Friday, March 19, 2004


There are some pictures here (or here) showing graphically the sort of bureaucracy that the Left are forever wishing upon us.

There is a classic example of bureaucracy at work near where I live in Brisbane. The local authority (Brisbane City Council) builds boardwalks and the like in seaside areas like Wynnum using ordinary steel bolts to hold the structures together -- completely ignoring the fact that any outdoor structure, let alone one exposed to salty air, is very prone to attack by rust. So the bolts will have rusted out in a few years and all the work will have to be re-done -- doubling the cost. The morons do not even protect the exposed steel with paint -- and something as simple and old-fashioned as using galvanized bolts in the first place is clearly way beyond their ken. Anybody in private enterprise who behaved so stupidly would not last five minutes but in the Left-controlled Brisbane City Council you can be sure that nobody will be held accountable when the structures begin to wobble.

See "When 'Mother' is a Bureaucracy," by Wendy McElroy for more on bureaucratic irresponsibility and negligence -- in this case using little babies in New York as guinea pigs.

What government is good at: "We often complain about how slow government can be. But there's a teenager in Arizona who can tell you that swift government has its downside. On February 23, the Arizona Republic printed a fascinating story about how Christian Alf set up his own after-school business rat-proofing his neighbors' houses. Two days later that same newspaper printed a follow-up: the state of Arizona had put young Mr. Alf out of business, citing him with two separate violations of state law."

There is no guarantee that capitalists will be intelligent but it is broadly true that the smarter ones will get the gravy. An amusing instance I know of in that connection is the practice in many Australian Real Estate offices of having a meeting for all staff on Tuesday or Wednesday morning. Buyers who ring at that time are told that there are no salespeople available to assist them. I imagine that 90% of buyers do as I do on such occasions -- ring another agent. I can think of at least two occasions where the next agent I rang in fact sold me something. So the wankers who thought that their meeting was more important than selling anything in effect had several thousand dollars offered to them on a plate and knocked it back! Not smart. They'd do well as government employees, though.



What fun! A huge and very careful study of mental abilities has just come out from Johns Hopkins University under the title: "Disparities in Cognitive Functioning by Race/Ethnicity in the Baltimore Memory Study". I'll spare you the suspense and tell you for starters that blacks had much lower scores than whites across the board. As the study was primarily of memory, the tests used were not all high loaders on 'g' (general intelligence or 'IQ') so the racial difference varied a fair bit from test to test but it was always there. The amusing thing was that the racial difference persisted depite heroic attempts by the researchers to remove it. They even did some things that an Australian would call "shonky" (con-men and frauds are "shonks"). For example, they removed the effect of social class variables such as wealth on their results. In other words, the scores of poorer people were "adjusted" upward. But wealth is a product of IQ! Smarter people get richer! And this particular study was of 50-70 year old people so any effect of intelligence on wealth would have had plenty of time to show up. If the researchers had used parental status indicators only it might have been more defensible. So the fact that the racial difference emerged despite such blatant attempts to mask it is testimony to how strong the difference is.

Good news: Caltech graduate student Bill Cottrell, accused of firebombing and vandalizing sport utility vehicles, was denied bail Wednesday... Cottrell was indicted Tuesday on nine counts, including a count of using a destructive device during a violent crime, which alone carries a minimum sentence of 30 years in federal prison. See also here

Were the Bush tax cuts just for the rich? This article shows that the benefit was spread across the board.

Mel Gibson has broken the 10 commandments, the Hollywood ones that is: "Because "Passion" will be timely to re-issue theatrically at Easter for years to come, it has the potential to wind up as the biggest grossing film in movie history"

Dumb teachers? No problem! "The nation's schools, under deadline to get a top teacher in every core class, have won some wiggle room in areas where the task hasn't survived a collision with local reality. Rural teachers, science teachers and those who teach multiple subjects will get leeway in showing they are highly qualified under federal law, the Education Department said yesterday."

"Anyone who wants to understand why the media are held in such low regard by the public ... should consider the following headline from an Associated Press story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer last week: 'Accused spy is cousin of Bush staffer.' The accused person is Susan Lindauer, charged with working for Saddam's intelligence agency. ... Before she allegedly became an Iraqi agent, Miss Lindauer spent a decade in Washington working for four members of Congress, Peter DeFazio, Ron Wyden, Carol Moseley Braun and Zoe Lofgren. What do these four legislators have in common? Answer: They all have a 'D' after their names. But to The Post-Intelligencer's headline writer the salient fact about Miss Lindauer is not her 10 years of work for the Democratic Party but the amazing revelation she is a second cousin of Bush chief of staff Andrew Card."

Firm breasts are bad for women!. The do-gooders will puzzle over that one. Compulsory breast massages, perhaps?

China Hand's latest posting about one of China's new container ports says that it is world-best -- which obviously warms his Sinophilic heart. Being pretty Sinophilic myself, I am pleased to hear of it too.

Today's recipe gives a very easy way to make fettucine. There's no such thing as an "authentic" fettucine recipe but this one tastes good. You may note a certain politically incorrect instruction in it too. See here.


The Left have always wanted more spent on welfare and made "Fascism" a swear-word. President Bush deposed a brutal Fascist dictator and sponsored a big expansion of welfare. But instead of being admired by the Left, he is hated with a passion. What does that tell you about the Left? It tells you that they have no principles at all: That everything they have ever claimed to stand for is fake.

Three more examples of Leftist dishonesty: They blame the 9/11 attacks on "poverty" in the Islamic world. Yet most of the attackers were Saudis and Saudi Arabia is one of the world's richest countries! They also say that they oppose racism yet support "affirmative action" -- which judges people by the colour of their skin! They say that they care about "the poor" but how often do you hear them calling for the one thing that would bring about a worldwide economic boom in poor countries -- the USA and the EU abandoning their agricultural protectionism? Leftists obviously care more about conservative farmers than they do about the poor!

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