Saturday, January 03, 2004


On socialized medicine in the UK: "Harriet Sergeant's investigation of the NHS, the final part of which we publish today, is as frightening as it is infuriating. It describes a healthcare system in which the most fundamental rules of hygiene and patient care are ignored, the costs of basic supplies run out of control for sheer lack of common sense, and incompetent staff cannot be disciplined"

And another NHS report: "Whether you enjoy attentive nurses, a proper diet and clean wards is simply pot luck. Nor can this arbitrary standard of care be blamed wholly on staff shortages; rather, it is a catastrophic failure of management, combined with substandard training, that has brought about a crisis in the wards."

And the British taxpayer is SO kind to foreigners: "All asylum seekers who have an illness for which they cannot get treatment in their own country, have under Human Rights Legislation, the right to stay in this country and to receive free treatment. So if you are HIV positive, you have an automatic right to asylum in the UK.... Applicants from Eastern Europe and the Third World have recently received two thirds of student visas, and the majority of work permits. Unfortunately TB, Hepatitis B and HIV are all endemic in these parts of the world. They are contagious, life-threatening diseases and are now taking hold in the UK. For example, 95% of all new cases of Hepatitis B in this country come from abroad. Each patient costs the NHS about œ10,000 a year. HIV is now a heterosexual disease. Rates of TB in London have doubled over the last 15 years. London is now the TB capital of Europe"



Americans do not yet seem to be panicking about their "mad cow" case and nor should they, apparently. Prof. John Brignell, the author of the UK site "NUMBERWATCH" has released his "number of the year" for 2003. It's 137...

"This is the total number of vCJD ["mad cow"] deaths recorded ever. It was meant to be millions, but something went wrong somewhere. It all but destroyed the British beef industry. If this is not exciting enough how about the total of 774 deaths ever from SARS? That caused a temporary economic collapse in South East Asia. For a really boring comparison consider the 20 million deaths from influenza in 1918 alone. The important thing to remember is that Panic Sells Papers." (Quote from the end of this article). Prof. Brignell also adds some comments on the British NHS.

But that mad cow is great for propaganda: "PETA's quasi-medical front group, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has purchased a sponsored link that appears when you type 'mad cow' into the Google search engine. Unsuspecting Google users simply see a page called 'mad cow facts,' but they may quickly find themselves bombarded with unabashed anti- meat propaganda."


A marvellous post on environmentalism here from someone who has taken great trouble to look into it.

Regarding my "Town and Gown" posting yesterday, a reader reminded me of G.B. Shaw's saying: "Those who can do, and those who can't, teach". There is a later extension of that applying to universities: "And those who can't teach, teach the teachers!"

Almanacs are dangerous? The FBI is not what it used to be: "The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning. In a bulletin sent Christmas Eve to about 18,000 police organizations, the FBI said terrorists may use almanacs 'to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning.'"

A survey here of what Islamic clergy in Europe have been telling their congregations lately: "With one exception, they are sermons that incite to hatred. The end of Ramadan was marked by the legitimization of Islamic terrorism in Iraq and the whole world"

An improved climate: "Every year, environmental alarmists claim we have taken another step on the road to ruin. This year, they claim 2003 was the third-hottest year ever, and that its heat waves, floods, and tornadoes are evidence of global warming that will bring global catastrophe. But, despite their claims, statist environmentalists will remember 2003 as a very bad year for their credibility. Above all, we should remember 2003 as the year that saw the death of the most economically damaging idea ever to come out of the United Nations, the Kyoto Protocol on climate change."

I have often made the point that the idea of conservatives opposing change is an inversion of the truth. What IS true is that Leftists LOVE change. Conservatives can take it or leave it. This account of Australia's shortlived but very Leftist government of the '70s shows just HOW frantic for change that government was.

German blogger "Davids Medienkritik" (he posts in both English and German) is very amused at Chancellor Schroeder being invited to attend French D-Day celebrations. I must say that I am surprised that the arrival of Anglo-Saxon liberating forces is even mentioned in France today. Isn't that "unilateral" or something?

As I do occasionally link to Leftist sites, I suppose I should link to extreme-Right sites occasionally too. This one is classic in its nuttiness. Though it could equally well be from the extreme Left, come to think of it.


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Friday, January 02, 2004


I put up a link recently to one of Thomas Sowell's articles about how business, profit and commerce generally seem to be decried and scorned by the intelligentsia. And having spent much of my life in academe, I often noted myself the scorn many academics express for the world of business. Why that enmity? I think it might help if I note that this is not exactly a new phenomenon. For hundreds of years in Europe there was always a "Town and Gown" rivalry -- where "Gown" meant the students and academics of the local university and "Town" were the ordinary businesspeople of the city. So at least in part it is yet another version of the natural group prejudice that I have been alluding to recently in my comments on America's "hegemony". People like their own group best and are suspicious of outsiders. People who live very different lives develop different values and do usually consider their own values to be the best. Academics are "prejudiced", in short (horrors!).

Another obvious factor is that old green-eyed monster again -- envy. Lots of people in business make lots of money but few academics do. And since academics tend to consider themselves to be better in all sorts of ways, what is that usually going to lead to? Rage and hate of course! Childish but all too common, I am afraid. I suppose I should be glad that I have never had that conflict. I am one of the few who have been successful in both business and academe. I preach capitalism and I practice it too. And the realities of practicing it are a pretty good innoculation against the impractical nonsense of the Left.


At NUMBERWATCH, British mathematician John Brignell has some interesting correspondence with one of the critics of global-warming skeptic John Daly:

"We are invited to accept the IPCC report, and particularly the Summary for policy makers, as the Holy Writ and reject the Daly contributions as Apocrypha. What I see is a bunch of hypocritical Green politicians and bureaucrats getting up to all sorts of dishonest shenanigans to foist an economically damaging myth on a gullible world, contrasted with an honest jobbing lone scholar with limited resources trying to establish that there is an alternative view. They ask "Which would you rather believe?" I reply "Daly!" The alterations made to the IPPC report, in particular, are tantamount to downright fraud.

John Daly gets many things wrong. I am prepared to make allowances for this, as he is a lone amateur scholar. I make no allowances for the likes of CRU, with 40 staff and millions of pounds of taxpayer money. 40 was our number of the month for August 2001 in their honour. The likes of Daly have as opposition not only the whole of the "scientific" establishment, but also the whole of the media establishment. Times Newspapers and the BBC, for example, go in for large scale ratchet reporting of warm weather and completely ignore devastating examples of cold. They also cold-bloodedly fake their charts, as O'Ronain and Daly cogently pointed out. Why, if they think they are right?"


There is now a mirror site for "PC Watch" that is viewable in China. See HERE. The webspace I upload it to is very carelessly managed so I may not be able to update it every day but I will update it several times a week at least, I hope.

An interesting article here on the great flexibility and tolerance of American Christianity and the irrelevance of religious denomination. One cannot help reflect on the contrast with Islamic or Leftist fanaticism.

French culture: "In what has become one of France's least agreeable annual customs, vandals torched 324 automobiles during New Year celebrations"

Colin Powell has just set out the New Year resolutions of the Bush administration. And it's a real no-nonsense program! I notice that even Castro seems to be in their sights. Not before time!

Generous people from a generous nation: "The top 400 American earners in 2000 provided nearly 7 percent of all the charitable gifts reported on income tax returns for that year, well in excess of their roughly 1 percent share of overall income"

How FDR's New Deal harmed millions of poor people: "For defenders of the New Deal, perhaps the most embarrassing revelation about New Deal spending programs is they channeled money AWAY from the South, the poorest region in the United States. The largest share of New Deal spending and loan programs went to political 'swing' states in the West and East - where incomes were at least 60% higher than in the South. As an incumbent, FDR didn't see any point giving much money to the South where voters were already overwhelmingly on his side."

Arlene Peck points out that it is not only Jews who are under attack in Israel but Christians too.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again. It is quality not quantity this week.

"Precautionary Tales" tells us that George Monbiot (UK Leftist pundit) is really a reactionary who even hates aircraft.

One of Chris Brand's latest postings says that if you can "tube" your tongue it is a sign of high IQ!

The Wicked one has recent posts about the autism scare and one way that Clinton was better than Bush.

An amusing Xmas story on No. 2 Pencil. Excerpt: "I woke up my boyfriend so that we could open our gifts. And then I poured a nice large shot of liqueur into my coffee. Boyfriend wondered aloud why I was hitting the booze so early; I reminded him that it was necessary because I was getting ready to open gifts from my family".


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Thursday, January 01, 2004


In response to my post yesterday about America being doomed to being unloved by many, Wayne Lusvardi writes:

Perhaps we can learn from two old jokes for the New Year from Iraq circa 1925. From 1914 to 1932 Britain occupied Iraq under a Mandate from the League of Nations to abolish the old Ottomon Turkish-British imperialism and create a modern state out of its urban Sunni, rural Shiite, and mountain Kurdish tribes. Britain ruled mainly by the then new air power of the Royal Air Force and the use of expert "advisers." By 1932 Britain abandoned Iraq. What the U.S. might learn from that experience comes from two popular Iraqi jokes of that time:

Joke 1 - There are only two things to fear - Allah and the Hakumat al tayarrat (government by aircraft).

Joke 2 - (A). Men say that a certain religious Mullah has prophesied the immediate second coming of the Mahdi (savior).

.............(B). What good would that be? Christ will come too and he'll be the Mahdi's Adviser.

Borrowing from the thoughts of Niccolo Machiavelli, history may not necessarily repeat itself but it laughs at any American expectation that we can be both loved and respected in Iraq and the Middle East. The dilemma is that we can't be loved unless we are first respected, but can't be respected by merely trying to be loved. It is probably not coincidental that love is a central Christian concept that is at best marginal to the Islamic religion. The U.S. might just have to accept that it is a sufficient partial victory to get its troops out of Iraq and Saudi Arabia and to be respected by other terrorist states or rogue terrorists, and give up any expectation of being loved or setting up any form of democracy in Iraq.


I have decided that ozone depletion theory is a bit too arcane a subject for me to continue my series of postings on it here but there is a heap of stuff on the net from climate scientists who have always disputed the ozone-CFC connection. Start here for instance. From my reading of the evidence, ozone fluctuations, as with global temperature fluctuations, are a product of solar variation -- though in the case of Antarctica some scientists also implicate micrometeorites.

Before I leave the subject, however, I have received what I regard as an interesting email on it from Rogue Pundit -- which I reproduce here for the record.


For those who have not already seen the story, the huge death toll (now 40,000) in the recent Iranian earthquake was essentially the doing of the mad mullahs in the rag hats, believe it or not.

Sounds good to me: "Washington's hawks have sent a public manifesto to President George Bush demanding regime change in Syria and Iran and a Cuba-style military blockade of North Korea backed by planning for a pre-emptive strike on its nuclear sites."

One reason why NASCAR fans like the GOP: "NASCAR is a daredevil sport. It's all about risk-taking and nerve. Not unlike President Bush's Iraq policy, and his tax cuts and his plans to remake Medicare and Social Security. Not necessarily reckless, but bold and nervy. "NASCAR fans feel like the president is one of them," Hunter said. Democrats, on the other hand, have become the party of the safety net. At NASCAR events, there are no safety nets."

Amusing: "The Domino's Pizza poll found the day of Saddam's capture provided delivery drivers with their biggest "tips night" of the year"

Amazing: The favourite New Year TV viewing of Germans is a British play broadcast in English!

Economist and former anarchist Johan Norberg says people are dying because the West talks free markets but doesn't live it internationally. He says MORE globalization is needed, not less: "Take just about any statistic, any indicator of living standards in the world, and you can see the progress that has been made over the exact period that worries globalization critics. In the last 30 years we've seen chronic hunger and the extent of child labor being halved. In the last 40 years, we've seen life expectancy going up to 64 years in developing countries.... What's more, the most progress is found in the countries that increased trade and contacts with the outside world. "

There is a very frank article here about the disgusting way the U.S. Congress decides what to do with the taxpayer's money. Big government is inbuilt.

Lee Harris points out that the stupid Leftist search for simple formulas to solve all life's problems is now even more pointless than ever in the age of terrorism. There ARE no simple answers or sure-fire remedies for terrorism, much as we all no doubt wish there were. Conservatives, however, have ALWAYS said that the world is a complex place.

We have recently had some unintended compliments from an Australian Leftist. About the new leader of Australia's major party of the Left, Robert Manne says: "Mark Latham is probably the most right-wing leader the ALP has ever had. On economic questions he is a low tax, neo-liberal. On political questions he has shown consistent contempt for the values of the inner suburban, chardonnay socialist set." And about our immigration policy "Of all Western societies, Australia is now almost alone in having no asylum claims from unauthorised arrivals. Since Tampa, there has been, quite simply, no asylum seeker "problem" here."

I have found another blogger who liked the Queen's Christmas message -- N.Z. blogger PNN


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Wednesday, December 31, 2003


There is some amusing handwringing at The NYT over America's failure to achieve a good image elsewhere in the world. What on earth do they expect? Was the British Empire ever loved by others when it was powerful? Of course not! Everybody tends to dislike people different from themselves and even the tiniest differences can generate great passions.

Let me give an example that shows exactly what I mean but which is so far from world awareness that it can only be seen as amusing: In Australia's island State of Tasmania, the two biggest cities (though both are small as cities go) are Hobart and Launceston. Hobart is the bigger and is the State capital. And guess what? Launceston residents loathe Hobart and all who live there. They perceive haughtiness, arrogance and all sorts of faults in people who are really totally indistinguishable from themselves. Why? Because Hobart is in a different place from Launceston and seems more successful in some ways. Relative to Launceston it is the hegemon (leading, out in front).

So what hope is there of America ever being generally loved abroad? Nil! The differences between Hobart and Launceston residents that arouse great passions are totally imaginary. If even imaginary differences arouse great passions, how much more powerful are going to be the REAL differences between the USA and elsewhere? Even in America's most reliable ally -- Australia -- there is plenty of anti-American sentiment -- almost all just as silly as the anti-Hobart sentiment in Launceston. People just have to live with that sort of thing and fortunately the great commonality of heritage between the USA and Australia ensures that there are many Australians who are mature enough to say that Americans are different but that's still OK.


Chris Vinall has given some answers to my earlier posts about the ozone layer that seem reasonable, though I have yet to absorb the mass of data he has pointed me to. At first glance, however, it STILL seems to me that the 2002 shrinkage was NOT predicted so still shows the models used for it as inadequate.

Here's another point that would seem to question our understanding of the phenomenon: Ozone is a highly reactive chemical that reacts not only with CFCs but also with nitrogen oxides. And guess what produces huge amounts of nitrogen oxides in the upper atmosphere? Nuclear explosions. And between October 1961 and December 1962, the USA and the U.S.S.R. between them exploded 340 megatons of nuclear devices into the atmosphere. So that produced a drastic reduction in the earth's ozone layer and gave millions of people skin cancer -- right? Wrong! Nobody noticed any such effect and, according to Foley and Ruderman of Columbia University Physics Department, by ten years after that period average ozone levels had actually increased! That ozone layer seems to be a lot more resilient than we think! So once again earth's climatic phenomena seem far too complex for prediction by simple laboratory models and what the models tell us to be bad for the atmosphere may even be good for it.

And I still can't see how anybody can get past the fact that the hole is still at least as big as ever DESPITE CFCs having been banned 12 years ago. Maybe Chris will explain it to me in short words.


I have often remarked (e.g. here and here) on the sheer ignorance of the Leftist view that conservatives are simply people who oppose change. It occurs to me that another refutation of that view is Malcolm Fraser, undoubtedly the most reviled conservative ex-politician in Australia. And what enrages conservatives about Big Mal? The fact that in his long term as Australian Prime Minister he did practically nothing! He did a few middle-of-the road things but that is all. He was a centrist masquerading as a conservative. He did nothing to introduce free market reform or any of the other things that conservatives felt were in dire need of changing. Being opposed to change made him reviled among conservatives, not loved!

Another reader has been thinking about my recent posts on moral philosophy and has written some interesting comments which I have reproduced here.

Terrorists now seem to be targeting the EU!. Serves them right. It shows that wimping out of America's fight against terrorism has not saved them from it.

MALAYSIA is introducing school vouchers? An Islamic country is showing up the USA? Shame!

Jeff Jacoby is very good on the endemic hate-speech of the American Left: "I had noticed that when a prominent Republican or conservative said something offensive about liberals, it typically set off a storm of media condemnation, while an anti-conservative smear voiced by a liberal or a Democrat rarely drew any protest." And he goes on to give a heap of examples.

"Profits are certainly without honor among the intelligentsia. The very word produces negative reactions, even from people who cannot give you a single reason why money carrying that label is worse than money called by other names."

The Curmudgeon is back at his old site but it was still messed up last time I looked. There are some amusing posts amid the confusion, though.

The Wicked one thinks that school choice may not be enough to rescue American education.

The latest upload of a chapter from my book reports a Leftist equivalent of "McCarthyism" going on in Australia in the 1970s. Details here or in chapter 30 here. The difference is that data released by the downfall of the Soviet Union has shown that McCarthy was essentially right in what he suspected.


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Tuesday, December 30, 2003


Shaun Bourke liked my analysis of moral statements yesterday and wrote as follows:

You continue to explain to me in words, what I think/believe, but usually am unable to put into words myself. On your 4 points:-

1. I like it when people do X
2. Doing X generally leads to widely desired results
3. It is the will of God that you do X
4. X has an eternal, inescapable, universal "moral" quality.

I find, including myself here, that most people of the Judeo-Christian faiths who tend to follow point 3, do so because of point 2. Whereas ALL other faiths, including 'leftism', follow point 3 because of point 4. I have always been of the view that the God of leftism is Karl Marx.

Points to ponder. I should also have mentioned yesterday how my position differs from Leftist moral relativism. And The Usurer has had fun trying to reduce my four interpretations of what "right" means to two.


More on ozone: At the risk of boring the pants off my readers, I thought I might add a point to my recent post on the Greenie panic over the Antarctic ozone hole. Far from following ANY regular progression, the hole clearly fluctuates wildly -- as much as any other natural weather phenomenon -- and its recent progression from super-small in 2002 to as-big-as-ever in 2003 was predicted by no-one. And in science, if you can't predict it buddy, you don't understand it. So claiming to have found the "cause" of something you don't understand is sheer hubris. Give us back our CFCs!

Ten facts about global warming that the Greenies don't want you to know.

How Germany can meet the Kyoto "Greenhouse" numbers by doing absolutely nothing. No wonder they talk Green.

The Kyoto "base years" are a con.

New supersonic passenger planes needed! The only real solution to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is faster planes. Given the tantrums of the Greenies when Concorde was introduced, that idea should go down like a lead balloon.


Keith Burgess-Jackson has an interesting post on why he is an atheist -- and I broadly agree with him. He and I are both atheist conservatives but with different backgrounds. Unlike him I WAS once a fervent fundamentalist Christian -- but only in my teens. I was an atheist by the time I was 19 and have been ever since. I must say I think Keith is the poorer for not ever having been religious. Religion is an almost universal human experience and I look back with great fondness on my now distant religious past and do feel that I lost something when religious ideas ceased to make sense to me. My friends all tell me I am a hypocrite when I quote scripture (which I not infrequently do) but I just laugh. I was a very good Bible student in my youth and most of that knowledge has remained with me.

Lies about the U.S. economy from the NYT are uncovered here. Leftists will do anything rather than accept that the U.S. economy is going great guns. Last Night's BBC News reports that the BBC is determinedly ignoring that too.

An amusing article in the NYT trying to reclaim Christianity for the Democrats. There are few things hard-core Democrats despise more than Christianity but if Christian votes are needed they will say anything to get them. As has often been observed (e.g here and here), Leftism itself is a religion. It's no wonder that rival religions like Christianity make Leftists grind their teeth. Discriminations has more on the NYT article.

Sounds a great idea: "Divorcing parents would go to a government shopfront instead of a court under a radical overhaul of family law designed to encourage more parents to share custody of the one million Australian children who suffer separation. The Family Court would become a last resort, and lawyers would be sidelined"

Conservatives have some reason to wish for good health for Rupert Murdoch -- as his media empire (e.g. Fox News) makes the best attempt at political balance. But this article points out that he is 72 and so is already talking about who will take over from him. There is a photo of Murdoch and his latest wife accompanying the article but the third person in the photo is not identified. Guess why? It's Rupert Murdoch's mother! Rupert has definitely got some long-life genes in him!

I have just put up here Chris Brand's latest thoughts. He includes what appears to be a full transcript of the Times article on international differences in IQ.

My latest upload of a previously published article (here or here) is the sole article I ever got published in an economics journal. It is about the way federalism keeps State governments on their toes -- with a very good example from Australia about our abolition of death duties (inheritance taxes).


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Monday, December 29, 2003


I did three years of coursework in philosophy in my student days and I have had papers on philosophy -- including moral philosophy -- published in the academic journals. I have also been having a desultory email discussion of some issues with moral philosopher Keith Burgess-Jackson lately. For the life of me, however, I still cannot see why so many people think it is so complex. I think that both the questions and the answers about the nature of morality are really simple. It seems to me that statements such as "X is right" (or "X is good" or "You ought to do X") can be unpacked in only four basic ways:

1. I like it when people do X
2. Doing X generally leads to widely desired results
3. It is the will of God that you do X
4. X has an eternal, inescapable, universal "moral" quality.

I think most people would agree with implications 1 and 2. I do. You have to believe in God to agree with implication 3 so I do not. And I think interpretation 4 is untestable, undemonstrable and hence gibberish -- though it does seem to be widely believed. But lots of clever people believe in global warming so beliefs are neither any proof of anything nor any cause for surprise. Now isn't that simple? I cannot see what the above account misses out.



In their hatred of genetics and IQ, something Leftists cling to is a superficially clever book called The Mismeasure of Man by that smug old Leftist propagandist, Stephen Jay Gould. It is a book that would deceive no-one who knew anything about the field and totally misrepresents those who do but as more and more data on genetics and brain function emerge, the sheer stupidity of the work become more and more obvious. Here is a brief summary of Gould's lies and evasions and what the latest brain findings show. Amusingly, it notes that even Krugman can see that Gould is at best confused. An older and more extensive demolition of Gould is here

Communist antisemitism "On January 13, 1953, just six weeks before Stalin died, an ominous article appeared in Pravda: The ever-vigilant Soviet authorities had "discovered" that several Kremlin doctors, mostly Jews, were in fact killers sent by American intelligence to destroy the nation's leaders. For Soviet Jews, this terse disclosure about the "killers in white gowns" ushered in a period of fear and terror unusual even in a society where arbitrary arrests, denunciations and executions had become routine. During that terrible winter, Jewish children came home from school bruised and beaten. Jews were assaulted on public buses, and patients shunned Jewish doctors"

The NYT is having a justified laugh at Big Government Conservatism. I rather like their point that the only thing conservative about today's GOP is its pro-business orientation, though. To the NYT that is the equivalent of original sin but to me it means that the GOP is working towards the future prosperity of all Americans. It is business that generates the wealth, not government or NYT columnists.

Steve Sailer has an interesting view of Strom Thurmond and says that, contrary to popular belief, miscegenation between American blacks and whites has been relatively unusual throughout history.

Latest PID post: A selection of Ann Coulterisms from over the year.

Jesus wept! Britain may deploy armed sky marshals on some passenger flights. Two years after the 9/11 events and they are still THINKING about it? Israel's El Al have had armed marshalls aboard their flights for years so despite their being No. 1 target, the Arabs leave them strictly alone.

Justice takes strange forms: A man died of a heart attack while stabbing his wife. She survived.

Fun! A Leftist blogger has taken umbrage over my note that the Antarctic ozone hole has not shrunk 12 years after CFCs were banned. He says that I misstate the Greenie claim -- which he gives as "it will take until 2050 for the CFC ban to restore the ozone layer". But if it takes 60 years for a full restoration, shouldn't we see SOME effect after 12 years? Let me make a similar prediction: By the year 2050 a Communist society will have emerged that will make its people prosperous. No sign of it yet but you never know!

I have to laugh a bit at the continuous coverage Yahoo News has been giving to the tragic death of a man taken by a crocodile in Northern Australia. Out of all the deaths in the world, why single out just that one? I guess crocodiles are pretty exciting. A few years ago we had a croc take an American tourist in much the same area and the result was a big upsurge of American tourism to that area!

U.S. authorities are blaming Canada for their mad cow. Why not? Canada blames the USA for everything else!

China Hand has returned to blogging in fine form. Not only is his Xmas letter now up but on his other site he is giving his old friends a hard time. I greatly enjoy his "diatribes" so I am pleased that he has made two of them public. He found my appreciation of the Queen's Xmas message a great cause for mirth.

My latest upload of a previously published article (here or here) is one of the few contributions I have made to the academic literature on IQ. Although I have always taken an interest in IQ research, it is not my specialty. In this case, however, I offered an explanation of the "Flynn Effect" -- the fact that average IQ scores have been rising over the last century.


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Sunday, December 28, 2003


The Carterites Strike Back It looks like what Dr Krauthammer diagnosed as Bush Derangement Syndrome has turned into a rabid infection that has severely infected the Democratic Party.
Phillip Adams: loving anti-Semites and hating President Bush Seething with hate and resentment Phillip Adams casually dismissed the capture of the murderous Saddam and described the liberation of Iraq as a "tawdry" and "sham affair".
Political Grinches attack Christmas The spiritual meaning of Christmas is being undermined, not by crass commercialism but by militant secularism; that brand of anti-religious rationalism that seeks not just to separate (quite rightly) Church from State but also to eliminate any kind of religious presence from public life and eventually from the public itself.
Saudi Columnist: "Bush will Go Down in Arab History as the Liberator of Baghdad" In a column in the Saudi daily 'Arab News', columnist Dr. Muhammad Al-Rasheed praised the American capture of Saddam Hussein, and hailed President Bush as a liberator.
Rupert Murdoch, anti-Americanism and Singer's neo-Nazi views The Australian's Stephen Romei defended Peter Singer by calling his crippled critics 'odious'; he maligned Steve Forbes for refusing to subsidise Singer, accusing him of attacking free speech. He then accused Americans in general of not respecting the right of free speech.
State companies: ownership does matter Ownership not only matters it is the key to the competitive process. It is a great pity that our economic commentators have no understanding of this vital fact.

Details here


A good site for anyone interested in the realities of IQ is La Griffe du Lion. They apply innovative mathematical methods to assessing the IQs of various groups. Their latest article extrapolates from the high number of Jews among Soviet chess champions and yields a higher than usual but still eminently reasonable figure for the average Jewish IQ of 116 (versus some estimates as low as 107).

Gene Expression has a fun graph of the correlation between national religiosity and national IQ. He shows a very strong negative correlation -- i.e. religious nations tend to be dumb. What he does not mention is WHY that correlation arises. It is because the people in African and Islamic countries tend to be both religious and dumb while the people in European countries tend to be rich and smart. It need not tell us anything about what leads to what WITHIN any given country.

There is a rather good article on Oakeshott by David Brooks in the NYT (of all places) which shows that the American effort in Iraq is a thoroughly conservative enterprise.

The NYT has an interesting survey of what various people think are the most over-rated and under-rated ideas of the moment. Peter Singer’s contribution is undoubtedly the craziest. He says that: “Americans also favor "American pre-eminence" — the Hobbesian view that the United States ought to rule the world, simply because it has the military muscle to do so”. I wonder if there is a single American who actually believes that? I would certainly like to see the survey Singer got his data from. “Americans believe that the rest of the world should leave America alone” would be a lot more factual. But I guess that facts are just not Singer’s specialty -- though I very much doubt that a supposed expert on ethics can say anything useful whilst totally divorced from reality.

Lots of good new stuff up on Think Israel. Sample: "Freedom of speech is becoming increasingly selective, both in America and in Israel. In both cases, it is becoming politically correct to denigrate Israel and attribute the worst motives and behavior to her, but criticism of Arab behavior is considered impolite at best and telling lies at worst."

Good point: "I want companies I do business with to be socially irresponsible. What I mean is, I want them to satisfy me, the customer. Not bureaucrats who want to force everybody to obey the latest five-year social readjustment plan. The profit-mongers treat me better."

Donald Luskin is a good read if you like to see the New York Times and Paul Krugman in particular shredded. Someone has got to do it!

SF Fan notes this story: "Police Officer Kills Man Who Assaulted Him With Rock" and asks: "Aren't similar events in Israel treated as evidence for the horrible, racist persecution of harmless rock throwers?

There is a good article here demolishing the work of Sigmund Freud. One excerpt: "Wherever the bearded shadow of Freud falls, something unwholesome festers".

Val-e-Dorta makes the interesting point that differences between average IQs of countries are particularly galling to the Left because the Left cannot blame such differences on “lack of opportunity” or the like. Countries make their own destiny and many rich countries have few natural resources but high average IQs (e.g. Singapore, Switzerland) and many countries with lots of resources (e.g. much of Africa) are poor and have low average IQs. Reality is a complex beast but only a fool ignores it.

Dave Huber has an amazing review of some Leftist “historian” who thinks North Korea is great. Most Leftists are sane but some clearly are not.

Further to my recent post pointing out similarities between early Indian and early English political organization, Joseph Stromberg takes the idea one step further by saying that original Indo-European modes of thought about politics from thousands of years ago are still widespread and influential among Indo-European people today.

My latest upload of a previously published article (here or here) uses an Australian example to show that labor union intimidation can be speedily defeated if governments have the will to do so.


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