Saturday, December 06, 2008

Was Hitler a racist?

"John Ray has now gone too far. Pointing out that Nazism was simply an extreme version of prewar Leftism was fine but denying that Hitler was a racist is right off the planet". That is the sort of reaction I expect to the above heading. But as Eddington said, the universe is not only stranger than you imagine but it is stranger than you can imagine. And the truth is that Hitler's ideas about race were pretty similar to the thinking of Leftists today. We all know that Hitler used the Jews as a scapegoat but what have you ever read about what his conception of race was? You may be surprised.

Although in his speeches he undoubtedly appealed to the nationalism of the German people, Locke (2001) makes a strong case that Hitler was not in fact a very good nationalist in that he always emphasized that his primary loyalty was to what he called the Aryan race -- and Germany was only one part of that race. Locke then goes on to point out that Hitler was not even a very consistent racist in that the Dutch, the Danes etc. were clearly Aryan even by Hitler's own eccentric definition yet he attacked them whilst at the same time allying himself with the very non-Aryan Japanese. And the Russians and the Poles (whom Hitler also attacked) are rather more frequently blonde and blue-eyed (Hitler's ideal) than the Germans themselves are! So what DID Hitler believe in?

In his book Der Fuehrer, prewar Leftist writer Konrad Heiden corrects the now almost universal assumption that Hitler's idea of race was biologically-based. The Nazi conception of race traces, as is well-known, to the work of Houston Stewart Chamberlain. But what did Chamberlain say about race? It should not by now be surprising that he said something that sounds thoroughly Leftist. Anthropologist Robert Gayre summarizes Chamberlain's ideas as follows:
"On the contrary he taught (like many "progressives" today) that racial mixture was desirable, for, according to him, it was only out of racial mixture that the gifted could be created. He considered that the evidence of this was provided by the Prussian, whom he saw as the superman, resulting from a cross between the German (or Anglo-Saxon "German") and the Slav. From this Chamberlain went on to argue that the sum of all these talented people would then form a "race," not of blood but of "affinity."

So the Nazi idea of race rejected biology just as thoroughly as modern Leftist ideas about race do! If that seems all too jarring to believe, Gayre goes on to discuss the matter at length.

So although Hitler made powerful USE of German nationalism, we see from both the considerations put forward by Locke and the intellectual history discussed by Gayre, that Hitler was not in fact much motivated by racial loyalty as we would normally conceive it. So what was he motivated by?

Locke suggests that Hitler's actions are best explained by saying that he simply had a love of war but offers no explanation of WHY Hitler would love war. Hitler's extreme Leftism does explain this however. Hitler shared with other Leftists a love of constant change and excitement --- and what could offer more of that than war (or, in the case of other Leftists, the civil war of "revolution")?

The idea that Nazism was motivated primarily by a typically Leftist hunger for change and excitement and hatred of the status quo is reinforced by the now famous account of life in Nazi Germany given by a young "Aryan" who lived through it. Originally written before World War II, Haffner's (2002) account of why Hitler rose to power stresses the boring nature of ordinary German life and observes that the appeal of the Nazis lay in their offering of relief from that:
"The great danger of life in Germany has always been emptiness and boredom ... The menace of monotony hangs, as it has always hung, over the great plains of northern and eastern Germany, with their colorless towns and their all too industrious, efficient, and conscientious business and organizations. With it comes a horror vacui and the yearning for 'salvation': through alcohol, through superstition, or, best of all, through a vast, overpowering, cheap mass intoxication."

So he too saw the primary appeal of Nazism as its offering of change, novelty and excitement. And how about another direct quote from Hitler himself?
"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions"

(Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by Toland, 1976, p. 306)

So Hitler WAS a racist -- but a very mixed-up one -- just as modern-day Leftists are -- who support racial preferences (affirmative action) but still say they are anti-racist! The big failure for both Hitler and the modern-day Left is an inability to treat people as individuals. They cannot even think about others except by lumping them into huge and simplistic categories.



Lies, damn lies and government lies - or do I repeat myself? : "All governments thrive on lies. We might even say that apart from weapons and men cruel enough to wield them on behalf of the rulers, lies are a government's most essential resource. Opponents of the state may be powerless in nearly every way, but so long as they are free to speak the truth, the rulers can never sleep soundly. It therefore behooves them to suppress the truth and to substitute the state's propaganda at every turn. Recently the government of Latvia has been illustrating these truths in an especially blatant manner."

The privileged Obama family: "The most telling appointment Barack Obama has made since becoming President-elect has nothing to do with his Cabinet or senior advisors. It was the appointment of Sidwell Friends School, a private grammar school in Washington D.C. to which the Obamas have reportedly decided to send their two daughters. I applaud Obama's commitment to the education of his daughters, choosing to send them to the best schools.It is just too bad that Obama opposes extending that choice to families whose children are relegated by geography and by income to schools he knows and everyone knows will fail them."

UK: The Big Brother state - by stealth: "Personal information detailing intimate aspects of the lives of every British citizen is to be handed over to government agencies under sweeping new powers. The measure, which will give ministers the right to allow all public bodies to exchange sensitive data with each other, is expected to be rushed through Parliament in a Bill to be published tomorrow. The new legislation would deny MPs a full vote on such data-sharing. Instead, ministers could authorise the swapping of information between councils, the police, NHS trusts, the Inland Revenue, education authorities, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, the Department for Work and Pensions and other ministries. Opponents of the move accused the Government of bringing in by stealth a data-sharing programme that exposed everyone to the dangers of a Big Brother state and one of the most intrusive personal databases in the world."

Corrupt British government "charity": "The boss of a Government-owned company which aims to reduce Third World poverty was paid nearly 1million pounds last year, it has emerged. Richard Laing, the chief executive of CDC, received a total of 970,000 pounds in pay and bonuses, while other senior executives at the company earned an average of 435,000. CDC, which is wholly owned by the Department for International Development, uses private equity funds to plough money into poorer countries, mainly in Africa and Asia. But MPs condemned the ' ridiculous' size of the pay packages enjoyed by its bosses. A damning report by the National Audit Office, the public spending watchdog, also found that the firm is sitting on 1.4billion in profits, more than it currently has invested in developing nations. Edward Leigh, chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, said: 'It is ridiculous that the chief executive of a Government-owned body aimed at reducing poverty can earn 970,000 in a single year."

British government "bailout" hits savers: "Millions of savers are staring at a desperate future after the Bank of England slashed interest rates yesterday for the third time in three months. The biggest losers will be the elderly who rely on income from their savings to top up their measly pensions. Terrifyingly, they could get as little as $8 a year for every $10,000 they have put aside."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or 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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Friday, December 05, 2008

Lots to catch up with today so short excerpts only:

A good comment from Taranto: "Barack Obama has dropped yet another left-wing campaign promise, the Houston Chronicle reports: "Obama has shelved a proposal to slap the oil and gas companies with a new windfall profits tax because oil prices have dropped so much in recent months, the transition team confirmed today. "President-elect Obama announced the policy during the campaign because oil prices were above $80 per barrel," a transition aide said. "They are currently below that now and expected to stay below that." Funny how politicians always vilify "Big Oil" when prices are high, but they never give it credit when prices are low. Some industries just can't win."

Some Anglicans still respect the Bible: "A collection of breakaway Episcopalians have formed a single denomination to rival the mainstream U.S. church, cementing a schism that was largely prompted by the election in 2003 of a gay bishop. Their new "Anglican Church in North America" said it includes four dioceses that recently split from the Episcopal church, as well as several splinter groups, 1,000 clergy and an estimated 700 parishes, said the Rev. Peter Frank, spokesman for the Right Rev. Robert Duncan, bishop of Pittsburgh, who months ago lead his diocese away from the Episcopal church. A spokesman in the Episcopal church said he was dubious the numbers were that high. The new church will seek recognition from the world-wide Anglican communion, including its leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams."

Zogby: Palin Top 2012 Contender: "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the slight favorite of Republican voters as the best candidate the party could run for President in 2012. When all voters are asked that questions, Palin falls into a three-way tie with Mitt Romney and Bobby Jindal. Those are among the findings of a Zogby Interactive poll of 24,964 voters conducted from Nov. 7-18. The margin of error for the entire sample is +/-0.6 percent

Bias by omission: ""While Americans sat through football games, planned their 'Black Friday' morning shopping, and all in all enjoyed a quiet and peaceful Thanksgiving, terrorists in India were slaughtering more than 200 innocent people. Westerners, particularly U.S. and British citizens, were primary targets. The fact that it was a peaceful American Thanksgiving went unnoticed by most. The fact that this has been the case since the Al Qaida attacks on America of Sept. 11, 2001, also went little noticed. That all of this coincides with and is a result of President Bush's prosecution of the war on Islamist extremism is never highlighted."

Bailout Lacks Oversight, GAO Says: 'The rapid pace of implementation and evolving nature of the program have hampered efforts to put a comprehensive system of internal control in place,' [a new GAO report] said. 'Until such a system is fully developed and implemented, there is heightened risk that the interests of the government and taxpayers may not be adequately protected and that the program objectives may not be achieved in an efficient and effective manner"

Why should a failing automaker receive a bailout? : "One could debate this issue via all manner of economic logic, and maybe I'll get to that later, but let's examine this situation morally first. Is it the responsibility of the U.S. taxpayer to make sure these automakers remain solvent? No. Is it the responsibility of the U.S. taxpayer to make sure that people who work for the Big Three keep working? No. Is it the fault of the U.S. taxpayer that the Big Three are currently insolvent? Yes, partially. (That's not a misprint.) Taxpayers comprise the market and, of course, it is a market response that causes firms like GM to be losing money. GM is selling stuff that people don't want to buy, for whatever reason and so, few buy. GM is supposed to be losing money! Until and unless the U.S. automakers manage themselves in a way that: a) creates products that people want to buy and b) at a price that supports the expenses of the business, they should lose money. That's the choice that the market is destined to make, unless the government intervenes and screws things up."

The Mumbai Strategy: "The Mumbai terrorist attacks have opened a new chapter in the war against terrorism. They remind us that Islamic radicalism owes more to classic Leninist thinking than to the Koran. This wasn't some desperate move to make a statement. It was a carefully planned operation, under the command of sophisticated leadership--the group responsible had links to al-Qaida, according to many reports--in order to achieve a strategic, indeed worldwide, goal. Before the attacks, India and Pakistan were on the verge of concluding an alliance against their de facto common enemy, Islamic radicalism, under the guidance of the American government. In reviving Indians' fears that they were once again under attack from Pakistani security forces, the Mumbai atrocities may well disrupt the projected alliance. Further, the attack on Mumbai took place in advance of decisive provincial elections in India: vociferous Hindu nationalist parties will undoubtedly exploit anti-Muslim feelings for political gain. The timing of the Mumbai attack, like that of al-Qaida's Madrid bombing in 2003, confirms the broader Islamist-terror movement's sophisticated strategy."

Too little, too late? "Worried about their jobs and warned that the cost of failure could be a depression, hundreds of leaders of the United Auto Workers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to make concessions to the struggling Detroit Three, including all but ending a much-derided program that let laid-off workers collect up to 95 percent of their salaries. "Everybody has to give a little bit," said Rich Bennett, an official for Local 122 in Twinsburg, Ohio, representing Chrysler workers. "We've made concessions. We really feel we're doing our part." Union leaders also agreed to let the cash-starved automakers delay billions of dollars in payments to a union-administered trust set to take over health care for blue-collar retirees starting in 2010. In addition, they decided to let the Detroit leadership begin renegotiating elements of landmark contracts signed with the automakers last year, a move that could lead to wage concessions."

Huge bureaucratic bungle in Britain: "The Serious Fraud Office suffered a huge defeat yesterday with the collapse of its $50 million, six-year investigation into alleged price fixing among drug manufacturers. The Court of Appeal in London rejected the SFO's appeal against the striking out of its indictment in July this year against five pharmaceutical companies. The decision, reached in less than 1« hours, raises a question mark over the future of such lengthy and complex investigations by the SFO. The investigation dwarfs any other undertaken by the office. At one stage it involved every lawyer and every accountant at the SFO, its entire forensic computing unit and 100 police officers from the National Crime Squad as well as the entire Metropolitan Police fraud squad."

Clinton's confirmation may spark Constitutional battle : "The biggest obstacle facing Hillary Clinton's Senate confirmation as President-elect Barack Obama's top diplomat may not be her husband's wheeling and dealing abroad for his foundation, as many suspected. Instead, it could be the U.S. Constitution. According to an emolument clause in the Constitution, no lawmaker can be appointed to any civil position that was created or received a wage increase during the lawmaker's time in office. President Bush ordered Cabinet salaries raised to $191,300 from $186,600 by executive order early this year, while Clinton was senator."

Massachusetts. None dare call it corruption: ""When the Legislature granted 20 new, highly coveted liquor licenses to Boston in late 2006 to meet pent-up demand, the city's Licensing Board did not hesitate to dole them out. In less than three months, it awarded licenses to five bars in South Boston and five more in the South End, two in the North End, two in Chinatown, and a handful of others from Roxbury to Beacon Hill. But . one element remained remarkably constant: the same set of politically connected lawyers. The majority of the license recipients hired the same firm, McDermott, Quilty & Miller. The firm's clients won 13 of the 20 new licenses, or 65 percent."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or 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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Thursday, December 04, 2008

We Blew It

A look back in remorse on the conservative opportunity that was squandered. Excerpts from humorist P.J. O'Rourke:

Let us bend over and kiss our ass goodbye. Our 28-year conservative opportunity to fix the moral and practical boundaries of government is gone--gone with the bear market and the Bear Stearns and the bear that's headed off to do you-know-what in the woods on our philosophy.

An entire generation has been born, grown up, and had families of its own since Ronald Reagan was elected. And where is the world we promised these children of the Conservative Age? Where is this land of freedom and responsibility, knowledge, opportunity, accomplishment, honor, truth, trust, and one boring hour each week spent in itchy clothes at church, synagogue, or mosque? It lies in ruins at our feet, as well it might, since we ourselves kicked the shining city upon a hill into dust and rubble......

Government is bigger than ever. We have fattened the stalled ox and hatred therewith rather than dined on herbs where love (and the voter) is. Instead of flattening the Department of Education with a wrecking ball we let it stand as a pulpit for Bill Bennett. When--to switch metaphors yet again--such a white elephant is not discarded someone will eventually try to ride in the howdah on its back. One of our supposed own did. No Child Left Behind? What if they deserve to be left behind? What if they deserve a smack on the behind? A nationwide program to test whether kids are what? Stupid? You've got kids. Kids are stupid.

We railed at welfare and counted it a great victory when Bill Clinton confused a few poor people by making the rules more complicated. But the "French-bread lines" for the rich, the "terrapin soup kitchens," continue their charity without stint.

The sludge and dreck of political muck-funds flowing to prosperous businesses and individuals have gotten deeper and more slippery and stink worse than ever with conservatives minding the sewage works of legislation.

Agriculture is a business that has been up to its bib overalls in politics since the first Thanksgiving dinner kickback to the Indians for subsidizing Pilgrim maize production with fish head fertilizer grants. But never, since the Mayflower knocked the rock in Plymouth, has anything as putrid as the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2008 been spread upon the land. Just the name says it. There are no farms left. Not like the one grampa grew up on.

A "farm" today means 100,000 chickens in a space the size of a Motel 6 shower stall. If we cared anything about "nutrition" we would--to judge by the mountainous, jiggling flab of Americans--stop growing all food immediately. And "bioenergy" is a fraud of John Edwards-marital-fidelity proportions. Taxpayer money composted to produce a fuel made of alcohol that is more expensive than oil, more polluting than oil, and almost as bad as oil with vermouth and an olive. But this bill passed with bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress and was happily signed into law by President Bush. Now it's going to cost us at least $285 billion. That's about five times the gross domestic product of prewar Iraq. For what we will spend on the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2008 we could have avoided the war in Iraq and simply bought a controlling interest in Saddam Hussein's country.

Yes, we got a few tax breaks during the regimes of Reagan and W. But the government is still taking a third of our salary. Is the government doing a third of our job? Is the government doing a third of our dishes? Our laundry? Our vacuuming? When we go to Hooters is the government tending bar making sure that one out of three margaritas is on the house? If our spouse is feeling romantic and we're tired, does the government come over to our house and take care of foreplay? (Actually, during the Clinton administration.....)

Anyway, a low tax rate is not--never mind the rhetoric of every conservative politician--a bedrock principle of conservatism. The principle is fiscal responsibility. Conservatives should never say to voters, "We can lower your taxes." Conservatives should say to voters, "You can raise spending. You, the electorate, can, if you choose, have an infinite number of elaborate and expensive government programs. But we, the government, will have to pay for those programs. We have three ways to pay.

"We can inflate the currency, destroying your ability to plan for the future, wrecking the nation's culture of thrift and common sense, and giving free rein to scallywags to borrow money for worthless scams and pay it back 10 cents on the dollar.

"We can raise taxes. If the taxes are levied across the board, money will be taken from everyone's pocket, the economy will stagnate, and the poorest and least advantaged will be harmed the most. If the taxes are levied only on the wealthy, money will be taken from wealthy people's pockets, hampering their capacity to make loans and investments, the economy will stagnate, and the poorest and the least advantaged will be harmed the most.

"And we can borrow, building up a massive national debt. This will cause all of the above things to happen plus it will fund Red Chinese nuclear submarines that will be popping up in San Francisco Bay to get some decent Szechwan take-out."

Yes, this would make for longer and less pithy stump speeches. But we'd be showing ourselves to be men and women of principle. It might cost us, short-term. We might get knocked down for not whoring after bioenergy votes in the Iowa caucuses. But at least we wouldn't land on our scruples. And we could get up again with dignity intact, dust ourselves off, and take another punch at the liberal bully-boys who want to snatch the citizenry's freedom and tuck that freedom, like a trophy feather, into the hatbands of their greasy political bowlers.

But are we men and women of principle? And I don't mean in the matter of tricky and private concerns like gay marriage. Civil marriage is an issue of contract law. A constitutional amendment against gay marriage? I don't get it. How about a constitutional amendment against first marriages? Now we're talking. No, I speak, once again, of the geological foundations of conservatism.

Where was the meum and the tuum in our shakedown of Washington lobbyists? It took a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives 40 years--from 1954 to 1994--to get that corrupt and arrogant. And we managed it in just 12. (Who says Republicans don't have much on the ball?)

To go from slime to the sublime, there are the lofty issues about which we never bothered to form enough principles to go out and break them. What is the coherent modern conservative foreign policy?

We may think of this as a post 9/11 problem, but it's been with us all along. What was Reagan thinking, landing Marines in Lebanon to prop up the government of a country that didn't have one? In 1984, I visited the site where the Marines were murdered. It was a beachfront bivouac overlooked on three sides by hills full of hostile Shiite militia. You'd urge your daughter to date Rosie O'Donnell before you'd put troops ashore in such a place.

Since the early 1980s I've been present at the conception (to use the polite term) of many of our foreign policy initiatives. Iran-contra was about as smart as using the U.S. Postal Service to get weapons to anti-Communists. And I notice Danny Ortega is back in power anyway. I had a look into the eyes of the future rulers of Afghanistan at a sura in Peshawar as the Soviets were withdrawing from Kabul. I would rather have had a beer with Leonid Brezhnev.

Fall of the Berlin wall? Being there was fun. Nations that flaked off of the Soviet Union in southeastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus? Being there was not so fun.

The aftermath of the Gulf war still makes me sick. Fine to save the fat, greedy Kuwaitis and the arrogant, grasping house of Saud, but to hell with the Shiites and Kurds of Iraq until they get some oil. Then, half a generation later, when we returned with our armies, we expected to be greeted as liberators. And, damn it, we were. I was in Baghdad in April 2003. People were glad to see us, until they noticed that we'd forgotten to bring along any personnel or provisions to feed or doctor the survivors of shock and awe or to get their electricity and water running again. After that they got huffy and began stuffing dynamite down their pants before consulting with the occupying forces.

Is there a moral dimension to foreign policy in our political philosophy? Or do we just exist to help the world's rich people make and keep their money? (And a fine job we've been doing of that lately.) If we do have morals, where were they while Bosnians were slaughtered? And where were we while Clinton dithered over the massacres in Kosovo and decided, at last, to send the Serbs a message: Mess with the United States and we'll wait six months, then bomb the country next to you. Of Rwanda, I cannot bear to think, let alone jest.

And now, to glue and screw the lid on our coffin, comes this financial crisis. For almost three decades we've been trying to teach average Americans to act like "stakeholders" in their economy. They learned. They're crying and whining for government bailouts just like the billionaire stakeholders in banks and investment houses. Aid, I can assure you, will be forthcoming from President Obama. Then average Americans will learn the wisdom of Ronald Reagan's statement: "The ten most dangerous words in the English language are, 'I'm from the federal government, and I'm here to help.'...." Ask a Katrina survivor.

The left has no idea what's going on in the financial crisis. And I honor their confusion. Jim Jerk down the road from me, with all the cars up on blocks in his front yard, falls behind in his mortgage payments, and the economy of Iceland implodes. I'm missing a few pieces of this puzzle myself. Under constant political pressure, which went almost unresisted by conservatives, a lot of lousy mortgages that would never be repaid were handed out to Jim Jerk and his drinking buddies and all the ex-wives and single mothers with whom Jim and his pals have littered the nation.

Wall Street looked at the worthless paper and thought, "How can we make a buck off this?" The answer was to wrap it in a bow. Take a wide enough variety of lousy mortgages--some from the East, some from the West, some from the cities, some from the suburbs, some from shacks, some from McMansions--bundle them together and put pressure on the bond rating agencies to do fancy risk management math, and you get a "collateralized debt obligation" with a triple-A rating. Good as cash. Until it wasn't. Or, put another way, Wall Street was pulling the "room full of horse s--" trick. Brokerages were saying, "We're going to sell you a room full of horse s--. And with that much horse s--, you just know there's a pony in there somewhere."

Anyway, it's no use blaming Wall Street. Blaming Wall Street for being greedy is like scolding defensive linemen for being big and aggressive. The people on Wall Street never claimed to be public servants. They took no oath of office. They're in it for the money. We pay them to be in it for the money. We don't want our retirement accounts to get a 2 percent return. (Although that sounds pretty good at the moment.)

What will destroy our country and us is not the financial crisis but the fact that liberals think the free market is some kind of sect or cult, which conservatives have asked Americans to take on faith. That's not what the free market is. The free market is just a measurement, a device to tell us what people are willing to pay for any given thing at any given moment. The free market is a bathroom scale. You may hate what you see when you step on the scale. "Jeeze, 230 pounds!" But you can't pass a law making yourself weigh 185. Liberals think you can. And voters--all the voters, right up to the tippy-top corner office of Goldman Sachs--think so too.

We, the conservatives, who do understand the free market, had the responsibility to--as it were--foreclose upon this mess. The market is a measurement, but that measuring does not work to the advantage of a nation or its citizens unless the assessments of volume, circumference, and weight are conducted with transparency and under the rule of law. We've had the rule of law largely in our hands since 1980. Where is the transparency? It's one more job we botched.

Although I must say we're doing good work on our final task--attaching the garden hose to our car's exhaust pipe and running it in through a vent window. Barack and Michelle will be by in a moment with some subsidized ethanol to top up our gas tank. And then we can turn the key.




I have recently put up several posts about the psychology of politics. As they are all interrelated, I have now combined them and revised them to form a single article here.

Making fun of the emotional irrationality of the Greenie movement is hard but a new blog Go Anti-Green has a good attempt at it.

I have just put up here another review of Buchanan's claims that WWII was "an unnecessary war". There have of course been several previous reviews but this one seems almost wholly sympathetic. That WWI was the prelude to WWII is undoubted so my main comment is that the British fear of the Imperial German navy as a cause of WWI needed more discussion. The battle of Jutland showed that concern to be well-founded -- a battle in which a smaller German force sank several British capital ships without losing any of its own. Given its tried and tested "balance of power" doctrine, it is my personal regretful conclusion that Britain did indeed have to intervene in both wars.

NY Times Refuses to Report Role of Islam in Mumbai Massacre: "Analyzing five days of coverage of the Mumbai massacre, Boycott The New York Times editor Don Feder decried The Times’ “politically correct coverage” and its refusal to describe the terrorists who perpetrated the slaughter as Islamic extremists or Muslims. “The Times adamantly refuses to recognize a connection between Islam and worldwide terrorism,” Feder wrote in an article posted today at Failing to acknowledge the impact of Islam on terrorism, Feder said, “constitutes the greatest denial of reality in the history of journalism.” Feder examined six stories on the Mumbai attacks published in The New York Times between November 27 and December 1. He noted that the paper made no direct reference to Islamic extremism as a motivation for the killings, although it did hint at a connection by quoting some of the killers, who complained about the treatment of Muslims in India and the Kashmir, and called for the release of “mujahedeen prisoners.” In addition to refusing to discuss the terrorists’ motives, Feder found that The Times omitted important details about the victims. The paper’s November 30 story described the murders as “indiscriminate,” but reports indicate that the killers targeted foreigners (particularly Americans and Brits) and Jews. “In thousands of words of coverage, The New York Times never mentioned that victims’ bodies frequently bore the marks of torture,” added Feder."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or 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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Patriotism, nationalism and racism

Warner Todd Huston sets out at some length the simple but rather denied truth that Leftists only pretend to be patriotic. In a patriotic nation they have to do that for PR purposes but their hearts are not in it and they manage the pretence only by claiming that they love what America COULD BE rather than what it is. Pathetic!

I have set out at some length previously evidence that patriotism is not in general aggressive. There is however a related attitude known as nationalism. That is when the lovers of their own country want to dominate other countries. All the examples I can think of, however, from Napoleon to Hitler, have been Leftists. So my summary of the matter is that nationalism is a Leftist perversion of patriotism. No wonder Leftists are so suspicious of patriotism! They judge others by themselves. They know how vicious they would be with an entire nation behind them and assume that others think similarly.

But both patriotism and nationalism are only one sort of group loyalty. Rotarians are often strongly attached to their club and even homosexuals feel "gay pride" apparently. And many church members are strongly attached to their religious denomination or local church. And religious identity can extend to something like nationalism -- with physical attacks on members of other denominations. There is still a faint remnant of that in Northern Ireland (though the enmity there is as much historic as religious) and in Islam there is a lot of it. Muslims are great slaughterers of other Muslims -- if the other Muslims don't subscribe to the "right" brand of Islam. But Islam is Fascistic anyway.

And then there is the great unmentionable. You CAN feel proud of your race. And if the pride is "black pride" that is just fine. But "white pride" is apparently a breath from the depths of hell. Yet history's most destructive example of racism was not concerned with whiteness at all. Hitler in fact allied himself with the non-white Japanese and attacked many nations that were just as white as Germans are. In fact there are proportionately rather more blue-eyed blondes in Russia and in Poland than there are in Germany -- and Adolf slaughtered millions of both. Hitler's bag was -- following Woodrow Wilson -- ARYANS. And most Aryans are in fact brown (Indians).

So the Leftist suspicion of pride in being white has exactly no foundation in the place where it might be most expected! Pretty normal Leftist ignorance of facts and history, of course. So white racism as an oppressive thing is mainly an American phenomenon. And the KKK were overwhelmingly Democrats! Clearly, conservatives were not the problem there.

I can't resist noting here, however, that I quite like Aryans myself. I have at the moment three quite brown Indians living with me in my house and most days I fly the flag of the Republic of India from my flagpole. Maybe that just makes me a nut but the court jester of old was the only one in the court allowed to tell the whole truth so I cheerfully claim that privilege. Does that make me a dangerous nut? Maybe. Truth is dangerous to those who live by deception.

I in fact have very good contacts with India. The chairman of the huge company that owns the recently attacked Taj hotel is the much admired Ratan Tata and if I wanted to get a message to him there is a good Indian friend of mine for whom Ratan Tata would always pick up the phone. Everybody who loves India will be pleased to hear that Mr Tata has pledged to rebuild the Taj hotel so that is is as good as new again.

I imagine that it is by now pretty clear that Leftists would have an uphill job of tagging me as a white racist (though they will no doubt get to the top of that hill somehow). I just don't fit their simplistic black-and-white way of thinking. If we are more careful with our definitions than Leftists usually are, however, I think it should become clear that there are some forms of white "racism" that are perfectly reasonable, normal and harmless.

I refer in particular to my prior comments showing that patriotism is not in general necessarily aggressive, hostile or oppressive. And I see no reason why what we might call "white patriotism" should be aggressive, hostile or oppressive. In other words, a feeling of connectedness with other whites and a pride in being white does not necessarily imply a wish to oppress or attack people of other races. But when we come to nationalism, however (the Leftist specialty), it is a very different situation. White nationalism (the desire to conquer or control non-white races) is indisputably a very bad thing.

But white nationalism is a very rare thing. Hitler wasn't moved by it nor was the British empire. The chief enemy of the British empire was the French, who are quite white. The KKK is about the only example of white nationalism that I can think of. And the KKK at one time dominated Democrat conventions. Such acclaimed Democrat Presidents as Woodrow Wilson and FDR both had solid KKK support. So if we are careful with our definitions, white pride is only dangerous in the hands of Leftists. The very small band of modern-day neo-Nazis are probably an exception to that but there are small exceptions to most rules. And the modern-day political parties that are most often called neo-Nazi (Britain's BNP and Germany's NDP) do in fact have a lot of quite socialistic policies -- just as old Adolf did.

Note how easily everything falls into place once we have swept away the Leftist hokum about Nazism and the KKK being "Rightist".


BrookesNews Update

Obama thinks he can 'jolt' the US economy out of recession. Fat chance - so tighten your seatbelts: Obama's 'economic' thinking could crush manufacturing, cause unemployment and consumer prices rise, worsen the current account deficit, and sink the dollar depreciates. So how long it will be before the public realize that the brilliant Obama really is an empty suit?
The economy slides into recession while the Pollyannas look the other way : Regardless of a still positive GDP the economy is in recession. This leaves two questions: how long and deep will it be, and can the Reserve's desperate monetary pumping reverse the process. Even if the Reserve succeeds it will only amount to a reprieve and not a rescue
Can Obama stop the US recession: If the Keynesian instincts of Obama's economic wizards leads them to conclude that a rapid monetary expansion is a superior alternative to allowing the recession to make the necessary economic adjustments then Obama might indeed end up being a one-term president
The facts are clear: We are not warming the planet : The fiction that Co2 is the driving force behind global warming fits in with the plans of big government dreamers. What better way to get people to follow the script than alleging the sky is falling and we can only stop it by doing lowering Living standards while filling and fill government coffers with endless streams of money to use to develop still more schemes to control the masses
Obama appoints Castro's Lawyer as White House Counsel : Obama appoints Gregory Craig as White House Counsel. Craig is a corrupt lawyer, a coward and a despicable liar. I guess appointing this debased political vulture is Obama's idea of 'hope and change'
Look who's dissing the US economy now: In 2000 President Bush correctly warned that the US was sliding into recession. The response of the country's one-party mainstream media was to assail him for talking down the Clinton economy. Now that Obama is talking, correctly, of a recession, the same bigoted journalists are licking his boots. No wonder Time magazine's Mark Halperin called the media's grovelling 'disgusting'
The Obama economy and the failure to learn from history : Rahm Emanuel, Obama's in-house bullyboy, told a gathering of CEOs at a Wall Street Journal what to expect the Obama administration. He sounded like a Soviet commissar. Government control and planning in health care, energy, the economy, and financial markets
A Thanksgiving Meditation : The ideas of the socialists Peter Singer, a Princeton professor of philosophy, lead to the barbaric conclusion that there is no moral difference between killing a piglet and strangling a baby to throw him in the trash can
Australia needs a moratorium on emissions trading : Slowly the world is coming to their senses on this Global Warming hysteria. Just this week China and India rejected the suggestion that they curb their emissions of CO2, and Italy and Poland said they would veto EU plans unless changes were made
Tearing down crosses and making threats does not change minds: Sometimes the changes are not just in how long we let our hair grow or what the music fad is, sometimes the changes are tragic to the fabric of society and our liberty and freedom - bought and paid for by blood and heartache of our founders. We are experiencing such an era of change now



A blog which does not get as much traffic as it should is Blogwonks. I have a small vested interest in it as I cross-post something there most days. But there are a lot of posts there which are at least as good as mine. Someone who posts there several times a day is Bob Parks, a black conservative. As well as being "articulate and bright and clean" Bob makes lots of good points.

The new search tool seems to have dropped out of sight after the initial splash. It did have some large deficiencies. There is a recent re-evaluation of it here, though. The conclusion is that it is still pretty uneven. So I once again tried a search on the topic I know most about: Myself. I entered the search term "John Ray" and looked at what I got back. I was most unimpressed. I am always on the front page of a Google search but I did not get a mention on until their fourth page. No good to me! A pity though. Google could use more competition.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or 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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

More on the massacre at the Taj

The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel was built on a slight, when Jamsetji Tata was turned away from Watson's Hotel because he was not a white man. Last Wednesday the four Pakistani murderers who entered the hotel's ornate lobby were also motivated by a slight, but theirs was a burning, murderous sense of grievance. Their motives were pathetic - envy and resentment - masquerading as religious fire.

They murdered indiscriminately. They killed staff members and guests, Indians and foreigners, men and women, young and old, Muslim and Hindu. They killed at least 200 people at last count. Two of the gunmen started the killing at the nearby Leopold Cafe (where my wife and I dined last year, on the advice of our Qantas crew, while staying at the magnificent Taj Mahal Palace) before jogging the short distance to the hotel to join two other gunmen inside the hotel.

When it was all over, police did not just recover grenades, AK-47 rifles, pistols and mobile phones but, according to Indian reports, two bags of RDX high explosives, enough to do to the Taj hotel what had been done to another landmark hotel, the Marriott, in Pakistan's capital, just three months ago. And this is important to remember. This latest Mumbai massacre was not a de facto act of war by Pakistan against India. Pakistan has suffered more death and mayhem than India at the hands of the psychotics and sexual perverts who call themselves Islamic jihadists.

The attack on the Taj had many similarities to the bombing of the Marriott in Islamabad on September 20, when a truck filled with explosives and driven by a suicide bomber detonated in front of the hotel. The bomb killed 54, injured at least 266, and left a gaping hole in the front of the most prestigious hotel in the capital. Most of those murdered were locals, that is, Muslims....

It was no accident that all or most of the murderers were Pakistani, not Indian Muslims. Ever since India and Pakistan were partitioned by the British government in 1947, Pakistan has fallen further behind its great rival. While India has maintained 60 years of relatively stable, pluralist democracy and has recently emerged as an economic powerhouse, Pakistan's per capita wealth ranks a dismal 166th among the world's nations. Pakistan's politics has gone through 20 national emergencies in the past 60 years. Members of the Pakistani diaspora in Britain were responsible for the co-ordinated mass murders on the London Underground on July 7, 2005, and have been involved in numerous terrorist plots in Britain.

More here


Broken windows

I've always been interested in broken-windows theory, also known as zero tolerance, which holds that if people are forced to abide by social norms in small matters, such as fixing broken windows and not littering the footpath, they (and others) will be less likely to breach more important standards of behaviour. So if we fix broken windows there will be less vandalism, and if there's less vandalism there'll be less crime. Application of the theory is often credited with reducing the overall crime rate in New York in the 1990s by about a third. Despite this, the theory has always been highly controversial. But new research from Holland seems to suggest it does indeed have some basis in human behaviour.

It's always been an attractive idea for conservatives, because it seems to indicate that the neatness and civility of the past were not just matters of taste, but possessed profound practical and moral significance. And this is something many want to believe. (Apart from anything else, it lends weight to arguments with teenage children about cleaning their rooms.)

But even though broken-windows theory is regarded fondly by many, there have long been doubts about whether it really works. The glowing example of New York starts to fade when examined more closely. Writing for the Australian Institute of Criminology in 1999, P.N. Grabosky noted that New York's then recent crime decline (which also occurred in a lot of cities that did not apply the theory) was influenced by many other factors, such as the improved economy, the reduction of crack cocaine use, demographic changes and restricted access to handguns by teenagers. Other important changes to policing at the time included providing local patrol commanders with better intelligence and making them responsible for results. Indeed, so many other factors were involved that some people concluded that broken-windows theory didn't work at all.

Well, who is right? Until now there's been surprisingly little really solid research. So we turn with interest to a recent paper by Kees Keizer and colleagues from the faculty of behavioural and social sciences at the University of Groningen. They decided to look at exactly how people's behaviour changed when a modest amount of disorder was introduced into their surroundings. Their first experiments were conducted in an alley in their town used to park bicycles.

A flyer for a non-existent restaurant was attached by a rubber band to the handlebar of every bicycle parked there. The question was what the bicycle owner would do with the flyer once he or she returned to their machine. (The flyer had to be taken off to ride the bicycle away, and there was no litter bin in the alley.) Would they drop it on the ground, or take it with them?

The first experiment was conducted when the walls of the alley were clean, and again when they were liberally daubed with graffiti by the researchers. Broken-window theory predicts that the graffiti would induce some bike riders who might otherwise pocket the flyer to drop it on the ground. This is what happened. Where there was no graffiti, 33 per cent dropped the flyer. But when the graffiti was added, this number went up to 69 per cent.

In another study, the graffiti was replaced by fireworks being let off illegally in the distance. Once again, littering increased significantly, against the background of illegal activity. In other experiments, forbidden activity increased a lot when other people's bikes were illegally chained to a fence, and (this one in a car park) when supermarket trolleys were left standing around and not returned to the proper place. In each case, the existence of some form of disorder seemed to encourage a hefty proportion of people to breach standards of behaviour that would otherwise have been observed.

The final experiments involved leaving an envelope hanging out of a mailbox with a _5 note visible in the window where the address normally appears. When the mailbox was clean, 13 per cent of passers-by stole the envelope. When graffiti was applied to the box, this proportion went up to 27 per cent. When the graffiti was removed and litter placed around the box, the proportion of thefts was 25 per cent. The researchers conclude: "The most likely interpretation of these results is, as before, that one disorder (graffiti or littering) actually fostered a new disorder (stealing) by weakening the goal of acting appropriately."

More here


The Great Obama Depression?

Hoover and FDR turned a recession into the Great Depression. Obama is on the same track

Early in what became the Great Depression, John Maynard Keynes was asked if anything similar had ever happened. "Yes," he replied, "it was called the Dark Ages and it lasted 400 years." It did take 25 years, until November 1954, for the Dow to return to the peak it reached in September 1929. So caution is sensible concerning calls for a new New Deal.

The assumption is that the New Deal vanquished the Depression. Intelligent, informed people differ about why the Depression lasted so long. But people whose recipe for recovery today is another New Deal should remember that America's biggest industrial collapse occurred in 1937, eight years after the 1929 stock market crash and nearly five years into the New Deal. In 1939, after a decade of frantic federal spending -- President Herbert Hoover increased it more than 50 percent between 1929 and the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt -- unemployment was 17.2 percent. "I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started," lamented Henry Morgenthau, FDR's Treasury secretary. Unemployment declined when America began selling materials to nations engaged in a war America would soon join.

In "The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression," Amity Shlaes of the Council on Foreign Relations and Bloomberg News argues that government policies, beyond the Federal Reserve's tight money, deepened and prolonged the Depression. The policies included encouraging strong unions and wages higher than lagging productivity justified, on the theory that workers' spending would be stimulative. Instead, corporate profits -- prerequisites for job-creating investments -- were excessively drained into labor expenses that left many workers priced out of the market.

Furthermore, Hoover's 1932 increase in the top income tax rate, from 25 percent to 63 percent, was unhelpful. And FDR's hyperkinetic New Deal created uncertainties that paralyzed private-sector decision-making. Which sounds familiar. Bear Stearns? Broker a merger. Lehman Brothers? Death sentence. The $700 billion is for cleaning up toxic assets? Maybe not. Writes Russell Roberts of George Mason University: "By acting without rhyme or reason, politicians have destroyed the rules of the game. There is no reason to invest, no reason to take risk, no reason to be prudent, no reason to look for buyers if your firm is failing. Everything is up in the air and as a result, the only prudent policy is to wait and see what the government will do next. The frenetic efforts of FDR had the same impact: Net investment was negative through much of the 1930s."

Barack Obama says the next stimulus should deliver a "jolt." His adviser Austan Goolsbee says it must be big enough to "startle the thing into submission." Their theory is that the crisis is largely psychological, requiring shock treatment. But shocks from government have been plentiful.

Unfortunately, one thing government can do quickly and efficiently -- distribute checks -- could fail to stimulate because Americans might do with the money what they have been rightly criticized for not doing nearly enough: save it. Because individual consumption is 70 percent of economic activity, St. Augustine's prayer ("Give me chastity and continence, but not yet") is echoed today: Make Americans thrifty, but not now.

Obama's "rescue plan for the middle class" includes a tax credit for businesses "for each new employee they hire" in America over the next two years. The assumption is that businesses will create jobs that would not have been created without the subsidy. If so, the subsidy will suffuse the economy with inefficiencies -- labor costs not justified by value added. Here we go again? A new New Deal would vindicate pessimists who say that history is not one damn thing after another, it is the same damn thing over and over.

More here


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or 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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Monday, December 01, 2008


I have so far made only a small mention of the Satanic rampage in Bombay. Part of the reason is that I was too horrified to say much. I am very fond of Bombay and have been there thrice. I have even stayed at the magnificent old "Taj" hotel that was the chief target of the Islamic haters. I fervently hope that the Taj can be restored to its former glory but one thing I am sure of is that Bombay will continue to thrive. The Islamists will not be even a fleabite on the life of the great city of Bombay and its admirable people.

I do however want to express my sorrow at the attack on the Chabad house. Chabad are joyous Jews. They must not let this take away that joy for long.

And I also want to express my appreciation of the heroic Indian commandos who gave their lives to stop the followers of a Satanic religion from killing even more people. The gunmen had plans to kill 5,000 people but were stopped long short of that.

Indians are a very articulate people so I was not surprised to find the eloquent tribute below from an Indian who also has great affection for Bombay
What They Hate About Mumbai


My bleeding city. My poor great bleeding heart of a city. Why do they go after Mumbai? There's something about this island-state that appalls religious extremists, Hindus and Muslims alike. Perhaps because Mumbai stands for lucre, profane dreams and an indiscriminate openness.

Mumbai is all about dhandha, or transaction. From the street food vendor squatting on a sidewalk, fiercely guarding his little business, to the tycoons and their dreams of acquiring Hollywood, this city understands money and has no guilt about the getting and spending of it. I once asked a Muslim man living in a shack without indoor plumbing what kept him in the city. "Mumbai is a golden songbird," he said. It flies quick and sly, and you'll have to work hard to catch it, but if you do, a fabulous fortune will open up for you". The executives who congregated in the Taj Mahal hotel were chasing this golden songbird. The terrorists want to kill the songbird.

Just as cinema is a mass dream of the audience, Mumbai is a mass dream of the peoples of South Asia. Bollywood movies are the most popular form of entertainment across the subcontinent. Through them, every Pakistani and Bangladeshi is familiar with the wedding-cake architecture of the Taj and the arc of the Gateway of India, symbols of the city that gives the industry its name. It is no wonder that one of the first things the Taliban did upon entering Kabul was to shut down the Bollywood video rental stores. The Taliban also banned, wouldn't you know it, the keeping of songbirds.

Bollywood dream-makers are shaken. "I am ashamed to say this," Amitabh Bachchan, superstar of a hundred action movies, wrote on his blog. "As the events of the terror attack unfolded in front of me, I did something for the first time and one that I had hoped never ever to be in a situation to do. Before retiring for the night, I pulled out my licensed .32 revolver, loaded it and put it under my pillow."

Mumbai is a "soft target," the terrorism analysts say. Anybody can walk into the hotels, the hospitals, the train stations, and start spraying with a machine gun. Where are the metal detectors, the random bag checks? In Mumbai, it's impossible to control the crowd. In other cities, if there's an explosion, people run away from it. In Mumbai, people run toward it - to help. Greater Mumbai takes in a million new residents a year. This is the problem, say the nativists. The city is just too hospitable. You let them in, and they break your heart.

In the Bombay I grew up in, your religion was a personal eccentricity, like a hairstyle. In my school, you were denominated by which cricketer or Bollywood star you worshiped, not which prophet. In today's Mumbai, things have changed. Hindu and Muslim demagogues want the mobs to come out again in the streets, and slaughter one another in the name of God. They want India and Pakistan to go to war. They want Indian Muslims to be expelled. They want India to get out of Kashmir. They want mosques torn down. They want temples bombed.

And now it looks as if the latest terrorists were our neighbors, young men dressed not in Afghan tunics but in blue jeans and designer T-shirts. Being South Asian, they would have grown up watching the painted lady that is Mumbai in the movies: a city of flashy cars and flashier women. A pleasure-loving city, a sensual city. Everything that preachers of every religion thunder against. It is, as a monk of the pacifist Jain religion explained to me, "paap-ni-bhoomi": the sinful land.

In 1993, Hindu mobs burned people alive in the streets - for the crime of being Muslim in Mumbai. Now these young Muslim men murdered people in front of their families - for the crime of visiting Mumbai. They attacked the luxury businessmen's hotels. They attacked the open-air Cafe Leopold, where backpackers of the world refresh themselves with cheap beer out of three-foot-high towers before heading out into India. Their drunken revelry, their shameless flirting, must have offended the righteous believers in the jihad. They attacked the train station everyone calls V.T., the terminus for runaways and dreamers from all across India. And in the attack on the Chabad house, for the first time ever, it became dangerous to be Jewish in India.

The terrorists' message was clear: Stay away from Mumbai or you will get killed. Cricket matches with visiting English and Australian teams have been shelved. Japanese and Western companies have closed their Mumbai offices and prohibited their employees from visiting the city. Tour groups are cancelling long-planned trips.

But the best answer to the terrorists is to dream bigger, make even more money, and visit Mumbai more than ever. Dream of making a good home for all Mumbaikars, not just the denizens of $500-a-night hotel rooms. Dream not just of Bollywood stars like Aishwarya Rai or Shah Rukh Khan, but of clean running water, humane mass transit, better toilets, a responsive government. Make a killing not in God's name but in the stock market, and then turn up the forbidden music and dance; work hard and party harder.

If the rest of the world wants to help, it should run toward the explosion. It should fly to Mumbai, and spend money. Where else are you going to be safe? New York? London? Madrid? So I'm booking flights to Mumbai. I'm going to go get a beer at the Leopold, stroll over to the Taj for samosas at the Sea Lounge, and watch a Bollywood movie at the Metro. Stimulus doesn't have to be just economic.



St Andrew's day

I mentioned yesterday that St Andrew's day is Scotland's national day and am pleased to report that Anne and I did do something towards celebrating it. We had Forfar Bridies for our evening meal and listened to Scottish music both then and afterward. And the songs we listened to were the in the main the old favourites that are so deeply felt among the Scots -- Scottish Soldier, My Ain folk, Loch Lomond, Skye boat song, Scots wha hae etc. etc.

I have spoken a little lately of how conservatives have few inhibitions about group loyalties (such as patriotism) and mentioned the Eton Boating Song as an instance of how such loyalties can be deeply felt. And I also noted at the time that loyalty or a feeling of connectedness to your own group does not necessarily imply contempt for other groups or a wish to dominate them. And the Eton Boating Song exemplified that well. And so does the Scottish song I put up yesterday. Although it is called "Scotland the Brave", it again contains no aggression or hostility towards others. It just talks about Scottish people and the beloved Scottish landscape. But it is still capable of bringing tears to Scottish eyes. The feelings it conveys are intensely felt.

So I am going to press the point a little further by putting up the words of another beloved Scottish song: Scottish Soldier. I am sure that any Leftist would immediatey assume that such a song must be glorying in the crushing, dominating and extermination of other people. But it does none of that. As a song about a soldier it does indeed refer with pride to his distinguished military past but the song is not about that at all. Once again it is about his memories of his own country whilst serving abroad and how his dying wish to be buried in Scotland was honoured.

Scottish Soldier

1). There was a soldier, a Scottish soldier
Who wandered far away and soldiered far away
There was none bolder, with good broad shoulders,
He fought in many a fray and fought and won
He's seen the glory, he's told the story
Of battles glorious and deeds victorious
But now he's sighing his heart is crying
To leave these green hills of Tyrol.

Chorus: Because these green hills are not highland hills
Or the Islands hills their not my lands hills,
As fair as these green foreign hills may be
They are not the hills of home.

2). And now this soldier, this Scottish soldier,
Who wandered far away and soldiered far away
Sees leaves are falling, and death is calling
And he will fade away, on that dark land
He called his piper, his trusty piper
And bade him sound away, a pibroch sad to play
Upon a hillside but Scottish hillside
Not on these green hills of Tyrol


3). And now this soldier this Scottish soldier
Who wanders far no more, and soldiers far no more
Now on a hillside, a Scottish hillside
You'll see a piper play this soldier home
He's seen the glory, he's told the story
Of battles glorious and deeds victorious
But he will cease now, he is at peace now
Far from these green hills of Tyrol


A point I was waiting for people to bring up was the fact that, right up to JFK, Leftists were patriotic too -- almost crazily so in the case of people like Theodore Roosevelt and the followers of Hitler. And Scots too are a very socialistic people. So how come they are so patriotic?

I think Obama worship gives us the answer. Because Leftists are more emotional, their POTENTIAL for group loyalty generally and patriotism in particular is unusually great. But the more there are things that they hate in the world about them, the more they are inhibited from giving rein to any such feelings. But when something arises that they can give undivided loyalty to, they go overboard -- as we saw in Fascism, Nazism and now in Obama worship.

So the Leftist is in perpetual conflict: He WANTS connectedness but so many things in the world about him are unsatisfactory to him that he ends up as a rejectionist rather than as a participant. In the past, it was only "The Bosses" who were the focus of his ire and he could kid himself that most of the people around him were not responsible for the "injustices" that bother him so much. Now, however, when it appears to him that even "rednecks" and "NASCAR dads" are on the side of what upsets him, he is completely alienated. He once felt that "the workers" were on his side and appointed himself as a spokesman for them. That illusion is now gone and the whole country is on the wrong track from his viewpoint. So how wonderful for him it was when the Obamessiah came along to rescue him from that dreadful dilemma and offered the prospect of reshaping the country into his desired mould!

In the case of Scotland, however, the old illusions live on. Scots still hate "The bosses" but most of all they hate England. The song that comes nearest to being their national anthem is "The Flower of Scotland". It was written quite recently but is concerned with something that happened in the 14th century! So what is going on? The secret is hatred of England. The event referred to is the Scottish victory over the King of England, Edward II, at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Very few English people would today know anything about the North/South wars of the 13th and 14th century but the Scots have not forgotten. So again for a Scot the enemy is externalized and he can happily be patriotic. Hitler found the Jews useful in the same way. The English are Scotland's Jews.

In case I seem to be just blowing smoke in saying above that Leftists tend to see patriotism as implying hostility towards others, I might mention that there is a very large academic literature in psychology which assumes exactly that -- starting with the work of Adorno et al. (1950) on "ethnocentrism". I might also mention that my own survey research into exactly that question showed repeatedly exactly what I have asserted above -- that patriotism does NOT in general imply hostilty towards others. See e.g. here.

Reference: Adorno,T.W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E., Levinson, D.J. & Sanford, R.N. (1950). The authoritarian personality New York: Harper.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or 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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Google chicanery worsens

You can read here the story about how Pamela Geller and her "Atlas Shrugged" blog have been "sandboxed" by Google -- meaning that her page-ranking has been stripped -- which in turn means that Google searches that should put her stuff on the front page of results in fact lead to her site only at the very end of the search results.

I used the search term: "couple of days ago I was wiped off google search pages". It is from one of Pamela's recent posts, a post that I and many other conservative bloggers have reproduced. And because so many people have linked to it, it should have appeared at the top of the search results. It did not. All the posts by other people (including mine) came first and the original post came up only at the bottom of the searches. So it is crystal clear that Google is now deliberately perverting its own automatic ranking system to divert attention away from blogs it does not like. And because lots of people go no further than the first page of search results, that is a very effective form of censorship. Obama is not yet even in office and the censorship of conservative speech has begun!

I wondered whether Google was doing something similar to this blog and it looks like they do. Let me explain: There are no less than five group-blogs where the owners have kindly given me posting privileges -- in addition to my own 11 regular blogs. So most days I post to 16 blogs. What I post on the group blogs are one or two cross-posts of what I think are the more widely interesting posts on my own blogs.

Since only one of the group blogs gets more readers than this one, it seems likely that their page rank should be behind this one. There are around 1,500 links leading to this blog according to Technorati -- and that is pretty good as blogs go. So anything appearing here should come up close to top in search results. I checked, however, and it did not. Results from this blog appeared LAST. I found that a post put up on one of the group blogs will be listed in a Google search result BEFORE the same post on this blog. So my page ranking appears to have been manually tampered with too.

But I am not as driven as Pamela so as long as my posts are listed at all I am happy. Most of my posts are recycled bits from elsewhere anyway and the stuff that is original to me is VERY original (What other conservative blog has extolled the Eton Boating Song, for instance?) so, for want of competition, my own thoughts should still appear well up on searches even if their page-rank is low. The time may come however when Google completely delists pesky conservative bloggers like me. America will be well on the road to Fascism when that happens.


St. Andrew's Day

As most Scots will be aware, today (30th) is St. Andrew's Day. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and St. Andrew's Day is Scotland's official national day, although Burns' Night is more widely and lavishly celebrated. It is a "bank holiday" in Scotland. So I have just hoisted the Saltire of St. Andrew on the flagpole at the front of my house. I encourage others with Scottish loyalties to do likewise. I am also hoping that I will be having something Scottish for dinner tonight. I seem to be out of haggis but I do have some Forfar Bridies in my freezer -- to be had with tatties, of course.

Below is one of the great Scottish patriotic songs. Play the music, read the words and sing along:


1). Hark when the night is falling,
Hear! hear the pipes are calling,
Loudly and proudly calling,
Down thro' the glen.
There where the hills are sleeping,
Now feel the blood a-leaping,
High as the spirits of the old Highland men.

Chorus: Towering in gallant fame,
Scotland my mountain hame,
High may your proud standards gloriously wave,
Land of my high endeavour,
Land of the shining river,
Land of my heart for ever,
Scotland the brave.

2). High in the misty Highlands
Out by the purple islands,
Brave are the hearts that beat
Beneath Scottish skies.
Wild are the winds to meet you,
Staunch are the friends that greet you,
Kind as the love that shines from fair maidens' eyes.


3). Far off in sunlit places
Sad are the Scottish faces,
Yearning to feel the kiss
Of sweet Scottish rain.
Where the tropics are beaming
Love sets the heart a-dreaming,
Longing and dreaming for the hameland again.


4). Hot as a burning ember, (This verse is not always sung)
Flaming in bleak December
Burning within the hearts
Of clansmen afar!
Calling to home and fire,
Calling the sweet desire,
Shining a light that beckons from every star!



BOOK REVIEW OF: Leave Us Alone by Grover Norquist

This is a book about politics in America. Norquist-the President of Americans for Tax Reform-argues there are two great coalitions struggling for control of government. They are the "Takings Coalition" and the "Leave Us Alone Coalition". After defining these coalitions, he weaves a lucid outline of the American political scene, including history, policy, tactics, demographic trends, and possible outcomes.

The book initially appears partisan as it has a clear "Republican good"/"Democrat bad" flavor to it. This is a little bit misleading, since the conflict discussed is really between the interest groups both political parties tend to represent. Norquist criticizes Republicans who have not advanced the cause of the Leave Us Alone Coalition, either in terms of policy or in terms of poor political presentation of policy. Winning an election is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

The book presents a game plan to unseat Democratic incumbents who support big government. Privatization of Social Security accounts and establishment of medical savings accounts are part of creating the ownership society discussed earlier in the Bush Administration. These are sellable ideas that can move people away from government dependency. There is also a long and coherent addressing of Federal tax policy and helpful ideas on how to reform and reduce the tax bite.

The problem is getting those who naturally support a "leave us alone worldview" to recognize the common themes in their coalition and concentrate on bringing them to the attention of the electorate. Any one who violates basic rules such as opposition to tax hikes needs to be thrown over the side so that a clear branding of ideas exists in the minds of voters. I know Grover has worked tirelessly on trying to achieve this. I believe his game plan will work. I can only hope more people will adopt it.



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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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)