Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Further to my post of yesterday, I reproduce below the latest email from Prof. Pyszczynski. As far as I can see the first and fourth sentences contradict one-another!

We have NEVER claimed that conservatives have any more fear of death than anyone. That would be completely at odds with terror management theory or the research that has been done to test hypotheses derived from it. This is something anyone who has read our work would know. The point is that conservative ideology is a type of worldview that people use to protect themselves against a fear of death that is a natural consequence of wanting to live and knowing that you must die. Just as liberal ideology is. Just as science and religion are. When people are reminded of death, they cling more to the aspects of their worldviews that protect them from this fear. Conservatives and liberals do it -- but birds and educated fleas do not. There is some evidence that conservative ideology might be especially useful in providing protection but the jury is out as to whether that is inherent in conservative ideology or particular to the particulars of today's culture.

The only sense I can make out of it is a claim that people become more extreme in their views (whatever those views may be) when they think about death. That is a fairly humdrum proposal but does not correspond to how other researchers see the Pyszczynski work. Note this quote about the Pyszczynski work, for instance:

"Terror management research has typically found that people respond harshly toward offending others when reminded of their mortality".

Clearly, Pyszczynski has been claiming that death anxiety moves you towards a SPECIFIC view, not simply a more extreme view. And among Leftist psychologists, punitiveness has long been held to be a feature of conservatism -- which is why I have previously written on that subject (I found that impunitive people are the oddballs!).

At any event, Pyszczynski has clearly repudiated the summary of his work by Judis -- which is rather fun. I am a bit disappointed that he didn't deflate under attack as rapidly as Gilbert Harman but Harman is a genuinely acute thinker.



Last October, driven by deep curiosity, the lure of a generous paycheck and by a desire to be where historic events were unfolding, I left my comfortable life and took a job in Iraq. With a group of Iraqi and American construction specialists, I helped manage renovations and new construction for 17 Iraqi police stations in Wasit Province, southeast of Baghdad....

After six months of difficult work, all 17 police stations had been completed, on time and within budget. That was accomplished in what has been called one of the most dangerous places on earth. The main reason the police station project succeeded was that most of the Americans and Iraqis assigned to it learned to trust and respect each other, to cooperate, and to focus on a common goal, seeing it through completion. Without the mutual trust and respect, the project would have failed.

So it is with the effort to stabilize Iraq - without trust and respect between coalition and Iraqi security forces and ordinary Iraqis, no amount of weaponry or diplomacy will succeed in bringing peace there. And nothing can accelerate that process more than a firm commitment from the US that it will stand side-by-side with the Iraqi security forces, and with ordinary Iraqis, until peace and stability is at hand - no matter how long that takes to achieve.

Unfortunately, since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Democratic Party, the leftist media and the nation's cultural elite as a whole have done little to help build trust between America and Iraq. Indeed, they have done exactly the opposite, filling the airwaves and the front pages of US newspapers with endless negative messages: the experiment to bring democracy to Iraq is a total failure; US soldiers are psychopaths and murderers; President Bush is a greater threat to the world than those who torture and murder innocent Iraqis; the US presence in Iraq is the problem, not part of the solution, to ending the 30 years of brutality that Iraqis endured under the boot of Saddam; the game is over - al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups have won and the Iraqis and Americans have lost.

Who can say that the morale of ordinary Iraqis and American soldiers was not damaged when one of the most powerful men in America, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, stood in front of the world and declared, "I believe. that this war is lost." Who can expect them to ignore the defeatist postures of men and women like John Kerry, Richard Durbin, Edward Kennedy, John Murtha, Jack Reed, John Conyers and Nancy Pelosi? Who can forget the media deification of people like Cindy Sheehan and groups like International A.N.S.W.E.R and Code Pink, who are far more concerned with pushing a radical social and political agenda than they are with bringing peace and stability to Iraq?

Iraqis watch us, and they listen to us. What they hear from some of our politicians, political activists and cultural elites has made many of them reluctant to work with the Americans in bringing security to their country. Many Iraqis are afraid of what they are hearing from the Democratic Party leadership and their media shills - that America will abandon them. And as long as they are afraid, they will be reluctant to seize the initiative in their towns and villages and chase out those who are murdering their families.

More here



There are some more pix here of GWB among the military in Iraq. It has always been clear that GWB is comfortable among the military -- perhaps in part because he does himself have some military background. It contrasts with Hillary's renowned contempt for the military.

A nasty bungle: "A man looking for a new home on an online mapping service has stumbled across an aerial image of a US nuclear-powered submarine in dry dock showing a part of the vessel that wasn't meant to be seen. The image - which appears on Microsoft's Virtual Earth mapping service - is of the seven-bladed propeller used on an Ohio class ballistic missile submarine. The vessel was being worked on at a dry dock at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Washington State, in the north-west of the United States. The base is part of Bangor's Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific which houses the largest nuclear weapons arsenal. Propeller designs have been closely guarded secrets since the days of the Cold War. It is still common for them to be draped with tarps or removed and covered when a submarine is out of the water. The propeller design is an integral part of a submarine's ability to remain undetected during operations, ensuring that it can patrol the seas in stealth without giving its position away to surface ships". [There is an image here of the prop on the advanced Swedish submarine "Gotland" -- so maybe it is not such a big secret after all]


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

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) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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