Saturday, May 07, 2005


There is a fairly good article here on the Flynn Effect -- the fact that average IQ test scores have been rising for about a century. The explanation that the effect arises from "cognitively demanding leisure" (such as computer games) is quite a good one but is unduly narrow. The effect is best seen as the result of modernization generally. Lots of things have improved over the years -- such as safety and health care (particularly perinatal care) and many barriers to people realizing their full genetic potential have thus been removed or reduced. I note that Jim Flynn is referred to as an American philosopher. He is in fact a New Zealand political scientist.

Donald Luskin on the economy: "We libertarians don't like to think of the government taking even more of our money, yet it seems like good news when he hear that tax collections are running way ahead of estimates, and that therefore federal budget deficit projections are going to get trimmed way down. Oh, and of course we take some perverse delight in imagining Jonathan Weisman's chagrin in having to report this in the Washington Post this morning. He didn't come right out and admit that maybe some of the Bush administration's economic policies are working better than he expected -- but it's the inescapable conclusion of his story."

Media bias in economic news: "Accusations of political bias in the media are often made by members of both political parties, yet there have been few systematic studies of such bias to date. This paper develops an econometric technique to test for political bias in news reports that controls for the underlying character of the news reported. Our results suggest that American newspapers tend to give more positive news coverage to the same economic news when Democrats are in the Presidency than for Republicans. When all types of news are pooled into a single analysis, our results are highly significant. However, the results vary greatly depending upon which economic numbers are being reported. When GDP growth is reported, Republicans received between 16 and 24 percentage point fewer positive stories for the same economic numbers than Democrats. For durable goods for all newspapers, Republicans received between 15 and 25 percentage points fewer positive news stories than Democrats. For unemployment, the difference was between zero and 21 percentage points.... "

The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) that is up for ratification by the U.S. Senate seems like a pretty bad deal for America and a big gift for the world's most corrupt organization (the U.N.). Nathan Tabor has more.

Free market justice is in the cards: "Nearly everyone takes it for granted that if government did not protect consumers from fraud, no such protection would be provided. The free market, however, protects consumers in countless ways, all without any government intervention. In fact, it does so more efficiently and effectively than the government can. One of the most impressive examples of free-market justice involves something that might be in your pocket right now: your credit card. Through voluntary contractual arrangements -- motivated by nothing more than a desire for customers and profit -- credit-card companies provide an entirely private means of recourse when a merchant wrongs a customer."

What used to be a free country: "A gasoline price war erupted in St. Mary's County last week after one station slashed its price for regular to $1.999 a gallon and spurred three others to follow suit, giving drivers some hope of relief at the pump. But the price dip proved fleeting. Maryland regulators quickly stepped in and told the stations that their prices were too low. They needed to go up by 5 cents."

Shrink-wrapped has a thoughtful post about the vast distortions of what is happening in the world that have now become routine among Leftists. He sees the delusions concerned as providing an excuse for serious Leftist violence and civil disorder: "When your enemies are evil, dangerous fascists who are dedicated to destroying your country, your civil rights, and enslaving and/or killing various innocents, it becomes incumbent on right minded people to act to prevent further horrors. This is the logic of the left, aided and abetted by large parts of the MSM, Academia, and the Democratic Party".

Cafe Hayek mentions just part of the the enduring folly of New York's rent-control system.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and LEFTISTS AS ELITISTS. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. And on Social Security see Dick McDonald


That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftist movers and shakers is perfectly shown by the 2004 Kerry campaign. They put up a man whose policies seemed to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though the Left have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

Leftist ideologues are phonies. For most of them all that they want is to sound good. They don't care about doing good. That's why they do so much harm. They don't really care what the results of their policies are as long as they are seen as having good intentions and can con "the masses" into giving them power.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist"

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