Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Australians have repeatedly in recent years elected to power one of the world's most conservative governments -- so what do the sociologists find about Australian attitudes? This:

"Australians are now less conservative in their social and political thinking than they were under Paul Keating. The notion the country has swung to the Right under John Howard is challenged by the first major study of social attitudes since Labor lost power in 1996. Australian Social Attitudes: The First Report finds most people are satisfied with the economic gains made since the Prime Minister's election, and that they enjoy their work, are proud of their families, and feel confident and optimistic about the future. Most would happily give up tax cuts in exchange for more government spending on health or education, and support for immigration has more than doubled since the Keating years. "There has been no big swing to the Right on social issues," says Shaun Wilson, a lecturer in sociology at Macquarie University, who helped write the report.

Sheer Leftist boilerplate in other words. In the unlikely event that the study was done with proper academic care (i.e. with such things as a split-plots design, verified random sampling, balance against acquiescence, control for social desirability etc.), it just shows how slanting the questions can produce any answers you want. Sociologists generally know nothing about psychometrics but they are great at Leftist bias. I am a psychometrician who taught in a Sociology Department for 12 years so I know whereof I speak. If the "research" concerned ever gets published in a refereed journal, I look forward to having fun with it -- as I have done on many previous occasions.



A good comment from Frum on the New Orleans disaster: "There may well be fault on the part of the federal government and this administration. I'm certainly open to evidence on that point. But to review the wild, contradictory, and utterly opportunistic charges from the administration's critics is to enter a realm of madness. Some patient bloggers are responding to the charges one by one. Here is a post in reply to the charge that the levees were somehow neglected. Here is an accounting for the Louisiana National Guard: 8,000 of whom remain on duty in-state, including the Guard's most pertinent engineer group, numbering four battalions. Here is a crushing reply to those who blame the Bush administration for hurricanes - when hurricane activity has in fact dropped since 1940. Here is one of many stories detailing how the notorious New Orleans police force led the breakdown of civic order".

One of the most objectionable Leftist accusations about NO is fisked here. (Via Les Bates)

Brits trapped in NO: "During seemingly endless days and sleepless nights, the British survivors' fear of the hurricane's destructive force was transformed into terror of the other survivors. Mr Nelson, 21, and Jane Wheeldon, 20, told The Times how they and some 50 other foreigners - many of them British backpackers - were ordered by the US Army to gather together to protect themselves from resentful locals. "The army told us to stick in a group and for the women to sit in the middle with the men around the outside and to be ready to defend ourselves," .... The "internationals", as the army labelled the stranded tourists, were among the few white people in the stadium. Marked out by their skin colour and unfamiliar accents, they were verbally abused, while their luggage made them targets for robbery."

Fabulous news: "The treatment of high blood pressure, a condition affecting 18 million Britons, is being reviewed after research indicated that combining two drugs dramatically reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. A combination of new hypertension drugs and a common statin used to lower cholesterol cuts the chances of a heart attack or stroke by almost two thirds, a study of more than 19,000 patients with high blood pressure has revealed."

EU threatens slap on wrist: "The European Union on Thursday urged Iran to return to the negotiating table to discuss its nuclear program and threatened to take Tehran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions if it did not. At a meeting of EU foreign ministers, Britain, France and Germany briefed the EU nations on the collapse of negotiations with Tehran and said U.N. intervention could well become the only option."

German Socialists prefer Russia to the USA: "At the yesterday's extraordinary meeting of Social Democratic Party (SPD), German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said SPD will go to elections independently and put forward Russia as a key foreign policy partner of Germany. SPD met in Berlin for a day yesterday, August 31, 2005. The highlight was parliamentary elections to be held on September 18, one year ahead of the schedule. Even before the meeting was opened, Schroeder announced SPD will go to elections independently, not in alliance with the Green Party. Contrary to the major rival - Christian Democratic Union, which leader Angela Merkel stands for the Berlin-Washington political cooperation in the election program, Schroeder has put forward Russia as the major partner in foreign policy"

No safety for Arab Christians in Palestinian areas: "Efforts were under way on Sunday to calm the situation in this Christian village east of Ramallah after an attack by hundreds of Muslim men from nearby villages left many houses and vehicles torched".

Not all readers here may be aware that I have been putting up a few postings on POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH about America's North/South war. I jib at calling it a "civil war" because as far as I can see it was just another war of independence -- and as a libertarian, I tend to sympathize with wars of independence. And slavery was already on the way out at the time anyway. All other civilized countries managed to ban it without a war.

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


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

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" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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