Saturday, August 09, 2003


I have just posted one of my academic articles here (or here) that was published under the title “The psychopathology of the political Left”. It is a bit of a wonder the article was ever published -- though it was published in a very obscure journal. The article was originally written (during my anarcho-capitalist days) as a talk delivered to a 1985 conference of psychologists devoted to the topic of authoritarianism but it is written in a fairly breezy style that should make it fairly readable for non-psychologists.

The article points to evidence of many sorts of pathology among Leftists but principally seizes on the finding about politics that psychologists most like -- and turns that finding on its head. Psychologists very much like the often-repeated finding that conservatives approve of conventional sources of authority (such as the law, the police, the army etc) more than Leftists do and claim this as constituting the chief psychopathology of the Right. The Right are said to be “authoritarian” and all sorts of extravagant inferences are drawn from that.

I point out however that this finding is really evidence that Leftists are unable to admit to their real motivations -- as there is no doubt that Leftists everywhere are great imposers of authority on other people. What leftists say about their attitudes and what they actually do are opposites! And any denial of motives is generally regarded as pretty pathological by psychologists!


Orwell’s Thoughtcrime has arrived in Australia. A man is being prosecuted for writing “pornographic” thoughts in his private diary! Is anyone now safe?

Australia’s Prime Minister wants to reintroduce the death penalty. At least it shows that he is a true champion of democracy. For many years big majorites in ALL Western countries have wanted a death penalty but elite domination of politics has thwarted that wish in most places.

Pardon my boggled mind: A female illegal immigrant to the USA has just got to make an accusation that her American partner has beaten her and she automatically gets legal permanent resident status. A great way to encourage false accusations!

It always amazes me that Hitler’s eugenics ideas are supposed to be proof of his Rightism. In Hitler’s day eugenics was a mainstream Leftist enthusiasm. As Chris Brand points out: “Eugenics was supported in the early twentieth century by such liberal-left luminaries as the radical playwright George Bernard Shaw, the Liberal Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, the then-Liberal Winston Churchill, the Marxist geneticist J. B. S. Haldane and anti-authoritarian Brave New World author Aldous Huxley. The chief opposition to eugenics came from religious groups.” And Chris might also have mentioned the American “Progressives” of the 1930s whom Hitler warmly praised for their ideas about the genetic inferiority of Jews. See here.

There is now a “Harvard Study” which proves that “liberal” American newspapers are much less biased than conservative ones. The absurdity and bias of the “study” is shown at length here.

An excellent article by Jeff Jacoby about Ward Connerly, the black American who wants America not to discriminate on the grounds of race -- and how the Leftists of the “Race industry” hate him.

“After 19 months of terror attacks - including suicide bombings, knife and gun attacks, drive-by shootings and home intrusions - about three quarters of Israelis are showing signs of traumatic stress, researchers have found.” The researchers also found, however, that the great majority are still functioning well. I wonder if I would?

Great news: "Scientists have developed a fast-acting Ebola vaccine that protects monkeys after a single shot”.

"The foremost meaningless warning label is: 'This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.' Thanks to California's Proposition 65 law, that boilerplate warning has been slapped on everything from chain saws and power mowers to fishing rods. ... Essentially anything containing one of several hundred 'known carcinogens' is required to bear the warning -- regardless of quantity, or the chance that anyone might actually get sick." Pretty good, really. It ensures that the warnings will be treated like the mere noise that they are.

Here is William A Niskanen's quite balanced analysis of Reaganomics. Niskanen was a senior Reagan official

Who said this? "The final and best means of strengthening demand among consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrence to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system, and this administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes”. GWB? Reagan? Eisenhower? No. It was JFK.

Julian Sorrenson has a new placard idea for the Leftist demonstrators who opposed the liberation of Iraq: “No war for justice” -- because that is what their attitudes add up to.

There is a rather appalling but not exactly surprising post on PC Watch (post of 8th.) under the heading: “Clinical Psychology: Another Totalitarianism of the Left?” And that heading is not my idea.

The Wicked one thinks GWB is an odd type of conservative.


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Friday, August 08, 2003


Now that they have found that they cannot abolish private business, the Left are trying to weaken it as much as they can by way of regulation and other means. Their idea that businesses should be “good corporate citizens” is part of their attack:

Corporate Citizenship: A Tax in Disguise: "The first problem with enforced Corporate Social Responsibility is that it is economically inefficient. In a free market, companies maximize profit by moving resources from a low to a high value; providing what consumers want. In contrast, if action has to be forced by regulation then governments mandate that resources be spent on services that the public does not value, or does not value highly enough to voluntarily pay the full cost. Resources are therefore diverted into lower-value outputs, leading to a reduction in overall welfare. This is done for the benefit of politicians, bureaucrats or their supporting pressure groups."

Milton Friedman probably said it all in this classic article from the 1970s: The social responsibility of business is to make profits


Psychologists normally obtain a score for how conservative a person is by adding together the number of allegedly “conservative” statements he agrees with and the number of allegedly “liberal” statements he disagrees with. Deciding which statements to present as representing “conservative” or “liberal” views is however a major issue which is commonly resolved with great deal of arbitrariness.

I have noted previously how the measure of conservatism principally relied on by the Berkeley group has shown fairly laughable characteristics on some occasions -- with people who tend to assent to allegedly “conservative” statements also tending to assent to allegedly “leftist” statements! The implication of that result is that the items in the questionnaire are very poorly chosen and do not in fact represent distinctively conservative and liberal views to the people answering the questions.

If psychology were a science, one would have thought that a result as anomalous as that -- particularly when published in a widely-circulated academic journal -- would have caused all subsequent academic users of the questionnaire concerned to at least examine the correlation between the liberal and conservative items in their data. As far as I can see, however, nobody did. I therefore wrote to a large range of other users of the questionnaire and asked for copies of their raw data so that I could carry out the requisite analyses myself. There were only six fellow-psychologists who responded to my request -- mostly people with whom I had some prior acquaintance.

The results are reported in my post of 7th. here (or here). I found that the questionnaire was not uniformly unsatisfactory -- it did work as it was supposed to on the small sampling of occasions concerned. Such a finding does of course constitute some warrant for continued confidence in the usefulness of the questionnaire. That highly unsatisfactory correlations (such as the significant positive correlation between supposedly opposed items mentioned previously) can also be obtained, even with students, does mean, however, that the many studies which fail to report the correlation between the “liberal” and “conservative” items continue to be of dubious meaning. Accepting their results at face value is therefore a matter of faith rather than of science.


A Christian rehabilitation program for criminals is now shown as having failed. But that’s no indictment of Christians. A high-minded Leftish rehabilitation program has also recently been shown to fail in Britain. Keeping criminals in prison longer (See also here) is the only thing that provably helps to protect us from them -- something that I have advocated (PDF) for many years. And if that makes me “punitive”, then I am in good company.

"Since Blair's 1997 total ban on armed self-defense, things have gone from bad to worse. 'You are now six times more likely to be mugged in London than New York,' avers Malcolm. 'Why? Because as common law appreciated, not only does an armed individual have the ability to protect himself or herself but criminals are less likely to attack them ... A study found American burglars fear armed homeowners more than the police.' The most dangerous burglaries -- the kind that occur when people are at home -- are much rarer in the U.S. ... only 13 percent, in contrast to 53 percent in England."


Students for Academic Freedom is a site worth a look if you think that American universities should be something other than extreme Left political organizations.

There is a post on PC Watch (post of 7th.) about why the conflict between Islam and the West is NOT a clash of civilizations.

Interested Participant has found a Leftist site that is as explicit as can be about their destructive and disruptive motives. Lenin and his Bolsheviks still live among us!

The Wicked one has just put up a really agonizing joke.


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Thursday, August 07, 2003


This wide ranging interview with economically-sophisticated literary critic Paul Cantor (PDF) is quite fascinating for anyone interested in literature. He shows that the current Marxist monopoly on literary criticism can easily be dismantled. Cantor highlights the elitist reasons artists (mostly second raters), dislike the market economy. In contrast he points out that a surprising number of the world's genuine greats, Shakespeare included, were really quite entrepreneurial. Cantor also points out that although socialism is dead in Economics departments of universities around the world, the Marxist tradition lives on among the literary and cultural critics who of course have no obligation to be practical. And did you know that Percy Bysshe Shelley championed laissez faire economics?



A little birdie tells me that Prof. Jim Lindgren is having a lot of fun preparing his comprehensive reply to the Berkeley “study” of conservatism. It is such an absurd study that it is hard not to have fun with it.

Those naughty tests! It seems that Boston’s $156,560 per year superintendent of Schools, Wilfredo T. Laboy, has been unable to pass a basic English proficiency exam three times so far. Ironically, Laboy had suspended, without pay, two dozen teachers for failing a similar test. Laboy called the test "stupid."

We all now know that there are no criminals any more: “Manhattan, New York, Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro cleared a New York City cardiologist of “forcible touching" charges relating to his opening a female patient's gown and kissing her breasts because the pressure used to kiss "is nothing more than the friction inevitably produced by the meeting of two skin surfaces during touching," whatever that has to do with the charge. (Via Jerry Lerman).

More short-sighted prostituting of of standards revealed at an Australian university. Seeing I got my doctorate from the University concerned, that does annoy me personally. If a businessman had engaged in the same sort of deception in chasing a dollar, he would be in court by now.

The homosexual bishop elected by American Anglicans is probably a good thing on the whole. It will make clear to real Christians that they need to change their church and leave the Episcopalians to the unbelieving feel-good brigade.

A good spoof treatment of Leftism as a psychiatric disorder.

Is exporting art and archaeological artifacts from the Middle East and Mediterranean areas to museums in Britain and the USA really a form of cultural imperialism? It certainly has often proved to be a better way of protecting the artifacts concerned.

"One of the most widespread harms caused by unreasonable malpractice awards is an increase in the cost of medicine. According to the Heritage Foundation, malpractice insurance rates for some providers went up as much as 30 percent in 2001. As awards by judges and juries get larger, malpractice insurance companies are forced to raise their premiums. Many of these price increases get passed on to the patient."

Apparently Joe Stalin noted what a fervent anti-Communist John Wayne was and ordered him to be assasinated! Yet more Leftist “compassion”.

"Some 67 companies already have been driven into bankruptcy by claims both legitimate and spurious. More than 200,000 asbestos tort claims are pending nationwide against more than 8,000 corporations. Many of the defendant companies never made asbestos products. The Senate measure would end those lawsuits and protect firms against any future suits asbestos victims might bring." I go along with that. The value created by many years of hard work by company employess should not end up as a honeypot for lawyers.

Leftist Todd Gitlin has recognised the same problem that conservative Gerald Henderson noted in the Sydney Morning Herald. It is no good complaining about "US unilateralism" when the alternative is toothless, do-nothing "internationalism". The trouble is Gitlin doesn't recognise how 'pie in the sky' all the alternatives are.

Of course the US would be happy for 'the international community' to intervene in world trouble-spots and not rely on Washington, but "let George do it" is easier! A better assessment of how much different countries are willing to pay for internationalism is shown by who pays what percentage of the UN budget.

There is a sanctimonious article here about Australian native blacks that picks up on the worst hand-wringing excesses of the Australian Left and says that all that is still not enough to make up for past injustices. He somehow forgets to mention that the Australian blacks looked very much like dying out until the Australian welfare state was introduced after WW2 and that there are now probably more of them around than there were when white men first arrived.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again.


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Wednesday, August 06, 2003


Greenies are very quick to talk about the earth's climate but seem to know nothing of its history. Does any Greenie know of the "medieval warm period" that the Vikings exploited to colonise Iceland, Greenland and perhaps America? Was that caused by industrial pollution too? Since even the steam engine had not been invented then, it certainly was not. New data has now shown clearly that the medieval warming was a global event. It was a major climatic event even in Antarctica, and it produced climatic effects that far surpass any that have been manifest there throughout the past century of purported "unprecedented" global warming.



The Pope has come out in favour of genetically modified crops -- correctly seeing them as a big help in feeding the hungry. His Holiness has often been a critic of capitalism so his intervention in the matter may help to convince a few waverers.

"Despite assurances from the United Nations and the World Health Organization that there is no evidence of any danger from the crops ... the EU maintains that biotech crops are unsafe to eat and destructive to the environment. However, these exaggerated claims emphasize the speculative risks wealthy Europeans foresee, and can dangerously delay or reverse the economic development necessary to improve not only human life but also human stewardship of the environment."

One of the best weapons against bioterrorism may be a healthy biotech industry, bioremediation may also prove to be a useful weapon against pollution.

Wayne Lusvardi says that pandering to rich environmentalists is behind California’s budget crisis.

Useful Fools lists a whole heap of the illogicalities in “global warming” arguments. He also shows here how extensive are the parallels between environmentalism and religion.


American universities are not the only breeding grounds for educated stupidity. Australian universities have abandoned standards wholesale to lure fee-paying students from Asia. What do they think is going to happen when it gets widely known how worthless their degrees now are? But the universities concerned are of course run by government bureaucrats rather than by businessmen so why should they care about the future?

Historian Daniel Mandel shows clearly how hopelessly biased Australia’s public broadcaster (the ABC) is: Every bit as bad as Britain’s famously Leftist BBC. That does help to explain why the Australian government is freezing their funding.

This article about a day of mourning in Australia is a very good evocation of how unimportant formal religion generally is here -- and a testimony to how civil and decent Australia nonethless is.


A rare flash of realism from the NYT: The atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaski is widely supported by Japanese historians as a great gift for peace. Another “wicked USA” story falls apart when ALL the evidence is looked at.

Who cares who teaches this B.S. anyway? "An Ohio school district has scrapped its plan to assign a certified white teacher for a combined black-history and U.S.-government course because a black instructor was not certified to teach government, The Washington Times has learned. 'The black teacher is going to teach the course, and he will also teach government’

"Has Congress ever had the guts to cut spending? Yup. During the mid- 1990s is did just that, no thanks to Bill Clinton.

"A few days ago, the Senate passed an energy bill that is 5 parts corporate welfare to 1 part Soviet-style central planning. An example of the latter aspect is a provision ordering power companies to get 10 percent of their electricity from renewable fuels. While environmentalists are giddy over it, they should think again -- a renewable energy mandate will harm, not help, both the economy and the environment. Here's the basic problem: Renewable energy is simply far more expensive than energy produced from natural gas or coal."

"University campuses are strongholds of left liberalism where Constitutionally-protected rights, such as freedom of speech and religion, are routinely violated. This September, make sure the students you care for pack protection of their civil liberties in with clothing and reference books. This is essential for students who are male, white, conservative, openly Christian, or from affluent families."

"For reasons that defy understanding, opponents of school voucher programs have resurrected a thoroughly defeated argument -- namely, that the use of public funds for tuition at religious schools is unconstitutional. ... Moreover, the arguments put forward by the NEA run counter to recent Supreme Court precedent in Zelman v. Simmons- Harris, which upheld a school voucher plan in Cleveland ..."

The Wicked one has a post showing why public transport is a heap of nonsense.


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Tuesday, August 05, 2003


There have now been some nasty findings for the "Paedophiles under the bed" crowd who have caused so much hurt to so many innocent people. Chris Brand notes:

"A Harvard psychologist has discovered that people who as adults suddenly find themselves 'recalling' childhood abuse are also more likely to invent 'memories' under laboratory conditions. Researcher Susan Clancy presented words like 'jam', 'sour' and 'salt' and then asked later whether words like 'sweet' had been on the list. 'Abuse recallers' were more likely to 'remember' the new words - as also were people who report having being abducted by aliens."



America's media bigots. Note the knee-jerk reaction of these media personalities, their willingness to immediately assume the worst of Bush, not even bothering to checkout their prejudiced assumptions. Can anyone honestly tell me these hacks are not bigoted?
The origins of media dishonesty. Shocking reporting about the Bush presidency and the war on terrorism has led some people to once again wonder why most reporters pursue a left-wing line, even to the detriment of the truth as well as logic and common sense.
It's not the CIA that's guilty but certain members of Congress. Well, Congress has released it's report on the 9/11 atrocity. And guess what? Not a single member of Congress was condemned for contributing to this mass terrorist attack. Not even those who had assiduously worked to paralyse our intelligence agencies.
Why does Australia's media still love Clinton and hate Reagan and Bush? The moral impostors are Thomas Sowell's self-anointed. What matters to them is whether you share their left-wing view of the world. If so, then this exonerates you of any wrongdoing because at least your heart is in the right place, unlike evil conservatives.

Details here


Australian wine exports soared 15 per cent last financial year to $2.4 billion. Sales to the US soared 55 per cent in 2002/03 to 173.6 million litres, while sales to Europe and Britain increased 11.2 per cent to 289.7 million litres. Funny that! Do the French make wine or something?

I have not said much about the “homosexual marriage” issue so far because it does not seem to be much of an issue here in Australia -- though our Prime Minister has just said that he is agin it. There is a widespread feeling in Australia that even an orthodox marriage is “just a piece of paper” and that it is the relationship between the two people concerned that really matters. So whether homosexuals get a piece of paper or not does not seem to matter much either.

It looks like the British are finally getting the message across that they are getting sick of the flood of immigrants coming in that their government seems to lack the will to stop. Both Australia and Britain are islands so there would seem to be no physical reason why their immigration controls cannot be as effective as ours.

I made brief mention recently of the heretical view that the HIV virus does not cause AIDS. There are some pretty powerful defences of the orhodox view here here and here. I myself incline to the orthodox view as far as AIDS in the Western world is concerned but AIDS in Africa is another matter. They seem to call almost any unexplained illness AIDS there -- mostly without even checking whether HIV is present. South African President Mbeki’s skepticism about the role of HIV is highly understandable in the circumstances.

It looks like the ridiculous “race is a myth” ideology is now interfering with attempts to help African Americans with their very real health problems.

Jeff Jacoby has looked at what is actually in the famous “road-map” for Middle East peace and has some surprises for people who rely on the mainstream media for reports about it.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has got very tedious and repetitive in his barely-disguised anti-Americanism but if anybody still thinks he should be taken seriously, there is a pretty good dismantling of some of his sillier claims here

The Independent Institute gathered the nation’s leading global warming experts to unveil findings on climate change. The speakers, each internationally recognized as authorities on climate change, address historical changes in climate, the effect of these changes on urban mortality and the interplay of science and politics in the current EPA report. The conclusion? “Critical portions of science in [official] reports are misleading, inaccurate, unreliable, or simply wrong. However, that is not an indictment of the individuals involved, but is rather more symptomatic of the nature of science when funded by a government leviathan.”

The Wicked one defends both Ann Coulter and Senator Joe McCarthy.

A recent post on PC Watch asks whether all laughter might not become politically incorrect soon. And mirrors are looking dubious too.

In the latest upload of my published academic articles here (or here) I again show how poor is the evidence that psychologists rely on for their attacks on conservatives.


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Monday, August 04, 2003


The third story in my triology about the civilized approach to government in the Anglo-Saxon world of the past is about England just after World War II. A Central European refugee had been given asylum in Britain but was in a category where he had to have some sort of residence permit which needed renewing from time to time. There came a time, however, when he inadvertently let his permit run out. So he got a visit from the local Bobby (policeman) early one morning. This of course struck terror into him. Under both the Nazi and Communist regimes he had known, having your papers out of order led to immediate jailing at the least. So a policeman was terminally dangerous. The conversation went something like:

BOBBY: "Mr X, I have come around because your permit to stay in Britain has expired."

MR X: "I beg of you to forgive me. It must have slipped my mind."

BOBBY: "That's all right. I have to come by here on my way home tonight so give me your old permit and I will drop you in a new one on my way past tonight".

As the Bobby rode off on his bicycle, funny helmet and all, Mr X still could not believe his senses.

That story brings tears to my eyes too. How much we have lost! I doubt that such a thing would happen in modern-day Britain. In modern-day Britain (and Australia) we have "welfare" workers raiding homes to seize children from their parents on the basis of mere speculation. Truly abusive parents, however, are routinely allowed to keep control of their children. "Social Worker" and "Gestapo" seem to mean much the same thing nowadays.


Just to show that all is not lost as far as civility in Anglo-Saxon politics is concerned, let me tell a fourth story from much more recent times:

This is a story that Australian Prime Minister John Howard told in his victory speech in the 1996 Australian Federal Election. Howard said that like everyone else that day he had had to line up in order to cast his vote. (Casting a vote in Australia at the time did often require some patience. A 20 minute wait was not unknown). He found himself standing in a line behind a man whom he saw holding a Labor Party "How-to-Vote" card. The man turned around, saw the future Prime Minister standing behind him and said, "Hello. Nice to meet you. But I am still not going to vote for you". John Howard then said on national TV that that incident typified for him what Australia is all about. I have to agree. In how many other countries would a future Prime Minister find himself in that humble and humbled position AND BE GLAD OF IT? It also showed John Howard as a sensitive and thinking man in being appreciative of the civil and yet "no nonsense" society we have here in Australia.


In the latest upload of my published academic articles here (or here) I report some more findings about the conservatism questionnaire principally relied on in the research that the Berkeley group summarized. It turns out that lots of the supposedly “conservative” statements in the questionnaire are agreed to by liberals and vice versa. Its liberal items correlate positively with its conservative items instead of the expected negative correlation. It provides a self-contradictory index of conservatism, in other words. Good one! And my article pointing that out has been there in the academic psychology literature for all to see for over 30 years! I would say that the Berkeley work gives new meaning to the term “junk science” except that it is not science of any kind -- not even junk science.


Maybe I am being too cynical about the current allegations against Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi. I know and love Italians with all their faults and there is no doubt that by our icy Northern European standards they are chronically corrupt. Berlusconi is of course a conservative but it might be noted that the corruption concerned also involves a former socialist Prime Minister of Italy -- Bettino Craxi. Berlusconi stands accused of little more than being an Italian in my view.

A faboulous story here about what haapened to 150 of the white farmers the brutal dictator Mugabe kicked out of Zimbabwe. They moved operations to neighbouring Zambia and just that tiny group of 150 have now turned Zambia into a food-exporting country -- in comparison with the starvation in Zimbabwe.

Under the heading Zuechtungsideen ("Breeding ideas") the leading German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has just given Chris Brand some free publicity. The review was of course condemnatory but it did manage to give a useful summary of the points he makes about race and IQ along the way. Truth will out eventually.

This article on energy policy shows that fuel shortages and price leaps are almost entirely created by government meddling. There does seem to be one form of government intervention that helps, though: Oil prices fell a lot when the US invaded Iraq -- even while Iraqi production was completely cut off. Might it be that US military intervention in the region has put all the oil-exporters on their best behaviour?

There is a play being put on in Australia at the moment that is trying to drum up sympathy for illegal Muslim immigrants that the Australian government has imprisoned until it is established whether any of them are legitimate refugees. Djira, which is “Arabic for the sacred obligation to look after and protect one's neighbours”, is the title of the play. Djira sure explains 9/11, I guess. It takes those Muslims to give us lessons on how to be humane!

I inadvertently wandered onto Angela Bell’s old site recently. She’s got some good posts there, even though they’re a month old.

The Wicked one has a big collection of amusing follies.


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Sunday, August 03, 2003


I told the first story yesterday about how civilized politics used to be in the Anglo-Saxon countries. When the rest of the world was having bloody revolutions and the like, we were drifting gently along by comparison.

Today's story concerns that great character of New Zealand politics, Robert Muldoon -- conservative Prime Minister from 1975 to 1984. The story was included in his autobiography, My way:

There was a time during his Prime Ministership when Maori radicals were particularly unhappy with him (though many Maori gang members loved him) and there had been bomb threats made against him. So a police guard was mounted on Vogel House, where N.Z. Prime Ministers live. This being New Zealand, however, the policeman finished work at 7pm and went home! So about 10 pm one night there was a knock on the door at Vogel house and there was nobody there to answer it but Muldoon and his family. So what did our Rob do? He answered the door personally! When he did so he found three big Maoris standing there. Were they there to assault him? What did they say? They said: "Rob, we saw your light on so we just dropped in to wish you goodnight." They then all shook hands amid smiles all round and went off waving goodbye.

That story still makes me weep. It does show something of Muldoon's guts but it mainly makes me regret that such a civil society is now virtually impossible almost anywhere.


My post yesterday about a great conservative -- Australian Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies -- has stirred one of my readers to point out how influential on the world stage he was up until his retirement in 1966. See here.

I am myself a great fan of Menzies and something I always find amusing is the way commentators recognize his greatness but are puzzled that they can never think of anything much he that actually achieved. But that is of course the whole point. Menzies was such a strong figure that he did what very few politicians can do -- he successfully resisted the pressures from almost all special-interest groups to legislate in favour of them at the expense of the community as a whole. Doing nothing was his great achievement. The torrent of legislation to which all governments subject us was a comparative trickle under Menzies. He generally resisted the urge to meddle. And under him Australia was peaceful, calm and secure -- with unemployment negligible and living standards steadily rising. Contracts were enforced, criminals were punished and taxation was a fraction of what it is now. There was welfare for those who really needed it and there were scholarships that enabled children from working-class backgrounds to go to university if they had the ability. I myself was a recipient of one such scholarship. My father was a lumberjack who thought that even secondary education was a waste of time. So Australian conservatives only have to remember the world of Menzies in the 1950s and 1960s to realize that their ideal of a much smaller and fairer government is far from an impossible dream.


An interesting article here by a libertarian homosexual on how homosexuals have rapidly morphed from being an oppressed group to being a totally intolerant oppressor group.

A saner Catholic tradition: "The Scholastics demonstrated that a concern for the poor and for mercy on the unfortunate does not require spurning the market. In fact, it was these very concerns that led them to study carefully the nature of property and market exchange. They found that the market is a powerful institution for improving the lot of the common worker and respect for private property provides opportunities for charity."

"HIV does not cause AIDS". That was one of the most startling pieces of information to come out of the 21st Annual Meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, held recently in Phoenix, Arizona July 19. Dr. Donald W. Miller, Jr. an attender at the meeting, said, 'It's a shocking statement but it will very likely prove to be true'

There is an interesting short biography of Tony Blair here which portrays him as a genuine idealist rather than a cynical power-freak. I am inclined to agree with that.

There are two articles here and here which give some details about the untruths peddled by the charming Michael Moore

Senate President John Andrews, R-Centennial, said getting criminals off the street and protecting the public is a vital function of government. .... half the male prisoners in Colorado -- and nearly three-fourths of female inmates -- are serving time for nonviolent offenses. He said drug offenses continue to be the most prevalent crime, with 3,691 inmates behind bars for some type of drug offense on June 30, 2002." I have always advocated (PDF) that we would be a lot safer to give only token sentences to non-violent offenders so we can keep the violent ones inside a lot longer.

Amusing: A vegetarian diet similar to what apes eat greatly lowers your cholesterol. But is it "good" or "bad" cholesterol? You can never win with these diets.

The Wicked one explains why we oldies should all be dead according to the do-gooders.

In my latest academic upload here (or here) I take a skeptical look at psychology’s famous California ‘F’ scale (invented by the Marxist Adorno and his colleagues). It was a questionnaire originally invented to help explain racism but now virtually abandoned for that task. It is however still popular among Leftists as an instrument that apparently discredits conservatives if you ignore most of the evidence about it. I show that it is best explicable as an index of old-fashioned attitudes and that its correlation with racism simply shows that it is now old-fashioned to avow openly racist attitudes.


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