Tuesday, September 30, 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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Monday, September 29, 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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Sunday, September 28, 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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Saturday, September 27, 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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Friday, September 26, 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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Thursday, September 25, 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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Wednesday, September 24, 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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Tuesday, September 23, 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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Monday, September 22, 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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Sunday, September 21, 2003

Democrat-supporting unionists have just physically attacked a small group of Republican college kids who were placarding in support of Ward Connerly’s racial privacy initiative. The Soviet mentality is never far below the surface in Western World Leftists. I have myself in my own long-gone student days been on the receiving end of similar Stalinist treatment from Leftist unionists -- as I recorded here

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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Saturday, September 20, 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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Friday, September 19, 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 avarage 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 fundamentaliasm -- 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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Thursday, September 18, 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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Wednesday, September 17, 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.