Saturday, September 06, 2003


A reader has pointed out some interesting historical facts: "People say that Martin Luther was an antisemite, and that a "uniquely German form of antisemitism" was brought forth from his teachings. But Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and other top Nazis were brought up in the Roman Catholic faith! So, they were at least as likely to have gotten their ideas about Jews from the Catholic rather than the Lutheran Church. Even more ironically, though Karl Marx's parents were Jewish, and he was born a Jew, his father tried to bring him up to be a good Lutheran! And in his essay "The Jewish Question", Marx wrote a tirade that if anyone nowadays were to write, he would be branded a Neo Nazi". So the Catholic-origin chief Nazi and the Lutheran-origin chief Communist were both racists! What to make of that?

There is a heap of research evidence to show that racism of some form is universal so the important thing is not to try to pin it on any one group but to ask under what circumstances it becomes harmful. That patriotic British conservatives who had not the slightest doubt of British superiority made a Jew (Disraeli) their Prime Minister at the height of the British empire shows that not all racism is dangerous. Both Marx and Hitler, by contrast, were socialists.


How to Save the World is the name of a relatively recent Leftist blog. The very name encapsulates the vast ego needs of the typical Leftist intellectual. He needs to be a world-saving hero. And what are the ways this one plans to save the world? Take a look at his trite “ideas” on education for instance: “The 'teacher's' role in all of this is facilitation, not instruction”. So he does not want teachers to teach! No wonder the kids learn so little in school off their Left-leaning teachers these days!

In his desperation to have something to say that seems marginally different he is just trotting out hoary old “progressive” education ideas that never stop being tried somewhere and which always self-destruct after a few years -- Bertrand Russell’s “Beacon Hill” school of the 1920s being just one example of such failure. But Leftists rarely know much history. They can’t afford to. It makes such asses of them.

I myself taught in a “progressive” school once so I saw it all close up. The kids who had self-discipline or some pressure from home did OK but the other half mostly played cards and learnt nothing.


It looks like Schwarzenegger is the one to beat in Calfornia now. He has come out in favour of getting tough on illegal immigration. The same issue won the conservatives a big majority in Australia’s last Federal election and Australia is as multicultural as California. Among nations, we are second only to Israel for the percentage of our citizens not born here.

A pretty appalling report here about the effect of EU trade barriers on the third world -- particularly Africa. The EU is a major killer of Africans -- through starvation mainly.

Steve Sailer has more on that dodgy “IQ is not genetic among blacks” study

There is an article here about life in socialist Czechoslovakia that everyone with any leaning towards Leftism should read. It shows vividly the sort of future that Leftists are trying to drive us towards.

I saw this quote on the The Federalist: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." --Benjamin Franklin. Why did I think of Iraq when I read that?

The French heatwave deaths: The very hot weather was mainly confined to France so has nothing to do with global warming. Americans used to die more in hot wearther too but no longer -- mainly because most Americans can afford airconditioning -- which is much rarer in France. Socialist-induced poverty does kill.

"Europe has given the world Marxism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, racism, and socialism, all rotten ideas that have caused immeasurable human suffering. But for Europeans and their ideological twins on the American left and at universities, ideas are not judged by their ability to ameliorate huiman suffering or reduce evil, but by their complexity and apparent profundity. An idea is not good because it produces good - that's unromantic American pragmatism - it is good because it sounds good.”

A right to free expression? "A state law raising the minimum age for nude dancers from 18 to 19 appears to violate the First Amendment right to free expression, a federal judge has ruled". When did free speech become free expression? Timothy McVeigh was just expressing himself too, I would think.

This old interview with Thomas Sowell is still pretty interesting. He was a Marxist during the McCarthyite days of the 50s who shifted to a market oriented position after studying the impact of minimum wage laws on employment.

The Leftist Potemkin seems to think we should have the same rules for children as for adults. He must be the only one who does. He also seems to think that because the author of Alice in Wonderland was an “alleged” paedophile therefore the writings of all disturbed people should be freely available to all children at all times. Just to state his underlying proposition baldly is to display what an absurd non-sequitur it is! Good Leftist logic, though.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I offer a practical solution to the sampling problem in psychology that should have caused quite a stir if psychologists were interested in doing real science. Needless to say, my article sank without a ripple.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Friday, September 05, 2003


That intelligence is mostly hereditary has been the routine finding in psychological research on the subject for over a century but our “all men are equal” Leftists have fought that fact tooth and nail for many years now. To them, ideology must win, not evidence. They have come up with many stratagems to discredit the finding but the latest one is a lulu.

This story was pointed out to me by The Misanthropyst and I notice that Iain Murray and various others have referred to it as well. It claims that heredity is the main factor in determining white IQ but is NOT the main factor in determing black IQ! So are blacks a different species from whites, then? That would seem to be the conclusion if we took the study seriously.

Full publication of the study has not been done as yet but from what we know so far it seems that what they found was in fact much simpler than that. They found that if you separated out low income respondents (mostly black) and studied them alone, the role of heredity was less important in explaining IQ differences. That does sound like a real finding but it is in fact what statisticians would call a “restriction of range effect”. In other words, if you take ANY group and select out a subset that is relatively homogeneous with regard to some variable, differences in that variable will tend to have less importance in explaining other differences. Since socioeconomic status and race are substantially correlated with heritable IQ, that is precisely what these researchers have done: Selected a group that is relatively homogeneous in genetic inheritance for IQ and then said: “Hey! Differences in genetic inheritance are not so important here!” Statisticians would call the finding an “artifact” -- i.e. something created by the research procedure rather than a genuine finding about the world.

With or without such “findings”, however, it of course remains true that worrying about the genetic potential of blacks does nothing to help them. People surely do not need to be misled about blacks before they will support programs that really do help blacks to cope better with the world in which they live. Finding such programs is the real challenge.


I recently linked to the exposition by George Irbe of what a Leftist is and what motivates Leftism. George has just provided me with a new link that leads to an even better version of his analysis. Incidentally, he is of Latvian origin, not Hungarian as I had conjectured.

Leftist unions are liars too: The AFL-CIO has told the US Labor Department that Australia is rife with child workers and sweatshops, and routinely breaches international labour standards. How do they expect anyone to believe that B.S.?

Another intellectual at work: “An academic who enlisted the help of her children in a false rape claim against her husband had exposed him to a long jail term for a vile crime, a judge said yesterday.”

Daniel Pipes points out that the United Nations has a major role in keeping millions of Palestinians in “refugee” status, when by ordinary definitions they are nothing of the sort

Michael Totten has started the long march to the Right that honest liberals usually undertake as they get older and wiser.

A most interesting history of government involvement with U.S. railroads here.

I wonder why? “In nearly every state, the number of children being educated in their homes is rising about 10% a year.”

Jeff Jacoby is definitely a speaker of unpopular truths. He says that abolishing tolls on tollways will just make them more congested and that ALL major roads need to be tollways if congestion is to be avoided. He says that you pay with your time for “free” highways.

A good new site: Bowling for truth. It concludes very plainly “Michael Moore is a liar”.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again.

I don’t always agree with him but Chris Brand has a view of the news in Britain and elsewhere that you will get nowhere else. I have transferred his most recent posts here for convenience.

Some people think that Malaysia is a hopeful model for a rationally-run Islamic society. The Wicked one disagrees.

Paul Keating, a former Leftist Prime Minister of Australia, seems to be going ga-ga in his old age. Because our present conservative Prime Minister takes the natural-justice view that people are not responsible for the misdeeds of others (including the deeds of their own ancestors) Keating says that is “an attempt to contain and censor the human spirit” -- whatever that may mean.

The latest upload of my published academic papers is here (or here). In it I point out the weird anti-scientific standards prevailing among those psychologists charged with evaluating all the psychological research that gets published. Basically, my research was usually too scientific (!) for my colleagues -- as well as too conservative! My stuff was so hard to pick holes in, however, that almost all of it did eventually get published somewhere in the academic journals.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Thursday, September 04, 2003


What would you think of someone who wrote a book called “They F*** You Up - How to survive family life”? A pretty sad soul? Oliver James did write such a book and he is indeed a sad soul. His psychobabble account of the personality of George Bush is filled with similar attempts to find evil in ordinary life. You would never guess that GWB is a good-humoured Christian and a political moderate from what our Oliver says. To Oliver, GWB has “extreme, fanatical beliefs”.

Like many Freudian theorizers, Oliver has little time for proof of his theories. He bases his account of GWB’s personality on the “Authoritarian Personality” theory of the Freudian Marxists (what a combination!) led by Theodor Wiesengrund (a.k.a. Adorno). That this theory has been shown to be wrong in almost every aspect of it that has ever been tested is no bother to either a Freudian or a Leftist, of course, and Oliver seems to be both.

Natalie Solent has been having fun with poor Oliver too.


"Brookes News" has been posting up a storm lately. Some of the latest:

Hillary's fascist vision for America. Don't be fooled by cries of fiscal conservatism. As Brookes' economics editor pointed out: "A fiscal conservative is not defined by a belief in balanced budgets but by a responsible approach to spending and taxation. Would we call someone a fiscal conservative who taxed away 80 percent of your income in order to balance the budget?"
A Murdoch journalist whitewashes the anti-Semitic Bustamante. There is simply no denying the political bigotry of many Australian journalists. The anti-American Robert Lusetich, Los Angeles Correspondent for Murdoch's Australian, is a good example of what I mean, though certainly not one of the worst.
Hollywood leftists gang up on Schwarznegger. That Arnold is quickly defining his conservative position on taxes and spending has got the Dems so scared that the Hollywood Soviet sent out its celluloid intellectuals to try and bring him down.
Mexican immigration is killing California. Americans, and particularly Californians, are slowly waking up to the dangers of unrestricted immigration, especially from Mexico. California is in the frontline of the battle and it is there that it will be won or lost. If it is lost then America will be in danger of disintegrating.
Fairfax Press labels Saddam's terrorists as resistance fighters. Leftwing journalists' moral blindness and total disregard for any facts or informed opinions that contradict their own deep rooted ideological prejudices and hatreds is twisting their reporting on the war against terrorism.
Gennifer Flowers to sue Hillary Clinton, Carville and Co for conspiracy. Now that Gennifer Flowers is going to sue Clinton for conspiracy, will this damage her. Not with her fanatical supporters it won't.

Details here


A reader writes:

"I am quite angry that at most Liberal colleges and universities that this Hispanic-only separatist group called MEChA is allowed to have a presence on campus. This group does not only breed hatred against whites and other non-Hispanics, but also against the United States and calls for the annexation of California, Arizona and Texas. I mean, the KKK want the Confederate States of America to return to its old glory. Why is MEChA getting special treatment? And not only that MEChA is a hate group and anti-American, but also Pro-Communist. MEChA presents a clear and present danger, the same way the KKK presented a clear a present danger, when it refused to allow blacks to vote in the South and also tortured and killed both blacks and whites for co-operating with the Union. The United States government must send a message that the funding of separatist groups such as MEChA will not be tolerated. Would these idiots at these Liberal colleges and universities fund a student group that's neo-Nazi? I think not. MEChA is no different from these white supremacist groups."

There is also a good article on MEChA just up on Front Page


Traditional wisdom is that soldiers fight only out of loyalty to their buddies. This article shows that in Iraq, patriotism and belief in what they were doing was also an important motivator among U.S. troops. How upsetting for the Leftists!

This article says that trust in the U.S. presence is building well among the citizens of Baghdad.

Paul Sheehan has noted that "As for the alleged demonisation of Muslims, Australia under Howard is a place where the number of Muslims living in this country has surged by 50 per cent, from 200,000 according to the 1996 census to an estimated 300,000 today. Not exactly shutting the gates."

Michael Darby has returned to the internet after some months of absence due to work committments. His latest Report covers a wide field but does include some good news from Zimbabwe for a change.

The Wicked one thinks GWB is going Green.

Conservatives are used to getting names like “Fascist”, “racist” etc hurled at them by Leftists. The Leftists concerned have no interest in the truth of the accusations -- when was a Leftist concerned about the truth anyway? -- but they use such terms simply in the hope of discrediting someone. I too of course have had my share of that treatment but, when such accusations are made in print about one, some refutation of them seems needed. I have just uploaded one such refutation here (or here)


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Wednesday, September 03, 2003


I had a big day yesterday. Instapundit linked to my post on Harvard and I also had an article about Leftist authoritarianism come out in an Australian online magazine called Online Opinion. And only a week ago I had an article on fraudulent Leftist psychology in Front Page. I guess I should rest on my laurels for a while now.

The Harvard post generated a bit of correspondence so I have posted the more interesting emails here -- together with my (brief) replies.



The best article on Leftism that I have ever read is by George Irbe. Irbe says pretty much what I say about the nature of Leftism but says it with greater brevity and clarity. Irbe’s name for Leftists is “Coercive Utopians” and he diagnoses their dismal motivations most persuasively. I liked this epigram: “One will usually discover that behind the Robin Hood image hides just a plain hood.” I like his article so much that I have copied it to one of my sites so that it will remain available even if it gets taken down at its original source.

Judging by the surname of the author and his mention of his personal experience of Leftist savagery, I surmise that he moved to Canada as a refugee from Communist Hungary. So he has seen unrestrained Leftism close-up and has had strong incentives to get his thoughts on Leftism clear.

He is strongly of the view that Leftism is an inborn tendency but seems unaware that there is now good evidence from the twin studies by Nick Martin and others confirming that. Martin’s work is mainly published in obscure and highly technical academic journals (that even I find a bit challenging to follow in detail) rather than being available online but one early summary that IS available online is particularly fascinating. Martin found that your politics in your youth are mainly the product of the social influences around you (school and college indoctrination, for instance) but as you get older your genetically inherited political tendencies come to the fore.

Martin’s most striking finding, however, is his 1999 finding (reference below) showing that conservatism/Leftism is even more hereditary that how tall you are.

His 1986 article showed that heredity is a particularly strong influence (around 50% of the variance) in women. Presumably because women tend to take less interest in the details of politics, their political reactions are much more likely to be purely instinctive.

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.


In my latest academic upload here (or here) I look at the claim by anti-abortionists that they are “pro-life” and find it to be an overgeneralization. I suspect, however, that the claim by pro-abortionists to be “pro-choice” is even more of an overgeneralization. I also found anti-abortionists to be a very small minority in Australia. My own view of abortion is set out here (Scroll down a little).

The study also found, of course, that anti-abortion attitudes were associated with conservatism but a more interesting finding was about the nature of conservatism itself. It was found that moral restraint was a central differentiator of Leftists and conservatives. This fits in well with the observations by George Irbe above to the effect that Leftists are intrinsically without any moral anchors -- which is his explanation for their vicious behaviour when they obtain unrestrained power.


From the WSJ: “The Council on American Islamic Relations is up in arms because an Ohio school told 17-year-old Amal Jamal that her Muslim headscarf violates the school's dress code. CAIR honcho Ibrahim Hooper denounces the school for "denying a student the right to her religious belief." Just one problem: The school, Regina High, is a Catholic school. Do Muslim schools let Christian girls show up to class in miniskirts?”

There is a new book about the Soviet Gulag out from the Institute of Economic Affairs in Britain. This announcement includes a speech by the author on the importance of understanding the psychology of fellow travellers during the time of the famines and the Gulags, and the ignorance of later generations for whom the Cold War is a receding memory. And this article on the myths about the Great Depression is an alarming reminder of the similarity between the attitudes of the Soviet planners and the architects of the New Deal in the US. (Via Rafe Champion)

"As if it wasn't bad enough to have both state and federal prosecutors trying to fine and regulate American business to death by whim, the European Union is now getting into that game. Microsoft's deep pockets are, of course, an even more tempting target than Wall Street's. And any European pickpocket's best friend is antitrust -- a sport where government officials bet with other people's money and make up the rules as the game progresses." More here

The Wicked one has put up a year’s supply of lightbulb jokes.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Tuesday, September 02, 2003


Just in from another reader:

“I had first hand experience with what came out of Harvard. I worked for a US Investment bank which did it's annual recruitment program from the Ivy League and the better schools.

I have to tell you that the Harvard grads and under grads I ended up with on my trading desk had to be as bad as they could be. As someone who is interested in probability theory, after a while it became apparent to me that this was not just a cluster of "bad data" coming through the works. These people came out of Harvard with the worst attitude towards work I have ever imagined. Not one recruit from Harvard ever turned into a success. In fact there was an almost pass the parcel attitude between desk managers as to who ended up with the Harvard batch. It got so bad that the department which had been the lest profitable for the year ( this being Wall Street) ended up with Harvard people.

And the best: for those who are curious were Wharton Kids.

I tried to figure out why this was so and the only thing I came up with is that Wharton kids were taught properly.”


There has been lots written about what a poor education the Left-leaning teachers of U.S. High Schools give to their students these days. But sometimes deeds speak louder than words. And the deeds of adminstrators at Harvard speak very loudly indeed. Harvard gets the cream of U.S. High School graduates so at least those students should be 100% as educated as you can get -- right? Wrong! One of my readers writes that the reality is much, much worse than that:

I attended Harvard in the early 80's and knew my way around campus fairly well, and was aware of all the academic programs they offered. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that the University has an active "remedial English" program that at least 20% of incoming freshmen are required to use. Larger minority enrollment, and foreign students are not driving this program, all students seem to be equal offenders. Harvard's black student body have SAT scores within 90 points of their white and Asian peers; Which is excellent. Harvard will not tell you they have this program; and it has a fancy name to hide its purpose, but it is a Community College style remedial English program.

It is a full remedial program with instruction in spelling, grammar, and the lost art of essay writing. From what I understand, essay skills -- or the lack of them -- is what tipped the University off to these problems.

This program is housed under the Freshman Student Union. They use this like a referral system.... they send the kids to the Union, and then they get moved into this informal, formal program.

There is a whitewash of the program here asserting that it is NOT a remedial program but even that does not tell the whole story. The really bad students are funnelled through there to even a more simplified program.

Can anyone now deny that vouchers are the only hope for the U.S. school system?

And if you read what Jeff Jacoby has to report about Harvard's ethics, the coverup should surprise no-one.



The New York Times has just spoken out about the huge row in Britain over the BBC -- which has pitted the Left-leaning public broadcaster against a Leftist British government that was still not Leftist enough for the BBC! There is nothing worse than a family spat! The NYT's version of the controversy is however hilarious. They say that the broadcaster's reputation for fairness and accuracy has been compromised by "just 20" words! Given years of complaints about BBC bias (there is even a whole blog devoted to it), that has to be the understatement of the year! But we all know that the NYT makes selective reporting into an artform. Stalin himself would be hard put to be better at it than they are.

Perhaps most amusingly, however, the NYT quotes without the slightest sign of derision the defence that the BBC gave of their reporter just making stuff up: "Greg Dyke, the BBC director general, and Richard Sambrook, the director of news, had defended Mr. Gilligan's style to the governors as "one in which he reported in primary colors, or bold colors, rather than shades of gray." So if a conservative thinks something is simple, he is a "black and white thinker" but if a Leftist tells lies he is "reporting in bold colours". So much nicer!


B.S. is better than real meddling: "President Bush announced Monday he is creating a high-level government post to nurture the manufacturing sector, which is bleeding jobs in states crucial to his re-election."

UK government realism opposed by a Leftist bureaucracy: "The government's plan to introduce longer minimum jail terms has been branded "grotesque" by the new director of public prosecutions, Ken Macdonald.... He said the effect of the proposed change in murder sentencing would be particularly grotesque. "This would have an extraordinary effect on the prison population, but particularly on the long term prison population, which may be difficult to manage." A three tier classification is planned, with sadistic child killers or terrorists dying in prison; a minimum 30 year starting point for killing a policeman, and a 15 year starting point for other murders."

Millions of Californians have left the place in recent years to escape the high taxes and other costs there. An Arizona blogger warns Californians of the horrors that they will encounter if they move to Arizona.

John Moore reports on the disgusting brainwashing that U. Michigan now requires of its students even BEFORE they gain admission. The racist fanaticism of the U. Michigan administration must be degrading the worth of their degrees at a great rate. The whole country now knows what they stand for -- and it's not academic standards. I imagine a lot of employers would simply say: "Next!" when confronted with a job applicant holding an "Affirmative Action" degree from U. Michigan. Still, I guess they can all get government jobs and keep the bureaucracy full of embittered Leftists.

The British and American Leftists of the 1920s and 1930s (including Bertrand Russell, Margaret Sanger and the State of California) taught Hitler all he knew about eugenics -- so guess what? The Wicked one has a post showing that an early libertarian -- Herbert Spencer -- is getting the blame for these vicious programs!

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I look at the relationship between age and ideology. I found that older people had much tougher and more cautious attitudes -- as perhaps befits people who remembered the Great Depression and World War II.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Monday, September 01, 2003


An old fallacy debunked once again: "Whenever an expert touts a totally new theory, invention or miracle medicine, a healthy dose of skepticism is called for. The recent writings of Paul Craig Roberts fit the mold. He claims that two centuries of economic thought in support of free trade, dating back to Adam Smith and David Ricardo, have been overturned by new developments and his own unique insights. But reality is more straightforward, and far less ominous, than he depicts.... In his Aug. 6 column, "Seeking Jobs in the U.S.A.," he claims that American workers face an unprecedented threat from low-wage countries such as China and India, where an endless supply of workers can now substitute for millions of middle-class American workers at a fraction of the wage"

For those who do not know it, the great satire of the protectionist fallacy is Frederic Bastiat's wonderful petition to the French parliament on behalf of candlemakers.

Australia has a record of foolish protectionism too. Alfred Deakin was one of Australia's early Prime ministers -- beginning in 1903. He is generally well-spoken of by historians but his legacy in the economic field is distinctly dubious. My recent link to an article on his policies by economist Alan Wood has inspired one of my readers to take another look at his lasting destructive effect on Australian prosperity. See here

Any reduction of government attempts to prop up failing industries is good for the taxpayer: Senators from tobacco states -- yes, from tobacco states -- are now negotiating to end federal support of the crop with a buyout."

This article describes the anti-globalists as engaged in 'moral colonialism'


Wayne Lusvardi has been having some fun with the California election. Even if you are not a Californian, you should read this.

A lot of economists seem to be worried about the immediate future of the U.S. economy -- with the large deficits currently being run up needing to have their effect before long. The Australian economy seems heaps healthier by comparison.

Our friends, the Saudis: “There have been signs for months that Saudi Muslim extremists have travelled to Iraq to take on US-led forces. Internet memorials to those who died fighting the Americans have popped up and Saudis are quietly swapping tales said to be from the front lines. Many of the men going to Iraq had fought in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Bosnia and were experts on guerilla warfare... Saudi officials, sensitive to any charges extremism may be emanating from the kingdom, have categorically dismissed the possibility their citizens are fighting in Iraq.”

Once again, it is the Democrat party against the people, just as it has been ever since the party learned that they could confiscate the earnings of one citizen in order to purchase the loyalty (and vote) of another. And though they've gotten away with portraying themselves as 'the party of the little guy,' the grim reality is that they are the party that flourishes by keeping the 'little guy' little, and thus dependent on them."

"Everyone recognizes that giving a kid in a failing public school the option to attend a private school is better for that kid. However, liberals argue that if we allow kids the right to pick their school, the result will be a wholesale abandonment of the public school monopoly. (Of course, why liberals think public schools are so inferior an option that they can’t compete with private schools is another matter altogether.)"

The Invisible Hand has been reading the German press and says that it is sheer European arrogance to think that they understand America. I like this comment: “Show me a European who doesn't think they know more about the world than George Bush. Then consider, who is the greater fool?”

Danegerus has a good spoof on Greenie and EU attitudes towards technological innovation that is alarmingly close to how they really think. He is particularly referring to “The Stockholm Convention” on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

I received an interesting email from an Australian reader that does in my experience mirror what a lot of ordinary Australians are saying. She is pretty fed up with our PC media and the multicultural gospel that they preach. I do not agree with everything she says but think it is worth a moment to read the sort of stuff that would never get through the filters of our mainstream media so I have posted it here.

Chris Brand has put up some more of his inimitable posts. For convenience, I have transferred the latest ones here. Of particular interest is his report that a general factor of intelligence has now been found even in mice!

The Wicked one has another Irish joke up.

My latest academic post here (or here) is another one of my attacks on the woolly thinking that is so characteristic of academic psychology. I point out that the originators of the “A-B” personality concept (which supposedly predicts heart disease) say mutually contradictory things about what it is.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Sunday, August 31, 2003


Dennis Prager makes a point about Left/Right differences that we often hear: "At the heart of liberalism is the naive belief that people are basically good. As a result of this belief, liberals rarely blame people for the evil they do. Instead, they blame economics, parents, capitalism, racism, and anything else that can let the individual off the hook”

The latest upload of one of my published academic articles here (or here) presents some survey evidence on that claim. It is undoubtedly true that Leftists do usually talk as if we can trust the innate goodness of humankind to make their do-gooder programs work out in practice but do they really believe it? Is a different view of man really basic to who is Leftist and who is Rightist?

Rather surprisingly, my survey showed no relationship at all between a cynical view of man and whether or not you are conservative. People in the community at large who were cynical about human motivations were just as likely to be Leftist as conservative. That does tend to suggest that the “trusting” view of man sometimes expressed by Leftists is just a ploy to help them win arguments -- not something that they really believe. Leftists as well as Rightists realize that man is basically selfish but only conservatives try to take realistic account of that in the policies they frame.


"To hear [Democrats] tell it, California will transmogrify into Alabama circa 1955-65, if Proposition 54, the Racial Privacy Initiative, is approved by the state's voters in October. The ballot measure [says]: 'The state shall not classify any individual by race, ethnicity, color or national origin in the operation of public education, public contracting or public employment.' This sounds to this California voter like the 'colorblind society' that has been held out as ideal since a young Baptist preacher named Martin Luther King Jr. arrived in Montgomery, Ala., back in 1955 to lead a boycott of the city's segregated bus system."

Great news for Australia: “John Howard has put the kybosh on a carbon trading scheme designed to reduce greenhouse gases, after heeding industry's protest that it would drive investment offshore.”

"Is the Arab world ready for democracy? National security adviser Condoleezza Rice says the Bush administration both seeks and expects to transform the Middle East into a democratic region. Although the goal is laudable, the administration will be disappointed with its effort to establish a stable democracy in any Arab nation home to a large Muslim population. That's the verdict rendered by history, the contemporary reality of the region, and our own government experts." I think I have to agree with that.

“Interested Participant” has an amusing post about the USA importing Canadian garbage.

Most of Australia is desert so there are always big cries for the government to spend taxpayer’s money on irrigation. An economist explains some of the fallacies involved in that.

New tolerance movement needed? "Most people used to have the mindset that as long as you minded your own business and didn't steal, defraud or harm another human that you should be left alone. They may not have agreed with you about what charities you supported, or failed to support, but they would never use force to make you support their preferred charity... Let's keep in mind one thing though as we consider using the force of government to impose our morality upon all. Someone else may consider your peaceful lifestyle to be immoral and worthy of forceful government intervention ..."

"We once had great working-class neighborhoods in our cities. Most of them have been obliterated by forceful planning, and the current 'nanny' attitude is keeping them from naturally reoccurring. If we can reverse that attitude, the working poor can again have REAL neighborhoods. All that is required is the adoption of a hands-off attitude, allowing the market to develop by itself. That will probably require electing officials who are not determined to force any sort of 'revitalization' on others."

“The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a United Nations Environment Programme Convention, which bans or regulates industrial chemicals and pesticides..... The convention is already killing the poorest Africans by denying them chemicals like DDT. Furthermore, the treaty promotes the Precautionary Principle in international law. Its aim is to eliminate chemicals via a legally binding international agreement, but the entire treaty has very little scientific or moral legitimacy."

I recently passed on a post from a fellow blogger about the short life-expectancy among homosexuals. Seablogger has replied with a theory that homosexuals in committed relationships are much more likely to have a normal lifespan. I am still surprised that the much shorter homosexual lifespan is generally unknown. As a libertarian of course, I personally do not give two hoots about what homosexuals do with their own bodies -- as I have previously pointed out in my post of July 22nd.

New Australian blogger Alan Brain seems to be mainly a space exploration enthusiast but his post of 21st on agricultural protectionism gives it a well-deserved blast.

The Wicked one has a post about a battle that the Italians actually WON in World War II.

Amusing: I am now starting to get email advertising targeted at Jews. I am an Anglo-Celtic atheist with Presbyterian roots but I am as pro-Israel as a Zionist so that is one sort of spam that I take as a compliment. I think that the Israelis are the most heroic people in the world today.


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