Sunday, March 30, 2008

The 20th Century

10 Names that future historians might be justified in using when describing the 20th century

1. Age of Greed
2. Age of Insanity
3. Era of Border Collapse
4. Age of the Frivolous
5. First Period of the Media
6. Total War Era
7. Era of Protest
8. Age of virtual gold
9. Period of growth-obsession
10. Age of Disinformation

Democrats shooting themselves in the foot

The following is an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal Article
by Daniel Henninger. Source:

The Democratic primary is starting to look like World War I. The origins of the dispute are forgotten. Pennsylvania is the Somme. No chance, though, that the Clintons, who lead the imperial armies, will consent to paying reparations at the Treaty of Denver.The most striking resemblance to the Great War has been the campaign-worker body-count. They're strewn all over the battlefield. Geraldine Ferraro (killed for bringing up if Obama weren't black), Samantha Power (Hillary's a "monster"), the intrepid if foolhardy Rev. Wright (multiple offenses), James Hagee (Catholics as the "anti-Christ"), Bill Cunningham ("Barack Hussein Obama"), Bill Sheehan (for bringing up Obama's drug use). All gone. Anyone working for or in support of a political campaign these days is entering a free-fire zone.Some say the high casualty rate in the campaigns is the result of indiscriminate political correctness. Campus speech codes were put in place to monitor people who said the "wrong thing" about favored groups, often categorized as holding "minority status" by dint of race, gender or sexual preference. Now the Democratic campaigns are using the toxic PC gas on each other.

Original Source has the full article.........

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Zest for History

I am very much a history buff - see my other blog
or my book - Take the History Challenge

It has been my passion from age five. These are my ten favourite areas of study.
(not in any order)

1. The Middle East since 1880
2. Biblical Times (and the People Thereof )
3. The History of Science
4. The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era
5. African History – (20th century)
6. Jewish History
7. The 19th Century radical movements
8. Second World War
9. Cold War
10. Ancient Rome

Comment on Carl Jung

I enjoy reading Jung but still question the practicality of much of his work. Whilst the concept of the Static and dynamic personalities, and their definitions within the construct of both the masculine and feminine life forces makes sense, his reliance on the power of the mythic image is overplayed. In today’s society especially, with the flood of information that bombard us each minute, I see the mythic image swamped and indeed torpedoed by all else that impinges our mind. Reducing these old archetypes into practically marginalized entities.

The Tilt of Journalism in the US

This article below is a reprint from

Looks like Bernard Goldberg - The Author of Arrogance was correct.

Four Times as Many Journalists Self-Define as Liberal than Conservative

By John Jalsevac

March 19, 2008 ( - A recent study by the Pew Research Center has revealed that journalists are far more likely to define themselves as liberal than the general population, and far less likely to define themselves as conservative.
The massive study was conducted late last year, and surveyed the views of over 500 journalists.
"As was the case in 2004," reads the commentary on the study by the Pew Research Center, "majorities of the national and local journalists surveyed describe themselves as political moderates; 53% of national journalists and 58% of local journalists say they are moderates. About a third of national journalists (32%), and 23% of local journalists, describe themselves as liberals. Relatively small minorities of national and local journalists call themselves conservatives (8% national, 14% local)."
Commentary by the popular Newsbusters website suggested that the statistics do not even fully describe the imbalance in the media, pointing out, "It's not much of a leap to presume many of the 53 percent who describe themselves as 'moderate' are really quite liberal."
The study also found that internet journalists in particular tend to be more liberal than other journalists. "Fewer than half (46%) call themselves moderates, while 39% are self described liberals and just 9% are conservatives."
The study compared these figures with the figures for the general population, saying: "Among the population as a whole, 36% call themselves conservatives - more than triple the percentage of national and internet journalists, and more than double the percentage of local journalists. About four-in-ten (39%) characterized their political views as moderate, while 19% are self-described liberals, based on surveys conducted in 2007 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press."
Amy Mitchell, deputy director of Pew Research Center, said that the findings are the same as they were when a similar study was conducted in 2004. The numbers also reflect the findings of other similar studies.
The disproportion in the beliefs of journalists has also reflected itself in public attitudes towards the press. "Among those who feel that their daily newspaper has become worse," says the study, "the number who blame bias, and particularly liberal bias, has grown from 19% in 1996 to 28% in 2006."
"Overall, Republicans express less confidence than Democrats in the credibility of nearly every major news outlet, with the exception of Fox News. Yet that partisan gap is narrowing, and that is because Democrats are beginning to doubt the believability of more news outlets, and their suspicion of bias is growing too."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Why I like Batman......

For me Batman is the greatest of the DC Comics superheroes. Far superior to Superman and way ahead of the Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow and the Hawk. It was the universe in which the dark night existed that drew me to the Gotham City avenger. Batman has no powers other than his wit and physical prowess, yet he faces and defeats villains who were seemingly larger than life. There is a depth to Bruce Wayne’s world that escapes that of Clarke Kent’s. I appreciate this. Once when deconstructing the Gotham Universe I was hit by a strange idea, Batman’s villains all take something benign such a s a joke, a riddle, a cat and a penguin, and twist them into evil entities as represented by their respective villains. It is this perversion of the ordinary that makes these villains so frightening. All faith in what should be harmless is destroyed overridden by the diabolical.

Four reasons to dismiss the Classical Utopia

1. Humanity is cursed with the Boredom factor.
2. Our General vision is shortsighted because our lives are short.
3. We are programmed to look out for ourselves. Therefore energy flow is in all directions. It is difficult to facilitate movement on a global level in the same direction.
4. Individuals need to be optimized with respect to their abilities. This will most likely never happen.

Zombie Times - The Insanity of Moonbeams

Zombie Times has some bizarre and somewhat nauseating photographs from various uber-Leftist demonstrations/Book Fairs over the last few years.

Five to look at in particular are:

1. US Out of Iraq Now Anti-War Rally

2. Racist Literature Distributed in Berkley

3. Rally Against Bush's opposed Troop Escalation in Iraq

4. Anti-American July 4th

5. AIPAC Dinner Protest

Ten Commonalities from these protests

1. An undeniable anti-semitic undertone/overtone
2. The presence of a significant number of individuals with possible mental disorders
3. HATRED that seems to be pathological in nature
4. An abundance of hypocrisy (Greenies driving big SUVs is my fave)
5. Shock Value
6. The Death of Rationality/Reason
7. Badly written signs
8. Postmodernism ad nauseum
9. An obvious alliance between the Four R's (or Four Radicalisms): Islamism, Marxism, Old-Fashioned Isolationism and New Wave Socialism.
10. Bush Derangement Syndrome

Thursday, March 20, 2008

On Barack Obama....some passing thoughts

The Obama candidacy is something of an enigma as it seems to be drawing support from a variety of sources that cut across traditional political divisions (I heard a politician from the Right of center Libertarian Fraser Institute endorsing him the other day... I almost fell off my chair as Obama's economics policies are littered with old-style 'tax and spend liberalism'.........Andrew Sullivan likes Obama as well but the former New Republic editor appears to be inhaling some mind altering fumes of late).

Granted Obama has a noteworthy charisma but I find most of his speeches to be rather vacuous. He throws around the word 'change' as if he was receiving commission for its useage and almost always makes some reference to JFK beatifying the former president to underserved acclaim.
Furthermore Obama's experience profile makes Bush c.2000 look like a political veteran.

It is fair to say that up until the Pastorgate scandal Obama has been clothed in a criticism immunity cloak. Even his assoiciation with slumlord and early campaign donor Tony Reszko has been underreported by the media. I have relatives/colleagues who assure me that Obama is the real deal (usually based on nothing more than a hunch). As for myself I have to agree for once and only once with the odious Al Sharpton (who has since made a predictable u-turn) that Obama is 'all sizzle and no steak'

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bozos of the Week

1. The Chinese government - For supporting an Anti-Israel UN resolution concerning Gaza while at the same time suppressing human rights with vigilence in Tibet this week;

2. Eliot Spitzer - I won't add more insult to the Spitzer debacle - Suffice it to say that at least the man is no cheapskate and he seems to have better taste in the fairer sex than Bill Clinton;

3. New Scientist - for posting an ad that showed flood victims in some remote Third World locale and somewhere blaming this on global carbon dioxide emissions (as if floods never existed before the Industrial Revolution) - if I wanted senstationalism I would read the Enquirer - Is Scientific Rationalism another victim of Environmental hysteria?

4. Al Sharpton - For threatening the DNC with a possible court action if they allow results from the Florida and Michigan Primaries to stand (these states backed HillBill over Obama). So much for Big Al being a champion of democracy and the right of the disenfranchised.....And of all places Florida where that election in 2000 was 'apparently' stolen - hypocrisy overload here;

5. The Canadian Federal Liberals - For sitting on their hands (when in power) while Canuck Wally Sampson was imprisoned and tortured in a Saudi Jail. The party is now taking the moral high ground by castigating the Conservatives with respect to the Brenda Martin case (A possible misacarriage of justice in Mexico involving another Canadian that took place guessed it..... during the Grit's tenure in power).

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Book: A History of the Future (2025-2525)

The following is a description of the book
It can be purchased at:

A History of the Future is a vast but orderly chronicle of the next five hundred years, set down not as 'perhaps-this-or-perhaps-that' conjecture, but as though historical fact accurate to specific days and years. A map for every science fiction fan and every reader who wishes to test in his/her own mind the plausibility of another's vision.

It is a fact of our mortality that we can never know the future. Yet nothing can quench this deep yearning for a glimpse into the world that will follow ours. Twenty and thirty somethings are particularly susceptible to the future's appeal and a century of science fiction stories has attempted to address the subject.

A History of the Future, however, answers the need more directly. It is not a story in the usual sense, but a document of sweeping scope that recounts the history of mankind as though the next five hundred years were already in the past. It begins so near to our own time that we easily recognize the significance of the events described and then, year by year, steps away from our present to chronicle the sorts of great changes that must inevitably overtake humanity.

As the work of an engineer, A History of the Future pays loving homage to the technological changes that have always had a most profound effect on our development. Physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, communications, aeronautics and weapons science are all there. But so are music, the fine arts, architecture, politics, alliance formation, diplomacy, wars and natural catastrophes. And 'History' does not describe these events in 'wooly' Nostradamus terms: it gives us the names and provides us with the dates. How accurate are they? As accurate as any vision of the future. They are as good as we can have.

A History of the Future provides science fiction, video gaming and futurology fans with a sweeping historical structure in which to set their favorite stories. How would classic sci-fi accounts fit in? How could such storybook events be linked to our very real present? The patient chronicle of A History of the Future provides the background.

The book is accompanied by a series of detailed appendices that authoritatively catalogue the peoples, places and things of these years and allows us as readers to briefly indulge the fantasy that the future is indeed known.

10 scenarios that might happen to us after death

1. We cease to exist completely in all dimensions.
2. We are recycled and reborn as humans somewhere else on Earth.
3. We join with a singularity so that our conscious becomes one with the new medium.
4. We are reborn as a life form somewhere else in the universe.
5. We are reborn as a non-human life form on Earth.
6. We join with another consciousness and are reborn in some form or another.
7. We move into another dimension which our living conscious here on Earth cannot comprehend.
8. We ascend to the paradise described in traditional views of heaven. Never to be reborn again.
9. We are reborn in another world but keep our knowledge gained from the previous life.
10. We (or at least some of us) become 'angels' or messengers. Building new worlds across the universe that will themselves be populated by life

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jeopardizing Physics

The Big Bang Implosion of Physics

by David Perks

We are on the cusp of some of the biggest breakthroughs in physics in over three decades. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a massive particle collider built deep beneath the Swiss/French border, is nearing completion. Together with Fermilab’s Tevatron, a proton-antiproton collider near Chicago, the European and US facilities are in a race to discover the Higg’s Boson. This is the gaping hole in our theory of everything, the standard model of matter. Predicted by Peter Higgs in Edinburgh in 1964, the Higgs Boson is our best bet at explaining the nature of mass, that ubiquitous property of matter that has evaded explanation to date.

Now, particle physics is about to be kicked out of its speculative doldrums by the influx of long-awaited experimental data that may result in the revelation of a new fundamental force of nature, and could even allow us to create mini black holes here on Earth. But just as physics is about to receive a massive shot in the arm, its political masters seem prepared to pull the plug on fundamental research, introducing massive budget cutbacks both in the UK and in the US. Is this the beginning of the end for Big Physics?

Both Fermilab and the Standford Linear Accelerator (SLAC) in California, the two big particle physics labs in the US, are in near meltdown. Fermilab is cutting 10 per cent of its staff and has had the budgets for both its next generation projects cut to zero this year. SLAC looks likely to lose 300 staff at its facility. As Pier Oddone, Fermilab’s director put it: ‘The greatest impact is on the future of the lab, we have no ability now to develop our future.’ (1)

In the UK, the budget cuts imposed by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) are even more detrimental. In removing £80million from the physics budget, the UK faces losing its participation in the next generation particle physics projects to which it has already committed; it is also pulling out of two telescope collaborations: the Isaac Newton facility in the Canary Islands and the new £8million Gemini telescope in Hawaii. There are no equivalent facilities for UK astronomers to use in the northern hemisphere. Brian Foster, professor of experimental physics at Oxford University, described the cuts as ‘scientific vandalism’ (2).

There has been considerable discussion within the scientific community as to whether the swingeing cutbacks occurring on both sides of the Atlantic are the product, in the words of Manchester University’s Dr Brian Cox, of ‘accident, design or just sheer incompetence’. But even if you believe that, given better financial circumstances, things will right themselves in the future, we should be aware that something significant has changed.

Big Physics no longer has the same kudos with our political rulers as it once did. In the UK, the recent Sainsbury Review of the government’s science and innovation policies made it clear that the days of universities focusing on basic research are numbered. The key emphasis is now on ‘knowledge transfer’. The government is now only interested in the capacity of university research departments to kickstart high-end product development or ‘useful’ spin-offs from basic research. As Lord Sainsbury put it: ‘Today, we are seeing a transformation in the purpose and self-image of universities. Politicians, industrialists and economists are beginning to see universities as major agents of economic growth as well as creators of knowledge, developers of young minds and transmitters of culture.’ (3)

Over the past two or three decades, the era of backing for knowledge for its own sake has been dispensed with, both on economic and educational grounds. So even though US President George W Bush has promised increased spending in the physical sciences in 2009, no one is holding their breath in the US; the president promised the same in 2007 and 2008, but it did not materialise.

In truth, in the US Big Physics no longer has the political protection it once had when it comes to pushing a budget through Congress. In Britain, scientists have been promised a review of current spending priorities in the summer, but there is little chance that the STFC will rescind its decision to withdraw from the major international collaborations.
A petition on the Downing Street website to ‘reverse the decision to cut vital UK contributions to Particle Physics and Astronomy’ has attracted 17,380 signatures (4). But the petition has somewhat missed the point, since the writing has been on the wall for some time: physics just isn’t a vital priority for the political class. The UK government has happily turned our school science curriculum into a course on scientific literacy for the masses, allowed numerous university physics departments to close, and sponsored the creation of physics degrees that don’t require mathematics.

In the US, this is not the first time that funding priorities have forced drastic cuts in investment in fundamental physics research. In 1993, despite protestations from then president Bill Clinton, Congress cancelled the proposed Superconducting Super Collider, which would have challenged the dominance of the LHC in Europe.

Britain has until now retained its participation at the front-end of particle physics with its contribution to the LHC. The International Linear Collider was to be the next big step forward beyond the LHC. It would be able to explore matter at a finer detail than the LHC. The UK initially contributed to this project, yet it now seems stillborn: the UK pulled out last month, and the US is removing any further funding for it.

Even more perplexing is the American decision to cancel its funding for ITER, the new international fusion reactor to be built in France. This is the next stage in the project to develop commercial fusion power which will potentially produce energy from water by mimicking the action of the sun. This clean nuclear energy could replace the more conventional nuclear fission reactors in 30 years time.

Robert Wilson, Fermilab’s first director, when asked by a congressional committee if the lab would aid national defence, famously responded: ‘No, but it will help keep the nation worth defending.’ Today, such a strident belief in the quest for knowledge does not fit well within the constraints of an education system orientated towards skills, not knowledge, and access, not excellence. The political class does not think young people are interested enough in science to believe that any youngster could aspire to an understanding of the nature of the universe without somehow making it relevant to their everyday lives.

Even the physicists at the European Programme for Nuclear Research (CERN) and Fermilab are prone to justify their work feebly in terms of the potential spin-offs to medical research. That is like trying to justify the Apollo space programme because it gave us Teflon non-stick saucepans. Rationalising fundamental research on the basis of a few spin-offs just won’t wash. As Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society, put it, the discovery of magnetic resonance imaging, a powerful way of identifying cancers, was discovered by a physicist ‘whose work would never have been possible without funding or basic physics’ (5).

In truth, fundamental research is a necessity, not a luxury. Most of the technological developments made in the past 100 years have been fuelled by fundamental research into science. Albert Einstein famously dismissed Enrico Fermi’s idea that massive amounts of energy could be released by splitting the atom. The unintended consequences of the theory of relativity gave us nuclear power. Similarly, from the esoteric beauty of the theory of quantum mechanics has emerged electronics, computing and laser optics, to name but a few developments.
We cannot foretell where research into the fundamental constituents of matter will take us, but to not travel down that path is to shut the door on the future. Our ability to understand and control nature is what gives us the capacity to carve out a different future not constrained by the fetters of the immediate problems of finite resources. It is our lack of vision and our preoccupation with the limitations of our society that holds us back from venturing further.

As a society, if we relinquish our quest to understand the universe within which we live, we curtail our ambition. This reflects a lesser view of humanity, capable at best of patching up the damage we have done to the planet, rather than seeking to expand our horizons.

For the rest go to:

Great Questions in Modern Physics

The following is a list of some of the key unanswered questions in Modern Physics:

1. Can General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics be reconciled? This is also known as the Problem of Quantum Gravity
2. What is time? Does it even exist?
3. What happened before the Big Bang?
4. How did the great constants of physics come to be?
5. What particles comprise Dark Matter? Does it even exist or should we modify Newton's Law of Gravitation to make sense of large mass motion in the galaxy? How does Dark Matter influence supersymmmetry?
6. What really is Dark Energy? How does it truly influence the universe?
7. Do Multiverses exist and if so how do they influence our understanding of all that there is?
8. What is reality? Can this be reconciled within the world of Quantum mechanics? Is there a level of formal structure behind Quantum foam?
9. Why is the speed of light constant in a vacuum?
10. Does the Higgs Boson particle exist? How can we find it? Will it really tell us what the concept of mass is?
11. Do strings exist?
12. Can we unify the Four Fundamental forces of nature? - gravity being the hold out.
13. Why is there more matter in the universe than anti-matter? - Baryon symmetry problem
14. Why did the universe have such low entropy in the past? - so-called Arrow of Time
15. How is neutrino mass generated? What is the mechanism?
16. How does Electroweak Symmetry breaking occur? What gives mass to W and Z bosons?
17. What accounts for the missing spin in protons? - quarks only account for 12% - Could it be the Gluons?
18. How can the mathematics of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) give rise to the nucleus and its constituents?
19. Why do Cosmic Rays close to Earth have such high energy considering than their don't appear to be any significant sources?
20. What type of physics can explain the Tetraneutron or the Pentaquark?
21. How many dimensions are there? What is a dimension?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In the News XXXV

Human Rights in Saudi Arabia
or should I say the lack of it.

Another Racist UN Conference
Not sure that one should expect more from the inept UN

Obama and Tony Rezko
What lies behind the Emperors new clothes?

Obama and Carter and Israel
What is depressing is how words mean nothing......

Football Roundup

FA Cup Draw
Barnsley v Cardiff
West Brom v Portsmouth
- 3 Teams from the Championship. One from Premiership.
- I am cheering for Barnsley to win the whole thing.
- First time since 1995 that FA Cup will not be won by one of the Big Four
- Great for the Competition. Wonderful news for the Sport.

Euro League Roundups

Portugal: Porto 54, Benfica 40, Guimaraes 38, Setubal 37, Sporting 34
Porto have dominated Portuguese footer for most of the last twenty-five years. I personally prefer Benfica but it looks as though the League will head to Portugal's second city. Somewhat of a runaway. Also just in: Jose Antonio Camacho quits as coach of Benfica.

Netherlands: PSV 59, Ajax 53, Groningen 50, Breda 50, Feyernoord 48
It would be great to see Ajax launch a full out push and steal the League but PSV seem to have enough distance between the two clubs to make that happening unlikely.
Ajax forward - Klaas Jan-Huntelaar has been fantastic once again with 23 goals.

Germany: Bayern are making up for missing out on the Champions League this season. I will be very surprised if they cannot hold on to win another Bundesliga.
Bayern 50, Werder Bremen 43, Hamburg 42, Leverkusen 41, Schalke 38 (may be more focussed on Champions League).
My team - Moenchengladbach - are leading Budesliga 2 and will hopefully be back with the big boys next season.

Spain: A combination of Barcelona injuries and Real Madrid's ability to grind out results should allow the all-whites to successfully defend their title.
Villareal have played well this season - less so Valencia and to some extent Sevilla.
Real Madrid 62, Barcelona 54, Villareal 50, Atletico Madrid 44, Racing Santander 44

Italy: The smart money is on another Inter Milan title although Roma have appeared to have not given up the pursuit. Its great to see Juventus back amongst the big boys. Would peronally not shed a tear if Fiorentina edged out AC Milan for a Champion's League spot.
Inter 64, Roma 58, Juventus 51, Fiorentina 47, AC Milan 46
Big flop: Lazio 11th place 33 points
Personal Hope: Parma avoid relegation.

France: Another season - another Lyon title. Can't remember if this would be six or seven in a row. Closest rivals are Bordeaux who were defeated 4-2 by Lyon on Sunday. My team St. Etienne are hovering around mid table.
Lyon 58, Bordeaux 52, Nancy 48, Marseille 45, Le Mans 41.

Scotland: I prefer Celtic but this looks to be Ranger's year (not only in Scotland but perhaps in the UEFA Cup as well).
Rangers 68, Celtic 64, Motherwell 46, Dundee United 45, Hibernian (team I support)41
Old Firm runaway - once again.

Monday, March 10, 2008

On Freedom of Speech

I post a lot on a University board known as ED Forum that is often under siege by Leftist naysayers.
The following is a reply I wrote to a fellow teacher who is concerned about the accusations of intolerance that are often used to strangle free debate.

Hi Mike

You raise pertinent issues. It seems as though there is a tendency amongst some to use the twin spears/barbs of racism and sexism to attack opinions that they disagree with (as opposed to logically dissect them – which of course is much more work). I have written about this before as I find the approach to be ultimately self-serving and counterproductive. Stifling dialogue helps nobody – which is why I am a strong opponent of hate speech legislation and other movements to curb freedom of expression.

Ed Forum is a wonderful resource in that it theoretically provides a backdrop whereby teachers, student et al. can discuss, debate, argue and exchange ideas and opinions with others. In such a sense it should further typify the open forum of old where experiences are shared and controversy analyzed.

Unfortunately like many outlets for debate in academia it is often at risk from the tyranny of censorship.
I do not wish to go into the nature of this censorship – as it is a topic for another thread – but suffice it to say its influence is pernicious.

One needs to ask the tough questions when dealing with all issues – let alone those of race, religion and sexual discrimination – if we are truly serious about addressing problems that influence the human condition.

In following this very notion – I have posted articles that some have not agreed with – not to create malice (that doesn’t achieve anything) but rather to illicit vital discussion (too often a rarity in mainstream academia). It is for this very reason that I will continue to post and I encourage you to do so as well - even if it means in your own words ‘airing dirty laundry’. Do not allow the voices of new wave McCarthyism to dent the spirit of a broader inquiry.



Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ten More Inductees into the Hall of Lefty Loonies

Who ever accused me of having no Canadian content?.........

1. Peter Leibovitch - Head-in-the sand so-called 'pro-labour' activist
2. John Clarke - Head of OCAP - Professional Rabble Rouser
3. James Clarke - Prime Winer for the Stop the War Coalition
4. Andrea Calver - Feminist Kvetch
5. Avi Lewis - New lapdog for Al-Jazeera
6. Sid Ryan - CUPE's Chief Windbag
7. Marilyn Churley - 'Space Cadet' and former NDP minister in People's Republic of Ontario
8. Carolyn Parrish - Resident former liberal foot-in-mouth MP. A third rate mind amongst second rate minds.
9. Jack Layton - Grand Poopah of unelectable Canadian Socialists
10. Harry Kopyto - A one man noise pollution device.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Bill Buckley RIP

John Ray, a conservative thinker, runs one of the best blogs on the Net - Dissecting Leftism.

Ray had this to say about the passing of the ever eloquent Bill Buckley. While I don't necessarily agree with Ray on this issue his thoughts are worth reading.

Bill Buckley: On the wrong track?

There have of course by now been many eloquent eulogies of W.F. Buckley. And not only from conservatives. Some libertarians have also weighed in with kind words. I have said nothing so far because I don't want to seem like an old grouch, and I do have in mind the old adjuration about speaking only good of the dead: De mortuis nihil nisi bonum. But perhaps another viewpoint won't do any harm, after all:

A recurring theme is that Buckley made conservatism respectable in polite society. And that is exactly why I did not immediately add my voice to the eulogies. From a libertarian viewpoint, polite society is overwhelmingly comprised of Fascists -- and that is using "Fascism" in a precise historical way, to mean advocates of pervasive government power and control. So conservatism SHOULD NOT BE respectable in polite society. What have conservatives got to gain from the approval of people who think that they know what is best for other people and who want to enforce that on other people in any way they can?

To me, polite society is the ENEMY and I personally want no truck with the self-satisfied knowalls who in reality know next to nothing. And that is partly why in 1974 I wrote a book under the title "Conservatism as Heresy". The intelligentsia and their allies will always be Fascistic and should always be opposed because of that. Conservatism SHOULD be heretical.

I have no doubt that Buckley was a fine man and a good conservative but his modus operandi was in my view only superficially helpful to the cause of liberty. At the risk of appearing to make an absurd comparison, I note that the carpenter of Nazareth did not seek convivial relationships with the top people in his day. He was happy among outcasts. And his disciples were "agrammatoi kai idiotai" (translatable as "ignorant and unlearned" -- see Acts 4:13). I respect Christ's example much more than the example of W.F. Buckley, I am afraid, though I certainly don't claim to be a good follower of Christ. But I too get on very well with ordinary working people and it is they who matter most in my view. And as far as "intellectuals" are concerned, do the one thing that they hate most: Ignore them. Fortunately, the workers almost invariably do.

Buckley himself of course acknowledged the good sense of ordinary working people with his famous remark about the first 1,000 names in the Boston phonebook. It's a pity he did not seek them as his audience. He would have found them much more receptive than the self-anointed wise ones of the world were. And the workers have a lot more votes! Still, as the old saying goes: "It takes all types to make a world" and I don't dispute that Buckley had his place.

Coda: I can see that what I have written above could well be taken as sour grapes. Under Leftist influence, ad hominem argumentation is rife these days so people might well conclude that I am simply justifying some failure of my own in polite society. Just a few words then about my background: I am the son of a lumberjack and regard my late father as the greatest gentleman I have ever known. I have in fact moved in all sorts of social circles in my life, sometimes in very rarefied ones, and my acceptance has always seemed good to me. I certainly have no complaints about the ladies concerned. Nonetheless, I just don't seek (and barely notice) acceptance among anybody but those whom I personally value as people.

For the rest of John's wonderful blog go to: