Saturday, June 14, 2003


For anybody who still thinks our universities are places of light and learning, this story should be instructive:

"Dr. Ted Steele, senior academic and researcher in Wollongong University, well known for pioneering work in immunogenetics, was dismissed without warning and without pay more than a year ago. The legal battle to reinstate him has continued to this day. In the latest hearing, the Federal Court Judge Murray Wilcox expressed shock at the University's behaviour, the sacked academic is treated 'worse than a murderer'. Steele won his case, but to his dismay discovers he will be re-instated, only to be immediately dismissed again.... Steele was sacked in February 2001 for defending academic standards".

Steele had said that "soft-marking" for fee-paying Asian students was common. See here. Apparently, however, after immense public pressure, the university did cave in and reinstate him. They really hated him for exposing their racket, though.

For some information on the rather revolutionary scientific work Steele was doing before dismissal see here. He is in the forefront of finding some Lamarckian processes in the evolution of the immune system. Marc Miyake also has some comments on the sacking here and here. Marc also found Steele’s home page.



A medical correspondent writes:

In Toronto, this medical student who was exposed to SARS was quarantined for 10 days (idiotic, especially when incubation has been up to 14 days) - so, predictably, on day 11 he goes back to work in the nursery, and on day 12 he comes down with symptoms. A lot of new mothers are really pissed offf because thay can't bond with their quarantined babies.



An amusing article in the New Statesman points out that Europe is indeed united -- in that all countries of Europe are now overwhelmingly dominated by American culture. In that context, the “Iraq refusal” by a minority of European States does look a bit Canute-like.

A climate of fear and paranoia is making men wary of joining the childcare profession. And the teaching profession too. Anti-men FemiNazis are successfully depriving many boys of any male role-models in their lives.

A great bit of sarcasm in the WSJ: “The American people deserve nothing less than a full congressional investigation into the false claims of antiwar politicians, scholars, journalists and activists. If they lied to us about Iraq, how can we ever trust them to talk us out of future wars?”

Astounding -- but very welcome if it’s true: “In a campaign against terrorism, the Saudi Government has fired several hundred Islamic clerics and suspended more than 1000 others for preaching intolerance. One month to the day after terrorist bombs killed more than 30 people in Riyadh, the Government announced on Thursday that it had implemented new regulations intended to stop the flow of Saudi money to terrorist groups overseas.”

Hear here!: "The United States should be prepared to destroy North Korea's Yongbyon reactor if necessary to keep Pyongyang from trafficking in nuclear weapons, an influential member of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's advisory panel said on Wednesday. ... '[I] don't think anyone can exclude the kind of surgical strike we saw in 1981,' [Richard Perle] said, referring to Israel's surprise air attack that destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor near Baghdad on June 7, 1981."

And Britain is doing its bit: "TONY BLAIR is launching a drive to put maximum international pressure on Iran after concluding that it is well on the way to becoming a nuclear power”

And Tony Blair has finally beaten the rogue British firemen's union -- after 6 month's of strikes. They "only" wanted a 40% pay-rise! It's nearly as big a victory over union power gone mad as Margaret Thatcher's victory over the British miners.

Looks like those smallpox vaccinations are a pretty good idea: "Federal health officials Wednesday advised states to offer smallpox vaccination to anyone who might be at risk of infection with monkeypox. In an effort to contain the unprecedented multistate outbreak of the rare disease, they also halted the importation of rodents from Africa and banned the sale of prairie dogs and other animals that might carry the disease."

There is an interesting case here that "insider trading" on the stockmarket should be legal. I believe it still is in New Zealand.

Chris Brand notes big problems with both the Church of England and Islam in Britain at the moment.

The latest post by China Hand is fascinating. China is encouraging vigilantism as a way of dealing with thugs and robbers.

The Wicked one has some good jokes up at the moment.

Michael Darby still likes Margaret Thatcher’s ideas about British non-involvement with Europe.

In my academic post here (or here) I really take apart a typically careless piece of “research” by a Leftist psychologist.


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Friday, June 13, 2003


Some comments from a U.S. reader:

"This weekend, I returned from Montreal. It was quite unnerving to hear Blacks (obviously not immigrants), Indians, and Asians speaking French. This culture is just one step more backward than the rest of Canada. Canadians love to consider themselves morally superior to Americans - they like "being European" - and their sick socialistic repressive economy reflects this - a Canadian dollar is worth about 60 cents American and hasn't changed much in many years - this says it all about a corrupt culture. Yet Canadians continue to self destruct to prove they are right.

Americans gave up many of Britain's "bad ideas" years ago, and kept "good ideas" like the language, legal system, etc.. In other words, they kept the better things and rejected the bad things. I assume Australians did some of the same (except obvious stupidity - like gun control). But the Canadians - they just love "being British" - like their gun control, and people still hold on to their delusion that "Universal Health Care" is good. But the French Canadians have carried this "cultural superiority" one step further - even though the French left Canada almost 200 years ago, the French Canadian Intelligentsia have embraced (by force - people are required to speak French, etc) a culture that is several steps more corrupt than the British culture. However, this corrupt culture has kept the Canadian dollar down, and makes for a cheap vacation for people like me.

The worst part of my trip was my trip to the Public Garden - truly a great place - I just got psyched up to see the Rose Garden - then, I just gasped when I entered to see only leaves (even Russia had roses in June last year). I had forgotten that Montreal is very far north of LA , and that the past winter was one of the coldest on record (all the great lakes and the St Lawrence river froze over) - And the Canadians just bought into this Kyoto nonsense!

I just hope the Canadian economy keeps up at its present level. I can't wait to take another trip to Canada."


The post of 11th on A Tangled Web is one of many deploring GWB’s failure to endorse Israel’s right to pursue terrorists. The USA can pursue Bin Laden and Saddam but Israel cannot pursue Hamas??

Or as the WSJ says: “The only way to stop the "cycle of violence" is to kill or incapacitate the instigators. If Abbas cannot or will not do so, how can anyone fault Israel for acting in its own defense?”

How amusing: Castro led an anti-Europe march through Havana. After Iraq, he’s getting rattled.

Amusing: Yahoo news has a story about Spanish and Polish troops going to Iraq as peacekeepers under the heading “Australia”. I am of course delighted. Obviously, the equation: “Australia = U.S. Ally” has gotten into a lot of minds.

Good to see Colin Powell so outspoken about the thugs who run Burma. But why does it always have to fall to the United States to make the running in these matters? Are the U.S. and its Anglosphere allies the only moral countries left in the world? What about the self-righteous hypocrites of Canada and France? What are they doing?

And some things are happening in the campaign to bring North Korea into line.

Distinguished bacteriologist Hugh Pennington has an article here that tells you about all there is to know about SARS so far. He compares it with the spread of smallpox many years ago and comments: “It is easy to forget how important the isolation of cases was in smallpox control. Vaccination was made compulsory in Scotland in 1863 but indigenous smallpox was not eradicated until 1904, after the Public Health (Scotland) Act of 1897 facilitated the building of isolation hospitals”

Good news for economic progress in China: “China had convened a secret top-level body to draft sweeping changes to its constitution so the property of private enterprises had equal legal protection as state-owned ones, The Financial Times website reported yesterday.”

The Misanthropyst has a good post on the relative importance of Fascist dictators and dumb American singers. And he also notes that the Saddam regime did not bother censoring the BBC. Saddam knew he could rely on them. The BBC self-censored instead!

The Bunyip is in fine form on tax. He says: “There are few times of year more galling than when the tax man walks away from the Billabong's bank account with a big chunk of whatever Mrs. Bunyip hasn't spent on shoes” and he rightly describes taxes as “commandeered labour”.

Hey! I like it. Bill Hobbs has got me listed as the sole entry under the “International Blogs” section of his blogroll. I certainly try to keep in close touch with what is happening in Australia, the USA, Britain and Israel -- with occasional excursions into India -- so it is good that someone thinks I have achieved it. Bill also makes a good point (see his post of 12th) about the world’s biggest killer of Muslims: Israel? India? the USA? No. Saddam Hussein. And Muslims CRITICIZE us for getting rid of Saddam??

Michael Darby has some poems that mourn the wild horses deliberately mass-slaughtered by a Greenie-influenced government.

I have just put up an amusing post on PC Watch about politically-correct shoes!

In my academic post here (or here) I look at an old Leftist contention that conservatives are authoritarian and that authoritarians are “intolerant of ambiguity”. I show, that, if anything, authoritarians are tolerant of ambiguity.


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Thursday, June 12, 2003


A Sydney reader writes:

Miranda Devine has a column outlining some of the sillier ideas from government town planners with big ideas. They want to plant trees everywhere whether anyone wants them there or not. Sydney has become a considerably greener city in recent years mainly due to the green thumbs of it's backyard loving suburban home owners. Suburban living has never been popular with the urban intellectual elite, who like to imagine everyone living on Paris's left bank. Of course, recent studies that show children raised with backyards and pets are fitter don't worry them the way Ronald McDonald does.

Hence the latest mantra of the greens and the urban planners is that suburbia is just not environmentalist enough. Low density, we are told uses too much space and needs too many cars. But high rise is too dependent on energy and air conditioning. So now medium density "backfilling" is the answer. This is music to the ears of budget consious bureaucrats. Unfortunately it promotes crowding, traffic congestion and stresses local services. Things most normal people think of as environmental problems. Once the greens wake up to this they will recommend we live in caves.

That the whole plan is driven by Leftist envy is shown by the fact that its authors make a point of saying that they aim to use trees to block out the water views that better-off Sydneysiders love so much and pay so much for. Fortunately the plan has Buckley's chance of success. You can plant a tree but it can very easily have an "accident" some time thereafter. People are already rather free with herbicide, chainsaws etc in some places.



The Iranians are learning that it is easy to put the Islamic fundamentalists in charge but a lot harder to get rid of them. It seems that only the USA can do that.

The latest Australian legal provisions for questioning of terrorism suspects seem to offer a reasonable balance between preserving individual liberties and protecting our security.

India seem to be on the brink of approving use of a genetically-engineered potato with potential huge benefits to hundreds of millions of poor Indians -- but the Greenies are still condemning it on their usual flimsy grounds.

There is a rather silly criticism of the “Anglosphere” idea here. Michael Duffy implies that Anglospherists are racists and that they believe that “in our international dealings we have the right to impose our values on others” etc. The fact is that advocates of the idea say the exact opposite. They aim in fact simply to promote greater international co-operation. The political, cultural and social values of the English-origin countries are spreading rapidly throughout the world anyway regardless of what anyone does -- much to the fury of the Muslim fundamentalists! See The Anglosphere Primer.

American conservatism is traditionally isolationist but that has taken quite a battering in recent years. One U.S. college student who still thinks that way, however, is Ryan Thoryk. He has been casting a beady eye on the internationalists here.

The French government is at least doing the conservative thing on the home front: “THE French Government vowed to push through pension and education reforms in the face of widespread opposition, which last night sparked sporadic clashes between riot police and masked protestors. “

This article points out that "the Enron syndrome" (fraud) is rife in our society, and actually worse outside of the big business world: Especially in the academic and media worlds and among Leftists generally. At least in the marketplace, competition helps keep big guys honest. Of course lying has been around for a long time. Is it any more popular today? Do we tolerate it more now that "God is dead"? For a 'brief history of lying' see here.

“The punk was 17. Dangerous. Mixed up in drugs, with a nasty habit of robbing prostitutes and roughing them up. Judge James P. Gray was sitting on the Municipal Court bench back then, enforcing a plea bargain that was worked out up the food chain, in Superior Court. The kid would be behind bars for a few weeks. It was nothing. 'He had gotten away with it, and he knew it,' Gray says. 'It was wrong.'"

Carnival of the vanities is up again -- with 68 posts this time! Should be something for everyone.

Michael Darby has an open letter from some prominent Australians about the “Kyoto” Greenhouse nonsense.

Chris Brand reports increasing recognition for his views about IQ and suggests that he may in fact have been the first blogger! Were there any bloggers prior to 1996?

The Wicked one has another story of the bad guys not getting away with it and reports that private enterprise is alive and well and rather alarming in New Zealand.

China hand has seen fit to reply to the latest lulu proposal from Captain Clueless (that well-known Democrat voter and supporter of affirmative action). The proposal? That China take over North Korea with Western support!!

In my latest academic post here (or here) I tackle an old problem in analytical philosophy: What do we mean by “cause”?


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, June 11, 2003


I have had an email from Matthew Cowie in China about how Chinese internet censorship is affecting him. I am pleased to say that my "For China" mirror site is working for him. He writes:

I can view your site at Rumor has it that proximity to Beijing figures into internet censorship, although I haven't been down south yet to see if it's the case. The funny thing is that all the blocked sites are left-wing, like the BBC. (Plus the unfiltered Blogger, Geocities, Tripod, etc.). NYTimes and Washington Post are accesible since the outset of the Iraq war, but before that they were blocked. The weekly China-bashing editorials from the Washington Times have always been available. (Although I guess most Chinese haven't heard of the Washington Times so it's not considered a problem.) My blog is not viewable in China, although I can post. Since it is aimed at the home audience it isn't much of a problem.



The recent story of a Melbourne snowboarder lost and injured in the British Columbia high country who used his mobile to call his parents in Australia to organise a rescue suggests how silly and counterproductive current technophobia is. Future generations will surely giggle at it -- just as we find quaint the old "Red Flag Act" (see here and
here) that required all cars to be preceded by a man walking in front and carrying a red flag.

The myth of the 'risk' of using mobile phones at petrol stations is surely a huge non-threat. As this industry site says: "There has been no actual incident of fuel ignition at petrol stations that has been demonstrated to have been caused by mobile phone use, anywhere in the world." Such scares tend to divert attention from real risks. There is, for instance. evidence of filling-station fires related to static discharge from customers wearing synthetic fibre clothing. But there are no warnings against that.

As New Scientist wrote in an article entitled "Dial F for Fear" a few years back. "Never have so many people worried so much about so little."



Marvellous: The US government is stepping in to reverse some of the damage that has been done to the nuclear power industry by the Greenies. For those of us who REALLY want a cleaner environment, nuclear power is the answer.

Incredible: The same knives that the 9/11 hijackers used still get through security and on to Australian aircraft! Trust governments to look after you!

And you can be as mad as a cut snake and still be allowed to drive trains in Australia.

Australia is talking to the United States about a new mission to intercept North Korean vessels suspected of carrying missiles, counterfeit money and drugs

Shame: “A Danish pizzeria owner who refused service to French and German tourists because their governments didn't back the US-led war in Iraq was convicted of discrimination today.”

There is some good stuff just up on Brookes News: Leftist economic illiteracy about wage-rates and a remarkable history of Castro’s military record.

Prof. David Flint observes that the voting patterns of the local football teams are a better guide to public attitudes than are “elite” opinions or the prognostications of the media! He also says that Australia's Governors and Governors General are far from being "Rubber stamp" functionaries and that we need more of their services not less. One would have thought that Australian Leftists would realize how significant our Viceroys are by now -- after Sir John Kerr sacked their great hero -- Gough Whitlam.

Luke Slattery has some interesting comments on the Left/Right division in modern politics. He argues that Leftists today are really conservatives and that they should become more so to be true to their ideals.

China hand has the inside story of how SARS got out of hand in Hong Kong.

Chris Brand notes that female chauvinist sows are active in the London literary scene.

I have up on PC Watch an argument in favour of stopping Islamic immigration.

In my latest academic post here (or here) I show that the Protestant ethic is not dead and that to this day committed Protestants are more inclined to strive to better themselves materially.


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Tuesday, June 10, 2003


An Australian reader writes:

Peter Brimelow has a great "5 point" summary of the arguments against immigration. He includes a link to an article discussing economist Peter Bauer who made some key points in the economic case. There is also some discussion of the tensions between the welfare state and immigration. This one point was apparently lost on the left who went into a headspin when "One Nation" emerged as an electoral force in Australia in the late 1990s, winning up to 10% of the vote despite (or because of?) near universal condemnation by the country's political, academic and media elite.

The left's pundits wondered aloud how Australia 1997, rightly thought of as more tolerant and cosmopolitan, could generate a mass populist anti-immigration movement, when the provincial and staidly Anglo-Saxon Australia of 1947 didn't. "Australia was not a multicultural society in 1947 when the first post-War Census was held. Indeed it recorded the lowest proportion of immigrants at any time since 1788 (among the non-indigenous) and for any time after 1947." As a result the left, who under Paul Keating's administration, often praised the Australian people for their tolerance, started to call the same people closet “rednecks”.

The real answer of course was obvious, and under their nose. The 1948 immigrants didn't come with a fat government welfare and multiculturalism industry price tag around their neck. In fact in 1947 refugee immigrants were required to labour for two years on public work projects. Thus "Citizen Bigot" in 1947 had less incentive to oppose immigration than did broad minded "Citizen Tolerant" in 1997 .



Life was meant to be cheesy: Dr Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine, says cheese is addictive because it contains small amounts of morphine from cows' liver. .... 'There's a biochemical reason many of us feel we can't live without our daily fix. Cheese, for example, contains high levels of casein, a protein that breaks apart during digestion to produce morphine-like opiate compounds, called casomorphins.'

Amusing: Carol Johnson supports the ordination of an openly homosexual bishop in the (U.S.) Episcopalian Church. But she also makes clear what sort of Anglican she is: She attends church there because they have pretty ceremonies and no stuffy dogmas: None of that silly old New Testament stuff! As an atheist myself, I wonder why she bothers.

BRITAIN is facing the prospect of co-ordinated strikes that could paralyse the public services as the country’s biggest union prepares to go to war against the Government. No doubt everyone and his dog will be comparing this with the famous “winter of discontent” that brought down the previous Labour government of Jim Callaghan. But in 1979 Callaghan had Thatcher challenging him whereas Blair’s Leader of the Opposition is a pusillanimous nobody.

Iraq: "To hear U.S. officials talk, the key to restoring livable economic conditions is the military working with regulatory agencies, international governmental bodies like the World Bank, and billions in tax dollars. That’s not true, of course. If Iraq is to be rebuilt into a functioning society again, it will be through the efforts of Haydar Hussain and other [individual Iraqis] like him."

Islamic “extremists” versus Jewish “extremists”: Hamas and Islamic Jihad want to drive Israel into the ocean, but the Jews are extremists too. They want to keep their homes!

“Canada has all but wrapped up its search through cattle country for mad cow disease without finding any cases beyond one confirmed in May, but its biggest export market, the United States, is not ready to lift a ban on Canadian shipments” Odd that! Where are your friends when you need them?

Canada's Trudeau invented multiculturalism as a clever trick to dilute Quebec secessionism.

We know from recent radio interviews (here and here) with Jerzy Zubrzycki, influential Australian immigration policy advisor, that the Whitlam govt used Canadian multiculturalism as a "model" for Australia's policies. Zubrzycki also reveals that besides Canada, another model, not publicly discussed, was 16th century Poland's Zlota Wolnoscz ("Golden Freedom") period. The subsequent history of Polish ethnic relations is hardly inspiring and probably indicates why the pioneer advocates of multiculturalism were not prepared to expose their model to public debate.

There are some skeptical comments about the inevitability of democracy here. It is certainly an undoubted historical fact that the normal human method of government is a tyranny of one sort or another. I myself think that it is only the temperament of a few closely-related races from the fringes of Northwest Europe that makes lasting democracy possible. And I don't think Iraq will surprise me.

It sounds like special pleading of the worst kind but it does seem that fox-hunting is good for the fox. For a fuller account of the fox-hunting issue see here.

Cecil Adams, author of THE STRAIGHT DOPE column has some clear thinking about DDT here. He says that Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” was not quite a pack of lies.

Michael Darby writes about the heartless bureaucrats who are supposed to be in charge of child welfare. Shooting would be too good for most of them.

Chris Brand notes that rising educational expenditure in the USA has been accompanied by falling educational standards.

I have recently noted on PC Watch that politically correct language can have the reverse effect to that intended.


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Monday, June 09, 2003


Following is an interesting excerpt from a recent book review:

The designation of the US by the Iranian religious establishment as the Great Satan is something much more specific than a mere description of the US as extremely evil. Rather, the metaphor is used in the sense that Satan's role, in Islam and Christianity, is primarily to offer temptation. Satan is the great seducer, offering material and carnal delights to the faithful to tempt them away from righteous living.

Thus the roots of fundamentalist hatred of the US are not its support for Israel or any of the other litany of specific allegations levelled against it but that its material success offers Muslims, and Muslim societies, a great temptation to abandon the stringent practice of religion.

A more extensive excerpt from the review is to be found here.



I mentioned recently the powerful effect that William Blake's great "Jerusalem" hymn has on me. An Indian correspondent comments:

"You may be aware that the Academy Award winning movie CHARIOTS OF FIRE is based on the poem by William Blake which you mentioned in your blog. It's about about an English Jew and a Scottish missionary in training competing in the Olympics (1924) and how their idealism at times impedes and obstructs their game but they stick to it no matter what. Incredibly inspiring -- considering today's narcissistic and dog eat dog culture. I absolutely love this movie and the movie gets me choked up as well: quite incredible considering the movie celebrates British victory at the Olympic games in the 1920's.

I mentioned this to some girls and they said that they didn't get what could be so emotional about the film. I hope they are satisfied with some retarded Meg Ryan chick flick. So apparently one doesn't have to be British to appreciate the visual translation of William Blakes poetry."



The latest finding from genetics researcher David Goldman at the NIH is exciting stuff for those of us who study variations in human personality. A single gene (the Catechol-O-Methyl-Transferase or COMTgene) has been found that determines whether you are a worrier or an action type. That sounds very similar to a major human trait that psychometricians call neuroticism/stability. Psychometricians have had evidence for some years now to show that the sort of person you are is mostly inherited but it is good to see the precise gene responsible for one of the major inherited traits being identified. The old Leftist whine that "education" can change everything about us is looking sillier every day.

Another good column by Jeff Jacoby. He says basically that "old Europe" has lost its cojones and that is why they hate America.

Some relentless logic that gave me a chuckle: "Either there is a justification for the war (objectively speaking) or there is not. If there is, then it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush. If there isn't, then it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush. Either way, it doesn't matter what motivated President Bush."

Lots of good stuff in the Spectator at the moment: More evidence of how much we are a product of our genetics; How bureacracy is strangling British schools; How Nike "sweatshops" are enriching the world's poor and Mark Steyn is skeptical about Iraqi democracy happening any time soon.

Amusing: A prominent Australian law professor has just realized something that social scientists have known for a long time: Prejudice can be a good thing.

There is a short, sharp and well-informed debunking of "natural" and "organic" food here. Yes, you guessed it, it can have MORE pesticide residues than normal food and it is much worse for the environment. And it tastes no better either. So there!

The 'working rich' bear virtually the whole cost of government and its extensive entitlement programs... but the left media is trying to convince us that the beneficiaries of our system are really its victims."

The Wicked one has a comment on why homosexuality among the top Nazis is denied or glossed over.

Michael Darby has a fresh lot of horror reports from Zimbabwe. Opposition still goes on there despite brutal repression.

Chris Brand reports that although IQ has been rising throughout the world and although American blacks have now had decades of interventions to help them, blacks scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test are actually falling

My latest academic posting here (or here) is one of my small number of academic philosophy papers. I look at what perception is.


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Sunday, June 08, 2003


From FEE: “Martha Stewart has been indicted for lying about a stock sale that the government can't prove was illegal insider trading. That's bad enough, but she is also charged with securities fraud -- for proclaiming her innocence! Read all about it in "Free Martha!" by Sheldon Richman.” An Australian reader writes:

In Australia, stockbroker Rene Rivkin has just been jailed for 'insider trading' -- rather paralleling the US Martha Stewart case. Harry Browne says we are wasting public money on an absurd law based on the myth of an unobtainable 'level playing field'. William Anderson says that envy has something to do with it. Crikey makes the point that whatever the rights and wrongs of insider trading, putting Rivkin in prison is a waste of money. He's hardly a threat. A big fat community service order, say free financial advice to a public charity, makes more sense than Rivkin's weekend detention order.

One other link between Rivkin and Stewart is celebrity. This Yahoo article asks if law enforcement agencies stalk celebrities for their own PR purposes. Nobel prizewinning economist George Stigler once did an analysis entitled "Public Regulation of the Securities Market," which concluded that purchasers of new share issues fared no better (or worse) after the creation of the SEC than before. No wonder regulators feel the need to collect high profile scalps! The media, of course pull down prominent people for a living. See here for the BBC job on Martha.



I have now commented a couple of times on the way all sorts of colleges get “verbally upgraded” to being called universities. I seem to recollect that Sinclair Lewis had a satirical comment on that in “Babbit” many years ago too. Matthew Cowie comments:

I found this link which kind of goes into the differences between a college and a university in the US. My alma mater has only 1600 undergrad students, but calls itself a University because it has a law school and a separate undergraduate business school, in addition to offering far more majors than most colleges (hence making it more like a University). I think small schools that call themselves universities always get asked why they are a university (because the word invokes images of Division 1 football and at least 10,000 students), especially by parents when they visit with their children, so they are going to have some kind of answer.

I myself take the traditional British view that in a university those who teach are all supposed to have some involvement in research and/or writing as well.



Further to my recent mention of Greenie dissension about windmills, a reader writes:

“The American Wind Energy Association has a site, ( with some interesting papers. One paper stated: "Installed wind energy generating capacity now totals 4,685MW and generated about 1.2 billion kWh of electricity - less than 1% of US electricity generation"

Calculation #1: US electricity generation in 2000 was 3.800 trillion kWh according to the US energy department. Dividing 1.2 by 3800 yields 0.3%. (Yea, this is less than 1%, a LOT less.)

Calculation #2: Theoretical output = 4685 MW x 24 x 365 = 41.05 billion kWh. Actual output was 11.2 billion kWh 11.2 / 41.05 yields a paltry 27% efficiency. How do they make money? In some cases, the tax benefits per kWh are actually greater than the money they get for selling the power.

As a closure, I find it so Kennedyesque that Ted has suddenly done an about face regarding wind power when it comes close to home in Martha's Vinyard. Ultimate NIMBYism.”

The really HUGE cost of wind-power generators, however, is that you have to double them up with other types of generator for use when the wind is not blowing. The whole thing is utter nonsense, in other words.



Remember all the shrill Leftist denunciations of the US armed forces for failing to prevent the “looting” of all the Iraq museum treasures? Will they be retracting their criticisms now that almost all the treasures have been found NOT to have been looted? Don’t hold your breath.

Chris Brand thinks it may be mainly people of Chinese race who get SARS -- but that the PC media hide that fact.

Michael Darby has a speech which sets out a vision of what conservatism is all about

The Wicked one has some criticisms of the anti-tobacco extremists.

Writing on his other blog China Hand makes a case that being unsure of yourself is better than having convictions. But he is not too sure about it!

In my academic posting here (and here) I reproduce one of my analytical philosophy papers -- which tackles the basic question of meta-ethics: What is meant by such terms as “right” and “good”? I take the unusual step of using social science methods to help answer a question in academic philosophy.


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