Wednesday, December 31, 2003


There is some amusing handwringing at The NYT over America's failure to achieve a good image elsewhere in the world. What on earth do they expect? Was the British Empire ever loved by others when it was powerful? Of course not! Everybody tends to dislike people different from themselves and even the tiniest differences can generate great passions.

Let me give an example that shows exactly what I mean but which is so far from world awareness that it can only be seen as amusing: In Australia's island State of Tasmania, the two biggest cities (though both are small as cities go) are Hobart and Launceston. Hobart is the bigger and is the State capital. And guess what? Launceston residents loathe Hobart and all who live there. They perceive haughtiness, arrogance and all sorts of faults in people who are really totally indistinguishable from themselves. Why? Because Hobart is in a different place from Launceston and seems more successful in some ways. Relative to Launceston it is the hegemon (leading, out in front).

So what hope is there of America ever being generally loved abroad? Nil! The differences between Hobart and Launceston residents that arouse great passions are totally imaginary. If even imaginary differences arouse great passions, how much more powerful are going to be the REAL differences between the USA and elsewhere? Even in America's most reliable ally -- Australia -- there is plenty of anti-American sentiment -- almost all just as silly as the anti-Hobart sentiment in Launceston. People just have to live with that sort of thing and fortunately the great commonality of heritage between the USA and Australia ensures that there are many Australians who are mature enough to say that Americans are different but that's still OK.


Chris Vinall has given some answers to my earlier posts about the ozone layer that seem reasonable, though I have yet to absorb the mass of data he has pointed me to. At first glance, however, it STILL seems to me that the 2002 shrinkage was NOT predicted so still shows the models used for it as inadequate.

Here's another point that would seem to question our understanding of the phenomenon: Ozone is a highly reactive chemical that reacts not only with CFCs but also with nitrogen oxides. And guess what produces huge amounts of nitrogen oxides in the upper atmosphere? Nuclear explosions. And between October 1961 and December 1962, the USA and the U.S.S.R. between them exploded 340 megatons of nuclear devices into the atmosphere. So that produced a drastic reduction in the earth's ozone layer and gave millions of people skin cancer -- right? Wrong! Nobody noticed any such effect and, according to Foley and Ruderman of Columbia University Physics Department, by ten years after that period average ozone levels had actually increased! That ozone layer seems to be a lot more resilient than we think! So once again earth's climatic phenomena seem far too complex for prediction by simple laboratory models and what the models tell us to be bad for the atmosphere may even be good for it.

And I still can't see how anybody can get past the fact that the hole is still at least as big as ever DESPITE CFCs having been banned 12 years ago. Maybe Chris will explain it to me in short words.


I have often remarked (e.g. here and here) on the sheer ignorance of the Leftist view that conservatives are simply people who oppose change. It occurs to me that another refutation of that view is Malcolm Fraser, undoubtedly the most reviled conservative ex-politician in Australia. And what enrages conservatives about Big Mal? The fact that in his long term as Australian Prime Minister he did practically nothing! He did a few middle-of-the road things but that is all. He was a centrist masquerading as a conservative. He did nothing to introduce free market reform or any of the other things that conservatives felt were in dire need of changing. Being opposed to change made him reviled among conservatives, not loved!

Another reader has been thinking about my recent posts on moral philosophy and has written some interesting comments which I have reproduced here.

Terrorists now seem to be targeting the EU!. Serves them right. It shows that wimping out of America's fight against terrorism has not saved them from it.

MALAYSIA is introducing school vouchers? An Islamic country is showing up the USA? Shame!

Jeff Jacoby is very good on the endemic hate-speech of the American Left: "I had noticed that when a prominent Republican or conservative said something offensive about liberals, it typically set off a storm of media condemnation, while an anti-conservative smear voiced by a liberal or a Democrat rarely drew any protest." And he goes on to give a heap of examples.

"Profits are certainly without honor among the intelligentsia. The very word produces negative reactions, even from people who cannot give you a single reason why money carrying that label is worse than money called by other names."

The Curmudgeon is back at his old site but it was still messed up last time I looked. There are some amusing posts amid the confusion, though.

The Wicked one thinks that school choice may not be enough to rescue American education.

The latest upload of a chapter from my book reports a Leftist equivalent of "McCarthyism" going on in Australia in the 1970s. Details here or in chapter 30 here. The difference is that data released by the downfall of the Soviet Union has shown that McCarthy was essentially right in what he suspected.


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Tuesday, December 30, 2003


Shaun Bourke liked my analysis of moral statements yesterday and wrote as follows:

You continue to explain to me in words, what I think/believe, but usually am unable to put into words myself. On your 4 points:-

1. I like it when people do X
2. Doing X generally leads to widely desired results
3. It is the will of God that you do X
4. X has an eternal, inescapable, universal "moral" quality.

I find, including myself here, that most people of the Judeo-Christian faiths who tend to follow point 3, do so because of point 2. Whereas ALL other faiths, including 'leftism', follow point 3 because of point 4. I have always been of the view that the God of leftism is Karl Marx.

Points to ponder. I should also have mentioned yesterday how my position differs from Leftist moral relativism. And The Usurer has had fun trying to reduce my four interpretations of what "right" means to two.


More on ozone: At the risk of boring the pants off my readers, I thought I might add a point to my recent post on the Greenie panic over the Antarctic ozone hole. Far from following ANY regular progression, the hole clearly fluctuates wildly -- as much as any other natural weather phenomenon -- and its recent progression from super-small in 2002 to as-big-as-ever in 2003 was predicted by no-one. And in science, if you can't predict it buddy, you don't understand it. So claiming to have found the "cause" of something you don't understand is sheer hubris. Give us back our CFCs!

Ten facts about global warming that the Greenies don't want you to know.

How Germany can meet the Kyoto "Greenhouse" numbers by doing absolutely nothing. No wonder they talk Green.

The Kyoto "base years" are a con.

New supersonic passenger planes needed! The only real solution to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is faster planes. Given the tantrums of the Greenies when Concorde was introduced, that idea should go down like a lead balloon.


Keith Burgess-Jackson has an interesting post on why he is an atheist -- and I broadly agree with him. He and I are both atheist conservatives but with different backgrounds. Unlike him I WAS once a fervent fundamentalist Christian -- but only in my teens. I was an atheist by the time I was 19 and have been ever since. I must say I think Keith is the poorer for not ever having been religious. Religion is an almost universal human experience and I look back with great fondness on my now distant religious past and do feel that I lost something when religious ideas ceased to make sense to me. My friends all tell me I am a hypocrite when I quote scripture (which I not infrequently do) but I just laugh. I was a very good Bible student in my youth and most of that knowledge has remained with me.

Lies about the U.S. economy from the NYT are uncovered here. Leftists will do anything rather than accept that the U.S. economy is going great guns. Last Night's BBC News reports that the BBC is determinedly ignoring that too.

An amusing article in the NYT trying to reclaim Christianity for the Democrats. There are few things hard-core Democrats despise more than Christianity but if Christian votes are needed they will say anything to get them. As has often been observed (e.g here and here), Leftism itself is a religion. It's no wonder that rival religions like Christianity make Leftists grind their teeth. Discriminations has more on the NYT article.

Sounds a great idea: "Divorcing parents would go to a government shopfront instead of a court under a radical overhaul of family law designed to encourage more parents to share custody of the one million Australian children who suffer separation. The Family Court would become a last resort, and lawyers would be sidelined"

Conservatives have some reason to wish for good health for Rupert Murdoch -- as his media empire (e.g. Fox News) makes the best attempt at political balance. But this article points out that he is 72 and so is already talking about who will take over from him. There is a photo of Murdoch and his latest wife accompanying the article but the third person in the photo is not identified. Guess why? It's Rupert Murdoch's mother! Rupert has definitely got some long-life genes in him!

I have just put up here Chris Brand's latest thoughts. He includes what appears to be a full transcript of the Times article on international differences in IQ.

My latest upload of a previously published article (here or here) is the sole article I ever got published in an economics journal. It is about the way federalism keeps State governments on their toes -- with a very good example from Australia about our abolition of death duties (inheritance taxes).


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Monday, December 29, 2003


I did three years of coursework in philosophy in my student days and I have had papers on philosophy -- including moral philosophy -- published in the academic journals. I have also been having a desultory email discussion of some issues with moral philosopher Keith Burgess-Jackson lately. For the life of me, however, I still cannot see why so many people think it is so complex. I think that both the questions and the answers about the nature of morality are really simple. It seems to me that statements such as "X is right" (or "X is good" or "You ought to do X") can be unpacked in only four basic ways:

1. I like it when people do X
2. Doing X generally leads to widely desired results
3. It is the will of God that you do X
4. X has an eternal, inescapable, universal "moral" quality.

I think most people would agree with implications 1 and 2. I do. You have to believe in God to agree with implication 3 so I do not. And I think interpretation 4 is untestable, undemonstrable and hence gibberish -- though it does seem to be widely believed. But lots of clever people believe in global warming so beliefs are neither any proof of anything nor any cause for surprise. Now isn't that simple? I cannot see what the above account misses out.



In their hatred of genetics and IQ, something Leftists cling to is a superficially clever book called The Mismeasure of Man by that smug old Leftist propagandist, Stephen Jay Gould. It is a book that would deceive no-one who knew anything about the field and totally misrepresents those who do but as more and more data on genetics and brain function emerge, the sheer stupidity of the work become more and more obvious. Here is a brief summary of Gould's lies and evasions and what the latest brain findings show. Amusingly, it notes that even Krugman can see that Gould is at best confused. An older and more extensive demolition of Gould is here

Communist antisemitism "On January 13, 1953, just six weeks before Stalin died, an ominous article appeared in Pravda: The ever-vigilant Soviet authorities had "discovered" that several Kremlin doctors, mostly Jews, were in fact killers sent by American intelligence to destroy the nation's leaders. For Soviet Jews, this terse disclosure about the "killers in white gowns" ushered in a period of fear and terror unusual even in a society where arbitrary arrests, denunciations and executions had become routine. During that terrible winter, Jewish children came home from school bruised and beaten. Jews were assaulted on public buses, and patients shunned Jewish doctors"

The NYT is having a justified laugh at Big Government Conservatism. I rather like their point that the only thing conservative about today's GOP is its pro-business orientation, though. To the NYT that is the equivalent of original sin but to me it means that the GOP is working towards the future prosperity of all Americans. It is business that generates the wealth, not government or NYT columnists.

Steve Sailer has an interesting view of Strom Thurmond and says that, contrary to popular belief, miscegenation between American blacks and whites has been relatively unusual throughout history.

Latest PID post: A selection of Ann Coulterisms from over the year.

Jesus wept! Britain may deploy armed sky marshals on some passenger flights. Two years after the 9/11 events and they are still THINKING about it? Israel's El Al have had armed marshalls aboard their flights for years so despite their being No. 1 target, the Arabs leave them strictly alone.

Justice takes strange forms: A man died of a heart attack while stabbing his wife. She survived.

Fun! A Leftist blogger has taken umbrage over my note that the Antarctic ozone hole has not shrunk 12 years after CFCs were banned. He says that I misstate the Greenie claim -- which he gives as "it will take until 2050 for the CFC ban to restore the ozone layer". But if it takes 60 years for a full restoration, shouldn't we see SOME effect after 12 years? Let me make a similar prediction: By the year 2050 a Communist society will have emerged that will make its people prosperous. No sign of it yet but you never know!

I have to laugh a bit at the continuous coverage Yahoo News has been giving to the tragic death of a man taken by a crocodile in Northern Australia. Out of all the deaths in the world, why single out just that one? I guess crocodiles are pretty exciting. A few years ago we had a croc take an American tourist in much the same area and the result was a big upsurge of American tourism to that area!

U.S. authorities are blaming Canada for their mad cow. Why not? Canada blames the USA for everything else!

China Hand has returned to blogging in fine form. Not only is his Xmas letter now up but on his other site he is giving his old friends a hard time. I greatly enjoy his "diatribes" so I am pleased that he has made two of them public. He found my appreciation of the Queen's Xmas message a great cause for mirth.

My latest upload of a previously published article (here or here) is one of the few contributions I have made to the academic literature on IQ. Although I have always taken an interest in IQ research, it is not my specialty. In this case, however, I offered an explanation of the "Flynn Effect" -- the fact that average IQ scores have been rising over the last century.


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Sunday, December 28, 2003


The Carterites Strike Back It looks like what Dr Krauthammer diagnosed as Bush Derangement Syndrome has turned into a rabid infection that has severely infected the Democratic Party.
Phillip Adams: loving anti-Semites and hating President Bush Seething with hate and resentment Phillip Adams casually dismissed the capture of the murderous Saddam and described the liberation of Iraq as a "tawdry" and "sham affair".
Political Grinches attack Christmas The spiritual meaning of Christmas is being undermined, not by crass commercialism but by militant secularism; that brand of anti-religious rationalism that seeks not just to separate (quite rightly) Church from State but also to eliminate any kind of religious presence from public life and eventually from the public itself.
Saudi Columnist: "Bush will Go Down in Arab History as the Liberator of Baghdad" In a column in the Saudi daily 'Arab News', columnist Dr. Muhammad Al-Rasheed praised the American capture of Saddam Hussein, and hailed President Bush as a liberator.
Rupert Murdoch, anti-Americanism and Singer's neo-Nazi views The Australian's Stephen Romei defended Peter Singer by calling his crippled critics 'odious'; he maligned Steve Forbes for refusing to subsidise Singer, accusing him of attacking free speech. He then accused Americans in general of not respecting the right of free speech.
State companies: ownership does matter Ownership not only matters it is the key to the competitive process. It is a great pity that our economic commentators have no understanding of this vital fact.

Details here


A good site for anyone interested in the realities of IQ is La Griffe du Lion. They apply innovative mathematical methods to assessing the IQs of various groups. Their latest article extrapolates from the high number of Jews among Soviet chess champions and yields a higher than usual but still eminently reasonable figure for the average Jewish IQ of 116 (versus some estimates as low as 107).

Gene Expression has a fun graph of the correlation between national religiosity and national IQ. He shows a very strong negative correlation -- i.e. religious nations tend to be dumb. What he does not mention is WHY that correlation arises. It is because the people in African and Islamic countries tend to be both religious and dumb while the people in European countries tend to be rich and smart. It need not tell us anything about what leads to what WITHIN any given country.

There is a rather good article on Oakeshott by David Brooks in the NYT (of all places) which shows that the American effort in Iraq is a thoroughly conservative enterprise.

The NYT has an interesting survey of what various people think are the most over-rated and under-rated ideas of the moment. Peter Singer’s contribution is undoubtedly the craziest. He says that: “Americans also favor "American pre-eminence" — the Hobbesian view that the United States ought to rule the world, simply because it has the military muscle to do so”. I wonder if there is a single American who actually believes that? I would certainly like to see the survey Singer got his data from. “Americans believe that the rest of the world should leave America alone” would be a lot more factual. But I guess that facts are just not Singer’s specialty -- though I very much doubt that a supposed expert on ethics can say anything useful whilst totally divorced from reality.

Lots of good new stuff up on Think Israel. Sample: "Freedom of speech is becoming increasingly selective, both in America and in Israel. In both cases, it is becoming politically correct to denigrate Israel and attribute the worst motives and behavior to her, but criticism of Arab behavior is considered impolite at best and telling lies at worst."

Good point: "I want companies I do business with to be socially irresponsible. What I mean is, I want them to satisfy me, the customer. Not bureaucrats who want to force everybody to obey the latest five-year social readjustment plan. The profit-mongers treat me better."

Donald Luskin is a good read if you like to see the New York Times and Paul Krugman in particular shredded. Someone has got to do it!

SF Fan notes this story: "Police Officer Kills Man Who Assaulted Him With Rock" and asks: "Aren't similar events in Israel treated as evidence for the horrible, racist persecution of harmless rock throwers?

There is a good article here demolishing the work of Sigmund Freud. One excerpt: "Wherever the bearded shadow of Freud falls, something unwholesome festers".

Val-e-Dorta makes the interesting point that differences between average IQs of countries are particularly galling to the Left because the Left cannot blame such differences on “lack of opportunity” or the like. Countries make their own destiny and many rich countries have few natural resources but high average IQs (e.g. Singapore, Switzerland) and many countries with lots of resources (e.g. much of Africa) are poor and have low average IQs. Reality is a complex beast but only a fool ignores it.

Dave Huber has an amazing review of some Leftist “historian” who thinks North Korea is great. Most Leftists are sane but some clearly are not.

Further to my recent post pointing out similarities between early Indian and early English political organization, Joseph Stromberg takes the idea one step further by saying that original Indo-European modes of thought about politics from thousands of years ago are still widespread and influential among Indo-European people today.

My latest upload of a previously published article (here or here) uses an Australian example to show that labor union intimidation can be speedily defeated if governments have the will to do so.


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Saturday, December 27, 2003


I thought I had covered the ozone story before but cannot see where I did -- so: In 1991, the Greenies got everyone to ban CFC chemicals. CFCs were the normal gases that has always been used to make refrigerators and air conditioners work. CFCs even used to put the puff in all our aerosol cans. The ban was because CFCs supposedly destroyed earth's ozone layer and caused the ozone "hole" over Antarctica. So the hole has of course shrunk by now, right? Wrong! As this U.N. report shows, the hole is as big as ever! Another Greenie scare proved wrong.

Ozone is of course a common industrial "pollutant". We actually send tons of the stuff into atmosphere all the time. So even if CFCs do destroy some of it we replace it too. The theorists discount that, of course, but seeing that the rest of their theory hasn't worked out, I think the theorists are the ones who should be discounted.

Now some scientists are saying Soot is the big new climate threat Ho-hum! As if they'd know. I guess Europe must have roasted during the industrial revolution with all those coal-burning steam engines and domestic fireplaces churning out soot by the tons!

Neil Hrab at TechCentral Station says: "History shows that those who persecute heretics beget more heretics. The ...clumsy attempt to silence Bjorn Lomborg is sure to inspire more skeptical environmentalists. " He also criticises the track record of the "Union of Concerned Scientists". Based on the figures he outlines maybe they should rename it the "Union of Confused Scientists"

Science behind the times? "Everyone who reads Science -- the journal of the lobbying organization the American Association for the Advancement of Science - - knows it only accepts one side of the global warming story in its 'Compass' and 'Perspectives' sections, and in its more opinionated, mainline articles. Anyone who writes otherwise for those sections gets a quick rejection. That's understandable because global warming is scheduled to pay U.S. scientists about $4.2 billion next year, and the AAAS is just doing its job keeping the customers happy. But sometimes they go a little overboard in their one-sided zeal .... People who assumed increases in per capita carbon dioxide were wrong 25 years ago, and they are wrong now. But this is precisely what is input into every general circulation climate model"

PID has a big post on TWO recent speeches by Michael Crichton on the way science tends to get corrupted by politics. I and many others have mentioned Crichton before but this is a good excerpt: "Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths."

An amusing article here on the way climate scientists themselves are big contributors to "greenhouse" gas emissions.

The Red/Green alliance show that "Progressives" are not progressive "Europeans often talk about the Red-Green coalition, the coming together of socialists and environmentalists to save the world and its people from the rapacity of capitalists. Many conservative commentators dismiss the alliance as an illusion, arguing that the reds are green and vice versa. Yet it is a mistake to interpret the current close alliance as a congruity of interests. In the end, those who characterize themselves as progressives need to ask themselves whether they should be allies of those who oppose the idea of progress."


Arlene Peck has some Hanukkah reflections. I liked this one: "you never have a silent night when a room full of Jewish family and friends get together"

"The Poor" are not the fixed category the Left imagines: "The comparison of average incomes and taxes paid by groups would be meaningful only if America were a caste society in which the people comprising one group remained constant over time. Most Americans, however, understand that family incomes change frequently, and the research on income mobility reveals that most family incomes increase significantly over time. This is one reason why Americans with modest incomes tend to resist "soak the rich" class-warfare arguments: They hope to be rich themselves one day. Policymakers should ignore this class-warfare rhetoric

And the poor old Leftist "Mother Jones" doesn't seem to know that so just cannot understand that 49 percent of blue-collar men told a January 2003 Roper poll they would vote for Bush in 2004. In fact, blue-collar workers were more pro-Bush than professionals and managers. Capitalism gives hope of prosperity and independence for those who do not have it. Leftism only gives hope of dependency.

The Wicked one has some wacky quotes from one of England's most famous literary characters -- Dr Johnson. I like some of the definitions in Johnson's famous "Dixionary" -- Pie -- "a crust baked with something in it"; Oats -- "a grain which, in England, is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people"; Lexicographer -- "a poor harmless drudge". And his definition of the two best things in Scotland is famous: "The whisky and the road to London".

My latest upload of an academic journal article (here or here) is one of my many published papers on racism. The article was written in 1985 and I pointed out that there was at that time good prospect of evolutionary change away from Apartheid in South Africa. As we all know, however, that was not allowed to happen. International pressure and condemnation caused the white government to throw in the towel and usher in the present ever-worsening disaster there. I have been there myself both before and after the abandonment of Apartheid so I do have some first-hand knowledge of the difference. There is a rather sad story here by an idealistic white South African Leftist who passionately opposed Apartheid for many years. The only thing he can now find to praise about his country is the scenery


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Friday, December 26, 2003


There has been heaps of evidence for decades to show that all nations are not the same in IQ any more than all people are. Once again, the EVIDENCE shows that all men are UN-equal. Below is an extract from a press report of a recent study confirming previous work on the subject. The IQ advantage of East Asians has of course been known for years. When the lists of students gaining top marks in matriculation and other exams are announced in Australia every year, Asian names normally crowd the top of the list. I would not be surprised if the PC crowd started to try suppressing such lists in the future (It's already happenning in Tennessee). There is no doubt that Asians are brighter. Only their lack of a tradition of liberty has held them back by keeping them under the control of tyrannical governments.

Ever since being shamed by Commodore Perry in 1853, however, Japan has taken on heaps of Western ways (including deposition of the Shogunate in 1867 and its replacement by a largely ceremonial monarchy) and look at the immense cultural, industrial, economic and scientific influence it has now had. Politically, Asians in general have been too submissive for their own good -- so far. China has already now begun a Japan-style takeoff so it seems clear to me that we are living at the beginning of the century (or more) of the Han (China's majority race). As I myself think the Han are thoroughly admirable, I look forward to it.

IRELAND has one of the lowest average IQ levels in Europe, according to new research. Ireland ranked 33rd out of 50 countries in an international comparison of intelligence, well below Britain and the United States.

The research, compiled by the neutral Austrians, has found that Irish people have lower average IQ than the British, the Americans, and the French. The table was compiled by researchers from the University of Vienna medical school, who drew on a variety of sources to produce average IQs for 50 countries. Britain is ranked 11th with 100 points, which is the same score as Belgium and New Zealand, while Ireland, with 93 points, is one of the poorer performers in Europe.

The people of Hong Kong topped the table. The Far Eastern countries of South Korea, Japan and Singapore take the other top four places after Hong Kong, which has 107 points. The USA falls outside the top 20 with 98 points.

The use of IQ tests to make comparisons between different nationalities is highly contentious. It is believed that the Far Eastern countries perform well because they have advanced skills in mathematics. Sylvia Herbert, chairman of British Mensa, the association for people with IQs in the top 2% of the population, said: "IQ tests are not perfect, but they will have been going for 100 years next year. They have been refined and adjusted over the years and they are predictors of success in work. Mensa members have higher than average incomes.

"It does not surprise me that the Far Eastern countries came top. They are known to be better at mathematics. I was in Singapore for our international meeting and that year Singapore children had gained the highest results of developed countries."

Why Ireland scores poorly is as plain as a pikestaff. For centuries the smart Irish either emigrated or joined the priesthood and priests did not (usually) have children. I have plenty of Irish ancestry myself and I love to hear the sound of an Irish voice but MY ancestors were among the emigrants.

The above excerpt is from here but is behind a subscription wall for some readers. A briefer generally available report is available here

Peter Hitchens has an interesting portrait of the massive development going on in Shanghai, China, and notes that economic development is going on without much political liberty. He seems to have just discovered that, although economic liberty is needed for economic development, you can have economic liberty without much political liberty. Any observer of places like Chile and Singapore (or Hong Kong for that matter) could have told him that years ago.

And now "The Chinese government has formally acknowledged the end of its 50-year attempt to build communism by tabling an amendment to the constitution to protect private property - which Karl Marx wanted abolished"


Maybe I am a sentimental old fool but I always feel a bit teary when I watch the Queen's Christmas message on TV. She always does what Ronald Reagan all to briefly did for America -- remind us of those basic timeless values that are too often assumed and too little expressed and praised.

Jeff Jacoby notes rightly that if the Maccabees had not triumphed (which is what is celebrated at Hanukkah) Judiaism would have died and Christianity could not therefore have later emerged from it. We all therefore owe the Maccabees a debt of gratitude.

Three cheers for holiday lights "Environmental activists usually critical of electrified America must have mixed emotions this time of the year. Though it is a season of good cheer and goodwill toward all, it is also a time of conspicuous energy consumption. To many people, America the Beautiful is at her best in December when so much of the nation is illuminated by billions of tiny stringed light bulbs. Holiday lighting is a great social offering -- a positive externality, in the jargon of economics -- given by many to all."

It's an uphill battle: "Few people have done more to highlight the issue of liberal media bias than Bernard Goldberg, author of the bestselling "Bias." Goldberg has now authored the recently released "Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite" in which he offers solutions to the problem of media bias"

My latest upload of a published academic journal article (here or here) is one of my papers on environmentalism. I found that while people generally do strongly favour a clean, green environment, they are realistic about the costs involved.


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Thursday, December 25, 2003


I am an atheist but I still love Christmas and am profoundly grateful for my Judeo-Christian roots. I hope other non-Christians can enjoy as much as I do this season of goodwill and hope.

I pinched the inspirational quote below from Valete Fratres. He has some good quotes from Mother Teresa too.

"'A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. He has no formal education. He owns no property of any kind. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father's shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside. Walking from place to place preaching all the while even though he is in no way an ordained minister he never gets farther than an area perhaps 100 miles wide at the most. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing -- the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place so he is interred in a borrowed tomb. End of story? No, this uneducated, propertyless young man who preached on street corners for only three years who left no written word has for 2000 years had a greater effect on the entire world than all the rulers, kings and emperors, all the conquerors, the generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who ever lived -- all put together. How do we explain that? ...Unless he really was what he said he was.'

Ronald Reagan (Who else?)


I have often made the point that the Left/Right divide in the English-speaking world is largely a divide between the traditional English form of political organization -- which was decentralized and consultative -- versus a desire for something like an all-powerful oriental despotism. Conservatives like the traditional limited power of the centre while Leftists want to centralize all power in their hands. I trace the English tradition of limited central power all the way back to the primitive German tribes (Angles and Saxons) who conquered Britannia 1500 years ago and made it into England.

An Indian reader has noted my arguments to that effect and says that the political organization of the early Aryan settlers of North India was similar to that of the early Anglo-Saxons: "Far from the widely held perception of 'Oriental despotism', their political system required the king ('Rajan') to act in a manner which may be described as a constitutional monarchy of sorts. He was assisted in administration by two assemblies called 'Sabha' and 'Samiti' which could even depose him if he was found to be tyrannical or currupt. Hereditary succession was not guaranteed. Later of course with the absorption of small kingdoms into a large 'Magadhan' Empire - which was strong enough to deter Alexander from invading Central India -- the 'Rajan' became 'Samrat' or Emperor and the assemblies gradually became redundant".

And Ancient Rome too started out as a republic with a powerful Senate and elected rulers. And the ancient Greeks are widely credited with having invented democracy -- though as all readers of Thucydides know, the direct form of democracy that the Athenians favoured was disastrous for them. So it seems that our good luck (or good management) as Anglo-Saxons is simply that original Indo-European traditions and systems survived longer among us than elsewhere.


Readers of this blog will of course have noted that Keith Burgess-Jackson and I often link to one-another. We also correspond quite a bit. What many may not realize, however, is that Keith and I actually disagree on a whole heap of things -- even on such a basic thing as the meaning of "right" and "wrong". We both enjoy careful analytical discussion of issues, however, so respect and enjoy one-another's thoughts because of that. Wouldn't it be nice if Leftists had enough intellectual calibre to discuss things that way too? Regrettably, however, all they usually seem to have is emotionalism, closed-mindedness and abuse.

An interesting excerpt from China Hand's Xmas letter. He says of his wife Susanna: "She spent the first half of the year in China although she only planned a short stay. SARS intervened and kept us hunkered down in Huizhou fearing lengthy detention for quarantine on a premature return. It was nice for Alfred coming home to home cooked food every night! She filled the time by tutoring groups of local and Korean students in English which she proved to be very good at. Teaching the locals was no challenge. But the most interesting was the Koreans - they were two 13 year old students living with their parents here in China. They communicated with Susanna in Chinese. So we thought it amusing that a Hong Kong Chinese (native language Cantonese) was teaching English to Koreans in Mandarin Chinese" The Xmas pic for the "China Hand" family is here

Wayne Lusvardi says that both modern day California and Iraq are "failed States".

There is a good article here on how politicized global warming theory has become. Distinguished scientists can be sacked if they are not of the Greenie religion. It shows how shaky the evidence is upon which the global warming claims are based. All the long-known evidence (including the settlement of Greenland by Vikings) that the earth had a warm period in the Middle Ages too has to be ignored, for a start.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again in a special Xmas edition.

If you have ever had any building work done for you, you will appreciate the real story behind the building of Noah's ark -- as related by The Wicked one

My latest upload of a published academic journal article (here or here) is one of my papers on criminology. I shoot down a Leftist academic who uses elitist arguments in defence of his "soft on crime" attitudes.


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Wednesday, December 24, 2003


To reasonable people (NOT including Leftist psychologists) the Reagan/Thatcher revolution disposed once and for all of the Leftist myth that conservatives are mindless folk with no ideas of their own who simply favour no change from how things are. But from Edmund Burke onwards, that has never been true. What is usually conveniently forgotten is that it was not even true of Richard Milhous Nixon (37th President of the USA).

Nixon chose liberty rather than the status quo: Gary North at Lew has an interesting piece on how Nixon abolished conscription and instituted an all volunteer army. North points out that for a conservative government to eliminate a long established policy, one that had been in place since FDR, during a war and against considerable opposition from the military (at that time), was "nothing short of remarkable". North traces the influence of a small group of libertarian economists, including Dr Martin Anderson, who originally sold Nixon on the idea. And it was Donald Rumsfeld who as a junior Congressman introduced the legislation to abolish the draft. Of course, neither Rummy or the "neo-liberal" economists who ended the draft get any credit or recognition from the left.


AUSTRALIA'S radical Muslims are trying to sabotage Christmas, according to the nation's most senior Islamic leader, Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali. The accusation from the Islamic mufti is based on a Wahabist edict from Saudi Arabia, which he said had been circulating among Australia's fundamentalist Muslims.... The edict says Muslims must not greet anyone with the phrase "Merry Christmas" and must not return the season's greetings to anyone who offers them... According to Sheikh al-Hilali, the edict also asks: "How can you Muslims participate with Christians in their festivals and celebrations? How can you greet them on this occasion in relation to the falsehood in their religion which is a symbol of their misguided, disbelieving creed?

Mike Tremoglie looks at the common Leftist claim that white cops are always killing blacks. He points to statistics showing that white cops kill fewer blacks than black cops do. Arguably, however, the cops should be more trigger-happy than they are. Why? Because "Young black males murdered police officers at a rate almost 6 times that of young white males"

Is organ bootlegging inevitable? "Not only the means, but also the motives exist to jumpstart an involuntary organ market: the shortage of transplantable organs continues to worsen worldwide. In the United States alone, the list of patients waiting for an organ continues to lengthen. There are, for example, some 83,000 people waiting for a kidney. Despite all the above, involuntary black markets in human organs are not inevitable. Aboveground markets and science can keep those urban legends legendary."

A problem without a solution? "Forty-three percent of black pregnancies end in abortion, according to a recent study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a leading research and advocacy organization promoting sex education. Nearly 70 percent of all black children are born out-of-wedlock. These two facts taken together should be perceived by everyone as clear evidence of a marriage and family crisis in black America.

Neil Cavuto says: "The French want to strike a deal with us. The Germans are saying nice things about us. And the Russians just might entertain a partnership with us. But wait a minute, I thought all these guys hated us? I think they still do, but something changed. Saddam Hussein has been captured. And now the countries who wouldn't do squat to remove him are tripping over themselves to strike a deal with the country that did. Nothing succeeds, it seems, like success"

Surprise, surprise! "If principals were put in charge of their individual schools and allowed to run them as small businesses, is it likely the schools would be more successful than if the schools and their resources were directed by a central office? After studying a variety of public and Catholic school systems in North America, UCLA Professor of Management William G. Ouchi concludes in a new book that decentralized school systems run more efficiently and produce better student achievement."

The Wild Monk points out that the Left can only say "Bush Lied" because they do not share his perspective. What the Left see as "lies", other see as common-sense! But of course the main point of the Leftist "Bush lied" chant is projective -- to distract attention from their own chronic dishonesty -- such as their decades-long scoffing at the evils of Stalin and the Soviet system.

Aaron Gross has a lot of fun Googlebombing and recommends that you Google this term: "cuckolded dyke"

A fun story about TV "psychics" via Marc Miyake: "One day we were sitting in the [fire] station and a commercial came on TV for one of these psychic readers. I had mentioned how these readings are bogus. To prove it I called the 800 number and when they asked me for my credit card number I said "you're the psychic, you tell me what my number is." They hung up on me and the guys at the station couldn't stop laughing."

Michael Darby is online again with a new range of posts as under:
The Case Against Killing Saddam
Cathy Buckle: Disaster in Zimbabwe
Good News from Prodos
Mel Gibson's "The Passion of Christ"
Australian Defence Force needs to be able to venture far afield
Killing him Softly
Mark Latham MP on the Ukqwitt Register

The Wicked one has found some lessons on how to deal with Islamic fundamentaism in a most unlikely source.

My latest upload of a published academic journal article (here or here) once again points out how a journal article was published that showed minimal awareness of the existing academic literature on the subject. Such behaviour is the besetting sin of psychology and renders science in the field concerned impossible.


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Tuesday, December 23, 2003


As a comment on my recent post about the "Crooked Timber" blog (see December 21 below), one of my readers writes:

Crooked Timber is a collective blog with 12 members; the article you linked to was by Daniel Davies, also known in the blogosphere as "dsquared." The blog tends to the Left, but occasionally speaks up in favor of a libertarian view or two.

The Crooked Timber post that soured me on them was this one: about Amartya Sen's book Development as Freedom. The comments section attracted some lively input from people to the right of Sen and Crooked Timber, and the reactions of the Crooked Timber folks were despicable. Rather than engage the questions raised by the conservative commenters, they stooped (surprise) to ad hominem attacks, including the usual charges of intellectual dimness and racism. In the end they shut down the comments section; clearly they couldn't handle dissent in a constructive way. Bleh!


The Pope gets it right: "POPE John Paul II has praised Singaporeans for being able to live together harmoniously, especially now that religious tensions in the region are running high" What he does not ask is why. Would the Singapore government's absolute intolerance for lawlessness and tough penalties for crime have anything to do with it?

The churches that ordain homosexuals are losing both clergy and parishoners over it.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman-elect Jeffrey Lucy said today he was passionate about business regulation. What can you expect of a bureaucrat?

"When, one wonders, did conservatism in America become hip? In the US the new millennium seems to have entrenched a growing trend among the younger generations that, if not culturally conservative, is anti-liberal" I myself think that young people have been bored silly by the constant obsessive preaching from their Leftist teachers.

I have just learned via NZ Pundit that the BBC have banned reporters from calling Saddam Hussein a former dictator. Instead, staff must refer to the barbaric mass murderer as "the deposed former President". Is speaking the truth bad taste at the BBC or is it just a general rule not to speak ill of socialists?

Jeff Jacoby has some pretty searing comments on General Wesley Clark's activities in the former Yugoslavia -- friendly antics with vicious Serbian mass-murderers and then failing to catch any of them when they became wanted men.

European anti-Americanism: "During the Cold War the Western Alliance was essential for Europeans scared stiff of a menacing Soviet Union, but it also meant subordination to American leadership. Dependence breeds resentment and a strong desire to reassert one's independence. That desire was strongly in evidence in a Gaullist France even during the Cold War. When that struggle ended it was widespread. When fighting broke out in Yugoslavia in the summer of 1991, for example, the immediate reaction of Jacques Delors, then President of the European Commission, was 'We do not interfere in American affairs. We hope they will have enough respect not to interfere in ours'. A few years later, of course, after they had failed to deal with the problem, Europeans were pleading with Washington to intervene in the Balkans. "

Despite their solidarity with the working class, and despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth over how conservatives treat the poor, Leftists turn out to be the cheap ones. A definite "compassion" transplant is needed for them. They only want to give away other people's money, not their own.

SF Fan has some good posts up at the moment. I liked this comment on the Vatican claim that the US forces in Iraq treated Saddam like a cow: "That's a load of bull. Sure we're going to milk as much information out of him as possible but that's no reason to have a beef with us. I wouldn't steer you wrong. After all, our honor is at steak!"

Useful Fools has an amusing graphic about the "threat levels" posed by Democrat candidates.

PID has a new post on foreign aid, guest workers and why Australia's multiculturalists don't like them

This post at Cronaca gave me a laugh: "Cholesterol-free mice that would make healthy snacks for cats have been created by scientists. The mice completely lack cholesterol, generally thought to be essential for survival, yet are relatively healthy".

I have just put up here Chris Brand's latest thoughts. He has a big coverage of the motivations behind the sex-mad Ian Huntley -- who has just been convicted of murdering two ten-year-old British schoolgirls.

The Wicked one says greed is STILL good.

My latest upload of a published academic journal article (here or here) is just another case of my pointing out that a fellow-psychologist fails to tell the whole story about his subject -- something I did on many occasions. The Leftist domination of psychology means that they are just not interested in the whole truth on any subject -- and it shows. As long as the conclusions support some Leftist preconception, theory or prejudice, it MUST be right!


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Monday, December 22, 2003


"How dare we forget his appeasement toward North Korea, virtually inviting her to cheat on her nuclear agreements? Or how about his immediate retreat at the first sign of blood in Mogadishu and his persistent inaction in the face of recurring Al Qaeda terrorism against American targets, both of which virtually invited the September 11 attacks?

How about Clinton's emasculation of the FBI and CIA? He not only loathed the military, but our vital intelligence services as well. And, as Lowry details, he "refocused the CIA on humanitarian interventions, economic security, the environment, and a host of issues associated with global crime _" Terrorism was buried in a blizzard of other boutique, post-historical priorities."

Lowry shows that Clinton treated terrorism as a law enforcement matter, rather than warfare. At Clinton's direction, the FBI became the lead agency in the war on terror -- "a task for which it was inherently unfit." As a law enforcement agency, honor bound and structured to operate within the rules of evidence and the high standards of proof of American courtrooms, its hands were tied, and it was rendered ineffectual working against terrorism."

More here


I have just received a Xmas email from Chris Brand wishing me "Happy Kwanzaa!" I got one last year too I think. Like me, his sense of humour gets away with him sometimes. There was a happy Xmas photo of Chris and his wife in chilly Edinburgh attached which I reproduce here. If you look at the picture and then consult the classic Bogardus scale of social distance you will see what a racist Chris is! Leftist wiseheads of course don't believe Bogardus and say that "Some of my best friends are Jewish" is an antisemitic saying. None of them have however ever been able to tell me what a Philosemite would say! "Some of my worst enemies are Jewish", perhaps? I myself know only one person of Jewish ancestry well and he is one of the finest men I know. I guess that makes ME a pretty evil character by Leftist logic!

Those wacky Canadians again! Some Canadian veterinarian nearly euthanized the owner instead of the dog that was supposed to be put down! Not very politically correct and distinctly negligent!

"Economists have isolated the effects of extended unemployment benefits. Since many workers wait until their benefits are almost exhausted before taking a new job, the effect of extending benefits beyond 26 weeks simply extends the date when they have to take a job. One estimate concluded that for each week benefits are extended, the average duration of unemployment increases by about a day ..."

Indian born Australian academic Sudha Shenoy has some sharp words for the enemies of free trade -- including the current US government -- here. Sudha was asked on a recent trip to the US about public anti-intellectualism in Australian society. Apparently she said Australia was one of the few countries that treated intellectuals with the disrespect they deserved.

Sowell: "One of the reasons our children do not measure up academically to children in other countries is that so much time is spent in American classrooms twisting our history for ideological purposes.... "

GWB is building a $300 Million black history museum

Hopefully he'll do a better job than the new "postmodern" National Museum of Australia. About the same time this $200 M "politically correct" white elephant was being built one of finest, well established museums in the country, Sydney's Australia Museum was having it's magnificent collection selectively looted ...thanks to lack of funds for elementary security and asset management

At PID there is a post criticising the use and abuse of sanctions against Smith's Rhodesia, Mugabe's Zimbabwe and Iraq

Keith Burgess-Jackson has an oblique comment on my post yesterday about equality of results versus equality of opportunity. He points out that there are many versions of equality/inequality in between those cases and that one could reasonably choose any of them. He notes that even Rawls (the philosopher beloved of Leftists for his attempts to justify equality) allows inequality as having advantages.

I seem to have had a bit more free time available than usual lately so I have expanded my online biography by adding in a lot of the fun bits that I initially left out for the sake of brevity. See here or here.

My latest upload of a published academic journal article (details here or here) is a highly technical one but in it I rip apart some simplistic theories put forward by one of the grandees of Australian academic psychology. I show that at several points even his own data contradict his contentions. It must have caused some heartburn. LBJ once said of an outspoken person that he would rather have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in. For the Australian psychology establishment, however, I was always firmly outside the tent so I had no hesitation in pissing on them when the opportunity arose. Perhaps they were right. I would have pissed on them anyhow. I was born outspoken. And anybody who remembers my mother will know where I get it from.


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Sunday, December 21, 2003


"Crooked Timber" seems to be some sort of Leftist philosopher. I would never have read him except that Keith Burgess-Jackson seems to take him seriously. His defence of the Leftist "equality of results" doctrine versus the more conservative "equality of opportunity" doctrine is summarized by him in the two questions below:

1. What's the point of doing anything if you're not going to check whether it worked or not?
2. How do you find out whether a course of action worked or not, other than by the results?

He seems to think that these questions trump further discussion. So perhaps I should point out that they do not. The snide thing about the two questions is that "it worked" is not defined -- presumably in order to suggest that the favoured alternative (equal outcomes) is the only reasonable definition of it. Building your desired conclusions into your premises is an old Leftist trick of course, as I have shown many times before (e.g. here). A layman might call it "loading the dice".

So let me suggest some alternative definitions of "it worked". One suggestion would surely be that treating a person according to his own qualities rather than according to the qualities or wealth of his parents was a pretty desirable thing to do in and of itself. Why does it need to "work" in any way external to itself? If that is accepted, the Crooked One's point 2 becomes redundant.

Even if the deed is not taken to be intrinsically good, however, there are surely many, many alternative definitions of "it worked" available. If, for instance, it made people feel happier because it convinced them that they lived in a fair society, would that not be something that might cause us to say "it worked"? And checking that result could be as simple as doing a social survey.


I did not mention the Libyan story yesterday since everyone else was all over it but Hippercritical has some reasonable comments. Clearly, however, it is a huge triumph for GWB's policies. Saddam's capture must have tipped the scales.

The latest batch of government economic data reveals a new theme: inflation-free boom. It's a business-led scenario this country hasn't seen in many years. Bush administration supply-siders who argued in favor of permanent tax incentives to grow the investment side of the economy are being proven exactly right. Former top Bush economist Glen Hubbard -- one of the principal authors of last May's growth bill that lowered Uncle Sam's tax bite on investment by roughly 40 percent -- deserves loud kudos. Liberal columnist Paul Krugman, who opposes supply-side tax cuts at every turn, deserves a resounding Bronx cheer. Both the economy and the stock market (the Dow has moved past 10,000, and the S&P is up 23 percent on the year) are voting for President Bush.

Leftist Will Hutton is no fan of Bush, but unlike 90% of the world's environmentalists, he says the real action is in "The States", whereas the Europeans are smug. And Hutton is not kidding when he says "the States", he says that the U.S. State governments are the leading environmental reformers in the world. So you would think the Green/Left would love America, wouldn't you? No such luck of course. Like Hitler and the Islamic fundamentalists, they cannot be appeased.

Great news! Switzerland is now one of the countries which have recognized that the Ottoman Turks committed genocide against the mostly Christian Armenians in 1915. Muslims committing genocide? How amazing! The Kemalists took over Turkey from the Ottomans not long after that and have kept Turkey out of the hands of the Islamists since but even they are pretty brutal to their minorities -- the Kurds particularly. The last truly decent Muslim regime seems to have been that of the Kurd Saladin in the 12th century. The only prominent Muslim man of peace in the last 100 years that I can think of is Egyptian President Anwar Sadat -- and the Islamists shot him!

What's up with American Realpolitik? It's a great site -- specializing in political cartoons -- but every time I have tried to log on lately all I have got is the banner headline. Their server must be worse than blogspot -- which is saying something

Writing on Sasha Castel's blog, Scott Wickstein says that the generation of power via nuclear fusion is going commercial -- sort of. Nobody can decide where to put it, though. A notable absentee from the list of contributors to Sasha's blog is one Andrew Ian Dodge. I understand Sasha now lives in Canberra, Australia. I wonder where Andrew has got to? Did he ever make it to England?

Apparently Canada's new Prime Minister has taken some token steps in a Rightwards direction. We must be thankful for small mercies, I guess.

I am pleased to see that Michael Jennings too likes real ale. Australians are usually very rigid about liking only the lager beers that they are used to in Australia. My favourite drop was Ruddles County when I was in England. But Michael's wish for good food in an English pub is a tad optimistic.

Aaron Oakley has some good posts about the stupid and enormously expensive windmill craze that Greenies pushed so hard for so long.

I have just put up here some more of Chris Brand's latest thoughts -- on toyboys and other things.

My latest upload of a published academic journal article (here or here) is just another case of my demolishing the ill-informed arguments of a Leftist psychologist. A bit too technical for most readers, though.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Saturday, December 20, 2003


It gets worse. It looks like "The Skeptical Inquirer" was not credulous but straight-out dishonest in their support for the global warming theory. They depicted their favoured report on global warming as the outcome of a standard scientific peer-review process. As this report from notes, it was nothing of the sort. What was published was a totally distorted version of what the scientists had said:

Frederick Seitz, former president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, claimed that he had "never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer review process than the event that led to this IPCC report." Seitz went on to charge that nearly all of the editorial changes made by the report's lead author, Benjamin Santer, "worked to remove hints of the skepticism with which many scientists regard claims that human activities are having a major impact on climate in general or global warming in particular." Others, including the independent but industry-backed Global Climate Coalition (GCC) went so far as to claim that the report had been "scientifically cleansed" in a political effort to emphasize alarm about global warming while deleting references to uncertainty.

And the second report that the Skeptics quoted also said nothing like what they claim:

"Last week the National Academy of Sciences released a report on climate change, prepared in response to a request from the White House, that was depicted in the press as an implicit endorsement of the Kyoto Protocol... As one of 11 scientists who prepared the report, I can state that this is simply untrue. For starters, the NAS never asks that all participants agree to all elements of a report, but rather that the report represent the span of views. This the full report did, making clear that there is no consensus, unanimous or otherwise, about long-term climate trends and what causes them."

Clearly, the Skeptics have been taken over by Greenie propagandists, with their characteristic disregard for the truth. Sad indeed.


Great stuff! In Canada a single guy can get a pension by claiming that he had a homosexual lover who died. Bad luck if your lover happens to have been a woman, I guess. "In what the gay community is describing as a monumental decision, an Ontario court ruled Friday that the federal government has discriminated against same-sex couples by denying pension benefits to survivors whose partners died before 1998"

Reality is beginning to bite for Germany's socialists. They have just introduced some reforms that are at least in the right direction: "Restrictive employment protection laws will be eased to enable small companies to dismiss workers at short notice. Unemployment and social welfare benefits will be merged to reduce costs. At the same time Germany's long-term unemployed will face penalties if they refuse to take up jobs even if they pay below union rates... The programme also includes measures to ... lower income tax"

More welfare abuse: "A STRING of Aboriginal work-for-the dole programs set up under the federal Government's $450million indigenous employment program, have collapsed amid allegations of financial misappropriation and mismanagement"

More glories of socialized medicine: "A woman was left to give birth alone in a hospital corridor, then told she had no choice but to watch her premature baby die"

Jeff Jacoby details some of the horrors perpetrated on the Iraqis by Saddam and says that no conceivable punishment can fit his crimes.

I guess its a start: "The Bush administration reached a free-trade agreement with four Central American countries yesterday, setting up a tough trade fight in Congress in an election year. The trade accord -- reached just weeks before the 10th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement -- would allow more than 80 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial products into Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras duty-free as soon as it went into force."

Michelle Malkin: "From homeland security personnel, I continue to hear open-borders horror stories. A Border Patrol agent who works along the northern border reports that federal immigration judges in his area are subverting the deportation process by refusing to issue arrest warrants for illegal alien absconders (fugitives who have been ordered deported but never showed up for their hearings). A special agent notes that San Diego supervisors continue to discourage interior immigration enforcement near the southern border. And countless rank-and-file immigration enforcement officers have written to express disgust at Washington's bipartisan talk of "amnesty" for millions of immigration law-breakers whose presence makes a mockery of homeland defense. What good is it, they wonder, to send American soldiers to defend other countries' borders if we're not willing to defend our own? "

Price controls can be deadly: "Who would ever dream that the economic fallacies to which U.S. officials subscribe could turn deadly? Yet that's what recently happened in Baghdad, where an American GI was shot dead while guarding long lines of angry and disgruntled consumers at a gasoline station in Baghdad. Why are there long lines at gas stations in Iraq?"

The Wicked one has got some good funnies up at the moment.

My latest academic upload here or here looks at attitude to Europe in England and Scotland shortly after the UK had joined. At that time opposition to joining in with Europe was primarliy associated with generally old-fashioned attitudes. I think that shows that being old-fashioned can have its advantages.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Friday, December 19, 2003

Blogspot seems to be having another one of their "bad" periods at the moment. They have resumed "fixing" things that "aint broke". As a result, my posts on blogspot yesterday did not show all day. I know from comments that some people did however use my mirror sites instead. "PC WATCH" was out of action all day too so I have decided that I will from now on put up a mirror site for it too. The mirror is HERE.


Truth about Iraq -- or what the media is hiding The media has been lying to us about the real situation in Iraq. An American army officer reveals just how much progress has been made. So why have some of our journalists been lying?
George Soros, markets and democracy Recent comments by Soros on markets and democracy simply show how little knowledge of economics and history this 'brilliant' financier actually possesses. His political activities also bring into question his integrity.
Kuwaiti Daily declares that US won't quit in its war on terrorism Ahmad Al-Jarallah, the Editor-in-Chief of the Kuwaiti dailies Al-Siyassa and Arab Times, praised the U.S. fight against Jihad fighters. The following are excerpts from the article.
Taxes cuts and politics The present tax mess should really focus attention on Latham's approach to taxation and incomes compared with Beazley's approach.
Taiwanese marched for independence and democracy Up to 150,000 marchers descended on the Presidential Office to demand that President Chen Shui-bian scrap the Republic of China (ROC) and its symbols, and change the name of the country to Taiwan.

Details here


A reader writes:

"Your blog mentions that the "Skeptical Enquirer" seems to be impressed by a pro-global warming petition. "They say that because 2500 "scientists" signed a document saying that mankind is causing global warming therefore it must be true.

Well, there is a 19,200 name long petition here -- signed by "17,100 basic and applied American scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees... Signers of this petition so far include 2,660 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists..who are especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth's atmosphere and climate. ..(and) ..5,017 scientists whose fields of specialization in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and other life sciences"

There have of course been attempts by environmentalist true believers to sabotage the petition drive. However the organisers have, to their credit, made efforts to ensure its validity. "Of the 19,700 signatures that the project has received in total so far, 17,800 have been independently verified and the other 1,900 have not yet been independently verified. Of those signers holding the degree of PhD, 95% have now been independently verified. One name that was sent in by enviro pranksters, Geri Halliwell, PhD, has been eliminated. Several names, such as Perry Mason and Robert Byrd are still on the list even though enviro press reports have ridiculed their identity with the names of famous personalities. They are actual signers. Perry Mason, for example, is a PhD Chemist. " Of course science is never based on an opinion poll of practitioners. And governments and voters need to be skeptical about sacrificing long established rights and traditional freedoms on the altar of the scientific dogma du jour. The history of eugenics is a case in point.�



There is an amusing comment here about how the Left could see nothing good in the capture of Saddam and will not see any good in any conceivable events involving him.

It looks like Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, has had the last laugh against his critics in his home-country of Denmark.

Sowell: “Lawlessness usually conjures up images of a wild frontier or mobs in the streets. But the painful reality is that the supreme examples of lawlessness in our times are in the august and sedate chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States.�

Bruce Bartlett puts the finger on WHY a lot of American manufacturing is ailing -- the huge costs imposed on it by government laws and regulations. It does look like the U.S. government is trying to drive jobs offshore.

Mark Steyn says Rumsfeld should be admired for being a plain speaker

Bleeding Brain has an amusing post about how insensitive he is when it comes to other people’s religions.

I thought at first that PrestoPundit must have a great sense of humour when I saw that he had this blog listed under “liberal bloggers� but on second thoughts I realized that he is very properly resisting the entirely inappropriate takeover of the word “liberal� by Leftists.

The latest upload of a chapter from my book shows that Leftist enmity to freedom of speech goes back a long way. Details here or in chapter 29 here. The fierce and unremitting attacks on freedom of speech by Leftists is one of the clearest proofs there is of how totalitarian and Fascistic Leftism basically is. Leftists cannot AFFORD to allow completely free speech. They NEED to monopolize the channels of communication. Why? Because the more people in general get to know about any Leftist assertion, the more absurd it will be seen to be. Leftism is simplistic and simplistic thinking cannot withstand the light of day.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Thursday, December 18, 2003


Former New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon is famous for commenting that the constant flow of emigration from New Zealand to Australia "raises the IQ of both countries" -- implying that the Kiwis who emigrate are stupid but Australians are even stupider. That comment is only one example of a generally derogatory view of Australians almost universally held in New Zealand: Much like the attitude of Canadians towards the USA --- and for similar reasons: resentment of a more affluent and capable big brother.

I was therefore rather amused by something that happened recently. A few months ago I bought some shares in one of the icons of New Zealand industry -- Fisher & Paykel, best known for making high-tech washing machies. Yesterday I received a dividend cheque from them -- to my amazement. These days dividends are normally deposited directly into a shareholder's bank A/c. Shortly after you buy into a company, they send you a form asking for your bank particulars and thereafter the money just appears on your statement. Fisher & Paykel sent me no such form, however, so I had to make a special trip to the bank to deposit their pesky cheque -- which I regard as a prehistoric thing to have to do. But it does not end there. I resolved to write to them and ask them to deposit my dividends directly in the future. But nowhere on the documentation that came with the cheque was there any address that I could write to! So I looked up their Annual Report, a big glossy production with lots of colour photographs, graphs, auditor reports and all the usual nonsense that you expect of a company annual report. But there was no address anywhere there either! Which is probably illegal, I would think. It was only by digging out the envelope that the report came in that I found a return address on the back of that. But that is not the end of the story either! Included with my cheque was a cheque to someone else with their dividend! Which I of course promptly sent on to the correct recipient. If that is how bright a New Zealand high-flyer is, it does not say much for the average Kiwi.

I guess NZ Pundit will never forgive me for saying that.