Saturday, June 07, 2003


Fellow blogger Carol Johnson, has emailed me about my post in which I mentioned that many British colleges are shortly to be renamed as universities for no good reason. She points out that such “verbal upgrades” go on all the time in the USA too. She questions my claim that people soon wake up to this and are not deceived by it.

To expand my view of the matter, what I think goes on is that people start looking more and more at the institution that grants the degree rather than the degree itself. So paper credentials in general get devalued and other things -- such as your performance on standardized tests, the prestige of your background or your family connections become the real credential in hiring decisions etc. In other words, the degradation of paper credentials has the effect opposite to that intended: Able people from poorer backgrounds find fewer and fewer ways to prove their worth.

“Verbal Magic” is of course a great Leftist ploy in general. They think that renaming things can do all sorts of wonders. That it cannot was shown very well many years ago in Australia. Shortly after WWII, a Leftist Australian government wanted to encourage immigration into Australia but faced prejudice against immigrants from many native Australians. The government thought it could fix this by banning the words “immigrant” or “migrant” and replacing it by the more positive term “New Australian”. And they did succeeed in getting their new term widely adopted. What they did NOT succeed in doing, however, was to alter people’s attitudes thereby. The term “New Australian” very rapidly came to be used with contemptuous connotations. People were NOT influenced by the attempted verbal magic.



In response to fear recently expressed by the Prince of Wales that micro-robots might one day turn the world into grey goo, a reader writes:

"Spiked" suggests that fears about nanotechnology or "Grey Goo" are probably just part of overall the green technophobia -- Fear of what you don't understand. The "Grey Goo" threat is also known as "The Star Trek scenario".

The term was coined by Eric Drexler, a kind of self promoting pioneer and prophet of nano-tech. Drexler is either a prophet or a nut depending on whom you talk to. His biographer Ed Regis says the public should just ignore his weird "Grey Goo" scenarios and look at the practical real world nano applications.

Nonetheless there have been some interesting advances in the nanotech world -- for example Nanotechnology May Help Overcome Current Limitations Of Gene TherapyFreeman Dyson also talks about Grey versus Green too. But he considers nano-technology, biotechnology and Genetic Engineering to be the true "green" technologies, not windmills and compost bins. These 'true' green technologies may revolutionise our "grey technology" and help overcome mass rural poverty around the world. See "Freeman Dyson envisions biotech solutions to rural poverty".

Some more of Dyson's surprisingly different take on the future are that Aeroplanes will become obsolete and we will have trees with leaves made of silicon and "Things are going amazingly well"



Britain’s decision not to adopt the European currency is a great victory for economic rationality over political symbolism. Why would a prospering Britain want to put itself under the same rules as a stagnant Europe? It’s bad enough Britain being in the EU at all when a free trade agreement with the USA would do them a lot more good -- even if all that did was to free British industry of all the EU red tape.

The Church of England now has an openly homosexual bishop. I have got some New Testament readings for those who appointed him -- Romans 1:24-27; 1 Timothy 1:9-11; Jude 7; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11. But I guess that the New Testament is just another fuddy-duddy old book to the Leftist clergy of the present-day Church of England.

For those who like British humour, The Times was surprisingly good yesterday -- here and here

We hear such a lot of ill of the clergy these days that this story may be needed to restore a balance.

The Leftist “educators”: Recent studies suggest as many as half of today’s college freshmen must take at least one remedial course in college, with more than four in 10 of these taking a remedial course in writing. Why would K-12 teachers put a low priority on grammar and usage skills? Because that’s what they are taught to do by their professors in schools of education.

The Wicked one has a big posting on whether or not Nazism was gay

Michael Darby quotes the 19th century Chartists in discussing how long a Parliament should be allowed to serve before facing an election.

Chris Brand has some amusing examples of PC insanity.

In my academic posting here (or here) I draw on evidence from Australians, Afrikaners and Indians to show that being proud of your own country or society does not mean that you denigrate or are prejudiced against other nations, groups or races.


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Friday, June 06, 2003


Gerry Jackson of Brookes News writes regarding my recent post about Oliver Wendell Holmes defending taxes:

“A couple of points about Holmes. If I recall my history correctly he made his statement about taxes and civilisation before 1910. This was before the US had an income tax and when total government spending was about 9 per cent of GDP. I find it odd that critics of high taxes never point this out when self-righteous lefties quote Holmes. Moreover, it was Holmes who said: "I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealising envy."

Some current headlines from Brookes News:

Socialism is the villain, not Nike. The communist government in Hanoi is responsible for the appalling level of wages in Vietnam, not Nike. It is that government's socialist policies that keeps living standards at an abysmal level.

Revealed: Goebbels' plan to destroy Britain's radar defences. Sixty-five years ago Joseph Goebbels hatched a devilish scheme to destroy Britain's radar defences without firing a shot.

The Dems fascist supporters. Many have expressed puzzlement at the spectacle of the very rich lavishing "soak-the-rich" Democrats with money and other means of support. Buffett is one such supporter whose recent and dishonest attack on Bush's tax cuts immediately brings this apparent paradox to mind. So why do they do it?

Why Kim's antics threaten Beijing's Pacific ambitions. One does not need a deep knowledge of Chinese affairs to realise that the last thing Beijing would welcome is a nuclear conflagration on her doorstep. It is also recognised in the Asian region that Beijing would like to see an American withdrawal.



Hey! Affirmative action has its uses. At least it led to the downfall of the notoriously biased Howell Raines.

Some fruitcake slashes at police with a knife and it’s the fault of the police when they shoot him? Only in San Francisco (I hope).

Taxes wasted on bureaucracy: In the British National Heath service, the National Office of Statistics found that, while resources rose by 6 per cent in real terms in 2001, treatments to patients rose by only 3 per cent

You live and learn: Like most people I thought that South Korea’s “sunshine policy” towards the North was simply designed to avert war. This article explains that it is acually a form of collaboration with the North. Reunification of the two Koreas would, of course, be a huge economic drain on the South.

Good comment: “To certain critics of U.S. policy in Iraq, the only thing worse than going to war with Saddam Hussein is the fact that we won”. Via The Federalist

Good to see that the judge in the case made a laughing-stock of the ridiculous Federal prosecution of a medical marijuana grower.

What fun: Greenies are at one-another’s throats over windmills. Maybe that fad will pass soon too. How anybody ever thought windmills could be a reliable source of power-generation escapes me.

A disturbing article in the “Speccy” by someone of Pakistani Muslim origin. He says that anti-Western Islamic TV stations are accessible worldwide through satellite and that they are widely watched by Muslims in the West. So even in the West Muslims are getting fed a diet of ferocious anti-Israel and anti-Western propaganda that glorifies terrorism. No wonder a couple of British Muslims recently became suicide bombers. Muslims everywhere are being made a danger to us.

Libertarian socialism? A prominent UK politician says that there is such a beast but goes on to advocate government dominance of just about everything. Perry de Havilland has more.

"House Majority Leader Tom DeLay sharply attacked China's leadership recently, demanding that the United States forge a trade agreement with Taiwan despite Chinese opposition. Calling China 'a backward, corrupt anachronism, run by decrepit tyrants, old apparatchiks clinging to a dying regime ...'“ He’s right but 1.2 billion people are not to be trifled with and they have liberalized an awful lot in recent years -- so much so that their capitalism is in some ways more unbridled than we ever now see in the West.

Clinton’s Energy Information Agency estimated Kyoto’s annual cost to the U.S. at up to $400 billion ..."

Understandable: While four out of five Americans would describe an unwed mother and her children as a 'family,' fewer than one in three would apply the term to a gay or lesbian couple raising children."

Michael Darby is not very happy about a government policy of shooting “brumbies” (Australian wild horses).

Chris Brand discusses the Spanish conservative philosopher, Ortega Y Gasset.

In my academic posting here (or here) I report a study of South African Afrikaners (whites of Dutch origin). I found that they were conservative and ambitious but not maladjusted in any way. And pro-Apartheid voters among them were not particularly conservative!


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Thursday, June 05, 2003


A reader writes:

A thought about Australian immigration policy: The development of large ethnic sub-communities apparently unwilling or incapable to integrate into the wider Australian community and the symbiotic relationship that their unelected "leaders" have with the multiculturalism industry is really a by product of the Whitlam / Fraser immigration policy era. Whitlam claimed to be killing off what remained of the old "White Australia" policy. This was disingenuous -- as the previous Liberal administrations from Holt to McMahon were the governments that actually abolished the "White Australia policy" progressively over a decade, in favour of a programme based on integration and assimilation.

The Whitlam ministry instituted "multiculturalism" which was effectively sold to Fraser and institutionalised ever since. Neither Whitlam or Fraser ever attempted to sell multiculturalism to the electorate directly. In fact Whitlam argued that immigration of all kinds, including non-european immigration, would be reduced under his government and "family reunion" would provide a conservative alternative to "white Australia". Whitlam was trying to play both sides, defusing concerns from those concerned about radical social change by emphasising lower total numbers and maintenance of traditional sources of immigration, whilst winning support from "ethnic community leaders" and playing up his burial of a policy that was already dead.

Unfortunately 'family reunion' has turned into chain immigration and Australia's stringent criteria applied to independent immigrants (ie those lacking a family predecessor) are bypassed, sometimes by genuine or false refugees, but mainly by legitimate family union immigrants.

In current Australian politics, social conservatives are portrayed as advocates of "discrimination", where the multiculturalists portray themselves as advocates of a "non-discriminatory" immigration policy. This is also disingenuous. All immigration policies other than a completely open door or a completely closed door involve some form of discrimination, and almost no one advocates either of those positions.

In fact social conservatives, by advocating an end to the family reunion "loophole", and the application of the usual rules applied to independent immigrants, could easily argue that their policy is by far the fairest and hence the least "discriminatory" option.



Carnival of the Vanities is particularly interesting this week. Just two posts for example:

Eric Berlin tells us why ethanol is more wasteful than thermal depolymerization. One hopes that Senator Daschle would bother actually learning the facts, too, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Jeff Medcalf blogs about the possible results of the US putting pressure on Israel. A frightening scenario, to be sure, but worth reading (and pondering at length).



What rot: The British government is about to start calling almost any college with more than 4,000 students a university -- whether it does research or not. Another example of the Leftist belief in verbal magic -- the belief that changing the name changes the reality. Nobody is ever fooled by it for long, fortunately.

Sounds good: "The United States is said to be developing new plans for a war in North Korean that would bypass the demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas and target the leadership in Pyongyang. The plan is based on the success of US-led forces in Iraq in quickly reaching the capital, Baghdad. US officials quoted by Reuters said the plan would involve the consolidation of the US and South Korean forces in two areas away from the demilitarised zone."

What a joke: The Australian Labor Party is distraught that Jacques Chirac is NOT going to visit Australia. Rather odd when a nominally Rightist French obstructionist becomes a hero to a nominally Leftist Australian political party. We live in crazy times.

The latest posting on Vdare is an article by Joe Guzzardi which reveals more unethical reporting at the NYT. In typically Leftist fashion the NYT seems to be an ethical vacuum -- with one revelation about their carelessness with the truth following another.

Also on Vdare, P.G. Roberts has a pretty alarming article about a new interpretation of the constitution being considered by the US Supreme Court that would assign “equal protection” to minorities only -- making most whites into second-class citizens. If the judiciary really does run amuck to that extent, I can foresee that some people might be driven to vigilante justice against them -- with the more racist judges ending up with a bullet in the head. As Juvenal said: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

There is a report on PC Watch that says many Iraqis want the U.S. to stay in Iraq but that Muslim zealots make them afraid to say so.

In his usual fearless way, Chris Brand has been writing to the papers about black penis size.

Michael Darby details one way in which the United Nations is very similar to the Roman Catholic church: Tolerance of paedophilia.

The Wicked one enjoys instant justice being done.

In my academic posting here (or here) I report some survey research findings about Germans that will surprise many. I found that Germans were far more likely than most others to have “Hippy” values -- a far cry from the goose-stepping robots of Hollywood war films. I point out some prewar history that makes the finding understandable however.


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Wednesday, June 04, 2003


An Australian reader comments on an Australian Labor Party hero:

In a recent major speech, Simon Crean, Federal Parliamentary leader of the Australian Labor party, quoted with approval the American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who famously said: "When you pay taxes you buy civilisation". Of course when Holmes, who died in 1935, said that neither Australia or the US had anything like the tax rates imposed today. My guess is that Holmes paid a lesser slice of his pay packet to the government than most of us, and I doubt whether Crean would want Holmes sitting on that Australian Hign Court bench as Holmes was a strong advocate of "judicial restraint" and would have fought the judicial activism supported by the left today.



Good to see that Tony Blair is so hugely popular worldwide. Being a man of principle does pay off in the long run.

Overweight people and heavy smokers would have to sign contracts promising to diet or give up cigarettes in return for Health Service treatment, under radical new plans being drawn up by the British Labour Party. And if they break their contracts they get charged the full costs of their treatments. I expect that a lot of people will be outraged by that but we do not live in an ideal world and the fact is that health care is universally rationed these days -- only the way it is rationed varies. And a rationing system that gives preference to people who are ill through no fault of their own makes sense to me.

The British government has declared war on the huge and obscene payouts that company bosses now often get when their companies go broke. As a shareholder myself, I just hope the Brits start a ball rolling there that gets to other countries as well. Shareholders seem to have no power in the matter so I think this is clearly one area where governments do have a proper role. I actually think a chief executive’s pay should be cut to zero when his company goes under. Why should shareholders be the only ones to suffer? They are the ones who have least control over anything but they always get the penalty.



A LUTHERAN priest was suspended today after his remarks that God doesn't exist and there is no eternal life rankled many of his peers in Denmark's state church. They would have made him a bishop in the Church of England.

New blogger FreeSpeech points out that the Bush tax cut gives little to the poor because the poor already pay almost no tax in the USA anyway.

This article says that opposition to the FCC easing of U.S. media ownership regulations is mainly driven by Leftists who hate Rupert Murdoch and his Fox News. Sounds right.

Prime Minister John Howard told the mining industry his government was committed to Kyoto greenhouse gas emission targets, but he would not sign the Kyoto Protocol. I suppose we must be thankful for small mercies.

A black intellectual comments on trends in black music: “The staged alienation of the hip-hop scene shows black Americans celebrating attitude over action at best and violence over civility at worst. For 350 years white America told blacks they were beasts. Now a black-generated pop music presents us to whites and ourselves as beasts.”

Very clever of American interrogators to pressure captured Baathists in Iraq with heavy metal music to make them talk. It would drive me around the bend too. Give me Mozart any day.

Keith Windschuttle shows how the (new) National Museum of Australia perpetrates outright deception in lieu of history. It is truly amazing how things like the emancipation of Australia’s blacks and the abolition of the White Australia policy are routinely attributed to the Leftist Whitlam government when they were in fact initiatives of conservative governments.

Also from Windschuttle, the text of his latest debate with Henry Reynolds discussing the so-called genocide of Tasmanian aborigines by British settlers.

Turns out the Florida woman who is suing for the right to wear a Muslim headdress in a driver's license photograph has previously been subjected to an, um, unveiled government portrait. Following her 1997 conversion to Islam, Sultaana Freeman (formerly Sandra Keller) was arrested in Decatur, Illinois for battering a foster child.

Great! The G8 leaders urged Iran to co-operate with weapons inspectors, and President Putin promised to suspend Russian nuclear exports to Iran until it had complied,

I suppose everyone has seen this picture of the latest “nude protest” by Leftists -- this one at the G8 summit on May 31st. Yahoo postings do not stay up long so I am also posting the picture here to provide a more lasting reminder of how desperate Leftists are to draw attention to themselves. Talk about weak egos!

The Wicked one points out that, far from being a pollutant, carbon dioxide is good for us.

Michael Darby has a sad story from Zimbabwe

Chris Brand quotes figures showing that poorly educated immigrants cost the taxpayer heaps.


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Tuesday, June 03, 2003


A reader writes:

This article discusses some of the wins of 'Stewardship Partners', a US conservationist group that works with, not against, private land owners, to forward 'down to earth' conservation aims.

The Australian Land Care movement is probably the most successful environmental group in Australia. Mainly because it focuses on practical measures to improve environmental quality at the local level, and avoids green politics and doomsday scaremongering, most of which has next to nothing to do with what used to be called 'quality of life' issues. Campaigns to encourage farmers to plant more trees have been quite successful. Fostering conservation stewardship on private land is also the path most likely to succeed.

Historically it has been the largest and usually richest private land owners, often aristocrats, that have been the main wildlife preservationists in the long settled countries. Many aristocrats were also hunters, in fact the longest running 'conservation program' in the world protected the Chinese Père David’s deer, which survived exclusively in the Imperial Hunting Park in Beijing for nearly 1,800 years. Few 'national parks' in Australia or the US are likely to survive shifting political fortunes that long. Having government as land manager of large national parks for instance is no guarantee that park authorities will have the resources or political will to protect their conservation value. In Australia, national parks as often as not provide refuges for feral animals as much as native species.

One genuine environmentalist I know says we should consider the heresy of selling off one or two of our national parks to pay for adequate fencing and feral animal control in the remainder. Under current politics, more national parks, the rallying point for green voters, will not equate to better biodiversity protection. At the same time recreational users of national parks, whose interests sometimes compete with conservation, are getting better organised politically.

Environmentalists in Australia are currently campaigning against land clearance, something that brings them into conflict with land owners. A more useful tactic would be to change the incentives private land owners face so as to encourage more conservation. Most of our land taxes and local government rates are based on the assessed market value of land. This puts private owners who want to conserve at a financial disadvantage. The solution would be to replace property value based rates and land taxes with user pays charges for local government services. Of course our green politicians oppose user pays. This site has several case studies of private conservation projects in the US..

A common theme they report is echoed by Fred Hebard, from the American Chestnut Foundation, an outfit dedicated to reviving the american chestnut from a devastating fungus, "government funding is too fickle to support a long term project like restoring the American chestnut."

The lesson of all this would seem to be that greens would be more successful if they put their money where their mouths are. If they want to preserve wilderness they should buy land themselves.



I have just put up here and here a copy of a paper I had published over 30 years ago during the Vietnam war era. It is worth reading to see how little has changed in the interim. In that paper I reproduced many reports of gangs of thugs going on an orgy of destruction and violence in the name of: “Peace”! The points I made then about the great gap that exists between what Leftists say they believe in and what they do are still true today. Leftists are by their nature full of hate and that shows itself when they think they can get away with it -- it shows itself in the way hate usually does -- through violence and destruction.

Here is an equivalent from present times: "Thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets Sunday to protest the Group of Eight summit across Lake Geneva in the French town of Evian, some battling with police and looting shops and gas stations. Anti-riot agents struck back with tear gas, water cannons and rubber pellets, as clashes continued into the evening."

What has looting shops and gas stations to do with the high-minded ideals Leftists profess? Nothing. What does it show? Everything we need to know about Leftists -- that they are hate-filled, thieving, dangerous thugs. Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were no accidents. They show what Leftists are really like when not restrained by more decent people. Ignore their fancy talk. Watch their brutish deeds. The “activists” reveal vividly the basic motivations behind Leftism generally.



What a joke: “The Group of Eight nations yesterday pledged to "fully commit themselves" to boost development in Africa and help build an African peacekeeping force on a continent where civil wars still spawn death, hunger and poverty.”
All of Africa has gone only one way after the colonial powers left -- backwards. What magic wand is anybody going to wave that will change that?

China Hand now has a Mirror Site that evades the Chinese censorship of Blogspot and is therefore viewable in China itself. If you have any contacts in China, please let them know. It should also be faster to load than Blogspot is at the moment.

Michael Darby reproduces a report of a vast underground nuclear complex that was discovered early on in the Iraq war. One wonders why we seem to have heard nothing of it since.

Chris Brand notes mockingly some of the dangers of sexuality.


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Monday, June 02, 2003


Arlene Peck's latest column is up here (post of June 1st.). Arlene says that Israel is being treated like a banana republic at the moment and should not put up with that. Also: Last time she was in Israel she had some photos taken that she is very proud of. You can see them here. Arik looks a bit bemused in the second one, though.

Crossposted on Israpundit



A reader writes:

It's interesting to note how the press are turning the recent aircraft hijacking story into a human interest story about what a nice chap the hijacker is, , mowing his neighbours lawns etc., rather than focusing on the systems failures the hijack attempt represents. These articles from Jeff Tucker here and here written after 9-11 argues that excessive regulation in the aviation industry has prevented and politicised one of the most basic private property rights, the right of the property owner to take their own steps to secure his property. When the average big city McDonalds or suburban 7-11 store has better security than a multi-million dollar airliner, you can bet government bureaucrats have stuffed up again.



Referring to the Ogbu findings that even affluent black kids are too unmotivated to do well at school, an article in Front Page comments: “Many ethnic groups have found ways to combine pride in group identity with pride in individual academic striving. Moreover, the African-American community was once an outstanding example of just that synthesis of effort. Why has the African-American community succumbed to this particular pathology? McWhorter's answer in Losing the Race is that affirmative action -- especially racial preferences in college admissions -- are operating as a perverse incentive to value group identity over individual performance.” Sounds logical. Why strive to do well when affirmative action will give you what others have to work for?



There is a very powerful article here that exposes how enormously bigoted educated Democrat supporters tend to be.

Another example of the disgraceful behaviour of the Red Cross here -- this time over the Bali bombing.

A smart-ass act from Sweden: They are refusing to hand over an Islamic terrorist because they have no law to enable it. How about passing such a law?

Good to see that Germany’s socialists are finally doing something about Germany’s economic problems. Pity it took 5 million unemployed to convince them that their bloated welfare system needed cutting, though.

GWB might be another Reagan yet: "The Bush administration issued new rules Thursday making it easier for businesses to compete for government work, an effort that could lead to the privatization of nearly half the nation's 1.8 million federal jobs. 'For quality service at the best price, competition beats monopoly every time,' said Mitch Daniels, outgoing director of the Office of Management and Budget. Government studies show that competition for jobs can save the government almost a third of the cost."

Interesting news: "The Iraqi military came within seconds of possibly wiping out the headquarters of the coalition ground forces with a missile on March 27, U.S. military officials said. The missile was intercepted and destroyed by a U.S. Patriot missile shortly before it could have hit its target. A CNN crew embedded at ground forces headquarters witnessed the incident. At the time of the incident, the material from the crew was embargoed under an agreement with the U.S. military until major hostilities in Iraq were over."

Anyone for government schooling? “More than four in 10 teachers (43 percent) say that in their schools, teachers spend less time teaching than they do trying to keep order in the classroom."

The black mayor of Washington D.C. has thrown his weight behind school vouchers, realizing that increasingly vocal parents demand more options and will not want to wait for the public school system to improve the schools.

A good article here comparing the looting losses at the Iraqi museum with the destruction inflicted on Western museums by multiculturalism -- showing that the protests about Iraq and the non-protests about the Western losses are both motivated by hatred of Western success and pre-eminence.

The Wicked one has four appalling examples of what passes for justice in the USA today.

Michael Darby commemorates Italy’s national day with some surprising information about World War I.

Chris Brand is mocking about the outrage over Russian “lesbian” Pop duo “Tartu”.


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Sunday, June 01, 2003


According to Yossef Bodansky, Osama Bin Laden was known as a serious terrorist threat long before 9/11. And, as it says here and here Australia went very close to being his first major target in the West. A reader comments:

I remember reading about this in Yossef Bodansky's pre 9-11 book on Osama Bin Laden. Bodansky's book was available in most chain book stores in Australia and discussed OBL related threats to the Olympic Games, Lucas Heights reactor, visits by OBL 'afghanis' to Melbourne and NZ arrests of 'afghanis' on illegal immigration charges. The book's claims received nil media coverage in the Australia of the immediate post 9-11 period when there was 'wall to wall' coverage of terrorism issues, yet Bodansky's book was probably for sale at the corner bookshop. This absence of discussion or coverage presumably reflects a failure to perform the most basic level of background research by our "media professionals".



"It has become Standard Operating Procedure in climate change hype to never bother with inconvenient facts. Tons of tornado data are only a few mouse-clicks away. And they show that Toles was dead wrong in his implication that the recent storms show any link to the slight warming of the atmosphere that has occurred in recent decades. In fact, just the opposite may be occurring despite a perception of increased storminess."

"Efforts in the Senate to amend the bill with aggressive global warming policies make for a long, hot summer. Should the proponents of these measures succeed, American consumers could be in for a shock." And more on the latest Greenie nonsense from the U.S. Senate: “A renewable energy portfolio mandate would require each energy provider to ensure that 10 or 20 percent of its delivered energy comes from a renewable energy source."

"John Holdren, a Clinton-era leader of energy technology task forces, and now the leading academic member of the National Commission on Energy Policy, was one of four authors to hurl accusations of incompetence and worse at Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, in the pages of Scientific American. Energy expert Rob Bradley, Jr. rebuts Holdren's criticisms of Lomborg. Indeed, Bradley's review of Holdren's publications over a 30-year period documents a penchant for exaggeration, error, and now wholesale intolerance of reasoned dissent."



How about that: The latest scientific work shows that it is NOT the Gulf stream that keeps Western Europe warmer than North America.

"Thomas Paine is primarily remembered for his fiery rhetoric in favor of American revolution and independence. But in The Rights of Man, in which he tries to 'establish a system of principles as a basis on which government ought to be erected,' he shows that commerce, or free trade, is not only deducible from those principles, but interference with such commerce impoverishes the nations involved as well. We would do well to return to that understanding he expressed over two hundred years ago."

“Russia supplies Iran with nuclear technology and advanced conventional weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles. After the vote in the UN, Washington does not need to placate Moscow as much as before, and pressure is mounting to force an end to the construction of the nuclear power reactor at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf. In fact, the Bush administration seems to be moving toward sending the Kremlin an ultimatum: End Bushehr or we will bomb it to bits anyway."

We hear of the Jewish diaspora, the Greek disapora, the Chinese diaspors etc. but how often to we realize that the Australian diaspora is huge too. 5% of our people now live abroad. Young Australians really do see the world as their oyster.

A great letter to Senator Byrd from a US navy man about his commander in chief.

"During an anti-income tax protest recently, a friend of mine and I discussed fact that for some unexplained reason, modern democracies tend to have high tax rates. Later, I found out this phenomenon is known as 'Wagner's Law.' Wagner could not explain it either. The only possible explanation I can come up with is this: taxpayers in wealthier countries can afford to give more and still maintain a comfortable lifestyle. In other words there is a bigger pie; the politicians can take more of the pie and redistribute it; and still leave the populace with enough to live on."

Ambrose Bierce in 'The Devil's Dictionary' had the last word on protectionism: "TARIFF, n. A scale of taxes on imports, designed to protect the domestic producer against the greed of his consumer. " (See here).

Chris Brand has some thoughts on the low birthrate among highly intelligent people.

Michael Darby reports that there has been an almost total collapse of food production in Zimbabwe.

The Wicked one reports on the vast unemployment problem in France.

In my academic journal article here (post of May 31st), I report survey evidence showing that Leftists are sensation-seekers -- people motivated by a desire for change and novelty of almost any sort.


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