Happy New Year (Sydney, AEST time) to everyone, from the AWH staff.

In respect of the tragic events to Australia's north over the past week, I won't seek to write a long and glowing editorial.

May the new year bring you happiness, luck and prosperity.

May it also bring you a reawakening -- and a realization -- of long forgotten hopes and dreams.

Tolerance and "diversity"


Los Angeles is notorious for gang violence, but even by LA standards 2002 was gruesome. With 658 murders in just that one year, it became America's murder capital. Of those murders, almost half were directly related to gang turf wars involving drugs and guns. And of those gangs, most are based in south-central or south-east LA.

With a spiralling murder rate and poor police-community relations following the Rodney King riots and the Rampart corruption scandal, the city appointed a new chief to clean up its act. Amid much fanfare and hype William Bratton - the man credited with cleaning up New York's once-soaring crime rate under the political stewardship of former mayor Rudy Giuliani - was brought in to get LA under control. Chief Bratton immediately appointed a second deputy charged with concentrating some officers in gang areas and targeting gangs. He also prioritised improving relations with minority communities.

And 2003 saw the overall murder rate fall in LA by 23%, but so far this year the murder rate is back on the increase across the city. The LAPD's figures show a 5% year-on-year rise in homicides from Jan to April 2004. And while the number of homicides fell in some neighbourhoods last year, it only ever continued to rise in the hardcore gang areas....

Aside from a rising homicide rate, Ms Rice warns that the gangs are crossing a line that has not been crossed before: They are now targeting police officers themselves. She says: "It's one thing for gangsters to exchange fire with the police in situations, but we are now starting to see sniping. We are now seeing the ambushing of cops by gangsters and we should be panicking. "We are on the way to a point of no return and we will end up in a Falluja situation. It is already a Falluja situation in some areas. LA is on the road to Falluja."

Ms Rice also claims potential witnesses are even being murdered by criminals inside jails because the prisons are "so overcrowded and thinly staffed". She says this has happened five times already this year alone. She also says the situation with gangs was so out of control that even older gang leaders were frightened of today's members because they do not operate within a moral framework at all. "Who's bringing them up?" one former Crips gang leader asked Ms Rice after telling her even he feared the younger gangsters....

She claims that while Chief Bratton has made "big changes at leadership level that doesn't mean the desk sergeant gets it." Ms Rice is not optimistic for the future.........

More here


"Record crowds gathered to hear cries of 'tally-ho' and the barking of hounds for what could be Britain's last traditional post-Christmas hunt before a ban comes into force next year. The pro-hunting Countryside Alliance said at least 300,000 people joined huntsmen and women for the meets over the Christmas break -- including Boxing Day, one of the biggest days on the hunt calendar, with more than 300 separate hunts throughout England and Wales. ... The ban on all forms of hunting with dogs will come into force in February. But supporters of hunting have vowed to ignore it, saying jobs will be put at risk. Simon Hart, of the Countryside Alliance, said unprecedented crowds at the Boxing Day meets reflected solidarity and resolve, not only from the hunting community, but also from the many thousands who supported freedom and tolerance."

More here.


It's all our fault, of course

"Just look at the stark contrast between the damage done by similar disasters in different societies. Exactly one year before the Asian undersea earthquake (which measured 9 on the Richter scale), an earthquake measuring 6.3 devastated the Iranian city of Bam. More than 50,000 people were killed, making it comparable to the recent disaster in human terms - although, partly because none of them were Western tourists, we heard less about it. Just four days before the Bam tragedy, an earthquake of similar magnitude rocked California, one of the wealthiest states in the USA. It destroyed buildings, but left just two people dead. The difference between 50,000 dead and two is one of development. Advances in technology, construction and transport mean that natural disasters rarely cause mass casualties in developed societies. Of course, nothing that exists in California could have prevented the huge Asian tsunami creating havoc. But it could have greatly reduced the human cost.

Instead of acknowledging this simple fact, the message implicit in many responses to the Asian disaster is that it is folly for us feeble humans to get ideas above our station and try to do 'too much'. Writing in the London Times, the Conservative Lord William Rees-Mogg argued that 'the tsunami mocks the pride' of our 'arrogant' modern societies, and shows that 'nature, and not mankind, is still the real master'. While conceding that global warming did not cause the Asian disaster, he insisted that 'the tsunami did mimic some of the effects that global warming is now expected to have' if we do not make sacrifices to protect the environment, and speculated as to what impact such a tidal wave might have on London.

In responses such as these, serious journalism meets the sort of 'what if?' scenario popularised by the movie The Day After Tomorrow, in which man-made global warming causes a tidal wave that devastates New York. These Hollywood-style horror stories bear little relationship to the real science of climate change, where there are still serious questions to be answered about the scale and consequences of global warming. But the logic of the argument for economic restraint is to deny those societies struck by the tsunami the chance to achieve the very levels of development that would best equip them to cope with disasters.

Some eco-activists even claim that the tsunami proves development has already gone too far in these countries. One Indian activist claims that South Asia's ancient mangrove forests provided the best protection against the sea, before many were cleared for construction related to the tourism industry. So the road to the future presumably leads back to the mangrove swamps. But the problem is not that 'over-development' in these parts of Asia has somehow disrupted nature. It is that development has not gone nearly far enough. It has been patchy, uneven and concentrated on such fragile sectors as tourism, leaving millions in poverty and exposed to the elements.

If some crackpot preacher suggested that the South Asian disaster was God's vengeance for the sins of the tourist trade, there would be justifiable outrage. Yet if today's eco-preachers imply that it is somehow Nature's revenge for the arrogance of humanity, we are supposed to feel humble and nod along, head bowed.

From "Spiked"


There were a lot of Swedish tourists in the fleshpots of Thailand when the Tsunami hit so the following is an interesting email received yesterday from one of my correspondents in Sweden:

"The Swedish government has made a total a*** of itself. Within a day of the size of the problem becoming known, the travel agents here organised something like 6 extra aircraft to begin shuttling stranded tourists and the less badly hurt home to Sweden/Scandinavia. The government, in contrast, took until today to begin organising an airlift of the significant number of seriously wounded citizens who can't be transported on the regular aircraft. They also did not/have not yet asked for help from such countries as Australia (we did get the obligatory shot of an Australian airforce Hercules transport in Indonesia). So, private companies acting with no profit motive have quickly responded to a major catastrophe on the other side of the world while the government of the people sits on its hands and does nothing. Hmmm, how do these burks get voted in again? I suspect the deeper problem is that the government *can't* quickly respond to such incidents despite their claims. Sweden is busy laying off its armed forces, where I guess quickly activated medical teams and aircraft are traditionally located, so they have been caught with their pants down. As for why they didn't ask for help from Australia or the US? That is a curly one, a cynic would suggest pride in not asking the dreaded Anglo-aggressors for help. There really is no other reason I can imagine. Granted, Australia may be stretched already and the US -- well, we get no information about that -- although I know at least one naval group is in the area to help. The point I think was that the Swedes didn't even ask"


Blogger Dave Terron is a distinguished British soldier and I felt honoured to receive the following email from him about the Scottish/English rivalry that I noted in my Christmas-day post. And, given the Scottish passion for celebrating the new year, it feels very right to start off with a link to Scotland on New Year's Eve.

"Na diobair caraid's a charraid (Forsake not a friend in the fray).

The population of Scotland overall has some 20% English or of English extraction. Nearly one in five are English and they are the biggest 'minority' in Scotland. There are MSPs such as Mark (Muppet) Ballard of the Green (Muppets) Party who are English and most of the main government posts in the executive and Holyrood are held by English people. In fact were you to come to the Highlands you would find that the population of people in Moray is 17,6% English which does NOT include the two big RAF airbases. Why? Because many of the English come here on posting and love the quality of life so much that they stay once they finish with the RAF or other government jobs. They are fully integrated and intermarried with some very interesting results in terms of local accent I can tell you! A mix of Yorkshire Aberdeen Lancashire Cockney and Scouse I think....

The problem with the so called 'coldness' towards the English is (a) more to do with the dependency culture here in Scotland or rather in the Central Belt where 1 in 5 are on sickness benefits or welfare of some sort despite there being thousands of jobs remaining to be filled. The increase in immigration is aimed at filling those posts that the Scots will not fill...and (b) the stupidity of Scottish politicians who persist in telling the Scottish people that when things go wrong it is not the Scots parliament's fault it is Westminster. Indeed whenever there is a hint of a problem the Holyrood mob send the problem to Westminster and then claim that their hands are tied....see here for details or on my blog.

Scotland's 'native' population is falling because most of the bright young things are seeing that the Central Belt idle fat voters are being cuddled and given money to get fatter so long as they waddle down to the voting station when required to vote for a continuance in the Labour welfare state and their beer money. In the Highlands we see no investment, fewer jobs and everything is aimed at the Central Belt fat idle etc.

Were you to come to Inverness you would get a much warmer welcome than in downtown Falkirk if you were English. Australians? We canna understand 'em and we don't have a decent Rugby team either. But our cricket team did take part in the World Cup a few years back!

In summary: Yes. Anti English feelings do exist in Scotland but tend to be from fat idle etc in central belt and self serving scum (oops I meant politicians) who are trying to divert attention away from their failures -- e.g. we had a Liberal Democrat minister in the Scottish Parliament who called the Chairman of the Confederation of British Industry an English twit to distract from his own failure to sort out Scottish industry. One grovelling apology later and that minister now looks after fish.

I served 23 years with a Scottish Highland regiment and not once did any of the Jocks slag me off for being English. Not once. But when I served with a Lowland regiment for a year (I was drafted in to sort them out as their discipline had collapsed) boy, did I get the mutterings behind the old back. It was more of a blame the English because we will not admit we are at fault for having such an inferiority complex type thing. I was glad to get home to my Highlanders!

I think anti-English chat is rare and only gets prominence because some people want to distract from the bigger picture; Scotland is becoming less Scottish as the cultural things such as the music, dress and the regiments are slowly whittled away. Its an EU plot damm their eyes!"

Islamic Utopia Claims More Victims

As someone of part Italian descent, I am outraged, appalled, and outraged. A double helping of outrage, that's right:
A drunken Italian tourist has been fined more than $3,000 (£1,566) for hugging and kissing a woman in public in the United Arab Emirates.

Police took the couple in for questioning after seeing them embracing in the back of a taxi near Dubai airport, said local paper Gulf News.

Officers say the pair confessed to kissing and hugging, and the Italian also admitted to being drunk.

The woman, an Egyptian national, had to pay $500 for lewd behaviour in public.

Considered one of the most liberal emirates, Dubai currently boasts about 5m visitors a year - many of them Westerners - and is keen to establish itself as the Gulf's business and leisure hub.
Good thing the cops did not see where their hands were. Or they'd be chopped off.

I'm sorry, but the Islamic nations must be reformed by way of armoured division as swiftly as possible.

Aliens among us

I'm embarrassed to admit it but I must. I've been converted and I never believed it could happen. Yes there are aliens among us I accept it now and they even have a Queen.

United States President George Bush was tonight accused of trying to undermine the United Nations by setting up a rival coalition to coordinate relief following the Asian tsunami disaster.

The president has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia would coordinate the world's response.

But former International Development Secretary Clare Short said that role should be left to the UN.

"I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs building up," she said.

"Only really the UN can do that job," she told BBC Radio Four's PM programme.

"It is the only body that has the moral authority. But it can only do it well if it is backed up by the authority of the great powers."

Moral authority?? Another attempt to undermine the U.N.?? ( don't they do a good enough job undermining themselves?)

I thought she must be kidding but it seems she's not.

I Didn't Know TPI Stood For Totally Paranoid and Insane

Australia's favourite Nazi Jack van Tongeren has had a win at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, scoring a TPI (Totally and Permamently Incapacitated) pension for life, even though he is currently banged up on remand in Perth's Hakea prison.

This means that Jack is unfit to work, despite the fact that he seems fit enough to firebomb Chinese restaurants and beat the snot out of anyone slightly tinted; that $300 a week will come in handly when he's in the slot though, what with having to buy off agressive homosexuals in the showers and hire protection from angry Asian inmates.

Apparently Jack still thinks Charlie's on the wire:-

Mr van Tongeren received the news from former soldier Norm Heslington, one of a group of veterans who served with Mr van Tongeren in the 2nd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment.
The veterans don't share Mr van Tongeren's white supremacist views, but they have rallied to try to help him turn his life around.
Mr Heslington believes Mr van Tongeren's extreme views may have grown out of the propaganda demonising the Viet Cong fed to troops before they were sent to Vietnam. His combat experiences have also affected him.
Mr Heslington, who visits Mr van Tongeren every week, said his friend had been in denial about his condition.
"I could see 15 years ago that his behaviour then, although criminal, was a legacy of his mental scarring," he said.

Despite the seeming absence of dugouts, tunnels and even black pyjamas in the average suburban take-away.

There can be little doubt that van Tongeren is crazier than a shithouse rat, but whether this is due to overseas service is debatable; if every vet flipped out at the sight of a potential Victor Charlie and went on a rampage, assorted Chinatowns would be a bit hairy to visit for a spot of yum cha or hokkien mee.

(Thanks to JF Beck for the tip).

Cross-posted at the Daily Diatribe, and shamelessly stolen by Blithering Bunny.

More Tsunami Trivialities

Well, it's not like the MSM should be reporting solely on the huge cost to humanity brought by this disaster, or anything...

Not when there's America-bashing to be done.

Go to Google News, and type in the searchwords "US" and "Stingy".

You'll get around 3,000 hits, 95% of which are related to the original multi-million dollar original pledge (which has since been increased) by the United States to help with humanitarian efforts in Tsunami-affected areas.

Now type in "France" and "Stingy". You'll get around 100 results, and all of them relating to French people who have publicly declared that the US aid commitment was far too stingy.

The original French commitment to the entire disaster?


That's just a nose past Tasmania's pledge of $150,000.

(All figures are in $AUD)

The Limitation of Bodycounts

Because it is terribly difficult for the human mind to envision 80,000 people, let alone 80,000 dead ones.

The inferior rights of men

Historically, children were regarded as the father's pre-industrial assets and custody was out of question. Consequently, the `tender years' doctrine dictated that young children be kept with their mothers (Newsweek, [Online], 1995). But as perceptions about parenthood changed, fathers have become just as much involved as mothers in nurturing their children. For this reason, today, many fathers are seeking primary or joint custody of their children when a marriage breaks down. However, it is questioned whether the court system is biased against men in matters involving custody and access to children when family breakdown occurs. It can be argued that, when deciding custody and visitation, a court gives the best interests of the child the highest priority and not gender (Levin ; Mills, [Online], 2003). Apparently, it is clear that in most custody cases; approximately 90% of the time, primary residential custody of children is awarded to mothers (McNeely, [Online], 1998), thus indicating the presence of gender bias in the family courts.

One of the things propelling prejudice against men in family courts is the basing of decisions on stereotypical attitudes and beliefs. Most judges in the family courts center their decisions on their own understandings and beliefs (Coleman, [Online], 1999). McNeely also writes that, `Many judges raised in traditional homes consisting of fathers as breadwinners and mothers as caretakers have resisted letting go of the `tender years' doctrine, (Online, 1998). That simply shows that some judges still believe that children below the age of five need their mothers to grow hence the reason why such judges award custody to women. In support to that, Henry further contends that, a West Virginia Supreme court justice was quoted saying; `We do the standard drill. She gets the children.

Men don't care, basically, about anything other than money' (Online, 1998). Other myths in courts systems are that men are not usually capable of being custodial parents as are mothers etc. Such hackneyed beliefs of most judges in family courts have been discriminating against men and damaging towards child-parent relationships as most men are separated from their children via unfair court decisions.

Regardless of constitutional pledges of equality, some people are less equal than others. This is the message passed on to men when custody is awarded to women after a custody evaluation. At many times, courts request forensic evaluators to do custody recommendations after doing an evaluation of both parents. Nevertheless, A. Cowling writes that, `in most cases, the `experts' who handle these assessments are not anymore competent in making noble custody decisions than a knowledgeable family court judge'. He further adds that even reputable evaluators find themselves favouring a particular parent in a custody dispute for reasons that have little to do with the quality of parenting offered (Online, 2003). Therefore, it can be noted that even in these evaluations to determine `the best interests of the child', there is the possibility of favouring the mothers by evaluators hence making the court decision biased. Hughson also argues that there is doubt on whether the evaluation process can be fair or lucid because it is constructed without a standardized testing or benchmarks. In addition, he says that `usually, "best interest of the child" is the shorthand for "kids go with mom and dad gets to see the kid over the weekend ." (Online, 2003). Bringing it to a close, it can be said albeit the use of custody evaluators in a custody case, there is still some existence of bias against men as some evaluators tend to favour mothers.



An email from one of my readers. He starts out by quoting a comment I make elsewhere:

"It must be so sad for Leftists to hear even from their own that, under wicked old capitalism, the poor are getting richer, not poorer."

Oh definitely! I'm constantly hearing them say that this is indeed the problem. Because it's leading to people consuming too much. And they are becoming too "Americanized."

As I've told you, I'm in Costa Rica. And we get a lot of goofy leftist college girls vacationing here. Ultra granola wicca nature goddesses. And they don't like all of this globalization because they gripe that it's "destroying cultural diversity with globo-mono-culture." You'll find variations of this kind of thinking in Naomi Klein's book NO LOGO, which is mindless but an excellent description of the mindset. They are angry about the cultural imperialism that leads a peasant kid to buying a pair of nikes. Poverty is good, it keeps things as they are. Tradition. Diversity.

It's really a horribly patronizing outlook, which can be summed up as: "these people shouldn't have money because if they have money they'll no longer be cute little zoo creatures for me to admire as something different than myself. They'll be like people anywhere." Imagine a big nature reserve/zoo/park in the developing world where a bunch of native animals are kept in "their" natural environment. Now imagine the same with people. That's precisely what these leftists want.

And they've got some skilled rhetoric to back this up. They accuse "multinational corporations" of "preying upon" "poor people in the developing world" and announce themselves as the protectors of those people. Which is about as condescending as you can get, but it's for the native's own damned good. Because the natives are fooled by these wily corporations (no one could ever want a pair of nikes were it not for "brainwashing") and the higher consciousness leftists feel that they understand what the natives should be doing better than the natives themselves do. It's a religion. A religion of people obsessed with what other people are doing.

And as far as religiousity goes, there's another very interesting aspect. These leftists hate the SIN more than the SINNER, and look at the SINNER as being redeemable. What I mean by this is that they hate the companies, they hate globalization, they hate seeing a poor kid wearing nikes. But that kid is just a VICTIM. They don't hate him. They hate the sin of mono-globo-capitalism that has taken him over. Much like an old time priest might assume that a wicked person was possessed and needed an exorcism, these religious fanatics see the poor kid and think he needs to be "awakened." He's been "possessed" by advertising in some magical way. He can be redeemed, but he needs to repent. And we need to do all we can to save his soul.... It's quite supersitious. It's interesting how you can see man's religious nature so clearly in self-professed secularists.

I've not owned a pair of Nikes for years. The last pair I had wasn't great, and just as brands benefit from loyalty they can lose big when that loyalty is lost. I became brainwashed into buying other brands of shoes. But I recently went out and bought a pair of Nikes. Some leftist had sent me a bunch of materials encouraging me to boycott Nike.

And this led me to what I called the Nike Test. Show someone a poor kid from the developing world, clearly in a very, very poor neighborhood. And he has on a very nice pair of Nikes. There are two basic reactions: 1) Wow, that's cool that a poor kid in a remote part of the world can afford to have some of the most advanced shoes ever made, a shoe put together and distributed by an incredible harmonization of human effort in several countries. 2) that poor kid is a victim. He should only wear locally made shoes, even if they are of much lower quality and he doesn't want them. He's clearly brainwashed and it's just insidious. The leftist will find a victim where a conservative sees someone with expanded opportunities and enhanced connection with the rest of humanity -- AND more comfortable shoes!

That Hispanic IQ again

Illegal Hispanic immigration into the USA has undoubtedly brought troubles in its wake -- particularly in recent years. There is a high level of criminality in the resultant population and a high level of almost every social pathology you can name. See here and here for background. Most conservatives attribute the troubles with the illegal immigrant population to the way they have been mollycoddled and allowed to get away with anything by the American Left. If there is no pressure to be law-abiding, why should the immigrants be law-abiding? And I heartily agree with that analysis. I think it is mainstream America that has created most of the immigrant problem by bowing down to the unending demands for "tolerance" from the American Left.

"Godless" at Gene Expression, Randall Parker and others, however, believe that the problem is more deepseated than that. They believe that with the best will in the world the Hispanics would still be an underclass. They base that view on the low average IQ recorded not only among the immigrants but even among their children and grandchildren. They take that low recorded IQ to represent a permanent genetic handicap. I am broadly sympathetic to that sort of reasoning and believe that some intergroup differences are real and important and do have large explanatory value.

In my 30+ years as a psychometrician, however, I have developed a healthy awareness of what can go wrong in measuring psychological attributes, and in my own work I have always placed an unusual degree of emphasis on looking carefully at the criteria used to validate any given test or scale. And that emphasis has been greatly rewarded from an academic viewpoint in that I have on occasions been able to show a convergence between the psychometric measuring instrument and other indicators of what it purports to measure that is far greater than is normally obtained. A corollary of that, however, is that I am also unusually skeptical of a psychometric instrument that does NOT show a good convergence with other indicators of what it purports to measure.

And that is why I am skeptical of the Hispanic IQ data. It seems to me that the Asian origins of the "Hispanics" -- really Amerindians -- and their historically recent achievements in building notable civilizations without outside input (the Aztec, Toltec, Olmec and other empires) do NOT suggest an unusually disadvantaging gene pool. So if it's not their gene pool that is causing their low IQ scores, what is it?

I think that what has happened is that a poorly-educated rural population has arrived in the USA only to be thrown into a behavioral sink, the behavioural sink of America's predominantly black underclass. Because of their lack of skills, education and urban (particularly scholarly) culture the immigrants have from the beginning found only low-paid manual work and thus been forced to live very cheaply. And living cheaply has meant by and large living in predominantly black slums. And that slum environment has given their children values that are anti-intellectual, to say the least. And in his many essays on the subject Theodore Dalrymple has documented graphically how hard it is to climb out of such an environment. So the low recorded IQ of the Hispanic immigrants themselves is attributable to their rural origins (rural populations normally score badly on IQ tests) and the low recorded IQ of their children is attributable to the moronic environment in which they have grown up. Only about two thirds of IQ is genetic. The rest is cultural. And there could be few worse cultures for the development of intellect than the slums of (say) L.A.

In ideal circumstances, a home environment formed by a culture that has been obsessed with education for 2,000 years (as in the case of the East Asians) might have allowed the children to rise above that handicap, but the Hispanics do not come from such a culture. So my belief is that if the children of the Hispanics could be got into good schools and put into a good environment generally, they would eventually merge into the American mainstream. I may well be wrong but given the unlikelihood that the Hispanic population of the USA will ever decline, all Americans should hope that I am right.

(For convenience, I have combined my post above with my previous posts on immigration to make a single article. See here or here).

Please Help

Like all of you I am overwhelmed and grief stricken in the aftermath of the Tsunami. I don't have it in me to talk politics or play the blame game, especially in areas that I admit I do not understand.

So this post and my prayers are for the victims and the survivors.

With the death toll just over 57,000 and expected to continue to climb money is desperately needed for food, medicine, clothing and shelter.

Please donate to the charity of your choice or follow this link to receive or give information.

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami

* a little note - A Western Heart is happy and relieved to let you know that we have been contacted by fellow contributor Tiberius. He is safe and unharmed.

Moderate Muslims?

Lawrence Auster says that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. He is wrong. One of the major religious leaders (and a former Prime Minister) of the world's largest Muslim country is actually pro-Israel. And I'll bet Lawrence does not even know whom I am talking about. That there is no such thing as a moderate ARAB Muslim I might tend to agree with, however. No doubt there are some decent Arabs but they seem to be vastly outnumbered by others whom I can only call disgusting.


Two interesting emails from two different readers provoked by my Christmas-day postings:

"I enjoyed the account of your Christmas Day and wanted to contribute to the Scots/English debate, I am half-and-half with a with a Jewish great-grandfather. My grandparents came to London from Glasgow a hundred years ago and they were keen, lifelong Conservatives, in fact my Grandmother worked at the Party headquarters. My grandparents belonged to some society for Scots in London where my grandfather played the piano for Scottish songs and dances, there was a party at Halloween for the grandchildren and New Year's Eve was celebrated in the usual way. However, apart from my grandmother sighing over us grandchildren as "Sassenachs" because we ate our porridge with sugar and my granfather telling me about the Auld Alliance with France and pointing out the French origin of some Scots words "a silver tassie" for a silver cup for example, I don't remember any expressions of Scottish nationalism.

The bad thing about Scotland was the lack of economic opportunity and it was for work that my grandfather came to live in London.

I would say that my family felt they had certain advantages over the English because we are by nature more intelligent, more industrious and have better values! Having married a half Franch-Canadian and lived in Quebec before the "Silent Revolution"I would say my family's sense of being separate from the English was quite different from the French Canadian "distinct society" identity.

Incidentally, I often pretend to be a "kiwi" here in eastern Canada, as my "cut-glass" English accent is resented and Canadians don't have a good enough ear to hear the dufference. An actor friend tutored me in "Canadian English" but although I made some changes in my pronunciation and vocabulary I was always found out!"

The misspelling of "dufference" above will be understood by anybody who has ever heard New Zealanders speak. They are the only significant European nation to have lost a whole vowel in recent times. Regarding Scotland, readers might also find some relevance in the latest series of jokes up on Wicked Thoughts. Anyway, the second email:

"As a UK resident I found the Queen's Christmas speech quite depressing. I have never been a fan of her Xmas speeches and this was the first I had heard for several years. It sounded as though it might have been written by Cherie Blair or a BBC journalist. Bland, full of phoney re-assurance and pointless.

Of course the ethnic communities shown would seem respectable rather as red carpets are rolled out for members of the royal family. In recent elections the British National Party received up to a third of the vote in parts of the Black Country and elsewhere. Perhaps these voters see a less sanitised version of developments.

I believe most British people welcome the more cosmopolitan changes in the population in recent decades but not the mass take over of our major cities by Muslim immigrants, which seems demographically inevitable on present trends".

I can certainly understand the final point above

Revolting Leftist Elites

Taki's view:

(Incidentally, "Taki" is a Greek abbreviation of "Panayotis". Beat that! This "Taki" is however, a well-known social commentaor who happens to be one of the legendary rich Greeks. So how do you get "Taki" out of "Panayotis"? Easy. The familiar form of "Panayotis" is "Panayotaki". I have yet to figure out what "Panayotis" means, though. Maybe it is modern Greek for "All Saints". Greeks are big on Saints. )

"Babbittry is the idea that the average Joe lives within the passionless routine of marriage, the tyranny of consumerism, and the regimentation of small-town civic life. Babbittry judges Joe to live in a benighted, blinkered spiritual state, a gay-bashing, beer-drinking redneck whose Taliban tendencies want to ban dancing, rock-and-roll, and R-rated movies. People who don't live in New York, Hollywood, or divide their time between Virginia, Hyannis Port, or Nantucket estates and their Georgetown mansions view the rest of us as Babbitts. Who can blame them? When was the last time, say, Tina Brown, spoke with anyone not famous? (Not for at least 30 years, since she was an unknown Jewish girl sucking up to Oxford Dons and Fleet Street journalists.) Tina comes to mind because of a recent name-dropping column of hers about dining with a bunch of heavyweight media types discussing how to get rid of Bush. The only one who objected was the Hispanic busboy serving them drinks.

As one who did not endorse Bush, I was delighted with his victory, if only for the outrage it caused the New York Times and other "nattering nabobs of negativism," as my fellow Greek Spiro Agnew once called them. Let's start with the by now infamous headline of the London Daily Mirror, "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?" For any of you who have never heard of the Mirror, it is a leftist British tabloid daily that sells in the millions and features keyhole expos‚s of minor celebrities, porn-star confessions, and traditional Elvis sightings. Here's how it described the 59-odd millions who voted for Bush: "The self-righteous, gun-totin', military-lovin', sister-marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', non-passport-ownin' rednecks, who believe God gave America the biggest dick in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land `free and strong.'"

Well, it might not be very elegant-alas, there's nothing less elegant than British tabloids-but it's sure to the point. Babbittry lives, or at least that's how filthy-haired, yellow-teethed, whiskey-breathed, mostly queer, raincoat flashing British journalists see it. (Gee, it's catching.) Mind you, most of Europe went ape over the election, and it doubled my fun. There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than to listen to Europeans say "and if the Americans refuse to ... we will have to ..." Have to do what? Have Brussels declare war? Cut off diplomatic relations? Refuse to sell weapons? European threats can make a man laugh out loud during a rainy Sunday evening in Belfast.

Mind you, smug Europeans have nothing on smug American so-called elites. My friend Liz Smith described the post-election atmosphere as "The New Civil War! The East and West coasts break off from the red states and form their own more perfect union made up of intellectuals, show-biz and poor folks." (Surely the latter is a mistake, dear Liz. You meant poor in morals and manners rich folk.) It is as rare for showbiz and media folk to know any poor folk as it is to find a man who went to bed with Paris Hilton and did not videotape it.

The New York Times felt it had to help its readers get over their depression by running an advice piece on how to cope with a second Bush presidency. "After all, medical studies have shown that anger can lead to heart disease ..." Well, here's some good news at last. Times columnists like Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd are soon to be diagnosed with heart trouble, that is, if the paper of record has it right for a change.

Garry Wills, writing in the Times, took the high road under the title "The Day the Enlightenment Went Out." Wills muses that Muslim zealots and those who voted for Bush are one and the same. "It is often observed that enemies come to resemble each other. We torture the torturers, we call our God better than theirs ..." Good old Garry Wills, he does have a hell of a point. Harvey (disgusting) Weinstein, Whoopi (foul-mouthed) Goldberg, Michael (slob) Moore, George (schemer) Soros, and the rest of what John Tierney called the "Water versus Earth" people, do resemble the imams preaching hatred and intolerance-certainly where physical ugliness is concerned. (If you put a towel on Michael Moore's head he'd look like any fat slob preacher in Saudi.)

My favorite was "Coping," yet another New York Times advice column, by one Anemona Hartocollis. "For some parents, the urge to leave the country was a gut feeling, like the one that tells people it's time to move to the suburbs." Anemona, I feel for you, and I agree. If only some of your bosses would skip the place it would make for a better country. But leave it to Hollywood to have the last word. Susan Sarandon claimed on a nincompoops' TV show that Bush won because there was massive electoral fraud. The election was stolen, according to Ms. Sarandon, which I guess proves that 59 million people are not only dumb, they are also a cheatin' bunch of no-goods who deserve what they're about to get in the next four years. Go figure, as they used to say in Brooklyn before the Taliban took over.

The Tsunami Disaster

I have refrained from commenting on these recent tragic events as I don't believe that I have anything of value to add to that which has been -- for the most part -- well covered by the MSM.

I do wish to raise a few issues, however.

1) Taking political advantage of this appalling tragedy is itself appalling. The news -- and especially Sky News -- should stop repeating that clip of that stupid chubby Australian tourist whining from Mascot Airport that he wasn't immediately scooped out of harm's way on a 5-star, champagne and caviar-equipped Hercules, primarily because it had nothing to do with the War on Terror, and that John "heartless monster" Howard couldn't get any political mileage out of it.

2) The only political point that need be made in reference to this has been made very nicely by Glenn Reynolds.

3) Fox News is perhaps the very worst news network in respect to covering international incidents. They have now shown a repeated apathetic attitude to any event that does not either:
A) Transpire within the continental United States, or

B) Affect/involve a large amount of American citizens.
Fox News is becoming myopic and is therefore doing its viewers a gross disservice.

That's all I have for now.

I'm in a deeply, deeply, deeply crappy and vaguely homicidal mood. So leave pissy comments at your peril.


Men are more likely to want to marry women who are their assistants at work rather than their colleagues or bosses, a University of Michigan study finds. The study, published in the current issue of Evolution and Human Behavior, highlights the importance of relational dominance in mate selection and discusses the evolutionary utility of male concerns about mating with dominant females. "These findings provide empirical support for the widespread belief that powerful women are at a disadvantage in the marriage market because men may prefer to marry less accomplished women," said Stephanie Brown, lead author of the study and a social psychologist at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR).

More here


The arrogance and inhumanity of a welfare-State bureaucrat is worse than even a writer of fiction would dream up.

"A surgeon, David Grace, had a backlog of 16 urgent cases. These included six people with broken hips. Now a broken hip is a serious and very painful injury. It does, of course, immobilise you. You have to lie still. You are in absolute agony unless you are very strong painkillers. This, I suspect, is not very good for anyone but especially for the elderly women who are most prone to break their hips. The condition causes them and their families fear and worry. If you are left hardly able to move for hours or days on end, you have a high risk of bed sores. This is, without doubt, an emergency. The operation to fix the hip should take place within a day or two.

So David Grace had six of these cases and 10 other cases to deal with. He went to the chief executive of his hospital trust and asked for help in clearing this backlog. She was insistent that he should not do so. She demanded that, instead, that he should operate on bunions. Grace believes - and it is hard to think of any other explanation - that this was because the chief executive wanted to meet a government target for treating non-urgent operations within nine months.

I would ask anyone to consider how they would feel if, say, their elderly mother or grandmother was lying in agony in hospital and she was left to wait for six days or more because the trust insisted on treating bunions? It is beyond shocking. It should make us think about the widespread assumption that the "public service" ethic is really so profound and reliable. Heaven help those who rely on the NHS. Heaven forgive those who expect the poor to do so.

Next time a cabinet minister boasts about reduced waiting lists, remember these six people with broken hips, lying in bed in agony, waiting to be treated in order to achieve the boast of which the minister is so proud.

But it gets more worrying still. For his impertinence is refusing to do what the chief executive told him, the trust leaned on him. An investigation was started into his 'personal and professional conduct'. He has since been exonerated. But think of the implication: that trying to treat those who need emergency treatment is not merely discouraged, it is likely to damage your whole career".

From the Adam Smith Blog


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL hospitals and health insurance schemes should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the very poor and minimal regulation.

Comments? Email me here. If there are no recent posts here, the mirror site may be more up to date. My Home Page is here or here.



It is amazing how Leftists have perverted the word "diversity". The people who can call a vicious dictatorship "The People's Democratic Republic of .... " have done a similar hit-job on "diversity". American universities pride themselves on their diversity but are in fact one of the least diverse places on the planet (See here). In American university-speak, "diverse" translates fairly directly as meaning "black" and nothing more. Elsewhere, "diversity" has become an excuse for suppressing all traces of majority culture. Anything not characteristic of majority culture is "diverse" to Leftists and is to be praised no matter what. And any element of majority culture is conversely not "diverse" and must therefore be condemned.

In fact, diversity should be a good conservative value. I myself think that real diversity is strength and so does the Queen of England (See her Christmas message). Fascists, by contrast, think unity is strength. The very word "Fascism" is an allusion to the tied-up bundle of rods (the fasces) that the lictors of ancient Rome bore as a visible symbol of the united strength of the Roman people. And Rome was a Fascist State -- with the godlike leader (at least from Caesar onwards), the socialism ("panem et circenses") and the fiercely nationalist belief in Rome's destiny to rule. So it is no wonder that Mussolini named his Fascist movement after the ancient symbol of all that. And Hitler was the same. The most famous Nazi slogan is "Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Fuehrer" -- which translates as: "ONE State, ONE people, ONE leader". And we all know how much diversity of thought and enterprise there was in the old Soviet Union.

Conservatives, by contrast, don't believe anything is that simple. They see the world as complex and hence diverse. They accept and deal with diversity whereas Leftists, despite their current pretensions, have since the French revolution always tried to suppress it when they have the power to do so. But for Leftists to preach one thing and then do the opposite when they gain power is a very old story. And part of actually accepting and dealing with diversity (instead of just preaching it to others) is to discriminate among types of diversity. Only a Leftist could propose such an absurd rule as saying that all diversity is good. Murderers are pretty diverse from the rest of society, for instance. Is it a good thing to have lots of them? Sane people would say not but Leftists in our society defend criminals. They say criminals are just "misunderstood". Conservatives, by contrast, want to lock the criminals up and thus reduce that element of diversity in their society.

A similar question arises with ethnic diversity. I myself, for instance, think that most forms of ethnic diversity are a good thing. I have a good friend who was born in India, I love Indian food and I am pleased that my country (Australia) now has in its population many of the instinctively civilized people of China. But I don't think that having Muslims in Western populations is a good thing at all. There are of course many decent Muslims (I have one living in my own house) but they are such a troublesome population in general that I would like to see the least assimilated element of them shipped back whence they came.

And let's look at the blogosphere. Two of the bloggers I think most highly of are Razib and "Godless" of Gene Expression. But Razib is a brown-skinned man of Bangladeshi origin and, if my memory serves me rightly, "Godless" is a Jew. Is not that diversity a strength? Are we not benefited by having those two people to exchange ideas with? If Americans had not welcomed the families of both men into their midst, Razib might just be swatting flies in a Bengali village and "Godless" might be marooned in an East-European shtetl. So I am all for real diversity and utterly against the parody of diversity preached by Leftists.


It's embarrassing to go into reverse but the Leftist elite must not have their scenic views spoilt! Only the plebs should have to put up with windfarms in their vicinty

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who championed renewable energy in his presidential bid, yesterday said he won't take a stand on the proposed Cape Cod wind farm until the Army Corps of Engineers completes its environmental impact report next year. ``After this process is complete and the environmental impact statement is final, Sen. Kerry will make a decision based on the best interest of our state and our energy future,'' said Kerry spokesman David Wade. Kerry had been expected by some observers to weigh in on the controversial wind farm after the Army publicly released its voluminous draft environmental report last month. The failed Democratic presidential nominee, who has helped lead the fight against drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as many other environmental causes, has refused to take sides on the controversial Cape wind farm, even as he touted wind power and other forms of renewable energy during the 2004 race.

Most other major Bay State political figures - from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy to U.S. Rep. William Delahunt to Gov. Mitt Romney - already oppose Cape Wind's $770 million project. With his presidential campaign over and the Army's 4,000-page Environmental Impact Statement released last month, some expected Kerry to offer his views on Cape Wind's plans for 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound.

The EIS was generally favorable, saying the project would have minimal environmental impact. The Bay State senator will not submit any materials to the Army Corps as it conducts a public comment period on its EIS that ends Feb. 24, Wade said. The corps will review public comment and issue its final report later next year.


British Teachers told to promote Gay Pride

Leftists will do anything to create disturbances to the normal life of society. And if it provokes a backlash, so much the better from their viewpoint

Schools are being urged to advertise gay lifestyles to children in a Government drive to 'challenge homophobia'. In an attempt to clamp down on supposedly homophobic language, the guidelines say teachers should be reported if they refer to boys as 'sissies', accuse them of standing around 'like a mothers' meeting' or call them a 'bunch of girls'. Staff are asked to put up flyers for Gay Pride marches and Mardi Gras festivals. They are told that promoting a 'positive stance' on homosexuals and lesbians can help tackle homophobic bullying. The guidance, which applies to all ages from nurseries upwards, drew a furious response from Church leaders and family campaigners who said it went too far. The booklets, which were sent to every local education authority this month, also urge schools to:

* invite in gay visitors and speakers to act as 'sexual minority role models' where there are no homosexual members of staff;
* keep written records of every homophobic phrase used, either by staff or pupils;
* form a 'homophobia working party' to increase awareness of homophobic bullying;
* teach pupils about homosexual public figures such as MPs and entertainers;
* avoid generic language that assumes parents and staff always have partners of the opposite sex.

Local education authorities are expected to make the guidance known to all schools in their area. Heads and teachers can also download the resources titled Stand Up For Us: Challenging Homophobia in Schools from Government websites. Schools are urged to 'normalise sexual minorities' by putting up information on gay and lesbian issues in corridors and waiting areas. Staff are told never to leave unchallenged any homophobic language, including the use of 'gay' as a generic insult. The booklet gives the example of a pupil who describes a classmate's trainers as 'so gay'. It makes clear that the guidance is targeted at pupils of all ages - even those at nurseries. "The issues and practical approaches outlined in this resource apply equally to early years settings, primary, secondary and special schools, off-site units and pupil referral units."

The guidance prompted renewed concerns over the influence of the gay lobby following the repeal last year of Section 28 - the law which banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Norman Wells, director of the pressure group Family and Youth Concern, said: "This is part of a radical social agenda which will only cause more confusion among vulnerable young people and expose them to increased risk to their physical and emotional health. "The overwhelming majority of parents opposed the repeal of section 28 precisely because they feared this kind of aggressive promotion of homosexuality."

The Reverend Rod Thomas, of the conservative Church of England Reform movement, said: "Church schools would have a huge amount of difficulty with this and I don't think any would feel at ease promoting a Gay Pride event. "This takes anti-discrimination measures too far into the realm of positive discrimination. A spokesman for the Tories said: "This campaign does appear heavy-handed."

The guidance was produced jointly by the Department for Education and Department of Health. A spokesman for the Education Department said: "It is up to teachers to use their professional judgment in deciding what resources and strategies to adopt."



"This new book by English academic Frank Ellis, Political Correctness and the theoretical struggle, from Lenin and Mao to Marcuse and Foucault, shows that political correctness has a history much longer than generally recognised. In this pioneering study, Frank Ellis shows convincingly that PC is a Russian COmmunist invention, going back to the times and plans of Lenin, and an intrinsic part of the unprecedented system of total censorship introduced by the Bolshevik leadership in the late autumn of 1917. It was used to ensure total ideological orthodoxy in the communist part. By the end of the 1920s, the notion of political correctness was dominant in almost every aspect of Soviet society, including education, law, psychiatry and entertainment. It was used to justify terror, torture, and man-made famine, first by Lenin and his successors in what became the USSR and later by Mao Tse Tung in China. Through one of the ironies of history, just when the "Soviet experiment" was beginning to run out of steam after the partial dethroning of Stalin, political correctness took on a new life in the West.

One of the underlying themes of political correctness is that if you change the language, you change the way people behave and thereby culture and society. Ellis demonstrates how, by promoting its ideas of what is and is not politically correct, the New Left throughout the English-speaking world is corrupting our cultural institutions, especially the news media and universities, while its devotees are using the state to re-order our thoughts and lives.

The ideas are being promoted through such instruments as human rights legislation, hate speech laws and government promotion of "diversity" and "tolerance". Ellis says that one of the extraordinary things that makes political correctness different from the older Marxism is that instead of talking about public ownership of the means of production, it is talking about public ownership of the means of expression. The political correctness brigade now control the commanding heights in every area of society, including the media and universities. To combat this, Ellis suggests that we need to recapture language, challenge the PC concepts and be prepared to speak out in defence of reality.

More here

Another triumph of government regulation

Drug regulations cause millions of deaths each year: "Over-reaching FDA regulations have caused the premature deaths of millions of Americans, according to research scientist Mary J. Ruwart, Ph.D., who also said federal regulations passed in 1962 are responsible for more than 80 percent of the cost of today's prescription drugs. Ruwart, who is senior instructor with Burnet, Texas-based Sci-Com and adjunct associate professor of biology at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, presented her findings on November 8 before the 2004 annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Baltimore, Maryland. Instead of protecting Americans from unsafe drugs, Ruwart said, 'these particular regulations, the 1962 Kefauver-Harris Amendments, have proven to be more deadly than all of the drug toxicity that occurred before their


Who wrote a poem containing this verse?

Like unto a God I dare
Through that ruined realm in triumph roam.
Every word is Deed and Fire,
And my bosom like the Creator's own.

It was our old friend, Herr Karl Marx, no less. So modern Leftist elitism is not exactly new. In this poem, old Karl actually compares himself to God. Beat that! Not much doubt about where he was coming from. Modern day Leftist elitists are actually quite modest by comparison.

For those who doubt the translation, the original German is:


"Goetteraehnlich darf ich wandeln,
Siegreich ziehn durch ihr Ruinenreich,
Jedes Wort ist Glut und Handeln,
Meine Brust dem Schoepferbusen gleich."

Old Karl was quite a poet -- with about 150 of his poems on record.

Take It From One Who Knows

Salman Rushdie has come out strongly in support of the British Sikh playwright who caused an uproar in Birmingham recently by staging a play that featured a violent scene in a Sikh temple.

Rushdie seems to care more about traditional British values such as freedom of speech than most native British people these days -- or at least their government representatives like Fiona MacTaggart, a Home Office official who couldn't be arsed, as our British friends might say, to show a bit of support for the playwright, now in hiding to avoid death threats. Notes the Telegraph about Ms. MacTaggart:

A Home Office minister suggested yesterday that the violent protests that forced the cancellation of a play about Sikhs would ultimately benefit the author and the show.
Fiona Mactaggart refused to offer support for either the theatre, which came under siege, or the author, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, who is in hiding after reportedly receiving death threats.

Meanwhile, DumbJon notes that the L3 terror of offending religious sensibilities in the UK does not apply to the practioners of one particular religion (guess which one?):

You can always rely on Channel Four. These people really are the poster boys for Liberal Tourette's Syndrome. Other folk - the Beeb for one - can at least simulate normality when tactically necessary, but with C4 they just can't help themselves. Take the question of Christianity. Everyone knows the Left hates it, but try getting them to admit it. OTOH, you just know C4 can't let Christmas pass without unleashing its inner Linda Blair. Yes indeed - at 20:30 on Dec 25 itself, C4 will screen a program called 'Who really wrote the Bible' ? I mean, really. Yes, the exact provenance of the Bible is a subject worth discussing, but choosing that date to air the show is just an delibrate attempt to offend.

(Cross-posted at The Adventuress)

British Cultural Suicide Watch

The UK continues to roll over and offer its belly submissively to the alpha male in its midst, political Islam. The latest proposed capitulation without a shot fired is a serious look by the Inland Revenue (their version of the IRS) to give inheritance tax breaks to the second, third and fourth wives of deceased Muslim men. Bigamy is of course illegal in the UK, officially. Not surprisingly, this proposal falls under the aegis of avoiding "religious discrimination" for the poor oppressed Muslims who must be allowed to practice all of their myriad religious requirements -- never mind how negatively it affects everyone else. Of course, the UK Muslim males could just decide to obey the law of the land and keep one wife only, thereby eliminating the need for such redress by Inland Revenue.

Obeying the laws of the country you immigrate to -- what a concept! If the tax break goes through, from there it's just a hop skip and a jump to legalizing polygamy for Muslims in the UK, as is already the case in non-Muslim-dominated India. Then the UK Muslims will be able to legally import four brides from the old country instead of the usual one. Already reeling from the demographic impact of high fertility rates and imported spouses from Islamic cultures, Britain's days as a Western culture appear to be numbered. Hat tip: Dhimmiwatch.


My comments about my Christmas day generated a few comments that I should perhaps follow up. There was some skepticism about my comment that the Scots "loathe" the English. I guess that was too strong a term. How about "profound suspicion" of the English instead? I first went to Scotland accompanied by a Scottish wife so I saw one side of Scotland that way. I also personally did a randomized doorknock survey in Glasgow for publication in the academic journals -- and several journals did in fact publish the results. So I got another view of Scotland that way: A community-wide view. So I saw Scottish people both intensively and extensively, as it were. So I do have some grounds for saying what I do. But one experience I repeatedly had is one that many Australians report: Scots cannot tell the difference between an educated Australian accent (or to some extent any Australian accent) and a Southeastern English accent. So Scots normally assume that an Australian visitor is English -- I was told on several occasions that I "sounded like the TV". And so they usually give the visitor the frozenly polite treatment that they reserve for the English. It is that treatment which causes the English to come to the remarkably false conclusion that the emotional Scots are "dour". When the Scots learn that you are Australian rather than English, however, they are greatly relieved, the frozen mask drops immediately and you are given a thoroughly Scots sentimental welcome. It is a joy to experience and sad that the English never do experience it.

Some readers also doubted that the Scots see the English as oppressors. The Scots certainly shouldn't and perhaps in their objective moments they don't, but one must not forget that Celtic memories are long and I can assure you that the execution of Mary Queen of Scots by Elizabeth I is still a lively memory in Scotland. So perhaps "oppressors" is a bit strong too but again I think "profound suspicion" does a pretty good job of characterizing the Scots attitude to the English. The Scots certainly see Australians in a much more positive light than that.

One reader also commented that the pervasive Leftism of Scotland is a fairly recent phenomenon. That could well be true, though I have some reason to doubt it, but in any case I did explicitly say that I thought the Leftism concerned was "not genetic" -- which means that it could change with circumstances.

There was also some dissatisfaction that I did not criticize the multicultural emphasis of the Queen's Christmas message. I did not do so because I think the Queen was being perfectly realistic in her approach. The English egg has now been thoroughly scrambled and the dark-skinned population is not going to go away. So what the Queen was very strongly saying was that each group should honour both its own traditions and the traditions of others. And that way the different groups could live together without friction. What the multiculti Leftists want, on the other hand, is for the tolerance to be all one way. At the very least they want Anglo-Saxons to be tolerant while Muslims can be as intolerant as they like and it would be better still for Anglo-Saxons to lose their own traditions, customs and identity altogether. The Queen, by contrast, was saying that EVERYONE should be tolerant and that EVERYONE should honour their own traditions. And I agree in seeing that as the only viable solution for community harmony in modern Britain. No doubt there are more than a few people in Britain who would like to kick all the darkies out but that is not going to happen.

I suppose one could argue that the Queen could have stressed assimilation more but, on the other hand, the ethnic community members she showed did seem, as far as one could tell, to be highly assimilated. Assimilation does not imply uniformity -- just a familiarity with and respect for the ways of the majority community.


Unlike most bloggers, I rarely say anything about my personal life. But I think Christmas is a good occasion to make an exception to that. As I always do, I attended a large family gathering on Christmas morning -- with "family" being very loosely defined. It is however essentially the same gathering I have been attending for many years. And, like most Australian Christmas gatherings, it is totally secular -- with no religious allusions at all. All the people there are however very good-hearted unbelievers. They even laugh at my jokes, so what more can I ask?

A small sadness for me was that, out of the 17 people present, there were only two children and one teenager. What used to be a very child-centered gathering still is a child-centred gathering but most of the "children" have now grown up and are young adults. No doubt the young adults concerned will one day have children of their own but the longer they leave parenthood, the fewer children they will eventually have, of course. So my family occasion did in a very small way encapsulate a problem that the whole of Western civilization is having -- too few children to replace itself.

I was delighted to see that one of the presents received by the small boy present was a pictorial "Encyclopedia of modern military aircraft" -- something that almost any boy would enjoy but which is of course totally politically incorrect. But the boy's father is a former Royal Air Force man so no doubt he too would be incorrect to the unhappy minds of the Left.

We had a "secret Santa" session before the "real" presents were given out and it was a really fun thing to do, with lots of laughs. I ended up with a "crumb sweeper" -- a small ceramic pig made in China that had a tiny electic motor in that turned it into a mini-vacuum-cleaner. I promised to take it with me next time I go to a Chinese restaurant -- to suck up straying grains of rice!

One of my stepdaughters spent a year in the U.K. recently, most of it in Scotland, and I asked her over breakfast what she thought of the Scots. "Loved them. Lovely people", she said. "But they were glad I was Australian". I too have great affection for the Scots. I even married one once. But Australians probably see the Scots in their best light. The Scots still loathe the English and they see Australians as fellow-sufferers from English oppression! Rather mad, really. But there is a definite streak of craziness in the Scots -- not the least of which is their intensely socialist outlook. But Scots outside Scotland seem to be heavily conservative -- as we know from America's Scots-Irish population (See also here). So it doesn't seem to be genetic. I once did some survey research on the Scottish difference which is reported here.

The weather was normal Australian Christmas weather -- hot and humid. So the various Bing Crosby Christmas songs that were being played in the background ("Jingle Bells" etc.) were referring to a different world. It did however show that culture trumps climate. I did of course eat too much but I think I will draw a discreet curtain over that.

In the evening, I watched the Queen's Christmas message on TV, as I usually do. Every Christmas day the Queen broadcasts a short message to Britain and the other Commonwealth countries and it is always a positive message stressing important basics. She started out this time by stressing that Christmas is a Christian holiday so according to the politically correct brigade she was being most offensive to millions of people. In the British sphere of influence, however, what the Queen does and says is proper by definition so she does not have to worry about petty would-be dictators. Her message also stressed the importance of Britain's different ethnic communities living peacefully together and there were lots of shots of her and her family talking to British subjects of Indian origin. I have always liked Indians and got on well with them so I was delighted to see her extending such acceptance to them.


Yushchenko PROVES it is all hype

It's perhaps fitting that dioxin was used in the attempted political murder of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko. That's because dioxin is the most politicized chemical in history. It's notorious for its role at New York's Love Canal and Missouri's Times Beach, but primarily as an ingredient in the defoliant Agent Orange. Yet Yushchenko is alive because what's been called "the most deadly chemical known" is essentially a myth.

Dioxin is an unwanted by-product of incineration, uncontrolled burning and certain industrial processes such as bleaching. It was also formerly in trace amounts in herbicides and liquid soaps. We all carry dioxin in our fat and blood. But Dutch researchers said Yushchenko's exposure, probably from poisoned food, was about 6,000 times higher than average. So why, as the Munchkin coroner said of the Wicked Witch of the East, isn't Yushchenko "not only merely dead" but "really most sincerely dead"?

The "deadly dioxin" legend began with, of all things, guinea pigs. When fed to them in studies, they did fall over like furry tenpins. Yet hamsters could absorb 1,000 times as much dioxin before emitting their last squeals and other animals seemed impervious to the stuff. Further, the animal deaths were from acute poisoning. Yet as a matter of convenience for activists, it not only became accepted that guinea pigs are the best animal model for humans but also that dioxin is a powerful carcinogen.

The original promoters of the humans-are-like-guinea-pigs legend were Vietnam activists. Agent Orange, which contained a trace of dioxin, effectively stripped away the jungle canopy that hid communist forces. So the enemy and its U.S. sympathizers claimed it was poisoning not just trees but humans. Pressured by these "humanitarians" the military quit spraying in 1971, giving back the enemy his sanctuary from which to kill our troops.

From there, the myth snowballed. After it was found in the goop on which homeowners in Love Canal, New York had built their houses, every illness in the area was blamed not just on the contamination generally but often specifically on dioxin. Likewise for when some yahoo knowingly sprayed dioxin-containing oil near Times Beach to keep down road dust and a flood then swept it into the town. Both areas were ordered evacuated. But "Numerous studies found no excess illness in either area and today children again play in the dirt at Love Canal," notes Michael Gough, a biologist who was chairman of a federal advisory panel concerning Agent Orange from 1990 to 1995. Nevertheless, the cleanup of dioxin-contaminated areas continues to cost U.S. industry a fortune.

As to Vietnam vets, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that despite the earnest beliefs of many vets, "The blood [dioxin] levels of the Vietnam veterans were nearly identical to the levels found among the non-Vietnam veterans." Further, "levels were not related to the estimate of Agent Orange exposure based on either military records or self-reported exposure. Only those who did the actual spraying, members of Operation Ranch Hand, actually got significant doses.

Some did develop the same awful skin disease Yushchenko suffers, called chloracne. But that was only from direct contact with their skin, and they developed no other symptoms at the time. Since then the Air Force has continually monitored them, finding no unusual rates of any illness save for an alleged slight excess of diabetes. Yet a government study of American chemical workers with higher dioxin exposure found no excess diabetes. The Ranch Hands also have only half the normal rate of stomach cancers.

Chloracne was also the only serious symptom in the highest exposures of dioxin ever recorded, in which one young Austrian woman had about 16,000 times the normal body level, while another had 2,900 times the normal level. (Interestingly, the women were given the snack chip fat substitute olestra to help her excrete the dioxin faster. Not exactly a selling point for selling potato chips but . . .) "We don't know of a single person who has ever died of acute dioxin poisoning," says Robert Golden, president of the Maryland-based consulting firm ToxLogic....

The massive dioxin disinformation campaign has caused tremendous harm. But for Yushchenko it was a godsend. He'll look terrible for some time; but he's alive. Had the would-be assassin instead used a few drops of old-fashioned strychnine or even a teaspoon of the vital nutrient iron, Yushchenko wouldn't be running for president; he'd be pushing up Ukrainian daisies. Fortunately, the culprit bought into the myth that began with a guinea pig.

More here


To all those who come by here on this great day

And may all those who recognize Jesus as Lord always walk in his wisdom

Being a born pedagogue, I can't resist this occasion to offer a tiny bit of seasonal information: I realized only recently that many people do not understand why "Xmas" is sometimes used as a short form of "Christmas". Rather alarmingly, some people even seem to think that it is yet another attempt to take Christ out of Christmas. It is anything but. It in fact harks back to the earliest Christian times. The original New Testament documents were of course all written in the Greek language of the day and the name "Christos" (Christ) in Greek begins with the letter "Chi". And the Greek letter Chi looks just like a big Latin "X". So X is in fact the earliest symbol of the holy name and it was widely used as such by the early Christians of the Roman empire. So "Xmas" can in fact be seen as an acknowledgment of the early Christians.

(Cross-posted from Dissecting Leftism. John Ray's email is here)

The politically correct Christmas scene:


Germany: "Santa-Free Zones" created: "A group of Germans are wanting to get rid of Santa saying he has become a symbol of the commercialisation of Christmas. Thousands of stickers have been printed declaring whole areas in Germany and Austria 'Santa Free Zones' and pamphlets have been handed out on street corners reminding people that the traditional bringer of presents is St Nicholas and not the red-suited, white-bearded immigrant from the English-speaking world."


Julie West is tired of being wished "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." She's annoyed with department stores that use "Season's Greetings" banners, and with public schools that teach about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa but won't touch the Nativity story. So last week, she sent a baked protest to a holiday party at her first-grade son's school: a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and red icing that spelled out "Happy Birthday Jesus." "Christmas keeps getting downgraded, to the point that you're almost made to feel weird if you even mention it," says West, a resident of Edmonds, Wash., who describes herself as a non-denominational Christian. "What's the matter with recognizing the reason behind the whole holiday?"

This Christmas season, West has plenty of company. Christians and traditionalists across the nation, fed up with what they view as the de-emphasizing of Christmas as a religious holiday, are filing lawsuits, promoting boycotts and launching campaigns aimed at restoring references to Christ in seasonal celebrations. From New Jersey to California, Christians are moving to counter years of lawsuits that have made governments wary about putting Nativity scenes on public property, and that occasionally have led schools to drop Christmas carols from holiday programs:

* In Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., a Christian sued in federal court after town officials refused to let her erect a Nativity scene next to a menorah, or Hanukkah candelabra, on a causeway. Last week, a judge ordered the town to comply.

* In Maplewood, N.J., parents and students recently petitioned the local school board after school officials dropped even instrumental versions of Christmas music from class programs.

* In Denver, a Protestant church responded to the city's decision to drop "Merry Christmas" from public signs by trying to enter a Christmas-themed float in the holiday parade. Supporters picketed the parade and sang Christmas carols after the float was rejected.

* In California, a group called the Committee to Save Merry Christmas is boycotting Federated Department Stores. The group claims that Federated's affiliates, including Macy's, prohibit clerks from saying "Merry Christmas" and ban the word "Christmas" from ads and store displays. The retail giant says it has no such policy.

Even Kwanzaa, the African-American harvest celebration, has taken a hit. In Los Angeles, the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a conservative black activist, has urged black Christians to spurn Kwanzaa, which he calls a "pagan holiday."

The new battles over religion's role in holiday celebrations come more than two decades after the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups began going to court to try to require municipalities to remove Nativity scenes and other religious displays from public property. The ACLU argued that such religious symbols violated the First Amendment's ban on government-endorsed religion. In two rulings in the 1980s, the U.S. Supreme Court said that Nativity scenes are acceptable when they are combined with other symbols - such as a Santa Claus house - that indicate Christmas is a secular holiday in American culture as well as a religious one.

Nevertheless, the threat of lawsuits and a desire to be more sensitive to the nation's growing number of non-Christians - who made up about 18% of the U.S. population in a 2002 survey by Pew Charitable Trusts - has led many governments, schools and businesses to de-emphasize Christ in Christmastime celebrations. Phrases such as "Happy Holidays" and "Season's Greetings" have replaced "Merry Christmas" at many public venues.....

John Whitehead, director of the Rutherford Institute, a group in Charlottesville, Va., that defends against challenges to speech and religion rights, says the recent trend has been for schools and municipalities to excise "all mention of Christmas, out of some misshapen idea that this respects diversity." He is particularly critical of decisions such as that made by the school board in Maplewood, N.J., which decided to drop traditional carols and other Christmas music from public school programs during the mid-1990s after receiving several complaints. This year, the ban was extended even to instrumental versions of Christmas songs....

Whitehead says that overly cautious approaches to mentioning Christ in Christmas celebrations has meant that "in the name of offending no one, you now have high school kids who can't play music that's part of the culture, and store clerks who are afraid to say, 'Merry Christmas.' It takes a joyous and merry day and just makes it blah."

Sandra Snowden agrees. According to papers she filed in a federal lawsuit, the resident of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., was "offended" that the town allowed a menorah, but not a Nativity scene, to be placed along a public causeway. When she protested, court papers say, town leaders countered that the menorah, which commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a Jewish military victory in 165 B.C., was a secular symbol of freedom. Before a federal judge ruled in her favor, Snowden rejected the town's offer to install a Christmas tree rather than a Nativity scene, which the town officials had called "divisive."

Those seeking to put more Christ into Christmas have had other successes. In Mustang, Okla. on Dec. 14, parents incensed that a Nativity sequence had been dropped from a school holiday program organized to help defeat an $11 million school bond referendum. And in Washington state, cake maker Julie West is claiming a small victory. Although her son's teacher expressed some misgivings, West served slices of her "Happy Birthday Jesus" cake to 20 first-graders and about five other parents. No one complained, she says. "I had gotten a legal opinion from the Rutherford Institute saying I was within my rights before I brought the cake to school," West says. "That's Christmas this year, I guess: candy cane frosting and a legal opinion."

More here


Why am I not surprised? Could it be because the Left inflicted such vast horrors on the 20th century?

The other night my father arrived at a Chinese restaurant on the Upper West Side and said, indignantly: "I want to start a movement called Jews for Christmas." I laughed, then realized he was serious. We'd been discussing the recent news stories about the ACLU's siege on Christmas symbolism. Christians are protesting all over the country, as well they might. In Oklahoma, mangers are being removed by janitors; in Denver, baby Jesus was banned from their wintertime "Parade of Lights" pageant. The religious whitewashers have done their work in the name of Church/State ideals, but was this not the very thing political correctness was designed to protect against?

I can't follow it anymore. "We came to this country," my father said, "and the Christians defended our right to worship as we please. George Washington wrote a letter to the Touro Synagogue in Rhode Island reassuring them that Jews were welcome here and would be safe. Now that the Christian religion is under attack, I think we non-Christians should rise up and say to our Christian brothers and sisters, 'Don't bother fighting. We owe you, big time, and we'll fight this one for you.' And then lead a campaign to make sure Christians have the same right to express their religious faith as they've always made sure we have."

When he was a boy in Greensboro, NC, my father sang the "Ave Maria," solo, in the Christmas pageant. He was singled out for the role not because of his singing voice, but because he knew Hebrew and they figured that was closer to Latin than English. Another year, he proudly played a shepherd in the school Christmas play. My grandmother fashioned a crepe-paper-covered corn stalk as a crook, but it lacked a hook; he wondered how he could corral sheep without a hook. She said it was good enough-that the other kids would deal with the sheep-and told him to hush. All these things planted in him an abiding love of Christmas, indelibly tied to memories of childhood.....

Christmas is, to me, the high point in the year of a lost range in what Johnny Cash called "our love language." Look at the words: joy, adore, king, child, exalt, behold, virgin, Satan, star, glory, come, know, truth, reign, grace. Angels, trumpets, drums, people falling to their knees, souls ascending. What's so bad about the sentiments of Christianity? These people know how to throw a good party. Isn't "Let every heart prepare him room" a more uplifting line than, for instance, "Oh well, whatever, nevermind"?

My father grew up as a Jew in the Bible Belt, the deep South, and one thing about Southerners is, they know about reverb and generosity in language; they know how to throw a word all the way out. I think it's just the pure relief from irony and grudge that we seek in Christmas kitsch. My son is now 10 and attends public school in New York, as I did. In fact, he attends school in the same building I did, and it still smells exactly the same. When he was about three, in pre-school, I began my search, and it was every bit as blatant as the Grinch sliding down the mountainside with all the symbols of Christmas stuffed into his bulging sack. There was nothing you could say; you couldn't even give voice to what was missing, because it was eradicated in the manner of something that was supposed to never have existed. Seven years ago, they were down to songs about potato latkes plus one, if I recall, about Frosty. At that point, the only winter holiday they actually celebrated was.Chinese New Year.

Recently we went to my son's "Winter Show," at a local school I won't name. Our expectations were low, Christmas-wise. We were prepared, for instance, to not see kids with shepherd's crooks standing around a pile of hay under a star falling from the ceiling attached to a string. But maybe, instead, it would be a benign, politically correct compromise: a Kwanzaa song, maybe a Karelian snow dance or an upbeat Chinese ribbon performance. We love all that stuff too, and we're not obsessed with white Anglo culture. (My father, a WW2 generation, classic Cold War conservative, is happiest when conversing in a foreign language with a grocery bagger from Bamako or a cab driver from.anywhere but America. Anything about the rest of the world is of interest, so don't peg us for elitist xenophobes.)

With my father to my left and my sister to my right, we sat in the front row, beaming expectantly. Soon it became known that the theme of the Winter Show steered clear of anything whatsoever to do with winter, or any holidays rituals from any part of the world. Though the peg was "the 60s," the true themes of the show were class warfare, American proto-guilt, Bush-bashing and most strikingly, death.

I do think the children need to deal with death, and I am not criticizing them at all. They were terrific. But it was a most unusual choice of themes for a mid-December school play. And it made me wonder about the line separating not Church and State, but Radical Left Faculty and Students Whose Minds Are Still Forming.

The death motif was there from the start, and wound through the production, including a mock horror film, and an impressive but dark monologue by a girl who was having pervasive death anxiety and imagined herself in a coffin being eaten by worms. It was very interesting. I can't swear I'm not being a total prig here, sitting around waiting for shepherds and sheep at the school play, at a time of great political upheaval. But-a mini-play featuring five kids, boys and girls, in combat gear in Vietnam, promising each other that they would get out alive? Four were shot and killed seconds later. Eventually the fifth was too. There were also at least four anti-Bush chants, including one in which even breakfast cereals attacked the president.

We sat pressed back in our chairs. My father was pale. As we walked out into the biting wind, I expected him to say, as he often does when flabbergasted, "Put me on the hog train." He was unusually quiet. I asked what he was thinking and he said, "When I got hungry as a boy, my mother used to snap at me and say, 'Pretend it's Yom Kippur.'"

"Yeah, so?"

He laughed. "So, I'm pretending it's not December."

From here


"Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney described education reform the other day as "the great civil rights issue of this century." That is shorthand for the appalling racial gap in learning, whereby the average black high school graduate reads and writes at the level of the average white 8th-grader. The problem has been vividly chronicled by Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom in their recent book "No Excuses," and there is little question that black academic unerachievement is a key impediment to racial equality. As long as blacks learn less than whites do, they will continue to accomplish less than whites do, and to earn less, and in many eyes to be regarded as less.

Still, I would disagree with Romney. The great civil rights cause of the 21st century is the same as it was in the 20th: the struggle for a colorblind society. Part of what sustains the wretched learning gap is the glaring double standard of affirmative action. So long as blacks aren't held to the same criteria as whites in the competition for jobs or admission to college -- so long as racial preferences mask the harm caused by the learning gap -- the demand for reform will never boil over. The truest key to black equality is what it has always been: an insistence on seeing each other first and foremost not as members of racial classes, but as individual human beings".

More here

Happy Secular Gift Exchange Day, People!

Thanks to all our readers, contributors, commenters and trolls; I'd do this anyway, but it keeps me occupied when I'm drunk replying to your comments/contibutions and complaints.

If you're worried about offending anyone with a seasonal greeting, try this pro-forma hello from Australia's leading pusillanious politically-correct puffbucket Premier Steve Bracks:-

(but only if you accept the conditions below)

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter/summer solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

And a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures, and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, dietary or sexual preference of the wishee.

Disclaimer: By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms.

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher who assumes no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit.

(Thanks to Bushy for the above items).

Meanwhile, any kiddies looking for a score from the big fat bogie in the red suit may be a bit dissapointed- it seems he has had a little problem with NORAD:-


Well good morning FF.com

The following is based on a recently declassified actual incident.

Got my documentation right here.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the skies air defenses were up with electronic eyes

The pilots were nestled in ready room beds as enemy silhouettes dance in there heads.
Every jet on the apron every SAM in its tube was triple redundantly linked to the blue cube. Elint and AWACS gave coverage so dense that nothing that flew could slip our defense.

When out of the klaxon arose such a clatter I danced to the screen to see what was a matter. I dialed up the game and quick as a flash fine adjusted the filters to damp out the hash and there the source of the warning we heeded a incoming blip by eight escorts preceded alert status red went the word down the wire as we gave every system the codes that meant fire on Aegis up Patriot, Phlax and Hawk scramble all fighters lets send the whole flock; launch decoys and missiles and use chaff by the yard call up the national guard.

They turned towards the target moved toward it converged till the tracks on the radar all merged and the sky lit up with a demonic light as are foe met his fate in the high artic night, so we sent some recon to look for debris and all they found on land and on sea was some toys a red hat a chard leather boot a broken sleigh bell white hair and a reindeers parachute.

Now its not quite Christmas with Saint Nick shot down there are unhappy kids in each village and town, but the spirit of Christmas cant hope to evade the web of defenses we made, but the crash program is on working hard night and day all the elves are constructing a radar proof sleigh, so lets wait till next Christmas in cheer and in health for the future has a hope Santa is coming by stealth.

Good night ALL

Blame the heightened measures required by the activities of believers in another prophet.

(Cross-posted on the Daily Diatribe.