cuts are the twin strategies of the Bush administration for restoring the economy following the post-9/11 recession. They appear to be working". More detail on the recent U.S. economic surge here.

A feminist attacks a good Samaritan: "The price tag for decades of gender warfare is usually expressed in general terms -- for example, through data-filled studies that reflect how 'boys' are slighted in education. The ordeal of Michael Wright -- a student at Oklahoma University at Normal -- captures the human factor. And it leads me to a question: What does the devil look like?" I sincerely hope that the disgusting creature concerned is a lesbian. I would pity any man who got involved with her.

I pointed out recently that because Leftists are great moral relativists it can be fun to use moral relativism against the Leftists themselves when they start using moralistic language. Steven Hamori has gone one better. I have just posted here his argument against socialism in French existentialist and poststructuralist terms. I must confess that it loses me at times. He seems to be saying some pretty nasty things about Leftists, though. Any commentary on Leftism that uses the word "narcissistic" is going to be pretty right.

Brazilian blogger Luis Afonso sends news of continuing Leftist inroads being made into Latin American politics. Among other things, it looks like Brazil is about to become Cuba's new "rich uncle"! There is a good backgrounder on the Leftist gains in Latin America here.

Chris Brand takes apart a "philosopher" who claims that race does not exist.

The Wicked one has an amusing post on the difference between teachers and educators.

I have just uploaded a short chapter (Chapter 5) from my book, Conservatism as heresy. See here or here. It harks back to something that is quite recent but seems now to be almost forgotten: For 20 years or more France was second only to the USA as an object of hate for the Green/Left. Why? Because France continued holding nuclear tests long after the USA and Britain had halted testing. China continued to hold tests too but that was OK to the Left of course as the Chinese bomb was a "people's bomb"!! Anyway, my chapter points out that in the awful context of the cold war the French policy was not unreasonable and that the criticisms of it coming from the Left WERE unreasonable.


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


30 October, 2003


We hear a lot about how Leftist the university and college scene is these days. What needs to be stressed, however, is that it is the waffly subjects in the Humanities and Social Sciences that are overwhelmingly Leftist. In my time as a student in the '60s, Leftism was of course famously rampant but even then the students in Engineering courses were very different. Australia had at that time a very conservaive political party called the DLP and all the DLP supporters on campus were engineering students. Even I did not join the DLP though I of course had friends there. I was therefore pleased to get recently the following email from a present-day student of engineering at one of our Australian universities:

"As a PhD student in engineering, it's interesting to note the discussions of my colleagues. It seems that we have opposite tendencies to our counterparts in the social sciences. In the past couple of days, some of their insights have been that if a company can't stay in business by selling it's products, it should look to alternatives and that unions calling strikes to protest against a (perceived) lack of jobs is just plain weird.

As an undergraduate, I recall that the engineering faculty stayed open for business during a strike by academics. The head of school told the staff they could strike if they wanted, but they're not paid to strike, hence no pay if they did. The student union tried bribing engineering students with free beer if we voted - no one did."

Engineeers are practical people and practical is one thing the Left is not. Academic economists are allowed to be conservative too and Stephen Karlson clearly is. His post on the difference between "sex" and "gender" is one I heartily echo. His summary of the central controversy in moral philosophy as "circumstances alter cases" show his limits, however.



Hooray! The British Conservatives have sacked their leader. He rivalled New York Mayor Bloomberg as an alleged conservative who would not know what conservatism was if he fell over it. Whether the British conservatives will be able to find an alternative leader with some guts remains an open question, though.

Australia's most Leftist newspaper says: "The bombing of the Red Cross headquarters in Baghdad exposes yet again the absurdity of attempts to portray the wave of violence in Iraq as other than a vicious and calculated campaign of terror." It looks like the excuses (such as the "freedom fighter" label) for Muslim fanatics might be wearing thin even among the Left.

Muslims everywhere seem to get free rein to say the most extreme things about Christians and the West generally so how come it is only Christians who are being prosecuted for "hate crime" when they return the compliment? Easy answer: It is happening under Australia's most Left-wing State goovernment.

I commented yesterday that the Greenies were probably to blame for making the California widfires so destructive. Ben Shapiro agrees.

Good comment: "It's a good thing the current crop of Democratic candidates weren't running for president in 1944. Instead of defeating Hitler and Tojo, we might have ended up with an "exit strategy" that saved American lives in the short run but cost us our freedom and way of life"

"Democrats have long claimed to be the party of the 'other' guy. They take great pride in telling women, minorities, or those of some 'special' classification, that the only political party which adequately addresses their unique needs is the Democrat Party. However, the 'needs' of these groups are not what drive the Democrats to clamor for their attention.... Take a woman or a minority who happens to be a conservative, and the needs of that person are not quite as important as they used to be. In fact, that person now becomes persona non grata to the Democrats"

How disappointing for the Left: "Panetta is a former Democratic congressman, the former Clinton White House Director of OMB, and Clinton's former Chief of Staff. He is saying that Bush was not lying and that there is no Neocon/Zionist conspiracy."

What a joke! Another vast and costly layer of bureaucracy that will not catch a single terrorist or wrongdoer: "Beginning with bulk or commercial mail, the Postal Service will require "enhanced sender identification" for all discount-rate mailings, according to the notice published in the Oct. 21 Federal Register. The purpose of identifying senders is to provide a more efficient tracking system, but more importantly, to "facilitate investigations into the origin of suspicious mail."

Exit exams rightly expose grade inflation as a cruel fraud. -- but it is a disgrace that they are needed at all: "Instead of leading to success, grade inflation is more likely to lead to failure, dashed hopes, broken dreams, and public humiliation. Just ask Bridget Green, who in May was looking forward to completing her education at Alcee Fortier Senior High School in New Orleans by graduating as the class valedictorian. ... But despite her superior grades, Green could not pass a math proficiency exam required for graduation ..."

Some good comments here from Victor Davis Hanson about the goodwill between Australia and the USA.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with its usual big range of reading all in one place.

I have just uploaded another chapter from my book, Conservatism as heresy. See Chapter 1 ("Are people pollution") here or here. When I wrote it, the Greenies just wanted to stop the earth's population from growing. Now they want to HALVE the earth's population. But their reasoning is as idiotic as ever. And I point that idiocy out in no uncertain terms. I also argue that, if we are going to have a population policy, the Western world should in fact encourage a higher birthrate.


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


29 October, 2003


From the many kind and much appreciated emails that I receive, I gather that this blog is continually getting new readers. For their benefit, therefore, I want to repeat some old advice. There are TWO reasons why logging on to this blog may not give you any recent postings. The first is when blogger.com is having one of their frequent hiccups and whatever I attempt to upload just does not appear. Such problems generally clear up after about 12 hours but not always. There are two blogspot sites that I have not been able to post to for months. I cannot add to them, edit them or even delete them. They just sit there frozen in time. There is no reason why the same thing could not happen to this site. This site too may one day grind to a halt for good.

The second holdup is because of caching. In between any reader and the original site on which a file is held are a large number of servers and any one of these can decide to "cache" a file -- i.e. they see that a file is often called for so hold a copy of it themselves rather than go back to the original source all the time. That is all fine and dandy if the cache is cleared every few hours -- as it should be. But that does not always happen. Sometimes a file sits unchanged in somebody's cache for days. In such cases, if your file request happens to go through that server, you will get a days-old copy of this blog rather than the current version.

There are 3 solutions to the problem. The first solution is in my hands. I need to put cache-busting metacode into every file I upload. I mostly do that but even that often does not work. The second solution is in the reader's hands. You can send a "cache bypass" command from your keyboard. Just hit the "Ctrl" and F5 keys at the same time. But that does not always work either. So that is why I have mirror sites -- second and third copies of everything posted on this blog. So if you are not getting anything recent here click on one of the mirror sites listed under "My other sites" toward the top of the green column to the left. The mirrors sometimes get cached too, of course, but you would have to be really out of luck for them all to be cached at the same time. Happy reading!



The Bush Presidency casts a funereal shadow across the Democrats. If the GOP were to increase its black support by about 5 percentage points in the 2004 election while repeating its California success with women and Hispanics, the Dems will end up as burnt toast.
The 2003 Nobel Prize in economics. Why statistics fails to captures human economic activity.
Journalist bigotry among the media's Bush-haters. By lavishing undeserved praise on Barker the venomous Ramsey of the 'Sydney Morning Herald' did draw attention to what passes for learning and intellect among our self-righteous lefty journalists.
Immigration, jobs and growth. The accusation that immigration destroys jobs is a common economic fallacy.

Details here



I posted a big excerpt on PC Watch recently from the now much-noted NYT story by Bob Herbert about black education in NYC schools. A central point was that the no-hoper students sat at the back of the class, were ignored, learned nothing but still got a pass mark. I think from memory that Ogbu's book about the poor performance of black students in middle class neighbourhoods reported much the same phenomenon in school classes so it is not solely a NYC problem. It has all just stirred a memory in me of what my education many years ago in a small Australian country school was like. There it was the GOOD students who sat at the back. The slower and naughtier students were at the front for greater teacher attention. That was a healthy educational system, unlike the diseased NYC abomination. But of course "slow" and "naughty" students no longer exist in the politically correct world of modern-day U.S. public schools. The policy of the ostrich prevails -- though saying that that is probably unkind to ostriches.

I never thought I would agree with one word uttered by Tony Benn, one of the most extreme Leftists in British politics, but I am lost with admiration of his succinct argument against further British entangelment with the EU. Every word is a gem in my view. Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major does a good job of defending Britain's traditional political arrangements too -- though at much greater llength.

Wow! Randall Parker has come up with an amazing idea. Scientists have now found a gene crucial to controlling the onset of puberty. Randall gives some surprisingly good reasons why that finding should be used to DELAY the onset of puberty in children. I myself was almost not going to read an article that sounded so outlandish but you may be surprised what a good case Randall makes. Doing it would have to be by parental choice only of course. State enforcement would be a horror.

Neal Boortz (Post of 27th) is probably right that the Greenies have made the California widfires much worse than they otherwise would have been. We have the same problem here in Australia.

Mike Tremoglie points out that U.S. Democrats are good at dishing out extreme abuse and criticism but can't take it when they get any criticism back.

A good comment from Andrew Bolt about what a disgusting creature Bob Brown (Australia's chief Greenie) is. He shouted at George Bush in the Australian Parliament in defence of two members of the Taliban!! How pathetic can you get?

The Wicked one has an Irish joke again -- and as someone with substantial Irish ancestry I am really offended -- NOT!

My latest academic upload (see here or here) deals with "projective" (e.g. inkblot) tests. I show how they can be used to give more trustworthy results. Although the article concerned was originally published nearly 30 years ago in the premier journal for projective test users, I see that google has no reference to it by any other psychologists. Like all Leftists, psychologists just KNOW what it right. Nobody can tell them anything except what reinforces their existing beliefs.


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


28 October, 2003


A good comment on the way that America is now governed more by courts than by Congress: "legislators have become little more than clerks to judges and the complainants in their courts--the law as not much more than a brief. When this happens, citizens lose their status as voters or electors and become mere courtroom spectators. How can this be good? Continuing to use the courts in this way -- the ACLU boasting it will get a court to overthrow a law passed by Congress or any legislature -- and then demanding that large portions of American society simply shut up and swallow it is a recipe for a kind of war much more serious than the mere chattering crossfire of talk shows". It seems to have got to the stage where Americans should be throwing judges into the harbour, not tea-chests. The unrepresentative legal tyranny seems a lot more extensive than anything George III would ever have dreamed of.



Where were the Leftist defenders of "privacy" in this case? A kid was expelled from school because she wrote: "a fictional tale in her private journal about a student who dreams that she kills a teacher." Yet the ability of the USA to protect itself against terrorism on aircraft is held up by "privacy" concerns. It looks like privacy is only protected if can be used to hurt people. Insane.

If blacks can say blacks are to blame for black problems, can I say it too? If not, why not? 'I don't believe our major problem is racism,' said Kunjufu [to a predominantly black audience at Morgan State University]. 'The greatest demon in black America is fatherlessness. The common variable -- for the (African-American) dropout rate, the incarceration rate and drug use -- is the daddy that didn't stay.'"

Greenpeace recently staged a stunt in Great Britain where they offered to exchange 'what they described as 'genetically modified milk' for the organic alternative, free of charge' in front of a major grocery chain store. Of course, there's no such thing as genetically modified milk. Just milk from cows raised on genetically enhanced grain. Milk is milk, and Greenpeace is simply preying on the fears of consumers."

"Public" broadcasting is now just Leftist broadcasting: "A student who clicks onto Environmental Defense will find out how to oppose drilling in the Arctic. The American Friends Service Committee lists a "press availability" for explaining how "Bush's Arm-twisting Victories in Congress and U.N. Will Deepen Quagmire in Iraq, Budget Crisis at Home." Equality Now, dedicated to women's rights, cites a "global campaign against sexual exploitation of women by US military forces in South Korea and around the world." Madre, another women's group, is today hosting "the Patriot Act Un-birthday Bash." And so it goes down the line, on everything from abortion to globalization. If you believe that there may be other sides to these issues, you certainly won't learn where to find them from this list"

These legal morons must really hate ordinary, decent people: "An arbitrator has ruled that Chicago taxpayers must fork over $136,036 in disability benefits to a Streets and Sanitation worker who is charged with a brutal assault while on leave with what he said were severe hand injuries. Jan Pruchnicki faces trial for breaking down the door of the apartment of his daughter's ex-boyfriend, throwing him to the couch and beating him unconscious with his fists--at a time when he claimed he couldn't work because of bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. Mr. Pruchnicki's attorney told the paper that his client "at no time engaged in an activity inconsistent with his claim or disability."

Another "subscriber only" article on the WSJ of 25th: "Britain's Directory Misinformation: "British regulators were trying to promote competition when they ended BT Group's monopoly on directory assistance. What they got instead: "A bloody mess." I found what they are talking about here and here. Bureaucracy (public or private) just can't cope with change or anything out of the routine.

Chris Brand has recently commented at some length about the recent Charles Murray book on history's top 4,000 geniuses, so I will just note here that Murray says that Western achievements have been amazing but that the rate has declined since the decline of Christianity. Quote: "What the human species is today it owes in astonishing degree to what was accomplished in just half a dozen centuries by the peoples of one small portion of the northwestern Eurasian land mass.... In all, Europeans and North Americans account for 97 percent of scientific accomplishment" Won't the PC crowd love that! Such a pity for them that it's true!

The silicone breast implant scare now seems to have just about run its course. There is a good article in The WSJ about what a huge and totally unscientific fraud it was from the very beginning. It sold newspapers, made a lot of lawyers rich and pleased Leftists with its destruction of a large company but that's all it did.

John Moore has just exposed an "environmental racism" (??) scam in his neck of the woods.

The ironically named blog Last Night's BBC News has some good links and excerpts. Muslim rapists and the upcoming TV series on the Reagans are well-covered.

One of the best blogs that I know of is "Commonsense and Wonder". They even link to me occasionally so they must be good! They use a lot of graphics, however, so they can sometimes be painfully slow to load -- which would put anyone off looking at them. There is however a solution! They have a "Printer Friendly" version of their site that skips all the peripheral stuff and loads like lightning!

My latest academic upload (here or here) is a review of a particularly moronic (but very popular) Leftist book on political psychology.


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


27 October, 2003


A reader sent me this amusing story

"Some years ago I was at a meeting in Kansas City Missouri, held at the Muehlenbrok hotel. It was a first-class hotel (it was Harry Truman's campaign center) but the surrounding neighborhood was one massage parlor, cheap liquor store or x-rated video/magazine shop after another. This was a meeting of Medical Physicists, very top-heavy in intellect. (With only a bachelor's degree, I was a real light-weight.)

Several of us were taking a noon-time stroll, and passed this top-down Cadillac with a sweet young thing stretched out in the back seat. One young lady, (with a degree in Physics, her father was president of a very big college) remarked that she wondered how that sweet young girl could afford that classy Cadillac convertible she was sitting in.

One of the men in the group tactfully remarked "Do you know prostitution is legal in Kansas City?" - - - She didn't catch on immediately, but a few steps later it sunk in. Beet-red, she remarked something like, "Oh that's what they look like!"

What more can I say?"

I'll bet that the Physicist lady concerned felt that she knew all about the plight of the poor, though. And I also know how good she would be at running a rough boarding house (See my post of 24th.)



This is a pretty nutty piece of academic research (by P.J. Watson, D.F. Ross & R.J. Morris writing in Personality & Individual Differences of July, 2003) but I thought I might translate it into plain English anyway: The authors thought that Borderline Personality Disorder (i.e. severe emotional instability) would correlate with support for the death penalty. (i.e. Death penalty advocates are fruitcakes, get it?). But what they found was the reverse. The wackos were AGAINST the death penalty. But the research itself was nutty because the people they surveyed were in fact college students -- among whom there were probably NO real Borderline personalities at all. A bit like the loons (Eckhardt & Newcombe) who studied militarism among a group of Quakers. Only Leftist academics could be that stupid. It would be fun if other bloggers linked to this post so that anyone who Googled BPD would see this little gem "deconstructed".

"Spiked" has a fun article about the twistings and turnings of postmodern "Theorists". Even the word "Theory" is a misnomer for the Leftist mumbo jumbo concerned. Once upon a time you could at least follow what Leftists were talking about. It is a sign of their desperation for something different to say that you often no longer can these days.

I saw a "subscriber only" articles on the WSJ of 25th that sounded interesting: "Millions of women have stopped taking the daily menopause hormones over "new" studies warning about their dangers. But lost amid the headlines and the hysteria was something crucial: the facts" I found what was behind that scare here but note that "The difference is not statistically significant" -- meaning that the apparent adverse effect of the hormones was so small that it was probably a chance result. The voice of sanity on the matter is here. Scientific findings are so often abused by scaremongering journalists and political activists these days that you almost have to be a scientist yourself to sort out where the truth lies. Reading blogs probably helps, though.

Reason argues against the "bioethicists" who arrogantly claim to know what medical treatments should be allowed to people: "Who are 'we' to decide how other people should live? If people do not have liberty to make choices about their own bodies, what liberty do they have?"

Both the President of China and the President of the USA visited Australia last week -- something of a tribute to a nation of 20 million people. Andrew Bolt marvels that it was the head of the world's freest country that attracted the Leftist protests, not the Communist tyrant. It does show you vividly what Leftists really value.

Arlene Peck has just visited Poland -- where so many Jews died -- and finds that Jews are just a tourist attraction there now. Arlene may not have realized it but antisemitism is still common among Poles -- even though there are now hardly any Jews left there to hate or blame.

Interested Participant notes an instance where a Greenie plan to close down a nuclear power station is likely to result in putting conventional power stations -- with their much greater pollution -- into poor neighbourhoods. So blacks and Latinos will get to breathe more pollution just to prop up wacky Greenie righteousness. But Greenies hate people anyway so that will be OK by them.

A good article on Lomborg here: "The fierce polemics against Professor Lomborg - who accepts the need for all of us to care for the environment - highlights the extent to which the environmental issue has been hijacked by people who are profoundly hostile to industrial development, and regard human beings as the enemies of the environment"

Jonah Goldberg on the French: "The aim is for America to fail and if that means Iraq becomes a bloody quagmire that destabilizes the region, well, maybe that's worth it. The notion that the French really care about the innocent people of Iraq is flatly absurd."

I have just uploaded another chapter from my book, Conservatism as heresy. See Chapter 34 ("The power elite") here or here. It explains why Leftists love conspiracy theories and may be the first time I pointed out in print that Hitler was a socialist. I show that the conspirators Hitler suspected (the Jews) work out to be much the same people that other Leftists suspect of conspiracy. The chapter was written 30 years ago for an Australian audience so most of the examples I give in support of my argument will be unfamiliar to most readers. But I am sure that it will be easy to fill in more current examples of the same sort of thing. The chapter also constitutes a short essay on the nature of political power.


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


26 October, 2003


A very short lesson in moral philosophy

Leftists make great hay out of the fact that moral absolutism is virtually impossible to defend philosophically. And I agree with them. I too am a moral relativist -- i.e. I believe that there is no timeless and forever fixed right and wrong and that what is right and wrong varies from society to society and has no meaning other than that. That does NOT mean, however, that all ways to live are equally wise -- which is the extension of moral relativism that Leftists usually glide into without people noticing. In other words, some ways of living lead to generally desired outcomes and some do not. That is a simple empirical proposition for which there is much evidence. Most people, for instance, desire material prosperity but only some ways of living lead to that. Laziness, for instance generally does not lead to prosperity so laziness is generally unwise, or, in shorthand, "bad" or "wrong". So don't let the sophomoric philosophical debating points of Leftists embarrass you into abandoning talk of "right" and "wrong". Such terms do have real and important meanings -- even if you are a moral relativist.

And at least from Edmund Burke onwards, conservatives have taken the matter one step further. That some value is merely the custom of a given society is taken by Leftists to imply that the value concerned is NOT worthy of respect or continuation. Conservatives draw precisely the opposite conclusion. That some custom has evolved through trial and error over a long period of time is seen by conservatives as indicating that it is probably a wise and valuable custom that should not be abandoned except for very strong reasons. The custom may not be "right" in any absolute, immutable or unimprovable sense but it may still be very wise and valuable in enabling a civil and healthy society to function and give its members what they desire -- such as peace, security and prosperity. In that sense, courage, honesty, democracy and the rule of law are "right". Countries where such values are widespread generally have more peace, security, freedom and prosperity than countries where such values are not widespread. Values and standards of behaviour are very important matters indeed.

Amusingly, however, Leftists are very prone to using the language of right and wrong (which they claim not to believe in) when it suits them. They will claim that things like Apartheid or "racism" are WRONG without batting an eyelid. The moral relativists suddenly become moralists. They will happily say things that they do not remotely believe in if it suits their ends of gaining power and influence. I did some research into the dishonest Leftist use of moral language which is reported here. And when Leftists do use moralistic language, it is rather fun to use the arguments of moral relativism to show how shallow their arguments are -- as here. There is a broader coverage of the issues in moral philosophy here.



An excellent article here about the downside of Canada's "cheap" pharmaceutical drugs. Canadians often cannot get the latest and most effective drugs at all. So THEY come to the U.S. for their drugs!

Most Americans would choose private schools: "A new Gallup poll conducted for Phi Delta Kappa International, whose education surveys command high respect in the teaching profession, reveals a compelling motivation for the fierce opposition teacher union leaders and most public school officials show toward school vouchers: Most students wouldn't attend public schools if they had a voucher."

Madsen Pirie has despaired of today's British Conservative Party too: "I take the view that Conservatism is both a disposition and a principled political stance. It aims to preserve or to restore the spontaneity of society, and to resist attempts to mould it to preconceived ends. I suggested in a tribute essay that F A Hayek was a Conservative, despite his famous claim not to be so. It is sometimes hard to see those principles at work today"

Chris Brand has a big coverage of the recent UK scandal where -- surprise, surprise! -- some UK police trainees were found to have racist views. Similar results could have been found in any UK working-class group. The workers are much more likely to call a spade a spade. "Spiked" thinks it is all a lot of nonsense too. See here and here and here. I have made clear for many years my view that there IS such a thing as race and that it DOES make a difference. Anybody who thinks otherwise has got his head up his behind.

Jeff Jacoby notes the Hitler-like remarks of Mohammad Mahathir and points out that the worst bigotry in the world today by far is Muslim bigotry: "The Bush administration, no doubt for diplomatic reasons, tried to cast Mahathir's latest screed as simply the invective of a lone bigot. "The comments were hateful," National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice told reporters, but "I do not think they are emblematic of the Muslim world." If only that were true. Unfortunately, while many in the West voiced outrage at Mahathir's poisonous remarks, the Muslim world's reaction ranged from utter indifference to hearty approval. The audience to whom Mahathir spoke -- the presidents, kings, and emirs of the nations that make up the Organization of the Islamic Conference -- rewarded him with a standing ovation."

The Wicked one has recent posts on selfish savages, mad Mother Teresa and alternatives to Llamas!

At last! A whole book exposing Political Correctness for what it is: "A reader for the politically incorrect" by George Zilbergeld. I have put up more details about it on PC Watch. As well as explaining political correctness, it gives the other side of "correct" thinking on a lot of issues -- which reminds me of my own book of nearly 30 years ago: "Conservatism as heresy". Even that far back Leftist views were dominant in academe and my antidote to such ideas in fact sold well -- though not as well as the publisher hoped. Most of the book is still relevant today so I have just put up the complete Table of Contents from it here (or here). Some of the chapters are online already so if anybody thinks a particular chapter still sounds interesting they can let me know and I will upload it.


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


25 October, 2003


I restrict my analysis of the Left almost entirely to the Left in Anglo-Saxon countries as I feel that I lack depth of knowledge about the Left elsewhere but the following comment from an Israeli reader suggests that the Left in Israel is pretty similar to the Left in the Anglo-Saxon countries: "As Israel has been in a war situation for years, some of the Israeli left parties' naive moves have cost a lot in blood. And, back in 73', Israel almost LOST a war due to the ignorance of facts and the sticking to wishful conceptions by the Labor party's leadership". Leftists everywhere seem to be so attached to their simplistic dreams that when reality does not match the dream, reality is ignored for as long as possible. The big yet fragile ego of the Leftist creates in him a need to feel that he has an understanding of world events that other people lack so when his special "understanding" of the world is shown by events to be oversimplified rubbish, reality is simply blotted out, rationalized, explained away or otherwise denied.



I have often pointed out in this blog how the Leftist leanings of psychologists make them unscholarly and unscientific in the "research" that they do (e.g. here and here and here). The carelessness is not only evident when they write on politics, however. My latest academic upload (here or here) is about an issue in personnel psychology and I was able to explode some ludicrous claims there too.

Perhaps most amusingly, my study also showed that a previously unsuspected variable -- "task-orientation" -- was a good predictor of political party preference. Leftist psychologists have spent years searching for non-obvious predictors of vote (e.g. here) without success. The meaning of my finding is that people who want to get the job done rather than laze about tend to vote conservative. Not so surprising when you think about it!

And another thing Leftist psychologists have vainly been trying to find for decades (e.g. here) is a scale (set of questions) that will predict authoritarian personality (domineering, bossy behaviour). It turns out that task-orientation was a good predictor of that too! In other words, people who push others around are often doing so not for its own sake but for a good reason -- trying to make something happen. I published those findings 30 years ago but their failure to confirm Leftist prejudices has ensured that they have subsequently been totally ignored -- despite my doing in one article two things that have now been the holy grail of political psychology for over 50 years.



Italy's conservative government certainly has courage. With Italy's fast-aging population, the government's plan to stop early access to old-age pensions is desperately needed but you can imagine how popular it is. Still, Australia has quietly but very gradually put up the pensionable age for women without significant controversy so there is some hope for rationality in the matter.

A US reader who has recently visited Russia has noted a couple of recent posts on this blog which show that poor people drink a lot of alcohol and comments: "In US cities, you can almost estimate the "poverty level" by the number of liquor stores per block. And the liberals say alcohol caused the poverty - I believe it is the other way around. And in Russia - alcohol was so available I almost couldn't believe it. Almost every gift shop sold vodka and everything else. And it was sold in public places, subway, etc."

It is of course nonsense that cheap Canadian drugs are bad for you but the drug companies can only recover their costs in the US market so until there is worldwide deregulation of drug prices (i.e. never) US consumers will either have to bear drug development costs alone or drug development will grind to a halt. It's not at all fair or just but can you see any US administration going in to bat for the drug companies worldwide? The way the Left have managed to demonize the people who give us the new drugs, it would be a complete waste of time.

But here is a defence of on-line pharmacies

A good article here on the economic failures of the Clinton years -- failures that the US economy is only now starting to overcome. Economic policy changes take a few years to show their effects.

The way illegal immigrants are dying as they try to get into Western countries is a good argument for tough policies like Australia's. They don't even try to get into Australia by boat anymore.

Andrew Bolt points out how Leftist mythology rather than the historical truth is often what we hear in the mainstream Australian media: "IT'S not that they lie. No, it's just that even the nicest journalists are driven by our intellectual culture to peddle bizarre untruths. This was demonstrated perfectly last Wednesday when the ABC's AM program noted the 50th anniversary of the first atomic bomb test on Australian soil."

Surprise! SOME Dems think voters can see reality: Evan Bayh of Indiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas said the antigun image perpetuates the idea that Democrats are 'cultural elites,' alienating them from mainstream voters."

Mike Tremoglie PROVES that Democrat opposition to GWB's Iraq policy is nothing more than hypocritical opportunism by pointing out that Clinton did the same thing in Bosnia (no UN authorization etc) to universal Democrat approval.

The results of Leftist anti-car policy: "Special units of emergency staff with life-saving equipment are to be created to deal with potential gridlock on Britain's roads. Amid rising concern about growing congestion throughout the country, transport officials fear that a whole city or trunk route could seize up -- leaving drivers stranded in their cars.

Chris Brand has more on the Swiss elections and notes the great rise in anti-immigrant sentiment in Britain too.


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24 October, 2003


I'm no Theodore Dalrymple but ....

In this blog I talk almost exclusively about Leftists and very rarely say anything about myself except in connection with my academic journal articles. A point I have made clear on a number of occasions, however, is that I think it makes a difference that I generally speak from a lot of experience rather than from theory. This also applies to comments I make about "the poor" (or "underprivileged" in Leftist jargon).

One of the great Leftist themes is their "compassion" for the poor. But from what they say it is clear that the average dreaming Leftist intellectual knows only as much about the poor as he can imagine from the comfort of a well-paid middle class job and general middle-class background. I however was born into a working-class family (my father was a lumberjack) so I have always been perfectly familiar and at ease with the poorer members of my society and been able to speak to them using their own idioms, concepts, values and characteristic beliefs. I actually have to make some effort to write this blog in international English as my natural tendency is to express myself in the vivid Australian vernacular. If I were writing this blog solely for an Australian working class audience, for instance, I would be able to convey very accurately my impression of Leftists by saying that they are people who are always "bunging on an act", who are not "fair dinkum" and who are always "big-noting" themselves -- but I doubt very much that such terms would be universally understood in the way intended. All three terms are, by the way, expressions of extreme contempt among Australian working class people.

Because my background made it possible, I did for a couple of years not so long ago own and run a large boarding house in one of Brisbane's poorest suburbs (Ipswich). My tenants were almost exclusively long-term unemployed and, yes, I did accept black tenants. The law was of absolutely no use in managing such people. The previous owner of the place was an "outsider" and had experienced financial disaster as a result. Because I understood the type of people I had as tenants, however, I WAS able to manage them and made good money out of the business. And I would not have been able to eject "campers", single-handedly clear a room full of interlopers or physically throw out druggies if I had not always known the right psychological buttons to push. I always did such tasks with impunity even though I am not physically imposing and even though I was often dealing with hardened criminals. My psychology was practical as well as theoretical -- largely because it was founded on an intimate understanding of the people I was dealing with. If anybody thinks they know the Australian underclass better than I do, I would like to see them do the sort of thing I did without getting their head punched in.

So what were my tenants like? Foolish. Few if any, for instance, were keen shoppers. Almost all would buy a lot of their food and other requirements from nearby service stations and "convenience" stores even though prices there were up to 50% higher than at the supermarket only a short walk further down the road. If that does not tell you that a lot of poverty is self-inflicted, I do not know what would.

And dishonesty and criminality were rife among them. They were always stealing from one-another. Anybody who had anything of value in his room was very unwise to walk out of his room without locking the door behind him. They WERE often unwise of course so there was an awful lot of "lost" money and property among them. If that does not tell you that poverty is closely associated with moral breakdown, I do not know what would.

And despite the fact that all of them lived entirely from welfare payment to welfare payment, all of them could afford to drink (alcohol) and smoke. On "payday", there was a regular parade of cardboard boxes of "Fruity Lexia" (a cheap but pleasant Australian white wine) into the premises. If that does not tell you that they were not really poor I do not know what would.

Maybe I will say later how I think the welfare system should be reformed in the light of what "the poor" really are like.



Eugenics -- comment from a reader: "If we simply didn't subsidize "the stupid" they would voluntarily reduce their numbers. Housing, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Free Education do not increase the numbers of "high IQ" people - high IQ people are functioning quite well without any of that" It is certainly true that the welfare state has brought natural selection to a grinding halt.

I have noted previously the recent Asian claim that Australia will not be accepted in Asia until its population is predominantly Asian -- an obviously racist claim. View from the Right thinks the claim shows that a policy of non-discrimination in racial matters is futile and should be abandoned.

I normally agree with articles on "Townhall" but this guy sounds like a bureacrat. He wants heavy penaties for the young guy who showed the whole of America how useless their bureacratized airport security is. I think the kid deserves a medal. It is the honchos at airport security that should be in jail.

A horror story about bureaucratized medicine in New Zealand. You would not wish it on a dog. By contrast, I need surgery for skin cancer pretty often and I get it within weeks when I ask for it under my private health insurance here in Australia. I encounter no bureaucracy at all. I don't even have a preliminary consultation. I just ring up the plastic surgeon's receptionist, book myself in for a procedure and turn up on the day arranged. I go straight into the plastic surgeon's private operating theatre and he does the job forthwith. No fuss at all and a trivial out of pocket expense. And if it looks an easy job I get my GP to do the slicing. I have to book him only a couple of days in advance and he costs me nothing at all. No bureaucracy with him either. Just one appointment and it's all over. Why anybody would have any other system I do not know.

I have just put up here a news release from the UK Libertarian Alliance which condemns the proposed EU ban on "Transplant tourism". The idea being that people who need (say) a kidney transplant but who cannot get one in their own country must be forbidden from going to any other country to get what they need! It sounds a lot like the Berlin wall to me.

A very popular analytical technique in psychology and sociology is factor analysis. It mostly seems to be used in an attempt to get statistical mathematics to do your thinking for you. In my latest academic upload (here or here) I point out that it is often misused.


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23 October, 2003


A reader writes

I read with interest your paper on Indian farmers and IQ. This took me back to my own PhD (done at a major Australian university) on malnutrition among kids in Papua New Guinea in the mid 1980s. I spent 18 months in the bush.

One of my more interesting observations after this period of time was that kids with dumb parents tended to be more malnourished than kids with intelligent parents. My three thesis supervisors were horrified when I proposed to write about it. As I had not used any psychometric tools to test my idea, I was able to be convinced that I should let it drop. Their motivations however, were driven more out of political correctness than anything else.

I subsequently presented a short paper at a conference on a different aspect of my research. I discussed what villagers were doing with their cash cropping money. No-one had ever done a whole-of-village study at that time in PNG. I found that nearly half of all money was spent on alcohol.

I was treated like a leper by old New Guinea academic hands and development studies academics because I had broken a taboo -- it was not appropriate to talk about these kinds of social problems in polite academic circles -- the only true turf was the anti-Western cum Marxist explanation for nutritional and economic inequality. Needless to say, I got my PhD then quickly abandoned any hope of a career in academia. There is no place there for people who are not seriously Left-wing.



I noted a couple of days ago how free trade is a great potential weapon against terrorism so it is good to see that Australian economist (and blogger) Alex Robson has won the Independent Institute's essay prize for an analysis of Cobden's view that the spread of business promotes international peace and freedom. Alex concludes: "Most of the formal theoretical work and empirical studies support Cobden's position". Alex also had a thoughtful article about the death penalty published recently. Quote: "Emory University economists recently found that each additional execution in the US in 1996 resulted in 18 fewer murders"

Mike Tremoglie also pulls apart the arguments of a death penalty opponent. As I have said elsewhere (PDF), I personally think that the police are so crooked that it would be hard to find evidence convincing enough for something as final as the death penalty. Police corruption is an unending scandal here in Australia. The Police chief himself went to jail not so long ago in my home State of Queensland. And the Amirault case does not do much to inspire confidence in the procedures of American justice either.

A long and very well-informed article on global warming here. Excerpt: "So what is the global warming debate about? It's about the proposition that human use of fossil fuels has contributed significantly to the past century's warming, and that expected future warming may have catastrophic global consequences. But hard evidence for this human contribution simply does not exist; the evidence we have is suggestive at best. Does that mean the human effects are not occurring? Not necessarily. But media coverage of global warming has been so alarmist that it fails to convey how flimsy the evidence really is."

The Weathermen underground Leftist saboteurs of the 60s were clearly driven by gigantic egos. THEY knew what was best for us!

"World Food Day, which is Thursday, seems an appropriate occasion to consider both where our food comes from and also who's hungry in the world. The two topics are connected. Poor nations need to export food to the US and other rich nations, if they're to have half a chance of alleviating poverty there. But rich nations are making it difficult for them to do so. Poor nations don't have much industry, but they do have farms. The corn, wheat, cotton, sugar, rice and dairy products they produce are just about the only things many of them have to trade for what they need from the rest of the world."

There is an aticle in The Statesman which claims (satirically) that "Diana and Elvis shot JFK". That does summarize well the difficulty many people have with coming to terms with the complexity of the real world -- which makes them good customers for the vicious oversimplifications of the Left.

One consequence of GWB's big spending: "Some libertarians in good standing are actually thinking of voting Democratic."

The temporary home of Peter Cuthbertson's "Conservative Commentary" seems to have become rather permanent -- for those who follow British politics closely. He seems to be writing up his diary of the recent Conservative party conference at the moment. He seems to have found some signs of life there.

The Carnival of the Vanities has arrived again.

The Wicked one thinks Malaysia's Mahathir is wrong about the Jews but not stupid.

My latest academic upload (here or here) provides a way of doing objective research into environmentalism and reveals that support for environmental issues is very widespread in the community.


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22 October, 2003


If it is proper that a person is allowed to say whom he welcomes into his own house, it is equally proper that a nation welcome into its own country only those whom it chooses

The recent big gains of the Volkspartei ("People's Party" or SVP) in the Swiss elections seems to be mainly a protest about unwanted immigrants. This sounds familiar: "You must bear in mind that Switzerland has one of the highest levels [per capita] of foreigners in Europe," Ackermann said. "It is near 20 percent of the population, and a lot of people have the impression that no other party [apart from the SVP] is really representing their interests." Ackermann said that in some inner-city areas, there are some schools which have few Swiss children in their classes, and that scares the local people. He also says that the hostility of the Swiss community is directed not at normal guest-workers, nor at genuine refugees, but at the illegal immigrants who are seen as taking advantage of the Swiss social-security system"

I doubt that there is any people who have welcomed proportionately more immigrants into their midst than Australians but they recently gave their government a big victory because of its successful crackdown on illegal immigration -- so to equate a desire for immigration control with xenophobia or racism runs completely against the evidence. On the evidence of deeds, Australians are arguably the least xenophobic nation on earth. The wish for restricted immigration is basically a desire to ensure that the society continues to function as well as it does without disruption from people who do not respect or share its norms, values and customs.

And the claim that Australia will not be accepted in Asia until our population is at least 50% Asian is clearly racist itself. And the low types that Australia DOES let in at times is truly amazing.



Hitler is alive and well in Malaysia: "An unrepentant Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad repeated Tuesday his belief that Jews rule the world" And Canada's position on such statements? "They're not acceptable, we don't tolerate them, we don't countenance them at all" -- but he did not deny that they are true! In other words, Mahathir is right but naughty to say it.

The WSJ has a big coverage of antisemitism among U.S. Democrats.

Wow! Australia has come to an agreement with China that looks like the first part of a free-trade agreement. It will be great both for Australia's prosperity and security but what a dilemma it will pose for the Australian Left! To criticize it will be to criticize a Communist country! Erk! The great Leftist taboo!

How times change: General Motors is about to start building Cadillacs in China!

Oh dear! Bitchy, bitchy! "Even pathetic old prunes have their moment in the glare of the gossip mags"

The US Left is worried that half the blue collar workers back Bush. Showing how little respect they really have for the average man, they explain it by saying that blue-collar workers are so dumb that they just like the Bush he-man image. Yet Nixon was no he-man and he actually got a majority of the blue-collar votes. What the Leftists just cannot face is that people might be able to see how bad for the country their policies are.

Jeff Jacoby says: "Americans have been dying at the hands of Palestinian Arab terrorists for decades, yet the US government and media rarely if ever portray Yasser Arafat and his lieutenants as avowed enemies of the United States. The State Department does not demand the extradition of Palestinian killers of Americans, not even when the killers' identities and whereabouts are known"

A libertarian reader thinks that the "do not call" list is a bad idea: "it is really quite worthless - there are poor enforcement mechanisms, and the only effect will be to fine smaller companies that misuse it to lower competition with larger companies. And politicians and charities will still have free rein. Worst of all - in the US telemarketers pay about 40% of long distance bills - and those who have put these people out of business are going to be in for a big surprise when their phone costs skyrocket. I feel about the same about popups - erasing them is simpler than tracking them down, etc.. And I just love to talk to some of the telemarketers - like to refuse to tell them my race, etc. It is really entertaining at times. For my answering machine, I announce that the message is limited to one minute and I have a quick erase button. No problem at all."

The Wicked one is very cynical about New Yorkers but impressed by their policing.

One of the most basic features of conservative thinking is that human society is too complex to be governed by simple rules and theories -- so change must be of a careful, step-by-step nature if unintended consequences are to be avoided. Such a rejection of simplistic theories goes back at least as far as the French Revolution and the writings of Edmund Burke. So it is amusing that, for the last 50 years and more, psychologists have been trying to prove the opposite of this historical truth. They have been trying to prove that it is conservatives who are characterized by simplistic thinking -- the very thing that conservatives have historically rejected! That it is the Left who are the lovers of simplistic theories is however amply evident in the writings of psychologists themselves -- which is what one would expect given the overwhelmingly Leftist orientation of psychologists. I devoted most of my 20 years of writing for the academic journals to pointing out instance after instance of such simplistic thinking -- constantly showing that people are far more complex than the theories popular among psychologists allow. My latest academic upload (see here or here) is just a minor example of that. I show that attitudes to death are much more complex than is usually believed.


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21 October, 2003


As someone who has read and enjoyed just about all the Agatha Christie novels, I was pleased to see that Johann Hari finds a lot of good things to say about her instead of dismissing her in the usual way as just another writer of "Whodunits". She does of course evoke in her novels the orderly world of British middle-class life as she knew it and Hari recognizes that such scenarios are attractive.

But his claim that she was propagandizing for a world of "Burkean conservatism" is fanciful. She just used the world she knew best for her backdrops. She used Iraq and Egypt as backdrops too (her husband was an archaeologist) so does that mean she was defending Islam?

What Hari is really attacking is a straw man. He claims that Burkean conservatives believe in a natural, immutable order of things -- which is balderdash. What they DO believe in is a largely immutable human nature -- and there is any amount of evidence for that view.



A very good summary here of why the war in Iraq was fully justified. It answers all the critics in a very brief and to-the-point manner under the heading: "Uncovering the Truth About Going to War".

A prominent Australian Leftist says: "Whatever one may think about the decision to use military force in Iraq, and whatever doubts one may have about whether Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the people of Iraq are better off now than they were under Hussein's rule" And he goes on to give figures showing how far Iraq has progressed in recent months.

There is a slightly heartening article about the Arab world here. Apparently some Arab thinkers realize why the Arab world is so backward and getting worse. And lots of Arabs are listening to them. See also here

Being an oil exporter (something Iraq isn't as yet) is not necessarily the bonanza it is popularly portrayed. In fact many mid-East non-oil states outperform the oil states. Getting something for nothing is not as good as it seems.



Some interesting history: The Pledge of Allegiance was originally a socialist idea designed to thwart Federalism. I am an atheist so people are welcome to pledge or not to their heart's content as far as I am concerned. I wouldn't bother anybody about it one way or the other. I was however a Christian fundamentalist in my teens and used to refuse to utter the daily pledge of allegiance to Queen and country that was then customary in Australian schools. As far as I was concerned at that time, my only allegiance was to God. But nobody really bothered me about it. They just thought I was a nut. A reader recently made a good point to me when he said that a lot of the opposition to the U.S. pledge is probably coming from atheists who are insecure in their atheism. I think the main motive for the opposition is just the usual Leftist attention-seeking, however. If they can upset ordinary people they will.

In response to my post yesterday about the "Do not call" list, one reader had an interesting response: "Not everyone who claims to hate telemarketers actually refuses to buy from or donate to them when called. The fact that the telemarketers oppose the list tells me the success rate with people on the list is high enough that it is profitable to keep calling them".

Government "protection" being useless as usual: "Five undercover agents of the US Department of Homeland Security posing as passengers last week carried weapons through several security checkpoints at Logan International Airport without being detected. ... [A] source who works in security at Logan said the undercover agents, who work for the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, brought knives, a bomb, and a gun in carry-on baggage through several checkpoints at different terminals without being stopped."

Australia: "Victoria's hate laws were thrown into question yesterday when a judge said they might be in conflict with the Australian constitution. ... The constitution does not explicitly guarantee freedom of speech, but in two recent cases -- involving former New Zealand prime minister David Lange and animal rights activist Laurie Levy -- the High Court has ruled on rights to political free speech."

This writer thinks that sexual liberation has made it too easy for guys and too hard for women.

Here's a lesson that GWB seems slow to learn: Free Trade can be a potent weapon against terrorism.

Chris Brand has answered some of the attacks made on a Danish psychologist who recently called for a VOLUNTARY eugenics program.

In my latest academic upload I take just one page to shoot down a claim by a Leftist Canadian psychologist that Australians are particularly "authoritarian" (see here and here). In his reply to my article, he admitted that he had made up (in his words "estimated") a key statistic that he had used. Why am I not surprised? For more on the way Leftist academics make "facts" up see Windschuttle's work and the Bellesiles affair. But the slightest hint of anything irregular in research that conservatives quote causes instantaneous condemnation of all concerned, as Chris Brand notes about the "Burt Affair". Burt was in fact remarkably accurate in his once-disputed conclusions.


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20 October, 2003


My latest academic upload (see here or here) is a report of some research carried out in India among a large group of Indian village farmers. My Indian co-author and I looked at the claim that third-world farmers fail to modernize and improve their output because of "resistance to change". We found that attitude to change had nothing to do with it. It was the more intelligent and more highly motivated farmers who modernized and prospered. That naughty old IQ that the Leftists hate was at work again! How inconvenient that all men are unequal!

We know that Leftists also see "resistance to change" as what underlies conservatism -- even though James Lindgren shows from the public opinion poll data that it clearly is not. Leftists themselves are so hungry for change that they tend to see resistance to change under every bed, as it were. They cannot grasp that change as such it is just not a big issue for most people.

I might also note the unusually high quality of the data gathered by my Sikh collaborator in the Indian farmer study. He not only went out and interviewed real live Indian farmers but he sampled carefully those he interviewed and ended up doing a total of 300 interviews -- each of which took 4 hours! I cannot think of a single piece of Western research that was as thoroughly done. Handing out a bunch of questionnaires to your students (or playing tricks on your students) is the usual "research" method of Western psychologists.

It tends to show how shameful it is that research reported in Indian social science journals is almost universally ignored by allegedly "anti-racist" Western psychologists. Deeds speak louder than words! I myself do cite Indian sources. I cited five in the Indian farmer study alone. I can be slightly understanding that American and British psychologists fail to cite relevant sources in German but the Indians even go to the trouble of reporting their findings in English and still get ignored!



Search engines are strange beasts. You can enter the same search term day after day and get radically different results each time. A relatively recently-posted document gets treated in a particularly erratic way. One day the search engine will "find" it and the next day not. Where Google is concerned, it seems to take at least a month until a new document is regularly "found". I have been keeping a eye on the three critiques I recently wrote which demolish three bodies of Leftist writing about the psychology of conservatism. I would hope that anybody taking an interest in any of the "research" concerned would be certain to see my critique of it. I got particularly good results last night. On a Yahoo search using the terms social dominance orientation and Alain Van Hiel, my critique was the second document the search returned in both cases. I hope the ranking eventually settles down like that. Google also found my article on need for closure for the first time yesterday but it came in as about the 70th document on that search. It should move up as they find more links to it, however. This article explains some of the mystery behind Google's erratic results in the first month.

It is hard to believe but some foolish French firm has just sued Google over the way Google uses its name in search results. If I were running Google I would just bar ANY results for the name of that firm. That would cause a quick change of tune.



A reader has pointed out that the "Townhall" story about cyclamates that I linked to yesterday was incorrect. Despite all the evidence, the FDA has not yet lifted the ban -- though cyclamates are legal in Canada. So US diabetics have been deprived of the sweetener that worked best for many of them.

If you can judge an issue by those who oppose it, guns should be pretty safe in the US. This moronic anti-gun website gives the ban on cyclamates as an example of why government regulation is a good thing!

Since the NYT ran this story, I assume that it is supposed to embarrass Republicans: "Top California Democrat Makes a Surprising Revelation: He Voted for Schwarzenegger". The implication being that Arnie is not really a conservative, I guess. But Priorities and Frivolities has another explanation.

Even socialists have to face reality eventually: "German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has announced that retirement pensions will be frozen next year as part of reforms to the country's over-burdened benefits system. A weary-looking Mr Schroeder revealed the decision after five hour long talks"

An extraordinary story here for those who have an IVF child (as I do) or who are still trying.

John Moore has a good summary of the movement to give convicted criminals the vote. Criminals are "a natural Democrat constituency"!

Newmark has the sort of intelligent question that we often seem to get only from economists: "Puzzle: why do many telemarketers oppose the Do Not Call list? Telemarketers know they have to place many, many calls to find one poor sucker they can fleece. Why shouldn't they welcome the government's help in narrowing the search?"

There is an unusual Japanese blog called "Shitfit" (!) that consists just of links without any commentary. It makes Haiku look verbose. But a lot of the links are interesting, though.

The Wicked one has an amusing "Letter from a farm kid" with a good sting in the tail.


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19 October, 2003


Few readers of this blog will be unaware of the writings of British prison doctor "Theodore Dalrymple" (Anthony Daniels). There is a review of his latest book here which goes on to compare the British and American situations. It concludes that, as in Britain, U.S. Leftists create and perpetuate social ills: "Here in America, the liberal Great Society programs of the Johnson White House continue to reward the destruction of the family and essentially addict the poor to welfare like it was crack cocaine. When reformers suggest that able-bodied, unemployed public housing residents perform community service in exchange for their housing, it is the liberal elites that join the chorus comparing this simple and logical measure to slavery. Rather than promoting behavior that encourages productivity and civility, these people seem willing to perpetuate the problem. Whether it's in England or here in America, these are prime examples of what I call liberal-elitist guilt. Left-leaning intellectuals who don't want to appear racist or close-minded view behavior they themselves would condemn in their family as "understandable" when it's exhibited in minorities, immigrants or poor whites. Excusing such behavior makes them believe they are showing solidarity with the disadvantaged, and it serves to enhance their own sense of moral superiority."



I mentioned yesterday the story from The Guardian about a moronic "briefing note" that allegedly emanated from someone in the White House. I note that the U.S. Embassy in Australia has denied that it was issued under White House authority: "The White House issued no such memo"

Nice to have friends: China too now seems to like Australia.

I think this says it all about gun control: "Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.), along with 22 Democrats and 40 Republicans as co-sponsors, has introduced legislation to guarantee residents of Washington their Second Amendment right to bear firearms in their homes and businesses. The legislation seeks to lift Washington's gun ban - one of the strictest in America - which forbids law-abiding citizens from possessing handguns. (Even rifles are allowed only on an extremely limited basis.) "The District of Columbia is a failed laboratory experiment for gun control," Souder says. "It has one of the most comprehensive bans on firearms in the nation, and it also has one of the highest violent-crime rates in the nation. "In fact, in 2002 it had the highest per-capita crime rate of any city in the nation. This is not a coincidence. The simple fact is, when law-abiding citizens are forbidden by their government from protecting themselves, they become easy prey for those to whom a gun ban is just one more law to break."

Your friendly bureaucratic protector: "The FDA goes through this sort of backtracking from time to time. They did it with artificial sweeteners, for example, back in the 1970's. First they banned a sweetener called cyclamates, convinced by the testimony of a few rats that it was a carcinogen. Then the tests came back and it turned out that cyclamates were substantially less likely to cause cancer than saccharine, its main competitor at the time. Red-faced, the FDA put cyclamates back on the approved list..... The cyclamates, Alar and silicone breast implant cases represent the human tendency toward a superstitious fear of the new and strange, a tendency which persists even in these enlightened times"

This article points out that making education ever more available to more and more people at lower and lower cost to them is basically a bottomless pit. Education is such a popular cause however that nobody seems to know how put a stop to the crazy spiral involved. That most of the extra credentials earned are meaningless bits of paper and that some of them actually reduce a person's employability, nobody wants to admit: "Americans, it seems, have never been better educated. Between 1970 and 2000 the number of individuals enrolled in institutions of higher learning increased from about 8.5 million to 15.3 million. Likewise, from 1971 to 2001, the percentage of 25- to 29-year olds in the United States holding at least a bachelor's degree rose 71 percent. So why, as Congress prepares to reauthorize the federal law governing higher education, are policy makers so unhappy?"

According to the national convention delegate surveys... "60% of first-time white delegates at the [1992] Democratic convention in New York City either claimed no attachment to religion or displayed the minimal attachment by attending worship services 'a few times a year' or less. About 5% of first-time delegates at the Republican convention in Houston identified themselves as secularists." That's a huge gap -- 60% versus 5% being irreligious. The USA really is in the middle of a religious war with only the conservatives defending the rights and values of traditional Christians. I guess competing religions do tend to be intolerant of one-another and there is no doubt that socialism has many of the characteristics of a messianic religion. Stanley Kurtz has a particularly persuasive treatment of Leftism as a religion in National Review.

Jeff Jacoby explains why the "Nobel" Peace Prize is just a political football. It is not even awarded by the same country that awards the other Nobel prizes.

As is now well-known, psychologists Jost, Kruglanski & Co. summarized past psychological research as showing that conservatives are "dogmatic" -- which is a clearly derogatory description (even more derogatory if you realize that psychologists equate "dogmatism" with "closed-mindedness"). Under pressure from public ridicule over their article (particularly over their identifying Communist tyrants such as Stalin, Khrushchev and Castro as conservatives), Kruglanski and Jost did back off their claims considerably in a newspaper article, saying: "but it is also true that liberals could be characterized on the basis of our overall profile as relatively disorganized, indecisive and perhaps overly drawn to ambiguity -- all of which may be liabilities" I wrote a similar conclusion nearly 30 years ago as a result of one of my studies of dogmatism (just uploaded here and here): "We might, in other words, have to take care lest we on one hand condemn as dogmatic, what is in fact a highly adaptive need for simplification, and on the other tolerate as open-minded the merely vacuous"


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18 October, 2003


Thomas Sowell says: "It used to be said that nothing succeeds like success. Today, nothing draws fire like success.... A whole vocabulary has grown up among the intelligentsia to downplay or dismiss the achievements that create our standard of living and the longevity that allows us to enjoy it more fully. Where some achieve more than others, that is not seen as a special contribution to society that should be appreciated but as a grievance to be resented by others, in the name of equality. Achievements are called "advantages" or "privileges."... Why is it that achievements -- whether in medicine, business, literature or wherever -- draw such negative reactions? Eric Hoffer may have put his finger on it when he said: "Nothing so offends the doctrinaire intellectual as our ability to achieve the momentous in a matter-of-fact way, unblessed by words." There is little or no role left for these self-important word-mongers when pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart, cops, and others do the things that make our lives better. The talkers and writers resent being left on the sidelines by the doers.



Another misleading headline: "Largest ever study finds GM crops 'harm wildlife'" If you read the details all they found was that some insects were less common around some crops. And it was the weeds around the crops that made the difference, not the crops themselves. Big deal! A more accurate headline would have been "Weeds are a good thing" -- but that would have just produced laughter.

Wow! Here's an angle on the Staten Island ferry accident I didn't know about. New Yorker Fresh Bilge writes: "It appears that the operators hired an older man of dubious merit, placed him in command too soon, and lacked enough responsible personnel to deal with the moment of crisis. I would like to know more about the management of the Staten Island ferry system. This sounds like an affirmative action accident to me."

A good summary here of the "briefing note" put out to journalists by some moronic White House staffer in connection with the forthcoming visit to Australia of GWB. Many Americans must be embarrassed at the obviously low intellectual level of their bureaucracy. Giving the Guardian good cause to laugh at you is not exactly clever. It's all a pretty good comment on the shambles that is American education. No doubt the klutz who wrote the crap had a degree of some kind.

Bloody wars between rival Muslim groups have come to Australia. New South Wales Premier Bob Carr spoke for many Australians when he commented on it: "My message is simple: obey the law in Australia or ship out of Australia ... "We're not going to see, step by step, our civilisation dragged back to medieval standards of revenge cycles. Simple as that." Personal Independence Day has more on the subject under his heading "Pot calls kettle black" -- where he looks at the hypocrisy in the predictable calls for gun control that have arisen out of the matter.

In another post Personal Independence Day is just a little scathing about Noam Chomsky -- comparing our Noam unfavourably with a chimpanzee etc. He is still not as scathing about Noam as linguist Marc Miyake, however. Marc has the advantage over Noam of actually knowing a lot of languages and points out that Noam's linguistic ideas are about as well-founded and as coherent as his political ideas. How surprising that a Leftist professor should actually not know much about his own subject! Who needs facts when you have got theories?

It looks like the schism in the U.S. Episcopal church is underway. No prizes for guessing which of the two new branches will attract the big congregations.

A pungent Ann Coulter comment: "The reason any conservative's failing is always major news is that it allows liberals to engage in their very favorite taunt: Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy is the only sin that really inflames them. Inasmuch as liberals have no morals, they can sit back and criticize other people for failing to meet the standards that liberals simply renounce. It's an intriguing strategy. By openly admitting to being philanderers, draft dodgers, liars, weasels and cowards, liberals avoid ever being hypocrites."

The Wicked one has a post on love that will give you the best laugh you have had all day -- money-back guarantee.

Further to my post yesterday pointing out that Mussolini was philosemitic for many years until his alliance with Hitler forced him to change course, I thought I might also mention that Musso was not the only Fascist with such views. Most people have probably forgotten that prewar Britain had a large Fascist movement too -- under the socially prominent Sir Oswald Mosley (the King came to his wedding!). And Sir Oswald initially used to EXPEL from the British Union of Fascists anybody who made antisemitic utterances! When his meetings came under constant attack from Jewish Leftists, however, he had something of a rethink. So, far from proving the association between nationalism and racism that Leftists love to assert, even Fascism itself shows that there is no such necessary association. For their times, most of the major Fascist leaders were actually fairly enlightened about the Jews.

As readers of this blog will by now be well aware, psychologists have been studying conservatism for many years in a hook-or-by-crook effort to show that conservatism is a sign of psychological deficiency of some sort. Their efforts are however regularly undermined by their own Leftist arrogance. They are so sure that they KNOW what is the case that the "proofs" they offer for their contentions are of the most careless kind. They are "proofs" which lack the most elementary scientific precautions. A case in point is one of the indexes of conservatism that they regularly use -- the Wilson C-scale. I have just uploaded another of my articles on this scale -- see here or here -- in which I point out yet again that this scale does, on a minority of occasions, seriously malfunction. Any real scientist who is shown evidence that his chief measuring instument is prone to give false readings on some occasions would either abandon it or test it for accuracy on every occasion that he used it. To test the C-scale in such a way whenever it was used would be easy but I have yet to read an article in the political psychology literature that does so. You are expected to take the accuracy of their findings on faith! What clowns!


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17 October, 2003


In their usual simplistic way, Leftists almost invariably equate Hitler's German Nazism with Mussolini's Italian Fascism. The facts are however very different and I have just posted some large extracts from a Jewish academic journal that show how different historically Fascism and Nazism were. Both Hitler and Mussolini combined Leftism with nationalism but there the similarities end. Far from being antisemitic, for instance, Mussolini repeatedly made effusively philo-Semitic speeches and finally reversed course only out of a desire to curry favour with Hitler. Even after he had finally passed antisemitic laws, however, Italy remained one of the safest places in Europe for Jews to be. All these facts are well-known to historians of the period but Leftist rhetoric regularly ignores such facts. Strictly speaking, a Fascist is actually someone who favours Jews! But you would never guess that from hearing any modern-day Leftist speak. For all their pompous talk about the subject, Leftist "intellectuals" generally know as much about racism as they do about Fascism ... which is very little indeed. I have been reading the textbooks and journal articles of academic psychology (which is overwhelmingly Leftist) for 40 years and have yet to find Fascism associated with anything but ANTIsemitism! Such total ignorance of history among those who are supposedly THE experts on racism! Read what the psychologists do not know here

Further references:
Herzer, I. (1989) The Italian refuge: Rescue of Jews during the holocaust. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press
Steinberg, J. (1990) All or nothing: The Axis and the holocaust London: Routledge.



"Two things...have staggered me....The first has been the dangers that have so swiftly come upon us in a few years, and have been transforming our position and the whole outlook of the world. Secondly, I have been staggered by the failure of the House of Commons to react effectively against those dangers." --Winston Churchill, 1936 ++ "All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into darkness....We have sustained a defeat without a war." --Winston Churchill, 1938. The first sentence could of course have been about the USA today. Fortunately, Bush and Blair have heeded the warning of the past and have not just sat around "negotiating" the way the British and French of the 1930s did. (Via The Federalist.

Miranda Devine points out that it is bad roads which are the major cause of traffic accidents and that speed cameras do nothing to improve safety -- despite government claims to the contrary.

There is a huge collection of Democrat quotes about Iraq dating from the Clinton years here. When GWB says something it is "lies". When Democrats say the same thing it is cause for cheering!

Chicago as Little Mexico. For mile after mile nobody speaks English.

Thomas Sowell spells out the real political reasons why Democrats oppose vouchers. Hint: It has nothing to do with "compassion" for blacks or any other poorly schooled kids.

The small business regulatory swamp: "Perhaps the most destructive result of regulation is the effect on the poorest of our citizens. In our inner city, there is no shortage of needs ... no shortage of business opportunities to provide needed services and products ... but the complexity of starting a small business can be completely overwhelming ... so difficult, even with a great idea, that it makes a poor job or welfare look like the only reasonable choices."

This link summarises some of the work of "Austrian" economist Bill Hutt. He is particularly good on the destructive effects of labor unions.

Mike Tremoglie has been really listening to what the advocates of socialized medicine for America say: "It would be a grievous error to believe that the current proponents of a single payer healthcare system are concerned with anything other than ideology. I reached this conclusion after attending the annual National Managed Healthcare Congress conference in Washington D.C. in April 1993...."

The things you learn! Libertarian though I am, I did NOT know that Ayn Rand was born Alisa Rosenbaum!. (Via Marc Miyake)

Amusing: A very arty blogger has got both myself and The Wicked one on her blogroll under the heading: "evil lynx to monitor for safety's sake". I like it!

Michelle Malkin has a good comment on the racial preoccupations of the New York Times. A thinly disguised dislike of smart Indians is included, it seems.

The Oct 8th post on the blog of the National Association of Scholars has a good comment about the incoherence and irresponsibility of mainstream modern psychology. I like one of their earlier posts so much that I have it up permanently here.

I uploaded yesterday a brief report of one aspect of my "anthropological" study of neo-Nazis. I have uploaded today the main report. See here or here. The article may seem a little long but, like most anthropological studies, it is the product of many years of observation (seven years in this case) so there is much to report. Readers may be struck by the many similarities between the neo-Nazis of the 60s and early 70s that I describe and the Green-Left of today. I do make frequent references to Nazism in my writings, but I think that this report shows that I do so from a background of more extensive and intensive study of the phenomenon than any other writer in the social sciences. After reading my article you may understand my derision of the typical Leftist "research" into the causes of Nazism -- which consists of handing out a bunch of questionnaires to whatever group of university students that happens to be around at the time (!).


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16 October, 2003


An Anglocentric diagnosis of why the British Conservatives are so hopeless:
"The Tories claimed to be the party of one nation, representing the interests of all social groups; in the twentieth century, they accused Labour of being 'narrow' and 'sectional'. More often than not, British voters believed them. The Tories were in government, either alone or in coalition, for around 70 years of the twentieth century.... Today's Conservative Party is caught between outmoded traditions and an uncertain future.... When the Tories try pragmatically to adopt the methods and vocabulary of New Labour, though, this often has an even worse effect. For a start, they risk alienating the core upon which they depend. And to everyone else, this approach seems fake and empty.... But while Thatcherism played a role, the collapse of the Tory Party was one part of the story of the collapse of left v right politics - an event that occurred the world over. It was the international defeat of the left, capped by the break-up of the Soviet Union, that revealed the malaise of the right. The right had principally defined itself in terms of what it was against (hence Thatcher's war against the 'enemy within'), rather than what it was for. Once it lost its enemy, the right was left without a mission or direction.... The Tory Party, the most rooted political institution in British history, is now the most rootless. The leadership leaps on to any passing bandwagon, opportunistically trying to score points.

There are some interesting points in the above diagnosis but what it overlooks is that conservatism is alive and well elsewhere -- in the USA and Australia. The British Tories just have to adopt similar policies to those of American Republicans (e.g. tough on crime) and Australia's John Howard (e.g. tough on illegal immigrants) and they too could do well again. They just have to find a non-jellyfish to lead them.

As Chris Brand noted recently:

"On the eve of the UK 'Conservative' Party's annual conference, a nationwide (Populus) poll told them how to win back voters (Times, 4 x 03). Asked what would make them vote Conservative, 46% of Brits said "proposing much tougher sentencing for convicted criminals" and 43% said "presenting a clear plan to reduce the number of asylum-seekers entering Britain." By contrast, only 9% of voters said they would be impressed by "radical policies to restructure the National Health Service" and only 22% were interested in "measures to support marriage and the traditional family.""



Mike Tremoglie lists some of the lies the Left tell in their efforts to discredit Columbus Day.

An excellent post on the WSJ about the connection between education and vote. It seems that far more Californian college graduates voted for Arnie than for anyone else! Only those with higher degrees tended overall to be Democrat but even there the split on recall was not far off 50/50. The WSJ calls the postgrad Democrats "overeducated". I would call them "out of this world".

Where have I heard something like this before? "President Hu Jintao, who was at the launch base for the liftoff, called it "the glory of our great motherland," ... "The party and the people will never forget those who have set up the outstanding merit in the space industry for the motherland, the people and the nation," Hu said". If you replace "motherland" with "Fatherland" ....

Some interesting recent articles on Think Israel. Examples: "WHY THE PEACE PROCESS CAN'T WORK AND SHOULD BE ABANDONED" by Robert Locke; "THERE IS ONLY A MILITARY SOLUTION" by Ariel Natan Pasko.

Traditional Episcopalian Bill Murchison comments: "With a certain kind of Anglican, anything goes -- except, perhaps, orthodox Christianity. If you're Anglican, you're expected to claim the right to theological speculation, whether or not you run afoul of the creeds and the Scriptures."

Interested Participant has a good post about frivolous lawsuits and an idea about how to stop the egotists wasting people's time.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with lots of good reading.

Because of a communication breakdown, I posted yesterday (post now deleted) some of James Lindgren's notes on the psychology of conservatism. I thought that I should publish them anonymously but in fact it was not his wish that they be published anonymously. A revised version of his notes is now here. I understand that we have even more of his excellent work on this topic to look forward to in the future.

One of Lindgren's points is that it is Leftists who are superstitious, not conservatives (contrary to what the "Berkeley Study" claimed). Yesterday's WSJ has some more poll data in confirmation of that: "Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they believe in reincarnation (by 14 percentage points), in astrology (by 14 points), in ghosts (by eight points) and UFOs (by five points)"

I have always been interested in the full range of the social sciences (which is how at one time I came to be teaching both psychology and economics) and anthropology has always been part of that interest. In my student days, therefore, I thought I would make good use of the anthropologist's most usual research method (participant observation) to study the topic I have always been interested in most -- politics. Anthropologists have the view that you can never understand a group "from the outside" -- You have to join the group and become accepted into it before you will ever have any chance of understanding it. I took this to heart and promptly joined a great range of political groups from the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society on one hand (Communist Front) to the local neo-Nazi group on the other. It was only the neo-Nazis, however, that I found much original to say about so I wrote up a total of three papers about them for publication in three Jewish social science journals. Today's academic upload is one of the papers concerned. See here or here. In it, I address the usual Leftist theory that both conservatives and racists are prone to oversimplified thinking. I point out that, to the contrary, neo-Nazis are prone to very complex thinking -- since their view of the world is contradicted on every hand.


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15 October, 2003


The late Jim Cairns was no friend of liberty. Jim Cairns is dead. Nevertheless, the man who supported every rotten communist regime you can think of is being painted by his political mates and leftwing media admirers as a friend of liberty.
Did the Wilsons setup Bush? The media frenzy over the alleged outing of Valerie Plame, a CIA employee, could be taking a new turn. Circumstantial evidence now suggests that Plame and her hubby, Joe Wilson, are not only using the incident to embarrass the Bush administration but they planned to embarrass it some time ago.
Schwarznegger and the hypocrisy of the Australian press. The scorn that the Australian media poured on Schwarznegger and the speed at which they repeated every accusation and vicious piece of gossip that would blacken his name has had the salutary effect of revealing just how hypocritical, prejudiced, dishonest and morally bankrupt many of our journalists are.
Green lies and nuclear energy. Greens are lying about the so-called dangers of nuclear energy.
Supermarkets are still super: defending supermarkets. Since the 1920s the size of firms has caused much confusion in neo-classical economics, giving birth to the myth that competition means plenty of firms selling the same product in the same market.

Details here



"Historical revisionism" is a term usually applied to attempts to portray Hitler as a broadly normal German leader and to question the extent of his crimes. Leftists try to gain kudos for themselves by frothing at the mouth over such attempts. But they in fact are the biggest revisionists of all -- as Peter Hitchens notes. He is rightly horrified that the true history of Britain is not now being taught in British schools:

"A schools video produced last year on the Forties barely gives a walk-on part to Winston Churchill, a man who is being steadily written out of modern history because he does not fit the fashionable myth that the Tories sympathised with the Nazis and the Left were the only people who opposed Hitler....

LABOUR'S role in the rise of Hitler was to consistently vote against the rearmament measures which narrowly saved this country from slavery in 1940. Stalin's insane orders to the German Communist Party, to refuse to co-operate with the Social Democrats, virtually ensured the Nazis would come to power in 1933.

This would be mirrored, six years later, in the joint victory parade staged by Nazi and Red Army troops in the then-Polish city of Brest, and the efficient supply of Soviet oil to Germany which fuelled the Nazi Blitzkrieg and the bombers which tore the heart out of London.

But millions of supposedly educated people know nothing of this, and are unaware that the one country which behaved with honour and courage when the fate of the world was being decided was Britain."



"It's hard work being a left-wing kook these days. On top of anti- globalization demonstrations and anti-war protests, there is always some new issue to organize. This month it is 'Take Back Your Time Day,' scheduled for Oct. 24. Originated by the rabidly left-wing Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University, the goal of this effort is to force employers to give workers more paid time off."

Dennis Prager has a good point: "Whatever your politics, you have to be oblivious to reality to deny that America today is torn by ideological divisions as deep as those of the Civil War era. We are, in fact, in the midst of the Second American Civil War."

Green crooks: "Now comes a study, "Green-Peace, Dirty Money: Tax Violations in the World of non-Profits," from Public Interest Watch demonstrating the importance of scrutinizing non-profits. PIW charges the activist environmental group Greenpeace with misusing tax-exempt donations for political purposes. Greenpeace, it says, is "the most egregious offender we reviewed""

I am pleased to see that Frank Furedi, one of my fellow-graduates from the University of Sydney Psychology Department, has a new book out. It's a good one too: Therapy Culture: Cultivating Vulnerability In An Uncertain Age. There is a review here: "With its criticisms of the 'growth industry' of counselling and the spread of concepts such as 'self-esteem', the book has received strong interest across the political spectrum in the UK, and will be welcomed on both sides of the Atlantic by people disturbed by aspects of our shrink society".

Leftists are so frantically opposed to the existing "system" in society that they have long been fascinated by the fact that conservatives do accept legitimate forms of authority in society. The Leftists are convinced that this must be deeply psychopathological and have been trying for the last 50 years to prove it -- without success. My latest academic upload is about this. I in fact had only a minor role in the paper concerned -- I helped an elderly colleague to write up some data to which he already had access. The sample was a high quality one -- a random sample of a large city -- and the major finding was that neither pro-authority nor anti-authority views showed any correlation with psychopathology that was worth speaking about -- except for one thing: Anti-authority people were much less intelligent! Needless to say, no Leftist to my knowledge has ever acknowledged THAT finding! See here or here.


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14 October, 2003


Personal Independence Day seems to be the blogosphere's very own conservative anthropologist. As you may have guessed, most anthropologists are very Leftist. I have even heard some of them still defending Margaret Mead -- on the grounds that what she said SHOULD have been right!

As my older readers may recollect, a great favourite of the Left in the 1970s was the "Tasaday" -- a "lost" primitive tribe in the Philippines that was found to be very gentle and unwarlike. They were supposed to have all sorts of lessons for us wicked warlike Westerners. In case you are wondering why you have not heard of the Tasaday lately, it is because the whole thing was another total hoax. Personal Independence Day has the link. The whole "lost tribe" story was a pretty transparent lie from the beginning -- they lived only 3 hours walk from a regular Philippino village, for instance -- but the Left are past-masters at believing only what they want to believe and Leftists LOVE the "noble savage" myth. The fact of the matter is that the kindest, gentlest society that has ever existed on the earth is modern Western society -- but any Leftist intellectual worth his salt would rather die than admit that.

Personal Independence Day has much more on how primitive tribes in fact exploit credulous Western romanticists.

Personal Independence Day can't spell "galah", though. For U.S. readers, the galah is a colourful Australian parrot that has become a byword for stupidity because of its suicidal behaviour on some occasions. So "galah" is a popular Australian term of abuse for foolish or credulous people. Particularly cynical Australians have been known to mispronounce "a gala occasion" as "a galah occasion". The real galahs exist in huge flocks in Australia's inland and are regarded by many country people as a great pest because of the way they damage crops. But bird-fanciers in the USA and Europe pay $1,000 or more for just one galah. The reason for such a stupid situation is "environmental protection". Need I say more? The Greenies are galahs too.



Oh, Wow! The BBC runs true to form in its alleged series on capitalism. It first asks where capitalism fits into people's "search for meaning"? What rot! Blind Freddy knows that capitalism is a search for wealth. Then it asks did capitalism triumph over Communism? Only the BBC would doubt it. Finally it asks how we can find relevance for Marx's ideas now that Communism is dead? So who cares?

Feisty Russian Christians: "The Russian Orthodox Church has demolished a chapel where a priest conducted a 'marriage' ceremony between two men. The Chapel of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God was torn down apparently after local churchmen decided it had been defiled. The marriage of Denis Gogolyev and Mikhail Morozev in Nizhny Novgorod scandalized the Orthodox Church and created outrage among ordinary Russians." Nigeria's Anglicans take their faith seriously too. And the Archbishop of Sydney is none to happy with homosexuality in the church either: "Dr Jensen said the holiness of churches in the Anglican communion had been put at risk by developments in Britain, the United States and Canada, and it was "absolutely inevitable that major divisive consequences will follow"

More reasons why the U.S. State Department should be "nuked". The WSJ thinks the State Department is pretty disgusting too.

Is the myth cracking? "Events at a recent scientific conference in Moscow represent an important and dramatic change in the worldwide debate over global warming. Several distinguished scientists who spoke at the World Climate Change Conference in Moscow last week shattered claims that the science is settled and any consensus that the Kyoto Protocol would serve any useful purpose."

Organ transplants: Jeff Jacoby says that PAYING for organs would save lives.

Michael Darby is back online here with a big range of posts. His article on De Soto and what makes capitalism work is particularly interesting but he also points to the politicization of Oxfam (supposedly a charity) etc. The French get a rocket too. And there is the usual sad news from Zimbabwe.

John Moore has put up a big post on PC Watch showing how American librarians -- those supposed proud enemies of censorship -- in fact heavily censor conservative books. I noted here that the main organization of American librarians is in fact a Leftist anti-Christian group.

Chris Brand notes that racial profiling is routinely practiced in American medicine -- because the races really are different -- despite the current Leftist propaganda to the contrary. He also notes fresh evidence showing once again that low IQ people have poorer health. A healthy brain seems to go with a healthy body, funnily enough!

I have recently expanded my article in which I disembowel the trashy Leftist theory about conservative "Social dominance orientation". My conclusion to the article: "So, rather amusingly, it seems that psychologists who find fault with conservatives can do so only by ignoring large swathes of the relevant literature". I have just done a Google search on the term "Social dominance orientation" and my article already comes up tenth so I think that theory will sicken and die from now on.

My latest academic upload is about the idea of social deference as a factor influencing vote. I show that it is normal to look for evidence of ability in political candidates. Many Leftists seem to think that only social class should matter. See here or here.


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13 October, 2003


The launch of a new academic journal on the internet with the awkward name, "Public Library of Science Biology" seems to have made a bit of a splash as an "alternative" source of scientific information. There is no sign of it abandoning the usual academic Leftist orientation, though.

Internet-only academic journals are not at all new, of course, though few of them have much prestige. All academic journals are a bit of a waste of time these days, however. They are only useful for credentialling -- showing that a scientist can write at a standard that is approved by his/her peers. Particularly in the fast moving sciences, most communication is via the internet. Google is the first step for ANYONE researching a topic these days so scientific results and analysis that are up on the net will get 1,000 times more attention than something that exists only in the pages of an academic journal. Until I put my academic papers on the net I had got no enquiries about them for years. Now I find that graduate students email me about them regularly. I did briefly consider submitting to an academic journal my recent demolition of Van Hiel's misleading work on the psychology of conservatism but that would have meant a 2-year wait until it appeared on the net and even then most journals put their files up in that accursed slow-loading PDF format which most Googlers look at only as a last resort. So instead, I put the article into the fastest-loading format there is (hand-coded html), took ten seconds to post the article in my personal webspace and now anybody googling the name "Alain Van Hiel" will be looking at my critique of his work in very short order. An infinitely better way of circulating information! And it also means that any of my fellow-bloggers who would like to help snooker Leftist misinformation can link to my article and help push it up the Google page-rankings.



The one really Leftist government in Australia is the government of the State of Victoria led by Steve Bracks. They seem to have come up with a rather nasty new idea recently. A reader writes:

"Last week Bracks had the new idea of placing speeding cameras on country roads to shake down speeding motorists. Now this is where it gets interesting: It is not the same regular shake-down. Oh no! If you are caught under this new system you will be hit with multiple fines. They are planning to place several cameras along country roads that will help to calculate the average speed. If a person is caught traveling above the average speed they will cop multiple fines and lose several more points. We now have a police force in Victoria that has been unable to solve twenty murders of slugs who belonged to organized crime rackets because the Police Commissioner is more concerned about "diversity" in the force and catching speeding motorists than about serious crimes. "Diversity" is important to her because, as an open lesbian (fat and ugly to normal people), she believes that we need a different type of police force than we had in the past!"



Thomas Sowell notes that the Democrats are now the party of the rich: "The time is long overdue to get rid of the outdated notion that liberal Democrats represent ordinary people. They represent such special interests as trial lawyers who keep our courts clogged with frivolous lawsuits, busybody environmentalists who think the government should force other people to live the way the greens want them to live, and of course the teachers' unions who think schools exist to provide their members with jobs."

Schwarzenegger as a rejuvenator of conservative economic policies: "Schwarzenegger's pro-business stance is a startling change -- not only for the Golden State, but for the nation. Politicians in both parties ran from supporting business in the aftermath of the highly publicized corporate scandals. But the essential Schwarzenegger fact is this: He believes that business creates jobs. He also understands that rising incomes from job growth will create a stable revenue base for the state budget"

The "global warming" religion overlooks a lot -- not least the BENEFICIAL effects of increased atmospheric CO2: "Attempts to reduce the rate of rise of the air's CO2 content will seriously impair our ability to feed humanity fifty years from now, while maintaining sufficient land to support what currently remains of earth's natural ecosystems"

Interesting NYT article compares Bush's Iraq aid plan to the Marshall plan.

Islamism, whose proponents favor an Islamic state, appears to be losing ground in Indonesia, not gaining it.

Another Anglican diocese is trying desperately to get rid of the Bible-believing Christians in its congregations: "The Anglican Church in Melbourne has backed the immediate ordination of female bishops."

Apparently Italy is now sending back planeloads of illegal immigrants to where they came from. It can be done! (link via The Wog).

The Wicked one has another joke about the French

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I attack the usual Leftist arguments for unrestricted immigration. Rather nastily, I use the Leftists' own moral relativism against them! The paper was written in 1972 and I predicted at the time that a big increase in Asian immigration into Australia would give rise to an anti-Asian backlash. Australia DID allow a large increase in East Asian immigration after I wrote and my prophecy was fulfilled in the emergence in Australia in recent years of an electorally significant political party with an explicit policy of reducing Asian immigration (the "One Nation" party). Probably because East Asians are in general an intrinsically inoffensive people ("more sinned against than sinning") the backlash has, however, taken no other significant form.


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12 October, 2003


The WSJ reports that Leftists not only think that they are smarter (though without any proof of it) but also think that this gives them the right to dictate to the rest of the population -- which is very much what the Leftist eugenicists of the 1920s and 1930s thought. And THAT school of thought gave rise to Adolf Hitler:

"It's been nine years since Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein published "The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life", in which they argued that American society has become stratified along lines of intelligence, so that a "cognitive elite", consisting of people with high IQs, enjoy levels of wealth and power far disproportionate to their numbers.

What's fascinating is that liberals, who denounced Murray and Herrnstein over the racial aspect of their book, seem to view rule by the cognitive elite as the natural order of things. And of course they think that THEY are the cognitive elite. We saw this in Jonathan Chait's Bush-hating cover story last month in The New Republic (which was, but is no longer, available online), in which Chait opined that the "striving, educated elite" views the President, because of his success despite his "dullness," as "an affront to the values of the liberal meritocracy." Yet in 1994 TNR devoted an entire issue to a series of essays on "The Bell Curve"; views ranged from harsh criticism to furious denunciation....

Consider this post from the Angry Left Web site DemocraticUnderground.com: "I would dare to assume that most of us here are in the upper 1%-20% of the population intelligence-wise. We must come to the realization that the majority of the population is in the lower 80% to 99% percent of the bell-curve. WE are not the norm. The Republicans understand that the average American is not very bright. They cater and pander to the masses. The Democratic Party tries to appeal to the population about "issues" that these people just don't understand"."

The Left no doubt have in mind as proof of their intelligence the large numbers of University Professors who are Leftists (particularly in the Humanities) and the resulting Leftist tendencies of many highly educated people. I know it is very naughty of me to burst bubbles but, last time I looked, the pay of the average Professor was about the same as the pay of the average truck-driver. How smart is that? REALLY smart people go into business!



Michael Shermer at Scientific American is saying that the old Rousseauian "noble savage" dogma so beloved of the Left has had its day. Anybody who knows anything about anthropology knows how noble many primitive tribes are NOT -- despite the lies of the Leftist Margaret Mead.

How to create unemployment in one easy lesson: "Economic libertarians focus on the fallacy of minimum-wage legislation because the issue serves as a window through which to observe the very soul of a policy world view. It is the pons asinorum of the relationship between economics and politics. If the free market works -- meaning the existence of exchange under private property and contract enforcement -- then there is no need for such laws ..."

The story from someone who infiltrated Al Qaeda "The members of the network emerge as a bunch of inadequates and infantile fanatics, although they are not the less fearsome for that."

Cultural protectionism (the mania for "local content" much heard of almost everywhere outside the USA when TV programming is discussed) will probably get blown away by broadband internet. This basically anti-American idea will be thwarted by a technology that gives people the means to choose for themselves.

John Paulos has an interesting article about the large number of 'Brights' (non-religious people) in the USA: "It should go without saying, but won't, that there are in this country not only millions of Brights, but millions of religious people who are bright, just as there are very many of both who are not". He does however think that non-religious people are an under-recognized group.

Nick Queen, webmaster of Patriot Paradox is wanting to start a new feature on his site called Top Ten Most Dangerous Liberals of the Week. He aims to have Conservative bloggers vote for their Top Ten with a qualifying reason. Once they vote, most likely by a post on their blog, the votes will be tallied on Patriot Paradox.

I see that I have got a link from another Portuguese-language blog. This one is all in Portuguese, though -- no English-language quotes at all.

Chris Brand reports similarites between the brains of creative people and schizophrenics.

The Wicked one is having a bit of a laugh at the alternative medicine brigade.

I mentioned yesterday an absurd academic article by Eckhardt that purported to analyze militarism on the basis of responses by a group of Quakers. Eckhardt replied to my article and I have uploaded here (or here) my rejoinder to that. I show that he is deceptive in describing his own data and point out evidence that peaceniks such as himself "project" onto conservatives things that are really true of themselves. So I have been pointing to Freudian "projection" as a feature of Leftist psychology for over 30 years now. Eckhardt also misrepresents my study by saying that I showed only that people who like the Army are well-adjusted to it. I point out that I was in fact studying the adjustment of conscripts generally -- BEFORE they went into the Army.


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11 October, 2003


The tricks that Leftist psychologists get up to in a desperate attempt to defend their totally inadequate understanding of the world are normally pretty laughable but some are more laughable than others. My latest academic upload (see here or here) takes as its starting point an article by one William Eckhardt that must be a favourite candidate for the most laughable piece of "research" ever published in an academic journal. Eckhardt wrote an article that purported to be a study of militarism. So who did Eckhardt interview for his study of militarism -- Army personnel? Former Nazis? Far-Rightists? Believers in Imperialism? Vietnam "Hawks"? Guerillas? Spanish Falangists? He interviewed none of those. He interviewed a group of 46 QUAKERS! And it goes downhill from there. I did my best to be polite about it at the time but it was not easy.

It would actually have made more sense to do a study of pacifism using a sample of generals from the Oberkommando der Werhrmacht. Military men do at least normally have a healthy understanding of the horrors of war.

As bad is most likely to be driven out by better, I proceeded to do a study of my own which DID include Army personnel. I defined militarism as a liking for the Army and surveyed an intake of conscripts into the Australian army. I found that militarists were more racially tolerant than others (contrary to Eckhardt), that militarists were better adjusted than others (contrary to Eckhardt) and that people who wanted more equality in society were less well-adjusted than others (contrary to Eckhardt). There was a slight tendency for conservatives also to be better adjusted and for conservatives to approve of the Army.

If psychology were a science, my study would have been pretty fatal to the old Marxist theory that conservatives are maladjusted "authoritarians" but no psychologist to my knowledge took the slightest bit of notice of my findings. The Marxist theory is believed to this day.



I knew that the smokers would strike back after my recent mention that they are more likely to be wackos. Here is one comment: "I do recall some study made the news a while ago, although I cannot now find them on the web, that tobacco actually alleviated symptoms of schizophrenia. As well, I once had a tenant who told me that he chain-smoked for that very reason (for whatever that is worth). Still it is not unreasonable to suggest that maybe schizophrenics smoke because they are schizophrenic (and it alleviates symptoms)rather than to suggest that smoking is a symptom, or even a cause. After all, do we not all die after a life-long addiction to dioxide? And an excess of oxygen can also cause cellular damage."

Jeff Jacoby too has now come out slugging at the way most of the media have misrepresented the recent report on Iraqi WMDs.

Maybe Australia's ABC (public broadcaster) has learnt a tiny bit from the recent debacle at its British equivalent (the BBC). It has just admitted that ONE of its programs was biased about the Iraq war. Very big of them! The finding of bias was by "an independent panel" which was "appointed by the ABC board" (!).

Margaret Snyder compares American "liberalism" with Communism and Fascism and concludes: "So it is that liberalism has taken away the self-respect of whole classes of people. It has done so by the same elitist mentality that characterized the two vilest socialisms of the twentieth century. Most people who consider themselves liberals consider their motives to be pure, and I don't doubt that they are. But by their attitudes and policies, they encourage dependency on the state and ultimately do much more harm than good."

This is from 8 months back but a sensible column in the Guardian is a bit of a rarity so I can't help quoting it. Nick Cohen notes how the Left cheerfully allied itself with the Islamic fundamentalists to oppose the Iraq invasion and comments: "The absence of principle is matched only by the absence of intelligence. What is the Left offering Iraq? It has no strategy other than the continuation of a brutal status quo. It can't support the Iraqi democrats because they say Saddam can only be overthrown by violence. It can't support the Iraqi Kurds because they agree. It has been reduced to allying with religious bigots". But who ever said the Left had principles?

Leftists often claim St. Francis of Assisi as one of their own -- because of his vow of poverty. That vow was solely for religious reasons however and it was in fact the disciples of St. Francis who first put together what we now recognize as the theory of capitalism and free markets!

Admiral Carey puts the boot into the U.S. Iraq skeptics: "Yet it certainly appears to me that we have men and women dying in Iraq and Afghanistan right now that in some instances are facing this danger because these enemy actions are being inadvertently encouraged by public statements made by some of their fellow citizens."

Arafat was trained and for many years bankrolled by the KGB.

It's an article of faith among Leftists that FDR rescued America from the great Depression. If you look at some of his absurd policies, however, it is clear that he PROLONGED it rather than cured it. Previous depressions where the government did nothing ended much sooner.

Research shows 'negative' political campaign advertising works better than positive adverts. This research seems to reinforce the findings of the public choice school of economists who argue that people have more incentive to make a reasoned choice in the private marketplace than under traditional democratic political rules, thus markets more closely resemble 'ideal democracies' than do modern states.

Speaking of Schwarzenegger's victory, Henninger notes: "23% of blacks voted Republican, as did 41% of Hispanics. That this should happen once under any circumstances is extraordinary" and argues that it shows a Rightwards shift in American politics generally.


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10 October, 2003


In response to my recent post about French attitudes, a reader emailed me a few of his own experiences with these delightful people:

"In the early 90's I worked for a French Investment Bank in New York which was supposed to be the "most International" of all the French banks. This meant that we local hires had first hand dealings with the archetypal French upper crust snob. It was very amusing watching these guys at work. They all wore the same clothes, had the same mannerisms and were usually not very good at their jobs because they all seemed to practice "the cover your ass" outlook towards work.

Because they were French expats they were not on the same compensation as the locals which bothered them no end. It was difficult for them to understand how they could be paid less ( they didn't work very hard) despite the fact that their jobs were " guaranteed for life. Locals could be fired at a moment's notice in New York. Political intrigue was their most important daily workhabit. Honestly, most of them reminded me of Inspector Clouseau as they frequently argued points that made no sense.

I once discussed the reasons for the high French unemployment rate with a high level executive who was visiting. He told me that most influential French did not think there was such a high unemployment ( at the time the rate was 10%) rate in France for which he gave the following account: Of the 3 million unemployed in France 1 million were in the latter part of their working life (middle aged) who would not be able to ever find a job but were well looked after by the state. One million were Arabs or North Africans who were considered sh.t who would never be offered a job by French companies. The last one million were French youth and it was this group which was the most worrying. He said that the true French unemployment rate were the 1 million youth and that was not a really high number anyway.

This is how these people thought and that's why France will change only when there is a revolution. The hatred they have for the US could be easily seen at the time -- though then manifested in another way. At the time they thought the Americans were simply a country full of stupid people and of lesser social ranking than the French."



In response to my recent note about Ronald Reagan's unforgettable speech at the time of the "Challenger" disaster Four Right Wing Wackos kindly sent me a link to the transcript of the speech. It still moves me to tears. And to have seen that good and dignified man himself giving it.....

In the wacky world of Leftist intellectuals, conservatives are simply defenders of the status quo. So by that criterion, it looks like Reagan was NOT a conservative. He said: "'Status quo,' you know, that is Latin for 'the mess we're in.'" But if the Gipper was not a conservative, who would be?

The Leftist smear that Reagan was just an actor and a puppet with no ideas of his own is refuted eloquently in the book of Reagan's own handwritten notes reviewed briefly here



Ann Coulter responds to the Leftist accusations about her "Lies" and shows who the real deceivers are.

In another one of his gargantuan posts, Captain Clueless spells out his view of why Leftists often seem hypocritical and self-contradictory. I would summarize it much more simply by saying that Leftists have no real principles so will say anything that they think sounds good at the time in the hope that doing so will get them power or influence. As a man who voted for Al Gore, however, the good Captain is trying to make it sound better than that. At least he now realizes that Leftists have no respect for democracy.

Good stuff! The American Anglican Council has in effect called for a schism with the Episcopal Church over the un-Biblical doctrines of the Episcopal leadership (homsexual bishops etc). A schism could get a lot of genuine Christians among the church membership out from under the influence of their atheist bishops.

Watcher of Weasels has an interesting feature: They put up lists of recommended posts from other blogs. Seeing I have made the list, I respect their judgement!

Australian blogger, Personal Independence Day has a BIG post about immigration and xenophobia. He shows that, despite Australia's tough treatment of illegal immigrants, Australians are no-more anti-immigrant than people from most other countries and that Australian attitudes have become MORE anti-immigrant since the big postwar immigration influx began.

Chris Brand's is still posting up a storm at the moment so I have transferred some more of his recent posts here for convenience. He has an interesting comment about how many self-made millionaires are dyslectic.

China Hand is back in Australia on vacation and outraged at the cost of dentistry here. But the fillings he got in China fell out! He is now looking for a middle way.

The Wicked one has come out in favour of the Vatican's stance on condoms!

My latest academic upload again points to the generally unscientific culture that prevails in academic psychology. See here or here.


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9 October, 2003


I have posted another extract from an academic journal article here. It shows that there is such a thing as a religious personality. I wonder where I fit into that? I was very evangelical in my teens and still love religious music (particularly Bach) but I have been an atheist since I was 19. No doubt someone will say that conservatism is now my religion but I think I am a conservative precisely because I am skeptical. I need evidence before I accept things -- unlike Leftists who seem to regard evidence as an inconvenience. I think Leftism is the religious end of the political spectrum -- though people of other religions do of course have political views too. The anarcho-capitalist extreme of libertarianism can be pretty religious at times too in my judgment.

There is a blog called Marginal Revolution run by a couple of economists which has some excellent posts. Their comment on the current panic about loss of jobs in American manufacturing (under the Oct 4th heading "Manufacturing Fallacies") has this pointed conclusion: "Job destruction" is a vital aspect of progress. If we had not destroyed millions of farm jobs most of us would still be working in agriculture today." And their Oct. 6th post under the apt heading "Doomsday Scenarios collide" is a great comment on the nutty extrapolations that the Greenies go in for. One of the bloggers concerned has also written an excellent survey of the socialist roots of antisemitism

The flippant Chris Lawrence does a bit of straight shooting about the widespread ignorance of statistics among "social scientists": "Frankly, a lot of the stats you see in top-flight journals are flaming crap _ among the sins: misspecified models, attempts to make inferences that aren't supported by the actual econometric model, acceptance of key hypotheses based on marginally significant p values, use of absurdly small samples, failure to engage in any post-estimation diagnostics." To that I would add treating your source of data as a sort of black-box -- without looking at what is in the box.

There is a powerful expose here of the rampant Stalinism still common among the current crop of American historians. Now that the Soviets are long gone, American historians are still defending them -- and teaching their students that Communist spys were the good guys and America evil. I hope nobody reading this is paying for their kid to study history at a major American university!

Tobacco smoking has now been found to correlate with schizotypal and borderline personality traits Not good! Most jailbirds smoke. Tobacco is the currency in jail. There also appears to be a (negative) relationship between smoking and intelligence. Note that we are talking only about a correlation here, however. It does not mean that ALL smokers are fruitcakes. Reference: Kolliakou, A. & Joseph, S. (2000) "Further evidence that tobacco smoking correlates with schizotypal and borderline personality traits". Personality and Individual Differences, 29 (1), 191-194.

My own latest academic upload is of technical interest only but it is part of my refutation of the still-common Leftist claim that conservatives have "authoritarian" personalities. (They don't -- but they are not as hostile to existing authorities as Leftists are). See here or here.



How nice that all the last-minute Leftist lies about Schwarzenegger failed utterly in their object. As everybody knows, the last Hollywood actor to become Governor of California was Ronald Reagan so let us hope for great things from Arnold too.

Murray Soupcoff has another blast at the rich and righteous -- under the headline: "Lifestyles of the rich and hypocritical"

Left-leaning magazine "The Atlantic" has a surprisingly sensible article on poverty: "Since the mid-1990s, almost everyone has accepted that welfare should be linked to work. Only the most reactionary of liberals want to go back to providing cash as a substitute for employment. The new consensus is a good thing, because it matches a new reality. No feasible amount of cash assistance could solve America's poverty problem, even in principle. The problem has changed. It has become more behavioral than economic."

A good comment here about how most of the media have misrepresented the recent official report about Iraqi WMDs.

One of the most basic principles of natural justice is that we are not responsible for the deeds of other people. Under U.S. "environmental" law that principle no longer exists. You can be jailed for something someone else did while you were home in bed. I'm not kidding! Greenies really are haters of people and their hate is now law in many ways.

Atheist though I am, I rather liked the Pope's recent address to the Archbishop of Canterbury. He comes across as a great Christian pastor and his veiled warning about the Anglican attitude to homosexuality ("new and serious difficulties have arisen on the path to unity") was no less than his duty as guardian of church traditions and teachings.

Amusing that Leftists now want to censor sexy advertisements -- on "feminist" grounds of course. All women are equal too, it seems, so attractive women should be hidden away as much as possible, apparently.

I have just transferred some more of Chris Brand's recent posts here for convenience. He notes some of the brain physiology that correlates with IQ and has a big post on the call for voluntary eugenics in Denmark.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again.


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8 October, 2003


A comment from a reader on the recent affirmative action parody at Southern Methodist University where blacks were offered cheaper cookies: "It doesn't surprise me that SMU shut down that bake sale. I've visited the campus there many times; sitting in on lectures and talking to some of the PoliSci faculty. I almost went there for my degree simply because it is such a prominent school, but realized after the first semester that I wasn't learning anything - I was being indoctrinated. Views from the "right" are NOT tolerated; students expressing conservative viewpoints are openly ridiculed in the classroom by instructors and then pointedly ignored."

Sowell says: "The most dramatic rise of blacks out of poverty occurred before the civil rights movement of the 1960s. That's right -- before. But politicians, activists and the intelligentsia have spread so much propaganda that many Americans, black and white, are unaware of the facts" He also points out that he and many other blacks got their university degrees long BEFORE Affirmative action.

Mike Tremoglie reminds us of an excellent story: "Liberals like to call conservatives racist, sexist and homophobic. What is unusual is for the media to note that liberals often do not abide by their own rules. During Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's confirmation hearings, GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch asked her if a company located in a mostly minority area would be considered guilty of discrimination if it did not employ the same percentage of minorities as were in the general population. Ginsburg replied that it would be. Hatch then informed Ginsburg that her staff was mostly white, although she was an employer in the mostly black city of Washington, D.C. Ginsburg exemplifies liberal hypocrisy. The rules are meant for others, not them. It is perfectly fine for a white liberal judge to allege that a small-business owner is discriminating. But the judge can do the same thing without thinking twice."

Writing in a widely-read academic journal, Wickett, Vernon & Lee (2000) show that cranial capacity (how big your brain is) is a strong predictor of 'g' (general intelligence) and Rushton & Ankney (2000) also show that cranial capacity is lower among blacks. Cranial capacity is not the whole story, of course. As Burns, Nettelbeck & Cooper (2000) and many others show, the speed of the brain's electrical response to stimulation is a major physical factor behind IQ.



Two points in a recent George Will article that I agree with: Pakistan may now be the most dangerous breeding-ground for Islamic terrorists; and French nationalists (whom Will dubiously describes as "Fascists") are just as anti-American as the French Left, though for different reasons. Chirac is after all a Rightist in French terms. The world-dominance of Anglo-Saxon culture really burns up ALL the French.

The French socialist government passed a law in 1998 reducing everybody's working hours to 35 hours per week -- but everybody still had to get the same pay as when they worked 40 hours per week, of course! With the usual socialist logic, that was supposed to reduce unemployment. As any economist could have told them, it increased unemployment. France now has an unemployment rate 50% higher than the USA. And the French think that they are so much wiser than Americans!! They are now trying to do a U-turn on the policy.



What Fun! A new study by psychiatrist Robert Spitzer (who helped to have homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental illnesses in 1973) says that homosexual gay men and women can be transformed into heterosexuals through psychotherapy. The report is that, of 200 homosexuals and lesbians given the treatment, 78 per cent of males and 95 per cent of females reported a change in their sexuality. Huffing and puffing from the Left now underway!

I liked this headline: "Priest defrocked for gay wedding"

Jeff Jacoby has some good answers to the current attacks on Rush Limbaugh.

The U.S. State Dept. continues to defy belief. As the WSJ points out, it has links to famous American speeches on its site -- including speeches by Jimmy peanut and Mrs Clinton but nothing by the Gipper! I personally remember being deeply moved by the speech I saw President Reagan give on TV immediately after the U.S. first lost a space shuttle and remember thinking how lucky America was to have such a wonderful President at that time who knew how to help heal the wound of such a tragic event. I will never forget that speech.

I mentioned yesterday the body of research by psychologist Alain Van Hiel which purported to show conservatives to be maladjusted in various ways. I was quite kind in my comments about him because I think he has been naive rather than dishonest. If you want to see how easy it is to completely wipe the floor with Leftist psychologists, however, have a look at this demolition of an article written by a psychologist from the People's Republic of Berkeley. It has been reproduced by several other people on their websites so they too obviously think it is a pretty effective put-down.

I have not been able to contact Jim Lindgren, Prof. of Law at Northwestern University, for ages. Last I heard a few months ago he was off for a fortnight's vacation in Switzerland. Does anybody know if he is languishing in a Swiss dungeon or something?

My latest academic upload shows that the type of conservatism most psychologists connect with racism is in fact uncorrelated with racism when fairly measured. See here or here.


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7 October, 2003


For over 50 years now the Holy Grail of academic political psychologists has been to find evidence of psychological inadequacy among conservatives. It has been a fool's errand. All the supposed "proofs" collapse once they are subjected to critical examination (See Ray, 1983, 1988, 1990, 2003a & b; Ray & Najman, 1987). But the effort goes on.

The person leading the charge at the moment is someone I mentioned yesterday -- the Belgian psychologist Alain Van Hiel. He is pouring out articles on the subject at a great rate at the moment. Van Hiel is a bit different from his predecessors, however. Most psychologists simply hand out a bunch of questionnaires to their own students to gather "proof" of their theories. This is so laughable as to show that there is no sincere quest for the truth there. All they are really doing is saying that they KNOW what the truth is and any "evidence" at all will do to demonstrate the correctness of their ideas. Van Hiel, however, does real research. He goes out into the highways and byways for his surveys in addition to surveying his students. So I credit Van Hiel as a sincere seeker after truth.

He is however greatly handicapped by what has gone before him. He does not appear to be a psychometrician so rather than design his own scales (sets of questions), he constantly uses scales devised by his un-serious predecessors. This means that all his hard work has essentially gone for naught. His data is only as good as the scales he uses and those scales are pretty laughable. I have dissected two of the scales concerned in recent days (The Kruglanski "Need for closure" scale and the Sidanius "Social dominance Orientation" scale) so you only have to scroll down this page to see what a nonsense are the sort of scales that the unfortunate Van Hiel has to rely on.

I have written a full academic critique of four of Van Hiel's recent articles here (or here) for those who want to pursue the topic in greater depth. For his own sake, I hope Van Hiel turns to more fruitful outlets for his energies in the future.

Incidentally, most of the scales devised by Left-leaning political psychologists (see e.g. Ray, 1983 & 1990) are so poorly conceived that they end up showing negligible correlation with vote in the general population -- i.e. supposedly "Rightist" statements are just as often agreed to by people who vote for Leftist political parties as by people who vote for Rightist political parties. How embarrassing! The scales that I devise however, generally work very well -- providing correlations of up to .56 with vote (Ray & Wilson, 1976; Ray, 1984a &b). In other words, the results show that I DO know what the factors are that influence political stance in the general population, whereas the Leftist psychologists do not.

Ray, J.J. (1983). Half of all authoritarians are Left-wing: A reply to Eysenck and Stone. Political Psychology, 4, 139-144.
Ray, J.J. (1984a) Combining demographic and attitude variables to predict vote. Journal of Social Psychology, 122, 145-146.
Ray, J.J. (1984b) Attitude to abortion, attitude to life and conservatism in Australia. Sociology & Social Research 68, 236-246.
Ray, J.J. (1988) Cognitive style as a predictor of authoritarianism, conservatism and racism: A fantasy in many movements. Political Psychology 9, 303-308.
Ray, J.J. (1990) Book Review: Enemies of freedom by R. Altemeyer. Australian Journal of Psychology, 42, 87-111.
Ray, J.J. (2003a) Academic fakers. FrontPage Magazine, 27 August.
Ray, J.J. (2003b) Social dominance orientation: Theory or artifact?
Ray, J.J. & Najman, J.M. (1987) Neoconservatism, mental health and attitude to death. Personality & Individual Differences, 8, 277-279.
Ray, J.J. & Wilson, R.S. (1976) Social conservatism in Australia. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Sociology 12(3), 255-257.



More Leftist "compassion": "Riot police in Rome used batons and teargas to beat back hundreds of anti-globalization protesters at a demonstration on Saturday during a meeting of European Union leaders. Scores of police charged the demonstrators after being hit by stones and bottles as they tried to maintain security at the EU conference where leaders met to discuss the bloc's proposed new constitution. Several demonstrators and two policemen were injured. One elderly man was taken away in an ambulance with a deep gash to his head and blood pouring down his face. Police said they had detained 13 protesters."

Being extremely pro-Indian, I am delighted to see that U.S.-Indian co-operation is forging ahead so rapidly under GWB: "India and the US are set to sign a pathbreaking new agreement on cooperation in high-technology, space launch equipment, civilian nuclear energy and missile defence over the next couple of weeks."

Surprise, Surprise! "The plight of many Afghan women has barely improved in the two years since the ouster of the Taliban regime, with forced marriages, rapes and domestic violence still occurring frequently, Amnesty International said." I guess Afghanistan must be Islamic!

About flaming time! "The State Department said Syria "must cease harboring terrorists and make a clean break from those responsible for planning and directing terrorist action from Syrian soil."

The Wicked one is pretty cynical about obesity.

My latest academic upload here (or here) is an attempt to explain some basic psychometric concepts simply. Not for the general reader.


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6 October, 2003


One of the authors of the notorious "Berkeley study" of conservative psychology called "Political conservatism as motivated social cognition" was a confused soul (officially called a "Distinguished University Professor") named Arie Kruglanski. He has for a long time been pushing the line that conservatives have a need for a simplistic view of the world. He calls it "Need for Closure" and says that such needs are a sign of psychological maladjustment or weakness. Many other psychologists agree with him (e.g. Kossowska & Van Hiel, 2003). So let us look at the set of statements that Kruglanski (Kruglanski, Webster & Klem, 1993) uses to detect good or bad mental health. For copyright reasons I cannot reproduce them all but a few excerpts tell the story well enough. Here are some of the allegedly "unhealthy" statements:

I find that a well ordered life with regular hours suits my temperament.
I feel uncomfortable when I don't understand the reason why an event occurred in my life.
I don't like to go into a situation without knowing what I can expect from it.
When I am confused about an important issue, I feel very upset.
I usually make important decisions quickly and confidently
I don't like to be with people who are capable of unexpected actions.
I dislike it when a person's statement could mean many different things.
I'd rather know bad news than stay in a state of uncertainty.

I would call all of the above statements expressions of normal, healthy, adult attitudes myself. So let's look at what Kruglanski thinks is particularly healthy:

When I go shopping, I have difficulty deciding exactly what it is that I want.
I tend to put off making important decisions until the last possible moment.
I would describe myself as indecisive.
My personal space is usually messy and disorganized.
I tend to struggle with most decisions

So being a messy, indecisive and disorganized ditherer is healthy! Clearly, capable confident, can-do people are what Kruglanski dislikes and babyish, helpless people are his ideal. I suppose the more babyish we are the easier it is for others to push us around and make our decisions for us -- and Leftists like that. There is another critique pointing out that Kruglanski does not know what he is doing in Neuberg et al. (1997) and my demolition of the Jost et al (2003) study is here.

One point I might also mention here is that Jost, Kruglanski & Co were much enamoured of Glenn Wilson's 1973 book, The psychology of conservatism. I actually wrote chapter 2 of that book so I know a bit about it. The theory Glenn put forward at that time was that conservatives have a greater fear of uncertainty than Leftists. So one would think that conservatives would be more fearful overall. There is a lot of uncertainty in this world. The EVIDENCE is, however, that conservatives are no more fearful than anybody else. Kruglanski & Co would no doubt argue that the lack of overall fearfulness among conservatives is because conservatives have adopted successful strategies to deal with their fears but isn't it odd that there is NO SIGN of such greater fear except via the sort of hokum I have pilloried above?

Finally, for a bit of humour, I might mention some findings of that very hard-working Belgian psychologist Alain Van Hiel. He recently joined with a Polish colleague to test the Kruglanski scale in both Belgium and Poland (Kossowsk & Van Hiel, 2003). He found that "Need for closure" was RIGHTIST in one country and LEFTIST in the other! As Robert Burns said: "The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley!"

I can't help it: I've got to mention another amusing Van Hiel finding (Van Hiel, Kossowska & Mervielde, 2000). Because he is such a hard worker, Van Hiel went the trouble of testing out a Kruglanski-type theory on a group of people who were actually interested in politics. He used a scale of "Openness to ideas" and expected that Rightists would be less open to ideas but it turned out that it was the LEFTISTS who were closed-minded! Embarrassing!

Jost, J.T., Glaser, J., Kruglanski, A.W., & Sulloway, F.J. (2003). Political conservatism as motivated social cognition. Psychological Bulletin, 129(3), 339-375.
Kossowska, M. & Van Hiel, A. (2003) The Relationship Between Need for Closure and Conservative Beliefs in Western and Eastern Europe. Political Psychology 24 (3) 501.
Kruglanski, A.W., Webster, D.M., & Klem, A. (1993). Motivated resistance and openness in the presence or absence of prior information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 23-35
Neuberg, S.L., West, S.G., Judice, T.N., & Thompson, M.M. (1997). On dimensionality, discriminant validity, and the role of psychometric analyses in personality theory and measurement: Reply to Kruglanski et al.'s (1997) defense of the Need for Closure Scale. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1017-1029.
Van Hiel, A., Kossowska, M. & Mervielde, I. (2000) The relationship between Openness to Experience and political ideology. Personality and Individual Differences 28 (4), 741-751



There is an article here which traces the lack of happiness in modern society to a set of generally Leftist values that have become prevalent nowadays: "Radical individualism is familiar in contemporary values. "Do your own thing", "Seek you own bliss", "Challenge authority", "If it feels good, do it", "Shun conformity", "Don't force your values on others", "Assert your personal rights", "Protect your privacy", "Cut taxes and raise executive pay" (personal income takes priority over the common good), "To love others, first love yourself", "Listen to your own heart", "Prefer solo spirituality to communal religion", "Be self-sufficient", "Expect others likewise to believe in themselves and to make it on their own_": such slogans define the heart of social individualism" The authors present a lot of evidence that we are now less happy than we used to be but I myself suspect that a lot of it is just a matter of higher expectations these days. You can live in Bangladesh and be as happy as a clam if your expectations are low. It does appear that conservatives are happier, though.

I have just transferred some more of Chris Brand's recent posts here for convenience. He says that minorities are now OVER-represented on British TV.

The Wicked one says that poverty in the Western world is mostly mythical.

For my latest academic upload, I have made my recent critical observations on social dominance orientation into a short article. See here or here.


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5 October, 2003


I posted yesterday a swingeing critique of the Social Dominance Orientation theory that is at present being used in academic psychology to discredit conservatives. The joint author and principal protagonist of the theory (a generally pleasant guy whom I happen to know) has replied to my critique. I have posted his reply here.

It seems to amount to a large climbdown. He does not answer my point that he is not measuring personality at all and he does not answer my point that the relationship between racism and scores on his scale is artifactual (built-in). He has now reduced his claim to saying that he is just finding out whether different allegedly conservative beliefs do go together. If that is what he is doing, he is doing a remarkably poor job of it. I showed 30 years ago that conservative beliefs in economic and social areas are very poorly correlated yet he COMBINES beliefs from these two areas in his scale! He is not only assuming what he has to prove but his assumption is demonstrably wrong! A bit breathtaking!

And his claim that the theory is independent of the means used to test it is pretty desperate too. Psychologists normally rely on "operational" definitions -- i.e. they define the concept they use BY the means they use to measure it.

Incidentally, I HAVE measured social dominance by way of a personality scale and have several times found that it is unrelated to overall Left/Right orientation. See here and here



Further to the "October surprise" --- last-minute allegations about Schwarzenegger's "abuses" of women -- this story by Susan Salisbury was posted on conservativenet:

"After my own personal experience with the Democratic slander machine, I don't believe anything they say a week before such an important election.

My personal experience? Years ago I worked as a special assistant to an EEOC commissioner at the same time that Clarence Thomas was the Chairman. Several years later, when he was nominated for the Supreme court I got a call from a liberal former acquaintance claiming that she had been told by a mutual friend that I had been harassed by Thomas but was too ashamed to admit it.

I corrected her immediately, telling her I didn't particularly like him, but he had never been anything but proper and appropriate with me. The strongest obscenity I ever heard him utter was a very rare "damn". He was always polite.

The liberal acquaintance persisted. If only I would tell the press he molested me, she explained, I could change history. I could save the women of this country from having to seek back alley abortions -- This attempt to persuade me to tell lies about Clarence Thomas in order to achieve a political goal went on until, tired of denying false suggestions, I finally said to her, Carla, I am a Republican now, I am not going to lie for the Democrats. When Carla knew me earlier, I was a liberal democrat, perhaps the reason that I was targeted for this call.

On reflection, I doubt that I was the only woman who worked with Thomas to receive such a call. I wonder how many women who worked with Arnold have been getting calls in the last four weeks."



I liked this headline: Arnold knocks Arianna off her broomstick

Miranda Devine on Lomborg: "Of course, common sense is Lomborg's failing. It is precisely because he cites statistics, writes logically and avoids ideological fervour that he has been attacked and pilloried by eco-fundamentalists and fellow travellers around the world. He scares them."

Now THERE'S a judge we could use: "An Indian High Court judge has banned weekday public meetings and rallies in Calcutta after he was delayed by one. Judge Amitava Lala was two hours late for work after his car was caught up in a traffic jam caused by a political meeting. He issued the order, asking police to ensure no such rallies are held in the city of 12 million people between 8am and 8pm."

This US Army blogger from Iraq has some good comments about Australians: "The Aussies are here...in bigger numbers than the rest...and they are some of my favorites .... their weapons are straight out of the future... a big difference from the M-16 which hasn't really changed much looks-wise in the last 30 years...one of the coolest features about the Aussie weapon is the clear magazine... you can see exactly how much ammo you have left..."

I have just transferred some more of Chris Brand's recent posts here for convenience. His post about the suicide that is convulsing U.K. politics at the moment mentions something nobody else wants to believe but I think he has hit the nail on the head.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I look at conservatism on social issues and what it correlates with. Leftists never tire of claiming that conservatism is the outcome of an unhappy childhood but whenever the matter is directly examined, it generally turns out that conservatives had happier childhoods. A related finding to that in this survey was that there was a SLIGHT tendency for Leftism to be associated with dissatisfaction with one's family. I also showed that conservatives tended to practice what they preach: They are more cautious and risk-averse in their personal lives as well as being more cautious in their social attitudes. Another interesting finding was that upwardly mobile people tended to be slightly more radical on social issues -- in other words, people who have been doing well for themselves tend to reject cautious attitudes -- "Limousine liberals"? An amusing finding from the study was that, despite their alleged passion for "equality", Leftists were as personally ambitious as anybody else. The simplistic Leftist notion that conservatism is just "rejection of change" was also thoroughly undermined by the results of the study.


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4 October, 2003


One of the "hot" concepts in the academic psychology literature at the moment is a concept known as "Social Dominance Orientation" (SDO). This is said to be a newly discovered personality variable that predicts both conservatism and racism -- and generally shows conservatives to be a very bad lot.

The whole "theory" behind SDO is however breathtakingly naive and shows a typically Leftist ignorance of history. And calling its chief measuring instrument (the SDO scale) a personality scale is just amazingly dishonest. Instead of asking people what they DO (which is what a personality scale does) the SDO scale asks them what they THINK. It is, in other words, an attitude scale -- not a personality scale. So its ability to predict scores on other attitude scales (of conservatism and racism) is considerably facilitated by that. Attitude scales often correlate with other attitude scales, but getting correlations between what people DO and what they THINK has been known to be difficult ever since the famous study by La Piere in 1934 (La Piere showed that most restaurateurs who said that they would NOT serve an Asian in their restaurant generally DID serve Asians when Asians actually turned up as potential customers). The connection between attitudes and behaviour is generally far from simple and direct.

And what do the statements in the SDO scale say? As Jost & Thompson (2000) have pointed out, fully half of its items specifically ask people whether or not they accept social inequality (Sample items: "It would be good if all groups could be equal" and "We should strive to make incomes more equal"). But anyone who knows the first thing about politics will be aware that "equality" is a great mantra of the Left and that conservatives view the whole idea as absurd. Leftists believe that in some mystical way "all men are equal" and conservatives reject equality as an unattainable myth. Ever since the Pilgrim Fathers, attempts to found societies based on equality have quickly degenerated into pervasive and permanent INequality. So the SDO theory that conservatives reject equality is laughably unoriginal. So it is no wonder that the SDO scale predicts conservatism in other senses. Fully half of the items in the scale relate to what has always been a core conservative belief. The correlation between SDO and conservatism is then an "artifact" (a product of the research design, not new information about the world)

And SDO has also been found to predict the tendency to express racial preferences (e.g. Heaven & St. Quintin, 2003). So let's look at what the other half of the items in the SDO scale say: They say things like: "Inferior groups should stay in their place", "Superior groups should dominate inferior groups" and "Some groups of people are just more worthy than others". So people who believe that there are inferior and superior groups also believe that there are inferior and inferior races. How astounding! Since races are groups, the finding that the SDO scale predicts racism is in fact LOGICALLY ENTAILED. It parades as an empirical finding but it is not. It tells us nothing new about the world. It is merely something that is true by definition. What a fraud!

Heaven, P.C.L. & St. Quintin, D. (2003) Personality factors predict racial prejudice. Personality & Individual Differences 34, 625-634.
Jost, J. T. & Thompson, E. P. (2000) Group-based dominance and opposition to equality as independent predictors of self-esteem, ethnocentrism, and social policy attitudes among African Americans and European Americans. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 36, 209-232.
La Piere, R. (1934) Attitudes and actions. Social Forces, 13, 230-237
Pratto, F., Sidanius, J., Stallworth, L.M., & Malle, B.F. (1994). Social dominance orientation: A personality variable predicting social and political attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 741-763.



Interested participant reports a shocking racially-motivated hate crime by a group of blacks youths against a white girl and wonders why nobody seems interested in it. It would be blanketing the news if the race roles were reversed.

A good introduction to the existence of a new Elite -- a Leftist Elite -- in modern society here. People who are already doing well think they know it all and think they have the right to impose their views on everyone else -- which is why they like the bureaucratic power obtained through Leftist big government and why the courts regularly circumvent democracy and make up the law as they go along.

"[Tony Martin] is the [UK] farmer who shot two thieves in August 1999, killing one and wounding the other. He was put on trial for murder and convicted. On appeal, his conviction was changed to manslaughter, and he was eventually released on Friday the 8th August this year, having spent more than three years in prison .... He is described as a 'loner' with incoherent and nasty opinions about the world. This can all be discounted as the smears of a controlled media. The man I met yesterday ... was a cheerful, rather stolid farmer, though with an unusual fluency of speech."

Doubt, truth and simplicity: "What is the nature of Western Civilization? Why is it worth defending? I think western civilization is built on three fundamental and interlocking principles that form the Western world view. These principles explain much about the rise of the West and its fundamental nature. From these principles flow the political ideas of freedom and democracy. Which I think are very much worth defending."

Great stuff! A Leftist source dismisses the Greenie hysteria over GM foods as a "socialism of fools". The article certainly shows how feeble the science behind the anti-GM movement is.

Tyrants in robes: "Judges have long ago seized the power to overturn the laws passed by our democratically elected lawmakers. For decades now they have extended that to actually legislating and issuing orders from the bench, rendering moot our democratic branches of government."

Since when were Leftists consistent? "The average Democratic voter who, having barely or never heard of Wesley Clark, has decided he's your man. And you the Democratic activist who's been denouncing President Bush as a war monger for 'fighting a war of choice' that was 'not in the national interest' and was without U.N. approval but who has no problem flocking to a general in charge of the consummate war of choice, which lacked U.N. backing and could never, ever, be seen as an effort to deal with an 'imminent' threat -- or any other kind of threat. Or don't you remember Kosovo?"

I have just transferred some more of Chris Brand's recent posts here. In typically provocative style, one of his posts is headed: "Elitism and chauvinism vindicated"


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3 October, 2003


Elia Kazan is dead but his leftwing critics won't let go. Kazan will not only be remembered for his art but also as a courageous man who fearlessly stood his ground against La-La Land's undercurrent of Stalinism and its mindless support of anti-American causes.
Murdoch's rag lies about the CIA and Bush. Bush-hating journalists just can't seem to help themselves, and Roy Eccleston, Washington correspondent for Rupert Murdoch's 'Australian' is no exception.
The empty concept of non-renewable resources. Greenies and their academic and media allies argue that capitalism is using up the world's resources, and that governments must therefore implement conservation laws for the sake of the environment and future generations. They are wrong.
Democracy delayed _ the last bastions of Marxism. Why Stalinist academics at the University of Illinois at Chicago purged an academic critic of Fidel Castro's brutal regime. It now seems that only unrepentant leftwing former terrorist like Billy Ayers are acceptable to the left.
Will Keynesianism cripple China's military? While having clever young Chinese train in the West as engineers and scientists was a smart move, having some trained as economists was definitely dumb. So dumb in fact that I suspect a CIA plot.
Greens, plastic bags and corporate stupidity. Because of a stream of lies produced by greens and their media mates many members of the public have been deceived into thinking that plastic bags are an environmental curse.

Details here



The nonsense you read on Reuters: Greenies are saying that global warming would NOT benefic icy Russia because it could lead to lower rainfall in the South and thus reduce the grain harvest. But wheat is a dry-climate crop! That is why Australia exports so much of it. Australia is mostly desert! So if a few Russian farmers had to switch from rye to wheat it would not exactly be a hardship.

A good bit of satire about Leftist moral relativism here

A new Australian "paleo" blogger (as if I couldn't guess his identity!) has some amusing turns of phrase for those who know what he is talking about: "a plague of loci" and "For whom the Pell tolls" etc. It reminds me that there is a popular concept in psychology called "locus of control" (which I deride here) that I have never quite worked up the courage to refer to as "locust of control".

New Kiwi blogger Light in Dark places picks up some good quotes. I liked this one: "So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word 'Palestinian' any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they're being taped. Instead, let's call them what they are: 'Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death.'" And for those not aware of New Zealand politics, "Helen" refers to their Prime Minister.

American Realpolitik is a great site for humour. They have constantly-changing slogans at the head of their page. I like this one: "For every positive action there is an equal and opposite government program"

The latest Carnival of the Vanities is up at Dodgeblogium. But instead of being posted by the inimitable Andrew Ian Dodge, it seems to have been posted by "Jeannie Fiona Macaulay". Don't tell me Andrew has an "INTERN"! Incidentally, I am not sure if Andrew/Jeannie is serious in thinking that "kudo" is the singular of "kudos", but "kudos" is only a borrowing in English. It is the ancient Greek word for "fame". Interesting factoid: According to my Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, "kudos" does not occur in the Greek New Testament. Early Christians obviously did not think much of the Greek obsession with fame and renown.

Wayne Lusvardi pulls apart some of the shoddy motivations behind opposition to California's "racial privacy" initiative.

I have just transferred some of Chris Brand's recent posts here for convenience. He has some interesting comments on the study by Turkheimer which found reduced heritability for IQ among poor U.S. blacks. He notes that the same result is not found in Britain and in effect says that genetic potential may be poorly realized under the very adverse environmental conditions that prevail in some black U.S. single-parent families.

Ozone depletion's lessons for global warming: "The Newchurch study concludes ozone depletion in the uppermost portion of the stratosphere is still occurring, but at a rate somewhat slower than was taking place before 1997. While this trend may be due to the Montreal Protocol, as Newchurch and his colleagues assert, more significant ozone trends unreported by Newchurch lead to a very different conclusion.... What some are touting as evidence of a solution to the ozone depletion problem may actually be evidence it wasn't a great problem in the first place. This may prove to be the real lesson for the global warming debate."

Interesting thought: "[T]here is an underappreciated fact about black America that anyone armed with a decent survey could see: Black people vote like Democrats, but on social issues they think like Republicans. Whether the GOP can ever lure churchgoing African Americans from the revival tent to the party's so-called big tent remains a matter for debate. Now the controversy over gay marriage, a potent brew of religion and politics, is giving Republicans another shot -- but don't bet on their converting it."

The Wicked one has found some uncharacteristic good sense about Islam and antisemitism in the Guardian.

My latest academic upload here (or here) is one of my small number of analytical philosophy papers. In France any mumbo jumbo that sounds obscure and has Leftish conclusions gets a pass as philosophy but in the English-speaking world, academic philosophy is usually as intellectually demanding as any academic discipline there is. In this paper I deride the still-common view that mental events are something other than brain processes and offer some solutions from neurophysiology to problems that philosophers often raise.


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2 October, 2003


I mentioned yesterday my explanation for the rise of Hitler -- which focuses on his appeal to BOTH socialists and nationalists. I have just read a Leftist explanation of Hitler's rise (originally delivered as a university lecture and written by David North -- who seems to be an academic historian) which concludes: "The Holocaust was, in the final analysis, the price which the Jewish people and all humanity paid for the failure of the working class to overthrow capitalism". Wowee! I suppose that there was no sytematic persecution of Jews in Soviet Russia, then. Tell that to Sharansky and all the other Soviet Jews! But no doubt the writer would dismiss the disastrous Soviet experiment as "State capitalism" and argue that real socialism has never been tried yet. Strange that all the attempts at it fail!

North also dismisses Goldhagen's thesis that antisemitism was widely accepted in Germany and recommends that Goldhagen read the prewar anti-Nazi writer Heiden to get a better grip on what really happened. I HAVE read Heiden and note that Heiden confirms precisely what Goldhagen says -- that Hitler was widely popular in prewar Germany: "The great masses of the people did not merely put up with National Socialism. They welcomed it". See pp. 98, 99, 105 and 114 of Heiden (1939). And no-one could ever have been in any doubt about what Hitler's view of Jews was. It is true, however, that the average German did not share Hitler's absolute fanaticism about the Jews. Incidentally, Heiden also stresses Hitler's great intelligence -- something you never see mentioned today.

North also claims that prewar socialists were not antisemites -- though he admits that some were. For a REALLY scholarly account of the historic socialist roots of antisemitism see here (PDF).

The old Marxist claim that Nazism and Fascism were middle-class ("bourgeois") movements has always amused me too. As Heiden points out at length, Hitler was a hobo until 1914 so how does a hobo get to lead a middle-class movement? Another prewar anti-Nazi writer (Roberts, 1938) also portrays Hitler as enormously popular among Germans generally and Madden (1987) presents scholarly evidence that Nazism had wide support across the social classes. Mussolini, too, found supporters and adversaries in all social classes (De Felice, 1977, p. 176).

It is Communist movements that always have bourgeois leaders and mostly bourgeois supporters. The workers usually vote for more moderate Leftists. So once again we see Leftists projecting onto others things that are really true of themselves.

De Felice, R. (1977) Interpretations of Fascism Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U.P.
Heiden, K. (1939) One man against Europe. Harmondsworth, Mddx.: Penguin.
Madden, P. (1987) The social class origins of Nazi party members as determined by occupations, 1919-1933. Social Science Quarterly 68, 263-280.
Roberts, S.H. (1938) The house that Hitler built. N.Y.: Harper.



I mentioned yesterday the dubious link marketing scheme presently being aimed at bloggers. Wallace of Big Gold Dog has emailed me some identifying information about the marketers that could be handy to any dissatisfied customers: Zyphen Marketing, 1108 14th Street suite 231. Cody, WY 82414. US. Domain Name: SUPERHELTINNE.COM. Contact -- info@superheltinne.com

There is a Leftist attempt here to explain the Left/Right polarity of politics as Mother-oriented politics versus Father-oriented politics -- a book called: Moral Politics : How Liberals and Conservatives Think. It is actually a rehash of a very old theory in psychology and I could trot out lots of psychological data to contradict the thesis but the book reviewers on the Amazon site have done a pretty good job of exposing at least some of its follies so I will leave it at that. Thanks to Bernhardt Varenius of Anti-Socialist Tendencies for the link. If you really want to look at the early history of the idea and some of its disproofs, see here.

Some more unscientific psychology: A therapist involved with alcoholics finds great flaws in GWBs mental processes which he thinks he recognizes as common in recovering alcoholics and says that GWB's thinking is therefore alcohol-crazed. I have only ever taken a passing interest in drug and alcohol studies in my reading of the psychological journals but from what I do remember of what I have read on the subject, all such effects die away after a year or two, leaving the person in essentially normal health. Since GWB has been off the booze for many years now I think we can dismiss this particular bit of imaginative thinking.

An absolutely astounding story in yesterday's WSJ under the heading: "Kennedy versus Kennedy". The post further down about "How to be diverse" is amusing too.

Eugenics: Nice to see that science historian Elof Carlson confirms what I have been saying for some time: "liberals, left-wing ideologues, social reformers, people of good intentions, scholars, and totally innocent scientists all contributed to the eugenics movement"

A most interesting academic article: Narcissism is highly hereditary. Since I have argued often that a big ego is the main motive behind Leftism, this narrows down very nicely why previous genetic research has found Leftism to be largely hereditary.

The Wicked one has an interesting "quotation" from the Koran.

I have always been rather appalled at the racism of my Leftist colleagues in academic psychology. In their writings they seem to ignore totally anything published in Indian academic journals. No doubt they would SAY all the right things about India but deeds speak louder than words. I myself find Indian psychology to be as good as any and better than some and DO quote it where relevant. But I am the "racist", you see. I have also done research in India and have submitted some of my articles for publication in Indian journals. My latest academic upload here (or here) is an example of that.


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1 October, 2003


Thomas Sowell has a useful short review of the new book about education called No Excuses by A & S Thernstrom. I liked the bit about U.S. university graduates not being able to get teaching jobs in the public schools because they do not have one of those dreary teacher's certificates. I had the same experience myself here in Australia once. I taught matriculation level Economics and Geography in two private schools with excellent results but was then rejected for a teaching job in a government school because I did not have one of those useless teaching diplomas. Results counted for nothing. Phony "credentials" were all that mattered.

Another point the Thernstoms make is confirmed by the OECD -- which reported last week that there is no correlation between increased education funding and achievement and there is no correlation between smaller class sizes and achievement.

How surprising! "Alyssa Edmonds's report cards have been a string of paper trophies -- grades of 'E' for excellent, 'VG' for very good. But when her mother saw her 11-year-old's poor state test scores last year, she worried for the first time that the North Adams schools might be failing her children. 'I would like to know why my daughter ... didn't test at grade level but passed all her subjects and was passed into the next grade,' said Mary Edmonds, 40, a mental health worker who grew up in North Adams. 'I want to know why my kids aren't being taught what the state thinks they need to know to graduate and get a diploma.'"

Why American students don't love this country: "A report from the Albert Shanker Institute says that American school students are getting a slanted view of our nation's history. ... It would be hard to have pride in your country, if you realized that your government handed down orders within itself to launch a military-style operation, tanks and all, against American citizens who were simply acting out their non-violent religious beliefs..... But there's something else, something this report fails notice or point out. While going on at length about the lack of positive education regarding American history and principles, nowhere does it mention that the schools are active instruments of socialist indoctrination."

Good to see USA Today editorializing in favour of the Washington D.C. voucher program. And they have done it again here.

And some Australian schools in Muslim immigrant areas are pretty bad too.



WARNING: There is an email being sent to various blogs at the moment by a "Joseph Wander" which says: "I can pay you $20/month by putting 2 text links on your index or home page as our Advertiser. Please note that you have full control of your site on where to put the text links." The links concerned are: http://www.superheltinne.com and http://www.4atti.com. Both sites seem to have no specific geographical location. I strongly suspect that nobody would ever receive any goods in return for money sent in -- thus making anybody who displayed the links party to a confidence trick. Not recommendable!

"We estimate that climate change may already be causing in the region of 160,000 deaths...a year," Professor Andrew Haines of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told a climate change conference". And I estimate that the funding for his research would fall drastically if the global warming scare died down.

I visited my alma mater yesterday, the University of Queensland -- one of Australia's major universities. And flying from the top of the main building for all to see as they entered the university was a large Australian flag! Perhaps there is hope for our universities yet. I note from Garin Hovannisian's sad report of his first day at UCLA that there is no similar display there.

That man again: There is a picture of Hitler (connected with some VERY old news) in the middle of the Yahoo news site today (Tuesday, U.S. time). He made the cover of "Time" magazine a while back too. Ironic that he seems to be the most famous person in history. I explain why here

More irony: The Scandinavian countries have only relatively recently abandoned their COMPULSORY eugenics programs so how ironic that a new call for a VOLUNTARY eugenics program in Denmark has created an uproar.

Mike Tremoglie has been having fun trying to persuade Kristof of the NYT that he (Kristof) is a redneck!

The NYT is surprisingly frank about the hostility and discrimination conservatives face at U.S. universities.

Front Page has summarized the story about the affirmative action parody whereby students sold cookies at different prices according to the race of the customer. And John Moore has a "scoop" about a neglected detail of the same story.

Somebody has put together the most amazing set of Democrat quotes about Iraq -- from Clinton to Ted Kennedy. You would think that every word there was written by GWB. If GWB "lied" about Iraq, so did practically every prominent Democrat.

My latest academic upload here (or here) concerns the old Leftist "stereotyping" theory -- which says that we dislike minorities only because we do not know them well. So having more contact with minorities should make us like them better. If all my readers have not collapsed with laughter at such a theory by now they may be interested to hear that my survey showed that the theory was not supported.


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