Wednesday, December 11, 2002


"Scientists have been warning that the Earth is slowly heating up, that the recent run of gentle winters in the United States is no fluke, but the warm-up to the big meltdown. Now, however, comes a chilling prediction from some of the same experts. Before the climate gets balmier, they say, it could take a sudden turn toward the frigid--and stay that way for decades, if not centuries."

From Best of the Web.



Here is one Canadian thinker who wishes the USA would invade his country -- so disgusted is he with its corrupt government and indifferent public.



Radical vegans - who avoid any product that comes from animals - are now buzzing about the evils of honey. They claim its production uses the labor of oppressed worker bees, according to a Time magazine report on the growing numbers of American vegetarians

From Steven Chapman: Post of Dec. 4th.



It looks like both Australia and the USA share a similar insanity about trains. We read here that despite huge subsidies from the government, train travel in the USA is still slower and more expensive than air travel or road travel. It is much the same in Australia. When will people accept that government subsidy is no long-term solution to ANYTHING?



Last Sunday I pointed the skinger of forn at what Americans call SUVs and what Australians call 4WDS. I knew when I wrote the post that I would get a counterblast or two from SUV owners. And I did indeed get that. I reproduce here one such email correspondence. The SUV owner concerned claims that the figures showing that SUVs are prone to rolling over are a political concoction. I cannot agree. I would be surprised if vehicles with such a high centre of gravity were NOT more prone to rolling over.



This article provides a better balanced view of Chinese economic progress than the hype that we normally see.



There are faint signs that Sweden is pulling away from its high-tax and pro-immigration past. Let�s hope so, given the following impression of Sweden from Floyd McWilliams:

�Two of Aspect's vice presidents went to Stockholm in August. They said that it was amazingly beautiful, that the women were more than amazingly beautiful, and that everyone spoke English. They would ask shopkeepers or people on the street if they spoke English, and the Swedes would answer, a little surprised, "of course." After awhile they stopped asking.



See here for one of the most recent discussions of the two big �gaps� (racial and generational) in IQ scores. Chris Brand and Jim Flynn are the two discussants: Brand being pessimistic about any closing of the black-white gap and Flynn being a bit more optimistic. Both are of course noted authors in the field -- Flynn being the nearest the Left have to a psychometrically sophisticated defender of their nonsensical �no differences� mantra. Both Flynn and Brand agree however that, despite a general rise in IQ scores over the last 100 years, IQ is about two-thirds inherited and that the black/white gap is not closing.

Flynn said at one point that IQ tests �only� measure general problem-solving ability. That is one hell of a big �only�! He has however now elaborated his view to agree that what IQ tests measure has many wide-ranging implications in life.

The main difference between the two discussants seems now to be that Brand sees the gradual rise in average IQ scores as an outcome of both increasing test sophistication and healthcare improvements whereas Flynn thinks it is a bit more mysterious than that.

A healthcare improvement that Brand highlights as a major factor in increasing IQ scores is improved obstetric practice (e.g. more Caesarian births). I believe that I was the first psychologist to advance that possibility (Ray, 1988).

Ray, J.J. (1988) IQ gain as an outcome of improved obstetric practice. The Psychologist 1, 498.



(Reuters) - The United States reminded Iraq and other countries on Tuesday that it was prepared to use nuclear weapons if necessary to respond to an attack from weapons of mass destruction. The warning, which underscored longstanding U.S. policy leaving open the use of nuclear weapons if needed, was contained in a statement of U.S. strategy against nuclear, chemical and biological weapons -- the first update since 1993. The six-page strategy document says deterring attacks with the threat of "overwhelming force" is an essential element in protecting America and its allies from weapons of mass destruction, also known as WMD.


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