Saturday, November 29, 2003

Alpha Patriot has an excellent coverage of GWB’s visit to Iraq -- photos, speeches etc.


Keith Burgess-Jackson is an unusual combination -- a conservative animal libber. He derives his animal-lib views from his general philosophical ideas about morality and he is unusual among modern-day philosophers too. He is a “deontologist” -- which sounds like he would be good at fixing your teeth, but which really means (roughly) that he believes in fixed moral rules. I myself think that morality is extremely important but, like most atheists, I am a moral naturalist. I don’t think that moral rules are handed down from on high or revealed in some other mysterious way. I think that moral rules are learned from experience (both from our own experience and from the experience of others) and function to tell us how to behave wisely (i.e. so that we and those we care about live happily in the long term) so are just like any other rules of nature (more complex than “water does not flow uphill”, but basically of the same kind). So I see morality as the servant of man, not his master (A bit like a very famous thinker who said: “The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath” -- Mark 2:27). So the fact that man has evolved to regard other animals as prey simply makes irrelevant (not useful) any line of reasoning that says he should not kill animals. It might be useful reasoning if we could also show that people who avoid eating animals are more peaceful and benign generally but I think that PETA and the animal libbers in general show the exact opposite of that to be true. In fact Keith himself says he does not like people very much.

Christians of course believe that God gave man dominion over the animals (Genesis 1: 26-28) and Mosaic law spells out clearly that this includes the right to eat at least some of them. That belief seems to me to be at least as well-founded as any deontologist’s set of beliefs.

In my younger days I made several attempts to introduce a bit of psychological sophistication into philosophical debate -- into moral philosophy into the theory of mind and into the theory of causality. But introducing a bit of philosophical sophistication into a psychological debate and a political debate was the most fun. Psychology and philosophy seem generally to operate in profound ignorance of one-another and Leftists seem to operate in profound ignorance of everything. I point out where Leftist moral relativism goes off the rails here.


There is a pretty hard-hitting article here -- by someone who should know -- about what a creampuff army the U.S. Army has become under the influence of political correctness. One must have extreme doubts that it could ever achieve what the Wehrmacht achieved under Von Manstein at the battle of Crimea: The Germans mounted a frontal assault against superior forces who had nearly every advantage: a fortified position, command of the sea, the air, and tanks, while the Germans had not one tank. But the Germans were the ones with the fighting spirit and they won! There is are two more stories here and here about how the leadership of the U.S. military is a big problem.

“Make love not war” was a big slogan for the hippies of the 60s. It looks like some Ukrainians are actually doing it -- and at a rocket factory too.

I liked the FEE response to this report in the NYT: “The number of hungry people worldwide swelled in recent years, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to war, drought, AIDS and trade barriers, according to a report released today by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.” FEE commented: “What the have-nots have not is capitalism” (Post of 25th).

A Grand Ayatollah talks sense at last! Maybe there’s hope yet.

For those who think that there is any point in it Johann Hari does a pretty good job of demolishing the arguments of Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali against the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

“Judicial activism has no more ferocious a critic than Robert Bork. As a federal judge, a professor at Yale Law School, and a famously mau-maued Supreme Court nominee, he has tirelessly exhorted courts to stay true to the original meaning of the U.S. Constitution, and to leave policy-making to legislators. In Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges, Bork returns to his favorite topic, tracing the continued rise of judicial activism in the United States and describing its contagion internationally.

The good old US taxpayer is funding quack medicine -- so-called "alternative" medicine that has no scientific standing at all -- and some of which is clearly fraudulent. This at a time when real medical advances are held up for years or totally blocked by FDA red-tape. What crazy priorities!

Because it is my field of special expertise, I spend a lot of time debunking what psychologists say about politically relevant matters. I show that their data is shoddy and their reasoning naive and simplistic. There is however another social science that is often invoked for its political "lessons" -- Anthropology. Unsurprisingly, the Leftism of most anthropologists has made anthropology rotten to the core (i.e. fraudulent) as well. The falsity of the once-influential claims by Margaret Mead is, I think, now well-known. What has only recently come to light, however, is that modern anthropology actually started out on the basis of deliberately fraudulent work designed to prop up Leftist beliefs. Franz Boas was the fraudster concerned.

In my latest upload of a published academic journal article I compare religious prejudice with ethnic prejudice. I show that the two are only weakly correlated -- which fits in with other findings about prejudice generally. So there is a tendency for some people to be wary of anybody who is not like themselves but most prejudice is specific to particular groups. So if you do not like blacks (for instance) it does not mean that you will automatically dislike Jews (for instance). In my own case, I find Arabs (for instance) pretty disgusting but I quite like Indians and Chinese -- which is probably rather a good thing seeing that there are so many of them! Details here or here.


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Friday, November 28, 2003


A reader writes:

“There is an interesting article on that discusses the Kennedy assassination... or more accurately how a liberal political spin has been put on it for 40 years. The first half of the article is quite good but then he flips out into orbit for the second half.

Essentially as far as anyone can tell JFK was killed by an lone assassin who definitely was not a "nut". Oswald was a life long ideologically committed Communist, who probably acted independently i.e. without known authorisation of any of the communist powers. Since then the liberals have been trying to pin the JFK killing on everyone but Oswald, virtually airbrushing Oswald's personal ideology from the picture. He very much saw himself as a soldier of the Marxist revolution and probably joined the marines to learn military skills he expected to use in the revolutionary cause. At the same time any non-liberal group, whether it was the conservative Texas Democrats, the Oil industry, Hoover, segregationists or any group with a political agenda that somehow opposed or merely competed with the JFK/LBJ New Frontier/Great Society package of liberal reforms was tarred with the assassination.

Most of JFK's legislative agenda was well and truly stalled by a hostile Congress before his assassination, and LBJ exploited public grief to ensure JFK's legislative legacy got through, so the liberals were the main beneficiaries of his death and seem to have exploited it for political advantage.”


A reader comments:

“Lakoff posited that conservatives have a "strict father" view of social institutions, while progressives have a "nurturant parent" (I prefer "nagging mother") view. The problem is that by discussing the differences between conservatives and progressives in this manner, he is deliberately "framing" our choices of political and social institutions as being between a "nurturant", well-meaning, feminine totalitarianism, and that of a "strict", sadistic, hypermasculine totalitarianism. And given a choice only between these two, wouldn't most people choose the former? In other words, he offers a false dichotomy.

In my view, conservatives and libertarians should reject the idea of government as acting in loco parentis. As individuals capable of self-government, we should be able to get on as adults”


My recent post on Fascism aroused some interest so I have now uploaded an extract from one of the best-known histories of Italian Fascism here. It shows essentially that the Fascists were simply a rather cleverer brand of Marxist than the Bolsheviks.

Nothing is too low for the Left: The British Political Cartoon Society has awarded its Cartoon of the Year award to Dave Brown of the Independent, a far-left broadsheet, for a strip depicting the prime minister of Israel eating an Arab infant.

Jeff Jacoby thinks that being thankful to God on Thanksgiving day is proper but that we should also be thankful for the miracle of capitalism’s “invisible hand”. He obviouly thinks that capitalism is the real source of our blessings.

I suppose I should comment on the latest Reuters nonsense about glaciers melting. Note Iain Murray’s summary of the scientific evidence: "First and foremost, people assert we know a lot about glaciers, but we don't. We know next to nothing about glacial activity, but what we do know suggests there are as many expanding glaciers as there are shrinking ones (this even happens with two glaciers within a few miles of each other) and that there is no universal trend either way."

I must say I am very glad of Hillary Clinton’s support of at least the Afghan involvement. Like her or not she influences the Left and having the American Left onside over there would save a lot of lives in the long run. It is because America is divided that the Islamic nutcases have hope.

PID has some speculations on the motivations of Rupert Murdoch -- owner of Fox TV, The Times of London and most of Australia’s newspapers. I myself would have said that Murdoch personally has moved from Leftish to Rightish as he has aged -- in the usual way -- but that pragmatically he has always pushed a centrist line in his outlets -- simply because that sells more papers and gets more viewers. It means he has something for everybody. By giving time and space to conservative thinking he has certainly filled a niche that the rest of the media were ignoring -- and has done very well out of that. I think he is just clever.

And Another triumph of socialism: The very socialistic Scots got their own parliament again recently so the first thing they did was build themselves a new parliament building -- which was supposed to cost 40 million pounds. The cost so far? 400 million pounds. Just the right sort of people to entrust with spending your money, don't you think? And how "compassionate" it all is! Could the money have been better spent on providing better housing for poor families? Of course not! What Leftist REALLY gives a damn about the poor?

I have just posted Chris Brand's latest observations on current events here. He has a useful summary of what national differences in IQ show and reports that some Scottish students are calling the Royal Consort, Prince Philip a “racist” for no obvious reason.

My latest upload of one of my academic articles is of interest to psychometricians only. See here or here


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Thursday, November 27, 2003


No. I don’t mean that Thanksgiving dinners make you fat. You need LOTS of dinners to make you fat. I am referring to Keith Burgess-Jackson’s view that eating turkeys is morally suspect. I suspect that my post on the subject yesterday sent a few irate readers his way as he has now expanded his exposition of the matter. His argument is that when you have things done for you, you are just as responsible for them as if you did them yourself. So if a turkey is cruelly raised on a factory-farm, you are responsible for that suffering if you buy it.

His argument about responsibility is plausible and may be widely agreed to but I think it just an assertion nonetheless. I would argue in fact that it is absurd to say that you CAN know all the details of all the things that happen when something is done for you (maybe the turkey was kindly raised but the truck-driver who delivers them beats his wife so by buying the turkey we are supporting a wife-beater?) and you cannot be responsible for things that you do not know about.


There is no doubt that the “limousine liberal” phenomenon goes back a long way. The term seems to have been popularized by Spiro Agnew (Nixon’s Vice-President) and I have just been looking at an old academic paper (Lindgren, 1974) that analyzed the results of the 1972 Nixon-McGovern Presidential race -- which Nixon won in a landslide. It found that vote for Nixon correlated -.61 with income and -.32 with education level -- meaning that richer and more highly educated people MUCH preferred the way-out Leftist McGovern. In other words, people on top of the heap really like the idea of telling everybody else what to do. The ordinary people want to be left alone and the top people want to reform them.

There is a good review of David Flint's book about Leftist elites here. One quote: "These are educated, middle class, Left liberals who dominate the public service, political institutions, the law and the media. They plainly have views that are out of step with majority opinion, which they prosecute, notwithstanding the lack of support, because they are convinced of their moral correctness."

Another good article about Leftist and Greenie elitism: "Some flagrant hypocrisy - if not outright class hatred - peeps through the curtain of middle-class concern about consumerism. It's very easy to lecture people about how spiritual life was before we all went mad about kitchen appliances, if you've never had to cook for 12 in a kitchen without running water or electricity... if life in the age of hyper-consumerism is really so bad, then perhaps some of these lefty middle-class male commentators really ought to give it all away and try living the way most women lived 80 years ago"

Lindgren, H.C. (1974) Political conservatism and its social environment: An analysis of the American Presidential election of 1972. Psychological Reports, 34, 55-62.


Chinese missiles target US cities, thanks to the Clintons and media treason. America's mainstream media is not only lying for the Democrats, they are also lying for the enemy. Any American who thinks the media are patriotic or cares one jot about his security is seriously deluded.
Bunny bravely thrashes the Sydney Morning Herald's resident anti-Semite. Bunny Champers enters the lions' den and gives the Bush-hating anti-Semitic Ramsey a good thrashing. He also gives Tim Blair a good piece of his mind.
A lefty reporter admits excessive wage rates cause unemployment. Whether Colebatch realises it or not he has conceded that free market economists are right about labour costs and unemployment. Unfortunately, I fear his instincts are too far to the left to allow him consistency on this matter.
Is Taiwan shifting to true independence? Demonstrators have demanded that President Chen Shui-bian scrap the Republic of China (ROC) _ the government Taiwan inherited at the end of World War II _ and its symbols, and change the name of the country to Taiwan.
White nimbys v the poor and property rights. Every rich country suffers from a nasty little disease called nimbyism. Carriers are usually white and affluent. The symptoms are, fortunately, easy to detect _ except in the case of brain damaged left-wing journalists.

Details here


Thanksgiving Day is a religious holiday. As George Washington wrote when he proclaimed it: “"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country”. I wonder when the Left will try to get the Supreme Court to ban it on those grounds? Though I guess it would be OK if you prayed to Allah!

A good comment from a Leftist: "I don't believe preemptive war is a good ambassador for democracy. But Democrats who are dead-on right about this misleadership have yet to share their own ideal of how to turn enemies to allies and despots into democrats."

Freedom is working in Iraq: Newspapers, satellite television and Internet cafes have sprung up since liberation

Anti-"bioterrorism" laws may be harming legitimate biological research

Australian leftists often argue that Federal government would not be so harsh against boat people (illegal immigrants) if they were white South African farmers, yet the statistics show this minority to be one of the most endangered and threatened minorities on earth. "South African farmers and their families are being slaughtered. The murders are accompanied by torture and rape. The sadism of the attacks suggests either dark perversion or systematic terror. Dr Gregory Stanton of Genocide Watch has even suggested that the killing could be classified as genocide"

One of my readers liked my post about Fascism yesterday and emailed me this excellent comment: “After all if you're anti-globalization and anti-capitalist then that makes you a national socialist”. And we know what the last lot of National Socialists were like! Forgive me if I bore my regular readers with repetition but “Nazi” is a German abbreviation of “Nazionalsozialist” -- which is what Hitler called himself. It translates of course as “National Socialist”.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again as your shortcut to exploring the blogosphere.

My latest upload of an article rescued from dead-tree form is a review of a book about the history of price controls -- a folly to which even conservative governments are occasionallty subject (Nixon etc.). Who knew that his price controls were one of the main reasons why Robespierre was sent to the guillotine? Details here or here


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Wednesday, November 26, 2003


From Socrates on, good philosophers have always aimed to stir up critical thinking so I guess that Keith Burgess-Jackson will be pleased that he has stirred me up over this post: “If you aren't prepared to raise and kill a turkey, don't eat one”. A version of Peter Singer thinking if I am not mistaken.

If he means that I should always sincerely say under my breath “I am prepared to raise and kill turkeys” before I sit down to a turkey dinner, that would seem a fairly modest if highly eccentric requirement. If actual action rather than mere preparedness to act is required, however, I see bigger problems. As it happens, I have back in my country childhood been involved in raising fowl and beheading them for the table when required so I guess I would be OK for a Thanksgiving Day feast even under a stringent version of Keith’s morality -- but I don’t really see why. Does it have to be turkeys that you raise or are other fowl close enough to justify a turkey feast? And how much of the raising do you have to do? And if you don’t have to do all of it, why can you not delegate the whole of the raising to others? Delegation and specialization are the the great tricks of homo sapiens, so why should we not delegate that particular task?


Cinderella Bloggerfeller is a blog I like very much -- in part because he is one of the few bloggers who seem to read a lot of foreign languages and uses that to give us in-depth updates of what is happening in Europe. There is so much to read on the net, however, that I have not visited his site for ages. Marc Miyake, however, who is also an amazing linguist, seems to read him often and Marc asks what I think of this post -- where CB points out that Communism often seems to degenerate into Fascism.

My comment is that it fits perfectly what I have always pointed out about Fascism -- that Fascism is LEFTIST, not rightist. Because early-stage Communism was internationalist in aims and Fascism is nationalist, the Leftists have managed to hoodwink most people into thinking that Fascism is Rightist but it never was. The founder of Fascism (Mussolini) was a Marxist! Fascism is the living proof that Leftism can be EITHER nationalist OR internationalist.

So when Communism broke up or degenerated, lots of the people in the countries concerned just continued on with the socialist beliefs that had been drummed into them from childhood and simply added nationalism to the mix of their beliefs -- which makes them Fascist. Moving from Communism to Fascism is a common transition because it is an easy one. All it needs is to add a suspicion of foreigners to your existing socialism -- and suspicion of foreigners is an all too natural human tendency.


Muslim antisemitism is OK in the EU: "The European Union's racism watchdog has shelved a report on anti-semitism because the study concluded Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many of the incidents it examined," the Financial Times reports. Presumably the reasoning is that Arabs think they have good reason to hate Jews so that is OK. But Hitler thought he had good reasons too. And the “reasons” in both cases are totally addled. Via “Opinion Journal”.

Leftist “tolerance”: A Sikh (i.e. Indian-American) student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville who complained that a student committee only brought liberal speakers to campus was derided as a “raghead” as a result. UT student Sukhmani Singh Khalsa complained in an editorial that the students’ Issues Committee, which brings speakers to campus, was devoid of ideological diversity. "I don't think that a lot of parents would be happy if they knew they were paying this group $90,000 to have their country slandered and their values dragged through the mud," he wrote. Following the appearance of the article, Justin Rubenstein, a member of the Issues Committee, told fellow members of the panel in an e-mail that if they "see one of those ragheads, shoot him right in the (expletive) face."

Amazing: “In a fiery sermon to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Australia's most senior Muslim leader has delivered an ultimatum to renegade Muslims to "shape up or ship out". Speaking at Lakemba Mosque in Sydney's southwest, Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali told more than 30,000 faithful gathered for Eid el-Fitr, the festival that follows the fasting month of Ramadan, "to love the country or leave it".

Eugenics is back! Only this time it is voluntary and being pioneered by American Jews. And nothing seems likely to stop it. Avoiding the conception of sick children is surely something that anyone should applaud. Interestingly, a Leftist source has now acknowledged that Hitler’s State-enforced eugenic policies were originally an American idea and that Hitler “wrote fan letters to leading American eugenicists, telling Madison Grant, for example, that his book The Passing of the Great Race was his "bible."“ No admission that the keen eugenicists of the prewar era were mostly Leftists, though.

Doug Bandow points out how selective is the definition of "liberty" useds by the ACLU: One quote: "The ACLU is advocating religious hostility, not neutrality".

I have just posted some more of Chris Brand's observations on current events here. There is a post about a totally disgusting “philosopher” who says that Jews are not entitled to defend themselves -- and a roundup of newspaper reports on national differences in IQ

The Wicked one has a link that he thinks everyone will click on.

In my latest upload of a published academic journal article I pile up some more evidence against the common Leftist belief that people who respect conventional authority are psychologically disturbed. Details here or here.


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Tuesday, November 25, 2003


The Greens push a policy called the “precautionary principle” -- which basically says that if anything MIGHT be harmful it should not be allowed. Had that principle been around for very long most of the things that we now take for granted -- such as alcohol and motor cars -- would never have been allowed -- because practically EVERYTHING has its downside. Even common salt can kill you if you eat too much of it. Gross nonsense though it is, however, the Greens push on with their attempts to impose this ridiculous “principle” and they have had a disturbing amount of success with it. The EU, for instance, seems to be implementing it in a number of fields -- fields such as “chemicals”. All “chemicals” are now suspect. The fact that such things as the humble potato are full of all sorts of complex “chemicals” doesn’t seem to faze them a bit. Some people are however mounting a bit of a fightback by proposing an opposite principle -- a “technological imperative” that we should follow -- and putting up some pretty good philosophical arguments in favour of it.

Liquefied Natural Gas is widely seen as the "the only near-term, cost-competitive alternative to filthy coal production capable of providing cleaner, reliable base-load supply (i.e., supply that can run 24 hours a day, as opposed to renewables, which only generate electricity when the sun shines or the wind blows)." Yet many environmentalists opposed to ALL fossil fuels seem keen to hold up this useful alternative. So presumably they would prefer continuity of pollution from older, less efficient coal fired plants?? But who expects logic from them?

Even radical economists can make a lot of sense (as long as they are not Krugman): "Henwood is resolutely optimistic about new technology. More than that, he shows where the critics are wrong, exposing the anti-human ideas of the deep ecology movement and their ambition to reduce the population. Drawing out the unlovely consequences of the arguments made by greens such as David Korten and Kirkpatrick Sale, Henwood concludes 'this is snobbery, elitism and despair, masquerading as radical critique' .... The chapter on globalisation is the best, with its clear explanation of the mysteries of trade and its willingness to go against the grain of accepted ideas on the left"

The Greenies have not managed to destroy nuclear power totally. New nuclear power plants are being built in Finland, Japan and other Asian countries. So the fact that we now have a new and inherently safe reactor design that is also cleaner, smaller and more affordable is good news for all reasonable people -- not that anything will ever make a Greenie happy, of course.


The Arab press is gloating about the reception in Israel of Italian Deputy Prime Minister Gianfranco Fini -- because Fini has in the past expressed approval of some things about former Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi has made similar remarks. That Mussolini’s Italy was one of the few countries in Europe from which no Jews were deported to Hitler’s concentration camps is of course overlooked.

Fittingly, David Corn has written another corny book: Claiming that GWB is a liar. Ho hum! But Mike Tremoglie goes into the details of Corn's claims and shows who the real liar is.

Andrew Bolt has a good answer to the overseas critics and the local Leftists who call Australia a “racist” country.

Only 3% of immigrants report Australia as racist. The Australian Left of course knows better than to ask immigrants. They need to throw racist labels around as a political weapon. They don't have any actual arguments.

Londoner Ann Leslie watched the anti-Bush demonstrations there and notes just how blind is the blind hatred of the Left towards him -- and she points out the great similarities between Bush and Reagan. And Suzanne Fields gives a few more details of the pathetic antics of the same Leftist “protestors” (“exhibitionists” would be a better word) and sees echoes of Winston Churchill in what Bush is doing.

Wow! Is Buckley good at a polite put-down! Read his complete demolition of JFK.

Mike Pechar of Interested Participant has a story about efforts being made to convert high school students into Leftist activists and comments: "It's particularly sad that the Ten Commandments are forbidden in school while the students are being force-fed Marxist ideals". Mike has also blogrolled my "deconstruction" of wacky Leftist linguist George Lakoff -- who thinks that conservatives are Daddies and Leftists are Mommies! But conservatives are very naughty Daddies, of course! Mike commented to me in an email: "I'm working on putting together a post specifically on Lakoff, but haven't done enough research yet. I'll say one thing though, if he's a linguist, mumbo-jumbo is a language".

Arlene Peck finds the attention being given to Jacko pretty disproportionate: “The anti-Semitism in Europe is chilling but where are the cries from our country and others about the pre-Nazi Germany situation that is brewing now? Jewish day schools are being burned, the same for synagogues... The situation is scary and getting worse while we are fed a daily diet of Michael Jackson and the movie star of the week”

The latest upload of one of my published articles is a brief review of a book about equality, co-authored by Keith Joseph -- one of the intellectual mentors of Margaret Thatcher. It is an astonishingly good book and makes the case that equality is obnoxious on MORAL grounds. I have put my review up in full on PC Watch and it is also available here.


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Monday, November 24, 2003


One of my Australian readers writes:

"I refer to the following extract from your post of 23 Nov: "Burke was emphatic that change was necessary but just wanted it to be done carefully.....".

About 30 years ago when Labor was doing its best to tear Australia apart, a fellow RAAF officer and pilot was invited to give the Anzac Day address at Cooma NSW.

His address was set around a word/action sequence taught to cadet pilots learning to fly on instruments - "change, check, hold, adjust, trim". In full, the advice was change the attitude of the aircraft, check the change, hold the new attitude and observe the result, adjust the attitude to give the exact required result, trim the aircraft to the new attitude.

Nick Leray Meyer's perception, and his description of just how political change should take place have remained with me ever since."


I have said this before myself but when Milton Friedman says it, it is worth repeating: "We are deeply concerned about proposed legislation to remove pharmaceutical companies' ability to control the importation of their products. The goal of this legislation will be to reduce prices in the American market by imposing other nations' price controls on us. If this attempt succeeds, American consumers would get the short-term windfall of lower prices, but they would end up unnecessarily suffering and living shorter lives -- because promising new therapies would be delayed or not even developed. Even the threat of price controls reduces the incentive to develop new drugs."

And more on the same theme: "The problem here is politicians face terrible incentives when regulating the prescription drug market. Many of you will know that politicians have had negative consequences on the rest of the American health care system, and now they’ve set their eyes on prescription drugs and threaten to screw that up, too."

In Canada even dogs get better health care: "Still lusting after socialized medicine? Consider the story of a man in Canada (a country well-known for socialized medicine) who needed a cat-scan but had to wait several months to see a physician. In his desperation, he booked an appointment for himself at a local veterinary clinic that had the imaging equipment he needed. He registered himself under the name 'Fido' to assure that he would get in."

The poor old Poms! ("Poms" is Australian slang for the English). The only thing their government can think of to improve their dreadful hospital system is to rip more and more money out of the taxpayer to spend on their existing system of socialized medicine -- the infamous "National Health". Yet, just North of England is Scotland -- where their National Health system already gets 20% more funding than the English equivalent. And by practically every criterion, the Scottish system delivers much WORSE results! But that extra funding does buy LOTS of extra bureaucracy! I sometimes think socialists must be pretty close to brain dead. Some part of their brain is not working.

Newt Gingrich [urges] conservatives to support the proposed Medicare reform bill. He argues Republicans should sign onto the $400 billion Medicare prescription drug bill because it includes a provision for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). But before Americans take the bait, they first should consider how previous health reform proposals and laws have failed to lower costs and increase access to health care."

Beware of government "solutions": "Just over a month ago we 'celebrated' the 10th anniversary of Bill Clinton’s speech to a joint session of Congress in which he called for a government takeover of the health care industry. Fortunately for America and the quality of our health care system, the massive one-size-fits-all Clintoncare plan went down to defeat. ... Ten years later, the healthcare debate rages on."


The Bible-oriented Anglican Archdiocese of Sydney has seen an 11% rise in its congregations in recent years -- while over the same period the “liberal” Anglican Archdiocese of Perth saw a 9% fall in its congregations. How surprising! One diocese offers faith. The other offers politics.

"Hate Crime" nonsense: "Opponents of hate crime legislation believe additional laws are unnecessary; criminals are prosecuted for breaking laws, regardless of their motivation. Hate crime laws raise numerous issues. For starters, these laws punish beliefs and speech. While prejudice and bigotry are appalling and wrong, regulation of any type of thought is constitutionally perilous and sets a precedent in which we could all become criminals. In addition, victims of crimes who do not belong to specified groups have a legitimate claim that their perpetrators are subject to lesser punishment

History and the $87billion "Marshall Plan" for Iraq: Like all government spending it will do little good and probably much harm. Protecting the emergence of private markets and free enterprise would be far more beneficial.

Bleeding Brain has a big post on why homosexual “marriage” makes no sense.

I have just posted some more of Chris Brand's observations on current events here. Apparently IQ expert Richard Lynn is getting a bit of exposure in the British media these days.

The Wicked one has a post about fire and brimstone.

In my latest upload of a published academic journal article I pull apart some claims by John Duckitt -- another Leftist psychologist who was sure he had shown what a bad lot conservatives are. Details here or here.


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Sunday, November 23, 2003


What conservatism means: Owen Harries (a fellow Australian and a former colleague of mine at the University of New South Wales) offers a useful review of the thought of Edmund Burke, long one of conservatism’s most influential writers and also, of course, a friend of the American revolutionaries. I liked several points: That Burke wrote BEFORE the French revolution degenerated into tryanny so was wise indeed to predict that tyranny; that he was an experienced practical politician rather than a theorist when he wrote so knew how people seeking privilege and influence really operate; that Burke was emphatic that change was necessary but just wanted it to be done carefully; that he consistently opposed abuse of power, no matter from where the abuse came.

Burke has been the thinker most quoted by conservatives for around 200 years but according to the usual Leftist view, the fact that Burke favoured change would make him not a conservative! It shows their gross ignorance of conservative thought. But of course they just KNOW what is the case -- no need for any reading.


Would you believe it? The Michael Jackson arrest is the fault of “white racism”? “The star's mother, Catherine Jackson, told the online version of Germany's Bunte magazine Friday that there were two interpretations of the law in the United States -- "one for whites and one for blacks."“

My post yesterday about the Dutch prompted the following email from a reader: “That confirms my experience over three years in England. I was in a tourism office one afternoon browsing some brochures when a couple of real tourists walked in. They noticed that the brochures were in Spanish, French, German and Italian; but there was no Dutch language. When they asked the clerk at the window why that was the case, she replied that all the Dutch speak English. I also knew a few people from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. They didn't just speak English, they spoke very good English; so did one of the local merchants who had emigrated from the Netherlands several years before and had become a British citizen. One of the Brits I knew was a bit peeved that this Dutchman cum Englishman had so completely adopted English customs. The Brit used to tell me: "He's Dutch, you know." And there is a guy I know here in Brisbane who I thought for years was a cockney (working-class Londoner) but who is in fact from “Nederland” (the country we English-speakers call “Holland” -- and for more on THAT see “Follies of the English language”).

In good Leftist media fashion, this article implies that all Brits and Europeans hate GWB and notes this comment: “"A great anti-Bush psychosis has taken hold in England". Such a mystery, isn’t it? Why do SOME Europeans hate GWB? It’s not the slightest mystery at all, of course. It’s just envy. The world once rotated around Western Europe. It now rotates around America. And GWB has refused to play that down. He has shown the power that the USA has and he has shown that he will use it if pushed far enough. And no wonder the Left above all hate him more than anyone else they can think of either in history or in the world today. Envy has always been a central part of their emotional motor so envy will affect them most of all. And the US Left hate him because it is not they who have their hands on the levers of that power. Envy, envy, envy! What an immensely destructive force it is in so many childish people!

I agree with Cal Thomas that jails should be reserved mainly for perpetrators of violent crimes. They cost too much to be used for much else. Having druggies there is absurd. I argued the case for that at some length long ago (PDF).

Johan Norberg's blog (from Sweden) has led me to this excellent commentary by Tyler Cowen on a much overlooked subject -- Remittances from guest workers -- which are arguably the most important form of foreign aid: "There is altogether too much talk about the United States being ungenerous with foreign aid. We show up as 21st in the rankings, in per capita terms, according to one estimate. These figures neglect remittances, where the U.S. is a very clear first with $28.4 billion a year sent to other countries. The bottom line: when it comes to other nations, the United States is the most generous country in the world.

Antagonizing China is a smart idea? "The Bush administration announced Tuesday that it is prepared to impose quotas, or safeguards, on three categories of textile imports from China. The long-awaited decision marks a major victory for the embattled U.S. textile industry, which has watched imports from China soar in the past two years as American plants have closed and workers have lost their jobs. ... [The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition] says the quotas are needed because imports have dramatically disrupted the textile industry. ... Others said the quotas would not help the textile industry be more competitive or save jobs, but rather it would cause prices to rise for American consumers."

Is there anything the “do-gooders” won’t oppose? "The inventors of a magic-bullet pill which is said to eliminate most heart attacks and strokes have opened negotiations with the Government on producing the treatment, which would be given to everyone over 55. .... The polypill would be a combination of six medicines to be taken once a day which, evidence suggests, would prevent 80 per cent of heart attacks and strokes. ... But the proposal has divided doctors. Some specialists say it could undermine the need for lifestyle changes."

I have just posted Chris Brand’s notes here about the reviews of IQ and the Wealth of Nations -- a book that shows how important national differences in IQ are.

The Wicked one has posts on both prayer and G-strings!

In 1983 I collaborated with an Indian psychologist to get a book published in India about that favourite topic of Leftist psychologists -- authoritarianism. Leftists rely on one particular and very problematic measure of authoritarianiasm for most of their conclusions about the matter. In the chapter from my Indian book just uploaded (See Chapter 6 here or the latest post here), I show that using any other measure of psychological authoritarianism produces results opposite to what Leftist psychologists believe to be true.


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