catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Charity, politics and religion

with 44 comments

Let me say, counting myself among the ranks of the godless I don’t intend to be partisan in pointing this out but it doesn’t surprise me. :

    In Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism (Basic Books), Arthur C. Brooks finds that religious conservatives are far more charitable than secular liberals, and that those who support the idea that government should redistribute income are among the least likely to dig into their own wallets to help others.

    His initial research for Who Really Cares revealed that religion played a far more significant role in giving than he had previously believed. In 2000, religious people gave about three and a half times as much as secular people — $2,210 versus $642. And even when religious giving is excluded from the numbers, Mr. Brooks found, religious people still give $88 more per year to nonreligious charities.
    He writes that religious people are more likely than the nonreligious to volunteer for secular charitable activities, give blood, and return money when they are accidentally given too much change.
    The first draft of the book focused mostly on religion. Lara Heimert, Mr. Brooks’s editor at Basic Books, told him there was “an elephant in the room” — his failure to grapple with the connections between politics and giving.
    Mr. Brooks agreed that he needed to tackle politics. He writes that households headed by a conservative give roughly 30 percent more to charity each year than households headed by a liberal, despite the fact that the liberal families on average earn slightly more.

Most of the difference in giving among conservatives and liberals gets back to religion. Religious liberals give nearly as much as religious conservatives, Mr. Brooks found. And secular conservatives are even less generous than secular liberals.

In fact ‘secular conservatives’ to the extent that this label includes secular libertarians fare the worst. Guilty as charged. I’m personally happy to just pay some taxes for a welfare safety net and let others sort it out

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Written by Admin

November 29, 2006 at 7:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

44 Responses

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  1. exactly…the selfish and disinterested would rather force everyone to pay, because doing a kantian extrapolation from themselves to society they think no-one would pay…

    humans care about charity…so we don’t need the government to force us to…

    c8to

    November 29, 2006 at 7:56 pm

  2. “I’m personally happy to just pay some taxes for a welfare safety net and let others sort it out”

    what you should be saying is your happy for charity companies to compete for your dollar, and then let them sort it out, safe in the knowledge that the forcefed government inefficiency is gone…

    c8to

    November 29, 2006 at 7:58 pm

  3. My reasoning is that Australia has a pretty good safety net and taxes are being collected to pay for it anyway.

    Actually in addition to that, I do believe that a centralised service for supplementing low incomes, top ups for vouchers, subsidised medical care, etc is a pretty efficient way of helping the poor.

    Personal charity,etc seems pretty haphazard, arbitrary and messy to me if we’re talking potential life and death and life prospects of the children.

    Jason Soon

    November 29, 2006 at 8:02 pm

  4. c8to you’re just being dogmatic here.
    we all have to declare our income anyway. what’s so inefficient about getting money sent to you by a computer program if your income falls below a certain level?

    charity to supplement any cracks in the safety net is another matter and I’m all for that.

    Jason Soon

    November 29, 2006 at 8:06 pm

  5. I’ve had a lot to do with charities – last year I worked for one, which gave me quite a bit of insight into the way they operate. There are certain charities that are much better than others at spending your aid dollar responsibly. The service clubs are particularly good. So – if you’re into that sort of thing – is The Wilderness Society.

    There are others I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole (email me off-list if you’re interested – I won’t say which ones publicly). Most of the money goes on administration, or depends on the ‘star’ promoting the charity to cover admin expenses – never a good idea.

    The charities that help poor people enjoy festivites are – by and large – very good. I know from my own experience that many poor people can’t afford Christmas not because they’re ’empirically’ poor, but because the head of the household (usually male) gambles or drinks the money away.

    The Salvation Army and the Smith Family ensure that families like mine get to experience some genuine Christmas cheer. Much of this is generated because the good/gifts supplied are not in the form of money, so the ‘big spender’ can’t steal them for his own ends.

    skepticlawyer

    November 29, 2006 at 8:20 pm

  6. I actually give away 5% of my gross to charity each year hoping it will buy me a chance to get through pearly gates if it does exist. you never know and it’s a small cost to pay for insurance.

    Who knows, maybe the big guy takes a dim view of giving someone like Liam a hard time. The charity thing could be a form of equalizing the balance sheet mof good vs bad deeds.

    Having said that, I think the expectation of people having to give away their money is a form of compulsion.

    Bill gates was at first given a hard time because he was “stingy” with his money. This is judgmental left wing crapola. Gates should have felt free to do what he wanted with his hoard and it was no one’s business.

    JC.

    November 29, 2006 at 8:37 pm

  7. oh really jason…i’m yet to hear of this magical efficient government you speak of…

    of course governments could be efficient but theyre not…

    private charity works – look at gates foundation – government charity wastes the majority if not all of it…

    UN spends something like 85% of the money in rich countries…

    c8to

    November 29, 2006 at 8:44 pm

  8. i’m being the opposite of dogmatic…the evidence shows that government redistribution is extremely ineffective…

    your an economist…you should know that…the dead weight losses of government transfers suck…most welfare goes to those who don’t need it, government workers and administrators, and finally to those that do need it, but with perverse incentive structures…

    c8to

    November 29, 2006 at 8:45 pm

  9. “UN spends something like 85% of the money in rich countries…”

    Really?

    Jesus they’re uselsss.

    JC.

    November 29, 2006 at 8:47 pm

  10. really?so you’re opposed to John Humphreys 30/30 tax reform program? how do you expect to convince people to accept deregulated labour markets if you don’t want any government welfare?

    Jason Soon

    November 29, 2006 at 8:49 pm

  11. Whoa, I heard my name taken in vain and came running—if it isn’t too “hypocritical” of me to comment, here, ‘f course. Or shall I call you, Joe, Leo the tenth, believer in charitable indulgences paid in this life for suitable preference in the afterlife?

    so the ‘big spender’ can’t steal them for his own ends

    Skepticlawyer, I believe you’re channelling the sentiments of the 1890s fabians and the post-Victorian social reformers, who wanted to push the economic concept of the ‘family’ away from the ideal of institutions based on breadwinners able to piss-away or borrow-away the income. Good for you—the true believers’ll have you yet, if you don’t fall for “local option” or state prohibitionism. The blessings of Saints Webb be upon you.
    Seriously though, St. Vincent de Paul do very good work in the social welfare field, either in material goods (clothes, food, appliances, furniture) or in donations of cash, if that’s your thing.

    Liam

    November 29, 2006 at 10:04 pm

  12. Liam
    I was worried I haven’t seen you round for a while , so I whistled and sure enough there you are fully attired in beret, turtle neck and bow tie.

    You gotta always buy insurance Liam.

    I don’t like St Vincents and wouldn’t ever give them a cracker. They preach a far left philosophy that wants to make me gag.

    ” shall I call you, Joe, Leo the tenth, believer in charitable indulgences paid in this life for suitable preference in the afterlife?”

    Dude, you can call me whatever you like. Leo the tenth is ok with me. no probs.

    JC.

    November 29, 2006 at 10:19 pm

  13. Liam, I’m interested in what works, and in what I can learn. This isn’t a function of ideology, although I prefer people to have as many choices as possible. If however, you’re getting something for nothing from a private body, then that private body has the right to set the terms of reference. If it works, even better.

    skepticlawyer

    November 29, 2006 at 10:20 pm

  14. I must say I enjoy looking at wat google adds pop up for threads. I’m being invited to share my Mormon conversions stories.

    Steve Edney

    November 29, 2006 at 10:31 pm

  15. That’s right, Steve, and I’m being invited to apply for Government jobs, and join the US Army. 🙂

    Liam

    November 29, 2006 at 10:37 pm

  16. Jason’s employer (CRA International) got a plug on one thread. And the New Internationalist got a guernsey on another. Lots of fun.

    skepticlawyer

    November 29, 2006 at 10:39 pm

  17. Hey, I just get things like philanthropy in Europe, affordable charity gifts, cancer research UK, conservatism and liberalism (the leading debate in the US), an ad for Legal&General and for some reason a sports betting trading site.

    Taxation is a disincentive to private charity for exactly the reasons Jason stated, most people are “happy to just pay some taxes for a welfare safety net and let others sort it out” on the presumption that the state is able to make a difference. I for one do not believe the state can make a difference, but I also resent being asked to pay twice, once in tax, once again in charity.

    Brendan Halfweeg

    November 29, 2006 at 10:58 pm

  18. I’m being invited to … join the US Army.

    A man of your tastes won’t be out of place, Liam. 😉

    C.L.

    November 29, 2006 at 11:05 pm

  19. Man’s gotta make a livin’, Currency. Felt don’t weave itself.

    Liam

    November 29, 2006 at 11:09 pm

  20. The tradesports site is where c8to does his trades/bets – they don’t just do sports stuff. They’ve got a dedicated cricket page that I’m going to enjoy during the World Cup, as well as weather and commodities.

    skepticlawyer

    November 29, 2006 at 11:11 pm

  21. That was from The Beret In History, by the way.

    C.L.

    November 29, 2006 at 11:20 pm

  22. Heh, I liked the description of Monica: “American artist and revolutionary”.

    C.L.

    November 29, 2006 at 11:22 pm

  23. And those charitable donors fall into 2 camps – the skepticlawyer camp who are happy if people are given handouts, and those who will want to be sure their $$ go to things that ‘turn people’s lives around’. So they like success stories, not just happy christmas stories.

    Interstingly they don’t seem to want ‘save souls’ – despite wanting to explicitly give to a christian charity.

    Be interesting to see a further breakdown of these into your more traditional christians and your evangelical Hillsongs or Sydney Anglicans. I’m betting they don’t let go of their money quite as altruistically.

    Angharad

    November 29, 2006 at 11:28 pm

  24. Frankly I’d like to see a bit of both, Angharad. My main concern (having worked in the sector) is that the money/goods/whatever actually goes towards the stated charitable purpose.

    Charities are very special trusts, and whenever the money is blown on administration or put towards political purposes allgedly ‘incidental’ to the main charitable purpose, the common law principle (older than Henry VIII by some margin) is undermined.

    skepticlawyer

    November 29, 2006 at 11:36 pm

  25. the skepticlawyer camp who are happy if people are given handouts, and those who will want to be sure their $$ go to things that ‘turn people’s lives around’. So they like success stories, not just happy christmas stories

    Maybe people should only donate to charities you approve, perhaps you could get a like minded number of people together and intimidate some folk into giving to your approved charities. Perhaps you should run for parliament on your “I know what’s best for you, and you, and especially YOU!” platform.

    Brendan Halfweeg

    November 30, 2006 at 4:05 am

  26. Liam said: “Felt don’t weave itself. ”

    Felt isn’t woven,Liam. 🙂

    But seriously, not many people seem to realise that the Government welfare state (dread phrase) killed off a good private welfare system.

    Anyone who wants to find out just how bloody awful the provision of Government welfare really is should read “The Welfare State We’re In” by James Bartholemew. http://www.thewelfarestatewerein.com/

    But the more important thing about the survey is that it reveals that lefties are bastards who don’t actually like other people. Haven’t we all noticed that Tories and even libertarians are far nicer, smarter and sexier than your average lefty. I suspect the reason for that is that leftism is based upon envy disguised as egalitarianism.

    Rococo Liberal

    November 30, 2006 at 8:25 am

  27. “Actually in addition to that, I do believe that a centralised service for supplementing low incomes, top ups for vouchers, subsidised medical care, etc is a pretty efficient way of helping the poor.”

    Why?

    See you talk about this as a permanent thing rather then a stop-gap measure.

    All these things increase marginal tax rates, or the rate of monetary growth, or they make it likely that we won’t lift the tax-free threshold.

    Thus they are financed by the poor or they reduce the level of capital accumulation. And its the stock of capital which creates the demand for labour.

    You’ve got to take into account the factor of bullshit momentum. If a prominent libertarian goes around promoting these things, except as some sort of transitional, weaning arrangement thats when you get the Mark Banisches of this world being able to surf off that momentum and get within one step of the ‘from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs’ communist doctrine.

    There is just no reason to believe that if we are focused on driving living costs down and sound money that real wages won’t keep growing.

    This I think is another harmful thing about this Singularity idea.

    It might endgender this idea that everything will change and the same economics doesn’t apply.

    Really we are talking about the ability to get economic growth up above 20% per year and sustain it. As well as the marvellous things this extra wealth might buy.

    But the singularity notion can easily be used for an excuse for all these socialist measures even before we have the tax-free threshold way high and have dislodged the fangs of all these non-security tax-eaters from off the soical blood-supply and sent then out to get a real job and make a contribution for once.

    GMB

    November 30, 2006 at 9:48 am

  28. “But the more important thing about the survey is that it reveals that lefties are bastards who don’t actually like other people. Haven’t we all noticed that Tories and even libertarians are far nicer, smarter and sexier than your average lefty. I suspect the reason for that is that leftism is based upon envy disguised as egalitarianism.”

    Exactly.

    But there is also hardcore stupidity involved.

    Its not just a personal character flaw.

    GMB

    November 30, 2006 at 9:52 am

  29. Graeme
    what is so difficult about some degree of redistribution? Hayek supported it, Friedman supported it.

    This is a very simple thing and it’s not incompatible with your beloved idea of lifting your tax free threshold.

    See, if we had a flat tax but it had a very high tax free threshold then in effect the tax system would stll be progressive. A real flat tax would tax everyone the same rate on incomes above zero. But a flat tax with a tax free threshold by definition is already progressive and therefore allows for some income redistribution to provide a very basic safety net. I’m not advocating a higher safety net but any talk of exposing more people to the forces of Schumpeterian competition without one is simply unrealistic, nor is it efficient. The most basic market failure is the inability to choose your parents. Complete reliance on private charity is inefficient, messy and unreliable.

    I don’t accept this silly minarchist distinction between paying taxes for defence (good) and paying taxes for a welfare safety net (bad). Both are basically forms of insurance. Indeed if we keep our nose out of the rest of the world and let those idiots in the Middle East sort out their own problems, the first is probably on balance less important than the second.

    Jason Soon

    November 30, 2006 at 10:00 am

  30. Jase that is called a linear tax ,
    a flat tax has NO threshhold and it is a great idea of Friedmans!

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 30, 2006 at 10:05 am

  31. Jason is a worry at times, imagine walking to the Clock with him and I fall over and break my leg.
    “Help me Jason”
    No.
    Why not.
    I pay taxes, an ambulance will help you.
    What if you call one up?
    That will cost you…
    Well when you get to the pub maybe Birdie or someone will phone up.
    JC certainly would.
    Actually he would would come down and pick me up.
    Let go of my leg!
    Come on Jason, its hurting!
    Well what do you want me to do about it?
    Tell skeptic lawyer to come down with her pig rifle and shoot me to put me out of my misery.

    Rafe Champion

    November 30, 2006 at 10:29 am

  32. the linear tax is of course the great idea of Friedmans not the flat tax perse’

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 30, 2006 at 10:32 am

  33. “I don’t accept this silly minarchist distinction between paying taxes for defence (good) and paying taxes for a welfare safety net (bad). Both are basically forms of insurance. Indeed if we keep our nose out of the rest of the world and let those idiots in the Middle East sort out their own problems, the first is probably on balance less important than the second.”

    Ah yes Jason, but only the first gives you a national hardon. Birdy, if I’m gonna pay for your viagra, you can cough up for the single mums, surely.

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 11:30 am

  34. Well you ought not accept it FDB.

    Because all stealing is bad.

    But being beholden to foreigners who would steal EVERYTHING is bad also.

    Incidentally you a being a complete fucking idiot.

    Now what was your argument again?

    GMB

    November 30, 2006 at 12:39 pm

  35. as Humprheys keeps asking you why are you so afraid, Graeme?

    Jason Soon

    November 30, 2006 at 12:47 pm

  36. Yes Jason, defense spending is a terrible waste. But you need it even when you think the coast is clear,Bad decisions made by the Clinton administration over the defense budget will echo around for 20 years or so.

    There are still bad guys around.

    I also think we need a safety net for those who can’t take care of themselves. That goes without saying. I am sure most libertarians would also agree with that proposition.

    However we have a problem with the stealing and churning that goes on. We have a problem with the mindset that they can run surpluses and think it is their money.

    We have a problem with middle class welfare that steals money from the poor to give to the better off.

    JC.

    November 30, 2006 at 12:50 pm

  37. “Graeme
    what is so difficult about some degree of redistribution? Hayek supported it, Friedman supported it.”

    1. I already answered the question before you asked it.

    2. You cannot say that about Friedman. He put forward the NIT to replace all the other bollocks. That is not the same thing as advocating it for all time as superior to a more libertarian setup.

    3. This is stealing that you are advocating.

    4. The poor will pay for this stealing. And so what is the point of that?

    The money for such schemes must come out of three places.

    1. Capital goods. And since its the stock of capital goods which pay for poor peoples wages how can this be a benefit?

    2. National Defense. And we lose everything including common decency if we lose our war-making capacity.

    3. Taxing the poor. These schemes dull peoples determination to get rid of the inflation tax, get to growth deflation as well as to make sure the tax-free threshold is lifted, throw all the leeches off the public tit, and make all those bludgers at Larvatous Prodeo pay rather then eat taxes.

    So where are you getting the money for these schemes from Jason?

    Where are you getting the money from?

    There is a big difference between having these things as part of an adjustment process and considering making them an eternal thing.

    This must be the bogus Singularity ideas invading your counciousness.

    Where is the money coming from?

    “I don’t accept this silly minarchist distinction between paying taxes for defence (good) and paying taxes for a welfare safety net (bad). ”

    Well now you are just being silly. And it was SUCH a stupid thing to say that I thought it was FDB.

    All stealing is bad.

    All stealing is bad no matter where the money is going to.

    I mean its bad enough that poor people might get roped in to making our country unassailable and our politicians free from intimidation by foreigners.

    But then to ask them to turn around and pay for their own welfare spending schemes as well is an outrage.

    GMB

    November 30, 2006 at 1:22 pm

  38. When Humphreys says this he is being a total fuckwit.

    His entire thoughts on defense are based around cowardice. That is the idea that if he pretends problems aren’t there they will go away.

    GMB

    November 30, 2006 at 1:22 pm

  39. “And it was SUCH a stupid thing to say that I thought it was FDB”

    Huh, so the ‘complete fucking idiot’ barb was really aimed at me, eh?

    So sorry you had to take my bullet, FDB.

    Jason Soon

    November 30, 2006 at 1:30 pm

  40. “So sorry you had to take my bullet, FDB.”

    Meh, all in a day’s work for the busy taxeater, albeit one who works in the private sector and pays tax.

    So GMB, my scared little chickadee, explain the connection between our capacity to ‘make war’ and loss of our common decency. Is this a necessary consequence, or contingent (on the presence/absence of ravening hordes of evil-doers threatening our life and liberty).

    I would have thought our common decency is more threatened by not looking after our least well-off brothers and sisters. I must be one confused commie witch-hunter.

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 2:15 pm

  41. See, if we had a flat tax but it had a very high tax free threshold then in effect the tax system would stll be progressive. A real flat tax would tax everyone the same rate on incomes above zero. But a flat tax with a tax free threshold by definition is already progressive and therefore allows for some income redistribution to provide a very basic safety net. I’m not advocating a higher safety net but any talk of exposing more people to the forces of Schumpeterian competition without one is simply unrealistic, nor is it efficient. The most basic market failure is the inability to choose your parents. Complete reliance on private charity is inefficient, messy and unreliable.

    This is very much where I’m coming from, Jason. I know the difference a high tax free threshold would have made both to my own family and to my partner’s family. The churning and constant supervision we have now makes it harder, not easier, for the poor to participate in the economy. And it forces them into the illegal economy – everything from cash money jobs to building meth labs.

    You only have to see half a dozen sentences involving some poor bastard who’d tried to save a house deposit dealing drugs.

    skepticlawyer

    November 30, 2006 at 8:42 pm

  42. Come on Birdy, where are you?
    Explain why you want to condemn families to starvation just so we can spend more to make you less afraid of those sand crackers 🙂

    Jason Soon

    November 30, 2006 at 8:53 pm

  43. “So GMB, my scared little chickadee, explain the connection between our capacity to ‘make war’ and loss of our common decency.”

    “Come on Birdy, where are you?
    Explain why you want to condemn families to starvation just so we can spend more to make you less afraid of those”sand crackers”

    No no. We were talking about public policy. We weren’t talking about you guys mastering the art of pre-emptive surrender because of your fears.

    And there is just no doubt that the appeasement crowd and the low-defense-spending crowd are frightened shitless. And perhaps have never known the psychological freedom to speak ones minds.

    I myself have no living relatives who are either children or female and therefore cannot be silenced.

    And physiologically this soft-wet-soap exterior is merely a cover for the fact that I’m chiseled out of rock. And that rock is crystal. And those crystals are diamond and therefore I’m indestructable.

    They would have to take a punt. Find some way to get to me.

    Perhaps they might kidnap skeptic over a weekend and tell me if I didn’t tone it down they will maltreat the Amazonian.

    So you see I wouldn’t so much be worried for my own sake if the matter of these bad bastards reaching out and attempting to assasinate me, was going to be taken seriously.

    But the way things are now the bodies from the handiwork of foreign states would barely be noticed at the airport.

    The left, being gutless, full of fear, lacking any manly qualities (except the outer trappings of the fruits of their thieving) and hoping desperately to be a house-slave or successful Quisling……..

    …… Wouldn’t merely ignore the bodies.

    They would actively conspire with the enemy by ridiculing anyone who pointed out the suspiciousness of it all.

    But its not just the active ridicule.

    Its that wall of shame that is generated. That you just cannot say certain things in mixed company.

    Our bureaucrats, because they are fearful leftists, show them in.. they show in facist Chinese diplomatic staff…. They allow these fascists in to see Mainlander refugees in our detention centres.

    Or at least this sort of thing has gone on one time or another.

    I want a strong enough defense and a tough-minded enough bunch doing part-time public-tit shifts that this could never happen.

    I’m pretty alright myself because my extended clan, running into the thousands of individuals, has a genetic fault wherein they produce only boys and each one meaner and crazier then the last.

    And we all hate eachother and we don’t get along, but the many thousands of them have pledged a blood oath that if anything happens to me they will blame the Sister Sledge, The Family Saud, And the Chinese communists regardless of circumstances and start killing folks within these associations and regimes….

    …they will start killing folks as according to their perceived influence on the day I’m put-upon.

    Or even excessively annoyed.

    But what of people not coming out of such a single-minded branch of the human family?

    What of Australians who have daughters and grandaughters?

    Will they be so free with their toungues knowing that such openess will see their children killed in such a way as to make it look like an accident and the whole of the post-moderns that they live amongst ignoring evidence to the contrary?

    And if not….. And if not… And if not WILL NOT that IMBEDDED SLANT on the public debate be the worm in the apple that destroys our freedom?

    If we are desensitized to regimes murdering people via terrorist groups… or indirectly by the sponsoring of Jihad…

    … Then its only one step from there.. To having foreign regimes murder folks in our country on the basis that the victim spoke his mind our borders.

    How tough do I want Australia to be?

    How focused do I want us to be on protecting the safety and dignity of our citizens and of those people we allow within our borders?

    Well see that fellow that Putin murdered in Post-Modern Britain just the other day?

    Obviously we want to be tougher-minded then post-Modern Britain.

    Imagine the planning meetings that Putin or his minions were having, the planning meetings, where they were deciding when and where to kill this guy.

    Now just suppose that he’s travelling to Australia to discuss Russian matters publicly.

    And that meeting to kill him is going ahead. And they are deciding when and where they will kill this guy.

    How tough-minded do I want Australia to be. And how organised and capable?

    I want it such that Putin or his advisors would shy away (not without some buried fear) from the prospect of killing him IN AUSTRALIA, or yet even anytime soon after touching down in another country.

    And I would want them to shy away from murdering his family now that he has said what he has said IN AUSTRALIA.

    Did you see not long ago a Chinese woman went back to all the primary sources on Chairman Mao?

    And she found out all sorts of things that go against Mainlander religion wherein Mao is the deity.

    Anyhow she’s just out there promoting her book.

    Its turning out to be a stunning success. You know. Doing pretty well on the New York Times bestseller lists.

    And she chooses this time THIS TIME!!! to commit suicide.

    She just up and chooses the moment of her greatest triumph to commit suicide.

    I……………. don’t……………………..THINKso!

    How tough do I want Australia to be? How tough-minded and how capable?

    I’d want us to be tough enough to assume the Chi-coms got to her and to say so and to not let it rest until we were happy that it was just one of these freak things. And that if we ourselves couldn’t prove that it was suicide to just blame the Chi-coms for it, as a matter of course.

    One time the Chi-Coms kidnapped an Australian citizen.

    They sent a team into an area that was not their territory. And they kidnapped him.

    And I myself haven’t followed this one up.

    Is he alive or is he dead?

    Do we venerate his birthday? or the anniversary of the day he was kidnapped by communists?

    You see an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.

    AN ATTACK ON ONE OF US IS AN ATTACK ON ALL OF US.

    So many of you youngsters don’t know history. You don’t understand. You have no understanding. Your feeble “understanding” (such that it is) is inadequate.

    The visious circle of supremely barbaric behaviour we’ve seen in the Middle East can overtake the international scene more generally SO FAST.

    It can change the way we think, the way we talk, and the things we tell our children.

    We Australians have been blessed. In that we have been under the cover of unassailable Anglophone navies for the last two centuries and more.

    But all these things pass. And we don’t get any sort of lead-time to avoid catastrophes.

    This country is not a land of hills and bushes. It is not a Continental-sized New Zealand.

    The attackers can wipe out our cities and they can see our desert fighters from the air.

    50 years ago it would have been different.

    We would have been unassailable with fuel dumps and with our aboriginal recruits helping us track down the water because without water you cannot fight.

    And so 50 years ago a well-prepared Australian fighting force with an authentic desire to win could have retreated to the desert and fought for years and years like Hannibal with strategic food and fuel dumps and so we could wait.

    But now we are sitting ducks and must have total air supremacy over our Continent and a couple of thousand kilometres beyond.

    And our submarines must be supreme in our part of the pond and we must have the best theatre and ICBM missile-defense.

    And we are not a tribal people.

    WE ARE NO LONGER OF A SINGLE TRIBE or we can no longer fool ourselves that we are.

    Actually thats one of the best things ABOUT this country.

    But a country without ethnic identity may not defend itself in the way we used to. Might not decide to see the thing through and then damn well see it through.

    A country that is no longer tribal might not have the moxie to take on an on-paper more powerful adversary on a matter of principle or on a matter of maintaining strategic superiority in our neighbourhood.

    How strong do I want Australia to be?

    How strong and how capable?

    Well when we are strong enough to get rid of all of those Mainlander spies then I’ll think we are doing alright.

    GMB

    December 1, 2006 at 4:23 am

  44. “You only have to see half a dozen sentences involving some poor bastard who’d tried to save a house deposit dealing drugs.”

    Under the reign of Macromancy you are nothing until the house is mostly paid up.

    Without your house, under macromancy, you condemn all your descendants to the lower classes.

    The tax-free threshold ought to be high enough above any starting wagee, such that any family, having made mistakes in the past, can dig their way out of trouble, And having doneso gain the confidence that they didso on their own.

    GMB

    December 1, 2006 at 6:39 am


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