Tuesday, August 10, 2004


PID (post of August 4th.) also deploys his characteristic skepticism against the Australia/U.S. Free Trade Agreement. He rightly points out that it is heavily hedged about with restrictions and regulations so is far from allowing real free trade. He then exercises his skepticism by questioning whether the agreement has any net benefits at all. My brand of skepticism in this case is to say that we will have to wait and see. Both governments obviously see advantages for themselves in it and since trade is not a zero-sum game that is entirely possible. PID points out that NAFTA was hedged about with a maze of restrictions and regulations too and I don't think anyone now doubts that NAFTA did a lot of good so I think the bets are in favour of the Australia/U.S. agreement. But totally free trade would be infinitely more beneficial, of course.

News just in: "Congress considers new military medal to recognize John Kerry's war wounds. The new medal will be called the "Purple Owie". It will be authorized for wearing directly over the wound, and after use, will be rolled up and thrown over the nearest fence....... "Who looks like a sissy over 3 little scratches?" Hint: has 3 purple hearts in 4 months but never spent a day in the hospital."

Promise anything! "In a startling reversal of the usual party roles, John Kerry is staking his White House claim as a defender of "fiscal discipline" to counteract a spendthrift Republican Administration. It's all the more startling because his publicly announced proposals would actually increase the deficit.... According to last month's estimate from the National Taxpayers Union, Senator Kerry is promising to increase net spending by $226 billion in the first year... Even overlooking these flaws, how can Mr. Kerry blow out the budget so badly? It's not hard if you promise to be all things to all people"

"But the lack of political diversity in Washington newsrooms is even worse. According to an informal survey conducted by New York Times columnist John Tierney, supporters of John Kerry outnumber supporters of George Bush by 12-to-1 among the nation's capital reporters. If you do the math, that means that only eight percent of America's elite press supports the president, 42 percent less than the 50 percent of Americans who say they'd vote for Bush. It's a disparity that deserves attention".

V.D. Hanson on the infantile nature of the Left: "In a word, we have devolved into an infantile society in which our technological successes have wrongly suggested that we can alter the nature of man to our whims and pleasures - just like a child who expects instant gratification from his parents. In a culture where affluence and leisure are seen as birthrights, war, sacrifice, or even the mental fatigue about worrying over such things wear on us. So we construct, in a deductive and anti-empirical way, a play universe that better suits us".

Randall Parker has a post suggesting that GWB's weak-kneed attitude to illegal immigration is losing him conservative votes without gaining him any Latino votes. Could be. That a country which can put a man on the moon cannot control its immigration intake is pretty ludicrous. I myself think that Hispanics can be perfectly beneficial as immigrants but there should be some selectivity. Not all Hispanics are equal either. The USA should clearly be able to decide WHICH immigrants it lets in. Australia was getting flooded with illegal immigrants too until our conservative government cracked down.

But this does seem to be extraordinarily petty, inhumane and typically bureaucratic: "In a startling twist that reflects a major change in immigration politics, the Department of Homeland Security is ordering the 292 Montserratians to leave [the U.S.] by the end of February - not because it is safe to go home again, but because it is not going to be safe anytime soon." Millions of Mexicans are OK but a couple of hundred people whose island blew up are not!

I have now put online all the chapters that I wrote myself from my 1974 book on conservatism so I am beginning to think of putting online some of the chapters written by others. The first one I have put up is a rather whimsical article by an American journalist on why constitutional monarchy is the best form of government. See here.

I have just put up on POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH a particularly gross case of Swedish human rights abuse in the name of political correctness.

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


Leftists acclaim "diversity" yet say "All men are equal". Figure that one out.

Perhaps the original example of Leftist "projection": Marx condemned conventional religion as the "opium of the masses". Why? Because he had an opiate to peddle.

Why can those who claim to understand the dangers of meddling with a complex ecosystem like the natural environment, not understand that government interference with a complex system like the economy is perilous too?

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause

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