Saturday, December 13, 2003


An email from a reader:

“I am an engineer myself, and my younger brother is just completing his engineering degree. You mentioned how engineers tend to be more realistic, and therefore more conservative than the arts/humanities/social sciences morass.

However, even this oasis of commonsense within the universities is being white-anted by the hangers-on. In my later years of university we were required to take a humanities elective, in which a variety of social "science" lecturers would tell us about the evils of the industrial revolution, and how free people were before it, and how immoral business leaders were, and how scientists and engineers were responsible for the Holocaust, and the importance of the industrial relations tribunal, etc. and would generally show their ignorance about anything technological. Our tutor was a jolly and ignorant hippie who admitted in his totally unstructured tutorials that his criteria for evaluating the quality of an assignment was the number of footnotes it contained. It would have been hilarious if I wasn't paying for it. Strangely, the arts/humanities/social science crowd were not required to reciprocate by taking hard science electives.

In my brother's time, it has gotten even worse, with one subject of this ilk in nearly every semester, and some truly clueless people being appointed even in the Engineering faculty. For instance, when asked to summarise his thesis project, my brother was told that his summary was "a little more descriptive of the project than what we had originally hoped for", and what they wanted was "something a little more personal in regards to your perception or experience of the project". With "engineers" like this, you don't need terrorists to bring down skyscrapers.”


All Too Human criticizes my article on linguist-turned-psychologist Lakoff on the grounds that Lakoff has added in to his account a lot of ifs and buts and exceptions that he can fall back on if his central thesis is challenged. Of course he did. He would not be an academic if he had done otherwise. That he allows exceptions does not alter the basic thrust of his claims however. He still claims fairly clearly that typical mothers don't do the discipline, for instance. What a laugh! And this statement from Lakoff’s recent interview: "The conservative worldview, the strict father model, assumes that the world is dangerous and difficult and that children are born bad and must be made good. The strict father is the moral authority who supports and defends the family, tells his wife what to do, and teaches his kids right from wrong. The only way to do that is through painful discipline — physical punishment that by adulthood will become internal discipline. The good people are the disciplined people” is perfectly unambiguous about what a weird view he has of the typical conservative. It is also a demonstrably wrong view as the references I give in my article attest.

“All too Human” also defends Lakoff’s claim that Leftists are devoted to “equal treatment” and has some feeble defences of the fact that conservatives get anything BUT equal treatment on American university campuses. Rather than me reply to that just read this instance of gross, deliberate, sustained (and probably illegal) discrimination against conservatives at Washingtom University School of Law.


Larry Elder has a pretty disheartening summary of GWB’s socialist record. Just one excerpt: “By this time in his term, Reagan vetoed over 20 bills, President George W. Bush, none. Reagan campaigned to shut down the Department of Education. President Bush shook hands with a smiling Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., as they united to pass the so-called No Child Left Behind Act, increasing the federal government's role in education and, by the way, dropping the dreaded-by-liberals voucher provision. Bush also expanded Head Start despite the program's questionable effectiveness” Jeff Jacoby is pretty upset about it too. If the Democrats manage to find a challenger who sounds reasonably sane, I think a lot of GOP voters might stay home next election day. It’s all very reminscent of Malcolm Fraser -- a former Australian conservative Prime minister who said he loved Ayn Rand and had many years in office to do something about it but did zilch. He turned out to be a great friend of African dictators, though. It does rather remind one of some recent remarks by GWB about Taiwan and Israel’s security fence.

Wal Mart, America’s super-successful retailer of recent years, is clearly falling victim to what Australians call the “tall poppy syndrome”: Because they are so successful everyone want to cut them down to size. Some of the criticisms are mentioned here. Thomas Sowell brings a bit of economic sophistication to the discussion, however. A small excerpt: “With Wal-Mart, as with A & P before them, the big bugaboo is that their low prices put competing stores out of business. Could anyone ever have doubted that low-cost stores win customers away from higher-cost stores? It is one of the painful signs of the immaturity and lack of realism among the intelligentsia that many of them regard this as a "problem" to be "solved." “

Stop the Bleating has a good coverage of the issues involved in the French ban on women wearing Islamic dress.

The latest upload of one of my published articles is put up more as an historical curiosity than anything else. It is a report of a computer program I wrote in 1970. Being a boffin, I had access to computers a generation before most people did and I still have a copy of the first program I wrote -- in 1967. It was written for a machine that filled a room but had about the same amount of memory as a modern-day pocket calculator. It was still however very useful and a great advance on what went before. In those days the only software you could usually get for a computer was a compiler -- to enable you to write your own programs. So, unless you could get someone else to write a program for you, all computer users HAD to be programmers in those days. The program mentioned in my upload has subsequently been modernized for use in a PC environment and I am happy to forward both the source-code and an executable to anyone interested. It is however NOT a program for general use. It is for psychometricians and survey researchers only. Details here or here.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Friday, December 12, 2003


Below are some excerpts from The Spectator about Britain’s Leftist elite not practicing what they preach. Like the Soviets, what they give the worker is apparently not good enough for them. And the “Speccy” fails to mention that it was always thus. There was, for example, Barbara Castle -- Britain’s “Red Queen”. When she was a minister in the British Labour government led by Harold Wilson in the 60s, she said it was “obscene” for someone “to carve their way to a hospital bed with a chequebook”. When her son got sick, however, what did she do? She booked him into a private hospital under a false name!. And what was her reward for such vast hypocrisy? Harold Wilson made her a Baroness!

"It has become obvious that, in progressive circles, there has been one law for the political elite and another for the people. The most glaring recent example has been Hackney MP Diane Abbott's decision to send her son to a fee-paying school, after a lifetime campaigning for the abolition of private education....

For decades, Labour activists campaigned against the evils of apartheid in South Africa, but when Robert Mugabe embarked on a murderous policy against white landowners, barely a squeak was heard from these supposed crusaders against racial injustice....

Environment minister, Michael Meacher fulminated that 'housing is not, and should not be a status symbol, an object of conspicuous consumption or a source of market power and wealth. Too many people have second homes or too large homes for their needs, while too many others are homeless or over-crowded.' Meacher's words might have carried more weight if he had not been the owner of no fewer than eight homes himself.....

But the hypocrisy works on an even deeper level. For when leftists go private or offshore, they are trying to avoid the very problems they have created through their own socialist policies. They wilfully advocate measures that lower standards or destroy wealth, then run away from the consequences... For a socialist to complain about our shambolic education system is like an arsonist complaining that a building which he set alight has burnt down. Wealthy left-wing parents cannot tolerate the schools they have created, so they .. turn to the private sector they despise"



There is a VERY amusing article here about how the record high levels of unemployment in France have been created by French law. There is a huge demand for workers but no-one wants to work: “"We've become a nation of bureaucrats and welfare cheats," Tessier of the Paris bakery says. "No one wants to work." He thought he had found someone last month to fill his vacant pastry chef position, only to have the new recruit quit three days later after learning his €1600-a-month salary meant he'd have to give up his rent-free public housing”.

Meanwhile, as in the USA, so in Australia, the economy is booming -- with lots of new jobs being created all the time.

But PC employment regulations in Britain are driving jobs overseas.


Greg Sheridan has some good comments on the new Australian Labor Party leader. It is truly amazing how the media, feminists and the Left generally let him get away with talk that would sink a conservative leader. It shows that they have no genuinely-held standards at all -- only a hatred of the society in which they live.

The latest “Afro” news is a bit hilarious. The misspelt headline (“duel” instead of “dual”) rather draws attention but the news that Maryland is about to create a special low-qualification High School diploma (presumably mainly for blacks) seems to be welcomed -- though how its impact on blacks can be other than entirely negative escapes me.

Hippercritical is an optimist. He thinks Firas Khoury -- an Arab who recently beat fifteen other contestants to win Israel's latest reality show -- may turn out to be an Israeli version of Sammy Davis junior -- and thus promote tolerance between Jews and Arabs. It seems to me that the Israelis have ALREADY shown their tolerance by choosing him. What positive thing have the Arabs done?

Dave Huber’s blog does a good roundup of conservative news and commentary -- including some good stuff I had missed.

One of my favourite blogs -- Curmudgeonly & Skeptical -- has moved BACK to blogspot! Rodger writes: "My MT site is so hopelessly corrupted (it's always been corrupt) that I can't even do a redirect" Rodger is well-known for his amusing photos and graphics.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with a huge range of reading.

I have just put up here some more of Chris Brand’s postings. His headings:

The Wicked one says slavery is Islamic.

My latest upload of a chapter from my book concerns economic nationalism and its opposition to foreign investment. Foreign investment is widely opposed by ill-informed people everywhere -- which is why Leftists latch on to it. They do not care how irrational a view is if they can sound good by advocating it. I show in my chapter that foreign investment is in fact a gift that should be eagerly welcomed. Details here or in chapter 19 here.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Thursday, December 11, 2003

The Federalist has some news about the disgraceful prosecution of Colonel Allen West -- who saved lives by firing his pistol near an Iraqi. Apparently he is not now likely to be court-martialled but will still get booted out of the Army.


Why America's recession had 19th century echoes When the US was on the verge of recession, David Hale drew attention to the economy's imbalances and compared the situation to what happened in Britain during the 1840s. He doesn't know how right he is.
The fallacy of capital gains taxes According to Peter Holding 'income taxes are relatively high because of the overly lenient treatment we give to the taxation of capital gain.' So is he right? Far from it.
Paul Robeson was a dedicated Stalinist, not an American hero The proposal to issue a stamp honouring Paul Robeson is an insult to American patriots. Robeson was a committed communist, a Marxist-Leninist who unwaveringly toed the Stalinist line and sought his own country's destruction.
Syria accused of being behind terrorist attacks in Iraq Kuwaiti media accuse Syria of being behind terrorists attacks on coalition forces, and of hosting Hussein's WMDs.
Taiwan: A dragon economy and the abacus A curious feature of Western culture is the tendency to go to extremes when describing the East.

Details here



The Daily Ablution notes that NASA Has Evidence of Global Warming - On Mars. It’s all GWB’s fault of course. He lied! (or something).

And how about this? “Measurements of ancient air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice offered evidence that humans have been changing the global climate since thousands of years before the industrial revolution. Beginning 8,000 years ago, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide began to rise as humans started clearing forests, planting crops and raising livestock” Stop all that farming! Stop all that ranching!

Can trees cause mass extinction? And if so are human caused extinctions any less "unnatural" than tree caused extinctions?


I suppose a lot of us have some childish amusements. Mine is getting my critiques of Leftist psychologists up near the top of a Google search on their names. So if some puffed-up Leftist fraud does a search on his own name, the first thing he sees is my demolition of his work. I must confess that it does amuse me when I manage that. Given the way Google is almost everybody’s no. 1 research tool these days, it should be influential too. The Leftist monopoly in the universities may enable them to suppress criticism of their work there but the internet blows that control over information to smithereens. My most recent project has been to show what utter balderdash are the claims about conservatives put out by George Lakoff and I am pleased to report good progress there. My article has skipped over 64,000 other articles that mention the name “Lakoff” and was last night the 15th article that Google returned for that search term -- just below Lakoff’s own home page. A couple of other people have promised to mention my Lakoff article on their blogs so when that happens I might even make it to the top of the page! That WOULD be fun.

I rather naughtily liked this too: “Teens and young adults who regularly train and compete in sports are more than twice as likely to experience sudden death than non-athletes” The last exercise I did was when I was 16 and at age 60 I feel fine.

But this has to be the most amusing news of the day: “German police charged a man with drugs possession after officers spotted a small quantity of heroin concealed in his ear when he entered a police station to check if he was on their wanted list”

Good for Switzerland. An anti-immigrant politician has just got a top job and the Swiss Left are moaning that they now expect “further cuts in public services, further privatisation and a regression in environmental policy.”

A very cutting comment on Opinion Journal that assumes -- rightly -- that you very often get your politics from your parents: "It may surprise some people to learn that today's American teenagers have more conservative views than older generations on prayer in schools and abortion," Fox News reports. Why should it surprise anyone that those people lucky enough to have been born since 1973 would be more conservative than their elders, especially on abortion? We made the point in January; call it the Roe effect. If a woman aborts her child, he can't very well grow up to be pro-choice"

A good comment from one of my regular readers: “Complaining that Israel will "irritate the Palestinians" with their fence is like saying burglar bars on your windows will irritate burglars”

Michael Darby has just put up a new selection of posts. Some of his headings:
Starvation Looms in Zimbabwe
Zim & The Commonwealth
Teary Eyed Troops Cheered Bush - Oliver North
The Soft Power Alternative
Terrorism is a beast to be killed, not fed
Michael Darby's Speech to “Australians for Constitutional Monarchy”
NSW Ministerial Staffers Worth More Than Teachers?
President Bush Speaks to his Troops
Liberal Party Rogue Calls the US a War Criminal

The latest upload of one of my previously published articles is another chapter from my book. It is an attempt to give a simple yet comprehensive account of the causes and cures of inflation. It is however a conservative account rather than a libertarian one. The libertarian in me would say that the solution can be summed up in one sentence: “Let the government keep its sticky fingers out of the economy altogether”. Conservatives however have to make compromises in order to win elections so need more complex policies than that. The chapter was written 30 years ago at a time when Australia had a very Leftist but fortunately short-lived government that caused huge inflation by Australian standards and so damaged the economy that no subsequent government -- Left or Right -- has dared to follow anything but the most conservative of fiscal policies -- meaning that there has been no significant problem with inflation for many years now. Details here or in chapter 16 here.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Wednesday, December 10, 2003 is having one of their "Improvements" today -- with the usual disastrous results. Goodness knows when this post will show up. I hope some people have been logging on to one of my mirror sites instead.

A little while ago I reproduced an email from a lady who worked for some years in the administration of a US public housing authority -- providing welfare housing for "the poor". See here. She noted how self-destructive most of her "clients" were. She has now emailed me again with a comment on the government agency she worked for:

"In your post about private solutions you wrote: "Seventy-four percent of our government welfare dollars go to the middle class social workers who administer these programs."

Indeed. I had a number of epiphanies while working at the public housing authority, but one of the hardest was seeing how well its employees were doing and yet how bitterly they militated against the management. They got to relish a sense of moral superiority in three ways: They were superior to people who didn't work to "help the poor." They were superior to the poor on whose behalf they worked (boy, every word in that sentence could be put in scare quotes). And they got to complain about being exploited and oppressed by their bosses, who merely ensured full employment (it's true--no one was ever laid off) and a benefits program that beat most private employers".



I think GWB should withdraw his representatives to the U.N.: "Daily incidents of anti-Semitic violence around the globe are reported in the media. Yet while leaders of the Free World condemn synagogue bombings in Turkey, firebombings of Jewish schools in France, and the hate speech of Malaysia's president who now heads the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the U.N. moves in the opposite direction, encouraging the proliferation of this centuries-old hatred"

Arlene Peck has some choice words to say about Jimmy Carter and all those who criticize Israel’s security fence.

Australia’s public broadcaster has taken up the cause of a clergyman who has been banned from visiting one of the jails where illegal immigrants to Australia are held. He admits taking part in violent protest riots outside the jail concerned earlier this year but still thinks the view of him as a security risk is “unfair�. Clearly, however, if he had stuck to religion instead of trying to defy the government, he would have had no problems. Some good advice for him: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God's" (Mark 12:17)

The American economy is destroying jobs, and that's a good thing. It is in destroying jobs that the economy improves and makes it possible for the standard of living of all Americans to increase

The economy is performing like gangbusters. In November manufacturing had its best month in 20 years, construction activity rose to its highest level on record and last week the unemployment rate fell below 6 percent. Disposable income increased almost 6 percent last year... There is no doubt that the primary impetus for this growth is the Bush tax rate reductions,

Dennis Prager notes how the American mainstream press still sees Communism as being perfectly OK, despite all its mass slaughters. The Soviet Press is not dead. It lives on in America.

So what’s another lie to a Leftist? "Howard Dean underscores what has become a longstanding central theme of his campaign. He writes: 'We cut taxes by 30 percent over the lifetime of my administration.' ... On the campaign's website, Dean is even more specific, saying that his two cuts reduced the state's top income tax rate from 13.5 percent to 9.5 percent. But an examination of Dean's record as Vermont's governor has found that the bigger tax cut was in fact signed into law by his Republican predecessor, Richard Snelling."

More freedom in Mexico than in the politically correct USA: "In fiesta season, which just ended, everybody and his grand aunt Chuleta puts up a taco stand or booze stall on the plaza. Yes: In front of God and everybody. These do not have permits. They are just there. If you want a cuba libre, you give the nice lady twenty pesos and she hands it to you. Tha's all. There is in this a simplicity that the North American instantly recognizes as dangerous. Where are the controls? Where are the rules? Why isn't somebody watching these people? Heaven knows what might happen. They could be terrorists."

There is a good article here by Victor Davis Hanson that says that the USA is fighting "the worst Fascists since Hitler" in Iraq and that using kid-glove methods with Arabs is pissing into the wind.

Pro-War Leftism: "The argument, depending on who's making it and to whom they're making it, can be back-stopped with unimpeachable socialist historical precedent. Didn't Marx and Engels support the British Empire, with all its brutalities in India and stupidities in the Crimea, against Tsarist Russia? Didn't they wholeheartedly back the United States -- with all its hesitations, hypocrisies, faults and evils -- against the Southern slave-holders' rebellion? Didn't almost the entire left -- not just the liberals and Social Democrats and (Stalinist) Communists, but in their own inimitably contorted way most Trotskyists and even some anarchists -- fundamentally, and however critically, support the world war waged by the imperialist democracies and Stalinist Russia against German fascism?"

The latest upload of one of my previously published articles is another chapter from my book -- about decentralization. Part of the general Greenie hatred of the modern world is a dislike of big cities -- though few Greenies actually move out of them for some unknown reason! One solution to this “problem� is to get people to move out of big cities and move to smaller cities (an idea that the average New Yorker would see as abandoning civilization). For a time, however, a short-lived Australian Leftist government was actually spending taxpayer dollars to get people out of the big cities and my article was an attempt to point out what a nonsense government-induced decentralization is. Details here or in chapter 6 here.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Tuesday, December 09, 2003


Since Xmas is coming up and people are making travel plans, I am repeating verbatim below a warning I gave at this time last year. I know that memories are short. Both Australia and Britain have long ago privatized their former national airlines but the Kiwis still cling on to theirs -- no doubt in an accurate realization that it would not last 6 months in the commercial marketplace. The cost to the Kiwi taxpayer has, however, been huge. And for what? Air services to New Zealand would at least not be altered by its demise -- and would probably be improved!

When Air New Zealand (a government-owned airline) crashed one of its planes into Mt Erebus in Antarctica some years ago, there was evidence of negligence in setting up the plane's navigational system. But pinning the blame on any one person or procedure was difficult. Top people all over New Zealand were involved in various ways with the airline and they all appeared to be covering up for one-another. The New Zealand government of the day was so despairing of getting to the bottom of the matter that it imported a judge from Australia to head the official enquiry. No New Zealand judge could be found who could be trusted. Even so, when the enquiry was over, the judge reported that he had been confronted by "an orchestrated litany of lies" in the course of his enquiry and it remained dubious whether enough changes had been made to prevent further such disasters.

Air New Zealand planes are just falling apart as they fly through the sky. It has now happened four times in the last four months. Maintenance is still obviously a low priority for this bureacratized monstrosity of an airline. When they owned Australia's Ansett Airlines, Ansett also had major maintenance problems -- leading to its eventual bankruptcy.


Mass support for more immigration control: According to the study, released this month by the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press, "About eight-in-ten Republicans (82%) and somewhat fewer independents and Democrats (76% each) agree with the statement 'We should restrict and control people coming into our country to live more than we do now.'"

"The European Union postponed again a decision on lifting a four-year ban on bio-engineered crops" I can't say I blame them. With their huge socialistic price supports for their farmers, greater productivity from their farms would be a budgetary nightmare for them.

Hooray! "European Union foreign ministers admitted defeat Monday in their efforts to find a constitutional compromise between countries seeking greater integration and those who fear a European superstate"

I can't believe this: Her Majesty the Queen sends text messages on her cellphone! What a laugh! No reason why she shouldn't, of course.

When GWB is called a "cowboy" it seems generally to be meant with contempt. Someone who knows what real cowboys are like thinks the term is a badge of honour

When Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Robert Mugabe recently said that Australians were an inferior race because of the convicts in their ancestry (I have two convicts in my ancestry but only about 3% of Australians in fact have any convict ancestry) I didn't hear a single Leftist scream of outrage at such "racism" I wonder why? Maybe it shows that they secretly think you have to expect that sort of thing from "the lesser races". In case you are interested there is a link to a video of Mugabe making his remarks here. There is also a post here about the disgusting homosexual rapist who was anointed as Zimbabwe's President by a British government -- in its zeal to overcome "racism".

Danegerus has an excellent quote about pacifists from George Orwell which is still true today around 50 years after Orwell wrote it. It points out that pacifists only want the West to stop defending itself. Violence by others is not even mentioned.

PID has a big post on how the Left have always tried to stigmatize conservatives as insane or stupid or evil in order to avoid any real debate about policies and reality generally. When you have got no arguments, abuse is all you have left. I do the opposite. I start from the facts and show that Leftist policies could not be motivated by any interest in reality.

A new Australian Leftist blog has sprung up called Australian UnSpinner which says that it is "Desperate to remove the spin from Oz politics -- to provide a clear and rational approach to it all". I think he might be sincere about it too. His comments on global warming and forestry are generally reasonable and pretty unusual for a Leftist. I suspect he will end up a conservative one day.

When I wrote an article for Front Page Magazine last year in which I pointed out that modern Leftism is essentially the same as the Italian Fascism of Benito Mussolini in the 1930s, I was of course merely drawing to wider attention facts that were well-known to most historians of the period. Amazon has some informative reviews here of a book by Veith that sets the similarities out in much greater detail. Well worth reading.

My latest academic upload is my major attempt to pin down whether or not there is such a thing as a working class ideology. I found that there is a weak tendency for working class people to be conservative on some social issues but that it varies from country to country. Details here or here


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Monday, December 08, 2003


A reader has picked out a rather fun passage from V.D. Hanson's recent book: 'Mexifornia: A State of Becoming':

"So there has indeed been complicity on the part of Mexico in the great migration north. And there has been a shameful and unforgivable absence of honesty on the part of our own political and academic establishment in legitimizing Mexico's venality. The Mexican government looks on the exportation of its poorest Indians as an economic issue: remittances from illegal aliens reach the billions of dollars and so prop up the Mexican government and help feed the starving who otherwise would look in vain to a nonexistent safety net at home.

There is also an element of racism involved_one oddly ignored in the face-charged debates in contemporary America. For the most part it is not light-skinned Mexicans of Spanish heritage who are coming to the United States, but rather the poorest and brownest, largely Indian_and this apparently suits an elite in Mexico City that does not wish to explain why the whiter people of Mexico are better off than those who are browner. Indeed, if one were studiously to watch any of the Spanish-language television stations_whether owned and operated by Mexican nationals or by Mexican-Americans_one would surmise that surely the Ku Klux Klan had a hand in the programming. Most are either white or coated with white pancake makeup; nearly every prominent woman is dyed blonde; every privileged host and hostess is about as Anglo-looking as can be. Yet all thee characters who are subservient_taxi drivers, maids, gardeners, "the help"_resemble the hundreds of thousands of darker-skinned people who risk their lives to enter the United States illegally.

I have met wealthy elites, academics and journalist from Mexico City who privately laugh that they are exporting their Indians and Mestizos, their unwanted, into the United States. Their smile disappears when I reply that we instead figure that they suppose to be riffraff are the real cream of Mexican society: frontiersmen and women whose endurance and courage; are good prerequisites for Americanization, and who in fact are superior people to those who oppress them at home. So while the powers in Mexico City regard departure as good politics_a valve of sorts that releases dangerous pressures rather than allow explosions of the type that occurred in the country's earlier checkered history_in an odd way the joke ultimately is on them. Within twenty years the poor, brown Indian alien could enjoy a material existence in America superior to that of the upper-class white Mexican in Mexico City."


It looks like The Guardian is so far grimly resisting the urge to antisemitism that seems to be overtaking the Left everywhere. I like this comment by Julie Burchill: "Make no mistake, the Jews are not hated because of Israel; they are hated for their very modernity, mobility, lust for life and love of knowledge. Their most basic toast, "L'chaim!" (To Life!), is a red rag to those who fetishise death because they have failed to take any joy from their life on earth." I think there is no doubt that the Left are indeed a joyless lot.

Another follow-up to my KGB wristwatch story. A reader writes: "the Dad of a friend fled the USSR in the 60's but keeps a small metal bust of Lenin in his freezer. Whenever he gets drunk, he pulls the bust out and sets it in the middle of the dinner table and as it starts to defrost, cackles, "Who's sweating now you sonofabitch?!'"

Jeff Jacoby reports that Senator Joe Lieberman has now given up on his support for the importance of the Judeo-Christian tradition. A big backflip that now makes him just another Democrat.

A good comment from an ex-Marxist philosopher on the folly of Christian churches becoming merely "trendy": "The whole strength of the Church is that it is faithful to its tradition - otherwise, what is the Church for? If the Church is going to become a political party which merely adapts its beliefs to changing opinions, it can be safely dismissed altogether, because there are political parties doing such things... The Church is strong because it has a traditional teaching, a spiritual kernel, which it considers its immutable essence. It cannot just yield to any pressure from people who think that whatever is in fashion at the present moment should immediately be adopted by the Church as its own teaching"

"The contrasts are dramatically in favor of private solutions ... help for the poor, for example: Seventy-four percent of our government welfare dollars go to the middle class social workers who administer these programs. On the other hand, 75% of each privately donated dollar goes to the needy! How can such a dramatic difference be unknown to or ignored by so many people? Part of the reason is that most people can't even imagine that government can be as wasteful as it is. Another reason is that government programs spend a lot of time and money on self-promotion, and politicians responsible for them certainly can't admit how wasteful they are."

Ben Shapiro says it is conservatives who support Israel and is therefore contemptuous of Jews who vote Democrat -- saying that: "If liberal Jews want the right to start screaming anti-Semitism, they need to start acting in concert with authentic Jewish values first."

Prof. Bunyip notes a rather amazing piece of feminist sexism from the new Chief Justice of the State of Victoria. If you replaced the word "women" in what she said with "men", she would have been booted out of the job.

Gary Aldrich spent a lot of time seeing Bill and Hillary Clinton close-up and he concludes: "They are hard-hearted, Hard-Left and very hateful people."

I have just put up a new range of posts from Chris Brand here. Posts on psychoanalyst Jung, Stephen Pinker of Blank Slate fame, black racism and university student buffoonery.

The Wicked one has a new and improved version of marriage vows.

The latest upload of one of my published articles is another chapter from my book written 30 years ago. It shows how little the Left has changed. An Australian Leftist government was as opposed to freedom of speech then as the Politically Correct brigade are today. They mostly cannot afford to have the full facts on any issue widely known. Details here or Chapter 11 here.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Sunday, December 07, 2003


The main reward I get from doing this blog is the emails I receive. I rather enjoyed this one:

“This note is a shot in the dark that has no bearing on the trouble the NYT has caused the Al Ray family in Baghdad, altho I did complain to the “Newspaper of Record” regarding their unfeeling arrogance. The lofty indifference towards real human suffering of the sort of people for whom having to hail a cab in Manhattan
in the rain, or getting a bad table at Elaine's, is a major life crisis has always amazed me, but all that is beside the point.

Josh Chafetz of Oxblog is surely a man whose name is not unknown to you. Josh has recently proposed a project that I would like to help him with. He has learned that the US embassy in Amman publishes founding documents of democracy, such as The Federalist, in Arabic. He thinks it would be useful to seek funding for a project to distribute free copies of The Federalist to people in Iraq. Me too, but before I embark on a new career as a do-good busybody I would value some input from a person who knows both worlds.

Do you think it would be OK for me to approach Ghayda Al Ali, strictly as one private citizen to another? The last thing I want to do is to intrude on the privacy of someone in her position, but her opinion would carry a lot of weight. Can you put me in touch with her? No pressure. NO is a perfectly acceptable answer.”

I copied his email to the family concerned


My mention yesterday of the "Red" wristwatch got me a few emails. I particularly liked this one: "I read your item about the KGB wristwatch today. I must confess that I purchased a Red Army paratrooper wristwatch from the same firm last year. I like wind up watches and the design of the Red Paratrooper watch was such that you could wind it up whilst wearing thick gloves. As a mad snow sports fan, that was a big selling point for me. Unfortunately after about three weeks I dropped the watch from my bedside table and it hasn't worked since. If Red Army paratroops were equipped with watches that could not withstand a two foot fall, no wonder they lost the Cold War!"

A comment from another reader on the same subject: "The guy with the KGB watch reminds me of Jay Nordlinger's column in NRO - about the Russiahn immigrant who had a hammer and sickle and a red star displayed in his living room. When asked why he embraced symbols of oppression, he said these symbols reminded him that he was FREE OF THAT OPPRESSION"

And a reader thinks that African Christians are good conservatives: “The current traditionalist versus modernist split being played out in the Anglican Church sees the African and Asian branches of the Church firmly in the traditionalist camp. To Western modernists this is simply an indicator of the backwardness and bigotry of their rustic co-religionists. But as this article shows, the reason for the traditionalism of the African Church has more to do with lack of trust in secular authorities who are often tyrannical, corrupt, Islamist or all three. To African Christians, the idea of cooperating with the secular state, something western Christians have no qualms about, makes as much sense as proposing a reformist partnership with the mafia. The see the authority of the Church and the Bible as providing a counter-point to the undemocratic state that dominates them. This example may help explain the broader nature of conservatism versus liberalism. The conservative distrusts the state and sees the world as containing threats requiring a disciplined response; the liberal sees the world and political authority as essentially benign with conflicts being abnormal, mainly the result of misunderstanding.


It looks like Canadian conservatives are finally growing up -- with the merger of their two parties now approved. Australia has had two co-operating conservative parties for years (presently in power) and we all know what a broad tent the GOP is.

One understands that scaremongering sells newspapers and attracts TV viewers but it can nonetheless cause great harm and distress. And the autism scare over the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine is a case in point. A doctor explains why he will not be staying quiet about a British TV channel’s 'scientifically dishonest and emotionally manipulative' program on the subject. PC types all around the world are trying to ban all mention of Christmas where they can in case it “upsets” somebody. Where are they when something really upsetting is going on? Silent, of course. In reality their only concern is making themselves look big, not actually doing any good.

Government regulations to "protect farmland" from development make no sense. All it does is drive up the cost of land for housing and thus militate against affordable housing

Denis Dutton has a good article on how the deregulation of the New Zealand economy worked wonders.

Owen Harries makes the point that a globalized economy will not remotely lead to the decline of the nation state. I think he's right but I also doubt that it matters much one way or the other. Any change will obviously be evolutionary and voluntary so there is not much to be feared in that.

Sam Francis on the nonsense of the racism detector test which I commented on some time ago here.

Anti-white racism, the last acceptable prejudice?

It looks like the Catholic Church has finally decided to speak out about Islamic barbarity and intolerance.

A “childless by choice” lady has some bitter comments about the 50s. I think her view of how the police treated women in those days is a caricature but it is true that life has got better in some ways and worse in others since then. For most people life is slowly getting better all the time in my view -- despite the efforts of the Left to destroy people’s happiness wherever they can.

I imagine that most readers of this blog also read PC Watch but, if not, I have put up a fair bit of good stuff on politically correct idiocy there lately.

The latest upload from a chapter in my book written 30 years ago concerns something that is very topical today: Zimbabwe (or Rhodesia as it then was). I predicted that handing the country over to Mugabe and his cronies would be a disaster. And that disaster has certainly arrived now. See Chapter 10 here or here.


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