Monday, July 26, 2004


There is a HUGE and heavily featured attack on Michael Moore in Brisbane's "Sunday Mail" of July 25th. The article is subheaded: "Take the lies, distortions and propaganda from Michael Moore's film and what do you have? Absolutely nothing". I wonder if there will ever be anything comparable in any American mainstream newspaper -- which is where such an attack is needed. You can read the text of the article concerned here or here. The graphic given to the right of the article covered a full page in the "Sunday Mail". Both the "Sunday Mail" and the Melbourne paper in which the article originally appeared are Murdoch publications, of course. No wonder the Democrats are frantic to prevent Murdoch from owning any significant American newspapers. Imagine what it would be like if there were newspaper versions of Fox News in most major American cities.

And how's this for fun: "The Democratic Party apparently doesn't want Michael Moore. The famed filmmaker who delivered a major assault on the Bush administration in his blockbuster film "Fahrenheit 9/11" was declined credentials to the Democratic National Convention in Boston next week"

Fred Barnes chronicles the steady drift of the Democrats towards the loony Left. And William Bennett has a similar message.

I see that Jim Miller has done a post on the nutty politics of Linda Ronstadt. He expects brains from a rock singer? Nice voice but ....

American legal theorist Lawrence Lessig attacks regulation: "Lessig has become a champion of the public domain, the collective term for those creative works - including books, films, music, and TV programmes - whose use is unregulated, leaving the public free to do whatever it likes with them, whenever it likes. Lessig believes that the public domain is currently under siege from excessive and wrongheaded regulation. 'As a matter of the history of ideas, the public domain was a very central concept that we have forgotten. The presumption today is control, but the presumption before was freedom.'"

Conservatives happier: "One of the things that always differentiated right-wing student groups I was acquainted with from other university political activists was a sense of humor. These ragtag bands of young Tories, evangelical Christians and supply-side business students not only rejoiced in ruthlessly skewering PC niceties, but they also joyfully poked fun at stereotypes of themselves. If this sounds insignificant, try to imagine campus feminist, environmentalist or gay-rights groups doing the same."

I rarely disagree with Iain Murray but his latest article about mad cow disease -- he implies that humans do NOT catch it -- seems to be leaning on a weak reed to me. He bases his views on an article from some French researchers that is in turn based on a "model" (i.e. a series of guesses) of mad cow infection in France. I actually agree that the connection between mad cow disease and similar diseases in humans is far from proven and on balance unlikely but I don't see that the French guesswork adds anything substantial to the debate. As Iain himself points out, models can very easily be totally wrong -- and often are. I think we need evidence, not models.

Real capitalism needed: "For all the talk about the triumph of capitalism, it seems that the free market- the real thing and not someone's imagined conception of it- has very few friends in politics or the world of ideas. Thus do the writings Murray Rothbard, the leading defender of the market economy of his generation, still have the power to shock and clarify the essential ideological and political battles of our time."

"Perpetual War Portfolio": This anti-war site has imaginatively tried to link the performance of key US defence stocks and rate them by the extent of (a) the firm's political connections to the administration and (b) it's lobbying and political contributions. You have to give them credit for exposing their ideas to empirical test. In principle this share portfolio should be a solid gold winner if the more insidious accounts of the military industrial complex, as seen in Michael Moore movies, were actually true. Unfortunately for anyone silly enough to invest the PWP way, their portfolio would have only earned 2% since 12 Feb 2002 compared to 12% for the Dow and 25% for the Nasdaq in the same period. Losers! My portfolio is up 25% over that period.

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


Puzzle 1: Leftists always say that human nature is fundamentally good and that people can be trusted. So why do they say that whilst at the same time wanting to regulate everybody to death and take as many decisions and choices out of the hands of the individual as they possibly can? Easy: They say that about human nature because, if it is true, then THEY are good at heart and can be trusted -- and, given their destructive deeds, they need all the propaganda help they can get in that regard.

Puzzle 2: Why do "postmodern" Leftists make the strange claim that everything ever written has to be interpreted in terms of how it serves power? Easy: Because everything THEY say is directed towards getting themselves power

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