DISSECTING LEFTISM -- MIRROR ARCHIVE  
Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence..

Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts  

The original of this mirror site is HERE. My Blogroll; Archives here or here; My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here. Other mirror sites (viewable in China): Greenie Watch, Political Correctness Watch, Education Watch, Gun Watch, Socialized Medicine, Recipes and Australian Politics. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing)
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31 July, 2006

Majority Rights

For anybody who is wondering what has happened to the "Majority Rights" blog, it is down for technical, not political reasons. Why? From what I gather, it has a "blue-eyed beauty" thread that is both gargantuan (with heaps of graphics) and very active (it has been going for months) and that blows the Bluehost cache. So Bluehost very arrogantly just took the whole blog down.

Update

Now back in action here

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The Virtue of Riches

How wealth makes us more moral -- a few excerpts from here

For many Americans, riches are so disreputable that taking them away is a goal in itself. The left used to offer the misery of the poor as a reason for redistribution, but these days an increase in inequality is just as likely to be the rallying cry for higher taxation.... Even those who think wealth is good (or at least harmless) often implicitly suggest that the pursuit of wealth and the pursuit of moral goals are separate questions. They would do well to read Benjamin Friedman's The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth. The author, a professor of political economy at Harvard, has written an economic tome that is accessible to the average reader without failing to offer something new to specialists as well: a compelling argument that rising incomes make us not just richer people, but better ones.

Friedman's definition of "better" will irritate libertarian-minded readers, who will quarrel with his decision to count support for generous government expenditures among the "moral consequences" of economic growth-or, at least, with his implication that such support is among the positive effects. But most of the consequences he discusses would impress nearly everyone. When earnings are growing, Friedman says, people are more tolerant of minorities, more welcoming to immigrants, more solicitous of their fellow citizens, more supportive of democratic institutions, and just plain better specimens of humanity.

This result is not surprising to anyone who has been around normally rapacious Wall Street bankers at bonus time, but Friedman provides historical evidence for the intuition. In painstaking detail, he outlines the economic history of the United States, Britain, France, and Germany since the industrial revolution. Over and over, he shows that during periods of economic stagnation, societies become more xenophobic, less tolerant of dissent, and more willing to embrace anti-democratic government actions. It is no accident, he argues, that communism and fascism were embraced by countries in economic crisis-or that the Palmer raids and the PATRIOT Act arrived during periods of rising financial insecurity for America's vast bourgeoisie.

Economists have long known that what they call the "wealth effect" can stimulate spending: If people feel richer because the value of their home or stock portfolio has gone up, or because they think their income is likely to rise in the future, they will loosen up and spend more. Friedman suggests that people don't merely become more willing to treat themselves to home entertainment systems and $4 cups of coffee as their wealth grows; they also become more generous to others. "With rising incomes," he says, "more people become willing to donate time and money. And among those who do so, rising incomes also allow people to feel able to do more."

But direct charity is only one of the ways we become more generous. Even more important is the tolerance that growing wealth brings for competition from others. There is a growing recognition that trade is a vastly more effective way to reduce global poverty than foreign aid; even Oxfam, a reliably left-wing nongovernmental organization, has jumped on the free trade bandwagon with a campaign against agricultural subsidies. Better still, trade benefits domestic consumers. Yet progress on that front is nearly impossible unless economic prosperity is rising fast enough to ease the fears of those who are threatened by a more open market....

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ELSEWHERE

The Protocols of Pat Buchanan: "Since the outbreak of the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict, Pat Buchanan and other paleoconservatives have made themselves true exponents of populism: the Jew-baiting, conspiracy-driven demagoguery of 1890s agrarians. In two columns, posted at WorldNetDaily this week, Buchanan accused President Bush of being a puppet of nefarious Jewish warmongers. Outlets of the Hate America Right - especially Paul Craig Roberts and LewRockwell.com - have joined him, and then some. Nothing sets Buchanan's imagination racing like a Bush-backed Israeli war. On Tuesday, Pat asked, "Who is whispering in his ear?" His answer: bloodthirsty Hebrews."

Our taxes at work - for Hezbollah: "The leading news item on the ABC [Australia's public broadcaster] "Insiders" - the updated score of casualties caused by Israeli action in South Lebanon. What about a week by week count of the number of rockets fired into Israel and the resulting casualities, complete with dramatic footage of debris and injured children? Oh dear no, we are just providing a balanced report on the news".

Ahmadinejad orders foreign words out of Persian language: "Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has issued a new order for the Persian language to be purged of foreign words that have crept into everyday usage, the country's language watchdog said on Saturday... He was confirming a report in the Hambestegi newspaper, which said the ultra-nationalist president "has obliged officials to use all cultural means to encourage and educate people to use accurate spoken and written Persian"... In the past, the Persian Academy has coined terms to replace English words such as "helicopter" and "mobile phone". Their new equivalents, already used by state media, are "rotating wings" and "companion phone". But the effort has also triggered many jokes, with one popular sitcom on state television coming up with the term "stretchy bite" as an alternative to "pizza". The first attempt to take the Persian language back to its roots was made under one of Iran's former kings, Reza Pahlavi (1925-1941), who ordered the Academy to find replacements for numerous Arabic words.

The American Left as "crisis cult": "Clinical psychologist Robert Godwin proposes an interesting framework for understanding the increasingly bizarre behavior of the American Left at his very interesting website One Cosmos. Drawing on the work of psychoanalytic anthropologist Weston LaBarre, he posits that the left has become a "crisis cult" such as are found in societies whose bedrock assumptions break down in the face of the superior strength of foreign cultures impinging on their territory... Godwin explains: "...progressives are having to cope with a catastrophic collapse of their world and all of its comforting myths. As each myth crumbles in succession, they become increasingly frantic in papering over reality with the downright strange beliefs of their progressive crisis cult.". Thus come delusional assertions: Bush is an idiot despite degrees from Yale and Harvard; Republicans are questioning the patriotism of Democrats; the monitoring of international phone calls signals the onset of totalitarianism; and (my favorite) Air American founder Sheldon Drobny's assertion that Karl Rove is behind the anti-Semitic posts at Daily Kos. I think it is almost unquestionable that the Left's belief systems have proven incongruent with the real world. Communism didn't work and only survives as a pretext for despotism in North Korea and China. Welfare is a trap, and poor people's lot in America has improved since access to it was term-limited. Higher taxes on "the rich" depress economic growth and throw people out of work. The list could go on..."

N.Y. County law to back up unenforced Federal law: "Any businesses or groups doing business with Suffolk County would be required to submit an annual affidavit affirming that none of their employees are in the U.S. illegally, under a proposal by the county executive. The rule, suggested by County Executive Steve Levy, would be the first of its kind in New York state. Businesses, social service agencies, local governments and any other groups with county contracts would be required to submit the affidavits. The county law would be intended to back up an existing federal statute requiring employers to document that their employees are not in the country illegally. If the proposal was approved, a first violation would carry fines of up to $2,000 and six months in jail. A second violation would come with a fine of up to $2,000 per day for each illegal employee. A third violation would bar the company from any further contracts with the county.

There is a survey here which people who use computers at work may like to have a go at.

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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30 July, 2006

European Regulators Disregard Fairness, Undermine Property Rights (Again) ... While the U.S. Government Remains Silent

The European Commission (EC), in all its zeal to control competition worldwide by targeting successful U.S. corporations, has once again shown its anti-American stripes, disregard for fairness and contempt for intellectual property rights. This week, the EC issued an unprecedented ruling and levied yet another astronomical fine totaling $357 million against Microsoft Corporation for what the Commission said was the U.S. software giant's failure to comply with its 2004 "antitrust" order....

If this were just another ho-hum antitrust case, there would be little cause for alarm. Even if this was just about slapping Microsoft on the hand for some supposed offense, few would take notice. But clearly this case has significant ramifications. Indeed, the EC's latest action is further evidence that it cares for nothing more than controlling worldwide competition, and undermining property rights and the foundation of free-enterprise that is intellectual property.

You see, Microsoft's competitors want access to its valuable source code, which is the core of the company's business, so they can further profit from Microsoft's success by plundering its intellectual property. Failing to acquire free access to the source code, in which Microsoft invested tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars to develop, under the terms of the company's 2001 court-approved settlement with the U.S. government and state plaintiffs, those competitors are now colluding with all-too-willing, power-hungry EC regulators. As the EC's arrogance grows, so does the threat to the U.S. economy. All successful U.S. companies, their employees and consumers worldwide beware!

The long-term impact of the EC's actions is nauseating to consider: It is a simple fact of economics - without private property rights, no incentive to innovate exists. No incentive to innovate, no innovation. No innovation, less jobs. Less jobs, less money for consumers to buy new products -- new products that won't exist because the incentive to innovate is eliminated.

It goes without saying that unchecked power in the hands of unaccountable bureaucrats is the most dangerous threat to individual freedom and free enterprise. Bit by bit they will undoubtedly and mercilessly claim one right after another until competition is eliminated, innovation is crushed, taxes are beyond oppressive and economies become trampled under the feet of unmotivated, apathetic consumers and business owners...

If the EC's unprecedented, self-appointed powers continue unchecked, coupled with its growing anti-American sentiment, no American company -- large or small -- expanding business overseas is safe from the foreign regulatory body's wrath or cynical manipulation.

More here

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ELSEWHERE

Radioblogger has a good chart of the decline in the circulation of the L.A. Times. I wonder when the morons who own the paper will realize that turning your paper in a propaganda sheet is not good for business. Rupert Murdoch has been so successful in part because he realizes that BALANCE is good for business.

Just the title of the following book would seem to recommend it: "The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat"

What's wrong with the Democrats?: "The Democrats' fundamental weakness is that even after four decades of their strenuously celebrating the moral supremacy of every organized minority, our political system remains, more or less, one of majority rule. It's hard to win a majority if you don't personally want to be part of the majority because your ego centers around visualizing yourself as better than the average American. If you don't like the American majority, either in principle or in person, the majority won't like you. The GOP, in contrast, presents itself as the party of normal American voters, whose demographic transformation lags decades behind the raw population totals."

Troubles of transition: "To get a good sense of the practical consequences of socialist economies, whatever the new label they have been given, it would be valuable for proponents to get a close look at what has happened in the former Soviet bloc countries. Even though nearly two decades have passed since the Soviet system has collapsed, the signs of socialism are everywhere. That's in part because these societies have not yet managed to generate the wealth that would be required so as to replace all the horrible leftovers of the socialist system with what a free and prosperous country can produce. Rows of dilapidated apartment houses, factory buildings, government offices, schools and the like are strewn across these countries with little evidence that purging them soon is very likely. After all, even though the Draconian type socialist planned economy is now part of the miserable past in most of these places, a robust recovery has not yet taken place, so that people, companies, and communities could afford to get rid of the remains of the socialist era."

San Francisco acts against graffiti: "Carlos Romero left his spray-painted graffiti marks around San Francisco for years, tagging everything from fences and walls to street signs and trash cans with such monikers as CREAM and QUESO (which in Spanish means cheese).... San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced Monday that his office obtained a civil injunction and $20,000 in financial penalties against Romero, whom Herrera called "one of San Francisco's most prolific graffiti vandals." The case marks the first time the city has filed a civil lawsuit against a graffiti tagger. "We want to send a message to vandals that we are going to do whatever it takes to go after them," Herrera said... Earlier this month, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced a new effort to streamline the city's efforts to clean up graffiti by centralizing all removal and abatement through the city's Department of Public Works, rather than having several city departments respond to the problem. The hope is that public property will be cleaned more quickly. Newsom also earmarked $475,000 in his 2006 proposed budget to help pay for the new plan. As for Romero, officials are confident he won't strike again. In a news release announcing the settlement, Herrera even called the young man, who still lives with his mother, a "reformed tagger." He has a day job at the Pottery Barn that could help cover the costs."

In case you have not seen it already, there is a great video link here to a powerful attack on Islamic "civilization" that originally aired on Al Jazeera television. The female speaker is Wafa Sultan, an Syrian-Arab psychiatrist now living in Los Angeles.

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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29 July, 2006

THE POISONOUS BRITISH CHATTERING CLASSES

Below are some excerpts from a recent article by Melanie Phillips. It may be noted that the prewar equivalents of today's British chattering classes overwhelmingly supported Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler. Their desperation to appear wiser than the common people cuts them off from all political reality

There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that the cumulative effect of the BBC's poisonous distortions is to incite hatred of Israel in anyone who knows little about the region and is exposed for long enough to its TV and radio bulletins. The impact this is having on the general population is bad enough. The likely effect on those Muslims who are already prone to a hysterical sense of grievance against Israel and the Jews as a result of the propaganda pouring out of the Arab and Muslim world - and who believe that the BBC is to be trusted, heaven help us, as the voice of truth and objectivity - cannot be exaggerated in its potential for fomenting yet further evil. The BBC has now become one of the most potent weapons of the enemies of civilisation. It is the most prominent cultural symbol of a society that has turned upon itself and is hell-bent on committing collective suicide.......

In Britain, rampant anti-Americanism and hatred of Israel prevent many from understanding just what is at stake in the Lebanon crisis. But something is nevertheless shifting in Britain. There are now two reactions running simultaneously alongside each other. On the one hand, hatred of Israel - particularly among the educated classes -has reached an unprecedented pitch of hysterical distortion, even by the degraded standards of the past six dismaying years. But on the other hand, a heartening number of citizens who are neither Jews nor evangelical Christians - until now, the only constituencies which have defended Israel against the collective libels and scapegoating- are now saying that they support Israel in this great battle, that they understand very well that it is the front line against an Islamic threat that menaces all of us, and that they are astounded by the savage distortions of the BBC and other media.

A small anecdote from today illustrates a trend which I had been noticing since the current crisis developed. On a bus in London, I was accosted by a middle-aged, West Indian gentleman on the adjacent seat. Recognising me, he congratulated me warmly on what I had been writing about Israel. He had wanted to attend last weekend's Israel solidarity demonstration organised by the Board of Deputies but had been unable to find where it was being held. But friends of his had attended and shown him photographs they had taken of the event.

`What no-one has reported', he said, `was that there were many black people, Sikhs and Hindus at that demonstration because we all understand what is at stake here. We all realise that what Israel is fighting is Islamic terrorism, and that this threatens Jews, Christians and all of us. We local people all get it. What I can't understand is all this stuff about Israel being `disproportionate'. Why don't those people understand what is going on here?'

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ELSEWHERE



Leftism as cowardice: "Earlier this month, the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet published a cartoon which depicted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a Nazi. Political cartoonist Finn Graff apparently saw fit to compare Olmert to SS Major Amon Goeth. Goeth, who ran the Plaszow death camp in Poland and was hanged in 1946, shoots at random Jews from the balcony of his villa in a scene in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List. In Graff's cartoon, a shirtless Olmert smiles on a balcony while gripping a rifle. The message that the Jewish state is the new Nazi state couldn't be clearer. But the truth is that radical Islam, not the democratic Israel, is what really scares Graff. He explained in an interview that he does not draw pictures mocking Muhammad because of his fear for Muslims and "out of respect." Apparently it's because he doesn't fear Jews that Graff finds it acceptable to treat them with such venom."

Anti-defence Democrats: ""Some Democrats are still trying to strangle the [missile-defense] program. In the House, John Tierney of Massachusetts this year proposed cutting the Pentagon's missile-defense budget by more than half. His amendment was defeated on the House floor, but it won the support of more than half of his Democratic colleagues, including would-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Meanwhile in the Senate, Carl Levin offered in June to cut off funds for the ground-based interceptor program that Mr. Bush recently activated in Alaska in anticipation of the North Korean launch. Mr. Levin wants to stop new interceptors from being built, but Senate Republicans wouldn't bring his proposal up for a vote. Mr. Levin has been waging his own private war against missile defenses for a generation, to the point of outflanking Russian objections on the political left. No missile defense is perfect, but even our current rudimentary shield has proven to be strategically useful these past few weeks. The Navy had at least one ship-based Aegis missile-defense system deployed off the Korean coast, with a potential to shoot down a North Korean missile. The Aegis cruisers have successfully shot down missiles in seven of eight tests in recent years... The U.S. is also dispatching PAC-3s, a more sophisticated version of the Patriot anti-missile system, to Japan. This kind of capability adds to the credibility of the U.S. deterrent, reassures allies and enhances American influence. Virtually none of this would exist had Democrats succeeded over the years in their many attempts to kill missile defenses."

Appalling attack on liberty postponed: "A judge ruled Tuesday that a 16-year-old cancer patient who has refused conventional medical treatment does not have to report to a hospital as previously ordered and scheduled a trial to settle the dispute. Starchild Abraham Cherrix, who is battling Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system, refused a second round of chemotherapy when he learned early this year that the cancer had returned. Abraham chose to instead go on a sugar-free, organic diet and take herbal supplements under the supervision of a clinic in Mexico. A social worker asked a juvenile court judge to require the teen to continue conventional treatment, and the judge on Friday ordered Abraham to report to a hospital Tuesday. But Accomack County Circuit Court Judge Glen A. Tyler suspended the judge's order. 'I feel free today. I was let off the leash,' Abraham said after Tyler agreed to a stay and set a trial date of Aug. 16."

Blair spurns Froggy wine: "Tony Blair has snubbed Gallic pride and risked further straining his relationship with President Chirac by turning his nose up at a series of personal gifts of finest French wine. Four times in the past year M Chirac, who has clashed with Mr Blair over issues ranging from the Iraq war to the proposed European constitution, sent wine to Downing Street. On each occasion Mr Blair, a keen connoisseur of good wine, turned down the chance to acquire the bottles. According to the Cabinet Office, the four consignments of wine are still "held by the Prime Minister's office". Downing Street refused yesterday to discuss the type or vintage of the wine or to say what would happen to it."

What a delightfully bitchy headline: "The National Organization for Women celebrates its 40th birthday. Its wrinkles are starting to show".

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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28 July, 2006

MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY BELOW

By Spanish writer Sebastian Villar Rodriguez

I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth - Europe died in Auschwitz. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world. The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.

And under the pretence of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride. They have turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.

And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition. We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs. What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe. [Or at least by its many antisemites, of whom Nazis were only one manifestation]

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ELSEWHERE

There is an amusing "Guardian" article by a British Muslim which says that the white British underclass target Muslims out of jealousy of Muslim economic success. I have no doubt that the white dregs DO target Muslims as scapegoats for their own problems but that Muslim "success" makes them scapegoats is a laugh. Muslims are one of Britain's economic failure groups. Could the fact that many Muslims either perpetrate or celebrate the bombing and beheading of whites make them scapegoats? That possibility does not seem to have occurred to the typically blind Muslim writer of the article or to the typically deceitful Leftist editors who printed the article.

Given my Presbyterian origins, I scorn gambling, but I wholeheartedly agree with Walter Williams that the upcoming attempt by Congress to ban internet gambling is truly disgusting. Not only will it get the claws of politicians into the internet but it will also go a long way towards making the USA as big a "Nanny State" as Britain. What people do with their own money in their own time should be no business of politicians as long as no-one else is harmed. And if someone else IS harmed in some way, it is that harm which should be targeted, not similar non-harmful activity by others.



Thuggish union attack on Wal Mart in Chicago: "An influential alderman accused organized labor on Tuesday of using political threats to muscle aldermen into supporting wage and benefit standards for Wal-Mart and other giant retailers... Last week, the City Council's Finance Committee voted 15 to 6 to make Chicago the nation's first major city to mandate wage and benefit standards for Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers. The vote was a big victory for organized labor, a major blow to Wal-Mart's 20-store Chicago expansion plan and the latest legislative defeat for Mayor Daley.... Stone said he has little hope of getting through to his colleagues now that union leaders have flexed their political muscle. "The unions have backed aldermen against the wall. They've threatened to fund opponents against them and to solicit opponents to run against" those who dare to oppose the big-box ordinance, Stone said. "I'm not stupid. I know certain aldermen have been threatened. That's the type of campaign the unions have run. I think it's despicable what's been done. They figure they've got us by the short hairs."

Arabs ambivalent: "The current round of hostilities between Israel and its enemies differs from prior ones in that it's not an Arab-Israeli war, but one that pits Iran and its Islamist proxies, Hamas and Hizbullah, against Israel. This points, first, to the increasing power of radical Islam. When Israeli forces last confronted, on this scale, a terrorist group in Lebanon in 1982, they fought the Palestine Liberation Organization, a nationalist-leftist organization backed by the Soviet Union and the Arab states. Now, Hizbullah seeks to apply Islamic law and to eliminate Israel through jihad, with the Islamic Republic of Iran looming in the background, feverishly building nuclear weapons. Non-Islamist Arabs and Muslims find themselves sidelined. Fear of Islamist advances - whether subversion in their own countries or aggression from Tehran - finds them facing roughly the same demons as does Israel. As a result, their reflexive anti-Zionist response has been held in check. However fleetingly, what The Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh calls "an anti-Hizbullah coalition," one implicitly favorable to Israel, has come into existence. It began on July 13 with a startling Saudi statement condemning "rash adventures" that created "a gravely dangerous situation"."

The Bush tax cuts at work: "In the past 33 months the size of America's entire economy has increased by 20 percent -- or, as National Review Online's Larry Kudlow put it, "In less than three years, the U.S. economic pie has expanded by $2.2 trillion, an output add-on that is roughly the same size as the total Chinese economy." In the 2 1/4 years before the 2003 tax cuts, economic growth averaged 1.1 percent annually; in the three years since it has averaged 4 percent per year"

Abortionist hypocrisy: "Imagine the head of the largest chain of abortion clinics, promoting abortions for "profit" unable to speak about her own abortion. You would think she would consider herself the poster child for abortion. If aborting a baby is such a good thing, that you have 175 clinics that aborted 255,000 babies last year, you would be proud to discuss the aborting of your own baby--as an example of how easy it it, how there is no emotional distress to the procedure, that abortion is as natural as living an breathing yourself. Yet, the new president of Planned Parenthood can not bring herself to discuss it. Why?"

Iranians in Lebanon: "The bodies of Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers killed by the Israeli army in Lebanon have been transported to Syria and flown to Tehran, senior Lebanese political sources said. Israeli and Egyptian security officials confirmed the news, which follows a report that first appeared in The New York Sun, that Iranian forces posted to southern Lebanon have been aiding Hezbollah terrorists in their attacks against Israel, including helping to fire rockets into Israeli population centers."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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27 July, 2006

AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION POLICY THAT MIGHT WORK

And be acceptable politically

Border Patrol agents I spoke with were reluctant to be quoted on the record, but all agreed that a comprehensive solution that combines more and better border enforcement with a well-designed guest-worker program is necessary if real progress is going to be made. "We need to enforce employer sanctions at the same time we give employers a legal path to fill the jobs they must have workers for," one agent told me. A retired agent points to the Bracero ("strong arms" in Spanish) guest-worker visa program, which until 1964 brought millions of Mexican workers north to work in the agriculture, construction and service industries.

The Bracero program was a response to an immigration crisis that peaked in 1954 when arrests of illegal aliens topped the one million mark. Uner the Bracero program, some 300,000 Mexican workers entered the U.S. legally every year. The results were dramatic. By 1959 arrests of illegal aliens had fallen to 45,000 a year; they remained under 100,000 until 1964.

But the Bracero program fell victim to opposition from labor union leaders who viewed the program as competition for their members. In 1964 they convinced President Lyndon Johnson to end the program. With its demise the problem of illegal immigration returned. By 1976, apprehensions were up to 876,000. They have increased most years since then, reaching the current level of 1.2 million annual arrests.

Border agents tell me they could most effectively do their job and contain the spreading corruption within their ranks is if they didn't have to chase down people coming here to work and instead could focus their resources on catching gang members and terrorists. Support is building for a rational middle ground on immigration proposed by Rep. Mike Pence, chairman of the House Republican Study Committee. It would have the U.S. government contract with private employment agencies such as Kelly Services to establish offices called Ellis Island Centers in countries that today supply the most illegal alien labor.

"It would encourage illegal aliens to self-deport and come back legally as guest workers," says Mr. Pence. "They would benefit from no longer living in fear or in the shadows of life and they could return home for visits. And since employers who hired anyone without such a visa would face stiff fines, it would make it increasingly difficult over time for those who weren't legal guest workers to get jobs." A lot of complications need to be worked out, but the Pence approach recognizes the reality that border enforcement can work only if the pressure is reduced by providing a legal path for workers that recognizes the demands of our economy. It worked a half century ago with the Bracero program. Despite a tripling of resources and personnel on the border over the last decade, advocates of enforcement-only have yet to show that their approach can work in the real world.

More here

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Brookes News Update

US economy: Why Wall Street keeps getting it wrong: Whenever the economy slows slowdown or contracts Wall Street immediately targets consumer spending as the culprit. When the US economy booms, consumer spending is applauded as the saviour. The result is that eyeing consumer spending means that other trends are either misunderstood or largely ignored
Oil prices and Anatole Kaletsky's absurd Keynesian fallacies: Like all Keynesians - vulgar or otherwise - Anatole Kaletsky associates recessions with demand deficiency, i.e., lack of consumer purchasing power
The horror of Saddam's mass graves: A staggering 5 million people were murdered during the Baath era alone. Those murdered by the Saddam regime were brutally killed because they stood for an agenda, an agenda to have peace and exercise their right to freedom of religion. And who did the freedom-loving left support? Saddam, of course
New York Times is sponsoring US defeat in War on Terror: The US is in the middle of a war on terror or more appropriately described as a War between Islam and the Free World. And what do we get from paper of record, the New York Times? Treason
US economy and recession: theory and counter theory: When manufacturing was sinking 2000 and the US economy along with it the causes of the oncoming recession were still being hotly debated in some quarters, with very few focusing their attention on monetary factors

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An interesting email from a reader: "I am a Harvard University student. I just thought you might be interested in the fact that Harvard University allows a "same-sex domestic partner" to be added as a dependent to a student's health insurance policy while a heterosexual domestic partner may not be. Many people's first reaction is that this is only fair since heterosexual married couples are entitled to the same benefits . . . But they forget, MA was the first state to legalize same-sex marriagesl; so a special clause for unmarried same-sex domestic partners should be unncessary. In a word, homosexuals may add their partner to their policy whether they are married or not . . . a blatantly discriminatory policy. Now, I personally do not believe that unmarried heterosexual partners should be eligible either, but this pro-homosexual discrepancy really irks me. The document that lays out the rules for adding dependents can be accessed online here (PDF). The main site can be found here"

It's rather terrifying how brainless U.S. Presidential candidates can be. Taranto notes how former Democrat candidate Dukakis says in the NYT (where else?) that America should raise the legal minimum wage as a way of stopping illegal immigration. As Taranto points out, that would have the opposite effect to what Dukakis apparently intends. It would push even MORE Americans out of jobs and give those jobs to illegals. That making some rates of pay illegal gives the jobs concerned to illegals is apparently too deep for Dukakis to grasp.

U.K. Immigration controls: Their hearts are not in it: "Full passport checks on the millions of people entering and leaving Britain each year will not be in place for at least eight years, the Government announced yesterday. The reimposition of passport checks on people leaving Britain is a key part of John Reid’s strategy, announced yesterday, to restore confidence in migration policy. The checks are key to knowing how many failed asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants are in the country. Initially, checks will be done on high-risk routes before being extended gradually to include all travellers entering and leaving the country. Mr Reid said: “We will extend exit controls in stages based on risk, identify who overstays and count everyone in and out, while avoiding delays to travellers, by 2014".

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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26 July, 2006

LAKOFF REVISITED

The Guru of the American far Left would have to be Noam Chomsky, and, like most gurus, he makes a good thing out of it. But he is marginal to mainstream politics. For the American mainstream Left at the moment, the guru seems to be none other than the hilarious George Lakoff. Lakoff has hitched his wagon to a rather wacky idea that even a few conservatives fasten on to at times: The idea that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. How GWB and John Kerry split the female vote roughly 50/50 in the last presidential race, such people never seem to explain. And that Joe Stalin sure was a motherly, feminine character wasn't he?

I think you could make a case that the conservative concern for the individual makes conservatives more motherly but the whole debate takes place in a fact-free universe so is not really worth having. For what it's worth, however, I have put together a more extended look at Lakoff's claims here.

What prompted this post is that Lakoff has recently written a book in which he purports to tell Leftists how to win elections and there is a good review of it here. What the review points out is that Lakoff is openly advocating the twisting of language. One would have thought that the Leftists who have renamed racial discrimination as "affirmative action" and killing babies as being "pro-choice", would hardly need to be taught that lesson! Long ago, however, Orwell warned us about the Leftist twisting of language to mean the opposite of what it appears to say so Lakoff is nothing new. That Lakoff is openly advocating what Orwell satirized is however a sad testimony to his personal self-absorption and the general Leftist inability to learn from history.

Speaking of history, one of Lakoff's central proposals is to redefine "freedom" to mean more or less its opposite. Who does that remind you of? It reminds me of an essay called "The Nature of Spirit" by G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831). Hegel's basic idea there was also to redefine "freedom" to mean its opposite. See here (or here). Hegel was of course the inspiration of Karl Marx.

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Good one!: "There is an ill-advised and troublesome effort calling for total or selective divestment from corporations that do business with Israel, and to pressure others, such as Caterpillar Inc., to stop selling products to Israel. Preying on the emotions of well-meaning individuals who think that they are contributing to peace, these divestment campaigns coincides with other efforts which seek to undermine Israel's self-defense, its economy and its legitimacy, and to pressure Israel to make concessions during peace negotiations with the Palestinians. It is time to make it clear that these tactics will not work," Miller said... Miller announced that the American Jewish Congress is launching a coordinated effort in opposition to the divestment campaign and to support Israel's economy overall. These include the following steps: AJ Congress has bought shares of Caterpillar stock and will urge Caterpillar directors and officers to refuse to buckle under pressure; it will use its shares to oppose a shareholder resolution opposing equipment sales to Israel or any entity of the Israeli government... AJ Congress will seek pledges of investment in all companies targeted for divestment, and launch a series of advertisements in financial publications urging investment.

Israel's War: Judged By the Hour: "I'm confused. How long have we been lingering in Iraq? Three years? Four? And how many people are dying, not to mention the trillions of US tax dollars going towards funding this war? Hey, I am not complaining. The extreme Islamists in Iraq are bad guys, who are a threat to their region and the world, and I support our troops, who are doing their best to prevent Islamist expansion beyond that region, and to protect us at home. Yet, there is no outcry to remove forces immediately or rush to United Nation's resolutions. However, just when you would think the Los Angeles Times and their biased ilk could not get any worse, sure enough they prove us wrong.... can someone tell me why, when Israel, after finally reaching her breaking point and no longer able to tolerate the continued Hamas and Hezbollah missile attacks, using Iranian katyusha and other long-range rockets, moves to protect herself, as any sovereign country has a right and duty to do, world opinion is already rushing in to protect the terrorists?"

Arafat got a "peace" Nobel too: "Nobel peace laureate Betty Williams displayed a flash of her feisty Irish spirit yesterday, lashing out at US President George W.Bush during a speech to hundreds of schoolchildren. Campaigning on the rights of young people at the Earth Dialogues forum, being held in Brisbane, Ms Williams spoke passionately about the deaths of innocent children during wartime, particularly in the Middle East, and lambasted Mr Bush. "I have a very hard time with this word 'non-violence', because I don't believe that I am non-violent," said Ms Williams, 64. "Right now, I would love to kill George Bush."

"Three strikes and you're out" is working: "Fear of crime -- once an obsession -- appears to have faded as a major concern for Californians, and for good reason. The state Department of Justice reported recently that the number of violent crimes committed in California dropped from nearly 350,000 in 1992 to well under 200,000 last year, and when population growth is included, the actual violent crime rate is just half of what it was then. There's been a similar, if slightly less dramatic, drop in property crimes. [Locking crooks up for longer reduces crime -- How surprising!]

Old-fashioned France: "Britons who buy a home in France are more likely to be retired local government officers from northern England than wealthy advertising executives from the South East. The typical couple are aged over 50, on a moderate income, and are in search of a land they believe resembles Britain 50 years ago. Those are among the findings of the most comprehensive study of families planning to join the estimated 500,000 or so British home-owners in France. The wealthy upper-class Britons who first settled in the Dordogne three decades ago have given way to the middle classes. French village mayors complain that many spend all their money on their new home and then live off generous French social security... An overwhelming majority wanted to live in the French countryside, which they defined as similar to their vision of 1950s Britain. They hoped to find small, traditional communities where everyone knew each other, where human relations were pleasant, where the pace of life was relaxed and where there was a baker, a cafe and a church."

European inertia at work: "Europeans are taking the concept of driving under the influence to a whole new level. With increasing competition at all but the highest levels of the market from the so-called New World winemakers--notably Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Chile--the European Union's notorious lake of surplus wine is turning into an inland sea, and government subsidies of around $630 million a year are encouraging vintners to transform their unsold plonk into industrial alcohol and even automobile fuel. This year, nearly a billion bottles' worth of French and Italian wine are expected to meet that ignominious end."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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25 July, 2006

Why do racist belief systems persist?

British-born Harvard history Professor Niall Ferguson makes a game attempt to answer the above question here. Some of the factors he mentions are a bit speculative but, all things considered, he goes about as far as political correctness allows. I however am a retired academic and seek no fame or acclaim in academic circles so I can point out what academics would politely call some of the "lacunae" in Ferguson's article.

He stumbles at the first hurdle, in fact. He commences by trotting out the hoary but absurd argument that the PERCENTAGE of genes we share with other races or other species matters. Because whites share lots of genes with blacks (or with chimpanzees, for that matter), he leaps into the complete non-sequitur that genetic differences between races are unimportant. Yet anybody who knows the slightest thing about genetic illnesses knows that just ONE defective gene can make a vast difference in how well an individual functions. And races all differ by many more than one gene. It is WHICH genes you share (or do not share) that matters, not how many of them you share.

So blinkered old Fergie misses out the obvious answer to his question. The answer to the question "Why do racist belief systems persist?" is that they persist because races REALLY ARE systematically different. Around a hundred years of IQ research have certainly shown that -- and IQ differences are very wide-ranging in their effects. And IQ is just the start of the differences that can be genetically inherited. Note for instance the way the anti-heredity psychologist Jerome Kagan was dragged kicking and screaming by his own findings into acknowledging inborn personality differences between Han Chinese and white children.

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Good to hear: "The US is quietly rushing a shipment of precision bombs to Israel in response to a request made after the Jewish state began a bombing campaign on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon. The decision to speed up delivery of the arms -- part of a billion-dollar deal signed by the allies last year -- was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, according to The New York Times... Israel's request for rush delivery of the satellite- and laser-guided bombs was described as unusual by some military officers and as an indication that Israel still had a long list of targets in Lebanon to strike, the Times noted. The US official refused to describe in detail the size and contents of the shipment but confirmed that they included precision-guided bombs. An arms-sale package approved last year authorises Israel to buy from the US as many as 100 GBU-28s, which are 2268kg laser-guided bombs intended to destroy concrete bunkers. Israel has already used huge bombs to attempt to destroy the Beirut bunker of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah without succeeding in eliminating the Shia militia chief. A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Washington told the Times: "We have been using precision-guided munitions in order to neutralise the military capabilities of Hezbollah and to minimise harm to civilians."

Britain condones forced marriages: "The lives of young women might be ruined by the Government's failure to make forced marriages illegal, a senior police officer has warned. Commander Steve Allen of the Metropolitan Police said that a decision by ministers last month to drop proposed legislation had been greeted by some ethnic minorities as a signal that forced marriage was acceptable. His concern about the about-turn, which was partly prompted by fears that the new law would stigmatise Muslims, is shared by a Crown Prosecution Service director and the head of Scotland Yard's Homicide Prevention Unit. The head of a South Asian women's charity said yesterday that girls were already suffering the consequences of the decision."

Shuffling the illegal immigration deckchairs in Britain: "A uniformed border control force is going to be introduced at airports and ports in an attempt to tackle the illegal immigration crisis. The force will be made up of existing immigration and passport control officers who patrol ports of entry in plain clothes, along with the staff who implement the removal of illegal immigrants. John Reid, the Home Secretary, will announce plans for the new force this week, saying that he believes a highly visible presence will act as a deterrent. He will also announce final plans to reform the heavily criticised Immigration and Nationality Directorate, which will see its budget doubled to 280 million pounds by 2010. The cash will be spent on extra staff for the new force and more raids on businesses suspected of hiring illegal immigrants. The Conservatives condemned the move as a stunt. David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, said: "This is a cosmetic gimmick designed to persuade the public that action is being taken when the necessary serious action is being baulked at."

Illegals still flock to the only part of Africa with a substantial white population: "Darkness falls early and swiftly over the Limpopo River, marking the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Each night it also brings hope to dozens of impoverished Zimbabweans who emerge from thick bushes along its banks, slip into crocodile-infested waters and slowly wade across to the other side in search of a better life. In recent months, as President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe has teetered close to economic collapse, the steady stream of illegal immigrants has turned into a torrent that the South African authorities are struggling to contain. South Africa deports about 265 Zimbabweans a day. Countless more slip through undetected or simply wait a day or two before trying again and, more often than not, succeeding. More than 51,000 illegal Zimbabwean immigrants were deported between January and June this year, the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times newspaper reported yesterday. "Last year, 97,433 Zimbabweans were deported compared with 72,112 in 2004 . . . as floods of people fled economic collapse," the paper said."

The pesky facts about tax cuts: "Remember the folks who said the tax cuts would 'blow a hole in the deficit?' Well, revenues as a share of the economy are now expected to rise this year to 18.3%, slightly above the modern historical average of 18.2%. The remaining budget deficit of a little under $300 billion will be about 2.3% of GDP, which is smaller than in 17 of the previous 25 years. Throw in the surpluses rolling into the states, and the overall U.S. 'fiscal deficit' is now economically trivial. This would all seem to be good news, but some folks are never happy. The same crowd that said the tax cuts wouldn't work, and predicted fiscal doom, are now harrumphing that the revenues reflect a windfall for 'the rich.' We suppose that's right if by rich they mean the millions of Americans moving into higher tax brackets because their paychecks are increasing. Individual income tax payments are up 14.1% this year, and 'nonwithheld' individual tax payments (reflecting capital gains, among other things) are up 20%. Because of the tax cuts, the still highly progressive U.S. tax code is soaking the rich. Since when do liberals object to a windfall for the government?... As for the 2003 tax cuts, the current revenue boom is one more argument for making them permanent. They are now set to expire in 2010, and, even if they are extended, federal revenues will continue to climb as a share of GDP as more taxpayers earn higher incomes and move into higher tax brackets. If liberal Democrats are really determined to soak the rich-and we don't doubt it for a second-they'll also vote to make the tax cuts permanent."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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24 July, 2006

SOME INTERESTING CONFERENCE NOTES FROM STEPHEN FRANK

Saturday afternoon we heard U.S. Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma speak. He noted that by 2016, 80% of the Federal budget will go towards Social Security, Medicare and Interest payments. Imagine, no money for roads, parks, salaries, education, or defense. So far, according to the Senator few in D.C. seem to care. Coburn then went on to quote William Wallace in Braveheart, "People follow strength, they don't follow kindness."....

Then the Senator noted that years ago Congressman Barney Frank passed an amendment that stated that being a terrorist does not automatically disqualify you from coming to the United States. (Frank is absolutely no relation to me) This is an example of how the Democrats try to allow anyone into this nation, regardless of how dangerous. Remember it was the Democrats that held fund raisers for the Irish terrorist organization Sinn Fein. In 1994, the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, appointed by President Clinton was Jean Kennedy Smith, the sister of Senator Ted Kennedy. March 9, 1996 the L.A. Times said this: "In 1994 she recommended issuing an American visa to Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, without requiring him first to renounce violence." Support of terrorists seem to be a trait of Democrats.

Because he is a doctor, he also talked about the cost of health care. In his home state of Oklahoma the cost of health insurance for a healthy person is $1200 per year. The same policy, in New Jersey is $5900. The difference? In New Jersey they have 155 mandates, procedures or protocols or medicines that must be included in the health care package. He did not mention it, but in California the Catholic Church must include contraceptive coverage for Nuns! I understand in California we may have close to 100 mandates for inclusion in health care insurance coverage.....

But, if you want o hear about a tragedy, listen to what happened in Providence, Rhode Island! Several years ago, they created 4 charter schools, each has become among the top rated schools in the city. So what did the unions do? They got the City Council to put a moratorium on the creation of any new charter schools. And, where did they stop proposed new charter schools? In minorities areas, where the schools are perpetual failures to minority children. In other words white liberals have stuck children of color in failed schools! Isn't this the definition of bigotry? On the east side of Providence, one area has 2200 kids eligible to be in K-12. But, the Republican candidate for Mayor, Dave Talan, noted that only 60 of them actually go to public schools. This is a rich area, so the families get the best education they can buy. Of course, almost no kids on the south side go to private schools, this is the minority area of the city. Private schools which rate academically higher that the public schools in the area, cost on the average of $4,000 per student per year. Public schools cost $12,000. In a district of 36,000 students, over 8,000 have left for either private schools or charter schools--more would leave if they could afford it....

Excerpts from here

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Welfare and values: "The political Left is fundamentally driven by a belief that human nature is malleable responding to social conditions. People are criminals because they are victims. People have poor work habits because they are victims. The blame rests with 'social conditions' and if we throw enough money at the victims we'll solve the problems. The more money you throw at the victims the better things will become. And, of course, if you reduce such 'social' spending you'll make things worse. But what if this theory is wrong?"

How welfare reform changed America: "The law signed by President Clinton on Aug. 22, 1996, has transformed the way the nation helps its neediest citizens. Gone is the promise of a government check for parents raising children in poverty. In its place are 50 state programs to help those parents get jobs. In the 12 years since caseloads peaked at 5.1 million families in 1994, millions have left the welfare rolls for low-paying jobs. Nearly 1 million more have been kicked off for not following states' rules or have used up all the benefits they're allowed under time limits. Today, 1.9 million families get cash benefits; in one-third of them, only the children qualify for aid. About 38% of those still on welfare are black, 33% white and 24% Hispanic."

Venezuela and human rights: "With surprising frankness, Venezuela's deputy minister of foreign affairs, Mari Pili Hernandez, recently set out the guidelines for her government's views on the subject of human rights. Appearing before the new Council on Human Rights at the United Nations, Hernandez, who is directly connected with President Hugo Chavez himself, stated, 'All rights are important, but it is a lot more important to feed oneself than to be part of a political party, to have an honorable job than to live in a democratic system, to know how to read and write than to have freedom of expression.' As if any doubt remained about the meaning of her words, the Venezuelan representative added that the 'economic and social' rights should play a 'predominant role' over the 'civilian and political' rights during the Council's debates. The ideas of the deputy minister, which represent the official position of the Venezuelan government, reflect the same views of totalitarian states that have darkened most of the 20th Century."

Boston's "Big Dig": "The Big Dig is indeed a monument to O'Neill. It captures perfectly the costly big-government sloppiness for which he was the poster child. Only in the public sector, where market discipline is nonexistent and financial losses are the taxpayer's problem, would such mismanagement be tolerated for so long. Only in the public sector, where political considerations far outweigh the bottom line, and where consumer satisfaction carries little weight, is such shoddiness and lack of oversight routine. In the private sector, incompetent performance generally means lost business, reduced earnings, or even bankruptcy. Only in the public sector -- under Democrats and Republicans both -- are negligence and failure commonly rewarded with ever-increasing budgets."

Union lies penalized: "A Placer Superior Court jury has awarded the Sutter Health hospital chain $17.2 million in compensatory damages in a defamation suit against a labor union that accused the hospital of using soiled linens in its maternity wards. The jury's decision, if upheld, is one of the highest ever awarded against a labor union in the United States, and could cripple the finances of UNITE Here, a national union of about 450,000 workers in hotels, industrial laundries and apparel manufacturing. "We are pleased that the union leaders are being held legally responsible for their reckless behavior," said Karen Garner, a spokeswoman for Sutter Health"

Fans of the classic British comedy "Fawlty Towers" may be interested to know that the real-life hotel the series was based on is still there and just about as bad as ever. Details here

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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23 July, 2006



Marvellous what a dose of their own medicine does: "Militants in the Gaza Strip have reportedly agreed to stop firing rockets into Israel. Senior Palestinian officials have been quoted saying militant groups in Gaza have agreed to a unilateral cease-fire. They have been battling Israeli troops for more than three weeks. Hundreds of homemade rockets have been fired into Israel and the Israeli military has launched daily attacks into Gaza in a bid to secure the release of kidnapped soldier Corporal Gihad Shalit."



The war against Israel

An excerpt from Melanie Phillips

It was said by Holocaust survivors that what provoked in them the most intense despair, to the point where some attempted suicide, was not the infernal depredations to which they had been subject by their Nazi exterminators but the subsequent indifference and rank disbelief of a world which refused to face up to the enormity of what had happened and, in varying ways, sought to deny it. The survivors bore witness to a terrible truth, but no-one believed them. They spoke, but no-one heard.

This weekend, as rockets continue to rain down on northern Israel, there is a rash of demonstrations around Britain against Israel. Not against the genocidal warmongers of Syria and Iran, but against their victim, Israel. Not against Hezbollah, whose rockets are tipped with ball bearings in order to murder and maim as many innocents as possible, but against Israel for waging a war of self defence in which, as in all wars, civilians tragically will lose their lives. Even though Israel, unlike Hezbollah, is delivering repeated warnings to those civilians in advance of its attacks in order to minimise the loss of innocent life whereas the aim of Hezbollah and Hamas is to maximise their murder rate, it is Israel, not Hamas and Hezbollah, which stands condemned in too much of Britain - and as this war grinds on and the casualty rate in Lebanon mounts, such condemnation will surely only increase.

It is Israel, the target of annihilatory attack, which is seen as the guilty party. It is Israel, struggling to defend itself - which it may well not succeed in doing - (so much for its supposedly mythic power, one of the principal motifs of anti-Israel feeling) which is being demonised as brutal and violent, overreacting and at fault. It is Hezbollah which has hidden its rockets in the basements of Lebanon's apartment buildings, thus using the population of Lebanon as a collective human shield (as Hamas has done in Gaza) behind which it can pursue its murderous purpose against Israel. But it is Israel which is blamed for razing the `Paris of the Levant'.

Much has been made of the loss of Lebanon's tourism industry. The loss of Israel's tourism industry is not even mentioned. Israelis across the north of the country - some quarter of the population - are virtually living in bomb shelters and their casualty count is rising....

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Is this the ultimate in dreamy Leftist self-delusion? A Dutch socialist has said that the Islamofascists are like the ANTI-Nazi resistance of World War II.

The United Church of Christ (USA) is rabidly anti-Jewish so can find no fault with Arabs but finds every fault with Israel in the present situation. Their pathetic attempt to explain their position has just drawn a blistering reply from the Simon Wiesenthal centre -- which you can read here

I suppose most readers here have by now seen the transcript of the informal conversation between GWB and Tony Blair. People have read all sorts of things into it but the sweater episode was what seemed most significant to me. I was delighted to see both men show such an excellent sense of humour over it.

Australia's main public broadcaster has climbed on to the moronic "peak oil" bandwagon. Good evidence of what nonsense it is, I suppose. See here. For just one hole in the story, see here.

A cycle of nonsense: "For reasons unknown, some people seem to regard verbal equivalence as moral equivalence -- and the latter as some kind of badge of broadmindedness, if not intellectual superiority. Therefore, when Palestinian terrorists ("militants" in politically correct Newspeak) attack Israel and then Israel responds with military force, that is just another "cycle of violence" in the Middle East to some people. The "cycle" notion suggests that each side is just responding to what the other side does. But just what had Israel done to set off these latest terrorist acts? It voluntarily pulled out of Gaza, after evacuating its own settlers, and left the land to the Palestinian authorities. Terrorists then used the newly acquired land to launch rockets into Israel and then seized an Israeli soldier. Other terrorists in Lebanon followed suit. The great mantra of the past, "trading land for peace," is now thoroughly discredited, or should be. But facts mean nothing to people who are determined to find equivalence, whether today in the Middle East or yesterday in the Cold War."

IRS threatens churches on political expression: "The Internal Revenue Service has been warning churches and nonprofit organizations that improper campaigning in the upcoming political season could endanger their tax-exempt status. In notices to more than 15,000 tax-exempt organizations, numerous church denominations and tax preparers, the agency has detailed its new enforcement program, called the Political Activity Compliance Initiative, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. Under the initiative, the IRS plans to expedite investigations into claims of improper campaigning, no longer waiting for an annual tax return to be filed or the tax year to end before launching a probe. A three-member committee will make an initial review of complaints and then vote on whether to pursue the investigation in detail."

Self-inflicted poverty: ""Low-income residents of 13 cities across the nation pay extra for many everyday services, sometimes thousands of dollars more over a whole year, a study to be released today shows. By taking out higher-interest mortgages, shopping at rent-to-own furniture stores, using check-cashing businesses instead of banks and buying groceries at convenience stores, the nation's working poor households pay much more than moderate- and high-income households for life's essentials, says the Brookings Institution study, which analyzed services in San Francisco, Oakland and 11 other cities. The report -- 'From Poverty, Opportunity: Putting the Market to Work for Lower-Income Families' -- calls on government officials to create laws to curb services that gouge low-income consumers, and it proposes reproducing fledgling programs the authors found across the country."

A desperate cover for a lack of ideas: "Madison Ave. ad execs are so bent on taking control of America's children, they'd put computer chips in kids' brains if they could, Sen. Hillary Clinton said yesterday. Saying advertisers have found so many new ways to get at kids through video games and the Internet, Clinton warned that we're verging on a society out of a grim science fiction novel. "At the rate that technology is advancing, people will be implanting chips in our children to advertise directly into their brains and tell them what kind of products to buy," Clinton said at the Kaiser Family Foundation."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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22 July, 2006

MORE JUNK PSYCHOLOGY

There is an amusing post here, repeated here under the heading "Right Wing Personalities have greater trouble remembering what they read and making correct inferences". From that title one would expect that the post would have something to do with the conservative side of politics as we know it today. The author certainly seems to think that it does. BUT IT DOESN'T.

The post reports a bit of low-quality psychological "research" based on no sampling of any known population that relies for its measuring instrument on the old "RWA scale" devised by Bob Altemeyer. It is high scorers on Altemeyer's selection of questions who were "shown" to have poor memories. But the RWA scale has nothing to do with current politics. As I pointed out very recently:

Altemeyer's own statement about this may be worth noting (From p. 239 of "Enemies of Freedom"):

"right-wing authoritarians show little preference in general for any political party".

So the type of conservatism studied by Altemeyer is a rather peculiar subset of it -- one with virtually no everyday political relevance
.

And note the implication: Voters for Leftist political parties are just as likely to be "Right-wing authoritarians" as are voters for conservative parties!

Confusing? Sure is! So how come? It all goes back to dippy old Altemeyer himself. He did not have a blind clue about what "right-wing" or "conservative" meant. He was so clueless about politics that he accepted the old Leftist lie that conservatives are simply people who oppose change! So, by his criterion, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan -- who were great advocates and agents of change -- were not conservative!

From Burke onwards, conservatives have been denying that they simply oppose all change but you cannot expect a Leftist psychologist to know any history, of course. I have summarized the history of what conservatives believe at geat length here and the ongoing theme is of course a belief in individual liberty.

So if poor old Alty did not know what conservatism was, it is no wonder that he found what he thought to be Rightist beliefs to be common among Leftists! Hilarious!

Other psychologists have made the same mistake. It shows what a bubble they must live in. All the conservatives I know would like to see a HEAP of things changed about our society. The idea that conservatives oppose all change is so totally brain-dead that anybody who believes it must never have talked to a real live conservative.

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In Spain, anti-Semitism is the new leftist trend: "Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain and Secretary General of the Socialist Party, arrived to power at a time nobody expected, not even inside the Party. Keen on populist tirades against the United States "Dickhead Bush" and "Ketchup Queen Kerry", his whole campaign did not bring much attention until the moment Al-Qaeda decided to blow up Madrid trains, killing almost 200 people and bringing to an end Spain's membership of the West. From that moment on, everybody knew nothing would be the same, and Spanish Jews knew there were hard times ahead.... Although many experts had foretold of the imminent disappearing of European Jews, nobody expected such a virulent explosion of anti-Semitism in Spain, not even under a Leftist government. The first signal came on Monday, 5 December, when during a dinner with the Benarroch family, Zapatero and wife began claiming what Vidal Quadras, member of the European Parliament, described on the radio as "a tirade of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism". By the moment the Benarroch couple had left the table to express their regrets, Zapatero was explaining his lack of surprise about the Holocaust: according to the people present, Zapatero claimed to understand the Nazis".

The difference that capitalism makes: "After 26 years of receiving food aid, China has emerged as the world's third-largest food donor, according to a report released by the United Nation's World Food Program. China donated 577,000 tonnes of food to more than a dozen countries in 2005, with the great majority sent across the border by rail to North Korea, which relies on aid to feed its poverty-stricken rural population. The findings of the report, which tracks all international food donations, underline China's growing economic and political clout in Asia, and show how far the country has come since the famines of the late 1950s killed an estimated 30 million peasants."

This sounds good for Britain: "Black and Caribbean girls will be the targets of the Government's latest drive to bring down the rate of teenage pregnancy, The Times has learnt. The move has been ordered by Beverley Hughes, the Children's Minister, who is concerned that teenagers from some ethnic minority groups remain much more likely to become pregnant than their peers from different backgrounds, even after taking into account factors such as deprivation and poor educational achievement."

British government wants to make restaurant restrooms as disgusting as public ones: "Restaurants and shops should "grow up" and let the public use their lavatories, Phil Woolas, the Local Government Minister, said. Mr Woolas was announcing a government strategy this week to shift responsibility for public conveniences to the private sector. He said that businesses should follow the example of McDonald's, which had a reputation for allowing non-customers to use its facilities. "Why should they be the only ones," he said. "And why does it have to be a furtive affair?" Public lavatories have been in inexorable decline, with many attracting drug users and criminals. Nearly half have been shut in the past decade and researchers say that there are only 5,500 left. Ministers believe that the public are prepared to pay to use lavatories." Is this the ultimate in socialism?

Social Security propped up by illegals: "There are two dirty little secrets behind the debate over the illegal alien issue that even the advocates of securing the borders first have failed to discuss. The first secret is that the estimated twelve to twenty million aliens living and working illegally in the United States have to commit identity theft to secure employment. The second secret is that without illegals' payroll tax contributions, filed under stolen or fraudulent Social Security numbers, the Social Security system would collapse years earlier than estimated."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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21 July, 2006

Brookes News Update

US economy and recession: theory and counter theory: When manufacturing was sinking 2000 and the US economy along with it the causes of the oncoming recession were still being hotly debated in some quarters, with very few focusing their attention on monetary factors
Effective minimum wages do cause unemployment: Economics teaches that if the real price of any service, including labour services, is raised above its market clearing level a surplus will emerge. In the case of labour the surplus is called unemployment
The `Real' War against Islam has begun: For years those who speculate have predicted Israel, not oil, would be the spark that lit the fire of World War III. Surrounded for decades by a religion that motivates its devotees with hate for Jews, Israel has been a boil on the Islamic body politic
Terrorism and Israel - one slice at a time.: A member of Hezbollah gloated that the Jews `fear death and love life. We are believers in another life, and we welcome death'. Well, it's time to give `em what they want!
The Bush tax cuts, capital gains and growth: Anything that hinders investment slows growth - and this where capital gains taxes do the most damage. Levied on the sale of assets, e.g., businesses and shares, they not only reduce savings they misallocate resources. This is because taxes on realised capital gains amount to transaction taxes as well as investment taxes
Taxing houses: more economic stupidity: Some economists think those who own their own homes should pay an imputed rent. No wonder so many people sneer at so-called rational economics (free market economics) when this kind of nonsense is seriously defended by economists are who paid to know much better
Politic$, Inc: Principle, Not Profit: The current political model is broken, due to professional politicians who are more concerned with personal advancement and financial gain than

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Heh! The success-haters lose one: "A first-of-its-kind state law that would have required Wal-Mart to spend more on employee health care in Maryland is invalid under federal law, a judge ruled Wednesday. The state law would have required non-governmental employers with 10,000 or more workers to spend at least 8 percent of payroll on health care or pay the difference in taxes. The measure was aimed at Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc.... U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz decided that the Maryland Fair Share Health Care Fund Act would have hurt Wal-Mart by requiring it to track and allocate benefits for its Maryland employees in a different way from how it keeps track of employee benefits in other states. Motz wrote that the law "imposes legally cognizable injury upon Wal-Mart." Motz cited the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which he said pre-empts "any and all state laws insofar as they may now or hereafter relate to any employee benefit plan."

Coincidentally, the second edition of the Carnival of Wal-Mart is just up. See here.

Another example of general bodily fitness being indexed by IQ: "Social class [which is associated with IQ] determines how quickly the body ages, irrespective of factors such as health, diet and bad habits, research suggests. A groundbreaking study of twins led by British scientists has shown that people of lower socioeconomic standing, whether because of the job they do or the person they marry, age seven years more quickly than their more fortunate peers. Poorer health, worse habits and less pampering may have long been associated with shorter lifespans for Britain’s blue-collar workers, but now biological mechanisms have also be identified. The study, which involved more than 1,500 women, shows a dramatic and unexplained association between social class and the rate of the body’s cellular deterioration."

Blame Big Business for High Gas Prices: "This past week, the average price for a gallon of gasoline rose above $3 for the first time since the brief post-Katrina spike. On cue, politicians, journalists, and liberal agitators are crying "price gouging," and telling us we need federal policy to guide us towards a petroleum-free world. These complaints hold traces of the truth: (1) We ought to be angry at big business for the high gas prices; and (2) there is something the government can do about it. But the problem is not corporate "price gouging" and the solution is not new subsidies or regulations. The corporate misbehavior causing high gas prices is what I call "subsidy suckling" and "regulatory robber-baronry." The solution, as Ronald Reagan would tell us, is for government to get out of the way."

Immigration and Usurpation: Elites, Power, and the People's Will : "If mass immigration from Latin America has debatable benefits for the United States as a whole, if a majority of the American people is against it, and if immigrants cannot vote until they become naturalized (which can take years after their arrival), why would nine-tenths of the legislators we spoke with be so keen on increasing immigration? ... Also curiously, the Republican enthusiasm for increased immigration also was not so much about voting in the end, even with 'converted' Latinos. Instead, these legislators seemingly believed that they could weaken the restraining and frustrating straightjacket devised by the Founding Fathers and abetted by American norms. In that idealized 'new' United States, political uncertainty, demanding constituents, difficult elections, and accountability in general would 'go away' after tinkering with the People, who have given lawmakers their privileges but who, like a Sword of Damocles, can also 'unfairly' take them away. Hispanics would acquiesce and assist in the 'natural progress' of these legislators to remain in power and increase the scope of that power. In this sense, Republicans and Democrats were similar. ..."

Mideast Conflict Hard to Solve, Easy to Explain: "The Middle East conflict is difficult to solve, but it is among the simplest conflicts in history to understand. The Arab and other Muslim enemies of Israel (for the easily confused, this does not mean every Arab or every Muslim) want Israel destroyed. That is why there is a Middle East conflict. Everything else is commentary. Those who deny this and ascribe the conflict to other reasons, such as "Israeli occupation," "Jewish settlements," a "cycle of violence," "the Zionist lobby" and the like, do so despite the fact that Israel's enemies regularly announce the reason for the conflict. The Iranian regime, Hizbollah, Hamas and the Palestinians -- in their public opinion polls, in their anti-Semitic school curricula and media, in their election of Hamas, in their support for terror against Israeli civilians in pre-1967 borders -- as well as their Muslim supporters around the world, all want the Jewish state annihilated."

No doubt with reference to my recent birthday, a reader sent me this link about us oldsters. There are some serious points amid the humor. Turn your sound on. I have also just put up a few pics from my birthday bash here

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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20 July, 2006

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF WIKIPEDIA BIAS

A lot of the entries on Wikipedia about psychology display a Leftist bias. So, as a conservative academic psychologist, I should step in and correct that -- right? Well, I HAVE tried but my corrections don't last long. See for instance this entry about a bit of nonsense called the "Right wing Authoritarianism" questionnaire, devised by Bob Altemeyer. I have had a great deal published in the academic literature (e.g here) about this questionnaire (or "scale") so I know it well. It exists as an attempt to show conservatives in a bad light but fails rather hilariously.

Note this statement from the present Wikipedia entry:

RWA is also correlated with political conservatism - not so much at the level of ordinary voters, but with increasing strength as one moves from voters to activists to office holders, and then from lower to higher-level officeholders

After that sentence, I added:

Altemeyer's own statement about this may be worth noting (From p. 239 of "Enemies of Freedom"):

"right-wing authoritarians show little preference in general for any political party".

So the type of conservatism studied by Altemeyer is a rather peculiar subset of it -- one with virtually no everyday political relevance. Like the Adorno F scale which was its ultimate inspiration, the RWA scale would seem to tap a particularly old-fashioned type of conservatism.


You will not find that piece of information there now. What I wrote has been erased completely. I could go on with further examples but what's the point? There is only one point that matters: Don't trust Wikipedia (or "Wackypedia", as I usually call it).

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The above is a picture of "socialist sandals" from The Real Cuba

Interesting press release about Afghanistan received from CENTCOM: "Coalition Soldiers have seized an estimated $3 million in opium from an extremist compound July 13 after a Coalition patrol held off more than two dozen fighters until additional firepower arrived. Following the engagement, the Soldiers found five dead extremists, but believe many more were killed. A search of the compound found 70 kilograms of opium paste, a rocket propelled grenade launcher, four rockets, an AK-47 and ammunition, a passport and other documents. "Recovering these weapons and drugs increases the safety and security of Afghans, and reduces the danger posed by criminals and extremists who might use those munitions indiscriminately to cause harm on the Afghan people, Afghan security forces or Coalition forces ," said Col. Thomas Collins, Coalition spokesman. "This engagement also confirms with physical evidence that the extremists are linked to the drug trade in southern Afghanistan."

Strange "terrorism" targets: "It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald's Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified "Beach at End of a Street." But the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, in a report released Tuesday, found that the list was not child's play: all these "unusual or out-of-place" sites "whose criticality is not readily apparent" are inexplicably included in the federal antiterrorism database. The National Asset Database, as it is known, is so flawed, the inspector general found, that as of January, Indiana, with 8,591 potential terrorist targets, had 50 percent more listed sites than New York (5,687) and more than twice as many as California (3,212), ranking the state the most target-rich place in the nation. The database is used by the Homeland Security Department to help divvy up the hundreds of millions of dollars in antiterrorism grants each year, including the program announced in May that cut money to New York City and Washington by 40 percent, while significantly increasing spending for cities including Louisville, Ky., and Omaha. "We don't find it embarrassing," said the department's deputy press secretary, Jarrod Agen. "The list is a valuable tool."

The Reagan/Bush comparison: "Conservatives attack Mr. Bush most vehemently on excessive government spending, and there they have a point. He could have been more frugal, despite the exigent circumstances, especially in his first term. But it's also on the spending issue that the Reagan myth--Reagan as the relentless swashbuckler against spending--is most pronounced. He won an estimated $35 billion in spending cuts in 1981, his first year in office. After that, spending soared, so much so that his budget director David Stockman, who found himself on the losing end of spending arguments, wrote a White House memoir with the subtitle, "Why the Reagan Revolution Failed." With Reagan in the White House, spending reached 23.5% of GDP in 1984, the peak year of the military buildup. Under Mr. Bush, the top spending year is 2005 at 20.1% of GDP, though it is expected to rise as high as 20.7% this year, driven upward by Iraq and hurricane relief."

Immigration critics making headway in State houses: "The passage of 11 anti-illegal immigrant measures by a special session of the Colorado Legislature this week is just the latest sign that momentum in the volatile debate is on the side of hard-liners. Earlier this year, immigrant-rights groups were encouraged when the Democratic-controlled Legislature rejected several bills that party leaders characterized as extremist. Spring featured the largest political rallies Colorado had ever seen, as 75,000 immigrants and their supporters marched in front of the state Capitol demanding amnesty. But late Monday, the Colorado Legislature approved a ban on nonemergency state services to adults who fail to prove they are in the country legally, a measure modeled on a broader law that Georgia adopted in April. Democrats here began boasting that their measure was the toughest in the nation.... Polls have shown the population is similarly divided over illegal immigration, but that hard-liners are more motivated. That appears to be borne out in statehouses, where more than 400 anti-illegal immigration measures were proposed this year. The vast majority failed, but at least a dozen states passed bills targeting illegal immigration. Louisiana approved a law stiffening penalties for businesses that hire illegal immigrants. Wyoming barred students in the U.S. illegally from receiving some scholarships, while Missouri denied unemployment benefits to workers who weren't citizens. And states such as Pennsylvania and Maryland are considering benefit cuts modeled on those in Colorado and Georgia, which are the most far-reaching".

Sarkozy: speak English and work harder: "The French Interior Minister has a stark message for his countrymen. The French need to work harder and display less arrogance, if they are to recapture former glories, Nicolas Sarkozy, the Interior Minister, tells his countrymen in a highly personal 281-page book published yesterday. Just as they embark on their long summer break, he has a blunt message for them: the holiday is over. In an account that may make for uncomfortable reading on the beaches, M Sarkozy demands effort, reform and an end to the Gallic habit of delivering lessons to the rest of the world.... Hailing modern Britain as an example, M Sarkozy urges voters to remove their heads from the sand, accept that France is in decline and embrace the market economy as the path to revival."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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19 July, 2006

WHY THE CURRENT CONFLICT INVOLVING ISRAEL?

Find here the address by Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the Knesset last Monday. He speaks with blinding clarity about the present situation. Some excerpts:

Over the past few weeks, our enemies have challenged the sovereignty of the State of Israel and the safety of its residents - first in the southern sector, then on the northern border, and deeper into the home front.

Israel did not seek these confrontations. On the contrary. We have done a lot to prevent them. We returned to the borders of the State of Israel, recognized by the entire international community. There were those who misconstrued our desire for peace - for us and our neighbors - as a sign of frailty. Our enemies misinterpreted our willingness to exercise restraint as a sign of weakness. They were wrong!

The State of Israel has no territorial conflict, neither on our southern border nor on our northern one. In these two areas, we are sitting on the recognized international border - both vis-.-vis the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip, and in Lebanon. We have no intention of interfering in their internal affairs. On the contrary, stability and tranquility in Lebanon, free of the rule of foreign powers, and in the Palestinian Authority, are in Israel's interest.

The campaign we are engaged in these days is against the terror organizations operating from Lebanon and Gaza. These organizations are nothing but "sub-contractors" operating under the inspiration, permission, instigation and financing of the terror-sponsoring and peace-rejecting regimes, on the Axis of Evil which stretches from Tehran to Damascus.

Radical, terrorist and violent elements are sabotaging the life of the entire region and placing its stability at risk. The region in which we live is threatened by these murderous terror groups. It is a regional - as well as global - interest to take control and terminate their activity.

We intend to do this. We will continue to operate in full force until we achieve this. On the Palestinian front, we will conduct a tireless battle until terror ceases, Gilad Shalit is returned home safely and the shooting of Qassam missiles stops. And in Lebanon, we will insist on compliance with the terms stipulated long ago by the international community, as unequivocally expressed only yesterday in the resolution of the 8 leading countries of the world

On both fronts we are exercising self-defense in the most basic and essential sense. In both cases, it is a matter whose importance and significance go far beyond the size of the military units involved. We are at a national moment of truth. Will we consent to living under the threat of this Axis of Evil or will we mobilize our inner strength and show determination and equanimity?

All of us - Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze and Circassians - now stand as one person, as one nation, subject together to the same hatred and malice, and fighting against it in consensus and partnership. When missiles are launched at our residents and cities, our answer will be war with all the strength, determination, valor, sacrifice and dedication which characterize this nation.

There was a Solidarity with Israel rally held in the Australian city of Melbourne on the same day: Seven speakers including three Members of Parliament. To see photos and read some of the speeches, click here

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The official text of the Group of Eight nations meeting in Petersburg was released on Sunday night and is up here. It lays responsibility on Hizbolla and Hamas directly, and does NOT accuse Israel of using "disproportionate" or "excessive" force. It looks as if the G8 is tacitly happy for Israel to do what it takes to disempower the terrorists. Note that France is a member of G8.

There is an article here that outlines a VERY interesting development. The latest terrorist attacks on Israel are being CRITICIZED by much of the Arab world.

Arlene Peck thinks Israel is not being tough enough: "Israel, as it is well known, though not acknowledged by the European Union, United Nations, and much of the mainstream media, has been living under a barrage of "one slice at a time" from a multitude of surrounding enemies who regularly lob Katushas and Kassams across Israel's border. The world is and has been aware for many years of this deplorable situation that Israel has been forced to live under. Yet, the hatred for the Jewish state is so great that it has become ''normal'' to expect Israel to adhere to a different standard of behavior than that is expected of the terrorists who attack them. The European Union, United Nations, and all the Arab and Muslim states do what they always do: call for and get another emergency session to condemn Israel."

An interesting suggestion from a reader: "Wouldn't it be WONDERFUL to see the USS Cole off the coast of Beruit providing protection for 25000 fleeing Americans? I think that'd send a knife-like message to OBL, and those who got so much pr from attacking it. It's in the area, and just did a port call in Greece a week or so ago. I think in the War on Terror it'd be a great reminder of the USS Cole incident and as the world media reported its presence. Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, MSNBC, CBS, NYT....they'd all be compelled to report its significance, the attack done on it, and the effect of not responding to that attack. It's the modern form of gunboat diplomacy for asymetric warfare. It'd send a damn fine signal that America can be hit, but not sunk. Please send your comments and hopes that the USS Cole be positioned for the world to see off the coast of Beruit....to the President"

A dilemma for Leftist Jews: "The broadening violence in the Middle East is endangering a political species with deep roots in New York: the liberal Israel hawk. Although parts of the American left are more sympathetic to the Palestinian side of that conflict, "in New York the liberals are Zionists, because they're Jews," says Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn, Queens). But the anti-war, anti-Bush, pro-Israel "progressive" political space occupied by the likes of the upper West Side's Rep. Jerrold Nadler and national Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is shrinking. Israel's American allies are increasingly in the Republican Party, and leading journals of the American left have been skeptical of Israel's aggressive military response to the kidnapping of its soldiers. Nadler said he sees "an increasing strain on the far left that is unreasonably anti-Israel, which I do not understand." An unwillingness to support Israel's right to defend itself, he said, could be tantamount for supporting the destruction of Israel. "If this kind of support for genocide of Jews continues to infect the left - that's not a left I want to be part of," Nadler said. The criticism of Israel's recent response as "disproportionate" has widened the gap between Democrats who back the Israeli government and their more critical allies."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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18 July, 2006

THE PRESENT ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT

There are some good answers here to some of the stupid media statements being made about the present conflict. A few excerpts:

If Israel is so intent on creating a humanitarian disaster, why does she supply Gaza with electricity and water? Why is Israel constantly monitoring the situation and taking the risk of opening border crossings whenever Palestinian stocks of food and medicines run low? Why is Israel coordinating with international aid agencies?

Given that Gaza has been totally Judenrein [i.e. There are now no Jews there] for almost a year, why do UN agencies, NGOs and governments continue to depict Gaza as occupied territory? Could it be that recognising the change in status might highlight their own failures? Or is it a greater concern that if Gaza is no longer classified as occupied, not only would the Palestinians have to take responsibility for their own actions there, but the welfare agency employees may not be able to justify their ongoing employment?

Exactly what is the "proportional" response to thousands of rockets launched at a country by its neighbours? What is disproportionate about deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians being responded to with attacks on military installations and their support infrastructure? How would France, the UK and others act if civilians in over 20 towns and villages were faced with a constant barrage of rockets on their homes, schools, hospitals, trains, factories, fuel facilities?

Anti-Semitism rears its head as Israel is singled out time and again for criticism for real or imagined wrong-doings, when far worse atrocities are ignored around the globe. Worse is anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism. The world doesn't consider Palestinian Arabs capable of being responsible human beings. They are not expected to govern themselves, live up to basic democratic values, eradicate hate, keep written agreements, or keep to international standards in the conduct of war. Excuses are made all the time, and their victims take the blame.

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Huge aid to Africa given but just wasted: "Unfortunately it was precisely in the most aid intensive continent that there were the biggest disappointments. After $568 billion in aid over 43 years since the era of independence in Africa, there has been virtually no rise in living standards of the average African, and I think that is very sad. It's heartbreaking to see all this money spent and not achieve effects for what are after all very poor, desperate people living on a margin of subsistence.

Japan Takes A New Bite Out Of Detroit : "Ever since Americans began their love affair with Japanese cars four decades ago, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler have seen their share of the U.S. market tumble. Now those same automakers are starting a romance with a different Japanese industry -- parts manufacturing -- adding to the woes of troubled U.S. suppliers such as Delphi... Denso is clearly the leader. It has 23 U.S. factories, and all three Detroit automakers buy heaters, air conditioners, fuel injection systems, and other components from the company. Denso's sales to GM have doubled in the past five years; today 40% of its North American business comes from non-Japanese carmakers. In April, Bo Andersson, GM's global vice-president of purchasing, named Denso the company's top vendor. The outfit was "our best supplier based on timely delivery, quality, and warranty costs," Andersson says".

If the British police murder innocent people, it is just a "health and safety violation"!: "Sir Ian Blair has broken his holiday to be at his desk at Scotland Yard today to face a fresh crisis, as the Crown Prosecution Service puts his force in the dock over the Stockwell shooting. Ken McDonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, is expected to announce that none of the 11 officers at the centre of investigations into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes will be charged, but the Metropolitan Police will face a corporate health and safety prosecution for bungling the counter-terrorist operation that led to his death and in its duty of care towards him"

I rather like these reports about Russia's President Putin. They show a sharp and well-informed mind and it seems a good thing to me to have such a mind in charge of such an important country. I wish I could say that sharp and well-informed minds are common among Western politicians.



A big announcement from Wal-Mart today: last year, the company donated more than $245 million to charities. In 2004, the Wal-Mart Foundation was the most charitable corporate foundation, and in 2005, giving increased by $38 million. More details here. This announcement comes on the heels of Forbes magazine naming Wal-Mart the most generous company in corporate America. Best of all, the majority of the donations were made at the local level where they do the most good.

The Autonomist has some good suggestions about how to make the New York Times think twice about its far-Left biases.



The Rotary menace: "Muslim fundamentalists aren't shy about naming their enemies. They've identified Zionists and secularists as particular foes of Islam; picked out apostates, Americans, and Jews for scorn; disparaged "crusaders" and imperialists; and even-like conspiracists everywhere-warned against the Freemasons. But Islamists have selected one enemy that's entirely baffling: Rotary clubs."

Charming Britain: "A convicted paedophile walked free from court because a judge who wanted to lock him up was told all the local prisons were full. Robert Wilby, 61, was found guilty of five counts of indecency with a child and two of indecent assault at Liverpool Crown Court last week"

There is a petition here which I have just signed. It petitions Chicago's far-Left DePaul University to reinstate Prof. Thomas Klocek -- who was fired for defending Israel to Muslim students.

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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17 July, 2006

My birthday celebrations

Unlike a lot of bloggers, I don't write routinely about my personal life but occasionally I do break out and I thought that a birthday is a reasonable occasion to do so. So here comes a very rambling account of my 63rd birthday celebrations on the weekend just past.

The first birthday-related activity was when Jill -- one of the lovely ladies in my now rather distant past -- gave Anne and me a very fine lunch at her place. I drove my recently-acquired 1963 Humber Super Snipe to the lunch and Jill loved it. She did herself live in England in the 60s and at that time drove both a Hillman and a Bentley so she has a soft spot for old English cars.



I kept the Humber out of the garage when we got back from Jill's in order for Anne and me to take it out out that night as well. That night, we drove in it down to Wynnum, which is a seaside area of Brisbane. We had fish and chips on the esplanade, overlooking Moreton Bay, which was very pleasant, despite a rather cold wind. I know a place at Wynnum that does good fish and chips -- which any Englishman or Australian will tell you is important knowledge to have about where you live.

On Sunday morning, my ex-wife Jenny gave Anne and me brunch, with many good things to eat. My son Joe and his Thai girlfriend also attended. It was only a small occasion as the big family gathering was that night.

On Sunday night I hosted a dinner at a local Indian restaurant for "family" -- with "family" being rather loosely defined. There were 18 of us. The family concerned is unusually cohesive by Anglo-Saxon standards and gets together with considerable frequency for various occasions -- particularly birthdays, "visitors from England" etc., so it was certainly my turn to host something. We have a family "Christmas in July" coming up very soon -- an idea which makes sense only to English people living in Australia who have this odd notion that Christmas should happen in midwinter.

An Australian Christmas is of course in midsummer. My earliest memories of Christmas include seeing heatwaves rise like worms off hot bitumen roads -- in the tropics where I was brought up. That must be pretty incomprehensible to most of my readers, I am sure. It is sort of amazing that people could adapt to such extreme heat but the tropical-adapted population from which I come think nothing of it. We are definitely "white niggers" -- white people who are as at ease in the tropics as any black man -- though we get a lot more skin-cancer than black men do.

Anyway, as usual, the Indian food was good and we all enjoyed the occasion. In good traditional Australian/British style, the men mostly talked to the men and the women to the women but Anne is a great communicator so she talked to the men a fair bit as well. I am a rather silent type in person so I am always happy to have a lady in my life to do the talking. The late Hans Eysenck was the same. He wrote so much that he was at one time the world's most cited living psychologist but on social occasions it was his wife Sybil who did most of the talking.

So despite what may seem like some oddities, I greatly enjoyed my two days of birthday celebrations. I even managed to fit in more blogging than I thought I would. You can't keep a keen blogger down!

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You can find here the words of the latest Bob Dylan song: "Neighborhood Bully". It is about Israel and sums up neatly the huge and irrational bias against Israel in the large part of the world that cannot cope with reality.

There is an article here about the worldwide base of support for the Bombay train bombers.

Why is this loony not talking to the terrorists?: "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Western powers were "keeping mum" over mounting bloodshed in the Middle East, warning that they would "pay the bill" by facing more terrorist attacks, Anatolia news agency reported. "Bombs are exploding, innocent people are being killed, infrastructures are being destroyed... The powerful continue to crush the weak, but unfortunately those who hold the power in the world are keeping mum," Mr Erdogan said in the northeastern city of Artvin. "Those who back global peace (only) with words will sooner or later pay the bill by facing global terrorism... This is what is provoking terrorism," he was quoted as saying. Mr Erdogan complained that violence in the Middle East was also damaging the United States' efforts to enhance democracy and human rights in the region, hinting that Ankara might reconsider its role in such initiatives."

Goodlatte: Bad Bet : "Bob Goodlatte says online gambling is illegal, and he wants to ban it. He sees no contradiction between these two positions. The Virginia Republican is co-author of a bill approved yesterday by the House of Representatives that threatens operators of online casinos and betting parlors with a five-year prison sentence. The legislation, which the Senate has not considered yet, also requires banks and credit card companies to block payments to such sites. Goodlatte says "it is time to shine a bright light on these illegal sites and bring a quick end to illegal gambling on the Internet." Yet he concedes that "under current federal law, it is unclear whether using the Internet to operate a gambling business is illegal." Confused? You're not the only one. The online gambling ban, which dictates what adults may do with their own money on their own computers in their own homes, is part of what Republicans proudly call their "American Values Agenda." Evidently those values do not include privacy, freedom of choice, individual responsibility, or free markets."

Noam Chomsky: America's village idiot: "Some of Chomsky's most important claims cannot reasonably be considered scientific achievements at all. In this article I discuss the nature of scientific inquiry. I want to show that the standards of achievement for serious scientists such as the physicist Albert Einstein are far higher than those of MIT's professor of linguistics, Noam Chomsky. In fact, I hope to take it a step further and show that Chomsky's most important claims cannot reasonably be considered scientific achievements at all. Furthermore, what some of Chomsky's admirers claim to be legitimate achievements are in fact instances of intellectual "con artistry;" what is claimed as profound insight is nothing more than academic fraud."

There is an amazing quiz here that asks you to look at pictures of 10 different men. Each is either a serial killer or an inventor of a computer programming language. It is amazingly hard to tell which is which. I got only 7 out of 10 right.

There is a very good "Yiddisher Momma" joke just up on Wicked Thoughts

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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16 July, 2006

BIRTHDAY

It's my 63rd birthday this weekend and celebrations are already underway so I won't be posting much for a day or two but, for the moment, there are a few recent readings of interest below. As I write this I am listening to the wonderful music of J.S. Bach. Perfect birthday music for me. We have just had the cantata Wachet auf and have now moved on to Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben.

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There is an excellent Australian satirical site here. It is in fact the funniest site I know but about half the references are Australian so readers elsewhere would not get the point of all of it. There is a post here, however, that I think most people would get -- libertarians particularly.

I had a laugh at this Russian comment on the English: "With English people emotions are like an illness." My comment on the same topic is usually: "Embarrassment is the English national emotion".

NOW hypocrisy: "China's one-child policy has had a devastating impact on the gender balance. China now has 119 boys for ever 100 girls, a gender imbalance that is far from the normal 103-100 ratio seen in industrialized nations across the globe. The imbalance has given rise to a culture of massive sex-trafficking and the kidnapping of teenagers and young adults to be forced into marriage.... And, where is the voice of the National Organization for Women (NOW) on this? Instead of expressing outrage at what is amounting to a systematic defeminization of the world's largest country, the now.org web site's home page includes, among other things, a complaint about the state court in New York refusing to recognize homosexual marriage; ... Its opposition to sex-specific schools (even though their superior educational results are undeniable); A spirited flogging of the falling-apart Duke lacrosse team rape case on behalf of the woman who brought the allegations. I would think China's "40 million missing girls" would at least merit a mention on NOW's home page. Nope."

When unions globalize: "Globalization continues to be a boon to mankind. Economic benefits once reserved to residents of the developed world are spreading rapidly throughout the developing world. Thanks to free trade, companies from rich countries are bringing improvements in health, safety, and environmental quality to their overseas employees and their communities. Across the world, countries freeing up their markets to foreign countries are benefiting the most. ... Yet another Western export threatens to derail this process. Labor unions are beginning to globalize, threatening to spread overseas the onerous rules and inefficiencies for which they're renowned in the West."

The disabled vs. the endangered: "The Smoking Gun Web site reported yesterday on the federal lawsuit filed by a New York man seeking to sunbathe nude with his service dog. Plaintiff Mark DelCore says that since 9/11 he has suffered from traumatic stress and a skin condition that requires full-body dosing by sunlight--with his animal for emotional support. His suit alleges that by banning service dogs on a nude beach, officials of Fire Island National Seashore violated the Americans With Disabilities Act. If the dispute were only between a disabled man and zealous park rangers, Mr. DelCore and his ADA claim might have a fighting chance. Buried in the fine print of his filing, however, is mention of an adversary that may turn out to be more formidable than any ranger. It seems that dogs are banned because they might disturb the piping plovers that breed on or near the beach. Uh oh. Protected wetland birds? Sounds like a trump card for the defense." (More details here)

Murderous British police to get a fine only: "No police officers will face criminal charges over the fatal shooting last year of an innocent Brazilian man who was mistaken for a suicide bomber by police, British newspapers said today. The Times, The Guardian and The Independent all carried reports that the Metropolitan Police officers involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes on July 22 last year will not be brought before the courts. Instead, they said the force will face charges under Britain's health and safety laws for failing in it its "duty of care" towards the 27-year-old electrician, who was mistaken for a bomber following suicide attacks on the capital's public transport system two weeks earlier. A successful health and safety prosecution would mean an unlimited fine on the police authority but is unlikely to satisfy the dead man's family, who are keen for those responsible to be charged."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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15 July, 2006

BOOK REVIEW of September Day - A novel by Larry Schweikart & Jeff Head

Rather than review this novel myself, I thought that a review from someone who is politically middle of the road might be more useful. Ken, A keen book-reading friend, has therefore read the book and commented as under:

"September Day is a dramatisation of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, the aftermath and subsequent "war against terror".

Despite his claim that this is a work of fiction and that ".similarities to actual persons or events are purely a result of the author's imagination" it is impossible to ignore the real names and thinly disguised characters and events which are so familiar to us, and therefore to allow this knowledge to colour the narrative.

The book is essentially a fast-moving thriller, written in the modern idiom of staccato sentences and short, double-spaced paragraphs. The author has cleverly woven together facts that have been widely reported, with fictionalised private lives of the real people caught up in the tragedy. He has stuck closely to reported facts and details while filling in the missing intrigues with imaginative and, for the most part, feasible fiction. The result is a page-turner of a novel that manages to maintain tension and suspense even though we are all too familiar with the actual outcomes.

I found a disturbing dichotomy in the representation of the fictionalised protagonists; the western hero's appear as stereotypical "all American" patriots who face danger and certain death with stoic rationalism in the noble traditions of "truth, justice and The American Way", whilst the Muslim heroes (who behave with exactly the same chauvinistic behaviour) are portrayed as either manipulated zealots or sycophants who voice their disapproval of bin Laden's fanaticism in italicised asides to the reader.

The main characters are fairly shallowly drawn, but in the context of the fast moving action this is probably not a serious criticism except that it is quite difficult to rationalise their reactions to the extreme circumstances they find themselves in without being able to identify with them fully and sympathetically. The young computer genius was the only character who felt real to me even when his anarchic persona (he was recruited from a serious virus case in a plea bargain) turns out to mask an unlikely patriotism.

The novel has an ambitious range, beginning with the American embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam and taking in the reported stock exchange transactions that netted fortunes to those who had inside knowledge. The author's speculation about the overall plan and the various events and intrigues which allowed some of the intended sequences to misfire, and others to become ineffective, is insightful and totally believable.

Whether or not the book is inflammatory or politically correct is questionable but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it as a work of "faction". I was kept suitably enthralled until the last page, not knowing where or how the narrative would resolve. I was not disappointed and would recommend the book rather as a novel than a record of historical events."

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Read here the statement by Israel's ambassador Gideon Meir and Brigadier General Ido Nehushtan on the current situation in Israel. Excerpt: "Israel has suffered an unprovoked cross-border attack from Lebanese territory. The attack was carried out by the Hizbullah, which is a party to the Government of Lebanon. The attack was carried out against Israelis, soldiers and civilians, while on sovereign Israeli soil. In these circumstances, Israel has no alternative but to defend itself and its citizens. For this reason, Israel is now reacting to an act of war by a neighboring sovereign state. Israel views Lebanon as responsible for the present situation, and it shall bear the consequences for this act".

Political fallacies: "The grand political fallacy of the age is that the Republicans are the party of wealth, while the Democrats are the party of compassion for the little guy. This is something that has been assumed and repeated so often that it has become a "well-known fact" without any hard evidence being asked for or given. In the 2000 elections, the counties that voted for Bush had a smaller percentage of their population with annual incomes over $100,000 than the counties that voted for Gore. The Bush counties also had a higher percentage of their population earning under $30,000 a year. It has become axiomatic in the liberal media that big-money donors give most of that big money to the Republicans. But the hard data show that the top ten donors to political campaigns gave far more to the Democrats, with the lone exception being the National Association of Realtors, who gave 50 percent to the Democrats and 49 percent to the Republicans."

Of meat and myth: "For many young people, 'The Jungle' is required reading in high-school classes, where they are led to believe that unscrupulous capitalists were routinely tainting our meat, and that moral crusader Upton Sinclair rallied the public and forced government to shift from pusillanimous bystander to heroic do-gooder, bravely disciplining the marketplace to protect its millions of victims. But this is a triumph of myth over reality, of ulterior motives over good intentions. Reading 'The Jungle' and assuming it's a credible news source is like watching 'The Blair Witch Project' because you think it's a documentary."

Malaysia: Muslim Laws And Corrupt Politicians: "Malaysia claims to be a "moderate Muslim country", but is also practises one of the most corrupt and bizarre travesties of religious freedom imaginable. It claims to be "enlightened", but the policies of its two main parties are based on discrimination against non-Muslim minorities.... UMNO hold to the principle of the "ketuanan Melayu" an ideology which states that the Malay people, who are all regarded as "Muslim" under Malaysia's Kafkaesque legal system, are the original and defining populace of Malaya, and thus should have special status and privileges.... Malaysia makes it compulsory for every citizen to be issued with a national identity card at the age of 12, and on this card is written the details of one's religion. In a move which is simultaneously racist and Islamist, all Malays are automatically registered on these cards (called MyKad) as Muslims".

Can FEMA be fixed?: l "The Senate succeeded last week in reconciling two bills intended to reform the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but the proposals do little more than tweak FEMA's organizational chart. The bills ignore the real problem: FEMA's central planning approach to organizing economic activity after a natural disaster."

For those who have not seen the story of Bruce Vincent's meeting with President Bush, you can find it here. Even Snopes was not able to discredit it, though in their usual Leftist way, they did their best. The story is one of many about the caring private deeds of the President.

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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14 July, 2006

Brookes News Update

The red-green alliance against the West: The greens, like the communists and Nazis before them, are inordinate, i.e., there is no limit to their demands. Each demand will be followed by more demands. They are only interested in total and unconditional surrender. This is why they ally themselves with Islamofascists
Productivity, wages and jobs - more economic stupidity from the media, part I: Productivity increases the intensity of demand for labour, which is just another way of saying that it raises real wage rates. It does not raise unemployment
Is Islam misrepresented?: Islam is indeed misrepresented. Islam is not misrepresented by its "detractors". It is misrepresented by Islamic mercenaries: organizations and individuals generously funded by states as well as wealthy believers who are making billions of dollars pumping and selling oil at astronomical prices
Los Angeles Time slimes Harvard and President Bush: The Los Angeles Time is a leftist rag. It spews such liberal propaganda that it is hard to find actual news in its pages. To say that it is anti-American, anti-war, anti-business, anti-Republican is just scratching the surface of this pathetic excuse for communication
Is the National Republican Congressional Committee running scared?: The National Republican Congressional Committee is apparently running scared -- so scared that it has even stooped to telemarketing on the Sabbath

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There is a new site here exposing labor union hypocrisy and corruption -- particularly as it relates to Wal-Mart.

London hits SUV owners: "The London congestion charge will treble for large 4x4s and other fuel-hungry cars, under plans by Ken Livingstone to penalise vehicles with high levels of carbon dioxide emissions. The Mayor of London is proposing a discount on the 8 pound rate for "greener" cars but an increase to 25 pounds for "environmentally damaging" vehicles. The top rate would apply to any vehicle emitting more than 225g of CO2 a kilometre (g/km), including the Range Rover, Toyota Land Cruiser and some versions of the Renault Espace and BMW 5-series. Cars emitting 120g/km or less, such as some models of the Citroen C2 and C3, and the Renault Clio, would pay less than œ8, though the exact figure has to be decided. But the new sliding scale of charges would mean about 44 per cent of motorists paying more than 8 pounds."

Research finding: Self-esteem is genetic and uninfluenced by family background: "We attempted to clarify the relation between self-esteem level (high vs. low) and perceived self-esteem stability (within-person variability) by using a behavioral genetics approach. We tested whether the same or independent genetic and environmental influences impact on level and stability. Adolescent twin siblings (n = 183 pairs) completed level and stability scales at two time points. Heritability for both was substantial. The remaining variance in each was attributable to non-shared environmental influences. Shared environmental influences were not significant."

Race in soccer -Italian comment: "Roberto Calderoli, head of the right-wing popular Northern League party, refused to retract earlier comments in which he hailed Italy's defeat of France in Monday's World Cup final as "a victory for Italian identity". "When I say that France's team is composed of blacks, Islamists and communists, I am saying an objective and evident thing," Calderoli was quoted as saying today by the ANSA news agency. His comment, in response to a complaint to the Senate by France's ambassador to Italy, reiterated remarks made on Monday in the aftermath of Italy's World Cup victory. Italy's all-white team, from a largely devout Catholic populace, had won against "a France team which sacrificed its own identity by lining up blacks, Islamists and communists to get results", Calderoli said on the day of the final. Members of the France team, composed largely of non-white players, returned to a heroes' welcome yesterday despite their 5-3 penalty shootout defeat to Italy in Berlin. France captain Zinedine Zidane gave an unexpected twist to the match when he was sent off for head-butting Marco Materazzi, after the Italy defender allegedly made racist insults. But Zidane, born to Algerian parents, was backed by his country's politicians.

Language and wealth: "Does the language you speak or use help influence how wealthy you are? When trying to determine why some countries are wealthier than others, economists rarely, if at all, consider language. However, if you look at the list of wealthiest countries on a per capita income basis, you will notice almost all the top 20 are English-speaking, or use some other Germanic language, with the exception of France, Japan, and Finland (however, most Finns know German and English as well as Swedish, and many Frenchmen know German and/or English). English is only the primary language for about 5 percent (340 million) of the world?s people. Another 200 million, or 3 percent, are reasonably fluent in English, and perhaps up to another 500 million (8 percent) know some English. The number of French and German speakers are each probably less than 3 percent of the world?s population. Yet, those who speak English or other Germanic languages account for more than 40 percent of the world GDP, while comprising only about 8 percent of the world's population.

Asians best at making cars?: "Britain's ailing car industry received another blow yesterday as Nanjing Automobile, which owns the remnants of Rover, announced that it would start building MG cars in Oklahoma. The motor industry had expected all MGs to be built at Rover's old base at Longbridge, Birmingham, but most production will now go to America.... Construction of the Ardmore factory will begin next year and MG is hoping to start production in 2008. About 60 per cent of its 12,000 to 16,000 forecast sales will be in North America and the rest in Europe... The Oklahoma factory will be the first to be opened in America by a Chinese carmaker. Other Asian manufacturers have also moved into the American South - Hyundai is in Alabama, Nissan in Tennessee and Toyota in Texas. The move by Asian companies to open factories in the US has come as the traditional Detroit car manufacturers - General Motors, Ford and Chrysler - have struggled."

Equal and opposite reaction ... except at the UN: "Got any doubts about ineffectiveness and ineptitude of the U.N.? Consider this: On Tuesday, North Korea test-fired as many as seven missiles, including one ICBM capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States, in defiance of international warnings. On Wednesday morning, the Security Council met in emergency session. There was a time when such a session would have begun immediately, perhaps in the wee hours of the morning. Not so today. The Council sat down at the more leisurely hour of 9 a.m. local time. And they talked."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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13 July, 2006

Today's anti-American leftists betray their own radical heritage

A few excerpts from an excellent July 4 article by Michael Medved:

Today's militant leftists not only spread lies about America's present but generate even more damaging distortions about the nation's past and in so doing differentiate themselves from the radical idealists of yesteryear. Contemporary followers of Noam Chomsky and Ward Churchill view the entire American experience as a disgrace, even a crime. They stress the nation?s guilt in committing "genocide" against Native Americans, enslaving millions of Africans, stealing Mexican land, despoiling the pristine environment, oppressing working people everywhere, and blocking progressive change with an imperialist foreign policy. One Jake Irvin of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington recently told the Wall Street Journal: "My political belief is that the U.S. is a horrendous empire that needs to end."

In contrast, the radicals and revolutionaries of the past cloaked themselves in patriotic symbols and proclaimed their desire to call the nation back to its own highest ideals. From Eugene V. Debs and Norman Thomas to Paul Robeson and Abbie Hoffman, these agitators proudly quoted Jefferson, Lincoln, or Tom Paine, and agreed with the nation's mainstream that Americanism (at least as they defined it) represented the last, best hope of earth. Even the Communist Party USA unblushingly honored national heroes: when they dispatched their fighters to support fellow Stalinists in the Spanish Civil War, the volunteers called themselves "The Abraham Lincoln Brigade" not the "Vladimir Lenin Brigade." Stalin's personal friend Paul Robeson achieved mainstream popularity with his "Ballad for Americans," treating the Revolutionary War as a heroic struggle not a malevolent conspiracy by greedy slaveholders (as it's often portrayed today)....

Today's radicals feel embarrassed by the leftwing flag-waving of 70 years ago, and insist that Americans should feel guilty rather than proud of their nation''s past and its role in the world. Cindy Sheehan, who became a worldwide celebrity by exploiting her son's combat death in Iraq, recently posted a heart-rending rant on Michael Moore's website, declaring: "often have to ask myself why we, as Americans, so blindly follow our leaders down this path of violent destruction, and it has always been so. From the genocide and virtual extinction of our native population to dehumanizing black people so they could be used as human chattel and still be oppressed, even today, to still be the only so-called "civilized nation" that executes people "Before we can change the world we have to look in our hearts and change ourselves. Before Casey was KIA in Iraq I led the life of rampant consumerism that wreaked havoc on my soul and the environment." ...

These arguments matter because a nation embarrassed about its past, apologetic about its very existence, is a nation unable to defend itself from its enemies. The Fourth of July offers a unique opportunity to tell true stories about the land we love: not as a flawless paradise, but as a uniquely blessed haven that has provided more opportunities for more disparate populations than any nation in human history. In terms of our role in the wider world, one need not defend every decision by past leaders to recognize that no country has ever benefited the rest of humanity as consistently and abundantly as the United States.

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Price controls have predictable results. The legislators in Canada's New Brunswick province seem unable to learn from experience, however. They have put new price ceilings on heating oil. Just 10 days later: shortage!

David Frum notes some hopeful hints of sanity from Muslim writers. Excerpt: "Dear Palestinian Arab brethren: The war with Israel is over. You have lost. Surrender and negotiate to secure a future for your children. We, your Arab brothers, may say until we are blue in the face that we stand by you, but the wise among you and most of us know that we are moving on, away from the tired old idea of the Palestinian Arab cause and the "eternal struggle" with Israel. Dear friends, you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine, but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948 is much bigger than the one you could have had in 1967, which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years. Struggle means less land and more misery and utter loneliness."

Immigration: The remnants of Federalism still valuable: "The spotlight in the illegal immigration debate has been on Congress's field hearings. But the action has been in Colorado, where the state legislature spent the weekend haggling over whether to cut government services to illegal aliens. Republican supporters want the issue to turn out their base in November. Democrats, meanwhile, are scrambling for the nearest political cover. Bill Ritter, the party's gubernatorial candidate, has even told reporters that "the person I'm closest to" on immigration is President Bush. With Washington deadlocked, the battle over illegal immigration is moving to the states. And if the fight on Capitol Hill has been ugly, just wait until state lawmakers who don't have the power to do much, feel compelled to do something about the 12 million or so illegal aliens in this country. Rep. Tom Tancredo, the Colorado Republican who did so much to bring this issue to a boil in the U.S. Congress, may yet see his nativist ideas enacted into law, albeit piecemeal and state by state."

Judge rules FBI raid on congressman's office was legal: "A federal judge on Monday upheld the FBI's unprecedented raid of a congressional office, saying that barring searches of lawmakers' offices would turn Capitol Hill into "a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime." Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan rejected requests from lawmakers and Rep. William Jefferson to return material seized by the FBI in a May 20-21 search of Jefferson's office. The overnight search was part of a 17-month bribery investigation of Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat. In a 28-page opinion, Hogan dismissed arguments by Jefferson and a bipartisan group of House leaders that the raid violated the Constitution's protections against intimidation of elected officials. Hogan acknowledged the "unprecedented" nature of the case. But he said the lawmakers' "sweeping" theory of legislative privilege "would have the effect of converting every congressional office into a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime."

More brilliant British bureaucracy: "A backlog of 5,000 passport applications has built up after serious problems developed with a computer system only weeks after the inception of a new online service. The Home Office agency in charge of issuing the travel documents has now withdrawn the online application service because of mounting difficulties in issuing passports. Some applicants have been asked to resubmit passport applications on paper and others have had application fees and other costs refunded because of the problems... The Prime Minister and John Reid, the Home Secretary, have praised the Passport Agency as an area of government with high levels of customer satisfaction. The agency is also the organisation that is to develop the identity card scheme, which will involve issuing tens of millions of cards to British citizens... Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said that the latest disclosure was "a terrible omen for the forthcoming identity cards scheme". He said: "If the Identity and Passports Service - supposedly the flagship of competent government IT procurement - can't handle 18,000 applications, how will it ever be able to run a database of every British citizen, with millions of applications a year?"

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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12 July, 2006

AN OLD TRUTH REDISCOVERED

As I have long ago shown elsewhere, academic psychology just goes around in circles, continually reinventing the wheel. The latest example is the following "discovery:

"Beauty may be more than skin deep after all. New research suggests that good-looking people do better in exams and thus probably in later life, than the plain or downright ugly. In the study, better-looking students achieved superior results in both oral and written exams -- the latter marked anonymously -- suggesting that success is not just down to teachers favouring attractive students but to superior natural ability.

"Physical appearance has a significant and economically meaningful effect on the performance of students," said the authors of the study, led by Giam Pietro Cipriani, associate professor of economics at the University of Verona in Italy.

The study -- presented to the annual conference of the European Society for Population Economics in Verona -- will reignite the debate on whether good-looking people get on in life through talent or beauty.


The authors of the study and the journalists commenting on it are scrambling for all sorts of explanations of the finding but are overlooking the one "nasty" explanation -- which happens to be the true one.

Back in the 1920s, Terman & Oden did a series of studies which they called "Genetic Studies of Genius". They took high IQ kids and tracked them for many years. What they found was that high IQ was only one aspect of a general syndrome of biological good functioning. The brain is only one part of the body and if the brain is functioning well, the rest of the body will usually be pretty good too. So high IQ kids tended to end up taller, have fewer health problems, have better social lives etc.

Cipriani has simply rediscovered that. There has long been a consensus that what we see as beautiful or attractive is a reflection of health, strength and fitness. So what Cipriani should have done is look at the IQ scores of his beautiful people. He would have found them to be somewhat brighter on average -- and that explains their greater academic success.

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A GOOD COMMENT ON AIRPORT "SECURITY"

From Jerry Lerman, referring to this report

In retrospect it was probably a bad idea to have the cell phone ring tone set to shout "I am a terrorist" while waiting to board a plane at the airport. A 15-year-old Singaporean girl was apprehended by Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport security in China when her cell phone shouted out "I am a terrorist" when a call came in.

Because this happened in China where human rights and personal freedom is much more restricted and individual liberty is less respected and valued by the government than here in the United States, she was permitted to board the plane only after being forced to delete the ring tone and after receiving "a severe telling off" from security forces instead of being arrested for delivering a terrorist threat, ruined for life with a felony record, and forced to remain in an interrogation cell for weeks on end with all of her rights canceled because she did something dumb at the airport, especially with her being from another country.

And surprisingly they didn't even evacuate the airport, delay flights for hours or send in dozens of police squads and security forces to contain her. They are so under-reactive in China.

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There is an interesting book out called Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict that Amazon refuses to list. Banning a book is of course a fairly reliable indication that the book contains unwelcome truths and so it is on this occasion. The basic point of the book is that Israel is going to have to get a lot tougher with the Arabs before they will give up their aggression. I am afraid the author (a senior Israeli politician writing under a pseudonym) is right.

Growing Revenues to Shrink Deficit: "The economy and federal revenues are growing at such a rapid rate that the deficit will shrink in the short term, President Bush's chief budget official says . . . . Rob Portman . . . said the president's economic policies have led to exceptional economic growth, which has in turn led to bulging federal receipts."

The GM struggle: "The timing could not have been more pointed. As Americans prepared to celebrate Independence Day, Kirk Kerkorian, a billionaire investor who owns nearly 10% of the world's largest carmaker, suggested that the best hope for General Motors was to join Renault and Nissan. A symbol of American commercial might needed rescuing by France and Japan... In particular, Mr Kerkorian and his sidekick Jerry York--veteran of turnarounds at Chrysler and IBM--wanted Mr Wagoner to endorse targets and a timetable for reversing GM's decline.... Mr York damned Mr Wagoner with faint praise and eulogised Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Renault and Nissan, for saving Nissan with ambitious targets that he hit early. Mr Ghosn's secret is to form cross-functional teams, have them draw up detailed plans and then enforce them. He made it work at Michelin in Brazil and America, at Renault in France (where he was called "le cost killer"), and most famously at Nissan in Japan, where he was parachuted in after Renault took a stake in the ailing company in 1999. At the time, Bob Lutz, now GM's vice-chairman, likened the investment in Nissan to filling a container with $6 billion in gold bullion and sinking it in the Pacific. GM's losses have since far exceeded that sum, whereas Nissan has notched up the best profit margins in the industry."

Peter Huber explains economics to the educated ignoramuses who demonize "Big Pharma".

Rather amusing: There is now a Carnival of Wal-Mart up! Posts from both pro- and anti-Wal-Mart bloggers.

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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11 July, 2006

Pollyanna speaking

I live in a country where I broadly approve of what the political class does. I don't think Australia's national leadership always gets it right but, given the circumstances in which they operate, I think they do pretty well. As far as I can see, I live in one of the world's most conservative countries and that suits me well. I am pretty content. The few things I am not content about, I address on Australian Politics and also occasionally here. But most of what gives me concerns happens in the USA and the UK, so that is what I mostly blog about.

But if I were a Brit, in particular, I think I would be cross-eyed with dissatisfaction. The huge take of the tax system, the appalling health service, the lack of personal safety (resulting from the combination of gun bans and a high level of crime), the worship of homosexuality and the extensive way BOTH sides of politics pander to Muslim dregs would irritate me to death.

I am particularly appalled by the latter. Several leading members of the Australian Federal government and even some Leftist State government leaders (one summary here) have told the Muslims to shut up or ship out. Their statements to that effect are continually being circulated via email by gleeful American conservatives who cannot believe that any politician could be so outspoken.

Both Britain and Australia have suffered from Muslim bombings but in Britain there is no end to the appeasement -- as we see here and here. But I am sure that both Mr Cameron and Mr Blair have done their market research and concluded that their wishy-washy approach to the Muslim menace has general public support. And the vote shows that. People COULD vote for the British National Party if they wanted to but very few do.

So how can almost the entire British people be so unwise? Unlike conspiracy theorists such as old Adolf and his successors today on both Left and Right, I do not delude myself with explanations in terms of malign outside forces. I think blind Freddy can see that the problem lies in the British people as a whole. Most Brits agree with the Blair/Cameron approach. They know what that approach is and they approve of it and vote for it. The approach is not the work of a few conspirators with big noses in back rooms.

So in those circumstances, the Pollyanna in me comes to the fore. I begin to doubt that the British are in fact unwise. I begin to suspect that there is wisdom in the Blair/Cameron approach. And the source of that approach is not far to see. It is in fact a realization of the teachings of Christianity. See Matthew 5:44, for instance.

Very few Brits these days are anything more than nominal Christians but those teachings are nonetheless the foundation of British conventional wisdom. What is no longer religion is still culture. And that the British culture is a wise one, its historically vast influence on the world rather confirms. American culture is still basically British (or else I would have to write this in Spanish) and even as culturally distinctive a country as Japan governs itself in very Anglo-Saxon ways. The Japanese Diet and the English parliament are very similar and there is no doubt which was the model for the other.

And the English attachment to kindness and consideration pays off. England has very seldom had to fight its wars alone. It is always successful at forming extensive alliances. And those alliances almost invariably put it on the winning side. In Mein Kampf, even Hitler expressed great admiration for British World War I propaganda and there is no doubt that British propaganda has been remarkably successful at portraying the British as the good guys. Nobody can win them all, of course, but even in former colonies, there is still considerable goodwill towards Britain.

But that propaganda has to have some basis. Lies don't work for long. Britain has to BE the good guy it promotes itself as being. And, largely, it is. And that is why it finds allies with relative ease. It is basically Britain's moral claims that eventually brought isolationist America to its side in two world wars (Yes. I know that Hitler declared war on America rather than vice versa but America was assisting Britain long before that).

So whatever the problems the Muslims cause and no matter what Britain ends up doing about that problem, it will act from a position of righteousness. It will be seen as having done all it can to deal with the problem kindly. And that is an asset of great value. Its decisions will be generally respected and supported and its actions will be assisted.

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A new declaration: "It is easy to simply blame faceless bureaucrats and politicians for our current state of affairs, and they do bear much of the blame. But blame also rests with those who expect Washington DC to solve every problem under the sun. If the public demanded that Congress abide by the Constitution and pass only constitutional spending bills, politicians would have no choice but to respond. Everybody seems to agree that government waste is rampant and spending should but cut -- but not when it comes to their communities or pet projects. So members of Congress have every incentive to support spending bills and adopt a go-along, get-along attitude. This leads to the famous compromises, but the bill eventually comes due on April 15th."

Minimum wage socialism: "The idea that legislators can help low-income workers simply by mandating a pay raise is the height of hubris. While the minimum-wage rhetoric may sound good, the reality is quite different. Forcing employers to pay low-skilled workers a higher than market wage - in the absence of any changes in productivity - will decrease the number of workers hired (the law of demand). The National Federation of Independent Business estimates that if the federal minimum wage is increased to $6.65 per hour, nearly 217,000 workers would lose their jobs. The long-run consequences would be even more severe, as employers introduced labor-saving equipment and technology. In fact, many entry-level jobs actually pay more than $5.15 or even $6.15 per hour, so the idea that without the minimum wage, workers would be exploited is a myth. In competitive markets, such as fast food and retailing, employers who pay below-market wages will not be able to attract sufficient help. McDonald's is paying up to $8 per hour in Panama City, Fla., for example".

Sowell on the black vote: "Should blacks vote for Democrats or Republicans? Since blacks are not all the same, any more than whites are, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Yet the black vote is more overwhelmingly tied to the Democrats than that of any other group. Most blacks are working people and taxpayers, who are not benefiting from the welfare state programs of the Democrats or from affirmative action. Many live in places where they are more likely than whites to become victims of the violent criminals that liberal judges turn loose and liberal governors pardon. Blacks are also more likely to gain from vouchers that would enable them to pull their children out of failing public schools and give them a chance to get a decent education in a safer environment."

Some sanity about Wal-Mart -- even in California: "Saying "Wal-Mart Supercenter" in some California city halls is akin to yelling "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater -- the first reaction is panic. Not so in eastern Sacramento County. Political leaders here are taking a more pragmatic approach to the corporate giant, discussing issues associated with the behemoth store as they calmly clear the way for the retailer. In Folsom, Wal-Mart's application to build a Supercenter prompted the City Council to create a committee to review the approval process for larger retailers. "We want to make sure we understand all the potential benefits and all the potential detriments," said Folsom Mayor Andy Morin. "We want to handle it in a very pragmatic, sophisticated manner." Meanwhile, a plan for a Supercenter in Orangevale, initially met with hostility from some residents, is now on the fast track to construction."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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10 July, 2006

BLOGIVERSARY

My first blog post ever was on this day in 2002. I reproduce immediately below an excerpt from the post concerned:

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DENIAL OF REALITY

"The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind." (H.L. Mencken)

There would seem to be some possibility that excess ego can be curbed. The traditional Christian preaching of humility certainly assumes that. It is doubtful, however, that another underpinning of Leftism can be much influenced: Denial of reality.

Denial is perhaps best known through the work of Sigmund Freud as a classical neurotic symptom or coping mechanism. Instead of dealing with uncomfortable truths, the neurotic acts as if those truths simply do not exist. This is, of course, very maladaptive and creates at least as many problems as it solves.

Sadly, however, it would seem that reality denial is far from limited to psychiatric cases. Denial would appear to be in fact much more common even than excess egotism. Human beings generally do not handle reality well. That is why humans are such a drug-using species. Whether it be alcohol, cannabis, opiates, Khat, cocaine, nicotine or merely caffeine, few of us seem able to face life without chemical crutches. Straight reality is generally too much for us.

But WHY are human beings so uncomfortable with reality? Why do they use so many means to "escape" it? Again it probably goes back to more primitive times when reality was very oppressive and dispiriting. Only those who could escape reality in some way had the heart to carry on. So a talent for ignoring unpleasant truths was adaptive. In the modern world, however, reality is much more benign and, as Freud saw, denying it can easily descend into the psychopathological.

So any attack on the reality-denying habits of Leftists would appear doomed to failure. Even such an overwhelming reality as the utter collapse of the world's 70 year experiment with Communism caused them not at all to abandon their equalitarian mania but only to change their focus somewhat.

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IS THIS THE FINAL MELTDOWN OF THE BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY?

They are clearly trying to outflank Blair on the LEFT

David Cameron is to deliver an extraordinary defence of hoodie-wearing yob teenagers, insisting they needed to be loved - not locked up. The Conservative leader attacked the decision by Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent to exclude youngsters wearing hooded tops. And in a speech tomorrow, he will say: 'The hoodie is a response to a problem, not a problem in itself.'

Mr Cameron will also praise the controversial film Kidulthood, set in his own Notting Hill neighbourhood, which depicts schoolchildren taking drugs, having casual sex and 'happy slapping' - attacking random passers by in the street. He says: 'Kidulthood is not about bad kids. Even the villain is clearly suffering from neglect and the absence of love.'

The comments mark the latest breath-taking Tory U-turn on law and order. Traditionally Conservatives have defined themselves by their tough, uncompromising stance on justice. But there is no mention of punishing the criminal yobs in Mr Cameron's speech. Instead, he stresses the role of 'compassion and kindness'.

And Mr Cameron attacks Tony Blair for supporting the Bluewater hoodie ban. He says: 'The fact is that the hoodie is a response to a problem, not a problem in itself. 'We - the people in suits - often see hoodies as aggressive, the uniform of a rebel army of young gangsters. But hoodies are more "defensive" than "offensive" - they're a way to stay invisible in the street. 'In a dangerous environment the best thing to do is keep your head down; blend in. 'For some, the hoodie represents all that's wrong about youth culture in Britain today. 'For me, adult society's response to the hoodie shows how far we are from finding the long-term answers to put things right.'

Kidulthood, released earlier this year, was criticised for its gritty portrayal of West London teenagers as criminals with no sense of morality.

More here

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The European plane-maker, Airbus, was for a time held up as an example of a government-owned enterprise that was succeeding in business -- though its reliance on big subsidies and soft loans from European governments always made that claim questionable. The excreta has now really hit the turbofan, however, with the company in deep trouble. See here.

The big-bang story of U.S. private business: "Did you know that just over the past 11 quarters, dating back to the June 2003 Bush tax cuts, America has increased the size of its entire economy by 20 percent? In less than three years, the U.S. economic pie has expanded by $2.2 trillion, an output add-on that is roughly the same size as the total Chinese economy, and much larger than the total economic size of nations like India, Mexico, Ireland and Belgium. This is an extraordinary fact, although you may be reading it here first. Most in the mainstream media would rather tout the faults of American capitalism than sing its praises. And of course, the media will almost always discuss supply-side tax cuts in negative terms, such as big budget deficits and static revenue losses. But here's another suppressed fact: Since the 2003 tax cuts, tax-revenue collections from the expanding economy have been surging at double-digit rates, while the deficit is constantly being revised downward. For those who bother to look, the economic power of lower-tax-rate incentives is once again working its magic."

Democrats wising up?: "Democrats in Congress should look outside of the capital, where some of their fellow party members are embracing tax cuts, and even supply-side economics, says the Wall Street Journal. A handful of blue states and Democratic Governors have put tax cuts in motion: Rhode Island, with Democrats holding 70 percent of the state legislature, have allowed residents the choice of a flat tax that cuts the top tax rate on high income earners to 5.5 percent from 9.9 percent. Arizona governor Janet Napolitano agreed to a 10 percent across-the-board cut in income tax rates. Oklahoma governor Brad Henry signed into law a budget that will cut rates by nearly 20 percent, from 6.25 percent to 5.25, percent and abolish the state estate tax. New Mexico governor Bill Richardson has cut the state's top income tax rate to 4.9 percent from 8.2 percent and cut the capital gains tax in half. "This was our way of declaring to the world that New Mexico is open for business," says Richardson. "After all, businesses move to states where taxes are falling, not rising." And contrary to the belief that tax cuts produce budget deficits, New Mexico has grown a half-billion-dollar surplus and seen tax revenues soar by 27 percent this year"

Estonia creates an economic miracle: "Mart Laar was barely 32 years old in 1992, when he became prime minister of Estonia, a small nation on the Baltic Sea that had just emerged from decades of Communist oppression as a satellite state of the Soviet Union. He inherited leadership of a country with 1,000 percent inflation, 30 percent unemployment, and government-owned businesses that were a shambles. Laar's government removed price controls, cut regulations and welfare programs, sold state-owned businesses, introduced a new currency, and instituted a simple, flat-rate income tax that is being emulated in countries across Central and Eastern Europe. The rate has been lowered several times over the years and is now at 20 percent. The result? Inflation in Estonia has dropped below 3 percent, unemployment has plunged below 6 percent, and foreign investment has poured in. Estonia has enjoyed the greatest growth in real per-capita income of any of the former Soviet states. Today the country is a member of NATO, the European Union, and the World Trade Organization."

Bush's border security plan decreases captures: "Unarmed National Guard, hailed as the answer to beef up border security, (surprise!) has resulted in FEWER captures along the border. As noted in the article, and evidenced by increased Minuteman sightings of illegal border crossers since October when the U.S. Senate caused the human tsunami over the border with their irresponsible rhetoric and false promises of amnesty, the flow of traffic over the border has increased, but the captures have decreased."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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9 July, 2006

THE COLOR OF RACISM IS DEMOCRAT BLUE

"Bigotry has proven, once again, to be the hallmark of Democrats and Liberals. This article from the Washington Post shows how some of one color are upset that someone of another color would DARE run for office in "their" district. The only difference between these people, such as Al Sharpton and George Wallace, is the color of their skin...racism comes in all colors--but especially in Democrat Blue.

The very same people that believe showing proof of ID at a polling place believe that white people or Hispanics should not run for office in a "black" district. Based on that, if you agree with the premise, Congressman Harold Ford, a black, should not be allowed to run for the US Senate from Tennessee, since that state HAS a majority of white people. Or that Ken Blackwell in Ohio, Lynn Swann in Pennsylvania or Michael Steele in Maryland, should not be allowed to run for statewide office in their home states--why? Because they are black and the majority in those three states are white. (PLUS, THEY ARE THE "WRONG" TYPES OF AFRO-AMERICANS--REPUBLICANS)

Bigotry, of the lowest form has shown itself, this time in Brooklyn. Instead of wanting the best, most competent people in office, the Jesse Jackson Wing of the Democrat Party are ONLY concerned about skin color. That is George Wallace styled bigotry. Maybe that is why they want affirmative action, set asides, quotas and special benefits, based on color or ethnicity. The Jackson Wing believes people of color are incapable of success, that it must be given to them in order to achieve anything.

Sadly, two generations of good people have been convinced they are no good without government help. We have two generations, and working on a third, that have leaders giving them low self esteem. Read this article and weep for the children and the lost opportunities. BTW, the Jackson's and Sharpton's aren't really for Afro-Americans holding high office, the person must be the "right" black person--just remember Clarence Thomas!"

From Stephen Frank

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I love it! "Memo to Boston Globe gay and lesbian Guild employees: Get married or lose your domestic partner benefits. Globe staffers have been told that health and dental benefitsfor gay employees’ domestic partners are being discontinued. Gay couples who want to keep their benefits must marry by Jan. 1. A memo sent to the Globe’s Boston Newspaper Guild members, and obtained by the Herald, states that Massachusetts gay Guild employees can extend their benefits to their partners only if they marry. “An employee who currently covers a same-sex domestic partner as a dependent will have to marry his or her partner by Jan. 1 for the employee benefits coverage to continue at the employee rates,” the memo states. The policy change at the Globe, which devotes extensive coverage to gay issues, opens a new can of worms in the Bay State"

Peace hypocrite: "A New Zealand peace activist is facing serious assault charges after he allegedly punched a rock singer in London, leaving the man in a coma. Christiaan Briggs, 30, who spent three weeks in Iraq with the Truth Justice Peace Human Shield Action Group in 2003, appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Tuesday to face a charge of grievous bodily harm. Police say the incident occurred on June 22 when Briggs allegedly punched 19-year-old Billy Leeson, causing the rising rock star to hit his head on the ground. Leeson, the lead singer with rock band Les Incompetents - who have supported Pete Doherty's group Babyshambles - was "still very ill", said Scotland Yard spokesman James Nadin. His condition was described as "critical but stable". Mr Nadin said an argument broke out between the pair after Briggs allegedly "made advances" towards Leeson's girlfriend."

Scruton on Leftist shrieks of "Racism": "Someone who is in a state of denial regarding his mortal illness, his wife's infidelity or his child's delinquency will turn angrily on the one who refers to the forbidden truth. Likewise, a political culture that is in denial about a serious social problem will condemn those who seek to discuss it, and try its best to silence them. For a long time now the European political class has been in denial about the problems posed by the large-scale immigration of people who do not enter into our European way of life. It has turned angrily on those who have warned against the disruption that might follow, or who have affirmed the right of indigenous communities to refuse admission to people who cannot or will not assimilate. And one of the weapons that the elite has used, in order to ensure that it is never troubled by the truths that it denies, is to accuse those who wish to discuss the problem of `racism and xenophobia'"

Big loss for the legal piranhas: "The Florida Supreme Court lifted a cloud over the tobacco industry Thursday when it refused to reinstate a crushing $144.8-billion class-action verdict that had been overturned by a state appeals court. The long-awaited ruling came in the landmark Engle class-action case, filed on behalf of up to 700,000 Florida smokers who blamed tobacco-related illnesses on an industry conspiracy to hide the risks and addictiveness of smoking. In July 2000, after a two-year trial, a state court jury in Miami ordered top cigarette makers to pay the record-breaking punitive damages award. The judgment far surpassed any civil verdict before or since and, according to tobacco executives, would have bankrupted their companies. A Florida appeals court reversed the judgment in 2003, but plaintiffs sought review by the state's highest court, leading to Thursday's decision."

British Tories veer even further Left: "The Conservatives will next week ditch hardline policies on immigration that were widely seen to have backfired at the last election. As they attempt to create a more “civilised” approach, David Cameron’s party will consult ethnic minority groups in big cities and begin to extol the benefits of migration, The Times has learnt. The change is expected to involve dropping controversial policies such as quotas for refugees, processing migrants on an island and withdrawing from the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. These were put centre stage in the election under the leadership of Michael Howard, but the tactic was blamed for turning off some voters. Doreen Lawrence, mother of the murdered black teenager Stephen, said Mr Howard was “clearly pandering to the racists”. Damian Green, the Tory immigration spokesman, told The Times that the tone during the election campaign “was perceived by many people as harsh”. He will meet Muslims in Coventry on Monday in the first of a series of consultations towards a new policy, which he said must have the consent of ethnic minorities."

Malaria: Marvellous news: "A drug developed to treat allergies has been identified by US researchers as a potential cure for malaria. Tests in mice show that the antihistamine astemizole also kills the malaria parasite. It is already licensed for use in people, so it could be developed for use as a malaria drug in about 12 months. And because it is no longer under patent, it will be possible to manufacture it at rock-bottom prices."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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8 July, 2006

Brookes News Update

What's new about Sulzberger and the New York Times committing treason? After all, Clinton did it: It's not the first time that the craven Arthur Sulzberger has committed treason and it won't be the last. Not satisfied with aiding and abetting terrorists this collaborator authorized Bill Keller to personally target Rumsfeld and Cheney. To these political perverts' twisted minds conservative America is the real enemy - not the sadistic scum that hack off heads, butcher prisoners and murder children
The New York Times and the Democratic Party: partners in treason: The outrageous treason being openly committed by the mainstream media led by the detestable New York Times has overshadowed the treason committed by Democrats
Treason is deeply embedded in the Democratic Party and the New York Times: 'Pinch' Sulzberger, the New York Times publisher who strives to make treason respectable and patriotism a shameful word, is a putrescent specimen of the moral rot that that is eating away at the mainstream media
Is journalism and treason now joined at the hip?: In simple language treason is the act of betraying one's country to those who would destroy it and enslave its people. This definition is so simple that leftwing sophisticated journalists sneer at it. Is this why they defend our enemies?
Moscow gold: how a journalist defended treason: The New York Times' treason demonstrates not just its moral depravity but the dismal fact that the leftwing media has learnt nothing from history. Their cultish addiction to a dystopian doctrine has drained them of all moral sense and left them bereft of any loyalty to basic humanitarian values
Wealth, markets and happiness - or how the arrogance of our rightwing screwed it up again: We are still getting dopey articles from so-called economic commentators sagely telling us that wealth doesn't bring happiness, which is pretty rich coming from a pampered bunch of asses that would scream bloody murder if they had to take wage cut

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There are a couple of thoughtful and interesting comments on the recent North Korean missile launch here and here. The only thing we can be sure of is that the response will be gutless. It already has been, in fact.

Maybe it is wicked of me but I must say that I get a good laugh out of the scathing way Keith Burgess Jackson zaps that disgusting Leftist abusenik, Brian Leiter. Here is a recent paragraph: "Leiter is really quite feebleminded if he thinks linking to a blog that abuses me bothers me. Remember: Any person can create a blog for free in a couple of minutes, using Blogger. Someone can create a blog right now devoted to attacking you, without disclosing his or her identity. Leiter has said many times that he doesn't like anonymous blogging or blog commenting, but notice that he is more than happy to facilitate anonymous blogging (or commenting) when the cowards who do the blogging or commenting do his dirty work for him. What a man! A person's character is revealed in his or her actions. Read Leiter's blog for a few days; it will tell you everything you need to know about him. Yale law professor Jules Coleman, who knows Leiter well, describes him as "complicated." Hint: That means nuts. It's no accident that Leiter idolizes Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche went insane. Leiter and Nietzsche are peas in a pod: both abusive, both disturbed." Keith certainly gives Leiter a taste of his own medicine

Those evil businessmen at work: "Love Canal": ""In 1947, Hooker Chemical bought the site and used it for their own waste until it was filled in 1952, when they closed the site and backfilled the canal. The local school board tried to buy part of the site from Hooker, on which they wanted to build an elementary school. Hooker refused to sell, and went to extreme lengths to convince city officials that the site was unsafe for public use. Eventually, with the threat of eminent domain, the city forced Hooker into selling the property for a dollar. Hooker complied, only with their thorough explanation of why it was a disastrous idea. Hooker had sealed the area carefully, but the city forced their way through the seal, built the school, dug sewers, and approved construction of homes ... with no warnings to the homebuyers."

A German Comment on Germany's Angela Merkel: "The planned wave of tax hikes and contribution increases has nothing to do with her election manifesto pledges. It has nothing to do with what Germany really needs. The additional billions of euros in revenue won't help anything new flourish, it will just seep away into the old system. What's more, the welfare net is even being expanded. Increased benefits for the long-term unemployed in eastern Germany and generous payments for new parents are nourishing the individual's claim on society, a claim Merkel originally wanted to curtail for good reason... Her "breakthrough in health policy"announced at the weekend is a breakthrough in the wrong direction. German labor, already struggling to compete in an international price war, will be made even more expensive rather than cheaper. The stranglehold the welfare system has on paid employment is being tightened, not loosened. And bureaucracy faces a boom through the creation of a new health fund authority to oversee a new system of health contributions."

Homosexual marriage out: "The highest courts in two states dealt gay rights advocates dual setbacks Thursday, rejecting same-sex couples' bid to win marriage rights in New York and reinstating a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Georgia. Activists had hoped to widen marriage rights for gays and lesbians beyond Massachusetts with a legal victory in liberal New York, but the Court of Appeals ruled 4-2 that the state's law allowing marriage only between a man and a woman was constitutional. The decision comes two years after gay and lesbian couples, supported by gay-rights groups who saw a chance for a major court win in a populous state, sued for the right to wed.

NY court: State can deny driver's licenses to illegal immigrants : "A state appeals court ruled Thursday that New York's Department of Motor Vehicles can require immigrants to prove they are in this country legally before they are allowed to have driver's licenses. The 5-0 ruling by the Appellate Division in Manhattan reversed a decision by Justice Karen S. Smith, who ordered the DMV last year to stop denying driver's licenses to immigrants who did not have Social Security numbers or proof they were in the country legally."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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7 July, 2006

ABOUT OUR 'DICTATOR'

Excerpt from Jeff Jacoby

In many quarters it has long been taken for granted that George W. Bush is an aspiring dictator, ravenous for power and all too willing to shred the constitutional checks and balances that restrain presidential authority. Of course this kind of paranoia is routine in the ideological fever swamps, where anyone to the right of Michael Moore is tagged a fascist. But you can hear such things said about Bush even in respectable precincts far from the fringe... So when the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld last week, Bush's reaction was easy to foretell: He would show the ruling all the respect of a monster truck rolling over a VW Beetle....

A five-justice majority held the military commissions created by the administration to try the Guantanamo detainees are invalid, since they were never authorized by congressional statute. The justices seem to have repudiated Bush's claim that the Constitution invests the president with sweeping unilateral authority in wartime. "The court's conclusion ultimately rests upon a single ground," Justice Stephen Breyer pointedly notes in a concurrence. "Congress has not issued the Executive a 'blank check.' "

Whereupon Bush says -- what? "The justices have made their decision; now let them enforce it"? Something even more acid? Perhaps he repeats a statement he has made previously -- "I'm the decider, and I decide what is best"? Not quite. He says he takes the court's decision "seriously." A few moments later he says it again. And then comes this: "We've got people looking at it right now to determine how we can work with Congress, if that's available, to solve the problem." There is no disdain. No bravado. No criticism. Just an acknowledg ment that the Supreme Court has spoken and the executive branch will comply. Some dictator.

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Crazy court confers unearned rights: "Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, as of yesterday the Geneva Conventions no longer offer an incentive for terrorist thugs to abide by the rules of war. The court has afforded al-Qaida members the protections of a treaty their leaders never signed and they have never followed. The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 yesterday that the military tribunals used to try prisoners at Guantanamo Bay were both unconstitutional and illegal under the Geneval Conventions. The court made some sense with its constitutional argument, but none at all when it applied the Geneva Conventions to al-Qaida.

New Vatican realism about Islam: "Obtaining the same rights for Christians in Islamdom that Muslims enjoy in Christendom has become the key to the Vatican's diplomacy toward Muslims. This balanced, serious approach marks a profound improvement in understanding that could have implications well beyond the Church, given how many lay politicians heed its leadership in inter-faith matters. Should Western states also promote the principle of reciprocity, the results should indeed be interesting."

EU protectionism hurts the poor: "Peter Mandelson, the European Union trade commissioner, was accused yesterday of hurting low-income families by imposing a new EU surcharge on children's shoes imported from Asia in an attempt to protect jobs in the ailing shoe industries of southern Europe. Under intense pressure from countries including Italy, France and Spain, Mr Mandelson has drawn up plans for anti-dumping tariffs on certain categories of leather shoes made in China and Vietnam."

Patriotism strong in the USA: ""In . . . interviews conducted during the July 4 weekend, words such as love and loyalty toward America flow easily, as do expressions of belief in the ideals of freedom and democracy. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that the latest global survey on national pride, a close cousin of patriotism, found that Americans ranked No. 1 among the 34 democracies polled."

From a review of Standing with Israel: Why Christians Support The Jewish State: "These examples demonstrate the deeper spiritual relationship between Jewish and Christian Zionists. As the world, through the UN and other forces, now attempts to make Israel the international scapegoat, it is time to bury the unimportant differences that divide us. Those who share Judeo-Christian values must join hands in support of Israel our beloved. Standing With Israel is a most welcome and timely call for Jewish and Christian Zionists to let go of mutual distrust, agree to disagree on other matters and to work together to ensure a safe and prosperous future for Israel. David Brog not only bears witness to this historic Jewish/Christian reconciliation that is taking shape, but contributes towards it with this illuminating and highly readable book."

Line up for welfare, unpaid Mufti is told: "Australia's Muslim spiritual leader, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, has lost his $40,000 cleric's allowance and been told to apply for the dole because the bitterly divided national Islamic council can no longer pay him. The high-profile sheik has been instructed to "contact your local Centrelink office" by the nation's peak Muslim body, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, which is locked in a legal dispute over its leadership and has been denied access to its bank accounts".

Kuwaiti student quick to invoke all-American alibi: "Last week, a young Kuwaiti woman who was lucky enough to avoid jail time after leaving the scene of a fatal accident told a local TV reporter that she had been victimized by the justice system because of her Arab roots. 'It's been hell,' 20-year-old Reem Bishara said. 'I've been to hell and back. ... I was treated very unfairly. I shouldn't be paying the price for this. I'm not the one who did anything.' Actually, she did. Bishara's attitude illustrates exactly why so many people are put off by her. It isn't because she was born a Kuwaiti. It's because she behaves like an American. Not like the early patriots whom we celebrate each July Fourth, but like the 2006 variety, who would rather blame others for their troubles than own up to them."

Put the "independence" back in Independence Day: "'Independence Day' is a critically important title. It signifies the fundamental meaning of this nation, not just of the holiday. The American Revolution remains unique in human history: a revolution -- and a nation -- founded on a moral principle, the principle of individual rights. Jefferson at Philadelphia, and Washington at Valley Forge, pledged their 'lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.' For what? Not for mere separation from England, not -- like most rebels -- for the 'freedom' to set up their own tyranny. In fact, Britain's tyranny over the colonists was mild compared to what most current governments do to their citizens. Jefferson and Washington fought a war for the principle of independence, meaning the moral right of an individual to live his own life as he sees fit."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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6 July, 2006

BOOK REVIEW of "Only in America" by Paul Oreffice

Published by Stroud & Hall, Macon, Georgia. H.B. $25

This book is a lot better than it sounds at first. Happily, stories about immigrants making good in America are so common that they have become almost boring. But this is a very un-boring book. As the son of an Italian/Jewish father who fled Italy to escape Mussolini, Paul Oreffice certainly started out at the bottom of the ladder. And when he became head of America's vast Dow Chemical company, he certainly reached the top of the ladder.

But much of the book is about the times before he even arrived in America and that certainly transports you to a different and unfamiliar time and place. Oreffice senior was a brilliant and courageous Jewish businessman in Italy who was so unwise as to tell all and sundry about his contempt for Mussolini. Many Jews for many years have seen the advantages of keeping a low profile -- particularly in political matters -- but Oreffice senior was one who ignored that and allowed his passions to show. The Fascists did of course eventually arrest and maltreat him so he fled Italy to escape further problems with them. But the story of how all that happened is a vivid human-interest story that is as good as any novel. And the story goes on from there in similar fascinating style.

Of his time in America, I particularly liked the accounts of how Dow chemical responded to attacks on it from the Left. Paul Oreffice had the burden of doing a lot of that responding and he actually managed to turn a lot of his opponents around by sticking to the facts and keeping his cool. That seems to have been very effective in undermining Leftist emotionalism and misinformation. I think there is a lesson for us all in that.

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Depressing: Read here the appallingly ignorant description of how the internet works given by Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens, chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee of the US Senate. It's like having an illiterate in charge of education.

Boeing buries Europe: "Airbus will confirm tomorrow that it has lost the lead in aircraft orders to its rival Boeing after five years of dominance, The Times has learnt. The beleaguered jet builder will collate its half-year order book at a sales meeting in Toulouse tomorrow and a yawning gap between the two companies will become apparent. Airbus has definitive orders for 145 to 150 aircraft so far this year. In May it had 105 orders. Boeing has three times as many with 445 (358 in May). The disparity in sales figures emphasises the difficulties facing Airbus, which announced production delays in its flagship A380 project last month."

Parenting discouraged in Germany: "Low birth rates and the ageing population in Germany have dominated media in discussions about how to pay for health care and social security. Now, a study says it is men who are primarily responsible for fewer births. In its study, the Robert Bosch Foundation found that "men are scared to start families," said Ingrid Hamm, managing director of the foundation.... Hamm said another reason for fewer children in Germany is that people feel too much pressure. They have long career training periods and then "have to do everything at once between the ages of 30 and 40: get married, have kids, build a house, pursue their careers and save money for retirement," she said. "All that pressure makes people put off having children until later or not at all." ... Hamm said the study showed that having children is just one of many values among Germans; it is not a top priority. Parents with many children are viewed critically, while "it is completely socially acceptable to not have kids here."

An Overdue Tribute Unveiled: "According to the Albanian concept of besa, a sort of code of honor, a person in need must be provided with every possible measure of protection and assistance. It was thanks in no small measure to this idea that nearly all of Albania's 2,000 Jews - and hundreds of foreign Jewish refugees - were spared as World War II tore through Europe. In April, journalist and amateur Holocaust historian Jack Goldfarb witnessed the unveiling of a granite monument devoted to Albania's heroism, thus fulfilling his own personal pledge of besa that began more than eight years ago. The monument is displayed at a Holocaust memorial park in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.... "This is a story that needs to be told," Fischer told the Forward this week. "There were actually more Jews in the country after the war than before - thanks to the Albanian traditions of religious tolerance and hospitality. In Albania, when someone crosses the threshold of your home, your honor depends on defending him."

British Muslims very divided: "A significant minority of British Muslims believe they are at war with the rest of society, the largest poll of Muslims in this country suggests. The Populus survey for The Times and ITV News has found that more than one in ten thinks that the men who carried out the London bombings of 7/7 should be regarded as "martyrs". Sixteen per cent of British Muslims, equivalent to more than 150,000 adults, believe that while the attacks were wrong, the cause was right. But the poll also revealed a stark gulf between this group and the majority of British Muslims, who want the Government to take tougher measures against extremists within their community."

Leading Australian Leftist admits to rubbery principles: "Reconnecting Labor - one of several books dealing with the state of the federal ALP - was launched yesterday by Julia Gillard, touted as a future leader, who said: "It is said if sharks don't swim they die, but if progressive forces don't debate ideas, then they may as well die." She said there was a "lively debate within Labor about what our traditional values are, whether we are honouring those values, or whether in truth we have sold them out". To laughter, she quoted Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others."

Amusing: There is a rock music video here that says: "Bush was right". Good to see some real "diversity" in the popular music industry. I am a Bach and Mozart man myself but to my inexpert ears the song sounds a good one.

Dick Mac on his home-town paper: "The Los Angeles Times is a leftist rag. It spews such liberal propaganda that it is hard to find actual news in its pages. To say that it is anti-American, anti-war, anti-business, anti-Republican is just scratching the surface of this pathetic excuse for communication. Today they scold Harvard Business School for turning out the embarrassment of all embarrassments, their MBA, George W. Bush. To give some authority to their scolding, they enlist the services of Charles R. Kesler, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. After a reading of the article I seriously doubt this academic is any more qualified to opine on the subject than my pet poodle."

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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5 July, 2006

IMMIGRATION NOT AN ECONOMIC BENEFIT

A British article excerpted below

'We recognise the positive contributions immigration makes to the country and the economy," the Prime Minister's official spokesman said last week. "If we don't have migration, we don't have the growth from the economy that we all benefit from." He was responding to some concerns about the rate of immigration raised by Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead - but Downing Street's claim that "if we don't have immigration, we won't have economic growth" has been stated over and over again since Labour took office in 1997.

If you repeat something often enough, you can perhaps make people believe it. What you cannot do is turn it from being false into being true. And the Government's claim about the economic benefits of immigration is false. As an academic economist, I have examined many serious studies that have analysed the economic effects of immigration.

There is no evidence from any of them that large-scale immigration generates large-scale economic benefits for the existing population as a whole. On the contrary, all the research suggests that the benefits are either close to zero, or negative.

Immigration can't solve the pensions crisis, nor solve the problem of an ageing population, as its advocates so often claim. It can, at most, delay the day of reckoning, because, of course, immigrants themselves grow old, and they need pensions.....

We desperately need an honest debate on the issue. But if the Government's record is anything to go by, it will do everything it can to prevent one.

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Mary Beth Oliver is a professor of communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Penn State University. She has written an amusing article here that cautiously blames the media for the common perception that blacks are more likely to be criminals. The possibility that blacks ARE more inclined to criminality is not of course considered -- despite all the official statistics showing that vastly higher rates of crime among blacks. And blaming the media is about as desperate as you can get. Via my Gun Watch blog, I track crime reports in America at great length and it is usually only the fact that race is NOT identified that tells you a criminal is black! She also makes some comments on stereotypes which suggest that stereotypes are usually false. The academic literature shows the opposite. See here and here. But we can't expect an academic to be influenced by the academic literature can we? Mary Beth obviously prefers her prejudices.

Report from South Africa: It really is as bad as you think. My house in the leafy suburb of Melville resembles a fortress. I live behind a 10ft wall topped with a 10,000 volt electric fence. There are iron bars over all my windows and doors. I have an alarm system of bewildering complexity which not only makes a terrible racket but also summons an “armed response unit” to deal with any intruder (They would probably kill him – but I try not to think about that). I even have infra-red beams in my garden. And I’m not paranoid. This is all standard stuff."

How sad that anybody had to "discover" this: "Playing with your young children is the best way to make them into smart adults, researchers say-beating trendy toys, classes or music as a brain-building strategy for preschoolers. Children's foremost need is a secure relationship with an adult who loves them, said Eric Knudsen of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif. "It's all about playing with your child," he added. A paper appearing in the June 27 advance online issue of the research journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences details the findings, by Knudsen and three other members of the U.S. National Scientific Council on the Developing Child."

The ultimate pro-Wal-Mart article: "Wal-Mart is one of the great shining examples of what a market economy can achieve. If I were to give a tour of the United States to visitors from a socialist country, who are used to experiencing chronic shortages of almost everything, Wal-Mart would be one of the first places I would take them. It is a perfect symbol of one of the most remarkable things that we have - an enormous variety of high quality, low cost products that are available to virtually everyone throughout the United States. Wal-Mart stores are indeed impressive sights, housed in gigantic structures, capable of serving many thousands of customers every day. Wal-Mart's most common type of store - the Supercenter - offers customers an indoor, air-conditioned shopping area larger than three football fields. These shopping behemoths provide so much - such a staggeringly huge range of well-made products - that a person could practically live his whole life without having to shop anywhere else. Walk into a Wal-Mart Supercenter and look around; the place is amazing! It boggles the mind to think of the enormous complexity that must be involved in running a store that accomplishes all this, which is truly responsible for an improvement in our standard of living"

Supporting the troops incorrect in Canada: "The annual Canada Day parade in the seaside community of Parksville will have one less float Saturday because a local group opposes what it calls the American-dominated military theme of this year's parade. The decision by parade organizer, the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce, to sell T-shirts with the message Support Our Troops has started an ideological war of words in this normally tranquil tourism and retirement community located about 150 kilometres northeast of Victoria. The decision to sell T-shirts, for $10 each, was made to raise money to offset parade costs and send a message to Canadians serving in the military that people in Parksville were thinking about them on Canada Day, said chamber president Cheryl Dill on Tuesday. But the Oceanside Coalition for Strong Communities says the T-shirts are an open endorsement of American military policy, which many Canadians do not support even though Canadian troops are stationed in Afghanistan".

American manufacturing dying?: "Someone forgot to tell American manufacturers the bad news. Most of them have enjoyed roaring success of late. Net profits have risen by nearly 9% a year since the recession in 2001 and productivity has been growing even more rapidly than is usual during economic expansions (see chart). The country's various widget-makers, moreover, show no sign of losing their innovative edge. Even in the automotive industry, GM and Delphi are arguably the exceptions. America has hundreds of car-parts makers, most of which are profitably supplying the plants of foreign carmakers such as Toyota and Honda, which this week announced that it will build a new plant in Indiana, to open in 2008. Caterpillar, which drove a harder bargain than GM and Ford did a few years ago with the United Auto Workers union, has since achieved huge gains in efficiency."

If there are any car freaks among my readers, they may be interested to see some more pictures of my recently-acquired 1963 Humber Super Snipe. I have posted some photos here.

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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4 July, 2006

HAPPY JULY 4 TO MY AMERICAN READERS

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CURRENTLY UP ON ICJS

Radical Islamic conference at university
Comments on Ed O'loughlin
Investigate the tunnel fiasco
Why I love Australia
Israel admitted to Red Cross
Spreading Hate, Destruction & Terrorism
The Middle East: The war of images
This time the crocodile won't wait
The Palestinian disease: Who Is to Blame for Grief on a Gaza Beach
Summary Report on Human Rights Watch
The seductive beat of the militant, Islamic drum
Summary of IDF investigation of incident on the Gaza beach
About the ABC's "expert"
Uncertainty shrouds Gaza beach tragedy
As Islamists Grow Confident, It's Time for the West To Stand
Come to Londonistan, our refuge for poor misunderstood Islam

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Martin Frost on Why liberals must lead War on Terror: "And now along comes Peter Beinart's new book, "The Good Fight - Why Liberals - and only Liberals - Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again." Beinart, a young, articulate editor and writer for the New Republic, has explained in great detail why liberals who adhere to their traditional pro-defense position can successfully lead our country in the war against terror. It's something I have been thinking about for a long time..... liberals should be at the forefront of the fight against terrorists like Usama bin Laden-- just as liberals fought communists for control of American labor unions in the 1940's, and just as liberals kept communism out of western Europe following World War II. We truly live in a dangerous world and the United States should lead the way in ridding the world of Al Qaeda. To accomplish this, liberals should support a strong U.S. military and significant funding for homeland security. Many traditional liberals, both in Congress and in the general public, have done just that.

Oil prices artificially high due to lack of economic freedom: "While the world has enough proven and unproven reserves of oil to meet demand for the next 100 years, much of it lies under countries with economies that do not provide market incentives to encourage production, according to a new report by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA),. The report also points out that the lack of incentives increases the importance of tapping resources in countries with free economies, such as Canada and the United States. "We have the oil to fuel our future energy needs," noted NCPA Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett, who authored the report. "Unfortunately, a lot of it is artificially out of reach due to a lack of economic freedom in the Middle East and South America, or a hyper-sensitivity to environmental activists in the U.S."

Kudlow: Surprise drop in oil price?: "The Energy Department just announced that crude oil supplies rose 1.4 million barrels to 347.1 million for the week ended June 16. Analysts had been expecting a drawdown, so this news caught them by surprise. More, crude oil supplies in the U.S. are now at their highest levels since May 1998, when oil was trading around $15 a barrel. Add in the fact that Canadian oil inventories are fully stocked, and the more imminent reality is of a sizable oil-price decrease - not a huge increase. Recently I interviewed four oil-tanker executives who control a combined 85 percent of the oil coming into the United States. They confirmed market rumors that the amount of oil being stored on large carriers on the high seas is abnormally high. One of the CEOs even predicted the possibility of $40 to $50 oil in the next 6 to 12 months"

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HOMELESS? "We haven't heard much--anything, really--about the homeless since, oh, roughly January 20, 1993," Andrew Ferguson noted in January 2001, predicting that with Bush replacing Clinton, the media would soon rediscover them. As if on cue, days later the Washington Post ran a 2,000-word opus on the plight of the homeless in the nation's capital. But does the reverse hold? If the Bush administration makes progress on homelessness, does it make news? The answer, all too predictably, is no. At a remarkably underreported conference in Denver in May, advocates for the homeless met to discuss a pattern of falling homeless populations across the country. In the past six months, New York has announced a reduction of 13 percent, Denver 11 percent, Portland 20 percent, Miami 30 percent, Philadelphia 50 percent. The story merited squibs in the Denver Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Rocky Mountain News. The New York Times ran a page 19 story almost a month later. Beyond that, silence."

Vatican firm on homosexual marriage: "A Vatican authority on family values spelled out the Roman Catholic Church's uncompromising opposition to same-sex marriages in a newspaper interview published today as a Catholic meeting on the family began in Spain, where such unions are legal. "There are not several models (for marriage), there is only one, which comes from God and is irreplaceable," the Colombian Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, organiser of the fifth Catholic World Meeting of Families, said. "Marriage is not a project of parliament or institutions, which are here today and gone tomorrow," said Mr Trujillo, who is also president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family.

Good news: "David Cameron is to lead a campaign to bar MPs with Scottish seats from voting on English legislation in an attempt to thwart Gordon Brown's ambitions of becoming Prime Minister. The Conservatives are preparing to back a constitutional change that would stop Mr Brown from taking part in votes on Bills relating to English schools, hospitals and a host of other policies. MPs with Scottish constituencies can no longer vote on legislation for such policies in Scotland as, since 1998, these have been the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament"

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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3 July, 2006

THE NYT HAS BEEN A PROMOTER OF TYRANTS FOR A LONG TIME

We all know about the lying Duranty and Stalin but here is more:

The late New York Times journalist Herbert L. Matthews is now an almost forgotten name, except, perhaps, among journalism students and those who remember the earliest days of the Cuban Revolution. It was Matthews who, while covering Cuba for the Times in February 1957, got the scoop of a lifetime. Fulgencio Batista, Cuba's authoritarian ruler, had announced that Castro and his small band of rebels had been killed by Batista's troops three months earlier. Not trusting the official sources, Matthews sought out the truth. Claiming to be a tourist, he penetrated Batista's military lines and made a harrowing journey through the jungle on foot, eluding government troops and eventually holding his now-famous rendezvous with the young revolutionary.

Matthews's front-page story altered the fortunes of Castro and his beleaguered rebels. Opponents of Batista's regime smuggled copies of the banned paper into Cuba, and within a short time Cuba's people learned that Castro had not been defeated, and that he had more troops and followers than anyone had believed. For Americans, the story offered proof that conditions in Cuba were not as stable and calm as Batista had claimed, and that the charismatic young bearded guerrilla fighter was the new democratic hope for a nation tired of tyranny. Castro, after all, had told Matthews he sought only democracy, and was not interested in power for himself. Smitten by Castro, Matthews saw him as a heroic future liberator, a man whose cause he could make his own; Matthews would not just write a newspaper story, but help to make history.

Nor was this the first time that Matthews saw himself as the chronicler of activist heroes. In the 1930s, biographer Anthony DePalma points out, Matthews was a supporter of Mussolini, whose invasion of Abyssinia he backed and whose Fascist armed forces he extolled. By 1936, the civil war in Spain was the new hot story, and - moved by the valiant effort of the defenders of Madrid against Franco - Matthews switched his allegiances and wrote accounts meant to awaken the sympathies of American readers to the Republic's cause. His stories won him the lifelong friendship of the American Communist volunteers who fought Franco in the so-called Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

As a boy, Matthews had admired the danger-defying journalist Richard Harding Davis, whose reporting on the Spanish-American War came to define Theodore Roosevelt's reputation as the hero of San Juan Hill. Castro offered the perfect opportunity for Matthews to make his own left-wing version of TR. Moreover, Matthews was candid that his sympathies lay with Castro's rebellion. "I feel about Cuba somewhat as I did about Spain," he confessed. "One . . . wants to share . . . if only as a sympathizer, what the Cubans are suffering." Thus Matthews, in his own words, became "the man who invented Fidel." Of course, as DePalma notes, that was simple bragging. Castro did not need Matthews to create him; he needed Matthews as a propaganda and publicity tool in Cuba.

More here

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ELSEWHERE

Leftist Susan Estrich attacks the NYT: "Turn to the editorial page of the same day's paper and what you'll find is not the objective media wrapped in the First Amendment, but a sad exercise in name calling by the local bullies who own the biggest microphone around."

Buying freedom from the UAW: ""Indiana became the winner yesterday in a short five-way race to land the Honda Motor Company's newest assembly plant in North America. . . . The project will cost the State of Indiana about $140 million. Of that, $40 million will go directly to Honda; about $45 million will be spent on roads and other infrastructure to serve the plant, and another $50 to $55 million will go to improvements in the region in anticipation of growth caused by the plant."

The elderly Japanese: "Japan has overtaken Italy to become the world's most elderly nation, fuelling concern over the effects of a rapidly aging population on the world's second-largest economy. Census results released yesterday have outdone even the most pessimistic projections. Having spent their lives on a healthy diet of fish, green-tea and rice, Japan's increasingly long-lived ranks of over-65s now constitute a record 21 per cent of the population - an army of 26.82 million pensioners in a country where the birth-rate continues to sink well below replacement levels. A record 25,606 people are over 100 years old, a segment of the population that has been expanding for 35 years. One in every 5,000 Japanese is now a centenarian."

Libertarians should embrace the Christian Right "Yet despite their political impotency, the libertarian Right appears bent on bringing down the one political movement that has tolerated its know-it-all-ism and has in fact dragged it into the halls of political power along with it, rather like a ball and chain: the Christian Right. It is beyond arguing that a Democrat Congress would ever grant a hearing to small government libertarians come budget time. Under a Republican majority, made possible by the rise of politically active conservative Christians, the libertarian Right has had every opportunity to appeal for smaller government. That its appeals have been -- and continue to be -- unpersuasive cannot be the fault of Religious conservatives."

The Duke case keeps unravelling: "With a judge's decision to reduce the bond for one of the three Duke University lacrosse players charged with raping an exotic dancer in March comes the first sign that the criminal justice system can, and will, self-correct the ongoing travesty in Durham. District Attorney Mike Nifong had a threadbare case weeks ago and now, in light of new information, it is clear that he is straying into prosecutorial misconduct. "Unless he has a player from the team who is going to testify that this rape occurred, there is no way he will win this case and there is no way this case should have ever been brought," Mark Edwards, a Durham criminal defense lawyer tells the Raleigh News & Observer."

Lenin's expulsion of the Russian intellectuals: "On September 29 1922, the Oberburgermeister Haken left Petrograd and sailed into the Baltic, destined for Stettin. Six weeks later, a sister ship, the Preussen, set out on the same course... Aboard were 50 or so of the most eminently qualified men in Russia, plus family members. Handpicked by Lenin for deportation, they were - as Lesley Chamberlain puts it - the victims of a process of "deliberate negative selection" of an intelligentsia that was "erudite, professional and cosmopolitan as never before". And yet the Philosophy Steamer (as the two transports came to be known) slipped moorings with little more than a brief mention in Pravda and a huff and a puff in the Times. It was a scandalous event, the more so for being ignored. As Chamberlain grimly notes: "What Leninism stripped out of the Russian fabric was what those ships carried away, in terms of cultural decency and intellectual independence." The unwilling passengers included writers, lawyers, historians, an agronomist, a railway specialist and a number of engineers"

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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2 July, 2006

ANOTHER CLINTON FANTASY



Post lifted from Taranto. For previous fantasies, see here

CNN reports on a speech by New York's junior senator:

Appearing before a religious conference earlier this week, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) told the audience that as a child attending Sunday school she would baby-sit the children of migrant workers so that their older siblings could join their parents at work. "I was fortunate that at an early age, through my church, I was given the opportunity to expand my horizons," Clinton told the 600 adults and teenagers attending the Sojourners "Covenant for a New America" conference.

Mrs. Clinton grew up in Park Ridge, Ill., a tony Chicago suburb that as of 2000, according to census data, was 95.4% white, had a median family income of $87,795, and had a grand total of 174 families (1.7%) below the poverty level. How many migrant workers could there have been for her to baby-sit for?

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ELSEWHERE

Frank Ellis Bows Out: One of the most hotly debated free speech issues in Britain this year has been the Frank Ellis affair. Ellis is a senior academic at an English university who recently declared publicly his acceptance of the common scientific finding that, on average, blacks have lower IQs than whites. His university suspended him from teaching as a result -- which violated academic freedom as well as free speech generally. But some settlement of the matter has now been reached. Richard Lynn advises by email that: "The university of Leeds has allowed Frank Ellis to take early retirement with a modest but adequate pension. He asks me to thank you all for support in the press that likely contributed to encouraging the university to settle." I posted about the matter on March 13th.

Australian government slams Boeing: "Defence Minister Brendan Nelson has used the podium of the Pentagon to blast Boeing, accusing the giant defence contractor of letting the Australian Government down. Standing next to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday, Dr Nelson criticised the aircraft-maker for the "significant delays" in the delivery of the new surveillance planes it is building for Australia. As first reported in The Australian this week, the $3.5billion Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control project is about 18 months behind schedule after problems with radar and sensor computer systems. [Fancy anybody believing that a defence contract will be delivered on time!]

Historic Conservative Welfare Reform Finally in Place: "Republicans swept into Washington in 1994 promising among other things to reform welfare. The nanny state under the Democrats was treating the symptom with no attempt at a cure. In 1996, Republicans switched the emphasis to the cure: work. Strangely (only to Democrats) 60% of the welfare recipients disappeared from the welfare rolls. On October 1, 2006, new welfare regulations will go into effect to further reduce those rolls by stopping the distortions the bureaucracy(loaded with Democrats) has invented to circumvent the work requirement. Bed rest, shopping, motivational reading and massage will no longer count toward a recipient's work requirement. In many cases the recipient will actually have to show up for 30-hours of training/week in a specific skill in order to get their benefits."

Ignorant politics block free trade: "Rich countries promised 4 1/2 years ago to make the global trade system fairer for poor countries, changing rules to help them reap the rewards of international commerce. Now the negotiations launched then are reaching a do-or-die stage, but prospects are bleak for a deal that would bestow much benefit on the poor. . . . Farm trade, though by no means the only issue, is the chief focus of the Doha round of trade talks, named for the Qatari capital, where they were launched in 2001. That is because agricultural goods, the mainstay of many poor countries' economies, face steep tariffs and other obstacles in the markets of many rich countries. Another major grievance of developing nations is the billions of dollars in subsidies that farmers in rich countries receive from their governments. The payments encourage excess production of crops, which leads to gluts on world markets, depressing prices."

A surprising racial difference: "Things add up differently for native English speakers, compared with people who learned Chinese as a first language. Simple arithmetic was easily done by both groups, but they used different parts of the brain, a new study shows. Researchers used brain imaging to see which parts of the brain were active while people did simple addition problems, such as 3 plus 4 equals 7. All participants were working with Arabic numerals, which are used in both cultures. Both groups engaged a portion of the brain called the inferior parietal cortex, which is involved in quantity representation and reading. But native English speakers also showed activity in a language processing area of the brain, while native Chinese speakers used a brain region involved in the processing of visual information, according to the report in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

Appalling: "Beware of travel feature stories posing as invitations to terror. "The New York Times points cranks, radicals, al-Qaida operatives and would-be assassins to the summer homes of [V.P. Dick] Cheney and [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld" writes FrontPage Magazine's David Horowitz, who sees the June 30 Times feature article as an apparent retaliation for administration "criticism of the Times' disclosure of classified intelligence to America's enemies." In the "Escapes" section of the June 30 edition, the N.Y. Times printed huge color photos of the vacation residences of Cheney and Rumsfeld, "identifying the small Maryland town where they live, showing their front driveways and, in Rumsfeld's case, actually pointing out the hidden security camera in case any hostile intruders should get careless," Horowitz writes."

Is Wal-Mart Good for the American Working Class?: "The short answer is yes - it is largely the "working class" that benefit from Wal-Mart's low prices. A range of studies has found that Wal-Mart's prices are 8 percent to 39 percent below the prices of its competitors. The single most careful economic study, co-authored by the well-respected MIT economist Jerry Hausman, found that grocery sales by Wal-Mart and other big-box stores made consumers better off to the tune of 25 percent of food consumption.... Together with a few sister "big box" stores (Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot), Wal-Mart accounts for roughly 50% of America's much vaunted productivity growth edge over Europe during the last decade. Fifty percent! Similar advances in wholesaling supply chains account for another 25%! The notion that Americans have gotten better at everything while other rich countries have stood still is thus wildly misleading. The US productivity miracle and the emergence of Wal-Mart-style retailing are virtually synonymous"

In his latest lot of posts Chris Brand advises that he has now accepted a teaching job in Taiwan.

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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1 July, 2006

Capitol Criminals

Excerpt from Nathan Tabor

Since the Clintons left office, Democrats have been a little dull, resisting the urge to engage in high crimes and misdemeanors. But, lo and behold, now we're recovering from a Democratic crime wave in Washington. And, what's so fascinating about the situation is that the self-proclaimed party of peace and love has members who are engaging in downright dangerous, even violent acts. And they're getting off scot-free.

First, there's the case of Patrick Kennedy-one of the few impaired drivers in the U.S. who apparently never has to worry about failing a field sobriety test, since Capitol Police refused to administer one to him... And so, a drunk/drugged driver walks free, without any type of punishment. Given the number of Americans who die each year from drug or alcohol-related crashes-nearly 17,000 in 2004-the kid-glove treatment of Kennedy is a national disgrace. It also makes you wonder-why should any D.C. teen stop indulging in drugs and alcohol, when he knows that a Congressman can easily indulge and not pay the penalty?

But Capitol criminal activity does not begin and end with Kennedy. There's also the case of Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who slugged a police officer but was not indicted. What makes this injustice all the more appalling is that McKinney blamed the incident on racial profiling. As House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) indicated, this embarrassing situation was not the result of profiling, but the result of an ego in overdrive. Physical assaults are inexcusable. An attack on a law enforcement officer is reprehensible. Why should any D.C. teen respect police, when a Congresswoman doesn't-and gets away with it?...

In the end, it really doesn't matter if a Congressional representative presents himself or herself as a champion of the poor, the downtrodden, the addicted, the mentally ill, the learning impaired, and the disabled. If he or she engages in criminal conduct and is not punished, he or she is, in fact, an elitist, believing that laws to protect public welfare are for the little people-not those who work under the Capitol dome.

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Brookes News Update

Will skilled immigrants drive down US high-tech wage rates?: Irrespective of how many skilled workers the US imports, an overall increase in the workforce without any accompanying increase in investment will still depress wage rates in general. It should never be forgotten that ultimately it is savings that fuel an economy and entrepreneurship that drives it
The Democrats' Jack Murtha wants to surrender Iraq to the terrorists: Jack Murtha is beyond contempt. What kind of man would callously hand over 20 million human beings to a bloodthirsty gang of sadistic killers? Yet this is what he demands that President Bush do to the Iraqi people
Our strategy for a democratic Iraq: Iraq's Prime Minister lays out the Government's economic and military policies to establish Iraq as the Middle East's first democratic republican Arab state
Wage rates and risk: more economic nonsense: The proposition that flexible labour markets mean that businesses are shifting their risks on to labour should be too ludicrous for anyone to take seriously, including unioncrats
Now that Liberal Party politicians have defected maybe they should go all the way and exit the Party: Several Coalition members crossed the floor to vote against the government on immigration laws and to support the use of human embryos for stem cell research. What we have here is a bunch of self-serving ignoramuses seeking the approbation of the country's despicable latte set
It's the behavior, stupid! - and other observations of a so-called `homophobe': It's time for blacks and other genuine minorities to take back the language of true civil rights, which has been hijacked by radical homosexual activist in an effort to further the fraudulent concept that any and all sexual behavior must be fully accepted without question
Attack of the bloggers: I have to wonder, why do media commentators devote so much attention to radically left-wing blogs - especially when these blogs hardly represent the views of SUV-driving, church-going, baseball-loving moms and dads?

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ELSEWHERE

Your bureaucracy will look after you -- Malaria: "Paltry budgets, faulty strategies and government mismanagement have hamstrung past efforts to combat the disease. In Uganda, population 28 million, not one of the 1.8 million nets approved more than two years ago by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has yet arrived. The World Bank, after pledging to halve malaria deaths in Africa six years ago, had let its staff working on the disease dwindle to zero. And the United States Agency for International Development admitted to outraged senators last year that it spent more on high-priced consultants than on life-saving commodities, like mosquito nets that cost $5.75 apiece and last up to five years.

Muslims jail religious nut: "The Central Jakarta District Court jailed the leader of a minority religious sect for two years Thursday for blasphemy against Islam, a judgment quickly condemned by her lawyers and moderate religious leaders. The sentence for the Kingdom of Eden leader Lia Aminuddin was three years lighter than the term recommended by prosecutors, who said they would appeal against the verdict.... Lia and dozens of her followers were arrested on Dec. 28 after hundreds of hard-line Muslims protested outside the Kingdom of Eden headquarters in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. Lia, who believes she is both the Angel Gabriel and the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary, was declared a suspect along with her close confidante Abdurrahman. Her other followers were later freed by police".

Another triumph of British bureaucracy: "Attempts to reform the troubled Child Support Agency have been a "complete disaster", costing more than 1 billion pounds and ranking "among the worst public administration scandals in modern times", the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee said last night. Edward Leigh said that it "beggared belief" that the reforms, introduced in 2003 in an attempt to simplify the child support system and speed up payments, had in fact made matters worse on every single measure of performance... There are now some 500 defects in the IT system... The CSA has been troubled since it was first introduced in 1993. The original system required agency staff to deal with 100 pieces of information to work out a maintenance payment. The Government has now indicated that the agency might be replaced with a new slimline body that will "track and enforce" payments only in the most complex cases... Kate Green, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said that the failure of the agency reforms had caused hardship and distress for many of the poorest families

For more postings, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

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"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame Blogger.com and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.

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