Saturday, March 15, 2003


For as long as I can recollect, the British national flag has always been known as the “Union Jack” -- a Jack being a flag indicating nationality. The U.S. Navy also has a “Jack” -- a blue flag with a star for each State. I gather that “Jacks” were originally called such because they were flown from the “jack-staff” of a sailing vessel. But in recent times the term “Union Jack” seems to have dropped out of use. All we now hear is “Union Flag” -- which is a lot of nonsense as there are any number of political unions in the world. Which union? The Soviet union? The European union?

Score one for feminism I guess. “Jack” was obviously too masculine. Many who fought under the Union Jack must be sad at their flag being denationalized, though.

Strictly speaking, a Jack is a small flag so “Union flag” is better from a heraldic point of view but I think it is political correctness rather than heraldic correctness that has changed the normal usage from what it once always was.



A good comment from a reader on my recent posting about the difference between doing harm and "allowing" harm:

Liberals know full well that we are unable to stop "all harm" - but, as long as any evil exists anywhere, they can blame conservatives for "not doing enough". Also, they do not differentiate good intentions and good deeds - as long as they "intend" to eliminate all harm (by good deeds - such as giving food to African dictators, etc.) they "feel good".



A reader writes:

Have you ever tried using against the anti-war protesters the line that: "The antiwar protesters don't trust the 'coloreds' with Democracy and that is why they are trying to kill the last best chance of Western-style Democracy in the region?" It causes everyone I've seen to blanch; they try to reconcile being "pro-Democratic" with being anti-Racist and recognize they can't do it.



Grammatical purists are a dying breed in these days of “Ebonics”, “postmodernism” and the like but for the small band who are left I have been reflecting on when it is that one may use a noun as an adjective. The best known example is from cricket. When England puts a team together to play Australia (generally with some difficulty), we speak of the England team, not the English team. Why? It’s obvious. Every village in England has a cricket team so there are thousands of English cricket teams -- but there is only one England team. An English cricket team is comprised of Englishmen. The England cricket team represents England. Clear? It should be but there is a small hitch. No-one ever refers to an Australia cricket team. The England team always plays “Australia” or “the Australians”! I think I know why .......



In case anybody has missed it, the last item on today’s Best of the Web is a brilliant spoof of the logic used by the “anti-Zionists” in America today.

(Crossposted on Israpundit)



In June, 2002, the BBC reported that Greenland is warming up.

In March, 2003 the BBC has reported that Greenland is cooling down.

What a difference 9 months can make! At least the second report is based on more long-term data. When will people accept that there is nothing systematic going on there at all? Just random variations beyond our control?


Useful Fools has had an amusing thought: He wanted to boycott the U.N. -- but since he could not think of anything useful that they do he could not figure out how!

I liked this: that axis of paralysis known as the U.N. Security Council. From WSJ

Unfossilized has a picture of America’s latest MOAB bomb for those who have not yet seen it.

Michael Darby reproduces an analysis of how the far Left recruit students to do their dirty work.

Chris Brand looks at the causes of crime and asks whether certain personality types are more likely to be associated with criminal activity but finds no certain answer.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. It was written in about 1980 and was at one stage accepted for publication in an economics journal but for no clear reason never actually appeared. It looks at what it takes for people to be motivated to go into business.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my home page here or here to get a new blog address.


Friday, March 14, 2003


For some years now Britain has seen an absolute rash of false accusations of child abuse which have caused great hurt to many innocent people. The way the police and other arms of government have pursued the allegations has been an absolute travesty of justice that makes the very expression “British justice” a sick joke. In the end, however, the higher courts have usually overturned the dubious verdicts. TODAY we will see what the learned appeal court judges hand down in another such case. For more see here.



Australia’s Miranda Devine has some trenchant observations:

It's not just about Iraq. Bush faced the same protests in Europe in June 2001, three months before the September 11 terrorist attacks. He was even mooned by 1000 Swedish bottoms outside his Gothenburg hotel room. "I am against so many things about him it is hard to explain," 24-year-old student Kiffa Alverfors told The New York Times at the time. "The capitalist system is a way of living that I don't agree with."

Then there was ABC's Four Corners on Monday, which built up a picture of a sinister Jewish cabal of "neo-cons" who have stolen Bush's brain, for what it's worth. There was even ominous music to introduce these scary conservatives who are "almost all Jews whose parents had emigrated from Eastern Europe", reporter Jonathan Holmes told us. "Most of [hawk] Paul Wolfowitz's extended family perished in the death camps." In other words, it's all Israel's fault and Bush can't think for himself.

More here.



Jeff Jacoby has a good commentary on current attempts by homosexuals to institute same-sex "marriage". He points out that such a change would simply degrade the meaning of "marriage" -- which originated as a reproductive contract. And if you can have same-sex marriage, why not polygamy? Or why not marry your dog? Or even marry yourself? Such things have been suggested.



The Greens love to waffle on about depleted uranium -- implying that it poses all sorts of health risks. It is a very hard and heavy metal so its main use is in ammunition -- where it is very good at knocking out enemy tanks. So if the Greens could get it banned it would greatly increase deaths among American soldiers during combat -- something the misanthropic Greens would of course cheer. Bizarre Science has an excellent summary of the evidence on the riskiness of DU. All the evidence shows it to be less risky even than normal soil. As well it should. The “depleted” part refers to radioactivity. DU is uranium from which the radioactive component has been REMOVED.



Professor Bunyip has an hilarious but sensible article on the folly of making recreational drugs illegal here.

Hello Bloggy is not mincing words about makes a "good" school -- it is a school with as few black pupils as possible -- and he notes that the NAACP agrees.

A reader sent me his version of why we should leave the young guys at home and send old guys to fight Saddam. See here. (Original version apparently by Jeff Ackerman)

Dean Esmay has a great collection of the "Day by Day" cartoons plus an interview with the writer/drawer of the cartoons.

And this is what is being taught in US high schools as history these days: Anti-semitism here during World War II was essentially an American Holocaust. From The Lone Dissenter. Only a Leftist would think that you could have a holocaust in which no-one died!

Michael Darby thinks that Jimmy Carter should stick to growing peanuts.

Chris Brand reviews what we know about neuroticism.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I examine a paper by two Leftist psychologists who purport to show a relationship between conservatism and racism. I show that they ignore or misunderstand much of the literature on the subject and that their own research is flawed as well.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my home page here or here to get a new blog address.


Thursday, March 13, 2003


Calpundit has a post on the hoary old contention that kids who watch violence on TV grow up to be violent adults. As he points out, after about 40 or more years of research on the subject, the conclusions are still tentative. Note however that when psychologists (who are almost all Left-leaning) report on the effects of pornography on those who view it they almost always say "no effect". But when they report on the effects of viewing violence, they usually conclude "there was an effect". Could it be that Leftists are not bothered by pornography but do like to deplore violence? Could it be that the conclusions of Leftist researchers are dictated by their ideology? It certainly could. That researchers tend to find what they expect to find has a name, in fact. It is called the "Rosenthal effect".

Note also that there is an old Freudian theory of "catharsis" -- which in the present case would indicate that watching violence "gets it out of your system" and so helps you to avoid actually doing any violence yourself.



Serbia's prime minister _ who spearheaded the revolt that toppled former President Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000 _ was assassinated Wednesday by gunmen who ambushed him outside government headquarters. More here

Leftists certainly do not like people who topple their dictators -- though they seem to be trying to blame the deed on "criminal gangs" at the moment.



"It is my understanding that Americans are currently being softened up for the introduction of so-called "hate laws" - legislation similar to that existing in Canada and most Western European countries, which makes it illegal to say, write, publish or distribute anything which could be construed as stirring up "racial hatred" against an ethnic group. I have actually served a term of imprisonment in Britain under such a law, and Americans may find my experiences instructive.

The judge at our trial exhibited the typical do-gooder liberal attitudes in this respect. He could not possibly gainsay, and therefore condemn someone for saying, that blacks perform intellectually at a lower level than whites. At the same time his emotions could not bear the thought that this state of affairs was unchangeable and not capable of remedy by education and social engineering. The first thought was just about acceptable to him; the second was not. It is essential to the liberal's faith in his ability to guide people forward that he have the capacity to lift up the low by civic action, whatever their depressed condition. Offend that faith, and you make the liberal very angry!"

More detail here



Peter Cuthbertson thought that a blog devoted solely to documenting the many idiocies of political correctness (which generally means Leftist correctness) might be an entertaining site for people to bookmark. So he and I have started up Have a look and see what you think. And do draw my attention to any examples of political correctness that you think I should note on the blog.

Some readers have reported problems in getting the blog to come up -- presumably because the blogspot servers were overloaded -- so you may have to try more than once to view it.

The best comment I have got from a reader about it so far is: "Do we laugh or cry?"

Another reader was so depressed at the nonsense he read about on PC Watch that he wrote to me as follows:

When I retire in a few years, I think that I will move to Wyoming, Montana or even to upstate Idaho. PC is unimportant there and you are what you are and can say what you please. As long as you know how to use your "shooter".


There is a HUGE Anti-French diatribe here. It IS very hard to see anything excusable in current French policy. They just hate us Anglo-Saxons and that is it. They are now getting it back too. Not clever of them.

A good reply to Mr Chirac: "Apart from securing American independence, ending slavery, and defeating Nazism and Communism, war has never solved anything". (Via Conservative Commentary)



Chris Brand has a post on political nakedness and speculates that Tony Blair is about to take over the British Tories.

Michael Darby has an excerpt from V.D. Hanson showing that dealing with Iraq, Afghanistan and Al Qaeda are all parts of one war.

The Wicked one has some fun posts about assorted stupidity.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I examine a paper by a Leftist psychologist who tries to find evidence that racists are maladjusted. I point out that he fails to do so and also point out that there is plenty of evidence in the psychological literature to show that racism is in fact normal.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my home page here or here to get a new blog address.

The latest “Carnival of the Vanities” is now up at The Daily Rant.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003


I am still having a bit of a chuckle about my Leftist correspondent here (post of 6th March) who denies that Stalin was a Leftist. I wonder how long it will take before that becomes a common Leftist claim? Given the Leftist talent for denial and dishonesty, I doubt that it will take them long. “Since he was such a nasty man, he CANNOT have been a Leftist” will be the drift of it.

There is however some truth in my correspobndent’s claim that Stalin was in fact a Fascist. I pointed that out myself in “Front Page” of 22 October 2002. The twist though is that Fascism was founded by Mussolini -- who was both a Marxist and an intimate of Lenin! Fascism is simply the most nationalist version of extreme Leftism and Stalin did became strongly nationalistic during World War II. So even making Stalin a Fascist still leaves him as a Leftist! No matter how much the Leftists twist and turn, history is MOST inconvenient to them.



Inappropriate Response has a long discussion of whether the USA has a culture of argument -- compared with an Asian culture of consensus. I think the idea to be largely true but would very much challenge the notion that Europe is in the Asian camp. One example given was of a Dutchman seeking consensus but all the Dutchmen I know are are a blunt, individualistic and unbending lot -- a world away from the Japanese. And I think that Americans are very keen not to ruffle feathers too. Australians are MUCH blunter and more forthright than Americans. So much so that American politeness is often seen as rather dishonest here in Australia.



In the past, many of the the strongest taboos regarded sexual matters. One can read almost the entire body of Victorian literature without seeing any explicit mention of that activity which enables the human race to reproduce itself, and which is a major preoccupation of the majority of human beings. Today, one can freely discuss most sexual topics in public.

A major taboo in today's world concerns any mention of genetic differences between the races, even when it is made plain that the differences are statistical rather than universal. The politically correct view is that the only physical difference between Negros and Caucasians lies in the color of their skin. There are, of course, many other statistical differences between the physical attributes of blacks and whites. (For example: eye color, hair color, amount of body hair, age at menarche, and frequency of fraternal twins.) But the most serious taboo regards any suggestion that the well-known racial difference in average IQs is even partly due to genetic factors.

More here



Black Intelligence in White Society is a clear-eyed, methodical account of what the presence of large numbers of blacks means for the United States. The author, writing under the pseudonym of Stanley Burnham, explains how employment, education, law enforcement, and welfare programs have all been strained nearly to the breaking point to accommodate a group that cannot, on average, meet the cognitive standards that European civilization requires.

Those accommodations have been made in awkward, often destructive ways because our country refuses to face the fact that racial differences in achievement are due largely to heredity rather than to environment. The first part of this book is therefore an overview of the evidence for a genetic explanation of racial differences.

More here



Amazing! Australia’s best-known Left-wing pundit, Phillip Adams has just said that he is not anti-American. And he gives a long list of the things he likes about America. He says he is just anti-Bush -- which as a Leftist he would have to be. I never thought I would find Phillip refreshing but I quite liked what he said about the US. When there is so much real anti-Americanism about, it is rather heartening to find that even one of Australia’s most one-eyed Leftists does actually like America.

Many Leftists really ARE anti-American.


This heading gave me a laugh: BLIX HIDES SMOKING GUN

Chris Brand looks at the explanation for black backwardness given by a black sociologist and notes how all the explanations fall flat if we note that the problems of blacks in the USA are very similar to the problems of blacks in Africa.

Michael Darby has a letter from East Timor reporting progress there.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. I examine the work of a very Leftist psychologist who tries to find evidence that Leftism is better for you psychologically, fails to do so and then draws that conclusion anyhow! Leftists don’t let evidence or the lack of it hold them up! Such a nonsensical paper would never get published in a truly scientific journal but psychology is so heavily dominated by Leftism that science flies out the window whenever Leftist beliefs come under scrutiny.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my home page here or here to get a new blog address.


Tuesday, March 11, 2003


A lot of the world seems not to have got the point that the US/UK moves against Iraq are defensive and preventive -- designed to prevent horror weapons from finding their way into the hands of anti-Western terrorists. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have repeatedly done their best to get that message across but -- for whatever reason -- many people do not seem to get the point.

It is therefore heartening that Australian Prime Minister John Howard is also adding his voice to the debate in trying to get the message across. As it says in today’s papers: John Howard has laid out an effective blueprint for war in Iraq, arguing the world must unite now to disarm Saddam Hussein or face the proliferation of global terrorism.

We also read: Australian troops are almost certain to march into war against Iraq without United Nations backing. Prime Minister John Howard warned of "very serious consequences with or without UN Security Council backing" if Iraq failed to fully disarm.


"More than half a century of experience shows that the UN is a theater of hypocrisy, a sink of corruption, a street market of sordid bargains and a seminary of cynicism." --Paul Johnson

Via The Federalist



Useful Fools has written an interesting article on the implications of international terrorism for individual liberty. Extreme libertarians (anarcho-capitalists) will disagree violently with his view that international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction make government action and reduced privacy rights necessary for the survival of a good society but I think that minimal Statists and most conservatives will agree with him.



The amazing things you read when you take an interest in history:

The defenders of the last Nazi perimeter in Berlin, around the ruined chancellery and Hitler's bunker, were Frenchmen. They were survivors from the Waffen-SS Charlemagne Division, a handful of battle-hardened French Fascists who now took on the full strength of two converging tank armies in a blatantly hopeless struggle. With them, in the remnants of the Nordland Division - also Waffen-SS - were young Danes and Norwegians, still with a few heavy tanks. Hitler and Goebbels were dead, and most remaining German troops had wisely melted away, but the Frenchmen fought on in the wreckage of Gestapo headquarters.

More here



China’s internet users are suffering sharp slowdowns in access because of the communist government's heightened efforts to police online content, industry experts say. Beijing has essentially built an online barrier around China, requiring traffic in and out to pass through just eight gateways.

More here


Most working mothers are happy for their husbands to be the main breadwinner and do not want an "egalitarian" relationship, Australia's largest survey of work-family patterns has found. The paper's author, leading US work-family researcher Robert Drago, found a substantial gap between the preferred working hours of men and women with children aged 16 or younger. Professor Drago's figures were drawn from the federal Government's House hold Income and Labour Dynamics survey, which aims to track the choices of 7682 households over the course of their lives. His findings appear to support Prime Minister John Howard's recent stance that the best way to help women is to help them find part-time work.

More here



Michael Darby has an article setting out the stupidity of trying to protect local industries from overseas competition.

Today's academic paper from my past is here. It looks at a theory by a Leftist psychologist which asserts that racism is the cause of authoritarianism. I demolish that theory on a number of grounds. For instance, Leftists claim not to be racist but they certainly can be authoritarian (Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc.)


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my home page here or here to get a new blog address.


Monday, March 10, 2003


British Spin quotes this statement approvingly:

The British government's longtime political and military support for U.S. foreign policy has granted it an international standing disproportionate to its real political clout -- or military prowess

I agree that what is described is rather clever on the part of the Brits but I don’t think that that is at all the main point of it. We can see what is at work better if we look at the Australian case. Australia is an older ally of the USA than Britain is. We joined the USA in Vietnam where Britain did not. And we did not do so to give ourselves any delusions of power. Australians do control one of the world’s largest bits of real estate but we are still a numerically tiny community by world standards (20 million). So we can never aspire to great influence.

What we have long seen is a natural and trustworthy ally in the USA and a great community of values between the two nations. I think the Brits see that too. A recent opinion poll in Britain reported that 80% of Brits liked Americans personally. Maybe it makes me sound like a dinosaur but I think in the end it all comes down to the old saying: “Blood is thicker than water”. Common origins do make a big difference. If the Canadians can ever again get a Prime Minister who is not a Frenchman, they might join the party too.

In the meantime, the changing alliances of the post-Soviet world do seem to be bringing old friends back together again. I think the time is very close when Americans, Brits and Australians will all tend to see themselves as part of a larger and reasonably united “Anglosphere” in addition to their own national identities. And such an Anglosphere is a formidable phenomenon from any point of view.



Well, you’ve got to hand it to them for consistency: The Leftist attitude to freedom of speech never varies. Note this report. Excerpt:

Kahn had required students, to achieve full credit, to write letters to President George W. Bush "demanding" that he not go to war with Iraq. Several students requested that they be allowed to complete the assignment by expressing their own opinions, which would mean, in some cases, writing letters in support of President Bush’s foreign policy. Kahn told the students that letters supporting the president would not be acceptable and would not receive credit. Several students refused to turn in the assignment and were penalized.



Jim Ryan (post of March 3rd) and Eddie Thomas have been having a discussion about the difference between doing harm and allowing harm. Leftists sometimes argue, with their usual illogic, that it is OK for them to do harm with their addled programmes of action because conservatives ALLOW great harm to go on in the world -- such as starving children in Africa.

There are various possible answers to that “argument” -- the best of which is probably a reductio ad absurdem -- but the one Jim has chosen and that Eddie is dubious about is that actively doing harm is much worse than allowing harm to go on. As Eddie, says, however, that surely depends a lot on the circumstances of the particular case.

I myself would identify the essential point in any answer as being that the amount of harm and suffering in the world is essentially infinite -- the world is full of harm going on all the time. So we HAVE TO allow most of it. Our own positive actions are different however. We have lots of choice about them. And if we do harm through them we should rightly be held culpable. We cannot solve all the world’s problems but we can at least do our best to do no harm ourselves. As I recollect, that is part of the Hippocratic oath: “First do no harm”.


Today's academic paper from my past is here. It looks at Australia’s “Deep North” -- the warmer part of Australia and so analogous to the American “Deep South”. Australia’s “Deep North” (the State of Queensland) was once often compared to the U.S. “Deep South” not only because of its climate but also because of its perceived greater racism, conservatism and lower levels of education. When Australians hear that I am a Queenslander born and bred they tend to nod wisely! My research showed that this stereotype once had some truth but is now no longer true. Stereotypes of the American “Deep South” could therefore be equally outdated.



Hooray! Useless university liberal Arts courses degraded by decades of Leftism are getting the recognition they deserve in Britain at least: A degree in an arts subject reduces average earnings to below those of someone who leaves school with just A-levels, a study shows. Via Cronaca

I note that there is a new Australian Leftist site here -- for those who are interested in such things. He sounds like it might be possible to argue with him.

Michael Darby has a very authoritative article which looks at whether the Queen or the Governor General is Australia’s head of State. Anti-monarchists argue that Australia should have an Australian as head of State. In fact, we already have one.

Chris Brand looks at the work of Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget. Piaget is known for identifying the stages children go through as they mature. Although some think otherwise, Chris points out that there is nothing in Piaget’s work which disturbs the notion that intelligence is primarily inherited.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my home page here or here for a new blog address.


Sunday, March 09, 2003


I thought I knew all about Stalin but I still think that Jonathan Hari has written a remarkable article on him. He points out: Not only are there Stalinists in power today; there are apologists for them here in Britain. And read why Stalin's wife committed suicide. And Castro (surprise, surprise) recently said that Stalin "showed great wisdom". And read what the punishment for switching your radio off is in North Korea. And who said: The disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life"? Yes. It was one of the group of "anti-war" Labour party M.P.s in Britain that Tony Blair has to put up with.



Leftists are still covering up for Robert Oppenheimer and saying that he did not pass U.S. atom bomb secrets to the Soviets despite his being a member of a clandestine Communist organization! KGB documents released after the fall of the Soviet Union showing that he WAS a spy from the early 1940s onward are ignored.

A reader comments:

There certainly were plenty of real Soviet agents within the U.S. nuclear weapons projects in the early days as has been made clear by the release of the Venona decrypts a few years back. See here and here

Although the Soviets certainly built their own indigenous nuclear weapons program and had plenty of scientific and engineering talent, their first bomb was very much based on material supplied by their agents. At least according to the author of the "Brotherhood of the Bomb" when interviewed on radio -- who said that the first Soviet A-bomb was a copy of the US bomb.

All this would seem to me to indicate that maybe Oppenheimer got a rather mild rap over the knuckles: He had his security clearance withdrawn... and went on to head up the elite Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton (where he got to be the boss of notables like Einstein, Freeman Dyson and Godel). It's hardly Siberia.

The usual story of this period of American history is one of unbridled McCarthyist paranoia, yet there really were reds under some pretty important beds. This doesn't let "Tailgunner Joe" McCarthy off the hook of course, but the anti-anti-communist myth that it was all unwarranted paranoid delusion, still promoted today... is itself a delusion.



In response to my post of 7th on Democrat racism, a feisty U.S. reader writes:

If it is we conservatives who are racist why is it that the Leftist news media here in the United States asked the question, "Is the United States prepared to have a Korean First Lady in the White House?" when Senator Phil Gramm ran for president in 1992? Fact is Mrs. Phil Gramm is a Hawaiian born NATIVE AMERICAN of Korean ANCESTRY.

Several years ago when a NEGRO liberal at my work accussed me of being racist, I had him called into the company President's office and in front of the his and my supervisor dressed him down with this rebuttal. "I'm of Italian, Scottish, Welsh, Norwegian AND American Indian ancestry and one hundred percent native American Redneck. My wife is Oriental of Spanish and Chineese ancestry AND a "naturalized" American AND her son has been treated as if he were my own blood. You have two choices, three days suspension without pay or a law suit for slander." He took the suspension



"Spiked" has Greenpeace pretty well summed up. Why is disrupting business at Esso gas stations such a big priority for them? Why not focus on -- say -- pollution?? That their real agenda is self-display and good old Leftist business-bashing is obvious.



Iain Murray has a very good article looking at the public opinion polls in more depth than the media generally do. He notes that a majority of the British publio would support war on Iraq as long as it had MAJORITY U.N. support -- regartdless of vetoes by a few malcontent nations such as France.



Paddy McGuinness has a long article pointing out what liars Leftist historians are.

The Wicked one has a pretty scathing post on the Pope and his inaction over paedophilic priests.

Michael Darby reproduces a defence of free trade from a Catholic perspective.

Chris Brand looks at how important IQ is.

My latest academic paper from my past is posted here. It looks at some pretty basic issues about Leftist attitudes to authority. Most of it should be pretty comprehensible to non-specialist readers. That Leftists deny their real motives is found to be needed if we are to explain the facts.


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