Saturday, March 13, 2004


"The No. 1 U.S. enemy is ... Bermuda. At least that's what John Kerry seems to want American voters to believe. At almost every campaign stop, he attacks 'Benedict Arnold corporations' that move to Bermuda. One could almost conclude that Bermuda is a predatory regime that shelters scoundrels. .. It's difficult to decide which is most objectionable, Mr. Kerry's smear of a friendly regime or his disregard for accuracy. The denigration of Bermuda is certainly reprehensible, particularly since the territory's market-based tax policy and race relations are both much better than can be found in the United States. (It's worth noting, too, that Bermuda has much tougher anti-money laundering laws than the United States.)"

A reader draws on his studies of accountancy and business management for some insights about outsourcing: "There is much talk of outsourcing being either good or bad. Both views are quite ridiculous. Each firm must make its own "make or buy-in" decision. There is no absolute view as to whether it is appropriate. The simple question of whether it is cheaper to make or buy-in is relatively minor. Most of the weighting is for qualitative factors such as whether the quality and timeliness of supply could be assured, the effects on other parts of the firm, and so on. Like pre-emption, outsourcing is merely an option; circumstances determine its efficacy. I think the outsourcing trend may also be one reason why a decreasing number of men are entering universities. While the dysfunctional educational system in this country may play its part, isn't it also possible that many men have realised that the work of plumbers, electricians, mechanics and others cannot be performed overseas whereas much of the work performed by university graduates will soon enough be at hazard? Given this, and the likely shortage of such people in the future, it seems that the many men's decisions to forgo university could be quite rational." The Happy Carpenter would agree.

Thomas Friedman of the NYT is again arguing for the mutual benefits of outsourcing simple jobs to India. He says that conformist and inefficient India is no threat to innovative and efficient America.

"Last week, European nations slapped a 5% tariff on the prices of hundreds of American exports because Congress is stubbornly clinging to a tax break for U.S. companies. It violates world trade rules by letting firms sell products at artificially low prices. The penalty is expected to hurt European sales of U.S. goods ranging from fruit grown in California to sheet-metal cabinets made in Ohio to textiles woven in the Carolinas.... The tax-cut bidding war pits a few special interests against the larger good of the country. By making the right choice, Congress can ensure a robust U.S. export sector doesn't shrink - and help prevent the U.S. deficit from expanding."

There is now a blog devoted to the "Blame India" nonsense -- the claim that the loss of technical and other support jobs is India's fault for "undercutting" Western workers.



Walter Williams: "The low academic quality of many of our teachers is neither flattering nor comfortable to confront, but confront it we must if we're to do anything about our sorry state of education."

Bureaucratized public schools: "Although many students there are now receiving a much better education thanks to vouchers enabling them to choose better schools, the failing public schools themselves have not improved as well as some expected. Hiatt rightly argues that the reason is clear. 'The system was designed to insulate the public schools from the consequence of failure.'"

A Sydney talk-radio host has put on the net an article originally printed over 30 years ago in the Sydney Morning Herald which detailed plans by the then Communist Party of Australia to use the schools to promote Leftist ideas. The article does make an interesting read. Most of what the CPA planned seems to have come about. The CPA folded up a few years ago under the influence of the Soviet implosion -- probably because funding from Russia dried up at that time. I knew the last boss of the CPA -- Mark Aarons -- slightly. His girlfriend was the younger sister of my girlfriend at one stage. The Johnson sisters were/are two very fine women.



I drink very little alcohol these days so it was for the first time in years that I had a couple of glasses of German white wine with my dinner last night. It took me ages to find someone in Brisbane who sold German wine. Even so, it cost me only $10 for the bottle (about $6.50 in U.S. dollars). I think it is one of the everyday miracles of capitalism that I can buy a Rheinhessen Qualitaetswein half a world away from where it was made for such a small sum. It rather perplexes me, though, that German wine has such a patchy following around the world. Maybe its uniformly high quality makes it boring. French wine is mostly rubbish by Australian or German standards but I suppose the challenge of finding a good one makes it interesting. Australian winemakers wouldn't dream of making such a nasty product as French vin ordinaire. Even a $5 ($3.50 U.S.) bottle of Australian red is pretty good.

The French elites hate Hollywood but the French people love it -- so the elites want to "protect" the French people from it. That hardly shows much faith in their own culture. Protecting the French from Hollywood's politics might make some sense, though.

Wow! We have here a complete summary of French philosophy from a French philosopher: ""Despite his clarity, Seneca still must be taken seriously as a philosopher." Note: "Despite his clarity". I said a few days ago (on 8th) that French philosophy aims to obfuscate, not clarify. No wonder Leftists like French philosophy: Clarity of thought would be fatal to them.

Even The Guardian admits that not everyone hates Guantanamo Bay. Some ex-prisoners liked it. They say that the food in the camp was delicious, the teaching was excellent, and the warders were kind: "Americans are good people, they were always friendly, I don't have anything against them," he said. "If my father didn't need me, I would want to live in America." "

Middle-aged Madness is a good blog. He has a great list of the things that Kerry and the Democrats believe -- and I like his "we found Nemo" graphic too.


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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