Saturday, December 06, 2003


One of my regular readers writes:

As I write this I am amazed how big yet how small the Blog world is. I am writing in reference to your link "Surprise Surprise The NYT uses Gestapo tactics" The women who wrote the original email and the letters to the NYT is Ghayda Al Ali. As I write this email she is sitting in the next room. Ghayda is my fiancée and I am her host during her visit to the States. We are surprised and heartened by the way her difficultly with the NY times has been noticed by blogs around the world and from the offers of help and concern she has received.

The situation between her family and the NY Times is continuing to unfold. Yesterday her brother Ali had a meeting with the NYT Baghdad bureau chief that was less than completely satisfactory. The NYT understands Ali cannot be denied access to his property and they are anxious to put the incident behind them. But nothing more was mentioned other than recognition Ali will not be barred from his property. There are clearly some loose ends that need taken care of here. As the NY Times seems to think the issue has been resolved with nothing left to be done, Ali will be taking additional action elsewhere. I apologize for being deliberately vague but there are some things going on in the background that are not yet appropriate for public discussion.

The Al Ali family needs full access to their property including access for potential customers to the attached store fronts. Interestingly, this property was taken from the Al Ali family by Saddam twenty five years ago. After the recent war, the family regained title to the property only to be denied it's residential and commercial use by an American newspaper. It must be said the Ali family has acknowledged at every turn of this situation that the NY Times has legitimate concerns for the security of their staff yet these concerns do not justify unlawful acts on the part of their private security force or their agents.

Ghayda and her brother are determined to see this to its conclusion. There is more at stake here than family finances.

Rebuilding Iraqi will be a huge task. The mechanical aspects such as oil, water, sewage, banking, electricity and the like are immense yet in some sense straight forward. Even more important is the establishment of the rule of law, an understanding among all Iraqi citizens that laws apply equally to all. Those with power, money, or a AK-47, are not exempt. Nor does a powerful American corporate entity have the right to act as an power unto themselves. These things seem obvious to those of us born into freedom. They are by no means obvious to the Iraqi people as a whole.

Remember for a generation, even a mild complaint against those in power could bring death to you and your family. Ghayda tells a story of a boy in her junior high school who in a fit of anger tore a newspaper photo of Saddam in pieces. He was reported and a few days later he and his family disappeared. In this context it is unfortunately understandable why the Al-Karada police and judge are willing to look the other way when the actions of a powerful American newspaper are called into question.

Many Iraqis are frustrated. They wonder if Americans really care at all about them. Do we as Americans really believe in the universal rights we so easily banter about? Do they belong to all or only to those with power and the influence?

It is not sufficient to dispose of Saddam and his followers and leave the rest to hasty elections. Democracy and the rights and responsibilities of freedom must be learned. America as the provisional authority needs to teach by example. A proper resolution of conflict between the New York Times and the Al Ali family would be a small but important step in the right direction.

Today Ghayda received email from an American print journalist currently in Baghdad. This journalist will be looking into this incident and there is some reason to think it may appear in the mainstream American media in the not too distant future. Of course the hope is a little public exposure will help bring this incident to an acceptable resolution.

One ironic component of this situation is Ghayda is putting the final touches on her Ph.D. dissertation in English Translation. She is looking at the ideological and informational shifts that occur as English language news headlines are translated into Arabic for the Arab press. It is one thing to see ideological acrobatics in an academic context, and another to see them unfold as family news.

So on Ghayda's behalf I thank you for the link. If you would like to correspond with Ghayda directly, let me know and I will put her in touch with you.

A reader thinks both Leftists and Catholics are basically wishful thinkers: "Back in Catholic school, one good sister told us about a saint that could fly. She said that we, too, could fly if we believed and prayed long and hard enough. Likewise, all liberal thought arises from good intentions - tax the rich and there will be more money for "the poor" (not so if you look at facts - when "the rich" (business owners) are taxed to death, they arrange their own finances do they can pay more taxes and still maintain their after-tax income, and cut where they can - like in hiring, raises, benefits to their employees"

Another reader writes: "A leftist teacher friend of mine found herself painted into a corner recently when she tried to explain 50s social values to a class of modern teens. Despite her best effort to sell the advantages of feminism, diversity and libertine culture, most of the kids quickly saw the more stable and predictable values of the 50s as offering more protection to the weakest and most vulnerable members of society, children"

Steven Hamori is upset at a firm that sells Soviet "memorabilia" such as a KGB wristwatch. He recently wrote to them: "I'm not a hyper-sensitive person who gets offended over silly things but why are you selling a watch with the KGB shield on it? Are you aware that the USSR murdered over 40 million of their own civilians and around 10 million of their own soldiers .. If you're going to sell this stuff, what's next? A Nazi SS watch? If you think it is a silly example it only means you don't know any Soviet history... they (the Soviets) murdered more innocent people than the Nazis... "


I think this “Townhall” writer is correct in saying that Russia’s experiment with democracy is just about over. It was too big a change for them. I would say that Russia is now a Fascist State remarkably like Mussolini’s Italy of the 1930s --- complete with strong nationalism, a hankering for socialism, a strong and very popular leader, a controlled media and oligarchic capitalism. But while capitalism thrives there -- which it mostly does -- there is hope that a more prosperous Russia will emerge and cause Fascism to do what it always eventually does -- evolve into democracy. As a Burkean conservative, I do believe that change needs to be evolutionary rather than sudden for the best outcome to emerge.

Bureaucratic idiocy: "Stricter federal rules on patient privacy are stopping a young Kenosha girl from delivering hundreds of toys to chronically-ill children in the hospital. Thirteen-year-old Robin Krawchuk has collected more than 400 toys. Each year since 1996 Robin has delivered toy donations to young patients to celebrate her own remission from leukemia. Until this year she's been able to deliver the toys to kids at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin where she too had been a patient. Children's Hospital spokesperson Jackie Gauger says new policies prevent anyone under 16 from visiting unless they're a relative."

New Deal or Bad Deal? "Good intentions are over-rated. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal, for instance, has been hailed for its lofty goals of reforming the American economy and helping the under-privileged. Yet mounting evidence, developed by dozens of economists across the country, shows that the New Deal prolonged joblessness for millions, and black people were especially hard hit."

The high costs of busybodies: "With more than 80,000 people on waiting lists for various organs, and many dying while waiting, why prevent such transactions? One reason is that third parties would be offended. You know the words and the music: How terrible that the rich can buy other people's body parts -- and that the poor are so desperate as to sell. If you think that you have a right to forbid other people from making such voluntary transactions, then you are saying that your delicate sensibilities are more important than the poverty or even the deaths of other people."

This Mexican intellectual has found that elites in the USA all like illegal Mexican immigration. It is only poor old Joe Citizen who does not.

Such a worry: "San Diego parent Lonecia Landry has sent her daughter to Nubia Leadership Academy, a charter school, for five years. She's aware the school leases its facilities from Bayview Baptist Church, and that many of the staff and students attend services there. For Ms. Landry, the urgent need was to keep her daughter out of traditional public schools -- the same schools that employ her as a teacher. Landry says she feels comfortable about having her daughter attend Nubia Academy, even though they're not affiliated with the church. ... Experts worry, however, that in parents' eagerness to escape traditional public schools, some may be overlooking religious or other ideological messages seeping into their children's lessons."

Keith Burgess-Jackson has an interesting but sketchy post on atheist Christians. I don't think that I am an atheist Christian in his sense but ever since my teens I have been inspired by Christ's social teachings and still consider Christian morality to be the wisest in general. Clearly, one can follow Christ's teaching on how to live without accepting any of his teachings about the hereafter. And I think there is some case for calling such people Christians.

Personal Independence Day liked my posting about JFK yesterday. He has further information and comment on JFK and the civil rights movement here and here

Mark Pierce is having a bit of a laugh at Democrat hand-wringing over talk-radio.

James of Conservative Voice has just posted his explanation of why such a thing as the Left exists. Some good insights.

My academic upload yesterday debunking the Leftist theory of "authoritarianism" actually got a reply from a defender of the theory. I reply to the reply fairly bitingly 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.


Friday, December 05, 2003


US recession and the fallacy of technological overhang. When every so-called technological breakthrough and invention immediately attracts investment, think of the South Sea Bubble. John Stuart Mill sadly remarked that these booms left many businessmen and eager investors "to repent at leisure." And that was written about 172 years ago.
Australian newspaper bashes Bush. Graham Barrett's Why Bush is still the man to beat is another sickening example of the left's mendacity and its hatred of President Bush.
Circle of Poison: another vicious example of green propaganda. Circle of Poison is the title of a malicious book co-authored by David Weir and Mark Schapiro. It was sponsored and published in 1981 by the left-wing Institute of Food Development Policy (IFDP) which is linking to the notorious Marxist-Leninist IPS.
US manufacturing, wages and the lessons of history. In the US in 1929 the Committee on Recent Economic Changes wisely observed: "Each generation believes itself to be on the verge of a new economic era, an era of fundamental change". Seventy-four years later and I very much doubt if the lesson has been learnt.

Details here



"Having criticized FDR's people for handing Eastern Europe to Stalin at Yalta in 1945, he joined Republicans in blasting the Truman administration and the State Department for their culpability in China's collapse before the Communists four years later. Speaking from the House floor, he said, "The responsibility for [this] failure...rests squarely with the White House and the Department of State."

Kennedy also confronted communist subversion at home. As a House labor committee member, he helped convict a communist union official. While in the Senate, he backed Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigations. In January 1955, after McCarthy had fallen from power, JFK walked out on a banquet speech by McCarthy-hating journalist Edward R. Murrow.

As with totalitarianism, so, too, with tax cuts. Midway through his presidential term, JFK proposed a sweeping across-the-board tax cut, dismaying liberal Democrats, who preferred wasteful spending binges to "stimulate" the economy.

Today's liberal historians equate JFK's tax cut proposals with a demand-side stimulus, but that's not what JFK said while arguing for them. Here's what he said: "The present rates ranging up to 91% not only check consumption but discourage investment and encourage...the avoidance of taxes [rather] than the production of goods." He went on: "Our present tax system...reduces the financial incentives for personal effort, investment, and risk-taking."

More here


Who said this? "I am in favour of upward mobility through hard work," It was the new leader of Australia’s major Left-leaning political party. Sounds good.

Surprise, Surprise! The New York Times uses Gestapo tactics in Iraq.

GWB’s “No Child Left Behind” Act is working -- by making lazy teachers work. And the improvement in results for students is dramatic. See here.

There is an interview with a leading Muslim intellectual reported in a Pakistani newspaper. Note the following Q and A: “You reckon that there are so many contradictions between the West and the Muslim world, is there any chance of reconciliation and dialogue between the two civilizations?" .. "There is none. The basic concepts of both civilizations are in total contrast with each other. When I say this I do not address Western civilization as Christianity. I speak of a man-made system completely devoid of divine guidance” Pretty plain. Islam can only be defeated by force. Trying to placate them is as foolish as appeasing Hitler was.

USA now more Marxist than Russia: "After arriving in the United States with a diploma from Leningrad University..., I realized that I had the extremely unmarketable skills of a Marxist-Leninist philosophy professor.... Eventually, I ... enrolled at San Francisco State University. I majored in creative writing. I couldn't believe what I found. Imagine the utter amazement of a refugee from a Communist country, where Marxism was forced on all students, now having to sink in a puddle of socialist propaganda again -- but this time in the middle of an American university! Imagine the astonishment of a person who, after fighting the KGB and being a refusenik, finally comes so close to her dream of receiving a real education instead of indoctrination, only to find herself, once again, in the middle of a socialist brainwashing machine -- but this time in San Francisco...

Many a true word .... "It is well-known that the American political system requires a successful presidential candidate to adopt three very different personas. During the primaries he must run to the left or right, depending on his party, in order to attract the support of the Democratic or Republican faithful. During the general election he must run to the center, in order to attract the support of people who find the Democratic and Republican faithful kind of creepy. And, once elected, he must run past the center, and adopt his opponent's platform."

The Spectator (UK) has a good send-up of anti-Americanism.

The Wicked one is defending homebody extraordinaire Martha Stewart.

I have noticed that a lot of bloggers and a lot of academics seem to have up on the net fairly extensive autobiographies and self-descriptions. To date all I have had up is a couple of paragraphs at the top of my academic home page. I have now, however, put up a more extensive story for anyone who is interested. See here or here.

My latest academic upload is another attack on the Leftist myth that conservatives are "authoritarian". Only this one I had published in an Accountancy journal! Details 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.


Thursday, December 04, 2003


There is a useful review by Jeff Madrick in the New York Review of Books of the broadly conservative book Transformation of the Welfare State: The Silent Surrender of Public Responsibility by Neil Gilbert. A bias alert is needed however. Despite the apparently reasoned tone of the article, you can see where Madrick is coming from when you note that he blames America’s “low” level of welfare expenditure for the fact that “a huge proportion of African-American men are now in prison”! I wonder what proof he has for THAT connection! It would be great if it were that simple. Even I would favour Danegeld if it would end black crime. The orientation of the article might also be suggested by the fact that it is accompanied by a graphic which appears to show GWB with a large Pinocchio nose! Madrick also finds “refreshing” the suggestion that because people sometimes invest their retirement savings unwisely the government should take over the savings concerned and use them to build roads etc! Socialism lives among U.S. intellectuals!

The article really requires a response from an academic economist and economics is not my specialty but one of his central points did nonetheless seem pretty silly to me from a psychological point of view. He notes some evidence that economic growth does not always closely track tax levels and argues that tax levels therefore have no effect on economic growth. There are of course many things that affect economic growth but a key one would have to be the work-motivation of the population. And expecting work-motivation to track tax policy closely shows no understanding of human nature -- to be expected from a Leftist, of course. People do not change their values and habits overnight (though no doubt Leftists wish they would) and ALL economic changes take a while to show their effects. In the case of willingness to work, we may even be looking at a generational phenomenon: willingness to work may for many older workers reflect values acquired in their youth rather being immediately responsive to the current situation. In that case, a more informative approach would be to plot levels of growth against level of tax over a period more like a century than anything shorter.

That it takes a long time for work habits to change is in fact shown by the Scandinavian experience. When high taxes to fund very generous welfare programs were introduced after World War II, most Scandinavians continued to work as before -- even though they would generally have been roughly as well-off to stop working and go on welfare. But a generation or more later, that has now changed so much that all the Scandinavian countries are now trying to change their welfare systems in a way that will re-create an incentive to work.


The Leftists sure do love their lies and distortions. They just CANNOT give them up. An Australian Leftist blog is a good example of it. The blogger concerned speaks of former Queensland Premier “Joh Bjelke-Peterson, who, despite not knowing English, managed to rig and gerrymander his way into an unbelievably long term”. Apparently getting 59% of the popular vote for your government is still not enough to make you legitimate in Leftist eyes.

What the Australian Left have always tried to ignore is that the Queensland government concerned was a coalition of two conservative parties that generally did not run against one-another in elections. So each party stood for election in only about half of the electorates. So neither one of those parties ever got anything like a majority of the vote individually, but they DID get big majorities combined. The Left however look only at the vote for ONE of the parties and say that, because it did not get a majority by itself, it is illegitimate having that party in government! Only a Leftist could be so deliberately stupid.


There’s no let-up to that Leftist arrogance and elitism. Read how Hillary Clinton treated U.S. troops on her vist to Afghanistan.

This Leftist political pundit describes the States that voted predominantly for Gore in the last U.S. Presidential election as characterized by “tolerant values” -- tolerant of guns? tolerant of Christians? tolerant of conservatives? tolerant of GWB? tolerant of the Iraq intervention? What a laugh! Leftists really are up themselves.

Vox Day tells what nonsense conservative university students have to put up with these days: "Like most who have graduated from college, I have endured many pious and pedantic secular sermons from various members of the self- appointed moral elite. From the day I set foot on campus, I was lectured on my proclivity to rape women who might or might not be saying no, the need to be tolerant of the idiosyncratic behavior of others, and, above all, to know that I, as a campus conservative, was a crypto-Nazi slavering for the chance to commit violence on others."

I wonder what the Greenies will think of this? "solar power from the Moon could provide everyone clean, affordable, and sustainable electric power?" I can see "Save the Moon" as a future Greenie slogan.

“Alternative” medicine bites the dust again. How sad: “Echinacea does nothing to treat children's colds, according to a US study of more than 500 children.”

Amusing: The newly elected leader of the Australian Labor Party will not be getting his ex-wife’s vote.

Jean-Francois Revel sets out the incredible caricature of the USA that is widely believed in Europe. He then comments drily: "Strangely, it is always America that is described as degenerate and "fascist," while it is solely in Europe that actual dictatorships and totalitarian regimes spring up"

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with a huge range of offerings.

My latest academic upload here or here is a reply to some dreamy criticisms of my article on social class measurement.


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, December 03, 2003


On 30th I linked to a story by Blogger Brian O'Connell in which he caught out a Leftist "investigative journalist" for not investigating -- and thus getting wrong even the basics of GWB's recent trip to Iraq.

The story has just been picked up by both Opinion Journal and Mark Steyn in the UK Telegraph. Brian has of course had a big surge of hits on his blog as a result and seems to think that my link was instrumental in getting the story out. I have noticed that quite a few things I link to do subsequently appear on Opinion Journal. Probably just a coincidence but maybe someone there does read this blog.



Opinion Journal notes that the newly discovered "right" to homosexual marriage is now being used as an argument to say polygamy should be legal too and commments: "It's hard to imagine the courts accepting Bucher's argument and establishing a constitutional right to polygamy, but that is because polygamists have not gained anything like the level of social acceptance that homosexuals have over the past couple of decades. Where the courts draw the line, in other words, seems to be driven more by fashion than by principle. It's perfectly appropriate for moral fashions to determine public policy--but they should do so by way of the democratic process, not judicial fiat"

The Wicked one has a good Ann Coulter quote about the homosexual “right to marriage” ruling in Taxachusetts.

Peter Hitchens is pretty upset at what he sees as the "death" of marriage in Britain -- as a result of the push for homosexual marriage there.


Hooray! Russia says it will not ratify the stupid Kyoto “Greenhouse” protocol. That means it is DEAD!

Amazing! Afghan warlords handing over their weapons. There may be hope for the Afghans yet.

The Spanish have got guts: “Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has ruled out withdrawing Spanish forces from Iraq, only hours after a state funeral for seven Spanish intelligence agents killed in an ambush south of Baghdad”.

Further to my post yesterday about GWB being a real conservative despite his big spending, there is now a whole website dedicated to explaining that idea.

This article also argues that the GOP and the Dems are now equal as big spenders. A reader comments: "I think it was Milton Friedman who argued that recent US experience is that the most successful fiscal conservative option for voters was having Congress under one party and the White House under the other, then the natural partisan antagonism between them acts as brake on vote buying by either group. Essentially this is an Adam Smith solution, exploit politicians' competitive nature and self interest rather than rely on them to do what in principle is the right thing!"

Thomas Sowell has a great story about being one of Friedman's students here

The Australian Labor Party, Australia's major Leftist party has just got a new leader. And is the bourgeois Left upset! The new leader is not a very likable figure in my view but he seems to be a great realist with a good grasp of economics -- anathema to the feel-good dreamers of the Left. Australia is very fortunate in having a lot of conservatism in both its major political parties.

Australia has had a national sales tax for years and the sky has not fallen in: "I've spent the past few years supporting the concept of a national sales tax. Now, though, I'm beginning to have some second thoughts. ... Among my concerns about the national sales tax is the mechanism created to facilitate collection. ... It seems more encompassing, widespread and easier to manipulate. Think about the ease with which the government could easily 'tweak' the tax rate by a hundredth of a percent here and there when it needs more money? Think about the power of a government that has the ability to tax everything we consume, every service we utilize. But even more important to this debate, the national sales tax does nothing to fix the real problem with our tax system: TOO MUCH TAX."

Michael Darby has just put up a big collection of posts under the following headings: Huge Rally of Vietnamese Australians;
Celebrate Capitalism Day Sunday 6 December;
Dear American Soldier in Iraq;
Why They Lost The Referendum;
Liberal Party State Council Official Voting Results;
Nile MLC backs Prime Minister Howard on Drugs;
Cathy Buckle on Zimflation;
Anti-Democracy Agitators;
Evidence of an Iraq … Al-Qaida connection;
Jihad for Allah's Sake;
NZ Labour's Ideological Sop;
Trade: free, fair and forgotten;
Why They Hate W.

My latest upload of one of my published academic articles is here or here. It is about how you assess what social class a person belongs in. It is a highly technical article but the finding in plain language was that the thing that makes the biggest difference is a person's own view of what class he is in -- and the second biggest influence is whether he is a manual or a non-manual worker.


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, December 02, 2003


Libertarians and libertarian conservatives such as myself have been totally appalled at the way the present Bush administration has expanded the size of the U.S. government -- first with post 9/11 security measures and now with the prescription drug benefit for seniors. Where has the Reagan cutback mentality that launched America's long economic boom gone?

A controversial NYT article by Fred Barnes has got me thinking, however. We must not forget that conservatism is NOT libertarianism. From Edmund Burke onwards, conservatives have always seen SOME role for government. And protecting the country from outside enemies is absolutely one of those proper roles of government. Outside the anarcho-capitalist camp, even most libertarians would agree with that one. So GWB's post 9/11 security buildup is a very proper conservative thing to do, even if -- as one expects from a government activity -- its excecution is hamfisted.

And the Afghanistan/Iraq interventions are equally well within conservative traditions. Whatever else one may say about conservatives they have always been strongly motivated by caution -- most notably by caution about sweeping change to society's existing arrangements -- but caution above all. And given the terrible disasters that Islamic terrorists are now known to be capable of inflicting on America, it is surely the height of caution to go to the breeding ground of the terrorists and try to root out both the terrorists and those who aid and abet them.

And, as Fred Barnes pointed out, the prescription drug benefit is well targeted too. Older people are one of the major conservative groupings in society. Age and experience has taught them caution. So if a political party leaves it to its opposition to woo away its own support base, it is moronic indeed. That they are the realists is another historic claim of conservatives and the political reality is that if the GOP had not supported the prescription drug push, it would have just have sent a big slice of elderly GOP voters off to vote for the Dems instead. It may be worth noting that Australia's conservative government is in the midst of expanding it's Medicare expenditures too.

So, much as we may regret the Bush-era expansion of government, it may be the price we have to pay for GWB's more active and realistic approach to protecting American security against the Islamic threat. If Al Gore had been in charge, the U.S. would probably still have got the prescription drug benefit but with United Nations resolutions being the only measures taken to counter the Islamic threat.


Hmmm.. I don't know if I agree with this. Libertarians disagreeing with conservatives is nothing new: "Ask a roomful of well-read conservatives to identify the political theorists who most influenced them, and some of the following names are likely to come up: Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Richard Weaver, F.A. Hayek, Russell Kirk, and Milton Friedman. That it would seem so natural for men from disparate philosophical traditions to appear together on such a list is a testimony to the success of the postwar American Right in forging a coherent national conservative movement out of traditionalist and libertarian elements. This makes the emerging signs that this conservative-libertarian consensus is starting to unravel all the more problematic for the Right."

How to make the world a better place: "Thousands of French diplomats from Rome to Riyadh staged an unprecedented strike Monday over budget cuts"

"When it comes to Abraham Lincoln, some of the people are fooled all of the time": Apparently Abe Lincoln never said one of his most famous quotes: "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."

Jonah Goldberg has a good article on the huge improvements in quality of life that have happened over recent decades -- contrary to all the doom and gloom from the Green/Left.

NYT columnist Thomas Friedman is (of course) generally left-leaning but he is pretty explicit here about how pathetic, negative, stupid and insensitive were the "anti-war" demonstrations that greeted GWB in London.

A good article here on how Ronald Reagan changed the entire political scene -- by doing things that were unthinkable to the Left of his day.

Keith Burgess-Jackson has an hilarious collection of dumb newspaper headlines.

Should be more of it: "Clinton Baller never paid much attention to local politics, never even voted in a city election, until local ordinances got in the way of his plans to add on to his house. Unhappy with Birmingham's restrictive building code, and even more unhappy with the way city officials handled his concerns, Baller launched the Birmingham Buzz, a Web site. ... 'We were brash, we were angry, we didn't care who we (expletive) off -- and we made a difference in this city,' Baller said. On Nov. 4, the four candidates endorsed by the Buzz swept the city elections and ousted three longtime city commissioners."

The Wicked one has just put up a feminist joke!

I spend a lot of time on this blog and in my other writings talking about the psychology of the Left. I rarely say much about the psychology of the Right. In the Introduction to my book Conservatism as heresy, however, I did discuss that topic. Just uploaded here or here.

I have also just uploaded a substantial extract from an article by another psychologist who is critical of the Leftist bias in academic psychogy. See 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.


Monday, December 01, 2003


One upon a time, if one wanted to find out the facts about something, one went to a library. That was pesky, so people also built up their own personal libraries at home about things that interested them. All that has gone by the board now. If you want to find out about something, you Google it and have your answer in minutes, if not seconds. There is however a pitfall in that. Not everything is on the net. There is so much on the net that it sometimes feels as if everything is there but in fact what is on the net is only a small percentage of what is in the world’s libraries. But to most people -- even academics -- if it is not on the net it might as well not exist.

I found that out myself very clearly. Until I started putting my academic articles on the net, I had not had any enquiry about any of them from anyone for many years. Now that most of them are up on the net, I get emails from other academics about them all the time. I have suddenly gone from invisible to highly visible.

I rather regret that 95% of the world’s knowledge has been rendered irrelevant by the net so I am doing my bit to remedy that. I am gradually scanning in and posting up excerpts from older publications that I find to be of interest in some connection. I am putting on the net information that has up until now existed only on dead trees (paper). Most of what I am putting up is academic and I am only at the beginning of the project but there are already two articles up that I think to be of general interest:

The first one (here or here) is great fun. It shows that young Leftists are a real psychological mess -- with VERY unhappy childhoods. Since 1950, Leftist psychologists have been trying to show that it is conservatives who have had the disturbed childhoods, but THIS article was published well before 1950 -- before the distortions had set in.

And the second article is I think only the second one that I have recommended that my readers should read the whole of. It is a superb article by Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Therapy, a genuinely caring man and one of the few psychologists to have really helped lots of unhappy people. The article is called “Intellectual fascism” and it points out in detail how Leftist intellectuals are huge egotists and elitists. Excerpt:

“The vast majority of American liberals and so-called anti-fascists are actually intellectual fascists. In fact, the more politico-economically liberal our citizens are, the more intellectually fascistic they usually tend to be.... this individual almost invariably prides himself on his liberality, his humanitarianism, and his lack of arbitrary prejudice against certain classes of people. But underneath, just because he has no insight into his fascistic beliefs, he is often more vicious, in his social effects, than his lower-order counterpart”.

Ellis knew what he was talking about. See here or here.



The Economist is one of the most respected and influential magazines that there is so it is good to see them giving the bullet to the IPCC -- the world’s chief “global warming” supporter. The article points out that all the IPCC forecasts have been way-off.

Amazing! Far-Left British commentator George Monbiot seems to have seen the light in part at least. "In Paris, some of us tried to tackle this question in a session called 'life after capitalism'. By the end of it, I was as unconvinced by my own answers as I was by everyone else's. While I was speaking, the words died in my mouth, as it struck me with horrible clarity that as long as incentives to cheat exist (and they always will) none of our alternatives could be applied universally without totalitarianism.'"

Not being a regular Guardian reader (!), I got the link above from the Portuguese blog Valete Fratres. A lot of his posts are in English and he has some great graphics up. Now if only I could translate "OUTRO MUNDO E POSSIVEL..." -- I think it means: "The out of this world is possible" -- which is a fair comment on a climbdown as amazing as Monbiot's.

NZ Pundit too has an interesting Guardian extract. One of their own columnists accuses them of being biased against Israel. Not exactly a surprise, though!

This moron thinks that putting calorie information labels on fast food is going to stop people getting fat! It would take a lot more than labels to keep fatties away from their food!

Sounds reasonable: "Fat Austrians may have to pay larger health service contributions to cover the fact they are more likely to visit the doctors. The proposal was put forward by the country's social affairs spokesman Walter Tancsits. Tancsits announced that a 'percentage of social insurance contributions could be linked to a person's Body Mass Index' -- meaning overweight Austrians would pay more."

Bias so crazy it's amusing: "During the riots that emerged after the Rodney King incident, an ABC newsman interviewed gang members who pummeled innocent white drivers in their south central Los Angeles neighborhood. He referred to these thugs as "community leaders." The irony is they called themselves "gang members.""

I am pleased to see that I have been blogrolled by a Danish libertarian blog. Denmark still is to my knowledge the only country where a libertarian political party (the Progress party) has ever got a significant slice of the vote. And their present Prime Minister -- Anders Fogh-Rasmussen -- is a GWB ally.

I have just posted Chris Brand's latest observations on current events here. It sounds like the British are a surprisingly sexy lot.

My latest upload of one of my published academic articles is here or here. I look at whether there is such a thing as a general environmentalist outlook and find that there is. People who agree with one environmentalist idea tend to agree with lots of other environmentalist ideas.


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Sunday, November 30, 2003


In statistics, “ecological” correlations have nothing to do with environmentalism. The term refers to correlations between grouped data. The correlation between national IQ levels and national income levels that Chris Brand often refers to is an ecological correlation and H.C. Lindgren’s finding of a .61 correlation between high income and voting against Richard Nixon in the the 1972 U.S. Presidential election is another example.

Because ecological correlations often seem surprisingly high, some statisticians and social scientists think they should be devalued in some way. I disagree. There is a brief discussion of the issue about half way through my article here -- where I note what is probably the most spectacular ecological correlation ever reported in the social science literature -- a correlation of .9 -- which showed that people who have most contact with Australian blacks like them the least. Which in turn shows that the racial dislike concerned is postjudice rather than prejudice -- i.e. the fruit of experience rather than ignorance.


"Wind power may well be the least environmentally friendly idea ever proposed by environmentalists. That certainly seems to be the verdict of those who live near proposed and actual wind farm developments in both the US and UK. Conservationists as committed as Sen. Edward Kennedy (D.-Mass.) and British television personality Dr. David Bellamy have come out against proposed uses of the technology."

The Aztecs genetically modified their corn: Researchers in Germany and the United States identified the genetic modifications by extracting DNA from 4,400-year-old ears of corn. The study results appear to bolster the argument that genetically modified crops are not dangerous because farmers have been creating them for thousands of years. And plant biologists say the changes biotech companies are making in plants today are actually much smaller than those discovered in the new study.

A good article in the WSJ on how Greenie “smart growth” oppresses blacks.

Anybody who knows anything about the English knows that they take their birds very seriously. If birds were dying out in Britain as a consequence of modern farming practices there would therefore be a huge outcry. Needless to say, the Greenies do everything they can to persuade people that exactly that is happening. “Spiked”, however looks at ALL the evidence on the question and finds that there has in fact probably been a slight increase in the number of birds living in Britain’s farmland.


Muslims can do no wrong in the EU: "Researchers at a German institute who found young Muslims were to blame for many attacks on Jews were told several times by the European Union to change their conclusions, they say. The two sides have traded accusations of bias, incompetence and lying. The EU's anti-racism body asked the Anti-Semitism Research Institute of Berlin's Technical University last year to examine the increase in attacks against Jews across Europe. But the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia has refused to publish it”

Blogger Brian O’Connell has caught out a Leftist “investigative journalist” for not investigating -- and thus getting wrong even the basics of GWB’s recent trip to Iraq.

A Scottish Leftist sees media bias: US President George Bush is “totally at odds” with his media image, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Menzies Campbell said today. Mr Campbell, an opponent of the war with Iraq, spoke out on the ePolitix website... “He is personally extremely engaging. He has a well-developed sense of humour, is self-deprecating and when he engages in a discussion with you he is warm and concentrates directly on you. “He looks you straight in the eye and tells you exactly what he thinks.” Mr Campbell .. went on .. “I was most certainly surprised at the extent to which the caricature of him was inaccurate.”

No free speech in Canada: "Alliance Leader Stephen Harper Thursday fired MP Larry Spencer as family issues critic after Spencer said homosexuality should be outlawed. Spencer has temporarily resigned from caucus. ... Spencer said homosexuality is part of a 'well orchestrated' conspiracy that should be outlawed, a Canadian Alliance MP says. ... Spencer, the MP for Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre, said that this conspiracy began in the 1960s and included the seduction and recruitment of young boys in playgrounds and locker rooms."

The Israeli government has just shut down an anti-Arab Israeli radio station. Arlene Peck doesn’t understand the current policy of appeasement towards the Arabs at all. Nor do I. The U.S. even funds the bloated Arafat! The Arabs think it is weakness. The big stick is all they understand. The people of Britain learned 1500 years ago that Danegeld (buying off an enemy) does not work.

Walter Williams is good on why huge job losses can be a very good thing for everyone.

The Curmudgeon has a very funny story about his Catholic youth.

The Wicked one has lots of jokes and funny stories up.

My latest upload of a published academic article now rescued from dead-tree form is here or here. In it I look at the greater conservatism of my home State of Queensland and compare it to the American “Deep South”. There is some image of the Deep South as being more romantic so it was pleasing to see that Queenslanders seem to be more romantic too.


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.