Friday, June 25, 2004


Someone commented to me recently that I do not put enough personal stuff on this blog. I mostly just reproduce thoughts from others that I find interesting. So I will remedy that to a very small degree today -- by commenting on two recent posts by Keith Burgess-Jackson. Keith noted that I use only a dialup connection and commented that it must be my Puritan heritage, considering that I could easily afford any connection I want. There is considerable truth in that. My Presbyterian upbringing did indeed teach me frugality, or, as the Scots say: "A careful way wi' money". The sites that I visit are rarely graphics-intensive so dialup is not, however, the frustration it might seem. My frugality is still moderate by Scottish standards, though. When I was in Scotland, I occasionally made jokes about "using things up", "getting your money's worth" etc but nobody ever saw that I was joking. They all thought I was being perfectly sensible!

In another post Keith spoke with some asperity about "dolts" who don't think much about the world around them and know little of politics. Another philosopher -- Socrates -- once said something similar: "The unexamined life is not worth living". Keith got a blast from one of his readers for speaking so ill of ordinary folk -- a blast that Keith posted up without comment -- by way of a mea culpa, I assume. I can actually see Keith's point of view as well as that of his reader. I am aware of a large gulf between academic types such as myself and the man in the street and I normally have little to do with those with whom I cannot share at least some intellectual or aesthetic interests. I do not however think ill of ordinary people in any way. I admire them for getting by and leading generally decent lives without the intellectual resources that I have. They quite simply need almost all their attention for their day-to-day lives and so cannot afford the luxury of constant reflection that I can. And I am strongly inclined to believe that, in general, a simpler, more basic life leads to greater wisdom and balance than the far flights of fancy one often encounters among intellectuals. I have certainly found that so in my personal life. I find that intelligent working-class girls are far easier to get on with as wives and girlfriends than bourgeois women are. The bourgeois ladies are always getting bothered about little things that don't really matter whereas the working-class women just look at the basics and are delighted to get those right. There is no doubt which group is happier.



A good summary here of the Saudi responsibility for Islamic terrorism and some slight sign that they may be repenting it: "Hopefully, Al-Muqrin's killing is proof that the Saudi regime is at last taking the threat from al-Qaeda seriously. And that the royal House of Saud will stop feeding the monster of Islamic terrorism it has so foolishly created".

America welcomes terrorists: "Do you know how the alleged "shopping-mall" bomber entered our country? He didn't cross the border illegally. He didn't sneak in on a ship. He came through the front door at America's invitation. Nuradin M. Abdi, who was indicted last week for plotting with al Qaeda to blow up an Ohio shopping mall, flew here from Somalia and received bogus "refugee" status... thousands of refugees and asylum seekers who have made flimsy claims of persecution are let loose."

Poverty and South Asian immigrants to the US: Interesting that although the overall rate of poverty among South Asians was high, the rate for Indians was similar to the rate for native-born white Americans. Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh would be the other major South Asian category so they are obviously a disaster as immigrants. That wonderful religion of peace sure is great for all concerned!

This Muslim author at least has the common sense to point out that prejudice against Muslims is not always unreasonable. "the suspicion of Muslims is not always reasonable, it is absolutely understandable. After all, several vile massacres have been committed in our name, however much we reject them. It may not be fair, but a degree of guilt by association is human nature. We must come to terms with this and reclaim our collective reputation from those who would sully it." 50 years after WWII, there is still plenty of everyday prejudice expressed in Australia about Germans and Japanese, indeed it is common to hear anti-Japanese and anti-German statements even from well-educated people. It seems inevitable that until Muslim leaders openly reject their vile brethren and do so without qualifications, or other elastic escape clauses, the dislike of Muslims will continue.



Dick McDonald has a good post on the lies and deceptions in the Clinton book.

Now this really is obscene: The German media are drawing parallels between the Abu Ghraib abuses and the Nazi concentration camps.

Homosexuals CAN change: "Given the will, and skilled therapy, there can be an end to the nightmare of same-sex attraction.... Doom for the tall tale that being gay is like being black, an immutable inborn identity. Doom therefore, in the debate on gay marriage, to false analogies with apartheid and Aborigines, since blacks cannot stop being blacks, but gays can stop being gay.... As to the exact causes of homosexuality, the medical jury is still out. But the baseless claim, promoted by Justice Michael Kirby and others, that gays are just born that way, is given no support by the American Psychiatric Association. Their Fact Sheet on Sexual Orientation (2000) sums it up: "There are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality"... late last year a remarkable research paper was published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour by one of America's senior psychiatrists, Dr Robert Spitzer.... "Although initially sceptical, in the course of the study, the author became convinced of the possibility of change in some gay men and lesbians". Spitzer says: "Mental health professionals should stop moving in the direction of banning therapy that has as its goal a change in sexual orientation"."

Fred Reed on Israel "what exactly do we expect the Israelis to do? I mean, I know they're terrible and all, but they're there. Maybe a better question is what would you do if you were where they are. It's easy to solve problems you don't have from Cleveland.... Thing is, Israel does exist. Should and ought to have don't matter. It's like saying Aunt Penelope shouldn't have married a drunk and had seven feeble-minded kids. But she did. You gotta deal with it.... Build that fool wall. I guess that's what I would do. It's a bad idea and probably won't work, which distinguishes it slightly from bad ideas that certainly won't work".

Boneheaded Leftist "rights" "The government, wanting to empower the tenants on public housing estates, provided tenant workers as their advocates. The tenant workers proclaimed that there was a right to housing and that tenants could not be evicted for non-payment of rent. Rent collections fell catastrophically and the Housing Commission was unable to sustain, let alone expand, its operations. In schools students were proclaimed to have a right to education and it became much more difficult to suspend or expel disruptive students who threatened the quality of education being offered to the rest. In these cases rights spectacularly trumped utility".

For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH and POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Mirror sites here and here


Leftism is more popular with young people than with older people largely because Leftism is itself juvenile: They criticize what they don't understand. Which makes it ironic that "We know best" and "It's for your own good" are the basic Leftist messages. Leftists have never got past the simplistic thinking or the arrogance that are the characteristic limitations of youth

"Created" equal in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence is a religious way of saying that people are NOT equal but start out with the same rights

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