Saturday, May 31, 2003


In response to the recent aircraft hijacking attempt in Australia, a U.S. reader has sent me an excellent comment:

Actually, what the latest hijacking attempt demonstrates is that Australians have in effect the only anti-hijacking safety precaution that's been demonstrated to work: Crew and passengers who refuse to be hijacked. The only reason the 9-11 hijackings actually worked was that a generation of Americans had been trained to surrender to hijackers. How, short of strip downs and cavity searches, were you planning on keeping a hijacker from carrying a sharpened stick on board?



Blogspot has been so inaccessible lately that I hope most of my readers have moved to one of my mirror sites by now. If not, you are highly likely to be experiencing long delays before the site loads up. One hint that seems to help with ALL slow-loading Blogspot sites, however, is to send the “cache bypass” command (Ctrl+F5) from your keyboard. That sometimes brings up the “stuck” site almost immediately.



I thought I should mention that there is ONE page on the web which has unchanging content but which I still keep logging on to over and over again. It is “England” and you may have to be born a British subject to appreciate it -- I don’t know. I mostly log on for the words and music of “Jerusalem” -- William Blake’s marvellous British Israel hymn. It makes me weepy every time. What wonderful, wonderful words, so fittingly set to music by Parry!

Interesting that the
British have had better success in running Basra than the US has had in running Baghdad. British experience at running other places has paid off.

The more I hear about Britain’s Blunkett the more I like him. Now that Iraq is free he wants all the Iraqi refugees in Europe sent home: “British Home Secretary (Interior Minister) David Blunkett warned that if voluntary measures did not work then "compulsion" could be used”.

A lot of conservatives are criticizing Blunkett’s law reforms but I cannot see much wrong with them. British justice has become so irrational that something had to be done to give crime victims a chance.

There is a long but interesting article by Dominic Lieven. which endeavours to draw out lessons from the British empire and other empires of the past that might help the USA today now that it seems to have had something of an imperial role thrust upon it. It might be noted that the British empire too is often said to have been acquired “in a fit of absence of mind”. One rather provocative observation:

“Among the empires of the day, the Habsburgs stood out for their protection of the civic, cultural and political rights of minorities, Jews included....” and “The economic and cultural interests of indigenous peoples were usually safer under bureaucratic or aristocratic imperial rule than under settler democracy”.



Miranda Devine says Greenie opposition to feral dog control in the largest national park in New South Wales is imposing enormous cruelties on nearby domestic livestock.

Surprise, surprise! The Red Cross is keeping 64c out of every dollar it makes from fundraising. Don’t give a cent to the antisemitic scum.

Some Good sense from Ross Gittins: “Those dreaded multinationals often speed a country's growth. The unceasing claim of the mainly youthful protesters against globalisation is that it involves the rich countries - via "trans-national corporations" such as Nike - ripping off the poor countries. But it ain't necessarily so. Indeed, recent research - much of it prompted by the protests, I suspect - suggests that this claim is the opposite of the truth. The developing countries that have done most to open up to trade and foreign investment are enjoying faster economic growth, rising real wages, falling poverty and, eventually, greater environmental protection.”

Interesting: Blacks, unionists and Hispanics are slowly deserting the Dims for the GOP. A very useful trend. Minority support is about all the Dims have going for them.

Jeff Jacoby points out the hypocrisy of the Middle East “roadmap”. Everything is expected of the Jews but the Palestinians can do anything they like without protest.

There is a good coverage here of how slippery “natural medicine” advocates are when subjected to scientific scrutiny.

The Wicked one says we might need genetically engineered crops to save the banana from extinction!

Michael Darby puts the case for having diiferent ages of consent for heterosexual and homosexual intercourse.

Chris Brand points out that “thought crime” is alive and well in modern-day Germany.


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Friday, May 30, 2003


Another example here of US stockmarket portfolios continually declining in value. You have to be mad to put your money into a managed fund. It is cheaper to make your own mistakes. My portfolio of Australian stocks has a very successful spread of relatively safe companies that also tend to GROW in value. Details of it are available FREE to anybody. Here are the stocks I hold:

(Australian stockmarket abbreviations): ADB AGL AMC AMP ANN ANZ BBG BOQ BPC BEN BWA BRZ CBA CCL CDO CNN COA CRG CSR DJS FFL FLT FOA FWD GFD GNS GUD HWI ION JHX JUP LDW MCP MPB MRL MTT NAB NFD PPK PPX RIC RIN SHV SMS SSX SGB SUN TAH WWA WBC WOW. Copy my portfolio and you instantly become your own fund manager with a very successful medium-term track record! I am hundreds of thousands of dollars ahead. I put my money where my mouth is as far as capitalism is concerned.

Bob Hope has just turned 100! What a marvellous man.

Whoopee! An arrogant Leftist ”human shield” got shot! There should be more of it. They endanger the safety of others as well as themselves.

The latest hijacking attempt shows that safety precautions are virtually non-existent on Australian aircraft but our bureaucratized government assures us that “talks are continuing” on the matter! Great that the flight crew in the latest incident were not seriously hurt, anyhow.

Wow! A Right to Die judgment in an Australian court. Let’s hope it is just a first step in giving back people control over their own lives.

Watch their deeds, not their words: The US Democrats do NOT believe that “diversity” is good for you.

Auditors are refusing to sign off the British Conservative Party’s accounts because they fear that it is no longer a going concern. Amusing! I don’t think they are a going concern either. They seem to have totally forgotten what conservatism is all about.
This research finding will upset the Lefties. They hate anything that ordinary people enjoy -- from McDonalds to video games: Video games that require players to knock off enemies that pop out of nowhere sharply improve children’s visual attention skills. How awful! Violent games are actually beneficial!

The Communist News Network (CNN) recently aired a demonstration of an illegal versus a legal 'assault weapon' that showed the illegal one blowing apart cinder blocks, while the legal model did no apparent damage. After the NRA accused CNN of 'faking' the presentation -- since both rifles should cause the same damage CNN conceded their demonstration was misleading! Soviet-style lies live on among the American Left.

We all now know how crooked CNN was in its coverage of Saddam’s regime but this suggests that ALL the Left-leaning media distorted the truth about Saddam’s Iraq.

Cato says: "There already are early warning signs that the United States can ill afford to linger in Iraq and overstay its welcome. Thousands of Muslims -- Shiite and Sunni -- have protested against the U.S. military presence. American troops, saddled with peacekeeping duties they are not trained to perform, have fired on crowds and killed civilians in Mosul and Fallujah. The lesson is clear: The United States must leave Iraq at the earliest possible opportunity." Hear here!

Oregon folly: “Voters clearly value education, but this new money will largely benefit the teachers' union, not the students. Rather than help the schools in a positive way, the new tax will allow the school system avoid doing two things it must eventually do: control spending and become accountable for learning outcomes."

The Greenie response to complaints from people about wildlife pests (such as noisy crows): "If you just leave them alone, they'll leave you alone". The birdbrain concerned ignores the fact that people are complaining precisely because the pests are NOT leaving them alone.

Arlene Peck's latest column is up here (post of 29th.). She points out that all Jews have been forced out of most Arab countries and asks why, in such circumstances, Arabs have to be given their own State within the borders of Israel. Jews must be tolerant but Arabs don’t have to?

Michael Darby has an article that takes on the “funny money” theorists of “Social Credit” -- theorists who have had a significant following in New Zealand and British Columbia. The Social Creditors mistake the (true) statement that the banking system creates money (because of the velocity of circulation) for the (false) statement that individual banks create money. It is perhaps an understandable mistake.

Chris Brand notes a World Bank report that says many African countries are worse off now than they were at independence in the 1960s.

The Wicked one is glad that a mad Yugoslav was shot dead.

In my academic posting of May 29th. here, I show that standard psychological techniques for detecting lying normally work pretty well.


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Thursday, May 29, 2003


Ever since Google took over Pyra, the blogspot archives seem to have become progressively more and more of a shambles. Nothing seems to archive automatically now. You have to manually republish all the time. And even manual republishing does not work sometimes. All my posts on this blog from last year, for instance, seem to have vanished. I think that this sort of thing must bother most bloggers. Most of us, I fancy, do want our words of wisdom to remain accessible for some time. I certainly think that my efforts have some permanent worth. Fortunately, I do have copies of all my posts so I have now republished the ones from last year in the only way I can -- not as archives but as front-page posts on new blogpot sites that I have created especially for the purpose.

So my posts for July, August, September and October 2002 can now be found on;

My posts for November 2002 are on

and my posts for December 2002 are on

My archives for this year are in better shape (at the moment) but, just in case, I have put them up elsewhere too. See

In creating the new sites I needed I was automatically directed into the new version of the software. What a shambles! I have always said that Blogger was the most bug-prone software that I have ever had the misfortune to get entangled with but I now take that back. The new version of the software is even worse! It takes the patience of Job to get it to do anything at all and when you do get some response out of it posts disappear, edits disappear and you keep getting error messages. In creating one of the new sites I needed I just could not get it to post properly and had to delete the whole blog and start all over again from scratch. I spent hours on doing what should have taken 10 minutes.

Dread the day when Pyra makes all users convert to the new software. One hint though: If you click all buttons about 8 times in rapid succession instead of the usual once or twice, you are more likely to get something to happen.



I noted recently that Prof. Ogbu, a black researcher, has found that black students from affluent homes do poorly at school because they are lazy and think that doing well is "acting white". A reader comments:

“Black underachievement is such a disaster that it is almost unfixable. In Florida, the NAACP has threatened a boycott if students are not given a high-school diploma even if they fail the exit exam - given 6 times to pass the same exam. Ant Gov Jeb Bush has actually spent the time of day to discuss this issue. This is a no-brainer - stupid people shouldn't get a diploma - and we need more people like Prof Ogbu to tell these 'race warlords" to take a hike.

My daughter (graduate student in Sociology at UC) is familiar with Prof Ogbu's work - she actually admitted that he might be right - this is a milestone in my battle against her Communist indoctrination.

Personal experience reinforces my belief in Prof Ogbu's work. Years ago (before the Prof coined the term "acting white"), a Black friend confided in me that her two sons had faced harassment in school for "acting white" - a major stress in her life had been to convince her sons to do well in school inspite of this harassment. This is not a fantasy of a professor - this is real life.”



These loonies are just as bad as Islamic Terrorists and should be treated accordingly. Excerpt:

"The radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front is claiming responsibility for fires that destroyed two houses near Ann Arbor [MI] in March. The slogan 'ELF, no sprawl' was spray painted on the garage door of a house next to one of those burned March 21 in the Mystic Forest subdivision. On its Web site, the group claims responsibility for the fires, which it says caused $400,000 in damage. The group also takes responsibility for burning luxury homes being built near Philadelphia late last year. A picture of a burning home is featured on the Web site, along with instructions on how to start fires."

"'Hey, hey, ho, ho, drugs in meat have got to go' chanted protestors outside a McDonald's in Maine. The oh-so-clever rabble held up massive 'pill burgers' (hamburgers with a big pill inside) and were joined by the Union of Concerned Scientists' Michael Khoo, who recently penned an article entitled 'Want drugs with those fries?' for the insanely self-important While Khoo tries to scare the public about antibiotics in hamburgers, the organization he works for declares that it's a non-issue."



Disgraceful: San Francisco's Irvine Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Californians. But the foundation has improved life for one individual in particular: a previous president. He got $717,000 in pay, retirement and perks. I have noted previously that charities often become little more than a honeypot for their staff. Congress seems to be doing something about it but I doubt if it will improve things much.

There is a fairly comprehensive report here about the now controversial Jessica Lynch rescue. Leftists blame US troops for being cautious! In the middle of a war!

Germany supports India in its war against Muslim terrorism! I suppose that's something.

Threatening budget cuts, the Howard Government has savagely attacked Australia's public broadcaster, accusing it of being blatantly biased and anti-American in its Iraq war coverage. About time!

The Dean Esmay version of the Carnival of the Vanities is now up. Much to read.

China Hand is rather peniternt for disparaging the pastoral work of the (Roman Catholic) Maryknoll Society in China.

Chris Brand says that elitism in UK universities is soundly based.

Michael Darby says that attacks on Australia's former Governor General were unjustified but that our constitution showed its worth in how the matter was handled.

The Wicked one points out some surprising facts about heroin.

In my academic posting of May 28th. here, I show that there are many influences on how people vote in Australian Federal elections.


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Wednesday, May 28, 2003


Why regulating gas prices doesn't really work. Recent events in Australia and California have brought government intervention in prices and production back on to the political scene. Gas is a particularly good example for Australia regarding the dangers of price-fixing regulations.

Anti-growth nonsense from lefty lecturers. The world's present population owes its existence to economic growth. Stopping growth would literally be a sentence of death for several billion people. But as Dr Van den Bosch, another greenie, said, "They're only little brown people in poor countries."

The trade balance and the value of the dollar — what is the relationship? Explains why the dollar has fallen. And guess what? It has nothing to do with the balance of payments or the balance of trade.

Details here



I am a great admirer of the Sydney diocese for showing that real Christianity can still flourish within the Anglican communion but I do regret that they are betraying one of their core traditions by denying the significance of the priesthood -- and with it the whole notion of the Apostolic Succession.

"Culture Wars" sees the pedophilia crisis in the Catholic Church as in part a product of its defection (after Vatican II) from its traditional values and its adoption instead of quack psychological dogmas (especially Reich and Rogers) from the secular world.

This VDARE writer says US Roman Catholicism is really post-Catholic these days and that its pews would be steadily emptying except for poor immigrants with a traditional Catholic background.

An interesting article on Euthanasia here. Australia's Dr. Nitschke seems to be the main successor of Dr Kevorkian. Giving Dr. Kevorkian a long jail term for his work of mercy is a grotesque crime in my view.



As a former Army man myself, I am pleased to see that most Americans now trust and respect their military. The military is the one branch of government that it takes real committment to belong to.

Hey! Is this sympathy for Bush from the NYT? “The Mideast is once again testing American leadership in ways that would tax any administration.”

Krugman is finding Nazis under the bed again. His latest conspiracy theory is as absurd as most: The Bush administration is setting the country up for a financial crisis so social programs can be cut.

Globalization is a great boon for third world scientists -- putting their ability to communicate their ideas on a par with that of First World scientists.

Something that the economic irrationalists of the Left should bear in mind: "The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups." -- Henry Hazlitt; and: "Trade barriers are an excellent means to higher wealth for the few but lower wealth for the many." --Walter Williams. Via The Federalist

Whether you get fat or not is surely an individual decision but US government control-freaks now feel they must protect people from getting too fat.

NIKE workers in Indonesia need to be saved from Michael Moore and the anti-globos trying to save them from multinational corporate greed. Moore presumably wants worse things to happen to them.. like not working for Nike.

There is a good article by Jason Soon on unfair dismissal laws that makes a point that would be obvious to almost anybody who thought about it but which Leftists nonetheless ignore: If you make it difficult for employers to fire someone they are not happy with, their only defence against getting saddled with a drone is to be a lot more cautious about hiring people in the first place -- i.e. unfair dismissal laws increase unemployment.

A good comment on Lefty regard for the truth from Jim Kalb: “Among the claims Professor Bellesiles made in his Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture — a book once acclaimed and now thoroughly discredited — was that there was no significant market for guns in early America. Clayton Cramer, one of Bellesiles’ most effective debunkers, describes the results of a quick look at 18th and early 19th c. newspapers: you just can’t avoid the gun ads. As Cramer asks, why did the experts, many of them specialists in the period, who praised the book and gave Bellesiles the Bancroft Award get taken in so easily?

Chris Brand looks at the relationship between freedom and justice

Michael Darby commemorates the Dunkirk evacuation.

The Wicked one has an interesting post under the heading: Nazism was gay

In my academic posting of May 27th. here, I look at a theory that Leftists are “life-loving” and conservatives are “death-loving”. Needless to say, the survey data showed no such relationship.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2003


Eleanor Spreitzer emails me that Robert Kennedy Junior was in boarding school -- a college preparatory school -- when his father was shot. She comments:

"This is a member of a family that foams at the mouth against school vouchers and school testing. School Choice? The children in their family go to boarding schools - college preparatory schools - the children of the poor and undereducated go to failing - actually dangerous (because of no disciple) - schools. These failing schools produce the foundation of poor and undereducated needed for the children of the rich and powerful to get and maintain government jobs, salaries, privileges, pensions and most importantly - POWER.

The children of the rich and powerful learn the routine quickly and easily - promise the poor and undereducated - a better life and better education - but in reality - keep them right where they are - undereducated. Undereducated people are easy to control. Tell them anything - they are too ignorant - and too browbeaten to question any one with such a grand education. This has been going on for the last 50 years. Conservatives and Republicans want to stop this cycle - and we are called the mean spirited ones!"



Kaplan makes a pretty weak argument that JFK would not have pursued the Vietnam War Kaplan says JFK distrusted his advisors, the same team who, under LBJ, took the US into all out war in Vietnam (see here) and then managed to lose it. If JFK had really distrusted these losers he would have sacked them. After all he didn't mind sacking CIA director Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell (see here) over the 'Bay of Pigs'. Pat Buchanan provocatively argues that once Nixon (certainly no saint but not the devil incarnate of liberal mythology either) started to turn the JFK/LBJ Vietnam disaster around, the liberal establishment got rid of him.



Was Saddam betrayed by his relatives in his army who ordered his army not to fight? Maybe so but there was little sign of his army fighting for him any way. Only anti-American Islamic fanatics fought. I think the claim is like the other claim that before the invasion began, U.S. special forces had gone in and bribed Iraqi generals not to fight. Both claims are supposed to cover up Arab cowardice when faced with an enemy able to defend himself. Treachery, terrorism and the stab in the back are the natural Arab modus operandi. Always have been. Always will be. Only Islamic fanaticism has ever got any more out of them.

Another Pro-Israel and anti-Muslim article from India. Good to have Indians on board. Hardly any Westerners realize it but nobody has suffered more from Muslim attacks in recent times than Hindu India. And Muslim Pakistan still occupies Indian territory in Kashmir that it seized by force in 1948.

Jeff Jacoby points out that giving preference to the children of graduates in university admissions differs from admissions under affirmative action in at least one major respect -- it spurs donations. Loyalty to the alma mater greatly reduces the fees that many colleges have to charge -- a distinct benefit to the students and their families!

I said yesterday that it was a lot of nonsense to blame Bush Administration rhetoric for the fall in value of the US dollar. Forbes seems to agree.

Tony Blair’s policy for transforming standards in inner-city schools has produced little or no improvement in pupils’ results despite 800 million pounds in spending. Funny that! Money is no substitute for discipline. Who would have thought it?

Great news: Pressure has mounted on Tony Blair to hold a referendum on the new EU constitution after Giscard himself said he would be “very pleased” to see his ideas put to the vote. A referendum almost certainly means that the British public will knock the thing on the head.

The accusations against Britain’s Colonel Collins in Iraq seem to be pretty clearly spite-motivated. The Franco-American accuser should be disciplined himself.

A fun picture of one of nature’s wonders here. Or could it be good Photoshop work?

Another reason why nobody will ever solve the problems of Africa: Well-fed African parents who let their kids starve.

Indonesian mass-murderer gets off Scot-free. A lovely lot, Australia’s Islamic neighbours.

China Hand says that Christian teaching and preaching is widely tolerated in China these days.

Michael Darby has a rather satirical excerpt about the Middle East “peace process”

Chris Brand looks at what psychological meaning can be extracted from notions of equality.

The Wicked one is delighted that some members of Britain’s House of Lords think spam comes out of a tin can.

In my academic posting of May 26th. here, I show that many people who vote for Leftist political parties are in fact conservative. They just get taken in by the better deal that Leftists appear to offer them. Leftist deceit has some rewards.


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Monday, May 26, 2003


Amusing: I linked yesterday to a story in the Arab News of Saudi Arabia about reformist protests in Iran. Apparently, however, the story was subsequently censored -- as the original link now gives the results of a cricket match! According to Google News, the original story was headed: Reformists Warn Khamenei Over Political Deadlock and the first line went: "The reformist members of the 290-seat Majlis blasted the conservative-controlled institutions for violently stalling reforms and denying the will of Iran's people" But all is not lost: You can still read other reports of the same story here and here



There is a great site here detailing the work of a group of patriotic Brits who are challenging the legal powers of the British parliament to hand over so much power to the EU. The challenge would seem pretty thinly based legally but certainly should be made. The Guardian has a pretty desperate defence of the new EU constitution that Tony Blair is trying to ram through -- arguing that it is as yet “unformulated”. Utter rubbish, of course. The final form of it may not as yet be agreed but Giscard’s draft is well-known.

Matthew Parris in The Times argues that Britain’s big bust up with France and Germany over Iraq has permanently ruined any hope of further UK/EU integration. Sounds reasonable. Let’s hope.



Mike Kerrigan has written in to challenge my claim that the Clean Air Act was responsible for the elimination of London’s smog. I knew somebody would challenge that. Julian Simon’s point that pollution was declining in London before the Act was passed is well-known both among libertarians and among opponents of the Greenies. I mostly agree with Simon but I am myself a research statistician and I know how carefully you have to treat trend data. You have to read it in conjunction with ALL the other data on the question if you are to arrive at reasonable conclusions. What Simon overlooks in this is that trends in biological data commonly reach an asymptote (i.e. eventually level out) -- as the trend to cleaner air in London now in fact has. It is precisely the way Greenies ignore this and rely on straight-line extrapolations that normally unglues them. In the London case, the air pollution was indeed declining up to the 1950s -- mainly because of London’s de-industrialization and population decline -- but it seems clear that it is only the compulsory phasing out of domestic coal fires that has allowed the pollution to continue to decline to its present low level.

And if we look at Lomborg’s graph (p.4, PDF file) there DOES in fact seem to be a levelling out followed by sharper decline in both smoke and sulphur dioxide levels in London during the 1950’s. The Act was passed in 1956.



Whenever the Australian or British governments try to rein in higher education expenditure or shift more of it to user-pays, we get all sorts of doom and gloom about dumbing down the clever country, undermining future prosperity etc. But what is the connection between education spending and economic growth anyhow? Not what we are being told, at least according to this study of US States: "Using data from all 50 states and spanning two decades... Three distinct regressions find no consistent, statistically significant impact of higher-education appropriations on states' economic growth. Indeed, a stronger relationship is found when the models are reversed, suggesting that a better case can be made that growth drives spending, rather than spending driving growth." "Comparing states' higher-education appropriations and gross state products also yields no solid evidence that spending drives economic growth."

I found similar results some time ago in Australia. See here or here

And using even broader statistical data, Ivar Berg long ago made the related point that a higher education is of questionable economic benefit to the individual being educated too.

Berg, I. (1973) Education and jobs: The great training robbery Harmondsworth, Mddx.: Penguin.



A long and quite silly Reuters article by a Frenchman argues that the recent drop in value of the US dollar is due to what economists call “jawboning” -- official pronouncements. All governments wish it was that easy. The obvious truth is that the dollar was a refuge currency amid world uncertainty and now that things have settled down a bit after the Iraq war, people are looking for better returns elsewhere.

Worth reading: An excellent (9 pages!) article in the NYT about conservative students giving their “liberal” colleges a big wake-up.

A great article by Andrew Bolt on why talk is useless when it comes to dealing with Islamic extremists.

Michael Darby thinks that the many chemicals encountered in modern warfare have a serious impact on the subsequent health of the soldiers who fought.

Chris Brand notes some progress in getting the evidence about racial IQ differences recognized.

The Wicked one notes the conflict between animal rights and Muslim slaughtering practices.

In my academic posting of May 24th. here, I show that, despite their many years of studying it, psychologists still know very little about materialistic ambition.


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Sunday, May 25, 2003


I don’t know why the penny did not drop before but it took one of my readers to point out to me that EU opposition to genetically modified food (which Americans eat without harm all the time) is just to protect the crazy EU farm policy. If EU farmers started using GM crops it would make them even MORE productive and thus bankrupt the EU farm policy -- which is obliged to buy up whatever the farmers produce. That the policy is also applied to farmers in poor countries who export to the EU and thus keeps those farmers poor does not bother the EU a bit. Better for Africans to stay poor than for the EU farm policy to collapse under the weight of its own stupidity.

The reader concerned is a good cynic. He also points to the instant US ban on Canadian beef after just one Canadian cow was found to have mad cow disease and links it to the way Canada and its Froggy Prime Minister antagonized many Americans with its repeated attempts to protect Saddam Hussein. Canada squandered a lot of goodwill over that so a bit of quiet retaliation was bound to come.



Around 20 years ago, all Australian States abolished death duties but they still exist in many places elsewhere. The SCOTSMAN features a well argued attack on Death duties.

This pro-death duties article outlines some of the history of Australia's death duties abolition.



Extra anti-terrorist police patrolling London's streets have been given orders to shoot to kill suspects. Good to see that the British police can get serious sometimes.

Good to see that the Iranians are trying hard to neuter their Mullahs.

A good summary of feminism -- at least as it once was: "Feminism proclaimed that for women to be fulfilled they had to adopt the career ambitions of workaholic men, the sexual promiscuity of John F. Kennedy, and the cynicism of Gloria Steinem (the pre-married one, that is). Can you think of any demographic group other than women who would have bought into this prescription for complete disaster and then cried victim when the Bunker Buster of Inevitable Biology crashed through the roof and blew up in their faces?"

Christopher Hitchens has a very acerbic attack on the way Leftists betrayed their own supposed values over Iraq. He uses their own jargon to good effect: "The government and people of these United States are now at war with the forces of reaction." "Reactionaries" are what Leftists call conservatives but the Muslim fundamentalists are of course REAL reactionaries. They really do want to take us back to the Middle Ages.

Amusing: In the anti-smoking debate, the Arab News has come out in favour of "personal choice". How about personal choice for Saudi women who want to drive a car etc.?

A remarkable research report here about black under-achievement at school. An extremely thorough black researcher found that black kids from wealthy black homes do not do well at school because they are lazy! Gasp!

Good to see that Israel, the USA and India are beginning to see one-another as natural allies. All three are strong democracies that have big problems with Islamic fruitcakes.

Interesting that blacks are now more often prosecuted for lynching than whites are.

Cuba: “The recent round of crackdowns has not only brought a new wave of international criticism -- as it rightly should have -- but it has once again thrust the issue of what to do with Castro's Cuba back to the forefront of American politics."

After the avoidable loss of two shuttle crews, even NASA now realizes that its credibility is just about zero.

Leftists often seem to think that even the mentally ill are “equal” and “victims”. The Misanthropyst has an amusing link that tells of one of the do-gooders getting a dose of reality about the matter.

The NYT's Jayson Blair falsifications seems small time compared to their Duranty affair in the '30s. There are some other unsavoury NYT episodes listed here

The Wicked one is pretty scathing about Lew Rockwell’s hatred of the “neoconservatives”.

Michael Darby has an extract from a V.D. Hanson article in which VDH argues that there is no problem with us understanding the Islamic world. It is the Muslims who do not understand the modern world.

Chris Brand sees the proposed new European constitution as yet another hope for causing a big bustup in the British Labour party.


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