Sunday, August 15, 2004


Either you "get" steam trains or you don't. I do. So I was mightily pleased yesterday to be sitting on a bench at Kuranda railway station (in the mountains above Cairns) when a great black old steam engine came panting in -- hauling a train of passenger carriages. It has been dragged out of retirement for the tourist trade so that makes me grateful for tourists. Stream engines don't handle inclines well, however, so the trip from Cairns to Kuranda takes twice as long as if the train were hauled by a modern diesel-electric. Anyway, it really choked me up as it slowly pulled out again amid much steam and panting. It was magnificent. Steam buffs would understand.

An historical interest of Kuranda that is now almost completely unknown to almost anybody -- and which is certainly not mentioned to the tourists -- is that the last survivors of Australia's pygmy race were found in the jungles around there. There are still quite a few striking photos of them from around a century ago, but intermarriage between them and other blacks since then has eliminated any obviously distinct modern population of them. Yet 99.9% of Australians would think that there has only ever been one indigenous race on the Australian mainland. The existence of the pygmies used to be mentioned in the history textbooks but is now almost nowhere to be found. Why? Because the indigenous Australian blacks (Aborigines) that we know today appear to be mainly the descendants of a later wave (or waves) of immigration into Australia -- which means that they are not truly the first "owners" of the country. They are just as much invaders as the whites. And they did a pretty good genocide job on the pygmies -- so, as in Africa, the pygmies survived only in the deep jungle. And that TOTALLY undermines the Leftist guilt industry which says that whites as invaders owe the Aborigines something for being the original inhabitants here. More woes for Australia's Leftist historians. And, yes, it IS the wicked Windschuttle who has shown their deceptions up in this matter as in others.

So what did I see in Kuranda yesterday? I saw only about a dozen Aborigines there but two were remarkably short. Isn't that surprising?



Proof here that it is John Kerry who is the latter-day Benedict Arnold.

John Kerry's ancestral home in France is rooting for him. How unsurprising.

Jeff Jacoby on there being "too few" minority people in journalism: "The notion that race is a proxy for thought and belief is as odious as the Nuremberg Laws and South Africa's former Racial Classification Law, and has no more business in American journalism than they do. It would be nice to report that Bush and Kerry used their time at the Unity podium to condemn the organization's obsession with skin color, and to remind the journalists in the room that true diversity, the only diversity worth fighting for, is intellectual diversity: the diversity of minds.... What the convention should have been told is that it is neither moral nor progressive to view the world through a racial prism. Unity's "journalists of color" should have heard the blunt message that journalism does not need more reporters and editors of color. It doesn't need more white journalists, either. What it needs are men and women of talent and integrity -- adults who have no interest in a "diversity" that is merely skin-deep"

Excellent: "A Hofstra law student has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against the New York Times alleging the publication's use of the slogan, 'All the news that's fit to print' is false advertising and constitutes a deceptive practice. He claims that the Times' use of 'push-polling' is a violation of the FTC Act. Jonathan Stein said he filed the complaint because he believes the NYT has abused its power and abdicated its responsibility to be objective. He told Talon News, 'The New York Times has enormous power to shape public opinion and the FTC must review the paper's claim that it is an objective news source.' He accused the NYT of using 'push-polling' to obtain results that support a particular position or affect public opinion with the wording of the questions."

Random observations has proof that esteemed academic qualifications can go with severe looniness. Lesson: Don't judge people by the worthless bits of paper that most academic credentials have become these days.

"Blithering Bunny" on Australia's "history wars": His post of 4th mocks the responses of Leftist academic historians to the way Keith Windschuttle has shown them up as typical Leftist liars. He notes that Windschuttle "published The Killing of History, a book acclaimed throughout the world, and that he is regarded in America as one of the world's foremost intellectuals of the current time. So Waterhouse is probably right: the Australian historians have no right to treat him as their intellectual equal".

Keith Burgess-Jackson has a post about frugality that I am generally sympathetic to. I lived a life nearly as simple as his when I was young but as soon as I started acquiring wives that quickly came to an end. My using a dialup connection to the internet is only slightly motivated by frugality. What I really like about dialup is its simplicity. You just plug your laptop into anyplace where there is a phone and that's it! The speed I normally get is 52,000 kbs and that is only a problem with graphics-intensive sites -- which I rarely visit.

PID is a lapsed Catholic and has some good comments on my using a Papal encyclical as holiday reading. Excerpt: "Although I can think of alternative holiday reading, I can also think of something much weirder than an atheist studying papal encyclicals on the beach. It would be the Catholic intellectual architects of those same papal encyclicals deriving their social doctrines, not from their own Church's scholastic tradition, which in many ways layed the groundwork for classical economists like Adam Smith, but from the then "new fangled" economic ideas of German historical school, also known as the "intellectual bodyguard of the House of Hohenzollern.".

I have just transferred here a new lot of Chris Brand's exceedingly incorrect postings about the appalling interaction between race and political correctness in Britain. But Chris has in his usual way found a few signs of emerging sanity there. He notes that the Conservatives there are at long last beginning to criticize political correctness and speak up for a saner legal system. There is also an excerpt from what the British Conservative leader said on today's POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH.

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.

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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