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30 September, 2003


Dave Mecklenburg has just emailed me as follows:

"This article was one of the top articles on the homepage of Yahoo! recently, so I know it has gotten a lot of views. The title of this article is "France, Austria Lead in Cancer Survival." This was also the title of the link on the Yahoo! homepage, so I had to click it. The article was released for American readers, and I'd be willing to bet that the author is American, which makes this article even more amazing, when you look at the accompanying chart of cancer survival rates. It turns out that France and Austria have the highest survival rates in EUROPE. Before clicking on the chart, guess which country has the highest survival rates on the chart?.

Don't you find the title of the article confusing? Why would the AP and Yahoo! use that title for American readers? I clicked it, because I was a bit surprised that France and Austria would have higher cancer survival rates than America, so I wanted to see and read the data. Why wouldn't they title the article "France, Austria Lead in Cancer Survival in Europe"? Probably because the typical American reader wouldn't care. So why not title the article "America leads Europe in Cancer Survival Rates" or something like that? Why wouldn't AP and Yahoo! want us to know that? What is it about the American healthcare system that the AP and Yahoo! wouldn't want to promote? Could it be a lack of a socialist government-run healthcare system?

The chart graphically also illustrates something else that any idiot can see. Look at the huge differences between survival rates of men and women. What's going on in Europe? Why isn't this a national healthcare crisis in Europe that men have such a significantly less chance of survival? Maybe men are more likely as a whole to not go to the doctor. Maybe men get nastier incurable cancers. But wait a minute! The survival rate for men in America is nearly identical to women. Why isn't the difference in survival rates news? If women had a lower survival rate than men, do you think this would be news? Or maybe women AP reporters just don't think that's important.

You shouldn't be surprised that America has the highest cancer survival rates. America has the best healthcare in the world, BECAUSE it isn't a socialist government healthcare system. Also in America, the government can't decide that one group of people (e.g., women) is more important than another group of people, and choose to focus the limited resources of taxpayer funded healthcare on a particular group of people."

Dave might also have mentioned that patients who have major operations on the [U.K.] National Health Service are four times more likely to die than Americans undergoing such surgery and that the American system encourages PREVENTION of illness.



What fun! It looks like Russia won't ratify the Kyoto treaty either. The stupid thing could go the way of the ERA yet.

Muslim "progress" on crimes of the bedroom: "Cohabitation, oral sex and homosexual sex will soon become crimes in Indonesia if the justice ministry has its way, a ministry spokesman said Monday."

Jeff Jacoby on the death penalty: "In recent years, anti-death penalty propagandists have succeeded in stoking the fear that capital punishment is being carelessly meted out. But it's a bogus accusation: Of the 875 prisoners executed in the United States in modern times, not one has been retroactively proved innocent"

George Will says that even Los Angeles crime could be controlled if the Left would let the police do their job.

This story is one reason why I am a moderate libertarian (a minimal Statist) these days rather than a libertarian ideologue (an anarcho-capitalist). SOMETIMES government can achieve beneficial things that the market would not.

The anti-democratic media: "The media talks about the California recall as if voters there are the victims of a natural disaster or suffering in some war-torn province. Words like 'chaos' and 'mayhem' are thrown around so regularly that I have to keep reminding myself I'm not watching a retrospective on the LA riots of a decade ago. In fact, I think even those riots may have gotten better reviews. Why are the media and the political elite so anti-recall? Seems they like democracy only when the people butt out of it."

Supply-side economics are widely believed to be a myth that died with the Reagan adminstration. But Bruce Bartlett shows that the basic supply-side idea (cutting tax rates may increase tax revenue) does in fact have impressive support.

Democrat conservatism? "Last week two more Democrats joined the presidential race. With so many candidates in the mix, it might seem reasonable to expect a diversity of opinion on major issues. Yet when it comes to Social Security's future, there is little being said by these candidates aside from a promise to protect the status quo. Most private-sector economists and policy analysts, however, have long warned that the status quo is unsustainable." It's conservatism only if you accept the Leftist lie that conservatism consists of nothing more than defending the status quo.

Foreign aid: This article shows that the billions spent have almost all been essentially wasted. If we want to help poor countries we should allow them to trade with us instead of locking them out of our markets with tariffs, quotas and the like. THAT would work.

My latest academic upload here (or here) is yet another demolition of some Leftist research that claimed to prove that conservatives are "intolerant of ambiguity"


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29 September, 2003


Bruce Long writes

"I have been following the recent discussion on monkey ethics. It seems to me that there is a much better example of ethics and fair play in the animal kingdom, one that involves fish. As an active SCUBA diver I am aware of, have seen, and actually have participated in a "cleaning station".

Fish have some severe problems in the area of dental hygiene. They too suffer from pieces of food stuck between their teeth. More of a problem are the opportunistic algae and other parasites that colonize their gills. Nature has evolved a solution to this problem, the cleaning station. A cleaning station is a prominent outcrop of coral with one or more small shrimp. The customer fish swims up to the cleaning station and opens his mouth. The shrimp swim into the open mouth and make a meal on the food debris, and parasites present in the teeth, mouth area and gills. The customer fish gets a good flossing and cleaning and the shrimp get a free meal.

So here you have a fish with several tasty shrimp in his mouth. The fish appears to understand the short term gain of a quick and easy meal is not worth losing the clean service provided by the shrimp. But the "moral" behavior of the fish does not end here. It turns out the services of the cleaning shrimp are much in demand, so much so that a line forms. I have seen cleaning station with five or more fish patiently waiting in line. So it appears fish understand the concepts "of get in line" and "wait your turn". Even more amazing there is an apparent moratorium on predatory behavior as it is common to seen a large predatory fish patiently waiting in line with a small prey fish just inches in front of its nose. Both fish seem to understand that cleaning station customers do not eat other cleaning station customers.

It is possible for a SCUBA diver, if he moves slowly and carefully to take a place at the end of the line. I have done this and when my turn at the cleaning station came I put out my hands for inspection. The shrimp looked a little confused but they examined my hands and worked a bit on the cuticle of my fingernails before deciding I had no parasites to speak of . The returned to the coral pinnacle to wait for the next customer.

Cleaning stations are not at all uncommon on tropical coral reefs although they can be easily disturbed by the activity of a large number of divers. I seem to remember an article in a diving magazine about 15 years ago. If I remember correctly the diving community was widely aware of the phenomena of cleaning stations but it seem it was not entirely taken seriously by the marine biology community. This impression could well be wrong or out of date but I am unaware of any discussion of the cleaning station morals in the scientific literature. To be fair, as an electrical engineer, I have no contact with the marine science community so whatever I think I know in this area is second hand knowledge at best.

In any event it seems reef fish of many species have a well developed sense of fair play and understand at least in one circumstance, the postponement of short term gain for long term benefit. I find this truly amazing and rather more convincing than the recent monkey experiment.

The creationist people use cleaning stations as evidence of intelligent design. I don't quite believe this but I have no idea how to explain the development of cleaning stations in terms of Darwinian evolution."

Cheney, K.L. and I.M. Cote. 2001. Are Caribbean cleaning symbioses mutualistic? Costs and benefits of visiting cleaning stations to longfin damselfish. Animal Behaviour 62:927-933.



"Public health officials across the country are considering widespread spraying of pesticides to control the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. Anti-pesticide environmentalists claim spraying will devastate bird populations and other wildlife, but sound science shows the pesticides are safe and necessary."

"Supporting and funding alternative means of energy in an effort to eliminate America's dependency on foreign oil and reduce pollution has long been one of the stated causes of progressive politicians, activists and celebrities. But it seems that many of them, so skilled at furthering the case for unconventional energy resources, are unprepared to utilize them in their own backyards."

Running away from safety: "Even actions that have risks can make us safer. We often like to view risk as a binary problem: That is, something is either safe or it's not. Unfortunately, the world just doesn't work that way. Even something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning can increase our stress level, making us more susceptible to illness. Showering exposes us to the risk of slipping in the tub. ... Every choice is laden with risk. But so are the alternatives."



Whoosh! Rich Lowry has got a powerful summary of current Democratic party beliefs. Nobody said they had to be rational!

Belmont Club have really thought through the war on terror and look at what MUST happen if it fails. The utter destruction of Islam seems to be the inevitable outcome. If we cannot destroy the terrorists, we may eventually have to destroy the communities that host them. I note that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 GWB did say that he held the communities that hosted the terrorists responsible -- so warning has been given.

Good to see Arnie is way ahead in the polls. As a libertarian I think his sex-life is purely his business but his low tax policies sound hopeful. And could anybody be worse than that slimy Davis? Don't answer that!

The Wicked one thinks that Tennessee is a good place to stay away from.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I explode yet another Leftist attempt to prove that racism is "authoritarian" and conservative -- when in fact it is clearly universal.


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28 September, 2003


I guess this post is going to land me in trouble with some people but I have spent my whole life speaking without fear or favour so I am not going to retreat from telling the facts now:

I have just put up another abstract of a recent academic journal article that caused some waves as soon as it was published. The author, Richard Lynn, presents research showing that U.S. minorities tend to score high on the MMPI Pd scale. Wozzat? You say.

The Pd scale is a set of questions that are known to discriminate psychopaths from normals. Psychopaths are people who appear to have no conscience and cannot tell right from wrong. They are very often criminal and often cause severe harm to others. So Lynn has in effect presented evidence that is a psychological counterpart of what we already know -- that U.S. blacks are characterized by an enormously high crime-rate when compared to whites. He shows that psychopathic personalities are much, much more common in the black population -- which makes what we know of black crime eminently understandable. A major cause of black crime would appear to have been uncovered. The cause appears in part to lie in the personalities of (some) blacks themselves.

The major challenges that have been raised to Lynn's findings boil down to asking WHY psychopathy is more common among blacks and challenging whether the Pd scale really does measure psychopathy. The first question is one that cannot be answered with total certainty but, like most personality traits, psychopathy does in general seem to be inborn and genetically inherited. Maybe that is not so among the black population but seeing that blacks and whites are of the same species that would be highly improbable.

The second question is not quite so easily answerable. I have myself had a couple of articles using the Pd scale published in the academic journals and some of my results with it have been less than clearcut. A question I ask about the scale is WHY psychopaths are much more likely to agree with some of the self-descriptions in it than normal people are. I note that the questions in the scale do cover a wide range of maladaptive self-descriptions and this suggests that in institutional situations the scale could be a measure of malingering more than anything else. In non-institutional settings, however, malingering would NOT be a good explanation of the answers given so my conclusion from Lynn's data would be a little more cautious than Lynn's own conclusion. I would conclude that many blacks suffer from a wide range of personality pathologies rather than just psychopathy alone. On the other hand, the congruence of the personality and the crime data do amount to what psychologists would call "convergent validation" for the Pd scale so Lynn's findings could be held to show that doubters such as myself have been proven wrong.

Lynn, R. (2002) Racial and ethnic differences in psychopathic personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 32 (2), 273-316.
Ray, J.J. (1983) Psychopathy, anxiety and malingering. Personality & Individual Differences, 4, 351-353.
Ray, J.J. & Ray, J.A.B. (1982) Some apparent advantages of sub-clinical psychopathy. Journal of Social Psychology, 117, 135-142.



Feminists won't like this study: Children given into day-care from an early age are more likely to suffer from behaviour problems later in life.

A good article about Sweden's eugenics program -- forced sterlizations that went on until relatively recently under their socialist government: "In Sweden, it was only under Social Democratic rule and in Germany only under Nazism that citizens could be deprived of their reproductive functions as a result of their origins or their disabilities."

One of my readers writes: "You maintain that the academy and professors are attracted to Leftism due to ego. I maintain that they are attracted to Leftism by money and power or the lack of it. Money is power and leftists don't have much of it. Therefore, since they aren't entrepeneural and being an academic doesn't pay that well, the path to power is OPM (other peoples money). And isn't Leftism all about OPM? Leftism is the OPM of the masses being directed by an unproductive elite." He has a good point.

Leftists have of course pooh-poohed the comparison between postar Germany in 1945 and postwar Iraq in 1993 but this seems to show surprising similarities. (Link via Alpha Patriot).

Mike Tremoglie has a comment about the overfed hero of Chappaquiddick that applies to most Leftists: "He once said deployment of Pershing missiles in Europe would lead to World War III. In fact, the deployment of the Pershings helped end the Cold War."

Andrew Bolt points out that journalists are rightly skeptical about the virtues of Christian priests but wonders why similar skepticism is not applied to all the other wacko beliefs that they normally cover with nothing but respect and reverence. And, like me, he is an unbeliever who nonetheless sees much virtue in Christianity.

An interesting account of why Hollywood tends to be Leftist. It boils down to the usual Leftist story of wanting to sound wiser and better than they are.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again. Lots of good reading on many topics.

The Wicked one has some more funnies up.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I point out the breathtaking naivety of a piece of psychological research that allegedly shows conservatives to be authoritarian. I know the guy who did the research too. A nice guy -- but Leftism obviously addles the brain.


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27 September, 2003


Leftist professors are very prone to saying that their Leftism is the outcome of their higher intelligence and ability at critical thinking. As a former successful academic myself, I reject that and say that their Leftism is an outcome of their greater egotism. They are already in positions of power, influence and prestige to some degree and that just makes them want more power, influence and prestige -- and they see Leftism as a way towards that. They think it makes them seem wise and good beyond their narrow academic expertise.

It strikes me that there is a counter-example to university professors which tests much more directly what the politics of intelligence per se are. Most people have heard of Mensa -- the social group with the sole admission requirement that your IQ has to be in the top 2%. For a few years in the 1970s I ran the Mensa group in New South Wales -- Australia's most populous State. It is years now since I have been to a meeting but John Moore, a current Mensa member in the USA, has just reminded me of an interesting fact: Libertarianism is far and away the most common political orientation among Mensans. I have also shown elsewhere that Mensans are much less likely to smoke than are other people. From my point of view as a non-smoking libertarian, I think it is obvious that both differences are the expected outcome of greater intelligence!

One of the most useful things about Mensans for the present comparison is that they are notoriously NOT highly successful members of society. They tend to be intelligent people who have missed the boat for one reason or another. So they have no reason for inflated egos -- unlike university professors. So if we take the ego away and just leave intelligence, what are the politics produced? Libertarianism, not Leftism.



Well-said: "Being pro-environment, kind of like being pro-family, is a good way to score political points. Who can possibly be against environmental protection? Everyone wants to breathe clean air and drink clean water, and few of us would like to see every acre of wilderness paved over to make way for shopping malls and condominiums. The Republicans are perpetually vulnerable to charges of being antienvironment when they propose, for instance, to open a part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas drilling. But is some environmentalism a radical ideology or even a form of religious fundamentalism in moderate clothing?"

Those pesky glaciers: "First and foremost, people assert we know a lot about glaciers, but we don't. We know next to nothing about glacial activity, but what we do know suggests there are as many expanding glaciers as there are shrinking ones (this even happens with two glaciers within a few miles of each other) and that there is no universal trend either way. There are more than 160,000 glaciers on the planet."



My article in yesterday's Front Page Magazine on Leftist eugenics produced one comment that gave lots of good quotes to confirm how Hitlerian the U.S. "Progressives" of the 1920s and 1930s were -- so I have reposted it here for convenience.

Another reader noted my brief mention of Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism and emailed me a fairly comprehensive account of what Social Darwinism was and who supported it. Nowadays "Social Darwinism" is something of a term of abuse that Leftists apply to conservatives. But -- surprise, surprise! -- it turns out that many of the original Social Darwinists were prominent socialists -- like George Bernard Shaw and Beatrice Webb. And those Social Darwinists who were on the Right generally respected individual liberties and wanted simply to let evolution take its course -- They did not want to give evolution a helping hand along via State power -- which is what the Leftists advocated. I have posted the full email here.

LOL: "Col. B. Erkhenbayar, the commander of the Mongolian forces, noted that much had changed since the last Mongolian mission to Iraq, 745 years ago." Genghis!

Amazing! Hillary backs GWB: ""The intelligence from Bush 1 to Clinton to Bush 2 was consistent" in concluding Saddam had chemical and biological weapons and was trying to develop a nuclear capability, Clinton said this morning. And Saddam's expulsion of weapons inspectors and "the behavior" of his regime "pointed to a continuing effort" to produce WMD, she added."

A good comment on GWB's "controversial" U.N. speech. He was delivering a straight warning, not courting cheap popularity.

Interested Participant reports some disturbing news: Kansas is about to give illegal immigrants MORE privileges than it gives to residents of other U.S. States!

David Yeagley has questioned the recent study which showed that monkeys display envious behaviour that is very reminiscent of Leftists. I would have to read the original study before I could comment further, however.

Useful Fools gives a very thorough expose of how the Leftist influence among U.S. journalists works.

In case anybody is beginning to believe the latest Leftist big lie -- that GWB won in Florida only by courtesy of the Supreme Court -- The Misanthropyst points out the facts.

My latest academic upload here (or here) is another example of my regrettable tendency to tear to shreds the stupid arguments of Leftist "social scientists"


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26 September, 2003


Despite its political unpopularity, academic research into IQ still goes on. Two recent articles in one of the academic journals are particularly interesting. The first shows that a high IQ is in general better for your personal and social adjustment. We have all heard stories of highly intelligent weirdos but they are the exception rather than the rule. Mostly, a high IQ makes you BETTER at solving your personal and social problems, not worse. The Terman & Oden (1947) "Genetic studies of genius" showed the same thing many years ago, of course.

The second study provides some hard data on how intelligent American Jews are. There has long been evidence that they are more intelligent than white Americans in general but it turns out that they are ahead by only 7.5 IQ points on average. That is still substantial (half a standard deviation) but not quite as high as some earlier estimates.

Terman, L. M., & Oden, M. H. (1947). Genetic studies of genius: Vol. 4. The gifted child grows up. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.



There is a very interesting article here on "inferiority as a luxury item". It points out how primitively produced goods are preferred by snobs because they are different and more expensive rather than because they are better in any way. This is extended to more expensive "organic" foods which are claimed to be better for you than other foods -- even though there is no evidence of that. There have however been quite a few instances of people being poisoned by "organic" foods! Serve the snobs right! Plants naturally produce lots of toxins to defend themselves against being eaten and if the farmer doesn't protect the plant with his sprays, the plant will soon evolve its own toxins to do the job.

Flabby thinking: "Fast food is not addictive. We can all agree on that, right? We can all do without French fries. Sure, I like French fries, but I don't have to have them. I can quit any time I want. Silly to think they're addictive. But there is no silliness so silly that somebody seeking to file a lawsuit can't find scientific support for it. Or at least pretend to find scientific support."

Kyoto costs: walking through the arithmetic. Just in Canada alone "It's going to cost billions more to implement the accord than Ottawa claims"

The "bureaucrash" group do a good job of exposing the gross hypocrisy of the anti-Globos.

The Amazon is probably more "untouched" today than it was 500 years ago: "Newly discovered traces of ancient roads, bridges, and plazas in Brazil's tropical forest may help dispel the once-popular impression of an "untouched" Amazon before the Europeans' arrival. In southern Brazil, archaeologists have found the remains of a network of urban communities that apparently hosted a population many thousands strong. Reporting their findings in the journal Science, the researchers say the people who dwelled there dramatically changed their local landscape."

Europe's heat wave appears to have been caused by natural variations in stratospheric winds known as the "Jet Stream" -- sadly for the Greenies.



Great! I have top billing on Front Page Magazine today with my article pointing out that Hitler's inspiration for his eugenics came from the LEFTISTS of his day. And the article has already attracted a huge volume of comments.

Good to see that Arnie did well in the debate. He's a smart man to change careers so easily.

Good to see that India is now going ahead at a great rate now that they have virtually abandoned socialism.

George Will defends a tax increase. Maybe he has a point -- but only if you think government has to provide "services".

"American workers are changing lifestyle habits to keep the doctor away in light of increasing health care costs" Odd, that! Socialized medicine offers no such incentives towards prevention.

Omen for General Clark's Presidential bid? A General senior to Clark says he would not vote for Clark -- noting that Clark's early departure from his European command was because of "character issues". The Democrats sure can pick 'em!

Conservative Truth has a useful summary of what the "Nine Dwarfs" (Democrat Presidential contenders) are saying -- or not saying.

Australian/American blogger James Morrow, formerly of "The Weekly James" is now The Daily James.

The Wicked one lists some of the loopy things that the U.S. taxpayer is paying for.

An accusation that psychologists love to make about conservatives is that they are "intolerant of ambiguity". My latest academic upload here (or here) however is one occasion where I managed to turn the tables -- showing that psychologists themselves are intolerant of ambiguity.


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25 September, 2003


I was a literature buff long before I was a psychometrician and I still remember a fair bit of what I read in that field. One partial memory has been nagging at me recently however and I hope somebody can help me complete it. I remember reading three pieces of advice that an English aristocrat (Chesterfield?) once gave to his son: 1. "Never give your lady one in the morning because you never know what might come up during the day"; 2. "Never hunt South of the Thames"; and 3. ??? If you know any literary buffs please see if they know the third part of the quote. Google doesn't know the quote at all.



Two good quotes from Dennis Prager: "The more people marry, and especially the more they have children after they marry, the more likely they are to hold conservative values and vote Republican" and: "Am I implying that increasing one's maturity and wisdom works in favor of the Republicans and against liberalism and the Democrats? Absolutely. Wisdom and contemporary liberalism are in conflict. That is why the vast majority of people who change their politics as they get older (and presumably wiser) change them from liberal to conservative"

"What is a conservative? I'm not sure, but if I were to offer adjectives about my fellow scribes, I would say that conservatives as a group are smarter, funnier and wiser than those other guys.... Apparently lots of folks may have forgotten the driving conservative principle of a free market economy. Distilled herewith: the best things in life are not free. At the top of the list of un-free things, we find freedom.."

R. Emmett Tyrrell is a fun sort of guy who likes to play with words but he gets a bit carried away at times. In the quote following I think he means "normal" instead of "normative" and soi disant is just French for "so-called".... Anyway, Tyrrell says: "The reason that a man of such normative views as Estrada has been opposed by the Democrats is that they see themselves as the party of the ethnic minorities. Estrada is a Latino.... That the Republicans would raise him to one of the highest courts in the country proves that Latinos are welcome in the Republican Party, too. They do not have to be beholden to Democrats... Thus the soi-disant party of Latinos comes down hard on a successful Latino.

Why did Bin Laden do it? "Bin Laden expected the US military to carpet bomb Afghanistan and many other places. He thought he'd draw the Yankee's raw power into the entire Muslim world, and expected a global intifada to ensue. Interestingly enough the Jihadists anticipated millions of death in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Some indications lead me to guess that the Sultan of the Mujahedin wanted the great Satan to do the unthinkable and resort to doomsday devices. That is the war that Usama Bin Laden wanted to instigate. A war that would drive America into nihilism, shatter international law into pieces and project himself as the new Caliph"

"Democrat politicians do seem to take black voters for granted, and they do betray their interests ... by treating them like a subculture of disaffected people rather than like human beings... They betray them by treating them like numbers -- primarily in the numbers of votes they produce, but also in the sense of bean counting: always keeping score based on the color of people's skin. Their ultimate betrayal of blacks is in treating them as a commodity. No matter how often they invoke the name of Martin Luther King in their pathetic quest to ingratiate themselves with blacks, they just as often undermine his dream of a colorblind society where all people are judged on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

The Toyota Example: "A lot of people believe economic growth comes at the expense of the environment. Quite the contrary, the economic growth imperative drives investment in technology, which continuously improves our products and protects the environment".



Jeff Jacoby notes all the Leftist protests about Schwarzenegger's "horndog" past and wonders where the same protesters were when Clinton was accused of much the same. Saying it didn't matter -- that's where.

The soul of capitalism: "If capitalism were someday found to have a soul, it would probably be located in the mystic qualities of capital itself. ... Once set in motion, the surplus wealth ... becomes one of capitalism's three classic factors of production, alongside human labor and nature. Capital puts up the money to build the factory, buys the machines and pays the company's bills until its goods are produced and sold, thus yielding the new returns that pay back the lenders and investors with an expected increase. It is not simple, but that is the essence."

If you think French foreign policy is disgusting, read here what a charmer their favourite philosopher was.

It looks like the opposition of American busybodies to genetic research may hand the race to the Chinese.

One in the eye for the "alternative" crowd: There has been a bit of a hoo-ha in recent years about how your blood type influences the type of person you are. A recent systematic study of the relationship between various supposedly relevant personality variables and blood type found absolutely no relationship between any blood type and any type of personality!

The Wicked one has a fun post about bureaucratic dead horses.

Most people agree that a good medical practitioner needs more than just academic ability but how do we ensure that doctors are not just good at passing examinations? My latest academic upload here (or here) shows that there are no easy fixes.


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24 September, 2003


Some British psychologists have recently done a study which shows that Bosnian refugees who came to Britain to escape the war ended up worse-off psychologically than those who stayed in Bosnia. The implication is that accepting refugees is bad for the mental health of the refugees themselves. The stress of adapting to a new country seems to be worse than the other stresses they experience. So it might be humanitarian to keep most "refugees" OUT! I can see lots of governments seizing on THAT thought with some gladness. In case the Leftists get wind of the study and try to censor it, I have saved a copy to disk and will immediately re-post it if it is taken down.



The infamous "Berkeley study" reserved its warmest praise for a theory of conservative motivation put forward by Glenn Wilson in his 1973 book, The psychology of conservatism. I know that book pretty well. I wrote chapter 2 of it. I also know Glenn well. He buys me a lunch whenever I am in London. He is a pretty conservative guy himself these days so there are certain ironies there. I also note how well ahead of his times Glenn was in 1973 when he stressed the possibility that political stance may often be genetically inherited. We now know that to be so but there was little evidence of it back in the 70s.

The central proposal of the theory is that conservatives have a greater fear of uncertainty than Leftists. As far as I know, however, nobody has ever tested that on a general population sample. The authors of the "Berkeley study" certainly mentioned no such research. It should not be hard to test the theory directly. I am sure I could whip up a fear of uncertainty scale in short order. It is however known that conservatives are not more fearful in general so the questionnaire would have to be carefully designed to concentrate on fear of uncertainty in particular. I am however now too old and lazy to do the legwork of a general population survey myself so if you know anybody who wants an interesting research project to do, give them my email address.

Incidentally, the authors of the "Berkeley study" headlined their article with a quote from George Will. Will had a few sarcastic words to say about that at the time.



As a comment on the Greenie claim that rich countries consume 80% of the world's resources, Gerry Jackson has emailed me the following:

"Greenie claims that the rich countries consume 80 per cent of the world's resources while poor countries consume the remainder is just sloppy thinking. If this were literally true there would be nothing left after 12 months. What the rich countries actually do is produce 80 per cent of the world's annual output, the value of which they then consume. They do this by converting raw materials into higher-valued goods. For example, silicon is transformed into fibre optic cables and computer chips. Therefore, once we look at the situation in terms of production we see that leftwing claims that rich countries consume at the expense of the poor ones are utter nonsense.

In any case, the earth's resources are not fixed. How can they be when the state of technology defines resources? This means that because technology has to be applied through the use of capital, economic growth is really a resource-generating process. It follows that the only road to prosperity is economic growth, the very process that the Greens are dedicated to destroying."



Fascinating: Hans Blix thinks the anti-war demonstrators caused the war on Iraq. He has a point.

This "Earth Liberation Front" seems to be a nasty business. They not only torch SUVs but also homes under construction. The police may have to use RICO (organized crime) laws against them. In true Leftist fashion they have no respect for democracy. "It makes no sense to think that we can have success without combining legal and illegal tactics, both violent and non-violent", they say. What people can be persuaded to vote for is irrelevant to them. THEY KNOW what is good for us and too bad if people don't agree with them.

The American Library Association (ALA) has declared this week to be Banned Book Week. Practically anything that has ever been "banned" can however be read here. What the week is all really about is an attack on Christian groups and parents exercising their right to have a say in the education of their children. As Steve McKinzie pointed out a few years ago, very few of the ALA's "banned" books have in fact been banned by anyone. All that has happened is that parents and Christian groups have questioned their suitability for use in schools due to their explicit sexual content etc. The whole exercise pretty dishonest, in other words. Any guesses about how most ALA members vote?

America's leading expert on the Islamic countries says that it is only their own failure to modernize that lies behind the way the West has got so far ahead of them in the last few hundred years. But he sees no reason why they cannot modernize.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I report some findings about the nature of immigrants. Do they tend to be misfits or to be especially enterprising?


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23 September, 2003


Prof. Steve Dutch of the University of Wisconsin writes:

You mentioned in your post of 12th. Alice Miller's book, For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelties in Childhood and the Roots of Violence. One of Miller's claims is that Adolf Hitler was a victim of child abuse. In support, she cites John Toland's biography. Now it so happens I looked into this because I have a course on technology in socio-historical context, and I once did lectures on Nazi Germany and how an advanced society could engage in genocide and use all the instruments of an industrial society to carry it out. I specifically researched whether Hitler had been abused and found no evidence at all, including in Toland's book.

Also I looked at Mein Kampf to see if Hitler provided any clues - if anything he was a bit affectionate and condescending about his father. Of course Miller would equate any slap on the butt with "abuse," so by her definition Hitler was almost certainly abused. But so were all the victims of the Holocaust and all the people who risked their lives opposing it. People like Miller end up trivializing abuse.

It is simply not true that abuse cuts across all socio-economic lines. If you look at the really egregious cases of kids being killed, seriously injured, or chained for years on end, they are heavily concentrated in underclass settings.

And reporting is biased. If a middle class kid tells his teacher he was slapped, there's a good chance the police or social workers will get involved. If a cop finds an abuse victim in the inner city, the social workers will tell him they're too overworked already. Middle class people are easy to regulate. If a parent is cited for child abuse and ignores the summons, he has a job and home he can lose. If an inner city parent ignores a summons, the police and courts have bigger fish to fry. So trivial abuse gets reported in the suburbs and only the most flagrant cases in inner cities.

Now for a real heresy: The single strongest clue I got from Mein Kampf about what made Hitler tick was in his discussion of his years in Vienna and his disgust at the intellectual dishonesty he found among leftists. Now I think Hitler was probably terribly naive and simplistic at the time, and probably engaged in what is called "naive disconfirmation," in which someone will come up with a simplistic counterargument and assume he has settled the issue when anyone with more information can see he hasn't. But he probably had plenty of real cause for disgust as well.

And, to support another post on your blog, the Ba'ath Party IS classic fascism. It has all the attributes: the ethnocentrism, the denial of the concept of individual rights, and the notion that the only right is membership in the group. And Iraq had a pro-Nazi government until the Brits toppled it in 1941.

I guess Steve must have tenure.



Murray Soupcoff socks it to them: "Camille Paglia uncorked this insightful quote: "One problem is that too many leftist periodicals are run by callow cliques whose vaunted populism is a mask for snobbery." No kidding! But in this scribe's opinion, Ms. Paglia's apt critique would apply to almost all of the American left these days. Indeed if there is a latent role for contemporary leftism among today's journalistic, academic and Hollywood elite, it's to serve as an identifying badge of sophistication and superiority to distinguish these haughty souls from those whom they view as their inferiors -- namely the entire rest of the population"

James Hudnall had some good comments a while back about the Leftist reaction to Fox News: "The detractors like to accuse Fox watchers of being nazis, zombies or idiots.... The contempt the so called progressives (aka liberals) have for opinions other than their own is more a cry for help, a weak attempt at projection and self delusion than anything else" Leftists certainly do seem to feel very threatened by anything that contradicts them -- which seems a pretty good confession of how fragile and poorly-based their belief system is. (Link via Amritas).

How desperate the America-hating Leftists get! This Leftist report claims that the USA is way down (compared to other countries) in the amount it spends on education and concludes therefore that the USA is not "kid-friendly". But they only count FEDERAL spending on education -- whereas most U.S. education spending is at the State or local level. It's not even a clever lie!



That wonderful public education: "There are, of course, many reasons why so many students can't qualify for college. Most of them never get the cultural support to overcome the general debasement of public education. Nobody knows this better than the teachers, which is why so many public-school teachers send their kids to private schools."

An unequal distribution -- of capitalism "Twenty percent of the world's population (we often hear) consumes more than 80 percent of the earth's resources, while the other 80 percent consume less than 20 percent. Critics of globalization never tire of reminding us of this injustice. Far less often do we hear a proper analysis of the reason for this state of affairs."

I always get a laugh out of the lugubrious Leftist who runs the "Tugboat" blog -- which is why I keep him on my blogroll on the left of this page. I have shown how his past attempts to criticize my arguments founder on simple logic so now he is reduced to abuse. He refers to this site as "John Ray's on-line clearing house for batty ideas". Amusing. He also makes a mess of using a French term of abuse for Germans. He confuses "Bosch" (a German electrical firm) with "Boche" -- a French abbreviation of "caboche" -- meaning "cabbage". A common English term for Germans -- "Kraut" -- also means "cabbage" (in German). I guess Germans do eat a lot of Sauerkraut (sour cabbage).

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I offer a catalog of all the tests that psychologists have used to measure materialistic ambition.


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22 September, 2003


Guess whom I am talking about. Hint: He was featured in the British "Homes & Gardens" magazine -- which described him thus (excerpts):

"There is nothing pretentious about his little estate. It is one that any merchant might possess in these lovely hills. All visitors are shown their host's model kennels, where he keeps magnificent Alsatians. Some of his pedigree pets are allowed the run of the house, especially on days when he gives a "Fun Fair" for the local children. He delights in the society of brilliant foreigners, especially painters, singers and musicians. As host he is a droll raconteur. Every morning at nine he goes out for a talk with his gardeners about their day's work. These men, like the chauffeur and air-pilot, are not so much servants as loyal friends. A life-long vegetarian at table, his kitchen plots are both varied and heavy with produce. Even in his meatless diet, he is something of a gourmet. He is his own decorator, designer and furnisher, as well as architect."

This apparently pleasant, artistic country gentleman is of course our old friend Adolf -- as described in the 1938 edition of "Homes & Gardens" -- which is now on the net here. The story of how it got on the net is here. The "insanity" that Leftists usually attribute to him is not much in evidence is it? The "insanity" claim is just a coverup of what he really was, of course: He was just another clever socialist -- with the typical socialist's elitist disregard for ordinary people, individual liberty and human life -- disguised with a lot of talk about being on the side of "the worker", of course. He did, after all, call his political party "The National Socialist German Worker's party".



In the light of my post yesterday about unionist attacks on Republican college students, the following seems a relevant comment: The Democrats' contempt for democracy: "If you believe in liberalism -- the idea that the economy should be heavily controlled, that resources should be distributed "fairly," that opportunities should be allocated by a central authority -- then you hate the idea of an independent American populace.... Democracy, according to the left, means only part-time democracy: It's democracy when people vote for us; it's a threat to democracy when they vote against us. It is no coincidence that fascism in the 20th century sprang from socialism. Socialists and the modern-day left feel that they have the only Truth. If democracy fails to recognize that Truth, democracy must be superseded."

General Clark is now part of the Democrat line-up to run against GWB in the next Presidential election. The Left have proclaimed him as the "hero of Kosovo" for his role in commanding US forces during Kosovo's liberation. As A Little More to the Right comments: "Yesterday during an interview Clark was asked about the war in Iraq and whether it was the right thing to do. Clark replied that no, it wasn't because there was "no imminent threat to the United States". Well, what was the imminent threat in Kosovo General Clark??" He has only just become a Democrat politician but already the dishonesty is starting to set in.

Amazing! The Dalai Lama supports the war on terror and has refused to condemn the Iraq intervention!

Australian historian and whistle-blower Keith Windschuttle has a short reply to his critics in his latest posting. The Leftist attack on him edited by Robert Manne fails completely to look at the evidence. Windschuttle is of course known for exploding the Leftist lie that Tasmania recorded the one clear case of genocide in the British Empire. Leftists use the lie to claim that the early British colonists from whom most Australians are descended were like the Nazis!

Patrick West makes a good point about recent crashes of privately-run British passenger trains. The Left-leaning media are parading it as just what you would expect of privatization and those heartless, cost-cutting capitalists. He points out that there were roughly TWICE as many deaths BEFORE privatization. Touche!

George Will has some interesting comments about recent research showing that people are hardwired (born) to be part of a community and share that community's values -- which is why membership of a church or religious group is so often beneficial to a person's mental health and adaptation to society. GWB is a good case in point. Turning to Christian faith changed him from being a drunkard into President of the United States.

Sowell says: One of the signs of our times is a recent ruling by a federal judge that those who lost loved ones in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks can sue the planes' manufacturer and the owners of the World Trade Center, among others. This extraordinary -- indeed, unique -- terrorist attack was "foreseeable," according to Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein in New York. By the same reasoning, it was "foreseeable" that there would be jackasses like Judge Hellerstein on the federal bench. Similar judges have allowed our courts to become clogged with frivolous lawsuits and turned law into an instrument of legalized extortion.

Jonathan Rauch says that "Frankenfood" will save the planet. Seriously, GM food looks set to be so beneficial to the environment that even the Greens should eventually reverse their "anti" position if they have any contact with reality at all.

The Misanthropyst has a fun post devoted to the view that life itself is the ultimate test of IQ

The Wicked one has just made up for all his Irish jokes by pointing to what a great job the Irish have done of reducing the size of their government and thus greatly increasing their prosperity.

My latest academic upload here (or here) is one of the many shots I fired in my failed 20-year campaign to inject a bit more science into psychology. All sciences have indexing services that enable individual scientists to find existing publications relevant to their own work. I show that the official psychology indexing service is ludicrously incomplete. Basically, unlike true scientists, psychologists do not care about what has gone before. They have a typically Leftist disregard for what history might teach.


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21 September, 2003


Steel Tariffs Are a Net Job Killer: "In a decision largely driven by his political advisers, President Bush set aside his free-trade principles last year and imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel to help out struggling mills in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, two states crucial for his re-election. Eighteen months later, key administration officials have concluded that Bush's order has turned into a debacle. Some economists say the tariffs may have cost more jobs than they saved, by driving up costs for automakers and other steel users." When will they ever learn? More on the folly of Protectionism here.

"We are hearing more and more about the loss of manufacturing jobs.... History, however, suggests that manufacturing can take care of itself. It's important to remember that warnings about the death of manufacturing are not new. I have been hearing them for more than 20 years." More here.

The WTO: "The talks in Cancun failed for two reasons. First, they failed because Americans and Europeans talk a great game about free trade but are outrageously protectionist when it comes to agriculture. And, second, because the poor countries, led by Brazil, were sufficiently peeved by point No. 1 so as to foolishly decide that no progress was better than some progress."

This abstract from an academic paper shows that the WTO is something of a paper tiger anyway. The evidence is that the minor concessions made via the WTO and its predecessor body (GATT) have had very little beneficial effect. But special concessions to allow goods from poor countries into rich countries do have a large beneficial effect.

Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya argue that the bilateral trade deals are pretty useless too and that real free trade would be much better.

Colin Teese argues that the proposed US-Australia "Free Trade" agreement is of dubious value too -- depending on your assumptions. But there is little doubt that it will help our farmers IF it gives them better access to the US market. But that is the big sticking point of course.

"Globalisation is good" tells a tale of two countries that were equally poor 50 years ago - Taiwan and Kenya. Today Taiwan is 20 times richer than Kenya. We meet the farmers and entrepreneurs that could develop Taiwan because it introduced a market economy and integrated into global trade. And we meet the Kenyan farmers and slum dwellers that are still desperately poor, because Kenya shut its door to globalisation. Link via Valete Fratres.

US to China: Make goods more expensive! "There is, it seems, a segment of the American population that firmly believes China to be the greatest economic threat facing our country. As if domestic taxation, regulation and deficit spending were of negligible effect upon America's economic well being, dealing with the threat from the Far East now ranks as our nation's #1 priority." And what a "threat" it is: How dare they sell us electrical goods at low prices!



Environmental scientists must stop crying wolf: "There is a crisis emerging in the scientific community. The ideals of science are being sacrificed to the god of political expediency. Environmental scientists are becoming so obsessed with the righteousness of their cause that they are damning those who wish to use science as an objective tool in public policy decisions."

As an example of crying wolf, A Little More to the Right has some remarkable pictures of that ozone hole in the atmosphere that the Greenies are all so desperately worried about.

The latest EU attack on chemicals is just chasing rainbows. Even water, salt and vitamins are bad for you if misused or taken in excessive doses. Chemical safety is a myth -- but a very costly myth for us all. And more regulations are most unlikely to improve our already high level of safety.

Moon power alright: "Homes on the Arctic tip of Norway started getting power from the moon on Saturday via a unique subsea power station driven by the rise and fall of the tide." What a lot of rot! What do they do when the tide is on the turn? Turn to coal, oil or nuclear power, of course. Intermittent sources of energy just force a hugely expensive doubling up of generating capacity.



I like it! Apparently there is a college in Cuba named after Korean Communist dictator Kim Il Sung. The WSJ wryly comments: "Kim Il Sung Economic College in Cuba? Sounds almost as left-wing as American colleges." There is also a fun post about the metric system on the same page. As a born-and-bred Imperial man, I think America is the only place where they still measure things properly. Both Britain and Australia have converted to Metric.

Putting it plainly: "Fear of provoking terrorists is a cowardly basis on which to oppose war."

Good to see: "President Bush renewed his campaign against what he considers abuses of the legal system Saturday, returning to a longtime interest that remained mostly sidelined during the first two years of his presidency. In his weekly radio address, Bush pushed for Congress to limit damage awards in medical malpractice cases, arguing that lawsuits are sending malpractice insurance costs soaring so that shortages of doctors are occurring in many places." Australia has done it, why not the U.S.?

Interested Participant has the story about the Leftist "Rainbow Family" who love the earth but trash national forests at great cost to the taxpayer.

The Wicked one has just given the rural socialists (tax-fed farmers) another blast.


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20 September, 2003


Emory University researcher Sarah Brosnan has found that monkeys get envious if another monkey does better than them and start behaving in angry and irrational ways. I have often pointed out that a lot of Leftism is genetically encoded so that monkeys are Leftists is no surprise to me.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I look at whether or not there is such a thing as racism. What I found was that there is only a weak tendency for dislike of one ethnic group to generalize to dislike of another ethnic group. This indicates that most ethnic dislikes are NOT motivated by an overall attitude of racism. It shows that most people who express views that Leftists would call "racist" are in fact simply objecting to real phenomena that they dislike.

My theme that what the Leftists say about conservatives is mostly Freudian "projection" is confirmed in a recent WSJ article, where Bruce Bartley gives chapter and verse of Democrats accusing Republicans of things that they themselves do repeatedly. He concludes: "When Democrats assert that the Republicans will do anything to win, their complaint is relevant only in terms of what psychologists call "projection," finding your own faults in others"



Well, shiver me timbers! (as an old sailor might say). It turns out that at least two of the Lusosphere (Portuguese-language) blogs that have been linking to me are actually from Portugal, not Brazil. If the blogs concerned had been in German or Italian I might have figured their origin out better but Portuguese stretches me a bit too far. At least I figured out that they were in Portuguese! Enlightenment came via this email from Joao Noronha of Valete Fratres (just to confuse you that means "Farewell brothers" in LATIN):

"At least a few of your Portuguese language readers and fans are... Portuguese. But the problems here are not very different from those described in by your Brazilian reader (and Lula is a media hero here in Portugal.) In Portugal, a member of the EU, NATO, etc..., our constitution, mostly written in 1975 by Marxists, still states that we're trying to build a socialist society (preamble 4th paragraph)... A minister has recently proposed that we revise the constitution in order to get rid of all that ideological nonsense... He was immediately classified as a "far-right extremist"."

Joao has lots of interesting posts transcribed from English-language sources so pay him a visit. And I have also now heard from another blogger in Portugal -- Miguel Noronha of O Intermitente -- who links to me. He quotes some English-language sources too.



W. F. Buckley defends Israel's security fence and ridicules the pressure against it from GWB. Linda Chavez agrees.

Pandering to the Arabs: What a blooper! When will GWB give up on a failed policy?

Walter Williams applies a bit of sarcasm to the idea that "We need a job-saving law" in the high-tech industries.

Michelle Malkin says all that can be said about the recent picture of unborn babies smiling.

"It was only a matter of time, I suppose. Comic-book superheroes have gone into the liberal political indoctrination business." More here



Wayne Lusvardi drew my attention to this story about a Greenie vandal who destroys SUVs. The vandal describes himself as: "a high school dropout with a passion for math as well as Greek and Roman history" ... A math formula — Euler's Theorem — was spray painted on one of the SUVs as a way of distinguishing the participants' work. "We thought it would be nice to have something a little kooky just in case this happened," he said, adding that he finds the formula "beautiful." Comparing the guy to the Unabomber, Wayne comments: "Should we be afraid of the anti-intellectuals like President Bush or the pseudo-intellectuals like the eco-terrorists?"

Mike Tremoglie reports a little-known happening in the City of Brotherly Love: "A Molotov cocktail was tossed into the campaign office of the white, Jewish, Republican candidate for mayor Sam Katz... Supposing the circumstances were that a Molotov had been thrown into the campaign office of a black, Democrat, mayoral candidate and the campaign workers for the white, Republican, Jewish mayor had been implicated. How long would it be before CBS/NBC/ABC/CNN/MSNBC/NPR/ New York Times and the rest of the usual suspects would be reporting live from North Philadelphia?

Even in Seattle ... "A proposal to levy a 10-cent-per-cup tax on espresso in what is known as the coffee capital of the nation was overwhelmingly rejected on Tuesday by Seattle voters. The measure failed by two to one" How nasty it is for Leftists when they have to give people a choice!


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19 September, 2003


"I had a copy of the Soviet Constitution and I read it with great interest. And I saw all kinds of terms in there that sound just exactly like our own: 'Freedom of assembly' and 'freedom of speech' and so forth. Of course, they don't allow them to have those things, but they're in there in the constitution. But I began to wonder about the other constitutions -- everyone has one -- and our own, and why so much emphasis on ours. And then I found out, and the answer was very simple -- that's why you don't notice it at first. But it is so great that it tells the entire difference. All those other constitutions are documents that say, 'We, the government, allow the people the following rights,' and our Constitution says 'We the People, allow the government the following privileges and rights.' We give our permission to government to do the things that it does. And that's the whole story of the difference--why we're unique in the world and why no matter what our troubles may be, we're going to overcome." --Ronald Reagan. Via The Federalist.



I have noticed that in recent months my blog has been getting links from several foreign language blogs. Which language? German? French? No -- Portuguese! They are of course Brazilian blogs. So why should I be popular in just one non-English-speaking country? A Brazilian blogger who speaks English has just emailed me and I now begin to understand. Apparently Brazil is monolithically Leftist. He refers to the January election that put Lula da Silva in power and comments:

"The last election in Brazil was a joke: all the parties were left-wing! We didn't have one single liberal representative party in the race. All the parties just exist to preserve themselves in power, making agreements with the government of the day. It's what we call "phisiologism": the parties here don´t represent anybody but themselves. So Mr. Lula is putting all the parties into his government. The media is submerged by a huge leftish wave too. We have very few alternatives to it. The government's present agenda is Gun Control (banishing all guns from the public) and Tax Reform (raising the average tax rate in Brazil to 40%!). And Mr. Lula supports terrorists like the Colombian FARC and regimes such as Chavez and that old-favourite -- Castro.

So in an environment like that, Leftism obviously needs to be dissected!



Ann Coulter points out that the NYT and other Leftists are back to their old moral equivalence game. Once it was the awful Soviet regime and the USA that were supposedly equivalent. Now it is the USA and the Islamic terrorists that are supposedly morally equivalent. Obviously the word "moral" is meaningless to Leftists. They are "moral imbeciles" -- which is an old term for a psychopath -- someone who has no idea of right and wrong.

A hard-hitting editorial in Quadrant. Excerpt: ""There is a great tension between the policy makers and the academics concerned with foreign policy in Australia, such that while the former have to deal with actual issues of national security and our place in a dangerous world, the latter are obsessed with ideology and pharisaical moralism as if national security were not the primary issue."

Terence Corcoran is not mourning the collapse of the WTO. He says it had virtually nothing to do with free trade anyway.

Bjorn Lomborg pours cold water on the idea that global warming produces extreme weather. He also pours cold water on those who contend that failing to follow Kyoto is some sort of insult to the poor of the Third World: "The major problems of global warming will occur in the Third World. Yet these countries have many other and much more serious problems to contend with. For the cost of implementing the Kyoto Protocol in the single year of 2010, we could permanently satisfy the world's greatest need: we could provide clean drinking water and sanitation for everybody. It would surely be better to deal with those most pressing problems first."

Lefties and Greenies are always moaning about the possible health hazards of mobile phones but how often do they mention how life-saving they are? As in This story.

Hooray! Texas voters trump the lawyers "Voters amended the state constitution Saturday by a narrow margin to permit new limits on lawsuit damages, ending an expensive and heated campaign that pitted doctors against trial lawyers."

Jeff Jacoby is stirring the pot. He makes a good case that Taiwan deserves a seat in the United Nations. Taiwan has certainly done nothing to deserve being the only nation excluded.

Sowell says California has its own brand of fundamentalism -- liberal fundamentalism.

"Slings and Arrows" has some excellent posts at the moment. This one is really amazing: Apparently the Germans are setting up a eugenics program again -- though at least it is voluntary this time.

My latest academic upload here (or here) is a deceptively simple paper but what it reveals totally discredits academic psychology and shows it to be nothing more than a fraud on the taxpayer. Psychology pretends to be scientific but is not. In a true science, knowledge is cumulative. Each researcher builds on what other researchers before him have found. In my paper I show that this is not remotely the case in psychology. The example I give is from an important area of psychology but shows that each year some psychologist somewhere publishes the same "new" idea over and over again -- and nobody notices. For decades psychologists have been rediscovering the wheel each year. There is no accumulation of understanding at all. Nobody KNOWS of what has gone before, let alone being able to build on it.


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18 September, 2003


Defending drug companies must be one of the world's least popular activities but I have to say that this story from "Forbes" is another example of blaming the victim. In this case the alleged villain is the drug companies but the real culprit is government. The story tells how a non-profit group is getting funding from Bill Gates to "develop" drugs to treat third-world diseases. The story is that the drug companies will not develop these drugs because there is no profit in it for them. So our heroic altruists step into the breach to give the poor what the heartless capitalistic drug companies deny them.

What is nowhere pointed out explicitly is that these drugs already exist and that the cost of producing them is trivial. The "development" of these drugs consists solely of going through the hoops of getting bureaucratic approval to use them! If you had a law that anybody who needed a drug could get it from a qualified doctor just by signing a waiver to show that he knew that the drug had not been formally approved, all these drugs would rapidly become universally available! No do-gooders would be needed. It is the huge costs of bureacracy that prevent the drug companies from releasing these drugs, nothing else. As usual, government is the problem, not the solution.



Leftists make loud claims about their being more oriented toward love and kindness than those heartless conservatives. But the truth seems to be the opposite. In my latest academic upoload here (or here), I report the results of a survey that shows that it is the moral conservatives rather than the advocates of permissiveness who believe more in the power of love and who are more idealistic about love. Conservatives are the happy people and the nice guys according to the survey data. Leftists are bitter and cynical.



More on the politics of research: After 26 years of trying to prove mobile phones weren't safe Mays Swicord has had enough. "It comes down to having a public conscience. The public wants to know whether there is a health issue. If there isn't one, then we should stop wasting money looking for it." Asked about why he now works for Motorola and if there is a conflict of interest, he says: "Academic researchers also have a conflict of interest in that they want to promote their own research. So one has to look at what makes sense in terms of science"

There is a good reply by Alan Caruba here to the "Blame America" brigade. How Muslims can be constantly doing the most horrific deeds worldwide and America is still the one in the wrong certainly does seem pretty deranged.

Amusing: On the "Oldie" message board someone has posted a message pointing out how similar Communism and Nazism were. By way of disagreement, a Leftist replied "Give me an example of Communism having a defined aim of genocide". In other words, both murdered millions but being less frank about it makes a big difference! Only a Leftist would think so.

Interesting idea in the WSJ: That "the Democrats were the "mommy party" and the Republicans the "daddy party." That is, the Democrats were "nurturers," concerned with health policy and day care. The Republicans were "protectors," taking care of national security and other manly matters." Since roughly equal numbers of men and women vote for both parties, the idea is a rather large stretch, though.

Democrats have been saying from the outset that Iraq would be "another Vietnam". The Vietnam war, however was initiated and supported by Democrats. Shouldn't that mean that Democrats SUPPORT the Iraq intervention? But I guess that they really hate how much more successful Bush has been in Iraq than they were in Vietnam. It was actually a Republican (Nixon) who got America OUT of Vietnam.

Ian Buruma on anti-Americanism and foreign policy: Buruma notes the backing for Bush received from Vaclav Havel, Adam Michnik, and especially Jose Ramos-Horta, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner from East Timor. These are men, who, unlike most commentators in London or New York, know what it is like to live under the cosh.

The Adam Smith Institute has just launched a new blog. Looks good. One titbit: "A new Heritage Foundation survey has found that four times as many Members of Congress use private schools as the American public" How odd! But This might give you an idea why: "Faced with a federal deadline to define a "highly qualified" teacher, Washington state recently decided middle school teachers could continue to teach any subject -- even if they never mastered the topic in college or proved they are knowledgeable about it"

Details about the job of a baggage screener Not very encouraging.

"Rabbit Proof Fence": This film has long been known in Australia as Leftist propaganda with a typically Leftist total disregard for the truth but it might not be so well-known for what it is elsewhere.

The Carnival of the Vanities is up again. Bigwig, who has just put it up comments: "Tired, very tired. Bloody productive Blogosphere."

The Wicked one points out some of the irrational outcomes of the recent halt in in moves toward freer trade. But Milton Friedman puts it better than anyone (of course) -- even though he is now in his 90s.


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17 September, 2003


As a former academic myself I can tell you that the average Professor really hates it that he has to sit in a crowded office churning out great ideas for only an average salary while someone else in business with little education and just one good idea can make a million dollars. In other words our average academic thinks that the existing system cheats him of the money and recognition that he deserves -- and that makes him want to change that system: It makes him a Leftist. And that is the big reason why academics with no alternative market for their skills and "wisdom" -- i.e. professors in the humanities and social sciences -- are so overwhelmingly Leftist. A small number of academics however -- including me -- are so constitutionally conservative that they defy the Leftist consensus all around them. Mostly, however, they have to do it very cautiously in case they lose their job over it.

A good example of such caution seems to be "Conservativenet" -- an online discussion group for conservative academics. I get the impression that the moderator, Richard Jensen, is very careful to screen out any posts that might upset the Leftists. He defines his censorship guidelines with the following bromide: "Conservativenet refuses to publish lies, hate speech and incoherent arguments". Any Leftist Political Correctness advocate would defend HIS policies in the same way. Because the list seems to be so censored, I myself have never bothered with it but readers of this blog do occasionally send me stuff off it (plus news of posts that have been rejected).

Recently a reader noted that the list had posted on it the NYT article on Facism that I mentioned on this blog here. The NYT article did of course have that paper's characteristic Leftist bias so my reader suggested that I post a reply on Conservativenet to set the record straight. I therefore submitted my "Front Page" article on Fascism for posting on the list. My article points out the most inconvenient truth that Fascism originated on the Left, not the Right. In a fit of rashness, moderator Jensen did in fact post it on his list.

He soon seemed to regret his rashness, however. When another contributor to the list posted some points of disagreement with my article and I endeavoured to reply, Jensen refused to post my reply on very superficial grounds. Fear reasserted itself. I have however posted here the censored reply (plus Jensen's feeble excuse) for the benefit of those who have less to fear. If anyone thinks my reply contained "lies, hate speech and incoherent arguments", please let me know.



My latest upload of one of my published academic journal articles here (or here) is another example of my awkward tendency to speak the truth at all costs. I look at the claim that certain personality types predispose you to heart disease and confirm that they do -- but then I go on to point out that the correlations are so weak as to be of no practical importance. Needless to say, all the psychologists and cardiologists who were getting massive funding to investigate the connection between heart disease and personality managed to overlook my article! I in effect threatened to kill the goose that was laying their golden eggs! For similar reasons only a minority of climatologists today are willing to blow the whistle on the nonsensical "global warming" theory. Their funding depends on treating it seriously!



Nicholas Farrell in the UK Spectator tells us more about the way Mussolini differed from Hitler and Stalin and also reflects on the recent controversial interview with Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi. He thinks that one reason why Berlusconi is so much attacked is this: "Berlusconi's ...opponents on the Left are desperate to deflect attention from a scandal of immense proportions which threatens to engulf them. The scandal is this: in 1997, when the EU commissioner, Romano Prodi, was Italian prime minister, the state-owned Italian telecommunications company — Stet — bought 29 per cent of Telekom Serbia from Slobodan Milosevic for roughly £300 million; then, in 2002, Telecom Italia (by then Stet had been privatised) sold back the share for about £100 million. The scandal involves all the usual allegations of massive bribes, not to mention the chucking of so much public money down the drain. Worse, Milosevic used the money, according to a CIA report, to finance his ethnic cleansing in Kosovo."

Paddy McGuinness compares the treatment dished out to conservative Australian historians Geoffrey Blainey and Keith Windschuttle with the treatment received by 'the skeptical environmentalist' Bjorn Lomberg. "Letters to the Editor" in The Australian of 16th (See here) show that some people seem amazed at the personal attacks on Windschuttle but since Windschuttle has shown what liars the Leftist historians are I am not surprised at all. It is in the nature of Leftists to be vicious rather than repentant. What did Stalin ever repent of? Millions of deaths seemed to sit easily on HIS conscience. And note that at the end of the letters page Windschuttle himself catches the Leftists out in even more lies.

Now that the voters of Sweden have given the Eurocrats a black eye, it is worth looking at this classic FEE paper -- in which UK economist Norman Barry examines the case against euro-centralism and urges a return to the liberal free trading principles of the original "Treaty Of Rome" -- which differs considerably from the bureaucracy of Brussels today.

"There is a serious irony to left wing schemes like Fair Trade: The Fair Trade scheme is capitalist at heart. These lefties and hippies, the tree huggers who want change the planet and pay burros a living wage are using the free market to do it. Fair Trade is just an advertising scheme to convince people to buy a certain brand of coffee."

Gerald Henderson points out that "mandatory detention for unlawful entrants was introduced by the Labor government in 1992" so blaming Australia's tough illegal immigrant policy on "uncaring" conservatives is a bit rich.

You've heard of optical illusions? Well, The Wicked one has a verbal illusion.


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16 September, 2003


A recent book on the history of American conservatism lists the following as the ten most important conservative beliefs:

1. Continuity: Order and the Rate of Change. "Tradition, continuity, and order in society . . . must not be disregarded, however carefully reasoned or attractive an untested reform may be."
2. Authority: Power and the Limits of Government. "The state's primary function is to protect against foreign threats and to keep order at home . . . . The foundation of military strength is the belief that the American social order is unique and worthy of protection and respect."
3. Community: Decentralization of Social Institutions. "The proper function of government . . . is not to concentrate power but to diffuse it to the institutions of organic society . . . [which] serve as checks on the power of the central authority."
4. Deity: Man and Morality. "The conservative generally has a strong belief in God and holds to traditional moral values."
5. Duty: Responsibilities over Rights. " 'Rights are something to be earned rather than given . . . The duties of man - service, effort, obedience, cultivation of virtue, and self-restraint - are the price of rights.'"
6. Democracy: Limited Government and the Constitution. "If law changes with the circumstances of the time, it becomes uncertain and unstable. In such circumstances, Americans live under a government of men, not of laws."
7. Property: The Role of Economics. "Capitalism is built on the assumption of private property . . .Government should interfere in the economy as little as possible, allowing the law of supply and demand to guide men in making profitable decisions."
8. Liberty: Equality's Big Brother. "Individuals have an infinite variety of talents and are entitled to find economic, political, and social rewards without fear of government license or redistribution."
9. Meritocracy: The Leadership Class. "America was founded as a society opposed to titles of nobility . . . John Adams spoke of a 'natural aristocracy,' which anyone could join by virtue of merit and ability."
10. Antipathy: The Anticommunist Impulse. "The chief crime of communism is not that it takes away property, but that it removes freedom upon which property is based."

That sounds pretty right but note that most of them boil down to limiting government and maximizing individual liberty.



Interesting: Although it is common for Leftists to ascribe the origin of Al Qa'eda to Ronald Reagan's support of the Afghan Mujahadeen in the 1980s, a more realistic hypothesis seems to be that Clinton's support of the Bosnian Muslims in the 1990s was instrumental. As the Yugoslav interventions are seen as a "Good Thing" by the Left this connection is rarely raised.

German anti-Americanism really is childish: "Ever since the war there has been a strong vein of anti-American feeling in Germany. To have your country defeated, occupied and then defended by a foreign power is humiliating"

Mark Steyn says that 9/11 did a lot more psychological damage to the Europeans than it did to the USA: "I seriously underestimated the degree to which much of Europe would be unhinged by 11 September"



Mark Steyn notes that there were lots of people around when the Swedish foreign minister was stabbed but that these people -- who are descendants of Vikings! -- did nothing to stop the crime or grab the criminal. He links it to the passivity induced by Sweden's welfare State.

Jozef Imrich makes a good point with reference to Iraq: "There are few flawless victories. The Second World War in Europe began in defense of Poland's freedom against Nazi tyranny. It ended in a tremendous Allied victory, but left Poland subject to an alternate despotism."

A hero! "Incensed at the volume of junk e-mail he got, a determined Redmond man last week won a record $250,000 judgment against two Ohio residents who broke a Washington law by deluging him with spam.

"All that stands between us and the abyss is George W. Bush." How's that for an extreme statement? But read the rationale and see what you think.

I have no idea what this article is saying. It SEEMS to be saying that women who spend a whole lot of money on high-priced crap in the name of fashion are behaving reasonably! Maybe someone should explain it to me.

Mangled Thoughts has a rather derogatory description of the EU.

The Wicked one has an impassioned argument against farm subsidies -- saying that they are destructive, impoverishing and amount to rural socialism.

My latest academic upload here (or here) is one of only four articles on IQ that I have had published in the academic journals. That is, however four more than 99% of my critics. The present upload reports evidence to show that highly intelligent people are much less likely to smoke than are others.


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15 September, 2003


I saw this story on "Marginal Revolution" and thought that I had mentioned it months ago. I cannot however see where I did so let me summarize: Mars has icecaps too and they appear to have been receding in recent years. So why don't the Martians sign the Kyoto treaty? Because there are no Martians. The only explanation for warming on Mars is fluctuating output from the Sun. And that same Sun shines on US too. So if our icecaps are melting the obvious cause is the Sun, not human activity. Sunspots were discovered by Galileo so that is how long we have known that the Sun is not perfectly stable.

"One must also wonder about the agendas of many of the rich country environmental groups .... They apparently fear that economic growth and prosperity for the poor will destroy the natural world they are anxious to preserve. Consequently, they devise schemes aimed at persuading the poor to continue low-tech communal farming and small scale production; they want the poor to stay out of the world trading system. These schemes fly in the face of the clear evidence that shows that it is precisely in the richest countries that the natural environment is improving .... Economic growth and environmental improvement are not opposites; they go hand in hand."



Eugenics as another evil of big government: "President Woodrow Wilson signed New Jersey's sterilization law, and one of his deputies descended to greater fame as a Nazi collaborator at Buchenwald. Pennsylvania's legislature passed an 'Act for the Prevention of Idiocy,' but the governor vetoed it .... Other states, however, joined the crusade. ... Eventually, the eugenicist virus found a hospitable host in Germany. There, Black concludes, it led to the death chambers of Buchenwald and Auschwitz. Thanks to the Nazis, highly praised by eugenicists here, the movement eventually collapsed. But not before nearly 50,000 Americans were sterilized."

I have also just put up here a brief history of the Leftist origins of Hitler's eugenics.

And a very useful article by Mike Richmond on the history of American eugenics seems to have vanished recently from a number of internet sites where it was previously found so I have reproduced it here.



The New York Times has just produced an article that purports to tell us what Fascism is. It is however a very evasive article. There are some scholarly comments and the usual bromides about Fascism being used as just a term of abuse etc. but there is one glaring omission: No mention that the economic policies of all the historical Fascist regimes -- but particularly the Hitler, Mussolini and Peron regimes -- were of the extreme LEFT for their day. And they even defend Saddam's Baath Socialist party against the claim that it was Fascist -- how? They say Iraq was not Fascist because Fascist regimes arise in "failed democracies" and Iraq has had no appreciable history of democracy. But that is just to confuse definition with explanation. And at any event I would have thought that the very first Fascist regime of all -- Napoleon's French police State -- hardly arose from a failed democracy. Neither the French revolution nor the absolutist monarchy that preceded it had much democracy about them. But I am sure that the NYT would tell us that Napoleon was not a Fascist either -- the cult of the leader, the devotion to national glory -- none of that applied to Napoleonic France did it? . I give a detailed account of what historical Fascism was here.

A Leftist blogger has criticized me for saying things that I did not in fact say: The desperation-fueled disregard for truth and accuracy that one expects of Leftists. I endorsed the Italian Prime Minister's claim that Mussolini was nowhere nearly as bad as Hitler or Stalin but I did NOT endorse his obviously hyperbolic comment that Mussolini "never killed anyone". And our Lefty blogger must have a very strange dictionary if he thinks that "standard" means "sole". I notice that the blogger concerned has removed the very Stalinist-looking iconography that used to adorn his site but there still seems to be a Molotov cocktail there to show how "caring" he is. Lovely!

Much celebration in Britain over the rejection of the Euro by Sweden's voters. Rightly so. For the thriving British economy to be tied to the sclerotic EU economy would be madness.

The Press looks the other way with Leftist race issues: "The mainstream press has been doing a miserable job covering Cruz Bustamante's ties to the creepy Chicano secessionist group "Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan" (MEChA). This may not be the biggest story of the California recall election, but voters have a right for information about the leading Democratic candidate's views of a group that is certainly racialist, if not racist. A MEChA slogan translates as 'For the race everything. For those outside the race, nothing.' El Plan de Aztlan, the group's founding document, talks about the 'call of our blood' and the need to reclaim the Southwest, Aztlan, from 'the occupying forces of the oppressor.'"

The (antisemitic) "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" nonsense again? "Neo-cons have hijacked US foreign policy: The council on Foreign Relations is the epicenter of the American Establishment. ... So it was startling to pick up the September- October issue and read article after article expressing well-documented alarm at the hijacking of American foreign policy"

I have just transferred Chris Brand's latest postings here for convenience. As usual he covers intelligence and political correctness but this time he has links to some nice pictures of Brigitte Bardot too!

The Wicked one reports a case where the police NEED to be sued.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I look at attiudes to authority. Conservatives tend to accept the types of authority that are usual in democratic societies more than Leftists do but Leftists claim that this is a very bad thing and that it shows how "sick" conservatives are. My survey showed the contrary -- that acceptance of conventional authorities correlated with BETTER social adjustment.


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14 September, 2003


The Bush-hating media and cocaine. Journalistic hatred of Bush has once again raised its ugly head with more accusations of cocaine use.
Greens wage war on Africans. It seems that our green humanitarians have decided that denying poor people in poor countries the right to defend themselves against malaria is more effective and cheaper than gas chambers, death camps and firing squads.
Our rotten media is a menace to liberty? Is the media situation cause for alarm? A 2-year-old poll found that 57 per cent of Australians are satisfied with the quality of Australian journalism; 52 per cent think the media, meaning journalists, use power responsibly; 70 per cent think ABC news reports are more balanced than those produced by commercial stations. Now this is alarming.
Legalised plunder of the seabed & foreshore. Proposed legislation would allow the State to sequester vast amounts of property currently accessible to all New Zealanders and place the ownership firmly in its own hands, or within the hastily concocted and rather ambiguous 'public domain'.

Details here



You are probably not familiar with Project Censored, an annual list of the Top 25 (supposedly) censored media articles. Their latest report has just been released, and it's getting some attention amongst Lefty bloggers. The articles haven't been censored at all, however - in fact most of them have been widely published. It's really just a laundry list of left-leaning articles that, in the opinion of the organizers, haven't received enough attention. So, as a counterpoint, The Vigilant Zem has put together HIS list: It includes, to pick a few examples, the jailing of pro-democracy journalists in Cuba, China and Vietnam; closures of newspapers and television stations in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Tonga and Iran; and the arrest and mistreatment of journalists in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Iraq and Jordan. An interesting contrast. Zem documents REAL abuses.

Anti-democratic Democrats defeated: "The band of dissenting Democratic senators who ran off to New Mexico rather than allow a vote on a controversial redistricting bill will arrive back in Texas today -- their boycott over and apparently a losing effort.

What A fine fellow Iain Murray is -- quoting H.M. The Queen. I myself think the Queen's speeches are generally excellent and take us back to basic truths.

Whoops! The Left are FINALLY beginning to realize that they have been hurting the poor nations by opposing the work of the WTO and that they need to press for MORE free trade, not less, if they really want to help the poor. Not that the "protestors" really give a flying damn about the poor of course. Self-publicity is THEIR top agenda item.

Reuters doesn't interpret the news. Oh No! How about this story: "The gaping, man-made hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica has hit record proportions for this time of year". A theory -- "man-made" -- is portrayed as fact. The fact that the "hole" has also shrunk considerably at times in recent years would suggest to any unbiased observer that it is simply a natural fluctuation -- like any other part of the weather.

The poor old British Tories. They think their electoral failure is all a matter of image. How about some conservative policies? Policies to bring back standards to schools and kick out the illegal immigrants would alone probably win the election for them.

Greece sends back 99 per cent of asylum-seekers. It can be done.

Jeff Jacoby points out that the USA for many years tolerated attacks on its citizens and representatives by Islamic terrorists -- emboldening them to undertake the 9/11 attack. He says that being soft on Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran is equally dangerous.

Shell (the oil company) does a better job of preserving biodiversity than national parks do.

"The story of America's heroes, accomplishments and ideals is getting surprisingly short shrift in a place of great influence: the nation's public schools. That's the theme of a provocative report about U.S. civics and history education"

There is a very interesting report here about a study by economists that took seriously the Greenie claim that freeing up world trade leads to more pollution. They took into account all the Greenie arguments and still found evidence that freer world trade IMPROVES the environment.

What fun! Interested Participant notes that even the Belgians are having second thoughts about the Kyoto "Greenhouse" treaty now that they see how big its costs are and how mythical its benefits are.

Joe Lieberman is the maverick this time around: "It is, sad to say, really risky in today's Democratic Party, which is tethered to teachers unions, for Lieberman to say that he will soon vote for legislation to establish an experimental voucher program for the poor children caught in the District of Columbia's disastrous schools."

Carnival of the Vanities is up again. Apologies for the late notice but the current host did not send me the link.

Arlene Peck thinks that the Palestinians will never come to their senses until Israel kicks them out altogether.

Michael Darby has an article about the delightful Muslim population of France (scroll down).

The Wicked one welcomes the suicide of someone who defended Janet Reno's Waco holocaust.


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13 September, 2003


A reader writes: "After reading the posts on IQ, I would like to put forth an idea of mine to you. Seeing we live in a capitalist society, it is fair to say that we use money to keep track of success. It is also fair to say that success is a result of hard work and the correct decisions, not of "luck". Therefore, as a quick and dirty method of measuring IQ would be to look at a persons assets. Or a group's assets, or a nation's assets. Wealthy people will continue making decisions that will keep them wealthy, poor people will continue making decisions to keep them poor. I realize this is highly simplistic, but as far as I can tell, applied with a broad brush, across the globe it appears to hold true"

The reader concerned has worked out for himself something that IS broadly true. There are exceptions, of course. SOME smart people are poor -- but some smart people do foolish things too. Emotional reasons can trump logical reasons and lead to bad life decisions -- in the area of marriage, for instance. Nonetheless, it has always been true that high IQ predicts well a whole host of desirable life outcomes (educational success, income, occupational status etc). Looking at nations rather than individuals as the unit of analysis, the most systematic evidence is Lynn & Vanhanen's IQ and the Wealth of Nations -- which shows that, looking at all the countries of the world, national average IQ is a strong predictor of national average income.



Gareth Parker, one of my fellow conservative Australian bloggers has described me as too "lunar" for him. I wonder would he like to point out one claim I have made that is not backed up with good scientific and historical evidence? But I guess that the facts can be pretty "lunar" at times. They certainly conflict with a lot of popular notions.

The good Gareth should perhaps note that almost all of my "lunar" pronouncements have in fact been previously published in widely-circulated academic journals -- e.g. here and here -- and getting anything past the basilisk eyes of academic journal editors is no mean feat for anyone. They of course have access to the world's best expertise on the subject concerned and the fact that my conclusions are ones that they would not generally find congenial means that my evidence and reasoning has to have been exceptionally watertight.

This is not of course remotely to say that everything published in academic journals is correct -- but it is to say that anything published there would have a very hard time being "lunar".



The Italian Prime minister has just come under fire for pointing out that Mussolini -- the Italian dictator and founder of Fascism whom FDR called "that admirable Italian gentleman" -- was nowhere nearly as vicious as Hitler and Stalin. He is perfectly correct. Mussolini was a Marxist and did impoverish Italy with stupid socialist policies but he was also an Italian family man. The standard Italian Fascist treatment of political opponents was not the firing squad, the Gulag or the concentration camp but a forced dose of castor-oil!

The recent stabbing to death of the Swedish Foreign minister while she was out shopping has been repeatedly linked in most media to the fact that she supported Sweden's conversion to using the common European currency. I THOUGHT it was pretty odd that anybody would be murdered over such an unexciting issue. Now the WSJ has blown the whistle -- revealing that she was also a Leftist critic of America and a vigorous defender of terrorists. Now why on earth would somebody want to murder a terrorist-lover just before the 9/11 anniversary?

Some things never change: Another Anglican archbiship siding with terrorists.

"Activists marched in the streets and stripped on the beaches in an attempt to derail a meeting of the World Trade Organization, at which representatives of 146 countries will try to increase global commerce... Away from the hotel zone, thousands of anti-globalization activists from around the world set up camp, renting hammocks and swatting mosquitoes, and vowed to derail the meetings with protests and marches, as they did in Seattle in 1999." And they did all that to stop poorer countries getting a better deal from richer countries -- which is what is on the agenda of the WTO! That good old Leftist "compassion" again.

According to Amir Taheri, there are huge positive effects being felt throughout the Islamic world as a result of the American presence in Iraq.

"I just got off the phone with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'm a Republican. I want to vote for him. I want to believe. Schwarzenegger doesn't quite convince me. That little extra something that tells me he's one of us -- a Republican who is willing to cut spending and gut bad regulations -- is missing."

Mike Tremoglie disputes a Leftist claim that Iraq is a "mess" -- using some historical comparisons.

The Wicked one notes some very unsurprising events which would nonetheless be a great puzzle for Leftists with their alleged belief in human goodness and the wonders of bureaucracy.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I look at the confusion surrounding academic theories about conservatism and suggest that the best generalization one can extract from them is that there is only one single Left/Right dimension underlying people's social and political attitudes. I also report some survey research that supports that conclusion.


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12 September, 2003


I have recently had a brief correspondence with a fellow psychologist as a result of the critique I wrote for "Front Page" of the "Berkeley study". He wrote to say that in his view some of his findings supported the conclusions of the Berkeley study. Although left-leaning, he seems a decent guy so I will not disclose his name but here is what he wrote:

We found in a telephone survey (not just college students) that experiences of harsh punishment in childhood predict support in adulthood for punitive public policies like the death penalty, opposition to abortion, and support for the use of military force (all of these results are controlling for respondents' education and their parents educational level).

I wrote back:

I would be interested to know how strong the correlations were. Unless they are very strong I think it is highly likely that you will find childhood trauma not to be predictive of adult Republican voting. There is a bit of survey evidence to show that Republican voters in the general population had happier childhoods than Democrat voters.

He replied

Our research also found that conservatives reported happier childhoods than did liberals. The issue, I think, becomes one of denial of the emotional pain associated with childhood punishment, as we discuss in the paper. I don't know if you have seen Alice Miller's book, For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelties in Childhood and the Roots of Violence. We draw on her work and on Lasswell's Psychopathology and Politics ... for our theoretical foundation.

So if the facts don't suit there is always a theory to explain them away! Those silly conservatives just don't realize when they are unhappy!



America's academic elite lead in racism, intolerance: "Many of America's colleges and universities have become the modern leaders of racism and intolerance. Recently, we were treated to information about racism at the University of Michigan, where its academic elite gave students 20 extra points toward admission based solely on race. The U.S. Supreme Court found this explicit racism unconstitutional but did allow continuance of a more hidden form, where universities can consider race as 'a plus' in admission decisions. But this is the tip of the iceberg."

This "global warming" article on creating a market in carbon credits has some interesting implications. The idea is to have tradeable permits to pollute. Instead of enforced bans and prohibitions, authorised polluters would trade and swap carbon quotas among themselves, similar to the trade in taxi licenses or dairy quotas. It would be ironic if in an attempt to solve the dubious environmental problem of global warming, that environmentalists effectively turned pollution into a right, effectively institutionalising and creating a vested interest in protecting "polluter rights". It is not unknown for government interventions to boomerang creating situations worse than the original problem. Is this another example in the making?

It's not vouchers but it seems that Arizona does have one way of making it easier for parents to choose the schools they send their kids to. The Australian system is another way -- I send my son to a private school and pay only low fees (equivalent to the cost of the average smoking habit) because the fees are heavily subsidized by the Australian Federal government. American private schools are also often relatively inexpensive, however, contrary to the image.

Rocket Man has some choice comments about Germany's present socialist policies -- where Kanzler Schroeder is threatening punitive action against firms that do not hire enough workers. More National Socialism? Kanzler Hitler had similar ideas.

Mike Tremoglie is pretty steamed up about some gross journalistic bias he found in his local Philadelphia newspaper. He delivers a good fisking and asks people to email protests pointing out that the "Comments" concerned are sheer Democrat propaganda that show no regard for the truth.

China Hand has a rather amusing account of the confused censorship situation in China at the moment. And the headline he notes from the Beijing People's Daily seems to say more than it intends!

Michael Darby is back on the net. He has a very good post for Sept. 11 plus a previous post about Edward Teller (a great bogeyman for the Left). Michael describes Teller as: "The man who helped end the Cold War without bloodshed"

The Wicked one has a link to a site claiming that the Confederacy was a more genuine republic than the Union.

I have just put up a quiz question for Christians on PC Watch. If you know any keen Bible students ask them to have a look at it.

I appear to be seen by many as the bad boy of the blogosphere because I keep mentioning the last remaining obscenity of the 21st century -- the word "race". I would not be surprised if the word got banned altogether in the not too distant future. I actually rather sympathize with the reaction that the word evokes. Race is so obviously real and apparently such an intractable problem that I can well understand that people do not want to be made to think about it any more than they have to. In my latest upload of a published academic journal article here (or here), however, I use the example of the Australian situation to show that the problem is NOT intractable and that much of the problem is the result of government meddling.


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11 September, 2003


One of my conservative academic colleagues saw the "Berkeley study" of conservative psychology too. This was his rather jocular response at the time:

"Studies that purport to show that conservatives have some sort of mental problem are legion (double entendre intended). I saw one reported some years ago in the Chronicle of Higher Education that claimed to show that liberals were more morally sophisticated than conservatives by the way they answered a test designed to show moral awareness. The article didn't say if the test measured, say, belief in moral absolutes, but if I were to venture a wild stab in the dark, I'd guess no. I wrote the ChHEd saying I wasn't aware they were publishing comedy pieces now, since the whole project was such a blatant exercise in circular reasoning, but for some reason they didn't publish my comment.

Biased tests are bad when they favor those who value math and verbal skills, but good when they advance liberal ideology. This, of course, is mental health, Gulag Archipelago style, reminiscent of the way the USSR used to put dissidents in mental institutions on the premise that if they didn't accept the prevailing ideology, they had to be crazy. The best example is the term "homophobia." I have never met a homophobe. I have met lots of people who reject homosexuality on moral or esthetic grounds, but that is hardly a phobia.

Still the studies are right. There are conservatives who have all the negative attributes listed. One person might reject change because it's unwise or immoral, another will resist because of cowardice or laziness, and they will both come to the same position, one for good reasons, the other for bad.

I find some solace in this study appearing now. The more panicky and shrill liberals get, the more threatened they must be. Columnists like Mollie Ivins and Tom Teepen and filmmakers like Michael Moore are my moral compasses; if they're going totally ballistic I know the universe must be headed in the right direction.

Still, if conservatives have characteristic mental issues, so must liberals. Rather than get angry over studies identifying conservative mental problems, it's a lot more useful to try listing the mental problems of liberals. What are they? I think an approach based on the seven deadly sins is useful. For conservatives, the deadly sins are obvious: sloth and greed. There are people who call themselves conservatives simply because opposing change is less work and less threatening than accepting it. And there are those who call themselves conservatives solely because they want lower taxes and easier regulations, but whose personal ethics are as liberal as they get.

Now what are the deadly sins of liberals? If there's one pervasive characteristic I see in liberals, it's mindless revolt against authority. We can say with some justice that liberals as a group suffer from Oppositional Defiant Disorder. So I'd say their first deadly sin is Pride. Second is Envy. There's even a name for it: the Politics of Envy. If you have something, then you must have stolen it from others, goes the thinking. And the third would be Lust. Listen to any ostensibly intellectual discussion of religion by non-believers and watch just how quickly sex pops to the surface. I suspect that objections to religious belief boil down to about 85 percent resentment over Christian sexual morality, 10 percent concern about war, oppression and social injustice in the name of religion, and 5 percent serious intellectual issues.

[I suspect a lot of liberals have unresolved adolescent guilt issues over sex. Scratch a militant atheist and you'll find someone who was scolded for masturbating as a teenager and never got over it.]"



I love it! According to Reuters, Communists are now conservatives! The utterly nonsensical Leftist claim that all evil regimes are conservative has now spread beyond the "Berkeley study". Note this quote: "A 17-year-old Vietnamese boy was sentenced to three years in jail for organizing a luxury car race along a city street in a case that exposed reckless, free-spending youth in the conservative communist country." And Reuters are always excusing their refusal to call a spade a spade by saying that journalists should not "interpret" the news! All those conservatives who opposed Communism for 70 years would certainly marvel at that interpretation!

The poor old Tugboat!. He has written at great length to show that I assume what I have to prove when I pointed out recently that taking a group of people with fairly uniformly low-IQ and examining them alone must show that IQ has weak correlations of all sorts among that group. He seems unfamiliar with simple "if.. then" reasoning. I showed that IF IQ is generally hereditary and related to race and class, you would still get the survey results reported -- so therefore the survey results reported do not upset the claim that IQ is generally hereditary and related to race and class! Too simple for an archaic tugboat, obviously.

Arlene Peck says that the Muslim countries have kicked out all the Jews who used to live there so why should Israel not kick out the Arabs who live in Israel and thus give themselves some peace and security at last?

If you are having a heart attack, cough! I have to thank my fellow Brisbane blogger Kev Gillett for drawing my attention to that life-saving hint. Kev can't spell "Dissecting", though.

The Wicked one is irate that meddling politicians are trying to stop cheap phone calls.

Most psychologists take the cautious approach of asking people a whole group of questions before classifying them in any way. In my latest academic upload here (or here) I ask whether there are some occasions on which a single question can be used. I conclude that single questions can yield some useful data but should be used only when better data is not available.


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10 September, 2003


intellectualconservative.com is a good site that many readers of this blog might like. Excerpts from a couple of recent articles:

"Liberal proponents of identity politics oppose the Racial Privacy Initiative in California because it would deprive the self-styled diversity industry of its power to break citizens down into convenient racial categories and dole out spoils based on the number of boxes checked off for each group on government forms."

With reference to the "Berkeley study" of conservative psychology, Steve Laib makes the point that what Leftists accuse conservatives of is precisely what they themselves are most guilty of: "Now, I believe, is the time for certain academics to break the chains of Leftist freedom to do and say the party line and discover real freedom of thought. Otherwise else they will end up looking in the mirror and finding exactly what they described conservatives as looking like."



The Left are always claiming that all comparisons between different political and value systems are arbitrary and meaningless. I wonder about this one:

The WSJ has this excerpt from the "Boston Globe":

To tag Hamas, for example, as a terrorist organization is to ignore its far more complex role in the Middle East drama. The word reflects not only a simplification, but a bias that runs counter to good journalism. To label any group in the Middle East as terrorist is to take sides, or at least appear to, and that is not acceptable. The same holds true in covering other far-flung conflicts. One person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter; it's not for journalists to judge.

And comments:

The only "freedom" Hamas is pursuing, however, is freedom from Jews, whom it seeks to exterminate. By the Globe's lights, we suppose this would make Hitler a "freedom fighter" too. Hey, who's to judge?



I posted yesterday some extracts from a recent report on immigration into the U.S.A. which showed millions of Hispanics as having arrived in recent years. One of my correspondents thinks that history shows that they will all be assimilated without trouble in due course. I have posted his email here. I must say that Catholic immigrants sound a 1,000% better proposition than Muslim ones. But Phyllis Schlafly points to "the cost imposed by illegal aliens on the state budget, hospitals, schools and prisons" so I still prefer our Australian solution of keeping the illegals out in the first place.

"At the Democratic presidential candidates' debate in New Mexico last week, the Democratic Party publicly rejected the motto of our country, e pluribus unum, "out of many, one." The Democratic Party has declared war on the centuries-long revolution of coalescing people of every ethnic, linguistic, racial and religious background into a new, non-ethnic entity known as American.." More here

Paul Sheehan takes on Australia's carping Leftist intellectuals to show that Australians both strongly support prevention of illegal immigration and also support a high level of LEGAL immigration: "The AES divided the electorate into nine occupational groups and found that in all but one group, a significant majority - three to one - not only agreed with the bipartisan political position on asylum seekers but agreed strongly. In only one group, "social professionals", was there a majority which strongly opposed the policy, by a margin of 50 per cent to 32 per cent. This left Betts to observe: "Attitudes to asylum seekers by occupation show how unrepresentative the vocal social professionals are of most other voters; it is not just that they do not speak for the working class, they also do not speak for a majority of other occupational groups."

Rather amusing: Taiwan has problems with illegal immigrants from China.



An interesting report here from a U.S. Army officer stationed in Iraq. He looks at the comparison between post-war Iraq and post-war Germany and says that the Iraq situation is more difficult but is progressing nonetheless.

Iraq as flypaper seems to becoming a widely accepted idea now. The Islamic nutcases of the world are flocking to Iraq to attack U.S. forces there. One hell of a lot better than having them attacking skyscrapers in America itself. As the top U.S. commander in Iraq summed it up: "The only way we will fail in this country is if we decide to walk away in Iraq and fight the next battle in the war on terrorism in America."

China Hand has the story of his experiences during the recent typhoon in coastal China.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I look at the way Leftists use the language of morality. They deny any meaning to moral values but are very quick to use moralistic language when it suits them. I show through careful survey research that they do genuinely disbelieve in any kind of morality but use moral language because they see it as effective propaganda.


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9 September, 2003


A recent report on immigration into the U.S.A. notes that, during the 1990s, the nation's immigrant population grew by 11.3 million, faster than at any time in history. And Hispanics (mostly Mexicans) dominate more than ever before. In 1990, immigrants from the top sending country - Mexico - accounted for 22 percent of the total foreign born. By 2000, Mexican immigrants accounted for 30 percent of the total -- meaning reduced "diversity" -- Horrors!

The report noted the obvious -- that "the most serious potential problem associated with a larger and less diverse immigrant population is that it may hinder the assimilation and integration of immigrants by creating the critical mass necessary to foster linguistic and spatial isolation". In plain language: Permanent Hispanic ghettoes are being created. It does seem to be time to close the floodgates.



One distinctive feature of Islamist terrorists is that they repeatedly attempt to explain and justify their atrocities, complete with extensive Koranic citations. One distinctive feature of western analysts is that terrorists' explicit goals are often ignored, and instead their actions are misread as reactions to Israel, third world poverty, or supposed American unilateralism.... Islamist terrorists are not fighting for third world liberation. As they announce repeatedly, they are messianic organizations explicitly fighting to restore a pan Islamic Caliphate governed by Islamic law. Throughout the world, they methodically kill people opposed to the Caliphate, whether UN or non-UN, Muslim or non-Muslim, left or right, American, British, Israeli, French or Australian."

Arming U.S. airline pilots: "Pilots and passengers won the congressional battle over authorizing pilot self-defense. But the agency charged with the implementation isn't implementing. The TSA is actively deterring pilots from applying for arms training... So today, two years after 911, less than 150 pilots are qualified to bear arms in the cockpit. It's as if the terrorists have found a way to infiltrate the Transportation Security Administration. Thousands of pilots could be trained in short order if the agency simply farmed out the job to private training academies. There are over 66,000 members of the Air Pilots Association. On any particular day there may be anywhere from 4,500 to 7,500 commercial planes in the air at any one moment"

Over the past several decades, no one has been victimized more by so-called experts than parents and children. And no one has done more to expose the frauds of "experts" in child-raising and education than Kay Hymowitz. Her recently published book, "Liberation's Children," is a devastating debunking of fashionable ideas that have brought much frustration and heartache to parents and children alike. As in her previous book, "Ready or Not," Ms. Hymowitz shows what personal and social disasters have followed from treating children as if they were already adults.



Americans get their sociology wrong (but their science right): "A sociology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Brechin presented his findings to the American Sociological Association meeting in August...... Not only are Americans "more or less equally misinformed" as people elsewhere about the causes of global warming, but they also are "among the most misinformed of the developed nations surveyed. Only the Japanese and the French are more so," Brechin wrote... A 2001 poll, for example, found that only 15 percent of the U.S. citizens surveyed correctly identified burning fossil fuels as the primary cause of global warming." (Via poor old Acidman. He sounds in a bad way these days. Pay him a visit. Hits cheer up all bloggers.)

HERE is a great reason not to send druggies to jail -- because drugs are so readily available in prison! I like it!

The tragedy of the suicide of UK MoD adviser David Kelly has been used to portray Kelly as a martyr for peace. But as it says here: "Dr David Kelly supported military action against Iraq even though he believed the threat posed by its weapons of mass destruction was "modest", he wrote in a report that came to light yesterday" He merely disliked the way Blair's spin doctors sold the war to the press. And it may be noted that Blair's PR team does have a lot to answer for in other fields. Their "selling" of global warming and even their own education policies has been a disgrace.

Typical government confusion: "New Zealand's two-facedness regarding the growth of science-based industries continues to perplex simple folk like me. On the one hand the taxpayer giveth in the form of increased spending on industrial and pure research. On the other hand, health and safety bureaucrats are devoted to punishing science-based businesses with excessive costs and controls"

A fellow Arab takes on Edward Said and his claim that Western scholars of Islam are just biased propagandists.

Taking remains of primitive people out of museums for reburial is destroying irreplacable scientific and historical data.

The Wicked one has just put up a crazy joke plus some irreverent pictures.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I again look at the view that conservatives are motivated by a cynical view of human nature. I found that there is a slight tendency for conservatives to be more likely to have such a view but that it is only a small part of the story. I have argued elsewhere that the main motor of conservative thought is a belief in individual liberty.


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8 September, 2003


One of the great things that Leftists have going for them is that most people know little history so can be easily hoodwinked into believing what Leftists say about themselves and their motives. That Leftists are inherently "anti-racist" is a classic example of a lie that no-one knowing history would accept.

A bit of British history relevant to Australia is the role of Sir James Stephen, one of the Clapham House group in Britain and the man who drafted William Wilberforce's Emancipation Act that freed the slaves under British control. It seems that he was also the first to advocate what ultimately became the "White Australia" policy -- a policy that excluded non-Caucasians from immigrating to Australia up until relatively recently-- when it was abolished by a conservative government under Prime Minister Harold Holt. Sir James Stephen's role is discussed briefly by Phil Griffiths under the heading "Towards White Australia" -- as is the influence of J.S.Mill on the late 19th century advocates of White Australia in Australia itself.

These men were the progressives and social reformers of their day. Their achievments in abolishing slavery, democratic reform etc make the current generation of social reformers seem like slackers. Yet their policies were unashamedly founded on a belief in racial inequality.

Their policies were, however, more honest than the policies of Leftists today. The psychological evidence shows that everyone is racist to some degree. The difference is that the Leftists of the past did not hide it. The Leftists of today, however, think that there is kudos and votes in hiding it so hide it they do -- involving themselves in much irrationality and injustice (e.g. "affirmative action") in the process.



David Limbaugh tries to talk some sense into the conspiracy theorists of both Left and Right. He shows that GWB is events-driven -- not a conspirator or imperialist.

"Gerald Ford had it right decades ago when he insisted that a "government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have"... The government can't put people to work. A strong, stable and unshackled economy can and will. It's not up to Uncle Sam to fend for our interests. It's up to us. Keep him out"

Bureaucrats always come first: The university bureaucrats are doing fine even while universities cut back on teaching expenditure.



Good to see that the California government's generosity with other people's money is coming home to roost -- as businesses move out of the State to escape the high insurance costs that the "generosity" of its worker's compensation rules have created. Hence California's high unemployment. Ability to move to another State is one of the glories of Federalism. California could learn from the left-leaning government in Australia's largest State (New South Wales) -- where all legal liability claims for personal injury have been capped at $300,000!

Another triumph of socialized medicine: Patients who have major operations on the [U.K.] National Health Service are four times more likely to die than Americans undergoing such surgery, according to a new study. "Professor Monty Mythen, head of anaesthesia at UCL who led the British side of the research, said: "The main difference seems to be in the quality of post-operative care and who cares.""

A hopeful first step: "The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved a $13 million school voucher plan for the District, as Republicans easily advanced President Bush's initiative with support from Democrats who said the time had come to experiment with taxpayer-financed alternatives to public schools."

McDonald's obesity suit thrown out again "A federal judge Thursday threw out a class-action lawsuit by two Bronx teenagers claiming McDonald's used false advertising and that the chain's food made them fat and contributed to their health problems. The plaintiffs' lawyers claimed unknown ingredients and processing made foods such as french fries, Chicken McNuggets and Filet-O-Fish sandwiches damaging to consumers' health."

Definitely the right approach in Iraq: "American officials want to speed up training for Iraqi security forces, including former members of Saddam Hussein's military and intelligence services, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday. Making Iraq safe is a job for Iraqis, and no more U.S. troops are needed in the country, Rumsfeld said after meeting in the capital with top military and civilian officials of the American-led occupation."

I must say I feel a bit sorry for U.K. Home Secretary David Blunkett. He has responded fairly reasonably to public concern about the large number of unassimilated immigrants -- often hostile Muslims -- now living in Britain. He has proposed that immigrants pass a test of awareness about Britain and its institutions before being given citizenship. But the Right think he would not know what Britishness was if he fell over it and the Left think that there is no such thing!

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I cast a critical eye on the methods used by the public opinion polls. There are many ways in which most polls can be misleading and better methods of assessing people's attitudes do exist. Even university researchers, however, often do not use those better methods so the polls offer data as good as or better than what many academics dish up.


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7 September, 2003


The latest upload of one of my published academic articles is here (or here). It again concerns the lack of science in contemporary psychology and sociology. One of the most basic axioms of science is that a finding must be replicable (repeatable) before it is generally accepted. This can mean that other researchers repeating an experiment must get the same result or that other analyses of the same body of data must get the same result. In this case, the survey results reported in a large and well-reviewed book about racial problems in South Africa seemed suspect to me so I wrote to the book's author asking for a copy of the raw data so that I could re-analyse it. If made within a reasonable space of time after the original publication of findings, such requests are normally complied with promptly and compliance is in fact normally seen as ethically required.

In the case concerned, however, my repeated requests for the raw data were totally ignored (though it later was admitted that my letters had been received). Even when, as a last resort, I threatened exposure of their non-response, I continued to be ignored. One can only speculate, therefore, on what the data did really say. Once again the Leftist domination of the social sciences -- and the attendant carelessness about evidence -- made its mark.



Michael Tremoglie says that labor unions have brought their problems on themselves.

More Leftist eugenics: Australia's (Left of centre) Leader of the Opposition is always reminding us of (some of) the thoughts of Oliver Wendell Holmes, but when Holmes wasn't telling us that 'taxes are the basis of civilization' he was ordering compulsory sterilizations of the mentally ill: Yet another forgotten American inspiration for Adolf.

Trust Leftists not to be able to see the difference between a voluntary program and one enforced by the State: "To its critics, Project Prevention or Crack -- an American organisation which pays drug addicts and alcoholics to be sterilised - - is a terrifying throwback to the neutering of 'defectives' during the 20th Century. But the woman who runs this not-for-profit programme believes she is offering a service to everyone: the drug addict, the taxpayer, the child who has not yet been born, and if she has her way -- will never be born."

Former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia and a critic of the NATO and Canadian intervention there, has pointed out some of the contradictions of the opponents of the Iraq war, who supported 'humanitarian intervention' in Kosovo. Apparently if there is a national security concern intervention is bad. Only do-gooder interventionism is ok!

This map shows something I have been nagging people about for years -- the way English-speakers customarily misname other countries (Scroll down to "Other Follies" here). Pity the Hellenes (Greeks) most of all, though. Other people have been calling their country "Greece" (which they themselves call "Hellas") for over 2,000 years.

I like the Sikhs so this is a very sad story for me: "A[n Arizona] man accused of fatally shooting an Indian immigrant four days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was acting out of a rage fueled by prejudice... [Frank Silva] Roque is accused of killing gas station owner Balbir Singh Sodhi, a 49-year-old who wore a beard and turban as part of his Sikh faith. Sodhi was neither Muslim nor from the Middle East, as the terrorist hijackers had been."

The Supreme Court again has institutionalized the second-class citizenship of African Americans with a strange twist on the old segregationist policy of reserving some privileges for "whites only." Only, this time around, the court seems to be saying that high standards in education are permissible only for white people.

If the old Leninist Left was buried politically in the rubble of the Berlin wall, the literary-academic intelligentsia disappeared morally in the ashes of the 9/11 ground zero.

"A science fiction author. A cashier at Wal-Mart. A pair of libertarian writers. All decry what they see as an increasing trend: appeasement of the less worthy; a pandering to the 'weaknesses and vices of others;' appealing to the self-righteously dependent and unproductive. And for what? Where is the 'profit' involved in this degradation?" More here

Good if it happens: GWB says that his new education law aims at raising the bar for student achievement "The law sets a clear goal for American education: Every child, in every school, must perform at grade level in reading and math, which are the keys to all learning." The initiative "seeks to improve achievement, particularly among poor students, through expanded testing, tougher quality requirements for teachers, yearly monitoring of student progress and sanctions for schools that fail to improve."

Bruce Bartlett says Bush isn't controlling domestic spending, Reagan did a better job of it under much tougher circumstances -- reducing Federal spending from 4.7% of national income to 3.1%. -- "Ronald Reagan had his faults, but he never conceded the principle that government should be as small as possible to do what it has to do".

Some things are so obvious that even the blind can see them: "European Union foreign ministers on Saturday denounced the political wing of Hamas as a terrorist organization following the group's claim of responsibility for a truce-shattering bomb attack in Jerusalem."

The Wicked one notes the big growth in government under GWB and says: "Bring back Clinton".


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6 September, 2003


A reader has pointed out some interesting historical facts: "People say that Martin Luther was an antisemite, and that a "uniquely German form of antisemitism" was brought forth from his teachings. But Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and other top Nazis were brought up in the Roman Catholic faith! So, they were at least as likely to have gotten their ideas about Jews from the Catholic rather than the Lutheran Church. Even more ironically, though Karl Marx's parents were Jewish, and he was born a Jew, his father tried to bring him up to be a good Lutheran! And in his essay "The Jewish Question", Marx wrote a tirade that if anyone nowadays were to write, he would be branded a Neo Nazi". So the Catholic-origin chief Nazi and the Lutheran-origin chief Communist were both racists! What to make of that?

There is a heap of research evidence to show that racism of some form is universal so the important thing is not to try to pin it on any one group but to ask under what circumstances it becomes harmful. That patriotic British conservatives who had not the slightest doubt of British superiority made a Jew (Disraeli) their Prime Minister at the height of the British empire shows that not all racism is dangerous. Both Marx and Hitler, by contrast, were socialists.



How to Save the World is the name of a relatively recent Leftist blog. The very name encapsulates the vast ego needs of the typical Leftist intellectual. He needs to be a world-saving hero. And what are the ways this one plans to save the world? Take a look at his trite "ideas" on education for instance: "The 'teacher's' role in all of this is facilitation, not instruction". So he does not want teachers to teach! No wonder the kids learn so little in school off their Left-leaning teachers these days!

In his desperation to have something to say that seems marginally different he is just trotting out hoary old "progressive" education ideas that never stop being tried somewhere and which always self-destruct after a few years -- Bertrand Russell's "Beacon Hill" school of the 1920s being just one example of such failure. But Leftists rarely know much history. They can't afford to. It makes such asses of them.

I myself taught in a "progressive" school once so I saw it all close up. The kids who had self-discipline or some pressure from home did OK but the other half mostly played cards and learnt nothing.



It looks like Schwarzenegger is the one to beat in Calfornia now. He has come out in favour of getting tough on illegal immigration. The same issue won the conservatives a big majority in Australia's last Federal election and Australia is as multicultural as California. Among nations, we are second only to Israel for the percentage of our citizens not born here.

A pretty appalling report here about the effect of EU trade barriers on the third world -- particularly Africa. The EU is a major killer of Africans -- through starvation mainly.

Steve Sailer has more on that dodgy "IQ is not genetic among blacks" study

There is an article here about life in socialist Czechoslovakia that everyone with any leaning towards Leftism should read. It shows vividly the sort of future that Leftists are trying to drive us towards.

I saw this quote on the The Federalist: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." --Benjamin Franklin. Why did I think of Iraq when I read that?

The French heatwave deaths: The very hot weather was mainly confined to France so has nothing to do with global warming. Americans used to die more in hot wearther too but no longer -- mainly because most Americans can afford airconditioning -- which is much rarer in France. Socialist-induced poverty does kill.

"Europe has given the world Marxism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, racism, and socialism, all rotten ideas that have caused immeasurable human suffering. But for Europeans and their ideological twins on the American left and at universities, ideas are not judged by their ability to ameliorate huiman suffering or reduce evil, but by their complexity and apparent profundity. An idea is not good because it produces good - that's unromantic American pragmatism - it is good because it sounds good."

A right to free expression? "A state law raising the minimum age for nude dancers from 18 to 19 appears to violate the First Amendment right to free expression, a federal judge has ruled". When did free speech become free expression? Timothy McVeigh was just expressing himself too, I would think.

This old interview with Thomas Sowell is still pretty interesting. He was a Marxist during the McCarthyite days of the 50s who shifted to a market oriented position after studying the impact of minimum wage laws on employment.

The Leftist Potemkin seems to think we should have the same rules for children as for adults. He must be the only one who does. He also seems to think that because the author of Alice in Wonderland was an "alleged" paedophile therefore the writings of all disturbed people should be freely available to all children at all times. Just to state his underlying proposition baldly is to display what an absurd non-sequitur it is! Good Leftist logic, though.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I offer a practical solution to the sampling problem in psychology that should have caused quite a stir if psychologists were interested in doing real science. Needless to say, my article sank without a ripple.


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5 September, 2003


That intelligence is mostly hereditary has been the routine finding in psychological research on the subject for over a century but our "all men are equal" Leftists have fought that fact tooth and nail for many years now. To them, ideology must win, not evidence. They have come up with many stratagems to discredit the finding but the latest one is a lulu.

This story was pointed out to me by The Misanthropyst and I notice that Iain Murray and various others have referred to it as well. It claims that heredity is the main factor in determining white IQ but is NOT the main factor in determing black IQ! So are blacks a different species from whites, then? That would seem to be the conclusion if we took the study seriously.

Full publication of the study has not been done as yet but from what we know so far it seems that what they found was in fact much simpler than that. They found that if you separated out low income respondents (mostly black) and studied them alone, the role of heredity was less important in explaining IQ differences. That does sound like a real finding but it is in fact what statisticians would call a "restriction of range effect". In other words, if you take ANY group and select out a subset that is relatively homogeneous with regard to some variable, differences in that variable will tend to have less importance in explaining other differences. Since socioeconomic status and race are substantially correlated with heritable IQ, that is precisely what these researchers have done: Selected a group that is relatively homogeneous in genetic inheritance for IQ and then said: "Hey! Differences in genetic inheritance are not so important here!" Statisticians would call the finding an "artifact" -- i.e. something created by the research procedure rather than a genuine finding about the world.

With or without such "findings", however, it of course remains true that worrying about the genetic potential of blacks does nothing to help them. People surely do not need to be misled about blacks before they will support programs that really do help blacks to cope better with the world in which they live. Finding such programs is the real challenge.



I recently linked to the exposition by George Irbe of what a Leftist is and what motivates Leftism. George has just provided me with a new link that leads to an even better version of his analysis. Incidentally, he is of Latvian origin, not Hungarian as I had conjectured.

Leftist unions are liars too: The AFL-CIO has told the US Labor Department that Australia is rife with child workers and sweatshops, and routinely breaches international labour standards. How do they expect anyone to believe that B.S.?

Another intellectual at work: "An academic who enlisted the help of her children in a false rape claim against her husband had exposed him to a long jail term for a vile crime, a judge said yesterday."

Daniel Pipes points out that the United Nations has a major role in keeping millions of Palestinians in "refugee" status, when by ordinary definitions they are nothing of the sort

Michael Totten has started the long march to the Right that honest liberals usually undertake as they get older and wiser.

A most interesting history of government involvement with U.S. railroads here.

I wonder why? "In nearly every state, the number of children being educated in their homes is rising about 10% a year."

Jeff Jacoby is definitely a speaker of unpopular truths. He says that abolishing tolls on tollways will just make them more congested and that ALL major roads need to be tollways if congestion is to be avoided. He says that you pay with your time for "free" highways.

A good new site: Bowling for truth. It concludes very plainly "Michael Moore is a liar".

Carnival of the Vanities is up again.

I don't always agree with him but Chris Brand has a view of the news in Britain and elsewhere that you will get nowhere else. I have transferred his most recent posts here for convenience.

Some people think that Malaysia is a hopeful model for a rationally-run Islamic society. The Wicked one disagrees.

Paul Keating, a former Leftist Prime Minister of Australia, seems to be going ga-ga in his old age. Because our present conservative Prime Minister takes the natural-justice view that people are not responsible for the misdeeds of others (including the deeds of their own ancestors) Keating says that is "an attempt to contain and censor the human spirit" -- whatever that may mean.

The latest upload of my published academic papers is here (or here). In it I point out the weird anti-scientific standards prevailing among those psychologists charged with evaluating all the psychological research that gets published. Basically, my research was usually too scientific (!) for my colleagues -- as well as too conservative! My stuff was so hard to pick holes in, however, that almost all of it did eventually get published somewhere in the academic journals.


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4 September, 2003


What would you think of someone who wrote a book called "They F*** You Up - How to survive family life"? A pretty sad soul? Oliver James did write such a book and he is indeed a sad soul. His psychobabble account of the personality of George Bush is filled with similar attempts to find evil in ordinary life. You would never guess that GWB is a good-humoured Christian and a political moderate from what our Oliver says. To Oliver, GWB has "extreme, fanatical beliefs".

Like many Freudian theorizers, Oliver has little time for proof of his theories. He bases his account of GWB's personality on the "Authoritarian Personality" theory of the Freudian Marxists (what a combination!) led by Theodor Wiesengrund (a.k.a. Adorno). That this theory has been shown to be wrong in almost every aspect of it that has ever been tested is no bother to either a Freudian or a Leftist, of course, and Oliver seems to be both.

Natalie Solent has been having fun with poor Oliver too.



"Brookes News" has been posting up a storm lately. Some of the latest:

Hillary's fascist vision for America. Don't be fooled by cries of fiscal conservatism. As Brookes' economics editor pointed out: "A fiscal conservative is not defined by a belief in balanced budgets but by a responsible approach to spending and taxation. Would we call someone a fiscal conservative who taxed away 80 percent of your income in order to balance the budget?"
A Murdoch journalist whitewashes the anti-Semitic Bustamante. There is simply no denying the political bigotry of many Australian journalists. The anti-American Robert Lusetich, Los Angeles Correspondent for Murdoch's Australian, is a good example of what I mean, though certainly not one of the worst.
Hollywood leftists gang up on Schwarznegger. That Arnold is quickly defining his conservative position on taxes and spending has got the Dems so scared that the Hollywood Soviet sent out its celluloid intellectuals to try and bring him down.
Mexican immigration is killing California. Americans, and particularly Californians, are slowly waking up to the dangers of unrestricted immigration, especially from Mexico. California is in the frontline of the battle and it is there that it will be won or lost. If it is lost then America will be in danger of disintegrating.
Fairfax Press labels Saddam's terrorists as resistance fighters. Leftwing journalists' moral blindness and total disregard for any facts or informed opinions that contradict their own deep rooted ideological prejudices and hatreds is twisting their reporting on the war against terrorism.
Gennifer Flowers to sue Hillary Clinton, Carville and Co for conspiracy. Now that Gennifer Flowers is going to sue Clinton for conspiracy, will this damage her. Not with her fanatical supporters it won't.

Details here



A reader writes:

"I am quite angry that at most Liberal colleges and universities that this Hispanic-only separatist group called MEChA is allowed to have a presence on campus. This group does not only breed hatred against whites and other non-Hispanics, but also against the United States and calls for the annexation of California, Arizona and Texas. I mean, the KKK want the Confederate States of America to return to its old glory. Why is MEChA getting special treatment? And not only that MEChA is a hate group and anti-American, but also Pro-Communist. MEChA presents a clear and present danger, the same way the KKK presented a clear a present danger, when it refused to allow blacks to vote in the South and also tortured and killed both blacks and whites for co-operating with the Union. The United States government must send a message that the funding of separatist groups such as MEChA will not be tolerated. Would these idiots at these Liberal colleges and universities fund a student group that's neo-Nazi? I think not. MEChA is no different from these white supremacist groups."

There is also a good article on MEChA just up on Front Page



Traditional wisdom is that soldiers fight only out of loyalty to their buddies. This article shows that in Iraq, patriotism and belief in what they were doing was also an important motivator among U.S. troops. How upsetting for the Leftists!

This article says that trust in the U.S. presence is building well among the citizens of Baghdad.

Paul Sheehan has noted that "As for the alleged demonisation of Muslims, Australia under Howard is a place where the number of Muslims living in this country has surged by 50 per cent, from 200,000 according to the 1996 census to an estimated 300,000 today. Not exactly shutting the gates."

Michael Darby has returned to the internet after some months of absence due to work committments. His latest Report covers a wide field but does include some good news from Zimbabwe for a change.

The Wicked one thinks GWB is going Green.

Conservatives are used to getting names like "Fascist", "racist" etc hurled at them by Leftists. The Leftists concerned have no interest in the truth of the accusations -- when was a Leftist concerned about the truth anyway? -- but they use such terms simply in the hope of discrediting someone. I too of course have had my share of that treatment but, when such accusations are made in print about one, some refutation of them seems needed. I have just uploaded one such refutation here (or here)


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3 September, 2003


I had a big day yesterday. Instapundit linked to my post on Harvard and I also had an article about Leftist authoritarianism come out in an Australian online magazine called Online Opinion. And only a week ago I had an article on fraudulent Leftist psychology in Front Page. I guess I should rest on my laurels for a while now.

The Harvard post generated a bit of correspondence so I have posted the more interesting emails here -- together with my (brief) replies.



The best article on Leftism that I have ever read is by George Irbe. Irbe says pretty much what I say about the nature of Leftism but says it with greater brevity and clarity. Irbe's name for Leftists is "Coercive Utopians" and he diagnoses their dismal motivations most persuasively. I liked this epigram: "One will usually discover that behind the Robin Hood image hides just a plain hood." I like his article so much that I have copied it to one of my sites so that it will remain available even if it gets taken down at its original source.

Judging by the surname of the author and his mention of his personal experience of Leftist savagery, I surmise that he moved to Canada as a refugee from Communist Hungary. So he has seen unrestrained Leftism close-up and has had strong incentives to get his thoughts on Leftism clear.

He is strongly of the view that Leftism is an inborn tendency but seems unaware that there is now good evidence from the twin studies by Nick Martin and others confirming that. Martin's work is mainly published in obscure and highly technical academic journals (that even I find a bit challenging to follow in detail) rather than being available online but one early summary that IS available online is particularly fascinating. Martin found that your politics in your youth are mainly the product of the social influences around you (school and college indoctrination, for instance) but as you get older your genetically inherited political tendencies come to the fore.

Martin's most striking finding, however, is his 1999 finding (reference below) showing that conservatism/Leftism is even more hereditary that how tall you are.

His 1986 article showed that heredity is a particularly strong influence (around 50% of the variance) in women. Presumably because women tend to take less interest in the details of politics, their political reactions are much more likely to be purely instinctive.

Martin, N. & Jardine, R. (1986) Eysenck's contribution to behaviour genetics. In: S & C. Modgil (Eds.) Hans Eysenck: Consensus and controversy. Lewes, E. Sussex: Falmer
Eaves, L.J., Martin, N.G., Meyer, J.M. & Corey, L.A. (1999) Biological and cultural inheritance of stature and attitudes. In: Cloninger, C.R., Personality and psychopathology. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press.



In my latest academic upload here (or here) I look at the claim by anti-abortionists that they are "pro-life" and find it to be an overgeneralization. I suspect, however, that the claim by pro-abortionists to be "pro-choice" is even more of an overgeneralization. I also found anti-abortionists to be a very small minority in Australia. My own view of abortion is set out here (Scroll down a little).

The study also found, of course, that anti-abortion attitudes were associated with conservatism but a more interesting finding was about the nature of conservatism itself. It was found that moral restraint was a central differentiator of Leftists and conservatives. This fits in well with the observations by George Irbe above to the effect that Leftists are intrinsically without any moral anchors -- which is his explanation for their vicious behaviour when they obtain unrestrained power.



From the WSJ: "The Council on American Islamic Relations is up in arms because an Ohio school told 17-year-old Amal Jamal that her Muslim headscarf violates the school's dress code. CAIR honcho Ibrahim Hooper denounces the school for "denying a student the right to her religious belief." Just one problem: The school, Regina High, is a Catholic school. Do Muslim schools let Christian girls show up to class in miniskirts?"

There is a new book about the Soviet Gulag out from the Institute of Economic Affairs in Britain. This announcement includes a speech by the author on the importance of understanding the psychology of fellow travellers during the time of the famines and the Gulags, and the ignorance of later generations for whom the Cold War is a receding memory. And this article on the myths about the Great Depression is an alarming reminder of the similarity between the attitudes of the Soviet planners and the architects of the New Deal in the US. (Via Rafe Champion)

"As if it wasn't bad enough to have both state and federal prosecutors trying to fine and regulate American business to death by whim, the European Union is now getting into that game. Microsoft's deep pockets are, of course, an even more tempting target than Wall Street's. And any European pickpocket's best friend is antitrust -- a sport where government officials bet with other people's money and make up the rules as the game progresses." More here

The Wicked one has put up a year's supply of lightbulb jokes.


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2 September, 2003


Just in from another reader:

"I had first hand experience with what came out of Harvard. I worked for a US Investment bank which did it's annual recruitment program from the Ivy League and the better schools.

I have to tell you that the Harvard grads and under grads I ended up with on my trading desk had to be as bad as they could be. As someone who is interested in probability theory, after a while it became apparent to me that this was not just a cluster of "bad data" coming through the works. These people came out of Harvard with the worst attitude towards work I have ever imagined. Not one recruit from Harvard ever turned into a success. In fact there was an almost pass the parcel attitude between desk managers as to who ended up with the Harvard batch. It got so bad that the department which had been the lest profitable for the year ( this being Wall Street) ended up with Harvard people.

And the best: for those who are curious were Wharton Kids.

I tried to figure out why this was so and the only thing I came up with is that Wharton kids were taught properly."



There has been lots written about what a poor education the Left-leaning teachers of U.S. High Schools give to their students these days. But sometimes deeds speak louder than words. And the deeds of adminstrators at Harvard speak very loudly indeed. Harvard gets the cream of U.S. High School graduates so at least those students should be 100% as educated as you can get -- right? Wrong! One of my readers writes that the reality is much, much worse than that:

I attended Harvard in the early 80's and knew my way around campus fairly well, and was aware of all the academic programs they offered. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that the University has an active "remedial English" program that at least 20% of incoming freshmen are required to use. Larger minority enrollment, and foreign students are not driving this program, all students seem to be equal offenders. Harvard's black student body have SAT scores within 90 points of their white and Asian peers; Which is excellent. Harvard will not tell you they have this program; and it has a fancy name to hide its purpose, but it is a Community College style remedial English program.

It is a full remedial program with instruction in spelling, grammar, and the lost art of essay writing. From what I understand, essay skills -- or the lack of them -- is what tipped the University off to these problems.

This program is housed under the Freshman Student Union. They use this like a referral system.... they send the kids to the Union, and then they get moved into this informal, formal program.

There is a whitewash of the program here asserting that it is NOT a remedial program but even that does not tell the whole story. The really bad students are funnelled through there to even a more simplified program.

Can anyone now deny that vouchers are the only hope for the U.S. school system?

And if you read what Jeff Jacoby has to report about Harvard's ethics, the coverup should surprise no-one.



The New York Times has just spoken out about the huge row in Britain over the BBC -- which has pitted the Left-leaning public broadcaster against a Leftist British government that was still not Leftist enough for the BBC! There is nothing worse than a family spat! The NYT's version of the controversy is however hilarious. They say that the broadcaster's reputation for fairness and accuracy has been compromised by "just 20" words! Given years of complaints about BBC bias (there is even a whole blog devoted to it), that has to be the understatement of the year! But we all know that the NYT makes selective reporting into an artform. Stalin himself would be hard put to be better at it than they are.

Perhaps most amusingly, however, the NYT quotes without the slightest sign of derision the defence that the BBC gave of their reporter just making stuff up: "Greg Dyke, the BBC director general, and Richard Sambrook, the director of news, had defended Mr. Gilligan's style to the governors as "one in which he reported in primary colors, or bold colors, rather than shades of gray." So if a conservative thinks something is simple, he is a "black and white thinker" but if a Leftist tells lies he is "reporting in bold colours". So much nicer!



B.S. is better than real meddling: "President Bush announced Monday he is creating a high-level government post to nurture the manufacturing sector, which is bleeding jobs in states crucial to his re-election."

UK government realism opposed by a Leftist bureaucracy: "The government's plan to introduce longer minimum jail terms has been branded "grotesque" by the new director of public prosecutions, Ken Macdonald.... He said the effect of the proposed change in murder sentencing would be particularly grotesque. "This would have an extraordinary effect on the prison population, but particularly on the long term prison population, which may be difficult to manage." A three tier classification is planned, with sadistic child killers or terrorists dying in prison; a minimum 30 year starting point for killing a policeman, and a 15 year starting point for other murders."

Millions of Californians have left the place in recent years to escape the high taxes and other costs there. An Arizona blogger warns Californians of the horrors that they will encounter if they move to Arizona.

John Moore reports on the disgusting brainwashing that U. Michigan now requires of its students even BEFORE they gain admission. The racist fanaticism of the U. Michigan administration must be degrading the worth of their degrees at a great rate. The whole country now knows what they stand for -- and it's not academic standards. I imagine a lot of employers would simply say: "Next!" when confronted with a job applicant holding an "Affirmative Action" degree from U. Michigan. Still, I guess they can all get government jobs and keep the bureaucracy full of embittered Leftists.

The British and American Leftists of the 1920s and 1930s (including Bertrand Russell, Margaret Sanger and the State of California) taught Hitler all he knew about eugenics -- so guess what? The Wicked one has a post showing that an early libertarian -- Herbert Spencer -- is getting the blame for these vicious programs!

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I look at the relationship between age and ideology. I found that older people had much tougher and more cautious attitudes -- as perhaps befits people who remembered the Great Depression and World War II.


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1 September, 2003


An old fallacy debunked once again: "Whenever an expert touts a totally new theory, invention or miracle medicine, a healthy dose of skepticism is called for. The recent writings of Paul Craig Roberts fit the mold. He claims that two centuries of economic thought in support of free trade, dating back to Adam Smith and David Ricardo, have been overturned by new developments and his own unique insights. But reality is more straightforward, and far less ominous, than he depicts.... In his Aug. 6 column, "Seeking Jobs in the U.S.A.," he claims that American workers face an unprecedented threat from low-wage countries such as China and India, where an endless supply of workers can now substitute for millions of middle-class American workers at a fraction of the wage"

For those who do not know it, the great satire of the protectionist fallacy is Frederic Bastiat's wonderful petition to the French parliament on behalf of candlemakers.

Australia has a record of foolish protectionism too. Alfred Deakin was one of Australia's early Prime ministers -- beginning in 1903. He is generally well-spoken of by historians but his legacy in the economic field is distinctly dubious. My recent link to an article on his policies by economist Alan Wood has inspired one of my readers to take another look at his lasting destructive effect on Australian prosperity. See here

Any reduction of government attempts to prop up failing industries is good for the taxpayer: Senators from tobacco states -- yes, from tobacco states -- are now negotiating to end federal support of the crop with a buyout."

This article describes the anti-globalists as engaged in 'moral colonialism'



Wayne Lusvardi has been having some fun with the California election. Even if you are not a Californian, you should read this.

A lot of economists seem to be worried about the immediate future of the U.S. economy -- with the large deficits currently being run up needing to have their effect before long. The Australian economy seems heaps healthier by comparison.

Our friends, the Saudis: "There have been signs for months that Saudi Muslim extremists have travelled to Iraq to take on US-led forces. Internet memorials to those who died fighting the Americans have popped up and Saudis are quietly swapping tales said to be from the front lines. Many of the men going to Iraq had fought in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Bosnia and were experts on guerilla warfare... Saudi officials, sensitive to any charges extremism may be emanating from the kingdom, have categorically dismissed the possibility their citizens are fighting in Iraq."

Once again, it is the Democrat party against the people, just as it has been ever since the party learned that they could confiscate the earnings of one citizen in order to purchase the loyalty (and vote) of another. And though they've gotten away with portraying themselves as 'the party of the little guy,' the grim reality is that they are the party that flourishes by keeping the 'little guy' little, and thus dependent on them."

"Everyone recognizes that giving a kid in a failing public school the option to attend a private school is better for that kid. However, liberals argue that if we allow kids the right to pick their school, the result will be a wholesale abandonment of the public school monopoly. (Of course, why liberals think public schools are so inferior an option that they can't compete with private schools is another matter altogether.)"

The Invisible Hand has been reading the German press and says that it is sheer European arrogance to think that they understand America. I like this comment: "Show me a European who doesn't think they know more about the world than George Bush. Then consider, who is the greater fool?"

Danegerus has a good spoof on Greenie and EU attitudes towards technological innovation that is alarmingly close to how they really think. He is particularly referring to "The Stockholm Convention" on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

I received an interesting email from an Australian reader that does in my experience mirror what a lot of ordinary Australians are saying. She is pretty fed up with our PC media and the multicultural gospel that they preach. I do not agree with everything she says but think it is worth a moment to read the sort of stuff that would never get through the filters of our mainstream media so I have posted it here.

Chris Brand has put up some more of his inimitable posts. For convenience, I have transferred the latest ones here. Of particular interest is his report that a general factor of intelligence has now been found even in mice!

The Wicked one has another Irish joke up.

My latest academic post here (or here) is another one of my attacks on the woolly thinking that is so characteristic of academic psychology. I point out that the originators of the "A-B" personality concept (which supposedly predicts heart disease) say mutually contradictory things about what it is.


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