Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Hooray! The "improvements" at blogger.com (Pyra) seem not to have caused any crashes or prolonged service outages this time -- though the new software does not like the bit of Java I use to protect my Gmail address from spammers. My code worked fine on the old software but I did expect the "improvements" to be anything but. They no longer let you use the two-window "classic" interface either. Ho hum. Definitely a bureaucratic version of "improvement".

I emailed Pyra's Jason Shellen with an advance copy of the above comment. He replied: "Awfully pessimistic given the bevy of improvements like: this. There is even a way to preview your post on the page, if you do miss the 'classic' interface. See here".

My qualified relief was shortlived, however. As I originally expected, I had a lot of trouble getting this post up.



Rent control as urban warfare. Economist Walter Williams rightly says: "Short of aerial bombardment, the best way to destroy a city is through rent control."

America's economic secret: A willingness to allow dying industries to die in peace. "A country with no declining industries is a country that doesn't have many better new ideas."

"Michael Barone, America's foremost political analyst, wonders why America produces so many incompetent 18-year-olds but remarkably competent 30-year-olds.... One answer to Barone's question is: schools. In 1900 only 10 percent of high school-age Americans went to high school. Subsequently, schooling became universal and then schools became emblematic of Soft America, suffused with ``progressive'' values -- banning dodge ball and other games deemed too competitive, attempting personality adjustment, promoting self-esteem and almost anyone with a pulse. In contrast, Barone says, ``Hard America plays for keeps: The private sector fires people when profits fall and the military trains under live fire.'' Soft America depends on the productivity, creativity and competence of Hard America, which protects the country and pays its bills."
Jobs: "Coming on top of the 337,000 new jobs created in March (revised up from 308,000), the economy has now created 625,000 jobs in just two months. This is a very impressive performance"

Protectionism via tax favouritism: "It started as an effort to eliminate a $5 billion tax break for exporters that irked the European Union. Since then, a tax bill has blossomed into a $170 billion cornucopia of special breaks for the cruise ship industry, former Oldsmobile dealers, NASCAR and makers of bows and arrows. Typically, critics say, it is during that dark of night that lawmakers slip such benefits into bills like the one now before the Senate."



Readers may note that I have a new motto at the top of my page. The only problem with it is that I myself feel a lot more goatish than sheepish! But you know what the man means. He preferred sheep. Not sure why. Woollier, I guess.

John Moore has reminded me of the famous experiment devised by Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo -- noting that it explains the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by American military guards. The Zimbardo experiment showed that putting almost ANYONE into the role of a prison guard will make them oppressive, sadistic etc. So the fact that there has been so little harm done to Iraqi prisoners shows in fact how restrained American military guards have been.

I believe the Colonel: "German troops serving with an international peacekeeping contingent in Kosovo have been accused of hiding in barracks "like frightened rabbits" during the inter-ethnic rioting that erupted in the province in March. A German police report sent to the government last week criticises the troops for cowardice and for their failure to quell the rioting, in which 19 people died and about 900 others were injured... The head of the contingent, Colonel Dieter Hintelmann, insisted that his men had simply obeyed rules of engagement" American rules of engagement are hobbling enough. What must EU ones be like? They're probably allowed to fire at Americans only.

Amusing: Brazil's President Lula is indignant at being portrayed as a "boozehound". Although I am 99% teetotal myself, I see drinking alcohol as a normal human recreation and he would surely be a pretty odd Brazilian if he did not like a drink or three.

Fascinating that the Iranian people (unlike their Ayatollahs) are very pro-American. Turkey is pro-Western too. It looks like the Islamic problem is mainly an Arab problem.

The Blowhards have an interesting short survey of conservatism in the blogosphere. The comments are good too. I liked this one: "The fundamental American stance - leave me alone, just leave me alone to live my life as I see fit, don't tread on me - is conservative"

Dick McDonald traces the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by American troops to the poor education the troops got from America's Left-dominated educational system.

There is an interesting new blog here. I think it is supposed to be called "Wide Open" but her professional web designer seems to have been too arty to make that obvious. Anyway, her post "Ladies, we did it to ourselves" is a good poke in the eye for the radical feminists.

The wicked one tells you all you need to know about dogs.

For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH and POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Mirror sites here and here


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

All politicians seek power but conservatives bring with them some concern for the welfare of their country. Leftists bring only their hate-filled Stalinist hearts and their pretend compassion. Voters, unfortunately, often believe the compassion is genuine

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