Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A silly little Leftist lady tries to "psychologize" conservatives

One does not expect much in the way of profundity from the  crusading Australian Leftist organ, "New Matilda", but a rather long diatribe just up there is particularly feeble.  Author Lissa Johnson starts out claiming that conservatives are psychopaths but gives neither reasoning nor evidence that could lead to that conclusion.  She particularly targets Tony Abbott, Australia's conservative Prime Minister. 

So what psychopathic characteristics does Mr Abbott show?  Is he, for instance, extremely self centred?  Seeing Mr Abbott has for many years taken substantial time out to work hands-on in Aboriginal communities, creating and upgrading facilities for the use of the community's people, that accusation has to earn a resounding "Not Guilty" verdict.  I know of no Leftist who has shown anything like Mr Abbott's personal committment to Aboriginal welfare.  It is because of that committment that the reviled Prof. Spurr called Abbott an "Abo lover".

So what about the various other attributes of the psychopath?  Ms Johnson is a clinical psychologist so she should know them well. Which of those does she find among conservatives?  She does not say.  She offers no evidence for her assertion.  What she does do is however amusing.  She offers a survey of the psychological literature on the psychology of conservatism.  And her survey is a broadly  accurate one.  But nowhere in that literature are conservatives accused of psychopathy!  Her own literature survey refutes her opening assertion!  The evidence that Leftists are pychopathic is however abundant.

So let us look at the psychology literature Ms Johnson believes in.  The big problem with it is that it is almost  entirely written by Leftists --  with all the lack of ethics and objectivity that one expects from that.  The author in that literature most favoured by Ms Johnson is the amusing John Jost, senior author of a paper that purported to be a meta-analysis of the literature on the psychology of conservatism, and which claimed, inter alia, that Stalin, Khrushchev and Castro were conservatives!

And one of his co-authors was the anti-scientist Frank Sulloway, who tried to use litigation to suppress publication of a research report that contested one of his theories.  Leftist attempts to suppress speech that they disagree with are notorious (See TONGUE-TIED) but Sulloway stands out even in that company.

And suppressing contrary evidence was Jost's bag too.  His article purported to be a meta-analysis and should, as such, have offered a comprehensive view of the relevant literature.  It did not.  It omitted about half of the relevant research.  Which half?  The half that disagreed with his foreordained conclusions, of course!  Any hope of finding truth in the writings of Prof. Jost and his ilk is therefore highly likely to be disappointed.

And even if one conceded every claim about conservatives made by Leftist psychologists, the gruel is thin. They have such a lot of trouble finding something wrong with conservatives that they confine themselves almost entirely to cognitive style variables.  And such variables can be seen in a variety of lights. Even Jost ended up admitting that.  For instance, one of the earliest accusations hurled at conservatives was that they are "intolerant of ambiguity".  But that can equally be parsed as showing that conservatives seek order.  And seeking order in natural phenomena is precisely what real scientists do.  The idea that such a cognitive style is in any way aberrant is simply ludicrous.

I in fact have had many papers published in the academic literature on cognitive style research and repeatedly found that the measuring instuments used fell far short of accepted psychometric standards.  So even the literature that Jost & Co. reviewed was inadequate to support their conclusions.  My most recent article in that genre is here

And I would be remiss if I did not take some note of two more of Ms Johnson's academic inspirations:  Altemeyer's RWA research and the SDO scale associated with Jim Sidanius.  Both are fairly hilarious pieces of work, as I show here in the case of SDO and most recently here in the case of Altemeyer.

The unfortunate Ms Johnson is simply credulous.  But Leftists believe what they want to believe anyway, and damn the evidence

Barry Spurr hounded by moral crusaders of the new inquisition

WHY is it bad to hack and expose photographs of a woman’s naked body but apparently OK to steal and make public the contents of a man’s soul?

This is the question that should burn in our minds in the wake of the Barry Spurr scandal.

For just a few weeks ago, when a hacker invaded the iCloud ­accounts of female celebs and ­rifled through their intimate snaps, there was global outrage.

This theft of explicit private photos of actress Jennifer Lawrence and others was a sex crime, we were told. It was an act of misogynistic tyranny, proof that even women’s private lives were not safe from the bulging eyes and clasping hands of a hateful, macho culture.

To peer into a woman’s most intimate moments was a “sexual violation”, said a writer for Guardian Australia. Just because these women were in the public eye, just because they “offer their image to public consumption”, that didn’t mean they were “trading (in) their intimacy”, she said.

Fast forward to last week, and some of the same people whose jaws hit the floor at the audacity of those who leaked these women’s private, unguarded pics were cheering the hacking of Spurr’s private, unguarded words.

Spurr, a professor of poetry at the University of Sydney, has had his private emails pored over and published by pseudo-radical, eco-miserabilist website New Matilda. In some of his emails, in what he has since claimed was a cheeky competition between him and his friends to see who could be the least PC, Spurr used words that would no doubt cause pinot gris to be spilled if they were uttered at a dinner party.

He described Tony Abbott as an “Abo lover”, referred to a woman as a “harlot”, called Nelson Mandela a “darky”, and used “Mussies” for Muslims and “chinky-poos” for Chinese. He now has been suspended by the university.

Many people will wince on reading those words. Just as we will have winced if we happened upon those photos of well-known women doing porno poses or ­engaging in shocking sex talk in videos shot by their boyfriends.

And that’s because these behaviours, both Spurr’s knowingly outrageous banter and the act­resses’ knowingly sluttish poses, share something important in common: they were private acts, not intended for public consumption. They were things done or said between intimates, far from the eyes and ears of respectable ­society. Yet where right-on commentators and tweeters stood up for the right of famous women not to have their private nakedness splashed across the internet, they have relished in the exposure of Spurr’s soul to the panting, outraged mob.

Spurr’s private thoughts are fair game for public ridicule, they claim, because of his position as a specialist consultant to the federal government’s review of the national curriculum.

New Matilda says Spurr’s standing as someone who could “influence what will be taught to every child in every school” means his intimate chatter is a legitimate target for moral policing. His private thoughts clash with his public duties, it says.

Imagine if this tyrannical insistence that everyone should have a spotless private life were taken to its logical conclusion. For a start, we might argue that it was legit to leak those female celebs’ intimate photos on the grounds that they exposed the women’s hypocrisy. Many of these actresses and singers are role models to young girls and pose as demure creatures in their work lives. But behind closed doors they get up to stuff that wouldn’t look out of place in Hustler. Their private lives run counter to their public personas. Does that mean they should be exposed, mocked, ridiculed, made into quarry for pitchfork-wielding moralists? Of course not. And neither should Spurr.

No amount of faux-progressive lingo about exposing “institutional racism” in the upper echelons of Australian society can disguise the fact Spurr-bashing is an old-fashioned, McCarthyite hounding of someone for having a private life and private thoughts that fail to adhere to new orthodoxies.

The hounding of Spurr by an army of intolerant tweeters and hacks is Salem-like intolerance dolled up as a radical exercise in tackling racist attitudes.

New Matilda rather gave the game away when it said it had one aim — “cleansing the national curriculum review of the toxicity of this man’s views”.

Cleansing. What a word. It speaks to the true driving force behind the assaults on Spurr: an incredibly authoritarian instinct to rid the public realm of anyone whose outlook is not 100 per cent pure and decent, as defined by the new self-styled guardians of moral probity: so-called progressives, with righteousness in their hearts and rotten tomatoes in their hands.

We need to face up to the seriousness, to the sheer intolerance, of the creeping new trend for punishing people for their private thoughts. It isn’t happening only in Australia. In the US, Donald Sterling, a business magnate and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, was expelled from basketball earlier this year and turned into an object of international ridicule following the leaking of an ­entirely private phone conversation in which he said something disrespectful about black people.

In Britain, two football managers were sacked following the leaking of private emails in which they made juvenile jokes about gays and black people.

There is something Stasi-like in this moral policing of private speech. In the wake of the Sterling scandal, a columnist for The Washington Post said: “If you don’t want your words broadcast in the public square, don’t say them … Such ­potential exposure forces us to more carefully select our words and edit our thoughts.”

This is terrifying. It is a straight-up celebration of the kind of public denunciations of private deviancy that were encouraged under Stalinist regimes. Why don’t we just put a Nineteen Eighty-Four-style telescreen in everyone’s homes? That’s surely the only way to ensure that no one misspeaks privately, and instead edits their thoughts and suppresses their more “toxic views”, or risks finding themselves a target of “cleansing” by their betters. The haranguing of Spurr and others turns the clock back to a darker moment in human history.

During the Inquisition, people were regularly tried and punished for their private beliefs. The Enlightenment thinkers who came in the wake of that calamity insisted that such tyranny should stop. In the words of the great enlightened 17th-century English jurist Edward Coke: “No man, ecclesiastical or temporal, shall be examined upon the secret thoughts of his heart, or of his secret opinion.” Spurr is being punished for his ­secret opinion.

Coke’s enlightened view, his conviction that individuals must be free to think and say what they want in their private lives, is in mortal danger today. It’s being crushed by a New Inquisition, staffed by members of the chattering classes, inflamed by Twitter and assaulting not only individuals such as Spurr but also the very principles of privacy, autonomy and freedom of thought.


Labor's 'stubborn pride' on boat turnbacks

LABOR needs to get over its "stubborn pride" and fully support asylum seeker boat turnbacks, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says.

LABOR has signalled it might continue the government's policy of turning back boats - despite arguing against it for years - if it could get Indonesia's backing for it.

Opposition immigration spokesman Richard Marles at the weekend conceded turnbacks have helped stop the boats, but says his party still has reservations about the measure.

Mr Morrison says Labor should support the policy wholeheartedly.

"The policies that were put in place have proven to be a success and it's time for the Labor party to frankly get over their stubborn pride, stop making excuses and support the turnback policy," he told ABC radio.

He says there has only been one successful asylum seeker boat venture since the government started turning boats back to Indonesia on December 19 last year.  "If that doesn't convince him, then what would convince Labor that turnbacks should be implemented?"

Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, has expressed his own reservations about turnbacks. But Mr Morrison says his government will continue to "do what we need to do".

He says co-operation with the Indonesian government is off to a "very good start".  "I have no doubt that we will be able to work with the new government."

Labor MPs deny there has been any change in the party's policy on boat turnbacks.

NSW MP Stephen Jones noted the caveats in Mr Marles' support for the measure.  "I'm very comfortable, the Labor caucus is very comfortable where our policy is at the moment," he told reporters in Canberra.

Victorian backbencher Tim Watts said he was happy with Labor's position.  "Labor will not support boat turnbacks where it is unsafe to do so or where it jeopardises our relationships in the region," he said.


Combating (genuine) poverty need not punish 'the rich'

But Leftists WANT to punish the rich, of course

October 12-18 was Anti-Poverty Week, aiming to encourage all Australians "...to organise or take part in an activity aiming to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship here in Australia or overseas." Anti-Poverty Week often provokes new offensives in the poverty wars, which usually ensures a few entertaining op-eds, but does nothing to alleviate genuine poverty.

In recent times Anti-Poverty Week has been kicked off with the release of the Australian Council of Social Services' (ACOSS) Poverty in Australia report. According to this year's report, 2.55 million Australians (13.9%) were living below the poverty line.

Poverty, as defined in the report, includes anyone in a household with an income less than half of the median household income (after adjustments for differences in household composition and housing costs).

By defining poverty in these terms, the focus is shifted away from living standards towards income inequality so that poverty can only be eradicated through an extreme policy of income redistribution that leaves all households with the same (equivalised) disposable income.

This focus on relative poverty as a metric for measuring the effectiveness of Australian social policy conflates income inequality with the material deprivation that most Australians associate with 'living in poverty'.

The other consequence of the income inequality/anti-poverty rhetoric of the left is to shift the focus away from those who are living in genuine poverty to the incomes of those they deem to be "the rich". Redistribution of income alone tells us nothing about the effectiveness of programs that aim to improve the lives of the disadvantaged.

The effectiveness of programs targeted at the less fortunate is far more important. If these programs are not working, the costs imposed on society are not being offset by any increase in overall social welfare. As we learned earlier in the week it is possible to spend $120 million on an employment program that manages to provide only 277 jobseekers with a job that lasts more than six months at a cost of $433,000 per placement.

Alleviating poverty should focus on ways to change people's lives for the better. While this will require some income redistribution, redistribution should never be an end in itself.


Halal battlefront over Byron Bay's Anzac biscuits

They deny that money from Halal certification goes to support terrorism but do not say WHAT it goes to

A SOCIAL media storm has erupted after it was revealed on Facebook that Byron Bay Cookie Company produced Anzac biscuits were halal certified.

By 2pm yesterday more than 1300 people had posted on the company page, the majority expressing their disgust at the announcement that all the companies' products were halal certified.

But do you really know how mainstream halal certified products have become?

Chocolate maker Cadbury has 71 products on its website that are halal certified, ranging from Dairy Milk chocolate to Freddo Frogs and Red Tulip chocolates.

Nutri Grain, Nutella, Peters Ice Cream, Four' N Twenty pies and sausage rolls, Norco Foods Nimbin Cheese, Extra chewing gum, Milo, SPC tinned fruits, Mars bars, Bega cheese and Heinz jams, marmalades, relishes and sauces are all halal certified.

Products from the Northern Co-operative Meat Company's abattoir at Casino have been halal certified since 1995.

Supporters and producers of halal products claim the social media hysteria had been whipped up by the group Boycott Halal in Australia.

Boycott Halal in Australia identifies halal certified producers and products on its Facebook page, calling for a boycott of their products.

The group also incorrectly claims money raised by halal certification contributes to funding construction of Islamic mosques and global Islamic expansion.

Sydney-based company Halal Australia has been certifying producers and their products since 2005.

Chief executive Muhammad Khan refuted allegations funds from halal certifications were directed to Islamic terrorists.

"Halal certification profits do not go towards supporting any terrorist activities or violent politically motivated religious organisations," he said.

Mr Khan said Halal Australia did not provide the Byron Bay Cookie Company with halal certification.

Police confirmed they are investigating posts on the Facebook pages of both the company and its employees.

What you said:

STEVE SMART: Our Anzacs died for this country , why should a company disrespect them by complying with an Islamic tax that a percentage of goes to fund terrorism.

RACHEL JENNER: I think it's great that they recognise the fact that as a country we are made up of many faiths and religions and people that want to enjoy Anzac biscuits may belong to any number of these.

JASON HAILES: Good screw this halal SCAM. It is helping fund terrorism and Islamic schools which help breed new generations of extremists.

ERIKA TAYLOR: People are outraged on behalf of ANZAC soldiers who fought in Gallipoli?
Do they not realise there were many Muslim Anzacs that fought for this country, Britain, Canada, New Zealand.... or that the first Mosque was built in Australia in the 1860s?

LINDA MILLS: For goodness sakes. All halal means is compliance with certain requirements around hygiene and how an animal is butchered.
Nothing to do with supporting or funding terrorism.
This is another excuse to persecute and target a religion and for people to show how bigoted and racist they are.

JENNY DOWELL: It makes marketing sense to make and market all of their products as Halal so more of the world can enjoy them. I'm appalled that people would boycott a biscuit company for having good business sense.

MARS MIRZA: As a Muslim I half agree with the backlash.
The ingredients that go into making Anzac cookies have nothing to do with the dietary restrictions of Muslims, unless they use lard (which is mainly pig fat) instead of butter, but if they did that then that the cookies would be gross.
There is no reason to put a "halal" label on it, the ingredients list on the packing is enough to tell anyone these cookies are okay to eat. as many have pointed out this is purely marketing.
These cookies are exported and some Islamic countries the law prohibits the importing/sale of non halal foods.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Pity we stupid Goyim can't find the same moral outrage over the same scam being run as "Kosher" certification. Yes, I know....somehow its...different.