Saturday, February 22, 2003


“GERMANIC”, “TEUTONIC” AND THE JEWS

In my various postings about the sources or alleged sources of the respect for individual liberty that characterizes the English-speaking nations, I have often referred to what I take to be the ancient Anglo-Saxon sources of such attitudes and have referred to such attitudes as “Germanic” -- on the perfectly undisputed grounds that the Angles and the Saxons were a German-speaking people when they arrived in England 1500 years ago.

The word “Germanic” has troublesome resonances for many people, however. It sounds to them like Hitler. They ask: Is what I am saying not reminscent of Nazi doctrines of German racial superiority? Am I not attributing at least one type of superiority to Germans just by reason of their being German?

In response I have to say that I have been a student of the Nazi phenomenon for most of my adult life and have even written several papers for Jewish journals about it but I still do not know what Hitler thought was Germanic. On my reading he had no clear idea at all: Just confused and contradictory utterances from time to time. He was in fact much more vocal about being Aryan than being Germanisch. So it is difficult to show that my ideas are dissimilar to Hitler's without knowing exactly what his ideas were. His speeches are raves rather than anything consistent.

I guess, however, that the one lesson he would NOT draw from German history is precisely the one that I DO draw: That the German spirit is inimical to tyranny and in favour of individual liberty. I think it is fairly clear at least that individual liberty was not one of his priorities. So does that not make me ANTI-Nazi? I think it does.

But why should I even try to make such distinctions between my arguments and Hitler’s? I do not really see why a rational debate should be distracted by irrelevant comparisons with a populist demogogue. On the other hand, I do not like to give needless offence so I am making this clarification.

Actually, I should probably have been using the word “Teutonic” instead of “Germanic” as it is clear that everything I have so far said about the Anglo-Saxons is equally true (if not more so) of the Scandinavians. Those Vikings were certainly an individualistic, independent and decentralized lot! They also treated women more or less as equals and have a great history of democracy. The oldest continuously sitting parliament in the world is in fact the Althing of Iceland -- with a history going back 1,000 years. And Scandinavians are almost 100% Protestant too -- which fits with a spirit of independence and individualism.

As to Jewry, I no more believe in Jewish conspiracy theories than I believe in the man in the moon. I will leave such beliefs to the simple-minded of both political extremes. I am and always have been, however, an unapologetic and unreserved supporter of Israel. But I hope nonetheless that I have the sort of balanced view of the Jews that one should have of any group -- seeing both strengths and weaknesses. I think that Jews in general are a remarkable and admirable people but I do not think that they are right about everything and I think that their historic collectivist doctrine that they are a "chosen people" has been both a blessing and a curse to them.

And insofar as Christians have adopted such “groupthink” it has been a dubious influence among them too. Fortunately, St. Paul (a Jew) initially set Christianity on a much more inclusive path that that adopted by Jews before him so group consciousness has not had such good precedents among Christians. The way both Catholics and Protestants have engaged in persecution of those not of their faith does however show that religious groupthink is far from absent among Christians.

Interestingly, both modern Jews and ancient Jews have always been fractious and disunited so Jews could be an inspiration to those who OPPOSE collectivist thinking if we looked at what they did rather than what their religion preaches!

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ELSEWHERE

Shiny Happy Gulag (from Canada) has some good posts up at the moment -- from quoting Nye Bevan at the French to throwing the Swedish example at Canadian socialized medicine.

Now that China is blocking Blogspot again, this graphic is pretty appropriate.

Here is someone who regrets trying “alternative” therapy. Via Secular Blasphemy.

This is a good one for animal lovers: A cockatoo that attacked intruders and led to their conviction for murder. Via Betsy’s Page.

Marc Miyake has an amusing link to what is now regarded as politically correct speech. Apparently it is hard these days to speak of your own grandmother without offending against political correctness!

The Curmudgeon has moved house on the net and has some very funny news headlines up at the moment.

That oldtime British actress and all-purpose Leftist agitator, Vanessa Redgrave, has proposed her solution to the Iraq problem: Declare Saddam Hussein a war criminal and bring him before the International Criminal Court. She does not say how we might get him there, however. You couldn’t call that thinking, but that’s Leftism for you. Via Conservative Commentary.

Useful Fools has a link to a NYT article about “Ethnomathematics”. Marc Miyake was heaping scorn on “Hawaiian” mathematics a few months ago but the nonsense goes on.

Michael Darby has some thoughts on the nature of government intelligence-gathering plus a horrible story from Zimbabwe.

Chris Brand looks at the basic questions about the nature of IQ or ‘g”

The Wicked one has a couple of good jokes up.

Friday, February 21, 2003


OUSTING SADDAM

Winds of Change has some detailed strategy for how the Iraq war should be fought.

The Infidel reports an Australian Leftist parliamentarian who defends Saddam's use of poison gas against his own people -- babies included. Lovely!

A good spoof here on the Belgian unwillingness to bring Saddam to heel.

Only 28% of Britons think: "It's all about oil". More here.

Spiked has an amusing article called “DON’T MENTION THE ‘U’ WORD”. Summary: “In an age when unilateralism is out, Western powers pursue their agendas under the guise of an increasingly fictitious 'international community'.”

For those who have not seen it already, the WSJ has a fabulous article in support of unilateral military intervention from a most unlikely source. Consistency is NOT a Leftist virtue!

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MORE GREENIE NONSENSE

According to lots of experts quoted in this article, climate science is in its infancy and any global warming observed has many possible explanations others than greenhouse gases resulting from human activity. In other words, the science of the matter is a big: "Don't know". "Greenhouse" is just guesswork, in other words. So we should spend billions of dollars and change virtually everything we do on the basis of something as unknown as that? Only a Greenie would think so.

The UN Panel on Climate Change uses a computer model to predict global warming. Another choice prediction from the same model: The average income of South Africans will have overtaken that of Americans by a very wide margin by the end of the century. In fact America's per capita income will then have been surpassed not only by South Africa's, but also by that of other emerging economic powerhouses, including Algeria, Argentina, Libya, Turkey and North Korea... And that's the sort of wacko "science" the Greenies are relying on! Great predictions! More here.

Greenies are trying to stop starving Africans from getting US food aid because American food (which Americans eat with no ill-effects) is genetically modified. How to explain such cruel behaviour? Easy. Greenies hate people anyway so who cares about a few million Africans starving to death? Not the Greenies. Greenie religion trumps compassion every time.

The British government’s Environment Minister thinks that people are a “virus” infecting the Earth and that we are all on the brink of a vast ecological disaster. Greenies have of course been saying that for decades -- with no evidence in sight -- but it is a bit weird coming from a government minister. Mick Hume thinks that he might get the boot shortly.

There is an excellent listing of the large number of ways in which Environmentalism functions as a religion here. Via Bizarre Science

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ELSEWHERE

My post on whether Christianity had any role in fostering the respect for individual liberty that characterizes the Anglo-Saxon nations drew a few emails in response. I have just posted one particularly interesting correspondence here.

Orrin Judd has reproduced a fabulous and historic speech from the Gipper (scroll down).

Michael Miller has put together a site devoted to spelling out the various ways in which Nazism was Leftist. I have contributed a couple of articles to it. The site is still under development but there is already a lot of interesting stuff up there.

GASP! The British press has identfied two rapists as BLACK! How politically incorrect! No doubt protests will ensue.

A pretty disturbing report here about how police laziness leads to murderers not being caught. Sherlock Holmes they are not.

Arlene Peck thinks that the USA should now let Europe sink or swim -- by withdrawing troops from all countries that have recently shown themselves as anti-American. See here I think there would be widespread agreement with that.

Jesus Gil has an excellent site for reporting what is going on in the Spanish-speaking world. But one of his posts of 20th you should NOT read.

Michael Darby has some thoughts on Australian Muslims in the aftermath of the Bali bombing.

Chris Brand looks at the history of ways in which we describe the personalities of people that we encounter.

China Hand says investment in coastal China is going gangbusters but that investment inland is held up by corrupt local officials.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Thursday, February 20, 2003


CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY

The English-speaking world in general and conservatives in particular have always been characterized by a strong respect for the individual and for individual liberties. Christians often attribute this to the influence of Christian teachings despite the fact that Christianity is far from peculiar to Anglo-Saxon countries. When this is pointed out, they often admit that what they really mean is the influence of Protestant Christianity in particular. The idea that Catholics are not really Christian is very common among Protestants.

But both Protestantism and Catholicism have in the past been fiercely intolerant and, as such, resolute enemies of individual liberty. Whether it be John Calvin (who, with Luther, was one of the founding fathers of Protestantism) burning the scientist Servetus at the stake, the forbidding Puritans of Cromwell's Protectorate or the antisemitic writings of Luther himself, no-one can say that Protestants are totally different from the very holy Catholics of the Spanish Inquisition or such products of a good Catholic education as Adolf Hitler. All forms of Christianity appear to have within in them much of the intolerance that characterized the "jealous God" of the Jews (Exodus 20:5).

And not much has changed in recent times. Would anyone like to read this story from Rwanda and still tell me that Christianity, by itself, leads to respect for the individual? Or do we need some other instincts of Northern European origin as well? The Rwanda story is about some pretty fervent Christians. Excerpt:

Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and his son Gerard were accused of herding large groups of Tutsi men, women and children into a church and hospital compound in the Kibuye region of western Rwanda in 1994 and then calling Hutus to come and kill them. The 78-year-old Seventh Day Adventist pastor was found guilty of aiding and abetting genocide.


The example is merely illustrative of course. The underlying point is that Africans everywhere are commonly enthusiastic Christians whilst also being characterized as a group by extremely high rates of violent crime, including murder. So looking to Christianity or even Protestant Christianity (Seventh Day Adventism is a very Protestant sect in many ways) for a sole explanation of the greater respect for individual rights among peoples of Anglo-Saxon origin runs up against both historical and sociological evidence to the contrary.

It is then the fact that Protestantism became the characteristic religion of the Anglo-Saxon peoples -- with their ancient pre-existing non-religious respect for the individual -- that made it a force for tolerance rather than the fact that it was Christian. In MOST of its forms Protestantism was more liberating than Catholicism. Anglo-Saxon (individualistic) values did what Judaic (group-conscious) values could not.

I should perhaps spell out that "Judaic" is not synonymous with "Jewish". The Judaic religions are of course Judaism and those religions descended from it -- Christianity and Islam. The common features of Judaic religions are too well known for me to spell out (monotheism etc) but the feature of them that seems to me most pernicious is the belief that belonging to the particular religious group concerned makes you superior (chosen or special or saved) in some way. It seems to me that the example of Islam shows vididly just how pernicious and intolerant that belief can be and that the example of the British empire shows that such beliefs do not need to go to anyone’s head if one also has non-religious pre-Christian traditions of individual liberty. And many non-Judaic religions -- such as those of the far East -- are of course almost completely tolerant of one-another.

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A PEACENIK REVIEW

A good post on why it is that Leftists are always demonstrating about something here. Excerpt: "street marches are basically the Spoiled Child Temper Tantrum method of political discourse. Nobody in a demonstration is there to listen or learn or reason"

There have been some great pictures of idiotic "peace" protestors but this one seems to be everybody’s favourite. The peacenik does not seem to know what makes buses move. I wonder does he realize that he is being laughed at across the whole planet.

Leftists will do ANYTHING to get attention. The Curmudgeon has a picture of some "anti-war" demonstrators carrying a big North Korean flag! They are willing to espouse the most oppressive dictatorship on earth just to be different! I think it is called "compassion". But why I do not know.

Always Right has a good quote: "Those who marched in peace demonstrations this Presidents' Day weekend probably missed the irony: The two men we were commemorating -- George Washington and Abraham Lincoln -- chose war when they believed it was the lesser of two evils."

Jeff Jacoby makes the point that 4 million Iraquis have fled Iraq since Saddam took power. So how come that none took part in the “antiwar” demonstrations? Do they WANT Saddam bombed? You bet!

And the WSJ records WHY no Iraquis were to be seen at the demonstrations: The peacenik organizers BARRED Iraquis from being present. How “caring” of them!

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ELSEWHERE

Hey! This blog is no 58 on Technorati’s list of the top 100 most interesting recent blogs! I don’t fully follow the rationale but it certainly sounds good when you consider that Blogger.com alone has over a million bloggers using them. To be anywhere on any list extracted from a million or more blogs seems an achievement. But there is also a website dedicated to pictures of dogs in cars which gets 10 times as many hits as I do so that should help keep me humble!

The Wicked one has a very logical sort of joke

Michael Darby punctures some more myths about business.

Chris Brand thinks that the Franco-German axis is effectively Nazi. They do after all back the Nazi-trained Saddam Hussein.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2003



AMERICAN "IMPERIALISM"

The idea of American military or political imperialism has always been a fantasy that flies in the face of all the facts. American troops have gone all over the world in the last 50 years but have only ever been used to install or protect local self-government, not take it away. Americans just don't WANT an empire. Ideally, they just want to be left alone instead of being hated by every crazy loon around the world with nothing constructive to do. And not many imperial powers would sentence one of its soldiers to 30 years in jail for assaulting a local.

But the idea of American cultural imperialism has at least had the basis that American films etc are very popular worldwide and provide an attractive model against which local cultures often look pretty stupid even to the locals concerned. But now even that is changing. Competition with the American output has made filmmakers in India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere sit up and start producing films that people want to watch. So the popularity of American films abroad is steadily declining. Another empire lost! How sad! More here.

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BAGHDAD WATCH

Sometimes the Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) does get in touch with reality. As were see here. They ask, if Saddam does not have chemical weapons, why is he preparing his troops with protective measures against such weapons? He must know that the West will not deploy them. So it is clear that the Iraquis need protection for when they deploy such weapons themselves.

Country Store thinks the "human shields" in Baghdad have got a weak grip on reality. Sure have! Do they really think that even one cruise missile is going to be retargeted because of them? I actually have this guess that they will succeed in keeping well out of harm's way and will end up going home and dining out on the story of their "bravery" for years.

Why are 3 large cargo ships going round and round in circles in the middle of the Indian ocean? Is that one of the places where Saddam has stashed the weapons he says he does not have? It seems likely.

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“KEN IL SUNG” IS RIGHT

We live in strange times. Having Leftists defend an alleged Communist dictator like Kim Il Sung is old hat but having them defend an outright Fascist dictator like the brutal Saddam is certainly strange. “Fascism” used to be the constant Leftist swear-word (and, hopefully for some Leftists it still is). But brutality has never bothered the “compassionate” Left. That Saddam’s regime will crumple like a house of cards as soon as the US lays a hand on it is all that bothers the Left. They have no moral anchors to make them look at what sort of regime it is. Power is all they care about. They will oppose any power but their own.

Even stranger, in a way, is what is happening in London. Before he got his present nickname, the Lord Mayor of London was known as “Red Ken” -- for good reason. Yet his just-introduced solution to London’s traffic jams is as thoroughly market-based as you could imagine. He is now CHARGING people to drive into the city. Economists and libertarians have been advocating such things for a long time but it has taken an extreme Leftist to do it! (Though Singapore has been doing much the same for years). To really solve London’s transport probems, you would have to privatize the “Tube” (underground railway) and the main roads but all of that seems to be firmly stuck in the “too hard” basket.

There has been a bit of discussion about the matter on England’s Sword recently. And there have also been some grumpy comments about it on Catallaxy.

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ELSEWHERE

The Moonbat does it again! He thinks that the problem of the USA and the West generally -- and why they want to oust Saddam -- is that we have too much capital that we do not know what to do with. We are just SO rich that we have nothing to spend our money on! You really do have to be batty to believe that! But he does!

There has been a rather worrying development for anyone in Britain with unorthodox opinions. Just expressing disapproved thoughts about race etc could now land you in jail. Freedom of speech has effectively been abolished there. More here. And it is the European contagion that is behind it, of course.

Michael Darby punctures some myths about business.

Chris Brand has some more news about multicultural madness in Britain.

The Wicked one is having a laugh at the French again.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2003


LEFTIST DENIAL OF REALITY

One of the readers of this blog has just read right through my monograph on Leftist motivation (see the 5 links top left on this page). He feels that I have given insufficient weight to Leftist denial of reality. He points out how strange are the mental gymnastics that Leftists constantly have to engage in. I have posted the email here. It is worth a read.

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A HORRIBLE STORY

Although they are on opposite sides of the world, the PERSONAL ties between Australians and the English are enormous. At least 5% of the people living in Australia were actually born in England and there are huge numbers of Australians who keep in touch with relatives in England. And it is almost a rite of passage for young Australians to spend some time living in London. Young English people also commonly come to Australia for a working holiday before settling into their careers.
Even the Prince of Wales did part of his education in Australia.

One thing that often attracts young Englishmen is the idea of going to work on one of Australia's huge cattle stations (ranches) as "Jackaroos" (cowboys) and, when they do, the Australian jackaroos often give them a bit of a hard time to knock what they see as the English softness out of them. On one such occasions the jackaroos threw a dog up in the air and shot it just to see how the young English arrival would react. He coped -- but what bastards they were! I think visitors to Australia should be warned that there are a lot of morons in our more isolated areas. Fortunately, like most modern nations, Australia has only about 5% of its population engaged in rural employment and country people everywhere are in general very kindly people.

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THE DEAD HAND OF BUREAUCRACY

Bureaucracy! Soldiers in the British Army and Royal Marines also like to supplement their issued kit with other gear such as hiking boots. In the Falklands, British military boots could not cope with the wet, marshy ground. And in the Gulf, they fell apart in the desert heat. There are some Laws of bureaucracy here.

It appears that some U.S. bureaucrats think that being proud of being Irish is now racially offensive! My grandmother Kelly would turn in her grave!

Samizdata says that the French have national ID cards but rarely use them but the Brits ask for ID all the time. Score one for the French. British bureaucaracy really is a pain -- and nearly as irrational as U.S. airport security screening.

The space station exemplifies NASA in general -- it costs a fortune yet just travels around in circles going nowhere. More here.

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ELSEWHERE

Carnival of the Vanities is up again. Lots of good posts as usual.

Australian philosopher Rafe Champion thinks the work of Karl Popper gives us a good guide to how we should deal with Iraq after Saddam is deposed. I have just posted his proposals here.

As Commonsense and Wonder says: "More serious flaws found in the major global warming study. How long before this sham falls apart completely?"

Slammed by antiglobalist protesters, developing-country politicians, and Nobel Prize-winning economists, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has become Global Scapegoat Number One. But IMF economists are not evil, nor are they invariably wrong. It's time to set the record straight and focus on more pressing economic debates, such as how best to promote global growth and financial stability. More here.

A great quote from J.S. Mill: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight; nothing he cares about more than his personal safety; is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." Via Views on the News.

Why Read This says: According to the Japanese president of a division of Sanyo Electric, China is more capitalist than Japan in terms of labor issues

Hooray! I have at last found one Greenie idea that I agree with: Bottled water is a waste of time and money.

Unmedia has a defence of SUVs -- and gives an opposing view too! I always find it odd that this seems to have become a Left-Right debate. Lots of Leftists drive SUVs and lots of conservatives would not be seen dead in one.

Arlene Peck has an article about the continued imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard, who passed on lifesaving information to Israel. Outright crooks like Marc Rich can be pardoned so why not Pollard?

Michael Darby has some ideas about how the North Korean problem could be solved.

Chris Brand has a bit of a laugh at the sexual prudery still around.

The Wicked one scoffs at the idea of respect for the law.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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GOOD NEWS FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE

A reader emails me:

I live in Central New Hampshire, a State with no income, sales, or capital gains tax. This is a unique situation, and the people who live here are proud of this, and naturally suspicious of taxes, or government growth.

I'm active in the State Republican Party; and almost 80% of all elected officials are Republican. That said, we have problems with liberals moving up from Massachusetts, and other places, but it's still a small State, 1.2 million people; so we get our message out.

What I have come to see over the past several years, and what you elegantly expose every day on your blog, is the psychosis of liberal thought today. The profoundly disturbed, and personal psychopathology the left tries to pass off as thought. I constantly attack the left up here on this basis, and it works. What a lot of my conservative colleagues are starting to understand is that we are not, by and large, dealing with decent, rational people on the left; but very disturbed individuals. The Simpsons cartoon show on FOX Networks once uttered a truism I use all the time. On a show they did spoofing the Democratic Convention a sign holder in the crowd held up his poster that said this: " Liberals hate life, and they hate themselves". Perhaps a little overdone, but it rings true.

We have our own local radio show in the area, a conservative weekly paper; and a local population that gets it ! At least seems to get it more so than other places. When I go on the weekly radio show, or write letters to the editor I often slip in that our local, and national Democratic Party may be dealing with issues that could best be dealt with in a more personal setting, like a psychologists office; well, I'm not that blunt, but the public needs to understand that the left is far more destructive, and off the wall, than the press lets on. I long for a 1950's style of debate when the liberals in this Nation were more sane, and were not infected with self-loathing. Until then, we go on, and up here, we are kicking ass.....


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FASCISM AS A UNIFIER

Something that seems generally to be overlooked is that the three countries with the most notable Fascist movements in the early 20th century (Germany, Italy and Spain) were all in countries with fragile national unity. Germany and Italy had become unified countries only in the late 19th century and Spain, of course, is only nominally unified to this day -- with semi-autonomous governments in Catalonia and the Basque country. Right up until the end of the Prussian hegemony in 1918, Germans saw themselves primarily as Saxons, Bavarians, Prussians etc rather than as Germans and the contempt for Southern Italians anong Northern Italians is of course legendary.

So the fierce nationalism of the Fascists (though Franco held himself above the Spanish Falange to some extent) appears to have been at least in part the zeal of the convert. Nationalism was something new and exciting and was a gratification to be explored vigorously. And the Fascists/Nazis undoubtedly exploited it to the hilt. The romance of the new nation was an important asset for them.

So if we regard the creation of large nation states as a good thing (a fairly dubious proposition) the small silver lining that we can see in the dark cloud of Fascism is that they do seem to have had some success in creating a sense of nationhood. A German identity, in particular, would seem to be the creation of Hitler. There was certainly not much of the sort before him.

There are of course differences between the three countries but in all three an acceptance of their nation-state now seems to be well-entrenched. This acceptance seems to be strongest in Germany -- probably in part because modern Germany is a Federal Republic with substantial power devolved to the old regions (Laender) so that local loyalties are also acknowledged. Spain has moved only partly in the direction of federalism and there is of course a strong political movement in Northern Italy for reform in that direction also.

It is perhaps worth noting that it took a ferocious war (the civil war) to create an American sense of nationhood too.

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ELSEWHERE

Wow! Even The Guardian is ganging up on the antiwar Left! Saying: The Stop the War coalition is the greatest threat to any hope for a democratic Iraq. Some loyalty to their own claimed principles may be breaking out on the Left.

”Spiked” has a charitable interpretation of the motives behind those in the recent “Peace” marches. I see them as just Leftist exhibitionists but ....

The Infidel has a link to the horror that the “peace” marchers are really supporting.

Andrew Ian Dodge has an amusing bit of “future history” about what could shortly happen to Tony Blair if the Left of his UK Labour party get too stroppy.

You would never know it from the Australian newspapers but apparently there is an Americas cup yacht race going on in New Zealand at the moment. And the Kiwis are being beaten by a SWISS boat! Switzerland is a long way from the sea! NZ Pundit is following it.

Richard Webster has another appalling story about the gross injustice that characterizes official paedophile enquiries in Britain. The way innocent people are penalized over there does make the term “British justice” quite a mockery. British carelessness about justice would be more like it.

Say Uncle has some rather amusing comments on what bloggers do to get traffic to their site.

Chris Brand has a sophisticated coverage of the nature/nurture debate

Michael Darby has a great essay about how the USA is seen as “evil” no matter what it does.

The Wicked one is having shots at Catholics and the French.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Monday, February 17, 2003


THE PRUSSIAN ROLE IN GERMANY

I have just posted here a short screed on Prussia -- the Northeastern part of Germany that came to dominate most of Germany in the late 19th century and which some see as the precursor to Nazi Germany. It should ideally be read in conjunction with my posting of 10th below about Nazi Germany. Summary:

1). Germany has historically been notable for its decentralization of power and is still relatively decentralized today.

2). The Prussian hegemony of Germany and the Nazi domination of Germany were both relatively short-lived (48 and 12 years respectively) by comparison with a history of Germany that stretches back for over 2000 years so cannot by themselves be the basis for much in the way of generalizations about Germans. We might as well argue from the despotism of Henry VIII (38 years) or the Cromwellian Protectorate (6 years) that Englishmen do (or did not) not value their liberties.

3). Although both Prussia and Nazi Germany undoubtedly had strong autocratic features, that is far from the whole story. Both kings and parliaments of Prussia were in fact for much of the time remarkably liberal (in the original 19th century sense of that term) by the standards of their day and Nazi Germany also was remarkably policentric in its power structure. So even these “worst case” regimes still retained much of the ancient German diffused power structure that the Anglo-Saxons brought with them to what became England

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AUSTRALIA NOW HAS AN AAA CREDIT RATING

Australia has been returned to the top ranks of the world's most creditworthy nations for the first time since the "banana republic" warnings of the mid-1980s, in a report which praises the federal government's strong fiscal performance. Announcing the results of its annual review, ratings agency Standard & Poor's raised Australia's foreign currency rating to AAA from AA+, ranking it alongside the United States and Britain and ahead of Japan.


Conservative economic management pays off! More here.

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DEADANYWAY

Deadanyway is a self described “outspoken vixen”. This is the beginning of her latest post:

Without exception the anti-war protesters fall into two categories: monsters and fools, Nearly all the American opposition to war against Iraq are really just opponents of Bush, left-wing cranks who are willing to risk the safety of other Americans in order to gain some kind of political capital for the Democratic Party by likening him to, say, Hitler. These are the fools.


And there’s more ....

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ELSEWHERE

Great win for the USA and a pratfall for France at NATO.

Moderation and compromise from the Greeks over Cyprus! There is hope for everybody at that rate.

Disgraceful! The murderous Leftists of the Symbionese Liberation Army got prison sentences of only 6 to 8 years! California loves its Leftists!

There is now a conservative cartoon site! Worth a visit.

There were a lot of laughs in Arlene Peck’s latest article. I liked this: Today, the Jewish men seem to prefer Asian women. They think they are unlike the Jewish women and will be subservient. Yeah, right! To them, meeting an older Jewish woman is the wife they left. The article seems to be only an email so far so I have temporarily put it up here.

There is a new issue of Free Life Commentary out. I thought Sean Gabb’s article on “Is there a Right in Ireland?” was particularly interesting.

Some Leftist nut who claims that he is “working for change” thinks Americans are no better of than Iraquis under Saddam or Russians under Stalin! The Razor’s Edge (Post of 11th) gives him a good slashing.

Ghost of a Flea thinks Canada is the Axis of Waffle!

Big Mouth feels proud that the U.S. armed forces who will be fighting in Iraq include people born in many different parts of the world. Even if were only the US military going to war, it would still be like a mini-United Nations going to war.

No Left Turns has an interesting discussion about Biblical support for individual liberty.

Feminist lies about domestic violence are exposed here

Now they are going to TEACH the need for reparations for slavery in the Schools! Yuk! See No 2 Pencil (post of 12th)

The Wicked one says that French antisemitism is behind French anti-Americanism.

Michael Darby has a digest of an excellent article by V.D. Hanson arguing that history suggests only minor difficulties for the USA in invading Iraq.

Chris Brand looks at ways of describing human personality in terms of just a few dimensions.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Sunday, February 16, 2003

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HUMAN RIGHTS FOR IRAQ

An email from Dean Esmay:

I've arranged with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies to release a special button in support of democracy and human rights in Iraq!

We don't have a lot of time what with the protests beginning this weekend, but we've got the official blessing of the foundation to release the graphic and point people to their pro-Iraqi, anti-Saddam site.

I'm also unofficially (for now) collecting the web site names and URLs of sites that are participating. Please go here to nab the graphics and information.

Also please post about this to anyone who you know runs a web site and get them to use the button--and hopefully add their names to the list in the comments. I recently ran across something on Metafilter about 100 web sites putting themselves in black this week to protest the war. Think we can outdo these pro-Saddam fools? I think we can.

Help spread the word ASAP!


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MORE FEEDBACK ON LEFTY SEX

An email just received:

My observation on the sexual habits of women tend to renforce what one of your readers wrote: That non-political women may be more inclined.

I would go on to say that young women, like young men, from 18 to 25 are very active regardless of politics. If anything, lefty women tend to be extremely intolerant of other points of view. So, conservative men should keep their politics private if they want to get some where with a lefty girl. Most girls, after marriage, become more conservative, as the voting of the 2002 Presidential election showed.


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EDUCATION

Teachers do make a difference. "The vocabulary of the average American 14-year-old has dropped from 25,000 words to 10,000"

World history textbooks in U.S. classrooms sanitize the problems of Islam when compared to how they often treat Western civilization More here.

Jeff Jacoby has some horror stories of how Leftists destroy high-school education in Massachusetts -- all in the name of "equality" of course. Like the Soviets, they achieve equality not by lifting everyone up but by keeping everyone down.

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ELSEWHERE

Useful Fools has a lot of fun photos of his local "Peace" demonstration -- plus pictures of the pro-war anti-demonstrators.

Samizdata agrees with me that libertarianism is a broad church (See my posting of 14th).

Feminist lies about domestic violence are exposed here

Conservative Commentary has some nasty questions for pacifists

No Left Turns has an interesting discussion about Biblical support for individual liberty.

The Wicked one has some good jokes about kids.

Chris Brand looks at the current fashion in psychology of saying that everything we do is the product of the situations in which we find ourselves. He points out that the sort of person we are is at least as important in determining what we will do on any given occasion.

Michael Darby reproduced a speech given in Australia's House of Representatives (Federal parliament) giving support for war with Iraq.
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