Tuesday, December 16, 2003


There is a lot to be said about what follows from the capture of Saddam and lots of people are saying it so I will forbear from adding to the hubbub but I liked Tom Barrett’s comments at Conservative Truth. I have got to say that I am pleased at what a good kick in the guts it is for GWB’s critics who were constantly harping on about his “inability” to find Saddam.

I have just received an interesting comment from one of my Portuguese readers: “Today, I read the post about your ranking on “Blogrunner”. You wrote: "I have often noted that things I post seem to have been heard even though nobody has linked back to me over them too." I think the blog's name is a reason for nobody linking back to you. People don't quote you because they try to avoid conflict - something, it seems, that you're not afraid of. They want to present ideas that deconstruct leftist views without it appearing to be a personal attack (IMHO, "dissect" is a too strong word...). Have you ever considered changing the name of your blog to "John Ray"?” I replied: “Yes. I am sure you are correct in what you say. But the name also attracts attention so that has first priority. I am more concerned to get the ideas out than to attract personal fame -- unlike Leftists!”

I wondered yesterday why there are so many good Chinese pianists and the good old blogosphere has instantly produced a possible answer. Sam Ward drew my attention to page 4 of this article: “Diana Deutsch, an expert in music cognition, discovered that, as children, we all may have had Mozart's ear for identifying notes but then lost it -- unless we were lucky enough to grow up speaking tonal languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese, or Vietnamese. It turns out that speakers of these languages use absolute pitch every day, but in conversation, rather than in the concert hall." My 16 year old son appears to have perfect pitch and he was taught piano from age 4 so that fits in too.

This article is one of those accursed PDF files but if you have a high-speed connection it may be worth reading. It shows how the labyrinthine regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are driving companies out of the US vaccine business and creating shortages and "flu crises". We never "run out" of hamburgers or Coke because these "less important" industries are less regulated.

Arlene Peck has a post about the people the mainstream media ignore -- the maimed Israeli victims of Arab terror.

Mangled Thoughts has a fun excerpt from a column by Max Boot about ”unilateralism” and Europe. And Tim Blair has a good comment from Australia’s foreign minister about it. Amazing how sins come and go. The sin of unilateralism seems to have been invented by the Left in the last 12 months.

But the good old sin of “gluttony” is making a comeback too -- only this time it’s not your fault but somebody else’s. It’s called the “obesity epidemic” and just about all the people who feed us are under attack over it. There are all sorts of things the do-gooders want done about it -- with warning labels stuck on Big Macs being only the opening salvo. What none of the do-gooders seem to realize is that the good old socialist paradise of Sweden has been doing all that nonsense for years -- with zero effect. Swedes are as fat as anyone else. Even socialists can’t keep fatties away from their food.

A lot of the sites I link to these days hit you with popup advertisements as soon as you log onto them -- which is pretty pesky. Downloading the Google toolbar is very good at stopping them, though. You will find a link enabling you to do so at the bottom of any search you do on Google. Once you have installed it, the popups just stop!

The Wicked one has a warning about identity theft that could save you a lot of trouble if you travel at all.

Interested Participant has some more amusing stuff about the political ideas of the nutty Leftist linguist, George Lakoff.

The latest upload of a chapter from my book looks at ways of combatting union thuggery. Details here or in chapter 17 here. Since I wrote it, however, the problem has subsided a lot. The defeat of the air-traffic controllers under Ronald Reagan, the defeat of the coal miners under Britain’s Margaret Thatcher and the defeat of the wharfies (dockers, longshoremen) under Australia’s John Howard seem to have mostly knocked the stuffing out of union militancy in the Anglosphere.


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