Thursday, January 11, 2007


Not that the food faddists will take any notice

Food faddism is important to many people because it gives them both the illusion of control and an ego boost. One of the few things they have absolute control over is what they put into their mouths so they like to think that gives them some larger control over their lives. Food faddism also gives them a feeling of wisdom and righteousness because they attribute some universal truth and validity to their fads. It makes them feel wiser than the poor sods who do not share their "enlightenment". This latter has become particularly pernicious in recent years as the faddists have increasingly been able to force their beliefs on others -- via the demonization of "obesity" -- which they (falsely) claim shortens lifespans.

So it is a timely corrective that one population which has a characteristically "unhealthy" diet has recently been shown also to be one of the longest lived! Details on FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC.



Excerpt from Christopher Chantrill

How do you spell superstition?  The professional atheists have been busy spelling it out lately, especially Richard Dawkins with The God Delusion and Sam Harris with The End of Faith. There is almost certainly no God, according to Dawkins.

The atheists worship a different God.  For Dawkins, it seems to be the power of Darwin's theory of natural selection.  For Sam Harris it seems to be the value of meditation and a rational ethics.  And don't think you can talk them out it.

We can thank the atheists at least for this: They are magnificently applying the principle of  "motivated skepticism" to the human God project.

Motivated skepticism?  That's the concept from the paper "Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs" by Charles S. Taber and Milton Lodge. (Hat tip to TCS Daily Arnold Kling.)

Taber and Lodge observe that we humans have lots of faith in our own ideas and plans but not in other peoples' ideas.
"Physicists do it...Psychologists do it...Even political scientists do it...Research findings confirming a hypothesis are accepted more or less at face value, but when confronted with contrary evidence, we become "motivated skeptics" ... picking apart possible flaws in the study, recoding variables, and only when all the counterarguing fails do we rethink our beliefs[.]"
To understand the power of faith we have only to look at the 100 hour legislative marathon of the newly empowered House Democrats.  They are intent upon passing an increase in the minimum wage.  But the science is in on this, and it has been for over a century.  The minimum wage puts low-skilled people out of work.  Democrats are also intent upon adding new subsidies to college students.  But the science is in on subsidies. And the science is also in on drug price controls.

Why do they do it?  Faith, that's why.  Blind faith in the power of government and their own good intentions.

When a faith has been utterly exploded by science, rational folks like you and me usually call it "superstition."



Iranian brain-drain. I wonder why? "According to the IMF more than a 150,000 of the best young minds in Iran are leaving every year."

China now battling Muslims: "China has revealed the depth of its fear of Islamic-linked violence with police disclosing that they had killed 18 terrorists and captured another 17 after a fierce battle at a secret training camp in a remote northwestern region. It was the first time that China had announced the discovery of such a camp in its territory. Officials said that they had uncovered links between the activists and international terrorist groups, hinting at connections to al-Qa'ida. The clash in the Pamir mountains on Friday was one of the deadliest for years in the restive Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region, where 8.5 million Muslims make up most of the population. One policeman was killed and a second wounded.... Liu Jianchao, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said: "There is a large amount of evidence, including evidence from this raid, that shows the movement is associated with international terrorist forces, and that it planned, organised and carried out a series of violent, terrorist activities in China."

Bungling British spooks: "The Director-General of Britain's security service MI5 told senior MPs there was no imminent terrorist threat to London or the rest of the country less than 24 hours before the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings in London, in which 56 people were killed. Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller gave the assurance at a private meeting of Labour whips at the House of Commons on the morning of July 6. Last month Dame Eliza announced she was to retire in April. That announcement came weeks before details are expected to be made public of an MI5 operation in which two of the July 7 bombers were kept under surveillance but not arrested."

Australia: Huge rise in job openings after recent labour-market deregulation: "Australian total job vacancies in the three months to November rose 5.9 per cent, seasonally adjusted, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Job vacancies rose 21.4 per cent over the year to November. Seasonally adjusted job vacancies totalled 163,700 in the three months to November compared with an upwardly revised 154,600 in the previous quarter.

More Jimmy Carter deceit: "I became embroiled in a controversy with former President Jimmy Carter over the use of two maps in his recent book, "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid." While some criticized what appeared to be the misappropriation of maps I had commissioned for my book, "The Missing Peace," my concern was always different.... In his book, Mr. Carter juxtaposes two maps labeled the "Palestinian Interpretation of Clinton's Proposal 2000" and "Israeli Interpretation of Clinton's Proposal 2000." The problem is that the "Palestinian interpretation" is actually taken from an Israeli map presented during the Camp David summit meeting in July 2000, while the "Israeli interpretation" is an approximation of what President Clinton subsequently proposed in December of that year. Without knowing this, the reader is left to conclude that the Clinton proposals must have been so ambiguous and unfair that Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, was justified in rejecting them. But that is simply untrue."



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

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)

R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. He pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason

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