The seven signs of Vodoo science

A best-selling health guru insists that his brand of spiritual healing is firmly grounded in quantum theory; half the population believes Earth is being visited by space aliens who have mastered faster-than-light travel; and educated people are wearing magnets i n their shoes to restore their natural energy. W hy, in an age of science, does irrationalism appear to be raging out of control?


Notes from a kamikaze suicide manual

“The introduction of Japanese kamikaze pilots was one of the most dramatic developments of the second world war. But what motivated these young men to fly their fatal missions? There are some clues in the manual they carried in their cockpits for inspiration, and which is now published in English for the first time. Here are some extracts.”

Just before the crash
Your speed is at maximum. The plane tends to lift. But you can prevent this by pushing the elevator control forward sufficiently to allow for the increase in speed. Do your best. Push forward with all your might.

You have lived for 20 years or more. You must exert your full might for the last time in your life. Exert supernatural strength.

At the very moment of impact: do your best. Every deity and the spirits of your dead comrades are watching you intently. Just before the collision it is essential that you do not shut your eyes for a moment so as not to miss the target. Many have crashed into the targets with wide-open eyes. They will tell you what fun they had.

You are now 30m from the target
You will sense that your speed has suddenly and abruptly increased. You feel that the speed has increased by a few thousand-fold. It is like a long shot in a movie suddenly turning into a close-up, and the scene expands in your face.

The moment of the crash
You are two or three metres from the target. You can see clearly the muzzles of the enemy’s guns. You feel that you are suddenly floating in the air. At that moment, you see your mother’s face. She is not smiling or crying. It is her usual face.


There is something terribly poignant about this last line. It seems that many soldiers call out for their mothers when they are wounded or dying.

We need Bush and not Saddam calling the shots

Michael Gove savages the peacenicks and appeasers in this excellent Times opinion piece.

No responsible Western leader can afford to discount the consequences of Saddam possessing deliverable weapons of mass destruction. He is a practised mass murderer with unassuaged territorial ambitions towards his neighbours. He is an unstable tyrant who aspires to hegemony over the Arab world by providing its most radical elements with political leadership and military support. Terrorists who menace Israel and have operated throughout the West have been trained, financed and armed by him.

Defectors have warned us of the camps in which his confederates practise the hijacking of airliners. The $25,000 he gives to suicide bombers in the Palestinian Authority helps to ensure that terrorís cutting edge remains bloodied.

Possessed of of suitable weaponry, Saddam would create geopolitical chaos of a kind more dangerous than any we have known since the fall of communism. He would be able to destabilise the entire Middle East to the detriment of all its peoples and he could then place his boot on the worldís windpipe by threatening its oil supplies.

Possessed of suitable weaponry, Saddam would threaten Western democracies as no murderous tyrant has done since the Thirties. He could directly threaten the security of the Jewish people as no one has done since Hitler. And he could hold Europe and the US, our interests, people and values, to ransom. For he would be able to equip terrorists with the means to unleash attacks more devastating than those visited on America on September 11.


Reparations for the Descendants of Women

Lampoons the repartions absurdity in America.

See alsoWhy Wait for Reparations? by William Raspberry

Think of the difference between divorce lawyers and marriage counselors. The former are reparationists, guided mostly by financial bottom lines — how much of the marital assets can be grabbed for their client. The latter are healers: What arrangements, commitments and concessions are necessary to make the marriage work?

For a lot of people, not all of them black by any means, America isn’t working very well. Sometimes it’s their own fault, and sometimes — particularly in the case of children — it isn’t. Can’t we agree that it is in our own interest to improve their outlook, their preparation, their life chances — spending whatever it takes in money and human effort?

Not out of guilt, not because someone owes someone else, but because we all owe it to ourselves to make America what it ought to be.

Uprising era poem from South Africa

“Cosatu – You Xhosas

Ubuthi of tribalism
ubisi of hatred

fed to us by false inyangas
at nightshift
swallowed at lunchtime over a labalaba game
at clocking-in time we gulp it
then sway the pangas
and we drink some more.

“Cosatu you’ve had it” workers chant
“you are against our bosses
you affront our chief
Cosatu – You Xhosas
you are foreigners
stealing our jobs and our money …
Tyre-necklaces for you for your exit
despatch: to Zulu upstairs
there is more space there than in Kwa Makhutha, Inanda,
go Pondos go. there might even be jobs there
making some rain”.

A councillor struts out from his shop
hawking the snakes he has trained to bonga
false chiefs
they even sing skewed words to Ulundi
in nighttime assemblies
he orders pits to be dug next to our Branbury Mills.

What stokvel is this
with workers in giya
swaying pangas stained with the
class’s own blood?

Notes: ubuthi (Zulu): poisonous substance; ubisi (Zulu): milk; inyanga (Zulu): so-called witch doctors; labalaba: checkers game, popular with factory workers at
lunch time; panga: machettes; Ulundi: Capital of Zululand; Branbury Mill: rubber making machine; stokvel: a cooperative party; giya: a war dance.

Kantian cleverness

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Dare to know!* “Have courage to use your own understanding!”–that is the motto of enlightenment.- Kant

* Sapere Aude!