Wednesday, November 20, 2002


"The Tugboat Potemkin" had a couple of bad trips recently. It started out in a way that would have done Eisenstein proud -- with metaphorical sparks flying from its Soviet funnel. To wit:

"One of the nastier little half-truths circulating in some parts of the blogging world is that the African slaves of the 18th and 19th century were responsible, at least in part, for their own slavery. This plea of mitigation for the slave shippers and slave owners argues that whites only bought the slaves: it was Africans who sold them, so they must be held accountable too.

But our little boat promptly ran out of steam from that point on -- ending the post completely becalmed -- with the admission:

"Of course, like all arguments by analogy, this one will probably fail". Who am I to argue with that?

"But wait -- there's more" (as Tim Shaw used to say). On the "Potemkin's" next trip (post of 20th) we even find arguments that slavery was a good thing in some ways!! It certainly did not take much for me to win that argument (as it was my post of 16th. that the skipper of the "Potemkin" was originally referring to).



China hand is a bit irate at the moment because an ignorant Western journalist failed to realize the huge improvement that capitalism has brought to the lives of the average Chinese.


Thought for the day

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.



(Green on the outside, red on the inside): A great phrase from an excellent article by an Indian here on how the biotechnology that the Western watermelons despise is in fact India's best hope for sustainable agriculture.



I don't agree with Leftie economist John Quiggin very often but I think he was spot-on with this one:

"I picked up an ad for the Mitsubishi Verada in a magazine a while ago, and I couldn't resist mentioning it. It suggests the car might be perfect for an afternoon drive past the houses of:

(a) Your old economics teacher who said you'd amount to nothing
(b) Your first boss (ditto)
(c) Your ex-wife who left you for someone with better prospects

In other words, if you're an embittered loser who's willing to pay more than you can afford in order to impress people you don't like and who've probably forgotten you even exist, buy this car."



A good thought from Thomas Sowell:

The phrase "glass ceiling" is an insult to our intelligence. What does glass mean, except that we cannot see it? In other words, in the absence of evidence, we are expected to go along with what is said because it is said in accusatory and self-righteous tones.



The Brits often seem to be rather proud of their eccentrics but Australia has its fair share of lulus too. I am a 5th generation Australian with some convict ancestry so the following rant gave me a belly-laugh:

"From the first day the First Fleet unloaded its cargo of political prisoners on our shores in 1788, this nation was forged in a struggle against the British Crown and its associated City of London centered Money Power

It is a bit hard to know what brand of wacko is writing this but the term "money power" suggests a remnant of the old Douglas "Social Credit" outfit (mainly influential in New Zealand and British Columbia and generally right-wing in a crazy sort of way.)

Thanks to Samizdata for the link. They have a good sense of humour there as well as good minds.


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