Saturday, April 19, 2003


This article from "Spiked" (which is well worth reading in full) argues that the debate about "designer babies" is driven largely by a resentment of the power over their lives and futures that modern technology gives to ordinary people: "Running through the debates about designer babies, from disability to sex selection to 'designing' a baby to treat a sick sibling, is a deep mistrust of individuals". The elites want all powers of decision in THEIR hands. They do not want ordinary people empowered. They are sure that they can do better for children than the parents of the child can. This is classic Leftist rubbish, of course: "Big brother" knows best. There are of course bad and uncaring parents but there are proportionately far more bad and uncaring bureaucrats. Let people make their own reproductive decisions. It is not a proper sphere for government and the courts. The elitists will be wanting to dictate whom we can have sex with and whom we can marry next.

Being myself a parent of an IVF child of whom I am immensely proud (pic here), I would like to punch some of these "ethicists" in the mouth. What right do these tinpot Hitlers have to tell other people what children they can have? There can be few children more wanted than an IVF child so the chances of such a child being mistreated in some way by its parents are vanishingly small. Compare that to how children are often treated whilst under "official" care in orphanages and the like.



Bureaucrats in Melbourne (Australia) accused a woman of illegally sub-letting her apartment. They cancelled her rent rebate, upped her weekly rent by $110 and demanded bank statements and income receipts for her live-in companion, Barnaby, the teddy bear. Collingwood public housing authorities assumed she was living with someone because she mentioned the teddy bear on her answering machine. They could not be convinced otherwise until a consumer advocacy group intervened on her behalf.

Herald Sun (Australia) via 8-Apr-03. Via Jerry Lerman.



I never thought I would agree with a Pop star about anything but from my experience "Madonna" is entirely fair and accurate in these remarks:

The singer has declared that Britons don't work as hard as Americans.
"They're not willing to work - you know, stay in the office for 12 hours a day," Madonna said in remarks unlikely to impress many hard-pressed employees. "I find that people in Europe are much more interested in the quality of life. They're not so work-orientated”. "It's different. They know how to enjoy life better. But Americans know how to get things done quicker," she said.

Madonna, 44, who enraged British builders two years ago by accusing them of laziness - "the working week starts at noon on Monday and ends at noon on Friday" - added that living in England had made her appreciate the US more. "It was really important for me to get outside of America, to live in England and appreciate the fabulous things about America, like customer services and stuff."

But I think most Australians find the Poms to be resentful that they have to work. It seems probable that for centuries it was mostly the slackers who stayed at home in England while the more energetic Englishmen emigrated to where greater opportunities were to be found. Australians and Americans are the descendants of the emigrants. {Only about 3% of Australians have convict ancestry (though I am one of them) -- the rest are the descendants of free emigrants.}



We have an amazing sequel to the tale of woe about the Iraq national museum looted by the liberated Iraqis. I am sure that I am one of many who felt heartsick at the news of the losses but look what we find now:

Donny George, the director-general of restoration at the Iraqi Antiquities Department, Wednesday said his staff had preserved the museum's most important treasures, including the kings' graves of Ur and the Assyrian bulls. These objects were hidden in vaults that haven't been violated by looters. "Most of the things were removed. We knew a war was coming

Donny George? Not Abu Mohammed Hamas or some such name? Sounds like an American or a Brit to me. So our people DID protect the Iraqis from themselves after all! And why didn't US forces stop such looting as did take place? Because there were people in the museum who were firing on the US forces!

There is also an article here that says that in fact Saddam and his son Uday were the chief looters.



Here is a good cartoon representation of what has just happened to Jacques Chirac.

Michael Darby presents a program for practical reform in Africa.

The Wicked one has a quite amazing post on the bumbling bureaucracy of socialized medicine.

Chris Brand points out that Prof. Pinker gets the wobbles when he uses his knowledge of genetics to address issues concened with race.

In my academic posting of April 17th here, I point out that “conservative” -- with its meaning of “opposed to change” -- is no longer an appropriate name for the political Right as there are in fact heaps of things about modern society that Rightists would like to change. I urge that academics at least should just call Rightists Rightists and stop calling them conservatives.


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Friday, April 18, 2003


There is an interesting book review here about the fall of France to the Germans in 1941. The combined British and French forces were in fact larger than the German forces so the defeat of the French, like the defeat of the Iraquis, happened so quickly mainly because the French did not want to fight. It argues that the French emphasis on culture, philosophy and the soft life made them unwilling soldiers and also made them arrogant towards everyone non-French. Not much has changed.



A recovering Francophile tells us that antisemitism and racism generally is widespread in France with antisemitism being pervasive among the French Left:

There is little anti-Semitism among French conservatives today. They certainly do not make alliances with, or excuses for, people who cite the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as evidence of anything. Alas, this cannot be said for the old and young left that once prided itself on its principled animus to racisms of all sorts. La Nouvelle Judeophobie, written by Director of Research at the Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifique Pierre-Andre Taguieff and published in 2001 by Fayard, painstakingly documents how the core expressions of the self-described "anti-racist" left-- its intellectuals, academics, journalists, bien-pensants, and artists-- are downright anti-Semitic.... And their views are echoed by the polled public opinion of ordinary Frenchmen.



In this review of Palestinian history, the author points out that all the evidence shows that the vast majority of Palestinians want nothing less than the total destruction of Israel and that they have held Jews in contempt for generations. So there is just no basis for our Western ideas of compromise there. I think the present Israeli policy of simply walling off the Palestinians from the Jewish areas is in fact the only viable solution. Excerpt:

I have come away from my examination of the history of the conflict with a sense of the instinctive rejectionism that runs like a dark thread through Palestinian history- a rejection, to the point of absurdity, of the history of the Jewish link to the land of Israel; a rejection of the legitimacy of Jewish claims to Palestine; a rejection of the right of the Jewish state to exist. And, worse, this rejectionism has over the decades been leavened by a healthy dose of anti-Semitism, a perception of the Jew as God's and humanity's unchosen

(This item crosposted on Dissecting Leftism and Israpundit.)



“An SAS soldier has been charged with kicking a corpse and will be tried by a Defence Force magistrate.” How insane and trivial-minded can you get? How are soldiers supposed to express their feelings towards somebody who has just tried to ambush them? This is yet another bout of crazy political correctness -- one that the Army could certainly do without.

(This item crossposted on Dissecting Leftism and PC Watch)



One-time Leftist, William Shawcross has written a great article pointing out how hollow the usual criticisms of GWB are. A rather inspiational article, in fact, that expresses considerable admiration for GWB’s vision.

Good comment via The Federalist: “UN Secretary-General Annan said he thinks the arms inspectors should resume looking for weapons in Iraq. Forget looking for arms in Iraq -- how about looking for backbones in the UN?”

What a joke! “U.N. arms inspectors are ready to get back into Iraq to finish the job of looking for any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons but don't want to work under a new U.S.-led disarmament effort”

Snoofmadrune, who appears to be a bit of a linguist, has an amazing report from France. Apparently French “peace” marchers are claiming that THEY got rid of Saddam! You can’t beat French logic.

Michael Darby has a post about the destructive arrogance of Greenie bureaucrats in Sydney.

Chris Brand has just got a letter into The Times of London defending race realism.

The Wicked one has a bit of a laugh about a recent “time traveller” report.

In my academic posting of April 16th here, I try to point out to my fellow psychologists that conservatism in the sense of rejection of all change is essentially irrelevant to the present-day Right-Left divide and that studies of Rightism which define it as opposition to change are therefore irrelevant to current politics

Carnival of the Vanities is up again. If variety is the life of spice it is very spicy.


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Thursday, April 17, 2003


From the latest newsletter from David Horowitz:

The threat of pre-emptive war is a form of protection. It tells Iran and Syria -- the sponsors of Hizbollah and Hamas and al-Qaeda terrorists who have killed American citizens -- that the consequences of their covert aggressions can be deadly, to them. Syria and Iran have already done no less than the Taliban regime in Afghanistan when we attacked it. Should the United States tie its hands and force its citizens to wait for another World Center scale attack before allowing them a response?

Critics of the war in Iraq, claimed that the Administration should have allowed Saddam Hussein more time to continue his evasion of the UN resolutions and focused on the nuclear threat from North Korea instead. What credibility would American demands to North Korea have had, however, if we had continued to appease Saddam and ignore his defiance of UN resolutions? Far from being a distraction, the pre-emptive war against Saddam Hussein has enhanced the ability of the United States to deter North Korea from its sinister plans.



5000 pages of red-tape for the newcomers and little gain in economic clout

EIGHT former members of the Soviet bloc and two Mediterranean islands have signed treaties to join the European Union next year and reunite the continent a decade and a half after the fall of the Berlin Wall... The leaders of the EU's 25 current and soon-to-be member states met in the shadow of the Acropolis in Athens, the birthplace of democracy, to sign the 5000-page accession treaty... The EU is now set to expand to 450 million people, surpassing North America as the world's biggest economic zone.
But the new members will bring comparatively little to the table – their collective gross domestic product is the same as the Netherlands'



From the WSJ:

But the majority of the American left, and especially its leading media voices, remain flummoxed if not embarrassed by America's Iraq victory. These include most Democrats in Congress, the editors (though not all reporters) of the New York Times and its acolytes at CNN and the major networks, and of course most academic experts. They can barely bring themselves to celebrate the downfall of a tyrant



Today’s silliest article: “USA Today” argues that Islamic terrorists have a presence in Africa and that the USA should therefore solve the problems of Africa. I think it would take the second coming of Christ to solve the problems of Africa. The British spent decades building up modern societies and economies in their African colonies and left thriving countries behind them when they pulled out. It has been all downhill in Africa since. The idea that the USA could suddenly reverse that is typical knee-jerk liberal nonsense.

Theodore Dalrymple explains why no African country will ever be like a Western one and why Westernizing tendencies make things worse rather than better for Africans.

Today’s silliest headline: HOW WE LOST THE IRAQ WAR. It is of course the work of a far Leftist -- Ted Rall. He claims that the Iraqis did NOT welcome US troops and that what we saw on TV was all a put-up job. What a sad dreamer!

Bill Clinton has just blasted current US foreign policy. Asked what he would do instead he said that that he would scrap the tax cut! Good liberal logic there!

Thousands of illegal immigrants find their way into American hospitals every year for care they can neither get at home nor pay for in the United States. The good old generous American taxpayer!

Several people have made the point that Saeed al-Sahaf, Saddam’s delusional TV spokesman, would be perfect for a slot pontificating on public radio. His views would be respected among those who argue that there are “many realities”.

In her post of 11th, Kimberly Swygert points out that 72% of African American students in Los Angeles cannot read by the 10th grade level! So who said that the very low average score gained by blacks on IQ tests is meaningless or misleading?

Fun! Drinking bottled water has been linked to tooth decay.

Bulk, unsolicited email, or spam, will be outlawed in Australia, possibly by the end of this year, the Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston, said on Wednesday. Good if it has any effect.

Michael Darby has more bad news about Zimbabwe plus some optimism about Iraq

Chris Brand defends a Scotsman who was accused of racism for wanting to preserve traditional Gaelic culture.

The Wicked one thinks that “Pro-life” is a misnomer sometimes.

In my academic posting of April 15th here, I show that there is a slight tendency only for less educated people to be conservative.


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Wednesday, April 16, 2003


REALLY conservative readers may be interested to note that a leading member of the opposition Iraqi National Congress is also the head of the Iraqi Constitutional Monarchy Movement. He is Sharif Ali Bin Al-Hussein, an urbane, sophisticated and widely respected man, and a former investment banker. In fact, from its formation under the British mandate after the First World War, until the bloody coup in 1958 when most of the Royal Family were murdered, Iraq was a constitutional monarchy. More here



It really is pretty strange how being a Communist is usually seen as a minor peccadillo these days whereas being a Nazi is totally execrated. I would have thought that there was not much to choose between the two. A reader sent the following explanation to me:

You know how Hannah Arendt claims, in Antisemitism, that part of the reason why antiSemites hate Jews is that they fear that Jews might really be the "Chosen people"? Well, by the same line of reasoning, one could argue that the reason Americans hate the Nazis is this: Americans fear that the Germans might really be the Superior Race. That is probably why the U.S. Media focuses so much more on the crimes of Nazi Germany than those of Soviet Russia and Red China, despite the fact that Soviet Russia and Red China were each chock full of Concentration Camps too, and were at least as vicious and savage about how they had captured, tortured, and killed their victims.

I wonder if there is a grain of truth in that? I simply do not know. The idea that Northern Europeans are innately superior in any way is SO politically incorrect these days that one wonders whether a fear that the idea might have some truth in it might be part of the reason why it is rejected so furiously. I think the main reason for the difference, however, is that Communists are better hypocrites. They pretend to be compassionate where the Nazis did not so people give Communists the benefit of the doubt. No-one who knows history would do so, however.



The UCLA Faculty Senate has voted 180-7 to condemn the war, making it the first university to do so since Iraq's liberation. The value of a university education is becoming increasingly doubtful. I think all the people with real brains must have gone into business by now.

Great! The United States has invited its coalition partners to talks on rebuilding Iraq — but it has left out countries that opposed the war, including Germany, France and Russia.

Funny that! One day after the White House cancelled a trip by President George Bush to Canada due to what it said was lack of time, it announced the president would host the Prime Minister of Australia at his ranch in Texas

What a joke! THE Italian parliament has approved sending a contingent of paramilitary police to Iraq to help restore law and order. Italians are great people but nobody can be good at everything.

Speaking of the still-marching “peace” demonstrators, China hand asks: Now that order is returning to Baghdad one wonders what will the foam-flecked ones find to remonstrate against then? “Bring back Saddam”, maybe? China Hand also thinks that the recent “progress” with North Korea may be China’s doing.

An American Leftist’s comment on the recent American victory in Iraq: "It's demoralizing, there's no question about that,"

A committed Maoist gives his view of the way the mainstream Left opposed the Iraq war:
“It is too late for the so-called Left in Australia to stand anywhere but condemned for its failure to support the successful war to liberate Iraq. It stood on the side of reaction, and the history books must place its leaders alongside the British pacifists of the '30s who, as George Orwell pointed out, gave comfort and objective support to Hitler. The pseudo-Left proved not just that it can be wrong but that in the name of anti-Americanism it can support fascism.” Hard to argue with that.

The Times of London comments: “Tony Blair staggered the last stretch of his war marathon yesterday, a man now running on pure willpower, gaunt, gritted, visibly elated, and profoundly, knee-saggingly knackered“. The world certainly owes the Prime Minister a great debt of gratitude for the immense effort he put into this. His place in history as a truly sincere and committed humanitarian is now secure.

And a good comment from the Times on the leader of the British Liberals: With bright pink face and orange hair over a sludgy green tie, the leader of Liberal Democrats looked like a sunset over a sewage farm.

A very naughty question from Silflay Hraka: “If the Canadian healthcare system is so much better than that of the United States, why are there no SARS deaths here and 13 there?”

Chris Brand has just had a new essay on IQ published in an academic journal.

Michael Darby has a story from a peacenik who woke up to what was happrening in Iraq before the war.

In my academic posting of April 14th here, I point out how a comparison between two Australian States shows that high levels of education in the population can go with a SLOWER rate of economic development. Having lots of people in the population with university education can be bad for prosperity. It is not hard to think of reasons why.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2003


The great hopes that are presently riding on a transition to democracy in Iraq remind me of a claim still popular in some circles: That democracies never make war on one another. It would be nice if that were true but those who know their ancient history point to the attack of the Athenian democracy on Syracuse as a counter example and those who know their modern history point to the American civil war as a counter-example. The Confederacy was roughly as democratic as the Union.

Those who favour the “peaceful democracy” theory manage to hem and haw their way out of the examples concerned by adding limitations to their theory, however, so let me point out another VERY large exception: World War I. Germany in 1914 was a democracy! And a rather enlightened one at that which took better care of its people than almost any other country at that time did. Wartime propaganda which portrayed the war as the doing of “Kaiser Bill” still lives on but the legal powers of the German monarch were in fact not dissimilar to those of the British monarch. This entry about the Kaiser from the Encyclopedia Britannica is a useful starting point for understanding what actually went on:

William often bombastically claimed to be the man who took the decisions. It is true that the German constitution of 1871 put two important powers in his hands. First, he was responsible for appointing and dismissing the chancellor, the head of the civil government. Admittedly, the chancellor could only govern if he could get a majority in the Reichstag, but this limitation on the emperor's freedom of choice was more apparent than real, because most members of the Reichstag felt it their loyal duty to support whomever the Kaiser appointed. Secondly, the German Army and Navy were not responsible to the civil government, so that the Kaiser was the only person in Germany who was in a position to see that the policy followed by the soldiers and sailors was in line with that pursued by the civil servants and diplomats. Thus, British journalists and publicists had some justification when during and immediately after the war they portrayed the Kaiser as Supreme War Lord, and therefore the man who, more than anyone else, decided to make war.

As time passes, however, historians are increasingly coming to see William as an accomplice rather than an instigator. In the years after 1890 the German upper and middle classes would have wanted a larger say in the world's councils no matter who had been on the throne, and this "urge to world power" was almost bound to bring them into collision with some of the existing great powers. The chief real criticism to be made of the Kaiser is that, instead of seeing this danger and using his influence to restrain German appetites, he shared those appetites and indeed increased them, particularly by his determination to give Germany a navy of which it could be proud. He was a quick-witted, well-meaning man who went with the stream instead of having the vision and strength of judgment to stand out against it.

So the difference between the British and German monarchies was not so much one of different legal powers but of different styles. The Queen is also legally the one who appoints British Prime Ministers and who is head of Britain’s armed forces. Just because the British monarch normally does not exercise visible power may create the illusion that he/she has no power but the power is in fact there. This is best shown in Australia, where the royal powers are vested in the Governors and Governors General. These viceroys have in fact twice in the last century exercised their vice-regal powers to dismiss elected governments! And if the newly restored King of Spain could face down a military coup in 1981, how much more authoritative the Queen of England would be if any such crisis arose!

I might add that the Britannica’s comment that the German parliament felt duty-bound to support whatever Chancellor (Prime Minister) the Kaiser chose is a gross exaggeration. Even the brilliant Chancellor Bismarck had a lot of trouble with German parliaments. Germany was undoubtedly in 1914 as much a democracy as the Britain it went to war with. Democracy is unquestionably a good thing but it is no guarantee of peace.

For those who take an interest in ancient history it is clear from the account of the Athenian attack given in Thucydides that Syracuse was also democratic. We read:

". . . Meanwhile the Syracusans burned their dead and then held an assembly, in which Hermocrates, son of Hermon, a man who with a general ability of the first order had given proofs of military capacity and brilliant courage in the war, came forward and encouraged them, and told them not to let what had occurred make them give way, since their spirit had not been conquered . . ." [later] "The Syracusans heard him, and voted everything as he advised, and elected three generals . . "

And as far as mediaeval history is concerned we might note that many of the Italian city States (such as Venice) were both democratic and aggressive. Although not exactly a case of one democracy attacking another, the account of the ancient and blind Doge (President) Dandolo sailing off at the head of the Venetian fleet to loot Constantinople is still one of history’s most remarkable and dastardly tales.



Is GWB smart? Success in Iraq proves Bush is smarter than his Leftist critics anyway.

One good thing about the Baghdad looting: “At the French cultural center, where looters burst water pipes and flooded the ground floor, books were left floating in the reading rooms and corridors, and a photograph of Jacques Chirac, the French president, was smashed.” I think that counts as very restrained in the circumstances!

Michael Darby has a letter of repentance from a Scotsman who now appreciates America much more than he once did.

Chris Brand thinks that the wide variety of choices now available to women will lead to a variety of reproductive contracts between people rather than the traditional monogamous marriage contract. Polygamy anyone?

The Wicked one is rather derisive about a practitioner of “Wicca”.

In my academic posting of April 13th here, I point out that some researchers who found conservatives to be “despairing” did not know how to measure despair.


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Monday, April 14, 2003


Maybe I am a sentimental old fool but I must admit that this comment about the seven rescued U.S. troops brought a tear to my eye: “This morning our family joins America in rejoicing over the news of the safe return of seven brave heroes to U.S. military custody in Iraq" I think that knowledge of the horrific treatment Saddam used to mete out to those who opposed him would make any civilized person glad that the troops were recovered alive and well. Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who was rescued earlier, suffered a head wound, a spinal injury and fractures to her right arm, both legs and her right foot and ankle. At least it must be great for her to be back home in the USA.



Blogspot was off the air for hours yesterday and now the host for my mirror site seems to be having a whole day off! But I will beat the Bs yet! I keep my blog entries as a file so it took me only two minutes to put up my stuff on a second mirror site! The site concerned is on Geocities and there is something about my code that causes them to give you no background colour until you hit the “Refresh” button. Exactly the same code works fine elsewhere. Weird!



Both the Left and the Greens will lie and mislead at the drop of a hat. The truth is so inconvenient to them that they NEED to be liars. Note this Greenie comment on the retirement of the Concorde supersonic airliner “[New York residents] know all too well the Concorde's windows-rattling roar, and its seeming inability to stay in one piece," he said. "It should have been grounded a long time ago." Far from falling apart all the time, the Concorde has had only one crash in 30 years -- a better safety record than most. And the only reason why the Concorde was originally allowed to fly into New York was that it was found to be no noisier than other jets using the airport.



There is much of interest in Leonard Peikoff’s book. One quote:

Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation's economy. The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary; what counts is the issue of CONTROL. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property -- so long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.

Sounds just like the Leftists of today.



Next stop Syria? It would be great to see another Arab Fascist regime go down. Syria is ruled by the same Ba’ath party that Saddam represented.

When so much of the media worldwide is Leftist, it is gratifying to see that Australia’s Rupert Murdoch used his many media outlets to support the war.

There is rather a good day by day account of the war from a journalist who was with the troops here.

I like it! Samizdata refer to France, Germany and Russia as The axis of feeble. He also calls them a Triumvirate of gilded irrelevences. We must not forget, however, that they do command great economic and military power between them so let us be glad of GWB’s “softly, softly” approach to them.

Further to my comment yesterday on many children's comic books now having a Leftist slant, Marc Miyake has emailed me to say that it is not as bad as it seems because “Captain America” and other Marvel comics are now almost exclusively bought by young male adults who presumably know about and like the slant they are getting. He says the comic-book writers concerned are just would-be Hollywood types.

Under the heading: The bigotry of low expectations, Marc Miyake makes a very strong case that racism is pervasive among Leftists today. Marc is a Japanese American so one would think that the alleged love of “diversity” among Leftists would cause him to be seized on eagerly for teaching jobs at American universities. But -- strangely -- the reverse appears to be the case.

"Sex Offenders vote Democrat" Why wouldn't they? It is the Dems who are soft on crime. The Dems sure have some great constituencies.

Glenn Reynolds says that the BBC is the mouthpiece of the 'new class' of State-funded elitists. His recommendation: 'ignore them'; That's the one thing they hate.

Michael Darby has a backgrounder on the Assyrian Christian minority in Iraq.

Chris Brand continues his series of comments on sex in the 21st century. He seems to think that the welfare state is good for women and bad for men.

The Wicked one has another example of the crazy Leftist doctrine that nobody is responsible for their own actions at work in the courts.

In my academic posting of April 12th here
I refer to an interesting research summary that seems to show conservatives as the luckier members of society, with better mental and physical health and greater satisfaction with their lives.


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Sunday, April 13, 2003


John Lloyd, a columnist for Britain's Leftist New Statesman has finally given up on the Left after the Iraq war. He says:

A large part of the British left - and the left elsewhere - has made a fundamental mistake. In opposing the invasion of Iraq, it has shown itself incapable of thinking through not only the nature of the world as it is today, but also its own claims to be the leading force in making the world better.

I must say that he is only stating the obvious. Their support for the terminally brutal Saddam has forever exposed as a fraud the Left's claim to be "compassionate". If the Left were half-decent, this war would have been fought with virtually universal support rather with the support of conservatives only.

Though there was of course a tiny minority of decent Leftists (such as this writer) who supported the war from early on. I know of none of them who marched FOR war, however. And even the normally very moderate Australian Labor Party opposed the war.



I personally detest smoking and am outraged when smokers think that they can impose their foul smells and pollution on me. As far as I am concerned, smoking should be something that occurs only between consenting adults in private.

But the way in which both the U.S. Federal government and private plaintiffs are overturning every concept of justice to steal from tobacco companies whatever assets they have is surely a warning to us all. The politically correct Leftist notion that people are not responsible for their own actions has now been enshrined in law and is the main instrument being used to rip off the tobacco companies. The companies are being prosecuted for what OTHER people in full possession of their faculties voluntarily did -- despite upteen warnings that what they did was risky.

That is a terminally dangerous precedent for us all. ANYONE who is worth suing could find himself stripped of all he owns now. All it needs is for someone to blame you for something that THEY did. The tobacco cases mean that there will now be NO defence against such a claim available in most such cases. We must do all we can to bring back a system where the person who is primarily responsible for his own misfortune must bear the full blame for that misfortune. None of us will be safe otherwise.

A reader refers to the famous poem by Pastor Niemoller:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists

And suggests it is now a case of "First they came for the tobacco companies" and maybe "Then they came for the xenophobes" and maybe "Then they came for the gun owners".

And we will almost certainly have to fight this one ourselves. The snivel libertarians have other, much more important fish to fry.



Hear here! “US Secretary of State Colin Powell today challenged Russian, French and German leaders' contention that only the United Nations has the authority to rebuild post-war Iraq.”

Retired Australian politician and one-time Leftist Michael Duffy addresses those who are still marching for "peace" with the question: “Why are 600 deaths caused by liberating forces so much worse than 66,900 deaths a year caused by Saddam Hussein?”

In case you have not seen it, here is the fan site for Saddam's incredible TV spokesman

It is disgusting how anti-American rubbish is now being spewed out by certain
children's comic books. I hope parents soon become aware of this and get something else for their children instead.

Chris Brand also comments on the defection of Leftist John Lloyd.

Michael Darby hopes that Iraq will not make us totally forget the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Zimbabwe. Toppling the Zimbabwean dictator would take only one thousandth of the force that it took to topple Saddam, so why not do it? The British DID intervene in Sierra Leone and the French intervene in Africa all the time so there is precedent.

The Wicked one has rather a fun posting about a maverick environmental scientist who thinks we should eat whales to save the planet.

In my academic posting of April 11th here I expose some absolutely crap research reported in a medical journal. At least the journal printed my critique.


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