Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Leftist economists have now admitted that the conservative economists such as Von Mises and Hayek were right: "As late as 1989, Samuelson claimed that "The Soviet economy is proof that, contrary to what many skeptics had earlier believed, a socialist command economy can function and even thrive." But then, following the collapse of the Berlin Wall and Soviet communism in 1989-90, economist Robert Heilbroner shocked his colleagues in the socialist world by boldly declaring that the long-standing debate between capitalism and socialism was over. "Capitalism has won, " he confessed. "Socialism has been a great tragedy this century." Furthermore, Heilbroner was forced to change his mind about Mises and the debate over socialism. Following the unexpected collapse of communism, Heilbroner admitted, "It turns out, of course, that Mises was right." And it wasn't long before Paul Samuelson did an about-face in his textbook, labeling Soviet central planning "the failed model."

Great turnabouts in economics: "The gradual transformation of Paul Samuelson from Keynesian to classical economics ... is a major chapter in famous cases of economists changing their minds. Nobody likes to admit he's wrong. You can probably count on your fingers the number of times scholars have renounced their theories and switched positions... Three prominent economists have admitted error and changed their thinking, and we can learn much from their experience."

There is an amazing story here about how the Nazis seized all the papers of Von Mises after he got out of Europe just ahead of them. But the papers were not lost. The Soviets confiscated heaps of Nazi archives after the war and archived them all nicely. And after the fall of the Soviets, Western economists were able to get copies of all of them! More here

And there is even a Batman & Robin episode featuring the "lost" Mises papers: "A female Robin describes in a postscript, "Von Mises' anti-authoritarian ideas were first a threat to the Nazis, then the Soviets, and to all increasingly regulatory governments in our own times. He was against socialism in all its many forms. He was an advocate of individual liberty, free speech, and free thinking"



An amazing article here about how the restoration of phonics to the teaching of reading and writing was the personal project of GWB when he was governor of Texas. Minorities in Texas were basically just not learning to read at all before the restoration of phonics but now they almost all do learn to read. As a current Bush advisor said: ""It is amazing to me that Bush is thought of as a right winger who doesn't care about minorities... He saved so many of their lives."

Interesting to read what Mark Twain wrote about his visit to Israel in 1867 -- before the Jews started returning there. There is no mention of the "Palestinians" we are always hearing about in the media these days. As far as Twain could see, the Arabs there were all just Syrians -- indistinguishable from the inhabitants of Syria -- which is on today's Northern border of Israel. There certainly is a Jewish people but not a Palestinian one. The only meaning to the term "Palestinian" is "the Arabs who live in Palestine". And the concept of Palestine itself is essentially a British creation -- what they called that part of the old Ottoman empire that corresponded to the ancient land of Israel. For those who have forgotten, Britain ran most of the Middle East after the defeat of the Turks in World War I.

There is a good article by Richard Dawkins here suggesting that post-modernism in the humanities is a deliberate fraud. I completely agree. These guys are just gaming the system and deceiving the gullible.

The school textbook war: "In few countries are the texts so consistently critical of the United States as they are in Canada, but in a couple of cases the rhetoric is alarming. For national security purposes, we should have read Saudi textbooks years ago, for even while Saudi diplomats were cooing to American officials, Saudi students were reading rants about "Crusader" and "Neo-imperialist" attacks on Islam."

There are almost twice as many female psychiatric patients as men, and more than half of these are prescribed psychiatric drugs... Young or old, women who take tranquilizers and antidepressants are at greater risk than men. So why do adult women willingly take these risks? One answer appears to lie in the obsessions of a sex-and-youth culture that is also beset by feminism. The notion that they can- and, indeed, should -"have it all" has resulted in women feeling defeated, whether they are married with children, "in relationships," or pursuing college and careers. The numerous changes in society, including sexual "freedom," have negatively affected women, contrary to advertisements portraying carefree women using "easy" birth-control patches... Ironically, many women want to perform certain functions, like grocery shopping and caring for children. This was not anticipated when the feminist movement began, and now that females make up half (or more) of the workforce, the results are in: Women on tranqs are overwhelmed by the enormity of their tasks.

A new book, Stalin's British Victims (reviewed here and here), reveals the extent to which members of Britain's Communist Party knew of Stalin's Terror even while it was going on - - and how, even when their own families were among the targets of the Soviet leader's bloodthirsty regime, they still defended his actions for the sake of their dream-world. It shows the power of their inhuman vision for the world and their utter lack of normal human feeling.

The work ethic wanes in the EU while time on the job increases in U.S. "In Europe, nothing happens in August. It is not, of course, that absolutely everyone is on holiday. There are still an unhappy few slogging in to work. But the commuter train is half empty, the flow of traffic at rush hour is uncannily smooth. Virtually no serious decision can be taken in a London office throughout this month because there is always at least one key executive on holiday. See also here.

"People driving or riding in a sport utility vehicle in 2003 were nearly 11 percent more likely to die in an accident than people in cars, the figures show. The government began keeping detailed statistics on the safety of vehicle categories in 1994."

For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH and GUN WATCH. Mirror sites here, here and here


Leftists acclaim "diversity" yet say "All men are equal". Figure that one out.

Why can those who claim to understand the dangers of meddling with a complex ecosystem like the natural environment, not understand that government interference with a complex system like the economy is perilous too?

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause

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