Chiang Kai-Who?

October 22, 2009

I'm doing a seminar in Taiwan and on the way back to the hotel, my host informed us that we were passing a monument that had been named for Chiang Kai-Shek.  Apparently the monument (or park, I forget which) has been re-named.  The cause of the re-naming?  According to our host, Chiang wasn't democratic enough – her words exactly.

He kept you people out of the Cultural Revolution, but he wasn't a fan of democracy.  I guess those achievements cancel each other out.  If democracy isn't a religion, what is?

Neo-white flight

October 21, 2009

If I was somewhere other than the Tokyo airport waiting for another flight, I'd have more to say about this.  In short, this dynamic was one of the first things I noticed when we moved from DC to Seattle.

Global warmism

October 19, 2009

Assume you have a problem which you are very concerned about.  Then assume a solution comes along.  What is your reaction?  If your reaction is to get really, really angry then the issue is not a matter of politics for you, the issue is a religious issue for you.  This provides a good explanation.

Global warmism

October 18, 2009

Does anyone still want to argue that this is not a religion?  This is not the language of scientific dispute.

The decline and fall of the American Empire

October 18, 2009

Crime edition.  This is really the headline: "Is political correctness to blame for lack of coverage over horrific black-on-white killings in America's Deep South?"

With honest headlines like that, maybe I'll have to start getting all my US news from British papers.

Statistical journalism

October 17, 2009

This is a great piece of (Saileresque) statistical journalism on affirmative action and law.  Journalism like this deserves support.

The decline and fall of the American Empire

October 16, 2009

State-worship/decline-of-religion edition (note I’m an atheist):

Many Americans now believe many things about their government that are false, and they expect much from the government that the rulers cannot provide. The public at large embraces myths about what the government can do, what it actually does, and how it goes about doing it. . . . Lacking a true religious faith yet craving one, many Americans have turned to the state as a substitute god, endowed with the divine omnipotence required to shower the public with something for nothing in every department – free health care, free retirement security, free protection from hazardous consumer products and workplace accidents, free protection from the Islamic maniacs the U.S. government stirs up with its misadventures in the Muslim world, and so forth. If you take the government to be Santa Claus, you naturally want every day to be Christmas; and the bigger the Santa, the bigger his sack of goodies. This prevailing ideology constitutes probably the most critical obstacle to reductions in the government’s size, scope, and power. Getting rid of this ideology will be diabolically difficult, if possible at all.