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Monthly Archive: March 2009

Mar 31 2009

The colonial experience-8: The rise of nationalist feeling

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) While colonial powers needed to create an educated, elite class to act as surrogates for them and help them rule the country, providing access to that education created its own problems. While some in the educated elite were happy to play the role of junior partner to …

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Mar 30 2009

Road rants

It is time for another edition of Road Rants where, after going on a road trip where I have time to think of these things, I note the driving practices I see that annoy me and make suggestions for improvement. The previous rants were here, here, and here. Turning on lights On the highway several …

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Mar 27 2009

The colonial experience-7: Majority-Minority divisions

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) One of the most depressing features of so many countries that gained independence in the post-colonial age that began with the end of World War II is the inter-ethnic tensions, discrimination, and violence that often occurred. It must be made clear that tensions between the different ethnic …

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Mar 26 2009

The Nigerian 419 scam goes meta

Is there anyone by now who has not heard of the ‘Nigerian 419′ scam or been approached by the people behind it? Hardly a week goes by that I do not receive several of these things in my email (sometimes several in one day). Word must have spread in the confidence trickster world that I …

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Mar 25 2009

The colonial experience-6: Divide and rule

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) While the colonies were a prime source of revenue for England, they also served as places to send young English men who were seen as black sheep in their well-connected families or as places where the less well-connected could make their fortunes. But the British could never …

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Mar 24 2009

Pope Benedict challenges all superstitions other than his own

In a previous post, I said that when religions compete with others for adherents, they do not resort to evidence because no religion can produce any. Hence they have to resort to emotional appeals, scaring people that if they don’t believe in their god, awful things will happen to them, but if they believe, they …

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Mar 23 2009

The colonial experience-5: Creating loyal surrogates

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) The British, in my opinion, were much smarter colonial powers than (say) the French or the Belgians. The Belgians were arguably the worst, as can be seen in what they did to the Congo under Emperor Leopold. As is the usual pattern, the colonialists used religion as …

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Mar 20 2009

The real AIG fraud

There is one thing that I have learned about politics: when the political ruling class is in a big lather about something and screaming loudly for retribution and action, that means the real action is taking place elsewhere, in secret, and that all the fuss is to distract attention from the real scandal. This rule …

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Mar 19 2009

In the name of Galt, go!

Yesterday, I wrote about the predictable opposition of the low-tax/no-tax zealots to the implementation of the sunset clause that will at the end of 2010 revert the tax rates to its 2000 values. The most bizarre feature of this opposition has been those who are threatening to ‘go Galt’. Apparently they are taking their cue …

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Mar 18 2009

Phony tax arguments

I do my own taxes. They are not that complicated and the tax forms and instructions provided by the IRS are pretty clear and straightforward. Basically, the system for most individuals is that you add up all your income to get your gross income, then subtract all the allowable deductions (personal and dependent deductions, state …

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