Catallaxy Files
 

 
polymathic pontification, bleeding heart economic rationalism and liberal secularist contrarianism

email: jasonsoon AT mail.com

 
 
 

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    Saturday, January 04, 2003
     
    The state of The Spectator

    Jason (below) accuses the The Spectator of going down the drain for publishing (yet another) tasteless Taki column. Personally, I stopped reading Taki years ago, and even the magazine's proprietor, Conrad Black, had a letter published criticising a previous Taki outburst. Though I share Jason's view of Taki, I think he is wrong about the magazine as a whole. While it is certainly conservative leaning, it does not set to be a magazine, as Jason claims, for 'conservative intellectuals'. It often publishes trivia (for example their Christmas issue I am reading now has an article on a vegetarian yoga Christmas party), its book reviews and arts sections don't follow any particular line, except perhaps Mark Steyn's film reviews, and its real strength is the quality of the writing and its humour. Steyn's columns, Theodore Dalrymple's stories of British low life, and Mary Killen's advice columns alone make the magazine worth buying. It perhaps isn't quite as good as it was in the mid to late 1980s, but it is pretty good.

    Friday, January 03, 2003
     
    Unintentional boost from the Stone age
    Hopefully the extraordinary attack on Peter Costello by Tory troglodyte John Stone will help boost Costello's standing somewhat among the informed electorate. Whoever gets attacked by a prominent supporter of the 'Joh for PM' campaign is on a roll.
     
    Confucius and elitism
    John Ray has apparently set up a blog for the controversial psychologist Chris Brand. I find Brand's work on the g-factor in intelligence interesting and keep an open mind on these things. But I wish he'd write more on that fascinating though esoteric stuff and cut back on the racist innuendoes on his blog which are rather unpleasant but of little public policy significance anyway. However he does have an interesting short post on Confucius which is worth reading.
     
    Posting
    Alright I'll have to admit I haven't been posting much lately because I haven't felt terribly inspired for months. Maybe it's just the holiday season. Maybe there not enough happening or not enough people posting for me to react to. Maybe this blog business is very reaction-driven after all. Maybe the novelty has worn off. I can see that it has for a few - lots of people have made their exits over the past year.

    Thursday, January 02, 2003
     
    The Spectator goes down the drain
    Why does The Spectator, a supposed journal for conservative intellectuals continue publishing that godawful misogynistic and worthless heir of a shipping fortune - Taki? His latest column is an absolute disgrace and sets new standards for the vilification of political opponents:


    Cherie Blair’s lies brought back memories. Of Evita Peron, the bottle-blonde hooker that became Argentina’s first ‘lady’ while her crook husband robbed the country blind in the name of the decamisados ...

    Not that I’m calling Cherie Blair a whore. Anything but. She couldn’t be one even if she wanted to; not good-looking enough. No, where Cherie reminds me of Eva is in her politics — much, much more to the Left than she’s been given credit for, her meddling in policy à la third-world dictatorships, and her ability to play the little wife when it suits her ...

    Mind you, Hillary Clinton is the same, except, again, for the whore part, although she, too, could not make a living from the world’s oldest profession because of ugly looks and terrible ankles. In all fairness la Clinton did win election to the US Senate, but even that was a bit tainted. She had great exposure as the long-suffering wife of the greatest liar ever to inhabit the White House, and her natural constituency is Noo Yawk, a place full of Hispanics, blacks, homosexuals, cross-dressers, and people on welfare.


    This from a man who is on good terms with the in-bred, intellectually mediocre British Royal Family which reached its pinnacle in that feather-brained anorexic, Diana.
     
    2002 Review
    Tex has THE definitive review of the events of 2002 - wise and profound. Amen, brother.
     
    Come together
    This article about a lynching set off by Israeli-Arab porn suggests that the average Paleo-stinian Muslim would make Fred Nile look like a decadent hedonist (link courtesy of Gene Expression):


    ... the bilingual film billed as "the first Israeli-Arab porno" has inflamed the Jewish state's Muslim minority, drawing charges of sacrilege and a vigilante death sentence on "Fatima" issued by her own hometown and family.

    Amal Kashua, a 38-year-old mother of eight, was set upon by a mob last week in Tira, a prosperous Arab community in central Israel. "Yussuf," a Palestinian known only as Amir, was beaten too. They went to hospital under police guard, then into hiding. ...

    "The whole town is satisfied and dissatisfied at once," said local man Fathi Sultan. "Satisfied at what happened, because we tried to protect our honor, but on the other hand dissatisfied because she (Kashua) didn't die, nor her husband." ...

    Kashua's brother endorsed the attack on the couple. "If I could, I would eat them both raw and spit them out," he told Israeli television, his face obscured and first name withheld.

    A leading Israeli feminist described Amal Kashua as the latest victim of "family-honor" violence seen among Israeli Arabs and other conservative Middle Eastern societies.

    "With standard domestic violence, the husband attacks the wife, whereas in family-honor cases the woman perceived to have 'strayed' from the moral code is fair game to other men in the community," said Yael Dayan, a long-time member of Israel's parliamentary committee for the advancement of the status of women.

    Around 10 Israeli Arab women are murdered each year because of family honor, she said, with countless others beaten or banished.

    Wednesday, January 01, 2003
     
    Going out with a bang
    A happy new year to all! Here are some of the better shots I took of the Sydney fireworks from my balcony with a digital camera (unfortunately some of the city background is a bit wonky, given that these were night shots with lots of moving lights (obviously).
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5


     
    Come together
    This article about a lynching set off by Israeli-Arab porn suggests that the average Paleo-stinian Muslim would make Fred Nile look like a decadent hedonist (link courtesy of Gene Expression):


    ... the bilingual film billed as "the first Israeli-Arab porno" has inflamed the Jewish state's Muslim minority, drawing charges of sacrilege and a vigilante death sentence on "Fatima" issued by her own hometown and family.

    Amal Kashua, a 38-year-old mother of eight, was set upon by a mob last week in Tira, a prosperous Arab community in central Israel. "Yussuf," a Palestinian known only as Amir, was beaten too. They went to hospital under police guard, then into hiding. ...

    "The whole town is satisfied and dissatisfied at once," said local man Fathi Sultan. "Satisfied at what happened, because we tried to protect our honor, but on the other hand dissatisfied because she (Kashua) didn't die, nor her husband." ...

    Kashua's brother endorsed the attack on the couple. "If I could, I would eat them both raw and spit them out," he told Israeli television, his face obscured and first name withheld.

    A leading Israeli feminist described Amal Kashua as the latest victim of "family-honor" violence seen among Israeli Arabs and other conservative Middle Eastern societies.

    "With standard domestic violence, the husband attacks the wife, whereas in family-honor cases the woman perceived to have 'strayed' from the moral code is fair game to other men in the community," said Yael Dayan, a long-time member of Israel's parliamentary committee for the advancement of the status of women.

    Around 10 Israeli Arab women are murdered each year because of family honor, she said, with countless others beaten or banished.

    Tuesday, December 31, 2002
     
    The libertarian subculture
    The paleolibertarian website Lew Rockwell has today at least a mildly humorous article by Burt Blumert on typical whackos one finds in the libertarian movement:

    The Libertarian Purist

    He rarely attended the libertarian functions in San Francisco but could be found in a freedom bookstore in the Castro district. He wore black and could be heard muttering, "Live Liberty, Live Liberty."

    He was also an enforcer. "Do you use the US mail system, or walk or drive on government roads? Do you carry a driver's license?" It may have been easy for him as he owned no car, never received or mailed a letter, and hardly ever left the bookstore.

    There were few others who could measure up to those standards ..

    The Hard Money Movement

    Yes, there are some whackos in the hard-money world, and a few crooks, but, by and large, these folks are true friends and supporters of libertarian causes and Austrian economics. They revere Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard. 'Nuff said.

    The Randians

    How can a libertarian be critical of the Randians? After all, that fervent band spawned so many of us. To some, the Rand influence was part of their adolescence. To others, Ayn Rand's Objectivism is as potent today as it was 40 years ago.

    I still enjoy being in the company of committed Randians, but every now and then I encounter some with that 1,000-mile stare. When they're around I feel like it's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

    These types are typically pro-war. Indeed, they are often so bellicose and strident that they make the neocons look like Quakers. Talk about whackos.
     
    SBS and anti-Israeli bias
    Daniel Mandel argues that our 'multicultural' broadcaster SBS continues its pattern of anti-Israeli bias in news reporting and documents examples. Read him and make up your own mind.

    Monday, December 30, 2002
     
    The Raelian controversy
    Suman Palit at the newly refurbished Gene Expression (where I am a guest blogger) talks sense about the recent Raelian brouhaha and the bulldust it has induced from the usual suspects:


    Why the absurd amount of attention to the claims of a cult with a philosophy that makes Scientology look tame in comparison? If the Hare Krishnas came out with a statement that they had cloned Lord Krishna from a sample of his freeze-dried dung, would world leaders and theocrats jump on their throats as well? Despite the absurdity of such a claim..?


    Meanwhile, John Ray, as is his wont, has the courage to say the unsayable - human cloning is nothing to get upset about! As a utilitarian, I will start to get worried about it if a sufficient percentage of the population indulge in cloning to the extent that it reduces our genetic diversity and possibly leads to dysgenic consequences. As it is, and even if one is worried about the fact that narcissists would be most inclined to clone themselves, we currently let any sociopath and idiot have children anyway.

    Sunday, December 29, 2002
     
    Barbarians

     

     
       
       

     

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