Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Mr. Kristof,

In your subject column titled "God On Our Side" you wrote

"Mention the words "evangelical missionary," and many Americans conjure up an image of redneck zealots'

Tell me Mr. Kristof what is a "redneck ?" Perhaps you can provide a concise definition. Is it a perjorative term - similar to the words "Wop" or "Mick" or " Spic" or " Nigger?"

Does it negatively describe a group of people not because of their ethnicity or race rather because of their social or geographical origins?

Should a Harvard and Oxford educated NY Times columnist use such a term in his column? Or do you believe it permissible simply because you are a Harvard/Oxford educated New Yorker and as you make it a point of saying:

"I disagree strongly with most evangelical Christians, theologically and politically"

The American Heritage dictionary provides two definitions for "redneck." It says the term is Offensive Slang :

"1. Used as a disparaging term for a member of the white rural laboring class, especially in the southern United States."

2." A white person regarded as having a provincial, bigoted attitude."

I would say - using definition #2 - Mr. Kristof you qualify as a redneck.
For an organization like the NY Times that claims to be sensitive to diversity and prejudice, to use such a term reveals its hypocrisy.

Michael P. Tremoglie

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Personality and Individual Differences, 30 (7), 2001, Pages 1147-1160

Age changes in personality traits and their heritabilities during the adult years: evidence from Australian twin registry samples

J. C. Loehlin [a] and N. G. Martin [b]

a University of Texas, Department of Psychology, Austin, TX 78712, USA
b Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia


Short versions of four Eysenck personality scales had been included in questionnaires given to several adult samples from the Australian Twin Registry, comprising altogether some 5400 pairs. Means and regressions with age are compared for three samples at average ages of 23, 37, and 61 years, and for two samples of retested individuals, one tested twice at average ages of 29 and 37 years, and one tested three times at average ages of 48, 56, and 62 years. For both males and females the trends for Psychoticism (P), Extraversion (E), and Neuroticism (N) were generally downward with age, and for Lie (L), upward. However, in the longitudinal sample between ages 56 and 62 the trends for P, E, and L stopped or reversed, although N continued downward. Heritabilities were reasonably stable across age for P, E, and N, and the effects of shared environments negligible, but L showed some influence of shared environment as well as genes in all but the oldest age group.

Author Keywords: Eysenck scales; Heritability; Age trends; Twins

Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-512-475-7008; fax: +1-512-471-6175; email: loehlin@psy.utexas.edu

I have posted this abstract here because it seems to be impossible to link to it at its original source. If you are patient enough, however, you can find it via: http://www.sciencedirect.com/

Friday, September 26, 2003

Personality and Individual Differences In Press

Primary personality trait correlates of religious practice and orientation

Peter Hills [a] Leslie J. Francis [b], Michael Argyle [a], and Chris J. Jackson [c]

a School of Psychology, Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3 0BA, UK
b Welsh National Centre for Religious Education, University of Wales, Bangor LL57 2PX, UK
c School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane Q4072, Australia


The aim of the study was to examine the relationships between Eysenck's primary personality factors and various aspects of religious orientation and practice. Some 400 UK undergraduates completed questionnaires constructed from the Batson and Schoenrade Religious Life Inventory (Batson & Schoenrade, 1991) and the Eysenck Personality Profiler (Eysenck, Barrett, Wilson, & Jackson, 1992). As is generally found, all the religious variables correlated negatively with the higher order personality factor of psychoticism. In contrast, among the primary factors, those associated with neuroticism appeared to be the strongest indicators of religiosity. In particular, all the primary traits classically linked to neuroticism correlate positively with the quest orientation. However, fewer primary traits predict religious behaviour in regression and of these, a sense of guilt is the greatest and a common predictor of extrinsic, intrinsic and quest religiosities. Upon factor analysis of the significant personality predictors together with the three religious orientations, the orientations formed a single discrete factor, which implies that extrinsic, intrinsic and quest religiosities have more in common with one another than with any of the personality traits included in the study. This suggests that religious awareness may itself be an important individual difference that is distinct from those generally associated with models of personality.

Author Keywords: Religiosity; Eysenck Personality Profiler; Religious Life Inventory; Neuroticism; Guilt; Psychoticism

Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-1235-521-077; fax +44-1235-520-067

I have posted this abstract here because it seems to be impossible to link to it at its original source. If you are patient enough, however, you can find it via: http://www.sciencedirect.com/

Thursday, September 25, 2003


Personality and Individual Differences Article in Press

The intelligence of American Jews

Richard Lynn

(University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, BT52 1SA, UK)


This paper provides new data on the theory that Jews have a higher average level of verbal intelligence than non-Jewish whites. The theory is considered by examining the vocabulary scores of Jews, non-Jewish whites, blacks and others obtained in the American General Social Surveys carried out by the National Opinion Research Centre in the years 1990-1996. Vocabulary size is a good measure of verbal intelligence. Jews obtained a significantly higher mean vocabulary score than non-Jewish whites, equivalent to an IQ advantage of 7.5 IQ points. The results confirm previous reports that the verbal IQ of American Jews is higher than that of non-Jewish whites.

Author Keywords: Jews; Intelligence

Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-117-303-9058

Personality and Individual Differences Volume 32, Issue 8 , June 2002, Pages 1391-1411

Relationships between ability and personality: does intelligence contribute positively to personal and social adjustment?

Elizabeth J. Austin [a], Ian J. Deary [a], Martha C. Whiteman [a], F. G. R. Fowkes [b], Nancy L. Pedersen [c], Patrick Rabbitt [d], Nuala Bent [d] and Lynn McInnes [e]

a Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, UK
b Wolfson Unit for Prevention of Peripheral Vascular Disease, Department of Community Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK
c Department of Medical Epidemiology, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
d Age and Cognitive Performance Research Centre, University of Manchester, UK
e Division of Psychology, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, UK


Intelligence/personality associations were studied in four large datasets. Correlations between general ability (g) and major personality traits were generally consistent with previous findings. For other traits, an interpretation of the correlation patterning is that traits classifiable as adaptive in terms of personal and social adjustment have positive correlations with g, whilst maladaptive traits have negative correlations. Regression modelling confirmed these associations and structural equation modelling of selected traits showed that Neuroticism acts as a mediator of g on the outcome. Non-linear relationships between intelligence and personality were not found. In two of the datasets the correlation between Neuroticism and Psychoticism decreased with ability level, and the correlation between fluid and crystallised ability increased with level of Neuroticism.
Author Keywords: Intelligence; Personality; Adjustment

Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-131-651-1305; fax: +44-131-650-3461; email: elizabeth.austin@ed.ac.uk

I have posted the abstracts above here because it seems to be impossible to link to them at their original source. If you are patient enough, however, you can find them via: http://www.sciencedirect.com/

Monday, September 22, 2003

What Arab Civilization?

This letter was sent to Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard Corporation, in response to a speech given by her on September 26, 2001.

November 7, 2001

Carly Fiorina
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1185

Dear Madame Fiorina:

It is with great interest that I read your speech delivered on September 26, 2001, titled "Technology, Business and Our way of Life: What's Next" [sic]. I was particularly interested in the story you told at the end of your speech, about the Arab/Muslim civilization. As an Assyrian, a non-Arab, Christian native of the Middle East, whose ancestors reach back to 5000 B.C., I wish to clarify some points you made in this little story, and to alert you to the dangers of unwittingly being drawn into the Arabist/Islamist ideology, which seeks to assimilate all cultures and religions into the Arab/Islamic fold.

I know you are a very busy woman, but please find ten minutes to read what follows, as it is a perspective that you will not likely get from anywhere else. I will answer some of the specific points you made in your speech, then conclude with a brief perspective on this Arabist/Islamist ideology.

Arabs and Muslims appeared on the world scene in 630 A.D., when the armies of Muhammad began their conquest of the Middle East. We should be very clear that this was a military conquest, not a missionary enterprise, and through the use of force, authorized by a declaration of a Jihad against infidels, Arabs/Muslims were able to forcibly convert and assimilate non-Arabs and non-Mulsims into their fold. Very few indigenous communities of the Middle East survived this -- primarily Assyrians, Jews, Armenians and Coptics (of Egypt).

Having conquered the Middle East, Arabs placed these communities under a Dhimmi (see the book Dhimmi, by Bat Ye'Or) system of governance, where the communities were allowed to rule themselves as religious minorities (Christians, Jews and Zoroastrian). These communities had to pay a tax (called a Jizzya in Arabic) that was, in effect, a penalty for being non-Muslim, and that was typically 80% in times of tolerance and up to 150% in times of oppression. This tax forced many of these communities to convert to Islam, as it was designed to do.

You state, "its architects designed buildings that defied gravity." I am not sure what you are referring to, but if you are referring to domes and arches, the fundamental architectural breakthrough of using a parabolic shape instead of a spherical shape for these structures was made by the Assyrians more than 1300 years earlier, as evidenced by their archaeological record.

You state, "its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption." The fundamental basis of modern mathematics had been laid down not hundreds but thousands of years before by Assyrians and Babylonians, who already knew of the concept of zero, of the Pythagorean Theorem, and of many, many other developments expropriated by Arabs/Muslims (see History of Babylonian Mathematics, Neugebauer).

You state, "its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease." The overwhelming majority of these doctors (99%) were Assyrians. In the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries Assyrians began a systematic translation of the Greek body of knowledge into Assyrian. At first they concentrated on the religious works but then quickly moved to science, philosophy and medicine. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Galen, and many others were translated into Assyrian, and from Assyrian into Arabic. It is these Arabic translations which the Moors brought with them into Spain, and which the Spaniards translated into Latin and spread throughout Europe, thus igniting the European Renaissance.

By the sixth century A.D., Assyrians had begun exporting back to Byzantia their own works on science, philosophy and medicine. In the field of medicine, the Bakhteesho Assyrian family produced nine generations of physicians, and founded the great medical school at Gundeshapur (Iran). Also in the area of medicine, (the Assyrian) Hunayn ibn-Ishaq's textbook on ophthalmology, written in 950 A.D., remained the authoritative source on the subject until 1800 A.D.

In the area of philosophy, the Assyrian philosopher Job of Edessa developed a physical theory of the universe, in the Assyrian language, that rivaled Aristotle's theory, and that sought to replace matter with forces (a theory that anticipated some ideas in quantum mechanics, such as the spontaneous creation and destruction of matter that occurs in the quantum vacuum).

One of the greatest Assyrian achievements of the fourth century was the founding of the first university in the world, the School of Nisibis, which had three departments, theology, philosophy and medicine, and which became a magnet and center of intellectual development in the Middle East. The statutes of the School of Nisibis, which have been preserved, later became the model upon which the first Italian university was based (see The Statutes of the School of Nisibis, by Arthur Voobus).

When Arabs and Islam swept through the Middle East in 630 A.D., they encountered 600 years of Assyrian Christian civilization, with a rich heritage, a highly developed culture, and advanced learning institutions. It is this civilization that became the foundation of the Arab civilization.

You state, "Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration." This is a bit melodramatic. In fact, the astronomers you refer to were not Arabs but Chaldeans and Babylonians (of present day south-Iraq), who for millennia were known as astronomers and astrologers, and who were forcibly Arabized and Islamized -- so rapidly that by 750 A.D. they had disappeared completely.

You state, "its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things." There is very little literature in the Arabic language that comes from this period you are referring to (the Koran is the only significant piece of literature), whereas the literary output of the Assyrians and Jews was vast. The third largest corpus of Christian writing, after Latin and Greek, is by the Assyrians in the Assyrian language (also called Syriac; see here.)

You state, "when other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others." This is a very important issue you raise, and it goes to the heart of the matter of what Arab/Islamic civilization represents. I reviewed a book titled How Greek Science Passed to the Arabs, in which the author lists the significant translators and interpreters of Greek science. Of the 22 scholars listed, 20 were Assyrians, 1 was Persian and 1 an Arab. I state at the end of my review: "The salient conclusion which can be drawn from O'Leary's book is that Assyrians played a significant role in the shaping of the Islamic world via the Greek corpus of knowledge. If this is so, one must then ask the question, what happened to the Christian communities which made them lose this great intellectual enterprise which they had established. One can ask this same question of the Arabs. Sadly, O'Leary's book does not answer this question, and we must look elsewhere for the answer." I did not answer this question I posed in the review because it was not the place to answer it, but the answer is very clear, the Christian Assyrian community was drained of its population through forced conversion to Islam (by the Jizzya), and once the community had dwindled below a critical threshold, it ceased producing the scholars that were the intellectual driving force of the Islamic civilization, and that is when the so called "Golden Age of Islam" came to an end (about 850 A.D.).

Islam the religion itself was significantly molded by Assyrians and Jews (see Nestorian Influence on Islam and Hagarism: the Making of the Islamic World).

Arab/Islamic civilization is not a progressive force, it is a regressive force; it does not give impetus, it retards. The great civilization you describe was not an Arab/Muslim accomplishment, it was an Assyrian accomplishment that Arabs expropriated and subsequently lost when they drained, through the forced conversion of Assyrians to Islam, the source of the intellectual vitality that propelled it. What other Arab/Muslim civilization has risen since? What other Arab/Muslim successes can we cite?

You state, "and perhaps we can learn a lesson from his [Suleiman] example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions." In fact, the Ottomans were extremely oppressive to non-Muslims. For example, young Christian boys were forcefully taken from their families, usually at the age of 8-10, and inducted into the Janissaries, (yeniceri in Turkish) where they were Islamized and made to fight for the Ottoman state. What literary, artistic or scientific achievements of the Ottomans can we point to? We can, on the other hand, point to the genocide of 750,000 Assyrians, 1.5 million Armenians and 400,000 Greeks in World War One by the Kemalist "Young Turk" government. This is the true face of Islam.

Arabs/Muslims are engaged in an explicit campaign of destruction and expropriation of cultures and communities, identities and ideas. Wherever Arab/Muslim civilization encounters a non-Arab/Muslim one, it attempts to destroy it (as the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan were destroyed, as Persepolis was destroyed by the Ayotollah Khomeini). This is a pattern that has been recurring since the advent of Islam, 1400 years ago, and is amply substantiated by the historical record. If the "foreign" culture cannot be destroyed, then it is expropriated, and revisionist historians claim that it is and was Arab, as is the case of most of the Arab "accomplishments" you cited in your speech. For example, Arab history texts in the Middle East teach that Assyrians were Arabs, a fact that no reputable scholar would assert, and that no living Assyrian would accept. Assyrians first settled Nineveh, one of the major Assyrian cities, in 5000 B.C., which is 5630 years before Arabs came into that area. Even the word 'Arab' is an Assyrian word, meaning "Westerner" (the first written reference to Arabs was by the Assyrian King Sennacherib, 800 B.C., in which he tells of conquering the "ma'rabayeh" -- Westerners. See The Might That Was Assyria, by H. W. F. Saggs).

Even in America this Arabization policy continues. On October 27th a coalition of seven Assyrian and Maronite organizations sent an official letter to the Arab American Institute asking it to stop identifying Assyrians and Maronites as Arabs, which it had been deliberately doing.

There are minorities and nations struggling for survival in the Arab/Muslim ocean of the Middle East and Africa (Assyrians, Armenians, Coptics, Jews, southern Sudanese, Ethiopians, Nigerians...), and we must be very sensitive not to unwittingly and inadvertently support Islamic fascism and Arab Imperialism, with their attempts to wipe out all other cultures, religions and civilizations. It is incumbent upon each one of us to do our homework and research when making statements and speeches about these sensitive matters.

I hope you found this information enlightening. For more information, refer to the web links below. You may contact me at keepa@ninevehsoft.com for further questions.

Thank you for your consideration.

Peter BetBasoo

Hitler at Home on the Internet

The predominant color scheme of Hitler's "bright, airy chalet" was "a light jade green." Chairs and tables of braided cane graced the sun parlor, and the F├╝hrer, "a droll raconteur," decorated his entrance hall with "cactus plants in majolica pots."

Such are the precious and chilling observations in an irony-free 1938 article in Homes & Gardens, a British magazine, on Hitler's mountain retreat in the Bavarian Alps. A bit of arcana, to be sure, but one that has dropped squarely into the current debate over the Internet and intellectual property. This file, too, is being shared.

The resurrection of the article can be traced to Simon Waldman, the director of digital publishing at Guardian Newspapers in Britain, who says he was given a vintage issue of the magazine by his father-in-law. Noticing the Hitler spread, which doted on the compound's high-mountain beauty ("the fairest view in all Europe") at a time when the Nazis had already gobbled up Austria, Mr. Waldman scanned the three pages and posted them on his personal Web site last May. They sat largely unnoticed until about three weeks ago, when Mr. Waldman made them more prominent on his site and sent an e-mail message to the current editor of Homes & Gardens, Isobel McKenzie-Price, pointing up the article as a historical curiosity.

Ms. McKenzie-Price, citing copyright rules, politely requested that he remove the pages. Mr. Waldman did so, but not before other Web users had turned the pages into communal property, like so many songs and photographs and movies and words that have been illegally traded for more than a decade in the Internet's back alleys.

Still, there was a question of whether the magazine's position was a stance against property theft or a bit of red-faced persnicketiness.

It was 65 years ago last week that the British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, arrived at Hitler's mountain lair to discuss the Nazis' planned annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland — a meeting that would lead, two weeks later, to the Munich agreement and Chamberlain's announcement that he had secured "peace for our time."

The seeds of Chamberlain's conclusion may have been planted in the cozy confines of Hitler's "pine-paneled study" — perhaps with the prime minister seated in a striking armchair upholstered in a dainty floral pattern. This we learn from Homes & Gardens. The article appeared in the November issue — the same month as Kristallnacht, the the Nazis' pogrom against the Jews.

For its part, IPC Media, which owns Homes & Gardens, was unwilling to comment on the topic. "We have already made our feelings known to the person who originally posted the article," a spokeswoman for the company said, though she added that even IPC was unclear on the exact status of the copyright.

By the end of last week, links that once pointed to Mr. Waldman's scans were dead but others were springing to life. The pages turned up, for instance, on the Web site of David Irving, the historian who two years ago lost his appeal in a libel case against an American academic who labeled him a Holocaust denier. He plans on keeping the article up on his site. "If I suspect that an attempt is being made to suppress an awkward item, which I suspect may be behind the Homes & Gardens effort, then I would dig my heels in rather more, and hold out as long as I could," Mr. Irving said.

The episode is an object lesson in the topsy-turvy world of copyright and "fair use" — an area made far murkier by the distributive power of the Internet and the subsequent crisscrossing of international legal codes. In the United States, the posting would most likely be considered fair use, said Wendy Seltzer, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. "Reprinting the article now, 65 years after its original publication, strikes me as more like reporting or commenting on a news story, or fair use, than photocopying a current scientific article to save the cost of buying more magazines," she said.

Britain's Copyright, Design and Patents Act of 1988 considers use of "reasonable portions" of some copyrighted material to be "fair dealing," provided they are used in private study, criticism and review, or news reporting. Simply posting an article on the Web might not qualify.

Indeed, the Internet has ensured that copyright can never be just about one nation's laws. "All copyright issues are international copyright issues," said Edwin Komen, an intellectual property lawyer in Washington. On the Web, he added, "you become vulnerable to just about any jurisdiction in the world."

For all of that, though, IPC Media's unwillingness to discuss even the content of the Hitler article is puzzling to Mr. Waldman. This skeleton was abruptly yanked from the Homes & Gardens closet, yes, but the article reflects more about the mind of aristocratic Britain in 1938 — well known to have given Hitler the benefit of the doubt — than it does about the magazine itself. Even the American press noted the beauty of Hitler's compound, including The New York Times , which on Sept. 18, 1938, wrote that the chalet was "simple in its appointments" and that it commanded "a magnificent highland panorama."

Posting these pages online "doesn't damage Homes & Garden's reputation," Mr. Waldman said. "In fact, putting them up, along with a letter from the editor explaining a bit about them, could be a very positive thing for them to do."


Friday, September 19, 2003

Study Shows Monkeys May Resent Unfairness

Wed Sep 17, 1:01 PM ET, 2003

By ALEX DOMINGUEZ, Associated Press Writer

Humans aren't the only ones who hate a bum deal, it turns out.

In a recent study, brown capuchin monkeys trained to exchange a granite token for a cucumber treat often refused the swap if they saw another monkey get a better payoff -- a grape.

Instead, they often threw the token, refused to eat the piece of cucumber, or even gave it to the other capuchin after viewing the lopsided deal, said Emory University researcher Sarah Brosnan.

She said the results indicate man and monkey may have inherited a sense of fairness from an evolutionary ancestor.

"This implies we evolved this way," said Brosnan, whose work with colleague Frans B.M. de Waal is reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. The trait may have helped species cooperate and survive, Brosnan said.

However, Charles Janson, who studies capuchins at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and was not involved in the research, suggested the monkeys' behavior may have been learned in captivity, rather than inherited as an evolutionary adaptation.

Brosnan said she doubted the behavior was learned, saying most animals "cannot learn things which they do not naturally do in the wild."

"More importantly, however, learning behavior requires that individuals get rewarded for performing a specific behavior," Brosnan said. "In our test, the subject actually received less reward for refusing to exchange."

The researchers, at Emory's Yerkes National Primate Research Center, studied five female monkeys, testing them two at a time.

When both monkeys were given a cucumber slice after handing over the token, they completed the trade 95 percent of the time.

But when one was given the tastier grape for the same amount of work, the rate of cooperation from the other monkey fell to 60 percent, with the cheated primate sometimes throwing the token, refusing the cucumber or giving the cucumber to the other monkey. And when one didn't have to do anything to get a grape, the other made the trade for the cucumber only 20 percent of the time.

The refusal to make the exchange increased as the experiment went on, the researchers reported.

"They were not happy with me," Brosnan said, although she later added that she couldn't really know what the monkeys' emotions were.

The scientists concluded that capuchins apparently measure rewards in relative terms, comparing their rewards to those available, as well as their efforts to those of others.

Small and highly animated with faces that resemble wizened old men, the tropical forest-dwelling capuchins were chosen for the experiment because they often share food.

Brosnan, who said she is now conducting similar studies with chimpanzees, noted that the capuchin that got the grape didn't react at all to the unjustness of the situation. That "probably implies there is still a lot of difference between their sense of fairness and ours," she said.

This story appeared originally on Yahoo News here but stories there do not stay up for long so I have reposted it here for its interest in showing that monkeys behave like Leftists!

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Whitewash and the dark conspiracy

Peter Coleman (Review, 13-14/9) rightly identifies a parallel between the campaign against Keith Windschuttle, led by Whitewash editor Robert Manne, and the attacks on Helen Garner, author of The First Stone.

Garner, too, was traduced in a collection of punitive essays in 1997, peculiarly named bodyjamming, edited by Jenna Mead, a book eerily similar to Whitewash in purpose and intent. However, the analogy has an ironic twist that Coleman might usefully have mentioned.

At the time, Professor Manne recognised Mead's book as a spiteful attempt to destroy Garner's reputation and impugn her motives. Although not uncritical of The First Stone, Manne professed himself to be genuinely shocked at the cruelty and rancour of the writers who contributed to bodyjamming.

Dispiritingly, six years on, Manne finds himself able to join in a similarly vindictive attack on another writer (Windschuttle) who likewise challenges the prevailing ideological orthodoxy. Mead's tactics of political abuse, once roundly condemned by Manne, are unnervingly reflected in his own introduction to Whitewash. Dark conspiracies, malignant motivations, secretive agendas, right-wing cabals and media manipulations figure largely in both accounts.
For Manne, as for Mead, the target of attack is not a forthright dissentient cogently expressing a divergent view (democracy, anyone?) but rather a sinister agent, stealthily advancing the pernicious doctrines of the hated John Howard.

We are far from rational, civil debate; this is a descent into political superstition.

Opponents of Windschuttle's revisionist account of Tasmania's past clearly have a lot of work to do to restore the orthodox status quo ante. Fear, smear and vilification are not going to do the job for them.
As yet, we can't say with assurance who is right or wrong, although Windschuttle seems to have it on points. If Whitewash is his opponents best contribution to the debate, he is going to walk away with it.

Rob Foot
Theodore, ACT

Frank Devine (Features, 12/9) makes the excellent point that many Australians are proud of the epic achievements of the past 200 years. But Robert Manne's attitude is different, particularly to the Centenary of Federation celebrations.

In his obsession with one version of Aboriginal history, he took the view that the celebrations could not proceed successfully unless an apology were offered for past injustices, by the Prime Minister. A successful harnessing of the apology cause (alone) with the celebrations would have detracted from the other positive aspects of this event. These included the relatively tolerant and peaceful society in which we live, and the great achievement of federation itself, given the disparate nature of the individual colonies, a fact that is easily overlooked with the passage of time.

I am pleased to record that Manne and his associates failed to spoil the moment for me and the thousands of others who were in Centennial Park that day.

N.V. Whiteley
Terara, NSW

Robert Manne's latest letter (15/9) shows he has really flipped. All its passion is focused not on issues of scholarship to do with Tasmania but on an effort to divert the subject to something personal about Windschuttle. In football it's called playing the Manne.

Tom Minchin
Bayswater, Vic

What an amazing nerve Robert Manne has, talking about plain falsehoods to score cheap political points. He is the godfather of them all.

When integrity returns to the humanities, his Whitewash will be used as a fertile resource for students looking for examples of common fallacies such as: equivocation, ad hominem, ad misericordiam, and plain old nasty falsehood.

Whitewash's conspicuous silence on some of Windschuttle's key accusations tacitly admits that he was right on issues Manne's mob derisively denied – but it doesn't rise to the level of common civility to acknowledge so.

Reynolds falsely implies that Windschuttle failed to notice the Tasmanian Aborigines' use of the word country. Ryan's chapter is a joke. Peggy Patrick's testimony reads like she was set up. Finnane drops context to make it appear as if Windschuttle couldn't calculate a per annum death rate. Moses concocts a list of denier's characteristics to tag Windschuttle as a David Irving; which is like calling the boy scouts Nazis because they wear uniforms and badges like the Hitler Youth. To touch on only a few of the slurs for cheap political points that pepper the works of Manne and his mob.

They are out to get Windschuttle for blowing the whistle on 30 years of deceiving the public, by fair means or foul. They know it, and it's time we taxpayers who fund their universities knew it too. Read Whitewash and Fabrication, and compare the difference.

John Dawson
McKinnon, Vic

Robert Manne's attempt to turn Aboriginal history into a political rather than empirical debate is becoming neurotic. He now backs his charge in Whitewash that I was once an enthusiast for Pol Pot by referring to an interview with Jane Cadzow in Fairfax's Good Weekend magazine on May 17, 2003.

Anyone who cares to check will find that interview does not support his claim. Cadzow wrote, accurately, that Pol Pot's murder of my friend Malcolm Caldwell was a catalyst that led me to abandon not Pol Pot but Marxism.

I had no need to give up Pol Pot since I had never supported his regime in the first place. Immediately after 1975 Cambodia was a closed society and few outsiders knew what was going on there. It was the shooting of Caldwell in 1978 followed by reliable reports of the Cambodian genocide that led me and most people on the Left to become vocal opponents of Pol Pot, as Peter Coleman's review in The Weekend Australian correctly reported.

Moreover, my Marxist phase had more to do with historical theory, coupled with a desire to emulate the English historian Edward Thompson, than political activism. I was never, as Dirk Moses's sleazy article in Whitewash claims, a fanatical communist. The only political party I ever joined was the Australian Labor Party. In the 1970s, my Trotskyist friend Hall Greenland once called me a civilised Whitlamite, a patronising but accurate enough label for my politics at the time.

Keith Windschuttle
Paddington, NSW

The above letters appeared in “The Australian” on 16th Sept., 03. I have backed them up here as I am not sure how long letters stay online.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Eviction Papers

By Arlene Peck

I'm not a political or military pundit but some things are just so basic that I marvel that everyone doesn't see what's facing us. Sadly I watched the two-year anniversary of 9/11 and our entire country mourned. The talking heads on television spoke about the danger of Al Qaeda and how they are still a sinister force lying in wait to wreak more havoc. We speak of terrorists who want to pay a return visit to our shores and sometimes in the same breath, in the interest of being politically correct, the politician or newscaster will say how most of the Arab world is really made up of peaceful people and we're just being tormented by the 'bad ones'.

Frankly, I disagree. I've realized for years that we, in the United States, Israel and the rest of the civilized world have a common enemy. The Islamic culture is a violent and barbaric one whose one goal is to bring an end to all that we hold dear--freedom being amongst them. It nauseates me when I hear morons who pass themselves off as leaders and, speaking before national audiences, gleefully report how Israel, in being one-half of the two-states-living-side-by-side solution, goes off into the sunset and lives happily ever after. It is also radical liberal Jews who have let this terrorism occur because of their pushing Israel to 'hold-back, give up and negotiate policies. . Let them live with that now.

There is no partner for us to negotiate with and the same holds ten-fold for Israel. Nobody in our State Dept is going to do any differently than they have in the past , which was to do nothing when Palestanian hoodlems invaded the Church of Nativity. Remember the world-wide headlines then? Again, when Josephs Tomb was being systemically desroyed by these same thugs the State Dept and the rest of the world remained mum.

Two American citizens, (the doctor and his daughter) were brutality slaughtered days ago. Imagine if this had happened in the United States? The outcry would have been ear-shattering. But since these victims and others were in Israel at the time of their murders everyone just shrugs. Incidentally this isn't just a war against Israelis. It is a war against Americans as well; 48 Americans murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorist since 1993.

Yet, if I were a betting person, I'd wager that the terrorist s who planned this will be let free unless Israel kills them first. The State Dept web site only referrs to them as "groups opposed to Middle East negotiations."

At the risk of repetition in my columns I would like to say once again: the Palestinians have tunnel vision because they have one cause only. That is the complete and utter destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. What part of destroy don't the self-haters get? Many of my readers have written me asking how I would prevent such an occurrence.

I know the enemy is illiterate and has little conception of reality. Yet, they do, I believe, understand power. They also comprehend that the constant flow of checks to the families of the "martyred" homicide bombers is all the more reason to continue their policy of targeting innocent Israeli civilians and picking them off at will. That can and should be stopped immediately. The government seems to be attempting that by stemming the flow of funds into the so-called "charities" which support these terrorist groups. But more has to be done. Far more. And this is the time. The United States and the rest of the world do not, and probably never will, accept as genuine the Arab vows to destroy the Jewish state. In fact, we have a common enemy. Islamic terrorists have the same plans for the rest of the Western world.

I think the Jewish state finally realizes that they could negotiate and give until there is absolutely nothing left to give and their Palestinian neighbors still wouldn't be happy as the ultimate goal is to drive every last Jew into the sea. So, knowing that maybe now is the time to speak in a language that they understand. No more bombing of the leaders' houses. The entire neighborhood will be told that every "homicide" bombing will result in 10% of land that Israel had given them under the imbecilic Oslo Accords will be taken back.

No more of the house-to-house warnings that result in the needless deaths of Israeli soldiers. This time, flyers should be dropped and they will be told that unless they revolt against and eliminate the evil and corrupt leadership who have been banking the millions sent to them by the world that they never received, all hell is going to break loose from Israel.

They have a week to decide and rid the terrorists and physically delivering them to Israel or Israel is going to do it for them, en masse. Notify them that they have already lost 10% of the land that has been turned over. Then send every F-16 in the Israeli air force loaded with bombs to take out every public facility like radio, television, and newspaper offices. All electric and water pump stations, phones, all those little tunnels that they like to build for arms-smuggling and the warehouses they keep them in. You know, all those things that we in the United States did to win our war in Iraq.

Remember, while we were destroying the infrastructure we dropped them food and blankets. I'm sure the Israeli government would do no less. Notify them that 10% will be cleared with or without their approval and/or negotiations and no cease fire they arrange at the United Nations will change their mind. Tell them that they have 22 other Arab brother nations who would surely love to accommodate them but they will have to be out or lose the lives of their children (who they harvest to be martyrs anyway). The choice is theirs. They have a week to eliminate Arafat and his harbored terrorists or they will get their wish and become a dead martyrs with seventy-two virgins waiting for them. However, let it be known that the physical bodies of these terrorists will be wrapped in pigskin and buried.

This repossession, they should be told, will occur in 10% increments every time Israeli civilians are targetted by homicide bombers. . Then the same thing can be repeated with each occurrence. There will be violent protests from Israel's enemies around the world but that is business as usual. The time has come to have immediate talks with other world leaders and remind them that 86% of these so-called Palestinians originally resided in Jordan.

The time is overdue to sit down with the king of Jordan and remind him of that fact and offer to work with all those billions of dollars that have been sent by the EU and Arab nations and the United Nations to help the Palestinians which never saw the light of day and went immediately into the coffers of Arafat and his thugs. Remind him that this could be a dawning of a new day if there could be a city built in Jordan from all these past wasted billions of dollars like was done in Brasilia which is now the capital of Brazil. It could be done with Israeli technology and put all those unemployed Arabs to work building this beautiful city. The world should be reminded over and over of this fact. And that Israel has experienced 9/11 one time too many.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

By Arlene Peck

My momma used to tell me, "Education is the key to life. The Jewish position on abortion is that a fetus is considered a child when it finishes medical school." Ok, maybe that was a little drastic. However, when I refer to the Islamic culture as being a violent one I know from whence I speak. I believe that the rise in Islamic fundamentalism to be the greatest menace that the modern world is facing. They have no reverence for life and strive to teach their children that killing others who don't believe as they do is a blessing.

The evil and devastating plans that these people have for the world as we know it are painfully obvious. Hate and hostility seep from their very pores. Of all the wars that are presently going on around the world, almost all of them are Muslim-based. They want us dead! They want Israel destroyed! Hell, they want the entire Western culture eradicated. Period! Their favorite words are, Death for the Jews! It is time for the world to take a more critical look at the genocidal aspects of such evil and irrational behavior.

As a member of the press, I am well aware how the news reporting that you read can be manipulated to tilt the news into whatever direction the reporter may choose. It's simple. Yet, I know that the double standard against Israel has been going on non-stop for so long that the public is pretty much aware of how it's done. The code words for terrorist are "militant", "activist", "freedom fighter" or, one of my favorites, "senior Hamas leader" as though he is boarding a bus with his bombs strapped around his waist and carrying a brief case.

The Jewish community has written thousands and thousands of letters to media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, CNN, BBC, NPR, New York Times, etc. Their mail boxes are full of complaining letters to the editor about the obvious bias and anti-Semitism when it comes to Israel. But they couldn't care less. They still continue to equate the situation as a conflict between two rival gangs, like the Crips and Bloods being at war.

Do you think they don't know what they are doing when they write headlines such as this recent one in the LA Times, "Arafat Asks Militants to Restore Peace"? Or how Israel was somehow to blame for the destruction of the supposed truce when they responded to a recent bombing in Jerusalem which killed and maimed scores of children? Of course they do! Yet, their biased reporting and anti-Semitic slants continues unabated. And, during all of this, the European Union, especially France and Belgium, are having votes that they still don’t believe Hamas to be anything but a humanitarian charity organization that gives help to the poor deprived Palestinians. They somehow refuse to accept the fact that Hamas just might be promoting terrorism against Israel and needs to have their funding stopped. Wow! What a surprise!

We have gotten so politically correct in this country that Charles Manson could go on a rampage and the ACLU and human rights groups would probably come to his defense claiming a sad childhood. Naw, probably not, since Manson’s a white man. And speaking of media bias, my colleague-in-arms against injustice, novelist Jack Engelhard, has written an even better novel than his last best seller, Indecent Proposal. The Uriah Deadline covers this very topic except its set in a backdrop of a New York newsroom, Middle Eastern terrorism and a killer love triangle to boot. All we need now is a not-so-gutless publisher and equally brave producer to get this epic in motion. What I love best is that it chronicles the sins of the news media. I'm working with publishers and producers in New York and Hollywood because this is a story that cannot--must not--be stopped.

Frankly, folks, it frustrates and makes me angry when I hear people tell me with one breath how caring and peace-loving these terrorists are and then go into a tirade about "both people", as if the murderer and the victim are on the same moral plane. Frankly, I’m waiting for just one, ONE of these ‘peaceful’ Muslim groups to march in a demonstration against terrorism.

I shake my head in disbelief each time I hear these do-gooders talk about how the "right of return" is necessary to continue the "peace process". Yet, these same people/newspapers totally ignore the reality that there were two refugee movements in the area during the years surrounding the birth of Israel. For some reason the word transfer is taboo when it is used in relation to cutting the cancer out of Israel and moving the terrorists out of the country. Yet, it is the solution.

If the truth be known, there were in fact more Jews who fled the Arab countries than the other way around. The only difference is that the Arabs chose to leave their people in wretched refugee camps while the Jews absorbed theirs into Israel proper. Are the anti-Semites so blind that they cannot accept this reality? It's like the dirty little family secret that everyone knows about but ignores for the most part. The Arabs want the right of return? Fine. Can my cousin whose family fled Egypt during the Nasser regime go back and collect their confiscated real estate? Yeah, right.

I try and justify the lack of empathy that I find for the Jewish state with the lack of understanding that we in the United States have of the Middle Eastern mind. Maybe it's because we, as a nation, don't really understand the mentality or have the desire to deal with a seventh century culture which still cuts off hands for theft and thinks the violation of little boys is fine because they aren't men yet. We also aren't used to relating to a culture of illiterate and evil people who will never understand that death and martyrdom isn’t the way to go. Nor is it going to get them a country in any place other than the one that most of them left--Jordan. I may sound like a broken record... but, again, transfer...transfer...transfer. The only way to get rid of a cancer is to cut it out. Not negotiate it to death. Nor, trying to find a way to live with it. It’s come down to “them” or “us”. I’d rather it be us who ends up living in the Jewish State.

Arlene Peck is an internationally syndicated columnist and television talk show hostess - Arlene speaks regularly around the country and keeps a packed suitcase ready to GO.

Arlene can be reached at: bestredhead@earthlink.net and www.arlenepeck.com