Sunday, December 01, 2002


Wow! There seems to be a new realism abroad in the world about the unsavoury population changes being brought about by virtually unrestricted immigration. See here for signs of a long-overdue awakening in Canada, here for signs of a similar awakening in France and here for a voice of reason in Britain.

Thanks to Pauline Hanson making the voice of mainstream Australia heard in political circles, Australia woke up a long time ago and we have already put a stop to the worst of it. It would seem that Pim Fortuyn, although now tragically deceased, has just done much the same for Dutch politics.

See here for the latest update on Fortuyn�s murder.



In a post of 19th. November, I was critical of an assertion by megablogger Andrew Sullivan to the effect that the British are rude and crude when compared to Americans. It seemed to me that Sullivan was overgeneralizing about both the British and the Americans. He seemed to me to be taking insufficient account of social class differences in both countries and to be making an irrelevant comparison between the British working class and the American middle class. Randall Parker has just emailed me an interesting follow-up to that post which points out that geographical differences should also be considered before any comparison is made:

�About rude Americans vs rude Brits and so on:
A Canadian friend who has spent a lot of time in the US working takes the view
that the US is such a big place with different population centers and regions that one can't compare the US to Canada on many topics. One really needs to compare regions. He even points to (and I have to take his word for it on some of these
cases though listening to a Minnesotan neighbor in California certainly showed evidence of this) regions in the northern US where the accents and phrasings have more in common with Ontario than with most of the rest of the US.

Just as with accents similarly, politeness behavior varies a great deal within the US. I think Manhattan and Charleston South Carolina are probably at two extremes in that regard. The Old South places far greater importance on manners and also on
honor. Anyone who has experienced these extremes within the US can see that a US-British comparison is nonsense because there is no single US style of behavior.

So these comparisons between countries have to be taken with a grain of
salt. Perhaps someone can compare London with NYC. But I'm sitting here in Southern California 3000 miles away from NYC and since I grew up in New Jersey and spent a lot of time in Georgia I can tell you from personal experience that
attitudes vary quite a lot across the states.



There is a good article here about how Australians are doing better and better economically but still feeling badly done by. We are SPOILT!



Because Australia locks up and sends home illegal immigrants who masquerade as refugees, many people both within and outside Australia promote the impression that the Australian government is unfair and heartless in its response to those who claim refugee status. You can find here a summary of how Australia in fact treats refugee applications. There are in fact FOUR STEPS that can be taken before an applicant is finally rejected. Australia in fact bends over backward not to reject anybody unfairly.



Eddie at One Good Turn has returned bravely to the fray with a claim that moral values CAN be inferred from the state of the world.

He makes the reasonable point that our preferences can generally be explained in some way and takes it that such explanations are sometimes the elusive �moral truths�. He uses preference for liberty as an example and says:

�To value liberty is to believe that individuals accomplish more when guided by their own intelligence. This belief is not itself a preference; it is an empirical judgment.�

But what does he mean by �accomplish� and �more� here? I think Eddie is sneaking arbitrary value judgments in through the back door here. I could for instance be greatly constrained by living in a Stalinist State but feel that I had �accomplished� a lot just by composing beautiful poems in my head all my life. So did liberty help me to accomplish �more� there? Hardly. Clearly, certain types of liberty do facilitate certain types of activity but which activities we prefer is surely entirely subjective and personal.


By the way, Eddie is one of many who normally refer to me as John Jay Ray. I wonder why I am the only blogger in the entire blogosphere who is regularly assigned a middle name? Amusing.



Medpundit comments amusingly and accurately on a recent finding that eating lots of peanuts will prevent diabetes.



Cricket fiend Michael Jennings has a rather fascinating story about the role of cricket in the gradual process of Australia becoming an independent country.

He also notes that comparatively few English people are now interested in the game that was once seen as quintessentially English -- to the point where the Cambridge University team is almost entirely made up of people from Commonwealth countries.



Since it is Sunday and we are all relaxed, I think it is time for a joke (Thanks to a certain ex-wife for sending it to me):

Far away in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, two prawns were swimming around in the sea - one called Justin and the other called Christian. The prawns were constantly being harassed and threatened by sharks that patrolled the area.

Finally one day Justin said to Christian, "I'm bored and frustrated at being a prawn, I wish I was a shark, then I wouldn't have any worries about being eaten..."

As Justin had his mind firmly on becoming a predator, a mysterious cod appears and says, "Your wish is granted", and lo and behold, Justin turned into a shark. Horrified, Christian immediately swam away, Afraid of being eaten by his old mate.

Time went on (as it invariably does...) and Justin found himself becoming bored and lonely as a shark. All his old mates simply swam away whenever he came close to them. Justin didn't realise that his new menacing appearance was the cause of his sad plight. While out swimming alone one day he sees the mysterious cod again and can't believe his luck. Justin figured that the fish could change him back into a prawn. He begs the cod to change him back so, lo and behold, he is turned back into a prawn.

With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes, Justin swam back to his friends. Looking around the gathering at the reef, he searched for his old pal. "Where's Christian?" he asked.

"He's at home, distraught that his best friend changed sides to the enemy and became a shark", came the reply.

Eager to put things right again and end the mutual pain and torture, he set off to Christian's house. As he opened the coral gate the memories came flooding back. He banged on the door and shouted, "It's me, Justin, your old friend, come out and see me again.

"Christian replied "No way man, you'll eat me. You're a shark, the enemy and I'll not be tricked. " Justin cried back "No, I'm not. That was the old me. I've changed."...

(wait for it) . . .

...."I've found Cod, I'm a prawn again Christian".



Bovination is going great guns lately. The Greens, the United Nations, the ABC and Feminazism all get it from both barrels.


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