DISSECTING LEFTISM -- MIRROR ARCHIVE  
"Nazi" is short for "nationalsozialistische" or "National Socialist" ..

Leftism consists of frauds deceiving the uninformed  

The original of this mirror site is HERE. My Blogroll; The archive; My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here. Other sites viewable in China: Greenie Watch, Political Correctness Watch and Recipes. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing)
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30 September, 2004

FROM BROOKES NEWS

The Democrats, social security and the equity premium puzzle The Bush administration's proposal for social security accounts invested in the share market has been unjustly attacked by Democrats
Lefty journo slimes humanitarian Lib candidate The Herald-Sun's Luke McIlveen's slimy attack on NSW Liberal Senate candidate and bush poet Michael Darby not only showed McIlveen to be out of his depth but also bereft of journalistic ethics
Myths of the Asian economic crisis still dominate Without a doubt, the depth and suddenness of the economic crisis that swept through the Asian economies took most economists and investment advisers by complete surprise
Do payroll taxes kill jobs? There is a view among some of Australia's free-market economists that payroll taxes are not part of labour's gross wage and are therefore not a labor cost
Dan Rather and 60 Minutes conclusively prove that the Bush memos are not forgeries In this exclusive, Dan Rather of 60 Minutes fame provided Brookes' with irrefutable evidence that his forged memos are genuine

Details here

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I WAS WRONG

I note that Keith Burgess-Jackson has a post up explaining why he has reversed his view of President Bush and why he no longer advocates liberalism in general. Heaps of conservative thinkers have at one time been Left-leaning (including Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill) so all of them must have had to do a lot of explaining at some stage. I am pleased that I have never had to do that but I am also pleased to say that I have been wrong in the past on some matters nonetheless. I am pleased to find that I was wrong because it shows that I have learned something.

The mistake I made which I most regret was to underestimate the good nature and tolerance of my fellow Australians. In an article I wrote in 1972, I expressed the view that admitting large numbers of ethnic Chinese immigrants to Australia could well cause racial strife -- as indeed it actually did in the Australia of 100 years ago or more. In the last 30 years, however, Australia has admitted large numbers of ethnic Chinese immigrants so that they are now probably around 10% of the population -- but there seems to have been no friction between them and other Australians whatever. Note however that it was my fellow Anglo-Australians that I doubted. I have never doubted the civilized qualities of the Chinese.

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ELSEWHERE

There is an interesting post here (slow-loading site) describing in detail the various American public opinion polls. There seems to be considerable quality variations between them, with Zogby the trashiest. From my point of view as a long-time academic survey researcher, the whole lot of them seem very careless. The fact that every last one of them is a telephone poll seems amazing -- after the famous Truman/Dewey debacle. But telephone ownership would be more widespread now than it was in Truman's day so perhaps that source of inaccuracy pales into insignificance compared with other biases -- such as the tiny proportion of people called who actually co-operate. I was also amazed that only one poll takes precautions against the "curbstone" problem -- which is when the interviewers just make the results up. Checks against that should be routine. They certainly were in my practice. But the fact that the results are adjusted to make them representative demographically is probably what saves the day. Sacks of salt needed, though.

And if American public opinion polls are primitive, American voting seems to be even worse. I have never been able to understand how American voter registration is so slapdash and open to fraud. With people like Rush Limbaugh tackling the issue something might get done about it sometime maybe but it was Al Capone back in the 1930s who said "Vote early and vote often" so it is not exactly a new problem.

Amusing: Some old-line journalists are REALLY getting peeved at bloggers. But all they can come up with is a lot of self-righteous huffing and puffing. Long live pajamas!

The megalomaniac George Soros is stepping up his preaching against GWB. I wonder why he thinks that ordinary American voters are going to want to support his views? I think many would be more likely to resent him trying to tell them what to do. Amusing to see him wasting his money advertising on conservative blogs, though.

Columnist Molly Ivins wrote: "Defining "terrorist" or any "other" as an absolute, irrational evil gives us a spurious and intoxicating sense of self-righteousness. We become the Simon-pure contrast, thus missing any chance to consider if correcting or just changing our own conduct would be effective." There is a good reply to that here or here. Excerpt: "If you are unable to distinguish between the purposeful targeting of innocents, especially children, and the accidental killing thereof, then you are viewing the world through the prism of moral equivalence. One is pure evil whatever your motivation, the other is a tragic accident."

I have just put up here a touching story about one of the private deeds of President Bush. The story is verifiable though I am not in a position to verify it. It is however consistent with everything we know about the character of the man. It reminds me of the fact that many people who wrote to Ronald Reagan when he was President got replies from him in his own hand: What a gentleman!

There is a good New Zealand site here that gives both the Left and the Greens a pretty good going over from a liberty-oriented perspective. Lots to read.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with its usual conspectus of the blogosphere.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH and SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here

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That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

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29 September, 2004

AUSTRALIA MATTERS

An interesting email from one of my American readers:

"Perusing your postings, it occurred to me that your readers might not realize just how important your forthcoming elections are. Not just for your country, but for the course of the entire free world.

Mr. Howard has shown a sort of political courage depressingly rare in our times. His unwavering commitment to the battle against Islamofascism and his support of the war in Iraq truly mark him as a "Profile in Courage" - not that the Kennedy Center will be giving him any such award in the near future. History, though, will mark him as a great and important man.

Like Winston Churchill a half-century before him, though, Howard faces the prospect (though I note with pleasure, an apparently less-likely prospect than it was weeks ago) of being cast aside by his countrymen at the ballot box as a prophet without honor in his own time.

I believe I am not overstating the case when I say this could have calamitous consequences for global polity and the future of Western Civilization. If Howard were to lose, it is rumored that his successor will immediately announce the withdrawal of Australian troops from Iraq. Given the degree to which John Kerry's sister appears to be meddling Down Under, and what we know of the Kerry clan, I don't doubt that this is true.

If it should occur, the Kerry campaign will immediately seize upon this as evidence that the policies of the Bush administration are so hideously misguided that even our staunchest friends are abandoning us. Our media will then proceed to trumpet this beyond all reason as cause for alarm and consternation. It will be presented as the beginning of a great unraveling of what John Kerry disgracefully calls "The Coalition of the Bribed and Coerced."

While things look good for Bush right now, this is the sort of thing, coming as it would less than a month before our American election, that might provide significant momentum for the Kerry campaign.

I am naive enough to believe that somehow, some way, right will triumph. But I am realistic enough to know that it doesn't happen by accident. George Bush was elected President in 2000 by 700 votes in Florida. John Howard could well be elected Australia's Prime Minister by the 70 - or 7 - votes it takes to elect his party's candidate to a single Australian Parliament district. That alone is cause enough for concern in normal times. That it might well tip the U.S. election to forces that would preemptively surrender to an enemy that knows no victory but worldwide Islamic government is cause for alarm in our own.

May fate be kind to John Howard. History doubtless will be."

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ELSEWHERE

If you have not yet seen Paul Berman's article on Che Guevara and the recent film which makes a hero of him, you should read it. Excerpt: "The cult of Ernesto Che Guevara is an episode in the moral callousness of our time. Che was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster.... Che was a mainstay of the hardline pro-Soviet faction, and his faction won. Che presided over the Cuban Revolution's first firing squads. He founded Cuba's "labor camp" system - the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents, and AIDS victims. To get himself killed, and to get a lot of other people killed, was central to Che's imagination"

Lester Dent has a good article on the counterfactual nature of most Leftist beliefs. He wonders why they ignore so much. But in the end he gets it pretty right by concluding that they implicitly say: ''Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up.'' He does not go on to the next step, however, of asking what function their mental fixations serve. They serve ego needs. They make the Leftist feel grand and wise and that is more important than the facts, pathetic though that is.

There is a thoroughly conservative article here that takes up the burden of finding a balance between liberty and paternalism. Conservatives have always thought it obvious that either extreme is fit for simple minds only. Simplistic formulas such as "The community comes first" (Leftists) or "No government at all is needed" (extreme libertarians) just don't fit the complexity of the real world. So conservatives give themselves the difficult task of finding a balance. That's why the article concerned is a long one.

The American Voice is an interesting site -- with lots of politically-relevant facts and figures. Facts can be misleading out of context (Noam Chomsky is proof of that) but there are a lot of interesting starting points in what he lists.

Don't knock the drug companies: "In general, the benefits of new drugs outweigh the costs by a substantial margin."

Amusing: One of the people behind Clinton's successful political strategy was a Straussian -- a dreaded "neocon". Pity he wasn't a Jew as well. That would REALLY have got the Leftist conspiracy theorists frothing at the mouth.

There is a new counter-Michael Moore movie out. The trailer for the movie is excellent, particularly regarding the Left's "liking a dictator" if "free health care is provided."

Amusing: Some libertarians are trying to get into the Australian Senate in the forthcoming Federal election on Oct., 9th. Buckley's, of course.

Mark Steyn's site seemed to have been taken down last couple of times that I tried to log on. Leftist vandalism?

Every now and again I get an email from a fellow-conservative blogger asking irately why they are not on my blogroll. I am happy to concede their right to be on my blogroll and always add them but I do get a bit of a laugh out of anybody assuming a "right" to be there. Since I must have about 300 links on my blogroll by now, I doubt that having one more or less does anybody much good anyway. Sending me details of a post that I might link to would do other bloggers a lot more good.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH and SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here

**************************

That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

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28 September, 2004

ECONOMICS

EU wants to criminalize work: "EU states will find it harder to opt out of the Union's 48 hour maximum working week under new proposals. The European Commission says it wants to tighten loopholes in its Working Time Directive in order to limit the time employees spend at work. The changes would mean workers would be able to work more than 48 hours a week only if employers and unions reached a collective agreement. The government has vowed to fight the plans when they come up for approval. Any changes will need to be voted on by the European Parliament before they come into force. UK business leaders have argued that the proposals will increase bureaucracy while unions said the proposed changes did not go far enough".

Lower female average earnings are fair: "An Aug. 26 report from the U.S. Census Bureau stated that the median female full-time wage for women was 75.5 cents for every dollar similarly earned by men; that's down .6 percent from 2002. Gender feminists quickly cried "discrimination is increasing!" ...BUT... "women have fewer years of work experience, work fewer hours per year, are less likely to work a full-time schedule, and leave the labor force for longer periods of time than men.".... Indeed, when you factor out variables like having children, the wage gap virtually disappears. In their book "Women's Figures" (1999), economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Christine Stolba meticulously compared data on the earnings of childless men and women aged 27 to 33. They found that the wage gap shrank to 98 cents"

The economics of happy feet: "Even in the poorest countries, shoes are available everywhere and at rock bottom prices. One of the great miseries of living in the third world used to be the aches and pains associated with poor quality footwear (if you could find it at all). But no more. American capitalist "excess" that led entrepreneurs to pay workers in China and Indonesia to make shoes for American consumers has yielded surpluses that spread affordable shoes to all corners of the globe. Today a peasant in the fields of a Guatemalan village wears shoes that medieval lords would have traded for their own models made of wood and leather."

"The real outsourcers are to be found among regulators, trial lawyers, and environmental groups whose cumulative actions have devastated once-flourishing industries and the communities in which they were located. Their deeds have consigned hundreds of thousands of Americans to the ranks of the unemployed. Meanwhile, the jobs these people once had have been gleefully picked up by foreign workers..... In the last decade alone, over 900 mills, pulp and paper plants, and other forest products facilities have closed in the U.S., with a loss of over 130,000 jobs... These are real job losses, courtesy of real outsourcers."

A reader who is a teacher points to another cause of outsourcing: American workers are too poorly educated to make good employees on many occasions these days. "The left has outsourced education. Their insistence that disruptive children be kept in the classroom as part of their rights, their insistence that memorization and skills are tools of oppression, their convictions that kids need to have self-esteem without earning it, their insistence that testing is just a way of putting kids down -- all these stupid ideas and more have made sure that a kid in India who sits through the good old British education system can add better, write better, and think more clearly than their American counterpart"

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ELSEWHERE

Some progress: "A "white list" of 10 nations from which asylum applications will be presumed to be false by all European Union countries is to go ahead, despite warnings of human rights violations. The list of "safe countries" covers seven African states, including Benin, Botswana, Ghana, Mali and Senegal, as well as Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay. The European list is modelled on the British system, which presumes asylum claims from designated "safe" countries are unfounded and applicants fast-tracked for removal. The system has operated since 1993. The EU list will form a cornerstone of the new common European asylum policy"

Immigration elitism: "Huntington's discussion of mindless immigrationism is one of the reasons for the hostile reception to his book. He points to the now commonplace distinction between the "elites" and the general public and the clear differences in their attitudes to immigration. It is easy enough to dismiss the reservations of the electorate as a product of ignorance, xenophobia, fear of the unknown, unfounded fears of competition for their own jobs or whatever. Denigration of the attitudes of ordinary people is routine for the elites. But not all these concerns are totally unfounded.."

I have already had online for some time (See here) a review of some of the evidence leading to the view that Bill Clinton is a sub-clinical psychopath. I have just put up some extra evidence here. Note the total lack of any sense of guilt or remorse for anything he did and the wild theories put forward to explain the attacks on him. It's his "enemies" who harmed him, not his own lack of any morality or responsibility. Psychopaths all think that they can do no wrong and very commonly explain their difficulties by saying that people are just out to "get" them.

This article compares the present difficulties in Iraq with the problems previous Presidents (such as Lincoln and FDR) have faced in their wars and concludes that GWB is doing pretty well by comparison: "Reading the depressing headlines, one is tempted to ask: Has any president in U.S. history ever botched a war or its aftermath so badly? Actually, yes. Most wartime presidents have made catastrophic blunders, from James Madison losing his capital to the British in 1814 to Harry Truman getting embroiled with China in 1950"

Good news from Afghanistan: "But the political skill demonstrated by Karzai since July, and the popularity he clearly possesses, are reason for optimism. Afghans themselves are optimistic. The country has passed its major political challenges reasonably well since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 - forming a transitional cabinet, drafting and approving a constitution, maintaining a steady civilian government in Kabul. The next milestone, Afghanistan's first free presidential election in over a decade, also looks to be a qualified success. For now, that's quite an achievement".

Another foul priest: "A district attorney said Monday that he would not prosecute Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Dupre on child rape charges because the statute of limitations has expired in the case."

There is a good new post up on Leftists as Elitists.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH and SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here

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That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

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27 September, 2004

FRANK FUREDI'S JOURNEY FROM LEFT TO RIGHT

Frank is an Australian psychologist and ex-Marxist who has now long been a British resident

"Furedi found himself feeling 'ever-more estranged' from the conventional left. He recalls three incidents in particular that suggested the left was moving in a troublesome direction. 'The first time I felt it was when there were all these demands for "No Platform" for fascists, that fascists should be censored. I have always been, and continue to be, vehemently anti-fascist, but I felt that was just a cop-out, a very anti-democratic way of avoiding debate. I argued that rather than saying "No Platform" we should take up the fascists' views and undermine them, instead of opting for this very authoritarian, censorious approach.'

The second event was the miners' strike of 1984. A key issue in the strike was whether there should be a national ballot, which would allow all miners to vote on whether the strike should continue. In places like Yorkshire miners were striking hard, while other miners, in particular in Nottinghamshire, refused to strike on the grounds that there had not been a national ballot. The RCP campaigned for a ballot; just about everybody else on the left disagreed and the ballot was vetoed by Arthur Scargill, head of the National Union of Miners. 'I fully supported the strike', says Furedi. 'But I also called for a ballot, with a rank-and-file campaign to win the vote, for a strike that could be supported by everybody.' Thatcher supported a national ballot because she thought it would break the strike; the RCP supported a campaign for a ballot as a way of strengthening the miners. 'But others on the left wanted to prevent a ballot in case the vote went the wrong way. I thought this qualified approach to democracy on the left was a very big problem.'

The third event that further estranged Furedi from the left was the Cleveland child abuse scandal of 1987, when a number of families in the industrial region in the north-east of England were falsely accused of abusing their kids - often by health and social workers who considered themselves part of the left. 'I felt very uncomfortable, very uncomfortable indeed', says Furedi. 'People who I had known on the left were going around saying that loads of working-class men are child abusers. This very negative view of human beings took me aback. The kind of panic about working-class behaviour that would traditionally have been triggered by the right was starting to become a fixture of the left.'"

More here.

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ELSEWHERE

What pathetic little sulkers the Germans have become! They cancelled their participation in an American Army display because one of the Americans present had once criticized Germany. How dare he! Germans can say anything they like about the USA -- even call the American President a Nazi -- but Americans cannot return the criticism. They can dish criticism out but can't take it in reply. Pathetic. What a waste it was for America to defend such mush for so long. Most of the Germans with guts must have died in Hitler's wars -- leaving mainly shirkers behind. (Via Davids Medienkritik).

Good man: "The British Prime Minister has appealed to Britons to back his stance against "terror and chaos" in Iraq and compared the situation in the country to the darkest days of World War II".

Prominent peacenik Senator Mark Hatfield is voting for Bush! "My support is based on the fact that our world changed on Sept. 11, 2001, a day on which we lost more American lives than we did in the attack on Pearl Harbor. I know from my service in the Senate that Saddam Hussein was an active supporter of terrorism. He used weapons of mass destruction on innocent people and left no doubt that he would do so again. It was crucial to the cause of world peace that he be removed from power".

I am glad that I have no need to use Paypal or any similar service. They have just cut off service from longtime blogger Bill Quick because they find his site objectionable for some unspecified reason. Some bloggers are closing their PayPal accounts in retaliation so I hope lots of bloggers do so. PayPal seem to be a real Leftist outfit. One of Bill's commenters reported: "I complained to Paypal when the two "soldiers" who went AWOL to Canada set up accounts with Paypal to receive donations. I pointed out that Paypal was facilitating criminal activity, as these men would be arrested should they return to the States. The people I spoke to on the telephone were indifferent to hostile, and Paypal refused to shut down the donation link. Says a lot about Paypal, I think" and another reported: "My guess is PayPal objects to the Cheaper Than Dirt Ammo ad at the top of your page. I have read that they are extremely anti-gun and have cut off businesses that sell ammunition and gun accessories".

John Kerry has been caught in another psychopathic (stupid and pointless) lie -- saying he was in Iraq when he was not.

Child abusing "justice". There is a dreadful story here of how fanatical do-gooders pressured kids into making accusations of sexual abuse against innocent men. It not only got the men falsely convicted and jailed but it also had a devastating impact on the children concerned.

Hollywood whitewashes a disgusting pervert: "A forthcoming Hollywood biopic of Alfred Kinsey, the "father of the sexual revolution", has been denounced as a whitewash by pro-family campaigners who are calling on the public to boycott the film".

Hmmm... Tim Lambert is accusing others of not having the full background on the "Leftist bookstore" issue in the USA when he does not seem to have the full background himself. He seems to think that only Glenn Reynolds and some troll think that U.S. bookstores have a Leftist bias. He needs to read this. And the whole thing is NOT an example of market failure. The only failure is in the brains of the Leftist proprietors and employees who are sending so much of what could be their own business to Amazon.

Chris Brand has just had a big burst of new posts so I have tranferred them here for convenience. Interesting that a very prominent South African black has now proclaimed that Africa was better off under the colonialists. Certainly by any objective standard (crime-rate, average income etc.) that is true.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH and SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here

**************************

That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

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26 September, 2004

Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD)

In Germany, the NPD (National Democratic Party) is widely regarded as the barely-legal successor-party to Hitler's National Socialist party. Given its recent victories in the German elections, an interview with the chairman of the party must be of some interest. A few excerpts follow:

"This [young Leftist] subculture possesses an anti-capitalist view of the world, and views the NPD as an instrument of Capitalism. Such a view of the NPD is fundamentally wrong, and disregards the fact that the Movement will eliminate Capitalism which is so contemptuous of humanity....

The NPD is a Movement of the People which will implement its programme of building a Third Power beyond Capitalism and Communism, thereby giving self-determination to the people.

At the centre of our struggle is mankind and Nature. Thanks to our life-giving view of the world, we stand against foreign rule and domination, against foreign penetration, exploitation and oppression. We stand for German freedom, for the freedom of peoples, for a New Social Order in both Germany and Europe.

During this phase, we must use capable intellectuals from all levels in society so as to build our ideology of a New Order beyond Capitalism and Communism.... The global threat to our nations by multi-national banks and companies working in harness with the ruling class is having a destructive effect on our peoples.

The outstanding achievements of the German social system are being more and more replaced by minimal standards."

Note the five leftist elements of NPD thinking mentioned above. He rejects the Leftist claim that the NPD is capitalist and says it is anti-capitalist [1]. He says the NPD will build a "Third Power" (Third Way [2]) between capitalism and Communism. He puts "nature" (environmentalism [3]) at the centre of his thinking. He is against "multinational banks and companies" (globalization [4]). And he regards the German social system (welfare state [5]) as an outstanding achievement. Clearly, this party does indeed reflect all of Hitler's themes and clearly it is of the Left in modern terms. And its championship of a "Third Way" makes it in fact a completely modern Leftist party, akin in that respect to the present-day British Labour party. Hitler was a modern Leftist by the standards of his day too, as his championship of eugenics showed. Awkward stuff, that history. In the postwar era, the internationalist version of Leftism has become very dominant but that was not always so. From Napoleon to Hitler there were also plenty of nationalist versions of Leftism. That was part of what was behind the various diatribes of Marx and Lenin against "Bonapartism". And Trotsky even saw both the Soviet State and Fascism as different types of "Bonapartism"! So the NPD simply shows that the nationalist version of Leftism still lives.

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THAT WHICH WAS LOST

Mike Jericho no longer seems to have the heart to continue with his idea for a "Man Blog" now that some Leftist punk has destroyed the site. If anybody ever takes one of my blogs down, it will be back up again in 5 minutes, I can assure you. I save everything to disk -- including templates. Anyway, so that the Leftist triumph is not total, I have re-posted here what I had up on "The Man Blog" before it was taken down.

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ELSEWHERE

A "liberal" would rather choke on his latte than condemn Castro: "Director Oliver Stone ripped President Bush while praising Cuban dictator Fidel Castro before the premiere of his movie "Looking for Fidel," at the 52nd San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain. Stone charged that Bush stole the election with the help of anti-Castro Cuban-Americans in Florida, according to a report in Cuba's Granma newspaper.... "George Bush will go down in history as one of the great baddies".... On the other hand, Stone had nothing but praise for Castro, who has clung to authoritarian power with no elections in Cuba for half a century"

Sheesh! Wotta lotta nonsense! "Ten-year olds who spend more time engaging in activities typically associated with their gender tend to have more stereotypical academic interests, skills and characteristics two years later, new research reports... These findings show that what children spend time on at age 10 can have a strong influence on their later years [according to] lead author Dr. Susan M. McHale of Penn State University" Girls who prefer girly games at age 10 are more girly later on too! What a discovery!

The Left are scraping the bottom of the barrel now: "George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. The UK's Guardian newspaper has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism".

The French Betrayal of America seems to be a very well-researched book, giving a detailed account of just how amoral and hostile to any kind of decency France is.

A Frenchman disses the French: "The thirst for truth is not a French passion. In everything, what appears is more relished than what is, the outside than the inside, the style than the stuff, the glittering than the useful, opinion than conscience. . . "

Congratulations to Rafe Champion on the second birthday of his "Rathouse" site.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH and SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here

**************************

That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

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25 September, 2004

ANOTHER HUGE GOVERNMENT BUNGLE

"Australia's Child Support Agency is grossly mismanaged and driving dads onto the dole queue, according to a new report.

The PIR Independent Research group report found many dads were opting out of the workforce because they faced the prospect of losing up to 62 per cent of their after-tax wages in child support payments. As a result, the CSA system had driven up the unemployment rate for separated fathers to more than six times the national average, it said.

More than 70 per cent (221,375) of all unemployed men aged over 20 in Australia now pay child support. With more separated dads on welfare, children now received less money than before the CSA was set up in 1988 - just over $48 a week then to about $36 a week now. "PIR Independent Research has reached the conclusion that the child support scheme is the primary driver of unemployment in Australia," it said. "On top of high income tax rates cutting in at low levels, separated fathers can be left with less than 20 cents in the dollar".

More here.

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ELSEWHERE

Krauthammer summarizes well the treacherous attitude of the Kerry campaign towards one of America's real allies -- Australia. Despite the efforts of the Kerry campaign, however, Australia is not likely to desert the USA in Iraq. We have heard the same bleats from our own Left ad nauseam.

A good summary here of possible Kerry campaign involvement with the forged "Rathergate" memos.

Laura Ingraham: "Intellectuals around the globe -- lost and adrift for years after the failure of socialism -- have largely settled on anti-Americanism as their new ideological vehicle of choice."

And a good saying from Winston Churchill: "'All men are created equal' says the American Declaration of Independence. 'All men shall be kept equal' say the Socialists."

The Czech farmer's goatsmilk cheese. Be glad you are not in the EU. EU officials are trying to prevent willing customers from eating the cheese.

Further to my post yesterday about Turkey joining the EU, it looks like it is not going to happen. This statement seems to typify the French attitude: ""We do not think accession negotiations should be opened with Turkey ... because to bring Turkey into the European Union is not consistent with our concept of the European project and it is not good for Europe," he told a news conference. Toubon called for a special partnership with Turkey rather than offering it EU membership" The French have already had a gutful of Muslims from North Africa so want no more of them.

Abortion. Typical Leftist inconsistency. Pro-Life Democrats get a hard time now: "The Democratic party is the party that should be pro-life," Day says. "We should be the ones to speak out for those vulnerable in our society --those who don't have a voice." Marginalized by their own party, overlooked by campaign donors, attacked by pro-choice groups and targeted by Republicans seeking to win their seats, many pro-life Democrats live out Hobbes's dictum that life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short..... "It is really tough for a pro-life Democrat," Day says. "There is so much pressure on members to change.".... In the 95th Congress (1977-78), the Democrats had a 292-seat majority that included 125 pro-life Democrats. In 1976, then-candidate Jimmy Carter opposed public funding for abortions. Emerging leaders like Dick Gephardt, Al Gore, and Jesse Jackson Sr. were all originally pro-life.

A good point from a reader: It is perfectly consistent for Christians to be opposed to both abortion and euthanasia. Both stances are pro-life. But how come Leftists are generally ANTI-euthanasia while being PRO-abortion? How come a mother is empowered to kill her baby but a sick person is not empowered to kill himself?

Looming retirement realities: "In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, President Bush revived several initiatives from his first presidential campaign. Not the least was a pledge to 'fix' Social Security by letting younger workers invest some of their payroll taxes in personal retirement accounts. Opponents of modernizing the Depression-era system quickly jumped on the proposal as too costly. But such criticisms are penny-wise and pound-foolish. Trying to keep the ailing system going another generation will wind up costing taxpayers far, far more than making reforms today. Demographic realities -- the increasing longevity of Americans and the mass, looming Baby Boomer retirements -- make it impossible to maintain the current system indefinitely."

Get government out of science: The big myth about scientific research is that government must fund it. The argument is that private companies will not fund science, especially pure science, for fear that their competitors will "capture" the fruits of that investment. Yet, in practice, companies fund pure science very generously, and government funding displaces private research money..... Zvi Griliches of Harvard University, in a study of 911 large American companies, discovered that the companies that engaged in basic research consistently outperformed those that neglected it... "Current Contents" magazine recently reviewed the institutions that produced the largest number of cited papers in biology, and two of the top seven were private companies.

Acidman very kindly recommended this blog yesterday but I was a bit amused at his comment: "Some people write really well, in spite of public schools". I did indeed go to a public school but that was 45 years ago and I actually learnt Latin grammar there: Hard to imagine in most of today's public schools. But, if it did happen today, it would still work to help people write clearly and logically.

I occasionally get grumbled at for not having a "comments" section on this blog. One reason why I do not is that there seems to be a great preponderance of low-quality comments on other people's blogs -- though Gene Expression is a notable exception to that. I am always pleased to get emails, though. Most of the links that I put up are in fact ones that readers have kindly mailed in to me.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH and SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here

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That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

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24 September, 2004

SOME ECONOMICS AGAIN

The excellent Arnold Kling takles a look at a whiny Leftist article in "The Washington Post" which claims that it is now harder for Americans to stay in the middle-earning income range than it once was. The article is right -- but not for the reason it implies. There are fewer middle-income people now because the number of people in the upper income brackets (adjusted for inflation) has roughly doubled in the last 35 years! The only "problem" is that more people are getting rich. I guess Leftists would see that as a big problem!

Jobs and snow jobs: "Our current unemployment rate -- 5.4 percent -- is one of the lowest in the world and one of the lowest in our own history. Why then the hysteria about jobs? Because this is an election year and Senator Kerry is desperate for some issue that will rescue his faltering campaign. According to the Kerry campaign, President Bush has "lost" over a million jobs since taking office. This of course assumes that jobs are Presidents' to win or lose..... Few things have been more grossly distorted than tax cuts. Liberals in politics and the media seem to think that what matters is what happens to the money. In reality, what matters is how the cut in tax rates affects people's behavior. Time and again, lower tax rates have led to higher tax revenues. That is because lower tax rates make it profitable to take money out of tax shelters like municipal bonds and put it into something that is more productive, now that taxes are no longer taking such a big bite. When more money is invested in more productive economic activities, more output results -- and more jobs are created while generating that increased output. That is the whole point.... Jobs hysteria is only the latest in a series of evasions and distractions"

Sarcasm alert! Unions versus wages: "Somehow, over the last 50 years, while unions have become a less important force in the labor market, workers have managed to raise their wages and do better. This is one of the great mysteries of life. How can it be possible? It is not unrelated to the question as to how workers manage to earn so much more than the minimum wage. What protects workers from greedy employers? The simple answer is that there's more than one place we can work. Without unions, without minimum wages, workers thrive because of the competition of employers for our skills"

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Dennis Prager: "Second, whereas they cannot change God's laws, those on the Left can and do make many of society's laws. In fact, the Left is intoxicated with law-making. It gives them the power to mold society just as Judeo-Christian values did in the past. Unless one understands that leftist ideals function as a religion, one cannot understand the Left. Laws are the Left's vehicles to earthly salvation. Virtually all human problems have a legal solution.... In fact, since it lacks the self-control apparatus that is a major part of religion, the Left passes more and more laws to control people. That is why there is a direct link between the decline in Judeo-Christian religion and the increase in governmental laws controlling human behavior. Of course, the more laws that are passed, the less liberty society enjoys. But to the Left, which elevates any number of values above liberty -- e.g., compassion, equality, fairness -- this presents little problem. All this helps to explain the Left's preoccupation with controlling courts; passing laws; producing, enriching and empowering lawyers; filing lawsuits; and naming judges. Laws and the makers of laws will produce heaven on earth".

Profound Leftist irrationality: "Homosexuals face terrible persecution under the Palestinian Authority and yet, there are actually groups like "Queers for Palestine" that go to anti-Israel demonstrations to shout slogans in support of Palestinians and then they get roughed up and shouted down by the Muslims at the demonstration. There is something very mind-boggling here, and it is connected to the radical feminist who shows up almost nude at an anti-war demonstration taking the side of militant Islam, when the fact is that if she even showed her face under some of the regimes she supports she would be mutilated or raped or killed or burned alive." It looks like their burning hatred of their own society blinds them to all else.

The Nobel Peace and Literature prizes are so notoriously political that it is a wonder they get any respect at all these days. This story is one instance of how biased in favour of the Left they are. Even the economics prize is far from impartial. Apparently Hayek's Nobel in 1977 was another political fix. Hayek certainly deserved one but his co-winner was Gunnar Myrdal, whose merit was much more dubious. The terms of the Nobel prize in economics (actually the Bank of Sweden award for economics) prevented a Swede from getting the award until 7 years had passed from the time of initiation of the economics prize. Myrdal, a socialist, was a board member of the Bank of Sweden and in order to balance the ticket they gave Hayek the prize in a shared win. Myrdal was surprised he had to share with anyone. Hayek was surprised he got one at all.

Cut the military bureaucracy: "With commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, no one disputes that the Army has a lot on its plate. But the consensus collapses when it comes to easing the military's charge. The disagreement has turned political -- John Kerry says the Army needs two more divisions, while President Bush argues such an expansion would be unnecessary. To meet its commitments, the Army has had to delay soldiers' retirement from the service and has temporarily expanded its ranks by 33,000 men. But when it comes to more permanent solutions, the Defense Department and some military experts say that much can be accomplished by improving efficiencies within the service."

NYT perpetuates a myth: "In your Sept. 13 edition, a "New York Times" analysis of President Bush's and John Kerry's respective approaches to dealing with the war in Iraq contained this error: "Richard M. Nixon declared in 1968 that he had a 'secret plan.'". I not only worked on the 1968 campaign as a full-time researcher but also collaborated as a writer/ researcher with Mr. Nixon on his memoirs. From its beginning in 1968, we have tried to correct the "secret plan" myth"

Michael Totten thinks that Israel has just about won its war against terrorists and says America will win in Iraq too if it sticks with it. Jewish World Review has an article saying that the Intifada is just about over too.

There is a new site up called Modern liberalism which uses graphics to give an explanation of what modern liberalism is.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH and SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here

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That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

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23 September, 2004

PRIMITIVE LEFTIST MALICE

First, the propaganda: "Life, liberals believe, is meant to be pleasurable, God is forgiving if He exists at all, and it's important to think about others' feelings and motivations as well as your own. You might not like the idea of abortion, but it is important to allow people who believe differently to make their own choice.... Liberals are mannered, sensitive, armed with intellectual cynicism, self-critical, eager to learn from other cultures, wanting there to be no pain in the world"

I really loved those mannered, sensitive "liberals" demonstrating outside the GOP convention and elsewhere! And only SOME choices seem to be allowed: There's a definite Leftist NO to school choice! And since when did Leftists show concern for the feelings of the conservative students they regularly give a hard time to on America's campuses?

And here is another example of those wonderful Leftist manners: Pro-Kerry goons tearing up a little girl's sign

It is in fact a general tendency of Leftists to feel free to destroy the property of conservatives. I posted on that recently. Another good example is the way Leftists have just attacked and destroyed Mike Jericho's new site -- because he was foolish enough to trust them. Leftists have a primitive "tribal" morality. If you are not "one of us", you are fair game. Sophisticated and "eager to learn" they are not.

No wonder Leftists romanticize the primitive: "There are several things to be said about this worship of the primitive. First, it is absolutely illegitimate to do, as Polanyi does, and infer the history of pre-Western civilization from analysis of existing primitive tribes. Let us never forget that the existing primitive tribes are precisely the ones that didn't progress -- that remained in their primitive state. To infer from observing them that this is the way our ancestors behaved is nonsense -- and apt to be the reverse of the truth, for our ancestors presumably behaved in ways which quickly advanced them beyond the primitive stage thousands of years ago."

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Oliver Kamm and the Anti-Chomskyite have been giving Noam Chomsky a thorough debunking recently. I suppose someone has to do it. I have no taste for cleaning out the Augean stables, myself. The AntiChomskyite's conclusion is spot on. He summarizes part of what makes most Leftist intellectuals tick, in fact: "What is important to Chomsky is not the facts, nor any fealty to moral principles, but his own ferocious rage and desperate belief - and need to believe - in his own moral righteousness. Like all fanatics, it is his faith in his own rectitude and his own purity that not only gives him license to violate basic tenets of truth and logic, but also justifies the extraordinary leaps of moral bankruptcy in which we see him here" (Via Marc Miyake).

The latest barefaced Leftist lie: "College students are receiving alarmist e-mails warning them they may be drafted if President Bush wins re-election"

Radio Islam is an amazing site. It openly circulates and promotes the ideas of Adolf Hitler -- mainly because their own ideas seem to be the same. And it's headquartered in Sweden. Where else?

The Federal leader of Australia's Left says he wants no special deals for unions. Good if it's true: "Mark Latham has rejected any special deal with the trade unions, denies that he will re-regulate the workplace and says that his business critics misunderstand him."

Contrary to current American policy, Steve Sailer says that letting Turkey into the EU would be against everybody's best interests. Randall Parker seems to agree. I normally agree with both gentlemen but I think I am a bit more Machiavellian than they are on this one. I think that, whether Turkey gets in or not, the whole issue will eventually force Europeans off their moral high-horse and make them admit to ethnic and religious differences. For their sakes, I hope they will have enough sense to realize the danger of letting in a horde of 20 million Muslim immigrants before it happens but if they do let them in I will just be laughing at the resultant upheavals. It could even be the death of political correctness about race and multiculturalism. Whoopee!

Mrs Kerry's elitist view of her fellow Americans: "Oh, there is a lot of scumbags everywhere. Not just in politics. In everything. There are a lot of immoral people everywhere."

Australian Christians are getting organized: ""Family First" is a new Christian-based party that - sadly - is scared to admit to being any such thing. But by not mentioning its God, it has whispered out of nowhere to be a chance to share the balance of power in the Senate. We are seeing the birth of a new and canny conservative party, out in the grasslands of a religion represented for too long by big-city clergy who shared the politics of the cultural elite -- far to the Left of the people in their pews..... And this time it's not big-government Catholics, but free enterprise Protestants -- Evangelicals, Pentecostals and charismatics. Christians whose churches are booming with certainty, not sinking in doubt"

Che Guevara is likely to remain a cult figure for the more brainless Left. But, says Daniel Wolf, the man was a thug and a fool, and he helped ruin Cuba.

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with a big list of reading.

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

New rubric below.

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That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftists is perfectly shown by the Kerry campaign. They have put up a man whose policies seem to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though they have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

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22 September, 2004

SOME ECONOMICS

The Third Way to happiness: "So-called 'happiness research' has been discussed at length recently with economist and TCS contributing editor Arnold Kling writing and blogging about it, and economist Tyler Cowen responding at his blog. That exchange, and the mention of a new book on the subject piqued my interest and some further research led me to the answer: 60% marginal tax rates, that's what will make society happy."

Some reasons businesses outsource to India: "Thanks to the public education system liberals have defended for the past forty years, many high school graduates are nearly functionally illiterate. Not so in India. Thanks to lobbyists and pro-union immigration laws, foreigners aren't allowed to stay in the country after they finish their Ph.D.s. So they're starting companies overseas instead of here. Thanks to our liberal tax system, employers have to pay extra for American workers to fund Social Security- which no one believes will be solvent in a few decades. Thanks to a legal system that favors the plaintiff, employers in the United States must worry about lawsuits over spilled hot coffee, trumped up sexual harassment charges, and other frivolous cases".

Recalling the 1998 tumble: "What was so terrible about 1998? It seemed a pretty good year to me. It was, after all, the sixth year after recession, so you would expect it to be better than 2003, merely the third year after a recession. As it happens, 1998 was also the fifth year of the Clinton administration. Yet I don't recall any rabid Republicans claiming 1998 was the worst economy in 50 years or the worst since Herbert Hoover."

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There is an excellent response from an Iraqi blogger here about the stupid accusation that the U.S. intervention in Iraq was just a "neocon" plot. A small excerpt: "He, as well as many "anti-war" people, do not understand how the war to topple Saddam and establish democracy in Iraq can be a part of the war on terror. I do believe, however, that the American official are not that stupid to deal so lightly with such a critical issue. Iraq is not an adventure. Toppling Saddam was never the main reason for the war and should never be thought of as this... This is not an adventure and this is not a neo-conservative dream. This is OUR dream". (Via Peg Kaplan).

Further to my post yesterday in which I derided the notion that "neocons" generally or "Straussians" in particular are running American foreign policy, it may be worth noting that Strauss himself did not believe in an imperial or a do-gooding foreign policy. Strauss's thought on the matter is summarized here as: "Thus according to Strauss, the purpose of foreign policy is or ought to be survival and independence, or self-preservation, and nothing else". As a classicist, Strauss could hardly have taught anything else, given the disaster that Alcibiades and the Syracusan expeditions brought upon the Athenians. So any influence from Strauss is in fact towards isolationism, rather than foreign involvements.

Good to see that even USA Today is calling Kerry a flip-flopper and describing his solution to the Iraq problems as "Murky"

Jeff Jacoby has a disturbing article on the rise of mail-in voting and the accompanying rise in electoral fraud.

Wow! Britain is ending its postal monopoly. One hopes it sets an example to others. "Royal Mail should face competition in the delivery of all post from 1 January 2006, regulator Postcomm has said."

Amazing: The Saudis have no respect for their own scriptures. They circulate an English-language version of the Koran that adds in heaps of extra anti-Western stuff that was not in the original.

Another ungodly priest: "A priest accused of bulldozing more than 2000 Tutsi villagers to death as they sought sanctuary in his church during Rwanda's 1994 genocide has gone on trial before a United Nations court charged with crimes against humanity. Father Athanase Seromba, 41, is the first Catholic priest to face charges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda"

GWB needs to intervene to fix this: "According to many of the 27 million veterans who honorably served the nation during World War II and the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars, being ordered to storm a beachhead or take the next hill or advance through minefields were not their most difficult assignments. Long after the memories of battle have faded, too many of the nation's veterans have found themselves in a no-win war to obtain benefits they were promised when they put on their country's uniform".

Why work in a socialist country? "In a country plagued by skyrocketing sick-leave costs, a new survey presented Friday found that 40% of Sweden's population believes it is acceptable to skip work because they feel tired or have trouble getting along with colleagues. The survey, by the National Social Insurance Board, also found that 65% of the 1,002 people interviewed think a stressful work situation is also a valid reason for calling in sick and collecting pay under Sweden's liberal social programs".

Should we detain terrorists without trial? "A forthright policy of preventive detention is an idea whose time has come. This is the most important implication of the historic rulings issued by the Supreme Court in the enemy combatant cases of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Rasul v. Bush, and Rumsfeld v. Padilla. In Hamdi, five justices agreed that the president has the authority to detain terrorists, even when they are not charged under the criminal law and are not held as either POWs or war criminals under international law."

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

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Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

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21 September, 2004

THE "NEOCON" MYTH

There is another book here condemning "neocons" generally and "Straussians" in particular. These wicked souls are said to be behind a push to make America some sort of "empire". They LIKE big government and want to expand its influence worldwide.

I have no doubt that there are some "conservative" intellectuals who think like that -- particularly those who have migrated from the Left. But to say that such people are the power behind the throne in the current administration is absurdity of a high order. No doubt some of GWB's advisers do favour broadly "neocon" thinking, though I am sure there are big differences among them over actual policy. The point is, however, that GWB receives a wide range of policy advice from many sources. Practically every newspaper and TV station for a start is keen to give him advice, to say nothing of his many official staff. And it is GWB who decides what advice to take from the menu that is offered to him. And one thing nobody claims is that GWB is a "neocon". He is plainly a Christian conservative and that is of course the major theme of his policies. The idea that a handful of neocons would have more weight with him than would the many millions of Christian conservatives who put him into office is absurd.

The big obsession among the propagators of the "neocon ascendancy" myth is the current military involvement of the USA overseas. That is their "Aha!" factor. Neocons want a more activist foreign policy so the present involvements abroad must be an outcome of that. I suppose the involvement of Wilson in World War I, Truman in Korea, Johnson in Vietnam and Clinton in Serbia were "obviously" the product of a fiendish neocon plot too! The point I want to make, then, is that there are many reasons why America might take up military involvements abroad and "neocon" thinking is only one of them. And to attribute the present involvements to neocon thinking is quite simply perverse. The reason for America's present activist foreign policy is as plain as a pikestaff and is known to everybody. It is the outcome of one event: The fact that America was grievously attacked by Muslim fanatics on 9/11/2001. No country will last long if it ignores attacks on it and America has finally got to the point where it can no longer do so. It now just has to hit back in some way if the attacks are not to escalate. So it has moved to take down two of the world's biggest and most assertive Muslim power centres and bases of support for Islamic aggression. The "neocon" theory for America's actions ignores all that and just shows that those who hold it are as much out of touch with reality as conspiracy theorists always are.

In the circumstances, I was rather amused to see that there is a recent article in The Public Interest (the premier journal of the neoconservatives) which points out at great length that the support-base for GWB and the GOP is overwhelmingly "cultural". In other words, among GOP voters, economics plays second fiddle to concerns about things like abortion, guns and military strength. It shows that it is GWB's voters who want him to hit back at America's attackers. Another proof of the vast neocon conspiracy? Far from it. The article is in fact written by a Left-leaning author and is little more than a parade of exit polls and other voting statistics -- statistics that are publicly available for anyone to check (and I have checked some of them). So it may suit the neocons that GWB's voters want an assertive military response to the 9/11 attacks but it is the voters who matter. And I am sure that intelligent people like the neocons are not stupid enough to think that American public opinion will ever support America becoming any sort of empire -- though some of them can be remarkably naive, as George Will points out.

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There is a long and well-informed article by Sherwin Nuland (a doctor) in the Left-leaning "New Republic" about the history of eugenics. He of course hardly mentions that the support for eugenics in the 1920s and 1930s mainly came from the Left of the day but he does at least note that people like himself would probably have supported eugenics if they had been around in the Hitler era. He also notes that America was well ahead of Germany in introducing eugenic policies such as the forcible sterilization of the "unfit". His conclusion is perverse, however. He compares pre-war eugenics with the possibilities of genetic engineering today and implies that the two are just as dangerous. He concludes: "It all sounds very familiar. Looking backward, we can now see the danger in state-enforced policies of improvement, but too many of us have yet to awaken to the equally dangerous reality of improvement that is self-determined. We are once again standing on the slope, from the top of which the future we may be wreaking is already visible". In other words, he cannot see the difference between something that is voluntary and something that is State-enforced! How Leftist!

I made some disparaging remarks about Harry Truman a little while back designed to show that conservatives accept too uncritically the claims to fame of former Democrat Presidents. There often seems to be a view that the Democrats of yesteryear were really good guys who were not nearly as Leftist as Democrats today. I think there is something in that if we are talking of J.F. Kennedy but certainly not if we are talking about FDR, LBJ or Truman. I liked this summary of Truman's domestic policies by Oliver Kamm: "In the wider context of domestic as well as international policy, there has never been a President as hostile to business as Harry Truman. In November 1947, he proposed an economic programme of extensive price and credit controls, federal direction of capital to business, and rationing of consumer goods. The next year - Congress having refused to go along with the programme - he sent one bill after another to what he termed a "do nothing Congress" proposing price controls, a massive federal housing programme, a law requiring the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low, and subsidised utilities".

Another indication of how far-Left the BBC is. Note this description of the ghastly North Korea: "North Korea emerged in 1948 amid the chaos following the end of World War II. Its history is dominated by its Great Leader, Kim Il-sung, who shaped political affairs for almost half a century." Note that the regime "emerged" rather than being the product of a Moscow-backed takeover by Communists and that the grisly Kim Il Sung is unapologetically assigned his own claimed title of "Great Leader".

Davids Medienkritik asks whether Saddam's WMDs were "fake but accurate" too.

New blog! Mike Jericho has just started a new group blog called "The Man Blog". There are lots of established bloggers in the group so there should be new stuff popping up there all the time. Mike asked me to join in so I have put up a few posts there to help get the ball rolling.

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

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Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

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20 September, 2004

SOME INTERESTING EMAILS FROM READERS

From an Australian reader: "Since arriving in Melbourne yesterday from bomb-scarred Jakarta, I've had an interesting re-introduction to Australian politics by my first three taxi drivers: (1) From the airport I was told by my (Punjabi-born) driver that the "Russian Jew" who owned his taxi was only interested in money and, in some connection, Israel had manipulated the USA, UK and Australia into invading Iraq; (2) From my apartment to office, my (Turkish-born) driver argued that the secular state had no future . not in Turkey, not in Australia, nowhere!; and (3) Returning from the office, my (Iranian-born) driver criticised John Howard's government for oppressing the poor people in Australia (various reasons) and saw no difference between federal and [ALP] state taxation as all governments are being manipulated by a secret elite. No doubt these views are in no way representative of Melbourne's cabbies but I am sure I've not previously experienced them so forcefully aired in Australia."

From an American reader: "Isn't it strange that the Left only seems to condemn John Ashcroft to be the Attorny General, but they never seem to condemn Reno for obstructing individual rights? What about cases to which the FBI under Reno committed such harsh tactics that resulted in civilian death like those of Ruby Ridge and Waco? Now I know that just because Reno made those tactics happen doesn't make people like Weaver or the cult in Waco a bunch of saints. Perhaps if Reno took a different approach other than using tanks or using FBI snipers, the results might have been different. Reno was also involved in forcibly taking Elian Gonzelez from his home in Florida. Why couldn't his family from America be allowed to adopt the child? The Left has the nerve to claim that Ashcroft is a danger to America and never seem to condemn any of Reno's tactics that were used in these cases. Gee, Ashcroft really sounds like a dangerous Attorney General to me -- Not. Under Ashcroft, none of these types of scenarios have ever happened. All Ashcroft ever did was look into if there were any terror sleeper cells. And all of a sudden the ACLU and other groups like that are pounding on him. Yet they never pounded on Reno for her unlawful tactics. The Left certainly favors fascist tactics, at least when it's one of their own up in a high place in the government."

And an email from a Leftist. I got one of the usual sort of leftist hate-mails from a Kerry fan called Suzee, to which I replied: "Only a hate-filled person would send such an email to someone they did not know. Try Valium" She replied: "Hmmm, valium is used to treat anxiety - not anger. Seems - your website was filled with a lot of hate and anger towards a man you obviously know nothing about. I'm not angry - just surprised at how stupid people can be. And when you create a factless website for anyone, on the Net to view you leave yourself open for criticism. The scary thing is, your probably a registered voter. They really should revoke voting privileges for those who can't pass a competency test or for those who can't answer a multiple choice test, showing they know all the facts about each candidate." Note the elitist dislike of democracy that is so typical of the Left: "They really should revoke voting privileges for those who can't pass a competency test". And someone who doesn't know the difference between "your" and "you're" thinks she is competent? Typical Leftist ignorance, more like it. The worst sort of ignorance, in fact: Ignorance that thinks it is competent. And her assumption that I am a registered voter is amusing too. If she had really looked at my site, she would have soon noticed that I am an Australian! Or perhaps she thinks Australians can vote in U.S. elections! All in all, I think she gives quite a good demonstration of Leftist "competence".

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That good old generous taxpayer again: "Before federal flood insurance became available in 1968, there was little incentive to build on barrier islands since no private insurance companies would take the risk, and no banks would provide mortgages without flood insurance. But once the feds started offering the insurance (for an average $300-per-year premium), real-estate developers found mortgage bankers more than willing to lend them money, setting off a tsunami of new high-risk coastal construction. When Hurricane Frederick struck barrier islands off Alabama in 1979, for example, shattered beach cottages at Gulf Shores were quickly replaced by 14-story fully mortgaged condominiums. Federal flood insurance covers up to $250,000 for property damage to homes and $500,000 for businesses."

Good to see Czech leaders calling Cuba what it is. Note that in this report the BBC puts Havel's description of Cuba as a "dictatorship" in quotes -- indicating that the BBC does not think Cuba is a dictatorship. What the hell does the BBC think it is? A democracy?

The myth of voluntary unions: "But a basic understanding of the elementary economics of unionism, and of the history of unionism, explains why violence against competitors has always been an inherent feature of unionism, even apart from the 'violence' of state-imposed legislative privileges that unions enjoy. Historically, the main 'weapon' that unions have employed to try to push wages above the levels that employees could get by bargaining for themselves on the free market without a union has been the strike."

Trying to have that cake and eat it, too: "One of my colleagues back at SUNY Fredonia in the early 70s had been dabbling in real estate and finally bought a nice historical building in the middle of this little town. He not only liked to earn some income from his thoughtful investments in local buildings but also enjoyed the fact that he was instrumental in preserving a bit of the history of the town as he did so. No sooner had he bought his piece of history, however, my colleague had to face the city bureaucracy that wanted him to both preserve the building intact and to renovate it to conform with all sorts of government regulations."

That's Tinseltown: "There are many Israel-haters on the Left, but none more persistent, or rabid, than far-Left British actress Vanessa Redgrave. The mummified Marxist is a longtime enemy of the Jewish state. In 1977, Redgrave did a "documentary" titled "The Palestinians" that showed her in a PLO training camp, dancing as she waved a rifle over her head... In 1980, Redgrave proclaimed, "The State of Israel must be overthrown, there is no room for such a state.""

Middle-aged Madness does not seem to have permalinks but he has lots of good pictures up. If you scroll down to his post of 15th, you will see some particularly good ones of Mrs Bush and Mrs. Kerry. The pictures persuade me that John Kerry married for money.

The Usurer vigorously dissents from the view of Immanuel Kant being a libertarian. He is probably right. Kant is a pretty confused thinker in my view.

EDUCATION WATCH seems to have become my second most active blog. I always have heaps of stuff to put up there.

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

**************************

Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



19 September, 2004

AUSTRALIA HAS A FEDERAL ELECTION SOON TOO

If John Kerry leaves a lot to be desired in the character stakes, his Australian counterpart (Mark Latham) is not much better. Christopher Pearson sums up Latham's history at some length. One excerpt: "He has never resiled from the class warrior's description of himself he gave The Bulletin: "I'm a hater. Part of the tribalness of politics is to really dislike the other side with intensity. And the more I see of them, the more I hate them." Although it's not the way well-adjusted people work, Latham -- who once described himself as "a maddie" -- sees it as normal.... The journalists' nickname for him, "Biff", is jokey recognition of Latham's violent hoon streak" Pearson also notes that Latham has said of himself: "I'm a narcissist.". So we have a violent egomaniac on offer: How Leftist!

Latham's education policy also has American echoes: "Mark Latham's schools strategy has worked well to protect one of Labor's core constituencies the public education unions. Instead of addressing why parents have been deserting state schools for a decade, and explaining what he will do to stop the rot, Mr Latham is playing the class-war warrior in a debate that ducks this essential question. Labor's strident attack on rich private schools as if their very existence denied public school children the right to learn is polemical politics. And it is very poor policy that will do nothing to improve the education on offer in state schools... The reason why the non-government school sector accounts for about 30 per cent of all pupils is because ordinary Australian parents have lost faith in public education. More money in itself will not change this. What will is real reform that allows parents and school communities to make decisions that suit their own circumstances. Such as giving schools the power to pay their best teachers more and to fire the duds. And giving parents vouchers for the benchmarked cost of classes, valid at any public or private school. Not to mention encouraging a culture of accountability by publicly ranking schools so we can compare their performance. But all these measures are anathema to the teacher unions, a lobby Mr Latham evidently dares not defy".

Australia's Left are Green: "Labor's chances of winning the federal election are expected to receive a boost today when it announces a strong preference deal with the high-rating Greens."

This was on the front page of Saturday's "Australian" newspaper: "What followed was a complete sellout of Aboriginal people in the greatest act of racist political bastardry perpetrated by the Queensland government headed by Joh Bjelke-Petersen. The subsequent decades of misery are only now being redressed..... The actions of the Bjelke--Petersen government were what led to the introduction of liquor canteens on "missions." The canteens decimated entire Aboriginal families and communities through alcoholism and child neglect." It's "bastardry" for a conservative government to give blacks the same right to a drink that whites have? Only a Leftist would think so.

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ELSEWHERE

The Dallas Protest Warriors have been having a lot of fun as "The Halliburton Defence Force", showing up what mental cripples the Leftist protesters are.

There is a review here of a Leftist historian who calls genocidal violence "the dark side of democracy". I guess Hitler and Pol Pot must have been great democrats! Elitist Leftists sure hate democracy!

Good to see a bit of official honesty about what an oppressive place Saudi Arabia is. Looks like Powell has been overruled. Dick McDonald has some good comments on the matter too.

Is Kerry moving left? "To the astonishment and dismay of Democratic politicians, John Kerry over the last weekend appeared to have forgotten his opponent for president. He did not seem to realize that he was running against George W. Bush, not Howard Dean. That was an understandable conclusion to be drawn from the Democratic nominee's course over four days."

Bad Deal: Review of Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race by Kevin J. McMahon and FDR's Folly by Jim Powell: "Two recent books, one generally liberal and the other libertarian, offer interesting and divergent viewpoints on what Roosevelt and his New Deal did, and did not do, to improve life for American blacks."

The biggest issue? "Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said voters should not forget the importance of the possibility of several U.S. Supreme Court justices retiring over the next four years as they vote for president in November. Calling it the 'unspoken importance of the 2004 elections,' Perkins wrote in an e-mail to supporters on Tuesday that people should not forget that the next president of the United States will make a lasting impact on the judicial rulings made by the high court. Perkins said he is surprised the potential vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court has not been an issue in the 2004 presidential election between President George W. Bush and Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry as it was in the 2000 contest."

Soviet USA? Mandatory mental health screening?: "On Sept. 9, the 'Ron Paul Amendment' was defeated in the House of Representatives by a vote of 95-315. The Amendment would have prevented the funds sought by an appropriations bill (HR 5006) from being used for the mandatory mental-health screening of Americans, including public schoolchildren. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, a practicing physician for more than 30 years, campaigned against the new program on the grounds that it negates parental rights and would encourage the over-medication of children."

The not so Supreme Court: "Yes, Marbury established the Supreme Court as the Constitution's final arbiter, in much the same way as a pretender to the throne establishes himself as king by cramming the crown on his cranium and declaring, 'I'm king!' As long as the other pretenders -- or branches of government -- stand around and shuffle their feet and mutter, 'Uh, well, okay then' he's king. In other words, the Supreme Court declared itself supreme."

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

**************************

Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



18 September, 2004

SOME PHILOSOPHY

The Maverick philosopher: "There are other people for whom truth counts for nothing, but power for everything.... They project their own lust for power into everyone else interpreting everything that is manifestly not a power-move as latently a power-move. There are plenty of leftists like this. Taking their cue from Nietzsche, they assume that everything is power at bottom. Die Welt ist der Wille zur Macht und nichts anders! "The world is the will to power and nothing besides!" Supported by this assumption, they set out to unmask (deconstruct) phenomena that manifestly are not power-driven, for example, attempts to state what is the case. Compare my comments on Stanley Fish in "Of Truth and Fish". Power-mad themselves, these leftists project lust for power into everyone and everything. It is a curious pars pro toto fallacy: one takes a phenomenon one finds in oneself, lust for power, and then interprets everything else in terms of it".

Kant was a libertarian! "Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is a highly significant resource for classical liberalism and libertarianism. Not only can one rely upon Kant's account of the foundations of morality to derive libertarian principles: Kant's own specifically political philosophy is written very much in a classical liberal vein that opposed paternalist government while emphasizing the centrality of the individual's property rights.... In the Metaphysics of Morals [Metaphysik der Sitten], Kant claims that each individual has only one innate right, that of freedom. It is because of this right that one's person may not be arbitrarily coerced, and not because of a right to property that covers self-ownership. "Freedom (independence from being constrained by another's choice), insofar as it can coexist with the freedom of every other in accordance with a universal law, is the only original right belonging to every man by virtue of his humanity""

Human rights vs. animal rights: Review of Tibor R. Machan's "Putting Humans First": "The only book I have encountered that views today's environmental movement from a historical and philosophical perspective and convincingly argues why we have been on the wrong track. Machan then lays out a simple blueprint for man's future interaction with the planet and animal kingdom. "Putting Humans First" should become the gold standard for warm and friendly human beings endeavoring to understand and explain why, though we may love animals and nature, they are intrinsically inferior to humans."

"There does exist therefore, gentlemen, a law which is a law not of the statute-book, but of nature; a law which we possess not by instruction, tradition, or reading, but which we have caught, imbibed, and sucked in at Nature's own breast; a law which comes to us not by education but by constitution, not by training but by intuition-- the law, I mean, that should our life have fallen into any snare, into the violence and the weapons of robbers or foes, every method of winning a way to safety would be morally justifiable. When arms speak, the laws are silent; they bid none to await their word, since he who chooses to await it must pay an undeserved penalty ere he can exact a deserved one." (Marcus Tullius Cicero, Cicero:The Speeches with an English Translation, "On Behalf of Milo", infra, p. 17)

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ELSEWHERE

Leftist journalists occasionally let their real thoughts out. Note this comment from one such elitist in her interview with Jay Leno: "But surely "Jaywalking" [Leno's man-in-the-street segment] shows you what morons Americans are." How Leftists hate ordinary people! I wonder how it is that "morons" have created one of the freeest, most dynamic, most prosperous, most powerful and most generous nations the world has ever known?

It looks like the "National Review" article about biased bookshops that I linked to yesterday has got some response at least. See here. Note that they do not deny that conservative customers are often treated contemptuously.

I guess President Wilson must have been a "neocon": "The world must be made safe for democracy," Woodrow Wilson declared in 1917. Ever since (and arguably before), that imperative has occupied a central place in U.S. foreign policy. Democratic and Republican presidents alike have seen the need to spread liberty abroad to protect liberty at home."

Condescension compulsory: "My DNA theory came to me on Monday evening last as I listened to Greta Van Susteren reporting. She had a ranting, angry liberal as a guest against the backdrop of the Republican convention. Said liberal complained of white males, Republicans and the dominance of the former in the latter. Susteren pointed out that Bush had Colin Powell, Rod Paige and Condi Rice in his Cabinet. Undaunted, the liberal DNA kicked in, "Bush just picked them, and they happened to be black. He didn't pick them because they were black." Blacks who are chosen for their competence don't count as true blacks?"

Arnold Kling: "The Democrats, in my view, are neither hawks nor doves. They are ostriches. Some of the ostriches disparage nations like Australia and Italy that stand with us and instead fantasize about forging a coalition out of the unwilling nations of France and Germany. They have faith in the United Nations, even as the Sudan and Iran thumb their noses at that body."

Old media and new media: "That's what is most fascinating about the elimination of media entry barriers, the rise of distributed journalism, and the new influx of reporting and commentary from outside the professional guild. The new outlets aren't displacing the old ones; they're transforming them. Slowly but noticeably, the old media are becoming faster, more transparent, more interactive -- not because they want to be, but because they have to be."

Invisible Heart questions this claim about Ralph Nader: "More than any other single person, Ralph Nader is responsible for the existence of automobiles that have seat belts, padded dashboards, air bags, non-impaling steering columns, and gas tanks that don't readily explode when the car gets rear-ended. He is therefore responsible for the existence of some millions of drivers and passengers who would otherwise be dead." He is permalink-deprived so scroll down to his post of March 4th. He shows that the steepest fall in deaths occurred long BEFORE St. Ralph.

Maybe I am a sentimental old fool but I was really touched by the blogger who found God's mercy even in the events of 9/11.

I seem to be posting a lot on EDUCATION WATCH lately and even SOCIALIZED MEDICINE seems to be getting almost daily postings.

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

**************************

Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



17 September, 2004

LYING

Some excerpts from a very good article:

"You can no more expect the "rule of law" to function without a core precept centering on truth than you could expect your human body to function without a heart. The two are inseparable. Those who treat casually the truth governing a society formed around the "rule of law" are inviting a lawlessness (anarchy), which will inevitably follow. Law and order cannot coexist with condoned falsehood.

Lying is a particularly vicious and destructive fault. There is no doubting that in times of weakness or imprudence most all of us have employed a lie on occasion. But it is only the depraved or demented that would not come to realize its insidious properties. Indeed, lying is one evil equally condemned by not only God, beginning with the Eighth Commandment,1 but by all secular cultures that wisely give preeminence to the "common good" and "right reason," based on the natural law in their governing policies.

Any nation or culture that comes to granting license to lying has initiated its own death warrant. Yet, that very process is well on the way in our nation today....

Although lying is a fault that all of society has occasion to confront, it is noted to be particularly focused in our day with the practitioners of the ideology which is now popularly referred to as "liberalism." In fact, the ideologies of liberalism, socialism, Marxism, and communism are all wedded, and proceed from the same brood house. It should be pointed out that "liberal" is a term adopted by the socialists themselves in seeking to disassociate from the stigma that had become attached to that ideology. I need not here reiterate what recent history has revealed pertaining to the lethal properties of these particular "...ism's". "Evil empire(s)" is one apt description of their outcomes when allowed to assume power.

Lying is an acknowledged tool of socialism/Marxism as not only taught by Marx but as incorporated in certain Marxist constitutions. Vladimir Lenin, a devoted follower of Marx and a father of the societal and world-wide disaster that came to be known as Communism, had the following words to say of their governmental intentions: "The lie is sacred, and deception will be our principal weapon."....."

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ELSEWHERE

WHAT? "U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says he hopes to be able to remove Saudi Arabia from the State Department list of religiously intolerant countries."

There is an article in "National Review" (full copy here) about American bookshops that I find quite amazing. It records the immense lengths American booksellers go to in order to suppress the circulation of conservative books. And the sales clerks in American bookshops appear to be the worst offenders. There is a heap of comments here from lots of other American conservatives confirming the truth of the story. I cannot imagine any such thing happening in Australia and I have certainly never encountered any shred of it. I guess Australia just is both a less polarized and more conservative country. But the story is of course yet another instance of how instinctively Leftists rely on censorship. They just cannot afford for the full truth on anything political to become known.

AOL users: A lot of your email is getting bounced back to the sender without being delivered at the moment. It has been happening to emails that I have sent to various AOL users over the last week or so. Get yourself a Yahoo address would be my advice.

An amusing article here about the editor of "Harpers" magazine. He says conservatives have no ideas despite the fact that he used to publish heaps of articles by conservatives when the magazine was independent. Now that the magazine depends on grants from Left-wing foundations for its survival, he has changed his tune, funnily enough! His only explanation for the influence that conservative ideas now have is the influence of conservative foundations. But Leftist foundations are miles bigger than conservative ones so he again reduces himself to absurdity. He is also the clown who wrote a report about what happened at the GOP convention before the convention had actually commenced! What loonies Leftist foundations hire! I guess they don't have much choice.

Scott Burgess has a report about an addled Left-wing journalist who found what she regarded as just about a perfect human society in southern Bavaria but who could not handle the fact that all the people concerned were white! Her "solution" to the non-existent "problem"? They need some blacks! Leftists just hate ordinary people so cannot bear to see them happily getting on with their own lives. Destroying people's happiness is their specialty. They are just fundamentally destructive people.

There is a great advertisement for an IBM electric typewriter here. Dan Rather will no doubt be bidding.

That good ol' "projection" again: "Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry accused President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney of running a 'shameful and outrageous' campaign to win reelection. In an interview conducted by Time magazine, Kerry said Republicans are desperate to hold on to the White House and will use any means necessary to do so.... 'I think the president's unwillingness to walk away from those comments makes it clear that he and the vice president will say anything and do anything to get elected and hold onto power,' Kerry said"

Left-leaning and Nobel prize-winning South African novelist Nadine Gordimer is trying to censor a biography of her. A South African reader writes: "All because Roberts used certain quotes from her that reveal the serpent behind the mask. Gordimer always portrays Afrikaners as really dumb, low-class fools in her work - she is a racist. Even fellow lefties here in SA call her "humourless". Her books don't sell in SA. Only the Swedes think she's a great writer."

"One of Toronto's Jewish groups wants to tear a piece off PETA. The Canadian Jewish Congress is furious over a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals campaign called "Holocaust on Your Plate" that compares animals being slaughtered with Nazi death camps".

What a nasty headline -- from Reuters, of course: "Miss America to Showcase More Skin, Less Talent"

There is a new blog called Catholic Kerry Watch.

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

**************************

Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



16 September, 2004

SOME MORE ECONOMICS

Minimum wages destroy both jobs and employability: "When I discuss minimum wages in class I tell my students that one of the best ways to get a high-paying job is to get a low-paying job and work your way up. The minimum wage can put the least employable out of work and have permanent negative effects when training and work skills not acquired in youth are difficult to accumulate later on.... David Neumark and Olena Nizalova look at the how exposure to the minimum wage in the past impacts workers today. They find that teenagers who grow up in states with a minimum wage that is significantly and consistently higher than the federal minimum have lower earnings and work less a decade or more later when those workers are in their late twenties. The negative effects are larger for blacks, for whom the minimum wage tends to be more binding.... The bottom line? If you don't work at McDonald's when you are a teenager, don't expect to manage a McDonald's when you are middle-aged."

The origin of the income tax: "'The freedoms won by Americans in 1776 were lost in the revolution of 1913,' wrote Frank Chodorov. Indeed, a man's home used to be his castle. The income tax, however, gave the government the keys to every door and the sole right to change the locks. Today the American people are no longer the master and the government has ceased to be the servant.... Adjusting for inflation, in the 81 years between the enactment of the income tax in 1913 to 1994, government spending increased 13,592%!"

A reader writes: "This article shows that the number of Australians on full time welfare support has gone from 1 in 20 in the early 1960s to 1 in 5 today. The welfare lobby and 'social justice' advocates seem to be on a business as usual track. You don't have to be a libertarian or even a conservative to criticise these numbers. Many ordinary Australians would say that Australia was a fairer and more equal society in the 1960s than it is today. The welfare lobby needs to redirect their focus from welfare expansion to welfare targeting."

Walter E. Williams: "The truly rich don't deserve all the political hype we hear; they're only a tiny percentage of our population and not that important. According to recent U.S. Treasury statistics, the top 1 percent of income earners have an adjusted gross income that starts around $300,000. While $300,000 or $400,000 a year is nothing to sneeze at, it's a far cry from being rich; it's not even yacht-and-Gulfstream-jet money. The truly rich Americans are those with assets like Bill Gates ($46 billion), Warren Buffett ($43 billion) and Paul Allen ($21 billion). All told, there are about 275 Americans in the billionaire club. Having just a couple million dollars in assets doesn't merit much respect as riches.The 99 percent plus of the rest of us can safely ignore the truly rich."

What the Left won't tell you: "The twentieth century contrasts sharply with the record of the two preceding centuries. In every measure we have bearing on the standard of living, such as real income, homelessness, life expectancy and height, the gains of the lower class have been far greater than those experienced by the population as a whole, whose overall standard of living has also improved".

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ELSEWHERE

Peg Kaplan says why the use of forged documents by CBS to discredit GWB is a big deal. I am amazed that they keep defending themselves. A quick "we were conned" would have saved a lot of their reputation. One wonders whom they are protecting -- i.e. did the documents come directly from the Kerry campaign? NRO has the story about a much earlier "Rathergate" scandal that now seems generally forgotten. (Via Dick McDonald).

Further to my post about the "Could America be Satan" seminar, Dave Huber has some information about how away with the fairies these guys really are.

An Islamic "spiritual leader" speaks about the recent bombing of the Australian embassy in Indonesia: ""I suspect that America and Australia themselves are behind the [embassy] bombing, for two reasons: one, the US issued a travel warning before the bombing. It means they already knew in advance; and two, the bomb intentionally exploded about the embassy gates which made victims of ordinary people, who are Muslim. It means it is aimed at pushing Islam into a corner. On these two indicators, I suspect the US and Australia are behind the bombing".

Film on Cat Torture Draws Protesters in Toronto: I love the conflict between animal rights protesters and the PC art nazis. Such decisions for Leftists: protest the animal cruelty, or support some disgusting so-called "artist's" right to expression?

O'Reilly selling out? "OK, I have finally had enough with Mr. Switzerland, aka Bill O'Reilly. I started getting annoyed when he made comments such as " I think Kerry is a good guy, I could sleep well at night if he were President." Then I became angry when he criticized the Swift vets and refused to have an open discussion about the topic... The more I listen to this blowhard the more I feel he is a wanna-be elitist. I get the feeling that he wished he could leave that damn 'right wing' Fox and become anchor for one of the big networks".

John Kerry has been criticizing the Bush administration's approach to North Korea. But even the New York Times has put up another view: "The Bush administration's customary approach to North Korea, based on consultation with North Korea's neighbors and skepticism of its motives, is exactly what is necessary." A "mulitilateral" approach is what Kerry keeps demanding for Iraq so a naive person might think that a multilateral approach to North Korea would be approved of. But who said Leftists have to be consistent? Not John Kerry!

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with its usual survey of the week's blogospheric wisdom.

There is a very irate email up on EDUCATION WATCH about government funding for Australian private schools. New posts on SOCIALIZED MEDICINE too.

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

**************************

Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



15 September, 2004

ECONOMICS

Why Americans work longer: "It's become a common refrain: American workers are badly overworked, driven to a loss of leisure, sleep and possibly sanity by their material and status obsessions... Most U.S. workers positively still crave getting a shot at overtime hours during a boom period.... people do not want to trade off work for leisure beyond a certain point... A 40-hour week, despite inevitable time preference differences across population groups, seems overall a sensible, natural level. Moreover, it is the weekend that Americans seek to preserve more than the eight-hour workday."

Myths and legends of union accomplishments: "The bottom line is that no union can successfully get a compensation package beyond the market value of their members without resort to force. In a free and competitive market employees who demand more money than the state of the labor market indicates will end up jobless. It is that simple. Attempts to force the market to accept higher than market wages, are generally made by keeping other workers from participating in the artificially high-wage structure. Workers are hurt so others may prosper."

The truth about globalization: Review of Jagdish Bhagwati's In Defense of Globalization: "Globalization in fact reduces poverty and the use of child labor, fosters women's rights, promotes respect for democratic norms, enriches culture, and even sustains the environment. Multinational corporations are not wreaking havoc by leveling wages and labor standards across the globe. In fact, they raise them... Looking more closely at developments within Asia bolsters the point. Who can doubt, Bhagwati asks, that the dramatic reductions in poverty in China and India came about only when these countries began integrating with the world economy, mimicking the tactics of Japan, Korea, and Singapore? Trade and foreign direct investment boost growth, and growth reduces poverty".

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ELSEWHERE

You couldn't make this stuff up: Note this timetable of "The Center for Global Tolerance" and see what is scheduled for 16th. -- a seminar on "Could America Really Be Satan?". That's funny enough but look who is leading the seminar: Keith Crudup! Well-named! I almost think it must be a spoof but I fear it is not. Leftists really are weird enough to think it promotes tolerance to label hundreds of millions of people as being Satan. Hate-speech is just normal for them.

Leftists encourage Muslim terror: "How many lives have left-wing statements cost Israel? In a damning condemnation of the Israeli left, a new book about the battles known as the Oslo War quotes Hamas leaders saying that the behavior of Israel's left-wing encourages them to continue their terrorist attacks."

Gay marriage is good for mental health: " That's what the American Psychological Association (APA) said at its annual conference this summer, when it passed a policy statement that same-sex couples should have the right to marry.... Why would the APA take such a stance in this stormy political climate? Halpern herself acknowledged the riskiness of the move. 'We're going out on a limb', she said. The answer of why they did it, I think, has nothing to do with mental health and everything to do with politics".

Doomed Dems? "The modern Democratic Party cannot survive the reelection of President George W. Bush and another four years of Republican control of both Congress and the White House. No brag. Just fact. The modern Democratic Party is the party of government. Its growth is the health of the state--and vice versa. Over time, all the party's building blocks are dependent on continuous support and reinforcement by the power of the central government...."

Hee! Hee! The Swedes are discovering what their wonderful tolerance, neutrality and political correctness leads to. One excerpt: "Malmo, Sweden. The police now publicly admit what many Scandinavians have known for a long time: They no longer control the situation in the nations's third largest city. It is effectively ruled by violent gangs of Muslim immigrants. Some of the Muslims have lived in the area of Rosengard, Malmo, for twenty years, and still don't know how to read or write Swedish. Ambulance personnel are attacked by stones or weapons, and refuse to help anybody in the area without police escort"

Are women inherently more caring and more "relational" than men? "The chief architect of this essentialist idea is Carol Gilligan.... In the early 1980s, she laid out a new narrative for women's lives that theorized that women have a unique, caring nature not shared by men. Her ideas have revolutionized the psychology of women and revamped curricula to an unprecedented degree.... But how many are aware of the critics of her theories about women's moral development and the relational self? Many scholarly reviews of Gilligan's research contend that it does not back up her claims, that she simply created an intriguing hypothesis that needs testing. But the relational self has become near-sacred writ, cited in textbooks, classrooms, and the news media".

Bias against the South: "Ah, there's nothing like igniting an electronic civil war from coast to coast. My Wednesday column on news media bigotry toward the South got lots of folks worked up. Some critics -- journalists and normal, well-adjusted people -- thought I was claiming the South to be superior. No. But our region does have something to offer this nation besides being a ''people- having-sex-with-farm-animals'' punch line for comedians. Census numbers and a rising Electoral College vote count bear that out. The South is becoming a preferred place to raise families in a strong environment of devout faith and other values Americans want in a post-9/11 age."

Peg Kaplan has found a rant by a devoted Democrat (almost sounds like a soon-to-be former Democrat!) -- and she really nails her party and her party's current candidate for president.

Clayton Cramer has a good sense of humour. Further to the recent accusation that bloggers are just guys in pajamas, Clayton comments: "I don't blog in pajamas. Sometimes, I only blog in underwear. But to avoid causing panic and fear, I never blog naked."

I received a rather interesting email from a reader about Leftist immaturity. See here

I have just put up a revised version of my silly sayings collection -- with a few minor additions and a few long-overdue corrections. See here.

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

**************************

Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



14 September, 2004

HAPPINESS

I see that the excellent Arnold Kling had a good jab a little while ago at the "happiness" critics. We have known since at least the times of ancient Lydia and King Croesus that money does not necessarily make you happy. And Hollywood has been proof of it for years. St. Paul too was pretty scathing about money in 1 Timothy 6:10. But Left-leaning economists and psychologists seem to have realized all that only in the last few years. "So if we take your money away it won't hurt" is their conclusion. Odd that people do seem to get really peeved if you rob or defraud them, though! And ask anybody if they would rather spend their own money or have someone else spend it instead and there is not much doubt about what the answer will be. And that's the point: What people want matters. If some arrogant git claims that he can spend my money better than I can, he deserves to be treated like the con-man he is. The fact that overall level of happiness is mainly a personality disposition or trait which remains fairly stable across a wide range of circumstances (e.g. some people are almost always happy and others are almost always mournful) does NOT mean that people are uninterested in improving those circumstances or getting the occasional "high". But Leftists don't care what people want, of course. "We know what's best for you" is their lying mantra.

Marginal Revolution has lots of interesting links on the subject too.

From my point of view as a psychometrician, however, the whole field of happiness measurement is pretty suspect. I spent 20 years measuring psychological traits and have had many papers published on that subject but I have always regarded the measurement of psychological states as too difficult for me. Why? Because what people say about their states seems to be almost the same as what they say about their traits. The best-known example of an attempt to measure both states and traits in the same field is almost certainly Spielberger's work on state/trait measurement of anxiety and I have myself worked with Spielberger's questionnaires. But I found that the questions used to index the two gave generally interchangeable results: People who described themselves as anxious "at the moment" were also highly likely to describe themselves as anxious "in general". And that is not necessarily just a measurement problem, either. It surely stands to reason that people who are anxious "in general" are also more likely to be anxious on any given occasion. That implies to me that very short-term changes in states may be detectable (e.g. the "high" someone gets on being told they have won a lottery) but the sort of medium term change economists are looking for probably is not.

Yet given that traits are by definition both stable and general behaviour tendencies and given that they are almost always shown to be highly genetically inheritable, any consideration of traits as an economic variable is surely beside the point. Economists are looking for the results of something, i.e. a change of some sort, and something that is inherently not very susceptible to change is surely a strange place to look for change. So it seems to me that any study of happiness as an economic variable must specifically look at states or "moods" -- and that does not generally seem even to be attempted. And the tradition of mood research in psychology exemplified by Joe Forgas and others usually seems to treat moods as short-lived rather than as being the sort of long-lasting change that economists have been looking for.

And a cross-cultural note might not go astray here either. There have for many years been international surveys done which purport to find out which countries have the happiest people. But the big difficulty that the researchers found was that happiness is not always an adequately translatable concept. Perhaps the most surprising case of that is that even a language as closely related to English as German does not have any real equivalent to our word "happiness" (nor do they have a good equivalent for our word "pink" and nor do we have anything like an adequate translation of their word "Reich"). The commonest German translation is "gluecklich" but that really means "lucky", and I well remember an old German Jewish man with whom I was discussing that many years ago. He told me: "gluecklich I am but happy I am not". He meant that he was lucky to have escaped Hitler but still missed much of his old life. So can we really have as a key economic variable something that is not even translatable into German?

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ELSEWHERE

I wonder if this ever happens in the USA? Australia's governing conservative party has selected an open lesbian as one of its parliamentary candidates in the forthcoming Federal election. As far as I know there are to be no open homosexuals representing Australia's major Leftist party -- though the leader of the Greens (Bob Brown) is homosexual. The lesbian woman concerned, Ingrid Tall, is a good candidate -- photogenic, intelligent, well-spoken and well-known on TV. How strange that those "homophobic" conservatives recognize merit when they see it! It may be noted that the same "racist" Australian conservatives put the first black (Neville Bonner) into Australia's Federal parliament. Note that BOTH major Australian political parties oppose homosexual marriage so the claim that opposition to homosexual marriage is "homophobic" does not stack up.

Jeff Jacoby has a great summary of John Kerry's "jokes"

Wayne Lusvardi gives another elaboration of his "Straussian" interpretation of why the USA is at war in Iraq. He sees the U.S. presence there as a warning to neighbouring Muslim states.

LOL: "Obviously pandering for votes, candidate John Kerry announced that he would immediately ban the dumping of Canadian garbage in Michigan if elected president." I guess he figures that they have already had enough garbage from him.

Leftist "compassion" vanishes when most needed: "Vagrants in Key West and many homeless have taken up residence in "safe zone sleeping areas" built earlier this year. The city offers showers, laundry facilities, and other amenities... a real problem the city is faced with today is what to do with the homeless population when the entire population of the city has been told to evacuate due to Hurricane Ivan. Well, it appears that some have piled into aging vehicles and left, but those remaining are apparently expected to fend for themselves when Hurricane Ivan hits the island".

Further to my post yesterday about FDR, there is a good note on PID about how FDR's "New Deal" harmed the poor.

There are some new postings up on SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and LEFTISTS AS ELITISTS.

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

**************************

Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



13 September, 2004

CONSERVATIVES DON'T NEED TO EMBRACE LEFTIST PRESIDENTS

I have written on this before (see here and here) but American "liberals" seem to have conservatives so thoroughly conned on this that I feel I will still be saying it on my deathbed.

In domestic (internal) politics, it is clear to all that a Democrat President speaks at most only for those who elected him. But this somehow seems to get lost sight of in external (international) politics. The world usually sees what a Democrat President does as representing America, the American Left agrees with that and for some reason most conservatives buy into it. It does not happen with recent Presidents very much. Many American conservatives, for instance, would not be happy with Clinton bombing Christian Serbs who were giving Muslims a taste of their own oppressive medicine. But farther back in history things get blurred. I want to deal today with the case of F.D. Roosevelt, whose war with Japan is now almost universally approved of:

That conservatives ever "own" anything that America's first socialist president did is truly amazing. Lots of people still buy into the lie that FDR "cured" the great depression by his "New Deal" policies but the plain fact of the matter is that at the end of FDR's first two terms in office, the depression was just about as bad as ever (though under the financial management of the conservative Neville Chamberlain Britain had substantially recovered). It was only the war that got America moving again. And a large part of the reason for that was that around that time FDR started co-operating with business instead of attacking it. How he ever thought that attacking business would cure unemployment remains an utter mystery. It is business that creates jobs so if you want more jobs created you have to encourage business, not make circumstances more difficult for it. And it was in fact FDR's policies that transformed a normal cyclic depression into the Great Depression. In previous depressions governments had largely just sat tight. FDR was the first one to try big government interventions to cure it -- with the predictable result of making it worse.

And the idea that FDR was on the side of the poor is typical Leftist deception. His New Deal in fact harmed millions of poor people. Note this comment: "For defenders of the New Deal, perhaps the most embarrassing revelation about New Deal spending programs is they channeled money AWAY from the South, the poorest region in the United States. The largest share of New Deal spending and loan programs went to political 'swing' states in the West and East - where incomes were at least 60% higher than in the South. As an incumbent, FDR didn't see any point giving much money to the South where voters were already overwhelmingly on his side."

But that is just a preamble. It is the war with Japan that was most tragic. But before I go onto that, another small preamble is needed: The essence of conservatism (as I set out at great length here) is "You leave me alone and I will leave you alone" and in international politics that translates to isolationism -- which is of course a great tradition among American conservatives and among Americans generally. The great majority of Americans want the rest of the world to solve its own problems. Leftists such as FDR, on the other hand, believe that they know what's best not only for America but also for the rest of the world. They are coercive interventionists. They want to do the solving of other people's problems and are prepared to use force to impose their solutions if necessary.

So when world events were in turmoil in the 1930s, Roosevelt wanted to intervene and impose his solutions to the various conflicts around. In particular, he wanted to intervene against Japan in the war between China and Japan -- despite the fact that the Chinese themselves were nowhere near being defeated by the attacking Japanese at that stage. He also wanted to intervene in the war between Germany and Britain despite the fact that Britain had at that stage already won the Battle of Britain. FDR's big problem, however, was the isolationism of the ordinary American. They did not want a bar of his grand international schemes. So he had to bring about the one circumstance wherein even conservative Americans will willingly go to war with other countries -- when America is attacked. And FDR brought that about by virtually forcing the Japanese to attack. He cut off their oil supply, which Japan mainly got from California at that stage. He did it of course in the form of an ultimatum to withdraw from China or else -- knowing of course that the bushido code of the Japanese miltary would never allow them to accept such dictation from outside. They would rather commit suicide than give in -- which is precisely what they proceeded to do in slow motion, beginning with their futile attack on Pearl Harbour. So all the loss of American and Japanese lives in the Pacific lies at FDR's door, not at the door of the Japanese.

FDR was very nearly as big a war-monger as Hitler. Since both were socialists and hence lovers of coercion, that is not surprising. FDR did after all at one stage refer to Mussolini as "that admirable Italian gentleman" and got some of his authoritarian economic ideas from Mussolini (who also impoverished his country). So please don't defend FDR's great war of destruction against the brilliant Japanese. The only benefit to China was to give them Mao Tse Tung!

As a postscript, it might also be noted that FDR undoubtedly knew in advance of the Pearl Harbour attack. British and American cryptographers had been decoding Japanese diplomatic and naval messages for some time at that stage. But FDR warned no-one at Pearl Harbour. It suited him for Americans to die there.

And it might be noted that the wartime internment of Japanese Americans that Leftist historians now routinely condemn America for was in fact the doing of FDR, a fellow Leftist. It was NOT the doing of Americans generally and it was certainly not the doing of American conservatives.

I am not in general a Buchanan-ite but Buchanan does know his history so I cannot resist closing with this comment from Buchanan: "As for FDR, he was the greatest politician of the 20th century. But why call a president great whose government was honeycombed with spies and traitors, and whose war diplomacy lead to the loss of 10 Christian countries of Eastern Europe to a Muscovite despot whose terrorist regime was the greatest enemy of human freedom in modern history?". And if you don't like Buchanan, J.F. Kennedy had similar views. See here.

It is a revealing commentary on Leftist mentality that the 9/11 attacks which precipitated America into its present foreign wars are seen by many on the Left as a put-up job too. They are so dishonest themselves that they cannot tell fake from reality.

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

**************************

Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



12 September, 2004

YET MORE ECONOMICS

Veto needed: "The White House yesterday warned of a presidential veto of a $142.5 billion spending bill if Democrats pushed through an amendment that would block new Labor Department rules on overtime pay. House Democrats contend that millions of workers could lose their overtime pay under the rules. Lawmakers said they had enough Republican support to approve the amendment, leading the GOP leadership to put off a vote yesterday."

From poverty to prosperity: "Workers are no longer concerned merely with wages and salaries; they are increasingly interested in saving and investing -- in the process of wealth creation. One can't get rich on wages; the only way to get rich is to earn, save and invest. I cringe when I hear the rhetoric of class warfare, which seems to have become the raison d'etre of the Democratic Party, whether they are ranting about 'the people versus the powerful' or increasing taxes on the 'top 2 percent.' They just don't get it."

Engagement is working: "Protectionists in the United States who point to large and growing trade deficits with China and to increased U.S. investment in China should not be allowed to block trade liberalization by injudicious use of national security and human rights arguments. Further liberalization of U.S.-China trade is a win-win strategy and can play an important role in promoting peace and prosperity. Containment would do the opposite."

Farm subsidies should be plowed under: "I discovered that many people in my small town are receiving tens of thousands of dollars in farm subsidies. I recognized most of the names on the list, some farmers and some not. The nonfarmers included a doctor, a banker, and a former elected representative! This made me wonder: If I know so many farmers and nonfarmers who receive sizeable incomes from subsidies in my own small community, how much money is doled out throughout the United States?"

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ELSEWHERE

Your government will protect you: "The Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly urged antidepressant manufacturers not to disclose to physicians and the public that some clinical trials of the medications in children found the drugs were no better than sugar pills, according to documents and testimony released at a congressional hearing yesterday. Regulators suppressed the negative information on the grounds that it might scare families and physicians away from the drugs, according to testimony by drug company executives. For at least three medications, they said, the FDA blocked the companies' plans to reveal the negative studies in drug labels, and in one case the agency reversed a manufacturer's decision to amend its drug label to say that the drug was associated in studies with increased hostility and suicidal thinking among children.

Church takes on the regulation goons: "A Nashville judge yesterday found a pastor and his Antioch church in contempt of court for refusing to stop providing daily child care temporarily as ordered. The decision follows a months-long refusal by the Priest Lake Community Baptist Church to register as a daily child-care service with the state. Anyone caring for five or more unrelated children is required to be licensed by the state, but state officials found on several occasions that 13 children were being cared for at the church. Church officials could not be reached for comment yesterday. Church members maintain that it is only operating a daily 'Bible camp' and should be immune from state regulation. Church officials said they don't want the state dictating its curriculum and are concerned that the state could affect its religious teachings. They pledged a long fight of defiance."

A libertarian hawk: "I find it sad that so many otherwise bright libertarians seem so unreflective about war. Some of my favorite freedom-loving publications have steered their editorial styles into the hashish den of protest music and anti-Bush priggishness. Some of my favorite think tanks issue press releases almost daily, calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, calling for the US to extend Constitutional privileges to enemy combatants, and claiming that it will be impossible to bring democracy and the Rule of Law to the Middle East.... My guess is that there are others who would like to see less of this accretion of libertarians around the Dove. I am one of those who doesn't fancy the idea of staring down the point of a chemical warhead before I decide to act. (Even if such warheads turn out to be a chimera today, they won't likely be tomorrow.) In the nuclear age, when the degree of certainty that you will be attacked is at fifty percent, you are as good as done for in terms of your ability to protect yourself. Thus, preventive action in a world of uncertainty is, unfortunately, the only reasonable course".

Fairness is in the eye of the beholder: "I don't recall that I've ever heard any rational man or woman seriously suggest that people or groups be treated unfairly by other people or groups. Meanwhile, I've heard a whole lot of people demand their fair share of fair treatment. This strikes me as eminently reasonable and, well, fair. The problem that's been blatantly brought home to me lately, however, is that those demanding fair treatment are somehow deeply offended and even angered when that same fair treatment is given to others."

Psychologist Kagan rediscovers heredity: "The ancient Greeks were right, Kagan believes. There is such a thing as temperament - although his discussion of innate personality traits relies on EEG probes and brain-stem activity, not any musings on the four humors. The book centers on studies that Kagan and Snidman began in 1986 with 500 infants. Roughly 20 percent of the babies who screamed at toys and other unfamiliar stimuli grew into 11-year-olds who were shy with interviewers and who showed biological signs of alarm in stressful situations. By contrast, 33 percent of the calm, cool tykes grew into composed, sociable preteens"

Anti-Americanism nothing to do with America: "In this post-ideological age, anti-Americanism fills the void left by defunct belief systems. It has become a powerful trend in international politics today-and perhaps the most dangerous. U.S. hegemony has its problems, but a world that reacts instinctively against the United States will be less peaceful, less cooperative, less prosperous, less open, and less stable.... But an equally important force propelling anti-Americanism around the world is an ideological vacuum. Political scientist Francis Fukuyama was right when he noted that the collapse of the Soviet Union also meant the collapse of the great ideological debate on how to organize economic and political life.... Capitalism's victory left the world without an ideology of discontent, a systematic set of ideas that are critical of the world as it exists. There is always a market for an ideology of discontent --it allows those outside the mainstream to relate to the world...."

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

**************************

Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



11 September, 2004

ECONOMICS

An unholy coalition against cheap goods for all Americans: "With jobs and trade both hot-button election issues, a coalition of business and union groups Thursday pushed the Bush administration to punish China for alleged unfair trade practices... The coalition of steelmakers, textile companies and organized labor the AFL-CIO and unions representing steelworkers and autoworkers argues that the currency peg amounts to manipulation by Beijing. By keeping the value of its currency artificially low, China enables its goods to undercut prices of rival products by as much as 40%, U.S. manufacturers say."

Unions leaders support mass immigration and betray their members "Immigration hurts salaried and wage-earning Americans because an increase in the supply of anything [such as labor] reduces its price -- in this case, compensation for labor. The more people who compete for the same job, the less in wages and benefits employers need to offer. .... labor union leaders .. espouse mass immigration, including even illegal immigration and amnesty for illegal aliens. AFL-CIO spokeswoman Kathy Roeder let the cat out of the bag by admitting the reason: "We're always looking for opportunities for people to join unions. That's our number one reason for working with immigrants"". And PID says that the love-affair of the Australian Left with multiculturalism and immigration is also making them traitors to the class they claim to represent.

Ignorant Leftist labour policy: "David Bacon, "a labor journalist and photographer," lives in the fantasy land where supply and demand have no necessary relationship. He writes of efforts to ease the rivalry between blacks and illegal immigrants over jobs. His solution: legislation legalizing those who have broken immigration laws for five years or more, combined with even more anti-discrimination enforcement, including mandatory "outreach" employees for hotels. Umm, Dave, I hate to break it to you, but increasing supply tends to drive down prices. People with few skills are inherently in competition with one another. Legalization of illegal aliens who cross the border and stay will lead to increased illegal immigration, and drive down wages further". But coercion is all the Left knows or understands.

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ELSEWHERE

Conservative black American bloggers seem to be getting a lot of (well-deserved) links these days and I think black Australian blogger "Revenge of the Hamster" will soon be in that league. Her site motto is: "I tried to see life from a lefty point of view, but couldn't get my head that far up my rectum". I like that! This post about Leftist claims that Australia is racist really puts the record straight. What she says could equally well be said of America. A small excerpt: "Australians are good, honest and decent people who try their hardest to welcome all... Australia has given my family a life they could never have dreamed of back in their country of origin. My father faced a life of manual drudgery. In Australia, he has enjoyed a life of endless possibilities and enjoyed rich rewards". She might also have mentioned that is was the LEFT of Australian politics that were for many years the main opponents of non-white immigration into Australia and that the racial restrictions were abolished by the conservative government of Harold Holt.

Memogate: "After being largely confined to the internet and talk radio yesterday, coverage of CBS's apparent usage of forged documents has exploded into more traditional media outlets... Typographical experts, legacy office equipment collectors, and even the family of the man who supposedly wrote the documents have all called into question CBS's "scoop." The fact that a bunch of people working independently on the internet could so readily debunk an obvious forgery tells a very disturbing story about the journalistic practices of a news organization that has allowed one man's grudge against the Bush family to set its remaining shreds of credibility aflame"

Jeff Jacoby: "They are still burying the victims of the latest atrocity committed by evildoers professing Islam -- the slaughter of hundreds of children, teachers, and parents in an elementary school in Beslan, Russia. And from Muslims the world over, as usual, has come mostly silence. There have been no public demonstrations by Muslims anxious to make it clear how outraged and sickened they are that anyone could commit such unspeakable deeds as an act of Islamic faith. There has been no anguished outcry by Islam's leading imams and sheiks...."

Leftist "compassion": "The German left-wing daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports as a success of the "European-Iranian human rights dialog" that a 16-year-old girl will not be stoned to death, but rather hanged. Her "crime": pre-marital sex."

Good stuff: "The United States and Russia clashed yesterday over a way to end the conflict in the breakaway republic of Chechnya, with Washington calling for a political solution and Moscow vowing to crush the separatist movement. Days after a school siege in the Northern Ossetia region that claimed at least 350 lives, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West -- and the United States in particular -- of having a double standard when dealing with terrorism. 'Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?' Putin told foreign reporters in Moscow late Monday."

A good email from Father Mike Walsh: "Good posts on the Catholic Church yesterday. The church has been dominated in the last few decades (notably during my seminary days in the 1980's) by what I call, after the French, 'les soixante-huitards' ('68-ers' --en anglaise) that is, people whose formative experiences occurred in the heady days immediately after Vatican II, for which they had inordinate hopes on behalf of their own agenda. They are distinguished chiefly by a craven need for validation by the secular left and by a titanic self-regard --an attribute I once mocked, during a particularly tedious meeting with my fellow clerics, by standing up and praying that God might "strike me DEAD if I ever attempt to blame the Holy Spirit for my opinions." Hopefully they are, as a class, dying off. One reason I think they might be is their generally low opinion of new seminarians, and by the simple fact that they are incapable of passing on a faith they no longer have. I am quite fond of Bishop Pell, by the way, and know some of the young people he brought to Canada a couple of years ago. They are in good hands."

I have just posted three more chapters from my 1974 book Conservatism as heresy. They deal with the destructive effects of price-control, the idiotic idea that governments can decide what the "needs" of society are and the fact that union activity does NOT get a bigger share of the national income for "the workers".

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

**************************

Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



10 September, 2004

SOME ECONOMICS

The high cost of cheap labour: "This study is one of the first to estimate the total impact of illegal immigration on the federal budget. Most previous studies have focused on the state and local level and have examined only costs or tax payments, but not both. Based on Census Bureau data, this study finds that, when all taxes paid (direct and indirect) and all costs are considered, illegal households created a net fiscal deficit at the federal level of more than $10 billion in 2002. We also estimate that, if there was an amnesty for illegal aliens, the net fiscal deficit would grow to nearly $29 billion".

Dumb European politicians: "Of 384 studied members of the European Parliament, only 12 appear to favor free trade for Europe on a consistent basis. The Swedish representatives appear to be the most free market, the French appear to be the most protectionist".

The Wal-Martization of America: "We are witnessing the in-your-wallet effect of globalization, the impact of the Wal-Martization of several key product areas, and the final joining of the Internet with traditional stores--the merger of clicks and bricks. The effect of globalization on the supply chain is now widely understood. Retailers shop the world for bargains in everything from sneakers to t-shirts to high-end jewelry, and are forced by competition to pass along the savings to consumers.... And Wal-Mart is now a major player in food retailing. Food sales now account for over 25 percent of the chain's almost $300 billion in sales, up from 14 percent in 1997. To consumers' cheers, many supermarkets have had to reduce costs and prices in order to remain competitive."

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ELSEWHERE

Soviet Britain: "Mental health campaigners today condemned government proposals to detain people with untreatable mental disorders for care which would not alleviate their symptoms. A revised draft mental health bill, published today, would enable psychiatrists to force people with severe personality disorders to undergo "clinically appropriate" care which would not need to improve their mental condition".

An article here explains why many humble people vote Democrat by saying that Leftists are like pimps who deceive prostitutes into believing that they care.

The crime wave that wasn't: "Last year, the governor of Alabama proposed and then overwhelmingly lost a bitter referendum to increase taxes and boost revenue.... The governor and his cronies often warned that failure to pass his tax increase would lead to the early release of many criminals. Voters were told that a cost of rejection would be a crime wave of unprecedented proportions.... And the prison system did give early parole to many of its convicts. But that often mentioned crime wave never happened.... That the promised crime wave turned out to be illusory underscores the fact that many who were incarcerated posed little danger to society in the first place".

The new EU police: "Under Article 8 of the Treaty of Amsterdam, members of the new federal 'Europol' are "immune from legal process of any kind for acts performed... in the exercise of their official functions." Thus, no Europol officer can be charged or brought to trial for false imprisonment, violence against a suspect, the destruction or seizure of private property , or harassment of any individual. Europol has been given powers to operate anywhere within the Eurozone, including Britain, with complete impunity. They have the power of summary arrest and extradition, in spite of existing British laws, which specifically prohibit such action. Under the power of international treaty, British law is superseded."

A good comment from a Muslim: "We cannot redeem our extremist youths, who commit all these heinous crimes, without confronting the Sheikhs who thought it ennobling to re-invent themselves as revolutionary ideologues, sending other people's sons and daughters to certain death, while sending their own children to European and American schools and colleges".

Conservative movies! "Fed up with what they say is the radical left's domination of Hollywood, a group of conservative filmmakers will debut their newest films in a festival this weekend in Dallas. The film festival, scheduled Sept. 10-12, is the brainchild of Jim Hubbard, a law school graduate who felt conservatives have sat on the sidelines too long while liberals dominate moviemaking."

There is a good site here that enables you to read most of the famous documents of conservatism online.

The world now has its first billionaire blogger. He made his money in IT but his knowledge and understanding of politics and economics needs work. Oh well! Nobody can be good at everything. The commenters on his blog seem to be doing a reasonable job of filling him in on what he misses.

The Usurer has a part-time job doing doorknocking for a survey research firm and remarks that ordinary people in his experience are not at all the "sheeple" that Leftists seem to imagine. He finds that ordinary people do think things out with some care and come to fairly reasonable conclusions from the information they have. I agree. Unlike other academics, I have always done a lot of my own doorknocking rather than thinking I was too grand for that so I have a far better idea than most about what actually goes on out there.

Amusing. I have just found that Captain Clueless has given up blogging. Here is his reason: "But nearly every article I write draws anywhere from 5 to 50 letters containing corrections, disagreements, comments about things I "left out" because "I didn't know", or other forms of kibitzing." I am not surprised. I myself noticed lots of things he was overlooking on the rare occasions that I read his posts. My own experience of blogging is very different. I gets lots of "Thank you" emails (all of which I appreciate) but very little criticism. I think my most persistent critic is a certain Straussian who nonetheless often circulates to others particular posts of mine that he considers particularly good. With enemies like that, who needs friends? (just joking).

North Western Winds notes my comments on the often un-Christian behaviour of Christians and says that such behaviour does not reflect on Christianity. I wonder would he argue that the vicious behaviour of Communists does not reflect on Communism? But I in any case agree that the teachings of Christ are in no way damaged by those who do not follow them. I think Communists ARE following their teachings -- particularly if Lenin is taken as the teacher.

Two new postings just up on SOCIALIZED MEDICINE

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

New rubric below.

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Anti-Americanism is in epidemic proportions in France and Germany but most people don't realize that it is in epidemic proportions in South Korea too. And what do those three countries have in common? They were liberated by America. And what is probably the most pro-American country in the world? Poland. They liberated themselves. Ego defeats rationality all the time.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and big egos who will say anything to win applause


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

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9 September, 2004

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Leftist priests who are not even Christian, let alone Catholic: "Then there are those progressive priests who "renovated" churches by demolishing well-loved marble monuments and removing icons and statues in scenes reminiscent of Cromwell's purges during the Reformation. There is a famous photograph of the then dean of one Catholic cathedral actually at the controls of a bulldozer doing a Lazlo Toth on the High Altar. What about those who have refused communion to worshippers choosing to kneel to receive Holy Communion or, worse, bishops calling in the police to evict them as happened in Quebec?"

Deceitful attacks on an orthodox Catholic archbishop: "George Pell was once again making headlines last week. A priest in his Sydney diocese, John Crothers, published a highly critical essay in the e-magazine Online Catholics.... What neither Anne nor Crothers is entitled to is righteous indignation when they can't have their own way or delusions of grandeur about their place in the church's scheme of things. The Catholic Church is not and never can be a democracy. It has always been run according to its own rules, confidently patriarchal and hierarchical. The clergy and laity have rights and privileges, of course, but the church alone defines them and can suspend them. Even bishops are constrained by higher authority.... Perhaps Pell's distinctiveness, and his great offence, lies in representing what's left of mainstream Catholicism as unmistakably as John Howard represents the political mainstream"

A more impressive Frenchman than today's lot: "At the heart of all of Lacordaire's endeavors was a concerted effort to correct the flawed assumptions concerning the Catholic Church held by revolutionaries. Radical individualism had so possessed the masses that they deemed threatening any body of authority, including the church. "So long as this spirit exists," Lacordaire argued the year of his death, "liberalism will be vanquished by an oppressive democracy or by unbridled autocracy, and this is why the union of liberty and Christianity is the sole possible salvation of the future. Christianity alone can give liberty its real nature, and liberty alone can give Christianity the means of influence necessary to it." Thus, the state must also cease its control of education, the press, and labor in order to allow Christianity to effectively flourish in those arenas".

New Agers are trying to take over one of Christianity's oldest pilgrimages -- the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

There is a thorough demolition of "The Da Vinci Code" here for anyone who is inclined to suspect that there is any truth in it

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ELSEWHERE

Final proof that Leftists live in a mental world of their own comes in this comment from the Boston Globe: "Part of the problem was the candidate. Kerry rarely opened up about Vietnam". He's never shut up about it since he got back!

Hmmmm... George Will claims that the great popularity of Arnold Schwarzenegger at the recent Republican convention signifies a return to "Goldwater Conservatism" -- non-religious conservatism. I think he exaggerates greatly. The religious Right has always been only one current in conservatism and Reagan himself had thoroughly libertarian views -- though his undoubted personal faith and love of his "fellow Americans" (as he always called them) tended to blur that. He was, after all, a divorced man. And even among Bible-believing Christians there is great diversity of views. One can perfectly well be a devout Christian conservative without being "born again" and without wanting to use the law to force your values down the neck of others. The most fundamentalist Christians in fact want no part of "the world" and may even refuse to vote at all (as with Jehovah's Witnesses). And they have perfectly good scriptural authority for that (John 18:36; Mark 12:17). But Schwarzenegger certainly does provide a clear signal that you do not have to be religious to be an effective conservative -- a point I make at some length elsewhere.

The inevitability of centrism: "Gingrich... told the gathered [Republicans] that it would be "impossible to create a right only majority in America" and that a party that didn't invite someone as popular as Governor Schwarzenegger to speak "wasn't fit to win." With a nod to some of the journalists in the room, Newt declared, "There is a narrow-minded, bigoted party in America. It's called the Democratic Party." (See also here).

Europe gets a turn: "A coalition of Rastafarian groups in Jamaica said yesterday that it wanted to go to the UN to persuade Europe to pay billions of dollars to the followers of the faith in reparation for slavery. The Rastafarian Nation in Jamaica said European countries once involved in the slave trade, especially Britain, should pay $129bn (72.5bn) to resettle 500,000 Jamaican Rastafarians in Africa".

Australia's leading Leftist talks sense: "Mark Latham yesterday clashed with Australia's leading welfare body over his tax package, accusing it of believing that providing people with a life of welfare was doing them a long-term favour. Mr Latham said he had a different view. "The best life is not a life of welfare - it's a life of work," he said".

Leftists in the media and elsewhere commonly pillory GWB for his Christian faith. Kengor, however, shows that Clinton in fact mentioned God more often and spoke in churches more often. So why no condemnation of Clinton? I guess everybody realizes that GWB means what he says while Clinton is a fake. (Via Peg Kaplan)

Tom Barrett: "John Kerry is a patrician snob. He looks down his nose at the very people he is supposed to serve. George Bush is a regular guy. If you sat down with him at a barbeque, as some of my friends have done, you wouldn't know he was the most powerful man in the world. And he LOVES the American people, every one of us."

Carnival of the Vanities is up again with its usual survey of blogospheric wisdom.

EDUCATION WATCH has an excerpt from a rather fun article which argues that it is good for creationism to be taught in schools even though it may not be right.

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

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The vast hatred of President Bush coming from the Left seems to focus almost entirely on his Iraq policy and a claim that it is "stupid" or dishonest. Yet the world's most successful and influential Leftist intellectual -- the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom -- is a vigorous supporter of that policy. It shows that everything said to justify the Leftist hatred of Bush is mere camouflage. What they really hate is someone non-Leftist wielding great power. The hatred is purely emotional and envious -- with only the slightest pretense to reasoning tacked on. As usual, principles have nothing to do with it.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



8 September, 2004

THOSE PEACEFUL MUSLIMS

Training women for jihad: "Our main mission: push our children to the battlefield, like Al-Khansaa," declares a newly-launched online magazine teaching women how to contribute to jihad, or holy war. The monthly, published by the "Women's Information Office in the Arabian Peninsula", champions the ideology of Al-Qaeda terror chief Osama bin Laden: "Drive infidels from the Arabian Peninsula," or Saudi Arabia, which hosts Islam's holiest sites in Mecca and Medina."

There is an interesting article here saying that Iran considers itself "encircled" by U.S. forces and allies. Wayne Lusvardi thinks they're right: "Sure, Democracy may never come to Iraq given its autocratic culture. But focusing on that has diverted our attention away from what is the classic encirclement strategy using "silent alliances" with neighboring states rather than those with the U.N. The Afghanistan-Iraq Wars have encircled Iran and Syria on two sides. But, of course, the mainstream media has been focusing on the dubious achievements in Iraq and missing the bigger strategic picture. This has led to the selective misperception that the Iraq War is "phony." This begs the question, what is the Bush administration supposed to do? - announce to Iran, Pakistan, and Syria that "we've got you surrounded now!" No can do. All they can do is keep focusing everyone's attention on WMDs etc while they quietly get on with their real aims. Iraq is a preliminary, a staging ground for what is likely coming (probably after the U.S. elections)".

The Iranian bomb: The London Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat published an op-ed by its former editor, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, claiming that Israel is merely used as a pretext for Iran's nuclear build-up, and that in fact this build-up principally endangers the neighboring Arab countries.

The Funding for Peace Coalition (FPC) has released a new report detailing the diversion of unprecedented sums of financial aid from the Palestinian people towards corruption and violence. The FPC report is called "Managing European Taxpayers' Money: Supporting The Palestinian Arabs - A Study In Transparency". It publishes evidence, which substantiates a compelling connection between European funding and ongoing Palestinian corruption and terrorism. It also highlights the utter failure of European organisations to monitor where these funds have been directed.

Arlene Peck: "The Arabs are bombing, murdering, mutilating, raping and causing havoc all over the Judeo /Christian world. Israel has nothing to do with it.nothing! The front page of my L.A. Times today headlined, (besides the Israelis who were savagely bombed in Beersheba) that that these same sub-human savage "militants" who had killed twelve Nepalese workers want more! More concessions and more blood! ...... On a personal level , I believe a plan should be implemented where announcements are made that anyone who even tries to bomb anyone in the Jewish state will be shot by bullets soaked in pig blood. Then they will be returned to their families who raise these homicide bombers wrapped in pig skin for burial".

Brink Lindzey has an insightful article showing the common origins and common features of Communism, Fascism and Islamofascism. He points out that WE (modern Western industrial civilization) are the revolutionaries by historical standards and the totalitarians are an attempt to return to the past that we have overturned. I made a similar point in the last third of a 1988 article here but was more pessimistic about the outcome of the conflict than now seems required.

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ELSEWHERE

The Anti-Chomskyite has a powerful and moving account of how he moved from being a fanatical Leftist in his youth to a much more conservative stance now. It might actually convert some Leftists if you could get them to read it. The self-contradictions and intolerance of Leftism were what finally got to him. Just a few quotes: "Ultimately it was the idea of universalism.... that disturbed me the most. The demand for an absolute uniformity of thought and opinion... My family life was deeply troubled, I was unhappy, I had blamed society. It was as simple and as cliched as all that..... It is not mere armchair psychology to see radical politics, in fact all politics which sees the world as inherently flawed and in need of overturning, as, in truth, the cry of unhappy and angry people; people for whom politics has become a desperate attempt to satiate a pain which is, in fact, deeply personal". I have put up a good excerpt on LEFTISTS AS ELITISTS too. (Via Peg Kaplan).

A great anti-Chomsky article by Windschuttle points out that even Chomsky's original claim to fame in linguistics is hollow. Linguistics professor Marc Miyake would emphatically agree.

Mike Jericho has a good sense of humour. In response to the recent multiplication of my blogs, he describes me as: "the man who is to conservative bloggers what Moses was to the Israelites". And The Yobbo gave me a good laugh with this comment: "When John Ray was 17, Thomas Aquinas was still on the bestseller list." Aquinas died in 1274 so I am not quite that old! Keith Burgess-Jackson has just put something up on Aquinas, as it happens. And The Usurer puts in a plug for Aristotle -- very Straussian!

Amusing that the Germans are finally getting around to humanizing Hitler. Even anti-Nazi prewar writers such as Roberts and Heiden conceded that he was the most popular man in Germany at the time so he was human all right. The ploy of saying that he was insane or inhuman is just a means of distracting attention from what he really embodied -- the Leftist form of nationalism. Giving ANY Leftist unlimited power is catastrophic.

Like myself, Bjorn Staerk is an atheist but with a Christian background. But I don't think I entirely agree with his view that atheists have no business interpreting the texts of a given religion. It seems to me that the teachings of Christ are what all Christians bow before and I can read those teachings in the Gospels as well as anybody else. And I still find great wisdom in them -- as my not infrequent quotations from scripture attest. And I certainly reserve the right to disparage those who claim to follow the teachings of Christ when they clearly do not. Atheists in mitres particularly offend me.

I think Maverick Philosopher is a bit hard on Nietzsche. One of the few wise things that old Fred said was: "Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies". Maverick takes that a bit too literally. I unpack the statement as saying that convictions can be such a barrier to the recognition of truth that they send you off in the wrong direction more often than lies do -- which I take to be what generally happens with Leftists, in fact.

GREENIE WATCH has the Greenie answer to the recent Muslim barbarism in Russia: Stuffed Koalas!

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

**************************

The vast hatred of President Bush coming from the Left seems to focus almost entirely on his Iraq policy and a claim that it is "stupid" or dishonest. Yet the world's most successful and influential Leftist intellectual -- the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom -- is a vigorous supporter of that policy. It shows that everything said to justify the Leftist hatred of Bush is mere camouflage. What they really hate is someone non-Leftist wielding great power. The hatred is purely emotional and envious -- with only the slightest pretense to reasoning tacked on. As usual, principles have nothing to do with it.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



7 September, 2004

SOME ECONOMICS

It looks like Associated Press are now outdoing Reuters for bias: AP actually lies: "A widely circulated Associated Press article says, "The wealthiest 20 percent of households in 1973 accounted for 44 percent of total U.S. income, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Their share jumped to 50 percent in 2002.".... By using the word "jumped," the AP story clearly implies the income share of the top 20 percent "jumped to 50 percent in 2002." In fact, the share fell to 49.7 percent in 2002 from 50.1 percent in 2001. To describe a falling number as a "jump" seems remarkably shameless, even in an election year...... And although the story claims the share at the top "has steadily increased," it actually rose from 46.9 percent in 1992 to 49.8 percent in 2000 (when Bill Clinton was president), but has not risen at all since then". For the most notorious AP lie, see here.

Rich poor people: "Much is made of the fact that the US has a higher poverty rate (and in something called 'shameful,' child poverty rate) than all of the other OECD countries. It does indeed sound terribly bad doesn't it? Yet the fact that poverty rates are relative within a country, not either absolute or relative across countries is not mentioned. All that has actually been noted with such poverty rates is that the US has a wider distribution of income, not something that we didn't already know." And as Blithering Bunny notes: "Nearly half the statistically defined 'poor' have air conditioning, more than half owned cars, and more than 20,000 'poor' households have their own heated swimming pools or Jacuzzis".

Benefits of the Bush tax cut for dividends: "The new rates have made a difference since becoming law in May 2003. The tax cut not only reduced the burden on individuals, it also reduced the cost of capital to corporations. The economic benefits of the lower dividend tax rates will increase over time, and they will be even greater if Congress makes the rate cuts permanent -- and greater still, if the taxation of dividends is completely eliminated."

The recent Australian triumph over union coercion: "All workers had a win on Thursday. The High Court ruled that unions cannot compel people who are not members to pay them a fee if they receive union-negotiated pay rises. And it barred unions from taking industrial action over anything except wages and conditions in any enterprise. Union leaders are already denouncing the decision. They say non-members are bludgers, but ignore the obvious fact that sustainable pay rises are based on productivity, rather than union intervention. Senior official John Maitland says unions should be able to "talk about" anything they like, from childcare to the environment. And so they should, but stating a case does not include taking industrial action in pursuit of activist agendas".

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ELSEWHERE

Great if it happens: "Israel and Russia today signed an agreement to fight terrorism and agreed to explore every possible means to step up intelligence gathering to root out the "global scourge.""

I think Jeff Jacoby has a point in saying that, of all the speeches at the GOP convention, "no speech evoked the Gipper's legacy more truly than Schwarzenegger's"

Another fake Christian: "How sad for Christians that their bishops whisper religion, but shout politics. I say this because Melbourne's Archbishop Peter Watson has preached to the Anglican Synod on "How the nation of Australia stands at this time". In his address, Watson ticked all the Left's boxes. Tampa, bad. Border protection, inhuman. Election, a time to "talk about truth in politics". Iraq, a "mistake". Medicare, broken. University fees, too high. Global warming, deadly. Logging, evil. And so on..... Why would it have been more Christian to have done nothing as Saddam Hussein kept murdering Iraqis, mutilating critics, paying terrorists and devising terrible weapons? Why is it more Christian to believe in the myth that we can halt global warming, if such warming is indeed occurring? And surely it's not Christian to support the modern cult of tree worship, and so break the second commandment? Silent on saving babies, but loud on saving trees. Welcome to the post-Christian church".

The New York Times has been highly critical of the GOP seeking votes among Bible Christians but thinks it is great for Democrats to seek votes among "modern" Christians. No double standards there of course.

But "modern" Christians are not really modern at all, of course. As Rothbard points out, Communistic Christians go back to before the time of Luther. America was partly founded by one branch of them in fact. They abandoned communism only under the pressure of starvation.

A rather gripping parable about why America is at war in Iraq here

There are some facts and figures here about the higher birthrate among conservatives. Leftists are doomed by their own self-preoccupation.

Hard for women to have both careers and kids: "In a recent speech that was largely ignored by the news media, the United Nation's chief demographer declared that the very existence of some nations has now been endangered by fertility decline, and the international community's insistent call for "gender equality" is making the problem even worse".

There are reports that the Niger uranium story, (a story hysterically seized on by antiwar commentators as a "lie") may have had its origin in France, that it may in fact have been a set-up by the notorious French intelligence service.

I noted yesterday that the local tentacle of the Murdoch media in my home town of Brisbane gives both conservative and Leftist views a fair run. But what would a really conservative media outlet be like? The Happy Carpenter has some interesting scenarios.

I have just put up a book review here that has a bit of a laugh at the difficulties the Left have in explaining why the USA and its allies invaded Iraq.

I have just put up on LEFTISTS AS ELITISTS an article about the problem of elite influence in the Australian Labor Party.

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

**************************

The vast hatred of President Bush coming from the Left seems to focus almost entirely on his Iraq policy and a claim that it is "stupid" or dishonest. Yet the world's most successful and influential Leftist intellectual -- the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom -- is a vigorous supporter of that policy. It shows that everything said to justify the Leftist hatred of Bush is mere camouflage. What they really hate is someone non-Leftist wielding great power. The hatred is purely emotional and envious -- with only the slightest pretense to reasoning tacked on. As usual, principles have nothing to do with it.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



6 September, 2004

THANK YOU RUPERT MURDOCH

My local Brisbane Sunday newspaper is "The Sunday Mail" -- a Murdoch title. It gives a degree of coverage to views congenial to conservatives that would, I think, make most conservative buyers of American newspapers pretty envious. In this day of the internet, one could do worse than simply log on to the Brisbane paper and not buy the local rag at all. A sampling of the stories in the most recent issue:

Home truths for feminists: "The bar desperately needs more women barristers," Mr Meagher said while still a Court of Appeal judge in 2002. "There are so many bad ones people may say women can't be good barristers and are hopeless by nature - but that is not so. It's a pity the able people don't come."

Germaine Greer: 147 school students were surveyed and not one knew who she was.

The religion of peace: "I started surfing the Islamic media. Take Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the controversial Egyptian imam who was recently fawned over by the Mayor of London even though he promotes the execution of homosexuals, the right of men to indulge in domestic violence, and the murder of innocent Jews. During the brouhaha it went unnoticed that he also wants to conquer Europe. Don't take my word for it, just listen to him on his popular al-Jazeera TV show, Sharia and Life."

Establishment church perversion: "Deep down, I guess, the Senate's "Forgotten Australians" report came as no great surprise. The extent and depths of the cruelty and depravity revealed were shocking but, somehow, the mere fact that children in institutional care had been mistreated was something of a given.... However, I don't know that we even began to suspect that abuse existed in places such as orphanages and children's homes that we fondly believed were kind and charitable. But now we know that up to 500,000 kids were in care over the past 100 years and a disgraceful number were brutalised and abused... How did this happen? More mystifying, how did those who purported to serve God or to be obedient servants of the state come to be instruments of sadism and sexual exploitation?"

Andrew Bolt's column, on how far Left and antisemitic the Greens are, also appeared but the link is to a sister newspaper in Melbourne. I have excerpted the article on GREENIE WATCH

There was also another article called "What happened to willpower?" that I could not find online so I have reproduced it here

Even "The Simpsons" cartoon was good but I don't know how to find that online. It takes such a good swipe at the decay of the schools, however, that I have put up the three central panels of it here

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PERSONAL

Unlike most bloggers, I don't say much about myself but any guy weird enough to have five regular blogs should presumably say something. So: 1). My 17 year old son told me yesterday that his bedtime reading at the moment is "Critique of pure reason" by Immanuel Kant. I didn't even know he had heard of Kant. But I was reading St Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo at his age so I understand his interest. His main enthusiasm is mathematics, however, and he is thinking of becoming an actuary. I myself taught statistics at university for many years so I understand that too. 2). I live in a 10 bedroom house but my Presbyterian upbringing makes me not like seeing things "go to waste" -- including accomodation. So I share my house with others. The others have always comprised an ethnic mix and they at the moment include an Indian, a Bangladeshi, a Chinese, a Korean and a Filipino. So I guess that must make me the world's weirdest "white supremacist" -- which is what Captain Clueless once accused me of being (because I oppose affirmative action and made fun of his support for it).

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ELSEWHERE

Email from a reader: "Some Christian fundamentalists have come to the belief that the Anti-Christ was Muhammad himself. According to this thought, the Devil was beside himself after Jesus' sacrifice and while the spread of Christianity was proceeding unimpeded throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and into Asia. So he got an Arab merchant (a pederast to boot), lured him to the desert and gave him a book that taught the opposite of what Jesus said; instead of loving your enemy is hate your enemy, cut off his head and spite him and his family, and if you are not yet strong enough lie and deceive until you can (all in the Koran). As far as theological models go, I think that this thesis is actually inherently logical. One could even consider all the oil under Arab lands as the "devil's gift". On a more somber tone, but still on the same subject, I can only describe the children's massacre in Russia as nothing else but Satanic".

A normally Leftist newspaper, the "Pasadena Weekly" has just put up three pro-Bush letters. They must have got a lot of similar letters to do that. One letter aptly refers to Michael Moore's 9/11 film as the Leftist "New Testament". See here or here. The Stalinist iconography of the paper's front page is amusing too.

There is an article here that strongly reinforces Randall Parker's point about the oppressive effects of polygamy. Similar rules in the West produce similar results to what happens in Muslim lands -- fanatical and punitive puritanism.

This article says that gambling on scientific truths would help keep scientists honest. Something is needed, for sure.

An amusing example of the dilemmas that the theorists at PETA get themselves into.

I have just put up on SOCIALIZED MEDICINE some comments and quotes from Theodore Dalrymple about an alarming trend in British medicine.

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

**************************

The vast hatred of President Bush coming from the Left seems to focus almost entirely on his Iraq policy and a claim that it is "stupid" or dishonest. Yet the world's most successful and influential Leftist intellectual -- the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom -- is a vigorous supporter of that policy. It shows that everything said to justify the Leftist hatred of Bush is mere camouflage. What they really hate is someone non-Leftist wielding great power. The hatred is purely emotional and envious -- with only the slightest pretense to reasoning tacked on. As usual, principles have nothing to do with it.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause


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

********************************



5 September, 2004

NEW BLOG!





OK. I am insane. Mike Jericho recently described me as "the most prolific blogger in the freakin' world (not an exaggeration)", but, despite that, I have decided to start yet another daily blog called EDUCATION WATCH. I already post an average of around one item a day on education -- sometimes on "Dissecting Leftism" and sometimes on "Political Correctness Watch" -- so I am not actually envisaging any increase in my blogging. I just hope to make news and information on the education disaster easier to find. With that in mind, I have also reposted on the new blog a lot of my older stuff. But I have just put up two brand-new posts as well: One rather surprising and one very unsurprising. So look there every day or two if education is one of your concerns.

As it happens, I have also just put up some new postings on my two irregular blogs: SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and LEFTISTS AS ELITISTS. I seem to have become a one-man blogging industry! I used to write heaps when I was an academic too. And I kept that up for 20 years.

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FROM BROOKES NEWS

John Kerry adviser accuses Vietnam veterans of war crimes John Kerry's spokesman on veterans issues, John Hurley declared that John Kerry was right when he accused US troops of committing atrocities against civilians 'on a day-to-day basis'
Vietnam veterans to John Kerry: We won't be censored While John Kerry supporters Max Cleland and Jim Rassman were staging a shabby media stunt in Texas to embarrass President Bush other Vietnam veterans were throwing down the gauntlet to Kerry
Al Qaeda, China, and President Bush By striking hard and swiftly against terrorists, by imposing on them and their paymasters a terrible price, Bush only sent a vitally important message to other terrorists and their potential supporters but also to China
Immigration, economic growth and jobs Although immigration does not raise unemployment it can cut living standards
John Kerry media jackals go after swift boat veterans Deeply worried that the swift boat veterans' ads are damaging John Kerry his media pals intensified their smear campaign to destroy the credibility of these veterans

Details here

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THAT DEMOCRAT SOPHISTICATION:

Former senator John Glenn (D-Ohio) has just compared Republicans to Nazis: "You've just got to separate out fact from fiction. . . . Too often, too often, in this country, if you hear something repeated, it's the old Hitler business -- if you hear something repeated, repeated, repeated, repeated, you start to believe it," he said." The ignorant Senator is in fact referring to a famous dictum from Goebbels rather than from Hitler so let us see what else Goebbels said:

The bourgeois is about to leave the historical stage. In its place will come the class of productive workers, the working class, that has been up until today oppressed. It is beginning to fulfill its political mission. It is involved in a hard and bitter struggle for political power as it seeks to become part of the national organism. The battle began in the economic realm; it will finish in the political. It is not merely a matter of pay, not only a matter of the number of hours worked in a day-though we may never forget that these are an essential, perhaps even the most significant part of the socialist platform -- but it is much more a matter of incorporating a powerful and responsible class in the state, perhaps even to make it the dominant force in the future politics of the Fatherland


Sounds more like Kerry and Edwards to me.

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A couple of days ago I put up a heading "President Schwarzenegger, 2008?". It's actually rather an old idea now but some people wondered what I meant by it -- given the constitutional prohibition on a non-native-born President. I think the idea is enormous fun. The rules were changed to allow FDR to serve more than the then customary (now legal) two terms, so why not change the rules for Arnie? Eligibility has been widened before -- e.g. the 19th Amendment. Think of the dilemma for the Democrats! Opposing it in Congress would contradict their all-men-are-equal, multicultural, anti-discrimination gospel. And that gospel is their main selling point. I of course give them full credit for hypocrisy and self-contradiction so it would probably have to go to a contested referendum (say, in conjunction with the mid-term elections) and that would stir up a real hornet's nest! And if it did all get through, Arnie would probably get the same sort of big majority he got in California -- so there is no doubt that the Democrats would hate the whole idea. Some already do, in fact. They would be beside themselves! There is an extended discussion of the whole issue here. And there is more on Arnie's politics here.

Predictable bias: "Covering President Bush's Thursday acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Dan Rather and his colleagues Bob Schieffer and John Roberts provided a textbook example of liberal bias. After praising Democratic candidate John Kerry's "excellent delivery" and managing to say only one negative thing about his speech, Rather & Co. treated Bush's address with far more skepticism critiquing him on numerous points, both political and oratorical"

I suppose it's predictable that this was my favourite quote from GWB's acceptance speech. Speaking of John Kerry, he said: "My opponent takes a different approach. In the midst of war, he has called American allies, quote, a "coalition of the coerced and the bribed." That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others--allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician. I respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget". And I am also of course pleased to hear that it got huge applause. And how refreshing to hear an American being justly proud of his country: "Now we go forward --grateful for our freedom, faithful to our cause, and confident in the future of the greatest nation on earth"

Great to hear this too: "Ronald Reagan's elder son said yesterday that his father believed 'freedom is never more than one generation from extinction' as he delivered the four-day convention's only official tribute to one of the party's most powerful forces. 'My father believed that God had a plan for his life, for every life, and for the life of our nation,' Michael Reagan said in a five-minute speech interrupted repeatedly by thunderous applause. 'He wasn't just a great communicator, he communicated great ideas.

The Left are getting desperate. They are now telling utterly foolish lies. Once again, "psychopathic" is the only reasonable way of describing a lie that can so easily be found out.

Another derisive comment on John Kerry's incredible lie about his dog. And things must be bad when even a Boston newspaper is turning on him.

Email from a reader: "Today on the leftist National Public Radio (NPR), I heard a report about the whole Russian siege ordeal. The NPR reporters described the Islamofascists as "Gunmen", "Chechnean Rebels" and "Guerillas". The word "terrorist" was only only mentioned at the end, and not by the NPR reporter ("Russians accuse the terrorists of..."). The word "Islamic" was not mentioned once".

Taranto has another shot at the absurd Andrew Sullivan: "we had just learned, by reading the ever-astute Andrew Sullivan, that Miller, a person of pallor, is a "Dixiecrat"--i.e., a segregationist. What was a white segregationist doing on stage with a black man?"

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

**************************

The vast hatred of President Bush coming from the Left seems to focus almost entirely on his Iraq policy and a claim that it is "stupid" or dishonest. Yet the world's most successful and influential Leftist intellectual -- the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom -- is a vigorous supporter of that policy. It shows that everything said to justify the Leftist hatred of Bush is mere camouflage. What they really hate is someone non-Leftist wielding great power. The hatred is purely emotional and envious -- with only the slightest pretense to reasoning tacked on. As usual, principles have nothing to do with it.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause


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

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4 September, 2004

THE DEVIL'S RELIGION

Lucky I am an atheist or that is what I would think of it

There is a good article here on how the sexual frustration brought on by the primitive nature of Islam and Islamic societies is a major force behind Muslim hatred of the much more liberated West. And Randall Parker points out that the Islamic practice of polygamy is a big boost to sexual frustration. And this report says that the Unabomber, an American home-grown terrorist, was also driven by sexual frustration.

There is a remarkable site here run by ex-Muslims that pulls no punches about the evil inherent in Islam.

A paranoid culture: "Anyone who follows the developments in the Arab Islamic world will be struck by the complete absence of self-knowledge and introspection that characterizes these vexed cultures. Almost every problem is attributed to hostile external forces. The poverty and underdevelopment that plague most of the Arab world are the result of malicious machinations of Americans and Jews... Satan, devils and spirits are not just symbols. They are actual living phenomena in Islam. The notion of conspiracy is an essential aspect of modern Muslim religious philosophy and of Islamic world history".

The Netherlands have a black female and former Muslim as a member of Parliament who is not afraid to tell the truth about Islam: "Low-level fatwas - or death edicts - have been raining down since she attacked Islam as a medieval, misogynist cult incapable of self-criticism and blind to modern science."

But there is hope: "Today, Ahmad Al-Jarallah, editor of the Kuwaiti Daily Al-Siyassa and the Arab Times wrote an article in support of President Bush. The following is the article: "We are with President Bush who has said, 'I am the man who makes history.' Who, other than President Bush, can launch a war against terrorism? Who else will come to the rescue of people suppressed by dictators? Who else was there to build and develop nations? And above all who made democracy the new international system for all the people in this world?....""

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ELSEWHERE

Taranto skewered Andrew Sullivan with surgical precision yesterday -- noting that Sullivan condemned Zell Miller as a "Dixiecrat" for his recent speech at the Republican convention but noting that Sullivan seemed to be quite happy with Miller when he delivered a speech in support of Clinton at the 1992 Democrat convention. Sullivan's apparent desire to "marry" his homosexual partner seems to have sent him way to the Left in general -- complete with all the hypocrisy that entails. But Sullivan has always been an unhappy soul. Note this stupid comment by him from two years ago: "What rubes and provincials the British often are". The British could be pardoned for saying the same about Americans but both comments would be equally vacant. Let me put it this way: "What arrogant pretenders to sophistication homosexuals often are".

Jeff Jacoby looks at the GOP convention delegates in NYC and finds real diversity and tolerance -- unlike anything among the Democrats.

The main points of GWB's acceptance speech at the Republican convention are given here.

Proof at TCS that the Leftist media write their stereotyped and biased stories even before the events concerned happen. They KNOW the truth. Don't bother them with facts.

David's Medienkritik has some very good sarcasm about the tragic Russian siege and Leftist reaction to it.

No Pasaran is having great fun with the hypocritical French reaction to the kidnapping of French journalists by Muslims.

A protest marcher from the 60s doesn't think much of the modern lot: "But the biggest difference between then and now, of course, is that we marched against our government when it supported dictators, not when it removed them".

Australia's Leftist labor unions have just suffered a tremendous defeat in the High Court of Australia. They have been barred from taking strike action in support of political, social and environmental causes. And the leader of Australia's major Leftist party appears to SUPPORT the ruling!

Open borders, closed debate: "Perhaps more than any other issue, immigration drives a wedge between the [Republican] party's establishment and its grass roots. Bush's business friends need the cheap labor. Bush's political advisors tell him he needs Mateo. Conservative activists and voters throughout the country see mass border-crossing and lax enforcement of immigration laws as threats to safety, security, neighborhoods, culture, and job availability."

EU to imitate Australia? "The rate at which asylum seekers are entering Europe for economic reasons has created 'a time-bomb', the incoming European Commissioner for justice and home affairs has said.... He repeated his calls for transit countries around Europe's borders to set up holding camps for prospective immigrants. "The camps would take in immigrants... to offer them humanitarian aid and information about job possibilities in Europe," he said. "But they would also investigate, identify and send back those who don't meet the criteria or who would not be able to integrate."

Carnival of the Vanities is up again: Your one-stop shop for blogospheric wisdom.

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

**************************

The vast hatred of President Bush coming from the Left seems to focus almost entirely on his Iraq policy and a claim that it is "stupid" or dishonest. Yet the world's most successful and influential Leftist intellectual -- the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom -- is a vigorous supporter of that policy. It shows that everything said to justify the Leftist hatred of Bush is mere camouflage. What they really hate is someone non-Leftist wielding great power. The hatred is purely emotional and envious -- with only the slightest pretense to reasoning tacked on. As usual, principles have nothing to do with it.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause


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

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3 September, 2004

THE EDUCATION SHAMBLES

Dangerous deficits: "If we continue to let kids get high school diplomas when they're functionally illiterate, and if colleges continue to pump out grads that can't communicate well or properly (to be fair, colleges are having a heck of a time giving remedial English classes to incoming freshman who are nowhere near high school graduate level), we're all going to lose something important. After all, it's the ability to communicate clearly that keeps us all informed of things large and small, from office parties to our medical care, and from funny stories to urgent warnings."

Even the elite of students produced by America's Left-dominated High Schools are clueless: "Since this is Emory, there are no re-enactments of "The Blackboard Jungle," and most in the class strive for an A, in their fashion. But the ignorance, laziness, sense of entitlement and lack of basic rhetorical skills are stunning. One student thinks that "books" and "novels" are the same. Another identifies the Granite State as "New Hamster." Few are familiar with the rules of language, many spell poorly and all are confused by tenses and apostrophes and complain bitterly when Prof. Allitt marks them down for grammatical errors."

And it's no wonder how ignorant the students are when you see how dumb the "educators" are: "The town of Hempstead, NY, has a message for Gwinnett County school administrators: Before you target a student wearing a Hempstead shirt, look at a map. Terrell Jones, a student in Gwinnett County's [GA] Grayson High School, was weeded out of a classroom by a school administrator because he wore a shirt that read: 'Hempstead, NY 516,' a reference to the Long Island town and its telephone area code. According to Jones' family, which moved from Hempstead to the Atlanta suburb, the school thought the shirt referred to marijuana. Jones wasn't allowed to return to class until he persuaded school officials to search the Internet for the town name. The town's Web site says the area may have been named for Hemel-Hempstead, England. Another theory cites the Dutch city of Heemstede, because settlers had come years earlier from the Netherlands."

Education has been dumbed down in England too: "Nearly 20 years ago I studied A-levels in English literature/language, history and sociology at a local FE college in the West Midlands. In recent years I've been teaching both A-level sociology, and government and politics, at a variety of inner London FE colleges. I'm also an A2 government and politics examiner for the examination board Edexcel. David Miliband blithely suggests it's 'a myth' that A-levels are getting easier, but from my experience it's the unavoidable and uncomfortable truth".

And it happens in Australia too: "Analyst and author Kevin Donnelly says Queensland has led Australia in dumbing down the curriculum for state schools. And he says students are being indoctrinated with left-wing ideology. "Queensland wrote the Study of Society and the Environment national curriculum and it was re-written at national level because people could not believe the new-age loony stuff in it," Dr Donnelly said. "Unfortunately, it's still used in Queensland." Dr Donnelly said: "I felt that Australia's approach to the curriculum, particularly in Queensland, was fundamentally flawed and obsolete and the result is that students have been put at risk because the curriculum has been dumbed down.".... Queensland's approach to the curriculum was "very politically correct", he said. "The SOSE curriculum promotes a left-wing view of things like multiculturalism . . . and peace studies. It's all about indoctrination...."

High School teacher Dave Huber has some very sarcastic comments on the latest "resolutions" of the NEA. "Illegality is good" seems to be part of their story. A great way to educate kids! How about if a few people "illegally" shot some NEA members? Would that be good too? Or should we encourage respect for the law after all? Lamebrains! If people only have to obey the laws they agree with, I foresee a lot of dead Leftist fanatics. They rely on other people being more decent and responsible than they are.

Amtrak? 'A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.' -Theodore Roosevelt, Twenty-sixth US president (1858-1919)

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ELSEWHERE

Clayton Cramer has a very understated comment on the laugh of the day: A group of American "professional historians" criticizing Michelle Malkin's latest book for lack of "objectivity and fairness". They would not know objectivity and fairness if they fell over it! They are trying to shut the lovely Filipina up because she is defending America's reputation for honour and decency! Australian Leftist historians would dearly love to silence Windschuttle for much the same reason. He defends the honour and decency of the British colonizers of Australia.

That amusing Leftist "projection" again: A DEMOCRAT is talking about "fake moderation"? "As the image-conscious Republicans gaveled open their national convention Monday morning -- kicking off a four-day festival of faux moderation -- the conservative activists who helped shape the party platform were nowhere to be seen at Madison Square Garden...."

V.D. Hanson: "The Swift-boat vets were probably willing to grimace and bite their teeth throughout the present campaign, but not when Kerry paraded his service, saluted the Democratic delegates ("reporting for duty"), and posed as a time-honored proud warrior of the American military. And so now we have the present mess that will go on for weeks and can only hurt Kerry. He is earning a reputation for once welcoming third-party hit ads, then (now) whining about them; for parading his service, then whining about scrutiny of it; for spouting braggadocio, then whining about hurtful speech. As the Greeks remind us, pride can lead to hubris and then to Nemesis - on its tragic and ultimate rendezvous with ruin."

President Schwarzenegger, 2008? "Arnold Schwarzenegger is a Republican of the big tent variety.... He does things his own way, this governor. And that way has been mostly bipartisan: Schwarzenegger has made friends and foes in both parties in California. His approval ratings among voters of all affiliations have lately hit the heights of those of his hero, Ronald Reagan." The transcript of Arnie's great convention speech is here

The era of the blogs is here all right. The Australian Federal election is for October 9th and two major Australian Leftist newspapers (The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age) have started a blog to facilitate their comments on it! At least it puts their biases out in the open. No comments facility.

I rather like irony (sarcasm even!) so I got a good laugh out of the last line of the last paragraph of Taranto yesterday.

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

**************************

The vast hatred of President Bush coming from the Left seems to focus almost entirely on his Iraq policy and a claim that it is "stupid" or dishonest. Yet the world's most successful and influential Leftist intellectual -- the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom -- is a vigorous supporter of that policy. It shows that everything said to justify the Leftist hatred of Bush is mere camouflage. What they really hate is someone non-Leftist wielding great power. The hatred is purely emotional and envious -- with only the slightest pretense to reasoning tacked on. As usual, principles have nothing to do with it.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause


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

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2 September, 2004

DAS DRITTE REICH -- AND FRIENDS

There is rather a good short summary of Hitler's thinking here by Koenigsberg -- showing that Hitler was devoted to Germany, that he saw Germany as a living organism that was severely threatened and that he saw the 'alien' Jews as incompatible with German life. Koenigsberg also shows how anti-individual Nazism was: "Hitler stated that Volksgemeinschaft ["people's community"] meant "overcoming bourgeois privatism, unconditionally equating the individual fate and the fate of the nation." Every single German was obligated to unite with the community, to embrace and share the common faith."

And where did Hitler get the idea of Germany as a biological organism? He was quite explicit that he got his eugenic ideas from American "Progressives" so it is rather unlikely that the ideas of the American President who was so prominent in the events of World War I and its aftermath could have escaped him. And if you look here, you will see that the anti-business Woodrow Wilson too justified his wish to scrap the checks and balances of the American constitution on the grounds that the U.S. government was "not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life... No living thing can have its organs offset against each other, as checks, and live".

Jamie Glazov knows the score: "Leftwing gulag denial shares a profound affinity with neo-nazi holocaust denial. This is no surprise, since nazism and socialism are closely related. Nazism wasn't termed "National Socialism" without reason. Aside from both ideologies supporting state control of the economy, nazism and socialism also emphasize struggle and revolution for the sake of bringing about an apocalyptic end to the present phase of world history. Rejecting the world they live in, socialists envision class utopia, while nazis dream of racial utopia. This explains why both systems subordinate the individual to the state and rely upon an elite party, organized in military style, to achieve their objectives. In the end, the socialist and nazi visions demonize - necessarily - a certain portion of the human race. Mass genocide is the logical outcome of both ideologies, since humans must be sacrificed in the name of a transcendent humanism.... Socialists must wipe out the historical memory of the gulag, because that way another gulag becomes possible"

Those conservative Nazis! "Going down into the Chancellery bunker near the end of WWII, Joseph Goebbels took a look around at the burning wreckage of Berlin and exulted to his diary: "These flames are consuming the last of 19th-century bourgeois civilization!""

There is a good essay here that uses extensive quotes to show that Socialism, Communism, Nazism and Fascism are all essentially the same and that America and other Western countries today are far closer to historical Fascism than is at all comfortable. I draw similar conclusions myself here and here

September 1st (today in the USA at the time of writing) is the 65th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland. To mark the occasion, Sean Gabb has drawn our attention to his defence of the great appeaser! It is not as silly as it sounds and is worth a read. Though in the end I think Churchill was right.

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ELSEWHERE

Rather Biased is good on the way the mainstream media have "sanitized" the anti-Republican demonstrators in New York.

Clayton Cramer reports a typical example of Leftist attention-seeking at the Republican convention and is puzzled by it. He does not seem to realize that attention-seeking is what motivates Leftists in general. Leftism makes sense only as a psychological condition, not as as a serious analysis of anything. More on that here.

Taranto has some good excerpts from the convention speech by the last real Republican mayor of NYC.

LOL. Leftist self-delusion: "In the end, there was no need for a big rally in Central Park. No need for a string of angry speakers standing at some podium bashing President Bush and the Republicans. In the end, the torrent of people and placards that choked the streets of Manhattan yesterday was more powerful than any speech."

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch "identifies himself with pride as a lifelong Democrat.... No surprise, then, that Koch disagrees with George W. Bush on just about every domestic issue, from taxes to marriage to prescription drugs. But he's voting for him in November. "I've never before supported a Republican for president," Koch told me last week. "But I'm doing so this time because of the one issue that trumps everything else: international terrorism. In my judgment, the Democratic Party just doesn't have the stomach to stand up to the terrorists. But Bush is a fighter."

Look at the facts, not conspiracy theories: "If we move beyond the conspiracy mode of thinking, we can begin to judge the total contribution of the Bush presidency and see that we are far better off than we were at the end of the Clinton administration. The president has ably led us through the uncertain days following the worst attack on our country in modern times. Funding of terror cells has been disrupted; Al Qaeda operations have been crippled. A brilliant military victory in Afghanistan has eliminated bases for training camps that were turning out fanatical anti-American terrorists, and this victory and the one in Iraq have made the Middle East and the world a safer place on the whole.... The jobs that John Kerry has complained about for months are beginning to come through in substantial numbers. The largest tax cut in American history has returned the people's money to them".

Second-term hopes?: "Bush-bashers enjoy saying President Bush is far, far to the right. But as virtually any conservative will tell you, the president has been a me-too liberal on many of the issues that matter most -- spending like crazy, expanding the bureaucracy, subsidizing farmers, caving in to free-speech curbs and recklessly enlarging an entitlement program. That list is just for starters. The question is whether he and his supporters can make a convincing case before the end of the Republican National Convention that he will rectify his errors -- get right with the right -- while moving boldly with particularized, innovative policies on some major problems mostly ignored in the first term."

David Brooks says there is not a lot of public support for cuts to big government so conservatives have to get used to that. He points to historical precedents for GWB's alternative strategy of using big government in a way that liberates and empowers the individual rather than taking his choices away and forcing him into a straitjacket of uniformity.

Dick McDonald has had problems with an unreadably wide page lately but I fixed it for him last night. He has a very good short post here about how the Bush tax-cuts on investment income have kept the economy surging ahead despite oil shocks and other pressures.

Marybeth has been having fun comparing Google with other search engines. Her comment on Cambodia gave me a laugh.

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

**************************

The vast hatred of President Bush coming from the Left seems to focus almost entirely on his Iraq policy and a claim that it is "stupid" or dishonest. Yet the world's most successful and influential Leftist intellectual -- the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom -- is a vigorous supporter of that policy. It shows that everything said to justify the Leftist hatred of Bush is mere camouflage. What they really hate is someone non-Leftist wielding great power. The hatred is purely emotional and envious -- with only the slightest pretense to reasoning tacked on. As usual, principles have nothing to do with it.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause


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

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1 September, 2004

IS LEFT AND RIGHT ALL THERE IS IN POLITICS?

I am afraid I have to get a bit academic here:

The idea that political orientation needs to be described in terms of two dimensions instead of a single Left-Right dimension is an old one -- going at least as far back as the factor-analytic work of Ferguson in the 1940s. It also seems to be something of an article of faith for most libertarians -- though the usual 1% of the vote gained by the U.S. Libertarian Party in national elections tends to show how far the theory is from reality. The latest attempt at a two-dimensional description is some work by Lightfoot. I took the Lightfoot quiz myself and you can see my results here. Note that according to Lightfoot, Stalin was a Rightist! Black might as well be white.

I have no idea of Lightfoot's political orientation but it does rather look like the attempt made by Leftist psychologists to claim that all political baddies are conservatives. They have falsely claimed for years that the socialist Hitler was a Rightist, so why not Stalin too? For a quick treatment of why two-dimensional descriptions of politics don't work, see here. My own statistical research into the dimensionality question goes back over 30 years and my reply to the claim that Communists are conservatives is here.

Putting it at its briefest, the Left/Right division is so pervasive because that IS how the great majority of people think. There are of course varieties of conservatism --- with religious conservatives and economic conservatives having least in common -- but they all do have SOME things in common: Principally a respect for the individual. Leftists, by contrast, talk in terms of groups and say that the individual must bow down and conform to some largely mythical "community'. And both the Communists and Hitler were very good at that.

See here for some statistical evidence that economic and religious conservatism do combine in the general population. And that is why (to be very technical) the first eigenvalue is always large relative to subsequent ones.

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ELSEWHERE

Wow! I am beginning to think that Nelson Ascher is the most brilliant blogger around at the moment. He seems to have taken over "Europundits" and last night I just read right through through every word of the current postings there. He is a Brazilian of Hungarian origin but really sticks the knife into anti-American stupidity. His sarcastic comment on Springsteen is a gem. And if you are interested in languages and in poetry (long great interests of mine) this long post is gripping. Thanks to Marc Miyake for introducing me to Ascher.

Speaking of sarcasm, This WSJ piece by Peggy Noonan from last April is very pointed too.

A libertarian case for GWB: "voting for George W. Bush on Nov. 2 may be the best choice for advocates of a free society. In fact, on several issues important to libertarians, Bush has even staked out positions clearly superior to those of his Democratic opponent. Chief among them is Social Security reform. Since he first ran in 2000, Bush has proposed to return a share of Social Security taxes to workers in the form of private pension accounts invested in the market.... Ditto for health care reform. Bush signed legislation establishing health savings accounts, which empower more consumers to decide how their health dollars will be spent..... While Bush has been a big spender, he has not been a big regulator... On gun control, Bush is a consistent defender of the moral and constitutional right to keep and bear arms.... On free trade, Bush has embraced the freedom of Americans to trade and invest in the global economy. His administration won trade promotion authority, launched a new round of negotiations in the World Trade Organization and signed a number of free trade agreements.. On tax reform, Bush shares the Reagan vision of a tax system that encourages economic success. With a GOP Congress, he has cut marginal tax rates across the board and especially on dividends and capital gains."

Good comment from a reader: "I am reading "Unfit for Command" at the moment. WOW! The 30 second sound bites and O'Reilly interviews don't do it justice - there is more here than you possibly can imagine. And it's all internally consistent - how could the authors possibly get so many people to lie consistently? Yet leftists just discard obvious facts and defend Kerry. Kerry's insults to soldiers were never forgotten - most veterans just were happy to get on with their productive lives - unlike Kerry, who never had a real job".

"Unfit for Command" is a Regnery book and might not have got published without them so click here to read a summary of the book and perhaps buy it. And here is a way to get a free(ish) copy of it.

A fun post about Kerry and dogs on the WSJ

The Christian Science Monitor has a rare flash of humour in reporting the lies of the Chinese Fascists about Tibet.

The Happy Carpenter has a big post about how a government bureaucracy that hands out licences to build things is heavily up its own rear-end -- And helping nobody in the process.

Lost Tooth Society is a new conservative blog with a lot of good links.

Wayne Lusvardi has a good short review of a book on the motivations of one of America's home-grown terrorists -- the Unabomber. As with Muslims, it looks like sexual frustration had a lot to do with his destructive behaviour.

In case you have not come across it yet, Communists for Kerry seems to be very popular at the moment.

Another socialist icon bites the dust: The Kibbutzim have gone capitalist.

Wicked Thoughts has put up heaps of good jokes lately

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

**************************

The vast hatred of President Bush coming from the Left seems to focus almost entirely on his Iraq policy and a claim that it is "stupid" or dishonest. Yet the world's most successful and influential Leftist intellectual -- the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom -- is a vigorous supporter of that policy. It shows that everything said to justify the Leftist hatred of Bush is mere camouflage. What they really hate is someone non-Leftist wielding great power. The hatred is purely emotional and envious -- with only the slightest pretense to reasoning tacked on. As usual, principles have nothing to do with it.

The conflict between conservatives and Leftists is not usually a conflict between realists and idealists. Mostly it is a conflict between realists and people who will say anything to win applause


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

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