Saturday, November 22, 2003


This writer has just attended a large international conference of business leaders. So what were these businessmen like? Were they greedy, power-hungry control freaks and crooks, as they are often portrayed? No. "The focus of the conference was value creation. Specifically, the attendees discussed how to be not merely profitable, but how to add economic value to their companies for the benefit of shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers and society. As an observer, I can testify that the comments made by these powerful and successful people were in flat contradiction to the caricature.

The conference participants condemned practices such as short-term thinking for quick financial gain, misstating financial results, unethical behavior, using shareholder money to acquire businesses that added no value to the shareholder, and treating employees like commodities.

They spoke of the absolute necessity of strong ethics not merely as a means to an end but as a way of honoring everyone with whom their business deals. Topics such as transparency, honesty, hard work, and solid decision-making came up frequently.

Perhaps most surprising -- given recent controversies about executive salaries and bonuses -- this group called for executive compensation to be pegged not merely to profit and loss statements, which can be manipulated by a variety of means. Instead, they promoted the idea that as the total value of the company goes up or down, so should the compensation of the executive. To a person, they advocated the need to peg the salaries and bonuses of employees to the value added or value lost so that the employee has a stake in the corporation's future."


The most recent Carnival of the Vanities is up at the elegant Peak Talk site. I notice that there is a sub-blog about the Netherlands there too. It even explains the collapse of the Dutch “pillars” -- which is less tragic than it sounds. I agree with his view that the Dutch have more in common with the Anglo-Saxons than other Europeans do. Dutch even has just about the same vowel sounds as British English, which is very unusual (though Dutch gutturals are another thing altogether). But the Anglo-Saxons who conquered Britain 1500 years age mostly set off from what is now the Netherlands so the affinities are less surprising than they might seem. There is even some DNA research (Weale et al., ‘Y Chromosome Evidence for Anglo-Saxon Mass Migration’, Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2002, vol. 19, pp.1008-21) showing that the Frisians (one part of the Netherlands) are genetically just about the same as the English. I tend to get on well with the Dutch (though from an easygoing Australian viewpoint they are infuriating sticklers for rules at times) and a Dutchman once told me I would make a good Dutchman -- which I took as a great compliment.

What is the best out-of-print book there is? I nominate Why Race Matters: Race Differences and What They Mean (Human Evolution, Behaviour and Intelligence) by philosopher Michael Levin. Amazon has some excellent and informative reviews of it that DO make one wonder WHY the book is out of print. Chris Brand's book on a related subject was pulped after an outcry from Leftists. Nazi-style book-burning is still with us. Marc Miyake has found a copy of Levin’s book in the library of the obscure college where he is at present interned, however, so keep an eye out for it next time you are in a college library.

A great Mark Steyn comment on antisemitism: "That's the great thing about the International Jewish Conspiracy: no Jews need be involved. One day, there will be only one Jew left on the whole planet. He'll be a Dean supporter who mangled his chad and accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan. But he'll still be controlling the Bush Administration. He'll be a non-observant, self-loathing Jew who doesn't find Jackie Mason funny. He'll be the principal fundraiser for Islamic Jihad. But everything will still be his fault"

Various Third-World countries are trying to put the internet under the control of the United Nations! That needs to be resisted mightily! Cyberspace is about the only really free place there is in the world today. And the prospect of taxes on the internet is discussed here

Mike Tremoglie has some telling examples of Leftist bias in the US mainstream media.

This article suggests that the nature of American society makes America ill-equipped to win the sort of intelligence war that they need to win if they are to defeat Islamic terrorism by police methods. I agree. I think that massive retailation against the communities that support terrorism is the only way America can defeat terrorism and America is still a long way from embracing that idea.

John Moore has a pretty worrying post about the nuclear threat from Iran.

The strange way they refer to terrorists in Iraq has convinced Arlene Peck that the Los Angeles Times is not only anti-Jewish but also anti-American.

Keith Burgess-Jackson has a good post on why intellectuals tend to be Left-leaning (I refuse to call them “liberals” -- because they are anything BUT liberty-oriented).

The Blog Quebecois is a good one despite its unpropitious location. He has an interesting rule: “On all great moral questions, I first consult Barbra Streisand's website. If she's fer somethin', I'm agin it; and vice versa. I have followed this regime faithfully for many years now, and I am today a happy man”

Commiewatch is a good site for keeping track of the still-alive Communist influence on various “peace” and “protest” demonstrations. Such things are almost invariably highly organized rather than spontaneous and it is the lunar Left that does the organizing.

In my latest academic upload (see here or here) I review a book that is useful for debunking most of the research that has been done on psychological authoritarianism.


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Friday, November 21, 2003


If I have any Leftist readers, this post should make them froth at the mouth

There is a great letter here from someone in Britain who watched GWB’s interview there on TV. It highlights the contradictory views many of GWB’s detractors have of him and the arrogance behind such views.

The point the letter makes about GWB’s relative inarticulateness reminds me of a similar phenomenon here in my home State of Queensland. Queensland was run for nearly 20 years by the very conservative Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen. I was one of his party members. “Sir Joh”, as he was known, was universally condemned by the intelligentsia for his inarticulateness. He spoke like the ill-educated farmer he was. The media regularly said he made no sense at all. But he made plenty of sense to the ordinary Queenslanders who voted for him and in one State election (1974) his government actually got 59% of the popular vote -- a majority so large as to be almost unheard of in a Westminster democracy.

The big political battle in Australia in the mid-70s was in fact between the immensely erudite and silver-tongued Leftist Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, and the stumble-tongued but very canny Queensland Premier. And when the 1975 Federal election came around Sir Joh did Whitlam like a dinner. The Leftists won only one out of 18 Queensland seats -- which lost them power in Australia as a whole.

So I think that is a pretty good augury for GWB next time he faces the voters. I suspect that his “inarticulateness” is an asset to him with his voters too. And if GWB does as much good for the USA in his second term as Sir Joh did for Queensland he will be doing very well indeed.


It looks like Brookes News has declared war on the “Sydney Morning Herald” this week. Analogies with the “New York Times” do spring to mind

Thoughts on Marx, Keynes and the US recession. The upturn in the US economy has certainly disinterred some economic verities. It also got me thinking about economic absurdities.
Is the Sydney Morning Herald's Alan Ramsey anti-Semitic? Alan Ramsey of the Sydney Morning Herald accuses the Jews of starting Middle East terrorism. Naturally, it follows that they are only getting what they deserve. I guess that also includes the kids.
Daschle: callous bigoted and dangerous. Like it or not, Tom Daschle has lot in common with the late Salvador Allende, the former Marxist president of Chile who tried to turn his country into another Cuban dungeon. Like Allende Daschle also holds his country's constitution and traditions in contempt.
A howl of anguish from a Bush and Howard hater. Jane Doulman's anti-Howard, anti-Bush article in Web Diary, Sydney Morning Herald, said it all about the left. Its callousness, hypocrisy, contempt for the truth and indifference to the suffering of others.
The Hollywood Syndrome and the left. A look at how the left control Hollywood.
The latest Palestinian textbook calls for holy war and martyrdom. The following exposes the hate and bigotry that motivates Islamo-fascists. It also refutes the vicious anti-Semitic claim of Alan Ramsey of the Sydney Morning Herald that the Jews are responsible for Palestinian terrorism.

Details here


Jeff Jacoby points out some of the faulty reasoning in the Taxachusetts decision on homosexual marriage. And here is an article that in my view badly misstates the libertarian position on marriage generally. I have always thought it clear that the libertarian position is that marriage should never be anything other than a private contract between the parties concerned.

The Left never ceases to show its true colours. In this story we hear of Australian union leader Doug Cameron being bashed by other unionists because he is not Leftist enough. Ironically Cameron is a knee-jerk Leftist like the Scotsman he is -- but even that is not Leftist enough, apparently. So “compassionate”!

This was a good open letter to GWB from an Englishman that sums the Left up very succinctly: “You will find yourself assailed on every hand by some pretty pretentious characters collectively known as the British left. They traditionally believe they have a monopoly on morality and that your recent actions preclude you from the club. You opposed and destroyed the world's most blood-encrusted dictator. This is quite unforgivable. I beg you to take no notice. The British left intermittently erupts like a pustule upon the buttock of a rather good country. Seventy years ago it opposed mobilisation against Adolf Hitler and worshipped the other genocide, Josef Stalin. It has marched for Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Andropov. It has slobbered over Ceausescu and Mugabe. It has demonstrated against everything and everyone American for a century. Broadly speaking, it hates your country first, mine second” Via the WSJ

Conservative Truth has a couple of amusing pictures to accompany its comment on “Neanderthal” Ted Kennedy.

I have just posted some more of Chris Brand’s thoughts here. He notes “Islamic Awareness” fallacies and attacks on moral relativism.

Leftist psychologists are obsessed with the fact that conservatives are more acceptant of the power and authority arrangements in our present society than they are. They think it shows that conservatives are literally out of their minds. I have therefore written a lot in the academic journals about psychological authoritarianism -- showing the Leftist view to be wrong on just about every count (See here). I was however for most of my academic career employed in a university Sociology Department so I did on one occasion look at the sociology instead of the psychology of authoritarianism. I compared the degree of authoritarianism in British, American and Australian society. I found that Britain was a much more army-like (or ant-like) place than either Australia or the USA. Details here or here


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Thursday, November 20, 2003


Keith Burgess-Jackson has a short follow-up to my post on J.S. Mill, in which I noted Mill’s anti-liberty deeds. Keith explains that Mill never was anything like a libertarian philosophically either.

And a reader gives some of the history of how an apparent love of liberty somehow got tangled up with socialism:

“Joseph Stromberg sees Mill's embrace of socialism as a by product of his experiences as an imperial administrator. A lot of the socialistic liberals essentially learned their craft out in the colonies, which were not usually administered according to laissez faire principles stoutly defended at home. He mentions Wakefield, whose schemes played a prominent role in the development of the British colonies of South Australia and New Zealand, both of which were the more 'progressive' or socialistic of the Australasian colonies. There are some parallels on the other side of the Atlantic a generation or so later, where many of the "progressive era" administrators had trial runs in reordering the new colonies like the Philippines and Cuba.

Historically socialists have (following Lenin) criticised "imperialism" as the last or "highest" stage of capitalism, yet on these grounds you could argue that "imperialism" wasn't so much the last stage of capitalism, merely the first stage of socialism!!

There was a paper by Milton Friedman (called, “Is a free society stable?” published in the New Individualist Review, 2(2):3--10, 1962 and reproduced in a compendium edited by Tibor Machan), that speculated about these issues. He said that many of the 19th century liberals, especially the utilitarians and Benthamites -- and JSM would seem to have at least one foot in this camp -- opposed interventionist government in the 18th century, not because they were individualists but because government was so corrupt. After centuries of mercantilism, no self respecting social reformer would dream of using government to implement their utopia, anymore than the Greens today would consider lobbying the mafia to fight global warming.

So the reformers were happy to make a tactical alliance with the individualists. Individualists are always a minority group and rarely have the numbers to "rule" in their own right. In the 18th Century, Britain was considered a relatively lawless land of smugglers, highwaymen with corrupt officials and judges. Yet by the 19th Century, the Brits were renowned for almost painful "Victorian" rectitude and lawfulness. Friedman says it was the laissez faire reforms that took the profit out of politics and encouraged a renewed respect for law. This also made late 19th Century civil service reforms possible. The old spoils system was replaced by professionalism and academic excellence.

These laissez faire era reforms made it possible for the social reformers and utopians to now start to see the State as useful engine for social reform. Hence JSM's shift from liberalism to socialism, and the growth of big government over the last century. Friedman saw a silver lining behind all this. As the state has grown, corruption, black marketeering and influence peddling have proliferated. These forces may act as 'limits to growth' for big government and undermine the political consensus behind it”

Leftists sure do get themselves confused. Probably because they don’t really stand for anything at all. Any policies at all will do -- as long as it makes them sound good and noble.


For once I agree with the NYT: “For Tony Blair, ousting Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do. Mr. Blair got very little in return for his steadfast support of American policy, but then he never expected he would. Decisively dealing with the threat was enough of a reward — even if doing so meant risking his political future. For Mr. Blair, a man who came to power often derided as a master of spin and as overreliant on polls and focus groups, the Iraq crisis marked him as the conviction politician he is”

"So, let's see --- GOP uses immigration in 1994, and wins. GOP concedes the issue to the Democrats in 1998 and 2002, and is annihilated. GOP uses immigration again in 2003, and wins. Does anyone notice a pattern here?" They should. Immigration-control has been a winner for conservatives in Australia. One can only wonder when US and UK conservatives will wise up.

Opinion Journal expresses the hope that Republican politician Bobby Jindal will become the first Indian-American US Senator. In that context I might note again that under the wicked old “racist” British Empire, two Indians represented English electorates in the House of Commons long ago (Dadadhai Naoroji 1892-1895 and M.M. Bhownagree 1895-1906). Australia elected its first Aboriginal (Australian native black) Senator -- the conservative Neville Bonner -- in 1971 -- representing my allegedly redneck home State of Queensland.

Andrew Bolt has a report from a young Indonesian Muslim which explains why so many Muslims hate us so much. What we have seems like heaven on earth to them but we get it by what they are taught are demonic means. In short, our very existence makes them and their religion look dumb.

Chris Brand is posting up a storm lately. For convenience, I have transferred some of his latest postings here. He mentions a new book on IQ and the heritability of criminal tendencies, among other things.

I am really proud of this story. And they’ve got a photo to prove it! Australia has a Prime Minister at the moment who is a real human being. And he is a conservative, needless to say. I can’t imagine a similar thing happening in many other countries.

My latest academic upload (see here or here) is one of many wherein I have taken on the task of pointing out to fellow psychologists that they have ignored most of the relevant literature on the topic they discuss and hence makes asses of themselves. In this case the psychologists I criticized wrote a reply showing that they had STILL not absorbed or taken account of what others had found on their subject so I was allowed to write a rejoinder pointing that out. See here or here. The whole episode is a vivid illustration of the Leftist influence in psychology. They just KNOW they have got it right and evidence is just a bother.


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Wednesday, November 19, 2003


J.S. Mill is often seen by libertarians as one of their founding fathers. This passage from his famous essay "On liberty" tells you why:

"The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to some one else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

Mill did not, however, take his own advice. In his day he was a radical -- advocating all sorts of government intervention in people's lives. Sad. In Parliament, Mill supported such measures as public ownership of natural resources, compulsory education, and birth control. Like Marx, he thought you had to use coercion to get to liberty. Unfortunately, only the coercion ever arrives that way. Liberty never does.

But here is another wise thing he said: ""War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."


Logic Monkey has found that Saddam STILL has his admirers among the US media. And Leftist university students still like Saddam too. And Opinion Journal notes that even America’s “liberal” bigwigs are still defending Saddam. It's not much of a hope but I hope it's really a hatred of their own country rather than a liking for the ghastly Saddam.

"It is dumb to suppose that the way to decrease crime is to make sure all potential victims of violent crime are disarmed. It is dumber yet to believe that a criminal will obey a gun-control law. No bank robber or rapist has ever set out and then stopped and said, 'Gosh, I don't have a permit for this weapon, so I guess I'd better not rob that bank or rape that girl.' No serial killer has ever said: 'Gosh, I can't kill this person with an unregistered weapon. That would be against the law.' The dumbest idea is to suppose that an inanimate object can turn a noncriminal into a criminal. To believe that guns cause crime is as stupid as believing that hammers and saws cause houses."

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson tells it like it is: “The problems of the black community are due to a lack of moral character and not racism.... . Over 90% of black homicides in America are committed by other blacks, but instead of addressing the root causes of black-on-black crime, the NAACP absurdly blames gun manufacturers. The average black public high school graduate has in reality only an eighth-grade education, yet the NAAPC vehemently opposes school choice”

Enemies of freedom: "The city of Miami is bracing this week for 20,000 demonstrators determined to disrupt negotiations on trade among 34 countries.... The protesters object to plans for a Free Trade Area of the Americas, which would create a market encompassing the Western Hemisphere except Cuba”

Moronic US airport security strikes again. Why Americans allow such Stalinism is beyond me.

I have just been linked to by a Tamil blog. Tamils live mostly in South East India and have their own alphabet so I have not the faintest clue what the blog is all about but it does have some nice pictures. I have actually collaborated on psychological research in Tamil Nadu in bygone days so I was a little more pleased than usual to get the link.

Kiwi Pundit has a fabulous example of how the honchos of socialist medicine fix the problem of long waiting lists.

Michael Darby has just posted one of his periodical “Reports” on the net again here. He notes the 70th anniversary of the Soviet genocide against the Ukraine, links to a Daniel Pipes post about “George Bush the Radical” and has much else besides -- including his usual extensive reports from Zimbabwe.

UK blogger Peter Cuthbertson is back in action with a new address for “Conservative Commentary”

The Wicked one has an unusual horoscope that should manage to offend most people.

My latest academic upload (see here or here) offers some evidence to show that what appears on TV and in the media generally does form people’s perception of what is normal. When the survey was conducted 20 years ago, Australian TV had very little representation of any minority group. In both Australia and the USA that has since changed drastically of course. So if what appears on TV does help form impressions of what is normal (as Leftists indeed would seem to hope that it does) people outside America who watch American TV shows these days might well think that American blacks are in general clever, sophisticated and witty.


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Tuesday, November 18, 2003


Amusing: The allegedly academic but in reality far-Left “International Society for Political Psychology” that Instapundit recently outed is falling on hard times. Look at the email they have just sent out. People are cancelling their subscriptions in droves. Who wants to PAY for propaganda?


A thorough analysis of how the Greenies caused most of the recent Califonia fire disaster is here

"Light Rail" has been a popular Greenie answer to city transport problems for a generation. In Sydney, Australia, a couple of light rail 'solutions' have been tried but they are hardly ever used. It appears that Sydney's experience is pretty common.

"Does [the Natural Resources Defense Council] care that their information was deceptive? Do they care that they distort the whole environmental issue in the minds of the public? Do they care that they cause a lot of extra work and expense by others to disprove information they KNEW was deceptive? Do they care that they destroy businesses and careers with their lies? Hell ... why should they care ... that's how they got to be so big and wealthy ... by suckering people before the truth could correct their lies."

"Global warming": The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has publicly acknowledged that the National Assessment on Climate Change was NOT "subjected to OSTP's Information Quality Act guidelines." This backdown now appears in the middle of the U. S. Global Change Research Program's web site. For once, what sounds like bureaucratic fluff actually means something. The implications are spelt out here.

And the Greenies now want to hike taxes on air travel. In the name of saving the world, they want to stop people from seeing it. They are certainly not shy about dictating to people. "We know best" is their undoubted creed. A pity they are such ignoramuses.

And their ignorance shows very clearly in their opposition to genetically-modified crops. The ecological advantages of GM are discussed here.

Brazil looks like it is converting to GM crops willy-nilly, despite Brazilian government opposition. Latin anarchy can have its advantages.

There is a supposed psychological analysis (with not an atom of proof given for any assertion made) of Rush Limbaugh’s audience here. The bit I liked is the claim that Limbaugh’s audience “are mindlessly agreeing with the powerful economic interests he insidiously represents”. Agreeing with Limbaugh has to be mindless, get it? A person just could not thoughtfully and intelligently agree with Limbaugh. And our supposed analyst accuses Limbaugh of being simplistic and dogmatic! Once again we see a Leftist engaging in “projection” -- seeing his own faults in others. And Limbaugh is “insidious”? How can he be insidious and simplistic at the same time? I would have thought that Limbaugh is as straightforward as you can get. Link via Earthly Passions

Hooray! The Peking People’s Daily has thrown its weight behind the importance of IQ! They see the high average IQ of Chinese as a perfectly reasonable finding! They also think that Chinese have better ethics! I agree. It is largely for that reason that I have two Han Chinese living in my own house.

And the more law abiding nature of East Asians also explains why the governor of Okinawa wants to reduce crime by getting U.S. Marines withdrawn. Black American troops HAVE been responsible for shocking crimes there by Asian standards -- though similar crimes would not make the news in New York. The Okinawans would be happy to see just the blacks go but you cannot mention that, of course.

A delightful post at Samizdata on a totally original approach to taxation from Switzerland. It is too rational to catch on widely, I fear. We would never slip it past our hate- and envy-filled Leftists.

Peter Hitchens thinks the Queen should block Britain’s accession to the new EU constitution. She certainly has that power and her use of it in that way would undoubtedly be popular but I cannot see her breaking with tradition to do it -- much as I hope she would. But the EU constitution would undoubtedly reduce her role and powers so she just might. The Royal powers have been used to good effect in Australia in the not too distant past -- amazing though that must seem to most Americans.

French President Chirac has made a big show of condemning antisemitism but any concrete results from that have yet to be seen. The Dreyfus case in the 19th century showed how antisemitic the French are. As far as I can see, nothing has changed. For the French idea of “action” against antisemitism, see the last part of this article.

Jeff Jacoby puts the argument against homosexual marriage. Personally, I think in ANY marriage it is the relationship that matters, not the bit of paper describing it. But I have been married four times so maybe I am just an old cynic.

An interesting comparison of the American campaign in Iraq with a great imperial campaign of the past here. Via Photon Courier

ABC Watch has a good comment about “concern” in the Australian media over Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

The latest upload of a chapter from my book (See here or Chapter 21 here) is another shot in the unending war against the perennial folly of protectionism. GWB's steel tariff is the best-known current example of that particular folly.


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Monday, November 17, 2003


Most readers of this blog will know the amazing accounts of degraded British working class life given by British prison doctor, “Theodore Dalrymple” -- many of which are to be found in City Journal. I recently put up a post saying that the “poor” are not much different here in Australia and one of my American readers wrote in to say that the “poor” are pretty similar in her neck of the woods too. The basic message is that it is foolish and self-destructive behaviour that is responsible for most poverty and degradation in modern Western societies.

Yet another American reader -- a medical practitioner -- has now written in to give an example of how many of “the poor” in his experience behave. He writes of a foolish woman who has, wonderfully, had a wiser child:

“My sister in law adopted a daughter many years ago after having her own son naturally. Over the years, the adopted daughter, unfortunately, developed almost every problem imaginable -- rebellious behavior, sex, etc; she even turned her father in to the police when he gave her a well-deserved spanking. She has been on and off of welfare for years She chain smokes, drinks, etc...

Her first husband was a loser -- an on again off again construction worker -- but they had a daughter (who has now just graduated high school and is truly a beautiful child in spite of having losers for parents). She then divorced this guy, and proceeded to marry a convicted sex offender (yes - I am not lying). Had a son with him.

When the daughter was young, she accused the baby sitter of "inappropriate touching". I am always suspicious of such claims -- especially knowing the unhealthy environment she was raised in. Most recently, the daughter was placed in foster care. Her mother was in jail for physical violence, and she accused her stepfather of sexually molesting her.

My wife has always had a liking for this unfortunate little girl. She is a good student, and has begun college. My wife went to her high school graduation -- she invited her mother, but apparently she didn't show.

This woman has shown all the characteristics of "the poor" and she started out middle class so "poverty" didn't make her that way. She has just had a lifetime of bad choices. There is just no reason that any amount of government money or "counseling" will change this. I would be surprised if she lives to be 50”


A reader has been looking at the history of Wilhelm Marr -- the man who proudly coined the term “antisemitism” (Antisemitismus in German) when in 1879 he published a very influential antisemitic booklet called "Der Sieg des Judenthums ueber das Germanenthum" (“The victory of Jewry over the Germanic realm”). He notes that Marr was an active socialist but this is rarely mentioned (for some reason!) in potted biographies of Marr. This German source does however give details of that. My reader writes:

“Even the term "antisemitism" was first coined in latter half of 19th Century Germany by a group of socialists who formed the first self-named "Anti-semitic League". These guys were consiously joining the older anti-Jewish prejudices with the newer more 'scientific' theories of 19th Century “racial science”. History has shown this to have been a particularly explosive and nasty combination. At its worst the older pre-'anti-semite' anti-Jewish prejudice "only" lead to discrimination and localised pogroms, like the various campaigns against witches, gypsies, heretics etc. These were usually manipulated by local opportunist political leaders, sometimes with support from national kings and bishops, Catholic and Protestant, sometimes without.

It took the combination of science, socialism and social Darwinism to escalate mass murder (mega-murder really) into an multi-national industry. It is significant that this socialist group was there at the critical juncture. Many modern liberals and socialists try to ascribe Hitlerism wholly to the longer older anti-Jewish thread in the West, so it becomes just another part of their 'progressive' campaign against western traditions. This old anti-Jewish tradition deserves condemnation, but it is a ingenuous to leave out the critical and significant role of socialism and "the scientific planners" in "upping the ante".”

Tyler Cowen has lots more on the connection between socialism and antisemitism in the 19th century.


I have just put up on PC Watch a comment about This report that racism can be detected by probes into your brain. seems to be having one of its periodic bouts of indigestion at the moment, however, so I have also posted my comment here

I helped philosopher Keith Burgess-Jackson fix up his template yesterday (which is why his blog now looks like mine) and I feel that my input was well worth it when I read him writing things like this: “Liberals, for all their vaunted talk about freedom of expression, don't want a robust debate on issues such as privacy, affirmative action, and redistributive taxation. They are true believers-- dogmatists-- who view opposition to their views and values as malice, ignorance, or stupidity rather than as a reflection of honest and respectable disagreement. In short, liberals have become totalitarians.” As an ex-liberal himself, he speaks from some knowledge.

Another Affirmative Action bake sale: "What started out as a bake sale now has the [William & Mary] College community up in arms in a new debate on the ever-current issue of cultural diversity on campus. The controversy stems from the new student organization, the Sons of Liberty, and their anti-affirmative action bake sale that occurred last Saturday and sold cookies and brownies to students at different prices based on race.

My latest academic upload (see here or here) is of a study I did of white South Africans at the height of the Apartheid era. Conventional Leftist theory would say that they must have had dictatorial (“Fascist”) personalities. I show that their personalities were perfectly normal.


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Sunday, November 16, 2003


I made the pleasant discovery recently that there is now a blog concentrating on analytical philosophy run by Keith Burgess-Jackson. I am pleased that there are still a few analytical philosophers about. I had the impression that most university philosophy departments had been taken over by devotees of Marx, Freud and assorted other quacks and charlatans. There are all sorts of "philosophy" around but analytical philosophy is the only sort that I bother with. It is the most academic sort and is more of a tool than an answer to life's big questions. It looks at what discourse implies so a background in it helps you to clarify your thinking on any everyday topic that you might tackle. Keith surprised me at one point, though, when he described "murder is wrong" as a necessary truth. I thought for a moment that he might be a moral absolutist (or more precisely, an ethical non-naturalist) rather than a moral relativist but I am pretty sure that the point he was really making is that murder is DEFINED as wrongful killing. So the statement is a tautology (repetition), not information of any kind.

I think his view of what economists do is largely mistaken, however. He says that economists should not engage in evaluative debate about public policy and would be wiser to confine themselves to statements about causes and effects among economic phenomena. But that is precisely what economists generally do. Mainly they just inform. They tell the politicians and the political campaigners what the consequences of a given policy will be and then ask: "Do you really want that?". For instance, a politician may advocate rent-control to help the poor but an economist will then point out that rent control will tend to dry up the provision of all rental accomodation -- thus hurting many of the poor who will then be able to find no accomodation at all. That SOUNDS like taking sides in a policy debate but it really is as scientific as any other application of rules. SOME economists do, however, take sides in a most disreputable way. Why does the name "Krugman" spring immediately to my mind?


It looks like there WERE important links between Saddam and Osama.

Muslim fundamentalists really ARE today's Nazis: "Near-simultaneous car bombs exploded outside two Istanbul synagogues filled with worshippers Saturday"

Miranda Devine cites research to show that: "childhood suffering is caused by a lack of spiritual meaning, an absence of expectations and limits and a breakdown in authority structures"

Patrick West points out that at least some Church of England clergy see science as a superior authority to the Bible in deciding the proper attitude to homosexuality. I do too but I don't wear a pectoral cross and pretend to believe in the Church of England's 39 "Articles of Religion". Note Article 6: "Holy scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation." And note what Holy scripture containeth regarding homosexuality: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination" (Leviticus 20:13). And 1 Timothy 1:10 makes clear that it is against God's law for Christians as well as for Jews. But expecting a Chuch of England bishop to care about God's law IS a bit quaint, I guess.

And Jenny Bristow asks what's behind society's rampant homophilia? Why is homosexuality suddenly "in"? One quote: "By trying to make its faith relevant and tolerant, the Anglican church is further exposed as irrelevant, faithless and incoherent."

Good to see that Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski has just won a million dollar prize for his work: "He began his career as a philosophy professor as a Marxist, but became disillusioned and was eventually expelled from the Communist Party, lost his post at Warsaw University and went into exile in 1968. He then wrote his best-known work, the three-volume "Main Currents of Marxism: Its Rise, Growth and Dissolution," describing Marxism as "the greatest fantasy of our century."" He also sees Marxism as akin to the old utopian religions.

An amusing article in The Spectator on the British Labour government's effort to ban hunting with dogs. It is not only the nobility who would be affected.

PID points out that Britain's Tony Blair and his "New Labour" party learnt much of their trade from the moderate Australian Left -- and thinks that the national identity card now proposed for Britain will fail to get up just as a similar idea failed under an Australian Labor Party government. There is another comment on the British ID card here

The Usurer adds some Randian observations to what I said yesterday about the Leftist fear of envy. He sees Leftist intellectuals as acting goody-goody because they fear the masses. If I had the contempt for ordinary people that they do I might try to mask it too, I guess.

"Before they send their children onto a college campus in North America, parents should read two new reports. What passes for education at many universities is not merely an intellectual embarrassment; it is also tremendously expensive. The good news: A spotlight is now shining on these problems, and students in the near future may receive the quality education for which their parents having been paying through tuition and taxes."

China Hand has a fun comparison between Hong Kong newspapers and "Black Playboy" (National Geographic).

In my latest academic upload (see here or here) I address the simplistic notion prevalent among psychologists to the effect that domineering behaviour must spring from pro-authority attitudes. I show that it is in fact more likely to be a product of ambition.


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