11th & 13th & 19th April 2006
analysis. That's what's done here.
The Newspaper industry is facing more problems. In NY,
Stern is in trouble for soliciting contributions for favorable comment
in the social pages. The journalistic standards in Australia
makes one wonder
bothers to buy papers, except through habit - Oh, that's right,
they don't. According to Rupert Murdoch, only those over thirty
years of age buy newspapers.
Is "the Press" doomed? I still buy a daily because it
pleasant to sit down to a morning
flat white with a newspaper, and after leisurely reading a few items of
to attack the daily Su-Do-Ku puzzle. (Before going out to coffee
I will have been online to read
my 1 2 favorite strips on
the Washington Post, and have read the Drudge
Yesterday's editorial in "The
Australian" castigated Foreign Minister Downer. My image of
Downer is indelibly tied to (I think it was) Journalist Liz Hayes
observation that he was "The Cream" of the Liberal party. When
interviewer, obviously puzzled, questioned "The Cream?" Liz responded
with a wicked smile "Rich and Thick".
I expect that the newspaper industry's future is inevitable
the convenience of portable computers. As Laptops and PDA's
converge, then I will be able to take that hybrid out with me for
and there read the latest (wireless) news, solve the latest su-do-ku.
(or Latin Square, if you are a traditionalist)
The US congress is beating up on illegal immigrant Mexicans
again. That is a retrograde step for the USA, which, like 5th
Century BC Athens, was founded and prospered on unrestricted
As an Australian farmer I really shouldn't be complaining. Some
cheap Mexican labor is in California picking fruit, which currently
fruit in the USA cheaper than Australian fruit in the USA. I
expect that if US
legislators successfully stop Mexican illegals, then our fruit will be
cheaper than US fruit in the USA, and it is likely that the wages that
repatriate will amount to less than the cost of imported Australian
fruit. Americans will benefit, because our soil has fewer
Like the USA, we in Australia also have immigration
problems. In our
case the problem immigrants are Muslim. Of course most of us
that 99.9% of Muslims are not terrorists, thugs or rapists (there
difference?), but unfortunately
nobody can sort out which are the antisocials, so it is easiest to
exclude the lot. (I think it was the Germans who recently
5% of Muslims in Germany were responsible for 70% of the rapes).
Already we have a major problem in Sydney, with one social science
group reporting that in February, in the 33hours from midnight on a
Monday to 9pm Wednesday there were 45 violent robberies, 15 of which
were carried out with a knife or gun.
I have previously predicted (on this site) that
not exclude terrorism from Australia by immigration control, and that
to the increasing violence and terror in our society is
the liberalization of gun ownership. By allowing those concerned,
law abiding citizens who feel threatened and care to carry a concealed
weapon, any would be
terrorist or thug would have to plan much more carefully. Think
how differently the Port Arthur massacre might have turned out if even
a few of Martin
Bryant's 53 victims had
carried concealed weapons.
I am afraid that we will need a
few changes of government
and a tenfold increase in civil violence before such
rational methods for the reduction of violent crime can be
introduced. But maybe I underestimate my fellow sheep.
SOCIAL ENGINEERING -
Back in the seventies the NAACP started the battle for equal (ethnic)
rights. Before going further, let me say I am a firm advocate of
equal treatment for all people. By and large I approve of
legislation that enforces that equivalence. (race, color, sex,
religion, you name it.)
In Australia of the seventies our historians rewrote the history books,
changing and modifying facts until it appeared that greedy white men
stole aboriginal land without compensation, and engaged in various vile
practices to destroy aboriginal culture. The aboriginals were
painted blameless white. These lies were then
promulgated to the new generation of Australians by means of
modifications to the school syllabuses and the efforts of liberal
journalists. Most of those "facts"
have since been refuted and are conceded to have been an excess of the
era. Unfortunately, damage has already been done to the reality
perception of Australians younger than about 45.
Another excess of that era was affirmative action for women. I am
the father of daughters, and am sympathetic to many
aspects of the feminist equal rights movement. However
"affirmative action" such as promoting
people merely because they complied with the minimum requirements for a
promotion, and were female, is unjust. Affirmative action has
resulted in many
highly qualified men being "passed over" in favor of much less
women, merely because they were men.
The feminist movement has initiated other and more dangerous
injustices. It has transformed the educational system by
changing the syllabus so that girls are advantaged in most
has done this by emphasizing that aspect of a subject where women (at
least in Australia) seem to have
an inherent advantage. Australian women have historically
performed better in tests concerned with the
use of language, just as men have generally excelled in abstract and
reasoning (math and engineering). Susan Maushart explained
in an article in the Weekend
Australian Magazine (April 06) that:
where the answer was either right or wrong - has been replaced by
journal-writing and "reflections". The result is an educational
environment engineered to advantage those with innate verbal and
expressive gifts - females.
Expecting the same verbal performance from the two sexes is a bit like
(in the extreme) expecting the same physical performance in
sport. Nobody expects
women to compete with men on the race track or in the boxing ring.
Do we want the best mathematicians and engineers to design our bridge
or aeroplane, or do we want the person who can best express themselves
in language to design that bridge or aeroplane? When teaching
engineering, I do not favor the student who can (in lucid and precise
terms) explain why they got the (wrong) answer, I prefer the student
got the right answer, even if their explanation is in language less
In any case, the primary problem is not in our education system, it is
in our preschool nurturing. Most parents are bringing up their
children with the values of the last century. (Examples of what I
mean are the expectations of most men that their wives will take the
load of childrearing, household management and management of the
emotional bonds in the family. As exemplified by the fact that a
majority of separations are by wives leaving husbands, and mostly the
husbands had no idea why.)
So the individual can fix the problem by considering their own
Hopefully, in this way, we can on an individual level make the
necessary changes in our children's upbringing that will better prepare
them for the rapidly evolving social realities
of our culture.
- To teach a child emotional independence, give it lots of
unconditional emotional support. If it never has to solicit approval in
childhood, it will hopefully grow into an adult who does not seek
approval. (of course, by so doing, you may well destroy any
chance the child might have had of succeeding in showbiz, media or
- To teach a child to think creatively, do not try to instruct
(Discovery learning is more a efficient way of learning, in the long
run, than behavior
modification). In any case, how do you know that what you are
teaching is correct? It is unfortunately inevitable that the
child will learn lessons from you, often the things that you would not
want to teach it.
- To teach a child not to try to control others, exercise only
the minimum control necessary. (i.e. the necessary control to keep it
from straying onto the local intersection and getting killed,
etc.) e.g. If the child wants to come shopping with you, then
allow it to come, even if it is less convenient. If it wants to
do something dangerous, allow that, but watch carefully, so that you
can intervene. Controlling others and being controlled by others
are two aspects of the same trait. With one, you get the other.
- (Australian Tax Office) -
It is back to budget time, and treasurer Costello is expounding
rationalizations for the new tax formula, which is apparently further
cuts. This is only happening because we do not have indexed tax
brackets, with the result that a majority of wage earners are in the
second to top bracket.
The majority of Australians over 50 are, of course, a bit thick.
My fellow Australians were offered tax indexation by Malcolm Frazer
back in the late seventies, but took so little notice of that offer
that it was quietly withdrawn.
Currently we pay (according to "The Australian" of 13th April 2006)
about 32c in the dollar of GNP. The USA, S. Korea and Japan are
the major countries who pay less (at about 25c per GNP dollar) while
the no-hopers in Europe pay up around 35c -50c per GNP dollar.
Canada pays a bit more than us.
The only reason that Australia is doing as well (high growth, low
inflation) as Japan, Canada & the USA is our resources. I
read recently that if the USA were not at war, it's budget would be
balanced. The reason that UK and Norway are keeping
an even economic keel is oil.
Surely our government can read the writing, it's writ clear
enough. Low taxes promote a healthy economy. As a codicil,
the best tax
is a flat tax, with negative income tax to replace Social
Security. That way, we could sack everyone in DSS.
The problem that our masters see with that scenario has the same
reasoning as that which prompted them to make drugs illegal - they are
frightened that not enough people will go to work if social security is
too freely given.
House of Representative member Turnbull has discovered that one of the
of his job (the government car) is worth $20,000 per annum. I
hope our ATO boys are collecting FBT from our government members on
PREDICTION REVISITED 1
- 2 -
19th April 2006.
The Iranians seem to have some anxiety about the security of their
nuclear facilities. This may be deduced from their pointed
recital of all the bad things that
they could do in the event that the USA destroyed their enrichment
A sample of their threats.
- They have tens of thousands of martyrs
ready to go.
- They will destabilize the situation in Iraq.
- They will block the straights of Hormuz, and oil will go
These threats are mostly paper tigers. How can they get those tens
of thousands of martyrs anywhere important? Having
gone through USA security in 2004, I
would give them Buckley's chance of getting Martyrs into the USA.
There is a Muslim Sufi (sage) (mythical?) called Nasrudin. In one
parable, his friends find him searching under a street light for some
lost. Before long, a group of people is helping him search.
Finally, one of his helpers, exasperated, asked Nasrudin where he
actually lost the coin. Nasrudin pointed across the road, and
said "I lost it over there". The helper then asked "Why are you
looking for it over here?", to which Nasrudin replied, as if to a
simpleton, "Because there is
more light over here."
In the spirit of Sufi mystics, Iranians could infiltrate
& martyr themselves in the Sunni regions in Iraq. At least
they will be able to get there. They might even manage to thereby
achieve point (2) and destabilize Iraq, although with Arabs you never
know. Maybe they will manage to unite Iraqis of the various
sects against the Iranian invader.
As for stopping the flow of oil, well I am not so sure that
they can with any certainty block Hormuz. (The greenies would be
happy if they did,
because $100/bl oil would most certainly cut carbon greenhouse
emissions. If oil gets much higher than about $150/bl, then
synthetic alternatives become viable options). I remember another
Arab called Saddam who thought that his army would stop the US military
at his border. I find that people from that part of the world
seem to have a cultural need to overstate their own abilities.
However I am reasonably certain that the defiant posture of Iranian
Ahmadinejad is unlikely to be the sole cause for any US or Israeli
belligerence. What President Mahmoud says is merely
As Mandy said, "he would say that, wouldn't he?" Defiance
is a win-win situation for Mahmoud.
Demolition. How it
could be done.
The Iranian centrifuges could be taken out anonymously, and who could
say who was to blame?
Stealth is stealth, and the principles of stealth are for sale in the
market. Stealth technology missiles are (no
doubt) also available on the black-market. As for the precautions
(hardening) that the Iranians have no doubt taken to prevent such
attacks, I can only point out that the initiative lies with the
attacker, and there are many ways to render facilities useless other
than by explosives. Expect the unexpected. Who expected the
brazen Israelis would bomb
Iraqi nuclear sites on the last similar occasion?
The location of most centrifugal sites is freely
available on the internet to anybody who bothers to search, and those
that are not so available are available to anybody prepared to pay a
private intelligence agency.
Islam is looking very much a failed philosophy.
Since 622 AD
Islamic states have been trying in a desultory fashion to eradicate or
Jews, who in that time have gone from a few scattered refugee tribes
places like Medina - Mohommed eliminated that tribe in one of the
world's first examples of genocide - Ethiopa, Spain etc.) to a small,
independent and powerful nation able to stand against the Arabs of the
middle east. Granted, Islam has produced some great religious
advances in science and technology, liberalism and economics are most
notable by their
On the military front Islam is reduced from invading hordes at
Poitou-Charentes circa 732AD, reduced from the
proud Knights of Saladin in the twelfth century who reconquered
Jerusalem, now we have the skulking
terrorists of the 20th Century who cannot put an effective army in the
How far the mighty have fallen.
I would like to see somebody do a correlation between religion and
economic (per capita) wealth, adjusted for
natural resources. Within
Christendom there was an often remarked upon (anecdotal)
difference in per capita income
between predominantly Catholic states (Italy, Spain & Ireland
spring to mind) and majority protestant states (US, Germany, Australia,
UK). Even within an ethnic group within a nation there may be
differences. For instance Lebanese Christians seem to prosper in
Australia, but Lebanese Muslims seem not to prosper.
2006. My prediction of last December does seem to be
running late. Baghdad Burning, written by a blogger under the
nom-de-blog riverbend, suggests in a 2nd May 2006 post a reason:
The big question
is- what will the US do about Iran? There are the
hints of the possibility of bombings, etc. While I hate the Iranian
government, the people don’t deserve the chaos and damage of air
strikes and war. I don’t really worry about that though, because if you
live in Iraq- you know America’s hands are tied. Just as soon as
Washington makes a move against Tehran, American troops inside Iraq
will come under attack. It’s that simple- Washington has big guns and
planes… But Iran has 150,000 American hostages.
Riverbend also mentioned rumors of bombing and a massing of Iranian
troops on the northern (Kurdish) border. That, together with
local History, Geography and Geology, suggests many things.
Iran (and Turkey) do not like the idea of Kurds having their
own nation. Kurds have a proud military tradition stretching back
to Saladin. The Kurds live in an oil rich area, and are Sunni,
considered by the Shia who rule in Iran and in southern Iraq to be
independent Kurdistan would be a thorn in everybody's whatever.
Based on those raids and the US lack of response, it is my analysis
that the US and Iran are readying themselves for a tussle. The US is
not ready yet. If the
US does not start the fight, then the Iranians will.