Sunday, November 30, 2003


In statistics, “ecological” correlations have nothing to do with environmentalism. The term refers to correlations between grouped data. The correlation between national IQ levels and national income levels that Chris Brand often refers to is an ecological correlation and H.C. Lindgren’s finding of a .61 correlation between high income and voting against Richard Nixon in the the 1972 U.S. Presidential election is another example.

Because ecological correlations often seem surprisingly high, some statisticians and social scientists think they should be devalued in some way. I disagree. There is a brief discussion of the issue about half way through my article here -- where I note what is probably the most spectacular ecological correlation ever reported in the social science literature -- a correlation of .9 -- which showed that people who have most contact with Australian blacks like them the least. Which in turn shows that the racial dislike concerned is postjudice rather than prejudice -- i.e. the fruit of experience rather than ignorance.


"Wind power may well be the least environmentally friendly idea ever proposed by environmentalists. That certainly seems to be the verdict of those who live near proposed and actual wind farm developments in both the US and UK. Conservationists as committed as Sen. Edward Kennedy (D.-Mass.) and British television personality Dr. David Bellamy have come out against proposed uses of the technology."

The Aztecs genetically modified their corn: Researchers in Germany and the United States identified the genetic modifications by extracting DNA from 4,400-year-old ears of corn. The study results appear to bolster the argument that genetically modified crops are not dangerous because farmers have been creating them for thousands of years. And plant biologists say the changes biotech companies are making in plants today are actually much smaller than those discovered in the new study.

A good article in the WSJ on how Greenie “smart growth” oppresses blacks.

Anybody who knows anything about the English knows that they take their birds very seriously. If birds were dying out in Britain as a consequence of modern farming practices there would therefore be a huge outcry. Needless to say, the Greenies do everything they can to persuade people that exactly that is happening. “Spiked”, however looks at ALL the evidence on the question and finds that there has in fact probably been a slight increase in the number of birds living in Britain’s farmland.


Muslims can do no wrong in the EU: "Researchers at a German institute who found young Muslims were to blame for many attacks on Jews were told several times by the European Union to change their conclusions, they say. The two sides have traded accusations of bias, incompetence and lying. The EU's anti-racism body asked the Anti-Semitism Research Institute of Berlin's Technical University last year to examine the increase in attacks against Jews across Europe. But the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia has refused to publish it”

Blogger Brian O’Connell has caught out a Leftist “investigative journalist” for not investigating -- and thus getting wrong even the basics of GWB’s recent trip to Iraq.

A Scottish Leftist sees media bias: US President George Bush is “totally at odds” with his media image, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Menzies Campbell said today. Mr Campbell, an opponent of the war with Iraq, spoke out on the ePolitix website... “He is personally extremely engaging. He has a well-developed sense of humour, is self-deprecating and when he engages in a discussion with you he is warm and concentrates directly on you. “He looks you straight in the eye and tells you exactly what he thinks.” Mr Campbell .. went on .. “I was most certainly surprised at the extent to which the caricature of him was inaccurate.”

No free speech in Canada: "Alliance Leader Stephen Harper Thursday fired MP Larry Spencer as family issues critic after Spencer said homosexuality should be outlawed. Spencer has temporarily resigned from caucus. ... Spencer said homosexuality is part of a 'well orchestrated' conspiracy that should be outlawed, a Canadian Alliance MP says. ... Spencer, the MP for Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre, said that this conspiracy began in the 1960s and included the seduction and recruitment of young boys in playgrounds and locker rooms."

The Israeli government has just shut down an anti-Arab Israeli radio station. Arlene Peck doesn’t understand the current policy of appeasement towards the Arabs at all. Nor do I. The U.S. even funds the bloated Arafat! The Arabs think it is weakness. The big stick is all they understand. The people of Britain learned 1500 years ago that Danegeld (buying off an enemy) does not work.

Walter Williams is good on why huge job losses can be a very good thing for everyone.

The Curmudgeon has a very funny story about his Catholic youth.

The Wicked one has lots of jokes and funny stories up.

My latest upload of a published academic article now rescued from dead-tree form is here or here. In it I look at the greater conservatism of my home State of Queensland and compare it to the American “Deep South”. There is some image of the Deep South as being more romantic so it was pleasing to see that Queenslanders seem to be more romantic too.


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, November 29, 2003

Alpha Patriot has an excellent coverage of GWB’s visit to Iraq -- photos, speeches etc.


Keith Burgess-Jackson is an unusual combination -- a conservative animal libber. He derives his animal-lib views from his general philosophical ideas about morality and he is unusual among modern-day philosophers too. He is a “deontologist” -- which sounds like he would be good at fixing your teeth, but which really means (roughly) that he believes in fixed moral rules. I myself think that morality is extremely important but, like most atheists, I am a moral naturalist. I don’t think that moral rules are handed down from on high or revealed in some other mysterious way. I think that moral rules are learned from experience (both from our own experience and from the experience of others) and function to tell us how to behave wisely (i.e. so that we and those we care about live happily in the long term) so are just like any other rules of nature (more complex than “water does not flow uphill”, but basically of the same kind). So I see morality as the servant of man, not his master (A bit like a very famous thinker who said: “The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath” -- Mark 2:27). So the fact that man has evolved to regard other animals as prey simply makes irrelevant (not useful) any line of reasoning that says he should not kill animals. It might be useful reasoning if we could also show that people who avoid eating animals are more peaceful and benign generally but I think that PETA and the animal libbers in general show the exact opposite of that to be true. In fact Keith himself says he does not like people very much.

Christians of course believe that God gave man dominion over the animals (Genesis 1: 26-28) and Mosaic law spells out clearly that this includes the right to eat at least some of them. That belief seems to me to be at least as well-founded as any deontologist’s set of beliefs.

In my younger days I made several attempts to introduce a bit of psychological sophistication into philosophical debate -- into moral philosophy into the theory of mind and into the theory of causality. But introducing a bit of philosophical sophistication into a psychological debate and a political debate was the most fun. Psychology and philosophy seem generally to operate in profound ignorance of one-another and Leftists seem to operate in profound ignorance of everything. I point out where Leftist moral relativism goes off the rails here.


There is a pretty hard-hitting article here -- by someone who should know -- about what a creampuff army the U.S. Army has become under the influence of political correctness. One must have extreme doubts that it could ever achieve what the Wehrmacht achieved under Von Manstein at the battle of Crimea: The Germans mounted a frontal assault against superior forces who had nearly every advantage: a fortified position, command of the sea, the air, and tanks, while the Germans had not one tank. But the Germans were the ones with the fighting spirit and they won! There is are two more stories here and here about how the leadership of the U.S. military is a big problem.

“Make love not war” was a big slogan for the hippies of the 60s. It looks like some Ukrainians are actually doing it -- and at a rocket factory too.

I liked the FEE response to this report in the NYT: “The number of hungry people worldwide swelled in recent years, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to war, drought, AIDS and trade barriers, according to a report released today by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.” FEE commented: “What the have-nots have not is capitalism” (Post of 25th).

A Grand Ayatollah talks sense at last! Maybe there’s hope yet.

For those who think that there is any point in it Johann Hari does a pretty good job of demolishing the arguments of Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali against the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

“Judicial activism has no more ferocious a critic than Robert Bork. As a federal judge, a professor at Yale Law School, and a famously mau-maued Supreme Court nominee, he has tirelessly exhorted courts to stay true to the original meaning of the U.S. Constitution, and to leave policy-making to legislators. In Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges, Bork returns to his favorite topic, tracing the continued rise of judicial activism in the United States and describing its contagion internationally.

The good old US taxpayer is funding quack medicine -- so-called "alternative" medicine that has no scientific standing at all -- and some of which is clearly fraudulent. This at a time when real medical advances are held up for years or totally blocked by FDA red-tape. What crazy priorities!

Because it is my field of special expertise, I spend a lot of time debunking what psychologists say about politically relevant matters. I show that their data is shoddy and their reasoning naive and simplistic. There is however another social science that is often invoked for its political "lessons" -- Anthropology. Unsurprisingly, the Leftism of most anthropologists has made anthropology rotten to the core (i.e. fraudulent) as well. The falsity of the once-influential claims by Margaret Mead is, I think, now well-known. What has only recently come to light, however, is that modern anthropology actually started out on the basis of deliberately fraudulent work designed to prop up Leftist beliefs. Franz Boas was the fraudster concerned.

In my latest upload of a published academic journal article I compare religious prejudice with ethnic prejudice. I show that the two are only weakly correlated -- which fits in with other findings about prejudice generally. So there is a tendency for some people to be wary of anybody who is not like themselves but most prejudice is specific to particular groups. So if you do not like blacks (for instance) it does not mean that you will automatically dislike Jews (for instance). In my own case, I find Arabs (for instance) pretty disgusting but I quite like Indians and Chinese -- which is probably rather a good thing seeing that there are so many of them! Details here or here.


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, November 28, 2003


A reader writes:

“There is an interesting article on that discusses the Kennedy assassination... or more accurately how a liberal political spin has been put on it for 40 years. The first half of the article is quite good but then he flips out into orbit for the second half.

Essentially as far as anyone can tell JFK was killed by an lone assassin who definitely was not a "nut". Oswald was a life long ideologically committed Communist, who probably acted independently i.e. without known authorisation of any of the communist powers. Since then the liberals have been trying to pin the JFK killing on everyone but Oswald, virtually airbrushing Oswald's personal ideology from the picture. He very much saw himself as a soldier of the Marxist revolution and probably joined the marines to learn military skills he expected to use in the revolutionary cause. At the same time any non-liberal group, whether it was the conservative Texas Democrats, the Oil industry, Hoover, segregationists or any group with a political agenda that somehow opposed or merely competed with the JFK/LBJ New Frontier/Great Society package of liberal reforms was tarred with the assassination.

Most of JFK's legislative agenda was well and truly stalled by a hostile Congress before his assassination, and LBJ exploited public grief to ensure JFK's legislative legacy got through, so the liberals were the main beneficiaries of his death and seem to have exploited it for political advantage.”


A reader comments:

“Lakoff posited that conservatives have a "strict father" view of social institutions, while progressives have a "nurturant parent" (I prefer "nagging mother") view. The problem is that by discussing the differences between conservatives and progressives in this manner, he is deliberately "framing" our choices of political and social institutions as being between a "nurturant", well-meaning, feminine totalitarianism, and that of a "strict", sadistic, hypermasculine totalitarianism. And given a choice only between these two, wouldn't most people choose the former? In other words, he offers a false dichotomy.

In my view, conservatives and libertarians should reject the idea of government as acting in loco parentis. As individuals capable of self-government, we should be able to get on as adults”


My recent post on Fascism aroused some interest so I have now uploaded an extract from one of the best-known histories of Italian Fascism here. It shows essentially that the Fascists were simply a rather cleverer brand of Marxist than the Bolsheviks.

Nothing is too low for the Left: The British Political Cartoon Society has awarded its Cartoon of the Year award to Dave Brown of the Independent, a far-left broadsheet, for a strip depicting the prime minister of Israel eating an Arab infant.

Jeff Jacoby thinks that being thankful to God on Thanksgiving day is proper but that we should also be thankful for the miracle of capitalism’s “invisible hand”. He obviouly thinks that capitalism is the real source of our blessings.

I suppose I should comment on the latest Reuters nonsense about glaciers melting. Note Iain Murray’s summary of the scientific evidence: "First and foremost, people assert we know a lot about glaciers, but we don't. We know next to nothing about glacial activity, but what we do know suggests there are as many expanding glaciers as there are shrinking ones (this even happens with two glaciers within a few miles of each other) and that there is no universal trend either way."

I must say I am very glad of Hillary Clinton’s support of at least the Afghan involvement. Like her or not she influences the Left and having the American Left onside over there would save a lot of lives in the long run. It is because America is divided that the Islamic nutcases have hope.

PID has some speculations on the motivations of Rupert Murdoch -- owner of Fox TV, The Times of London and most of Australia’s newspapers. I myself would have said that Murdoch personally has moved from Leftish to Rightish as he has aged -- in the usual way -- but that pragmatically he has always pushed a centrist line in his outlets -- simply because that sells more papers and gets more viewers. It means he has something for everybody. By giving time and space to conservative thinking he has certainly filled a niche that the rest of the media were ignoring -- and has done very well out of that. I think he is just clever.

And Another triumph of socialism: The very socialistic Scots got their own parliament again recently so the first thing they did was build themselves a new parliament building -- which was supposed to cost 40 million pounds. The cost so far? 400 million pounds. Just the right sort of people to entrust with spending your money, don't you think? And how "compassionate" it all is! Could the money have been better spent on providing better housing for poor families? Of course not! What Leftist REALLY gives a damn about the poor?

I have just posted Chris Brand's latest observations on current events here. He has a useful summary of what national differences in IQ show and reports that some Scottish students are calling the Royal Consort, Prince Philip a “racist” for no obvious reason.

My latest upload of one of my academic articles is of interest to psychometricians only. See here or here


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, November 27, 2003


No. I don’t mean that Thanksgiving dinners make you fat. You need LOTS of dinners to make you fat. I am referring to Keith Burgess-Jackson’s view that eating turkeys is morally suspect. I suspect that my post on the subject yesterday sent a few irate readers his way as he has now expanded his exposition of the matter. His argument is that when you have things done for you, you are just as responsible for them as if you did them yourself. So if a turkey is cruelly raised on a factory-farm, you are responsible for that suffering if you buy it.

His argument about responsibility is plausible and may be widely agreed to but I think it just an assertion nonetheless. I would argue in fact that it is absurd to say that you CAN know all the details of all the things that happen when something is done for you (maybe the turkey was kindly raised but the truck-driver who delivers them beats his wife so by buying the turkey we are supporting a wife-beater?) and you cannot be responsible for things that you do not know about.


There is no doubt that the “limousine liberal” phenomenon goes back a long way. The term seems to have been popularized by Spiro Agnew (Nixon’s Vice-President) and I have just been looking at an old academic paper (Lindgren, 1974) that analyzed the results of the 1972 Nixon-McGovern Presidential race -- which Nixon won in a landslide. It found that vote for Nixon correlated -.61 with income and -.32 with education level -- meaning that richer and more highly educated people MUCH preferred the way-out Leftist McGovern. In other words, people on top of the heap really like the idea of telling everybody else what to do. The ordinary people want to be left alone and the top people want to reform them.

There is a good review of David Flint's book about Leftist elites here. One quote: "These are educated, middle class, Left liberals who dominate the public service, political institutions, the law and the media. They plainly have views that are out of step with majority opinion, which they prosecute, notwithstanding the lack of support, because they are convinced of their moral correctness."

Another good article about Leftist and Greenie elitism: "Some flagrant hypocrisy - if not outright class hatred - peeps through the curtain of middle-class concern about consumerism. It's very easy to lecture people about how spiritual life was before we all went mad about kitchen appliances, if you've never had to cook for 12 in a kitchen without running water or electricity... if life in the age of hyper-consumerism is really so bad, then perhaps some of these lefty middle-class male commentators really ought to give it all away and try living the way most women lived 80 years ago"

Lindgren, H.C. (1974) Political conservatism and its social environment: An analysis of the American Presidential election of 1972. Psychological Reports, 34, 55-62.


Chinese missiles target US cities, thanks to the Clintons and media treason. America's mainstream media is not only lying for the Democrats, they are also lying for the enemy. Any American who thinks the media are patriotic or cares one jot about his security is seriously deluded.
Bunny bravely thrashes the Sydney Morning Herald's resident anti-Semite. Bunny Champers enters the lions' den and gives the Bush-hating anti-Semitic Ramsey a good thrashing. He also gives Tim Blair a good piece of his mind.
A lefty reporter admits excessive wage rates cause unemployment. Whether Colebatch realises it or not he has conceded that free market economists are right about labour costs and unemployment. Unfortunately, I fear his instincts are too far to the left to allow him consistency on this matter.
Is Taiwan shifting to true independence? Demonstrators have demanded that President Chen Shui-bian scrap the Republic of China (ROC) _ the government Taiwan inherited at the end of World War II _ and its symbols, and change the name of the country to Taiwan.
White nimbys v the poor and property rights. Every rich country suffers from a nasty little disease called nimbyism. Carriers are usually white and affluent. The symptoms are, fortunately, easy to detect _ except in the case of brain damaged left-wing journalists.

Details here


Thanksgiving Day is a religious holiday. As George Washington wrote when he proclaimed it: “"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country”. I wonder when the Left will try to get the Supreme Court to ban it on those grounds? Though I guess it would be OK if you prayed to Allah!

A good comment from a Leftist: "I don't believe preemptive war is a good ambassador for democracy. But Democrats who are dead-on right about this misleadership have yet to share their own ideal of how to turn enemies to allies and despots into democrats."

Freedom is working in Iraq: Newspapers, satellite television and Internet cafes have sprung up since liberation

Anti-"bioterrorism" laws may be harming legitimate biological research

Australian leftists often argue that Federal government would not be so harsh against boat people (illegal immigrants) if they were white South African farmers, yet the statistics show this minority to be one of the most endangered and threatened minorities on earth. "South African farmers and their families are being slaughtered. The murders are accompanied by torture and rape. The sadism of the attacks suggests either dark perversion or systematic terror. Dr Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch has even suggested that the killing could be classified as genocide"

One of my readers liked my post about Fascism yesterday and emailed me this excellent comment: “After all if you're anti-globalization and anti-capitalist then that makes you a national socialist”. And we know what the last lot of National Socialists were like! Forgive me if I bore my regular readers with repetition but “Nazi” is a German abbreviation of “Nazionalsozialist” -- which is what Hitler called himself. It translates of course as “National Socialist”.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again as your shortcut to exploring the blogosphere.

My latest upload of an article rescued from dead-tree form is a review of a book about the history of price controls -- a folly to which even conservative governments are occasionallty subject (Nixon etc.). Who knew that his price controls were one of the main reasons why Robespierre was sent to the guillotine? Details here or here


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.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003


From Socrates on, good philosophers have always aimed to stir up critical thinking so I guess that Keith Burgess-Jackson will be pleased that he has stirred me up over this post: “If you aren't prepared to raise and kill a turkey, don't eat one”. A version of Peter Singer thinking if I am not mistaken.

If he means that I should always sincerely say under my breath “I am prepared to raise and kill turkeys” before I sit down to a turkey dinner, that would seem a fairly modest if highly eccentric requirement. If actual action rather than mere preparedness to act is required, however, I see bigger problems. As it happens, I have back in my country childhood been involved in raising fowl and beheading them for the table when required so I guess I would be OK for a Thanksgiving Day feast even under a stringent version of Keith’s morality -- but I don’t really see why. Does it have to be turkeys that you raise or are other fowl close enough to justify a turkey feast? And how much of the raising do you have to do? And if you don’t have to do all of it, why can you not delegate the whole of the raising to others? Delegation and specialization are the the great tricks of homo sapiens, so why should we not delegate that particular task?


Cinderella Bloggerfeller is a blog I like very much -- in part because he is one of the few bloggers who seem to read a lot of foreign languages and uses that to give us in-depth updates of what is happening in Europe. There is so much to read on the net, however, that I have not visited his site for ages. Marc Miyake, however, who is also an amazing linguist, seems to read him often and Marc asks what I think of this post -- where CB points out that Communism often seems to degenerate into Fascism.

My comment is that it fits perfectly what I have always pointed out about Fascism -- that Fascism is LEFTIST, not rightist. Because early-stage Communism was internationalist in aims and Fascism is nationalist, the Leftists have managed to hoodwink most people into thinking that Fascism is Rightist but it never was. The founder of Fascism (Mussolini) was a Marxist! Fascism is the living proof that Leftism can be EITHER nationalist OR internationalist.

So when Communism broke up or degenerated, lots of the people in the countries concerned just continued on with the socialist beliefs that had been drummed into them from childhood and simply added nationalism to the mix of their beliefs -- which makes them Fascist. Moving from Communism to Fascism is a common transition because it is an easy one. All it needs is to add a suspicion of foreigners to your existing socialism -- and suspicion of foreigners is an all too natural human tendency.


Muslim antisemitism is OK in the EU: "The European Union's racism watchdog has shelved a report on anti-semitism because the study concluded Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many of the incidents it examined," the Financial Times reports. Presumably the reasoning is that Arabs think they have good reason to hate Jews so that is OK. But Hitler thought he had good reasons too. And the “reasons” in both cases are totally addled. Via “Opinion Journal”.

Leftist “tolerance”: A Sikh (i.e. Indian-American) student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville who complained that a student committee only brought liberal speakers to campus was derided as a “raghead” as a result. UT student Sukhmani Singh Khalsa complained in an editorial that the students’ Issues Committee, which brings speakers to campus, was devoid of ideological diversity. "I don't think that a lot of parents would be happy if they knew they were paying this group $90,000 to have their country slandered and their values dragged through the mud," he wrote. Following the appearance of the article, Justin Rubenstein, a member of the Issues Committee, told fellow members of the panel in an e-mail that if they "see one of those ragheads, shoot him right in the (expletive) face."

Amazing: “In a fiery sermon to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Australia's most senior Muslim leader has delivered an ultimatum to renegade Muslims to "shape up or ship out". Speaking at Lakemba Mosque in Sydney's southwest, Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali told more than 30,000 faithful gathered for Eid el-Fitr, the festival that follows the fasting month of Ramadan, "to love the country or leave it".

Eugenics is back! Only this time it is voluntary and being pioneered by American Jews. And nothing seems likely to stop it. Avoiding the conception of sick children is surely something that anyone should applaud. Interestingly, a Leftist source has now acknowledged that Hitler’s State-enforced eugenic policies were originally an American idea and that Hitler “wrote fan letters to leading American eugenicists, telling Madison Grant, for example, that his book The Passing of the Great Race was his "bible."“ No admission that the keen eugenicists of the prewar era were mostly Leftists, though.

Doug Bandow points out how selective is the definition of "liberty" useds by the ACLU: One quote: "The ACLU is advocating religious hostility, not neutrality".

I have just posted some more of Chris Brand's observations on current events here. There is a post about a totally disgusting “philosopher” who says that Jews are not entitled to defend themselves -- and a roundup of newspaper reports on national differences in IQ

The Wicked one has a link that he thinks everyone will click on.

In my latest upload of a published academic journal article I pile up some more evidence against the common Leftist belief that people who respect conventional authority are psychologically disturbed. Details here or here.


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.


Tuesday, November 25, 2003


The Greens push a policy called the “precautionary principle” -- which basically says that if anything MIGHT be harmful it should not be allowed. Had that principle been around for very long most of the things that we now take for granted -- such as alcohol and motor cars -- would never have been allowed -- because practically EVERYTHING has its downside. Even common salt can kill you if you eat too much of it. Gross nonsense though it is, however, the Greens push on with their attempts to impose this ridiculous “principle” and they have had a disturbing amount of success with it. The EU, for instance, seems to be implementing it in a number of fields -- fields such as “chemicals”. All “chemicals” are now suspect. The fact that such things as the humble potato are full of all sorts of complex “chemicals” doesn’t seem to faze them a bit. Some people are however mounting a bit of a fightback by proposing an opposite principle -- a “technological imperative” that we should follow -- and putting up some pretty good philosophical arguments in favour of it.

Liquefied Natural Gas is widely seen as the "the only near-term, cost-competitive alternative to filthy coal production capable of providing cleaner, reliable base-load supply (i.e., supply that can run 24 hours a day, as opposed to renewables, which only generate electricity when the sun shines or the wind blows)." Yet many environmentalists opposed to ALL fossil fuels seem keen to hold up this useful alternative. So presumably they would prefer continuity of pollution from older, less efficient coal fired plants?? But who expects logic from them?

Even radical economists can make a lot of sense (as long as they are not Krugman): "Henwood is resolutely optimistic about new technology. More than that, he shows where the critics are wrong, exposing the anti-human ideas of the deep ecology movement and their ambition to reduce the population. Drawing out the unlovely consequences of the arguments made by greens such as David Korten and Kirkpatrick Sale, Henwood concludes 'this is snobbery, elitism and despair, masquerading as radical critique' .... The chapter on globalisation is the best, with its clear explanation of the mysteries of trade and its willingness to go against the grain of accepted ideas on the left"

The Greenies have not managed to destroy nuclear power totally. New nuclear power plants are being built in Finland, Japan and other Asian countries. So the fact that we now have a new and inherently safe reactor design that is also cleaner, smaller and more affordable is good news for all reasonable people -- not that anything will ever make a Greenie happy, of course.


The Arab press is gloating about the reception in Israel of Italian Deputy Prime Minister Gianfranco Fini -- because Fini has in the past expressed approval of some things about former Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi has made similar remarks. That Mussolini’s Italy was one of the few countries in Europe from which no Jews were deported to Hitler’s concentration camps is of course overlooked.

Fittingly, David Corn has written another corny book: Claiming that GWB is a liar. Ho hum! But Mike Tremoglie goes into the details of Corn's claims and shows who the real liar is.

Andrew Bolt has a good answer to the overseas critics and the local Leftists who call Australia a “racist” country.

Only 3% of immigrants report Australia as racist. The Australian Left of course knows better than to ask immigrants. They need to throw racist labels around as a political weapon. They don't have any actual arguments.

Londoner Ann Leslie watched the anti-Bush demonstrations there and notes just how blind is the blind hatred of the Left towards him -- and she points out the great similarities between Bush and Reagan. And Suzanne Fields gives a few more details of the pathetic antics of the same Leftist “protestors” (“exhibitionists” would be a better word) and sees echoes of Winston Churchill in what Bush is doing.

Wow! Is Buckley good at a polite put-down! Read his complete demolition of JFK.

Mike Pechar of Interested Participant has a story about efforts being made to convert high school students into Leftist activists and comments: "It's particularly sad that the Ten Commandments are forbidden in school while the students are being force-fed Marxist ideals". Mike has also blogrolled my "deconstruction" of wacky Leftist linguist George Lakoff -- who thinks that conservatives are Daddies and Leftists are Mommies! But conservatives are very naughty Daddies, of course! Mike commented to me in an email: "I'm working on putting together a post specifically on Lakoff, but haven't done enough research yet. I'll say one thing though, if he's a linguist, mumbo-jumbo is a language".

Arlene Peck finds the attention being given to Jacko pretty disproportionate: “The anti-Semitism in Europe is chilling but where are the cries from our country and others about the pre-Nazi Germany situation that is brewing now? Jewish day schools are being burned, the same for synagogues... The situation is scary and getting worse while we are fed a daily diet of Michael Jackson and the movie star of the week”

The latest upload of one of my published articles is a brief review of a book about equality, co-authored by Keith Joseph -- one of the intellectual mentors of Margaret Thatcher. It is an astonishingly good book and makes the case that equality is obnoxious on MORAL grounds. I have put my review up in full on PC Watch and it is also available here.


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, November 24, 2003


One of my Australian readers writes:

"I refer to the following extract from your post of 23 Nov: "Burke was emphatic that change was necessary but just wanted it to be done carefully.....".

About 30 years ago when Labor was doing its best to tear Australia apart, a fellow RAAF officer and pilot was invited to give the Anzac Day address at Cooma NSW.

His address was set around a word/action sequence taught to cadet pilots learning to fly on instruments - "change, check, hold, adjust, trim". In full, the advice was change the attitude of the aircraft, check the change, hold the new attitude and observe the result, adjust the attitude to give the exact required result, trim the aircraft to the new attitude.

Nick Leray Meyer's perception, and his description of just how political change should take place have remained with me ever since."


I have said this before myself but when Milton Friedman says it, it is worth repeating: "We are deeply concerned about proposed legislation to remove pharmaceutical companies' ability to control the importation of their products. The goal of this legislation will be to reduce prices in the American market by imposing other nations' price controls on us. If this attempt succeeds, American consumers would get the short-term windfall of lower prices, but they would end up unnecessarily suffering and living shorter lives -- because promising new therapies would be delayed or not even developed. Even the threat of price controls reduces the incentive to develop new drugs."

And more on the same theme: "The problem here is politicians face terrible incentives when regulating the prescription drug market. Many of you will know that politicians have had negative consequences on the rest of the American health care system, and now they’ve set their eyes on prescription drugs and threaten to screw that up, too."

In Canada even dogs get better health care: "Still lusting after socialized medicine? Consider the story of a man in Canada (a country well-known for socialized medicine) who needed a cat-scan but had to wait several months to see a physician. In his desperation, he booked an appointment for himself at a local veterinary clinic that had the imaging equipment he needed. He registered himself under the name 'Fido' to assure that he would get in."

The poor old Poms! ("Poms" is Australian slang for the English). The only thing their government can think of to improve their dreadful hospital system is to rip more and more money out of the taxpayer to spend on their existing system of socialized medicine -- the infamous "National Health". Yet, just North of England is Scotland -- where their National Health system already gets 20% more funding than the English equivalent. And by practically every criterion, the Scottish system delivers much WORSE results! But that extra funding does buy LOTS of extra bureaucracy! I sometimes think socialists must be pretty close to brain dead. Some part of their brain is not working.

Newt Gingrich [urges] conservatives to support the proposed Medicare reform bill. He argues Republicans should sign onto the $400 billion Medicare prescription drug bill because it includes a provision for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). But before Americans take the bait, they first should consider how previous health reform proposals and laws have failed to lower costs and increase access to health care."

Beware of government "solutions": "Just over a month ago we 'celebrated' the 10th anniversary of Bill Clinton’s speech to a joint session of Congress in which he called for a government takeover of the health care industry. Fortunately for America and the quality of our health care system, the massive one-size-fits-all Clintoncare plan went down to defeat. ... Ten years later, the healthcare debate rages on."


The Bible-oriented Anglican Archdiocese of Sydney has seen an 11% rise in its congregations in recent years -- while over the same period the “liberal” Anglican Archdiocese of Perth saw a 9% fall in its congregations. How surprising! One diocese offers faith. The other offers politics.

"Hate Crime" nonsense: "Opponents of hate crime legislation believe additional laws are unnecessary; criminals are prosecuted for breaking laws, regardless of their motivation. Hate crime laws raise numerous issues. For starters, these laws punish beliefs and speech. While prejudice and bigotry are appalling and wrong, regulation of any type of thought is constitutionally perilous and sets a precedent in which we could all become criminals. In addition, victims of crimes who do not belong to specified groups have a legitimate claim that their perpetrators are subject to lesser punishment

History and the $87billion "Marshall Plan" for Iraq: Like all government spending it will do little good and probably much harm. Protecting the emergence of private markets and free enterprise would be far more beneficial.

Bleeding Brain has a big post on why homosexual “marriage” makes no sense.

I have just posted some more of Chris Brand's observations on current events here. Apparently IQ expert Richard Lynn is getting a bit of exposure in the British media these days.

The Wicked one has a post about fire and brimstone.

In my latest upload of a published academic journal article I pull apart some claims by John Duckitt -- another Leftist psychologist who was sure he had shown what a bad lot conservatives are. Details here or here.


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.


Sunday, November 23, 2003


What conservatism means: Owen Harries (a fellow Australian and a former colleague of mine at the University of New South Wales) offers a useful review of the thought of Edmund Burke, long one of conservatism’s most influential writers and also, of course, a friend of the American revolutionaries. I liked several points: That Burke wrote BEFORE the French revolution degenerated into tryanny so was wise indeed to predict that tyranny; that he was an experienced practical politician rather than a theorist when he wrote so knew how people seeking privilege and influence really operate; that Burke was emphatic that change was necessary but just wanted it to be done carefully; that he consistently opposed abuse of power, no matter from where the abuse came.

Burke has been the thinker most quoted by conservatives for around 200 years but according to the usual Leftist view, the fact that Burke favoured change would make him not a conservative! It shows their gross ignorance of conservative thought. But of course they just KNOW what is the case -- no need for any reading.


Would you believe it? The Michael Jackson arrest is the fault of “white racism”? “The star's mother, Catherine Jackson, told the online version of Germany's Bunte magazine Friday that there were two interpretations of the law in the United States -- "one for whites and one for blacks."“

My post yesterday about the Dutch prompted the following email from a reader: “That confirms my experience over three years in England. I was in a tourism office one afternoon browsing some brochures when a couple of real tourists walked in. They noticed that the brochures were in Spanish, French, German and Italian; but there was no Dutch language. When they asked the clerk at the window why that was the case, she replied that all the Dutch speak English. I also knew a few people from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. They didn't just speak English, they spoke very good English; so did one of the local merchants who had emigrated from the Netherlands several years before and had become a British citizen. One of the Brits I knew was a bit peeved that this Dutchman cum Englishman had so completely adopted English customs. The Brit used to tell me: "He's Dutch, you know." And there is a guy I know here in Brisbane who I thought for years was a cockney (working-class Londoner) but who is in fact from “Nederland” (the country we English-speakers call “Holland” -- and for more on THAT see “Follies of the English language”).

In good Leftist media fashion, this article implies that all Brits and Europeans hate GWB and notes this comment: “"A great anti-Bush psychosis has taken hold in England". Such a mystery, isn’t it? Why do SOME Europeans hate GWB? It’s not the slightest mystery at all, of course. It’s just envy. The world once rotated around Western Europe. It now rotates around America. And GWB has refused to play that down. He has shown the power that the USA has and he has shown that he will use it if pushed far enough. And no wonder the Left above all hate him more than anyone else they can think of either in history or in the world today. Envy has always been a central part of their emotional motor so envy will affect them most of all. And the US Left hate him because it is not they who have their hands on the levers of that power. Envy, envy, envy! What an immensely destructive force it is in so many childish people!

I agree with Cal Thomas that jails should be reserved mainly for perpetrators of violent crimes. They cost too much to be used for much else. Having druggies there is absurd. I argued the case for that at some length long ago (PDF).

Johan Norberg's blog (from Sweden) has led me to this excellent commentary by Tyler Cowen on a much overlooked subject -- Remittances from guest workers -- which are arguably the most important form of foreign aid: "There is altogether too much talk about the United States being ungenerous with foreign aid. We show up as 21st in the rankings, in per capita terms, according to one estimate. These figures neglect remittances, where the U.S. is a very clear first with $28.4 billion a year sent to other countries. The bottom line: when it comes to other nations, the United States is the most generous country in the world.

Antagonizing China is a smart idea? "The Bush administration announced Tuesday that it is prepared to impose quotas, or safeguards, on three categories of textile imports from China. The long-awaited decision marks a major victory for the embattled U.S. textile industry, which has watched imports from China soar in the past two years as American plants have closed and workers have lost their jobs. ... [The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition] says the quotas are needed because imports have dramatically disrupted the textile industry. ... Others said the quotas would not help the textile industry be more competitive or save jobs, but rather it would cause prices to rise for American consumers."

Is there anything the “do-gooders” won’t oppose? "The inventors of a magic-bullet pill which is said to eliminate most heart attacks and strokes have opened negotiations with the Government on producing the treatment, which would be given to everyone over 55. .... The polypill would be a combination of six medicines to be taken once a day which, evidence suggests, would prevent 80 per cent of heart attacks and strokes. ... But the proposal has divided doctors. Some specialists say it could undermine the need for lifestyle changes."

I have just posted Chris Brand’s notes here about the reviews of IQ and the Wealth of Nations -- a book that shows how important national differences in IQ are.

The Wicked one has posts on both prayer and G-strings!

In 1983 I collaborated with an Indian psychologist to get a book published in India about that favourite topic of Leftist psychologists -- authoritarianism. Leftists rely on one particular and very problematic measure of authoritarianiasm for most of their conclusions about the matter. In the chapter from my Indian book just uploaded (See Chapter 6 here or the latest post here), I show that using any other measure of psychological authoritarianism produces results opposite to what Leftist psychologists believe to be true.


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, November 22, 2003


This writer has just attended a large international conference of business leaders. So what were these businessmen like? Were they greedy, power-hungry control freaks and crooks, as they are often portrayed? No. "The focus of the conference was value creation. Specifically, the attendees discussed how to be not merely profitable, but how to add economic value to their companies for the benefit of shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers and society. As an observer, I can testify that the comments made by these powerful and successful people were in flat contradiction to the caricature.

The conference participants condemned practices such as short-term thinking for quick financial gain, misstating financial results, unethical behavior, using shareholder money to acquire businesses that added no value to the shareholder, and treating employees like commodities.

They spoke of the absolute necessity of strong ethics not merely as a means to an end but as a way of honoring everyone with whom their business deals. Topics such as transparency, honesty, hard work, and solid decision-making came up frequently.

Perhaps most surprising -- given recent controversies about executive salaries and bonuses -- this group called for executive compensation to be pegged not merely to profit and loss statements, which can be manipulated by a variety of means. Instead, they promoted the idea that as the total value of the company goes up or down, so should the compensation of the executive. To a person, they advocated the need to peg the salaries and bonuses of employees to the value added or value lost so that the employee has a stake in the corporation's future."


The most recent Carnival of the Vanities is up at the elegant Peak Talk site. I notice that there is a sub-blog about the Netherlands there too. It even explains the collapse of the Dutch “pillars” -- which is less tragic than it sounds. I agree with his view that the Dutch have more in common with the Anglo-Saxons than other Europeans do. Dutch even has just about the same vowel sounds as British English, which is very unusual (though Dutch gutturals are another thing altogether). But the Anglo-Saxons who conquered Britain 1500 years age mostly set off from what is now the Netherlands so the affinities are less surprising than they might seem. There is even some DNA research (Weale et al., ‘Y Chromosome Evidence for Anglo-Saxon Mass Migration’, Molecular Biology and Evolution, 2002, vol. 19, pp.1008-21) showing that the Frisians (one part of the Netherlands) are genetically just about the same as the English. I tend to get on well with the Dutch (though from an easygoing Australian viewpoint they are infuriating sticklers for rules at times) and a Dutchman once told me I would make a good Dutchman -- which I took as a great compliment.

What is the best out-of-print book there is? I nominate Why Race Matters: Race Differences and What They Mean (Human Evolution, Behaviour and Intelligence) by philosopher Michael Levin. Amazon has some excellent and informative reviews of it that DO make one wonder WHY the book is out of print. Chris Brand's book on a related subject was pulped after an outcry from Leftists. Nazi-style book-burning is still with us. Marc Miyake has found a copy of Levin’s book in the library of the obscure college where he is at present interned, however, so keep an eye out for it next time you are in a college library.

A great Mark Steyn comment on antisemitism: "That's the great thing about the International Jewish Conspiracy: no Jews need be involved. One day, there will be only one Jew left on the whole planet. He'll be a Dean supporter who mangled his chad and accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan. But he'll still be controlling the Bush Administration. He'll be a non-observant, self-loathing Jew who doesn't find Jackie Mason funny. He'll be the principal fundraiser for Islamic Jihad. But everything will still be his fault"

Various Third-World countries are trying to put the internet under the control of the United Nations! That needs to be resisted mightily! Cyberspace is about the only really free place there is in the world today. And the prospect of taxes on the internet is discussed here

Mike Tremoglie has some telling examples of Leftist bias in the US mainstream media.

This article suggests that the nature of American society makes America ill-equipped to win the sort of intelligence war that they need to win if they are to defeat Islamic terrorism by police methods. I agree. I think that massive retailation against the communities that support terrorism is the only way America can defeat terrorism and America is still a long way from embracing that idea.

John Moore has a pretty worrying post about the nuclear threat from Iran.

The strange way they refer to terrorists in Iraq has convinced Arlene Peck that the Los Angeles Times is not only anti-Jewish but also anti-American.

Keith Burgess-Jackson has a good post on why intellectuals tend to be Left-leaning (I refuse to call them “liberals” -- because they are anything BUT liberty-oriented).

The Blog Quebecois is a good one despite its unpropitious location. He has an interesting rule: “On all great moral questions, I first consult Barbra Streisand's website. If she's fer somethin', I'm agin it; and vice versa. I have followed this regime faithfully for many years now, and I am today a happy man”

Commiewatch is a good site for keeping track of the still-alive Communist influence on various “peace” and “protest” demonstrations. Such things are almost invariably highly organized rather than spontaneous and it is the lunar Left that does the organizing.

In my latest academic upload (see here or here) I review a book that is useful for debunking most of the research that has been done on psychological authoritarianism.


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, November 21, 2003


If I have any Leftist readers, this post should make them froth at the mouth

There is a great letter here from someone in Britain who watched GWB’s interview there on TV. It highlights the contradictory views many of GWB’s detractors have of him and the arrogance behind such views.

The point the letter makes about GWB’s relative inarticulateness reminds me of a similar phenomenon here in my home State of Queensland. Queensland was run for nearly 20 years by the very conservative Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen. I was one of his party members. “Sir Joh”, as he was known, was universally condemned by the intelligentsia for his inarticulateness. He spoke like the ill-educated farmer he was. The media regularly said he made no sense at all. But he made plenty of sense to the ordinary Queenslanders who voted for him and in one State election (1974) his government actually got 59% of the popular vote -- a majority so large as to be almost unheard of in a Westminster democracy.

The big political battle in Australia in the mid-70s was in fact between the immensely erudite and silver-tongued Leftist Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, and the stumble-tongued but very canny Queensland Premier. And when the 1975 Federal election came around Sir Joh did Whitlam like a dinner. The Leftists won only one out of 18 Queensland seats -- which lost them power in Australia as a whole.

So I think that is a pretty good augury for GWB next time he faces the voters. I suspect that his “inarticulateness” is an asset to him with his voters too. And if GWB does as much good for the USA in his second term as Sir Joh did for Queensland he will be doing very well indeed.


It looks like Brookes News has declared war on the “Sydney Morning Herald” this week. Analogies with the “New York Times” do spring to mind

Thoughts on Marx, Keynes and the US recession. The upturn in the US economy has certainly disinterred some economic verities. It also got me thinking about economic absurdities.
Is the Sydney Morning Herald's Alan Ramsey anti-Semitic? Alan Ramsey of the Sydney Morning Herald accuses the Jews of starting Middle East terrorism. Naturally, it follows that they are only getting what they deserve. I guess that also includes the kids.
Daschle: callous bigoted and dangerous. Like it or not, Tom Daschle has lot in common with the late Salvador Allende, the former Marxist president of Chile who tried to turn his country into another Cuban dungeon. Like Allende Daschle also holds his country's constitution and traditions in contempt.
A howl of anguish from a Bush and Howard hater. Jane Doulman's anti-Howard, anti-Bush article in Web Diary, Sydney Morning Herald, said it all about the left. Its callousness, hypocrisy, contempt for the truth and indifference to the suffering of others.
The Hollywood Syndrome and the left. A look at how the left control Hollywood.
The latest Palestinian textbook calls for holy war and martyrdom. The following exposes the hate and bigotry that motivates Islamo-fascists. It also refutes the vicious anti-Semitic claim of Alan Ramsey of the Sydney Morning Herald that the Jews are responsible for Palestinian terrorism.

Details here


Jeff Jacoby points out some of the faulty reasoning in the Taxachusetts decision on homosexual marriage. And here is an article that in my view badly misstates the libertarian position on marriage generally. I have always thought it clear that the libertarian position is that marriage should never be anything other than a private contract between the parties concerned.

The Left never ceases to show its true colours. In this story we hear of Australian union leader Doug Cameron being bashed by other unionists because he is not Leftist enough. Ironically Cameron is a knee-jerk Leftist like the Scotsman he is -- but even that is not Leftist enough, apparently. So “compassionate”!

This was a good open letter to GWB from an Englishman that sums the Left up very succinctly: “You will find yourself assailed on every hand by some pretty pretentious characters collectively known as the British left. They traditionally believe they have a monopoly on morality and that your recent actions preclude you from the club. You opposed and destroyed the world's most blood-encrusted dictator. This is quite unforgivable. I beg you to take no notice. The British left intermittently erupts like a pustule upon the buttock of a rather good country. Seventy years ago it opposed mobilisation against Adolf Hitler and worshipped the other genocide, Josef Stalin. It has marched for Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Andropov. It has slobbered over Ceausescu and Mugabe. It has demonstrated against everything and everyone American for a century. Broadly speaking, it hates your country first, mine second” Via the WSJ

Conservative Truth has a couple of amusing pictures to accompany its comment on “Neanderthal” Ted Kennedy.

I have just posted some more of Chris Brand’s thoughts here. He notes “Islamic Awareness” fallacies and attacks on moral relativism.

Leftist psychologists are obsessed with the fact that conservatives are more acceptant of the power and authority arrangements in our present society than they are. They think it shows that conservatives are literally out of their minds. I have therefore written a lot in the academic journals about psychological authoritarianism -- showing the Leftist view to be wrong on just about every count (See here). I was however for most of my academic career employed in a university Sociology Department so I did on one occasion look at the sociology instead of the psychology of authoritarianism. I compared the degree of authoritarianism in British, American and Australian society. I found that Britain was a much more army-like (or ant-like) place than either Australia or the USA. Details here or here


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, November 20, 2003


Keith Burgess-Jackson has a short follow-up to my post on J.S. Mill, in which I noted Mill’s anti-liberty deeds. Keith explains that Mill never was anything like a libertarian philosophically either.

And a reader gives some of the history of how an apparent love of liberty somehow got tangled up with socialism:

“Joseph Stromberg sees Mill's embrace of socialism as a by product of his experiences as an imperial administrator. A lot of the socialistic liberals essentially learned their craft out in the colonies, which were not usually administered according to laissez faire principles stoutly defended at home. He mentions Wakefield, whose schemes played a prominent role in the development of the British colonies of South Australia and New Zealand, both of which were the more 'progressive' or socialistic of the Australasian colonies. There are some parallels on the other side of the Atlantic a generation or so later, where many of the "progressive era" administrators had trial runs in reordering the new colonies like the Philippines and Cuba.

Historically socialists have (following Lenin) criticised "imperialism" as the last or "highest" stage of capitalism, yet on these grounds you could argue that "imperialism" wasn't so much the last stage of capitalism, merely the first stage of socialism!!

There was a paper by Milton Friedman (called, “Is a free society stable?” published in the New Individualist Review, 2(2):3--10, 1962 and reproduced in a compendium edited by Tibor Machan), that speculated about these issues. He said that many of the 19th century liberals, especially the utilitarians and Benthamites -- and JSM would seem to have at least one foot in this camp -- opposed interventionist government in the 18th century, not because they were individualists but because government was so corrupt. After centuries of mercantilism, no self respecting social reformer would dream of using government to implement their utopia, anymore than the Greens today would consider lobbying the mafia to fight global warming.

So the reformers were happy to make a tactical alliance with the individualists. Individualists are always a minority group and rarely have the numbers to "rule" in their own right. In the 18th Century, Britain was considered a relatively lawless land of smugglers, highwaymen with corrupt officials and judges. Yet by the 19th Century, the Brits were renowned for almost painful "Victorian" rectitude and lawfulness. Friedman says it was the laissez faire reforms that took the profit out of politics and encouraged a renewed respect for law. This also made late 19th Century civil service reforms possible. The old spoils system was replaced by professionalism and academic excellence.

These laissez faire era reforms made it possible for the social reformers and utopians to now start to see the State as useful engine for social reform. Hence JSM's shift from liberalism to socialism, and the growth of big government over the last century. Friedman saw a silver lining behind all this. As the state has grown, corruption, black marketeering and influence peddling have proliferated. These forces may act as 'limits to growth' for big government and undermine the political consensus behind it”

Leftists sure do get themselves confused. Probably because they don’t really stand for anything at all. Any policies at all will do -- as long as it makes them sound good and noble.


For once I agree with the NYT: “For Tony Blair, ousting Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do. Mr. Blair got very little in return for his steadfast support of American policy, but then he never expected he would. Decisively dealing with the threat was enough of a reward — even if doing so meant risking his political future. For Mr. Blair, a man who came to power often derided as a master of spin and as overreliant on polls and focus groups, the Iraq crisis marked him as the conviction politician he is”

"So, let's see --- GOP uses immigration in 1994, and wins. GOP concedes the issue to the Democrats in 1998 and 2002, and is annihilated. GOP uses immigration again in 2003, and wins. Does anyone notice a pattern here?" They should. Immigration-control has been a winner for conservatives in Australia. One can only wonder when US and UK conservatives will wise up.

Opinion Journal expresses the hope that Republican politician Bobby Jindal will become the first Indian-American US Senator. In that context I might note again that under the wicked old “racist” British Empire, two Indians represented English electorates in the House of Commons long ago (Dadadhai Naoroji 1892-1895 and M.M. Bhownagree 1895-1906). Australia elected its first Aboriginal (Australian native black) Senator -- the conservative Neville Bonner -- in 1971 -- representing my allegedly redneck home State of Queensland.

Andrew Bolt has a report from a young Indonesian Muslim which explains why so many Muslims hate us so much. What we have seems like heaven on earth to them but we get it by what they are taught are demonic means. In short, our very existence makes them and their religion look dumb.

Chris Brand is posting up a storm lately. For convenience, I have transferred some of his latest postings here. He mentions a new book on IQ and the heritability of criminal tendencies, among other things.

I am really proud of this story. And they’ve got a photo to prove it! Australia has a Prime Minister at the moment who is a real human being. And he is a conservative, needless to say. I can’t imagine a similar thing happening in many other countries.

My latest academic upload (see here or here) is one of many wherein I have taken on the task of pointing out to fellow psychologists that they have ignored most of the relevant literature on the topic they discuss and hence makes asses of themselves. In this case the psychologists I criticized wrote a reply showing that they had STILL not absorbed or taken account of what others had found on their subject so I was allowed to write a rejoinder pointing that out. See here or here. The whole episode is a vivid illustration of the Leftist influence in psychology. They just KNOW they have got it right and evidence is just a bother.


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.


Wednesday, November 19, 2003


J.S. Mill is often seen by libertarians as one of their founding fathers. This passage from his famous essay "On liberty" tells you why:

"The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to some one else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

Mill did not, however, take his own advice. In his day he was a radical -- advocating all sorts of government intervention in people's lives. Sad. In Parliament, Mill supported such measures as public ownership of natural resources, compulsory education, and birth control. Like Marx, he thought you had to use coercion to get to liberty. Unfortunately, only the coercion ever arrives that way. Liberty never does.

But here is another wise thing he said: ""War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."


Logic Monkey has found that Saddam STILL has his admirers among the US media. And Leftist university students still like Saddam too. And Opinion Journal notes that even America’s “liberal” bigwigs are still defending Saddam. It's not much of a hope but I hope it's really a hatred of their own country rather than a liking for the ghastly Saddam.

"It is dumb to suppose that the way to decrease crime is to make sure all potential victims of violent crime are disarmed. It is dumber yet to believe that a criminal will obey a gun-control law. No bank robber or rapist has ever set out and then stopped and said, 'Gosh, I don't have a permit for this weapon, so I guess I'd better not rob that bank or rape that girl.' No serial killer has ever said: 'Gosh, I can't kill this person with an unregistered weapon. That would be against the law.' The dumbest idea is to suppose that an inanimate object can turn a noncriminal into a criminal. To believe that guns cause crime is as stupid as believing that hammers and saws cause houses."

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson tells it like it is: “The problems of the black community are due to a lack of moral character and not racism.... . Over 90% of black homicides in America are committed by other blacks, but instead of addressing the root causes of black-on-black crime, the NAACP absurdly blames gun manufacturers. The average black public high school graduate has in reality only an eighth-grade education, yet the NAAPC vehemently opposes school choice”

Enemies of freedom: "The city of Miami is bracing this week for 20,000 demonstrators determined to disrupt negotiations on trade among 34 countries.... The protesters object to plans for a Free Trade Area of the Americas, which would create a market encompassing the Western Hemisphere except Cuba”

Moronic US airport security strikes again. Why Americans allow such Stalinism is beyond me.

I have just been linked to by a Tamil blog. Tamils live mostly in South East India and have their own alphabet so I have not the faintest clue what the blog is all about but it does have some nice pictures. I have actually collaborated on psychological research in Tamil Nadu in bygone days so I was a little more pleased than usual to get the link.

Kiwi Pundit has a fabulous example of how the honchos of socialist medicine fix the problem of long waiting lists.

Michael Darby has just posted one of his periodical “Reports” on the net again here. He notes the 70th anniversary of the Soviet genocide against the Ukraine, links to a Daniel Pipes post about “George Bush the Radical” and has much else besides -- including his usual extensive reports from Zimbabwe.

UK blogger Peter Cuthbertson is back in action with a new address for “Conservative Commentary”

The Wicked one has an unusual horoscope that should manage to offend most people.

My latest academic upload (see here or here) offers some evidence to show that what appears on TV and in the media generally does form people’s perception of what is normal. When the survey was conducted 20 years ago, Australian TV had very little representation of any minority group. In both Australia and the USA that has since changed drastically of course. So if what appears on TV does help form impressions of what is normal (as Leftists indeed would seem to hope that it does) people outside America who watch American TV shows these days might well think that American blacks are in general clever, sophisticated and witty.


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.


Tuesday, November 18, 2003


Amusing: The allegedly academic but in reality far-Left “International Society for Political Psychology” that Instapundit recently outed is falling on hard times. Look at the email they have just sent out. People are cancelling their subscriptions in droves. Who wants to PAY for propaganda?


A thorough analysis of how the Greenies caused most of the recent Califonia fire disaster is here

"Light Rail" has been a popular Greenie answer to city transport problems for a generation. In Sydney, Australia, a couple of light rail 'solutions' have been tried but they are hardly ever used. It appears that Sydney's experience is pretty common.

"Does [the Natural Resources Defense Council] care that their information was deceptive? Do they care that they distort the whole environmental issue in the minds of the public? Do they care that they cause a lot of extra work and expense by others to disprove information they KNEW was deceptive? Do they care that they destroy businesses and careers with their lies? Hell ... why should they care ... that's how they got to be so big and wealthy ... by suckering people before the truth could correct their lies."

"Global warming": The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has publicly acknowledged that the National Assessment on Climate Change was NOT "subjected to OSTP's Information Quality Act guidelines." This backdown now appears in the middle of the U. S. Global Change Research Program's web site. For once, what sounds like bureaucratic fluff actually means something. The implications are spelt out here.

And the Greenies now want to hike taxes on air travel. In the name of saving the world, they want to stop people from seeing it. They are certainly not shy about dictating to people. "We know best" is their undoubted creed. A pity they are such ignoramuses.

And their ignorance shows very clearly in their opposition to genetically-modified crops. The ecological advantages of GM are discussed here.

Brazil looks like it is converting to GM crops willy-nilly, despite Brazilian government opposition. Latin anarchy can have its advantages.

There is a supposed psychological analysis (with not an atom of proof given for any assertion made) of Rush Limbaugh’s audience here. The bit I liked is the claim that Limbaugh’s audience “are mindlessly agreeing with the powerful economic interests he insidiously represents”. Agreeing with Limbaugh has to be mindless, get it? A person just could not thoughtfully and intelligently agree with Limbaugh. And our supposed analyst accuses Limbaugh of being simplistic and dogmatic! Once again we see a Leftist engaging in “projection” -- seeing his own faults in others. And Limbaugh is “insidious”? How can he be insidious and simplistic at the same time? I would have thought that Limbaugh is as straightforward as you can get. Link via Earthly Passions

Hooray! The Peking People’s Daily has thrown its weight behind the importance of IQ! They see the high average IQ of Chinese as a perfectly reasonable finding! They also think that Chinese have better ethics! I agree. It is largely for that reason that I have two Han Chinese living in my own house.

And the more law abiding nature of East Asians also explains why the governor of Okinawa wants to reduce crime by getting U.S. Marines withdrawn. Black American troops HAVE been responsible for shocking crimes there by Asian standards -- though similar crimes would not make the news in New York. The Okinawans would be happy to see just the blacks go but you cannot mention that, of course.

A delightful post at Samizdata on a totally original approach to taxation from Switzerland. It is too rational to catch on widely, I fear. We would never slip it past our hate- and envy-filled Leftists.

Peter Hitchens thinks the Queen should block Britain’s accession to the new EU constitution. She certainly has that power and her use of it in that way would undoubtedly be popular but I cannot see her breaking with tradition to do it -- much as I hope she would. But the EU constitution would undoubtedly reduce her role and powers so she just might. The Royal powers have been used to good effect in Australia in the not too distant past -- amazing though that must seem to most Americans.

French President Chirac has made a big show of condemning antisemitism but any concrete results from that have yet to be seen. The Dreyfus case in the 19th century showed how antisemitic the French are. As far as I can see, nothing has changed. For the French idea of “action” against antisemitism, see the last part of this article.

Jeff Jacoby puts the argument against homosexual marriage. Personally, I think in ANY marriage it is the relationship that matters, not the bit of paper describing it. But I have been married four times so maybe I am just an old cynic.

An interesting comparison of the American campaign in Iraq with a great imperial campaign of the past here. Via Photon Courier

ABC Watch has a good comment about “concern” in the Australian media over Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

The latest upload of a chapter from my book (See here or Chapter 21 here) is another shot in the unending war against the perennial folly of protectionism. GWB's steel tariff is the best-known current example of that particular folly.


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.