Saturday, August 23, 2003


How Mexican immigrants are driving down US wage rates. The verdict is in. Unrestricted immigrations reduces real wages rates and lowers general living standards, according to a study by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. Not that there is anything new here.
Is Beijing successfully sabotaging the US economy? Representatives of American industry claim that China is undercutting US manufacturing by manipulating the exchange rate. Is it true?
Are ideas dead? It has been said that ideas have consequences. But it is also the lack of ideas that is having consequences. Until the ideas of the anti-capitalists are challenged with rebuttals grounded in ideas and not empty insults, and are complemented with positive arguments for the free market, the left will always have the advantage.
Australian journalist maligns Reagan's record. The malice of the left is boundless. In her vicious attack on Prime Minister Howard (“The sad times do suit him; he made them”, Sydney Morning Herald 18/8/03) Anne Summers took a vindictive swipe at the Reagan presidency.
Hillary Clinton's crime record. Hillary Clinton's viciously dishonest attack on Bush regarding the recent power failure is another demonstration of her brutal contempt for the truth. Whichever way one looks at her record, no honest person cannot help but be appalled.
China's little emperors: another tragedy in the making? China is still paying a heavy price because of the old men who imposed on a magnificent culture the tyrannical ideas of a disgruntled Western intellectual who couldn't cut it in his own society, even when left a healthy inheritance.
Senate Dems exposed the rotten heart of the Party. Watching hardcore Democrats trying to tear down Bush by whatever means possible, even at the expense of encouraging our enemies to attack US troops makes one realize how morally depraved their party has become.

Details here


There is an article here that outlines vividly the depravity of Arab terrorism against Israel. It should also make clear for once and for all that Reuters is a pro-terrorist organization.

The Independent Review is a good site for anybody with an interest in practical economics. Their article on Ireland is an interesting one but it is in that accursed PDF format so I have posted some extracts here. The economic progress of Ireland has been amazing over the last 20 years. The main driver has been a continuing program of tax cuts that make the Reagan tax cuts look trifling but the article points out other important free-market reforms as well.

Who said this? "America? I love America. I am on whatever side America is on, even before I know what it is." The Prime Minister of Italy! Very refreshing in this miserable jealousy-filled world.

I must try Danish pizza one day: "A court in Denmark has upheld a sentence against a Danish pizzeria owner who had refused to serve French and German tourists because their governments opposed the US-led war in Iraq. Denmark's Western High Court upheld a lower court ruling issued two months ago that ordered Aage Bjerre to pay a £500 fine or serve an eight-day prison sentence. 'I will not pay the fine, but I'll do the time instead,' Bjerre said. 'It's a matter of principle.'"

Under the title “The Ecological Gospel”, this article spells out in detail how strong are the parallels between Environmentalism and fundamentalist Christianity

"Paul Krugman began his Tuesday column for the New York Times -- inevitably, about the blackout -- with one of the few truthful statements I can ever recall him uttering: 'We still don't know what started the chain reaction on Thursday.' But after that admission, he proceeded to spend the next 649 words of his column telling us exactly what caused the blackout. Can you guess? ... I knew the Department of Homeland Potholes was facing a funding crisis, but I never realized that 'tax breaks for the rich' caused the blackout!"

Planning the electricity supply: "Central economic planning was discredited in the old Soviet Union and every other country that attempted it. What the great economist Ludwig von Mises showed in theory in the 1920s was then demonstrated in practice in subsequent decades: central economic planning is impossible."

An expert on trends among American youth says that more and more of them are becoming conservative.

Philosopher Mary Midgley warns against trusting big ideas -- a classic conservative view: “Beware big ideas. They may beguile by seeming to explain a whole bunch of stuff from a single, simple standpoint. But they will mislead you in the end, and make it harder, not easier, to understand what is really important.”

"What is the answer to this crisis in education? One of the answers is tougher standards, such as those imposed by NCLBA, with credible consequences to back those standards up. But this is merely a first step. A more important and far-reaching response would be to initiate comprehensive parental choice in education."

The Wicked one thinks that Christian moralists need more Christian humility.

I have a post on PC Watch about the latest bout of insanity in the Australian courts.

My latest academic upload here (or here) looks at the common Leftist claim that patriotism is allied to racism. In a British general population sample I found that there was no connection. I also found no correlation between basic conservative attitudes and attitude to blacks -- though Conservative voters were slightly more likely than others to be anti-black.


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Friday, August 22, 2003


I expected that my new formula at the head of this page (“Leftists just KNOW... “) would soon attract a “What about the Christians?” response and Randian blogger Chip Gibbons has obliged.

I do of course have great respect for Ayn Rand and her followers so I will be a little bit kinder than I would have been if a Leftist had challenged my formula. Even so, I have to say that it shows very little knowledge of Christians to think that they “just know” the truth of their beliefs. I am an atheist myself (in good Randian fashion) but I have yet to meet a Christian who had not thought long and hard about his/her beliefs. Christians normally think that there is COMPELLING evidence for the existence of a God and all the other reasoning that flows from that. I personally think that they are mistaken but to say that they do not weigh the evidence either way with great care is just plain wrong.

Leftists on the other hand just ignore any evidence that does not suit them. They just know that the rest of the world is stupid and that they have the answers. It is what the ancient Greeks called “hubris”


Immigration control is often portrayed by the extreme end of the Australian Left as supported only by ignorant xenophobes -- though the major Leftist (Labor) party in Australia heartily supports such controls. A reader comments:

“Modern folklore has it that the advocates and administrators of the 'White Australia Policy' were all narrow minded xenophobes. The usual 'example' repeated over and over in the literature and on the web is the former post-war Labor Party immigration minister Arthur Calwell who is quoted as opposing Asian immigration in 1952 with the quip "two Wongs don't make a white." Calwell did say that, but he was also a Mandarin speaker, closely associated with Melbourne's Chinese community and pioneered the postwar immigration policy lauded by the multiculturalists. His policy was picked up and followed by the succeeding Menzies government. And when a motion to drop the White Australia policy was actually put to the vote at Labor's policy conference, it was seconded by Calwell . Few of today's politically correct multiculturalists can speak any non-English language.”

This article states the libertarian position on immigration in a fairly reasonable way. Libertarians are generally the only people in politics who oppose all immigration controls. There is however a lot of disagreement among libertarians on many issues and in this case I like the householder analogy: Shouldn’t a home-owner be free to decide whom he will have in his own house? Every libertarian and conservative would say “Yes” in answer to that. So why should not nations be free to decide whom they will allow into their country? As it happens, I am a fairly hospitable soul and I both have Asians living in my house and am glad that we have so many Asians living in Australia generally. But I am also glad that I have the right to say “No” when I wish and I am glad that the government of my country has also said a very effective “No” to a lot of middle-Eastern Muslim “refugees” who tried to force their way in here.

Although Australia’s conservative government has taken a strong and very effective line against illegal immigration, that does not mean that it is xenophobic. In fact overall immigration to Australia has grown greatly under the present government.


Even though he does not go along with the Christian morals campaigners, it looks like big Arnie might be a good conservative after all. He has just called for a constitutional cap on state spending and made clear his distaste for new taxes. I think he may simply be a modern conservative. Being a Christian moralist in California these days would not be so much conservative as backwoodsy. As a libertarian I don’t support Christian attempts to impose Christian values on non-Christians either -- any more than I support Muslim attempts to impose Muslim values on non-Muslims.

One of my U.S. readers informs me that: “The term "wowser" is old American slang for busybodies from the early and mid 20th century, featured heavily in such writers as H.L. Mencken and Walter Lippman.” In Australia it is said to have originated as the acronym of a prohibition campaign that called itself: “We Only Want Social Evils Removed”

Father Mike Walsh of the Maryknoll Catholic missionary organization is an old China hand and he is therefore well aware of how Hong Kong Chinese tend to look down on mainland Chinese. Hong Kongers have also been much interested in the Pauline Hanson case in Australia, where Hanson -- Australia’s most outspoken opponent of Asian immigration -- was recently jailed. Australia has heaps of ex-Hong Kongers living here so Hanson is a bit of a devil to them. Father Walsh has advised me with some amusement therefore that the following two headlines recently appeared one after the other in the (Hong Kong) South China Morning Post: “Pauline Hanson jailed for three years by Australian court” and “Survey: people concerned about influx of mainland tourists”. As Father Walsh commented: It depends on whose ox is gored.

There is a good attempt here by a Leftist (the head of the British charity Oxfam) to sell the World Trade Organization to fellow Leftists: A worthy effort to put free-trade rationality into Leftist language. He manages to portray the USA as a villain in the matter but he has to do that to get his fellow Leftists to listen -- sadly.

I have just blogrolled this “funny but serious” site. If you read it you will see why it would be nice if lots of other people permanently linked to it as well -- to push it up the Google rankings and thus help prevent people being misled.

Rocket Man has a good post about the inadequacy of describing politics as a simple Right/Left divide and looks at the alternative two-dimensional description of politics that is popular among libertarians. He points out that the placement of Hitler on the Right is alone enough to make the two-dimensional description problematical. I have pointed out long ago that, pesky though it may be, the survey data do reveal only a single Left/Right dimension in most people’s political attitudes.

The Wicked one has some rather pointed comments about the role of hip-hop music in black culture.


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Thursday, August 21, 2003


“Wowser” is another piece of untranslatable Australian slang. Its nearest translation into standard English is probably “killjoy” but that does not fully convey the air of self-righteousness that the wowser always has. Australian columnist Miranda Devine has some good comments on the wowsers in Australia today. Wowsers used to be religious people who wanted to stop people drinking, dancing and watching sport on Sundays but no more. Excerpt:

Now that the churches are empty and their moral restraints cast aside, today's wowsers have had to find fresh fun to eradicate, like alcohol, cigarettes, Big Macs, vanilla Coke, cars and air-conditioning.

The neo-wowsers are obsessed with health and eco-concerns in just as mean and censorious a way as their forebears were fixated on sex and nudity. They are on a sacred mission to save the decadent self-indulgent masses from destroying themselves with Krispy Kreme doughnuts and global warming. They seize every opportunity to wag a finger and tut a tongue at people's remaining pleasures.


A reader has been inspired to deeper thoughts by the current controversy over homosexual “marriage”. He writes:

“I have been thinking about this contract marriage argument. My guess is that any move towards it would be opposed mainly by Christian churches and the feminists. Both groups would be keen to impose their viewpoint on everyone. The Christians I can have some sympathy with, but I think that C.S. Lewis's argument is the answer to their objections. Also I'd wager that privately negotiated marriage contracts may indeed be tougher than our current system of legal roulette.

The feminists probably would be happy to weaken the traditional institution, based on their misguided view that marriage is inherently anti-woman. My guess is that they would then seek to interfere in privately negotiated marriage contracts too, just as they have with state sanctioned marriage, perhaps under the banner of 'consumer protection'.

Wendy McElroy argues that liberal and feminist intervention has undermined traditional marriage, leading to a "marriage strike" by men. The unintended consequences of these apparently well meaning changes have landed heavily on women and, even more so on children. In fact the growing trend to single parent families is probably the major cause of poverty in western capitalist societies. William F Buckley says: "..We know that the composite impact of single-parent homes on children is huge. The poverty rate in single-parent homes is 400 percent of that for two-parent homes. Among long-term prison inmates, 70 percent grew up without a father in residence. There are comparable figures for illiteracy and drug use." Buckley, writes from the perspective of a conservative defender of traditional marriage.

Another concern: Martin Daly and Margot Wilson, are evolutionary psychologists. Their work has highlighted the risks to children of being raised by people other than their biological parents. This 'socio-biological' issue lies at the heart of many media grabbing stories of institutional child abuse, the "stolen generation" etc. In their "THE EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY OF HOMICIDE" (PDF), they report: "...studies in Canada, Britain and the United States indicate that (for step children) their risk of being fatally abused is on the order of 50 to 100 times higher than risk at the hands of a genetic parent. Having a stepparent has turned out to be the single most powerful predictor of severe child maltreatment yet discovered."

There are certainly more important issues at stake here than whether or not homosexuals can get State-recognized weddings.”


Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It's called 'rain'. -- Michael McClary

The multicultural extremists of the Australian Left have just had a big victory. Australia’s most prominent critic of multicultual fantasies has just been jailed for 3 years over a technicality in the way she organized the funding for her political party. There was a technical breach but if her views had not made her so many powerful enemies it would never even have been prosecuted.

This is just amazing. “Farm insurance”. What other business can get the government to insure it against failure? As economists often say: All the world loves a farmer and hates a landlord. Both are of course irrational.

Home-grown terrorism: "A top San Francisco chef has become the target of radical animal rights activists in a series of attacks that police are calling domestic terrorism. Aqua chef Laurent Manrique has been the victim of vandals who spray-painted his home and splashed his car with acid, and he has received threatening letters and videotapes. It's part of what police say may be a national campaign aimed at those who produce a signature ingredient of French haute cuisine -- foie gras -- and the chefs who use it."

The Carnival of the Vanities is up again. 76 posts!

Arlene Peck asks why GWB keeps putting extra demands on Israel while the Arabs do nothing.

The Wicked one has a good lawyer joke and knows why GWB supports a lot of socialist policies.

My latest academic upload here (or here) looks at the causes of heart disease and who is most prone to it. It is the first of several articles that debunk the theory that “A-type” personalities are prone to heart disease.


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Wednesday, August 20, 2003


A reader writes:

“This report from Germany shows that the use of 9-11 conspiracy theories (similar to Michael Moore's "Stupid White Men") by the legal defence teams of captured terrorists is not confined to Indonesia. But then again, in Germany polls show as many as 1/3rd of Germans actually believe the US government was secretly behind the attack. Germany has of course seen waves of public paranoia before and the results weren't very pretty. This time the paranoia is not confined to Germany. One American Leftist has called on his fellow leftists to cool it for the sake of reason -- and for the sake of winning elections.

Keith Windschuttle detailed the 9-11 reactions of numerous Leftist factions back in 2001 but even he underestimated the extent of sheer paranoia and the industry that feeds it. What is new today , of course, is what looks like a symbiotic relationship emerging between the conspiracy mongers and the terrorist killers themselves.”


I am sorry to say that my first reaction on hearing that the United Nations headquarters in Iraq has just been blown up was: “Good riddance”. But the people who died were just as innocent as the people who died in 9/11. We must not blame the employees for the corruption of their political masters.

Australia’s strict gun control laws at work: “Amal Youssef sits in her garage with her two little girls playing on their bikes, her priest by her side, grappling with the news that a 13-year-old boy has been charged with murdering her husband. "He's 13. I cannot understand. How could he have a gun?””

Way to go! “A New Zealander who sent millions of junk emails out every day has shut his business under a barrage of email abuse after his personal details were posted on the web.”

"As many as six historically black colleges (HBCUs) have recently been given warnings or been placed on probation by accreditation agencies. Many others are struggling with budget shortfalls, ill-prepared students and inadequate facilities. Financial mismanagement notwithstanding, what other significant factor has contributed to the bleak future of HBCUs? The answer lies at the feet of an initiative whose intent was to redress past racial and sexual discrimination: affirmative action."

The mystery of the world wide extinction of frogs, variously blamed by Greenies on global warming, pesticides, etc has now been narrowed down to a fungus. See here and here. The next question is how did the fungus impact so many frog species in so many countries? The answer that the ecology establishment does not want to hear is that amateur conservationists (and perhaps some professional scientists too) are “croaking” the frogs. The findings suggests that researchers have inadvertently been spreading the deadly fungus.

An Iranian philosopher of science claims here that in the “golden age” of Islam there was greater freedom of thought than in Iran today because the leaders in the “golden age” (more of a brass age in my view) were despotic but not totalitarian -- unlike today.

Genetically-modified crops: “Literally thousands of laboratory, greenhouse, and field studies show the risks of GM plants and foods to be minimal, while their benefits — in terms of increased yields and reduced pesticide use — are legion” So any rational person would jump for joy, one would think. But the EU is not rational. It is bureaucratic. They want ZERO risk before they do anything. It’s a wonder that they do not ban boats, aircraft, cars and trains. They REGULARLY kill more people than GM crops ever will. But bureaucracy does have its own rationality and there is no doubt what their REAL reason for banning GM is: They already have huge agricultural surpluses created by their manic subsidization of their farmers. If their farmers got hold of GM seed and ended up producing twice as much as they do now, that would REALLY break the bank.

Excessive and badly designed regulations tend to reinforce the market position of the largest established players at the expense of smaller innovators. So the activists' nightmare of massive biotech monopolies dominating the globe is to an extent a Frankenstein’s monster of their own creation. But Big Business has always been comfortable with a regulated world.

"Even technologically challenged music fans who could no more download an illegal MP3 file than pilot a space shuttle owe a debt of gratitude to the Napster generation. For years record buyers have complained that CDs are overpriced and the music industry has responded by saying, as politely as possible, put up or shut up. Now, panicked by the pirates, they've finally been compelled to slash prices to a reasonable level and sales have reached an all-time high." I don’t often agree with the Guardian but I agree with that. I buy only classical Cds and a lot of them cost me $10 or less. That record-company monopolies of various kinds have made the poor old pop music fans pay three times that for their fix has always seemed one big rip-off to me. But monopolies almost always come unstuck eventually and it is good to see that one going. No free-trader likes monopolies and conservatives have been attacking monopolies since Elizabeth I.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2003


Many people see environmentalism as a recent phenomenon. It is not. Read the typically Greenie quote following and guess the one word that I have deleted from it:

"We recognize that separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind’s own destruction and to the death of nations. Only through a re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger. That is the fundamental point of the biological tasks of our age. Humankind alone is no longer the focus of thought, but rather life as a whole . . . This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning and the true essence of Socialist thought."

How many people would have picked that I missed out the word “National” before “Socialist”? Yes. It was a leading Nazi who wrote that. Environmentalism was a part of Nazism just as it is a part of modern-day Leftism. Like the Greenies of today, the Nazis wanted to take us all back to some imaginary and romanticised rural past. And of course the Communist Pol Pot in Cambodia actually tried it! -- with the appalling results we all know. For more on ecofascism see here. Hitler and Pol Pot reveal how dangerous the Greens could be if ever they got real power. History can be most inconvenient! Though you don’t need history to tell you that Greenies are people-haters.


Australia’s Andrew Bolt gives an excellent summary of why so many of the world’s “intellectuals” hate the USA with a passion that transcends all reason: “Intellectuals resent a superpower that ignores them and their ideas. And the capitalist US has insulted them even more by making poor people richer and freer than the Marxism of the intellectuals ever could or will.” I guess it must be awful for them to see that conservative pragmatism beats their simplistic theories hands-down, time and time again.

Jeff Jacoby has a good article on whether or not men are “naturally” more promiscuous than women. As he points out, there is nothing in evolutionary theory that clearly leads to that conclusion. And once again the “evidence” psychologists have produced for the natural-promiscuity theory was obtained by asking college students their views! If it is like most such evidence it is highly misleading as an account of what actually happens out there in the real world. The various DNA studies showing that up to a third of the children of a marriage are not in fact the children of the alleged father suggests to me that women are highly promiscuous too -- though they may well be slower to acknowledge it -- even to themselves. I trust the DNA evidence a lot more than I trust what college students say.

An Australian reader noted my brief comments on the recent definition of neoconservatism by Irving Kristol and wrote to suggest that the dominant faction of Australia’s major Leftist party are neoconservatives too! I have posted the email here.

Further to my recent note about the “Communist Manifesto”, Gerry Jackson of Brookes News writes: “The piece on Marx and socialism was interesting. However, the author is apparently unaware of the fact that the Marx's labour theory of value came from David Ricardo who in turn got it from Adam Smith. Until the Wealth of Nations appeared on the scene it was generally accepted among philosophers that utility and not labour was the sole source of value. The Abbe Ferdinando Galiani (1728-1787), for instance, eloquently explained why there can be no value without utility. He then went on to explain how scarcity and utility combine to produce prices. I'm afraid Smith sent economics into a blind alley”

According to the NYT: “The Bush administration, while preparing for talks soon with North Korea, is also stepping up military pressure with plans for a joint naval exercise” And where will the exercise be held? Off Eastern Australia about half the globe away from Korea! That’s “pressure”??

Good news that the Tasmanian tiger may not be extinct after all.

No wonder Israel is getting huge pressure over its security fence. It is the only thing that actually has much chance of protecting Israelis.

An inspiring story about how well the Indians have done who were expelled from Uganda to Britain by the butcher Idi Amin. Non-Muslims from the Indian subcontinent who live in England shame the English by their work habits.

China Hand has drawn our attention to the announcement that China is deregulating its media to make it more market-oriented. Lots of former government outlets are even expected to go broke. It’s not exactly a free press but it’s a start.

Patriotism and nationalism generally have a bad name among Leftists -- though Leftists always have to compromise with it and do sometimes make good use of it -- as Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Ho Chi Minh and Kim Il Sung did. Given the horrors that have been inflicted on the world by nationalism in conjunction with Leftism, one might be inclined to suspect that nationalism is indeed a bad thing. Such a conclusion would be however to blame the accomplice rather than the perpetrator -- as the 1977 survey that I have just uploaded (here or here) shows: I studied supporters of the Scottish National Party -- who basically want independence from England for Scotland. I found that they were centrists in practically every respect -- a far cry from any form of political extremism. And, as we now all know, they have attained a large part of their aims -- their own Scottish parliament -- through purely democratic means and with no violence at all. It is only in conjunction with Leftism that nationalism is pernicious.


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Monday, August 18, 2003


There is an interesting post at Power Line (Via King of Fools) about the Berkeley study of conservatism that does what the Leftists themselves long ago did -- take a phenomenon and simply reverse the value judgements. Like many other conservative commentators, the blogger concerned sees some truth in the Berkeley study’s characterization of the Left/Right divide but just cannot see that it shows conservatives in a bad light.

He may not be aware that the Leftist “authoritarianism” theory underlying the Berkeley claims was itself originally borrowed from Nazi psychology (I kid you not) by the Marxist Adorno and his group (another example of Nazis and Communists being simply rival Leftist sects). Adorno agreed with the Nazi psychologist Jaensch about how people differed but what Jaensch said was a good thing, Adorno said was a bad thing. So reversing the value judgements is a very old trick in this field. Both camps are wrong however. They are mistaken in ascribing Left/Right orientation to childhood experience. The geneticists (Martin and others) have long ago shown that Left/Right orientation is MOSTLY hereditary. Leftists are born arrogant know-alls. Reality sometimes gets to them however and they turn conservative in later life (see e.g. here). See also here on the biological origins of human values generally.


Adorno,T.W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E., Levinson, D.J. & Sanford, R.N.
(1950) The authoritarian personality. New York: Harper.
Martin, N. & Jardine, R. (1986) Eysenck's contribution to behaviour genetics. In: S & C. Modgil (Eds.) Hans Eysenck: Consensus and controversy. Lewes, E. Sussex: Falmer
Eaves, L.J., Martin, N.G., Meyer, J.M. & Corey, L.A. (1999) Biological and cultural inheritance of stature and attitudes. In: Cloninger, C.R., Personality and psychopathology. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press.
Jaensch, E.R. (1938) Der Gegentypus. Leipzig: Barth.


Because it has already been so heavily covered elsewhere, I was not going to mention the N.E. American blackout but one of my readers has come up with an interesting observation. In this record of recent solar activity he notes that the graphs for 14 August, especially the one for proton volume, show a very interesting AC spike. He suggests that this spike could have caused a power surge in an extensive grid already carrying high levels of energy and thus burnt something out. It seems feasible in my very non-expert view. The other causes so far put forward seem pretty vague. A solar flare burned out a large part of Canada's electricity grid in 1989.

Irving Kristol has just defined what he sees neoconservatism as consisting of today. He should know. My definition of a couple of days ago -- “Neocons are reformed Leftists who still have an interventionist streak in them” -- stands up pretty well in the light of what he says. They are too interventionist for my libertarian tastes.

An interesting article here on what the Communist Manifesto actually says.

A good comment by Piers Akerman here on the Leftist rubbish that Australians get from their public broadcaster.

Writing in Australia’s mass-circulation Sunday Telegraph, well known economics commentator Terry McCrann yesterday gave global warming a big raspberry. He summarized a recent article by Alan Oxley, who specializes in these matters. An earlier Oxley article is online here but neither McCrann’s summary nor the the latest Oxley article seem to be online anywhere so I have put McCrann’s summary up here.

A reader writes: “Dissecting Leftism readers should go out and have a look at Mars over the next couple of weeks. It is now closer to the Earth than at anytime in the last 58,000 years. Last time it was this close there were probably no humans in either Australia or the Americas”.

A new Australian blog has just started up with some charming quotes from a group of Australian “musicians” apparently favoured by our Leftist public broadcaster. He also points out how our wonderful close-to-nature native people were responsible for enormous extinctions of animal species in Australia.

The Wicked one celebrates the death of Idi Amin and concludes: “On all the evidence so far there is no hope for anything like a civil society in Africa”.

Writing on his other blog, China Hand is mystified to note that superannuation funds run by the labor unions in Australia have done better than commercially-run retirement funds. I myself am no fan of the big funds. Allowing a pimply 20 year old to make your investment decisions for you is hilarious in my view and I put my money where my mouth is by getting far better growth than the big funds do by managing my share portfolio myself. Nonetheless, the main reason why the union-run funds do better is clear. They are less obsessed with safety and so can afford to make some higher-yielding investments. And why are they so unworried? Because they know that with their “industrial muscle” and big membership of voters they will always be able to get the taxpayer to bail them out if they go bad! Nice one!


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Sunday, August 17, 2003


A reader writes:

“These outfits were established as a reaction to leftist domination of public sector academia. Conservative and market oriented thinkers found the leftist monopoly of state subsidied tertiary education corrupt, narrow and intellectually oppressive. Behind the facade of a progressive, social reformist academia and intelligentsia is the reality of careerism, vested interest and power politics played at public expense.

The social science arms of our universities these days are in many ways not much more than the marketing department of big government. I think it is appropriate to examine closely whether recommendations from private think tanks represent the special interests of their largest corporate donors. However the same skeptical eye also needs to be cast at the output of government financed universities and agencies. Just because someone works in the public sector, there is no reason to assume that they magically become an economic eunuch.

The left is always warning us about the cynical vested interests of the military industrial complex allegedly maniupulating public policy for their sectional gain. But is this risk mysteriously confined to those in uniform? what about the academic-big government complex? Few government-paid academics are prepared to bite the hand that feeds them. In fact this common sense observation underlies much of the work of the think tanks and is still resisted in State academia.



The brutal tragedy of Beijing's one-child policy. The number of self-professed Western liberals who support and publicly rationalise Beijing's brutal population control polices depresses rather than amazes me.
Compulsory Statism. It is really not that surprising that the likes of the Greens, the Australian Democrats and Labor support compulsory voting. What excuse a so-called conservative party like the Liberals have for also supporting it beats me.
How Clinton's Beijing deal endangered America. Seeing as so many democrats and their allies in the media have been screaming about intelligence failures and the President Bush's foreign policy, I think it's time to once again turn to the Clinton administration and its dangerous dealings with Beijing.

Details here


HEATWAVE: IS GLOBAL WARMING TO BLAME? A professor of biogeography pours cold water on myths about the hot Northern summer. I must say that the very word “heatwave” amuses me. What the English call a heatwave is a normal summer where I come from.

Libya has formally accepted responsibility for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland. When Ronald Reagan had him bombed that really caused Gaddafi to pull up short but now that he has seen what has happened to other terrorist-supporting regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq he is backpedalling furiously. Does anybody believe that U.N. resolutions would have made him do that?

Greenie opposition to budget airlines is elitist: “All this cheap-and-easy flying is supposed to be Another Bad Thing. As the budget airlines' profits soar, the cries of NIMBY campaigners grow ever more shrill. Cheap flights are blamed for global warming, noise pollution, the need for more airports and their ability to give working-class oiks the ability to use Europe as their playground on a regular basis”.

What a slipup for the NYT. They described a female company head thus: “She is simultaneously warm and controlled, a gracefully aggressive entrepreneur who favors scarves and pearls.” The feminists will castrate them for that -- if they can find anything to castrate.

I must say I agree with the $20,000 fine some trigger-happy moron got for killing a condor -- though I would have sent the big hero to jail as well.

“The essence of Mr. Bush's big government conservatism is a trade-off. To gain free-market reforms and expand individual choice, he's willing to broaden programs and increase spending.” I think that’s wishful thinking. Bush has a slight conservative lean -- no more. A U.S. President has to be a centrist to win and retain office and even Ronald Reagan failed to cut back overall government spending. But GWB’s conservative leanings do make him a lot more realistic than Left-leaning centrists like Clinton.

V.D. Hanson is at his inimitable best here. He calls for some long overdue realism about America’s so-called “allies”

Real men don’t do quilting and feminist refusal to recognize that is cruel to boys in the educational system.

China Hand has given us a little of the story of his earlier years in China. When I met him around 1970 he was a conservative but he later went to university and veered to the far Left. Various people then told him that if he thought Mao was so great he should go to China. Leftists were of course regularly told to “go to Russia” in the old days but China Hand is the only one I know of who really did put his money where his mouth was.

The Wicked one thinks that the death penalty kills too many innocent people,

My latest academic upload here (or here) addresses an old chestnut (Can you address a chestnut?): How different are the Scots and the English?


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