Saturday, December 13, 2003


Larry Elder has a pretty disheartening summary of GWB’s socialist record. Just one excerpt: “By this time in his term, Reagan vetoed over 20 bills, President George W. Bush, none. Reagan campaigned to shut down the Department of Education. President Bush shook hands with a smiling Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., as they united to pass the so-called No Child Left Behind Act, increasing the federal government's role in education and, by the way, dropping the dreaded-by-liberals voucher provision. Bush also expanded Head Start despite the program's questionable effectiveness” Jeff Jacoby is pretty upset about it too. If the Democrats manage to find a challenger who sounds reasonably sane, I think a lot of GOP voters might stay home next election day. It’s all very reminscent of Malcolm Fraser -- a former Australian conservative Prime minister who said he loved Ayn Rand and had many years in office to do something about it but did zilch. He turned out to be a great friend of African dictators, though. It does rather remind one of some recent remarks by GWB about Taiwan and Israel’s security fence.

Wal Mart, America’s super-successful retailer of recent years, is clearly falling victim to what Australians call the “tall poppy syndrome”: Because they are so successful everyone want to cut them down to size. Some of the criticisms are mentioned here. Thomas Sowell brings a bit of economic sophistication to the discussion, however. A small excerpt: “With Wal-Mart, as with A & P before them, the big bugaboo is that their low prices put competing stores out of business. Could anyone ever have doubted that low-cost stores win customers away from higher-cost stores? It is one of the painful signs of the immaturity and lack of realism among the intelligentsia that many of them regard this as a "problem" to be "solved." “

Stop the Bleating has a good coverage of the issues involved in the French ban on women wearing Islamic dress.

The latest upload of one of my published articles is put up more as an historical curiosity than anything else. It is a report of a computer program I wrote in 1970. Being a boffin, I had access to computers a generation before most people did and I still have a copy of the first program I wrote -- in 1967. It was written for a machine that filled a room but had about the same amount of memory as a modern-day pocket calculator. It was still however very useful and a great advance on what went before. In those days the only software you could usually get for a computer was a compiler -- to enable you to write your own programs. So, unless you could get someone else to write a program for you, all computer users HAD to be programmers in those days. The program mentioned in my upload has subsequently been modernized for use in a PC environment and I am happy to forward both the source-code and an executable to anyone interested. It is however NOT a program for general use. It is for psychometricians and survey researchers only. Details here or here.


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