Thursday, January 05, 2006


This is probably a pretty pointless post but I just want to say a little about one of the differences I have noticed between U.S. and Australian society. In Australia, it is almost a national religion to be authentic. To be "fair dinkum" is expected and to "bung on an act" is regarded as very low indeed. In standard English that means that to be respected, Australians have to be genuine, sincere, honest, natural and unpretentious. I myself share those values and I hope I exemplify them.

In the USA, however, there seems to be little of that attitude. From my observations on my various trips to the USA, honesty seems to run a distant second to making a good impression. It seems to me that most Americans don't really know who they are at all. They are constantly aware of their "image" and often wonder how they can improve it but "being themselves" is almost a meaningless expression to them. Obviously not all Americans are like that and readers of this blog who write to me seem generally to be a pretty individualistic lot who know where they stand and are not afraid to express it. But, on the whole, I see American society to be a very largely phony society. I think the average American is a good-hearted person but the pressures under which they operate militate against frankness and openness.

So what are those pressures? I think a lot of it goes back to America's puritan origins. Puritanism is against nature so where puritanism prevails hypocrisy is a quite inevitable outcome. And while America is no longer puritan in the original sense of that word, it still retains the judgmentalism of one-another that the original puritans had. These days puritanism is more likely to manifest itself in the form of recycling your garbage than in keeping the Sabbath but the need to claim virtue is still there.

So in the end I feel rather sad about the pressures under which Americans operate but I think it should be encouraging that there is a much more relaxed and natural society on the other side of the globe. Being authentic is possible and works well.



I have just put up here a rather sad email from a disabled American veteran who had the temerity to challenge illegal behavior on the part of the U.S. Postal "Service". They cut off his mail, of course. That's the behaviour you have to expect from an arrogant, legally protected monopoly.

A reader writes: "Marin County, North of San Francisco, is a liberal bastion. It is also the location of the Russian and Napa rivers, two streams that just went over their banks causing millions of dollars damage. One decimated city, Sebastopol, probably wishes it had declared itself a flood free city instead of a nuclear-free city. I wonder if I should ask the cities up there to contribute to the Wild and Scenic Rivers cause.

The usual Leftist love of violence: "A Labour Party campaign manager went on trial today accused of trying to throttle a young Tory activist on the eve of the General Election. David Harding, a Labour Party worker, is accused of punching and grabbing the throat of Robert Benham, 25, a parliamentary assistant to Andrew Rosindell, the Conservative MP for Romford in Essex, on May 4 last year. Harding, 48, of Hornchurch in Essex, denies common assault. He also denies using abusive words or behaviour during the alleged incident.

More Muslim thuggery: "They weren't your average thugs. Dressed in bow ties and dark suits, the group of nearly a dozen men entered a corner store and smashed bottles of liquor, wine and beer with metal pipes, shattering refrigerator cases and leaving behind a terrified clerk along with piles of broken glass. No one was held up. Nothing was stolen. The vandals just wanted to leave a message: Stop selling booze to fellow Muslims. In urban America, friction between poor residents and the immigrant merchants who sell cigarettes, bread and alcoholic beverages from neighborhood markets is nothing new. But the recent attack at San Pablo Liquor has injected religion into the old debate over whether a glut of such stores contributes to violent crime, vagrancy and other social ills. Followed by an identical attack at another West Oakland store the same evening, the episode highlighted tensions -- and different interpretations of doctrine -- between black Muslims hoping to reclaim troubled parts of the city and Middle Eastern shop owners, many of them also of Muslim faith".

A good rant: "A former friend of mine has called me a "zombie nutcase." Why? Because I refused to waste an hour of my irreplaceable time to watch a video which purports to be: "A one hour analysis of 9/11 and how it is more likely than not that the government was actually behind the attacks." What purpose would this video serve? It would, if believed, terminally discredit the Bush administration and the War on Terror. Who would benefit from the terminal discrediting of the Bush administration and the War on Terror? Certainly not the Libertarians, and the Perot faction is for all practical purposes dead as Lenin. Who could possibly replace President Bush and the Republicans as the ruling party in the United States? The Democrats, of course. The problem with this is that the Democrats are a bunch of traitors, thieves, and murderers who don't care how high the pile of human bodies is as long as they are firmly seated on top, and thus are objectively unfit to hold any form of public office. And if this wasn't bad enough, as a former Army combat rifleman who refuses to be an mindlessly obedient drone in the socialist collective I would be looked upon by the Democrats as some form of vermin".

Who would have predicted it? "The city of Houston is appealing for emergency funding to help to fight a huge crime wave following the arrival of refugees from hurricane-hit New Orleans. The murder rate in the Texan city leapt by 24 per cent last year, with the toll for November and December up by 70 per cent on the same period in 2004. There were 324 murders in Houston in 2005, compared with 263 in 2004. Of the 2005 tally, 51 occurred in November and December - up 21 on the same period of 2004. The police department has not monitored precisely how many can be attributed to those evacuated after Hurricane Katrina, but says that at least 12 homicides in the past four months have involved evacuees either as victims or perpetrators. While stressing that they cannot lay all the blame at the door of hurricane evacuees, the police chief and the mayor suggest that the influx of as many as 150,000 extra people has been a contributory factor. The issue is highly sensitive as the majority of the hurricane's victims were drawn from New Orleans's black underclass."

One of my regular Dutch correspondents was moved to comment on my reference yesterday to this stupid Dutch site. He says that such stupidity is all too typical in the Netherlands today and offers some interesting comments on the Netherlands generally. I have posted his email here

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here).


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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