Friday, February 28, 2003


CHIRAC IS JUST BEING FRENCH

The French have always hated the way �inferior� British and now American culture has been so influential worldwide. They think that �Gloire� (glory) should always belong primarily to France. So they have always been very prone to lumping together the despised British and Americans as �The Anglo-Saxons� -- even though US/UK co-operation has been far from complete in the past (e.g. in two world wars, the Suez invasion and Vietnam). They even call Kofi Annan an Anglo-Saxon because he speaks English! Now that the co-operation between Britain and America has really become as whole-hearted as the French always pretended it was, that really frustrates them -- hence their present efforts to obstruct the �Anglo-Saxon� attack on Iraq.

My favourite Professor has published a defence of French military prowess. He has to go a long way back to find much to say about victories, however, and his idea that Napoleon was defeated only by superior numbers is way-off. Napoleon was defeated by his misjudgment of Russian resolve and the Russian winter and it was his hesitancy that lost him the battle at Waterloo. Napoleon was his own worst enemy. And he wasn�t French anyhow. His native language was a form of Italian. And William the conqueror may have spoken French but his immediate ancestry was Norse (Viking).

There is a nice anti-French poster here that would look good on a lot of websites

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�FRANKENSTEIN� SCIENCE

This is the sort of thing that would have Greenies frothing at the mouth. How DARE our scientists gaily produce such �unnatural� organisms. Should be a law ....

�I recently heard a presentation on this crazy guy, Peter Schultz, who has engineered bacteria to use para-aminophenylalanine instead of amber codons. The bacteria synthesize para-phenylalanine, have a para-phenylalanine tRNA synthetase, and and insert it with very high fidelity whenever the amber codon is found. The amber codon, which causes the ribosome to stop reading the mRNA when it's found, is apparently quite rare, and because bacterial mRNAs aren't as processed as eukaryotic ones, the bacteria get along quite well. I was thinking it would be really keen to make a series of mutants, each of which incorporated a different D-amino acid instead of the L version. Then, analysis of the structures of the D tRNA synthetases, of the ribosome translating the codon, and of the resulting protein could contribute a little information towards answering why we use all L amino acids.


More here. That a better understanding of all life will come from people doing this sort of thing would not worry a Greenie. They want to take us all back to a primitive past anyway.

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IRAQ

The latest claim that British Prime Minister Tony Blair is losing support for war on Iraq is nicely answered here.

Just a reminder here of what the American military freed the Afghans from. And some good news about what Afghanistan is like now.

There is a good site here that spells out the comparison between Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler.

Antiwar protesters are animated by a deep dislike of George Bush. They don�t like his mannerisms, his haircut, his use of the word �evil�. In short, they dislike his style . . . and for this they are willing to march in defense of fascism incarnate, chant infantile rhymes in public, and chain themselves to Iraqi military installations. From Invisible Hand -- who backs up his argument with lots of quotes from what Leftists have been saying. I think he has a point. The Left really can be that infantile.

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OTHER READING

Today�s academic paper from my past is here and deals with the fact that many people who answer questionnaires will say �Yes� to anything. Ways of dealing with this problem are analysed but it is pointed out that many psychologists simply ignore the problem -- making their survey results pretty meaningless.

Lovely! America�s Nation Organization of [Leftist] Women tried to get anti-abortion protesters sent to jail for protesting! Free speech anyone? Not if Leftists have their way! Fortunately the Supreme Court has just knocked that attempt on the head. (Article requires free registration)

The USA seems to be in danger of banning all cloning. Charles Murtaugh bravely battles the vast ignorance so frequently expressed on this subject and makes a good case for allowing at least some forms of scientific research on the subject to proceed.

Orrin Judd reproduces another wonderful speech by Ronald Reagan -- whom Orrin refers to simply as �The man�.

Michael Darby has a review of the situation in Zimbabwe

Chris Brand has an excerpt of a news report about some controversial help being given to drug addicted mothers in the USA.

The Wicked one has some fun with Korean names and New Zealand TV.

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Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit here instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Thursday, February 27, 2003

MY ACADEMIC PAST

In my now rather distant past I taught psychology for two years and sociology for 12 years at major Australian universities. During that time I did a lot of research and that research resulted in my getting over 250 papers published in the academic journals. In the age of Google and the internet, however, very few people -- even academics -- now read academic journals. I am therefore in the weeks ahead going to be putting up my old academic papers on Blogspot in the faint hope of introducing them to a wider audience. I have always tried to write even my academic papers in as jargon-free a way as possible so I live in some hope that there may be many outside the universties who can follow what I have written.

The paper I have just put up here asks about the relationship between ambition and anxiety. If you are an anxious sort of person does that mean that you are also ambitious or does anxiety make you less ambitious? Or are the two unconnected? (statistician�s jargon for �unconnected� is �orthogonal�). Have fun (I hope)!

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FROGGY MATTERS

The Wicked one point out that the French have despised Americans for at least a century.

This article by Semmens points out that giving the U.N. a power of veto over American war plans for Iraq amounts to giving Jacques Chirac a veto and points out what an unsavoury character he is to be wielding any veto.

Prominent British Conservative politician David Davis thinks that if Scotland and Wales can have a parliament of their own in addition to seats at Westminster then there should be a wholly English parliament too. Logical. If the USA, Germany, India, Australia and Canada can have successful Federal systems, why not England too? Let's leave centralism to the French.

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THOSE NAUGHTY GENES

Another good article by Steve Sailer in reply to the Leftist claim that "science" shows there is no such thing as race. Leftists really are brilliant at ignoring the evidence in front of their eyes.

There is a fairly scandalous story here about the repeated misuse of DNA evidence by government prosecutors. Be afraid!

Eugenics lives! Genetic screening has now all but eliminated an awful hereditary disease. Via Steve Sailer.

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AFFIRMATIVE RACISM

Hello Bloggy takes a swipe at the argument that affirmative action benefits us all.

Chris Brand points to the idiocy and injustice of affirmative action in British universities.

One of my correspondents (a medical specialist) writes to me:

"Of great amusement to me are the leftist doctors that crusade for "better access to care" for "underpriveleged Blacks" - clearly racially profiling - but encourage you not to say "The patient was a 25 year old Black male with a gunshot wound to the chest" etc. because "race isn't relevant" to the discussion of the patient."

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LEFTIST MOTIVATION

A good line from SpicedSass: "Probably why the Whores of Hollywood are so symbiotic with liberalism. They all specialize in creative lying."

Is this the ultimate Leftist distortion of history? "And did you ever think about the socialist revolution in France that was crushed by D-Day because the socialists were fighting off the Nazis single-handedly?" Via Layman's Logic. Again we see Leftists ignoring reality in favour of their dream-world.

A recent documentary about Cuba showed that you can shove facts and reality right down the throats of Leftists and it just makes them angry. They prefer their preconceptions to the truth. Their ego is so bound up with them being right and everybody else wrong that they just do not WANT facts. Via Aaron Oakley.

A famous Heinlein quote: The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. That does just about sum up the Left/Right division these days.

Michael Darby notes all the things that the "peace" demonstrators do NOT demonstrate about. "Compassion not included" seems to be their motto.

This article points out that Leftist guru Robert Fisk realizes that the liberation of Iraq will be welcomed by Iraquis but still hates it because it will be done by Americans. Great hatyers, those Leftists.

Amax gives Leftie columnist Philip Adams a big blast for the dishonesty of his criticisms. Things that are bad in GWB are OK in Saddam, for instance.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2003


THE AIDS VACCINE AND BLACKS

I am rather pleased that the news about there being a really good vaccine against AIDS that works with blacks only has got a lot of coverage. See here and here. What surprises me a little is that most people seem to be unable to explain the finding. It seems to me that there is an obvious evolutionary explanation: AIDS is said to originate with West African monkeys and to have been passed to man by West African blacks killing monkeys and eating them. American negroes originate from West Africa. Fill in the gaps.

In case the gap answers are not obvious, let me point out: AIDS is not fatal to everyone and the survivors of it over the millennia would therefore have tended to spread the genes that promoted survival throughout the West African population. So presumably most West Africans need only a little help to beat AIDS -- and the vaccine gives them that little bit of extra help.

That�s probably an oversimplified explanation but I suspect that it starts us off in the right direction. One of many possible questions would be: Is HIV a recent mutation or something that has been around for thousands of years? Lots of people think the latter but it would actually make more sense if it were a recent mutation so that inherited immunity to its predecessors was only weakly helpful with the present mutation.

The Leftists are frantically panning the whole study, of course, with the usual comment being �the numbers are too small�. But the fact that the results among blacks were statistically significant at the <.01 level means precisely that the result was NOT the outcome of small sample size. Anyway, if I were a black gay, I would be wanting that vaccine NOW!

Note that findings of medically-relevant differences between the major races are not at all new.

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MORE PROBLEMS FOR GREENIES

The Baltic Sea has the most extensive ice cover in decades. Oh Dear! Where has all that nice global warming gone?

A nasty one for the Greenies: Using a dishwasher may be be better for the environment than washing up by hand!

The prophets of doom were telling us that the world was in danger of global cooling not so long ago!

Young Australians are less Green than their elders. Aaron Oakley thinks it might be because all reasonable Greenie demands have now been met. From what my 15-year-old son tells me, however, the kids get so much pro-Green and pro-black propaganda that it bores them silly and they react against it.

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OUR DELIGHTFUL PRIMITIVES

Ever since Rousseau, Leftists have tended to romanticize primitive people and their religions and say how much better and wiser they are/were than modern man. The Maya of Central America were once an example of such puffery. But note what one historian says now that Maya writing has been deciphered: "decipherment transformed the Maya, once thought to be unusually peace-loving, into one the most vicious and violent of all ancient cultures, one delighting in torture and human sacrifice". But Leftists would like such behaviour anyway. Look at Stalin. Western Leftists defended him until the day he died -- and then some.

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ELSEWHERE

The Carnival of the Vanities is up again -- with 27 posts on many topics.

This gave me a laugh: The French Foreign minister (Villepin) has written that Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo "shines with an aura worthy of victory". With a wacko like that in charge of French foreign policy, no wonder the USA is having trouble with France. The Corsican was a clown at Waterloo anyway. He used no strategy -- just a frontal attack -- and waited until lunchtime to advance. If he had moved before dawn (like many before him) he would probably have won.

Better Living Through Software has put a nasty spin on Red Ken's London congestion charge. His version is:
But the way I see it, here is what happened -- traffic was bad, and someone had the brilliant idea "things would be a lot better if we pass a law that says poor people are not allowed to use the roads" -- and they passed a law.

That should cause some heartburn among Red Ken's supporters if it gets bruited about.

The sad story about the kid who reached 4th grade without being able to read shows that if equality is enforced, achievement becomes irrelevant -- so his teachers were simply obeying the stupid Leftist system they were in.

Chris Brand has quotations from several scholars to the effect that inherited IQ has a big influence on where you end up in the British social class scheme.

Michael Darby says it is all about oil money for the French and Germans and that they have no conscience.

The Wicked one has a good Jewish joke.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2003

IQ AND THE RACE ISSUE

Charles Murtaugh gives cautious approval to the notion that IQ is both important and genetically heritable -- which is rather big of him given the mountain of scientific findings to that effect -- but he seems to give first priority in his thinking to showing that he is not a racist. That is understandable I suppose, but it would surely be better for us all if he and those like him gave top priority to finding and reporting the facts -- palatable or unpalatable as they may be. But his commentary is interesting and he does have some interesting links.

Marc Miyake also has an interesting discussion of the genetics of race but seems to me to be too optimistic about how much choice people have in determining what they become. Undoubtedly genetics is only one factor. Different environments do have an effect. But anybody who knows the twin studies will know that identical twins reared apart are nearly as similar as identical twins reared together. That does not leave a lot of room for environmental influences. The studies by Martin and others have shown that even political ideology is highly heritable genetically.

References:
Eaves, L.J., Martin, N.G., Meyer, J.M. & Corey, L.A. (1999) Biological and cultural inheritance of stature and attitudes. In: Cloninger, C.R., Personality and psychopathology. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press.
Martin, N. & Jardine, R. (1986) Eysenck's contribution to behaviour genetics. In: S & C. Modgil (Eds.) Hans Eysenck: Consensus and controversy. Lewes, E. Sussex: Falmer

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AIDS AND RACE

Wow! We are going to hear a lot of repercussions from this research finding: The latest AIDS vaccine was completely ineffective among whites but protected three quarters of blacks! Racial differences, anyone? It appears that blacks need only a small amount of help to beat AIDS but whites are not so lucky.

Left-leaning scientists have always told us that race does not exist -- despite the evidence of our eyes. Odd if something non-existent becomes essential to medical prescribing!

I imagine that Leftist �concern� for blacks will now get this vaccine buried (probably under �more research is needed�) because of how embarrassing it is -- thus depriving blacks of protection they could have.

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IRAQ

The hypocrisy of feminists in not condemning Saddam for his brutal treatment of women is breathtaking. Wendy McElroy gives the details.

The Kurdish "Peshmerga" in Iraq seem poised to help out in defeating both Saddam and his Islamic militant allies as soon as the war begins.

"The greatest danger of all would be to do nothing.": Words of J.F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis. Very relevant to Iraq. Via Blogs of War.

N. Georgia Dogma says: "Total nations that are signed on to help the U.S. vis-a-vis Iraq: 34. Total NATO members that are in agreement with the U.S. policy vis-a-vis Iraq: 16 of 19"

A good point from a German blogger: "As I see it the disagreement over the war on Iraq isn't really one between nations like Germany and America anyway, rather a left-right policy dispute, one more reason to let my voice as a German conservative be heard here."

A good point from an ex-Catholic: "The Pope has called for Catholics to fast on Ash Wednesday against war in Iraq. Hows about a fast against child molestation? Against hush money? Against suppression of felony evidence?"

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ELSEWHERE

A free-trade agreement between Australia and the United States is said to be �close� -- as these things go. Great if it happens.

How awful for the Leftists! There has just been a big survey to find which were America�s most dangerous prescription drugs>. And all were generics! Not one was a brand-name drug produced by a big pharmaceutical company! The story will now get buried, of course but imagine the puffed-up outrage if one of the most dangerous drugs had been a brand-name drug! The top scorers: - Insulin - Morphine - Heparin - Warfarin - Potassium Chloride. More here.

If you have not yet seen any of the pictures of the latest weirdo Japanese fashion statement, there is one here.

Michael Darby has a rather amazing account of how an Australian government-owned railway is run. The British will not be very surprised.

The Wicked one has an account of what happens when you abandon all standards and say everything is relative. Christians in particular will like this one.

Chris Brand has some more news from the paedohysteria front in Britain and elsewhere.

China Hand has posted again despite being barred by the Chinese system from reading his own posts on Blogspot. He has just been to Vietnam and compares Vietnam with China. He finds that the Vietnamese have still got a lot to learn about being business-friendly and that their progress is slow as a result.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Monday, February 24, 2003


A SIMPLE STATEMENT ABOUT IRAQ

The �It�s all about oil� mantra does seem to feed off a genuine incomprehension among many people about why the US is going to war with Iraq. So let me put it in one simple sentence that maybe will get through to the confused ones: The forthcoming Iraq war is a defensive war -- to protect the US from further terrorist acts like 9/11 by keeping dangerous weapons out of the hand of the Islamic lunatics. I hope that helps someone.

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THE GORILLA ARAFAT

An interesting but exceedingly optimistic view from a Leftist U.S. blogger:

The problem is that Arafat is an 800 lb. criminal gorilla. He has to go, as he PERSONALLY benefits from the status quo to a degree that dwarfs anything on the Israeli side. If a deal can be worked out with Israel's sponsors in Washington that, because of Arafat's longstanding simpatico relationship with SADDAM HUSSEIN, Israel has full cover to remove him and Fatah, and then implement the rest of Mitzna's agenda, we will see a political resolution of the "Israeli-Palestinian crisis" within one year


(Crossposted on Israpundit)

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GREENIES HATE THEIR HERETICS

Tim Gillin writes:

Lomborg is not the first heretic to be sent to coventry by the green faithful. This older post by former Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore shows an earlier incident in the campaign.

Moore's heresy is his belief that "the sustainable economy" beloved by environmentalists needs a forestry industry and green campaigns against foresty, especially clearcutting in old growth forests, do more harm than good.

To add insult to injury he has pointed out that "clearcuts", a photogenic eyesore that is a moral sin to the greens, of themselves, are no more environmentally damaging in the long run than the various 'natural' calamities that forests take in their stride. The attempt to equate clearcutting with deforestation is misleading propaganda. Clearcutting is a forest management technique that can be used destructively or as part of sustainable management strategy. 'Deforestation' only occurs when the natural forest cover is not permitted to grow back usually due to farming.


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A COLOUR PROBLEM

Tim Gillin writes about the latest caper of Australia's "multicultural" bureaucrats:

This is a bit odd and may upset your Irish ancestors:

The organisers want everyone to wear orange to celebrate harmony day. Orange is said to represent the Australian sun. Considering maybe 20-25% of Australia's population are of southern Irish descent this seems to be a lapse in the bureaucracy's ethnic sensitivity radar. Would they dare suggest we wear 'white' to represent the colour of crashing waves? Why not recommend the colours of the Aussie flag or our sporting colours instead? My own views on this derive from this old Top 40 song.


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ELSEWHERE

Dr Weevil thinks that the antisemitism of the modern-day Left will be electoral suicide for them. I hope he is right.

Michael Miller has just put up a whole swag of new stuff on his �Hitler was a Leftist� site. He has had quite a few hits for a site that has been up for only 2 or 3 weeks.

Leftist twit, Eric Alterman, has just made a flying visit to Europe to find out if it is anti-American or not. His conclusion?? Surprise, Surprise!! He says that they are not anti-American, just anti-Bush. He even seems to think the French are not anti-American. The French are anti-everyone non-French!

Bleeding Brain says of the French: �Their selfish motives for attempting to preserve Saddam Hussein are absolutely inexcusable. And there is much, much more ....

Wow! Ken Livingstone's congestion charge on London roads is not the only bit of Friedmanite thinking surfacing on the British Left. Stephen Pollard points to lots of other Friedmanite thinking in the British Labour Party. The sensible Left in Britain seems to be growing. Maybe the loonies will soon be marginalized.

There is a BIG post at Critical Mass about the utter destruction that has been wreaked on black education at high school level by affirmative action. Leftist tolerance and lack of any standards has meant a total betrayal of black students -- giving them virtually no education at all. Leftist dishonesty really is immensely destructive wherever it is allowed to prevail.

A good post at Tobacco Road that begins: "If today's Democrats had been in power during World War II they would have opposed the Manhattan Project... �

Michael Darby has some comments on the disgraceful state of child protection services in New South Wales and some moral thoughts from Eddie Cross in Zimbabwe about what history indicates for the future of the Mugabe regime.

Chris Brand has a post on the importance of general intelligence.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Sunday, February 23, 2003


�GERMANIC�, �TEUTONIC� AND THE JEWS

In my various postings about the sources or alleged sources of the respect for individual liberty that characterizes the English-speaking nations, I have often referred to what I take to be the ancient Anglo-Saxon sources of such attitudes and have referred to such attitudes as �Germanic� -- on the perfectly undisputed grounds that the Angles and the Saxons were a German-speaking people when they arrived in England 1500 years ago.

The word �Germanic� has troublesome resonances for many people, however. It sounds to them like Hitler. They ask: Is what I am saying not reminscent of Nazi doctrines of German racial superiority? Am I not attributing at least one type of superiority to Germans just by reason of their being German?

In response I have to say that I have been a student of the Nazi phenomenon for most of my adult life and have even written several papers for Jewish journals about it but I still do not know what Hitler thought was Germanic. On my reading he had no clear idea at all: Just confused and contradictory utterances from time to time. He was in fact much more vocal about being Aryan than being Germanisch. So it is difficult to show that my ideas are dissimilar to Hitler's without knowing exactly what his ideas were. His speeches are raves rather than anything consistent.

I guess, however, that the one lesson he would NOT draw from German history is precisely the one that I DO draw: That the German spirit is inimical to tyranny and in favour of individual liberty. I think it is fairly clear at least that individual liberty was not one of his priorities. So does that not make me ANTI-Nazi? I think it does.

But why should I even try to make such distinctions between my arguments and Hitler�s? I do not really see why a rational debate should be distracted by irrelevant comparisons with a populist demogogue. On the other hand, I do not like to give needless offence so I am making this clarification.

Actually, I should probably have been using the word �Teutonic� instead of �Germanic� as it is clear that everything I have so far said about the Anglo-Saxons is equally true (if not more so) of the Scandinavians. Those Vikings were certainly an individualistic, independent and decentralized lot! They also treated women more or less as equals and have a great history of democracy. The oldest continuously sitting parliament in the world is in fact the Althing of Iceland -- with a history going back 1,000 years. And Scandinavians are almost 100% Protestant too -- which fits with a spirit of independence and individualism.

As to Jewry, I no more believe in Jewish conspiracy theories than I believe in the man in the moon. I will leave such beliefs to the simple-minded of both political extremes. I am and always have been, however, an unapologetic and unreserved supporter of Israel. But I hope nonetheless that I have the sort of balanced view of the Jews that one should have of any group -- seeing both strengths and weaknesses. I think that Jews in general are a remarkable and admirable people but I do not think that they are right about everything and I think that their historic collectivist doctrine that they are a "chosen people" has been both a blessing and a curse to them.

And insofar as Christians have adopted such �groupthink� it has been a dubious influence among them too. Fortunately, St. Paul (a Jew) initially set Christianity on a much more inclusive path than that adopted by Jews before him so group consciousness has not had such good precedents among Christians. The way both Catholics and Protestants have engaged in persecution of those not of their faith does however show that religious groupthink is far from absent among Christians.

Interestingly, both modern Jews and ancient Jews have always been fractious and disunited so Jews could be an inspiration to those who OPPOSE collectivist thinking if we looked at what they did rather than what their religion preaches!

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ELSEWHERE

Shiny Happy Gulag (from Canada) has some good posts up at the moment -- from quoting Nye Bevan at the French to throwing the Swedish example at Canadian socialized medicine.

Now that China is blocking Blogspot again, this graphic is pretty appropriate.

Here is someone who regrets trying �alternative� therapy. Via Secular Blasphemy.

This is a good one for animal lovers: A cockatoo that attacked intruders and led to their conviction for murder. Via Betsy�s Page.

Elephant Rants has some good quotes at the moment -- about soldiers, Ann Coulter and �human shields�

Marc Miyake has an amusing link to what is now regarded as politically correct speech. Apparently it is hard these days to speak of your own grandmother without offending against political correctness!

The Curmudgeon has moved house on the net and has some very funny news headlines up at the moment.

That oldtime British actress and all-purpose Leftist agitator, Vanessa Redgrave, has proposed her solution to the Iraq problem: Declare Saddam Hussein a war criminal and bring him before the International Criminal Court. She does not say how we might get him there, however. You couldn�t call that thinking, but that�s Leftism for you. Via Conservative Commentary.

Useful Fools has a link to a NYT article about �Ethnomathematics�. Marc Miyake was heaping scorn on �Hawaiian� mathematics a few months ago but the nonsense goes on.

Cronaca summarizes a British report that suggests that crime has become enormously problematical there -- far worse that what official statistics reveal.

Michael Darby has some thoughts on the nature of government intelligence-gathering plus a horrible story from Zimbabwe.

Chris Brand looks at the basic questions about the nature of IQ or �g�

The Wicked one has a couple of good jokes up.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Saturday, February 22, 2003


OUSTING SADDAM

Winds of Change has some detailed strategy for how the Iraq war should be fought.

The Infidel reports an Australian Leftist parliamentarian who defends Saddam's use of poison gas against his own people -- babies included. Lovely!

A good spoof here on the Belgian unwillingness to bring Saddam to heel.

Only 28% of Britons think: "It's all about oil". More here.

Spiked has an amusing article called �DON�T MENTION THE �U� WORD�. Summary: �In an age when unilateralism is out, Western powers pursue their agendas under the guise of an increasingly fictitious 'international community'.�

For those who have not seen it already, the WSJ has a fabulous article in support of unilateral military intervention from a most unlikely source. Consistency is NOT a Leftist virtue!

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MORE GREENIE NONSENSE

According to lots of experts quoted in this article, climate science is in its infancy and any global warming observed has many possible explanations others than greenhouse gases resulting from human activity. In other words, the science of the matter is a big: "Don't know". "Greenhouse" is just guesswork, in other words. So we should spend billions of dollars and change virtually everything we do on the basis of something as unknown as that? Only a Greenie would think so.

The UN Panel on Climate Change uses a computer model to predict global warming. Another choice prediction from the same model: The average income of South Africans will have overtaken that of Americans by a very wide margin by the end of the century. In fact America's per capita income will then have been surpassed not only by South Africa's, but also by that of other emerging economic powerhouses, including Algeria, Argentina, Libya, Turkey and North Korea... And that's the sort of wacko "science" the Greenies are relying on! Great predictions! More here.

Greenies are trying to stop starving Africans from getting US food aid because American food (which Americans eat with no ill-effects) is genetically modified. How to explain such cruel behaviour? Easy. Greenies hate people anyway so who cares about a few million Africans starving to death? Not the Greenies. Greenie religion trumps compassion every time.

The British government�s Environment Minister thinks that people are a �virus� infecting the Earth and that we are all on the brink of a vast ecological disaster. Greenies have of course been saying that for decades -- with no evidence in sight -- but it is a bit weird coming from a government minister. Mick Hume thinks that he might get the boot shortly.

There is an excellent listing of the large number of ways in which Environmentalism functions as a religion here. Via Bizarre Science

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ELSEWHERE

My post on whether Christianity had any role in fostering the respect for individual liberty that characterizes the Anglo-Saxon nations drew a few emails in response. I have just posted one particularly interesting correspondence here.

Orrin Judd has reproduced a fabulous and historic speech from the Gipper (scroll down).

Michael Miller has put together a site devoted to spelling out the various ways in which Nazism was Leftist. I have contributed a couple of articles to it. The site is still under development but there is already a lot of interesting stuff up there.

GASP! The British press has identfied two rapists as BLACK! How politically incorrect! No doubt protests will ensue.

A pretty disturbing report here about how police laziness leads to murderers not being caught. Sherlock Holmes they are not.

Arlene Peck thinks that the USA should now let Europe sink or swim -- by withdrawing troops from all countries that have recently shown themselves as anti-American. See here I think there would be widespread agreement with that.

Jesus Gil has an excellent site for reporting what is going on in the Spanish-speaking world. But one of his posts of 20th you should NOT read.

Michael Darby has some thoughts on Australian Muslims in the aftermath of the Bali bombing.

Chris Brand looks at the history of ways in which we describe the personalities of people that we encounter.

China Hand says investment in coastal China is going gangbusters but that investment inland is held up by corrupt local officials.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Friday, February 21, 2003

CHRISTIANITY AND INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY

The English-speaking world in general and conservatives in particular have always been characterized by a strong respect for the individual and for individual liberties. Christians often attribute this to the influence of Christian teachings despite the fact that Christianity is far from peculiar to Anglo-Saxon countries. When this is pointed out, they often admit that what they really mean is the influence of Protestant Christianity in particular. The idea that Catholics are not really Christian is very common among Protestants.

But both Protestantism and Catholicism have in the past been fiercely intolerant and, as such, resolute enemies of individual liberty. Whether it be John Calvin (who, with Luther, was one of the founding fathers of Protestantism) burning the scientist Servetus at the stake, the forbidding Puritans of Cromwell's Protectorate or the antisemitic writings of Luther himself, no-one can say that Protestants are totally different from the very holy Catholics of the Spanish Inquisition or such products of a good Catholic education as Adolf Hitler. All forms of Christianity appear to have within in them much of the intolerance that characterized the "jealous God" of the Jews (Exodus 20:5).

And not much has changed in recent times. Would anyone like to read this story from Rwanda and still tell me that Christianity, by itself, leads to respect for the individual? Or do we need some other instincts of Northern European origin as well? The Rwanda story is about some pretty fervent Christians. Excerpt:

Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and his son Gerard were accused of herding large groups of Tutsi men, women and children into a church and hospital compound in the Kibuye region of western Rwanda in 1994 and then calling Hutus to come and kill them. The 78-year-old Seventh Day Adventist pastor was found guilty of aiding and abetting genocide.


The example is merely illustrative of course. The underlying point is that Africans everywhere are commonly enthusiastic Christians whilst also being characterized as a group by extremely high rates of violent crime, including murder. So looking to Christianity or even Protestant Christianity (Seventh Day Adventism is a very Protestant sect in many ways) for a sole explanation of the greater respect for individual rights among peoples of Anglo-Saxon origin runs up against both historical and sociological evidence to the contrary.

It is then the fact that Protestantism became the characteristic religion of the Anglo-Saxon peoples -- with their ancient pre-existing non-religious respect for the individual -- that made it a force for tolerance rather than the fact that it was Christian. In MOST of its forms Protestantism was more liberating than Catholicism. Anglo-Saxon (individualistic) values did what Judaic (group-conscious) values could not.

I should perhaps spell out that "Judaic" is not synonymous with "Jewish". The Judaic religions are of course Judaism and those religions descended from it -- Christianity and Islam. The common features of Judaic religions are too well known for me to spell out (monotheism etc) but the feature of them that seems to me most pernicious is the belief that belonging to the particular religious group concerned makes you superior (chosen or special or saved) in some way. It seems to me that the example of Islam shows vididly just how pernicious and intolerant that belief can be and that the example of the British empire shows that such beliefs do not need to go to anyone�s head if one also has non-religious pre-Christian traditions of individual liberty. And many non-Judaic religions -- such as those of the far East -- are of course almost completely tolerant of one-another. Yet orientals are much more conformist than individualistic.

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A PEACENIK REVIEW

A good post on why it is that Leftists are always demonstrating about something here. Excerpt: "street marches are basically the Spoiled Child Temper Tantrum method of political discourse. Nobody in a demonstration is there to listen or learn or reason"

There have been some great pictures of idiotic "peace" protestors but this one seems to be everybody�s favourite. The peacenik does not seem to know what makes buses move. I wonder does he realize that he is being laughed at across the whole planet.

Leftists will do ANYTHING to get attention. The Curmudgeon has a picture of some "anti-war" demonstrators carrying a big North Korean flag! They are willing to espouse the most oppressive dictatorship on earth just to be different! I think it is called "compassion". But why I do not know.

Always Right has a good quote: "Those who marched in peace demonstrations this Presidents' Day weekend probably missed the irony: The two men we were commemorating -- George Washington and Abraham Lincoln -- chose war when they believed it was the lesser of two evils."

Jeff Jacoby makes the point that 4 million Iraquis have fled Iraq since Saddam took power. So how come that none took part in the �antiwar� demonstrations? Do they WANT Saddam bombed? You bet!

And the WSJ records WHY no Iraquis were to be seen at the demonstrations: The peacenik organizers BARRED Iraquis from being present. How �caring� of them!

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ELSEWHERE

Hey! This blog is no 58 on Technorati�s list of the top 100 most interesting recent blogs! I don�t fully follow the rationale but it certainly sounds good when you consider that Blogger.com alone has over a million bloggers using them. To be anywhere on any list extracted from a million or more blogs seems an achievement. But there is also a website dedicated to pictures of dogs in cars which gets 10 times as many hits as I do so that should help keep me humble!

The Wicked one has a very logical sort of joke

Michael Darby punctures some more myths about business.

Chris Brand thinks that the Franco-German axis is effectively Nazi. They do after all back the Nazi-trained Saddam Hussein.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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BLOGGER.COM

Blogger.com is playing up again: Giving error messages and not showing recent posts. Note the advice at the bottom of today's postings.

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Thursday, February 20, 2003

AMERICAN "IMPERIALISM"

The idea of American military or political imperialism has always been a fantasy that flies in the face of all the facts. American troops have gone all over the world in the last 50 years but have only ever been used to install or protect local self-government, not take it away. Americans just don't WANT an empire. Ideally, they just want to be left alone instead of being hated by every crazy loon around the world with nothing constructive to do. And not many imperial powers would sentence one of its soldiers to 30 years in jail for assaulting a local.

But the idea of American cultural imperialism has at least had the basis that American films etc are very popular worldwide and provide an attractive model against which local cultures often look pretty stupid even to the locals concerned. But now even that is changing. Competition with the American output has made filmmakers in India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere sit up and start producing films that people want to watch. So the popularity of American films abroad is steadily declining. Another empire lost! How sad! More here.

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BAGHDAD WATCH

Sometimes the Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) does get in touch with reality. As were see here. They ask, if Saddam does not have chemical weapons, why is he preparing his troops with protective measures against such weapons? He must know that the West will not deploy them. So it is clear that the Iraquis need protection for when they deploy such weapons themselves.

Country Store thinks the "human shields" in Baghdad have got a weak grip on reality. Sure have! Do they really think that even one cruise missile is going to be retargeted because of them? I actually have this guess that they will succeed in keeping well out of harm's way and will end up going home and dining out on the story of their "bravery" for years.

Why are 3 large cargo ships going round and round in circles in the middle of the Indian ocean? Is that one of the places where Saddam has stashed the weapons he says he does not have? It seems likely.

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�KEN IL SUNG� IS RIGHT

We live in strange times. Having Leftists defend an alleged Communist dictator like Kim Il Sung is old hat but having them defend an outright Fascist dictator like the brutal Saddam is certainly strange. �Fascism� used to be the constant Leftist swear-word (and, hopefully for some Leftists it still is). But brutality has never bothered the �compassionate� Left. That Saddam�s regime will crumple like a house of cards as soon as the US lays a hand on it is all that bothers the Left. They have no moral anchors to make them look at what sort of regime it is. Power is all they care about. They will oppose any power but their own.

Even stranger, in a way, is what is happening in London. Before he got his present nickname, the Lord Mayor of London was known as �Red Ken� -- for good reason. Yet his just-introduced solution to London�s traffic jams is as thoroughly market-based as you could imagine. He is now CHARGING people to drive into the city. Economists and libertarians have been advocating such things for a long time but it has taken an extreme Leftist to do it! (Though Singapore has been doing much the same for years). To really solve London�s transport probems, you would have to privatize the �Tube� (underground railway) and the main roads but all of that seems to be firmly stuck in the �too hard� basket.

There has been a bit of discussion about the matter on England�s Sword recently. And there have also been some grumpy comments about it on Catallaxy.

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ELSEWHERE

The Moonbat does it again! He thinks that the problem of the USA and the West generally -- and why they want to oust Saddam -- is that we have too much capital that we do not know what to do with. We are just SO rich that we have nothing to spend our money on! You really do have to be batty to believe that! But he does!

There has been a rather worrying development for anyone in Britain with unorthodox opinions. Just expressing disapproved thoughts about race etc could now land you in jail. Freedom of speech has effectively been abolished there. More here. And it is the European contagion that is behind it, of course.

Michael Darby punctures some myths about business.

Chris Brand has some more news about multicultural madness in Britain.

The Wicked one is having a laugh at the French again.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2003


LEFTIST DENIAL OF REALITY

One of the readers of this blog has just read right through my monograph on Leftist motivation (see the 5 links top left on this page). He feels that I have given insufficient weight to Leftist denial of reality. He points out how strange are the mental gymnastics that Leftists constantly have to engage in. I have posted the email here. It is worth a read.

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A HORRIBLE STORY

Although they are on opposite sides of the world, the PERSONAL ties between Australians and the English are enormous. At least 5% of the people living in Australia were actually born in England and there are huge numbers of Australians who keep in touch with relatives in England. And it is almost a rite of passage for young Australians to spend some time living in London. Young English people also commonly come to Australia for a working holiday before settling into their careers.
Even the Prince of Wales did part of his education in Australia.

One thing that often attracts young Englishmen is the idea of going to work on one of Australia's huge cattle stations (ranches) as "Jackaroos" (cowboys) and, when they do, the Australian jackaroos often give them a bit of a hard time to knock what they see as the English softness out of them. On one such occasions the jackaroos threw a dog up in the air and shot it just to see how the young English arrival would react. He coped -- but what bastards they were! I think visitors to Australia should be warned that there are a lot of morons in our more isolated areas. Fortunately, like most modern nations, Australia has only about 5% of its population engaged in rural employment and country people everywhere are in general very kindly people.

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THE DEAD HAND OF BUREAUCRACY

Bureaucracy! Soldiers in the British Army and Royal Marines also like to supplement their issued kit with other gear such as hiking boots. In the Falklands, British military boots could not cope with the wet, marshy ground. And in the Gulf, they fell apart in the desert heat. There are some Laws of bureaucracy here.

It appears that some U.S. bureaucrats think that being proud of being Irish is now racially offensive! My grandmother Kelly would turn in her grave!

Samizdata says that the French have national ID cards but rarely use them but the Brits ask for ID all the time. Score one for the French. British bureaucaracy really is a pain -- and nearly as irrational as U.S. airport security screening.

The space station exemplifies NASA in general -- it costs a fortune yet just travels around in circles going nowhere. More here.

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ELSEWHERE

Carnival of the Vanities is up again. Lots of good posts as usual.

Australian philosopher Rafe Champion thinks the work of Karl Popper gives us a good guide to how we should deal with Iraq after Saddam is deposed. I have just posted his proposals here.

As Commonsense and Wonder says: "More serious flaws found in the major global warming study. How long before this sham falls apart completely?"

Slammed by antiglobalist protesters, developing-country politicians, and Nobel Prize-winning economists, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has become Global Scapegoat Number One. But IMF economists are not evil, nor are they invariably wrong. It's time to set the record straight and focus on more pressing economic debates, such as how best to promote global growth and financial stability. More here.

A great quote from J.S. Mill: "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight; nothing he cares about more than his personal safety; is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." Via Views on the News.

Why Read This says: According to the Japanese president of a division of Sanyo Electric, China is more capitalist than Japan in terms of labor issues

Hooray! I have at last found one Greenie idea that I agree with: Bottled water is a waste of time and money.

Unmedia has a defence of SUVs -- and gives an opposing view too! I always find it odd that this seems to have become a Left-Right debate. Lots of Leftists drive SUVs and lots of conservatives would not be seen dead in one.

Arlene Peck has an article about the continued imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard, who passed on lifesaving information to Israel. Outright crooks like Marc Rich can be pardoned so why not Pollard?

Michael Darby has some ideas about how the North Korean problem could be solved.

Chris Brand has a bit of a laugh at the sexual prudery still around.

The Wicked one scoffs at the idea of respect for the law.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2003


GOOD NEWS FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE

A reader emails me:

I live in Central New Hampshire, a State with no income, sales, or capital gains tax. This is a unique situation, and the people who live here are proud of this, and naturally suspicious of taxes, or government growth.

I'm active in the State Republican Party; and almost 80% of all elected officials are Republican. That said, we have problems with liberals moving up from Massachusetts, and other places, but it's still a small State, 1.2 million people; so we get our message out.

What I have come to see over the past several years, and what you elegantly expose every day on your blog, is the psychosis of liberal thought today. The profoundly disturbed, and personal psychopathology the left tries to pass off as thought. I constantly attack the left up here on this basis, and it works. What a lot of my conservative colleagues are starting to understand is that we are not, by and large, dealing with decent, rational people on the left; but very disturbed individuals. The Simpsons cartoon show on FOX Networks once uttered a truism I use all the time. On a show they did spoofing the Democratic Convention a sign holder in the crowd held up his poster that said this: " Liberals hate life, and they hate themselves". Perhaps a little overdone, but it rings true.

We have our own local radio show in the area, a conservative weekly paper; and a local population that gets it ! At least seems to get it more so than other places. When I go on the weekly radio show, or write letters to the editor I often slip in that our local, and national Democratic Party may be dealing with issues that could best be dealt with in a more personal setting, like a psychologists office; well, I'm not that blunt, but the public needs to understand that the left is far more destructive, and off the wall, than the press lets on. I long for a 1950's style of debate when the liberals in this Nation were more sane, and were not infected with self-loathing. Until then, we go on, and up here, we are kicking ass.....


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FASCISM AS A UNIFIER

Something that seems generally to be overlooked is that the three countries with the most notable Fascist movements in the early 20th century (Germany, Italy and Spain) were all in countries with fragile national unity. Germany and Italy had become unified countries only in the late 19th century and Spain, of course, is only nominally unified to this day -- with semi-autonomous governments in Catalonia and the Basque country. Right up until the end of the Prussian hegemony in 1918, Germans saw themselves primarily as Saxons, Bavarians, Prussians etc rather than as Germans and the contempt for Southern Italians anong Northern Italians is of course legendary.

So the fierce nationalism of the Fascists (though Franco held himself above the Spanish Falange to some extent) appears to have been at least in part the zeal of the convert. Nationalism was something new and exciting and was a gratification to be explored vigorously. And the Fascists/Nazis undoubtedly exploited it to the hilt. The romance of the new nation was an important asset for them.

So if we regard the creation of large nation states as a good thing (a fairly dubious proposition) the small silver lining that we can see in the dark cloud of Fascism is that they do seem to have had some success in creating a sense of nationhood. A German identity, in particular, would seem to be the creation of Hitler. There was certainly not much of the sort before him.

There are of course differences between the three countries but in all three an acceptance of their nation-state now seems to be well-entrenched. This acceptance seems to be strongest in Germany -- probably in part because modern Germany is a Federal Republic with substantial power devolved to the old regions (Laender) so that local loyalties are also acknowledged. Spain has moved only partly in the direction of federalism and there is of course a strong political movement in Northern Italy for reform in that direction also.

It is perhaps worth noting that it took a ferocious war (the civil war) to create an American sense of nationhood too.

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ELSEWHERE

Wow! Even The Guardian is ganging up on the antiwar Left! Saying: The Stop the War coalition is the greatest threat to any hope for a democratic Iraq. Some loyalty to their own claimed principles may be breaking out on the Left.

�Spiked� has a charitable interpretation of the motives behind those in the recent �Peace� marches. I see them as just Leftist exhibitionists but ....

The Infidel has a link to the horror that the �peace� marchers are really supporting.

Andrew Ian Dodge has an amusing bit of �future history� about what could shortly happen to Tony Blair if the Left of his UK Labour party get too stroppy.

You would never know it from the Australian newspapers but apparently there is an Americas cup yacht race going on in New Zealand at the moment. And the Kiwis are being beaten by a SWISS boat! Switzerland is a long way from the sea! NZ Pundit is following it.

Richard Webster has another appalling story about the gross injustice that characterizes official paedophile enquiries in Britain. The way innocent people are penalized over there does make the term �British justice� quite a mockery. British carelessness about justice would be more like it.

Say Uncle has some rather amusing comments on what bloggers do to get traffic to their site.

Chris Brand has a sophisticated coverage of the nature/nurture debate

Michael Darby has a great essay about how the USA is seen as �evil� no matter what it does.

The Wicked one is having shots at Catholics and the French.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Monday, February 17, 2003

THE PRUSSIAN ROLE IN GERMANY

I have just posted here a short screed on Prussia -- the Northeastern part of Germany that came to dominate most of Germany in the late 19th century and which some see as the precursor to Nazi Germany. It should ideally be read in conjunction with my posting of 10th below about Nazi Germany. Summary:

1). Germany has historically been notable for its decentralization of power and is still relatively decentralized today.

2). The Prussian hegemony of Germany and the Nazi domination of Germany were both relatively short-lived (48 and 12 years respectively) by comparison with a history of Germany that stretches back for over 2000 years so cannot by themselves be the basis for much in the way of generalizations about Germans. We might as well argue from the despotism of Henry VIII (38 years) or the Cromwellian Protectorate (6 years) that Englishmen do (or did not) not value their liberties.

3). Although both Prussia and Nazi Germany undoubtedly had strong autocratic features, that is far from the whole story. Both kings and parliaments of Prussia were in fact for much of the time remarkably liberal (in the original 19th century sense of that term) by the standards of their day and Nazi Germany also was remarkably policentric in its power structure. So even these �worst case� regimes still retained much of the ancient German diffused power structure that the Anglo-Saxons brought with them to what became England

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AUSTRALIA NOW HAS AN AAA CREDIT RATING

Australia has been returned to the top ranks of the world's most creditworthy nations for the first time since the "banana republic" warnings of the mid-1980s, in a report which praises the federal government's strong fiscal performance. Announcing the results of its annual review, ratings agency Standard & Poor's raised Australia's foreign currency rating to AAA from AA+, ranking it alongside the United States and Britain and ahead of Japan.


Conservative economic management pays off! More here.

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DEADANYWAY

Deadanyway is a self described �outspoken vixen�. This is the beginning of her latest post:

Without exception the anti-war protesters fall into two categories: monsters and fools, Nearly all the American opposition to war against Iraq are really just opponents of Bush, left-wing cranks who are willing to risk the safety of other Americans in order to gain some kind of political capital for the Democratic Party by likening him to, say, Hitler. These are the fools.


And there�s more ....

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ELSEWHERE

Great win for the USA and a pratfall for France at NATO.

Moderation and compromise from the Greeks over Cyprus! There is hope for everybody at that rate.

Disgraceful! The murderous Leftists of the Symbionese Liberation Army got prison sentences of only 6 to 8 years! California loves its Leftists!

There is now a conservative cartoon site! Worth a visit.

There were a lot of laughs in Arlene Peck�s latest article. I liked this: Today, the Jewish men seem to prefer Asian women. They think they are unlike the Jewish women and will be subservient. Yeah, right! To them, meeting an older Jewish woman is the wife they left. The article seems to be only an email so far so I have temporarily put it up here.

There is a new issue of Free Life Commentary out. I thought Sean Gabb�s article on �Is there a Right in Ireland?� was particularly interesting.

Some Leftist nut who claims that he is �working for change� thinks Americans are no better of than Iraquis under Saddam or Russians under Stalin! The Razor�s Edge (Post of 11th) gives him a good slashing.

Ghost of a Flea thinks Canada is the Axis of Waffle!

Big Mouth feels proud that the U.S. armed forces who will be fighting in Iraq include people born in many different parts of the world. Even if were only the US military going to war, it would still be like a mini-United Nations going to war.

No Left Turns has an interesting discussion about Biblical support for individual liberty.

Feminist lies about domestic violence are exposed here

Now they are going to TEACH the need for reparations for slavery in the Schools! Yuk! See No 2 Pencil (post of 12th)

The Wicked one says that French antisemitism is behind French anti-Americanism.

Michael Darby has a digest of an excellent article by V.D. Hanson arguing that history suggests only minor difficulties for the USA in invading Iraq.

Chris Brand looks at ways of describing human personality in terms of just a few dimensions.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Sunday, February 16, 2003


HUMAN RIGHTS FOR IRAQ

An email from Dean Esmay:

I've arranged with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies to release a special button in support of democracy and human rights in Iraq!

We don't have a lot of time what with the protests beginning this weekend, but we've got the official blessing of the foundation to release the graphic and point people to their pro-Iraqi, anti-Saddam site.

I'm also unofficially (for now) collecting the web site names and URLs of sites that are participating. Please go here to nab the graphics and information.

Also please post about this to anyone who you know runs a web site and get them to use the button--and hopefully add their names to the list in the comments. I recently ran across something on Metafilter about 100 web sites putting themselves in black this week to protest the war. Think we can outdo these pro-Saddam fools? I think we can.

Help spread the word ASAP!


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�PEACE� DEMONSTRATIONS

Useful Fools has a lot of fun photos of his local "Peace" demonstration -- plus pictures of the pro-war anti-demonstrators.

WogBlog is clearly bothered by the big crowds at �antiwar� demonstrations in London and elsewhere. He should set his mind at rest. Leftism is all about drawing attention to yourself and trying to look virtuous so this whole Iraq issue is like manna from heaven for these narcissists. The fact that they are demonstrating for Saddan Hussein shows that they would demonstrate for anything. It would be crazy to take them seriously.

Conservative Commentary has some nasty questions for pacifists

It is pretty well-known now that the Vietnam war was a failure of will on the part of a Democrat administration rather than a military defeat. This article spells it out. LBJ let the demonstrators bluff him. I doubt that GWB will.

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MORE FEEDBACK ON LEFTY SEX

An email just received:

My observation on the sexual habits of women tend to renforce what one of your readers wrote: That non-political women may be more inclined.

I would go on to say that young women, like young men, from 18 to 25 are very active regardless of politics. If anything, lefty women tend to be extremely intolerant of other points of view. So, conservative men should keep their politics private if they want to get some where with a lefty girl. Most girls, after marriage, become more conservative, as the voting of the 2002 Presidential election showed.


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EDUCATION

Teachers do make a difference. "The vocabulary of the average American 14-year-old has dropped from 25,000 words to 10,000"

World history textbooks in U.S. classrooms sanitize the problems of Islam when compared to how they often treat Western civilization More here.

Jeff Jacoby has some horror stories of how Leftists destroy high-school education in Massachusetts -- all in the name of "equality" of course. Like the Soviets, they achieve equality not by lifting everyone up but by keeping everyone down.

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ELSEWHERE

Samizdata agrees with me that libertarianism is a broad church (See my posting of 14th).

Inn of the Last Home has some forgiving words about the French.

Big Mouth has a big swipe at Belgium. He begins: �I've avoided talking about Belgium, well... because it's a pissant, unimportant speck of a country� and it goes on from there.

A �liberal� wishes 20 million people dead. So what else is new? �On behalf of the country, it would be better without Limbaugh and his 20 million listeners." The words of Eric Alterman. Stalinism lives!

The Wicked one has some good jokes about kids.

Chris Brand looks at the current fashion in psychology of saying that everything we do is the product of the situations in which we find ourselves. He points out that the sort of person we are is at least as important in determining what we will do on any given occasion.

Michael Darby reproduced a speech given in Australia's House of Representatives (Federal parliament) giving support for war with Iraq.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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Saturday, February 15, 2003


AXIS ECONOMICS

Economics writer Martin Hutchinson has two interesting articles here and here on the economics of the "Axis of Weasels" (Germany and France). He concludes:

The important Axis objectives are thus to slow down as far as possible the rapid pace of change in the world economy, to keep the U.S. unpopular in the Third World, so that it is seen as a global bully, and not as a free market economy worthy of emulation, and thereby to preserve against the forces of adverse demographics and economic change both the illusion of Axis political and economic power and the reality of high Axis living standards.


His basic point it that Germany and France are suffering economically from their high level of government spending and government regulation of their economies and want to drag everyone else down with them.

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LEFTIST DARWINISM?

Peter Singer is definitely his own man. His relentless following of certain ethical axioms to their logical conclusions makes him friends and enemies on both the Left and the Right -- though he is mainly in favour with the Left. His latest idea is to reclaim Darwin for the Left. His version of evolution is that we have evolved to be co-operative and he thinks the Left should buy that. If there is any way we can get Leftists to accept anything about human nature and its origins we have at least got the chance of a sensible debate with them so I wish him luck.

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LEFTY SEX AGAIN

I reported recently several observations from my fellow bloggers to the effect that Leftist women are more sexually willing. Gweilo has a comment on that:

Women who don't give a whit about politics are generally a lot more fun than are those of either political persuasion. The strength of a girl's political opinions is inversely proportional to the amount of fun she's likely to be in the sack.

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IS �PEACE� ALL THERE IS?

A good summary of the Iraq question by Sine Qua Non:

I continue to be struck by the fact that every single article from Europe, or about Europe's perspective, refuses to examine the current state of affairs in anything other than the false dichotomy of peace and war. Can someone "over there" please try and understand that freedom is more important to us than peace? Would Western Europe have preferred the "peace" of Soviet communism if the US had not established NATO and spent our money acting as a deterrent for their freedom?


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SOME GOOD QUESTIONS ABOUT CUBA

Since life is so good in that bastion of freedom and prosperity known as Cuba, I can't for the life of me figure out why four Cuban coast guardsmen would defect to the evil old USA. What would Danny Glover and Jimmy Carter have to say
about this?

The thing that really disturbs me is how these men pulled their boat right up to the dock of a Key West resort at 4:00am, walked into town fully armed and surrendered to police. Where was our Coast Guard and Navy?


More here.

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REPUBLICAN RACISM?

Right Thinking has a good fisking of another celebridiot who badmouths GWB. Sample:

Like most celebrity morons Glover has waited until speaking to the foreign press overseas before running his mouth.

"YES, HE'S RACIST," Glover said in response to a question from a reporter from the Brazlian magazine "Isto E", according to our source's translation.

Strange that a racist would choose two blacks for arguably his two most important cabinet positions.


Along similar lines, 11 Day Empire says that bigmouth celebridiots really are ignorant limousine liberals who do not practice what they preach.

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ELSEWHERE

The BBC here takes the role of organizer of the London antiwar March. It gives a new meaning to �Public Service Broadcaster�. �Service to Leftists Broadcaster� would be more accurate. But ALL owners of TV sets in the UK are forced by law to pay for it!

The Wicked one is harrying the French again -- this time using history.

Michael Darby reports that New South Wales farmers are about to sue their Labor government over its failure to follow elementary bushfire prevention measures.

Chris Brand writes on the bases of intelligence.

China Hand has come back to life again after his recent trip to Vietnam and compares Chinese and Vietnamese approaches to economic development. He concludes that the Viets have still got some nettles to grasp, as it were.

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Comments? Email me. If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my "First Draft" site instead or check my HomePage for a new blog address.

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CHINA CRACKDOWN AGAIN -- HOTMAIL TOO

I noted on 10th that Matthew Cowie was in China and unable to access Blogspot. China Hand has now confirmed that Blogspot is indeed blocked again in China. Worse, Hotmail has been blocked too so I have been able to communicate with him only via MSN Messenger. The Hotmail block seems to be more local however as he can access it from some sites.

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Friday, February 14, 2003


LIBERTARIANISM IS A BROAD CHURCH

In some of his recent postings on Philosoblog, Jim Ryan seems to treat values and rules as interchangeable. I think this is a mistake. Libertarianism can for instance be either a value or a rule. In the first case liberty just feels good so I like it and value it. In the second, we try to maximize liberty because it leads to other things that we like for themselves -- such as security and prosperity. Conservatives like Jim do often seem to overlook the fact that libertarianism is a broad church in general -- ranging from anarcho-capitalists at one extreme to many varieties of minimal Statists. And all but the anarcho-capitalists do allow what Jim says that they do not -- they allow that there are some cases when liberty has to be subjugated to other values -- such as security. A good instance of such subjugation is the fact that most U.S. libertarians do seem to support action by the U.S. government against Saddam.

Where a surname like Ryan is concerned (though I seem to remember that Jim�s mother was Jewish), I would always suspect at least a vestigial attachment to the old Roman Catholic doctrine of moral absolutes -- something which makes it difficult for adherents to see that others do not organize their values in such a rigid way. The Catholic church does seem to be the main holdout of moral absolutes. People of all political persuasions are moral relativists these days. In 1981, I reported a study of Introductory Sociology students at an Australian university in which they were asked to respond to the statement: �There is no such thing as an absolute right and wrong�. 77 agreed and only 28 disagreed. I have no doubt what the direction of change would have been since then.

I don�t much like hitting people over the head with my academic research results on this blog but seeing that I have just done it once, I might as well do it again: I also did a general population survey of Californians (Ray, 1982) in which I looked at whether libertarian and conservative attitudes were statistically separable. They were not. Virtually all the libertarians were conservatives too. Despite the usual contentions to the contrary, there really is just one dimension of political attitudes out there in the big wide world of the English-speaking countries -- a Left/Right dimension with conservatives and libertarians at one end and socialists and lovers of big government at the other.

References:
Ray, J.J. (1981) The morals of attitudes. Journal of Social Psychology 115, 227-235.
Ray, J.J. (1982) Authoritarianism/libertarianism as the second dimension of social attitudes. Journal of Social Psychology, 117, 33-44.

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LEFTISM AS A CLAIM OF SUPERIORITY

Parapundit has an excellent post on Leftist motivation that echoes much of what I have put forward on the same subject. Some excerpts:

For the British academics (and some American academics as well) Israel provides a group that is enough like them that they can point at the Israelis, draw a distinction, and say "see, we are better than those folks". Their protest is motivated by a desire for more status

For a lot of young men in college and afterward involvement in environmental and other politically correct protest activities is a great way to meet young women and impress the women with their principled compassion.

One reason academics do not boycott Syria and other countries with worse human rights efforts is they expect more from the Jews than from the Arabs. Why? Because they really believe that the Arabs are not capable of better behavior but that the Jews are. So this boycott is a compliment to the Jews

He also quotes Steve Sailer as saying:

And this is typical, in my experience: whites who proclaim their anti-white feelings don't really care much about blacks or other minorities, pro or con. What they care about is achieving social superiority over other whites by demonstrating their exquisite racial sensitivity and their aristocratic insouciance about any competitive threats posed by racial preferences.

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�THE TRIUMPH OF THE WILL�

An incredible picture here -- Leni Riefenstahl at her birthday party -- aged 101. She should be a great heroine to feminists, Leftists and all moviemakers but she is not. She triumphed in a man�s world and made movies that are still shown 60 or more years later. And she did it all for a socialist dictator! Given the antisemitism of modern-day Leftists, they might rediscover her yet. The picture is from a German Leftist website.

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