Sunday, December 31, 2000

This is an outstanding article for those who want to understand why captains of industry often support policies that seem to be against the interests of the industries they captain. Why wouldn't they be in favour of some form of single-payer health care system, given that all studies show that such a system is cheaper for society (because of administrative efficiencies), not to mention cheaper for any business that doesn't have to provide insurance for its employees? The reason is that the uncertainties provided by a system where many are either uninsured, under-insured, or at great risk of losing insurance, create a lever over workers that makes them timid in asserting claims to wages or working conditions. Policies that provide some form of security to people makes them confident enough to demand more. Give them an inch and they'll be looking for a mile. The great fear of progressive policies is that there appears to be no end to them, and they build on each other.
Hindu nationalists in India want to build a Hindu temple on the site of a mosque which they destroyed. The intentionally ambiguous position taken on this issue by the governing party in India has damaged the reputation of the party and raised the spectre of religious conflict in India. This is a good article on the problem. Why is it that radical nationalists always seem to prevail? Is it because their fanatacism leads them to continue to push forward until they win? How do liberal democracies avoid this problem? (I suppose one way to avoid the problem is for mainstream political parties not to stoop to pander to radicals.)

Saturday, December 30, 2000

We've got the same old story reported by the mainstream press about the Middle East, something about the Palestinians getting everything they could possibly want but that old corrupt fool Arafat looking the gift horse in the mouth and giving up the last chance . . . . You'd never know what the real story was if it wasn't for Fisk.

Friday, December 29, 2000

I have always assumed that Logic was some form of magical potion, and that Quine was immortal.

Saturday, December 23, 2000

With the violence, the racism, the lack of concern for anything other than monetary selfishness, and now the Bush dictatorship, is it time for all non-Americans to boycott the United States of America?

Wednesday, December 20, 2000

It's Christmas and someone has died, so I think of my favorite Christmas song (arguably the only decent Christmas song), 'Fairytale Of New York'.

Saturday, December 16, 2000

People are wondering whether Colin Powell is the right choice for Bush's Secretary of State. Of course Powell is the right choice if American foreign policy is going to consist of war, threats of war, and preparations for war. This is how the military-industrial complex makes its money.

Wednesday, December 13, 2000

The Supreme Court of the United States granted the request for the injunction halting the Florida recount and then decided for Bush on the basis that the recount couldn't be completed as the time had run out. The majority of the Justices therefore were the cause of the problem which they found that the case turned on. It would have been easier if Scalia had invited Bush to the Court and put the crown on his head. Bush could then have returned the favour by annointing Scalia Chief-Justice-in-Waiting and gowned him with a silly gown like the homemade one sported by the current Chief Justice.

Wednesday, December 06, 2000

The only possible explanation for this horrible tragedy is that he was such an outstanding actor that he could make you think he was facing you pointing a gun when he was actually turned the opposite way.

Tuesday, December 05, 2000

This article is about the disruptive effect of computers in the classroom. Computers pose another level of distraction for the students, take up valuable time and energy of the teachers, and draw money from the whole education system. I've often thought that the 'necessity' of having computers in the classroom was merely salesmanship by computer companies. Their new term is 'the digital divide'.
Conrad Black has written an hilarious article on the recent Canadian election. He has spent a fortune of the money of the shareholders of the company that the Powers That Be let him run, Hollinger, on promoting victory for an extreme right wing party in Canada. Now that this party has failed miserably, Mr. Black has decided that the only thing for it is for Canada to cease existing and join the United States! This is like the rich boy who owns the toys deciding that no one shall play with them if he can't win. It is pleasant to see him so disturbed by the abject failure of his nasty project.

Sunday, December 03, 2000

The nightmare of George Bush and his friends/handlers and how they plan to let the military-industrial complex rape America.

Friday, December 01, 2000

Katherine Harris, running George Bush's campaign in Florida and (allegedly) sleeping with his brother, would seem to have a conflict of interest in the Florida vote certification. The decent thing to do would be to recuse herself from the whole mess, but it is too late for that now, as her damage has been done. Perhaps, however, she has enough decency to announce that she will respectfully decline any Bush government position offered to her in the future.