Friday, June 27, 2003

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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