Thursday, August 07, 2003


This wide ranging interview with economically-sophisticated literary critic Paul Cantor (PDF) is quite fascinating for anyone interested in literature. He shows that the current Marxist monopoly on literary criticism can easily be dismantled. Cantor highlights the elitist reasons artists (mostly second raters), dislike the market economy. In contrast he points out that a surprising number of the world's genuine greats, Shakespeare included, were really quite entrepreneurial. Cantor also points out that although socialism is dead in Economics departments of universities around the world, the Marxist tradition lives on among the literary and cultural critics who of course have no obligation to be practical. And did you know that Percy Bysshe Shelley championed laissez faire economics?



A little birdie tells me that Prof. Jim Lindgren is having a lot of fun preparing his comprehensive reply to the Berkeley “study” of conservatism. It is such an absurd study that it is hard not to have fun with it.

Those naughty tests! It seems that Boston’s $156,560 per year superintendent of Schools, Wilfredo T. Laboy, has been unable to pass a basic English proficiency exam three times so far. Ironically, Laboy had suspended, without pay, two dozen teachers for failing a similar test. Laboy called the test "stupid."

We all now know that there are no criminals any more: “Manhattan, New York, Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro cleared a New York City cardiologist of “forcible touching" charges relating to his opening a female patient's gown and kissing her breasts because the pressure used to kiss "is nothing more than the friction inevitably produced by the meeting of two skin surfaces during touching," whatever that has to do with the charge. (Via Jerry Lerman).

More short-sighted prostituting of of standards revealed at an Australian university. Seeing I got my doctorate from the University concerned, that does annoy me personally. If a businessman had engaged in the same sort of deception in chasing a dollar, he would be in court by now.

The homosexual bishop elected by American Anglicans is probably a good thing on the whole. It will make clear to real Christians that they need to change their church and leave the Episcopalians to the unbelieving feel-good brigade.

A good spoof treatment of Leftism as a psychiatric disorder.

Is exporting art and archaeological artifacts from the Middle East and Mediterranean areas to museums in Britain and the USA really a form of cultural imperialism? It certainly has often proved to be a better way of protecting the artifacts concerned.

"One of the most widespread harms caused by unreasonable malpractice awards is an increase in the cost of medicine. According to the Heritage Foundation, malpractice insurance rates for some providers went up as much as 30 percent in 2001. As awards by judges and juries get larger, malpractice insurance companies are forced to raise their premiums. Many of these price increases get passed on to the patient."

Apparently Joe Stalin noted what a fervent anti-Communist John Wayne was and ordered him to be assasinated! Yet more Leftist “compassion”.

"Some 67 companies already have been driven into bankruptcy by claims both legitimate and spurious. More than 200,000 asbestos tort claims are pending nationwide against more than 8,000 corporations. Many of the defendant companies never made asbestos products. The Senate measure would end those lawsuits and protect firms against any future suits asbestos victims might bring." I go along with that. The value created by many years of hard work by company employess should not end up as a honeypot for lawyers.

Leftist Todd Gitlin has recognised the same problem that conservative Gerald Henderson noted in the Sydney Morning Herald. It is no good complaining about "US unilateralism" when the alternative is toothless, do-nothing "internationalism". The trouble is Gitlin doesn't recognise how 'pie in the sky' all the alternatives are.

Of course the US would be happy for 'the international community' to intervene in world trouble-spots and not rely on Washington, but "let George do it" is easier! A better assessment of how much different countries are willing to pay for internationalism is shown by who pays what percentage of the UN budget.

There is a sanctimonious article here about Australian native blacks that picks up on the worst hand-wringing excesses of the Australian Left and says that all that is still not enough to make up for past injustices. He somehow forgets to mention that the Australian blacks looked very much like dying out until the Australian welfare state was introduced after WW2 and that there are now probably more of them around than there were when white men first arrived.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again.


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