Saturday, October 16, 2004

SANCTIMONIOUS GARBAGE FROM A PROFESSOR OF "PEACE STUDIES"

"And, perhaps most importantly, the consequences of a failed U.S. policy in the Middle East are much greater. While U.S. policy in Southeast Asia was responsible for enormous human suffering, the costs of that failed policy to the United States - despite the loss of over 50,000 soldiers, the drain on the economy, and the enormous divisions in the body politic that are yet to heal - were relatively small by comparison. Indeed, it is important to remember that, despite all the heinous crimes the United States committed against the people of Vietnam, the Vietnamese never flew airplanes into buildings"

More here.


Wayne Lusvardi comments: "This is the kind of Leftist counterfactuals and historical revisionism that is spewed forth on Libertarian websites regarding American intervention in Vietnam as the alleged forerunner of the current Iraq War. Prof. Zunes states that even though the U.S. committed "heinous" crimes against the people of Vietnam, the Vietnamese never flew airplanes into buildings." As a former member of the U.S. 25th Infantry Division, Cu Chi, South Vietnam, I found the above statements to be patently false. I assisted the Division psychiatrist in conducting psychiatric clearances for dishonorable discharges and for alleged war crimes. The U.S. "atrocities" in Vietnam paled by comparison to those of the Viet Cong and were immediately brought to justice. I witnessed "VC" tactics firsthand. First they would murder the Buddhist priest, then the Catholic priest, and then the school principal to subjugate a village. Even Communist double agent Truong Nhu Tang in his book "A Vietnam Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and its Aftermath" documents how after the Americans pulled out of Vietnam that there was a reign of murder and gulag camps that made even Communist sympathizers in the South regret kicking the U.S. out. Even anti-war and peace activist Tang had to flee Vietnam as one of "boat people." One needs to go to a university to learn such propaganda?"

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FROM BROOKES NEWS

John Howard's triumph is a victory in the war on terror Howard fought a clean election and won it fair and square, regardless of what our leftwing journalists and self-appointed intellectual elites think
Marian Wilkinson distorted facts about President Bush and the Florida vote Like the vast majority of leftwing journalists the Bush-hating Marian Wilkinson cannot contain her political bigotry
Long memories helped bury Mark Latham and the Labor Party I believe that the electorate's memory of Keating's high interest rate regime played a significant role in Mark Latham's defeat
Marian Wilkinson distorts Edwards-Cheney debate Reading Marian Wilkinson makes one realise why journalism stinks. Her report on the Cheney-Edwards debate could have come straight from the Democratic National Committee"
Channeling Bush: Saddam and OJ Put yourself in the Chief Executive's place. What if OJ Simpson were the dictator of Iraq?

Details here

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ELSEWHERE

Internet threatened: A recent federal court ruling says the FEC must extend some of the nation's new campaign finance and spending limits to political activity on the Internet. Long reluctant to step into online political activity, the agency is considering whether to appeal. But vice chairwoman Ellen Weintraub said the Internet may prove to be an unavoidable area for the six-member commission, regardless of what happens with the ruling.'I don't think anybody here wants to impede the free flow of information over the Internet,' Weintraub said. 'The question then is, where do you draw the line?'"

Wow! Hotmail have just upgraded their mailboxes to 250mb

The third Presidential debate : "Spinning facts and figures is as old as politics itself, but last night, Sen. John Kerry marshaled a mountain of distortions in his indictment of the Bush administration. Here's the rundown, reserved for purposes of clarity and brevity to the areas of economy and jobs, health care, and college costs ..."

Oil: "Ignoramuses of Left and Right can effortlessly pawn themselves off as sophisticates in any discussion of events of the Middle-East or central Asia by simply declaring that "it's all about oil." Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya. it doesn't matter -- if it's east of Egypt and west of India, we're assured that it's about oil.... Or, as John Kerry has put it, has George W. Bush "sided with the big oil companies" against the people? Not according to the data.... The fact is that the president's interests run directly counter to those of oil companies. In fact, the worse things go for George W. Bush, the better they go for Chevron. That's because the president has tied his political fortunes to the democratization and modernization of Middle Eastern dictatorships, which means that he has set the world on a course towards lower oil prices. It should go without saying, but unfortunately it doesn't, that oil companies benefit from higher oil prices".

Individual rights vs. identity politics: "Only if you advocate group rights and reject individual ones does it make sense to cry out for sexual solidarity in voting. Ironically, such a call reverses the political trend that secured the vote to women in the first place. Namely, the demand for inclusion in human rights: The demand by women to have their rights equally recognized so they were no longer in a separate legal category 'with lunatics, idiots and criminals.'"

Steve Sailer has a good summary of the most famous book on IQ. One excerpt: ""Perhaps because I'm congenitally optimistic, I think The Bell Curve's message is already widely understood, by the American people if not by the elite. Ordinary citizens know that some people are in significant ways more intelligent than others, that only a relative few are extremely bright or extremely dull, and that intelligence bunches up at the center. They know that intelligence is not randomly distributed among members of different identifiable racial and ethnic groups. These are lessons that are taught in everyday life, and you have to undergo a pretty sophisticated indoctrination and enlist in a tightly disciplined ideological army to believe otherwise."

Buchanan: The resurrection of "America First!": "The foreign policy routinely disparaged as 'isolationism' is always on the table. It is the foreign policy most deeply rooted in America's history, heart and vital interests. It is no more going to be 'extinguished' than is Christianity. It is our oldest tradition. Though that tradition may be dismissed by our foreign policy elites as antiquated, selfish and un-idealistic, it is the elites who are out of touch. They do not know the country they live in. They do not know the American people. They never have." [Buchanan is right about isolationism being the historic policy of American conservatives but 9/11 made that policy no longer viable. Circumstances alter cases]

This made me laugh: "Marxist.org.uk was established in 1998 (initially as the British Institute of Contemporary Economic and Political Studies) to provide independent socialist analyses of national and international developments in politics, economics and culture". Marxism unmasked!

There is another amusing reflection on French "philosopher" Derrida and his ilk here.

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

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That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

Leftism is for most Leftists a desire to sound good rather than a desire to do good


Comments? Email me or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.

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Friday, October 15, 2004

AUSTRALIA: ELECTION AFTERMATH

Conservatives to control Senate: "The Coalition was poised to secure a Senate majority last night after Liberal Russell Trood claimed the party's third upper house seat in Queensland and the Nationals became the favourite to win the decisive 39th seat in the 76-seat chamber."

Leftist's hatred his undoing: "The norm in Australian politics when you greet your opponent is a simple handshake, a false smile and an unmeant wish of good luck but Latham, who is 20 years younger and 20kg heavier than Howard, did something that deeply unsettled all of those who might have seen the election eve nightly news. For whatever good Latham may have done in his 10 months as leader, some of it (how much remains uncertain) was undone at the point of his encounter with Howard. As the two men met, Latham grabbed Howard's hand, aggressively wrenching a clearly unsuspecting Prime Minister towards him. False pleasantries followed, with the contact ending by a somewhat more polite pat of Latham's arm by his opponent. Yet for a moment, just for a moment, the nation got the impression Latham was attempting a physical shirt front on a man 20 years his senior. It was an unedifying and undignified incident that left those who saw it with an uneasy feeling. It was a picture that said much about how Latham and Labor think about Howard and the Coalition. It said a lot about why Labor's badly directed campaign went off the rails and allowed the Government to be returned for a fourth term. Latham and Labor's basic feelings about Howard can be summed up in one word: hatred.

Typical Leftist dishonesty. So-called historian Ross Fitzgerald says of John Howard: "In terms of actual policy performance, it's arguable that John Howard squandered his third term. The great work and family adventure, welfare and tax reform, each of these areas was left largely untouched despite the rhetoric. On the industrial front, little was achieved." Fitzgerald somehow "forgets" that Leftist obstruction in the Senate was why Howard was not able to do a lot of what he aimed at.

At least this guy admits how far-Left (sorry: "Progressive") Australia's "Greens" are: "As the weekend's election dust settles, the responsibility for carrying progressive politics forward in this country has fallen squarely to the Australian Greens. They are clearly the third force in Australian parliamentary politics".

Anti-religious media prejudice: Tony Abbott minister, and George Pell cardinal, are two of the hate figures of the Sydney media... Pell is detested because he favours a muscular Christianity, not the limp-wristed social justice variety and Abbott is detested because he wants to inject Christian values into politics and this is ultimate sin for the secular religionists. Labor's schools policy is an incendiary issue. When four Catholic and Anglican bishops, including Pell, released a statement on September 28 criticising the policy as "potentially divisive" most of the media was unsure whether to ignore or denounce it. But one thing it did know -- this was an outrageous intervention in politics. For the liberal media, bishops aren't supposed to get involved in politics, unlike greenies or film stars, unless of course the bishops are opposing a war or calling John Howard a racist in which case they are moral arbiters.... . When Jones raised the schools policy Abbott denied this was discussed and then said "I may have been seeking pastoral counselling from Cardinal Pell." This was the clincher. The idea that a Catholic minister would seek a meeting with a cardinal on a pastoral matter during an election is inconceivable within Australia's media culture."

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ELSEWHERE

Don't they realize that Leftists NEED censorship? "The Federal Communications Commission won't intervene to stop a broadcast company's plans to air a critical documentary about John Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities on dozens of TV stations, the agency's chairman said" [Leftists cannot afford to have the full truth known on almost anything].

Amusing: "Jacques Derrida, the father of the pseudo-philosophy of "Deconstructionism", has been deconstructed into the next world. He had been conducting a terminal "narrative" with cancer. Well, at least that is the subjective unproven conclusion we have, since, after all, how do we REALLY know that death and cancer exist? .... Deconstructionism is the nonsensical infantile "philosophy" that argues that words have no meaning, there are no facts nor truth, and the only thing we can REALLY be absolutely certain about are that the US and capitalism and Israel are evil and must be eliminated."

Group of bishops using influence to oppose Kerry "For Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate in Colorado, there is only one way for a faithful Catholic to vote in this presidential election, for President Bush and against Senator John Kerry. "The church says abortion is a foundational issue,'' the archbishop explained.... Archbishop Chaput, who has never explicitly endorsed a candidate, is part of a group of bishops intent on throwing the weight of the church into the elections. Galvanized by battles against same-sex marriage and stem cell research and alarmed at the prospect of a President Kerry - who is Catholic but supports abortion rights - these bishops and like-minded Catholic groups are blanketing churches with guides identifying abortion, gay marriage and the stem cell debate as among a handful of "non-negotiable issues."... In an interview in his residence here, Archbishop Chaput said a vote for a candidate like Mr. Kerry who supports abortion rights or embryonic stem cell research would be a sin that must be confessed before receiving Communion..... The campaign is pushing to break the traditional allegiance of Catholic voters to the Democratic Party, an affiliation that began to crumble with Ronald Reagan 24 years ago. Catholics make up about a quarter of the electorate"

Leading economists have a message for America: "John Kerry favors economic policies that, if implemented, would lead to bigger and more intrusive government and a lower standard of living for the American people." That was the conclusion released in a statement Wednesday by 368 economists, including six Nobel laureates: Gary Becker, James Buchanan, Milton Friedman, Robert Lucas, Robert Mundell, and - the winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Economics - Edward C. Prescott. The economists warned that Sen. Kerry's policies "would, over time, inhibit capital formation, depress productivity growth, and make the United States less competitive internationally. The end result would be lower U.S. employment and real wage growth."

I have just put up here a translation from the Portuguese of an article by Brazilian blogger Luis Afonso. It was well-received in Brazilian conservative circles so I am happy to make it available in English. Its title is: "Socialism: a highway to Hell".

Michael Darby is online again with a detailed statistical summary of the recent Australian elections (PDF).

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

**************************

That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

Leftism is for most Leftists a desire to sound good rather than a desire to do good


Comments? Email me here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

MORE ON ANTI-AMERICANISM

Stupid anti-Americanism goes back a long way: "Frances Trollope, author of Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832), probably the single most influential person shaping European perceptions of America in the nineteenth-century, observed that the greatest difference between England and the United States was "want of refinement." In America, she explained, "that polish which removes the coarser and rougher parts of our nature is unknown and undreamed of."

European failure breeds envy: "When German politicians refer to Amerikanische Verhaltnisse - "the American way" - they do it with a sneer. Olaf Gersemann, noting the wild popularity of Michael Moore's film screeds, scolds his countrymen for naively swallowing his stereotypes and economic prejudices. This gives new meaning to the insult "Stupid White Men.".... Europe suffers from a collective inferiority complex, seeming to be helpless against the tides of the new century. Europe is heavily armed, but only with envy".

Christopher Hitchens says that the Islamic challenge has exposed the unprincipled anti-Americanism of the modern Left. A small excerpt: "He explains that he believes the moment the left's bankruptcy became clear was on 9/11. "The United States was attacked by theocratic fascists who represents all the most reactionary elements on earth. They stand for liquidating everything the left has fought for: women's rights, democracy? And how did much of the left respond? By affecting a kind of neutrality between America and the theocratic fascists." He cites the cover of one of Tariq Ali's books as the perfect example. It shows Bush and Bin Laden morphed into one on its cover. "It's explicitly saying they are equally bad. However bad the American Empire has been, it is not as bad as this. It is not the Taliban, and anybody - any movement - that cannot see the difference has lost all moral bearings." Hitchens - who has just returned from Afghanistan - says, "The world these [al-Quadea and Taliban] fascists want to create is one of constant submission and servility. The individual only has value to them if they enter into a life of constant reaffirmation and prayer. It is pure totalitarianism, and one of the ugliest totalitarianisms we've seen. It's the irrational combined with the idea of a completely closed society". There are two other Leftist commentators here who agree with Hitchens about the anti-democratic and anti-American nature of the current Left.

Germany today: "The unprecedented character assasination perpetrated by the German media since 9/11 against the President of the United States has born ample fruit. Only 4% of Germans approve of President Bush. This uniformity of opinion harkens back to Nazi times. It is an indicator that the German people have been misinformed and disinformed on a massive scale. They are the victims of a bias so large and pervasive that it has permanently damaged German-American relations".

And Daniel Pipes has some amusing quotations from the haters of other people's success:

Comte de Buffon, renowned French scientist (1749): The American "heart is frozen, their society cold, their empire cruel."
Talleyrand, French politician (1790s): It is a country of "32 religions and only one dish . and even that [is] inedible."
Alexis de Tocqueville, French social philosopher (1835): "I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion."
Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist (1930s): "America is a mistake, a gigantic mistake."
George Bernard Shaw, British playwright (1933): "An asylum for the sane would be empty in America."
Henry Miller, American novelist (1945): America is "a fruit which rotted before it had a chance to ripen."
Harold Pinter, British playwright (2001): The United States is "the most dangerous power the world has ever known."

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ELSEWHERE

Dennis Prager: "So here's the question that apparently goes unasked of all the Democrats who are sure it is President Bush who lacks intelligence: What would Zarqawi be doing now if he were not slaughtering people in Iraq? Selling used cars in Amman? Playing cello in the Berlin Philharmonic? The president has said from the beginning that a major reason for invading Iraq was to bring the war to the terrorists, and that if we don't fight them on their soil, we will have to fight them on ours"

ABC now openly biased: "But now, the hemorrhage has gotten so bad -- Fox is now starting to beat the broadcast nets on big-news occasions -- that I believe the legacy nets have decided, "enough is enough." The people who work for the big media have figured out that if they are going to be accused of liberal bias no matter what they do -- and they can't help themselves, they are mostly liberal -- then they ought to at least go down fighting".

Recent Democrat hate crimes: Shots fired into Knoxville GOP Headquarters and 25 Staffers Avoid Injury as Huntington, W. Va. GOP HQ Fired Upon and Wash. State Re-elect Bush HQ Burglarized, Campaign Data Stolen and Protestors Ransack Bush/Cheney Headquarters In Orlando and Democrat slugs area GOP chief, GPD says. So What's going on? Why are John Kerry and John Edwards silent? How interesting that Democrats sponsored all of this hate legislation, and THEY are the ones acting out their hate. Michelle Malkin has more.

Australia: Conservative lesbians are "traitors": "One of the strangest tales I heard all week was that the "sisters" of the Valley and New Farm were mobilising against candidate Ingrid Tall in tomorrow's election. Just in case you've been living on the moon, Tall is a doctor, gay and a Liberal, although the three are not necessarily connected. Apparently, the "sisters" - politically active leftish lesbians - see the well-groomed and socially out-there Tall as some kind of gender traitor, if there is any such animal. That's pretty funny when you think about it. At a time when reasonable people increasingly see gender as irrelevant to the political process, some of those most intimately involved seem determined to turn back the clock. [Dr. Tall lost].

There is what amounts to an anti-Chomsky encyclopaedia here. None of it will bother Chomsky, however, so I think he is best dismissed as merely a well-paid entertainer for the more desperate element of the Left.

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

**************************

That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

Leftism is for most Leftists a desire to sound good rather than a desire to do good


Comments? Email me or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

ANTI-AMERICANISM

There is a sad article here by Carol Gould -- an American Jewish lady -- which outlines her experiences in London. I will not try to excerpt it. I think most people need to read it in full. She describes the hate that is nowadays often poured out at Americans and Jews in both Britain and Europe. I think what she describes needs to be placed in context, however, and I will try to do that. For a start, Australians often get pretty contemptuous treatment in Britain too -- and it is not new -- they always have got that. And that angers many Australians. What outsiders usually fail to realize, however, is that the British are even more mocking of other Britishers. Compared to how a middle-class Englishman from the Southeast regards Scots and anyone born North of Watford, Australians are in fact fairly well accepted. And don't even mention what Yorkshiremen think of Lancastrians! Englishmen are strongly prejudiced against other Englishmen too.

The way to deal with British prejudice against anyone outside their own circle is to return the compliment. When I am in London, I give as good as I get and that does usually defuse the prejudice. For instance, it is (or was) not uncommon for the English to make disparaging remarks about Australian wine. I reply to that as follows: "Australians are like the French. They make a lot of wine and most of it is pretty rough. And the stuff that is too rough even for them to drink they sell to the English". That always wins the bout! And another old one: "I hear that Australians are all latent homosexuals". Reply: "No. That's just a rumour put about by Australia House to attract all the English immigrants". So that is normal English prejudice and how to deal with it: Return fire!

But anti-Americanism involves something else as well: Politics -- Leftist politics in particular. And from the French revolution onwards, Leftists everywhere have always been a violent and aggressive lot. Just read the various accounts in the news (e.g. here) about various GOP offices being invaded and vandalized in the USA right now. And many American Leftists are not just anti-GOP. They are anti-American as well. Read here if you doubt it. So if Leftists in America are violently anti-American, should we be surprised to find that British Leftists are too? And Britain (unlike Australia) is undoubtedly much more Leftist than America. It was only Margaret Thatcher who put a stop to their decades of insane socialism, with the government running half of Britain's businesses. And since Carol Gould is part of the "Arts & Entertainment" world, which is violently anti-American everywhere (do I need to mention Hollywood?), she obviously was meeting Leftists all the time. And the poor soul was identifiable as part of the enemy group by her accent.

So Carol Gould had three strikes against her: She was an identifiable outsider to anyone in Britain. She stood out as a member of the "enemy" to anyone who was a Leftist. And she was a Jew. No wonder she had a hard time! Her comments about antisemitism are a bit misleading, however. She says: "England, sadly, has the distinction of being the very first country to expel its Jews". What she is referring to happened in 1290! Yes. 1290, not 1920. In more recent times, however, Britain has been a refuge from persecution for Jews who could make it to there. And Britain's Fascist leader in the lead-up to World War II used to EXPEL from the British Union of Fascists anybody who made antisemitic remarks! I kid you not. But although Britain is less antisemitic than Europe, antisemitism does exist there and presumably always will. Jews have always been the scapegoat for stupid people who do not understand what is going on.

So Britain does have a vocal anti-American Left -- particularly among the intelligentsia -- but to regard them as representing the whole of Britain would be naive.

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ELSEWHERE

Some pungent reflections on the Australian Left sent in by a reader here.

A good comment from another Australian reader: "Howard's success is partly due to his policies but also to his ongoing reliability and predictability. Whether or not you like him, most Australians could predict what he will do in any given situation, which is a lot more than could be said for Latham. To me, predictability is a major theme in successful conservative politicians and in Conservatism, and to a large degree comes from the shared values so missing amongst the
Utopians".

Interesting: John Kerry's surname is an adopted one. He has no Irish in him at all. The Irish in me is glad of that! John Kerry's ancestral surname was "Kohn" (the German version of "Cohen"). In Leftist parlance, I think that makes Kerry a "neocon"!

The best poll of all: "Standing above today's proliferation of competing and contradictory political polls, there's only one type of poll that can claim near-perfect reliability going all the way back to 1884. It's probably one you aren't even looking at. And it's declaring George W. Bush the winner. The type of poll I'm talking about isn't the usual public-opinion survey. It's organized betting on the election. To participate in such a poll, you have to be willing to put your money where your mouth is".

There is an article here which foresees an imminent takeover of the U.S. Democratic party by the far-Left. I look forward to it. They won't win elections that way -- as Australia's recent example showed.

A comprehensive report of a recent "anti-war" conference here. Excerpt: "This convention was a fine Orwellian display, complete with doublespeak, ritualized hatred, and the policing of "thought crimes." All who disagreed openly were barred from the radical teach-in at the public school. I was only there because I went in "under cover."... These people want America destroyed, and are not shy about it."

Some Norwegians think the Nobel Peace Prize committee have shot themselves in the foot by awarding it for tree-planting. They think it makes the prize ridiculous. I myself think it has long ago been rendered ridiculous by giving it Yasser Arafat and other murderers. If it really were awarded for promoting peace, John Howard should have got it for liberating East Timor.

I liked this post from Roger Simon: "Bring back Lord Haw-Haw. That crypto-fascist propaganda machine known as the BBC splatters a headline this morning "Israelis force down Lufthansa jet," writing as if Israel were being war-like in requiring a plane from Frankfurt to Tel Aviv to land in Cyprus for inspection after a telephoned bomb threat. I wonder what the once-mighty Beeb would have said if the plane had exploded. The entire article is scandalous propaganda indeed worthy of Lord Haw-Haw". ["Lord Haw Haw" was of course the Irishman whom Hitler used to broadcast wartime propaganda to Britain.]

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

**************************

That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

Leftism is for most Leftists a desire to sound good rather than a desire to do good


Comments? Email me here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

AN INTERESTING TALK ON FRENCH ANIMOSITY

There will be an interesting talk given at the Heritage Foundation in D.C. on Thursday 14th. The advance summary below:

In a provocative and well-researched assessment, John J. Miller and Mark Molesky debunk the myth of friendship between France and America and chronicle the rivalries and betrayals that have marked relations between the two countries over the course of history. Returning to America's earliest history, the authors relate the little-known story of the Deerfield Massacre of 1704, when a group of French and Indians massacred settlers in northern Massachusetts. They show that the French came to America's aid only at the end of the Revolution and then with the interest of harming the British; and during the Civil War, they supported the Confederacy. In the 20th Century, French demands at the Versailles Peace Conference paved the way for the rise of fascism in Germany and eventually required America to rescue France during World War II. The postwar period was also rife with disastrous actions, including Charles de Gaulle's decision to pull out of NATO and his obstruction of American efforts to turn back Soviet expansion. French imperialism also left troubling legacies in Vietnam, Cambodia and even Syria and Iraq as well.

Enquiries: (202) 675-1752

More on French wisdom:

Derrida: "One of France's best-known philosophers, Jacques Derrida, revered as the founder of the deconstructionist school, has died at the age of 74, his entourage said on Saturday. Derrida, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, died in a Paris hospital on Friday night. Except for de mortius nihil nisi bonum, I would be inclined to say: "Good riddance to bad rubbish". For a short blast on postmodernist "ideas" (if you can call them that) generally see here. "Currency Lad" has a few thoughts on Derrida and the failed Australian Left at the end of his post here. Philosopher Keith Burgess-Jackson has a brief note about Derrida too. And Chirac manages to make a laughing-stock of France over Derrida: ""With him, France has given the world one of its greatest contemporary philosophers, one of the major figures of intellectual life of our time," Chirac said in a statement"

More French corruption: "Maier's satiric book, which denounces corporate culture as rigid, empty-headed, avaricious and ruthless, has zoomed to the top of the bestseller lists here, selling more than 120,000 copies at last count. In urging office workers to smile and look busy while sabotaging the system from within, she has ignited a national debate about the French work ethic - or lack thereof. "What you do ultimately means nothing and you could be replaced tomorrow by the first passing cretin," Maier writes. "So work as little as possible, and spend some time (but not too much) on 'marketing yourself' and 'building yourself a network' so you will have support and be untouchable (and untouched) in case of a restructuring".... less than one-third of the French population between 15 and 24 holds jobs - in contrast to 62% of young Americans.... France ranked eighth in a survey of job satisfaction in the 10-richest nations"

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ELSEWHERE

To make sure it remains available, I have just put up here a copy of the John Stossell program summary that was "censored" by ABC. Stossel points out the vast costs inflicted on all Americans by trial lawyers like John Edwards. One of those guys actually made a billion dollars by suing people! I have also put up there the internal ABC memo that says staff must favour John Kerry in what they broadcast.

It looks like John Howard's victory is going to be very good for sales of Australian wine in America. Australian wine is better than that French s**t anyway. Australian wine is all produced by modern methods. A lot of French wine production is still in the Dark Ages.

Unfair? I'm betting this will be a lot fairer than Michael Moore: "A US television company is planning to run a film attacking Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry just days before the election. Sinclair TV Group's programmes reach almost a quarter of US homes. The 45-minute film criticises John Kerry's opposition to the Vietnam war in the early 1970s. In the documentary, Stolen Honor, Wounds That Never Heal, former prisoners-of-war say that Mr Kerry's claims that American soldiers were committing atrocities led to their captors treating them more harshly, and extended the length of the conflict. ... The decision to air the documentary on the 62 stations that Sinclair either owns or supplies programmes for has been criticised not only by the Kerry campaign but also by media analysts, who say showing the one-sided film so close to the election is unfair."

A step towards immigration control? "Following a recommendation of the Sept. 11 commission, the House and Senate are moving toward setting rules for the states that would standardize the documentation required to obtain a driver's license, and the data the license would have to contain".

I have commented previously on the inanities of that learned dunce, Niall Ferguson. This latest example of his wisdom now rather stands out in the light of John Howard's big triumph in the Australian Federal elections: "The leaders of the countries that stood aside when Saddam Hussein was overthrown have one obvious reason for staying on the sidelines. They have no desire to pay the domestic political price currently being paid by the leaders of the countries that gave President Bush their support". I think a lot of politicians would LIKE to pay the sort of "price" John Howard has paid for his support of America.

David Brooks: "The report by Charles Duelfer makes it clear that Saddam Hussein was an insatiable tyrant and needed to be deposed".

Leftist hackers appear to have trashed the website of the BNP -- Britain's anti-immigration party -- and the mainstream press have buried the story.

Wayne Lusvardi has just done a big comparison between John Kerry and a member of the Viet Cong.

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

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That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

Leftism is for most Leftists a desire to sound good rather than a desire to do good


Comments? Email me here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.

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Monday, October 11, 2004

POST-MORTEM ON THE RECENT DEFEAT OF THE AUSTRALIAN LEFT

Various people say that Leftist leader Mark Latham lost because of his bullying personality but, seeing that John Howard is a totally colourless personality, it seems to me that neither party had much to offer in the charisma stakes. So I think it does come down to policies.

Australia is lucky that its major Leftist party (the Australian Labor Party or "ALP") is one of the most conservative Leftist parties that there are (only Singapore's P.A.P. springs to mind as a rival). The sort of pro-market, pro-free-enterprise reforms that were in the USA and the UK the work of Reagan and Thatcher were in Australia principally the work of the ALP. (Though it was John Howard who nobbled the unions via the big defeat of the maritime unions).

The Australian Left was not always like that, however. The short-lived Whitlam (ALP) government of the 1970s did a lot of damage to the economy -- mainly through amateurism rather than ill-will towards anybody, though. And even the Whitlam government had some worthwhile economic policies -- with the fact that it started the process of dismantling Australia's traditionally highly protected economy being particularly to its credit. For what I wrote on the Whitlam government at the time, see here.

The damage that the Whitlam regime inflicted on the economy (mainly through overspending, with the resultant high inflation) did great harm to the reputation of the ALP as economic managers -- so that subsequent lacklustre conservative governments won office primarily because they were not the ALP. Nobody wanted a repeat performance of the disruptions of the Whitlam years. And to this day both major Australian parties make a big thing of their committment to surplus budgets -- though few people probably remember now that the committment originated as a reaction to Whitlam's big deficits.

Principally in the person of former Rhodes scholar Bob Hawke, the ALP saw therefore that they had to take economics seriously if they were to have the lasting trust of the Australian electorate. So when the conservative coalition finally died of total inanition (principally in the person of the inert Malcolm Fraser), and the ALP finally regained power, Hawke took the opportunity to show that the ALP too could be economically rational -- by privatizing various government businesses, by reducing tariffs, by balancing the budget etc. Bob Hawke has however now long retired to private life and his legacy is beginning to wear off. And the first clear sign of that is the set of policies that ALP leader Mark Latham fought Saturday's election on. Although he has an honours degree in economics, Latham seemed to decide that it was time for the ALP to veer to the Left in many respects. He promised to get Australian troops out of Iraq "by Christmas", he shafted the forest industry workers in favour of a deep Green policy of banning the cutting down of almost all native trees, he made huge spending committments to the elderly and, most incredibly, refused to rule out raising taxes. The latter policy alone would probably have served to lose him the election.

So with all due respect to other more complex analyses (e.g. here) of the reason for the ALP's recent defeat, it seems clear to me the reason is very simple: The ALP lost simply because they were too Leftist for the Australian people. If Latham had stuck to the policies of his esteemed predecessor, Bob Hawke, he might well have won. It has often been said that Margaret Thatcher's principal asset was always the (then far-Left) British Labour Party. Similarly in Australia's recent election, Mark Latham was a considerable asset to John Howard.

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As Australia is a generally irreligious country, the major Christian party ("Family First") in the recent election had little chance of much success and in fact seems to have gained only 2% of the vote nationwide. They may well win a Senate seat in the State of Victoria, however, (thanks to a combination of proportional representation and preference deals) -- in which case they could hold the balance of power in the Senate. Despite amusing media claims that they have "no policies", their policies are in fact classic conservative ones. Just a few excerpts: "Family First believes that Government should be as small as possible and that the principle of Subsidiarity should be a foundational consideration of how or if government should act or involve itself in any matter. This principle can be summarised as stating that the level at which decisions are made and administration is carried out should be as close to the level in society at which the impact of those decisions are felt... However Family First also recognises that there are core areas of business for Government such as defence and foreign affairs, policing, security etc. Economic management is also a core responsibility of governments as is ensuring a basic level of social security is guaranteed to citizens"... Government has a clear role in provision of educational choice... Family First believes that parents have primary responsibility for the care and education of their children and no Government ought to normally usurp this authority." More here (PDF).

A defeat for the intelligentsia: "On Saturday night the giant, lumbering road train known as the will of the people, aka the democratic process, smashed through the pretensions, delusions and manipulations of the unelected and unaccountable who presume to tell Australians what to think and who to be. In short order, John Howard has decimated four Labor leaders - Keating, Beazley, Crean and Latham - and in the process decimated the hopes of the True Believers and progressive utopians, the people who dominate the milieu in which I live and work. This milieu is now in toxic shock".

Fuller Theological Seminary ain't what it used to be: "A group of Fuller Theological Seminary professors, saying they are responding to a "grave moral crisis' in America, are signing a statement opposing President Bush's alleged convergence of God, church and nation and what they call his "theology of war.' " [Note the spelling "Proffesors" in the headline: California education at work]

Stupid Leftist protectionists ignore America's success: "While regularly incurring trade gaps and budgetary deficits, our economy has grown since the early 1980s from a level, depending on dollar valuation, between one-fifth and one-fourth of global GDP to close to one-third of global GDP last year. During this upsurge entirely unexpected by the same economists now advising Sen. Kerry, U.S. per capita GDP surged from 4.7 times per capita global GDP in 1980 to 6.5 times per capita global GDP in 2003. The U.S. created some 36 million net new jobs at ever higher levels of productivity and earnings, while Europe and Japan created scant employment at all outside of government and entered a productivity slump that continues today."

Black conservatism: "The Rev. William Turner voted for Bill Clinton twice and for Al Gore in 2000. But this year he is forming a coalition of African-American pastors in an effort to re-elect President Bush, who, he says, is "acting as the voice of God' by opposing same-sex marriage. Turner, 67, is pastor of the 1,000- member New Revelation Missionary Baptist Church in Northwest Pasadena.... "All sin is against God's will but homosexuality goes beyond the sin of lying, for instance,' Turner said. "... Homosexuality is a sin against God and they want the world to accept them in their sin brag about it, boast about it and want it to become part of America's lifestyle.'"

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

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That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

Leftism is for most Leftists a desire to sound good rather than a desire to do good


Comments? Email me here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.

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Sunday, October 10, 2004

I expect that American bloggers will all be writing about the second Presidential debate at the moment and most Australian bloggers (such as Mike Jericho) will be talking about John Howard's big win yesterday so I am making this blog an alternative channel today.




USING MYTHS TO SEIZE CHILDREN

Below are a few excerpts from a comprehensive article on the myth that parenting has to be "just right" or the children will be permanently damaged. Just the opposite seems to be true: Children are extremely resilient. But the myth is being used as a wedge to justify ever more government interference in family life -- with children getting taken away from "inappropriate" parents being the ultimate Orwellian aim

"Did you know that there is no such thing as a 'difficult baby', only 'difficult parents', who are either 'neglectful' or 'intrusive'? And that the consequences of poor parenting can be dramatic, making a lasting imprint on our emotional wellbeing and central nervous system? The idea that we are determined by infant experiences - which can be described as 'infant determinism' - is increasingly being promoted on both sides of the Atlantic. Back in 1997, the then First Lady and now Democratic senator for New York, Hillary Clinton, drew on developments in neuroscience to set the tone for the popular debate. At a White House conference she asserted that experiences in infancy are responsible for the development of 'capacities that will shape the entire rest of their lives', and will 'determine how their brains are wired'. Experiences in the first three years 'can determine whether children will grow up to be peaceful or violent citizens, focused or undisciplined workers, attentive or detached parents themselves'.....

It does seem to be the case that for some things - such as seeing and hearing, and maybe even first language acquisition - there are 'critical periods' for development. But they are only 'critical' in the sense that a complete absence of stimuli during this period could have irreversible negative consequences. As John Bruer, president of the James S McDonnell Foundation and author of 'The myth of the first three years', said on FRONTLINE, the US flagship public affairs series: 'what we have to realise is the kinds of experience we need during that critical period is everywhere around us. It is not something we have to go out and provide children.' Similarly, neuroscientist Steve Petersen at Washington University argues that the environment would have to be very bad to interfere with a child's normal neurological development. His tongue-in-cheek advice to parents is: 'Don't raise your child in a closet, starve them, or hit them on the head with a frying pan.'

Policy advisors have rejected recent calls to discourage parents from sending their young children to full-time day-care. But this is less a result of accepting that day-care is unlikely to do children any lasting harm, and more a result of not trusting parents themselves to meet children's emotional needs. Today's cultural outlook increasingly views adults as 'emotionally illiterate' and in need of a constant helping hand from professional advisers... We are told that parenting is too important to be left in the realm of the private and personal. Gerhardt, for instance, argues that government initiatives should be targeted 'at the point where it can make the most difference' - 'during pregnancy and in the first two years of life'.. Child protection measures proposed in the government green paper 'Every Child Matters' are less about protecting a few children from serious neglect and abuse by their carers, than ensuring all parents measure up to the government's prescribed standard of parenting."

And this is how much better than parents governments can be expected to be:

"Two months after a baby suffocated under a pile of toys in a crib at a day care center while two city inspectors ignored muffled noises, the city's Health Department yesterday issued a scathing portrait of its oversight of 9,400 day care centers in New York City, calling it a bureaucratic maze riddled with problems that spell potential dangers for children. In an extraordinary self-examination, the department said its Bureau of Day Care needed reforms to expand its staff, raise training standards, tighten inspections and improve communications among its own people as well as with day care operators, parents often left in the dark about violations, and an array of city and state agencies trying to enforce a bewildering labyrinth of regulations."

And some official child abuse is not encouraging either:

"In the face of a storm of protest from father and child advocates, Domino's Pizza has withdrawn its support from a highly publicized campaign by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox which encourages child involvement in the collection of child support. Over the past year Cox has targeted so-called "deadbeat dads" in Michigan with punitive measures and billboards which feature large handcuffs bearing the slogan "We Never Treat Deadbeats with Kid Gloves." His recently announced billboard campaign encourages custodial parents to have their children draw billboard designs critical of noncustodial parents who are allegedly behind on their child support. Several advocacy groups.. have protested the campaign. A letter to Domino's from the ACFC notes that the billboard campaign "inflames conflict between parents and psychologically abuses children...common sense should tell you how psychologically harmful it is to children to ask them to draw a negative picture of one of their parents."

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Andrew Bolt lists some Leftist lies: "These petitions from the Great and Good, damning John Howard, have persuaded me at last. We do indeed suffer from a culture of deceit. What finally won me was reading the name "Phillip Noyce" on the latest of these declarations -- a demand on the weekend from 40 actors, writers and directors for "truth in government". Phillip Noyce, I told my wife over breakfast. Demanding truth. Heavens. I just had to keep reading. You may have doubted that people paid to pretend or make things up are especially expert in truth, in government or anything else. But these petitioners shared no such reservations....."

Mike Tremoglie exorcises the Halliburton demon well on Front Page. One quote: "It is certainly true that during a two year period Halliburton's revenue from Defense Department contracts doubled. However, that increase in revenue occurred from 1998 to 2000 - during the Clinton administration.... In fact, the notion that Halliburton benefited from any cronyism has been poo-poohed by a Harvard University professor, Steven Kelman, who was administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Clinton administration. 'One would be hard-pressed to discover anyone with a working knowledge of how federal contracts are awarded...who doesn't regard these allegations as being somewhere between highly improbable and utterly absurd,' Kelman wrote in the Washington Post last November". But Leftists are not interested in the facts, of course. They would not be Leftists if they were.

Pajamas again! One blogger has just discovered that pajamas are an unexpected hazard.

Your government will protect you: "The Food and Drug Administration silenced one of its drug experts who raised safety concerns weeks before Merck & Co. yanked the blockbuster drug Vioxx due to increased risks for heart attack and strokes, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said Thursday. Dr. David J. Graham, associate director for science in the FDA Drug Center's Office of Drug Safety, told Senate investigators he faced stiff resistance within the regulatory agency to his findings." [Protecting their own prior approval of the drug came first, of course]

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

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That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

Leftism is for most Leftists a desire to sound good rather than a desire to do good


Comments? Email me here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.

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Well, "Biffo" (Australian Labor Party leader Mark Latham) gave a gracious concession speech -- which was a tribute both to him and to Australian democracy. John Howard's speech stressed how humbled he felt by his victory. A TV commentator noted the contrast with how Paul Keating (a former Labor party leader) responded to his victory -- by saying "How sweet it is" or some such. Keating was not re-elected. Howard has now been re-elected three times. Leftist arrogance does trip Leftists up in the end.


I can't help noting that, like Spain, Australians were attacked by Muslim terrorists just before the election. The attacks were not exactly comparable in that the attack on the Australian embassy in nearby Jakarta mainly succeeded in blowing up other Muslims but the attack did get big news coverage here nonetheless. And Australians had the same choice that Spaniards had -- a Leftist opposition that promised to get the troops out of Iraq pronto. But Australians are not Spaniards -- and it shows.