Saturday, September 13, 2003


A reader writes: "After reading the posts on IQ, I would like to put forth an idea of mine to you. Seeing we live in a capitalist society, it is fair to say that we use money to keep track of success. It is also fair to say that success is a result of hard work and the correct decisions, not of "luck". Therefore, as a quick and dirty method of measuring IQ would be to look at a persons assets. Or a group's assets, or a nation's assets. Wealthy people will continue making decisions that will keep them wealthy, poor people will continue making decisions to keep them poor. I realize this is highly simplistic, but as far as I can tell, applied with a broad brush, across the globe it appears to hold true"

The reader concerned has worked out for himself something that IS broadly true. There are exceptions, of course. SOME smart people are poor -- but some smart people do foolish things too. Emotional reasons can trump logical reasons and lead to bad life decisions -- in the area of marriage, for instance. Nonetheless, it has always been true that high IQ predicts well a whole host of desirable life outcomes (educational success, income, occupational status etc). Looking at nations rather than individuals as the unit of analysis, the most systematic evidence is Lynn & Vanhanen's IQ and the Wealth of Nations -- which shows that, looking at all the countries of the world, national average IQ is a strong predictor of national average income.


Gareth Parker, one of my fellow conservative Australian bloggers has described me as too “lunar” for him. I wonder would he like to point out one claim I have made that is not backed up with good scientific and historical evidence? But I guess that the facts can be pretty “lunar” at times. They certainly conflict with a lot of popular notions.

The good Gareth should perhaps note that almost all of my “lunar” pronouncements have in fact been previously published in widely-circulated academic journals -- e.g. here and here -- and getting anything past the basilisk eyes of academic journal editors is no mean feat for anyone. They of course have access to the world’s best expertise on the subject concerned and the fact that my conclusions are ones that they would not generally find congenial means that my evidence and reasoning has to have been exceptionally watertight.

This is not of course remotely to say that everything published in academic journals is correct -- but it is to say that anything published there would have a very hard time being “lunar”.


The Italian Prime minister has just come under fire for pointing out that Mussolini -- the Italian dictator and founder of Fascism whom FDR called “that admirable Italian gentleman” -- was nowhere nearly as vicious as Hitler and Stalin. He is perfectly correct. Mussolini was a Marxist and did impoverish Italy with stupid socialist policies but he was also an Italian family man. The standard Italian Fascist treatment of political opponents was not the firing squad, the Gulag or the concentration camp but a forced dose of castor-oil!

The recent stabbing to death of the Swedish Foreign minister while she was out shopping has been repeatedly linked in most media to the fact that she supported Sweden’s conversion to using the common European currency. I THOUGHT it was pretty odd that anybody would be murdered over such an unexciting issue. Now the WSJ has blown the whistle -- revealing that she was also a Leftist critic of America and a vigorous defender of terrorists. Now why on earth would somebody want to murder a terrorist-lover just before the 9/11 anniversary?

Some things never change: Another Anglican archbiship siding with terrorists.

"Activists marched in the streets and stripped on the beaches in an attempt to derail a meeting of the World Trade Organization, at which representatives of 146 countries will try to increase global commerce... Away from the hotel zone, thousands of anti-globalization activists from around the world set up camp, renting hammocks and swatting mosquitoes, and vowed to derail the meetings with protests and marches, as they did in Seattle in 1999." And they did all that to stop poorer countries getting a better deal from richer countries -- which is what is on the agenda of the WTO! That good old Leftist "compassion" again.

According to Amir Taheri, there are huge positive effects being felt throughout the Islamic world as a result of the American presence in Iraq.

“I just got off the phone with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'm a Republican. I want to vote for him. I want to believe. Schwarzenegger doesn't quite convince me. That little extra something that tells me he's one of us -- a Republican who is willing to cut spending and gut bad regulations -- is missing.”

Mike Tremoglie disputes a Leftist claim that Iraq is a “mess” -- using some historical comparisons.

The Wicked one notes some very unsurprising events which would nonetheless be a great puzzle for Leftists with their alleged belief in human goodness and the wonders of bureaucracy.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I look at the confusion surrounding academic theories about conservatism and suggest that the best generalization one can extract from them is that there is only one single Left/Right dimension underlying people’s social and political attitudes. I also report some survey research that supports that conclusion.


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 12, 2003


I have recently had a brief correspondence with a fellow psychologist as a result of the critique I wrote for "Front Page" of the "Berkeley study". He wrote to say that in his view some of his findings supported the conclusions of the Berkeley study. Although left-leaning, he seems a decent guy so I will not disclose his name but here is what he wrote:

We found in a telephone survey (not just college students) that experiences of harsh punishment in childhood predict support in adulthood for punitive public policies like the death penalty, opposition to abortion, and support for the use of military force (all of these results are controlling for respondents' education and their parents educational level).

I wrote back:

I would be interested to know how strong the correlations were. Unless they are very strong I think it is highly likely that you will find childhood trauma not to be predictive of adult Republican voting. There is a bit of survey evidence to show that Republican voters in the general population had happier childhoods than Democrat voters.

He replied

Our research also found that conservatives reported happier childhoods than did liberals. The issue, I think, becomes one of denial of the emotional pain associated with childhood punishment, as we discuss in the paper. I don't know if you have seen Alice Miller's book, For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelties in Childhood and the Roots of Violence. We draw on her work and on Lasswell's Psychopathology and Politics ... for our theoretical foundation.

So if the facts don't suit there is always a theory to explain them away! Those silly conservatives just don't realize when they are unhappy!


America's academic elite lead in racism, intolerance: "Many of America's colleges and universities have become the modern leaders of racism and intolerance. Recently, we were treated to information about racism at the University of Michigan, where its academic elite gave students 20 extra points toward admission based solely on race. The U.S. Supreme Court found this explicit racism unconstitutional but did allow continuance of a more hidden form, where universities can consider race as 'a plus' in admission decisions. But this is the tip of the iceberg."

This "global warming" article on creating a market in carbon credits has some interesting implications. The idea is to have tradeable permits to pollute. Instead of enforced bans and prohibitions, authorised polluters would trade and swap carbon quotas among themselves, similar to the trade in taxi licenses or dairy quotas. It would be ironic if in an attempt to solve the dubious environmental problem of global warming, that environmentalists effectively turned pollution into a right, effectively institutionalising and creating a vested interest in protecting "polluter rights". It is not unknown for government interventions to boomerang creating situations worse than the original problem. Is this another example in the making?

It's not vouchers but it seems that Arizona does have one way of making it easier for parents to choose the schools they send their kids to. The Australian system is another way -- I send my son to a private school and pay only low fees (equivalent to the cost of the average smoking habit) because the fees are heavily subsidized by the Australian Federal government. American private schools are also often relatively inexpensive, however, contrary to the image.

Rocket Man has some choice comments about Germany's present socialist policies -- where Kanzler Schroeder is threatening punitive action against firms that do not hire enough workers. More National Socialism? Kanzler Hitler had similar ideas.

Mike Tremoglie is pretty steamed up about some gross journalistic bias he found in his local Philadelphia newspaper. He delivers a good fisking and asks people to email protests pointing out that the “Comments” concerned are sheer Democrat propaganda that show no regard for the truth.

China Hand has a rather amusing account of the confused censorship situation in China at the moment. And the headline he notes from the Beijing People’s Daily seems to say more than it intends!

Michael Darby is back on the net. He has a very good post for Sept. 11 plus a previous post about Edward Teller (a great bogeyman for the Left). Michael describes Teller as: “The man who helped end the Cold War without bloodshed”

The Wicked one has a link to a site claiming that the Confederacy was a more genuine republic than the Union.

I have just put up a quiz question for Christians on PC Watch. If you know any keen Bible students ask them to have a look at it.

I appear to be seen by many as the bad boy of the blogosphere because I keep mentioning the last remaining obscenity of the 21st century -- the word "race". I would not be surprised if the word got banned altogether in the not too distant future. I actually rather sympathize with the reaction that the word evokes. Race is so obviously real and apparently such an intractable problem that I can well understand that people do not want to be made to think about it any more than they have to. In my latest upload of a published academic journal article here (or here), however, I use the example of the Australian situation to show that the problem is NOT intractable and that much of the problem is the result of government meddling.


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 11, 2003


One of my conservative academic colleagues saw the "Berkeley study" of conservative psychology too. This was his rather jocular response at the time:

"Studies that purport to show that conservatives have some sort of mental problem are legion (double entendre intended). I saw one reported some years ago in the Chronicle of Higher Education that claimed to show that liberals were more morally sophisticated than conservatives by the way they answered a test designed to show moral awareness. The article didn't say if the test measured, say, belief in moral absolutes, but if I were to venture a wild stab in the dark, I'd guess no. I wrote the ChHEd saying I wasn't aware they were publishing comedy pieces now, since the whole project was such a blatant exercise in circular reasoning, but for some reason they didn't publish my comment.

Biased tests are bad when they favor those who value math and verbal skills, but good when they advance liberal ideology. This, of course, is mental health, Gulag Archipelago style, reminiscent of the way the USSR used to put dissidents in mental institutions on the premise that if they didn't accept the prevailing ideology, they had to be crazy. The best example is the term "homophobia." I have never met a homophobe. I have met lots of people who reject homosexuality on moral or esthetic grounds, but that is hardly a phobia.

Still the studies are right. There are conservatives who have all the negative attributes listed. One person might reject change because it's unwise or immoral, another will resist because of cowardice or laziness, and they will both come to the same position, one for good reasons, the other for bad.

I find some solace in this study appearing now. The more panicky and shrill liberals get, the more threatened they must be. Columnists like Mollie Ivins and Tom Teepen and filmmakers like Michael Moore are my moral compasses; if they're going totally ballistic I know the universe must be headed in the right direction.

Still, if conservatives have characteristic mental issues, so must liberals. Rather than get angry over studies identifying conservative mental problems, it's a lot more useful to try listing the mental problems of liberals. What are they? I think an approach based on the seven deadly sins is useful. For conservatives, the deadly sins are obvious: sloth and greed. There are people who call themselves conservatives simply because opposing change is less work and less threatening than accepting it. And there are those who call themselves conservatives solely because they want lower taxes and easier regulations, but whose personal ethics are as liberal as they get.

Now what are the deadly sins of liberals? If there's one pervasive characteristic I see in liberals, it's mindless revolt against authority. We can say with some justice that liberals as a group suffer from Oppositional Defiant Disorder. So I'd say their first deadly sin is Pride. Second is Envy. There's even a name for it: the Politics of Envy. If you have something, then you must have stolen it from others, goes the thinking. And the third would be Lust. Listen to any ostensibly intellectual discussion of religion by non-believers and watch just how quickly sex pops to the surface. I suspect that objections to religious belief boil down to about 85 percent resentment over Christian sexual morality, 10 percent concern about war, oppression and social injustice in the name of religion, and 5 percent serious intellectual issues.

[I suspect a lot of liberals have unresolved adolescent guilt issues over sex. Scratch a militant atheist and you'll find someone who was scolded for masturbating as a teenager and never got over it.]"


I love it! According to Reuters, Communists are now conservatives! The utterly nonsensical Leftist claim that all evil regimes are conservative has now spread beyond the "Berkeley study". Note this quote: "A 17-year-old Vietnamese boy was sentenced to three years in jail for organizing a luxury car race along a city street in a case that exposed reckless, free-spending youth in the conservative communist country." And Reuters are always excusing their refusal to call a spade a spade by saying that journalists should not "interpret" the news! All those conservatives who opposed Communism for 70 years would certainly marvel at that interpretation!

The poor old Tugboat!. He has written at great length to show that I assume what I have to prove when I pointed out recently that taking a group of people with fairly uniformly low-IQ and examining them alone must show that IQ has weak correlations of all sorts among that group. He seems unfamiliar with simple "if.. then" reasoning. I showed that IF IQ is generally hereditary and related to race and class, you would still get the survey results reported -- so therefore the survey results reported do not upset the claim that IQ is generally hereditary and related to race and class! Too simple for an archaic tugboat, obviously.

Arlene Peck says that the Muslim countries have kicked out all the Jews who used to live there so why should Israel not kick out the Arabs who live in Israel and thus give themselves some peace and security at last?

If you are having a heart attack, cough! I have to thank my fellow Brisbane blogger Kev Gillett for drawing my attention to that life-saving hint. Kev can't spell "Dissecting", though.

The Wicked one is irate that meddling politicians are trying to stop cheap phone calls.

Most psychologists take the cautious approach of asking people a whole group of questions before classifying them in any way. In my latest academic upload here (or here) I ask whether there are some occasions on which a single question can be used. I conclude that single questions can yield some useful data but should be used only when better data is not available.


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 10, 2003

FROM "INTELLECTUAL CONSERVATIVE" is a good site that many readers of this blog might like. Excerpts from a couple of recent articles:

"Liberal proponents of identity politics oppose the Racial Privacy Initiative in California because it would deprive the self-styled diversity industry of its power to break citizens down into convenient racial categories and dole out spoils based on the number of boxes checked off for each group on government forms."

With reference to the "Berkeley study" of conservative psychology, Steve Laib makes the point that what Leftists accuse conservatives of is precisely what they themselves are most guilty of: "Now, I believe, is the time for certain academics to break the chains of Leftist freedom to do and say the party line and discover real freedom of thought. Otherwise else they will end up looking in the mirror and finding exactly what they described conservatives as looking like."


The Left are always claiming that all comparisons between different political and value systems are arbitrary and meaningless. I wonder about this one:

The WSJ has this excerpt from the “Boston Globe”:

To tag Hamas, for example, as a terrorist organization is to ignore its far more complex role in the Middle East drama. The word reflects not only a simplification, but a bias that runs counter to good journalism. To label any group in the Middle East as terrorist is to take sides, or at least appear to, and that is not acceptable. The same holds true in covering other far-flung conflicts. One person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter; it's not for journalists to judge.

And comments:

The only "freedom" Hamas is pursuing, however, is freedom from Jews, whom it seeks to exterminate. By the Globe's lights, we suppose this would make Hitler a "freedom fighter" too. Hey, who's to judge?


I posted yesterday some extracts from a recent report on immigration into the U.S.A. which showed millions of Hispanics as having arrived in recent years. One of my correspondents thinks that history shows that they will all be assimilated without trouble in due course. I have posted his email here. I must say that Catholic immigrants sound a 1,000% better proposition than Muslim ones. But Phyllis Schlafly points to “the cost imposed by illegal aliens on the state budget, hospitals, schools and prisons” so I still prefer our Australian solution of keeping the illegals out in the first place.

“At the Democratic presidential candidates' debate in New Mexico last week, the Democratic Party publicly rejected the motto of our country, e pluribus unum, "out of many, one." The Democratic Party has declared war on the centuries-long revolution of coalescing people of every ethnic, linguistic, racial and religious background into a new, non-ethnic entity known as American..” More here

Paul Sheehan takes on Australia's carping Leftist intellectuals to show that Australians both strongly support prevention of illegal immigration and also support a high level of LEGAL immigration: "The AES divided the electorate into nine occupational groups and found that in all but one group, a significant majority - three to one - not only agreed with the bipartisan political position on asylum seekers but agreed strongly. In only one group, "social professionals", was there a majority which strongly opposed the policy, by a margin of 50 per cent to 32 per cent. This left Betts to observe: "Attitudes to asylum seekers by occupation show how unrepresentative the vocal social professionals are of most other voters; it is not just that they do not speak for the working class, they also do not speak for a majority of other occupational groups."

Rather amusing: Taiwan has problems with illegal immigrants from China.


An interesting report here from a U.S. Army officer stationed in Iraq. He looks at the comparison between post-war Iraq and post-war Germany and says that the Iraq situation is more difficult but is progressing nonetheless.

Iraq as flypaper seems to becoming a widely accepted idea now. The Islamic nutcases of the world are flocking to Iraq to attack U.S. forces there. One hell of a lot better than having them attacking skyscrapers in America itself. As the top U.S. commander in Iraq summed it up: "The only way we will fail in this country is if we decide to walk away in Iraq and fight the next battle in the war on terrorism in America."

China Hand has the story of his experiences during the recent typhoon in coastal China.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I look at the way Leftists use the language of morality. They deny any meaning to moral values but are very quick to use moralistic language when it suits them. I show through careful survey research that they do genuinely disbelieve in any kind of morality but use moral language because they see it as effective propaganda.


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 09, 2003


A recent report on immigration into the U.S.A. notes that, during the 1990s, the nation's immigrant population grew by 11.3 million, faster than at any time in history. And Hispanics (mostly Mexicans) dominate more than ever before. In 1990, immigrants from the top sending country - Mexico - accounted for 22 percent of the total foreign born. By 2000, Mexican immigrants accounted for 30 percent of the total -- meaning reduced "diversity" -- Horrors!

The report noted the obvious -- that "the most serious potential problem associated with a larger and less diverse immigrant population is that it may hinder the assimilation and integration of immigrants by creating the critical mass necessary to foster linguistic and spatial isolation". In plain language: Permanent Hispanic ghettoes are being created. It does seem to be time to close the floodgates.


One distinctive feature of Islamist terrorists is that they repeatedly attempt to explain and justify their atrocities, complete with extensive Koranic citations. One distinctive feature of western analysts is that terrorists' explicit goals are often ignored, and instead their actions are misread as reactions to Israel, third world poverty, or supposed American unilateralism.... Islamist terrorists are not fighting for third world liberation. As they announce repeatedly, they are messianic organizations explicitly fighting to restore a pan Islamic Caliphate governed by Islamic law. Throughout the world, they methodically kill people opposed to the Caliphate, whether UN or non-UN, Muslim or non-Muslim, left or right, American, British, Israeli, French or Australian."

Arming U.S. airline pilots: "Pilots and passengers won the congressional battle over authorizing pilot self-defense. But the agency charged with the implementation isn't implementing. The TSA is actively deterring pilots from applying for arms training... So today, two years after 911, less than 150 pilots are qualified to bear arms in the cockpit. It's as if the terrorists have found a way to infiltrate the Transportation Security Administration. Thousands of pilots could be trained in short order if the agency simply farmed out the job to private training academies. There are over 66,000 members of the Air Pilots Association. On any particular day there may be anywhere from 4,500 to 7,500 commercial planes in the air at any one moment"

Over the past several decades, no one has been victimized more by so-called experts than parents and children. And no one has done more to expose the frauds of "experts" in child-raising and education than Kay Hymowitz. Her recently published book, "Liberation's Children," is a devastating debunking of fashionable ideas that have brought much frustration and heartache to parents and children alike. As in her previous book, "Ready or Not," Ms. Hymowitz shows what personal and social disasters have followed from treating children as if they were already adults.


Americans get their sociology wrong (but their science right): "A sociology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Brechin presented his findings to the American Sociological Association meeting in August...... Not only are Americans "more or less equally misinformed" as people elsewhere about the causes of global warming, but they also are "among the most misinformed of the developed nations surveyed. Only the Japanese and the French are more so," Brechin wrote... A 2001 poll, for example, found that only 15 percent of the U.S. citizens surveyed correctly identified burning fossil fuels as the primary cause of global warming." (Via poor old Acidman. He sounds in a bad way these days. Pay him a visit. Hits cheer up all bloggers.)

HERE is a great reason not to send druggies to jail -- because drugs are so readily available in prison! I like it!

The tragedy of the suicide of UK MoD adviser David Kelly has been used to portray Kelly as a martyr for peace. But as it says here: "Dr David Kelly supported military action against Iraq even though he believed the threat posed by its weapons of mass destruction was "modest", he wrote in a report that came to light yesterday" He merely disliked the way Blair's spin doctors sold the war to the press. And it may be noted that Blair's PR team does have a lot to answer for in other fields. Their "selling" of global warming and even their own education policies has been a disgrace.

Typical government confusion: "New Zealand's two-facedness regarding the growth of science-based industries continues to perplex simple folk like me. On the one hand the taxpayer giveth in the form of increased spending on industrial and pure research. On the other hand, health and safety bureaucrats are devoted to punishing science-based businesses with excessive costs and controls"

A fellow Arab takes on Edward Said and his claim that Western scholars of Islam are just biased propagandists.

Taking remains of primitive people out of museums for reburial is destroying irreplacable scientific and historical data.

The Wicked one has just put up a crazy joke plus some irreverent pictures.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I again look at the view that conservatives are motivated by a cynical view of human nature. I found that there is a slight tendency for conservatives to be more likely to have such a view but that it is only a small part of the story. I have argued elsewhere that the main motor of conservative thought is a belief in individual liberty.


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 08, 2003


One of the great things that Leftists have going for them is that most people know little history so can be easily hoodwinked into believing what Leftists say about themselves and their motives. That Leftists are inherently “anti-racist” is a classic example of a lie that no-one knowing history would accept.

A bit of British history relevant to Australia is the role of Sir James Stephen, one of the Clapham House group in Britain and the man who drafted William Wilberforce's Emancipation Act that freed the slaves under British control. It seems that he was also the first to advocate what ultimately became the “White Australia” policy -- a policy that excluded non-Caucasians from immigrating to Australia up until relatively recently-- when it was abolished by a conservative government under Prime Minister Harold Holt. Sir James Stephen's role is discussed briefly by Phil Griffiths under the heading “Towards White Australia” -- as is the influence of J.S.Mill on the late 19th century advocates of White Australia in Australia itself.

These men were the progressives and social reformers of their day. Their achievments in abolishing slavery, democratic reform etc make the current generation of social reformers seem like slackers. Yet their policies were unashamedly founded on a belief in racial inequality.

Their policies were, however, more honest than the policies of Leftists today. The psychological evidence shows that everyone is racist to some degree. The difference is that the Leftists of the past did not hide it. The Leftists of today, however, think that there is kudos and votes in hiding it so hide it they do -- involving themselves in much irrationality and injustice (e.g. “affirmative action”) in the process.



David Limbaugh tries to talk some sense into the conspiracy theorists of both Left and Right. He shows that GWB is events-driven -- not a conspirator or imperialist.

“Gerald Ford had it right decades ago when he insisted that a "government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have"... The government can't put people to work. A strong, stable and unshackled economy can and will. It's not up to Uncle Sam to fend for our interests. It's up to us. Keep him out”

Bureaucrats always come first: The university bureaucrats are doing fine even while universities cut back on teaching expenditure.


Good to see that the California government’s generosity with other people’s money is coming home to roost -- as businesses move out of the State to escape the high insurance costs that the “generosity” of its worker’s compensation rules have created. Hence California’s high unemployment. Ability to move to another State is one of the glories of Federalism. California could learn from the left-leaning government in Australia’s largest State (New South Wales) -- where all legal liability claims for personal injury have been capped at $300,000!

Another triumph of socialized medicine: Patients who have major operations on the [U.K.] National Health Service are four times more likely to die than Americans undergoing such surgery, according to a new study. “Professor Monty Mythen, head of anaesthesia at UCL who led the British side of the research, said: "The main difference seems to be in the quality of post-operative care and who cares."“

A hopeful first step: "The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved a $13 million school voucher plan for the District, as Republicans easily advanced President Bush's initiative with support from Democrats who said the time had come to experiment with taxpayer-financed alternatives to public schools."

McDonald's obesity suit thrown out again "A federal judge Thursday threw out a class-action lawsuit by two Bronx teenagers claiming McDonald's used false advertising and that the chain's food made them fat and contributed to their health problems. The plaintiffs' lawyers claimed unknown ingredients and processing made foods such as french fries, Chicken McNuggets and Filet-O-Fish sandwiches damaging to consumers' health."

Definitely the right approach in Iraq: "American officials want to speed up training for Iraqi security forces, including former members of Saddam Hussein's military and intelligence services, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday. Making Iraq safe is a job for Iraqis, and no more U.S. troops are needed in the country, Rumsfeld said after meeting in the capital with top military and civilian officials of the American-led occupation."

I must say I feel a bit sorry for U.K. Home Secretary David Blunkett. He has responded fairly reasonably to public concern about the large number of unassimilated immigrants -- often hostile Muslims -- now living in Britain. He has proposed that immigrants pass a test of awareness about Britain and its institutions before being given citizenship. But the Right think he would not know what Britishness was if he fell over it and the Left think that there is no such thing!

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I cast a critical eye on the methods used by the public opinion polls. There are many ways in which most polls can be misleading and better methods of assessing people’s attitudes do exist. Even university researchers, however, often do not use those better methods so the polls offer data as good as or better than what many academics dish up.


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, September 07, 2003


The latest upload of one of my published academic articles is here (or here). It again concerns the lack of science in contemporary psychology and sociology. One of the most basic axioms of science is that a finding must be replicable (repeatable) before it is generally accepted. This can mean that other researchers repeating an experiment must get the same result or that other analyses of the same body of data must get the same result. In this case, the survey results reported in a large and well-reviewed book about racial problems in South Africa seemed suspect to me so I wrote to the book's author asking for a copy of the raw data so that I could re-analyse it. If made within a reasonable space of time after the original publication of findings, such requests are normally complied with promptly and compliance is in fact normally seen as ethically required.

In the case concerned, however, my repeated requests for the raw data were totally ignored (though it later was admitted that my letters had been received). Even when, as a last resort, I threatened exposure of their non-response, I continued to be ignored. One can only speculate, therefore, on what the data did really say. Once again the Leftist domination of the social sciences -- and the attendant carelessness about evidence -- made its mark.


Michael Tremoglie says that labor unions have brought their problems on themselves.

More Leftist eugenics: Australia's (Left of centre) Leader of the Opposition is always reminding us of (some of) the thoughts of Oliver Wendell Holmes, but when Holmes wasn't telling us that 'taxes are the basis of civilization' he was ordering compulsory sterilizations of the mentally ill: Yet another forgotten American inspiration for Adolf.

Trust Leftists not to be able to see the difference between a voluntary program and one enforced by the State: "To its critics, Project Prevention or Crack -- an American organisation which pays drug addicts and alcoholics to be sterilised - - is a terrifying throwback to the neutering of 'defectives' during the 20th Century. But the woman who runs this not-for-profit programme believes she is offering a service to everyone: the drug addict, the taxpayer, the child who has not yet been born, and if she has her way -- will never be born."

Former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia and a critic of the NATO and Canadian intervention there, has pointed out some of the contradictions of the opponents of the Iraq war, who supported 'humanitarian intervention' in Kosovo. Apparently if there is a national security concern intervention is bad. Only do-gooder interventionism is ok!

This map shows something I have been nagging people about for years -- the way English-speakers customarily misname other countries (Scroll down to "Other Follies" here). Pity the Hellenes (Greeks) most of all, though. Other people have been calling their country "Greece" (which they themselves call "Hellas") for over 2,000 years.

I like the Sikhs so this is a very sad story for me: "A[n Arizona] man accused of fatally shooting an Indian immigrant four days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was acting out of a rage fueled by prejudice... [Frank Silva] Roque is accused of killing gas station owner Balbir Singh Sodhi, a 49-year-old who wore a beard and turban as part of his Sikh faith. Sodhi was neither Muslim nor from the Middle East, as the terrorist hijackers had been."

The Supreme Court again has institutionalized the second-class citizenship of African Americans with a strange twist on the old segregationist policy of reserving some privileges for "whites only." Only, this time around, the court seems to be saying that high standards in education are permissible only for white people.

If the old Leninist Left was buried politically in the rubble of the Berlin wall, the literary-academic intelligentsia disappeared morally in the ashes of the 9/11 ground zero.

"A science fiction author. A cashier at Wal-Mart. A pair of libertarian writers. All decry what they see as an increasing trend: appeasement of the less worthy; a pandering to the 'weaknesses and vices of others;' appealing to the self-righteously dependent and unproductive. And for what? Where is the 'profit' involved in this degradation?" More here

Good if it happens: GWB says that his new education law aims at raising the bar for student achievement "The law sets a clear goal for American education: Every child, in every school, must perform at grade level in reading and math, which are the keys to all learning." The initiative "seeks to improve achievement, particularly among poor students, through expanded testing, tougher quality requirements for teachers, yearly monitoring of student progress and sanctions for schools that fail to improve."

Bruce Bartlett says Bush isn't controlling domestic spending, Reagan did a better job of it under much tougher circumstances -- reducing Federal spending from 4.7% of national income to 3.1%. -- "Ronald Reagan had his faults, but he never conceded the principle that government should be as small as possible to do what it has to do".

Some things are so obvious that even the blind can see them: "European Union foreign ministers on Saturday denounced the political wing of Hamas as a terrorist organization following the group's claim of responsibility for a truce-shattering bomb attack in Jerusalem."

The Wicked one notes the big growth in government under GWB and says: "Bring back Clinton".


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.