Sunday, December 21, 2003


The posting below will be the last one on this site.

Click here for my new site.

And if That goes out of action, try my mirror site.

I have tried re-using this site recently but for days on end nothing new was showing so how operate is a mystery to me... I imagine that what I put up will eventually appear but when?


"Crooked Timber" seems to be some sort of Leftist philosopher. I would never have read him except that Keith Burgess-Jackson seems to take him seriously. His defence of the Leftist "equality of results" doctrine versus the more conservative "equality of opportunity" doctrine is summarized by him in the two questions below:

1. What's the point of doing anything if you're not going to check whether it worked or not?
2. How do you find out whether a course of action worked or not, other than by the results?

He seems to think that these questions trump further discussion. So perhaps I should point out that they do not. The snide thing about the two questions is that "it worked" is not defined -- presumably in order to suggest that the favoured alternative (equal outcomes) is the only reasonable definition of it. Building your desired conclusions into your premises is an old Leftist trick of course, as I have shown many times before (e.g. here). A layman might call it "loading the dice".

So let me suggest some alternative definitions of "it worked". One suggestion would surely be that treating a person according to his own qualities rather than according to the qualities or wealth of his parents was a pretty desirable thing to do in and of itself. Why does it need to "work" in any way external to itself? If that is accepted, the Crooked One's point 2 becomes redundant.

Even if the deed is not taken to be intrinsically good, however, there are surely many, many alternative definitions of "it worked" available. If, for instance, it made people feel happier because it convinced them that they lived in a fair society, would that not be something that might cause us to say "it worked"? And checking that result could be as simple as doing a social survey.



I did not mention the Libyan story yesterday since everyone else was all over it but Hippercritical has some reasonable comments. Clearly, however, it is a huge triumph for GWB's policies. Saddam's capture must have tipped the scales.

The latest batch of government economic data reveals a new theme: inflation-free boom. It's a business-led scenario this country hasn't seen in many years. Bush administration supply-siders who argued in favor of permanent tax incentives to grow the investment side of the economy are being proven exactly right. Former top Bush economist Glen Hubbard -- one of the principal authors of last May's growth bill that lowered Uncle Sam's tax bite on investment by roughly 40 percent -- deserves loud kudos. Liberal columnist Paul Krugman, who opposes supply-side tax cuts at every turn, deserves a resounding Bronx cheer. Both the economy and the stock market (the Dow has moved past 10,000, and the S&P is up 23 percent on the year) are voting for President Bush.

Leftist Will Hutton is no fan of Bush, but unlike 90% of the world's environmentalists, he says the real action is in "The States", whereas the Europeans are smug. And Hutton is not kidding when he says "the States", he says that the U.S. State governments are the leading environmental reformers in the world. So you would think the Green/Left would love America, wouldn't you? No such luck of course. Like Hitler and the Islamic fundamentalists, they cannot be appeased.

Great news! Switzerland is now one of the countries which have recognized that the Ottoman Turks committed genocide against the mostly Christian Armenians in 1915. Muslims committing genocide? How amazing! The Kemalists took over Turkey from the Ottomans not long after that and have kept Turkey out of the hands of the Islamists since but even they are pretty brutal to their minorities -- the Kurds particularly. The last truly decent Muslim regime seems to have been that of the Kurd Saladin in the 12th century. The only prominent Muslim man of peace in the last 100 years that I can think of is Egyptian President Anwar Sadat -- and the Islamists shot him!

What's up with American Realpolitik? It's a great site -- specializing in political cartoons -- but every time I have tried to log on lately all I have got is the banner headline. Their server must be worse than blogspot -- which is saying something

Writing on Sasha Castel's blog, Scott Wickstein says that the generation of power via nuclear fusion is going commercial -- sort of. Nobody can decide where to put it, though. A notable absentee from the list of contributors to Sasha's blog is one Andrew Ian Dodge. I understand Sasha now lives in Canberra, Australia. I wonder where Andrew has got to? Did he ever make it to England?

Apparently Canada's new Prime Minister has taken some token steps in a Rightwards direction. We must be thankful for small mercies, I guess.

I am pleased to see that Michael Jennings too likes real ale. Australians are usually very rigid about liking only the lager beers that they are used to in Australia. My favourite drop was Ruddles County when I was in England. But Michael's wish for good food in an English pub is a tad optimistic.

Aaron Oakley has some good posts about the stupid and enormously expensive windmill craze that Greenies pushed so hard for so long.

I have just put up here some more of Chris Brand's latest thoughts -- on toyboys and other things.

My latest upload of a published academic journal article (here or here) is just another case of my demolishing the ill-informed arguments of a Leftist psychologist. A bit too technical for most readers, though.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Saturday, December 20, 2003


It gets worse. It looks like "The Skeptical Inquirer" was not credulous but straight-out dishonest in their support for the global warming theory. They depicted their favoured report on global warming as the outcome of a standard scientific peer-review process. As this report from notes, it was nothing of the sort. What was published was a totally distorted version of what the scientists had said:

Frederick Seitz, former president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, claimed that he had "never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer review process than the event that led to this IPCC report." Seitz went on to charge that nearly all of the editorial changes made by the report's lead author, Benjamin Santer, "worked to remove hints of the skepticism with which many scientists regard claims that human activities are having a major impact on climate in general or global warming in particular." Others, including the independent but industry-backed Global Climate Coalition (GCC) went so far as to claim that the report had been "scientifically cleansed" in a political effort to emphasize alarm about global warming while deleting references to uncertainty.

And the second report that the Skeptics quoted also said nothing like what they claim:

"Last week the National Academy of Sciences released a report on climate change, prepared in response to a request from the White House, that was depicted in the press as an implicit endorsement of the Kyoto Protocol... As one of 11 scientists who prepared the report, I can state that this is simply untrue. For starters, the NAS never asks that all participants agree to all elements of a report, but rather that the report represent the span of views. This the full report did, making clear that there is no consensus, unanimous or otherwise, about long-term climate trends and what causes them."

Clearly, the Skeptics have been taken over by Greenie propagandists, with their characteristic disregard for the truth. Sad indeed.



Great stuff! In Canada a single guy can get a pension by claiming that he had a homosexual lover who died. Bad luck if your lover happens to have been a woman, I guess. "In what the gay community is describing as a monumental decision, an Ontario court ruled Friday that the federal government has discriminated against same-sex couples by denying pension benefits to survivors whose partners died before 1998"

Reality is beginning to bite for Germany's socialists. They have just introduced some reforms that are at least in the right direction: "Restrictive employment protection laws will be eased to enable small companies to dismiss workers at short notice. Unemployment and social welfare benefits will be merged to reduce costs. At the same time Germany's long-term unemployed will face penalties if they refuse to take up jobs even if they pay below union rates... The programme also includes measures to ... lower income tax"

More welfare abuse: "A STRING of Aboriginal work-for-the dole programs set up under the federal Government's $450million indigenous employment program, have collapsed amid allegations of financial misappropriation and mismanagement"

More glories of socialized medicine: "A woman was left to give birth alone in a hospital corridor, then told she had no choice but to watch her premature baby die"

Jeff Jacoby details some of the horrors perpetrated on the Iraqis by Saddam and says that no conceivable punishment can fit his crimes.

I guess its a start: "The Bush administration reached a free-trade agreement with four Central American countries yesterday, setting up a tough trade fight in Congress in an election year. The trade accord -- reached just weeks before the 10th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement -- would allow more than 80 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial products into Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras duty-free as soon as it went into force."

Michelle Malkin: "From homeland security personnel, I continue to hear open-borders horror stories. A Border Patrol agent who works along the northern border reports that federal immigration judges in his area are subverting the deportation process by refusing to issue arrest warrants for illegal alien absconders (fugitives who have been ordered deported but never showed up for their hearings). A special agent notes that San Diego supervisors continue to discourage interior immigration enforcement near the southern border. And countless rank-and-file immigration enforcement officers have written to express disgust at Washington's bipartisan talk of "amnesty" for millions of immigration law-breakers whose presence makes a mockery of homeland defense. What good is it, they wonder, to send American soldiers to defend other countries' borders if we're not willing to defend our own? "

Price controls can be deadly: "Who would ever dream that the economic fallacies to which U.S. officials subscribe could turn deadly? Yet that's what recently happened in Baghdad, where an American GI was shot dead while guarding long lines of angry and disgruntled consumers at a gasoline station in Baghdad. Why are there long lines at gas stations in Iraq?"

The Wicked one has got some good funnies up at the moment.

My latest academic upload here or here looks at attitude to Europe in England and Scotland shortly after the UK had joined. At that time opposition to joining in with Europe was primarliy associated with generally old-fashioned attitudes. I think that shows that being old-fashioned can have its advantages.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Friday, December 19, 2003

Blogspot seems to be having another one of their “bad” periods at the moment. They have resumed “fixing” things that “aint broke”. As a result, my posts on blogspot yesterday did not show all day. I know from comments that some people did however use my mirror sites instead. “PC WATCH” was out of action all day too so I have decided that I will from now on put up a mirror site for it too. The mirror is HERE.


Truth about Iraq — or what the media is hiding The media has been lying to us about the real situation in Iraq. An American army officer reveals just how much progress has been made. So why have some of our journalists been lying?
George Soros, markets and democracy Recent comments by Soros on markets and democracy simply show how little knowledge of economics and history this 'brilliant' financier actually possesses. His political activities also bring into question his integrity.
Kuwaiti Daily declares that US won't quit in its war on terrorism Ahmad Al-Jarallah, the Editor-in-Chief of the Kuwaiti dailies Al-Siyassa and Arab Times, praised the U.S. fight against Jihad fighters. The following are excerpts from the article.
Taxes cuts and politics The present tax mess should really focus attention on Latham's approach to taxation and incomes compared with Beazley's approach.
Taiwanese marched for independence and democracy Up to 150,000 marchers descended on the Presidential Office to demand that President Chen Shui-bian scrap the Republic of China (ROC) and its symbols, and change the name of the country to Taiwan.

Details here



A reader writes:

“Your blog mentions that the “Skeptical Enquirer” seems to be impressed by a pro-global warming petition. "They say that because 2500 "scientists" signed a document saying that mankind is causing global warming therefore it must be true.

Well, there is a 19,200 name long petition here -- signed by "17,100 basic and applied American scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees... Signers of this petition so far include 2,660 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists..who are especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth's atmosphere and climate. ..(and) ..5,017 scientists whose fields of specialization in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and other life sciences"

There have of course been attempts by environmentalist true believers to sabotage the petition drive. However the organisers have, to their credit, made efforts to ensure its validity. "Of the 19,700 signatures that the project has received in total so far, 17,800 have been independently verified and the other 1,900 have not yet been independently verified. Of those signers holding the degree of PhD, 95% have now been independently verified. One name that was sent in by enviro pranksters, Geri Halliwell, PhD, has been eliminated. Several names, such as Perry Mason and Robert Byrd are still on the list even though enviro press reports have ridiculed their identity with the names of famous personalities. They are actual signers. Perry Mason, for example, is a PhD Chemist. " Of course science is never based on an opinion poll of practitioners. And governments and voters need to be skeptical about sacrificing long established rights and traditional freedoms on the altar of the scientific dogma du jour. The history of eugenics is a case in point.”



There is an amusing comment here about how the Left could see nothing good in the capture of Saddam and will not see any good in any conceivable events involving him.

It looks like Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, has had the last laugh against his critics in his home-country of Denmark.

Sowell: “Lawlessness usually conjures up images of a wild frontier or mobs in the streets. But the painful reality is that the supreme examples of lawlessness in our times are in the august and sedate chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Bruce Bartlett puts the finger on WHY a lot of American manufacturing is ailing -- the huge costs imposed on it by government laws and regulations. It does look like the U.S. government is trying to drive jobs offshore.

Mark Steyn says Rumsfeld should be admired for being a plain speaker

Bleeding Brain has an amusing post about how insensitive he is when it comes to other people’s religions.

I thought at first that PrestoPundit must have a great sense of humour when I saw that he had this blog listed under “liberal bloggers” but on second thoughts I realized that he is very properly resisting the entirely inappropriate takeover of the word “liberal” by Leftists.

The latest upload of a chapter from my book shows that Leftist enmity to freedom of speech goes back a long way. Details here or in chapter 29 here. The fierce and unremitting attacks on freedom of speech by Leftists is one of the clearest proofs there is of how totalitarian and Fascistic Leftism basically is. Leftists cannot AFFORD to allow completely free speech. They NEED to monopolize the channels of communication. Why? Because the more people in general get to know about any Leftist assertion, the more absurd it will be seen to be. Leftism is simplistic and simplistic thinking cannot withstand the light of day.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.


Thursday, December 18, 2003

Blogspot seems to be having another one of their “bad” periods at the moment and the posts that I have made to my usual site are not showing. I have therefore decided to post them here in case access to my usual site has got cut off altogether. It has happened before.


Former New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon is famous for commenting that the constant flow of emigration from New Zealand to Australia "raises the IQ of both countries" -- implying that the Kiwis who emigrate are stupid but Australians are even stupider. That comment is only one example of a generally derogatory view of Australians almost universally held in New Zealand: Much like the attitude of Canadians towards the USA --- and for similar reasons: resentment of a more affluent and capable big brother.

I was therefore rather amused by something that happened recently. A few months ago I bought some shares in one of the icons of New Zealand industry -- Fisher & Paykel, best known for making high-tech washing machies. Yesterday I received a dividend cheque from them -- to my amazement. These days dividends are normally deposited directly into a shareholder's bank A/c. Shortly after you buy into a company, they send you a form asking for your bank particulars and thereafter the money just appears on your statement. Fisher & Paykel sent me no such form, however, so I had to make a special trip to the bank to deposit their pesky cheque -- which I regard as a prehistoric thing to have to do. But it does not end there. I resolved to write to them and ask them to deposit my dividends directly in the future. But nowhere on the documentation that came with the cheque was there any address that I could write to! So I looked up their Annual Report, a big glossy production with lots of colour photographs, graphs, auditor reports and all the usual nonsense that you expect of a company annual report. But there was no address anywhere there either! Which is probably illegal, I would think. It was only by digging out the envelope that the report came in that I found a return address on the back of that. But that is not the end of the story either! Included with my cheque was a cheque to someone else with their dividend! Which I of course promptly sent on to the correct recipient. If that is how bright a New Zealand high-flyer is, it does not say much for the average Kiwi.

I guess NZ Pundit will never forgive me for saying that.


It’s sad to see a voice of reason fall silent but exactly that seems to have happened over at “The Skeptical Inquirer”. They quite rightly say that limitless skepticism leads nowhere. To be precise it leads to solipsism -- doubting everything but your own existence -- but the means they propose to limit skepticism are astounding. They seem to want to decide scientific truth not on the facts or on the balance of the probabilities but by majority vote! If you had taken a majority vote among the learned men of Galileo’s day you would have “discovered” that the sun rotated around the earth. And you would be WRONG! The example they give is instructive. They say that because 2500 “scientists” signed a document saying that mankind is causing global warming therefore it must be true. No weighting to the degree of expertise of the “scientists” involved is given (I cannot imagine 2500 “experts” in any scientific field -- which makes the whole thing reek of a propaganda exercise) nor is any account taken of how many of them stand to lose their research grants if the theory is disproven. But above all, no weighting is given to the many discordant FACTS -- such as evidence that global warming is occurring on Mars too. Did mankind cause THAT? Or did solar variability do it? I think we will have to rename them “The Credulous Inquirer”.


Ludicrous an idea though it is, Greenies have bullied governments into spending billions on windmills as an "alternative" source of electricity, but it seems -- sorry, Mr and Mrs Taxpayer -- that windmills too are now bad: "Since the phalanx of giant windmills began churning in the air above the Altamont Pass east of San Francisco Bay, an estimated 22,000 birds have died, including hundreds of golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, kestrels and other raptors, after flying into the spinning blades of the wind turbines". When will governments learn that it is impossible to please a Greenie?

Jeff Jacoby has a good post on how charitable donations so often don't go towards those whom they are supposed to help. I used to donate to World Vision until I discovered that they were anti-Israel. Ditto for the Red Cross. There's no simple solution. Even in India a lot of the street beggars are actually reasonably well-off by Indian standards. Treat people generously in your private life has always been my main idea of how to be kind.

Note the new address for Aaron’s Rantblog. His old address has gone to that great blogspot in the sky where blogspot sites do sometimes go. Warning: Aaron puts up lots of good graphics so his site is slow-loading unless you have a high-speed connection. Aaron’s current project is to get Hillary Clinton rather than George Bush as the No. 1 link returned by Google in response to the search-term “Miserable Failure”. A fun project, it seems to me. He has got an amusing photo of her up on his “failure” site.

Dave Huber has some more examples of the compulsive Leftism of the American teacher's union -- of which he is a regretful member.

Further to my suggestion on 15th that Saddam looked like Karl Marx, Valete Fratres has put up pictures of the two of them side by side. Scroll down to his post of 15th. The resemblance sure is there.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with its usual select postings.

The Wicked one says that the old Soviet Union lives on -- in the U.S. bureaucracy. It is suing someone who transports elderly people too cheaply!

My latest academic upload (details here or here) is about why Scotland is a poor country when by all indicators it should be a rich one. Hint: They're knee-jerk socialists there. The enterprising Scots emigrated long ago.


Comments? Email me here or here. If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Page is here or here.