Tuesday, April 20, 2004


There is an intellectually rigorous paper from some economists here (short PDF) which treats Islamic martyrdom as a supply and demand phenomenon. The important conclusion from it is that the "payment" martyrs receive (fame, promises of paradise etc) is the main motivation. You have to stop communities from offering such rewards. Punishing (e.g. bombing) the community as a whole may be the only quick way to do that.

Most Shi'ite Muslims are moderate: "Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the most recognizable and respected Shi'ite leader in Iraq, firmly believes in the separation of mosque and state. His belief is also held by mainstream Shi'ite Islam, which believes in the separation"

There is an excellent article in the WSJ on the old chestnut that blacks do poorly on IQ tests because of lack of motivation. The truth is that blacks try harder: When given unlimited time to do tests, blacks tend to stick at it longer. All that seems to be forgotten in the latest bout of weird reasoning, however. Leftist psychologists now say that "Stereotype threat" causes the low scores. The claim is that blacks try less because they fear that their poor results will reflect badly on blacks generally. One would have thought that such fears would cause them to try HARDER but all that is brushed aside. The WSJ concludes: "Lack of evidence and grave methodological defects haven't prevented the stereotype threat industry from taking off. Distortions are now pervasive." My fellow psychometrician, No. 2 Pencil, liked the article too.

There is a good conservative humour site called The Hatemonger's Quarterly. They have plenty to laugh at. From the beginning of one post: "A correspondent from our Boston (M.A.) office recently sent us a flyer from the dubiously titled "Boston School of Herbal Studies" Apparently, this veritable Vegetable University sponsored a fete called "Shamanic Plant Journeying", which was under the careful tutelage of one Tommy Priester, professional herbalist..."

My recipe for today is a Thai classic that is also easy to make: Pork with garlic and pepper. See here. Some readers have reported problems with getting my recipe blog to load lately. If that happens, there is a mirror site here.



The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

America is engaged in a titanic struggle with hate. The American Left hate America, much of Europe hates America and, most of all, the Islamic fundamentalists hate America. Fortunately America is -- in every sense -- the world's strongest country.

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