Saturday, June 28, 2003


The attention-seeking never stops: "Hundreds of protesters descended on [Sacramento's] streets Sunday as agriculture officials from around the world prepared for a meeting where U.S. officials will pitch advances in genetically engineered agriculture. Chanting, banging drums and carrying signs that read 'We Don't Want to Eat Their Corporate Creations,' protesters swarmed the streets around the state Capitol and nearby conference center."

'Feed the needy, not the greedy!' read one placard hoisted near where agricultural ministers from hundreds of countries are meeting to consider the benefits of genetically enhanced crops. 'Beat Back the Corporate Attack!' demonstrators chanted. 'Entire populations are being put at risk simply for corporate economic benefit,' one protestor told the San Francisco Chronicle. Lost in the haze of anti-corporate hysteria is what the Sacramento conferees are actually doing."

Big food is the nouveau public health epidemic that has been targeted with phasers set on demonize. It began with the fast-food lawsuits. Fat people claimed the food was too cheap so they bought too much. And that restaurant operators should be made to pay for this manipulation."


A big Greenie scare from a while back said that sperm-counts were dropping all over the world because of pesticide use. It turns out that sperm-counts are NOT dropping and that normal pesticide use does not influence sperm-count anyway.

Wow! New Scientist doesn’t seem to be able to work out whether global temperatures are rising or falling but they are sure it is our fault anyway.

The sun needs to sign “Kyoto” too: “Recently, Professor Richard Wilson published a peer-reviewed article in the journal Geophysical Research Letters where he reported the results of his studies on the amount of solar energy that our sun has been producing over the last 24 years. During this time period, the amount of energy the sun is producing has increased by 0.05% every 10 years."

The old fluoride scare: "If you thought that a loony obsession with malevolent forces spiking our drinking water was limited to fictional characters from 'Dr. Strangelove' ... think again. Such characters are very real, and they belong to the extreme environmentalist movement. National Review reports that the same crowd who brought you the entirely unfounded hysteria over Alar on apples and falsely accused biotech corn of mass- murdering monarch butterflies is now warning of a deadly substance that nameless, faceless government officials are purposely putting in your tap water: fluoride."



There is a good article here on what a dangerous fraud the “diversity” idea is. The version of it made into law by the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t mean what an unsuspecting person might think it does.

We believe in freedom of association -- it's implicit in the First Amendment, in fact -- but that freedom entails not only the right to associate with those willing to associate with us but the right not to associate -- the right to discriminate, on any ground, good or bad, or no ground at all".

Contrary to first world middle class leftist dogma, the people of the third world are big fans of globalisation. Now why would that be? Simple. Because they know from experience that it makes them better off, not worse off -- contrary to what the lying Leftists of the West say.

Great news: Spam just doesn't sell. I must say I could throttle anybody who buys something advertised in spam. If people stop buying it will go away.

Not very libertarian but I sympathize: "France may pass a new law to ban Muslim veils and other religious symbols in public schools and buildings”

Good show: Officials last week agreed to pay $1.35 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of some 700 women illegally strip- searched after their arrest. .... It didn't matter if the women had been arrested for a major felony or for a minor offense. A murder suspect was searched, as were women arrested for underage drinking or shoplifting."

Tom Wolfe wrote an essay at the turn of the century three years ago about the triumph of America and the failure of its Leftist intellectuals that makes interesting reading. He concludes that American intellectuals do not actually want change. They just want to talk about it.

The Wicked one has some more of those exceptionally funny courtroom transcripts.

In my academic posting here (and here) I report evidence which demolishes a stupid Leftist claim that Leftists are “life-loving” and conservatives are “death loving”.

China Hand has some pictures of the graceful new buildings that have just gone up in his part of China.


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Friday, June 27, 2003


Great! Australia’s Foreign Minister has pissed all over the United Nations (metaphorically). He said that the U.N. was "ineffective and unfocused" and that Australia’s foreign policy will increasingly rely on "coalitions of the willing" like the one that waged war in Iraq.

There is good coverage here of the lies and hypocrisy that went into securing the moderately favourable verdict for the University of Michigan in the recent affirmative action case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

There is a short dialogue here with a rather wise correspondent who DEFENDS affirmative action as cheap pacification.

About time: “Alastair Campbell, the Prime Minister’s press chief, yesterday accused the BBC of pursuing a secret agenda against the government and demanded an apology for its "biased" Iraq coverage.”

There is a good article in Brookes News about why the unemployed deserve better treatment from the Government -- i.e. the unemployed deserved to be compensated by the rest because the market is rigged against them. Conservatives could use that argument to really confuse the Leftists!

Philip Adams, child murderers and paedophilia. “Paedophilia is a nasty activity that means the sexual abuse of children. This is something that every ordinary person understands and, with the exception of child molesters, vigorously condemns. But it takes a rancid socialist like Philip Adams to accuse companies who produce goods and advertising that target the youth market of "corporate paedophilia"

There is a good short summary here of the Radical feminist worldview and their notion that there is a "Gender War" going on which women must win against men. It is pretty fevered stuff. Totally devoid of realism or rationality.

Paul Johnson says that the USA is an empire but he makes clear that his usage of that word is not the usual one today. He gives an interesting coverage of how the meaning of the word has changed over time.

Why do Jews rarely become farmers? According to Slate's economics writer it's because they are generally well-educated and so know better. I myself always describe farmers as "rural gamblers".
I am getting a strange new respect for USA Today. Note for instance this straight talk: "The financial problems racking many state governments this year have less to do with the weak national economy than with the ability of governors and legislators to manage money wisely. That is the key finding of a USA TODAY analysis of how the 50 states spend, tax and balance their budgets -- or don't. The National Governors Association says states are suffering their worst economic crisis since World War II. But for many states, the analysis shows, the fault is largely their own."

A good joke from Chris Tame of the Libertarian Alliance: "Q: What do you get if you cross a mafioso with a deconstructionist post- modernist philosopher? A: A man who makes you an offer you can't understand."

There is a good short book review here of a book by an expert on Italian Fascism. He shows that Fascism and Nazism modelled their methods on Lenin and Stalin and that the Fascist idea of adding nationalism to socialism was later taken up by Stalin and Mao -- so that in the end Fascism and Communism were two very similar Leftist sects -- something that I have also argued. The idea that Nazism was Rightist is thus an old Soviet lie that Left-leaning intellectuals in the West have perpetuated in flagrant denial of historical reality.

Environmental Colonialism: "Saving" Africa from Africans: "Under the banner of saving the African environment, Africans in the last half century have been subjected to colonialism from an overlooked source: the conservation movement. Local populations have been displaced and impoverished in order to create national parks and to serve other conservation objectives"

Powerful help for Israel: "Fundamentalist Christians have launched a nationwide billboard and bumper sticker campaign, opposing President Bush's plan for peace in the Middle East that calls for a Palestinian state with permanent borders by 2005. Some 100 billboards in major American cities, including five in Memphis [TN] alone, cite Genesis 35:11-12: 'And the Lord said to Jacob "Unto thy offspring will I give this land!"' Beneath the Bible verse, the billboards say, 'Pray that President Bush Honors God's Covenant with Israel.'"

Chris Brand has a big excerpt from the confession of a lesbian gone straight which concludes: “There’s a quiet ex-lesbian minority of ‘hasbians’ out there, having a gay old time with men after years of sapphistry”. It sounds like lesbians are pretty nasty to one-another.

The Wicked one has a sad story about a very small business being persecuted by local bureaucrats.

My academic posting here (or here) looks at possible effects of climate on political attitudes. It was hypothesized that people from the warmer climate of the Australian State of Queensland would be more conservative than people from the cooler climate of New South Wales. It was found that Queenslanders WERE more conservative on social and moral issues but were not more conservative on economic issues. An expanded treatment of the same subject can be found here.


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Thursday, June 26, 2003


The Australian alternative to vouchers is already well-established: "Federal funding of non-government schools is on a runaway trajectory but the Howard Government has no plans to rein in the cost, estimated to hit $5.4 billion by 2006. With enrolments in non-government schools growing - and a new religious school opening every six weeks in NSW - federal budget estimates of the funding have blown out by $150 million. "We have no intention of putting some sort of a cap on it," the Minister for Education, Brendan Nelson, said. "This is a society that values and believes in supporting parents in their choice of education." This year, the scheme will pay $4.37 billion to 2650 schools - more than federal spending on universities - while two years ago the budget put the bill at $4.22 billion."


As a courageous black woman says: "By vigorously defending racial preferences in the name of diversity and refusing to challenge racial double standards, our national and state leaders have fostered hostilities among and between different racial and ethnic groups.... How long can a nation as diverse as America sustain racial and ethnic preferences without fueling increased racial and ethnic conflict? How long can the American people be satisfied with public policies that give advantages to the offspring of new immigrants over the needs of Americans with deep roots in this nation?"

Another story here about the disgusting “humanitarians” of the United Nations -- this time they are pretending that North Korean refugees don’t exist. The whole sorry lot of them should be kicked out of New York at least.

A good comment from one of my U.S. readers: "The GOP "tax breaks" and "prescription drug" plans are nothing short of something to take away ALL liberal issues from the Democrats - and essentially castrate them. The only problem is who is paying the bills."

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with its usual conspectus of the blogosphere.

Realism at last: “Israel is too strong to defeat and the Palestinians have no choice but to live with the Jewish state in peace, a senior Hamas official said in an extraordinary departure from the militant group's implacable enmity towards Israel.”

Wayne Lusvardi has a review here of a crap anti-democratic book that a surprising range of people seem to agree with. Wayne writes: “The author of the book is getting quite a bit of attention in the U.S. in TV and print media. Even many libertarian websites (i.e.,, have been duped by the book. I'm a sociologist by training and can spot a Neo-Marxist quickly. Globalization is a very contentious issue and the political Left is very aggressive in selling their socialist solution by calling it something other than it is.”

Hey! I really like this: “The US House of Representatives has voted to award British Prime Minister Tony Blair the Congressional Gold Medal, the country's highest civilian honour, for his steadfast support of the US-led invasion of Iraq. Mr Blair becomes the second British leader to receive the award, following in the footsteps of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill”

Clever! Beats sending troops: “The United States has offered Zimbabwe "generous assistance" in exchange for its ruling ZANU-PF party ousting President Robert Mugabe and agreeing to hold free elections.”

About time: “THE United States and the European Union today agreed to start landmark talks this year on liberalising the trans-Atlantic air market. The "open skies" talks, which have been held up for several years, could radically change relations between European and American airlines.”

ANIMAL activists have threatened to do their utmost to stop shooters culling 6,500 kangaroos at the Puckapunyal army base in central Victoria. There are untold millions of the b***s in Australia and they are a tremendous pest to graziers (ranchers) because they eat what the sheep and cattle also eat. There are so many kangaroos in Australia that you even see them hopping around the suburbs of Brisbane at times -- and Brisbane is a city of 1 million people.

A recent posting from Chris Brand: “RACE IS KEY VARIABLE IN CRIME: Engaging Human BioDiversity President Steve Sailer pulled together US Department of Justice figures showing that Blacks are 9.1 times as likely to commit crimes as are Whites. Apparently, race has now overtaken even sex as a predictor of criminality (and that’s without allowing for the fact that much female criminality consists of civil and unpunishable cheating on men).”

China Hand replies to allegations about China’s “sweatshops”. As an experienced industrial engineer who has toured many Chinese factories he is in an ideal position to do so. He says that many Chinese factories are in fact better than some Western ones he remembers.

The Wicked one has a set of hilarious quotations that should be enough to make a libertarian out of anyone.

My academic posting here (or here) looks at psychopathic tendencies in the normal population and concludes that psychopaths may have got a bad rap.


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Wednesday, June 25, 2003


Very few people outside the UK are probably aware of the anomaly that Prime Minister Blair and most of his senior ministers are in fact Scotsmen or Welshmen. So England is not being ruled by the English. A second anomaly is that Scotland and Wales have parliaments of their own in addition to their representatives in the UK parliament but England does not. So Scotsmen and Welshmen control England plus their own countries while Englishmen have no say over Wales, Scotland OR England! And to add insult to injury, the present UK government is even proposing constitutional changes that would almost certainly be rejected by the English if they were given the chance to vote on it all via a referendum. So a lot of the long-suffering English are getting pretty fed-up with all that. I reproduce here an email from one of them that gives more detail of how anomalous the situation has become.



Paul Gottfried makes the interesting aside in his book MULTICULTURALISM AND THE POLITICS OF GUILT that the scientific case for racially based differences in intelligence is much stronger than the case that homosexuality is genetic. Yet the first hypothesis is controversial and hotly disputed, but the much weaker hypothesis is paraded as fact and treated as an 'article of faith' by a large section of society and virtually all the media.

The gay gene theory (criticised here) does now seem to be widely accepted as THE explanation for homosexual behaviour. I don't have a dog in that fight but must note that NONE of the research in fact finds that there is a one-to-one relationship between genetic makeup and homosexuality. I have no doubt that there is a genetic predisposition to it in some cases but in ALL cases there need to be other infuences as well for homosexual behaviour to result.

This article notes how widespread homosexuality is in the RC priesthood and also notes some of the other influences that give rise to homosexuality.

A less controversial gene: Scientists say some people are born shy. Not only that, researchers from Harvard Medical School say most people don't outgrow their natural inhibitions. 'Now we're suggesting that same link continues through life,' says Carl Schwartz, an assistant professor of psychiatry. In a study published in the journal, 'Science', Dr. Schwartz and his colleague, Jerome Kagan, say MRI brain scans show shy adults react to new faces differently than their less inhibited peers.



A recent post from Chris Brand:

"Any hopes that the June 1-published Pergamon Festschrift (PDF!) for Arthur Jensen would make waves were dashed as the publisher failed to establish any significant presence for the book on the Internet, let alone anywhere else. This failure had been predicted by some in view of Pergamon's owner, Elsevier, having moved in 2002 to close down Praeger -- the only house to have been publishing London School mat‚riel since 1996. Better cheer came from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where postgraduate Alexander Beaujean had set up a nice website with pictures of Galton, Spearman, Burt, Eysenck and Jensen and gave plenty of news of his own work and reviews on topics such as mental speed (which he reports from meta-analysis to have a heritability of around .40 -- quite high given the unreliability of many mental speed tasks as conventionally administered by researchers)."



A rare victory for free speech in these politically correct times: "The city violated the First Amendment rights of two firefighters and a police officer when it fired them for riding on a parade float in blackface in 1998, a judge ruled Tuesday. U.S. District Judge John E. Sprizzo said the government "may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because a segment of society finds it offensive."

The poor dears: “There's no guarantee of safety for Canadian soldiers who start patrolling the troubled streets of Kabul next month”

A U.S. Marine on leave in Australia after the Iraq war saved a life: “A US Marine who intervened in a vicious brawl outside a northern Sydney nightclub may have saved a man's life, police said today”

Surprise, surprise: Germany’s socialist government sure has made a mess of the German economy.

A critical report on Australia's peak Aboriginal body (ATSIC) has called it a "corrupt shambles" that would not be tolerated if it were run by whites. Is not the continued tolerance of this an example of Leftist racism? The poor blacks are too childlike to live up to adult white standards?

China Hand notes a mature and tolerant response to "insult" from the People's Daily in Beijing which is a refreshing change from the paranoia and hysteria of the past.

The Wicked one has a good example of why democracy is a good thing.

In my academic posting here (or here) I show that the main things psychologists are interested in are personal adjustment, personal ambition and cynicism. One wonders what those interests reflect about psychologists themselves. Certainly it my impression that they are in general ambitious, cynical and prone to presenting childish games as "research".


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Tuesday, June 24, 2003


Since everyone else will be blogging on this I won’t say much but I find this reasoning pretty incredible:

Justice O'Connor declared that the Constitution "does not prohibit the law school's narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body." ... "Effective participation by members of all racial and ethnic groups in the civic life of our nation is essential if the dream of one nation, indivisible, is to be realized,"

WHAT educational benefit flows from having a racially diverse student body? No-one has ever shown any net benefit to my knowledge -- though there is plenty of evidence that it leads to dumbing down.

OF COURSE all racial groups should participate in the life of the nation but who said that blacks need favouritism before they can participate? Sounds like old-fashioned racism to me.



It was notable how quiet Libya’s Gaddafi went after Ronald Reagan had him bombed: A modern equivalent of the old “whiff of grapeshot” effect. The man who once hosted Arafat has now not only agreed to pay compensation to the Lockerbie victims his terrorist underlings attacked but after Iraq he now does not want even to be known as an Arab!

“Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan 'Supreme Guide', plans to announce his withdrawal from the Arab League sometime in August. The Libyan 'Popular Assembly' has just passed a bill to drop the word 'Arab' from the country's official name. After next September, Libya will describe itself as 'The African Republic of Libya'.”

What Reagan started, GWB has finished. Destroying two aggressive Islamic regimes (in Afghanistan and Iraq) has had the intended effect of putting big psychological pressure on other Islamic regimes that have a history of supporting terrorism.

And guess what? Now that Israel seems to be getting pretty good at blowing up their leaders, even the ultra-intransigent Hamas suddenly seems very interested in a cease-fire. Funny that!



There is a stereotype-busting article here about the new prescription drug plan for the elderly that looks like being enacted in the U.S.A. soon. The scheme will benefit ALL older peoople -- not just the impoverished elderly and the article points out that the elderly have far more assets than the working families who will be paying for the program via their taxes. So the whole scheme is grossly unjust.

"It is wrong to increase refundable child tax credits to families with no income tax liability. It's not a question of being stingy; many are genuinely concerned about the growth of a nontaxpaying class that potentially can vote subsidies for itself under the guise of tax reduction." But this article shows that such credits were a GOP idea in the first place.


Thought-provoking: One of my English correspondents has recently spent a couple of months in Indonesia and mentioned with approval the dusky maidens there. I commented that dusky Islamic maidens were probably pretty dangerous. His reply was: “Indonesia seems as much Islamic as the UK is Christian. There are more Islamic nutters in the UK than there seem to be there!”

“The appointment of a gay bishop does not violate the Church of England's current teaching”, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said Monday. Well, I guess we all knew that the C of E long ago ceased teaching the New Testament.

He! He! “Belgium is to amend war crimes laws used to target George Bush and the commander of American forces in Iraq, General Tommy Franks” Those pissant Belgians soon folded under a bit of pressure.

Although IVF conception was invented in Britain, it seems that there are incredible and rather offensive bureaucratic requirements before you are allowed assisted reproduction in Britain today. In Australia, if you can afford it, you have it.

How ridiculous that people have to go to these lengths to have a child: "Eight more British families are to sidestep U.K. law by following the example of a couple who travelled to America to use selective embryo screening to create a so-called 'designer baby' to help save the life of their first child."

The younger brother of the Battleship Potemkin (post of 19th) has found a small round in his aging revolutionary magazine and fired it off with great jollity. He notes with satisfaction that the Left sometimes oppose some taxes (only if they are put forward by conservatives, of course) while taking no account of the fact that they still do their best to increase taxation overall.

Eleanor Spreitzer says that if our kids are eating unhealthy food it is not the fault of McDonalds but the fault of high taxes that force mothers to go out to work and so to be unable to prepare proper home-cooked meals.

The Wicked one has a most instructive fable about modern-day Canada.

My academic post here (or here) reports on the popular notion that love of animals goes with love of people. Survey evidence showed no relationship.


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Monday, June 23, 2003


A reader writes:

Reciprocity and immigration: A possible basis for a bold new "non-discriminatory" immigration policy?? This VDARE article takes a half satirical swipe at immigration thinking based on wonderful big ideas. What could be more 'fair' and 'natural' than the great principle of 'reciprocity'? Do unto others as they do unto you.

The article also makes some points about Japanese immigration policies in the 1930s. Historians still ascribe Japan's path to war in 1942 as being "propelled" by the restrictive immigration policies of countries like the US and Australia. Sure.

It reminds me of a comment by historian Geoffrey Blainey in his SHORTER HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA talking about the adoption of the "White Australia Policy" in the late 19th century. "The White Australia Policy was far from unique. Canada, the United States and New Zealand - three other democratic nations which faced an inrush of Chinese - had built there own walls against Asian immigration by the 1880s. China and Japan usually gave no welcome to foreigners; and it was much safer to be a Chinese living in Australia than an Australian in China. Late in the century six Australian missionaries, young women and men of compassion, were murdered in various episodes in China. When the Emperor of China sent commissioners to other lands in 1887 to see whether Chinese residents were ill-treated, he was informed that Chinese living in Java and the Philippines were treated rather worse than those living in Australia."

The old White Australia policy (ended by conservative governments in the 1960s) stupidly denied Australia the benefit of hard working non-European immigrants. It was short sighted and harmed our economic interests, a bit like our 1960s tariff wall. In it's day it was seen as protecting what were internationally advanced working conditions. The trade unions believed the coolie labour system, common across the Empire could get a toehold here. It had the support of the "social progressives" too. They used the White Australia policy to end an indentured black labour system then operating in North Queensland: Racism and reform in one package, neither wholly right or wholly wrong, it was certainly nothing later generations need apologise for. The article also has some fun pointing out features of Mexico's immigration policies here.



Who said that conservatives can't have fun? Though I must admit that British Conservative politicians do seem to like having their fun in unusual ways.

I have just posted here an article about Saudi Arabia that gives a vivid picture of what a disgusting place it is. Excerpt about their religious police: "Last year, when a girls' school caught fire, they stopped the fire brigade entering the blazing building in case the girls were not fully covered. As a result, 15 burned to death."

I have just posted here part of a report about the "peace" activist who makes a practice of invading U.S. airbases and damaging aircraft. His own mother cannot not understand why he does what he does but it is not hard to work out if you look at the results of his actions. Does he do anything to prevent war? No. Does he get heaps of personal publicity? Yes. So he is just another attention seeker -- and has been since he was in High School, it appears. Typical Leftist motivations, in other words. In our present terrorist age, however, he probably does the U.S. Airforce a great favour by making clear to them in a relatively harmless way how laughable their security is.

A good summary of the state of affairs in Zimbabwe here. You would think Tony Blair could spare a few troops to get rid of the obscene Mugabe, but Mugabe IS black, I suppose. Blacks can do anything without being pulled into line, of course. But even the French send in their troops to sort out their ex-colonies.

And elsewhere in Africa apes are disappearing and it's not global warming or industrialism that is doing it. Old fashioned hunting by Africans is to blame. How odd that the Greenies are not condemning Africans as the chief threat to an endangered species!

There is some good in everyone, they say: The French not only allow genetically modified crops to be grown but jail those who attack them.

There has just been a big conference in Boston which was 'intended to encourage and support litigation against the food industry'. The usual suspects -- lawyers and activists who use junk-science in an attempt to erode consumer freedom and turn food companies into their newest cash cow -- were on hand."

So it can happen: The Philippine government welcomed a public rejection of terrorism by Muslim rebels, saying it could lead to a resumption of peace talks.

Smallpox vaccination has been going on since 1796 (Yes. 1796, not 1976) and yet we get this self-important nonsense: "The next phase of the smallpox vaccination program should be put on hold while health authorities investigate possible severe side effects, a CDC advisory panel recommended Thursday."

"'If you keep a gun in your home,' a University of Pennsylvania press release said last week, 'you dramatically increase the odds that you will die of a gunshot wound, according to research published in the June issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.' ... Frightening results for people who own guns, or who are thinking of buying them. Frightening but, it turns out, meaningless -- another example of how unsound social science is being used in public-policy debates."

The Wicked one explains why a "young man" got shot in the head in South Africa.

In my academic posting here (or here) I point out that not to have a death penalty for serious crime is undemocratic.


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Sunday, June 22, 2003


And so she should: "A gun distributor wants the widow of a slain middle school teacher to pay its defense costs from last year's five-week trial. The Valor Corp.says it is entitled to recover legal costs, including attorneys' fees, because Pam Grunow lost her lawsuit accusing the Broward County company of being responsible for her husband's death. Valor sold the .25-caliber handgun that Lake Worth Middle School student Nathaniel Brazill used to kill Barry Grunow on the last day of school in 2000." And Brazill stole the gun, let it be noted. How was the gunmaker responsible for that? If these evil lawsuits that blame everyone but the wrongdoer are to be stopped, the people bringing such suits have to be made to bear the costs of their actions.



Clinton in treason's shadow. Seeing as Hillary Clinton's book has decided to mock history in an attempt to clear a path to the White House, I think it behoves us to once again draw attention to the enormous damage her husband wilfully did to America's national security.
President Lula and the "untouchability" of communist Cuba. How nice, Brazil's President Lula and the rest of his charming socialists gang up with Castro against his victims and those who demand liberty for Cuba.
Bush and America’s political civil war. The ruckus over the 2000 election at least had the beneficial effect of revealing the enormous ideological rift that has been developing for more than thirty years in America.
Philip Adams' socialist hypocrisy. By keeping Adams shocking record on communist aggression and tyranny in mind when reading his current diatribes against Bush and his sneering references to WMDs one can see where he is coming from. Not only that, one can also see why he never refers to Saddam's crimes, the mass torture, the mass graves, even one filled with children..

Details here



Russia’s President Putin is about to discover that no-one can do pomp and circumstance like the British. His getting such a grand welcome on his visit to London underscores what an asset to Britain the monarchy is. The disagreements between Putin and Prime Minister Blair are well-known but Russia is still a very important country whose friendship with the West must be fostered. And the monarchy helps with that by giving great honour to Russia despite minor differences at the political level.

The story of this unfortunate woman is as good an example as any of the disgraceful arrogance of government intervention in people’s private lives. We no longer allow government intervention in the private lives of homosexuals. Why do we allow it in the private lives of infertile couples? No child could be more wanted than one conceived through the great difficulties and uncertainties of IVF.

The FDA is up to its usual nonsense -- this time warning people that the long-lasting anti-impotence drug Cialis is “risky”. Yet it has been readily available on prescription in Australia and New Zealand for some time. Are American bodies so much frailer than Australian ones? All the FDA are interested in is protecting their own vast bureaucratic empire.

V.D. Hanson has an interesting review of a recent book about Napoleon that looks at why the murderous Corsican dictator is still widely admired -- even by his chief victims (the French). Excerpt: “Indeed Napoleon's enduring resonance in some parts of contemporary Western society tells us as much about ourselves as it does the self-proclaimed emperor. Johnson's matter-of-fact chronicle of executions, grotesque battle losses, betrayal, and outright lying—stripped of Napoleonic fluff and bluster—reflects deeply-rooted Anglo skepticism about messianic killers, as the principled careers of Englishmen like Edmund Burke, the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill, and most recently Tony Blair attest. In contrast, for the insecure, megalomaniac, and duplicitous, Napoleonic power holds an eternal appeal.”

The previous French government to the present one was not too hot either: “French Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin stated that he was "proud" of the presence of communists in his government and shocked by a comparison to the Nazis.”

Thomas Sowell has an excellent short review of the work of Eric Hoffer. Excerpt: “People who are fulfilled in their own lives and careers are not the ones attracted to mass movements: "A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding," Hoffer said. "When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business." “ He also has a good explanation of the “Limousine Liberal” phenomenon.

O to have such small concerns: "A Norwegian family of four is facing eviction for painting their front door green. Tor Ole Eriksen's colour choice has put him at odds with his local homeowners' association in Kristiansand. The Brattbakken homeowners' association allows doors to be painted only blue, red, gold or white."

I have received another email from a reader about the famously anti-Australian Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mohammad Mahathir -- which I have posted here. The email makes the point that Australia is more respected in Asia if we stick to our own traditions instead of pandering to theirs.

China Hand has some reflections about a modern Chinese film Shower. Excerpt: “The film is full of nostalgia for the old ways put pessimistic about their ability to survive”.

The Wicked one has some pretty appalling examples of perverted justice in California and New York.

In my academic posting here (or here), I look at whether whether there is a distinctive Protestant ethic in Australia today. In five surveys I found no differences between Protestants and Catholics but I did find differences between believers and unbelievers. These days it is the atheists and agnostics who are hard driving and ambitious.


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