Monday, August 18, 2003


Because it has already been so heavily covered elsewhere, I was not going to mention the N.E. American blackout but one of my readers has come up with an interesting observation. In this record of recent solar activity he notes that the graphs for 14 August, especially the one for proton volume, show a very interesting AC spike. He suggests that this spike could have caused a power surge in an extensive grid already carrying high levels of energy and thus burnt something out. It seems feasible in my very non-expert view. The other causes so far put forward seem pretty vague. A solar flare burned out a large part of Canada's electricity grid in 1989.

Irving Kristol has just defined what he sees neoconservatism as consisting of today. He should know. My definition of a couple of days ago -- “Neocons are reformed Leftists who still have an interventionist streak in them” -- stands up pretty well in the light of what he says. They are too interventionist for my libertarian tastes.

An interesting article here on what the Communist Manifesto actually says.

A good comment by Piers Akerman here on the Leftist rubbish that Australians get from their public broadcaster.

Writing in Australia’s mass-circulation Sunday Telegraph, well known economics commentator Terry McCrann yesterday gave global warming a big raspberry. He summarized a recent article by Alan Oxley, who specializes in these matters. An earlier Oxley article is online here but neither McCrann’s summary nor the the latest Oxley article seem to be online anywhere so I have put McCrann’s summary up here.

A reader writes: “Dissecting Leftism readers should go out and have a look at Mars over the next couple of weeks. It is now closer to the Earth than at anytime in the last 58,000 years. Last time it was this close there were probably no humans in either Australia or the Americas”.

A new Australian blog has just started up with some charming quotes from a group of Australian “musicians” apparently favoured by our Leftist public broadcaster. He also points out how our wonderful close-to-nature native people were responsible for enormous extinctions of animal species in Australia.

The Wicked one celebrates the death of Idi Amin and concludes: “On all the evidence so far there is no hope for anything like a civil society in Africa”.

Writing on his other blog, China Hand is mystified to note that superannuation funds run by the labor unions in Australia have done better than commercially-run retirement funds. I myself am no fan of the big funds. Allowing a pimply 20 year old to make your investment decisions for you is hilarious in my view and I put my money where my mouth is by getting far better growth than the big funds do by managing my share portfolio myself. Nonetheless, the main reason why the union-run funds do better is clear. They are less obsessed with safety and so can afford to make some higher-yielding investments. And why are they so unworried? Because they know that with their “industrial muscle” and big membership of voters they will always be able to get the taxpayer to bail them out if they go bad! Nice one!


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