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Genetics has more influence on political orientation than environment

The modern doctrine is that sexual orientation is hard-wired, while political orientation is a matter of free will. Each is probably a mixture of both,  but the news here is that political orientation is influenced by genetics. Kevin Smith and John Hibbing conducted the study, based on the analysis of identical twins.

(Medical Xpress)—A research paper appearing in the academic journal Political Psychology re-affirms the genetic underpinnings of political beliefs, refuting critics who challenged previous research that linked politics with genetics. The new paper, “Genetic and Environmental Transmission of Political Orientations,” is the lead article in the December edition of the journal. It is based upon a 2009 survey of nearly 600 sets of in their 50s and 60s, sought through the Minnesota Twin Registry. “The data from the twin studies is strong enough now that if you don’t believe political attitudes and behaviors are genetically inherited, you can’t believe that breast cancer is genetically inherited and you can’t believe that addictions are genetically inherited,” said Kevin Smith, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln political scientist who co-authored the study.

The more recent paper backed up earlier research of theirs in 2005 that concluded:

The 2005 paper directly challenged conventional wisdom that children are taught their political attitudes by their parents, with their beliefs later being shaped by life events and experiences. “We find that political attitudes are influenced much more heavily by genetics than by parental socialization,” the researchers wrote in the 2005 paper.

Another treatment of this article is found at Huffington Post.

What did the researchers find? The identical twins’ political views were consistently more similar than were those of the fraternal twins, and further statistical analysis revealed that these differences were partially the result of genetic influences.

“I know people get bent out of shape about this,” Smith said in a written statement. “The environment is important, it’s just not everything. You can talk about biology and you can talk about the environment. Who we are is a combination of both.”

Their work is consistent with what Jonathan Haidt has been showing with his Moral Foundations Theory.

Moral Foundations Theory is a social psychological theory intended to explain the origins of and variation in human moral reasoning on the basis of innate, modular foundations. At present, the theory proposes six such foundations: harm, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority, and purity; however, its authors envision the possibility of including additional foundations. The theory was first proposed by the psychologists Jonathan Haidt and Craig Joseph, building on the work of cultural anthropologist Richard Shweder, subsequently developed by a diverse group of collaborators, and popularized in Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind.

Although the initial development of moral foundations theory focused on cultural differences, subsequent work with the theory has largely focused on political ideology. Various scholars have offered moral foundations theory as an explanation of differences between political liberals and conservatives and have suggested that it can explain variation in opinion on politically charged issues such as gay marriage and abortion. In particular, Haidt has argued that liberals stress only three of the moral foundations (harm, fairness, and liberty) in their reasoning while conservatives stress all six more equally.


People who tend conservative are more cautious, more conscientious, more concerned with loyalty to the group, and hence more socially concerned, more concerned with seemliness, holiness, and quicker to disgust. Liberals tend to more concerned with procedural fairness, equality of outcomes, and freedom from oppressive social arrangements than are conservatives. It seems entirely reasonable that political orientations are the results, and not the sources, of profounder pre-political notions and sentiments: such as holiness, profaneness,fairness, disgust, oppression, sociability.

Studies like this confirm what everyone already knows. They are controversial only to a narrow segment of ideological liberals who insist that everything is environmental, and nothing genetic, except of course, homosexual orientation.

When I hear of oppression, this is what I think of

I was listening to CBC radio, a while back, to young articulate Canadian Indians (aboriginals) talking about how incredibly hurt they had been by aboriginal schools and how angry angry angry they were about their oppressed existence.

Aboriginal schools of a certain era were Edwardian light-security concentration camps for youth, such as the one I went to in the 1950s and 60s at great expense to my parents. You could be beaten by teachers for failing to know rules you had never been taught ( I will kill you, Roger Reynolds, if I ever find you). You were instructed in grammar and maths and expected to know subjects, conjugate irregular french verbs, learn Shakespeare, write clearly, and be imbued with patriotic fervour for the British Empire, the Dominion, and Victorian ideals. The food was bad but we were allowed home.

The Indian residential schools probably taught less French and more Christianity than we were. Nevertheless, I am skeptical that residential schools of the 1920s or 1950s were any tougher than what white people were undergoing in the 1920s and 1950s: regimentation, obedience, education, hierarchy, and a very strong inculcation into the idea that the world did not centre on you. It was not child-centred learning.

For me, words like “racism” connote picking up a machete and massacring your neighbours if they belong to the wrong tribe.  Never hiring a man of proven worth because he is of the wrong tribe, that would count to as real racism. Forget “microaggressions”. I find myself micro-aggressed by people who are badly dressed; by people who whine on public radio, by slovenly thought, by pompous know-betters, by cross-country skiers who complain about trails being used by snow-shoers: name your pet hates; you have them too. A sensitivity to Micro-aggressions are the sign of how nice everything is becoming.

You want to read about real oppression, practised by the experts of a police-state? Read this narrative about growing up in Ceausescu’s Romania as the child of a dissident. (“How the Secret Police Tracked my Childhood”) Then talk to me about residential schools, if you dare.



Testimony of Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, before US Senate

This is an excerpt from his testimony before the US Senate sub-committee on the Environment, on February 25, 2014. When you take the long view, we are in an ice age.

There is some correlation, but little evidence to support a direct causal relationship between CO2 and global temperature through the millennia. The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming.

Today we remain locked in what is essentially still the Pleistocene Ice Age, with an average global temperature of 14.5°C. This compares with a low of about 12°C during the periods of maximum glaciation in this Ice Age to an average of 22°C during the Greenhouse Ages, which occurred over  longer time periods prior to the most recent Ice Age. During the Greenhouse Ages,there was no ice on either pole and all the land was tropical and sub-tropical, from pole to pole. As recently as 5 million years ago the Canadian Arctic islands were completely forested.

Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species. There is ample reason to believe that a sharp cooling of the climate would bring disastrous results for human civilization.

By contrast, John Holdren, the President’s Chief Science Advisor, who is a fanatical warmist, assumes the truth of man-caused global warming.

Scientifically, one cannot say that any single episode of extreme weather―no storm, no flood, no drought―was caused by climate change; but the global climate has been so extensively impacted by the human-caused buildup of greenhouse gases that many such events are being influenced by climate change. Effective climate-preparedness efforts will require anticipating and planning for changes in the frequency, intensity, and locations of some kinds of extreme events, as well as for more gradual changes such as the continuing rise of sea level and movement of the geographic ranges of pests and pathogens.

All you need to know about the Ukraine

Russia can no more afford to let the Ukraine go than Canada can let Manitoba and Saskatchewan merge with the United States, or the US let Alaska go to Russia, or Texas to Mexico. The Ukraine is their western and southern frontier.

The United States has been insanely irresponsible in pushing the elected government  of Ukraine to fall into the hands of the current revolutionaries, who are not the US-funded liberals whom the US thought they were supporting. Russia has been fighting to capture Crimea from the Tartars and the Ottoman Turks for several centuries; they will not let it go to some Western Ukrainian Catholics who no more represent the Russians of the Crimea than our Prime Minister Harper represents Quebec nationalists.

Two commentaries to which you should pay attention:

A former US Secretary of Commerce under Reagan, Paul Craig Roberts, gives a a very bleak interpretation of how much the Ukrainian revolution has been fomented by the US  and how it  has now fallen out of US control; and

Spengler on why the whole thing does not matter that much: “hopeless but not serious”.

Paul Craig Roberts would argue that it is both very serious and utterly hopeless, that Russia has absolutely vital interests at stake, and that our media are systematically misrepresenting how Russian actions are  reasonable, and fairly mild, having regard for the forces and issues at stake. You should hear  Roberts’  interview. It is shocking, but highly plausible.



Roger Ailes as not heard by the CBC

Yesterday, the CBC aired an interview with journalist and author Gabriel Sherman about Roger Ailes, the presiding genius of Fox News.

There was something obscene about the shared world view of the CBC and Gabriel Sherman, the attacker of Roger Ailes. I shall explain why in a moment. Let me be more precise. The CBC and Gabriel Sherman are allowed to share a world view, but the CBC is not allowed to be so bad at interviewing.

Roger Ailes did not create modern American conservatism. He did not cause the political divisions of contemporary American life. The main thesis – unstated of course – of Gabriel Sherman’s book is that, but for Fox News, American political life would not be so stressed, fractious, and divided.

That essential question was never asked by the CBC interviewer.

Fox News continues to outperform other cable news networks because it represents a view that millions of Americans hold, and more of them hold conservative views than people like Gabriel Sherman would like.

Unfortunately, as the interview made clear, the people who hold those views tend largely to be white, older, and male. Gabriel Sherman and the CBC interviewer made no pretense of their disdain for the audience of Fox News. If one had said that the audience for a news network owned by George Soros was predominantly urban, liberal and Jewish, or black, you would have heard the screams of outrage all the way to a Human Rights Commission. The real obscenity of the interview was the presumption that the views of older, male, conservatives was illegitimate because held by older, male, conservatives. And they did not have the balls to say it out loud, but left it hanging like smoke in the air.

Every time you think that perhaps, perhaps, intelligent radio might be possible, and turn to the CBC for some relief from advertizing and the general moronicity of commercial radio, you encounter the smug certainties of the chattering classes. Roger Ailes is bad, thinks the CBC, and though we do not know quite how bad, here we have this young author of impeccable credentials to tell us exactly how bad in this wonderful book.

A search of Gabriel Sherman/Roger Ailes will show that the young man’s book is receiving rave reviews in all the right places in the media.

The real crime of people like Roger Ailes is that they broke the monopoly of received wisdom from people like Gabriel Sherman and the mainstream media; they showed that millions of people did not buy into the CBS/NBC/ABC world view, and that they were not taking it anymore, by voting with their eyeballs to trust views more raucous and conservative than the twee little world of Our Established Masters.

For this crime, Ailes must be vilified, and Gabriel Sherman’s fortune has just been made by his allies in the media. It may be tiresome to harp on the “media party”, but to see it in action is to remind oneself of its power.

North Korea is my candidate for hell

The Straits Times reports:


THE execution of Jang Song Thaek, the No. 2 man in North Korea, took Beijing by surprise and will adversely affect bilateral relations.

Beijing’s displeasure is expressed through the publication of a detailed account of Jang’s brutal execution in Wen Wei Po, its official mouthpiece, in Hong Kong, on Dec 12.

According to the report, unlike previous executions of political prisoners which were carried out by firing squads with machine guns, Jang was stripped naked and thrown into a cage, along with his five closest aides. Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called “quan jue”, or execution by dogs.

The report said the entire process lasted for an hour, with Mr Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader in North Korea, supervising it along with 300 senior officials.


If reincarnation is a reality, I suspect that the souls of the dead are sent to North Korea for reincarnation. But I do not believe this. I believe the people of North Kora have done nothing to deserve the evil fate of being born in a man-made hell. I do not know which thought makes me sadder.

Liberalism and Hate -2

Talking with Duggan’s Dew this morning, I related my excellent annual lunch with an estimable friend of mine: Liberal, liberal, and a good man. We disagree on everything except good manners, paying one’s bills, avoiding vulgarity and the other fundamentals of civilized existence.

You name it, we disagree: Obama, the plight of males in a female-dominated world, anthropogenic global warming. The list could be longer but there were only so many subjects that could be discussed in the course of a quite pleasant lunch.

In reciting my discussion,  Duggan’s Dew pointed out that the one thing the liberals can agree on is a vehement dislike of conservatives. All the world’s problems could be solved, one is led to think by liberals, if only conservatives, especially those of their own race and social class, did not exist. Our habit of pointing out things we consider to be facts and implications of race, class, nature, tribe, sex, rank, age, intelligence and stupidity aggravates them. The only arguments they can muster, when reduced to facing these facts, is to accuse of the various forbidden “isms”. It prevents thinking, reduces debate to name-calling, and established to their satisfaction their moral self-congratulation on being so  superior. (My lunch companion is and was eminently free from such habits, which is why we still lunch together.)

As Thomas Sowell once called it in the subtitle to “The Vision of the Anointed”: “self-congratulation as a basis for social policy”.

I opened this book to a random page and read:

 Among the amazing rationales for compensatory preferences for selected minorities to be imposed by courts is that such preferences merely offset previous preferences for members of the majority population….

But this again raises the question which arises in so many other contexts: is the law to attempt intertemporal cosmic justice or simply apply the same rules  to all in the only temporal realm to which it has jurisdiction – the present and the future? Moreover is the decision to opt for intertemporal cosmic justice one for which judges have any authorization, either from the Constitution or from statutes passed by elected officials? Such straightforward questions are often evaded by being redefined as “simplistic”….

“As in so many other contexts, the word “simplistic” was not part of an argument but a substitute for an argument. (at pp233-234)

I think the facts of life are conservative, in the sense that there is much more limited scope for remaking ourselves than many imagine. The arguments which ignore the facts of life, and particularly human inequalities,  are wrong, however benignly intentioned. We have the better arguments, but we have a massive uphill battle to fight to create the conditions for being understood.

I like treating people as equals. I like being treated as an equal. I want to live in a society where we do so.  But to live in a society that denies the implications of all the differences among mankind, and treats those who point them out as thought-criminals, is to live in a totalitarianism. I will not have it. And  if this means not going along with contemporary follies, so be it.


One of the most important books of recent times was a book by the American intellectual Francis Fukuyama, called Trust. Its thesis was that trust is a highly important social good, with vast economic effects. He compared the United States and Germany, which are high-trust societies, to France and Italy, which are low-trust societies.  In short, he argued that the scale and size of an enterprise, but not its commercial success, depended upon the amount of trust in a society. Low trust societies turned to the state to manage large-scale enterprizes, because on the whole, the citizens of low-trust societies looked to the state to be a more neutral arbiter among class interests than the bosses and unions could accomplish by themselves. Thus Boeing in the States is privately owned whereas Airbus Industrie in Europe is para-statal.

China likewise was a low trust society. The one social institution on which Chinese people may rely is their family, whereas the state is a capricious enemy most of the time.

Low trust societies, said Fukuyama, are the products of tyrannies. Capricious rule, and the lack of regular access to honest courts of law, produce over the long run societies where people cannot afford to trust one another. Southern Italy would be a prime example. The Mafia and other criminal societies are remnants of local resistance to tyranny.  Apparently it is rare for unrelated children to play with one another in Sicily, he reported.

His major recommendation was that, because strong bonds of social trust were easy to destroy and very difficult to generate, America had to be careful to maintain its wellsprings of social trust. He was alarmed by the decline of social trust in the United States, at the time of writing- 1996.

As you might guess, the level of trust among Americans continues to drop. In 1972, half of Americans said they could trust one another. By 2013 only one-third felt that way. Trust is lower among blacks than whites. Trust is lower among the poor than among the well-off. Is it income differentials that are creating this growing lack of trust?

Despite what the article suggests, I would like to propose two obvious factors for the decline of trust in American society.

1) Mass third world immigration. The US is conspicuously less white than it was forty years ago, less Protestant and less influenced by its founding ethnic groups. These immigrants come primarily from parts of the world that are characterized by tyrannies, capricious rule, and violence: Africa, Latin America, and southern and eastern Asia. So many newer Americans bring their lackof trust with them.

People have a harder time trusting obvious ethnic strangers than they do their own kind, and no amount of preaching about cultural enrichment will change people’s instinctual feelings of caution about people who are conspicuously different. This is not a white-brown thing; it is a phenomenon that works between Ecuadorians and Tamils, Turks and Nigerians, as well as between European whites and others.

2) More importantly, I think,  levels of trust are going down because of arbitrary and capricious laws, enforced by arbitrary and capricious authorities, are creating  a state of uncertainty regarding who can be trusted, when, and with what. Americans talk grandly of a nation of laws but it is actually a nation under the rule of law enforcement officers and ambitious prosecutors. There are so many laws, so badly written by lobbyists, so vague in their intentions, so fulsome in their length, that lawyers play a much greater role in society than they do even in somewhat over-lawyered Canada. Americans cannot be certain of anything in relation to their neighbours, employers, employees, or strangers.Lawyers and law-makers are working day and night to make it that way.

Did you know that in the United States, legislators, and their lobbyist lawyers, actually draft legislation? Thus the chief counsel for Verizon, say, drafts a section of a telecommunications bill alongside a bunch of other high-priced telecom lawyers, who thrash out the meanings and the drafts in late-night sessions, and then present the whole bill to the House or Senate Committee, which then goes through it, and sends it up to the whole Senate or House, but at no time is there a central legislative drafting unit capable of assuring common meanings, common terminologies, or a common style in drafting. A long Canadian statute might be thirty to fifty pages long (saving the Income Tax Act). US statutes are thousands of pages long, written hurriedly by many different pens, frequently with no common purpose among the authors, and no oversight in the legislative process to assure intelligibility, consistency, and brevity. Then the whole mess is sent to a series of appeals, where judicial politicians parse the meaning according to their best reading of conflicting sections and their personal interpretive ideologies. I know this is High Tory dudgeon, but the thought of legislators actually writing legislation without supervision is frightening.

That trust is going down is not to be wondered.


Not just another global warming skeptic

Dr. Tim Ball in Wattsupwiththat:

Elaine Dewar spent several days with Maurice Strong at the UN and concluded in her book The Cloak of Green that, Strong was using the U.N. as a platform to sell a global environment crisis and the Global Governance Agenda. Strong conjectured about a small group of world leaders who decided the rich countries were the principal risk to the world. These countries refused to reduce their environmental impact. The leaders decided the only hope for the planet was for collapse of the industrialized nations and it was their responsibility to bring that about. Strong knew what to do. Create a false problem with false science and use bureaucrats to bypass politicians to close industry down and make developed countries pay.

Compare the industrialized nation to an internal combustion engine running on fossil fuel. You can stop the engine in two ways; cut off the fuel supply or plug the exhaust. Cutting off fuel supply is a political minefield. People quickly notice as all prices, especially food, increase. It’s easier to show the exhaust is causing irreparable environmental damage. This is why CO2 became the exclusive focus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Process and method were orchestrated to single out CO2 and show it was causing runaway global warming.

This is the first time I have seen laid out clear what I had always suspected. The article asserts  that the great anthropogenic global warming scare is the conscious creation of the  leading elements of the  political Left, and  not as some naive anti-capitalist sentiment, but as a high-level conspiracy involving Maurice Strong and others, to destroy capitalism. It has been brilliantly successful so far. It has every ignorant person in the “educated” world seeing every natural phenomenon as the result of man’s dreadful sin of burning fossil fuels. It has us shutting down nuclear plants, raising the prices of energy, engaging in futile solar and wind energy projects, simultaneously wrecking the countryside, wasting billions, and creating a crony capitalist “green energy” lobby that will seek to defraud us of billions more.

The article by Dr. Tim Ball goes into the many ways in which the IPCC has systematically lied to us about the agenda they are on, the data they have misrepresented or suppressed, and the truths they do not want to be more broadly known.

The article concludes:

The IPCC deception was premeditated under Maurice Strong’s guidance to prove CO2 was causing global warming as pretext for shutting down industrialized nations. They partially achieved their goal as alternate energies and green job economies attest. All this occurred as contradictory evidence mounts because Nature refused to play. CO2 increases as temperatures decline, which according to IPCC science cannot happen. Politicians must deal with facts and abandon all policies based on claims that CO2 is a problem, especially those already causing damage.

Tim Ball’s website is found here, and is worth your time.

Good News! Guardian scared of right-wing takeover

The Guardian, that relentless pusher of leftism, cites the poll figures for the European parliament.

The Ifop poll in the newspaper Le Nouvel Observateur gave Marine Le Pen‘s National Front 24% in the European contest, five points ahead of Hollande’s socialists and almost four times what the far-right party achieved in the last European election, in 2009.

The boost to the extreme right in France came amid growing fears among the European Union elite that extreme parties of right and left would make a strong showing in the European elections in May.

Nigel Farage‘s UK Independence party is tipped to do well, possibly becoming the biggest British party in the European parliament, while Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-immigrant and anti-Islam populist, is also running strongly in the opinion polls.

German analysts and politicians expect the new anti single European currency party, Alternative for Germany, to win its first seats in a national poll. The far-right in Poland, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria would also register gains, on current projections.

A combination of out of control Islamic minorities, arrogant know-it-all European Union government, and economic malaise is working to produce this.